Tuesday, September 11, 2007

WAY OF THE HORSE (Review of A New Non-Tarot Deck)

THE WAY OF THE HORSE: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery
— A Book of Exploration and 40 Cards
Author: Linda Kohanov; llustrator: Kim McElroy
New World Library
Product Code: 15138
ISBN: 978-1-57731-513-1

I've been a horse lover since earliest childhood, not only drawing them as soon as I could hold a pencil but collecting horse figurines well into my 20's. Horse is, of course, one of my power animals (Tiger being the other), so I was inclined to like this deck, Way of the Horse, from first seeing it's slip case cover. But it has induced in me a completely unexpected rapt and delighted attention only equaled by special Tarots.

Before I share from my personal experience of one particular card, I would like to say that this set does not relate to the horse only as a symbol. But as a real animal, with real characteristics, and as individual lives with unique personalities. Each card shares stories of actual horses the author has known, worked with, loved, learned from, and cared for. And these stories are the heart of each card's meaning and wisdom. Then there's the art work. Stunning. Gorgeous.

I've begun pulling a card a day a random and will continue to do so through the entire deck. The one I pulled on first opening the deck was #20:

Close to Shore

On looking at this card, before reading anything about it, I thought: "Looks like where I'm at in my life; an old horse looking for something new, something beyond this life I have now, beginning to leave a lot behind in my search; with the world of spirit watching over me and maybe not always being aware of this." Once I read what the book had to say, I was in tears. It is a card of transition, much like Death (XIII) in the Tarot, both of which include the possibility of bodily death in their range of meanings. But, as with XIII, this card addresses much more than that. Such as: "A new life is calling, but the form it will take isn't quite clear. In the meantime, your challenge is to stay [in what] you've outgrown, yet avoid becoming a 'lame duck' or a frustrated and manipulative old codger." Pinned me there, it did! However the deeper part of this card's pages, and where I began crying, is devoted to sharing about the graceful death of a beloved horse, that has much to teach us all about living.

From the ending of #20's pages: "...but few of us consider that fertile time between letting go of the old and embracing the new, the crossroads where knowledge gained can be passed on to the children of the future. If we call forth the Crone's detachment in the face of our own discomfort, old age ultimately becomes an opportunity to share the fruits of a life well lived." Perhaps my 64 years have not been so well-lived. I have made many wrong turns and bad decisions. However, I have still managed somehow to gather a lot worth sharing. This deck is one of those fruits that just fell into my hands along the way.

Here's a few more cards from the deck, illustrating a little of the range of art-style and approach. There are also cards with mythological horses, and even the occasional human :-D.

Suffice it to say, I cannot recommend this deck highly enough for those who love horses and animals, but even for those who don't. There is a great deal of wisdom and encouragement in this set. Ultimately, each time I pull a card, savor the image, then read what the book has to say, I am left feeling ... how can I put it ... pulled together. As if spirit and body have been properly re-aligned. This, in addition to all I learn about horses themselves. I would also say Tarot lovers can also appreciate this deck. Its spirit is so clearly aligned with that which informs the Tarot. It would also make a wonderful gift, as it is beautifully produced with a slip case for the hard cover 156 page book and 40 card deck.

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‘til next time, keep enjoying the Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blogs ROSWILA’S DREAM & POETRY REALM and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT.


Sunday, September 09, 2007


The Seven of Coins (Pentacles) in The Fairytale Tarot

overwhelmed by
the Seven of Pentacles
her own creation

The above little poem is a Tarot dreamku (dreamku are haiku-like poems based on dreams). I had the dream this one is based on in March of 2004. I'm not at all surprised I stumbled across it now, as I am feeling a bit overwhelmed at this point in my life by what I've accomplished and am committed to doing.

The Seven of Pentacles is another (of the many) intriguing cards in the Tarot. It can have polar opposite meanings. On the one hand, it can be about failure, fear of failure, or only apparent failure. On the other hand, it can be about enjoying the fruits of your clearly very productive labor. At this time in my life I feel I'm faced with all of these meanings. LOL!

The fairytale for this card in The Fairytale Tarot is The Brave Little Tailor (see "Resource" below). This is a charming and very appropriate tale for the Seven of Pentacles. What I found particularly striking in the book that accompanies the deck about this tale/card is: "The Seven of Coins [Pentacles] is a call to recognize your own achievements, and take time to consider how best to build on them. It's on the whole a reflective card, although it's also about preparing for the next active steps in any plan or project....[I]t doesn't matter if the things we're proud of in life are objectively major or minor -- what counts is how we see them, and how that affects our relationship to the world."

Click here to read my previous post on the Seven of Pentacles.

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Resource: The Brave Little Tailor fairytale.

‘til next time, keep recognizing your achievements, big and small, and enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry and Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka).****

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