Posts Tagged ‘Eight of Skulls’

Emerging in the mid-16th century, the Spanish galleon quickly became hugely important both to naval warfare and to securing civilian trade from the Americas. It remains one of the most influential warships in history.

The first galleon can arguably be dated to as early as 1517, but it was in the 1530s that the design and its name became common. With a mix of sails, high aftcastle, low forecastle, and ports in its sides from which cannons could fire, it could handle trans-Atlantic voyages as well as fierce sea battles. It, therefore, filled a vital role for the Spanish, protecting their growing treasure fleets as silver and gold flowed back from their colonies in the Americas.

The Ghostly Galleon lay in the harbour ready to take Silas and I towards new horizons. Having focused on the past on the Isle of Ancestors it had been the Lord of Knives who bought me back to Shadwell.

Despite the best efforts of Fergie I remained unsettled, nursing old wounds that had been reopened and were festering. The blood seeping from these wounds had become venomous and was drying up. There was little doubt! I had to move on or drown in a sea of loss and grief.

It was Silas who insisted that he must join me on this venture. I had little doubt that he was drawn to experience the world of a Spanish style galleon, to ride the stallion of the sea. While I had some reservations about being on a long sea voyage I do have the blood of mariners and sea captains coursing through my veins and I was ready to do what they had done and depart for a new land.

As we approached the harbour an enchanting sound, akin to a spell, rose from beyond a the stone harbour wall.

It was Lilith, a female vampire serpent sounding very like Elizabeth Fraser.

The Five of Grails helps us to let go of past hurts by incorporating them into our experience as the dark and beautiful poetry of the soul. On an inner level this card can characterise a period of emotional evolution or the need to put aside old behaviour. p.202 Phantasmagoria.

“It has that magic about it, as soon as anyone looks into it, they are just drawn to it, it is quite a magnetic space.” Mirror Maze

Disorientated I stumbled along the long corridor of mirrors. This is not like the grand, emblematic Baroque style gallery in the royal Palace of Versailles. It is a decidedly haunting place and quite frankly, more than a little terrifying. Despite the waves of anxiety I feel that magic is afoot; that questions I have not found voice for may be answered here.

As I walked, a story board depicting my past life, present life and future life appeared within the mirrors. I had lost all sense of time in this maze. I lingered to take in what the storyboard was actually telling me, too process and interpret the images in the mirror.

The Seven of Skulls, the Ancestry Card gives us a concept of where we have come from. The Nine of Skulls, the Descendency Card reveals what will follow in your journey. p. 56 Phantasmagoria


Navigating the maze of mirrors and optical illusions is especially challenging when it is dark and you think you are leaving the Great Hall on the Isle of Ancestors. It is anybodies guess what the mirrors will reveal.

After leaving my talisman on the wooden bench beside the Wheel of Fortune I left the Great Hall, dutifully departing by the prescribed exit. To say that I was taken aback to find myself in a corridor, that resembled the House of Mirrors we used to visit at Luna Park back in the day, is an understatement. Sometimes called Distorting Mirrors, Crazy Mirrors, Carnival Mirrors, Silly Mirrors, Wobbly Mirrors or Hall of Mirrors, those mirrors could make you look short and squat, long and thin, and any variety of strange shapes in between. Their golden age was the Victorian Era and they continued to captivate people for many years.

The mirrors were solidly constructed and the reflecting surface was flexible and shatterproof acrylic for safety. Each one had a different mirror shape and gave a different distorting effect.

As I walked I was fascinated by the image I was reflecting. The person I was seeing in one mirror was non other than Silas, (my Bloodline Clan Card p. 58 Phantasmagoria). The Bloodline Card, which has ‘jumped’ out of my deck twice now is the card that depicts the challenges and the quest of our current life. Ian Daniels says that when we study this card we can unlock personal messages about our personal life journey.

I stopped to take a closer look and recognised that I am him and he is me and we are the Raven that carries messages on the universal ‘songlines’.

As I stood, captivated, the whispers of an old soul reminded me that Virgo rules my path and and many of the Hermit’s qualities are reflected in my personality. Just as the deep earth is energised by the steady heat of the Sun, so creative concentration fills my being.

To get a sense of what this space felt like visit the House of Mirrors. This is an interactive maze-like sculpture that gives you the opportunity to lose yourself – literally and figuratively. It’s a stunning construction of steel and mirrored glass by Melbourne artists Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney and stands glistening and mysterious in the Arts Centre Forecourt.


While the Priestess is concerned with spiritual matters, the Empress often denotes the physical realm. She is the gateway from which new life and creativity is born, and like nature, her character is one of tender love for all forms of life…. her lightness and love pervade all life and her gentle devotion nourishes and cultivates everything in its passive unfolding. As Venus she is the love and the source of all life, encompassing. the whole cycle of life
Phantasmagoria p. 73

Silas and I stayed up late plotting, planning and catching up on what we had been doing over recent years. I decided to show him photos I took at Kutna Hora in the Sedlec Ossuary, a chapel adorned with human skeletons. He was suitably impressed.

For his part Silas was circumspect and did not reveal much about what he had been doing over the years and I gathered he had actually been living as a hermit in a remote, isolated part of the world.

Even after consuming copious amounts of the ‘blood of life’ Silas emphasised that “our actions and behaviour should be measured, and we must apply meticulous attention to detail” as we planned. (p. 285).

It was quite late when I asked him who he believed we should invite to join us. He thought carefully and did not answer for awhile. Then he rose to his feet and stood, with the skull over his head. He seemed to be in a trance as he performed a ritual. Captivated I watched as what looked like electric energy emanated from the glass he had been drinking from.

Finally he announced that it was the Empress who initially must be invited if we wanted our new venture to be blessed and bear a rich harvest.

I clapped my hands together with delight! “Of course!” I said. “She is the ideal guest. I will have the housekeeper makeup a full apartment for her.

The Empress is the planetary trump of Venus and the goddess of love. She is the creative beauty in nature that blossoms and delights, unfolding its treasures softly, like a warm summer breeze. She can be seen around us in the wonder and beauty of nature. p.74 Phantasmagoria

Silas Arrives

Posted: May 29, 2020 in Tarot of the Vampyres

The Eight of Skulls can arise when we are engaged in a project in which we are completely absorbed. This card calls for us to continue with our efforts at a steady pace giving time and attention to the details. Study learning, knowledge, and wisdom are all denoted by this card. Particular attention must be paid to self disciplined diligence, as we are at a position where patience is a virtue.
Phantasmagoria p. 285

“Heavens to Betsy!” I exclaimed as I saw the carriage, led by two black stallions, pull up in the circular drive and watched as Silas, carrying his signature skull step out.

I watched, totally fascinated, as he strode confidently up the stairs while his man heaved one of those vintage, late 1800’s, leather, wood and iron trunks that must have set Silas back more than a few dollars, up the stairs.

Here I was, hardly dressed, having barely pulled the covers off the furniture and low and behold, a highly regarded member of my Skull Clan (p. 55 Kith & Kin Clan of the Skull) was arriving. Word had clearly got out that I have taken up residence here at Shadwell and I sensed that more of these characters would soon be arriving. My Clan has a very effective way of passing on the word. The unkind might accuse them of gossip but what can I say? They are kith and kin!

“Get the kitchen operational and have the maids make up some rooms” I called to the housekeeper who I knew would be within hearing distance. “We need to get the show on the road and Silas is just the Vampyre to help us make it all happen.

Silas, who is a distant cousin, twice removed, has become well known for his self-discipline and for being addicted to work. There is nothing Silas loves more than getting everyone organised. He takes pride in his work and his capacity to focus on each step of a journey. He knows to apply his skills of organisation and concentration in order to complete the task, whatever that task might be.

The nature of this card means that often it represents a time of introspection, where we are hidden away or absorbed in our own endeavours. This time of inner questing can uncover long-hidden abilities and open up new possibilities.
Phantasmagoria p. 285