Could You Help Us Create a New Queen of Cups?

2013-09-24 14.16.31a

Yes… That’s the original painting you’re seeing here. Poorly photographed by yours truly in a dark room with no flash, so there you go. As for the how… it was a few months ago, at the Biennalle in Venice. As some of you might recall, a few of the Original paintings for the Thoth deck were part of the main exhibition, the aptly titled “The Encyclopedic Palace” or, as I prefer to call it, the En-Cyclop-Edic(t) Palace, a truly wonderful showcase of what human imagination is capable of.

Anyway, the subject of this post is not to talk about the show, but to tell you about a wonderful reading I had the privilege of giving today. Or, more up to the point, of one of the themes that got asked.

The consultation started as I usually start with my readings. “What is the most important thing I need to know right now” which then evolved into various particular questions regarding the querent’s life, a young woman in her thirties. At the end, when we were about to close the session, she popped out the question “Should I let Magic back into my life?” (Actually, the exact word she used was “Esoterism”, but what she really meant was Magick, as the cards so plainly expressed).

So I drew three cards from my ever so faithful Thoth deck and got

photo_1

And as always, the cards seek for themselves, and better than any words could do. We have Queen of Swords / Ace of Wands / Ten of Disks. And here’s the first special thing about the reading: you’ve got the cards that both open and close the Minor Arcana in a three card reading!!! And both of them have a representation of the Cabalistic Tree of Life. As tongues of fire, in the upper half of the Ace of Wands, or as metal coins filling out the ten of disks. She was offered a choice. A choice between the Ace of Wands and the Ten of Disks. Between the Primordial Fire and the security of the mundane; the gift of creativity or the security of the Earth. The vibrant ascending energy of the Wands or the dull free-falling coins. It was one of those questions where you really can’t give an answer, rather you should point out the available paths and where they might lead you. Which was exactly what I did.

But then I got curious. What would happen if she did indeed embrace Magick back into her life? I shuffled the deck a little more and got for the reading the King of Cups / Three of Cups / Queen of Cups.

photo_2

What an odd thing to get. The Royal Couple of Cups with the Three of Cups in between… Her attention was first drawn into the three of cups, which she saw as “Light”. Never-ending light. To which I added the balance of the card. It’s an odd number (three) but every element is placed in such a way that the picture is balanced. And then there’s the never ending flow of waters and the cups made of raspberries and you have this feeling of fulfillment, of nurture it truly feels like the Lord of Abundance, as Crowley put it. And the Queen of Cups, I could only see it as a preliminary stage into what could one day become a High Priestess.

Have you ever wondered how some cards seem to repeat the same themes with the same motives over and over? This is how it felt when I saw this Queen of Cups. As an embryo for something that can turn out to be truly special. Here’s the two cards side by side:

photo

And these two cards, which were laid side by side so that she could see what I meant, had such a mesmerizing effect that she ended up taking both cards with her. She just couldn’t stop watching.

Getting to the gist of the post, here’s what I wanted to do today. To ask you, friends and readers and all tarotists or otherwise magickal people (which, of course means every single one of you) to write down one or two sentences in the comments below about  what it means for you to let magick inside of your lives.

Why? The magickal scene here in Portugal is appalling. Even though we are one of the oldest countries in Europe and even though we had contact with practically every major magickal culture there is in the world (African, Indian, Arabic, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Pre-Colombian, Chinese, Japanese, Norse, Gaelic, etc, etc), what most people have access to is a mash of wishy washy New Age/Saint Cyprian kind of thing. The low level Esoterica. Something that doesn’t really translate all the vibrancy and life of that Ace of Wands. Or the soft energy of that Queen of Cups.

It can be a poem. It can be an observation. Or a thought. It can be whatever you want. A gift from all of us to someone who through a tarot reading rediscovered a spark within herself.

A Vision of an Emperor

maj04_petit
The description of the tarot cards as “pictures printed out in paper” has become increasingly common in recent years. It is an apt description, and one prone to take the mystery out of what we do, and present it as an activity which anyone can do. As card readers, we do know that anyone can read them. We all managed to learn them, regardless of our background, our education, our “sensitivity” to spiritual planes. We learnt that there were keywords that could frame the picture. And we learnt that if those keywords couldn’t be used for whatever reason, we could always go back to the image, and search it (and our unconscious) for some more.
With time, this reading process starts to become easier, as we tune in with the frequency of the cards. Little by little, the walls start tumbling down. And there comes a time when the images and its meanings break out of the “fourth wall” and start to take a life of its own in our own reality. As if they are crossing over from their pictorial reality into this Universe and are taking shape. Shapes of people; shapes of objects; shapes of places, etc. And that is something that when you start to notice, it can take a life of its own. You start looking at buildings and seeing this little part that resemble symbols from the minor arcana. Or situations, that immediately bring to mind something portrayed in the cards.
For me, it’s people. It is not uncommon for me, to look at someone and notice something that instantly makes me think about a certain card. Some people will remind me of Court cards; others, of characters that appear in the minor arcana and others still, of the major arcana figures. And as I usually work with the Rider-Waite deck, which was the deck I started with and the one closest to my heart, this type of exercise becomes even easier.
A few days ago, I was walking in a garden. There were some people there, playing domino, others just sitting in benches passing the time. One in particular, caught my attention. One of the old guys playing domino.
He was somewhat old and his face was stern. That’s the first thing I’ve noticed. His stern face. He was playing dominoes in the garden and you could see, from the way that he moved, that he knew very well what he was doing. He moved with certainty, placing pieces around like they belonged there. You could see that his face was calm and his eyes gleamed. There was conviction in his stare, like he already knew he was going to win and it was just a matter of time before it happened.

There was no chair. Rather a garden bench. He would move, back and forth, going backwards and raising a hand into his chin; the other, resting on his lap. He would go forth to place another domino piece. One hand only, his eyes fixed on the exact place he would put the piece down. Then going back. And forth. And back again.
There was no armor. Or maybe there was. Not a physical armor, but the way he would act.  Sometimes, he would tell a joke, and then he would laugh, melting for a few moments that severity in his expression. But the game was never forgotten, and the concentration would soon reappear.
 There were no rams there, obviously. No dogs, no animals. But there was no need.
The Emperor card might speak to us of various things: of courage, will to win, confidence. Of spoiled brats and determined individuals. It tells us of someone who wants something and is going after it no matter what. Of anyone success driven. But there is also a joy to live, to experience, that is common to the Fire cards. Every moment should be savored and every battle should be won.
And here I was seeing my little emperor… ruler of his own kingdom – it might not be more than some garden benches, a table and a few domino pieces, but he sure made good use of them. There were his partners, or maybe subjects, whose role would be providing him with a game to be played and, of course, won. For this game was his whole world.
I always enjoy seeing something like this. A little fiction playing itself right before my eyes. In a way, it tells me that I can visualize an aspect of the card, establishing a connection with its image. As the fictions change, so to does my understanding of the card changes. And, what’s probably more important to me, the card looses its esoteric meaning and gains something else. Something more concrete: it tells us of how it would play out in a day-to-day scenario. No keywords, no mythological stories and fables. Just plain day-to-day situations. Knowledge that we can then bring to our work and help ground our readings.
There is an exercise which we, as students would make, which is to imagine how would a certain character behave. This is nothing more than a variant of it. You’re not going to imagine, you’re going to see it, to examine it with your own eyes. And by doing this, you will start to take your own conclusions about meanings and situations related to each card of your deck. For each card has a way to present itself. And better than phrases and words in a book, nothing beats real-life observation and connecting what we see with our cards. With this method, you’re going from the statistical to the personal. You’re building your own vocabulary and your own references. You’re building your own relationship with the cards.

The Great and Marvelous Tarot Game of the Goose

2013-11-03 19.23.51a

Have guests over and don’t know how to entertain them?

Tired of the same old games, which don’t bring anything new?

Want to know every dirty little secret your friends and acquaintances have, without too much trouble??

Want to astonish and mesmerize everyone with the depths of your arcane knowledge?

Say no more!!! Check out our new game, The Great and Marvelous Tarot Game of the Goose, designed by our own Myristic Miguel Marques to give you hours and hours of entertainment!

What do you need? Why, just a pack of wonderful tarot cards (like the utterly fabulous Tarot of the Crone, by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince depicted above), from one of your astonishing collection, two dices, and a marker for each of the players.

Give the cards a shuffle and spread them out across the table, in the form of a goose game. Three different levels available: Major Arcana, Minor Arcana or our amazing Full Deck!!!

For extra craziness, you can also add a few white cards in-between, in order to make the game more challenging!!!

Ideal for:

  • inspiration
  • exquisite corpses
  • poetry
  • divination
  • storytelling
  • and anything your imagination can fancy!!!

Don’t wait any longer!!! Gather everyone around and start playing today!!!

NOTE: variant editions with normal playing cards, Lenormand cards, Rorschach cards, ESP cards or any kind of oracular deck also available. Please leave a note below with your  name and address for a complete catalog.