I see me in her…

I love it when you pre-order something months before it is made, and then almost forget about it, so that when it arrives it is just like a present from the Man in the Moon, or some other benevolent being.

Today, my Bohemian Gothic Tarot – Third Edition, arrived from Baba Studio in Prague.

It. Is. Gorgeous.

Actually make that: They. Are. Gorgeous, as I also got a mini version of the deck.

Bohemian Gothic Tarot 3rd Edition

As with the first two editions, the images have been altered slightly, some more than others and the backs are completely new. There s an extra new Lovers card in both the large and small deck, which is nice to have. I hope one day Baba do a deck with a Happy Squirrel card. The mini deck has the most stunning gilded backs and the cards just slide through your hand like water, but as they are small they are easy to keep hold of. I love them. I can’t stop shuffling, letting them slide from one hand to the next, it’s kind of like playing with a Slinky toy.

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Bohemian Gothic Tarot 3rd Edition – Lovers Cards

The cardstock used in these decks is my favourite so far, although I do love all my Baba card stock.

Oh and I got a bag too… I chose the Seven of Cups design… I see me in her…

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The Card Dealer

Since I first sang the Christmas carol: In the Bleak Midwinter,  I fell in love with the words of Christina Rossetti. Later, while studying art at grammar school, I fell in love with the paintings of her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. I recently discovered a wonderful Rossetti Archive online,  which is dedicated to his work. While browsing through the a book of Rossetti’s poems, I came across a poem by Dante entitled  The Card Dealer. Dante’s poem was inspired by the painting shown below, a work by a 19th century British artist, Theodore Van Holst. The painting is entitled The Wish, but has also become known as The Card Dealer after the title of Dante’s poem.

As I am studying writing, art and the Tarot, I had to share these finds here.  You will be hearing more from me on the Rossetti siblings…

“The Fortune-Teller” (1840) by Theodore von Holst
“The Fortune-Teller” (1840) by Theodore von Holst

Copyright: Browne, Theodor Von Holst, 102

The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Card Dealer by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Poems: A New Edition. London: Strangeways, 1881

The Badgers Forest Tarot

Long time no post, I have been so busy with college, family, making bags etc, I have had little time to blog here. I intend to change that over the next few days as life settles down a little!

Meanwhile I wanted to share this new project by Nakisha Vanderhoeven who created the wonderful TaRat, The Rabbit Tarot and the Blue Dog Rose tarot. The new deck looks gorgoeus, particularly for those of you who love nature. I think it will work well with my Wildwood and also my NZ Naturally Tarot. The Druid Animal oracle would also play well with this deck! Plans for it already.

Here is a photo of the stunning Moon card that Nakisha shared on her Facebook page

This new deck is going to be larger than Nakisha’s previous decks and although I love their small size it will be nice to see her beautiful artwork in more detail!

Go and check out Nakisha’s videos and her Kickstarter project!

 

Day 24 – Quatern (with a twist…)

 

I saw it in the Tarot cards

a woman on the boat

lying on her bunk below

where all her daydreams float

 

remember how you lost your hat

it swirled into my crystal ball

Losing it was no accident

It was never who you are

 

A café by the roadside

full of gratitude and peace

I dreamed it on a summer night

In my imperfect life

 

and now you want to claim me back

I don’t need to play a part

You cannot hurt me anymore

I scratched you off my heart

Tarology

This is WONDERFUL…. for the lover of words, poetry or Tarot… or as in my case… all three!

Enrique Enriquez

I love listening to Enrique Enriquez, his words are precious…!

Morgan Greer Tarot Pouch

I have been commissioned to create five Tarot Bags to match certain decks for one of my customers, whom I have created custom bags for before. One of the decks is the Morgan Greer…. I was a bit stuck at first, but then I started playing and I am so pleased with what I came up with! I am not usually one to blow my own trumpet about my art, but I really think this is *perfect*!!! My own Morgan Greer deck is now extremely unhappy about the shabby old bag it has been forced to live in….

I will shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves :O)

Pouch for Morgan Greer Tarot by www.thetarotbag.com

See how the lining matches the back of the cards? I am such a clever Tripp at times… And the stunning shot silk velvet matches the yellow and reds in the deck perfectly!

Pouch for Morgan Greer Tarot by www.thetarotbag.com

Brighid’s Spread

As for many of you in the North it is Imbolc and the time of year we celebrate the Goddess Brighid, I wanted to design a spread in her honour, she is the Goddess I relate to most. In the South we are about to hit Lammas, but this spread is suitable for both hemispheres. I like to be able to celebrate together with my friends all over the world.
Brighid is also known as a Triple Goddess, which use the three phases of Maiden, Mother and Crone, she also represents fire and is the Goddess of Poetry, Smithing and Healing.

I designed this 3 card spread with all of the above in mind:

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1.What new fire should you be tending this season

2.What is creating the poetry in your life now

3.What wisdom is most healing for you at this time

I hope you enjoy this spread. I have much more to say about Brighid and what she means to me but I want to get this spread up in time for you to use it on her feast day, so I will leave that for another post!

I love this image of Brighid by Lori Karels

Brighid by Lori Karels

This woodcarving shows the Goddess Brighid in her three aspects as poet, healer and blacksmith.

Wooden Brighid Carving

Brighid inspire the poet within me
Heal my pain
Invoke my passion and fire

Blessed be…

)O(

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King Pellinore & the Questing Beast

This is rather a ramble which started by my drawing Pellinor & the Lady from the Dragonfae oracle. I tend to look at the cards before I read the book, and in this case the name and the small dragon reminded me of the story of King Pellinore and the Questing Beast from the Arthurian legends.

The card has the words Bittersweet Farewell, and it is according to the book about two lovers who have to part. I cannot help but find the Pellinore story more apt. I am not surprised to see this card though because my daughter and her girlfriend of 2 and a half years, whom we all love very much,  are going their separate ways. They still love each other, Liv will always be part of our family, as we will hers, and I know they need space to grow, but I cannot help be sad. It is very bittersweet. But we need this in our lives I guess, just like Pellinore needed his beast and vice versa.

Dragonfae Oracle by Lucy Cavendish

King Pellinore spent his life searching for the Questing Beast, it drove him crazy. He would fall sleep in the saddle, so tired was he, even if he were not actively hunting he was thinking about his dear beast. Pellinore’s quest got him into some bad situations involving such horrors as his own daughter torn apart by wild beasts of the forest, a curse on his life, the death of his horse and the failure of a friends loyalty and eventually his own death.

This beast was Pellinore’s life….. if he ever found it, he would probably have died in the saddle, as his whole life purpose, according to him, would have been over. As it was he didn’t find the beast as he was killed by the sons of King Lot of Orkney, whom he in turn had killed.

And what of the beast, was he as dependent on the chase as the King? Well there is rarely a good story that has no antagonist… as it happens the beast did suffer when at one time in his life Pellinore stopped his hunt and decided to take some rest and relaxation in a soft and comfortable bed at the home of his friend Sir Grummore. As we know, too much of the good life can be a danger to ones soul and this indeed happened to the King and his poor beast. He ventured out one day to renew his hunt and found the best pining away and half dead in the forest. To quote from T.H. White’s  The Once and Future King:

“The spectacle which they came across was one for which they were not prepared. In the middle of a dead gorse bush King Pellinore was sitting, with tears streaming down his face. In his lap there was an enormous snake’s head, which he was patting. ‘There, there’, the King was saying. ‘I did not mean to leave you altogether. It was only because I wanted to sleep in a feather bed, just for a bit.’ ‘Poor creature’, said King Pellinore indignantly. ‘It has, pined away, positively pined away, just because there was nobody left to take an interest in it. How I could have stayed all that while with Sir Grummore and never given my old Beast a thought I really don’t know. Look at its ribs, I ask you. Like the hoops of a barrel. And lying out in the snow all by itself, almost without the will to live.’ ‘I happened on it in this gorse bush here, with snow all over its poor back and tears in its eyes and nobody to care for it in the wide world. It’s what comes of not leading a regular life. Before it was all right. We got up at the same time, and quested for regular hours, and went to bed at half past ten. Now look at it. It has gone to pieces all together, and it will be your fault if it dies. You and your bed. fter giving the Beast wine and bread The King insists that the hunting party tie the Beast to a pole to transport it back to the castle to be warmed by the fire and fed and nurtured back into health. The King himself tended it until they were both ready to begin the quest anew.”

Qusting Beast 1935

“The questing Beast having revived under the influence of kindliness and bread and milk had bounded off into the snow with every sign of gratitude, to be followed two hours later by the excited King, and the watchers from the battlements had observed it confusing its snowy footprints most ingeniously, as it reached the edge of the chase. It was running backwards, bounding twenty foot sideways, rubbing out its marks with its tail, climbing along horizontal branches, and performing many other tricks with evident enjoyment. They had also seen King Pellinore – who had dutifully kept his eyes shut and counted to ten thousand while this was going on – becoming quite confused when he arrived at a difficult spot, and finally galloping off in the wrong direction with his brachet (hunting hound) behind him.” taken from T.H. White’s The Once and Future King published by Harper Voyager.

I love this story, it is one of my very favorite parts in the legends of King Arthur, and it is such a wonderful example of how it is the, journey, the chase that matters, and not the destination or the prize. Both King Pellinore and the beast need each other, the beast needs to be wanted, his life depends on it, as much as Pellinore depends on the beast to give meaning to his life. When  Pellinore stops the chase the beast is saddened, pines away and almost dies. To me the beast is like our spirit, when we neglect it and suffer ourselves too much worldly comfort,  it becomes weak and begins to fade, it can no longer bring us the joy it once did.

There some images of The Questing Beast, that I really love…. the first by Arthur Rackham

Questing Beast by Arthur Rackham

 This next image is just beautiful and it is by a very talented illustrator Carisa Swenson

Questing Beast by Carisa Swenson

Carisa also has another website which shows her delightful sculpted goblins, dolls and beasts of all kinds.

The Questing Beast by Claudon

The final beast for today is by C. David Claudon who retold Mallory’s Morte d’Arthur.

I really love the idea of a wonderous and fantastical beast representing my soul or spirit… what does your soul look like?

Melusine

One of the first cards I lhave studied in any detail from the Oracle of the Dragonfae is Melusine…..

Melusine from Oracle of the Dragonfae by Lucy Cavendish    

Melusine is a naked creature with fiery red hair, she wears a flowery tiara, and a golden key around her neck, with the top of the key in a heart shape. She has two small, but lovely greeny gold dragon type wings coming from her back. Her arms look as if they are held open palms up in trust, as if to receive or display something good…. she is not ashamed to show herself as she truly is.

The heart shaped keyfob speaks to me of self love being the key at the centre of our beings. Unless we can love ourselves we cannot love others, and cannot expect them to love us for who we are. Let yourself be known, celebrate the self is what this card says to me.

On her crown one of the flowers is bent into a crescent shape, like the Moon goddess head dress worn by Diana, representing the Goddess within all of us.  The dragon like wings show that when you are true to yourself you can fly.

The legend of Melusine is reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast… possibly my second favourite fairy tale. The daughter of a fae she was cursed by her father, when she trapped him inside a mountain for offending her mother. The curse made her half woman and her other haf was either a dragon, serpent or mermaid, according to which legend you read. The tale is well known in France where it was said that Melusine was married to Raymond, the count of Lusignan, but only on the condition that he never saw her in her bath. When Raymond broke the vow Melusine had to leave him and was condemned to the life of a specter, wandering to her doom, although some say she was locked in the dungeon of the counts castle.

In France her name is still mentioned, if someone gives a sudden scream it is called un cri de Melusine, alluding to her cry of distress when her husband saw her in her true form. Apparently cakes are still made with her image on for a May festival in that area of France, and there is a shrine named after her in Lusignan

I found some more images of Melusine, which are very like Aphrodite the Greek goddess. The first is
an anonymous engraving found in Histoire de la Magie by P. Christian – Furne

The gorgeous image below is by Anita Landree

Melusine by Anita Landree

And perhaps the best known image of Melusine is this one:

Starbucks Logo                                                         

According to Starbucks she is a Siren, a symbol of addiction, obsession and death, but apparently they have now freed her to be their flagship image. Indeed this is a Goddess whom millions worship daily at the high street altar. So from being a monster Melusine has become accepted, indeed worshipped for who she is, (ok…who Starbucks have decided she is!) And that to me is what this card is about…. be who you are, love who you are, love all of who you are, and you will unlock that beauty for others to love too.