Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hermit/Justice reversed. The Hermit, which 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), is about searching within for a deeper meaning.  The messages offered and lessons to be learned today are not about an outer connection; instead my quest should lead me towards the silent and non-physical world of the inner realms. Justice is a card of adjustment, and it corresponds with the element of Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick, animated energy that usually brings problems or challenges that bring growth), Libra (“we are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation), Lamed (ox goad; training or teaching), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Geburah (the place where forms and structures are challenged or affirmed), and is about cause and effect.  My Justice card is reversed, so it is validating the message of The Hermit.  Today is not about doing, it is not about worrying about my worldly responsibilities.  Not that I should shirk them, by any means, but I should be thinking more about how I feel as I perform them.

My Thoth card is The Aeon (Judgement).  Oh boy, don’t usually get Majors with my Thoth deck. 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 it usually tells of an opportunity to validate the good stuff and get rid of the stuff I don’t need any more.  This is a great card to have on New Years Eve, and I should try to take advantage of its energies.  This is the day before a new start, and so I should think about what I want to bring forward, and what can be disposed of.

My Legacy card is the Ten of Swords, flavored by the Nine of Coins. The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) is a card of interference and restriction completely manifested; another interesting card for this day that tells of endings of a sort.  Granted, as of right now I may have trouble seeing those endings because wallowing in the discomforts of the moment might be very tempting. The Nine of Coins (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) is a card of accomplishment through the imposition of discipline.  It is reminding me to hang in there and get the difficult tasks completed, so that I can enjoy some leisure time later with the knowledge that everything has been taken care of.

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of experience or manifestation.  Perfect for New Years Eve!

My horoscopes: “You're always intellectually curious, but today you might be especially so. Although you're usually idealistic, today your imagination is in full swing. You might want to try writing or painting. It will be better to go with fiction or impressionism than history or realism. Study of spiritual or esoteric subjects is likely to clear a path between intellect and intuition.”

And: “Even though you seem relatively content with your career, you are ready for some sort of change in your life. The time is ripe for you to consider joining a group of some sort. Why not join your local book club? Or, if you're more inclined toward activity, sign up for the ski team at work or get involved with the local running club. There are a lot of diversions that can occupy your mind as well your body. The real upside is that you are likely to make some wonderful new friends.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Page of Pentacles.  The Pages are all young, and among other things, they bring to us a reminder to tap into our Inner Child, or Younger Self.  This Page is reminding me that the physical world not only brings delights to the senses, but opportunities to grow.  The spark of new creation is offered to my by this Page today; I have only to urge it to burst into transforming flames.

The Pagan Brain Trust had our “five-faces” get-together on Thursday evening.  The Boy is here from California, and all five of us sat around the Sacred Table to share ourselves, to eat some good food, and have a great dessert.  We won’t all be in the same room for a little bit of time, and the memories of this wonderful evening will hold me until the next time we can all meet together.  We all talked of the future, and shared a bit of optimism.

I am in Cape May for the first time in several weeks, and I am soaking up every bit of it.  I began my morning by walking on the beach.  Beautiful!!  The sun was shining; it was high tide but the waves were gentle, sparkling under the light of the sun.  The sky was blue, with a few fluffy fair weather clouds meandering by.  And the shoreline was loaded with rocks.  Piles of them!  I had to discipline myself to cover some ground, or I would have ended up sitting there going through all the pretties. 

I spent this afternoon grading First Degree homework submissions.  This just might be the last batch for me, because beginning tomorrow, I will “graduate” to reviewing Second Degree homework submissions.  I am very excited about this change!  I will miss my First Degree students, but I am looking forward to the new challenge of working with these more advanced students and their homeworks. 

We are going across the street tonight to celebrate the new year with much loved friends.  Lots of good food, good champagne, and good conversations.

Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Eight of Cups/The Emperor.  The Eight of Cups (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitation, law and order, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, suffering, soul growth) tells of an ending or a change of direction, often one associated with emotions.  Interesting card to have as the end of the year approaches.  This card is about seeking a deeper understanding of things and in the process, getting rid of what no longer serves.  The Emperor is a Fire card (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change) which corresponds with the astrological sign of Aries (“I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive) and the Hebrew letter Heh (window, illumination) that represents the power of the mind and of intentions to shape the world.  He is the “regulator,” and is about authority and structure, and while he learns from his past, he focuses on the present and the future.  So, we have a bit of looking back in order to get rid of what doesn’t work, and then a nice, strong, predictable view of the present and maybe the future.

My Thoth card is the Ace of Swords.  Again.  The Ace of Swords (Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution authority, cunning, Aquarius and Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, artistic) tells me that I may be using my mind to solve the problems of the day.  Besides being realistic and objective, I may find myself developing a sense of identity or individuality.  The message of this card has huge significance; after all it has been showing up with regularity.  The cool thing is that I have the mental skills to accept and understand this message, and it just might bring the beginning of some kind of momentum or action.

My Legacy card is The Hermit reversed, flavored by The Lovers reversed.  . The Hermit, which 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), is reversed for me today.  In an upright position, The Hermit would be telling me that the lessons to be learned today are discovered through an inward and solitary focus.  However, today might be better if I reach out and re-validate my connections to both my physical senses and to those around me.  The reversed Lovers (Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts, quick and animated, intellectual, problems or challenges; Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, sociable, dual; Zayin, double-edged sword; and the Path between Tiphareth, the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify, and Binah, female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) is flavoring my reversed Hermit today.  Because it is reversed, this card is reminding me that sometimes we need to choose for the group instead of for ourselves, and those choices are best if presented through the vehicle of established beliefs that are accepted by the group.  Sounds like these two cards are validating my Eight of Cups and Emperor above!

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that tells of a pause, and possibly a crossroad, as growth turns to stagnation.

My horoscopes: “This isn't the moment to adhere to a particular philosophy, whatever it may be. You may feel frustrated by your inability to figure out which path to take, but this is very good for you. Continue to search with your little flashlight, as weak as it may seem, because this is how you're going to get solid faith back again. Best of all, it will be a faith tailored for you.”

And: “Most of the time you tend to be an outgoing person who loves talking to others. However, today you're likely to feel far more reticent than usual, more inclined to listen than to speak. There may not seem to be any real reason for this; it isn't as if you were depressed or worried. You're not! Don't worry about it. View this as an opportunity to really hear what others have to say. You'll be yourself again tomorrow.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Five of Swords.  This is a card of power, power used for goals of self-interest.  Is this bad?  Only when carried to extremes.  Making things happen the way we want them to is only bad if we sacrifice our own integrity in the process and run roughshod over everyone else in the picture, without a care for who we are hurting as we attain our personal goals.  Fighting to survive is okay, but really . . . ask yourself.  Is that what your challenge is all about?

Tonight we are having another Pagan Brain Trust gathering at the home of the Wayne Contingency.  Our Dear Phillie will be returning to the West Coast next week, and we all want to get one more face-to-face evening at the “Sacred Table” before he heads West.  Hopefully we will finish the evening with the New Moon Reiki Share that we were unable to schedule because of the Christmas weekend.  As cool as the Solstice Salon was, it’s going to be very awesome to have an entire evening with just the five of us.  There will be chocolate!

Since the end of the calendar year is nearly upon us, I will take a moment to recap my year.  And what a year it has been!  I made my way through all of the Paths of the Tree of Life.  The Wayne Contingency of the Pagan Brain Trust came to Cape May for the weekend.  I created my Twitter account, attended my second Vedic Thai Yoga workshop, and began working with my regular client, Andrew, and his wife, Patty.  I experienced Hurricane Irene and some lovely nor’easters in Cape May, an earthquake in Hackensack, and attended two Shamanic Journeys, at one of which I gave Reiki to 21 people!  I connected with the ‘information highway,” my son was almost electrocuted, and I discovered that Aleister Crowley’s ashes are buried in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.  I studied The Emerald Tablet, and I am very close to publishing an eBook describing my experiences with its rubrics.  I have been shown my Patroness what Path to choose within my Third Degree Training, once I complete my current homework submission.  I found my display BOS, began entering my personal solitary rituals into it, and also wrote and led Esbats and the Yule Sabbat for Sacred Mists.  I finally purchased an eReader, and I love it. 

All in all, it has been a very productive year.  Don’t be fooled, though; all has not been a bed of roses.  Money is an issue, and I am always battling the “lethargy monster.”  For the first time in my 10 years of menopause, depression has been an issue.  Not often, but ouch.  However, I feel closer than ever to Bob and my family, and Carolyn and I have done some very powerful work, both together and each of us individually.

2012 is going to be an interesting year; I have felt the effects of an unexpected chaos since Samhain, and this churning of unexpected energies is acting like an abrasive.  It is scrubbing away the accumulated dirt from the windshield, and I just know that soon enough I will be seeing the world with new clarity. 

I have had some amazing experiences this past year as I worked with my subtle body.  I have changed, my subtle body has changed, and in the months ahead I will be revisiting the Great Work of psychological alchemy (and hopefully writing my second eBook) and focusing on reconnecting with my physical body in new and more healthy ways.  This is being prompted by my post of December 27th, with the quote from “The Education of Oversoul Seven” by Jane Roberts: “Honor your body, which is your representative in this universe. Its magnificence is no accident. It is the framework through which your works must come; through which the spirit and the spirit within the spirit speaks. The flesh and the spirit are two phases of your actuality in space and time. Who ignores one, falls apart in shambles. . . .  The body is the soul in Earth-garments. It is the face of the soul turned toward the seasons, the image of the soul reflected in Earth waters. The body is the soul turned outward. Soul and body are merged in the land of the seasons.” 

I could not say it better than that.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nine of Swords/Seven of Cups. The Nine of Swords (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, social, dual) represents brooding and worrying.  This card represents the “agony of the mind,” and no matter what happens today, good or bad, I need to keep “face-palming” myself so that I remember that I can choose how to respond to things. The Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, obsessive, mysterious) represents the distraction and dissipation that can happen when we are presented with enticing choices. The traditional image of the Seven of Cups shows seven cups, each filled with what appears to be a wonderful gift: the Wreath (Saturn and The World); the Castle (Mars and The Tower), the Woman (Venus and The Empress); the Snake (Mercury and The Magician); the Veil (the Moon and The High Priestess), the Jewels (Jupiter and The Wheel of Fortune), and the Dragon (our Sun and The Sun).  The lesson here is that every choice we make can bring pleasure or pain; we have to look carefully, make our choice, and then accept the consequences.  Worrying is counterproductive, but awareness of consequences is not.

My Thoth card is the Six of Disks reversed. The  “Success” card has been showing up for me lately, both upright and reversed. The Six of Disks (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Taurus, “I have,” Sensual, cautious, stubborn) in an upright position can be seen as being a bit heavy, or as warning of the approach of a weight that will end up dragging us down.  Today this card is asking a question: “What is worse?  Having?  Or not having?”

My Legacy card is the Ace of Wands reversed (had this one yesterday, too), flavored by the Three of Coins reversed. The Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting process for self-expression and adventure.  My Ace is reversed.  Again.  But today, I may just have a hint as to what I can do to turn that Ace around.  The Three of Coins (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, cunning, competence) in an upright position tells of competence, planning and teamwork.  But it is reversed, and flavoring my reversed Ace of Wands, as if to wave its arms at me and yell “Over here, stupid; here is the answer you keep missing.”  Okay then, time to plan carefully, and then implement those plans completely so I can build a good foundation.

My 6-digit date number is 5, the number of movement which dispels stagnation. 

My horoscopes: “Restrictive forces may come into conflict with you today. The good news is that you should be able to find a space of peace within your emotions. Seek a mediator who can help you sort out stalemates that may exist between you and others. Opportunities for freedom and autonomy are out there waiting for you to grab. Seek the bizarre and unconventional ways of doing things.”

And: “Expanding your horizons is the key phrase for today. Communications received from distant states or foreign lands could have you entertaining the idea of traveling to those places and visiting with people with the same interests as yourself. Learning is very much on your mind, and you're probably very curious about different cultures, different ideas, and different perspectives. Though you might not make definite plans for travel now, you're apt to at least consider it.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Nine of Cups.  What a pretty card!  One of my favorite things to do is to bend my body as the merman is bending his body in this image, in preparation for gliding gracefully downward into the water.  It just feels so powerful to me.  This card is about the pleasures of the senses, and about satisfaction.  The perfect card to throw on a day that is bracketed with the offering of Nuad Borarn in the morning, and belly dance in the evening.

My gift to you all today is the text to a YouTube video that I found, called “Sumerian Sacred Script of Covenant.” If you have the time, head over to YouTube and do a search for it; the video is beautiful.  But the text is the part that really spoke to me.  Enjoy!

Honor your body, which is your representative in this universe. Its magnificence is no accident. It is the framework through which your works must come; through which the spirit and the spirit within the spirit speaks. The flesh and the spirit are two phases of your actuality in space and time. Who ignores one, falls apart in shambles.

The marriage of soul and flesh is an ancient contract, to be honored.

Let no soul in flesh ignore its Earthly counterpart, or be unkind to its mate in time.

The mind cannot dance above the flesh, or on the flesh. It cannot deny the flesh or it turns into a demon demanding domination. Then the voice of the flesh cries out with yearning through all of its parts; the ancient contract undone. And both soul and flesh go begging, each alone and without partner.

Who feeds the body with love, neither starving it nor stuffing it, feeds the soul. Who denies the body denies the soul. Who betrays it betrays the soul. The body is the body of the soul, the corporal image of knowledge. As men and women are married to each other, so is each self wedded to its body.

Those who do not love the body or trust it do not love or trust the soul. The multitudinous voices of the gods speak through the body parts. Even the golden molecules are not mute. Who muzzles the body or leashes it muzzles and leashes the soul. The private body is the dwelling place of the private guise of God. Do it honor. Let no man set himself up above the body, calling it soiled, for to him the splendor of the self is hidden. Let no one drive the body like a horse in captivity, to be ridden, or he will be trampled.

The body is the soul in Earth-garments. It is the face of the soul turned toward the seasons, the image of the soul reflected in Earth waters. The body is the soul turned outward. Soul and body are merged in the land of the seasons

The knowledge of the soul is written in the body. Body and soul are the inner and outer of the self. The spirit from which the soul springs form both-soul and body. In Earth time, the soul and body learn together. The genes are the alphabets by which the soul speaks the body-which is the soul's utterance in flesh

So let the soul freely speak itself in flesh.

The body is also eternal. The soul takes it out of space-time. The body is the soul's expression, and its expression is not finite. The spirit has many souls, and each has a body. The body is in and out of time, even as the soul is. Let the soul rush freely throughout the body, and breathe life into all of its parts. The first birth was a gift, freely given. Now you must acquiesce and give your blessing to the life within you. Trust the spontaneity and health of the body, which is the spontaneity and health of the soul. For each morning you spring anew, alive and fresh, out of chaos . . . .

From “The Education of Oversoul Seven” by Jane Roberts


Monday, December 26, 2011

Strength Reversed/Ace of Wands reversed. The Strength card (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic energy; Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical; Teth, sieve or basket, digestion; and the Path between Geburah, the place where forms and structures are challenged or affirmed, and Chesed, the place where forms and structures are stabilized and nurtured) tells of emotional endurance and control, rather than physical endurance and control.  My Strength card is reversed today, and traditionally that can mean the potential for lethargy to rear its ugly head.  However, it can also mean that the things that may affect me emotionally today will not be controllable by me; will that be good or bad?  Perhaps my own mindset will determine that. The Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting process for self-expression and adventure.  My Ace is also reversed.  But it is there.  And my reversed Ace, which is a Fire card, is facing the same direction as my Strength card, which also connects to the element of Fire; both also correspond at least in part to the astrological sign of Leo, which is a very powerful Fire sign.  At least they are not cancelling each other out.  Perhaps the presence of both of these cards is a good omen; there is a potential for a strong connection to my own emotions and for creative energies to influence my life.  I am not connecting to these energies, but they are there, waiting for me to find my way to them.

My Thoth card is the Four of Cups.  “Luxury” the Four of Cups (the Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, tenacious, moody), which tells me that today an awareness of my own feelings and a contemplation of those feelings could be a huge part of my focus.  The thing about this combination of the very stable Four and the suit of Cups (which corresponds to the element of Water) is that there is no upward motion at all.  I should enjoy the moment, but I need to remember that if I don’t use muscles, they atrophe.

My Legacy card is the Six of Wands, flavored by Strength.  Wooohooo, nice pair, and Bookends!! The Six of Wands (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, noble, authoritative) expresses the celebration we feel when we have passed some test.  This is not an ending card, so the cycle is not yet complete, but today I may feel I’ve accomplished enough to be able to lean on my own abilities rather than looking to others for support and protection.  For a little while at least, I can rest on my own laurels and bask in my own glow.  But this is not a permanent situation.  My upright Strength card is flavoring my Six of Wands, and this tells me that I will have the focus necessary to both enjoy the moment and to initiate movement once again, when the time is right.

More about my Bookend card today, Strength.  Upon getting their first Tarot deck and looking at this card, most novices assume that the Strength symbolized in its image is physical strength.  However, that is not what this card represents.  First of all, none of the Major Arcana cards refer directly to the physical body, so the Strength this card represents cannot be physical in nature.  The element connected to this card is Fire; yes, fire needs physical fuel in order to exist, but its effects are heat and light, very non-physical, and chemical transformation, which is a process, not a thing.  The astrological correspondence is Leo, which is a fixed Fire sign.  Leos like to center themselves and allow action to happen around them, the same way that our sun is in the center of our solar system and the planets circle it.  The Path on the Tree of Life associated with this card is the 19th Path, which runs horizontally across the Tree between Geburan, the Sephira of challenges, and Chesed, the Sephira of stability, and which connects the Pillar of Form to the Pillar of Force.  Since Strength is about emotions, we can say that it represents the courage that allows us to deal with challenges, and the patience that allows us to understand stability.  Extremes.  And when we have extremes, there is always the potential to attain balance.  There is also an outer-inner balance in this card.  The lion is a typical symbol in the illustration of this card, and the lion represents the beast within us.  That beast is not tamed by a whip and a chair, but rather by the purest of love, offered through serene and tolerant patience.  The velvet glove.

My 6-digit date number is 4, the number of depth and stability, with the danger of creating stagnation.

My horoscopes: “This will be a day of reflection. While you may be tempted to look back and think about how far you've come, your time would be better spent thinking about what the future has in store. You've entered a period of rethinking both your identity and objectives. These aren't small matters. You'll need every ounce of energy at your disposal to make it through this time of transition.”

And: “Financial matters might need some attention today. Bills may need to be paid, checks to be deposited, and budgeting for certain purchases might need to be worked out. Your powers of concentration are high today, and so this is a great day to do this, even though you'd rather be doing something more interesting. Don't despair, however. Your practical skills are high, and so you're apt to finish quickly. Then you can go play!”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Page of Pentacles.  Pages are messengers, and this Page does offer a message, not a result.  The message of the Page of Pentacles is one of possible prosperity and stability and well-being in the physical world.  But this is not a finished product; we must each accept the potential offered to us by this Page and then use our own talents and skills and visions and dreams to nurture the potential and shape it as it manifests, until it becomes our dream.

What a wonderful few days it has been.  Since Yule and my spiritual celebration, I have enjoyed fulfilling times and simple re-connections with family and friends.  No bells and whistles, just lots of laughter, good food and drink, and plenty of rest.

The highlight of this holiday season for me has been watching others smile with love, and seeing gifts given through love, meaningful gifts that each are an expression of deep caring and love and respect.  I was moved to tears several times yesterday, through expressions of love.  I don’t know which part was more fulfilling: watching someone open a gift that lit them up with surprise, joy, gratitude and love, or watching the person who gave that gift as they watched the recipient enjoy it.

My entry is simple today, but my question is new.  The question most asked on December 26th each year is “What did you get for Christmas?”  But I’m going to make a bit of a change to that question.

And so I ask you all: “What did you give for Christimas?”

May the love and joy and rebirth of this holiday season, whatever Path you celebrate, fill you with light and optimism, serenity, and a renewed connection to those who are in your heart.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Five of Cups reversed/The High Priestess. The Five of Cups (Mars, action, aggression, drive, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive) in an upright position tells of emotional down time, a setback or a lack of support. My Five of Cups is reversed, so I should be able to redirect my focus away from what I’ve lost, and towards the fertile possibilities I have not yet tapped into. The High Priestess (Water; the Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination; Gimel, the camel who safely crosses Da’ath, the Abyss, and thus, has the secret of life; and the Path between Tiphareth, the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify, and Kether, the source, limitless possibility), is the source of the power of The Magician, the feminine version of The Hierophant, and the Keeper of the Mysteries.  She is reminding me by her presence that if I can manage to shut out the cacophony of the senses that is a physical-world awareness, there are huge, fulfilling blessings to be had.  Those blessings are with me at all times, even if I am too distracted to be aware of them.  Today, I should strive to see the Cup as half full rather than half empty, and the training I have been working so hard to hone will allow me to do this no matter what happens throughout the day.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Cups.  “Happiness.”  Yessss! The Nine of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) is about emotional satisfaction and the ability to find pleasure in my feelings and in my expectations for the day.

My Legacy card is the King of Cups reversed, flavored by the Queen of Coins reversed.  Okay, this makes sense. The King of Cups (cusp of Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, and Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling mysterious, obsessive) is the expert on emotions and the subconscious, mainly because of his life experiences.  He lives as an example to others and is very good at creating and maintaining a sanctuary open to all that promotes serenity and well being.  My King is reversed, however, and that tells me that for today, I need to focus that caring and tolerance on myself rather than on creating the optimum emotional environment for those around me.  The Queen of Coins (cusp of Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering, and Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning, authoritative) is flavoring my reversed King; she is also reversed.  To me, she is validating the message of my reversed King: my focus should not be on the outside world and in nurturing and caring for and supporting my loved ones.  Today is not about the messages of my physical senses and their perception of the world; today is about the non-physical senses and the joys, fulfillment and serenity they offer.

My 6-digit date number is 3, the number that tells of a new creation out of the potential and position of the Ace, and the balance, polarity and concept of “distance between” of the 2.

My horoscopes: “Though communication is one of your strong points, today you might find it hard. You may feel introspective, but open, honest discussion could be what you need now. Your long-held ideas and values are changing, and you might require guidance to put your new beliefs to work. A search for truth is in your future, and you'll want some companions along the way.

And: “You should be able to evaluate your emotions from a very neutral and detached perspective today. Use this opportunity to take action based on what you feel. Make sure that your actions aren't reactionary and that you are not simply acting rash in response to someone else's hasty maneuvers. Think before you make any sudden moves. You will be amazed at what incredible things can develop if you simply use your head a bit first.

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the King of Pentacles.  This King has at his disposal the eternal strength and stability of the material world, and because that strength is so integral a part of him, he radiates stability, power, perseverance and fertility.  He not only creates the kind of predictable stability that allows us to feel safe and cared for, but he also holds in his hand the seed of the future.  That seed, filled with potential, is being offered to each of us.

I did not plan on a blog entry for today, because this entire holiday weekend is just so busy for me.  But this morning, I find that I am filled with a lovely, soft warmth that just might be the Christmas Spirit.  How cool is that??!!  Let me explain.

For months now and especially since Samhain, things just have felt off for some reason.  The energies around me have seemed unpredictable.  Things would be going along relatively as expected and suddenly, with absolutely no warning at all, a hidden eddy or strong whirlpool would grab hold, spin me around until I was dizzy, and then spit me out into a totally new direction.  Or, I would make preparations for a period of white water ahead (LOL in keeping with my wet metaphors), and once I arrived at the location of expected turmoil, instead of fighting to keep my head above water I am left in calmness, glancing around with a puzzled look on my face as I wonder where the blockages have gone.  Time and time again, things just were not happening as planned. 

I have actually experienced moments of deep despair, of actual tears, over inconsequential events or even over nothing at all.  Moments of crying into my pillow at night.  Thankfully, after a night’s sleep that deep pain without a specific source becomes more of an intellectual experience.  But I don’t get depressed like this, and to have this happen more than even once in a period of weeks is a bit disconcerting. 

Granted, this year holiday preparation has not been fun at all because of our money situation.  I actually had to wait until today to order one gift because my credit card cycle ended yesterday.  But this is by far not the first time I have done Christmas shopping on a very limited budget.  My years as a single parent were much worse than this and I survived them without experiencing these moments of deep, gut-wrenching depression.  I have made it through ten years of menopause, and all the night sweats and hot flashes and hair loss and ebbing of libido that are a part of menopause, without needing any professional assistance at all.  Yet here I am, being debilitated by this non-specific yet overwhelming pain.  I mean, WTF?

My Yule was wonderful, a tropical island of white sand, palm trees, warmth and a frosty cocktail in the midst of stormy seas.  I shared a lovingly-written Yule ritual with my Wiccan community.  This year, I was very much aware of the returning effects of the Sacred Masculine right from the first day after Solstice, and even now I can feel the effects of the newly Waxing Year.  But I did not expect this holiday weekend to mean much to me.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

Many of my friends and loved ones are also experiencing a sort of "disconnect" this holiday season.  Many have echoed my own “dus” expectations for this weekend.  And here is the cool part: after weeks of wondering just what it's all for, suddenly, at the 11th hour, some of us are being given an opportunity to understand the message of the season in a simple and surprisingly fulfilling way.  One very powerful example of these amazingly powerful opportunities happened within my family.

My brother-in-law is a high school teacher.  He teaches very poor children in a very poor neighborhood, most of whom did not expect a Christmas at all, some of whom are literally homeless.  As my brother-in-law realized the extent of the poverty these kids were dealing with every day, he was drawn to do something about it.  He first attempted to go through regular channels, but was not able to receive the facilitation needed to help the kids right now.  So at the last minute he and his family put a quick call out to family and friends, asking if each could help just a bit, and quickly. 

In less than 24 hours, there were well over 100 gifts, donated, individually wrapped, and delivered to some kids for whom Christmas is usually just another cold, lonely day.  This was done with no splashy advertisements promoting what was done, no official middle man, no sanctioned charity, on the spur of the moment and from the heart.  Don’t get me wrong, charities do very good work, but those large machines are not often able to create this last minute effect.  They are just too big to micro-focus instantly, and that is exactly what was needed in this instance. 

This is a hugely dramatic example of what I see happening all around me this weekend.  Our days are filled with stress.  The economy is shaky on its best days, the political parties are playing the blame game in the public eye of the world, and the middle class is being exterminated.  We have tightened our belts until there is no more belt to tighten and still there is no real hope for relief on the horizon because our leaders are too busy pointing out what their opponents are doing wrong.  Depression and disillusionment are companions to the regular man every day.  And yet, all we need is an opportunity to make a difference, and many of us rise to the occasion with spectacular wonderfulness. 

Perhaps, just perhaps, there is hope for humanity.  Perhaps there are enough of us who truly care, enough to make a difference in the world. 

What has Raushanna, Wiccan Second Degree Initiated Priestess and Third Degree Dedicant taken away from this Christmas day?  I have realized that this day is not about being Christian, it is not about celebrating the birth date of someone who may have lived 2,000 years ago. It is not about the man in the red suit with the big belly and white beard and rosy cheeks, packing his bag full of presents into his reindeer-pulled sleigh.  It is not about cars with big red bows on top of them appearing in our driveways.  We associate Christmas with giving and receiving, no matter what our own personal experiences and memories of past holidays are, and sadly, modern advertising has gradually tipped that balance towards focusing on the receiving side. After all, “What did you get for Christmas?” is the question of the day. Today I realize this tipping of the balance is doing us all a grave spiritual disservice. 

We define the spirit of this day as being about connections and hope and love, not about what church we attend or what name we assign to our God or our religion.  At least that is how we say we define the spirit of this day, and perhaps in the end, this is the saving grace of the season this year.  Most of us anticipate Christmas morning, and hope that somehow we will find a moment of joy.  And despite the stresses and worries and bleak outlook of our times, enough of us are still expecting that miracle.  I guess the combined expectations of many that something special will manifest is sometimes powerful enough to erode away the strongest shield of pain, disconnect, disappointment or disillusionment.

This year, these lovely moments seem to be at least in part about giving rather than receiving, despite the advertising industry’s attempt to redirect that focus.  These lovely moments are about deciding that this year's gifts aren't going to be about who can give the most cutting edge or expensive or awesome gift, but rather about deciding that a simple gift chosen with the true need of the recipient in mind is more important than how good the gift can make the giver look.  To me, the important lesson here is the realization that it does not matter to me how many presents I receive during this holiday season. What really matters to me, what pleases me with an intensity that balances out my recent nights of despair, is seeing the smile of joy and connection to another on someone's face, and knowing that I am at least partly responsible for that smile.  This is what Christmas is really about.

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Strength/Eight of Swords reversed.  The Strength card (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic energy; Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical; Teth, sieve or basket, digestion; and the Path between Geburah, the place where forms and structures are challenged or affirmed, and Chesed, the place where forms and structures are stabilized and nurtured) tells of emotional endurance and control, rather than physical endurance and control.  The Strength card reminds me that I can survive any setbacks if I remain patient, calm and focused.  The Eight of Swords (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable talkative, dual) in an upright position tells of confusion and restriction, often occurring purely because of bad luck.  My Eight of Swords is reversed, which offers a nice flavor of ability to make and successfully execute plans to the Strength card.

My Thoth card is the Eight of Swords reversed, again.  “Interference” is Crowley’s keyword for this one.  He feels the card indicates a situation where I am being too good natured, too easy; thus the normal cutting edge of the suit of Swords is dulled.  Because my card is reversed, when the unexpected interferences crop up today, I should be able to handle them in the end, any interference will be conquered.

My Legacy card is the Ten of Swords, flavored by The Wheel reversed.  The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) is a card of interference and restriction completely manifested.  This card tells me that to some extent my mind may feel powerless to achieve logical solutions today.  The good news is that this should be the worst that things get.  The Wheel of Fortune (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)), tells of destiny and fate and their ebbs and flows, and their effects on our lives, and it is flavoring my Ten of Swords in a reversed position.  I am being reminded that sometimes there is nothing I can do to make things manifest as I desire because outside influences not under my control are more powerful than my own intentions.  But this does not mean I should feel sorry for myself!!  No sitting on the “pity potty” today!

My Pearls of Wisdom Solstice card is the Seven of Wands.  Seven of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, natural leader, egotistical, selfish), is another very significant card for me in its own right.  This is a card of assertion, of taking the offensive or aggressively firing the first shot; it is also about having control of my emotions, of relying on my own judgment to overcome the obstacles of the day.  Not too much aggression!

My 6-digit date number is 8, the conscious response to the beginning of degeneration which is the number 7, in order to maintain the balance of the number 6.

My horoscopes: “You may experience an emotional climax today. Things could come to a head. Don't be surprised if you run into some serious opposition. Disperse your energy freely, but don't be surprised if other people try to pull you in the opposite direction. Flexibility is a key aspect for you. Free yourself from restraints and improvise.”

And: “Some great news could come to you today via phone, fax, or e-mail. It could turn your life momentarily upside down, but you'll find it very exciting. New neighbors could move in, and you could spend some time getting acquainted with them. Much of your day could be spent seeking out information in a field that interests you. Expect a busy day, but remember to take time out to rest occasionally. A walk at night might also be a good idea.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding **gulp** The Tower.  Okay, lots of repeat cards lately.  The Shadowscapes Companion describes this card as “A necessary disruption to the status quo – violent and explosive upheaval as the only way to break through the long established patterns.”  It is painful to acknowledge, but sometimes the only way fantasies can be shattered is when they are slapped upside the head by the hand of reality.  Ouch!

Today I am celebrating the Winter Solstice of Yule.  The actual moment of the Solstice itself is 5:30 am tomorrow morning, December 22nd, but because my Coven is celebrating the Sabbat today, and particularly because I am leading both the afternoon and evening rituals, I am choosing to celebrate while the energies of the Solstice are still waxing.

This morning, I got out of bed at dawn.  The skies were overcast, but I celebrated the birth of the Sun God as the birds began to chirp, and then began preparing for my day. 

My recent journey through The Emerald Tablet has added depth and texture to my personal understanding of the nature of Deity.  I will add that depth and texture today into my own creation myth.

The Source of All has existed forever; the effects of this Source ebb and flow in intensity but they are eternal.  The Source consists of three separate essences: the primal essence of catalyst and union, the essence of the sacred feminine, and the essence of the sacred masculine.  All three of these essences are necessary for life of any kind to happen, from the purest and most ethereal life that is Deity to the simplest and most basic living entity in the physical (or astral) realms.  These essences are braided or knotted together so closely that they are not separate essences; the best analogy of this is a celtic knot (the triquetra comes to mine), which has separate lobes but is actually one strand. 

The essence of the sacred masculine that is God loves the essence of the sacred feminine that is Goddess with such intensity that He/It decided to voluntarily endure the pain of being separated from Her/It, for one single purpose: to be able to experience, again and again, throughout eternity, the joy and ecstasy of being reunited with Her/It.  Now, **that** is true love!

It is at Samhain that the essence of the sacred masculine that is God is separated from the Goddess.  What follows is six weeks of what could be considered an imbalance, as the God sleeps the deep sleep of Winter, and the Goddess experiences the loss of One who She loves.  Of course, the Principle of Opposites and the definition of balance require that we understand the purest of polarized opposites in order to temper their effects; this six week period is our chance to look within and experience the yins and the yangs of life and living in a personal way. 

At the end of this period of separation, Goddess and God are reunited as the Wheel of the Year is re-set to its beginning and as the sun makes the transformation from waning energies to waxing energies. 

Today, I celebrate the joyous reunion of Goddess and God after Their long, dark and cold separation.  Even though Winter is far from over, there is a glimmer of light and warmth to be perceived now, a glimmer which will grow stronger with each passing day.  Balance is returning, and the Sun Father is reborn, thus continuing the eternal turning of the Wheel of the Year.

Yule Blessings!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Three of Wands reversed/Ten of Swords reversed.  Hmmm . . . The Three of Wands (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, the deepest self and personal power, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, assertive) in an upright position tells of being successfully established after some effort expended. Because it is reversed, I am being told that at least for today, security is more important than foresight.  The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) in an upright position is a card of interference and restriction.  Thankfully it is reversed, so it is telling me that I am good where I am right now.  Okay then, actually these two cards in a reversed position work better together than they would if they were upright.  Granted, the reversed Three of Wands is more about being stuck, while the reversed Ten of Swords is more about empowerment, but they are both saying that for now, it might be necessary to focus on where I am, rather than on where I’m going.

My Thoth card is the Four of Wands.  “Completion,” and that is an interesting addition to the mix.  The Four of Wands (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, enthusiastic) is about building enough to become established.  This card is actually supporting the reversed Ten of Swords above, telling me that while I may feel as if I am not yet tapping into forward momentum, what I’ve accomplished so far is worth celebrating.  Since this card is about order and stability, these celebrations will have a hint of some future building or moving onward.

My Legacy card is The Star, flavored by the Four of Coins. The Star (Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts; Aquarius; Qof, back of head; the Path between Malkuth, the physical world of action and outer, physical reality, and Netzach, the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) is the “good will to all” card.  It is about optimism, about paying things forward, and about manifesting love.  The Four of Coins (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation or the deepest self, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, authority, caution cunning) tells of possession and control and very solid foundations.  This Four is actually supporting The Star in a very comfortable way. Somehow, I get the feeling that these two cards are telling me that no matter what else is in store for me today, I need to hold onto my dreams.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that tells of the pause that occurs as degeneration begins.

My horoscopes: “There's increased emotional tension today. You may be at the forefront of the action as you take things higher and farther. Have a map handy or you could wind up alone in the middle of nowhere. Other people will be looking for something practical in your approach so they have something solid to lean on during this time.”

And: “Strained nerves and trepidation about unpleasant tasks could have you a bit on edge today, and likely to take your stresses out on those closest to you. Try to avoid this. Go for a walk or run. Release your stress through exercise, or through writing. Communicate your feelings to your friends and assure them you're not upset with them. In this way you'll get through the day with little damage to your immediate Universe.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Three of Cups, again!  Lots of repeats lately.  This is such a happy card, and the happiness pretty much shouts that the sum of the parts is so much more than each of the individuals.  This is a card of good emotions, and of feeling secure because we are not alone.

I can’t believe that tomorrow is Yule, already.  Where did December go?  It is late in the afternoon on Yule Eve, just dark.  I was outside at sunset, and said my chant to Hecate.  This night I feel quite close to Her because this is truly a crossroad of the solar year. 

I also feel close to Danu, my Patroness, who is a Mother Goddess.  This year, I can truly feel Her huge belly, and Her readiness to give birth; only a few hours to go. 

The actual moment of the Solstice this year is at 5:30 am the following morning, December 22nd; however, since I will be leading both of the Yule Sabbat Rituals at Sacred Mists, my celebrations will be tomorrow.  The Winter Solstice has been an important time of year since Neolithic times.  Winters are tough for many of us even now, and I can imagine how frightening it was in the past to anticipate a period of cold and dark as the sun seemed to lose its power.  Since keeping livestock alive during the winter months was an iffy proposition, many killed most of their stock at this time.  That must have been truly terrifying to do, even though it meant that for a while, there would be plenty of fresh meat.  After all, if the few animals kept alive did not make it through the tough months ahead, the community would be in real trouble. 

Modern man is less in touch with such things.  Food is not an issue for us, and even though we do feel to some extent the longer nights and shorter days, thanks to lighting and television and the internet, we don’t end up loosing touch with those around us. 

Because I enjoy so much the inner work of my Path, I usually look forward to the time of quiet and dark.  This year has been no exception.  I had intended to work on so many things this Fall and Winter; I ended up accomplishing much more than I expected, but these accomplishments are not connected to the things I planned to work on.  Every time Danu presented me with an unplanned focus, I embraced it gladly, and the reward is that I am a much better, more well rounded, and confident person. 

I have many, many blessings to be thankful for.  And so, I send out love to you all.  I wish each of you the brightest Yule; may the Goddess surround you with Her loving arms and may the newborn Sun God illuminate your life.  I wish you the happiest of holidays, whichever holidays you celebrate. 

Blessed be!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Two of Wands/The Tower.  **gulp**  Well, I like the Two of Wands, but what is that Tower doing there?? The Two of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, assertive, enthusiastic) tells of power, influence and authority.  I won’t be afraid to step out on my own or try my own thing today, and the results just might be good ones.  That is, as long as I can successfully handle the other card of this pair. The Tower (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)) tells of a violent or explosive correction in the way things are going.  I should probably remember that a good shake-up every now and then is actually a good thing.  Thankfully, my Tower is paired with that lovely Two of Wands, so I should be able to inventively deal with any sudden blockages today.  Clearing the way is good; I need to remember, though, that I can’t allow my ego to get too puffed up if I survive this day intact.

My Thoth card is the Five of Cups reversed.  “Disappointment,” but reversed.  Okay then.  The Five of Cups (Mars, action, aggression, drive, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive) in an upright position tells of emotional down time, a setback, a feeling of regret, or a lack of support.  The Cups on the Thoth Five of Cups are shaped like an inverted pentagram, with Fire and Earth ruling Spirit.  Perfect description of the effects of the energies of this card.  Thankfully, my Five of Cups is reversed, so whatever ends up happening today won’t in actuality be nearly as bad as I may expect.  I won’t be handling things on my own, and the support of others just might tip things in my favor.

My Legacy card is the Two of Wands (again!), flavored by The Magician reversed.  Interestingly enough, Joan Bunning equates the Two of Wands with The Magician in her description of this Two.  She feels that both of these cards tap into the energies of creativity and strength, but in different ways. The Magician corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick and animated energy which usually presents problems or challenges), Mercury (reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication), 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 taps into those energies is a more archetypal manner, whereas the Two of Wands taps into those energies in a more personal way, and allows us to use them in a more personal fashion.  Power always comes from the Divine, and the upright Magician is very good at using this power to affect his world. The reversed Magician flavoring my Two of Wands is reminding me that sometimes an outward manifestation of

My 6-digit date number is 6, the number of vertical and horizontal balance.  **scratches head**  With those cards? 

My horoscopes: “Go out and play today. Escape your work mode and have fun. Drive someplace new and take a long walk outside with friends. You have a lot of energy, so share your enthusiasm with others. There's an exciting buzz in the air that you should tap into and contribute to. Take a break from the mundane and have an adventure.”

And: “Confusing communications could seem to be the pattern for today. Some paperwork - which you may need in order to accomplish a particular task - might be delayed in some way, and could be hung up in the mail, filed in the wrong place, etc. It might take a while for you to locate it, but eventually it should turn up. Some strange messages might be left for you, and you might not be sure whether you should return the call or not.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding The Chariot.  Again.  This lovely card tells of being able to exercise constant control in a changing environment; by establishing who we are and by focusing our intent and our Will, we can get where we want to go.  Victory!

I am exhausted.  Two holiday parties this weekend, one on Saturday and one on Sunday, and then I got up early this morning to drive to a client to offer an hour and a half of Thai Bodywork.  I had about 15 First Degree homework submissions to look at once I got home.  Out of gas I am, and I’m going to sleep well tonight!  My Tarot stuff is up, for all you wonderful peeps who visit my blog for the Tarot info. Tomorrow morning, my regular Thai client comes, and hopefully I will be a bit more awake.

Hugs and good night!


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Five of Wands/The Empress reversed. The Five of Wands, which corresponds with Saturn (discipline, responsibility, law and order) in Leo (“I am, passionate, dramatic, egotistical), indicates a struggle caused by cross purposes.  Now, these are not earth-shattering, merely annoyances.  And they most likely will be coming from my own mind, from the jumble of thoughts there that are all striving to distract me.  But they will have an effect on my day.  The Empress (which corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Venus (beauty, allure, pleasure, relationships), Daleth (door or womb) and the Path between Binah (female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) and Chokmah (dynamic male energy and the origin of vital force and polarity)) is reversed for me today, and this validates that my natural inclination will be to withdraw in order to ponder the chaos in my own mind, rather than focusing outward towards the sensual delights and grounding influence of the natural world.  Er, might be a mistake to allow this to happen.  Ya think?

My Thoth card is the Prince of Cups. The Prince/Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) feels things strongly, and is a dreamer.  The upright Prince is good at hiding his feelings, according to Crowley, so who knows what lurks within?  Feelings, emotions, and the urge to help or heal or support may be quite strong for me today.  My charm may be blinding to others today, so I need to aim for a bit of balance lest I chase people away.

My Legacy card is Temperance, flavored by The Chariot reversed. Temperance connects with Sagittarius (“I seek,” philosophic, adventurous, blundering) Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Samekh (the tent post), and the Path between Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world of action and outer reality) and Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify), and it is one of the Major Arcana cards that presents the concept of dynamic balance.  LOL, sounds like I need this one today.  The thing that Temperance teaches us is that while experiencing extremes can sometimes be difficult, we can never know true balance unless we have become familiar with the extremes that are ingredients in that balance. 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 the reversed version of this card is flavoring Temperance today.  Interesting that we have the fence flavoring the tent post; form flavoring support.  In an upright position, this card tells of having the emotional control necessary to steer myself in order to arrive at a specific place.  This is a card that presents another type of balance of extremes; the difference between the two is that Temperance is more of an “in place” card, while The Chariot in an upright position is going somewhere.  Since it is reversed, its flavor is supporting Temperance.

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

My horoscopes: “Your efficient, practical abilities are operating at a very high level today. A long-term goal you've been working toward could finally be reached, bringing good fortune and acknowledgment. Your efforts will probably be appreciated. Major advancement could be in the works.”

And: “Issues may get a little heavier than you would perhaps like today. Your job is to infuse some amusement into the situation. Your powers of adaptability will be put to the test, as other people seem to be completely fixed on their opinions. Be extra conscious of how you use your words as other people, especially superiors or elders, are apt to get offended by careless offhand remarks.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding Strength.  Nice progression from yesterday’s Shadowscapes Insight card, The Chariot.  The Shadowscapes Companion says this is “. . . a strength that does not need to shout of its power to the world but sways and bows to the wind, then springs gracefully forward again . . . .”  Need I say any more??

What an incredible evening I had last night.  I attended the second annual Solstice Salon at the home of the Wayne Contingency of the Pagan Brain Trust.  Besides actually having all five of the PBT members, with all of our varied specialties, in one room, face to face (one of our members lives in California, so this does not happen often; we have monthly New Moon Reiki Shares online, so we do keep connected), we had an “Elder” Shaman who has travelled to Peru and partaken in Ayahuasca with the local Shamans, an ayurvedic expert who is also a Reiki Master and Bach Essences Master, among other practices, a practicing Celtic Shaman, two other Yoga teachers, one who brought her boyfriend (who has attended Burning Man), and one who also teaches meditation, and a Starbucks barista who works with Curly and is also one of my belly dance students.  Did I forget anyone?  If I did, I apologize. 

I think our conversations touched on everything that is, ever was and ever will happen to humans.  Everyone shared experiences, and we laughed and cried and encouraged each other.  Slowly but surely, one by one, everyone went home until just the core five were left, and like last year, we cozied up on the couch and talked some more.  It was 3:27 am when I finally got into my car to go home.

Tonight, we have a more conventional holiday party with friends.  LOL, will I survive until New Year’s Eve??!!!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Three of Wands reversed/The Magician reversed. Two powerful reversed cards today.  The Three of Wands (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, the deepest self and personal power, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, assertive) in an upright position tells of being successfully established after some effort expended. The Magician corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick and animated energy which usually presents problems or challenges), Mercury (reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication), 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 in an upright position it reminds me that through discipline and practice, I can create and affect my world.  The fact that these cards have appeared together, even though they are both reversed, is a powerful message.  In fact, it is better that they both be facing the same way because otherwise, they just might cancel each other out.  I may not be feeling that I have achieved a good manifestation of my desires, but that manifestation is out there; I have only to find it and connect with it.

My Thoth card is the Three of Cups.  “Abundance”; yesss! The Three of Cups (Mercury, reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) has been showing up a lot lately.  It is reminding me that love and connections to others are all I need.  If I have them, then sad or uncomfortable times are less sad or uncomfortable.  Happy times become even more happy, and last longer.  I am rich with blessings!

My Legacy card is the Eight of Coins, flavored by The Hanging Man. Now, here is an interesting pair. The Eight of Coins (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) is about taking care of details, working hard, and studying or learning new thingsThe Hanging Man corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy that tends to move deep, and attempts to take the same path as in the past), Neptune (inspiration, spirituality, magick, enchantment, dreams, altered states), and the Hebrew letter Mem (water, stability and balance, the reflective quality of thought) is about surrender, about seeing things in a new way, and about putting aside my Will.  Since The Hanging Man is flavoring my Eight of Coins today, I am being told that I can make the detail work more interesting if I approach it in a new way.  Perhaps today, I will practice “in the ‘now’” awareness as I perform those necessary yet mundane tasks of dotting each “i” and crossing each “t”; who knows?  There might be an Aha! Moment hidden in that wood chopping, water carrying and clothes washing!

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

My horoscopes: “A class you've wanted to take may open up, and you'll want to register right away. You might have a few difficulties. If you try to sign up by phone, the line may be busy. If you enroll online, the website might crash. Don't get discouraged and give up. These are only temporary delays. You won't want to miss the class. Keep trying!”

And: “Successes with your work continue to bring good fortune your way, and today you might find reassurance that this is not a flash in the pan - you're likely to be financially secure for a long time. Health-wise, you're probably feeling strong and robust, full of energy and stamina, and ready to take on just about any challenge you can find. Move on ahead, but move with caution. You're never too prosperous to be careful.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding The Chariot.  This card is about assuming the reigns of authority, and the image on the card gives a huge hint at how this is to be done.  The Goddess driving the chariot in the image is doing so without physical reigns; instead, She is using her own feelings and thoughts and emotions, and the force of Her Will, to get where she wants to go.

Tonight, I will be attending the second annual Solstice Salon, presented by the Pagan Brain Trust Wayne Contingency.  I will get to see some new friends, from Starseed and the Idirlion Project, as well as the fifth member of the PBT, who is here from California!  Should be a fun evening for all, and I am looking forward to it.

More thoughts on Hermes Trismegistus and his triple nature.  Depending on whose comments you read, there are several reasons for the “Trismegistus” tag attached here.  Some say that through The Emerald Tablet, Hermes Trismegistus has learned the three parts of the wisdom of the whole universe, alchemy, astrology and theurgy.  Some say that Hermes was called “Trismegistus” because he was the greatest philosopher, the greatest priest, and the greatest king of all times.  Some say that it was because he gained superior knowledge on all three levels of reality, the physical plane, the mental plane and the spiritual plane, or heaven, air and earth.  Some say that he has dominion over the mineral kingdom, the vegetable kingdom and the animal kingdom. 

Somehow, I think that all are true.  I am walking away from The Emerald Tablet (for now; I’m sure I will be back to visit it again) with quite a bit of depth and texture added to my understanding of the nature of Deity.  I will be honest and say that after my initial reading of The Emerald Tablet, I did not expect to receive this benefit.  Briefly, here are some of the things I will be pondering further. 

The fact that there is such a compact yet useful set of instructions for attaining the goal of understanding Deity.  If this one exists, there must be others.

A reminder that living our personal “truth” can be briefly unsettling, but in the end, we are stronger and healthier because we made this effort.

The initial question or seeking is important because it becomes a catalyst which spirals our awareness ever higher, towards Deity.

Experiencing extremes is important; it is the only way that we can become the bridge that unites those extremes in order to bring balance into our lives.  We have commonalities with Deity that can serve as that bridge; we can successfully strive to unite the two extremes of Above and Below in order to bring spiritual balance into our lives.  Those commonalities can be found by striving to understand Deity, but because we are a reflection of Deity we can also find those commonalities by striving to understand ourselves.

While Deity may in part be transcendent, Deity is also imminent.  In order for Deity to speak our language and understand the physical world “patterns” in order to communicate, She/He/It/They must be immersed in the physical world.  At the same time, Deity must be within the higher, purer realms because it is Deity’s nature to be there.

This interaction is absolutely necessary for life of any kind to exist.  Besides the physical world ingredients and the astral world effects necessary for life to happen, Deity must manifest Her/His/Its/Their essences into the recipe, or life will not happen.

We can raise our own energy vibration (and make communication with Deity easier) by understanding these interactions, from the most complicated to the most basic, and we can experience them through the workings of Nature and the workings of our minds.  Psychological discipline combined with meditative and visualization exercises are effective tools for cultivating this.  So is an effort to separate ourselves from our physical senses for a while, in order to perceive the more subtle messages of the non-physical world.  And this does not mean that we are to ignore our physical senses or our physical bodies, for healthy bodies and honed senses are our foundation.

We need to be open to receiving messages, but sometimes we need to have the courage to take the first step and put ourselves in “sending” mode.  If we ask for a connection, we will receive one, because it is of Deity’s nature to respond to such a request.  We may not perceive the response, but it will come.

We are responsible, alongside Deity, for the maintenance of the cycles of “as above, so below; as below, so above.”  We are never the Source, only the conduit. As we have been taught by others who have looked back at us, we must also look back to those who are traveling behind us and urge them onward.

If we successfully understand these concepts, their power will infuse our entire life and all of its effects and experiences.  Their power will not only create the next necessary question, but they will provide the answer to that question.  Always remember that even a distorted reflection will carry a link to the Source.

As I look back on these above descriptions, I know that just reading my words will not suffice for others; they must go within themselves too, and peer into the dark corners of their minds in order to find out exactly what they believe.  They must discover their own truths.  Your truth may turn out to be parallel to mine.  Or, you may discover that the sole gift you bring away from reading these entries on The Emerald Tablet is that you have discovered what you don’t believe.  Either way, I offer my gratitude for the time you spend here at Dancing Sparkles, reading my words.

Now, I leave thee, my children. 
Down, yet up, to the Halls shall I go. Win ye the way to me, my children. 
Truly my brothers shall ye become. 
Thus finish I my writings.  Keys let them be to those who come after. 
But only to those who seek my wisdom, for only for these am I the Key and the Way.” From The Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlanean, a part of the Corpus Hermeticum.

Last but not least, a big thank you to Kallan of the blog, “The Secret Life of the American Working Witch” [] for listing Dancing Sparkles on her “My Favorite Bloggers” sidebar!

Blessed Be!