Monday 30 June 2014

He's all sparkly glowy

Sirian Starseet Tarot 
Here's the Knight of Wands from Sirian Starseed, also known as Adept of Flames. He has a piercing gaze, a purple robe, a waxed chest and a glowing solar plexus chakra. All tools to vanquish fate!

The Adept of Flames asks us today to balance our solar plexus chakra by reflecting on these questions:

What lights my fire?
What do I feel in my 'gut' that I want to do?
What are some things I used to be curious about that I've lost the flame I need to rekindle the flames? 
Am I spending time worrying about what other people think of me and my choices? 

The manipura (solar plexus) chakra responds well to scent, so perhaps you could take a nice scented bubble bath, put on some fragrant lotion, or burn some incense today while you think about these things.

I'm in London today, having gone to visit friends. Fingers crossed the weather is nice! May the Knight of Wands lead us on some interesting adventures for the day. :)

Saturday 28 June 2014

The Indigo child, oh my

Now this is one of the cards in the Sirian Starseed that may do your head in. It's the Magician card, but instead of a magician doing the Saturday Night Fever 'as above so below' pose with a table full of elemental symbols, we have an 'Indigo child' holding a crystal. A creepy smirking child...with creepy Midwich cuckoo eyes...

So what the hell is an 'Indigo' anyway? I'm glad you asked.

Once upon a time in the 1960s, there was a psychic called Nancy Ann Tappe, a synesthete with a gift for seeing 'auras' (though many proponents of the Indigo child idea deny it was 'auras' she saw). As you probably know, an aura is a kind of emanation that surrounds living things and is considered to be its essence. Some people with special sensibilities  claim to be able to sense them, even see them. Nancy Ann Tappe could see them and see their colours. She called these 'life colours'. (She also claimed to be able to taste shapes.)

Nancy saw so many colours around people. She saw magenta, red, blue, orange, pink, lavender, yellow, tan and green. She went around seeing colours and tasting shapes. But in the 1960s, she started seeing a new colour infants, indigo. She hadn't seen this colour before. So she called these 'indigo children.' A few were born in the 60s, with the numbers increasing until today, she says (or would say, if she hadn't died in 2012), most people under the age of 30 are indigos. Her website says that in the 60s, about one in 5000 births were indigos. Now, '95% of the population are indigos'. I guess it means 95% of the population born after the 60s are indigos, or else lots of others will have changed colour, not something that appears to be possible.

How can you tell if you're an indigo? Here are some traits of the indigo:

  • Feeling like an alien -- like you don't belong here, that you are different from most people
  • Anger -- which some might call righteous indignation and others might call an overblown sense of entitlement
  • Tenacity -- you won't be beaten down, also called willfulness 
  • Resistance of authority, structure and hierarchy -- Dislike/distrust of teachers, doctors and authority figures of all types
  • Seeing through lies -- always asking why, always seeing through those in power trying to pull the wool over your eyes, but you are not having it!
  • Defiance -- (which more forgiving New Age types call 'breaking down structures') -- basically, trouble makers, but always felt to be justified trouble
  • Radical authenticity -- the indigo must 'be himself', refuse to 'wear a social mask', no matter the consequences
  • Love -- very powerfully throw themselves into emotions
  • Depression -- see above
  • Sense of mission -- indigos feel they are here for a reason, and they search diligently to try to figure out what it is
  • Power, creativity, energy -- multi-talented, creative, with lots of energy toward things they want to do, and a big 'F you' to the things they don't want to do
  • Intuition -- make decisions based on gut feeling; just 'kind of know' things
  • Loners -- enjoy company of other indigos, otherwise don't mind being alone
  • Sensitivity -- sensitive to textures, colours, etc, sensitive to situations, for example big parties can overwhelm; it varies with the indigo, but they are all 'sensitive'
  • Other traits -- attracted to animals or children, tendency to be vegetarian, defy age classification (hard to tell age), do not respond to 'guilt' discipline 
A lot of people see the whole 'indigo child' thing as an excuse for problem children or poor parenting. I shall withhold comment other than to say that as a former teacher, I can certainly imagine a parent/teacher conference during which a parent might say, 'Well, he's his own person you know--he's an indigo.' I never had anyone call their child an indigo, but I certainly had parents say they couldn't exert any type of meaningful influence over their children's disruptive behaviour. Heck, my own kid was a little hellion in school, but that wasn't because he was an 'indigo' -- though he fits most of the 'traits' listed above. Shrug. Who knows -- maybe his aura is indigo, I certainly have never seen an aura around a person, so what do I know. I've taken online quizzes and according them I'm indigo.

Are you an adult indigo?  

I'm skeptical of all this 'Indigo' business, so I'm not thrilled to see 'Indigo' as a major card, but I will get over it! If I leave aside all that I personally see as nonsense in it, I can still see in the card the representation of a kind of pure potential, and the art shows me powers of the universe converging and taking shape in human hands -- as above, so below. So I can live with it. :) 

Friday 27 June 2014

Sirian Starseed Hermit

Sirian Starseed Tarot 
Isn't this a simply gorgeous Hermit card? I love it. It's called 'Reflection' instead of Hermit, and the LWB offers these questions for...reflection...

Am I able to silence my mind and reflect on the situation at hand? How am I quieting my mind to contemplate the higher truth? Am I able to be still and listen to my inner voice? Have I matured from what I have learned?

The immediate situation at hand for me is I have made an appointment for 9.00 this morning to see the dentist about this swelling of the gums around my tooth. It's the tooth with the filling that gave me so much trouble in March and April. I have many fears about this, but I must quiet those fears because I don't know anything yet. There's simply no need worrying about the things that the dentist 'might' say, the treatment options that she might give me. In fact, from what I've read, I know what they 'might' be: a treatment of the gums involving an incision to drain the abscess (assuming it is an abscess), a root canal, or extraction. That's pretty much all they can do. But there's no point wondering and worrying what she is going to say until she says it.

The last two nights I have gone to bed very early. Night before last, 9.00, last night 8.30. I slept all night, except night before last, when pain in my gums awoke me at 2.45 and I got up to rub them with clove oil and take some ibuprofen. Last night I woke up briefly but the discomfort wasn't bad enough for me to have to get up to take pain relievers.

I can reflect on this fact. I am very lucky to live in a time when pain relief is a small matter of 50p or less for a box of ibuprofen, and dental care is available to help me. I might not particularly want to have a gap where a tooth used to be, but even if it comes to that, the procedure will not be life-threatening nor a torment of pain. For that I am grateful.

But for now, I hope that it's something minor that will require just a bit of fixing up.

ETA: Well, I'm back. The dentist said I have an external infection, gave me some antibiotics and made noises about my 'very deep filling' and hinted that this tooth might not be terribly long for this world. For now, though, I will happy to have this infection cleared up and no more pain. And I hope to hang on to to the tooth for another several years. To that end, I've decided to go off sugar. It will be for the best for me in every way.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Magnificent moments

It's the happy-happy-joy-joy card! Which is kind of funny because today I have to do 'evening cover', which means I don't get to leave the office until 17.30, and with my commute I won't be getting home until nearly 19.00. BUT, hubby and I have planned to have a long lunch and take the picnic blanket and some sandwiches from Subway out to the park and sit on the grass and watch the bunnies and birdies and listen to the wind in the trees and so that is probably going to be my 10 of Cups moment for today. :)

The Sirian Starseed LWB offers some questions for consideration at the end of each card interpretation:

Are you aware of all you have created  and how the world is unfolding through your manifestation? Are you feeling the magnificent of this moment in your life? How are you sharing the joy with others? Do you give thanks for all that flows into your life?

These are very good questions to hold in our hearts as we move through the events of the day.

Wednesday 25 June 2014

The space men have landed

Once upon a time there was a Nobel Prize winning author called Doris Lessing. She wrote, amongst other things,  a series of five books called the Canopus in Argos series (1979-1983). The books examine the history of the earth (or earth-like planets) and humankind (or human-like beings), from the point of view of alien intelligences. Doris's readers were disappointed when she turned from literary fiction to what she called 'space fiction.'

 'I would so like it,' Doris said, ' if reviewers and readers could see this series, Canopus in Argos: Archive, as a framework that enables me to tell (I hope) a beguiling tale or two; to put questions, both to myself and to others; to explore ideas and sociological possibilities. What they don't realise is that in science fiction is some of the best social fiction of our time.' 

One of the series is called The Sirian Experiments (1980). In this book, the Sirians have become quite advanced; in effect, immortal. So they get bored and develop a case of 'the existentials', and decide to go off and seed new worlds and have meaningful new spiritual and existential experiences. Of course the worlds are all ostensible versions of earth. A cult seems to have grown up around this.  Lessing said in an interview that its followers had written to her and asked, "When are we going to be visited by the gods?", and she told them that the book is "not a cosmology. It's an invention", and they replied, "Ah, you're just testing us."

Then along comes Patricia Cori, 'Scribe to Speakers of the Sirian High Council', in 1996, claiming to channel messages from a 'Sirian High Council'. I'm not entirely sure this comes directly from Lessing's books, but I strongly suspect so. Here's where I lose the thread a bit because this sort of stuff involves a lot of densely written text on websites having lots of flashing effects and scrolling messages and exclamation points, and reading it all makes me lose the will to live. Suffice to say that in 2012 Patricia Cori created a tarot deck, and in 2014, in a curious departure from the norm, I bought it. 

And guess what?  I really like it. No, really. I do. 

We'll have to turn to the LWB for more about the Sirians. Apparently, we are all 'starseeds' who have chosen to inhabit earth in this incarnation. I can't really tell if that makes us Sirians or if we are little starseeds in their cosmic petrie dish. The tarot structure can encompass the Sirian Starseed story the same as it can encompass any story, though, and it does fit beautifully. The majors of course contain the archetypes of any sort of journey, spiritual or otherwise, and they will fit anything, I'm convinced of this. They are the archetypes of every story. That's all there is to that.

The four suits have the names changed to chalices (cups), orbs (swords), crystals (pentacles) and flames (wands). The courts are called 'people keys' and are seeker, adept, sage and master (page, knight, queen, king). 

The art of the deck is photocollage. Some images are a bit clunky, but overall, I really like these cards. They are huge and very pretty and easy to read right out of the box, or at least that has been my experience. 

Sirian Starseed Tarot
Today's card is Master of Chalices (King of Cups). The People Keys 'can't be interpreted in simplistic terms and finite descriptions,' says Cori in the LWB. 'To understand them you will need to explore the essence of each suit' and then consider how each People Key embodies that essence. Masters (Kings) have complete authority over the suit and carry significant social responsibility for them. The suit of chalices represents 'the subconscious, emotions, love and relationships, sensuality...illusions, intuition, blissful celebration' -- and so the traditional card meanings exist very strongly in this deck. To me, the imagery is just a rather new way of evoking the traditional essence of each card. I like that. 

This the kind of deck that doesn't take a lot of wordy analysis. It can be experienced. Stare at the Master of Chalices. There is the ocean in all its depth, and the sky is filled with a pair of knowing eyes. It's all you need, really, to get a feel for the King of Cups. Very powerful card. 

I will master my emotions today. Particularly as I have had a toothache in that  demon seed tooth that caused me so much angst and misery in March and April. I am going to believe in my heart that this discomfort is nothing and will pass. I am not going to let my imagination or my emotions run away with me about it. 

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Neuzeit Tarot - Page of Swords

Neuzeit Tarot 
The Page of Swords from Neuzeit Tarot (AG Muller 1982) seems to show a man rescuing his family from the torments of industrialisation. At least I hope he's leading them to the sunlit beauties of nature, having taken this last look over the cliff at it. His children seem to be imploring him to move on, while his wife has already turned her face toward the future and and is moving happily in that direction. I hope he isn't about to drag himself and them off the cliff to certain doom! The scene could be either of those (or neither!).

The LWB says that swords represent the power of consciousness and intelligence, but also that they point to 'the ways of our ancestors and the wars they fought.' They are a 'tool of consciousness which we use to defend and conquer our dreams.' Hm. Goes on to say that Page of Swords is the 'keeper of the values of his people' and he can do either a good or bad job at that. Well, that is sort of the story I saw in the card, too. He might be leading them to freedom or dragging them over the edge to destruction, depending on how you look at it. There doesn't seem to be a hint of the usual 'adolescent' nature of the page -- unless you count viewing things as this black and white as an adolescent viewpoint, which I suppose it is.

There is surely something between the Garden of Eden and the Dark Satanic Mills. We have to strike a balance in the world. We have to live in the world, so we are going to leave our mark on the earth. That's just the way our species has always been. It's what has helped us to survive as a species, and to become the dominant species of the earth. We didn't set out to do it, but it was just our problem-solving skills, our ability to conceptualise, symbolised by the swords suit, that has both made us a success and that could well lead to our self-destruction. Perhaps it is this realisation, an adolescent stage of self-awareness, that is represented by this card.

Okay, an adolescent stage of self-awareness that sees things in black or white, right or wrong, good or evil, beautiful or repulsive. I will take today's card as a warning to use discernment today, but not to go too far with it.

Monday 23 June 2014

Cycling energy

Neuzeit (New Age) Tarot 
I bought this deck in The Speaking Tree in Glastonbury for £3. It's a strange little deck, Neuzeit Tarot (AG Muller 1982).

Now I have no idea what divinatory system this deck is based on, if any. But I have to share what the LWB says about today's card, 5 of Cups:

'Cups of the primal mother above whom the primal seed awaits its earthly awakening. This [sic] where the four dimensions of consciousness become apparent. Divinatory meaning: fertility, strong family ties, you are living in the right place, pronounced femininity, increased cosmic energies. Reversed: Bad harvest, insufficient health care for sick, weak femininity, homosexuality. Mother complexes. Gluttony.'


This reminds me of that New Age Bullshit Generator site. I'll just pop over there and ask it what it thinks this card means:

'You may be ruled by stagnation without realizing it. Do not let it exterminate the nature of your myth. Although you may not realize it, you are infinite. If you have never experienced this revolution inherent in nature, it can be difficult to self-actualize. Prophet, look within and develop yourself.'

Ha ha!

I really have no idea what to make of any of the cards in this deck, and the book is fairly useless, so we'll just have to roll with it.

The 5s are normally up to no good in tarot. I have looked at all the 5s in this deck and they don't seem to bear any relation to RWS/Thoth/Golden Dawn tradition. I don't think they bear relation to anything! But I don't see anything in this 5 of Cups to make me give it a negative spin. Let's look at the imagery.

At the top, a crowned, unroasted coffee bean shape glows like the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There's a golden pyramid flanked by silver mountains underneath it. Then a sort of wall with layers of heiroglyphs showing themes of war, travel, music and art, and at the bottom, the alphabet. A table is formed of stones and a slab of wood, and on this table is a big goblet surrounded by four smaller ones. A colour pours from the big goblet into each smaller one - red, yellow black, white. WAIT! That makes me think of a line from a song we used to sing in Bible school: 'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow black and white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.' Actually the first thing I noticed about those colours was that they correspond to the German flag. I wonder what significance if any they have to the card. And I wonder what significance that combination may have in the occult world. Wait, the LWB refers to the 'four dimensions of consciousness.'  These are:

'This is where the four dimensions of consciousness become apparent,' says the LWB. The only thing I can think of that this might relate to in a daily draw is perhaps meditation practice. Looking at the picture reminds me of a technique I use called 'cycling energy.' I suppose I will do the cycling energy meditation today, then.

This is going to be an interesting week!

Saturday 21 June 2014

Summer Solstice Reading 2014

This is my summer solstice spread for 2014. I shuffled the cards very well and laughed when I drew the Sun as the first card.

1. Sunrise - What is beginning in my life? - Sun
2. High noon - What is my greatest power right now? What should be my sharpest focus? - Dreamer Two (2 of Swords)
3. What is winding down in my life right now? - Justice
4. What is under the surface, at rest for the moment? - Dancer Three (3 of Cups)

I'm entering a new phase of optimism, success and achievement in my life. The figure in the Sun card beckons directly to the viewer to join hands and dance around the hill, which resembles Glastonbury Tor, topped by a tree framed by the sun, which is also the faery glyph. The little butterfly fluttering between us and the figure is a symbol of rebirth. It is also me, freshly emerged from my chrysalis, seeing everything with new eyes. Can you imagine what it would be like to be fresh born, looking around for the first time, feeling yourself moving for the first time, and the first sight you see is this scene? Nothing but joy and wonder would ever have been your portion. You emerge from your shell to go directly upward toward bliss. My, my.

 The sun in the card shows its great power, as it is the source of all life after all. The sidhe join hands and progress up the hill in a snake-like procession, toward the Source and the Tree of Life. This is kundalini rising, it is enlightenment of a kind. The upward spiral image is used to characterise kundalini and the awakening of bliss. Eion Finn refers to joy as an 'upward spiral.' We know that life itself is an upward spiral, we can see it in the form of the double helix of DNA. We see here in the card, the bottom of the card is somewhat murky in colour, though creatures of flight abound - birds, fluttering bugs and butterflies of various types. There are also some rounded objects in the two lower corners that look like geodes, a word that itself means 'earth-like'. The red-haired sidhe beckons me to join the creatures of the earth in a spiral dance into the greenness of life, upward, to return to source, to return to the True Self.

The card does not point to specific events necessarily, but an overall feeling of happiness and radiance. It is the start of my time to shine. Combined with the other cards, it suggests ways to gain in self-confidence and personal power, and that success and hope are on the rise. I can see many connections to my spiritual practice, my yoga practice, and the direction I hope to move my life.  All this is in the sunrise phase of the 'day'.

High Noon
At its zenith right now in my life is Dreamer Two, 2 of Swords, titled 'Half-Moon Truce'. The card shows a purply-bluey sky dominated by a huge circle, half black and half white, containing the ghostly face of a sidhe. It is ephemeral; there are wisps around the circle suggesting it may have suddenly appeared, and may be going into and out of focus. At the bottom of the card, the yellowing of the sky above two mountain peaks, in swirls of clouds, and hanging between earth and sky is a magpie, its wings outstretched. With its black and white colouring, the magpie represents duality in some ways. In folklore, the magpie can represent risk-taking, as its dual colours suggest both good and bad. Magpies are courageous, daredevil birds, they have amongst the most complicated of bird vocabularies, and they are notoriously attracted to shiny objects. All of these help us to see the sorts of things represented by the black and white moon - decisions, decisions. Do I dare to take a risk? Do I dare to speak my truth? Do I dare to go for the shiny objects?

Called 'Half-Moon Truce,' this card actually represent the pause between decisions. It is the moment of drawing breath between having an idea and speaking it into the world. We know that words make manifest. The moon is the silence of the heart, the mountains the resolution of the spirit, the magpie, then, would be the speaker of the magic. So all the swirling around the moon becomes the breath that gives life to the words.

In Dreamer Two, none of this has happened yet. It is the moment between initial foment and subsequent action. It is the balance that cannot last, it is like a rock that has been pushed up to the pointy top of a precipice, where it pauses, filled with potential energy, before either rolling back or teetering over and down the other side of the hill. It cannot just sit there forever. Natural laws will not allow it. Spiritually and mentally however, we can prolong this moment through hesitance to move either way. This is one reason why the woman in the traditional RWS image wears a blindfold and is seated in the non-land at the edge of water ('between the salt water and the sea strand', as Simon and Garfunkel call it, a non-place). One message of this card is that you cannot sit in this non-place forever. The moon in the card cannot stay half black and half white forever. The magpie cannot hover with outspread wings forever. Even the mountains will not endure forever!

So what is at its greatest power right now, what should be in sharpest focus in my life right now?  I am at the crossroads of possibility, the state between changed states -- and my greatest power is in being able to see with clarity, by looking inward, where I've come from and where I want to go. There are many decisions that must be made, but the card suggests that now I am at my greatest potential for making them.

The time for balance is over. The previous card just talked about how a balance act can't last forever. And then to represent what is on the wane, we see a card which represents a balancing act that lasts forever. In the sky of the card we see a sun and a moon side by side, the clouds around them forming the lemniscat of infinity. The green-haired sidhe, wearing a fetching red leotard, balances on the tips of the fingers of both hands on the handle of a glowing sword, which stands on its tippy-tip in the centre of a spiral, which is of course a faery glyph. The hair of the sidhe spills down from her head, forming the earth and the spiral, which actually looks like it could be the surface of a small pool of water. Here we have day and night, sun and moon, light and darkness, earth and sky, rock and water, and the flashing colours of green and red. The balancing sidhe can clearly maintain this pose forever. She herself is part of the landscape she balances on. It's all connected.

 However, the Justice card isn't about rock solid stability. Even this highly skilled, amazing strong sidhe cannot maintain such a posture like a marble statue. The balance requires continuous tiny adjustments to maintain the equilibrium to allow her to stay there in that position, which may vary in tiny degrees moment to moment, but which, overall, always appears the same. Look very close and you will see all the tiny tremours and miniscule movements of muscle that allow her to maintain the pose. (Just like in yoga.)

My time of 'continuous tiny adjustments' to maintain my status quo is now on the wane. It's on the way out. The time of tiny adjustments to keep everything looking the same is over! In conjunction with the previous Dreamer Two, the message is clear. Change is about to happen, based on decisions that I make. And because 'adjustment' is on the way out, making these decisions is something I can't avoid. Or even if I do avoid them, refuse to make them, change is going to happen. It's going to happen.

Dancer Three or 3 of Cups is the card of celebrations, parties, festivities, community, lightness and joy. And this is dormant right now. Oh yes, I can certainly see that. We can safely say that I haven't felt like these water nymph type sidhe, frolicking together in the warm sea under the radiance of the full moon. I have felt isolated, agitated, and in many ways hopeless and directionless. Perhaps not hopeless, but certainly I have had no joy in community of any kind to speak of for many, many weeks. And in fact, this aspect of life is still dormant for me right now -- but there's one good thing about night. It doesn't last forever. If something is in the darkness of night, there is a clear implication that it will eventually see the light of day. If something is asleep, it will wake up.

And actually, I do have several social engagements lined up in the near future, and of course a big cause celebre is the end of this secondment, which is the main source of my feelings of isolation and unhappiness lately.

I decided after all this to draw one last card, asking for advice. How do I move more fully into the sun? How do I make the best of the Half-Moon Truce? What is the recommended action?

Friday 20 June 2014

The safe choice?

Watch the clip from Jim Carrey's commencement speech to Maharishi University of Management Class of 2014. It's such an important lesson for us all, the lesson he learned by observing his father:

You can take the path that seems like the safe path, but there is no guarantee of safety there. As Jim Carrey puts it so well, 'You can fail at what you DON'T you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.' 

My bulletin board

And Here's the Tale as Told by Gaian Tarot

The world's a scary place. 

So you do the 'right thing' - take the safe and responsible option.
But guess what -- you can't keep lightning from striking the oak tree by stockpiling a few acorns! (You don't even like acorns, but they seemed like a safe bet...)

Well, surprise! All your 'safety' goes up in smoke. You didn't think this could happen. You thought karma would accept the 'noble sacrifice' of your dreams and give you security as a reward. Wrong.
You might as well have listened to your own heart, although it is scarier than gathering acorns.

And dared to dance a little too close to the fire, out in the open, where everyone could see you. Yes, you might get burned. 

But you might also find real joy. 

It's not too late. It's never too late. What have you got to lose that you couldn't lose anyway? 

Thursday 19 June 2014

A personal reading: leaving a job

I have requested to go back to my regular job 6 months early. Even though my regular job has its problems, too, and has its own risks, and even though the secondment paid a bit more, I really don't want to spend a full year doing that work. I certainly know that I would not wish to ever do the job permanently. There seemed little point in prolonging the matter. And so I decided to pull some cards, now that I've taken official steps to end the thing early: 

What results to my advantage from leaving this job?

I decided to focus my question on the positive side of this move. The cards I've drawn are tremendously encouraging. 

Tarot Illuminati by Eric C Dunne, companion book by Kim Huggens Llewellyn 2012
Despite my strong Queen of Swords aspect, I became more acutely aware of some things about myself over the last few months, and these are well represented by the King of Cups. As Fire of Water, the King of Cups is the action of emotion. My first (and hopefully last) taste of life in a corporate office has brought home to me my need for work based on my strong feelings about something. I have mentioned that all my work has been in helping professions - teacher, customer service, librarian. It's true that a Queen of Swords tendency to be organised and self-controlled certainly helps in these roles, but the crux of the matter is King of Cups. Without a deep conviction that the work I'm doing matters in a meaningful way to other people, I cannot muster enthusiasm for a task. I need to help. I need to be of service. Healer, counsellor, advisor, compassion, active emotions, care, spiritual wisdom, emotional experience -- all these are associated with the King of Cups, who in his most positive aspect represents all these things (and in the company of the two following cards, he is most definitely positively aspected).

'Mine is the power of active compassion,' the King of Cup declares in the companion book, 'the power to see pain and suffering and heal it, to purify the wounded and injured, and to guide the lost soul in times of trouble. I travel upon the ocean, because to swim in it would let it overcome me; I rule my emotions, not the other way around, and it is this which allows me to heal the wounded feelings and souls of others.'

It is a strong indication to me that I belong in work where I feel that I am helping other people -- directly helping other people, not doing back room work for an organisation that ostensibly helps other people. I need to be able to look in the eyes of the person I am helping, to see the connection I am making, to see that the work I do has a direct positive influence on someone's life. Dealing in abstractions about 'big work for a bigger good' is not fulfilling for me.

It's true that these things are more immediate and apparent in the jobs I will be returning to, but even more so in pursuing other goals -- and these goals are to expand on my deep interests and skills. The Alchemist, or Magician, is highly supportive of new beginnings, new projects and goals. The Alchemist has all resources at hand -- earth, water, fire and air -- and this is representative of having everything you need within you and without you to make your dreams reality. What you imagine can happen. The Alchemist tells me to direct my energy toward my goals. 'Sometimes it can indicate that something the querent is doing or working on seems to be inspired by or linked directly to a higher cause or power, as if they are channelling it and they simply are the messenger or means by which it reaches manifestation,' writes Huggens. Now is the time to pursue these goals, becoming more fully committed to helping others directly. So this would be another advantage of making this change in jobs - it provides opportunity to move in this direction. Just how it does remains to be seen...

Finally, the 2 of Wands is a card that shows possibility and forward momentum. I was struck by the words of the 2 of Wands in the companion book: 'The strong will, by necessity, must be expansive in nature, not happy to be cloistered and shut away...I know the limits of my dominion, and therefore I know what is not my dominion, and what is waiting for me. But knowing is not enough, because I also know that I have not yet expanded my will and desire far enough. I am the explorer, the entrepreneur, the leader, the conqueror. I do not seek to take from others, but my influence will be felt...' That is how I felt in a corporate office, cloistered and shut away, certainly not my dominion. And so, this card represents the expansion of will into action. The card encourages me to move in the direction of my will -- and my will is to do work that is truly and directly helpful to others. That is where my passion lies. It must said that 2 of Wands is a very auspicious card to draw in relation to business endeavours, and I so very strongly wish to do work that makes a difference in people's lives, that brings them comfort and enouragement and builds them up and makes them feel good and strong. I know that my gifts lie in that direction, and are manifested in card reading and spiritual counselling.

This is the direction I want to take. This is direction I will take.

Slow dancing with Jareth

I can't help myself, these images remind me of films and songs and poems. This one reminds me of David Bowie's character, Jareth, the Goblin King in the film 'Labryinth'. It makes sense, though, as Brian Froud created the conceptual designs for the film.

This Magician reminds me very much of tarot Magicians, because he has tools of the trade all around him - a wand, a crystal ball, a candle, tarot cards flying all about, and goblins, faeries, unicorns and all manner of mischief and magic represented. He looks kind of dangerous, though. He's definitely a trickster and tempter, you can see that plainly.

In the film 'Labyrinth', the Goblin King Jareth falls in love with the young girl Sarah, because she has become obsessed with him in her fantasies. She has practically created him. I see an interesting message in this card about the will, about 'magic'. You create magic, and it creates you. You have to make sure the boundaries don't get blurred.

'Everything that you wanted, I have done,' Jareth says to Sarah. 'You asked me to take the child and I took it. You cowered before me and I was frightening. I have reordered time, I have turned the world upside down, I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me. Isn't that generous? I ask for so little, just let me rule you and you can have everything you want. Just fear me - love me - do as I say, and I will be your slave.'

Now I can see how someone in trousers like Bowie's with shoulders that wide could be a bit mesmerizing. You might be inclined to give in! But instead, Sarah says, 'My will is as strong as yours and my kingdom as great. You have no power over me,' and escapes.

What has she escaped from? I think we have to be careful that our goals or aspirations, our dreams and our daydreams, don't grow into monsters that rule over us. Our desires can cast a glamour over us and make us slaves to them. We have to remember that we created them, we control them. We drive them, they don't drive us. And we can change our minds at any time. 'You've come this far you can't turn back' is not a true statement. You can turn any time you like. You can do anything you want. You are the pilot of this ship!

There's another aspect - if your dreams and goals become nothing but daydreams, they threaten to trap you in a bubble of inaction. That's no good, and reminds me of Rachel Pollack's tremendously wise comment on the Magician card - 'Unless we make something of our potentials, they do not really exist.'

Does that make sense? I think it does. But Jareth sure looks hot in those kinky little boots. I have to admit in 1986, I was so into Jareth. I haven't thought about this film in years...I'm still into Jareth. Let's slow dance with him...

But remember, if all you ever do is slow dance with your dreams inside your own head -- where will that ever lead you? Not very far.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

What was that noise?

 “Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

~ Emily Dickinson 

When does 'Hope' sing most sweetly? In the gale and storm, in the chillest land, and 
on the strangest sea. Hope will not abandon you. You just have to listen for it. 

Another 'prick up your ears' message, then. Listen to the tune without the words. 

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Reality check

Heart of Faeries, Froud 2010 
It's great to be a 'Soul Survivor' like yesterday's card, but you can't always go roaring through your life that you 'might have been QUEEN!' Sometimes survival is about knowing when to keep quiet and listen. Nobody understands that better than the animals featured on this card from Brian Froud's Heart of Faeries Oracle. In the background, I see what looks like a horse's eye, and a hare with long ears, and at the top, I see antlers. These are all prey animals, and I assume the big-eyed faerie gazing at us from the card represent them and their qualities. They must be intensely alert at all times, aware of their surroundings from all sides, ready to take action for self-preservation. This, too, is an important part of being a soul survivor. You have to know when to prick up your ears.

Today is a day to be still and listen. To be closely attuned to every sensory perception in your present moment. Present moment living can take you out of anxiety. Here's an exercise I just learned. Whenever you catch yourself caught up in an anxious thought, do NOT start to argue with it, telling yourself to stop thinking about it. Instead, say, 'Here is my anxiety,' and then STAND UP, take a step to one side, drop your shoulders, loosen your jaws and relax your hands, pat yourself on the legs or bum, and then take in your surroundings using your five senses - what do you hear happening around you? What do you see? What do you smell? What can you feel? What can you taste? Breathe normally. You are in the moment. You have pricked up your ears.

I guarantee you that when a rabbit suddenly feels anxious, she doesn't begin to play a tape in her head that says, 'Oh, stop being so ridiculous, you shouldn't worry so much, you are just making yourself sick,' or 'Why do I always do this, why can't I control my thoughts,' or 'Oh I knew this would happen if only I hadn't come on this path,' or even 'Oh no! I'm going to die! I'm going to die!' NO WAY does she do this -- she pricks up her ears, she puts her full attention on the sensory perception of the present moment -- she gives herself a sensory REALITY CHECK. She doesn't just keep moving along nibbling at grass and trying to ignore her feelings.

The card tells me to do three things today:

1. Don't talk too much today. Instead, listen to others.
2. Pay more attention to what is unsaid than to what is said.
3. Don't listen to internal tapes today. Take physical action to break that cycle - stand up and move to the side and ground in the present moment.

Maybe you needed that advice today, too.

Monday 16 June 2014

Soul Survivor

This card instantly reminds me of Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in the movie 'What's Love Got to Do With It'. If you haven't seen the film, I highly recommend it. It's the story of how Tina Turner (Anna Mae Bullock) rose to fame with her abusive husband Ike, and how she found the courage through her Buddhist practice to leave him and move on in her life. There was a lot of darkness for her to overcome. Her own mother had been abused, and so that set the stage in her mind for thinking this was normal...and then her mother abandoned her to move on, and left her to live with her grandmother. There's no way to know what motivated Anna Mae's mother take one child and leave the other, but, according to the film at least, it caused Anna to be unable to walk out of her domestic situation, however painful it had become. Then Anna is introduced to meditation and chanting by her friend, Jackie, and becomes part of the Nichiren Soshu (Sokka Gakkai), a cult-like offshoot of Buddhism that focuses on the Lotus Sutra and chanting 'nam-myo-renge-kyo'. 

After she leaves Ike, she even cuts a record called 'I Might Have Been Queen': 

I'm a new pair of eyes every time I am born
And original mind because I just died
And I'm scanning the horizon
For someone recognizing that I might have been queen

For every sun that sets there is a new one dawning
For every empire crushed there is a brand new nation
Let the waters rise
I have ridden each tide
From the gates of the city
Where the first born died

And I might have been queen
I remember the girl in the fields with no name
She had a love
Oh, but the rivers won't stop for me
No, the rivers won't stop for me

I'm a new pair of eyes and original mind
With my senses of old and the heart of a giant
And I'm searching through the wreckage
For some recollection that I might have been queen

For every sage that falls there's an ancient child

And I might have been queen
I remember the girl in the fields with no name
She had a love
Oh, but the rivers won't stop for me
No, the rivers won't stop for me

I look up to the stars with my perfect memory
I look through it all and my future's no shock to me
I look down but I see no tragedy
I look up to my past, a spirit running free
I look down, I look down and I'm there in history

Ho, I'm a soul survivor
A soul survivor
On the river
But it won't stop

'I'm a new pair of eyes and original mind' - She is in this current incarnation, yes, but she is also part of the Universal Mind. 

Why do I think this song represents the Queen of the Night card? She's been through a lot -- but she has survived it. She has learned to 'rule' it. All of it is inside her now, running deep, like a river of knowledge that she is more than her circumstances, more than her past, more than her future. She is Queen of her own Night. She is a Soul Survivor. 

Whatever you are going through, you are the Queen of that Night, too. My favourite part of this song is where she sings 'I look up to the stars with my perfect memory' - perfect because she is part of the greater whole that has complete knowledge of all things (she may not be able to recall it while in this present incarnation, but she knows it somewhere deep within in the 'original mind') - 'I look through it all and my future's no shock to me' - because, like Krishanmurti famously said, 'This is my secret - I don't mind what happens' - 'I look down but I see no tragedy' - she's soaring over her own life here, surveying it, but has learned acceptance and no longer sees it as tragedy - 'I look up to my past, a spirit running free' - she survived her past, she always had the capacity to find freedom, even when she felt trapped - 'I look down, I look down and I'm there in history - ho I'm a soul survivor!' She can see that she has endured and will endure and is limitless. And she carries on, through this life and beyond. 

Beautiful. Queen of the Night.

Sunday 15 June 2014

What needs fixin in your life today?

Heart of Faerie Oracle, Froud 2010
Lovely tiled floors, there. The wild-haired little gnome woman looks a bit like a dalek in her strange little studded coat, pushing her mop. She really does look crazy as a bessy bug, but happy for all that.

This tiled floor and the name of the card, 'The Fixer', reminds me of a favourite film of mine, 'Batteries Not Included'. It's about these friendly little spaceships who visit earth and fix things. The rather senile old woman who lives in the building calls them the 'fix-its' because they like to fix things. And there's a scene when the little baby spaceships tries to help rebuild a demolished building by picking up one tiny tile and setting it in place. It's so sweet.

The little lady here is like the fix-its in 'Batteries Not Included' -- happy to help, following her instincts to put things in order and keep things running. She might not be entirely right in the head, and certainly does not fit any conventional ideas of normal, but she's happy, and that's the important thing.

I think the card has many lessons: 1) We can fix things for ourselves, 2) It doesn't matter how you fix things as long as you try - and it doesn't matter how it looks to others or what they think of you when you go about your fixing, and 3) I should really mop the floor today.

Hope you all have a restful Sunday. Wear your bathrobe all day and let your hair stick out in all directions. Who's gonna care? :)

Saturday 14 June 2014

Grrr! Don't laugh at me, I am not cute! I am very serious and very angry! Fear me, world! GRRR!

Heart of Faerie Oracle, Brian Froud 2010
I've decided I've had enough of tarot and tarot books and thinking. So I've chosen the least likely deck for the week -- Heart of Faerie by Brian Fround (Abrams, 2010). I don't often feature oracles here but I think maybe I'll start.

I will not be looking at the companion book at all this week because I'm rather tired of making a study of companion books, and because when I first bought this deck years ago, I read bits of the companion book and I have to say, I don't think it was exactly 'inspired'. Wendy Froud, Brian's wife, wrote it. With the best will in the world, it's bland and insipid and to be honest, unworthy of the luminous art it accompanies.

And doesn't that sound just like something Tink would say? This card is totally appropriate for me today. I have been GRUMPY. It started with that Faery Wicca deck that I decided I couldn't use and spent a couple of hours reading about, then managed to find a more suitable home for, and has continued all day long as I complain about the state of flat as I've tried to tidy it -- where does all this dust come? Why do I have so many books? Why do we have so many DVDs? Why do we have all this CRAP? And complaining to my husband -- why do you keep dropping things, every time you drop something I go straight through the roof! I have accomplished nothing today and it's already 5:30 -- what is the point of my life?? I feel miffed and annoyed and slightly ridiculous because of course there is actually nothing wrong, I just FEEL like pretty much everything is wrong somehow. Dang it! I stand with my arms on my hips and fume at the world. Dang it all tuh heck!

You can see this little faerie Tink is standing there defying the world as well. I can imagine all her little muscles straining and the little fever builds up and goes up her little spine and pops right out the top of her beanie there in a little ball of light  -- ping! Her anger is so ridiculous it's rather cute. And it will probably fizzle out as fast as it arose.

It's most likely a hormone surge anyway.



For sale or trade: Faery Wicca Tarot by Kisma K Stepanich.

This is a used copy of the deck. The outer box shows a bit of wear. The small companion book and complete deck are in very good condition.

£20 with free shipping within UK. International orders to pay shipping.

Please contact me with offers for trade.

What have I got myself into?

I'm not sure how I feel about working with this deck. I looked for it because an online friend whose opinion I value uses it and admires it. But since I bought it, I have found out some unsavoury things about the author, Kisma K Stepanich, in particular this post found here, posted in 1999:

 Subject: Kisma StepanichFrom: gr...@eire.comDate: Mon, 23 August 1999 06:21 PM EDTMessage-id: <>As a former student and coven member, of  Kisma Stepanich (a.k.a. Kisma Reidling) I feel that I must say something for the benefit of the Pagan community at large. I encourage you to seek the truth for yourself, it's what Kisma is most afraid of.Many of her other former students have also written statements and letters that show how she runs a coven is based on "cult" brainwashing techniques.  (see Isaac Bonewitz's Cult Danger Evaluation Frame)  For instance, students are restricted from contacts outside the group, (told who they may or may not remain friends with) and also from contact inside the group (she doesn't want them to compare notes with each otheror talk about her when she isn't there) so all situations are managed by her.Like a tin-plated dictator with delusions of Goddesshood (and with a really nasty temper), she uses public humiliation coupled with saccharin-sweet compliments, and then more humiliation, she keeps people off-balance so they don't know where they stand and must turn to her (and only her) for guidance. Family commitments and health issues take second place to all group/coven activities, and woe be to you if youquestion her. She charges monthly coven tithes as well as admission to each moon gathering, and sabbat. A mandatory part of the training for all students is attendance at ALL her outside classes at locations other than her home, (local bookstores, meeting halls) about $70 to $90 each.  And there is a $50 charge for initiation, which MUST be re-newed (and paid for) each year. Kisma was a member of Southern California CoG (Covenant of the Goddess). She is no longer a member because of many ethical violation complaints filed with CoG, but before steps of action could be taken, Kisma merely failed to renew her membership. (because she didn't want to have to answer to the charges that would have resulted in lot of negative attention in the larger Pagan/Wiccan community when the truth came out)   Her offenses included; lying to CoG about her original qualifications for membership, lying about her connections to CoG, and charging fees for initiation.   She has claimed that she and Janet and Stewart Farrar are of the same lineage, and this is simply not true as the Farrars will attest to. In the first coven she ever worked with, (in Southern California) she only reached the level of a first degree. The "family chart" which she passes around is made-up by her. Any advanced training Kisma may have received seems to have come from the correspondence courses offered by Fellowship of Isis. She has made claims both in public and in private that she alone is Lady Olivia's chosen successor. Furthermore, Kisma is an obvious plagiarist, she has written barely two sentences of her books by herself. Also, she has been sued for plagiarism on both her "Gaia Tradition" and "Faery Wicca" books, (and one of the authors won against her and Llewellyn) and cheated artists who worked for her out of royalties and agreed upon payments.  In essence, Kisma always has reasons and justifications for her every word and action,  (she will no doubt try -or get one of her lackeys to- explain away everything I've said here, or she'll say that she feels sorry for me or that I'm jealous of her -what a laugh!) she's a consummate con-artist, and brilliant at lying, plagiarism, and manipulation. She has never had an original thought about anything other than how to make money off of poor hapless seekers of Witchcraft. She is vicious, ruthless, without scruples and should thus be avoided completely.  She has threatened me and my family with physical violence and magical retribution, should I make this information public, so I am using an alias. Below are addresses to confirm what I have said
 Covenant of the Goddess (CoG)P.O. Box 1226Berkeley, CA                 Janet and Stewart Farrare-mail:...@iol.ieLlewellyn Worldwide (make them tell you, they don't want thisinformation available)84 South Wabasha St.,P.O. Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164phone: 1-651-291-1970e-mail:

Of course, there's a lot of bitterness here and that makes it read as just a vicious attack But some of the claims are verifiable, beyond the vitriol. The author of the above has clearly been hurt, in any case. When I read these things, my first impulse was to throw the deck out. How could I participate in such negativity? But then it occurred to me, one of my favourite decks was created by a very nasty piece of work indeed, Aleister Crowley. So perhaps I should give the deck a try, even if the creator isn't a very nice or honest person.

I do have a worry, though, if her scholarship is called into question, about learning things from the deck that are not quite right.

On the other hand, we have to remember that most contemporary pagan beliefs come from people who made claims of ancient origins when they themselves had actually made it all up. We know this. (Read Triumph of the Moon for more detail). So...even if she did make it all up, that doesn't necessarily mean that we can't find some sort of value in it. Making claims of ancient origin for material you made yourself is itself an ancient tradition. In fact, it is the basis of all religions. Think about it.

I found her website Faery Faith. Interestingly, no matter what you click on in the left hand navigation bar, you only get the one window offering you membership to the 'Faery Faith Network' at a cost of $50. Hm.

However, I found her on Facebook and found a link to this website: The Care and Feeding of Light Body, which seems to be receiving her attention. Maybe the old site has been abandoned - or maybe it's not even hers. I clicked around on her site a little and found a page devoted to her books. The ones she has been successfully sued for plagiarising are now 'out of print' and she leaves this message about them: 'Please note "out of print" means if you buy a used copy from someone I do not make 1 penny off that sale - the seller makes the money. Think about that and maybe don't buy that used book. If you really feel you need one of these, I can provide it to you in a pdf format for a minimal fee of $5. Interested? Send me a note and let's discuss it.'  I find this puzzling, for surely it's okay for a seller to make money even if she doesn't, and if she values the message of her old books, you'd think she would want them to find their way into people's hands. Even Aleister Crowley left instructions (which were not followed) that the companion book to Thoth Tarot should be made available with every deck, even if as a giveaway, free of charge.

 I also found a new blog by her. It appears she is taking the focus off the Faery Wicca faith she apparently created. But it has been a long time since she published these items, and it was messy and horrible with the lawsuits and so on I would imagine, so maybe she has just moved on in her life. In her 'About Me' page, she identified herself as a 'Cultural Creative'. I have no idea what that means and she doesn't explain.

I also found this article, with a rather lengthy section on Stepanich. This made me laugh: Most of Stepanich's tradition appears to have more in common with a box of Frosted Lucky charms than with ancient Celtic religion. Again this is just the standard fill-in-the-blanks Wicca with some shamrocks attached. Stepanich's general distaste for academic veracity and her stated preference for 'fun' over factuality shows a marked contempt for the intelligence of the neopagan community.'  And this made me frown: 'During our conversation, Stepanich promised to send me copies of her research material. By the time of the publication of this article, she had reneged on that promise.'

And so, it is with misgivings and intense curiosity that I begin my explorations of this deck. More soon. 

Friday 13 June 2014

Peace like a river

Shining Tribe Tarot, Pollack 2001
On this last day of Shining Tribe Tarot week, I have drawn Place of Rivers. It's nice to have this card because it gives me a chance to talk about the courts in this deck. There aren't any. Instead, there is a set of cards called the 'vision cards'. Rather than being about personalities or archetypes, the vision cards teach us about the power of each element. They are Place, Knower, Gift and Speaker. These are a bit similar to traditional courts. Place cards correspond to the juvenile/novice energy of the Page. Knower cards are like Knights in that they are the champion or the action of the suit. the Gift cards are the Queens and have the inner understanding of the suit. The Knowers have the responsibility of serving the greater community with the suit. Rachel Pollack points out that the Vision cards do not refer to specific people, but to our own personal spiritual development.

So today I have drawn Place of Rivers.

The Earth hums,
the water whispers.
She says nothing, 
she has learned how to listen.

I see a woman kneeling beside a pool. Two rivers empty into the pool. A jagged piece of earth that Pollack describes as a 'rock outcropping' dominates the bottom right corner of the card. Pollack compares it to a sleeping dragon. In the background is a cave, topped by a dolmen. The mouth of the cave echoes the shape and colour of the little pool. There are flowers, grasses, and two trees on the hills.

The Place of Rivers is just as it appears - a place of contemplation, peace and quiet discovery. Perhaps after I get all this off my chest at the meeting with my manager today, and get the ball rolling to return me to my old job, I will feel this sort of quiet peace.