Portraits of Pips by Elizabeth Hazel

This is the sixth in a series of "portraits" of the Minor Arcana, written in Liz's unique style.  All cards are inspired by and illustrated with the Vala Tarot, a deck designed and illustrated by Elizabeth Hazel.

Two of Swords

The wind wheezes and sneezes today, and pushes the clouds past the moon and stars. Soon it will be sunrise and crisp dew will cover the land. No sun yet, visibility is limited. She's up early, she couldn't sleep. Ideas were swirling through her mind. Back and forth, her inner dialog was so persistent that she got up and took a walk. Now she's poised at the gate, and a few short steps will bring her to the fork in the path. She hesitates, unsure of her direction. What does she know for sure? The wind pulls the ribbon from her hair, and her auburn locks fly around her head and cover her eyes. How irritating, to be distracted by petty details at a crucial moment. The wind picks up and bangs the gate against her hip. Right or left? she ponders. There are no clues to hold onto here, nothing to clarify her dilemma. In spite of her obscured vision, she can smell a patch of rosemary on the right side of the path, rosemary for remembrance. To her left she scents the light, camphorous tang of a sage bush. Sage for wisdom and protection. Thyme is growing on either side of the path, a tiny reminder to take her time and think things through carefully. The old gray cat knows the way, her whiskers are twitching, but she isn't telling.

Ten of Pentacles

The end of summer has arrived, and the harvest has been gathered. It was a good season, with plentiful rains and gentle sun. The silos bulge with grain, the cribs are filled with corn. The family has gathered for a harvest feast to celebrate the good year and abundant earth. Winter is coming soon, but they are prepared. The honey has been gathered, and the bees are making one last round of the autumn flowers to tide them through the cold season. The mother has her house in order - the pantry is full, and all of the rooms have been aired and freshened before its too cold to open the windows. The father has cleaned his tools and put them away for spring, and soon it will be time to cull the flocks and herds. The children are growing quickly, but they love to listen to grandfather's stories by the fireside each night. He whittles toys for the children, and helps the father when he can. His wisdom and lore are a valued family treasure. Nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. The family has worked hard and planned carefully to ensure their prosperity and security. The ways of the past are handed down from generation to generation, each sustaining and building upon the achievements of their elders. The family is preserved and sustained.

You can read the first installment of this series here.

Elizabeth Hazel is a tarotist, astrologer and rune reader. Her original art for the Vala Tarot was inspired by a life time of reading the cards, and she is seeking a publisher for the deck. Liz enjoys music and gardening.

Column 2001 Elizabeth Hazel
Page 2001 Diane Wilkes