Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten of Pentacles/Six of Wands reversed. The Ten of Pentacles (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, communication, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) is actually a very heavy card whose energies can weigh you down.  Because it tells of the completion of a cycle of the suit, it also tells of the successful accumulation of Earthly riches and blessings.  The challenge of the Ten of Pentacles is to **do** something with these riches before they become a ball and chain. 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.  This is a very powerful card because it represent balanced Fire, and it tells of a victory most likely in the physical world.  These two cards together make me think that maybe I may be feeling some kind of victory in the physical world, but the true test has not yet been presented.  

My Thoth card is the Four of Wands reversed. The Four of Wands (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, enthusiastic) in an upright position is about building enough to become established, as a beachhead, a pause before continuing, not as a finished product.  Crowley calls this card “Completion,” and while it does not represent a final completion, it does tell me that the realization that rules must be applied to Fire before I can make it work for me is key.  Fire is not about order and rules, and my Four of Wands is reversed, so I had better be careful.

My Legacy card is the Queen of Swords, flavored by the Five of Cups reversed. The Queen of Swords (cusp of Virgo, “I serve,” practical, sensible, work and service oriented, and Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, grace) represents a disciplinarian, and a thinker.  She provides her rulings based on her own experiences, and provides justice with honesty and ethics.  And boy, is she just the card I need today.  Whatever the test is, and however strong the Fire is, this Queen is the one with the experience to deal.  The Five of Cups (Mars, action, aggression, drive, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, mysterious, obsessive) in an upright position tells of the cloudy sludge that is stirred up when still waters are disturbed.  Because it is reversed, and paired with the Queen of Swords, I just may find that for today, my perception is clear and accurate.  **crosses fingers**

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

My horoscope: “This is a great day for you, Sagittarius. Unexpected reunions are possible, thanks to the lighthearted aura you radiate. You don't need to work very hard to bring everything your way. Your sunny personality attracts the fun and good fortune that you most certainly deserve. People are extremely lucky to be in your glowing presence on a day like this.”

And: “You may wake up feeling like you're under a black cloud this morning, but try not to let your pessimistic side take over every aspect of who you are today. Worry and concern will surround you, but there are a lot of positive -- even happy -- things you can focus on, so keep an eye out for them! Cheerful people will be able to lift your spirits very effectively, so surround yourself with the folks who make you smile -- not the ones who make you question your own abilities.”

And: “The general atmosphere of the day may seem too slow and stodgy for you. Try not to get bogged down in the details. Also, try not to worry too much. You may find that it is difficult to get any enthusiasm out of people today. You might just want to sit back and take it easy. This is a good day to plan and reorganize. Honor your recent achievements and consolidate all that you have worked for.”

My Sun reading: “You're a doer, not a talker this morning, and once started, there's no stopping you. This evening, if you're single, a restless Gemini Moon means lots of roving eyes. Since people are just skimming, the energy is good for potential acquaintances, though it's nice.”

Yesterday was an awesome day.  I spent the entire day in my much-loved Cape May garden, working in the steamy heat, with my flowers.  Despite the temperature in the 90’s, I was able to totally immerse myself in Earthly energies.  I nurtured, I watered, and a soft breeze helped me to deal with the heat of the sun.  When I went to sleep last night, the air was filled with that lovely, salty, mineral scent of the sea. 

Yesterday was a day of celebration for me as well; eight years ago, I joined Sacred Mists.  I never thought that being a part of Sacred Mists would have had such an impact on who I am, and on who I am becoming. 

More on the 19th Path.  Ted Andrews has this to say about this Path: “The symbols and images of this particular Path release fire-like energies into our lives so that we have no choice but to clear out the dross that has been accumulating.  This Path creates situations to strip away our illusions and the outer faces we present to the world.  Working this Path manifests situations to place us in a position of being only ourselves – the place where we find our one true strength.  This is the Path of fire.” Well.  My cards of today are hinting at some coming fire, or a difficulty in dealing with fiery events.   Looks like the 19th Path is not going to be as easy as I thought.

Andrews goes on to explain about the two magickal images associated with this path: the lion and the serpent.  The lion represents the inner sun, our courage and our strength of will.  The serpent, with its shedding skin, reflects the transformations which occur with growth, when we outgrow the old and are born into the new.  Oh boy.  The end result will be courage and the ability to depend on myself, but what trials will bring this?


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Five of Pentacles reversed/Justice reversed. The Five of Pentacles (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, skill, communication, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) traditional image shows 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 usually snow on the ground and on the trees, or a cold wind blowing, but the window, set in a strongly built wall of stones and mortar, usually appears lit from within.  The upright message of this card is that while things may not be going well in the physical world, there is a wealth of spiritual assistance available, which can be found if I look for it in the right place.  Because the card is reversed, this time of need may be passing away.  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). This card is about cause and effect, and about making adjustments in order to achieve balance.  Because the card is reversed, the time of adjustment may also be fading.

My Thoth card is the Three of Cups. The Three of Cups (Mercury, reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive tenacious, nurturing, moody) tells of the possibility of experiencing emotional abundance, emotional connections to others (mainly due to things in common), and emotional support as a part of the day.  It tells of working and accomplishing things through love, and this could be what is replacing the energies of the Five of Pentacles and Justice.  Crowley calls this card “Abundance,” and it does seem to be the theme of the day.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Wands, flavored by the Seven of Wands. 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 creative process, and an encouraging and empowering awareness of my own valuable creative talents. The Seven of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, natural leader, egotistical, selfish) has a personal significance for me, given to me by Archangel Uriel.  I see this card as representing the approach of a Threshold, and the need to pass the tests of the Guardian.  Sometimes I am the person giving the test, but sometimes I am receiving a test from another; which will I deal with today?  I like the fact that this card is flavoring the potential of the Ace of Wands!  I am rested and feel ready to accept the opportunity for evolution that is being presented by the Ace.  LOL, I hope I am not biting off more than I can chew here!

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

My horoscopes: “You may feel like someone's giving you the third degree, Sagittarius. You sense that you're being accused of something and that you need to defend your feelings and actions. Try not to fall into this trap. Don't let self-doubt sneak into the situation just because someone else questions your way of life. No one but you fully understands your situation.”

And: “An awkward silence can easily evolve into a long period of miscommunications. So if you put your foot in your mouth today, rely on honesty to dig you out of that hole -- be real, 'fess up and all will be forgiven. The worst thing you can do is dance around the truth -- you will only end up looking suspicious. Conversely, if it's you who is on the receiving end of a tacky comment, be generous and try to create an environment where the other person can be real and 'fess up.

And: “A project, which you're rather excited about, could require some intense work alone today. You might sometimes feel as if the four walls are closing in on you, but you need to concentrate in order to get the best possible results. You'll also need to take occasional breaks in order to clear your head. Nonetheless, at the end of the day you're likely to be quite happy with what you've accomplished. Go to it!”

My Sun reading: “A tactile Taurus Moon shines over a lovely day of good food, nice company, and romantic background music. The more cuddling you do, the better. It's a good time to tell someone how secure he or she makes you feel. If single, the lunar energy brings out the best in people.”

We are having a truly lovely holiday weekend.  We have walked, we have biked, we have spent lots of time on the front porch, talking to friends, neighbors and passers-by. The weather is cooperating nicely; we have sunny, warm days and cool, breezy nights.  Again, I have watched the waning moon, this time up above the Eastern horizon; oh, how I adore the sensation of friction, almost erotic friction, that gazing at the waning moon brings to me. 

Tonight, we are finishing our glorious weekend with a lobster feast.  LOL, talk about sensual pleasures!

The 19th Path has some very powerful symbolism for me today.  This is one of the Paths that crosses the Tree, that connects Geburah, the center of the Pillar of Form/Restriction, to Chesed, the center of the Pillar of Force/Expansion; this Path connects severity with mercy and punishment with forgiveness, and as the energy of the Path flows in two directions, it suggests a balance between two equal yet different forces. 

We all need firmness in our lives, and discipline.  However, if we are firm without compassion, our lives tend to dry up, and our connections to others begin to erode because firmness without compassion inevitably creates pain.  So, too, is the opposite not desirable.  Only applying compassion creates stagnation and wilt, for there needs to be the form and foundation of firmness to support that compassion.

In “The Witches Tarot,” Ellen Cannon Reed describes this balance of opposites as follows:

Thereby is strength and severity controlled and balanced by affection and gentleness, and gentleness strengthened and protected by might.  These lessons are learned on this Path.  We go from the Severity of Geburah, stripped of all that is unnecessary, or temporary, to receive the Mercy of Chesed.  We go from the Gentleness we learn in Chesed to gain the Might of Geburah.

It is this very balance that any Seeker must strive to become aware of, to understand, and to lace within every part and segment of life and of living.  Without this balance of powers, evolution cannot happen.  Chesed may bring us the understanding of Perfect Love and Trust, but Geburah brings the tests and challenges that allow us not only to wield that Perfect Love and Trust, but also to recognize when form is necessary to shape force, for power must be wielded with love in order to remain ethical.

I have been making the attempt to apply the concept of forgiveness lately; thankfully, I don’t have large issues to forgive.  But what I am finding is that choosing to forgive the small irritations presented by others, even if I have never acknowledged those irritations or announced my forgiveness of them, serves as a sort of healing for me.   By forgiving those irritations, I am releasing them so that they don’t remain, they don’t fester.  Yes, I have learned this about large hurts.  And what a difficult lesson that was.  It was only by forgiving (not forgetting, but a forgiveness that allowed me to let go of the hurt) that I was able to not allow past pains to continue forward with me.  This same applies to the smaller irritations as well.

This does not mean that I am allowing myself to be a door mat.  My dearest Curley has spoken of this, too, and she is a perfect example to me of someone who has balanced Might with Mercy.  And in balancing these two powers, I may end up in the background, in a supporting role, but that works perfectly for me. 

So far, I like this Path.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Three of Wands reversed/Judgement. 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 effort and of being supported by others. It is a card that tells of the establishment of primal energy, not yet manifested, so it is neither good nor evil, just teetering on the precipice. Second day in a row for Judgement. 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 a coming change, or maybe a coming resolution of a cycle. This is not the chaotic change of The Tower, but rather a change that can possibly be controlled. Together, these cards are telling me that the energies of yesterday’s Ana! Moment are beginning to settle in, and in the process, to fade in intensity. This is not a bad thing, just the regular process, and the fading does not mean that integration is not happening.

My Thoth card is the Knight of Disks. The Knight/King of Disks (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 hard working and very good at managing resources and overseeing growth, and he is very good at being patient. There is a heaviness to this card, however, and since Crowley sees the Knights as having experienced all there is to experience within their suits, I just might have a Ten of Pentacles situation on my hands. Perhaps what I am being told is that yesterday was the day for realization and today is the day for manifesting what I realized. I need to take the actions necessary to make things real (and I need to use the skills and belongings that have rightfully come to me throughout my experiences in order to take these actions), for if I just sit back and wait for it to happen, stagnation will begin to infiltrate.

My Legacy card is The Tower (eeek) flavored by the Queen of Cups reversed. The Tower corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Mars (action, spontaneity, aggression, drive), Phe (mouth or speech), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Netzach (which offers the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration), and it is a card of divine enlightenment. Yup, it is. Of course, the process for attaining that enlightenment is not gentle, but the end result is always worth the stresses and challenges of the process itself. Another repeat from yesterday’s throw is the Queen of Cups. The Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) is Water of Water, and thus is quite deeply connected to her feelings and her Inner Voice. This Minor Arcana equivalent of The High Priestess can be seen as a mirror that reflects the “secret selves” of others back to them so they can understand themselves. Because she is reversed, and flavoring The Tower, I need to be very cautious because I just might be not hearing my own Inner Voice and I might be not allowing myself to feel my own feelings. I also need to remember that spending lots of time in the astral realm or immersed in Sacred Energies can upset the balance of my own body and possibly cause The Tower to manifest; a bit of grounding will help.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the pause that comes as balance begins to degenerate.

My horoscopes: “Your energy is high and your stamina particularly strong today. Working out or playing sports could appeal to you now. Running or aerobics could offer valuable exercise and clear your head to allow for new ideas. You also should feel particularly passionate. If you're involved with someone, Sagittarius, expect a great evening. If not, don't be surprised if you get some admiring glances.”

And: “Despite the leisurely pace of your life right now, you will be extremely productive today. You will be getting an awful lot done, and the capper is that you'll have an awful lot of fun doing it -- whatever it is. Whether you're washing dishes, reorganizing your closet or vacuuming the house, you'll manage to fully enjoy the act of taking a mess and transforming it into something harmonious. Your enthusiasm will encourage other people to join in, too!”

And: “You used to be a creature of reason. For you, everything had an explanation and a reason to exist and a place in this world, and you would never miss an occasion to share your point of view. And then, all of the sudden, silence... You may have needed to get some perspective on things, not necessarily about the things you know, but how you express that knowledge. And now, words have come back into your life. And you are more moderate in your ideas.”

My Sun reading: “An animated and enthusiastic Aries Moon squares Pluto. You accelerate your ideas to the next level if you push your points across when your foresight is so accurate. When the Moon opposes Saturn tonight, the same ideas are expressed differently, but they are the same ideas.”

I just spent some time reading a very long comment thread on a FaceBook page. Very long; almost 300 posts. This comment thread was begun because of a statement by the creator of the FB page in which she stated that she had withdrawn from an event because of the number of contestants involved who were not of her religion. Needless to say, the entire comment thread ended up being filled by mostly “rabid responders,” both pro and anti, and the few voices of reason got lost in the deluge. And please note that I am purposely not sharing the faith of the creator or any of the responders.

I think it is sad that there are still those who cannot accept that the Paths to Deity are as many as there are those who seek to know and love Deity. Refusing to acknowledge the validity of those who do not practice “the one true faith,” whatever that is, and refusing to even have any kind of contact with them at all, ends up shutting the refuser off from quite a bit of the rest of humanity, along with the many cultures and traditions that add so much healthy texture and flavor to our lives.

What saddens me even more is how a legitimate discussion can be reduced to name calling and one-upmanship that ends up distracting the conversation from the true problem: the fact that someone feels that she cannot have anything to do with persons who are not of her faith. Don’t get me wrong. This person is allowed to believe in whatever version of Deity and whatever faith that calls to her, and in fact, I encourage everyone to follow their hearts with regard to faith and spirituality, for it is our hearts that will lead us to Deity in the end. But no one, not the originator of the conflict nor those responding, either in favor of the statements made or against them, has the right to disrespect the beliefs of another, and sadly, that seems to be where this discussion has gone.

So many of us have learned to coexist. I have a large family with every extreme of political and religious beliefs, and with only one exception, everyone respects the beliefs of others and yet remains true to his or her own beliefs. I have dear friends who are every version of humanity that you can possibly imagine, and I love and respect each of them. I work with practicing Orthodox Jews and strict Catholics. We all honor and respect the paths of our co-workers, and yet are able to follow our own Traditions freely, without imposing our own beliefs on anyone else. No one in either my family or my office has ever felt put upon, no one has ever been burdened with attempted conversion, no harm has been attempted at all. Proof positive that very different faiths can live and work together in peace and understanding, without harm to any.

My blog gets visited by many people who I will never know or talk to, and everyone is welcome here, whether you are a commenter or you just want to read what I have to say about the Tarot or my own Journey. I do not hide who I am or what Path I follow. I am a Third Degree Dedicant of the Sacred Mists Coven, a Celtic eclectic teaching Wiccan Coven. I am a Reiki Master, a Tarot enthusiast, a certified Vedic Thai-Yoga Bodyworker, and a wife, a mother, a step-mother, a sister, an aunt, and an in-law. I have an extended family which includes “relatives of the heart” of all faiths, political views and walks of life. I mean no one any harm, and I post here in Perfect Love and Trust (the Wiccan version of a State of Grace, that hard-to-attain sense of connection and compassion that is common to all spiritual paths). I respect everyone’s right to follow their own faith and their own Path, and for those of you who have found a faith that fulfills you, you are blessed, fer sher.

I believe that openness and acceptance are necessary cornerstones for growth and evolution. Humanity as a species needs to realize this in order to thrive and be healthy. I’m not predicting doom and gloom if we don’t start focusing on what connects us all rather than what separates us; the world won’t come to an end if we don’t start changing our outlook. But we certainly will not be happy and well adjusted if we continue to focus on the things that divide us.

It is our differences that have made us thrive, that have helped us to grow and evolve as a species. Just walk around a museum for a little while and look at the different expressions of our individual souls that is art. Listen to some music, and switch it up a bit. Go from hip-hop to classical to classic rock to new age meditation music, and hear the beauty of created sound. Sip a nice glass of wine, a good beer or a single malt scotch, and taste what we have been able to do with grapes or grain. Simmer some garlic and onions in a pan with a bit of olive oil, and then inhale the delicious fragrance. We are surrounded by natural beauty that pleases all of our senses, and yet we add our man-created beauty to our environment. All of us do this, no matter what faith we practice or what political views we espouse; isn’t this an indication that each of us contains the essence of Deity?

We are on a precipice. Science is actually beginning to acknowledge the validity of many “woo-woo” types of beliefs and practices because scientists are finally able to measure the effects and manifestations of said “woo-woo” practices. We are healing the sick through holistic practices, we are understanding with intricate detail the cycles of life around us, and we are lifting ourselves off of our world and into the great beyond that is our Universe. These miracles alone are not enough to bring us balance and well being. We must also acknowledge the validity of the inner world, and we must accept that the experiences within each of our inner universes are going to be unique, because each of us is unique, unlike any other who has ever lived.

I have value and my beliefs have value, just as the originator of the statement that started the whole huge comment thread on FaceBook has value and her beliefs have value. We both want respect, and we want acceptance of the value of who we are and the value of what we believe. We will never get that if we respond to a hurtful statement by judging the originator of that statement, or anyone who responds, for as I learned from Stuart Wilde (a somewhat “woo-woo” writer, but wise and worth listening to), judging another only serves to create a chasm between us and those we judge. These days, people of faith (no matter what that faith or spiritual tradition happens to be) don’t need any more chasms between us. I think it is time to start building some bridges.

From the Alchemy Journal Blog: “With continued guidance from the field of metaphysics and openness of such fields as physics, Western science is moving toward a model that includes higher consciousness and the meaning of experience, uniting art and science, body and soul. Now, we as individuals need to return to healthy unity by giving value and credence to the Shaman Within.” If scientists can open their minds and their hearts to the value and the validity of inner experiences of any kind, why can’t those of us who are predisposed to accept inner experiences because we believe in Deity do the same?

*sigh* Vent over. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. On to the 19th Path.

Blessed be!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Judgement/The Star reversed. 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 represents the integration of my entire self by answering for my actions, and receiving and offering the appropriate response. This card really resonates for me today. 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, and since the card is reversed, and paired with Judgement, I am being told that as I integrate myself, I need to remember with love and compassion every one and every thing that has played a part in my being who I am and where I am right now. I don’t get all the credit for this accomplishment, and I may be tempted to forget that fact today.

My Thoth card is the Queen of Cups. One of my favorite Thoth cards, the Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) is Water of Water, and thus is quite deeply connected to her feelings and her Inner Voice. This Queen is the Minor Arcana equivalent of The High Priestess and the penultimate experience offered by the suit of Cups; she has learned to not only trust her intuition, but also to interpret its messages. Crowley sees her as somewhat dreamy and passive, but that is because her personality is formed by that which flows through her.

My Legacy card is the Knight of Wands, flavored by the Seven of Swords reversed. Knight of Wands (cusp of Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, deep, obsessive, and Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering) is a carefree inventor who loves to try new ideas; his power lies in his ability to use words and his intellect, and his ability to see outside the box. He is unpredictable, which can make him difficult to deal with, and indeed he is both encouraging me to be open to new experiences and warning me to keep a bit grounded. The Seven of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloofness) in an upright position tells of the effort to maintain things as we want them, usually through the use of deception and usually to the point of using unethical means. Crowley sees this card as weak; it tells us that cunning will work better than forcing the issue, but often when we use cunning, ethics become blurred. He also describes this card as bringing emotions into the picture, emotions which fuel a struggle that is futile because of the presence of those emotions, which cloud the intellect. Thankfully, it is reversed, but it is still there, flavoring my Knight of Wands; hopefully because I know there is a potential, no matter how remote, for all that Fire to become a negative influence, I will be able to prevent it from happening.

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

My horoscopes: “Today you may need to contact a lot of people, Sagittarius, but the process could be frustrating. People may not be home, messages might not be delivered, or your equipment might not work properly. Unless it's urgent, it might be better to wait until tomorrow to try to reach them. You could end up too stressed otherwise.”

And: “Feeling tired? It's no wonder -- the pace (and the hours) you've been keeping lately are not conducive to staying alert and awake throughout the day. If you can't seem to get revved up to start your day, then sleep in a little bit longer. If you can't sleep in a bit longer, then promise yourself that you'll make time for a nice nap this weekend. They say you can't really catch up on sleep, but you need to get some more sleep in order to get back to feeling normal.”

And: “Enthusiasm and energy will be your allies today! Something different is floating in the air today and incites you to go forward. You will take decisions and new directions for the good of the people in your environment. Your dynamism will have a beneficial impact on your family. This newfound strength will give you a great boost!”

My Sun reading: “When rigid views stand in the way of listening, the keyword is "flexibility" to create understanding and make the best use of your problem-solving skills. Lighten up, flirt a bit, and enjoy life under tonight's Aries Moon. Bring a little fun and fantasy home.”

More than any other Path so far, it is as I study the 20th Path that I think of Stuart Wilde’s belief that the more you know and understand, the less you will be able to describe what you know and understand to others. How do you put into words the feeling of ability that comes with experiencing years of both successes and failures-that-turned-into-lessons? These experiences cannot be taught by another, for they are Mysteries and can only be discovered and learned and understood in solitary fashion. Yes, I am using the experiences of others as a map or guide, and those who come behind me on the Well Worn Path may very well use my experiences in the same way, but until I actually tap into the Mystery and until I actually meet an evolved entity or a learning experience face to face and until I actually step up to the threshold and not only present myself for the test, but pass the challenge through my own merits, I won’t understand the map or guide I am using.

It is as if I am retro-fitting the knowledge of others into what I have experienced myself, but that does not invalidate those experiences of others, for I would not have had the courage to strike out into the unknown unless I knew that others had succeeded already.

Actually, this places a burden upon me, this understanding. I need to pay forward the gift of guidance, as those who came before me have done so that I am able to receive the gift myself. Yes, I understood this with my mind, but once again, I am now understanding a concept with every cell of my physical body and every effect of my energy self. This is why the image on the Thoth Tarot Hermit (the Major that corresponds with this Path) has among its symbolism the sperm. To me, The Hermit and the debt of the 20th Path is not the same as The Hierophant (who is the Keeper of Tradition); The Hermit teaches by example, and his curriculum is created by taking the map of the experiences of others and then striking out on his own. This burden/gift is the Aha! Moment of being an Adept, and of the 20th Path!!

Now I know why it came to me without a prior test; the test comes after the realization of receipt of the gift. The next step is mine. And thanks to Sacred Mists and LM and the PBT, and all who blazed the Well Worn Path, I have already taken it.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Seven of Cups/Nine of Wands reversed. The Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, obsessive, mysterious) is letting me know that there are messages out there to pick up, and choices or opportunities to access. Each of the seven cups contains what appears to be a gift which corresponds to a planet and a Major Arcana card; the Wreath corresponds with Saturn and The World; the Castle corresponds with Mars and The Tower, the Woman corresponds with Venus and The Empress; the Snake corresponds with Mercury and The Magician; the Veil corresponds with the Moon and The High Priestess, the Jewels correspond with Jupiter and The Wheel of Fortune, and the Dragon corresponds with our Sun and The Sun. Since this is a Cups card, in order to understand each of these gifts I need to also understand how I feel about the potential that each offers. I need to also remember that sometimes each of the choices offered, or the possibility of choosing at all, is an illusion. The Nine of Wands (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) in an upright tells of being pro-active in response to issues, but since the card is reversed, it seems to be telling me that perhaps today is not the day to choose one of those cups.

My Thoth card is the Princess of Wands reversed. The Princess/Page of Wands (Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody; Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic noble egotistical; and Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) uses assertion and action in order to feed her need for adventure and excitement. This Princess is a free spirit with childlike optimism, and since the suit of Wands is associated with Fire and the Will, she can often manifest that optimism into reality. Since the card is reversed, I need to remind myself that even though I do believe in myself, in the end I may not be right or correct.

My Legacy card is the Two of Cups reversed, flavored by the Three of Coins reversed. The Two of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, family and home oriented, tenacious, moody) is usually about relationships which exist and are strengthened because of commonalities. These relationships could be with others, or with myself. Because the card is reversed, there may be some kind of disconnect in a relationship today. 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 upright Three of Coins tells me that these things can be best obtained through a group effort, but once again, the card is reversed, and possibly validating the reversed Two of Cups it is flavoring. Once again, it looks as if today is not the day to choose one of those Cups!

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

My horoscopes: “Today's a day to daydream, although this may not be an activity you usually do. You may even feel as if you're on vacation. Let's just hope people don't ask you a lot of difficult questions, because your answers will be anything but clear. But you shouldn't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders every day, Sagittarius.”

And: “It's true that you are a unique person, but you are not the only person ever to have felt the way you're feeling right now. So reach out to someone close to you and share what's on your mind. You have a lot more in common with other people than you realize, and sharing your confused feelings will help you begin to understand that. Thinking through your problems is always important, but often you have to talk about them, too.”

And: “The value of any land investment you may have made, including your home, could well come up in your thoughts today. Whatever time and energy you've put into it is likely to pay off, and this might make a difference to you when formulating plans for the future. You might spend some time working outside, which should clear your head and enable you to get your thoughts together. A female friend could join you.”

My Sun reading: “Fasten your seat belt for a busy day. Expect sudden turns and changes. With a lucky vibe between Mars and Saturn, you achieve more than you dreamed possible. Tonight's communication is pleasant, even brilliant at times. If your inquiring mind wants to know -- ask.”

What an incredible few days I have had!

Friday night, I went to the Wayne Contingency Homestead for a Pagan Brain Trust get-together. As always, after talking and listening to the others talk, I was filled with a renewed sense of purpose, of validation, and of connection to the others in the PBT. How lucky we are to know each other, and to have each other in our lives at this time. Each of us is filled with our own unique Purpose, and we all seem to be able to link together and offer support to the others in exactly the way they require.

As I drove home late Friday night, or LOL, I should say, early Saturday morning, at about 1 am, I watched the waning moon over Route 80. I love the energies of the waning moon! There is a lovely, sensual and very interesting “friction” that I feel when I look at the moon hanging low in the Western sky yet pointing East. Yes, the full moon fills me with such power, but the waning moon seems to move against the flow, so to speak.

Saturday was Off the Beaten Path’s Mind/Body/Spirit Fair, and my dance classes performed our skirt dance. They did such an awesome job! Dancing with seven other girls, each wearing a different colored skirt, was incredible!! Congratulations to all of my students: Elizabeth, Jen, Katherine, Pat, Anne, Melissa and Jess!!

We had eight friends staying in Cape May, and we managed to walk and bike and shop, all under the sun. Yesterday morning, as I drove North from Cape May, I was treated to the salt meadows at high tide. The water filled all the channels to the brim; more lovely energy!

And as often happens, having a series of days with focuses mostly on the physical world has helped to clean out the last of the cobwebs, the left over lethargy from the Winter months, and has brought me a new and clear and deep connection to my energy self, filled with new potential. And, my connection to the Divine energies around me is also refreshed; hence, my experiences of late with physical world phenomena and the energies associated with them.

The 20th Path is about illumination and the acceptance of spiritual experiences as real, even if they cannot be measured or described to others. But there is more to this Path than just acceptance; indeed, the process of exploring the teaching of others that is a huge part of my work with the Tree of Life and with my Third Degree Training at Sacred Mists is ongoing. The big difference here is that I am finally feeling convinced that I have the right to call myself an Adept.

In “More Simplified Magick: Pathworking and the Tree of Life,” Ted Andrews says that the magickal gifts of this Path are the wand, the lamp and the Eucharistic host. The wand presents to the seeker entry into the world of magic and mystery, the lamp sheds light on the darkness and guides the way, and the Eucharistic host commits us to the more spiritual aspects of life itself. The thing about this kind of learning, this sacred seeking to know myself, is that sooner or later, I need to step up to the plate and acknowledge that I am not only tied to my Craft, but also that I am willingly offering myself to be bound irrevocably to my Craft. Simply reading the lessons and doing the homework assignments are not enough now; at this level, knowledge only becomes wisdom because I earn it. Only by doing – or by not doing – can I hope to understand . . . to know. As my dear friend, TL/IC often reminds me, I cannot unsee what I have seen and I cannot unknown what I know. I can only go forward, I can only strive to see more and to know more. What I have accomplished through hard work, and through the pain of defeat and the pleasure of success, pushes me onward. I have no other choice, and this is not a bondage but rather a comfort.

LOL, I just went back and re-read that last paragraph. It does not flow at all, but the things I am trying to say here are not easy to say. Not yet, anyway. And yet, they are momentously important, even if I can’t explain why they are important. Something has happened to me over these past few days. I have made some kind of commitment, or passed some kind of threshold, without even realizing that a time of change was upon me. Somehow, entry has been gifted to me without my even having to realize that I needed to ask for it. I am taken aback, for difficult tests have become the norm as I have entered the deeper parts of my studies, and I accept with my heart and my mind and my spirit that the tests need to be difficult. So why has the gift of the 20th Path been given to me with no test?

Is this the gift of sacred grace that comes through Tiphareth? I am surprised that a glimpse of it would come now, as I still have nine Paths to delve into. Or is it the joyful acceptance of the love offered to me by my Patroness (a love that I will be glorifying within my new BOS once I start working with it), the love which gives me the courage to openly accept the next step in my personal evolution, whatever that step happens to be?

“We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return like a drop of rain flowing to the ocean.” These are not my words; they are lyrics to a song I heard on YouTube. For some reason, they are meaningful to me right now.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Two of Swords reversed/King of Wands reversed. The Two of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) represents peace and stillness, but not necessarily peace and stillness without danger. This card often represents a refusal to see reality, or maybe it warns of some hidden element in the day’s mental focuses. Two is usually a number of balance, and while there is a form of balance here, this balance is more of an imposition of inactivity that cannot yet be overcome by outside forces.

My Thoth card is the Eight of Coins reversed. “Prudence” is Uncle Al’s keyword for this card in an upright position. The Eight of Coins (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, work and service oriented, sensible, critical) in an upright position reminds us to be persistent, and diligent in order to grasp success. This Eight tells of hard work on the physical plane that will offer rewards within the spiritual realms. To Crowley, this card reminds us of the strength of doing nothing at all, and of saving for a rainy day; since the card is reversed, these mindsets may not be beneficial to me today.

My Legacy card is the Two of Swords, flavored by the Knight of Cups. Bookends!! Since I have both the upright and the reversed Two of Swords, I may find that I will have situations to deal with today that will require me to choose one or the other: either shut myself away in order to function properly, or open my mind to everything that wants to come in. The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) in an upright position tells of a person who focuses intensely on feelings and emotions and the Inner Voice, which can either be a good thing, or it can tell of a time of imbalance with too much emotion and not enough grounding. This Knight can be romantic or overemotional, he can be sensitive or temperamental, he can tap into his imagination or he can be unrealistic. Again I am seeing the presentation of opposites for my consideration.

The Two of Swords can represent both positive and negative influences for me, depending on the other cards near it, and on the focus of the spread. This card can be about hiding distress, about keeping people and/or issues at arm’s length, and about maintaining my cool. Sometimes these are necessary skills to have, and some situations need to be dealt with in this way. If we look at the Two of Swords in this manner, the card is giving a message that is similar to The Hanging Man: shut out the world and pause. Crowley calls this card “Peace,” and originally named it “The Lord of Peace Restored.” Obviously, the peace is achieved through the installation of barriers. But sometimes this is not the right response to a situation. Then, instead of hiding distress, I would be pretending that everything is fine when it’s not; instead of keeping people and/or issues at arm’s length, I would be refusing to look at the facts; instead of maintaining my cool, I would be denying my own true feelings. This card is about barriers; its image tells me that, but it is also about the potential for stalemate which happens when two equal and opposing forces meet head-on. Both the upright and the reversed position can be positive or negative, depending on the situation, and barriers can also be positive or negative, once again depending on the situation; this card is not one to be feared, it is one to be listened to. In the end, a closed mind (and a closed heart) is not beneficial to any situation.

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

My horoscopes: “Today you may attain a goal you've been hoping to reach for a long time, Sagittarius. Oddly enough, friends, family, and even your significant other may not seem as happy as you expected. They've probably suffered too many frustrations recently, and your success only reminds them of this. Give them some time to settle their own affairs and they will congratulate you. They're only human.”

And: “Forget your PDA, cell phone or computer. Today, your most useful communication device will be your direct manner. Your confident voice will make the people in power take notice of you. There is no point in playing political games. Saying things that you don't really mean (but that you think other people want to hear) is a complete waste of your time. You have nothing to be hesitant about. You know what you want, so say it.”

And: “Dreams or visions could put you in touch with deep feelings that you may not have been aware of before. This could enable you to release traumas from your past and give you a new sense of lightness. However, your logical mind is very much at work, so you could use this experience to shed light on the experiences of others and help them out as well. Whatever happens today is likely to produce noticeable results. Use it!”

My Sun reading: “The pace picks up under a Mercury/Mars trine with Pluto. Avoid jumping into decisions under the latter's tendency to create the need for readjustments and revisions. They generate dynamic energy for brainstorming, however. Tonight you will discover that the more the merrier - and the more pleasant the rapport.”

My BOS arrived today, and I am very thrilled with it; thank you, Witches Moon! It is a heavy tomb, 6 inches by 10 inches, 500 pages all bound in a lovely cover. I am not going to rush into doing anything with it just yet. I want to place it on my altar when I do my personal New Moon Esbat, and then for my personal Full Moon Esbat. I will write a cleansing and a consecration rite, one for each Esbat, and then I will start thinking about beginning to transfer my personal rituals. In the mean time, I am tweaking them.

On to the 20th Path! What a perfect day to begin this one. This Path connects Tiphareth, the place of vertical and horizontal balance, to Chesed, the center of the Pillar of Force and the Sephiroth of both authority and benevolence, a very Divine combination. Ellen Cannon Reed tells me in The Witches Tarot that this path represents Intelligence of Will, and it is through this Intelligence of Will that the Primordial Wisdom becomes known. This path is about the Illumination which helps us to understand, and it is about those Seekers who strive to bring light to their Paths, and in lighting their own small lamp, to attract greater light to them.

The 20th Path encourages us to broaden our minds, to learn and research and to experience life, all in order to achieve wisdom, but it also tells us that we must meditate, and allow the unconscious mind to also be a teacher.

This Path is not only about learning, it is about teaching as well. In The Witches Tarot, Reed says: “And the Seeker is both at once: our search for light and knowledge and growth makes us both seekers of light and bringers of light. With each step forward we take, with each bit of knowledge, of light we gain, we are adding to the light within the human race.” Wow!!! I mean, Wow!! Right now, those words are vibrating within my core. Is this not exactly what we are learning in our Sacred Mists Third Degree Training?


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seven of Cups/The Chariot reversed. The Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, obsessive, mysterious) in an upright position lets us know that there are messages out there to pick up, and choices or opportunities to access. The bad thing about this card is the heaviness about it. It is almost as if I won the lottery and had all these choices being presented to me, jumping up and down and yelling, “choose me, choose me.” The only thing is that once I look at them all, I just might end up deciding to keep my money in my pocket. 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 is related to emotional control and the training of our emotions so that we can use them to bring greater good into our lives. This card in an upright position means action, and since it is reversed, and it is combined with another emotionally heavy card.

My Thoth card is the Six of Disks reversed. “Success” reversed, and this card keeps being thrown from my Thoth Tarot; Uncle Al must be trying to tell me something. The Thoth Six of Disks (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) in an upright position 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. The traditional message of this card is related to resources, both those we have and those we don’t. My Six of Disks is reversed, though. Hopefully that means the heaviness associated with Crowley’s version of this card won’t combine with the emotional heaviness of my first two cards.

My Legacy card is The Emperor, flavored by the Six of Cups reversed. The Emperor (Fire, hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change; Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive; Heh, window, illumination; and the Path between Tiphareth and Chokmah, dynamic male energy and the origin of vital force and polarity) represents the power of the mind and of intentions to shape the world. The Emperor is about taking responsibility, he is about power and control over himself and/or others, and he is about manifesting his good intentions through ethics and order and stability and structure and regulation. The Six of Cups (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, compulsive, deep, obsessive) in an upright position tells of beneficial connections with others. The card is reversed, and is flavoring The Emperor; I apparently may have trouble receiving satisfaction from any efforts I expend today to exercise my authority. I need to refrain from looking to past events, and perhaps take them into consideration as I plan for the present and the future; perhaps those past events don’t apply any more.

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

My horoscopes: “You should feel and look great today, Sagittarius. Your charm and social skills are at a high level, and your joviality and gift for conversation should make you a welcome guest at any social event. And you should be invited to a lot of them - perhaps too many! Enjoy this special time of sociability and friendship.”

And: “Your gift of gab is greater than ever today, so do the world a favor and talk to as many people as you can. Conversations about anything -- from the weather to your deepest hopes and dreams -- are going to keep you interested, intrigued and popular. This is a great day to talk to strangers, too, so don't limit yourself to the folks who are already listed in your address book. Shock a stranger by asking what his or her favorite Rolling Stones song is.”

And: “You enjoy caring for others and you intervene regularly in their lives to guide them. Ironically, today, you are the one who needs advice. You will probably need to get away from it all in order to get a clear view of your own life. You could decide, today, to take the necessary arrangements for a trip abroad.”

My Sun reading: “A ‘business’ Capricorn Moon accents all the good stuff like approval, assistance, and profitable ventures. You can be a real winner in a lot of ways. A ‘romantic’ Venus works magic. Speak to a significant someone of love tonight, because you've been thinking about what you want to say.”

To sum up the 21st Path: I need to visualize what I want, but I also need to remember that life will contrive to give me what I need, event if what I need does not resemble in the slightest what I want. Needless to say, working with this Path is presenting me with many opportunities to learn and understand this. It also reminds me that the results are not necessarily affected at all by either my wants or my needs. The Wheel of Fortune, the card connected to this Path, corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), Jupiter (expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune), Kaph (grasping hand), and the Path between Netzach (the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) and Chesed (the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured), and tells of coming change and reminds us that sometimes change is inevitable, and happens in its own time and its own way.

Monday was a truly awesome day. I went out to work in my garden at about 11 am, and was just finishing up by 7:30 pm. Lovely day!! Not too sunny, but at least it did not rain. Right around 7 pm, I felt a change in the air; things had suddenly gotten cold and damp. When I looked up from the bed I was weeding, I was thrilled to see fog swirling around me. How had the fog snuck up on me like that? It was so beautiful. For the last half hour that I was out there, the rest of the world was gone, disappeared in the fog, and I was surrounded by peace and the beauty of Nature.

The rest of this week has been a time of cleaning up and cleaning out. I spent a lot of time going through my clothes, getting rid of things that I haven’t worn in years. LOL, I tend to wear the same group of clothes, and since my weight varies, I need to have two sets of wearable things. Usually, though, I end up also having a set of “once I lose this last five pounds I can wear this” clothes. I got myself into a ruthless mood and chucked a lot.

I also spent some time cleaning up my inbox. I still have more organizing to do there, but I got a good start on things. Looks like this week is kind of a dus week (*grins at Curly*), Blog-wise, but the “housework” needs to be done occasionally.

My Book of Shadows should arrive tomorrow!! It is being sent priority mail with delivery verification, so I am able to track its progress. Right now, it is actually in New Jersey! I really can’t wait to hold it in my hands, to feel its energies. Then, I’m going to need to go through my personal rituals again, do some last-minute tweaking before I immortalize my own Tradition into my permanent BOS.

Tomorrow night, the PBT will be getting together for the first time in a while. I really miss sitting around the table and talking to the Wayne Contingency, face to face. We all have a lot of catching up to do.

Saturday, our belly dance class will be performing our Skirt Dance at the Off the Beaten Path Mind/Body/Spirit Fair. I love the dance we have created!! I can’t wait to perform it. Then, I will be heading down to Cape May, to a full house of company; the OPC is having a golf outing!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Queen of Wands/Queen of Cups reversed. 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. The Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) is Water of Water, and thus is quite deeply connected to her feelings and her Inner Voice; she has learned to not only trust her intuition, but also to interpret its messages. She is reversed for me today, which means that while I may think I’m connecting to my Inner Voice, I’m probably not. These two Queens are pretty much opposites; the Queen of Wands is independent and outer, while the Queen of Cups in an upright position is all about hearing the Inner Voice. Looks like the reversed Queen of Cups is the important card here.

My Thoth card is The Hermit 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 looking within for answers. The Hermit’s message to me is that the journey is the goal, not the destination. The rays of light from the Sun within the lantern the Thoth Tarot Hermit 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.”

My Legacy card is The Lovers, flavored by the Page of Wands. The 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 a very powerful card for me personally, filled with symbolism, the least of which is the presence of Archangel Uriel and His effects on my day. And He has had a voice, a synchronistic voice, for me. The Lovers is not only about love (both my own love and relationships, and the sacred love shared between Goddess and God), but it is about personal choices, and both love and personal choices will come into play for me today. The Page of Wands (Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody; Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic noble egotistical; and Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) uses assertion and action in order to feed his need for adventure and excitement. He has a childlike optimism, and since the suit of Wands is associated with Fire and the Will, he can often manifest that optimism into reality, mainly because in his childlike enthusiasm he refuses to see failure.

My 6-digit date number is 11 (Archangel Uriel), which reduces to 2, the number of balance and polarity (which could also represent The Lovers!).

My horoscopes: “If you've been thinking about writing a novel or taking up oil painting, today is the day to begin. No excuses. You have just as much talent as anyone else, so why not use it? You might find it helpful to join a writing group or sign up for a painting workshop, if only to help you get started and stay motivated. Join a support group for artists. They will understand.”

And: “Get out your sharpest scissors, because you'll want to do some trimming today. There is a lot of excess in your life that doesn't serve any useful purpose, and it needs to go. This goes for excess emotional baggage as well as the many things you've been splurging on. Don't fall for the idea that 'more is better' -- too much of a good thing is still too much. Maintaining this lifestyle costs more effort than it's worth -- and it's distracting you from making important progress.”

And: “Your enthusiasm for group activities and social events is very high today, and you might want to discuss your ideas with others. However, you might have trouble reaching those you need to speak with. This can prove frustrating, but your enthusiasm isn't likely to lag because of it. Keep trying, and eventually you'll accomplish what you want. Whatever you plan today is likely to work out to be quite gratifying - even if the process was difficult!”

My Sun reading: “A Neptune transit reorganizes plans for the better, even though people thought things were permanent. Why? The influence of Uranus represents a replacement that people didn't think of. It speeds everything up considerably. With Pluto, you don't meet by happenstance but by fate tonight. You might fall head over heels.”

Yesterday, I heard from Lady Lilyth regarding my Sacred Mists Third Degree Training lesson 5. I enjoyed this lesson, and put quite a bit of work into it. My research as I worked on the homework questions brought new information to me, and once again, the lesson and the homework both validated my current knowledge and reignited my enthusiasm about learning more and going deeper. I am amazed, again and again, at the effectiveness of these Third Degree Lessons. Because I am extending every effort to go above and beyond what is required, I feel that I am truly receiving a professional-caliber education. My own Path, my own practice of my Craft, and my own connection to my Deities have all evolved immensely, and I am only halfway through with the lessons.

I am only a few weeks from the 8th anniversary of my enrolment in the College of Sacred Mists. My enrolment date is May 30, 2003, and boy, was I a newbie back then. This Samhain will be 9 years of practicing Wicca. I have come so very far. To celebrate, I ordered a Book of Shadows, hand made. With apologies to Lisa, who I was speaking with about commissioning her to create a Book of Shadows for me, because my work hours have been cut in half (along with my paycheck), I have had to adjust my plans. This BOS is smaller (6 ½ by 10 inches), but contains 500 hand bound pages. It will not be specifically created for me, but I have plans for its cleansing and consecration.

I have not been keeping up with my posts regarding Ailm, my Spirit Guide of over 8 years, and her group. Last fall, several of the young men from Bear’s village decided to spend the winter at the group’s ocean camp. A few more substantial dwellings were built late last Summer well into the dunes, away from any flood danger, and over the winter, these young men built more buildings. This Spring, when Ailm and Bear and the group came down from their Winter quarters (Bear’s village), several young women made the journey with them.

This year’s trip down the mountains and through the salt marshes was a bit perilous, due to the meltoff from the heavy snows of the Winter, combined with the substantial rains of Spring. But the group took their time, and made the trip without any injuries. The fishing was good, and the group paused often to smoke their catches.

As the group approached the sea, all eyes were on the horizon. The men who had wintered over had agreed to light a signal fire, beginning with the first full moon after the equinox, to help the travelers to find those who had stayed (just in case they needed to move over the Winter). There was celebration when the signal fire was sighted, and once the groups were reunited, they planned an extensive Beltane celebration.

Today, the Summer village will be celebrating their first handfasting! One of the young women came specifically to be with one of the young men who wintered over, and they will be the first couple dwelling in this newly born village.

Tansy, I have sent you Ailm’s story; enjoy.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Eight of Wands/Page of Wands. The Eight of Wands (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, skill, communication, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) in an upright position is about a sudden release of energy of some kind that clears away confusion. The Page of Wands (Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody; Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic noble egotistical; and Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) uses assertion and action in order to feed his need for adventure and excitement. He has a childlike optimism, and since the suit of Wands is associated with Fire and the Will, he can often manifest that optimism into reality, mainly because in his childlike enthusiasm he refuses to see failure. Sounds like I will be a force to be reckoned with today.

My Thoth card is the Four of Cups reversed. “Luxury” is Crowley’s keyword for this card in an upright position. The Four of Cups (the Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, tenacious, moody) is on the surface a card of pleasure and fulfillment, but combine all that “feeling” that is associated with the Moon and Cancer, and pair it with the stability of the number 4, and you get dreams and fantasies so lovely that they distract us from what we are supposed to be doing. Thankfully, the card is reversed. While I may experience moments of distraction, I should be able to snap myself out of them.

My Legacy card is the Seven of Coins reversed, flavored by the Page of Cups. The Seven of Coins (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, law and order, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, physical, stubborn) in an upright position is a card that is filled with inertia; it tells of an assessment of accomplishments thus far, which is a good thing, but it also warns us that the work is not over, and we need to “use it or lose it. Because the card is reversed, and flavored by the Page of Cups, I am being told that today is a day for tending my inner self rather than my outer world. The Page of Cups corresponds to Libra (“we are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation), Scorpio (“I desire,” intensity compulsion, mystery) and Sagittarius (“I seek,” philosophic, adventurous, blundering), and corresponds to my connections to others and to my own inner self. Interestingly enough, one Tarot source tells me that the Page of Cups can represent the birth of a child, particularly if the Page of Wands shows up in the spread. Now, who’s having a baby??

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of manifestation and experience. I also have two 11’s today, so Archangel Uriel will be having an effect.

My horoscopes: “You can expect to reap the benefits from recent training or studies, Sagittarius. You've made a huge leap in ability, especially where technological skills are concerned. As a result, you can expect to receive either a promotion or raise. It's the least your boss can do to reward you for all your hard work of late. If you continue at this pace, you will soon be running the company!”

And: “An enriching period of looking back and being reflective will continue throughout today. Gaining perspective on where you've come from and what you've done is a great way to gain confidence -- but be careful not to get too stuck in what used to be. The choices you've made cannot be undone, so why dwell? Regret is a useless emotion, and you've got exciting things to think about. The good news you've been waiting for is coming today, and it will give you the distraction you may need.”

And: “Some new people who appear interesting could move into your neighborhood, exciting your curiosity. Conversations of a spiritual or metaphysical nature could take place today, either over the phone or over coffee. The concepts discussed might be deep, exalted and inspiring, yet bring up more questions than answers. Books on the subject could prove enlightening, and you might even want to write down your own thoughts or memorialize them by drawing or painting.”

My Sun reading: “It isn't unusual for it to be a rather busy day when the Moon is in Virgo. Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter bring special opportunities. Mars in Taurus adds steadying determination. It's easier to keep plans rolling for the next few weeks. Tonight is an ambiance of abundance, confidence, and popularity.”

What a wonderful Mother’s Day we had! Twenty-one family members all got together to see Anything Goes on Broadway. This musical is near and dear to Bob and his family, because it was his father’s favorite. Bob and his siblings grew up listening to big band music and jazz of the ‘30’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’s, and this musical contains several favorite songs, so it was truly a walk down memory lane for Ellen, my 91 year old mother-in-law.

I feel the need to kind of tie together the 21st Path. My discussions of late have been kind of ethereal, but so far that is how this Path seems to be presenting itself: by experience rather than by knowledge gleaned from research.

The 21st Path is about growing mature, about awakening to more intense connections with the Sacred; this Path is connected to the Arthurian tales of quests, so it makes sense that this Path is about seeing an image or visualization of a lifetime goal. It is connected to Jupiter, a planet of abundance, and thus the energies of this Path manifest opportunities and possibilities. However, it is up to each of us to choose to take advantage of them.

The Tarot card that corresponds with the 21st Path is The Wheel of Fortune. Once again, I am being reminded that things happen in the time, manner and way that are best for me as long as I allow them to do so. Nature is filled with ebbs and flows, and placing myself within the rhythms of these ebbs and flows will not only allow me to more easily manifest what I visualize, but will also remind me that Divine law operates on the earth and universal law governs humanity. In the end, these all bring true justice.

I should have my eyes and ears open right now, for the effect of synchronicity is also associated with the 21st Path. Messages abound! And choices!

Interestingly enough, I read a paragraph at lunch today from a book I am reading called “Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles,” by Kevin Hearne. This is a supermarket paperback and I did not expect much; however, I am enjoying the story. Here is the paragraph that seemed to shout “I represent the 21st Path” to me:

The point is . . . the universe is exactly the size that your soul can encompass. Some people live in extremely small worlds, and some live in a world of infinite possibility. You have just received some sensory input that suggests it’s bigger than you previously thought. What are you going to do with that information? Will you deny it or embrace it?

Now I know why I’ve got those two Pages in my card throw today, Wands telling me to be open to possibilities, and Cups telling me to be open to the message of my inner voice. I know what I’m going to do; do you??


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Queen of Wands/Nine of Swords. 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. The Nine of Swords (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, social, dual) in an upright position represents brooding and worrying, the kind that takes place in the wee hours of the morning. These two combined kind of present two opposing situations, one where I am feeling empowered and one where I am feeling helpless. Perhaps I will be presented with a choice today whose outcome will hold the potential for one of these experiences.

My Thoth card is the Prince of Swords. The Prince/Knight of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) is not afraid of taking action, not afraid of wading into conflicts, and not afraid to implement new ideas. Emotions and compassion are absolutely not a part of his M.O., and for the good or the bad, he believes in himself completely. Crowley sees the Prince of Swords as being full of ideas which tumble over each other. I might need to remind myself to ground every so often today.

My Legacy card is the Eight of Coins, flavored by the Queen of Wands reversed. Queen of Wands Bookends! The Eight of Coins (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, work and service oriented, sensible, critical) in an upright position reminds us to be persistent, and diligent in order to grasp success. This Eight tells of hard work on the physical plane that will offer rewards within the spiritual realms. My reversed Queen of Wands is warning me that there might be a potential for me to be distracted easily today. But no matter what the outcome, this reversed Queen offers both obstacles and serenity. More opposites.

The Queen of Wands nurtures both independence and self-expression. She is somewhat of a paradox, for the element of Water is feminine, while the element of Fire is masculine. A paradox indeed, but creativity happens because of the union of opposites! She represents the union of opposites, and this union can be pretty powerful; thus, her presence is commanding. This Queen is good at empowering herself and others, but she needs to have a care. She could very well end up being quite overbearing in her enthusiasm. In fact, in a reversed position she just might be seen by others as a bit of a nut case, but we must always remember the sacred nature of The Fool. In past times, the eccentric were seen as sacred, and the reversed Queen of Wands asks us to remember that. She tells us to nurture that enthusiasm but at the same time, to remember that the power of choice is offered to all, and others just might not agree with her. She also needs to remember that while the ability to see clearly is hers, she does not have a right to stand judgment over others, only herself.

My 6-digit date number is 5, the number of motion which erases stagnation.

My horoscopes: “Do you believe in ghosts? Some strange phone calls, e-mails, or other communications may come your way today, Sagittarius. One may come from someone who thinks you're someone else. Phone calls may be hang-ups, wrong numbers, or phantom rings. If there's a knock at the door, it may be the house settling and not a ghost, but it can still be rather unnerving. Try not to think about it.”

And: “The curtain comes up on the backstage goings on around you today, and the exposure will be very educational. A big mystery is finally solved -- much of what you thought was true isn't really -- and you need to ask for more than a few explanations. Anger isn't an inherently bad emotion -- if you feel it today, use it to help you stay focused on what you need to do. Act maturely and responsibly, but above all, take care of yourself and move on if you need to move on.”

And: “Make sure there is an equal amount of give and take in your day. Sometimes when you love someone you just want to keep giving and giving in order to illustrate your incredible love for them. Be sure that you are not draining yourself of valuable energy that you need for yourself. Also be sure that the people you are giving to are also giving their fair share in return.”

My Sun reading: “The Moon opposes transformational Pluto and squares Saturn. Today you may see events of the past in a whole different light, resulting in a 180-degree turn or change of opinion (for the better). The lesson is that problems are better dealt with early on.”

Well, this week has flown by. The Pagan Brain Trust had its New Moon Reiki Share on Tuesday night. Boy, was this one a powerful Share! I actually had trouble sleeping after we all said good night, despite the fact that I had had a busy day. I led a Tarot Class on Wednesday night, went to my sister-in-law’s for dinner last night, and here it is, Saturday morning in Cape May. And for the first time in months, Miss Pauline woke me up during the night by pulling on my covers!!!

And what a glorious Saturday it is! The sun is shining, the air is warm, and every plant is growing and blossoming. A cardinal is sitting in the large crepe myrtle, preening his feathers, and laughing gulls swoop and dive overhead.

While the weather is lovely, today my focus will be mostly indoors. I did spend some time outside earlier, though, and enjoyed the morning air as I threw down more grass seed. The seed I put down two weeks ago is finally starting to sprout; it has been a bit chilly yet, but I have a feeling that the real growth will be starting soon.

I lit two spiced plum votives and a linen tealight, and put some Oceanus scented oil in my simmerer; lovely scents are laced through the air, and the candlelight adds a sacredness to the day, even though the sunlight is shining through the windows.

This morning, I was drawn to visit Danu’s Altar. I had not been there for a while, but found my way through the forest to the edge of Her meadow easily. I stood at the edge of the trees, looking out over the grasses, newly green and stretching towards the blue sky, and the wildflowers, a sprinkle of violet and yellow and white waving in the gentle breeze, peaking out through the grasses. I spoke out loud then, saying that I was here to offer my gratitude and love to Danu, and if any of the blossoms would like to join me, they have only to lean towards me as I walk through the meadow, and I will take them.

I began walking through the grass, and to my joy, on both sides of me the blossoms bent towards me. I filled my arms with blossoms, violet blue with white centers, sunny yellow, and white with yellow centers, and I even added some of the long grasses to the blooms. I paused, looking at the blossoms still bending toward me, and offered my gratitude.

Finally, I came to Her altar. The huge creamy white candle burned in the sunlight, and dried flowers lay before the candle, a past offering. I carefully placed my own offering on the ground, and then gently gathered the spent blooms and placed them in the firepit before the altar. Then, I lit them with flame from Her candle. The dried blooms flared and crackled for a few moments, and were rapidly reduced to ashes and smoke.

I placed my blooms on the altar, and then whispered softly: “My Dearest Lady Danu, please accept this offering in gratitude for the support and guidance you have given me. You are my Mother, my Sister and my Daughter, O Cauldron of Life, and I would not be who I am without Your blessing and without the infusion of Your sacredness into my life. Most Blessed Womb of Nature, as surely as the flame of Your candle burns eternally on Your altar, through the sunniest of days and the darkest of stormy nights, my dedication to You is as eternal as my own life force. I reaffirm that dedication today, Mother of the Sidhe, under the golden light of the Sun Father, and I acknowledge that Your Light burns within my body, my heart and my spirit. Blessed be!”

To my delight, She appeared, walking towards me, the whiteness of Her robe almost painfully brilliant in the light of the sun. Her arms were spread as She made Her way to Her altar, and Her fingertips brushed the tips of the grasses. Behind Her, flower sprang up where Her fingers brushed, the fragrance of those new blooms filled the air.

Danu walked to me; She cupped my face in Her hands, and then She kissed my third eye, and then softly kissed my lips. Then She smiled, a smile as brilliant as the sun shining above, and placed Her hand on my heart chakra.

I was filled with the most glorious, warm, loving energy; it rapidly filled my physical body to overflowing, and then filled my aura until I was blazing like the Springtime sun above us. As I stood there, filled with Her most sacred essence, I felt my worries and hurts and mistakes being burned away. Redemption is quite powerful when being offered by another human, but redemption and renewal being given by Deity is beyond describing. Tears poured from my astral eyes, and my physical cheeks were wet as She smiled. I whispered to Her, baring my soul and offering to Her both my triumphs and tragedies, as proof that I have been living this life, this gift, as intensely as I can, even though I don’t always make correct choices. Danu nodded gently, again and again, as I shared with Her my joys and my fears, and accepted each as a valuable gift. This alone, this acceptance by Her of my very best moments and my very worst moments as valuable gifts, experiences to be treasured, made me realize and know surely, without a doubt, that the greatest gift we can ever offer to Deity is our own life, our own experiences as we live that life.

Once Danu had seen it all, She once again cupped my face, kissed my third eye and then my lips. Then She spoke.

“I am always with you, My Daughter. Do not doubt that for a minute. The greatest gift you can offer Me is to live your life with awareness, awareness that every moment is indeed sacred. Your response to that which you cannot control is equally valuable to Me as the actions you yourself take with awareness. I have gifted you with life so that you can experience all things, and in doing so, grow and evolve, and shed that which weighs you down. And know this: each pain and each regret that you experience to the fullest, and that you work your way through so that pain and regret can be released, brings you one step closer to me. You are feeding your own life essence by living with awareness of the sacredness of all life, and in feeding your own life essence, you are perpetuating Me. For I am you, and you are Me; as surely as your own son carries a part of you within him, you contain My Essence, Daughter of Danu.”

Then She smiled and took a step back. I fell to my knees before Her, bowing my head. When I looked up once more, She was walking away. Just before She disappeared, She turned once more and Her eyes met mine. Then She turned into mist, and was gone.

And here I am, sitting before my computer, watching the flames of my candles dance in the Springtime breeze flowing through the open windows. How do I ever describe what I am feeling? There really are no words. But this I know: every step, every effort, every moment of research and study, every experience within ritual, every mistake I make and every Aha! Moment and time of being filled with the sacred energies of Deity have all been necessary. Each individual experience has been necessary. Without each, I would not be sitting here in Cape May this sunny day, listening to the birds sing and wiping tears of joy from my cheeks as I type these words.

While I have not specifically mentioned it, each of these experiences are furthering my knowledge of the 21st Path of the Tree. In “The Witches Tarot,” Ellen Cannon Reed says: “Until we understand what yearning is, we cannot work toward its fulfillment. You can eat for days, and you will still be hungry if you do not find the thing you want. Indeed, my experiences are teaching me and allowing me to experience and understand what I want.

Blessed be!