Cosmic Tarot

Trimming Borders, New Acquisitions, Podcasts, and More

Today, I thought, rather than posting a lengthy reading or tarot-related article, I'd just stop in and say hi. Hi! I hope you're well. In case you were wondering, and I know you were, here's what I've been up to this week!

I've discovered a favourite new hobby - trimming the borders off my tarot decks! I've long loved the way borderless cards look, but it wasn't until this past week that I had the right gear (and the courage) to give it a try myself. Look out world, I am addicted! Actually, I've only trimmed down two decks so far - a misprinted edition of the Wildwood Tarot I had, and my old copy of the Cosmic Tarot - but it's through sheer force of will that I haven't taken the knife to every deck I own! They just look so good freed from their borders! The art really opens up. Before I inflict it upon any other decks though, I will spend some time reading with these and see if I still like the borderless vibe. Stay tuned!

In case you're wondering, I bought a small photo trimmer from a craft store to do the bulk of the cutting, and I ordered one of these from ebay to round the corners. I did also wind up using a pair of very small, very sharp craft scissors to tidy the edges, because the trimmer was never totally accurate. It isn't a particularly difficult task, but I would urge caution if you are a perfectionist! It seems almost impossible, to me anyway, to get the trimmed cards 100% matchy matchy. I found that a lot of the images were actually printed slightly crooked on the cards, so trimmed down they do wind up being a little different in size. Also, the backs of the Cosmic Tarot don't match up with the images on the front, so do be mindful of that if you are considering trimming a deck and you think it will bother you. I'm not too fussed, but I can see that one more picky than I might drive themselves mad with it! If you are interested in taking the plunge, Seven Card Spread has an excellent tutorial here

In other news, last week, I added a new acquisition to my collection - the Japaridze Tarot. Ooooh! So pretty. I must admit, I was super excited to bring this one home, but I haven't had a chance at all this week to take it out and play. My week ahead is looking far less busy and social than the week just gone, so I look forward to more quiet evenings at home with the cards. I also have two other decks winging their way to me from overseas. Fingers crossed they make land soon and I can start using them all! 

In book reading news, I haven't dedicated as much time to reading as I would've liked this week, but I am slowly making my way through Phenomenal by Leigh Ann Henion. It's probably unfair to say since I'm only halfway through, but so far the book isn't quite adding up to more than the sum of its parts. It's interesting enough though, and if you like reading about faraway places, it's fun. I will say, too, that her writing about Hawaii, and the experiences she describes with the volcanos, are delightful and moving. If you have any interest in... shall we say, spiritual travel, I think it's worth picking this one up for that chapter alone!

What else has been filling my head? The excellent first episode of the Modern Mystic Podcast - seriously, GET ON THIS TRAIN RIGHT NOW! These gals are major magical babes, and you want to hear what they have to say! I also super enjoyed listening to Elizabeth Gilbert on the Robcast, and I've been epically binging on the inimitable Kelly-Ann Maddox's youtube channel. It's pointless of me to recommend her, because I'm literally the last tarot enthusiast in the known universe to get on board with her amazing, playful, smart, and informative work, so you must know her back to front already. On the off chance you're from some other, as-yet-undiscovered planet, get some Kelly-Ann Maddox in your ear immediately. She's the bomb.

Finally, the last thing rocking my world this week is the Alternative Tarot Network - the most supportive, interesting, and fun tarot community in town! This incredible network is the work of Beth from Little Red Tarot, and I cannot thank her enough for creating this space! THANK YOU, BETH! As far as I know, at the moment the community isn't open for new members, but if you subscribe to the Little Red Tarot Bits and Bobs mailing list, you'll be notified when the doors open again. Trust me, it'll be worth the wait! Plus, Beth's newsletter is great, so you'll want to subscribe anyway!

Before I sign off, I just want to remind you that I am now taking questions for my advice column blog series! If you have a pressing question and want to throw your hat in the ring, drop me a line, and you could score yourself a free tarot reading on your dilemma, right here on the blog! Don't be shy, friends! 

What's rocking your world right now? I'd love to know. Share, if you feel so inclined, in the comments!

Oh, and remember, you can summon me straight into your inbox, so you never miss a post! Subscribe here.

Top Five Tarot Creativity Prompts - The Hanged Man

In this blog series, I'll draw a card at random and use its energy and ideas to cook up five brain-sizzling creativity prompts. You can use these to think about particular situation you are experiencing, or as writing prompts to get your creative juices flowing, or simply as food for thought to fill an idle moment. You can journal these prompts, or just mull them over in your mind, meditate on them, workshop them collaboratively, or blog them (if you're sharing them somewhere, let me know in the comments below! I'd love to see what you come up with). I'll be using the Cosmic Tarot for these draws, so my comments will refer specifically to its imagery, but feel free to draw from a different deck if you prefer!

Our card this week? The Hanged Man

The twelfth card on the Fool's Journey, The Hanged Man represents a need to take a pause in the action. The Fool has learned so much about himself, he must stop for a moment and take it all in before making his next move. "At this stage," Rachel Pollack writes, "a deep spiritual awareness can only be maintained by withdrawing from society." Incidentally, Beth at Little Red Tarot has recently done a great dissection of The Hanged Man, so I direct you to her for more explanation and insight into the meaning of this card.

For our purposes, it's interesting to note that this card is polarising among tarot readers and clients. I personally rather like The Hanged Man and his reminder to take a step back, but others find his strange posture and his insistence on inactivity weird and frustrating! Let's see where that takes us.

1. What are your first thoughts, first impressions upon hearing the name of this card, The Hanged Man? What associations do you make? Are they positive or negative, empowering or frightening?

2. Consider the difference between stillness and stasis. Where do you sit with the idea of being still? Do you associate it with being in control, or with being stuck against your will? Do you crave progress, or prefer to stop and smell the roses? Recall a time when you felt as though things weren't moving forward. Looking back, did that period of being stuck have any benefit, any teaching for you? Do you think your life would benefit from more or less stillness at this time?

3. Explore the relationship between stillness and movement in the mind, and stillness and movement in the body. One of my favourite yoga teachers always says, "Relax any unnecessary doing." She always catches me fidgeting! Do you find calming your movements creates stillness in your mind, or does it have the opposite effect? What does it feel like to engage in physical stillness, like yin yoga or seated meditation? How does this affect your thoughts, your emotions?

4. Much has been written in recent years about introverts and extroverts - where do you fall on the scale? Do you gain your energy and insight from the company of others, or from withdrawal into privacy? What about those around you - are you the extrovert to your partner or best friend's introverted Hanged Man, or is it the other way around? How will a deeper understanding of these differing natures help you relate to each other?

5. What does it mean to take a different perspective? Can we ever really see things through the eyes of another? Think of a significant moment in your life, positive or negative. How does it appear if viewed from a different angle? What would it take to see something so personally significant in a different light?

I hope The Hanged Man helps you to take a moment, calm your mind and relax. It is a long weekend, after all!