Goodness me…!

Reading4Minet by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Reading for Minet, a photo on Flickr.

I decided to use the Golden Tarot of Klimt for Minet and George’s readings as lovers are an important part of this tarot and I knew Minet would love the clothes. I wasn’t sure what George would like as I don’t know him well, having only spent a short time with him over tea, but thought I’d use my Hidden Hopes, Wildest Dreams and Down to Earth spread to find out. (Lay the cards out as an inverted triangle with Down to Earth at the bottom and Hidden Hopes at the top left.)

For Minet. Hidden Hopes: the Queen of Swords. I pondered a long time over this card, which depicts a young and thoughtful woman holding a large sword against a background of flowery patterns. She is wearing rather splendid shoes and some sort of wrap open at the front, and it’s odd, because she could almost be George’s twin sister. Is this what Minet hopes for? It might make some sort of sense in view of Joel’s metamorphosis, yet he embraced girlhood so joyfully. I turned the next card to shed some light on the first.

Wildest Dreams: The Ace of Chalices. Lovers in an embrace. One male and one female as far as I can tell, but who really knows? They do have the same hair – this indicates that they have a strong common bond – they are the same in their difference.

Down to Earth: XIX The Sun. Not at all earthly, but celestial, if not heavenly. Yet more lovers, in a close and naked embrace – again, one male and one female as far as. So it seems that Minet will have her wish however it can be achieved.

Reading4George by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Reading for George, a photo on Flickr.

And now for George. Hidden Hopes: the Knight of Wands…! A young man on a horse carrying a magickal wand. It could be Joel starting out on his spiritual quest, before becoming Minet – he had – and perhaps still has – many faces. This knight’s cloak is very similar to one of Henna’s that Minet is fond of, and his robe rather like a dress she bought – I think she said it came from somewhere beginning with M – the name escapes me for the moment but I remember thinking how wet it must have been there.

Wildest Dreams: The Lovers. Yet another man and woman in a passionate embrace, their bodies concealed in a medley of deliciously patterned clothing, so one can barely see where one ends and the other begins.  A glowing light surrounds their heads: they are blessed – the same, yet somehow different and their wildest dreams are compatible. And so to Georges’s final card.

Down to Earth: The Ten of Pentacles. Ah, this at least is down to earth. A yellow house seen through an avenue of trees. An aura of peace surrounds it.

Two extraordinary readings that indicate love, happiness and a peaceful home life for George and Minet, yet what about the Queen and the Knight? I pulled one more card for clarification.

Reading George&Minet by Aisselle A T Gabegie
George & Minet, on Flickr.

The Two of Pentacles. A young woman kneels to offer a bowl – perhaps of milk – to a small girl and boy. It seems they will both drink from the same cup at the same time. Roses fall around them.

The cards have spoken. There is no need for me to worry about either George or Minet. Their union is not only blessed but perfectly balanced. This, and the fact that all the cards depict male and female couples can mean only one thing. Like Minet, the little policeman is not what he seems. I wonder if Minet knows? I will go now and tell her that the handfasting will be a double event – she will be so happy.

Till when, Aisselle

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Enchanted

Enchanted Reading by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Enchanted Reading, a photo  on Flickr.

This morning was spent in answering comments and reading with the Enchanted Tarot – well the Zerner Farber actually, but they’re about the same.

Hopefully Copwatcher and the young and confused policeman whose name may or may not be George will come to tea. I’ve promised to take Copwatcher on a Guided Tour to introduce her to the Guardians of the Watchtowers. She is having trouble with her binocks and thinks the Guardians may be blocking the light waves, but once they see she is on our side all will be well, and all manner of things etc.

These are the cards I drew: The Hierophant, the Five of Swords and the Magician.

The Hierophant represents Henna’s Grand Ovum dressed in his Druid robes and regalia. In his right hand he holds some sort of book, his left hand is raised in a forbidding gesture towards the figure in the card on his left, which is our right. He is saying clearly – Go! You’re not coming in here with that thing! Below him are two figures – the man is on his knees asking the woman something important – we shall see what this means later.

The next card is the Five of Swords – Henna herself in spell-casting mode. She is calling on sharp objects to do her bidding. These are not actual objects but spiritual ones. She has the power. In the blue firmament surrounding her we can just make out the donkey’s skull, another tool at her disposal, but she has stolen it from the warlock and the Grand Ovum won’t allow it in the house knowing that it is enchanted and will only cause trouble as Henna forgot to carry away the complete thing, and left the lower jawbone behind.

To her right we have The Magician, and here we can see the warlock himself. A magickal construction shines like a jewelled palace behind him, but this is an illusion created by his dark arts. His gesture indicates that he has sent Henna on a mission to collect something from the Grand Ovum – it must be the book he is holding. She is like a sandwich filling between the white bread and the black, unable for the moment to go either backwards or forwards, working with the tools at her disposal – the yellow spears of baby sweetcorn – her magick.

But this was not enough by any means. I needed more, so with a silent prayer to Hermaphroditey I drew one more card to see what must be done.

The Chariot. A red-haired woman is riding a magickal stag. I recognize myself and Jay immediately. We are to be the means of freeing Henna from the Ovum Warlock sandwich – how I know not – this is what Jay is asking me in the first card. I will meditate fully on this question after tea (and cake).

Till when, Aisselle

Henna’s box

Seven of Swords by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Seven of Swords,  on Flickr.

Life in deepest Wales proved so fascinating that I completely forgot about the contents of the package. Half was in Welsh, and although I recognized a few names from that lovely book the Mabinogion, which must have referred to local goddesses, wizards, bards and wise women, I quickly abandoned any attempt to delve deeper and turned instead to the English bits.

I have to say that I found even the English parts confusing, as it seems that Wales consists of a few large families who have spread to populate the land with their descendants. It was hard to work out whether the Mrs Rhiannon Jones who had just been elected chairwoman of the Welsh Women’s Traditional Cawl Making Brigade at the Llanpannypen Village hall was the same Mrs Rhiannon Jones who had narrowly missed disaster when two children had released the handbrake of their parents’ car and freewheeled it down a hill and through the fence into her front garden (where she was weeding the window box). Luckily no one was hurt.

Other compelling news items involved leaves and drains and hospital dinners – it seems that life in deepest Wales is almost as exciting as life here in the wilds of Kent.

At last I remembered that the box must contain something other than newspaper, and lifted out the thing inside, still wrapped in its final protective layers. It felt hard, and a very odd shape. I closed my eyes and asked Hermaphroditey to help me accept whatever it was that Henna had sent me, for I know from experience that she has a habit of collecting things for her altar, and that these things are not always suitable, or even ready to be brought into the house – any house – and would be better buried or left in a shed.

I need not have worried though, for as I removed the final layers I could see that the skull was old enough to have lost any vestige of flesh, and quite clean. It must have belonged to a donkey or a small horse, and the lower jawbone was missing, although most of the top teeth remained. I wondered why the Grand Ovum had taken against it so violently – Druids generally are not known for a dislike or fear of such things, embracing as they do what they are able to discover of the old Druid ways, some of which involved all sorts of deadly goings on.

Skull by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Skull, a photo by Aisselle  on Flickr.

Distracted, I reached out a hand and picked up a deck from the table – the Rider Waite Tarot – but before I could shuffle a card fell out to land beside the skull. The seven of swords.

A man carrying five swords looks backwards over his shoulder as he tiptoes from a psychic fair. Two swords stand behind him. He has clearly stolen five swords and left two behind. This can mean only one thing – Henna has stolen the skull from a psychic – the most likely candidate being the warlock for whom she left the Ovum, but she has left something behind.

How like her – she was ever light-fingered, careless and absent-minded. I had a strong feeling she could be in danger. On the other hand, I have the skull…

I will have to consult Hermaphroditey to see what is to be done.

Till then, Aisselle

A reading for Jay

Reading for Jay by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Reading for Jay, a photo Flickr.

There was still no sign of Jay after supper, so I turned to the Tarot of the Secret Forest to shed some light on the situation. Minet left the warmth of the kittens and the chintz armchair and sat beside me in the kitchen, elbows on the table, her chin resting in the palm of her hand. She seemed pensive and said little. We were both worried about Jay – although he does sometimes disappear for a day or two this felt different – and she watched intently as I shuffled the cards before picking three and placing them face down in front of us.

The first card I turned was the Four of Pentacles. Minet gasped. It depicted night beside a dark wood and an odd building with a single light in an upper window. The sense of being confined, and an unseen threat – not among the trees, but in the wooden structure – is almost tangible in this card. Jay is clearly shut up somewhere unpleasant.

The next car I turned was the Six of Cups. A dog waits beside a slightly open gate strung with thorns or barbed wire, through which a lighter part of the secret forest can be glimpsed. The dog’s long ears look a little like plaits – she represents yours truly Aisselle Gabegie waiting hopefully for Jay to return. She can only wait and hope, as she knows her loved one is more skilled in the ways of the world outside (or perhaps inside) the gate than she, even though his true home is in the mysterious secret forest with herself.

And now we reveal the Eight of Swords, and it’s my turn to gasp. A figure is about to make their way through a thicket of vicious thorns. This figure, although female, represents Jay, who in any case counts shape-shifting among his many and mystical skills. I have seen him… but no matter, another time perhaps.

Unsatisfied, I drew one more card, the King of Wands. It depicted Jay himself, camouflaged in the secret forest, blending with the plants and trees, a suggestion of spiritual antlers on his head.

I knew we must waste no time. Stopping only to fill a flask with goat’s milk cocoa sweetened with honey, Minet and I threw our shawls around our shoulders and rushed from the house.

I find myself quite exhausted with the reliving of these events, so I’ll stop now and continue later.

Till when, Aisselle

A reading for the lady on the hill

Reading for Copwatcher by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Reading for Copwatcher, a photo  on Flickr.

Since meeting Copwatcher on the hill yesterday my feelings of unease have abated. My Spiritual Instincts tell me that she is a strong, trustworthy and earthy person, safe to rely on. Some time ago she requested a reading on our chances of evading arrest, but since this will be a reading for Minet, Jay and myself, I will word the question differently and post it here on the blog rather than in ‘Dear Aisselle’.

The question: What is our best course of action for the most favorable outcome regarding the plants in the attic?

I used Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot, and drew three cards for Past, Present and Future: The Ace of Coins reversed, the four of Swords and the Seven of Cups.

The past: the Ace of Coins features a hand holding a coin amidst leaves and tendrils. This means that there was money in those plants found in the tobacco magnet’s attic, but as the card is reversed no good has come of it – it is the ruin of him rather than a never ending source of riches.

Next we have the Four of Swords, the present. Effigies of a king and queen lying prone in a quiet place with trees. Something about this card reminds me of our local tiny churchyard, a little way down the lane. Four swords stand sentinel close by. Our best course of action is clearly to lie low, even to feign death, preferably among trees. This is good news, as we have many trees around the house without even considering the orchard.

Finally here is the Seven of Cups – the future. A bearded sage with a conical hat and stars on his robe points upwards to the night sky where five stars and a crescent moon have turned a greenish hue. His eyes are smiling very slightly. In front of him seven cups are balanced in an unlikely and precarious tower. It appears that with imagination even the moon and stars will change colour and impossible balancing acts may be carried out with success. We will prevail. It will take skill and more than a little magick, but Hermaphroditey is on our side, and Copwatcher has her binocks on the hill.

Blessings till when, Aisselle.

The Hermit

Hermit by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Hermit, a photo by  me on Flickr.

Today I sat down to make a list of all our animals. Since starting this, my very own blog, some have come and some have gone, and counting heads can be confusing when the goats are leaping around the orchard and hiding in the grass, the alpacas disappear in the shadows under the trees, the remaining sheep lie under the hedges and Azriel is mostly missing until he turns up with a whole new family. There are others too, but they escape me for the moment.

So I gave up and decided to take a walk up the hill to see if Copwatcher was still around with his binocks, whatever they may be. I set off alone, as Minet must stay inside for a few more days until we can be sure it’s safe for her to venture. Half way there I had a Spiritual Insight that it might not be safe for me to venture up a hill towards an unknown entity, but Hermaphroditey reminded me of my powers, which are extensive and may even stretch to marshal arts if the need arises, or if not then I daresay I could call up a Spirit Guide to show Copwatcher the way home.

April showers have arrived late this year and by the time I arrived on the hilltop my dress was soaked and my plaits bedraggled. At first there was no sign of the flashing Copwatcher, but I suppose with a name like that one would need to keep undercover. I stood among a small grove of oak trees and birdsong, waiting and listening for a few moments before taking the Spiral Tarot from my pocket and drawing a card. I remembered how Henna always said you should never be without a deck of cards, especially in bed, as the element of not knowing what will come up can add another dimension to the night, whether one sleeps to dream or dreams of sleep. She was a wakeful mother in those days.

When I turned over the card I saw the Hermit and an old yet strangely powerful female striding forward in a robe of purplish -pink – my two favourite colours. There was something around her neck – the binocks perhaps – and Hermaphroditey whispered in my ear that this was none other than Copwatcher. I looked down at the Spiral Hermit card, marvelling at the resemblance and the wondrous ways of Spirit.

‘Don’t worry, I’m still looking out for you, girl,’ said Copwatcher, for it was indeed she. ‘It’s good to meet at last, but you’d better get back to that metamorphosing sister of yours before you catch your Death.’

I thanked her and ran back down the hill to get warm. I have to say that I’ve had my doubts about Copwatcher, but now we’ve met it feels good to know she’s looking out for us.

Till when, Aisselle

Secrets

The High Priestess by Aisselle A T Gabegie
The High Priestess,  on Flickr.

Joel and I have kept to the house today, but no one has come. Jay carried on as usual, looking after the animals and working outside so that if anyone were watching things would look more or less normal. Joel’s agitation is contagious – I have found myself behaving in uncharacteristically strange ways, pouring boiling water into the honey jar instead of the teapot, and putting the lid of the jar into the teacup. I even tried to fasten my plaits with clothes pegs, and cleaned my teeth with tomato paste instead of toothpaste. For a nasty moment I thought a tooth had fallen out. I must remind Jay not to leave the tube in the bathroom.

We went over the events of last night, and looked again at the Neuzeit Knight of Wands. Joel noticed another link to his misfortune in the card. He says he distinctly remembers one of the policemen calling another man ‘Chief’, and tells me that the figure on the card is wearing the headdress of a Native American Tribal Chieftain. If only we’d been able to read the card correctly Joel might not be in this predicament. We decided that we must practice more and hone our skills – hindsight is all very well, but you cannot alter the future if you don’t read the cards accurately until after the event.

Joel went upstairs to change into some of Henna’s gear, and we met in the basement. It seemed natural to make good use of our tarot practice time to ask what he could do to continue to avoid detection and arrest.

We drew three cards, Past, Present and Future, and tried with different decks, but again and again the same three cards kept turning up. The Tower, the Hanged Man and the High Priestess. The first two were not difficult to read – after all, the Tower moment has passed and Joel is currently in limbo as the Hanged Man. The High Priestess proved more difficult until I looked across the table at my dear half-brother, beautifully got up in Henna’s gear. I remembered the blue damask curtains that she’d cut up to make the cloak, and the dress had once been a red chenille tablecloth. Suddenly all became clear. I told him that his future lies in the High Priestess, and handed him the card from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot.

Henceforth he must assume a new identity as my fortune-telling sister, newly returned from distant lands. His expression was one of pure joy – I believe this may even have been his secret wish. I can’t wait to see Jay’s face when we tell him the good news.

Till when, Aisselle

A little bird told me

Woodpecker by Aisselle
Woodpecker, a photo  on Flickr.

The old woman’s gift has inspired me to paint my own stones, and I spent this morning looking for suitable ones in the garden. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any smooth enough – they were all chalky or flinty, soft and crumbly or sharp and jagged. Jay tells me that I will need to find stones that have been worn down by water, and that the best places to look are in rivers and streams, or on the beach.

But that will have to wait for another day, as Joel arrived at twelve, keen to explore the world of Spiritual Insights.

After a warm greeting, he told me how a green woodpecker had shot, startled, from a tree in the orchard as he’d walked through from the lane, its distinctive cry of alarm seeming to echo through the trees.

Knowing this must be a message from the Gods, I got out my old book of augury, and found the chapter on the woodpecker.

All three different kinds of English woodpecker – the green, the greater and the lesser spotted – have a red crest, which connects them to the Norse God Thor, the God of Thunder. His magic hammer, Miolnir, shattered whatever it hit and returned again to his hand – this was the lightning flash of mythology. Ancient man chose the woodpecker flashing through the woods into his neat round hole that struck straight to the heart of the tree to represent Thor and the powers of lightning. The sound of its tapping was as rain on a roof.

It was said that the woodpecker’s beak, like the lightning, could pierce anything, and that the bird’s power came from rubbing its beak on a plant that bloomed only at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve. The bird’s mocking cry is said to be derision at the efforts of country people to find this wonderful plant.

All this and more we found in the ancient book, given me by Henna many years ago when she decided that she already knew far more than could be found within its covers.

So it seems that we must expect rain, even storm – complete with thunder and lightning, or at least that Joel must. I do hope he will be all right.

After deciphering the woodpecker’s message, Joel dressed up in some of Henna’s gear and threw a few cards. He makes a convincing gypsy fortune teller, and the silver nose ring is a nice touch.

9Batons by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Knight of  Wands, a photo  on Flickr.

He used the Neuzeit Tarot that he’d chosen from Henna’s collection, but the same card kept coming up – the Knight of Wands – a determined and slightly sinister figure wearing a strange headdress made from feathers and horses’ heads against a stormy background. Many disembodied eyes and hands reach upwards towards him.

I felt so uneasy as I watched Joel cross the orchard to the lane where he’d left his car that I snatched the bugstone from its place on the windowsill and ran after him to place it deep in the pocket of his trousers. I believe it is a shield beetle, and will help to keep him safe.

Till when, Aisselle

A special reading

Hermaphroditey’s appearance has infused me with energy so I set about spring cleaning while Jay worked outside.

I found myself thinking again of the old woman in the battered caravan. I felt sure she was sent to give me a message, yet unlike the knowledge imparted by the Goddess, it was not clear what that message could be. The blessing she’d given me with the stem of Solomon’s Seal before I left  seemed to suggest protection, the sealing of vows and the Goddess Aphrodisia.  I remembered that I’d promised myself I’d throw some cards to find a Spiritual Insight to ascertain the reason for her appearance and stopped the cleaning immediately. Random thoughts like this are not in fact random at all, but are sent by Spirits in order to help illuminate the paths of those they love.

I ran down to the basement to choose a deck, and was immediately drawn to The Lovers Tarot, for reasons I know not.

I drew four cards, The King of Pentacles, The Hierophant, The King of Wands and Temperance.

I immediately recognized the King of Pentacles as one of the wizards in the beautiful building in the film on the old woman’s television set, and as we can see, he’s gesturing towards a very similar building in the background. The next card, the Hierophant, shows another of the wizards (now inside the beautiful building) casting a spell over two figures, who kneel before him. These figures clearly represent the red soldier and the lovely girl I saw during tea with the old woman.

And here they both are, represented by the King of Wands, a soldier dressed in red, and Temperance, dressed all in white.

The wings are symbolic of the angelic nature of the girl, who is clearly patient, calm, modest and temperate, and not given to histrionics.

The reading seemed incomplete, so I drew three more cards, The Knight of Pentacles, the High Priestess and The Lovers, and now the Spiritual Insight was clear.

Aisselle's Reading 2 by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Aisselle’s Reading,  by Aisselle on Flickr.

The High Priestess could only represent yours truly, Aisselle Gabegie. The Knight of Pentacles with his antlered helmet was Jay, as Cernunnous, in the fields and woodlands that he loves, and the Lovers none other Aisselle and Jay under a sun-kissed bower in the orchard watched over by a small flying angel and tasting the summer fruit!

The message was clear to me – there must be a ceremony. Not a ceremony like the one in the beautiful building, but a natural equivalent – out of doors and under fruit trees in midsummer. A hand-fasting. Jay must wear his Cernunnous antlers and I will wear my tin foil hat.

The Lovers by Aisselle A T Gabegie
The Lovers,  by Aisselle on Flickr.

I felt so happy and excited at this Insight that I created a special card for my Grand Ellessia Tarot – The Lovers. As you can see my excitement has made me look sixteen again. Jay is, as always, Jay, and the antlers are heavy. I must run and tell him the good news now, and thank the old woman too. What a wondrous week this has been!

Till soon, Aisselle

A woodland reading

A woodland reading by Aiselle A T Gabegie
A woodland reading, a photo by                  Aiselle A T Gabegie on Flickr.

Summer is upon us – at least until the Goddess decrees otherwise. I took refuge from the midday heat among the tree spirits in the magic wood, haunted by the memories Joel and I seem to share within this sacred place, although Joel’s memories are as yet incomplete and mine have yet to surface.

I carried with me the Celtic Tarot, guided by an intuition that seemed to whisper audibly in my ear before I left the house. I thought perhaps a reading in a special spot would shed a shaft of light on our mutual past, whatever that may be.

At last I found a tangle of ivy that had climbed an ancient yew in search of the light, knelt on a mossy cushion, and after a moment of silence and bird-song in which I asked Hermaphroditey for her help, began to shuffle the cards.

I drew three cards, Dear Readers – you can see them if you look carefully at the photograph above.

The Moon, The High Priestess and yet again, The Star. Three majors for one important question: Who are the three naked ladies on Joel’s Star cards?

Time passed as I gazed upon these three cards. I no longer heard the birds singing in the branches above. I knew the figures on the cards as if they were my own family. For, Dear Readers, that is exactly who they were.

There are two circles on The Moon card, and there, in the lower circle is Grannie in her blue robe, between two candles. Her skin is white, her eyelids blue, indicating that she is no longer of this world. The blue robe hides this secret, and another too, for Grannie never wore a stitch under her ceremonial garment. In the upper circle we see her (much) younger self, liberated by Death, and below the lower circle flow the deep and symbolic waters of life.

The High Priestess is Henna with the largest of her crystal balls. The resemblance to her younger self is remarkable – I recognised her straight away. Her gesture – an upraised finger (very Henna) – indicates secrets that may or may not be revealed. Yet more secrets. As you can see, her robe is blue, but whereas Grannie’s robe was a greenish blue, Henna’s tends more towards a purplish blue. She is rather buttoned up, this High Priestess, but it’s definitely Henna, and believe me, she is quite naked underneath.

And now we can see where this shifting of hue is leading, for the figure on the third card, The Star, is wearing a fine purple robe, which has flown open to reveal her nakedness. This Dear Readers, is yours truly. It was before I had my hair cut and embraced plaits, but it’s definitely me.

I had replaced the cards in the pack before I realized my mistake. I should have drawn another card to indicate when this event in the wood took place. I began to shuffle, but as I did so a card flew out to land on the dry yew-strewn earth beside me. Yet again, the Star. Number seventeen. I must have been seventeen years old.

And now I need to think, for I have no clear memory of a ceremony in the wood – at least not one at which Joel (who would have been fifteen then), was present.

Monday is but a few days away and I can only hope that we can work through this mystery together.

Blessings, Aisselle