pegkerr: (All we have to decide is what to do with)
On Easter, the last day of Minicon, I have done a tarot reading for years, using the Celtic Cross spread. I record notes about the reading in a little notebook I keep with my decks. As I was paging through, ready to begin, I saw a note I'd put there several years ago:

The study of tarot is the study of questions whose answers we fear.


I thought about as I pulled out my deck. I've used my Harry Potter deck for a lot of readings, but I decided for this one to go back to my Jane Austen deck, because the question I had been mulling over was about relationships, specifically, about how to handle a new relationship as well and ethically as possible, and that seemed rather appropriate. Jane does seem to focus a lot in her fiction about how to live an exemplary life.

As I pulled out my materials, I discovered that was just as well. I had grabbed my tarot materials in a hurry when I'd packed for the convention, and I'd managed to leave the companion book to the Harry Potter deck behind. I'd left the companion book to the Jane Austen deck behind, too. Oops. But at least I had the little pocket guide to that deck.

I always try to ask open-ended questions when doing these readings--not asking for a forecast of the future--but framing it along the lines of 'What do I need to know (or think about) X.'

For this year, I asked, "What do I need to know about this new stage of my life, the interstices between widowhood and a potential new partnership?" Keeping in mind the quotation I read in my notebook, I wanted to particularly pay attention to the shadow side, what I feared and how that might get me stuck.

Here's how the reading went )
pegkerr: (candle)
Today is the anniversary of the awful day that Rob and I learned that the suspicious PET scan he had recently received was not lymphoma coming out of remission, it was leukemia (caused by the first chemotherapy he'd received) that would go on to kill him a little less than three months later.

It is Samhain, the day when the souls of the dead are said to approach as close as they ever do to the living, Halloween, the day before All Soul's Day.

It seemed to be an auspicious day to do a Tarot reading, and given the day, the anniversary, and the fact that I most usually use my Harry Potter tarot deck, it seemed right to find a Deathly Hallows Spread. I found one quickly:


1 2 3



1: The Elder Wand - something that is both winning and losing
2: The Resurrection Stone - what has been lost and will not, cannot, come back
3: The Invisibility Cloak - what you've come to accept

Here is the Tale of the Three Brothers and the Deathly Hallows:



I drew three cards. All three were reversed. I thought about the reversals, but the reading seemed clearer if I just ignored them.

1: The King of Cups



The King of Cups. The book about the Harry Potter tarot says this can be the archetype of the injured King, the man who fell into guilt and learned wisdom through pain and suffering.

Well, I don't know about guilt, but this card to me is plainly Rob. Cups are water. Rob was born in November, and that is under Scorpio, which is a water sign. Wounded, pain and suffering: check. He won because he defeated lymphoma, but he lost, defeated by leukemia. And I lost him. Cups seems right, as he is right at the center of my grief (emotion, love).

Edited to add: I've thought more about why Rob's card would be in this position, the Elder Wand position. The fact is, when it came to fighting cancer, Rob thought he was undefeatable. And for a while, it looked as though he was right. He went through four or five chemos, radiation, four surgeries, immunotherapy. He beat the odds to an extent that it astonished his doctors and his--arrogance, I guess, that he would always beat them almost irritated me. At one point, I asked him how long he thought he would live with lymphoma. "Oh, fifteen to twenty years, I guess." Eyebrows raised, I asked the doctor. "I met you a year ago," the doctor said, "and in that year, eighty percent of my patients with your diagnosis have died."

Like the eldest brother in the tale, Rob was undefeated. He beat lymphoma; he was lymphoma-free when he died. But he was taken out by a stealth opponent, who betrayed him, arising directly as a result of his chemotherapy.

He fought cancer for four and a half years, but I think he only really understood he was going to die when the doctor told him so the day before. Like the eldest brother in the tale, Rob died in his sleep, rousing only the last few seconds before his breath stopped to see me and Fiona, keeping watch over him.

2: 6 of Cups - Happiness



What has been lost and will not, cannot, come back? Well, the thought that happiness is lost and never coming back — isn't that a kick in the teeth. Yet, yes, the happiness I had being married to him is over. That is what grief is about. Note that this card specifically references Felix Felices. We always said that Rob was lucky in his fight with cancer...until he ran out of luck.

Another tarot book talked a bit about how this card (if you ignore the reversal) is about the past, previously, formerly. Memories. Thoughts of past loves. Faded, vanished. Longing, yearning. Traumas, mistakes.

As I enter this season of the anniversaries leading up to Rob's death, this also feels right. This feels like I'm looking back at those painful points (Halloween when we learned of the leukemia, Thanksgiving, when he entered the hospital for the last time, Christmas, when we were so sad to be apart, and the end of January, when he died).

Edited to add: After thinking about it, I realized: Harry used up the Felix Felices (gone, never to come back) to appeal to Slughorn on behalf of his mother (gone, never to come back) in order to get a truth he needed. An interesting play off the concept of memory/nostalgia incorporated in the card.

Thinking some more about why this card is in the Resurrection Stone position. The second brother in the story could not stop looking backward toward his lost love (nostalgia), feeling that all his hopes of happiness were tied to her. But she was gone, and the knowledge destroyed him. This card is a warning, like the warning that Dumbledore gave Harry when he was spending too much time gazing into the Mirror of Erised at his lost family: "It does not do to dwell in dreams, Harry, and forget to live."

3: Princess of Disks



This card, I'm pretty sure, is me. Luna is a character we meet in the aftermath of grief. The book says,
"Love, warmth, protection, being in tune with nature, being at rest with oneself, caring, growth.

The Princess of Earth (Disks)
[I was born in April, under the sign of Taurus, which is an Earth sign] is a somewhat shy but very creative and warm-hearted young woman. She is trusting and open to new ideas and willing to follow through on her plans, no matter what. She is reliable, kind, and in tune with the cycles of nature within herself and within the world around her. Her insights are powerful, not necessarily at a superficial intellectual level, but because they express a deeper sense of truth....while her unshakeable belief of nargles and blibbering humdingers exposes her to the ridicule of her fellow students, it expresses a deeper truth: that this world is full of magic and surprises, if only we open our eyes and believe. She also acknowledges that sometimes knowledge is only achieved through pain. She can see and befriend thestrals because of the death of her mother."
Yes. I can see thestrals now. And yes, I think my pain and my grief has led to a lot of growth in the last year. I would hope I am reliable and kind. I would be honored to be like Luna in these ways.

I've created a Widow's music playlist. Many of the songs explore the myriad aspects of grief. I like playlists that follow a narrative arc: the beginnings songs focus on widows who want nothing more than to follow the beloved into death (the first song on the list is "I Am Stretched on Your Grave") and the last one that closes it out is a song that is suggestive of the sort of wisdom that Luna has mastered, understanding death as she does. (One my Harry Potter fanfiction stories puts it this way: "Because you know death...Because you've faced it and fought it and feared it and denied it and accepted it and you understand it, as much as anyone still living still can.")

Danny Gokey
"Tell Your Heart To Beat Again"

You're shattered
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Beginning
Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
'Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again
pegkerr: (Go not to the elves for counsel for they)
It's extremely interesting, now that I'm actually closing in on black belt, to go back and re-read this entry, in which I used a website to do a tarot reading on the question: "What do I need to know about going for the black belt?" that I posed in October of 2006.

Here's the post that I did after my very first lesson, way back in November of 2004. I've really come a long way!
pegkerr: (Default)
The girls are back home (yay!), and we're back from Minicon weekend.

Rob has been quite busy all week with this temporary census job. It has prevented him from putting any work in on the room rearrangement project--and since it's to a large extent his stuff that's the bottleneck, I was stymied from doing it myself. But we got started finally on Friday morning. Two bookcases and a dresser have been moved so far, so we're partway there. My computer is still in the room that's going to be Fiona's bedroom, at least until we figure out wiring. Rob may resort to running cables rather than depending on a wireless card. Not sure. We'll see. I hope we'll be able to work on it during the coming week, although I think he has more census work in the way.

The two of us headed to Minicon on Friday afternoon. (Didn't stay at the hotel this time, but drove home in the evenings.) The con is quite small now, just about 400 people now (quite a change from the days when 3000 used to show up). I did no programing this year, and mostly just sat around and talked with people. That was nice.

The girls got back late Saturday afternoon and came straight to the hotel. They had a marvelous time. Delia ran quickly through her pictures on the digital camera, showing me the people and scenes from the past week. They were rather tired, and Fiona's fighting a cold. We didn't stay late Saturday, and we left right after the con was finished today.

I indulged in one thing in the dealer's room, the Heart of Faerie Oracle Deck by Brian and Wendy Froud. It's been my tradition to do a tarot reading on Easter Sunday, when Minicon was over. Laurel Winter did them for me for years, but since she's stopped coming to Minicon, I've started doing them myself. I had thought it was a tarot deck, but it turns out it was a different animal, an oracle deck. It's truly a lovely thing. I took it home and studied it and tried to do a reading, asking What do I need to know about turning fifty. I was quite impressed. I have two other decks, but I have a truly powerful affinity for this one, and I think it will become quite a favorite. The backs of the cards look like this:




How perfect, with their hearts (heart of flesh/heart of stone, natch), and the roots, which make me think of trees (esp. the Holy Tree) and the spark at the middle (Light in Dark Places). The wings don't make me think of swans so much as ravens, but that's okay, too. (You can see other cards from this deck pictured in the slideshow at the bottom of this review.)

So: the girls are safe and well and home, the con was subdued, but quite pleasant, and I have a beautiful new deck. Life is good.
pegkerr: (Default)
Occasionally I've run across an image that's pretty much perfect just as it is to make a card, aside from minor resizing or cropping. Here are two new cards I made last night, each based on just one image:

I actually dithered a bit about what to call this one. Options considered and discarded included, 'Divine child,' 'Star child,' 'Child of Light,' 'Purity,' and even 'Virginity.' I played with trying to add another element, like a burst of light generated from her upraised hand, but I couldn't make it look convincing. I considered making it a Committee card (aspect of myself) but eventually decided what it evoked in me felt a little larger than just myself, so I named it 'Innocence' and placed it (tentatively) in the Council suit (archetypes). Perhaps it's a bridge card between the two.


Innocence - Council suit
Innocence - Council suit
I am the One who is pure of heart, who has never known anything but the Light. I am untouched by guile, cynicism, shame, fear, disappointment or grief. I freely reach out to all whom I meet because I have the sight to see the Divine spark within.



I actually hesitated quite awhile between this image and another from the same ad campaign, wondering which would be better to use. The other picture had the man and woman lying on opposite ends of the bed, their arms forming a mobius/unity symbol. I finally chose this one because the man and woman were embracing--they felt more focused on each other than the camera's eye as in the other one. This image doesn't have quite the balance of the Tarot Lovers card, but instead the woman is a little more central. I decided that was okay because I'm a woman, and so my perspective on being one of a pair of lovers is from the female point of view.



The Lovers
The Lovers
I am the One formed by the Two who met and saw the truth within each other and turned from our respective paths to reach out to embrace it. Our joining is a balancing, a fulfillment, a bliss of minds, bodies and spirit. Our love together holds the seeds of creation.

pegkerr: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] anam_cara told me about Soulcollaging, and I got so interested I ordered the book. This is another thing which could be really rewarding to do on the retreat. I'll need to assemble some of the materials to take with me.

Anyone know a source of used art cards (to cut up for collaging)? And where should I get the mat cards for the base? It looks as though they suggest cards made of mat cardboard, 5" x 8".

Any of you tried doing this?
pegkerr: (Default)
When I learned about the karate scholarship last week, I did a tarot reading. The results were certainly in line with my good news:

I did the Setting A Goal Spread: What do I need to know about going for black belt? I used my Jane Austen tarot deck and decided before doing the spread that I would ignore reversals. Setting A Goal spread )

This reading definitely suggests "Go for it!"

Comments are welcome, esp. about the Temperance~Strength/Justice~Weakness dichotomy. Thanks.
pegkerr: (Default)
But once I think about it, probably pretty accurate.


You are The Tower


Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.


The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.


The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

pegkerr: (Default)
Today was the second reading I've tried with my new Jane Austen Tarot deck. I tried a new spread suggested by [livejournal.com profile] tizianaj (thanks!), the Getting Serious Spread.

The Spread )

The cards )

Interpretation )
pegkerr: (I told no lies and of the truth all I co)
I bought my Druidcraft tarot deck about a month ago and I got my Jane Austen tarot deck today, but I've never used either one of them. I've been reading the companion books and just mulling over the cards. Today I decided to get started.

I performed a simple little ritual to bless the decks, and then I spread out a scarf with a holy tree on it (not silk, but I still like it) on the table. I had given much thought to what I should choose as my first question and finally came up with this:

"What do I need to know about beginning to study and use the tarot?"

1. Queen of cups
2. Prince of Cups
3. Seven of Pentacles
4. Princess of Cups
5. Ten of Cups
6. Six of Pentacles
7. Nine of Cups
8. Seven of Wands (reversed)
9. Six of Wands (reversed)
10. Eight of Cups
11. Five of Wands (reversed)

I did the Celtic Cross Spread )

I note the total lack of major arcana, or any swords (air/intellect/thought). I don't know about major arcana, but the preponderance of cups vs. swords makes sense: I've wanted to study tarot because I want to develop my intuitive rather than intellectual side. On the one hand, I feel sure I have strong intuition, probably developed by becoming the best mother I can be (I am the Queen of Cups, after all) but on the other, I don't have much confidence in my ability to use or control it yet, hence my desire to study the tarot. Note that I have a heavy preponderance of cups, including all the court cards except the king. All the wands, interestingly, are reversed. Note, too, that the general tendency is for the suit to go down numerically: we start from the Queen and go down until we end at the five of wands, reversed.

Well, I have only a rather tentative idea of what I'm doing, but that was fun.
pegkerr: (Default)
Thanks again to [livejournal.com profile] carbonel, who out of the goodness of her heart arranged a little get together with friends last night so that Peg could escape the confines of her house for one evening. We went over to Lois McMaster Bujold's where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] 1crowdedhour and Pat Wrede. A happy evening was spent eating nibbles and discussing books and summer plans. I was noble and had only a thimbleful of the raspberry wine, even though it was OMIGOD the best stuff ever and I would have loved to have swilled an embarrassing amount. You were teasing me by bringing it, [livejournal.com profile] carbonel, but my surgeon would have certainly have looked askance if I had mixed it with the Vicodin.

I received my copy of the Tarot of Jane Austen today, which I received with a gift certificate someone gave me, and I am happily perusing it. I love it: it has a Love and Friendship (should that be "Freindship"?) spread and a Sense and Sensibility spread, among others, in the accompanying book.

I got your package, [livejournal.com profile] madlori! Thanks! No, I don't have a copy and am definitely looking forward to reading it.

This afternoon, we are heading out to my sister's in Minnetonka for a high school graduation open house for my nephew. I plan to obtain a plate of my sister's highly edible munchibles, find a chair, and not move for the entire time we are there. I am feeling a little shaky this afternoon, but I definitely don't want to miss Steven's celebration.

Enjoy the weekend, all.
pegkerr: (Go not to the elves for counsel for they)
Using the William Blake deck, apparently developed for examining creative undertakings. This website says it is the deck of choice for artists, writers, musicians and thinkers. My question, using the Creative Process spread is:

What is blocking my creativity?
pegkerr: (Go not to the elves for counsel for they)
I bought this one today, the Druidcraft Tarot. I went to four stores in all and looked through a lot of decks. I'm not totally in love with this deck or even sure that I will use it extensively, since I've never had a Tarot deck before. But I like it, and I thought it might be a good starting point. I have, however, also put the Jane Austen deck on my Amazon wishlist.

[livejournal.com profile] _lindsay_ asked to know a little about my previous remark that I'm somewhat wary of Tarot. That's true, I am. For one thing, I probably first learned about Tarot in detail by reading Tim Powers' Last Call--and that book is enough to terrify anybody from ever touching a deck! Tim is a devout Roman Catholic, and--it's funny--although he is a fantasy writer, he doesn't like or trust magic at all! In fact, in his stories, magic pretty much always leads to ruin. Tim has told me that he won't allow a Tarot deck in his house, and he would never dare play a game of Assumption, the game he actually invented for Last Call that is played with a Tarot deck.

Then, too, I have had somewhat of an inner struggle about what to think about Tarot because I am a Christian myself. A liberal one, but a Christian all the same. And Christianity has often been suspicious, if not overtly condemning, of things things associated with the occult, as Tarot sometimes is. I know that Tarot is a pretty amorphous, squishy concept, with connections to many different spiritual and mystic paths, not just Paganism--it has links to Masons, Hebrew, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Egyptian mysticism, Jungian archetypes, and more. I do not condemn Wicca or Paganism myself; I understand them to be different faiths than my own, and not, as some conservative Christians think, the road to the Devil and damnation. I am certainly very interested in many aspects of Wicca/paganism--the cycle of the seasons, the attention to the mother/maiden/crone, the reverence for the natural world, especially trees, male/female energy and balance, etc.--and I think my Christianity can learn and draw wisdom from that.

Do I think Tarot is magic? Well, I don't know what I think of magic, frankly. I am extremely skeptical whenever I step into a New Age shop. But I am interested and curious when I step in. I am not like Lavender or Parvati, credulous and perhaps gullible, but I am not Hermione, the totally rejecting skeptic who thinks divination is probably useless, either. I have had [livejournal.com profile] l_a_winter do a reading for me on Easter Sunday every year for probably ten years or so. I do not think that what we discuss when we do a reading is a prediction which will, of course, come true because Tarot is magic. Rather, I think that Tarot can tap into some useful insights, many, perhaps, Jungian, and I am interested in opening myself up to that.

Then, too, I have been to some panels at conventions about how Tarot may be useful to a writer, and that is because Tarot, as I understand it has developed over the centuries, can be a useful tool for intuition. I LOVE thinking and chewing over archetypes; it is one of the reasons I particularly adore fantasy literature, and why, when I write, I am particularly attuned to theme. Tarot is all about themes. And that in the end, I think, is what made me decide (after YEARS of thinking about it) to go out and get a Tarot deck. I have felt awfully stultified and stuck lately, and barren of intuition. I have been struggling with some things for years that my best attempts at using logic and reason have yielded no direction at all (and some of this is writing-related, some of it personal stuff that Elinor Dashwood does not talk about in this LiveJournal). I have been feeling very frustrated lately as a result. Why not try Tarot, with the understanding that I'm using it not as a "magical" device, or a step into a faith that is not my own Christian faith, but as a way to open up a pathway to my unconscious and intuition, the source of my creativity, which, let's face it, has been feeling awfully blocked lately?

So I looked around and after investigating and hesitating over a LOT of decks, I chose this Pagan/Druidic one. And yeah, I must admit I am a little uncertain and uncomfortable with that choice. But the artwork is cool, and I'm not buying it because I'm about to worship the Maiden/Mother/Crone or cast off my clothes to go skyclad or mate with a horned god or anything (no disrespect to my Pagan/Wicca friends on this friends list, I assure you). I may get around to wrapping the deck with silk, or I may not. I am not quite credulous enough to think I will be able to detect "emanations" from the cards, nor do I feel the need to bless my new deck with the ritual elaborated in the accompanying manual--I find it mildly silly rather than inspiring.

But I do want to listen to what the Maiden/Mother/Crone, or the Moon, or the Magician, or the Star or the Hanged Man have to say to me. And especially the Fool.

The Tarot is often described as the story of the journal of the Fool into achieving wisdom and mastery. I have felt a lot like a Fool lately, so I am sure we will have much to talk about.

(If there is anyone local and knowledgeable who might be inclined to meet with me over coffee some Friday night to sort of introduce me to my new deck, let me know. Thanks.)

Edited to add: When you think about it, Harry Potter would make a good Tarot as well. Lupin could be the Moon card, James and Lily could be the lovers, the Tower could be the death of James and Lily (the lovers) and explosion of their house. Judgment could either be the Sorting Hat or Harry's trial before the Wizengamot. Strength could be summoning the Patronus (with the Gryffindor Lion as the Lion on the card), or maybe Strength could be Neville Longbottom. Peter Pettigrew could be the Devil card. Death could be Voldemort, or the Dementors. John Granger has already done a lot of analysis of how the four Houses are associated with the four alchemical elements (earth, fire, air, water) which in turn are associates with the four suits (wands, pentacles, cups, swords). You have wands, of course, and the Sword of Gryffindor. Maybe Ollivander would be the Ace of Wands. Fawkes would be associated with Fire--perhaps the Sun card. Gilderoy Lockhart could be the Fool, or perhaps the twins, with Weasley Wizarding Wheezes. Sibyll Trelawney could be the Priestess. Something with a lot of pentacles could be a trip to Gringotts. (Maybe the twins would be the Knight of Pentacles, with their Triwizard Tournament winnings). The Magician might be Dumbledore, looking into a Pensieve. Etcetera. There are lots of possibilities.

There have been some people who have started developing ideas for a Harry Potter tarot on the web, but I think you'd have to wait until the seventh book is published to do it right, and no deck has been published yet.
pegkerr: (Default)
I have been researching tarot decks because I am toying with the idea of getting one. I am wary of the idea, and so am obsessively looking at reviews for various options.

Omigosh: there is a Tarot of Jane Austen. The suits are Coins (Pentacles), Quills (Swords), Candlesticks (Wands) and Teacups (Cups).
pegkerr: (Default)
As we have done for the last, oh, ten years or so, Laurie Winter ([livejournal.com profile] l_a_winter did my traditional Easter tarot reading for me on Sunday. She used the Robin Wood deck.

Before we started, we talked a little about the question. I had been thinking all weekend that for years I've asked variations on the same question, something to the effect of, what do I need to know about getting the writing started again, or opening up my creativity or something. I thought about something that Laurie told me once a couple of years ago, that continuing to do the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result is the definition of craziness. So this year I decided to make my question as open-ended as possible:

What do I need to know?

In my attempt to try to do something different, I didn't so much shuffle the cards as sort of smear them about on the table and then re-stack them. Since Laurie wasn't sure how the cards were oriented before I started, we decided to skip paying attention to reversals.

The reading )
pegkerr: (Default)
I've never bought a tarot deck, although I've always been interested in them. I like using this site occasionally.

But I think if I ever bought a set, I'd get this one, the Fairytale Tarot. It's beautiful, and of course, I adore fairytales. Saw it at the Endicott Studio site ([livejournal.com profile] endicottstudio).

One more thing to go on my Amazon wishlist!
pegkerr: (Go not to the elves for counsel for they)
I decided to try a tarot reading site to ask the question, "What do I need to know about going for the black belt?" and I got this reading.

Discuss.
pegkerr: (Default)
Laurie WInter did a tarot reading for me on Sunday, as she has done the past several years. (I don't know which deck it was, sorry). I have mixed feelings about tarot. I don't fear them as instruments of the devil (Tim Powers, for example, despite having written a novel all about the power of the Tarot, will not allow a deck in his house), although I am at times a little uneasy about them. I guess I treat them, as Kij has said, as something that might open a window of thought that might help you to think about your life in a different way. I have known writers who have found them to be at times helpful to use when thinking about their books.

The question (which I didn't tell Laurie) "What do I need to know about getting the ice palace book going and moving toward a full, confident, successful writer's life?

The Signifier: 2 of Pentacles, showing a woman on a tightrope, holding a pentacle in each hand. "Balance or focus." Oh, yeah. I laughed when I saw that. That's what I'm all about, definitely.

Situation Surrounding You: King of Swords, reversed. Cruel and crafty, untrustworthy, crafty pig-headed. This could be a person, but no one sprang to mind for me. It felt to me instead like writers block, like the pig-headed stubbornness of my back brain to produce words when I ask it to.

Recent past: 7 of Wands, showing a man standing on a hill, with wands pointed at him from the foreground. Being prepared for whatever comes, you've picked your high ground. Forces are arrayed against you, but you operate from a position of strength.

Bridge or barrier: Ace of Swords. Shows a sword, surrounded by flowered garlands, but the sword pierces through them. Attainment of power or goals. insight/mental/mind, "cutting through the crap."

Near Future: Page of Wands. She stands holding a tall wand with a crystal at the top, emitting rays. Firecrackers at her belt. Harnessing available energy. It felt like a card showing "focussing," which was hopeful, suggesting getting in touch with whatever-it-is that makes me write well.

Root: 5 of Pentacles. Shows a ragged man in the snow, facing away from a stained glass window (the five pentacles are in the stained glass). Another hooded woman lies huddled in the snow under the window. Not taking help available, turning away, choosing to step outside, do it my way. It felt like writers block again, the feeling of being out in the cold, not making it on my own. The writing has felt impoverished in the past.

Goal: 6 of swords, reversed. Shows a man in a boat with swords in it, floating without his guidance into a cave. Trip to higher consciousness is advised. Reversed it means you have doubts about obtaining your goal. I asked her, "Doubts about achieving it or doubts about wanting to achieve it? "Excellent question," she replied.

How you see yourself: Chariot. Balance again. About not driving (the driver is holding a lyre rather than the reins). He is focused on his art, rather than the journey, driven at high speed. This felt like another balance card, and the feeling of being slightly out of control. Interestingly enough, it was the only major arcana card in the entire reading.

How others see you: 8 of swords, reversed. This is a scary looking card, with a bound blindfolded woman surrounded by cards, but since it's reversed, the meaning is respite from fear, new beginnings, freedom, release. A very hopeful meaning.

Hopes and fears: 10 of cups. Happy family, surrounded by abundance. Home, joy, familial bliss, contentment of heart, peace, respect from others.

Up until this point, I had felt that the reading was moving in a very hopeful direction. I had been blocked, but somehow I was going to get focused and move in the right direction. Then Laurie turned over the last card.

Outcome: 6 of pentacles, reversed. Shows a man holding a scale, with hands reaching out to him. Reversed, it means unstable finances, frustrated plans, jealousy can cause harm.

I stared at the card, disappointed. Rats.

Laurie suggested that since there was only one major arcana card, this might be interpreted as a very short term reading. Perhaps the last card was a caution, rather than a prediction. Jealousy, I thought, and laughed a little. I told her how I had sat next to Jane Yolen at the signing, and there had been a long line at the table for her to sign ([livejournal.com profile] serendipoz probably had at least fifty books for her) and nobody had one of mine. Yeah, I have to beware of jealousy, of comparing myself to others; it will only make my frustration/dissatisfaction about the progress of my career worse.

Comments, especially about that last card?

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April 2019

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