Monday, 29 September 2014

Hello Autumn! Spread

Really liked the look of this spread which Carla shared on her Rowan Tarot blog on Sunday.  So, decided to try again with the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2014) as it's beautiful, but sometimes takes a bit of extra work to interpret.

1) What is coming to an end?  - Two of Pentacles.

My need to juggle ten million things?  Can't believe this will ever end, it is surely part of the job description of a mother! :D  Eegads, I hope it's not my ability to juggle these, as that is totally necessary!

I notice that all the things she's juggling, despite their different shapes and colours, are buttons.  Perhaps she could find another way of keeping them all suspended.  Stringing them together might make a lovely necklace, and give her something to connect her head to her body!  Perhaps the message for me here is that I might let go of the sense that I am juggling different things, and instead see how all of these things are part of something greater.
2) What stirs within? - Ace of Pentacles

A new beginning in the physical or material realm, something for me to gestate over the winter.  The birds make me think of getting a different perspective, an overview on material projects.

I have several things already on the go (see above), and am not sure I can manage another new project.  Still, maybe if it's an off-shoot of one of those, or better yet something that helps me tie them all together, as suggested by the overview...

3) What is coming next? - Judgement

Oh, this is another strange card!  The girl grows from a rose that is hidden inside a maze, behind a closed door, the key to which seems to be held by an Alice-esque white rabbit.  I rather like the suggestion of being freed by following my intuition, of letting that guide me into the next stage of my life.

So what is coming is a new calling, something that will free me to feel more whole.  Guided by my intuition, I can find the way to let myself shine, no longer hidden behind walls and distractions.  This seems to tie the other two cards together: a new start that ends that sense of being pulled in lots of directions, as I become less guarded and more whole :)

I've written in the past about coming out of the broom closet more, and everything I take up recently seems to be heading in that direction.  Maybe now there will be no denying it any more!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Poisoned Apples

Last night, we tried a new medicine for my elder son, which a doctor had prescribed.  We were a bit nervous about it, and so I decided to draw some cards.  I pulled from the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2014).  It works quite nicely for a draw regarding a child, as the images have a fairytale quality to them.

Situation - Four of Wands

My first thought here was: what big lollies for a tiny child. And there's certainly an element of that here, in that I worry this medication is too big, too strong, too dangerous to give my child.

Perhaps strangely, my second impression was: like a kid in a candy store. There is also an excitement and hopefulness in giving him this medicine.  For over a year now, we've had nothing we could give him besides regular, over-the-counter analgesics.  So, the chance that we now have something that might help when things are really bad feels exciting.

Avoid - Ten of Wands
Avoid... being crushed by giant vegetables?!?  Okay, how about avoid being overwhelmed by that feeling of bigness. The doctor did not prescribe this medicine lightly, and there is a chance it may really help.  While I wouldn't want to give it to him regularly, doing so now and again when things get bad may work out.

Embrace - Death
Yikes, never a card I like to see in relation to health questions.  And yet, isn't this a beautiful version?  I see Snow White laying in the snow, the poisoned apple by her side, and dwarves standing around her.

As the card to embrace, it makes me think of embracing the possibility of a profound change which could lead my son to sleep much better.  And while the apple was poisoned (and I see this medicine as dangerous) a little didn't kill her, just as many medicines, when dosed right, help rather than hurt.

Now, the morning after, although he was restless for a patch in the middle, he then slept later than he ever has done before when not ill.  And although he still looks tired, he's been sleeping badly for years.  I guess we'll just have to see how his pain is today, and how he sleeps tonight...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Creative Autumn Equinox Draw

For this Autumn Equinox, I drew another card from Les Vampires (Blue Angel, 2014).  I think this is one of the most beautiful cards in the deck.  I love the green leaves in her hair, and the beautiful deer in her bottle!  The colour of her hair is gorgeous, too, that little bit of red that speaks of passion, the fire of inspiration, and the warm flow of lifeblood that we pour into our projects.  The keywords, too, speak to me: Catalyst, Maker, Mother, Father.

This card reminds me that my most important job right now is to be a mother to my two boys.  Although I sometimes find it frustrating, they need me. Plus I love them, and no-one else can do what I can do for them.

My altar, very simple
It also speaks to being a maker, a creator.  I believe we always co-create our reality - it becomes through our choices and how we interact with those around us.  More than that, though, we can influence reality by our mind set.  So, another reminder to work on my mindset, and I have set up another Lenormand spell to work on that.

Finally, the reminder that being creative fills a special spot in my heart.  So, over the next turn of the wheel, I shall make sure to find some time for my creative projects, too.  While my boys may come first, I can squeeze in a bit of inspiration in even the smallest gaps, if I have focus and will...

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Yoga On The Cards

Last night, I drew a Lennie line of three for today from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2014).  I struggled to interpret them (well, I'm really not a night owl, for one thing) - peaceful news of choices, meditation brings information and choices?

Rider, Lily, Paths
This morning, though, it was much clearer to me.  Yesterday, I did a weights workout dvd without much stretching on it.  I even added in my own stretch at the end, but I still feel stiff today.  At a basic level, then, peaceful movement is a good choice.  Adding in the houses layer:

1) Rider (1) gives 2 - Clover - exercise of short duration.
2) Lily (30) gives 32 - Moon - emotional peace.
3) Paths (22) gives 25 - Ring - commitment to a choice.

Emotionally peaceful exercise of short duration is the choice to commit to.  So, a short yoga practice is called for today :)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Free Will

Last night, I took my Conscious Spirit Oracle (U.S. Games, 2013) and popped the Integration card back in it.  Then, I riffle shuffled a few times, hand-over-hand shuffled a few times, fanned the cards, and picked one.  Yep, you guessed it: Integration again!

Clearly, either this is a message I still need, or I haven't understood it properly yet.  Perhaps, what it's speaking to is this second card, from Les Vampires (Blue Angel, 2014).  In order to be fully integrated, fully myself, perhaps I need a somewhat stronger sense of independence.  It's true I can be quite easily influenced by others, in some ways.  I don't feel I'm very good at interviewing people, for instance.  I tend to always see their good points, and understand their weaknesses.  Which is good as a counsellor, not so good if I'm supposed to make HR decisions.  Feeling someone must be good enough, if they've been picked and sent to me, is not exercising my own discernment.

So, I'll take any opportunities offered this weekend to stand up for myself, my beliefs, and what I feel is right...

Friday, 19 September 2014

Knowledge

For today, I decided to go back to Les Vampires (Blue Angel, 2014).  I've seen that Jasmine Beckett-Griffith has a new, mermaid oracle coming out soon, and I will certainly be getting that, too.  Despite the somewhat dead eyes of these Vampires, I do love her artwork!

And the card today is Knowledge: Study, Learning, Education.  I read this as encouragement to do a bit of flicking through reference books this morning, then took part in a study group I signed up for, but hadn't yet written anything in :)

After that, as part of my ongoing study of Lenormand, I decided to draw three cards from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004):


What I see here is the suggestion to stop trying to be purely scientific and clear, and instead allow more of that knowing from the heart :)  It's not all about calculating houses and digging into comparative meanings, it's also about using the cards intuitively, building a knowledge base from everyday experience.  'Nuff said!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Integration

Today's card is from the Conscious Spirit Oracle (U.S. Games, 2013).  It is titled Integration, and says "I combine body, mind and soul to lift all of humanity into a new dimension."   My first thought was that I can barely drag myself around today (very disturbed night between baby and DH coming home late), never mind lifting all of humanity into a new dimension! 

Yet, it's true I'd asked for a focus for the day.  And they say if we improve ourselves, that spreads out in ripples.  So, today I shall work on feeling more integrated, more connected with spirit and my self. Which I really hope includes having a nap at some point!

Anyhow, I also decided to draw a little Lennie line, with the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004):


1) Tower (19) equals 20 - Garden - social isolation/public institution.
2) Man (28) equals 30 - Lily - harmonious rationality/peaceful man.
3) Scythe (10) equals 13 - Child - new way to cut/shock about a child.

I've been seeing lots of "traditional" style Lenormand readings on the German forums, and following that this would say that a peaceful man connected to a public institution will give me a shock about my child today.  Which is quite possible as I'm expecting a call from our doctor, and while I hope he'll say we've got a referral to a clinic for my eldest later today, he could well say something quite different.

From a more empowering perspective I read this as my needing to look rationally yet peacefully at the social isolation I've been feeling around some issues with my younger son, so as to find a new way to cut through it.  Getting het up about it, or making a leap without doing any research will not serve me well.  It's nothing very serious, but at the moment the only way he sleeps is with me.  Which rather crimps my being able to leave the house or do anything much.  He's six months old now, and I want to foster some independence in him.  However, having had such an unusual experience with my first child, I'm a bit at a loss as to what to do with a "normal" child.  Ok, some research and perhaps finding someone appropriate to ask...

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Lennie Advice on a Doctor's Appointment

Today, my son has a follow-up appointment after his operation.  So, I decided to draw just three cards from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004).  Once again, I applied the Houses system for small spreads that I talked about earlier in the week, adding the card number to the position number to give a House number.


1) Mountain (21) equals 22 - Garden - blocked choices, possible delays.
2) Woman (29) equals 31 - Sun - energetic/motivated/illuminating woman.
3) Book (26) equals 29 - caring approach to a project, intuitive approach to secrets.

To me, this suggests there may be delays at the hospital (always very possible), and so, as I am energetic, I may need to turn my energy to something else to stop myself getting annoyed.  I checked out where I am in one of my projects, carefully looking through to see what I can best do on my phone, as opposed to on the computer with everything available.  I also wonder if I can ferret out information from one of the doctors, to shine some light on what choices we have moving forward...

Monday, 15 September 2014

Mummy

This is a pretty creepy card, isn't it?  Still, I guess that's the point of a Halloween Oracle (Blue Angel, 2014)!

The Mummy stares out at us from under those bandages with spookily alive eyes.  The keyword is Change, and the image makes me think of someone who has had plastic surgery and is waiting for the bandages to come off.  In many ways, that's probably pretty similar to the idea of mummification: a time of preparation and waiting before being reborn into the afterlife/a better life.

This is a good reminder for me.  Yesterday, I again listened to a hypnotherapy induction, and didn't eat any chocolate or biscuits.  However, two days of good habits don't defeat a year of poor eating choices.  So, like the Mummy, I must wait patiently, knowing things are changing on the inside, even if nothing is visible yet. 

This is a tough one for a lot of folks, I know.  You start doing all the right things, but there is no progress right away, so it can be tempting to feel like it's not working, or that it is too long and arduous a path.  This card is a bit like the Hanged Man, and reminds me that big changes can take time.  Yeah, cos patience is my strongest suit, not!  Ah well, one day at a time...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Black Cat

This was the card I drew last night, and as Bev asked about this deck, I thought I'd post it.  From the Halloween Oracle (Blue Angel, 2014), it is the Black Cat.  The guide book is quite nice, with scans and a page or a bit more of text for each card.

For this card, the book explains that black cats have been seen as both harbingers of good and bad luck over time and space: they used to be given to brides in old times in Britain, a fact I never knew!  And in the Inquisition times they were nearly exterminated, for their presumed role as witch's familiars.  Stacey de Marco suggests this might have been one reason that bubonic plague, carried by rats, ran so rampant after that: what a thought!

Anyhow, this oracle associated the Black Cat with fortune and opportunity, advising us to seize opportunities that come.  I would also see it as reminding us to give thanks for the good fortune in our lives, and perhaps beware of unforeseen consequences.

As for me, yesterday I followed the advice of the Lenormand cards, and ended up listening to three different "eat healthy/weight loss/craving buster" hypnotherapy inductions (I listen to them while trying to get the baby to sleep, and he was a tough nut yesterday, very jumpy).  After that, for the first time in over a year, I didn't eat any chocolate or biscuits at all!  Yay!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Houses In Small Spreads?

Last night, I was looking around on a German Lenormand forum and found an interesting suggestion for a different approach to reading houses in smaller spreads.  I've never liked the idea that if you just draw three cards then they must always be in the houses of the Rider, Clover and Ship. It means you would never get variety in your combinations.  Donnaleigh's suggestion of using two decks works well, but takes more time and effort.

With this technique, you add the spread's position number to the number of the card you drew, to come up with the house number.  I decided to give it a try, asking the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) for advice for this weekend:

Mice, Fox, Cross, Coffin, Ring
At first glance, this reading doesn't offer anything very positive.  Four of the cards would generally be considered negative, and the last is seen as neutral.  However, the question and focus are determining - I asked for advice for the weekend.

This can be read as saying that skilful undermining of self-deceptive burdens brings an end to sorrow if I commit to that end.   This fits with the hypnotherapy work I've been doing to improve my eating patterns.

Adding the extra layer suggested in the Lenormand forum would go like this:

1) Mice (23) = 24 (Heart) - so Mice in the house of Heart - emotional undermining.
2) Fox (14) = 16 (Stars) - Fox in the house of Stars - technological skilfulness, guidance regarding self-deception.
3) Cross (36) = 3 (Ship) - Cross in the house of Ship - burdens connected to nostalgia or our life's journey.
4) Coffin (8) = 12 (Birds) - Coffin in the house of Birds - anxiety around an ending, talking that creates an ending.
5) Ring (25) = 30 (Lily) - Ring in the house of Lily - commitment to peace, harmonious commitment.

So, skilfully using technology to undermine emotions that are part of self-deception on how to move through burdens that have long been part of my life's path can bring an end to the anxiety around those burdens, if I find a place of peace from which to commit to that ending.  This added layer fits remarkably well with the first - I am using technology (hypnotherapy apps) and this is an emotional issue that undermines me, and that has been with me most of my life.  In hypnotherapy, one central idea is that it is from a meditative place of relaxation or peace that we can make these big changes, by listening to someone's voice.  Colour me impressed!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

A New Dawn

Reconciliation, Faith, Dawn
All this week, I've been taking time to draw a card in the morning and one at night.  The morning card comes from the Magical Times Empowerment Cards (U.S. Games, 2014), while the evening card comes from the Halloween Oracle (Blue Angel, 2014).  I've found them helpful every day, though I didn't have time to post them.

Today, though, I wanted to make the time.  I've been listening to a couple of hypnotherapy apps on my phone, and last night, just before I drew "Dawn" from the Halloween Oracle, something finally seemed to click.  For the first time in over a year, I knitted while watching TV, rather than eating chocolate and biscuits!

So, I am re-finding my faith in my ability to make healthy choices, as well as in the divine.  And clarifying my future path, too, as I look into training as a hypnotherapist.  That'll be down the line a while, as the kids come first.  Still, it's nice to have a sense of direction.

As for the "Reconciliation" card, I see in it both a message regarding a work situation, and also something about forgiving myself for my unhealthy choices over the last few months.  In that, it's like the Gaian Tarot Strength card, a reminder to show myself loving acceptance and forgiveness.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Faith

Today, I wanted to draw some cards.  Part of it was reading a conversation between Ellen and Carla about drawing daily affirmation cards, and realising how long it's been since I did that.  It made me realise that sometimes I only draw cards when I think they'll "help" one or other of the projects I'm currently working on, and I don't want my draws to become "work".  Though one reason for that is also because I feel like I have so little time for these things, that I'd better make the most of it when I do have it…

Anyhow, I decided to draw from Les Vampires (Blue Angel, 2014).  When I pulled down the box it was in, though, I saw three packs of Gypsy Fortune Telling Cards, which I have hardly used.  So, I pulled out the Lo Scarabeo Gypsy Oracle Cards, shuffled and drew three cards: Faithfulness, Hope, Scholar.

Straight away, I saw the project I wrote about yesterday:  I need to stay faithful to it, despite the setbacks and delays.  Partly, because I have faith in what it represents, and partly because I hope that it will help with some of my longer term, big-picture goals.  It's funny, too, because I've had the Lenormand Dog come up several times in readings around these longer term goals, and here is the dog again in Faithfulness :)

Still wanting to draw from Les Vampires, I gave them a shuffle, and was delighted anew by the synchronicity when I pulled: Faith.  This reminds me that my faith is not just about being loyal to this project, but also about trusting that this is the right thing for me, and having confidence that it will be a worthwhile thing to pour my energy into.

So, while I also intend to follow Ellen's suggestion and create a Lenormand spell to get me back on track, for today I have just put Faith at the centre of my altar!

And although this wasn't intended as a work-focused reading, it ended up being about work, and yet was playful enough to re-inspire me: today I wrote something for my book for the first time in about three weeks :)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Lennie Work Readings

I made some time last night to do a couple of readings on my work situation, shown here with the Burning Serpent Oracle (Pollack & Place, 2014).  For the first, I asked what would help me moving forward with my book:


Whips (repetition), Tree (duration, body-mind-spirit), Man (logic, active):  Firstly, I see this saying that I have to accept that repeated delays are only logical at the moment.  If I don't stress about that, I am more likely to be able to be productive when I do get the chance to work on this.  I like the way the different seasons shown on the Flaming Tree highlight the "duration" reading of the tree :)  Secondly, it suggests actively doing something repetitive to link body, mind and spirit - so, another ritual or daily meditation seems to be in order for this…

The second pull was asking about how to approach someone who said they might have a workshop opportunity for me next Spring:


Garden (public), Child (open, new), Heart (emotion, care):  This suggests being open about my feelings about this opportunity.  I really want to do this, it's something I care about, so I should publicly and openly say so.  It also intimates that this could open up a new audience for me, who share my love of this subject :)

Finally, I asked about running my own workshops next year:


Clover (synchronicity, luck, small), Garden, Sun (success):  Looks like it's a propitious time to try these.  It also suggests that even small audiences should be considered a success.  I've always felt that way, in any case.  Touching just one person is worthwhile, and looking to the bigger picture, word of mouth spreads little by little…

I like how the Garden came up in both readings about workshops, as these are public events.  A reminder of the joys of getting out amongst others, given how much time I spend at home with the kids at the moment!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Gratitude Journal

Following on from my post about gratitude, we had a few tough days.  My elder son ended up in A&E (Accidents and Emergencies at the hospital) in the middle of the night, unable to breathe.  After three nights of this happening, we know the antihistamines work to control it, and we figured out it might be a "new" detergent (it was a variation on the one we always buy, but might be enough of a difference).  Still, it was an added stress to him having just had major surgery.  There are a couple of other complications to the surgery that are also troubling us, but not being able to breathe is always a big problem!

Anyhow, I wasn't feeling very grateful yesterday, but then read Ellen's post on it.  A reminder that there are always reasons to feel grateful, and that this practice is perhaps most important precisely when it feels hardest.  So, following her advice, I have started a Gratitude Journal, so I can make quick notes every day :)

I am grateful for friends who remind me that there is always joy in this life!