Colour Green and Tarot

Colour Green and Tarot

green-1357925

“Green Party stands aside in crucial seats to help keep Conservatives out”, such a headline by the Independent in regards to the General elections here in the UK grabbed my attention.
Not because I am involved with politics as such, (although the genius of Diane Abbott recently was anything but entertaining but, at the same time scary) but, because it made me think of the colour green and its symbolism.

Green smoothieGreen is generally regarded as the colour of hope, longevity, strength and eternal youth.
Green is often a colour chosen to represent harmony, balance and tranquillity (a green room can help inspiration and creative expression).

Eating your greens or drinking a green smoothie is supposed to keep you healthy too 🙂

forestIn modern times, green is traditionally the colour of the pharmacist (linking to the natural world and the power of plants to heal), the environmentalists (Greenpeace comes to mind) and the green parties (protection of mother earth).

planet-and-treeGreen energy (protecting the environment and nature) have grabbed headlines for decades and in more recent times, with the US concentrating on fossil fuels instead of alternatives.

faerie-and-absintheDuring the middle ages, green was seen as the colour of madness and evil, and green beverages were seen as the drink of the Fools. This belief continued during into nineteenth century France with the infamous Absinthe also called “La liqueur des Fous” (the liquor of the Fools).

It was believed that a green fairy lived in the bottle and had the power to take away sanity.

Famous artists became intoxicated with the beverage and lost their sanity, like Vincent Van Gogh who cut off his own ear under the influence of Absinthe and the poet Paul Verlaine who shot his lover, the poet Arthur Rimbaud, in his hand while drunk with Absinthe.

Green is also associated with greed/jealousy and envy (hence the expression, green with envy).

water-lilyGreen is also the colour of the heart chakra 🙂

Green-colourColour green in the tarot (Radiant Rider Waite)
The Fool wears a green tunic and a green crown suggesting his inspiration and hope to discover the world and showing his youthful nature.

Justice wears a green cape suggesting a calm approach and balance/harmony to render her verdict.

In the suit of Wands, the man in the 7 of Wands wears a green shirt, battling for his ideals, suggesting the idea of strength.
The merchant in the 3 of Wands has a green scarf over his shoulders, showing strength and harmony. The horse on the 6 of Wands has a green cover showing harmony in success.
The king of Wands has a green scarf showing his strength and balance containing the fire within.
Notice that all the people in the suit of Wands with green garments had to take some risks in order to be successful and even with success, one has to keep going to be at the top of their game!

Interestingly, in both the 2 of Pentacles and 6 of Pentacles, the people at the centre of the cards wear green shoes or boots, emphasising the idea of balance (at least trying to balance money in the 2 of Pentacles with the green loop as well, and the balance of charity in the 6 of Pentacles).

Both the Page and the Queen of Pentacles wear green garments to emphasise their connection to nature and healing.

Finally, the figure in the foreground of the 5 of Swords wears a green tunic.

This time green is seen as evil/madness as the figure has taken away the weapons from the other people, leaving them raw and defeated.

Notice that one of the figures has a green sleeve, over a yellow tunic, suggesting that healing will need to take place on the intellect (colour yellow) and that the best course of action is to leave the charged situation behind.

There is probably more green to be seen in the RW, particularly trees, laurel leaves, flowers etc., which is the connection to nature.

And don’t forget, drink or eat your greens 😉

Oephebia

Tarot readings for pets

Tarot readings for pets

The UK is seen as a nation of animal lovers and many households have at least one pet.

I have seen many times people using the Tarot for their pets or consulting tarot readers because their pets are feeling unwell.

If your pet has changed its behaviour or is off food, is unwell etc…Obviously, the first course of action would be to consult a veterinarian first. They are the professionals that can diagnose an illness, conduct tests and can give your pet the most appropriate treatment for their condition.

If you are unemployed, or on a low income, there are still brilliant vets that can help your pet such as the PDSA or the Blue Cross (here in the UK).

Once you have had a diagnosis by a vet, you may want to consult a complementary therapist, such as an animal communicator, an animal healer, a feline/canine/equine/bird behaviourist or a homeopath to help your pet in a more holistic way (mind-body-spirit).

However, when your pet is in good health, and with no apparent behavioural problems, it can be fun to do a reading for your pet 🙂

Paws-in-my-heart-spreadHere is a little spread I have designed for you and your pet.
1 – How do you feel emotionally?
2 – How do you feel physically?
3 – How can I make your life better?
4 – How can I relate to you better?
5 – How do you feel about the vet?
6 – How do you feel about people or other animals?
7 – What do you want to tell me?

The questions can be changed to fit with your pet’s circumstances and more can be added.
It is a canvas 🙂

To help with interpreting the cards (example from the Cat’s Eye Tarot) we could define:

Elements-for-pet-readingsWands as activities (or lack of) your pet may need to do more or to do less; playing, going to the park, obedience classes, outdoors activities and confidence in new situations etc.

Pentacles as food, comfort, security, health/body, routine, toys and sleeping arrangements

Cups as emotional ties and security, rest time, interaction with guardians, with other animals, fear (thunder and noise for example), bereavement and emotional problems.

Swords as mental abilities like learning new tricks, stubbornness, communication with guardians, communication with people and other animals outside the home but, within the home too, trust issues and behavioural issues.
Court-cards-for-pet-readingsPages could be seen as the interaction between your pet and young children, or young animals. Also, could represent your pet at this moment in time, the youthful energies that they may display or not.

Knights could represent your pet as they mature, how they protect their territories and start to establish themselves at home and the outside world.

Queens could be translated as the emotional side of your pet with you or other humans in the home. The emotional attachment displayed by your pet. The security and affection your pet needs.

Kings could be seen as the vet, or any professionals your pet encounters such as a groomer, trainer, behaviourist, pet sitter etc. How your pet behaves with professional people generally speaking.
Major-arcana-for-pet-readingsMajor Arcana can represent the message and the energies your pet may want to convey to you. Also the principles of life you may need to implement to give your pet the best home possible.

Like with all tarot readings, the most important thing is to follow your intuition!
Have fun 🙂

Oephebia

 

French Elections and Tarot

French Elections and Tarot

During last year, we have seen dramatic changes in the political landscape worldwide with the American elections and Brexit here in the UK. This year we have the French Presidential elections that is dividing the country and the German elections is looming on the horizon, plus of course the general elections in the UK.

The outcome of both the French and German elections could potentially change fundamentally the way the EU operates.

On 7th May, French citizens (myself included) are going to cast their vote (or not if they choose).

Interestingly, in numerology: 7th of May = 22 which is a master number and should not be reduced to a single digit (7+5+2+1+7=22).
Number 22 is the most intuitive of all master numbers and suggests destiny, a bigger picture at play and a powerful day not only for the candidates or France but, for the world, regardless of who wins!
The dice will be thrown and a new political chapter will be opened.

The free will of millions of French people is going to be exercised both in mainland France and abroad with expats.

I have done a simple reading for both candidates. It is not at all a predictive reading as the free will of millions will make the scale go one way or the other but, rather it is an analysis of the energies around each candidate and their possible direction on the day.

Marine-presidential-election
Let’s start with Marine Le Pen.

Here the energies of the Page of Cups could represent Marine’s opponent (Macron), young and good looking (well according to some of the electorate who said they would vote for him for that reason) also because Macron is rather idealistic and with not a lot of experience on the political scene.

4 of cups: suggests some disappointment during the run in of the second round, with people not necessarily putting their money where their mouths are and some abstentions in some regions.

3 of Swords: may foretell some unrest if Marine is elected, perhaps violence on the streets, maybe even more… A personal tragedy for Marine may occur not necessarily this week, but in the near future.
She is going to be vilified even more by the press and she will be facing strong opposition, to the point of desperate attempts to stop her.

Justice and the Ace of Cups are a strange combination as Justice suggests that she will get what she deserves and the will of the people will have spoken. The Ace of Cups in this instance may represent Marine feeling that she has done her best to express her views and hopes for the country and that she will respect the will of the French people.

Again, this is not a predictive reading per say rather, to see the possible outcome because the free will of people will weigh heavily on the scales of Justice (literally here).

Macron-presidential-electionsNow Emmanuel Macron

2 of Swords: a very interesting card because Macron claims that he is not from the right and not from the left, rather a centrist (which many people would disagree with). He may struggle to reconcile voters from the traditional right and the traditional left.

Page of Pentacles: is significant here as he was the minister of the economy and comes from a banking background, which is the realm of the pentacles 😉
He has very little experience in politics and some of his economic reforms are considered inefficient to tackle France’s economic problems.

Six of Wands: indicates that many people will rally around him and will try to steer the boat in the right direction. Some regions will vote “en masse” for him, but victory will be more in some regions than national.

The Lovers plus 7 of Swords and the 10 of Swords is a very bizarre combination of cards in the sense that he is seen as the favourite to win the elections, with massive support from the “establishment”. However, it feels that some unsavoury facts about him (money given to his campaign coming from shady sources), or a scandal of some kind will be dragged up to the surface in the near future. A chance of back stabbing too with the 7 of Swords and people at the end even deserting him (10 of Swords) particularly, since he said that his wife will be also part of the presidential elite (a la Obama which is suggested by the Lovers?). It feels like people won’t be happy to vote for a couple when we are supposed to vote for a candidate (the spouses of Presidents traditionally are not involved in any decisions on a governmental level, Macron will differ)

vote-1804596I feel that these elections are the most crucial France has ever seen, with a vacuum remaining because of the traditional parties losing in the first round.

The question will be would Macron or Marine be good for France?
Are we on the verge of a potential crisis that will engulf France, the EU even the World?

Fool-result-French-electionsWe are living in uncertain times and I feel that we should expect the unexpected (The Fool) which is the card I drew for the energies of May and that is probably our best bet for now 😉

Oephebia

Easter revisited with the Tarot

Easter revisited with the Tarot
This week-end it is a celebration:
Easter in the Christian World
Eostre which predates the Christian celebration
Pesah or Passover in the Jewish faith
Regardless of religion and belief, Easter is also a bank holiday in many countries in the Western world.
The story of Jesus, the last supper and the resurrection is the root of Easter for many Christians.
As with all stories, from fairy tales, mythologies to religious texts, there are many archetypes that appeal to the collective unconscious and transcend languages.
The language of images is universal and very powerful. The tarot is an ancient language of symbols and imagery that has adapted quite well to the modern world.
Let’s look at the story of Easter linked with the Tarot.
As per any story, we have the protagonists: Jesus himself, his disciples, the villain (Judas), the conqueror (Pontius Pilate), then the central theme of the story: the last supper, the betrayal, the trial and crucifixion, death and resurrection, and finally the moral of the story with the ascension.

Jesus

Jesus can be seen as the positive aspect of the Hierophant, the guy who founded a new faith that has had a lasting legacy on the world. King of Cups is another card that could define Jesus, a healer, a compassionate being, and of course the King of the Jews.
The fish around the neck of the King of Cups is also an early Christian symbol, although its origins predate Christianity and was used by the Romans, Greeks and Pagans.
6 of Pentacles is a card that can also define Jesus, giving to the poor, compassion for people who are destitute or sick.

Easter-the-last-supper

Jesus was celebrating Passover (4 of Wands – celebration) with his disciples (here the Hierophant comes to mind, not because of the church, but because of a group of people sharing the same ideas etc. Conversely the 6 of Wands could apply here too), and they shared a final meal together (10 of Pentacles for the tradition of Passover and 10 of Cups for celebration). Of course the cup that Jesus drank from, the Holy Grail is the Ace of Cups.

Judas2

Amidst the disciples was the villain Judas, who betrayed Jesus for money.
The betrayal is the 7 of Swords and Knight of Swords, when Judas went to negotiate with Pontius Pilate (Emperor/King of Swords Rev). Judas can be seen as the Devil card, disguising himself as a friend to Jesus. His sole motivation was greed. The kissing of Jesus by Judas to help the Romans recognise him is the 5 of Swords and the Moon rev (deception).
The trial of Jesus was the Justice card reversed and the Tower (as Rome thought that Christianity, the new religion, would be crushed. So the Tower here can be seen from the perspective of Rome crushing its enemies, stopping their expansion which is also the Wheel of Fortune reversed).
Cruxifiction
Jesus was condemned to die on the cross. His agony is depicted by the Hanged Man (remember the halo around the head of the Hanged man, he choose to sacrifice himself to gain insight into spirituality which is also the case with Jesus, who knew that he needed to go through such a horrifying ordeal in order to save humanity). The physical pain is depicted by the 3 of Swords and 10 of Swords.
The spear of destiny can be seen as the Ace of Swords.
Although Strength is another card that could apply here as Jesus’ faith and trust never failed even when suffering unspeakable pain and horror.
Death is another obvious card as the final result, but in the death card, hope for renewal is present with the sun rising between the towers. Death was not the end of Christ.
After Jesus died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea (the Hermit par excellence) asked Pontius Pilate his permission to collect Jesus’ body to be interred. The 5 of Cups oddly, can apply to this situation, as Jesus was wrapped in a burial shroud (like the figure in the card) and appeared to be dead (the 3 cups in front of the figure in the 5 of cups), but Christ’s resurrection can be seen as 2 cups which are still upright.
Jesus was interred but rose from the dead (Judgement card). Jesus after the resurrection can be seen as the Magician (see the Magician card as the direct link between heaven and earth, Christ himself), the Ace of Pentacles (the resurrection of the body as pentacles stand for physicality/body) and the World (Jesus sacrificed himself for humanity).
The first person to see him after his resurrection was Mary Magdalene, his companion which could be seen as the High Priestess as she was probably one of Christ’s disciples. The Queen of Cups can apply to her also as she is supposed to have washed Christ’s feet on the cross, giving him comfort and love during his agony.
Ressurection
The ascension can be seen as Judgement again, for obvious reasons but also the Star, giving hope to humanity that one day, Christ will come again on earth (the World).
Of course all the above is a simplified version of the story of Christ and Easter and other tarot cards could be used to illustrate the story.
It is just an exercise to think and feel the tarot outside its box (literally), to apply archetypes from one system to another and to see that there is an ancient and universal set of images and symbolism that resonate with all humans, regardless of race, creed, religion or language; the Tarot. The cards are full of wisdom and are a depository of mankind’s psyche.
easter-794380
Happy Easter, Eostre, Pesach or whatever you are celebrating this week end 🙂
Oephebia
All cards are from the Radiant Waite Tarot, US Games

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The Empress and Spring

The Empress and Spring

First day of Spring in the Northern hemisphere and we are greeted with grey skies, wind and cold temperatures. Still the magic of Spring and the awakening of Gaia is palpable, the trees are adorned with buds and flowers, I saw some bees awakening from their winter slumber. Nature is slowly emerging from the darkness of Winter 🙂

Talking about awakening, Spring always reminds me of the Empress card, nature in its glory, abundance and plentiful, new lives coming to the world in the animal kingdom, warmer temperatures and a sense of renewal, a sense of creativity and inspiration.

I have analysed and compared the symbols found in the Empress card from three different packs (Original Rider Waite, Herbal Tarot, Sharman Caselli Tarot)

This analysis reflects my own understanding of symbolism and should not be taken for a widely accepted truth. It is a personal reflection which gives food for thought regarding the wonderful tool that the Tarot can be.

rider-waite-empressRider Waite Copyright US Games

This pack is one of the most well known in use today.

When we look at this card, we can see a young woman sits on a throne surrounding by nature. Trees and wheat are portrayed prospering and a gentle cascade from a river adds to the serene environment.

Here we have the setting of the essence of the card: Mother Nature in all its glory, as growth and abundance are very present in the card, in the form of trees and wheat.

The Empress card is linked to the myth of Demeter in the Greek mythology. She is the goddess of fertility and of cultivated soil and when her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades (God of the underworld); she searched the world to find her. To shorten a long story, while her daughter was with Hades, the earth went barren, the crops withered, no plants or fruits blossomed as Demeter was grieving the lost of her unique child. After negotiation with Hades and Zeus, Persephone was allowed to spend eight months with her mum and four months in the underworld (as she had eaten four grains of pomegranate, the sacred fruit of Hades), thus creating the cycle of the seasons. Nature was in its full glory during the time Persephone stayed with her mother, with abundance of crops, flowers, trees and fruits. When she had to leave her mother, nature has to die or “sleep”, as everything withered during her absence therefore creating winter.

The young woman looks peaceful and content. She seems very comfortable in her surroundings. Notice the crown with twelve stars representing the twelve astrological signs. The twelve signs are divided in four categories: the four elements (fire, water, earth and air). The four elements are part of Mother Nature and the young woman understands that they need to be in balance and complement each other to preserve harmony and peace of the natural world. She wears the crown on her head (the crown chakra which represents spirituality). The water flowing behind the Empress represents the source of intuition and creativity.

Look closer at the young woman and notice an orange cushion behind her back. She wears a flowing dress and a necklace made of seven pearls. A shield with the symbol of Venus stands by the throne.

Another aspect of the card is revealed: the fact that the Empress is probably pregnant. The dress is comfortable and not restricting in anyway. The orange cushion adds extra comfort to support her back gently as she needs extra tender loving care in her condition.

Orange is also the colour of creativity (a mix of red (passion) and yellow (intellect)), which tell us that the Empress is a card for creative ideas from conception to birth (a life or a project). This concept is reinforced by the shield of Venus. Venus is the goddess of love, beauty but also the arts and ultimately creativity.

The necklace with seven pearls represents the seven chakras in the body. When they are all in harmony with each other, the body is well balanced and healthy. As the Empress is balanced and in harmony with her surroundings, one can assume that she is attuned with her unborn child and with her own body.

The Empress is the archetypal mother, the gentle force that nurtures, protects, encourages growth and abundance in our life. She is the energy of Venus giving us love for our fellow human beings and as importantly, love of life and the understanding of our place in nature and to preserve the harmony and balance of our natural environment.

herbal-empressHerbal Tarot © US Games Systems

As its name suggests, this Tarot pack links each of its card with a plant and its spiritual and medicinal properties.

When we look at the Empress, we can see: a young woman resting on some rocks, she wears a yellow dress with a blue collar and she is pregnant. She holds a sceptre in her left hand. Pine trees and a river are seen in the background. A tall Dong Quai plant stands before the Empress.

Here the myth of Demeter has not been emphasised. The Empress seated on rocks , illustrating the natural seats of nature. Her yellow dress, with a blue collar suggests that this Empress uses her warmth, joyful energies and mind (yellow) to heal and nurture people and nature (blue). The sceptre in her hand (like in the Rider Waite) reminds us of her absolute status, the Queen of nature. The gentle river (as in the Rider Waite, Shaman Caselli ), shows that our creative energies can gently flow and be developed. The Dong Quai plant is the epitome of creative energies, fertility and bringing to fruition projects or life. This herb is used as a tonic to regulate women’s cycles, help fertility and treat the symptoms of the menopause which is part of the theme of the Empress card.

The young woman looks serene. She wears a crown of twelve stars and no necklace. The shield of Venus stands beside the Empress. She has four buttons on the collar of her dress.

Like with the Rider Waite, this Empress still rules the natural world as the crown shows. The energies of the seven chakras (Rider Waite) have been replaced by four buttons on the Empress’ collar. The four buttons can be seen as the four elements which are under her ruling. The balance of the four elements is absolutely essential to preserve the balance of the natural world and the cycle of the seasons. The creative energies embodied by the shield of Venus (Rider Waite) are emphasised with this Empress.

Overall the Empress in the Herbal tarot still symbolises life rich, full of ideas, creativity and growth. The symbolism remains the same as the Rider Waite with the addition of a Dong Quai plant. A beautiful card showing us the gentle help we can benefit from in the natural world.

shaman-caselli-empressSharman Caselli Tarot © Giovanni Caselli 2001

This pack is part of the Beginner’s guide to Tarot (Juliet Sharman-Burke).

When we look at this card, we see: a young woman sitting on cushions in the middle of a wheat field. She wears a pink dress with embroidered red roses and leaves. At her feet lays a cornucopia (horn of plenty) filled with fruits and pomegranates. In the background, a cascade of water falls into a river. Verdant trees, poppies and gentle hills complete the tranquil scene.

Here the myth of Demeter remains significant with this Empress, the pomegranates and the poppies. The cornucopia shows an abundance of fruits. The sea of wheat with its gold colour is another hint of plentiful and joy. The pink dress worn by the Empress shows us her gentle side, as pink is the colour representing feminine principle and procreation (this Empress is pregnant), whilst the red roses and accompanying leaves on the dress talk of passion (red) and the natural world (green). The cushions have the same meaning as the Rider Waite; they give extra comfort to the Empress.

The young woman looks serene. She wears a crown fashioned from twelve stars and a necklace made of ten pearls. No shield of Venus is represented.

Like with the Rider Waite, this Empress still rules the natural world as the crown of stars show. However the necklace has now ten pearls instead of seven (Rider Waite). This could mean that each pearl represents a planet (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto). The ten planets stand for the principles (Sun equals the character of ego for example), which need to be balanced in order to lead a fulfilling life. Notice the absence of Venus’ symbol (shield in the Rider Waite), with this Empress. However, the energies of Venus are embodied with the red roses on the Empress’ dress, as roses are the sacred flowers of this Goddess.

With the Sharman Caselli Tarot, the Empress still symbolises the plentiful, the beautiful and creativity. The symbolism remains the same as the Rider Waite with a few variations. A beautiful card showing us the abundance of Mother Earth.

Oephebia

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Colour black and the Tarot

Colour black and the Tarot

Today is 20th January 2017; an historical date in the making

For some people it is a black day  as Donald Trump is going to occupy the White House for the next 4 years (here some of you will notice a reference to the High Priestess with the black and white colours)

If you love dolphins, today is a black day too as the infamous cove in Taiji – Japan has over 200 & awaiting their fate (a life of captivity or being killed for food)

Perspective is what will make a black day for some, and a wonderful day for others

The colour black often generates an impression of doom and gloom (unless you are a Goth, then black is the only colour)

Seriously though, let’s have a closer look at the colour black and why it is found is some tarot cards. Let’s discuss the Rider Waite tarot as it is widely available worldwide.

Black represents nothingness and chaos. Symbolically the colour of mourning and Death

Black is also the colour of mysteries, the night, the intuition, the unknown, the primitive instincts and the unconscious

In Christianity, black is seen as the colour of renunciation of the vanities of the world (black being traditionally the colour of the devil and temptation), hence the black cloak of priests and nuns.

In ancient Egypt, black was seen as the colour of fertility because it was associated with the womb of mother earth

Black is also linked with evil (yep the Devil card) or what Jung calls our dark shadow.

Black represents horribleness and disaster, we used terms like black magic, blackmail, black market etc. to emphasise the ideas of forbidden deeds or evilness…..the Devil card often indicates all the excesses our human nature is capable of (sex, drugs and rock and roll kind of thing).

Colour black in the tarot

The Devil card in the Rider Waite is depicted with a black sky emphasising the idea of chaos and evil, notice the couple chained as they have surrendered their free will to the Devil.

Although a dramatic card, the devil is not about hairy monster hidden under the bed, but rather a card showing that sometimes we are imprisoned because of fear, or beliefs and we do not realise that we can walk free and ditch the wrong love, the wrong job, the wrong people and move on!

Another card, The Tower talks about chaos and disaster with a menacing black sky and lightning destroying the ego.
The card which influence the Tower (number XVI) is the Devil (number XV).

The free will that could still be used with the Devil is now totally redundant and the Tower will act as a messy spring cleaner, removing the illusion found in the Devil.

A black day for the two figures plunging to their death or a massive headache 😉

A skeleton with a black armour and a black banner is also found in the Death.Card.Although bearing a name which makes people uncomfortable, the Death card is actually showing that a cycle has come to an end, and it is time to embrace the new and to move on.

The skeleton with his black armour could be seen as a knight in shining armour, rescuing the damsel in distress (you) and taking you away from a situation which is stagnant (the card before Death, is major arcana 12, the Hanged Man).

In that respect, the colour black is about the mysteries of what may come, our primitive instincts (we are creatures of habits and sometimes changes is very unwelcome) and our strange anxiety about the unknown!

The five of cups (Rider Waite) shows a figure in mourning, wearing a black clock, showing us that sometimes we can be stuck in our own feelings instead of looking to the future.

I call this card the drama queen of the tarot as sometimes we feel so wrapped up in our emotions and feelings (like the figure with the black cloak) that we have forgotten a simple fact, each situation is a moment in time, nothing stay forever (good or bad) and changes always come. Something or someone may have been removed from your life, but it is the cycle of life. There is hope for the future (the two cups behind the figure) and time to look at some colours and ditch the black 😉

Oephebia