Tuesday, May 29, 2012

For June: The House of Your Life

Time flies, and coming up this Sunday, June 3rd, is my next tarot magic workshop at Triple Goddess.  The special activity for June is the Dollhouse Oracle.  By inserting tarot cards into the rooms of the pop-up dollhouses which I will be bringing along, you can see what’s going on in “the house of your life,” as so many metaphors for being are expressed in terms of living spaces and architectural features.  (For an article on the Dollhouse Oracle, go to http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/2044, or click on the link in the articles list in the left-hand column.)

We will also be doing the Tarot Round Robin, as I have decided to make this a monthly thing.  (For an explanation of this technique, refer to the post for March 26th.)  The Round Robin allows us to “crowd source to Spirit” by bringing our collective powers to bear on each individual in turn, and it also allows us to familiarize ourselves with a greater variety of tarot decks and other types of oracle decks.  Because we discuss the different cards for each Person’s reading, we also become more engaged with the cards, as well as with each other.

Going back to the idea of the house as metaphor of life: whether or not you’ll be doing a dollhouse reading, it’s interesting to think about domestic and architectural imagery in tarot readings in general.  The tarot decks in my collection actually have little in the way of domestic interior scenes or illustrations of architectural features—though the original Rider-Waite-Smith deck actually seems to have the most, (though more of them exteriors).  Since this is a theme that has not been over-worked, for anyone thinking of designing a new tarot or oracle deck, there’s no reason one couldn’t work in more architectural and domestic material symbolism.

Here are a few examples from card decks that do feature some household scenes:

-- In Ciro Marchetti’s “Legacy of the Divine Tarot,” the 10 of Cups portrays a dog and cat cuddled by the hearth-fire.  This card can hold special meaning for those of us with pet-centric households.

-- The “4” cards, being concerned with material foundations, can denote issues around house and home, so Martin Cannon’s and Ellen Cannon Reed’s “Witches Tarot” features a picture of two children running across the fenced grounds of a stately manor for its 4 of Pentacles.  This imagery recalls both the RWS 6 of Cups and 10 of Pentacles, and is less negative and judgmental than some other artists’ portrayals of the 4 of Pentacles.

-- Although Joanna Powell Colbert’s “Gaian Tarot” favors outdoor nature scenes, the 3 of Earth portrays women making herbal preparations in the kitchen, and The Emperor features a man carving a decorative post for his home.  Also, the 4 of Air features a bird’s nest with four eggs.  This catches some of the tension inherent in the 4 of Swords, because a nest is ephemeral and exposed to the elements, yet it is also a secure and cozy structure.

Collette Baron-Reid’s “The Enchanted Map” oracle has a card labeled “Home,” which is an exquisite illustration of a magically organic dwelling.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Deck Mixing with Faery/Fairy Oracles

At last Sunday’s workshop, we looked at ways that fairy energies can be experienced in everyday life.  To do this, each person had first drawn a “faery friend,” from Brian Froud’s Faeries Oracle.  (Refer to the last post on doing a little greeting ritual to enlist the faery friend’s helpful energies.)  Next, we took out different tarot decks or other types of oracle decks, while posing questions like, “Please show me how my faery friend can be active in my life.”  Then, one inserts the faery card into the deck, anywhere, then pulls it out again along with the cards to either side of it. That nature of the flanking cards can tell you something about the area of life where you have the potential to encounter some fairy magic. 

As discussed elsewhere in this blog, areas of life where a person can experience some fairy magic include anything we do to commune with nature, engaging the spirits of one’s home and land, Ancestor World connections, creative work and craftsmanship, and the life of dreams and the imagination.  Some other things to think about while contemplating your reading include: Do the fairy’s energies harmonize with the flanking cards?  If the overall reading is positive, how can you turn it into a spell to manifest those good energies?  If the overall reading is negative, how can you alter your dream of reality to bring in more positive influences?

You can also frame your questions for advice, such as, “Please show me how I can activate some fairy magic in my life.”  In that case, you would interpret the cards as offering suggestions for things you can do to access those fairy world energies.

This technique of inserting a card from one type of deck into a quite different type of deck in order to enlarge your understanding can be used for a number of other purposes beside fairy readings.  For example, if you have a particular tarot card that keeps recurring in your readings, to learn more about how that particular card’s qualities are active in your life, you could get out a different type of oracle deck, and insert your tarot card into it while shuffling and posing the question, “How do the energies of such-and-such-a-card operate in my life?”

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fun with Faery Friends

On Sunday I will be demonstrating some things you can do with fairy-themed oracle decks, particularly with Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Oracle, and, if time permits with Mason and Franklin’s Fairy Ring deck.  On previous occasions when I have taken people through exercises with these decks, some people have told me that they already own the decks, but never actually use them.  (A lot of people buy decks as collectors, or just because they like the art.)  One of the things I have been hoping to accomplish through my workshops and through my writing is to offer ways that we can add a little bit of enchantment to daily life, and at the same time get more use and pleasure out of our card decks and other materia magica.  (This includes putting everyday objects to magical uses.)

By the way, you don’t have to own or purchase any of the fairy decks or other decks to participate in the activities planned for Sunday’s session, but I will be giving out “Faery Friends,” (cards from the Froud deck), for people to take home as talismans.  (I get a supply of extra cards to use as give-aways by buying used decks in good condition; if you like the idea of handing out talismanic cards to friends, this is something that could also be done with spare tarot decks and other types of decks.)  When giving out the Faery Friends, I have people go through a little ritual, because some of the faeries in the Froud deck (as well as other fairy-themed decks) can be tricksters.  Others are associated with the darker side of nature, though the Frouds emphasize that all of their faerie personalities—even the scary ones—are there to serve as teachers.

The ritual is a simple greeting.  As you pull a card from the deck, say something like, “I greet you friends in the world of Faery.  Show me your friendly faces, show me your happy faces.  Come and be my friends today.”  When you perform this ritual, even the dark fairies or trickster fairies will use their unique talents to help you.  Fairies will help people when politely asked for help, because it’s part of the Fairy Code—and because asking for help is in itself a magical act.