Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Hello Pan!


One of my favorite things ever is unsolicited letters of hello. Thank you so much for writing me some thirty-three words. The circumstances of luck were enough for it to trigger a full-blown letter in return.


Way back in the olden days, when there was no such thing as internet and I traveled lots like a vagabond and there was no way to get a hold of me, I used to make sure I frequently mailed my friends and family lots of letters. I liked to imagine that they’d all write me back, providing I had an address. It was pretty unlikely my imaginings were correct. They were mostly all busy having babies and raising families, which, I’ve discovered, is the most time-consuming, all engrossing, I-don’t-have-time-for-anything-else-ing act one can undertake, should one choose to be so devoted. Which is what has, belatedly but eventually, happened to me.


I have recently moved my artistic musings over to the realm of doll making (Jessi Rose Dolls), which is a nice artistic outlet I can do with my children around. Meanwhile, my tarot journal sits stagnant like a bit of water caught behind a rock on the lee edge of a small pond far in the wilderness. Which is to day: it does not move. Two years ago I became a mere eight chapters short of finishing my tarot book. Now I see that it will probably wait until both my children are in school. Likely, no one will purchase it with a deck. Heck, no one will remember there was such a deck! But I am, first and foremost, a writer, so I’m sure I’ll finish it. I’ve always meant to. After all, it started out as an idea for a book. The deck was secondary.


As a mother, I am at peace. So many people say that the first child is the most drastic change, as this is the one that changes one’s life forever and so dramatically. I did not find it to be so. For me, it was much like buying a one-way ticket to an unknown place where I didn’t speak the language. Or it was like stashing all one’s possessions and hopping on a bicycle for an unlimited amount of time without a map or a plan. Or it was like jumping into the ocean alone to swim to a far-away shore and not telling anyone where I was headed. It was like leaving, and it was like going someplace new. Which is to say, it was, in so many ways, like nothing new at all. Without the least bit of preparation— as usual— I felt quite prepared.


But, like they all say, it has been, indeed, the most wonderful thing ever.






May you be at peace, and may you always know love—

The Tree of Life — The Golden Dawn Tarot

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Robert WangArtist: Robert Wang


What is agreed is that it is hard to clarify with any degree of certainty the exact concepts within Quaballah or the spelling of the word. There are several different schools of thought with very different outlooks; however, all schools of thought and spellings are accepted as correct.


I traded for this new deck. I consider it a gift. Thank you! I took out the cover card, shuffled the cards thoroughly, and drew— the Tree of Life. This is not a tarot card. It is included to help the reader relate each of the major arcana to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. I should have removed it, but I did not know it was there. Nonetheless I drew it after just yesterday announcing I don’t understand the connection between Qabalah and tarot.


Today I learn: Kabbalah is associated with tarot because it has been so ever since the Order of the Golden Dawn drew up such associations. A man by the name of Court de Gebelin was the first to draw up connections between the 22 trump cards and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Eliphas Lévi expanded on this idea.


What I did not realize in my hesitancy to study anything “too esoteric” is that the “commonly” accepted meanings of the tarot cards— those meanings which I have tried to interpret in my illustrations— were assigned based on Golden Dawn correspondences between: the Four Worlds of the Qaballah, the four suits of tarot cards, the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and the 22 major arcana. This makes comprehension of the tree of life integral to a simplified memorization or understanding of the common meanings assigned to tarot cards. It makes me (finally!) want to understand the tree of life and its correspondences— not because I believe that the Kabala is innately connected with what happens to be one of a number of variations of decks of cards initially designed for gambling— but because these correspondences are integral to the langue used to define the occult meanings the cards.


“The Founders of the Golden Dawn system appreciated that divination is nothing more (or less) than the effect of focusing attention on what would otherwise be a random distribution of variables, with the thought of some question, person or situation in mind. Theoretically, the intention stimulates the unconscious in some mysterious way, and in some equally mysterious way, the position of the variables under consideration is presumably affected. The variables could be bits of crumpled paper thrown down a flight of stairs if there were some initial decision made about what the landing order might mean.” —Robert Wang, An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot