Me and Tarot – How did it start?

The Soprafino is very special to me, as it represents a little family history:thumb Soprafino

My grandmother Elizza (1869 to 1956) had one and used to read with it. Remembering seeing this deck when I was a little girl and looking at the old worn out frayed cards together with my mother is ultimately, what later brought me to Tarot.

Today I have an ever growing circle of Tarot clients , that come for readings, I correspond with other Tarot enthusiasts on the Aeclectic Tarot forums and I deepen my personal knowledge about Tarot and reading images on an ongoing basis.

Every couple of months or so I pick out a new deck, expose myself to its imagery and see, where that leads.

I welcome you, to look over my shoulder 🙂

Right now,I am looking at the”Roots of Asia Tarot  as my “Deck for the summer Month:


The Wild Unknown Oracle of Snakes and Eggs:


You folks all know, how much I LOVE Animals and that I have a predilection for Animal Oracles and Tarots. So I was very exited to receive the Wild Unknown Oracle as a Winter Solstice present. I do have and quite like its predecessor, the Wild unknown Tarot and even coloured most all cards as a meditative exercise that took me deeper into the “card soul” of the deck.

The WU Oracle – I do love the sturdy box and the silky card stock and do like most of the individual art work, feeling, that is gives justice to the Animal selected. But it is the selection of Animals itself, that soon after starting to use the deck for my daily 3 card draws, that I bumped up against.

My daily draw is:

1 – guardian of the day

2 – challenge/ obstacle

3 – advice/ outcome

I can not tell you how often I managed to draw the combination of Earthworm – Sea Serpent and Snake

and perplexedly starrrrred at the 3 swirrrrling circles of life before me…..

Or the combination of Crow – Black Egg – and cosmic Egg!??

Why are there soooo many eggs and Snakes with eggs?

Because sure enough, I see the Crow sitting on – an Egg and if it is not the Crow, then it is the Nightingale sitting on a Robin’s egg…….

OK, this is not, what it is supposed to be, according to the accompanying booklet and so to the deck creator…… that is just what I see….

So of course I did study the book.

And then I stumbled over the next hurdle – for me:

Many of the descriptions accompanying the Animals are not at all related to lore and myth but probably more the personal view of the deck creator. On the one hand, that is very interesting and lets me into her head, on the other hand I feel, that a user that is new to all the world wide lore and myth about the depicted animals is mission out a LOT!

For example the Hyena: (Yes, I painted mine!)do you know, that Hyenas live in a very strictly matrilineal society and that the strongest female, in an attempt to become the pack leader with mating and pub rearing privileges often has to fight her litter sisters to the death?

Would you want to know these things if the card comes up in a reading?

Did you know, that in India and Nepal Peacocks are seen as having an “all seeing eye” and are said to be able to transmute poison? Their feathers are used in cleansing rituals by shamans and also in some Buddhist rituals.

And in the book the Bear is the lowliest of the Earth mammals 😦 does the deck creator know, that circum-polar = from the Ainu in Japan all across Siberia to Finland, Norway, Sweden to the early tribes of England and of course here all over North America the Bear is a powerful healer and aid to the shaman who heals with herbs, son and ritual. Among my own Siberian ancestral tribe it is told that the Bear was a Sky Khan, a God. He agreed to come down to Earth to teach the Khams = Shamans how to heal the sick and then guard the eastern Door against Albis and other disease spirits. Here in North America the Bear is a healer everywhere.

In our Mohawk Longhouse the Sachem always tells us the beautiful story of how the Bear changed into an ooooold man and came into the home of the Bear Clan matriarch to teach her how to heal all kinds of diseases and what herbs to use when and where…..

There would be many many similar stories to tell, that often would contradict the promptings given in the book.

Many others I am now tasked to discover for myself. Zebra and Stingray for example were not Critters, that I was previously familiar with – when it comes to lore and legend.

Zebra of course has a coat that totally camouflages it against its background, because the big Cats Cheetah, Lion and Panther see only in black and white and so the Zebra has no clear contours……

Interesting, eh?

Well, this is just me, putting a couple of Fire Ants underneath your bud, to go deeper and find out about the true Medicine of the depicted Animals.

The Cradle of the Wind is rocking

Another day another heat-wave, another migraine….

Until the meds work and I can actually see with both my eyes (instead of having “double vision), I may as well sit here and write about my card of the day.

Ace of Coins – Tarot of the Trance again.


Crazy image – very befitting how I feel and what is going on in my life: I recognise roots! Rootedness – for – probably the Apple Tree. Apples speak to me of harvest, of a time of plenty and yes, plenty is happening here right now. The Orobora is eating her own tail.

Like me, like both of us. At this time of the year we are both racing around in ever tightening circles eating ourselves up while giving birth to our art and our 5 cents of wisdom, which in my case is greedily swallowed up by my clients and sometimes even used constructively, so their Apples can grow and ripen as well.

The hectic 2 sided face in the centre should remind me of a prominent figure in mythology, but with the migraine, the archetype does not come into the forefront of my mind. Instead I see myself here – the annoying double visions, me swinging my poor head hectically this way and that to keep an eye on all the swirrrrrling action around me….. The blue wings speak to me of wind. Storm to be precise and to “almost take off, but not quite” But taking off works fully against the roots, that keep me grounded!

2 of my Miahanits are Birds. A decade or 2 ago when I went on a shamanic trance journey to ask for helpand advice with the stress during the hectic summer month one of them told me, that during the summer months I must live “in the Cradle of the Wind”

This is the image of the “Cradle of the Wind” for today!

Action to be taken today:

Hold on to your Roots = stay grounded.

Eat an Apple or 2 –

Oh yes, make some children’s bracelet using up those tiny Apple beads I got from the art store!

DDU for July 25:

Daily Disaster Update – DDU for short:

1 – woke up with a nasty migraine – no wonder, after this crazzzy weekend with 2 craft shows in the stifling heat

2 – migraine meds are starting to kick in – I can see the keyboard! 🙂

3 – the phone is dead –

4 – Phone technician NO 18 is supposed to show up sometime today – to find out, what the last 17 technicians also found out – the line to Fraserburg needs repairing – it is full of water, rusted out and was hit by lightning. Canada’s  Bell Telephone however will just NOT repair it, since it costs upwards of $ 65 000 ….. as of last year’s estimate, which by now probably is at $ 75 000, not counting the time and expenses for the – so far – 18 technicians…….

5 – the car is dead. – just like yesterday after the craft show, when we wanted to pack up to get home.. A shorted out circuit drains battery

Peter re-charged the battery and disconnected it – until we can drive the car to the shop, in order to exchange it for the OTHER one, our ooooold show van, that is there now, to be fixed…..

6 – Card of the day:

Tarot of the Trance:

Tarot of the Trance 3 of Swords

Three of Swords!

2 red beasts are screaming at each other gnashing their teeth in anger and frustration. With the arrows attached to their tails they stabbed a helpless green Fish, that is bleeding out beneath them. Arrows from the waters below stab the Fish as well – in reverberation of the situation.

The cross on the hilt of the Sword  in the middle however speaks of cross-roads and choice.

The Flowers in the border speak of summer – our time of stressss, shows, hectic, difficulties coping with all of it coming over us at once without reprieve. 

How very appropriate!

Pain and heartaches of all sorts, stresssss and no time to take care of the things we need to do, like make jewellery and phone clients, never mind time for relaxing and regrouping,

Actions to be taken:

Safe the Fish!!!!

It represents us, out creative flow and Energy, pierced and immobilized by all the external calamities!

Instead of rushing around to try and fix phone lines, and none working cell phones and defunct cars, sit down to meditate and tune out all the humdrum – it still will be there humdrumming this afternoon, when we are in better shape to deal with it.

Relax and decompress by writing out your frustrations in a blog post.

Done! – and feeling better! 🙂


During our very hectic summer months I like to do my daily draws with the Tarot of the Trance, because its crazzzzy colours and bizarre images very much fit and express the weird, bizarre and hectic 2 months in our life, when our business – Bearpaw Jewellery, clashes with my shamanic practice, both fighting for my precious time. In the images I see reflected the heat and humidity, that bursts forward growth in Nature and all the crazzzzy problems my “summer clients” present to me in the hope of a “magical fix” 

It also points out in vibrant colours, how badly I myself need one of these so very elusive magical fixes!


Oracle for 2016:

Card 1: Task at hand:

Be the dentist of the Flying Lion!

Gently paint his flanks with Ivy hearts and

Grace his shaggy mane with garlands of Roses

Listen to the wisdom of the Infinity Fish!”

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Card 2: Guardian for the New Year:

Your Gypsy Moth Ancestors advise you to

Proudly wear the Snake Wisdom you experienced

and use it to leave behind the thicket of familiar battles.

Allow yourself to be guided by your sensitive Fiddle-Head antennas

and sneak off with the spoils of deception.”

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Card 3: Outcome:

“If you trust the Eye of your Gut and the heavenly Snail Guide

you will be led towards the red Acres of the Moon Goose Flowers!

Your courage, your creative approach as well as your cheery disposition will ensure, that you will advance to be installed as the trusted assistant of the famed Snake Tailed Lynx- Shaman!

Although his cloak speaks of Magic, beware of his forked tongue.

With him not all is always Ecinacea!”

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Crysalis Crystallized:

Crysalis Tarot:

I received the Crysalis Tarot as a present a few weeks ago and had been looking forward for some time to look at it and work with it. Finally that time came 🙂

I was quite sure, that I would like this deck; it features many Animals and Nature in the Minors – and yes, I quite like the Minor Arkanas.

But I do have quite a few problems with the Mayors.

Here is the first and biggest:


Merlin as the Hero/ Fool and a “divine Child” as the Hierophant!??

Now in her website

the deck creator talks at lengths about, why she made that choice and it sounds all plausible enough, but for me personally, it just does not work.

It is a mayor stumbling block.

I however could live just fine with an androgynous Divine Child as the Hero/ Fool and wise old Merlin as my Hierophant!

And so my very first act with this deck became to exchange and re-position these 2 cards and change the wording on the cards.


Happy now?

Well Let’s see:

Oh, what is That???

2 Ravens as the Magician?



OK: Hugin and Munin – – and Odin’s Eye is on Igdrasil, the Tree of Wisdom. OK, that is different, but I like it!

Iffff only there were more cards like this, abstract, making you think, but sadly, this one is a stand alone one – at least in the Mayor Arkana. – Leaving through this deck as a whole however, the Raven card come across as if one of the Minors by accident got stuck with the mayors.

Next we have a Sorceress, a young girl with flowing tresses sitting by a cauldron.

2 - Sorceress


Isn’t she a bit young to already BE a Sorceress?

The LWB introduces her as Morgana Le Fay. Morgana certainly is ageless, but to portray an archetype like her as a teen in a Gypsy outfit?

Sure, there is a Crow with her. Sadly my Crow has a printing mistake – there is no colour on the paper, where her head is …… To me that also points to > no Power<

A few years ago I had a very powerful vision about Morgana Le Fey an I think because I “have seen her”as a lady in her 40ties, beautiful, decisive and wise, gathering the souls of fallen soldiers – of our time- I can not see Morgana in the image presented on this card. My bad.

Next in line is Gaia, the Empress – when she was about 11 years old.

Gaia Color


Iffff this one were pregnant now, a crime would have been committed.

Can I live with Gaia’s pubescent innocence?

She does have a cornucopia of abundance with Birds, Snails, Cacti, Butterflies and Flowers around her.

I will have to look towards the little Mouse on the bottom of the image to find an answer to the questions I would liked to ask a more mature Gaia in her womanly/ motherly power

Next is the Green Man as the Emperor! Yaaaaay! I like him!



A wonderful Archetype overlooking the Wren, the king of the Birds in Celtic lore and legends, and his nest.

Remember, in MY deck Merlin comes next, as the Hierophant. The image I quite like and the Cat, a being that can have 9 lives and 9 wisdoms is befitting more for a Hierophant than a Fool. I personally had Merlin figured more as a “dog man”, but – what do I know… I will have to ask him about that 🙂


6 - Lovers

Merlin and “Murseka” also appear in the Lovers card! Together with an array of other Animals:

Rabbit – fertility

Owl -wisdom

Stag – virility

Sheep – sacrifice

Horse – the Journey

And last but not least the Lovers themselves beneath a mighty Tree of Life.

Again VERY young people are shown.

On is a girl for sure.

The other?

Could be either.

I do like that.

But how would a guy, a male reader like this card?

Maleness is represented by good oooold Merlin and the Stag.

Would that be “enough”

How would a gay guy feel, when neither lover is shown as clearly male?

All of a sudden a voice in my head says:

This is a girly girl deck!”

I am stunned!

I start to loooook through the images of the Mayors to find strong male archetypes. Charterers that show maleness – maybe even just a little “sex-appeal” for good oooold me and other woman readers – and for the guys that love guys…..

In the Mayors I am finding – yes, Merlin, I know

and the Green man as well as Herne the Hunter in the position of the Chariot. He looks like a shaman Elder with his white goat face –



Papa Legba as Strengths is sort of in his 40ties and so the only guy in the Mayors that is shown as fully human and NOT a grizzled Elder.


He is also a lonely character, a Vodoun/Voodoo Llwa among mostly Celtic archetypes…… Some of his cohorts however are to be found in the 3 of Mirrors

While having written all these somewhat critical words a biiig nasty thunderstorm came up and bloooows out the hydro= electricity supply to the house!!

= the wrath of the Gods and the deck creator – so I better stop for now.

To be continued ….. in better weather, when the Gods cooled down a bit!

Tarot and Oracle readings at local Hospice benefit event

It’s that time of year again:

I again was invited to participate in a benefit event for Hospice, to bring the cards and read for donations towards the organization.

They were holding a gifts and fashion show where the proceeds from vendor’s tables all go to Hospice Muskoka. This year I had requested a slightly larger spot away from the main action, so as to have some more privacy and not to be interrupted by announcements via the intercom and by the music provided for the event.

The library of the Bracebridge Sportsplex proved to be an ideal spot.

I also decided, to bring reinforcement: While I offered to give ~~15 minute Tarot readings, Denyse, one of my friends and students has shown an interest in reading the cards and this was her very first outing to come and help. I provided her with an extra table with a variety of Oracle decks, where the message is already written on the card, so she could let people chose from the decks, then pick out a card and either let them read their message or read it out for them.

She loved the idea, ran with it and was VERY busy in no time.

What decks did she have you ask?

Well, she had available the

Wolf Pack Cards

Wolf Pack cards

The Raven Cards by Gaby Buecker

Raven Cards



the Healing Cards by Carolyne Myss,


10 secrets to Success and inner Peace by DR Wayne Dyer

10 secrets


pick 3 card 2 today front

and A New Earth by Eckhard Tolle

New Earth

Let’s just say, Denyse did GREAT with her new task and I could just concentrate on reading Tarot.

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I had the Greenwood Tarot,

the South West Sacred Tribes Tarot,

The Druid Craft Tarot

and the Medicine Cards

to select from and surprisingly, this time the Druid Craft deck won out as the favourite of the day. The cards are large and people can see, the images well.

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The event ran from 1.00pm to 4.00 pm and I had not time for any breaks, reading none stop and still there were lots more people that would have loved a reading.

Next time – or next event – or come on out to the house…. 🙂

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For Greenwood Fans:

I am always delighted to hear from all the Greenwood Tarot friends, that are finding this blog and that – with a little patience and a pair of sharp scissors – manage to create a private copy of the deck for themselves.

Since month now I have a little reminder on my desk, to post an interesting finding about one of the Greenwood cards, the Shaman:

shaman copy

See, I stumbled over the original image, that Cheska Potter used as inspiration for this enigmatic Arkana card

It is right here, in the book with all the photographs from Edward S. Curtis:

book Curtis

Die Indianer Nord Americas, die kompletten Portfolios.

Here, on page 209 we find our Shaman.

Arikara medicine Man

It is Bear’s Belly from the Arikara Nation. The sub text translates as:

>>A member of the brotherhood of the Medicine men, wrapped in his sacred Bear fur<<

In our Greenwood study group on Aeclectic Tarot are 3 pages of posts about the card.

We were wondering just how the rather strange top/ tip of the head cam to be in the image. Now, looking at the original inspiration for the image, it is quit clear, that yes, the Shaman is wearing the Bear fur. The Bear was skinned in one whole piece and then the pelt was slit open from the underside of the neck to the middle of the belly to allow its wearer to slip inside.

The top is the dried up head and muzzle of the bear. Its ears should be approximately, where the Shaman’s ears are. Very important, because a Bears hearing is excellent.

I encourage you all to check out the Greenwood Study group and maybe – hopefully contribute to it 🙂

Recently added info:

Bear Medicine is the Medicine of the Healer Shaman, the one who can ward off sickness and scare away the Spirits of illness. That is not only so among most all indigenous tribes in North America, but also all over Siberia (among my own people for example!) and most likely also in Palaeolithic Europe.
Evidence has been found that Bear bones – mostly from cave Bears were used by the Neanderthal People to create ritual objects like percussion instruments and flutes and it was Bear grease, that was mixed with red ochre to create the sacred body paints of which traces were found in Neanderthal graves and artefact sites.
In places the DNA from Cave Bears could be found!
In my tribe (Uryanchai – north Eastern Tuva) Bear was seen as the Guardian against all the “unpleasant Spirits- Albis and boks, benge’es and so on, that show up from the East – from the uncertain future, that we all hope to see, but that at times has a rather nasty surprise waiting for us. Bear Was one of the Creator Spirits, the Sacred ones that lived amongst the Stars. But to prevent all the “Nasties” from wrecking havoc among the living – Animals, Humans and Plants on of the Sacred ones had to come down to the “middle Realm ” = Mother Earth and keep watch and swat them away. So Ee’ren Adik, the Spirit of BEAR decided to take corporeal form and do the job. All Bears are under his lordship and his physical representatives. If someone gets sick, my great grandmother – and now me, we put them onto a Bear fur for the curing ritual, which includes red Ochre and ground turquoise made into a paste using Bear grease. …..
That is similar to what some Native Americans here do.
The Haudenosaunee for example have all their healers from the Bear Clan and often the Bear Clan Sachem leads our Longhouse proceedings.
Among many tribes, the touch of the Bear claws away the illness and brings healing, so a Bear paw, just even drawn, is powerful.
There would be numerous more examples, see the Siberian Bear Paw glove……
There is a lot more, I could write…..

Siberian Bear Claw Glove