Thursday, June 27, 2013


There were no cards drawn last week. This is the fourth reading this month, and the first in which anything other than pips have appeared. This drawing includes a trump, a court card, and an ace, and I would call it auspicious.

As readings go, it doesn't get any more basic than this. The question I asked prior to drawing the cards had to do with the persistence of bad attitudes. My internal life is so much better than in times past, I wondered why I sometimes fall into old habits of thinking. 

The first card, "the little wheel," answers that negative thinking is my history and my karma (habit, in other words), a simple and accurate answer. I call this card "the little wheel" or wheel of the individual, to differentiate it from the big wheel, the world.

In the middle sits the king of coins, the king of money, with his mind on his money and his money on his mind. Yes indeed.

The ace of cups tells me love is just around the corner. Finally.

Let's hope so.

Cards: Tarot de Besançon, France, early 19th cent. Photo by Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer. Click on the image for a larger view.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

seven heads & ten horns

When it comes to literal depictions of symbolic texts, I've never seen the like of Albrecht Durer, the great 16th century German master whose woodblock of Revelation's Beast ridden by the Whore of Babylon is both scary and ridiculous.

This is partially because Revelation is an incoherent narrative, with a couple of beasts at a minimum, one coming out of the sea and the other from the land. The main beast, a red animal with seven heads and ten horns, is the one who conveys the lewd jockey. She holds up a golden cup full of obscenities.

What does it all mean? There are more theories about the symbols of Revelation than there are symbols in the book. I'm not a New Testament expert, and know only a little of the history of the time. However, I'll take a stab by pointing out that when John of Patmos wrote this troublesome text, about 95 CE, there had been 11 emperors, with three of them, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, barely having time to sit down on the throne before they were disposed of, and a fourth, Titus, who ruled only a couple years before dying of the plague and being succeeded by his brother, Domitian.

If we subtract four from 11 that leaves seven emperors whom I believe to be symbolized by the heads of the monster. Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian, and Domitian carry the Great Whore, who quite obviously symbolizes the zeitgeist of the Romans, their sensate and sensuous culture, and the autocratic military dictatorship which ruled the empire from Rome.

There are other possibilities, of course. Seven heads might equal the city's fabled seven hills, and the ten horns the emperors who had ruled until the advent of the timid and vicious Domitian, who  banished John to the tiny island of Patmos, thereby setting the stage for possibly the most overinterpreted and misinterpreted literary work of all time.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the chase

I drew these cards on Sunday, but I've been chewing on them ever since, hence the late posting.

A certain amount of repetition is normal and to be expected in the chance occurrences of random events I suppose, but this is getting positively weird

We're looking at all pips again for a third week in a row, and two of these cards were in the spread two weeks ago. They simply exchanged places and came back. I also remember having drawn the 10 clubs, or teachers' card, not too long ago.

The nine and four of hearts are diametrical opposites in some ways, with the nine saying "Say goodbye to love, at least for now," and the four saying "Love lives here."

I've been alone for some time now, and no doubt love is what I'm looking for. These two emblems, one of love coming and the other of it going, are following one another as love draws closer, then moves farther away. This shows that time is not an adequate concept with which to measure our lives, because lives are  continuums in which people, places, and circumstances, appear, wane, go away completely, and sometunes reappear, whereas time is linear.

I've reached a milestone now. Rejection means nothing to me, so I have no fear. Something good is going to happen.

It's in the cards.

Photo and cards ©2001, 2013 by Dave B, a.k.a. catboxer. Click on the picture to embiggen.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

los bajos

Today's reading is all pips, face cards and trumps took the week off. it's a humble but powerful message.

Spades predominate, emblems of the winter of our lives, and dealing with matters of work and/or bodily health.  

I've been visited numerous times by the six of spades over the past couple of years. it's a reminder of everything a person is doing right (or wrong) to maintain and, if possible, improve the only body he or she will ever have. To some extent it expresses the idea of fate or destiny, as opposed to the idea of faith which is embodied in the seven next to it.

The seven spades demands that we do more, go farther, and  commit ourselves to those behaviors which have improved our lives (or brought us low, as the case may be). Robert Camp says this card will challenge us to "rise to higher levels of thinking, speaking, and acting."

The imagery of five diamonds gives a clues to its meaning. In the center an ominous brown pentagon is wrapped in the arms of a reversed pentagram, universal symbol of evil. Around the border, 26 fat man bombs point inward, at the waste of resources this represents. The wastage of capital is always a reckless and foolish thing, and the card appears as an admonishment or a warning to be mindful of your expenditures.

There is also a broken numerical sequence here (6-7-5) which is significant because of the unsettled and unstable nature of odd numbers. Combining the three digits and reducing the sum yields a 9.

Monday, June 03, 2013

you got to move

There are times when I wonder about continuing this project. This is turning into an All About Me blog, although the original idea was to have a site devoted to the history, art, and various meanings of tarot in particular and all art in general.

But somewhere along the line it became like a diary. I write more often on a blog that's not about me at all, (see sidebar), so I'm not used to this. But here we go.

This week's draw of the cards contains no trumps or face cards. The appearance of three pips unrelieved by landmarks sends the message that this read is blunt, didactic, and specific to my present situation.

After all the signs of impending love over the past couple of months, the nine of hearts now tells me to let that idea go. As compensation, I have the solid and irreplaceable advantages of family harmony, a close and productive relationship with my sisters, and material prosperity, i.e., not rich, but doing all right.

The four hearts was in this same position in the draw of April 21 this year.

Either my cards have been way off base, or I've been interpreting them very badly. We'll know as the knife blade of the present slides ahead in time, revealing everything.

The photo and the cards are ©2001, 2013 by Dave B a.k.a. catboxer. "You Got to Move" was sung most famously by Miss'ssipi Fred McDowell.