Saturday, January 31, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 01 February 2015: VI the Lovers, the 3 of Wands and lensing in from a galaxy far, far away is XX Judgment. (Today’s deck is the *Fantastical Creatures Tarot* by Lisa Hunt & D.J. Conway.) I’m feeling rather good this morning, yesterday having passed on the good side of the cards and having a few hours of decent sleep under my belt. This morning’s draw is curious. Giving it the old lightning-quick glance for summary before I actually LOOK at the cards, I would say “a new, emotionally important person and/or commitment is entering my life and I need to practice patience and provide planning, as this new element in my life will be both surprising and not 100% welcome by others in my sphere. IF I determine that this person and/or commitment while risky, is worth the effort, then I mustn’t pay attention to naysayers, but I have to polish up my act so as to leave neither footholds nor handholds for those determined to plant a pick in my plans.” (You’re welcome. I get off at 6; have dinner ready and the sheets turned down.) This is one of those readings that falls into the category of “Hey! I asked that question SIX months ago! A little tardy, aren’t we?” This galloped through my head about 6 months ago when I was feeling particularly cut off from the homo side of me. I felt I had lost touch, and while my marriage & my wife are excellent, and much loved, there is a whole other side to me that I have had on a starvation diet for over a decade now. Everybody inside is getting restless; the oppressed, my animus, my anima, old & young are starting to clamor for a little Justice, and the gods know SHE runs through my life regularly enough to be mistaken for a urine analyst in a rehab clinic. So, Mark, it looks like you are being told (if you want to be polite, you can say “asked,” but we all know better) to put on your cleats and step up to the plate, warm-up is over. Thank the seven heavens of Bastet that my wife is kosher with my Journey; (of course, one could argue that we wouldn’t be married otherwise, n’est-ce pas?) and as a matter of fact may be more eager for me to strike up the band and get on over to the Big Top than I am – I’m rusty and “out of training” for starting ANY new emotional adventure, but they happen all around me all the time and I know it and don’t care, that’s Life. I won’t hold my breath, but someone new building sandcastles in my soul may be exactly what I need, oh Hell, yes, even WANT. Another soul with which to commune on that foundational level – ah, what delight! Well, on verra. And who is looking at this little micro-mini-drama and pushing me to make change, deep change, profound change, “dazzle them with your acrobatics!” change. So, actually, what my day is telling me here is much like my first, rapid glance: “things are gonna change, buster, start the motor and hold on to your hat!”  This is all very good, in that no one seems to be trying to slip a turd into the banquet disguised as a stuffed vine leaf. There seem to be no evil, dark & dirty bitches or bastards blocking my Timeline today, so I’ll take it. I’ll walk into my day with “I move forward with complete trust in Myself.”

Friday, January 30, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 31 January 2015: the Knight of Swords, The 7 of Wands and lensing in from the astral where she was incognito and binging on romantic comedies and perfumed dragées is II the Popess. (Today’s deck is a wonderful find, the *Kazanlár Tarot* by Emil Kazanlár (Facebook: [ ] and Deck: [ ]. It is actually Herr Doktor Professor, but we are just beginning a new epistolary friendship and I really don’t want to cast him in the “role,” you see; I still have vivid images thanks to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. It is a polycultural deck, very colorful and VERY Kabbalistic. I love the deck, and now for the sad part: to my knowledge, it is not available to the general public. I performed a service for Prof. Kazanlár for which he generously provided me with his decks. [Yes, plural. The other is a Majors only, round deck. Quite stunning as well.] This deck numbers 80 cards, with the addition of a court-style maharajah labelled “Reason” and a court-style Austrian empress labelled “Intuition.” They can also be Significators.) Well, well, well . . . it HAS been several days, thus I am overdue a visit from one of the royal Swords men. The Knight especially, but both he and the King seem to live in the lining of my skin and burst forth whenever they wish, and damn the consequences. It’s a phallic world out there, Swords & Clubs dominating my landscape because Cups turn up their noses at me and Pentacles are rather sexless and impersonal, just like money and most 3-D thingies. Not the home & health, of course, but generally Pentacles are a settled suit for me, as if Karmic arrangements were made before I was born. So today I’m being earnest, or will have an earnest young man on my doorstep, and everything about him screams, “Guide me! Help!” He’s a bundle of well-meaning energy and contentiousness, our knight, but he is so narrow-visioned it is easy for him to fall off the Path and forget his directed goal. So, pay attention to Junior today, Mark! He’s around, so don’t lose him or let him wander off. On the other tentacle, I might not have to keep too close an eye on Junior, as he is rattling around the chateau with the 7 of Wands, a terribly positive sign in ANYONE’S hands, especially our Knight. This 7 calls for courage, dauntless & decisiveness. A victory is PROMISED, a great victory, but it HAS to be worked for, I can’t sit back on my lime-flavored with pineapple rings asscheeks and simply wait for it to waltz into the into the room. Our card shows villagers asking a sadhu for enlightenment, their quest being knowledge which must be fought for if it is to be gained. When one does win through, there is a sense of deep “consolation,” as if your “penance” has been rewarded. Overseeing this Knightly waltz with an armful of Wands, the Popess pops another Ricola Double-Strength Lemon Drop in her bow-lipped mouth to combat her trance-inducing eau de toilette (an eye-tearing blend of patchouli oil, smoked eels & garlic.) “Grandma” doesn’t drop in often, she’s usually locked in her tower with her latest talking mandrake root that she will inevitably have named, “Nostradamus.” When she DOES bother to show up, it is usually because there is some heavy anima-adjustment needed in my world. Normally, and this IS a grave fault of mine, I trust my anima about as much as I trusted Biff Johnson, my first boyfriend and quarterback of the football team, after I caught him behind the bleachers with Polly Ollensdotter, the tri-state Cherry Pie Bake-Off Champion three years in a row (and fat pig, IMO.) At any rate, once again I’ve probably got my anima in the wrong lens over some question or another, and I need to search it out and balance it out, or else, and this is just a feeling, the Knight is going to be unable to continue with this issue unresolved behind him. Despite the swords and wands that open this MashUp, it was signified as an intuitive reading today by the draw of a guiding spirit (thus putting the 2 extra cards to picayune use.) That, coupled with the Popess watching the ball, certainly convince me that today’s reading is happening somewhere inside, that I need to call on my interior senses to see my way around today, and to do it with joyful expectation. After all, nothing defeats like an attitude of defeat, right? So, holding mu Intuition like the illuminating brand that it is, I shall trust in its friendship to help me out today.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 30 January 2015: the 6 of Coins, XVIII the Moon and lensing in from Central Control is the Lensmaster himself, XIX the Sun. (Today’s deck is *Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot* by Paul Huson. Attractive, in the original sense of the word. You can’t help but like the deck, it is like a friendly puppy. Clear, concise and the use of color is very boundary-oriented. Good deck.) The sixes always leave me a bit flummoxed. You are never quite sure where you are going when one slides out from your fingers to plop into the waters of consciousness at your feet. The 6 of Coins and its take on measured generosity is, on the surface, easily understandable and worthy of the small sneer that it evokes. But then again, that isn’t really what this card is about; if you don’t believe me, go ahead, go on, get your butt over to the shelf and get down your copy of ‘78°’ by Pollack and look for yourself, Doubting Thomasina. It IS a good card, don’t get me wrong (even if, at darker moments when I would like to fuck with someone’s head and say, “Oh, no! You’re going to lose everything and have to beg charity from your worst enemy!” LOL, no, I’m not that malevolent, really, but it IS funny.) Today I am going to go with this card as a Gate card, a card that, if properly handled and joined with other cards, may serve a s a gateway to receive the attached qualities or gifts. Here I am attaching XVIII the Moon, which gives me one of those brief out-of-body experiences that aren’t, a “The Moon??? Are you SURE, buddy? Really, the Moon?? Okkaaayy, if you say so, but don’t say you weren’t warned!” moment. I have more confidence in the Moon than I do, it seems (LOL). Which is okay, because as much as I joke around, I KNOW, for a fact, Officer, that there is a screaming old crone inside me, right here, too. I give a LOT of lip-play to my ongoing tussles with my anima/ae, but at base she IS me, and it’s all one big clusterfuck in here anyway, so I really don’t have that much problem with dancing in the moonlight. It may take me close to the edge of the pier, but the view of the approaching hurricane is magnificent. Champagne, cocaine, cold platter lobster and a tower suite at the Marriott beachside resort as the Moon rises to handmaiden in the storm, and then to fall, sometime later after both the storm and the pier had blown away, with the rising of her lord and master and companion and partner, XIX The Sun, who has lensed in directly in order to keep this tempest-in-a-teacup down to daily proportions. I love the Sun, AND the Moon, AND the dark spaces in between, so I’m along for the ride, please don’t pull over at that Stuckey’s and make me get out. I promise, today I will “Shine bright and surround myself with Light.” Can we get on down the Road now, please?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 29 January 2015: the 9 of Pentacles, the 3 of Swords and lensing in from the edge of the precipice is 0 The Fool. (Today’s deck is le “Tarot du Doux Crépuscule* [Tarot of the Sweet Twilight] by Cristina Benintende & LWB by Barbara Moore. It’s a quirky deck – not AS quirky as Deviant Moon, but its “rinsed,” almost-1940’s-style images are just odd enough to knock you into a second look. Weird, I “kind of” like it, ask me again in a year or three.) Well! This is so clear I am just floored. I shall suffer a sharp, particular pain, which I have inflicted upon myself, which will result in great financial prosperity for me, and the Fool is urging me to hurry up and push my Aunt (signified by the cat) over the cliff. The good fortune in this is emphasized by the Chinese fortune cookie in the tree. Genius! You know, this readin’ these here Tarot cards ain’t so hard after all, by cracker! Actually, NATURALLY, that isn’t what I see or feel here. I see that my “girls” are rather pouty and low slung as I sling a bag of coin and/or magic around my neck and venture out into Jetsonville. (If the Fool was accompanied by a dog, as in most decks, would she have worn a dog mask? What in the Hell could this card have to do with Catwoman?) Other than feeling sleekly self-satisfied and extremely comfortable in the 3-D world of their physical comfort, that is. The 9 is really about what success I may have had in constructing myself with the materials given; I think I’ve done better than damn-well, to speak the truth. Bringing Balance to that crazily weighted sac of carnival items with which I was presented was one hell of a task, and I’m STILL working on it. Really, though, I have no right to complain too loudly, except to carp & cavil a bit about the astronomical physical price one pays for having survived and grown: as you cross the Point of No Return, you realize more and more that your body is your billfold or wallet, and that Fate/Karma is spending your money at a fucking FRIGHTENING rate. Health becomes a living concept instead of an abstract. I LOVE the 3 of Swords card, I always have (don’t forget, Swords are ALWAYS showing up clustered around me, it’s my “default” suit; which goes a long way towards explaining the cyclonic impression my life can give.) Like most people, I have known great interior pain (exterior, too, but I’m still too exhausted running from the exhibits over at ‘Ze Jurassique Parc’ just outside of Marseille to talk about it.) But the thing about inner pain isn’t that it scares me; I scare myself because I feel a kind of strange, quiet contentment running underneath it that is practically addictive. I want to stay. Plus, I’m a BIG fan of “melancholy.” I get the greatest kick out of that swoony, moody pretention; it requires not a little acting skill, an extensive wardrobe of black, and a large fortune to indulge your caprices for night journeys to haunted ruins. I don’t suffer from this particular pretention, but I do so enjoy watching those who do. Watching this Waltz of the Two Behaviors is our psychiatrist, the Fool. I didn’t have to think about what profession he practices, it came to me instantly. They are ALWAYS far more disturbed than their clients and just as crazy as batshit. But quite often they are very intelligent (if you can break the hold the Babblespeak drug has upon them), uniquely talented individuals. Hannibal Lecter “is” a rarity, thank the gods. And I don’t want to mock the Fool too much; he is, after all, Me! I DO “tread the path of life with joy in my heart and a smile on my lips,” I do! But that ain’t all, folks! If that was all, then dress me up as Shirley Temple and pimp me on the Place de Pigalle in Paris. On a side note, I must admit that I’m not overly fond of the Fool in this deck: it’s a marionette, exactly the OPPOSITE of the liberated spirit undertaking the start of the Journey. Somebody ELSE is in control; the cat doesn’t want to warn me as much as play with my leg string and what the HELL is that caught in the tree? A condom? A fortune cookie? One of those corn cone snacks? A diaphragm? “I ain’t eatin’ it pa. You can whup me if’n you want, but I ain’t eatin’ it!” Well, I’m outta here. I’ve got a day to which I must attend.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 28 January 2015: the King of Swords, XVII the Star and lensing in from the bloody fields of dinner, the Page of Wands. (Today’s deck is the *Zombie Tarot* by Paul Kepple, Ralph Geroni and Stacy Graham. A “sister” deck to the *Housewives’ Tarot*, these are popular, fun interpretations of the RWS system. Zombies are far down the list of my preferred supernatural creatures, but the deck is very amusing. It IS a functioning Tarot.) This deck’s LWB is brief and amusing. In a bit of change for today only, I’m going to copy their pithy little descriptions here; I find them not far off the mark when it comes to Mark! Firstly, for the King of Swords, (and this sounds VERY me!) the LWB says this, “The King of Swords has plenty of common sense, which is why he is often called upon to make important decisions. But the old coot is so stubborn, he sometimes fails to see all sides of an argument. This king needs to temper his intellect with some guidance from the heart – but don’t count on that happening anytime soon.” Oh wowser, that’s me, alright, and I’m opening the day feeling that way, I guarantee you, so the Tarot has my number bright & early today. I DO feel good today, a bit royal (more than usual!), and ready to make decisions if I need to do that. Next up we have the XVII the Star, which apparently I have pinned to my psychic chest and, puffed up a bit, am proudly parading around the court this morning. The LWB says, “You’re on the right track for the important things in life while good luck and a fresh attitude bring new opportunities. Take a minute to revel in your accomplishments and then move on to the next level of awesome. Others look to you for inspiration and guidance while scraping zombie goo off their shoes. What’s your plan?” Cute. I can definitely see that pinning the Star to my chest is a good thing, but the price tag is right there under my eyes, “What’s your plan?” For today, my plan is simple enough, providing the Cosmos doesn’t feel like practicing its left hook today. I don’t have a glass jaw, but I get SO angry that I stop my own advancement. (That is my great fault, you know, Anger. I control it well, but when it blows, a rare occasion, entire civilizations and all their works have fallen in ruin. [Grin.] You get what I mean; it isn’t that difficult to scare myself with my own temper, because while under its grip, I have done some terrible damage to others.) So, wear your Star today, Mark, it helps, but DO pay attention to its magnifying effect, it can magnify your bullshit, too. Regarding all of this from the Highchair of Judgment is the Page of Wands. According to their LWB, “This little charmer doesn’t let a little thing like being confined to a highchair hold him back; he has his eye on the prize and won’t stop until he acquires it. He’s hard to resist, and his youthful innocence may coax you into helping him get what he wants. Hopefully it won’t cost you an arm or a leg – he has a habit of biting the hand that feeds him. This card may herald the need for growth to do things yourself and not be reliant on others.” No, that isn’t it, not this morning, not for me. If a young man of this description turns up this a.m., I have no problem throwing him on the bed and demanding that he love king & country, but I am FED UP with aiding or paying for the schemes of the young. I HAVE participated in the recent past, and the payoff is NEVER worth the investment. So no, Peter Page, wheedle your support elsewhere. I have a different agenda in mind these days for handsome men, and it doesn’t involve fostering your dishonesty or helping your laziness. As a matter of fact, filled with confidence and self-trust, I don’t need your bindlestiff of fears & doubts at all, for any reason.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my  for 27 January 2015: the 2 of Cups, V the Hierophant and lensing in during a break in his run through the countryside, amok with his sword, is the inexperienced Page of Swords. 5Tofay’s deck is the *Sola Busca Revisited* ed. by Seven Stars. For sheer piss-elegance, Sola Busca is the mountaintop, and this deck makes it a bit more user-friendly and quotidian for daily use. I like it. Note: It isn’t for learners.) The beauty of the Sola Busca is that in its place as the primo Italian deck to which we have access or even possess knowledge, interpreting the cards is a personal choice. Like the “faux amis” between English & French (when a word is “almost” the SAME in both languages, but has 2 distinct and different meanings depending on the language.) There is NO LWB for Sola Busca, not any way of knowing what “system” of interpretation was given to them, or IF one was, or what THESE signified to THOSE people in THAT century (15th.) That’s 6 centuries ago, think about it! So, with these beautiful but mysterious early Renaissance decks, you are striking out on your own. (Erik C. Dunne, thinking of you as I forge a path this a.m. Stay true to your path, mon cher ami.) I don’t need to stray too far for this morning’s pull, however. I’m starting the day on a bright union, a beautiful newborn understanding, an excitement to the birth of a new enterprise. At this very second, of course, I have no idea what form that may take; perhaps a conversation I had early this morning with someone who is important to me and feels emotionally vulnerable, or perhaps someone in my family has an announcement, or . . who knows? But I look at the cards this morning, I “reach out” to them, and go in, and feel out the vibe. What are they saying today, I ask myself? Here, in a funny (odd) way, I think V the Hierophant, a card I know intimately, is here to make sure that at least I keep SOME of the forms in their usual aspects, to at least TRY and “color in between the lines, honey.” I was deeply UN-inspired by yesterday’s draw because I FELT nothing, NOTHING at all from the draw. It was as interesting to me as a flayed rat carcass, which is to say, ZERO. John Q; Pope is someone I usually don’t have any trouble at all identifying as a part of me, but today he feels simply fuddy-duddy-ish, an aged grandpa who’s found himself “in charge” of a children’s birthday party. Good luck, old fart, you can’t even MOVE that fast. I have this insane desire to step into his robes and yell, “It’s Okay! You can love who you want how you want, I promise! Just no bullshit or violence, okay?” Hooking the energy of the sword Ace and the open horizons of the 2 of Cups together, it’s more than a bit silly to ask Grandpa H. to babysit. However, if he can go back a bit and be a storyteller, he might have a rapt audience. Whichever, whatever, whomever, just pick up the oriflamme upon which is embroidered, “Ethical Will,” and lets ride out and see if any of this Renaissance food is even edible, whaddaya say?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

 Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 26 January 2015: the 3 of Winds (Swords), the 5 of Winds and lensing her way over in multicolored brilliance that she can’t even see, we have VIII Justice. (Today’s deck, again, is the *Japaridze Tarot* by Nino Japaridze and Steve Lucas. I love the art.)  It isn’t an entirely heart-sinking draw, but I can’t say that I’m terribly amused, either. Pointed Sorrow, Chaos, Justice. There, eat it, Mark. Eat it raw. I don’t entirely get the point of this draw as it isn’t guiding me anywhere, it is just “predicting” a shitty day with a square end. Big phucking deal. I’m outta here; this more or less just pisses me off. The art is pretty, though. The affirmation for today is supposed to be along the lines of moving towards balance and harmony; I have a better idea. How about if I kill my neighbor, “weep” her loss, then pay a “kill fee” in Syrian currency, as a Muslim country, and simply say “family honor” was involved? There, cards right on after all, me in a pro-active role, and the neighborhood rid of a bitch. Damn! Tarot IS making my life better!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 25 January 2015: the Knight of Pentacles, VI the Lovers and rather feebly lensing his way in because everything’s a bit topsy-turvy we have the 9 of Cups reversed. (Today’s deck [again] is *The Gypsy Palace Tarot* by Nora Huszka and Matthias Furch. This deck makes you want to learn Magyar! Really like it, colorful – perhaps distractingly so? – and enjoyable to read.) After drawing the cards today, I thought, “I should message Marcus Katz and tell him he can’t possibly be a magician if he hasn’t learned Magyar!” I’m constantly giving Marcus grief, but he is a big boy and, better still, he gets it. At any rate, I enter this morning dressed as . . . ta-da! . . . The Knight of Pentacles. This isn’t usual haberdashery for me – if I enter as anyone, it is usually as the Knight of Swords or King of Wands, sometimes the King of Cups. This dull, plodding fellow, though, who has lost sight of the Source of his energy; even Nora’s Knight looks rather “swept along by forces beyond his control.” He/ (I) have teamed up with VI the Lovers for a turn on the dance floor. Sidebar: as you know, the archetypes & characters of the Tarot change and grow as we change & grow, it only makes sense. The issue(s) facing an adolescent is/are NOT the issue(s) facing a man of 60 years of age. Sometimes, if you are paying attention, you can spot when the deck “shifts en masse” to make the fit with where you are NOW. Lately I’ve been noticing the shift happening for me and in certain cards more than others, VI the Lovers being one of them. The earlier Tarot de Marseille interpretation is a LOT closer to my thinking right now than any Waite-necessitated bourgeois marriage blessed by the Christian god. IT is about Choice, and more specifically, about the marriage of Union and Desire to produce something viable and capable of enlightenment, eventually. This union is NOT a heterosexual sexual allegory, kids. Think Plato and his double-beings separated and searching for union; Plato formatted it as M/F, M/M and F/F. Homosexuality isn’t differentiated in a homophobic setup, it’s just part of the mix. So for the Union, I find it symbolizing for ME the metaphysical Union, and now almost NO physical component to it at all. So my plodding, graceless Knight of Pentacles is waltzing with Metaphysical Choice, a grand lady about 180° out of his league. I like to think that I am “pro-choice,” that is to say, I’ll pick the “take a chance, you may grow & evolve!” choice EVERY TIME over the “let it drift by, there’ll be another, take a nap” school of thought. (Sometimes when I get a 4 of Cups I become vexed, because that is what I DON’T like to do!) So dressed as this uninspired and uninspiring knight, what the heck can I draw out of today that would require her presence??? We’ll, on verra, bien sûr. Lensing in a topsy-turvy fashion, in a manner of speaking out of his asshole (go ahead, look at the card! It’s an illusion, but it’s there!) we have the 9 of Cups reversed. This is one of those “bubblegum trading cards”; by that I mean that reversed its meaning is even more upbeat and positive than an upright reading.  Waite called it (hang on, I need to look it up). . “Truth, Loyalty & Liberty.” So, if we take this shining card o’ gold and place it as a filter over our dancing couple, I believe I’m reading a little bit surprising but not unwelcome news for the day; with a degree of affection, trust and wellbeing I should be able to make a connection today that will serve my quest well, on a mundane level. I don’t actually think this draw is relating to any fireworks-worthy event in my soul on the Journey, but something much more prosaic and practical from a mundane point of view. So, taking up the banner my wife embroidered for me while I was away on that last Crusade, “Life, The Wonder, The Light,” I think I shall go forward with a comforting degree of calm respect for the Journey today. 

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 24 January 2015: The King of Cups, the 7 of Cups and literally winging her way in to the reading to « Surveiller et Punir » (Michel Foucault eat your heart out!) this sloppy house of love is XIV Temperance. (Today’s deck is *The Apocalypse Tarot* by Swiatoslaw Nowicki, Magdalena Walulik and Robert Sobota. Esoteric Christianity is on the MA and Polish Catholicism is on the ma. Although neither Polish nor Catholic, I find the deck fascinating and clear to read. It is very unusual, but I like it!) Well, this is a more problematic reading than it may appear. We have a dominance of Cups, and Verbena Fairylips Lovechild, our leftover hippie-turned-cardreader would gush and ooze on about the power of LUUUV in my life and how I need to be LUUUV and look for LUUUV just as soon as I can bond with my teddy bear and pretend I have no sexual organs. Gawd, I hate that faux-innocence shit. People who willingly blind themselves to the dark things often incarnate them. Let’s remember that the King of Cups isn’t an ultimately happy or serene-in-the-emotion-of-love kind of guy. He’s had to kill his own talents in order to be an administrator in a realm where he would fit perfectly among the ruled, yet instead he rules. He is the master regulator, true, but it is more in the fashion of a supply master, rationing and dividing and sharing the wealth according to need. So we have a conflicted, slightly fucked-up king and he is dancing with . . . Illusion! Oh, just fukkin’ perfect. The 7 of Cups is, at heart, about a lack of grounding, a lack of being in touch with the Real. And no smartass comments about, “Yeah, man, but what’s ‘Real’?” we ALL know what I mean here. Our deck today characterizes it as “idolatry,” and that’s pretty much on the mark, worshipping that which is NOT worthy of worship, choosing that which is actually the most harmful to us. Eyes open, Mark-o! The Way ahead is strewn with booby-traps and landmines, so walk softly and carry a big, scary works-in-any-sphere gun. Surveilling all of this from her winged, float-y position, one of my more recent acquaintances but lord! She comes around a lot!, is XIV Temperance, trying madly to blend, hammer and temper the metal of this union and quench the Fire in the newborn sword (?) in her Waters. I’m having to guess the Fire inference is me directly as there are no cards showing that would hint at that conclusion, and yet I know it is the right one – opposing or clashing or unhappy or mismatched elements are warring inside me, not happy with their assigned tasks, generally uncomfortable on the throne, and I want to channel this through XIV Temperance in order to reach a livable medium. Unhappy kings and choices empty of substance are both guaranteed to PISS ME OFF, so I badly need Temperance here to help me reach an end-of-the-day status quo with which I can live. So, arming myself with the thought that I am strong in love and life and that I can shine with the radiance of a Star, I should be able to do this today.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 23 January 2015: XV the Devil, the Ace of Pentacles and lensing in again from one of his frequent voyages is the 6 of Wands. There will be no reading today of the MashUp, just this simple presentation of cards. I hope to return tomorrow with a regular read for another MashUp, but for today you have my apologies. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Good morning, All ! Welcome to my MashUp for 22 January 2015: II the Papesse, the 4 of Wands and lensing in from the golden counting house we have the 4 of Coins. (Today’s deck is the *Gilded Visconti Tarot* ed. by Lo Scarabeo.) One’s day, Fate or Destiny seems so much more glorified and highlighted when one is using a gilded deck, doesn’t one? LOL. Almost the history of mi life; gold-plated, gold-leafed, vermeil, anything gold except solid 24K blocks of it lining my bank account. As long as it LOOKS gold, slap it up! When what I like is the heavy, unassuming solidity of pure gold, the buttery golden color, and the hefty weight of real, solid gold. Not that I am an ugly fat redhead with a fat Japanese servant and a plan to rob Fort Knox, far be it, but not far behind, either. (Oh, and I’m not fond of gilded blondes, either.) Well, I start the dance with II the Papesse. Like the opening of an imperial ball, you dance with your most titled and important guest for the opening gavotte. Here it is the High Priestess, one of my girls, as I like to think of them (perhaps I was a pimp in a former life.) With her promise of exotic occult wisdom and the tearing of the Veil, the smoky mysteries behind the mirrors, the bleeding cranes flying across the face of the winter moon genre of symbols & symbolism. The Oracle at Delphi and the Sybil of Rome had nothing on her, the source of their Abracadabra Show. She is the original ‘Gypsy in a Booth Will Tell Your Fortunes,’ except that she is the inventor of the game and perforce much, much better at it than you or I will ever be. This is one of those “3Aspects of Woman” cards, and she comes across crone-like even if there still is a great amount of womanhood still left in her. She isn’t the Empress, after all. Yet what she does guard is important stuff, and nobody is going anywhere without it, including me. The Papesse doubles up with the 4 of Wands, a card of joy. This is the irrepressible energy of the Joy of living and loving together, and not inhabiting the ruins but living in the full sunlight of the open field. The Papesse, her usual doom-&-gloom grey veil off on the wind for once, cannot but help and join in the celebration and the freedom of happy expression. This is a great omen for the day, the Guardian of the Galaxy having a happy and joyful frolic in the country with the townsfolk (us.) Then, bringing in a sobering note to the festivities is the 4 of Coins. It seems that here it is necessary to take a break, bring some order (less joyous) back to the happy Chaos, and have some of the coffee and Purge-It! that the 4 of Coins is passing out. More than anything else, this looks and sounds exactly like a stick-in-the-ass adult driving up and shutting down the joyous excess of a teen-ager’s party. Well, I’m NOT a teenager, so that is more than appropriate, but, Cthulhu forbid! that it should turn into self-absorbed brooding and self-protectionism. I didn’t climb out of the ichor of pre-history to rule over primitive man only to be reduced to a lifeless cypher now by a simple card! So, let’s prance forward on a prissily-beribboned dancing pump and turn the minuet while contemplating the amount of power I can summon in the service of joy and love. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Good Morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 21 January 2015: the 10 of Cups, the Ace of Wands, and winging her way in from more moderate realms is XIV Temperance. (Today’s deck is the *Witches Tarot* by Mark Evans and Ellen Dugan. It is a wonderfully clear deck, there are no ambiguities here. Facile to read, and “feels” good.) I feel as if, by happy surprise, the waiter has delivered the Giant Shellfish Extravaganza to my table by mistake, instead of the bowl of tepid mud I was expecting. Or perhaps Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos are laying around, “chasing the dragon” together, and Clotho pipes up, “I know! Let’s give Mark Miller really good cards today. That’ll fuck with his head! Ahahaha!” Besides saying more about me and my ego than about a conversation among the Fates, that’s really the kind of goofily glad feeling I get when I look at a draw like this. Not that I am that easily pleased (“Give the elephant a peanut, Simon”), but it DOES help to get a positive “’attaboy!” just after rising and in the process of pumping caffeine into the machine. The 10 of Cups is family harmony and happiness, as we know. I have been having this card pop up repeatedly lately, so I feel as if the happiness and contentment I feel in my personal life is manifest and done. I’m happy at home, and we all know the Tolstoy quote about happy families (boring.) I get that, too, as a lot of our friends are young people, between 23 and 30 (we are an older couple, 63 and +, and their incomprehension before such boring bliss is amusing and, in the end, tiresome. The Ace of Wands in there, sticking “up out of” the 10 of Cups is surprising but not unwelcome. This star of the Fire cards is always welcome chez moi, although the birth of anything creative or having the least whiff of inventiveness isn’t present at this time. Perhaps it will be coming up as a subject today? Oh Frabjous Joy! Whatever the reason, the Ace of Wands always reminds me of the wizard Gandalf (J.R.R. Tolkien’s *The Lord of the Rings*) and his “miraculous” uses of that instrument. If I could wield it half as effectively in the creation of a new project I would be overjoyed, providing I deemed the project worthy of the time & effort. Lensing over all of this I have XIV Temperance, or as she is known on campuses around the world, “The Party Killer.” Nothing kills like excess, so they say, and “she” is “their” buckler against the arrival of the bar bill. I’m not that adept at avoiding the bar bill, so I truly like to cultivate this particular friendship. I tend to set ablaze everything I do, and couple this high Fire elemental with an addictive personality and I have a walking Towering Inferno, an example of which I am the often bizarrely proud but diffident owner. She is often the only voice that will get through, that CAN get through the static and the willful blocking out of adverse opinion. Although she can do this in minor ways in someone’s life, it is usually the major issues she is best at helping. Here, I think she is telling me, right from the start, to temper whatever overenthusiastic idea comes barreling down the pipeline with that Ace of Wands, and to pay attention so as not to see ALL of my life through those domestic rose-colored shades.  Therefore, it can only profit me to pay attention to the pattern that my life is forming around me and to assure myself of its perfection.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to the MashUp for 20 January 2015: XVIII the Moon, III the Empress and lensing in between two women of consummate power (WHO told him that would be safe ??) we have the 8 of Pentacles. (Today’s deck is the *Egyptian Tarot* by Silvana Alasia. Wonderful deck, with symbols galore, it is a very decently Egyptian-themed deck.) It seems that I’m spending the day with two of the three expressions of femininity: the woman (Empress) and the Crone (Moon). Many associate II the High Priestess with the Crone, but today, at least, I like putting her up there in the Moon because that seems to fit the “Grok” for today. (If you are not familiar with the word “grok,” read *Stranger in a Strange Land* by Robert Heinlein.) I have to mention that I wonder where all of this pinpoint precision on being feminine, womanly, fertile, psychic, wise and oracular  is going to come from – it is almost certain it won’t be coming from my wife. She isn’t that kind of woman, she is off exploring strange galaxies, and she left this region of space a long time ago. This is not to say that my wife is unhelpful, she is most helpful, but she has a completely different kettle of fish to fry than interests me. She branched off at V the Hierophant and forged her path through forests I preferred not to visit. We are equally supportive of each other and, perhaps best for us, on entirely different Journeys. I could take an easy out here and say, “Oh! Those are aspects of my feminine nature which shall rise like cappuccino foam triumphant!” but that would be a crock o’ shit, and we’d all know it. I am not that feminine, not by a long shot, and being bisexual doesn’t change it any significant way. (I see bisexuality very simply: I am a man who likes men and women. Don’t load my ‘burger up with a bunch of useless issues, please. That’s all, folks!) So, I am going to look for a more Generalized wave of the feminine to set my day afloat and awash, and much of it will be of the unknown, hidden oracular genre that bleeds from XVIII the Moon. And yes, we all know why I chose THAT verb; it was deliberate and evokes specific images. YET – look with whom the Moon is paring up, III the Empress! What, it needs BOTH of them to hammer through to me? LOL (laughing out loud), that might be correct! The gods know I’m rather misogynistic when it comes to listening to feminine counsel or admonition, although I can and will do it, providing the necessity is there. And to be perfectly clear, all of this applies to men in my life, too, so I’m not singling women out as my “victims.” My “victims,” if there are any, are the Ignorant and the Evil. Or at least I hope so. Coupled with these two ladies is the 8 of Pentacles, hard work and lots of it, but the good news is, there’s “lots of it!” We won’t be on the breadline anytime soon, my animae and I. If nothing else, perhaps I am being told that I have a chance to shake, once and for all time, this in-built and inherited knee-jerk reaction to not trust the advice of a woman. I was taught that, surely I can UN-teach myself, as well. So, I shall ride forth today with an attitude of relaxed “dependence” on the Feminine, in the sense that I inherently trust it. In other words, Fake It ‘Til You Make It. (I do give Her more credit than that, I do, but I need to be honest with myself about my blockages, too!)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 19 January 2015: XXII the Phoenix, the King of Cups and lensing through its ten crystal chalices, the 10 of Cups. (Today’s deck is *Quantum Tarot Version 2.0* by Kay Stepforth and Chris Butler. They have added two cards to the Major Arcana; 00 The Universe and XXII the Phoenix. I quite like the imagery of this deck. I believe the deck serves better for study & meditation than readings, but here we go.) The Cosmic’s LWB describes the Phoenix as: “The Phoenix is the evolved Fool, rising from the ashes to begin his journey anew. This time the whole Universe is his playground. What has been reborn in you?” I don’t like the addition of “new cards” to the Tarot deck, at least not will-nilly. That can lead to an Arcanum for Aunt Tilley’s Recipe Rolodex, another for Constipation, and perhaps another, The Golden Chicken, symbolizing being shat out at great expense. That being said, the Universe and the Phoenix are not TOO obnoxious to add to the deck, at least for a “novelty read,” although it is slightly more than that. I would use this deck more if I was assured that its authors weren’t just doing janitorial work when they created two extra cards. Alright, alright, bitch, moan & kvetch, begone! All in all, this is a pleasantly reassuring draw as well as having a solid dose of adventure and happy endings. The Phoenix is, in this case, symbolizing a rebirth in my emotional life. Cups are NOT my suit, and the whole emotional field, for me, runs astrologically speaking on an outer planets timetable. I have all the patience of a crazed stoat when it comes to emotional delays, hang-ups or misadventures, and I want Love Love Love and I want it NOW. Yeah, yeah, typically Aries. So there I am, having finally had the courage to don my Neptune outfit, assuming the mantle of Kingship of Emotions, and NOT forgetting that king translates to “glorified shepherd” with a human flock. If anyone is meant to serve, it is the king. Everything a king symbolizes is locked into that web of wise and balanced care with which a good king supports his kingdom. So, this Fool is perhaps being the chance to become what he has long wanted to be, more aware of my kingship in the house of my emotions and better able to function in my role. The cards signify that I will be successful in this matter, that a new horizon is being breached in the House of Cups and that I am well-positioned to take advantage of it. I am grateful for the reassurance of success, but even more grateful that this area of my life is re-opening to me, and that the happiness I now feel in my domestic situation may be expanded to cover far greater territory in the kingdom than before. This would please me, profoundly. Family contentment may deepen, as well, which is well-timed to recent events. So rather than be content to regard what emotional wealth I have, sit back on my heavy haunches, drink beer and smile fatuously, I will go forward more in a spirit of adventure. I have long “worshipped” Poseidon/Neptune, in the quirky manner of someone who is a salamander/fire creature (for example, I fear death by fire, but am calm with the idea of drowning, therefore it is wise to remain friendly with Water, even if I am Fire.) So I shall bring a bit of that quicksilver temperament over to heavy Water, and see what comes up in the mix. I’m excited about this: it has been a l-o-n-g time since my heart has been out for a drive.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 18 January 2015 : II The Gate of the Sanctuary (High Priestess), the 7 of Cups and making swishing sounds as he practices getting killed while lensing is the 7 of Swords: (Today’s deck is the *Ibis Tarot* by Josef Machynka. A clean, “minimalist” Egyptian style, easy-to-read-with deck.) I love the High Priestess, Major Arcanum II. She baffles me. I never, and I DO mean never, know what to think of her when she turns up. I’m always suspicious of people telling me that I must accomplish A, B and C before they will deign to reveal to me Great Secret D; I am doubly so if it is a veiled woman. On the other hand, she is SO much fun – “C’mon, don’t be afraid, come on in, hang out, get creeped out, it’s all fine. Now, come here, I want to whisper arcane nothings in your ear while I caress your wand.” She is deep down there in the primordial well, telling me to get a grip because the sacral is right there, right within reach, behind that flimsy, wisp-o’-nothing veil floating in the air. I presume one of the reasons, and I DO say one, as in “amongst many,” I find her so baffling is merely the fact that I am male, and by natural orientation am not given to emitting cloudy puffs of obfuscation, nor of using that old, Hypatian lure of “learning is the best aphrodisiac.” She is one of those types who incarnate that in a woman which cannot be understood, the mystery of her participation in the creation process, along with the man, of creating and birthing divinity in themselves. The entry into II’s salon is quite simple: you must be willing, you must be humble and you must have an unquenchable desire to rise, to evolve. So if she is motivating me today, it seems she will be doing it by offering me Choice, and a lot of it. I’m always yammering on and on about how I value Choice, and how real democracy MUST have choice if it wishes to label itself as such, and why Choice is just about the 10/40 of the Universe. (10/40 is a type of motor oil.) Yet, like all who are stuck in the human condition, I really DO want, secretly and not-so-secretly, NOT to be given a surfeit of choice so as to help make my decisions easier. If I only have to choose between A and B, instead of A, B, C, D, or E, then I have a lot LESS chance of screwing it up, of bending myself over and having to take the high, hard one. Here I am being offered quite the surfeit and it is hard to break the illusion, but it can be done, and once the desire is mastered the energy can be turned to better uses. It does seem, however, that the 7 of Swords is hardly a “better use.” “Hasty actions solving nothing, Increasing isolation, etc.” all pop into mind when this 7 shows up, and on a standard RW card even the image seems sly, oily and untrustworthy. So I think I will be guarding against the temptation to act too precipitously today, and of acting alone, as well. All of this is a fairly mild, laid-back reading for today not involving a lot of tension and focus on process. So, gliding forth into my day, I shall remember to keep my energies focused on the moment in hand and on succeeding in keeping myself calm and laid-back on a day when I am being asked to learn, not to perform colossal, self-concentrated labors of accomplishment. Take it easy, Mark, it will be just fine.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my  for 17 January 2015: IV the Emperor, the 8 of Wands and lensing in from Nirvana we have the 10 of Cups. (Today’s deck is the *Vecchio Tarocco Italiano di Stefano Vergnano, Torino, 1830 ca.* presented by Giordano Berti. Wonderful old Italian deck, standard imagery, attractive & oddly “liminal” color work. Contact Giordano, here on FB, for further information.) It took me a long time to like the antique style minor arcana, but now I like it, and using one of these “old,” classic decks makes Tarot, for me, more of a participation in an “historical operation” than normally. Today, despite the presence of a female personage in the draw, is about Domesticity and its maintenance. IV the Emperor is often seen more in terms of what he ISN’T, with reference to III the Empress, than what he IS. In the datable world of Tarot, the Emperor was seen as the “pendant” to the Empress. He provides material security and stability, and she everything else. In these decks he is old, as well, which is an important point; the old, aging king married to his young, FERTILE Empress is significant in the terms that although he is the male half, or the male energy of the Couple, it is the female, the Queen/Empress, where the most profound security AND wisdom may be found. IT is II and V, or II and IX, again, just in different costumes. Okay, so there I am, a doddering old emperor being deadweight on the ankle of Aphrodite. Yet here, I am accompanied by the 8 of Wands and the 10 of Cups, both of which may easily be interpreted as care of the Domestic Pattern, paying attention to the home front, doing my best and acting quickly to keep my couple in the harmony zone. I see here a suggestion that we spend time today on discussion, of us and our modalities that we normally don’t bother to share because they seem so picayune, and our couple as an “entity.”  THAT is really more the 8 of Wands, which can normally be folded into the omelette as “haste,” yet it CAN signify other things as well. The 10 of Cups here is my result if I follow through with right action on today’s reading. The 10 of Cups is always a bit Tolstoyan for me: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Today I hope that my wife and I can spend time in reinforcing the fact that we are of that first group and not the second. “Today my life gives me everything I need to be happy,” true, but I would be amiss to forget to mention that my wife, my marriage, mean a GREAT deal to me, and it is the healthy maintenance of that garden that gives me the love, the space, the time and the necessary but oft-forgotten silence that allows me to work on myself by working with the Tarot. I owe all of that, most gratefully, to my wife. She is a very good woman following an entirely different path to arrive at our common goal, and she recognizes the necessity of mine for me. So, today, I’ll probably irritate her by getting underfoot, but the intention is well-meant. I do love you, ma chère . . . .

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Good morning, All! Welcome to my MashUp for 16 January 2015 : XIII Death, the King of Wands, and lensing from the astral because his body is a bit busy right now is XII the Hanged Man. (Today’s deck is the *Elemental Tarot* by Marco Turini.) Well, Hello, Friday morning! I’m tempted to be mean-spirited to this client (yeah, I know, it’s me, but play along) and say, “Well, Mr. High-minded Man, looks like you’ve got Sacrifice and Death in your immediate future. Good luck with that. That’s 50 Euros, put it on the table and get out. You breathe bad luck.” Of course, that’s not what the reading says at all, but he doesn’t know that. I’m tempted to be mean-spirited simply because I woke up in a grumpy mood. (Urticarial problems all night with very little spotty sleep.) And feeling a bit anti-Tarot, although for the life of me I couldn’t tell you why. I do know that I’m not very interested by today’s draw, despite the grand drama inherent in the three cards: “Death, Sacrifice & the King of Wands, oh my! Lions & tigers & bears, oh my!” I don’t see anything wildly rosy here, to be sure; deep change causing transmutation in a rational and ordered man, to be brief about it. Of course, the $64K question is, “Yeah, but what do ‘I’ see here? Do I agree? Am I sanguine about it, or profoundly vexed?” Because that last is quite possible; I was pondering my recent life yesterday and I thought, “Jeezuz, I’ve had a SHITLOAD of problem, change & transformational prep come down the pipe lately. I can understand the inner Me wanting to get as much done as possible now that time has become visible for me, but I’m not dead yet, and I’m more than just a little tired of the Universe seeming to treat me with an attitude of, “He’s not dead yet. He has strength still. Give him another one. Something that will really break his spirit and his balls this time.” No, “. . . he hasn’t descended into paranoid mental instability brought about by an unhealthy addiction to Tarot, Mrs. Miller.” I’m strongly feeling the need to Resource & Recharge, because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, and I’m aging with very questionable health. And yet – and yet – right now “my Tarot world” is exploding with new connections, new learnings, new discoveries and the excitement which bubbles through me every time I pick up a deck. That feeling that Help, Clarity and Knowledge are right there, on the horizon, and I may be able to reach them to implement any usefulness I find there, for myself AND others. At this point, however, the old oomph! just isn’t there, and I’m feeling dispirited. Best thing I can do? Fold my cards, and then arm myself with this Pause; this pause can help me to see differently. So I’m folding the tent for today – we’ve been called on account of rain.