Week 7 Autumn Equinox Spread (#TarotReading #LePsychoTarot #52WeekProject)

I found this spread on Litha Rose’s website and thought it would be a great way to celebrate the Sabbat!

1. What is my harvest? (Celebrate this!)  Temperance Rx –  Temperance Rx shows that my harvest is forging the things I want to do and the things I must do into a balanced and cohesive whole.  This is still a work in progress for me but I am very happy with the success I’ve had so far.  Temperance is always a challenge for me because it speaks of moderation and being temperate, neither of which are innate to my nature.

2. How can I best spend this autumn season?  8 of Cups Rx –  Seeing this card made me hear the song Let It Go.  To me, it’s about putting the mourning behind me; about focusing on what I want to bring into my life going forward, not what I have to leave behind. That doesn’t mean I won’t always miss my husband, simply that I won’t lose myself in the grief.

3. How can I best close off this year?  The Chariot – I can best close off this year by taking the reins of my own life. It’s been a challenge since my husband passed away, taking over the responsibility for things that I always let him handle. It’s made me passive in certain aspects of my own life. I think the Chariot is showing that it’s time to pick those reins up again and start becoming more focused about where I want to steer my course.

4. How can I find more balance in my life?   4 of Coins – Unlike the usual imagery for this card, this 4 of Coins seems more about conserving one’s physical essence and tending to ones health. Or maybe that’s what I’m seeing because that is what would be extremely appropriate for me right now. I’ve been so focused on taking care of others for the past few years that I have lost sight of my own health. This card points out that I need to be more balanced in this respect and start to put my own physical concerns and health needs on a par with those of others.

5. What can I find if I descend in the dark and look inward?  2 of Cups Rx – I will find true emotional balance. I will find a way to merge and blend the light and dark halves of my spirit and heart. If there is one thing I’ve learned since my husband died, it’s that a relationship with someone else requires compromise, which forces us to downplay or give up pieces of who we are. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, in a truly beneficial, loving relationship, both parties change certain aspects of their personality in order to maintain a healthy relationship. Perhaps we drop interest in certain things because our partner doesn’t enjoy them. Or we don’t want to force participation in an activity they won’t enjoy. One of the most interesting aspects I’m finding about widowhood is that I don’t have to compromise with anyone anymore. I can do what I want, when I want. That is both amazingly freeing and absolutely terrifying! And I think it pertains to this card because what it’s showing is that right now is that descending into darkness will help me strengthen and further explore my relationship with myself.

Week 3 Tarot Reading – Enthrall Me (#TarotReading #SecretForestTarot #52WeekProject)

So this week I decided to do a little more exploration into The Moon card from my previous reading. In my interpretation I talked about finding something that would enroll in mesmerize me. During a conversation with a friend this week, she asked me what that might be. I realized I don’t necessarily have a clear idea at this point. So, I did what I always do I turned to Tarot to clarify things for me. And these were the cards I drew

I think the 2 of Cups reflects the loss of my husband, the loss of being in a loving, supportive, committed relationship. For so long, my life was focused on being part of a duo now it’s time to move beyond that to become a partner to myself. It reminds me of the book Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself. I think that’s what I need to become enthralled and mesmerized with – falling in love with myself. I need to learn how to be loving and supportive to myself and that’s where I need to focus my energies right now.

The 8 of Swords reversed ties into this by showing that in order to manifest this self-love I need to break free of the brambles in my path. They won’t hold me back unless I allow it. The best way for me to overcome them is to see the situation more clearly and improve my mindset. However it’s hard to see that right now because I feel as though I’m surrounded by brambles and can’t possibly find my way through. It’s rather like the original legend of Sleeping Beauty – the castle in which she slept was surrounded by an impenetrable fence of thorny brambles which presented all but those brave enough to even attempt to break through. Of course, in this situation the brambles aren’t physical they’re psychological and I’m not in need of someone else saving me. I can save myself as long as I believe in myself.

And last, but not least, we come to the Queen of Swords who shows me what will help me continue to nurture this energy. Once again, I am struck by the fact that this is a swords card, which means it’s about my mindset and my beliefs. I have the tools and the skills to cut through all this bullshit holding me back, but I have to actually use them. I can handle being alone but I also need to accept that there will be a learning curve, and cut myself some slack. I have to be realistic about what I can do alone and what I need help to achieve, and be willing to ask for that help when necessary. For me, the Queen of Swords here is about being smart and realistic and not thinking that I can tough it out.

I find it interesting that this reading starts out focusing on my emotions but then focuses on my state of mind. At the end of the day, if my mindset is negative I’m not going to be happy. It’s okay to have bad days but I need to be careful not to lose myself in the bad days. I do have faith in myself and I have the confidence that I can forge a new path going forward. It won’t be easy but I’m up to the challenge. In fact, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Learning to become A Woman in Love with Herself (#Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot)

I recently started reading Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself by Patricia Lynn Reilly (or maybe re-reading it, I’m not sure) and I decided I wanted to focus on some of the ideas I came across in the first chapter (or maybe it’s the first stanza) of the book and do a Tarot reading for myself  So, using my creepily lovely Haunted House Tarot by the amazing Sasha Graham, I asked:
  1. How can I best love myself?  Death
  2. How can I release the impact sins of others have left upon my psyche?  6 of Wands Rx
  3. How can I walk through my past to heal my present?  3 of Cups Rx

Of course, being the snarky soul I am, my first response to Death was “Right, of course I’d have to die in order to learn to love myself.”   Sassy snark aside, I think what Death is truly trying to let me know is that in order to love myself I have to defeat those self-denigrating habits that prevent it.  I need to slay those inner demons who whisper poison in my soul (“you’re not good enough”, “no one really likes you”, “so & so does that much better than you do”), you know the drill.  I’m sure we all have moments when we’re pits of self-loathing with self-esteem and self-worth in the sub, sub-basement.  With the ways things are going lately it’s easy to allows these feelings to become overwhelming, because, as I mentioned in a previous post, being concerned about this kind of inner growth when the world around us seems to be going to shit feels self-indulgent and frivolous.  Well fuck that!  I have made a new resolution that the only way to make things better on a national or global scale is to make things better on a personal scale – as below, so above.  What needs to die are all those self-defeating behaviors and crippling self-doubts.  If I want to transform the world, first I need to transform myself!

The 6 of Wands is interesting because the image shows a woman on horseback freeing herself from the grasps of a crowd of hooded figures.  The LWB mentions that the woman is “breaking free of the brood”.  I think it’s showing me that the potential for feeling victorious & accomplished; the way to appreciate and embrace my achievements is to free myself from those self doubts and inner demons; these psychic scars left upon my soul by others.  The way to victory is to slay those damn fuckers, defeat those who thought they’d permanently damaged me, and let myself emerge transformed and starting to heal.

In the LWB the listing for the 3 of Cups mentions intoxication and drowning in pleasure.  Reversed, I feel as though I’m drowning my sorrows in distractions.  Instead of celebrating I’m self-medicating.  Granted, I’m not pouring booze down my throat but I do indulge in bouts of retail therapy or gorging on unhealthy food choices.  Once again I think the message of the reversal is that the only thing preventing my from celebrating my joy and happiness, exploring my dreams with friends and loved ones is that I need to free myself from those negative beliefs and inner demons (fucking inner demons are such a pain in my ass!).  The way forward is through and I need to charge through them and keep going even as they try to pull me back (I keep envisioning this struggle as Milo trying to free himself from The Doldrums in The Phantom Tollbooth)

I’m feeling rather inspired lately (which is a nice change) and I’m determined to keep moving forward even if my momentum is more like one step forward, two steps back.  At least it’s some progress.  It’s too easy to fall into despair and hopelessness but then they win – the demons both inner and outer, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let that happen.  I’m a fighter and all I need to do now is focus on the win so I can win!

On being an outlier

I’m an outlier, an outsider, an oddball. I often don’t fit in even with groups to which I feel I belong. There is just something under my skin that become itchy when I try to fit in; be part of the group. I often joke that my motto is “Whatever it is, I’m against it” (thank you, Groucho Marx). In reality, it isn’t a joke. Even when it comes to opinions and stances which I share, I can’t help but argue the opposite position if I feel too many have jumped on the bandwagon. I don’t like to feel that I’m part of the majority opinion.  As Groucho also once said, “I wouldn’t want to join a club that would have me as a member.”

I’m not sure why I am this way but I tend to put it down to my parents exhorting me when I was a child not to do things simply because everyone else did. They encouraged me to trust my own opinions and not to be a follower. I may carry this a bit too far. This is both a blessing and a curse, allowing me to defend my positions despite others’ attitudes but also isolating me.

In order to get some clarity about this, I did a reading for myself.

Using the Wizards Tarot, I asked:

How does being an outlier serve me? Knight of Pentacles Rx
How does it hinder me? 2 of Cups Rx
What can I do with this information going forward? The Hierophant Rx

Being an outlier has been a way of protecting myself, of isolating myself before others could exile me. Of course, this also says a lot about some of the earlier relationships I had in my life. I did have occasions where those I believed were “friends” betrayed me or mocked me. It created a very weird dynamic and made me mistrustful and extremely cautious.

This mistrust and caution have also prevented me from forming closer friendships and emotional bonds. I do have friends but they are a small, select group. I don’t really do casual friendships which may explain why Facebook made me so twitchy. To paraphrase a friend of my hubby’s, if you haven’t seen me make a complete ass of myself at least once, you aren’t really my friend.

So, going forward I need to learn from these experiences; to be willing to use it as a learning opportunity. That doesn’t mean I have to change the way I am, simply that I should be more mindful and conscious of what I’m doing and why. Perhaps this will also serve as a tool for helping others who have similar issues.

I am Nobody

I am Nobody. Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Since first reading it, I have been drawn to Emily Dickinson’s poem “I am Nobody”. It speaks to me because I have often felt like a nobody. So I decided to pull a few Tarot cards to gain some insight. I decided to use the Allison M. Garcia Illustrated Blind Person Tarot that I discovered on Etsy.

Why do I feel like nobody? Queen of Cups Rx
How does being a nobody serve me? 10 of Wands
How does it hinder me? Knight of Wands
What would happen if I became somebody? 3 of Cups Rx

I love when Tarot does this, calls me on my bullshit. I feel like nobody because I don’t love myself or trust my insights and intuition. I’m afraid to connect to my deep, emotional nature because it leaves me feeling vulnerable and at risk.

Being nobody serves me by giving me something to grumble about; a burden to carry. It allows me to feel unfairly treated while allowing me to appear sacrificing and long-suffering.

It hinders me because as long as I cling to this delusion it will prevent me from finding my creative spark, my life calling. I’m meant to be active and charging forward. If I can’t channel it in creative, healthy, productive ways then it will find less beneficial ways to express itself.

If I became somebody then I will truly find people with whom to celebrate this joy, in a quiet, non-public way of course. I might alienate some but the odds are the are folks with whom I wouldn’t be simpatico anyway. Being somebody would allow me the freedom to celebrate my weirdness and quirkiness with fellow oddballs – like the Addams Family!

Curious that I drew two reversed Cups and two upright Wands for this reading. Considering how long it has taken me to appreciate Cups energy, I can’t say I’m thrilled to see them but clearly that attitude is part of the issue. Obviously my heart & spirit, my soul and spark are intertwined and if I can’t find the way to embrace both equally I’ll always feel like nobody.

#TarotDaily – The Fool + 4 of Swords (#AllHallows)

Which of your creative gifts are lying dormant? How might you awaken them?

All of my creative gifts are dormant right now because I don’t have faith in them; I’m afraid to express them. One of my biggest challenges has always been to recognize my gifts and accomplishments. I fell into the mindset of believing that if I am good at something, gifted with a skill, then it mustn’t be that difficult. I also resist exploring unfamiliar territory. If I don’t think I can do something well the first time, I avoid trying it. This has limited me in a variety of ways and us something I’d like to move beyond.

I think one I’ve the ways I can awaken these dormant, unexplored creative gifts is to take breaks for myself. I recently decided to spend 15-30 minutes everyday in a mini-retreat. I will spend the time journaling or crafting, listening to music and meditating. This will enable me to shake myself loose from current, stifling patterns. I think this will help me reconnect to existing creative gifts and discover new ones.

#TarotDaily – The Lovers + Queen of Cups Rx (#AllHallows)

Do you remember the last time you felt confident? What can you do to easily access that state (physically and mentally) when it is called for?

I feel confident whenever I think about my marriage. My husband’s support, trust, faith and belief in me helps me remain confident and positive even when my life seems like a shit storm. He is proud of me in all my vocal, assertive brashness. He encourages my weirdness and reminds me of my value.

The way I can easily tap into that state is to look in my own heart and see my hubby’s face reflected there. I’m usually fairly confident but every so often I stumble. When I do, I hear my hubby’s voice in my head & heart encouraging me, supporting me and loving me.

#TarotDaily – The World Rx + 9 of Wands Rx (#AllHallows)

How can I connect with my inner child?

Well, I guess the best way to connect with one’s inner child is to focus inward and not let the world’s crazy or personal daily obligations weigh you down. Focusing on the darkness in the world or personal responsibilities that weigh us down only serves to suck the joy out of life. Sometimes it’s necessary, vitally important, even life saving to take a break and focus on yourself.

Now, of course, the same advice I would give to someone else applies just as much to me but I ignore it all the time. It’s starting to show – the wear & tear; the fraying around the edges. So I have to make a commitment to take small blocks of time for myself everyday. I need to re-acquaint myself with me. I need to reread all those wonderful SARK books I own. I need to browse Jennifer Louden’s Woman’s Comfort Book and Woman’s Retreat Book. I know I can do it if I focus. I’ve done it before. Sometimes being stubborn has it’s advantages.

#TarotDaily – Page of Swords + Ace of Wands Rx (Grand Luxe)

Tarot Hunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • Fear of new ideas and ways of communicating limit your worldview and blunt your creative energies.
  • Self-doubts and inner demons can undermine your creative spirit. A negative internal dialogue douses enthusiasm faster than a bucket of ice water.
  • New creative endeavors and projects start within. If you’re not listening to your soul, you may find it difficult to tap into that fire.

When the High Priestess parts the veil

Over the last year, I’ve given a lot of thought to the High Priestess. She and I have had an on again, off again, sometimes adversarial relationship. I have always resisted seeing myself as psychic or intuitive so I felt that I had nothing in common with the High Priestess (for that matter I’ve always had a strained relationship with The Empress too but that’s another post). Anyway, while looking at the RWS High Priestess one day I was struck by something – I’ve never really considered what lies on the other side of her veil. What is she guarding, blocking, hiding? I know it’s part of her symbolism but it was something I gave only a cursory focus in a reading. At least until now.

Now I finally have an idea what awaits behind her veil – at least for me.I thought about where I am in my life right now. Turning 50 really seems to have thrown a switch in my brain. It’s as if all the previous 20-30+ years of indoctrination and assimilation just fell away; as though the shell encasing me cracked and revealed the true me. Apparently, the true me is much closer to the 13-year-old me than I ever realized. That is what was revealed to me when the High Priestess finally parted the veil. I was finally ready to see what was hidden – the true me, the “me” I was before I tried to fit in and adapt. The feral me, if you will. Quite frankly, she’s a pretty ballsy, awesome, kickass chick.

When I was a teen, my dress code was casual. Boots, jeans, plaid shirts and casual blazers. I loved that look and stuck with it for a long time. It was fine while I was in school but once I started working I needed to upgrade the wardrobe. I’ve never done corporate or dressy well and so I adapted a style that wasn’t really my own but worked. I always felt like I was wearing a costume; like a fake and a phony. However, it felt necessary in order to function effectively at my job. When I dressed too casually, my authority was questioned. So I played the game.

Once I accepted that I would never be returning to that kind of job, I reacquired some of my old favorites – jeans, boots, plaid shirts, and blazers. Of course being a fan of Supernatural means many folks assume I’m emulating the Winchesters’ style, but no, it was mine long before the Winchesters existed. Sorry for the style tangent but my point is that I feel as though I’ve reconnected to the deepest, truest me as symbolized by this style. This is who I was before I was dressing to impress.

It’s been fun and soul satisfying to reconnect to this feral, wild woman. She hasn’t been seen very much over the last few years. Or, more accurately stated, she often showed up at unexpected moments usually connected to alcohol and it wasn’t always comfortable for all involved. She was so suppressed and oppressed that I’m surprised she didn’t throw in the towel and leave the building. Thankfully, she’s as stubborn as I am and hung in there. Getting to know her again has been eye-opening. I look forward to deepening our relationship and re-learning myself.

Perhaps this is the gift, the revelation the High Priestess offers to us. She reveals our true selves once we are ready to handle that revelation. Perhaps this is why people decide to make dramatic life changes when they reach their late 40s/early 50s. Maybe what we’ve always considered mid-life crises are actually attempts to reconnect with our true selves; to find our way back to who we were meant to be. I think it’s going to be an ongoing process but I’m looking forward to the journey.