Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Children's Book Submission in 2010?

I asked the cards tonight if this year would be the right time to submit one of my children's books to publishers. I have been sitting on this particular book for years now, pretty much held back only by the pressure and fear of creating a cover letter that could either make or break me.

What I saw in the VII Coppe was a drought. The fountain is spouting water into three cups at the top, but the two cups remain empty and thirsty at the bottom. This made me think that the economy being what it is right now, publishers are probably being somewhat frugal about the amount of books they are printing at this time. I don't see an abundance of opportunity at the moment.

In the Death card, I see a publisher wading through and clearing out all the crappy submissions, being more selective out of necessity. I saw myself in the ship arriving at shore. What will I bring, and how will La Morte respond to me? Will I pass the test, or will I be swept away with all the other hopefuls who just weren't good enough?

When I looked at the Death card, I also heard a voice saying, "What do you have to lose?". The skeleton is (presumably) dead... and when you're dead, you don't have anything to lose. Even if I receive nothing but rejections, I won't be any worse off than I am now, sitting on the book doing nothing with it. This book came through me in one evening, and it felt as though it wasn't even me who wrote it. It didn't come from my head, but just flowed through me. So I feel as though I owe it to wherever that inspiration came from, to at least try to share the story.

The VII Spade shows several different types of swords. This shows me that publishers have plenty of variety in the material they have to choose from. There is one sword, however, that sits in a decorative sheath. It stands out in the crowd of fellow swords, and demands attention. If I want my submission to have any chance at all, I need to find a way to make it different from anything else they have seen. It has to have that special something that sets it apart from all the others, and grab the attention of the Publishing Powers That Be.

Now just how to do that? I will likely take this reading one step further and draw a few more cards to look for some helpful clues...

It's interesting to me that I drew two Sevens here. I like the number 7, and know it to be a lucky and spiritual number. I also have a fondness for the number 13 (as I first became a mother on the 13th), which is the number of the Death card I drew. Death is also obviously a spiritual experience. Not only did my book come through me in a spiritual fashion, there is also a hint of spirituality to the book itself, but not in a direct manner. It's a story with heart, meaning and compassion, which I believe are all spiritual facets of life.

This reading has shown me that this year will be a challenging time to submit a manuscript for publication, and if I want any chance at all, I have to ensure that I am able to stand out in the crowd. I will definitely be pulling more cards to see how I might go about doing that.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Football Predictions

I thought I'd post this for fun. NFL predictions are not something I usually do, but I was jazzed about my Jets getting into the playoffs, so I spontaneously drew five cards to see how they'd do in their first game in the playoffs against the Bengals. To my dismay, I can't for the life of me remember all the cards I drew, and I can't seem to find anywhere that I might have written it down (if I do, I'll update this post). All I know is that after doing the reading, it seemed pretty clear that the Jets would beat the Bengals. And so they did.

On the day of the second Jets playoff game against the Chargers, I used this deck for my daily draw. I wasn't asking specifically about the outcome of the day's game, but I did have the game on my mind that morning, and when I saw the cards, it's the first thing I thought of, since that day I didn't have a single thing planned except watching the game.

I saw the Regina di Spada being me, victorious. And I heard the phrase "You've got it in the bag", meaning that success is a sure thing. The IIII Spade told me that I can sit back and relax, since the game will turn out in my favor. And the Sole card further emphasized the joy and celebration that would come when the Jets beat the Chargers. Sure enough, that's how it happened, and the Jets moved on to the last playoff game, for the Super Bowl AFC title.

I have not yet drawn cards for the Jets/Colts game. I'm not too sure I want to know just yet! I had a dream a few days before the playoffs that the Jets would beat the Bengals, but lose against the Colts. I sometimes have psychic dreams, and this is one I'm really hoping doesn't come true!

(My apologies to Bengals and Chargers fans.)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

F-E-A-R Spread

I created a new spread, designed to expose and strip away one's fears. I used the acronym FEAR and its popular correspondence: False Evidence Appearing Real.

F-E-A-R Spread

1. False: A fear that you have which is false or unfounded.
2. Evidence: The proof you have that this fear is false.
3. Appearing: Why it appears otherwise (why this fear appears real to you).
4. Real: What is the real truth of the matter.

Here's the reading I did for myself today:

1. False: A fear that I have which is false or unfounded.

Caval di Bastone

It's amazing that this card came up, because it illustrates one of my largest and most consuming fears at the moment. Most specifically, this is the card that represents my desire to move out of state. I have, indeed, a strong fear, or series of fears, attached to this desire. I fear that I won't ever be able to make this move. Or that it won't it won't happen fast enough. Or that there are too many surrounding circumstances that need to change before it can happen. Or that I will never have enough money put together. Because it is something I want so much, my fears that it might not happen seem to reproduce and multiply like rabbits!

2. Evidence: The proof I have that this fear is false.

V Denari

This angel is holding a board displaying money growing on vines. The board is so big that it covers most of his body. His difficulty or problem appears to be that he has more money than he can handle, which seems a nice problem to have. So the proof that I have that my fears aren't based on reality is that there is always enough money circulating in this universe. I just haven't aligned properly with that vibration. The coins are growing on vines, so there is always potential for financial growth. People move every day. I, myself, have made countless moves from one state to another. This is not an impossibility. I have faced this challenge in the past before with ease. So clearly, it is something that I can do again. I also see in this card someone carrying a large, heavy box (one of the less joyful aspects of moving.)

3. Appearing: Why it appears otherwise (why this fear appears real to me).

III Denari

It's funny that this card showed up under "Appearing" because whenever I see this card, my first thought is "appearance". The keyword is "depiction", and I see items set up in and against the tree as props, set there as some sort of display. My fears appear real to me, because I have set things up to look as though this is the truth. I look around at my reality as though it is set in stone, rather than looking at potential and possibilities. This is something I struggle with, and am actively trying to overcome this year. I need to realize that what I observe is not indicative of where I am headed, provided I change my perspective and expectations.

4. Real: What is real. The truth of the matter.

I Spada

Another synchronous positioning, as I often see the Ace of Swords as a "truth". The wreath is a symbol of victory. This card is titled "conquest". The truth is, I can do whatever I set my mind to (and my heart on). Deep down, I know this. But for some reason, I have been choosing to focus on the opposite. I have been humoring my weaknesses rather than my strengths, allowing doubt to creep in and stomp on my confidence. But the reality depicted by this card is that I've got this in the bag! I just need to change my perspective on the whole thing. The sword is a symbol of power... however, it won't unsheathe itself. Its power lies in the hand that hold it, which means that this comes solely from within me, unrelated to outer circumstances. I must regain my confidence and knowledge that I can and will succeed.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Should I Start a New Project This Week?

Today I asked the cards if this week was a good time to start becoming reacquainted with divination using playing cards. I had started to get into it awhile ago, but with lack of time, it fell to the wayside. I have been itching to start up with it again, but I'm wondering if this week would be a good time or not. I've kept myself very busy this week, with my PDR deck, my regular blog, Facebook, reading for clients, being a mom, reading two books, and now my new store on Art Fire, selling my new tarot bags (here). I'm usually pretty lazy, for lack of a prettier word, so I'm working if I should take advantage of the bizarre ants-in-my-pants feeling I've had this week, and use my energy re-learning my playing cards.

I drew As di Dinari, IIII Spade, and As di Bastone.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the Joker on the As di Bastone, as it reminded me of the Joker in playing cards. He is telling me he wants to come out to play. I then looked to the first card, another Ace... which actually features three coins. The larger coin reminded me of my main tarot blog, and the two coins below, smaller priorities, this PDR blog, and the playing cards. The two Aces signify the beginning of something. The introduction of a new method of using the cards.

In the center card, we have IIII Spade. Meditation. What I saw in this card was the feeling of being tired, needing a rest. Although I don't feel that way now, I have a feeling that if I added another to-do to my daily list, I would get burned out. When I was shuffling, I wanted the cards to tell me it was a great time to start this project, but I had a feeling they would tell me otherwise. In this card, I see a big "X" meaning "no". Stop right where you are.

Just to confirm, I re-shuffled the remaining cards and asked for clarification on the center card. I drew IX Spade. Now, when I had shuffled the first time, at the beginning of the reading, this card had dropped out of the deck, but I threw it back in and continued shuffling. So here it is again, really wanting to be heard.

This card tells me that starting another project this week is not a hot idea. It would end badly. There are nine swords piercing this poor heart. Are nine swords really necessary? It seems rather overkill to me. So I think attempting this would be the straw that broke the camel's back. That one thing too many that would send me over the edge and stress me out.

So, I have my answer. Although I really would like to have the time and energy to devote to spending time with my playing cards, I have to agree that this week is not the best time for it. So it will remain one of my goals for this year.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I was shuffling my deck today, not inspired to do any type of reading with it, wondering if shuffling would be the solitary bonding event of the day. But I was struck out of nowhere with the phrase, "the good, the bad and the ugly" and thought I'd make a spread of it. So here it is... the good, bad and ugly about yours truly.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

I find it amusing (in a slightly pathetic way) that the bad and ugly are Majors.

The Good
IIII Coppe
In this card I see a woman who adapts well to any situation thrown her way. Dinner party at the last minute and nothing to wear? I'll just throw this scarf around myself and call it a saucy toga party. Bad hair day? I'll don this distracting vase atop my head and no one will notice my hair. This woman is a chameleon who can quickly and easily adapt to her surroundings. That is something I have always been able to do. I don't scare easy when change is imminent. I roll with the punches, go with the flow. And because of this, I have been able to have many life adventures I wouldn't otherwise have been able to experience. (Though I must say I have not yet attended a saucy toga party, and pretty much glad about missing out on that one.)

The Bad
Il Matto
The Fool in this deck focuses more on the insanity aspect of this guy, rather than the free spirited perspective. The card is subtitled "Madness". I can definitely see how other people can view me as being "mad". Not angry, mind you, but Mad Hatter type mad. I follow the beat of my own drum, sure, but this card is saying it's a "bad" mad. So I look at Il Matto and see that he is completely unprepared for his adventures. There can't possibly be enough provisions in his sack for even a day's outing. He is barefoot. He ran off in such haste that he didn't remember to put on shoes. He is not going to get very far before he has to either turn around or improvise along the way. I am not good at planning ahead, for certain. I don't have a financial safety net, in case of emergencies. I don't have back up plans for anything I do. Heck, I usually don't even have a Plan A, let alone a Plan B. I let the wind take me where it will most of the time, and I can definitely see now how this could very well be a bad thing. This was a good kick in the pants, and has definitely got me thinking.

The Ugly
Ha! I had to laugh when I saw this turn up here. I am, and always have been, a hermit. I love being alone. I love reading. I love spending quiet time away from small talk and lame conversation. I am not a social butterfly. I would much rather sit at home, curled up with a good book alone than going to a party surrounded by strangers. And as this is what I personally enjoy, it's all good on my end. However, I know it bothers other people, though I don't know why. Whenever I have lived with other people (roommates, family) I have received derogatory comments about holing up in my bedroom. Every so often there would be a day where I would only emerge for meals, and I would receive the "Wow, you're alive?!" comment. This really irks people for some reason. I don't know if it offends them, or they just think I'm weird, but it's generally not something people are comfortable with. In fact, I've had people get downright pissy with me about it, which is bizarre to me. I just don't prefer to be surrounded by people every waking moment. That hardly puts me on the Unabomber end of the recluse spectrum. However, from this reading, I can see that this Hermit side of me is something others consider an ugly trait. Hmmph. Good to know, I guess, but still not my problem. I can live with being an ugly hermit from time to time. It's much preferable than being phony, attempting to socialize more than I want to, just to please others.

Random PDR Update: I have indeed used this deck every day so far this year (which hasn't been very hard, considering it's only been five days). I have used it for readings for myself, as well as two client readings. I have a document saved to my laptop desktop (for easy reference) where I enter a brief one-line update on how I used the deck each day. It will be interesting, I think, to look back on that at the end of the year, as I won't be blogging on a daily basis.

Friday, January 1, 2010

What Will I Learn From This Deck Study?

Today is officially the first day of my year-long deck relationship with the Tarot of the Master. I wanted to keep the first reading simple. I wanted to know, in a single card, what I was going to learn from this study.

My intention was to draw cards until I hit the first Major, which would be my answer. But the first card I drew was a female Court card, and the second card was a Major, so I included both of them.

First up, Regina di Spada. I am so not like this woman, though at times I'd like to be. While she has her faults (yes, that is a human head in the sack she carries, while the bloody decapitated body lies in the tent behind her), she also has her virtues. She is strong and determined, and she doesn't let anyone take advantage of her. She knows exactly what she wants, and she gets it. She is confident, bold, and sure of herself. It appears as though this deck study will give me additional confidence as a reader. I will be less likely to second guess myself when what I see in the cards either doesn't seem to make sense at the moment, or seems out of left field. I will be more sure of what my instincts are telling me, and I won't be as shy about putting it all out there.

Next, L'Impeso. I quite like the fact that the keyword on the side of this card is "Agony", as it seems much more realistic than the more gentle RWS meaning. Hanging upside down by your ankles might be fun for a few seconds. But being stuck there indefinitely would indeed be pure agony. All that blood rushing to your head. I remember once when a magician was going to hang upside down for a period of time (either David Blaine or Criss Angel), and the commentator mentioned that one of the dangers was the potential of going blind.

The feeling of being stuck anywhere is hell, but doing it suspended upside down just puts it over the edge of torture really. Does this mean that my year with this deck will be torture? Uh, I would say no, because I'm not being held at gunpoint to continue. However, I think at times I can expect it to be uncomfortable, and I can only assume I will be tempted many times to give up. Tying myself to this deck for an entire year, like the man tied up in this card, will challenge and test me in more ways than one, I'm guessing. And it won't always be pretty. As L'Impeso hangs upside down, his inverted point of view also tells me that I will inevitably begin to see things in the cards in new and different ways, which was one of my goals with this project.

I deliberately chose a deck that predates the RWS system, so I could push past my comfort zone and move away from the limited, pre-set meanings of the cards that I can't help but see in the RWS themed decks.

Regina di Spada and L'Impeso show me that this commitment won't always be a walk in the park, but in the end, I will be a stronger reader for it.