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Ohio, United States
I picked up my first tarot deck in the early '70's at a head shop/boutique called Arsenic & Old Lace near the University of Akron. My grandma, Rose, who was born to gypsies in Budapest, started me on the path. She passed away in '74. The deck, of course, was the Rider-Waite, as that was the only thing available at the time. I'm still amazed at the enormous amount of decks available now, of virtually every subject manner, to spark the intuition.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The High Priestess

12-17-09 - New Vision

A feeling of calm waiting dominates this scene. The HP sits on a square block of stone, her back to me, staring out over mildly churning sea, staring at the quarter moon & starless sky. Is it dusk or dawn? Could it be both with her? Everything is slightly tinged with moonlight-two figures pray, hands together, standing behind the HP. The two pillars beside her are black & white. The nuns habits contrast with the pillar beside each-what are the customary colors of postulant & nun? A windsock hangs limply from the black column, gracefully draped on the ground behind the HP. A ripe & partially split pomegranate boasts an owl atop it; the pomegranate motif is duplicated in the wind sock’s pattern. Both owl & fruit signify knowledge. The bold shadows on the ground are sharply defined from the moon’s light from between the HP & pillars, illuminating one foot each of the nuns. They are learning, absorbing, her knowledge. The HP’s crown is shaped like two crescent moons-one on either side & connected to her veil of white. Serenity wars with expectancy. It must be uncomfortable sitting on that hard stone for so long, but I don’t think she feels it; she’s shut off from the physical, like a sensory deprivation chamber, only it’s in her mind & is self-imposed. She is, however, ready to snap to in a moment. She IS that still, small voice within.


Gently rolling hills with trees surrounding a small valley suggest seclusion for these seven robed figures, all in dark, drab colors but one, who stands before them reading from a golden book. A pentagram around her neck, her hair flows free from the plain circlet across her forehead. She is obviously teaching & seems lit from within, the glow falling on those closest to her. I see them as disciples learning wisdom from a master. A large feminine face hovers in the sky above them, ghosted white from the quarter moon behind. What secrets are they hearing? All is quite & still but for the voice of the reader. Some of the disciples are facing the image in the sky; two of them face inward toward the circle they create, faces serious & absorbed. A gentle wind blows, as shown by the spirits gently moving whisps of the spirit in the sky’s hair, although the heavier robes remain stationary. I smell meadow grass on the air; it is a warm spring night. The structure of the spirits’ face echoes the bones in the teacher’s. I get a strong impression of Essenes in this card.


Many pair of eyes peer out from the HP’s dark red cloak, impossible to count because many are still hidden in shadow. Possibly an infinite amount. That would seem to make sense. The moon is full & she wears it like a halo behind her feathered crown, hood draped in gentle folds beside her face. Two ethereal-looking figures stand sentinel on either side of her-are they guarding the object between them? A unique swirly platform of red gives birth to a singular red flower, from which spiraling smoke ascents with hearts, supporting a half-opened pomegranate. Two flies pay homage from the ground. Smoke forms, white with tan dots, higher up & through the HP’s cape, reaching ever upward. The birch trees resemble greatly human form & reach out with gnarled arms to the HP between them, even those smothered by mist in the background. Moss drips downward from their branches. A vertical circlet of red flowers (again pomegranate?) adorns the HP’s head, as dark tears flow from her eyes. Why the tears? Because of the secret knowledge she imparts or withholds?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009's 78 week deck study. I'm using three decks: New Vision, Pagan & Paulina

New Vision

Back to me, the Magician faces a crowd, which faces forward, right arm with scepter held high, seeming to be invoking a higher power as the crowd stands rapt. A monkey, however, is aware of me; he's trying to get the Magician's attention by tugging on the back of the Magician's robe. A table is in front of the Magician-it holds a disc with a pentagram carved on its top & a chalice. On the ground beside the Magician lie a sword & a wooden staff. What is this 5th element he holds high? His left forefinger is pointing to the ground, traditionally, as the lemniscate hovers over his head. The monkey is wearing a brown matching vest & hat. The hat looks like it has vines decorating it. He seems more intent today to get the Magician's attention, to alert him of my presence. Shadows are rare on tarot cards, but this one has a few, with the sun in the right side of the sky, although it's not visible. The sky is a clear bright yellow. Roses or red poppies grow in a manicured fashion directly in front of the Magician-they form a border on the top & sides of the card, creating an illusion of protection & seclusion. A single white lily bends its head under the table, seeming to sniff the red flower. Why do the sword & staff seem discarded, strewn onto the ground on either side of the Magician? Eight people make up the audience, young & old, dressed somberly in drab Quaker-like garments. Their expressions are serious. The Magician is wearing a white tunic with a long red robe draped over it-the folds in the tunic from behind resemble a Wife Beater shirt. The unknown implement held aloft in his right hand is pointed on both ends & could be a crystal wand. His hair is brown & shines with health-a flesh-colored circlet around it.

Why is the monkey hidden from the crowd? Is the Magician deciding when & if to use trick magic?

A white-robed woman half kneels, half lies in supplication. Her right hand rests on an upright open book, keeping its place, while her left hand rises, palm open, in front of her closed eyes. A dagger is sunk halfway into the earth at her left ankle; a square slab with an encircled pentagram leans on the book by her left knee. A silver (or transparent?) fat chalice sits behind her. The sky is dark & starless; a full moon casts its light on the mountainous background & the gnarled leafless trees. The scene is barren of any green; perhaps it's her task at present to bring forth life. Among the tangled tree roots, there are what look like many faces peering out, watching the Magician's ministrations. The bare trees themselves resemble figures to me. It feels cold; I can hear the scratching of the limbs, creaking, as they bend closer in anticipation. Of what? The Magician herself is intent with concentration, body leaning forward with purpose & will. Her hood is ready to fall back off her head, but she wouldn't notice. The small clearing where she is with her tools is lit by the moon. I've just noticed the wand, it seems embedded in the ground also, but leaning behind or on the chalice, its top glowing. It's wound about with cord. The ground is cracked where the sword penetrates-this place is full of power. The pentagram is chipped & worn-looks well-used. So not only power but skill & practice is here. A large gnarl on the left tree's root looks like a shrouded human form, alert & watching the proceedings. The air is alternately cool & warm.


An owl perches on her (his?) headdress, the lemniscate is above the owl's head instead of the magician's. Dressed in a crimson robe, the collar ruffle reminds me of Victorian royalty's traditional ruff. In her right hand is a scepter with a lighted yellow globe on the end, held upright, while her left forefinger points gracefully yet authoritatively downward. The ubiquitous snail is not only on the ground, but adorns her ears, like Princess Leia's headdress. Four fairies at her feet seem busy, helping her accomplish her goals, One holds a wand, one a sword, one a chalice & one balances a pentacled globe atop her left forefinger. It's so busy-busy with eye candy. A dove flying down toward the four fairies carries a message in its beak, which contains four lines of script-what could it say? Creatures are hidden within the Magician's cloak; their faces peer out of the gap at the front. Another bird carries a gift in its mouth that looks like a sprig of some sort with berries. Elf faces look anxiously on, ears pointed to leafy caps. Flowers & swirls everywhere, seeming more pronounced around the Magician's figure; nature abounds in profusion. A tree springs from the ground & vines up the left side of her cloak. A feeling of strong magic, that anything can happen, is in the atmosphere.

These cards reinforce what the Magician means to me; after the void of the Fool, the Creator's thought taking shape, to create whatsoever is desired & the ability to do so. He provides a conduit for that still, small voice within.