Saturday, 21 September 2013

Mabon Blog Hop: The Making of the Meadow

©McCracken & Worthington
Welcome to another Tarot Blog Hop!  You may have hopped forward from Tarot Trends, or back from Pure Blessed Tarot, depending on which way round you like to go.  Or maybe you found your way here from the Celtic Lenormand Facebook page, or somehow else.  Whatever the case, I hope you'll make your way round the hop, there are sure to be plenty of interesting posts!  And if you get lost along the way, here's the Master List.

For this hop, our wrangler, Christiana Gaudet, invited us to look at myth as it connects to the cards.  What I'd like to offer is a look at the card that I chose to represent this spoke on the Wheel of the Year in the Celtic Lenormand, and the myths that might be associated with it.

In traditional decks, this card would be the Garden.  While there is much evidence of the Celts being involved in agriculture, there is little evidence of them having gardens.  And those they did have were more of the kitchen-garden variety.  Whereas the Lenormand garden was originally based on the Parisian (or generally city) practice of going for a walk or ride in the local gardens to see and be seen.  It is connected with socialising, events, and hospitality, as well as our public persona.

To represent that idea, I decided to rename the card Meadow, and show a space prepared for the gathering of a village or tribe to celebrate the Mabon harvest, focused more on fruits than on wheat, though that is present, too.  Of course, one myth we see here is that of celebrating Mabon.

There is plenty of discussion as to whether or not people in the past actually celebrated any or all of the 'pagan' festivals which are highlighted today.   And strangely, the myths associated with Mabon refer to Beltaine as the time of his birth and to the Winter Solstice as the time of his rescue from imprisonment by King Arthur's knights.

The naming of the second harvest for Mabon is probably a later pagan association, connecting with the idea of the cyclical battle between the Summer and Winter Gods.  The young Son/God defeats the old to win a wife and continue the cycle of life, bringing fruitfulness to the earth.  The time when Mabon is imprisoned could be associated with the harvest and the storing up of those fruits over the winter.

Yet, even if Mabon is a name only later associated with the time of harvest, there is clear evidence of harvest festivals from the past.  Though they may not have fallen on this exact date, the fact of giving thanks for the fruits of the season would have been a common occurrence.  And gathering to celebrate that as a village or tribe would have been one of the times when groups came together, seeing friends old and new, telling tales of the trials of the year, and generally socialising and putting on a public face.  So, though not exactly a Garden, the Meadow fits the spirit of the Lenormand card, and the spirit of this turn of the Wheel.

Now, for more myths and cards, please hop on over to Pure Blessed Tarot.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Wheel of the Year

Image from White Goddess
In the Tarot Blog Hop posts since last Yule, I've been writing about the eight cards in this deck which are associated with the festivals of the pagan Wheel of the Year.  You might wonder what these cards are intended for, when reading with the Celtic Lenormand.

Timing is something which a lot of people ask about, and having a simple system to look at it was my intention with these cards.  One possibility is to use them in specific spreads to look at the energies around that time of year in particular, as I did for the Yule blog hop back in December 2012.  This can be done not just with a nine square reading, but also with simpler lines of 3, 5, 7 or 9, or with more complex spreads such as the Master spread.

Another thing you can do with these sabbat cards is to look around each one in a Grand Tableau, to assess the timing of certain situations and events.  Or, as with the timing board system, you can re-shuffle the cards after a GT and lay them again, looking to the sabbat card houses for the timing of the events you saw in the GT. 

And speaking of the Wheel of the Year, the next post on this site will coincide with Mabon, on the 22nd of September at 7pm BST.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Making of: The Anchor

A few weeks back, I posted a brief reading which included the Anchor card.  It made me realise this is one of the cards I haven't talked about much yet.  Time to remedy that!

This is a fairly traditional depiction of the Anchor.  Probably the two things that distinguish it from others are firstly that this is an iron anchor, rather than being made of the more modern steel.  Secondly, I think Will has done a beautiful job adding in small details to this beach scene - barnacles and the like - to bring it to life.

Anchors of one sort or another have been in use, as far as we can tell, at least since the Bronze Age, when they were generally big stones on a rope or in a basket.  In the Iron Age, welded iron started to be used.  This was much less robust than modern anchors, which are cast, because the welds didn't necessarily hold very well.  Also, as in this image, the "teeth" of the anchors were generally straight, rather than rounded and with catching tips as is the case with modern anchors.  So, the anchors sometimes broke, with the teeth snapping off, or the whole thing coming apart.  Still, they were better than not having an anchor, and commonly used from early Roman times on.

©McCracken & Worthington
In the Lenormand system, the Anchor is sometimes considered a "work" card.  I like that definition.  After all, your job is something that provides a certain stability in your life.  Yet, you can still up anchor and change, if you want.  And without an anchor or a job, you float free, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the situation.  Some people also see the Anchor as representing married life, along the lines of "the old ball and chain".  If asking about a holiday, it might suggest a beach holiday, or somewhere by the sea (while the Ship would suggest actual movement, such as a cruise). 

I love the still waters that Will painted, and the sweet little flowers growing above the anchor, as well as the colourful pebbles on the beach.  Finding work, or a sense of groundedness, that includes points of interest, calm, and emotional satisfaction, are all good things.