What’s in a name?

6 of Wands:

archangel michael:

Oooooh but YES! I do have a problem with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not with the image on the card, but with the being he is supposed to depict, with archangel Michael of the christians.

With Michael!!!!

See: Ada, my father named me Mi-Shell. But my mother, having barely and with loss of friends, family, dignity and sanity just ever sooo barely escaped the concentration camp and its gas chambers wanted only one thing for me:

To be SAVE!!!!!

Save from the next holocaust.

Save from the next power wielding set of madmen.

So she had devised a plan: Make the little baby christian and give her a christian name, so she would be spared, the next time around…..

My father wanted none of that. He hated christians and that they professed one thing and did quite the opposite when nobody was watching –like kill people by the thousands in the name of their god….

But with the name thing my mother had a point and she knew it. Using this little trick had saved my fathers first family – and himself on several occasions during his time as a spy for the Russians and later the Americans in WWII.

What little trick you ask?

Fake names: When you are making your living as a spy, fake names – lots of fake names and birth dates and home towns and whole fake families are a tool of the trade.

When WWII rolled around my father had gone to the forger and had made up a whole set of fake papers for his first wife, who was Jewish, for his daughter Mausi, my half sister and of course for himself. It saved Mausi and her mom from the fate that many others had no way of escaping.

Ada also dropped his father’s Russian name. Going into the forger’s office a Russian emigrant, he came back out a true blue German with a christian name to keep him safe on the job….. It was one of many names he used and the surname I grew up with and went to school with was …. well better not spill toooo many beans on the internet……

At home we had a beautiful coffee jar full of fake passports and drivers licenses and so on – all with different names and different professions and different birth dates – And all with my Ada’s picture on them. I used to play with them, when I was lonely….

But I entered school not as Mi-Shell – “What kind of a word is THAT?” the school clerk asked my father – and: “WHAT???? NO religion???? You HAVE to have a religion! Without it she can not be admitted into school. So, what is it? Catholic or protestant? God forbid, you are Jews…..”

Luckily I can not quite recall just what my father answered her, but it was LOUD, contained nasty words and went with lots of expansive hand and arm movements…… But it could not change everything:

I entered first grade as Michaela – but still no religion 🙂

But when asked my name I always told the teacher my real name and was corrected often with the remark ”Michaela for the archangel Michael!”

I hated that and blamed that “stupid angel” for it all!!

Well, in terms of names things for me were still going to get worse, when a month before my 10th birthday I was taken away from my pagan/ tribal parents and stuck into a christian orphanage where nobody had a name and we were known by the number of our arrival. I was child no 235

I would have given much for being named anything other than that and the hell that went with it…

where was that oh so holy angel then, when it was about keeping me safe from all that degrading mistreatment and abuse. He did not help the other kids either……

But My Clan Guardian, the Wolf, helped and I made it out of there – after 3 looong and painful years.

It was only after coming to Canada, that I finally re-claimed the name my father originally gave me ……………………………………..***……………………………………………….


After writing all this I have to “come up for clean fresh air” and so I will deal with the image on card in one of my next posts…..


Wings!? Yes, – but can they fly?

I am currently facing my life-long aversions of christian angels and its roots and am critically facing my gut reactions to the various angelical images in Tarot and Oracle decks in general. I am trying to moderate these feelings with an an intellectual foray into the history of angelical archetypes in Western civilization and its religious teachings.

See, one question I always have is, how people think angels can actually fly, with these often HUUUUGE wings they have

In medieval paintings as well as modern Tarot cards these wings are located somewhere on their skinny backs, but these Beings have no muscles to support them and make flight of any kind anatomically possible.


Well, truth be told, the fairies I see in other decks like the Shadowscapes for example are not any better of. Unless someone somehow painted Dragonfly wings onto their backs they suffer the same anatomical impossibility.

Sharing this conundrum with my friend Gregory had us pouring over all kinds of cards and my husband’s large format art books, spreading them out all over the living room and looking at the renditions of angels by artists from Botticelli to Michelangelo and on to Da Vinci. None of them could really convince us, that angels can actually take off and fly with their wings, never mind being hampered by all kinds of billowy clothing and even Snakes being wrapped around their chest and backs. ….

But we found many people flying through the air using no wings at all (and also no broom) 😉

We concluded, that it would become modern artists very well, to re-think just how the fairies and angels they draw could possibly fly and maybe give us a modern visual update on an age old theme.

What is your take on the flight capabilities of all kinds of winged Spirits you encounter on your decks and other artwork?

And, yes, there is another question I would love to find out about:

In dreams, shamanic journeys or other extraordinary states of consciousness, have you ever encountered an angel or a fairy?

Peacock coincidences


Lately Peacocks are showing up in my daily life quite frequently. My life encounter with a whole flock of them in my last post was just the latest in a string on coincidences.

  • Since writing about the 4 of cups in the Greenwood Tarot I keep noticing their appearance in other tarot and Oracle decks.
  • Here is, what I wrote in the Greenwood  study forum about Peacocks:
  • Peacock:
    The worship of the Peacock has been reported as a survival of Tammuz worship. In Greece the Peacock was sacred to Hera and kept in her temple. They may neither be caught nor annoyed. It is sacred among the Jats and Khonds of India and in the Punjab its feathers, smoked, will heal snakebite. Elsewhere, waved over the sick, the feathers will cure disease. However the Muslims of Java report that the Peacock was a Guardian at the gate of paradise. then he ate the Devil, and so got that one into the gate.
    The Kama Sutra recommends that if the bone of a Peacock be covered with gold and tied on the right hand, it will make a man “lovely” in the eyes of his lady.
    In European lore the feathers are unlucky and the cry of the Peacock is a bad omen. Then, from the medieval times on the Peacock was the symbol of the soul and Masks made from the feathers were popular in the middle ages. The serving of Peacocks as a delicacy was reserved to the royal court and the birds were kept in the castle garden. About Peacock meat however it is known, that it is quite tough but people always have assumed that anything that looks beautiful must taste good.
  • Link to the whole thread:http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=131605
  • http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?p=1345014
  • A few weeks ago I discovered a beautiful beaded purse in the Value village store. A Peacock on each side. Should I get that? Why not – indulge myself….. 🙂
  • At the same time however my husband Peter was visiting his brother in Macedonia. They both went on a trip to see the country and stopped at the Greek-Orthodox church of St. Naun , that is famous for the Peacocks that freely roam its grounds. Peter was much more interested in the beautiful birds than the church, made numerous pictures and collected a few Peacock feathers for me. 🙂
  • This led Peter’s brother to suggest a visit to an old Episcopalian basilica in Stobi because it is known for its magnificent Roman mosaics that also feature of a Peacock, which for the locals there was and still is was of great significance
  • http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3226/3135143730_b97529266f.jpg

  • When Peter returned home I was quite taken with all the lovely pictures – especially those of Peacocks. Needles to say,the Peacock feathers are on our family Altar right now.
  • Now I just wonder, how much more “peacocky” it will get……

Well, comments are long since closed – I have no idea why, but I thought I post here the beautiful Peacock pin my husband Peter created: