Wednesday, April 15, 2015

4/15/15 Five of Cups and The Hermit reversed

The Hermetic Tarot is what called to me today.  The cards I threw are the Five of Cups and The Hermit reversed. 

The Five of Cups (Mars, action, aggression, drive, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive) tells of an emotional setback or disappointment, or perhaps the belief that a wrong choice has been made; this card also warns us that we are focusing too much on difficult emotions. Feelings and emotions can be powerful tools, and what I feel can end up manifesting into the physical world.  “Suffering over one’s suffering” is a way to describe the effects of this card, and perhaps it will be the emotional pains that seem to captivate me today.  Emotional pain is not all bad, though; after all, an inheritance brings unexpected bounty through the death of someone we love. 

The Hermetic Tarot Five of Cups shows plant growth, yet no flowers.  The five Cups in this image are empty, and the plant stems look a bit leggy to me, as if they had water but no sunlight.  In the Hermetic Tarot, the Five of Cups represents partial loss, and the death of pleasure (indeed the card is named “Lord of Loss of Pleasure”).  The key here is that while we are losing something, we can go on and perhaps have a happy ending.  The reversed pentagram in the middle of this image hints at what needs to be corrected: we are focusing too much on strong feelings and physical pleasures, without allowing the mind and the feelings and the Higher Self to have a voice. 

The Hermit corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, practical and stable energy that is slow to change), as well as Virgo (“I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented, orderly), Yod (open hand, touch), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Chesed (the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured), and is about searching within for a deeper meaning, often through solitude bordering on discomfort.  The Hermit avoids the society of men in order to hear his own inner voice.  The image on this card often contains a serpent, and our Hermit is able to hypnotize that serpent so that selfish desires do not dictate his choices. 

The Hermit is wrapped in a cloak and hood, his face in shadow and the only light the lamp above his head.  The image on this card positively shouts “inner focus” and “hidden knowledge understood through solitary pursuit” to me.  The knowledge being protected by The Hermit is similar to the knowledge being guarded by The High Priestess and being practiced and taught to other s by The Hierophant (another card that has appeared in my spreads lately), however The Hermit is still trying to understand and absorb what The High Priestess and The Hierophant already know.  Only by shutting out distractions and by focusing inward can this Hermit accomplish his task.

It looks like I had best take my own feelings with a grain of salt today.  If something happens that causes me emotional discomfort, I should probably attempt to find some silver lining within the dark cloud.  Since my Hermit is reversed, I need to make sure that I don’t shut myself off from my surroundings, even (and maybe especially) not isolating myself from the possible instigators of those emotional discomforts.  I may want to focus on the bad stuff, sticking my mental finger into the wound again and again, but that will only end up causing an infection.  Not a good idea.


Monday, April 13, 2015

4/13/15 The Chariot, The Hierophant reversed

Back to my Llewellyn Welsh Tarot.  My cards have been a bit funky, lots of reversed cards, so I’m hoping the soothing and dreamy images on this deck will change the energies a bit.  The cards I threw are The Chariot and The Hierophant reversed. 

The Chariot, which corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and sensitive, emotional and imaginative energy that likes to stay the same or follow the same course), Cancer (“I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody), Cheth (the fence), and the Path between Geburah (the place where forms and structure are challenged or affirmed) and Binah (female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure), tells of having the control necessary to focus on goals, and to avoid distractions.  My Chariot brings a sense of motion to the day, and motion (and the control of that motion) is his forte.  Comparing him to say, The Emperor, would be a learning experience here. I am also being warned; while I have control over the vehicle and the motor, I am to some extent insulated.  If I look away for a moment, everything might tumble, and focusing on the goal, way off in the distance, could end up creating problems.

The Chariot for this deck really typifies the energies of this card. A regal warrior with golden hair and a golden breastplate rides in a chariot pulled by horses made out of an ocean wave.  I am very well acquainted with ocean waves, both the gentle lappings against the toes and the wall of water that crashes down on you and tosses you back on the shore.  Waves can’t be stopped; they will overcome anything in their way with a steady pressure. 

The Hierophant corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes), Taurus (“I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn), Vau (the nail which holds tradition in place), and the Path between Chesed (the place where forms and structures are stabilized and nurtured), and Chokmah (dynamic male energy, the origin of vital force and polarity).  This card is an archetype of Spirit (with The Emperor as archetype of the Sacred Masculine, The Empress as archetype of the Sacred Feminine, and all three representing the supernal triad) that reminds us of the value of tradition, ritual and ceremony, and conforming to the rules and traditions with the aim of presenting the highest good of the group.  There is duty to be found in this card, as well as morality, and a suggestion that tradition should not be accepted blindly, for there is a level of attainment to be had from within a spiritual practice.  I love the meaning of the Hebrew letter Vau in connection with this card.  The practice of spiritual traditions itself is indeed one of the nails that hold that tradition in place, and it is this holding in place that is not important today.  Yeah, kind of validates my Chariot.

The Llewellyn Welsh Hierophant is Taleisin, the powerful bard of myth, and the card represents authority and orthodox behavior.  The Llewellyn Welsh Hierophant is an advocate of tradition and instruction, initiation and spiritual systems or culture.  Reversed, he is warning me of fanaticism and of the danger of conforming for the wrong reasons. 

Both of these cards can be seen to represent competent leadership of a sort, The Chariot offering courage and speed and The Hierophant offering tradition, ritual and ceremony.  Because my Hierophant is reversed, the energies of the day will be flowing just like those waves, rather than being held in place.  Sounds like I am being told by these two Majors that I have the skill to manifest through either of these two cards, but circumstances are suggesting The Chariot rather than The Hierophant.  Flowing Water rather than stable and solid Earth.


4/12/15 Transparent Oracle Sunday!

Transparent Oracle Sunday! 

68, Vision (Within).  Within is the direction of the Self, and thus the cards associated with this direction deal with the ways our Self connects to the world and perceives the world, and the Self.  This direction is mostly abstract, and yet is our bridge to the Universe around us.  Vision is one of the most powerful of our senses, but also the most easy to fool, probably because we depend so much on our eyesight in order to perceive and interpret our world.  Vision is generally about a concern for appearances, but it can also be about “seeing within.”  And within Wicca, visualization is considered one of the first steps to actual manifestation!

49, Saturn (Above). The direction of Above takes us up and out of the four traditional elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, and reminds us that we are but a small part of the Cosmos.  Above also reminds us that while the Machinery of the Universe is huge, it does have an effect on each of us, and each of us is an important part of the workings of that Machinery.  The planet Saturn is about structure and boundaries, and about constricting energies within a particular format, often involving time.

9, Guide: Wren (East). ). East is the direction of the rising sun, and thus of new beginnings and fresh ideas, as well as knowledge, intellectual ideas and thoughts.   Wren is pretty amazing; she is a combination of ambition (sometimes ambition that seems on the surface to be out of reach) and cunning (which enables Wren to surprise us as she attains the unattainable), which allows her to think out of the box with amazing results.  Wren tells us that bigger is not necessarily better, and often it is the seemingly insignificant contribution of the most invisible of players that allows us to win the game.

I then stacked my cards and created my mandala.  It appears as if the Visions have startled the Wrens and made them fly, but Saturn is preventing them from escaping.  There sure seems to be a parallel message being offered by Vision and Wren: pay attention to appearances, whether outer or inner.  Saturn reminds me that restricting is necessary for things to take shape, and also that even the tiniest energies can affect the big picture.  Looks like this week will be one of attempting to perceive and understand even the most obvious and basic ideas and concepts, so I can make use of them in new ways.

I spent the day finally beginning the Spring clean-up in my beloved garden.  It felt so good to get out there (even though not much is sprouting yet; Winter has just barely let go of us).  Now, I am watching two pairs of cardinals chase each other out of the yard.  Last year we had two different nests at the back of our yard, too close for comfort I guess.  They are back, and still attempting to establish “squatters’ rights” in the cypress trees at the back of our yard.

I opened some windows and began to air things out; more gardening next weekend!!


Thursday, April 9, 2015

4/9/15 Two of Pentacles reversed and The Hanging Man reversed.

It has been a busy week, somewhat stressful but all good.  I have a big decision on my mind today as I throw my cards, and I’m wondering if even though I try to keep these card throws general in nature, there might be a specific message for me today.  I’ve decided to use the Wild Unknown Tarot for this one.   I shuffled with baited breath, and threw the Two of Pentacles reversed and The Hanging Man reversed. 

The Two of Pentacles (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) reminds us that everything always ebbs and flows, and we need to do the same in order to remain dynamically balanced.  Change is what allows stability to be functional, and I should keep that in mind.  I should also remember that surviving this kind of dynamic balance can only happen if I am aware on many levels.

The Wild Unknown Tarot LWB keywords for this card are “balance and change”; the image is a black and white butterfly with a pentagram on each wing, with a multicolored (one color for each physical world element) symbol of eternity circling each of those pentagrams.  The butterfly often symbolizes complete metamorphosis; after all it goes from egg (which could symbolize potential) to caterpillar (which could symbolize the decision to do something with that potential) to chrysalis (which could symbolize the manifesting or development of that decision into reality), and then finally to an exquisite butterfly (the end result).  This process follows a “ritual” of sorts, and it takes time to complete.  The end result, the butterfly, looks nothing like the other stages in this process.  Perhaps the balance being represented in this card is achieved by accepting both change and the status-quo (or the end result with the initial intentions).  Or, since the butterfly also represents the element of Air and the workings of the intellect, perhaps the balance is connected to the physical world and the etheric realms of feelings and thoughts and beliefs.  They are also difficult to balance!

The Hanging Man corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy that tends to move deep, and attempts to take the same path as in the past), Neptune (inspiration, spirituality, magick, enchantment, dreams, altered states), and the Hebrew letter Mem (water, stability and balance, the reflective quality of thought), and presents the kind of balance that comes to us through surrender, and through deliberately attempting to see things in a different way.  This card tells of destiny, as well as sacrifice and loss, and passive or mystical initiation.  All of these do not have an accidental feel about them at all. Crowley warns us that the suspension brought by this card can either hint that we are waiting for someone else to take charge, or that we are sacrificing for the benefit of others.  Either of those interpretations can either be appropriate or harmful, depending on the situation.

The Wild Unknown Tarot Hanged Man brings an amusing concept to this strange card.  The image on this Major Arcana card is fitting: a bat hanging upside down, wrapped cozily in his wings, with red, glowing eyes.  This bat appears at first glance to be totally surrendering to his upside-down pose, but actually he is quite alert, looking around and perceiving all.  Perceiving all from a unique perspective, and maybe seeing things that we aren’t seeing from our right-side-up view of the world.  The bat is not forced to assume this hanging position; he actually chooses to see the world this way, and is able to benefit from his choice.  And when he is ready to move on, all he has to do is let go, and he is immediately, effortlessly, able to soar.

Since both of these cards are reversed, these energies are not having an effect on my day, or they are being prevented from having an effect on my day.  I am not proficient at balancing inner and outer effects.  And I am not comfortable with the idea of seeing things in an unusual way, particularly if doing so would make me appear strange or creepy.  That bat in an upright position really does seem to be looking right through my soul, and its gaze is disconcerting. Is he warning me that not being adaptable is creating some danger? Is he warning me that sticking with the path of least resistance is a recipe for disaster?  Clarification?  I threw another card, and got another reversed card, The Devil reversed.  Um, is that supposed to be clarification?  Let’s see.

The Devil (Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Capricorn (“I build,” ambitious, competent, cautious, cunning), Ayin (the eye, senses), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Tipareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) tells of being caught up in the physical world and the effects of the physical senses, to the point of being bound or addicted to those things. The Devil is often the scapegoat blamed for any excesses of the physical world.  After all, enjoyment of the physical world is somehow seen by many as a denial of or estrangement from God.  I will need to be real careful today about manifesting my ambitions.  Dominating others for my own pleasure and purposes is not a good thing.  Better I work on the balance of The Aeon, for the presence of The Devil tells me that letting go might not be easy. 

The Wild Unknown Devil has the image of a horned goat with a pentagram embossed on his forehead, standing with a black background and his four hooves glowing with orange and yellow light, as if the goat was walking through flames.  The keywords for this card are negativity, materialism and addiction, but they are difficult to see in the image on the card.  Is this goat a representation of the worship or elevation of those things not meant to be worshipped?  Or does the goat on this card remind us all that while we are spiritual beings, we are also animals, complete with urges and needs and pleasures of the body?  

My Devil, like my other cards today, is reversed.  Perhaps I am being told that physical world effects are not bondage, but are necessary to be considered.  The  randomness and wild disorder of the physical world could stress me out today, but since I have two Major Arcana cards in play within my reading, I had better pay attention.  In the end, nothing will move quickly and maybe tomorrow’s reading will shed some light on things.  So much for clarification.


4/6/15: Prince/Knight of Cups reversed and Ten of Cups reversed

Back to the Thoth Tarot!  The cards I threw today are the Prince of Cups reversed and the Ten of Cups (“Satiety”) reversed. 

The Prince/Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) is about feeling things strongly and without restraint or grounding.  This Prince appears calm to others, but inwardly he feels things strongly. This makes sense when you consider that within the Thoth Tarot, he represents Air of Water.  The message here is that whether upright or reversed, my Prince indicates that I tend to respond deeply to life’s events, and that intensity will have an effect on my day.

The Thoth Prince of Cups is not a comfortable card.  You would think that all those blues and greens would be serene, but actually the image of this Prince bursts out towards us.  This Prince is riding on a vehicle powered by what looks like a huge eagle, for Pete’s sake.  How serene could that possibly be?!  I love the way DuQuette characterizes this image: worthy of a comic book cover. 

The Ten of Cups (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, spirituality, suffering and growth) in an upright position offers the manifestation of happiness, simple joys, and fulfillment. The number Ten is about the completion of a cycle or manifestation, and the suit of Cups is about emotions, feelings and the inner self, so this card offers the bounty that comes with the successful experiencing of all the lessons of the Cups cards.

To Crowley, this is not necessarily a happy card.  He saw this one as “sinister,” and representing a sort of “morbid hunger”; not quite the fluffy joy-joy-joy interpretation offered by many, eh?  Again, DuQuette hits the nail on the head when he says that “[t]he Ten of Cups could have been filled with the realization of the potential of the suit of Cups.  Instead, it is just filled with the concept of fullness.”  So perhaps in a reversed position, this one is not too bad, eh?

Okay, there is a clear message for today: don’t let my emotions take control, because they might be a bit out of balance.  Because my Prince is reversed, I do need to keep in mind that the “cartoon-like” emotions of the day just might be detrimental.  I should not rely on my ability to see the truth in any emotions that present themselves.  Because my Ten of Cups is reversed, there is the potential for the possibility of emotional exhaustion at some point, which could make my emotional tolerance reach the end of it’s rope (and I apologize for the mixed metaphors).  All this emotional bouncing around could set up stress or crankiness.  Take a breath, and step away.  I just read this one on the internet, and it applies here: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.  Time to unplug.


Sunday, April 5, 2015

4/5/15 Transparent Oracle Sunday!

4/5/15:  Transparent Oracle Sunday!  My cards are:

31, Gateway: Winter (North). North is the direction of Earth, and thus of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply, being well-grounded, and being in touch with our physical body.  Because this Gateway is square and solid, and appears unshakable and immovable, it seems like a safe place, or a strong foundation upon which we can exist and prosper.

8, Guide: Eagle (East). East is the direction of the rising sun, and thus of new beginnings and fresh ideas, as well as knowledge, intellectual ideas and thoughts.  Eagle is considered the King of Birds, and often is seen as a Divine Messenger because he can fly to such amazing heights.  He tells of being able to see into the distance, and of achievements (and associated honors) gotten through courage and focus.  When Eagle is around, courage and perspective and vision will bring great results.

62, Dream (Within).  Within is the direction of the Self, and thus the cards associated with this direction deal with the ways our Self connects to the world and perceives the world, and the Self.  This direction is mostly abstract, and yet is our bridge to the Universe around us.  Dream is the language of the unconscious mind; our unconscious mind is constantly absorbing and interpreting information, and since Dream has no physical world limits, it can interpret that information without being bound by any limits. Thus we can see the past and the future, and talk to those who are not now (or maybe never were) of the physical world.

I then stacked my cards and created my mandala.  Eagle and Dream appear to be one shape, and that tells me my dreams and intuition and visualizations are important right now, particularly with regard to my physical world.  I should be certain that I view everything with long-term perspective, because the messages I understand and begin to manifest now will have far-reaching effects.  Nice!  And actually, pretty simple to understand; I like when the spreads are short and sweet.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

4/3/15 Mother of Pentacles and Three of Swords (again!)

Back to the Wild Unknown Tarot!   I threw the Mother of Pentacles and the Three of Swords again.  Boy, looks like I need to learn something about this Three of Swords. 

The Mother of Pentacles is the same as the Queen of Pentacles. The Queen of Pentacles (cusp of Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering, and Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning, authoritative) is very good at sustaining the physical world, keeping things dry and cozy and safe and orderly.  She has a “greatness of soul” and can easily manifest this greatness around her through the manifestation of her visualizations, and help everyone, including herself, in the process.  She is comfortable with all physical world sensations and experiences, she understands the philosophies behind building and healing and nurturing, and she is able to find beauty in all experiences.  This Queen represents Water of Earth, and represents a time when emotions support the senses (or counteract them, if the card is reversed).

The Wild Unknown Mother of Pentacles is such a beautiful card!  It makes me feel safe and warm and very loved. The doe in the image is comfortable with her legs tucked under her, but her eyes are open and her ears are pricked.  She needs to be alert, because her fawn is fast asleep by her side.  He curls up against her, soothed by her warmth and her support as he sleeps peacefully.  She will make certain that he is not disturbed, and when he wakes, she will fill his belly.

The Three of Swords (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) usually indicates the possibility that logic, rationalizing and the intellect could end up causing harm if they are not used with balance and compassion.  Often, this card is seen as indicating not a specific sorrow, but rather melancholy, the kind of melancholy that actually brings changes for the good in the end.  We know now what is going on, so we can begin to heal, and allow the tears to wash away the things that no longer serve me.  An interesting keyword to this one is “rupture”; that makes sense with the traditional image associated with this card.

This is not a pleasant image, although I have yet to see a pleasant image on this card.  The three Swords are bound together by a long red ribbon, tangled and wrapped around the blades to the point that it seems they will never be freed.  And those red smudges . . . blood?  Is the ribbon red because of those smudges?  The red of the ribbon and the black hole of the background are frightening, and they suggest pain and isolation, and maybe even betrayal (someone had to sneak up on those blades and tangle them up with the ribbon).  But I’ve recently been looking at Swords stuck into the ground as offering the concept of ownership, and if that is so, these three Swords, pointing upward, hint that things have gone out of control here.  Yes, there may be pain, and isolation, and maybe even betrayal.  But these are Swords!  If I own them, if I accept that this is an uncomfortable situation, and then grab the Swords and take control, I can slice away the ribbon that binds, and wipe off the red smudges, even if I cut myself in the process.

The message here is obvious, and I actually understand it.  Yes, my mind’s analytical process can get out of control.  Apparently for me, this can happen easily.  But I should nip things in the bud by nurturing myself without judgment.  If I love myself and accept myself, I might be able to resist falling into that agony of judgment.