Fortitude-my version of The Strength Tarot card


I write today about my understanding of the Strength tarot card. As with all my tarot I have respected the traditional esoteric structure and meaning. I do use my own intuition together with regional folklore and symbolism from around the world, to tune and develop the story of each card. We are one world after all. Limited prints of my work are available from my shop miss pybis curiosities
One could say the strength tarot card is the least complex and readily understood tarot in the major arcana. Which in some respects is true. strength tarot represents all aspects of Strength coming as one. The gathering of physical, emotional and spiritual to transcend the quadrant to a higher level of determination and courageousness. This was one of my favourite cards to illustrate. It has been my fastest to complete only taking about 3 consecutive days.

Strength tarot card has two characters the woman and the lion. The woman represents inner strength. A Strength which only comes from true love and compassion. She is champion of spirit, understanding and love. It is this strength which many of us can find the hardest to muster at times, and it is a strength which takes time to understand and appreciate. Sometimes it takes more courage to walk way or to forgive than to fight and anger.

20121122-105416.jpg Leo consternation
The strength tarot is ruled by Leo, sun sign, the lion. The loin in the strength tarot card The loin holds a great ability to command respect and fear through his physical vessel. It is only when both characters are brought together that we see their true power. For without inner Strength the lion is lost in his rage. Without the lion, the maiden still holds inner peace and strength but lacks the passion and drive of the lion to motivate change within herself and act on her achievements.

20121122-103139.jpgEsoterically we could, view the card as central pillar of the Kabbalic tree of life and the two characters the outer pillars. The duality or yin and yan to creat a whole concept. I feel personally that, there is some possible ancient Masonic/Egyptian symbolism surrounding the illumination of man. If we view the maiden as bridled society we could say the lion ‘Leo’ is The sun or untamed energy. For example electricity. It is Egyptian/Masonic ritual practices which teaches their subjects that if they use their practice correctly they may hold the sun (control energy) and become illuminated. Though the concept of illumination and power has become some what warped and miss understood by many in recent time. The Strength tarot reminds us that so do we all hold the ability within our selves to illuminate.


In my version of I wanted to transform my lion into something more than a representation of our sun. I wanted to express his animalistic power but also that behind that power is reason and purpose. He has willingly bowed to the maiden and the maiden as the ability to order his energy. Just as a magi may harness universal energy. The relationship is symbiotic.

In my fortitude tarot card my loin has transformed in to a Foo Dog. The Foo dogs or Guardian Lions where the guardians of temples and imperial buildings of china. In Japanese Shintoism there is a red headed loin similar to a foo dog, who scares of evil spirits. The Foo Dog is protective, strong and gallant. Because I’m using the philosophy of Shintoism he is conscious and decisive in his own right and chooses to work with the maiden rather than be controlled by her.

My foo dog is to the right of the card traditionally where the male guardian lion sits. Bringing masculine and feminine duality to the strength tarot card. His mouth is open, in classical tarot the mouth of the lions is open to show his physical power and the maidens strength to over come him. In my Strength tarot he opens his mouth with pride to protect and scare away the doubts and negativity the quadrant may have about moving forward on their journey. In some tarot the maiden rides the lion, symbolic of lust as in Crowley’s card.

My maiden also holds some outer strength but she invited the foo dog to help her gain momentum to move forward and act upon her esoteric knowledge and her inner peace. So then together they can impart courage to the quadrant. In her hair she wears comb; an eternity symbol, which in tarot represents duality between outer and inner, the moon and sun.About her grows wheat and borage, catnip, daffodils which are ruled by Leo and have associations with the fortitude tarot card. She is tattooed with the symbol of fire and Leo.

20121122-104206.jpgStrength tarot card is about courage to made change, make a difference, use your natural talents and skills. If you are afraid, find what made your fire burn.
I am not a courageous person but as I wonder through my own journey, as the fool does in the tarot story. Hopefully I can gain courage from my choices and that will drive me forward.

Thanks for reading. X

Patchouli, magical plant of the day.

Patchouli, attention goths and hippies this is for you;-)
20121120-133544.jpgSiouxsie Sioux, right Grace Slick

Patchouli is an earthy,musky, woody smelling plant, growing in warmer southern climates. Patchouli is a must have essential oil magi, healers and aromatherapist.
You may not be aware, I am, (not to pigeon hole my self to much) a 60/40 spilt hippy/goth. The reason I mention this is Pachouli oil has a confirmed association with both social movements. My thought on this are that both the youth moment hippies of the 1960’s and the original post-punk goth movement of the 1980’s embraced magical practice,mind expansion, freethinking, witchcraft and healers into their communities.
20121120-134730.jpgPatchouli is a healing plant. It offers recipients grounding, love, sexual potency, attraction, warmth and merriment of the heart. Patchouli is connected to the base or root chakra, a red colour. This chakra is the base of all the chakra system. It is your stability. The root chakra is grounding and if open and connected enables a firm and sound foundation to build upon your spiritual path. Pachouli has been used for centuries in India for chakra work and religious purpose much like the sacred sandalwood tree.

I use pachouli in grounding rituals or for connecting me to the earth, trees forest and wood spirits. I have even, when I was every much younger, used pachouli in a death meditation ( I had no idea what the oil was but I though it smelt like soil so I deduced it was fit for purpose).
I also use patchouli to bring a safe grounding atmosphere to my home.
The other reason I regularly use pachouli is because it reminds me a very important person to me as he wore it often when we first met.

He told me “I met a girl once, just before I met you. She came right up to me. Right up close to my nose, and sniffed. Drew back and said ‘ err you smell like potatoes.”
Haha I guess thats the thing with pachouli, you either love it or hate it.
I love it:-)


Witch craft and me


So I have a confession I have two blogs! This one and a tumblr. which is mainly for images only that I link to this blog. On tumblr you may be aware that there is an app where people can ask you any thing. Today some one asked wrote to me asking this-

Hello, I’m rather curious, could you explain to me the witchcraft you practice? And what are the beliefs that come with it?

I thought for a moment, as this is more an a complex question for a nondenominational witch to answer. Of corse I work with nature and use herbs so heal and help me both physically and emotionally in my daily life. And have real respect for myths traditions of my native celtic and English pagan lineage.

But here was my answer:
I celebrate universal magic. You could say the magic I practice draws influences from early kabbalah, elemental and chakra systems of the east and northern European pagan and Wiccan traditions, in its simplest form my practice is a global celebration of the original universal truths and borrow the practices of the old religions of the world.

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In short I do not follow one religion or practice. My conversation with God/s is personal to me alone. I use the term witchcraft as it is a non –denominational term. When I first started to holm my stills and research into how to use my talent, I studied many belief systems, what I felt was right for me is that they all hold some really practical and wonderful ways to connect with the universal energy. So I use what works for me. I do not use magic for personal or power gain I use systems of energy harness to help myself and other to understand universal lore and communicate with God. Madam Blavatsky also took a similar approach in her life practice. Though, I do not claim to be at her level of enlightenment. Our journeys are all so personal and beautiful, that for me I believe we should all find our own path. x


The fool Fine art illustration, prints,


Hi I thought today in celebration of my limited edition pints, i would talk to you about The Fool Tarot, my understanding of the card and how I came to express the essence of the card in my own way.
Firstly I am so excited to announce my The Fool tarot illustration is now available in print form via my etsy shop.The fool, tarot; by miss pybis. Miss pybis illustration of 0 tarot The Fool tarot by misspybis, $144.00-£92. It a limited edition Gliese print.

I wanted my cards to have form, esoteric and sacred geometry taken from the early kabblistic cards of the medieval period. I have stuck to the traditional meaning of the card. With my own twist of course.

We see in the Ryder Waites version of the fool, he is a traveler. A human on the brink of a journey. Stud pivoted towards the rising sun on the edge of his known world. The traditional meaning is that of an innocent being, new frontiers, one who does not distinguish between experience and knowledge, good or bad; but rather under takes his journey with out bias of the challenges which he faces. Taking every experience as a lesson learned.

Only when the journey is undertaken and completed will the fool be wise enough to filter the lessons he/she has learnt and can the become The High Priestess or The Emperor.

In my interpretation of the 22 major acana tarot cards, I wanted to use some herbal, witch craft as well as traditional astrological and kabbalic reference.
My Fool tarot is for the most part unclothed, in burlesque attire, suggesting humour, both willing and exposed venerability, mystery. Her tattoo on her right thigh is the rose of innocence(representing free spirit). At her feet is a circle housing the rising sun. Round her neck (in my finished version) she wears a quarts crystal ball a symbol of light and psychic vision.

The stomach (in many cultures like that of eastern elemental systems, representing emotions and thought) has become a large lubricated mouth.


Around her are sacred plants. Many of them poisonous but also hallucinogenic. My fool is on a journey of self. She is totally innocent of who or what to trust, like Alice in her wonderland she want to taste and touch everything. Only at the end of this sometimes perilous but enlightening journey she will get to realise herself. Her true potential as temple being. 20121105-095404.jpg