Exploring the Nature of Anieth Nature Tarot

As previously mentioned, my newest deck is the Anieth Nature Deck by A.R. Stone.

There seems to have been a whole world created around the times, landscape, peoples, lore and legends of neolithic and bronze age Europe, that one can explore via graphic novels at www.anieth.com

I have not read any of these, I leave that up to you – but, for now, this deck somehow fits into that world. It only shows the wildlife from back then and the magnificent landscape, now destroyed and buried beneath the concrete of English cities and towns, the fens and forests that are now shopping malls and paved parking lots, monoculture fields and industrial complexes.

The artwork is beautiful, ethereal and realistic at the same time. The Animals are depicted meticulously realistic and at the same time show their Power, beauty and their character.

As a Tarot deck, the chosen images do not follow the RWS or Thoth or Greenwood systems, but follow a different viewpoint of Tarot, unique to the deck’s creators.

Sometimes that is a bit perplexing, as for example, when as Xll the Hanged Man you meet a Wren singing in an Oak Tree in summer (OK, I get that!) BUT you then find the 3 of Wands depicting a Blackbird hanging on 1 leg upside down in typical Hanged Man position in the branches of another Tree!??- – Then checking the lwb under 3 of Wands you will find a small paragraph about cooperation, virtue, intention, alignment of emotions to a common goal with others, and the joy of a new venture!?? Yes that is W3, but does not fit at all with the image on the card.

Most all the descriptions in the lwb fit with RWS reading styles and sometimes even mention people….

There is not 1 person in the whole deck!

Also, I would not mind, finding out, Why XX Judgement is called Nemesis and shows a Willow with brown leaves back-lit by bright to pale yellow light- ??? Is that sun in late November after the first frost or is that fire??? But then there are no flames, no red, no smoke….

Maybe I am just a bit slow, catching on, since the Chariot – here called the Vehicle, shows me a large Snail exploring a Vine leave….

For now I have decided to find my own personal meanings for these beautiful images.

It will do me good, to brush up on my knowledge of the pre-Celtic /European meanings of the Animals as well as the lore and legends featuring them.

I will use my take on the Animal image, the landscape / flora they appear in and then also ad the traditional card meanings of the Tarot.

Let’s see, where that gets me.

 

 

 

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The Two Wolves Oracle

This weekend, when we visited my friend Anne and her husband, Anne surprised me with the most amazing gift: A little self created oracle deck;

The Two Wolves

Anne is a professional paper artist, a book maker, who has won quite a few awards and prizes for her sometimes whimsical, always spiritually inspiring work and we are counting us lucky, to own a few of her pieces.

So there I was at her home, Ravenstone, unwrapping a small wooden box, created by her husband Gault and hand painted by Anne.

Inside appeared a tiny booklet about the oracle, its Orizomegami cover created by yet another artist friend of mine, Bonnie Bishop.

 

 

The inspiration for the deck cam to Anne through the well known Native American Medicine story of the Two Wolves:

Two Wolves 1 (2)

Anne created 26 square cards, one for each letter of the Alphabet. On one side they feature the pastel coloured silhouette of a Wolf and an inspirational parable, however, on the reverse side each card the colour scheme is black and grey and the 3 words starting with the same letter point out an aspect of the shadow side of the human condition.

I am enchanted with my new oracle and am using it for a 1 card morning meditations, reflecting on both sides of the card I draw.

Wolf is my Clan Guardian Animal from my fathers Siberian ancestry side – I am of the Börü Clan.

Personally, I do feel, I have to also feed the dark Wolf inside me, just a little, just sometimes…..

He is feisty, outspoken, tenacious and takes no shit…..

Without him being a part of me, I would not be alive today, I would not have made it through the years of beatings, torture and deprivation in the christian orphanage I was stuck into at age 9.

It was then, that he came, fed me and also fed the white Wolf, his twin.

So we all survived……

Today I am aware of his shadow and also what havoc he can wreck.

He is a predator.

But, so is the white Wolf…..

Iffff that one became a glutton – from getting all the food – that would turn his fur black…..!!

So, I guess, both my inner Wolves have grey shaggy fur and although they squabble quite often, they support each other – and me.

Discovering Linestrider:

Some people carefully research a Tarot deck before they purchase it. They look at all on line scans and card images, read all reviews and ask questions on about the deck on the Tarot forums.

I am not such a researcher. If I feel, a deck could be interesting and give me new perspectives, if it has a certain “something” that can not be captured in words, I take a chance and go for it, To use it as a further stepping stone on my Tarot journey.

Also, I like to be surprised.

I like to discover something new and unexpected.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I had waited for a year, until the Linestrider finally ended up on my b-day table. I think, over this long time, just the name, Linestrider, someone, who walks between realms and realities conjured up quite a bit mystique within me.

So; how did the deck stack up to THAT kind of EXPECTATION?

Well, it certainly was fun and surprising.

With this deck, I did not first loook at all the cards and read the book, I just shuffled and started doing my daily draws. That alone provided a daily surprise.

Usually I do draw 3 cards each morning:

  • theme of the day
  • challenges
  • a Guardian/ advice

For a particular problem/ challenge, that the day brings, I may also draw the good old 2 card stand-by Card of the day/ issue and the crossing card.

So that gives me between 3 and 5 brand new card images to explore, read about and mull over every day. A good half hour, sometimes more.

I can only do this kind of thing in the deep of winter, when we have less work, are less pressed for time , when things are quiet.

With Linestrider I enjoyed this journey.

There were quite a few surprises, being confronted with an unknown image in a reading.

Some of the images I looooved and rejoiced with, some of them left me baffled and a bit taken aback.

Some images showed up again and again – just to prove their point. (6 of Wands, I am looking at you!)

That one is not one of my favourite images. Somehow it always reminds me of the neoclassical art of the former Soviet Union 😦 The 4 Knights evoke similar mildly unsavoury emotions. There are a few other images that triggered that gut feeling in me.

Then there is “the thing with the hands”

Some of Siolo’s images look all fine to me, others, she just did not get the hands right! They look either too large, or crippled or at least severely arthritic and inflamed. (Poor Emperor and Empress! And a Chariot with Carpal tunnel syndrome!? )

I think this comes from me, when I see my shamanic clients and pain from inflammation “shimmers” red in their aura……

But no idea, when and how poor justice broke her fingers……

Well, on to happier observations:

Of course I looove all the animal images! 🙂

The 9 of Wands, the squabbling Dogs in the 5 of wands, the Goat accosted by peers turned rivals in the 7 of wands, The Hermit, the Hierophant, too many to name them all:)

There were also a few cards, where for me personally the image sort of cancelled out the meaning of the card: The 4 of Wands Shows 2 Hares arranged in a circle among foliage. Keywords Siolo gives are happiness, family, unity. All good for a 4 of wands. Just all I am reminded of when I see this image is 2 mad March hares fighting in a circle, like the old Celts also showed in their knot artwork. Ad to that with Justice and her broken finger and I had much to think about that reading.It helped me to be extra careful, when cleaning ice out of the spindle of our snow tractor. My fingers stayed intact…:)

The 3 of Wands shows 2 Harts in front of 3 staked wands. One Animal is standing, its antlers too mighty to fit between the wands, the other is laying down, resting.

In readings every time I interpreted that as WAIT! Do not move forward, you will encounter obstacles. And each time this was dead on right!

But it is just about the opposite of the moving forward, expansion, cooperation message of the 3 of Wands……

Over the last 6 weeks, the readings I did with Linestrider were accurate and to the point, even with card images, that made me cringe a bit.

So will Linestrider break into the ranks of my few lustrous all time favourite “go to” decks?

Sadly, NO.

It however is a good workable deck and I am a fan of Silo’s book which talks a lot about the different correspondences between cards.

Waiting for the Linestrider Tarot

It was exactly a year ago.

We were in Barrie- a larger town 100 km south of us, to deliver some post x-mas orders and to also do some shopping. Of course we visited the Chapters book store 🙂

There, among all the Doreen V. decks I spotted the Linestrider Tarot!

I had no clue about this deck, but the name and description on the box intrigued me.

Should I????

Well, I gave the deck to Peter, saying something like”Oh looook, here is something for me to wrap up sometime!” He is always looking for things I would like and has a little stash in his (not so secret) cupboard.

Somehow I had hoped, I would get the deck for Valentine’s day, about a month away.

But NO.

Valentine’s day came and went, Peter making preparations to leave the very next day for a 3 week trip the Europe, to see his ageing mother.

Shortly after he came back home we were preparing for our 3 month travel into the Southwestern US and coming home from that our tourist/ summer season was in full swing and we were scrambling to keep Bearpaw Jewellery up and well supplied with treasures as well as keep all my shamanic patients and Tarot clients happy…..

Then some more travelling – and some more of the above….

So the year went.

I sometimes thought about the deck waiting for me – or was I waiting for it?

The word Linestrider I found very evocative. I am a line strider of sorts. One foot in the mundane and oftentimes hectic world of 2017/18 (aren’t we all…) The other of my feet however is firmly planted in the world of shamanic and Ancestor Spirits, the ways and traditions of my Siberian tribal upbringing, lore and teachings, the teachings of my Native American mentors and Elders and my work as a shaman with indigenous as well Anglo, Hispanic and lately also Hindu and Buddhist clients.

Would this deck be filled with images, that speak and reflect my current experiences?

My Birthday was coming:)

I resisted even looking at scans, pictures or reviews of the deck – I wanted to be surprised.

Finally!:D

My B-day is on the Winter Solstice and that is always a very busy day when I have several engagements / Solstice teachings and Prayers as well as a Winter Solstice celebration to either host or attend to…….

No time for deck discoveries.

But it was there!

Right on our breakfast table with a few other pressies still nicely wrapped up:)

It took another few days, until things finally calmed down and while others were stuffing themselves with Turkey I finallllly had time to open my present and explore the Linestrider.

Is anyone else here working/ reading with this deck?

What are your thoughts?

I will share mine in subsequent posts.

The Wild Unknown Oracle of Snakes and Eggs:

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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.

Mountain Lion Medicine = Card17

mountain-lionTo the card description in the Medicine Card Book I would like to ad, that for the Zuni People the Cougar/ Mountain Lion is “Elder Brother Mountain Lion”and stands as the Medicine Guardian of the North direction.
He is seen as the Master Hunter, that teaches hunting skills like stealth and patience to the young men. When in camp however, these young men are to emulate strength, patience with the young and weak as well as grace and courtesy in their dealings with the woman folk.
Cougar/ Catamount also teaches about holding territory and respecting territorial boundaries – of self and others.

Mountain Lion petroglyph Petrified Forest National Park AZ

Mountain Lion petroglyph Petrified Forest National Park AZ

 

When portrayed as a fetish by Zuni – and now in modern times also other stone carvers – Mountain Lion is adorned with a piece of White Mussel Shell – for North, Red Coral -for life Blood and black Jet – as the sum of all colours. Often also a piece of Turquoise for healing or a Turquoise arrow is added. Truly old fetishes can be recognized by the tail being bent backwards over the back of the Mountain Lion.

mt lion fetish2

turquoise Mtlon fetish
Such a fetish would be kept together with others on or in a fetish jar. On a regular basis food and medicine gift would be fed to the fetishes ( = Tobacco, Cornmeal, Turquoise for example)

Edna-Leki-Zuni-Fetish-Pot

 

.rom the web:For the Zunis of Turtle Island
the Cougar was the Master Hunter, known for its high
intelligence, its knowledge of other animal and life forms,
its physical prowess, its strength of will, and its intuitive
ability. The Cougar sees the maintenance of its territory as
essential for its survival. Poshaiankia, the father of the
Medicine Societies, designated the Cougar the duty of
carrying messages from humans to the higher spirits,
because of this animal’s personal power, superior knowledge,
strength of will, and steadfastness. Therefore, the Cougar
represents the link between ourselves and the most powerful
spirits in Zuni Mythology: Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the
Originator of All.

 

I had several short encounters with Mountain Lions – or Cougars, how we call them here:

The first was way back in the summer of 1981 on a back country hiking trail in Brice Canon, Utah. My then travelling partner Didi and I had made camp in this enchanting landscape, pitched our tent beneath a long dead gnarled Cedar Tree. To make sure our food was safe from Bears, after supper we put it all into my backpack and hoisted that one via a rope up high into one of the last few branch stumps of this dead Tree. (-stupid!! I know – now! )

Douse camp fire and off into our sleeping bags.

In the middle of the night we heard strange sounds right above us, scratching and some weird pitched growling…. Someone was at our food bag! Out of the tent and in the beam of the flash light we saw, what it was:

A young cougar!

Panic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That one, seeing us, promptly lost its purchase on the backpack and – fell right into our tent.

More Panic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grrrrouwwwwwhrr!! Ripping the collapsed tent to shreds the Cat knew nothing better than climb back up the Tree!

We scrambled out of the immediate area of the tent and with our backs to a smooth rock wall spend the rest of the night shivering in fear and cold. We heard the Cougar scratching around on the Tree, but the beam of the flash light did not carry as far…. until it died on us….. Was the Cougar gone? Or was it sneaking up on us?

Finalllllly dawn came – and no Cat!

Just a ripped Tent and a ripped backpack.

This one I "hunted" on gooogle pics and asked him to sit here and be nice!

This one I “hunted” on gooogle pics and asked him to sit here and be nice!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The second encounter happened here at home:

It was a efw years ago, not suite sure when, my ooooold poooooter died (– isn’t that always the case?)

Anyway, it was just after midnight when I went downstairs and out the sliding door of the jewellery workshop to replenish our Raccoon dinner dish with the nightly ration of Cat kibbles.

Then, after my evening shower 15 minutes later I thought, I just take a little looook, if maybe some of our Raccoons already had arrived and was at the food.

Some of these guys were shy, wild ones, not from the litter of orphans that we raised and released the year before. So I was very quiet and did not turn on the light.

The moon illuminated the deck

and there was something – someone – but not a Raccoon!

A HUUUUUUUUGE slim slick Cougar was crouched before the dish, stretched out , munching away, looooong tail stretched out behind, its tip swushing back and forth nervously.

As quickly and quietly as possible I ran upstairs for my camera – and to call Peter, who was already asleep.

But –

Never wake a sleeping man!

Grumbling he poltered down the stairs and, hearing the noise, with an elegant jump our elusive dinner guest was gone!

What a missed opportunity.

– For years and years we locals of Muskoka have been telling each other stories of the Cougars we saw, the ones that ate our dogs, the prints we encountered. But the MNR insists, that there were no Cougars in Muskoka, just large Tabby Cats and the odd Bobcat….

Well, since this encounter the MNR had to give in finalllly and admit to Muskoka having yet another “dangerous vermin”, The Eastern Cougar – Catamount.

Then, after yet another Cougar chased a dog in broad daylight in the suburbs and numerous clear pictures were taken and no travelling zoo or circus had accidentally lost one, this had to be a wild Cat.

Sadly they did, what in these cases they always do: Kill it 😦

You could gooogle “Muskoka Cougar” and read more)

Susan Seddon Boulet

Susan Seddon Boulet

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Ok, comming to my cougar encounter No 3.

This one I posted under Notes on my FB account, date and all:

A cougar at the house!

Saturday morning (April 1st 2011)

With a warm blanket,some dry crackers and my camomile tea I hunkered down on the upper deck. There had been a strange ruckus going on outside all day.

3 Crows and our pair of nesting Ravens were flying to and fro and cawing and crowing practically none stop. Just about 30 meters to the East of the house they were up in the Pines and something was making them Very upset!

And then I heard it!

GRRRRRRUOAUUUUHRRRRRRRRRRRRR  CHchchsss!!!!!!!

RRRRRRROUOOOOORRRRRRchchchssssGGGRRRRRROU

CHCHCHRRRRRRRRRROOUUUUUHHCCCCCCHCHCHrrrrrrr…….

There is only one thing, that makes sounds like this:

A mad Cougar!

30 meters away in the bush!

I waited and listened and had the camera at the ready….

But just the Ravens and Crows submitted to a photo op…..

………………………………………………………………………………………………..

I saw him/ her the very next morning:

Right after waking up I stumble out onto the deck to hang up the 2 freshly filled Bird feeders onto the lines.(- I have to take them in at night because of the Bears and the Raccoons…)

And that is when I heard loud scratching sounds and cracking of branches and saw him/her come down head over long tail coming down the tall Pine Tree East of the house. Probably he/ she was startled by the noise from the sliding door or clumsy little me.

The last part she jumped to the ground and then away into the bush….

A HUUUUUGE animal! Even bigger with the long tail! The tip of the tail was turned up…

Yesterday evening the Coons did not come as usual. And then, late, almost midnight, 3 adults came. They were nervous, quickly munched some cat food and then were of…. Normally all 6 of them hang around on the deck…..

I wonder if the Cougar sticks around in hope of a Raccoon meal?

These encounters , all commung out of the blue, have prompted me to always asociate Cougar/ Mountain Lion with a sudden surprise encounter wth a formidable individual of power and maybe also danger.

Someone to be reconed with, someone who needs a lot of personal space, someone who is fierce and passionate.

Another association I never forgot is, what my Inde’ teacher once told me: Cougar is an Animal of March! Of the change from winter into Spring….

Prairie Dog Medicine = Card 47

Prairie Dog
Waaay back in 1980/81 when I was staying with my Lakota friends on Pine Ridge I had ample opportunity to observe Prairie Dogs in the wild.
Their colonies were everywhere. My Native friends called them Chatter boxes, because of their frequent vocalisations. Usually there is one of them perched on a vantage point, keeping watch. – This camp guard announces the arrival of any Fox, Hawk or other predator with a specific loud warning whistle.
So the other Prairie Dogs could go forage, groom their young and play or squabble in the sun. They were a noisy busy gregarious bunch, but One loud whistle from the guard and all would squeal and scurry back into the safety of their burrow.
They were sort of diurnal: out and about in the morning and afternoon, but not so much during the hot time of day.
Their burrow is grazed bare for several meters around its entrances and below ground it is a maze of tunnels, in which several families live.
But they are only the landlords – they have tenants: Ferrets, Burrowing owls, Rattle Snakes, and wasps, which had a hive under ground
I would not want to be the landlord of this bunch and keep all these characters in line….
The ranchers are not very fond of Prairie Dogs, because many a Bison – and nowadays a Cow or a Horse stumbled into a Prairie Dog burrow/ hole and broke a foot and so was lost – or they stumbled and twisted an ankle and went lame.
prairi9
From my observations of these charismatic Animals come my personal interpretations of Prairie Dog Medicine and so the Prairie Dog card:
Community living
in a noisy busy neighbourhood
nervous energy, watchfulness
lots of physical contact = hugging and “kissing” touch and fussing over others
sharing a home and also responsibilities
following rules
builder of homes for others but also having difficult neighbours to deal with
having, needing a bodyguard to watch over them
Vigilance and sacrifice,
delayed gratification, since the guard does not get to feed, groom or play right then and there, but will be relieved later
Depleting one’s environment and maybe also one’s energy – maybe to the point of having to leave = move
having certain specific times of action and a rest/siesta during the day
hibernating = dreaming and learning in/ through dreams
storing healing herbs and grasses in a safe larder for times of need
building an accidental trap for others, inadvertently causing accidents.
I also find interesting, that Prairie Dogs do not drink water – other than morning dew. They get all their moisture from the grasses they consume. Often this lead me to ask the client, iffff he is AL Anon and or has to abstain and most often the answer is yes!
With these characteristics in mind I word my reading, ask specific questions of my querant and often one, the other or several of these pointers are vital to the reading and help my qureant to make appropriate choices.
Now, again, I realize, that these Medicines are in part quite different from what Jamie wrote in her book…..