Thursday, 28 January 2016

A Birthday Reading: The Cygnus Spread

Caitlin Matthews offered me this Cygnus Spread as an option for a birthday reading, as yesterday was my birthday. Here's my reading using Caitlin's spread with the Original Rider Waite Tarot:

The cards are laid out from left to right in a line of 7, then card 8 is laid above and card 9 below. The first three cards are the past, fourth card is the 'blessing', last three cards are the future. Card 8 is where you're navigating, and card 9 is how you're steering.

The spread moves in this way: Emperor - 6 of Swords - Ace of Cups - High Priestess - Ace of Swords - 10 of Cups - Strength. I am navigating toward 9 of Cups and steered by 9 of Pentacles.

Something's happened in the recent past to break open my heart, to move me from a place of rulership and dominance to a more vulnerable, open and receptive state. (This process is not finished.) The blessing of this is beginning to learn when to speak, and when to keep still. It is a knowledge that some lucky folk seem to automatically have. Others of us have to acquire the skill through hard practice.

The future holds a decision to create a happy home through this softer approach. On a more mundane level, it denotes the decision to buy a house, and suggests a strong outcome. (Good news!) The Strength card does face in toward the spread, toward the 10 of Cups, suggesting closure and completion of that particular sequence of cards. I hope that means we really will buy a house this year. I am steering toward self-satisfaction, and navigating by my personal definition of 'domestic tranquility'.

I notice that four of the figures in the spread face us, looking square at us, and not at the spread itself. This to me signifies growing self-awareness. I have become aware of my Emperor-like qualities, and more significantly, the vertical line down the middle of the spread consists of forward facing figures: 9 of Cups - High Priestess - 9 of Pentacles. 'Nine heralds change,' as the saying goes, so 'changes in love, family and friends,' and 'changes in money, wealth, means and ends' both stem from the mysterious lady in the centre, who reads from her book of wisdom and plumbs the depth of her insight. I've certainly learned a lot over the last couple of years, and have a lot more to learn, there's no doubt about it. Some things that were secret came to light, and nothing will ever be the same.

If we mirror the cards in the wings of the cygnus, I can see more transitions: from iron rule to interplay, from retreat to joy, from emotionalism to determination.

In summary, my birthday spread confirms where I've come from, the coping strategies I employed that were not very helpful. It suggests I have gained some insight as a result of these experiences, and that the course I now steer is one that may lead to greater happiness and fulfillment. All in all, quite a positive selection of cards.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Bye for now.

I'm taking a break from the blog for a while. I'm not feeling it lately. I need to take a break, recharge my batteries, break some new ground in my life. Best wishes to everyone. Blessed be.

Ouch. My face.

Llewellyn Tarot 
This is how I feel today. Yesterday somehow I managed to hurt my shoulder while taking a bath. When I got in the bath, my shoulder didn't hurt, when I got out, it hurt like heck. Don't ask me. I didn't do any odd reaching or twisting, I didn't get out of the tub funny, it just hurts. Right across the top, the collarbone and trapezius area. I've taken ibuprofen and will be careful today. This is all getting a little tiresome.

Last month, I spent a fortune on some new workout DVDs, and then more money when they got nabbed by customs and I had to pay £20 extra just to get them from the Post Office. I've done two of them, once each. Last one was first week of November.

I was looking at myself in my bathrobe yesterday. The belt on my bathrobe keeps getting shorter, you know what I mean? Gosh, I've gotten fat again. Fat and mushy and my back and shoulders hurt. How bad does it have to get before I take some action? And the real question, am I going to wait until it's too late before I do something? The day will come when I won't be physically able to do the things that I am refusing to do today. The day will come when I wish I could do what I refuse to do now. And that day is not going to announce its arrival, it's not going to mark the diary for me. Once it comes, that's it. I should do a little something today. It doesn't have to be a lot. Just something.

Maybe some yoga. Super gentle and intelligent yoga.

Wait a minute. CBT kicking in. 'I should do something today.' Remove the should. Change should statements to 'desire to'.

I desire to do a little yoga today. I desire to do some yoga today. I desire to. :)

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Tarot of the Hidden Realm Six of Wands

Tarot of the Hidden Realm by Barbara Moore (art by Julia Jeffrey)

I actually forgot I owned this deck.

I joined a Facebook group about the fae and started thinking about faerie decks and saw images of this one and thought...I thought I bought that. Did I buy that? I think I remember taking it out of my shopping cart. But I got up and checked and there it was. Not with my other decks, but tucked elsewhere (because where I store most of my decks was full).

Shuffling the deck this morning, this card fell out, the Six of Wands. Like most cards in this deck, this one has a backstory that you're unlikely to come up with without reading the book. Apparently this lass has come out to the woods in the dark of the moon and stands there until a 'spark of starlight' enters her heart, then she dances and a bunch of fireflies fly out from her fingers. Yeah, I'd have come up with that. The divinatory meaning given reads, 'If you put yourself firmly in the situation, quiet your mind and still your heart, then you will find what you need.' This is different from the usual 6 of Wands, which shows the struggle over, the fight won, and the victor returning in glory. Not a wand in sight in this card. But at least you get boobies.

I can see why this deck got tucked away in a separate place. I think I'd really have to be in the mood to read this one. There are too many people in it, depicted in close-up, in poses that are a bit too ambiguous to be of much help. Style over substance, and Froud did it better.

I went ahead and drew another card, and got Ace of Wands. This card shows a close up of a fox. While the book describes how a fox can hold as still as possible (which seems to echo Six of Wands), the divinatory meaning says, 'an opportunity, one that will require swift action.' So...not much holding still, then. I guess it's about being vigilant for the moment when you should strike.

But you know, I don't like decks that make you do a lot of twisting of what's there to make it fit. It feels like the person writing the book had to try too hard to get the images to mean something. Sometimes writers are commissioned to do this. Sometimes they work in collaboration with artists. I generally suspect when interpretations puzzle me by not being wholly reflected in the image, that the writer was given finished images and told to make something of them. And I get that feeling with every card in this deck.

Oh well, off to work!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

The Emperor's a ....

Intuitive Tarot by Cilla Conway
What's the deal with Aleister Crowley and cocks. It's like you can't have one without the other.

Here we have the Emperor from Cilla Conway's Intuitive Tarot, which is rather heavily influenced by Crowley's Thoth Tarot. There are a lot of phallic symbols in the deck, but only one actual penis, and mercifully only one knob with feet and wings and tiny little bollocks. And a tail.

Some people do think the Emperor is kind of a dick, though.

So here we have him, a griffin with a penis head walking on the sun, and a man holding a sceptre topped by a globe having the continent of Africa facing us. Could this be because civilization started there? The Emperor does represent all the civilizing, organizing aspects of the human animal. You can see this in the tiny images surrounding him. Starting in the upper left corner: skyscrapers, a tank, a mushroom cloud, musical staff, a lightbulb, an astronaut in space, the space shuttle, scientists at a computer, and a line of human figures fitted together spoon fashion. Are they queuing in a soup line? Marching into a factory? Packed onto a slave ship? Waiting to vote? Heading into the gas chamber? Going in to see a film? Sitting in a music hall? Waiting to get their pay packet? All of those would fit!

The Emperor represents our capacity to manipulate and control our environment, to wring what we want out of each other and the earth. Some of this has resulted in good, some in bad. For better or worse, this is the way we are. We don't blend in as one with our environment. We practically never have. We manipulate it, change it, turn it into something else. The Emperor contains all of that within his remit.

So what the sam hill could this mean as my daily draw today? Perhaps a bit of Emperor style bureaucracy and hierarchical BS will rear its head today. And we can see plainly what its head is made of.


Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Save your arrows

Wildwood Tarot 
I hardly ever use the Wildwood Tarot. It is not a favourite, and one reason is the suit of Arrows and the suit of Bows. I find it really hard to keep them straight. As the Arrows suit is associated with Air and Bows with Fire, I try to treat them as Swords and Wands respectively, but to be honest that doesn't work terribly well. And when a deck departs too much from tradition, I find myself reaching for it less and less. That's why, despite my affection for them, I don't often use decks like this one's predecessor, the Greenwood, or Rachel Pollack's Shining Tribe.

Anyway, here a red-eyed goat, apparently framed by the corona of the sun, leaps down a hill to escape the hapless hunter, who fires away at him and misses every time. The key word given is Frustration.

In the traditional Five of Swords, we see the aftermath of the battle, as the victors congratulate themselves and the losers skulk away. The victor here appears to be the goat; the defeated hunter here isn't giving up, but we can see he's unlikely to strike his prey.

I suppose he has been stalking this goat for a while, so it must be frustrating to have it unexpectedly spring in the wrong direction (straight down the hill at him!), and in his panic and surprise, the hunter just starts shooting.

The question is, what have we been stalking lately? And what will we do if suddenly our goal springs the wrong way? Things go in unplanned, unexpected directions? How will we express our frustration? Should we express it? Or should we just accept it? The hunter here has shot all his arrows, now he either has to go find them or go off and make more. Maybe if he'd crouched down and let the goat spring past, he could have continued the hunt.

The lesson I'm seeing here is not to be too reactive when things go awry. It doesn't help. It might feel right or good in the moment, but the aftermath will probably be more than it was worth.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Lord and Lady in Druidcraft

"There is a value in discipline and routine to maintain the connection between your spiritual and your worldly life." - Druidcraft LWB

I've always liked the High Priest in the Druidcraft Tarot. I like that he makes the sign of the Horned God, and that there is a chalice and athame by his side, representing how the male and female are balanced in pagan spirituality. His throne is topped by horns, and overhead is the sun, as he is associated with the sun (and goddess energy with the moon). I know in this deck the Emperor is called The Lord and the Empress is called The Lady, but this guy seems more 'Lord' like to me. And as this stage of my life, I'm less attracted to depictions of youthful pregnant females as Goddess, I prefer the Strength card to represent Goddess, in this deck. Strength and High Priest are like Lady and Lord for me, in this deck.

Having said all that, today is the full moon, this first full moon since Samhain, and it is in Gemini. It is a time for words, and a time for seeing dualities. Let that inform any workings that take place in your practice tonight. :)

Blessed be!