Friday, 26 November 2021

Spread - "Doing the Thing" by Shonna Hill (Ace of Stars Tarot)

Click on image to go to Shonna's post

I have been resisting working with my cards. I'd like to know why and how I can push through the resistance.

Eva's Tarot (Таро Евы) by Eva Aus

What am I trying to do? I know what I'm trying to do, so I see this card as my motivation - 

4 of Coins: I'm trying to grasp what's precious to me. My connection with the cards - hold it, feel it, claim it. Grandfather clock: time is my most precious commodity, and I always feel it slipping away.

What am I afraid of?

Knight of Swords: Being too analytical, too cerebral in my approach. All I'm doing lately is translating LWBs, collating meanings and thinking about reading. I'm not actually doing any reading.

How am I resisting?

4 of Cups: I'm doing nothing. Just sitting around feeling dissatisfied, distracted, frustrated. I contemplate but do nothing.

What attitude will help me get started?

4 of Wands: Celebrate where I am now, even if there's more to be done. Enjoyment, appreciation. Take a break from the mental and spend some time on spiritual. 4 + Wands: stable action. 

What first step can I take? 

Ace of Wands: Start the Thing!

What do I have to look forward to?

5 of Cups: Oh!? Isolation? Loss? 5 + Coins: disrupted habits. Moving from 4 coins to 5 coins is progress, I guess. Maybe I'm trying to hang onto outmoded forms/ideas and progress means the loss of those things. She is praying: connecting with Spirit.

Interesting that the two "action" positions are both Wands.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Blood Moon Oracle by Kristen ~ Over The Moon Magic

The lovely Kristen, teacher of art-meets-oracle classes and maker of tarot and oracle decks, has added a FREE TO DOWNLOAD "Spooky Season" themed 32-card oracle over on Ko-Fi.

link: Blood Moon Oracle

image by Kristen - Over The Moon Magic

Adorbs or what? 😁
Thank you, Kristen!

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Clarifiers. Don't.

There seems to be a lot of discussion lately about the use of clarifiers in readings. Here's my two-penn'orth.

Let's start with a definition. Collins says "To clarify something means to make it easier to understand, usually by explaining it in more detail."

So when you pull a clarifier card for a card you don't quite understand, the idea is that this card will make the first card clearer by providing more detail. 

Fair enough. If you have some sense of what the first card might be trying to say, having it put another way by the clarifier could help firm up your interpretation, or at least make you aware you were barking up the wrong tree and need to rethink that interpretation.

But too often I see people say things like "The card didn't make sense in this position/context so I pulled XYZ as a clarifier" (or worse, clarifierS). 

They're starting from a position of no understanding of the first card. The clarifier, in theory, will give them more details about that card, but how will more details about something that doesn't make sense be helpful? Now you have twice as much nonsense to deal with.

My advice - that's what you're here for, right? 😉 - is Do the Work. 

Throw everything you know - book meanings, past insights, elements of the image, the other cards in the spread, spatial relationships within the spread, good old intuition - at the 'problem' card. Think outside the box. What could this card possibly indicate in this context? Spend some time on it. Don't just throw up your hands at the first hurdle and say "It makes no sense!"

And when you do finally form an idea of why this particular card appeared in your reading, if you still feel the need for a bit of reassurance, then ask for a clarifier in the form of a direct question - "Is this card saying {insert best guess insight here}?". 

A clarifier needs something to clarify.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

John Beckett: Tarot - Standard Meanings or Intuitive Interpretations? (Patheos) - link

Twitter has been arguing about standard meanings vs. intuitive readings in Tarot readings.
Rather than deconstructing the “debate”
I’d rather start with a clean sheet…


Monday, 30 August 2021

John Beckett: All Magic Comes With a Price and That Price is Change (Patheos) - link

Do magic deeply enough for long enough and you’ll find there's a price on the back end: change.

I love the quote from Aleister Crowley - Magick is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will".

Monday, 16 August 2021

I found some "Rocks"!

Back in my Random Reading #111 post, I noted the inclusion on the Hand in Hand card of a reference to a Rocks card that didn't actually appear in that deck. I suggested that perhaps the 12-card deck was an abridged version of a larger one.

But the title "Rocks" was a puzzle. There are Mountains in Lenormand and its off-shoots, but I wasn't aware of a deck with a Rocks card. Actually, I felt I had seen a Rocks card but I couldn't recall where and was prepared to accept that I was making it up.

Ta da!

“The Gypsy Bijou Fortune Telling Cards” with a guide by Minetta 
(Foulsham & Co, 1910; republished 1969)

I even "Liked" the post sometime in the past apparently, so this must have been what I was vaguely remembering.

The Rock card is numbered 21, the same as the Lenormand Mountain card, and the meanings are very similar. Its verse reads "The rock announces a false friend. Be prudent, for he is powerful." The Philippe LeNormand sheet says "The Mountains, near the Person, warn you against a mighty enemy; if distant, you may rely on powerful friends."

If the 12-card deck Rocks is in some way related to the Mountain card, only its positive aspect was applied to its relationship with the Hand in Hand card - "Hand in Hand means friendship, which will grow to love; if near rocks, staunch friendship".

Apart from the two cards shown, the "Gypsy Bijou" is in all other respects a standard Lenormand, so it's still not the "mother" deck of my little 12-carder. Maybe one day I'll spot her somewhere.  

But now, here's another little mystery. In Jozefa's deck, card #8 is Broken Mirror rather than the usual Coffin. And yet, in all the images I've been able to find online (not many) where card #8 is present, it's clearly a coffin. Maybe at the time of reprinting the deck (1969) the publishers felt the image of a coffin was too "grim" for the public sensibilities of the day. If anyone knows of a pre-1969 Gypsy Bijou with a Broken Mirror card I'd love to hear about it.

Friday, 13 August 2021

It's better to meme than to slap someone

 Guess what p*ssed me off this evening. 🤦‍♀️

Why are some people so quick to blame their tools?

Friday, 6 August 2021

Tarot Tips - @emeraldlotusdivination

One of those rare Tarot memes where I pretty much agree with all the statements. 🙂

Okay, I said "pretty much". I'm fudging on the intuition one just a bit. 

I agree in principle. And I suspect it's what Reid intended - it's just the wording that trips me up. "Means more" sounds like you can skip traditional meanings and rely solely on intuition. Of course... you can if you want to. There's no Tarot Police. 🙂

However my personal perspective is that, yes, there will be times when you see something in the cards that comes from beyond the book meanings and you should definitely go with that. But on a day-to-day basis, unless you are entirely psychic, you will need a foundation.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Translating LWBs – How I go about it

I mentioned the other day that I spend a fair chunk of my Card-related time translating the books/booklets that come with the decks I get from other countries. I also said I was looking for possible topics for this blog. 

A big "Thank you" to Monika for responding and prompting this post. 🙂

My process is possibly/probably not the most efficient way of doing things, but it works for me and, if nothing else, it may give you an idea of how to get started.

This is the basic step-by-step process I go through. 

1 – Create a document to "house" the translation

2 – Create images of the pages I want to translate

3 – Upload the images to an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program to convert them to editable text

4 – Paste the output into the document and reformat/check

5 – Run the text through a translation program

6 – Paste the translated text into the document and tidy up

1 – Create a document

I start by creating a document to hold the original text and the translation. 

I like to keep the original just in case at a later date I spot something odd or uncertain in the translation. I can then easily paste the offending bit of text back into Google to see what's what.

2 – Scan/photograph pages

I used to manually type the text into the translation software, but that's slow, error-prone work, and particularly onerous when you're translating a language that has its own unique alphabet – Russian, Greek, etc. 

So I began scanning the pages, but have since discovered that it's quicker and easier to take photos with my phone, and they work just as well. I like to trim them to just the text, but I have found that the OCR software copes well with extraneous backgrounds.

3 – Upload image into OCR software

Optical Character Recognition software, as the name suggests, recognises characters in an image, extracts them from the image and converts them to editable text. I use Online OCR. There are other OCR tools available but I find this one reliable.

Upload an image into the software, select the input language, and hit "Convert". Online OCR (others may vary) shows the resulting text on-screen. I simply copy that and paste it into my document, but you can also download the output if you prefer.

4 – Paste into document and tidy up

The output text is unformatted, so you'll need to put line and paragraph breaks back in.

Also, the text is often full of hyphens where words were split across lines in the booklet. In order for the translator to work properly these need to be removed. 

If it's a small amount of text or I can see from the original that there are only a few hyphens, I'll edit them out manually. 

But when I'm working with big chunks of text it's easier to use the program's Replace option to do the work. In MS Word (again, it may vary if you use a different program), I highlight the text and select Replace from the menu. I tell it to Find "-" (without the quotes) and Replace with nothing, i.e. I leave this option blank. Then click "Replace All". You should check, though, for the occasional actual hyphenated words in the original text and put those back in, as they too can affect the translation.

5 – Run text through translation software

Now I paste the text into Google Translate and let it do its thing. Again, there are other translation programs, but I like this one.

I then copy the translated text and…

6 – Paste translation into document

… Paste it into the document.

At this stage, I'll give the output a quick scan just to see if it all makes sense. If something doesn't, I check the OCR conversion against the original text to see if there are any mis-recognised characters and if so correct them. If your keyboard doesn't have the necessary alphabet, just copy and paste the characters you need from elsewhere in the text. 

Then I pop the problem sentence back into Google Translate for another attempt. Sometimes isolating a sentence from the rest of the paragraph helps. It can also be useful to break the sentence up into phrases in order to gather the sense of what it's trying to get across.

Sometimes words that are different in the original text get translated as the same word. In Google Translate, if you highlight the word it brings up a ranked list of words it can translate to. You can then cherry-pick the one you think is most appropriate.

6b – Reverso Context

Another software option for ambiguous words or ones that don't quite make sense in the context of the translated sentence is Reverso Context. Here you can enter a word and it will show you translated instances of that word in context. You can then determine which makes the most sense and tweak your translation accordingly.

6c – Idioms

Additionally, you can sometimes find yourself confronted with what must be an idiom peculiar to the original language because the literal translation makes no apparent sense or hints at a concept that would only be understood by a native speaker. Often you can guess what it's getting at, but if you're stumped or just want to double-check, try Googling the phrase in its original language. I have found websites that reference local idioms and explain their meanings. You will, of course, have to translate the website. All in a day's work. 😉

That's pretty much it. I know it looks like a lot, but in practice it's usually quite straightforward. The level of translation "perfection" required is up to you. Most of the time the initial 'raw' translation is adequate to get the basic idea of what the book is saying.

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to comment or contact me and I'll try to help. Just don't ask me to translate something for you. I have more than enough of my own to do! 😎