Thursday, May 28, 2015

5/18/15 Ace of Cups and Ten of Cups

Today I’m back to the Thoth Tarot and the teachings of Uncle Al.  My cards are the Ace of Cups and the Ten of Cups.  Interesting!

The Ace of Cups (Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, Scorpio, “I desire,” intense, deep, mysterious, obsessive, Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, adventurous, blundering) tells of the potential to experience deep emotions, a connection to my Inner Voice, and a connection to those around me.

The Thoth Ace of Cups, like all the Aces, is about potential and possibilities.  Crowley believes that the Aces contain all the other numbered cards of the suit, or at least the potential to become them.  The beautiful Cup on this card is surrounded by ripples of water, and a light shines upward, sourced from whatever is in that Cup. 

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, simple joys, and fulfillment. The number Ten is about the completion of a cycle or manifestation, and the suit of Cups is about emotions, feelings and the inner self, so this card offers the bounty that comes with the successful experiencing of all the lessons of the Cups cards.

The Thoth Ten of Cups shows ten Cups (set up like the Tree of Life) with the upper Cups overflowing into those below.  These Cups have lights shining from them, but those lights are all aimed downward, giving the card a somewhat heavy feeling.  Cups running over can make a mess, so the emotional completeness being signified by this card might not be pleasant.

The day seems to be filled with Watery possibilities, as well as Watery manifestations.  I will need to remember how much feelings and dreams will come into play today, and perhaps I can ride this wave onto shore without falling.

I’m going to be away for Memorial Day Weekend, so you might not see me for a week or so.  Don’t worry, though; I’ll be back!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

5/17/15 Transparent Oracle Sunday!

Transparent Oracle Sunday!

12, Weather: Lightning (South): South is the direction of the midday sun and the peak of power and illumination; this direction is associated with passionate drive and creativity. In the T-O, the weather associated with the South is Lightning, and oh boy, does this make sense.  After all, South is about Fire, and Lightning is about a sudden eruption of heat and flame and light.  The energies of this card are full of drama, and maybe even a bit scary at times, but they are a great way to break down and end the effectiveness of blockages.

17, Guide: Stag (South). The direction of South corresponds with the element of Fire.  Fire brings spontaneous, impulsive and energetic change through heating and separating, drying and shaping.  Stag is an impressive Guide at any time of the year, but during the Summer, when he is at his peak, he is the epitome of pride and leadership and competition.  Stag is an archetype for the Sacred Masculine, and of the God in my spiritual tradition.  Stag tells of magnificent demonstrations of prowess, and of regenerative properties and the cycles of life.

48, Venus (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 Machine.  The planet Venus corresponds with the element of Earth, and it represents all love and relationships and connections.  This also encompasses mothering, nurturing, healing, the pleasing of the senses, and an appreciation for beauty.

I then stacked my cards and created my mandala.  Stag is what you see first, with Venus appearing to rise above the horizon in the background.  Lightning brings an unsettled feeling to the mandala, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  After all, Lightning is neutral, and it is up to us to either run away from it or make use of it.  The symbol of Venus is in the center of the mandala, and that feels important to me.  If I am able to see all of the effects of the elements and of the workings of Nature as beautiful, I won’t fear them.  Because I work with Cernunnos, and because the Stag is a symbol of Cernunnos, this might be a good time of year to work with Him in a deeper way.  Summer is arriving, along with its energy, drive and manifestation.  I have the ability to perceive these effects, and make use of them.

I spent all day yesterday in my beloved garden.  Right now, it is raining, so I can’t get out there yet, but I am hoping to sneak out there and at least cut the grass in the back yard some time today.  If the sun would just come out for a half hour and dry things, I will be good to go.  But with Lightning in my cards today, that might not happen.


5/14/15 Knight of Swords and The Devil

The Hermetic Tarot today; my cards are the Knight of Swords and The Devil.  Interesting!

The Knight of Swords (the cusp of Taurus, “I have,” sensual, stubborn, cautious, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, dual, intelligent) is outspoken, assured, alert, and logical, as well as rude, domineering, critical and sarcastic.  His daring and courage, and his ability to respond quickly to situations, are impressive, but he can also be disruptive, too.  While all of the Knights can be considered as mercenaries, the Knight of Swords truly personifies this career.

The Hermetic Tarot Knights, interestingly enough, are seen to represent the sephira of Chokmah on the Tree of Life.  They are not more or less than the Kings of the Tarot Court (which are seen to correspond with Tiphareth), just different, and since Chokmah is the top of the Pillar of Force, this does kind of make sense.  The winged Hermetic Tarot Knight sits in full armor on a proud steed, and above his head is a winged six-pointed star (which symbolizes the heart chakra and the immune system, the four elements and the balance of opposing effects, and which is used as a “made-and-‘proved’-in” mark on swords).  We are being told that this Knight works through the effects of the mind and the intellect, and those effects are active, brave, fierce, courageous, skillful, and inclined toward domination.

The Devil (Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Capricorn (“I build,” ambitious, competent, cautious, cunning), Ayin (the eye, senses), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Tipareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) tells of being caught up in the physical world and the effects of the physical senses, to the point of being bound or addicted to those things. The Devil is often the scapegoat blamed for any excesses of the physical world; after all, enjoyment of the physical world is somehow seen by many as a denial of or estrangement from God.

The Hermetic Tarot Devil image shows Pan, complete with horns, third eye, bat’s wings, and a spiked crown, seated on a pedestal.  Chained to that pedestal are two demons, one male and one female, both half animal and half human.  He is holding a flaming torch, and his crest contains the reversed pentacle, a symbol of placing passion and earthly pleasures above spirit.  This is a clear image of both material force and material temptation, a dangerous and addictive combination.  This card is also about bondage and submission, both of which can be useful in appropriate situations, but dangerous if used in an imbalanced way.

I will need to be real careful today about manifesting my ambitions.  Dominating others for my own pleasure or for my own purposes is not a good thing.  Today I will believe in those purposes (even if they represent the right to feel pleasure) and I just might become distracted by my own authority.  It feels good to be in control, but not when we only manifest our own rules. 


5/13/15 Four of Swords reversed and Two of Pentacles reversed

Wild Unknown Tarot today.  Still can’t find my Legacy deck.  I threw: Four of Swords reversed and the Two of Pentacles reversed.

The Four of Swords (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation) can represent a pause or truce or mutual deterrent, or a time of silence and isolation used to prepare for challenges to come.  While the person in the image on the traditional card appears dead, he is actually in a meditative state, OOB in order to prepare.  Often it is necessary to take a moment to absorb what has happened thus far, and this card offers that pause.  The truce represented by the Four of Swords does not happen due to weakness, but rather through conscious choice and through a balance of power.  After all, the truce is “supported” by Swords, the suit of the intellect. 

The Wild Unknown Four of Swords shows a lamb, all curled up and serene, beneath four Swords hanging point-down above him, with a brightly-glowing third eye chakra.  This tender, untried youth is resting below four Swords hanging precariously above him, and yet he does not appear frightened.  He is alert, so he knows those Swords are there even though he does not even spare them a glance, but he is not even prepared to run should they come loose.  Perhaps his stillness is part of his protection.  It is as if he is keeping those Swords up there with his serenity, his stillness, his awareness of what is going on around him, and his belief, his mental force . . . his Will!

The Two of Pentacles (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) reminds us that everything always ebbs and flows, and we need to do the same in order to remain dynamically balanced.  Change is what allows stability to be functional, and we should keep in mind that change, no matter how uncomfortable, is a good thing.  We can survive this kind of dynamic balance and even thrive if we remain aware on many levels, not just the physical world.

The Wild Unknown Tarot LWB keywords for this card are “balance and change”; the image is a black and white butterfly with a pentagram on each wing, with a multicolored (one color for each physical world element) symbol of eternity circling each of those pentagrams.  The butterfly often symbolizes complete metamorphosis; after all it goes from egg (which could symbolize potential) to caterpillar (which could symbolize the decision to do something with that potential) to chrysalis (which could symbolize the manifesting or development of that decision into reality), and then finally to an exquisite butterfly (the end result).  This process follows a “ritual” of sorts, and it takes time to complete.  The end result, the butterfly, looks nothing like the other stages in this process.  Perhaps the balance being represented in this card is achieved by accepting both change and the status-quo (or the end result with the initial intentions).  Or, since the butterfly also represents the element of Air and the workings of the intellect, perhaps the balance is connected to the physical world and the etheric realms of feelings and thoughts and beliefs.

The message here is clear: rest will not be beneficial to me today, and I probably won’t be able to access my own Will in order to remain balanced throughout my tasks.  I could very well be suffering from a “vacation hangover,” and as I attempt to return to my regular schedule, I might also attempt to not become discouraged if overcoming lethargy turns out to be a difficult task. 

Yes, I ate too much.  But I am getting back to my regular aerobic discipline, and while it might take me a few days to be back in the groove, it will happen!!  Once these two cards are turned upright, I might actually be unstoppable.  Look out, here I come!


Sunday, May 10, 2015

5/10/15 Transparent Oracle Sunday!

Transparent Oracle Sunday! 

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.  Raven is a clever bird, often portrayed as a trickster.  Raven is also known for assisting us in the transformation from one realm to another, and known as a skilled communicator.

15, Landscape: Desert (South). South is the direction of the midday sun and the peak of power and illumination; this direction is associated with passionate drive and creativity.   Desert represents an extreme environment that upon initial examination seems to preclude life; actually this Landscape just challenges life, severely, but if we see that challenge as a chance to test our endurance and our ability to adapt to difficult situations, we will prosper.

32, Weather: Snow (North). The dignities associated with Earth are: cold/binds and dry/shapes, and the energies are stable, material, practical, and slow to change or try something new.  Earth is about security and stillness, and knowing what to expect; it is about strength, discipline, and physical manifestation of all kinds, and about enjoying the fruits of our labors.  Snow has a magickal effect on the landscape and our surroundings; when snow falls, it covers everything and hides details as well as mutes sounds.  The mantle of white is made of countless tiny, unique crystals, and like a blanket, the covering of snow insulates and protects.

I then stacked my cards and created my mandala.  The focus on this one is inward, toward the center of the circle.  Raven is looking directly inward, focused on that Snow, but Desert is also there, acting as a framework for the entire image.  I am being told that this week, KISS should be the guiding concept and if I keep it simple, I should be able to bring my body and my physical world to a good place.  I already have the necessary discipline in place, and here I am, in the Dominican Republic.  Not necessarily a desert, but a hot Caribbean landscape near the equator, my time away from my still-cold home.  But that chilly home is important, too.  Raven assists us as we transform from one realm to another, and I have been given two different realms today in my throw.  If I allow Raven to guide me, I should be able to balance between the extremes with ease!

This is my last full day in the Dominican Republic; I attempt to fly home tomorrow.  It has been a relaxing trip, filled with fun times, good food, good beer, and lots of relaxation.  Soon it will be back to reality, but for now, I’m going to enjoy my day, whatever it brings.


Friday, May 8, 2015

5/8/15 Ten of Pentacles and the Mother of Swords

So my Legacy Tarot has gotten legs and disappeared.  In the mean time, my new go-to deck is the Wild Unknown Tarot, so here are today’s cards.  I threw the Ten of Pentacles and the Mother of Swords. 

The Ten of Pentacles (Mercury, reason, intelligence, education, communication, in Virgo, “I serve,” practical, analytical, work and service oriented) in an upright position represents physical world wealth and bounty, and the attempt to maintain the status quo.  This one also can symbolize freedom from financial worries, and it can represent the protection and stability found within a clan or family.

The Wild Unknown Ten of Pentacles is alive and vibrant with fertile energies! Ten Pentacles arranged in a diamond shape, with circles of the colors of the elements or of a rainbow as a background.  The diamond for me is personally powerful for it is one view of the octahedron, the shape of the physical world and the concept of “as above, so below.”  The circular colors go from indigo on the outside to blue, green, yellow, orange and red, moving through the chakras from the spiritual realm to the physical world.  What powerful symbolism!  Can we bring our bounties into the physical world and maintain our connection to gratitude and generosity and love?  That is the goal of this card, and indeed the whole suit of Pentacles.  Those blessings cannot become stagnant; instead we must maintain them in the position between the physical world of manifestation and the astral realms.  We do this by assuming the role of catalyst in order to activate the fertility to be found within those blessings.

The Queen of Swords (cusp of Virgo, “I serve,” practical, sensible, work and service oriented, and Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, grace) can be considered a Minor Arcana representation of the Justice card, which is about responsibility and the relationship between “cause” and “effect.”  The main difference is that while Justice is about the law, the Queen of Swords is about the intent behind the law.  She is Water of Air, and her feelings support her intellect and the workings of her mind

This image on the Mother/Queen of Swords is similar to that of the Wild Unknown Daughter of Swords, except that this is obviously an adult owl, and because the sky behind this owl is not a night sky, rather it is lit.  We cannot tell if it is morning or afternoon, but this owl is “illuminated,” and she knows enough of her surroundings (and is confident enough in that knowledge she has obtained through experiencing her environment in order to thrive) to relax a bit.  Her feathers are a bit puffed, enough to hide her feet, which to me indicates that she is relaxed.  Her eyes are soft, as if she wants to appear sleepy, but she is not asleep!  She is alert, and she is aware, without pre-judgment of any kind, and ready to become active, should the need appear.

I love these two cards together, for they tell me that my day will be filled with pleasant and fulfilling experiences, and I will be able to remain relaxed and alert, the best way to enjoy my day.  If I am open and caring (and ethical!), I should be able to create an aura of calm pleasure all around me, and bring others to this mindset, thus setting off a chain reaction of blessings and bounty.  Now that is a good goal for the day, eh?

My journey to the Dominican Republic went well, and I am in the midst of a relaxing time in Paradise.  I am actually eating well, sleeping deep, and laughing a lot.  I have met new friends and reconnected with past acquaintances.  I am not quite to the halfway mark of my trip, and I feel very rejuvenated.  Exactly what I want from a vacation.  If these cards are any indication, things will continue to be perfect. 


5/4/15 The King of Swords and the Page of Pentacles

Back to the Shadowscapes Tarot today.  My cards are the King of Swords reversed and the Page of Pentacles.  Hmmm . . . Court Cards today.

The King of Swords (cusp of Capricorn, “I build,” ambitious, cautious, cunning, authoritative, and Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, aloof) is a good judge of people and situations. He uses his intellect to analyze, so he may not be compassionate but he is trustworthy, and he can be trusted to fiercely stand by his decisions.  The Legacy King of Swords certainly looks regal and fearsome, like someone who can proclaim his judgment for the best of all, without softness or mercy.   He can be seen as one facet of the Justice card, and his kind of analysis based on experience and wisdom may be useful today.

The Shadowscapes King of Swords is seated on his throne, his mighty Sword held in his hands, point up.  On the sword sits Owl, symbolizing the wisdom to be found on the tip of the intellect that is his weapon; beside him are two ravens, dark as shadow (and shadow can only be present when there is illumination!). This King is a perfect blend of art, science and balance, and he is a pillar of strength and morality.

The Page of Pentacles (Aries, “I want,” assertive, action oriented, Taurus, “I have,” sensual, cautious, stubborn, and Gemini, “I think,” curious, sociable, dual) is down-to-earth and responsible, and a listener and a learner. The Page of Pentacles in an upright position loves to learn new things and have new experiences, and he loves to share the excitement created through experiencing new things.  Because my Page is reversed, I might need to ground myself today and pay attention to the details lest my enthusiasm distract me.

The Shadowscapes Page sits on a sleeping dragon, accompanied by Owl (a common thread between these two cards), and she holds the spark of opportunity in her hand.  Will she offer it to me?  Will I take it?  Questions to be answered. 

Despite the fact that these two cards are symbolized by opposing elements (Air and Earth), they both hold a common thread.  The intellect, the working of the mind, and the concept of the highest good of all are all being offered today.  These are the intentions to infuse in everything I do, and these are the goals, the aims to accomplish.  I’m ready!

Almost time for me to leave on my trip to the Dominican Republic.  Tomorrow will be a busy day, as I teach two Yoga classes and work for The Hubs, but I will post again as soon as I can.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

5/3/15 Transparent Oracle Sunday!

Transparent Oracle Sunday!

48, Venus (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 Machine.  The planet Venus corresponds with the element of Earth, and it represents all love and relationships and connections.  This also encompasses mothering, nurturing, healing, the pleasing of the senses, and an appreciation for beauty.

42, Guide: Angel (Above). Angel is the Guide for the Celestial Realm, and you could say that Angel is one of the messengers who bridges the gap between us and the vast expanses of the Universe.  When Angel appears in a spread, some event or effect may have more significance than I think, and I had better pay attention.

13, Element: Fire (South). South is the direction of the midday sun and the peak of power and illumination; this direction is associated with passionate drive and creativity.  Fire has often been used as a representation of Spirit or the Divine, and this makes sense.  Fire brings transformation, animation or life, courage, and intent.  Fire has its dangers, though; it brings transformation through destruction that brings new birth.

I stacked my cards and created my mandala.  Visually, this one seems to focus the eyes to the pentagram in the circle, which is the center of the Angel card.  That pentagram fits right over the circle that is a part of the symbol for Venus, making it look as if both symbols are actually one.  Each of the flames on the symbol for Fire are emanating from the third eye of each of the Angels, and if it was not for the bottom part of the symbol for Venus, the image would have no grounding at all.  I am reminded that Fire is a well known symbol for the Spirit and for the Divine, as are Angels.  I am being reminded as well that my own feelings and pleasures are an important part of the manifestations around me.  I should look for synchronicities this week, and I do need to remember that they may not be comfortable experiences, but they just might end up being life-changing experiences.

I leave for the Dominican Republic on Wednesday, for my annual visit with my son.  Perhaps the messages will come to me during my time preparing for the trip, or even more likely, while I am visiting my son under the warm Caribbean sun.


Friday, May 1, 2015

5/1/15 Ten of Wands and The Magician

Beltane Blessings!!  My favorite time of the Wheel, filled with fertility and possibility and pleasure.  I chose to go back to the Llewellyn Welsh Tarot today, and I threw the Ten of Wands (again!!) and The Magician.  I see a progression here!

The Ten of Wands (Saturn, discipline, responsibility, limitations and resistance, in Sagittarius, “I seek,” philosophic, fun-loving, blundering) tells of being taxed to some perceived limit, or of feeling as if we are out of gas at the bottom of a hill that must be climbed.  This card can also tell of a passion or idea that has taken a life of its own and then gotten out of control or taken over everything else, and this to me is an interesting interpretation of this card.  Sometimes success can be oppressive; if we get lucky and we are not prepared to take on what we’ve been given, the burden can seem crushing.  Too much of a good thing is never good!

The Llewellyn Welsh Ten of Wands shows a more traditional image: a man walking up stairs, carrying what appears to be a huge and heavy bundle of wands on his back, moving toward a building or the edge of a town.  What is interesting about this version of the Ten of Wands is that those wands the person is carrying each have small branches and leaves at the top.  This card has more of a “carrying my weight and more” and “not flinching in the face of hard work” kind of feel to it.  A huge burden that is difficult to carry?  Yes.  An impossible task?  No.  I also get the feeling that, because these Wands appear still viable, they will have some effect on the house or town to which they are being carried.  Now that is an optimistic version of this card!

The 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).  The Magician works hard to perfect his abilities, to make use of those abilities in unexpected ways, and to focus and carry through to the end of a task (which is pretty important to him).  He also understands the eternal nature of his efforts, mainly because of the polarized nature of the elements he works with.  This card is personally significant to me; the skills of The Magician were gifted to me after a particularly harrowing experience, so having this card appear here with that Ten of Wands (for the second day in a row, which in itself is significant) is empowering.  Because this card represents represents the deliberate and conscious manifestation of tangible knowledge (and the ability to control that manifestation), he is reminding me of the skills I have worked so very hard to perfect, and he is encouraging me to use them by thinking out of the box, and by not fearing the effects of the world around me.

Ever since I was gifted with the energies of this card during Hurricane Sandy, it usually appears when I need to step up to the plate and use my own skills to make things better.  The Llewellyn Welsh Magician contains all the traditional symbolism of the card: elemental representations, a body stance that hints at control of the Below and access to the influence of the Above, the stone altar accessed by climbing steps (more personal significance to me), and the infinity sign that hints at the interactions of Above and Below, and the eternal turning of the Wheel.  The Magician is important to me, but the Llewellyn Welsh Magician is quite significant.

My message of yesterday is most certainly being refined today.  Yes, the burdens are still there, but my methods for dealing with them have matured.  Yesterday I was told to look at my burdens without the prejudicial effects of memories of past experiences.  Today I am being told that I’ve don the work of yesterday and now I need to make things happen.  I do need to remember that the end result does not justify the means to achieve it.  Lots of Fire and Air in my cards today, not much compassion or grounding.  That in itself can create an imbalance, but The Magician can use even this to his benefit!

I read a quote today that really resonated for me: An Awakening Woman is . . . in a glowing, and embodied, nothing-held-back love affair with the great mystery. She moves in this world with fierce compassion, grace and freedom, and is passionate about truth, rest and real love.” ~ Karol Bak.  This Sabbat, Beltane, is in a sense the celebration of Male and Female, and a celebration of the luxurious effects that occur when Male and Female unite as equals.  We need the Catalyst of Male just as much as we need the Fertility of Female!  Today, we have both.