zen tarot by mel ash

The Open Eye Zen Tarot

80 Words to Live & Die By
Art & text by Mel Ash

The Open Eye Zen Tarot is comprised of 80 original paintings based on Zen and many other spiritual, cultural and artistic traditions. The originals are each 27 by 8 inches, acrylic paint, ink and mixed media on paper. Each image is accompanied by a page of text, commentary and teaching. The project can be used as a traditional Tarot, as a random daily reading or even read as a book.

Each card features one word that is an integral part of the image, the marriage of images and words being the Birth of Awakening. The lines, colors and images are all carefully chosen and integrated to create immediate Understanding on both spiritual and physical planes. As well as being jewel-like pieces of eye candy!

Samples from the project can be experienced below. The Open Eye Zen Tarot is currently looking for a home. Publishers, galleries and others are welcome to express interest and to request a more complete look. Samples from Open Eye will be posted on this page regularly as well as archived on my Facebook page. Please visit often and enjoy…your future looks bright, good fortune is assured!

Excerpt from Introduction:

80 Words

If you were told you were about to die and could only say eighty words in that time by which to be remembered, what would they be?

If you were told civilization, as we know it, was about to be destroyed and you with it, what eighty words that you're allowed in that short time, would you leave as values, as building blocks, for those who survive?

If someone put a gun to your head and demanded eighty words of truth in order to save your life, which ones would you choose? What 80 words would you base a life and a world on?

What 80 words do you live by now?

What words do you want to be remembered by?

These are mine.

Our Situation

The scenarios above that I asked you to consider are not that far-fetched. Every day, every moment, we are asked these questions wearing a myriad of masks. We answer with our behavior, not our beliefs. We reply with the only possible answer to those sorts of questions: ourselves. Our need for immediate clarity is urgent. And our duty to life itself demands that we bring it down to basics: "Who am I? Why am I here? What is This?"

Bringing it down to basics is really the core of most religions, arts and philosophies, be they institutional and formal or ad hoc and personal. What’s really important here? How do I live my life? What really has meaning?

The ancient need to know these things and to seek answers expresses itself in worship, art, sex and nearly every aspect of our lives. We go to the altar and the circle, the temple and the cushion, the friend and the lover, to ask for answers, to experience completion, to escape the inevitability of change and death for even one sweet stolen moment.

Everywhere but Here, Anytime but Now

The past haunts us; always leaving, never gone. Its memories are noisy, hungry ghosts in the dusty hallways of our souls, knocking over broken dreams and opening creaky closets of regrets. It darkens our present.

The future entrances us, always arriving, never staying. Its hopes and fears turn us to stone, like deer caught in the headlights of an approaching car. Unlike the past, there are no memories, only possibilities. They block the road of our freedom like insubstantial demons, taking their orders from the past. The future steals our present.

The human urge to know the unknowable is one of the only things we can know about ourselves for sure. The struggle to escape the past and predict the future is always a whisper in our ears. In blind and often desperate faith, we seek answers from the stars, from hexagrams, from lines on a palm. And now, from The Open Eye Zen Tarot.

No retreat!
The road moves
beneath the feet.

Advance, retreat, stay still: three tactics for spiritual and physical travel on life's road. The dragon, signifying Yang and embodying Advance, holds out the Pearl of Great Wisdom & Attainment. Its body is reminiscent of the Great Wall, an obstacle only a determined advance can surmount.

Action. Direction. Intent. Ride the dragon or be eaten. Onward and upward. The Universe advances toward you as you advance toward it: the Law of Reciprocal Action/Reaction. A little effort reaps great rewards. The meeting of dragon heart and tiger mind is the opening of the third eye of peace. Dragon Vision. Dragon Visions!

Results. Completion. Balance. The reaping of the fruits of a successful advance. Also, as in a monetary advance: rewards sent back to the present as a result of your confident advance toward the future. You are advancing whether you like it or not, like waves on the sea. Come ashore. The sand waits to be wet.

The past no longer has any hold. The future has become magnetic & you its metal. Time for advancement. Perhaps a spiritual promotion. Go now. Now go. The sky awaits. The dragon alights.

Meaning: You are in advance of your own spiritual awareness, on the front line of personal evolution. Do not fear obstacles or strong feelings. Advance confidently.

Do: Ask for what you have earned and deserve. Positive change. Attainment.

Art: Chinese character translates as "Advance or Go."

That which was
That which will be
That which is

"Come out, come out . . . wherever you are!"

By not working on ourselves, we remain at a larval stage. Few are those able to emerge as butterflies & seek the freedom of flight. There is a True You waiting to be released from the comfortable cocoon/prison of limits and "security."

It's painful and frightening to emerge, but ultimately worth the struggle. It is, in fact, the only struggle. The emergence is usually timed to occur at a certain point in life or precipitated by an emergency of spirit forcing a radical shift in being and perception.

Whether it's the proverbial closet, an imprisoning relationship, a secure but deadening job, or a long-held set of beliefs, our emergence from these things is pre-ordained, like the unfurling of leaf or opening of cocoon. You are about to become bigger & more beautiful that you were ever led to believe.

Emerge. Take wing. Fly.

Meaning: A confrontation with personal or social limits and a subsequent freedom. A push toward change. A time of positive transition. A milestone or passage in life.

Do: Change a current situation or mental state. Attention to daily fashion.

Minds thirst
Bubbles burst

Turn on! Tune In! Drop Out! The motto that changed a generation and world (or at least added another view of it). Turn off your mind, relax & float downstream. You are It!

This card is a tribute to San Francisco psychedelic art of the late '60s: giddy advertisements as subversive art, veritable blotter sheets of tribal & psychic initiation, swirling glowing passports to unimagined lands inside the skull, colorful pages ripped from God's own comic book.

Let the sun shine in the dark corners of the soul and expand the limits of what you believed possible or permissible. Expand your mind to include all minds.

Like the young woman's head aflame with new, enhanced awareness, burn up old ideas of who and what you are. Liberate your molecular & neural destiny from those who would legislate the very states of our minds. Use your melting ecstasy to unlock the chains they've shackled around your brain, telling you that it's the only approved reality.

What is the taste of purple? The sound of green? Sister! Brother! This is the old-time Psychedelic Gospel. Believe it, baby! Psychedelic guru and Beat Grand Daddy-O Ginsberg said the project was to "widen the area of consciousness." Indeed!

Meaning: Need to blow your mind, switch the cerebral channel & seek God, and perhaps, be God. At least for a little while.

Do: Seek psychedelic guidance through books or elders. Examine substance use or abuse in own life. Be honest. Be ready. Be careful. Do not impose your trips on others.

Art: 60's psychedelia, inspired by work of Rick Griffin. Message inspired by Allen Ginsberg, Allan Watt & Timothy Leary.

Breathe deeply three times before reading . . .

Time to take a time out. A temporal place for you to relax fully like the letters of Pause drooping and draping this Dali-esque image. Between past & future is the present, a tense tense to be sure, but in every sense, a present to you!

Let go of the tension of balancing on Time's high wire. "Busy, busy, busy," says author Kurt Vonnegut about everything human in general. All this busy-ness creates more busy-ness & business, especially the monkey kind.

Like the "Freeze!" game you played as a child, just pause and observe yourself. Right now! This book will still be here when you unfreeze! Breathe. Pause not only in your physical momentum, but in your mental, emotional and spiritual sprint as well. Suspend opinions. Delay planning. Deny worry. Suppress anxiety.

In other words: pause fully & completely. 60 seconds in the middle of work, five minutes in the midst of compulsion. Perhaps the rest of your life if need be. And that should give you pause indeed.

Meaning: Over work, over-thinking, over everything. Overloaded life. Pause & survey landscape ahead. Rest needed. A pause in your life, voluntary or not, ahead soon.

Do: Do absolutely nothing your next day off. Identify stressors and factors that speed you toward ill health. Make it a habit.

Art: Based on "Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali, surrealist painter.

"In this flesh shall I see the Lord." Leviticus

Be all you can be which is exactly what you are right now. Flaunt your mortal divinity and thrust your beautiful animal pride. Call it chi, kundalini, soul, libido or even that mojo thing, celebrate with old greybeard Whitman and sing the Body Electric, pulsing with pride and throbbing with life.

Outside? Inside? Same side! How we present ourselves to this world is a present to ourselves. Be superficial in the best of ways, not shallow in the worst. Thou art beautiful in thy Form and are unique among the billions of possible beings.

Embody your soul and let it shine, shine, shine. No difference between body and spirit, one fills the form, the other is the form. Become that which you are: naked, beautiful and proud, full of electric anticipation and mammalian arrogance. Goddess in the flesh: ecstasy is your birthright! "Energy is eternal delight." Wm.Blake

Meaning: Flaunt your unique beauty. Time to stand out and stop fitting in. Robust health or return of well-being. Tantric awakenings. Release of pent-up energy. Increase in self-esteem. Concern with body issues. A Yangish Yin card, a forceful feminine state is advised. Comprende?

Do: Attention to clothing, appearance. Physical exertion indicated. Contentment.

Art: Body shape outlined from a '60s pin-up.

Permission granted!
Let it go!

This Navaho inspired visual spell combines the serpent of awakening Kundalini with the healing power of traditional sand painting & Hopi Katchina blessings.

To begin to uncoil in the body is to relax those tense shoulders, jaw and eye muscles. A deep, cleansing breath. Aaaaah! To uncoil in the deep self, let the serpent of life-energy uncoil from its slumber at the base of your spine, opening all blocked charkas as it ascends to the crown of your head and eventual Enlightenment.

Like a snake slithering through spiritual sand, your entire being will be renewed, perhaps even healed. Shedding old karmic skin, you will stand in the presence of the sacred (or at least its most familiar representative).

Like sacred Tibetan mandala sand paintings, Navajo ones are also destroyed and swept away when their purpose has been achieved, but you might want to save this card!

Meaning: Need to relax. Identify areas of stress. Attainment of new stage of growth. Look for serpent imagery in daily life as omens & messages. American Indian encounter of some sort.

Do: Yoga. Hot bath. Meditation. Breathing.

Art: Based on Navajo sand paintings and Hopi Katchina masks.

Both Storm & Sun
from One Sky:
No Shelter.

Take the hand you're dealt with this card.

This is the Compassionate yet Stern Writ of the Prophet. Choosing this card, you have entered the Mosque of Submission. The Sword of Judgment hangs above, waits for you below. ACCEPT. There's really no choice here.

It has already been chosen for you. And be assured, Faithful One, your only choice is the best of all possible choices. It is the Path to the Heavenly Garden of Contentment & Serenity. The very word "Islam" transliterates basically as "Acceptance" or more technically, Submission to the Will of Allah, blessed be His name.

Call it fate (Mektoub in Arabic), destiny, karma or the Inevitable, if you like, but a judicious going with the flow is advised here.

Not a resentful surrender & knuckling under, but a clear-eyed acceptance of That Which Is. There Is no Other. Acceptance is Balance, Surrender in this case is Victory, just as one admits and surrenders to addiction in order to halt it. This is the Arcane & Magickal Formula for Attainment known by all the Wise. The Dawn of Understanding casts its Rosy Light through the Window of Clear Vision.

Meaning: A coming to terms. A breakdown followed by a breakthrough. Attainment of serenity. A release of false dreams. Also indicates a need to confront an issue long ignored.

Do: List those you have harmed or to whom you harbor a grudge. Forgive them and yourself. Is there a situation in your life you find hard to accept? What is to be done?

Art: Accept rendered in Arabesque lettering on a mosque wall: "The moving finger, having writ, moves on & not all your tears can change a word of it." The Rubiyat of Omar Khayam. The Eye is made of Arabic calligraphy since images of people are forbidden. It is the name of a relative of the Prophet.

Clouds passing
Thunder in an empty sky

Change slinks in silently & unnoticed, purring & wrapping its tail around our complacent ankles, a soft growl of impending change insinuating itself in our ear. Or Change explodes like an unexpected cherry bomb: the backfire of a cosmic muffler, a sudden thump outside your door, an uninvited guest with tons of luggage. Yes, there is something waiting in the closet!

Change, it has been said too many trite times, is the only Constant. Everything is a Flow, a merging, mixing & moving stream, frozen snapshots formed into shapes of reality & experience by our slower minds.

When change becomes apparent, it is only our minds that have re-entered the Flow. The river of Change never stopped & the water was never frozen. We have merely re-entered the flow & the shock of change is like entering cold water in the summer. Every time, we have to get used to it all over again before we can relax and swim.

Change can therefore be surfed & navigated to one's advantage. No effort. No expectations. No fear. And no cringing! It's a Zen thing. Get ready. Here it comes.

Timothy Leary said to change our mind as often as your clothes. Do it today. Meanwhile: spare change?

Meaning: Change is entering your life (see above). Good or bad change? Depends on you (as usual). Also: time for a change of scenery, relationship, opinions. Maybe your mind!

Do: Make some changes, starting small: our room, your hair. Think about bigger changes: moving, job, beliefs.

Art: From I-Ching, the Book of Changes, Chinese astrology animals & Guardian from the Tibetan Wheel of Life. Eye modeled by Hae Young Park, San Francisco.

"Every day is a day in Eternity." Jack Kerouac

What do you revere, hold holy, save as sacred, Noble One? Not quite worship and somewhat less than belief, that thing you guard in your heart as eternal and true is the compass of your soul, pointing always to True Self. It can be as conventional as stained glass, as ethereal as the flutter of angel wings, or as enigmatic as the unflinching gaze of the Eye of God.

Whatever you revere and respect, resonate with that which tunes the strings of your being. Understand that reverence is not always hushed or respectful. Sometimes boisterous and ecstatic, our acknowledgement of a higher (or deeper) reality makes us part of the greater, lessening loneliness, expanding the self and imbuing meaning.

Whatever you choose to revere, choose well or it shall be chosen for you. "Holy, holy, holy," proclaims Beat prophet Allen Ginsberg in Howl. "Everything is holy!"

Start by revering everything then, Holy One.

Meaning: An encounter with the sacred. A deepening of personal meaning. Intensification of search for truth. Increase in personal serenity.

Do: Connect with your object of reverence: church, temple, nature, your choice. Make it real. Ask yourself: are my spiritual beliefs growing along with my life?

Art: Ecumenical stained glass with Higher Power represented as an Open Eye with angels wings.

No pain, no gain

Take a chance. Gamble. Risk it all. Do what's never been done. Just do it. Close your eyes and take that leap of faith. Trust the Universe to have big enough arms to catch you. Break the mold. Go for broke. Think outside the box (unless you're in it, meaning a coffin!) Say the unsayable. Do the undoable. Think the unthinkable. Do the Do!

Like Jackson Pollack, splatter yourself on the canvas of your life and create something new, a masterpiece of chance and spontaneity. Give up control. Let it happen. Go with the flow. Fear of failure is the stop light most people obey. Put the pedal to the metal instead.

Full speed ahead. Throw caution to the wind. Close your eyes and open your heart. Throw it all away to get it back new. Risk is our constant and tenuous state of being no matter how secure we believe ourselves to be. All else is comforting lies. Embracing risk is the only true security.

Meaning: A situation fraught with risk. A choice presents itself. A decision for the old or new. Revelations. Discoveries. Sudden delight.

Do: something you've never done before. Take a risk and tell someone how you really feel. Show our true self. What's the worst that can happen? It already has.

Art: Inspired by Jackson Pollack. Entire card done splattered on floor.

Grow or go

"The Lowest Animal" is what Mark Twain called "The Damned Human Race", saying he must renounce his "allegiance to the Darwinian ascent of Man from the Lower Animals." Based upon the evidence of human cruelty, avarice and religious intolerance, Twain said the new theory should be called "the Descent of man from the Higher Animals."

That said, however, we remain the only animal that can consciously choose to evolve to a higher or lower state. Our evolution these latter days takes place in culture, psychology and technology, rather than biology. So…what will we choose?

Nuclear destruction as the final example of our vaunted reasoning? Will we go the way of the dinosaurs as we, too, gobble up the planet, believing ourselves the mightiest creatures that ever lived?

Or will some outside agency, some alien intelligence, intrude at the last possible moment to save us from ourselves?

Unfortunately, no saucers or messiahs seem to be waiting in the sky. It's up to us to realize that personal revolution contributes to global revolution. You are a single step on the true Ascent of the species. Take the next step. Evolve.

Meaning: A time of personal evolution. Taking it to the next level. Unexpected outside influences.

Do: Ask yourself, "What's next?" How do you envision yourself a day, a month, a year, a decade from now. How can you help others to evolve?

Art: Keith Haring type saucer, symbolizing our evolution from Jurassic to SpaceAge. Dinosaur inspired by Godzilla. The creature in the egg is the hopeful new species (or the demise of the old one!)

When two masters meet
there is no talk of teaching

Learning without teaching is like Revelation without Preaching. In teaching others, we refine what we ourselves have learned and thus learn even more: we learn how to teach. Teaching others, we teach ourselves.

In Asian spiritual traditions, one takes a teacher or guru, often for life, trusting the teaching and teacher implicitly. But the teaching itself is everywhere to be found and everything is teaching you at every moment.

Pay attention to billboards, snippets of casual conversation, random messages. Buddhas don't always wear robes and Christ might come back in running shoes. Sometimes it's the lunch lady or panhandler that's your teacher.

Life itself is both teacher and teaching, and when the going gets rough, remember that sometimes a bad teacher can be a good teacher. Would you rather have a teacher who scratches your back, making you dependent or would you prefer to be taught to scratch that itch by your self?

Pop quizzes occur often in this classroom called Earth. Be prepared. Pay attention. Someone was once kind enough to teach you. Now pass it on.

Meaning: Interest or need for further education. Opportunity to teach others. New and unexpected knowledge. A life lesson, an a-ha moment. Be open to new experience and opinions.

Do: Think of teachers who've meant a lot to you. What are you ready to teach? Study teaching today. If you read this card, you just did. Good student!

Art: Zen brush-style painting of teacher and students. Eye is in the Enso, symbol of Zen. The calligraphy on the sides is taken from a teaching of Korean Zen master Seung Sahn, refers to the teacher holding a stick and translates thusly: (Teacher holding Zen stick): "Do you see?' (Hitting with Zen stick): "Do you hear? Already you see clearly. Already you hear clearly. Then what are this stick, this sound and your mind? Are they the same? Or different? If you say 'same,' I will hit you thirty times. If you say different, I will hit you thirty times. Why? Katz! Understand, understand. Clear. Clear."

Body the School
Spirit the Teacher
Mind the Student
Heart the Knowledge

It doesn't really matter what you pick to study or (usually) what inexplicably picks you. Just pick. If it interests you, pick at its end as though it were a ball of string. Study it to death, unspooling the string to the end, following where it leads.

You'll find it connected to other strings & you'll end up studying All through the One, the Macro reflected in a multitude of Micros. Knowledge is holographic & automatic.

Studying art, you learn chemistry, cultural theory, history and on and on and endlessly on. Eventually all the strings weave a beautiful, intricate web that is the only true object of study: your self. Start here: What am I?

Zen question: the Ten Thousand return to the One. Where does the One return to? Answer: Study the One & the Ten Thousand become your teachers.

The art refers to Jewish mysticism, Torah, the Tree of Life and Kabala, all intense subjects of study by the self-named People of the Book. The paths of knowledge mapped on the Tree trace the results of study.

And like all intense study, you attain not knowledge alone, but transformation and strength.

Meaning: Pursue present interests more fully. A new interest enters your life for study. Time to go deep.

Do: Shut of the cell phone, turn of the computer, lose the I-Pod: read a book! Take a class. Form a study group with a friend.

Art: See text.

Possible, permissible, probable:
Nothing impossible

"No attainment with nothing to attain," states the Heart Sutra, central teaching of Zen Buddhism. "Just this," answers the grinning Zen master in answer to your befuddled face. Just this? Just this, indeed.

Attaining nothing, everything is already attained and revealed as it truly is, as just this. But how to attain this non-attainment to what already is? By following these simple instructions!

One must learn the Art of Attainment before learning the Art itself, step-by-step, like the 1,2,3 of Chopstickology on this card.

First: start. Second: try. Third: eat!

Attaining truth and attaining peace is no different than learning to eat with chopsticks. And like the chopstick bag, the instructions are simple and everywhere. Enlightenment and attainment are not elusive or for the few.

They are attainable with a little effort and practice. In fact, they are already attained. Once understood to be already attained, the art of being becomes second nature, like riding a bicycle. Or eating with chopsticks! It becomes Nature itself.

Meaning: Completion of a process. Learning a new skill. Start of a growth curve. Sudden mastery after a time of stumbling.

Do: Get serious about that project or skill. Patience, perseverance and practice advised. Read the fortune.

Art: Tribute to disposable chopstick bags. Your lucky numbers: O U 8 1 2.

Unbidden & unearned
Giving is Divinity re-learned

If you give for no other reason than the act of giving, then your gift has made you holy. The clouds on the card give rain because it is their nature. The sunflower receives and in turn gives unpremeditated beauty. This is the way of the world. This is the gift we have been given: effortless and easy.

In a world of want, to give is the highest good. The gift of love, of listening, of food, of sex. Giving should be without charity, without pity and without making the giver feel "good." These are obscene emotions. Make your giving pure and free of motive, like rain falling, like flowers opening, spontaneous and for no reason at all. We were all given the gift of life, of awareness. All we are asked to pay in return is to pass on the gift. This card is my gift to you.

Meaning: You receive a gift. You utilize your god-given gifts and talents. You give to others: teaching and by example. A time of exchange.

Do: Give to homeless. Give yourself permission. Give yourself away.

Art: See text.

Trickles, torrents
Splashes, drips

The Mind is like flowing water in a shallow stream called your life. The water takes on whatever color it's moving over: white rock, green fronds, dark worry and glittering happiness. To the ignorant observer, it is the water that is green, the self that is fearful.

But remember, Fortunate Friend: water is simply water, mind is only mind: always flowing, always clear. It is all clear water, all clear mind. It is the one quality is the That Never Changes. Your awareness of selfhood is a ripple, sometimes a wave on its surface, flowing, always flowing to the shore of enlightenment and the opening of the eye of serenity.

Believing water or mind to be other than water or mind is to get hung up, like a stick going downstream and getting snagged on a rock, on a thought. Forgetting the flow is to dam the water, forgetting to flow is to damn the mind. Flow through the narrow, shallow parts. Dive and breech in the deep and wide. Be clear. Keep moving. Reach the sea.

Meaning: A situation or experience is hanging you up. Let go and go with the flow. A formerly cloudy idea or concept is brought into clarity. Something in your life moves on.

Do: Sit by a stream and empty the mind. Go swimming. Perhaps you need a Feng-Shui treatment of running water in your space. Identify somewhere where your stick is stuck.

Art: Based on the famous view of Mt. Fuji by Japanese artist Hokusai. The Chinese characters mean "Water" and "Waves". The one in the middle of the letter "O" means "FLOW". Oh.

Disappear to re-appear:
Sometimes there, sometimes here

Something fishy here . . . you don't have to bite at every hook that's dangled in front of you. That tasty treat might yank you to somewhere you really don't want to be. At this time, tactics become your spiritual craft and retreat from danger an honorable and wise act. So says the starfish, counseling safe harbor.

Remember: questions can be hooks too. A simple "Yes" can lead to years of heavy karma, but you already know this, I am sure. To get un-hooked from the taut fishing line of Life and Death, of this and that, a more radical retreat is needed. An entire day, weekend, or longer spent doing the do which is you. In other words: Be the Be.

Sweat lodges, prayer retreats, meditation sessions: there are plenty of formal retreat possibilities out there. They will make the rest of your life seem like a retreat from reality and the retreat itself the real.. Even a half hour spent in silent contemplation is a simple un-hooking from the daily bait of This and That, a return to the Source of That Which Is.

Expand your attentive, retreat mind into the rest of your life until the actual retreat is more like a simple intensification of the everyday. In retreating from "reality", we only return to who we really are. If you enjoyed this card, then by all means: re-treat yourself.

Meaning: Danger ahead. Be aware of surrounding and influences. Say No. Leave uncomfortable situations. Seek advice. Time out necessary. Attend to spiritual skills.

Do: Daily meditation practice. Formal retreat such as Zen, yoga or prayer, even a walk in the woods. Seek like-minded. Identify hooks in your life.

Art: Based on Japanese Koi tattoo. In Zen teaching, the surviving carp ascends the waterfall against all odds and becomes a dragon. So can you, so start your carping. This card is for Sarah Owens, her love of fish and her tattoo.

Doing your best, Goddess does the Rest

The Craft pre-dates most historical religions and techniques of reality manipulation. Shamanism, Tibetan Bon, pantheism, the Olde Religions, yes and what the ignorant brand witchcraft. Within the Pentangle, symbol of Craft, the old Magician himself, Aleister Crowley demonstrates body language for invoking the Five Elements. Stonehenge anchors the ritual; the Triune Goddess (girl, mother, crone) watches over and completes the visual spell of this card, supported by pillars of stone Nordic runes of Divination.

To be "crafty" takes patience, takes practice, takes time. Other crafts, as well, demand discipline & mastery: carpentry, music, cooking, weaving, child rearing and writing, to name a very few.

To illustrate the result of applied craft, this card is perhaps the best crafted and executed one in the deck, product of intense attention to detail, line, color, brushstroke, design & research. This card is intentionally well-crafted in order to demonstrate craft. This card IS craft and this card is a spell.

Simple crafts are as magical as ritual. They transform reality into shapes we dream, be it love, success or re-finished furniture. Crowley says the craft of magic is merely "making reality conform to your wishes."

In this sense, even sewing becomes an exercise in well-crafted magick. And remember, crafty seamstress: "You got to pick up every stitch. This is the season of the witch." St. Donovan.

Meaning: Time to apply yourself. Discipline and attention to detail. Pride in mastery. Magic is in the air.

Do: Devote more time to your craft. Master new techniques. Show off your skill & accomplishment.

Art: Stonehenge art based on photo by the legendary Paul "Daddy Slick" Barrett. Other elements see text.

Please re-visit often. More Tarot cards & texts will be added periodically. Join our Facebook page to receive notification of the latest additions to MelAsh.com as well as daily teaching poems from Mel's work-in-progress: Buddhagrams: Zen Tactics, Taoist Strategies & Everyday Teachings

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