Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Queen of Wands reversed/Eight of Pentacles. The Queen of Wands (cusp of Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, soul growth, spirituality, and Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive) is Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy which prefers to take the same path) of Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), and because Water and Fire tend to cancel each other out, we are left with Air and Earth. She knows what she wants, but she can be stubborn. That sums this card up perfectly. Because she is reversed, that stubbornness might end up being a liability for me today, especially when flavored by the energies of the Eight of Pentacles (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly). This Eight is about employment, commissions offered because of skills or abilities, and about finding one’s niche in life. The work associated with the Eight of Pentacles involves a conscious focus or application of knowledge, usually in a solitary manner. I guess I need to keep my nose to the grindstone; that could be one way to make use of that reversed Queen’s energies.

My Thoth card is The Devil. 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 hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify). It represents bondage and addiction, which can also be seen as a lack of choice. This card can also represent blind ambition, and the secret plans that usually need to be in place to manifest that ambition. In some situations, The Devil can represent the primal impulses that are a part of our survival instinct. I think that today, it is reminding me that I always have a choice.

My Legacy card is The Eight of Coins reversed, flavored by the Five of Wands. Bookends! The Legacy Eight of Coins in an upright position reminds us that perseverance is the key to success in the material world. We need to make a commitment to learn, to try and in the process of trying, to make mistakes and then turn those mistakes into lessons, in order to master a particular skill or ability. The Five of Wands represents Saturn (discipline, responsibility, law and order) in Leo (“I am, passionate, dramatic, egotistical), and it represents a struggle that appears at cross purposes. This Five can represent either outer conflict or inner conflict; I am being told that for today, the energies I will be dealing with are natural, wild and untamed, and they may have a powerful impact on my ability to control and direct the events of my day. I won’t be able to prevent their presence, but I can evade the difficulties if I have a good strategy.

More about the Eight of Pentacles/Coins. In The Naples Arrangement, the number 8 represents a focused and active response to the beginning of the degeneration of the number 7. Since this 8 is of the suit of Pentacles or Coins, this focus and response will most likely be involved in the physical world. This card tells me that an assessment has already happened, and the focused action that is the Eight of Pentacles is happening in direct response to that pause and assessment. The energies of this card are meticulous and focused, but they can also result in tunnel vision, and in turn, the missing of some important event or concept. These energies can be particularly uncomfortable when we consciously feed them, for then we will end up exploiting a situation in an unethical manner for our own gain, or else trapped in a career or environment that just does not work for us. While the upright Eight of Pentacles can be seen as a Minor Arcana Heirophant, reversing the card can personify the tenet of “penny wise and pound foolish.”

My 6-digit date number is 8, the number that represents a focused response to beginning of degeneration that is the number 7.

My horoscopes: “An intense, emotional dream could move you so powerfully that you wake with the odd sense that the dream was real. Write it down, Sagittarius. Maybe it is. Efforts to overcome obstacles and advance yourself in your career could finally be paying off. You might be walking around in a daze asking if it's really happened. It has. Make the most of it. And don't be afraid to reveal your feelings to others.”

And: “Listen closely when a friend suggests a nutty idea today -- especially if it is something that strikes you as out of character for them. They might be working on a plan that could benefit you richly (emphasis on richly). This small risk might be worth it, so swallow your fear, pride or whatever else could be holding you back. If you can trust this person, you can trust their instincts. You might want to move forward cautiously, but be sure to move forward!”

And: “It is a good thing that you have a flexible state of mind, especially on a day like today. You may find that your powers of adaptation may be put to the test as you discover yourself surrounded by fickle emotions and stubborn attitudes. Don't get too hung up on getting straight answers from people today, for they are apt to be just as confused about certain issues as you are. Play it cool for now and ride the waves easily to shore.”

My Sun reading: “Beginning today and for the next six weeks, be prepared for ups and downs as Mars travels through Pisces. The extra sensitivity amplifies any tendency to take things personally. The past confuses the present in intimate relationships. It's difficult to read key clues to personalities in new meetings.”

Onward to the 28th Path. This Path connects Netzach (victory) and Yesod (foundation), and the source of Natural Intelligence and inspiration. This Path and The Star of the Major Arcana is opposite the 30th Path, corresponding to The Sun of the Major Arcana, and here is a pair that work well together and in keeping with the Law of Opposites, help me to define each other. The Sun and the 30th Path are about enlightenment that comes through scientific study; The Star and the 28th Path are about the dark of night, and the inspiration that comes to us from within.

The 28th Path is also about aspiration, about dreaming of the future, and thus, beginning the initial process of finally manifesting our goals in the physical world. The energies of this Path flow downward into the foundations of our mind, and act as catalysts which will eventually have a physical effect, but this Path is not of the physical world.

Its astrological correspondence is Aquarius (“I know,” friendships, the group, society, cause-oriented); Aquarius is also the symbol for humankind, and for being better able to love every person collectively, rather than focusing love on just one person (again, the difference between the spotlight of The Sun and the more diffused light of The Star).


Monday, February 21, 2011

Five of Pentacles/King of Swords. The Llewellyn Welsh Tarot Five of Pentacles (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, skill, communication, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) shows the traditional image for this card: a woman and a child, one of them injured in some way, travelling in the cold wind, with a church window behind them. There is snow on the ground and on the trees (and we are expecting snow today!); the window is set in a strongly built wall of stones and mortar, and appears lit from within. Behind the pair is what appears to be a cemetery. This card tells me very clearly that while it may appear to me that I am coming from a wasteland with nothing alive to be gleaned, there are still spiritual benefits to be had. In fact, a sense of isolation along with a collapse of the systems and expectations of the physical world can often force us to open up to spiritual guidance. The King of Swords (cusp of Capricorn, “I build,” ambitious, cautious, cunning, authoritative, and Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, aloof) tells me how to respond to this challenge presented in the physical world. He tells me that I have the ability to be an impressive leader who is not easily fooled; however, he warns me to allow a bit of compassion to influence me. Otherwise, my temper might get in the way.

My Thoth card is The Hermit reversed. I love the image on the Thoth 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). The rays of light from the Sun within the lantern he is carrying are bouncing all over the place, harshly blinding. And our Hermit, although he is carrying this lantern, has his body curved away from the light, his face turned to the dark and his shoulders hunched, protecting himself from those beams of sunlight. While our Hermit is hiding from the light of the Sun, he is leading others with that light. Crowley says of this card: “For this matter is not of Tiphareth without, but Tiphareth within.” Because my Hermit is reversed, I am being told that the light has benefit for me today. Isolation is good at times, but we do need connections to others in order to survive.

My Legacy card is the King of Wands reversed, flavored by the Six of Cups reversed. Well, we have two Kings today, and since my Fire King (cusp of Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, moody, and Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic egotistical) is reversed, I am being warned once again to not allow myself to judge situations in the heat of the moment. Idealistic passion can very easily turn into fundamentalist control, and this warning is emphasized by the card flavoring this reversed King, the Six of Cups (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, compulsive, deep, obsessive) reversed. Leadership and authority are cool, but without sharing and compassion, they are quite lonely pursuits.

Since I have two Kings today, here is a bit more information about Kings in general. In “Understanding the Tarot Court,” by Mary K. Greer and Tom Little, The Tarot Court is described as representing some kind of progression or development of the personality and persona. The Pages are usually seen as students, the Knights as testing their skills by facing real-world challenges, the Queens as having attained mastery and confidence, and the Kings as having gained sufficient respect and stature to assume a persona of public command. My two Kings today are of the elements of Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and the quick, animated intellectual focus that brings solutions to problems or challenges) and Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous and impulsive change), but my Fire King, the King of Wands, is reversed. This means that while I may be using my intellect today, I may not be able to find new ways to make use of what I see or learn.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that tells of a pause at the peak which heralds the beginning of degeneration.

My horoscopes: “A person you're attracted to may seem to be interested in someone else. This could bring up your insecurities and jealousy. Don't make yourself crazy, Sagittarius. Try to learn the facts before letting the situation get the better of you. Invitations to more than one social event for the same night might force you to make an uncomfortable choice. Make the choice that's best for you.”

And: “You're a problem solver on your least work-oriented days. Right now, you're work-oriented, to put it mildly. You're focused, like a laser beam. You're locked in a tough hold like a member of the wrestling team. You're going to tackle any and all problems, important and trivial, that come your way. There's no problem too intense, no problem too tiny, for your talents. By the end of the day you feel good. And you should! You've really flexed your problem-solving muscles!”

And: “Group activities may take up a lot of your time and energy today - perhaps too much. Your own career concerns are very much on your mind, and you don't like being distracted from them. Nonetheless, these activities, not to mention your family, are very important to you, and you'll find a way to squeeze out the time - even though it might be frustrating. Remember, however: This is not a good day to push yourself too hard!”

My Sun reading: “Mercury's logic is scrambled by Pisces emotion for the next two weeks. The mind, always occupied, isn't always on the business at hand. Tonight's Libra Moon trine Neptune enhances rapport to work out differences. If you're single, the Moon quincunx Uranus suggests a long-simmering flame erupts.”

I am sitting here on a Monday morning, listening to the Ancient Mother CD, by Robert Glass, and thinking about the weekend just passed. It is overcast today, and I am enjoying my fireplace; I also have two Partylite tealites lit, Home By The Sea and Ocean Berry Breeze. LOL, I am in a beachy mood today, probably because both Saturday and Sunday were sunny and windy, great days for a walk on the beach.

On Saturday, I was still thinking deeply about the 29th Path. As Ellen Cannon Reed talks about the 29th Path in her book, The Witches Tarot, a lot of what she is discussing regarding this Path has to do with attitudes and ways that we perceive our physical world. Perhaps that is why The Moon is the Tarot card associated with this Path. Many times, we perceive things as being negative or “icky” when in truth, they are anything but negative. We modern, “civilized” humans have a real phobia about bodily fluids and body wastes, and yet they serve a positive purpose within the workings of our physical bodies. We avoid discomfort at all costs, and yet we are shown again and again by the workings of Nature that discomforts can always be turned into something positive.

The example presented by Ms. Reed that resonates for me is the pearl. “The beautiful pearl has long been treasured by humankind. It looks like a tiny Moon, and the Moon sometimes looks like a huge pearl on a black velvet sky. And how does that pearl come to be? It is the result of a rough, irritating grain of sand, which presents a possible injury to an oyster. Imagine a grain of sand under your eyelid, and the tears it would cause. In a sense, the oyster weeps; but its tears are not water, they are a material that coats the sand, layer after layer, until it creates from its pain a thing of beauty.” How many of us avoid situations because they might bring pain? Pain is a natural part of life, and we certainly gain quite a bit of benefit from experiencing pain and overcoming pain’s influence.

On Saturday morning, after overcoming the pain of getting out of my nice, warm bed in order to walk on the beach in the cold wind, under a Winter sun (**wink**), I had a lovely meditation. I went directly to Danu’s Well after opening and balancing my chakras. When I arrived there, the Sun was almost halfway to noon, casting a sharp, angled shadow in the Well; I sat down on the ground next to the stones circling the Well, and relaxed a bit, and then began to think about my upcoming choice of Paths within my Third Degree Training at Sacred Mists. To my surprise and delight, after only a few moments of basking in the energy emanating from the Well, Danu joined me. She smiled and told me that She had something to show me. Danu pointed to an oak tree on the other side of Her Well, and motioned to me to follow Her as She walked towards it. I had never been able to see beyond the trees which circled Danu’s Well, and now I knew why: there was some kind of membrane or wall behind those trees. Danu walked up to the membrane, turned once to urge me to follow Her with a smile, and then stepped through. I followed her, passing through a “field” that appeared solid but was of the consistency of fog or steam, with no temperature difference.

To my surprise and delight, I realized that I recognized this place! The first Wiccan class I ever took was taught by Mama Kiki at Off the Beaten Path, the shop where I teach belly dance. Here, on the other side of the oak tree was my meditation place that I found through a guided meditation led by Mama Kiki! Danu told me that this place was given to me so that I could begin my own Journey of discovery; She told me that now, I could give this place to others so that they, too, could choose to begin their own Journey.

Choice. And beginnings. Danu smiled at me with love as I made the connection. She was telling me the Path that She preferred that I take within my Third Degree Training, that of Teacher. Wow, this felt so right that I could hear the clunk of the puzzle piece slipping into place!

We both returned back to the Well, and Danu sat with me for a while longer. Danu explained some things about the Well that I had noticed, but not yet understood. She said that when I visited the Well during the day, the Sun would be in a position that corresponded with the time in the solar year; at Yule, the Sun would be on the horizon, at Litha, the Sun would be right above, and at Samhain it would be on the opposite horizon. If I came to the Well at night, while the weather might be different than what I was experiencing in the physical world, the Moon would be at a similar phase.

Then, Danu explained to me that when I die, I will be jumping down the Well. Aha!! Somehow, that makes sense to me. I did jump down the Well once, and passed through to another place where I distinctly did not feel human. Before I could get a sense of who I was or where I was, I was drawn back out and sent back to my world. Obviously, I was not yet ready to pass on and leave my physical body behind, but what I felt during that brief time on the other side makes me think that this is true.

Also, to me it makes sense that we jump down to die, rather than floating up, as is presented in other religions. After all, my life force is housed in a physical body which is of the physical world, and thus subject to the rules of existence of the physical world. In order to gain the momentum necessary to pass through the Veil, I would need to make use of the laws of physics for as long as I am housed in my physical body, and falling downward certainly is a much easier way to build up speed and force!

I have felt Danu with me, beside me, since that time at Her well. I have used the rest of the weekend and today to finish putting the pieces together. Tomorrow, I will move onward.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Temperance/Ace of Wands. A Sagittarius card, Temperance in an upright position also corresponds with 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). This card is one of the cards that has always had a personal message to me; it tells me that balance is dynamic and the ability to maintain a dynamic balance takes constant practice and work. The Ace of Wands (Cancer, Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting creative process, and an encouraging and empowering awareness of my own valuable creative talents. This is the second time this month that I have had these two cards together; sounds like I am in a good position to take advantage of this Ace.

My Thoth card is The Star. 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) represents love kindled by hope for humankind. It tells me that the act of giving itself is the greatest gift of all. The Star also reminds us of the gifts of the subconscious, hidden though they are, and it reminds us of the value of life, created through love. It tells us that no matter what, the cycles of life continue, so there is always hope.

My Legacy card is the Three of Cups, flavored by the Three of Coins. The Three of Cups (Mercury, reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive tenacious, nurturing, moody) in an upright position tells of the possibility of experiencing emotional abundance and support as a part of the day. It tells of working and accomplishing things through love. The Three of Coins (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, cunning, competence) tells me that my own creativity can lead me to both hard and rewarding work, and renown, or a good reputation. The Three of Coins is flavoring the Three of Cups so all that support and abundance just might have some good manifestations in my physical world.

My Pearls of Wisdom Full Moon card is the Four of Swords. The Four of Swords (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) tells of the need of some time of rest and recuperation, usually to be brought about by a time of truce or pause. This card is similar to some extent as The Hanging Man, but since it is of the suit of Swords, this pause is not necessarily about changing perception, but rather it indicates a pause that helps me to prepare to re-engage. It can also represent the balance of power that acts as a deterrent to attack. The Pearls of Wisdom meaning for this card is self-imposed limitation; I should check out my inner resources and make certain that this pause is what I want. Despite all the action indicated by the other cards, there might not be manifestation just yet. Patience!

Two cards of the number Three! The number Three is about a new creation, usually sourced from either the balance or polarity of the number Two. We are talking about Water and Earth here, two elements that are good at mixing together. No fiery aha! moment here, but lots of cozy security, with a little bit of astral potential.

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

My horoscopes: “Be open and honest about your feelings toward others today, Sagittarius. Your receptive nature should be ready. Take a break and let others come to you. Unexpected events may pop out of nowhere. Opportunities for new growth in love and romance are definitely at your fingertips as long as you're ready to receive them. Don't try to force the issue if the time and place aren't right. Let it flow.”

And: “Recent events you're not all that tickled about might make it seem quite tempting to hop in the car, on a bus or on a plane -- basically, to go anywhere unfamiliar, where the subject you don't want to discuss will absolutely not come up. But that's not your style, is it? You're used to facing things head on, and there's no reason for you to do anything differently now. Show up, as usual, with a grin and a wise comment.”

And: “Things should be going extremely well for you in general today, so don't miss this opportunity to pursue your dreams in every sense of the word. Do things with passion and don't hold back. Remember that your own mind and will are the only things stopping you from getting to where you want to be. There is a great deal of magnetic power at your disposal today, so enlist others to help you along the way.”

My Sun reading: “You can find out whether you will get support for your ideas and projects or if people have lost interest under today's Full Moon. Venus squares Saturn tonight and it's hard to express real emotions. The barriers encountered in new meetings say people are romantically gun-shy.”

I have been thinking of Cronehood of late. I think my Third Degree Lessons at Sacred Mists, which are preparing me to lead, are one reason that being a Crone is on my mind; the other reason is that I am 56 years old, and retirement is less than a decade away. This topic came up last night, at our Pagan Brain Trust get-together. And we ended up talking about the one thing that makes me uneasy about entering this stage of life: we in these modern times do not have positive images associated with this stage to aim for.

Wicca teaches us that this stage (and the Sage stage that corresponds for men) is the important manifestation of our experiences during the earlier stages; it is not about becoming helpless and irrelevant. However, those are the images that we are given by our culture.

The good thing about my work with the Pagan Brain Trust, and with Carolyn and with Sacred Mists, is that I am **not** irrelevant. The things I am learning and the wisdom I am accumulating through integrating knowledge with life experiences are all valuable in these places. This means that there is another benefit to my ever-increasing focus on and connection to Wicca, and I have found peace regarding this. No small gift.

The Tarot Major Arcana that corresponds with the 29th Path is The Moon. When you remember that the vice of Netzach is projection, and the vice of Kether is inertia, you can see how The Moon can be connected to this Path. The traditional image associated with The Moon contains both a wolf and a dog, two animals of the same genus. One is tamed and one is wild, and both are a part of the 29th Path.

One of the results of the manifestation of the growth of everything that becomes a physical representation of the energies of all the spheres is faith, and an ability to hear the voice of intuition and accept its messages. Faith equals belief, and if we can have faith and believe in our own potential, we can get through any blockages; if we don’t believe and we don’t have faith, we will end up failing. The Moon represents the purest of intuition, the kind of message that has no physical proof, but yet is very real. To me, the sacredness of Nature is one of those effects that can be seen as an illusion by some. My husband sees the workings of Nature as science and feels that the sacredness I see in those same workings is an illusion; I believe that the opposite is true. Seeing Nature as **not** being sacred is the illusion.

**smile** This is interesting.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Six of Wands reversed/Two of Cups reversed. The Six of Wands (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, noble, authoritative) in an upright position expresses the celebration we feel when we have passed some test. The card is reversed and the test is over but that does not mean that I have time for pride. After all, another test, a more difficult one, will surely present itself soon. This is a very powerful card, but because it is reversed, the energies connected to it are in flux; look out! The Two of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, family and home oriented, tenacious, moody) in an upright position is usually about relationships. Because it is reversed, the relationship represented by this card could be not running as smoothly as expected. I need to remember that this card may not be referring to someone else, but rather could be referring to my relationship with myself.

My Thoth card is the Prince of Swords reversed. The Prince of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) is somewhat scary to behold. He is not afraid of taking action, not afraid of wading into conflicts, and not afraid to implement new ideas. Sounds like a leader, right? He is reversed today, and taken with the other cards that have presented themselves, I believe he is telling me that today is not the day for me to boldly lead.

My Legacy card is the Queen of Coins reversed, flavored by the Two of Coins reversed. The Queen of Coins (cusp of Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering, and Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning, authoritative) in an upright position is very good at sustaining the physical world, keeping things dry and cozy and safe and orderly. Her main weakness is that her focus on protecting and maintaining can sometimes cross the line into obsession; because she is reversed, I need to remind myself that while creating a strong and stable foundation is a good thing, sooner or later (probably sooner!) I will need to move away from the predictable and venture into the unknown. The Two of Coins (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) reversed reminds me that everything always ebbs and flows, but I am not always required to follow the prevailing tides. Not following those tides might be a more difficult choice, but I need to dispel the sludge of this reading today, and maybe going against the tide will at least wake me up.

What’s with the reversed cards today? Okay, reversals can mean blocked energies, they can mean that the energies are far away but approaching, they can mean that the energies are here but fading, or they can mean that **not** doing something is important today. I also have two reversed Two cards. The number 2 represents balance, polarity, and the concept of distance between. These things are not easily in play today, and I need to know why in order to determine whether I need to gain access to their energies, or whether I am supposed to shut them out.

My 6-digit date number is 3, the number that tells of a creation from the polarity and balance of the number 2. I get the feeling that polarity is more the word of the day than balance.

My horoscopes: “A sibling or neighbor may tell you one thing, Sagittarius, while your intuition tells you the opposite. This isn't a vindictive deception. The person is probably trying to spare your feelings. Perhaps it's better not to challenge this person. Wait until you know more before bringing up the subject. You don't want to cause a rift between the two of you.”

And: “You've spent quite a bit of time with a certain person recently, and your friends are starting to kid you about it -- so much so that one more comment about wedding bells just might tip you over the edge. If you're starting to wonder, however, if it might not actually be time to settle down and put an end to your solo lifestyle, think about it. Wouldn't it be nice to climb that mountain, cross that bridge and see the sun set from a pyramid with a permanent travel partner?”

And: “It could be that you are feeling a strong sense of guilt at this time because of something you did in an effort to feed your own ego. Be aware of how your actions have affected others and apologize for what you have done. Guilt is basically a useless emotion that you should rid yourself of as quickly as possible. Don't let this feeling keep you from opening up your heart the way you need to in order to restore it to its original innocence.”

My Sun reading: “The Sun conjuncts Neptune and a sympathetic understanding of another's sensitivity creates success. Lunar oppositions tonight stimulate idle fantasy and wishful thinking. And as happens frequently, what you see isn't even close to what you get. Any lack of objectivity ensures you're entering one big entanglement.”

More about the 29th Path. This Path connects Netzach (Victory) and Malkuth (The Kingdom). It reflects the division (and union) of the mortal body and the essence of life/eternal spirit, the growth of everything that becomes a physical representation of the energies of all the spheres. This Path helps to reveal how we define our true parentage or lineage; when we confront and accept our life essence and our mortal body, our true nature is revealed to us.

In “More Simplified Magick: Pathworking and the Tree of Life,” Ted Andrews says this about the 29th Path: “This is the life path of sexuality in all of its many expressions. Its symbols and images activate these energies to play within our lives on many levels. Because sexuality is a reflection of our most creative life source, this is also the path of creativity and physical evolution. Its energies symbolize and reflect spiritual progress shared in fellowship with other students of the mysteries. This path releases energy that is often experienced and expressed as heightened sensuality in everything.” I think I understand this; this is the exact message of my Patron, Cernunnos, to me! Just this past weekend, when I meditated with Him, He reminded me that this is the time of the year for me to renew my energy connection to my physical self. Here is that message, once again, in the 29th Path. Awesome!

In working with this Path, I am being asked to heighten my awareness of the life force that exists in all things, not just within humans. I am being asked to align my own conscious and subconscious self with the patterns of nature and all of its life forms and expressions, for each of them are sacred. It is only through this increased awareness that I can be opened to the language of the natural world.

On Monday night, I attended a First Degree Study Hall given by a Sacred Mists student who I admire. The Study Hall was about creating rituals, and I just knew that it would be a good one. One of the things that we touched upon in our discussions during the class was the Tree of Life. We all acknowledged that there was value to studying this version of the Tree of Life, but that it was a world view that did not quite represent Wicca; close, but no cigar. A better symbol for Wicca is the World Tree with its seven levels.

Just now, as I made the link between the lessons of Cernunnos and the 29th Path, I realized exactly how the Tree of Life should fit into my own personal Craft. The Tree is the landscaper, which prunes and adjusts so that the garden can grow and blossom and thrive. The Tree is not the garden itself; my Craft is the garden, the primary foundation. The Tree and the Qabalah are the adjustments which allow a deeper understanding of my Craft. Wicca can exist for me without The Tree, but The Tree is the myth that, through its culturally accepted images and archetypal symbolism, offers one way for me to understand Wicca.

I love when things fall into place for me like this.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ten of Swords reversed/Queen of Wands reversed. The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) tells me that failure is not fun, but we can’t release the failure unless we play it through to the end, without feeling sorry for ourselves. The Queen of Wands (cusp of Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, soul growth, spirituality, and Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive) is Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy which prefers to take the same path) of Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), and because Water and Fire tend to cancel each other out, we are left with Air and Earth. She knows what she wants, but she can be stubborn. That sums this card up perfectly. Because she is reversed, that stubbornness might end up being a liability for me today, especially when flavored by the energies of the Ten of Swords. I may end up feeling sorry for myself, or I may feel unable (or unwilling) to make the effort to work with others.

My Thoth card is the Eight of Cups. “Indolence” is Uncle Al’s keyword for this card.. Low expectations are presented by this card, which also represents Saturn (discipline, responsibility, limitation, law and order) in Pisces (“I believe,” feeling, duality, suffering, soul growth); combined with the Ten of Swords above, we get a soggy, pitiful mess.

My Legacy card is The Fool reversed, flavored by the Seven of Swords. The Fool is an Air card (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and challenges that tend to require the use of the intellect to solve), and it also corresponds with Uranus (technology, science, radical change), Aleph (the head, youthful learning) and the Path between Chokmah (male in the electric sense, dynamic energy and the origin of vital force and polarity) and Kether (the source; limitless possibility). The Fool has some pretty powerful energies at his disposal, not to mention his enthusiasm and optimism; because the card is reversed, I might do better today if I plan for all possible outcomes rather than assuming that things will just fall into place on their own. The Seven of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloofness) tells us that cunning will work better than forcing the issue, but the use of cunning is fraught with danger. Sometimes we are too smart for our own good and in the process, ethics become blurred. This kind of energy is in play today, whether it originates from me or affects me through the actions of others. I cannot see the day through rose colored glasses.

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

My horoscopes: “Break through the potential moodiness of the day, Sagittarius. Burst into song while walking down the street. Encourage others to sing back to you, as if your life were an opera. Your creativity is extra strong at this point, so let it shine in unexpected areas of your world. You have the wonderful ability to turn even the most mundane situations into something exciting.”

And: “The concept of having fans is nothing new to fire signs like yourself. In addition to the well-known hypnotic effect that fire has on us all, the energy and enthusiasm you guys put out can't help but attract a following. At the moment, however, you'd better wield this weapon carefully, because your already lethal charm will be even more irresistible. It won't just be tough to say no to you, it will be downright impossible -- for mere mortals, anyway.”

And: “Whether you willingly partake or not, you will most certainly play a key role in the action that is taking place. There will be times in which you feel like the pivotal player whose decision or physical movement will decide the fate of the entire game. This is a time when you must close your eyes, take a deep breath, and find the answer from your heart. Don't look to others for support, because they will have their own agendas and biases about what you should do. Only you know what is best.”

My Sun reading: “Start something big when the Leo Moon trines Jupiter this afternoon. Today the powers that be applaud ideas, and they could be in the mood to reward you financially. Romantically, a Moon-Pluto quincunx represents smiles and a thumbs-up for change. Expect an unexpected, interesting new meeting tonight.”

Paths 27, 28 and 29 are said to explore personality. Since I am ready to move on, today I will begin to think about Path 29. This Path, the Corporeal Intelligence, brings me in a different direction than the first three Paths (which bridged the physical and astral realms so that we can understand the non-physical, and then accept with our hearts and our minds that the non-physical realm is real and valid). Now that I have left my physical body, I am being asked to return to it.

The 29th Path is of the physical realms, and the cycles that happen there. This Path is about the survival of the fittest, about the deaths that are necessary for life to be immortal, and it is about the necessity for adaption and evolution, in order to survive. The interesting thing here is that civilization and the effort to be civilized are actually going against the energies of this Path. After all, our civilized culture has separated us from our world. Many of us never walk on the earth, never see fruits or vegetables growing in a field; many of us forget that the wealth of provisions available to us, nice and neat and sterilized, in our supermarkets actually came from living beings which gave their lives so that we can survive.

I don’t believe that studying this Path requires me to not eat certain foods, or to move out into the country. What I believe this Path is asking of me is that I make myself a consumer who is aware of where the “stuff” in my life comes from, a consumer who is grateful for the bounties that are a part of our world.

Interestingly enough, the Hebrew letter associated with this Path is Qoph, which corresponds with the back of the head. The back of our brain controls our faces (the eyes, nose, lips, etc.), the part of us that has some of the most basic contacts with our world. Our facial expressions can sometimes speak without words, or they can act as masks, hiding who we really are.

I have been given the go-ahead to move on to Lesson 5 of my Third Degree Training at Sacred Mists. I just took a look at the Lesson; this is going to be another exciting one! I only have one more Lesson after this one before I need to choose a focus, and the Pathways Crossroad is on my mind. I want to make certain that I choose correctly.

This is not a one time only choice, and once I complete the rest of the Lessons, I can go back and choose another focus, and another, until I have taken each turn of the Crossroad, but I want to be certain to choose correctly the first time. Since first beginning my Third Degree Training, I have thought about this moment, and I will admit that what I felt was the correct choice back then is not the choice that I would make now, if the time had come to choose.

I will be thinking of this choice as I go through the next two Lessons.

Tomorrow night, I will be with the Pagan Brain Trust. This will be a pure PBT evening, and I am looking forward to it.


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Universe/The Star reversed. The Universe/World (Earth, cold/binds and dry/shapes, stable, physical, material, 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 reality, and Yesod, the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into Malkuth) tells me that I have reached the maximum integration between my physical self and my mental/astral/energy body self attainable within this cycle. The Llewellyn Welsh card tells of a chair on top of a mountain which offers a clear view of and understanding of the world; it is said that one who spends the night sitting in Cadair Idris will come down from the mountain either a gifted poet or a madman. This can be the case with glimpses of the Machinery of the Universe; hopefully today I will end up the poet rather than the madman. While I should continue to ponder the lessons I’ve learned, of late it is time to shift my focus and move forward into the next cycle. 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) in an upright position represents love kindled by hope for humankind. It tells me that the act of giving itself is the greatest gift of all; the image of this card depicts this concept, as the figure pours the elixir of her love back into her creations, distributing the love to all whether they deserve it or not. The card is reversed, so the power of love has not yet reached its full strength, but it is a part of the equation. The Star also reminds us of the gifts of the subconscious, hidden though they are, and it reminds us of the value of life, created through love. I should not let myself be prevented from knowing that these gifts are a part of my day and my night, even if I can’t see The Star because of clouds.

My Thoth card is the Six of Disks reversed. “Success” is Uncle Al’s keyword for this card, which has been showing up for me lately, both upright and reversed. The Thoth Six of Disks (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) has a heavy feel to it, and I guess in a way that makes sense. The thing that we need to remember about success is that it takes maintenance; we can’t just reach the appropriate level and then sit back; rather, we must keep alert and do what we have to in order to keep momentum alive.

My Legacy card is the Six of Swords reversed, flavored by the Three of Swords reversed. Hmmm . . . The Six of Swords (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, communication, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause oriented) in an upright position is about hitting the reset button in order to move away from a problem or blockage. Since this card has been showing up for me often, usually reversed, I need to remember that sometimes you don’t get a “do-over,” and you have to play the hand you were dealt. The funny thing is that right after I threw this card, my internet and phone system went out. I tried everything I knew to reset the system, but was unsuccessful. I ended up having to call Comcast on my cell phone and get their help. LOL, the reset was successful, but I was not able to do it myself. I think I just learned a new meaning for the reversed version of this card! The Three of Swords (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) is named “Sorrow” by Aleister Crowley, and while I do see this card as definitely indicating the possibility of experiencing sorrow, I think this card also tells of the potential for experiencing the isolation that comes when we are excluded from something. What makes this card so potent is that the discomfort it hints at has a more universal feel to it; it’s not just about stubbing your toe on the shoes that your husband left in the middle of the hallway, it’s about being conscious of the pain that sometimes comes because of basic differences in focus that can happen between two people. Because this card is of the suit of Swords, I need to remember that the source of any hurt or discomfort might be mental rather than emotional.

I have two reversed Six cards today, both reversed. An upright Six card usually represents some kind of vertical and horizontal balance within the suit. The suit of Disks or Coins or Pentacles is about the physical world, and I would assume that a reversed Six of Disks would mean that things might not flow quite so smoothly in my physical world, but the card is present so an achievement of this harmony is possible. The suit of Swords is about the mind and the intellect, and the majority of the Minors of this suit usually present the opportunity to use the mind in order to solve a problem and achieve growth. Successfully doing this would indeed bring vertical and horizontal balance, but since this Six is also reversed, if I see the two cards as a pair, the lack of vertical and horizontal balance could very well be happening because of a disconnect between my physical world and my mental self! I think the connection is there, but I just need to “clear the line” so to speak, in order to fix these reversals.

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of experience.

My horoscopes: “A powerful desire for change could have you thinking of traveling, Sagittarius, or perhaps relocating to a distant state or foreign country. Friends who live far away could be trying to convince you to join them. This isn't a minor decision. It requires careful thought. You might be tempted to act impulsively, but wait for a while. In a few days, you will know if the change is right for you.”

And: “Smile, it's Valentine's Day, and you know in your heart that you're about to be spoiled, big time. Now, about those dinner reservations. You did make the reservations, right? No? Well, you'd better think of something fast -- but that just happens to be your specialty, fortunately. On the other hand, whether or not you have dinner, tiny gray velvet boxes and flowers arranged on the table really won't matter. Even if you're totally unprepared, the heavens will be more than happy to help you make this a special day -- and night.”

And: “Communications with family members and others should be clear, honest, and loving. Though your physical passions may be surging beneath the surface today, they're still very much present, and you're likely to be feeling particularly romantic. You might want to read racy novels or go to a romantic movie. This is definitely the night to be alone with that special person in your life. Make sure you look your best, and have fun.”

My Sun reading: “Mercury trines Saturn and hard work guarantees success. Financial negotiations are about keeping not giving, which means they aren't dialogues at all with the person in charge of money. Your romantic Valentine's Day evening? A mystical Cancer Moon opposes Venus. Opposites attract and enjoy magical chemistry tonight.”

I am sitting at my computer in the back room of my much-loved Blue Moon House. The sun is shining, the sky is blue; I am listening to “Bliss Om Namah Shivaya” by Robert Glass. I have one candle lit, and the fireplace is going as well. And I feel grounded and at peace.

How interesting that I feel this way, because today has not been a day without bumps in the road. Early this morning, I brought my car to a local gas station for tires. I’ve been putting off getting the tires because I just didn’t have the time, but thankfully I’ve been carefully checking the tires before any trips (because I know they are worn), because I noticed damage on one of the tires yesterday. Can’t wait any longer. I walked back from the station, enjoying the sun and the warmth of the day; I will walk back as soon as they are done with my car, and this way I get a bit of exercise as well as four new tires.

I came home and logged onto the Internet to check my emails, and suddenly I had no Internet connection and no phones (we get both from the same provider). Sheesh! I tried everything I knew, without success, and ended up calling our provider. And oh joy, the Rep I spoke to was able to talk me through a total shut down, and a re-seating of all the cables, and I am back up and running.

And, I managed to remain calm and serene through all of this. I really am proud of myself! A damaged tire and a modem shut down and it’s only a little past 1 pm, and my blood pressure has not gone up even one tick; on the contrary, I feel wonderfully calm.

This has been a busy weekend for me. We have completed some work on our Blue Moon House, and I spent the past two days re-positioning furniture and re-hanging pictures. And LOL, the sun shining on my windows shows me that they need to be taken care of too, but that job is for another weekend. Bob and I had a nice lobster dinner on Saturday to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we slept on our new mattress.

It is interesting to me that as I work on the 30th Path, the third of three Paths of initiation, I am experiencing this day of balance and harmony. This is not balance and harmony that come to me without any effort on my part; rather, I am experiencing balance and harmony that I need to choose to open myself to. Bumps and detours are there, affecting my day, but at least for today I am able to see even the bumps and detours as bringing me something positive. It’s not that I am rising above these bumps and detours, but rather I am embracing them.

More on the 30th Path. The Tarot Major Arcana card that corresponds with this Path is The Sun. The Sun corresponds to the element of Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), to our Sun (the inner core of a person or situation, the deepest self and influential power), and to the Hebrew letter Resh (face, reason). Heat is active, and has the power to act; it tends to rise and expand. Fire is one of the pure elements (along with Earth); Fire always rises to the upward limit.

Just about every polytheistic religion has a Sun God, because the sun is seen as the giver of life and of light; the Sun God usually is also seen as a redeemer who shines light into the darkness. The Sun also represents reliability; after all, our own sun rises and sets every day with a predictable rhythm. This means that The Sun does not tell of the sudden and powerful eruption of The Tower, but rather it tells of a sustained glow that lights and warms but does not burn. In a sense, The Sun can be seen as a more evolved manifestation of the vertical and horizontal balance presented by Temperance. Of course, the only danger to be had from this card is if we cling to the peace and harmony that it presents, for these energies are meant to be temporary in nature.

Working within the 30th Path has shown me that my efforts and explorations are valuable and are having a positive effect upon me. Indeed, as Ted Andrews writes about this Path in More Simplified Magick: Pathworking and the Tree of Life, “This path releases energy into our physical life that animates all aspects as we develop greater individuality and so we learn to use our vitality more productively.” This Path brings an ongoing, continuous benefit to me; it helps me to remain connected to my place in the Universe.

I just handed in the extra work for Lesson 4 of my Third Degree Training. I know I have said this before, but these Lessons are having such a wonderful effect on me and the practice of my Craft. I am not only learning new information, but I am crystallizing my own beliefs in new and more in-depth ways. These new understandings of my Craft add so much to my Purpose, and to the enjoyment and fulfillment to be had from living this life.

*smile* Happy Valentine’s Day!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Five of Wands/Ten of Swords. The Five of Wands represents Saturn (discipline, responsibility, law and order) in Leo (“I am, passionate, dramatic, egotistical), and it represents a struggle that appears at cross purposes. This Five can represent either outer conflict or inner conflict; I am being told that for today, the energies I will be dealing with are natural, wild and untamed. I won’t be able to prevent their presence, but I can evade the difficulties if I have a good strategy. The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) tells me that failure is not fun, but we can’t release the failure unless we play it through to the end, without feeling sorry for ourselves. I will need to be careful that I don’t allow the minor conflicts of the Five of Wands to become something big.

My Thoth card is the Four of Wands. “Completion” is Crowley’s keyword for the Four of Wands (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, enthusiastic) is about building enough to become established, as a beachhead, not as a finished product. It represents a good, solid manifestation of Fire, but the work is not done yet and I should not stop looking for new ideas and reviewing alternate plans. This is a pause before continuing, and the dangers Crowley mentions as being associated with this card are a lack of steadiness, unreliability, and unpreparedness. But since the card is upright, I should be good.

My Legacy card is Death (again!), flavored by the Ten of Swords. Well, Death again and a pair of Ten of Swords. Sheesh. 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 tells of transformation or change, both voluntary and involuntary, and the fear of the unknown result of change. The Ten of Swords is the “martyr card,” and it is the final manifestation of the Ace of Swords, which warns us that we must mix wisdom with knowledge when we use our intellect, or we will pay the ultimate price.

Both of my Ten of Swords cards are upright, so I will present a bit of additional information. The number 10 tells of the end of a cycle and the suit of Swords is about the element of Air and the intellect; thus, the Ten of Swords is about the final outcome caused by the application of pure intellect. Imbalance is imbalance, no matter how you look at it, and too much Air, too much intellect, with not enough grounding or compassion, is a recipe for disaster. However, the nicest thing about these kinds of mistakes is that they can easily be turned into lessons, and thus, offer wisdom. The light at the end of the tunnel associated with the Ten of Swords is that there is a purpose, a good reason, for our discomfort.

The good thing about the Ten of Swords is that it represents the end of conflict. Maybe not the most positive end, but an end just the same. But it can also represent the end of a temporary solution, something that we thought up to bridge the gap, that ended up not working so well; the final failure means that we can start over.

The Gateway to the Divine Tarot, the book that comes with the Legacy of the Divine deck, sees the Ten of Swords as representing a ritual killing. Hmmmm . . . that is an interesting concept. That is actually a positive way to look at this card; choosing to kill the beast and cut the cords is a great way to get rid of something. It is kind of like writing a description of some undesirable concept and then burning the paper. I like that!

My 6-digit date number is 6, the number of vertical and horizontal balance. Well, that is optimistic, so maybe the megishimagosh of those Tarot cards will balance each other out. Foolish optimist? We’ll see.

My horoscopes: “You need to be more spontaneous, Sagittarius, and stop trying to organize other people's lives. You will see that it isn't so hard to just let things happen. The unexpected also has a special charm. You're a slave to routine. You need to take a big bite out of life and put your trust in chance for a while. The people around you would like to see more originality in your personality. Listen to them.”

And: “Yes, you're good at your job, you're intelligent, you love to see new things, you keep up-to-date with politics, you work out. But it's really the people who love you who are the most important things in your life. Think about what is happening in your emotional life and within your circle. Chances are, if there are any problems, you're the first person your loved ones are going to turn to.”

And: “This is your day, so don't waste it. Being the helpful and friendly person you are, you may find yourself running around and catering to other people's needs and desires. Some may see you as the knight in shining armor who can offer good advice with a friendly attitude. Be careful, however, of draining away all your energy on others. This day might be much better spent by simply catering to yourself. Even though this may seem like a selfish thing to do, you will love yourself for it.”

My Sun reading: “Discretion is the keyword for today. Any lack of it causes trouble. Finish unfinished business in the morning to clear the decks for an afternoon when anything can happen and probably will. A Moon-Jupiter sextile tonight enhances opportunities for enjoyable and pleasant meetings.”

Okay, I am feeling brave today, so I will move on to considering the 30th Path. The 30th Path, which connects Hod, the sphere of the mind, with Yesod, the sphere of intuition, corresponds with the Collective Intelligence. This is an incredibly powerful Path, especially when taken after delving into the first two Paths of the initiatory segment of this Journey through the Paths of the Tree of Life. This Path is about the combination of research and the following of hunches that is scientific discovery, and discovery of all kinds that are related in some way to both the intellect and intuition.

This is the perfect ending of the 32nd Path, the bridge between the physical body and the meditative state, and the 31st Path, the psychic evolution that comes from a mind/body connection. It is the first aha! moment that appears on this Journey, the attainment of the first step up the ladder of evolution and enlightenment.

While this enlightenment focuses mostly on the intellect rather than the spirit, scientific knowledge can certainly be used to foster spiritual enlightenment. Isn’t that exactly what Wicca encourages? After all, discovering and understanding the workings of our physical world is sacred knowledge seeking; our world **is** Goddess, after all.

Like The Sun, the Tarot Major Arcana card that corresponds with this Path, we need to remember that the Age of Reason should not replace our instincts and the uncertainty of the unknown. One symbol often found on The Sun card is the sunflower. This plant needs both light and darkness to prosper, for its thick and sturdy stem only grows ad reproduces in the shade, while its huge yellow flower head will tilt to follow the light of the daytime sun. The way this happens is that the side of the stem facing away from the sun grows longer than the side facing the sun; thus, the heavy bloom tilts towards the shorter side, and the light of the sun.

This Path forms a triangle that points up the Pillar of Form/Restriction/Severity, the Left-Handed Path that leads upward to the sephiroth Binah, comprehension and understanding. This could explain why these first three Paths are considered Paths of Initiation; the energy of Binah travels down the sephiroths and through these three Paths, ending in Malkuth and physical manifestation.

So we have Path 32, which allows us to rise out of our physical body, we have Path 31, which allows us to become comfortable with our psychic selves, and we have Path 30, which allows our conscious, logical self to accept the validity of our intangible psychic self.

Excellent! I feel an aha! moment teasing my brain from beyond the horizon.

I must mention that today, the citizens of Egypt, after 18 days of continuous, peaceful revolution, have taken back their country. What an amazing time this has been, and how glorious it has been to watch intelligent people use peaceful protest and perseverance to remove someone who has been in power for over 29 years. I don’t know how this will turn out in the end, but at least for today, the Egyptian people are heroes.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Death/Five of Cups reversed. 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 and Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and tells of transformation or change, both voluntary and involuntary. 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 in an upright position reminds us not to give up hope, even if there are a few snags in the day; because it is reversed, I just might be missing the spiritual blessings in my life, which don’t cost any money at all.

My Thoth card is The Star reversed. 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) in an upright position represents love kindled by hope for humankind. It tells me that the act of giving itself is the greatest gift of all; the image of this card depicts this concept, as the figure pours the elixir of her love back into her creations, distributing the love to all whether they deserve it or not. The card is reversed, so the power of love has not yet reached its full strength, but it is a part of the equation.

My Legacy card is the Five of Cups reversed, flavored by the Two of Coins reversed. Hmmm . . . all reversed cards, except for Death. And another Five of Cups reversed. Looks like things may end up exactly as expected today; no surprises. The Two of Coins (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) tells me that everything always ebbs and flows, and since we can’t stop change we must learn to live with it and go with those flows. I can’t let myself forget that “harmony” is created by the blending of different, sometimes conflicting, ingredients.

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

My horoscopes: “Ambitious plans for your future could necessitate your giving a lot of attention to practical matters, such as finances. This could be a drag, Sagittarius, but if you're serious about your ideas, it needs to be done. A friend, probably a man, could pitch in and help you make sense of everything. Don't try to get it all done today. Your mind could get overloaded, which might discourage you. Take it slowly.”

And: “Maybe you feel like sleeping late, getting up slowly, cooking a big batch of pancakes and doing a whole lot of nothing at all, all morning long. Go for it! You've been working really hard lately, and you've accomplished a whole heck of a lot. You've more than earned a morning off. Call in late and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.”

And: “Today you might hear a rather distressing rumor about one or more people whom you know, or perhaps about your working situation. Don't be surprised if more than one person phones or e-mails to fill you in on this. However, this information might not be dependable. It could be totally based on misinformation, or even outright lies. Try to track down the facts before you make yourself crazy over it.”

My Sun reading: “People know exactly what buttons to push when Venus conjuncts Pluto. As they say, ‘then it's time to grow new buttons.’ Tonight's lunar transit stimulates enormous emotions from the very depths. The square with Mercury doesn't help communication. Make popcorn and watch a movie alone.”

I am thrilled to say that I have two of my Pagan Brain Trusters in my new belly dance class! What a treat to be able to see them both two nights in a row, and share with them something that is so much a part of who I am and where I have come from. E has taken classes with me before, but for J, this is a big step. And for all her fears, she took to belly dance like a natural.

My dance classes focus on movement, on how the movement feels and looks, and on the benefits to be gained from the movements. We move along with music because it is hard for us to **not** move when there is good music playing. And we move together, as a class, not to be able to dance professionally as a cabaret dancer, but rather we move together because we are keeping alive a sacred dance which has been used since prehistory to honor and connect with the Sacred Feminine.

I have been doing some thinking about the requirement of some for a coven initiation in order to be considered a “true” Wiccan. I think I have found my own peace about this. When Wicca was more of an underground spiritual path and needed to remain hidden, things such as tradition and lineage and a fixed method of growth within the Craft were only taught in a face-to-face manner. Wiccan covens are stand-alone in nature, and this has always meant that there is no universally accepted sacred text (although we do have such works as the Rede and the Charge, they are not absolutely required), no universally accepted “seminary” or training school and curriculum, and there is no single person who speaks for all Wiccans. People could only learn about Wicca and become Wiccan through the teachings of a coven. Because the catalyst which offers our Craft its power and effectiveness is its personal, experiential nature, many in the past found that the easiest way, and in many cases the only way, to learn how to access the Wiccan Mysteries was to find someone or some group which had in his/her/their possession a successful, proven formula or recipe for tapping into those Mysteries. To me, this complicated task of passing on of the Mysteries of Wicca is the source of the requirement that dedicants can only become Wiccan by being initiated by the leaders of an existing coven. This concept was necessary at that time in order for the Craft to continue to exist.

Unlike Dedicants of the past, who could most likely only receive instruction and information from an established coven, the Internet and the amount of information out there in books and public classes makes experiencing the Mysteries more possible for solitaries these days. In Wicca, heredity and lineage have their place, but so does evolution; as a spiritual Path, Wicca has changed since its inception. The important thing is that none of the concepts and beliefs that are core to Wicca should bind us or be a burden that holds us back; they should be foundational supports for new growth. In Progressive Witchcraft, Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone remind us that it is “. . . spiritual training [that] must take precedence, as apostolic succession is actually alien to Pagan practice.” Our most important task as Wiccans and Seekers is not that we keep the processes of our spiritual ancestors intact at all costs, but rather it is that we learn the feelings and emotions and meanings behind the words and the actions and the instructions and the Traditions. There are many coveners who never achieve this task.

There still remains only one way to become a part of an established Wiccan Tradition, and that is indeed initiation by the coven’s High Priestess and/or High Priest. However, this is not the only way to become Wiccan or to initiate into and experience the Mysteries.

This is work of the 31st Path. How cool is that?!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Hanging Man reversed/Two of Wands. The Hanging Man is about suspension, about self-sacrifice, and about changing perspective in order to think out of the box. It corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts; emotional and imaginative energy which attempts to prevent changes), Neptune (inspiration, spirituality, magick, altered states), Mem (water, stability and balance, the reflective quality of thought), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Geburah (the place where forms and structures are challenged or affirmed), and since it is reversed, a change in perspective or a choice to **not** act may not have positive effects today. The Two of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, assertive, enthusiastic) tells of the concept of applied power, and today I may find that not only am I able to tap into my own energy, but also that I will be able to effectively make use of that energy. This is not about the final manifestation, however, but rather about perceiving the initial vision.

My Thoth card is the Seven of Disks. “Failure” is not what I expected to see here. The Seven of Disks (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, law and order, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) tells of what happens when you combine the element of Earth and its focus on stability with the planet Saturn, which is about responsibility and discipline. Crowley sees this card as representing extreme passivity, and since the card is the number 7, that passivity could very well have been caused by the vertical and horizontal balance of the number 6. Today I need to be certain that I don’t get lulled into a sense of security by my recent successes.

My Legacy card is the King of Coins reversed, flavored by the Page of Coins reversed. Looks like today’s focus will not be in the physical world. Interesting that I threw these two cards upright on the 4th and here they are again, reversed. The Page of Coins (Aries, “I want,” assertive, action oriented, Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual) is a listener, and this Page listens to both sides of an argument because he is also a student, and is eager to learn. He watches his world with curiosity and wants to learn how everything works. Because this Page corresponds to Earth, he is practical and cautious, but because he also brings a youth’s enthusiasm to learn into the picture, he is the least cautious of the Coins Court family; he will actually take risks on occasion. The King of Coins (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 that the Page has not yet attained: the ability to be patient. The King of Coins is flavoring the Page today, which tells me first of all that my awareness will be focused on my physical world today, and second that the youthful enthusiasm of the Page of Coins will be tempered by the King’s ability to use past experiences to better manifest good health and a secure place in the world. Looks like today is not a good day to get anything accomplished in the physical world.

My 6-digit date number is 3, the number of new creation out of the polarity and balance of the number 2.

My horoscopes: “An unexpected letter or call could totally turn your working situation in a new direction. This can be disconcerting, Sagittarius, but it's a very positive and fortunate development. Relations with colleagues should involve new respect and enthusiasm. By the end of the day, you will likely feel very good about the way your life is going. Don't expect it to be the same as it was this morning!”

And: “All of your efforts are starting to pay off -- and the lesson you should be learning is that the more you put into something, the more you'll get out of it. There's a lot of balance in your life right now, so be prepared for every action to have an equal reaction. All positives have a corresponding negative, so you need to accept the fact that every silver lining has a cloud. But if you focus on the bright side, you'll keep a positive perspective.”

Today’s Sun reading: “Three nice lunar sextiles say good times are in store today. When people listen, put your ideas out there. Romantically, a Moon-Neptune aspect before a void-of-course Moon advises against starting anything new. Neptune plays the role of grand deceiver in this moonlight.”

Yesterday was another interesting day. I did a Tarot reading for J, a dear friend and teacher of one of the Pagan Brain Trusters. J is an experienced Shaman, and until yesterday I have only known him through T’s eyes. Which meant that I was a bit intimidated by the idea of providing a reading for him. But reading for J turned out to be an amazing experience. I think that the cards wanted to offer information to him! LOL, sounds positively “woo-woo,” I know, right off the charts, but I have never had cards situate themselves again and again (I threw three spreads for a total of 16 cards) with such clear and consistent messages.

The bonus was that besides my usual fee for readings, J gifted me with three Tarot decks that belonged to his deceased wife (who I have also known through the eyes of all of my fellow Pagan Brain Trusters). I am now the proud custodian (because to me, you never really own a Tarot, just live with it) of the Native American Tarot Deck (which I know of through a Tarot student of mine, who used this deck for Tarot lessons), the original Rider Tarot by Waite (and LOL, every Tarot reader should have this deck), and the absolutely exquisite Haindl Tarot, which draws on such traditions as the Kabbalah. Which is a big part of my focus right now.

Just before J and completed our session, I had an interesting moment of synchronicity. This goes all the way back to my Thai Massage weekend workshop. During the workshop, we performed a tratak meditation during which I had a visitation: a beautiful woman with almond shaped eyes, high cheekbones and smooth, pale skin. I did not know who she was and so far, I had not seen any pictures that could lead me to discover her identity. Until this past week.

I don’t even remember what I was looking at on line, but suddenly I was looking at a picture of the White Tara, one aspect of the Hindu Goddess, Tara. Tara is known in Hindu, Japanese and Chinese Buddhism; She is a meditation Deity who helps us to develop certain inner qualities, and to understand both compassion (“Metta,” loving kindness towards oneself and others) and emptiness (“Sunyata,” which teaches us that nothingness has identity, and experiencing emptiness helps to bring wisdom). Each of Her aspects has its own correspondences; going solely by the images and statues I have seen, I believe that I was visited by the White Tara (who is known for compassion, long life, healing and serenity).

And there They were, all of the Taras, on J’s wall, Whose existence I did not know of, mere days after I first learned about them. Talk about synchronicity.

And the day was not over yet. Last evening, I went to Wayne to give M, a good friend of the Wayne Contingency, her Reiki I attunement. M is in the middle of her Yoga Teacher Training, and expressed a desire to receive a Reiki I attunement; since I strongly feel that every Yoga teacher should be attuned to Reiki, I volunteered to offer M her first attunement.

It was an amazing moment! As M received her attunement, E, T and J, each of whom have received attunements from me, watched us. Then, we proceeded to have what turned out to be a very “woo-woo” discussion. M is Catholic, very solidly grounded in her faith, and very respectful of other paths (as we all are at the PBT), and we were all able to speak in depth about several spiritual topics. I truly enjoy having these kinds of discussions, especially when I can find someone who practices another religion who is open to having respectful and informative “ecumenical” discussions. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the PBT could encourage such discussions on a regular basis?!

I am off to organize my thoughts on my essay regarding the validity of the requirement of initiation into an established coven in order to be considered Wiccan. To require initiation or not to require it; that is the question of the day!