What this is all about...

This blog describes my journey with the tarot. Here you can find articles, spreads, deck reviews, tarot fiction, practice readings, exercises or get readings (see tabs above).

TIP: You can navigate the categories on the right to find Spreads, "Dear Satu" readings for fictional characters, Deck Reviews, Exercises and more.

Montag, 12. März 2012

My time with the Housewives

I'm reviewing The Housewives Tarot - A Domestic Divination Kit by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum, Quirk Books.

When I first saw some card images from this deck on the internet I thought it was quite a funny idea but no good for actually conducting readings. But then I saw a reading done with the Housewives Tarot over on Cat's blog and I thought I should perhaps not be so fast to dismiss the deck. Being the collector that I am, I finally bought it and was quite surprised. I very much liked the quality and the look of the deck. It comes in a mock recipe box and you can separate majors and minors in the box. There is a small 96-page companion booklet which gives you the meanings for all the cards and a few interesting spreads (which I haven't tried so far though). 

The graphics are in the style of 50s adverts and as I'm a bit of a sucker for 50s-style pin-ups, too (like the ones by Gil Elvgren and Zoe Mozert) I really like the style. The images are collages in this style and the way the items and figures are arranged is witty, clever and ironic. 

After a week of doing various readings with the deck I could now convince myself that it is more than just a fun collector's item or just decoration. I found the answers the deck gave concise, to the point and very direct. The wit and irony of the images gives a nice twist on the readings. I would think it's a great deck for everyday life decision-making, nothing too deep, spiritual or psychological. In my interview the deck told me it didn't like questions on work and finances, so I didn't try them. Others say it's very good in that area. So maybe it's just my deck. :)

My favourite card was the Hermit:

The Bath is pretty much my hermitage, too because it's the only place in the house where I can really retreat and be alone with my thoughts. I enjoy bubble baths very much as they give you some away time and relaxation and you can let your thoughts roam. So this card made a lot of sense to me. 

My least favourite card was Judgment: 

Being seriously fed up with all this weight talk I hate the image and as someone who used to be a Vegetarian for over seven years (until I was told to reduce carbs and found it too hard to do so without any meat whatsoever) I found it particularly disgusting. Just don't like the idea of a person's value depending on how much "meat" they carry around on their bones, even though this is ironic and not entirely serious. 

There are some pretty neat ideas in the deck like the ginormous glass of mayonnaise on the Death Card (Salmonella) and the slogan "Everything Expires". Very much hits the nail on the head. This will be what I'll think of when I see the Death Card in the future, "Which things in your life are past their shelf life?". 

On the whole it's a deck that is fun to work with and gives very straight-forward and short answers. I wouldn't use it for anything deep like things that require a little psychological insight. But I enjoyed my time with the Housewives. This one is a keeper.

Mittwoch, 7. März 2012

Dear Satu, Yours Boudica...

This is my last day with the Housewives as I will switch to a new deck tomorrow. The random generator suggests the following three decks to explore next:

1) Forest Folklore
2) Medieval Scapini
3) Tarot of the Spirit World

I'll take my pick tomorrow. Today I'll conduct a reading for a historical character using the Housewives tarot and then I'll give you a review as to what I think about the deck.

Dear Satu,

My husband used to be king of the Iceni tribe and so far we have had an allegiance with the Romans. In his will, my husband left the kingdom to his daughters and the Roman Emperor. All was well but then my husband died, things changed. Now, while we have always kept our end of the bargain, the Romans went to ignore his will, they raped our daughters, took land from our nobles, called in their loans, plundered, humiliated us - they even had me flogged. Needless to say I am more than pissed off. 
I feel responsible for my people. I don't want to see them slaves to the Romans and I don't want to stand idly by as they treat us like dirt - at the same time I don't want to be responsible for my people being butchered. 
Still, I feel it is time to put these Romans into their proper place and send them back home. So I am planning to lead an insurrection against them leading my people and the Trinovantes against Camoludunum first and then who knows, maybe take Londinium, too. 
My question is: What are our chances of success? Is this a wise move?

Yours Boudica of the Iceni

Dear Boudica,

I'm very sorry to hear what happened to you. I can only imagine how you must feel. I will ask my cards for advice using this pro and con spread I found in a blog and my "Housewives Tarot". I drew the following cards:

1) The Querent - The Tower
2) What to consider when making a decision - 5 of Swords
3) Productive aspect of attacking - The Sun
4) Productive aspect of submission - Seven of Pentacles
5) Contrary aspect of attacking - Justice
6) Contrary aspect of submission - The Wheel of Fortune
7) Best outcome of attacking - Four of Cups
8) Best outcome of submission - Queen of Pentacles

You are characterized here by the Tower which shows a lady whose lower part of the body is a tower made of gelatine and vegetables. This shows the solid basis you relied on was not as solid as it appeared, it was wobbly and when things got heated it was liquefied. Your whole world came crashing down but that also put you in a position to take action and change the course of events.
What you need to consider is Five of Swords, a card showing five pairs of scissors and a dress being cut out. I would read it to mean that you need to be aware that before you can thread things together and make something new, you will have to be willing to cut the cloth. This will be incisive in a number of ways and you will have to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices either way. You cannot just patch up things and go back to business as usual because nothing will be like it was before. No matter what your decision is - it will not work without sacrifice. 
Let's look at the pro side first. So if indeed you lead your people against the Romans, what is in it for you and the Iceni/Trinovantes? One major positive aspect is the Sun which for me is no more and no less than a major boost of morale. Your people will feel they are actually doing something, that they have the power to change their fates and that will be uplifting. The negative aspect is that of course every action causes a reaction and the Romans will certainly not give up without a fight. The best outcome here is four cups showing a woman shying away from a drink as there are already three empty glasses. She knows when it is too much. Probably that is the best outcome there is, showing the Romans they crossed a line and that they can't do what they please without facing the consequences. 
Now what if you just accepted what they did to you and your people to keep the peace the positive aspect of it is that in the long run things will probably grow back to normal, Seven of Pentacles shows a lady in her garden with a garden hose and a flower basket looking at the beautiful flowers and blossoms. For me this card always points to developments that take a lot of time and effort. So probably in the long run things would be okay for you and your people, perhaps time will solve the problem for you or your peoples will just "mix" and coexist forgetting about the past. The negative aspect is also a card that points to time. The Wheel of Fortune turns and you have no influence on it. So neither you nor your people would be able to influence the course of history, you would just have to wait and see. I'm not sure how well this would sit with your people after what happened to you. Sitting there twiddling their thumbs is probably not exactly what they feel like doing now. The best outcome here is the Queen of Pentacles which shows a working mother leaving her family while she goes and earns money to feed and clothe them. So you would be providing for your people, seeing to it that there basic needs are cared for but it comes at a price. Especially in the 50s and 60s, the time represented in the cards illustrations working mothers had to struggle with a guilty conscience of "not having been there for their families". However, in your situation I would take it to mean trading pride and cultural identity for material and physical safety/security.

To sum up, the safer bet would probably be to sit and wait. Things will calm down after the Romans used their opportunity to demonstrate their power, your lives will go back to (semi-)normal and you and your people will get used to having lost your independence. The problem will probably be morale and pride. I have a sneaking suspicion after what happened your people will not leave you much of a choice. They want to show the Romans that they are not going to accept being treated like their lap dogs and they are probably willing to pay the price. Four of Cups here is not really a success card and Justice too seems to warn you saying that you have to face the consequences of your actions but at least you will have made a point and taken initiative. Many of your subjects are proud warriors who value their freedom and independence more than their physical integrity. So my guess is you don't really have much of a choice.

Wishing you good luck with everything! 
Love and Light