Posted in Self Help Tarot, Writing with Tarot

Romancing Shadow Selves

Carl Jung separates parts of our personality out into ‘that which we are conscious of’ and elements ‘that which we are unconscious of’. Our conscious mind is where the ‘ego’ sits and is made up of the parts of our personality and identity that we are aware of.

The trouble with personas, according to Jung, is that it can lead to aspects of one’s personality (both good and bad) being unexplored, underdeveloped, and suppressed. Through a desire to please others, we focus on our qualities which we perceive to be acceptable by others and hide the parts of ourselves which we believe to be negative.

The Two of Cups generally shows a young man and woman, exchanging cups and pledging their love for one another but the symbolism of this card encompasses so much more than just romantic love. What we see here might also indicate the beginning of a lifelong friendship, a “meeting of the minds” – or any situation in which human energies enrich and transform one another.

Another approach is to take the opportunity to court, to romance a part of yourself that has been underdeveloped. To identify such an aspect you might lay out Two of Cups cards from a number of deck (see above). Then place a card from the Archeo, Personal Archetype Cards by Nick Bantock or from the Carolyn Myss Archetype Cards. Spend some time in your journal exploring the benefits of connecting more fully with this archetype.

Decisions Decisions!

  • Flip through an archetype deck and decide which archetypes need a bit of love, need to be courted and activated. Lay down the cards and perhaps make use of a Show Me style deck to pose a question to begin some work with these archetypes. See example below. Dialogue with the archetype and work out how you can use the energy of, in this case, the Ace of Rods.

To the extent you’re aware of the archetypes operating within you is an indicator of your level of consciousness.

Posted in Australian Womens Voices

Tower Memoirs – Struck by Lightning

“The Tower – whatever it represents in your reading – comes crashing to the ground. All that you held to be true is suddenly…not true. The world looks different, and it can feel like a disaster. This card’s usual image of lightening destroying a tower is incredibly scary – destruction is all that we can see. The ground is unsteady beneath our feet. We don’t know what to hold on to”.
Little Red Tarot

Back in the 1950’s, when dinosaurs may have still roamed the world, on a humid summer afternoon, I could not have been aware that events would mean that my world would look very different for awhile. I can only have been two or three at the time, so all I have are the stories that were subsequently told.

My father loved his sport and he was a keen cricketer in the summer and a football umpire in the winter. Clearly my brothers went to the cricket match with him on this fateful day. My eldest brother was in the car watching from a distance while my other brother was on the side lines. When the storm came in and the thunder cracked the team and my brother sheltered under a tree.

The lightning that struck the tree must have looked spectacular. My elder brother was certainly traumatized by having witnessed this.

“It looks like somebody threw a cannonball through it.”

What happens when you are struck by lightening

The whole team, including my father and brother felt the full force of the lightening as it struck the tree they were sheltering under. I can only imagine their shock when it hit like a cannonball. Have you ever got a static electricity shock? When lightning hits the same thing happens, but on a much bigger scale. The majority of injuries and deaths are caused by a ground current, where lightning hits a nearby object and then travels through the ground in all directions.

Amazingly they all survived but at the time, the local doctor in our small country town struggled to know how to treat them. My brother was sent, repeatedly, to Melbourne for skin grafts, the scars of which remain to this day.

Your Turn

Lay out a collection of Tower cards and make a spontaneous list of Tower moments that come to mind. Write in the first or third person about this event.

Posted in 78 Tarot Doorways, Australian Womens Voices

78+ Australian Women Open 78 Tarot Doorways

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this site contains the names, images, and voices of people now passed and resting in the Dream

just keep filling our lives with truth,
reading more exciting than fiction,

the Duuran

Examining Tarot through the Aperture of Significator Cards and Real Life Stories

Every Tarot or Oracle card has its own story to tell, and every card is open to one’s personal interpretation. Despite what purists might have you believe, no matter what “meaning” experts or books may ascribe to a particular card, no one definition is correct for everyone or every situation. Tarot cards may help to explain a situation or describe a person. In this case a significator Tarot card has been consciously chosen to represent an individual and pick up on an aspect of the energetic of a woman who has made a significant contribution to Australian culture. The cards chosen for these women seemed appropriate at a moment in time. The reader may well differ and dispute the connection being made and offer alternatives.

The Fool – Germaine Greer
The Magician – Elizabeth Blackburn Scientist
High Priestess – Barangaroo
The Empress – Catherine Helen Spence
The Hierophant – Two Extraordinary Women
Lovers – Aunty Oodgeroo Noonuccal
The Chariot – Judith Durham
Justice – Elizabeth Andreas Evatt
Strength – A Test of Endurance
Death – Lets Talk Death
Temperance – Women’s Christian Temperance Union Australia
The Tower – Ultimate Tower Moment
The Star – Fay Catherine Howe
The Moon – Joan Lindsay Picnic at Hanging Rock
Judgement – Annie Lock Missionary
The World – Nancy Bird Walton


Cups
associated with the emotional realm. Connection, love, dreams and wishes. Happiness as well as sorrow and vulnerability.

Ace of Cups – The Promise of Happy Ever Afer
Two of Cups – Soulful Connections
Three of Cups – An Artistic Collective
Four of Cups – Ash Barty
Five of Cups – Red Flags to Address
Six of Cups – Custodians of Memory
Seven of Cups – Smorgasbord
Eight of Cups – Picking up the Pieces
Nine of Cups – Dame Nellie Melba
Ten of Cups – Miles Franklin Award
King of Cups – Sandra Pankhurst Trauma Cleaner


Pentacles
associated with the material realm. Physicality, the body, work, environment. Abundance as well as scarcity and greed.

Five of Pentacles – The Lady of the Swamp
Six of Pentacles – Ruby Hunter
Eight of Pentacles – Productivity
Ten of Pentacles – Mary Reiby
The Page of Pentacles – Teal Independents
Queen of Pentacles – Margaret Fulton
King of Pentacles – Christine Holgate


Swords
associated with the mental realm. Rationality, logic, communication. Useful thoughts as well as anxieties and fears.

Ace of Swords – Catherine Hay Thomas
Two of Swords – Julia Gillard.
Three of Swords – Grace Tame
Seven of Swords – Christina Macpherson and Jessie Hickman
Eight of Swords – Lindy Chamberlain and Schapelle Corby
Nine of Swords – Trails of Trauma
Ten of Swords – Catherine Folbigg
Queen of Swords – Mary Gaudron
King of Swords – Marcia Langton


Wands
associated with gusto and life force. Excitement, exploration, creative pursuits. Passion as well as grandiosity and impulsiveness.

Ace of Wands – Tilly Aston
Five of Wands – Warrior Spirit
Ten of Wands – Charlotte Allingham
Page of Wands – Inventive Creatives
Queen of Wands – Margaret Throsby
King of Wands – Margaret Olley

The following is a directory of alternative responses to some of the cards presented here.

Directory of Additional Posts

Posted in Self Help Tarot, Writing with Tarot

Crumbling Tower Aftermath

“The Tower has a simple meaning: The crumbling of the status quo. This card’s usual image of lightening destroying a tower is incredibly scary – destruction is all that we can see. The ground is unsteady beneath our feet. We don’t know what to hold on to”.
Little Red Tarot

Having your home destroyed by fire or flood, quitting your job, getting fired, finding yourself living rough, being ghosted by someone you love, losing a friend, having a loved one die are all examples of Tower moments. Lets state the obvious. The shock from events like this feels incredibly painful and sadly, there are rarely any quick fixes. But, eventually, despite our despair, most of us pick ourselves up and slowly rebuild.

Without sounding glib, or suggesting that doing a Tarot spread will fix things, it must be said that working with cards may help adjust one’s perspective and help someone find a way forward. Assuming you have come up for air this is an example of a spread with cards that might help you find some clarity. The Show Me cards are great because, at a time when you are not sure what you want to know, they help you ask whoever is listening, to just shed some light on possible options.

Rather than provide a ‘reading’ of the cards that appeared from the Forest of Enchantment Tarot, I’ll let you consider which responses are in any way helpful.

Posted in Australian Womens Voices, Children's Literatur

Six of Cups – Gifting Children

The Six of Cups symbolize the joy of nostalgia, the comfort of home and childhood innocence. In the card itself, there are six cups filled with white flowers. Two children are depicted in the foreground, and one is passing a cup to another. This handing of the flowers from the boy to the girl shows the passing of traditions and happy reunions. The children seem to be in a castle of sorts, that we can imagine give them a sense of security and comfort.
from Labyrinthos

The traditional title, The Past, reminds us of our original nature, when we were young and enthusiastic, when anything was possible and the future was an open book. We are to remember that this same freshness, those new possibilities, are always available to us, even now.

If the Six of Cups has presented itself to you it may be a good time to reminisce about childhood and the books that made a deep impression on you and have, in some small way, influenced choices you have made. While you cannot bring the past back you can revisit and experience the joy of escaping into a fantasy world.

Children’s Literature is extremely vital as it provides the child with the chance of responding to literature and developing personal opinions. Moreover, it encourages deeper thoughts and emotional intelligence and imagination; it cultivates growth and development of personality and social skills. Those, like Ruth Park, who write for children, generally provide an escape from reality for children, taking them into exciting fantasy worlds that they might never know otherwise. The impact of their work is almost impossible to quantify.

Rosina Ruth Lucia Park was born in Auckland, on August 24, 1917 but spent most of her life in Australia. Her Scottish father had migrated to New Zealand to work as a labourer on road- and bridge-building projects. Park spent her early years as the solitary child in camps for road workers. Romping in forests she developed a fertile imagination, also inspired by her father’s tales of Scottish heroes.

Rosina Ruth Lucia Park AM was a New Zealand–born Australian author. She wrote a number of books for children but possibly her most popular children’s book was the much loved Muddleheaded Wombat.

In a piece that she wrote to tell children about her life she wrote that “many years ago I was born in that green, snow capped archipelago called New Zealand, and I’m very glad I was. Probably I am a writer because I had a singular childhood. My first seven years I spent all alone in the forest, like a possum or a bear cub. It was rain forest, pathless, dense; its light was a dim green twilight. How did I get there?

My father was a bridge builder and road maker; he drove some of the first roads through the forested Crown lands of northern New Zealand. My mother and I travelled with him, living in tents beside mountain streams lively with trout and eels. My father’s head was crammed with the savage hero tales of his ancestral land, Scotland. How lucky I was that he had the gift of storytelling! You must imagine lamplight, owls hoo-hooing, the tent fly cracking with frost, and myself, this bear cub child, listening to the stories I would play out by myself in the bush, next day. I developed an imagination both rich and rowdy. But there was one thing I had not imagined. When I went to school at last, I was totally astounded, almost frightened, to see children playing together. I hadn’t known they did that!

Although I loved school, I wasn’t at all interested in children’s games. However, I learned how. to pretend, and became on the surface just another kid, though inside I knew I wasn’t. This didn’t make me happy. I really believed I was a changeling. (We didn’t know the word ‘alien’ then, otherwise I would have thought I had been dropped by a Rigelian spaceship.) I longed to be like everyone else, but my solitary early life had made me different somehow. My friends were almost all Maori children, little forest creatures like myself.

By the time I was eight I was writing. I entered all kinds of verse and story competitions, and when I was eleven I won one of these. My story was published. This went straight to my head. I saw my life’s work laid out before me, and have never stopped writing since. I think, even at the age of eleven, I felt comfortable writing, more the real person I knew I was.”
From Becoming a Writer by Ruth Park

May Gibb

Within the Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie May revealed herself as a committed conservationist with the opening inscription ‘Humans Please be kind to all bush creatures and don’t pull flowers up by the roots‘.

Visit the official May Gibb site for books and merchandise. (This is NOT an affiliate site)

May Gibbs (1877 – 1969) is one of Australia’s most treasured illustrators, artists and children’s authors. Her bush fantasy world has captured the imaginations of Australians for over a century, creating a uniquely Australian folklore that holds a special place in the hearts of a nation. May was to say in later life ‘I’ve always had the greatest pleasure in thinking of all those little children who enjoyed my books. Everything became alive for me, it was just a fairy tale all the time.’ Born Cecilia May Gibbs in England on 17 January 1877, she was the only daughter of artist, cartoonist and public servant Herbert William Gibbs and Cecilia Rogers.

May emigrated to Australia with her family in 1881 aboard the Hesperus at four years of age. First trying their hand at farming in South Australia, followed by two years at Harvey Cattle Station in Western Australia, the Gibbs family eventually gave up on the farming life and settled at ‘The Dunes’ in Perth.

Over this time the young May spent many impressionable years observing the beauty of the Australian bush. In later years May was to say ‘It’s hard to tell, hard to say, I don’t know if the bush babies found me or I found the little creatures’. Raised in a creative household, May demonstrated artistic ability from an early age – ‘I could draw before I could walk,’ May was to recall. May excelled at botanical drawings and in 1892 at just fifteen years of age May won her first Art prize at the Perth Wild Flower Show, the first of many throughout the 1890s.

For the full online autobiography and to learn about the diversity of Gibb’s work, visit the official May Gibb website

Posted in Writing with Tarot

Six of Cups Nostalgia

“The Six of Cups can often be about connecting backwards, with family, grandparents, or perhaps ancestors. Think about the place from which you came, and your relationship to it now. In what ways to you carry forwards your own root?” Little Red Tarot

The Six of Cups represents innocence, nostalgia, and positive thinking. The card has an overall feel of childhood and nostalgia.

It is no accident that in movies like Titanic we see the dying Rose being reunited with all the people who were on board that fated ship. This is very Six of Cups nostalgia that reduced most of the audience to tears

Faced with death on the battle field of the Great War its not hard to believe that Bubs Corbetts thoughts would have turned to the country, family and the lifestyle he had left behind.

In the face of so much death and horror one can only hope that Bubs gained some comfort remembering the love and the bonds of relationships that he left behind.

It would be reassuring to think that, like Rose or Maximus Decimus Meridius (The Gladiator), he found his way back ‘home’ to walk in the door and be greeted by his loved ones.

Posted in Australian Womens Voices, Gentle Decks, Self Soothing

Self Soothe with Gentle Tarot and Oracle Decks

Key word associated with the 5 of Cups include – Sadness, loss, grief, despair, abandonment, guilt, remorse, regret, trauma, bereavement, mourning, heartbreak, unwelcome change, emotional instability, focusing on loss, focusing on negative emotions, isolation, loneliness, emotional baggage, divorce, separation, anger, disappointment

“The 5 of Cups card can remind us of an old wound. If there’s anything you have ‘stuffed down’ in the past, a grief, guilt or grudge that you carry, now is a good time to face that. Don’t be afraid of it – make some space in your life so that you can gently acknowledge what happened. This is about healing, and that begins with being truly honest about how you feel”. Source: Little Red Tarot

Sometimes when we work with Tarot and Oracle decks cards appear that mirror feelings we may have been trying to submerge. When the 5 of Cups shows up we can either slip it back into the pack or face and work with the kind of feelings that are frequently associated with it.

Beth from Little Red Tarot writes that “the Five of Cups shows us a moment of pure sadness. There’s very little here, but a figure, standing sadly beside overturned cups. What happened? It doesn’t really matter. Whatever those cups held is now gone, and this person is left to deal with it.

What is impressive about Beth’s post is that she gives permission to grieve when she says things like “let yourself be sad. If you’re putting on a brave face or being strong for someone else (or for yourself), now is the time to drop the act. Really give yourself the space to feel what you feel. It may be simple grief. It may be a complex mix of things. Go with it.”

By contrast, Elliot says that “when the Five of Cups comes up in a reading, its message is to “Snap out of it!” Admittedly he does offer a strategy for shifting focus from negative thoughts. He suggests that you “remember the details of your favorite place” saying that “this may be a park you visit, or a particularly beautiful place you traveled to”. He encourages you to think about “your happiest memory of a place to close your eyes and remember each of the details of the place”.

Of course, doing this may prove challenging if you are in the grips of a major bereavement. Being told to snap out of it may distract you momentarily and allow you to discharge some anger as you slap the person dispensing such advice. In fairness to Elliot he is writing about more mundane matters of the heart and his advice is very sound in such situations.

Likewise, working with gentle Tarot and Oracle decks is another soft option if you are caught in a whirlpool of disappointment and heartbreak. Wicked Moonlight has a great video where she talks about her top gentle decks.

Personally I have a couple of readily available mass market decks that I turn to when I am in a 5 of Cups state, just “want to suck worms” and have no capacity to talk to another person about whatever is bothering me. Each of these decks have wonderful guided books and the Barbieri guidebook includes highly creative guided imagery exercises which are perfect for when you are lying in a foetal position under the doona cover.

Posted in Female Role Models

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

From activists and lawyers to pirates and inventors, Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo present young readers with a lifetime’s supply of brilliant female role models.

One hundred extraordinary women are profiled in mini biographies alongside striking full-page portraits by female artists. The unique narrative style transforms each biography into a fairy-tale, filling the readers with wonder and a burning curiosity to know more about each hero. It boasts a brand new graphic design, a glossary and 100 incredible new portraits created by the best female artists of our time.

Countries from across the globe are represented, with around a third of the women from the US. However, Australia has clearly fallen off the radar for no Australian women gets a mention.

To learn more about Australian female role models, through the lens of Tarot, check out the home page here.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a collection of 100 one-page stories about women throughout history who broke barriers and achieved great things. Some are well known (at least to parents) and well chronicled, including Cleopatra, Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, Jane Goodall, Joan Jett, and Jane Austen. And some are lesser known (at least in America), such as Matilde Montoya, Mexico’s first female doctor, and Sonita Alizadeh, a 20-year-old rapper from Afghanistan who refused to be sold into marriage and whose song “Brides for Sale” went viral on YouTube.

One story features a transgender American girl who broke barriers at her elementary school. The brief biographical sketches spotlight a telling anecdote about each woman or girl told in simple language, generally in four to six paragraphs in a relatively large font size, making them highly readable. Facing each page is a quote from the featured person and a stylized color portrait by one of 60 contributing female artists from around the world. A spread at the back invites readers to “Write Your Own Story” and “Draw Your Own Portrait.”

The biographies presented on this site are for an older audience.

Posted in Australian Womens Voices

Six of Pentacles – Philanthropic Energy

The Six of Pentacles represents compassion, generosity, and cultivating good karma. This card reminds you that your true quality as a person is not measured by how much you impress the powerful and influential people of society. Instead, it is measured by how you treat the outcasts, the penniless, and the “least of these.” When you show kindness to those who you would probably gain “nothing” from, you may find that you walk away with a gift far greater.

Northern Animal Tarot

Caroline Chisholm was born in Northampton, 30 May 1808. This was a time of turmoil. On the continent, Napoleon was wreaking havoc, and the wars undertaken to defeat him were sapping Great Britain of her resources. The Industrial Revolution was in full swing, and by the late 18th century there had emerged a massive underclass of “deserving” poor, many without means of subsistence. To deal with the poverty, a support system loosely based on the Christian principle of charity was espoused.

Born in 1808 into the reasonably well-to do family of William Jones, a yeoman farmer in Northampton, Caroline Chisholm received an education that reflected the times. As a young girl, she visited the sick of the neighboring village, providing them with help and care, and was, in the words of one biographer, educated to “look on philanthropic labor as a part of her everyday life.”

At seven, she displayed a passionate interest in immigration. Having heard wondrous tales of far-off lands in what has been characterized as an enlightened household, she invented an immigration game. Using a wash basin as the sea, she “made boats of broad-beans; expended all [her] money in touchwood dolls, removed families, located them in the bed-quilt and sent the boats, filled with wheat, back to the friends.” This early interest in immigration would later provide a focus for her rising philanthropic passion.

When she arrived in Australia in 1838 she was horrified by the desperate situation of single emigrant women who were exploited when they first arrived. Often when emigrants arrived they were taken advantage of by people who would rob them or take their money on pretense of getting them accommodation or employment. The situation was particularly bad during the depression of the 1840s. Her advocacy for homeless girls and poor families during Australia’s formative years caused her contemporaries to see her as ‘the indispensable woman of the time’.

Fast forward to 2022 and one cannot help but wonder what a woman like Carolyn Chisholm, whose name is used by so many organizations working to address homelessness, would make of the situation facing so many people. In Victoria alone, on any given night, there are approximately 1,100 people sleeping rough and older women are the fastest growing group to experience homelessness in Australia.

What would Caroline Chisholm do?

Suggestions Caroline Chisholm might offer about making a difference to homelessness in Australia in 2022

Imagine you are a journalist and you have the opportunity to interview Carolyn Chisholm. Research and find out more about her, the opposition she faced and the contribution she made. Upon meeting with her, ask five open ended questions about actions she would take to alleviate homelessness. See if what she says to you resonates with the suggestions being proposed here.

Posted in Eight of Swords, Writing with Tarot

Writing with Tarot – Eight of Swords

Surrendering one’s power to an unknown entity, whether it’s fate, or God, the government or something else means that you are giving away your own personal responsibility to affect change. You have willingly relinquished the driver’s seat in the journey of your own life, and it isn’t going well for you. It is advisable for you to avoid making an important decision at this time since your judgment is likely clouded.
Source: Labyrinthos

The Eight of Swords from the Shadowland Tarot

Memoir Journal Writing

When do you feel the most trapped? How does your own thinking create limits in your life? What can actions can you take right now to release yourself from a situation you don’t like?

Portraiture

Write in the third person about a character who is experiencing an eight of swords challenge and how they are able to unbind themselves and regain some composure and power.

Letter Writing

Consider the situation Lindy Chamberlain and Schapelle Corby fround themselves in. Write a fictional letter, from a prison cell, to an Embassy appealing for some support. OR Write to someone close to you expressing feelings and emotions.