Portraits of Pips by Elizabeth Hazel
Nine of Wands

This is the fifth 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.

Who goes there? Look around carefully, get ready. There could be more to this operation than you think. What's he up to? He'd better play by the rules or someone is going to get hurt. This is no time to relax - stay alert! Nobody likes a sneak, but the fact is that there are sneaks and cheats and back-stabbers everywhere. The most important skill in this game is sizing up your opponent, instigating a constant surveillance of his movements, and knowing his strengths and weaknesses as well as your own. You have to know what he'll do if he's desperate, and have to know where to get allies in a crisis. It isn't easy to be on your toes all the time, especially near sundown when you're a little tired and hungry for dinner. That kind of thinking is nothing but trouble in this game. Every move must be calculated, every consequence evaluated well in advance. And carelessness is deadly. Stay sharp, stay focused, and keep your cool. You'll get used to it after playing for a while.

Seven of Cups

Imagination rises from the ground. It seeps from fairy forests and elf groves and rises to the clouds. Here, in the clouds, there are no limits, no restrictions. Anything and everything is a possibility. Your deepest secret desires can roam free. Love? Fame? A castle with a moat? They're all yours for the asking here, just give the sorcerer a moment to get a pinch of star dust out of his pocket. Want to dance with the wee folk or twinkle with the stars? Can you hear the sounds of their pipes and tambours, the cadence of music on the air? Sure you can. Yes, that rainbow is real, not just a trick of light. Unicorns, griffons, and winged horses; dragons, gnomes and pixies: they're all up here, wandering freely in the realm of imagination. But the moment you notice your feet aren't touching the earth, you'll tumble back down and land with a thud. The realm of imagination and illusion has its own rules and the first and most important of these is: leave reality at the door before entering. Reality is such a pesky detail, anyway, and those earthbound folks have a plaguey obsession with it. You're floating? Ah, now you're catching on to the way of things.

You can read the first installment of this series here.  You can read the sixth installment of the 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










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