Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Universe/World reversed/Knight of Cups.  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) is about synergy, integration and fulfillment, but since my card is reversed today, there is a possibility that I will experience isolation or stagnation or a sense that I am not accomplishing things.  This could very well be made worse by the presence of my Knight.  The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) feels things strongly, and depending on his focus, I could be either filled with joy or sulky and melodramatically offended.  Forewarned is forearmed, so I will try to be a bit grounded.

My Thoth card is the Seven of Cups.  “Debauch” is Crowley’s keyword for the Seven of Cups (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, obsessive, mysterious), which he sees as the sinking into the mire of false pleasure.  The image on Crowley’s Seven creates the pattern of the bottom seven sephiroth of the Tree of Life, with the effects being cut off at the Abyss and thus, preventing the inclusion of Deity in the feelings of the day.  This is another heavy and stagnant Water card, and I guess I had better add the blockages presented by illusions or unrealistic ideas to my danger list.

My Legacy card is The Fool reversed, flavored by the Eight of Wands reversed.  The Fool corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and challenges that tend to require the use of the intellect to solve), 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).  This card has been appearing for me lately, and it being reversed today seems to be telling me that I need to ease back on the process of expanding myself.  The Universe and The Fool have a special connection because each is the transition to the other.  And being flavored by the Eight of Wands (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, skill, communication, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) in a reversed position, which is also telling of waiting, and of making preparations rather than just blindly jumping into a situation, it sounds like I just might be wading through cloudy flood waters today.  Better get my boots out!

My 6-digit date number is 5, the number of motion that dispels stagnation.  Oh boy; haven’t we had enough of this already?!  Actually though, after looking at my card throws for today, a bit of motion might be just the ticket.

My horoscopes: “Other responsibilities might keep you away from your loved one today, Sagittarius. If you have plans for tonight - or even if you don't - you might find this rather depressing. Where is the one you love? Is your partner out carousing and having a good old time while you're working like crazy? Don't torture yourself with thoughts like this.”

And: “If the old adage that you reap what you sow is true, you are in for a great harvest in the months to come. Your hard work and focus will start to pay off handsomely with promotions and raises just when you may have given up ever being acknowledged for all you do. Hang onto your great energy, passion and enthusiasm. Doors are about to open for you. Get ready to walk on through them.”

My Shadowscapes Insight today is regarding the Two of Swords.  The energies of this card are as hard and unyielding as the steel that makes up the two crossed swords being held by the hooded figure in the image for this card.  The hooded figure is surrounded by trees and breezes and clouds and living things, all flowing and yielding to, and even avoiding, the cold swords, but the person under the hood refuses to see the truth, even though the surrounding energies attempt to connect.  Yes, this time of shutting out the world brings what could amount to a necessary time of peace and stillness, but how long can we survive and remain sane and balanced if we succeed in shutting out the entire universe?

As I continue to work on entering my rituals, I have come to realize that I miss doing my own rituals.  I love attending rituals with my fellow Sacred Mists students in our Sacred Circle!  I love writing these Sacred Mists rituals, I love leading them, and I love attending them when someone else is leading them; the energies raised and the connections to my fellow students made during the rites feed my soul and are necessary for my well-being.  But I think I am realizing with my heart and my soul what my mind already knows: in order to lead others, in order to be an effective teacher, I must maintain the strength and integrity of the foundation of my own spiritual practice, which can only be effectively done in a solitary fashion. 

It has taken me a lot of time, a lot of research, a lot of learning, many "trial" rituals, and a lot of effort to reach the point where I am comfortable with actually writing down my personal rituals in a permanent way.  My first personal ritual was performed for the Sabbat of Imbolc, in February, 2003, before I joined Sacred Mists.  Throughout that year, I began assembling Sabbat and Esbat rituals, mostly by using the formats of others.  I begain experiencing group rituals after joining Sacred Mists in May of 2003, and have written and led both Esbats and a Sabbat in our Sacred Circle.  Over the years, I have completely replaced parts of the personal rituals I was using with my own words, and tweaked other parts or used them as underpinnings for my own words, so that what I have ended up with would be pretty much unrecognizable (except for a few instances, mostly invocations) if compared to the works originally mined. 

Will these rituals work for others?  I don’t know, and that is not why I am writing them down.  As of right now, I do not know who (if anyone) will be the heir of this Book of Shadows of mine, and until I have totally documented and preserved my Esbats, Sabbats and life passage rituals in final form, I won’t be worrying about this concept.  I do know, however, that the actual written words of my rituals are in reality placeholders for all the knowledge, experiences and wisdom that I have accumulated since early November, 2002 (when I first connected to Wicca), and in some cases, that I have accumulated since I was born into this body.  This is the very reason that I have not put my rituals into a permanent Book of Shadows before now.  It has taken this long to determine that the keywords actually worked!

I understand now why it is so very important to create some physical manifestation of my spiritual Path at this point in my Journey.  Just the act of deciding that a particular ritual has reached the point that it works for me is quite empowering.  But does this mean that once a ritual is written down by hand on the parchment pages that were hand bound into my Book of Shadows, those rituals and the knowledge, experiences and wisdom behind them become stagnant and written in stone?  No!!  It does not mean that!!  At the very least, my understanding of Deity and of my connection to my own Patrons will continue to evolve, as will my understanding of my own psyche, my own energy body and my own physical body.  Even if it reaches the point where some of the words (or some of the entire rituals) do not work for me any more, I will not feel that I failed.  It is time, time for me to memorialize my Path.  It is time for me to physically manifest my Craft. 

I am ready for this, and this moment kind of snuck up on me.  If you had told me a month ago that I would consider myself at a place where I was ready to memorialize my own Craft in a permanent manner, I would have probably said that I was close, but not yet there.  It seems that I am benefiting from the chaos of August.  How fitting that I make this declaration on the 31st, the last day of the month.  Perhaps now, I understand the messages of the Tarot cards I threw today.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ace of Wands reversed/Temperance. The Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting process for self-expression and adventure. Temperance connects with Sagittarius (“I seek,” philosophic, adventurous, blundering) Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Samekh (the tent post), and the Path between Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest into the physical world of action and outer reality) and Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify), and it is about finding balance through an understanding of extremes.  Well, that Ace of Wands is about extremes, or at least the potential for them, and the excitement and courage that come along with them, but it is reversed today, and so it is validating and supporting the message of Temperance.  I think today I may find that I am starting to get back on my feet.

My Thoth card is the Princess of Cups. The Princess/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.  The emotions and feelings associated with this Cups card are a bit dreamy and serene, and yes, they come to me in a more immature fashion than the Queen of Cups. But perhaps that child-like simplicity will serve me well today. 

My Legacy card is The Fool reversed, flavored by the Six of Swords reversed. The Fool corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and challenges that tend to require the use of the intellect to solve), 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 presents new beginnings, optimism, spontaneity and eternal youth; since my card is reversed today, I may find that any impulsive actions could have difficult repercussions.  Perhaps today is a day of order and balance, and isn’t that what Temperance is telling me?    The Six of Swords (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, communication, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause oriented) is about hitting the reset button in order to move away from a problem or blockage, but it is reversed.  Today may not be a day of moving on or of creating the frame of mind necessary to begin a new journey.

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

My horoscopes: “A surge of inner power could have you feeling like you can move mountains, Sagittarius. If you've been contemplating a course of action that others believe impossible, this is the time to get it going. Career matters, romance, and creative projects could all be advanced considerably by careful effort on your part. Give it some thought, write down your ideas, consider all contingencies, and move ahead!”

And: “Too much rigorous exercise over the past few days might have you feeling a little sore, and tired as well. For this reason, your nerves may be on edge, and therefore you're more likely than usual to snap at those around you. Try to ease both nerves and muscle aches by soaking in a hot tub or hot tub. Herbal tea might also help. Just accept that you should take it easy today, and then do it!”

My Shadowscapes Insight today is regarding the Seven of Wands.  This card holds powerful symbolism for me personally, and its Shadowscapes incarnation reminds us of the fortitude and courage that are required in order to do what needs to be done.  This card is not about planning ahead or justifying our actions; it is about having the faith and courage to overcome what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.  The image on this card, a mother protecting her young from a predator, allows me to see the Seven of Wands in a new way. 

August has been a month of transformation for me.  It has been a month of stresses and a month of exhilarations.  August began with the electrocution and near death of my son Brian.  Then, we had an earthquake.  And finally, August left us with Hurricane Irene.  But it has not been all bad.  I have two regular Thai Massage clients.  We were relatively unscathed by the wind and rain and storm surge of Irene.  And I feel stronger and more confident than ever, if a bit battered.

Today, the sun is shining and there is a light breeze, perfect for drying things out.  The power keeps going off, so I am spending my “dark times” working on my fancy new Book of Shadows.  My Full and New Moon Esbats are complete in every way, so I am entering them by hand into my BOS, working on the New Moon now, since that is about the time it is in the Moon’s phase.  I am being moved deeply by my own ritual!

I have found a lovely and moving Charge of the Dark Goddess that I have included in my personal New Moon Esbat (I apologize; I don’t have the author’s name handy, but I did not write the Charge), and the words touch my soul.  You shall approach Me in silence, and as a sign that you are free from fear, your breast you shall bare to My blade, for fear has no place in My mysteries, and that which you seek of Me will destroy you if you fear it.  And: “Of you shall I demand the utter truth of all that you are, and in return shall I give you all that you may be, all that I am.  For My wisdom is beyond the ages, and knowledge of My secrets is power over self, over fear, over death.  I am reminded of the power of these words, the reason why I chose them to be a part of my Esbat.  Their meaning has deepened for me, immensely.

Kali-Ma is one of my Dark Goddesses, and as I hand wrote the words of the invocation I put together as I studied about Her, I was reminded of the messages She has given me in the past. “Help me to understand that sorrow, death and destruction are woven into the texture of my life and cannot be denied, but rather must be accepted, for it is only through releasing my focus on the material and affirming that I am a spiritual being living in a physical body that liberation and freedom can come to me.  Help me to remember that both the joys and sorrows of my life are still with me, are indeed a permanent part of what I am and what I am becoming.  Help me to remember that my mortality is a gift that reminds me that there is an end, and thus that each moment of my life, whether filled with joy or sorrow or pain, with darkness or with light, has value.  How appropriate these words are now, and how important their message is to me after the events of the past month.

I read my own symbolic Great Rite, the ritual that I originally wrote to be a part of the Beltane Sabbat Ritual I wrote as part of my Sacred Mists Third Degree Training, and now use as a blessing of Cakes and Ale within all my personal rituals.  I remember how I aimed to use a traditional Great Rite as a foundation, but yet personalize certain parts of the traditional ritual.  I struggled mightily to find the right words for the presentation and blessing of the Chalice and the Sacred Feminine (my words: “The Altar of bounty, where Spirit is born, And with essence of fertility and potential is filled; The Womb from which all existence is spawned And all Life’s possibilities are Sacred instilled), and the Athame and the Sacred Masculine (my words: “The enfolding forest, the fiery warmth of the sun, The tides of the ocean, the hurricane’s gale, Are the sources from which all transformation comes; The Sacred Catalyst that into Spirit impales”), and every time I use those words within my own personal rituals, I am filled with an intense awareness of the power that is created when Potential is combined with Catalyst.

Words are important to me; they always have been.  I know now that all the study and research involved in my Degree Training at Sacred Mists has been worth the efforts.  My personal Book of Shadows, once it is completed, will be a physical manifestation of who I am, and who I am becoming.  It will be my beliefs, my personal spirituality, transformed into something that can be experienced through the physical senses.  It will be quite some time before my BOS is completed, but I have made progress.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Justice/King of Swords reversed. Well, had these two cards together on August 3rd, except the King was not reversed.  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). Because Justice is about cause and effect, it is reminding me that every action I take, small or large, will have an effect.  I will be held accountable, for good and bad, and I should attempt to take every factor into consideration before making a decision.  The King of Swords (cusp of Capricorn, “I build,” ambitious, cautious, cunning, authoritative, and Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, aloof) is also ethical, and since he is reversed, I need to be aware that ethics might play a part today.  My king is reversed, so my mental clarity and articulation skills may very well be challenged.

My Thoth card is The Fool reversed. To Crowley, “pure folly is the key to initiation.”  The Fool has learned this.  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 presents some powerful energies, and since it is reversed I need to be very aware of what I am saying and doing today.  No trusting in fate; I must be responsible for my words and actions.  However, I should not shut down the Inner Voice, and I must remember that all messages from the Divine are right, if received in the correct way.

My Legacy card is the Eight of Coins reversed, flavored by the Queen of Coins reversed. The Eight of Coins (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) in an upright position is about being prepared and doing your homework, and because it is reversed, I may be dealing with apathy, a lack of drive, or laziness today.  I think I need to determine carefully if I need this time of disconnect after the stresses of the last few days, but no matter what, I need to pay attention! The Queen of Coins (cusp of Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering, and Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning, authoritative) is very good at sustaining the physical world, keeping things dry and cozy and safe and orderly.  I think she is reversed in order to encourage me to allow myself a bit of recovery time.  I have been this Queen for the past few days, trying to keep everything safe during the impact of Hurricane Irene.  So far, so good, and a bit of reward may be in order.

My New Moon Pearls of Wisdom card is the Seven of Pentacles. The Seven of Coins (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, law and order, in Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn) in an upright position tells us that our efforts thus far may bring future rewards, but full potential has not yet been realized.  The Pearls of Wisdom Seven validates the struggle to balance of my inner life with the demands of my outer world.  This card is not an active one, but it is really filled with potential and it is asking me to notice that potential.  Efforts bring rewards, and the seed needs to be nurtured; all I have to do is notice it.

My 6-digit date number is 3, the number of new creation out of the balance and polarity of the number 2 and the potential of the number 1.

My horoscopes: “New channels of communication may open up for you today. A female author whose work you enjoy could release a new book, Sagittarius. You could meet some new neighbors who share your interests or you could come into contact with like-minded people online. This promises to open new territory for you regarding your intellectual and social lives. Your mind is going to be working overtime!”

And: “Communications involving romance could come your way unexpectedly today. You may get a loving message from a romantic partner, or you could hear of a wedding soon to take place within your circle of friends. You could also read a love poem or romance novel, or write something along the same lines yourself! Someone, of whom you would never have believed it, might also express affection to you. Don't be too surprised. You're worthy of it!”

My Shadowscapes Insight is about Temperance.  “They swirl around her in a maelstrom that assaults the senses.  Like a maestro, she watches over and reigns in one or the other when she senses any imbalance so harmony is maintained.”  From the Shadowscapes Companion, these words sum up the active nature of the balance maintained (and represented) by Temperance.  The harmony of Temperance is maintained through the skills that are achieved by experiencing extremes, and then being able to apply just the right amount of those extremes to foster balance (for too much of one will surely extinguish the others).

Hurricane Irene is now history.  We had double stresses, for our Blue Moon House was right in the line of fire, and our Hackensack house is surrounded by 100 foot, 80 + year old trees, and the ground in Hackensack is very, very wet. 

We spent time in Cape May, buttoning things down as much as we could, and then came back North to wait out the storm.  I decided that I would take advantage of the storm and practice my elemental absorption exercises with the element of Air. My experiences are below beginning yesterday before noon and finishing just a few minutes ago.  I had an amazing time, and I'm still filled with lovely Air energy.

August 27th

11:26 am: Rain is just starting in Hackensack, 3 mph sustained winds with gusts to 7 mph.  Cape May has 10 mph sustained, with gusts to 21 mph.  The air is still heavy and has a feeling of waiting and wincing.  Irene has made landfall at the Outer Banks, with 85 mph sustained winds as of 11 am.  Visualizing the storm losing power. 

2:32 pm:  We’ve had some short periods of heavy rain in Hackensack, 5 mph sustained with gusts to 9 mph.  Cape May has rain, about 10 mph sustained winds with gusts to 29 mph.   Air is still humid and oppressive, but the sky is not quite as dark as it was earlier.

3:58 pm: Heavier rain in Cape May, wind gusts to 33 mph but sustained winds still about 10 mph.  Bob and I just took a good long walk.  The rain had stopped and there still was no bad wind, and we are assuming that we might soon be housebound, so we walked along the river.  The air is incredibly humid and oppressive; positively heavy with water.  I connected for a bit with the element of Air, and felt a sense of waiting, and a kind of “bunching of muscles before springing into action.”  The cone of power that is Hurricane Irene is building. 

7:28 pm:  Sitting on the front porch of Hackensack with Bob and Sean, my step-son.  It has cooled off immensely, only 75 degrees now.   Gusts of only 16, with 7 mph sustained, and it is raining, gently but a substantial rain, not a drizzle (but not a downpour).  Cape May is getting a break from some pretty steady substantial rain, but after the break comes the real storm, the stuff around the eye.  Right now, 18 mph sustained, with gusts at 37 mph; not too bad, but oy, I bet my dry crawlspace has water in it.

11:30 pm: Still about the same.  Windy, raining like crazy.  We are running out of wine, and probably going to go to bed soon.  I love the way the trees look as they dance, but I am still hoping that the gusts won’t reach the levels expected.  The incredible oppression that I was experiencing before is gone; in fact, there is an incredible amount of energy all over the place.  The cone of power has been released!!

August 28th

11:50 am:  We are very lucky.  No power outage, only about 3 inches of water in the basement (even though the sump pump has been running for hours).  I got up at about 4 am to check the basement, and it was just barely starting to flood.  The trees at that time were swaying, but not in a way that was alarming me, even though the ground is incredibly soaked.  I am feeling completely cleansed and recharged, because I was connecting to the element of Air all night.  The sylphs were positively ecstatic, trance dancing like crazy, and I joined them until I sagged with exhaustion and fell back to sleep, until almost 10 am, incredibly late for me.  My astral trance dancing was incredible!!  I have been a belly dancer since the mid 1980’s and I still did things I’ve never done before.  Wow, and wow!!!  I think that being with the energy as it built allowed me to be a part of the cone of power.  I feel great, cleaned out and very empowered.  Still have not heard about our Blue Moon House, but we are optimistic.  Will advise as soon as we get info.

1:45 pm: Leaving for Cape May.  We have heard that a small part of the Parkway is still closed, but we are crossing our fingers that the trip won’t be too bad.

6:00 pm: Yay!!  We are here, and our house is fine!  Lots of extra sand on the beach, beach boxes all over the place, but Cape May has survived, relatively unscathed.  Success!!   We will be having dinner with neighbors this evening, and I will finish the whole experience off with a New Moon Reiki Share with the Pagan Brain Trust.  Then back North tomorrow.

August 29th

It has been an amazing few days, filled with stresses and celebrations.  We have survived.  We are stronger.  Temperance, indeed!


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Six of Wands/Eight of Cups. I threw these exact cards with the Llewellyn Welsh Tarot just about a month ago; cool.  The Six of Wands (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, noble, authoritative) expresses the celebration we feel when we have passed some test. The Eight of Cups (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitation, law and order, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, suffering, soul growth) in an upright position tells of an ending or a change of direction.  I am hoping that these are optimistic cards for me today; I am seeing them as telling me that I will have confidence in my ability to deal with the challenges of the day.  No matter what, my mind will cooperate, and I will be able to use the energies of the day to get rid of things that are not of use to me any more.

My Thoth card is The Magus. The Magus or Magician corresponds with Air (hot/separates and wet/adapts, and quick and animated energy which usually presents problems or challenges), Mercury (reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication), Beth (house; builder) and the Path between Binah (female, receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) and Kether (the source, limitless possibility), and he has the power to transform his world through the use of his Will and his connection to the Divine.  Another good card to have.  Today I will be able to tap into the energies around me and, along with the skills and talents I have attained and nurtured, be able to manifest my desires into reality.  Oh-kay!

My Legacy card is Death **gulp** flavored by the Three of Coins 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 (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 ending of an era.  This card validates and supports my Eight of Cups, and because Death is also a Water card, I may find that the transitions which happen today may be emotional. The Three of Coins (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, cunning, competence) in an upright position tells of competence, planning and teamwork.  Because it is reversed, and flavoring my Death card, I am being told that while surviving the challenges of the day may involve teamwork and competence, availing myself of the lessons of the Death card with regard to the opportunities for learning growth and evolution will best be done in a solitary fashion.

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

My horoscopes: “Feelings of love for a romantic partner could be so overwhelming today you might be moved to tears, Sagittarius. You will experience a lot of sensual passion, so an intimate evening together is definitely called for if you can arrange it. If it isn't possible, don't jump to the conclusion that your friend doesn't desire you anymore. If your friend claims to be busy, it's probably true.”

And: “A rush of physical energy may hit you this morning, Nancy, and you might for a moment feel that you'll have no outlet for it. A sibling or neighbor, however, might need some assistance from you, so you'll definitely be able to put that energy to work. It should be an all-round good day for everyone. Your friend will receive some valuable help with an important matter, and you'll be able to make use of all that vigor!”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Three of Cups.  Oh, this one fits for today!  The image on the card looks like a whirling hurricane cloud, and Bob and I will be spending the evening together, braving the storm.  This is a card of connections, all kinds of connections, and most importantly, an awareness of both the messages I give to those I am connected to through love, and the messages that are sent to me.  The liquid dance of the sea bursts to the surface, and the song echoes to the vast vault of the heavens.  From Shadowscapes Companion.  What a lovely image!!  I am going to use this card as I perform my elemental absorption exercises today.  In fact, I think I will use several cards.  I will use the Temperance card of the Llewellyn Welsh, as well as The Tower.  I will cross The Tower with Temperance.  I will also be laying out The Star from my Thoth Tarot.  I will place the Queen and the King of Swords on either side of these cards.  These cards will be my “talisman of safety” today.

It is about 10 am.  The air is humid and heavy and still; it is as if all of Nature is pausing and wincing before the blow.  According to the weather maps, it has begun to rain in Cape May; 6 mph sustained winds with 21 mph gusts.  That is up from just before I took my shower a bit ago from 4 mph sustained, 16 mph gusts.  Hello, Irene.

We spent yesterday preparing.  Bob and I got up at about 5:30, and drove down to Cape May.  We had been hearing rumors of the power being turned off and the Parkway becoming all Northbound, and we wanted to get to the Blue Moon House and batten down the hatches before the storm.  We had no trouble getting down and into the city; our biggest issue was finding an open gas station with gas.  We wanted to be sure that the tank was full.  Finally, success.

We boarded up the French doors and the window in the attic, took everything into the garage, and took down the wisteria and lattices and tied them all down.  All windows are closed and locked, and thanks to Carolyn’s advice, I took some dragons blood oil and drew the rune Hagall over all the windows and doors.  Hagall represents bad weather and disruption, and my intention as I drew the rune with the oil was to disrupt the force of the storm, to turn the energy of the storm back on itself, in order to lessen its effects.  Plus, Carolyn and I called upon the Forces of Air and our draconian guides, and asked for protection. 

My plan for the day is to be very aware of the energies as the storm approaches, and to continue to monitor and blog what is happening.  I am choosing to see this storm as an opportunity to experience the extremes of the effects of the elements.  I will be meditating with my own Elemental Guides, and with the Watchers of the cardinal directions, and performing elemental absorption exercises; should be an interesting day!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Empress reversed/Page of Wands reversed. The Empress corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Venus (beauty, allure, pleasure, relationships), Daleth (door or womb) and the Path between Binah (female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) and Chokmah (dynamic male energy and the origin of vital force and polarity). In an upright position, this encourages us to listen to our senses, to connect with Nature and to look for fulfillment; however, again my Empress is reversed today, and perhaps I am being told that the energies of The Emperor are more important. I need to put structure, order and regulation into my day. 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) in an upright position tends to be a free spirit who uses assertion and action to attract adventure and excitement. My Page is reversed, and could be warning me that taking risks is not advisable at this time. Hmmm . . . kind of validates the reversed Empress. Interesting cards for today, as we watch the course of Hurricane Irene.

My Thoth card is the Prince of Swords reversed. The Prince (Knight) of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) in an upright position is not afraid of taking action, not afraid of wading into conflicts, and not afraid to implement new ideas, the more the merrier. Because this card is reversed, it is validating the message of my first two cards. Risk may not be a good thing right now, at least contemplating taking risks.

My Legacy card is the Nine of Cups reversed, flavored by the Six of Cups reversed. Lots of reversed Cups cards lately! The Nine of Cups (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, spirituality) in an upright position is about powerful satisfaction on all levels (emotional, physical and spiritual) and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. 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 experiencing simple joys. Both of these Cups cards are about feelings and emotions, and both are reversed. There is some balance in that, but the feelings and emotions are not bringing about the satisfaction, fulfillment and simple joys that the upright cards might indicate. Instead, we are seeing cynicism, regret, and a lack of infusion of emotions. **scratches head** Well, these are feelings, after all, and they may be my perception of reality rather than what is actually true and happening.

Look at all those reversals! And repeats, the reversed Empress, the reversed Eight of Cups and the reversed Nine of Cups were in my card throws for yesterday. I guess my cards today are more about what is not happening. Since all my cards were reversed, I threw a clarification card, and got the Two of Wands. Whew!! A power card in an upright position, and sounds like I will need it! The Two of Wands (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, pioneering, assertive, enthusiastic) is an exciting card. It tells of being able to wield influence and have authority, and it tells of being able to think out of the box. This card as a clarification card is reassuring. Not that I am being told that trouble is going to be diverted, but rather, I am being told that I can handle whatever crosses my path. Okay, could be worse.

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, with the intent of preserving the balance of the number 6.

My horoscopes: “You're at an emotional climax now, Sagittarius. Things are coming to a critical point. Little issues in your relationships that you've ignored are coming back to haunt you. Someone could be trying to cross you at this time, or maybe it just feels that way. Don't get overly paranoid. The whole world isn't out to get you.”

And: “Happiness reigns in the home as you and the other members of your household embark on one or more projects that could make your home a more cheery place to life. Warm and companionable conversations involve sharing interesting information, Nancy, and also bring all of you closer together. Visitors could come by, and others could ring you up with interesting news. This is a good day to throw an impromptu party, such as a potluck. Enjoy your day!”

My Shadowscapes Insight today is about the Nine of Swords. The worry card, the brooding at 3 am card. I love the poem at the beginning of the explanation of this card in Shadowscapes Companion:

Stormcrows herald impending dissolution
with voices cawing raucous absolution
round and round and spiraling ever nearer
one future sought – one future feared.

Stormcrows indeed!! And the message of this card, and my insight (completely appropriate due to the approach of Hurricane Irene!) is that the stormcrows only have power if we listen to them. And in the end, as the stormcrows take wing and escape, it will be our fear that will ground us and bring about the very thing we dread. Perhaps this card has a more personal message for me today. After all, besides the Two of Wands clarification card, my cards are pretty oppressive. Will I listen to the stormcrows and manifest my fears into reality??

My last entry on the 11th Path, the Paths of the Tree, the Tree of Life, and the Qabala. Not that I won’t be talking about these things again, but this is the last of this round of study. The card that is associated with the 11th Path is The Fool. The Fool kind of is not expected to follow the rules that are imposed on the rest of the Tarot cards; the energies of this card are exempt from just about everything. This card is about potential, about having faith, about exploring the unknown, about taking a chance and trusting in fate and luck, about doing the unexpected, and about being watched over by a Higher Power. Even the ethereal nature of The Fool is not quite the pure potential of Force that is Chokmah and Kether, but it is close.

Nothing is certain when The Fool shows itself in a spread, and the beliefs of the Seeker receiving the reading will have a huge influence over how The Fool manifests. If the Seeker is optimistic, The Fool will have miracles drop into his lap; if the Seeker expects bad things, The Fool will trip and fall, skin his knees, and break that nice expensive bottle of single malt scotch in his backpack. The interesting thing about this card is that even if his adversaries are powerful and well prepared to put him down, if The Fool believes he will be victorious, those adversaries had better watch out.

The traditional image on this card shows a young man travelling along a perilous road, his dog by his side and a very small pack of his few worldly belongings on his back, smelling a beautiful rose in full bloom. The Fool does not need any physical belongings or fancy gear to find joy and serenity; and this Path of pure Force does not need the Form of the Sacred Feminine to exist as pure potential.

And here, I leave my formal study of the Tree. I have grown, increased my confidence, and deepened my understanding of Deity these past months. I am grateful for the glimpses of the Machinery I have seen, and I am grateful for the Cosmic Downloads that I am still installing. It has taken me nine months to get through the entire Tree, and during this time I have had my beliefs shaken, to my core, and then rebuilt, with even more strength.

And just in time! First, Brian is almost electrocuted, then my trip to the Dominican Republic is cancelled because of Tropical Storm Emily, then there was the Quake of 2011, and now Hurricane Irene is barreling up the East Coast, with a bulls eye pasted on Cape May. Such turmoil! But so far, I am calm. There are amazing energies to be tapped into, and amazing experiences to be had!!


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Judgement/Eight of Cups 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 it usually tells of a coming change or opportunity to validate the good stuff and divest the stuff I don’t need any more. This card is about reaching a decision point, or about realizing what must be done. The Eight of Cups (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitation, law and order, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, suffering, soul growth) in an upright position tells of the need to move on or change of direction, but since it is reversed, this Eight is validating the message of the Judgement card. It is telling me that now is a good time for assess things for while the end or time of change has not yet appeared, it just might be on the way.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Cups reversed. The Nine of Cups (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, spirituality) in an upright position is about powerful satisfaction on all levels (emotional, physical and spiritual) and a fulfilling sense of accomplishment. The card is reversed, so it is telling me to focus less on my emotions or my senses; this is supporting my reversed Empress below. I do need to be careful that I don’t get caught up in the illusion of emotions, but that does not mean I should ignore my Inner Voice. Balance!

My Legacy card is The Empress reversed, flavored by the Knight of Coins. The Empress corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Venus (beauty, allure, pleasure, relationships), Daleth (door or womb) and the Path between Binah (female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) and Chokmah (dynamic male energy and the origin of vital force and polarity). In an upright position, it encourages us to listen to our senses, to connect with Nature and to look for fulfillment; however, my Empress is reversed today. Instead of free-flowing energies, I might to better to impose a bit of order and predictability into the day. My Knight is validating this. The Knight of Coins (cusp of Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, and Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented), like all Knights, represents extreme manifestations of his suit, Coins or Pentacles. He is careful, sometimes to the point of being obstructive, but perhaps today that attention to detail is needed. He is realistic, but I do need to remind myself (especially with those reversed Cups showing up today) that I need to visualize the good things in order to manifest them.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that tells of the pause at the beginning of degeneration, sometimes requiring a choice: accept what is or strive for more.

My horoscopes: “The fire within you may be burning brightly, Sagittarius, but unfortunately, there isn't a great deal of fuel available to keep it going. It may seem as if people are trying to rain on your parade, but they're just trying to do their duty. Relax and contemplate what's going on around you. This may not be the best day to implement change and promote new ideas.”

And: “Give people the benefit of the doubt. Don't be so hasty in your actions and take the time to think things through. You have a special connection with your feelings today that can aid in clearing some of the fog in your mental processes. Your sensitivity toward others is remarkably strong and you will find that people will be particularly drawn to this side of you - especially tonight.”

My Shadowscapes Insight today is about the Five of Wands. This card is about what happens when power gets combined with self-interest, and it reminds us to always ask the question “Does the end justify the means?” Sometimes we need to be single-minded, but that kind of self-righteousness is awfully addictive. This card could be warning us of what might happen if we embrace the Two of Swords as our right. Like the Five of Wands, this Two is double edged, and both of these cards could easily be either good or bad. Worse, they can both easily feel good when actually, they are quite bad.

I spent quite a bit of time last evening with my lower three chakras, cleaning them out, balancing them and grounding myself. Once I had completed this self-maintenance, I thought a bit more about the experiences of the day yesterday, and tried to connect those experiences to the 11th Path. And lo and behold, I ended up with some insight!

It is difficult to visualize the energies and correspondences of the 11th Path, because this Path is a catalyst, not an actual manifestation. I compared this to the earthquake of yesterday. While the force that caused yesterday’s earthquake was surely building for some time, none of us were aware of its presence. It was only once that Force (the eruption out of the chasms of the Atlantic and subsequent Westward movement of the tectonic plate) had been subject to some kind of Form (the surrounding plates, pressing against each other) that we were able to sense its presence and effect.

The energies of the Sacred Feminine are easy to be aware of, and the effects of the manifestation of those energies are within the workings of Nature and our world and universe. But those effects would not happen without the catalyst of the Sacred Masculine; they would only be possibilities and potential if they are not activated. Even the Aha! Moment and the glimpse of The Source that are indicated by the 11th Path are actually the initial results of the action of Catalyst on Potential; the Form has already been imposed or I would not be able to sense these lovely Glimpses of the Machinery of the Universe. We don’t know the Catalyst is there until it has completed its job and begin activating Potential into actual manifestation.

Okay, I think I get it now.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

King of Pentacles/Ten of Cups reversed. The King of Pentacles (cusp of Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive, and Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, physically oriented) is the expert on physical manifestation.  He finds opportunities when others are unable to get started, and he is calm, stable and informed.  He is dependable and very generous.  And he is telling me that I need to be him today. The Ten of Cups (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, spirituality, suffering and growth) in an upright position offers happiness and fulfillment; my Ten is reversed today, and I may find that the day tends to present some uncomfortable feelings and emotions.  I need to take advantage of the perseverance of my King in order to turn that reversed Ten of Cups around.

My Thoth card is the Ten of Swords reversed.  “Ruin” is the upright keyword for The Ten of Swords (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, talkative) which in an upright position tells of bottoming out, and of feeling completely powerless.  Because this Ten is also reversed (which is a good thing, generally), I am being reminded that I have the knowledge and the wisdom to survive the possible unhappiness that could be indicated by the Ten of Cups reversed.

My Legacy card is The Star, flavored by the Ten of Cups reversed.  Hmmm . . . two of those Ten of Cups reversed cards, and actually, three Ten cards, all 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, the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) tells of having faith in the future, and LOL, with all these reversed Ten cards today, I need that faith.   This card also tells of generosity, and that may very well be the solution to these two reversed Ten of Cups cards.  After all, if we want to receive love, the best thing to do is offer love to others.  If we are lonely, we can’t sit there and wait for others to come to us; we must have faith and put ourselves out there. 

Each of my Ten of Cups reversed cards are paired with strong, confident and compassionate upright cards.  One pair is telling me that isolation and hurt can be healed by creating a safe, serene and nurturing environment, and the other pair is telling me that they can be healed by having faith and by offering to others what I want to receive.  And in the middle of these two pairs is the Ten of Swords reversed, another reversed Ten, which is telling me that I won’t give up, and I won’t surrender my personal power.  Okay, then.

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

My horoscopes: “You couldn't dream of a better day to deal with all the little problems in your daily life - broken washing machine, money problems, minor health issues. If your doctor has given you a prescription, you can expect it would work like a miracle drug. Sagittarius, take care of the little things. It will take less time than you think!”

And: “Bask in the sunshine of this day. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and work to expand these energies. There is a great deal of opportunity open to you at this time. The key to honing in this is to stay close to the things that truly bring you the most happiness. The details will work themselves out with almost no effort. Have faith that you will succeed and you will.”

My Shadowscapes Insight re: Judgement.  What a beautiful card this is!  It reminds me that while sometimes we dread this time of accounting for ourselves, even a worse-case scenario of being judged harshly still means that we get to release our burdens.  We can’t answer the call to move onward and upward until we tie up the loose ends of our past efforts, and that is exactly the transition that is offered after we complete our work with Judgement.

This has been an interesting day.  At approximately 2 pm this afternoon, there was a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Washington D.C.  I was walking to the bank when the temblor hit, and did not feel any shaking.  However, I did suddenly feel terrible, with pressure in my chest, anxiety, the shakes, and a sensation that I was going to pass out.  Now, I have a headache.  Thankfully, there are no reports of injuries, and only minor damage being indicated so far; friends are in our house in Cape May, and called to tell us that all was well, but that the house swayed.  Interestingly enough, there was also an earthquake in Colorado within the past 24 hours.  Add to that a hurricane that will most likely be sliding up the Eastern seaboard this week, and we have an unsettled atmosphere. 

I have been focusing so much on my spiritual self that I have maybe been neglecting my connection to my physical world.  LOL, well, my physical world is now jumping up and down and waving at me.  Okay, okay, I see you.  I am going to work with my lower three chakras for the rest of the day, in the hope that I will feel a bit more grounded, a bit more stable; time to be the Two of Pentacles.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

King of Wands/Knight of Wands.  Sheesh; a bit of Fire today?? The King of Wands (cusp of Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, moody, and Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic egotistical) has a Fiery nature, particularly if you see the rank of King as corresponding with the element of Fire.  This King is confident, brave, passionate, and good at transforming his world to match his vision. The Prince/Knight of Wands (cusp of Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, controlling, deep, obsessive, and Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering) is a person of passion and courage as well, but he is not quite as good as the King is at manifesting these traits. He is a bit unpredictable, and his courage can be sometimes a bit foolhardy in the end.  Because I have both the Knight and the King of Wands today, I must guard against ending up feeling addicted to my passions.  But the cool thing is that Knight will light a fire under the more conservative King, and perhaps I may end up with some balance after all.

My Thoth card is the Four of Wands reversed.  Reversed Fire this time.   “Completion” is Uncle Al’s keyword for the Four of Wands (Venus, beauty, allure, relationships, in Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, enthusiastic) which in an upright position is about building enough to become established, as a beachhead, a pause before continuing, not as a finished product.  Usually the reversed Four of Wands tells of a sense of bondage or of lethargy,

My Legacy card is the Queen of Swords reversed, flavored by the Three of Swords.  Eeeep!!!  My least favorite card in the entire deck is the Three of Swords, and oh boy, it sounds like it is going to be a volatile day. The Queen of Swords (cusp of Virgo, “I serve,” practical, sensible, work and service oriented, and Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, grace) in an upright position tells of being up front and open with everyone, of being quick on the uptake, and of making use of the experience I have gained.  But, my Queen is reversed today, so I just might find that I am not detached enough to be clear-headed.  The Three of Swords (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) indicates the possibility of experiencing sorrow or betrayal of some kind.  Because it is flavoring my reversed Queen, the hurt or betrayal presented by the Three of Swords may very well have something to do with my use of my intellect or the way I am perceiving events and effects and emotions that are in play.  There may be some real danger here with the combination of the outer and active King and Knight, the sense of not having established my own place, and these two Swords cards.  **deep, calming breath**  This, too, shall pass.

My 6-digit number of the day is, thankfully, 4.  The number of stability and depth.  I might need some, with these cards.

My horoscopes: “This will be a great day for you! Your children, grandchildren, or siblings may have a lot of excess energy. It's up to you to take care of them, Sagittarius. It's your turn to plan things in the family. You won't have any trouble with this task. Have you ever thought about being a planner or organizer for a living?”

And: “Today you might experience strange feelings that something is wrong, perhaps in the neighborhood, perhaps with a friend or relative. This is probably going to bother you all day today, Nancy, so it might be a good idea to ring this person up, or otherwise look into the matter, as soon as you start having these feelings. Probably there is nothing really wrong, but someone close to you may have just experienced a shock of some kind.”

I have been working hard these past two days, getting the house in order after our most awesome family vacation, and spending some great time in my much-loved garden.  I am typing this entry as some pretty intense thunderstorms are approaching.  The wind is picking up, and the sky is heavy and threatening.  Hopefully I will be able to get this post up, and then I am going to pour myself a glass of wine and sit on the front porch, and watch Nature’s show.   We are going out to dinner later (hopefully the rain will pass by then), and I have to get up and out early tomorrow, as I have two Thai Massages to do!  Yay!

My Shadowscapes Insight today is related to the Page of Wands.  Another Fire card, but balanced out a bit with some Earth (Page).  And how nice, it seems to also be related to the 11th Path!  Mind you, the “official” Tarot card associated with the 11th Path is The Fool, but this Page is quite similar, in a Minor Arcana way.  The Page of Wands tends to be outspoken about personal beliefs, makes a great student ~and~ a great teacher, and challenges us to examine the things that frighten us but are filled with potential.  This card tells us that in order to learn, we’ve gotta push ourselves to the limits of comfort and beyond.  That is the only way we can experience the Aha! Moments.

And of course, this is what the 11th Path is all about.  The epiphanies of the 12th Path can involve recognizing patterns, but not the 11th Path; this one is about being open to experiences and effects without any expectations at all.  Each morning is a fresh, new beginning, filled with unknown potential, and we can’t perceive this potential unless we bring ourselves back to the beginning and start over again.  The energy of this Path is not shaped in any way, and each of us must strive to find our own meanings and our own applications for the knowledge and wisdom we receive here.

This Path is the moment at the end of The Celestine Prophecies, when many had learned to raise the vibrations of their own energy body to a level that transported them completely out of the physical realms, that made them invisible and unable to be seen with physical eyes.  This is the energy that is pure catalyst, that sets everything else in motion.  This is the cause behind all effects, the power behind all manifestations, and the seed of the end result which is sown at the very beginning.  This is Perfect Love and Perfect Trust, with complete innocence and harm to none.  This is not about the destination, it is about the very first step of a journey, a small step for sure, but the journey could not exist without it. 

The power of the 11th Path has no Form; it is the purest of Force, and it is neither positive nor negative.  However, I do need to remember that this Path does contain the potential to be either positive or negative, and in order to experience its effects, I must always be aware of consequences. 

Or, I can trust in the goodness of the Universe and my own heart, just like The Fool, and step forward into the unknown.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Ace of Wands reversed/Page of Cups. The Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting process for self-expression; because the card is reversed, I just might have a bit of trouble feeling confident in my abilities, feeling faith in the rightness of my path, or feeling the courage necessary to step into the unknown. 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. I like having this Page showing up with the Ace of Wands reversed, because the encouragement of this card to feel, to care, and to connect with my Inner Voice might be just the ticket to turn that Ace around.

My Thoth card is the Four of Cups reversed. “Luxury” is Uncle Al’s keyword for the Four of Cups (the Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, tenacious, moody), which in an upright position reminds us that experiencing too much pleasure can desensitize us to its effects, and blind us to everything else going on around us. Because the card is reversed, I should feel able to make the effort to shrug off lethargy so that I can focus on what needs to be done. This reversed Cups card is also validating the message of my Page above; it is telling me that now is the time to reach out and make fulfilling connections. Satisfaction is available for me, if I open myself to it.

My Legacy card is the Queen of Wands reversed, flavored by the Knight of Cups. Active Cups cards today! The Queen of Wands (cusp of Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, soul growth, spirituality, and Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive) is about being warm and outgoing, cheerful and assured. Because my Queen I reversed, she is validating the possible confidence issue presented by the Ace of Wands reversed, above. I need to be aware that any enthusiasm I may feel today may not be appropriate; I might appear as a bit nutty to others. Granted, most of the time that is not an issue, but there are times where I need to act like a grownup, and today may be one of those days. The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) tells of a person who feels things intensely, and that is a two-edged sword. Paired with the reversed Queen of Wands, this Knight of Cups is warning me that my sensitivity could be a negative thing today. I may see hurt being perpetrated when there is none, I may find that any enthusiasm I do happen to feel is empty or does not go the distance, or I may focus inward to the point that I am not effective at all. My Knight and my Queen need to look to my Page for a bit of optimism and healthy anticipation.

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

My horoscopes: “Watch the sunrise today, Sagittarius. Open your eyes to the beauty around you and let it inspire you to take action. Someone may be trying to throw you a curve ball, so be ready. You have a generous heart that you should share freely. Your helpful nature will draw others to you and help you skate effortlessly through your day. Teach someone a lesson that you know they need to learn.”

And: “Don't be surprised if a lot of visitors show up at your door today. Perhaps you're hosting an impromptu social event, or neighbors bring news of changes nearby. You should be brimming over with energy, so this isn't anything that you can't handle, but you could find it a bit unnerving if it gets to be too exciting. In situations like this, it's best just to go with the flow and enjoy it. You can think about it later!”

My Sun reading: “Mars and Jupiter stimulate activity and vitality, so get ready to seize opportunities. Couples feel like young lovers, and the feeling should be enjoyed. Plan something special. If you're single, you're a smashing success when you attract moths to your flame.”

Another Shadowscapes Insight today. I threw the Six of Cups, a truly lovely card, and had a nice moment of a light bulb being lit. This card is described in the Shadowscapes Companion as presenting a moment when “the mind has not yet been chained by boundaries of ‘what must be’ and definitions of impossibility.” What a perfect description of the innocence and optimism of this card! Not quite as active as The Fool, who is boldly going forth with the optimism that can create the world he expects; this card is more about pushing back the narrowness that is created by the complexities of life and living, and then sitting back to see who we attract to this pleasant environment with absolutely no expectations of results at all.

**drum roll** On to the 11th Path!! I began working with the Paths of the Tree of Life way back in the end of January (I began studying the Sephiroth in the middle of November, 2010); it has been a long time, but oh boy, has this study of the Tree of Life been useful!! And now, I begin my examination of the last of the Paths.

The 11th Path connects Chokmah (Wisdom), the sephiroth of the Sacred Masculine, to Kether (Crown; The Source), the most pure of the sacred essences that can be perceived by humans. This is the lightning flash of intuitive insight, raw potential that is not even tweaked enough to be called an Aha! Moment. This Path is named “The Spirit of Ayther” and “The Threshold of Nothingness,” and its message is mostly symbolic, hard to put into words, and not even close to being manifested physically. And yet, it is the end, and the beginning. In “The Witches Tarot,” Ellen Cannon Reed describes the 11th Path as representing “both our starting point and our goal: reunion with our Source.” Indeed, travelling up the Paths towards Kether has ignited within me an unquenchable thirst for interaction with Deity; I would think that travelling down the Sephiroth towards Malkuth would bring a need to understand physical existence.

Of all the Paths, this one seems to require the ability to take a leap of faith. The energies that surround and infuse this Path may be erratic and unpredictable, at least from my lower-vibrating, human perception, but I need to believe that whatever happens here is meant to happen. Understanding this Path and the 12th Path, and the three Sephiroth of these Paths (as well as Da’at) will be the closest I can come to understanding Deity and the “negative” emanations (not “evil” rather not manifesting) above the Tree.

It is interesting to me that one of the correspondences of this least manifested Path is technology, but then again, invention requires the ability to see things that don’t yet exist in the physical world.

Off to a good start!! Soon, I will be leaving to rejoin family vacation, already in progress.