Friday, March 30, 2012

Four of Cups/Ten of Cups reversed.  The Four of Cups (the Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, nurturing, tenacious, moody), which tells me that today an awareness of my own feelings and a contemplation of those feelings could be a huge part of my focus.  This is one of the heavier cards in the deck, and there is a danger of becoming so inwardly focused that I become apathetic. The Ten of Cups (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, drive, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, spirituality, suffering and growth) in an upright position offers the manifestation of happiness and fulfillment. My Ten of Cups is reversed, so in a way it is offering support to the Four of Cups, which tells of a bit of isolation.  I may have peace today, but I will need to be careful that I don’t isolate myself too much.

My Thoth card is the Princess of Cups.  Another Cups card!  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) is very emotional, dreamy, social, and connected to the inner voice.  Others may think this Princess is shirking her duties, but she’s not.  She is just quiet.  This card can also represent an emotional turning point; after all, the Princess/Page is also a messenger, and the message this Page brings to me is related to emotions and feelings.

My Legacy card is the Ten of Wands reversed, flavored by the Ace of Wands.  The Ten of Wands (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering) is a card which tells of being taxed to some perceived limit.  However, my Ten of Wands is reversed, so it is telling me that I’m not done quite yet.  The cool thing is that my Ten is being flavored by the Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly).  Granted, Aces are potential only, but this Ace is reinforcing the idea that my Fiery creativity has not run out of fuel yet!  This pair is not about doing things halfway.

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of effect or manifestation.

My horoscopes: “Suddenly you seem more glamorous than usual, Sagittarius. You may exert a mysterious appeal that in the 1920s was called ‘it.’ Current and potential love partners may take a second look and be intrigued. Don't be surprised if you attract admiring glances from strangers! This could make a big difference in your love life. Lovers you encounter today should continue to see something in you for a long time. Make the most of ‘it’!”

And: “Stimulating conversation could take place with partners of all sorts, from business partners to exercise buddies to lovers. Some new and useful information could come your way, which you'll want to explore further. This is a great day to execute legal papers, or to enter into any kind of agreement or commitment. It is also a good time to sign up for a class or workshop. Make good use of the energies of the day.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Four of Wands.  Spring has arrived! This is a card of initial successes, and Spring is the perfect metaphor.  The daffodils are in bloom and at least for today, the sun is shining and the air is warm.  We could get snow tomorrow, but let’s enjoy the fact that the garden has been cleaned out of last year’s detritus and the seeds are planted.

I am just back from my Friday night walk through Cape May.  Three of the local pubs have live music, and there are people all over the place.  We are very close to the beginning of the season!

The first quarter moon is high in the sky, and Venus is so bright, looks close enough to touch.  There was a slight breeze, just enough to make my walk comfortable.  I could hear the waves, and smell hints of that lovely brine fragrance.  Love me some nighttime beach walking!

I went onto Wikipedia and read a bit about Fermentation.  I did not realize there were so many versions of this process:

Ethanol fermentation, the production of ethanol for use in food, alcoholic beverage, fuel and industry.

Industrial fermentation, the breakdown and re-assembly of biochemicals for industry, often in aerobic growth conditions.

Fermentative hydrogen production, the fermentative conversion of organic substrate to biohydrogen manifested by a diverse group of bacteria .

Lactic acid fermentation, the biological process by which sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose, are converted into cellular energy and the metabolic byproduct lactate.

Tea processing, the term used in the tea industry for the aerobic treatment of tea leaves to break down certain unwanted chemicals and modify others to develop the flavor of the tea.

Fermentation (food), is the process of sugar to carbon dioxide and alcohol by yeast.

Fermentation can be a noun: A state of agitation or excitement; a ferment [From Latin fermentare (“to leaven, ferment”), from fermentum (“substance causing fermentation”), from fervere (“to boil, seethe”), Confer French ferment, see also fervent].

Fermentation can be a verb: To react, using fermentation; especially to produce alcohol by aging or by allowing yeast to act on sugars; to brew; to stir up, agitate, cause unrest.

I think it is interesting that Fermentation is a reaction, rather than a catalyst.  It appears that if the right ingredients are present, Fermentation will occur.  Perhaps this alchemic process of Fermentation can only happen when the other steps have been achieved with as close to perfection as possible.  The thing that really seems to be popping out to me, as I begin to think about the process of Fermentation, is that it is only once I reach this stage that I realize that if I did not pay attention to the steps before now, if I did not perform each step thoroughly and to the best of my ability, then Fermentation will not happen.  If the ingredients aren’t perfect, the reaction will not occur. 

I am optimistic.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Queen of Swords reversed/Queen of Wands reversed.  Two reversed Queens.  The rank of Queen corresponds with the element of Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and sensitive, imaginative energy that strives to stay the same or take the same course), and with an inner manifestation of the corresponding suit.  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 alert and quick on the uptake.  Because my Queen of Swords is reversed today, I may have trouble figuring out what is real and what is an illusion.  The Queen of Wands (cusp of Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, soul growth, spirituality, and Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive) is energetic and enthusiastic, gives 100% of herself, and always has a smile on her face.  This Queen is also reversed, and thus being stubborn or speaking without thinking could add to my sense of being at sea.  Sounds like I won’t be very focused or productive today, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

My Thoth card is the Queen of Cups.  Another Queen!  The Queen of Cups (cusp of Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual, and Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody) represents the energies of Water and The High Priestess manifested into the Minor Arcana.  This Queen is very good at being a mirror, helping others to know their emotions and feelings.  Perhaps that is my purpose today.  No new ideas, no ability to focus on my own intellectual needs, but lots of effectiveness as far as tapping into my own instincts, and those of the people around me.

My Legacy card is the Page of Wands, flavored by the Ace of Wands reversed.  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) tells me to use assertion and action to attract adventure and excitement.  This Page can be seen as a less mature version of the Queen of Wands, and perhaps that is the message of my reversed Queen above.  The Page of Wands brings to me the message of the Ace of Wands, and tells me to use its effects and creativity and optimism because I can.  However, my Page is being flavored today by a reversed Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly).  This Ace in an upright position tells of the first spark of a new and exciting creative process.  However, I may not connect to this potential for creativity, although if I am able to hear the message of the Page, I might be able to overcome any blockages.

My 6-digit date number is 7, the number that tells of the pause that comes at the end of growth, which brings a choice and the beginning of degeneration.

My horoscopes: “You must weigh your physical limitations with your desire to get everything done, Sagittarius. You run the risk of wearing yourself out and getting sick just as you finish your tasks. Enlist the help of others, if you can, for all those chores and errands that absolutely need to be done. You should definitely leave anything that can wait. Your health needs to come first!”

And: “Home might be a lonely place tonight. The other members of your household are apt to be out on the town, if not actually out of town. You might not be feeling up to any carousing, so you'll probably choose to stay home and read, or watch TV. However, your natural gregariousness could cause you to feel abandoned. Call a friend up on the phone and talk for a while. That'll make you feel more like your normal self.”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Ace of Swords.  The sword pictured on this Ace has two edges; this means my Ace can bring clarity, intelligence and fairness, or it can bring arrogance, anger and the belief that we have the right to use raw power for our own needs without a care for others.  I am being told today that thoughts and beliefs have power, and I should wield them with care. 

Interesting that after researching both “junk DNA” and “spiritual DNA” over the weekend, I have seen another reference to the parts of DNA that could have a non-physical purpose.  I was reading a mystery thriller fiction book on my Kindle last night, and what do you know?  There was the concept of junk DNA, and it was presented as having a purpose.  In this book, junk DNA was presented as the source of our ability to translate.  This ability would certainly be connected to our skill for languages, and this skill was also mentioned in the other information I read about spiritual/junk DNA.  To me, this skill would represent language-to-language translations, but it would also represent symbol-to-language and language-to-symbol translation.  Could the abilities of our Younger Self, the part of our psyche that can communicate in both words and symbols, be found in spiritual DNA??  Whoahhhhh!!!  That would mean our ability to work magick originates within spiritual DNA.  Could that also be the source of our need to connect to Deity? 

This is from one of my fellow Third Degree students; this list was created by author Anna Franklins.  Isn’t it perfect?!

"The Eightfold Ways are eight distinctive paths of magic:

1] Concentration: The Path of the Hunter
2] Trance states: The Path of the Shaman
3] Herbal knowledge: The Path of The Wise Woman
4] Ritual: The Path of the Priest/Priestess
5] Dance: The Path of the Sacred Dancer
6] Sound: The Path of the Bard
7] Body control: The Path of the Warrior
8] Total involvement in worship: The Path of the Witch"


Sunday, March 25, 2012

It is Transparent Oracle Sunday again!  As usual, my question is “what do I need to know?”  The three cards I threw are:

6, Guide: Butterfly (East).  East is the direction of Air, and thus of fresh ideas and new beginnings, knowledge, information and thoughts.  Butterflies are about metamorphosis, and about seeing in all directions at the same time.  Butterflies are strong!  Monarchs, with wings basically the consistency of tissue paper, fly hundreds of miles to the South in the Fall, winter over, and then return Northward.  Butterflies are an interesting combination of potential and sacrifice. 

24, Time of Day: Sunset (West). West is the direction of Water, and thus, of feelings and emotions, relationships of all kinds, cleansing and healing, the wisdom associated with natural endings, and the bubbling up of pure joy.  Sunsets are special to me; I have spent many a sunset, either in the heat of the summer or on a cold, windy winter evening, on the beach in Cape May.  Sunset is a time of natural ending, of a resolution that must happen, at least for now, of a rest before the cycle begins all over again. 

37, Guide: Raven (North). North is the direction of Earth, and thus of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply, being well-grounded, and being in touch with our physical body.  Ravens are truly intelligent and clever animals, able to solve problems seemingly by magick.  Yes, they are scavengers, but so is my totem animal, the turkey vulture.  Ravens are also communicators; you can hear them calling to each other early each morning. 

The mandala created by these three cards is interesting.  The first thing that I noticed was that the head of each Butterfly appears just about where the third eye would be on the Ravens, if they had them (and they probably do!).  The eyes on the Butterfly wings are not being blocked by the Ravens; the eyes of the Ravens appear as if they could actually be on the Butterfly wings.  And yet despite the two winged creatures who seem to have laced together, the Sunset is reaching out and around and up, gently cradling them both, and telling them that it is time for bed.  Thus, while I may be experiencing an awareness or sensitivity of the beauty and potential around me, and I may feel as if magickal messages are being presented to me, the time is approaching when these communications will end and the channel of potential will shut down.  Don’t waste this!

And here is a related topic.  I am taking part in an Oracle Study Group within my Coven, and through the lessons associated with this Group I have researched an exciting concept: spiritual DNA.

Spiritual DNA is a new term to me, but oh boy does this concept make sense!  I remember hearing that DNA actually glows very slightly, and that it “hums.”  I read a book last year called “The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge” by Jeremy Narby, an anthropologist who went to South America to study the culture and practices of Peruvian Shamans, and ended up actually experiencing ayahuasca, the hallucinogenic drink used by the Shamans.  After reading this book, I came to realize that DNA could be considered the “image of Goddess.”  After all, DNA is common to all life, and is the instruction book to create life. 

I did a bit of research on spiritual DNA.  Most of the websites that popped up in an internet search were Christian, but I did find one interesting non-denomination essay on the website noosphere[dot]Princeton[dot]edu.  This essay states that human DNA is a “biological internet”!  The essay suggests that the majority of our DNA (which is not used for building proteins and is considered “junk DNA”) is actually like a computer server; this segment of our DNA stores data and even communicates.  The cool thing is that linguists who have studied the alkalines in our DNA have discovered that these communications follow the same basic rules as all human languages; this means that language did not appear coincidentally but rather as a reflection of our DNA.

DNA also reacts to vibrations.  This means that living DNA (DNA that is in place in the body, not cut out and in vitro) reacts to sound, to language-modulated lasers, and even to radio waves if the proper frequencies are used.  Here is an explanation for why affirmations, training and hypnosis can be such powerful tools if used correctly.

DNA could also be the “transmitter” of information and knowledge.  The essay names this process “hypercommunication,” and offers a really interesting example as proof of the effectiveness of hypercommunication.  This example occurs in Nature and is regarding the queen ant who leads her colony.  When a queen ant is separated from her colony, the ants who she sees to continue their work as if the queen was still physically in the community.  The queen can be as far away as she needs to be and still be able to “send” instructions to the colony, as long as she is still alive.  If the queen is killed, all work in the colony stops. 

Our physical DNA could very well be the “plug” or “outlet” that spiritual DNA uses to connect to our brains and the chemical processes that happen in our brains that support feelings and emotions.  This is similar to the channels, meridians and sen lines of energy within the subtle body, which tend to exist alongside nerve networks, the workings of our glands, or the circulatory system.  How cool is that??!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Ace of Swords/Seven of Swords.  The Ace of Swords (Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution authority, cunning, Aquarius and Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, artistic) is about potential within the mental or intellectual realms.  I am being told that today I might be effective if I analyze carefully and perceive the results of that analysis in an ethical, just and fair manner.  The Seven of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloofness) tells of the effort to maintain things as we want them, often through the use of deception and without considering the wants or needs of others.  This card has a sort of isolated feel to it, and that makes sense.  After all, if we are taking things too far or considering doing something a bit unethical, we don’t want anyone watching.  I need to be very careful today, as these two cards together are potent, and I might loose track of the effects of my thoughts, words and deeds upon others.

My Thoth card is the Nine of Wands.  “Strength” is Uncle Al’s keyword for this card, and from all the Swords cards that are showing up, I may need it.  The Nine of Wands (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) represents being defensive or closing off.  The energies of this card kind of make us assume that something bad is going to happen and we need to prepare for it.  With all these Swords and Wands cards today, I should have plenty of tools at my disposal that will allow me to effectively take a stand, but since there are no emotions or grounding available to me, I had better choose my causes carefully.  This is the card that states: change is stability, and stability is guaranteed by change.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Swords reversed, flavored by the Knight of Wands.  Bookends!  The reversed Ace of Swords may be reminding me that I am forgetting to use my intellectual abilities, or I am not using them in the best way.  The Will originates in the mind and if we don’t connect to the Will regularly, it can atrophy.  The 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, courage, enthusiasm and boundless energy.  The energies of this card are strong and powerful, but quick to fade away.  Perhaps the reversed Ace of Swords my Knight is flavoring will ground him a bit, but I still need to be very careful to think before I speak or act today.

More about the Ace of Swords.  All Aces tell of potential, not manifestation, and this Ace is no exception.  However, the subject matters dealt with by this Ace, the mind, the intellect and the Will, are causes rather than physically manifested effects.  However, even so, the causes are not yet having an effect.  The Ace of Swords in an upright position reminds us that a seed has been planted that could deal with intelligence, reason, justice, truth, clarity or fortitude.  Just because the seed has been planted, I should not assume that it will sprout without assistance.  The suit of Swords also often represents a challenge or a situation with the opportunity to grow or evolve laced into it, and that possibility is also indicated by this Ace.  A sword traditionally has two blades, and the potentials and possibilities presented by this Ace, while neutral, are open to being affected by either helpful or harmful influences.  The potentials and possibilities connected to the Ace of Swords are not naturally occurring in our world, but rather are initiated and maintained by our own minds.  That is a heck of a lot of power!  We do need to remember, however, that the energies associated with the Ace of Swords are totally analytical; no compassion or grounding are found within these energies unless we consciously choose to include them.

My 6-digit date number is 11 (Archangel Uriel), which reduces further to the number 2, indicating balance, polarity and an awareness of the concept of “distance between.”  Sheesh, I may need that balance!

My horoscopes: “A lot of warm and loving communications could come your way today, Sagittarius. It could be in the form of letters, phone calls, emails, or texts Friends from far away whom you haven't heard from in a long time could keep you busy catching up on the phone. Relations with family members or a partner are likely to be supportive and intimate today. With this, your appreciation of those in your life may be highlighted.”

And: “You are by nature quick-witted, and today you are likely to be especially so. Your intellectual powers are operating on a very high leveli, and a wealth of new ideas may be coming to you from all sides, both from without and within. You're more talkative than usual and will want to share your ideas with those around you. Optimism and enthusiasm are definite keywords. Make the most of them!”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Four of Swords.  This is a Swords card of composure, serenity and quiet, unlike most of the other cards of this suit.  The pause indicated by this card is not happening due to a defeat, but rather because of some momentary stability that allows us to release the problems and focuses, and just float for a bit.  This is not a permanent rest, and we need to be ready to step out into the world and face our challenges once again, but we will be better able to deal with them after indulging in a bit of stillness and silence.

First of all, I was glad to see that the comment I posted on the blog referenced in yesterday’s post has appeared on that blog.  I did not mention any names in my reference, but since I specifically referred to the disappearance of my post, I felt it only fair to mention that the post did appear.

Separation, Conjunction and Fermentation have been on my mind these past weeks, and I finally feel as if I have muddled through whatever needs to be addressed during this round of working with the alchemic Great Work.  I have strived to see my “ego self” and I am still attempting to recognize each time that my ego self attempts to provide input to an event.  I have released and continue to release those things and ideas that no longer serve me, thus continuing the process of raising my personal energy field and experiencing my own spirituality with more clarity.  And I am bravely peering into the darkest corners of my “shadow self” in order to perceive and understand the things about my personality that make me the most uncomfortable, so they can be aired out and allowed to putrefy and return to the earth as compost.  It is only once I complete this last process that regeneration can actually begin, and that coming regeneration will use as fertilizer the compost being created by me each day.  Awareness is the key here, awareness of what I am thinking, saying, doing and believing, and why I am thinking, saying, doing and believing them.

Perhaps I am moving a bit into the Citrinitas phase, or at least receiving a glimpse of what that phase will be like.  Carl Jung is credited with interpreting the processes I am working with here; Jung interprets Nigredo is the Shadow; Albedo as referring to the anima and animus (contrasexual soul images); Citrinitas is the wise old man (or woman) archetype; and Rubedo as the “self” archetype which has achieved wholeness through the processes of the alchemic Great Work.  Perhaps a bit of research into archetypes may be in order.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Death/Knight of Cups reversed. The Death card corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and sensitive, imaginative energy that strives to stay the same or take the same course), Scorpio, Nun (fish head; liberation), and the Path between Tiphareth (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 natural change that cannot be stopped.  Death is about transitions, about the ultimate transition, permanent and non-reversible. Not fun, but effective, and maybe even exciting. The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) is about feeling things strongly and about dreaming, and about the imagination.  Because my Knight is reversed today, I may be dealing with unbalanced feelings, or perhaps a lack of clarity regarding the source or motivation of those feelings.

My Thoth card is the Three of Cups reversed. “Abundance” is Crowley’s keyword for the Three of Cups (Mercury, reason, intelligence, orderliness, communication, in Cancer, “I feel,” sensitive, tenacious, nurturing, moody).  This card is about friends and blessings and networking or connections. My “Abundance” card is reversed today; perhaps I should not believe everything I hear.

My Legacy card is The Sun, flavored by The Hermit. The Sun corresponds with Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change), our Sun (the inner core of a person or situation), Resh (the face; reason), and the Path between Yesod (the place where patterns and images emerge that may manifest in the physical world) and Hod (provides analysis and communication), and tells of a time of enlightenment; at least for now, hard work and patience are manifesting a great harvest. The Hermit corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, practical and stable energy that is slow to change), as well as Virgo (“I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented, orderly), Yod (open hand, touch), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Chesed (the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured), is about searching within for a deeper meaning.  The Hermit in an upright position uses solitude as a tool to increase understanding, but since my Hermit is reversed (and flavoring my Sun card), I am being told that the enlightenment of The Sun will be better absorbed if I keep connected to my world.

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

My horoscopes: “A rush of humanitarian spirit and a desire to do some real good might find you looking into various charities in order to find those you might want to help. However, money could be flowing out for other purposes a bit too quickly for your tastes, Sagittarius. It perhaps would be best to find one group that suits you and give only to that one. Save other worthy causes for another time.”

And: “Take your thoughts and share them with those who can help execute them today. If you have a trailer that needs to be moved, don't try to do it all by hand. Ask around for someone with a large truck who can hook it up to the back and cart it around to wherever it needs to go. You have the resources available to you, all you need to do is set the gears in motion”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding Judgement. Sooner or later the time comes for each of us when an accounting is required.  This card is telling me that the time is good for me to look at the cycle that is just passing away in order to appraise with an open and objective mind what I’ve done.  Despite the name of the card, there is no harsh judgment here, just analysis.  If the results are good, I will reuse; if the results are bad, I will discard.   

Okay, there must be something in the water today.  I feel the need to take a time out and define my chosen religion.

First, I guess I should define that word, religion.  To me, religion is a template or form or cup if you will, into which we pour our spirituality.  In order to get the most out of our spiritual experiences, we each need to find the right template or form or cup into which we pour that spirituality; if we work with the wrong one, there will be chafing and discomfort.  Religions involve core values, instructions for worship, and often, sacred texts, and those are all man-made; this means that “religion” does not equal “Deity,” but rather a set of man-made instructions regarding a way to connect with Deity.  And religion is not the only way to manifest a spiritual nature; there are other more secular templates, forms and cups out there that can be equally fulfilling to the right person.

I am a practitioner of Wicca.  I have been practicing Wicca almost 10 years, and have been studying and researching as well as practicing during most of that time.  So, you may ask, just what is Wicca?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  It seems that many people have different ideas of just what Wicca is or isn’t, just what makes a Wiccan a Wiccan. 

Wicca is not the “old religion.”  Yes, it is based in part on some cultures and practices of pre-Christian religions, but Wicca also draws from the Golden Dawn, Hermeticism and other traditions of Western Magick and Mysticism. Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner were friends, so we can also assume that Crowley had some input into the BOS Gardner presented to the world.  And these are not the only sources of the core beliefs and the practices of Wicca.  There are Traditions of Wicca that embrace Celtic myths, Norse myths, Greek Pantheons and Roman Pantheons, to name a few, but don’t believe that if you practice Wicca, you are literally practicing an ancient religion. 

Does Wicca’s relative youth detract from its validity?  Wicca is not old; compared to some of the mainstream religions that are thousands of years old, Wicca (publicly presented by Gardner in the middle of the 20th Century) is a mere infant of less than 100 years of age.  But even those mainstream religions had to begin somewhere.  After all, early practitioners of that upstart faith called Christianity took a few simple concepts and ran with them, and we all know where that ended up.  Will Wicca have the same renown as Christianity in 2,000 years?  I don’t have the faintest idea, but the mere newness of Wicca as compared to other religions cannot be seen as an invalidation of Wicca’s effectiveness.  And despite the fact that Wicca is not that old, it has already begun to evolve; that certainly seems to indicate that Wicca is relevant and will most likely remain so.

Like all religions, Wicca has a set of core beliefs that define it.  Wiccans perceive Deity as being male and female, and see the union of the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Feminine as the source of life; we see Nature and the cycles of life occurring on our world and in our universe as one form of physical manifestation of the workings of Deity, and thus as sacred.  We do not see the physical world as the only plane of existence.  We see life as eternal; this means that there may have been a Big Bang that created our universe, but that Big Bang happened because the previous universe contracted.  We see the life essence as being the same as and/or coming from the pure essence that is Deity; thus all life is sacred.

Wiccans believe that we are each responsible for our own thoughts, our words and our actions, and the consequences of those thoughts, words and actions. We believe that our universe is composed of “energy,” and we believe that we can often have an effect on the manifestation of that energy.  However, read the sentence immediately before this one, because it applies here.  This means that we believe what we do, what we say, and even what we think can have an effect on our world.  And again, you are directed to the first sentence in this paragraph; it applies here too.  Acquiring and refining these skills in order to make them personally useful usually involves lots of research and practice.  You could say that Wicca is a form of witchcraft, however the terms are not interchangeable.  In my opinion, all Wiccans are witches, but not all witches are Wiccans.  If you define “Pagan” as a person or community observing a polytheistic religion, then you would define Wicca as a Pagan spiritual path.

Wiccans believe that the connection between each of us and Deity is unique; we believe that just as we are drawn to interact with and come to know Deity, Deity is also programmed to respond to our need to interact.  Because each of us perceives life, living and the world around us in a unique way, Deity comes to each of us in a way that we as individuals can comprehend and accept.  This means that all religions and all spiritual seekers should be treated with respect. This also means that much of what we experience during rituals and magickal working does not lend itself easily to words, and thus is not easily described to others or proved to have happened. Unlike many other religions, Wiccans mostly do not have an argument with science; rather, Wiccans see science as “sacred knowledge seeking.”

If what you practice does not contain these core beliefs, your religion is valid, equally valid to mine.  It just is not Wicca.  Wicca is a name, a name for a particular pattern or a set of beliefs; it is not a ruler that measures validity.

Just like any other religion, there are Weekend Wiccans and there are Wiccans who are not interested in going beyond a certain level of immersion into their Craft, and there are Wiccans who enjoy researching and exploring their own Craft as well as the practices and knowledge and culture of other seekers, religions and spiritual paths.  I don’t feel that I have the right to judge another, so I don’t comment on the practices of others.  This means that I treat the bride who wants fairy wings attached to her wedding dress for her Handfasting with respect equal to the guy who has deeply studied his Craft and those associated with it.  My library contains books by Cunningham, but it also contains books by Drury, Agrippa, Crowley, Saunders, Bonewits, Reed, and Radin, to name a few.  And yes, I’ve read them, and gotten something of value from each.  I am one of those people who want to know how and why things work.

Is Wicca about putting on a flowing robe and tucking flowers into your hair and going out to the forest so you can dance in a circle with likeminded practitioners?  Yes, it can be.  But it is also about striving to honestly face your darkest self and learn from those uncomfortable or frightening parts of your psyche (and they are there, in every single one of us), and it is about crying in despair and pounding the table in anger in order to do the difficult work necessary to understand who and what we are.  For it is only by doing this that we can value this life we are given, and every other life we have been or will be given; after all, life itself is not all roses and sunshine.  Wicca is not the only path to evolution, but it is a path to evolution.

I commented on a blog post today regarding the non-validity of Wicca.  I was the only post that disagreed with the blogger; I presented my argument respectfully, to the best of my ability.  My post was removed.  To that blogger I say that is a shame, because it is through respectful disagreement that we all learn.

I commented elsewhere in a similar situation, and was confronted by a very angry person who proceeded to attack me personally, even though that person had never met me, never spoken to me before, and thus made assumptions regarding who I am, what I know, and what I believe.  I have no problem with people who disagree with me; in fact, some of the best conversations I’ve had were with people who disagreed with me, but who were able to listen with an open mind, and then speak their piece without personally attacking others.  I don’t have anything to say to that angry person because I don’t choose to perpetuate such a negative conversation.

And yes, there is danger in open communications, and I understand that.  The written word is perilous, particularly in such a dehumanized, impersonal venue as the internet.  But if you comment on my blog, and you disagree with me, I won’t delete your comment as long as it is meant to respectfully disagree and not meant to wound. 

And I am grateful to these two people, because by blogging regarding my experiences, I have crystallized to a greater degree my understanding of my own Craft, and of myself.

Separation and Conjunction at its finest!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ace of Pentacles reversed/The Hermit reversed. Aces present potential only, and the Ace of Coins (Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive, Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, social) tells of the presence of potential that is connected in some way to the physical world.  Since my Ace is reversed, today may not be the day that some great opportunity will present itself.  At least, I probably won’t recognize the opportunity. The Hermit, which like the suit of Coins, corresponds with Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and material, practical and stable energy that is slow to change), as well as Virgo (“I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented, orderly), Yod (open hand, touch), and the Path between Tiphareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) and Chesed (the place where forms and structure are stabilized and nurtured), is about searching within for a deeper meaning.  My reversed Hermit is telling me that the answer to any questions today will probably not be found within.  Isolation is not productive, and perhaps others can offer advice that will work.

My Thoth card is the Five of Disks reversed.  “Worry” The Five of Coins (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.  Crowley’s keyword for this one is “Worry,” but since my Five of Disks is reversed, things may not be as bad as they seem on the surface.  I guess at least for today, those dark clouds have silver linings!

My Legacy card is Queen of Coins, flavored by Page of Cups. The Queen of Disks (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.  She is competent and loyal, and has great people skills.  I always called this one the Martha Stewart card, LOL. 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) is very emotional, dreamy, social, and connected to the inner voice.  He brings me a message regarding the possibility for some emotional change that may appear; since the Page of Cups is flavoring the Queen of Disks, this emotional change should be for the better, and should make my home life more serene.

My Pearls of Wisdom Ostara card is The Fool.  Well, that is fun! 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 approaches life as an adventure and expects that he will succeed.  He welcomes gifts and challenges with equal enthusiasm, and is not good at holding himself back. 

My 6-digit date number is 9, the number of completeness of effect and manifestation.  Perfect number!

My horoscopes: “Today you might feel especially protective toward all those you love: children, family, friends, pets, and the special person in your life, Sagittarius. Upsetting news might have you wondering about the future, but don't let it get you down. All should be well, so allow yourself to relax and enjoy your loved ones. Distract yourself by going to an exciting movie. That will help release tension and put you in a better frame of mind.

And: “If you're feeling unappreciated by the group of people who surround you right now, why don't you simply try going somewhere else. Begging for attention that is not forthcoming is unattractive, and so is strutting around trying to distract everyone with your gorgeous physique or charming wit. Go somewhere where you know you are appreciated, where your stories will make people laugh, where you feel at home. Know that is you stay where you are, nothing that you try is bound to work.

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Two of Cups. This card tells of the twisting and lacing together of two opposites in order to create one shape, without those two opposites needing to change.  Balance and polarity are the correspondences of the number 2, and this card is about the balance and polarity found in unions, in relationships of all kinds.  There is a dynamic balance to be found in relationships right now according to this Two of Cups; however, the card reminds us that the relationship is still young, and the natural evolution of the relationship could bring stronger balance, or it could tip things over and tumble them to the ground.

Spring is officially here! Although this year at least, Spring seems to have never left us.  Traditionally, this is the time of the awaking of Nature, with increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna.  All around me, daffodils and crocuses are battling to attract the eye at ground level with tulips and hyacinths.  Tulip magnolias present a lovely dusty shade of pink; alternatives are being offered by blooming cherry and pear trees, punctuated occasionally by the yellow of forsythia and the startling white of the southern magnolias, like bright stars.  The bird of the neighborhood are quite busy with the business of reproduction, wooing mates and building nests, and some even feeding young. 

Last night, I ended up having the perfect equinox evening: an unplanned get-together at the Wayne Contingency of the Pagan Brain Trust.  Several of us had plans change at the last minute, and we all made the effort to get together, with a big payback.  Our conversations are incredible, and I truly love the way we all can do the Work together, even though our individual focuses are not exactly the same.

The word “equinox” comes from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” The Spring and Fall equinoxes are the only dates of each year with equal daylight and dark, the days when the Sun crosses the celestial equator.  At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun.  This is different from the tilt of Earth relative to the ecliptic plane, which is always about 23.5 degrees.  This year, Spring officially begins a bit early (how appropriate!) in the Northern Hemisphere, on March 20, 2012, at 1:14 am Eastern.

In the Celtic Mabinogion myth, this was the time when the God of Light conquers the God of Darkness. The Goddess, who became the Maiden again at Imbolc, welcomes her Child and soon-to-be Spouse, as Her followers celebrated the evidence of renewed life and the end of the hard Winter months.

The Roman Catholic Church adopted two holidays from pagan equinox celebrations: the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to become the Mother of God's Son (March 25th, nine months before Christmas), and Easter, which is also a celebration of life over death (similar to the Celtic God of Light defeating the God of Darkness). The Church doesn't celebrate or acknowledge the sacredness of the symbolism of the Full Moon, but Easter is on the first Sunday after the Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox each year. Furthermore, if Easter Sunday happens to fall on the Vernal Full Moon, the Church makes certain that Easter was moved to the following Sunday.

For Wiccans, Ostara is the time when the Goddess transfers Her fertility to the Earth and takes on Her Maiden aspect. The God is growing to maturity and will soon become Her lover at Beltane; we can see evidence of His growth all around us as all of Nature blossoms.  

For most Wiccans, Ostara is a celebration of fertility and growing Light.  Ostara is a time when light and darkness reach the point of being equal, and from that moment on, the light overpowers the darkness; this is a powerful symbol! Many religious and cultural traditions contain equinox myths concerning trips to the underworld, and the rebirth into the land of the living that is a part of those myths usually takes place on the Spring Equinox. This is the time to plant seeds of our dreams into the fertile energy of the equinox in order to take advantage of the potential and possibility that surrounds us.

Ostara Blessings!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

It’s T-O Sunday, already!  How time flies when we’re having fun.  Before I begin my usual post, I want to say that I have signed up for the Beach Ready Challenge on the Get Off Your Broom Witchy Fitness Blog (  I am already exercising (metabolic discipline, remember?), but this might be fun, and encouraging too.  This fitness challenge runs from April 1 to June 30.  Check it out!

Okay, usual M.O.; I threw three cards after asking the question: “What do I need to know today?”  The three cards I got are:

35, Landscape: Forest (North).  North is the direction of Earth, and thus of the physical or physically formed or manifested world, and of nurturing, health, finances and security, and the wisdom associated with living simply, being well-grounded, and being in touch with our physical body.  A forest can take many years to grow, and everything that lives within a forest depends on everything else to survive.  This Forest card reminds us that good things often take a lot of time to manifest, and if we want the benefits we need to take responsibility for the whole process and be there as needed.  The Forest card also reminds us that there is value to be found in age, and in living a long and successful life; it also reminds us that a forest is a sanctuary, and its workings should be seen as a manifestation of Deity.

42, Guide: Angel (Above).  The direction of Above takes us up and out of the four traditional elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth, and reminds us that we are but a small part of the Cosmos.  Above also reminds us that while the Machinery of the Universe is huge, it does have an effect on each of us, and each of us is an important part of the workings of that Machinery.  The Angel card brings us a message: there very well may be a much higher significance in the events of the day than we consciously realize.  The Angel also reminds us of the saying “no pain, no gain,” and if challenges appear to us now, there will be important messages attached to them.

30, Elemental: Undine (West).  West is the direction of Water, and thus, of feelings and emotions, relationships of all kinds, cleansing and healing, the wisdom associated with natural endings, and the bubbling up of pure joy.  Undines are the elementals associated with the element of Water; they exist through the effects of Water, and thus have similar correspondences.  They also are aware entities, so they have the ability to use these correspondences for their own ends, if they so choose.  And so, Undines are about relationships of all kinds, about love and infatuation, about seduction and manipulation, and about an appreciation for beauty.  Like the ocean, the Undine can be calm and serene, or she can be rough and stormy; the ebbs and flows of emotions and feelings can bring good things, or destroy them.

I stacked the cards, and almost the entire circle of the mandala is filled with colors and shapes, which seem to be streaming outward from the pentagram in the center of the mandala (contained in its own circle).  The Undines are bridging the gaps between the wings of the Angels, and the Forest is like a garland that laces them all together.  Each of the faces, both of the Angels and the Undines, follow the lines of the Forest (with the Undines at the curves that change the direction of the shape of the Forest, and the Angels at the center of each side of the shape of the Forest) as if they were all using the trees for support, or maybe for grounding.  Perhaps this madala is reminding me that if I ground myself, the rest of the possibilities available to me will lace together and enable me to not only be aware of important messages that are presenting themselves to me, but also to feel good about them, even the difficult-to-manifest messages.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Two of Pentacles reversed/Three of Wands. The Two of Pentacles (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) reminds me that everything always ebbs and flows.  Dynamic balance is always moving, always changing, and it remains balanced because of movement and change.  However, I may feel unable to deal with change today, since my Two of Pentacles is reversed.  Rather, I may find that stability and predictability make me more comfortable. 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) tells of being successfully established after some effort expended.  In a way, this card kind of validates the message of the reversed Two of Pentacles.  Perhaps my Two is reversed because that “effort expended” is over, and the time has come to sit back and enjoy what I’ve accomplished so far.  If I like what I see, and if I believe I am in a position of strength, I will be able to accomplish even more!

My Thoth card is Aeon (Judgement) 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 an opportunity to validate the good stuff and get rid of the stuff I don’t need any more.  I think the key to the upright Aeon is the process of identifying the good stuff so it can be kept, and the bad stuff so it can be released.  This is similar to deciding to examine your backpack before a difficult clime to make certain you are only carrying what is absolutely needed.  This card can easily be associated with the process of Separation within the alchemic Great Work. Crowley sees it as a motivation; decisions can be made by examining the past, and enthusiasm can be increased by visualizing the possible future.  All that is left is to take the first step.  My Aeon is reversed today, and it is telling me that the time has come to leave the process of Separation behind because whether I realize it or not, that all-important first step has been taken.

My Legacy card is the Knight of Cups, flavored by the Nine of Swords reversed.  The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) is about feeling things strongly and about dreaming, but this Knight is not one to dash boldly into the fray.  Instead, this Knight reminds me of the powers of dreams and of imagination.  He also can act as a warning to me; Knights manifest their suits without balance, and being too emotional or not taking emotions into account at all can both be damaging. The Nine of Swords (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, social, dual) in an upright position represents brooding and worrying, usually self-caused, and usually unproductive.  Since the Nine of Swords usually shows what could be rather than what will be, and since my Nine of Swords is reversed and is flavoring my Knight of Cups, perhaps I have dodged a bullet.  Since worry seems to be fading, today might be a good day to dream about the future.  Sounds similar to the message of my first two cards.

My 6-digit date number is 4, the number of depth and stability; this can either be positive or negative (because depth and stability breed lethargy).

My horoscopes: “Work could be a real drag today, Sagittarius. You might be expected to put in more hours than normal. Your heart isn't in it right now. You have interests of your own that you'd rather pursue, plus you could be planning to get together with friends or your partner later. It's best to finish everything quickly, perhaps postponing nonessential tasks, and then go and enjoy yourself.

And: “Do not downplay yourself or your abilities at this time. You are on the brink of greatness, so act like it. Things should be going quite well if you let them. Don't clog up the works by thinking that you are unworthy of the good luck that is sure to fall your way. If things don't work out exactly the way you wanted them to, take this as a sign that the situation was not right for you anyway.

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Page of Pentacles, the Messenger that brings Earthly possibilities for my consideration.  This Page carefully guards the spark of creativity in the physical world, and today this spark is offered to me.  I have control over what happens to that spark, and I can have an effect on how it manifests.  Don’t waste this!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

While visiting my friends in Delray Beach, Florida, we stopped in a small metaphysical shop.  It was almost closing time, so we literally had five minutes to peruse the entire shop.  But despite that limited shopping time, a beautiful piece of pink tourmaline ended up coming home with me. 

Now, I have lots of rose quartz, and I have a pair faceted pink stones set as stud earrings that could be either tourmaline or quartz.  I have never felt the need to keep any of those stones nearby, or to assign a purpose to them so that I may take advantage of their energy patterns.  But this piece of pink tourmaline seems to have appeared at the time that I need it. 

My piece of tourmaline is known as “elbaite crystal,” named after the island of Elba in Italy, the first place where colored and colorless tourmaline was extensively chemically analyzed.  All tourmaline is known to contain chemically bound water, and the pinks and reds contain lithium.  It is considered a trigonal crystal, and occurs as long three-sided crystals that actually do look triangular in cross-section. 

Generally, tourmaline brings increased inspiration, understanding and confidence.  It balances the male/female energies, and the mind.  Rubellite or dark pink tourmaline corresponds to the root and heart chakras, and to Scorpio and Sagittarius, and brings increased creativity, love and devotion.  Rubellite tourmaline can assist in uniting the heart and the body, to detox the blood and immune system, and stimulate fertility.  The lithium in all pink tourmaline brings emotional balance, and the ability to love and be devoted in a down-to-earth or grounded way.

The cool thing is that as soon as I picked up this tourmaline, I felt a grounded sort of love and compassion from it.  I am working hard to absorb all I need to learn on my Path of the Teacher, so that I can begin manifesting my lessons and initiating an effect on my Coven and my Wiccan Community.  The ability to show love and compassion in a grounded manner, so that I am protected as well as those with whom I interact, would certainly be desirable in a Teacher.  And so, this rubellite pink tourmaline will now be my Leadership Stone.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Six of Cups/The Star. The Six of Cups (Sun, the inner core of a person or situation in Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, compulsive, deep, obsessive) is a card of emotional balance, simple joys fun and blessings.  I am being told to look back today at the good stuff that has happened, so that I can feel optimistic about the future. The Star (Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts; Aquarius; Qof, back of head; the Path between Malkuth, the physical world of action and outer, physical reality, and Netzach, the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) is the “good will to all” card.  This one is another optimistic card, only instead of looking back, The Star is telling me to look forward.  This is a card of optimism, about paying things forward and feeling good about it, and about manifesting love.  What a nice combination!

My Thoth card is the Six of Disks reversed.  “Success” The Six of Disks (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Taurus, “I have,” Sensual, cautious, stubborn) brings an awareness of resources to the situation, both those that I have and those that I don’t have.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Wands reversed, flavored by the Four of Coins reversed. The Ace of Wands (Leo, “I am,” passionate, dramatic, egotistical, Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, sensible, orderly) tells of the first spark of a new and exciting creative process.  All Aces offer potential only, and this one offers the potential to create, to experience courage, to have confidence, to be filled with enthusiasm.  My Ace is reversed, so those things may not be readily apparent today, but the card is there, and so is the potential.  The Four of Coins (the Sun, the inner core of a person or situation or the deepest self, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, authority, caution cunning) in an upright position tells of very solid foundations and an awareness of the value of our possessions.  This Four is reversed, and that may be a good thing.  Perhaps thinking out of the box that is stability could re-ignite the potential of that Ace.

My 6-digit date number is 4, the number of depth and stability.  This number brings security, but it can also create the perfect breeding ground for stagnation.

My horoscopes: “Be careful of gossiping too much with your friends and colleagues, Sagittarius. It's fun to laugh and exchange stories, but remind yourself of the fact that the truth in a story is diminished and changed each time it's repeated. If you gossip too much, your friends may begin wondering what you say about them when they aren't there. Ultimately, this isn't healthy behavior for your friendships. Think about it.

And: “There is a special power to your words today, and an internal confidence that rarely comes around this strongly. You should be noticing a strength to your emotions and your basic personality. Take this opportunity to get one step ahead in the game. You have a special influence that cannot be matched by anyone today, so don't let others convince you of anything that you aren't one hundred per cent sure of yourself.

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding the Knight of Swords.  This Knight boldly enters any fray to powerfully defend his beliefs.  He will not allow emotions to interfere with his purpose, and he will not stand down until his goal is achieved.  He is a Seeker, surging forward; unfortunately he does not see the storm of eddies that he leaves behind, but even those dust devils bring clarity.

Back to my study of psychological alchemy.  Separation and then Conjunction, and then back to Separation, are what I have been seeing of late.  In an effort to move forward, I will think a bit about the next step in the alchemic process, Fermentation.  Interestingly enough, this process is about putrefaction, about death and the return of ingredients to a natural state, and it is about examining the Shadow Self, newly denuded from all that distracts, in order to accept and love this part of me.  The only way that regeneration can begin again is by taking this step. 

Dealing with the Shadow Self is not an easy task.  Our Shadow can distract us from our real selves, and can cause us to project our own shortcomings onto others rather than owning them.  And this is the most important task I can undertake right now: owning my Shadow Self.  After all, I create my own environment and my own reality by the strength of my Will and the expectations of my mind, so this means I not only create the good times, but the bad times too.  If I don’t own my Shadow Self, I will be giving up the power to be found within this part of me, and I will be doomed to being stuck in an illusion without substance, but that has uncomfortable power over me.

These three steps together, Separation, Conjunction and Fermentation, allow me to see and recognize all parts of my Shadow Self, allow me to decide which parts are worth saving and which should be released, and allow me to release the undesirable parts so that they can putrefy and decompose.

Sounds easy-peasy, eh?  Not!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eight of Cups/The Chariot. The Eight of Cups (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitation, law and order, in Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, suffering, soul growth) tells of an ending or a change of direction, often one associated with emotions.  The ability to move on can be hard to come by, but today I will be able to deal with one-sided relationships and lethargy.  The Chariot, which 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), tells of having the control necessary to focus on my goal and steer myself away from distractions.  If I can control both positive and negative emotions, and know when to walk away from a non-productive situation without feeling bummed out, it just might be a good day.

My Thoth card is the Two of Swords.  The Two of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) can represent a time of not looking or of shutting out the world.  Crowley’s keyword for this one is “Peace,” and I think he means the peace that comes because we are preventing things from happening.  Crowley also feels that this card can indicate a deception of some kind, which is a bit different from other interpretations of this card.  Crowley is focusing on what is going on inside the barrier of the swords, as well as what is being shut out.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Coins reversed, flavored by the Three of Swords reversed. Aces present potential only, and the Ace of Coins (Aries, “I want,” action oriented, assertive, competitive, Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, social) tells of the presence of potential that is connected in some way to the physical world of Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes; stable, material and practical energy that is slow to change). Upright, this card presents the possibility to experience prosperity, security, stability, trust and a connection to Nature. The Three of Swords (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) usually indicates the possibility that logic and the intellect could end up causing harm, but my Three of Swords, which is flavoring my Ace of Coins reversed, is also reversed.  Perhaps I will have trouble grabbing prosperity or stability today, but it won’t be as bad as it seems.

My 6-digit date number is 11 (Archangel Uriel), which reduces further to 2, the number of balance, polarity, and the concept of “distance between.”

My horoscopes: “You may feel anxious today, even more so than usual, Sagittarius. Your nerves may be quite jittery, and there's a feeling that you may not be on exactly the right track. More than likely, what you need to do is simply calm down and relax. Let your brain slow down and think clearly without the distraction of many people telling you what to do.”

And: “Inside information may come your way today that might start you thinking about improving your financial standing. You might hear of career and investment opportunities that you would never have considered before. What the heck - you're an adventurous soul! You might even consider occupations that would have your mother reeling! The coming months show a lot of promise for you; good fortune is looming over the horizon. Go for it!”

My Shadowscapes Insight is regarding The Star.  The Star represents hope manifested into physical form, and the image on this card is so delicate.  She hardly creates a ripple as she walks through the water, her hair flows as well as her gown.  She does not need to be in-your-face because she has faith in her own abilities, and faith in the silvery starlight that illuminates her way. 

Okay, how can I go away for three days, and come back to a week’s worth of catch up?  What is wrong with this picture?  But this trip was worth every minute sitting in the airport, and every minute I spend catching up, and if I had to do it all over again, I would not change a single thing.

I arrived at Kennedy Airport at 6 am on Saturday morning.  I had listed myself as standby on the 8:15 am flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  When it took me an hour to get through security I should have known that nothing was going to go according to schedule.  What I had not taken into account when I chose this weekend to visit Lilyth in Florida was that March is pretty much spring break month.  And so, instead of arriving in Ft. Lauderdale at lunch time, I did not get onto a flight until 3:30 pm, and arrived in time for dinner.  But it was an adventure!  Two other standby people and I moved from gate to gate as we tried to get onto flights, and I was proud of myself because I did not get frustrated at all.  I like to think that my good attitude helped the other two standby passengers to not get frustrated either.

Once Lilyth and her husband, Keith, picked me up, we headed to Delray Beach; we stopped for dinner (Mexican . . . yum!), and then hung out for a while.  Sunday morning, we got up and out early so that we could meet three friends for brunch at the Sundy House.  The Sundy House is a beautiful historic inn and restaurant, surrounded by the exquisite Taru Gardens.  The Taru Gardens were installed in 1998, but the Gardens include a few trees that must have been old in John Sundy’s time.  I walked the paths through the Gardens, and found a woodsy blend of tropical fruit trees, small edible plants, bamboo groves, flowering trees, vines, and tropical foliage envelopes two large fish ponds, streams, waterfalls, and the “Cenote” naturalized bathing place.  The design of the garden and the density of the plantings give the illusion of a really large space in which I felt at times as if I could get lost, even though the premises only take up half a city block. 

I could not find any history of the house and the Inn, but I did find out that John Shaw Sundy became the first mayor of Delray Beach in 1911, and served seven terms.

We got home from brunch in the early afternoon, recovered from our unlimited mimosas, and then Lilyth and I spent the afternoon and early evening playing with Ariyana, their beautiful dog (and my new BFF), and then sitting by her altar and talking about Coven business and my Third Degree Training.  Lilyth and I work very well together, and we tweaked some of my current Leadership efforts, and then talked of the future of my own Path and training at Sacred Mists, and of Sacred Mists itself.  Lilyth describes our connection as “spirits in sync” and that is exactly what we have!  Trust and love, and a deep and long-lasting friendship, allow us to bare our hearts and our souls to each other.  We also have in common a love for our Coven and our High Priestess, and a desire to manifest the philosophies of our Coven into reality in order to serve its members. 

We ordered Chinese for dinner, but we were all still full from brunch!  We all crashed early, anticipating another full day on Monday.

Monday morning we got up early again, had breakfast at a great bagel place, and then spent several hours at Flamingo Gardens.  Another exquisitely beautiful garden!  The Wray Botanical Collection at Flamingo Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in South Florida.  I was treated to 60 acres of gardens, literally thousands of beautiful plants and unusual flowers, including 21 of the oldest trees of their species, along with a huge collection of permanently injured and non-releasable Florida native birds and animals in the Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a part of the Gardens.

I have a deep connection to trees of all kinds, large and old or small and young.  Many spiritual traditions associate trees with the gods, or with their world view.  The roots of trees plunge deep into the heart of the earth, spreading toward its center while their branches soar towards the sky.  Trees literally carry the life of the earth in their cores, and each tree holds a piece of the universal spirit that binds all worlds and creatures together.  Trees are composed of three of the four basic elements: Air, Water and Earth.  And when we burn wood, we unite those three elements with the element of Fire.  Needless to say, touching the old trees (literally hundreds of years old) in both the Taru Gardens at the Sundy House and the Wray Botanical Collection at Flamingo Gardens was spiritually moving for me

We went right from the Gardens to Ft. Lauderdale Airport, where I began the next chapter of “Adventures In Standby Travel.”  Five flights later, I got on a plane and finally arrived home in the wee hours of Tuesday.

And now, it is catch-up time, time to get back to my duties and get my mind back to reality.  But I keep stopping and remembering the huge ficus trees and their beautiful air roots, the “dance of the flamingos,” my awesome afternoon with Lilyth talking about our Paths and our Coven, and Ariyana waking me up each morning, with her tail wagging and her tennis ball in her mouth. 

Thank you, my friends, for a great weekend!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hello from sunny Florida!!  Okay, today is T-O Sunday!  Once again I am throwing three cards from the Transparent Oracle, with only a general “what do I need to know” question.  My three cards are:

42, Guide: Angel.  This is a card associated with the direction of Above, which focuses on the planets and their effects on our lives.  Angels are divine messengers, and when this card appears, it could be telling us that there is a higher significance to events over the past few days, and I should be aware of that.  This card also can appear at a time of great change or transformation, either my own, or the world around me.

48, Venus.  Another Above card. This one represents important relationships that are supported by some kind of love, romantic, platonic or spiritual. It can also indicate beauty or an appreciation of beauty.  This is a card that is connected to sensuality and lust, but it is also connected to motherhood and children.  When taken to extremes, the influences of this card can lead to vanity, self-absorption or over-indulgence. 

4, Time of Day: Dawn.  This is an Air card, and Air can be seen as a “cousin” to Above.  Dawn is a time of peace, of renewal, and of memories of the day gone past; the light a dawn gives our environment an otherworldly feel.  Dawn is a crossroad, and thus important to Hecate, one of my Patronesses.  This is a time when the secrets of the night are revealed, as the light of the sun chases away the shadows.

When I create the mandala, my initial perception is of all these energies radiating from the dawn, from the rays of the rising sun.  The alchemic symbol for Venus overlays the pentagram at the center of the Angel card perfectly, directly connecting the two cards, Angel and Venus.  It is also interesting that the representation of the planet Venus is in the sky, just above the rising sun.  Venus is often known as the Evening Star or the Dawn Star.  Because Venus is between us and our sun, it often appears in the sky just as the sun is rising, or as it is setting, so it seems to make perfect sense that this planet is above and to the right of the rising sun.  My right hand is my power hand, so this is validation that the energies are beginning and are waxing.  But they are also powerful.  What secrets are the rays of the sun revealing?  They are big ones, these secrets, and they will provide a strong connection to something, or to someone.

Wow.  Boy, do I understand what this is talking about!!