Sunday 30 September 2012

Reflective Daily Draw: Wicca Moon

What gift was I offered today?
What did I do well today?
What should I take forward tomorrow?

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
Holy smoke, three majors? That's pretty amazing considering I didn't go out or even get dressed today, and apart from a 30 minute shadow boxing workout and a shower, spent most of the day piled up on the sofa in a fuzzy dressing gown and blanket, watching 'Spartacus' (the Kirk Douglas film) on the telly.

Wicca Moon: The Sun

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
The Sun card from the Wicca Moon Tarot is a curious thing. Here we see a relatively small sun looking down on a woodland scene. Under a tree, from which hangs a spider, there are two faeries. Both appear to be male, and seem human size, in relation to the tree. They stand on outsize mushrooms that are houses, presumably for some smaller form of fairy. (?) They sprinkle gold glittery dust and wrapped chocolates onto the ground. One of the fairies has a book tucked under his arm, bearing the title 'Magic' on its spine. Bumblebees, butterflies and dragonflies hover around. On the ground, a snail looks up, and standing on the mushroom beside one of the boys is a muskrat or big mouse or some sort of rodent, standing on its hind legs and looking up at the glittering offerings the fairies are dropping.  There are little mushrooms and floxgloves growing in the grass, and a spider building a web between the two mushroom houses.

It's a strange scene.

Saturday 29 September 2012

Queen of Wands - on the flip side

Queen of Wands

Okay, so here's the counterbalance to my rant about the Queen of Wands from the other day. There's nothing wrong with having an opinion about a card, you know, or a type of person. And just because we have a tendency to automatically think of certain traits when a card turns up (because after all, we are only human and we ALL see life through the veil of our own personality regardless of how objective or 'fair' we might think we are) that doesn't mean we shouldn't read for people who have opposite traits to ours. Anyway, we all know that each card has the full gamut of meaning, and that each card is actually present in our own personalities, however dormant. Yes, I've got some Queen of Wands in me--both her positive and shadow side.

So--here's the brighter side of the Queen of Wands.

As a fire card, she is proactive. She is not passive. She does not hesitate to take action. She is assertive. When she sees something she wants, she will go for it with gusto. She lives her life on her own terms, and is not cowed by niceties or expectations of others, if she doesn't see them as falling in line with her own ideas about what her life should be like.

Friday 28 September 2012

Wicca Moon: Reflective Daily Draw

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
What did I do well yesterday?
What do I need to carry forward into today?
And what should I be on the lookout for today?

The exuberant 3 of Cups dominates this draw. I do think it's very pretty indeed, and certainly conjures up a feeling of celebration. It will be a busy day today, as we are preparing for an event tomorrow. I'm sure there will be confusion, and thus the 7 of Wands. But the cards remind me that there is always cause for joy, even in moments of conflict--if nothing else, in realising that these moments will soon pass! And for me, at my level at work, I can always fall back on the comforting notion that I am not really responsible for anything going well or poorly; I'm merely a foot soldier and that's the way I like it. So there is that cause of celebration.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Another end of day draw: Wicca Moon

What did I get right yesterday?
What should I take forward into today?

Wicca Moon by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
Yesterday was a busy day at work for sure. It's actually true that yesterday I made a sort of resolution about personal industry. I wrote a sort of affirmation that I'd read on Prince Lenormand's blog and posted in on the corkboard above my meditation space: 'It feels better to be doing something, rather than continuously thinking about it.' And I actually did some of the things I'd been 'meaning' to do: paid a deposit on a holiday cottage for next Feb, did my workout, and sat for meditation. So both at work and in my personal goals, I was acting and doing rather than planning, a very 8 of Pentacles thing.

The Knight of Swords suggests I should continue in that vein today. He is a man of action, led by his principles. In many decks, he is depicting as charging very boldly forward toward what might be a battle, but in this card, he looks more like an 18th century country gentleman. Who knows, though, maybe he's dismounted in order to meet up with an opponent in a duel of honour. That smile of his might be a courtly gesture. Ha ha. I feel that the card's message for me today is not to let my 'high horse' or my thoughts (suggested by the wispy current of air) carry me off into overthinking, but to remain solidly on the ground and continue my good work today. So that means enough of the blogging and on with the doing. Tarar a bit!

Wednesday 26 September 2012

My rant about the Queen of Wands

Just look at her. The Queen of Wands. Why does she annoy me so much?

It could go back to high school. Possibly even earlier. The Queen of Wands, to me, is all those pretty, popular girls who got all the attention for being beautiful, athletic, and extroverted. Everything about them seemed both perfect and FALSE. And they all seemed to have a supreme confidence  that the adulation was deserved, the proper order of the universe, taken for granted.

To me, the Queen of Wands is imperious, arrogant and superficial. MUST be the centre of attention--loudest soprano in the choir, the one who twirls the flaming batons in the marching band, the cheerleader who is on top of the pyramid at the pep rally, the girl with the shiniest car, the most expensive shoes, the sparkliest class ring, the handsomest boyfriend, the deepest bosom, the clearest skin. She would look right through us little peahens in the hallways, wouldn't give us the time of day.

And there I was, squinting at her, muttering to myself, shuffling along in the hallways listening to her braying 'social' activity; always with my nose in a book or scribbling in a journal, hanging Greenpeace posters in my room. To her, I was weird. To me, she was nauseating. Everything about the 'popular' girls made me want to vom. I wasn't a Goth but that was only because it was 1983 and the Deep South, where clearly all them Goths was goin' to hell.

I got older and the Queen of Wands was on my TV. Reading the news, leading the cheers at football and basketball games, walking up the red carpet with her lips botoxed out like a blowfish, pouting and preening and drawing attention to herself. She was in my workplace, flirting with the boss, stomping up and down the hallways in silly high heels, checking her fingernails and hair. Making promises and then 'delegating' the work. Bragging about her husband's job, her house, her busy schedule.

Legacy of Divine
I associate the Queen of Wands with all that is bullying, superficial, self-absorbed and attention seeking in the female. Everything that makes me sick about certain types of extroverted, rah-rah women. Motivational speakers, certain movie stars, women who use their looks or sexuality for advancement in life. Anything that I perceive as fake or 'glamour', style without substance, a veneer of niceties over an inner core of selfish motive, that's the Queen of Wands for me.

I have to force myself to look beyond this when doing a reading, but my knowledge of her positive attributes is academic only. My personal reaction to her is...gag!

But then -- I am a Queen of Swords. Put my shadow side against her shadow side and of course we would loathe each other.

Which card could you rant about? Why not have a go? I love a good rant.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

End of day draw: Wicca Moon

What did I get right today?
What do I need to take forward into tomorrow?

Wicca Moon Tarot by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
I showed more emotional maturity today. Particularly in comparison to yesterday! I got totally soaked to the skin yesterday on the walk to work. It was an interesting experience. I could feel my trousers getting wet at the ankle. I made up my mind that I would be mature about it and say nothing at work. Then the water was up to my knees and my socks were soaked. Not feeling very accepting of the moment anymore, I still continued to trudge and chant a mantra in my mind. Then I realised that my trousers were so soaked that they were clinging to my legs to the upper thigh and riding up because they were so wet. Even though I was fuming inside, I continued to chant my mantra. Funny that! By the time I got to work I was NONE too pleased. Water was actually dripping off the HEM of my trousers and leaving droplets on the floor. I took off my shoes and squeezed actual streams of water out of my shoestrings! Not happy, not happy at all. I then sat through the staff meeting soaking wet, freezing, and finally asked my manager if a colleague could take me home to change trousers. Yes, I fretted, I whined, I retold the story all day and I allowed it to hang like a thundercloud over me well into the evening. Today...not wet. And I handled a few trying customers very well. So that's better! But even though I wasn't overly emotional today, I did eat too much! It seems like I can't multi-task!

Tomorrow, I should take this forward by being even more circumspect. You know, circumspect is not easy for me. I am the type to roar and rave, grumble and chunter or laugh and exult. Poker-faced, I'm not! But I shall certainly make an effort.

Baby it's cold inside

Wicca Moon Tarot by Shirlee@Wicca Moon
First thought: Oh what a pretty card! Pentacles, earth, north, snowy wood. How nice!

Second thought: What the heck has a tree with a face, gripping a crystal ball with the top of its head, got to do with career/craftsmanship/recognition for good work?

These are the associations I have with 3 of Coins, and I don't see any of that in this card. The card can also point to perseverance and the effort that goes into spiritual/psychic development, which may be what this take on the card is pointing to.

I think it will serve me well to view each card in the Wicca Moon pack through the narrow paradigm of Wicca in order to see where the artist is going with the image. A glimpse through the cards yesterday suggested that there is a rather narrow focus here. Looking at the card,  I see that the Younger Futhark 'Hagall' or 'Hagalaz' is carved on the tree in white. (Although on inspecting lots of the cards, I see that the artist draws this little image on many of them. Maybe she doesn't mean it to be read as a rune. Maybe she does. Hard to say this early in my explorations.) In any case, the rune means something like 'hailstone' or 'sleet'. The rune suggests, in its mundane sense, bad weather, and can foretell a disruption or blast of some kind. Right, okay. What has that got to do with 3 of Coins? I can see how it goes with a snowy wood.

Well, it's my opinion for daily draws to it's best to keep readings on the most mundane level. So I think this card may be predicting that it will be cold at work today. Maybe the boiler is going to break down.

Let's just see what happens.

Monday 24 September 2012

Wicca Moon: First Reading

I just received Wicca Moon Tarot today and I really like Alison's Autumn Equinox spread on This Game of Thrones, so I thought I would try both out together:

First of all, get the 16 Court Cards into a single section. It's very simple. Cards 1 and 2 are laid out as if at either end of a see-saw, and Card 3 goes in the middle.
Card 1: This is where I am unbalanced and deficient
Card 2: This is where I am unbalanced and over-endowed
Card 3: This Court brings me back into balance
Wicca Moon Tarot: 6 of Swords, K&Q of Swords, 2 of Swords
 First thought: Wow, am I doing a lot of overthinking or what! All those swords, all that air. Hot air? Possibly.

Card One is 6 of Swords -- the card of moving on. The card of letting go of defeat, or defeatist thinking. Usually this card is associated with some real experience being moved on from, but in my case, I think it's just imaginary stuff.

Card Two is 2 of Swords. Notice how the points of the swords cross, pinpointing something (in this case a dragonfly that has been whirring around). I see this card as meaning I scrutinize every tiny thing too closely. Possibly that I try too hard to think everything through and control everything, to the point that I have blinded myself too much.

So I am under-endowed with 'get-over-it,' and over-endowed with a tendency to stick my fingers in my ears and sing 'la la la' when I am faced with a decision or a truth I don't want to see. Stubborn little air sign that I am. Funnily enough, the way to bring me back to balance is not from another suit, but yet more Swords. This time the King and Queen of Swords. Wicca Moon combines the King and Queen into one card. There is no explanation for why, as there is no LWB with this deck, but Chloe at Inner Whispers suggests the marriage or balance of the mature aspects of the suit. I like that, and it does sit well with the deck's Wiccan theme.

Basically, I see the King & Queen card as telling me that I don't need to change my basic nature, my very Swords nature, but that I need to just grow up. I need to balance the masculine and feminine aspects of the Swords suit. Emotional maturity will help me to move on from troubled thoughts, as well as face up to harsh truths. Well, I didn't need tarot to tell me that. But it is very useful to see that I do not have to try to be all Wands or Cups about life. I can still be Swordsy and be balanced. That's nice.

So. What am I overthinking? Pretty much I overthink every thing that happens to me all day long. Learning to let go of each moment rather than playing it out again and again so that I can examine it for more evidence to support my little story of me as a failure--that would be a good skill to hone! And what am I postponing, ignoring, or being stubborn about? Lots of things, but lately, it's been the question of where to go next. Ah ha! The 6 of Swords could be this reluctance to move on to the next phase! Oh ho! Yes that must be it. We've been wondering if we should start thinking about ... I dread to say it ... buying a house. (Yikes!) And our minds have been so made up about how impossible it is for so long... like that blindfolded chick in the RWS 2 of Swords. Could the united K&Q of Swords be hubby and me facing up to the truth of our situation and making an informed decision?

Well. Possibly...

Sunday 23 September 2012

Back from holidays!

We stayed in Durham Castle Thursday night, which wasn't as salubrious as it sounds. Turns out the keep where our accommodation was (it's that big round bit on the left of the castle structure, in the photo) was rebuilt in 1845, and it's student accommodation. Plus, our radiator didn't work so it was freezing in there. And there was no TV or radio, to my husband's horror. Didn't matter though, as after all that walking, we were both dead to the world by 9.45pm. :) Friday and Saturday night we stayed with a friend in Stockton, and spent all day Saturday tramping around Newcastle city centre, where I saw my first real-life examples of 'Geordie Shore' type girls. Wow. How they can teeter along on those platform shoes I don't know, and I can only say that 'super smoothing conditioner' probably isn't selling well right now in Newcastle. ;) 

I took Tarot of the Sidhe for company, and was inspired by the deck and my constant trawls through charity shops to put together a sort of little altar for the Elementals. I have a representation of Air, and of Earth, and now I just need to get Water and Fire. As I've got a spare Tarot of the Sidhe deck (thanks, Chloe!), I have displayed the Ace of cards of each suit there as well. It's shaping up. :D

What projects have you been up to lately? I'd love to hear!

Saturday 22 September 2012

Tarot Blog Hop for Mabon: Power of Transformation

NOTE: Apologies for being late posting for Tarot Blog Hop. Scheduling it to post didn't seem to work. User error, no doubt!.... Also, I don't know why the background color is doing this, and I lack the will to wrangle with Blogger, so apologies for that as well. Now, on with the show!...
Welcome to my blog, Tarot Blog Hoppers! You've most likely just come from Carolyn Cushing's Art of Change Tarot. After visiting with me here, please do continue on to Johnny Two-Brows.
The Autumn Equinox assigned topic is:

Of all the cards in the Tarot, of all the spreads  you may use, of all the meanings and significances of relationships between  cards, which to you most truly bespeaks the Power of Transformation? What  is the crux of your Search for the Hidden God, your Mabon Mystery, that  power which makes you able to transform your Self, your circumstances, and  produce something better than that with which you began? It is this which I  ask of you as a focus for your Blog Hop posting. Show us your Mabon Gift,  your Transformation. Make Mead with us, and we will all rejoice!

This is a very probing question and one that had me slumping back in my chair squinting. How am I supposed to answer that??? 'The crux of my search for the Hidden God?' I didn't even know I was searching for one. I gather King Arthur searched for this Mabon chap.  I have to admit I'm one of these funny types who doesn't pay much attention to 'god talk'. I'm all about 'energies', I can somewhat come to terms with 'emanations', but start taking gods and goddesses and I shut down a bit. I've bought several goddess tarots, and even have Sol Invictus Tarot, in an attempt to get a better grasp on the gods and goddesses, but I don't know...I'm more about generalities that specifics where this is concerned. 
Particularly with Mabon. In my personal tradition, I don't use the term Mabon, I use Autumn Equinox. I feel that Mabon is a bit tacked on to this particular holiday and it doesn't resonate (although to be honest I really hate the term 'resonate'--it's so overused!). So, asking me about Hidden Gods is not the best way to get an answer out of me. I'll start, as I so often do in tarot readings, by rephrasing the original question:
What tarot card, spread, or relationship between cards speaks to you most profoundly of the power of transformation, the type of transformation symbolised by the dying of the light at Autumn Equinox, which will be reborn with the Winter Solstice? 
The thing that interests me about the Autumn Equinox is that, when it happens, you can't tell by observation so much that the light is dying. It happens so slowly, by degrees, that it takes a while for us to realise the lights are going out. It's not like someone flicking a switch. (The same is true with Winter Solstice. If no one told you the nights were getting shorter, you'd be hard pressed to notice it for a while after 21st December.) 
Transformation is not something that happens like a thunderbolt. VERY few of us are ZAPPED into something new. It hardly ever happens like that in nature, and almost never happens to human beings spiritually. Transformation is a process that happens by degrees. It happens while we're not watching. It happens while we are distracted. It might call attention to itself suddenly, we might feel jolted when we finally notice it, but the Transformation itself has been going on for a long time. Like a tooth that finally erupts through the gums. You had no idea anything was happening in there, then it started niggling, then it hurt like heck. By degrees. 
So I have to ask myself, what card speaks to me of steady, gradual change, change that happens over quiet, dark nights,  to emerge, seemingly abruptly, but actually after a long arduous journey to the light: Judgement. 

Robin Wood

Thursday 20 September 2012

Overindulgence--Dancer Four, Tarot of Sidhe

I drew this card this morning and thought, 'Hmph, I'm not bored -- and I'm off today for a weekend trip and surely I won't be bored during that!' The keyword for me for 4 of Cups is 'Boredom', but there's more to it than that, and it's that second level of meaning that then rose up. Lethargy, gluttedness, overindulgence. Oops, guess who made a pan of brownies yesterday? And guess who ate more of them than did the only other person in this household?

I've also been overindulging lately in spending money on 'stuff'--oh yes, 'spiritual' stuff, like a meditation DVD, a few tarot and oracle decks, a couple of yoga bolsters, a little figure of a blackbird (a power animal for me), a wonderfully useful little seiza bench . But you know, I don't have an endless cash flow, and besides that, surrounding oneself with 'spiritual paraphernalia' doesn't do a thing to advance one's spiritual practice. A lesson most of us need to be reminded of again and again, because those of us who are into divination and such tend to be little magpies, don't we? (Another totem of mine). We do so love to buy more esoteric/occult items, or as I like to call them 'sparkly stuff'.

Tarot of the Sidhe has little quatrains in the LWB, and the verse for Dancer Four goes:

'But when our soul is fed too much
Reflective longings are as such
That we lose sight of all that's good
And boredom drains our dancer's blood...' soul hasn't been fed too much I don't think, unless it's the acquisitive little imp in my soul, but it's true that when I fall into a pattern of spending, all of a sudden I want everything I see, and lots of stuff I've noticed in the past comes swimming back up into my awareness and I'm off to order those things as well...and it gets to the point that opening a parcel is anticlimactic compared to the thrill of clicking 'Buy' and then you know you're in trouble.

So okay, a hiatus on online ordering, then. And I won't buy any more chocolate for a while either--gosh, the Sidhe are strict!

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Super Sweet Blogger Nomination

I have been nominated twice for a Super Sweet Blogger Award, once by Chloe of Inner Whispers, and now by Kerry of Neopagan Priestess! Both blogs are wonderful places and I'm really chuffed to be nominated by both bloggers. The rules are you have to answer these questions and nominate some blogs of your own (13 actually) so here we go:

2. Super Sweet Questions

Cookies or Cake? Well, I will eat anything put before me, but I do love a really good piece of chocolate cake. It's harder than you think to find a really excellent chocolate cake, though. They are rare. So let's go for a nice fat Boaster. That's always good.

Chocolate or Vanilla?
In most things, chocolate. But in frozen desserts, vanilla. 

What is your favorite sweet treat?
Oh lord, how could I name one? Favorite??? I have no earthly idea. Although I have to say, the Dorset Apple Cake from the Phoenix Bakery in Weymouth was probably the best cake I've had in a very, very long time.

When do you crave sweet things the most?

If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?
Hubby calls me Sweet Chili Chicken.

3. My Baker's Dozen
I'll have to nominate a half dozen favourites, I'm afraid... (Please find links to each blog in my favorites in the right hand column).

Chloe at Inner Whispers -- Like Old Faithful, Chloe never misses a day. Her weekly deck reviews are like clockwork. Chloe always makes interesting connections when examining her card of the day.

LeFanu at My Curious Cabinet -- A most fascinating cartomantic collection and wonderful insights.

Alison at This Game of Thrones -- Exploring the tarot courts with pop culture references and great humour.

Kerry at Neopagan Priestess -- Kerry's devotion to the Tarot of the Sidhe will make anyone a fan of this remarkable deck.

Prince Lenormand at Prince Lenormand -- This is tarot journaling at its best, a true exploration of the meaning to be found in Prince Lenormand's daily life, leading to deep tarot insights. For me, this journal writing style is aspirational. Someday when I'm grown up, I would like to have a shelf full of once blank books filled with this sort of personal reflection. 

AJ at Quirkeries -- There is a quiet dignity about these brief daily posts, always accompanied by the most apt quotation imaginable. The blog is more about what is unsaid than what is said, and that is a remarkable skill. 

Thank you, Kerry and Chloe!

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Two new decks (and some happy odds and ends)

I was happy to find a copy of The Green Man Tree Oracle at a convention Sunday in London. I have been thinking of buying this deck for a long time. It is very lovely. Will Worthington painted it using egg tempera on gesso-coated wood, the same technique he used for Druidcraft, one of the loveliest decks around. This deck will be treasured, even though I am not such a fan of John Matthews, and most likely will not use the guidebook much. 

The other find surprised me Monday afternoon. I found Animal Powers: Meditation Kit by Zerner-Farber in the Works today for £4.99. Totally unexpected, I bought it and find the cards very pleasant. The kit also contains a cardboard easel for propping the extremely oversized card upon during meditation, as well as guidebook, a little amulet and a meditation CD. Not back for a fiver, I am looking forward to trying this out, particularly the animals I already feel affinity with, such as Rabbit and Dog.

In addition, my husband, who has a small sideline dealing in collectible ephemera, had some odds-and-ends tea cards from around the 1970s, and he offered me a few from an incomplete set about British trees: English elm, English oak, Common Lime, Rowan, and Hawthorn. I trimmed the edges a bit and rounded the corners and now they're mine. How nice!

So overall, a great weekend for cards...I won't mention the Wicca Moon I ordered Monday evening (thanks to Chloe of Inner Whispers' subtle and adept enabling!!) :D

Monday 17 September 2012

What does the King of Cups mean in my life right now?

Alison at This Game of Thrones asks a new moon question: What does the King of Cups mean in your life right now?   For her, he means to 'go with the flow, endeavor to be kind and considerate, accept people and be diplomatic.'

What does the King of Cups mean in my life right now?

Michael Landon 
In my tarot courts world, the King of Cups is epitomized by Charles Ingalls from 'Little House on the Prairie' -- or at least Michael Landon's portrayal of him on the TV show. In most episodes, Charles has at least one scene in which he is overwhelmed by the beauty of life and/or the goodness of his fellow man and has a teary-eyed close-up, usually with a wry grin twisting one side of his mouth upward. Though his faith in the world and in man had been tested through the episode, at the end, everything works out. He knew it would. I thought for a long time about what TV/Film character to attach to King of Cups, and finally realised that he fits my idea of this tarot court character very well indeed.

Prairie Tarot 
What does the King of Cups mean in my life right now? It's telling me to be willing to reach out to other people. Don't be suspicious of people. Even if you feel the world's let you down, it's still more good than bad. Don't be so self-absorbed that you can't see other people in the world. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, and allow some of those feelings to be good ones about humanity. Be on the lookout for stories of triumph of the human spirit, and don't be so cynical about them! ('Oh, they always tack those on to the end of the news to try to make us feel better after spending the last hour telling us the world's going to hell and we're too broke or bent to fix it'...)

Give in to joy. It's okay. Be happy. Just stop being so analytical, critical, cynical and Queen of Swords-ical!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Off to London today

Off to London today to hear Ronald Hutton speak at Conway Hall. Quick draw: the journey, the conference:

Ancient Italian Tarot

I see this as a slow, steady and predictable journey -- no surprises, which means things will be running more or less on time with no 'big adventures' along the way. My favourite type of journey!

Then the conference will be well-run. The 2 of Wands  suggests good control, so it looks like things will tick over as expected.

Out of curiosity, I turned over the next card to see what my reaction to the conference would be: 7 of Swords, a card which to me is associated in some contexts with study and learning. So that would seem to be appropriate. But I've packed my lunch and don't intend to buy anything, so if it does point to high prices, I am already prepared for that!

Full report when I return tomorrow!

ETA: Okay, I'm back. Completely uneventful journey, I did not get lost even once. :D The conference went off without a hitch and I got a bargain-o-rama on a used copy of the The Green Man Tree Oracle. The conference gave me LOTS of food for thought and a new reading list as well, so that, too seems to have come to pass. Good work, Ancient Italian Tarot!

Saturday 15 September 2012

When I grow old and losing my hair, many years from now...

Ancient Italian Tarot
Yesterday I received something from my employer about retirement benefits. I hate getting these reports because to be frank I do not understand them. When it comes to long-term financial planning, I seem to have been out of the room when they were handing out skills in that area. And so, as usual, I skimmed through it with furrowed brow, fretting a bit about my fears that I will be a homeless and hungry old lady.

So it doesn't surprise me that I wake up this morning and draw 5 of Coins as my daily draw. This card, for me, always points to money worries, the fear of lack.

It's always interesting to me how tarot picks up on the general energies. If you don't ask a specific question and draw, it will give you a snapshot of how you feel, and often times that is very useful, because silly as it may sound, sometimes we aren't sure what we're feeling, and finding out is a very good starting point indeed.

Then of course we want answers. I think it's a mistake to believe that the tarot will give you a pat answer in a single draw. It would be naive to draw three cards now and expect the tarot to reveal to me how to address my retirement plan. I don't need the tarot for that, anyway. I need to see a financial advisor, which is what hubby and I decided to do last night after I told him that for me, the end of my working life looms before me like some hunch-backed spectre. He's not the type to worry about these things, though it's my strong suspicion that neither of us has adequate provision for a life after retirement. It's not something you think about much in your youth, but at some point you have to realise you've got more days behind than you have ahead of you -- and with the best will in the world, your body may not be able see you through to working until you drop. And even if it did, you might not be able to find an employer willing to take you on past retirement age.

So, I reshuffle the deck and ask, how can I best address these feelings and concerns today? I shuffle, cut and draw:

Sunday 9 September 2012

Mantra and Tarot: Moon, Sun, Judgement, World

Moon: Sat chid ekam Brahma
This chant is to understand the mysteries of the form of creation. It makes secrets of the Universe accessible to you. The Moon card indicates an excitement of the unconscious, a psychic awakening and the need to pay attention to it. The mantra expresses the desire to understand the hidden depths that the Moon represents.

Sun: The Sun mantras and their fruits
The Sun card is joy, happiness, the beauty of life. This cannot be expressed in a single mantra There are twelve positions in the yoga sequence known as the Sun Salutation, any of which could be selected as the mantra to attend the Sun card, depending on context.

Om mitraya namaha - The Light of Universal Friendship
Om ravaye namaha - Light of Compelling Radiance
Om suryaya namaha - Dispeller of Darkness/Ignorance
Om bhanave namaha - The Shining Principle
Om khagaya namaha - All-Pervading Light
Om pushe namaha - Light of Mystic Fire
Om hiranya gharbaya namaha - The Golden-Coloured One
Om marichaye namaha - Light of Dawn and Dusk
Om adityaya namaha - Light of the Sage
Om savitre namaha - Light of Enlightenment
Om arkaya namaha - Light that Removes Affliction
Om Bhaskaraya namaha - The Brilliance: Light of Intelligence

Judgement: Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
'Gone, gone, all the way gone, gone all the way to the other shore--hooray!'
The Judgement card depicts people rising from the grave at the End of Days. They respond to the trumpet call and arise changed, their old bodies replaced with new living ones. In readings, this is the response to recognizing that the old self has died and an important change is (or should be) happening.

World: Om bhur buvaswaha
            Tatsavitur varenyam
            Bhargo devasya dimahi
            Dhiyoyonah prachodat

'Om the totality of the Universe, the realm of truth which is beyond human comprehension, every being who has ever been enlightened and who is now in the realm where all celestials of all spheres dwell, kindly enlighten our intellect.'

The true meaning of the World card is unknowable, inexpressible. An understanding, freedom and rapture beyond words. Thus I also can assign it the following lovely mantra:

Ek ong kar sat nam siri wahey guru 
'All that is created has created us, Truth is our name, great beyond description. Unspeakable ecstasy is this light from darkness.'

(All images from Chesca Potter's Greenwood Tarot)

Again, I would like to say that the mantra/tarot associations I've created are based on my study of  Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley Farrand, and 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Mantra and Tarot: Devil, Tower, Star

Devil: Narasimha tavada so hum
Narasimha is an avatar of Vishnu who defeats evil influences that rule the earth. It is the principle for destroying the seemingly indestructible. Narasimha is invoked to gain freedom from evil situations. The Devil caard can indicate a narrow materialistic view of life, any form of misery, feeling chained or imprisoned, with the illusion that no alternatives are possible. Obsessions, slavery to desires, morally repugnant acts. Feelings of shame for giving in to those desires.

Suggested crystal: smoky quartz, which helps overcome fear of failure.

Tower: Om krim kalikayei namaha
'Om to Kali'. Kali is the goddess of Time and Change. Her name means 'The black one', and she is a figure of annihilation. She is the foremost of the ten fierce Tantric goddesses. The mantra (and its stronger version, Om hrim klim adya Kalika parma eshwari swaha) cuts through illusion and brings intense, unnerving, uncomfortable and disruptive changes, effective in a very short amount of time. It cuts through some cherished part of our ego attachments. Similarly, the Tower indicates a period of upheaval, the destruction of long-established beliefs or situations. It can also mean a flash of enlightenment.

Suggested crystal: titanium quartz, which has a starburst color effect, or lodestone, which is associated with magnetism, thus can attract or repel as needed.

Star: Om asatoma sat gamaya, tamasoma jyotir gamaya, mritorma amritam gamaya
'Om, from the not-true to the true lead us, from the dark to the light lead us, from death to immortality lead us.' The Star speaks of openness, wholeness and healing. Inner calm and peace. The unconscious activated, in a very benign way.

Suggested crystal: lapis lazuli, associated with the third eye, truth and enlightenment.

(All images from Morgan Greer Tarot)

Friday 7 September 2012

Mantra and Tarot: Hanged Man, Death, Temperance

Hanged Man: Shante prashante sarva bhaya upashamani swaha
'Through peace, supreme peace, I surrender the quality of fear to the mind without form (ie, universal mind).' In other words, 'fear' is released into the larger source, where it is dispersed. It is the notion of surrendering to the universal that is important here. The Hanged Man has surrendered resistance to life; the feeling of being deeply connected, the release of emotions that may have been locked up for years.

Death: Gobinde mukunde udare apare, hariang kariang nirnamay akame
'Sustainer, liberator, enlightener, infinite; destroyer, creator, nameless, desireless'. The Death card does not actually refer to transformation, but to the precise moment at which we give up old masks and thus allow the transformation to take place. A clearing away of old habits and rigidness to make way for a new life to emerge.

Temperance: Ra ma da sa, sa say so hung
'Sun, moon, earth, infinity; totality of the universe--I am that.' The mantra is about perfect balance in all elements and oneness with existence. The word temperance comes from the Latin 'tempare' which means to mix or combine properly. All different sides of life mix properly in Temperance. The person and the outer world flow naturally together.

(All images from Gaian Tarot)