Saturday, January 27, 2007

4 cards for week: Renewal

As I've finally got most of my cards backed I've been able to do my first proper reading - this is it. If you look on my other blog you'll see that this week is one for which the word Renewal has come up. This is a reading for this week:

These cards are: New Beginnings, Black Panther, Snake, Creative One

I started off intending to do a 3-card reading which is how I've been reading cards recently. The first card, in this type of spread, is the key card and the next two either show constraints or expand on it.

New Beginnings is a Council card that I made prompted by a post on KaleidoSoul Inner Surprises. The picture here isn't all that clear - it shows a butterfly shape made out of yellow rock and wood, and another rock in the distance. These are the words that came with its appearance today:

I am one who:
  • Makes new things out of old
  • Sees all things as new
  • Has beginner's mind
In shadow, I am one who forgets that everything is made anew in each moment.

I am one who wants you to:
  • Remember that making babies or creating art both make the connection clearer but are not, in general, necessary as you are a carrier of the sacred flame that is life, in and of yourself.
  • Drink deeply of all life's experiences and to be made anew in each moment.
Black Panther is my companion for the South. This is the direction of the inner child, the emotions and water.

I am one who can support you in your emotions.

In shadow, I am one who tends to be lazy with respect to anything that isn't urgent.

I am one who wants you to ask the Council-As-One to regulate my laziness and to call me in to support you before its urgent!

This Snake is my companion from Chakra 1. (I have a different snake for one of the directions)

I am one who:
  • Has been sleeping most of the last 10 years and more.
  • Is ready to become fully engaged in a way different from before - this is a new beginning.
  • Has a tremendous appetite for life in all its forms; I don't distinguish between good and bad - I just live in the moment as though it were my first and last.
  • Keeps you ticking over even whilst I sleep. You will be surprised at your extra energy when I'm awake!
In shadow, I am one who
  • Stays asleep throughout a lifetime, even during the 49th year. This is a special year, a real time for awakening as is every 7th year thereafter. (The 49th year is the one when you are 48 - it finishes at age 49).
I am one who wants you to
  • Be more aware of your root chakra and how it holds your whole body.
I then got a message that I needed a 4th card to clarify something:

Creative One is the 3rd and Yellow member of the Rainbow Council subset of my council suit. It features a yellow butterfly on a yellow flower on yellow rocks with a yellow sky.

I am one who
  • Wants to emphasize that although it is not necessary to create art in the sense of the New Beginnings card, it is part of your essential nature to make art!

I was surprised at the Beginner's Mind interpretation of New Beginnings. I'd previously only got from it that it was one who got me to start new things.

I like the fact that the 4th card also contains a yellow butterfly, but this time a real one. Manifesting real art is part of my path.

After I'd got the Snake companion for chakra 1 I found this posting by Taexalia about her chakra 1 Snake. Before I saw that posting I'd completely forgotten that one of the classic ways of visualising kundalini energy is as a coiled snake in the root chakra that can be awakened to rise up through all the chakras. Now that this snake card has spoken it does seem to be an appropriate way of thinking about it.

Incidentally the 49th year business is probably based on the idea that each year we are focussed on one chakra, on (or near) our birthday we move on up to the next one, or back down to the root if on the crown. So in the 49th year we are in the crown chakra having visited each chakra seven times.

Monday, January 22, 2007

New suit: Synchronicities

Since synchronicities are one of my great treasures its only natural to want to honour them with a suit of their own. Here are a couple that I'm working on:

I did some energy work on transcending HK and then went out and bumped into the woman who had first done HK on me. This was the first time I'd seen her in at least 6 years. Within a fortnight I'd also bumped into a woman I'd introduced to HK and who is now well-established in her HK practice. I hadn't seen her for a few years either.

I later discovered that both of these women were born in South Africa... I'm not sure what that means, if it means anything.

The image above is my own version of the HK logo.

Another synchronicity involves winning money on the premium bonds. These are an unusual form of saving. Instead of interest one relies on winnings. I've actually done rather badly so far but have been very interested in them as a way of gauging my luck. I didn't really believe in luck before... but it became clear that Jim was consistently luckier than me. However I have twice had good wins... better than anything he's had... he's a consistent sort, usually £50 or £100 every month... my luck comes in bursts. Both these wins happened to coincide with going out with a friend of mine... someone who had given up her premium bonds as she wasn't getting enough of a return on them and, although an energy worker, didn't see them the way I do. Someone I probably wouldn't have mentioned these wins to if they hadn't just happened...

Companion: Connection to Spirit - Wren

I am one who flies higher than the eagle by hitching a ride.
I am one who sees beauty in everyone and everything.
In shadow, I am one who can be hard to find, hard to spot. Listen for my song - it is much bigger than I am!
I am one who wants you to enjoy your ability to see the beauty in small things.

See: The Wren

24 Companions

I've worked out 24 companion animals and plants:
  • Chakra 0 - Toad
  • Chakra 1 - Snake
  • Chakra 2 - Elephant
  • Chakra 3 - Donkey
  • Chakra 4 - Badger & Oak
  • Chakra 5 - The Trees
  • Chakra 6 - Crow
  • Chakra 7 - Morning Glory
  • Chakra 8 - Mistletoe
These are the 7 standard chakras plus Chakra 0 which is at the feet and Chakra 8 which is above the head.
  • Direction E - Jackdaw
  • Direction SE - Spider
  • Direction S - Black Puma
  • Direction SW - Butterfly
  • Direction W - Coyote
  • Direction NW - Snake
  • Direction N - Eagle
  • Direction NE - Salmon
  • Direction Above - Bat
  • Direction Below - Toad
In the model I'm using the directions represent:
  • East is fire and spirit
  • South East is ancestors
  • South is water, inner child and emotions
  • South West is self-image
  • West is is rock and introspection - Coyote here is a real warning about how easy it is to fool myself...
  • North West is karma
  • North is air, the complete adult and mind
  • North East is design of energy and constraints
Then I have:
  • Ground Connection - Mole
  • Spirit Connection - Wren

Using a different model of energy I get the Mole as my animal to help me ground my energy and the Wren is the one that helps me connect to spirit.

And from intuitive guidance rather than trying to fulfill any models:
  • Guardian to Collective Unconscious - Goose
  • Liver - Mandrake
  • Trap Door - Fly Agaric
So Goose protects me from those energies that are not so good in the collective unconscious... geese make excellent watchbirds! And according the the information on Wild Earth Animal Essences Canada Goose essence:
Helps one connect with life as part of a sacred circle. Supports one in knowing where one is going, of feeling always at Home. For becoming aware of the Great Cycle within and around us of birth, death, and renewal. Supports those who have lost their way and who wish to find their spiritual center. Supports one in knowing when to lead, and when to seek guidance and follow.
My liver has its own plant - Mandrake - not one I'd take by mouth but as a flower essence.

As does the trap door... this is that odd energy spot on the back of the head. When it first opens you get the feeling of a draft blowing through your head! Again another plant, the beautiful red and white fairy tale toadstool, I wouldn't take this physically but have used it as a plant essence.

For information on some animal essences see: Wild Earth Animal Essences
And for power plants and trees see: Green Man Essences

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rainbow Council

I've now got 45 cards made in Painter IX and printed out - its felt like all I was waiting for was a nudge from the SoulCollage® book to open the flood gates and I've been riding the wave ever since.

Here are my cards so far:

  1. Bad Angel
  2. Blocked Artist
  3. Book Lover
  4. ClutterBug
  5. Curtain
  6. Hoper
  7. Hurt Body
  8. Inner Magical Child
  9. Lady Bountiful
  10. Mask
  11. Medicine Man
  12. One Who Wants To Live In The Country (not printed out yet, part done)
  13. Pattern Maker
  14. Pleaser
  15. Problem Solver
  16. The Cleaner
  17. The Doubter (printed out but already changing!)
I got the Blocked Artist done early so I could unblock as much as possible. This seems to have worked.

  • C1 - Snake
  • C2 - Elephant
  • C3 - Donkey
  • C6 - Crow
  • C7 - Morning Glory
  • C8 - Mistletoe
I also know what my animals / plants are for other chakras and energy bodies. I wasn't thinking of starting these at all until I got a series of Donkeys coming up synchronously - including a strong (but resisted) desire to buy a second hand book on the care of the donkey!

  1. Abundant Mother
  2. Daughter
  3. Death
  4. Glorify Patterns
  5. New Beginnings
  6. Northern Hunter
  7. SoulCollager - not happy with this one yet
  8. Strange Reflections
  9. Strength
  10. Unnamed One
  11. Wayfinder
Rainbow Council
  • 0 White: Council As One
  • 1 Red: Well Wisher
  • 2 Orange: Gracious Communicator
  • 3 Yellow: Creative One
  • 4 Green: The Shaman
  • 5 Greeny Blue: The Relaxation Teacher
  • 6 Blue: Abstractions Muse
  • 7 Deep Blue: The Healer
  • 8 Violet: Community Healer
  • 9 Purple: The Seer
Something that fascinated me was the way a subset of the Council formed. Each of these cards is predominately one colour and they form a rainbow of 9 colours. Once I had them the zeroth one: white - Council As One - emerged too. I love this!

  • GowaWaDaDan - ancestral male, met in dream
This is the nearest to a Community card that I've got so far.

  • Unity
Today its time to get mounting them onto pieces of mountboard to make them into a usable deck.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Strange Reflections

Strange Reflections

Strange Reflections - Council - Painter IX

I am one who looks at the world differently - I turn things upside down, left-to-right - I transform and recast them in a different light.

I am one who leads you to see all around, not just in front of your nose.

I am one who knows that sometimes you need to half-close your eyes and in the blur you will see everything more clearly.

I am one who helps you from getting lost in the detail.

I am one who delights when asked "which way up is this supposed to be?"

I want you to delight in that too.

Notice now how your face feels, the physical sensation of your smile. When you want to feel like this again ask for me and begin to make strange reflections.

And yes, I am the hanged woman recast in this card.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Possible backs for cards: Stars & Ripples
Painter IX

Over the last few days I've made and printed out 9 more cards. But as they are all ones which contain images that I feel are insufficiently mine to publish I won't show them here but I'm happy to have them!

The above image of the two card backs is a detail from one of the cards that is calling itself Soul-Collager.

Today I had a rest in the middle of the day which turned into a dream of this card. Its been hugely exciting to make though the current image isn't in itself exciting - this one really is about the process.

I already have what the card will say in part:

I am one who takes others ideas and images and re-assembles them. I am one who collages life.

When this card comes up in a reading it will be a prompt to make a new card, or change or remove an old one.

One of the types of image that I've been finding really exciting are pictures of Northern Lights - for instance see the Aurora (Borealis and Australis) pool on flickr. I've never seen these in life but I have dreamt about them!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hurt Body

Hurt Body

Hurt Body - Committee - digital collage

I am the one who cries with pain both physical and emotional.
I am the one who lets you know something is wrong and wants you to do something about it!

I did this collage yesterday but when I printed it my printer ran out of a colour and it was transformed. This is a scanned version of the way it came out. I like this form best.

Glorify Patterns

Glorify Patterns

Glorify Patterns - Council - digital collage

I am one who sees faces in clouds and trees.
I am one who glories in the pulse of nature, the vibrancy of life.
I am one who plays on the seashore throwing dice knowing their patterns mean more than random dots before my eyes.

Do you see the faces that are emerging from these clouds?

Update: I realised later that the last sentence is referring to two famous quote from Einstein:
I don’t know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

God does not play dice

More links

Here are a couple more links to Soul Collager sites:

Women, Art, Life: Weaving It All Together - Tammy Vitale's blog

On flickr: Sharryb

Monday, January 01, 2007

Abundant Mother

Abundant Mother

This image is my first card made after reading the Soul Collage book. In that book's terms this is a member of the Council and I've called her Abundant Mother.

In tarot terms she is the Empress from the major arcana. I blogged about the Empress in November. On that day I'd drawn my own version of her copying a card from the Shining Tribe Tarot.

Recently I'd decided that the Ecstatic Trance Position with the energy of the Empress was that of The Corn Goddess Posture. A key feature of the reports of the use of this posture is that people feel they are being remade at the molecular level.

And of course we are being remade at that level all the time. This is life. When life stops and death takes over then our bodies stop this continual remaking. Once dead our bodies become slabs of meat that go off unless given outside help to preserve it. We maintain our life by consuming things which were once alive.

I started off this image with two pictures of mothers; one with a girl, one with a boy, and various other bits. But it only came together when I found the picture of the woman in the top layer. Her African features remind me that many archeologist's think that the human race originated in Africa, a black Eve, to be mother to us all. Of course we've no idea what sort of features the original humans really did have - our skulls don't even have noses! - but this is artistic license.

Here is what the image says to me:

I am one who cares, who provides, who creates.
I offer abundance to all.
You may reject my abundance feeling suffocated by my sheer generosity.
I'll dry up then.
But you only need open your heart once more and I'll give and give to you!

Soul Collage

Tinker mentioned Soul Collage in her welcome comment on this blog. I ordered it immediately, I didn't look at any websites or blogs first; I just felt it was appropriate, and despite coming from a marketplace seller in the US who ships here (UK) and over Christmas it came before I had a chance to blog here again!

The process is actually called SoulCollage® with that registered trade-mark symbol required when using its proper name. So in general I'll just call it Soul Collage.

It has a website - and there are quite a few blogs that are either dedicated to it or that include them in passing, here are some:
And other websites:
Soul Collage cards come from the less conscious parts of ourselves. They are created through collage, sometimes directed towards a purpose and other times in a spirit of exploration.

The main system is based on four suits:
  1. Committee
  2. Community
  3. Companion
  4. Council
Plus a single Oneness card

The Committee cards are meant to be where one creates images of one's inner personalities - for instance most of us have an inner critic and an inner child in one or more guises, etc. It also allows for those parts which not everyone will have - for instance an inner writer, an inner athlete, etc. This is potentially a very large suit!

The Community cards are intended to be places where our outer influences are given images. Friends, pets and others who have had an impact on us. This could also be a big suit.

Companion cards are animal totems associated with each chakra. So for most people this suit would have 7 cards in it.

Council cards are for the archetypes which influence us most. In the tarot these are the 22 cards in the major arcana. One of the joys of this system is that there is no fixed set, no fixed number.

Cards can be made without knowing which suit they will belong to beforehand.

The way that Soul Collage cards are normally made is by collecting images from magazines and then collaging onto a chosen size of card - for instance 5" by 7". It is suggested that each suit, once assigned to a card, is given a different backing using wrapping paper.

My first impression is that this is a very inspiring way to make a personal deck. It is very much in line with what I've been doing with my weekly mixed media collages. It frees one from having to have any set numbers of cards (except perhaps for chakra cards). And there are already people out there working in this way. It seems that most decks do get to be as numerous as standard tarot decks and their variations.

My grumbles about it are these:

I do wish the 4 main suits didn't all sound so alike - Committee, Community, Companions and Council.

I need to think more about the Companions - I certainly have more than 7! Indeed some of my favourite non-tarot cards are collections of (non-animal) companions - for instance the Australian Bush Flower Cards. I also work with chakras beyond 1-7... and have done for years.

The word Neter is used where I'd be inclined to call it Essence or Spirit. Having worked with flower essences etc I've got very used to interacting with energies in this way. I do appreciate the idea of keeping each card's energy pure. That seems very important to me.

I am concerned about publishing straight-forward collage here. I rarely blog my collages unless I've manipulated them so much that their constituent images are no longer recognisable. The book says:
Should an artist recognise an original image of his or hers on a card shown in this book, we want to assure that artist that the SoulCollage cards are not made for resale, and that the recycled image is being cherished.
All very well, but those images are being published in a book and on a website. The book at least is being sold, as are workshops. And the inventor of all this, Seena B. Frost, has obviously seen it as necessary to protect her own interests with all this registered trade mark stuff... this all makes me uneasy.

I'm happy to use found images in my private work (and already do) but am much less happy to publish the work made using them in anyway.

Yesterday I worked on three images. (I'm doing all mine using digital glue - a lot less messy!) I've printed them out but will only blog one here as the other two are still too clearly a collection of other people's images. For me this is a sign that they are not yet finished.

I've decided on a format of 5x7 inches. This makes for very big cards compared to my normal decks. I expect that I will print out a smaller set that is more shufflable later.