Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Ace of Round Oak Tables

I’ve been hit with the inspiration stick again. I thought this was just an anomaly and that I had recovered from last year’s overdose of creative juices. But, no.

My new deck, the Tea Tarot, is at the printer now and I hope to have it available at the end of April. My goal is to drag some copies to the Readers Studio 2011 in New York that last weekend.

You haven’t heard of the Readers Studio? I went for the first time last year and was treated like a queen. It did help that my banquet costume was the Queen of Pentacles. Sometimes, if you want to be treated like a queen, you do need to wear a crown. And a regal gown helps too. I was the Queen of Indulgence last year, dressed in my crimson and gold. There were several other Queens of Pentacles last year, too. One of the nice things about fun times with a large group of tarot readers is that we really don’t care if there is more than one representation of a card.

I’m not sure what I’ll be treated like this year, if it’s dependent on my costume. But I know based on the people I met last year and those I know through various social media that the gang is a nice bunch. Some are shy and some are bold. Some read professionally and some read just for themselves. They may be history lovers who crave old images of the Marseilles-style decks. They may be Crowley-Thoth fans. They may love the imagery from the Rider-Waite-Smith decks and their many, many clones. They may be Manga fans, Steampunk-knowledgeable, Lenormand-lovers and there are at least three GO players. Some have encyclopedic knowledge of symbolism, history, color, costume, psychology, metaphysics and beliefs. Some are new to it all. But they all have in common a love of tarot and a thirst to learn just a little bit more.

This year we’re going to have a parade of tarot for those of us brazen enough to be part of the pageant. My fond wish would be that we had a representative from each of the major arcana to echo the procession of triumphs from northern Italy. I was brave this year and determined to be one of the major card characters. I have the dress, the props, the whole catastrophe. I’m ready!

I’m almost ready, anyway. I did make significant headway this evening after work with a brief trip to my local craft chain store where they had what I needed, thank goodness, for both the outfit and the packaging for my new deck. I’m steering clear of releasing details, you notice. It’s not easy when you’re about to bubble over with excitement.

But that’s what happens when I get inspired. It’s that Ace of Wands thing that sets off a chain reaction of all kinds of connections and ideas. It can be like a great big match that sets me on fire with ideas, big and small, details and broad brushes. It usually means that I stay up late and wake up wishing I had not stayed up late.

This is really an Ace of Wands time of year, too, when spring tugs at the earth. Whether you are in a milder climate like mine where my lilacs, calla lilies and freesias are blooming or if you are just now suspecting there are crocus under all that snow, new growth is happening. There will be spring. There will be flowers. There will be green leaves on those trees. The robins and cedar waxwings have stripped all the red berries from the shrub outside my office window. The snowball bush is leafing out. The camellias next door have bloomed and browned. The finches have run out of birdseed twice since Christmas, at least the part the squirrel-acrobat did not steal. There will be spring.

A couple of friends and I got together for what was supposed to be our Christmas get-together last weekend. We had been trying to exchange Christmas gifts and circumstances conspired to delay our good time. But we sat down for a fabulous forbidden Benedict at the counter at Marvin’s in Novato, waiting patiently outside in the not-quite-drizzling weather for a seat. We exchanged presents and hugs and talked about our fast-approaching weekend getaway in the Northern California redwoods.

Like some flowers, some ideas grow only on new growth but some grow only on old stems. We have been friends for 20 years and every year we give ourselves a project, something just for ourselves. This year, the idea stemmed from the terrible recent events in Japan and the knowledge that we all live in an earthquake zone, all under the warnings of “The Big One.” That inspired me to suggest that we all create, and decorate of course, our own home emergency kits. There are some excellent lists of things to put in this kit. We all agreed that we would need to “bling it up” to personalize our kits. To meet the sometimes beer budget with always-champagne tastes, we determined we would let each one purchase her own carrier. I found a perfectly good one at the local drugstore for $6 but I’m sure I may see something far classier than mine. I suggested that along with the requisite sparkly stuff, glow-in-the-dark decorations were likely in order. After all, in an emergency, I’m going to want to find that bag and there may not be electricity.

We turned to thoughts of spangles, beads, glitter and glue-guns and determined that the antique shop down the street could have some elegant old rhinestone pieces or interesting buttons to add to the project. And there I saw it. No, not a sparkly! It was my very own Ace of Wands. It was the round oak pedestal table with the lion paws I had envisioned for years in my dining room, complete with 4 leaves. And while it wasn’t quite a song, it was a price I was willing to pay. Happy dance! I have found my birthday present to myself!

So in honor of spring and inspiration and my new table, which seats 6 comfortably without even using the leaves, I made a card for a deck that doesn’t exist. It’s my very own Ace of Wands, now sitting in my dining room waiting for its first meal, or game of dominoes or tarot spread.

May inspiration grab you by the shirt-tail and swing you around in the spring air so that you soar to new heights and feel the buzz of new life, whether your stems are old or new!

Best wishes!

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Find out more about the Readers Studio 2011 here: http://www.tarotschool.com/RS11/index.html

And for more information about the Tea Tarot and my other decks, visit http://marciamccordtarotreader.blogspot.com/p/tarot-decks.html

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