The Gnomes of Earth

I am looking at a few more of the Tarocchi Celtici Cards:

Card 51 Pioppo Bianco: Eadha = White Poplar

Ace of Fall/ Earth51 Fall Gnomes

The White Poplar Tree is in the background of the image.

In the Ogham alphabet the Eadha is the Tree aligned with material things, every day life and all Earthy aspects. It is looked upon as being the provider for the sheer stamina it takes to get through our busy lives and not to forget that we are embodied Spirits.

Endurance, shielding our soul from every day realities and staying strong in the “Winds of Life” are its strengths. Aspen and Poplars “speak” in the Wind and so we are to listen and perceive the message coming through.

The Celts and their contemporaries used Poplar wood for shield making. Shields for war, but also the shields upon which you hoisted a victorious leader and carried him to the feast.

Doors too were made from Poplar, because Poplar wood does not bend out of shape, when it gets wet on one side and stays dry on the other.

In the image we see 3 Storks. Since this is a fall card, it is prudent to assume, that it is a breeding pair and their offspring from this year. They are now ready to take to the air on an arduous flight south – just to return in Spring.

A Gnom is shyly hiding his face behind a Poplar leave . He has assembled his work of the summer; a beautiful golden ring featuring a 2 headed Snake, several gold coins and several magnificently inlayd Celtic beads.

2 swords and a large spear are stuck in the ground. It is peaceful time, the time when one goes to the local Fall market, or local Fall fair, barters with other producers and exchanges some of one’s goods for whatever one may need to get through the Winter.

Maybe the whispering Poplars are the ones in charge of the gossip.

Another thin that happens on the Fall fair of course is one could look for a mate 🙂

3 Storks in the sky!?? In Spring Storks bring babies – did you know?

A nice golden ring??

Maybe this Gnome is out to whoo his bride?



Card 52  Betulla: Beth = Birch   52 Fall Gnomes

Oh! Now it is becoming clear, what the Snake ring was all about!

The Gnome got married to Mrs. Gnome and here they both are looking into the wooden cradle, where the future sleeps.

All tools and trinkets are put aside – this is family time.

The Birch Tree – blooming in spite of this being a Fall card, is dwarfed by a mighty Hart, protector of the realm and Guardian of prosperity and strength.

2 of Earth.

All is well.





Tarocchi Celtici Card 66 Betulla: Beith

In the Celtic Ogham Beith, the Birch Tree is the first month and comes after Samhain in what today is November 30 – Al Grimrath.

Birch stands for new beginnings, cleansing, the feminine Goddess of the Forest, and strength for new tasks.

66 Winter Water

This Birch Tree is in the centre of the card, flanked by a mighty Hart upon who’s left antler a Fish Fairy/ Undine is hanging??
Another of this species sporting a looooong Lizard tail is cowering at the floor next to a large beautiful decanter. Iffff only I knew, what that “thing” is, that this Being is about to pick up and show to us. It is monochromatic pictograph like – object or sign…?? Is it something used in divination? And I as a diviner have no idea!?It somehow looks like a monochromatic rock art symbol, rather than an object. Maybe someone who has the book and speaks Italian can help out here.
I am finding all the Water Nymphs in this suit quite strange. Should they not be in the Water, their home?? And why is this the Winter suit, when it shows the Birch tree here and all the other trees/ plants in this suit all in full bloom?
But then all the Trees in the Celtic Tree alphabet are shown in full Summer bloom and do not reflect the seasons either.
– Strange…..
I feel, that this is something, that will eventually bother me, when I use this deck for readings.
Shall I ignore the Water/ Winter aspect? But fish tailed Beings on dry land will inevitably bring up the notion of “being out of place/ out of their element…….”


I was fascinated, when in one of our books about archaeology and excavations in the lands of the Celts I discovered a picture of the magnificent beaker, that is featured on the card image:
It is the famous beaker found in a grave in Dürnberg near Hallein in Austria.
It is an Etruscan art style.


schnabel kanne griff
It is bronze and the Handle shows a predator swallowing the head of a human.

I wonder if it was an enemy – or is is the monster of Death swallowing the high status male, whom the Celts had buried with these grave goods.

On the rim a Lioness is swallowing a Dragon

On the rim a Lioness is swallowing a Dragon


I an sure, the knowledge gleaned from this enigmatic find will influence my interpretation of this card in a reading.

Tarocchi Celtici – IX Ogimos

Ogimos is an older, wiser guy. Some say, like Heracles in his senior years.

His forte’ is his eloquence in speaking. He mesmerises his audience to such an extend, that their ears are chained to his every word and they follow willingly to wherever he leads. Eloquence in speech was highly prized among the Druids – they had a guild of ovids and yes, also the bards, but all words of wisdom had to be spoken in a pleasing and engaging way. Ogimos also was known as a psychopomp, a shaman who’s words and chants guide the soul of fallen warriors into the Otherworld. Some people assume, that Ogmios lend his name to the Ogham, the Celtic Tree alphabet.
On the card we see Ogimos sitting on the ground outside – near a stone circle. In his right – almost skeletal hand (alluding towards death and – silence..) he holds a formidable hatchet – probably from his warrior days. Today however his tongue is his mighty weapon. He is wearing a lion skin and is pointing towards the head of this costume, that lies to his feet. He is also equated with being a sun deity, with his hair spread out like sun rays – much as the Green Man wears his leaves. – relating back to Maponus. The Lion motive is also repeated on the hatchet – along with Ohgam signs.
Around his neck he has a green chain with many heads. All his listeners, that fell into his spell. But now – he is as chained to them as they are chained to him…. What will they do if ever he falls silent. How heavy are they for him to wear?
The weight of the wisdom of old age.
Behind him the standing stones have Ogham inscriptions. I will have to sit down and figure those out.
We also see a sprig of Yew, pointing towards regeneration and rebirth and also linking this card with the XII,Gwydion, who is hanging from a Yew Tree

A Golden Boat

Tarocchi Celtici Card 72 Querica: Duir = Oak
In a regular deck it could stand for 8 of Winter = 8 of Water

card 72
First impressions:
Oh Bummer! The Oak is hit by lightning, the Oak forest is aflame, and is going to wreck havoc!

A small Water Being is sitting beneath the burning Tree. A monstrous wooden figure carved obviously from Oak stands in a yellow bowl-like boat,that looks very much like a golden acorn, with many oars and a Celtic rolling wheel design carved into its front. This quatroskeli = 4 footed one sometimes is said to represent the Moon and her 4 phases = dark, waxing, full and waning .
This boat and the figurine in it will burn, if not set afloat in time!
Is it a sacrifice?
The Oak Trees will be all right – they survive Fire.
Incidentally, an Oak hit by lightning was seen as Sacred by the Druids and Oak was the wood of choice for building boats.
Now, looking at the boat a little closer I remember, that I have seen a depiction of it before:

In a book: Heroes of the Dawn, my time Life copy. Gold boat
Yes, here it is, on page 71  = a miniature ship made in the 1st century BC  out of pure gold – complete with oars and mast. It was part of a hoard discovered at Broighter site in County Derry.
And now it clicks in my head!
The Oak Giant is an archaeological find as well!
Yes, looking through my husband’s books I discover him in “Die Kelten” another Time Life book in German  language from 1976. Oak man
In real life and our dimensions this Oak Man is only 45 cm high, carve from Oak and has miss-formed feet that turn inward.
It is assumed there, that he most probably is a votive offering from someone who wishes his club foot or similar foot ailment to be healed by the Gods. Therefore, this statue  was deposited in a swamp at the spring of the river Seine in France.

It was a way of life, to bring prayers and  requests before the gods by creating or commissioning an effigy/ representation of whatever it was, that one desieres and deposit this in a swamp or spring or cave, a gift to the Earth Mother
This now tells me, that this card is all about giving sacrifices to the Spirits of the Land in order to receive something.
The Fire will hurt, but it will also cleanse and provide for new growth.

Sacrificing something precious always has a bitter-sweet taste

– like acorn porridge,

but it also is freeing, gracing and at times healing.



Tarocchi Celtici: Nemetona,

Tarocchi Celtici:

Card VI Nemetona.

Nemetona ATsize

She is a consort of the war god Mars and seen as the Mother of the living Forest, especially the Trees, and so also the Goddess, that protects the Sacred Groves. The Celts often did their rituals within a Sacred Grove. This land was set apart = NO war or actions of conflict allowed and therefore neutral ground.

The Image shows the Goddess emerging from – or dressed in a cape/ gown made from Tree bark. Her jewellery pieces are Flowers and Butterflies, so is her head dress.

She is one of the maaaaany tripple Goddesses, – The Celts expressed the importance of a deity by depicting him/ her with 3 heads.

So, Nemetona is in charge of Trees, the Forest, vegetation – That is plenty for one head. But she is also seen as a war – and passion goddess – being the consort of Mars – no wonder …

And she is the one to preside over the maaany varied aspects of LOVE.

In the English language love is a loaded word that can mean sooooo many different things:

I love my husband of 27 years

I love strawberries!:)

I love being lazy and writing this….

I have a passion for Tarot!:)

I an passionate about Nature and Animals.

I HATE with a passion those, who do harm to the creatures of the wild. ( – well, just to make a point here 🙂 I am not a hater…)

Love and War – the passion of a conviction and the willingness to die for that conviction….

What I think is right and noble, as opposed what the leader of the Gun Lobby or the Ku Klux Clan may think….

Or” Ifff I can not have you, nobody can and so I am going to mix me a little poison and then you will be MINE forever!!”

That is, what the poisonous mushrooms on her headdress are for.

The poison that kills a beloved pet… administered in love by the vet – and the tears that drop on dying fur…..

We have all been there…..

We also know the Sacred Healing Plants that save a loved one’s life – or our own. They come in pill form from the pharmacy today…. They also grow on another of Nemetona’s heads.

The Snail that sloooowly moves forward, while it eats the plants – Time eats all – including love! The Snail has more antennae as normal – What may that mean? It comes down the left side of the central head –

– Which memories is it going to make us forget?-

-Which ones will it help us retain?

The 3 Heads also portray different emotions.:

Dreaming of love and all things good,

Looking ahead – or back at lost love?

And being wide eyed and verbal!?

Is this head expressing resentment? Confusion/ animosity?

It is a perplexing expression to me.

– But then – love is perplexing….

The Ladybug:

The Butterfly:

There are countless New Age interpretations for these 2 Beings.

What was the traditional Celtic view of them?

Not so much on the British Isles, but among the Celts in Central Europe?

Why there? Because this is an Italian deck 🙂

The Celts were a very diverse People and not everything was seen with the same meaning everywhere….

This needs research….

I think, it also would be worth our while to research the meaning of all the Plants used in this deck, as there is an ancient “language of Plants”, where images of plants are used to express certain concepts. The People of the Victorian area re- discovered that and used it widely 🙂

The Key words: I do not speak a single word of Italian, but have some rusty rudimentary Latin in the back of my brain – from medical school..

So I would venture to say:

Being enamoured with – something/ someone




From the reverse meanings given I can make out the


-The others – you have to guess – or stick them into an Italian translator on the web.

Of bugs and memories

Card 38 Betulla:Beth = the Birch – In a regular deck this card might well be the 2 of Fire

The Tree is always is in the centre of the Image.38 Birrch

However, high above its uppermost branches a cloth line has been strung. There we see the Fairy laundry hung up to dry. Russet, reddish brown garments of the simplest cut. One of them adorned with the mighty Hart. By the shape of his antlers most likely a Fallow Deer together with a drawing of a stone circle. The next garment in line features an emblem I recognize as being worn by the Egyptian Goddesses Hathor and Isis, the horns with the circle of life.

At the foot of the Birch a Fire Salamander Fairy – not my word, but from the book – is holding a Butterfly-like Birch seed pot in one hand and a lit torch in the other.

Fire is the element of the suit of Summer.

Then we have a few Insects: A large yellow Grasshopper, a “Maikaefer”, the proverbial May-Beetle – and oh nasty!! – a Horsefly complete with laaaaaarge stinger!! 😦

No wonder, the Fairy needs a Fire wand to protect herself – the monster is half her size….

However, the Insects also remind me of the existence of life forms VERY different from me – and that often we fear, what we do not know…

Hmmm… But: I KNOW Horseflies and their nasty habit of biting out a piece of my living flesh when they get half a chance… I am presently sitting in our Mosquito tent on the deck, so as to be save from them and their nasty ways of life. I well remember, as a child how they tormented our large Belgian work Horse “Puppe” and made her kick and rear up, no matter that my father had her in full tack and with a loaded travoi of firewood tacked on….

May- Buggs however were something to observe, collect and keep long enough to write down if it was a “Miller, a Knight, a Queen or a King or a Bishop or…. depending on how many white dots it had and other external characteristics. Then it was time to let him/ her crawl up my finger – it tickled… and see him pump up his wings and eventually take flight.

And Grasshoppers and Cicadas!?? Do you remember the trick to put a leave of Grass between your thumbs, create a resonant cave with your hands and blow into the slit between your thumbs to make the Grass sing in “Grasshopper language?”

We has a whole sound alphabet….

And: Do you remember the Grasshopper races, we had? Who’s hopper could jump furthest! Measuring distances with a red string and arguing about it and loosing site of our chosen champion – or – ?? – was that my Hopper – or your’s???

– another hop – and he was gone…..


To me this card is about memories…

Today anyway……


Card inspections:

Things I found out about my deck today:

All my Spring cards have Fairies/ Pixies, Air Spirits in the images = element Air

All the Summer cards have Fire Salamander Spirits = element Fire

All the Fall cards have Gnomes or “Brownies” = element Earth

All my Winter cards have Undines and other Water Spirits = element Water

Cards 23, 37, 51 and 65 are the Aces and are all featuring a different Tree:

Furze for Spring and Air, Heather for Summer and Fire, Poplar for Fall and Earth, Silver Fir for Winter and Water

– Cards 24, 38, 52, and 66 make up the 2s and their Tree is Birch. They all also feature a mighty Hart / Stag in     one form or another.

– Cards 25, 39, 53 and 67 make up the 3s and their Tree is Rowan. They all also have a River running through the image

-Cards 26, 40, 54 and 68 make up the 4s and all have the Ash as their Tree and have a strange “wind glyph” in common.

– Cards 27, 41, 55, and 69 all are the 5s and are under the Alder Tree and also feature a wooden vessel or container of some sort.

– Cards 28, 42, 56, and 70 are the 6ses and have the Willow Cards which all also feature a Bird of Prey.

– Cards29, 43, 57 and 71 are the 7s and thereby Hawthorn Tree cards. They also have a mysterious blond woman with a loooooong braid in the image.:)

– Cards 30, 44, 58 and 72 are the 8 cards and their Tree is Oak. Their other common attribute is Fire!

– Cards 31, 45, 59 and 73 and making up the 9s with the Holly Tree and a mighty poky lance as another commonality

– Cards 32, 46, 60 and 74 are the 10s and feature the Hazel Tree as well as the Salmon that ate the Hazel of Wisdom , the one the Goddess Ceredwin was after…..

– Cards 33, 47, 61 and 75 are Blackberry bushes for the Pages and have an enigmatic glyph as another symbol in common. I will have to find out, what that may mean…

– Cards 34, 48, 62 and 76 are Queens with slender Reeds and – a Gufo = Owl for wisdom and perception. 🙂

– Cards 36, 50, 64 and 78 are the Kings with their Elder Tree and the magical white Hind as their Guide.

Erica Ura Ace of Summer

I pulled as my card of the day the No 37 Erica : Ura

In English that would be Heather and this card in a normal deck would be the

Ace of Summer.

How auspicious!:)

This suit also corresponds with the element of Fire and reminds me, that in the olden times Heather was used to smudge and purify the home. Still today it is good to hang Heather bushels up into the rafters to discourage nasty spirits as well as Gnats, Ants and other Insects….

There is a spindly thin fairy sitting in the Heather branch. With a satisfied grin on her face she holds up a torch ready to alight the Heather.

In the background of the image there is some Cattle and a goat.. It was also customary, to chase cattle through the embers of Heather to cleanse them. This was the only way to keep them safe from foot and mouth disease our ancestors had.

The ace of summer makes me think of Beltane and yes, there is the reef of flowers often crowning the May Pole! However, I am wondering, what the wasp at its foot is doing and whom it may sting.

Near the feet of the fairy there is a ?? metal tray with a chequerboard square design in its centre.  3 small Fruits – maybe Strawberries are nearby at the ready. This looks to me like a divining tray. Where will the Strawberries come to rest?

The whole one – a good omen – the one that someone took a bite out – not soooo good. And the unripe fruit? Something that will not come to ripen in the coming season.

The small Bird, that rests on the shoe of the fairy may be a Lark

– for good luck.