Of Certificates and Tinfoil Hats…

I am nearing completion of the cards for my Grand Ellessia Tarot, so I thought I’d post two this week – two lovely Knights. Of the Court Cards, I think the Knights are my favourites. I believe it’s something to do with being on a quest – I can identify so easily with this idea, as I have been on one all my life.

My quest, quite simply, is to find myself and then to be it. I’ve written a little about my childhood on this, my very own blog, and I believe I could have found myself at a very young age had not my witchy mother decided that I was something other and made an effort to remould me into the child she wanted – a son to replace the one she gave away rather than a daughter. Yet if ever I managed to cut a few of the strings that bound us, or if she left me with Grannie and disappeared with one or other of the uncles, she had this disturbing tendency to reappear later, just when I thought I was safe, and tie a few of the strings together again.

Things changed when I met Jay, who not only allows but encourages me to be myself, but he has never quite understood my feelings towards Henna as he sees her in a different light from myself and seems very fond of her. But I am wandering from the Knights.

The Knight of Certificates reminds me of my own quest to gain one of these elusive documents in order to pursue my chosen career as a Tarot Reader and imparter of Spiritual Tarot Insights. As I have written about this before I will not bother to do so again; it must suffice to say that the Knight on this card with his helmet on fire, riding his strange beast through the stony, dusty desert and holding his as-yet-unsigned certificate aloft, having just passed a dangerous volcano puffing smoke, symbolically represents my journey towards this end. That was to get a Signed Certificate. And now of course I have one and am a successful Ethical Tarot Reader, so that part of my quest is complete.

 

 

The Knight of Tinfoil Hats on the next card is in such a hurry to arrive at the next stage of his quest that he has urged his ibex mount to leap a chasm. And yet, Dear Reader, he is more fearless (or perhaps more reckless) than Yours Truly. For I am not ready for this leap, although I know I must prepare myself. The Time will come, and something (not Hermaphroditey because she is still absent) tells me it will be soon.

 

With that thought I will leave you, for the moment at least. Jay is calling me. After last week’s post I spoke to him about his childhood dream of charming snakes and he managed to obtain three lovely slow worms, which of course are not really snakes at all but legless lizards, and quite charming creatures, which makes them eminently suitable for the job in hand. He has been practising diligently (with his old recorder) and no doubt wants me to assess his (and the slow worms’ progress).

So, Till When,

Aisselle

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Choices…

It’s all very well well to be told you must stop thinking about Tea, but it’s not that easy. Nostradamus did advise Art as a way to stop fantasising, so to distract myself I decided to paint another card for my Grand Ellessia Tarot, and here it is – the Seven of Teapots.

I chose seven teapots from my small collection and added a few things I found in my little drawers. When I’d finished I gazed long and hard at the painting. It seemed to be trying to tell me something, but what? I stared at it and went into a sort of meditative trance, and one by one the teapots imparted their wisdom.

My eyes were drawn first to the little house in the middle. I love the van and dear Pie who pulls it, but I do miss the old place. We could return, but the thought of human children running around fills me with unease. All might be well if they were more like baby animals, who, even if sometimes wilful never seem to lose that endearing quality, whereas human children are as likely to call one names that their mothers surely never taught them as to smile sweetly and wish one good morning. I much prefer the calf-on-its-mother’s-back teapot, although it is extremely odd. I wonder what it signifies? I do hope there are no strange mutations happening back at the old place. Perhaps we need to go back just to check that all is well.

Below the bovine pair is the little old lady teapot. Who or what can she represent? Is she Yours Truly Aisselle, grown grey and ancient in her shawl and sinking slowly into the lake? Is that what will happen if we stay here too long?

Next, a colourful cockerel and I can’t help remembering dear Clarence, although he was a Rhode Island Red and not nearly so bright as the teapot. A colourful cock might be a cheering influence on the farm – perhaps if I asked Jay he could get one.

Now  here’s my little red teapot with white spots – the one Henna always used for her amanita tea. I filled it with a chain and strings of beads and I see now that one of these has just placed itself over a white spot and looks like an eye! I wouldn’t mind a trip on the broomstick, but I’d have to find some fairy mushrooms first and feed them to one of the goats. On second thoughts, perhaps not. They can be inclined to kick if one approaches them with a container between milking times.

Above the red teapot is a little teapot house covered with grass and flowers with a nesting bluebird on the roof. The bluebird of happiness! I could live happily in such a house were it possible.

And now for the final teapot, which is black and full of snakes. Luckily they’re only made of rubber, mementos of Jay’s childhood. He tells me that he had a secret wish to be a snake charmer and used to practise with a basketful of rubber snakes and a recorder. They do wobble most realistically. Perhaps he still harbours that desire – I must ask him tonight. We haven’t talked much lately due to my worries regarding Tea. I must stop thinking of myself and give him more care and attention.

Strangely this soon-to-be-card has provided a reading in itself. It is like a signpost with different directions suggested. Much to consider before Hermaphroditey returns. She will return, won’t she?

Love and teapots,

Aisselle

Imaginal

The loss of the King of Goats as my possible father left me feeling strangely bereft, although I might have felt just the same if Henna had confirmed what I thought at the time were my visionary imaginings. This idea brought forth another – if my witchy mother truly had no idea who my father was (or is), then I would imagine myself one. With this task in mind I hastened to the orchard with a lovely warm blanket and lay down under an apple tree.

Looking up at the russety Cox’s Orange Pippins, bright against the blue sky (I do love this tree so – the apples taste just as I remember them from my childhood in Wales, and there are so few of these trees left now), breathing slowly and deeply, my body seemed to disappear, leaving my mind clear, ready for a suitable father to fill the empty space in my life story. What would he be like?

It took longer than I thought. It was dark and all I could see was a peculiar door with hieroglyphs all over it. I imagined my father opening the door and walking through it towards me, but all that happened was that the door remained shut for a long time before it eventually opened and a succession of uncles came though in a line and just walked past, without speaking or acknowledging me in any way. When they’d gone (it took a while, for there were many), I imagined the door closing, which it did, silently and rather beautifully. What next though?

Perhaps if I opened it myself I would find an answer. I did, Dear Reader, I did. Slowly a world was revealed to me, a world beneath a blue sky patterned with white clouds. On a hilltop a little way away, someone dressed in blue with a strangely glittering head sat on what looked like a large chair that appeared almost to be part of the sky itself. I zoomed in for a closer look. It seemed to be a man. I had the feeling that he was intelligent, kind and gentle. His eyes were closed in meditation and he was wearing the biggest tinfoil hat I had ever seen!

Suddenly I knew that even as I meditated on his existence, somewhere, possibly even in another world, he was meditating on mine. I gazed for a long time, wondering if he’d open his eyes to look at me, but perhaps he didn’t need to do that to see me. After all, my eyes were closed too. I must have fallen asleep then, for I was woken by a strange sensation. Leon had come to find me and was licking my ear. He has very tickly whiskers.

We hurried back to the van where I set to work to capture my newly found father in paint. I had to immortalize him as The King of Tinfoil Hats for my Grand Ellessia Tarot. And here he is, but Henna must never see this image.

She’d only manage to spoil things for me – she always does.

Till soon,

Aisselle

An Answer via the Aether…

A little soul in need inspired this, the latest creation for my Grand Ellessia Tarot, the Queen of Tinfoil Hats. But it was only when she was finished that I remembered that I’ve already made one of those… No matter, we will have two.

Dear little Pinkie contacted me via the Readings page to ask for my help. I will not repeat her words here or mine in answer – or her words in answer to my answer – as you can easily go and read them for yourselves. Suffice to say that the witchy being depicted on the card is my mother, Henna, wearing her special pointy tinfoil hat and all her gear.

Although I saw her before we left the old place six years ago and had a picture in my mind of the crone she was then, somehow I’ve made her rather lovely, and haven’t the heart to spoil her by adding wrinkles and facial collapse. I have an idea that she herself had something to do with the way she’s turned out, as her intellect and will are stern and strong and quite capable of influencing me at a distance in spite of all the jumping on beds (and in and out of them) she has indulged in all her life. So here she will remain, immortalised on this card, a Queen of Tinfoil Hats in her prime contacting Spirit via the aether (the swirly lines in the sky), and with the help of the fairies’ flying mushroom and her favourite goat.

Which brings me back to the King and Queen of Goats in a recent post. Perhaps you remember that I needed to contact Henna to ask her a VIQ (Very Important Question). Of course I had no idea where she was or is, so I sent an email through the aether to my halfly brother (or possibly sister, depending on what time of year it is), and Joel (he is Joel for the current six months), replied that he had no idea of her whereabouts either, as she is still in hiding from the Grand Ovum and Merlin who are seeking the Druid’s Book, but that he would forward my message.

Imagine my trepidation when I found an email from Henna in my inbox this morning. Dear Reader, I was quivering all over like a goat’s milk junket! This is what she wrote.

Aisselle, you are a very big silly. If you’d paid attention at school instead of playing truant with the goats you’d have been able to google and do a few sums and wouldn’t need to send me frantic messages about the identity of your sperm donor. You could have typed ‘Gerald New Forest’ into google instead of bothering me with ‘Gerald from the forest that was new’ and Wiki would have appeared to make everything clear. I may not know who your father is but he’s certainly not old Gerald who died in 1964. I know you like to pretend you’re younger than you really are but that’s still pushing it a bit as it was around the middle to late 70s that you appeared unexpectedly in Kansas. Even Grannie hadn’t noticed but then she did have things of her own going on at the time.

Enough of this nonsense though, I have spells to perform. Henna

Well, it seems nothing changes. To tell the truth, I didn’t know whether to feel relieved or disappointed. If Gerald had been my father it would have explained my passion for goats, which seems too strong to have been inherited from only one parent. But I must rest again now, as my sleep was slight last night, then move on and finish my tarot – it has been long in the making. What next I wonder?

Till soon,

Aisselle

The last nightmare

I do hope that is not too optimistic. But last night I had another terrible dream. I was in a dark forest and I came across a puddle of water in which I saw Hermaphroditey – dead. She lay there in all her bright purpleness and I was powerless. I gazed upon her and wept. I awoke shivering, and made myself a cup of chamomile tea – Jay slept on, I must not have screamed or cried out this time, which is good as I have disturbed so many of his nights. And I decided to put this dream into the card that has always frightened me most when I have been reading – the Ten of Tinfoil hats. I felt it would be right. The worst thing I could have imagined, to lose Hermaphroditey, as the worst card – for me.

I stood at the window looking at the moon, and suddenly I felt a great calm descend. I do find chamomile so helpful. But also I suddenly felt that nothing worse could happen to me now. It was just a dream, but I have lived through it. Fortified in my emotions, I returned to bed.
To dream again – but this time was very different. I felt the warmth of Hermaphroditey, who spoke to me at last – the first time in so many nights. And she said “Finally, you get it. It isn’t all about you.”

 

I was shocked, but then I understood. I had always expected her to be there whenever I needed her, as till latterly she had been – but she has priorities of her own. I felt as though I had learned a valuable lesson, one which I must always remember.
And in the morning, I created two new cards – the painful Ten I had conceived in the night, but also a reminder of my achievement, the Six of Certificates. Perhaps I am seeing too much, but I felt as if I had been given a reward. In any event, I feel that surviving that nightmare of loss was in itself a gift.

 

 

 

And now to pick blackberries. There are so many this year, and the birds tell me it will be a hard winter. I hope all of you who read my blog will do the same.

 

Blessings, Aisselle

 

 

 

The Boy on the Hill…


Page of Tinfoil Hats

My Grand Ellessia Tarot is coming along beautifully, and I’m always amazed at how inspiration arrives in the most unexpected ways. I was sitting on the little hill behind the caravan yesterday looking through dear Pixie’s tarot. From time to time I’d gaze at the sky, thinking how fascinating are the strange and funny shapes the clouds form themselves into – almost as if they’re trying to tell us something. I’m not referring to weather forecasts but of more momentous things. Henna, my witchy mother, used to gaze skywards often. She said cloud-watching was no different from any other form of divination – just like reading tea leaves, except that you had to look up rather than down.

But I digress. I’d been watching the clouds rushing across the sky but when I looked towards the field and the goats everything had changed. The familiar scene was exactly like Pixie’s Page of Swords card, except that instead of the young man grasping his weapon in both hands and pointing it skwards, there, in the same spot as the page on the card, stood a little boy. His eyes were large and blue like the sky, gazing upwards at something far away that I could not see. I could tell by his face he was a sensitive child, standing there in his tinfoil hat and his lovely S-belt holding a long blue and silver box. Who could he be? He was very young to be out on his own with no one in charge of him.

The answer came to me like a flash of sunlight on a milk bottle top. The clue to his identity was right in front of my eyes, printed on the box! AL…….. I couldn’t read the rest of the letters though, for the next second he had disappeared and the goats were grazing peacefully in the field, just as if he had never been there at all. But I knew I had been gifted with a rare glimpse into the past, and that the little lad would grow up to continue his search for knowledge of those who inhabit the aether and the astral planes, and delve deeply into the old and dangerous ways of magic. I couldn’t help wishing that he could have stayed on Pam’s hill in his little red boots and his tinfoil hat, but although I am gifted with spiritual insight, the best I can do is to capture his likeness for my Grand Ellessia Tarot. I do hope you like it.

Blessings,

Aisselle

A Difficult Balance

I have been trying to work out how best to work on balancing everything within my power, as I learned during my retreat that I must. It is hard to know where to begin. I do not follow what they call “the news” – I have no wireless, nor do I buy papers, which is where I understand that people learn about all the injustices in the world. I am not sure I want to learn about these things, but how can I work on righting wrongs if I do not know what the wrongs are. It is a hard path to tread.

I appealed to spirit and to Hermaphroditey, but they are silent. I pulled cards, endlessly, but no combination suggested a solution. I think perhaps I am trying to do too much. To take on a task that really is outside my abilities. With Hermaphroditey behind me I have always felt I was capable of anything, but suddenly I doubt my own powers. This frightens me more than the bad dreams ever did.

I wonder about another retreat – but the weather is colder now, and I fear that in any case it might cause me even more alarm. To calm my nerves I made a pot of chamomile tea, and when he smelled it, Jay came to join me. He is so wise. I told him of my fears and he said that I must stop worrying so much. Worrying, he said, is bad for the soul. Instead of worrying about what you cannot control, shift your energy to what you can do, he said.

I thought long and hard about this and suddenly the balancing that comes with temperance came to me, and I created another card for my deck. I hope you like it. Meanwhile, I must try to find a new way to approach the lessons of my retreat. I feel I must be approaching it all in the wrong way. But where is the right way ?

Oh dear. This is so hard. Everything was coming so easily to me before. Maybe the lesson I must learn is that it was too easy.

Yours in light and confusion,

Aisselle

On the King and Queen of Certificates…

You see before you the King of Certificates, high on his firebird throne. As you know, the firebird is both a bringer of doom and a blessing, which is fitting, as (like all the court cards), this king can represent a real person, and indeed he does. It may seem strange when I tell you how he came to be on this card. To this person I owe my very existence as an ethical tarot reader. For this is Alex, whose advertisement I noticed on ebay when looking for goats.

He was offering tarot certificates in return for eight pounds and an essay on various aspects of the tarot, including history and all sorts of other things. I sent off my carefully crafted essay with the eight pounds and awaited my lovely certificate with the greatest anticipation, but to my horror and dismay an email arrived refusing to certify me on the grounds that I was not ethical! I was distraught and went into a spiral of distraction. Goodness knows where I’d have ended up if Alex had not replied to my email begging him to reconsider his verdict with yet another refusal and an email detailing all the ethics that my essay seemed to have contravened.

Dear Reader, I went into retreat, taking this terrible list with me. The following weeks were spent sleeping in the orchard with the many goats and other animals at the old place, meditating and living on apples and goat’s milk. It was cold at night so I’d been snuggled up to Baphomet for warmth and smelled rather strongly of billy goat. I needed a bath and a cup of nettle tea so I came at last to the conclusion that I must abandon my old ways to the pit of doom and become ethical.

Back at the house, clean and refreshed, I set to work and made seven tinfoil hats. Then I created The Order of the Tin Foil Hat Ethical Tarot Certificate, and awarded it to myself. I began this, my very own blog, to connect to my clients and followers, and from that day I have never looked back.

Thank you Alex, you are truly the King of Certificates.

And here am I, Aisselle AT Gabegie, in my very finest tin foil hat, the Queen of Certificates in all her glory. (My thrysus may be very slightly bent, but notice how much larger and greater than Alex I appear.)

Blessings be upon your ethical kingly head, Alex, (wherever you may be), and please feel free to contact me if you’d like to become a member of the Ethical Order of the Tin Foil Hat and I’ll see what I can do.

Written in love and peace,

Aisselle

A Damp Homecoming

Well, my dears, I have had an interesting time. Sadly, latterly the weather was not as I had hoped, and my lovely dress is wet, and so am I. Soon I shall ask Heth if I can prevail upon him to allow me a hot bath in the farmhouse. Our caravan is usually all we need, but when I am so very cold and wet, I would really like to relax in hot water.
My retreat was not what I expected. It was difficult, to say the least. I think perhaps the need for it emanated from the reading I did for Rottweiler about Great Britain. I am not entirely sure what is happening about this hoarding of food he asked about. Why these people don’t live from the hedgerows as one can is hard to comprehend. There is so much to be found – berries, leaves, mushrooms and the occasional rabbit.

But it seems that I must pay more attention to the injustices of the world as it is today. To try and lead my followers to see the things that need to be done so that we can all live happily together, so that everything can be set in balance, as I am sure it was designed to be by Spirit. When I received this wisdom, I think I felt the touch of Hermaphroditey upon my shoulder (which still hurts from when Jay wakened me, perhaps the bath will help with that too.)
So – damp and enlightened, I came back to the caravan to find that Jay does not appear to be here. Perhaps he has gone to find me a special treat. He is so kind that way. Perhaps the blackberries are ripe.

In any event, I shall quickly take my chilled self to the farmhouse to throw myself upon Heth’s good nature. Meanwhile – as I sat thinking about everything and everything else (this really is so very hard and I hope it will not prove too much for my powers) I did come up with the Justice card, which symbolises all I must try to do. I hope you like it.
And I hope that you are all warm and dry, as I am not. Till later.

Blessings, Aisselle

6 of Tinfoil Hats

A recent post on this, my very own blog, made me recall the day Jay and I and little Leon and Nu left the old place and took to the road. The caravan is small, and we had to leave almost everything behind and trust that George and Minet would take care of the old place and the creatures. It was a happy day, but I was apprehensive too, as you can see from the card, although when painting it I forgot that Leon was only a puppy at the time and have drawn him larger than life looking out of the little window at the back (he was standing on the bed). Nu, the lovely nanny who came along to give us milk, is sitting up front next to Jay, and Hermaphroditey was hovering in the aether just above the stove. Leon still seems to stay well away from her just as he did then.

As for the tinfoil hats, I tied them by string to hooks on the back and they’re flying behind us as we rattle along (it was a windy day). As soon as the old place was out of sight I went to sit up front with Jay and Nu but unfortunately by the time we came to a stop there was not a sign of them, only six lengths of dusty string trailing along the ground. Luckily I’d remembered to bring a roll of aluminium foil so I set to work and made some more.

The rain seems to have deserted us again, in spite of Jay’s invocation, but the grass is peeping green once more and the goats nibble merrily in the field.

I have been struggling to master the old spinning wheel, I have removed the dust and spider webs, given it oil and tried to work out its Old Way of working but have now retired hot and bothered with strands of mohair on my lovely blue gingham and fluff in my hair and nostrils. I think the only way forward may be though Spirit. I do not have a contact number for Tea, but she offered once to spin for us, so I will call on Hermaphroditey to work her magic and prompt Tea to read this post.

Tea, dear, if you’re reading this this please come and teach me to spin (although you cannot live here for reasons mentioned in an earlier post on Readings).

Love,

Till when,

Aisselle