Week 19 – Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) Spread (#TarotReading #CrookedWayTarot #52WeekProject)

I’ve always loved this song by The Mamas and The Papas and decided to create a 3 card spreads using some of the lyrics as inspiration. My 3 questions are:

1. Where is my life always stuck at 12:30? The Devil
2. What can I no longer keep my blinds drawn about in my life? 8 of Pentacles Rx
3. What changes can I feel happening in me? Knight of Skulls Rx

The Devil, 8 of Pentacles Rx & Knight of Skulls Rx – The Crooked Way Tarot

I find it kind of funny that I drew The Devil for this question because the answer implies that my life is stuck at 12:30 because it’s stuck in general. Of course this is true, I am a prisoner to circumstance right now. This imprisonment is not of my doing or caused by anything I’ve done. It’s something I inherited. Well I’m trying to rectify the situation it is proven to be more challenging than expected. The end may be in sight, but at this point I’m still bound by my obligations and responsibilities.

What I can no longer ignore, or “keep my blinds drawn” about, is the fact that I am reaping a crop that I didn’t sow. I didn’t create this monster but I’m the one responsible for making sure that the monster is handled in a way that causes the least amount of harm to all concerned. I think the reason this showed up for me is because sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that fact. I’m still dealing with feelings of guilt and selfishness even if I don’t deserve them. I think

The Knight of Skulls Rx shows that the changes happening in me will soon allow me to pursue my inner dreams, my heart’s desire; to follow my own Grail quest. Of course right now that energy can’t be silly accessed because of the other circumstances in my life. Hopefully I will soon be free to explore my bliss and seek joy but I’m not quite there yet.

I will say, I didn’t find this reading especially enjoyable. However it clarified certain things and reminded me of realities I sometimes forget it choose to ignore.

Week 18 What is Happiness Spread (#TarotReading #CrookedWayTarot #52WeekProject)

“Happiness lies not in finding what is missing but in finding what is present.” – Tara Brach

  1. What is missing from my life? The Moon
  2. What is present in my life? Art
  3. What will help me find happiness? Mistress of Skulls Rx
The Moon, Art & Mistress of Skulls from The Crooked Way Tarot

My first reaction seeing the Moon in answer to “What is missing in my life?” was that perhaps what I’m missing are dreams. The more I thought about it, the more wrong it felt. Then it hit me that the answer couldn’t be more obvious. The idea that anything is missing from my life is an illusion. Well, except for the obvious answer of my husband. However if I were to interpret the meaning of this card in that way it would completely contradict the whole point of the reading. So, perhaps the Moon is showing me that’s what’s missing is a need to howl at the Moon for things that aren’t really there and aren’t really necessary.

Art or Temperance showing up in response to “What is present in my life?” is especially impactful because I’ve drawn Temperance a number of times in the past year as something I need to aspire to or achieve. In this position the suggestion is that it has been achieved. This balance is present in my life and contributing to my happiness. On a practical level this is seen in my efforts to exercise more, eat more healthily and to take a little bit more time for myself. At the same time I’m trying to finalize arrangements for my brother-in-law’s move to a residential facility. This is not the final destination, but an action that will need regular recalibration.

Seeing the Mistress of Skulls Rx tells me that what will help me find happiness is getting familiar with my own heart and dreams; nurturing my emotional side. I think she’s showing me that a gentle, supportive exploration of my emotional responses and relationships would be a useful exercise to aid me in finding happiness. The reality is if I’m unable to process emotions and relationships, and listen to my heart, finding happiness will be an almost insurmountable challenge.

ADDENDUM:. A friend pointed out something I completely missed on The Moon card – the image of the moon has a clock face superimposed upon it. She suggested it was showing that time to do what I want might be something missing in my life. This is true but it’s also something that’s coming to an end soon. However what did strike me is that the hands of the clock are pointing at 10 and 2. When I was learning how to drive that was always the mantra of my driving instructor “keep your hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel”. So to me this suggested even if I haven’t had the time that soon coming to an end and I’ll be able to drive my life my own way.

Something else I missed in my initial interpretation of these cards is that the Mistress of Skulls is sitting at a desk writing in a book with a skull shaped mug before her. I think this is a practical suggestion for me – what will help me to find happiness is using tools like journaling, medication and relaxing with tea to help me explore my inner landscape, reacquaint myself with my inner emotions and desires.

Week 2 Tarot Reading (#TarotReading #SecretForestTarot #52WeekProject)

This is week two of my personal 52 week project. My goal is to do a weekly three card reading and post it to this blog. I plan to stick to it but, as we all know, sometimes life has other plans

My reading for this week: 1) What aspect of my life should I focus on this week? The Moon; 2) What will help me with this? 6 of Wands Rx; 3) What unseen factors impact this? The Empress Rx

So, the Moon shows that I need to listen to my subconscious and find what fascinates in mesmerizes me. I really love how the two figures on this card seem to be in thrall to the Moon and communicating with it on some level. I need to do the same, to trust my instincts and look deep within myself to reconnect and find the answers to this question. For so long I’ve done what I had to do, I’ve kind of lost sight of what brings me joy and fulfillment. Now would be a good time to dive deep and uncover those treasures.

The 6 of Wands reversed guides this transformation by helping me triumph over my self doubt and inner demons. It also shows that I need to reframe my achievement so they’re less about defeating things and more about exploring new terrain and overcoming my own fears.

The Empress reversed reinforces the six of Wands reversed by pointing out that my focus needs to be on tending my own inner landscape, nurturing myself and my creative spirit. For so long I’ve been forced to nurture and care for others and it’s left a bad taste in my mouth. I need to relearn that nurturing and nourishing is not a bad thing, not when it’s done willingly. I spent enough time expressing my Empress energy on others, now it’s time to focus that on caring for and nurturing myself.

Anniversary Gift (#PearlsofWisdomTarot #TarotReading #HealingJourney

Today would have been my 36th wedding anniversary, and my first without John. I miss him in ways I can’t fully describe. I’m still getting used to functioning without him; learning to adapt and adjust. Every so often I still get teary, in fact it’s happening now, but overall I’m learning how to be without him. I’ve always wondered if I could live independently because when I married John I moved from living with my parents to living with him. I was never fully independent or forced to deal with things on my own. Now I am and, although I’m proud I’m doing well, I wish I didn’t have to learn that answer.

I decided to pull two Tarot cards reflecting what anniversary gifts John would like to give me this year. Using the vibrant & joyful Pearls of Wisdom Tarot, I drew the 4 of Cups reversed and 3 of Pentacles

As soon as I saw this I understood my husband’s message. Looking at the 4 of Cups, I immediately heard the lyrics from the song Jesus sings in the Garden of Gethsemane in Jesus Christ Superstar, “take this cup away from me tried for 3 years seems like 30”. The cup in this case is my brother-in-law Edward, who is deaf and developmentally disabled. I have been his primary caregiver since 2009. It was difficult enough when I had John here to help, but for the past year it’s been exhausting and overly stressful. John is telling me that soon the cup will be taken away from me, the responsibility removed from my hand, and that he’s watching over me and helping in any way that he can.

The 3 of Pentacles is John pointing out that once I have my freedom I can start exploring new learning opportunities and new experiences. I can go back to school or take classes to acquire new skills. My future will be under my own control. I can build the future that I want, and I have John’s love and support to do that.

The amazing thing about our relationship is that John fully supported me in whatever I wanted to do. He was my biggest cheerleader, even if he thought what I was doing was not a good idea. He let me make my mistakes and then gave me a bit of an I told you so but didn’t gloat. We often spoke about what might happen if he pre deceased me, not that we expected it to happen when it did. He was always clear with me and anyone else he discussed these issues with that he did not want me to be trapped caring for Edward for the rest of either of our lives. As much as I care for Edward, and want to see him in a safe nurturing environment, I can’t provide that for him. So this is John giving me his stamp of approval for taking steps to find some place Edward can be cared for in a way that will best serve him. It’s truly the best gift John could have given me.

Midsummer’s Dream Spread (#TarotReading #StolenChildTarot

I did this reading on the Solstice but, being the champion procrastinator that I am, I’m just getting around to posting it now. This spread is from Christine Jette’s book Tarot for All Seasons, which is filled with spreads for each Sabbat as well as the lunar cycles.

Position 1 – What will set your spirit free? – 3 of Zephyrs Rx
I see this card as a reminder that sometimes we can hold on to past betrayals or painful experiences and this holds our Spirit back. I just heard it quote attributed to Stephen King that “ghosts are real and they live inside us”. I think to some degree that’s what this card represents – the ghosts that live inside us holding us back because we can’t move forward until we’ve laid those goes to rest. So in order to set our spirits free we need to release those ghosts and the lingering memories of the pain they might have caused so that we can move forward.

Position 2: Future Trends of Freedom and Liberation. Indicates possible scenarios based on influences at this time. Do you obtain your heart’s desire or are you setting up the wrong life? – 7 of Zephyrs Rx
The image on this card shows a cuckoo laying its eggs in another bird’s nest. Considering it’s reversed, I think it’s a reminder that trying to obtain your heart’s desire at the expense of others will probably bring more harm than good. For example if you cast a love spell how could you ever be sure whether any resulting relationship is based on genuine love and attraction? Or if you pursued advancement in your career by detracting others efforts then is your success deserved? I suppose these are questions we can only answer for ourselves but it does raise interesting concepts to ponder.

Position 3: The Need for Protection. Shows your vulnerabilities or where you might block your heart’s desire. – High Priestess Rx
This High Priestess shows a Chimera – a legendary creature composed of parts from different animals. The word can also refer to an illusion or fabrication of the mind. The reverse nature of the card in this position suggests that we are vulnerable and blocking our hearts desire because we don’t have the ability to imagine anymore; to see ourselves making our dreams come true. Sometimes the only way to create magic in our lives is to believe that we have the ability to create magic. Without a magical belief in our own abilities, we undermine ourselves.

Position 4: Future Trends of the Need for Protection. Are you on the path to fulfilling your heart’s desire, or do you need to go in another direction? – Ace of Zephyrs
I think this Ace of Zephyrs shows us that we have the ability to achieve our hearts desire but we have to allow ourselves to see things clearly and align our disparate mindsets. In other words, I think this is showing we need to combine the magical thinking suggested by The High Priestess with a certain amount of reality and clearsightedness. The only way we can achieve our dreams, fulfill our heart’s desire is by both believing in ourselves and having a clear understanding of our capabilities and our skills. It’s showing us that we can always start anew, begin over again and change the path, to help guide us to our desired goal. All we have to do is change our mindset and believe in ourselves.

Position 5: Paying Attention to Intuition. Either describes how to develop the inner voice of the soul, or what may be blocking its development – Strength
The best way for us to develop our inner voice of our soul is not to hide from ourselves and to be willing to actually make the attempt. Sometimes we can act like we’re tough and capable and strong enough to handle what life throws at us on the outside, but on the inside we’re the child hiding beneath the bison’s protective body. I think what Strength reminds us is that we need to have the inner fortitude to keep trying even when we fail the first few times. We need to be willing to pick ourselves up and keep working at it. After all, practice makes perfect and very few of us are perfect at something on our first attempt. At the same time we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves because we weren’t successful on our first attempt. We need to be gentle with ourselves; nurturing and protecting our fragile inner spirit.

Position 6: Future Trends in Psychic Development. Given the influences of the cards at this time, what is a probable outcome to your psychic development? – The Chariot
I think the energy of The Chariot and the image on this card combine to remind us that our psychic development, or indeed our ability to achieve any goal, is a combination of being willing to take the opportunities offered to us as well as understanding that sometimes slow and steady wins the race. No matter how much we might wish it were different, life provides few fairy godmothers as well as rare instances of immediate success. The most successful people we know spend years honing their craft. I think this Chariot is reminding us that it’s equally appropriate when dealing with psychic development. Practice makes perfect and the longer we practice the better we will be.

Although the reading specifically addresses psychic development and achieving one’s heart’s desire I believe these cards can be applicable to any endeavor one pursues in life. We can’t let the ghosts of past failures paralyze us and hold us back. We need to be careful not to claim other people successes as our own. At the same time if we don’t believe in ourselves no one else will either. We also need to continually support and nourish our inner spark; treating it gently and with encouragement, not harsh criticism.

The best way to achieve our goals is to keep trying, be persistent even if we fail at first. We also need a clear understanding of our own skills and abilities. After all no matter how hard one might wish for it, if you’re not well coordinated and athletic the odds are you will never be a successful professional basketball player. However that doesn’t mean you can enjoy the experience of playing the sport just for the joy of it.

Finding Clarity in a Hopeless Place (#Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot)

So, I have been in a funk lately. My head is screwed on wrong; I’m stressed, frustrated and discontented. The world seems headed to Hell in a handbasket and focusing on coloring or reading Tarot feels self-indulgent and shallow to me. At the same time, these are the things helping me maintain my sanity and destress and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So I decided to pulls some cards for clarification. I used the Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham and asked: What can help me deal with the current situation and my mental state?

  1. What’s at the roof of my mental state? Knight of Cups Rx
  2. What will help improve it? Knight of Pentacles Rx
  3. What will help me fight off future incidents? Strength Rx

The discontent and dissatisfaction stems from feeling disconnected from divine inspiration; being blocked from achieving my personal grail quest.

The way for me to improve it is to actually manifest things and not get stuck wishing and dreaming. This is the time to move to the next level; move beyond learning into applying what’s been learned.

Preventing future incidences is as simple and as complex as accepting that I have the strength to overcome obstacles; that I didn’t need the feather because I had the ability to fly all the time. I also have to be strong enough to face myself in the mirror and be honest about how I sabotage myself. Sometimes I equate fortitude and inner strength with being stoic and long suffering, a habit I need to break.

So the key focus for me is to explore what brings me joy; quest after my personal grail and accept that things are screwed up right now and there is only so much I can do about it. I also need to prioritize caring for myself. Otherwise I’ll crack up and be if use to no one, especially myself.

#ChattingwithTarot – 10 of Pentacles Rx, Judgement + The Moon (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

Today’s cuppa was the amazingly awesome Viennese Earl Grey blend from Harney & Sons.

My ancestors’ message today, “The best way to break free of that ill-fitting outfit you’re wearing is to look at it from a different perspective. Allow yourself to rise up above what you see as the barreness and emptiness of your life and look up, look forward. Let yourself be open to and aware of other possibilities. Trust your dreams and your inner wisdom and they will guide you to where you are meant to be.”

The 10 of Pentacles has appeared several times for me this week. I know it is often interpreted to indicate a happy family life; having it all. However, in my reality it’s about being forced into a situation I never desired; fitting into a role that was never meant to be mine. As a result it feels like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. I feel like I’m playing it being someone else. I think my ancestors are reminding me that although I have made choices that resulted in limited options in terms of flexibility and personal freedom, that doesn’t mean I’m trapped. If focus on the things that I enjoy and still can do, I will find the freedom I desire. I don’t need to lose sight of my dreams even if there’s no way to manifest them right now.

In fact, this is probably a perfect time to explore those dreams, to reconnect with my inner wisdom, my unconscious, and see if there have been changes. Sometimes it’s easy to get trapped in dreams that have become echoes of the past. This is an opportunity to make sure they’re visions of the future.

#ChattingwithTarot – Judgement, The Star + The Tower (#DreamKeepers #Tarot)

There’s a lot of battered and broken going on here; desolation and devastation, but at the core hope remains. I think my ancestors are reminding me that no matter how bad things get, how destructive they seem, hope remains.

Maybe there are important lessons that must be learned in the brokenness and devastation. What will be built after the rubble is cleared away will be better, stronger and healthier. There are always people willing to fight the good fight and I can choose to be a fighter or become part of the rubble.

My ancestors seem to be reminding me that in my core I’m an optimist. Despite how ugly and unpleasant things may get, I ultimately believe in the human spirit. I believe people are good. The trick is to remind them of that fact.

#ChattingwithTarot – 7 of Swords, Knight of Wands+ 10 of Cup (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

I think the ancestors are reinforcing their message from yesterday; reminding me that finding ways to sharpen my creative saw will come from my heart and spirit, not my mind.  My default mode tends to be overanalyzing and trying to be logical about things but in this situation that would probably prove more obstacle than beneficial.  If I try to be rational and logical I risk missing what will make me happy and fall into what makes sense.  

The mask on the woman in the 7 of Swords reinforces the idea that I hide behind my intellect.  I logic myself into and out of situations and that won’t serve me well here. She even holds the swords against her body as though her intellect can be armor against potential dangers.  Instead of trying to cover myself in armor, I need to find my quest, follow my heart (or my bliss, to invoke an overused cliche).   I need to open myself up to new possibilities and risk being vulnerable.  This is further reinforced by the positions of the cards.  The woman in the 7 of Swords is looking away from the other two cards while the Knight of Wands faces the woman on the 10 of Cups and offers her a rose.  It’s interesting that the woman on the 7 of Swords wears a dress and shoes that remind me of a dancehall costume and the Knight seems to be using the armor as a shield to hide his more traditional suit.  The woman on the 10 of Cups is draped in a diaphanous scarf that barely covers anything.  She is exposed, vulnerable and open as well as confident and content.  She looks down at the cups with fondness as though the memory of the joy they brought her was worth any sacrifice.  She is exposed and vulnerable but doesn’t seem weak or frightened.

Of course, I mistrust being vulnerable and unprotected.  In the past, it has proven to be dangerous and detrimental to my well-being.  However, I am no longer that person.  I think I can face the world without my protective coating and manage to survive, and even thrive upon, whatever is aimed my way.

#ChattingwithTarot – Ace of Cups, 3 of Wands + Strength (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

Today the ancestors are taking the opportunity to remind me that in order to pursue interesting projects or find ways to collaboratively express my creative energies (which they feel is a key to keeping me strong enough to keep moving forward), I need to look in my heart.  I need to find ways to reconnect with that little girl who loved to dance and wanted a tutu. 

Being strong is very useful but sometimes it means I tolerate intolerable situations because I’m “tough”.  As I have often joked, the women in my family are not delicate, china teacups – we’re sturdy, plain mugs able to take the occasional rough patches.  What this has also meant is that we often put up with difficult situations far longer than is healthy.  Strength and fortitude can become burdens if a situation is endured beyond reason.

I think this message is my ancestors reminding me that being able to take a punch can be useful but that doesn’t mean someone who dreams and dances in a tutu is weak.  It’s a different kind of strength  Listening to your heart and following its wishes mean believing in yourself and being willing to look foolish or open yourself up emotionally in order to achieve those dreams.  Am I strong enough to risk having my dreams laughed at if others feel they’re silly?  I like to believe so but I guess time will tell.