19 May 1536 – A Prophecy Comes True


(commissioned deck, by Philip Harris)

Today, 19 May 1536, an innocent Queen was put to death by a French swordsman, under the order of King Henry VIII. It was said through a prophecy that this would happen, and Anne lived many days in worry after she lost the love of her husband. She was said to have had sex with multiple men, including her own brother; George Boleyn. These accusations were false and there has been no proof of such, even now. Many are moved by this young woman’s short life, and mourn for her on this very day. A sadness has been coming upon my heart all month. I just wanted to pay tribute to this strong, plain, and beautiful woman whose inspiration has touched the lives of many, even after her time. Here we are, five hundred years later, and our spirits still feel her presence. She was intelligent, strong, and way beyond her time in many ways. Let us not forget her on this day, and remember her greatest love; her daughter, Queen Elizabeth I, who became a successful Queen for England and ruled for many years. She not only was the daughter of Anne, and Queen of England, but she was a female who ruled with the heart of a lion. Rest in peace Anne B. You were undeserving of your fate. In my Tarot deck, you represent the Queen of cups. My emotions run like water at the sound of your name. xo Bridgett




30 Day Lenormand Challenge – Day 9

Vintage Lenormand, by RootweaverCard # 7 - Snake

Vintage Lenormand, by Rootweaver
Card # 7 – Snake

Today’s question is:

Which card do you dread pulling the most? Why?

The Snake card… When Snake appears in a reading I am almost always instantly tense because for me it means there’s a ‘snake in the grass,’ that is to say all is not as it seems and there may be cause to be extra-cautious.

Mind you, being new at Lenormand I have not done many readings for myself using this system yet, however on a couple of occasions I was successfully alerted to less-than-desirable events in business so that when they made their appearance I was well prepared for them.

Sometimes (especially with a new business) one feels like you are wading through ‘long grass’ which is fine and to be expected, it is the unseen or unexpected ‘snake in the grass’ that can often be the catalyst for an unwelcome set-back if we aren’t prepared.

Tomorrow’s question is: Which card do you pull more often when you read the cards for yourself? Do you think it matches your personality? Why?

30 Day Lenormand Challenge – Day 5

Vintage Lenormand, by RootweaverCard 26 - Book

Vintage Lenormand, by Rootweaver
Card 26 – Book

Today’s question is:

How long have you been reading the Lenormand?

I was introduced to Lenormand by Tali Goodwin of Tarot Professionals, about a year ago. Until then I was blissfully unaware of this fascinating salon-style system of fortune-telling. From day one I was smitten with Lenormand, it was SO different to tarot, and so fascinatingly direct!

Like a junkie I had to have more, and whilst it appears to be very simple to learn, unlike the multi-layered system of tarot, it soon became apparent that it would take time to learn to use the Lenormand well enough to offer as an additional service in my coffee/tarot-reading shop.

I have enrolled in Tali Goodwin’s ‘Learning Lenormand’ course, a 10-week course that commences tomorrow (Sunday 27th.) By the time I have completed her course I hope to be a more confident reader of Lenormand.

With learning to read Lenormand, like learning to make a good latte, practice makes perfect!

See ya tomorrow for day 6 of the 30 Day Lenormand Challenge.

It is here! The Vintage Lenormand

Vintage Lenormand, 1st edition

Vintage Lenormand, 1st edition

It is here! The 1st edition of Vintage Lenormand has arrived! Now to sew the pouches before mailing them off by 1st Feb. There are ONLY 20 decks left unsold. If you have not yet ordered your copy please contact me here or here with your email address so that I can invoice you. The deck sells at $23.95 excluding postage. I’ll start posting the deck out on the 1st February.

The Vintage Lenormand, by Rootweaver. First edition - 2013

The Vintage Lenormand, by Rootweaver. First edition – 2013


A bunch of Tarot Enthusiasts on Facebook decided to have a Tarot Bag exchange, where people chose partners and made each other bags. This idea was the brain-child of the pixie-ish Gidget London, a lively and creative member of the group.
I knew it was a good idea the moment I read about it, and immediately jumped on the bandwagon. “I’m game!”
Almost as quickly, a friend in the group spoke up and said she’d love to partner with me, and we were off and running.

Jera-Babylon Rootweaver, aka “Andi” -my partner in this project, loves saturated, hot colors, and so I chose an iridescent fabric in a flame orange, satin ribbon in an intense deep red, golden beaded fringe, deep red eyelash yarn, and a deep golden, red and brown chunk of tiger’s eye for the proper juju.

I collected together some charms to also give the piece some…

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The symbolism in The World card by Tarot de St. Croix

ImageThe World is the final card of the archetypal journey of the soul. This card represents wholeness and as Jung said “…indissoluble communion with the world at large.” The self becomes numinous containing all the elements, all creation and the entire cosmos.

Plato said “… this world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related.”

In painting The World; I was inspired by the 14th century alchemical engravings of Anima Mundi – the Soul of the World. The Alchemists saw the world as a loving, spiritual being. In this tarot card Anima Mundi is surrounded by the constellations of Leo, Aquila and Taurus. The angel represents the great mystery. Anima Mundi stands with one foot on earth, one on water with her head in the stars surrounded by the wreath of triumph. She is a woman who might come from any continent. She represents the origin of life with the sun radiating from her womb and her breasts are the full and new moon.

Tarot de St. Croix: Death and Ten of Swords

These are two of the most difficult cards in the tarot deck yet they also hold the unique position of something being totally and completely done, which is some-times a good thing.

Our fear of Death; both in the card and in life is our fear of the unknown. However hearing accounts of near-death experiences opens up a new vista of possibilities. In this Death card the skeleton travels through a vast cellular tunnel toward the light. In the skeleton’s hand is the key to unlocking the greatest of all mysteries. From all endings, there is the possibility of something new beginning. Death is necessary to make space for a new start, a fresh approach.

The Ten of Swords is the end of a tired, worn out way of thinking. The figure floating face-down is also a reflection of the figure rising up toward the new moon which promises a new cycle. We can rise above our old, unhealthy victim mentality, supported by the lessons learned.

 Lisa de St. Croix

To an Old Mentor, with Great Love and Appreciation

Just a bit less than one year ago, I posted this entry after finding out that a cherished mentor had left this plane of existence. I am re-posting what I wrote then, as his influence in my life is far from over. Every time I shuffle a deck of Tarot cards, I think of him, and bless the day he first singled me out and spoke to me. I can’t even begin to express the importance of what he did for me; words are insufficient.


Dr. Richard Arthur George; Poet, Teacher, Mentor

This wonderful man was the very first person who read my cards for me, with a Waite deck that had belonged to his grandmother. He gave me an amazing reading, full of hope and validation, and told me that someday I would become a very fine reader myself.

I had the great satisfaction of returning to him some years later, and reading his cards- and to my immense gratification, he was very impressed with the quality and depth of my readings for him. Over time, we traded readings, and his accuracy was beyond compare! I have always aspired to be as good a reader, and as upright a human being as he was. He set the bar very high indeed!

I wrote this memorial in his honor, as I remembered all the many great and small gestures of kindness and support I received from him through the years:

Dear Doc-
I knew you had left this plane of existence on some level of my being- I could feel the absence of your laughter in the sudden stillness of the present day.
You probably had some small idea of how important you were in my life, but not the whole of it. In fact, you kept me alive. I would have slid into surrender, the rapid beating of my mind gone forever under the iron tide of aggressive conformity. It was you who first told me that I was special, and encouraged me to fight my way back to the surface again and again to light and air, until I could win my way free of the forces that held me down. You couldn’t know- I had no way to tell you- (I was a child still, and didn’t understand it myself)-  I didn’t know that I was drowning, even when you held my head up above the waves and shouted for me to
“Breathe, damn you, breathe! Don’t let the bastards win!”
Thank you Doctor George, for doing so much more than you ever knew. I will always treasure the friendship you gave so freely, without agenda, without thought of gain for yourself.

Love Always- Anita

Travel well, old teacher and soul-friend, into that unknown country were we will all someday follow.
I hope I am fortunate enough to find you there when it is my time.


Tarot Symbolism: A Tale of Two Kitties

For a large number of people around the world, our feline companions bring us joy, endless amazement, friendship and fun. In fact, much like the ancient Egyptians, the Western world has built something of a cult around the domestic cat, with people proudly displaying their love on plaques, signs and bumpers stickers that read “Love me, love my cats”, or “Dogs have owners, cats have staff”. In fact, us “cat people” like to stick together, particularly against those “dog people”, and you’ll find that if you’re not a cat lover conversation is harder with us. There is also an old Irish saying, “Beware of people who don’t like cats.”

Luckily, our feline companions have found their way into the Tarot pack, and specifically they keep court in two cards in the Rider Waite Smith pack: Strength and the Queen of Wands. In the Strength card we meet nature’s big cat, the lion, a powerful and wild beast, capable of killing a man should it wish to. Whereas at the feet of the Queen of Wands sits a demure, pretty, domestic black cat. Both cards also feature women in power roles, flowers, and fiery colours. The cats give us the biggest clue though: these two cards are linked in the Tarot via the symbol of Leo.

VIII Strength - Rider Waite Smith

VIII Strength - Rider Waite Smith

Astrologically speaking, Strength in the Tarot is associated with the sign of Leo, the Lion. It is easy to see this in the image of the virginal maiden taming the red lion, though it is unclear to the reader whether she is opening the lion’s mouth or closing it, or perhaps trying to take a peek inside. In fact, if we look closely at the image, we see that the lion’s tongue is sticking out as if trying to lick the maiden, and if she were to forcefully push its jaws closed we would soon find ourselves with a tongueless lion.

Our Queen of Wands also finds herself associated with the sign of Leo, as the apportioning of Knights, Queens and Kings of the Tarot gives her this fixed Fire sign of the zodiac. The presence of the cat at her feet reminds us of the association with Leo, but the question remains: why no big cat? Why choose a black, domestic cat for the Queen of Wands and the lion for Strength?

The answer, I think, lies partly in alchemical symbolism, and partly in the folkloric associations of black cats, with a smidgeon of knowledge of cat behaviour.

The Red Lion in Alchemy represents sulphur, the “masculine” component in the coagulum of parts that go towards creating the Philosopher’s Stone. It presents to us symbolically everything that is active, assertive, and fiery both in the world around us and in ourselves. More correctly in alchemical procedure the Red Lion refers to the red tincture that comes after the white tincture (represented by the White Queen/Eagle/Unicorn), which represents an integration of polarities. We see this red lion elsewhere in the Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, in which it is shown clearly on the Lovers card as the animal companion of the Red King, also the Emperor from the earlier trump, during his marriage to the White Queen, also the Empress, whose animal companion is the White Eagle. It is interesting that our RWS Strength card features a woman in white: perhaps she can be seen as the White Queen herself, the Empress in another form, and Strength therefore is another part of the process of solve e coagula which occurs sometime between the Lovers and Temperance/Art in the Thoth Tarot. It is interesting that the White Queen in Strength is in human form and the Red King in his animal form, indicating that he is still in a more primal part of his essence, undiluted by the white tincture. Alchemically speaking, since the white tincture comes before the red in the process, it would make sense that the White Queen is human and the Red King still animal: in the Strength card he has yet to be integrated and refined. It would be more apt, then to say that the Strength card is integrative of the bestial, primal side of nature, rather than taming it; instead of ruling over it, we must mingle with it in symbiosis. This is why the Lust card from the Thoth Tarot (see below) is perhaps a better illustration of this process, since in that image the relationship between Beauty and Beast is not one of power over, but one of power with and within, a symbiotic one. Beauty marries the Beast in the tales, and in some she even becomes a beast herself in order to be his bride.

Queen of Wands, Rider Waite Smith

Queen of Wands, Rider Waite Smith

The black cat in the Queen of Wands does not have such lofty associations, but certainly more recognizable ones. Black cats are witches cats after all, and with them comes an air of mystery, magic, and power. The Queen of Wands is perhaps the most “dangerous” of all the queens, yet still well-loved. As the Queen of the suit of Fire, she channels and nurtures the energies of passion, ambition, achievement, personality, the ego, drive, sexuality, sensuality, and magic. Wands are the symbol of the magician or sorcerer’s will directed towards their goal, and thus the Queen of Wands, being a channel (Queens are associated with Water, and therefore the powers to carry and reflect, flow and nurture) herself, can be seen as the magic wand itself. She doesn’t need tools to work her magic: she uses her very being. This is the femme fatale, the sexy witch that can use glamour and attraction spells to make you 100% hers. She’s like pheromones, the ultimate social control and universal language of sexual attraction. Crowley describes this Queen as the fluidity and colour of fire, in other words the part of fire that makes us stare into it for hours on end, or that attracts the small child fascinated with it, leading to burned fingers. These are the dancing, elegant, hypnotic flames. In just the same way, the cat is a graceful, elegant creature, but they can be vicious if threatened and manipulative when territory is at stake.

XI Lust, Thoth Tarot

XI Lust, Thoth Tarot

The female cat in her sexual prime (called a “queen” too!) gives us another clue as to the nature of the Queen of Wands. The oestrus cycles (also called “heat” or “being in call”) of a female cat repeat as often as every two or three weeks in the warmer months of the year. The activity of a female cat during oestrus is overt: she will call to go outside, rub herself against people and objects and present her rear to people and other animals. She will be single-minded in her efforts to mate. Cats are highly sexual and territorial creatures, and very loudly so: you are as likely to hear the loud screeches of cats mating as of cats fighting. Female cats also frequently mate with several males in a single night, and her ovulation is triggered by the barbs on the male’s penis. The act of mating is possibly quite painful for the female, firstly due to these barbs and secondly because the male must first fight her to subdue her – she is not easily won! In just the same way, the Queen of Wands may make a show of her sensual and sexual nature to anybody who cares to see it, being outspoken and confident in her beauty, her personality and her concept of self, but when it comes to anything more than flirtation she becomes a warmaiden, challenging anybody who would try and obtain power over her in any way. And, just like a cat, give the Queen of Wands lots of attention and she’ll reward you with as much return affection as she deems necessary, but fail to do so and you may find that she becomes cold to you, perhaps even looking elsewhere for the attention she craves (who knows, maybe she is getting fed by about three different households every day anyway?)

Queen of Wands, Thoth

Queen of Wands, Thoth

In a reading the two feline cards of Strength and the Queen of Wands can symbolically represent different modes of power, and particularly stances that can be taken in the face of one’s threatened power or a power struggle. Strength, with its alchemical and zodiacal lion/beast, wild and primal, can represent power on a more abstract level: inner power, power that is stored up to be released when absolutely necessary; also the power of integration and symbiosis as opposed to the drawing of barriers for protection. There is wisdom in the idea that those who place themselves in vulnerable positions are often the ones with the most strength; those who rely upon barrier to protect are – like the Four of Coins – sometimes weaker, with fewer natural defences. The Queen of Wands, with her domestic black cat, represents a power that is carefully reserved, controlled, and used to manipulate and create an outcome or future desirable to her. Manipulation, unfortunately, has so many negative connotations, but they are not necessarily intended here. One can manipulate clay to create sculptures, for instance. The Queen of Wands has power on a social, everyday level, whether it is a role in a community, or just power she has given herself through her correct wielding of her understanding and confidence.  

Two different kitties, but both still linked to the essential qualities of the zodiacal kitty, Leo: confidence, personality, strength of will and character, assertiveness, action, power and rulership. And despite the Queen of Wands featuring a “domesticated” version of this feline zodiac sign, she is just as powerful as her Leonine counterpart in Strength: a force to be reckoned with, truly a sight to behold.

Kim Huggens is the author of “Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards” (Llewellyn, 2010), co-creator of “Sol Invictus: the God Tarot” (Schiffer, 2007) and the forthcoming “Pistis Sophia: the Goddess Tarot” with artist and fellow Tarot enthusiast Nic Phillips. She’s also a cat lover, being the proud compaion of a beautiful, strange, amazing 5-year old black domestic moggy named Erzulie.