The healing gift of a fart joke

Baubo Siren of Earth Dark Goddess Tarot

My message from the Dark Goddess Tarot for today was Baubo the Siren of Earth. Baubo is a bawdy, rowdy and raunchy Greek goddess best known for her role in the Demeter/Persephone myth. Baubo is an old nurse in the house of King Celeus who makes a desolate and mourning Demeter laugh by lifting her dress and showing off her private parts. Now that’s someone willing to do anything for a laugh. Baubo seems to function as comic relief during the Eleusinian mysteries, breaking the emotional tension and stress with a well-placed raunchy maneuver.

This is the second time I’ve pulled Baubo in three days. Clearly she has a message for me that I am either missing or haven’t fully embraced yet. When I consider her legend and look at the image on the card I am struck by the absurdity of it all. We often treat women’s genitals as something either too uncivilized for polite conversation or too gross. Baubo couldn’t care less – she lets it all hang out. So what if she’s described as a crone with withered genitals, she’s showing them off to get a laugh. She refuses to be bound by societal expectations and regulations.

Baubo’s myth brings two things to mind for me. The first is that when things seem darkest and most gut-wrenching, that is when we most need to laugh. Sometimes life is just nonsensical, absurd and ridiculous. If we allow it to these absurdities can easily overwhelm us and suck the joy out of our existence. The best way to counter this is with a good laugh. I know there are days dealing with my in-laws when the very monotony and tediousness of it makes me want to pull my hair out. Baubo reminds me that putting on a raunchy comedy (not some cerebral, satirical movie but a juvenile movie filled with fart jokes and sexual innuendo) can help relieve the stress and strain.

Baubo also reminds that I don’t need to do anything according to societal expectations. I do not care for my in-laws because it’s expected or required. I am doing it because I choose to do it; because I love them and want them to remain at home in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. If laughing at the ridiculousness of what goes on around here and in the world in general helps me maintain my equilibrium then bring on Meatballs, Caddyshack and Grandma’s Boy!!

I realize that “funny” means different things to different people and I make no claims to expertise in this area. I only know what has worked for me when in that kind of place – ridiculous, silly, practically juvenile comedy. When I’m in a dark place certain types of comedy just irritate me because what should be humorous becomes all too commonplace and triggers my cynical side (Bart Simpson I’m looking at you). So the next time you feel frazzled caring for loved ones (infant or elderly), the next time the news has put you in a deep funk, the next time your job has gotten on your last nerve take a page from the Baubo handbook – go rowdy, raunchy and ridiculous to rejuvenate and relieve the stress.

Green Man Tree Oracle Quert/Apple

Today I drew the fid Ceirt.  Erynn Rowan Laurie writes this:  Ceirt, along with h-Úath, is one of the most challenging ogam feda. Its meaning of a rag or a shrub links it in my mind with the practice of tying rags to clootie trees in Ireland and Scotland as an appeal for healing (McManus uses the “shrub” or “bush” definition, while Meroney suggested that the word was translated as “a rag”. I found the connections between both of these suggested meanings useful enough that I have chosen to use both, though Meroney’s definition is probably not correct.). These trees are often found at sacred wells or on fairy mounds, and are significant for being very much associated with Otherworldly beings and energies that can be fickle and unpredictable.

The apple, on the other hand, is often associated with the Otherworld in its most positive aspects. In fact, one of the Irish Otherworlds was named Eamhain Ablach, the Realm of Apples. It is one of the favored mythological foods throughout the Celtic islands, not unlike hazelnuts. Found on magical branches and eaten in Otherworldly feasts, the apple looms large in insular Celtic myth.

The complex of meanings surrounding this fid often point to intense frustration and even self-destructive activity. When it comes up in a reading, be careful of sudden changes in fortune or capricious individuals. It’s associated with bad luck and with psychological problems, but because of its linked association with clootie trees, there can also be an element of hope to this fid that h-Úath lacks. In divination, it can point to a situation of poverty or illness that is temporary, or to setbacks in a person’s life or situation.

Misfortune, frustration, poverty, illness, and bad luck are part and parcel of Ceirt’s chthonic current. A need for caution or retreat may manifest here, reflecting difficult physical or emotional circumstances. You may be approaching a situation with timidity, damaging yourself in the process. Look to the surrounding feda for clarification of your situation. When dealing with difficult people, malice may be involved; be sure it is not your own. Be very careful that you are not acting as your own worst enemy.

Linked Concepts: Poverty, illness, fleeing, retreat, madness, insanity, ill luck without total loss, psychological issues and problems, the hope for healing from illness or madness.

So I asked Tarot:  Where in my life am I frustrated? 9 of Cups, 4 of Swords + Prince of Pentacles R (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft 9 of Cups 53 DruidCraft Prince of Pentacles

So let’s see, I’m frustrated in having my wishes granted, getting some true rest and moving forward to manifest my goals and desires. Gee, isn’t that just grand! Okay I’m being facetious but the reality is that this is a pretty accurate description.

My wishes are fairly simply right not but not very likely to happen because I want my life back. That is just not in the cards right now. How appropriate that this fid is associated with frustration, misfortune and even madness because those words are an accurate description of how I feel right now. The lordly figure on this card seems to be celebrating his good fortune, surveying his wealth and gifts. I can’t do that right now. Not that I don’t have blessings (I do and I’m grateful for them). It’s simply that I can’t focus on them. It’s hard to appreciate the good things in your life when the frustrating, exhausting ones are more assertive.

The 4 of Swords points out that I’m frustrated because I feel as though I get no rest; not time to myself just to think. Meditation, study, even simply pondering life are difficult right now. I suppose it isn’t fair to say it’s impossible but it’s extremely challenging. I wish I had time to sit in the lea of a tree and think important thoughts.

The Prince of Pentacles reversed is reminding me that I’m frustrated by my own lack of progress. It’s one thing to be cautious and practical in one’s pursuits and endeavors. It’s another to be stuck in place and never move forward. I can’t shield or protect myself from what is going on in my life but that doesn’t meed things should stay at a standstill. That might be the most frustrating aspect of all.

I can’t say these frustrations are surprising. They reinforce what I already know. Assessing these frustrations with an impartial eye might help me figure out how to change them. I realize that won’t happen all at once but taking even a baby step will help change this dynamic and perhaps lessen some of this frustration.

These cards have also reinforced something that’s been bothering me lately – my tendency to avoid. I am starting to believe I’ve raised avoidance to an art form. I’ve always been a procrastinator. In fact throughout high school and college I was notorious for waiting until the last minute to complete assignments (unless I was working as part of a team). I always received good grades so the incentive to change this behavior just wasn’t there. My hubby used to joke that if I actually applied myself I’d have a 4.0 GPA. I just wasn’t that motivated to try any harder. AT my core, I think I’m rather lazy.

This laziness is a rut, a defense mechanism. If I don’t actually try anything then I can’t actually fail at it. It’s a ridiculous response to this situation but at the same time there is a certain logic to it. The problem with is that I still end up feeling like a failure. I am a smart, accomplished, caring and loving person. I can be funny and generous and I can be harsh and judgmental (in other words I’m perfectly human like everyone else). I need to find ways to motivate and inspire myself so that I break free of this rut and manifest the changes of which I know I’m capable.

DruidCraft Prince of Swords

I asked that Tarot one last question about this issue “How can I change this pattern?” and I drew the Prince of Swords. I need to harness my energies, make a plan and stick with it. Planning and follow through are going to be the keys to changing these frustrations. At the same time I need to embrace the messages I’ve received over the past few days about healing. I still have healing work to do on myself and I need to be careful not to beat myself up if things don’t change as quickly as I think they should. It’s a fine balancing act and one that will take effort and focus to achieve.

Green Man Tree Oracle NGetal

“When nGétal appears in divination, it suggests that health is or should be a priority now. It may indicate the danger of injury when paired with h-Úath or other challenging feda. In positive readings, it may suggest that an injury or illness is healing, or that a course of treatment for a chronic health problem may be going well. It can be a reminder to watch your health or to get something checked on that you might otherwise consider minor. It is a very hopeful fid to draw for those who are ill, as it implies active and progressing healing and the restoration of health and wellbeing.

Linked Concepts: Wounding, death, beneficial magic, healers and doctors, good health, wellbeing, regeneration, hope.” – Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Based on the insights offered in Erynn’s Ogam book, I asked the Tarot this question:

How can I start healing myself? Prince of Pentacles R, 7 of Wands + Justice (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Prince of Pentacles DruidCraft 7 of Wands DruidCraft Justice

I see the reversed Prince of Pentacles as telling me that I’m going to slow; being too plodding. It’s one thing to be cautious and well-prepared; another to procrastinate. I’m procrastinating. I know what steps I need to take to improve my health but I’m putting them off. Avoidance will cure nothing. If I want to manifest good health in my life and heal my body then I need to take action. I don’t need to go from zero to 60 in 10 seconds flat but I at least need to start making a few changes.

The 7 of Wands is telling me I need to be more fierce and vigilant in guarding and defending my personal space and time. Yes, I’m in a situation where I need clearly defined alone time – no internet, no cell phone and no in-laws. So far I’ve been putting my needs in this area as very low on the priority list, something easily ignored or put off until later. I need to stop doing that for my own mental health.

Justice is reminding me that balance and fairness are important. I’ve lost sight of that. To be fair to the in-laws, I also need to figure out ways to meet their needs for physical and intellectual stimulation too. Maybe a walk outside or watching the ducks would do it. Sometimes the mom-in-law can’t focus on things like that but it’s worth a shot. Of course it would also be a good idea to make sure I’m meeting my own needs for physical and mental stimulation. Watching TV and browsing the internet are all well and good but they should be kept to a minimum.

I think I’m finally getting on the right track. If I take it slow and easy I think I’ll eventually reach my goal. I sometimes have a tendency to want immediate results and when that doesn’t happen I quit. It’s time to change those patterns because clearly they are not working for me.

Green Man Tree Oracle Gort/Ivy

In her book Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom, Erynn Rowan Laurie writes this about Gort:

“When Gort appears in a reading, it may indicate that a period of prosperity is coming, and a little more patience is required to get there. It can suggest that you look to the blessings in your life and be thankful for them. It frequently indicates a happy situation or a place of safety.

Sometimes Gort suggests that you pull back from your activity and find yourself a safe and sheltered place for rest, particularly when it appears with nGétal. This is the place for incubation and restoration, a need for peace and quiet and nurturance.”

So I asked the cards:  What needs to be cultivated in my life so that abundance will grow?  Prince of Swords R, The World R + Princess of Cups R (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Prince of Swords DruidCraft The World DruidCraft Princess of Cups

The Prince of Swords reversed is showing that now is a time for reflection and thoughtfulness. It’s not about what the rest of the world thinks about what I need, it’s about what I think i need. It’s also about creating an action plan and not just waiting for things to work themselves out. slow down, think things through and make a plan. It’s about exploring my own thoughts and goals not what others expect. He might also be reminding me that I’m avoiding thinking and making decisions about tough issues – the in-laws’ and their future care. I can’t keep hoping things will work out for the best.

The World R is telling me I can’t take the world’s problems on my shoulders. I can’t be the world to others. I need to surround myself with things that will allow me to feel fulfilled, satisfied and help release some of the stress. I need to seclude myself in my own secret garden to recharge my batteries and enrich my life so that I can still help others.

The Princess of Cups R is reminding me that I need to listen to my inner voice, trust my instincts and get more in touch with my own feelings about this situation instead of getting stuck in my head and trying to convince myself everything will work out okay. Hard decisions need to be made and no matter how much I want to avoid facing it, I can’t.. I need to trust my heart and respect my feelings about this situation.

I’m getting a sense that things are coming to a head and I need to prepare myself to make some very difficult decisions. Our choices may not be what I’d like but they are what they are and we need to face that.

Today I drew the Ogam Edad/Aspen(?)

18

According to Erynn Rowan Laurie in her book Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom, Edad is important where healing is done by dream incubation and interpretation, or when wounds go deeper than the physical body. It can also be useful in work where the healer makes journeys into the Otherworlds as part of the healing process.

Linked Concepts:
Divination, dreams, contracts and relationships with spirits, vision-seeking, intoxication, discernment, enlightenment and the tools used to reach it, communication with the Sidhe and Otherworldly beings, connections with the Otherworld.

What deep healing do I need to do for myself? 4 of Swords R, The Hermit R + 4 of Cups R

53 09 DruidCraft 4 of Cups

I need to really give myself a time to rest and recuperate. I need time alone to explore new territories, interests and ideas. I need to look at what is causing the dissatisfaction and ennui in my life so that I can break free of it.

The deep healing I need to do is a direct result of the relentless responsibilities we’ve been dealing with and its accompanying exhaustion. I have no alone time. Even when I go somewhere, I’m always concerned and worried about what is going on at home. When I’m home there is no break, no downtime. If one in-law isn’t acting up then the other is. It’s rather like having two old, colicky children.

I suppose what I need to do is start thinking about myself. Not being selfish but giving myself some care; tending to my needs. Being selfless may get one into heaven but it will also break your spirit in the process. I have no desire to get any more broken than I already am.

This reading reinforces the reality that I am weary, worn-out and exhausted beyond belief. It has passed physical exhaustion and moved into a spiritual exhaustion. I am reaching a point where I don’t care about anything. It’s time to start taking steps to change things. I’m not sure how things will turn out but something has to give. This situation isn’t healthy for any of us anymore.

BoS So Below 2 of Pentacles BoS So Below 7 of Wands

Out of balance and out of confidence – yes, I’d say that describes me right now.  I’m still feeling like a bit of a mess.  Don’t get me wrong, I had fun exploring the nature of extraterrestrials but in the long haul that won’t help me figure out what I want to do next with my life.

In the companion book, Barbara Moore offers the interpretation “stressed; too much to do; unable to give anything its proper attention”.  In some ways this is a relief.  Maybe the reason I’m feeling off balance and disconnected with the flow is because I just can’t do it right now.  I’m trying to force something that just isn’t meant to happen right now.  Sometimes I feel as though I’ being a slug.  I’m not actually working on anything and I’m finding it difficult to focus.  On the other hand I have a lot on my plate.

I sometimes think I don’t realize how exhausting it is to care for the in-laws.  They both require continuous (continual) attention and long-term supervision.  We can leave them alone for a few ours but no overnight or for any longer length of time.  Even the simplest of tasks like preparing dinner can become challenging if something goes wrong with one of them.  Sleeping has become challenging because my mother-in-law has developed a new habit of taking 3-4 hour “naps” and then waking up full of energy and wanting to talk.  Right now we feel as sleep deprived as the parents of most newborns.

For the 7 of Wands reversed, Barbara offers this insight – “feeling defensive or overly protective”.  Looking at the woman on this card I can honestly say I was that woman.  When I worked in the non-profit sector I regularly facilitated training sessions, organized staff development workshops, developed programs and wrote grant applications.  I knew I was good and I think that was conveyed in how I conducted myself (hell, there were times I was downright arrogant).  Those days are long gone.  Right now I feel like a complete failure at everything; someone that no person in their right mind would hire.  In fact there are days when the idea of being in any group setting fills me with terror.  Okay I’m overstating things a bit but I’m not really far from the mark here.  Apparently I am quite an externally focused person when it comes to validation and feedback I need to hear it from someone else.

So I think what I need to explore next in my life is how I can regain a sense of balance and confidence.  Instead of pushing myself to accomplish some elusive goal I need to focus on what I can do and how to keep my sanity.  Goals and a mission statement are all well and good but maybe I’m trying to run when I’m barely able to walk.  Perhaps scaling things down, taking baby steps will be more beneficial for me right now.  Beating myself up about what I can’t and haven’t done is pointless and just makes things worse.  I think I need to ease up on myself and focus on feeling better and just finding what joy I can in the day to day things.

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.

Bohemian Gothic 6 of Pentacles 12

 

I feel as though I’m in a dark, lonely space right now. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt quite so hopeless and isolated. This situation with the in-laws just keeps getting worse and everything else around me seems to be going to shit as well. The Tarot cards I’ve drawn over the last few days have not exactly been beacons of hope either. I’m not sure if they’re simply reflecting my dark mood or if they’re trying to give me a deeper message; forcing me to face this darkness and fight to move passed it.

Yesterday I drew the 3 of Swords crossed by The Sun reversed. The day before that it was the 5 of Pentacles reversed crossed by the 10 of Wands reversed. If I focus really, really hard I can come up with fairly positive interpretations for both these readings but my initial reaction to both was rather bleak.

Today’s card only seem to add to the gloom. The 6 of Pentacles crossed by The Hanged Man reversed suggests that I’m going to need to give more and that’s probably not going to change any time soon. Looking at the 6 of Pentacles from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot I am struck by the image of a woman holding a baby while a rather severe looking bearded man stands there staring at her. In my head I get the sense that he is requiring payment of her first-born child for some service rendered. I feel as though I’m in a situation that requires me to give until it hurts and right now it’s hurting a lot.

The Hanged Man reversed reminds me that I’m still in limbo and might be for the foreseeable future. A change in perspective might help facing this reality but that can sometimes be easier said than done. Perhaps part of the problem is the direction I face. If I can turn in a different direction I might see an entirely new set of possibilities and choices. I need to be careful not to get so hung up (ba-dum-dum) on one perspective that other viewpoints becomes impossible to see. Hmm, that actually makes me feel a bit better now. It gives me a place to start. Maybe that will help change the reality too.

All Hallows Justice All Hallows Queen of Wands

My initial response seeing these cards is that I need to find inner balance and make some clear-sighted decisions about my life because otherwise my creative energies are going to waste. Right now I’m viewing my creative energies as muscles and you know what they say about muscles – if you don’t use them you lose them.

I think the reversed Queen of Wands is pointing out that I need to explore myself and find ways to make things happen. I need to see things from a new perspective and explore previously uncharted territory. On the All Hallows card, she wears a witch’s hat adorned with a wreath of autumn leaves, holding a black cat in one hand and her broom in another. Have magick, will travel might be her motto. So how can I incorporate this energy into the reality that is my life right now?

Justice, with her blank eyes, suggests that I need to looks at things from a dispassionate, objective viewpoint. I can’t let my own emotions get in the way right now. They will certainly impact the outcome but in order to make some clear-sighted plans, I need to try to avoid getting lose in them. Let’s face it when it’s your life it’s almost impossible to have a clear-sighted, objected opinion about anything. I tend to skew things so that they produce the result I believe I wanted from the outset. That approach is not going to prove helpful here. She holds the key to an answer in her hand where a live flame burns. My job is to determine how to claim it in my life.

I asked a friend for some help interpreting this two cards and she pulled an addition card for clarity. Temperance appeared. Blending, merging, forging and balancing are key gifts. She reminds me that I need to work on blending my needs and interests with family obligations and responsibilities. Again, my response is a bit of “no shit Sherlock” but I keep getting these kinds of messages so obviously I’m still not getting it.

All Hallows Temperance

I drew Temperance from the All Hallows deck and the woman stands between an angelic figure and a demonic one. She holds a silver chalice in one hand and a golden one in the other. Her hair is a multitude of hues and a ying-yang pendant adorns her neck. She embodies the concept of incorporating, merging and blending energies. She has found a way to express her true nature without going overboard. That is my challenge. Stay tuned for further developments.

Fairy Lights 4 of Wands Fairy Lights King of Swords

 

{-QOTD – What guidance can you offer me today?-} 4 of Wands (Fairy Lights Tarot)
{-QOTD – What might enhance or modify this guidance?-} King of Swords R (Fairy Lights Tarot)

The 4 of Wands in this deck is a rather odd interpretation of this card. It shows someone who appears to be wearing a bird mask standing by a bird nest holding a large egg. A large bird is flying away from him. Is he giving the egg to the bird or stealing it from her? I’m not sure. Considering that the bird cannot see him, I’d have to guess that the masked person is stealing the egg. Although I must give him credit for having courage – the bird could easily swoop back and catch him in the act.

Maybe the masked person is trying to build a nest egg; using the giant egg as the foundation for a happier life. Of course it raises the question of what is the true price of a nest or home built upon theft and/or deception? The partner to this card is The Emperor (who showed up for me 2 days ago). Again I get the sense of creating a solid foundation upon which to build a future. I suppose it’s possible that the person with the egg worked out some sort of arrangement with the bird. If so then at least her actions are not unethical or deceptive.

I think this card’s message to me is that it’s okay to steal time for myself. It’s alright to keep some things for me and to focus on my needs. The current situation is one that exhausts the body and spirit. If I don’t find ways to recharge my batteries and enjoy myself then I’ll become bitter and resentful (moreso).

The King of Swords reversed is my intellectual super-critic sniping at me. What a bad girl I am for wanting time to myself! How could I be so selfish and self-centered? The fact that his partner card is the Queen of Pentacles reinforces this – I should give until it hurts, put the needs of others far above my own. This is just not natural for me and I’m having a difficult time dealing with being a full-time caregiver. I need to find a way to shut this critic up and do what I need to do.

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