Monday, 25 February 2013

What To Release, And How

Courtesy of http://donna-justme.blogspot.com/
As it's the full moon today, I decided to draw some cards on the energies around me at this time.  Although the full moon is the "strongest" point of the cycle, it is also just when the tide turns, so to speak, and the energy of the moon will wane from here on out for a couple of weeks.  So, as well as being a good time to energise things, it's also a good time to think about what to release from our lives.

That's certainly what came to mind when I pulled three cards from the Mystical Kipper deck (Königsfurt-Urania, 2007), and got "hardship and worries", "gloomy thoughts" and "coming to honour" (my own rough translations).  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to scan these before I had to leave home, so you'll have to imagine the cards (I'll try to scan them when I get back in a couple of days time).  The first shows a hard-up looking chap sitting on a rough wooden bench.  The second shows someone looking out at a dark and cloudy sky from a very precipitous cliff top above a stormy ocean.  The last shows a man kneeling to be knighted, with sun pouring down on him.

©Fiechter & Trösch
The sense I got from these is that I need to let go of my troubles and the gloominess that has surrounded me for the last three weeks.  The last card seems to suggest that being able to work through these difficult emotions will, in the end, be an uplifting experience.  How, though, to get to the end point?  I decided to ask my Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), and was moved by the answer:


Owls + Snake + Bouquet.  To me, this little line says that by talking (Owls) with a wise woman (Snake), I will be able to re-find my joy in life, to once again see the beauty (Bouquet) that surrounds me.

This seemed most timely, as I was to meet my mother just a short while later.  And in fact, although I was worried we wouldn't be able to talk because my stepdad was there, he fell asleep and we had a real heart-to-heart.  We both cried, and talked, and laughed.  It felt incredibly healing and helpful.  Not that I think now everything will be fine again, but perhaps that I can be a little more accepting that these troubles will take some time to come to terms with, to process and let go.

I've been feeling quite down on myself, because I've felt so lacking in energy and willpower.  I've been eating badly, not doing any but the most urgent of work, and feeling constantly tired and low.  Today, with these two draws and the long talk with my mother, I feel more hopeful that I will be able to move forward, if not today, then soon...

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Body Wisdom

I really am so enjoying my draws with the Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004)!

©Fiechter & Trösch

Today I drew Scythe + House + Book.  This feels incredibly relevant to me.  Looking at the pairs: Scythe + House - physical surgery; House + Book - body wisdom.

I had surgery on Wednesday, nothing too major.  These cards remind me, firstly that even something like this has the potential to bring wisdom - we learn from all our experiences, and often the harder they are, the more learning they bring.  So, I should look for that learning, for that silver lining.

Secondly, they tell me to pay special attention to the wisdom of my body.  I was told to avoid strenuous exercise for ten days.  However, yesterday I'd already gone three days without working out, and was jonesing.  So, I did a quite mellow, light cardio, light weights workout.  I worried a little that I shouldn't, and wondered where the edge was between good and too much, but overall felt great after it.  WARNING: potential TMI: About 9 hours later, I was on the toilet and "pushed", and after that, I had a little light bleeding.  My conclusion: mild workouts okay, "pushing" to be avoided!

Hopefully, though, I can listen to my body and hear more subtle messages than: you're bleeding, back off!  It's a tough one for me, for years I did my best to ignore what my body was telling me.  I over-exercised, under-ate, and then binged.  My signals are still pretty screwy, but I'm getting better.  And this seems like it's another lesson in listening to my body.  Not just in how I exercise, but perhaps at a deeper level...

Friday, 15 February 2013

Commitment

This morning, in the early hours, I was awake and decided to meditate for a little.  I asked for a focus, and shuffled my Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004).  Three cards jumped out, and I felt drawn to use them, but hesitated about the order to put them in.  Finally, I just plonked them down, thinking I would wait and see.  So, with these cards, I ended up reading them as a central focus and mirroring the side cards, rather than my more traditional 2+1⇾3.

©Fiechter & Trösch
At the centre, then, is the Ring, symbolic of commitment.  And the mirroring cards are Clouds and Mice.  I read this as saying that to reduce uncertainty, I need to commit.  It reminds me of a post earlier this week by Tierney Sadler (combining tarot and lenormand, coincidentally).  She talked about the importance of making a commitment and sticking to it, in breaking habits we don't want.

This feels very relevant to me at the moment.  I've gotten into some bad eating habits of late.  Now, my excuse for them is gone, and I've been feeling fat and guilty.  I'm just feeling generally quite bad about myself, actually, though I know most of that is emotional stuff.  Still, at least with the poor eating and the weight gain (only 2 kilos, but it bothers me) there is something I can do.

So, I commit to going back to doing daylight fasts on a weekly basis.  My DH has been doing a weekly fast (more hardcore, from dinner one night to breakfast the day after next) for about five months now, and he is in the best shape he's been in for twenty years!  I feel old and ugly in comparison, and that's not a good place to be.  At least this I can do something about!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Crow New Moon Reading

©Grimassi, Taylor & Mueller
Things have changed a lot in the last few weeks.  As I enjoyed the last full moon reading so much, I decided to follow the same pattern again for this new moon.  For a spiritual focus, I drew again from my combined Well Worn/Hidden Path decks (Llewellyn, 2005+2007).  Then, for what hinders and what helps me, I drew two cards from the powerful Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011).

My spiritual focus at this cold time of year, what I need to grow as the moon waxes, is the Hearth card.  This speaks of home and family, and also a feeling of sanctuary and security.

This chimes strongly with me.  Not only because my family and I are going on holiday next week (and after all, home is where the heart is, not just a bricks-and-mortar location), but also because I feel the need for some sanctuary, a place of peace, security, warmth and stillness.  I need to take some time out from the stresses of life, to relax and nurture myself with love and food and family.

©Emily Carding
What will hinder me is the Maker Two (Two of Pentacles).  I cannot have my focus be on projects and responsibilities, money and practicality, or other people's demands.  Instead, it needs to be directed inward, to my inner fire.  Creativity, maybe, but without the burden of deadlines.  There will be time for those later in the year, but for now I need some nurturing.  I shall take some time to draw on the energy of the earth and the hearth, to warm and nurture my soul.

Worries and stress about projects cut short could also hamper me at this time.  I have to let go of what I cannot do, cannot control, to accept where my responsibility ends without regrets.

©Emily Carding
What will help me is the Warrior Queen (Queen of Wands).  I love the way she stands on a rock in the middle of the sea, yet seems totally at peace.   She directs her energy outward, connecting to the world through her thoughts, without needing to plunge into the sea of emotions, nor fly herself on the winds of knowledge.  She is calm where she is, in touch without being overwhelmed.   This comes from a secure base, be that a place, or be it in ourselves.

She also connects with charm, with sensuality.  These are things of the hearth, too - the sensuality of passion with my DH, the calmness to be charming and hospitable to others because I am sufficiently nurtured and so can offer that nurturing to others again.  These are things I shall try to strengthen at this time.  Creativity may help, that is one of the aspects of fire, after all.  Still, a creativity without responsibility, as suggested by the previous card.  Allowing the fun side of passion to bring new joy to my soul, my inner hearth, so then hopefully I will be ready to turn outward again :)

As a summary, I need to tend my inner fire, think less about my "responsibilities" and more about finding myself again.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Lenormand Says: Seek Joy Y'All!

This last week has been tough, and today is definitely set to be another challenge.  So, I asked the Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004): "What can I do to support myself at this time?"  My answer: Rider + Ring + Sun.

©Fiechter & Trösch
What I saw in this was: actively commit to happiness.  Or as Arwen would say: Seek Joy Y'All! ;)

The Rider reminds me to open myself to wonder.  While I don't literally believe in unicorns, there is a sense of being willing to see the magic in life.  Isn't that what being a pagan is about? Acknowledging the beauty of nature, the joy of being alive, the wonder of our connection with spirit?

The Ring says that this wonder can be found in the small things in life.  It doesn't have to be big or "important".  As Arwen says, we can seek joy in even the little things: a hug from a friend, the scent of a flower, sunlight dappling our face.  She suggests trying to find joy each and every day, even if just for three minutes.  Go on, what's 180 seconds?  The magpie feels this ring is a treasure, though realistically it isn't much, just a bauble.  Yet, being happy with the small pleasures builds up to joy, so I'll go out and seek those small moments of felicity.

The Sun says, there is wisdom in joy.  We can find enlightenment through happiness, rather than through self-abasement or seriousness.  Being playful, finding love of the universe in even the tiniest of delights, is a sacred path.  Clarity can come at the strangest moments, if we are just willing to accept it, to seek it out, to actively say: I will commit to being happy today!

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Tried and the True

This morning I had a bit of a health scare, just in a minor way, and I'll be getting it checked out later today.  However, in the early hours my thoughts ran along the lines of: "what can I do to help me sleep a bit more before I can do anything anyway?"  As meditation is often recommended to help with sleep, I ended up on my meditation cushion, and drew three cards from the Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004) to ask for a spiritual focus.

©Fiechter & Trösch
Lily + Key + Dog - insightful (Key) peace (Lily) comes through something dependable (Dog).

The first thing this made me think of was to go with a tried and true meditation, so I simply chanted Om while going through my mala beads.

As my mind calmed a little, the images opened up a little more.  I noticed that in the Lily, the woman is doing something that is probably quite ritualistic and calming, like my meditation.  I took it as a suggestion that, as the day progressed, I could also use "flow" activities, things which occupy my mind and spirit entirely so I lose track of time, as ways to help find that peace and harmony the Lily card speaks of.

I also thought about the Dog card, and how dependability is not restricted to people.  A ritual, a practice, a teddy bear, even, can bring some stability into our lives, too.  The hearth behind the dog in this particular deck is a good reminder of that.  The clock also speaks to the fact that dependability is something that is lasting.  Another reminder of why traditional timing systems don't really work for me, as this card doesn't say "July" in any way that's meaningful to me.

And my mind drifted to the Key, and the fact that insight is a treasure to be prized.  It is also something that can come in an instant, an "aha" moment, or else it can come from the wisdom of ages.  Restricting it to one or the other doesn't feel right, and sometimes we may have a sudden insight based on knowledge that has been around for a long time.

In this way, my understanding of the cards deepens.  Still within the confines of traditional keywords, but opening up what those keywords may mean at any given time.  As Lisa of Seer Pathways suggested earlier this week, I'm creating a right-brain connection to these cards :)

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Stillness and Silence of the Grave

This morning, I decided to do another reading with the Mystical Lenormand (AGM/Urania, 2004) asking it for a spiritual focus for the day.  My answer: Fish, Storks, Coffin.

©Fiechter & Trösch
As a simple sentence this gave me: transitory (Storks) abundance (Fish) ends (Coffin).

How I read this is as an existential reminder.  Yes, most of the joys and abundance we experience in life are finite.  Life, after all, will end.  Yet, does that mean we shouldn't enjoy it while we're here?  No, quite the opposite!  It is a call to be mindful, to make the most of each joy while we can experience it :)

I sank into the stillness and silence of the Coffin, chanting Om silently with my breath, unmoving except for my fingers on the mala beads and my chest gently rising and falling with life.  I felt as though I was buried in the earth, quiet and heavy around me.  And yet, I felt the joy of touching those mala beads, the feel of their roundness beneath my fingertips.  And I felt the warmth of the embrace of the Goddess, in whose arms I was wrapped and held.

Today, then, as I celebrate Imbolc, I will be mindful of the enjoyment of even the simplest of pleasures, of movement and breath and colour and sound.  Of the light of a single candle, of the scent of fresh flowers, of the joy of sharing smiles with my loved ones, of the blessings of being alive!