Monday, 29 April 2013

K.I.S.S.

This morning, I wanted to take part again in Deva Premal and Miten's 21 Day Mantra Meditation Journey.  Unfortunately, as also happened yesterday, while I could log on just fine no Play button appeared in any of the mantra sections!  However, for Day 7 (though I haven't done days 4-6) there was a mantra I knew, and the meaning of it also resonated with me.   The mantra is Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, and they translate it approximately as: Om is the name of that inside of me which is aware of the oneness of all things.  What a beautiful statement!

So, instead of being part of a global, technological mantra experience, it was just me and my mala on my meditation cushion.  I really enjoyed the chanting, and felt filled with energy and calm.  Afterwards, I thought to draw some cards to answer: today, how can I recognise the oneness of all things?  As I shuffled, I thought about something a friend wrote the other day about Lenormand lines of five giving more information than just a line of three.  However, I heard a voice say: "Keep It Simple, Stupid!" so I just drew three cards from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004).


Tree, Key, Birds.  My monkey mind began buzzing with possible interpretations and where they might take me: the key to health is talking; success from a connection to the three realms while chanting; insights about my ancestors aid with anxiety.  Once again, that voice echoed in my head: "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

And I realised that for me today, the key to recognising the oneness of all things lay in listening to the bird song outside my window as I sat on my meditation cushion.  It lay in connecting with earth and sky and everything in between, as the tree does.  It lay in meditating on the beauty of nature!  And I realised, perhaps there was a deeper reason why I had been unable to connect to the Mantra Meditation Journey site - just another part of keeping it simple today :)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Shield

This morning, I chanted along with day 3 of Deva Premal and Miten's 21 day Mantra Meditation Journey.  The mantra was Om Gum Ganapatieye Namaha, which is a chant to Ganesh, remover of obstacles.  It was beautiful and quite up-lifting, which is part of the point of the mantra.  When we remove blockages from our lives, we make room to be uplifted.

As a visual focus for meditating after the chanting I pulled another card from the American edition of the Oracle of the Shapeshifters (Beyond Words, 2013).  I received "Sacred Beetle Armour: You have a mighty shield."  Which made me wonder where in my life I need a shield...

So I decided to draw a line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) to ask that question.  What I received was Bear, Letter and Angel (one of the extra 4 cards available separately).

It made me think, first off, that I need some protection when writing about motherhood, eating and spirituality.  Which is actually what this blog is, as hardly anyone IRL knows about it :D

Then, as I meditated, I realised that the cards could also be saying that my superficial strength is my shield, but what it shields me from is a connection with my angels, with Spirit.  That rather chimed with the reading earlier this week about having a hidden strength in the ability to let go, to allow Spirit to hold me and carry some of my burdens.  This reading points to the obvious, outward strength which may block me from doing that, thus blocking me from a deeper connection with the divine.

And what better to overcome that than the mantra from day 3 of the journey? :)  I shall definitely chant that mantra again in the future!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Co-Dependency

©Cavendish & Becket-Griffith
Having just received my US edition of the Oracle of the Shapeshifters (Simon Pulse/Beyond Words, 2013) I couldn't wait to give it a whirl.  I drew a card for the day, and was a little surprised by what I received.

In the companion book, Lucy Cavendish says of Beauty and the Beast that we are letting someone else control us too much.  That's certainly not the case with my DH: we have a very good partnership, and give each other plenty of space.

Then I thought about my relationship with my son, and boom, co-dependency!  As I said in my last post, I find it very hard to let go, to stop being responsible for him.  And so, in that way he has a lot of power over me.  Even when someone else is taking care of him, I sometimes second-guess them or don't trust their ability to do something he needs.  And that isn't good for either him or me.  He needs room to become his own person, finding out who that is, and exploring the world without me.  And I need the same! :D

I decided to draw a line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) to ask what I should know about this relationship, how I can best respond to this situation.
©Fiechter & Trösch
Man, Ring, Snake.  I read these as saying that a commitment to someone else is a slippery slope, not bad in itself, but it can lead us places we might not want to go.  And what to do about it?  Well, reading the cards another way gives me the idea that committing to transformation strengthens our Self.  I need to look at my role in my son's life, figure out which bits he or I have outgrown, and let them go, so that we can each become more ourself.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Adrift

Yesterday, I signed up for Deva Premal and Miten's 21 day mantra and meditation journey.  Starting off with Om, so far it's quite beautiful.  I love their music anyway, and was lucky enough to see them live six or seven years ago - if you ever get the chance, I thoroughly recommend it.

Anyway, after chanting and meditating, I decided to draw some cards for a spiritual focus, as has been my practice of late.  The line of three I pulled from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) was Bear, Book and Lilies.
©Fiechter & Trösch
This made me think about secret or hidden strength bringing a sense of peace.  What secret strength do I have?  Am I aware of it, or is it hidden from me?

©Cavendish & Fenech
To help clarify these questions, this morning I decided to draw a card from the Oracle of the Mermaids (Blue Angel 2013).  I pulled Adrift, subtitled "Letting go, allowing a higher force to take charge for a time".

At first glance, she seems weak and vulnerable, and the word 'adrift' suggests being lost, out of control.  How can this be my hidden strength?  And yet, being able to allow that kind of vulnerability, trusting in a higher force to ensure that we are alright even when not in total control, that takes a certain kind of strength.  A strength of faith, a willingness to just be.

It made me think of the High Priestess from Rachel Pollack's Shining Tribe Tarot.  I have meditated with her many times in the past, feeling myself float on the water, listening to the sounds of the sea.  Sitting and om-ing, I was drawn back to that memory again, the oms sounding like a foghorn guiding ships into harbour, or like the heartbeat of the universe, constant and steady.

Perhaps I do have the strength to let go, to allow myself to float a while.  To trust that I am safe, held in the embrace of the Goddess, carried by the heartbeat of the universe.  Just yesterday I was talking with a friend about how, even when my DH and I have some respite time from our disabled son, I still check in with texts, I still worry.  Being a parent, I feel like even if I'm not there, the ultimate responsibility lies with me.  Yet, it's important to let go of our burdens sometimes, even if just for a few hours.

This is definitely a tough one for me.  I'm a bit of a control freak in many ways.  Yet, the cards say that I have the strength to do this, so I shall try.  It would do me good to release the stress, to allow that kind of vulnerability, to allow others to take care of me and mine for a little while...


Monday, 22 April 2013

Going With The Flow


Here is another draw from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), looking for a spiritual focus.
©Fiechter & Trösch
Dog, Fish, Lady.  The Fish card can be a tricky one in this regard, as some people see it only connected with money or alcoholism.  However, in this I read it as being about going with the flow :)  Reading all three together, then, gives me: trust in the flow of intuition.

This reminds me of a recent post by James Ricklef, in which he talked about when we should trust our gut, and when we should ask our heart its opinion.  Good advice, but I wondered in what area I should be trusting the flow of intuition.  So, I decided to draw a card from the recently released Oracle of the Mermaids (Blue Angel 2013), and pulled the Crane Bag.

©Cavendish and Fenech
Meditating on this card, I noticed a panic arising in myself at the thought of de-cluttering.  Looking deeper into it, I realised that it came from a feeling that I "ought" to de-clutter my deck collection, yet I love that collection with a passion.  However, I feel guilty at the size of it, especially having just talked with my DH about needing to reorganise it to fit the space it's in.

Reading the companion book, though, it talks about making sure that the things we accumulate support our soul, rather than draining our energy.  Asking my heart, I realise that my connection with my decks is deep and pure.  Yes, I could live with a lot less decks.  On the other hand, I find them nourishing at a soul level, and I try to use them all, one way or another.  I love having access to them should a particular question arise, practical or spiritual, regarding decks.  I love the variety, I love what I learn from each one.

What comes up for me is that I feel guilty because other people have commented on my collection, and asked why I need so many decks.  The obvious answer is that I don't need them.  Yet, they do nourish me.  So, having consulted both gut and heart, the collection stays.

Where I do feel the need to de-clutter is in my living room.  I currently have five big piles of books dotted about, cluttering up the space.  I think this is largely because we have no book storage in the living room!  So, either we need some shelves, or else I have to find somewhere else for them, as having piles heaped on every surface is not a good look :(

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Sunday Sun Salutes

Yesterday, something which Carla wrote on her Rowan Tarot blog really chimed with me.  She talked about returning to her spiritual practices, and chanting.  While I chant fairly regularly, one thing I have been slack about lately is my yoga practice.  I think that's because I know I have some weight to lose, and so I've been focusing more on hardcore cardio workouts to try to burn that fat off.  However, as Chloe pointed out over at Inner Whispers today, often added weight is more about stress and unhappiness than about exercise.

So, I got my yoga mat out first thing this morning, and was also inspired to add silent chanting to my sun salutations.  That was also sparked by Carla, who wrote about the sanskrit chants that go with the poses of the sun salute.  I couldn't find that post, and I've never managed to memorise those chants, so I just went with my own thing:

Tadasana - Mountain pose - Om
Raising arms to the sky - O Sun, I salute you
Diving down to the floor - I bow down before you
Raising onto fingertips - I lift my face to you
Chaturanga - Low plank - I prostrate myself before you
Bhujangasana - Cobra - I open my heart to you
Adho Mukha Svanasana - Down Dog - three breaths - I feel your light pour over me, I am energised by your strength, I am warmed inside and out
Jumping forward, raising head - I lift my face to you
Bending forward - I bow down before you
Standing and raising arms - O Sun, I salute you
Hands down in namaste - Namaste

Might not be the most elegant chant in the world, but it felt really good, and my practice felt energising and deeply spiritual :)

Mystical Lenormand ©Fiechter & Trösch on my yoga mat ;)
These cards are ones I chose consciously, rather than at random, to represent the practice of chanting and practicing sun salutations.  I read them as: harmonious (Lily) repetition (Whips) of chant (Birds) and movement (Rider) focused around the sun (Sun)  I also liked that the mirroring links Whips and Rider, encouraging the interpretation of Whips as repetition rather than arguments, and highlighting repeated movements.  And Lily with Birds suggests the harmony of chanting :D

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Can Hay Fever Be Spiritual?

On Sunday, as part of my spiritual practice, I drew these cards from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004): Bouquet, Coffin, Mountain.

©Fiechter & Trösch
A first, traditional reading of this would give: hay fever is an obstacle.  My initial instinct was to dismiss this.  After all, my question was for a spiritual focus for the day, and what kind of spiritual message is that?!  As the day went on, though, and I thought about it more, I considered that hay fever could well be a block to taking or maintaining a spiritual focus.  After all, if you're sneezing all over the place, eyes itchy and running, it is much harder to notice the wonders of life and nature.  Being spiritual, after all, isn't just about sitting in front of an altar.  Rather, being present in the everyday, honouring and respecting all you meet, paying attention to the world around you: those are just as relevant as chanting or lighting candles.  However, it is also true that I didn't get hay fever, despite going for a walk in our local nature area.

Meditating on these cards, I came up with several other interpretations, which might be considered more obviously spiritual.  For instance, creativity transforms obstacles.  Which got me thinking about the ways in which I can incorporate creative practices into my spirituality, and how that might allow me to overcome some of the obstacles I face.  Certainly, I've been finding solace in doing zentangles...

A third interpretation might be: existential fears are surrounded by creative blockages.  Now there's another interesting one!  Getting trapped in existential angst can certainly put the kibosh on feeling creative.  And a spiritual practice to help me deal with existential anxiety would therefore be a good thing to put into practice.  However, as with the hay fever, I am not really feeling creatively blocked.

Another possible interpretation is: divine grace ends barriers.  One of those obvious and yet profound understandings.  Feeling a moment of grace can free us from all sense of boundedness and restriction.  And walking in nature later that day, it was a joy to be out in the fresh air, communing with the trees, and also feeling a part of human society as others flocked to enjoy some time in nature and the first truly spring-like rays of sun we've had this year :D

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Spirit Animal Reading

©Fiechter & Trösch
This morning, I once again drew a line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) to define a spiritual focus for the day.

Garden, Anchor and Spirit Animals: working in community with my spirit animals.

So, I decided to pull out a card from the Gaian Tarot (Joanna Powell-Colbert, 2010) which beautifully represents the squirrel, my animal guide.  And then I felt drawn to pull another card at random, to represent something Squirrel could help me with, and got the Six of Earth.

Gaian Tarot
Sitting, I sank into meditation.  First, I saw Squirrel running around in the spring sunshine, gathering new food.  He still had a store from winter, though, and so he would swap out something from the store for something freshly gathered - very organised!  A reminder that I have some tasks that have been waiting on the back burner and need attending to, before I move on to new projects.  Not my favourite tasks, but things that do need doing - okay, okay, I get the message!

Then I saw Squirrel running with other squirrels, springing from branch to branch, across trees.  Squirrel's community is important to him, and he shares with it, rather than simply hoarding and ignoring all others.  He knows that a group can help one another.  I feel called to share what I have gathered, to teach and be more part of my community.  Time, then, to make that a reality :)

Friday, 12 April 2013

GT with Expanded Mystical Lenormand

This is a Grand Tableau I drew for myself earlier this week, asking about work over the coming six months.  It's done with the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) and also the additional four "mediumistic" cards (Editions Kabin, 2008) which Fiechter describes and discusses in Mediales Kartenlegen (Königsfurt-Urania, 2012).
©Fiechter & Trösch
I'm not going to go through the whole reading, as that would take ages, and some of it is quite personal.  I mainly decided to post it because of where the additional four cards fell.  These represent fortune-telling/cardlaying, Spirit Guides, Spirit Animals, and Angels.  You can see them closer up here:

Fortune-telling is in the top left corner, with Spirit Animals right below it.  Angels are right next to the Lady, and Spirit Guides are next to Anchor (my work card).  Fortune-telling/card-laying is one of the four corners of the whole GT, making it part of the theme of the reading - appropriate, as it is definitely a large part of my work.  And the other three cards are all either knighted with the Lady, or combined with her because they are next to her.  Plus Spirit Guides being combined with work, the stated question for the reading.

All this to say, this reading reinforced for me how much the path I am currently on is one that feels like it is spiritually determined - it just feels right!  It's not what I thought I'd be doing even a year ago, but I love it and am inspired by it :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

April New Moon Reading

This month, I decided to go for a simple line of five for this New Moon reading.  Drawing from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), I got this lovely little lot - looks like a good moon!

©Fiechter & Trösch
Key + Child + Bouquet + Storks + House: artistic endeavours are surrounded by successful new ideas and changes at home.

Overall, it looks like a great month for artistic endeavours, with plenty of new energy, positive change, and the ability to gain new insight!  This chimes well with what 78 Keys to Creativity came up with, too, and I love her action points.  Anyhow, it reminded me that I have been planning to take a class to learn Photoshop, so today I searched again and actually booked a class.  I've searched before, but not found anything helpful - new moon energy is helping already ;)

I also ordered some new supplies for another of my artistic pursuits, material to experiment with...

The House is the card that seems least connected with this, but I found a tutor who will come to my home.  Before, I was looking for a class in a local community college or some such.  So, as suggested by mirroring, doing it at home was actually key to succeeding :D  In any case, I do pretty much everything else at home, too, so it does make sense that artistic pursuits will also be done here.  I wonder, though, whether I should think about doing something to beautify my home, as well...