Monday, 30 June 2014

How to interpret | The Page of Pentacles

From my earlier post on Pages, we know that they can stand for:


Minor (as in relatively unimportant)




Child at heart



Thursday, 26 June 2014

AniaM | Tarot Bags | Alexander Daniloff

So this technically isn't a court card blog post, but I HAD to share the beautiful gift that arrived for me in the post this morning: a magnificent custom-made Tarot bag from AniaM.

You may have twigged, dear reader, that one of my very most favourite decks is Alexander Daniloff's Tarot.  It has been in a bag, of course, to keep it safe, but I REALLY wanted a custom-made bag to store it in the regal glory that it deserves!

And here it is - ivory velvet, lined with gold.....

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Tarot in Art | Visconti Sforza

Has your biro just burst in your handbag?

What about splashing out on this as a replacement?

This is a fountain pen from the pen people at Visconti.

To mark the creation of Lo Scarabeo's Visconti Sforza Tarot deck, they created four designs from the Visconti Tarot for very limited edition pens (each has a run of 78 - what else?!)

Visconti commissioned artist, Soukou Oshita, who is an expert in Maki-e artwork (where images are created from sprinkled precious metals, no less!) to turn some of the Major Arcana images into artwork for the pens.

It has an 18 kt pen nib and a double resevoir.  If you're thinking of replacing that Biro.

These Visconti folks undoubtedly create magnificent artworks. Visit their site and FEAST YOUR EYES, people!

Their pens have been used, for example, to sign the NATO-Russia Summit in 2002, which marked the end of the Cold War and Visconti pens were also presented to the 25 signatories of the European Constitution in 2005.  See? Classy.

But you will STILL absent-mindedly leave it lying on the counter in the bank........

Soukou Oshita at work

The topmost image depicts the Chariot and Wheel,  but you can check out the others here.

Fancy it? Well, just mortgage the children for £9,800 and one of these really gorgeous pens can be yours!  *wonders whether she should ask for one to use as a promotional item and decides that the answer will be hysterical laughter*


You could just buy a copy of the Visconti Sforza deck and a packet of Bic Crystals and spend the rest on a luffly holiday!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Blog Hop | Midsummer | 16 Things that bring me joy

Welcome to the Summer Solstice Blog Hop!  If you have arrived here by happy accident and are intrigued by this Blog Hop thing, you can find out more about it here.  If you've hopped here from Olivia's blog (our wrangler for this blog hop - thank you, Olivia!) or from Chloe's blog, I hope that you enjoy the 16 things that bring me joy!

Our theme for this blog hop is: joy!  We are asked to write about what brings us joy, what brings light to our heart and how we spread that joy to others.  And all with a Tarot or divination slant to it!

In the non-Tarot world, looking after animals gives me great joy.  I have a rescued greyhound called Nero who is the light of my life (not counting my son, of course!) and the other day I looked after a little blackbird who had been struggling in this really hot spell we're having. He's now returned to the garden and I spotted him about an hour before I wrote this, up a tree.  So that's looking good!

But this post is about TAROT and I appreciate that you've got a lot of posts to get through today, so I'll keep it brief - and true to the court card theme of my blog!

This deck has brought me huge joy since I bought it - here are 16 reasons why:

If you struggle with your court cards, please bookmark me or sign up for my newsletter!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Which Tarot court card hand-rears baby birds?

No, it's not a trick question, but a genuine one because as of yesterday afternoon, I am guardian to a baby crow which is FAIRLY close to 'black bin bag' territory, if you catch my drift.....

I was weeding in the greenhouse (in a foul mood actually because 24 hours earlier I'd planted a rather 'spensive clematis in the front garden and discovered today that Tartarus has joyfully weed-killered it). Reader, I was attacking those tiny green unwanted SOBs with GUSTO (imagining each one of them to be a tiny husband).

A shadow fell across the doorway:  Tartarus.

'I suppose you'll be wanting to try to save this one too then?'  I turned round expecting to see another weed-killered plant, but instead it was....

Monday, 16 June 2014

Tarot in Art | The Tarot Card Reader | Artist Unknown

We find ourselves in a kitchen where a young woman stretches out on a chair as the Tarot card reader explores her fortune.  It's funny, isn't it? No matter how many centuries separate us, the pose for expansive day-dreaming remains unchanged!

This particular illustration of Tarot in art is by an unknown artist (well, there is a very indistinct signature down in the right corner, apparently).  It dates back to the 1800s and was sold at Christies in New York for £1,500.

I wonder what the Tarotist is telling her - perhaps how strong and handsome will be her husband? How happy they will be - will he bring her lots of money and fine things? Or lots of glorious children to hug and kiss?   Is that an empty bread basked lying on the floor behind her? A pot boiling un-watched on the stove? Is she neglecting her household chores in favour of a day dream?!

And what of her card-reading friend?  They do say that one of the signs of lying is fiddling with your ears - what is she doing with that right hand as she points to the cards with her left?

I think of Cinderella dreaming in the kitchen when I see this image, what about you?

I can't zoom in on any of the detail of the painting (and, of course, I am typing without my specs on - oh vanity, you are a terrible mistress!) but if YOU can, I'd love to know what else we can see in the painting?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

How to Read Reversed Tarot Court Cards

If a court card coming up in a Tarot reading can present a reader with a tummy-flipping moment of panic, then interpreting a reversed court card can engender a fully-fledged head-between-the-knees (your own, silly!) brace position.
But it needn't be so!

Any card coming up as a reversal is basically calling your name and telling you to pay special attention to it.  Why does it need your attention? Well, because it means that the interpretation of the card won't be straightforward.

The most common ways to interpret any reversed card are:

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Paolo Nutini and I!

So, I'm out having a totally 3 of Cups moment with two girlfriends - celebrating my friend's 60th birthday and having a jolly nice time at a discreet and 'spensive restaurant.  We are just perusing the extensive menu when I happen to glance over the balcony (that's how posh it was, it has a BALCONY) into another part of the restaurant below.

Oh. My. God.


Paolo Nutini was standing chatting to some friends, well within hormone-affecting distance.  PAOLO NUTINI!!!!! Don't know who he is?

Not bad for a wee lad from Paisley!

And now, three albums later, the boy is well into his stride:

To cut a very long story short (and that's a LONG story that I will NEVER get fed up of repeating to my long-suffering friends, I can ASSURE you!) he looked up at us on our balcony and I just blurted out  "can I take your photo, please?'

"Wouldn't you prefer to come down here and have your photo taken with me?' he smiled up at me.  Cue melting heart and middle-aged lady googley-eyed adoration.

WOULD I?!  Is the Pope a Catholic?!  Does a bear shit in the woods?! With my knees knocking and my heart pounding I ran down the stairs two at a time.  Dignity.  Always dignity.

And lo! Out he unlocked the private dining room door and emerged into the restaurant hallway, slender, floppy haired and cute as anything! He kissed me on the cheek, shook my hand, snaked his arm around my waist (I sucked my tummy in for dear life!) and my friend snapped us on her camera phone.

As per all situations that make me nervous, I began to get the ol' verbal diarrhoea: 'I bet you hear lots of people saying this," I wittered, 'but I AM a big fan and I was really disappointed not to get tickets for your Glasgow gig before they sold out.'

Then he said these immortal words: "Want me to put you down on the guest list for the Edinburgh gig?"

Reader, I might actually have let out an involuntary little 'squee' at that point!  And so it was that he took my name and scribbled it on a sheet of A4 from the goggle-eyed receptionists and stuffed it into his suit pocket.

But now, here's the challenge - can I turn this into a lejit court card blog post?!  Let me try!!

Court Card insights:

On that Saturday I would say that he was a Cup or a Pentacle:  Family relationships are clearly important to him - he flew in from Germany for the party and would be flying back out there directly afterwards to continue with his tour.  

He was also exhibiting Queenly behaviour Cup or Pentacle - it was his idea to get together for the photo and to offer the tickets - caring about his fans and nurturing them too.  

But he was also very Wandsy.  Sex on legs if truth be told.  But of course, HE didn't see himself that way in this situation; he was just being very sweet to a fan.  The Wandy thing was simply this poor old Queen of Wands getting stirred up!   So that was entirely my projection onto the situation.  A woman can dream, can she not?!

Update:  I didn't go (I was going to see Wicked in Glasgow the following night and it was going to be a logistical nightmare, plus I didn't think that the bit of paper would make it out of his suit pocket).  On one hand, I feel sad about missing out on the gig, but yanno what? It doesn't really matter for "I too had my hour, one far fierce hour and sweet, there was a Nutini by my side and shaking knees above my feet."

*apologies to G K Chesterton's The Donkey for bastardising its lines :-D

Monday, 9 June 2014

Two Singers One Song | Which court cards? | The Beautiful South - A Little Time

Not done one of these for a while and thought that this one by The Beautiful South would be a great tune to jump-start things again.

Having a think about the behaviour of characters in books and films can help flesh out your court cards - so why not songs too?!

Back to the days of bubble perms and big earrings for this one!

Which court card do you think best represents the man in this song? He's clearly getting cold feet and wants a little time to think things over......

And which court represents the woman in the relationship who, instead of hanging around waiting for him to make up his mind whether he wants to be with her or not, does her own thing and makes her own decision ......

If you've got a favourite story song (regardless of decade or genre!) please let me know and I'll happily include it here :-D

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Meet The Families! | Golden Tarot of Renaissance | Estensi Tarot

Another Renaissance deck for you to drool over!

The majority of cards in this deck have been lost and the surviving cards - 16 Major Arcana cards and a Page of Swords - can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris.  There they are attributed to Jacquemin Gringonneur as 'The Charles VI Tarot', which would make them an exceptionally early deck indeed (late 1300s).

However, as with so much in Tarot, the origins of the cards are less clear cut! Tarot Historian, Giordano Berti, who was commissioned to design a complete 78-card deck by Lo Scarabeo, attests that they are more likely to be from the mid to late 15th century and from either Venice (Tarot Encyclopedia Vol 1) or the nearby city of Ferrara (deck's LWB also suggests 1470).

I asked Giordano which city was more likely to be correct and he said: 'A lot of scholars have demonstred that the dress of the characters of the so-called Charles VI Tarot, that inspired the Major Arcana of my deck, is the same of the nobleman at the Estense court of Ferrara during the years 1470-1480.'

Wherever they were created, this must have been a magnificent set of cards when it was originally painted.  The cards were hand-painted in tempera and decorated with a delicate gold-leaf filigree - the filigree being a feature carried over in the reproduction of the deck.

Of the originally commissioned cards, only 16 Majors remained plus a tenacious Page of Swords.

The original Page of Swords
When Giordano Berti was commissioned to design a complete 78-card deck by Lo Scarabeo,  he decided to draw on existing Trionfi cards from Ferrara from the late 15th and early 16th century, to ensure that the style matched contemporary artwork from the deck's region of origin.

The courts warranted some inspiration and the existing blondie-bobbed Page of Swords was abandoned and a whole new set of courts was created, based on the magnificent frescos from Hall of The Months at the Palazzo Schifanoia, built for the Duke d'Este at Ferrara.  The frescoes were created between 1469 and 1471 - perfectly in synch with the original card paintings.

The artist behind the orginal frescoes was Pellegrino Prisciani and Jo Dworkin is the contemporary artist behind the finished Lo Scarabeo Golden Tarot of the Renaissance deck.  The deck is a Justice VIII/Strength XI,  fully-illustrated pip deck, but be warned,  the images don't always readily associate with the meaning of the card.

Before we delve in, can I just point out that the 'black' background in the cards below IS actually gold foil.  My scanner can't cope with gold foil!

Let's look at the Swords family first:

Page: Message
Knight: Alliance
Queen: Widowhood
King: Administration

All the Pages from this deck carry some sort of sword or knife, except than the Page of Cups who prefers to go in for a full-on Barry White Walrus of Lurv experience. Here in the suit of Swords, our Page blows on a long horn (check out that ever so correct raised little pinkie!) and holds his sword aloft, wind catching at his tunic.  The Knight appears on a white horse (how Rider Waite!) along with some knightly cohorts (which strengthens this idea of 'alliance' as an interpretation for the Knight).  The poor Queen of Swords looks as though she needs a fortnight's stay at a luxury spa somewhere and I allowed my self a wry snort when I read that she also stands for 'divorced woman with emotional problems'.  That's pretty much all of us then, right? Or is it just me? The King is very youthful (perhaps her son, seeing as how she is a widow?) and tugs his cloak somewhat suspiciously over his groin.... hmmmm let's not go there.

Let's move onwards (hastily!) to the castle of the Wands family:

Page: Open to new ideas
Knight: Adventure
Queen: Confidence
King: Authority

The Wands are a busy family. The Page is out in the garden, just about to chop down a branch to whittle into a Wand. The Adventurous Knight has a very excited horse (which we luff in a Knight of Wands, do we not?).  The King is a very youthful looking chap who holds his wand, entwined with a snake (thereby turning the Wand somewhat bafflingly into a Rod of Asclepius) and what can only be described as a ukelele.  I'm not fond of a ukelele.  *hideous memories of George Formby records*  However, clearly the Queen of Wands is - look at those little twins at her feet.  I don't know where she finds the time to read that book!

Let's meet the Cups!

Page: Young Seducer
Knight: Preaching
Queen: Ideal companion
King:  Mature man who helps

Aside from the Page grappling with a less-than-enthusiastic-looking lady-friend, the first thing that I notice about the Cups family is that the King is a pretty old looking dude to have such a lovely young wife.  And what's that? The Queen is holding her cup aloft in the company of a young knight? Well, it could almost be a scene from a Jackie Collins novel: 'Ye Olde Lucky Santiago'.

Shall we pop round to the Pentacles' place and see whether they'll invite us in for tea?

Page:  Lover of mysteries
Knight: Consultancy (expert from far away)
Queen: Entrepreneur or heiress
King:  Unscrupulous business dealings

Gosh, I'm not sure that I want to eat anything in there after looking at the Page energetically hauling a bone from a Knightly skeleton!  As a 'Lover of Mysteries' perhaps he's working his inner Columbo here and working out Whodunnit.  Not so keen on the alternative titles for the Page of Pentacles - spy and thief.  Page of Swords perhaps, but not our earnest little Pentacle!

I love the pose that the Queen strikes here, with her robe caught upon a breeze or carried by two invisible putti! I can see how she could be an heiress, that could almost be Tamara Ecclestone sitting there.  Minus the skyscraper heels.

Again we have a very youthful King and one whose weapon of choice seems to be a long bow.  I usually see the King of Pentacles as a Gordon Gekko sort of a guy - prepared to do what it takes to get what material goodies he needs, even if a little on the shady side. But the alternative interpretation for the King feels slightly schizo as a 'bold but honest dealer'.

What do you think of these Courts? Not one of them hails from the surviving cards, but they do dove-tail nicely into the Major Arcana cards that still exist.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Salvador Dali | Tarot in Art | King and Queen of Swords

I first fell under the spell of Salvador Dali via his magnificent Christ of St John which was bought (amidst great public hooha - petitions and irate letters to the newspapers) for Glasgow City Council's Kelvingrove Museum in the 1950s.

I regularly visit the museum to visit the quiet and contemplative little space they have created for the painting.

From there I was entranced by soft watches that melted like plasticine on a radiator and spindly-legged creatures that roamed fantastical landscapes.  And amidst the hurricane of clever visuals that appealed to children and art collectors alike, he created a set of Tarot cards.

And no, I don't own a copy...... *weeps sadly into her morning coffee*

......YET *flicks gaze sideways to make sure hubby isn't listening*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...