What’s In the Box?

It occurred to me on my way to work this morning that I didn’t make a post this week. No painting progress, no weekly spread… nada. That got me thinking: what kinds of content can I post that aren’t painting updates or Tarot readings?

This is one of those posts.

For Christmas my wife bought me a nice little kit from a seller on etsy that had some homemade shave soap and other shaving stuff, all packaged in a wooden cigar box. It was a really well-put-together gift and was super-nice to get for Christmas, but then once all the stuff was out of the box on and the shelf in the bathroom, I had this box.

Cigars would've been okay too.

Cigar box. Not actually cigars.

The box hung around under my nightstand for months. I thought about using it for art supplies, but most of my pencils and pens and stuff are too long, and anyway I already have a storage solution for that stuff.

Then I thought about keeping one of my small Moleskine notebooks inside it, but that felt a little too secret-diary for me to really be comfortable with, and I’m not motivated enough to do something super crafty and really turn it into something cool.

I kept the box, though, because it was much too nice to just get rid of.  I knew there was a use for it somewhere, I just hadn’t figured it out yet.

Until I bought a deck of Tarot cards.

We got home from the bookstore with some empty notebooks and a deck of cards, and as soon as I saw the box under my nightstand I realized that it was perfect for housing my acquisition. I bugged Kristin to sew a pouch for the cards and nestled them into their new home, where they sat alone for a while until I added a few other things to the box.

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Once I convinced Kristin to sew a pouch for the cards, into the box they went. We then started talking about gemstones and their correspondences in Wicca and other pagan religions, which led to Kristin digging through bins and drawers to find some stones she’s collected over the years. One of those was a largeish, smooth silvery-black piece of hematite, which Llewellyn’s Witch’s Calendar lists as corresponding to divination. I gaffled it away into the cigar box with my cards, and pull it out each morning as I do my daily reading.

On the bookshelf at the end of the hallway in our apartment, we keep an empty candle jar full of lavender buds which we pulled from bunches of sweet, fresh lavender we got from Trader Joe’s, of all places. The sprigs dried out months and months ago, but the buds kept their lovely fragrance, so we scooped them all up and put them in the jar as a sort of potpourri. I didn’t pay much attention to the jar until recently when we moved and I had to do something with this open candle jar full of loose lavender. I dumped the jar unceremoniously into a freezer bag and stuffed it into a box, but as I did the buds released more of that wonderful perfume and I realized that it would go quite nicely in my cedar-lined, tobacco-and-spice-scented Tarot box. I asked Kristin to stitch up a small sachet, but we were in the middle of unpacking and neither of us felt it was hyper-urgent. We did, however, find tiny little sachets for, like, $0.50 at The Crystal Fox when we decided to take a break from putting the apartment back together and check out some New Age shops in the area.

I do kind of wish I'd bought smaller notebooks so they'd fit in the box. C'est la vie.

Accompanying materials

I also keep a few things with my cards that don’t fit in the box, including a couple Moleskine journals and the book that came with my cards. One of the journals contains notes on spreads and correspondences, as well as a chart of generalized one- or two-word interpretations of the Majors, the suits, and each of the sets of numbers for the Minors (Aces, Twos, etc.) The other journal is where I record my daily draws and weekly spreads, as well as information like moon phase and sign and any other relevant astrological information (like the Spring Equinox last week!). It’s been really helpful for me to spot trends in my readings (lots of Swords lately) as well as really take some time to get to know the cards, especially on the weekends when I have more time to sit and take notes on my single-card draws. It also helps me dig into my multi-card spreads because I’m more able to see associations that I wouldn’t see if I didn’t take the time to write down some interpretive notes on each card at a time.

Plus it lets me work on my penmanship!

Taking notes by hand is far more satisfying than typing interpretations.

My next long-form text post will be a more in-depth analysis of my actual deck. I’ll take a look at some of the symbols present in (and missing from) the artwork, and discuss some of the interpretations present in the book and how they align with other common interpretations of certain cards. It should be a fun post with lots of pretty pictures like this one. Stay tuned!

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