Thursday, 31 October 2013

Samhain Blog Hop: The Making of the Burial Mound

©McCracken & Worthington
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Welcome to another hop around the world via the blogs of tarotists and other diviners :)  Our wrangler this time is the wondrous Alison Cross, who asked us to talk about love.  Well, that's a tough one as I love many things about this Celtic Lenormand deck!  One of the things that makes it rather different, though, is the fact that it uses the Pagan sabbats rather than days, weeks, months and years to look at timing.  I also love this season, with its spectacular colours and the suggestion to take time to look inward and to connect with those who have passed.  Honouring our forebears is something which I am finding more and more relevant as I grow older.

Connecting all these dots, I would like to share with you the card that I designed for this spoke of the Wheel of the Year: the Burial Mound (Coffin).  It's one of my favourite images in the whole deck: I think Will Worthington did an exquisite job on it!
©McCracken & Worthington

This card was a slightly tough one, as the Celts didn't bury their dead in coffins, instead inhumating them (putting the whole body inside a burial mound in the earth).  Still, I tried to capture both the traditional aspects of the Coffin card, and also to honour celtic practices.  So, in this card there is a crow flying off to the left, to echo the black pall often found draped on the left side of Coffin cards.  The crow also points to the sickness interpretation of this card, as they are known to feed on carrion, the meat of animals that may have sickened and died.

The mists emphasise the idea of the thinning of the veil between the worlds at this time, as well as adding an edge of uncertainty to the card.  The dark of the inside of the tomb echoes the dark of the grave into which a coffin is lowered, and also lends more eeriness to the card.  Yet, the slight crescent moon in the sky above reminds us that new beginnings follow endings, no matter how dark they seem at the time, and that even in times of sickness, there is hope of improvement.

A dark, but beautiful card, then, and one I hope you will love as much as I do.  My partner refused to have a print of it on our wall, finding it too dark, but I think it's wonderful, deeply atmospheric!

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35 comments:

  1. I'd have it hanging on my wall! A wonderful image...

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  2. That card is stunning - what a gorgeous and evocative take on the Coffin!

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    1. Thanks, Lynda :) I'm sure Will will be glad to hear others like it, too!

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  3. Oh... I love that card... I don't find it dark at all.... but then I did marry a Sexton... :)

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    1. I'm ashamed to admit, I had to look up what a Sexton was ;) Being comfortable with the darker side of life is a good thing, in my books!

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  4. oooh I'd have that on my wall, no problem!! But then I have lots of images of crows in the house too. Tartars doesn't really look at what's on the walls lol!

    Ali x

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    1. Now that sounds handy, in the main. Though I remember that incident of the picture from his last boat... lol
      Cx

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  5. I love this card, too :) It reminds me of the idea of the "cave" - going in, transforming, and coming out reborn, in a way. Not unlike Death, which fits well for the Coffin!!

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    1. Yes, all those dark places that can be scary, but very powerful :)

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  6. OMG this one is beautiful. It makes it just harder to wait. I am feeling like a little kid waiting for my stockings to be filled :)

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    1. I know, the wait is getting to me, too! Still no news from US Games even to give a publishing date :(

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    2. I have a question about the card size: I hope they will not be to big, so that the grand tableau can be comfortably layed out. Lately there have been some Lenormand with enormous cards, they are not practical like that. Have you any word about card size yet?

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    3. Hi Frauke, I haven't heard anything specifically, but I did state that they should be poker size, and sent them a template on that basis :) Will definitely let you know if I hear otherwise!

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  7. Well, I wouldn't want it on my wall, but I'd be happy to have it in a deck. :)

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  8. Thanks for leading us straight to the heart of the matter of such a great love of yours! Happy Hallowe'en and a Spooktacular evening to you.

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    1. Hee hee, it's been fun counting the number of "thinning of the veils" mentions round the blog hop, then I realised I'd put one in here, too! Didn't manage to totally stick to love, but then, as you say, it's a time for spooktacular images ;)

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  9. Beautiful and peaceful image, it transmits to me "nothing to be afraid of". Very nice!!! and amazing Samhain Blog Hop! Muchas Estrellas!!!!

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    1. Interesting, I sometimes think it's good to feel some fear with such cards, but know that they are part of life still. As for the estrellas, that'll come on another card ;D

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  10. What a beautiful card! Thanks for sharing Chloe:)

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  11. What a beautiful card! The composition and the colours express the sense that really we are all just passing through. I love the eerie feel and sense of mystery given off by the darkness, the shadows, and the crow. And the light in the background as hope... wonderful!

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    1. It is wonderfully atmospheric, isn't it? Ah, to be able to paint like that! At least I can enjoy the pleasure of looking :)

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  12. Chloe, as both lenormand and tarot user, can you tell me if the card inserts correspond in anyway with tarot minors? I used the image and the card inserts last week with Katt's Lenormand and they seems to jibe, but maybe it was just me.
    I just don't want to get in the habit of interpreting them 'more wronger' :)
    Sharyn/AJ

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    1. Hi Sharyn,
      Officially, no, there is no correspondence. In fact, the card inserts don't even correspond with most cartomantic interpretations that you'd find in books on reading playing cards. It seems to have been a system developed specifically with the Lenormand images, not sure when - someone like Mary Greer or Caitlín Matthews might have a fuller answer.
      However, if you found using them in that way useful, then for me that's a big part of what reading is about. So long as you know it's your system, and it works for you... :)

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    2. from your helps today, I'm wondering if you can read the cards in any order rather than in the order pulled? Thank you!

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    3. Hi Sharyn, there are a number of different "traditional" ways of approaching the cards. You can read them in a line left to right suggesting past to future. You can read them with the first or middle cards as theme, or with the last card as outcome. It's also very traditional to read pairs, but within that there is a tradition of reading the card to the right as modifying the card to the left (eg. Birds/Garden could be a public conversation, Garden/Birds could be a conversational group). And there is also a system called mirroring, where you would read the cards that are directly opposite each other (ie. cards 1 + 3 in a 3 card spread). So, you can find a tradition or system to support reading the cards in almost any order :) Some people suggest choosing a "format" before you begin, others prefer "allowing the cards to speak" - take your pick!

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  13. Like I said on FB, awesome way to translate the coffin for this Celtic theme. I am totally looking forward to this deck.

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    1. Glad to hear it, Joanne :) I know it's not traditional, but as you said in a post, if you take a deck on its own merits, you can get a lot from it...

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  14. thanks for the quick overview, very sensible. Just like I do my tarot spreads, determining before I draw the cards where they will lie. I'll try something different tomorrow!

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    1. I'll look forward to seeing what you try :)

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