I have just completed The Alternative Tarot Course with Beth Maiden at Little Red Tarot. After years of being interested in the tarot, this wonderful 8-week course has helped me make my own connection with the cards. As I move forward, I have a strong sense that whatever I may read in books about the meanings of the cards now compliments a relationship that has already been forged. My love for tarot has been nurtured from a spark into a fiery passion! I heartily recommend this course to anyone who wants to go deeper with their tarot practice.
At the same time, I was inspired by some wonderful tarot-related art seminars over at Art Witch Academy (which I also highly recommend!) I knew I needed a journal that could accommodate lots of written journaling together with some tarot-inspired art. I was delighted to find that I already had the perfect journal in my possession – a collaborative creation by mishmash and Get Messy Art.
As you can see in the pictures below, this journal has three books (containing different kinds of paper) held together by two board covers and a thick yellow band. Inspired by my dear friend and founding Art Witch Vanessa Oliver-Lloyd, I decided to paint the covers ready for my tarot project.
All held together:
The front covers:
The back covers:
One of the exercises on The Alternative Tarot Course was to create our own version of a tarot card. Here is my rendition of The Empress:
Four of Cups
This page was created as an exploration of the Four of Cups following Vanessa’s latest seminar in the Broom Closet at Art Witch Academy.
Inside the first three cups are some of the many blessings in my life that I can overlook because I’m constantly feeling I should be more or do more than I am (represented by the fourth cup).
Some of the things in the fourth cup might never be accessible to me, whilst some might be for me at some future point but not right now. Either way, focusing on these things leads me to overlook the many gifts and blessings in my life right now and leads to an overall sense that I am not enough. This is why I chose one affirmation: “You are enough.” Each cup contains hidden journaling which can be seen by pulling up the tabs at the top of the cup.
I really enjoyed this way of exploring the meaning of a card more deeply.
Nine powers have I
I created this page in response to Emily Mulroney’s wonderful shadow work tutorial at Art Witch Academy, using the teacher/helper tarot card spread. These are the cards I pulled for this spread:
When I made notes in my journal, the meanings I most resonated with came from the Dark Goddess Tarot (top row) and so I focused on these when I came to work on this spread. (This really is a wonderful deck which I highly recommend!) The second row is the Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck. I am just getting to know this deck but it feels really powerful and I love it already. The third row is The Shaman’s Oracle, another deep and powerful deck despite the fact that it didn’t end up playing such a major role in this reading.
The Welsh goddess Blodeuwedd is my teacher in this reading. (Follow the link for her full story.) She was created out of flowers as a bride but she them created herself by making her own choices (involving choosing to be with someone else who she really loved) which resulted in becoming an owl. I mean, wow! To me, this speaks volumes about the strength involved in becoming your own person and being true to yourself.
The guidebook for the Dark Goddess Tarot invited me to name my nine powers (Blodeuwedd was created out of nine flowers) and this became the main theme of the page. The figure of Blodeuwedd opens out to reveal the owl that she becomes later on in her story:
The theme for my reading was on the subject of strength. Artemis represents me at the moment – her strength is that of protection which I can very much relate to. I am always ready to fiercely protect what is important to me, especially when this means protecting the things that are seemingly invisible in the every day world, such as time, space, quiet, a certain atmosphere. Although I didn’t draw her in this spread, she is present with her bow and arrow in the words: “Aim carefully and shoot with a true heart” (from the guidebook.)
The stone opens out to reveal She Who Watches – my helper. She is a crone goddess, a Chinook Stone Chief, who has seen many things come and go over time. She is presence and witnessing and she endures. When I hold a stone in my hand I can feel this kind of strength helping me.
Making art is a wonderful way to journey with a tarot card and explore your own relationship with the themes it presents. I would like to do this more often!