Greenman Oracle Saille/Willow

In divination, Saille can suggest a need to connect, listen to, or honor the ancestors, dead or alive. It may also draw attention to timing and flow, what currents are being joined or resisted.

Magically, Saille can be used for anything that flows. It is good for timing; knowing the proper moment for action. Saille is also good for moon-related work. For healing, this fid can be used in work for cleansing or encouraging blood flow, and for menstruation. As willow bark was the original source for aspirin, this fid is also good for pain relief.

Linked Concepts:  Ancestors and messages from the ancestors, death, the realm of the dead, time, tides, knowledge of time and proper timing, denial, impurity, music, honey and mead. (Erynn Rowan Laurie – Not Your Mama’s Tree Ogam)

What do I need to be listening to right now? 3 of Cups R, 4 of Wands R + Prince of Swords (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft 3 of Cups DruidCraft 4 of Wands DruidCraft Prince of Swords

As I drew each cards a voice in my head gave me a message. For the 3 of Cups it said “not your friends”. For the 4 of Wands it said “not your hubby”. For the Prince of Swords it said “listen to your brain”. Hmm, that almost seems to easy – my preference has always been to listen to my own mind, my own intellect and usually the messages I get send me in the other direction. So for once I can follow through on my own instincts.

Of course it’s never that easy. This message is also telling me that I really already know the answer to this question. I know what I need to be doing – not partying, celebrating and feasting (or generally engaging in unhealthy lifestyle choices). I need to get smart and start doing what I already know is in my best interests. I need to knuckle down and develop the discipline I need to follow this path. I don’t need to charge blindly ahead – in fact that would undermine the entire process. What I need to do is plan and follow through on those plans. I need to come up with a strategy that will help me stick with this new plan. I need to stay motivated and inspired – whatever steps needs to be taken.

I can really suck to know the answers because it means I’m lying to myself; deluding myself. I’m always in search of shortcuts (who isn’t?) but in this case (as with most other) the shortcuts have just lead to a lot of wasted effort and little results. I have better luck wishing for a genie to blink everything in order.

I need to accept that I am an addict. My addiction is sugar and carbs and there is not getting around that. No tricks I can use to make it better or allow me to cheat a little. I need to give it up completely. Otherwise all my efforts to make changes will prove fruitless and futile. Why waste my time and energy? It’s ironic that I know once I can get past a certain point with no sugar, I’ll stop craving and missing it but getting to that point has been a long, long haul. I realize that if I want to spend the remaining years of my life in good health and be a vibrant active woman then I need to get this crap in order and knock it off. I don’t doubt it will be a challenge but hopefully I’m up to it.

Wildwood 9 of Stones

Looking at this Cernunnos-like figure sitting at the center of this card I was struck by two things:  I need to reconnect to my spiritual traditions and I need to not get held back by being outside the protective circle of the stones.  I need to reconnect with my roots and foundation while at the same time reaching for the stars or thinking outside the box.  In other words the way to maintain my sanity right now is to find my own path and not be held back by expectations or “supposed to”.

This is an important message for me because I have a tendency to try to do things “the right way” and then castigating myself if I fail.  Dealing with this type of situation is entirely new to me.  I’ve never had children and never been in the role of primary caregiver for someone who was entirely dependent upon me.  I must say I don’t like it much.  However I am also determined to do the best I can for both my in-laws.  To some extent that requires me to forge my own path.

I have a quirk in my nature that doesn’t allow me to follow paths created by others.  I may enjoy exploring their route and learning about how they chose the path and what they learned.  However at the end of the day if I haven’t forged my own way through the wilderness I don’t value the lessons.  I need to viscerally experience the process to gain the most benefit.  This even applied in school – if I did not hand write notes in class I found it much harder to remember the lessons.  Simply studying the texts or other’s notes was not as helpful as the simple act of writing.  It’s as though the physical act transferred the information to my brain cells and made them more available to access later.

One way I have decided to both go back to classic traditions and forge my own path is the concept of French Chic.  I think some Americans (especially women) tend to idealize the French and the stylishness and chicness of French women.  I am in no way impugning either of these traits, however I think they need to be taken in context.  French women are who and what they are because they are in France.  An entire culture is woven around them to support their lifestyle.  America is different.  We can certainly incorporate certain elements of French (or actually I suspect European in general) lifestyles but in some cases it’s just not practical.

For me, the key element of French chicness and style is to simplify; take the time to fully appreciate every experience and enjoy every moment in your life.  Instead of complaining about the routine, day-to-day drudge work that often seems to fill our days, see them as the foundation for a wonderful life.  Understand that without those daily chores and tasks, our lives would become a chaotic mess.  This is where I need to focus my energies.

Right now I feel as though my current situation is sucking the life out of me; killing my soul.  If I start to focus on these daily chores as essential to maintain the foundation of my life perhaps I won’t feel such resentment.  At the same time I need to embrace the idea that taking care of myself is just as essential as these daily tasks.  It’s not frivolous or shallow or pointless.  It’s beneficial and helps me maintain my equilibrium – quite a worthy endeavor in itself.

Wildwood Ace of Stones

This makes so much sense to me.  I need to reconnect with the physical world.  Over the last few years of caring for the in-laws I’ve relegated my own needs to the back burner (of a stove in the seventh basement of hell).  I haven’t been eating right.  I’ve let my clothes become rather shoddy and worn.  I haven’t even bought new makeup in over 5 years.  I realize that I don’t need to “dress for success” while being a stay-at-home caregiver but I should still make the effort to be presentable, for myself if no one else.

The labyrinth that decorates the standing stone on this card also tells me that I need to get to the core of who I am.  I need to walk that pathway and find my way back to the real me.  I’ve lost sight of her and I miss her.  The first step is to work on improving my outer appearance.  It’s time to fix my hair and get some new makeup.  I need to focus on rebuilding my wardrobe so that it works for who I am now.  I have a closet filled with items that were once very useful and appropriate to the person I was then but aren’t very practical for now.  Suits and business pieces are useless when most days I barely leave the house.

On some level I feel that focusing on the external is shallow but I realize that it sends a message that I’m worth taking the time and making the effort.  If the only time I bother with my appearance is when I’m expecting to see other people, then I’m telling my psyche that I’m not important; I don’t count.  The first step to combating that mindset is to take the time to dress and tend to my appearance.  An occasional pajama day is fine but when it becomes the norm it means I’m sinking into a terrible rut.  I’m tired of being wrapped in ennui and self-defeat.  I need to start caring for myself body as well as soul and this is the first step.

BoS So Below Tower BoS So Below 4 of Chalices

The Tower reversed speaks to me on two levels.  According to the LWB, when reversed The Tower symbolizes “trying to avoid something by denial or delay leading to increased turmoil”.  Yeah, that sounds about right.  I’m a world class procrastinator even when I know it’s pointless and self-defeating.  The Tower is telling me that this tactic is pointless and making the situation worse than it needs to be.  It is also reminding me that I am blowing things out of proportion and making this a bigger deal than it needs to be.  Instead of trying to fight off the inevitable I need to find ways to make the changes I know are necessary to achieve this goal.

The 4 of Cups reversed suggests”wallowing in ennui or self-pity”.  Once again a direct hit right on the nose.  I have felt enveloped in ennui lately and the pity party has been never-ending.  It’s not that I don’t have some legitimate reason for the pity party but I’m boring myself.  Whining about it won’t change anything and just exhausts me.

At the same time I need to acknowledge that I have a right to be frustrated and angry about things.  Getting stuck in that frustrating and anger and allowing it to push me into unhealthy behavior is pointless.  All it does is make me feel physically and mentally crappy which just adds to the unhappiness.

I know that I have a strong addiction for sweets and carbs.  I also know that I feel infinitely better when I don’t give in to these cravings.  I have found substitutions that might satisfy these cravings and allow me to feel healthier but I’ve been putting off actually making any of them.  I need to stop making this into a project and just do it.  One thing at a time, one change at a time is all it will take to improve this situation.  It’s time to stop wallowing in the ennui.

BoS So Below 10 of Swords BoS So Below 9 of Wands

So, my relationship with my body has been tolerant at best and downright chilly at its worst.  I have somehow managed to disconnect myself from my body.  My physical self does not seem part of my spiritual self.  There are a variety of reasons for this, none of which I’ll go into here, but I can’t say I blame this disconnect on pop culture, Catholicism or any of the other pet bugaboos.  Yes, I played with Barbies growing up, in fact I still do, and I never felt the urge to look like Barbie.  I just wanted her exciting, jet set lifestyle.

Anyway, I am starting to realize that my neglect of my body is catching up to me (oh who am I kidding it caught up to me a long time ago).  I can’t ignore it anymore and it’s starting to get very pissy about my neglect.  New things are starting to act up.  My body seems to have decided that it will up the ante and find new ways to misbehave to try to get my attention.  So I realized I need to try to reestablish the lines of communication with my body.

This is the second time since I began using this deck that I’ve drawn both these cards.  They obviously have a deeper message for me and I’ll have to explore that at a later date.  Right now I want to hear what they say about my question.  The 10 of Swords reversed says I’m “reliving heartache by refusing to let go” and the 9 of Wands reversed shouts that I’m “giving up too soon” (according to the LWB).  I get it – there are still unresolved issues I need to work on and until I can reach some detente about them I’m subsuming my heartache by indulging in behavior that hurts my body.  I also need to try sticking with the plans I have made.  I’m pretty good at making plans but lately I’ve been lousy on follow through.  I let the least little thing derail my efforts and use my stressful responsibilities as an excuse to just give up.

I don’t want to be a quitter and I don’t want to keep reliving things that cause me to engage in unhealthy behaviors.  I need to start loving my body.  I need to stop beating myself up about past events.  And I need to just take those baby steps to create a healthier and happier life for myself.  I can do it if I stop focusing on how louse things are and how worthless I am.  If I want to manifest something better than that’s where my focus needs to be.

BoS So Below 3 of Wands BoS So Below 10 of Wands

These cards show an entwined and complementary answer to my question.  In the companion book, Barbara offers the interpretation “wasting time and energy” for the reversed 3 of Wands.  I can see that as one appropriate meaning but I also see it as telling me that I need to slow down and waste some time and energy on myself.  Focusing that energy inwards rather than outwards is one way of welcoming spirit in and honoring it in my life.

The 10 of Wands with its harried female office worker describes my life right now.  My harried, overworked feeling might not be due to an office environment but it exists nonetheless.  I think this card is reminding me that I need the slow down, wasted energy phase to counterbalance this harried, abundance responsibilities phase.

To me the 3 of Wands reversed is more about slowing down and tending to myself; stopping and enjoying a cup of tea while reading a great book.  Ellen of Greylady’s Hearth commented on my blog post the other day reminding me that a gratitude journal can be a powerful tool for staying on track when it comes to self-care and slowing down.  That seems to fit beautifully with this card’s message.

This is also the third time I’ve drawn the 3 of Wands since using this deck.  I think it’s trying to reinforce the message that I need to take better care of myself.  It’s important to take time for myself to relax, de-stress and just do something just for me.  Otherwise I’ll be blue and swamped like the woman in the 10 of Wands.  I can’t walk away from these responsibilities so I need to develop skills and techniques to help me relax and become calm and centered so that I can deal with them without losing my mind.

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?

47 43

How fascinating!  I’m watching Deepak Chopra’s “What Are You Hungry For” on PBS and he is talking about stopping and feeling your body, stopping eating when you are satisfied rather than full or stuffed.  These concepts seem to fit beautifully with the cards I drew today.

The Knight of Cups reversed reminds me to search out the emotional issues that might be driving me to eat too much or make food choices that I know are not in my best interests.  On an intellectual level I am well aware of what I should eat and what steps I should take to stay on the healthy path but on an emotional level I use food as a substitute for other things.  The Knight of Cups is helping me search for the answer to that question – what am I hungry for?  He can also guide me to the emotional issues that form the core of my over-eating.

The 8 of Cups reversed shows an elderly man laying in bed with his eyes closed.  At his side rests the spirit of an elderly woman, perhaps his deceased wife?  They serve as a reminder that sometimes we need to leave behind things, people and behaviors to which we have an emotional connection but which no longer serve us.  Emotional eating may provide some initially ‘positive” sensations but they aren’t worth the long-term damage they can potentially cause.

If I want to live my life to the fullest then I need to break free of these addictive behaviors that keep me making poor food choices.  I know I say that a lot and I am not going to beat myself up about it but I need to at least start taking some steps towards achieving this goal.  These cards may be able to help me in the process.

Housewives Page of Cups Housewives 7 of Cups

 

I started using the Housewives Tarot yesterday (the Full Moon was Sunday and I decided it was time to swap decks).  I thought the Housewives would be appropriate because we’re nearing Thanksgiving and it seems to fit the feel of tradition and home that permeates the air.

Today I drew the Page of Cups which shows a small boy with a big grin watering flowers that bear the faces of older people.  The book talks about tending our emotional relationships and nurturing them.  In this case I think the Page of Cups is reminding me that if I don’t tend to such matters – nourishing and watering the relationships I value in my life, then I’ll find myself much poorer for the experience.

The 7 of Cups reversed shows a well dressed woman pondering seven cocktail glasses that are arrayed before her.  She seems to be considering her decision – which drink will she choose?  This card reminds me that I don’t have a lot of choices right now.  And the ones I do have are not as tempting as which cocktail I’d like to try.  I think it’s showing me that I need to think before making a choice, especially because the options are very limited.

Together I see a bigger message from these two cards.  The Page of Cups is letting me know that even if my choices are limited, I still do have  some options.  Or perhaps what the 7 of Cups reversed is telling me is that I FEEL as though I have no options but that may not be the case.  Perhaps what the message of these combined cards is that I have some choices (no matter how I feel right now) and I need to cultivate, tend and nurture them so that they will expand and provide even more options.  Even little seeds can grow into big trees if the conditions are right.

It’s also just as important for me to tend to my own emotional needs.  As I’m sure it is for many caregivers, I’m finding it gets easier and easier to put my desires and needs aside to care for someone else.  Part of me hates doing that (I have a well-developed selfish streak) but with things as they are right now it’s unavoidable.  So even if I don’t have a lot of options available to nourish and nurture my emotional side (all those lovely cocktail glasses) that doesn’t mean I should ignore it altogether.  I need to do what I can to sustain and tend to my needs too.  A challenge but one I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out.

All Hallows Chariot All Hallows 3 of Swords

 

Am I not steering my own chariot because I fear it will cause me to betray someone? Do I not trust that my chariot is going in the right direction; not trusting that the Divine is steering me where I need to go? Does that leave me feeling heart-broken, bereft and betrayed? I have no idea. That seems to be happening quite a lot to me lately. I’m feeling a bit disconnected, as though I can’t interact with the energies in the Tarot deck. I suppose this is not unexpected considering what’s been going on in my life lately. But I digress.

The ghostly hearse on The Chariot reminds me of the movie Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The cóiste-bodhar (Death Coach, which really should be cóiste bás) rides out to capture the souls of the dead. Maybe I’m afraid my soul is slipping away from me; that I’m losing touch with who I really am. Rather than steering the course of my life I’ve been coasting; letting the winds of fate blow where they will. As a result I feel that I’ve betrayed myself and that breaks my heart. Rather sad and bleak.

Okay, I refuse to give in to despair right now. Things are rough but there are moments of brightness and hope. If I don’t want this coach to continue running off the track then I need to grab hold of the reins and take some control. I don’t have to dominate the horses, simply guide them. Of course first I need to learn how to rein in and guide myself.

Hmm, maybe that’s what The Chariot is doing – scolding me for not trying to take more control over myself. I’m one of those folks who knows what she should do (eat right, exercise, etc.) but somehow never manages to actually do them. Of course I always know how other people should live their lives. I’m a genius when it comes to other people and a dunce when it comes to myself. A pattern I need to break and soon. I’m breaking my own heart just thinking about it.

Or maybe what The Chariot reversed is reminding me is that if I don’t get my act together I’ll find myself in the Death Coach. I’m not being too melodramatic or overly negative but if I don’t take better care of myself, my diabetes can become very nasty. My father died at a relatively young age from complications due to his uncontrolled diabetes. My younger brother is already suffering some troubling health issues as a result of his. The last thing I need to carry on that particular family tradition. I don’t want to break the hearts of my loved ones and leave them feeling betrayed and bereft.

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