Monday, November 29, 2010

Staying Home Sick and Motherpeace Tarot

I decided it is not fair to only write when I'm feeling good, energetic and healthy. But sadly, there's nothing much to report, since I've basically been stuck inside in my pajamas for days on end. One day I did get dressed:


but still felt like this:

SO! I thought I would take this quiet-time opportunity to show you something I am totally in love with lately: the tarot deck that I've been studying. I got the Motherpeace Tarot deck at the used book store where I work (amazingly still in their box in perfect condition) and I found the accompanying book in our goddess section. This is the kind of thing I was totally into at 19 but haven't taken much time for lately. I needed it.




On our recent trip to the hot springs I finally took the time to really begin to read the book and look at the cards. First amazing thing about them: the cards are round! Big round smooth circles with colorful art depicting empowering scenes from tribal and communal feminine life. Alice Walker calls them "a wise and loving oracle." I love holding them in my hands and gazing at them. I am still learning to clumsily shuffle them, but that's okay.

Reading and studying the Motherpeace tarot has reawakened my interest in ancient history, Goddess and tribal cultures, mythology, and natural healing. These are things I am passionate about all along, every day of my life, but I find that sometimes I let them slip into the background of my consciousness. Now, just drawing one card for myself at the end of each day and reading about its meanings and symbols, I feel more connected to a vast body of spiritual women that resonates through time and space.


And just in case you think this is all totally weird...I like the way Vicki Noble puts it: "visionary (or shaman) art lies at the root of human culture and functions as a base for any leap into the future. If we would heal the body, we must first imagine it well. If we would heal the planet, we must first envision peace." I like the way she sees tarot as "visionary art," and the way she describes her own creative process of drawing and designing them in the late 70s. I love thinking of the tarot deck as an imaginative game that I can use to access some place of light and timelessness and healing and creativity inside myself.
As a game it is fun for me, but also I think it is communicative and transformative, entering a space out of the ordinary and into the magical.

Last night I read a fascinating article by the same author: Letting Nature Take its Course. I was inspired and thinking about how I would love to regularly get together my community of women (and men if they were so inclined) to celebrate spiritually in a group for purposes of healing and ritual.

This was the card I drew, the 3 of cups, perfectly illustrating my idea...


And this one, the ten of discs, which I absolutely love, I have drawn twice since starting all this... fertility blessings hmm?! a circle of loving women holding baskets and surrounding a birthing woman as a wisewoman catches the baby...heaven.

On Thanksgiving night I drew the Fool, a card that I identify with easily.
maybe it was saying, don't worry, you'll get your spunk back soon!


The first one I drew, that night that we were in the lodge at the hot springs, was the Empress.
She embodies everything I strive for: the Great Mother. Harmony, Community, Growth.
The ancient sensual nature. Communal life, peace, children, love. Manifestation, positive imagination.


For me, that is what this tarot is all about.
I hope you are all having peaceful journeys of your own. I'd love to hear about them!


13 comments:

Bee said...

gorgeous cards. my mom is way into that stuff. you are such a humboldt girl. you'd fit right in up here. one of the other girls who teaches bellydance up here does all this tantric woman drum circle what nots all the time. i must admit, i'm too sarcastic to handle that sort of thing, but i bet you'd love it. she's a really dear woman, very sincere and pure hearted. if you ever come up here you should check her out.

anne said...

so sorry to hear you are sick. i was super ill last week, it was terrible. i'm sending healthy vibes your way!

Tina Dawn said...

What a great post to read. I hope you are on the road to recovery. One of my best friends has been sick for weeks and just found out she has pneumonia. So be careful. I have collected tarot cards for years, but don't have this one. It is very inspiring. I am going to watch for it now. I need to get one of my decks out and start playing around with it just for the fun of it, I think that is a great idea. Get well soon. Love T

Cel said...

Those are some really wonderful tarot cards! I've never read tarot, but I have a set of runes I've had for quite a few years. I've gotten pretty good at reading them, but I don't like going to them very often because I've usually got questions with answers I don't want to hear. This makes me want to carve my own set again though... There's more power in them for you that way, if you make the effort with your own hands, a little of you goes into it. I hope you feel better soon, being sick is no fun!

Milla said...

I'm sorry you're still feeling unwell.
However, I'm rather mesmerized by the fact that you're still posting. You're my hero Heather, this post is wonderful, even from the bottom of a sick bed.
What a fabulous deck to entertain you though. I lost my own deck that I'd had since I was 17 in the big move, and have never quite recovered. Only recently have I even though of acquiring another. Maybe this is a good one.
That image of Ishtar with the owls is very evocative.
I hope you feel better soon. Big hug

Andrea said...

What a beautiful post! i never really thought of tarot this way :)

Teenysparkles said...

Ugh, hope you feel better by the time you read this! The tarot illustrations are something else aren't they! Sumptuous. I love the idea of the mystical, and I do believe Tarot can quietly guide and support, and tap into that great sub-conscious of ours.

Missa said...

Lucas has a beautiful old set of Tarot cards from the 70's that his mom gave him as a kid. I love just looking at them, but I should get her to teach me how to use them. I've never even had a reading but it's all stuff that interests me.

Hope you are feeling better my dear!

flaming hag folkwear said...

I've been sick since just before Thanksgiving myselfand just starting to come out of the underwater aquarium that my head has felt like in the last day or two. I am just catching up to others' blogs, and here you are doing an extensive post from your sick bed!
Awesome post, I just read a reference to this deck and book on another blog....maybe I am meant to look into this thing?
Get well soon!

Crystal Calliope said...

I'm pretending to not be sick (I'll let you know how that works out) but the kiddos are pretty much grungy little pajama gremlins. Poor wee ones.

I wrote a post a long while ago on Tarot and my relationship to it- included was one of my very favorites, The Motherpeace Deck. So there's something we have in common. Thanks so much for sharing some of the cards that are coming up for you now.

* Blessings *

Crystal Calliope said...

Oh, in case you're interested-
crystalcalliope.blogspot.com/2010/04/tarot.html

t took some digging for me to find it, which has inspired me to install a search button on the blog)

Courtney said...

Feel better soon, Heather! This is such a fascinating post on tarot. To be honest, I didn't know much about it before but now I am enthralled and want to know more! The cards are beautiful by themselves too. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a deck.

Amy Beatty said...

Sorry you got so sick. That is awful. But I love those cards. I want to pour over them with you.