Three of Swords

The Three of Swords is about loss, separation, heartache and grief. I have chosen three different versions of this card, which I feel illustrate the vibe of the Three of Swords, and I have written a flash fiction piece which is my own personal take on a Three of Swords experience.

Like most people I have had many of these experiences in my life. The card serves to show us that the grief is not empty, it has meaning, and maybe it will also be there as a shadow, but it can also help us to gain strength when faced with future grief. For me when I see this card I feel intense grief for the things I believe I have done to cause pain for others, not just my own personal grief. In the Thoth deck, Crowley calls this card Sorrow, with good reason.

The three cards below are from The Deviant Moon Tarot, The Lucy Lescot Tarot and The Poet Tarot.

The Deviant Moon card on the far left, follows the RWS system fairly closely, but it also has it’s own unique twist, which can often cut like a knife. In my own experience there is no messing with this deck, it comes straight to the point. The figure appears to be dressed in some kind of armour but it still cannot defy the swords piercing her heart. The shadow behind her shows that her own pain is bigger than she is at this moment. Yet through the window, the moon is shining over the mountains, showing a sliver of light, she just needs to find the strength to turn towards that hope.

The card in the centre is from The Ludy Lescot deck, and this is almost a perfect illustration of my biggest personal Three of Swords experiences. A broken home, broken family, broken children and lost babies. The blood is on the woman’s dress, signifying her guilt and her part in this wreckage. She cannot face what she has done at the moment but she clings to the cross, a sign of hope and strength to help her go on, like the moon in the previous card.

The third card is a bit different, but I chose it because it reflects art and writing which are both big in my life. The Poet Tarot substitutes Swords for Mentors, which signify revision… the stuff we do to put things right once we have created them, this card is when we may have to kill our darlings. But another side to this card according to the accompanying book, is the darkness that can sometimes take hold of a mentor, causing them to act out of personal petty jealousy, rather than honest critique. It is a different take on this card as is shown with Cupid wearing a death’s head. It is a sign to look deeply at your own work and be sure that those who purport to encourage you, are not actually out to make you feel bad.

3 of Swords from Deviant Moon Tarot, Ludy Lescot Tarot & The Poet Tarot.
Three of Swords from Deviant Moon Tarot, Ludy Lescot Tarot and The Poet Tarot.

The piece of drftwood in the photo is something I found a few years ago, recently it wants to be part of all my Tarot readings, so who am I to argue. Driftwood is watery, it may be to do with my current emotional state., It is also very Cancerian in its vibe.

This is a piece of flash fiction that I wrote for the Three of Swords:

When she woke to hear rain battering against the iron roof,  and heard the tides rushing up to fill the mudflats, she knew it was the right day. It was hardly light outside, and even standing over by the estuary she could still see the glow of the candle she had left burning in the window.  She took the white plastic strip from her pocket, looked at the two blue lines, and remembered the hopes and dreams that they had signified.  She touched it to her lips one last time, and then sent it spinning through the curtain of rain, out to the high tide. She stood watching, tears and raindrops blurring her vision, fighting the urge to plunge into the water after it.  When she could no longer see the tiny flash of white she turned back back to the house. ‘Go free little soul’, she whispered.


New Tarot Bags…

I have had three commissions for custom Tarot Bags in the past couple of weeks, so I thought I would share them here. Two were for the Thoth Tarot, but with very different requirements. The images below were for a regular size Thoth deck, and the client wanted an embroidered bag to reflect the energy of the Two of Disks card, she was delighted:

The bag arrived today!! I was surprised it got here so quickly. It is exquisite! My husband says it is the most beautiful Tarot bag that I have and I agree! Love all of the different colors in it and the way it reflects the 2 of disks card. I love holding it in my hands and feeling the wonderful energy from it. The cards fit perfectly into it. My husband and I were just looking at the amazing bag again. He is an artist and I thought you’d enjoy hearing one of the things he said. He said, “It’s like painting with thread and fabric.”

Here is the bag, front and back:



The bag pictured below was for a Tarot reader who wanted his own sigil embroidered on a heavyily padded velvet bag with wraparound spread cloth. This was for the large Thoth deck.



And finally a bag for my friend Beth of Little Red Tarot, for her Wild Unknown Deck:


Bites here and there…

I have been playing with The Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack. It is a deck that I was never attracted to when it was first released, but currently I am loving in. I managed to get a very cheap kit, and the book is great. Part of the reason why I decided to look at this deck again, was another book of Rachel’s called The Forest of Souls, which features this deck among others. I am reading the books by dipping in and having bites here and there – sometimes it’s the only way.

Anyway, I knitted a bag, in gorgeous thick wool in a kind of warm apricot pink… to celebrate the joy and colours of the shining tribe…

Shining Tribe Bag

Day of Silent Pride…

Today is the day of silence in New Zealand, when students all around the country will tape their mouths shut. This is a way to draw attention to the many years spent in enforced silence by people of all ages who have suffered an identity crises because of struggles with their sexuality.

I am very proud of all my queer friends and all they have done to make change across the globe,  and indeed of everyone who stands up for human rights in any shape or form.

I am especially proud of my firstborn, Tabby, who has devoted all of her teenage and adult life to this cause. I chose a Tarot card for her, and I chose the High priestess, she is strong, and wise, she is eons older than her years and she lifts a veil between two worlds.I chose the High Priestess card from the Cosmic Tarot because she looks wise, she looks ahead yet carries the wisdom and landscapes of the past. She holds history and the future in her hands, and lights our way like the moon.


I have learned  more than I can ever say form my kids, and I know our whole tribe have learned so much from Tabby. If ever I did something in my life that I am totally happy with, it is raising my kids to be who they are, and to help others to fight for and realise that right.

You can watch Tabby on breakfast TV at this link

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And while we are on a pride trip… this is Polly my second daughter of whom I am equally proud, and her gorgeous son Blue, doing their own bit


And here, can you spot my girls back in their Nayland days doing the day of silence?! So you were on Breakfast TV too Poll x

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Go Tabby, Polly, Blue and all of you out there fighting for the right to be…

I love you and I thank you xxx





Mary and the Tower

Today I finally completed one of the Tarot Bags ordered long ago by my friend Felix. It was for the Mary El Tarot. I don’t have this deck, there are a few cards I love but the other…mmmmeeeeehhhh. I based the bag on one of the cards I really like which is The Tower.

Mary El Tarot – The Tower card:


The bag I made for Felix – inspired by this card:

photo 1

Detail of embroidery:

photo 2


Embracing the shadows with Jung…

I have long been  interested in the writings of Carl Gustav Jung, and am trying to find time to read more. But recently I have been focusing on his thoughts concerning the shadow aspect of human beings. Jung said:

Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

From Psychology and Religion by C.G. Jung (1938)

I like Jung because he always holds hope for the individual. He believes we can heal ourselves by contacting our unconscious through symbols such as archetypes and myths and facing our darker side. My long relationship with the Tarot started partly because of learning about Jung and archetypes as a teenager. Bt umostly I think it came about from my love of the darker side of life. oddly I no longer consider The Tarot as at all “dark”, on the contrary it can be a journey to enlightenment.

Here is another quote from Jung:

To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.

“Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology” (1959)


Light Nelson… more thoughts

Originally I intended to go solo with this project. Group work can be rewarding and inspiring, but it can also be incredibly stressful and frustrating! Anyway I was approached by Ben and Van Van who wanted to work with me so we are now a group! BB&VV! WE talked about my original idea for the project which was based around my habitat of a Tarot Reader and a reader in general.

Below I have posted one of the concept sketches I drew… The guys liked this idea but then we were brainstorming and I came up with another idea which we all jumped on… See next post!














It’s all about the B word…

When it comes to habitat, I like my cave… not the cold wet slimy kind, but the kind with a warm hearth and books… lots and lots and lots of books… books everywhere, and Tarot cards and art stuff.

So… my project (actually our project now) is going to be along those lines… books, Tarot, warmth and of course recycling, which is a big part of my art anyway.

Some very funky stuff has been done with books…


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See what I mean?

Images retrieved on 12/5/2014 from




That’s how the magic gets in…

The past couple of days, I have been catching up with an order for Tarot bags. I found some old 20 year old Halloweeny fabrics and  did a lot of hand stictching and quilting.  It felt good to create something whimsical and hand stitched. I love the bag I made, I was almost hoping the client wouldn’t like it, so I could keep it for one of my decks!

Actually this bag is for a Lenormand deck, so it’s a wee bit smaller than the usual bags I make, but it is longer as one of the specifications, was that the wrap around part could hold a five card spread when opened out. You can see what I mean in the photo below The pocket for the cards is on the left hand side of the image.


The bag all rolled up with the deck inside:

Magical Lenormand Bag

The lining is pieced from my own hand dyed fabrics.


The thousands of stitches, in their rainbow threads, are how the magic gets in – of course…


And look how thickly padded it is…! Lucky deck…




I did a daily draw today with my gorgeous old RWS, and used the card to indicate which numbers I should cover next in my 1-10 Tarot study.

Justice – karma, balance, truth and law. This card is very like the High priestess with the position of the figure and the two pillars. The sword and scales indicate balance and logic, and the blade is double edged, it can cut on both sides.

Today this card could be telling me that I deserved the drip from the leaking roof that flooded my pillow in the early hours… surely a Cup card would have been more relevant for this watery experience! Maybe some emotion is trying to reach me, something that I have shut out, so it is forcing me to take notice. It sure made me sit up! On the other hand I think there needs to be more balance in who does everything in this home – at the moment it is always me. That’s all very well in the holidays, but college starts again next week and it will be full on. I need help


Another thing that tickled me, is that having finished watching every episode of Taggart that I could find, I have now become entranced with Judge John Deed and Kavanagh QC. Two judges by two actors I quite like. I like John Thaw who plays Kavanagh a lot, although I think he was best in Morse. Martin Shaw drives me mad at times, a bit too smooth – I prefer crunchy. His character, Justice John Deed, is equally maddening. He has this amazing side to him that will fight for what is right and not succumb to corruption in high office, but personally he is a bit sad. How any female could be attracted to him I don’t know. His female counterpart is a good balance though, and she is not under any illusions about him.

So that’s Justice for today, and the next number in the study series will be Two. Watch this space.