I love the Mary-El Tarot and use it just for myself really. I was up early this morning; I’d slept badly because, although I know that T. is safe now, I had been very concerned over the previous couple of days…anyway, I love getting up on dark mornings. It’s still a novelty at this time of year, I like watching the dead leaves blown against the window and drinking tea (I’m always banging on about drinking bloody tea, aren’t I?).
So this morning, I get up and turn to the Mary -El deck. I wanted to turn my thoughts inwards, rather than as they had been recently – they’d resembled those dead, shrivelled leaves outside, aimless and unsettled. They need now to be beneath the earth, just as I need to take myself down into the dark and talk to Nicnevin.
I am very excited about my forthcoming tattoo. It will be created during this dark season, and has special significance.
First of all, it’s not my design. It’s been created by Stuart Kaplan* – a lovely man who has always been very sympathetic to my nonsense. I approached him with a variety of mehndhi-moon ideas but he came up with this
and as soon as I saw it, I knew it was right. It was love at first sight and the love has grown as I’ve thought about it more and uncovered the layers.
I told some friends and one of them wrote back ,” Ah, the Snake: with his/her persuasion of Eve to eat the apple, the facilitator to humankind of self awareness, consciousness, intellectual inquiry (therefore science), rebellion against theocracy, reflection, and eventually wisdom. ” She understands; she gets it.
I do tend to regard myself as Luciferian, which means different things to different people, but for me it was always about the spirit of inquiry; Lucifer the Light Bringer, the Questioner, the Challenger.
They also symbolise renewal, healing, rebirth, transformation. In the centre is a lotus flower. It will be positioned directly over my heart chakra, and my hope is that it will make me kinder, more loving (to myself, to others, to everything) – no, not my hope, my intention. It’s all good.
The snakes won’t be symmetrical . They’ll find their own path and position themselves in an harmonious place to cover the mastectomy scars. I feel they already possess a strong and mercurial character, and it will be interesting to see how that works out for me. Behind them, two crescent moons – one waxing, one waning – reminding us all that everything changes.
I’m beyond excited. This must be how a bride might feel as her wedding day approaches. I am investing a lot in this act of magic, much of it hidden in secrecy (as it should be) but these are the parts I’m more than happy to share.
As to the message of the Mary-El. Well, I felt that it was a reminder to include the lotus as much as the snakes within this charm. The open heart, the loving kindness. The transmutation of sludge into perfume that the lotus demonstrates – I get carried away by words, language and ideas and forget to be caring and careful. The Queen of Cups holds the Holy Grail and looks into the Abyss. She also – of course – represents my dearest friends (and most of them are conveniently Cancerian!) and the love and strength they freely offered me. (I’m not sure about this bit but it did occur to me that she quite literally, in this card, she has the mark of c/Cancer on her chest but it has been transformed into something else)
*ha ha! not that Stuart Kaplan! This Stuart Kaplan is a tattooist/drummer/excellent bloke who I completely recommend for all your tattooing needs! He’s based in Keighley, and can be found here below 🙂