Ra-Ra Rasputin Lover of the Russian Queen – Not?

A dear friend of mine has recently took up a fitness challenge, and in order to stay on top of it, she is posting a song on Facebook every day for her workout. One day she has posted Boney M’s Rasputin, and it got me thinking. For one thing, I love this song, it’s one of my favourites from the band. On the other hand, I have always felt it is a little (very) unjust towards Rasputin. Just as most anything in pop culture is. But!

I always had a soft corner for history’s bad boys (and girls), so feeling sympathy towards the “mad monk” is not a surprise – here I feel the urge to insert that he was neither mad nor a monk, but let’s just carry on shall we. I am fascinated by how history is (re)written by those on the winning side, and how a perfectly normal human being can be made a monster. We are not talking about Nero, though; sometimes these bad guys really were monsters, and I am aware of it. But there are sheep wrapped in wolfs’ skins amongst them. So while I find him fascinating, I will try my best to be objective.

Anyway, I have decided to ask the cards about Rasputin and his life. Here are the positions:

1 What do we have to know about his relationship with Tsar Nicholas II?

2 What do we have to know about his relationship with Empress Alexandra?

3 What do we have to know about his relationship with power?

4 What do we have to know about his relationship with magic?

5 What do we have to know about his relationship with us later generations?

6 What do we have to know about his relationship with his family?

7 What do we have to know about his relationship with women?

And here are the cards I got from the Borderless Deviant Moon Tarot:

tarot readin on Rasputin with the Borderless Deviant Moon

1. The Tsar – Eight of Wands

This was a very dynamic relationship full of action, probably a lot of emotions as well. They would interact a lot and Rasputin was known to put ideas into Nicholas’ head through the Tsarina. Although Nicholas II didn’t like him at first, Alexandra has made sure that Rasputin was welcome to the palace, especially after Rasputin has seemingly saved the tsesarevich Alexei’s life. The picture on the card suggests Rasputin has also been responsible for the killing of the tsar and his family, although I highly doubt that it was intentional. He wanted to protect them and given good counsel – that the tsar and the Duma haven’t listened is a different thing.
Update: you know that legend that Rasputin wrote a letter to the Tsar before his death. The Eight of Wands sums it up perfectly. The paper in the raven’s beak is of course the letter. The seven trees that the peasant woman is about to cut down are Nicholas, Alexandra and their five children. Rasputin’s letter said that if he is killed by a commoner, the Tsar and his family will live. But if he is murdered by a nobelman, they will all be dead within two years. We all know what happened next.

Empress Alexandra Feodorovna with Rasputin, her children and a governess.2. The Empress Alexandra – The Chariot

He had an even bigger influence on the Empress Alexandra. The Chariot is the 8 of Wands’ pair in the Major Arcana. It’s like its bigger version. The Empress was absolutely devoted to him as we know, but to be honest, I don’t see any clues of an intimate relationship. He has used her as a vehicle to get where he wanted to be, but this card for me doesn’t mean adultery. She took him to places but not into her bed. She has carried his advices to the tsar and as I said he had total control over her, but that is about it.

3. Power – 8 of Cups

Nah, political power was not in his interests. He wanted to influence the tsar to help Russia. Let’s not forget he was a peasant, the son of a farmer. Although he was uneducated, he was very intelligent and whenever he told something to the Tsar, it always turned out right. He has opposed to Russia entering the First World War, saying it would be disastrous and would mean the end of the Romanovs. We all know what happened to the Tsar’s family. So what I think is, while he wanted to and was influencing politics, he did’t do it for the power. He was a loyal royalist, wanting to save Russia and its ruler.

4. Magic – The Star

He was a powerful healer who received his knowledge from ‘above’. He listened to his guts and never had a minute of self-doubt. Good for him! 😀 According to his daughter Maria, he was able to astral travel and heal from a distance. If we can believe Maria, once when Alexei was near death because of an internal bleeding (he had haemophilia, so even a small bruise meant danger) he has locked himself in his room and hasn’t come out for a day, continuously praying or laying ‘unconscious’ on the bed. Shortly after he finally came out, a telegram arrived from Alexandra saying the boy is considerably better.

5. Later generations – 5 of Pentacles

I think it is safe to say he pities us, and thinks we are beggars looking for material goods only. He doesn’t have a good opinion about the fangirls seeking him for sexual pleasures either. At one point of time there was a group of women who took hold of an object that was allegedly his severed penis, and worshipped it as a fertility symbol. Later it turned out to be a sea cucumber but never mind.

rasputin-with-kids6. His family – Seven of Swords

He was dancing on the sword’s edge, as we say in Hungary. He may have wanted to balance family life and ‘work’, but we all know that if your family lives thousands of kilometres from the Tsar in the middle of Siberia, it is just not possible; although he has almost always gone home for sowing and harvest, which says a lot about his attitude towards his family. If not very present, he was at least dutiful. He had three children, a son and two daughters. His daughters were living with him in StPetersburg. I feel he wanted to be a good husband and good father (in the traditional Russian sense), but with all the politics going on he just couldn’t manage it.

withwife7. Women – Queen of Pentacles

My question in my head was: has he really had so many lovers, and was he really into SM? For me this card is a big and definite no. The Queen of Pentacles for me is loyal, loving, respectful, into sensual love making. It would be great to know his wife’s date of birth, to see if she is an Earth sign and if this card represents her. She was sitting at home in Pokrovskoye, tolerating her husband’s absences (not that she had any other options but still), taking care of the house and fields… I think she fits Earth/Pentacles well. Which would mean that other than his wife he has never had anyone. Which is the exact opposite of what we think we know of him. Empress Alexandra was a Gemini, Air, a Queen of Swords. This is definitely not her. Rasputin himself was an Aquarius, just to rule that out. So it seems he was given his bad reputation by his enemies and the doppelgänger they have employed according to his daughter Maria. There were multiple investigations ordered to find any proof of his monstrous behaviour, always ending up unsuccessful and with him back in the Tsars favours. On the picture you see him with his wife Praskovia.

So what have we learned? That Boney M, although an awesome band, is not a reliable source for the study of history.

Stay tuned, I might research ‘Ma Baker’ as well! 😀


Kati’s Tarot Sadow Challenge Day 3 – The High Priestess

Day three, The High Priestess – nursery, primary school teachers, female family members (like sister or nieces) apart from your mother and grandmothers. The first time we come in contact with women other than our mother (who ideally was the epitome of love this time) can be hard. They might act differently than we are used to with ‘mom’, and that can lead to confusion, disappointment or fear. If a teacher gives you punishment for something your mom would just smile on, it leaves a big scar. This is the first step to realize not everyone loves you unconditionally. Ask your cards: How did these women affect my Shadow? What part of me did they put there?
tarot, shadow, work, high priestess,

The Master of the Cup – How did these women affect my Shadow?

Through my sister I had to learn that I am not the centre of the universe – at least of my mother’s universe – and that sharing can be good, although I was not very happy to share my mother’s love and attention. I am the oldest child so for some time I have got all the attention and naturally it is hard to give that up. 
Through my teachers I had to learn to shut up, sit down and “drink my milk” even if it’s too hot -see how the cup has a cloud of steam rising from it… by this I mean obedience and listening, even if I know it is not exactly right. I was never brave enough to stand up for myself.

2. The Sphynx, The Mistress of the Cup and The Three Swords – What part of me did they put there?

Accepting that things change all the time is hard, and I guess I am afraid of change after all. I never though I was, but thinking about it now yes, I am uncomfortable with change.

The part of me that could say “no, I’d like to have this ice-coffee, thank you very much all the same!” The one that is not jumping to other’s tunes.

The fighting back part.

Kati’s Tarot Shadow Challenge Day 2 – The Magician

Day two, The Magician – Childhood and teens. Today’s card looks at your self esteem, confidence and actions that have affected your Shadow during your childhood and teens. Ask your cards: How did my childhood and puberty affect my shadow? How did my self confidence evolve? What are the things that has become part of my Shadow this time?

My cards are: The Magician (hahaha) The Four of Swords, The Ace of Cups, the Five of Wands and the Hermit.
Root card: Death.

1. The Magi – How did my childhood and puberty affect my shadow?

The Magus/Magician is so full of self-confidence he is likely to burst. Exactly the opposit of my childhood self. I was shy, brainy, a bookworm; I quickly had to learn that studying too much will only get you bullied. I have soon stopped being openly brainy… a nice manifestation of the Magi’s deceptive, illusionist side. Based on this I’d say I have issues with showing off my knowledge and with my confidence in general.

2. The Four Swords – How did my self confidence evolve? 
I think we have explored this, hahaha! Actually I loved to perform. Competitions, school events, drama group… the only problem was that I always got soooo nervous that I couldn’t perform to the quality I would have liked. Till date if I have to defend my point of view I get nervous and forget everything I otherwise know by heart. 😀 So yeah… always second place.

3. The Cup, The Five Scepters and the Veiled Lamp – What are the things that have become part of my Shadow this time?
Intuition/spirituality, trust in myself and my abilities, the ability to teach others or share my knowledge.

Kati’s Tarot Shadow Challenge Day 1 – The Fool

Day One, The Fool – Today we are looking back at your childhood. Remember how you used to feel as a child. Jumping into every day like it was an adventure, being self confident and radiating from the Fool’s absolute lack of self-doubt. Ask your cards to show you five positive personality traits of yours. Only positive! Even if you get a “negative” card, take it as a positive thing. These are your cards that will remind you throughout the exercise that you are a truly good person with plenty of good sides. They will give you strength to go through the challenge.

I will use my Egyptian Tarot by Comte Sain-Germain for this challenge. Note: this is a pre-Golden Dawn deck, so interpretations are of the traditional line.

egyptian, tarot, shadow, work, #katistarotshadowMy cards are – as they are traditionally known:

Two of Cups, Queen of Pentacles, Knight of Wands, King of Pentacles, Eight if Swords.

The Two Cups: I am a great wife/friend. I can love unconditionally. I am kind to people around me and turn to everyone with an open mind. You can pour your heart out to me after having known me for five minutes. (People often do that.)

The Mistress of the Pentacle: I am very supportive towards others, and am – again – a great wife. Comfort is very important for me and I am good at creating it for myself and giving it to others as well.

The Warrior of the Scepter: I can be very determined and can fight for what I want.

The Master of the Pentacle: I am a grounded person who is not very likely to walk on clouds. I can be methodical, make plans, see all sides of the matter before taking a decision. I can save money – to spend it later – if and when needed. I am not miser but I know my limits.

The Eight Swords: I can see into people and situations fairly quickly which helps me with all the judging and decision making of the Master of the Pentacles.


Ah, nice. So many good things about myself, I wonder what’s waiting for me in the next few days…



 Tarot Shadow Work Challenge

Quick disclaimer: Before beginning with this challenge, I’d like you to ask yourself: Am I ready for this? Do I want to do this? Shadow work can be frightening; it might tear some half healed wounds open. If you are on any antidepressants, experience depression or anxiety, or under psychiatric care, please, please consider leaving this challenge for another time. It might just make things worse and I don’t want anyone going even further down the slope because of me. Please be honest with yourself. I am in no way a psychologist, nor do I claim to be. I have made this challenge based on what I understand of taking control of our whole self and life. This is what I do in my private life and it works for me, but I do not take any responsibility for how it might affect others. Thank you!

october tarot shadow work challenge

I have made this challenge for tarot readers who are interested in Shadow Work. What is that, you ask? There are plenty of articles on the internet about it, so if you want to do your research, you have plenty of resources. In short: The Shadow, or Shadow Self is the Jungian concept of our less shiny and socially acceptable sides. This is where our instincts, fears and rage reside. If the conscious and the Shadow don’t communicate with each other, the Shadow might become overbearing. Working with your Shadow enables you to understand WHY you react to certain things in a certain way, and then TRANSFORM it to be more healthy. Quick example: your kids have eaten crisps in the living room and now crumbles are all over the place. You start yelling at them and give a few slaps for good measure. Shadow work asks you to stop when you see the crumbs and think. It is only crisps. Vacuuming it up will barely take a minute. Why would I hit my children over such a small thing? And indeed, asking WHY might lead you to a pattern brought from your childhood, an aspect of yourself that you would happily take no notice of. The point of this exercise is to take note of these patterns, make them conscious and change them. Ready? If you post it on social media, don’t forget to use #katistarotshadow. You can also tag me with @KatalinPatnaikCartomancer or if you do this in Hungarian @TizSerleg

Kati’s Tarot Shadow Work Challenge


rws fool shadow work tarotDay One, The Fool – Today we are looking back at your childhood. Remember how you used to feel as a child. Jumping into every day like it was an adventure, being self confident and radiating from the Fool’s absolute lack of self-doubt. Ask your cards to show you five positive personality traits of yours. Only positive! Even if you get a “negative” card, take it as a positive thing. These are your cards that will remind you throughout the exercise that you are a truly good person with plenty of good sides. They will give you strength to go through the challenge.

Day two, The Magician – Childhood and teens. Today’s card looks at your self esteem, confidence and actions that have affected your Shadow during your childhood and teens. Ask your cards: How did my childhood and puberty affect my shadow? How did my self confidence evolve? What are the things that has become part of my Shadow this time?

Day three, The High Priestess – nursery, primary school teachers, female family members (like sister or nieces) apart from your mother and grandmothers. The first time we come in contact with women other than our mother (who ideally was the epitome of love this time) can be hard. They might act differently than we are used to with ‘mom’, and that can lead to confusion, disappointment or fear. If a teacher gives you punishment for something your mom would just smile on, it leaves a big scar. This is the first step to realize not everyone loves you unconditionally. Ask your cards: How did these women affect my Shadow? What part of me did they put there?

Day Four, The Empress – your mother. Most people love their moms, but as much as we adore them, we must see their faults to prevent ourselves from repeating their mistakes in our lives. Ask your cards: in what way am I imitating my mother’s Shadow? How did she affect mine? In what way did she not accept me for who I am?

Day Five, The Emperor – your father. Fathers, if one is lucky, are great role models, but even they are not perfect. Ask your cards, how am I imitating my father’s Shadow? How did he affect mine? In what way did he not accept me for who I am?

Day Six, The Hierophant – society, higher education. Society is a very skilled assassin of dreams and self esteem. Many of us dare not follow our dreams because of the fear of what others might think. Ask your cards: How do my fears of society limit me? How does this affect my shadow?
Day Seven, The Lovers – your love-life and choices. The first love, whether it is fulfilled or platonic, has a big effect on us all. Just like (ideally) every person with whom we go out. Ask your cards: How do my (ex-)boyfriends/husbands affect my Shadow? In what way did they not accept me for who I am? What did they put in the Shadow?


rws chariot tarot shadow work

Day Eight, The Chariot – grabbing the wheel and moving on. By now we know a lot about our Shadows, but what about it? Where does all this lead us? Today we will do a “Hero’s Journey” spread to see where we are going with all this dwelling into our Shadows. You can find the Spread on Aeclectic Tarot’s forum, here: http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=43135

We are at the end of the first third of the Majors. Until now we have explored what it is that you have to look at right now regarding your Shadow Self. Congratulate yourself, you have done a great job realizing all these things! Let’s move forward to the next seven cards.

rws justice tarot shadow workDay Nine, Justice – doing justice for yourself. You have to be your own judge today. To stay with our earlier example: You are accused of being a cruel mom for slapping your kids over a few crumbs on the sofa. Ask your cards: in which situations do I act from the Shadow? Do I really feel this way or is it because of a hidden fear or anger that this behavior happens? What other way might I react to these situations? Pull one card for each situation.
Day ten, The Hermit – alone time. Inspect yourself in light of the previous cards. What have they taught you? Ask your cards: What is the lesson I have to learn right now? What is the lesson/experience my soul came to Earth for? What is my life purpose? This will help you see how you could use your Shadow Side.
Day eleven, The Wheel of Fortune – The Wheel of Fortune continuously turns, round and round it goes, whether you like it or not. If you try to obstruct it, it will act like an old gramophone: it will play the same part over and over until you go and set the pin on track again. Today ask your cards: what is my most obstructing belief? What is my most obstructive habit? How do I set these straight?
Day twelve, Strength – Ask your cards to give you a significator that will pop into your mind when your shadow takes control! Pull one card for each shadow quality that you are working with right now. Next time you are in a situation where you know your shadow used to take over, think of this card and Stop! It takes a lot of control, but you can do it! Meditate on these cards for some time, and try to memorize how they look. In your journal, make drawings of them, and write down whatever comes to your mind while looking at them. Name your Shadow qualities after these cards.


Day Thirteen, The Hanged Man – We have arrived to the ground shaking part of the Major Arcana. The Hanged man asks you to look at your situation from a different angle, and search for a way to cut yourself free. Take your shadow cards out of the deck and flip them over. Now you see them reversed: does this make any difference in how you interpret them? How do you see your shadow qualities now? Jot down any thought into your journal.


Day fourteen, XIII – Time to put your ghosts to rest. Ask your cards: How can I forgive everyone who has contributed to my shadow? How could I release the pain they have caused me? Pull a card for each Shadow aspect and follow it’s advice. If needed be, go and talk to each and every person who has had any part in building up your Shadow. If this is not possible, try to imagine them while meditating and talk to them this way. Forgive them and forgive yourself as well. This may take a long time, so don’t worry if you can’t finish all the forgiving in one go!


rws temperance tarot shadow workDay Fifteen, Temperance – If you have started the Challenge on the First of October 2016, it is full moon today (and tomorrow). Take some time to pamper yourself, rest a little bit. You have had a long journey, and the worst cards are still ahead. Ask your cards: How can I make sure I give myself enough time? How can I make sure I give myself enough credit for what I have achieved and become?


We are at the end of the second third of the Majors. Congratulate yourself again, you have come so far from the Fool! Take a deep breath, here comes the most intense stuff! Let’s move forward to the next seven cards.



rws devil tarot shadow workDay Sixteen, The Devil – One of the “scary cards”, by its looks, but don’t get frightened. This card is only as powerful as you make it. The Devil speaks about our addictions – be it physical or mental – and bondage. Staying in an unhealthy relationship because of the fear of being alone is a very frequent situation that I associate with this card. So now, I ask you to break that relationship – with your ego. Change yourself and don’t suppress your Shadow anymore. People may be surprised at the change but reassure them that it is still you, just even more awesome. Ask your cards: What bondage within myself do I have to end in order to let my Shadow come to light? How can I do this without hurting myself and others?


Day Seventeen, The Tower – This time the exercise is the same, but you have to break free from outside forces that hold your back. I have mentioned an unhealthy relationship, but it could be a shitty job, a negative family member, a devil of a hose owner or anything that holds you back. Ask your cards (and look out for court cards): What bondage to the outside world do I have to end in order to let my Shadow come to light? Whom or what do I have to refuse letting to affect my life?


Day Eighteen, The Star – Gosh, we are done with the most scary cards, well done you! It is time again to take a big deep breath and let out a big sigh. You have done an amazing job, it will get better from here. Today, ask your cards: Now that I am free from The Devil and The Tower’s prison, show me direction to my dreams! What is my highest potential? How can I achieve it?


Day Nineteen, The Moon – The Moon for me is the significator of Shadow Work. Today ask your cards: What does my Shadow Self feel like after all this work? What is its message for me?


Day Twenty, The Sun – The Sun is the happiest card in the whole deck. Think a little about yourself. How do you feel after releasing your Shadow Self from oppression? How does it relate to the Sun whose light creates shadows? Sometimes people appear so perfect that we feel inferior, adding to our shadows… Ask your cards: How can I ensure that I do not create negative shadow qualities in others? How can I look at everyone (including myself) with acceptance?


Day Twenty One, Judgement – Always remember to act according to your best judgement. Hopefully you still remember and use your popping cards from the day with Strength! Continue to use them as prompts for those times when you forget yourself. Remember that shadow work is not something that can be done and finished in a month.It will go on in your entire life, so don’t judge yourself too harshly if you lose control. Ask your cards what do they think about your journey this month. How could you make it even more effective?


rws world tarot shadow workDay Twenty Two, The World – The last card of the Major Arcana, congratulations! After all the drama of the Fool’s journey we are nearing the end. Today collect all the Majors from your deck, and put them in a circle. Remember what they have taught you and see how far you have come! Today, do a past-present-future spread. You will only have the minors this time to ensure your answer will be down to earth. Ask your cards: What was I like before starting to work with my Shadow Self? What am I like now that I am working on myself? What will I be like if I continue on the path of working with my Shadow?


Day Twenty Three, The Fool – Remember your five cards from day one? Take them out of the deck and put them on the table. Ask your cards: how did these qualities evolve during my work? Pull one card for each on the table.


rws ace of swords wands pentacles cups tarot shadow work

Day Twenty Four, Ace of Wands –  Ego. The Aces will represent different aspects of the human psyche. Ego is the conscious part that we identify ourselves with. Today do an ID-Ego-Superego spread. You can find it here: http://greyladyshearth.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/id-e-go-and-superego-tarot-spread.html, sorry but I don’t know where it actually originates.


Day Twenty Five, Ace of Pentacles – Persona. This is how you show yourself towards others. Ask your cards: how do I want others to see me? What do they really see?


Day Twenty Six, Ace of Swords – Personal and Collective Unconscious. Ask your cards: What are the things that I unconsciously keep doing but are obstructing or damaging me? What am I attracting into my life that I don’t need? What am I carrying from the collective unconscious that is obstructing me? – when you think collective unconscious, think about stereotypes of your countrymen, or of humanity in general. Humans are said to be greedy, and different countries have different reputation. What do you carry from these qualities?


Day Twenty Seven, Ace of Cups – Animus and Anima – Animus is the masculine side of a woman, and anima is the feminine side of a man. Ask your cards: how can I balance these properties within myself? How can I achieve a working ratio of the two?


Day Twenty Eight, The Self – This is the ultimate you. You could call it your Soul, the eternal part of you that never dies and never changes. Your core around which you wear many layers of temporary lessons and tasks. Ask your cards: What is my Archetype? How can I make the most of it during this life’s work? Remember your life purpose and life lesson cards from the day with the Hermit. How do they compare?

Day Twenty Nine, Spirit world – Do you work with spirit guides? Power animals, gods, angels, faeries? Whether you can actually talk to them or not, these guides are always a great help when working with ourselves. Ask your cards: what is the Archetype I have to draw on to make my Shadow Work easier? Look up an entity that embodies this archetype and imagine what they would do in difficult situations. If you actually are able to speak to them, ask them for their help. Whether it is Archangel Michael, the Goddes Durga or Kukulkan, you may benefit from talking to them. Just be nice and respectful.


Day Thirty, The Black Moon –  if you have started the challenge on the first of October 2016, then today is the black moon. This is a phenomenon when there are two new moons in one calendar month – this happens roughly ever three years. Today, devise a spread of your own, based on the black moon and all the work you have done until now! If you are not in a creative mood, just choose any of the Shadow work spreads or new moon spreads on the internet.


Day Thirty One, TRICK OR TREAT! – Your last day of the Challenge, I am so extremely proud of you! Well Done! Today is Halloween, so use your favourite Samhain, Halloween, or spirit spread! Have fun and be really proud of yourself! I know I am!


Foodies Guide To The Tarot – Mabon tarot blog hop


ancien tarot de marseille bubgrimaud, tower, 6, 7 of cups, ace, three of swords, cooking tarot

Eggs, cream cheese, spices, fish, yogurt…

Apples, condensed milk, baking soda, flour, butter…

Hello and welcome to the Mabon edition of Tarot Blog Hop. What the hell is that thing at the top you ask? Why, it is a recipe I have asked the cards for! You don’t understand? Me neither, but that’s  all right, we’ll cook up something! (Sorry, bad pun…)

This time our wranglers Jay Cassels & Arwen Lynch Poe have asked us to write about Tarot and food. Well, I said, let’s have some fun and ask the cards for a recipe. Let’s ask the cards, I said… It will be fun, I said…

Turns out it takes a lot of thinking to understand what the cards mean by six cups. Six cups of what? Flour, milk, semolina..?? So I will walk you along my track of thoughts, hoping against hope that it will be clear…

My question to the cards was: “Show me a sweet recipe!” I have decided I will draw five cards. They are:

1: The Tower of Destruction – 2 eggs. Eggs because when you break an egg, you destroy a life, delivering a Tower moment. Two because two people are falling from the Tower, two lives are destroyed. In case you are vegetarian, you could use yogurt as substitute. Oh, so you are vegan? Sorry, I don’t cook for superhumans. Google says grated apples should work nicely though.

2: Seven of Cups – Seven cups of flour. Flour because the plant on the card suggest wheat and after processing the six units of it, the one unit of flour was made that is in the middle of the card.

3: Ace of Swords – one pinch of baking soda. Swords stand for Air, and baking soda will give our creation a bit of a fluff, some bubbles to make it airy. A pinch because only the tip of the sword is inside the crown, bringing the Hungarian equivalent of the measure to mind. (Some of us uses the tip of a butter-knife to measure small quantities, such as pinch.)

4: Three of Swords – three small spoons of oil. The shape made by the two swords reminds me of a seed. This is reinforced by the olive twigs around the third sword. The third sword in the middle cuts the seed in half, suggesting the process of making oil. Spoons because in the previous card the sword was kind of used as a spoon.

5: Six of Cups – Six cups of milk. The card flows nicely, in two straight lines, just as milk would from a cow’s udder. Well, more or less. Superhumans can use almond or coconut milk I guess. 🙂


Ah, so now I have detangled the meanings and measurements, let’s do it! Yes, I was crazy enough to actually prepare this thing! Want to see? Of course you do! Scroll down!

The mixture of ingredients looked suspiciously like a muffin/cupcake batter, so I’ve decided to pop it in the oven in my muffin tray. Normally I would bake it on 180C for 20-25 minutes, so that’s what I did with this as well. The result? ====>>

ancien tarot de marseille grimaud, cupcake recipe, ace, three of swords, 6, 7 of cups, tower, temperance

It is a muffin that tastes like pancakes. I repeat:




That is it from me now, run along and check out the other wonderful mff-mmmf nom-nom-nom… aaah so good!


Happy Mabon everyone!




Journey into Crowley’s Death

Crowley's Death from Thoth TarotThis is one of Crowley’s strangest cards. Unlike in the RWS or Marseille decks, here the skeleton turns his back towards us, and he wears the crown of Osiris, the Egyptian god of Death and Afterlife. He is surrounded by the creatures associated with the Zodiac of Scorpio, and instead of reaping  body-parts he is popping the bubbles of peoples’ lives with his scythe. It almost looks fun. Almost…

But what is really interesting about him, is the way he is holding his scythe. This is not how a farmer would reap his crops. This is not how it is supposed to be held. I have tried to read up on it, but I couldn’t really find anything. Of course, thousands of articles have been written on the Thoth, so maybe I just haven’t clicked on the right ones. Be as it may, I wanted to find out about this. I have journeyed.


I close my eyes…

Take a deep breath…


I am sitting on a hilltop. The wind blows lightly, but I can feel it is much stronger near the gigantic black skeleton some distance away. I can hear a constant murmur, like I am under water in the ocean, listening to currents moving above. There is another, eerie sound; just at the border of hearing, something similar to the screeching a stopping train’s wheels make. It comes from the scythe as it separates those souls from their bodies. It sends shivers down my spine.
The Hanged Man and Death from Crowley's Thoth Tarot
I look to my left and get a jump. A pair of upside down… khmm… body-parts hang just next to me! I remind myself where I am. This is the previous card, the one every querent wants to turn around at first. I look down, searching for his face but I find the features of a bird; or perhaps a robot.


“He looks majestic, doesn’t he?” The Hanged Man asks.

“Yes. He does.”

“I can’t wait to reach him at last! It will be such a relief.”

“Why are you hanging like this? And what happened to your face?”

“I have given up my attachments, only the holy Ankh, container of all Life Force keeps me pinned here now. While hanging here I have realized the difference between this body and me. The real me that is my soul. I am free from ego and so I don’t have a face.”

“Will He turn around or do you have to go there?”

“Let’s get closer, shall we?”
He floats towards the skeleton and I follow him.
“Why is he holding his scythe in such a strange way?” I ask.

“He is not reaping, he is not taking. He is not violent. He is offering his scythe to those who are ready to pass below it. He is kneeling down and makes this ultimate offering of kindness and mercy.”

“The mercy of death?”

“The mercy of release. Of change. Of evolution and progress. Yes. The Mercy of Death.”


Suddenly he is not there anymore. I am standing in front of the skeleton. He is even taller than I first thought. He looks down at me and gently shakes his head, then shoos me away with his hand. I understand. He lets me watch, but it is not my time yet.

I turn around and see an ocean of souls. I feel scared. I am terrified of ghosts. They swarm around me and I want to scream, but suddenly I feel a hand on my shoulder. Then on the other side. My grandfather and grandmother are standing behind me. They are giving me courage to see all those souls for what they really are: people, just like me.

I see them part and let a group of spirits through. I recognize my wife from a previous life. I hug her tight and she hugs back, and I am so thankful she is here! Then I feel a tug on my suit (when did I change from my night dress?) and my children are there, waiting for their turn. I am so happy and relieved; I was a horrible father and husband, I thought they hated me. But they smile and I know they have forgiven, if they were ever angry at all. I call them by their names and realize I know everything I thought to have forgotten about them. The eldest is wise beyond her years; the boy is a sweetheart; the youngest is a cheeky little girl… They hug me once more and I know it is time for them to go. They slowly dissolve into the sea of souls and I stand there in my nightdress, grateful and uplifted.

“So this is your mercy?” I ask Death. “You offer it to those who are ready for it.”

He doesn’t speak but I hear his voice in my head.

“This was not for you. This was mercy for them. To see that man you used to be without the hatred that tainted his memory. They are now released. Your turn will come too.”
I wake up, back in my room, emotional and a little sad. I decide that This card is going to be my safe place.



Have you journeyed into or meditated on this card? I would love to hear about your experience!