Saturday, 28 September 2013

The Ace of Swords

I mentioned previously, this blog contains the pages written for the Bonefire companion book, selected at random, taking the form of a daily pick. The deck, not asked for further comment, nor posed any questions in the light of said pick; merely to show me a preferred card to write of that day. Fair enough, that said, we are unable to see the natural procession each suit and some of my comments seem a tad incongruous, unclarified by context.
I mention this now as many of the suit of Swords were conceived  extremely intuitively, the Ace was not one such card, something I refer to somewhat abstractly in the opening of  the exposition of the Ace of Swords.
Disclaimer aside, I give you;

The Ace of Swords

The Bonefire Ace of Swords wastes no time in disproving my emphatic statement in the introduction to the suit regarding not 'actively' employing mind to design the Airy element. It was a relative latecomer to the party of completed canvas's. I deliberately left the remaining three aces -(after the changeable Ace of Wands) as artistic treats. When I finished an unappealing card and this could be thematic, a creative issue or  even a card which cut to close to the bone, I had cards, stored as treats and they never listed horses or too many pentacles in their number.
For the Ace of Swords I desired a  clean, uncomplicated image. Having decided to release all the Aces from the thrusty grips of the Rider-Waite deck; the sword is free to hover over the landscape. Pristine and unsullied, it proudly wears the crown, laurel and palm fronds; regal, it needs no owner to command it.
 The Ace knows it's task; a fruit ninja, it slices cleanly and evenly though the apple, exposing the core of the issue. Resistance futile; one flash of the blade and all is revealed. We have reached the centre.
Bonefire Ace of Swords rules where intellect and thought are prized. Employ them right now above all else. There can be no space or time for anything more.
 Beneath the Sword we find the other elements diminished, over-shadowed, but beginning to stir. The fire in the sunrise, warming the earth and awakening it's kin and loosening the watery emotions and intuition held tight, frozen in the snow-capped mountains, but they are slow to react where the Sword has acted reflexively and received it's answers.
In a reading we are implored to act swiftly and coldly, but warned, not in hast; without consideration of the consequences, such a weapon might do irreparable damage.
Divorced, as this sword is, from the environment above which it floats, it fails to notice let alone, make use of the love or intuition which might guide it towards a kind of wisdom. As such this suggests a kind of simple strength wielded righteously and lawfully.
The Bonefire Ace of Swords indicates; excessive, unbridled pride should be guarded against. The modern placing of love of intellect above all else. The dominion of modern man and his science over his own ancestral wisdom and that of the collective, natural history of the planet. The ego which tells you you are somehow superior and far above all you perceive is represented in the single, bright green eye which sits front and centre of the gold crown, holds you high and mighty in your universe. One is reminded that it was ever thus.
    If your Sword of knowledge is too tightly held and too strongly thrust you will be left a 'chicken-head' when inevitably proved wrong. So remain open and fluid in your thought processes and be wary of allowing beliefs to become concrete, for whatever it is, that you hold dear and true will eventually become old fashioned, objectionable, conservative; ultimately open to ridicle and reduction to historical novelty.
 The upshot; you are diminished and made irrelevant.
.....So there.

Friday, 27 September 2013

The 6 of Cups

      Right now I have a sense of deja-vous, not so much, I was here before, more, I typed up the 6 of Cups this time yesterday. I saved, unedited to make it nice this morning. Where is it this morning? Gone- that's where. So here I am- doing it again.
 Yesterday I was very tired and the explanation came out a little dreary, so perhaps it happened for a reason, like when you are on a forum and you possibly misconstrue someone's intentions and you react in a, 'burn your bridges' kind of a way. You hit the' post' button and, poof... the whole thing disappears into the ether. Of course you are livid and make sure your whole family knows it.... A bit of time passes, you have your tea and maybe a glass of wine......and it occurs too you the Universe has maybe, just stepped in and saved a tiny piece of your soul. At this point you feel all connected and the loving feeling is back and you rewrite the original  post, from a place of warmth and balance and hey presto...-well still no-one answers you, but you have precisely, no more enemies than you had before.....This is an acceptable result.
So without further delay, The 6 of Cups (mark 2)

The 6 of Cups

Following scraping our feet on the sharp rocks at the bottom of the river in the 5 of Cups, we find ourselves in a time if healing; the sun setting on what has, at last been a wonderful day.
In the Bonefire 6 of Cups, we find two young ladies.The older faces us. She is preoccupied with the tiny girl standing between us and passing her one of the 6 gold cups. She has chosen the cup where the lotus flower has grown tall and true.
The waters in which they sit are those of a shallow, warm lagoon; drip-fed by the ocean, teeming with life, but neither flowing, dangerous or tidal, symbolizing a time for passive reflection.
On the left, indicating the past we see a carefully constructed sandcastle, the work of the day. On the right we find a pretty cottage and garden, perhaps the ladies live here, perhaps it is a waking dream, to own such a home.
The Bonefire 6 reminisces and spends time looking to our own history uncovering gifts we can receive from the past. Both girls have the same hair, vibrant red and memorable; they are the same person. As she sits in the shallow waters of childhood play the woman engages with her own 'inner-child', her truth. She allows herself to feel as she did when summers days were long, safe and made only for fun.
The card invites us to join her in remembering our own childhood essence; our best and untainted version, painted long ago before the agonizing self-consciousness of ego emergence came and locked us to our thoughts.
An alternative interpretation for this card speaks of motherhood and what can be learned  from observing and joining with our children in their choice of activities.
The 6 of Cups stand large and strong in the lagoon, the brackish waters do not encroach and spoil the flowers. They survive well and bloom in this unlikely setting. We are reminded to look in unlikely places for answers and inspiration, we too might thrive and learn to improvise like the child who makes a doll house from a shoe-box and wears the shoes to bed.
Gifts from the past may be used to further our dreams, what we find there is always truth and though the woman might look back nostalgically and today, paint it with a rosy glow, she will find one of childhood's finest gifts, the ability to live in the moment- mighty valuable and so tricky to achieve.
 Where are you now living now?
 How about now?
- Yep see, I lost you....

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The 10 of Coins

So I made my first daily pick, and blow me what should come up but, wait for it, The 10 of Coins. This was the last of the Minor Arcana I roughed out, for the Bonefire companion book, so it was written about 3 days ago. I guess you could say, it is fresh in my mind.
That aside, this is absolutely not where I would have begun this lengthy journal of the deck. I was hoping for a simpler pick; Bonefire being what it is, has chucked me right in the deep end and given me possibly the trickiest of all.
Disclaimer aside, on I go.

The 10 of Coins
Okay so.....And this really is an, 'okay so' kind of a card.
Firstly to say, I went out on a limb with the design of the Bonefire 10 of Coins. It is very different from the Rider-Waite and, as in the 10 of Cups, I have not depicted the human family, of whom both 10s  speak so much. Of all the cards in the deck, here, I struggled. Could my interpretation mean anything to anyone besides me?

When I look at the RW version, I wonder if Pamela had similar misgivings with her own image. My problems upon meeting the 10, when reading had never quite resolved, often leaving me foxed...intuition  deserting. I arrived at a compromise, allowing the card to represent; an appreciation for all of ages of life as equally important and contributions from all family members, dead or alive to be highly valued.

Deeper research in to the 10 brought me to this image (I will post image as soon as I have gadgets on person):
I painted a wild poppy plant in a field on the outskirts of a village. 9 pentacles at the heart of the flower heads and 1 as a poppy seed, deep and stirring in the earth. I chose this flower as a symbol of remembrance and it's long use in magik and medicine.

The poppy heads are arranged carefully to echo the 'Tree of Life' of the Kabbalah, which also appears on the RW. 10 of Pentacles. The flowers themselves show us the various stages of the life-cycle of the poppy;  full blooms, buds, petals falling and a dried seek pod waiting for a passing breeze to shake out its wares. In the ground we find a seed has moistened and germinated. No stage of this life is more, or less important to the success of this plant.

Tiny pentacle stars twinkle in the sky as the magic is released by this process of nature at work; yet all would go utterly unmarked, were it not for the tiny dog who judges all he meets with the same friendly wag. Crouching down in a salutation to the poppy, he honors it. Nose to the ground, he has the scent of something secret and special and is unconcerned by the parishioners in  church searching for a little magic of their own, while socks dry and domesticity will eventually see them buried in the Earth.

The details vary, but the essentials are the same for the poppy plant, or the little dog. We are invited to be mindful of the amazing stories of survival we see daily, pay less heed to the banal, head outside and join the little dog digging in the dirt.

The 10 of Coins in a reading says, take a retrospective look to your ancestors and consider the path they trod. What lessons well heeded now can help us as we face our own challenges?  When they were the custodians of the earth, on which you stand, what contribution did they make? Will your own equal theirs?
The work of the natural world sets a very high bar.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Decisions made. Good.

          Decisions have been made about this blog.
 I am most keen to deliver my own interpretations of Bonefire in digestible chunks and finding myself in possession very rough first drafts of all the minor arcana, it seems fitting I should present the blog as follows;
I will shuffle, make a daily pick from completed cards and post the rough diamond card description here.
When this is done that card will be removed from my future choices.
As soon as I have access to my hard-drive with the full deck, (a few weeks) card pictures will be posted, as I go. Many are on the website, but I kept plenty back to surprise and delight buyers.
I will then, of course welcome any comments made about my observations.
These card descriptions are very personal and should not therefore be treated as especially useful as a tarot learning tool. Some are merely stories of a cards inception. In others you will see my own inner turmoil as I wrestle to find the words to describe my own work.
        I will find this helpful. If you own a copy of Bonefire, it might improve your enjoyment of the deck, if you suspect the opposite affect might result, I apologize in advance and suggest you neither torture yourself any more or blame the deck. Bonefire will not be held responsible for the future actions of persons connected it's use.

Friday, 20 September 2013

A promising start.

Okay so......

There is in existence a tarot deck. Not so many folk have heard of it. I have. I made it.
It has a name, I would love to formally introduce you, but though it is right here besides me it's current owner has not yet had the wherewithall to deliver it to you in all 78 flamin' glories.

The deck is Bonefire Tarot and I am here as representative of it's companion book in the making being written under the canny working title of the 'A Fireside Chat with Bonefire Tarot'.

In this blog I mean to try out some of the material I have written for the book and see if any I can stand the sound of my own whiney voice just enough to inflict it on you. Whilst I am a pretty adept creator of my favorite tarot deck self-published in 2013, by a very little-known Australian Symbolist painter, I am no writer- yet. This blog will change that, I never found anything creative that can't be tackled head on. I am a tenacious Jack Russell of a woman. A real ankle biter. 

So let's just see if I can't untangle something from a web of  notebooks and misguided notions residing in my brain-box and turn up some enlightening banter withwhich to illuminate my favorite subject, the inimitable, BonefireT.

To be honest I would rather be painting, when you have seen Bonefire and read this, I fear you might be in agreement.

Well-Hey ho!
On we go!
................and I will start tomorrow.