Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Musical Tarot (Esoteric Comedy Show)

Previous/ Master List/ Next

[In celebration of our fiftieth Tarot Blog Hop post, a bit from a show that you would never actually see happen at a Tarot convention. Trust me. No one would ever be crazy enough to let this happen. So we will just have to imagine it happening together.]

At this point, I would sing you a song. But my wife has expressly said that Morgan shall not sing. Which is a shame because I have a wonderful singing voice. Yes, it it true that angels do cry when I sing.

Giant tears of joy. Emotion that has not been experienced since the creation of the universe. My singing is that good. And angels would totally agree that my singing is as powerful as the creation of the universe.

I should probably point out that my god-daughter disputes the greatness of my singing, and says that the angels are actually crying in great pain and agony. Let's call that Fake News, and move on.

There are people other than my wife and god-daughter who tell me not to sing. The entire Denver community of witches and pagans has told me that when the singing parts of the rituals happen, I am supposed to hum--softly--just so we don't violate any public noise ordinances. Again, Fake News--they just jealous that I am the best singer in the Denver pagan community.

Being forbidden to sing, I have thought about learning to play a musical instrument. Even someone who can't carry a tune in a bucket should be able to learn to play a musical instrument. Surely singing and playing a musical instrument have nothing in common.

And wanting to do it right, I have thought about musical instrument I should devote myself to.

Now many instruments are automatically off of the table for various reasons. For instance, I can't play any stringed instruments because the strings might be made from cat-gut. Yes, I have done some serious non-research here. And the instrument can't be too large, for I am a lazy bastard who believes that his only exercise should consist of pulling books off a shelf. Therefore, the tuba is out of the question, along with the kettle drum, and the piano. That's last one is rather surprising, but let's be honest--it is hard to carry a piano onto the bus.

I have narrowed my choices down to three options, and now my choice of instrument is tied up in committee. But I am quite confident that the committee will allow me to have an instrument. There is absolutely no way that the committee will agree with my mother that all I am doing is making an ungodly racket.

My number three choice is the accordion. My father owned one. I want to own one. Just because his was sent to the attic, never to be seen again, doesn't mean that mine will suffer the same fate. I see that the audience doesn't believe me, and are busy texting the music committee about how much they would love to hear me play the accordion.

"Dear committee for the protection of those who know what music should sound like, I totally support Morgan getting an accordion, and being allowed to play it in public. After all, the accordion is built on the cat in a box principle--and there is absolutely no way that Morgan could play it wrong."

That was texted by someone who obviously done more research on this subject than I have. Because when this bit started, I did not know that accordion had cats in them. Is cat alive? Is the cat dead? We don't know. We will never know. But we can all tell that the cat is a little unhappy by the sound it is making.

My number two choice for musical instrument is the bagpipes. Everyone loves bagpipe music, especially when played by a genius like myself. Plus I will finally be able to convince the neighbor across the street to quit playing their party music at midnight. We all have that one neighbor, who insists on playing their music at midnight on a hot summer night when everyone in the neighborhood has their windows wide open. There is absolutely no danger that this will cause a musical stereo war in my neighborhood.

"Dear committee for the protection of cats and sleeping neighbors, I totally endorse Morgan playing a set of bagpipes on a hot summer night. It is sure to create world peace, for bagpipes sound nothing like an angry cat stuck in a bag."

My final choice in music instruments--my number one choice is a bag of rusting tin cans. Because let's be honest, my real goal here is to be the center of attention--and there is not a reality music show that will not be amused and amazed at my skill at playing a big bag of tin cans.

"Dear committee for the protection of those who do not find this joke funny, for heaven's sake, make sure that Morgan lets the cats out of the bag before he attempts to play it. When will someone think of the cats being tortured for the sake of music."

I recently discovered that you can make cats sing. I discovered this on Facebook. Someone posted a picture of a cat singing Bohemian Rhapsody. Well, not actually singing. It was a picture of a cat captioned with song lyrics.

Totally awesome, don't you agree?

I'm just a purr boy. Nobody rubs me. He's just a purr boy from a purr family! Spare him his life from this meowstrosity!
So I have now developed a hobby of trying to match the song to the picture. And considering that we are supposed to be talking about Tarot, let's go there. Otherwise, this entire bit will make no sense when I put it into a Tarot Blog Hop post.

Being a "silly person"--that's medical speak for "being a bloody loony"--I have started to put song lyrics onto pictures of Tarot cards. Please note that some of these only make sense if you watch the same television shows I do.

I think that Wayward Son by Kansas is appropriate for the Chariot. Another One Bites the Dust by Queen fits the imagery of the Lightning Blasted Tower. Like a Virgin by Madonna, that's the Lovers. Great Balls of Fire is totally the Ace of Wands. The Immigrant Song is my chosen one for Strength. Hint--think of the Viking Kitty video. Death is Tiptoe Through the Tulips--what else could it be?

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!

Carry on my wayward son, for there will be peace when you are done.

Tiptoe through the tulips with me!

Like a virgin, touched for the very first time.

We come from the land of ice and snow--we are your overlords.

But I am most proud of the caption that I came up with for the Devil. It is truly something to cause angels to cry in joy.

If you are happy, and you know it, and want the whole world to know it, if you are happy and you know it, clap your hands! 
And that is what it is all about--causing angels to cry with my awesome ability to make music.

Previous/ Master List/ Next

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

ECS Free Guns For Everyone (Lap Cats Are Good Too) sales links

“Marge, have you read this?”

“Sue Ann, read what?”

“There is a pecker wood in Colorado, who thinks he knows more about the dangers of guns and gun control laws than us super-smart New Jerseyians.”

“Really? Who?”

“Mad Uncle Morgan.”

“Who’s he?”

“He is that comedian bloke that the Great Gherkin says is a paid hater and troll, and who is being controlled by the time traveling octopods from outer space.”

“Sue Ann, who is the Great Gherkin?”

“Oh Marge, you know, the Great Gherkin is just some guy, an unpopular Big Name Occultist with a patented success system.”

“Patented success system?”

“Yeah, pick a popular cause, trademark it, and charge bigly fees for people to ride on the same parade float as he does.”

“Are you sure that the Great Gherkin is not actually the President of the United States?”


It is Mad Uncle Morgan, everyone’s favorite witchy comedian, versus the Great Gherkin, the most famous occultist of all time. Which one of them is right about the Constitution and gun control? Which one of them owns a catapult? Which one is the greatest American patriot ever? And which one is just a pot smoking liberal traitor of a hippy? Learn the answers to these important and life-changing questions in this Esoteric Comedy Show special, as well learning why gay wedding cakes are so dangerous.

Now available for your reading pleasure.

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble



And iBooks/Apple iTunes store (sorry, I am having a devil of a time trying to locate the sales page link)

ECS Assault With a Deadly Taco sales links

Excerpt:  Of course, now that I am being treated for mental illness...I am no longer eligible to obtain the heights of spiritual development. That is right, I can no longer become the Pope, a President, or a highly advanced “Will live on in a glorious solar body after death—no longer having to come back to Earth” magical guru.

And it is a darn shame. For I really wanted to do one of those jobs. “And I am at least as qualified as they are.”

That is right.

You cannot be Pope and be treated for mental illness at the same time. What is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning marshmallow night, as long as your spirituality is not being dulled by drugs.

You cannot be President and be treated for mental illness at the same time. What is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning cocktail sausage night, as long as your nuclear button finger is not being dulled by drugs.

And you cannot be a world-renowned spiritual and magical master and be treated for mental illness at the same time. After all, what is the occasional witch hunt and heresy burning fried chicken and watermelon hexing party, as long as your supreme esoteric wisdom and understanding is not being dulled by drugs.

 And we all know this...
Now available on Amazon. Coming soon to other retailers...
Want me to write more of this stuff?

Buy a copy of Assault With a Deadly Taco, a show sampler, three "twenty minute shows," at your favorite ebook retailer...

Because buying ebooks is how you encourage writers.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

(also all the other Amazon sub-sites)



Coming soon to iBooks (Apple bookstore), and Barnes & Noble (no clue why it is not there yet--second installment is available there already).

Friday, February 9, 2018

Everyone loves a parade (Esoteric Comedy Show)

[At an occult convention, a comedian paces back and forth on stage, talking to an audience.]

"Danger Will Seeker! Danger! Trump joke ahead!"

Yes, that is right--it is time to talk about Trump.

Our glorious President, Donald J. Trump...

The world's biggest kid...

Last year, he went to France for a state visit, and he came back home with just one take-away...

He wants a military parade, right down Pennsylvania avenue, in the middle of Washington DC...

Because he was impressed by the Bastille Day parade he saw.

And why shouldn't he be? After all, everyone loves a good parade.

Especially kids.

And President Trump is just a big kid at heart.

I say we give him a military parade.

[Crowd reacts.]

Hear me out. It doesn't matter if you like Trump or not. [Taps side of head.] You might be able to get something out of this.

First off, be grateful that he only wants a parade. He could have wanted things like the ability to guillotine his enemies...

[Mixed reaction from the crowd.]

[Waves hands.] Yes, yes, I know...

"Evil failed journalist liberal comedian bringing shame to the occult convention circuit get their heads chopped off first."

Just remember, we know the history of the French Revolution. The people manning the guillotine, feeding the criminal politic class into the guillotine, ended up getting guillotined themselves. You may think it is a good idea now...

"But not so much when it is your own head coming off!"

Or he could  have insisted that we all learn French because they are good immigrants who would never chop anyone's head off.

I don't know about you. But after a year of high school French, and another year of college French, I still can't say, "Don't you think executing all journalists, comedians, and your political enemies is a bad idea?!?" I presume that I somehow missed that day when that important statement was covered.

Or worse, he could have decided that American national dish is now Barbecued Frogger.

"Mmmm...tasty flat frog, perfectly tenderized by fifteen ton tank, flame broiled with a flame thrower, just perfect for your Fourth of July barbecue. Nom, nom--eat it up."

So he wants a parade...

A parade that is going to cost millions...

For the life of me, I could not find a reasonable estimate on how much it would cost...

But one thing was sure...

Most of the cost would be chewed up by road repairs.

"Who would have guessed that tanks driving down the street would tear up the streets that badly."

And if you got to schedule some money, and the Army Corp of Engineers to fix the street anyways "after the most attended military parade ever," how about we choose a street that already needs repairs?

[Does his Car Model Girl mime as he talks.] "Yes, we are going to have the military parade here...on Pothole Avenue, which is famous for having the most potholes per square mile. Just last week, that pothole over there ate an entire VW van, painted with cheerful flowers and rainbows, and completely packed to the brim with pot smoking hippies. Now that the hippies have fallen into the bottomless trap that we set for them, it is time to Make This Road Great Again! Yes, for the mere cost of a few tanks, some missile trucks, maybe a few planes flying overhead, and a lot of infrastructure money--which we have been promised--we can finally have a really great road. Call it urban renewal. Plus after the tanks finish tearing up the road, we will have no more excuse not to dig up the lead water pipes and replace with gold water pipes, just in time for the many rich people who are going to move to this neighborhood after it becomes the greatest neighborhood in the country. Hail King Trump!"

What?!? Your street doesn't need repairs? Your street is pothole free? Your neighborhood can't use some infrastructure money? How nice it must be to live in a Trump branded neighborhood.

"In the meantime, those poor hippies, they were my friends. Who am I going to smoke pot with now?"

And if we do it right, we could have a military parade every week, in a different neighborhood. "Call it urban renewal."

And Trump will be very happy. For after all, he holds one of the most important jobs in the world--all of which are required to love parades.

[Counts on fingers.] Pope. Required to love parades. Has special car with a bubble top, so that he can wave at the crowds at parades.

President. Required to love parades. And we have a really fine parade lover here. Maybe the most parade loving President ever. I assume that he has a special car to ride in parades. If not, the local car dealership can provide one. They provided one for the homecoming queen to ride in, why not the President?

And Superior Guru of All Things Magical and Occult Worth Knowing. Required to love parades. Has a special SegWay to ride, so they can lead the parade, and be upfront...

Because without them, how would we know what political enemies to hate? They have to lead because...

"The rest of us are idiots who would not know evil from a hole in the ground." [Pauses and makes a puzzled face.] "Why is there a tank parked in that pothole full of hippies?"

Parade loving is right in the job description of the three most important jobs in the world. Otherwise, how do you explain the typical day of someone holding these jobs?

[Does his mime of pounding on a computer keyboard, beating a dead horse, and waving at a crowd while riding a SegWay and leading a parade.]

Now, I will admit that we have to invoke some safety rules for these military parades...

Simply because we can't have the series finale of the Trump Show come too soon.

[Mimes pressing a button, rocket launch, and big mushroom explosion.]

Remember if we don't give him enough attention, he will surprise us with the ultimate surprise.

"And I don't look good in glow-in-the-dark radiation."

First safety rule...

Don't load the guns.

This is important rule for big kids like to press buttons.

[Mimes pressing a button, rocket launch, and big mushroom explosion.]

Second safety rule...

Do not seat him next to my mother.

Let us learn from last year's Fourth of July rodeo parade and barbeque...

For if we sit him next to my mother, we will have an executive order issued the next day, that requires every occultist and witch to be burned at the stake before having our ashes deported to whatever soccer hooligan land we came from.

"United States? No...what if I don't know where my ancestors came from? Oh, launched into space. Nice. Always wanted to visit Mars."

Third safety rule...

Don't let him grope the homecoming queen. Just because she is a beaver with big teeth does not mean that she deserves to be groped. In fact, maybe we should give her a taser. Just to be on the safe side.

[Mimes groping and electric shock therapy.]

Fourth safety rule...

Make sure that he is entertained.

"Otherwise, we might get bombed."

I suggest putting some of his enemies, journalists, hippies, those damned Democrats, in a clown car.

[Mimes smoking pot.] After all, I am quite sure that is where he thinks they come from.

Fifth safety rule...

Do not tell him that the sword wielding Jedi knights are not part of his military. Instead, tell him that we are preparing to fight off an invasion of time traveling octopods from the demonic suns.

"Totally believable man."

Sixth safety rule...

And the most important...

Do not let him examine the tanks too carefully.

After all, we do not want him to realize that we used hippie vans, covered with Styrofoam, chicken wire, cardboard and tissue paper, painted a nice military green, to create some realistic looking tanks, so that we could actually get some of the infrastructure funds promised to my neighborhood.

Now available on Amazon. Coming soon to other retailers...
Want me to write more of this stuff?

Buy a copy of Assault With a Deadly Taco, a show sampler, three "twenty minute shows," at your favorite ebook retailer... {This post was a "ten minute" bit.}

Because buying ebooks is how you encourage writers. And comedians.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

(also all the other Amazon sub-sites)


Coming soon to Kobo, iBooks, & Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Now on stage reading the Tarot (Secret project not so secret anymore)

Previous/ MasterList/ Next

Welcome to the Imbolc edition of the Tarot Blog Hop. (Year seven!!!) Our wrangler, Aisling the Bard, asked us to do a Tarot spread in honor of this Solilune (a combination of Solar and Lunar Festivals)--a full moon on a solar holiday--to see what our coming year is going to be like.

Uhhh...I have been religiously avoiding all forms of divination, especially readings concerning the future, since 4:13 pm on December 2nd.

Long story short: I started a project that was supposed to be a one-off project. One installment, that's it. Just a little something to show anyone crazy enough to invite me to speak at an esoteric convention, exactly what type of lecture I would give. (Hint--it is more of stand-up comedy act than an actual occult lecture.)

How likely is it that I would need such a script? Oh, more likely than you would think. It was the strangest thing to be asked to speak when I didn't even consider myself a F-List Occult Expert. And my first time being asked--more than a decade ago at this point. The cherry on top? More than one person has asked me if I wanted to do this since then.

Anyways, this "short one-off project--just need an hour script" has chewed up at least an half hour everyday since December 2nd, as well as several ten hour days. Most of it on installments that I had no idea were in me.

And while the question of "Am I wasting my time working on this?" has came up--in my mind--because I have the voices--in particular, my mother's voice--I have religiously avoided looking into the future (beyond a few "What else is possible?" moments) since I started the project.

It is not that I don't want to know as much as it is that I don't want to hear the statement that I am probably wasting my time before I finish building my sales funnel for this project (that's three installments for the non-selling stuff on the internet crowd).

"How about we finish the funnel before we go looking for bad news?"

Short story long: I already have enough abandoned projects to last me a lifetime.

So let's do a Tarot reading, shall we?

Seven of Swords, Knight of Wands, Five of Swords.

"Opps, I scanned those cards in the opposite order..."

The Foundation is where the focus is going to be for the year ahead.

Land (Body): Five of Swords...could this be fighting migraines and the voices in my head. Hopefully, because otherwise this could be that the villagers have found some flaming torches and pitchforks. Oh wait, that might just be the voices in my head. Or maybe I am going to upset people.

"We will never know."

Sky (Mind): Knight of Wands...this card reminds me of the Marvel Comic's version of Loki. That is probably...probably...is there any way to read this card in a manner where that would be a good thing?

"There are the gods of comedy, and they bring us fresh gifts every day on Facebook, just look at the trendings..."

Sea (Spirit): Seven of Swords...is it too late to just grab my toys and slip off quietly in the night? Is it wrong to make jokes about the occult community? Will the occult community get upset?

"For once, after completing a project, I would like to cash in--but the pawn shop says that there is no market for a smart ass and his jokes in today's occult market."

Knight of Cups, Four of Cups, The Empress.

"Oh, I scanned these cards in the wrong direction also."

The Guardian (What is the energy of the new path that presents itself?): The Empress...my mother or my aunt?!? Both? My mother's bad attitude (judgmental!) and my aunt's religion (a witch of the 1970s Wiccan type).

"Can you tell jokes about witches and not sound judgmental?"

The Guide (From what do I need protection on this journey?): Four of Cups...and that would be an inclination towards depression and abandoning projects. That would be the "down pole" of my bipolar.

"Have I mentioned the voice of my mother yet? And how it continues to echo in my head?"

The Gateway (What energies of my own or of the spirit will guide and protect me?): The Knight of Cups...is it just me or does the version of the card look a little depressing?

"And under my depression, there is this happy little cynic who is not surprised by how crap the human race is. Yes, I know that I should be uplifting, celebrating life, toasting humanity's greatness...but I am having trouble seeing it at the moment. I have mentioned the trending topics on Facebook?"

Three of Swords, Six of Cups, Two of Pentacles.

"It takes real talent to scan three rows of Tarot cards in the wrong direction. You can't learn to do that in school."

Surprise--light one lantern if the surprise is coming by land: Two of Pentacles...this particular version of this card tells us that no matter how successful and entertaining of a performer you are, you can't make everyone happy.

"My wife just pointed out that the wall, or is it a stage?, has four faces on it--three happy, one angry...nice to know that I am going to sell four whole copies, and get at least one negative review...[Inner Neophyte's voice] because that wouldn't encourage me at all."

Surprise, surprise--light two lanterns if the surprise is coming by air: Six of Cups...in no way does this card remind me of one of my sisters (or more than one of them), and I am confident that they would never check out my current project.

"Which means that I am totally stealing the Hot Dog Surprise and telling people about its culinary delights."

Surprise, surprise, surprise--light three lanterns if the surprise is coming by sea: Three of Swords...because this is always a happy card. Keep your bags packed--have ransom demands ready--be prepared to do battle.

"Just noticed that there are skulls in the snow. You know that it is going to be a fun surprise when there are skulls in the snow."

And there we go--everything you need to know about a reading that I have been avoiding for the last two months...

"Along with some creative mis-readings to lure me into a false sense of security. Because that is what you want from a Tarot reading, reassurance that you are not going to blow yourself up while using high explosions. Never mind reading the directions. Never mind that you do not know the language that the directions are in. Never mind that the illustrations seemed to have been printed in the wrong order. Just keep pounding on that stick of dynamite with a hammer. What could possibly go wrong? We will never know."

Previous/ MasterList/ Next

Thursday, December 21, 2017

New Year Wishes (Tarot Blog Hop)

Previous/ MasterList/ Next

Welcome to the Yule 2017 edition of the Tarot Blog Hop. Our wrangler, Ania, asked us to consider what card best represented our past year, and what card best represented our wishes for next year.

Death--sitting on a pile of past decisions and events while looking for a way to move forward. 
2017 was a year of Death for me. Literal death.

Early in the year, the president of the board of Hearthstone Community Church, Alia Denny died. That shook me up. Well, it shook the whole board up--not just me. The most basic of questions, such as "Would Hearthstone continue without Alia?" had already been answered. (Yes, it would--that is why we had a full board for the administration of the church.) Other questions, such as "With Alia gone, does Morgan still get to walk around and act weird?" are still being answered. (Honestly, I used Alia as a safety net--I got to be odd while she held down the respectable community member role--along with the other board members.) I have been considering my role in the local Wiccan/pagan community ever since she has died--"Do I want to take a bigger role in the community? Do I need to? Would the community be better off without me?"

Then my mother-in-law committed suicide, due to health issues, during the summer. Donna was my wife's best friend--her and my wife loved one another very much--shopping together, they went on vacation once together to Yellowstone. My wife and my brother-in-law took her death hard. And I was surprised how much it stirred up my own issues (my ongoing mental illness--depression, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, occasional roller coaster mood swings). I was more deeply affected by these two deaths than the death of my own mother a couple of years ago. As for my wife, some days are better than others--the best I can do is try to be supportive.

It is that "try to be supportive" part that has been the hardest for me. I don't come from a family that taught one to be supportive. Or maybe it was just my place in the family. Basically, my role was to sacrifice everything, including my own desires, for the good of my mother and my siblings. As such, I never feel that I am doing enough for others--and I will sacrifice my own damn good for other people without thinking about it. And it drives my wife insane that I do so. I swear I am trying to help as I run around destroying my own chances for success--and all the while I resent what I think that I am required to do. At some point, I realized that the best I could do to be supportive was to try to act like a normal person--it has not been easy--I have never done so much medical marijuana in my life to keep myself emotionally stable.

Remaining stable has been complicated by the fact that my wife's job hunt was interrupted by her mother's death...which leads to the card that I have chosen for next year.

[Designing the Death card for the Monkey Tarot, I decided to depict the card with a monkey sitting on a pile of skulls wearing a Day of the Dead mask, holding in one hand a bunch of flowers and in the other, a pomegranate. Essentially, we sit on a throne of the bones of our ancestors, making jokes to make sense of the harshness of the universe, watching death be quick and sudden one day, slow and lingering the next, while watching out for those moments that are not the end, but rather a beginning of a new stage of existence.]

Eight of disks--pounding out projects in a systematic approach to build up a body of work.
The card that I think sums up what I hope to happen next year is the Eight of Pentacles. Earlier this year, before all the death and sorrow, I made a plan for my business after much studying of how successful writers were making money as writers.

What I have observed is that successful writers stick to projects until they finish them. Everything else is just a support mechanism for that goal--finishing projects--including selling books to afford to be able to write other books.

I have not been good at finishing projects. The voices in my head, which sound remarkably like my mother's voice, tell me that I need to be successful right out of the gate, and that I am not allowed any resources to accomplish this goal. I have spent a lot of time trying to find that perfect project that will generate a lot of money while costing nothing in resources. So in space of a week, I will have started and abandoned seven projects. This was especially true before I started taking bipolar meds.

Just in case, you do not realize how bad the voices in my head are, consider the following idea: "You are supposed to be making a hundred thousand a year without spending a single dime, or wasting large amounts of time creating product."

Unfortunately, being a writer involves dumping a lot of time and resources into projects that one does not know if they are going to succeed or not. For instance, every successful writer making a living as a writing, if they write series of novels, has at least three books in their series (that's three whole novels!). And they did the three books set routine again and again until they discovered their successful series.

Now, I used to be able to make some money doing short stand-alone stories, but the dubious erotica market has dried up over the last few years as people have screamed, "Children can find erotica when they search for books" and blamed the writers for ebook retailers not having a proper adult filter for their searches. My estimate of how much potential income this has cost me runs thousands of dollars a year. At one point, there were erotica writers making hundreds of thousands per quarter (yes, I said "quarter"). But no, that would make things far too simple. With Barnes and Noble bringing their policies in line with everyone else's, those days were over (please note, I made my plan six months before B&N closed their system to dubious erotica).

Anyways, earlier this year, I broke down and told my wife, in painful detail, what I actually needed to do, if I wanted to start making money as a writer again. One, I had to switch fields; two, literally had to write at least three novels with only a best guess what would get readers to shell out money; three, I had to give up the idea that I could pull this miracle off without burning up resources or sufficient amounts of time; four, never think about returning to minimum wage restaurant work ever again.

And five, I had to continue taking bipolar meds; and for those really bad blind panic days, accept the fact that it was best for everyone concerned that I eat a "magical cookie."

Now, my wife has been amazed at the change in my thought process, thanks to the meds. I am also surprised--it is like I am a different person than I was for the first fifty years of my life.

So when everything went sideways, with death, and more death, and let's call the B&N policy even more death, I have somehow managed to stay on the side of functional. I have also managed to stick to the plan to reinvent myself as a writer. It has been slow going...because I have been placing comforting my wife above hacking out words...but hey, I have managed to keep my eyes on the prize of actually finishing a series (or at least, the first three installments).

The idea for 2018 is to keep on writing and focusing on a single large project (three novels same world!)--to stick to my business plan.

[Designing the Eight of Pentacles for the Monkey Tarot, I decided to use the image of Shakespeare Monkey, combined with a symbol of a factory approach to production. Shakespeare Monkey refers to the idea that if you have an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite amount of time, monkeys randomly typing can produce the exact text of Shakespeare. It is an idea that I encountered as a teenager which periodically crops up in my work. Red typewriter is a symbol of self-promotion--something I need to get better at. Dice are obviously a symbol of randomness--and sometimes success looks exactly like randomness--why do some people succeed and other people fail? And behind the monkey is a logo for the most famous company in the universe--ACME--because building a successful series involves work. Trivia--with the five and three visible on this side of the dice, the opposite side has to be a four and a two...42...yes, I am that nerd.]

The idea of a blog hop is to link to each other's blogs in a giant circle.
Thanks for reading this installment of the Tarot Blog Hop. Feel free to hop backwards to Joanne Sprott's Cosmic Whispers Tarot blog, or forward to Jay Cassel's Metaphysical Musings blog. And if there are any link problems, check out the Master List of all the entries in this edition.

Previous/ MasterList/ Next

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Why not add more information to the Tarot cards? (Tarot design)

Question: In the Minor Arcana of the Golden Dawn Tarot, we indicate the planet that sub-rules the decan on the card. Why do we not add the ruling planet of the sign on the card also? And why not the planet's dignity?

Answer: There is a concept in astrology called the "black chart" which is the result of adding more and more data points to the horoscope. For instance, you can add all the named asteroids, and all the Arabic points, and all the hypothetical planets, and all the fixed stars...and your chart will be completely black and overflowing with information--making it completely unusable. Sometimes, less is more. And for your average astrology student, the house markers and planets are about all they can cope with--it is the bare amount of information you need to read the chart.

Likewise, you could add all this other information to the cards...but each piece of information brings it closer to the black chart stage where there is simply just too much information. And in the case of exalted and fallen planets, that is specialty information--it is only useful if you worked with it a lot, or you have a handy chart. And honestly, the chart is far more useful than cluttering up the card itself.

Please note that both Adepts and astrologers are supposed to know the ruling planets of the signs. If you know the ruling planets, you know the falls; if you know the dignities, you know the detriments. (Basically, the negative weakened position is opposite of the strengthened position.)

Eight of Wands is assigned to the first decan of Sagittarius sub-ruled by Mercury. 
The information we put on the card is the bare minimum. So why the decan ruler? One, it is part of the base meaning of the card. Two, it saves you time figuring out what the decan sub-ruler is (I tend to have to count on my fingers to figure it out).

Whenever designing a Tarot card, you need to ask "Could I use this card in candlelight conditions?" If the answer is no, then you probably need to remove some clutter.