Friday, 29 March 2013

Of Dogs and Water

Things have been a little tough on the home front, with my son being sick almost non-stop for the last six weeks.  I've also not been doing great in terms of eating.  I know the two are related: I eat less well when I'm tired (he hasn't been sleeping well) and stressed.  Plus I've been sick myself (he loves to share).  Still, I've been doing better with meditating this week, which I think has helped when I've had the chance to go back to bed for a nap.

With all of this floating around in my head, today I asked for a spiritual and emotional focus from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004).

©Fiechter & Trösch
Clover + Dog + Cross suggest a couple of things to me.  Firstly, that I should take what small joys (Clover) I can find with my DH (Dog) to help cope with the burdens we're experiencing (Cross).  So, definitely time to go for a nice walk in the sunshine we're promised over the next few days.

Secondly, I see that there is an opportunity (Clover) to be faithful (Dog) to what I believe in (Cross).  I have some work to do on a project I feel passionate about, so best get on with it.  Also, no skimping on meditating or daylight fasting: these things work if you give them a chance!

However, the eating question has been really difficult lately, so I decided to draw on the Mystical Kipper (Königsfurt-Urania, 2007).  I asked what would help me stick to my good intentions:

©Fiechter & Trösch

A Judicial Person + Hope/Big Water + A Good, Rich Man.  As I mentioned before, I see the Judicial Person in a similar light to the Justice card in the tarot, indicating a need to weigh things up, to listen to the messages of spirit, and to analyse what is happening.  Hope/Big Water can indicate wonderful things, those things we dream of (the hope of achieving the tarot World, maybe).  However, it also talks about illusions, and what happens when we live in and through our illusions (and resulting addictions) - a little Devil-like, going back to tarot analogies.  Finally, a Good, Rich Man can indicate corporations, a wealthy man, or simply security - at a push, it has a bit of a King of Pentacles feel.

Taking this line together, I see a need to weigh up whether the things I think I want are dreams or illusions, positives or negatives.  This assessment will help me plot a way forward towards an increased sense of security and of living the good life.

At a deep level, I know that eating chocolate, while it seems pleasing at the time, isn't really a good thing.  It masquerades as something that brings me hope in dark times and will make me feel life is worth living, while actually undermining me in the long run.  So, next time I hear that siren song, I have to bring some analytical thinking to bear.  Perhaps try to stop and at least think logically about the pros and cons, if not actually write a list (though that's kind of tempting, too).  To stop and think about what I want from life, as opposed to from this moment.  It's worth a try...

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Structure

This morning, after Thursday's reading, I finally got myself back on my meditation cushion.  As well as  grounding, centering, and calling sacred space, I drew a Lenormand line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) to ask for a spiritual focus for the day:

©Fiechter & Trösch
What I see in this line - Man, Ring, Woman - is a need to commit to structure in order to find intuition.  This makes me think of Lon Milo DuQuette's book Chicken Quabalah, where he talks about keeping our monkey mind so busy with numbers and abstract thought that our Deep Self (he doesn't call it that) can get on with tapping into intuition.

However, I'm not into Quabalah, so how does this apply to me?  Well, one thing is that I use structure in my card readings.  Be it the positions in a tarot spread, or choosing ahead of time how to read even a simple Lenormand line of three, that structure helps define the reading, allowing intuition a space without becoming overwhelmed by possibility.  For example, even a line of three can be read at least three different ways.  My normal pattern: 1+2→3: committing to structure (Man + Ring) leads to intuition (Woman).  Or you could read (1+2) and (2+3) and (1+3): a commitment to logic and a commitment to intuition lead to a balanced psyche.  Or, another one I use quite often, 2 + (1+3): commitment takes a willingness to give and receive, to use logic and intuition: to find balance.

I also see in this line a reminder that I need to be more structured with my meditation practice.  I will make sure I sit regularly, preferably at the same time of day each time.

Committing to structure can also enable rather than restrict creativity.  Thinking about this led me this afternoon to do my first Zentangle drawing inspired by Arwen ;)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Ostara Reading

©Thalia Took
We had the Spring Equinox on Wednesday, and on the pagan front this festival is often called Ostara.  It is aligned with Eostre, a German Goddess of Spring and fertility.   I hunted around on-line and found this fabulous image of her from Thalia Took :)

It inspired me to create a little spread:

1) The red eggs: What nourishes me?
2) The bunny rabbits: What do I need to nurture?
3) The flowers in her hair and basket: What is blossoming in my life?

I decided to draw a line of three for each of these, from my favourite Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004).
©Fiechter & Trösch

1) The red eggs: What nourishes me?  Clouds, Fish, Cross

I am nourished by finding a flow between uncertainty and faith, between ambivalence and sometimes painful clarity.  I see in this line that being in the present moment, flowing with life without being trapped by either dogmatism or an inability to be clear on anything, is what I need at this time.

I haven't sat to meditate all week, and that is a mistake.  These cards remind me that setting aside time for meditation nourishes me at a deep level: helping me find a point of balance, calming my mind and soul.

©Fiechter & Trösch
2) The bunny rabbits: What do I need to nurture?  Dog, Bouquet, Heart

In the Bouquet I see spiritual grace, that feeling of being connected with the universe at a deep level.  And one way to find that grace is through focusing on love.  James Ricklef writes movingly about how we can find divine love by first practicing more mundane love, and that is what I see here.

A loving, compassionate attitude - treating all I meet as aspects of the divine, be they friends, lovers, or strangers - is a practice for me to nurture over the coming days and weeks.


©Fiechter & Trösch
3) The flowers in her hair and basket: What is blossoming in my life?  Paths, Storks, Scythe

New directions, and change that is sometimes quite abrupt seems to be the message here.  Like a flower opening in the sun, so my life's path is unfolding in ways that are often surprising.  It brings movement and transitions, alterations that are sometimes welcome, sometimes less so.  Yet, there is a feeling of destiny to this: unstoppable course adjustments that I just have to flow with.  Which brings me right back to the first line of three!

Perhaps, then, it is not only in meditative practice that I need to embrace the present moment.  Rather, it may be in my life more generally, as I shift and move with the vagaries of life.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Releasing the Poison

This morning I once again drew a line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), asking for a spiritual focus for the day.  What I got, though, surprised me: Storks + Mice + Garden.

©Fiechter & Trösch
What I saw in this line was that I am being tainted by how changes I am making are being received by my community.  This is something I've journaled about privately several times before.  I was disturbed by the fanaticism and lack of acceptance I have faced for expressing my spirituality and creativity.  And also by the depth of anger that I have felt about it, which eats away at me and disturbs my sleep.  I've done readings on this before, but nothing really felt clear for me.

Today, though, I thought to ask: are these changes good/worthwhile?  If not, after all, why am I buying myself so much trouble?  The answer I received was Clouds + Scythe:

©Fiechter & Trösch
In this I see, firstly, the fact that this spiritual and creative expression has been helping me to cut the clouds of depression I have felt drawing in.  Secondly, that in expressing this openly I have been slicing through black-and-white thinking.  It might not be a comfortable place to be, still I don't want to live surrounded by fanaticism.  I may not be making a big difference, but even small differences count.

With this reading, I may finally be reconciled to this path.  Though I will certainly still face censure and criticism, I feel more confident now that what I'm doing is alright.  Not "right", because that is black-and-white, but alright.  It may not change the world, but it's a small cry for freedom, for openness, for being able to express my pagan beliefs in the face of other's fixed ideas, of being willing to think outside the box.  I think I can live with that :)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Lisa's "Who Am I?" Tarot and Lennie Spread

Lisa over at Seer Pathways is a fount of great spreads!  Yesterday, she came up with one that combines tarot and Lenormand cards, and looks at the deep question of our nature and life lessons - what's not to love?  I just had to give it a whirl :)


Soul card - Dreamer King - Gift of Judgement
My nature/personality - Owls, Sun, Man, Moon, Book
Lesson I'm here to learn - Dancer Five - Where Loss Resides

My soul card - from Emily Carding's wonderful Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011) - is actually the card that is attributed by the Golden Dawn system to my birthday: the Dreamer King or King of Swords.  This speaks of my need to learn and study, to try to understand life.  I also see in this card someone who is opening their third eye to see beyond the mundane to the deeper truths of life.  And someone willing to sacrifice for the sake of that higher truth.  Although the suit of Dreamers is associated with air and the mind, he rides in front of a full moon: he uses his intellect to gauge intuition and emotion, too.

The Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) line of five I drew for my personality is an interesting one: just look at those mirroring cards!  As a Gemini, this makes a lot of sense to me.  The talkative Owls are mirrored by the secretive Book, the outgoing Sun is mirrored by the inward-looking Moon.  At the centre of it all, the Man: rationality (as emphasised by the Dreamer King) and dynamism.  And yet, I'm a woman, a witch who works with her intuition: so another set of opposites.

Breaking this down more, the Owls and Sun combination speaks at a superficial level of my sometimes out-going, talkative nature - I'm not afraid to stand up and speak in front of large groups of people.  It also points to the overt cheerfulness which sometimes hides a nervous disposition.  And at a deeper level, it points to the search for enlightenment and wisdom that guides me.  The Man at the centre points to the fact that I'm generally an active go-getter in my everyday life.  Yet, it also emphasises the balance of masculine and feminine, yin and yang, in my make-up, as it is combined at an implicit level with my actual femininity.

At a surface level, the Moon and Book combo talk about the other side of the coin: how I am often emotionally closed, even secretive, at least in some areas of my life, despite the sunny face and apparent openness of the Sun and Owls.  Yet it also points to how, more and more, I seek esoteric knowledge and work on my intuition, the foundations of this blog!  Which also fits with the deeper, enlightenment interpretation of the Sun and Owls.  Funny how two combinations which seem like opposites actually touch on the same elements - and perfect to represent the apparent contradictions of my Gemini nature :)

And what is the lesson I have to learn in this life?  Dancer Five is a sad card, subtitled "Where Loss Resides".  There is a need to accept the pain and sadness life brings, to learn to mourn and then let go, and finally to turn and look to the possibilities of the future.  To face sadness, and then use it to grow rather than stagnate.  This is very poignant to me, and it's certainly not a lesson that I feel in any way "done" with.

My thanks to Lisa for a powerful spread!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

March New Moon Reading

©Grimassi, Taylor & Müller
Once again for the New Moon, I decided to draw a card from my combined Well Worn/Hidden Path decks (Llewellyn, 2005+2007) to look at the energy that can grow during this lunation.  Then I drew two cards from Emily Carding's Tarot of the Sidhe (Schiffer, 2011) to suggest what will help and hinder in this.

The energy that is in potential at the moment is the Crescent-Crowned Goddess.  To me, this feels a lot like pulling the High Priestess card in tarot.  She stands at the mouth of a cave, inviting us to move inward and tap into inner knowing.  She has a burning torch to guide the way, and a spindle to weave together the threads of life.  There is a cauldron to one side: she brews what she needs to heal and to divine, to create and to manifest.

©Emily Carding
So, what will hinder moving towards a greater sense of inner spirituality this month, and what will help?  The answer I received was Warrior Princess (Page/Princess of Wands) and Warrior Nine (Nine of Wands).  Reading these together, what I see is that the focus shouldn't be outward, but inward.  Trying to be active, to get lots done, and to say "I can do it!" won't help.  Instead, there is a need to be more circumspect with what is chosen, and make sure it's okay for us at a deep level.  There is a need to create sacred space, to protect and nurture ourselves at every level.  I love the suggestion in the Warrior Nine that we have a guardian who will help us create this safe space, and help us feel the embrace of the divine.

This fits quite well with my health reading yesterday.  Personally, I need to take time to build my strength and overcome obstacles to good health.  I can't do that if I'm off trying to save the world (or even just being totally focused on work).  My priority should be taking care of myself, creating wellness before I try to do other things.  Not that I'll stop working, just that I need to prioritise nurturing myself, no matter what else is going on!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Health For the Month

This morning, in the run up to tonight's new moon, I decided to ask the cards: "What can I do to help improve my health over the coming lunation?"  First I had a cold, then I developed sinusitis, now I seem to be getting a cough to boot: it's been going on for over three weeks!  Drawing a line of five from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), I pulled:

©Fiechter & Trösch

Mountain + Ring + Tower + Birds + Bear

What I read from this is that I need to commit to overcoming any obstacles on my path (Mountain + Ring) on what may be quite a long journey (Mountain).  This must be a studied commitment (Ring + Tower), gathering information about what will best help.  That may include talking to institutional professionals (Tower + Birds), and also watching how food affects my emotional state (Birds + Bear).  On the food front,  that seems to connect with the daylight fasting I've been doing, which has certainly helped reduce my emotional eating.  I also seem the suggestion of talking with my mother (Birds + Bear), always a port in a storm, and someone with plenty of health knowledge.

Looking at the mirror cards, it seems that eating can cause particular obstacles in my path to wellness (Mountain + Bear).  Already, I've cut out dairy more rigorously than normal, but I've noticed that even things like making sure I only have warm drinks and food makes a difference.  This isn't always easy - it's much simpler to carry round a bottle of water than a thermos (don't own one), or a cup of tea (spills and burns).  It also seems like I need to commit to talking through my emotional issues (Ring + Birds): I know I haven't yet done all the grieving I need to do for the baby we lost.

At the centre of it all is the Tower, a strange card for an action question.  I read it in a couple of different lights.  First, the need to study up about what I can do to help myself - I've already bought a neti pot and been using it diligently, which seems to have helped with the sinusitis a lot.  Second, the need to feel secure and whole once again - cue the talking about emotional issues.  Finally, it may be saying that I need to get outside help from someone with credentials in the health field (institutional higher-up).

With the Mountain right at the start, I feel this may be a long journey with setbacks along the way. However, the Bear at the end gives me a good feeling: moving towards a place of strength again :)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Saying Goodbye and Moving On

On Saturday, my DH and I did a little ritual for the baby we lost two and a half weeks ago.  We walked onto our local heath, each taking something with us.  He took a flower from our garden, I took a little package I'd put together in red tissue paper, with some of my own blood and hair.  This is one of those instances where I am perfectly happy to do "blood magic", as I mentioned on a youtube video last year.  After all, this baby was "blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh" and I wanted to honour that, as we didn't have a body to bury.

We walked until we found a tree that spoke to us, then silently asked the tree's permission before burying our offerings at its roots.  It was moving and healing, and we cried and hugged, and then spent some time walking on the heath, reconnecting with life - our own bodies in movement, and the earth that is still dark from winter, but with small hints of the spring to come.

On Sunday, I drew these three cards from the Mystical Kipper (Königsfurt-Urania, 2007):

Fiechter & Trösch
The first card is the "Marriage Status Card", which can show what a relationship is like by its position in relation to the people cards in a Grand Tableau.  However, a little like the Ring in the Lenormand, it also represents commitments, ties and contracts.  The card next to it is the "Small Child" card, and the child has its back to the first card.  So, this is a commitment, a responsibility which is now in the past.  That chimes well with our having done the ceremony to release the spirit of our unborn child.

Moving forward, what we have is a "Judicial person".  While this can indicate some sort of legal situation - a court case, a job for a solicitor, and so on - it also has echoes of the Justice card in tarot.  I read it as saying that moving on means taking some time to assess the situation dispassionately.  I notice, too, the little gnome on the judge's shoulder.  Perhaps a need to listen to spirit in this...  And the peacock outside the courthouse shows that it's time to look for the beauty in life outside of this situation.  As my reading last week said, it's time to re-find my joy in life, and maybe that will also help me decide how to move forward more dispassionately, no longer so stuck in the sad and bad feelings!