Talkin’ ’bout The Cultural Revolution Tarot…

Admittedly… I’m a little surprised that I bought this deck…

I’ve had half an eye on James Battersby’s timeline for a while as I’m waiting to see when Twisted Tarot Tales comes out… So I’ve seen several images of The Cultural Tarot, created by himself alongside the main visual designer Christine Aguiar, float by…

And they’ve pleased my eye but I’ve questioned – Would I actually use this deck? Also… I kind of got very turned off to History at school by the drearily drab Ms Lions whose every lesson consisted of turn to page x of your text book and copy out the first 3 paragraphs… Yeah… those lessons were dusty on so many levels… But as more images floated by, they felt less like Ms Lions and more akin to Mr Fox… Now Mr Fox…. he was as dapper as the old Lion was dull… An animated storyteller, not a book in sight as he breathed life into long dead names and ushered them in technicolour into our imaginations… But… I digress… Yes… I’m well aware that I often do that! But still remained the question – Would I use this deck?

So while pondering and pausing over whether or not to hit PayPal… I got a bit of a nudge…

I caught site of a post and I thought… No? Really? Have I read that wrong?

So for want of a better word… Let’s call it a Review Forum… I’ll not name it, as it’s inhabitants appear to like to remain faceless and nameless as they tap away at their keyboards… But there was a whole clickety click going on calling for this deck to be banned from the site…

Now… I’m not a fan of censorship at the best of times as I don’t feel that it is anybody else’s business to determine on my behalf what I may or may not find offensive… actually don’t even get me started on that… In fact… I’ll gloss over rapidly to the part which made me double with laughter and hell yeah!!! which was Mr Battersby’s response… 😀

So… it seems to me, that the best way to support the work of Independent Artists, is to put your money where your mouth is and go buy their work…

And so The Cultural Tarot arrived shortly on ,my doorstep…

Cultural RevolutionI opened my package and was delighted!

There is so much I could say about this deck and I barely know where to start, so I’ll try not to repeat what is contained in the Brochure and whizz through a few things that I found interesting…

Ok… so first off… With all new decks, I check out the Ruin! Death! Destruction! factor…

This is not because I personally have any problems, with Death, The Tower and 10 of Swords, but rather due to the nature of some of the gigs I work, I’m frequently asked to keep things light and not bring anything that will freak people out… (Though hilariously… the last time I had someone freak over a card, it was the 10 of Cups… yeah… I kid ye not… whodda thunk it?!)

IMG_4643Now this Death card… I really rather love… It does most distinctly smell as though all four horsemen of the Apocalypse have rocked up and I find that quite refreshing against trends of Death biting the bullet in favour of Transformation type images… As for The Tower and the 10 of Swords… well the only thing I find upsetting about them really, is that they are images that have become all too familiar on our TV screens…

I think about Propaganda images… I think about how History is written by Historians… I wander off for a while to imagine how Lion vs Fox would retell the tales… I wonder how fine the lie is between education and propaganda…

Certainly several of the images feel very familiar to my Western mind…

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The thing I find most delightful and delicious is the depiction of females…

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The 6 of Swords stops me in my tracks…

It feels intensely poignant when you know how the Comorants are handled and you consider that against the darker aspects of History…

IMG_4647Would I use this deck?

Yeah…

How?

Well… it occurs to me that it naturally lends itself to questions on marketing and here is a spread I used to examine a question put to me recently…

cultural revolution tarot spread

And speaking of marketing…

I asked the deck to describe it’s brand image in 3 words…

IMG_4648Ha! My deck has a sense of humour…

We Three Queens of Orient are…

You know what… fill your own blanks in… decide for yourself…

See… I kind of believe that the role of an artist or a writer or come to that an Historian…

Is to make you think

Make YOU think…

Not to tell you WHAT to think…

😉

Sweet jaffas, bitter lemons and sour grapes…‏

You know those kind of days, where you just seem to keep seeing the same thing popping up over and over… and over… everywhere you look… there it is yet again…

And the first time you read it and you think yeah… fair enough… but then each time it reappears, it makes you go… meh… yeah… but… what about if…

Well the last few days, this has been the bobbing cork in my news feed:

“When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice because that’s what’s inside. The very same principal is true about you. When someone squeezes you – puts pressure on you – what comes out is what’s inside. And if you don’t like what’s inside, you can change it by changing your thoughts.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer

And yes… I can indeed see where the very wise Dr WD is coming from… but a part of me wonders if maybe it’s another one of those quotes that gets used by a certain type of ‘spiritual’ person as a kind of WD40 to grease and ease their soul… to project and misdirect… to avert and to avoid taking accountability for their actions… a passive-aggressive finger pointing misapplication, rather than examining what is going on with them…

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what comes out is what’s inside

See… YUP!!! I’m perfectly fine with that… and I know that when I’ve been under stress to bursting point… that what has come out has been whatever it was that needed to come out…

And it can be sticky and messy… and maybe not so sweet… but… Hey! You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube… and besides… my experience has been that when I have burst… spraying in all directions… well in the aftermath… there came the thanks from the quiet contained people around me who had been stewing and fermenting and not wanting to spill…

No… my qualms are with this part…

When someone squeezes you – puts pressure on you

Because… me… personally… I don’t feel the need to put the squeeze and pressure on other people…

You don’t get the best out of people by applying thumb screws…

I think it comes from learning to play musical instruments at an early age… I worked out very early that you needed to practice to improve… I also learnt that no great progress  ever came when forced to sit for an hour everyday… bored and fidgety… fingers become mutinous and refuse to flow… they stick and clunk and repeat the same errors over and over… locking in unhelpful muscle memory which is hard to undo and retrain…

More importantly… I learnt that 10 minutes  in the right mood what master quickly all manner of tricky and troublesome rhythms and when in the zone… the instrument was not an opponent to be wrestled but a fluid extension of my hands…

Over time and many situations I see my music theory come into play…

I don’t force my kids to sit and do their homework at set times…

I trust them to self-direct their learning… because kids are hardwired to learn and I do believe that if we trust them to their own devices they will hack what they need to know far quicker than we can ever teach them… and that our main jobs as parents is to nurture their uniqueness…

Not force them into line… drain them of colour… until they all look pretty much the same…

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If you want to talk about life being Oranges or when life gives you lemon, make lemonade… or any other fruity allegory…

Then… NO! a bright future is not as the advertisers would have you believe – Orange…

It is a glorious mixed fruit salad…

Sweet! Bitter! Sour!

All playing together…

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So Squeezers…

Be warned…

Pressers, oppressors, supressors…

If you want to apply pressure on someone until they bust their guts…

Then please do not cry when that juice hits you on the eye…

Because… believe you me…

You may like to say it stings because that person is bitter on the inside…

But so what!

It was not your place to force that out!

And even the sweetest person will only withstand so much…

JUICE IN THE EYE

Sweet! Bitter! Sour!

They all sting just the same…

Oh… and if you’re wondering how I spill when I burst…

Ha!!! With mirth!!

I’m a cherry!

My humour is dark…

😉

Cards used – The Secret Language of Colour cards by Inna Segal

Blessed Are The Asshats…

As anybody who has sat with me for any length of time will know… I spend a lot of time contemplating anger… It interests me greatly… it takes so many shapes and forms and I’m a free flow kind of expressive sort of motor mouth… and I vent in a pretty valveless fashion…

So… this morning I was pondering to myself that I’d like to chit chat about this and hear other people’s thoughts… so I decided to misuse my fb page and instead of rolling around in cat pictures, I’d pose a question and see who came out to play…

I asked…

Little help here… How many types of anger do you think that there are?
How easily identifiable are these types of anger?
For example – explosive anger is red hot and immediately apparent… passive-aggression sits in deep freeze and seeps in less obvious ways…
What types of anger do you encounter in daily life?

A good question don’t you think? I do… it certainly pulled out some of my wittiest and wisest eBuddies who shared their stories with me… and thus resurfaced one of mine…

I found myself typing…

I find covert anger an interesting one… I knew someone who sat for 6 months claiming all was good and then all of a sudden exploded like a tube of mentos dropped in coca cola…

And now I can just about laugh about this… this time last year was prior to the blow up but certainly the bottling had been in place  a while…

It reminded me that the lessons learnt hardest are the ones we should remember…

I now laughingly refer to  a big chunk of 2014 as the Summer of The Undelivered Deck…

So this particular chapter of my story started at the end of April… though start dates really are for storytelling purposes only as stories require a starting point… the actual start would have been long before the characters even knew each other existed…

They always tell you don’t they that business and pleasure do not mix… so I guess the odds were stacked but some gambles you are willing to take… and until your trust is broken then you give it freely on face value… and so I placed my money into the hands of one who as it transpired could not handle his own coin…

The promised delivery date came and went and nothing arrived…

Don’t worry! The deck will be in the post today!

On and on until August when instead of excuses… a confession of robbing Peter to pay Paul…. but… don’t worry! Your deck will be in the post later today!

Still no joy…

Ok boy! where’s my stuff?

eSilence…

Hello…

Helloooooooooo..

JEEZ!!!!! WHY CAN’T YOU RESPECT MY SPACE!!! YOU KNOW I HAVE WORK TO DO!!!

Yeah… will that work involve passing the post box anytime soon…

eSilence…

Until the day of the big blow up!!! and the blocking!!! and the bollocking for the barbed and poisonous comments that would no longer be tolerated!!! I can’t tolerate your anger any longer!!!

At the time I was WTF??

Now with hindsight I recognise it as passive-aggressive anger… indignation at the anger they had caused by not doing what they had agreed to…

But at the time… I found it to be disproportionately painful… surging feelings of devastation swept over me… and pain seared deep… and I’ve pushed 4 kids through my nethers and the one thing I know about pain is, if you want it to pass quickly and ease… then you have to let your self sink deep into it and breathe…

And I sank…and I sank… and then I sank some more and bit by bit began to piece together very many things over my life time… things that had been and gone whilst I wore a brave face and pretended that they had not hurt… and I grieved for things that had been left ungrieved and then my anger began to surge… And at first that anger felt scary… but then it felt good and life affirming and something that could be focused and steered into creating…

My life force… pulsing…

Why bother with orders from the man who would be king when I could be the girl who was her own Emperor…

And I felt the full return of my blithe spirit…

So…

Blessed are the asshats!

They reconnect us to our inherent mirth!

And THAT is worth more than any bloody deck!

😀