Piatnik-Wien Three-Card Read

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

I am trying to learn to read tarot cards with unillustrated pips (minors) by merely reflecting on the geometry and colors and whatnot scribbles in the card. My favorite is the Tarot Piatnik Wien, which has beautifully colored un-illustrated pips.


I ask the deck to help me free my mind and learn to read unillustrated pips my own way. I draw at random one card for study. Valet de Baton. I am looking for numbers only, no people, so I draw another card. Valet de Denier. My third card gives me Troi de Epees, so I stop here and lay them out in a row.


Three of Swords


The Valet de Baton wears his fancy buttoned uniform in a field of flowers. The colors are warm. He kind-of reminds me of a British redcoat. He seems as if he is pondering something, tho not something unpleasant. According to the dictionary (one of my favorite references,) a valet is a man’s male servant who performs personal services. I think of batons as sticks. Sticks are natural things that come in all shapes and sizes. They are no longer living. This man is the Valet of Sticks, so he performs personal services for the natural world and those who love it. He likes to be outside doing stuff, but because he is immature, he does not have a great sense of direction in life in terms of what he wants. He knows what he should do, and he knows what is in his line of work, so, in general, he does what he is told. But because he loves the natural world so much, he also loves to explore. This leads him wandering down unexplored paths at inopportune times.


The Valet de Denier wears his fancy flower-embroidered uniform near a diamonded fence. He is a young man who performs services for money. Any blue collar worker (and he is blue indeed) can relate to this. He holds a big coin in his hand as if to say, “Hey! I just got my paycheck!” I think he is eager to learn what kinds of things he can do to make money. Until he matures, he might not care so much about the ethical side of the work he becomes engaged in. He knows that money is powerful but he isn’t sure why.


The Troi de Epees is black with a yellow border, as are all the epees in this deck. I call them blades. The backgrounds of the blades remind me of chalkboards, and the squiggly designs remind me physics equations or something I can’t comprehend.


What this says to me about my ability to read pips intuitively is this:


Like the Valet de Baton, I often run off into the woods without a proscribed trail. I do like to follow trails, one after another, but I do not know where I am going and I don’t necessarily care. I simply enjoy the woods.


Like the Valet de Denier, I hope to find a tiny bit of worldly success off what I do. But the success I will have at relating to plain pips in a worldly manner without outside influence will be mighty small. However, I know an awful lot and I can learn put it to use.


Finally, if I expect to be able to find insight using the pips alone without outside reference whatsoever, I will find nothing but blackness, indecipherable scribbles, and frustration illustrated on the Troi de Epees. This is but a small failure: a normal, every-day failure that occurs when one is not interested enough in the task at hand.

Page of Pentacles — The Lover’s Tarot

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Jane Lyle[NOTE: Not that I’m doing deck reviews here, but I dislike it when some “artist” does a lot of (often poor) cutting and pasting from classical images and then doesn’t tell us where the images are sourced. All ‘ye artists out there: see Karen Mahoney & Alex Ukolov’s excellent book for the Tarot of Prague for an example of beautifully sourced artwork.]


Artist: Oliver Burston
Book: Jane Lyle


Interpretation: upright: It is a joyful, happy card wherever it falls. Listen to your voice. Pay attention to your dreams. inverted: Something is not what it seems. Take time to assess the reality of a situation.


Generally, I look at every card upright. As Brian sang, while hanging on the cross, Always look at the bright side of life— (ba-bum, ba-bum ba-bum ba-bum)  When I flipped the card over, my first thought was, “It’s upside down.”  Either way, it does makes sense to look at both sides at once. Thus: listen to your voice and take time to assess the reality of a situation.


Jane Lyle’s book that comes with the deck is, as implied, skewed toward affairs of the heart. Her emphasis is on self-reflection and introspection, not divination. She asks us to ponder —does this card represent an individual? —yourself? —a situation or a relationship phase? —and says: “When describing an aspect of personality, it heralds an intuitive, creative phase, and has close links with the first stirrings of romantic love and desire.”


If I am a romantic at heart, which I say I am when defining my heart, than all my love is romantic. As for desire— who is free from desire?


In this intuitive, creative phase heralded by pregnancy (intuitive because I haven’t a clue what I am doing; creative because I’ll be making everything up as I go along) there are many things that will need to change. The page of coins tells me to pay attention to what I need to do to manifest my dreams in the material world.


One simple change: Martin suggested we move to Quebec. (The more complex changes that come after having a child are currently incomprehensible to me, and thus outside the scope of my dreams.) After a long period of refusal, (too far from my family, I don’t know the language, I’m sick of making new friends, too isolating, etc.) I am now in love (or perhaps it is lust) with the idea of moving: I have had a change of heart. This material change (relocation) will help me manifest my desire to learn French.


I am especially in love with the idea of Quebec City. What ecstasy to fall in love with an old city— with its arches and staircases— stone walls and churches— steeples— statues— parks and windows— doorways— curves and corners— O! deliciously sensual. I dream of wandering alone. Today I am off to initiate my love affair with Quebec City…