Shadowscapes Tarot – The Magician I

I have to say, I really like this card. I guess, I somehow secretly wish I were this mystical character: he has horns, wings, special abilities, birds like him too. He also sits atop a rock, as if atop of the world – which he might well be. After all we get the impression he is able to manipulate the elements – the various charms hanging from his wings point to that direction.

Symbols seen here are the infinity sign above his head, the color purple and a muted shade of green, the ribbons, the sun, lights, feathers, and flowers.

We all can safely assume that the color purple represents the mind – and it is rather clear that this Magician uses his mind a lot to control everything he can, including himself.

His pants and wings are an off white color – hinting to pure intentions that not always are perceived as such. His horns are rather pointy and similar to those of the Devil.

Let’s see what Stephanie has to say about this card:

[…] Upon a rock he sees the gifts that have been left for him. The relics of the elements glint in the sunlight, and as his hands close upon the offerings, a smile touches his lips at the power that surges through them.

Meaning:Originality, creativity, skill, will-power, self-confidence, dexterity and slight of hand. It is about grasping the unseen around you, and harnessing it to become reality. This Magician draws upon relics representative of the elements: Fire in his lantern, the voice of the Sea in the shell, a breath of Wind in the raven’s feather, and Earth from the leaves.

I can’t really say I agree with the leaves representing the Earth, but this is not my description nor my art.

Let’s see what people on the forum say:

Inkscape : “In a way, he bears the weight of the world on his shoulders — each of the elements dangles in some fashion from his wings — but he supports it all equally, effortlessly. And even though he can soar to great heights with those wings, he remains firmly rooted to the ground. […] At the top of the stone, you can see a snake coiled up around another orb, in some kind of celtic knot. That makes me think of earth, the world, birth, life, renewal… kinda interesting that the snake’s head is so close to the Magician’s heel. […] After you look at the Magician for a while, take The Devil out and put it side by side. They’re almost reflections of each other They’re both horned and winged (feathers for the magician, webbed for the devil), they’re both bent at the knees, they’re both standing on a stone, and they both have something floating between their hands (and their hands are in the exact same position, with both palms facing away from the object).”

Well, it seems I missed on the other similarities between the two cards/ characters. In  way this is correct, if we think of how Christians used to see magicians – almost like the spawns of the devil, if not the devil incarnate.

JSNYC: “There are lilies and roses representing passion and thought.”[..] “The sun tattoo on the foot of The Fool is now on The Magician’s shoulder. Maybe this is referencing a situation where what drove The Fool to take the leap (off the cliff) has now been moved to an advisory role… The voice on our shoulder that we sometimes listen to, or sometimes ignore…

Ana’s Song: “the two birds perched on the Magician’s wings – these look like ibis […] They are […] sacred to Thoth, who […] represented wisdom and knowledge (also linked to his patronage of scribes – back in the day people who could write were considered wise, right? ) as well as magic and sciences[…]

Sagefire: “This magician is much more modest. The look on his face appears more responsible than most,[…] He clearly understands his power is serious business, and wields it carefully and wisely.

I thought the same as Sagefire. What’s more, most characters in this deck seem to have a pretty dark past that made them stronger and responsible in a way.

Let’s not forget the “standard meaning as well. Check it out here.  Of course there are more ideas presented at the Psychic Revelation as well – click here – but there is a little quote here below, if you don’t have enough time to read.

The Magician is about making higher – and better – use of all of one’s power. Spiritual, emotional, and otherwise. This is another card that often signifies new beginnings and great expectations. This is a very powerful, positive omen in a reading. This card reminds us that we have the power to make a difference, in our lives and in the greater world, if we simply make a point to try.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved. The green texts belong to their respective creators, reproduced here for learning purposes.

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Shadowscapes Tarot – The Fool

Ah! the Fool! First card of the deck. And full of symbols. I feel this deck has more symbols than others, and some cards too are ‘heavier’ in meaning than others.

We see a young girl almost throwing herself off of a beautifully decorated column [or is it a column?] A fox looks at her, almost wondering is she’s going to go through with it or not. Some birds fly around her and a few hold onto some red ribbons, as if trying to stop her.

Looking close at her face, I almost feel as if she thinks “whatever happens surely will be better than my current state.” I wonder if she really considered all the dangers, or if she really is prepared to face all the consequences?

Some insight from the official page:

It begins with a whispered voice. Serpentine, the song threads through her days and her thoughts, beckoning. Come…come…come…. “Where?” she asks, curious, but there is no response.

She ignores the summons, until one day that siren song unexpectedly explodes and fills her to the brim. Its pulse is undeniable. “Where?” she asks again, and this time the steady beat of her heart is the response.

[…]

Meaning: The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion, thoughtless and rash. Like the Fool, you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown; and there is either an oblivious foolishness to the terrible plunge you may experience, or else a wild spirit of adventure and great faith and knowledge in that which can and will bear you up and guide through the times to come. There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.

Some insight from the now closed tarotforum forum:

By silvercrow: “she knows she will be protected. The birds will carry her, the hands will catch her. The fox, her guide, will guide her in the right direction. Below her is love, butterflies, flowers and light, but there’s also bees which can sting and sharp rocks which can hurt as well as darkness and shadows.

By r0sered1ster:the stone monkeys she stands upon, one with a heart, one with a rose and one with a butterfly. Signifying the courage, beauty and transformation she will encounter on her way

By snyc: “So the red ribbons held by the birds that surround and hold The Fool make me think of the sensory ties that hold The Fool back, which are so easily broken if only The Fool has the courage. (These ribbons are also shown in The World, but in The World they have been broken and are wrapped around her arms.) Finally, I view the statue that The Fool stands on as representing memories of the past, visions of the future, feelings, and desires.”

I view The Sun as embodying purpose, and since the right foot is often the foot that takes the first step, now I think that it means the call of purpose is what drives The Fool to take the leap, to take the first step off the cliff…

By kloeyy: “It really gives me a new perspective on the blind faith and the stirred emotion to feel compelled to step forward or leap into the unknown.”

Some more ideas from psychic-revelation.com:

In terms of finances, the Fool is an extremely positive card. You can expect increase, and furthermore, you will find it in yourself to know that no matter what happens financially, that you will be all right and will “come out on top.” Trust yourself, work hard, and you will do better than you expect.

Some ideas from destinysspiritualjourney blog:

The first thing to be noted about The Fool, is that it is the ‘zero’ card of the major arcana. The Major Arcana, represents important major life influences and is also sometimes seen by readers as a journey, through each and every card in this arcana. I always imagine The Fool as the first card in the tarot deck, some view The Fool as neither first nor last, but as the character wondering through the major arcana. The Fool is the one who experiences the trials of all the cards.

Why is the Fool the one experiencing the trials of the cards? Because humans are Fools without no life experience. Humans are designed to make mistakes in order to become wiser or better people.

On this blog, I am the Fool, sharing my experiences through life – more or less. I was born a fool and I will die a Fool, and there is no shame in that.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved. The green texts belong to their respective creators, reproduced here for learning purposes.

Shadowscapes Tarot – The Devil XV

The devil seems to be a card that many people are scared of. Most likely because of the meaning behind the word.

You should know that while this card has generally a bad message, it could turn things around for the querrent, if they’re willing to put some effort into it.

The card depicts a naked woman curled in fear? inside a hollow rock. On top of the rock, a mystical creature with wings, horns, animal legs, and long claws pulls at the strings of a red heart and at the strings of a small human marionette. A spirit like figure seems to try to escape the human like form.

A black bird carries a ring or a crown towards the Devil, and several fae-like figures reach either towards the bird or the Devil. The woman’s left hand is chained to a golden lock by a red string. The key is right above her, within reach, bitten by a white mask.

The main colors of the card are hues of blue and purple.

Let’s see what some people think.

JSNYC: “The Devil holding the repressed and tortured “fool” in captivity. The key to escape being so close at hand, yet so far away. And it is because of his spell, he holds the fool’s heart in his spell, seemingly effortlessly and with finesse.”

“The Devil doesn’t appear meancing, he appers in control. He knows he has the power and he is applying his craft like an art.”

kimdwitch: “Some seem to be paying homage, they have given up. […] a conscious effort is required to escape this bondage,”

Peregrin: “All of these sharp and pointy objects remind me of mental torment — extreme anxiety, guilt, and inner conflict.

The red heart is caught in the devil’s spiderweb. I can imagine him taunting, <<I’ve got your heart! Now you will never be free.>> […] enjoy teasing us with the objects of our desires.”

“Notice that the mask and the lock are the same shape, and perhaps this is a clue that pretense or identity (the mask) is what binds us (the lock). To become free, we have to be willing to take a new look at it.”

CoffeeBlood [=me]: “something makes me think that the heart is not that of the imprisoned woman, but of the puppet. us, as humans, without a heart and soul become puppets made of flesh and bones [in the hands of whom?]

i also can’t stop thinking he imprisoned woman is ridden with anxiety, guilt. the mask is what makes her feel this way. often times, we feel anxious with no real reason [there is nothing behind the mask], and we feel guilty because of a heavy conscience [the mask can represent the woman’s conscience since it holds the key to her freedom]. if i’m not mistaken, in the past anxiety was blamed on the devil [he still makes many feel fearful to this day].”

Read more over here.


I can also kinda see a Fibonacci spiral, behind the Devil figure. Or perhaps that’s just a stylized sun?

Sand Storm – movie review and spoilers

You probably noticed already I have nothing against watching movies that are not spoken in English – I often times like them more. They present the life of the people in a very unique way, and possibly they stay quite true to the life of the common people [of the represented country].

I had to search to learn where was this movie made – in Israel, in a Bedouin remote village.  The spoken language is Arabic, the shown community is Muslim, and the credits are both in Arabic and Hebrew. Most likely this movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you should know it did win a few awards and it was pretty close to being nominated for the 89th Academy Awards [2016 Oscars].

On with my review! and the spoilers, marked as usual in orange.

We get  a small glimpse into the lives of a Muslim family, and especially into the lives of the women in the family. Their village seems forsaken in the middle of nowhere – some people might feel lost in those living conditions.

The family has 4 daughters, no sons, and all of them attend school, despite the fact that the eldest daughter [Layla] is of a marrying age. We also see a scene in which the men in the village question why is she allowed to study, instead of being married. At this point, we can understand the father really loves his daughters, and as a result lets them do whatever they want, despite their mother disapproving.

The parents don’t have the best relationship, but both love their children and show their love in different ways. When a 2nd wife is brought home, the differences between the parents become even more obvious. The 2nd wife even got a better looking and more modern house as well.Her house is bright, has a big modern fridge that is also filled with food.

The mother discovers her eldest talks to a boy at school and this is the point when the tensions also intensify. While there is a moment when Layla considers eloping with the guy she likes. In the end she reconsiders her actions and chooses her family instead.

The movie ends with Layla marrying a guy her father chose, despite both she and her mother opposed it at some point.

I still have some thoughts on this movie, and I’m not sure I had things I liked or disliked about it. This was more of a slice of life movie, one that is meant to make you think about some stuff.

One of the things you can think about is: what matters more? Family you’re born into or your love interest?  Clearly there is no easy and universally true answer here – it all depends on the environment, but many people will treasure the family they’re born into more than a lover or partner.

We also see that growing up is not easy, especially in places where old traditions are still deeply rooted in people’s minds. Having to chose between your parents and your spouse is probably one of the most difficult decisions you could be faced with.

Whatever the choice may be,  person can still be happy – in fact, many people manage to be happier if they make a conscious choice about something, versus going with the flow. [Though there are folks who are happier when they go with the flow instead of stressing over things.]

The plot of the movie seems to be missing, but if you consider that here we actually see Layla and her journey to mental maturity, we can easily see a plot. Mental maturity sometimes means that we have to compromise if we want a peaceful life – and this is not always the most horrible thing we can possibly do.

I’ll rate this movie 3.5 stars, if not almost 4 stars. I think older teens can also watch it and possibly learn something as well. Prepare a cup of hot cocoa or tea, a blanket, and possibly some tissues – I didn’t cry, but this is not the most cheerful movie either.


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Red Ribbon symbolism

According to Dara on tarotforum.net,

“The color red is a strong indicator of something to take notice of. Rider-Waite-Smith deck used red in such a fashion. And with the majority of the Shadowscapes card being cooler color tones with lots of purples and blues, red does stand out.”

“searching for these red ribbons and […] the word “control” came”

“Why I think control is a fitting meaning is the absence on the hermit and wheel of fortune which were the first major arcana [cards] not to have it. I feel like the hermit has relinquished his control in his solitude. And the wheel of fate… no one has control over what is to come.”

Read more here.


red ribbon seen on The Devil card.

My thoughts:

It’s interesting to learn about this red ribbon symbolism, especially considering that many cultures see the color red as a protective one – against the evil eye for instance, or against bad luck in general [in China for instance]. Still in China, red is supposed to bring good luck and is traditionally used in weddings and other happy moments.

Thinking that red is also the color of the blood, we can also think of life – we can’t live without blood in our veins. We can only control our own lives, up to a point. This red ribbon is a good reminder of that.

Sometimes we are being under the control of others – be it other people, events, or habits, as seen in this image.

Sometimes the control is stronger [when the ribbon is thicker, and wrapped around several times] or we can barely notice it [as seen here].

In any case, this is an interesting symbol to think about, and most likely something not to ignore when seen in a reading. If you have any other thoughts on this, please share them with me!

Shadowscapes Tarot – Ten of Wands

There is a female figure wearing a brown long dress that seems to have roots. There is a seashell [the Fibonacci spiral] at her feet, behind her. Her feet also seem deep rooted, meaning she’s quite a stable person. While she is bent forward, her head is high and she seems to look forward. Her face is either painted white or she wears a white mask.

Not only there is this tree growing on her back including from her head, but she also seems to hold it with her hands – protecting it? Making sure it doesn’t fall over?

On top of this tree, there are various buildings and stairs. People figures are seen on the stairs and on a branch close to the female’s face. From each building, new branches grow, all surrounded in bubbles of golden light.

The rock she stands on is dark colored, and the colors become lighter the higher the image gets. There is also a large blue round stained-window under one of the buildings.

She worked hard and her efforts paid off. However she doesn’t stop working, because things depend on her to go smoothly. Surely, if she’s not careful enough, everything will come crashing down.

Are those jewels dangling from her chest? sweat?


Read more here. Originally posted here.

How many Hanzi do I know?

I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

I don’t really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

I included only the translation I’m more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn’t translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you’re used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you’ll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn’t have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn’t dedicate it all to Chinese – you could say I’m not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites: HERE [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more], HERE [focuses on grammar and you don’t always have the translation or the reading on the page], HERE [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way. [not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them – just the tools I used and helped me the most].

See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.