Friday, 29 August 2014

Gratitude

Altar
Following links from Facebook, I came across an article about the "secret ingredient" to spell work.  According to this person (I can't remember the link, I'm afraid), the reason spells sometimes go awry after initial success is because we don't give thanks.

Now, I don't personally believe in capricious or spiteful deities or spirits who would steal away success because we forget to say thank you.  However, I still believe giving thanks is important, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, like any other form of gratitude practice, it is a good mindset to cultivate. Acknowledging the good in our lives and giving thanks for it helps foster a more positive view of life.  This helps us see opportunities and blessings, as well as being good for our mental health, and therefore also our physical health.

Secondly, it is important to stop and take time to acknowledge what we have achieved or received.  It is so easy to move onto the next thing without appreciating where we are and how we got there.  Taking some time to be in the moment, recognise what has gone before and how we feel right now, is also a great practice.

This week, then, I changed my spell for the success of my elder son's surgery to a prayer of gratitude.  Sticking with the ASS Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2005), I have Scythe, Key, Child, Sun, Flowers: keyhole surgery for my child is successful/brings happiness, for which I give thanks (Flowers).  Not that everything is perfect, and things have still been tough.  Yet, the operations both were successful, my son is home safe and sound, and his quality of life has improved already and should improve further.  So, I have chanted daily, giving thanks.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Strength to Be Kind

Fey Tarot
Yesterday, I had another hypnotherapy session focusing on wanting to stop eating so many sweets and chocolates.  This time we did an induction to unite opposing parts, the part of me that craves sweets and the part that wants to control this.

The hypnotherapist asked me what image came to mind for each part.  In the past, I've struggled with this kind of question, but now it worked quite well.  I thank the fact that I have a database of card images in my head now, with ready-made associations.  Anyhow, for the craving part, my first answer was a fluffy gremlin, then I thought of this image of the Devil from the Fey Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2004).  In fact, I tried using this in a spell to deal with my sweet cravings several years ago.

Fey & Radiant Rider Waite Strength cards
When I thought about the part that wants to control my eating, I thought about the Strength card.  In that same spell from the past, I used the Fey Strength card.  However, my feelings have changed.  Now, she looks too smug to me, and too violent.  She's got that dragon all tied up in knots.  Instead, I thought of the traditional Rider Waite (this is the Radiant, my favourite - U.S. Games, 2005).

We explored what the "intention" behind each of these parts is, and also what they might see as the positives of the other part.  Through this, the two found ways to connect.  Then, they were to merge, and the hypnotherapist asked how this might look, what it might feel like.

Gaian Tarot
Over the course of this, what came up for me was the Strength image from the Gaian Tarot (self-published, 2010).  She's so gentle and loving, taming the beast without any anger, just loving acceptance!  I could see her reaching out a kind hand to that Devil, calming it, petting it, nurturing it.  That's what I want, to treat myself with kindness, to find a way to embrace this difficult part of myself.

In fact, I had a sense of this part being like a little baby (maybe this is just because I'm dealing with a baby every day at the moment, and so can see the similarities).  I don't know if this means that this craving part is an aspect of my inner child, or if this was just a useful metaphor.  Made me think this part needs to be held firmly but gently, so it doesn't flail out, hurting me and itself.

Goddess Oracle
After all of this, in the evening, thinking about embracing a wild part of my inner being, I suddenly thought of this image of Inanna from the Goddess Oracle (U.S. Games, 2006).  So, I came up with an affirmation, and have placed the Gaian Strength card and Inanna upon my altar.

"I embrace the part of me that craves sweets.  I nurture that part, hold her firmly, and stroke her so she knows she is safe and loved."

Let's see if this helps...

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Arwen's Life's Purpose Spread

I love the spreads Arwen of Tarot by Arwen comes up with.  Recently I read this one, and had to give it a try!  It's about understanding your life's purpose, where you are currently getting stuck, and what will help move you forward:

1) What thought patterns are keeping me stuck?
2) Why do I seem to take two steps forward and one step back?
3) Where is my energy best focused right now?
4) How can I put this information to use now?

Seeing as I'm on a bit of a Lenormand kick right now, I decided to use the Burning Serpent Oracle (Pollack & Place, 2014).

1) What thought patterns are keeping me stuck?  House, Cross, Birds


I am trapped by my own anxiety around the burdens of my home life.  So, it's not just the weight of the issues around my son's health, for instance, but how I react to them.  Which makes perfect sense, and highlights that it really is my thoughts that are getting me stuck, not the reality of the situation.

2) Why do I seem to take two steps forward and one step back?  Ring, Clover, Letter


Ha, sarky cards.  The reason I take two steps forward and one step back is because my commitment to writing (which I do see as being a big part of my life purpose) is rather small right now.  Admittedly, having a five month old child does interfere with committing to other things, and perhaps I need to accept that this is just where I am for the moment.  So, an explanation without judgement.

3) Where is my energy best focused right now? Ship, Sun, Snake


Now here's an answer worthy of Arwen!  My energy should be focused on enjoying the journey, no matter how winding it may seem :D  Following on from the last two sets, these cards say that I should enjoy where I am, even if I sometimes feel stuck and like I'm going slowly...

4) How can I put this information to use now? Bouquet, Woman, Moon


I can put all this information to use by tapping into my creativity, femininity and intuition.  I will find joy and purpose in life if I accept the gifts offered to me, even if they aren't always the gifts I wish I was receiving.

This fits well with something I experienced on Monday with the hypnotherapist.  She got me to experience three gifts I had already received that day, and appreciate them.  My baby's smile was one, as was the joy in having worked on a creative project, and the excitement of doing a reading for someone (using my intuition).  I am living my life's purpose, even if not always at the speed or with the focus that I might ask of myself.  Accepting where I am and what I'm doing is definitely the key.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Angel Reading On Angel Reading

Got a somewhat surprising reading request this evening - for an angel reading via Skype.  I've not yet been on the business end of a Skype reading, though I have had a couple done for me.  Feeling a little nervous, I picked out four decks from amongst my angel decks.  Then, still anxious, I decided to do a quick draw for myself using my favourite two: the Tarot of the Angels (Lo Scarabeo, 2008) and the Angel Insight Pack (Duncan Baird, 2008, though it has since been re-released under a new name, which I can't remember).

Situation - 8 of Wands

I see here both the fact that this may move fast - I offered the client times tomorrow or Wednesday.  Also, that there is a balance here - the client may also be nervous.  And that the mirror the cards offers works, no matter which direction you look at them from, nor through which lens.

Avoid - The Tower

No letting myself feel under siege!  If things are going to quickly for me (having become more accustomed to email readings), then I shall remember that things don't have to feel perfect, that I don't have to defend my reading, simply say what I see and hear and feel.

Embrace - The High Priestess

How perfect - embrace my inner seer!  Don't rush into speech, but embrace the moments of silence that allow inner knowing to make itself heard.

Final word - Fluidity

And a final message from Archangel Raphael - there is healing in going with the flow, in letting the cards themselves lead me where I need to go.  I know this, and yet my fear sometimes gets in my way.  I am grateful for the reminder that I do not need to be perfect, that I just need to listen and let words flow through me.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Praying for Successful Surgery

After Friday's GT, I designed a little line from the ASS Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2005)  to clarify my intention when praying and act as a cue/reminder:


I pray (Rider, send messages) for successful (Sun) keyhole surgery (Scythe, Key) for my son (Child).  It can also be read via mirroring as I pray for my son, and the successful solution to his problems through surgery.  This morning, I focused on this while chanting half a mala of Om Shanti Om (Om Peace Om) and half a mala of Loka Samasta Sukinoh Bhavantu (May all beings everywhere be happy and free).

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Key in Scythe: Keyhole Surgery

Over the next two weeks, my elder son is scheduled for two surgeries.  While the first is a 'standard procedure', one he's already had versions of four times, the second is more complicated.  So, we're all feeling quite nervous, and last night I decided to throw a Grand Tableau to look at the whole thing. 



I used the ASS Lenormand (as in Altenburg Spielkarten, rather than a cross between a horse and a donkey). I like these cards (Königsfurt-Urania, 2005) which, while traditional, are a little more 'funky' than some.

This GT hit the nail on the head, as well as being helpful.  At the heart of it (centre four cards) are Moon, Mice, Paths, Tree: feeling emotionally undermined by choices around health.  Both the worry that this operation might not be the right choice, and my own poor eating choices when I'm stressed. 

As for the corners (Letter, Stars, Clouds, Coffin), I see here both written guidance about an unclear illness and spiritual writing to help relieve doubts about that illness.  The first points to the 'book' we printed out to try to prepare my son for what is coming, while this post fits with the second :)

Despite having the Coffin right there in the corner, a theme for the reading, I like that it is in the house of the Coffin!  So, the illness doesn't 'spread' into the reading, and can be read as an end to sickness.  Which, given the op is to stop my son throwing up/being sick, seems very appropriate!

Looking around the Scythe, we have Letter, Heart, Key, Fox, Sun: the surgeon is qualified (has his bits of paper), kind, and skillful, and this keyhole surgery will have a happy outcome/be the dawn of a new day for us.  To be less predictive, the key is that the surgeon is qualified, kind, skillful and energetic :)

Using the House of the Scythe to dig deeper, gives the sequence: Key, Book, Fish, Anchor, Dog, Whips, Fox, Garden, Paths, Woman, House, Ring, Clouds, Child, Mice, Clover, Scythe.  This keyhole surgery is an open book to an experienced older man whose work it is.  He has faithfully carried it out many times, so that his skill has earned him public acclaim (he was recommended to us by three different doctors, from different hospitals). This choice I have made with and for my family will take us full circle through those doubts and a fortunately small and successful operation for my child. 

The message I am left with in the final four cards (Book, Anchor, Dog, Bear) is the importance of the work my DH and I are doing to educate/prepare our son, and also of any esoteric work I faithfully perform - a spell to pray for that positive outcome is also in order!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Bear to Bouquet

Image from Let's Sort It
Today, I went to see a hypnotherapist for the first time.  In part, it's due to an interest in training as a hypnotherapist, after my own very positive experience using hypnotherapy inductions for the birth of my second son.  Also, although I'm trained as a counsellor, I don't feel I can currently commit to longer term therapy clients, because of my first son's medical needs.  And finally, or perhaps that should have been firstly, I want to eat less sugar.

Writing about it here, I notice my need to justify taking this, or any step.  Even with wanting to eat less sugar, I justify it as not wanting to 'poison' my breast feeding baby.  Somehow, I find it hard to do something just for me, or just because.  And talking with the hypnotherapist, I realise this is connected to why I eat chocolate.

My mother instilled a strong work ethic in me, that sense that I must be of service to others.  And that is generally a good thing, except that somehow it makes everything that I do into work, with very few exceptions.  So, I've come to see chocolate and sweets as my "only" treat.  Even things like blogging, which I love, I do with the justification that it helps me learn, and helps with my "tarot reader" profile.

Here, then, are the cards from the Mystical Lenormand (Könisgsfurt-Urania, 2004) that I have chosen for my altar:

Scythe, Bear, Paths, Bouquet.
I want to stop acting like a bear with a sore head, stop seeing everything as work, stop eating unhealthily.  Instead, I choose to see the gift that my life truly is, I choose to give thanks, I choose creativity and joy.  So mote it be!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Lughnasadh Reading

Yesterday, I decided to draw some cards for Lughnasadh.  I didn't have a particular question, other than thinking about this turn of the Wheel.  From the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004), I drew this nine square.

Again and again, I get into discussions with people about predictive versus empowering reading of Lenormand cards (or cards in general).  And there are those who say, just read what the cards have to say.  The problem is, as a double Gemini I always see lots of possibilities in the cards.

Take this reading.  The theme (corners) could be read as written communication (Birds/Letter) of an about turn (Ring/Storks - circular change).  The cross could be painful undermining (Scythe/Mice) of a project I've been loyal to (Book/Dog).  There is just such a project which I emailed someone about a couple of weeks ago, and have yet to hear anything from them.  If they decided not to go ahead with the project, I would be very upset….

Or, the theme could be communicative writing (Birds/Letter - for example a Powerpoint presentation) about a commitment to change (Ring/Storks).  Then, the cross might be shocking theft (Scythe/Mice) of secrets by a friend/colleague (Book/Dog).  I am working on just such a presentation, and have spoken about it with several colleagues…

Moving away from prediction, the theme could be a conversation about writing (Birds/Letter) as a commitment to change (I had a conversation about this on Wednesday, and have another version scheduled on Monday next week).  The cross speaks to me of reducing fears around surgery (Scythe/Mice) through loyalty to a literary project (Book/Dog).  In the time between now and the next turn of the Wheel, my loved ones have three surgeries booked, and I'm certainly nervous about them.  Focusing on a written (Letter) project as a distraction, as well as something I am passionately committed (Ring) to, sounds like good advice, rather than letting my brain spin (Ring) around the scary (Scythe) possibilities (knighting Scythe to Ring and Letter).  Going deeper, the rows suggest talking about the operation will also help me move forward (Birds/Scythe/Storks); that I can reduce my fears by actively working on a project (Mice/Rider/Book); and that there is value in a loyal commitment to writing (Ring/Dog/Letter).

At the centre of all this is the question of whether I wait for messages to come to me, or focus on my own message (Rider).  I know which one I'll choose!