Tarot Self-Portrait

My Entry for the Your Tarot Self-Portrait Challenge.
Just sneaking under the cut-off with only two days left to enter!

001

I have to watch out for the Gloominous Doom
As he likes to visit with his pit of gloom
My nearest and dearest know what to do
I depend on them to steer me true
[Faeries Oracle – Gloominous Doom]
One of the biggest recurring challenges of my life has been my depression. I had my first Major Depressive Episode at the age of fourteen and have had a number of them since. When not in an episode I deal with long-term dysthymia. I depend on my loved ones, and especially Gideon, to help me in keeping track of my mood levels and helping me identify when I appear to be slipping into that pit of a depressive episode as well as help me in finding my way back out of it again.

A survivor, I am
I fight the good fight
There is no swerving from battles or strife
Determination
Is how I confront the struggles in life
[Stolen Child Tarot – Five of Wands]
I am strong and determined. I don’t allow others to push me around or allow them to sway me from what I know is right… and what I know is mine. This card’s imagery is about determination and empowerment to me, and it speaks to that strength within me that demands that I stand strong and demand the best from myself and that others “toe the line” where I am concerned or pay the consequences.

002

Grounded and sure footed
I am who I am
My moral compass and inner voice
Guide me true
Again and again
[Earth Power Oracle – Magnetic North Pole]
I live my life by the guidance given by my moral compass and my intuition. Both of these aspects work together and speak to me through an inner “voice” that is never wrong. I have spent my life learning to better trust myself and that voice, and in doing so have become more and more grounded, and more and more sure of who I am and comfortable within my own skin. I know my weaknesses and my strengths, and am happy to share the lessons I have learned to help others find their own direction as well.

Sometimes this means
Putting on a fierce face
and plowing through obstacles
no matter the pain or the pace
[Tarot of the Hidden Realm – Ten of Swords]
My history is filled with obstacles and accidents, painful moments and instances that could easily be considered moments of victimization. Instead of allowing these moments or the residual effects of those moments to drag me down, I face these experiences with a snarl of force and determination, knowing that each of these experiences are going to hurt… but if I face them head on I will make it to the other side, having survived and ready to move on.

003

I juggle a lot
and I’m busy as a bee
Responsibilities require balance
that I appear to manage with ease
[Hush Tarot – Two of Pentacles]
I started adulthood at 16 when I emancipated from my parents, and signed a mortgage at 19. I have spent the majority of my adult life juggling at least four part time jobs and a home business, as well as sustaining a healthy relationship with my twin sister, a long-distance high-demand relationship with my partner Gideon, and a close friendship with my best friend. There is also self care, of which there is an excessive amount because of the need for daily physical therapy and occasional recreation, my spiritual path and my tarot practice. Most people would never guess that I juggle so much, or carry so much responsibility. I shoulder it all. I balance it all. The key to balance in life? Is flexibility. Scales are not still and stagnant. They sway… and like those scales, in order to balance life’s responsibilities we too must sway and constantly adjust.

In truth, though,
Life’s not about balance or battles
Life is about adaptability
Perspectives
And learning from the trials
[Wayhome Tarot – The Hanged Man]
I see the struggle and strife and trials I have gone through, as well as those things I will go through in the future, as learning experiences. They have allowed me to see things differently, and changed my perspectives over time. Whether it is the chronic, constant pain or being the victim of a crime, there is a benefit and a lesson to each experience if I am open to seeking it out and taking that new, different perspective in. Every different perspective I find changes me in some small way, opening me up to something new and giving me more… more understanding… more empathy… and more knowledge with which to navigate the world and relate to those within it.

CHALLENGE HOSTED BY TAROTHOLICS ON DISCORD

 

Waxing Poetic – The Hanged Man

The Major Arcana card that identify most strongly with, and what it means to me.

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The Hanged Man reminds me that each hurdle I come upon (of which there have been many, and will surely be many more) is an opportunity for betterment in some way, not a road block.

The card says to me that it’s okay to have a life filled with struggles and hurdles, strife and discord, woe and adversity. These things are lessons in life that teach me how to become better. Better at the things I want to do… Better at the way I find my joy… And, just an all around better person as a whole.

The Hanged Man is a reminder that these things are there not to drag me down and make me miserable. Instead, they are there to create perspective, wisdom, and strength, as well as to foster deeper roots within myself and my life with which to anchor me through the hardest parts, like a tree standing strong in a storm is anchored deep within the soil.

Learning lessons and learning different perspectives is not always pleasant. It’s painful and uncomfortable and extremely awkward. To me the Hanged Man is a representation of how these struggles hold immeasurable worth, if I’m willing to look beyond the discomfort to see what’s waiting there for me to learn.

 

#5FaveSummerDecks2019 (non) VR to Sophquest Synergy

This tag was brought to my attention by Simon over at the Hermit’s Cave, but originated from Sophquest Synergy.

In my mind (and on my excel spreadsheet), I very much sort my decks (not all of them, but many of them) by seasons.  It’s not that I won’t use these decks outside of those seasons if it feels right for the situation, but I’m so strongly connected to the seasons that I suppose it’s not a surprise I would associate many of my decks with one season or another.

I’ve limited the decks in this post, though, to the decks that I actually used during this summer of 2019.  Out of the “summery” decks that I’ve used this summer, these are the five that have really stood out for me….

Sum05

Stolen Child Tarot – Okay, so this one quickly stole the show for me this summer.  Or, should I say this September.   The thing is, though, that it rapidly has climbed to my #2 spot for all time favorite decks, right beneath the Tarot of the Hidden Realm.  I love the combination of whimsy and seriousness, the expressive complexity of the cards.  I just really connected with this deck, and the cardstock is just amazing.  It feels great to shuffle.

Sum04

Hanson Roberts Tarot – This has been a long time favorite of mine.  Mary Hanson Roberts does lovely work and I really like her depictions in this deck.  Of all RWS clones out there, this one is at the top of the list for me.  Like all the decks on this list, my “summer feel” is about color correlations, and crispness in artistic depiction.

SUM03

Luna Sol Tarot – You know those super hot days where the world feels baked crispy and white washed by the sun’s rays?  That’s what this deck reminds me of.  In my opinion, it makes a great end-of-summer deck for this reason.

Sum01

Linestrider Tarot (with the Hedgewitch Oracle) – When it comes to these two decks, I just can’t seem to have one without the other.  In my mind, they go together as one.  I know that they both really pair lovely with other decks, but I just can’t seem to separate them in my mind.  When I read with the Linestrider Tarot, I often shuffle the Hedgewitch Oracle directly into the deck.  I do it so often that I might end up leaving them some way at some point.

Sum02

Luminous Void Tarot – For me, this deck is the epitome of sticky summer heat and the melty smudge of cosmetics on women roasting as they go about their days in the oppressive heat of summer.  It’s all about dripping sweat, cloying humidity, and the sweltering of the sun beating down upon the world at the peak of summer.

Like I mentioned earlier.  Seasonal decks, to me, are all about color and the texture within the artwork  (as opposed to the texture of the cardstock).  For me, all of the decks above very much speak summer, and I’ve tried to explain why in each one that I see them that way.

Decks that Intimidate Me – (non) VR to BoyDiviner

The BoyDiviner on YouTube did a video that, although it is not a hashtag, I really enjoyed a lot and decided to do a (non)VR to anyway.

This is about tarot decks that intimidate me in some way or another.  I don’t have many, but there are a few in my collection that fit the bill.  Here is an outline of what these decks are, and how I feel about them.

ST

Secret Tarot by Dominic Murphy

I absolutely love the artwork in this deck.  I love the concept, the originality, the expressiveness in the cards.  I love it.

But, at the same time?  I find it very intimidating.  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that after the major arcana, the deck is an entirely different structure.  I’ve had more luck with the Lost Tarot by the same artist, as there seems to be a bit more structure in that one than this one.

Still, I keep it because I love the artwork.  And, at some point, I plan on doing a depth study of this deck to help me (hopefully) become more familiar and comfortable with it and its unusual system.

TH

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

I used to think that it was just the Thoth system that intimidated me, but after working with the Gill Tarot and a few others, I think in this case it’s the artwork, not the system.

Something in the artwork for the original Thoth deck just makes me want to ‘shield and retreat’ in much the same way that I feel when I come across someone radiating abusive vibes.   I bought this deck to delve deeper into the Thoth system, but every time I pick it up, it turns me off.   Not just emotionally or aesthetically, but even my intuition turns away from this deck and will refuse to speak.

WW

Wild Wood Tarot by Mark Ryan, John Matthews, and Will Worthington

I genuinely adore this deck and its earthiness, although I find the energy of this deck just a but too heavy.   I love the artwork especially.  But, for some reason I have a hard time reading this deck intuitively, and many of the cards do not follow the RWS system, so I then struggle with reading it logically as well.

I did a depth study on this deck for an entire year, but I still find myself unable to read with it confidently, even after a year of serious study.

DG

Dreams of Gaia Tarot by Ravynne Phelan

It’s the faces.   I mean, yes, it’s an entirely different system from any other deck out there, but I think I would be more inclined to learn that system IF it wasn’t for the FACES.  They just bug me for some reason.  I don’t like them.

That said, I do use this deck, but I use it as an intuitive oracle instead. Usually when harsh truths are required.

SPK

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot by Benebell Wen

This one is purely all about information overload.  I’m kind of wondering if this deck isn’t more suited to the logic-style of readers rather than the intuitive style?  I’m not entirely sure.   I just find there is SO MUCH information in each card that I feel overwhelmed by them when I try to read with them.

I think they’re amazing, and I think Benebell Wen (who drew each of these cards by hand) is brilliant.  I have the study books that go along with this deck and intend on doing a depth study with it at some point.  But, at the moment, I find it a bit too much and the cards make me feel like the crossed wires between my logic and intuition are about to blow a fuse.