Tag Archives: harry potter

Tarot Cards: The Art Of The Future

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with magic and the occult.  Blame it on Harry Potter.  I’m not a true believer or anything, but I’ve definitely been known to whittle stick wands (age 11), write fluently in the Runic alphabet (age 13) and ask everyone, “What’s your sign?” (last week).  What can I say… it’s my idea of FUN.

So last night, I sat down with my clairvoyant gypsy roommates to – what else? – have my cards read.  Normally a basic reading consists of 3 cards, but I decided to go for the big one – a 10-card celtic cross variation. The exercise begins with picking one card from the deck that represents yourself.  And since I don’t know much about the meanings, I chose simply on what visually “speaks” to me – and ended up with the 10 Of Cups, above.

The 10 Of Cups just so happens to be perfect for me!  Also known as the “Happily Ever After” card, the 10 Of Cups represents peaceful contentment and personal happiness.  The idyllic scene shows a man and woman, boy and girl, surrounded by the ones they love.  Since this is my “identity” card, it’s not that my near future holds sunshine and rainbows, but that the ultimate dream of family, friends and joy is what’s most important to me.  I couldn’t have said it better myself!

What else did my card reading hold?  Well, it was mostly work-related.  I’m supported by the Ace Of Pentacles – financial stability, thanks to a steady job, but I’m going to have a hard time keeping it all together soon (the Four of Pentacles, reversed). No worries, I’ll learn how to juggle it all in the end (the Two of Pentacles).  All in all, it sounded like an eerie premonition of… dun dun dun… student loans.  Also in the reading: a friends-based, party-loving lifestyle in my college past (the Three of Cups), and my roommates’ game attempt at relating the confident Ace Of Wands to “a new day” in my love life.  That’s pretty much it.

Even if you could care less about the readings, Tarot is full of incredibly interesting visual elements.  In most types of illustration, the pictures complement and draw out meaning from the words, but the words come first and foremost. But in Tarot, the illustrations ARE the meaning, the artwork holds all the power. Every composition and symbol on the card can be interpreted, so each kind of deck holds a potentially different future for the reader. With hundreds of decks from the 15th century to the present, that’s a lot of illustration divination!

Some classic decks, like playing cards, are based solely on their suit:

Thoth Deck from SuperTarot

17th-Century Vieville Tarot from Alec Satin

Some contain a bit more symbolism:

Morgan-Greer Tarot from Auracana

Old English Tarot from The Card Reader

And others, well, are a bit more interpretive, illustrative, or just plain kitschy:

Housewives Tarot from Wizard & Witch

The Victorian Romantic Tarot from Auracana

I can’t get enough of the crazy variety of art on Tarot cards, so for more info, check out tons of decks at Tarot.com, a lot of useful basic info and videos at Big Tarot blog, and, of course, the Tarot Wiki.

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The Quidditch World Cup!

“NEITHER TEAM CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES.”

Yes, that’s right.  This weekend was the actual, Harry Potter-inspired Quidditch World Cup in New York City!  Don’t laugh – there are hundreds of Muggle colleges around the country with legit Quidditch teams (nearly 50 playing this weekend), and the sport itself, which, keep in mind, must be played with one hand on broomstick, is actually surprisingly athletic.  This is no game for nerds. The players  have to be tough-as-nails to survive this competition, and the variety of action far surpasses any measly one-ball games like basketball and football.  I don’t care for sports in general, but the atmosphere at the event was SO positive and fun, it was irresistible.  Why, why didn’t we start a Quidditch team at Pratt when I was in school?!

Check out the photos below, and the official site for more info on Quidditch. Harry would be so proud.

The Top 10 Banned Books I’ll Make Sure Kids Read

When I have children, these will be among the best books on their shelf, but people around the country have found them much more controversial.  So instead of saying “why not”, here’s WHY they are so great:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell / The adorable true story of two male penguins in Central Park who, with the help of the zookeeper, hatch a beautiful baby daughter. While one of the most challenged books in 2008-2009, this may be my favorite story about a “modern family”.

2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson / Victims should never be blamed or silenced, and anyone that sees rape as pornographic is severely disturbed. I was appalled at how Anderson’s novel was targeted last week. Teens should be encouraged to #SpeakLoudly… and they can get the courage to do so from this book.

3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling / Obviously.  Since I am the kind of person that labelled myself as a “Christian witch” when I was 12.

4. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary / If kids are reading the dictionary (even if it’s to look up the definition of “oral sex”), the only consequence is that they’ll probably do better on the SATs. Also, if your children have to look up what sex means, you probably need to work on your parenting skills.

5. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison / Ooh muttis and vatis may have a nervy spaz because Georgia’s diary contains gorgy sex gods, but if you cannot grasp the hilariosity, you are probably a wet tosser and in need of a duffing up. Now let’s go down the disco!

6. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee / Racism is a tricky one when it comes to banning books because if, like me, you’re staunchly against censorship, it’s difficult to be okay with older versions of books that have racist undertones (like Little Black Sambo).  But there’s a big difference between being racist and portraying racism, and To Kill A Mockingbird certainly falls under the latter.

7. The Diary Of Anne Frank / Only Nazis would ban Anne Frank.

8. The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman / By the time you get through the 3rd book (The Amber Spyglass), it is clear that Pullman has a strong anti-religious agenda.  But it never stopped me from loving the series, and even if I raise my children in the Christian faith, I’ll want them to read, doubt and think for themselves.  All opposed should go read Narnia instead.

9. In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak / Again with the disturbing interpretations of what is “sexual content”.  Really, naked babies?  Who hasn’t seen a naked baby running around? Come on. They’re just jealous that he got a Caldecott Honor.

10. The Rabbit’s Wedding by Garth Williams / Another adorable story of (note: animal) love and family that is twisted around by bigoted extremists.  Luckily, Williams gets the last word, saying,

“I was completely unaware that animals with white fur, such as white polar bears and white dogs and white rabbits, were considered blood relations of white human beings. I was only aware that a white horse next to a black horse looks picturesque.”

He went on to say that adults “will not understand it, because it is only about soft furry love and has no hidden message of hate.”

Here’s to little black and white bunnies, and freedom!  Happy Banned Books Week.