Archive for June, 2015


Five of Swords:

Looking out for yourself at perhaps a cost.  Going all out for the win.  Fights.  Conflicts.  Disgrace after winning, or having thought you got the upperhand.  Fooling yourself.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Feeling victorious at the expense of another.  A defeat.  An unlikely struggle, the outcome might surprise you.  The thrill of something wild and dangerous.  A victim of abuse or violence who ‘bites’ back.” all-about-eve

“Nice speech, Eve. But I wouldn’t worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.” Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve


Five of Cups:

Contemplation.  Mourning.  Regrets.  Living in the past.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Seeing only what is lost, not what’s left intact. Wallowing in melancholy.  Becoming morbidly inward-looking and withdrawn.”

Portrait of Jenny

from the film, Portrait of Jenny


Five of Wands:

Facing one’s ghosts.  Having to make a difficult decision.  Taking things too seriously.  Forgetting how to have fun.  Concentrating on the wrong things. Coldness.  Unwilling, or unable to grow emotionally.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Hassles.  Petty annoyances.  Getting drawn into pointless battles.  Battling against inner demons.”

TheBlackCat  0031 tubular arm chair & eileen gray-esque table

Lugosi and Karloff in The Black Cat


Five of Pentacles:

Needing to ask for help.  Loss of faith.  Financial difficulties.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Falling on hard times.  Failing to ask for practical help even though it’s available.  Your arrogance and pride prevent you from asking for help.  Getting your priorities wrong at a difficult time.  Focusing on revenge instead of a solution.” fingersmith

Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith

Lenormand. I sounded out the word and wondered about these cards that I was hearing mentioned more and more.  A few YouTube videos later, I was intrigued.  Then I came upon a lady who explained it in the way of a story. “Tarot is the underlying emotions of the character.  Lenormand is the plot.” And right then I knew I must get a deck. But which one?

My very first Tarot was picked at random.  Tarot of the Witches.  I didn’t know then it had been featured in the James Bond film, Live and Let Die.  Kid-me just saw, “oooh! a Tarot deck! oooooh!  For witches!”- and hurried over to the cash register with it.

Kid-me shut self in bedroom, tore open the package, and frowned.  Why did only some of the cards have pictures on them?  (I didn’t know then about pip cards)  And why were the cards with pictures rather ugly?



Well, I wasn’t going to make that mistake with my first Lenormand.  No siree.

So off I went around the Internet, and to my magpie’s delight, discovered tons of breathtaking decks.  The Enchanted Lenormand came close, but the winner was:

Under the Roses by Kendra Hurteau and Katrina Hill.  Painted in sepia tones with Edwardian imagery, the  2.25 x 3.5 cards fit easily in one’s hands, and can be thrown into even small purses.

From the booklet: “Under the Roses” is a euphemism for buried secrets. The allusion comes from the Latin phrase Sub Rosa, which dates back to classical Roman times when the rose became the symbol of confidentiality and secrets. The expression became well known in German literature, eventually finding its way to English literature in the nineteenth century.

To go along with this theme, keywords are hidden within the cards, only really seen when tilted at certain angles.

under the roses

A wonderful added bonus is there are alternative cards.  A white man, woman, and child.  And a black man, woman, and child.  It’s great that card designers are finally waking up to the fact that the whole world is not caucasion.  One can pick from their background or whichever they find more aesthetically pleasing.  Having two male and two female cards will also be useful if doing readings for same-sex couples.

One minor quibble is the booklet, while very easy to understand, really is only a bare-bones introduction, so I am glad to have also ordered a book on  Lenormand.

That aside, I feel in my bones these cards are going to be very special in and of themselves, and in conjunction to my tarot workings.

four of swords

Four of Swords:

Repose.  Resting after an emotional ordeal.  Regaining one’s emotional and physical strength.  Healing inner wounds.  Hiding.  Retreating from the world.  Wisdom (as seen by the card’s raven) gained from time spent alone in contemplation.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “A period of rest and recovery.  A well deserved holiday from work.  Allowing yourself to step back and stop worrying for awhile.  Finding it difficult to step away from an argument and forgetting about it.  A period of illness that takes you out of everyday life for awhile.”

four of cups

Four of Cups:

The good cry.  Melancholia.  Elegiac.  Poetic feelings.   Unrequieted or lost love.  The blues.  Languidness.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:

“Feeling disenchanted and bored with everything.  Losing touch with life.  Listlessness and lack of energy.  Refusing opportunities, avoiding social events.  Being stuck in some endless, horrible cycle.  Losing your love of life.”

four of wands

Four of Wands:

friendship.  parties.  socials. having fun.  getting dressed up.  joyousness.  frivilousness

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:

“Getting away from a boring routine.  Leaving a secure but dull lifestyle for something that’s more fun.  A celebration or festival.  Escape from a threatening or oppressive situation.  An ability to rise above the gloom and doom around you.”


Four of Pentacles:

A materialistic person. Riches.  Being too focused on personal belongings. 

From the Bohemian Gothic Tarot:

“Worrying too much about your material possessions.  Saving and investing.  Being miserly.  Accumulating wealth at the expense of others.  Neurotic meaness.

cup of death

Death and I have always held a peaceful relationship.  The presence of his symbols, so frightful to so many others, have always been for me, a salient reminder of  the ephemeral nature of life. I am going to die.  That truth brings me no fear.  There are many ways of dying that fill me with dread, but what comes after that is a mysterious wonder.  While I hold a general belief in reincarnation and in an afterworld, I remain open to the possibility of being totally wrong.  Perhaps those with a pantheistic viewpoint are correct and one day my decomposed bones will return solely to the earth.  I see no reason to stress upon something that I can’t possibly know until the day comes.

What I do know is life is short.   My great aunt was 88 when they found her lying in bed, a book left open on her chest, a smile on her face.  She’d lived a long and beautifully-filled life.  But she wasn’t able to finish that book.  Which is yet another reminder that I will never be able (at least in this form) to do all I wish to do.  Books will go unread.  Films unseen.  Foods untasted.  Places unvisited. Things undone.

What I can do is prioritize.  I don’t see any reason to make myself finish a novel that I’m not enjoying.  Those are put aside to perhaps be picked up another day when I might be in a different mood.   Forcing myself to finish a plate isn’t going to help any starving child anywhere.  If someone invites me to do something that I really don’t like, I tell them honestly that that just isn’t my kinda thing, but thank you very much, perhaps we could do something else together another time.  Rather than forcing myself to do something out of a false sense of obligation, much better they take someone who might actually enjoy the experience.

Time is precious.

Never will I waste it on any of the various inane debates that exist online.  If people can’t accept what works for them may not for everyone, that is their problem.   My ego isn’t so fragile that I need to explain or justify my life choices in order to receive an “okay” from complete strangers.  Instead, I’ll be laughing with Sam Vines and Granny Weatherwax (thank you Sir Terry Pratchett, and RIP), studying language, diving deeper into the paths of Tarot, taking a stroll enjoying the hot sun on my skin. Rereading Wuthering Heights or Carmilla or Little Big.  Or maybe I’ll be just sitting back watching  my son smile as he plays with his fascinating fingers.  Because that’s one of the best things of all.

three of sowrds

Three of Swords: Things are not as they seem.  What killed the bird?  Is that demure-faced woman not so innocent? Lies.  Self-deception.  Emotional manipulation.  Slyness.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Hurt and grief, usually over a relationship. Betrayal.  Sorrow and loss.  A desire for revenge after a relationship ends.”

three of cups

Three of Cups: Gatherings. Friendship.  Working harmoniously together.  Group effort. Celebrations.  Peer pressure.  Negative collaborations.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “Harmony and collaboration.  Rejoicing.  Friendship .  Teamwork.  Group dynamics that go wrong.  Falling into bad company.  Being pressured by friends to join in doing things that you feel are wrong.”


Three of Wands: Dreams.  Ambitions.  Looking forward.  Planning.  Imaging better days and hopeful futures.  Things emerging.  Things just out of grasp.  Yearnings.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: ” Letting your ambitions and imagination take flight.  Daydreaming about the future and knowing you can make it a reality.  Ability to rise above the gloom and doom.  Forgetting the nightmares and dreaming of good things instead.”

three of pentacles

Three of Pentacles: Adroit.   Deft with one’s hands.  Working with material objects.  Cleverness.  Creativity.   Great achievements.

from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot: “A master craftsperson.  Being recognized for your achievements.  Attaining a high level of skill . Creating a maserpiece.  Putting your own needs to achieve above all other considerations. A lack of ethics in your work.”

The number three as described from Richard Cavendish’s The Black Arts: “Threes sparkle and glitter.  Witty, lively,charming, they are likely to be extremely successful in life.  They are often highly talented, especially in the arts. Proud and independent-minded people, they are ambitious, commanding, sometimes dictatorial.

Season two. Episode 5

A close-up of Vanessa’s eye.  The camera pans out to showcase the profile of the doll made in her image.

Surrounded by her lifelike puppets, their faces aglow from candlelight, Mrs. Poole  nails something into the forehead of her latest (Malcolm’s wife) while chanting in the demonic tongue.

“Mother.” Hecate enters.  “Her hair.”

Mrs. Poole reaches to take the strands which Hecate has snatched from Vanessa.

“May I?” Hecate raises her chin, and her mother nods in amused pride.

The younger witch  saunters over to the doll of Vanessa, while Mrs. Poole returns to her own task.   Together, they intone over their respective works.

The chanting rises.

Gladys Murray bolts awake, screaming.

penny dreadful above the vaulted sky

Back at the manor, Ethan, Vanessa, Sir Malcolm, Ferdinand Lyle, and Sembene are gathered in the drawing room.  Realizing they know what their enemy wants, but not why, they agree to work every weapon, every superstition, every ritual to ward off the nightwalkers.

To a melodic score, the group begins to prepare the house against attack.

A witch appears in the mirror before Lyle.  He throws a black crepe over the glass.

Vanessa prays in her room, alone, until two other witches gather at her sides.   Feeling their presence, she runs to Ethan but then confesses to not being sure if they’d been real or just in her head.

“I wish I were going mad.  Then they could lock me away and cut out the madness.  Do you know the true path to freedom?  Open any vein.”

When Ethan insists she wouldn’t do that, she agrees bitterly that God has a plan.  Perhaps even to why Ethan has killed in the past.

“Whatever you’ve done,” she takes his hand. “I accept you.  We are together for a reason.”

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 5). - Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: PennyDreadful_205_1753

Josh Hartnett as Ethan Chandler and Eva Green as Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful (season 2, episode 5). – Photo: Jonathan Hession/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: PennyDreadful_205_1753

Back at the loft, Frankenstein argues once again with his Monster.

“Enough.” John slams his hands down on the work table.  “I have lived with your evasions too long.  Don’t think I can’t look into your black heart and see the machinations laid bare!”

After the good ol’ Doctor tells him to get lost, Clare grabs him by the collar.  “Then you had a power, Frankenstein.  If you had only used it kindly, what a different story we would be telling…I will see her.”

Indeed, he goes upstairs to where Lily was busy reading.  As Frankenstein sits on the stairs, listening, John Clare tries to woo the reluctant woman.

“Ours is an exceptional history,” he tries, and there is a pitiful sadness as he recounts a false history.

“Let us start by being friends,” Lily offers.  “I can do no other.”


During this long night, Gladys Murray continues to struggle, foam now forming at the corners of her mouth, while servants pin down her arms.  Elsewhere, Mrs Poole continues working upon her eerie doll, fresh blood running down its face.

Morning finally comes.

As Chandler makes his way down a busy London street, he is accosted by Inspector Rusk.  “Scotland Yard.  I’d like a few words if I may.”

Meanwhile, Frankenstein takes Lily out to dine where they come upon Vanessa.  Unfortunately, there is not even a flicker of recognition as Miss Ives greets the transformed woman.

lily and vanessa

Back at his office, the Inspector zooms in on the fact that Ethan had lived at the Mariner’s Inn. “There were many murders.  All guests have been accounted for.  Except for one Brona Croft, and one…Ethan Chandler.” The troubles started when Ethan arrived with his show, the Inspector notes.

“You’re a mystery.” And he wants to know Ethan’s real name…


While volunteering once more in the village struck by cholera, Vanessa again runs into John Clare.  “Do you know you share the name of a dead poet?”

“Yes.” He chuckles.  “Do you like poetry?”

“All sad people like poetry.  Happy people like songs,” Vanessa smiles ruefuly through one of the show’s most beautiful and elegiac lines.

“I’ve always been drawn to John Clare’s story,” he continues.  “He was only five feet tall.  Sort of freakish.  Perhaps due to this, he felt  a singular affinity with the outcasts and the unloved…the broken…” And the two continue to bond over the haunting lines of I Am.

“And how are we to navigate the waters when they are so alien?” He asks at one point.

“The sea is waiting for you.” She later offers her hand for a dance.  “Set sail.”

penny dreadful john and vanesssa

Dorian Gray paints the town with Angelique until they run into someone she stole money from in the past, and Sir Malcolm enjoys more time with Mrs Poole.

“I can honestly say I’ve never met a woman like you.”

“You have no idea.”


“What’s damning you tonight?” Ethan teases Ferdinand back at the manor.

The older man sweeps his hand over the relics spread across the table.  “Here it is in Greek.  And in Latin.”

Lapus Dei,” Ethan reads. “The Hound of God.”

“I can’t endure dangling repetitions.  It’s like a poem waiting to be rhymed.”


Angelique comes to Gray in her masculine clothes, and recounts the years of pain she has suffered.

“Do you think I don’t understand what it is to feel different?”

“I think I’m tired, Dorian.  I’ve been fighting so long.”

“But you’re not fighting alone.”

Soon they are in each other’s arms as are Sir Malcolm and Mrs. Poole, and Chandler and Vanessa.

Gladys Poole awakens, grasping.  In her room are two headstones.  Upon them, the names of her children.

Hands reach out from below the floor.

Her children rise from out of the dirt.

Come.  They offer.

All goes silent in her room.

Thunder, however, pounds in Lily’s, and she runs to Victor for comfort…


An interesting contrast can be seen between John Clare and Angelique.  Both have suffered immeasurable pains due to physical masks.  But one wallows in that pain, while the other strives to enjoy life nonetheless.

During the first season, my only real complaint was the lack of emotion.  Everything looked and sounded great, but there was a disconnect with the characters. All that has changed this season. The relationship between Gray and Angelique is the most touching in a long time.  John Clare might annoy me, but he makes me care, and I’m rooting for him to grow as a person.

Also during season one, I felt averse against what I figured was the inevitable romantic pairing of Ethan and Vanessa.  Not a fan of these two must be together for no other reason than because they are the leads- a weak plot device used on too many programs  However, as tonight Josh Harnett and Eva Green sizzled together, I am  warming to the idea of them.

Ethan’s cowboyisms, Vanessa’s craftiness, Brona back from the dead, Frankenstein vs his creation, Gray and Angelique, Malcolm and Mrs Poole, the witches…am loving this season.

Til next time.

bohemian two swords

Two of Swords: air.

Trust in one’s intuition. confidence to stand alone. Using the inner senses. protection of self. a love for mystery

being blinded to the truth.  building walls around self. hurting self in long run by keeping others away

bohemian gothic two cups

Two of Cups: water

First meetings.  beginnings of a new relationship. partnerships. marriage.  Soul mates.

 jealousy. break ups. co-dependency

bohemian gothic two wands

Two of Wands: fire

wishing for more excitement. reaching a point of boredom or stagnation in a project.  being too cautious, too conservative to reach greater heights of vision and achievement


Two of Pentacles: earth

Balance.  juggling many things and activities. thriving on chaos.  risk taking for the sense of adventure. living in a blissful whirlwind

taking on too much at once.  being out of synch.  chaos.  clutter, too easily bored

The number two: balance, polarity, duality, choices, couples, joining, opposites

from The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish: “People whose number is two have the qualites which are usually associated with the feminine.  They have soft, sweet natures.  They are quiet, tactful, conciliatory.  They are eventempered, lovers of peace and harmony.  They are followers rather than leaders, and if they do not get their own way they do it by persuasion and diplomacy…there is also a dark and sinister side to the 2-character which may show itself in cruelty, malice and deceit.”