Archive for the ‘Shadowland Tarot’ Category

As long ago as 3,000 years ago the Egyptians had already developed advanced methods for building boxes and wooden chests with dovetail joints, including their ceremonial and burial sarcophagi with incredible carving, metalwork, inlaid jewels, and gilding. Even the poorest Egyptians would have used reed wooden chests to store things. Image 1 King Tutankhamun’s Painted Chest (ruled 1332–1323 BC). Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt

In ancient Greek and Roman times people stored their belongings in wooden chests and coffers, whilst the wealthy owned more ornate beautifully made trunks and treasure chests.

The History of Wooden Chests and Storage Boxes is fascinating.Over time the simple storage chest has evolved into different styles and been modified for different uses: wooden boxes, storage chests, tool chests, treasure chests, blanket boxes and steamer trunks. Wooden chests and trunks have became the most useful, and most versatile piece in furniture’s history.

We will possibly be gone for years so it was important that I packed some precious belongings and made sure that I had a selection of chests to store any treasure that I gathered.

When I was packing I did make sure to bring the Shadowland Tarot that Fergie had gifted me. It appears that many of the characters who live in that deck have a habit of walking in and out of it. Three rather cute, friendly little sea creatures appeared and gifted me a small medallion that they said came back on another voyage.

We had a joyous time sharing stories, a good laugh and a cocktail or two; or was it three. As I finally staggered off and laid my bones down they quietly disappeared back into the trunk. I am expecting to have quite a few of these creatures visit during the voyage.

The Spaniard came in sight, with his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
– The Revenge: a Ballad of the Fleet by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The crew’s quarters were in the bow while the officers and passengers lived in cramped cabins in the waist or centre section of the galleon. But Thana, our Captain, who would normally live in the Great Cabin, earmarked by large windows, greater space, and more comfort than the rest of the crew has decided to join the officers and other passengers. She has graciously offered me the opportunity to enjoy the Great Cabin.

I had barely had time to survey my cabin, let alone unpack my trunk when out of the shadows emerged two creatures who I thought lived in the Tarot deck that Fergie had gifted me.

“We understand the lesson of choosing wisely and listening to our hearts” was what I heard them saying to one another – or were they talking to me?

Certainly this is a time when I need to review all my options and consider the choice I am making to embark on this voyage.

“Examine where your passions are!” muttered the two creatures before disappearing back into the deck.

When you hold the line you do not yield to the pressure of a difficult situation.

Cora by name and curious by nature the bird couldn’t be left out of anything. She flew, uninvited, into my apartment just as I was cleansing the Shadowlands deck Fergie had gifted me. Never one to be out done she bought a card in her beak that had some bird advice on it.

“Please hold the line” was all it said. I looked at Cora and Cora looked at me with one of those Cora looks. If you didn’t know her better you might think she was angry about something. But no! She is just intent on delivering her message and on being listened to. After all, as she regularly reminds me, it was her ancestors who advised Odin.

“So are you going to check out what your new fancy deck has to say about holding the line” she asked rather pointedly.

“You are not jealous are you Cora? Fergie gave me these and you have to admit that the monsters are cute!”

“So get on with it” she said, ignoring me completely. Clearly she was not going to give any talk of jealousy oxygen.

I lit a candle, smudged us both with some sage and we went into one of those Tarot style trances! I shuffled and shuffled and out came a card with a bat that looked like it had come out of a war zone or a Covid 19 life support ward.

“Goodness me!” exclaimed Cora. “That poor bat is looking a bit worse for wear!”

“It looks like it has been through some kind of major transformation” I noted.

“Well that is stating the obvious” remarked Cora. “Bit like how you looked when Fergie arrived” she added.

“Well, while I am holding the line I could try envisioning myself integrating all the things I have learned and apply these for growth” I said trying to sound intelligent and spiritually minded.

“You could do all that” said Cora rather cynically. “Or you could be happy to simply hold the line and finish the project you started when you acquired this mansion.”

With that she turned up the volume of Toto banging our ‘Hold the Line’ and flew back out the window.

The shadow is the “dark side” of our personality because it consists chiefly of primitive, negative human emotions and impulses like rage, envy, greed, selfishness, desire, and the striving for power.

The personal shadow is the disowned self. This shadow self represents the parts of us we no longer claim to be our own, including inherent positive qualities.

These unexamined or disowned parts of our personality don’t go anywhere. Although we deny them in our attempt to cast them out, we don’t get rid of them.

On an internal level this card is about establishing our inner kingdom, our virtues, values and belief system whose centre is ego. p.275 Phantasmagoria

Disorientated, I open my eyes slowly, uncertain about what day it is or where I am. Fragmented memories of being on the Isle of Ancestors, in the Hall of Mirrors, back at the Blue Pool and the Arches and being gathered up by the Lord of Sceptres drift before me.

As I struggle to regain consciousness and orientate myself I realise that I am actually in my bed, in my apartment, with a dear friend, looking decidedly anxious, hovering by my bedside.

Fergie squeals with pleasure as our eyes meet and I slowly focus, establishing that she is not some kind  of apparition.

It appears that I have been in a semi delirious state for days and Silus, worried about my state, sent her an urgent telegram insisting that she drop everything and get herself down to Shadwell to support me.

Now what you need to know about Fergie is that she comes from a rich background of Romani people and possesses extraordinary power. Fergie is not particularly wealthy and does not aspire to accumulate material possessions but there is a richness about her life that I have always admired. She has an extraordinary capacity to stand firm and she has been a loyal and reliable friend.

Traditionally, throughout history the Roma people have been associated with fortune telling, common methods of fortune telling included palmistry, tea-leaf reading, cartomancy, tarot reading and crystal ball amongst others. Roma women, as long as we have known anything of Roma history, have been arrant fortune-tellers. They plied fortune-telling about France and Germany as early as 1414, the year when the dusky bands were first observed in Europe, and they have never relinquished the practice.

In the time I have known Fergie she has never plied this craft or even offered to read cards for me. So it did surprise me when, over the nourishing breakfast she had bought up from the kitchen, she produced a deck of cards. She said that she thought these cards would help me work with the Shadow which had clearly been troubling me.

I gave her one of those looks! Fortune telling using cards were largely condemned in the past and the prejudice that rose against it is still, to this day, very much present.

“Well”, she said dismissively, “it is true that using cards was shunned harshly by the church for superstitious connotations which went against biblical references, but since when have you subscribed to such nonsense? Besides! You have to admit that these monsters are kind of cute?”

I had to concede that the deck she was holding did look very interesting!

The Shadowland Tarot cleverly provokes unconscious fears that lie asleep in the psyche and stimulates the enquiring mind” Fergie went on to tell me. “Given what Silus has been telling me about the state you have been in I think it might be helpful to spend time working with this woman’s imagery”.

With that I watched, fascinated as she proceeded to riffle shuffle the deck and lay one card on the table next to me. Then she simply asked me what I thought the card was telling me.

“This King appears to be an Elder who is sharing stories and his wisdom with youngsters” I said. “Well isn’t that what you do?” said Fergie. “Perhaps you could be thinking about how to share your wisdom instead of lingering in places like the Isle of Ancestors. The Ancestors do not want you to join them yet! Remember! You were sent with a mission and that mission is not completed yet”.