Archive for January, 2014

Hidden Realms 2 of Pentacles Hidden Realms Queen of Cups

I was inspired to ask this question after looking out my window and seeing the ice sheet covering the nearby water.  It’s a reminder that we are still in winter and its frigid grasp is not yet ready to let go of the land.  It made me wonder what seeds might be germinating in my own life just waiting for the thaw to sprout forth.

The 2 of Pentacles is the perfect successor to yesterday’s Ace.  This card shows a fae creature resting on the grass next to a flower.  She is connected to the heartbeat of the earth and listening to its slow and throbbing pulse.  She is in no rush and her full attention is focused on this one flower.  This card reminds me that there is life throbbing beneath the outer shell in which I’ve encased myself.  It also speaks to me about working with the energies of the season not against them.  Now is the time for germination, planting and encouraging the little seeds to begin sprouting.  It’s time for planning, for dreaming and for preparing the ground for the new seedlings.

The Queen of Cups is the manifestation of who I can become if I am able to trust my more intuitive, receptive side (as shown in yesterday’s 2 of Swords).  For much of my life I’ve avoided this serene, mystical lady’s offering.  Her chalice might as well have been filled with poison.  I was a child of Athena, a creature of logic, intellect and the Sun.  I was the father’s daughter and the receptive, intuitive, dreamy gifts of the Queen of Cups were anathema to me.  I was a warrior, not a dreamer!

Of course now I realize that they are not mutually exclusive and that working with the energies of the Queen of Cups and not losing yourself in the process requires more courage and strength than facing a charging knight on horseback.  She is at home in the dark places in our psyche.  She can guide us into those depths we so often avoid and fear.  As Barbara Moore writes in the companion book, a drink from her chalice forces you to scry your soul and is not for cowards.  Her chalice can bring healing but true healing is not for the faint of heart.  Soul healing requires us to look at those dark places in our soul and embrace them.  I see the Queen of Cups healing as a process of soul retrieval and it can be risky for the untrained or unprepared.

Combined these cards remind me that this process takes time and must be nurtured and carefully tended to be successful.  It’s a gift that must be earned and worked towards (at least for me) and in the process my soul may be scoured.  I love a good challenge but the reality is that the harder I intentionally try to achieve this goal, the quicker it slips from my grasp.  It’s not something I can gain by active and assertive methods.  I have to be still and listen, allow myself to open to the message from the Queen of Cups and finally be willing to drink the draught when it and if it is finally offered.

Hidden Realms 2 of Swords Hidden Realms Ace of Pentacles

The 2 of Swords speaks to me of trust and wisdom; blending mind smarts and heart smarts, solar and lunar, assertive and passive. It speaks to me of allowing my extroverted, solar, assertive side to submit to my introverted, lunar, receptive nature. The truth is that trusting my hidden, shadowy, more intuitive side will not harm my more outward, rational nature. In fact it will enhance it and allow me to be more flexible, full developed and multi-dimensional. I get the sense of initiating myself into the mysteries of the unseen

The Ace of Pentacles shows an adorable hedgehog barely visible among the surrounding leaves and vines. He seems a shy little creature, just peaking out to let you know that he’s there even if I can’t see him. He reminds me that sometimes the work needs to be done in the shadows and outside of the view of others. It’s a reminder that groundwork needs to be done and small steps taken before goals can be achieved. These small steps should not be disdained because they may lead to amazing things.

These two cards combine to remind me that if I plan to pursue a career as a Tarot reader then I need to become more comfortable trusting and working with my intuitive, psychic nature. This may prove to be a challenge for me because it’s so different from my usual modus operandi but I think it’s a key component to succeed at this transition. I also need to accept that even succeeding in this new endeavor probably won’t give me the external validation I used to receive from my past career. I’ll be helping people in smaller ways that might not be visible to anyone else. I’ll need to develop different validation tools.

When I first looked at the Ace of Pentacles I thought the hedgehog was a mouse. This was interesting to me because during a shamanic workshop I learned two of my power animals are cougar and mouse. I’m more at home with cougar’s assertive, aggressive energy. Mouse is a quieter, shyer energy. I think drawing this card is also telling me it’s time to do more work with mouse energy

Tarot of the Crone Ace of Cups Tarot of the Crone Magician

Oh my goodness – this ties in beautifully with the message I received yesterday.  It seems that the biggest challenge I need to face is loving myself.  In order to manifest the things I want in life I have to believe I deserve them.  In order to believe that I need to love myself.

The woman’s face on the Ace of Cups seems joyful, strong and serene as it is washed by the rain.  I love that feeling of lifting my face up to the sky and letting the rain just wash down over me.  On a gorgeous Spring day it leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed.  That is the energy I need to tap into now.  I need to refresh and renew my caring for myself.  It’s so easy to put self-care on the back burner when you are caring for others but I have to remember to make myself a priority too.  I’ve said it before but never managed to achieve that goal.  It’s time to stop the bullshit.

The Magician is an awesome figure; somewhat scary and overwhelming but reassuring too.  It looks like a big maw just waiting to devour whatever lies in its path.  It hangs above a cave or opening and I must pass through to claim my power.  I must face what frightens me and enter the darkness to find what I seek.  I’m not sure what scares me more – failing or succeeding.

The bottom line is that if I don’t try I’ll be forever haunted by “what ifs”.  I’ve always appreciated the saying “the only regrets I have are for things I haven’t done” and the idea that it’s better to regret things you’ve done than things you didn’t do.  I have enough “what ifs” in my life and I want to reduce the number I add to my life moving forward.  It’s time to let love for myself refresh me and strengthen me as I enter that dark cave and find the treasure hidden within.  I know I can do this.

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords Tarot of the Crone 2 of Cups

The pile of crystal point on the 5 of Swords reminds me of a kids’ TV game show that used to feature 3 adolescents competing in various physical activities.  The final event was scaling something called the Agrocrag (or Megacrag depending on which variation).  This image reminds me of that Agrocrag – a pile of geometric shapes that needed to be approached with caution.  The tip of this pile of crystals point directly at me.  It suggests I need to be pierced or have something punctured.  It reminds me of a spear point.

I think what needs to be pierced is my retreat into a world of the mind.  I don’t actually live here most of the time but it is a well-honed and well-used defense mechanism.  Intellectualization and rationalization are two of my most effective mechanism for avoiding actually doing stuff.  I can think of loads of reasons why something shouldn’t work or why I shouldn’t bother to try something new.  It’s a brilliant method of staying stuck in a rut.  If I want to take a more active role in my life then I need to get the hell out of that rut and puncture that fear of failure, ego-driven approach to life.

The reversed 2 of Cups seems to be a heart cracked open and pouring love down on me.  I am surrounded by it and awash in it.  I get such a gentle, warm and nurturing energy from this card (I think the coloring of Ellen’s Cups in this deck makes it one of my favorite versions of the suit).  It reminds me of a prayer I learned in Catholic elementary school about the “most sacred heart of Jesus”.  It included the line “take it and place it in your open, broken heart” (or at least that’s how I heard it).  At the time the imagery creeped me out (it was right up there with the line “if I should die before I wake” in another prayer), but looking at this image I feel as though that open broken heart is not damaged at all simply loving and giving.  It is healing me and allowing me to grow stronger as a result.

I have always considered myself an extrovert but today I took an online Myers-Briggs Personality test and the results were ISFP.  To say I was surprised to see that I scored higher (although not by much) on the introvert scale was something of a surprise.  Then I read the description and it did click.  Especially this paragraph “This personality trait is connected with ISFPs’ love of freedom – ISFPs are very independent and fiercely resist all forms of control. People with this personality type are the ultimate “free souls”, seeing nearly all rules, guidelines and traditions as self-imposed limitations that make life dull and boring. ISFPs live completely in the present, refusing to dwell on the past or prepare extensive plans for the future – they take things as they come, experimenting and adapting their behavior as necessary.”

I love this description so of course I’ll embrace and accept it (I have the same reaction to any and all descriptions I’ve ever read of my Leo sun sign).  Reality is that depending upon my mood when I take these tests and how I chose to interpret the questions I have received different answers in the past.  I’ve always viewed myself as an extroverted introvert.  I do believe I’m more introverted but I have a well developed extroverted side.  As a result I tend to avoid “touchy-feely” stuff, at least I used to be this way.  Recent developments in my life have forced me to become more fully acquainted with my nurturing, caregiver side – my inner Queens of Cups and Pentacles if you will.  I fully embrace and embody my Queens of Wands and Swords but those Cups – ewwww!!!  The Queen of Pentacles and I have always been on a cordial, friendly footing even if we’re not always on a first name basis.  The Queen of Cups – oh please I’d rather have root canal than enter her realm.

Even as a child reading Greek mythology I was more drawn to Persephone, Athena and Artemis.  I avoided Aphrodite and Demeter – mothering and sexuality, NOOOOO!!!  I wanted to be a Valkyrie not a mermaid.  Now I’m a Work At-Home Caregiver (a WAHC if you will) and have learned that patience, kindness and nurturing are the order of the day.  Becoming overly excited or trying to be logical and intellectual in this situation is a waste of time and effort and a surefire path to frustration.  So now that I’m learning to be less judgmental and harsh with others maybe I can learn to be less judgmental and harsh with myself.  By Freya’s necklace!!  Is is possible I’m a deep diver pretending to be a noisy, shallow stream?  Or maybe I’m both depending on day, mood and situation.  What a conundrum!!  I am complex!

If I want to take a more active role in my own life I need to stop hiding behind crystalline walls of logic and intellect.  I need to topple that pile of crystal points and allow the love, tenderness and caring pouring from the 2 of Cups rain down on me and gently wash away those fears and doubts.  It’s time to turn things inside out and stop seeking the answers in books.  I need to trust my heart, find other loving, caring people to help support me and accept support from me.  I need to love those that come to me for answers and offer them compassion and kindness blended with some logic and reality.  It’s about balance – both aspects have their benefits and it’s time to allow them to blend into a marvelous, beautiful and healing whole.

Tarot of the Crone 6 of Swords Crone 9 of Disks

The other day I pondered what conflicts me about more assertively pursuing a career as a professional Tarot reader.  One of my main issues is the need to promote and market myself.  Another is that I’m not fully comfortable accepting reading requests when I know there will be times I’m not in the mood to proffer the requested service.  I’ve reached out to several friends about the issue and received some very helpful advice many of which involve changing my mindset about the entire process.

So today I decided to take another look at how to works towards settling this matter.  I drew the 6 of Swords which reminds me of a faceted gem or panes in a window.  On one level this image speaks to me of being a piece of a bigger whole; to make sure that Tarot readings are one part of who I am and what I do.  It’s a reminder that I can compartmentalize aspects of my life so that they create a comprehensive and complementary mosaic.

The 9 of Disks reminds me that no one can do it alone.  I need to make sure I have a community of friends and loved ones that can help me through times when I’m frustrated, annoyed or feel like a failure.  I need to build a safe space, whether virtual or real, where I can be myself and let it all hang out without worries that I’ll upset someone or be perceived in a negative light.

The two of these cards together remind me that life if a puzzle, a patchwork quilt of different experiences, different relationships and different desires.  I don’t have to always be “on” or in the mood to do readings for clients but what I must do is treat it as a profession and provide services to the best of my ability.  Even if I am not feeling in the mood the client has been brought to me by the Universe for a reason.  I own the client and the divine my respect and diligent efforts to give the best possible service.  My ego needs to be taken out of that equation.  It might be easy but at least now I have a clearer and more realistic attitude and approach to the situation.

Tarot of the Crone Witch of Cups Tarot of the Crone Devil

Seeing these two cards was a bit of a shock – Ellen’s Devil is no joke.  This image is a bit terrifying and seeing it made me rear back a bit.  What the hell message is this devil giving me?  I actually called for backup interpreting this because I am too close and likely to miss something.

The Witch of Cups with her dancing, flowing energy sings to me of dancing to my own music, singing my own song.  I can hear Karen Carpenter’s amazing voice singing “don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.  Just sing, sing a song.”  That’s the energy I’m receiving from this card.  She’s dancing a tale of living a genuine, soulful life; of being true to your deepest self.  Her arms are raised towards the sky as though she embraces the Universe in all its wonder.

The Devil with her fearsome visage is repellant.  She eats her own arms and is surrounded by fearsome teeth just waiting to devour her in return.  How many times have felt as though I was eating myself alive; tortured by self-doubt and inner demons?  In this situation I thing that is a piece of this cards message for me.  In the companion book Ellen writes “I am the Fear that binds you, the Hate that eats you, the Pain that never lets go.”  Whoa!  That’s not exactly reassuring.  Then again reassurance is not what I’m seeking here.  I need to face the issues that are holding me back from living as the Queen of Cups.  The Devil reminds me that it’s my own fears, hates and pains that twine and twist around me until I can’t get free.

I need to face and embrace these fears, hates and pain before I can be truly free and live a truer life.  Some of what imprisons me are external factors – family obligations and financial realities.  There is a limit to what I can do to change those factors.  However the internal factors are ones I can face, embrace and release.  So what are those factors?  On some level self-doubts still linger but I believe those are minimal at this point.  I think the others factors are more predominant right now.

One of those factors is my aversion to reading Tarot professionally.  It’s no a reluctance to ask for payment for services rendered.  I am a firm believer that many people feel that get what they pay for so free readings are not as valued as they should be.  My issue is that I don’t like the idea of having to do a reading for someone when I’m not in the mood because I’ve been paid for the service.  It gives me a sense of being a dancing monkey – throw some coins my way and watch me perform.  Now that I admit this is an issue for me I can decide how to proceed.

A friend suggested that another factor is that I’m still feeling the after effects of being fired.  Despite the fact that it was over 5 years ago and I know it was not due to my performance it still deeply shook my faith in myself.  If it wasn’t due to my performance then it was my personality – something I can do much less to change.  Of course on another level I know the situation was due more to the issues of the “the boss” than me.

Looking at this image I was struck by the idea that once I have devoured the parts of myself that are dead and not helpful anymore I can give birth to my new self.  Like maggots that eat away the dead flesh, I need to cut away aspects I don’t need anymore.  I am changing and reaching a point where many of my former self-defense mechanism are no longer helping.  I need to develop new coping strategies and new approaches to my life.  Once I do that I can release he fears, hates and pains that are holding me back.  Acknowledging them is the first step to defeating and releasing them.  I feel that I’m on my way.

Tarot of the Crone 4 of Disks Crone Witch of Disks

Okay so this deck is offering me repeat messages that I may be incorrectly interpreting.  Yesterday I drew the 2 of Disks reversed and the Shadow of Disks – which were exactly the same two cards I drew the day before.  Today I once again drew the Witch of Disks paired with the 4 of Disks reversed.  I drew the Witch of Disks last week as well, although she was reversed in that appearance.

I’m realizing that I need to do some reassessing and reevaluating.  I think yesterday’s Shadow of Disks is a reminder that I need to get back to the bare bones of myself – who I am and what I what to do.  Looking at the Witch of Disks, I think she can help me achieve that goal.

The messages I’m receiving from the Tarot of the Crone seem to be pointing me to the realm of the Dark Goddess.  I realized as I spend time working with that deck that I am very comfortable with that energy and realm although I am not especially drawn to lunar energies.  I am a dark solar being – a black hole sun if you will.  The Lady on the Witch of Disks reminds me of the dark feminine energy portrayed with such power and beauty in the Dark Goddess Tarot.

The 4 of Disks reversed with its image of a 4-poster bed speaks to me of stability and security; the need to have a save place, a home base.  Right now I’m almost a prisoner of the house so it may be safe and stable but it’s not especially enjoyable.  The High Priestess painting hanging above the bed suggests I’ll find more answers by connecting with that energy as well.  I’ll eventually work this out for myself.  It make take longer than I’d like and perhaps the destination won’t be what I initially planned but I get the sense I’ll be pleased with the results.

Tarot of the Crone 2 of Disks Tarot of the Crone Shadow of Disks

The 2 of Disks is interesting in this deck because the image looks the same whether it is upright or reversed.  The only difference might be the focus of this card’s energy.  At first I rather had a simple message of maintaining balance and perhaps finding ways of partnering with others.  Then I had an amazing conversation with the wonderful Nancy Antenucci and during the conversation she pointed out that this card might refer to finding the balance between my left and right brains (which had come up during our chat).  Whenever I’ve taken self-administered tests to determine if I’m left-brain or right-brain focused the results are very close, almost evenly split.  I often find that my analytical brain battles my intuitive brain (for lack of better terms).  I can serve as the pathway between these two spheres.

And I once again drew the Shadow of Disks.  Quite a scary card – a wasteland.  It seems so desolate and barren; not a fun place to visit.  And yet many spiritual traditions have adherents journey into the wilderness or wasteland for a vision quest.  Even Jesus spend days in the desert by himself before he began his ministry.  My Wasteland might ultimately prove to be a path for me, a way to help others and be a spiritual helper for those who feel isolated, desolate and lost in the wilderness.

Maybe my Libra rising makes me a good connector, a bridge; someone who can help others find the balance between two extremes – solar/lunar, right-brained/left-brained, dark goddess/bright goddess, feminine/masculine.  Then again maybe I’m just blowing smoke up my own ass.  Time will tell.  I’ve always believed I was meant to make a difference in the world no matter how small.  Maybe this is my opportunity.

Tarot of the Crone Shadow of Disks Tarot of the Crone Tower

I’m stuck in a barren, lifeless place; a monotonous and colorless landscape.  I feel as though all the juice has been sucked out of my life.  I am alone, isolated and dried up.  No water or vegetation is visible.  Yeah, I think that pretty much sums up how I feel about my life right now.  It’s a sun-bleached desert; a beige and barren wasteland.  And yet when I look closer there is some life visible.  An ant and spider manage to survive in this sere environment.  They remind me that there is always a way to survive and perhaps even thrive no matter how empty things may seem.

The Tower just pulses with energy – rage, anger, fury, call it what you want it reaches out of the card and slaps you in the face.  Looking at this card I’m reminded of the character Magdalene Sanger in a romance novel called A.K.A. Goddess.  Maggi is the latest in a long line of Grail Keepers dedicated to recovering and protecting the various grails that emerge throughout history.  At one point in the book she becomes furious about a situation releases a “Melusine scream” – a cry of rage, betrayal and unearthly power.  That is what I see when I look at this card.  It is the shriek that shatters reality as you know it.

In this case I think this shattered mask offers me a two-folk message.  On the one hand this is the Universe or perhaps The Morrigan shrieking at me in a raven’s caw telling me to cut the shit.  It’s time to face facts – I know the answer to this question but I’m not fully embracing it.  This image is also me.  It telling me that when I have decided enough is enough I have the power and ability to shatter the behaviors and attitudes that are preventing me from being as healthy as I can.  I can break free of those patterns and change them.  All I have to do is decide that I’ve had enough.

If I find myself trapped in a wasteland it’s because that’s all I’m allowing myself to see.  If I want to leave that landscape then I need to shatter the false beliefs and lazy habits that have caused me wander her in the first place.  It’s fairly simple to understand but not so easy to implement.

Tarot of the Crone Crossroads Tarot of the Crone 3 of Cups

That both these cards are reversed tells me that this is a time to focus within and that this is an issue which I’ve already addressed in the past.  In other words I already know this answer and the Tarot is getting a bit tired of answering the same question unless I do something with the answer.

I think what I need to focus my energy on is why I’m not making the choices I know need to be made.  Why am I not taking the necessary steps to achieve the goals I desire?  I don’t even need to pull a card to answer that one – fear and laziness.  Not doing something is so much easier than actually doing it.  If I never try then I can never fail.  The two biggest areas in my life that exemplify this behavior are my lack of progress changing my eating patterns and with establishing myself as a professional Tarot reader.  I regularly proclaim that I wish to accomplish both these goals but do almost nothing to actually reach them.

The red hooded figure on the Crossroads card tells me there are choices to be made and I can’t keep hiding from them.  The red of her cloak reminds me of joy.  It is a bright, cheerful red that speaks to me of the possibilities for happiness that making these choices can manifest.

The two figures on the 3 of Cups are also garbed in shades of red.  They seem to resonate a sense of serenity and joy.  It’s as though they are in perfect harmony with each other and with their environment; a harmony which I’m denying myself.

Taken as a team, these two cards are telling me that before I can fully experience and manifest joy and happiness in my life I need to make some changes.  It’s time to make the hard choices and stop trying to hide from them.  It’s time to make choices that will bring joy, fulfillment and happiness into my life.  The reality is that not making a choice is still a choice.  Why take the passive route when I can be more assertive and fully participate in creating that joy in my life?

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