Week 10 Get a Clue Spread (#TarotReading #DarkWoodTarot #52WeekProject)

Get a Clue Spread by Nancy Antenucci from 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters (Volume 1) + The Hermit, 6 of Pentacles Rx and Page of Cups from The Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham

The Hermit is telling me that what I truly know is how to be alone; how to handle things by myself. I know how to explore new territory in a search for answers and knowledge. I truly know how to rely on no one but myself. I know how to shoulder a burden and continue moving forward despite the cost. It’s a very short trip from self-reliance and solitude to isolation and loneliness.

The 6 of Pentacles Rx shows that I’m clueless about asking for or accepting help. As The Hermit shows, I’m comfortable, maybe too comfortable, going it alone. Asking for help has often seemed like a devil’s bargain to me. Often this is because when I have asked for help in the past it is either reluctantly or begrudgingly given or, after promising to help, people don’t follow through. At his often left me feeling like a character in Oliver Twist with my hand out asking “please may I have some more”. I’m clueless about accepting that people will be honest when I ask for help, and if they’re unable to do so will let me know. I’m clueless about accepting did people really do want to help when they offer. This is definitely a learning process for me.

The Page of Cups is showing me that what will help me transform my cluelessness into awareness is listening to my heart, my inner voice; being kinder and gentler with myself. It also shows me that I need to relearn how to be more heart centered, and focused. I need to reconnect with my emotionally vulnerable inner core, which is something I’ve never been comfortable doing.

Overall, this reading reminds me that while self-reliance and independence can be positive traits, they can also become negative traits when it makes one unable to ask for or accept help. It also reminds me that sometimes you have to be willing to be emotionally vulnerable in order to establish positive, healthy, reciprocal relationships. Reality is that always giving or always being the one who helps creates an imbalance in relationships. Denying people the opportunity to provide support and assistance can create resentment and strain, and may even eventually damage the relationship. If I want to avoid this I need to work at establishing a more balanced give and take in my relationships.

#MessageoftheDay – Ace of Cup Rx, 9 of Wands Rx + Strength Rx (#FairyLights #Tarot)

Today I focused on what will help me keep my sanity during this quarantine. I drew

All three cards being reversed suggests the answers can only be found within me. Looking for external solutions is merely a distraction.

The reversed Ace of Cups shows I need to find new ways to embrace joy. What will bring joy into my life? Good question. Things that make my heart sing include reading, coloring, crafting and my hubby. All of these things are relatively unimpacted by the current situation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped me from seeking solace in retail therapy. Instead of crafting from my stash, I keep scouring online sites for things I simply “must have”. It’s pointless and wasteful. I really don’t need more stuff; instead I need to play with the stuff I already have.

I’m also learning to appreciate and enjoy the wildlife around me. In addition to the heron that still sporadically visits, the property around me has chipmunks, squirrels, sparrows, a pair of cardinals and a band of blue jays that regularly visit. I offer them peanuts in the shell and bird food and they seem to appreciate it. The band of blue jays is a riot to watch. The squirrels have learned to show off for me and the cardinals are rather shy but all make me smile and make my heart happy.

The reversed 9 of Wands tells me I need to find ways of being comfortable doing it alone. I’ve never really been a social butterfly but even I am craving human interaction. Online social connections are always an option but not a favorite. More than that, I think this card reflects missing the fun of working in a group; of spending time around fellow hobbyists. That’s impossible as things stand but I gave seen YouTubers streaming live craft sessions which allows one to watch and interact as much or as little as desired. That’s certainly one option to create a “working alone together” ambiance.

Strength reversed reminds me this situation isn’t just about internal fortitude, it’s about physical condition too. Now is not the time to play through the pain. As much as I hate admitting it, I am in an at-risk group. Ignoring public health warnings would be foolhardy and potentially put others at risk. So, as frustrating as it is, now isn’t the time to show how big & brave and fearless I might be. It’s the time to step back and let the worst if it pass. This isn’t weakness, it’s common sense.

So, overall this reading is reinforcing what I already know and reminding me, nagging me, to remember that staying the course is the smart move right now. Not my preferred path, I’ll admit, but definitely the wiser one.

#MessageoftheDay – 6 of Swords Rx, 7 of Wands Rx + 10 of Wands (#SecretForest #Tarot)

The river wends its way through a landscape that is either thickly forested or practically barren. In the distance a small body of water is visible. Reversed it gives the impression that the river is moving towards the pond. Rather than traveling away, we are moving inward. We can’t get away from ourselves. Whether this proves negative or beneficial is up to us.

Once again the 7 of Wands appears. It’s reversed again; reinforcing the sense of restriction and cabin fever many have expressed. How can we deal with this? Distractions – online social interactions, hobbies & crafts. We have to force ourselves to engage because it’s too easy to get lost in frustration, fears and paranoia.

To me, the growth coming out of the turtles back suggests that although this is a heavy weight right now and things are going slow, an end is in sight. As even Bugs Bunny learned, slow & steady sometimes wins the race. As soon as I saw this card I heard The Beatles’ “Carry That Weight”. Things feel so heavy and ponderous right now it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. We have to remind ourselves that we’re strong enough to make it. We will adapt, thrive and flourish but it will need to be a slow, steady and cautious process so the improvement is sustainable.

So there is hope but we need to be willing to endure the necessary struggle to get there. Let’s see how that works out.

#ChattingwithTarot – 10 of Pentacles, Ace of Cups Rx + Knight of Cups Rx (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

Today I enjoyed a cuppa Harney & Sons Malachi McCormick blend while chatting with my ancestors. We had quite the chat.

Their message, “Nitwit! You’re missing the point! Instead of looking at the whole picture you’re focusing on details. Open your eyes, look inside your heart. What you seek can’t be found without but only within.”. This was followed by a metaphorical smack upside the head.

So, clearly, I was misinterpreting my ancestors’ message as far as the 10 of Pentacles is concerned because it kept coming up. So I did something I rarely do, looked in the companion book. The first sentence was “Honor the endowment of your roots.” D’oh! 🤦 The author then goes on to discuss how we need to connect with our roots so that we can then move forward and express that energy in our lives; ground ourselves so we can soar.

That makes do much sense because one of the motivating factors that influenced my taking on a caregiver role for both my mother-in-law and brother-in-law is that’s how my mother’s family did it. That’s what I saw growing up. In her later years, my great-grandmother suffered from some type of dementia and I watched my mother’s aunts and uncles rally round and take care of her so she could stay at home. My great-grandmother wasn’t relegated to the sidelines either. Despite her inability to fully comprehend what was going on, she sat at the dinner table with us, she was there when we sang Happy Birthday, she was there for holiday celebrations. So my experience growing up was that when family members were in bad shape those that could picked up the slack. That is how I continue to live my life.

My ancestors are reminding me that this is my inheritance but it doesn’t have to be my jail cell. I can still find ways to enjoy my life; find things that bring me joy and make my spirit soar. Right now, I’m restricted to things that I can do within the house and with limited flexibility and freedom but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. The key is looking within myself and changing my perceptions. I understand that focusing on the negative just enhances it, but sometimes I forget. So, what I need to do is focus on the positive; retrain myself to fully embrace the little things in my life that make me happy. I can also be a little more patient with myself when I lose sight of this.

#TarotDaily – Temperance Rx + 5 of Discs Rx (#AllHallows)

What do you need to grieve? How might you give yourself the permission you need to do so?

I need to grieve the lack of balance in my life; the loss of freedom and the ability to pursue my interests. There is little equilibrium between obligation and desire; between what I must do and what I want to do. It’s still difficult for me to accept. I know I’m doing the right thing but it’s certainly not my preferred thing.

I just need to move forward and reconnect with people the best way I can. I know I’m on the outside of the flow but that’s not so unusual. So, I need to find different ways to accept support and friendship; to keep connected to others. Facebook would probably be one easy solution but I despise FB so much, that isn’t really an option. I do have the telephone, email, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and MeWe, but none of these are the same as spending time with friends and loved ones but it’s better than nothing.

I know what will help me grieve and move forward. The challenge now us actually doing it.

#TarotDaily – Death + 8 of Cups (#AllHallows)

How might your knowledge empower other people?

Oh my! This feels very powerful and impactful to and for me. Transformation, dramatic changes, shedding old skin – Death can mean any and all of these. Is that how I can help others – aid them in processing major life changes? Would I be any good at that? I remember that after my mother-in-law died I felt blessed and empowered by witnessing her passing and helping prepare her body to move on to the next stage (the crematorium). Tending her as she deteriorated and prepared to meet death made me stronger and less fearful of dying.

The image on the 8 of Cups reinforces the need to release things before you can move on – whether it is emotional ties or material possessions. If we can’t let go of loved ones we prevent ourselves from moving on to the next level of our own journey.

Perhaps exploring ways to share this with others could prove fulfilling. Sounds like an interesting topic for future blog posts. Of course I hope I can avoid meaningless platitudes and jingoistic bullshit. Let’s face it, transformation is hard and it can hurt like hell! Sometimes we don’t realize how much pain we feel until something rips off the scab and reminds us the wound is still there. Then again constantly picking the scab doesn’t help either. We need to find a balance but before that we probably spend a lot of time bouncing back and forth between hope and despair. Healing ain’t easy and I’m not sure if I’d be suited to the task. I guess time will tell.

#TarotDaily – Page of Discs + 2 of Wands Rx #(AllHallows)

How are you enslaved? What is the answer?

Hmm, so I’m a prisoner of my own need to learn; my greed for knowledge and stuff. Sometimes I feel like my entire life is one big hyperlink. I learn about a topic and then that leads me to another topic which leads me to another topic and so on and so on. Even when it comes to hobbies, which in theory should be a form of relaxation, I feel the need to gather as much information abd materials as possible before actually beginning anything.

For example, when I collected Barbie dolls I had to research the value of the dolls. I had to learn the different face molds used. I had to discover the history of Barbie fashions. I couldn’t just relax and buy dolls, I had to add all of that information first.

The same thing happened when I became interested in Tarot cards. I wasn’t one of those people who opened up a deck and began to read. I had to learn about the history of the tarot and the different interpretations of the cards; the different ways one could interpret the cards (divinatory, psychological, etc.). I had to have a mix of modern, classic and vintage decks; a blend of mass produced and self-published. Needless to say this tendency quickly increased both my doll and Tarot collections. Don’t even get me started on my book collection!

My newest dive into the deep end is card making and stamping. Somehow within only a matter of months I have managed to acquire quite a collection of stamps, a stamp platform, a die cutting and embossing machine, and numerous collections of pattern paper and cardstock. I have subscribed to a few magazines focused on card making and paper crafts. Subscribed to and watched numerous YouTube channels. So, as one can see I am consistent in my enslavement to my obsessions. A friend and I once joked that we both have SIOID, or stress induced obsessive interest disorder. Not a clinical diagnosis but certainly one that has a negative impact on one’s bank account.

So, what is the antidote to this problem? Well to be perfectly honest I can’t say that I feel I need a solution. I like the disease. However, even I can acknowledge that part of the reason it gets so bad so quickly is because I’m using it as a way to counteract my isolation. So I would have to say that the way to address this enslavement of mine is to find people that I can interact with, do projects with, even share some of these obsessions. This might be easier said than done due to the realities of my life at this time but it is something I can do in a limited fashion. Or, I can actually put these interests to good use (creating cards & donating them to charities, for example) instead of letting them collect dust.

#TarotDaily – 4 of Wands + 9 of Swords Rx (Deirdre)

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • Opportunities for a stable, balanced & blended creative partnership or endeavor are open to you. Don’t let inner demons and self doubts stop you from going through that door.
  • A marriage or creative partnership could help you find sources of additional inspiration, insight and support. Open your eyes to the possibilities instead on focusing on what could go wrong.
  • Nightmares frighten us because they play into our deepest fears and worries. Try sharing those fears & worries with someone who can support you and help you find ways to dispel them.

I wasn’t raised to be a girl, I was raised to be a broad

I’m being deliberately provocative with the title of this blog post. I am a female and, as such, I was a girl when I was younger. However, I was not raised to think of myself as “just a girl”. I decided to write this post after reading an article a woman wrote about gender expectations and American Gods. This got me to thinking, pondering if you will. Why have I never felt the weight of gender expectations? In fact, I clearly remember a very vehement argument I once had with a former friend about sexism and gender in the workplace. It’s entirely possible that I have been denied promotions or suffered a lower salary because I am female, but if that’s the case I was as oblivious to it as I was to the Stations of the Cross in my childhood church. I simply plowed forward and did my job. If my behaviors upset or offended supervisors because I didn’t act in a typically female way, I either addressed it head on, was oblivious to it, or ignored it.

I have never been told that I could not achieve something because I’m “a girl”. I was never discouraged from trying or accomplishing something because “girls don’t do that”. Sure my parents tried to civilize me and teach me to behave but they also encouraged me to be independent and strong-willed. They regularly gave me the “would you (fill in the blank) just because everyone else does?” speech. I was never encouraged to downplay my intelligence because boys don’t like smart girls. I was never told I was too aggressive for a girl and should tone it down (in fact my father preferred to teach me the correct way to throw a punch). When boys touched me in ways I did not want, I punched them or kicked them in the balls. My nickname as an adolescent was “the Nutcracker”. At the same time, I accepted that if I was going to hit others I might get hit back. I couldn’t use the “I’m a girl” excuse. I was fine with this. Looking back, I was truly blessed to have two parents who never, ever fell victim to gender roles and stereotypes – at least not when it came to me. I remember one Easter my grandmother bought my sister and me matching outfits – they were royal blue pantsuits (think polyester button-down shirts and pants) with T-shirts that proclaimed “Anything boys can do, girls can do better” and a graphic of a girl in a baseball outfit getting ready to swing her bat. We LOVED those shirts and proudly wore them every chance we got. In fact, that saying became our unofficial motto throughout childhood.

I was also influenced by Greco-Roman and Norse mythology as a child. I identified with Athena, the wise virgin who owed nothing to a man (okay, I’m oversimplifying because that’s what I believed as a child). I loved Freya who was the leader of the Valkyries and free to sleep with whom she chose, even if they were dwarves. It wasn’t just independent female goddesses that appealed to me – they had to have a fierceness to them, a martial aspect as well. I loved goddesses who bowed down to no man or god. As I grew older and learned about Irish goddesses I felt a strong connection to many of them too. Once again, fierce feminine figures who were not bound to a male.

Looking back, I am also a product of my generation. I grew up in the 70s and clearly remember the hoopla that following the tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. I remember how excited I was when Charlie’s Angels premiered! Yes, in retrospect it was a T&A show but as a young girl, all I saw were these tough, independent women who took on bad guys every week and triumphed. I was a fan of both Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter, Isis, and Electra Woman & Dyna Girl. I read Wonder Woman and Supergirl comic books. I remember being vaguely disappointed when the ERA was defeated. I didn’t fully understand what it was or why I wanted it but I knew that its failure was not a good thing for me. I remember having an epiphany during a religious class in Catholic high school when our teacher while conducting a cakes & wine ritual, informed us that ancient frescoes showed that women administered the sacraments in the early Christian church. I was floored! It never occurred to me that women could serve as priests. I often think that this was the pivotal moment that ultimately led me to pursue Paganism.

So, it occurs to me that if we don’t want to raise our daughters to be “just girls” we need to reinforce that message. We need to support them when they show interest in traditionally “ungirly” things or behave in non-girly ways. We also need to let them know that if they choose to pursue traditionally feminine pursuits, that is wonderful too. It’s so easy to denigrate traditional feminine pursuits, interests, and behaviors but that’s just as damaging as only allowing them to pursue these things. Some girls want to be fairy princesses and some want to be G.I. Joe. Some want to play with dolls and some want to play with toy guns. Some will do both and all of that is great and should be encouraged. For that matter, we should use the same approach with boys. I guess the important thing is to focus on what the child wants and needs and make sure to nurture and support them. Sounds easy and yet somehow we make it so complicated.

Smart choices & a need for community

Dark Goddess Alchemy

For the last few months I’ve been working my way through the Dark Goddess Tarot Majors, spending two weeks with each card before moving on to the next. Right now I’m working with Brigid/Temperance’s energy. I asked Brigid for guidance to help me forge a path towards better health and she gifted me with Maeve/7 of Cups.

 

Dark Goddess 7 of Cups

I took this to mean that the best way to achieve my desire for improved health is to make better, smarter choices. So I asked Maeve how to achieve this? While focusing on this question I drew two cards from the Sacred Bridges Tarot – 10 of Wheels and 6 of Wheels reversed.

Sacred Bridges 10 of Wheels Sacred Bridges 6 of Wheels

Looking at these cards I was struck by the message that I need to seek support from my community and not get to focused on weighing, measuring and doling out portions. As a friend put it “the Perfect is the enemy of the Good.” I know that feeling. I can get so caught up in doing things the “right” way and I end up frustrated and defeated. This time I’ll try taking baby steps instead of diving into the deep end and almost drowning.

I think this is another reason I decided to rejoin FaceBook. I’m feeling much too isolated right now. I don’t have the flexibility to physically connect with friends. I have spent some time on the phone with a few and will continue to do so but the truth is that FB makes it a lot easier. There are still things about it that irritate me but for now it will be a helpful too. I realized at this year’s Readers’ Studio that I miss connecting with my Tarot friends. To quote Elton John – “it’s lonely out in space” and right now that where I feel as though I’m living – outer space. I feel so disconnected from what is going on in the world around me that it’s not funny. So to keep my sanity and feed my desire for social connections – back on FB I go.