‘Miaow!’ Said The Tarot.

Tarot says ‘Miaow’ A Tarot reading for a cat??? Oh yes. I kid you not.

ktln at home june 2015 1

A few summers ago we had a broken down old patio replaced. Sam, who did the work for us, asked me to look in my tarot cards….on behalf of his cat, Bilbo.

Sam lived alone with his cat, and there were no problems so far as Sam was aware, but he wondered how his cat was doing.

What might Bilbo want to say to him, given an opportunity?

Mini Reading for Bilbo

(Performed In Absentia)

Card One: The 8 of Swords.  Entrapment, frustration, chagrin, damp. Swords is a suit referring to sharp things and clear things…like windows.

My feeling about this card prompted me to put it to Sam that Bilbo had a difficulty in getting outside whenever he wanted to. Sam confirmed this to be the case. He lived in a downstairs flat. Bilbo usually had to go in and out by means of the sash window. There were no cat flaps, so if Sam was not there, Bilbo’s options were to be inside or outside.

Card Two:  The Page of Coins Reversed. This is a card of Earth, and of small amounts of money, while Pages often refer to pets and also small items and objects.

Bilbo seemed to be saying to me he wanted a pot of earth. This prompted me to ask Sam, what were the toilet arrangements for Bilbo? Sam explained that he kept a litter tray in the flat. What was it lined with? Pellets or what? Shredded newspaper. And just outside the flat window, there was a shrub in a pot, which Bilbo liked to sit in and scratch at.  There was no garden in front of the flat, only an area of hard standing. I therefore suggested Bilbo might like  some  nice deep ‘diggable’ cat litter for his tray, and maybe a ‘play tray’ full of soil outside. Oe more shrubs in pots.

Card Three: The Page of Cups…a card of kindness, and love, and childhood, also love letters or visits.

Bilbo did not think in terms of love, not having the words. Nonetheless, like a baby that cannot yet speak, he loved Sam, and a very little affection in return made him very happy. Just as one would expect, Bilbo lived in the moment. This card also suggested that he was physically in good condition (Cups is a healing suit), and that he was, in general, happy and content.  Cups being the water suit, he probably liked fishy tastes (not all cats do, birding is more natural to cats than fishing.) This was confirmed.

I asked, what about these love letters or visits I was sensing?

What about them? Sam wanted to know. I thereupon drew:-

Card Four: The Queen of Cups Reversed. Indicative of a lady with certain qualities of self-indulgence, or to feelings of unhappiness, a lady who did not reciprocate affection?

The reading was for Bilbo and purely complimentary, done over coffee. Therefore in answer to Sam’s question, I confined myself to asking whether a blonde lady visited his flat sometimes? The answer was yes. I then asked, had he noticed that Bilbo made himself scarce when this lady was in the flat? Yes, he had noticed.  Bilbo, for whatever reason,  did not view this lady with favour. Did this surprise Sam? He thought a moment then said, no.

I heard from him a few weeks later, that Bilbo had a new kind of cat litter now. The lady was unlikely to be around again. What Bilbo had been picking up or reflecting had been Sam’s own feelings about the situation with the lady. This figured, absolutely. It made perfect sense, as pets are sensitive to atmosphere and ‘their’ human’s mood.

Ethically dubious, do you think, reading for the puss cat without his express permission?

Purr-lease.

The Tarot is self regulating. If Bilbo had not wished to be observed or shall we say, eavesdropped on, and the Tarot had therefore not wished to read for him, any feedback obtained would have been nonsensical to Sam.

I’ve learned that the Tarot does not disdain to speak of whatever concerns the person approaching it.  The Tarot’s an oracle of the human heart and warmed by human hands.

The image below is of a watercolour drawing I did many years ago, a portrait commission of a cat called Tuppenny.

Until next time:)

A Robin’s Tarot Tale

A real reading done for a robin, befitting the season.

 

 
Image: Public Domain

There are many depictions of animals and birds in the Tarot.  They form a great part of the human landscape physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and symbolically. If there’s a heaven, what would it be without them? I wouldn’t mind, personally if mosquitoes, maggots, deadly snakes and komodo dragons didn’t make it. Spiders would be all right as long as they were non-venomous and less than two inches in diameter. However, it’s not me in charge.

The  songbird traditionally most associated with Christmas, or to give the winter festival its older name,   Yuletide – is the robin redbreast. The cheeky, dumpy little European robin, Erithacus rubecula is a member of the flycatcher family.

Its preferred habitats are woodlands, hedgerows, parks and garden. Its staple diet is worms, seeds, fruits and insects. It will fight over sunflower seeds and it adores mealworms. You can buy these in dried form in lots of outlets including many supermarkets. They look revolting though people used to baiting fish hooks won’t mind them. Robins have been to take mealworms by hand, so irresistibly delicious are they to robin-kind.

Male and female European robins are identical to look at, adults of both sexes having the red breast, while young robins have no red breast, and are a speckled golden brown colour. The lack of red breast in the young defends them from territorial attack by adults. The robin lives a little over one year on average. If it lives beyond 1.1 years it may achieve twelve years and has been known to reach the age of twenty, but long life is rare.

The robin’s endearing appearance belies its feistiness. It’ll fight to the death for its territory, and one in ten die in combat. They have been seen to chase off pigeons much bigger than they are. The one in my garden right now however, is rather timid and will scurry into the rosemary when a pigeon appears. Well, I suppose they are individuals just as we are.

Robin redbreast builds a cup-shaped nest in a hole or hidden in ground cover, and will sing all year round. Click here to hear its song and for other general information from the RSPB:-

The robin received the human pet name of ‘Robin’ in the fifteenth century. It has a special place in the library of legends embedded in the Tarot, and a robin may be observed in some decks, including the King of Pentacles card in the Sacred Circle Tarot Deck.

It belongs there by virtue of the symbolism and superstitions attached to it.

Some older people consider the robin a bird of ill omen, a harbinger of death. It is considered unlucky for a robin to fly into a house as Death is expected to follow. For this reason, a Christmas card with a picture of a robin on it is not always welcome with people aware of this tradition. But compassion and care for the dead is also attributed to the robin. One legend says that it tried to help Christ by pulling off a thorn from the crown Jesus had been made to wear, injuring itself in the process – hence its red breast. Another old tale says that it was a robin who found the bodies of the lost ‘Babes in the Wood‘, and who buried them with a golden coverlet of fallen leaves.

If your robin seems shy, it may be a visitor from Europe. British robins haunt gardens more than their European relatives, are more used to human contact and are bold in comparison with European winter visitors which tend to favour woodlands in their native lands.

All right, you robin.

English: Robin Redbreast
English: Robin Redbreast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m on my way out with  sugared bread (for energy it’s better to give them cake or sugared bread than plain bread) Here are some more of those revolting mealworms, and let’s hang up another half coconut of fat and nuts. But note this, my fine robin friend; this is not just for you, but is for sharing with the blue-tits and coal-tits, the blackbirds,  sparrows and the finches.

The North Wind Doth blow

And we shall have snow

And what will the robin do then, poor thing?

He’ll hide in a barn

To keep himself warm

And hide his head under his wing, poor thing.

Let’s see what the robin currently peering out from the safety of the big rosemary bush, will communicate via the Tarot.

Are you a cock or hen robin?

Answer card: The High Priestess. Just to make sure, I pull another card and get the Moon Reversed. Meanings: I am a hen bird. I am solitary right now, I want no mate. This is not the time.

What are you thinking right now?

Answer card: The Empress. Meaning? What have we here? Food! I have discovered a new harvest!  Being provided for, I must eat my fill while I can.

I pull another card, just as the robin flies off again…and, strangely enough, the card is The Chariot.  The robin has flitted just a short distance to sit on top of the seed feeder hung in the bare branches of the laburnum tree.

Why have you gone to sit there?

Answer card: The Seven of Wands Reversed.  Meaning: I am new to this garden and I must be careful. This is a good vantage point from which to spy out enemies and not be taken unawares.

What’s your favourite time of year?  

Answer card: The Empress Reversed.  Meaning: A time when there are plenty of fruits and seeds, but there are still sheltering leaves on the trees. A time when there are still long hours of light to feed by, and sometimes there’s still warmth…the night is not so bitter, the air does not bite so hard. My legs creak like sticks at first light when I must move for food or die. How I wish it could always be the time of the Empress.

OK, verification may not be an option as with readings done for domestic species.  Still, I have done animal readings before, and know intuitive communication can work inter-species. Maybe it would not work with all species, but the tarot affords a means of extending perception beyond the boundaries of self, and living things share common drives and goals. Sentient and sensate beings, whether bare or feathered, scaled or furry, are inextricably subject to vagaries of environment, the common denominator in shared consciousness.

During the severe winter of 1962/63, the UK robin population was worse than decimated, reduced to an estimated 50-60 breeding pairs. Spare a little if you can, for your fellow creatures outside this winter.

Until next time 🙂

Divinity In A Dish? The Tarot Feeds the Cat.

Cover of
Cover of The Gilded Tarot

Updated: A light hearted look at an ‘Option selecting’ reading, and at deploying the tarot as an alternative tool for animal communication.  All, hopefully, will become clear…

Our cat Willow was thirteen at the time of this reading. A small black and white moggie, she’s  an introverted, timid and fussy cat. When she’s hungry she trots into the kitchen and meows. Obtaining service, she’ll jump up to sit by the window, a model of composure, looking studiously in another direction, affecting not to notice while you open her food and put it on a saucer.

The food served, Willow’s dignity demands she must not notice it immediately. The trouble is, she often loses interest altogether, jumps down again and stalks off, leaving it to congeal malodorously, so she refuses it later.

She came in meowing and my daughter said. ‘If I feed her, she’ll only turn her nose up, whatever I serve up.’

I knew from previous readings for cats, and other species that the Tarot will sometimes assist, verifiably so, with animal communication. ‘Let’s see if the Tarot knows what she wants,’ I said and drew a card for each of the available options on the menu.

Card 1 represented Turkey 

Card 2 represented Duck

Card 3 represented Lamb 

Card 4 represented Beef

While shuffling I asked the Tarot (ie the portion of the mind that is ‘Tarot’) to ensure the cat’s preference would appear right way up (Dignified) and any she wouldn’t eat would appear upside down (reversed, Ill-Dignified)

I laid out the cards, a row of four and Willow’s selection as translated by the Tarot leapt straight at me, by means of the only upright card amongst the four which was the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen represented the Duck (with courgette) option. Oddly, the colour scheme of the duck pouch matched the green of this Queen’s dress. The Tarot couldn’t quite manage to rustle up a duck, but it did well to produce a peacock.

Image: The Gilded Tarot: By kind permission of Ciro Marchetti, Llewellyn. Buy From Llewellyn or Amazon.
I almost feel I should apologise to this eminently dignified Earth Queen. It hardly seems to do her justice, to summon he rin this fashion,  and yet..if this was too menial a question to put to the Tarot, it begs the question, how low should the bar be set, out of respect for the dignity of the Oracle the Tarot represents? Tarot will talk about the highest things we reach for, also the simplest things. The greatest loves are bound up in simple things, and who is to say what is worthy of another’s attention? Who is to say, what’s simple, just because it appears simple?

 

The thirteenth century visionary Julian of Norwich  said, ‘God does not disdain to serve the body.’ Divinity is in anything, even I suppose in sh… ahem.  Pentacles represents all things physical, including crops and animal husbandry and cat food therefore resides absolutely under the jurisdiction of this suit. The Queen of the suit is a Demeter and derives her own happiness in taking care of living things. As a Taurus woman, well over 40, I am represented archetypically in the Tarot as a Queen of Pentacles. Willow is a  queen cat and a Virgo subject, so she too, is a Queen of Pentacles in her own right.

No sooner was the duck on the saucer than she gingerly sniffed it, and dived in, leaving two tiny crumbs and not a lick of gravy.

There are implications beyond this, for the using of  the Tarot as a sensing device for animal communication, or for people, in sensing whatever might be meant by ‘right choices’. I use this approach quite often in business readings, in order to help identify a target or best strategy.

Dozy old cat. Companion animals roaming our homes.   They help us stay close to our roots. We need their lessons and reminders. The Tarot promotes our innate telepathy.

The High Priestess Reversed was a little fish villain….

The High Priestess Reversed was a little fish villain…..

The Death Card: The Angel & The Hamster

Death Card To The Rescue…a true tarot hamster tale.

angel of death 

The Angel of Death, by Evelyn de Morgan.

 

The Death card has in recent years been distanced from death as a physical event by the Tarot profession. The motivation has largely been so as not to frighten or disempower anyone. The Death card has been repackaged with an emphasis upon its power and value as Transition or Transformation.

There is much to be said in favour of this change of emphasis. Life is full of change and flux. Circumstances change, die, evolve. Winter comes. Sometimes a situation is over-ripe for change, and the appearance of the Death card will identify this as a good time to let go and move on, which is helpful to know if decisions are called for. I often draw it in a guise that the querent finds entirely welcome.

But Death is inescapable. It walks amongst us in Life, and is the agent of much of our greatest grief and fear. It is not our enemy, except as the thief of desires unfulfilled. Nature wants Death. It has engineered it for Life In The Grand Scheme.

But it’s the ultimate gateway to the unknown, perhaps to the extinguishing of our uniqueness, our personality? I think our consciousness survives the moment of bodily death at least for a few days. Where it goes afterwards is not for anyone to know for sure.

In my own experience, the Death card is actually not the sole predictor of human physical death in the Tarot. I tend to see instead multiple and repeated combinations including the Fool Reversed, Tower, Judgement dignified or reversed, 4 Swords, 6 Swords, Ace Swords Reversed, Strength, Star Reversed and the Sun reversed.

But I have seen the Death card in readings where the card has done exactly what it says on the tin, detecting a recent death, or presaging one. Tackling or avoiding these discussions when the cards raise them requires careful judgement.  Readers must do no harm, and can get it wrong. Humility is the corollary of respect.

But the Death card can be a friendly angel. One afternoon two summers ago I drew this card, and it appeared to be referring to somebody in a state of childhood (The 6 of Cups)

I immediately got up to go and check on the hamster. I associate the suit of Cups not only with childhood, children, nostagia, happy times, but with animals, who live so pignantly in the moment, asking little.

The  hamster had recently had a fall. She did not fall far, she tumbled down the back of the sofa on to a cushion. Her landing was soft and Il Matrimonio laughed because it looked comical but something about the way she picked herself up worried me.

Bam-Bam the Bold, Beautiful and occasionally Bad (a toe nipper in her youth) had been ill two days after this fall, and we had thought she was on her way out.  Tears in our eyes, hankies at the ready, spritzing the air with Rescue Remedy  we took turns to hold her for more than three hours.

Then ANTICLIMAX. All at once the small personage decided she was better, and scrambled off. She was bright as a button next day, trying to climb the wine rack (that’s my girl) and chomping my Gombrich’s History of Art on the lowest book shelf (in hardback)

We were delighted of course, but puzzled. She was my tenth hamster and I’d never seen such a recovery from prostration. The little things don’t  ‘do’ illness.

So now, drawing the Death card ten days after this event, an awful thought struck me. I headed upstairs as fast as I could go to the Hamster Palace and found her in great distress, stumbling about. She tried to evade my hand and knowing she was sexist, as animals often are, I knew she would prefer my husband’s smell, I mean, scent, and went to fetch his pyjama top to use for getting hold of her.

I held her cuddled upright in this for two hours while she rested, unmoving. Later that evening she was sufficiently recovered to eat a small square of  brown toast with acacia honey (good for rodents with diarrhea) I offered her cooled chamomile tea, which she first refused at first but later took a real shine to. I had read this would calm her and possibly offer pain relief.

Speaking with the vet on the telephone. I wondered if Bam-Bam might have had a hernia of her diaphragm. If she did, then when it popped out that would explain her struggling to breathe. When it popped back into its rightful position,  it would explain why she recovered and why holding her almost vertically against my body produced recovery, gravity doing its work. The vet thought a hernia highly likely after the fall. But he had nothing to offer that would not involve distress for an animal so small.  And at 18 months, she was at a classic age for hamster health problems.

The third attack will be her last, I told my husband. (The 3 of Swords)

She left us two weeks later. The Angel of Death took her away in a kindly fashion with nothing of Swords in the manner of it.  I was deeply grateful to the Tarot for the forewarning that sent me to her when she was in distress. Even animals who are solitary by nature, will learn to look for company and when she went, she was not alone.

Bam-Bam The Bold is buried under the pink rose in the back garden with her predecessor, the curtain climbing, mighty-for-her-size but ever sweet-tempered Coco the Courageous. There are Dog roses. I say, let there be Ham Roses or any kind of animal roses we want. Only animals? Well, so are we. It’s all Life, and what would a heaven be without them, anyway?

I’ll still swat a mosquito though, as soon as look at it, and think komodo dragons are entirely disgusting, from which I deduce I am not ready for Enlightenment.

Until next time 🙂


A Tarot Reading for Mustard The Pony

Mustard was a 13 year old gelding, and he competed in dressage. This much I had already been told before looking at his cards. My brief was to enquire about his general happiness and well-being, and to see whether the Tarot could pick up on any of his preferences or wishes. Here are a few of the cards we got, and an indication of the feedback I received from Mustard’s owner.
How was Mustard feeling about life at that moment? I drew the 4 of Pentacles. This card of material stability indicated that he generally felt safe and secure, and enjoyed his current routine. He didn’t seem too keen on sharing. He liked to hang on to any good thing he was given. He was by temperament, steadfast, slightly conservative, not given to impulsive behaviour. He liked a little bit of variety in his routine ‘but not too much’. His owner laughed at this description, saying she recognised it. He could be stubborn.
The 7 of Cups suggested to me that Mustard was sensitive and responsive with a good imagination. His owner confirmed this, saying he was the most easily trained pony she had worked with, very quick on the uptake.
I asked to know more about something he liked, and the 3 of Cups suggested Mustard had two special friendships. These must have been a horse and a pony he shared his field with during day time, his owner explained.
I asked about what might be coming up in the near future for Mustard. I drew the 6 of Swords, a card of possible relocation which made me ask if Mustard was aware of any plans for him to move. The answer was maybe; he was going to be moved very soon to a new, bigger stable with 30 horses and ponies.
The 5 of Cups , a grieving card, indicated Mustard would not like separation from his two old friends. His owner said he would still see his friends. Their owner and she rode the horses out together and would continue to do so.I suggested she try telling Mustard this, sending him a visual message of him going along the lanes with his old friends. He might not be able to understand the words but he might receive the ‘TV’ picture and the emotion she attached to that. Who is to say he could not?
I drew a general advice card for Mustard. This was The Moon card and I sensed he felt afraid if stabled alone at night.

Rider-Waite Moon card, dreams, hunting, fear, psychism. U’S Games.

There were dogs barking somewhere near outside, Mustard seemed to be telling me, and he didn’t like that. Not at all. And strange shadows scared him. I suggested his owner leave an old coat with Mustard when he is alone, so her scent can reassure him in her absence. She confirmed that there were dogs on a neighbouring farm. There were two or three Jack Russells and they barked a lot. It hadn’t occurred to her they might worry Mustard with night barking as she wasn’t usually there at that time, but she was moving him to the bigger stable because she was aware he didn’t like being alone at night.

I drew a card to signify something Mustard else might worry about.
The 5 of Wands suggested Mustard was anxious in competitions. He didn’t like loud noise and if ever asked to, would be nervous of jumping a 5 barred gate. I suggested his owner try rubbing a little Rescue Remedy on his nose (not on the sensitive bits) the next time they competed, the following weekend. The owner did try it, and reported her surprise at noticing a difference in his body language from usual: she said he was much more ‘laid back.’
I drew another card, asking to know about something Mustard would enjoy but hasn’t got? I drew the Page of Pentacles, and The Moon card. These somehow suggested…and this was purely an intuitive impression – mangold or swedes. I was told he has never eaten one, to the best of the owner’s knowledge. Well, I hope he gets to try one soon so we will know. Meanwhile, on this point the Tarot remains unproven.
I was told Mustard was receiving citronella products to minimise insect bites. Tarot is not a vet and does not claim to be but The Empress Card suggested if there was any question of supplementing his diet in any way omega 3/6 oils – vegetable based, as with hemp or flax seed instead of fish oils might benefit him. Something to do with his grains or feed might not be suiting him…the card shows a field of what looks like wheat or corn.
Months later, I heard that the owner had changed Mustard’s hay intake, and this apparently sorted the problem.
Other species read for so far: dogs, cats, hamsters, fish and birds. I’d probably struggle with anything too different from ourselves. I seriously doubt I could read for a worm or a jellyfish, and lack of verification would be an issue, but at some level all life is interconnected, I’d be open to trying. Such is the real life web represented by the Tarot.
Till next time 🙂