TarotHunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • It’s time to rest, draw in your energy and take a break. This gives you a chance to reassess, reevaluate and reconsider your plans. Soon, you be released and unleashed – ready to take on new projects; reenergized to discover what lies around the next curve in your road.
  • Be careful not to withdraw from others right now. You may have been judging yourself too harshly and, as a result, cut yourself off from those who can help you move past this tendency. Be open to listening to the advice friends and loved ones offer.
  • You’ve been in a period of hibernation, removing yourself from the world around you in order to better assess what you want to do next. Now it’s time to emerge again and celebrate your potential; explore what new opportunities await!

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • You don’t believe you’re strong enough to endure, to complete this task, and you’re right. If you don’t believe you’re strong enough then you won’t be. However, if you have faith in yourself, success is much more likely.
  • Are you feeling tired and worn down? Have the last few months reduced you to a nub? Perhaps you need to give yourself a break and recharge those batteries! You can only run on empty for so long before permanent damage occurs.
  • Your inner strength and determination have served you well. You’ve made it this far and the finish line is visible. Dig into your reserves and keep moving forward. Remember that you’re doing this for yourself, not to impress anyone else.

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • It’s easy to focus so much on the task at hand that you lose sight of the big picture; you can’t see the direction in which you’re moving. Take a moment to get your bearings before you are so off course you can’t correct it.
  • Teamwork may be the answer to completing current projects. Creating an environment where everyone’s opinion and input is valued may produce better and more innovative results than trying to outdo each other and racing for the finish line.
  • You are going in circles, not sure which way is up. Instead of continuing on this exhausting path try taking a break to regroup and relax. Without time to recharge your energy and rejuvenate your body you’ll burn out. You need to prioritize time for yourself too.

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • The medicine wheel can help you manifest your dreams and create prosperity in you life but before that can happen you need to way to cut through what holds you back and unleash your intellectual power; find a balance between existing beliefs and new ones.
  • This is an opportunity for a new start; to explore new territory. Right now you may feel stifled and stagnant because you’ve been ignoring your need to nourish you mind; to sharpen your saw. Unleashing that potential will help you manifest new and unlimited possibilities for growth and success.
  • Wheels turn, that’s what they do. You are being given a message that changes are coming your way. Right now your mental energies are in a receptive phase; you are taking in new techniques, inspiration and ideas. Soon you will be focusing it outwards and creating magic in your life; sharing what you’ve learned with others. Just believe in yourself!

Passions – what makes life worth living

Passion, excitement, enthusiasm, joy.  The other day I realized how absent these emotions have been in my life lately.  While chatting with a friend about hobbies it hit me that I haven’t lost myself in any of my hobbies for quite some time.  I collect and play with Barbies and similar fashion dolls but I haven’t redressed a doll in over a year.  I collect and use Tarot decks but I haven’t really played with my decks the way I once did.  I have more books in my TBR pile than I can possibly finish in this lifetime.  I have a list of recipes I want to try but instead, default to the same 10  What the hell is wrong with me?  I’m not sure but I do have a few ideas.
During the conversation with my friend, I realized that I’ve suppressed my excitement and passion because it became painful.  Seeing others who shared my passions being able to explore and enjoy theirs while I was stuck in caregiver mode sucked.  It made me envious and bitter so I must have decided on some level that if I didn’t want to become a bitter, bitchy (okay, more bitchy) person then I needed to distance myself from online groups and boards or else my envy would chew me up and spit me out.
Unfortunately, that also meant that I dampened my affect across the board.  I stayed in a middle position to avoid letting the negative stuff overwhelm me but it meant I didn’t really enjoy the positive stuff either.  I think in clinical terms it might be considered depression.  Luckily I realized that it’s a situation depression and not due to anything major.  That means I could treat it on my own – because gods forbid I should see help for anything.  I’m kinda stubborn that way.  I like to blame it on my Capricorn Moon.
So what is my solution?  Nothing especially groundbreaking.  I made myself a promise that I would consciously choose to engage in some of my hobbies.  For example – I re-committed myself to posting my daily Tarot card pulls at least 4 times each week.  I promised myself I would post something to my blog once a week.  I am determined to journal at least once a week (but preferably more).  There are small, simple and doable steps that I know I can achieve.  Once I’ve consistently done these for a few weeks I’ll add more or change them.  I also want to start reading books on journaling and finding your life purpose but I’m not making that part of this commitment.  I have also promised myself that I won’t spend money on hobbies/crafts for which I already have a wide range of materials that I have not used yet (such as my coloring books and composition notebooks). 
None of this is especially innovative or mind-blowing.  It might not be amazing, impactful or especially transformative for anyone else.  For me, this was quite an epiphany.  Sometimes it the small wake up calls in life that have the most long-lasting and beneficial results.

Celebrating Joy

Ghosts & Spirits Tarot Devil/Chains (Jacob Marley)

As the holiday spending season shifts into overdrive, I find myself once again almost devoid of “Christmas spirit”. Watching the chaos and greed at Black Friday events all over the country I am struck by how truly soulless this season has become for some people. Don’t misunderstand me, I like getting goodies as much as the next person, I’m just not willing to trample over folks to get them at a discount. This is truly nothing new. Even in the classic movie Miracle on 34th Street characters are heard lamenting about how commercial Christmas has become. Kris Kringle is seen as crazy and dangerous because he wants to help people. What does that say about us as a society? I suppose what it really says is that we’ve always been this way. The primary difference is that now the chaotic madness is televised.

Whimsical Queen of Swords

At one point I decided to make gifts for folks on my list – personalized colognes, shower gels etc. That went over like a lead balloon with most of them. I also got tired of receiving gifts that were clearly choices made from convenience with no real insight into what I might like. Once again, not that I wasn’t appreciative but if it’s the thought that counts then what does it say when no thought was behind the gift at all? It can really suck all the joy out of the holiday season. Add to that the friggin’ political correctness bug that has infected us all. Happy Holidays is really not the same as Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Happy Yule. Aren’t we grown up enough that if someone wishes us a happy holiday that isn’t our own we can simply smile and thank them or thank them and politely correct them? That certainly seems easier and less stressful than stepping on eggshells while trying to wish someone a happy holiday season.

BoS As Above Yule

I think the biggest issue that can suck the joy out of the season for me is its lack of spiritual focus. I may not celebrate it anymore but Christmas is supposed to be about honoring the birth of Jesus Christ the Christian savior not deciding what kind of video game the kid wants. I would even consider a family focusing on what kinds of cookies to leave out for Santa to be something of a triumph compared to the current topics of conversation – where the best bargains can be found. As if that isn’t sad enough, many of the crazed mob charging stores on Black Friday are primarily buying stuff for themselves.

In addition to all the seasonal madness that can quickly sour one on this time of year, the family responsibilities that limit me can become especially onerous right about now. I can’t even stroll through a shopping center or along the main street of the village without it requiring some major planning beforehand. Who would have thought that simply viewing Christmas windows would become practically impossible. Sometimes this entire situation leaves me drowning in self-pity and depression at this time of year. On the positive side, at least I have a choice. I can focus on what makes me miserable and sad or I can focus on what makes me feel happy and fully of joy. It’s all about where I focus my intentions and attentions.

Whimsical Emperor

So I have decided that in order to increase the sense of wonder and joy I feel at this time of year, I plan to savor holiday movies – from classics to some of the rather cheesy newer entries. Even when I know they’re unrealistic, happy ending holiday movies make me cheery. The fact is that I do believe in Santa Claus and always have. I enjoy the feeling of Christmas cheer that sprinkles over many of us at this time of year. I have signed up for a 30 Days of Yule ecourse with Joanna Powell Colbert. I will focus on the happiness I feel when I give someone a gift they will truly enjoy (rather than just a gift card or money). I will lose myself in the happiness I feel simply looking at twinkling Christmas lights. Rather than sink into the dark morass so easily accessible at this time of year, I’ll try to steer my course towards shores filled with tidings of comfort and joy. Oh and I’ll drink tea – lots and lots of warming, comforting tea! I hope others find themselves willing and able to do the same to keep their joy and cheer levels up this Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa or whatever seasonally appropriate holiday they choose to celebrate (or even if you celebrate none at all).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here comes the Sun – Sekhmet!

Dark Goddess Sekhmet

Starting today I am beginning my Dark Goddess labyrinth work with The Sun aka Sekmet. I have to admit to an enduring fondness for The Sun’s energy. Even from my earliest childhood I felt a much stronger connection to the Sun and daylight than I did to the Moon and nighttime. This is ironic considering I am a confirmed night owl but what can I say, I’m nothing if not inconsistent about some things. I have also long felt an affinity for Sekhmet’s energy. She is assertive, aggressive and energetic; roaring out her anger and affection with equal measure. This confident lioness could only be stopped in her destruction by blood colored beer. I gotta love a goddess who can only be slowed down by an alcoholic beverage.

Dark Goddess 3 of Air

To start off our relationship, I asked Sekhmet for a message and she sent me Blue Dakini/3 of Air. This goddess reminds me that in order for something new to bloom, I must excise what is dead and outworn. This is often a difficult process because there are times when what is apparently outdated and work out can carry great sentimental value. Although as I am learning, clinging to the past can often blind us to what promise lies ahead.

The appearance of the Blue Dakini also reminded me of another aspect of The Sun’s energy can be overlooked – the sun’s light is a purifier. It bleaches away stains and destroys bacteria. It’s a powerful source of energy, light and warmth. It is what allows life to exist on Earth. All of these are amazing gifts but they can also have harsher aspects. Too much light or heat can blind or dehydrate. Too much energy can be exhausting. If we destroy all bacteria then we risk killing off the good ones too. So it is clearly a question of balance. The destructive aspects of the Sun are essential and necessary but they certainly should not overshadowing its more beneficent ones. During the journey ahead I’m sure I will find harsh light shed on areas of my life I’ve preferred to avoid and at the same time once I clear away those hidden, shadowy areas I’ll be making room for more creative projects and radiant energy.

Greenwood Hermit

 

For some reason today I’ve found myself pondering the energy of The Hermit. I can certainly see the challenge of forging ahead and searching through the unknown to find a path. However recently I’ve begun to see a shadow aspect of The Hermit – the madness of solitude. I’ve come to realize that solitude can provide one with an opportunity for deep insight and self-discovery, or it can push you past the breaking point. It can produce a situation where madness licks at the edges of your mind because the solitude has become unbearable. There have been times recently where that kind of madness has brushed against my mind.

Secret Forest Hermit

It has made me appreciate the sense of isolation and aloneness felt by caregivers of various stripes from stay-at-home parents to those caring for ailing family members. When the circumstances are such that socializing or time alone are just not in the cards, that’s when the wings of madness flutter close. Social networking can help relieve some of this sense of isolation and aloneness but it really is not substitute for human interaction.

Thoth Hermit

Of course I speak from personal experience. My life over the past few years has been a long example of the madness of isolation. In caring for my in-laws, a situation has been created in which I am usually alone with no adult interaction (as much as I may love my in-laws they are not capable of adult conversation at this point). I rely on phone calls and instant messaging to keep in touch with friends but sometimes it’s just not enough. Even when I’m talking or texting with friends I’m still in the same crazy-making environment.

Wildwood Hermit

Perhaps madness caused by isolation is also initiates creativity. I have certainly had moments when I become very creative trying to find ways to alleviate the solitude. History is littered with tales of creative geniuses who isolated themselves in pursuit of their goals. There can clearly be times when isolation and solitude produce a positive result but when it is the result of external forces I have a feeling that is when madness comes to call. The relentless, oppressiveness of forced isolation can push us over the edge. We might indeed be exploring uncharted territory and forging a new path but eventually all our efforts at distracting ourselves and alleviating the aloneness fail and we’re left lost in the woods with no recourse. Howling at the moon may be fun with a pack but when you’re alone in those woods you can feel a prickle of fear as worries of impending madness assail you.

Tsonokwa

 

Somehow, like a lot of people, I behave as though receiving help from others is a sign of weakness or failure. The current circumstances in my life have forced me to become better at accepting and asking for assistance from others. It’s still a struggle but one I think I’m starting to win. That isn’t my focus today. What has struck me when pondering this card and her message is that the one person I am lousy at giving to is myself. Oh don’t get me wrong – I can indulge myself with things like books, music and other possessions as fast as anyone else in our consumerist society. What I’m not good at giving to myself are the things I really need – time to myself, time to focus on my spirituality and health, and time to relax. It’s as though taking time off from my responsibilities is slacking. How the hell did this happen?

I used to be one of the more selfish people I knew. I had no responsibilities other than those to myself, my hubby and family, and maybe to my job. Not having kids left me a lot more free time than most to do whatever the hell I wanted. Of course I usually filled that free time with brain-draining TV binges and frequent nights out after work with co-workers. Mindless, enjoyable and ultimately unsatisfying pursuits to be sure. I was busy, sometimes frantic and stressed but I would have told you I was having fun. In retrospect I think I was trying to numb myself. What I needed wasn’t more things it was a sense of meaning and fulfillment in my life. That is what I was not giving to myself.

I have drawn Tsonokwa several times since working with the Dark Goddess Tarot. Clearly she is trying to give me a message which I haven’t been hearing – at least not clearly. Then yesterday I finally realized why she kept pushing me. Thanks to a wonderful mother who agreed to elder-sit for the in-laws, I was able to get away for a while and spend some time socializing with a friend. We didn’t do anything special – had lunch, chatted, shopped a bit, but I came home feeling rejuvenated and relaxed for the first time in a long time. It was wonderfully refreshing. Of course my mother was exhausted but she can head home and relax.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been free of this vise that squeezes me on a daily basis that I didn’t really how much pressure it was putting on me. I thought I was doing okay but in reality I was draining the battery almost beyond repair. It took Tsonokwa appearing to me several times before the message finally sank in. Next tie I won’t wait so long before finding activities to help relieve the pressure and help me revive and rejuvenate myself. It’s not taking anything away from my in-law’s and it’s giving me the break I need to let me come back with a more positive attitude. Otherwise we’re all miserable.

This made me wonder why we do this to ourselves. I am under no illusions that I am the only person who deprives herself this way. Nor am I a saint or martyr. I am a cranky, stressed out, caring, occasionally deranged person who wants to do what’s right for my in-laws. Somehow what is right for me never came into the equation. It’s as though I just don’t matter and that’s certainly not the way I have ever seen myself. Clearly this is an issue that requires more than a blog post to resolve. I just wanted to put it out there for others who find themselves in a similar boat. It’s important for all of us, but especially for caretakers, to realize that caring for ourselvs is just as important as caring for loved ones. Otherwise we wake up one day and realize our head is in a vice and about to pop like a pimple. Let’s have no more of that!  We deserve better for ourselves.

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.

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