Tarot Blog Hop Anniversary – Musical Cards


Happy anniversary, Hoppers! This is the 50th edition of the Tarot Blog Hop and to celebrate, our wrangler Jay Cassels has come up with a super glam idea:


and because these are two of my favourite things, I said to myself:

Crikey, I almost missed the deadline!!!!!!

In such a short time, what could I do? Well, I decided to keep it simple. My favourite musical? Elisabeth, without a doubt, although the “Tanz der Vampire” (Dance of the Vampires) makes a close second place. My favourite tarot card? Death, of course, what else? Pair them together and what a coincidence! Death is a central character in Elisabeth!

See him dancing with Sissi, with German lyrics but English subtitles:

That’s all well and good but now watch it in Hungarian!! The guy singing Death was so popular he was even invited to sing in Japan! 😀

And this is my favourite song from the whole musical. Its title would translate to something like ‘The shadows grew long today”… Death tries to entice Sissi’s son… and of course he wins. 😉

Comment your favourite Death themed songs! Now hop on, I need to do some singing on the top of my voice! Happy hopping!



Triumph of Life Tarot – Ten of Cups

It has been such a long time since this project started! I am so happy it has finally come to fruition and that I have been able to participate with a card! Before I’d tell you about my story, this is what the Triumph of Life Tarot is all about:

Andrew Kyle McGregor of The Hermit’s Lamp had a simple idea: create a tarot deck that brings light and hope to cancer victims and survivors, AND that does something to stop this horrible disease.

Cancer and Cartomancy: The Triumph of Life Tarot

And this is how he did it:

First, get a bunch of people to contribute art to a tarot deck whose focus is the celebration of life. Make it as inspirational and life affirming as possible without denying the hardships we might face a long the way.

Each artist would strive create a card that answers the question “How does this image help us get from a place of loss and suffering to a place of joy and remembering?”

Second, print up the deck and sell them.

Third, take the profits and donate them to cancer research.

So 72 artists came together and made it happen!

This deck is entirely volunteer created.

All profits from sale 1, $13 per deck, will go to cancer research.

By February 2018, more than a thousand Dollars have been donated to the Terry Fox Foundation! Well done everyone, keep it going!!!

Now let’s talk about my card. By the time I found this project all cards were taken, so I just followed them and cheered from the background. Then, one day, Andrew announced that an artist had to withdraw. I jumped at the opportunity and got the Ten of Cups to make! How exciting! It was a very short time I had to finish painting but after a few days’ brainstorming (brain tsunamiing, hurricaning!!) my card was born. May I present you my Ten of Cups from the wonderful Triumph of Life Tarot!

Cancer and cartomancy: The Triumph of Life Tarot

The card shows a photograph hung on the wall, with ten cups raised for toast around it.

In India – where the person I dedicated the card is from – people hang the pictures of their passed away loved ones on the wall, with a garland of flowers around them. This is to show their love and of course to remember their dead. The Ten of Cups, this traditionally happy card advises us to keep the good times spent together in our hearts, and remember those who are not with us anymore with a nostalgic smile instead of tears. They are gone, and we can not change that. But a part of them, the amazing memories will stay with us forever, and that is what we need to celebrate. Raise your cups and tell a happy story when your loved one made you smile. Talk to your family and friends and share your grief with them. It is easier together. But most of all: smile.

Hindus believe in the process of reincarnation. In fact, their sacred scriptures advise us to think of our bodies not as a part of our identities, but rather as a coat that our soul, our real, immortal self is wearing. When a coat is too old and the wind blows right through it, you will change it for a new one, isn’t it? So why would a soul cry for a useless body? Our loved one’s soul hasn’t died; the soul is immortal.

In every religion people’s beliefs are similar: the soul has left the body, and it has transcended into another plane of existence, be it a new life here on Earth, in Heaven, at the side of Allah or in Nirvana… The thought that gives us hope is that we will meet again; it is only the matter of time. They are now in a better place.

Upright meaning: happiness; celebration; making the most of the time we have together; remembering the good times; taking the support of our family.

Reversed meaning: isolation; building up walls; inability to let go; the need to ask for our family’s help; the need to grieve together.

“As a man casts off his worn-out clothes and takes on other new ones, so does the embodied soul cast off his worn-out bodies and enters other new.”

– Bhagavad Gita 2:22

See you again soon, Didi! I wish you comfortable and sturdy clothes!

2017 Samhain Tarot Blog Hop – Ancestors

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Ah, the ancestor thing again. I am in a little bit of a pickle here, thanks to our wrangler Jay Cassels.

You see, my family never venerated our ancestors. After my maternal grandmother died, my mom used to go every 1 November to the cemetery and spend a few moments at her mother’s grave. But never visited anyone else’s – well, her brother’s after he died. I doubt she knows where her grandparents are buried and she had a rocky relationship with her father so there’s no chance of her going to his grave (I never even knew him, so you can imagine).

The only person in my family who loves going to graveyards is my other grandmother. She says she finds peace there. I find this both strange and beautiful. Although if you think about it, that’s where you are laid to eternal rest…

Back to the topic, in my family we don’t do this lineage thing and ancestors and whatnot. I have no idea what my great-grandfather’s name was. Also, I firmly believe in reincarnation, so I have trouble finding much importance in my current family tree when I have had so many others already. To cut it short, when I have seen the topic of this hop, I got nervous. I know that for my blog neighbour Benebell Wen her ancestors are really important (I adore her knowledge and connection to the craft, she is fantastic!) and that for many ‘pagans’ it is the same… so I feel as out of place as a lamb at the Annual Carnivore Conference.

I asked the cards how could I avoid totally losing face and having to withdraw half day before the hop. I got from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle, Mut; the mother of mothers. Very apt, thank you cards.

So then I asked my trusty old Egyptian Tarot (Mut is the *Egyptian* goddess of motherhood) what can I learn from my mother and my grandmothers. Here be the reading…

1. What can I learn from the matriarchs?

2. In what should I follow their example?

3. Where should I avoid following their example?

1. Ten of Pentacles, Judgement, Death

I can learn from them how to stay whole, and how to keep the family together. I can learn how to resurrect myself from my own ashes and continue on. How to cut away what is not healthy anymore and how to change with times.

2. Justice, King of Pentacles, Page of Cups

I should follow their example in giving myself justice, and judging others righteously. Giving everyone what they deserve. To be self dependent and unshakable. To show my feelings to those who deserve it, and protect myself and mine from outsiders.

3. Queen of Cups, Ten of Cups, Three of Wands

I should avoid being too emotional and emotionally dependent on others. I shouldn’t look for The Perfect Family because it is nonexistent. And I shouldn’t try to be ‘creative’ (dishonest) when dealing with mine. I need to be direct and honest, and tell when I don’t like something.

A lot to think about, Thank you Jay! Now hop on to Benebell on the right or to Joanne on the left, or if you like it random, click one link on the master list! Happy Halloween! Here’s my Thoth pumpkin I carved today. Because of the pumpkin’s curves it is not very visible but I am so proud of it, I had to show it off, hahaha!

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Centenary of the Russian October Revolution and the 1917 Tarot

I have meant to write this post since the beginning of the project, but alas, something was always more urgent. But, you have time for what you make time for.

And as we know time goes by so quickly you don’t even realise! On the 7th November (25 October in the Julian calendar Russia used that time) 1917 a signal was sent from the ship Aurora, that would change world history forever. On that day, monarchy ended in Russia and gave its place to Lenin and the Bolshevik.

To commemorate this event Silhouette Publishing has came up with the idea of creating a not for profit, collaborative deck. Natalia Plakhina, Vladimir Sitnikov and Elena Udina have successfully herded their cats, and voila, the deck is in its final stages of creation and available to preorder!

Big shots who gave their name and artwork for the project include Ciro Marchetti, Robert Place, Alexander Daniloff, Oswaldo Menegazzi, just to name a few.

And among the smaller contributors you can find, well, me. 🙂 Here I would like to thank all the gods for TABI, social media and Ciro Marchetti’s choice of card! Ciro, thank you for choosing Rasputin! If it wasn’t for that post you wrote in TABI’s FB group, I would never have found this project!

And now, I’d like to show you my cards. These are the images I have sent in. They don’t have a border yet, they aren’t the finished product. But I am so very proud of them, I just can’t express it in words, haha! So much for trying to look modest.

Here I present my submissions for the 1917 Tarot!

My Emperor. Nicholas II’s icon. Did you know he was canonised? 🙂

The Two of Stars (Coins). You’d never guess I am a Marseille Tarot lover. 😉

My Five of Flags (Cups). I have a soft spot for Nicholas II… 🙂

The Six of Hammer and Sickle (Wands). Gagarin’s space flight was just 21 days before America’s Alan Shepherd’s!! He does look vexed, but then America beat Russia to the Moon. 1-1!

Two more cards were proposed by me, but they had to go through a little transformation before they could be added to the deck. One was the Page of Flags and the other the Three of Flags (Cups). I’d rather not embarrass myself with showing the originals, lol. You’ll see what came out of it when you buy the deck here: http://www.1917tarot.com! 😀

I am so, so grateful for this project! It has been an amazing inner journey, a great experience with art, and the start of some extremely strong friendships. Natalia, Elena, Vladimir… thank you! ❤

2017 Mabon blog hop – Sacred Food


Welcome to this year’s Mabon tarot blog hop! Our wrangler Boglarka Kiss has asked us to write about what a specific tarot character would prepare for this occasion of celebrating harvest and abundance.

thoth queen of discs, mabon blog hopSurprise surprise, I chose the Queen of Pentacles. Why? Because it would be my significator if I ever used one. No rocket science until now. But!

This year, the Hindu festival of Navaratri coincides with Mabon. Navaratri means ‘nine nights’, and is meant to worship and celebrate the Goddess Durga and her nine forms. It starts on 21/09/2017 this year, so here we have Mabon and Navratri at the same time. Great!

I am sure all the hop posts will be full of delicious pumpkin recipes (YUM!), so I thought to use this lucky coincidence to show you what people eat in India on this day!

Food for Indians is sacred. Whatever the date is, even if there’s no festival going on (that’s a very rare occasion!) food has to be prepared in a certain manner, only then will the consumer lick their fingers and ask for more while still having some on their plate.

Short history lesson: spice blends like Garam Masala were created by priests/nutritionists not only to taste awesome but to aid people’s health as well. For example, Garam Masala has black peppers, coriander seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, mace, black and green cardamom, cumin seeds and dry red chilies. You dry roast these and grind them in a blender. Some of this masala’s health benefits according to Ayurveda are aiding weight loss, lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system. When you make it be sure to open all windows and send the kids out to play because man it will sting your eyes!

So, what do people eat on the holy occasion of Navaratri? For most of the day nothing, as you are supposed to be fasting, but when you finished your evening worship you can go and break your fast and oh was it worth the wait! Here I list some mouthwatering foods that all have one ingredient in common, that is easily available in the UK and around the world. It is nice and round, just like a Pentacle (Queen of Pentacles, remember?) Have you guessed it?

Yes, the disgusting sticky pudding thing, tapioca! And let me tell you, it is only disgusting because you have been making it wrong all this time! So now listen because here I present you the Queen of Pentacles’ list of dishes she prepares for Strength (Goddess Durga).

1. The Starter: Sabudana Pakora – Tapioca fritters made with mashed potatoes and roasted peanuts, served with chutneys. If you want to avoid deep fried things, try Sabudana Thalipeet instead!

2. The Main Course: Sabudana Khichdi – Tapioca cooked with peanuts and potatoes

3. The Dessert: Sabudana Kheer – Tapioca pudding


Eating tapioca is good for your bones, your brain, your insides, good for muscle growth, for aiding healthy growth of fetuses, and boosts milk production for breast feeding women. It is high in fiber, minerals and vitamins. The only thing is, if you want to lose weight, this should be a food that makes it to your table very rarely.

I hope I have changed your mind about tapioca, and inspired you to try some new recipes this year! Have a happy Mabon, and Hail the Goddess!



Respecting the tarot – 2017 Lammas Tarot Blog Hop


Our wrangler Morgan Drake Eckstein has asked us to write about how we show respect to the tarot and any other divination system we might use.

At first, I had no idea what to write. I don't have any elaborate rituals, I say no prayers, light no candles or incense sticks before reading… I was worried my post would consist of one line: "I wash my hands and wipe the table clean before starting to shuffle." Not a very interesting hop.

Then I made myself think harder and ended up looking like Winnie the Pooh; bent over with effort, scratching my head.

Still I had only a vague idea of the basic stuff everyone does (I think). I don't ask the same question over and over unless something changes in my (or querent's) circumstances. I read whatever cards came out and put extra effort in if they don't make sense at first glance. I don't like people touching my cards except when cutting the deck – a habit I got from my grandparents while playing Rummy. But these are common enough. Nothing extra there. :/

So what the heck do I do to show respect to the cards?

Even after falling over like a sack of potatoes (remember I was in the Pooh position), I couldn't think of anything special. And then, after resigning to hopelessness and almost withdrawing from the hop, it dawned on me. I'll ask the cards!

Out comes the wonderful Egyptian Tarot from its 15 year old cotton wrap that I sewn for it when its box fell apart! It looks as if a five year old has done the sewing but they have lived in it forever and it has a sentimental value for both of us – i.e. the deck and me.

Egyptian Tarot

Me: Hi guys, nice to see you again!

ET (Egyptian Tarot): And about time too! You always play with the Trionfi della Luna! 😡

Me: Oh don't be such Ten of Swords, you know you are my favourites!

ET: Yeah yeah, so you keep saying…

Me, shuffling: So I have this blog hop I want to do but I have no idea how I show respect to you guys and my other decks… help?

Egyptian Tarot

ET – Out jump the Seven Swords, The Crocodile (Fool), The Magus, and the Slave of the Pentacle (Page): When the need is great you come to us with an open mind, believe in our magic and put it to use, and strive to learn.

Me: Awww… 🙂 But that's what anyone would do. Don't you need a ritual or some candles or stuff…? I'm starting to feel bad about not having any special measures for you guys.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jumps the Nine of Cups, the Three of Cups and the Nine of Pentacles: You stay out of that BS, girl! You love us, and that is quite enough of an offering. (Nine Cups in this deck means a marriage proposal that should be turned down immediately)

Me: But how do I love you? I only come to you when I need advice. I don't do daily draws or journals or journeys. I just… come when I need you.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Two Swords face down, The Two Cups, the Seven Scepters and the Ten Scepters: You don't fight with us, you work with us in peace and after taking our ideas on board you see them through to success.

Me: Ah, I'm starting to understand. I honor you and show you respect by actually listening to your advice and seeing it through, even if I don't want to. Huh, that makes sense. Still… Are you OK in your 15 years old wrap? It's kind of embarrassing, looking at the wonderful pouches and cloths available…

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Twilight (Moon), The Crown of the Magi (World), the Two Ways (Lovers) and the Four Cups: Don't let others influence you with their own beliefs. We feel good in our lame wrap, it is part of us now. We love it this way and feel safe and loved.

Me, melting down: I love you guys. Thank you! Anything I could do for you? You do look grubby, maybe a bath with a baby wipe? (In the 15+ years I've been using them I never physically cleaned them and well… I wasn't always washing hands before using them. Especially on a certain occasion on a gig ten years ago when I had to quickly grab a jam sandwich between two readings to avoid dying from starvation.)

Egyptian Tarot swearing at me

ET: out jump the Seven Swords, the Eight Swords and the Ten Cups:


…We are quite happy as we are, thank you very much. *

Me, almost falling off my seat, laughing: Ok-OK! I love you too guys… 😛

*I need to share the description of these cards, to show the gravity of the deck's words (and for those who read RWS and may not understand the reason for the red colour and the caps lock): Seven Swords: sudden catastrophe that may affect the brain; a loss of position; ultimate triumph. Eight Swords: you are threatened with the loss of a law suit; that great anxieties are in store for you, you may even be sentenced to a heavy penalty, prison or death. The Ten of Cups is the sudden change of tone, and has the nice and cozy meaning similar to the RWS.

And so the reading ended, the wonderful Egyptian Tarot has gone back to its lame wrap, and I have learned that the important thing is not the ritual, the candles and the looks, but the love and respect you show your cards in your heart. Follow their advice and they will guide you through the maze of life.