Ghosts in Agony

The other deck new in the house, the Tarot of Ghosts and Spirits from Lisa Hunt is exactly the right thing for the spooooooky Halloween season – or so I thought….

Until I looked at it closer.

Sooooo many disembodied Spirits SCREAMING in anger, fear and agony. 😦

My very first layout with the cards – my “new deck interview” speaks to that.

Looking at these images I feel pain, oppression, despair and more fear and agony……

I am currently reading through the Lwb to learn a little more about just who these spirits are supposed to be. Yes, the stories are quite different, but so many of the images are all portraying the same sad subject all anew.

I do own 2 other of Lisa Hunt’s decks, The Animals Divine and the Fantastical Creatures and quite like her intricate artwork…

But will I read with this one – other than- yet again- sadness and pain or tragic loss?

My favorite card of the deck – No questions, it is thePage of Swords.

It is supposed to be a dark and scarrrrry black dog, but to me, the image shows a Wolf.

The swirrrls and spirals in the image remind me of the Celts.

So maybe this Wolf is one of the last of his kind, that walked the pathways of the British isles.

On his way into extinction?

……Also a sad story…..

New decks in the house

So, What is going on in terms of my forays into the world of

“The Cards”?

Over the last few months several new Tarot and Oracle decks found their way into my home.

I am always a little strapped for cash and so often I prefer to trade for the decks I am interested in, rather than buy. This summer I was lucky, because another member of Aeclectic Tarot was interested in me creating a beaded leather pouch for her beloved Tarot of the Origins in trade for the large set of the “Songs for the Journey Home Tarot” – Alchemy through Imagery – created by Catherine Cook and the late Dwariko Sommaruga as well as the “Ghosts and Spirits Tarot” from Lisa Hunt. 🙂


I was already somewhat familiar with the imagery of the “Songs for the Journey Home”, having recently received the miniature set, packaged in an most exquisite color coordinated bag as a gift from a good friend. While they are lovely and feel almost tooooo fragile to use, I tried to get the full sized set, because I like to meditate with card images and, getting ever closer to the age 60, I like LAAAAAARGE cards, where I can SEEEEE the image clearly – and then subsequently disappear into them for a while….

For New Moon September to New Moon October this was my “deck of the month”.

I find many of the images very intriguing, because they put quite a new take on well known meanings of a variety of cards and so broaden my horizon 🙂

Ultimately however I was toooo busy last month to really get through the whole deck, read the book and really delve into the mind-set of its creators. So for now I put it aside, maybe even until next spring, since, due to its color palette, to me it has more of a summery feel, and does not quite fit with the mood of the browns and grays of late October in Ontario.



Water Flier

Water Flier:
6 of Cups
That is supposed to be the angel Uriel – love of god. Why -for the love of god – does he have these hideous claws?
I have to admit, through the Angels and Wings discussions here on the blog and at AT I have learned a lot! About the view others have of angels, of their origin and how come they are depicted the way they are. It also reminded me to take note of a well known warning sign I know in me: When I do take certain things literally,  what I see – on angels and crosses and a few other things……
I do not do that normally with other images!
I have to be especially aware, when I feel that certain gut aversion.
I have in the past discovered, that I did that to distance myself from these subjects. Like in “They do not work, so they are christian nonsense” and then dismiss the whole notion of people believing in angels…
Avoidance tactics – that is what it is called in psychology terms.
Avoidance tactics create and then re-enforce blinders and blind spots.
I have to do my very best to clear them up and out wherever I find them, to keep my practice and my visions clear and clean in order to be of service to others.

Well, back to the 6 of cups:
Because, with just the image as such I am quite OK.
Only the book tells me, that this is another angel….
If I would see a Spirit in trance, that looks just like this one on the card, I would not for a second question, that he can fly through water with these huuuuge wings. I would not question his lobster claw hands. I however would want to keep this Spirit away from my clients – less he pinches them….:(
But- on the other side: Could he pinch out of them the kind of deep seated dysfunctional stuff that holds them down? (I need pinching there, to re-examine and update my fixed ideas about angels 😉
I neeeed to do that because shedding light into these dark corners of my smaller self and dust it out on a regular basis, keeps me from mixing up “my stuff” from the needs fears and miss-conceptions of my patients and clients. It keeps my vision as clear and current as possible lets me see with fresh eyes and prevents me from becoming rigid and habitual.

I am putting the Hanged Man card next to the Water Spirit Flier

One dives deep into the subconscious and lets the loooong hair hang down even further to allow all the unconscious hang-up stuff rise up and be re-examined. Is this seeker is a gender-less person? Or is it a middle-aged women – like me?
She anchored in the vines of the Tree of Life – with that I do not mean the Kabbalah tree but the shamanic Tree of my ancestral teachings. The hands of this person are not hands anymore. There are fiery red dots in them. Are they at this moment transforming into the lobster claws of Water Flier?
After being suspended in the murky unconscious for a while, boiled in the bubbles of wisdom – eventually one has to come up again.
Up for air.
Up into tangible reality.
Up where in this middle world people are waiting to be touched by bubbles of wisdom, healing hands and feathers that encourage Spirit flight.
Uriel / Water flier was transformed down there,
even his/her sex – maybe….
Now it is time to come up and work with what gifts
s/he brought back.

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?

Tarot intensive in the bush

As I already mentioned, my friend Gregory E. had come over for a couple of days and for me this was the occasion to set all the jewelry making as well as my shamanic client list aside for a few days and dive into a “Tarot intensive” with her.

She has the most decks of anyone I know: 1844 and counting!

Yes, imagine THAT!

Her reading style is quite different from mine: She participates in many of the reading circles in our international Tarot forum Aeclectic Tarot and gives carefully thought through readings in written form to its members. I do face to face readings either for my long time clients, people I see from once every few months to maybe once a year, when they come to my home. But I also love to read for “walk in clients” on markets, fairs and street festivals, meaning for people I have never before seen and know nothing about.

Not only did we compare our reading style, we also had a little Mary-EL Tarot intensive.

For hours we looked at individual cards and compared our impressions and feelings about the images.

With the Mary-EL in the Mosquito tent on the upper deck:
So far no Bear in sight….


So: What have I been up to in terms of Tarot during the last few weeks?

Well, My dear friend Rowena from Aussi-land send me a very sweet present:

The Shadowskapes Tarot featuring the fantasy art of Stephanie Pui-Mun Law! 🙂

This deck had been on my wish list for quite a while. But every time I saw it in the store I looked at it – and ultimately put it back on the shelf., thinking, that a deck featuring fairies and Dragons is not really “my thing”

I would have loved to just look at the deck and its intricate artwork, but read with it?

But what a very pleasant surprise it was, when I held this little treasure in my hands: The detail in the artwork is amazing! Multitudes of small Spirits appear in every single card, emerging from the rocks, Trees, Plants and other background features, each single one drawn in detail and portraying a distinct character worthy of appearing on a card of its own. Musical instruments are woven into trees, rocks are made up out of Nautilus shells and fossilized Snails, Dragon horns and Earth fairy tails. Mystical Fibonacci Spiral designs are found in almost every card, formed by the tails of Foxes and Dragons, the roots and branches of Trees, and again rock formations.

I am at a loss to describe it all, so if you do not already know the deck, you have to visit the artist’s site and look at the images:


Some of my favorite cards are:

The Tree Spirit Hierophant is one of the nicest one I have ever seen

The Queen of Wands and the King of Pentacles

But I also love the comparatively simple 3 of Wands and the 8 of Pentacles

The High Priestess – there is an Owl on it – what else can I say…. 😉

The 3 and 8 of Swords are exquisitely sad.

Although there is a lot going on in each card I do not feel overwhelmed or as if being distracted.

Without being “fluffy”the deck for me is a gentle and refreshing change away from the harsh realities of life, death and stress and worries in a modern goal oriented world

Something else to mention are the gorgeous card backs and the silky smooth feeling of the card stock 🙂

I am quite pleased, that I find it easy to read with it, for myself in daily draws and more importantly for others, who are looking for answers to their serious questions.

Flight of Fancy

Reading through the accompanying book of the Mary El Tarot I am again and again confronted with the Kabbalah wisdom, the Tree of Life and its application to the Mayor Arcana of the Tarot.

So much so, in fact, that it tempted me to go beyond the humorous teachings of Lon Milo Duquette’s “Chicken Qabalah” and look deeper.

But with spring here, the craft show season starting soon, all my clients and me teaching Native Studies in schools, I felt, I should consult my Medicine Animals, if that was a worthwhile use of my limited time.

Shamanic journey.

It is full Moon and quite mild for April in Ontario.

I dress warm anyway, put my Reindeer fur onto a blanket on the deck and start drumming.

Right away I am in the Journey cave. The fire is on, but besides me there is nobody there. (that is usually the case, when the journey is about a personal interest and not a client or community issue….)

So I go to the News rock. To check for information. There is a Huuuuuuge hole in it! And I can see blue sky! I stick my head in the hole and see a simple landscape. Short green lawn with Clover flowers and a few Dandelions and clear blue Sky.

Oh, look there! There is Fretty! (he is a rather monochromatic cartoonish looking Siberian Ferret….)

OK there is Fretty!

He is perched atop a purplish pink balloon that is floating through the air trailing a long bow with a sign on it: “Happy…..”

? happy what? Oh! “Happy Hour”.

Fretty does not look happy.

And just as his balloon is about to disappear from my field of view the inevitable happens: He digs his long scratchy claws into the rubber and ”POP” balloon gone!

Unceremoniously Fretty falls to the ground muttering something entirely unfit for repetition.

Somehow he always makes me laugh and that ends the vision.

But over the years I have learned, that this is the intention and that the funny antic contains the information I need.

Here what comes to my analytical tonal mind is “flight of fancy” and whatever you need to make you happy.

So, it is quite OK for me to stick my head into these teachings and broaden my horizon = fly high on a strange balloon, see how another culture tried to explain the mysteries of life and death (and soul flight) as long as I know how and when to come back down to Earth and back to the solid ground of ancestral wisdom.

Picture language:

The Journey Cave has its entrance located in a large rock on our property and otherwise is our headquarter for me and the gang = my group of Medicine Animals and Helper Spirits in the Otherworld

The Fire: If the fire is on, I will find help, information there, if the fire is not on I can either make fire myself or I have to go to another meeting place ……

Newspaper rock:This is a huge gray granite rock wall where all kinds of petroglyphic symbols and drawings appear that give insights to all kinda of questions. I also can leave notes for Spirits and receive notes. The wall looks different every time I look at it. Sometimes it is all Crystal, or Obsidian or a wooden board with a construction plan on it… I never know…..

Fretty is a rather monochromatic cartoonish looking Siberian Ferret that is one of my Guides since age 2 1/2 and I should probably write about how I got him…. or better- how he was put in charge of me….until my Clan guardian from Ada’s = my father’s Clan appeared…..)

Green grass is personal growth – the fact that is short indicates, that I will probably not do this for very long.

Clover is good luck

Dandelions are a “Study flower” to me. When I was at university and also studying with my Inde’ teacher I had the first vision of a huuuuuuuge Dandelion breaking through the pavement right between the buildings of the Maternity clinic and the Psychiatric hospital of the university complex…..

That, my teacher said was me.

Am I reallllly a noxious weed that nobody can keep down or am I the nutritious plant, full of vitamins, that since beginning of humanity was used for food, medicine and healing?

It is this picture language that you learn when you write down your dreams and analyze them and “take notes”

You can not use a book, because the meanings depend on a mixture of your “first knowledge” and your aquiered knowledge as well as symbols that you successfully recognized before as relevant for you.

These will appear again and again….

Your internal picture language !

Mixed messages and sadness seen through the Gaian Tarot

I had this deck on my wish list for ages.
Now, when I look at it I am wondering: What was I thinking!!??
-Well, it was back in the time, when I was on strict dial up and could not look at scans of decks or load the web sites of deck creators.
Yesterday I looked through the cards, and honestly, there are just 25 cards I like and from these only 3 I really like….
So many others are – what I feel as being “tacky” or “kitsch”.
Today I did not dare to use it for a reading for a client… It just did not feel right at all.
Now I am curious to find out how this week will develop:


8 = Strength
Strength is a good card for me today, reminding me, – to use what I know I have at my disposal.
And here it stops
I do NOT like this card image at all!
I do not even want to describe it. A baby lion with a crown of pink flowers on his head being cradled by a dreamy looking lady dressed in pink and yellow scarves and ….

….oh forget it all, to me THAT is kitsch!

Child of Water:
The word invokes a very specific meaning deep in my knowledge and experience base: Child of Water is one of the 2 hero twins of the Dine’h Nation. The one, that knows the trance and knows how to heal and taught all the healing sings to the humans….
I have a very special connection to that one. My Inde’ teacher was also called a ‘tubadejine’ ….

On the card however, there is a scene like on the water’s edge at a lake.Sea weed, shells in crystal clear water, a star Fish, a hermit crab.
BUT there is a kid, maybe 3 years of age, purple dress white sun hat…
This is a REAL child = someone’s kid!

I am thrown out of whatever I was thinking and I have the feeling, I have to know this child = who’s kid this is…. It is a photograph… put into the image…..
Somehow this kills this being a Tarot card – for me….



Explorer of Water:
There is a young guy on a surf board, catching the wave, standing up and racing it, dolphin at his side…
He looks quite like a Neanderthal youth…. from the facial features….. the fleeing chin… I still have my brain stuck in the Tarot of the Origins….
The card’s message = fast forward into the present….


8 of Water
A woman with dark hair is swimming in green ?? clear water. The shore with rocks and Tree stumps is visible in the background.
Again, the feeling, that I am supposed to know this woman, She is on/ in other cards too. I am not in the “in crowd” I am not part of the inside information.
I should go into the web site and look the card up. But I do not feel like sitting on the computer doing this.
Life happens AWAY from the pooooooter!!! This photograph tells me nothing about today.
Its message to me?? go swimming??????
Stay above water?? immerse yourself??? Move on your own power through a different element?
Be a woman out in Nature?  I an that.
It is +2C the creek is ice covered. 3 crows are slip/sliding around there. Not time to jump in for me….
I will immerse myself in my day…..


3 of Waters
That one is a nice card!
3 sea Otters are playing in a kelp bed.
Otters are forever playful and gregarious.
We here have a family of river otters and now is the time to watch them playing on the rapidly melting ice, sliding from hole to hole, chasing each other, sliddering and splashing in the melt water.
What a nice site to see. the card helps to up-lift my gloomy mood.
Skitter, the Raccoon boy we hand raised all last year came out of hibernation, played with me for about an hour and then disappeared…
That was a week ago.

Since then – nothing…..
Who ate my child?

Thursday :

The 10 of Air
is a beautiful card:14 large magnificent Birds (Canada Geese? or Sandhill Cranes??) are flying in formation before the backdrop of beautiful sun-lit rosy purple clouds.
they are telling me, to rise above it, move on, but I am in 10 of Swords mood – since a few days now.
By now I am sure, Skitter has been killed, most likely by one of the many large predators out there, starving at this time of the year and just waiting for a happy, well fed young Raccoon to bumble along.
It is true, the air outside is filled with Birds returning. Spring is here.
I am frozen in sadness.
I try nor to think about it, but that does not work.


10 of Fire:

The forest is burning – on the card only – for now…. thick smoke billows up, partially blackens out a rising slope on which mature Black Spruce Trees are fully engulfed in flames.

What will be left after this is utter destruction and a charred blackened Earth. But Black Spruce have cones, that will only open during a fire and only then release their seeds into the charcoal covered ground they need for germination.

Here, today in mid March we have + 15 Celsius at 10.00 am. It is at least 10 degrees too warm-about 12-15 degrees above what used to be normal for this time of year.

If this trend continues for the rest of the year as it has during this month – and as it is predicted by the weather experts, we will have a “summer of death as they already are beginning to call it. Scorching heat, tornadoes and heavy thunderstorms – like the one we had yesterday, when my house was directly hit by lightning and the power was knocked out.

Large scale forest fires are predicted, droughts and all kinds of other calamities…..

I do hope they are wrong.

This stuff is the last we all need….

Global warming…….

It is here.


Ice Age anyone?

The Tarot of the Origins

will be my deck for this week. I am currently reading 2 books about Ice age art and life ways as well as what ethnologist are finding out about belief systems and spirituality at the dawn of civilization. culture and spirituality. The images of the Tarot of the Origins go very well with this theme and my thoughts about creating some jewelry out of the Mammoth tusk pieces we still have from a dig east of Dawson City in the Yukon.

Daily draw:

card 12 of the suite of emotions:

Animal of Soul


What a card to start my week.

The huuuuuuge head of a woolly Rhino dominates the center, just waaaay back in the upper part of the image a human hunter with shield and spear is visible.

It feels as if the Animal is stomping away from him, whirling up dust and dirt and whatever else is in its way…

What, if the beast decides to turn around and face its puny little opponent?

With this HORN !!!!!!is the hunter alone, or are his pals nearby? Can you / can I imagine going after some foe like this – in an attempt to get dinner?

Because eat them we did! In the middle Paleolithic =“30 000years ago, Rhinos made up about 16% of what our Ancestors ate. Later, in the Magdalenian, the time of the beautiful cave paintings, it was less than 1%.

Would we women have joined the hunt?

Me with 56-certainly not, I would be ancient oooold and probably back at camp, taking care of the kids, that for sure were kept out of nose- width of this Rhino.

Well, there is another card with a Rhino in this deck: Death

Here the sandy brown Rhino has speared a puny little human onto its huuuuuuge horn, lifting him into the blood red sky.

A powerful vision of how a warrior or hunter meets the Ancestor Spirits!

Since Rhinos were more and more rare in the landscape, what would our Ancestors have thought about them?

What shamanistic Powers would they have attributed to them?

What myth?

What stories of the hunt would have been told?

Who saw the last Rhino on the steppes of central Europe?

Were there any over here in North America?

Who will see the very last wild Rhino in modern day Africa?

Could we save it from extinction?

For today?

The stern warning is: Do not engage what you may not be able to escape from.

I hope, that does not pertain to the Tarot of the Origins

My Sister’s Tail:


Healing Earth Tarot:


Woman of Wands:


My Sister’s Tail:

A beautiful middle aged woman with a mane of red hair stands confidently in a circle of red and purple flames emerging

from a volcano behind her. She wears a rather sexy outfit and holds a spear. Next to her stands a Leopard. A Lion and a Tiger watch from above, while a band of gray smoke shows dancing and jumping Deer, reminiscent of the Scythian Deer      Spirits found in the Kurgans of Kostromskaya.

 In the light of the late morning sun plays with the gray, beige brown and dark dots of this half     circle, bringing it alive and –

instantaneously I have to think of my sister and her Leopard’s tail, now hanging close to her picture on our family Altar.

We are strong women! We have fire!

I will put this picture next to Mausi’s on the Altar.

. and sing a little chant for E’eren Omsür……