Hammering In My Head

XVI The Tower – Herbal Tarot by Candice Cantin & Michael Tieris; US Games, 1978.

I feel all… Towery. Towery in all the wrong… places. It’s like… I’m wearing the wrong skin. No, I’m wearing the right skin, it’s everything else that’s shifted to the left. I’ll admit it’s very likely psychic jetlag; living in two worlds at once and then trading one for the other leaves you a little out-of-sorts, but it’s also more than that.

I feel deeply dissatisfied. With my life. With my progress. And I can’t dare to even give voice to these things because I’ve spent so much of my existence in a state where I simply can’t trust what my twisted perceptions are tellingg me. I can’t dare, because to dare is to feed and I don’t know if I’m feeding friend or foe.

I feel suffocated. Stilted. And then, ungrateful, spiteful. Angry. Selfish. Back and forth. Knotted up, eaten alive. Gods, I don’t want to go _there_ again. It’s already manifested as a massive throat infection, followed by intestinal upset. I don’t need to visit Crazytown again, I really don’t.

I feel like I’m living this rich, beautiful internal life and I want the outisde to match. I can’t progress if it doesn’t. I don’t want what’s inside to die because the outside chokes it.


Tarot Bonkers posted about the De La Rea (OMGWANT) and mentioned that she uses it with the Comte de Mellet spread. I’d never heard of this spread, but it seems like a really good one for when you’re experiencing “headblindness”. I’m dubbing it the “State of the Union Address” spread and I’m feeling drawn to use the Herbal Tarot.


Comte de Mellet Spread with Herbal Tarot by Candice Cantin & Michael Tieris; US Games, 1978.

[1] I The Magician & 3 of Wands

We’re off to a good start, here, though I can’t help wondering if the 3W is facing towards the Magician, or turning his back on him… Both cards address immune and digestive issues – don’t I know it. The Magician’s association with creativity (in this deck) is a good combination with the 3W’s “picking up loose ends” – has the 3W taken the “bulb” offered by the Magician and cultivated it?. There’s something bothering me about these two cards that I can’t put my finger on; something to do with the verdant Magician and the emptiness of the 3W…

[2] XIX The Sun & 4 of Pentacles

The Sun offers expansiveness (all those little arms radiating outwards, and one hand holding an ankh), but the 4P is having none of it. She is too busy clinging to old shit (why yes, that is an outhouse in the background :D) – security, fear, stability. “An outhouse is not a home…” (Oh fuck, is it not.) The chessboard picnic blanket makes me think of a strategic battle being waged beneath a veneer of sunshine and civility.

[3] IV The Emperor & Queen of Pentacles

I’m immediately struck by how the figures are facing away from each other, and that they are both sovereigns. This is too close to home to deal with right now.

In the interests of seeing both sides of the story though, it is also possible this points to my wanting to move forward in a direction that takes me away from the world of the Emperor, down a more Pentacle-friendly path. I notice the Emperor (4) and the Queen seem to repeat a visual from the 4P above. Hmm, yes. The Queen separated from her old shit? She has kept only the one that matters most, and it no longer sits heavy on her head.

[4] XXI The World & Ace of Pentacles

This pairing at least doesn’t fill me with dread and the imagery seems closely related – they both hold the promise of abundant new beginnings. Comfrey heals, pulling things together (internally and externally) and the AP speaks of “unsatisfied desires… yearnings.” Aye.

With the way I laid the cards out, the 4 across the top seem to tell a story (even though they weren’t pulled together). If you set aside the Fool as being a traveller outside of the Majors, then the Magician and the World are the beginning and the end of the trumps. The figure in the 3W is looking down the path in the AP. The 3W and the World show a seashore; the Magician and the AP both offer up something.

[5] XVIII The Moon & 7 of Wands

Ooh, yucky-yuck-yuck-yuck. Oh yes, Moody McMooderson wanting to pick a fight. Exactly. Ever so gently courting the Tower. Looking across the cards again, we have bother the Sun and the Moon – a warning so clear that even the most headblined can see it: Do it for the right reasons and in the right manner, Moody, not just in a rash, fiery moment (just to “spice” things up)!

(I do love the cranky little scorpion confronting its Shadow, even if the card is giving me a serious attack of the creeps right now.)

[6] IX The Hermit & 9 of Swords

Interesting: The Magician up top and the Hermit down below mirror each other (as they do). And then the Hermit and the 9S both feature herbs for calming a troubled nervous system and they are both “9” cards. The Hermit – the Magician in his less brash guise – shines a light for the 9S, showing her how it could be. Thing is, she knows; she’s tasted it. How to continue? How to bring it into _this_ reality?

Going across, I see a clear depiction of what I’m feeling re: myself – wanting to be a queen, but being stuck in the role of frightened child (prone to sudden outbursts of tears), never managing to get out from under the weight of all those swords. Aah! And see, the Emperor holds a sword.

XV Pan – Herbal Tarot by Candice Cantin & Michael Tieris; US Games, 1978.

[Quint] XV Pan

Colour me completely unsurprised. I feel exactly like a wild thing trapped.

Hmm. That worked better than expected. Time for tea.


p.s. Does anyone know what the different coloured borders around the cards mean? They’re not elemental, as far as I can tell.

p.p.s. Thank you to everyone who has clicked through to Amazon from here and purchased something. Though the CAD$ is stronger than the US$, the The Mary-el Tarot costs $15 dollars more here. You have helped to off-set this rage-inducing disparity!


8 thoughts on “Hammering In My Head

  1. cassandra022 says:

    i’ve been stuck pondering tower thoughts for months now so totally feel ya on that

    also, quite interesting reading your take on the comte spread. I’ve never actually read with it using a deck that has illustrated minors, so really enjoyed seeing how you handled that with the herbal :]


    • submerina says:

      I’m so glad I found that spread on your blog! It’s great for when you don’t know what to ask, but know something is up.

      Something Towery in the air? Is there a pill we can take to make it go away? :)


  2. Magic Mentha says:

    The Tower seems appealing to a lot of people lately–surprisingly!

    That music video totally transfixed Pele. She loved it. She laughed at the end, which I thought was funny. Anyway–she loves intensity, lightning and pirates, etc, so it’s all good.

    Hope you keep that inner world and get the outside world to cooperate more.



    • submerina says:

      Haven’t you just had your Towery stuff? You made it through, so there’s that to inspire me :)

      Glad little fire lady enjoyed the video; she’ll probably enjoy the others too, as they have the same characters.


  3. D. D. Syrdal says:

    I’m sorry, I couldn’t read the whole post because I’ve been feeling like “The Dispossessed” myself. I think this is why I keep latching onto things and becoming obsessed, if it feels like it’s part of the treasure map to where I’m supposed to be. I feel like I’m unstuck in time, like an astronaut on an EVA with no tether. I want to be in one place, but then feel I need to be someplace else. Erg. I don’t know what I’m saying.


    • submerina says:

      Don’t worry: _I_ know what you’re saying. Maybe there is some weird planetary thing happening to make so many of us feel so unhinged.


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