Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!
Wishing on a Star
Our tarot blog hop wrangler, Ania Marczyk of Meniscus Tarot and Ania M, invited us to choose cards that celebrate the past and best represent our wishes for what lies ahead. I’ve participated in every tarot blog hop since I started with the spring equinox hop of 2012, and so I thought it would be fun to celebrate my favorite Tarot Blog Hop topic and express my wish for hops in the future. Today marks the forty-seventh Tarot Blog Hop post I’ve written! To celebrate, I decided to revisit my favorite topic from the past: Junk Mail Tarot, initially proposed for the summer solstice 2016 blog hop by Morgan Drake Eckstein of Gleamings from the Golden Dawn.
I grabbed the nearest pieces of junk mail at hand: two grocery store newspaper inserts, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s quarterly magazine Catalyst, a pet store circular, and a thick U-Line catalog. Catalyst by far had the best photos, so I chose my junk mail images from that. I did an ad hoc divination — I simply chose the eight or so images in the magazine that spoke to me of tarot cards, uploaded them to my graphics program from the online pdf of the magazine, and after trying to force too many landscape images into portrait format, finally settled on the following images. These images then became my reading for the hop. As it worked out, I offer up and interpret two new junk mail tarot card images, the Tower and the Star.
At first, this image didn’t seem to fit the parameters of our topic for today, celebration and wishes. But this image resonated for me. As I contemplated how the Tower card might fit the topic, a card usually associated with destruction, unexpected change, and foundational shifts, I remembered that often we celebrate not so much the positive, but the conclusion and passing of the negative. Of course, I didn’t have a bad year, in fact, this has been one of my best years, but as I mentioned in my last post (Le Roi Est XIII), I have been having trouble keeping up with my blog, and writing in general. As I pondered this image, I began to feel the excitement of the quaking beneath my feet as limitations crumbled and the thrill of fear swept me up.
The Tower image I selected is from a photograph of a piece of fulgurite — fossilized lightning. The Catalyst article explains that searing hot lightning strikes sand and melts its component quartz crystals, creating a beautiful, tubular shape: blown glass in the form of a thunderbolt. The resulting piece is as delicate as fine crystal; large pieces are rare to find and harder to collect because they are so easily broken. This piece was found just above Boulder’s Flatirons and is on display at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
To create my junk mail tarot card, I cropped the image to include the furthest reaching stretch of the lightning zap. To me, it looks like a long-necked, dog-like beast bucking to escape the limitations of harness and rein. To the right he extends a giant pinching claw, almost jaw-like in its threat. I feel the need to run, escape, turn and flee for my life, glimpsing over my shoulder this monster bearing down on me.
But it’s just a magazine photo accompanied by an educational article that explains the facts of the situation, simply and with the velvet cordon of scientific veneer. A sneer at my fear. This is melted sand. It will break easily. It is old and was formed in the past. Although lightning is dangerous, the creation of this relic is from a power that no longer threatens.
Today I celebrate the motivation of fear. I toast to the treat of the threat. I face the jaws that bite and claws that catch and lift my vorpal blade not to behead but knight, to place its power in my service and call up its awesome force at will. I long to shudder with the shattering force of fire from heaven that will recrystallize me in its form. I suck in the blasting breath of God. I no longer speak the words that shape but those that break.
Since I am Wishing on a Star, it seems only right to include a Star card. This beautiful and eerie photograph of fireflies swarming among the dark silhouettes of tree trunks looks as otherworldly as outer space, some distant planet where the stars hover just above the ground. The spattering of golden glows light randomly, then delightfully form flowing curves and arabesques, like the graceful arc of sparks dancing above a campfire. Above these flourishes and blots, a distinct and much larger orb seems to track a purposeful path into (or out of) the darkness of the woods. The Star card can represent guidance, navigation, and how we choose our course, whether through Divine inspiration, inner wisdom, or mechanical device. In this image we rise above the playful game of lightning bug tag and see something higher, something distant, something that draws our inner truth up and away with its call.
This photograph serves as a promotional image for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science upcoming exhibit, “Creatures of Light.” The magazine advises me that as a member of the museum, I could attend special previews starting in February. How enticing to peruse this catalog and feel the pull of upcoming exhibits, not only this one on bioluminescence, but also the Dead Sea Scrolls coming up in March. This buzz of anticipation inspired me to think of what I wish for next year.
Just as I celebrated my favorite blog hop topic from the past, my wish for the hop specifically and my blog in general is to find topics that are playful, dancing, interactive and responsive, and inspiring. I want to both dance with the other sparks and then find my solitary path into something that is uniquely me, Completely Joyous, the name of my blog.
Bioluminescence, according to Catalyst, is visible light generated by plants and animals through a chemical reaction. Light is so fascinating to us. From the natural phenomenon of fluorescent minerals (which I love to look at in the Gems and Minerals exhibit at the Museum), to the cozy glow of firelight or candles, to the stars above, to everything around us that glitters or sparks, even to those silly colored glow sticks we get at street festivals, or for that matter, glittered or gilded tarot cards, we are mesmerized by light — specifically light in darkness. But of all the things that glow, glimmer, sparkle, blink, flicker, blaze, or flash, the surprising ability of living organisms to light up is both astonishing and envy-producing. We love to tell our friends they sparkle or to see the glow of someone who loves us. We want to be light, we crave to see our aura, to be assured that we too lend light to the world. My wish for next year is that I can shine in whatever way I shine, and that you can too.
Have a brilliant solstice!
If you’d like to learn to read the tarot with no memorization or books, simply letting the cards speak for themselves, check out my upcoming Magician’s Tools: Beginning Tarot class, Sundays, February 11-March 18, 2018, 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Isis Books and Gifts, 2775 South Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113.
If you’re getting started and want to know the best beginner deck, please take a look at my post on 50 Beginning Tarot Decks.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.