Returning to Tarot

It’s what started this blog, and it’s back again.

Some of my oldest readers (readers? friends? who/what are you anyway?) will remember an attempt I made when I first started this blog to make a tarot deck based on characters from my novels. It… was alright-ish? But it didn’t pan out. The symbolism was wonky and forced and the sheer amount of time it took to do watercolor cards – I hate painting, as it turns out – made it, in the end, not really worth it to me.

And then I did the Five Realms Oracle.

More than anything, that proved to me that I do have a better handle on symbolism than I think I do, and that I have the patience and persistence necessary to complete a long-term, involved project like that. The tricky bit with that deck now is trying to put together a guidebook for it, and for that I’ve been testing it all over the place in different types of readings… but it’s hard to make an oracle deck from scratch. I can use the runes as a guide, obviously, but my views on the runes are changing a bit, and don’t really fit the cards anymore. I might take them off on the final versions. Still, trying to figure out how the symbolism fits into situations is a lot more difficult than I imagined starting out, even with a basic knowledge of the meanings already in place.

Tarot is different. Tarot is familiar. Tarot isn’t easy, per se, but it interacts and weaves into itself in known and predictable ways. The specific imagery can be twisted and shaped but the archetypal meanings stay roughly the same. Death is always change and rebirth. Strength is always endurance and boundaries. The Fool, as it turns out, was what I was missing the meaning of when I first tried to create the Five Realms Tarot (or the Revenant Tarot, I can’t remember which) a few years ago. I didn’t have a good enough scope of the whole story and the players in it. Who was powerful, who was learning. And part of what made the original set of symbolism so off was that I picked the wrong Fool.

Esper Ravenwood is the Fool. He’s the protagonist. He’s the one who goes on an epic journey, and whose journey gets reflected and faceted over and over again throughout his five and a half hundred years, and even after that. He is both catalyst and solution. He is the Fool that walks through the twenty-one doors, being changed by and in turn changing the people that he meets behind them. He’s walked through doors nobody was ever meant to come back through and done it anyway.

The other cards I lacked a decent understanding of? Death, Temperance, Judgement, and the Lovers. Which ties directly into what happened last April. I think I’ve finally walked through enough doors myself to do the Tarot justice. (Heh. Justice.) Watch me change my mind at the end of the Major Arcana. 😛

So… I think I might have another go at the Five Realms Tarot, now that I know who the Fool was. Funny enough, I wrote his Tales in first person. Read into that what you will.

~*SYMBOLISM*~

Art Post: Hyndla

Hyndla by EjLowell

Hello again! This has been a long time coming.

A piece I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but finally had the oomph to complete for reasons. (I owed her a favor.) Another experiment in lineless art, much gloomier than the other one I did.

Hyndla is rather an obscure figure in the Eddas. She shows up in one short story and reads Ottar’s ancestry, before disappearing again. She’s a jotunn, albeit small and a bit fragile. She walks with a walking stick and has a pack of hounds and wolves at her call. Hyndla is a witch to some, a goddess to others; a goddess of bloodlines, curses, past-life exploration, and genetic weirdness of all kinds. She tends to be a bit grumpy and cold to outsiders, but can be warm and even motherly to those in her good graces.

She’s also my “matron,” though I kinda dislike the word. I haven’t found a better one yet. From my understanding of her she might as well be Frey’s opposite, which makes the fact that she’s the only goddess so far to claim me as one of her own rather amusing to me. I can see myself being something like her if I live past sixty. I already have to use a cane in the winter, sometimes.

Again, I’ll make an update post or a video at some point. Things have been wonky and I need to figure out how I want to say things.

See you soon, probably

Art Post: Freyr of the Vanir

Freyr of the Vanir by EjLowell

Holy crap it’s been a while. Sorry about that, guys. Nothing bad happened this time – nothing on the order of soul-close-friends dying, anyway – I just haven’t had much to talk about. Life’s been happening and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Might update soon.

A personal (I guess??) piece for Ingvi-Frey, lord of peace and good seasons. and pants I mean plants. Whenever the sunflowers and tiger lilies start blooming I think of him, and I haven’t done an art for him in a while.

I went out for an impromptu picnic with my lovely Moose man the other day and it was just so peaceful and warm, birds were chatting and bumble bees kept checking in to say hello (and scare the crap out of me), and all I could think of was, “this is Frey. This is what he’s all about. Peace and laughter and loving moments shared with friends and family.” We sat under a tree which is actually two trees twisted up together and surrounded by a bed of clover. It was hot as heck out, as summer on the front range tends to be, but it was so… Frey. I wish I could take that feeling and distill it, stick it into a bottle, and wear it forever. Give it to those who need it more than me.

Hi, btw, for those of you who don’t know I am actually rather devoted to this particular deity. He stands for so much that I try to stand for, that I try to be. He represents a version of masculinity that I deeply admire – giving without being pushy, protective without being possessive, friendly without being obnoxious, strong without feeling the need to prove it or show it off, respectful and kind toward all people – and working on this piece for him lit me up from the moment I started sketching it. I don’t do lineless art very often; it just takes so long to do, so I tend to reserve it for special pieces. This is in thanks to him for all of the things that have been going well lately, all of the crap I’ve been trying to sort out emotionally and mentally, all of the courage I’ve found whilst digging in the depths of hopelessness, and hope that I might actually have the wherewithal to follow the paths I can’t help but stare at from a distance because I’ve been so scared of being judged for taking them.

That got a little weird but I hope someone finds some peace in the picture, at least. Peace and Good Seasons to ya’ll.

Aside: And guess what just happened while I was getting ready to post this? A friend asked for help. Spiritual help. That. Was. WHAT?! I still get flabbergasted when shit like this happens!!

Aside: Quick Localisations of Four Rune Poems

Read as: Ej likes playing with metaphors and wanted to make sense of some funky translations. This may or may not have been my life for the past few days.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional linguist. I just play with words.

Fehu

“Fé vældr frænda róge;
føðesk ulfr í skóge.”

Translation:
“Wealth is a source of discord among kin;
the wolf grows up in the forest.”

My understanding:
Knowing your own worth can be controversial;
Those who don’t lose themselves in others.

Uruz

“Úr er af illu jarne;
opt løypr ræinn á hjarne.”

Translation:
“Slag comes from bad iron;
The Reindeer races over frozen snow.”

My understanding:
Burning yourself out accomplishes nothing good;
Go steady and you will not fall.

Thurisaz

“Þurs vældr kvinna kvillu,
kátr værðr fár af illu.”

Translation:
“Giant causes anguish to women;
misfortune makes few men cheerful.”

My understanding:
Don’t belittle what others go through;
Nobody enjoys being in pain.

Ansuz

“Óss er flæstra færða
for; en skalpr er sværða.”

Translation:
“Estuary is the way of most journeys;
but a scabbard is of swords.”

My understanding:
A meandering tale will get you far;
Sharp words stay in you.


All poems and translations were referenced from ragwedforge.com

Also this experiment was inspired by the work of Jackson Crawford, in particular the “Cowboy Hávamál.” Someday I will do the whole Elder Futhark. Probably.

Hello, Empathy, My Old Friend

… I’ve come to talk with you again.~ ♪♫

Anyway.

So it might seem a little bizarre for someone like me – spiritually inclined and whatnot – to have a moment of, “Oh yeah. I forgot about that,” regarding something like empathy, or high sensitivity in general. Guess who has two thumbs and forgot they were an empath? Me.

Continue reading “Hello, Empathy, My Old Friend”

Runic Half-Month Reading – Perthro 2017

And right after I made this video a crow landed on the fence outside. It’s a sign!

In this video I do a reading for the runic half-month of Perthro (or Perdhro) which is from January 13th to January 28th. I pulled four tarot cards – two from the Wildwood and two from the Shadowscapes – and a single Five Realms Oracle card for looking at the overall energy of the half-month. I know I’ve started with a rather arbitrary rune, but frankly, I didn’t see any better time to start than now!

I hope this one provides some insight, and wasn’t too rambly.

See you soon!
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My Thoughts on “Arbitrary” Time Markers

Hello!

So, I saw a post the other day, can’t remember who or what or where, but the gist of it was someone lamenting the fact that people are excited for 2016 to be over because, to the original poster, the New Year is just some arbitrary time marker in a vast and uncaring universe that exists in a perpetual state of chaos.

Being the hermit that I am, that thought has been clanging around the inside of my head for a few days, and a bit of light just shone on it while watching a tarot reading. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really, really don’t believe in arbitrary time markers. That is, I don’t believe that they are arbitrary.

Let me explain.

While they may have been a bit bizarre and new to begin with, time markers like the turning of the year or the end of a school season are, I think, just as powerful as other, “natural” time markers like moon phases or the changing of the seasons. The difference is that one is man-made, which doesn’t make it any less special or any less meaningful. The new calendar year is observed by so many people around the world that it makes no sense to me for it not to contain some significance. Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it isn’t magical. I feel like that bears repeating.

Just because it’s familiar, doesn’t mean it isn’t magical.

It’s just like the way languages and incantations work. The words themselves are man-made, the meanings applied by people like you and me, and we use them every single day. The only difference between a poem and an incantation is the intent behind it. If one walks into the new year feeling like it’s the same old thing once again, how much change do you think they’ll attract? As opposed to someone who sees the new year as a time to start fresh, and do so in accordance with consensus reality. Pardon my french, but this shit is powerful!

I don’t know about you, but I am good and ready to start making some magic happen in the new year. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth it. If it works, use it.

Lykke til.
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Personified Emotions, Automatic Writing, and an Application Thereof

This one’s a doozie, if a bit of a ramble. Good thing about making videos first thing in the morning is that I don’t talk nearly as fast, bad thing is that I can’t concentrate for the life of me. So if there are a lot of jump-cuts, that’s why.

I think emotional personification is the coolest thing ever! Your results may vary. There are probably SO many potential uses of this idea that I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around.

Mentioned in this video:
MyNoise
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore 
Kelly-Ann’s pathworking with Tarot video
Boho Berry’s Level 10 Life bullet journal spread

See you when I see you!
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Anxiety Rambles

Guess what? I fixed my editing software! 😀 And decided to do some rambles about anxiety because it’s a thing that I have and can do videos about. I’m gonna make a playlist about it. I am excited, if you couldn’t tell.

Also, something I didn’t mention in the video is the idea that fear can actually direct you toward where you need to go next, so that’ll probably go into another video at some point. “The thing I fear contains the thing I need.”

My Etsy shop is still on vacation until I can get a handle on some stuff but I’m working on it. I probably won’t be offering tarot or rune readings anymore, but my illustrations are still up. We’ll see! I’m also working on a super-secret project that is currently still in testing, but I think so far it’s working. Like, ~really~ well.

See you soon!

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Thurisaz

A glass to take the edge off,
The spear at your throat,
The fangs of a wolf, his claws.

A sharp focus, time is still,
Claws on your spine,
Giants bellow in your blood.

A strike of lightning,
Hammer crashes down,
The barberry pierces red.

A wolf bites, the edge consumes,
Pain focuses the mind,
The wounds will heal.

Thurisaz

A rough and ragged rune poem by me.

I’ll have to analyze this later. It just wanted to get out of my head as soon as possible.

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