Necrotourism

Arnos Vale, Bristol, UK
Arnos Vale, Bristol, UK

I’ve been doing quite a lot of thinking lately. After my uni course finished, I found quite a few free hours in the evenings that I’ve spent procrastinating, reading books and pondering but generally not drawing any useful conclusions. And just this afternoon, while I was wandering across the beautiful Victorian cementery of Arnos Vale in Bristol, that happens to be at walking distance from my home, that the penny dropped. I like to visit cemeteries, they are normally havens of peace with beautiful gardens, artwork and wild life.  I also like to pay respects to the people laying there, as my folks are too far away to do so in person.

As I was saying, the proverbial penny dropped. All this year I’ve been under the influence of the Hanged Man but without embracing its meaning of letting go, of accepting your deal. I’ve  been fighthing the statu quo, writhing like a fish out of water; for example I’ve done more job interviews this year that in all the rest of my work life put together and I don’t have much to show for it. But I’m still waiting for theresult of the last one, so fingers crossed!

But these last few days I’ve found some kind of inner peace, “If this is how it’s going to be, then so be it” So when I’ve come back from the walk, I’ve made a beeline the lovely number XIII’s from my decks, artfully arranged on top of a copy of La rage de vivre (Lust for life) by Boucq, a satyrical French comic book artist.

Top row: Marseilles, Barbara G Walker, Balbi Bottom row: Malinoff, Crowley, Gran Tarot Esotérico
Top row: Marseilles, Barbara G Walker, Balbi
Bottom row: Daniloff, Crowley, Gran Tarot Esotérico

I’ve divided them by rows, the top one with Death being depicted as static, almost arthritic, you may almost think that you can outrun her or at least, duck your head while she’s sweeping the air with her sickle; the ones in the bottow row are more interesting. Their role is active, they’re coming for you whether you’re ready or not.

Each of them with their own little way: either sweetly playing a medieval string instrument made with an hourglass, transforming the universe with her fierce dance or riding a wild Cerberus.

I must confess that all this started when I saw this magnificent display the other day; since I’ve started to watch Breaking Bad from the beginning, so if you are watching the last season already, please keep it spoiler free! 😀

Here’s to change!

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New deck!

Alexander Daniloff
Alexander Daniloff

I have just received in the post the full set of cards by Alexander Daniloff and boy, are they beautiful! I had been longing for them for a few months and as I found with a bit of extra money at the end of last month, I decided to treat myself.

Apologies for the poor quality of the image, but I’ve taken the photo with the only camera I’ve got: the one in my mobile phone and it’s not ideal; I should invest in a proper camera! Anyway, if you want to have a better look, go to his page: www.daniloff-art.it and have a look. You can purchase the whole deck or just the Major Arcana.

I’ve made a selection of the ones I liked more at first glance: Herakles in the 7 of wands; the amazing Chariot; the ever-so-sweet Wheel of Fortune…

I particularly love his take on the 8 of wands: all those weapons, each with a different point, make me think of how we have to use different approaches to crack a particularly difficult goal.

As you can see, it follows the classical Rider-Waite design in some of the Minor Arcana, but I don’t see that as something negative. The artist’s graphic language is so personal that he succeeds in making them new and different; plus it makes them quickly understandable. My favourite suit in this deck are the Swords.

My only issue is that they are so beautiful that I don’t want to shuffle them; I feel like my hands are paws and I’m going to damage them, as if they are flowers or a new-born baby.

Once I’m over being lovesick, I’m going to ask them something, I don’t know what yet. Although, now that I see the cards I picked up again, they may be telling me something already! What do you reckon?

Fallow land

It’s been a while since I wrote anything in the blog, but I hadn’t forgotten it. It’s been a mixture of too many things going on in real life and a severe case of writer’s block, so I have been putting off writing a new entry for too long. I suppose I have left the mundane took over and, like my beautiful maple, I’ve lost the glossy red for the utilitarian green.

All this stems from my chronic lack of organisation and too many time-suckers (mobile-phone anyone?); these addictions are something I’d like to tackle seriously because they prevent me from accomplishing things. During this off the grid time, I decided to stop complaining about everything I don’t like and taking steps to change them; and if so far no measurable results have taken place, I’m at least happier and I’ve managed to keep the blues away.

It doesn’t help that I haven’t picked up the Tarot cards since; I don’t have any decent excuses to account for that either. To be honest, I did some practice with the Lenormand oracle with disappointing results. I was doing a reading using the “no-layout” method recommended by Sylvie Steinbach: you look for the most appropriate card for the query in the deck and read the cards before and after it. In this case, the query was about work and, after the querent shuffled the cards, the Fox turned up last. No more cards after it.

Would that be because the querent was going to lose his job? I didn’t think so at the time, but his team was restructured the day after the reading and his position was (and still is) somehow in the air. If anyone has a theory on that, please do share!

I’ll be talking about addictions and our dark places next.

So small steps, folks. Like that ivy.

Tree by the Avon.
Tree by the Avon.