HELLO WITCHES Nº49




Last week was very interesting for me. I had some a-ha moments when I realized a card was manifesting. Mondays are usually long and drawn-out, Wednesdays usually leave me dazed and Fridays can leave me pretty exhausted. By the time the weekend comes around, time flies and we prepare to start all over again. The slowest days of the week are always Monday, Wednesday and Sunday for me. I enjoyed myself a lot, but I secretly wish that tomorrow was Sunday rather than Tuesday.

This week we have it all. Courts, Majors and an abundance of Coins and Swords. I am particularly interested in all the court cards that are manifesting their message because it isn't usual for me to see so many. I quite like their appearance because I feel there is a reason for it with a message behind it. Their intent is presented in the elements around them and in their behavioral tendencies, which I hope to write more about in the future. We have a disparate pairing of suits accompanied by a Major Arcana card that I see as restraint more often than an outward expression. Does it take courage with clients, or restraint? That's a good question considering all the coins I am seeing.

I get the sense that the main focus of the week is work oriented, which isn't a surprise considering how much I think about changing my working hours. I'd like a normal work schedule in which I don't feel the world sleeps while I work, and I sleep when the world wakes. Yes!


Monday. Ten of Wands. This is so much stuff! Just look at the load in her arms, and look at all of the dead branches growing out of her head. She's tired because she's carrying the weight over and over and over and she doesn't know how much longer she could keep it up. This is the product of being overworked and burnt out. Sometimes I feel like that when the week is starting back up because I've just gotten through a really busy weekend and then the week starts. I need a break!

Tuesday. King of Swords. Interesting. I don't know if this is somebody else in my life but it could be somebody I talk to this day. This card shows a person whose intentions you don't really know but from the look in his eyes, you can tell there is an agenda somewhere in there. He's properly dressed and he has a little bird perched on his shoulder. Just say something wrong and it'll be made knowledge. He's got his sword firmly planted on the floor, used as an utility rather than a weapon. He's comfortable and regal with his nice and shiny clothes, he has his eye on you but he's not about to tell you why he's here.

Maybe it's me? It could be.

Wednesday. Knight of Cups. Oh, look! How dreamy. Another court card, yet this one is clearly interacting with us. He flies on a strange fish and comes straight to deliver an offer of love. There is a bird with a drawing kept by its beak, it offers a little message or a drawing to brighten up our day. His crown flourishes nicely, moderately and with more dreamy tones. The background makes me think of dreams as well. He needs to come back to reality, but when it is seen as an intention, it can actually be a beautiful sign of a gesture on an ordinary day. Looking more closely, I think he is blushing. What will he deliver?


Thursday. Strength. The week winds down with either self-control or burning passion. The Lion embodies fire and vanity, a proud manifestation of character that can be quite regal, but can also be bothersome. She seems completely content as she pets him, reminding him to be patient in order to attain the things he wants. He seems content with that for now and listens.

Friday. Page of Swords. He's sharp! Look at him, he brandishes his sword with a mischievous smile. He's ready to defend his ideals, even if they aren't fully formed. From the whimsy of his clothes we can infer that he is quite a character. He feels a little crazy to me because he's on guard for something we can't see in the card. He knows how to play with words, and sometimes that is quite nice.

Saturday. Two of Coins. Juggling tends to be a good way to think of Saturdays. It is my favorite day of the week, but this one seems a little inconsistent. He stands over a snake on one foot while he juggles two coins, but one eye is closed. He's not stable, he doesn't have a clear picture of what he's doing and he's relying on his intuition and reflexes to be able to juggle the coins. Sometimes we don't have the full picture but we play anyway. Maybe it's people we are juggling, and that is often hit or miss. Keep on juggling!


Sunday. King of Coins. There is a sated feeling conveyed in this card. The King of Coins stands before his empire with a gift. Staff in hand, he's ready to invite you someplace fancy where there will be a ceremony. There is a heart engraved on the ground telling me his projects have been a labor of love. He is the spitting image of my Grandfather, so it may be a good day to stop by and visit. He may enjoy having us over as we used to.

What to avoid. Emperor. Again! I recall this card showing up in this position not too long ago. We see a mirror image to the King of Coins the day before. This is saying things aren't absolute. There is not always a need to be draconian about order, and that is something that I am slowly coming to terms with to learn. There are two dragons at his feet waiting for his command, but I feel it's all a game to him. I feel like he's going to throw the orb and expect the dragons to go get it. We can't control the people around us and we need to listen to their needs.

What to strive for. Page of Coins. Look for a sign of luck or for a package in the mail this week. I am waiting for some packages, so that makes sense. He offers the coin he has as a gift, which is actually quite humbling. I love the fact he has a bunch of tentacles for feet, because it tells me he's well-versed in any skill. I get the feeling he likes what he does, just as I do. I guess the weeks will come to feel the same, but there is always something we can do to make it different. All the people present feel like the people I see face to face week after week, and it's nice to have them around to smile at and talk to.

Quirky week, but I guess I did use a quirky tarot. I have been using this in the past couple of years since it came out and I really do love it!
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº48




Last week was excellent! I slept very little and found myself presented with some lovely gifts during the weekend: the joy of living. I'll be honest, I barely slept at all and it is surely showing today. Getting around to do the usual welcoming of the week is pretty tough today because I'm exhausted, but I do have a smile on my face. Persistence is key, and the lavish week we shared is true proof that we're doing something right.

I really like the projection for this week because it's so different from what I usually get. Here we have two eights, a court card and two Major Arcana cards that serve as pivot points for directions of where the week is going. Seeing the Lovers is always a happy sign, and Temperance is the reminder to keep the balance harmonious. This is a spread of elements coming together to sing in unison. The spread looks like several pages contained in a storybook. It reads very much like a narrative, which is a refreshing take on the tarot.

This is set up to be a bit of an absent week because I am trying to make the pieces fit for my plans of the future. I came to the realization that I have planned my life up to the age of 25, and now I have to go from there. What do you do when you reach the point you have been waiting for all your life? I'm almost there now, and the question that circles around in my mind is "what next?" That's a tough one to answer because I haven't sat down to think about it yet. For sure I will have a better idea as October approaches... but for now I live day-to-day, immersed in the lovely and whimsical present.

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:

Monday. Eight of Swords. The week has jut started and I'm already tired, which isn't very common for me, but is a situation I am faced with today. It feels like my mind is absent and I'm running on auto, which is the indicative that today is not the right day to make important decisions. I couldn't get anything done today because I was helping Mom out with some computer trouble and touring through all the shops to find the right alternatives for her. It felt like a straggling rush of Mercury Retrograde as it goes direct. Thanks, you won't be missed!

Tuesday. Seven of Wands. Persist! That's the motivational pull for the week. We won't be able to go where we want to if we're not prepared to make the jump and push forward. This time around things are building up and we don't always have the energy we need to face things in the moment. I have been pretty tired, but not getting my schedule up to date after today would not be acceptable. It's time to jump off the fence and persist!

Wednesday. The Lovers. This is the card responsible for my love of the Paulina Tarot. I first saw it when I was in my third year of college back in the fall of 2008. It was the year before I met my current boyfriend and I was in my room mate's room showing her how to use her brand new tarot cards. She pulled out a whimsical deck I had not seen before and had me pull a card. It was The Lovers, and the illustration really captivated me. They're so immersed in one another's love that they find patience, time and compassion devoted to one another. They are patient and understanding, but above all tolerant.



Thursday. Eight of Cups. "I give up. I'm moving onto something else now." This card is what happens when we feel it's time to move on. As we cross the bridge, we could end up burning it so that we don't go back to where we were before. We may not even know what lies ahead in our new emotional journey, but we don't care. Out with the old, in with the new. I feel this way about projects I am finishing and about my tarot collection. The need for new acquisitions is no longer present or evident. Instead, I am finding that I wish to make more room. It isn't that my love for tarot is over, but I am seeking new experiences and life lessons.

Friday. King of Wands. My boyfriend has Friday off, so it would be a good idea to spend he day with him. He is a fire sign and this is his signifier. To me, he is the charmer and the sweet-talking heartthrob. I have always seen him as an impulsive individual that doesn't think twice before chasing his passion. He's full of creativity and vitality, and he is also the actor. The man who makes you laugh and who will put on a show for you if you ask him to.

Saturday. Two of Swords. Need a break, need some time to think. Her eyes are blindfolded, she doesn't want to see what she has to decide between. I get a sense of putting something important off for another day or choosing not to think until it's absolutely necessary. This is a card of slow to no action, things are kept in a compromised position. It isn't time to act or really think. Perhaps it's time not to see at all.



Sunday. Temperance. Let's make a blend together of all the elements. We start with the chaotic ones and work our way to the best ones. Let's throw in some ripe fruit and throw out the fruit that doesn't work. We can work the alchemy of our circumstances to find balance if we do so minding the time, place and temperature of our divine concoction. Life is our own making, so let's stir away at our work brought to life and hope that it ends up in harmony.

What to avoid. Six of Coins. Avoid getting too sucked into the needs of others presented. It's not uncommon for us to set aside our own important tasks for the day in order to please somebody else that we care about. Things happen, our loved ones need favors. Sometimes we need favors. Let's keep the balance equal if we can, although that can take a bit of work. I feel like life isn't always meant to lean on the 50/50% scale, and this spread is a sheer manifestation of that notion.

What to strive for. Five of Swords. This is a scary card for me. It suggests to face fears even if we find ourselves threatened by it. I know exactly what it's talking about and it's true. My mind goes so fast sometimes that I fit things into place and notice things that I wouldn't have if I wasn't thinking about it. Last weekend I had a vivid vision that sent me jumping out of bed. I think that my scream woke the whole neighborhood up, and if it didn't... my neighbors are heavy, heavy sleepers! I wrote to my friend the Dream Detective as she calls herself and she gave me some good pointers on facing it next time it happens. For now I will keep a glass of water beside my bed and I will continue to smudge my room. Watch out folks, because next time I'm screaming louder!

Last week was intense, but now we have a new one to tango with.
♡♡

MY TAROT COLLECTION IS COMPLETE!



IS SATISFACTION REAL?

I did it! I've been celebrating the end of the long searches and excessive splurging. I no longer feel the need to scout Ebay for hours in search of that one tarot deck that I need. It is my decree that I no longer need new tarot decks to feel like my collection is worthwhile. I do not need to keep looking for the one-deck wonder that we all seem to be on the lookout for. I have 97 tarot decks that work wonders for me. The truth of the matter is that there is no 100% perfect tarot deck out there. There will always be as long as we have different perspectives and needs on given matters or subjects. What we need today is not likely to be what we need tomorrow. The days go by and our goals change or come to be replaced once we finish them — then where does that leave us? Are we to welcome the sign with confusion or with acceptance? Time changes everything whether we are ready to face it or not. We won't always have an open mind to the changes when they come, but we can do our best to adapt.

Once we get going, we’re not really going to stop getting new cards. Many tarot decks are published each year, and once we justify a purchase saying it’ll be the last, we keep perpetuating our addiction, or should I say collection. It’s dangerous to talk about because something always pops up to catch our attention.

It all started with the need to branch out from my favorite deck so that I would be able to learn how to read intuitively with just about anything. The goal was to be able to read with just about anything straight out of the box and based off its illustration style. Along the way I realized subtle nuances and connections that could be traced wherever an artistic liberty had been taken. I learned a lot about tarot just by looking through my tarot decks. I started out with three, and within a year my collection had doubled and tripled. By the next year, the same thing happened. Three years down the line, I now have close to 100 tarot decks, and I realized that it’s time to stop. I have everything I need and everything I want. Anything that comes after will be nice, but not necessary. I could use all of my decks for months and not use them all by the time I die. I am sure there would be many still in mint condition and waiting to be loved. It sounds pretty morbid for what I usually write, but it’s entirely true. I intend to use them all before my time is up, even the backups.

There is no point in having a collection if you can’t enjoy it. I just can’t justify spending so much money on objects that you love and then not wanting to use them to preserve their worth. Are you kidding? I bought them to enjoy them, not to preserve them like jewels in time. When I pass away, they will probably be sold or disposed of, and I’m not going to be able to take them with me on my next step, so I do intend on enjoying them while I’m here.


HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE SATISFACTION?
I still have a couple of decks on my list, some of which are already for sale and some that will be published this year. I will be much more careful in the future when I purchase a tarot deck because I want something that I will use. I don't want to keep a tarot deck around to take up space if it's just going to gather dust. This is quite an epiphany for me, knowing how many impulse purchases I made when I found a tarot deck I really loved for a reasonable price.

SOME TAROT DECKS I REALLY LIKE:
Visconti-Sforza Tarot
Tyldwick Tarot
Alice Tarot
Tarot Illuminati
Russian Thoth Tarot

I have decided to sell the extras and the undesired decks. I have a few that I know I am never going to feel connected to, so I'm selling them on Ebay. I need to make room for other things in my life both physically and symbollically. No better time to start than now, right? Besides, a little extra room will help if a new deck is published that I really enjoy.

A QUICK READING:
♡ How do I really feel about my collection?
Knight of Cups. It's a dream come true! Emotionally proud and sated.

What can I do now that my dream collection is finished?
Ace of Coins. Focus on working with it and enjoying it.

Will I be tempted to get more?
Queen of Swords. Being logical about cutting out the rest.

How can I use my collection effectively?
Two of Coins. Juggling circumstances and tarot decks. Alternating.

♡ Will my backups find a special use?
Carte Blanche / Nine of Coins. Yes! Very special indeed.

Are you ready to give up an old habit to replace it with new ones?
♡♡

HELLO WITCHES Nº47



This past week was strange. With the coming of Mercury Retrograde, anything to do with communication has been fuzzy. Phones have been acting up, online transactions have been acting a little funky and things around the house have been pretty much the same. Stable. I got a package in the mail on Monday, so the Ace of Coins was right on the dot about that. The rest of the week was smooth and fun. I did feel pretty worn out from work by Friday, though. It's hard to keep a balanced schedule when you're your own boss! That's what day planners and daily lists are for, though.


An interesting week unfolds before us. I see it as a salad of happenings in the house, with personal relationships and even touching upon romance. Dissecting this into a full reading will be interesting to compare to the notes when the week is past. This week we have an abundance of Cups and Coins, pointing to personal connections and work. I see also a couple of court cards and some peaceful Major Arcana cards. There isn't anything conflicting here, quite the contrary. Everything happens in harmonious correlation. The High Priestess enjoys detached solitude while out there in the world, everyone else toils and works on their own goals. There is comfort offered to those who deserve it and luxury presented. The Knight of Cups offers the goblet to the Queen of Coins while she reflects on matters of the house. In another room, the Magician works to conjure reality into what he would like it to be. He is dreaming up mutual help that he will be engaged in later. Everything is perfect, everything works in unison to achieve our higher purpose.

Let's jump into it without further ado.

WEEKLY PROJECTIONS:


Monday. High Priestess. We get off on a contemplative mood, one of domination of senses and of watching rather than participating. I know that this is in fact not a card for action and adventure, it's quite the opposite. Her eyes are closed and she is in a moment of contemplation where she oscillates between the good and the bad in her. She accepts and she knows, and she keeps her secrets while she contemplates her existence. Welcome to the duality of existing, ladies and gentlemen!

Tuesday. Eight of Cups. Once we reach our conclusion, it's time to walk away from the things we learned. Put them back in the box, write them in the diary and move on. There is a life to live and there are things to do and see. The Moon in this card is strange, it glows ominously over the lone traveler as he goes up the mountain. He has more to worry about than the divine messages coming down from the conduit of the moon.

Wednesday. Empress. A house-warming day, a day to bask in the lavish light of the sun. Looks like a day of high maintenance or of housework, just look at how tall the wild grass has grown behind her. She leans on the staff to think as she enjoys the beauty of her surroundings. They say this is the card of the Mother, but I attribute it to a nice day. Enjoying your surroundings can be therapeutic if you can take time off to think or brainstorm.


Thursday. Ace of Cups. The cup overflows and spills, but it's actually not looking full. It's the leak of emotions. After bubbling for a while, they will come to the surface. A catholic symbol presents itself here with the dove, the bread and the wine. It's a message of love and forgiveness this time around. As it is offered, we must drink and give thanks for having love offered to us in the first place. I see petals floating in the air that look like hearts. Feelings pour into the ocean of the subconscious, which is flat and still save for the spots into which the feelings flow.

Friday. Nine of Coins. I love this rendition of the Nine of Coins. She's dressed in purple, delighting in her own garden of pleasure. Her hard work has paid off, she gets to enjoy her wildest dreams made manifest. She has everything she needs there and she doesn't feel like she needs anything more; just to be happy delighting in the fruit of her efforts. I strongly feel the lesson in this card is to enjoy the blessings you work for and to be satisfied. It means not coveting someone else's good fortune and instead making your own plans bloom. This is a personal principle I have always lived by, and always will.

Saturday. Knight of Cups. I have mixed views on this guy. He rides a beautiful white horse and he extends his hand to offer his sentiments in a golden goblet. When people give us their love, they give us the best of themselves. They inject the gift with dreams, illusions and hopes that things will go their way. There is nothing sweeter than receiving the honor of being loved and loving in return. It's an honor and a privilege to do so.


Sunday. Queen of Coins. I love this card because of how safe it feels. It's my Mom in a radiant gown, holding a large pentacle and sitting under a floating garden. To me, she is the staple of an exemplary person. I look up to her immensely with admiration and with desire to echo her footsteps in my own personal way. It's a nice day to spend with her, too.

What to avoid. The Magician. Here we go again, in the same position and everything! I see this card as to what to avoid, and I'm honestly stumped. The Magician is a smart man, a wonderful card for a prodigous person and for skill. It makes ideas into reality, but shows us a very ugly face when we turn to the shadow aspect of him.

What to strive for. Six of Coins. Asking for help, finding a balance and not going overboard with expenses. It's okay to get a little when you give a little, but don't give just to receive. That's a lesson that is manifesting really early on in the week and that I think is important to stay grounded and humble. It's important to work things out with other people and to find joy in being there for others as we would like others to be there for us. An exchange of energy results.

I am looking forward to this week and to get some decent sleep. Lately I have a ton of ideas right when my eyes start to close. Wishing you all a safe and happy week!
♡♡

NUSANTARA TAROT



Here we are! At long last, a comprehensive review of the beautiful Tarot Nusantara. This is perhaps one of the hardest popular tarot decks to attain at this time, and one that took me nearly three years to find. Getting anything out of Indonesia is a great head ache, and from the looks of it the word on the street is that the tarot deck is now out of print. I have searched for this tarot deck through collectors forums and just about any corner that you can string a message with the subject of "Tarot" on it.  I spent many nights writing to my favorite sellers and other members of the community that had acquired their copy. Nobody seemed to have any leads, so I wrote to Gagas Media, Transbonja, Hisyam Fachri himself, and numerous stores across Indonesia. All they told me is that the tarot deck was not available and that they were sorry.

I was annoyed after the first year because I didn't understand how much harder it was to find a recent deck than my authentic 1983 Keishobou Tarot from Japan. The Keishobou Tarot only took me an Ebay search to find, and I bought it after six months of debating whether or not it was worth it. It's actually one of the first tarot decks ever published in Japan. Back to the Nusantara Tarot — not even the legendary Chialing could find it! The search started to stall and lag when I ran out of leads, but every now and then I would still contact somebody about it or search for it on Ebay. Recently I came to find one had been sold relatively cheap on Ebay while I was celebrating my birthday in Japan, so I was mortified to find that I had lost my chance to get an inexpensively priced copy without the fuss of searching.




Finally, I found myself two original copies. I won't go into many details, but I can say that I found one from my seller and paid an exorbitant pretty penny for it, and the other from a professional tarot reader native from Indonesia. One will be used and worn with pride, the other is to be kept pristine for study and admiration. Who knows? I may come to use them both, that's how much I love this tarot deck.

The Nusantara Tarot doesn't read to me as the RWS usually does. Rather, you are made to contemplate the string of cards. I can't say that they interact with one another, but the scenes are quite lively. It isn't very difficult to get pulled into the card to interact with the players contained therein. I can see that Devil dancing over his chained prisoners, the dogs howling at the Moon as it shines down with madness of the night, the Magician prepares for his ritual and the Hanged Man isn't going anywhere anytime soon. You can see that everyone is immersed in what they are doing, and they don some very interesting attires to add to our imagination. There is no dialogue amongst them, they are too centered in their world to really preoccupy themselves with anybody looking into what they are doing. This helps preserve the magic for me because it makes the characters stand out with no doubt of their purpose and their responsibilities as divine staples of archetypes. There is life and magic contained in this deck, and I love it.

The illustrations themselves are quite whimsical and charming. Illustrations are graphic and flat with printed motifs to add a little texture. There are also smudges that make the images look old; to me they were quite unnecessary, but they look just fine. I think that the brighter, the better with cards like these. There was really no need to push for the tarot being aged and worn, but its part of their charm. The figures are slender and lanky, and they come to life as they depict the scenes we are familiar with while adding a new twist. I love the Tower and Devil cards, which are usually the cards that people tend to shy away from because they don't understand tarot. Here, even the darkest cards have a speck of whimsy and a silver lining that you're not likely to miss when you are reading with them. The cards are so sweet that we are more receptive to what we have to hear, whether we agree with it or not. It will tell us what we need to hear through a soothing voice, but still show us the more erratic moments in life. I can say that it's quite tasteful even though it's so colorful.

The cards are poker size and very thin, but also very easy to shuffle and fan out, which I really like. They fit comfortably in my hands and in a tin I have found to house them in. Hopefully this will help in keeping my copy pristine; I wouldn't like to leave it up to chance. My only complaint is that up front the laminate makes the image hard to read. There are so many diminutive details that can get lost if your eyesight is not so good or if the lighting is not ideal. If the light hits them directly, they will look glazed. In dimmer light, you will be able to appreciate the details a little better. If you have the replica, neither the stock or the illustrations are an issue. The replica is much larger, but I think the texture in the backs is quite important, and that is lost in the replica.



The cards are in bahasa Indonesian, as is the book that they come with, titled The Real Art of Tarot. I am sure that Hisyam Fachri included in it his psychological reason behind the changes to the standard RWS meanings, but I honestly don't feel like I am missing out on a big secret. The importance of tarot is the bond that we make with it, not so much what was originally meant for it. I really love the fact that they were made by someone who loves tarot but is not a participating member in the American market for tarot. It brings fresh ideas to the table, not just recycled and regurgitated fragments from books that are passed on through distribution for popularity, and not so much the content. It's a rare tool for me to work with that has been encapsulated and protected by the culture it was forged in; to me that's quite invaluable. I feel as though I am an outsider getting to see and experience their best kept secrets, and I say that with utmost respect for Indonesia. The cards themselves are loaded with spirituality without being of an obvious religious doctrine, which is what probably makes Tarot Nusantara so popular for those of us who are not in Indonesia.

I'll let you in on a little secret: This was meant to be a tarot deck for beginners, to get them familiarized and comfortable with the teachings of the tarot. Somehow, it ended up being a jewel for collectors and professional readers. Most everyone on AT has it on their wishlist, and multiple boards and messages are exchanged about it each year. Once we own a copy, we seek another because the deck absolutely demands for backup. We don't need a backup because of wear and tear, — even though I'll tell you right now they are quite delicate, — it's just because if you lose your copy, finding another will be close to impossible. Take it from me, I have been searching for mine for over two years.



INTERVIEW WITH THE TAROT NUSANTARA:

♡ What is your most important characteristic?
Knight of Coins. A gift from a faraway place that brings with it stability and satisfaction. He looks like hes been around, but his garments are quite beautiful still. It must be the wealth collected over his extensive travels. His hair falls in long ringlets, he's quite beautiful. This crowns the last out of print deck desired for my collection and an overwhelming sense of satisfaction because of it.

♡ What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Seven of Wands. Persistence in the face of opposition. Just when you think the battle is won, something always pops up to try and rob us of our peace of mind, but this deck is persistent also in the struggle for mental peace. It could in turn present us with things that are challenging to accept because they present mental hurdles for us to overcome. We should be on our feet always if we expect to be able to deal with the trials coming our way anyway.

♡ What are your limits?
Two of Swords. This seems to be a favorite, we saw it in last week's Tarot of Prague entry. The Two of Swords states that in refusing to have an open mind to messages, we block out our intuition. If we are not receptive, we won't get the point of why we are asking the tarot for aid in the first place. If we're not ready for the message, we won't be able to gain anything from it.


♡ What are you here to teach me?
Seven of Cups. How to make choices based off what is best for me rather than what I think is best for me. All options are attractive when they are presented, but they aren't always what we need in order to be able to make something come out of the choice. We will be able to examine and discern to clear confusion, whether mental or in this case emotional.

♡ How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Four of Coins. Hanging onto what I've got. It feels like it's suggesting to accept the foundation laid out before the deck came and to use it instead as another part of the puzzle that was already there. Basically suggests that it will help keep things in the same balance they were in when I first started reading with the RWS tarot deck.

♡ What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Magician. Magical alchemy once more. This one states that the relationship brings with it divine inspiration that we can manifest into a reality. When we accept the inspiration that comes towards us, we become open to a divine plan of action. We learn and we grow, and we become masters of what we do. Mastery over the tools is suggested here, and with that comes mastery over the ritual as well.



♡ Which card do you want to show off?
Hanged Man. See how he hangs, suspended and enlightened. He reaches the realization of purpose simply by turning his gaze on the same matters in a new way. The world looks different from another angle, and in being able to appreciate that angle, we gain new perspectives and solutions. It's saying that even if the terrain is familiar, there are new additions sprinkled in that will make it nice to work with.

♡ How do you see me?
The Sun. The outward expression of joy and being very centered in the present. It is a card of sweet vanity and merry laughter ringing through the ears of those present. I have been after this tarot deck for a very, very long time... so naturally, working with it does make me very happy. It is the newest addition to my collection, a fragile one but one that brings me much joy.

♡ How do you see yourself?
The Moon. The shady opposite to the sun and my absolute favorite signifier. When it popped up, it made me smile. The moon looms over the dog and the jackal with its third eye open and the traditional drops of blood raining down upon them. The crayfish is a lobster this time around and it emerges from the waters of the sleeping subconscious to find itself in a peculiar scene. The dogs are dancing and there is a lot of swirling movement around. It's quite lovely and speaks of pure intuition without harness.


I will have a limited number of replica copies for sale in case anybody is interested in them. They came straight from Indonesia. Please contact me. All copies are now spoken for.

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HELLO WITCHES Nº46




Hello world, I am happy to write to you again today. The past week has been quite pleasant although otherwise uneventful. I have gone to my dance classes and drank a few bottles of wine. Last week was full of feverish musings and dreams, but I didn't see the full manifestation of many cards. The Five of Swords left me waiting, I didn't really see anything to do with that or find myself in that position. I could, however, see how rigidity in behaviors of finance were necessary. It was nice to refer back to the Vertigo Tarot for a weekly spread, since it is and always will be my #1 favorite tarot card deck. Having the Moon card around was pretty comforting to me, since it tells me that being in our element is first and foremost important.

Look at all those Major Arcana cards this week! Okay, for sure now this is a spread over which the Querent (in this case me,) won't have control over the circumstances. The only element here is the passionate suit of Wands and Coins flanked by six Major Arcana cards. Turning our attention to plans would be quite nice, just because that's the one point in my life I will be working on improving this year, particularly in the summer. With all the changes manifesting, I have so many questions about whether or not my plans will go where I want them to go. I don't think it's all up to me and I can admit it. Circumstances aren't always under our control. We can't always change things to our liking, but then...

THE WEEKLY SPREAD:

Monday. Ace of Coins. I'm expecting a package today, which makes sense to me. I'm just waiting on a call from FedEx and then I'm all set to meet some super special additions to my collection. I know that anything after this point is a luxury because I don't need it. I don't even need the collection I already have, but I enjoy it. It gives me something else to look forward to as I toil away with the daily grind.

This illustration is quite sweet. The girl holds these flowers in her dress to show them off. She looks content and she is showing off what she worked so hard to gather. There is a heightened sense of luxury here that is exactly the way I feel given the circumstances. I feel like a princess lately.

Tuesday. The Empress. The wealth continues. The scene is quite tender and loving, and shows with it a day basking in sunlight and enjoying the comforts of pleasure. It is very positive in spirit and kicks the week off in just this right vibe. I like the feeling of bliss that goes over them in waves. This scene feels like peaceful life in the house. There are wings and symbols of blessings in the doves. It's time to set down our tools of work to appreciate the sweetness of what life has to offer.

Wednesday. The Devil. Things are getting darker! I see indulgence, drinking, delights for adults. The light has dimmed here, now we are faced with a friend that invites us to go dancing and to enjoy life. I can almost hear temptation singing in demand for us all to kick off our work boots and focus instead on being present in the moment. This isn't fearful at all, it's fun and even sweet. The problem is in not being able to focus, that's where we can become enslaved.


Thursday. Knight of Wands. Where I usually find a man lit with passion racing towards his goal, I find a man with a horse (symbol of masculine force and vigor) and a woman with... I'm sorry, is her crotch on fire? I know the flowers are for wealth, and this is me reading too much into it, but look at those roses as well. For such a sweet photo, what it depicts can be seen as what we're thinking, no questions asked. It's a wonderful day to stroke the sensibility of creativity and to see projects springing into life. It's a great moment for creativity.

Friday. Ten of Wands. After all that energy expulsion, its no wonder we look exhausted by the time Friday rolls around. That's the sight of burnout from hard work if I ever saw it. She's got the weight on her back, a cradle and she has come a long way. So does the lady that isn't too far behind, and they both look possibly unhappy about it. Our responsibilities should not be our burden, they should be our key to new opportunities and experience. Instead, the people are worn down by the stress and the responsibility that they face on a day to day basis. Where is the rest? Where is the leeway?

Saturday. The Fool. With the end of the week comes the end of being serious, I suppose. This is possibly silly and carefree, and can be seen as making a spectacle in public. I also see it as a public manifestation of how strange one can be without being afraid to say so. Onlookers are possibly ashamed for the guy in costume with his little partner. I can hear bells and satyrical storytelling, followed by a trick or two and a few jumps. We don't always need to step off the pedestal after making a show. We can instead try to be serious, but sometimes the occasion doesn't call for it.


Sunday. The Chariot. As the week once more approaches, we're getting our gears back in place. Life has us moving forward all the time without really enough time to pause and think. Instead, we can find ourselves faced with ruthless determination to get where we are going.  If we can find our focus, we'll get there fast. Those running the chariot show their teeth, they don't seem to be at all scared of what they're facing and they won't let anything distract them from their route. Let's go forth and get things done in unison.

What to avoid. The Hierophant. This is a lesson that is learned the hard way, but it's not the easiest to handle when you're supposed to avoid a tough lesson. How do you run from something you need to know? Is it right to run from responsibility and from someone you know is a big teacher? Maybe it's someone under the astrological sign of Taurus. Whatever the cause, be weary of whatever lesson comes our way without much leeway.

What to strive for. The Magician. Once you visualize something, you may be overcome with electric and divine inspiration to get it done. This is very obviously an alchemist in his study, with all the tools at his disposal and the divine knowledge that is available through his tools. He is the master, the one that imagines things and causes them to spring into being from whim. It takes mastery over skill and tools alike, and once you're at that point, you can help anybody, even yourself.

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TAROT OF PRAGUE




Have you ever wanted to visit a magic city? There are a bunch of them in the world, but some rank above others. To me, Tokyo has always been the most magical city in existence until I was introduced to Prague by this tarot, which was made by the wonderful Baba Studio. Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov have made some of my favorite tarot decks to look at; everything is quality over quantitiy. I know recent times have been a little hard for them, but they make excellent products that enchant their clients. I am one of them! The Tarot of Prague came into my collection off Lisa Friedrbord Lloyd, a wonderful professional tarot reader and blogger whose writing I have come to resonate with. She's got quite a handful with Tarotize, Love Dove Tarot and Seer Pathways. I ran into her listing on Ebay by the time I was ready to attain a copy, and I was delighted with mine upon its arrival.

I have read through the book and also some of the stories published on the internet about Prague. The tarot deck has built its reputation also through notoriety and magical events happening throughout the city and with those who have used it. Examples of this include stories of chambers you may not have noticed before that suddenly seem to be there, or little alleyways you're looking for that you could have sworn were there last night. You can find the hanging places for alchemists and magicians, or perhaps the periodical delight of ghost musicians playing past their times. I don't want to spoil all the magic for you, but here is a little taste of the stories contained inside the book:

SIGNATESIGNATEMEREMETENGISETANGIS
ROMATIBISUBITOMOTIBUSIBITAMOR

The translation of this would be "Revel yourself in the form os a sign (in the sky) in vain you reach for me, I am your desire. Rome, through movement (stars) suddenly love comes to you." Its purpose? Well, apparently it was put there to fool any demons that might want to harm the tower. It is believed that these demons, faced with a word puzzle, would read it again and again, unable to figure it out, until they became exhausted and went away. Who knows, perhaps it worked? — The Tarot of Prague. Karen Mahony. p. 22-23.
The inscription is also in the back of the cards, which means the deck itself can be used in ritual of high or ceremonial magic. It's a practical choice for those who work with charms and/or spells, and those who believe in magic as an alternate lifestyle. The story I chose is not the most impressive of the ones available inside the book, but I trust it will pique your curiosity to find out more about Prague and this wonderful tarot deck. Imagine being able to walk through the city with these cards in hand or in your bag and coming face to face with the characters contained in the cards. It would be fun to follow the signs and see where they take us to; no doubt a wonderful adventure. Since we can't just hop in a car and drive over, I decided to pull up a Baba Studio creation: All That We See or Seem is But a Dream Within a Dream.




 I was drawn to the First Edition Tarot of Prague because of its storybook binder cover, closed by golden ribbons. I have #1361 in my possession, but would gladly get a backup for my collection if another copy were to come up for a reasonable price. The tarot bags that were made for this deck are almost impossible to find online, but I have good faith that one of the Moon will pop up at some point. There has not yet been a tarot conquest I have not made, so keeping fingers crossed!

I really like the card stock of this deck because it is durable and the color printing is vibrant. It may not be easy to shuffle because the card stock is stiff and you do need to keep in mind that this is an out of print deck, but I find that I can work with it nicely if I employ an overhand shuffle. It is kept in a wonderful binder with the little white booklet attached to it, but I have not yet read it for fear of not being able to get the bows just right afterwards. I love keeping my cards either pristine or well worn, and this deck begs to be kept pristine so that it will last through years of loving use. I guess that even though I am curious about the little white booklet, I find salvation in the large book that it comes with. The stories it narrates and the connections drawn from the city to the cards are really thoughtful and add a little spice to this deck.

I recommend this deck to seasoned readers, people that are already comfortable with the definitions and traditions of reading with cards. If you desire to use these in rituals, they're good for that too. It is easy to find metaphysical principles hinted in the symbols of the cards, and manifesting through a reading as an underlying subject. This can be limited to a deck that you use to read for more mundane situations and sitters, but will really sing to you if you are open to its darker allusions. It draws connections from the divine to the mundane and the Hellish. Where you take it is in the end up to you.



INTERVIEW WITH THE TAROT OF PRAGUE:


What is your most important characteristic?
Two of Cups. We got off on the right foot. This card suggests that the Tarot of Prague provides alchemy of two into one. The soul and the mundane blend harmoniously to coexist, as do the landmarks of the city in collaged unison to spring into life the principles of the tarot. Lastly, to bring together the magical features of the city of Bohemia with a tarot reader that perhaps lives far, far away. I am sure that there are many lucky tarot readers – with the creator of this tarot deck amongst them – that live in Prague and are able to refer back to the scenes they see day to day in their readings. I can’t imagine what it is like to live there and refer to the ancient stories to aid me in my relationship with the cards, but I know that somewhere out there, someone enjoys that luxury. I delight in a very kind of Prague – the one nestled in my imagination. It grows with secret passages that may or may not exist and fuels my imagination to run wild with possibility.

What are your strengths as a tarot deck?
Six of Cups. Melancholy of olden times and meeting with a friend once lost. In this card we see children drinking in plain sight of day, but I think those children are actually adult people remembering olden times. If we mix it in with what this deck does, then we take into account the stories that the city has witnessed. In personifying the city through a tarot deck, we learn from the alchemists and villagers of old. We also learn from current people from Prague going through current things. It is the gift of knowledge through aging, and feeling as if what we are doing is in fact catching up with an old friend. How delightful it is to get up to speed on what has been going on in the past years!

What are your limits?
Two of Swords. Whoa! What a mean bite. To a closed off mind, no words can resonate. I feel as if the texture and shape of the swords in an X means that resonance will not continue if we are not ready to see what we need to see in the situation. The lion at the bottom is crowned, but looks possibly frustrated or scared. It is the lion of Bohemia reminding us that those that wish not to see will in fact not get it, no matter how many times we repeat ourselves. Behind the blindfolded lady lies the city and what seems to be the bridge. It feels like the secrets are in the city, but as outsiders, we may not directly participate in the magical ceremonies carried out therein. That’s okay, at least we can enjoy the journey through the cards.


What are you here to teach me?
The Devil. Well, it’s there in black and white. The horned devil towers over a stage of puppets carrying out his plans. It lacks color and life as a naughty allusion to what our lives turn into when we don’t question why things run as they do. This card says that in conforming to the limits of society, we turn to lifeless puppets. To me, this is a creepy connection to make. I almost feel as if it is suggesting total rebellion; to take off the chains and to see things in color. In color could be much more fun, but also dangerous according to the suggestions of this deck. I should not have been surprised to read this, and I find it quite surprising how subtle yet persistent the message is. I’m dancing around this one in failed attempts to word it correctly, but then that’s the game it’s trying to present. Bravo!

How can I best learn to collaborate with you?
Six of Wands. Moving forward full force with little to no regard for traditions and perspectives of the past. This is saying to just go for it and to celebrate. The statuesque angels send their blessings and their protection as the soldier rides forth in victory on a horse statue. The vehicle is not really there or alive, but it suggests that the rider can still go where he needs to. It suggests magic and bringing inanimate figures to life. They look so real though that you have to wonder whether or not they already are. This interview has been quirky and entertaining, and honestly a little scary.

What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?
The Fool. There is no outcome because it’s just the beginning. That sounds like something a revered Magus would say. There are principles of an afterlife suggested, even though it is quite clear to me I can’t take physical belongings with me to the afterlife. It suggests that this is just the first step or stage to a really long journey to enlightenment, and that there never really will be an end.


Which card do you want to show off?
Ten of Swords. Lack of life or an attack on that which feels as if it has no life. Over the sleeping woman we find an array of menacing swords and the towers eerily looming overhead. It is a confirmation that this deck can be scary if we let it, and it has a rather sinister personality to it once we get to know it more deeply. It is a confirmation that even in an inanimate object we can find life is etched or divined into it. We either keep on climbing or find ourselves warded off. I choose to keep climbing.

How do you see me?
Page of Swords. Where other decks see me as Queen of Swords or Wands, this one sees me as a page. Youth and smarts aid the Page of Swords, also the awareness of a sharp mind. Writing is a great way to make confusing thoughts into clarity. See how this androgynous page looms over the rooftops of the city, sword in hand and ready to take on any areal challenges. The city seems like a dreamscape, and fades towards the horizon. There is only so much reality manifested near us, but a world yet to be discovered if we step out of our tiny box. Into the ether, the quest for knowledge commences.

How do you see yourself?
Five of Swords. For the first time ever we have two cards under this category. The first one is rather aggressive, the deck presents itself as a green monster concocted from our dreams, nightmares and fears. He seems very real as he wards people off in his defense. What he guards is a mystery and a treasure of old, judging by the arch over them all. The arch compliments the World card up next.


The World. What a glorious sight indeed, here we have an angel in between worlds inviting us to have a closer look into transcendence. It is reminding us that as soon as we are ready, we may set forth into another layer of consciousness and higher learning. It waits for us at the threshold into another world, and once we are ready we will venture through the gate into an unknown world.

I guess that’s the secret that this deck guards. The secrets of preparation for the next life while we deal with the happenings of the life that comes later. If we seek it for the wrong purpose, we turn back empty handed. If we accept the proposal it gives us, we can move forward. The treasure of knowledge comes after getting the riddles right and mixing our own alchemical formula to get where we want to go.



I don't think I have been faced with a deck that opens up to me with such an enticing and scary proposal. To onlookers, this will be a farse and a dramatization to build a name for a deck that is already out of print. To me, it's rather scary to have developed this connection with a tarot deck that has been sitting in my collection for approximately four to five months. I find in the Tarot of Prague a world of magic as carried through depictions of a magical city that lies far beyond my reach. This isn't a marketing ploy, this is tarot.

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