Sunday, 28 September 2014

Seeing Ourselves Through Another's Mirror

I've just returned from a blissful holiday, one which focused on walking and photography. My objective was to become more adept at all the nuances my camera offers and to be able to react quickly to a scene where I could more easily gauge aperture, shutter speed and all the other manual bells and whistles that, quite frankly, are somewhat hit and miss most of the time!

 When looking at the world through a lens, every view takes on another version of itself, one that is set up to be its most creative or artistic. That's what I hope anyway.

 This alternate version of a landscape got me thinking about how I view myself, especially as I believed the mirrors in our holiday cottage were more flattering than the ones at home. Like many people, I'm quite hard on myself when it comes to my appearance and I like to present a pleasant looking version of myself most days. As a dancer I worked with mirrors every day, scrutinizing every movement and angle; every ounce of weight. It's a hard habit to break but I am realistic (I hope) and am honouring my aging without too much unkindness. I have my under-fringe flash of grey hairs, facial lines, parts that are say, softer than they once were. Would the people who met me on this trip see a more attractive me just because I thought my jeans looked better here than the day before there? Were the mirrors really any different? Or could it be that this new reflection in unfamiliar surroundings presented me with a version of myself before my critical self had had a chance to set up and point out the less desirable bits?

 As with photography, it's about perspective. Sometimes another view is all it takes.

The Wildwood Tarot, by Mark Ryan and John Matthews. Art by Will Worthington

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Look Out!

When drawing a daily card, what do you have in mind? Do you wonder if it is a kind of prediction for the day, or perhaps some guidance? Do you accord it a hefty significance, or just wait and see if the message will fit into the day somehow?

The other day I drew The Tower for the Mr. I went through some meanings for the card  and we wondered how the energy may pan out. It's a card often associated with sudden change; the kind of upheaval when everything you believed in, or had built your hopes on, comes crashing down. This could be tangible things, or it could be your inner convictions about to change, sweeping away old guff and making way for something new. Sometimes it relates to arguments or other emotional outbursts, 'blowing one's top' for instance. It can be cleansing. Many images depict lightning striking a tower causing it to crumble and figures are seen tumbling into water below. I wondered if my beloved was going to be in for a shock. As a daily card, I think that the messages can be more subtle. Would he knock something over? Break the top off something? We waited ...

Nothing! A whole day passed with no 'Tower' moments. No surprises, no sudden changes, nothing.

Looking closely at this particular image I see that the destruction is to a lighthouse and is caused by canon fire from a boat, not lightning. No bodies fall from the ramparts. The lighthouse is a look out (cue 'lightbulb' moment, no pun intended!) A person in this particular tower would have likely seen the boat, recognised it as an enemy and hot-footed away to safety long before the boom from the canon destroyed the building.

The message from this particular image can ask you to think ahead, see if there is a problem on the horizon and act accordingly. It doesn't mean that disaster won't strike, but you at least had notice. By being on the look out ourselves, I feel the Mr. and I could have been instinctively of aware of any trouble looming and simply side-stepped whatever it could have arisen. Sanctuary intact - phew!

'Til next time,


The Tarot of The Pirates, published by Lo Scarabeo (not the prettiest deck but reads rather well!)

Monday, 8 September 2014

It's Strictly Time!

It's that time again - Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens and we tango and foxtrot our way through the competition until Christmas. Last year, I joined several bods at TABI (Tarot Association of the British Isles) to draw a card for each contestant and see how they fared through the series.

There were a couple of dissenting voices admonishing us, saying that this isn't the way Tarot should be used....but, you know....why not? For centuries pharaohs, monarchs, presidents and all have turned to seers to peek into the future. Watching and comparing cards to celebrity dancers is no different and, I believe, is a fascinating tarot exercise. You can see how pairings develop over months and learn the nuances of the cards as you see the dancefloor dramas evolve.

I don't know who all the contestants are this year, which adds even more interest as there are fewer preconceptions. I am using my most showbizzy deck, The Cosmic Tarot, so without further ado.....drumroll please...

Pixie Lott + Trent - The Tower. Oh my, drama on and off the dance floor....someone taking a tumble?

Frankie Bridge + Kevin - Eight of Pentacles. Skill and dedication could bring success.
Sunetra Sarker + Brendan - The High Priestess. What talents lie within?

Greg Wallace + Aliona - Nine of Swords. Aliona's face was a picture when they were partnered. Let's hope it isn't a nightmare.

Mark Wright + Karen - The Devil. Perhaps the TOWIE heart-throb will experience the 'journey'?
Simon Webbe + Kristina - Seven of Wands. More than capable of holding his own.
Judy Murray + Anton - The Hermit. Curious! Will she wish to retreat to work on the dances? Or perhaps just want to go home?

Jennifer Gibney + Tristan - The Empress. Nurturing the group and creating something lovely herself.

Caroline Flack + Pasha - Five of Swords. Challenging, willing/not willing to take criticism or defeat?

Alison Hammond + Aljaz - Ten of Swords. Will she find the light after harsh words? Could this be self attack or from the outside?

Scott Mills + Joanne - Nine of Pentacles. Finding contentment in his achievements.

Tim Wonnacott + Natalie - Wheel of Fortune. Ups and downs....but for how long? Could be life-changing.

Steve Backshall + Ola - The Moon. He said he was scared, can he find his way?

Jake Wood + Janette - Ace of Wands. Definitely one to watch judging by his moves on opening night.
 Thom Evans + Iveta - Ten of Wands. He may take it all too seriously, let's hope he can stand tall.

Unlike last year, I hold no Six of Wands or The Sun, but the above is already giving me much to think about. I can't wait until the competition begins properly at the end of the month and we'll see who soars and who surprises.

'Til next time ...


The Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Löshe

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Celebrating Friendship

My dear, dear friend A is staying with us. She is about to venture into a new and exciting phase of life and has packed up herself and her scrumptious dog for a sojourn chez Treewitch.

Now A and I go back a long way. We met at college and shared many classes before becoming best buddies in our third year. We have the same birthday, although A is (and always will be!) a year older. She shares the same name as my sister....and her daughter has the same name as one of my nieces. I am Godmother to her son. Wonderfully close. Unconditionally so.

These beautiful images from The Wildwood Tarot are perfect representations of our friendship. While she's here, there are many trips down memory lane. After college we secured places in a dance troupe, which gave us our Equity cards, and enjoyed a multitude of thrills and spills in a part of the Middle East which is now a war zone. We now compare a dancer's wear and tear - her hip, my knee. She's an inspiration.

We have laughed, cried, found love, had our hearts broken, picked ourselves up and laughed some more. I am honoured and lucky to have her in my life, and am so excited for her as she embarks on a fabulous adventure.

So it's a terrible shock that, into this glorious time, comes the devastating news of the sudden death of another friend. Beautiful, witty, lovely, lovely E. How can there be a world without her? So loved and now so missed. It can't be real.

These two friends didn't know each other, they came from different times in different places, but touch our hearts so deeply. They'll never meet in this realm this time around, but who knows where the journey carries on ...

'Til next time

The Wildwood Tarot - Mark Ryan, John Matthews, Will Worthington