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.


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