The idea for XXII initially came to me after designing a one-day introductory Tarot workshop years ago. I subsequently was told by a Tarot buddy that it can happen when studying an esoteric subject for some time that one begins to feel something might be missing. For me there seemed to be not so much something missing, as a lot of room for another card between XXI and O, if one views the Majors in a clockwise circle, starting with O. I'd also been hearing a lot about quantum field theory at the time and struggling to understand it even a little bit. So, all of this combined -- along with who knows what else -- and The Cauldron precipitated after designing that Tarot workshop.
In my ideas for The Cauldron design I've always seen an actual cauldron. In The Taiga Tarot version below you are looking down into the cauldron and seeing the wavy web/net/field that I always envision filling it. There's more on XXII and the meanings I've found for it after the design:
Design: The Cauldron is that out of which everything arises, and that to which it all returns, to rise again in new forms. The wavy lines are meant to represent what underlies and connects, and is the source and goal of all creation.
In Readings: (BTW, I have added XXII to every working deck I have. I use a black marker to print the name and number on one of the end cards that always come with a deck.) The Cauldron says that the situation is very amenable right now to influence on the subtle planes -- via magic, ritual, affirmations, prayer, etc. It can also indicate that a situation can go either way, or that it's not clear yet whether it will even manifest or not. XXII can very gently whisper "patience, patience, patience," things will be clearer in time. Negatively aspected -- though I've found it rarely shows in a negative light -- it can be saying things are hanging by a thread, balanced on a razor's edge, ready to boil over, about to implode, etc. I'd say the over-riding sense I have of this card is that as unclear and uncertain as things may seem, we still can have input. But subtly and with an ear to what is being asked of us and what is trying to come through us. I.e., not just what we want, but how we fit into the much larger picture. It tends to be an encouraging card. The clay has not been shaped, the cloth not yet spun. If we quiet ourselves and act in subtle and responsive ways, a shy and delicate strand of manifestation may come to us.
* BRIEF BACKGROUND ON THE TAIGA TAROT (Click here for additional background on the Taiga Tarot.):
When I decided the name of the deck would be The Taiga Tarot, I liked not only the alliteration but the resemblance of the word “taiga” to “tiger.” One of my power animals is the Siberian Tiger (and by extension, all tigers), which first appeared as three tiger kittens in a dream. What I had completely forgotten at the time was that the area of Siberia in which the tiger ranges is called “The Taiga”!
A “taiga” (briefly put) is an illustrated tanka. A “tanka” is a mood poem written in five lines, that usually references natural images and human emotions. Also, there is often a contrast or conclusion or response in the last two lines to the first three. I recognize that the tanka/taiga I’m developing for The Taiga Tarot are non-traditional. As with the dream haiku I write, I am not only attempting to bridge two things – with this deck, Tarot and taiga – but also bringing my own experimental slant to it all.
‘til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot,
[aka: Patricia Kelly]
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