Monday, December 27, 2010

The Star reversed/Nine of Cups. The Star in an upright position corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick, animated and intellectual energy that may present problems or challenges), Aquarius, Tsadi (fish hook, experience or thought), and the Path between Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world) and Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and it reminds me that while I may feel today that I have lost the path to enlightenment, if I look carefully I will see that really, nothing was lost at all. Sometimes the best way to really understand something is to move away fro it for a bit, and since The Star is reversed, I think I need to focus on other things for a bit in order to truly understand The Star. The Nine of Cups (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, spirituality) is about powerful satisfaction on all levels (emotional, physical and spiritual) and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. This is the “Happiness” card, and it shows that emotions are flowing in a nice and even manner, affecting many different parts of the day in a positive fashion. Perhaps once I allow this nice flow of energy to integrate my feelings, my emotion and my spiritual self, I will be able to turn that Star upright.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Cups. “Happiness” is throwing **two** Nine of Cups cards in one day! Crowley describes the happiness presented by this card as being that which is brought to us through good luck and the graces of Dame Fortune. The Cups on the Thoth card are arranged in the shape of the Tree of Life, with the water flowing out of the top Cup (Kether) and overflowing; in typical Crowley fashion, we are warned by this card that being sated contains an element of danger: stagnation, so we need to keep moving.

My Legacy card is the Six of Wands, flavored by The Hermit reversed. The Six of Wands (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, noble, authoritative), tells me that I have been tested, and have been successful in overcoming the challenges of that test. However, I am told to allow myself only a momentary rest on my laurels, for I don’t want to allow the fire of achievement to die out. The Hermit in an upright position corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, practical and stable energy that is slow to change), 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 points to hidden knowledge, attained through seclusion and tough introspection. The card is reversed, so I am being told that at least for today, I should allow myself to connect with the outer world and the ecstasies available there.

My 6-digit date number is 4, the number of depth and stability.

My horoscopes: “It's time to loosen up, Sagittarius. The planetary aspects bring a new cycle of tolerance and understanding your way. You could use a bit of both. Take baby steps as you introduce the kinder, gentler you to your friends and co-workers. They won't accept a rapid transformation, but they won't mind gradual changes. Listen more and speak less. This can make a big difference in a relationship.

And: “Whether it's giving from your heart or letting others know that you're there for them because it's your duty, you're not shy about being generous. You've been put in a position of leadership lately, and are quite happy to do it. Your reward will be along shortly, and while you won't expect it, don't act like you don't deserve it. You do, and you know it. So if others want to thank you, let them. Smile discreetly, and don't duck out the back door.”

And: “It's on days like today that it's important to take time out to reflect upon the events of the past few days. Is it possible you've decided to change certain things about yourself and your behavior? If you could just devote a few minutes a day to all the little details in your personality, the changes will go much more smoothly. The atmosphere today may help you think about this.

The Blizzard of 2010 is now history. I was out walking yesterday when the first flakes began to fall at about 10:45 am. By the time my walk was finished, it was snowing lightly but steadily. When we woke up this morning, there was at least 20 inches, if not 2 feet, of snow on the ground. And so the shoveling began, but despite being cold, the sun was shining and the sky was blue; a glorious Winter day! It is almost 2:30 pm now; I don’t have to go into work, so I am getting some things done on the computer, and then I am going for a walk.

The next sephiroth on the Tree of Life is Yesod.

Yesod (Foundation ) is the ninth sephiroth on the Tree, the third on the Pillar of Balance, and like the Moon, which is the heavenly body most easily reached from our Earth, it is the most easily reached non-physical sephiroth of the Tree. Yesod provides the life force that animates our physical selves, so in a sense, we are always experiencing Yesod. Yesod contains the astral or etheric plane, and it is within Yesod that we build thoughtforms and intentions. It is the sphere of illusion, and like the Moon, which appears to grow and shrink but actually stays the same size, Yesod is the hole of our visualizations of that which is not yet manifested in physical form.

Yesod is not only the last step before physical manifestation, but it is the first step after physical manifestation as well. Our physical bodies are born and die within Malkuth, but our personalities are born and die within Yesod. This sphere is the home of the Self, and of the Dark Night of the Soul. Only after we dispel the illusion of failure and do the work to achieve forward motion once again will we truly understand the energies of Yesod.

My correspondence list for Yesod is:

Magickal Image: Beautiful Naked Man, Very Strong

Planetary: Moon

Vice: Idleness

Virtue: Independence

Deity: The Moon, Fertility

Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Machinery of the Universe

Briatic Correspondence: Receptivity, Perception

Illusion: Security

Obligation: Trust

Path: Path 9, the number of completeness of experience.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Three of Cups/Nine of Cups. The Three of Cups (Mercury, reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive tenacious, nurturing, moody) tells me that the possibility of experiencing emotional abundance and support are a part of the day. To me, they are both important, and the loving support of those I respect is just as pleasing as feeling good. This card also reminds me that it is similarities that bring people together; if I want to be certain that any group has a strong connection, I have only to look for the common thread, and nurture it. The Nine of Cups (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, spirituality) is about powerful satisfaction on all levels (emotional, physical and spiritual) and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. This is the “Happiness” card, and it shows that emotions are flowing in a nice and even manner, affecting many different parts of the day in a positive fashion. What a nice pair!

My Thoth card is the Five of Swords . . . again. “Defeat” ” is Crowley’s keyword for the Five of Swords (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, pleasure, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloof), and this card shows up in my Thoth card pull often. It focuses on victory and defeat, but not your usual, run-of-the-mill versions of these two results. This card tells of a possible attack of some kind and of victory attained by unethical methods, and whether I am on the winning side or the losing side of the issue, this card is telling me that there is a potential for harm, or even for me to have to deal with vengeance. Crowley calls the Five of Swords “Defeat” for a reason; since the quarrel has broken out at all, we are all losers because we were not able to find a solution. The image on this card is of a reversed pentagram, with the crowned point, representing Spirit, being shown on the bottom and being ruled by the points representing Earth and Fire. Perhaps this gives me a hint as to why this card keeps showing up with this deck in this position (which I personally see as the card that connects to my throat chakra and the manner in which I connect with my own energy and with the world, through my aura and chakras). The defeat is possible because of an imbalance; too much focus on passions and the physical realms, and not enough focus on Spirit. Perhaps that imbalance will be alleviated by the Cups in the first part of my spread today if I am able to experience those pleasures in a spiritual manner. Another danger associated with the energies of this card is disillusionment. Despite the fact that most of the cards I threw today are telling of the potential for fulfillment and feeling good, I should be certain that I don’t feel empty at the end of the day. Especially potent is the message of that Nine of Cups, for while it is the Wish Card, we need to be careful what we wish for, because we just might get it!

My Legacy card is the Queen of Cups reversed, flavored by The Devil reversed. The Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) in an upright position is at ease in emotional situations, and she is sensitive to the emotional states around her. She understands very well that the way to get meaning into life is to love, to love others and to love oneself; because the card is reversed, I am being told that I am not connecting to the power of love in the correct way. In an upright position, The Devil corresponds with 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 Devil is about bondage, addiction and restrictions of all kinds, often connected to the physical world; because the card is reversed, I am being told that today, any restrictions that have in the past held me back from moving forward will now be fading away. I am believing in myself, and thus I am defeating the bondages of The Devil.

My 6-digit date number is 10, the number of completion of a cycle, which reduces further to the number 1, new beginnings and the concept of position.

My horoscopes: “Things may seem a little cloudy today, Sagittarius, but this is no reason to be blue. It could be that you need to make adjustments before you can smoothly relate to others. Take this opportunity to attend to things that you normally wouldn't think of. See things from the perspective of someone in another walk of life. Realize the fun of just staying home and falling asleep on the couch.

And: “Finding a new way to celebrate is the perfect task for you, and right now you're seeing that the traditions you and your family and friends have built could absolutely use some creative augmentation. Look for ways to strengthen your little community, and ways to ground it in the larger one. Spending a day volunteering together may be the best gift you could ever give -- and all those warm and fuzzy feelings don't cost a dime.

And: “Stress from whatever career pressures you've been experiencing might cause you to feel a bit under the weather. Yet, you're probably unwilling to take some time off, because you're too concerned about finishing what you're doing in a timely manner. It's important to remember that you won't finish it at all if you exhaust yourself. Move slowly and steadily, and take time out to relax a little, and all will go more smoothly than you think.

I am presently a Third Degree Dedicant and Second Degree Initiated Priestess of the Sacred Mists Coven. While “tail end” is not exactly the right term for the status of my studies at Sacred Mists for it will probably be at least another year, if not more, before I am ready to Initiate as a Third Degree Priestess, when looking at the time and effort that I put into my First Degree and then Second Degree Training, and what I have already accomplished so far in my Third Degree Training, I would be justified in saying that I am at the tail end of my goal of becoming an ordained Wiccan Priestess.

My husband, Bob, on the other hand is a professed atheist. While he supports my studies and my Path completely, he does not believe in the existence of any kind of God. Today, as I did my morning walk, I pondered a subject that has bothered me lately: how do I explain to a “non-woo woo” person exactly what I believe Deity to be. I think I’ve finally managed to make the pieces fit in my mind, and now would be the perfect time to document my thoughts.

So, here goes. First, I will say that while Bob defines himself spiritually as an atheist, I think a better label for him would be agnostic. I believe that Bob can’t say that he believes in a supreme being because he has not found a description of a supreme being that works for him, that makes sense for him. He does not connect with organized religion at all. This day and age, with some of the crazy things being put out in the public by some of the more fundamentalist versions of the Abrahamic religions, I can certainly understand why Bob is turned off completely by the version of God put out there by some Christians, despite the fact that his maternal lineage is Irish Catholic, and his aunt is a Dominican Nun. He comes from a spiritual family, and has grown up like many, seeing God as the entity presented by his family’s religious tradition as the correct version.

To me, Deity is not a person, or a person-like form; Deity in its natural state does not resemble an animal or a tree or a cloud or a volcanic eruption. All of those things contain the “life force” or “style of manifestation” that can be said to be proof of the existence of that “pure catalyst” that is Deity, or they can be said to be “manifestations” that happen because of the effect of the presence of Deity, but those things are not themselves Deity.

My own view of exactly what Deity is has changed and evolved as I have learned about myself, the workings of the human body and psyche, and about my spiritual Path. Do I sometimes communicate with a specific image of Deity? Yes, I do. But I also have connected to “something” that identifies Itself as The Source, which has no form, only effects.

The problem here is that the human mind identifies things and feelings and effects by matching them with similar patterns within its experience. I have likened this concept in previous entries to this journal as a “pattern catalogue” in the mind that contains patters which define all the experiences of a particular lifetime. This is the part of the mind that causes you to walk into a dark house and, for a split second, see a coat hanging on a coat rack as an intruder hiding in the corner. Your eyes see a shape, and your mind instantly flips through its pattern catalogue and presents to your conscious self the first match. This might not be the right match in the end, but since at least initially, the mind perceives the unknown as a threat, it attempts to identify the shape as soon as possible. Each person has one of these pattern catalogues, and because of the uniqueness of each life’s experiences, no two pattern catalogues are exactly alike.

That which we all define as God or Goddess or Supreme Being is not an individual entity with shape and form at all. It is an energy (for lack of a better word) that is pure, vibrating or pulsing at the highest frequency possible. This energy is responsible for life of all kinds, discernable effects of all kinds, and physical matter (including bio matter) as we know them. And, this energy is also responsible for all the things that we maybe can perceive, but certainly can’t understand and explain.

We are still evolving; Deity is not. And unfortunately, none of us has a single entry in each of our unique pattern catalogues that can correctly represent this hard to describe energy that is Deity. My description is lacking because, like every other Mystery associated with true spiritual growth, we don’t have words to describe this inner “knowing” that manifests through methods other than words. Like the blind man who understands in principle the definition of the color “orange,” but cannot comprehend what orange looks like because he does not have the way that color looks in his pattern catalogue, we are unable to comprehend completely or perceive what Deity actually is.

We seem to be programmed to need the presence of Deity in our lives. Interaction of some kind with a Supreme Being is one very effective way to feel fulfillment; not the only way, by any means, but it seems to work well. The cool thing is that I believe the pure energy that is Deity is programmed to respond to the attempts of communication offered by beings that are of “lower vibration” than He/She/It is, such as humans. When I attempt to connect to and communicate with Deity, Deity will respond to me.

Okay, here’s where that pattern catalog comes into effect. In order to identify with Deity and to connect with Deity and to be able to comprehend at least partially what Deity is and what Deity says to us, we need to match Deity to at least one entry in our pattern catalogue; otherwise our brain will refuse to acknowledge the validity of the existence of God, and the validity of any message. Because each of us grew up within families and traditions and cultures and common experiences, we seem to be predisposed to see Deity in certain ways. Most modern civilized humans tend to see God as a person, a man or a woman. In other words, they see God as existing in their own image because this allows the mind to accept and understand and visualize that which cannot be understood or visualized. We humanize our Gods, and even if they look like an animal, they usually have human traits and abilities; and after all, there are entries in our pattern catalogues for animals.

The difficulty in believing happens when a person experiences a personal trauma that completely shakes up all beliefs, or when a person becomes educated enough to know that a literal interpretation of sacred texts or certain core beliefs attached to a particular religion can no longer be seen as literal truths, but rather as myths which may have an important ethical moral, but which are not about real, scientifically provable beings.

Of course, the reason that person can’t successfully fit the piece into the puzzle is that Deity is not an individual entity. While the “energy” that is Deity can take form (and can personalize that form for us so that we can more easily accept and understand and believe in Him/Her/It), in His/Her/Its natural state, it is more of an effect than a form. And since this energy is not of the physical world, it is difficult to measure using physical world measuring devices. A pattern catalogue entry cannot even be created for that person.

I have stated elsewhere in this journal that if I had to choose an image to represent the Feminine Sacred that would be in most people’s pattern catalogue, I would choose DNA. DNA is a part of life, every kind of life, from pond scum to Stephen Hawkings; DNA is an instruction booklet that offers a recipe of ingredients that will create a specific individual life form. To me, DNA is an “image” of Goddess.

If I had to choose an image to represent the Sacred Masculine that would be in most people’s pattern catalogue, I would choose the existence of the actual life form, its creation and manifestation occurring according to the recipe of its DNA. To me, the actual following of the recipe to create the end product, and the life and living of the end product, is an “image” of God.

Neither of these are exactly right; we have that problem once again of finding the right words to describe a non-verbal concept such as a belief or feeling. But neither of these are individual entities, either. Because God/Goddess/Deity is **not** an individual entity or “force with form” in its natural form.

So are all those images false? Not really. The energy that is Deity can present Himself/Herself/Itself in a way that enables us to connect with and understand Him/Her/It. And, our own beliefs have an effect on how Deity appears to us. We want, no, we **need** to be able to find that entry for God in our pattern catalogue, and so that need ends up creating a shape or form that works for us. So the image that comes into my mind when Danu speaks to me is the correct image of Her for me.

**sigh** Well, that still is not a simple explanation, is it? LOL, I guess I need to study my own thoughts in order to understand them.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Judgement reversed/Ace of Cups. Judgement corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), Pluto (power, metamorphosis, cycles of dying and becoming), Shin (fang), and the Path between Malkuth (the physical world of action and physical, outer reality) and Hod (provides analysis and communication), and in an upright position it represents the integration of the entire self, through answering for your actions and receiving the appropriate response. Because the card is reversed, that integration is not happening right now, but the potential for it to happen is there because the card is there. I must remember that where I have been determines where I am going, and perhaps I need to look back a bit before I close the chapter. The Ace of Cups (Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, deep, mysterious, obsessive, Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) tells of the potential for the beginning of a relationship of some kind, one that may be filled with the potential to bring enlightenment and understanding. This Ace is not a guaranty of happiness, but it tells me that I have the power to make happiness for myself. Most important: I need to love myself no matter what the outcome; I should always remember what my Patroness, Danu, told me: “There is no judgment here; only that which you impose upon yourself.”

My Thoth card is Death reversed. Excellent! Perfect card for Yule day! The Death card corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and sensitive, imaginative energy that strives to stay the same or take the same course), Scorpio, Nun (fish head; liberation), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and Uncle Al sees this card as telling of transformation or change, both voluntary and involuntary. Most of the time, this change is connected in some way to existing circumstances, and can seem to be brought about by destruction or endings, but the destruction or endings are not what they seem. The Thoth Death card is connected to the alchemic process of putrefaction (fermentation or decomposition; a necessary phase of a new beginning), the passage of time, and the process of rebirth. Because the card is reversed, there may be fear of change, or alternatively, a sense that change is not happening fast enough or the way it was supposed to happen. I need to be aware of this last fact, and I need to pay attention.

My Legacy card is the Queen of Cups, flavored by Judgement. Bookends Judgement cards! The Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) is at ease in emotional situations, and she is sensitive to the emotional states around her. She understands very well that the way to get meaning into life is to love, to love others and to love oneself, and that is her message to me today. Love is the great connector, and it opens the door to both spiritual fulfillment and self-forgiveness. Only by reconciling the different parts of myself can I finally hope to attain that fulfillment. I need to be aware of where I have been as well as where I want to go; with this awareness I will be prepared to begin the next journey.

And LOL, on a “bookends day,” 12/21, I have bookend cards! Here is a bit more in-depth information about the Judgement card. Judgement has similarities to Justice, Death and The Tower. However, the Judgement card is not about destruction or creation, but rather about celebrating successes, admitting to and owning failures, and creating integration. It is the penultimate card of the Major Arcana, followed only by The World, which is the gateway to a new cycle of evolution. Judgement prepares for that new cycle by dealing with past events and understanding their consequences in order to wipe the slate clean. It tells us that the time is here to make a fresh start, even if that fresh start involves making some hard choices, and guilt or self-recrimination will only hold us back. Judgement is the XXI card, and the number 21 reduces to the number 3, corresponding with the concept of location, breadth, and the creation of something new from a pair of polar opposites.

My Pearls of Wisdom Full Moon card is the Page of Cups, and my Pearls of Wisdom Lunar Eclipse card is the Ace of Cups reversed. Cool; these two cards are connected, for traditionally the Page is seen as bringing the message of the Ace to a Seeker. The Pearls of Wisdom Page of Cups (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius) is seen as being courtly, reflective, trustworthy and helpful. He feels things strongly, probably too strongly for his lack of experience, but in any event, he kneels reverently before the Great Mother. His message is regarding the Ace of Cups, which in an upright position is interpreted by the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot as presenting a clearing or cleaning of the heart that brings new freedom and spiritual refreshment. Because the Ace is reversed, my Page may be reminding me that my feelings have an impact, and thus I need to be more aware of what I am allowing myself to feel. No matter what, I should not forget to acknowledge the privilege of living, of being alive. I need to see events as positive for me, even if at times I fear that I am in over my head.

My Pearls of Wisdom Yule/Winter Solstice card is the Ace of Wands reversed. Another reversed Ace! The Ace of Wands (Cancer, Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) in an upright position tells of the first spark of a new and exciting creative process, and an encouraging and empowering awareness of my own valuable creative talents. Because the card is reversed, I may not be too confident about those talents, but they are there! I need to focus on reconnecting with them as this new year begins.

Since I have a bookend pair of the Ace of Cups, here is a bit of in-depth information about this Ace. The Ace of Cups is seen to represent the Holy Grail, and Love. All of the Aces represent the purest root or potential of their individual suits; that potential is real, but it is waiting for a catalyst in order to begin the process of manifestation. The suit of Cups is about feelings, emotions, intuition and the subconscious, and so the potential presented by this Ace could very well manifest into one of those effects, or illuminate my current position regarding them. The potential found within the Ace of Cups also assists us in empathizing with others, and understanding the emotions of others. It presents the desire to understand, and thus the need to manifest the understanding. Connections to others create intimacy, and it is through intimate relationships that we form strong bonds. Whether upright or reversed, the presence of the Ace of Cups in a spread usually indicates that in the end, we will find that love is at the heart of the matter.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that represents the pause before degeneration begins.

My horoscopes: “You have the gift of being able to get your great ideas across to others. In your family, you may be the one who teaches your children about life and its responsibilities. Today someone might teach you something you didn't know. You should never forget that education means communication, and communication is the exchange of ideas.”

And: “You're just being you, enjoying the hubbub all around you and following your mood. The funny thing is, your relaxed manner and optimistic attitude are far more alluring than other people's best come-hither looks or tightest pants. So right about now, you're attracting all sorts of admirers, for all the right reasons. And interestingly, relationships are in the stars. If you're in one, it may intensify; if not, you soon could have that option.”

And: “Rational thought gets muddled today as everything seems to be happening to you at once. Everyone wants your advice, lots of people need favors, and there are plenty of new tasks waiting for you. Stay calm and don't react by getting short with people. Play triage officer and help those in the most need first. Warn the others you might not get to them. This way you won't make yourself crazy. Hang in there!”

Looks like today’s post is mostly about Tarot. But I will add this bit of Yule Joy: I brought a box full of crystals outside after dark last night and spread them out on the table on our back yard deck, as well as some water (to be charged for my personal rituals), so that all could be charged under the Yule full moon and the lunar eclipse scheduled for the wee hours of Yule morning. What a great opportunity to get a huge bang for my buck, energy-wise! I then set my alarm for about 3:10 am, and my son, Brian (who also got up to view the eclipse), and I put on our coats and went outside. The moon was high in the sky and was a beautiful copper color; I stood for long moments, allowing the diffused eclipsed light and the lovely full moon lunar energy (the moon was full at 3:14 am, while we were outside) to fill my aura, before going back to bed for a few more hours. I am still tingling! Then, I spent some time at sunrise (approximately 7:15 am), absorbing the solar energy of the newly risen sun. Awesome way to begin my Yule celebrations!

Happy Yule!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Six of Cups/The Hermit reversed. The Six of Cups (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, compulsive, deep, obsessive) is a great way to start a spread; it reminds me that happiness comes from within me, and happiness needs no expensive surroundings in order to manifest. Instead, this happiness may come from memories of the past, or that happiness may come from seeing things from the viewpoint of a child, with the expectations and optimism of The Fool of the Major Arcana. Whether the happiness comes from memories of the past or anticipation of the future, it is filled with fertility. The Hermit in an upright position corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, practical and stable energy that is slow to change), 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 points to hidden knowledge, attained through seclusion and tough introspection. Just like The Hierophant, The Hermit offers an example of how to be or what to strive for, but The Hermit’s lessons are not presented through established tradition, for he is not a priest, but rather, a philosopher. However, in a reversed position, The Hermit can represent concealment, disguise, unreasoned caution, or a need for policy and established tradition. He could also be pointing toward the study of past events, as they are solid, as is tradition, rather than pondering of the future.

My Thoth card is The Emperor reversed. The Thoth Emperor (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change; Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive; Heh, window, illumination; and the Path between Tiphareth and Chokmah, dynamic male energy and the orogin of vital force and polarity) is filled with the symbolism of his rank. He is facing profile, and thus represents the Magickal Image of Chesed; light streams down upon him from the upper right corner, representing the influence of Chokmah, the archetypal father. He holds a scepter in his right hand that is crowned with a ram’s head, representing Aries; in his left hand he holds an orb topped with a Maltese cross, symbolizing dominion. The colors of the card are predominantly red, representing Mars. The arms and legs of The Emperor represent the symbol for sulphur, which is masculine, active and fiery in nature, and represents antimony (a metallic element found in stibnite, which is a sulfide, used in flame retardants and microelectronics) and calcination (the first of the 12 vital processes for transformation of a substance, basically burning or applying high temperatures) of the Great Work of alchemy. He is surrounded by bees (order and industriousness) and fleur-de-lis (the monarchy, the union of the lingam and yoni). In an upright position, he represents paternal love, which usually is seen as a stern love, an authority figure, and the enforcement of rules and regulations that maintain order. Because The Emperor is reversed, today may not be a day filled with easily imposed (or obeyed) rules or authority, and I may find it difficult to bring structure to situations. I should attempt to not take things too seriously today.

My Legacy card is the Seven of Cups, flavored by the Ten of Wands. The Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, obsessive, mysterious) has been appearing for me lately. This card lets me know that there are messages out there to pick up, and choices or opportunities to access. But I can’t take them all, and must select the one that works for me. I must remember that not all the information is in front of me, and I may want to do a bit of digging before deciding. The Ten of Wands (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering) could very well be warning me that now is not the time to make major choices, even if my emotions are telling me to do so. The fires of new ideas and enthusiasm are burning a bit low right now, and perhaps I need a bit more fuel on the fire before I make any choices. This way, the flames will light up the choices so no subtle nuances are hidden in the shadows.

My 6-digit date number is 6, the number of vertical and horizontal balance.

My horoscopes: “Today is a fantastic day for you, Sagittarius. You should enjoy a good mood and positive experiences with others. There's most likely a slow-moving, transforming energy in your life right now that's touching off your emotions. You will find that there is a great deal of fire and passion fueling your heart, so be generous with your kind spirit and follow through with your promises.”

And: “You are way ahead of the game when it comes to communicating with your fellow humans. Not only do you understand that it's an important thing to do for logistical reasons, but you also understand that communicating with others is one of the fundamental elements of human life. Our selves are, in some ways, inseparable from our interactions with each other. Picking up the phone is a profound act. And you get that.”

And: “A rosy glow over your recent career successes could cause you to congratulate yourself over your growing bank account. This trend should continue for a while if you keep on working as you have and maintain a positive and optimistic attitude. Your relationships with others around you, particularly the opposite sex, should be especially warm and loving right now. This should prove to be a thoroughly gratifying day. Use it to your advantage.”

Today is Yule Eve. There is a full moon, plus a lunar eclipse, and so I brought a whole bunch of crystals, including my large clear calcite scrying sphere, and some water to be charged with lunar energies, for use in my personal rituals, and put them on the table on the deck, so they can all rest in the moonlight. I have my alarm set for 3:15 am, when totality will end, so I can go out and bring all the crystals and the water back in.

I believe strongly that as soon as I decide to perform a ritual or working, that ritual or working has already begun. Carolyn and I have decided to do a Yule meditation together, and that meditation began this morning when I decided to do it. The meditation, named Solstice Meditation Spell For Universal Peace, is from the internet, focusing on world peace, and will be performed by many of us around the world.

The Meditation Spell involves gathering some herbs, lighting a candle and braiding three cords, which are then burned. I began by casting a circle around myself, and then I called my Elemental Guides. I opened my chakras, and then visualized the full moon shining in a dark and clear Winter sky. I felt Carolyn’s presence; she sat next to me and took my left hand in her right hand, and soon I felt others join us, too. And so, I began to chant:” Goddess, Mother of peace and light, bring together the world tonight.” Again and again, I whispered the chant, and I could hear other voices joining me. I could actually feel the moonlight, shining upon me as I sat on the floor in my ritual room. The silvery light fell on me with a light yet discernable pressure.

To my joy, I felt the presence of the Goddess, and Her energy was warm and sweet, like coming into a warm house after spending time outside in the Winter cold. She was the purest of Sacred Feminine energy, strong and pure, and Her silvery light filled the room; the swirls of energy caused my candle to flicker madly.

For a time She stayed with me. Her eyes met mine, and She smiled. “Do not worry,” She said softly. “The die has been cast, and the time for preparation is at an end. If you have not done it yet, you will need to do without it. You will need to focus ahead now to the immediate future, and take the next step. Do not fear, for I will be with you, always.”

Although I felt as if I was with Her for hours, actually only about 15 minutes had passed. Once I sensed that She was beginning to withdraw from me, I raised both of my arms to her and offered my gratitude for Her presence. I then whispered the closing chant, “Goddess of the land and sea, by Thy love so shall it be!”

I then ended the meditation. Glorious! My next step is to get up at the end of totality, and then, I will wake up for sunrise. Blessed, blessed Yule! Welcome, Sun Father!!


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Death reversed/King of Pentacles. Death in an upright position corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy which stays the same or attempts to take the same path), Scorpio (“I desire,” intense, controlling, deep, mysterious), Nun (fish head, liberation), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and represents the presence of a Threshold through which I must pass. Because the card is reversed, and because of where I am right now in my own existence, I believe this card is telling me that I have successfully negotiated one Threshold, and I have been able to effectively cull my belongings, both physical and non-physical, in order to leave behind what is not necessary for my Journey. At this point, I should not bother looking back, for whatever is back there is no longer available to me. Forward is the way to go. The King of Pentacles (cusp of Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive, and Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, physically oriented) is the expert on physical manifestation. He is very good at managing resources and overseeing growth, and he has one other important talent: the ability to be patient. His presence excites and encourages me, for I am preparing to reinvent myself, career-wise, and his energies are very desirable at this time.

My Thoth card is the Ten of Cups. “Satiety” is Uncle Al’s keyword for the Ten of Cups (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, spirituality, suffering and growth), and it offers an unexpected lesson: achieving happiness takes work, which is to be expected, but maintaining that happiness also takes work, hard work. The cool thing about the happiness that is associated with this card is that it is completely emotional in nature; no physical possessions are necessary in order to create this kind of happiness, and actually, they can actually be a distraction from it. Crowley, in his usual dark manner, sees this card as reminding us to be careful for what we wish for, because we just might get it. The Cups in the image on this card are arranged in the shape of the sephiroth of the Tree of Life. The topmost cup, representing the sephiroth of Kether, is overflowing into all the Cups below it; the Cups of the Middle Pillar, the Pillar of Balance, are overflowing.

My Legacy card is the King of Swords, flavored by The World. Another King! The King of Swords (cusp of Capricorn, “I build,” ambitious, cautious, cunning, authoritative, and Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, aloof) is the expert at being impartial, precise and logical. He is the “Mr. Spock” of the Tarot, and the Minor Arcana equivalent of The Emperor. His Queen understands people, but he understands things, as well as knowledge. To the King of Swords, knowledge is indeed power, and that is his message to me. The World, which corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, stable and practical energy that is slow to change), Saturn (discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance), Thav (mark or sign), and the Path between Malkuth (the physical world of action and physical, outer reality) and Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world), is the card flavoring my King of Swords. It tells me that at least for today, my ability to make choices based on logical considerations just might help to bring integration and evolution; I should keep my eyes open for synchronistic events today.

My 6-digit date number is 4, the number of stability and depth.

My horoscopes: “Today may be a rough day in which you find it hard to make a decision about anything. Refrain from making any major moves regarding finances or real estate. Concentrate on you and the answers will come from within. Be realistic and practical when it comes to your emotions. You may find it hard to connect with someone tonight, so stick close to home and focus inward.”

And: “Talking you into recreation, getting together with your playmates or just going out for the heck of it has never been an especially difficult task. That goes double today. You've been good -- well, relatively good -- for a long time now. Days, even. Maybe weeks. Anyway, it's time to treat yourself to something extra special. To celebrate how good you've been. See? It all makes perfect sense.”

And: “Are you going out shopping today? If so, expect at some point to be confronted with a wonderful luxury item you'd give your eyeteeth for - but can't really justify purchasing. Don't be impulsive, but don't hold back unnecessarily either. Will you really enjoy the item? Or is it something you'd look at for a while, then put away or ignore? Do what you want - but be sure you know what it is! Think about it!”

What an amazing evening I had last night. Yesterday was the Solstice Salon presented by the Wayne Contingency of the Pagan Brain Trust. Jen cooked an incredible meal, and we feasted and laughed and talked. Several expected attendees were unable to be there, but I did meet three much loved friends of Tara, Elizabeth and Jen. Jess, who is one of Elizabeth’s Yoga teacher friends, is interested in receiving a Thai Massage; Mary, who is going through Yoga Teacher Training right now, and Tara treated us to a taste of the drumming they have been working on for the past two weeks in preparation for their ritual tomorrow. They did an awesome job! Once the two of them left at around midnight, a true PBT discussion began, and Phil, the Wayne Contingency’s third friend (*waves to Phil*), absolutely and completely fit in. By the time that we made the effort to end the evening (and believe me, that was tough; yes, the discussions were that good!), it was after 3:30 am, and Phil was firmly ensconced as our fifth member. Finally, we are FIVE!! Finding a replacement for L, who withdrew from the PBT because of personal issues at home, was not easy. The four of us have a wonderful interaction and a similar agenda, and adding a new person would be risky under most circumstances, but after spending hours baring our souls to each other, it seems as if Phil has always been a part of our “tribe.” And the bonus is that he has already been attuned to Reiki. Excellent!!

Considering the marvelous intellectual (and yes, at times quite “woo-woo”) conversations of last night, I am going to look at the next sephiroth on the Tree of Life, Hod.

Hod (Glory) is the eighth sephiroth on the Tree, the third on the Pillar of Form/Restriction, and represents science, teaching and the intellect. Hod corresponds with Mercury, the planet which receives the most light from our Sun, and working with Hod can stimulate the workings of the mind and provide illumination, but working completely with the intellect presents dangers, too, especially if the process of shining light in the dark corners exposes any shadow issues. The intellect can be used for good, or for bad, and when dealing with Hod, we need to remember the two-edged blade that corresponds with the intellect.

Hod teaches us the knowledge and wisdom are two different things, and while knowledge may be obtained without too much work, wisdom requires time, effort and patience to attain. Like the other paired spheres on the Tree, Hod and Netzach compliment each other nicely. Hod is the printed circuit board, Netzach the current that activates it. Hod is instinct, Netzach is emotion. Hod is the Lord of Books, Netzach is the Lady of Nature. Hod can be seen as the text of a ritual or magickal working, words carefully chosen through the application of both knowledge and wisdom, and Netzach can be seen as the actual performance of that ritual, and the energy given to it.

My correspondence list for Hod is:

Magickal Image: Hermaphrodite

Planetary: Mercury

Vice: Dishonesty

Virtue: Truthfulness

Deity: Teacher, Messenger

Spiritual Experience: Vision of Splendor

Briatic Correspondence: Abstraction

Illusion: Order

Obligation: Learning

Path: Path 8, the number of a focused attempt to recreate the balance of the number 6.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Ace of Pentacles/The Chariot. The Aces present potential only, unmanifested, and the Ace of Pentacles (Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive, Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, social) tells of the presence of potential that is connected in some way to the physical world, usually either through financial or career focuses, regarding the home, or connected to my physical body and its health and well-being. The presence of this Ace tells me that now is the time for me to get started with the process of manifesting my ideas into the physical realms. The Chariot 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), and while the traditional image on this card seems to tell of physical power, the energies of The Chariot are actually related to emotions, and more specifically, to controlling our emotions. Now, this is not the control of The Emperor (who tends to sweep all evidence of emotions under the rug), but rather The Chariot tells us that we must train our emotions so that we can use them to bring greater good into our lives. Looks like the focus of my emotions and my feelings needs to be on turning the potential of that Ace of Pentacles into manifestation!

My Thoth card is the Queen of Disks. My favorite version of my favorite Court Card! Crowley’s Queen of Disks (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, cunning, competence, caution) is the only figure on the Thoth Court Cards who is shown in profile. According to The Thoth Companion by Michael Osiris Snuffin, the key concept of the Queen of Disks is looking into the past, and this Queen can certainly be seen as looking behind her by her body position. In a way, she can be seen as learning from the past in order to make the present more secure and pleasurable. She carries a wand with her right hand that is tipped by a cube containing a hexagram, symbolizing the fertility of the Earth (the cube) as activated by the Sun (the hexagram). In her left arm, she cradles a golden orb created by 13 interlocking rings; the orb also represents the Sun, and the number 13 refers to the 13th Path, The High Priestess, and the Moon (one of her correspondences), and thus connects to Water (the element associated with the rank of Queen). In the foreground, a goat stands on a second orb; this represents the Sun in Capricorn, the zodiacal association with the Queen of Disks. The goat corresponds with The Horned God/Devil, which is male creative energy, and which associates nicely with the fertility of this Queen. Behind her lies a desert with oases, and with a river snaking across the land, an excellent representation of the Water of Earth that is the Queen of Disks. Since Court Cards tell of personality traits, the traits of this Queen are important for me today. The Queen of Disks is a person whose qualities might be summed up in the idea of greatness of soul; she is ambitious, but only in useful directions. She is kind and is known for having a big heart, and she tends to make use of instinct and intuition more than intellect. Her connection to her senses and the pleasures they can bring can sometimes lead her to overindulge. I guess I connect so deeply with this Queen because in many ways, I am her.

My Legacy card is The Chariot reversed, flavored by the Seven of Wands reversed. The Chariot again, but reversed! Bookend alert!! Reversed, this card is warning me that while sometimes allowing our emotions free reign is very good for the creative process, if I want to move forward, I need to reign those emotions in and get them all facing in the same direction. My reversed Chariot is flavored by a reversed Seven of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, natural leader, egotistical, selfish). The Seven of Wands has a personal significance for me, given to me by Archangel Uriel. I see this card, particularly the Legacy Seven of Wands, as representing the approach of a Threshold, and the need to pass the tests of the Guardian. Generally speaking, this card in an upright position usually tells of the value of both courage and fear, for without fear, we will never know if we really have courage. Perhaps this card is reversed today in order to remind me that I cannot give in to fear, or nothing will be accomplished.

Since I have what I call “bookend Chariots” today (where I have both the upright and reversed card in my spread for the day), I will delve a bit deeper into The Chariot as well.

The Chariot can be seen as Will armed with Knowledge, fueled by the wish to achieve. Travel, change and movement typify this card, as well as triumph, victory, hope, memory, digestion, violence in maintaining traditional ideas, the concept of the “die-hard,” ruthlessness, lust of destruction, obedience and faithfulness. The Chariot card is about control; the driver is in charge of the horses pulling the chariot. When the Chariot goes wrong, there is an inability to take control of life -- it leads us rather than the other way round. We can not get to where we want to be.

The charioteer (who is sometimes seen as The Magician) represents conquest on all planes -- in the mind, over emotions and feelings, in science, in progress, in certain trials of initiation (which initiations are best understood physically or rationally). He usually achieves success, but sometimes that success is not completely stable or enduring.

I will need to focus on the energies of this card today, for apparently they are well balanced.

My 6-digit date number is 3, the number of new creation out of balance and polarity.

My horoscopes: “Today is a terrific day for you, Sagittarius, in which action spells reward. You can't go wrong by expressing your needs and how they fit with the collective agenda. Feel free to focus on you and be selfish about your passions. Be aware that unexpected events may crop up to remind you that number one is indeed important, but don't forget about numbers two, three, and so on.”

And: “It's over -- temporarily, at least. That work binge you were on has finally come to an end. That's not to say that you won't be putting in your time and continuing to do what's necessary to keep your head above water and your reputation on the job intact -- but you may also suddenly find that you need to make time for your siblings and neighbors. Reintroduce yourself to them, and rest assured that you'll receive an extremely warm reception.”

And: “Whatever you want, you need only ask for it today and there is a good chance you will get it. And it's about time, too. It seems you have been working exceptionally hard lately. You are certainly due for your fair share of happiness and glory! Gather your thoughts, collect your supporting evidence and ask for what you want. If your yen for more public recognition is nagging at you, then take steps today to ensure that you get more time in the spotlight.”

Over the past days, I have been feeling strongly that there is some message or aha! moment waiting for me, and it is my task to find it, whatever it is. The interesting thing about this is that this is the fist time that I am being required to actively search, to become the catalyst for the moment so that it can manifest.

Here is the thing: since before I began my Third Degree training at Sacred Mists, my focus has always been inward. The General, one of my Guides, told me to become The Empress (LOL, since I tend to think in “Tarot”), and he laughed when I said that I wanted to aim for The High Priestess, and told me that I was not even close to that goal yet. But after time, I did “graduate” to The High Priestess, and my focus (and thus my evolution and growth) was once again inward.

But now, it seems that every part of my life, both magickal and mundane, is dragging me, kicking and screaming, into the physical world. Every facet of my life is requiring one main theme from me: the bridging of the spiritual and the outer physical world. Everything seems to be waiting for me to take the step to manifest my studies in a physical, active, outer manner. Is Danu’s Well the bridge between those two worlds? Actually, it feels more like a vagina, a birth canal, to me. And as I type this, I remembered that the Goddess is at the end of Her pregnancy, sitting and waiting for the birth process to begin on Yule, just as I am sitting by Danu’s Well, waiting for “something.”

Am I to become The Magician? I don’t know. A part of me gains large amounts of fulfillment from nurturing and caring for my fellow Sacred Mists students. I am fulfilled by having anything to do with gaining knowledge; I love teaching others and I love being a student. I even have the “teacher’s square” on my palm! I absolutely adore working with my energy field. And so, in typical Raushanna fashion, I will present some thoughts about my personal energy field, in the hope that I will, in doing so, identify my bridge between the worlds.

To me, the Vedantic koshas nicely describe the layers of “self” that are the personal energy field. A kosha (“sheath”) is one of five coverings of the Atman, or Self. They are often visualized like the layers of an onion.

The five sheaths from gross to fine are:

Annamaya kosha: food-apparent-sheath (physical body): Living through the Annamaya kosha only causes man to identify himself only with his skin, flesh, fat, bones, and filth, while the man of discrimination knows his own self, the only reality that there is, as distinct from the body.

Pranamaya kosha, air-apparent-sheath (prana, vital force of life): Pranamaya kosha connects and holds together the body and the mind. As long as prana exists in the organism, life continues; the one physical manifestation of the Pranamaya kosha is the breath.

Manomaya kosha, mind-stuff-apparent-sheath (person-hood, personality, mind): Manomaya kosha represents the personality, the diversity of “I” and “mine.” It represents the mind and the sense of self; interestingly enough, our bondages are usually caused or created by the mind, but so, too, is real liberation.

Vijnanamaya kosha, wisdom-apparent-sheath (Vijnana) (Will, intellect, perception, the facility which discriminates; connected to five sense organs): Vijnanamaya kosha is connected to the Will, but also to the ability to analyze and discriminate. This is the kosha that holds the potential to bring transmigration of the soul (Buddhists actually don't see the life force as the soul, but rather as a stream of consciousness that links life with life and allows one to “become again.”

Anandamaya kosha, bliss-apparent-sheath (Ananda) (the causal body which stands between the finite world and the self, the innermost kosha): Anandamaya kosha is composed of ananda, or bliss. To me, this kosha is the spark of the Divine that is in us all, and our connection to the Divine. The Anandamaya kosha only partially manifests during a waking state, and normally has its fullest manifestation during deep sleep. Ananda was first cousin of Buddha, and after many years he became the personal attendant to Buddha, accompanying him on most of his travels. Ananda is seen as being kind, unselfish, well liked, and thoughtful of others.

The goal of all this is to be able to discriminate between the self and the koshas, which are non-self. This is my next step in understanding and connecting with my own energy body: to be able to differentiate the koshas within and upon me.

Okay, then. Good start.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Queen of Pentacles/The Wheel reversed. The Queen of Pentacles (cusp of Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, adventurous, blundering, and Capricorn, “I build,” ambitious, cautious, competent, cunning) is one of my favorite cards. She is the Minor Arcana version of The Empress, and while she may not be able to create new life, she is very good at sustaining life of all kinds. She tells me that spiritual enlightenment can be found through a secure foundation, a happy home. The Wheel of Fortune corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), Jupiter (expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune), Kaph (grasping hand), and the Path between Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) and Chesed (the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured), and in an upright position, it tells of coming change and reminds us that sometimes change is inevitable, and happens in its own time. Because this card is reversed, there may be a disconnect on my part regarding the cause of any changes to come, and I need to remember to go with the flow.

My Thoth card is the Seven of Cups. “Debauch” is Crowley’s keyword for the Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, pleasure, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, compulsive, mysterious), and indeed its energies can be dangerous. Within the traditional imagery of this card, a Seeker is offered a choice between Cups containing what appear to be treasures, but upon further consideration, we see the dangers that come along with those treasures, dangers that manifest if we become too enamored with the pleasures attached to each treasure. The Wreath represents The World of the Tarot Majors, and corresponds with Saturn, and discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance. The Castle corresponds with The Tower and Mars, and action, aggression, spontaneity and drive. The Woman corresponds with The Empress and Venus, and beauty, allure, pleasure and relationships. The Snake corresponds with The Magician and Mercury, and reason, intelligence, education, skill and communication. The Veil corresponds with The High Priestess and the Moon, and feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination. The Jewels correspond with The Wheel of Fortune and Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune. Finally, the Dragon corresponds with The Sun of the Majors, and our own Sun, and the inner core of a person or situation. Many choices; which will work for me?

My Legacy card is The Magician, flavored by the Four of Wands. Wooohooo, watch out, world!! The Magician corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick and animated energy which usually presents problems or challenges), Mercury, Beth (house; builder) and the Path between Binah (female, receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) and Kether (the source, limitless possibility), and he has the power to transform his world through the use of his Will. I am being told that I have the knowledge and the skills and the tools to manifest my desires; I am ready to be a conduit for power, power sourced from the Divine. The Four of Wands (Venus in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, competitive) tells me to take a few moments to enjoy viewing my progress thus far, but I am not to stop too long, for there is still a lot of work to be done.

My 6-digit date number is 11 (Archangel Uriel), which reduces to 2, the number of balance and polarity.

My horoscopes: “Things should go well for you today, Sagittarius. Your romantic nature is piqued. You will find that an aggressive approach toward your loved one is just what's needed to jump-start the relationship. If you're single and looking for love, this is a good day to get out and ask someone to dance. Neaten up your appearance and wear a snazzy outfits, regardless of the situation.”

And: “You're in that mood -- the one that makes your friends either avoid you or cancel their appointments to spend all their time with you, depending on their general dispositions. You're after nothing less than entirely new experiences, and you're not afraid to speak your mind to anyone who suggests that you should be less reckless -- regardless of whether they're offended or shocked by what you say or do. What fun!”

And: “You should be looking especially beautiful today, but you may feel that it's wasted because your beloved isn't around to appreciate it. Cheer up! It'll only be for a few days, and you'll still look pretty good by then. Try to keep yourself busy, preferably doing something you love to do, so your enthusiasm will enhance your beauty. Your friend won't be away forever. It only seems that way.”

After two weeks of making certain that I do my stretches each day, I am finally feeling physically strong again. And my connection to my energy body is stronger, too. Each day that passes, that brings me closer to Yule, increases my anticipation for the rebirth of the Sun. This next turn of the Wheel is going to be exciting for me and filled with new focuses.

I am still being drawn to Danu’s Well. I am still sitting at its edge, thinking about the changes to come. I will be loosing half of my hours at work, and half of my paycheck, too. That means the time has come for me to launch my new business, Sukha, and begin offering Thai Massages as a professional. The big test is almost upon me!!

Tomorrow is the Wayne Contingency's first Solstice Salon. I am going to meet other people who are important to my much-loved Pagan Brain Trust, and I am very excited about this. What an excellent way to usher in the Winter Solstice of Yule!

The next sephiroth on the Tree of Life is Netzach.

Netzach (Victory) is the seventh sephiroth on the Tree, the third on the Pillar of Force/Expansion, and represents achievements, emotions and love in all its forms. Netzach represents the energy we have given to the image of Deity, not Deity itself; the form of Deity comes later. Netzach is the glimpse of the Machinery of the Universe in all Its glory, and it is the energy that we all charge with a purpose and then release, within our rituals of worship and magickal workings.

Netzach is the artist in us all, the one that the Talking Self represses, but that the Younger Self loves to visit and play with. We all need to allow this creativity infused with joy and love to have free reign in our lives.

My correspondence list for Netzach is:

Magickal Image: Beautiful Naked Woman

Planetary: Venus

Vice: Impurity

Virtue: Unselfishness

Deity: Love

Spiritual Experience: Vision of Beauty Triumphant

Briatic Correspondence: Nurturing

Illusion: Projection

Obligation: Responsibility

Path: Path 7, the number of the pause that happens at the beginning of change or degeneration.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Tower/Seven of Swords. The Tower corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Mars (action, spontaneity, aggression, drive), Phe (mouth or speech), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Netzach (which offers the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and its presence in my spread today tells me that there are some outdated facets of my life that need to be demolished and swept away. This is usually a difficult concept to wrap my brain around, because it means taking risks and leaving behind the security of the known. But clinging to the things that are familiar to me will only result in tragedy. I am better off seeking the wisdom on my own, and I am better off voluntarily releasing the things that are no longer helping me, rather than fighting the process and having them taken from me. Destruction is the first step of creation, and it would be easier for me to stop the sun from rising than for me to stop this cycle. The Seven of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloofness) validates this, and acts as a further warning, for I may think that I need to do everything in my power to hold my position, but I might be wrong. Forcing the issue, forcing the security of the known onto my life, will become more and more difficult as I fight the natural flows of energies; if I continue this way, I will end up needing to use unethical means to hold my position. Better to allow the current to bring me forward!

My Thoth Card is The Star. Well, that is a relief!! The Star corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick, animated and intellectual energy that may present problems or challenges), Aquarius, Tsadi (fish hook, experience or thought), and the Path between Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world) and Netzach, and it tells me that when all seems lost, if I look carefully I will see that really, nothing was lost at all. I may have lost sight of the path to enlightenment, but that was a temporary condition, and the path is before me once again. All I need is the courage to take the first step. Crowley sees this card as representing Hope, unexpected help, clearness of vision, realization of possibilities and spiritual insight. The Star is one of the great cards of faith, and it tells me to believe, for what I believe to be true is what I will create.

My Legacy card is the Eight of Swords reversed, flavored by The World. In an upright position, the Eight of Swords (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable talkative, dual) shows what happens when you abuse the power of the Swords through the intellect: that power turns against you. Logic can be twisted, and often the only person we end up confounding by our mental contortions is ourselves. Thankfully, the Eight is reversed, so I will be able to avoid and release the more negative powers of the intellect today, and instead choose to bring serenity and mental clarity into my world. The World, which corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material and practical energy that is slow to change), Saturn (discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance), Thav (mark or sign), and the Path between Malkuth (the physical world of action and physical, outer reality) and Yesod), validates this, for The World is the card of integration that tells me I have used my mind to learn my lessons well, and it reminds me that there is one final lesson to be tackled: union with the Divine. If I choose to see all the challenges and blockages, both powerful and in my face and subtle yet difficult to solve, as rungs on the ladder that brings me closer to the Divine, then they are all worth the efforts and tears and despair that came along with them.

Lots of similarities lacing through these cards! Aquarius appears more than once, as do Yesod and Netzach. Yesod is about understanding what we want and need, and Yesod is the place where our intentions and visualizations begin to transform to physical reality. Aquarius is about the group or society, so those manifestations may have something to do with the correspondences of Aquarius.

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of manifestation or experience. Wow, The World, The Star, and the number 9!!

My horoscopes: “There's a great deal of grounding energy in your world today, Sagittarius, which might work to smother your fire. Whatever happens, don't let the embers burn out. One of the assets you bring to the group is a strong dynamism that gives people the courage to change. Be a fighter in the ring. Remember that at the end of the day, you need only be satisfied with the performance of one person -- you.”

And: “You understand the value of exercise. It's not just for your body, but for your body, mind and spirit that you jog, box, walk, do martial arts, take yoga or do whatever it is that you do. Today is a particularly good day to follow through on your drive to get in touch with each and every little tiny muscle in your entire body (if at all possible). You'll feel terrific, both during and afterward.”

And: “If you aren't currently romantically involved, today you could meet someone that shows a lot of promise. Work might be involved in some way, and it's also possible that this person has been living in your neighborhood for a long time. A friend could introduce you to each other. You'll probably spend at least an hour talking, and will probably make arrangements to meet again.”

This morning, I woke to our first snowfall. Really, it was just a dusting, but because the ground is so cold, the snow stuck. Even the roads were covered with white. It is amazing to me how quiet the world gets with even just a coating of snow. I knew as soon as I opened my eyes this morning that there would be snow on the ground; everything just felt blanketed, cozy, silent.

Since first thing this morning, I have been drawn to Danu’s Well. It is quiet there, twilight (either just before dawn or just after sunset; I can’t tell which time), damp (the dead trees are dripping with moisture), with a bit of fog hugging the ground here and there. It is totally silent, no breeze blowing and no movement at all. The sky is gray and overcast, and everything else is brown and black and taupe, the colors of Winter.

And I am alone. Oh, I can feel the energy pulsing from the Well, pushing rhythmically against my own shield, but no one and no thing else is visible to me.

A sensation of waiting fills me as I sit by the Well, as if something is expected of me. I don’t know what is expected, or who is expecting something from me, but one thing I know for certain is that figuring this out is a part of the task. No one else can tell me the answer to the question “what am I supposed to do?” Only I can find this answer, only I will know if the answer I find is the correct one for me. I spoke the other day about connections, and this connection, this figuring out of what is expected of me, is important for me to achieve. Just typing my thoughts here is validating the presence of a message for me, and so, today I will look, I will strive to be aware.

I am in the process of bringing my knowledge of Thai Massage to the next level. I received two books on Thai Massage as an early Yule gift, and they have shown me that I need to not only learn about sen lines, and where they are and how they work, but I need to at least understand the basics of the spiritual disciplines that are the root and foundation of Thai Massage. I think I will be able to bring even more balance and healing to my clients if I become comfortable with this knowledge, if I make it my own. Plus, I benefit myself, for learning of the sen lines adds to my knowledge of the personal energy field, and gives me another tool to use toward increasing my own health and well-being. Cernunnos will be back soon, one week from today is Yule, and since He really pushes me to be aware of my own body, and he challenges me to make the effort to keep my body, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, as healthy and strong and flexible and coordinated as possible, I am making the effort now to be in top form, as good as I can with all the holiday parties scheduled.

This year, Yule is going to be incredibly powerful, energetically. Early Yule morning, at 3:14 am, is the moment of Full Moon. Totality begins at 2:41 am and finishes at 3:53 am, so I won’t be getting a lot of sleep on Monday night. But the eclipse will take place while the Moon is in Taurus, and Taurus is my rising sign in my astrological chart! And so, I begin my preparations for Yule 2010. If Wicca is a Path of inner transformation, then I am surely smack dab in the middle of the road, and my Journey is moving the way it is supposed to.

Today, I keep hearing the Charge of the Star Goddess in my mind, maybe in support of my Thoth card of the day, The Star. All of the words are important to me today, and I am placing my favorite version here, by Doreen Valiente, adopted by Starhawk.

“Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, Whose body encircles the universe:

I Who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto Me, for I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return. Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.”

Tiphareth, indeed!

Blessed be!


Friday, December 10, 2010

Page of Swords/Five of Cups. The Page of Swords (Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution authority, cunning, Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloof, and Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, artistic) brings the message of the Ace of its suit. He tells of the need for vigilance and alertness, of the need to examine and understand; he also tells of the possibility of a bit of spying, or maybe of the use of a disguise in order to be not seen. The Five of Cups (Mars, action, aggression, drive, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive) tells of the cloudy sludge that is stirred up when still waters are disturbed. This card is reminding me to not give up hope, even if there are a few snags in my day.

My Thoth card is the Knight of Swords reversed. The Knight of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) is idealistic, but since emotions and compassion are not a part of his tool kit, he can be cruel as well, and often the ends justify the means in his eyes. This Knight often has great ideas, but they tend to bounce against and run over each other in chaos, without grounding, he has trouble focusing on jut one idea. He is thought in the highest degree, but unstable in purpose. Thankfully, the card is reversed, so perhaps I will have a bit more focus than this Knight!

My Legacy card is the Six of Swords reversed, flavored by the Eight of Coins. The Six of Swords (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, communication, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause oriented), tells of recovery, of the onset of transition, and of the continuation of a journey. The Eight of Coins (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, work and service oriented, sensible, critical) is reminding me to be persistent, and diligent, and I will succeed.

My 6-digit date number is 5, the number of motion that dispels stagnation.

My horoscopes: “You must be wondering what in the world is going on? On the one hand, you have humanistic and harmonious thoughts about your family and work environment. On the other hand, you also have a deep desire to destroy everything in order to start fresh! You will have to choose. In any case, given the current climate and the fire inside you, any sort of compromise will prove difficult. Don't go overboard!”

And: “You've had things pretty easy for a long while now. You have all the power and resources in your corner, and people recognize you for the formidable opponent you are. But there are things you want more of in your life, and the only way that's going to happen is if you go out there and make it happen. Even if you don't feel like rolling up your sleeves and putting sweat equity into your life today, you should. Your efforts will create amazing results.”

And: “When it comes to home decoration, there is something to be said for immediate gratification. Today you could find yourself doing some "necessary" shopping. Think carefully about what will truly beautify your home over the long run. Fashions come and go, and following them can be an expensive undertaking. You would be better off buying only those items that match your true style. You may not purchase as much, but what you do buy will have lasting value.”

For some reason, today I am focusing on connections. Danu has been with me almost continuously since the beginning of the week; She is silent, but She is there, standing behind me and occasionally placing Her hand on my shoulder. I feel a special connection to Her at this time of the year, when the God is resting and the Sacred Masculine barely discernable. I love having Her with me like this, and as much as I am looking forward to the return of the Sun Father and the active energies associated with Him, these times of one-on-one companionship have become incredibly valuable to me.

As the dark phase of the solar year comes to an end, I am becoming increasingly aware of my connection to Nature and the cycles around me. Like the time of Dark Moon, when even the dimmest of stars is visible, twinkling softly in the dark night sky, I seem to be sensing the gentler and less obvious flows of energy around me, throughout both the day and the night hours. I have always loved the way the lacy branches of the naked trees look against the Winter sky, but now I am also noticing how high in the night sky the moon is, and how lovely it is to wake up in the middle of the night with the silvery light of the newly waning moon in my eyes. I am noticing the difference in the light of the day, due to the lower arc of the sun and the corresponding lower angle of its golden light. And I have adjusted to the long nights; no longer does it seem like it’s midnight when it is only about 7 pm.

I am also thinking about my connections to other people. I guess this is normal at this time of the year, but I am appreciating the ways that everyone in my life adds to the flavor and texture and depth of this life’s experiences. I am truly blessed with the companionship of family, friends, and several communities of seekers, all of whom share joys and sorrows, and challenge me to grow and evolve.

And, I am also renewing my connection to myself, and to my own personal energy field. LOL, after several weekends of being away with friends and eating too much, I am finally getting back with the program. Not only has my Patroness come to me, but I am feeling my own energy field again. Awesome!

How fitting that the next sephiroth to be considered as I move through the Tree of Life is Tiphareth.

Tiphareth (Beauty) is the sixth sephiroth on the Tree, the second on the Pillar of Balance (the first being Kether, the Crown), and represents harmony, equilibrium, and the epitome of balance. Tiphareth is the Child of the Goddess and God, the balance between active and passive, force and form; the hub of the wheel, the Sun in the sky. Which actually is quite interesting, because Tiphareth was seen as corresponding to our Sun before the Sun was known to be the center of our solar system.

Tiphareth is the Lesser Countenance, reflecting to us the power of Kether, the Greater Countenance. Tiphareth tells us to remember that karma is about evolution, not retribution, and that who we are is more important than what we do, and we must in the end only define ourselves by who we are.

My correspondence list for Tiphareth is:

Magickal Image: King, Child, Sacrificed God

Planetary: the Sun

Vice: False Pride

Virtue: Devotion to the Great Work

Deity: Sun Healers Illuminators Sacrificed Kings

Spiritual Experience: Vision of the Harmony of Things, Understanding the Mysteries of Sacrifice

Briatic Correspondence: Centrality, Wholeness

Illusion: Identification

Obligation: Integrity

Path: Path 6, the number of vertical and horizontal balance and harmony.


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Emperor reversed/Judgement reversed. The Emperor (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change; Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, pioneering; Heh, window, illumination; and the Path between Tiphareth, the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify, and Chokmah, the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured) represents the power of the mind to shape the world, and I am being told that this kind of power may not be accessible for me today. This power is about organization, and about the ability to live and function within an organized world. I need to remember that each rule and requirement is in place for a reason, even if that reason is not readily apparent to me right now. Judgement (Fire; Pluto, power, metamorphosis, change and rebirth; Shin, fang; the Path between Malkuth, the physical world of action and physical, outer reality, and Hod, which provides analysis and communication) in an upright position tells of a reckoning that allows the union of the material and spiritual worlds into one manifestation. Because the card is reversed, these energies are not able to easily have an effect today; because both of these cards are reversed, I may find that more free-flowing focuses may work better for me.

My Thoth card is the Eight of Disks. “Prudence” is the keyword Crowley assigns to the Eight of Disks (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented), and from his viewpoint, this card tells me that as far as money and security are concerned, at times there is much benefit to be had from doing nothing. This card tells of the time when the seeds are sewn, and there is not much else to do but wait for the harvest. But still, maintenance is necessary, as well as patience.

My Legacy card is the Page of Swords, flavored by the King of Swords. The Page of Swords (Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, authority, competence, cunning, Aquarius, “I know,” the group, society, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, soul growth, duality, spirituality) deals with insight, perceptions and the use of the intellect, but through a child’s wonder. This Page is telling me to ask the question, “Why?” because I will learn through the answers I receive, and he is telling me to speak my truth. The flavoring of the King of Swords (the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius) brings a bit of maturity to the Page; The King of Swords is able to make clear and accurate judgments without the distractive clouds of emotions; this King is not a passive leader, however, and combined with the youthful intensity of the Page, I am presented with some mental intensity. The message of this King is to make choices based on logic and rationality.

My Pearls of Wisdom New Moon card is The Hierophant. 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). The old ways and the ancient traditions speak to the moment, and the lessons are available to me, should I pass the test of worthiness. These mysteries are worth attaining for they are part and parcel of alchemical transformation. The energies presented are at one time the question ~and~ the answer.

My 6-digit date number is 10, the number that tells of the ending or completion of a cycle, which further reduces to the number 1, new beginnings and the concept of position.

My horoscopes: “Things coming at you from all sides are forcing you to make a move, Sagittarius. Try not to feel pressured into something you don't want to do. A nervous restlessness is apt to take over your being and urge you to act. Don't let other people's energies dictate your actions. Secure your position and be strong. Don't be lured into situations you know are bad for you.”

And: “Just because you've stumbled a few times in your past doesn't mean you won't have huge success in your future. Don't let your insecurities get the better of you right now -- and avoid folks who like to focus on the negatives. The glass is half full, not half empty. Don't you remember that you're bigger than your faults? Other people understand that, and they're waiting for you to make your next bold move so they can cheer you on.”

And: “Energy stored up inside of you is begging to be released. Do your physical body and mental self a favor by going outside and getting some brisk cardiovascular exercise. You will find that you have a great deal of emotion to burn off, and today is the perfect day to do it. Take this opportunity to give your system the jump-start it needs to get on a healthy exercise track again.”

Well, I made it through my first busy holiday weekend with my sanity intact. We went to a nice holiday get-together on Saturday night, and last night, my dance partner and her family came for dinner. My first attempt at baking a red velvet cake fell short, but I think I know how I can adjust the recipe, and I will try again. And this morning, I saw my first snow flurries.

I am feeling the beginnings of the first tendrils of anticipation of the return of the Sun Father. The Goddess is heavy with pregnancy, and She is moving slowly and resting often in preparation for birth. I can feel that She is enjoying these last moments of quiet and dark, even though She looks forward to the end of Her pregnancy. I also am looking forward to the return of the Sacred Masculine (even though I am enjoying these last days of the dark and quiet); this time between Samhain and Yule has been very beneficial for me this year. I have cleaned out the things that are no longer of use to me and I have solidified my connection to the skills and talents that I will bring forward into the next cycle.

I am also feeling quite a bit more confident in myself. I have weathered some storms these past months, and each time I did my best to do the right thing. This confidence is not necessarily connected to being successful every time I am tested, but rather it is the confidence that I have the skills and talents necessary to create a plan for dealing with most of the challenges that might appear to me. Success is never guaranteed, but the test is more rewarding and gratifying to contemplate when I have the experience necessary to prevent panic.

All in all, I went into this dark quarter of the Wheel feeling a bit unsettled. But so far, it looks as if I will come out of the quiet darkness of Winter a more confident and skilled Witch, with a good handle on the practice of my Craft, and of the Path to be taken from here.

The Pagan Brain Trust had the most awesome Reiki Share last night. Each of us has embraced Reiki, but we have each also embraced the concept of the Internet being a part of the astral realms. Tara in particular has totally embraced the inclusion of the Internet in her workings; and I have been attending online rituals and participating in online Reiki Shares for some time now. But I must say, my experiences with Internet workings of all kinds conducted with my fellow PBT-ers go way beyond what I experience with others. The PBT is truly an example of what Witches are becoming; we are evolving, and we are honoring the knowledge and wisdom that have brought us forward and we are embracing the future, making technology our own. Today’s Wiccan, with her thumb drive Book of Shadows alongside her athame, with her rituals conducted in chat rooms, and with her sigils being launched through emails, has the ability to change with the world around her, and yet remain true to the core values of the Craft.

The next sephiroth to be considered as I move through the Tree of Life is Geburah.

Geburah (Might) is the fifth sephiroth on the Tree, the second on the Pillar of Form/Restriction, and also known as Judgment, and Fear. The manifestations of this sephiroth can indeed be difficult, but they are not evil. To some, an easy life is an ideal situation, but to Pagans, an easy life lacks opportunity for growth and evolution, and they are the purpose of living. The effects of Geburah and just as necessary for balance and health as are those of Chesed.

Geburah also tells of the sacrifice that is necessary to keep the Wheel turning. It tells of the sacrifice, the physical death, which releases energy back into the system. This balance is absolutely necessary, for the serenity of Chesed occurs through the supportive workings of Geburah.

My correspondence list for Geburah is:

Magickal Image: Warrior in Chariot

Planetary: Mars

Vice: Cruelty, Wanton Destruction

Virtue: Energy, Courage

Deity: Warrior, Avenger

Spiritual Experience: Vision of Power

Briatic Correspondence: Power

Illusion: Invincibility

Obligation: Courage

Path: Path 5, the number of motion imposed on stability to test validity.