Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tarot Dreaming - Three of Wands

Today, I did not so much draw a card as a card drew me.

Last night, I dreamt, for seemingly the entire night, about a scene from a card. While I was dreaming, I knew I was, recognized that I had somehow deeply internalized an image from a card and was now dreaming in it.

As soon as I woke up, I had to find which exact card I had been dreaming about. I knew it was the Three of Wands, but there was a certain image associated with it, and while I by no means have the most extensive tarot collection, it is still a lot to sift through at 4 a.m. As I glanced at my bedside table, I realized that it was from the Robin Wood, which is not surprising, since I used that deck yesterday for my daily draw.

The thing is, this dream was vivid, intense, and I felt certain was meant to bring me a message about something. I look at the image, and what I see is a man watching boats sail away. I wonder if he is wishing them well, or bidding them good riddance. I am not exactly sure I do not consider them to be coming into harbor, but it is my feeling, at least today, that they are leaving. The dream was very peaceful, and mostly enjoyable.

I think the message for me is about work, and to just keep keeping on, that good things come to those who wait.

Image from the Robin Wood tarot.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Daily Draw - The Lovers (Robin Wood - Full Frontal Nudity)

So, today I did my daily draw backwards, at least for me. I asked for a card to help me make sense of the day, and what I got was The Lovers. I am not sure why I chose the Robin Wood deck, except that it shuffles so sweet, and while I was rummaging around in the tarot box it seemed to want to be held.

Today, I feel rather strongly that this card is not talking so much about a love connection, because my romantic life is such a hot mess I could never subject any of you to reading about it, but more about choices. I believe I am on the cusp pf something at work, though what exactly, I don't know, and that is okay. Not knowing all the answers is exciting. I have been working very hard on bringing about a positive and profitable environment through my own intention, by consciously trying to create a good environment to work in. I think that this card is urging me to continue to choose the greater good, continue to choose to create my own reality, continue to choose to do the right thing.

I am also making a very conscious effort to try to just let love, for people, and the compassion that goes along with it, to rule my life. The couple here looks exceedingly happy, and letting love rule is part of my path to being as content, as satisfied, as joyful as they seem to be.

Oh, and an update on my Little Big Man and his bully situation - so far so good! We had the child over for some games and snacks, and a good time was had by all. Hopefully a good enough time that a true friendship has begun. Thank you to everyone for the encouraging words and good thoughts!

This card is from the Robin Wood tarot.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Initial Faeries Reading & Something for Little Big Man

In her delightful companion book to the Faeries Oracle Jessica MacBeth suggests an exercise for getting to know the faeries. You are to find the card that appeals the most to you, and the one that you find the most disturbing, and do some journaling with them. I happen to have found The Pook somehow comforting in an odd way, and his brother (if the deck was ordered, which this one seems to not care to be, they would be only two apart) The Glanconer made me downright uneasy. You were then to turn over the other cards and find one that wanted you to pick it up. Surprise, surprise, I got Sylvanius again.

The first card is something you desire in your life - The Pook is Shape-changer. Good in bad, bad in good. Paradox. Resolution. I am not completely familair with these fellers yet, so I turn to the book for a little help. It describes him as wanting us to break through our mental barriers, learning to see what is as opposed to what we wish. I can definitely see that as something I wish to cultivate in my life.

The second card is something you are having trouble dealing with in your life. The Glanconer is Illusion. Delusion. Lust. Projection. Clear Sight. (Yes, I am aware these two seem to be opposite sides of the same coin, in appearance and message. That's how I roll.) Whenever I make mistakes, it seems to be because I have convinced myself that things are the way I really want them to be, or because a person has shown me who they really are, and I have not chosen to believe them. And lust (for things, for life, for what we usual associate the word with, for food, for experiences), nope, no problems with that at all, not here, *grin*.

The third card is a message from the universe, and I laughed when Sylvanius showed up again. I think him and his sword wielding girlfriend, and their sidekicks have something they really want me to know - Truth. Cutting through deception. Clarity.

I think to the quote by Marianne Williamson which says, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I think Sylvanius there wants me to be living up to my full potential and stop hiding behind my thoughts of inadequacy, because sometimes I am guilty of letting myself think that I just can't, when I need to fill my life with the positive affirmation of - "Of course I CAN."

I am digging these faeries!

The other reading I intended to share today was done for my middle child, my Little Big Man. All my kids love getting readings, and he asked for a Past, Present, Future spread and chose The Fey Tarot, a delightful little deck that I often use for the children (though I took extra notice of how buxom they seem to be while reading to a nine year old little boy *smile*). They do not get the option of things like the Thoth or Necronomicon, haha. I was, however, rather alarmed to see all those swords in his reading! In case you cannot tell, they are the Eight, Seven, and Five of Swords, left to right.

I read it to him as follows - "It looks like today at school you felt like you were in a bad situation and you didn't know how to get out of it. You wanted to fight but you didn't. You just waited. I think for the rest of the week you will have to remember that, and just sort of sit on your sword, so to speak, and not fight even when you feel you should." I realize those are not necessarily "book" meanings for the cards but I prefer to look at the cards and say what I see, and shore that up with my book knowledge if I am not making sense.

"Yeah, that is what happened, Momma!" he exclaimed. "Bret was teasing me and I felt bad and then I felt mad and I wanted to hit him but I didn't want him to feel bad, too, so I didn't, but I don't want him to make me feel bad anymore. And I don't wanna get in trouble," he added sheepishly, and isn't that most of our reasoning for not doing things we really want to? My heart could have melted, I tell ya! We talked about how sometimes kids are mean because their mommas don't hug them enough, and how anger and violence only breeds more, but love can break that cycle. Deep stuff for a nine year old, and I am not promising he got it all, but learning to turn the other cheek, which Jesus admonished us to do, by the way, is a life long process, is it not? I would like my children to do things just because they know they are the right thing to do, but for the moment I will take not wanting to get in trouble as a motivator.

We invited Bret over for some Wii action and laser tag, by the way, and I will serve them the yummiest snacks and we will try to model good behavior for this child, and hopefully we can turn an enemy into a friend. And I shall hug Bret to little bitty pieces, if he will let me.

These images are from Brian Froud's Faeries Oracle, and The Fey Tarot by Mara Aghem.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Daily Draw - Judgment


Just kidding. That's my flair for the dramatic popping up there.

So , I look at this card today, and I see the people seem to be welcoming, cringing, and begging the judging angel for something, alternately. As to me, I have been all of those people at some point or another. Today, I feel like I am begging my boss for the hours I was promised, the ones that work with my kids' schedule, not against it. I hate feeling like I have to beg.

Knowing what I know about Judgment, and how on the fence I have been about whether to stay at this job, or look for something better, or more suited to my particular talents and needs, I think it is time for me to make a decision and stand by it. If I am going to leave, I need to do so now, so I can stop being miserable and nervous all the time. If I am going to stay, I need to make peace with that and figure out how to not be miserably nervous there. I chose this job out of a handful of possibilities, and I have had a hand in making the situation what it is, possibly by being too anxious to please so I just say "yes" when I should say "no". I can make choices every day, every single moment, about my attitude and how I will react to things. That is where true liberation lies.

I think Judgment can be a tricky card. The tarot books that are all sunshine and puppies would have you think that it is always positive, but the very word "judgment" personally gives me a chill. I much dislike having to live under it, and it is one of my character flaws that I most desire to banish.

In other tarot news, today I received The Faeries Oracle, which I thought was just gonna be fluff, but initial readings appear to be something more. I generally do better with cards that I can look at and interpret the meaning, but these are much more intuitive type reading cards, so I am looking forward to working with them and seeing if I can't stretch the old intuition out some.

One card in particular just kept jumping out at me and demanding to be looked at. Sylvanius- the book describes him as Truth. Cutting Through Deception. Clarity. I could definitely use some clarity right now, but that pesky Judgment card up there reminds me that the choice about seeking it is always in my own hands, and there is a consequence whether we consciously make that choice or just let it default.

Images from the Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza and The Faeries Oracle by Brian Froud.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Daily Draw - Seven of Pentacles

Firstly, I apologize for the blurry image. The scanner and I do not see eye to eye. Secondly, I just laugh at my Deviant Moon deck.

Today I drew the Seven of Pentacles, which is a cute little card in this deck, but I was concerned that I had some lingering energy from a series of one card readings I did last night that I was still thinking about. This card had popped up as the answer to why a family member I have not spoken to in years felt the need to contact me through MySpace. The answer I came to then was that she was just checking her harvest, so to speak, and I thought how the girl on the card appears to be holding out a branch, perhaps akin to the proverbial holding out the ol' olive branch. I then quickly noticed how she appeared to be drawing blood with her offering, and that would be typical of the woman in question I was thinking of.

So, the first time I drew this card as my daily draw today, I quickly replaced it, cleared the deck, and shuffled all over again. I got a tingling sensation in my fingertips and I took that to me to go ahead and flip the card, and look who had sought me out again - the Seven of Pentacles. So I had a little chuckle and decided to take a closer look.

Today I look at this card and I think to myself that sometimes, in order to maintain the integrity of our projects, we have to let a little blood out of them, so to speak. It is nearly time for me to resume classes for the semester, and I have been really debating whether I should take the full course load, on top of working full time, and on top of having a gaggle of kidlettes to care for, or if I should slow the pace and and take only two classes, the minimum I need to retain my scholarship status. I truly want to get through school, but I also want to do it well, and last semester was the first I had to work as well as go to school, and it was a fairly harrowing experience. I don't remember much of September, October, or November, and that is not how I want to live. I want to live with intention, enjoying each moment. If I keep plugging away at school, I will get there. I have to write a novel to graduate from the program anyway, and I am not sure I have the mental wherewithal to manage that with this full time work gig, anyway, so I believe I am resolved to go ahead and slow the pace of the classes a bit.

Images from the Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Daily Draw - Three Of Cups

Also known as the party hard card, right? Traditionally, this card should mean the celebration of the joy found in the Two of Cups, and although the figures in this card certainly seem to be enjoying themselves, I can't help but wonder if none of hem have noticed that they appear to be being consumed by a gigantic fish with very menacing teeth. It seems to me that they are so absorbed in their enjoyment of their drinks and each other that they are not paying attention to the very obvious threat that will soon be unavoidable. The female even appears to be so inebriated she is really living it up, dumping her drink on herself in reckless abandon.

This card couldn't possibly apply to me in any way, nope, not me, right? *innocent whistle*

Part of what I really love about this deck is that you can get the bright, sunshine-y meanings of the cards, if that is what you are meant to get, but, for me, at least, it doesn't let me hide behind those meanings. It gives me a mental backhand every now and then, if I should require it. Of course, the goal is to get to the point that figurative backhands should not be needed. Tarot helps with this, it really does.

As for me, I will take this card to mean to me today that I need to balance my enjoyment of the good things in life with the awareness of what is going on around me, and not let my love of little luxuries and having a good time (not just with alcohol, but in all areas) keep me from attending to the things I need to.

This was a good wake up call card for me, as I have drawn it in mid afternoon, and I have been lazing around all day, not really dealing with the pile of things I should do before I begin another busy week as a mom, student, not-really-a-waitress. I have been reading, sipping coffee, and allowing myself the very rare indulgence of a dark, clove-y cigarette. I have also distinctly been avoiding dealing with a couple of emotional attachment issues, having to do with The Man and a close male friend. Now that I look at the card again, there are two males and one female, hmm, all being devoured by something larger than themselves. Better to take this portion to my private journal, or I will have to not post it all, teehee.

The keywords I usually associate with this card are celebration, friendship, trust, and a general sense of well being in the community. Today, in this instance at least, I see it more as a call to be aware, and to go ahead and enjoy my friends and loved ones and indulgences, but not to the point that I get eaten by a gargantuan fish I should have seen was there.

One Card Reading - How Am I Harming My Own Self At Work?

(Note - I am shuffling the deck, and I suddenly feel shaky and distinctly nervous. My armpits have gotten sweaty, and I feel uncomfortable, which is usually a sign I NEED to hear what is coming, but that doesn't make me WANT to. However, a coward I am not, so here goes...)

Ahh, a mini Queen of Pentacles (MY card). What was I so scared of? A self assured women, happy with her little luxuries, confident to the point of near arrogance... oh wait... THERE it is, the cosmic nudge, or in this case, backhand I have come to expect from this deck.

I look at her arrogant posture, her self assurance, and although those are usually good things, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Confidence I have in spades (teehee, spades correspond to pentacles, at least I amuse myself) but there are definitely times when that comes across as arrogance, ego, and even *gasp* bossiness. Looks like I need to to be aware of the good parts of my personality swaying too far and becoming bad parts.

I also notice she has no arms, which could definitely relate to the way I have quietly, but steadfastly, been refusing to help the person who got the promotion that I felt should have been mine. I have not been cruel, or DONE anything, which indeed may be the problem. I certainly could lift a finger, or even all ten, and help her to succeed. I am not hindering her at the moment, but neither am I helping her, and really, at the end of the day that is not who I want to be, anyway.

Besides, I know I am only there for a little while. My real place in the world is a story teller, a stringer-together of words. To accept a promotion would be putting myself more permanently than I want to be, while I actually think the person it went to intends to make the company her career.

So I know what I have to do now. Tone down my confidence so that it is not nearly (nearly I said, not quite) arrogance, and help my friend to succeed.

These images are from the Deviant Moon tarot by Patrick Valenza.

Deviant Moons for Deviant Minds

Deviant Moon Tarot

Ah, Deviant Moon tarot, how I love thee. Let me count the ways...

Okay, that may be a bit overblown, but I knew as soon as I saw scans of this deck, months before it would ever be available, that I HAD to have it, that it was MY deck, and was going to do me right through all my tarot studies. Lust for tarot cards is nothing new to me, and I currently have quite a little wish list going (including, most notably, Legacy of the Divine and the Illuminated Tarot but *sigh* not whilst I have kids that like to eat EVERY single day) but I have never absolutely HAD to possess a deck before. I have not been disappointed by Patrick Valenza's creation in the Deviant Moon.

The cards are lovely, glossy, and standard sized, which is to say a bit larger than playing cards. Many people complain about shuffling different kinds of tarot decks, but I would as soon douse my cards in gasoline and light them on fire as I would riffle shuffle, so I never have any problems with any size deck. Their quirky weirdness speaks to me, and although on first pass the deck seems somewhat dark, I have found that the opposite is in fact true. It reads straight for me, that is to say that the readings are not particularly dark, nor are they falsely bright, and since truth is what I am seeking, I appreciate that in a deck. The images resonate with me, and though they are aligned to traditional Rider Waite Smith they are not defined by them, so I enjoy the stretch away from the roots, so to speak. I get blunt, sometimes tongue in cheek answers to my questions, and since I am blunt with a bit of a cheeky nature, these cards and I get along just fine.

Therefore, when I read about the Primary Deck Reflection for 2009 at Aeclectic, I knew what I had to do. Spend a year just contemplating these lovely cards and getting to know them even better. Sounds like a plan to me.

I asked my cards if they would like to be the deck I used for this study, and the answer I got was the beautiful Ace of Cups.

Deviant Moon Ace of Cups

As I looked at the angel with goblet overflowing with moon energy, her enigmatic smile, her knowing eyes, I took that to mean that I am full of positive emotions for these cards, and that they connect with me on an emotional level, and that I will have a great relationship with these cards throughout the coming year as I study and reflect on them even more intensely.

P.S. - Is it wrong if I really, really want her jewelry, this little Angel-Ace of mine? But I'd rather have it in silver. And I'd wear it too, all in my Queen of Pentacles glory.

These images are from the Deviant Moon by Patrick Valenza.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What Kind Of Christian Are You Anyway?

Just to put it out there, I believe in God. The God described in the Bible. With the burning bush and creating the world in seven days and His Son dying on the cross, and all of that. I don't know how to explain why I believe this, except that it is faith. The belief that there is something more to life than can be touched with the traditional five senses. That is the same reason I believe in tarot. I can't explain how it works; I only know that it does. I can't explain God, I only know that He, or She, or Whatever, is there.

Having said that, I do not care what other people call their God, or how they see Him. I do not wish to fight over semantics, and although I believe fiercely that Jesus is the light of the world and the way that God intends us to make our way back to Him, I do not think that a kind and loving God would have wars waged in His name, and I do not believe that it is my place to force my views upon others. The knowledge of God is written upon each of our hearts, and the relationship is between God and each individual.

Thusly, I am a very open person, and I understand that my spiritual path to walk is not anyone else's, nor theirs, mine. I would never think to try to impose my opinions on someone else, and I work very hard to be discerning about what I take into my own personal truths. I understand that wisdom comes from all places, and that there is beauty and truth to be found in places a Christian Bible has never seen.

I realize this is my own fault for hanging out in the cesspool known as MySpace, but I was chastised rather harshly by a particular person there for presenting myself as a Christian yet also being a rather dedicated student of such things as tarot, and yoga, and having a firm belief in the power of attraction, and meditation.

Let me just say this - in all of my prayer, in all of my meditation and creative visualization, in all my tarot work, I have this constant refrain in my head - "I want what You want, Lord. If it is part of Your plan, and if it would be good for me, and not armful to anyone else, please let it come to be. If it is not, then I do not want it, anyway. Thank You."

I do not believe that tarot is anti-Christian in any way. There are pieces of the Old Testament that decry fortune tellers and astrology, but there are pieces of the Old Testament that also advocate incest and murder. My understanding of Jesus was that He was sent to abolish the law, not make new ones. I do not think that using tarot to get knowledge you are not meant to have works anyway, and if it does, you are probably not so worried about what God thinks of you in any case, woe be to you. I do not believe that Christians today are held to any law at all, except, in the words of Jesus himself, to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Using tarot does not violate either of those precepts, and truthfully if even half of the people who declare themselves to be "little Christs" would follow those two admonitions even half the time, the world would be a very different, much brighter place. But we all can only affect change within ourselves, and ultimately we are all only responsible for ourselves.

So, here is the kind of Christian I am - non-judgemental, loving, compassionate, intelligent, sensitive, seeking the truth, seeking the light, always looking deeper into the depths of my own psyche for the flaws and the truths God wants me to address, and not apologizing for any of it. I am the kind of Christian that believes justice is not mine to mete out, nor do I desire to see the pain of others. I am the kind of Christian that believe more flies are caught with honey than vinegar, and the kind that believes in the fruits of the Spirit, that the way I live my life should be a larger testament to the love and grace, and endless mercy, of the God I serve, not my mouth or my righteous insistence I know which way is best.

Queen of Pentacles, Yup, That's Me!

So, I knew pretty early on in my tarot wanderings I was a Queen of Pentacles. Pentacles being an earth sign, and me being a quintessential Taurus, it all made perfect sense. I know a deck "gets" me and I "get" the deck when it tosses me this lusty little queen in an initial reading. When I see her (or me, as it were) I know I am going to get along just fine with this deck.

Being a queen sure has it's advantages. In tarot, all queens relate to water, and not surprisingly, are closely related to their elder sister, The Empress, who controls the feminine aspect of all of our selves, regardless of gender. I can't help but wonder, though, as I think this over, that mixing the watery queen with the earthy pentacles might just make for mud, which would explain some of my thinking at times, but I digress.

Being the Queen of Pentacles is nice in particular for the home loving, luxury-minded Taurus. Love of the good life marks both of these kinds of people, and there is no doubt I love my little luxuries and am loathe to forgo them. She is devoted to her family, and probably most closely of all the queens takes after The Empress in this aspect. She is dependable, sensual, nurturing, loyal to a fault, warm-hearted, and in general the earth mother type. Careful with her money, but not afraid to spend it where it matters. Creative and resourceful. We like or physical pleasures, whether they are a good book and a hot cup of tea or a good man and a hot night spent.

Yup, that's me.

Of course, like all tarot cards, this one does not just walk around shooting rays of sunshine out her (well-dressed) rear. There is a shadow side to this card, and I unfortunately emulate all of the shadow of MY queen.

Stubborn, judgmental, with a difficult time forgiving others and not the most empathetic girl on the block. We both get a bit OCD, and not always in the endearing way that can just be called "quirky". The enjoyment of our sensuous pleasures can lead to giving money a larger importance in our lives than maybe it should have, and we certainly do not hesitate to drop any a person in our lives who is just not adding to it in a meaningful way. And we can't pass a mirror without throwing a check on ourselves, usually with a wink and a smug "How you doin'?" for good measure.

We love hard, and fall hard, and though it is not easy for us to fall out of love, once we do, we are done completely, and in a way that seems to cold to the other person if they were not quite done. (Right now I have Kanye West going through my head - "
In the night I hear them talk, the coldest story ever told. Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul, to a woman so heartless. How could you be so heartless?")

We seek intensity in all areas of life, and that can lead to some rough falls. I liken this aspect of my personality to my love of snowboarding, a sport that invariably leaves me bruised and breathless, and anxious for more all at the same time.

So, there it is, a little introduction to me, Manda. It's my intention to use this blog as I work my way through 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, moments unnumbered, and 78 cards, to a better, wiser, more enlightened, softer, kinder, more abundant (but please not on my thighs) me.


The two queens featured in this post come from the reliable Rider Waite Smith deck and the evocative Victorian Romantic.