lunedì 17 agosto 2015

A Tarot Spread in the Woods

I went for a walk into the forest a few days ago. This is a fir wood in the top of the mountains: there is the old, decayed stone-hut and I use to sit on a slab on the ground to think and enjoy the shadowy sunlight after a walk of about one hour to reach the place. My dog often comes with me. We don't live together, but I can say that our bond is special thanks to these wanderings in the woods, when I go to visit him and that part of my family. I had with me the Wildwood Tarot, an appropriate deck to the occasion and I drew three cards for a simple spread that might be read as either PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE or MIND, BODY, SPIRIT. I place the Body in the middle because it is the actual connector between Mind and Spirit. I'm in a moment of strong personal transformation and the deck answered me in a very curious, fitting way. Three "watery" cards came out, representing respectively a large, naturally enclosed water; water in a human container, resembling a liquid mirror; wild, streaming water.

The Kingfisher flies free on the clear pool, his eye pierce the surface and reach everything hidden below - there is no fear of truth, but a thirst for it. The Seer can close her eyes sensing the dark water below and achieving her vision. This is not the universal pool of the Kingfisher, but a very personal water - the revelation of one's own soul with its feelings and projections: something that needs to be recollected in solitude. The next step is letting go. The Otter is a joyful messenger of childhood, the possibility of jumping again inside flowing, powerful waters, falling in love with life. This is not a childish attitude, but the capacity to be faithful to intense and long-nurtured wishes - something that can happen only after having considered and contextualized one's path in the world. Truth, focus, discernment are the necessary premises to the immersion into the next stage of existence. They come subtle, vital, refreshing and also difficult to grab like water itself.
A calm pool, a mysterious water mirror, a fast, singing river that translate into these words - experience, learning, risk; or into these verbs - watch, feel, plunge.

mercoledì 28 gennaio 2015

About a wicked pack of cards

I received my pack of Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot months ago, in November, a perfect month for this melancholic deck, but it took me some weeks to connect with it.  One of the factor that  immediately attracted me  was the presence of weird creatures, half animal and half poppets, or endowed of a human face on a serpentine, scaly body.  Yet in a second moment I had the vague impression of hostility and unfriendliness. Though all the human figures in this deck are female, little adolescents, sometimes with their eyes closed as if dreaming or looking for an inner vision of the world outside, we have not to be mislead by this "girlish" atmosphere: these cards are, as many tarots with a genuine faery element, only apparently sweet, nice, childlike. Or better they are dreamy and childlike if you accept that childhood can be cruel, sad, full of an inexplicable longing for a place or a state you have never really known. Mainly based on the classic Raider Waite system, the chosen images have also a life of their own, a symbolism that asks you to read them intuitively, travelling back in memories to find the episode they resemble. Hence the dreamy attribute of the deck is precisely its capacity to change you in one of your former selves - younger, full of desires and capricious. The cards bring you to a land filled of imaginary friends and of comfortable shelters which  may easily turn into traps. What do I mean?

Take for example The World. The sense of wholeness, of attained results and the joy of new beginnings are here transformed in a realm protected by a glass globe: it is enchanted as a snowy winter night, but also closed in itself. To start again and experience different paths you will have to break the transparent glass. So a protection becomes a prison, the homely feeling at the end of a journey a trigger to act again, finding the capacity to destroy, break, forget what you have reached. Is this not the engine of human life? The disquieting emotion at the core of ourselves can never be completely soothed, but brings us to be in need of different, unexpected, patterns to better appreciate what we already have. 

Yet there are also images infused of peace, like the Knave of Wands. This a card about the solemn patience of learning, growing roots through a bush of roses and hair and flowers in the air. It seems to suggest: be quiet and remember that magic is first of all a silent thing. Everything that comes after can be accepted. 
Otherwise The Moon re-elaborates all the ambiguity of the Major Arcana, its untrustworthy though compelling magic, the profound knowledge that in spite of our effort to describe, sing, attract the world of the moon, it remains always a step ahead, on the border between an unsolvable mystery and a delusive truth. Or the symbiotic relation that links both the twins embracing each other in the Two of Cups and the girl and the swan together on a sofa in the Nine of Disks. While the overall meaning of these cards is positive, in the first one love, the meeting of a complementary soul, is suggested by the passage through an invisible mirror to touch the other being so similar to us. In the second one the pet and the girl might change one into the other in a moment, as in a fairy-tale of secrets. 

Creepy, unusual, moving; wicked, wistful, playful: these are some more adjectives I could attribute to the deck, inhabited by animal helpers, animated toys, vegetables and candies, all the voices that echoed in our heads, like familiar nightmares or alluring promises.