Monday, 28 January 2013

Full Moon Reading

©Grimassi, Taylor & Mueller
As last night was the full moon, I decided to do a little reading again.  Despite having designed some moon-phase specific readings, which I hope to post at some point, I felt moved to do something different.  So, I pulled a single card from my combined Well Worn/Hidden Path decks (Llewellyn, 2005+2007) to represent the spiritual energy of this lunation.  Then I drew two cards from the Gaian Tarot (Joanna Powell-Colbert, 2010) to ask what will hinder me and what will help me with this focus.

1) What is the spiritual energy of this lunation? - The Sun

This is a card of vitality, fertility, renewal and life cycles.  This chimes very well with me, as I open up to new possibilities and potentials.

One thing this card reminded me of is the fact that I have been noticing the days getting longer.  This is a good thing to be mindful of, at a time of year that can often feel bleak and heavy.  Another thing it made me think of is the fact my DH said yesterday he could see daffodils coming out in our little front garden.   I hadn't noticed, and so this card tells me to spend more time noticing this new vitality that is slowing coming to the earth :)

©Joanna Powell-Colbert
2) What will hinder me in this? - Explorer of Fire

At first, I was rather surprised by this card.  After all, the Sun is a fiery kind of card, why wouldn't exploring my creativity and focusing on projects be a good thing?  This lovely Explorer of Fire (Knight of Wands in traditional systems), represents someone who is passionately enthusiastic, pouring energy and dedication into mastering some creative task.  I normally love this energy, and could certainly do with it for a few projects I have in the pipeline!  Then I realised, while that might be appropriate for my work life, it is not what is currently called for in my spiritual life...

©Joanna Powell-Colbert
3) What will help me in this? - Explorer of Earth

For my spirituality, what is called for in this lunation is to connect with the earth, to take my time feeling the rhythms of the reawakening plants and animals.  It is time to pay attention to the cycle of life as things begin to blossom afresh and the days get longer.  Time, too, to nurture my own physicality.

It's interesting that there is a stag on this card, as the companion book to the Well Worn Path, in talking about the Sun card, also mentions that the Holly King and Oak King are sometimes referred to as the Wolf and the Stag.  So, this card also taps into that, reminding me to look to the new vitality being brought as the sun grows warmer and stronger, and the world prepares for a new time of growth and abundance.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Heartbeat of the Universe

This morning, once again, I decided to ask the Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004) what my spiritual focus for today should be.

©Fiechter & Tr√∂sch
My answer: Tree + Ring + Book: commit to connecting with nature and I will learn a lot.

I felt drawn to my half-Mala beads, and started chanting an Om with each bead.  I let myself sink into the cards, and found myself the Tree.  The Om started in the earth into which my roots were sunk.  It was a hum, a heartbeat from the earth, that vibrated through my roots, unmoving because they were held firmly in the earth.  As the vibration moved up my trunk to my branches and leaves, those leaves began to dance and shimmy and rustle and sing.  By that point, it felt like a breeze that swayed me, the heartbeat of the Universe echoing through me.

It was interesting, because that heartbeat felt dark and deep, yet supportive at my roots.  Yet once it had moved up into my leaves, it was a dance, alive and moving, exciting and vibrant.  Both felt wonderful, just in very different ways.  I think this says something to me about the nature of the elements involved...  will have to ponder it a little more :)

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Finding Grace

It's been interesting recently seeing the meteoric rise in popularity of Lenormand decks.  One thing I find both strange and fascinating is the insistence of many, especially in America, on the idea that it is more of a "predictive/fortune telling" tool than the tarot.  At the same time, these people insist it is "practical, not spiritual".

For myself, I choose to make my readings spiritual.  I want to connect with the divine, in its broadest sense, and do so through divination!  I can do that just as well with a Lenormand deck as with an oracle, or even when walking in the park.  Intent is what matters.  So, I decided to pull three cards from the beautiful Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004).

©Fiechter & Trosch
Connecting with the flow (Fish) of wisdom (Owls) brings the gift of grace (Bouquet).  At a base level, I see this recommending taking the time to connect with the divine, and meditation is a lovely means to that end.

So, I meditated on this reading.  I felt what it might be like to be a fish, and tried to explore all the elements from that perspective.  It was fascinating!  Air was easy, as bubbles flow through the water all the time, either from the gills etc of other water creatures, or the splash of their tails.  Fire I found in the energy provided by food, warming my belly.  Water was all around me, connecting me with the other fish in my vicinity, and with the currents of the water itself which moved me, or which I could at least sense.  My whole body became a means of perception, at an intuitive level.  Earth, though, that was hard!  When out in the deeps, there is no shore, and the seabed may be far, far below, never seen.  What "grounds" me, then, in this sea of being?  My own body, and the presence of my shoal!  I find myself, in myself, and in my "home" tribe.

And I meditated, too, on the gift of grace.  Part of that is simply the gift of being in this world, experiencing its wonder and its variety.  I thought of the flowers that grow from the earth, and what a gift they are.  Not just because of their beauty, colour and scent, but because they suggest growth and renewal, and they signal the fruits that will come, which nourish us.

I am grateful for the wisdom to see the beauty in all of life!  And to not let others determine where I find my inspiration and spiritual connection :)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Gaia

©Sally Morningstar
Meet Gaia, healing mother Goddess in the Wicca Pack (Walking Stick Press, 2001)!  I find her an unusual depiction of an earth goddess, given the mermaid tail.  Still, what a beautiful message for today :)

The book, as well as giving some background to each card's main element and a divinatory meaning, also gives a "magical suggestion" for how to work with the card's energy.  For Gaia, the author suggests going into nature, connecting with it, picturing yourself as a seed, and letting a song emerge from you.

It being ridiculously early and ridiculously cold when I did my meditation, I didn't follow that suggestion.  However, I did a visualisation of myself as a seed, and then growing, connecting with the world around me.

It was a beautiful meditation about the elements and nature in general, as well as my place in it.  It also made me think about the "contact boundaries" that make us up as people.  A contact boundary is basically where and how we rub up with ourselves, the world and other creatures (they say people, but I'll not be so anthropocentric).  We have a contact boundary with our Self, where we distinguish "I" from mere existence.  We have a contact boundary with the environment, our skin, where we both have a barrier and also a sensitive tool for feeling all that surrounds us.  And there is a "social" contact boundary, where we interact with other beings.

I felt all of that as a berry bush, with prickly thorns to protect my Self from being encroached on or eaten too much.  With my roots and shoots that spread into the environment, soaking up nutrients, water and energy, sensing the four elements.  And with the berries that I offered up to the world, sharing of myself with the mice and birds and other creatures.  I also connected with the worms and bugs who crawled and wriggled in the earth along with my roots.

It reminded me of the importance of protecting ourselves, if we want to be able to serve others - we can't give the whole of ourselves, or there will be nothing left to keep giving over time.  And it reminded me to honour all beings, be they people or other creatures, or plants.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The Familiar

©Sally Morningstar
This morning for my meditation I drew a card from the Wicca Pack (Walking Stick Press, 2001) by Sally Morningstar.  I received "The Familiar" subtitled Ally.  In the book, the author suggests doing a meditation to meet with your animal familiar.

Having already met my familiar in meditation last year, and as he has accompanied me on many meditations since, I decided to skip her visualisation, and do my own instead.  It is snowy here today, and so I pictured walking into the snowy woods just down the road, and meeting my familiar, not to go anywhere in particular, just to take some time reconnecting :)

It was a moving experience!  Like my meditation on the Snail's Pace card last week, I found myself becoming a squirrel, too.  Yep, my familiar is a squirrel - not an impressive wolf or eagle or bear, but dear to me, still.  I flicked my tail through the snow, and explored my companion's den and nut store, and the feeling of the cold and the shelter of the tree, and the excitement of running up and down it on four, clawed paws.  I came out of the meditation feeling refreshed and delighted, and offered my squirrel friend three nuts as a thank you for our time together.

While it might not be an actual snowy walk, I felt deeply connected to nature, moved by the feelings and sensations.  If you haven't met your animal familiar, I can recommend doing so - you may be surprised by what you find ;)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Moon Draw

©Grimassi, Taylor & Mueller
It being a New Moon at the start of the New Year, on 1/11, I decided a draw and meditation was definitely in order.  I pulled a single card from my mixed deck of the Well Worn Path (Llewellyn, 2005) and the Hidden Path (Llewellyn, 2007), and got the Sacred Sight/Site card from the latter.

This tells me that this month, and this year, I would do well to focus on connecting with the sacred, and perhaps also with developing my visualisation practice.  The image shows a "hag stone" - a rock in which time has carved a hole, and through which we look at a stone circle and sacred tree.  Something there, then, about experience helping us to see the sacred more clearly.  Also, a suggestion that the sacred is where my focus should be.

I have plans, it's true, for a spiritual project that needs some research.  I hope some of that will be appropriate for posting here, too :)  With the excitement and hard work of other aspects of my life in full swing, this is a good reminder that the sacred is fundamental to me, and to take time to honour that amongst all the other chaos.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Snail's Pace

©Cavendish & Fenech

After a hectic Christmas and New Year, today I decided to draw a card for pathworking, after several months of mainly chanting during my meditations.  And this little beauty, from the Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle (Blue Angel, 2009) is what I drew :)  Ah, slowing down, taking time to observe the world around me and to just be - that sounds like a good idea!  

I have a friend who once dated a biologist specialising in snails.  At the time, I couldn’t understand the attraction (either to the man, or to snails).  However, I found my visualisation with this card really powerful!  

Imagine what it would be like to feel the earth you moved over through a large part of your body, connected to it by fluid so that you can touch everything you move across intimately.  Imagine the feel of a leaf sliding under you, experiencing its softness and the ridge of its spine, and the green feel of it.  That openness to the world, that emotional connection, also leaves us vulnerable, though, hence the need for a shell to escape into.

The sun was rising, and I listened joyfully to the dawn chorus outside my window.  Then, as a snail, I realised what a different sense I would have of that.  Birds, after all, might swoop down and eat me!  Suddenly, I realised why I have eyes out on stalks, waving in the air.  Raised above my shell so I can check the skies in all directions, I keep my eyes peeled, ready to hide if I see a flash of movement above me.  That shell might not save me, but it might.  Ah, the uncertainty of life, I am in the hands of the Goddess...

Despite these insights, I also realised how little I know of snails.  How do they eat?  Where do they live?  Can they hear the bird’s song?

I doubt I will spend the time to find out, with so much else going on.  Still, I enjoyed taking the time to feel and think about being a snail.  And I shall try to be mindful today and listen to the heartbeat of the earth :)