Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ace of Cups/Six of Wands reversed. This Ace represents the Holy Grail and the incredible potential that is love. I am glad to see this card today, the last day of the calendar year, because it encourages me to go on with optimism, even though the Yule Season this year has been filled with bronichitis instead of revelations. I am a bit disappointed that my untimely illness has distracted me from my preparations for the Yule Sabbat, but I am convinced that once I am completely well again, I will be able to gain from all this. That Six of Wands and its corresponding sense of victory may be reversed, but at least the card is there, so success is still in the equation!

My Thoth card is the Ten of Cups reversed. In an upright position, the Satiety card tells us that often when we finally receive what we wanted, it turns out that we don’t want it after all. I am encouraged that this card is reversed; like the reversed Six of Wands above, it is encouraging me to continue striving, and it is warning me that I had better find a way to appreciate what I have now, or I won’t appreciate my future successes. How is that for a New Year’s Eve message?

My Legacy card is The Hermit. In Marchetti’s deck, The Hermit is not on a fun camping trip; he is striving to accomplish or realize a goal in a solitary way, relying only on himself. In Gateway To The Divine Tarot (the LWB that comes with the deck), this card is described in this way: “Some knowledge takes the form of light and some takes the form of shadow. The knowledge of light is meant for the world. The knowledge of shadow is meant for you alone, but it is concealed until you are ready.” The Hermit corresponds with the sign of Virgo (“I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented, orderly), and the Hebrew letter of Yod (the hand; divine light, the point of light out of which everything came).

My cards are particularly meaningful for me today because my brain is finally starting to come out of the fog of illness. As I become more alert, I am thinking about all the mental preparations I made for Yule in the weeks before the Sabbat, and I am trying to reconnect to my focuses at that time, which were put on hold on Yule Eve when I first began to get sick. My cards today are encouraging because they are telling me that perhaps the time was not yet ripe for me to step forward, but the opportunity is still there.

And so, on the last day of the calendar year 2009, I am choosing to see this past year as a good time for me. I accomplished quite a bit, and I feel very good about where I am in the physical world, where I am within Sacred Mists, and where I am in my own spirituality. I am looking forward to 2010 as being a year filled with growth, new connections and new accomplishments.

Happy New Year. The Best Is Yet To Come!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Four of Cups/Seven of Cups. Stagnation and difficulty choosing today; okay then. My work is cut out for me. I need to focus as much as possible.

My Thoth card is the Two of Wands. The Lord of Dominion, and boy do I need the energy of this card today! Pure Will is just what the doctor ordered to counteract those two stagnating Cups cards.

My Legacy Card is The Wheel reversed. In an upright position, the Wheel (Jupiter: abundance, luck, wisdom and growth; Kaph: fist or plam, Fire: hot/separates and dry/shapes) tells of action and it tells of the unavoidable influence of the cycles of our world. Because the card is reversed, I may have some difficulty connecting with or being aware of these cycles and I might be benefited by a little extra focus.

I finished reading Molecules of Emotion for the first time; I will need to go back and read it again in order to really absorb the information presented, and LOL, the second time I will have pencil in hand, so I can underline the phrases that are important. I enjoyed learning more about the emotional/physiological connection. Interestingly enough, I read a concept that helps to explain my delirium of late due to my bronchitis.

“However, if our emotions are blocked due to denial, repression or trauma [for instance, the physical trauma of illness], then blood flow can become chronically constricted, depriving the frontal cortex, as well as other organs, of vital nourishment. This can leave you foggy and less alert, limit your awareness . . .” [my thoughts added] Hmmm . . . makes sense. A physiological reason for me to feel disconnected while I’m sick. The interesting thing is that Pert feels that through focus of the mind and visualizations, we can help to counteract these physical symptoms. This is the advice of a scientist! I am ready to start The Intention Experiment, upon the recommendation of Bob; can’t wait to get into that one.

We are heading down to Cape May tonight to prepare for our Blue Moon House Blue Moon New Year’s Eve party. Friends, neighbors and family will be attending, and it should be a fun weekend. I am even feeling much better (although not totally well), so I should be able to enjoy the festivities. My cards today are telling me to be careful, to watch out for the effects of outside influences, and to focus, focus, and oh yes, to focus!!! I will do my best, for I have been warned. **wink**


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Knight of Swords reversed/The Hierophant. In an upright position the Knight of Swords (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, of Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts) tells of decisiveness based on the intellect and a total lack of the infusion of emotions of any kind. This Knight represents the unstable force of the will supporting the intellect, and he is reversed and paired with The Hierophant (Taurus: “I have,” sensual, cautious, determined and stubborn; Vau, the nail that holds tradition in place), so any emotions that I experience today will not be about me, they will be about the group. I should work through traditional methods today, rather than revolutionary ones, and I should be wary of arousing unrest in any way for there is a potential for this to happen.

My Thoth card is the Three of Swords. The “Sorrow” card in the Thoth deck tells of division, of irreconcilable differences, and of melancholy that is not necessarily dependent on any particular circumstance. this is the one card in the entire Tarot that usually foretells the coming of difficulties that are hard to see through rose-colored glasses. Oy.

My Legacy Card is The Hanging Man. This card connects to the element of Water (emotions, feelings, psychic connection) and the planet of Neptune (idealism, spirituality and connection to intuition); Mem (water; submission) is the Hebrew letter associated with this card. Marchetti uses some interesting symbolism on his image for this card; the one I connected with the most was the hourglass on its side, balanced (not actually hanging) with no sand moving, representing a sort of halfway point, with equal parts of the journey both behind and yet to be accomplished. I think what Marchetti is saying here is that surrendering or allowing an effect or event to happen without supplying input or direction allows us to see and experience and understand that effect or event from a new vantage point. Hmmm . . . interesting!

Today is the first day that I have been able to bring my focus outside of my physical body and the effects of bronchitis and laryngitis. These past eight days, I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was, I have learned that when I need to, I can use the fuel of my Will alone to get things done, and I have learned that when I am physically ill, my personal energy field totally withdraws into my body, apparently in order to help sustain it in its time of need.

I managed to make it through the entire holiday season, starting from Yule Eve and all the way through Christmas, without missing one event, including the Sacred Mists Yule Ritual. I even had my dance partner and her family over for dinner last Saturday night. LOL, I was pretty much delirious that entire evening, but I functioned. The holiday gifts got bought and wrapped, the laundry got done, and my house is even clean!

I have kept up with my 40-day Reiki project, even though some of the days I was not able to apply Reiki to all of my main chakras. But I did notice that it was very difficult to get the Reiki flowing into the chakras; my physical body, it seems, was soaking the Reiki up, pre-empting application into the chakras. Can’t imagine why! Could it have something to do with the sore throat, headache and debilitating cough? There were at least two times when I was able to actually raise my awareness up out of my miserably suffering body; talk about a pain killer! Unfortunately I could not maintain that separation for long, but I learned that one of the best ways to have an out-of-body experience is to impose prolonged discomfort to the physical body. Not a method that I would choose on a regular basis, mind you, but it is nice to know that I received some positive result from being sick.

Now all I have to do is figure out exactly what that Three of Swords is warning me about, and I will be good to go. In the mean time, I guess I should try and figure out what I was working on when I got sick, and get back to it!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wheel of Fortune/Five of Pentacles. I am being told of the effects of cycles upon me that just might be at least somewhat beyond my understanding and control. I may feel as if I am physically in need today (I now add laryngitis to my other cold symptoms; ya think?), but I am being told that if I am able to transcend my physical discomforts, perhaps even use the physical comforts as a tool for lifting myself beyond their effects, I will be able to glimpse the bigger picture.

My Thoth card is the Six of Pentacles. “Success”; balance is a part of my physical world today, but like success itself, that balance is temporary. Change is coming and that change may have a heaviness about it, so I need to rest now in preparation for the labor yet to come.

My Legacy card is the Page of Wands reversed. Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) of Fire ( hot/separates and dry/shapes), explosive force wherein the senses are supported by will. In an upright position, this tells of a neophyte who is able to ignite a flame that has the potential to become a conflagration.

I was hoping that laryngitis was not going to happen for me this year, but guess what? My voice is gone. *sigh*


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Page of Swords/Ace of Wands. Wow, insight and perception will be the words of the day, and there is a potential for some exciting creativity to manifest. This is a bit unexpected because my brain is immersed in a healdcold fog, but perhaps there is hope and the day will not be a total loss.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Cups reversed. “Happiness” reversed today; maybe Uncle Al is advising me to be grateful for my cold, because it will allow me to appreciate pleasure without allowing that pleasure to stagnate me. Let’s hope!

My Legacy card is the Ten of Wands reversed. Well, it looks like even though things may be filled with effort today, I may finish the day with some sense of accomplishment, as this card is reversed.

Oy, I still feel totally crappy. Headache, sore throat, queasy belly, foggy brain, all on a day that will contain a holiday luncheon. Oh well . . . at least I won’t have to worry about overeating.

I went to the Sacred Mists Yule Ritual last night, and despite the fact that I felt really bad, I enjoyed the ritual. For some reason, this year’s pre-ritual meditation and the ritual itself were whittled down to the most basic components, which was just what I needed. My ability to focus wound not have lasted much longer than the ritual, and right afterward I went to bed. So at least I had a good night’s sleep, even if I still feel crappy.

I have placed a “placeholder” into my Yule workings of the past week; hopefully once this cold ebbs away, I will be able to pick up where I left off on Sunday night, when my throat started getting sore. I did sooooo much preparation for this Sabbat, and there must be a reason why my body is making me pause like this; I am trying to be patient with myself. Oh yes, and I am still going full-steam with my 40-day Reiki project; day 22!

I also have some things that I want to get up on our Pagan Brain Trust website; as soon as my brain begins to function again, I will do that as well.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Ace of Swords reversed/Page of Cups reversed. More reversed cards! I am coming down with a headcold and I feel miserable today, so perhaps the message is an obvious one: I will have trouble focusing on anything. I may have trouble rousing enthusiasm today, but at least there is a good chance that I won’t be presented with any challenges that require focus, either.

My Thoth card is the Knight of Swords reversed. Fire of Air reversed; in an upright position this Knight tells of being clever and rational, but often unconnected to any real facts and indifferent to his own purpose. The card is reversed, so while things may seem muddy for me today, I just might have enough focus to hold my own.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Pentacles reversed. The root or potential of the power of Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) may be difficult to tap into today. I may find that I am not grounded, and that I will have trouble successfully grasping the bounties that present themselves to me.

I am very frustrated, because I have been mentally preparing for this day, Yule, the Winter Solstice, for the past week or two, and I woke up this morning with a sore throat, a headache, and a foggy brain. I did drag myself out of bed with enough time to see the sunrise, which was beautiful! We had a few fair weather clouds, which were kissed with blue and pink, and the horizon was a rich golden color as the light of the newborn sun filled my visage.

We did our first Sacred Mists Reiki Circle yesterday afternoon, the 20th day of my personal 40-day Reiki project, and Solstice Eve. We each had a specific recipient, and for the last five minutes we all offered Reiki to the Earth Mother. This turned out to be so much more powerful than I anticipated. It took almost the first ten minutes for me to be able to focus, the sensations were so strong. For a bit, I felt as if I were floating above the clouds, a pure energy being, and I was so filled with love that I was moved to tears, twice, before I could finally ground myself enough to focus on sending Reiki, but I do know that as soon as the circuit of the ten of us was completed, the Reiki was flowing into me and through me and out of me with a power that really blew my mind.

During my final five minutes during which I sent Reiki to the Earth Mother, I received a message from Her. I visualized the earth from space, and then allowed that visualization to morph into the Millenium Gaia. She smiled at me, and confirmed that She loves our world and all life upon us, but She also explained that She allows all of Her children to find their own way. She said, very clearly: “I have given each of you the lessons you must learn, I have left them for you in plain sight, but **you** must do your part and look for them, you must learn how to “see” them.” I feel strongly that She was also telling me that a part of the lesson is the energy and focus I expend as I search for my own individual learning experiences.

I am more attuned than ever to the Universal All, to the Goddess and God, and to the value of Reiki.

My drive home last night was serenely lovely; I saw the sunset, which was beautiful, and I enjoyed seeing the snow piled up on the trees and along the side of the road. What beauty can be found in the black and white scenery of a late afternoon in Winter, especially when you add the blues and pinks of a sunset and the ivory of the crescent Moon.

This is going to be a very busy day that will require my mind to be clear; I need to finish this evening what little holiday shopping that remains to be done, and I am hoping to feel well enough to attend the Sacred Mists Yule Ritual tonight.

Joyous Yule to all; may the newborn Sun Father light up your life and may the love of the Earth Mother fill your heart!!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Knight of Cups/The Tower reversed. I am being invited to focus on feelings today. **smile** I understand the presence of this card completely! I am being told that things might get a little intense before the day is done, but that I should not hold back or allow fear to block any experience, or I will miss out on the purpose behind the momentary discomfort of having my world rocked. Plus, there is a literal interpretation of that Tower reversed, and really seeing the literal meanings of the images on the cards is something I am trying to do since the Tarot Class Chat I taught this past Wednesday. The Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Tower card shows a stone keep being inundated by what looks like a tsunami. If you turn the card upside down, the water is coming down from the sky. Well, I am sitting here in the middle of a nor’easter today that will dump lots of rain and then later tonight, lots of snow on us, and the wind is a-gustin’. How is that for a literal translation??

My Thoth card today is the Queen of Cups reversed. Dreamy, Patient, and able to receive and transmit without being personally affected. But the card is reversed; somehow I do not think I will be able to remain as detached as the upright card foretells.

My Legacy card is the King of Cups reversed. Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts) of Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts), the airy part of water or intense force, where the intellect supports the emotions. Adaptability is the common trait, and in an upright position this King uses his wisdom to bring healing to the human condition. Because the card is reversed, I am being told that my focus is not to be outer today, and I should not be worrying about working to support others around me.

Hmmmm . . . Three Cups Court Cards, telling me that I might not be interfacing with the Watery needs of others around me, I might not be interfacing with my own Watery needs, but boy, will my experiences be intense. Sounds about right on the money.

I had an awesome drive down to Cape May last night. I meditated the whole way down, and boy was that cool! I began by completing my Reiki application for the day and then opened the rest of my chakras. The background energy was loud again, and soon enough I felt Danu come to me. The Sacred Feminine had transformed herself from the Crone to the very pregnant Mother, sitting cozy and warm in the dark before a fire, resting comfortably and a bit sluggish as She rested her arms on Her hugely distended belly. Danu whispered to me: “Watch, keep watching, and you will see.” Now that is exciting; She only tells me this when something big or shattering to my perceptions is on its way.

She then told me that I was to reach out to Her all weekend, as often as possible, for She will be with me these last hours as we both wait for the birth of the Sun. How appropriate that My Lady appears to me as a hugely pregnant woman enduring the last hours before the beginning of labor, wrapped up and cozy, as I sit before my fireplace in Cape May while a nor’easter rages around the house. My Tarot cards are telling me to hunker down and open up to the worlds within, and even the weather seems to be facilitating this.

I have already begun my Reiki applications of the day, and Danu is with me.

And this morning, as I read “Molecules of Emotion,” I felt the beginning of the possibility of another major aha! moment like the one I experienced two weeks ago. I am reading about proteins and peptides, how they are created via the instructions found in DNA, and how they insert themselves into cells in order to manifest physical, mental and emotional effects. As I type that, and then go back a re-read it, I feel echoes of my realization two weeks ago that the information contained in DNA is actually an image of the Sacred Feminine. Could this be the workings of the Sacred Masculine? How right that I am pondering this and exploring this during the last dark days, as I await the rebirth of the Sun.

It seems as if I am in for an interesting weekend. And it is not just me; I just read the journal post of my dear friend Tara, and she is experiencing her own string of aha! moments this week. E has received outer validation of the effectiveness of her Reiki attunement (which is always more powerful than experiencing the sensations yourself), and Mystery is still resonating with transformation after an incredible week-long working with her Patron and Patroness. Dark time equals ebbing energies? I don’t think so!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Nine of Cups/Justice. Today will be a day of satisfaction and perceived success on all levels. There is nothing like doing the hard work and enduring, and then reaping well-earned rewards. There is a sensual pleasure to be had from these times! Today I will experience the fruits of my labors, well-deserved!

My Thoth card is The Fool reversed. “Pure folly is the key to initiation.” In an upright position, this card encourages us to believe that the impossible is possible, and it foretells the coming of an impulse the indulgence of which could be valuable. Even reversed, as the card is today, I am being told that no matter what the outcome the impulse is important. It is my state of mind alone that will tip the balance towards either positive or negative results and I need to act accordingly.

My Legacy card is the Six of Cups. This is one of the few cards in the Tarot that specifically refers to the past, and it is usually a pleasant card to experience.

Last night I donated blood, which I do every three months or so. Somehow this form of giving back to humanity resonates deeply for me, and this donation was no exception. Before giving blood I gave myself (specifically applying to my physical body) a whole bunch of Reiki with the intent that the Reiki go into my blood and assist the recipient of my blood to their highest good. I watched as the technician took four tubes of my blood for testing; seeing the thick dark fluid shooting into those tubes is always an amazingly potent experience for me. Blood is life in a lot of ways, and thus seeing your own blood out of your body can be strange. But giving blood is a powerful act; it is like giving of yourself. This time especially, as I remember my DNA aha! moment of last weekend and as I deal with the energies of the dark phase of the solar year (which have been affecting me this year with incredible power), I was very aware of my gift, and of life itself. There was a sensual fulfillment that was almost a sexual pleasure to this experience, along with the energy pleasure of giving an important gift that no one else can give and the primordial awareness of all those cells and platelets and DNA of mine, unique to me, in those tubes. Blood certainly does represent the life force, on several levels!

I am filled with anticipation today; this evening at sunset (4:39 pm) I will officially begin my “weekend of darkness” in preparation for Yule and the rebirth of the sun, per the instructions of Uriel. I will maintain to the best of my ability my “awakeness” and “awareness” throughout the weekend, experiencing the final ebbing effects of the dark phase of the solar year in preparation for sunrise (7:14 am) on Monday, Yule morning. Already, my awareness is heightened and I had a mini-aha! moment during my Reiki application this morning (day 18 of my 40-day Reiki project).

I usually begin at the root chakra and work my way up, customarily completing my application of Reiki into the first three chakras during my morning commute, with the middle two being completed during lunch and the last two during my commute home. This way, I am giving myself bursts of Reiki throughout the day. I always connect with my Elemental Guides when connecting to each chakra.

This morning, my Earth Guide smiled in greeting as usual, but then he did something unusual: he pointed to the standing stone behind him (which is engraved with four symbols: a circle containing an equal-sided cross, representing the elements, a spiral, representing meditation and the connection between the worlds, an octahedron, representing the concept of “as above, so below,” and a hand-print, which is my on/off switch to the powers of Earth). I thought about each of those symbols, and in light of my tasks of the weekend I gave detailed thought to each one in turn until the Reiki cycle ended; then I brought my awareness up to my sacral chakra. My Water Guide appeared as usual and smiled in greeting, only this time she also lifted the chalice in her hands a bit, also in greeting. I thought about her specific gift that I received in a meditation/pathworking with her and the element of Water: the awareness of the value of my ancestors, who have brought me to this moment in time.

I thought about that long line of men and women who are my ancestors, and as I compared that “thread” of the microcosm to the macrocosm of all humanity, for a moment I felt insignificant; not that I and my ancestors did not matter in any way, but more that we were all a small part of a huge multitude and while I can certainly affect my own life and my own experiences, in the big picture of things I can’t do much standing alone. I thought of myself in relation to a seed within a seed pod. When that pod bursts and the seeds are scattered, the actions or loss of one seed has a very small impact when viewed from the overall picture.

But then it dawned on me. The aha! moment was upon me! The plant that grew the multiple seed pods within my metaphor, within one of which seeds my life force was represented, itself sprang from one tiny seed. The one tiny seed from which the parent plant grew may have seemed insignificant when viewed before its germination into the mature plant ready to reproduce, but without that one tiny seed, all these many seeds in these many pods that were bursting and scattering their contents would not have been there at all. One tiny seed, filled with incredible potential (in a sense, containing all the yet-to-sprout plants to come), certainly had quite a bit of value and ability to manifest effects, when seen from that different vantage point.

Still vibrating from the potency of this revelation, I began applying Reiki to my solar plexus chakra, and my Fire Guide smiled in greeting; she then waved her arm and created a visualization for me of the sun shining down upon the plants, warming the flower buds and coaxing them to open so that they could be fertilized and thus create the pods filled with seeds that are the next generation of plants. There it was, my reminder of what exactly I am celebrating this weekend. The miracle of birth, and the immortality of life.

Blessed be!!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ace of Cups (again!!)/Judgement. I am being reminded for a second day of the potential for intense feelings and emotions that is within me. I will be able to easily discern the relationship between cause and effect today, and I will be able to mesh the physical with the spiritual, through the vehicle of love. Integration is the word of the day, and I should strive to make that integration as loving and compassionate as possible.

My Thoth card is the Seven of Cups. “Debauch” is Crowley’s keyword for this card, and he sees the energies of the card as representing the descent into the mire of false pleasure. I will see it as a warning for me today, and I will try to be certain that at least one toe is placed firmly on “dry ground.”

My Legacy card is the Page of Swords reversed. Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) of Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts), the avenging force in which the senses attempt to subdue the intellect. This Page in an upright position has wonderful ideas, but he may not have the practical experience necessary to apply them. Today I need to nurture those ideas, but I also need to be open to learning new ways to manifest them, rather than repressing the student within me.

It seems that this year, I am very attuned to the solar dark times. My awareness of energy flows seemed heightened during the week before my birthday (my personal solar dark time), and the same seems to be happening now, these last days of the dark time of the Wheel before the solstice of Yule. The cool thing is that while I am sensing the different flows of energy, my own center seems to be well grounded and balanced; it is a lot like the eye of a hurricane, a quiet place surrounded by winds.

I have been told by Uriel that this weekend I should attempt to be as awake and aware of the “now” as possible for as much of my awake time as possible, and I should attempt to meditate several times a day (mini-meditations at a minimum, but as much as possible) in addition to my 40-day Reiki application (day 17, and all is well!!). I have noticed that since the week before my birthday, that background noise of subtle energy is becoming “louder” (LOL, not that I physically “hear” it), and I just love the way I feel when I tap into it.

Part two of the information I compiled regarding Water. The Gaia Hypothesis:

The Earth is located in the habitable zone of the solar system which allows for the existence of water in all its forms; if it was slightly closer to or further from the Sun, life would be far less likely to exist. Earth's gravity allows it to hold an atmosphere, and water vapor and carbon dioxide provide a temperature buffer, allowing the surface temperature to remain relatively constant through geologic time despite varying levels of incoming solar radiation.

The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day; the precise amount depends on the level of activity, temperature, humidity, and other factors. Most of this is ingested through foods or beverages other than drinking straight water.

Water has many distinct properties that are critical for the proliferation of life; these properties allow organic compounds to react in ways that ultimately allow replication. Water is vital to the body both as a solvent and as an essential part of many metabolic processes. Metabolism is the sum total of anabolism and catabolism. In anabolism, water is removed from molecules through chemical reactions in order to grow larger molecules; in catabolism, water is used to break bonds in order to generate smaller molecules. Water is central to acid-base neutrality and enzyme function, and to photosynthesis and respiration. All living cells use such fuels and oxidize the hydrogen and carbon to capture the sun's energy and reform water and CO2 in the process (cellular respiration).

The earliest life forms appeared in water. Nearly all fish live exclusively in water, and use gills to obtain oxygen instead of lungs, although some species of fish, such as the lungfish, have both. Many types of marine mammals, such as seals, dolphins and whales also live in the water, although they need periodic access to air. Amphibians spend part of their lives in water and part on land. Plants such as kelp and algae grow in the water and are the basis for some underwater ecosystems. Plankton is generally the foundation of the ocean food chain. Smaller life forms are able to absorb oxygen through their skin.

Civilization has historically flourished around rivers and major waterways and on islands with safe water ports, their success in part due to easy accessibility via water and the resultant expansion of trade. In places such as North Africa and the Middle East, where water is scarcer, access to clean drinking water was and is a major factor in human development.

Major faiths that incorporate ritual washing (ablution) and immersion (or aspersion or affusion) of a person in water; ritual baths in pure water are performed for the dead in many religions. In Islam, the five daily prayers can be done in most cases (see Tayammum) after completing washing certain parts of the body using clean water (wudu). In Shinto, water is used in almost all rituals to cleanse a person or an area (e.g., in the ritual of misogi). Water is mentioned in the Bible 442 times in the New International Version and 363 times in the King James Version.

Some faiths use water especially prepared for religious purposes. Many religions also consider particular sources or bodies of water to be sacred or at least auspicious; examples include Lourdes in Roman Catholicism, the Jordan River (at least symbolically) in some Christian churches, the Zamzam Well in Islam and the River Ganges (among many others) in Hinduism.

Water is often believed to have spiritual powers. In Celtic mythology, Sulis is the local goddess of thermal springs; in Hinduism, the Ganges is also personified as a goddess, while Saraswati have been referred to as goddess in Vedas. . Alternatively, gods can be patrons of particular springs, rivers, or lakes: for example, in Greek and Roman mythology, Peneus was a river god, one of the three thousand Oceanids.

Water is one of the basic five elements, along with fire, earth, spirit/space, air; one of the five elements in traditional Chinese philosophy, along with earth, fire, wood, and metal; and one of the four classical elements, along with fire, earth and air, and was regarded as the ylem, or basic substance of the universe. Water is considered cold and moist, and is associated with the bodily humor of phlegm. Water is also taken as a role model in some parts of traditional and popular Asian philosophy, and is used in literature as a symbol of purification.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ace of Cups/Five of Pentacles reversed. Today will be filled with the potential for me to tap into feelings and to hear my Inner Voice. Because my focus is inner, what little physical world trials may present themselves will have little effect.

My Thoth card is the Princess of Cups. I will be very connected to my Inner Voice today, and to my senses; the experiences will be serene and pleasant.

My Legacy card is the Two of Swords. Like the Four of Swords, this card tells of a truce but it also seems to indicate that I will choose to balance the opposites and shut out distractions, rather than having the truce imposed upon me.

These last days have been incredible for me; I don’t know if it is the daily Reiki or the fact that we are just coming out of the dark phase of the lunar month and are still in the dark phase of the solar year, or a combination of both, but everything seems to be filled with subtle meaning.

As promised, part one of the information I compiled regarding the element of Water is below. Tomorrow I will post regarding The Gaia Hypothesis.

Water can be found on Earth in three states: liquid, solid (ice), and water vapor (invisible). Water covers 71% of the Earth's surface, mostly in oceans and other large water bodies as well as glaciers, polar ice caps and rivers, lakes and ponds, below ground in aquifers, and in the air as vapor, clouds, and precipitation; a small amount of the Earth's water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products. The collective mass of water found on, under, and over the surface of a planet is called the hydrosphere; Earth's hydrosphere is 1,360,000,000 km3 (326,000,000 mi3).

Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at standard temperature and pressure. Both water and ice are actually a very light blue, although they appear colorless in small quantities; water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas. The transparent nature of water allows aquatic plants to live within the water because sunlight (except for some UV light) can reach them.

The water cycle (known scientifically as the hydrologic cycle, or evapotranspiration) is the continuous exchange of water within the hydrosphere, between the atmosphere, soil water, surface water, groundwater, and plants, through evaporation into air; precipitation from air and falling to earth or ocean; runoff usually reaching the sea. Water is a polar molecule with an electrical dipole moment; interactions between the dipoles causes the “skin” at the interface of water with air or other substances, which in turn allows water to adhere to other materials and causes the many special properties of water, such as capillary action (the tendency of water to move up a narrow tube against the force of gravity, which is relied upon by all vascular plants, such as trees).

Water is important in many geological processes. Groundwater affects patterns of faulting in rocks, and water in the mantle produces volcanoes at subduction zones. Water and ice are important in both chemical and physical weathering processes, and are also responsible for a large amount of sediment transport, which forms many types of sedimentary rocks. Runoff shapes the environment, creating river valleys and deltas which provide rich soil and level ground for the establishment of population centers. Collected groundwater flows back to the surface in springs, or more spectacularly in hot springs and geysers. Condensed water in the air may also refract sunlight to produce rainbows.

The boiling point of water is dependent on barometric pressure; water boils quickly at high elevations, but deep in the ocean near geothermal vents can reach temperatures of hundreds of degrees and remain liquid. The maximum density of water occurs before it freezes, which results in an unusual phenomenon: water's solid form, ice, floats upon water. The physical properties of sea water differ from fresh water; it freezes at a lower temperature (about -1.9C) and its density increases with decreasing temperature to the freezing point, instead of reaching maximum density at a temperature above freezing.

Water is formed when hydrogen or hydrogen-containing compounds burn or react with oxygen or oxygen-containing compounds. Water is not a fuel, it is an end-product of the combustion of hydrogen; in other words, Fire creates Water! Both the gram (the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to a cube of one hundredth of a meter, and to the temperature of the melting ice) and the Celsius and Kelvin temperature scales are calculated using water. Water has been detected in interstellar clouds within our galaxy, and probably exists in abundance in other galaxies because its components (hydrogen and oxygen) are among the most abundant elements in the universe. Water is present in some form on Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and on many moons of these and other planets (Jupiter’s Europa the first to come to mind), including our own moon.

Water is often referred to as the universal solvent. All the major components in cells (proteins, DNA and polysaccharides) are also dissolved in water. The ability of water to make solutions and emulsions is used for washing, and many industrial processes rely on reactions using chemicals dissolved in water, suspension of solids in water slurries, or using water to dissolve and extract substances. Water and steam are used as heat transfer fluids in heat exchange systems due to their availability and high heat capacity, both as a coolant and for heating. In almost all electric power stations, water is the coolant, which vaporizes and drives steam turbines to drive generators. Humans use water for exercise and recreational purposes; many find the sound and appearance of flowing water to be calming, and fountains and other water features in public or private decorations. Some keep fish and other life in aquariums or ponds for show, fun, and companionship.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Five of Wands/Five of Cups reversed. Well, it should be an interesting day; two Fives, although one is reversed, so the imposed motion of the number could be somewhat mitigated. I will feel my creative juices finally begin to flow today, although there may be impediments to their manifestation. I am being pulled in many different directions, each of which lure me; I must remember that I can only do one at a time, but if I work steadily, by the end of the day I will be able to see progress.

My Thoth card is the Prince of Cups reversed. In an upright position, this card tells of a person who is outwardly serene yet prone to selfish and sometimes violently ruthless as he feeds his own needs. Whew. Thankfully it is reversed, so while circumstances may try to cause this reaction in me, I will be able to catch myself.

My Legacy card is the Page of Cups reversed. Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) of Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts), the imaginative force of the practicality of emotions. In an upright position, this card brings a message of new ways to see feelings and emotions. It is reversed, so as much as I may want them, these things are being blocked today.

Three Cups cards, two of which are Court Cards, all reversed. LOL, it is going to be a fiery day!

Where to begin? As the song says, probably at the beginning for it is a very good place to start. Last Thursday night the Pagan Brain Trust had its Reiki Extravaganza. After our “executive session” (which was filled with its usual awesomeness), I gave E and TL their Reiki I attunements. I just love the energy feedback I get during attunements, and doing two in a row was incredible! Once the attunements were completed, all five of us had Reiki! We all talked for a bit, sharing different experiences, and then we finished the evening by sitting in a circle and passing the Reiki around deosil. Well, that was even more powerful than the attunements, if that is at all possible! I cannot wait for us to do that again!

Friday night and Saturday during the day were all spent in preparation for our Annual Cook A Cow Yule Celebration. My legs are actually sore from going up and down the stairs! But we managed to get the house in order (despite the fact that our first floor is pretty much a construction zone as our new heating system is three-quarters of the way installed), and we had an awesome evening of food, drink, music and family love.

Danu also gave me a task Saturday morning: to do what She called “quick pulls” from the middle of my deck at random times during the afternoon, write down the first keyword that came to mind, and see if they corresponded with my day. What a great confidence builder that was!!! I pulled three cards throughout the afternoon, and I could instantly see that as usual, my Welsh deck was very attuned to my mental focus. The cards I pulled were: early in the afternoon, Ten of Swords reversed (the first word that came to mind was “empowerment”), the middle of the afternoon, The Emperor (the first word that came to mind was “order”), and then later, as I finished getting ready, Seven of Pentacles (the first word that came to mind was “tired assessment”). How perfect is that?! Needless to say, I was pretty spent by the time I was ready, so I sat down and did my daily Reiki treatment, and once I had finished I was ready to go.

We had such a great evening! As usual, I spent all day Sunday cleaning up, but now the house is ready for the holidays, all neat and clean. The only thing I did not get to was my Yule gifts, which I absolutely have to do tonight, but I did check and respond to eight First Degree homeworks, including one First Degree Final Exam.

All in all, I had a very physical world-focused weekend and Monday, and boy, have I moved to a different focus today. I am on day 15 of my 40 day Reiki focus, and going strong. I am working with the element of Water again today, reading about its properties. I also am reacting once again to that aha! moment of Sunday. The NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day yesterday was the Saturn Hexagon, which scientists discovered and last photographed 15 years ago, just before Saturn’s long, dark winter. But Spring has come to Saturn’s north pole, and the Hexagon is still there! A five-sided shape created and maintained in the gasses of a planet. Another glimpse of “the image of the Goddess” and the workings of the Machinery of the Universe!!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Strength/Queen of Cups reversed. Strength is about the ability to not only control the emotions, but to rise up over them as well. And boy, are there emotions in this card, for its astrological correspondence is Leo (who is ambitious, charismatic and competitive). Interestingly enough, the Hebrew letter that corresponds with Strength is Teth (which means “basket” or “sieve” or “ear” and seems to tell of the ability to discern or separate). The Queen of Cups is Water of Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts), and since she is reversed, I am being told that today is a day to be very aware of my emotions and my inner self, so that I can maintain balance. There may be a tendency today for me to have difficulty with the concept of “compromise” due to the emotions-support-emotions nature of this card.

My Thoth card is the Ten of Pentacles reversed. I love Crowley’s thoughts on this card. He feels that when wealth accumulates beyond a certain point, as it does in the number 10 card, which represents the successful completion of a cycle, it either needs to be transformed to a new beginning of some kind or it will smother itself under its own weight. The card is reversed, so I have not yet reached that point, but because the card is there at all, I must be aware of its potential.

My Legacy card is The Sun. Marchetti sees The Sun as telling of a time when light disburses doubt and illuminates the path ahead; the energies of this card indeed represent a period of enlightenment. However, Marchetti also warns us of the dangers of trying to cling to this time of serenity and enthusiasm, for in order to be balanced and healthy, we need a few rainy days mixed in with the sunshine; we need to experience both the day and the night. The Hebrew letter associated with this card is Resh, which means face; like our Sun, which is about awareness of self and connection to Will, Resh tells of the ability to reason, but it also is about sterility, probably because it sees only itself.

As I type this, I realized that the traditional image of Strength contains a lion, and the lion represents the Sun. Interesting card pair! And this could be what drew me to sit and look for a moment at the sun’s progression across the sky, before beginning my usual morning meditation. There is a tree in our front yard that I call the Yule Tree because from where I park my car, the sun only moves past the right side of the tree during the few weeks right before and right after Yule. When I can see the sun shining to the right of my Yule Tree, I know that Yule is almost upon me. LOL, kind of like my very own Stonehenge!

Perhaps my element to focus on today is Fire, and it seems that this time, rather than focusing on the heat and transformative powers of Fire, I am to focus on its light.

Here is a bit of information regarding Fire:

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a combustible material that releases heat, light, and various reaction products such as carbon dioxide and water. Fires start when a burnable material is given the right mixture of oxygen and heat; commonly called the fire tetrahedron (in the list of Platonic solids, the tetrahedron represents the element of Fire; the other four correspondences are octahedron/Air, cube/Earth, icosahedron/Spirit, and dodecahedron/Water). Once ignited, a chain reaction takes place that allows fire to sustain its own heat and light, and even to propagate, provided there is a continuous supply of an oxidizer and fuel. There are two basic methods of distributing the required components of combustion to a flame. Diffusion flame: oxygen and fuel diffuse into each other; where they meet the flame occurs. Premixed flame, the oxygen and fuel are premixed beforehand, which results in a different type of flame. Fire can be extinguished by removing any one of the elements of the fire tetrahedron.

A flame (from Latin flamma), is the visible part of a fire, a mixture of reacting gases and solids emitting visible and infrared light. The color of the flame depends on the chemical composition of the burning material and its impurities, and is directly related to the efficiency of the fire, ranging from white, the hottest color possible for organic material in general, or yellow, to orange, which is cooler, then red, which is cooler still; finally the uncombusted carbon particles are visible as black smoke. The glow of a flame is complex and involves a large number of chemical reactions, including black-body radiation and photon emission, whose explanations will have to wait for another day.

The temperature/color correspondences:

Red: Just visible: 525 °C (977 °F); Dull: 700 °C (1,292 °F); Cherry, dull: 800 °C (1,470 °F); Cherry, full: 900 °C (1,650 °F); Cherry, clear: 1,000 °C (1,830 °F)
Orange: Deep: 1,100 °C (2,010 °F); Clear: 1,200 °C (2,190 °F)
White: Whitish: 1,300 °C (2,370 °F); Bright: 1,400 °C (2,550 °F); Dazzling: 1,500 °C (2,730 °F)

NASA has recently found that gravity also plays a role in flame formation and color. Under normal gravity conditions a flame depends on convection, as soot tends to rise to the top of a general flame. In outer space, convection no longer occurs, and the flame becomes spherical, more blue in color, and more efficient, although it may go out if not moved steadily, as the CO2 from combustion does not disperse.

Early humans used fire to generate heat and light for cooking, to stay warm in cold weather, and to keep nocturnal predators at bay. The first technical application of fire may have been the extracting and treating of metals. In its broadest sense, fire is used by nearly every human being on earth in a controlled setting every day. Fire has been used in warfare for as long as humans have had the knowledge to control it and was the basis of all early thermal weapons. Fire is also used as a tool in landscape management, typically through controlled burns or “cool fires” (as opposed to uncontrolled “hot fires” which damage the soil, destroy plants and animals, and endanger communities), conducted in the spring and autumn to clear undergrowth that could trigger a hot fire should it get too dense.

I guess in all fairness, I will need to go back and look at Water. Oh, and one thing I forgot to include in my Watery musings of yesterday is related to the illusion I experienced in the car, and The Horned One. That illusion, of the water not moving and the car moving, directly relates to the energies of The Horned One because often when we are involved in an addiction, we have trouble perceiving the downward spiral in which we are moving; instead we tend to see no problems with ourselves and rather, see the issues as being within those around us. Cool, isn't it? Love those elemental absorption exercises!

I just love my horoscope today: “Scientists are sometimes pretty strange people. They might be so engrossed in reality that they seem almost absent from it. It's as if they floated around above the Earth, and that's a bit how you feel about things, too, dear Sagittarius. You would like to tell yourself about the world in your own special way, the way you see it and not necessarily the way it really is. That's your secret: you know that no one else could tell you about the world the way you do.”

*psssst* I’ve got a seeecreeett!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Hanged Man/The Horned One. Oy. Powerful combination: surrender and bondage. I need to think about both of those terms today, individually and in relation to each other, for there is a message for me in these two cards. Sometimes we cannot learn by attempting to impose our will upon a situation, and we are more effective if we allow the prevailing energy currents to direct us. But there is a difference between surrendering and allowing; that may be the thought of the day!

My Thoth card is the King of Cups reversed. Fire of Water; not a powerful combination. Crowley sees this King as being amiable and pleasant, but not necessarily enduring. He may respond to the needs of others with passion and rapid action, but he can be easily distracted from his purpose. He can also be very hard to read, probably because he really does not have a strong connection to his own emotions as his focus is outward. Because he is reversed, I am being told that while I may be easily distracted today in a way that might not bring serenity, I will be better at connecting to my own feelings than to the feelings of those around me.

My Legacy card is the Knight of Pentacles. Marchetti sees this Knight as waning Leo/waxing Virgo, as a combination of Strength and The Hermit, and as Fire of Earth (I have in the past seen the Knights as representing Air and the Kings as representing Fire, but I want to learn new things about Court Cards, so I will be The Hanged Man and go with the flow). Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes) of Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) is the fiery part of earth, passion manifested in physicality. Both of these elements share the effects of dryness and the ability to shape, and because the two elements support each other they are known as a stimulating force. The dryness indicates a lack of Water, which means that this Knight focuses strictly on his physical realm, and does not allow the distractions of emotions or intuition or event the intellect to distract him.

Just as a comparison, Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts) of Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes) would be Marchetti’s interpretation of the King of Pentacles. In this combination, known as resolute force, the intellect overrides the senses. Air and Earth are opposites; does this polarity weaken this King or strengthen him? I think in many cases the Air/intellect combination may save the day; while he may not have experienced emotions or intuition, he at least knows of them.

Day 9 of my 40-day Reiki application, and my brain really does seem to be reaching out of the box more frequently in order to make connections. For instance, I have felt pulled back to learning about the Tarot, so last night I purchased “Understanding The Tarot Court” by Greer & Little so that I can deepen my connection to the Royals of the Tarot, and hopefully also learn more about the aha! moments I had on Sunday evening. This morning, my Welsh card Throw was two Majors, both of which are connected in some way to the element of Water. Soooo, perhaps it is time to do another set of elemental absorption exercises, only this time I will see the elements through the symbolism of Tarot, and in turn, deepen my understanding of the cards themselves. And the first element I will work on? Water, of course.

As a very brief starting point, I see even numbers as having a more feminine essence, I see the elements of Earth and Water as being feminine, and I see the ranks of Queen and Page as being more feminine. Not necessarily gender-feminine, but rather energy effect-feminine; unless specifically directed to do so, I will be keeping my focus on energy effects rather than gender.

Early on this morning, soon after deciding that this would be my focus for the near future, I was given a lesson in the effects of water. I sat in my car as usual, doing my morning chakra balance before leaving for work. It was raining, and so I allowed myself to “unfocus” a bit as I watched the raindrops hit the windshield and then flow downward. I realized with a start that it appeared like the front of the car was levitating! I allowed my gaze and my mind to relax, and it happened again! Now, I know that my car was not levitating, but what I realized was that if I relaxed my focus for a bit, the water flowing down the windshield gave the illusion that it was not moving at all, and that the front of my car was actually moving upward. I was able to focus enough to make the sensation stop and then repeat the sensation several times, LOL, to the point where I was getting a bit queasy. Proof positive that the mind has an effect on what we see because the mind is interpreting information through the prejudice of my personal “pattern catalogue.”

Okay, side trip here. As I mentioned in my post on Sunday, it is our eyes that actually perceive light and dark, color and shape; our eyes transform sights into electrical data, which it then sends to the brain, via the web of nerves (our physical communication system), for interpretation. Like an email that we type and see on our computer screen that is transformed by our computers into zeros and ones and then transmitted on the “web” of the Internet to another computer, which then recreates the email (but using its own defaults whenever necessary), our brains receive the data and then recreate what the eyes have seen, filling in the blanks from our own pattern catalogue when necessary. This tells me two things: (1) the brain does not always see exactly the same thing that the eyes see, and (2) the brain can “see” from other sources than our eyes as long as the data to be interpreted is transmitted to the place in the brain that interprets electrical data as sights. If the data gets sent to the part of our brain that understands taste, we will “taste” it, and if the data goes to the part of our brain that understands feelings and emotions, we will “feel” it.

Okay, back to the topic of the day. After a few stomach-settling breaths, I brought my mind back to the topic at hand: Water and my two Major Arcana cards. The Hanged Man corresponds with the Hebrew letter Mem (which means water), and with the planet Neptune (named for a Roman God of water and the oceans, and horses), and The Horned One corresponds with the Hebrew letter ‘Ayin (which means eye), and the sign Capricorn (which is a Cardinal Earth sign).

The Hanged Man is about surrendering, and about the paradox of choosing to do nothing at all in order to actively find the answer to a question. It is the only card specifically based on a mythological figure, Odin; the image also usually refers us back to The Emperor, for The Hanged Man is usually shown with his legs crossed in a manner similar to The Emperor (except that sometimes the crossed leg is behind the other leg for The Hanged Man, while the crossed leg is resting on top of the other leg for The Emperor) The Hanged Man not only hints to us that we need to look at things in a totally different way, but he also tells of the possibility that our answers may come to us through sacrifice. As a side note, The Emperor is about order and structure, acceptance of leadership and the responsibilities that leadership entails, and using the mind, the intellect and the will to shape the world.

Basically, the element of Water is about feelings, emotions, and sensations, about adaptation, dilution and purification, about going with the flow, and about the subconscious, inner messages, intuition and psychic abilities. The planet Neptune represents spirituality and a connection to the subconscious, clairvoyance and idealism. The Hebrew letter Mem corresponds with the element of Water, and represents oceans and origins and the Mother. It is about transformation through movement, through surrendering to the movement.

The Horned One is similar to The Empress in that his energies are focused on the pleasures of the physical world, but while her focuses are based on outward creation, The Horned One is more about grabbing onto those pleasures and making them his own. The Horned One reminds us that consciously allowing something to happen can be a little different from surrendering to the flows of energy. The difference is that when we surrender, we are not encouraging the continuation of the effect; when we allow something to happen the way that The Horned One allows something to happen, we are encouraging and enabling it to happen and to continue happening. In some situations this is useful, but the addictive nature of the effects of this energy makes it very dangerous to use.

Basically, the element of Earth is about security, foundation, support, physical health, creativity and fertility, and everything we need to be physically healthy and happy. The sign of Capricorn represents ambition, especially with regard to power or position or money, self-disciplined persistence, being responsible and practical, and being able to use what one has for ones own furtherance. The Hebrew letter “Ayin” corresponds to the eye, and springs, holes that you can see through, and the source from which things emit, and it tells of a connection to the senses and to the sense of humor. However, it is also about destruction through antagonism, and the insistence on placing undue importance on sensory satisfaction and the emptiness that comes from indulging in this way.

So how does all of this relate to my elemental absorption exercise with water? I realized that water has enough of a connection to hold itself together, but it tends to assume the shape of things around it because it does not have enough structure to hold a shape of its own. Its weight and flexibility will always cause it to seek the lowest place, and it will contort itself however possible in order to get to the lowest place. If you split a body of water up into segments the water will allow that to happen, but if you combine them back together they will merge seamlessly and effortlessly, accepting the merge as easily as the split-up. Water will not flow uphill, so once it reaches its lowest place, it will most likely not be able to rise upward without outside help.

Well. Even though The Horned One is an Earthy card, I can see that the element of Water has some connection to it as well as to The Hanged Man.

I will have more to say about the Court cards once I get further into my book.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Page of Wands/Ace of Cups. I love this Page, for he tells of an enthusiasm for learning and for new experiences. Hopefully they will be my main focuses today, and I might find that the learning and new experiences have something to do with my feelings or my inner self.

My Thoth card is the Three of Cups reversed. “Abundance” reversed, which seems to support my Legacy card for today. This card in an upright position tells of love manifesting enough to be discerned, but so far today I am not tapping into the presence of this abundance.

My Legacy card is the Ten of Coins reversed. While I may already have the riches I need for a healthy and balanced life or they may be within reach, I am missing them somehow. Perhaps this has to do not with missing the actual riches, but missing the appreciation for what I have as well as missing the desire to do something with my gifts.

It looks as if I am being told that the time has finally come to allow my focus to stray inward. One of the reasons that I love Winter is that the cold and dark seem to encourage snuggling on the couch with a good book. This time of inner growth that ends up to be the foundation of activities to come is usually in full swing for me by Samhain, but this year my turn inward got a late start.

I am feeling the urge to remove another layer from the onion that is the Tarot. The Court Cards are calling me once again, and it is time to deepen my understanding of them to the next level. Astrology is also jumping up and down and waving its arms, trying to attract my attention, as are Runes. Perhaps this will be a Winter of Divination for me. The Tarot also helps me to digest those glimpses of the Machinery of the Universe and understand how to infuse the corresponding insights into my daily life. It makes sense, after my huge aha! moment of Sunday evening, that I am feeling drawn back to the Tarot, and these other associated disciplines.

Day 8 of my 40 day Reiki focus; hmmmm . . . if I have an aha! moment every week while doing this, my brain may very well really explode!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ace of Wands/Six of Swords reversed. Today I will experience the spark that starts the fire! This will not be about healing and moving on, oh no! It will be about rehashing ideas, turning them around and examining them from different directions, until the answer is found.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Swords reversed. “Cruelty” tells of the agony of the mind, the assumption of the worst outcome that is imposed on oneself in the dead of night. It is reversed, so I will be more likely to allow my worries to serve as fuel for viable solutions.

My Legacy card is the Six of Coins reversed. The Legacy Tarot shows an image that focuses more on charity and balance than some other decks. It also tells us that charity cannot be offered with such freedom that those receiving the gifts learn to live off of that charity. I may not be seeing clearly today that I need to work for my gifts; once I realize this, balance will return and the gifts will flow.

What an amazing day! I had another glimpse of the Machinery of the Universe this evening, and I am still experiencing echoes and aftershocks of awe.

When I gave Pat from dance class her Reiki II attunement on Tuesday night, just as I finished the attunement she turned to me and said she had just been told that she had a book I needed to read. Pat went up to her bedroom, and came back down with a book called The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge, by Jeremy Narby. What a fascinating book! I devoured it, finishing it last night even though I was not home on Wednesday or Thursday evenings.

I was not surprised when Archangel Uriel appeared to me shortly before I left for North Jersey this evening; His appearance after Pat was told through her Reiki II atunement that I needed to read this book was validation that there was a very important message for me within the book’s content. The fact that He just stood there, looking at me with those golden eyes, told me that he was getting impatient because I was not seeing what I needed to see. The process took a while, but I was successful in the end.

Narby is an anthropologist, and he wrote this book after spending some time with some Peruvian indigenous peoples, studying their shamans and their use of vision-inducing compounds in order to learn from “plant-teachers” (yes, they claim that they learn how to use plants to heal, from the actual plants). The people are called the Ashaninca, and the shamans use a drink called ayahuasca that is a natural hallucinogenic in order to induce visions. The visions that the shamans experience bring them knowledge regarding the use of plants for healing that is way more sophisticated than would be expected, considering that this information has been a part of their culture for hundreds of years and was not acquired through the use of technology.

Two basic concepts struck me hard enough to shake me up. First, within his descriptions and explanations of the visions experienced through the consumption of ayahuasca, Narby describes in very simple terms how we see. When we look at a particular object, the receptors in our eyes see the colors and shapes and light and dark that is the object we are looking at. The eyes then transform the light and dark, colors and shapes into electronic form, which electronic data is then sent via the nerves into the brain. The brain then transforms that electronic data back into light and dark, colors and shapes. In other words, when we are seeing, it is our eyes only that are actually seeing. Our brains, which are recognizing and understanding what we are seeing, are not actually seeing at all; our brains are interpreting electronic data (not visual data) that is sent to them from the eyes.

Visions happen when we “see” without our physical eyes; in other words, our brains are receiving and interpreting data regarding things or events that are seen, but these things or events are not in the physical world, so our physical eyes are not seeing them at all. The brain is indeed “seeing,” but what it is seeing is existing elsewhere than in the physical realms!!

Wwwhhoooah! Isn’t that what Uriel was trying to pound into my head during those particularly uncomfortable meditations? **face palm** Yes, that is what He was saying; even after He poked my eyes out I still was not completely getting this concept. As usual, I needed to back up the information I received from Uriel with more information from an objective source. There it was! My validation.

I loaded up the car and began driving north, happy that I had experienced this moment, but vaguely sensing that I had not yet teased everything I needed to know out of this book. As I drove, enjoying the salt marshes and Pine Barrens in the late afternoon and then the twilight of the early Winter evening, I thought more about Narby’s experiences with the shamans of the Amazon.

Narby was convinced that the shamans were actually learning from the plants through their ayahuasca-induced hallucinations. He found paintings created by shamans depicting the things they saw while journeying, and one common element found was the image of twining snakes. Yes, to make a long story very short, the Amazonian shamans were seeing the double helix of DNA in their visions, along with other shamans of many different cultures throughout the world. They were drinking concoctions made from plant extracts to induce hallucinations, and within their hallucinations they were seeing double helixes, ladders and chromosomes. They were even seeing what is called the “dance of the chromosomes,” which happens as a cell divides!

DNA . . . as I drove toward home, I thought about what I had learned about DNA in this book. DNA is incredibly complex, and stores a huge amount of information in a very tiny place. Within one single cell of my body is a double helix of DNA which when stretched out into a single strand is only about ten atoms across, but is two yards long!!! Two yards!!!! All crammed into one cell!!!!

The average human being is made of approximately 100 thousand billion cells. Do you know how much DNA is in those cells? If put end to end, enough to stretch . . . are you sitting down? 125 billion, yes, BILLION, miles, yes, MILES! 125 billion miles of DNA is found in my body alone. How is that for an instruction book? Makes the one that came with my cell phone look like a child’s picture book.

DNA is the one thing that is common to all life. DNA is found in a smear of pond scum, and it is found in Stephen Hawkings; it is the “instruction booklet” for the assembly of all life, LOL, some assembly required, and it replicates itself so that life can continue. I pondered all of this, turning it this way and that in my mind as I tried to figure out the puzzle that was locking me out of the “aha!” moment that I sensed with every fiber of my being awaited me.

It took exactly 113.9 miles for me to finally decode the message. My ponderings about life brought me to the fact that Christians are told that human beings are made in the image of God. This does not make sense to me; what makes humans so special? What is it about humans that makes them closer to Deity than every other life form on our world? Shouldn’t we be searching for ways that we are equal to other life forms instead of ways that we are above them? After all, we depend on each other to exist. What if it is not humans that are created in the image of Deity; what if it is DNA that is created in Deity’s image? No . . . wait; that is not quite the right question. What if the information contained in DNA is created in the image of Deity?

My brain then proceeded to explode. At mile marker 113.9 on the Parkway. Holy chit, that is it!! As a Wiccan, I believe that Deity is imminent, that Goddess is in everything; I accept that and believe that but I could not before today explain that in a way that a scientist ~and~ a metaphysicist could accept. I looked around at the trees and grass and the sky, I watched a pair of gulls fly overhead on their way to their nighttime roost; all of this, every bit of it, every bit of life that exists above and on and within our world is here because of the specific instructions within its DNA. It is DNA that laces us all together, that connects the pond scum to Stephen Hawkings, and the information contained in that DNA is actually the image of The Creatress, the Goddess. The information within our DNA is what the Goddess is and looks like (if “look” is the correct word).

I took several deep, calming breaths, and as I drove I looked around again at the lacy branches of the leafless trees up against the cold Winter night sky, and I saw the God, the Sacred Masculine, within the cycles that are the manifestation of those instructions that are the Goddess. All of life exists and happens through the cycles of the God; when followed, those DNA instruction books that are an image of the Goddess create life that manifests according to the cycles of the God.

**facepalm** It was there all the time. I just didn’t see it. Every bit of life, no matter how evolved or no matter how simple, is sacred because every bit of life contains DNA, which is actually a picture, if you will, of the Goddess. Now, does this mean that I can’t eat ever again? No, it does not. For the Sacred Masculine, which is also necessary for life, tells me that in order for life to continue indefinitely, the living must be recycled, and this recycling happens through consumption. Yes, we all make choices concerning our food according to our personal beliefs, but eating must happen for life to happen. And so, the cycles of birth, life, death, rest and rebirth that are the God, and that are the manifestation of life, are also valid.

Wow, what a night!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Knight of Pentacles/Knight of Wands. Well, look at that! Yesterday was the Knight of Swords and the Knight of Cups, and today is the other two. Obviously I am being told that this is a good time to think about the effects of the other three elements through the “eyes of Air.”

My Thoth card is the Four of Swords. This is the “Truce” card, and in a sense it reinforces the message of my four Knights because it tells of a truce that is created by a temporary balance of equal yet opposing forces.

My Thoth card is the Knight of Cups. I am being told that the most efficient way for me to perceive my world and deal with my day is through the workings of my feelings and the subconscious. All four of my cards are upright, and three of the four tell of extremes, with the other card telling of a balance of opposing forces. Hmmm . . . should be an interesting day!

My horoscope: “Home and family are apt to be your primary focuses today, dear Sagittarius. Work around the house might take up a lot of your time. You might want to spruce the place up a little and make it more beautiful. Gardening could also be especially rewarding right now. If you've been wanting to try some recipes from a new cookbook, this is the day to do it as your creative impulses with regard to food are at an all-time high.”

Day four of my 40 day Reiki application; so far, so good. It takes me until the end of the day to get each chakra done, but the good thing is that I am applying Reiki periodically throughout the day. I wonder if the appearance of all four Knights between yesterday’s throw and today’s throw has something to do with this Reiki application on my chakras? Hmmm . . . food for thought. Perhaps my cards are telling me that it is time to do another set of elemental absorption exercises, making use of these Reiki/chakra connections. I like this!

My “aha!” moment of the day: I was “lurking” on the Sacred Mists Journals and read of one student’s internet troubles, and then read this: “Those crystals are lab created, and work REALLY well with electronics and all the related technology.” I love it! I have always thought that lab created crystals are effective for their sympathetic energies. After all, a lab created alexandrite has the color change abilities of the real thing, is made of the same ingredients as the natural crystal, and in fact is purer in its makeup than crystals created through the workings of nature; plus a lab created stone costs quite a bit less to obtain than a real alexandrite. But this student thought out of the box here by saying that lab created stones can be preferable to natural stones for dealing with modern technological issues. This makes sooooo much sense to me!

Heading down to Cape May tonight, after not being there last weekend. It is not going to be a great Saturday, weather wise, but I am sure that I will be able to find things to do! *waves to Miss Pauline* See you soon!!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Page of Swords/Six of Pentacles. I will find myself filled with ponderings of the workings of the mind and the human psyche today. Both of my cards speak of young minds and youthly enthusiasm, and they encourage me to acknowledge that I have much to learn but I also have already attained the necessary knowledge and skills to hone the powers of the intellect. And as long as my end goal is to make my world better, there will be a balance of receiving knowledge and of giving knowledge.

My Thoth card is The Devil, another Major! Crowley sees this card a bit differently than most decks. The keywords I found on SuperTarot are: Blind impulse, irresistibly strong and unscrupulous, ambition, temptation, obsession, secret plan about to be executed; hard work, obstinacy, rigidity, aching discontent, endurance. When I take this into consideration along with The Hermit reversed of yesterday, I don’t know whether I am being encouraged to connect with my physical world with intense focus, or whether I am being warned not to!

My Legacy card is the Five of Swords reversed. In an upright position, this card indicates a ruthless march toward victory with no care for those hurt in the process. Because it is reversed, I may be very aware of three concepts today: vindication, restoration, and forgiveness.

Last night, I gave Pat from dance class her Reiki II attunement; I had given Pat a Reiki I attunement several weeks ago. This attunement was the most powerful attunement experience I have had to date. Is it because Pat is a homoeopath and an energy worker, so she is more comfortable and open to the experience? Is it because I am becoming more experienced with the attunement process, and thus more confident and open? Whatever the reason, I am certainly hooked on attunements! My next goal is to memorize the process so I don’t need my cheat sheet.

I also thought that yesterday would be a good day to start my 40 days of Reiki project. One of my much loved Pagan Brain Trust members gave herself Reiki 40 days in a row, and her results were incredible. So I have decided that I will give myself Reiki every day for the next 40 days, as much as possible but a minimum of Reiki applications at each of the seven main chakras. That means my last day will be January 9.

In return for the two attunements, Pat offered me some beads for my sacred masculine wand project. I now have kyanite, amazonite, garnet, rose quartz, red coral, black pearl and bone beads, as well as two turkey tail feathers, to add to my singing quartz point. I need to get more copper wire, and then I will be ready to begin!

I am hopeful that the online self Mediation issue is calmed down once again, at least for a while. My next step is to write an essay for posting on the general board which describes the workings of the online self thoughtform, and warns of the dangers inherent in online and written communications. This will touch not only on thoughtforms, but also on the power of words in general and the written word in particular.

I also just started reading a great book called “The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge," by Jeremy Narby. Immediately after the conclusion of the attunement last night, Pat turned to me and said that she needs to give me a book to read. She said that the book popped into her head just as we were completing the attunement, and she feels I am supposed to read it now. That is the second book that put itself into my path yesterday, the first being Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine by Candace Pert. LOL, I don’t have time to read! Looks like I will need to make time. *smile*


Monday, November 30, 2009

Judgement/Three of Wands reversed. Events, the reason they happened, and their accumulated effects will be on my mind today. My focus will not be forward; today I will be looking back to see just how I got to where I am at this moment.

My Thoth card is the Seven of Coins. Crowley calls this card “Failure,” and it tells of the potential of not getting things done mainly because there is no action. The problem with pausing if your load is heavy is that you might not have the energy to overcome inertia.

My Legacy card is the Queen of Cups reversed. This Queen lives comfortably in her environment of feelings, fantasies and altered states of perception. Because she is reversed, I may find myself very grounded today, so grounded that leaving the physical realms might need a mighty effort.

My horoscope: “A neighbor or relative to whom you haven't spoken for a while might suggest that you attend a social event together, dear Sagittarius. Make the time for it as it could open up doors for you that you wouldn't normally expect. Relationships of all kinds should be going especially well, and this includes romance. If you're involved, expect to grow closer. If you aren't currently involved, don't be surprised if someone new and exciting comes into your life.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Myrtle Beach. We made it just in time for dinner on Thursday. Friday we vegged in front of the television, digesting our turkey, and then went to dinner at New York Prime, one of the best steak houses I have ever eaten at. Had my bone-in ribeye, done to perfection. Nothing like a little cow after all that turkey. LOL, I am a carnivore at times, but I miss my salads. Saturday we walked around in Huntingdon Beach State Park, and we even revisited Atalaya Castle. All too soon, we were back at Myrtle Beach Airport, and we got back home yesterday afternoon.

I ate waaaay too much, but we had such a good time. We saw deer, eagles, hawks, woodpeckers, and of course, turkey vultures; at the beach we saw a pod of dolphins, and then watched a group of brown pelicans as they fished for lunch. Saturday night we started a fire in the firepit, and we were visited by a group of coyotes; they stayed in the shadows, but we could hear them passing by, and the neighborhood dogs went crazy until they moved on.

I felt very grounded in the physical world for most of the weekend, but I spent about an hour and a half on Saturday morning, sitting outside while everyone else slept. I had my moments of connection to Nature, but it was Nature in its primitive, natural state.

Back to reality today, and back on my diet. Christmas is coming, and I need to get rid of some of this Thanksgiving padding.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Justice reversed/The Empress reversed. Justice reversed is a fitting card for the first day of a new personal solar year; today I start anew, with no karma (at least recent karma) to deal with. I start with a clean slate today, and I need to remember that I will be creating new “causes” that will manifest into “effects” later on.

My Thoth card is the Prince of Cups reversed. In an upright position, Crowley sees this Prince as being outwardly serene with hidden, inner violence and passion deep within him. Because the card is reversed, those strong feelings may show themselves, but there will be compassion and caring as well, to balance out the emotional eruptions.

My Legacy card is the Ten of Swords reversed. In an upright position, this card tells of overkill, pain and a sense of loss, often self-imposed and unfounded. Today, I may find that this sense of loss is fading away, possibly because I chose to allow it to do so.

My horoscope: “Good news! It looks as if money is coming your way. Perhaps you're getting a good bonus, or perhaps you've received a good review and will be getting a substantial raise. Hearing about this will definitely boost your mood, dear Sagittarius, and because you're feeling good, you'll be especially nice to those around you, and they'll reciprocate in kind. Enjoy your day!”

I woke up irritable this morning, and it took me a few minutes but I figured out why. Today is the first day of the new moon phase of my personal solar year; LOL, in other words, it is my birthday. This year, I have been feeling a shift of focus. Over the past three or four days, I have been very much aware of where I have been and what I have done, what I have gained and what I have lost. This morning things have changed, and I think my irritability surfaced because I was subconsciously fighting that change. I don’t wanna get a year older! It really is only a day, however, and this is a good thing, this change in focus, because in turning my eyes forward I am willingly releasing the old stuff that is not serving me any more.

And circumstances seem to be doing their best to prevent me from focusing on my age. My horoscope is up-beat and energized, I had birthday wishes even before today, received a phone call birthday wish from a friend, had some great e-cards in my inbox this morning, and when I went to my Sacred Mists Journal to post my own birthday ruminations, I found several posts offering birthday wishes. I don’t know why, but I am always pleasantly surprised when I receive unsolicited good wishes, and when I visit my Journal and find that visitors to my Journal leave me well-wishes. Each of these birthday wishes gives me a warm feeling inside, and I am smiling as I remember them.

I have decided that for today, in the name of each friend and loved one who has touched my life, I will be smiling at everyone who crosses my path, whether they are known to me or strangers, and I will be taking a brief moment to think about what it is about this person that brings me something positive. I anticipate that it will be an interesting day.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Lovers reversed/Six of Swords. I am seeing these cards as having a literal meaning today. My company has gone home, and my Love is elsewhere; I am putting things back in order after spending a wonderful day with company. After a much anticipated weekend (which has met my expectations nicely), I am changing my focus to the next event. Oy. My 55th birthday. *waves to Archangel Uriel* Hi! I am sure that you want to talk to me.

My Thoth card is the Three of Cups reversed. I threw the “Abundance” card reversed on Friday, when I was alone in Cape May. If this is going to be the same type of day, I am happy. A day filled with pondering and absorbing the events of yesterday would be fitting.

My Legacy card is the Five of Wands reversed. Another indication of a calm if not bland day; waning energies are what I am dealing with. I do need such a day, as I would like to not only remember the weekend just past, but begin to flesh out some ideas I have had regarding my sacred masculine wand (LOL, you remember, the elk penis).

The Wayne Contingency, TL, E and J, had a wonderful time in Cape May. Once they arrived, we spent the afternoon on the beach, walking, taking pictures, looking for “treasures.” We stayed until sundown, and watched the Sun Father sink into the sea, with the Moon Mother following behind. Another glorious sight. We came back to the house, cooked dinner, E gave us an awesome yoga class, and after many stimulating discussions we finished the night with a chakra meditation. I can still feel the ebbs and flows of energies, flavored here and there with a hint of each of their presence here. We thought of L, and looked forward to the official Retreat, where we will have a complete set.

Today as I digest the past few days and think about the winding down of my personal dark moon phase of my personal solar year, I think about that third part of my persona, the Wiccan Priestess. This part of me can be broken down to two subheadings: what I perceive Wicca to be, and why I am dedicated to Wicca.

Wicca is a mystery spiritual tradition that sees Deity as being a dynamic balance of polar opposites, male and female, dark and light, hot and cold, inner and outer, both of which opposites are necessary for wholeness. Wiccans see Deity as imminent, as being present within everything, rather than as transcendent, existing apart and watching over us all. We don’t worship the trees or the rocks, but rather we worship the traits of Deity that we see within the traits of the trees and the rocks. Wiccans believe that all of life exists within and manifests through the cycle of birth, life, death, rest, and rebirth, and we believe that in aligning ourselves with those cycles we become closer to Deity.

Wiccans see their relationship with Deity as being experiential in nature, hence the “mystery” of the term “mystery spiritual tradition.” We do not have revealed texts or written-in-stone, never-to-be-messed-with ideas and beliefs about Deity. While some may be more comfortable with that kind of permanent framework, Wiccans see their own knowledge about Deity as constantly evolving, and we are always working new facts and new knowledge into the general, overall picture of Deity. Because of the nature of the Wiccan perception of Deity, Wiccans don’t believe that there is any one right way to worship Goddess and/or God; each religion and each belief is right for the person practicing that religion or belief. We do not preach conversion of the world to Wicca, and we don’t want to be “saved.”

While a more experienced Priestess and/or Priest may lead our groups and our rituals, we do not communicate with Deity through the intercession of officially designated ministers and we do not exist under the umbrella of any one human authority or counsel. Our knowledge and belief regarding Deity is alive and constantly evolving, and we see the seeking of any knowledge regarding Deity or our world, including all the sciences, as a sacred task.

Wiccans also believe in the concept of personal responsibility, and the willing acceptance of the ownership of both our actions and the consequences of our actions is a basic underpinning of Wicca. There is no devil to make us do anything and no spiritual guide or authority who can intercede in our name. We believe that everything we do circles back to us, and thus we choose our actions carefully and attempt to cause the least amount of harm.

So we have the keywords: dual, imminent, cycles, experiential, personal responsibility.

As to why I am a Wiccan, it seems that I blossom in this kind of environment with these keywords. As I have been told by my dearest Lady Danu, in the astral realms there is no judgment imposed on any one or any thing by another; the only one who judges me is me. I am accepted as who I am, I have been able to discover the skills that are uniquely mine, and I have been able to manifest those skills as I help myself to evolve, and help others to evolve. Sounds fluffy, I know, but being able to successfully overcome a challenge and then shine a light on the methods I used so that someone else can also succeed by using my methods as a foundation for their own success is quite awesome to experience, and addictive.

I have come to value the things and experiences that I don’t share with the world. Yes, those who are close to me know my Path and share my joy with the fulfillment I experience during my Journey. But most of my acquaintances see a kind of cool yet average middle aged woman. My “Clark Kent” persona; but I’ve got a secret! *wink*