The Victorian Fairy Tarot (Llewellyn) came out in 2013, and caused quite a splash then. At the time, I didn’t see what the fuss was about, and felt there was too much of a learning curve (I was pregnant at the time). I wasn’t keen on the suit renaming (changed to the seasons – Wands for Spring, Cups for Summer, Pentacles for Autumn, and Swords for Winter), which doesn’t fit my normal understanding of the suits and seasons. And the card images didn’t seem at first glance to fit traditional concepts. However, more recently I saw it again over on By the Sycamore Tree, and changed my mind 🙂
After seeing some interesting spreads in the companion book, I decided to give one of them a whirl. It’s called Titania’s Dream, inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Victorian language of flowers.
1) Wild thyme (activity): What action will bring you delight? Ace of Winter (Swords)
A huge icicle dangles from a branch. It would do a fair bit of damage if it dropped on some unsuspecting person or animal, that’s for sure. Yet, as it melts it will drip its water gently down, nourishing the earth beneath. So it is with truth and communication – when delivered gently and at an appropriate pace, they are nourishing rather than destructive.
For myself, I see a delight in new ideas, thoughts and studies. That rings true, as I’m currently studying three related subjects, and really loving them. So, make some time for my studies this week!
I love the autumn colours of this suit. The King sits on his throne, but looks ready to stand up and get hands on with whatever he needs to take responsibility for. He also looks like he doesn’t worry too much about getting his suit rumpled and dirty – he enjoys having a nice suit, but doesn’t value it above what he can physically do.
Ha, I did a reading on a business question I need to make a choice on, over on the Celtic Lenormand blog last Wednesday. Looks like I still need to think things through, to make the best choices for my financial and material well-being.
3) Violet (faithfulness): What requires your devotion? Temperance
A little green-winged fairy seems to be dripping water from a leaf into a cup. Interestingly, though, the fluid in the cup looks a rather striking green, too. Perhaps, with green as a colour of health and of the heart chakra, this represents healing, vibrancy, and a sense of heartfelt balance.
For me, Temperance is often about getting the right balance. Like this fairy, who may have mixed the essences of the different flowers about them to create this elixir. So, a little study, a little meditation on business, some time spent with family, and a focus on healing, too. It takes some devotion to balance all these aspects of life, but is worth the effort.
The two fairies in the foreground look like they’re going through hard times in their ragged clothes. One points to a happy-looking group of fairies in the distance, who seem to have plenty – a table of food set out in the autumn sunshine. The other holds back, fearful of their acceptance by the happy fairies.
Those who encourage me to ask for help, and who love me even when I don’t, who stand by my side despite the challenges: these are the people who support my dream!
5) Musk rose (capricious beauty): What is not as it seems? Herald of Winter (Page of Swords)
Talk about impractical clothes! Still, this fairy with blue wings, dressed in snowy white, is certainly a sight to see. He leans nonchalantly against an icicle encrusted branch, holding what looks more like a snowflake-topped wand than a sword.
The Page of Swords is sometimes seen as a sneaky figure, one who hides behind words or ideas, not yet having really developed his own. He can also be a student, more academic than practical. Are those studies I delight in not really what they seem? It’s certainly possible… Guess I should double-check my references before putting anything down on paper.
6) Eglantine (poetry): What requires expression? Ten of Autumn (Pentacles)
This is one of those unusual cards that first put me off the deck. There appears to be a couple in the back room, but otherwise it looks almost more like a restaurant or a gentleman’s club for grey beards, rather than a multi-generational family scene. Still, the companion book describes it as a multi-generatational group coming together to celebrate the harvest. Doesn’t quite convince me. There are five children, six grey-haired gentlemen, a possibly middle-aged couple, and a young maid – not exactly a representative cross-section for most families! Where are the old ladies? And where are all the parents? Nope, I’m not convinced.
Nevertheless, as what requires expression I can certainly see the idea of giving thanks for the abundance in my life, for the loving and supportive family I am a part of. Just yesterday, we had three grandparents over celebrating my Little One’s second birthday 🙂 And I am into my third month of a “Year of Gratitude”: writing daily in my gratitude journal, and meditating each night on the best thing to happen in the day. It’s a lovely practice that helps me feel joyful each day, even if not each minute of the day. Maybe by the end of the year… 😀
A female fairy sits up in bed clutching her bedsheets. She looks fearful, as she hears ferrets (or maybe weasels), clambering around on the roof of her home. Can they smell her? Are they trying to get in and eat her? Above, the moon shines down, illuminating the scene, but also casting dark shadows.
Yikes, at first glance that’s not good! I must admit, though, that when I get excited about something (which I am about my studies), I sometimes get a little insomniac, and have been that way for the past three nights.
The fairy may also have an overactive imagination. Perhaps the creatures outside in the woods don’t care about her, and are just playing and enjoying the night, slipping around in the snow and hissing at one another. Equally, I shouldn’t let my fears and doubts run away with me, not in my studies, nor in my meditation on what else I need to do business-wise, nor even in trying to find a healthy balance in my life. None of these things will be improved by worrying about exactly what I should do right now. Take things as they come, and don’t borrow trouble!
To read journal prompts based on these cards, click here.