Happy new year, everyone! I hope 2016 is treating you well so far. I was planning on kicking off the new year with a round up post of favourite books, decks, blogs, and other stuff, but I must confess I haven't made it to that yet! It seems fitting though, since Mercury just went retrograde, to return to an old project that needs reviving.
It's been a little while since my last post about The Wooden Tarot, so we're well overdue! At this rate, I'll be writing up the 78th card in 2020. Before we kick off, in case you missed it, I wrote a review of The Wooden Tarot for Little Red Tarot back in December. If you're looking for a general overview of this deck, that article might satisfy your curiosity!
Now, where were we? The court cards of the watery suit of Blooms.
As ever, elemental cues are strong in these cards. We now know that Blooms are the suit of Water in The Wooden Tarot, so it makes perfect sense that the courts of this suit are represented by a selection of aquatic-dwelling wildlife.
The Page of Blooms is a slightly gruesome but compelling fellow - a glaucus antlanticus. Credit goes to the Wooden Tarot Facebook Study Group for identifying that one! To humans venturing into the ocean, this creepy creature signals nought but painful stings, but in the context of the Page of Cups, it's worth spending a little more time in this sea slug's company. Among its abilities is the miraculous capacity to eat other venomous sea creatures and store their venomous cells within its own cells, to use for its own defence. That is pretty flippin' cool!
This process of transmuting brings to mind the Page's resourcefulness and creativity, and signals a capacity to use one's environment to advance one's own goals and dreams. Like the Rider Waite Smith Page with the fish in her cup, this Page asks you to look in unlikely places for inspiration, and to work with what you have available to you. There is an element of danger and toxicity attached to it which perhaps isn't traditionally the purview of the Page of Cups, but doesn't that just keep it interesting? Pages are traditionally childlike, and there's certainly a lot of youthful bravado required if you're to get in the pool with one of these creatures!
The Knight of Blooms is all about direction, and what better way to signal momentum, movement, and intention than the very-directional swordfish - or is it a marlin? In any case, I think the visual metaphor is clear! Indeed, both marlins and swordfish are known for their ability to swim at great speeds. I can't claim to be an expert in the field, but one result of a cursory google suggests marlins can move faster than cheetahs! Certainly a very Knight-like quality. As well as the urge to move, this guy possesses other Knight of Cups qualities. The third eye signifies connection with intuition, and bursting out of a rose suggests that this Knight is driven from the heart, motivated by emotions.
Queen of Blooms is represented by some kind of deliciously squidgy octopus! I hardly know what to say about her, but I just love this image! This octopus radiates the kind of damp, expansive, feminine energy I associate with the Queen of Cups. She can a be a little cool and remote, down there on the ocean floor, but the Queen of Cups is also ready to reach out those vast and soft tentacles and offer a supportive, smothering octopus hug!
First impressions and psychic associations aside, the octopus is a great choice for this card. Octopuses are known for their intelligence, and ability to use tools and creatively problem-solve. The Queen of Cups isn't just a pretty cephalopod face! Using her octopus qualities and her intuitive third eye, this Queen is able to use her instincts and wisdom to practical effect, and set an example for those who need her guidance and support.
Depicting the King of Cups as a betta fish adds an interesting layer of interpretation to this card. This King has always seemed to me to be the protective mother hen of the suit of Cups, the one always ready to take on other people's problems and to go in to bat for his tribe. The Siamese Fighting Fish isn't exactly known for being a team player, but there's no doubt this species is ready to meet challenges head on! This King of Cups will fight for his fishy family in order to create stability and safety for those who are part of his club.
I do think, though, that this card offers up a darker take on the King of Cups - here is a creature that is certainly happy to defend its home and hearth, but it isn't in its nature to cultivate closeness and intimacy. The masculine, Kingly energy, which in some circumstances can represent safety and loyalty, threatens to spill over into aggression and domination. The shadow qualities of the King of Cups - remoteness, moodiness, isolation - are in full effect here. While I don't often see that aspect come up in readings, I know that when working with this deck, it's impossible not to be aware of this King's shades of grey.
Before I sign off, a couple of notices! I am still offering 12-card New Year Readings in my shop. There's still time to do some plotting and scheming for the year ahead! At around 4000 words, this beast of a reading is great value for the price, and will give you a ton of stuff to think about as you launch yourself into 2016!
It's been a little while since we've had an Agony Augury column here on the blog! In case you missed the previous posts in this series, The Agony Augury is your chance to ask your questions and air your grievances, and I'll respond here on the blog with a tarot reading! Think of it like an oracular advice column! I'd love to get this series up and running again, so please do send me your questions!
Finally, if you'd like to receive these posts by email, you can subscribe right here!
That's all from me this week! Thanks for stopping, and happy new year from Two Sides Tarot <3