Friday, 31 October 2014

Samhain Reading

Release: Transgression, Embrace: Thirst
Today is Samhain, or Halloween.  People often say this is the time when the veils between this world and the next are at their thinnest.  I'm not sure I believe in different 'worlds' as such.  Still, this time of year with its colder days and longer nights does seem appropriate for reflection on the past, and on our ancestors.  This time is also considered by many to be the pagan New Year.

While I'm not sure I see it quite that way, it feels like a good time to think about what I should release in my life, and what to embrace.  And I also decided to ask for a message from the ancestors.  For all three, I drew cards from Les Vampires (Blue Angel, 2014), an appropriately dark deck ;)

At first glance, these cards to release, Transgression, and embrace, Thirst, seem confusingly similar: transgression and obsession.  Looking deeper, though, I see the message to let go of mistakes I may have made, perceived flaws, and the feeling that I have done things wrong.  There is no help in worrying over what is done, as I cannot go back to do it differently.

Instead, I should embrace my addictions and obsessions.  That might seem like the road to further mistakes and regrets, but I think this means embracing with loving acceptance, rather than just giving into them.

 This time of year can be full of challenges, with the overt materialism of Christmas shopping and the encouragement of overindulgence in food and drink which starts long before Christmas itself.  Relapse is seen as a natural part of giving up bad habits.  It is hard to be 'perfect' and far better to have a plan in place that allows for the occasional slip.  So, while I have steered clear of chocolate, biscuits and cake for seven weeks now, I would do well to embrace the idea that the temptation of all those Christmas-themed goodies may lure me in.  If I accept and plan for that, I'm less likely to think 'I've blown it now, so I may as well give up!', which is what happened to me at Christmas a few years ago after I'd given up on sweet things for eleven months!

And perhaps Christmas shopping is not so bad a way to express my materialism: at least it is focused on others, on thinking about what might bring them some joy :)

I love the message from the ancestors: Hope.  Though this may be a time of darkness and challenges, it is also a time to focus on the future, to light a candle to illuminate the dark.  A time to believe that we don't have to repeat the same mistakes over and over if we can accept and forgive them, and plan a different way to respond to them...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Learning From My Fears

The Yin Empress from the Kuan Yin Oracle cards (Blue Angel, 2012) has come up for me three times in the last seven days.  The book talks about healing, and about living according to feminine principles rather than getting caught up in having to do things the "traditional" Western way.

At first, I associated this to working in a more heart-centred way, as Little Red talked about in one of her recent posts.  Then, yesterday, I associated it with my mother, undergoing her operation and needing some of that healing, and perhaps a feminine approach to recuperation - I sent her lots of pics of the baby, a reminder of some of the things she has to live for :D

Today, I was doing another of the hypnosis meditations in my favourite weight-loss package, and the exercise was about releasing fears, starting with your very first memory of fear.  What came up for me were two different memories, both very early.  In one, my mum went away on holiday, and I dreamed every night that she'd been eaten by a tiger or died of a swamp disease (okay, didn't really get that she had only gone to France, lol!)  In the other, I went to visit some of my German relatives on my own, and was afraid of the shadows in the bedroom at my aunt's house overnight.  I realised that both of these memories involved my mother not being there, perhaps unsurprising given she's currently in hospital.  Although I know it's a fairly routine procedure, the fear of losing her is still there.

However, after the exercise to render the fears powerless, the last part of that meditation included going to a safe place and meeting an aspect of Spirit, learning from them, and absorbing their loving energy.  And there I met the Yin Empress.  She reminded me that Spirit is always with me, a loving, feminine presence, even if my mother is not there in the moment.  It felt powerful and reassuring.  So, not just a superficial stop-eating-so-much-junk message from this package, it has some real emotional depth!

I am grateful for my mother: her beautiful, loving presence; her wisdom; her sense of humour; her belief in intuition and divination; her work as a healer; her willingness to question and explore; her kindness.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

What Are My Blessings?

Yesterday, my thoughts turned a little dark.  This question from Carla at Rowan Tarot felt beautiful, and so I decided to draw for it, focusing on the present moment.  I used the Chrysalis Tarot (US Games, 2014), and received the Five of Mirrors (Cups), the Phoenix (Judgement) and the Four of Scrolls (Swords).

Chrysalis Tarot
My first thought with the Five of Mirrors was that, instead of focusing on sorrow, it suggests a way to deal with this: looking for the spiritual growth potential in the mud of existence.  And certainly I consider having found meditation, and practising it daily, to be a great blessing in my life.  Interestingly, the LWB associates this card to Kuan Yin, from whose Oracle I have been drawing cards for the last two weeks or so.  Focusing daily on compassion has also been a blessing.

As for the Phoenix, I do feel I've been rising from the ashes recently.  For a while, I felt very unsure of my direction in life.  I have a friend who always liked to ask "What are your plans for the next year/five years/ten years?"  And if you'd asked me five years ago, I had a clear idea of my path, and it was nothing like where I am now!  It didn't include having another baby, and it had me working as a psychotherapist and preparing to teach that subject.  Instead, I seem set on a far less "standard" path, teaching and writing about strange esoteric subjects.  I see the connections between this path and the one I thought I'd be on, but not everyone else will.  Yet, I feel excited and happy about where the flow is taking me at this time, and that is definitely a blessing.

Finally, the Four of Scrolls.  The blessing of getting enough sleep is not something I feel I have right now, I must say!  Still, what I also see here is hypnotherapy - you look as though you're sleeping, when in fact you are working on the script that is guiding you through your trance state.  And that is definitely something I feel very blessed by.  Not only has hypnotherapy helped me give up chocolate, cake and biscuits (over six weeks now), but it is part of what I see as being my path forward.  A double blessing!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Prayer For My Mother

On Monday, my mother goes into hospital again.  It felt like a good time to focus on her and sending healing love her way.  For this prayer, I chose cards from the Pagan Lenormand (Lo Scarabeo, 2014).  They are especially big, good for seeing clearly even at a distance.  And I liked the fact that the Tree card shows people working healing magic and the Bear shows a Bear in spirit.  I won't be with my mother in person, but she will be in my thoughts!

I chose Rider (sending a message, quick), Tree (health), Bear (mother, strength) and Heart (heart, love), and read them two ways:

I pray for the health of my mother's heart.
I pray for her quick recovery, sending her strength and love.

Drawing from the Kuan Yin Oracle (Blue Angel, 2012), I received Spin The Silken Thread Divine.  This card talks of the need to let go of old emotional baggage and to honour your best skills and abilities moving forward.  This is likened to the process of separating out the pure strands of silk from the silk worm's rough cocoon.  Good advice with someone going into hospital, I think: let go of past fears and troubles, focus on the joy and beauty of coming out the other side.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mountain Stalker and Fierce Flute

This morning, I drew some more Lenormand cards, shown here from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004).

Moon, Mountain, Key
It's interesting that the Mountain, with its feeling of delays and obstacles, has come up in the last three readings.  Clearly, it's not just tarot cards that can stalk us!

My first interpretation of this is that blocked emotions can bring insight: noticing those blocks is always a good first step to overcoming them. 

Going deeper, I applied the Houses technique:
1) Moon (32) = 33 Key
2) Mountain (21) = 23 Mice
3) Key (33) = 36 Cross

Insight into emotions (Moon/Key) reduces the blocks (Mountain is eaten away by the Mice) allowing spiritual solutions to present themselves (Key/Cross).  Interesting how this suggests working on emotional blocks can lead to far deeper insights...

Another thing this reading got me thinking about is concerns around my reputation.  The main reason I drew cards at all was because I got a reminder from one of the German Lenormand forums I'm on saying I hadn't visited in a while.  So, I thought I'd post a practice reading there, and try to stay open to other people's interpretations, not worrying about being seen as an oddball with my psychological approach to the cards.  Here, the insight into reputation is to reduce the weight I put on other people's ideas: they are their problem, not mine.  Of course, I know that, but living it is so often different…

And today's Kuan Yin Oracle card (Blue Angel, 2012) supports that.  Sound the Fierce Flute talks about listening to the clarion call of our discernment, rather than to judgement (our own or other people's).  So, time to trust my intuition and understanding, and dig into my emotional blocks around feeling judged, perhaps :)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Bamboo Moon

Kuan Yin Oracle
I've been drawing a card every day from the Kuan Yin Oracle (Blue Angel, 2012), but have had little time to post.  Today's card is one that has come up twice this week, and talks of everything happening according to divine timing.  Whether we perceive it as such is a very different question, though!

I feel everything is going far slower than I'd like, though the book also says things could seem to happen before we feel ready.  And I guess there's an element of that, too.  While my work projects are taking more time than I'd prefer, my baby is developing fast.  He's just starting to crawl, and so I have to re-think what is 'safe' for him.  It's exciting, but also challenging...

I thought I'd draw some Lenormand cards, too.  My first impression from this line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004) was: writer's block on a project!

Mystical Lenormand
  However, that is far from true.  Not only did I write more for my project last week than I had for a while, I also re-thought and re-structured it.    More to the point, perhaps, it indicates the long road that this writing project is taking.  That re-structuring has led me to do some more research in a slightly different direction, which is interesting, but once again takes time.  Still, like last week's draw, it reminds me that the only way across the Mountain is with dedication, one step at a time… :)

Monday, 13 October 2014

Moon Chant and Kuan Yin

Last week, over the three nights of the full moon, when the baby got me up, I swayed and chanted in the living room, singing to him and to the moon.  Doing so, I used the Full Moon Chant I wrote a few years ago, and was inspired to add some more verses to it:

Goddess Oracle and Goddess Inspiration Cards
Feeling sorrow for the world,
With her rabbit she sits curled
This is how such tales begin
Chang-O, Tara and Kuan Yin

Banished to the lonely moon
A friendly rabbit is her boon
Compassion please help to grow
Tara, Kuan Yin and Chang-O

Sitting on a lotus bloom
Gentleness of heart makes room
For breath that comes from hara
Kuan Yin, Chang-O and Tara

Kuan Yin Oracle
I've been humming and haa-ing over the Kuan Yin Oracle cards (Blue Angel, 2012) for over a year, and with this push, decided to get them.  They arrived this morning, and my first pull was perfect: Empress of the Pearl.  The only problem with these cards is that I don't find enough in the picture and name alone to connect to their message intuitively.  Yet, I have the sense that I need to work with these cards at this time, and the message of this one was certainly spot on for me.  

Empress of the Pearl talks about how pearls are formed through the irritation of a grain of sand within the oyster's shell.  In the same way, our light and spiritual beauty can grow through how we respond to irritations, discomfort, negativity and fear.  I've been having a disagreement with someone online about card reading - my fuzzy Lenormand post was in part triggered by this.  This person, and he's not the only one, attacks me for not reading Lenormand cards "properly", for not seeing life as clear cut, black-and-white, with a single correct answer.  

On the one hand, I think these constant challenges are helping me to define myself as a reader.  I do not want to do predictive readings, I do not want to see the world as being black and white.  I do not want there to be an answer that does not involve the person being read for taking responsibility for their life and their actions.

On the other hand, I get really upset by these attacks.  Admittedly, this person is saying quite directly "Your ideas are ridiculous and you are wrong!"  Nevertheless, I'm trying to understand why I even care what this person, who I don't know, says.  

What this card suggests to me is that it doesn't matter why that grain of sand has entered my shell, nor why it irritates me.  What matters is what I do with that irritation.  I have tried to stay polite and diplomatic, saying "We'll have to agree to disagree, this is my philosophy, and if your way works for you, that's great, too."  Now, I think I need to back away from the discussion, and focus on growing my own spiritual understanding of what it means to be a reader.  And perhaps pray to Kuan Yin for help in accepting the irritations that life will always throw at us.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Tattva Reading

On Saturday, I was introduced to this interesting spread.  It is based on the tattvas, the Sanskrit take on the elements.  They define these as Akasha/Spirit, Tejas/Fire, Vayu/Air, Apas/Water, and Prithvi/Earth.  For this spread, you draw from the Majors for the spirit question, from Wands for the Fire question and so on.  I used the Mini Rider Waite (U.S. Games) to look at my work situation:

1) Akasha/Spirit - what lesson am I being offered?  The Wheel of Fortune
I need to learn to flow with change.  For this, it helps to find and hold to my own centre, to the core of what I believe in.

2) Tejas/Fire - what is growing?  Page of Wands
My ability to take a playful approach and to follow my passion is on the increase.  I want to explore, to learn, to try things out and be creative.

3) Vayu/Air - what is hanging in the air?  Six of Swords
To do this, I will have to move on from where I've been and what I've been doing.  Letting go of the past and of what has felt safe and known is not easy.  Still, it is a journey worth taking, part of the Wheel's lesson.

4) Apas/Water - what is receding?  Six of Cups
At first I saw this as saying my children's need of me is becoming less.  And that is partly true and will hopefully start allowing me to do more work outside the home next year.  However, I think it is also saying something deeper about letting go of the ideas and expectations around work that I was raised with.  Perhaps I don't have to just have a 'proper job'...

5) Prithvi/Earth - what is stable?  Queen of Pentacles
Once again, my first thought concerned my children, seeming to contradict the last card.  Then, I thought, if it isn't about nurturing my family, then perhaps it's about growing my own sense of independence, my own business.  And suddenly it reminded me of a spell I performed a couple of years ago, the basis of which I uploaded to YouTube.  I wanted to grow a soulful business, based on sharing, learning, abundance and creativity.  Already, I feel some of what I've created in the last couple of years grew from this spell, and this reading encourages me to continue on this path.

6) Akasha/Spirit - if I learn this lesson, what comes next?  The Hermit
The Hermit is predominantly about learning through self-study, of books and experientially.  Yet, there also comes a time when the Hermit raises his lamp to shine the light of his experience on that path, for others to explore it too.  Teaching, in one form or another, is a big part of where I want to go!

Overall, this reading reinforces the message that although the changes I'm contemplating may be a bit scary, fundamentally, this feels right for me.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Winding Road

This morning, I drew some cards asking about a project I've been working on intermittently for a couple of years now.  I have a networking opportunity coming up, and wondered if it would be a good time to put a little energy there.  The cards I drew are shown here with the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004):

Sun, Snake, Mountain
Success takes a circuitous path through obstacles and delays.  This is certainly true of things so far.  Yet, despite two not-so-great cards, overall I see this in a positive light.  While it may be a winding road up a steep mountain, I have already travelled a long way on this path.  So, this reading encourages me to not give up, to keep going :)  It also had a Sheryl Crow song popping into my head: Every Day Is A Winding Road.  Every day... I get a little bit closer to feeling fine!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Fuzzy Lenormand

There are those who say that Lenormand readings are very precise.  For myself, I believe that most things humans do are fuzzy.  More than that, it is in the fuzziness that creativity lies.  If there is only one possibility, there is no room for free will, for intuition, or for innovation.  

Anyhow, philosophy aside, this morning I drew a line of three from the Mystical Lenormand (Königsfurt-Urania, 2004):

Bear (Strength/Management/Mothering), Bouquet (Creative/Graceful), Scythe (Break/Make the Cut/Shock)
The first thing I saw here was creative management needs to take a break.  Not having a nine to five job, it's easy for work to leech into the weekend and there are a couple of things I was considering doing today.  However, taking a break sounds like a good idea, too...

Then, I thought about creative mothering making the cut.  A reminder that I can be a good enough mother even when I don't give my children 100% of my attention.  And the more creative I can be, the better I can mother them and have a bit of a break for myself :)

Finally, I saw the suggestion to do something that combines gracefulness and strength, with no shocks.  This is based on the direction of the Scythe, whose blade tip faces into the emptiness beyond the reading, so that the sharp shockingness of it does not touch the two previous cards.  No aerobics, then, with its shocks to the joints; and no lumbering around with heavy weights.  Rather, a mellow cardio-pilates workout with light weights :D

Some good suggestions there for an enjoyable Sunday.  Hope you all have a good one, too!