This post is a bit off-topic from the rest of my blog – which is mostly about gardening and butterflies – but I wanted to share something more personal during this holiday season. This blog is also about simple crafts & DIY projects, it isn’t so out of the blue to discus a personal crafting tradition of mine: hand made bags for tarot decks.In 2016 I had my first ever tarot card reading by a friend on a woofing farm in Mexico near Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. The reading was done by a new friend, Zina from Czechia, who was also volunteering on the farm and totally changed my life. The simple reading of four cards gave me such profound guidance about the next stage of my life. But, I didnt go out right away and buy a tarot deck. I had heard previously that I would have to be gifted my first tarot deck so I made due with cards from the popular Mexican game Lotería:Though working with ‘las cartas de la Lotería’ was fun and helped me learn some Spanish vocabulary, it is not a tarot or oracle deck and finally last year in 2019, after years of waiting for someone to gift me a deck, I bought my own: the Spolia Tarot which is a deck I absolutely love:As a collage artist, this deck immediately appealed to me aesthetically when I first saw it online but I wasnt convinced until hearing a positive review by a professional tarot card reader on a podcast. I have used this deck for almost a year now, since January of 2020 when the deck arrived with my parents when they last visited me in Argentina. The first readings I did with this deck were for my parents & sister. I quickly discovered that this deck is not for everyone, as some of you may already know tarot cards can be a bit dark and when reading for family members I always fear that the darkest cards will show up and scare them away. Maybe this is why I decided to make such a pretty drawstring bag for this deck – to bring a little love & light to the sometimes foreboding messages:Of course tarot isn’t inherently scary and the messages aren’t all darkness & doom, sometimes we need to be shown the negative side of life in order to rectify it. And sometimes a more dark, depressing reading is a perfect reflection of life which is at times dark & depressing and can actually help us move forward. Because it is important to remember that tarot (or any other tool for that mater) don’t predict the future, instead they help to give insight and alternative perspectives on a question or situation. This deck will also be close to my heart for personal reflection and will always be so special to me as it is my first tarot deck. The deck came in a small cardboard box but, as with everything I own, I had a need to personalize the container and ended up making a small drawstring bag with a beautiful hand-embroidered patch made by my amazing friend from Bolivia, Annie. Roses are really important in my life, my last name means rose, my grandmother was named Rose, and the rose is prominent symbol in the Spolia Tarot as well. It just had to be! In a previous post I went over the steps to making a simple drawstring bag so you can see the instructions here. The only tip I would add is : be careful measuring the fabric before cutting & sewing. The pre-sewn fabric should be about 1.5 inches wider and 3 inches taller than the deck that will go inside. Remember: measure twice, cut once. . . .Well, today is Christmas though my partner and I are more of solstice-celebrators and we opened gifts on the 22nd – Summer Solstice for us in the Southern hemisphere. For some time I had been wanting a more fun & light-hearted deck, one that was in Spanish to do readings for Jona and others in my area as mostly everyone I know here doesn’t speak English. I saw these online and ordered them from a book store in Mendoza. The deck is called ‘Magas Ilustradas‘ and came with a guide book and a big box that holds both. The box was cute but not practical so, once again, I made a personalized bag to consecrate my new deck:I used traditional fabric of the Andes which I bought in a market in Peru while traveling through there a couple of years ago & a rectangle of jeans I have had for years and sat down to sew the bag yesterday in my “office” : a picnic table under a loquot tree which is where I am typing out this blog post now as well. Now that the bag is finished & the cards safely tucked inside, I feel the cards are truly mine and am so excited to get to know the deck (and the guide book) inside and out over the coming years.
This is just one example of forming my own personal traditions. Other traditions of mine include taking time to mend clothes by hand and collecting fabrics that remind me of the past and where I have been. These are all ways we can bridge the gap between consumerism and slowly steping into the role of producing our own goods, tool, and traditions.In the holiday spirit, I want to gift you all reading for this last week of 2020 using one card from each of these three decks mentioned in this post: spolia, the lotería, and magas ilustradas. The cards are shuffled and ready for the general reading for anyone reading this post. Here we go!My interpretation : The first card pulled is Stength and speaks more to inner power than physical strength. This card is all about combining your inner angel and wildlife – when this card is upright it suggests these two aspects or you are aligned and in harmony.
Card two : la Garza or the Flamingo. The bird is relaxed and in a beautiful place, we get the impression that this is the flamingo’s home territory where he/she feels at home and safe and is surrounded by calm waters. This card might be inviting us to take advantage of the tranquility in this current moment of the holidays and step into the “waters” of our emotions for self check-up.
Card three : 2 de Oros or two of Coins. The coins (also called pentacles) represent the earth element, the physical, the present and of course, money. The gal in this image is balancing two coins, symbolizing juggling or weighing different options. She has both coins in her hands, they are hers but she is unsure what to do with them. For you this card may represent recently found weath or gifts and not knowing what to do with them or in which direction to continue in this upcoming year quickly aproaching. The important thing to remember is that you are in charge, take time to weigh the options and then with confidence let’s move forward into this new year. Happy holidays 💚