Ecclectic Birthday Reading

Today is my birthday, the big 33 – old and uncool to a teenager and a child to a crone – so I decided to pull a rather random mix of cards for some reflection time and guidance.

First, I went to the Ceccoli tarot for a simple three card draw.

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What lesson/s have I learned in the past year?

The Moon – I have learned that there is a whole other universe of energy, mystery, meaning, truth and power both within myself and in the universe. All is not as it seems and I have been sleepwalking for far too long. Continue reading

Personal Reading – Full Moon in Sagittarius

Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum recently posted a special spread for this month’s full moon. Luckily the kidlets fell asleep at a reasonable hour so I had a chance to draw my cards in preparation for the full moon tonight. This particular spread is all about personal accountability, opening up to your guides and getting your sh*t together so you can move forward and evolve. As a deck dedicated to the dark creatures of the night with precisely zero fluff, I thought this would be the perfect time to crack out my brand new Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels, with the added lunar energy boost of my new little selenite stick.

Position one starts at the bottom left and the spread works its way up, left to right.

vampyres full moon spread Continue reading

“We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn”

Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum yesterday published a fantastic post and new spread about healing the Witch Wound. Witch wounds are the battle scars women inherit, carry and pass down after facing millennia of patriarchal institutions and dogma telling us that our bodies are shameful and that our capacities for power, creation and intuition are wrong, sinful or the delusions of ‘hysteria’. As an out-and-proud feminist, it got me all fired up and excited to share. I highly recommend following the link above and giving the post a read as it provides more context to the spread, and will get you in the mood to face the scars you carry with the courage to confront and heal them.

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1. How the witch wound has crippled me

Knight of Wands – I have spent most of my life with all of the passion and drive, but none of the confidence of this Knight. For much of my 20s I was The Party Girl, I wanted to charm the pants off of everyone, be popular and have a good time – I wasn’t very good at it. What this attempted image was masking was an incredibly low sense of self-esteem and self-hatred. I felt that I wasn’t worth anything beyond what other people – particularly men – thought of me. I felt myself hollow, talentless and pointless, tormented by the fire I carried, believing it brought me nothing but false promises. I had so much passion for learning and so many dreams of things that I wanted to pursue, but they all came to naught because I felt I was destined to fail at anything I tried. All of this unused wildfire morphed into an almost frenzied aggression I directed inwards, I would harm myself quite spectacularly and in so many ways, hoping I could burn so bright I would just burn myself right out of existence. Continue reading

My Personal Court

Lisa Frideborg of Angelorum recently posted this fun exercise on my favourite tarot Facebook group, the 3 of Cups Tarot Community, to explore the court cards and the elements of their personalities that are dominant within us. My draw pretty much nailed it, so I thought it might be nice to share it here!

So, the exercise is as follows:

  1. After you have separated the court cards from the rest of the deck choose one that you feel best represents you. Write down some of the reasons why you feel the closest connection to this card, return it to your court pile and shuffle.
  2. Cards face-down, select another card. This represents the hidden, inner, lunar you, the deeper layers of personality that you don’t always show to the world and perhaps don’t even own fully for yourself. Take some notes and return it to your pile and shuffle again.
  3. Pull another face-down card. This represent how you are perceived in your closest relationships. Same process, take notes, return to pile and shuffle one final time
  4. Draw another card face down. This card represents your public face, the way that your boss and co-workers who you aren’t close with see you.
  5. Finish writing down your final first-impression notes, did any particular court card appear more than once? Is one elemental suit more dominant than another? Do the court attributes appear to complement or contradict one another?

It might also be an idea to add to this journal entry as you meet with different people, noting down similarities or differences in your interaction style to the court cards you selected.

Anyway, onto my reading, I decided to use the Mary El. It’s funny, those moments when you understand how attuned you are to certain decks, because none of these cards came as a surprise. The order was unexpected, but all of these cards appear frequently in my personal readings:

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1. Self-identified me: The Queen of Cups – This queen is my astrological court (there are a few different ways to calculate this, however I have used the Crowley Thoth method, which you can calculate here over at Raven’s Tarot Site) and also the one that correlates to my Myers-Briggs type, INFJ. She’s also one of my long time stalker cards, although it is only recently that I have really started to identify with her. As I am drawn deeper into spiritual thought and practice I have started unlocking feelings, thoughts and intuitive responses that have been ignored and repressed for a long time. It’s not so much that I feel I am becoming her, more like I am finally starting to own this more dominant aspect of myself and embrace it. I’ve always had strong ‘cup’ tendencies, but have felt compelled to harden these aspects for self-preservation.

2. Hidden me: The Page of Swords, mhmmmm, yes. I do suppress how confrontational I am, and I have a pretty loud bullshit radar! When someone crosses a line I often I won’t say anything, but whatever was said or done to ping that radar is locked away and never forgotten, which means I can have a tendency to keep lasting negative judgments towards people, usually without their knowledge. This is something about myself that I am trying to work on by exploring the shadow side of myself, particularly how intensely self-critical I am when I feel that I have misspoken or made a mistake – an aspect that I may be projecting onto others. Also like the Page of Swords I feel a seemingly innate distrust and dislike of authority figures and anything that has even a whiff of dogma about it.

On a lighter note, I do also see this card as representing some positive aspects of myself too, in particular my love of listening to, reading and communicating new ideas. It sometimes surprises me, and probably would surprise others who don’t know me so well, just how much information I can and wish to consume, absorb and discuss on any given day. I don’t really have the chance to express this side of myself in everyday ‘real’  life, but online groups, Skype dates with my mum and this blog have afforded me a wonderful opportunity to indulge more in the area of my personality that finds joy in exploring and playing around with ideas and language.

3. Close relationships me: The Queen of Wands – I behave very differently with my loved ones than I do with general acquaintances. In larger social situations I tend to stick to the walls and observe, kind of dipping in and out to find if there’s someone about I can really relate to. When I am with my “tribe” though I am very outgoing and chatty and love nothing more than enthusiastic, animated conversation and lots of laughter.

4. Professional and acquaintances me: Again, yep! I can definitely see how I can appear this way to those I am not close to. If I don’t feel an instant connection I can seem pretty distant. I’m still happy to engage with plenty of people, however if I don’t get that feeling of simpatico, I don’t really open up. It’s gotten back to me more than a few times that people have said that I am difficult to get to know. I don’t mean to be, but if it’s not there I find it almost impossible (and incredibly draining and unpleasant) to fake it. That said, I have a good sense of humour, am thoughtful and truthful, which can often mean that people are quick to open up and seek me out for advice. That openness is something I find difficult to reciprocate, but at the end of the day, even the most casual acquaintances of mine know that I am trustworthy and if they are ever in need of something I can be relied upon to help.

Overall, a very interesting result, with lots for me to think about! The presence of three Queens was a rather nice affirmation that I am overall a pretty capable person, not without faults, but in a suitable stage of maturity. It’s also interesting to me that the “hidden” aspect is also the one I felt compelled to write the most about, like it is chomping at the bit, waiting to burst free.

If anyone decides to do this exercise please feel free to share in the comments, I’d love to hear about it!

Full Moon Reading – A Time to Howl

*A few words of warning: two of the cards drawn contain nudity, full frontal male and full frontal female. I would categorise both as artistic nudity, the images are not sexual or exploitative, however I am aware mileage and opinions on nudity do vary, so you have been warned!

I’m a couple of days late with this, the full moon was on the 11th but the youngest and I both came down with a nasty stomach bug, so while I did manage to draw some cards in the haze, I didn’t have any energy for a write up.

Anyway, in keeping with the strong message for centring on expression and communication in my weekly forecast reading this week, for this full moon I decided to do this lovely spread I found on Little Red Tarot called What’s Howlin’ (the spread was originally conceived by Chanel Bayless, but the link to it on her site seems to have expired). This spread is all about the messages and desires you are yearning to unleash.

With the energies of the full moon, this is an opportunity to ask the High Priestess to lift the veil a little and allow out the most urgent messages of the unconscious mind…what does it want to be heard? What needs to step out of the shadows and into the light?

The obvious choice for this spread was the Mary-El, the primal energy of this deck can match a wolf’s, howl for howl!

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1. The message you are howlin’ at the moon

The Fool – cue Freddie Mercury singing “I want to break free”, because I’m feeling ready for something entirely new. Stability is turning into stagnation and my little wolf is howling out that she is ready to pounce in some new direction and shake things up a bit. This is, however, going to require a bit of creative thinking on my part as I can’t really change the basic format of my day, I have two young kids to look after and a house I would rather didn’t look like a dump, so I need to hunt down something dynamic and new to do in those few hours when the littlies are napping or out playing. I feel up to the challenge though, and there are a couple of new things I’ve been meaning to read about, learn and do, but have so far procrastinated on really dedicating my concentration to. The Fool tells me it’s time to stop messing about and jump right in.

2, 3 & 4. How you can communicate this

The Tower – Big changes need to be made. To release my heart’s message I am going to have to take a long, hard look at the structures I have built up around it and knock down what is holding me back. I’ve been feeling like I am standing on unsteady ground recently and the Tower warns that it is time for me to start dismantling some of my thought patterns and behaviours before everything comes tumbling down in an almighty crash. I feel almost constantly tired and drained, so I need to dig deep and start rebuilding myself anew, because what I’ve got going on now emotionally is not working. I don’t need a completely new life, but I do need a new way of being in my life.

Five of Cups – This is one of the cards in Mary-El I find an interesting deviation from the RWS. In the guidebook, White relates the unicorn to both Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Norse mythology, and the teacher and wounded healer Chiron from the Greek sagas; she speaks of sacrifice, guardianship, peace and heartache. I feel this image speaks to the fact that I have always been interested in the healing arts. Although it will be a few years before I can begin any studies in a healing tradition or discipline in earnest, this card reminds me that healing can be done at any time, by anyone – it can start at home, it can start with me. I don’t need a degree or years of training under my belt to practice empathy and compassion, I already do do that, but I can do so much more by simply listening harder to what is around me. I have relationships to heal: with people, with the idea of spirit and with the earth. I can start that now.

Queen of Wands – This Queen looks straight at me, almost through me, and while her expression isn’t judgmental, she has no time, I repeat, no time for my bullshit. She knows a thing or two about desire, about going after what she wants, and she knows a thing or two about be burnt in the process. Drop the affected apathy and go boldly forth, dream big, care for something, burn for it, she says.

Well, she sure has me pegged. I do extinguish my own enthusiasm, almost the second it appears, I’ve done it for so long now it isn’t even a conscious effort for me to do so. This all stems back to the years of listening to that little jerk-brain inside telling me I’m not good enough, not smart enough; that whatever I try I am ultimately going to fail; that no one is ever going to care about or notice what I do anyway, so I’d better not get too invested in the outcome, that it is best to remain detached so my inevitable disappointments don’t hurt. And it’s true, if I don’t invest all of my hopes into my efforts I have nothing to lose, but I’ll never really have anything to gain either. True creativity demands your heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears, and this Queen tells me it is time to do give all of those things and just strive, strive, strive.

 

With two Major Arcana cards relating to change, destruction and renewal a large upheaval is being asked for this full moon. I need to get to the bare bones of my situation and think about what needs to be demolished and what needs to be fortified. The path forward is not yet clear, but with a bold and open heart it soon can be. I must say, this draw hasn’t come as a complete surprise, there are a number of things changing in regards to where I feel called on my path, most of which are very unexpected, but my eyes and ears are open, I am ready.

‘3 Voices’ Personal Reading – Motherhood and Burnout

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It took me a couple of days to decide whether or not I wanted to share this post, it is long and very personal and could open me up to some unpleasant judgments. I realized though that as someone who wants to become a professional reader, and who hopes that people will trust me to be non-judgmental and empathetic, I need to open myself up, to trust in the kindness of others and create that safe space myself. So I’m carving out that little nook right here and right now on this blog.

I’ve been sluggish and in a bit of a slump these past three weeks, my husband has been working double time with no weekends off, which means I have been on my own all day and most of the night with the children, and am feeling something like a maternal burnout. Last Friday he was supposed to have the day off, but, as often happens, he got called out. When he told me that morning that yet again he wouldn’t be back until the evening, I did something I haven’t done in a long time – I burst into tears. It’s not that I don’t cry often, I’m very affected by films, books and the news and it seems every week I cry about something I’ve seen or read, but I can’t remember the last time I cried for myself.

The past few weeks have been overwhelming and I really needed a day where I didn’t feel that the sole responsibility for the kids was on my shoulders. My three year old is in the throws of boundary pushing and can be so violent towards her younger brother that it is not safe to leave them alone together. The previous day she took a running shove at him with such force his feet left the ground before coming crashing down with a loud thump to his head. I’m not sure the word incensed even covers it, I lost my temper and shouted at her like I never have before. My screams of anger were almost immediately followed by incredible guilt for scaring her. She can be so tooth-achingly sweet and funny and play very well with him, but the switch from friendly playmate to baby tormenter is on a hair trigger, and while the good times are a very, very good, the bad times are also very, very bad. It feels like there is no middle-ground, just extreme vacillations between everyone super happy and giggling to everyone super upset and screaming.

Anyway, today I decided to ask my tools to reflect back what I am feeling right now. It isn’t that I don’t know what I am feeling, or even why, but I need a way to externalize my frustrations and view them from outside of myself so I can look at them with some semblance of objectivity and detachment.

For no particular reason I decided to draw a rune, an oracle and a tarot card. When I first pulled the rune I thought it was Gebo – this is a new set and I haven’t used it in a reading before – but it didn’t look quite right and after a few minutes I realized it was Nauthiz. In the first instance however, Gebo resonated so strongly that I decided to pull it out as well and add it to the reading. Next I drew the Night Queen from the Enchanted Oracle. This freeform sort of spread still didn’t feel quite complete so I also drew a card from the Tarot of the Sidhe. The positions hold no established meaning and I let my intuition guide me in terms of the order in which they should be read, and I must say, for such a disorganised mix of mediums and no spread to speak off they really did mingle into such a cohesive whole that perfectly reflected my emotions at that moment.

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Gebo, meaning ‘gift’, concerns relationships and partnerships and asks us to give freely and receive with grace and humility. It tells us that the free exchange of gifts – which can be in the form of favours or items – is one of the highest virtues, particularly amongst friends and loved ones. It represents the flows and cycles of wealth, reciprocity, broader community responsibilities and the capacity for generosity. To me it also recalls a much-loved quote of mine by Shakespeare, where Juliet says to Romeo, “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep. The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”

In regards to tarot correspondences, Gebo is most commonly linked to the Lovers, for me however, its appearance often conjures up the Six of Pentacles. These correspondences have no historical precedence (outside of the theory of the collective unconscious), so I see no reason to limit the Tarot’s relationship with Runes to the Major Arcana only, or even just one card. At 78:24 there’s plenty of room to play around with correspondences and combinations!

Because of Gebo’s X shape it cannot appear reversed or merkstave. However as with Tarot – and everything in life – any joy or blessing can come with a shadow aspect. For a long time now runes have taken a backseat to tarot in my practice so I decided to give myself a little refresher and watch some rune videos on YouTube and I found an interesting take on Gebo’s shadow in ‘Lurch579’s video, where he talks about how in giving of yourself, your energies and time so freely, you run the risk of losing yourself, of dissolving who you are and “giving yourself into the poor house”, be that materially or emotionally….

And BOOM. Wow. That resonates so much right now. I feel worn down, like I don’t have much left to give, and it is to do with so much more than just not having an uninterrupted night’s sleep in 3 years. I feel like I have surrendered my identity and been subsumed under motherhood. On bad days like these, there are times I feel I don’t exist outside of ‘mama’ – I am Mrs. Cellophane, void of substance, or even existence, independent of my role as a mother.

Women have to navigate an irreconcilable Catch-22 when it comes to motherhood. On the one hand, if a woman chooses not to have children a strange stigma is attached to her, as if something ‘feminine’ inside of her is broken or frigid. On the other, despite marriage and motherhood being frequently presented as the pinnacle of feminine achievement, our work in these spheres is utterly devalued and derided. I’ve experienced a couple of occasions when meeting someone new when they ask me what I do and I’ve told them I’m a stay at home mum, the response was a very deflated ‘oh’. I’m always so tempted to end my statement of what I do with a ‘for now’, just to leave some inkling impression that maybe this isn’t all there is to me, that maybe my passions, interests and talents lie beyond childrearing and never ending piles of dishes and laundry, that just perhaps, I don’t consider wiping asses a dozen times a day to be the zenith of human experience either. I have to bite my tongue and accept that anyone who responds that way isn’t worth an iota of my time anyway.

It gives me that 1950’s little woman feeling of being ‘just’ a housewife. And while my conscious, proudly feminist and logical self knows this attitude is horseshit, it still stings because it confirms the worst things that I think about myself in those dark hours: that I’m nothing, that I delivered my brain and my worthiness along with my babies, that I’ve given away all that I was and now there is nothing left but the requirement to nurture.

This feeling of being threadbare is reflected perfectly in the tarot card I pulled, Maker Five (equivalent to the Five of Pentacles) captioned ‘Winter’s Bite’, where we see the end of Autumn and a tree fairy mourning the loss of all of her leaves. She reaches out to the pieces of herself, desolate in their loss, feeling like a shell of herself, laid bare and forgotten by the world. The sun’s warming rays do not touch her but beam out to a spot beyond the horizon. As I reflected on this card it hit me that the insecurities I am feeling of being left out in the cold, of not being ‘seen’ anymore is very likely the exact same feeling that my daughter is struggling with and what drives so much of her destructive behaviour. With my attentions divided trying to keep on top of the needs of her little brother, preparing meals and general household chores she feels left out, like I’m not really seeing her.

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Nauthiz, translates to ‘need-fire’. This rune represents our needs and even the wants that we mistake for needs. It suggests that in at least one aspect of life, our needs are not being met and this is creating a blockage in our ability to move onwards and upwards on our respective paths. Often linked with the Strength card in Tarot, this rune also presents an opportunity to grow in our struggles, to put aside any shadow desire for martyrdom and do what we can to release ourselves from the constraints we put on ourselves. In this aspect I also see a relation to the Eight of Swords, where we usually see a figure bound and blindfolded in the midst of a nest of swords – we shouldn’t wait for rescue, but find a way to unbind ourselves.

This rune is often seen as a ‘bad’ one, where in fact it is just asking you the tough questions you need to answer to set yourself free. Nauthiz asks me plainly what I need and why some of these needs aren’t being met. Why do I not value myself enough to set boundaries, goals and yes, demands, around getting my needs met? Why do I deny my needs for fear of appearing weak? Is it because deep down I feel weak? What do I need to not feel, but know that I am strong enough to face any challenges? These are just some of the issues Nauthiz confronts me with, and warns me that if I don’t do something about it things are going to get a whole lot tougher. I see this as also reflecting the Maker Five, for this card too is about needs and neglect.

And last but not least, the Night Queen from the Enchanted Oracle. In the accompanying book Barbara Moore defines this card as a time where we need to go within and confront our demons, in other words, it represents a time for shadow work. This Queen tells me I need to explore the deeper origins of my insecurities, maybe do some inner-child work and see how my own childhood is affecting not only the way I parent, but also how I feel about parenting itself. There is one demon in particular this card triggered in me and the message I am getting is that I need to confront and put to rest the medical trauma I experienced at the hands of some very insensitive staff while delivering my daughter. It’s time for me to write it down in full, allow myself to feel again all that I felt at the time and release it, once and for all.