Tuesday, December 25, 2012

reading for the new year

With the snow falling thick and fast on Christmas Day and beginning to accumulate, it's a good time to take a sounding on what's in store in the year ahead.

I used a new and, as far as I know, original layout this time, designating the bottom line of three cards as predicting developments in the gross or physical sphere of life, the pair just above forecasting the more abstracted, internal, and mental life, and the ultimate card at the top showing next year's focus of the spirit, geist, soul, or simply "the self."

The frequently symmetrical and seemingly patterned state of the cards I randomly draw (as in this case) looks deliberately arranged. At the bottom, a pair of aces bracket the four diamonds, and the center is a perfectly balanced pair of face cards.

The ace of clubs is all about new directions in reading, study, and learning. Hardly a month goes by that I don't draw a club card pointing to the importance in my life of this ongoing habit. Just as the ace of clubs means a desire for knowledge, or a new plan, scheme, or way of communicating, its partner, the ace of hearts, means a new love affair, or the desire for one, and the timing of this image is appropriate.

Between them is the four diamonds, representing financial stability and that most elusive of modern conditions, a balanced budget. That's a nice prospect, since it's one of my goals for next year.

Then comes the poetic, articulate, and knowledge-loving queen of clubs, consorting here with the materially-oriented, intelligent and calculating, and somewhat humorless money manager, the jack of diamonds -- a hard card to play I've heard.

At the top is love triumphant, and a romance brought to fruition,   which at my age seems silly to contemplate, but who knows what might happen? Life is full of surprises.

So while I may be obsessed with studying art and art history next  year, and will have my mind on my money and my money on my mind, this reading predicts that as always, love has dominion over all human affairs.

You can click on the picture for a bigger view, but it won't necessarily be a better one. My digital camera is misbehaving this morning as it oten does, so I used my cell phone to snap this one. If I get a better photo in the next couple of days, I'll replace this one.

Images on cards ©2001, 2012, by Dave B. a.k.a. catboxer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

unlucky 13

So 2012 turns out not to have been the end of the world, but just another bad hair year.

 Actually, it seems to me that the first 13 years of the new century have been more or less uniformly sucky.

 I'm hoping that cycle, whatever it was, has run its course.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

self portrait

                May, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I never read with reversed cards, because I've always felt like doing so would compromise clarity.

However, it occurs to me that many of these images have reverse or upside-down meanings, and that some of these are seen as commonplace images in popular culture. For example, here is the anti-queen of hearts, drawn towards the middle of the 19th century, by John Tenniel, to illustrate Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures Underground."

And here is Carroll's less finished, and less comical, but decidedly scarier version of the same subject. It conveys the same nightmarish and at the same time slapstick impression as the rest of the book.


Friday, December 14, 2012

for a friend

I did this spread of three some time back, on the internet for a friend.

It's an unusual layout because two of the three cards are trumps.     The likelihood of drawing two trumps to a three-card spread is about .088, that is, it will happen slightly fewer than nine times out of 100.

It's also an unusually auspicious consultation, anchored by the chariot trump, sometimes called "Victory."

Leading up to this period of triumph over enemies or circumstances is the creative and abundant empress trump.

Leading away from it is the security of financial stability, achieved with much difficult work which has yielded positive results.

Update: Look closely at the three cards, and you will spot two sevens, making this layout doubly auspicious.

The motto for this spread is "Ad astra, per asperam" (To the stars, with difficulty).

Click on the image for larger size and better clarity. Photo (2012) and images on cards ©2012, 2001, by Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

lone wolf reading

I'm used to seeing more cards than this, but now that I'm no longer half of a couple, I've reverted to the three-card monthly summary. The breakup has been gestating for a while, and was forecast in September.

No trumps here, but plenty of weight, starting with 10 pesos at left. This usually indicates that the subject of the reading, or "querent" as the person is sometimes styled, will do or has recently done (the latter in this case) a philanthropic act for a deserving person or people. It took me a while to figure out that in this case I'm the recipient of the gift, not the benefactor, since I recently moved back into the paid-for condominium my mother left to me and my sisters. Rents in Seattle have become very dear, and it's really nice to have a lovely and affordable place to keep the rain off.

The centerpiece, six spades, is the present moment, and the karmic result. Spades concern one's health and work, those closely interrelated facets of each of our lives. When this card shows up, it's telling us our habits and attitudes, good or bad, have determined the state of our health and work. For some reason this card often is feared, and so interpreted negatively. I had terrible health habits, and terrible health for many years, and pretty bad work habits as well, partly a result of poor health. The two chronic illnesses I have were one result. But for the last five years I've cultivated excellent health habits -- the usual lineup -- not smoking, close attention to diet, daily exercise -- and the results have been what my yoga grand-teacher Gary Kraftsow calls "optimal."

Also, I'm working. I'm a writer now. I don't get paid, but I write, take it seriously, and do it every day. And the only requirement for being a writer is to write.

Looking ahead, I see a lady. Another lady? Probably, and I don't think the Queen of hearts needs any interpreting. I've seen her before and not all that long ago, only she was behind me at the time rather than on the way ahead, which is also the only way we can go.

Mouse click on the image for a much larger and better view. Photo     (2012) and tarot cards ©2001, 2012, by Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer.


Monday, December 10, 2012


The picture was painted by Carl Jung as an illustration for his "illuminated manuscript," The Red Book, and shows Sigfried killing the dragon. Mouse click on the picture for a much larger and clearer view.

Sometimes I'll look at this and see myself fighting my diseases -- emphysema and Parkinson's -- and winning with the help of medication. If you're going to fight dragons, you can't be afraid.

-- That's "30" for now --

--Etaoin Shrdlu