Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Choices

For the Lovers card, I again decided to see where it's choicefulness is in my life right now.  So, after shuffling the card back into the deck, I looked for it and found it between Maker Three and the Emperor.

Tarot of the Sidhe ©Emily Carding

I read this two different ways.  The Maker Three could be me in my nurturing mother aspect, and the Emperor me in my disciplinarian aspect.  Or the Maker Three could be the new baby in my womb, the fruit I hope to bring to the world quite literally through labour (the card is subtitled Labour's Fruit).  That would make the Emperor my firstborn son, an association he has long held for me.  In either case, what I see here is the suggestion that it doesn't have to be an either/or choice, but rather that I can choose both!

It's not something I normally associate with the Lovers.  After all, the card either shows a couple, or a man with two women and a look of confusion.  Yet, who says that when we make choices they must exclude other choices?  I wouldn't personally choose polygamy, but when the choice is between two aspects of ourself, or two children, why should we only choose one?

A good reminder, then, that I can be nurturing and have clear boundaries, and that I can hopefully have another child without changing my relationship with my son in any negative way :)

Monday, 27 August 2012

Meet the Sidhe - Part 7

©Emily Carding
This week, the card to explore is the Lovers from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011).  In the companion book, Emily writes: "this was only the second card that I completed.  This may explain why I enthusiastically hurled every symbol imaginable into the mix!" :D

There are two intertwined snakes among the intertwined branches of the tree.  A female faery holding a moon and a male faery holding a sun.  A river that splits in two to flow around a sacred fire, with a black and a white dove rising above it.  A male Sidhe warrior with a sword and a white cape, and a female Sidhe maid with a red cape and cup face one another across the divide of the river, each leaning against a tree.  In the distance, mountains, suggesting wisdom, where the water and the earth combine.

When I meditated with this card, one of the things that came up for me is firstly that we can choose what we want to believe or act on.  It doesn't have to be right or wrong, our choicefulness is what makes it important.  What we choose affects how we respond, and so will help influence the outcome.

I am trying to choose to believe that all will be well with my pregnancy.  I had a miscarriage before my son was born, so I know this might not work out.  I pin my hope to the Star card which came up before, not because I truly believe it foretells the future, but because believing all will be well is more likely to help create that future than my worrying and panicking and not sleeping.

Another thing that came to me was a reminder that, even when things seem like opposites, they rarely are.  Male and female, black and white, sun and moon, they are not mutually exclusive, but rather two sides to a coin, two aspects of the same continuum.  I remember someone once saying to me that the two ends of a spectrum actually bend around to almost meet, so that what seems furthest apart may in fact be closest together.

Does it matter, then, what we choose, if things aren't really all that different?  "Yes," I was told "it still does."  We create not only our reality but ourselves through the choices that we make, the actions that we take, and what we choose to believe.

I countered with "But many of our choices are habitual!"  The sidhe said that doesn't matter, we are choosing to remain in our habitual patterns, but we can also choose to change them.  It isn't always easy, but it is always a choice.

We can be afraid of making choices, scared of what will happen if we fail, and equally if we should succeed.  Yet, as Arwen reminded us in a recent post (which I sadly can't find) not making a choice is also a choice, and frequently a poor one!

Our choices also rarely affect just ourself.  We are connected to everyone around us, both at a personal level, and at a societal level.  Our actions influence others, even when we don't intend it or aren't aware of it.  And then there are choices which are more obviously about more than just ourself, decisions which we take with others, or where we commit to something beyond ourself.

I didn't expect to find such complexity in a card which many associate just with finding true love... ;)

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Faery Wishing Well

©Cavendish & Fenech
Another card from the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) comes out to play.

It acts as a reminder that, even when one thing manifests in our life, it's rare that we don't have something else still to wish for.  Shortly before I sat for my meditation, I found out that I'm pregnant - naturally and without all the problems inherent in fertility treatments.  Now my wish is for a healthy baby :D

The sweet faery was all aflutter with my news, while the greenman stayed calm, as is his way.  I had overlooked him at first, but then asked if he was allowed to make wishes in his own well.  He told me that he is the impetus behind the wishes coming true, so he can't wish for himself.  He is also the wise one who stops us from making a bad wish, one that will come back and bite us on the a**e ;)  He did ask me for an offering, though, which I went out and made as soon as the meditation was done.

I feel so blessed by this turn of events.  I'm still very nervous - I've had a miscarriage before, so I know there's no such thing as a done deal where babies are concerned.  Still, for today I'm happy!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Midnight Prince

©Cavendish & Fenech
Drawing this card from the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) I meditated on it.  I found the phrase on the card affected my path working a lot.  The Prince asked me to tell him a true story, which was quite painful to do.  Yet, as my tears flowed, I was also grateful for the chance to explore what feels true to me.

One thing this meditation reinforced is the power of telling the truth, no matter how harsh.  Obviously, this is easier to do if the person you are telling a harsh truth about is yourself, and if you don't feel judged in the telling.  A counsellor is good, but a Midnight Prince seems to do the job just as well :)

It helped answer a question I had, which I had pushed to the back of my mind.  A querent from a free-reading had asked to share some personal details in return for my "take" on the situation.  I was hesitant, mainly because I don't feel qualified to give my opinion.  I can say what I see in the cards, but really the one who knows what is best for them is the person asking the question.

Still, this meditation reminded me of the power of being able to tell our story.  So, I replied to my querent saying please go ahead.  I release the need to find an "answer" for them, but hope that telling the story will help...

As for me, the truth that helped me today was to acknowledge that I don't believe my son could be anywhere better.  Even when I feel guilty for wanting another child, I know that he is truly loved and cared for at home with us.  We want another child as well, not instead.  And as I said in another post, I also realise that I do all I can for him, as does my husband.  Wanting another child does not change that, nor will it.


Monday, 20 August 2012

The Elder Spread

To further explore the Elder from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011), I was inspired to create a spread based on it. 

Cards from the Tarot of the Sidhe
1)  Snake - What do I need to shed?

2)  Tree - Where do I need more connection?

3)  Sidhe Lady - How can I feel the magic of life?

4)  Empty Stool - What wisdom do I have to share? 

5)  Glyph-Etched Stump - What is the wise counsel of this reading?

And of course, I had to give it a whirl :)


©Emily Carding

1)  Snake - What do I need to shed? 

The Dancer says I need to shed my desire for simple emotions and easy answers.  While love is the most important lesson for us to learn in this life, I also need to recognise that love isn't always easy.  Thinking I should be able to balance amid a whirlpool of emotions is unrealistic.

Emotions come in so many guises, and though there is a single source underlying it all, I need to acknowledge the complexity of feelings.  It's alright not to just feel loving and positive emotions all the time, to recognise my shadow emotions, too.  These may sometimes feel scary, and I may feel guilty about them, but trying to pretend that I have only positive, nice emotions does no-one any good, myself least of all.

©Emily Carding
2)  Tree - Where do I need more connection? 

The Maker Queen suggests I need to get more connected to my sense of groundedness and abundance.  It is hard to offer healing to ourself or others when we feel weak or lacking.  Perhaps, too, a need to connect with my sense of fertility and ripeness - my creativity in every sense.

I wonder whether part of the message here is about connecting to others whom I associate with this archetype?  It can be easier to connect to our own groundedness and abundance when we see it mirrored in those around us.  So, a reminder to spend time with people I admire, who have these characteristics.  My mother is one, several of my friends are others...

©Emily Carding
3)  Sidhe Lady - How can I feel the magic of life? 

This card seems to emphasise the message of the previous card, though with its own nuances.  Feeling the magic of life would be helped by connecting more with other, like-minded individuals.

I love this card, with its circle of people raising a rainbow of energy.  It speaks of circles of friends, covens, the power that we have when we are with others, rather than alone.

One thing it makes me think of are the circles of people I connect with around the world through the internet.  Be it in particular forums or on Youtube, these are groups who share a desire to be more connected to magic, to understanding the energy that flows through life, and how to channel it.

It also makes me think of one friend, in particular, Carla of Rowan Tarot.  We have been sharing book and deck suggestions, discussions on meditation and our spiritual paths.  We are meeting up in a few weeks time for a Conference on Pagan Studies - how cool is that!  I think this is exactly the kind of thing I need to help me feel the magic of life :)

©Emily Carding
4)  Empty Stool - What wisdom do I have to share? 

Wow, I was quite blown away by this card!  The wisdom I have to share is the World?!  Actually, I guess it makes sense.

Firstly, there's the fact that I'm in my early forties, so I've seen a fair few cycles in my life.  I have enough experience to know that the end of anything indicates the beginning of something else, and to understand that the journey and our learning is never "done".

That's shown beautifully in this card, with the World tree spreading its roots in a moonscape and raising its branches to the sun.  Day follows night follows day, just as the seasons also flow.  Each is exactly as it should be, and does not make the other any worse or less.

This points to another piece of wisdom that has come to me in recent years: that there is no such thing as perfection.  That might sound obvious, but for many it's a hard lesson to learn.  For decades, I tried to  be perfect: the perfect daughter, the perfect student, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect mother.  It really doesn't work!  The World card kept coming to me, in negative positions or reversed.  A reminder that perfection and completion are archetypal ideas, not reality.

©Emily Carding
5)  Glyph-Etched Stump - What is the wise counsel of this reading?

What a lovely card to have in this central position, the heart of the reading.  The Warrior Four card is subtitled "Foundations Blessed", and speaks of the need for me to accept the blessings in my life; the love, the challenges and the delights.  I need to let go of fear, and acknowledge just how blessed I am, to learn to feel that.  In doing so, I open myself to joy, to the magic of life that comes from a deep connection to others and a sense of being at peace with oneself.

Easier said than done, of course.  Still, this card has some suggestions there, too.  It suggests focusing on making a sacred space for myself and my family.  It recommends taking time both to connect to others and to connect with myself.  It promises that spirit is always there, just a breath away, if I am willing to open the door to it.  There is something there, too, about knowing ourself through the mirroring of others - yet another reminder of the importance of other people.

It seems to sum up this reading well: shedding simplistic notions of love to connect to the true abundance of good friends and the magic of shared direction and enthusiasm.  Acknowledging that we are always laying the foundations for the next thing, never "completing" things entirely.  Even when something in our life ends - a relationship, a job, a life phase - it leaves traces of its presence in us, laying the foundation for what will follow.  And so the wheel turns...


Sunday, 19 August 2012

Meet the Sidhe - Part 6

©Emily Carding
This week has been a far more mellow one for me with the Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011).  While I am not always a big fan of traditional Hierophant cards, Emily Carding's Sidhe version is very different!

We are welcomed into a wise council, made up of a snake, a tree, and a Sidhe lady.  They meet in a verdant meadow, around a tree stump etched with the Great Glyph of the Sidhe.  Each has something to offer, yet they also bid us make ourselves at home and join them in their council, sharing our knowledge with them, too.

The snake tells me of the importance of being willing to let go, to shed parts of our life that no longer fit us.  It is easy to get stuck with the colours that we choose for ourselves, or with which others paint us.  Yet, we always have the choice to shed those, to take on a new way of being, to show our true colours.  True in this moment, anyway...

The tree speaks of our connection with the world around us, with the elements, and the other creatures.  The tree's roots anchor him in the earth, but are also a playground for rabbit warrens, moles, insects and worms.  The tree's trunk may be home to other creatures, too, birds, insects, squirrels...  Meanwhile, his branches reach up into the sky: playing with the wind and rustling with tales from afar; bathing in the rain that cleanses and nourishes; soaking up the sunshine that warms and feeds.  Likewise, we are always in connection, affected by everything and everyone around us.  We may forget our connection with nature, living in urban landscapes, yet we can never escape it entirely, nor should we.  In the same way, we are always affected by the people in our lives, both near and far.  They shape our environment, our life, our ideas and passions.

The Lady of the Sidhe speaks of the Otherworld, reminding us of the magic of life.  She is the voice of the Sidhe: calling us to join them in listening to nature; connecting with spirit; retreating from the everyday, if only for a few moments.  She speaks of the joy of dancing in the moonlight, of listening to the heartbeat of the earth, of honouring the lifeforce in every creature we meet.

And yet, with all this wisdom, we too are called to take our place, to join these beings and share our thoughts, our passions, our inspiration.  I am reminded of wisdom councils I have taken part in.  Every member, no matter how inexperienced or unknowledgeable they believe themselves to be, has always shared something of value, adding to the learning of all.  We are always both student and teacher, and this card reminds me of that, doing away with hierarchy and power-over.  When we share together, we are so much stronger and wiser: tapping into our inner power, and the power of the group.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Glimpse of Anger

©Cavendish & Fenech
I drew this card - Glimpse, from the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) - as a meditation focus again.  This time, what I noticed was his petulant, almost angry glare, and the way he is half-hidden behind the tree.  The first thing that came to my mind was the question: "What are you angry about?" followed closely by "What are you hiding?"

The two can be related.  For me, that's certainly the case.  I feel angry that there are so many parts of myself I feel the need to hide.  From my spiritual beliefs when I'm at work, to some of my more painful/shameful emotions, even here in the relative anonymity of the interwebs.

My belief, right or wrong, is that if I were to reveal those things, I would be judged and found wanting.  Two trains of thought come from that.

Firstly, is it me that actually does the judging, rather than others?

I know this is true to a degree, but I don't think it's the whole story.  There is one friend whom I haven't spoken to for about three months now, because I felt so judged and dismissed by her when I tried to reveal some of my feelings.  I think she was trying to reassure me, by telling me that everyone feels some of these things, but I just felt unheard.  I felt she was judging me as a whiner, telling me everyone has the same problems.  But they really don't.

My son is four and a half, but has the body of a child a year younger than that.  And some of his development is delayed to the point that he's just starting to do things most kids do by nine months old.  He is still physically incapable of moving on his own.  That's not the same as a bratty kid who just doesn't want to leave their parents side, but might be persuaded if the game is fun enough!

Secondly, there's the question: so what?

So what if people judge us and disapprove of us?  Would it really be the end of the world?  Someone asked me something along those lines on youtube when I said about being in the broom closet.  Once again, it may depend on the circumstances.  With my friend, as I say, it means I no longer feel close to her, though I hope I'll be able to resolve it at some point.  As for hiding my spirituality from my work colleagues, the area I work in is extremely conservative and male dominated.  It's bad enough being a woman in a man's world without also being the "weirdo witch"!

To give this some context, one of my co-workers said she doesn't believe in yoga.  I mean, what's to believe in?  Yoga exists, at the very least as a set of physical exercises that improve strength, balance and flexibility.  There's even scientific evidence of the benefits of some of the more spiritual practices, from gratitude to meditation.  If someone can disbelieve yoga, what on earth would they make of tarot reading, oracles, spells, and the divine?

And yet, censoring myself all the time, worrying what people will think, rehearsing justifications in my head... how unproductive is that?

So I'll share a little secret here.  I worry that my son will hate me for hiding him!  I don't do it on purpose, or for that reason.  But, for example, we went to a birthday party at the weekend and didn't take him, though there were other kids there.  It wasn't to hide him, but just because none of us would have enjoyed it if he'd gone.  The journey was too long, the adults too boring (from a child's perspective), and the children too boring (from my perspective, as if he'd come I would have had to spend the whole time with him, as he cannot move by himself).  Instead, he went to a local soft play with a trained physio, and had lots of fun.

But I still felt guilty about it...

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Emperor In My Life

As I did with the Magician and the Empress, I decided to take a look at what I need to know about the Emperor in my life right now.  So, I shuffled him back into the deck after meditating on him, and then hunted through til I found him again.  As with the Empress, he was the very last card in the pack!  I am so not getting along with these two archetypes at the moment :(


The Emperor came at the bottom, next to the Maker Two card, subtitled "Responsibility".  And so, I'm right back to what I wrote about yesterday.  That the Emperor is all about my relationship to my son - both in terms of his Emperor traits, and my own in dealing with him.

What this reading adds is to emphasise the aspect of responsibility - a reminder that the Emperor lays down rules out of a sense of duty.  The Emperor's rules are about making life easier and better - it may not always seem that way at the time, or to the person on whom the rules are imposed.  Yet it is out of a sense of responsibility that he wants things to be organised, that he demands consistency and clarity.  His forcefulness isn't based on anger, but on determination and good intentions.

Remembering those good intentions, and allowing myself to be a bit more determined, will help me manage the responsibilities in my life.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Meet the Sidhe - Part 5

©Emily Carding
So, it's the turn of the Emperor from the Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011).  I've been having real trouble with this card!  I'm not a huge fan of the Emperor at the best of times, and either because it's not the best of times, or because of the card in question, I've been struggling here.


The Empress underlies everything, she is the pregnant void of potential, the foundation of the earth beneath our feet.  The Emperor, meanwhile, is the ka-bam, the divine spark that grabs hold of that potential and gets things moving.


Emily Carding's Emperor is particularly fiery.  A huge bonfire springs from his head, burning fiercely.  Those yellow, red and orange colours continue in his clothes - a cloak of autumn leaves that flutter gently down towards the harvest of fruit beneath him.  They are also echoed in his sceptre, which glows bright red, and from which circles of yellow, orange and red swirl out.  There seems to be a line of fire following the flow of his arm, which points towards some buildings tucked in amongst the tree line.

Fire, then, is the major element in this card.  Air is there, too, in the gentle fluttering of the leaves that drop from his cloak, and earth in the green around him and the fruits of harvest beneath him.  Water, though, is nowhere to be seen.  He doesn't deal well with emotions - his own or those of others!  There is wanting, there is planning and there is doing, but there is little recognition of the emotions that underlie these.

I really like the torque around his neck, sign of power in celtic traditions, and the snake pendant or tattoo that decorated his chest.  The harvest beneath him, too, speaks of abundance.  We can reap this only if we have been sufficiently organised, and have adhered to the rules of when to sow and when to harvest - rules that are created by nature rather than man.  In these aspects, I recognise that the Emperor takes care of those he sees as being "his" people.  He creates boundaries so that they can live in safety and plenty.  Still, I can't help wondering: "At what price?"

All this shows my own issues with authority figures, I guess.  I tried to connect with my own inner Emperor.  After all, I lay down the law for my son in terms of having a fixed bedtime and trying to be consistent in disciplining him - counting to five if he misbehaves, asking if he's finished, and if not turning my back on him for ten seconds.  It works pretty well, but I still find it difficult.  I often feel I should understand his point of view, make things okay for him, and then he wouldn't misbehave in the first place.  Yeah, I know, kids do just misbehave because they want what they want when they want it, and don't understand concepts such as time, responsibility, patience etc.  And, writing this, I suppose that those are also things which fall under the Emperor's purview, to an extent.

So, maybe I'm a big kid at heart, unwilling to bow to the restrictions placed on me.  It's weird, because while I see myself trying to act the Emperor for my son, I also associate him with this card.  I drew it to represent him (well, not the Tarot of the Sidhe one) before he was born.  And he has certainly placed major restrictions and boundaries on my life, as well as being a petty tyrant if I let him...  So, he is an Emperor figure in my life, and also a major reason why I have to call on my own inner Emperor.  He is stubborn, and likes things just so, and demands everyone jump to his commands - though that's where the discipline comes in :)

I guess I find the Emperor hard because I don't like structure imposed on me, and I'm not very keen on imposing it on others, either.  I recognise the value in it, but it doesn't come naturally to me.  All this to say, I should probably work more on this aspect.  But not this week, I've had enough of him!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Fear Spreads Into Dreams

It's not often that I remember my dreams in detail, nor that they stay with me long after I've woken.  This morning, though, I startled awake at 2.15 from a nightmare of being chased around a derelict building by would-be rapists, and murderers wielding axes.  I called for help, but the people who came also wanted to rape and kill me.

I took some 5-HTP (a natural supplement to help me sleep), and went back to bed.  Another nightmare came, this time of playing Canasta with tarot cards (perfectly possible, I realise) with my mother and stepfather, and discovering that she had been viciously raped and injured by the people who had been chasing me.

Meditating on it, I realised that this is connected to another fear I have about starting fertility treatments: the prodding and poking, needles and metal gynecological instruments, the loss of privacy and physical intrusion.  So, drawing once again on my trusty Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011), I asked what I need to know about this fear, and what I can do that will help me deal with it, as well as requesting a message from spirit.

The card for what I need to know is the Maker Eight (Eight of Pentacles).  I see a number of things here.  First is the idea that I am making a mountain (or at least a huge oak tree) out of a molehill (acorn).

Secondly, though, is the suggestion that for a big project we may have to do whatever it takes, in terms of time, energy, resources and yes, even discomfort.  If I want this child, I will have to make sacrifices: to allow others (the standing stones) to oversee everything, making me and my body the centre of attention, no matter how unpleasant I find it.

Finally, there is the crescent moon cupped underneath the whole scene.  This is a reminder of the message from spirit yesterday - that all is held in the hands of the Goddess, and all will be well.

What will help me with this fear is Death.  I notice, first, the owl.  This bird can turn it's head 360º, and so can represent the ability to see into past, present and future.  I need to let go of negative medical experiences from the past (of which there have been a fair few in recent years), in order to move towards the future.

Then there is Death itself.  Not that I must die, but perhaps that I need to allow my spirit to retreat into that dark cave, to dissociate from what is happening to my body.  If I can sink into inner stillness, connecting with spirit rather than focusing on what is happening, I will not feel the intrusion as intensely.  Yes, it's my body, but it isn't all that I am, and in Death physical indignities pale in importance.

The message from spirit is Dreamer Two (Two of Swords).  Spirit reminds me that things are not really just black and white.  While the doctors may poke and prod me, they will not rape or murder me - that is my subconscious taking things to extremes.  The truth is closer to my reading of the Death card: unpleasant, but not fatal, something I can choose not to be present with, communing instead with spirit.

Likewise, this message says that my first two readings of the Maker Eight are not mutually exclusive.  I AM making too much of this, but I WILL have to put up with some things I might prefer to avoid.  Spirit will help me find a balance which makes it bearable, which allows me to do what needs to be done without being overwhelmed by the negatives.

The Goddess is both dark and light, both kind and harsh, both nurturing and cuttingly incisive, seeing into our souls and illuminating our strengths and our weaknesses.  Yet both sides are love, helping us to grow and learn.  She will be there with me each step of the way.

So mote it be!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Fears Spread

I realised yesterday that I have been trying so hard not to worry about going to a fertility clinic next Tuesday that I've been unable to sleep and have been worrying about all kinds of other stuff as a distraction from my real fears.  So, I decided I'd better face them head on, and hopefully that way get myself in a better space.

I meditated on what I was really afraid of, and broke it down into three separate areas.  Then I drew two cards for each fear from the Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011), one to look at what I need to know about it, the other to suggest what I can do about it.  Finally, I drew a single card as a message from spirit.

1) I'm afraid of giving birth


When my son was born, we tried for a home birth.  We had a very experienced midwife, and also a back-up plan... which we had to put into effect.  I had my first journey in an ambulance, and ended up having an epidural and a forceps delivery.  It all felt pretty traumatic, hence my fear.

The Maker Princess tells me that I am able to be an earth mother, giving birth in a healthy way.  Being a card of studying, as well as creativity and connection with nature, she makes me think of hypnobirthing.  It was something I discovered about a month before my first birthing experience, and now I intend to work on it from the outset if I manage to get pregnant again.

What will help me manage my fear is to connect with LOVE.  The Universe is a dance, and the music behind it is love.  I need to open to spirit, to the source of that love, and let it fill me, washing away this fear so that I can trust in myself and the world again.

2)  I'm afraid another child might also have medical issues


My son suffered complications during and after the birth that left him severely disabled.  Every day with him is both a joy and a struggle.  While I love him dearly, I really don't want to have another child with these problems - it's draining and heartbreaking and terrifying.

The Dreamer Eight tells me that with this fear I am getting trapped in what-ifs, in looking at "all" the possibilities, rather than staying with what is, in the present.

What will help me with this is to focus on what I can do now, and to accept that I'm just going to have to keep working at it.  Working at being the best mother I can be, no matter what the situation with my child/ren, working at not falling into head trips and fears.  It's all an on-going process, so I'd better check where I am and then just get on with what needs doing now - what I can do - and not what might be.

3)  I'm worried that having a "normal" child would make me love my son less


It's sometimes really hard to be around other families.  Seeing their kids, sometimes stroppy, sometimes ill, but fundamentally normal and happy, can be so hard!  I worry that if I had another child I would be forever comparing, and finding my son wanting.

The Maker Two reminds me that he will always be my beloved son, no matter what.  We are connected at a soul level, and nothing can change that.  He is my responsibility, but in the best sense of the word.  I found one definition that said: "force that binds you to the courses of action demanded by that force".  In this case, that force is LOVE.  That is my responsibility: to act in line with my love for him.
What will help me with this fear?  The answer here is the Warrior Princess: I need to keep my eye clearly on the fact that I love my son.  That love is the torch that will guide me through the shadows of hard times.  My love is a burning flame, I just need the courage to trust in it.  
Another thing I see here is that perhaps this fear is connected to the others - it makes a good excuse not to risk the fears and heartaches associated with trying to have another child.  Deep down, I know I love my son absolutely, that nothing can change that.  What I also need is the courage to open up to the scariness of having another child, with the risks of pregnancy and childbirth, and the possibility that things can always go wrong.
Message from Spirit
I couldn't have asked for a nicer message from Spirit!  The Star speaks of hope, of light in the darkness.  She once again highlights the need to nurture the flame of my spirit, of my son's spirit, and of my hope for a future child.  Whatever comes, Spirit will nurture us all.  Each of us shines in our own way, and the Goddess holds us all in her hands: "In Perfect Love and In Perfect Trust"

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Lughnasadh Door

©Cavendish & Fenech
A few days ago I posted about my first experience pathworking with the Greenman's Door card from the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009).  Although I thought it would be good to meditate with it again on Lughnasadh, I also like to draw my cards at random.  So, I stuck it back in the deck, shuffled, fanned the cards and picked one with my left hand, eyes closed (my normal method of choosing cards).  And what should I find but the Greenman's Door - love it!

So, yesterday I meditated again on this card.  The companion book had said that the doorway opens on the sabbats, and whether it was the power of suggestion or something else, it turned out to be the case.  When I entered the card, both the faery and the Greenman were all aflutter.  Well, the faery more so, but the Greenman was pretty chirpy ;)  And the door through to faery stood open, inviting me in...

This time my meditation was a reminder that the spirit of the sabbats isn't just about, well, spirit.  I joined a rambunctious party, with no small amount of dancing, drinking, feasting, and telling of tall tales.  As a mainly solitary witch, I don't really associate this with the sabbats, more with mundane parties that fall when they fall.  And while I'm trying to meld the two a little more, with a summer solstice picnic planned yearly, most times I celebrate the sabbats alone with my DH.

It was lovely to have this experience, to feel the energy of a sabbat party.  How about the rest of you: what was your Lughnasadh like?

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Lammas Tarot Blog Hop: The Fruits of Harvest

©Emily Carding
I'm so glad to be a part of another Tarot Blog Hop - what fun!  A Tarot Blog Hop is when a pack of tarotists write about the same topic and post at the same time.  I love seeing what different perspectives we all come up with :)  So, whether you've just come from Louise's insightful Priestess Tarot, or found your way here by another route, I hope you'll enjoy following the links to see what others make of this subject.  And if the links break down somewhere, you can check out where else to go here.

This round of the Tarot Blog Hop is taking place on Lughnasadh, the sabbat associated with the first harvest of the year.  If you're interested in the pagan aspect of this festival, I've made a video of my Lughnasadh altar, talking about what it means to me, and including cards from five different decks as well as homemade oat cookies - nom, nom ;)

For this blog hop, titled the Fruits of Harvest, I decided to look at my favourite Pentacle card from the Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011).  In this deck, the suit of Pentacles has been renamed Makers.  And so, the card I chose is Maker Nine, subtitled Root and Blossom.

I love this image of a healthy tree: roots buried deep in the earth, accessing the water of a stream running by; trunk strong and healthy, firm and yet with a sense of movement to it; branches reaching out into the world, with green leaves, beautiful pink blossoms, and a large, ripe fruit ready to be harvested.  It seems particularly appropriate to the title of this round of the Tarot Blog Hop: Fruits of Harvest - such a wonderful, large fruit growing on this tree, symbol of the favourable conditions and abundance the tree has had access to.  That fruit is framed by mountains in the background, symbols of higher truths.  While the tree is happily rooted in its peaceful meadow, with pretty flowers growing around it and a field full of corn just beyond it, it can also see further horizons, higher realities.

Following on from this, I decided to create a spread based on this card, to look at my own situation and harvest - the Root and Blossom Spread:

©Emily Carding

1) Roots - what nourishes me?  Dreamer Seven - A Coward Betrays


Eeek, this is what nourishes me?  What are you doing to me, folk of the Sidhe? Looking again, though, what I notice is the figure in green, seemingly under attack by knife-wielding swords.  Though he looks scared he isn't the one hiding behind a tree.  I am nourished by my ability to face my fears rather than deny or hide from them.

©Emily Carding

2) Fruit - what abundance do I offer in return?  Warrior Seven - A Hero's Challenge


Now this is a far nicer card :)  Through facing my fears I come to realise that I am stronger than I think, that I can take on challenges.  And though I may not always succeed, at least I will stand tall, supporting others to also face their demons.

©Emily Carding

3) Mountains - what spiritual truth beckons me?  Dancer Seven - Illusion's Depths


Wow, what's with all the sevens?  I associate the number seven with challenges that are more inward-focused than external (which is more the province of the fives).  So, to reach the state of that happy, abundant tree, I need to deal with my own fears, my ability to stand up for what seems right to me, and to recognise that the things which scare me are in my own mind. 

The spiritual truth I see here is that we always face choices, which are made hard by our emotional attachments, our fears and doubts.  Once we can see through these, listening to our inner truth, our higher self, then the questions and uncertainties will disappear.  I'm not there yet, but I'm glad to think I may get there some day :)

Now, to enjoy more Tarot Blog Hop goodness, please jump on over to a Tarot Inspired Life!