Hope everyone had a good weekend, and has a good start of the week. It’s a bit of a holiday for our household as I’m the only one who has to work this week, and that’s just a few hours a day. As some of us roll along toward an unusual Thanksgiving holiday, please be as safe as possible and remember that our loved ones are always with us.

Blessings!

Card of the Day: Boar – The warrior spirit, leadership, direction

The card shows a boar in the forest. In the foreground lies a bronze carnyx, with its mouth in the form of a boars head. Such a battle trumpet has been found in Grampian, Scotland. By the path, and also from Scotland, is the Boar stone, beside which all Pictish kings took their oaths. To one side we also see the discarded bronze helmet of a warrior, complete with a board crest found in Wales. In the foreground grows mug wart, dandelion, and wild asparagus.

Meaning: Boar (Torc) can open you to the Warrior Spirit, helping you to find your direction in life. It’s a wild and powerful animal, he calls you into the forest to discover a secret about yourself and about the world. The ritual boar paths that exist in Wales, Cornwall, Ireland, and Scotland exist in the inner world too, and if you follow them you will come face to face with an animal embodying the wild and untamed power that lives within each one of us. Stare closely at him and you will discover he is a representative of the goddess – his skin can heal you, he can inspire you to write music and poetry, his primal power can make you a leader or chief. See if you can use your wildness and your energy for genuine acts of heroism in a world that longs for inside and healing.

This card may also mean that you have lost your sense of direction. There is a close connection in tradition between madness and pigs and boars. At a playful level this folly is expressed by the Morris dancer who beats the audience with the pigs bladder – also used a football. But at a more serious level, those who were mad were often made to act as swineherds. Merlin, in his period of madness, talks to pigs, and within this image is conveyed the concept that madness and insight are closely allied. Sometimes we have to go through A breakdown so that something wider and deeper can enter into our lives. The boar is the emissary of the terrible mother – who is also the initiator. Sometimes a period of destruction proceeds Creation or rebirth.

Druid Animal Oracle by author Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

I feel lately as if every card speaks to the chaos and strife in the world and how we should counter it. Well, here we go again. Remember that even though the world has been showing its hateful side, we do not have to face it with hate. And by no means should you fall into the trap of hating yourself. If you have shame or sadness for not being better, move on and focus on how to be better.

Blessings!

Message: With her peaceful cooing, the gentle Dove Spirit invites you to embrace the energy of peace and allow compassion to warm your heart. ou always have the power to generate peace within you, and the appearance of Dove Spirit is a reminder that today and every day is a good day to meditate, to quiet any turbulence within as you embody tranquility.

Above, below, and all around you, much may be happening to distract you, but you are called to engage it with the heart of a peacemaker, asking yourself, “What would Peace do?” Can you agree to disagree?

The peace you seek rises within and spreads out into the world as Spirit sends her messenger to remind you of the beauty of a harmonious existence with all that is. How beautiful and powerful is your compassionate heart!

Protection Message: However disturbed the waters are around you, however your troubled heart, Dove Spirit is there to remind you that peace without begins within as you reconnect with Spirit through practices the awaken you from spiritual amnesia. Your true nature is as a peaceful child of Spirit. Soon, the waters will become still and you will feel peace again. Be compassionate with yourself at this time, for all of us can forget that peace is always at hand, always there, gifted to us by Spirit. Become the peace you wish to see in the world so you can reduce any suffering, performing acts of kindness and radiating love.

Dove Spirit also reminds you that when you see inequity or someone harmed or in need, trust that you have the capacity to bring peace through smiling, sending love, speaking a kind word, and listening with a compassionate heart. Do your part to be a peacemaker, nourishing compassion, reminding others of the joy of harmonious co-existence so that they may embrace the Dove Spirit within themselves too.

Spirit Animal Oracle by author Colette Baron-Reid and artist Jenna DellaGrotaglia

This seems on-point and on time. We received this card last December, when it seemed odd to slow down and go within in a time of preparing for the holidays. This year, it definitely speaks to our need as humanity overall struggles to do what is right for each other and ourselves.

Blessings and have a beautiful Thursday.

THE HOODED MAN

READING POINTS: The time of the Hooded Man is here. Whether he appears in the guise of an inner guide and mentor or simply as a state of mind, you will understand that now is a time to withdraw and rest. After a long journey through the Wildwood, many emotions and experiences need to be absorbed. This is the beginning of understanding – not just of yourself, but of the universe. The hermit-like Hooded Man appears differently for everyone. Whether through meditation or solitude in the mountains, through prayer or holidaying in a secluded place, his light will illuminate the way to the heart of the endless cycle of being.

DESCRIPTION: A lone hooded figure stand before an ancient oak. It is midwinter. Thick snow covers the ground and the branches of the tree. The Hooded Man is dressed in an evergreen holly and berry cloak. He holds a stout staff in one hand and a lantern to light the pathway in the other. In the great tree is a battered and moss-covered wooden doorway. Through the swollen timbers, a warm light spills into the evening gloom. The inside of the great tree appears inviting, a haven from the chilling air. Above the doorway is a wheel-like wreath of holly and evergreen foliage. On a cold stone rising from the frozen earth, a wren watches and waits.

MEANING: After the trials and tribulations of dealing with the primal forces that confront you on the wheel of the year, a space is needed for stillness and contemplation. For the spiritual warrior or seeker looking for esoteric knowledge, the complex matrix of symbolism and insight may confuse the intellect and shake the reality. The Hooded Man (also known as the Hermit or sometimes the Robin-in-the-Hood, the deeper archetype of the Outlaw of Sherwood Forest) offers a steadfast light in the midwinter world and a steady staff on which to lean and gather your mental resources. His shining lamp illuminates the darkest recesses of fear and incomprehension and guides the way to the doorway that leads into the heart of the great tree. He knows that knowledge is light and sometimes only earned with sacrifice and stoicism. Such things offer admittance to the great mystery of the woodland and show the seekers how they may find the wisdom to advance through the wilder reaches of the forest. Within its ancient heart lie locked countless secrets and the profoundest treasures of wisdom.

The Hooded Man survives even in the cold empty winter landscape because of his wisdom and his will. He is at one with the harshness of the climate because he draws upon the strength of the evergreen holly that that even winter cannot turn to dust and has stored spiritual nourishment to sustain him. He has absorbed the lessons and knowledge that his journey has afforded him; and to those who have followed his path and now are tired an in need of solace, he waits to pass on wisdom, comfort, and guidance.

On a small rock nearby is the wren, the sacred bird of kings, revered as an oracle and a keeper of secret wisdom. The wren is an ancient totem bird that flew highest of all creatures by riding on the back of the great eagle, thus earning itself the title of King of All Birds. It serves as a reminder that the smallest of the Earth’s creatures is capable of soaring to the greatest heights and seeing beyond the furthest horizon.

This time of rebirth is both inward and mystical, and yet outward and universal, beyond the narrow boundaries of human civilization and moral codes.

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

We just watched Dead Poet’s Society last week, which makes the point about seeing things from a different perspective. That can be hard to do with your own life, but it is worth it try. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves needlessly or, on the other side of that, we may not realize ways in which we may be hurtful of others, have lazy habits, etc.

Hope everyone has a lovely Wednesday!

Meaning: Hawk (Seabhac in Gaelic) brings the ability to see your life in perspective, to free you of unnecessary baggage and to connect you to your ancestral roots. See if you can take some time out of your daily routine to survey your life calmly and to see events in context. The Hawk can help you to recollect the missing pieces of the jigsaw you will be trying to assemble and he will help, too, to spot the details which are significant.

When you have a sense of your roots and of the breadth of your life, you will start to feel pride and a growing sense of nobility and stature. Once you know where you have come from and where you are going, your life will be filled with inspiration and enthusiasm, you will sense a new day dawning, and you will be able to make decisions with confidence.

On the flip side, Hawk can suggest that you could be paying too much attention to detail. Being precise and “hawk-eyed” can be valuable, but taken to its extreme and without a wider overview, it can lead to cruelty. High ideals, if not balanced with a sense of humility, lead to arrogance and ultimately denial of the heart. Be careful not to get carried away by the justness of your cause, while forgetting to take into consideration the feelings of others.

Druid Animal Oracle by authors Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and artist Will Worthington

Fire is often a frightening force, but it is also a powerful one. Remember to balance your energy so that you can utilize the power of fire within you for a rebirth, to face fears, and renew yourself.

Have a lovely Tuesday, everyone!

Spirit of Fire

MEANING: Transformation. Take risks. Face your fears. Break out of old patterns and conventions. Just because you’ve always done something in the past doesn’t mean that you need to continue to do it in the future. Try something new. Change your routines and habits. Reach out in new directions. The Thunderbird is rising in you; out of the ashes come new growth and new beginnings.

NATIVE SPIRIT WISDOM: In native cultures, fire was thought to be a gift from the creator that carried the power of renewal. Fire can maintain life – and destroy it. It is the warmth of the tribal fire, but it is also the thundering lightning bolt cast down from the sky. It can purify and transform – and it can annihilate. Fire represents your life force, the spark of life within you, and also the pure white light within you. The Spirit of Fire card invites you to take some risks and to face your fears. We often are reacting to situations because of preconditioned responses based on our self-generating definition of self. Every time you change an old habit – even changing to a different breakfast food – it helps you begin to step out of a limiting definition of self. Purification by fire creates transformation. Take care to keep your energy and balance. Fire that burns too brightly burns out, but a fire that’s left to smolder dies.

THE JOURNEY: When you first wake up in the morning, focus on the emerging sunlight. Imagine that you are breathing in that light. Gaze unblinkingly into a candle flame and focus your awareness on the inner flame within you. By doing this you’re activating the spirit of fire that dwells within you and around you. Imagine yourself to be a single candle flame, a camp fire, a forest fire, electricity, lightning, the Sun, and stars. Affirm this: May the light of the Sun illuminate my heart, that my heart may illuminate the world.

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

Native Spirit Oracle by Denise Lynn, art by Charles McStravick

What a beautiful card we have today. It’s easy to walk in beauty this time of year, with soft, glowing fall colors all around. Don’t forget that you always have beauty inside yourself – and sometimes we don’t recognize and nurture it. Now is the time to pay attention to both external and internal beauty.

Blessings!

Walking in Beauty

Meaning: Radiant beauty surrounds you. You’re beautiful, inside and out. No matter what your age, your grace is growing. Being in balance. As you walk in beauty and feel gratitude for it, your life will be filled with immense splendor. Whenever you can, spend time in natural, wild spaces. As you see and hear and feel beauty around you, your own beauty will grow.

Native Spirit Wisdom: In Native American traditions, there’s the concept of walking in beauty. It’s called “hozho naasha” in the Navajo/Dineh tradition, and it means being in balance with a natural way of life. When we are in the right relationship with the natural world around us, we are walking in beauty. The more you sense and see beauty around you – in your environment, yourself, and your body – the more it will fill your life in all forms. Never say anything about yourself or your body that’s negative. Don’t put down yourself or others. Instead, affirm beauty, and take time to adorn your body and personal space. Walk in nature and inhale the beauty of every part of our wonderful planet. Cherish yourself and the luminescence within you, and you will glow.

The Journey: Create outer harmony in your home environment, even in small ways – such as a vase of flowers, a scented candle or clean windows – and your inner grace and radiance will begin to shine even more brightly. Where you go, look for beauty in your surroundings, and as a result, the world will become more beautiful.

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn artist Charles McStravick

Ecstasy gets shortchanged in our society – often only associated with drugs or sex. But true ecstasy is a spiritual experience and can be found in many ways. I’ve encountered it while drumming and also while dancing around a bonfire at a women’s spiritual festival. Where do you find it?

Five of Vessels – Ecstasy

Meaning: The beat of the universal drum is heard in the soul and it is healthy to surrender for a time and to join the dance. Energy is renewed by bathing in the cosmic life force of exultant and since your ecstasy.

Reading points: Many avenues are open to the wanderer to commune intimately and ecstatically with great beauty or to be intoxicated by an intensely personal connection with the divine. Music, meditation, art, love, dancing, or profound sexual experience can inspire and induce the sacred trance of enlightenment ecstasy. This powerful and euphoric awareness is utterly natural and a well-established aspect of shamanic traditions. States of ecstatic trance can sometimes be triggered by extreme physical exertion or the quiescence of the superficial consciousness, so as to gain access to a deeper and more profound comprehension of everything. 

Sadly, the concept of spiritual ecstasy has been damaged by the common use of drugs that imitate for a short time the endorphin rush of an authentic and natural ecstasy. The ecstatic trance has been described as a delightful possession or a mysterious union with the timeless exuberance. The fusing of the spiritual being with a profound and loving universal mind elevates the soul to the space between spaces, where poetry breathes through you and exultation and stillness effortlessly coexist. 

The Wildwood Tarot by authors Mark Ryan and John Matthews and artist Will Worthington 

OK, so I find it interesting that the three cards I picked today are (and in this order): Oak, Ash and (Haw)Thorn. Ummm, I know the trio of trees having significance might be a modern Pagan concept, with the exception of finding these trees at holy wells, but they still have seeped into the modern Pagan themes. So getting all three was intriguing to me.

Oak, Ash, and Thorn present themselves together today.

Oak, however, was definitely the leader of the pack today. The lore about the Oak tree is vast, and there are many oaks around the world that are revered. What’s your favorite Oak tree or Oak folkore?

Oak – No One Knows Their Fate

Meaning: Fate is a a door that can swing in both directions. We may endeavor to know what our own personal fate is going to be, but to do this can be a double-edged sword. Who has not wondered what the future holds in store, only to be brought up short with the thought that to know such things changes everything, effectively taking away our freedom of choice? True fate comes from recognizing each moment for what it contains, and acknowledging a fated or fateful chance that brings us closer to the path we are meant to be walking. fate is not written in stone, however, for we have choices that open up before us every day.

Neither does fate control which of the paths we take, for it merely guides us toward the realization of our potential. to understand this brings strength and an age-old wisdom that teach us how to live in harmony with the circumstances that fate may have put in front of us. If you draw this card, think what it is that is truly motivating you.

Oak Lore: The oak has been called the first among trees – not surprisingly, since it is often the tallest and most imposing in any grove. In Britain it is frequently called the royal oak, while to the Druids (whose name means “oak wisdom”) it was the central tree of their mystery, acknowledged in Ireland as the tree sacred to the Dagda, father god of Celtic tradition who, like the oak itself, never failed to give hospitality to all who asked for it. Appearances of the oak in myth and folklore are so numerous that it was clearly recognized a sacred tree from the earliest times; indeed, it was held in the highest honor by the Norse people and the Greeks, for whom the oak represented Thor and Zeus, respectively. The use of oak wood in shipbuilding – from Jason’s great ship Argo, which had a branch from the sacred oak of Dodona in its hull, to the floating castles build to defend Britain from the French armada – has added to its reputation for strength and endurance. “Hearts of oak are our ships, hearts of oak are our men,” runs the old song.

Oracles & Predictions: The oak’s association with prediction seems t be common to most cultures. For the ancient Greeks, to consume acorns was to imbibe wisdom, while the oak shrine at Dodona was guarded by priestesses who interpreted the future from the rustling of leaves on the great tree. the voice of the sacred spring that rose at its root and the behavior of birds in its branches. All of these ideas are echoed in Celtic tradition, which describes a number of sacred oak trees, which were often roosting places for oracular birds. the oak was also sacred to Taranis, Celtic god of lightning and storms, and to this day the tree’s trunk is especially revered if it is struck by lightning.

Heroes of the Oak: Robin Hood, the semi-divine hero of the greenwood, used to meet with his outlaw band under the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. This tree is still standing, although now propped up with wooden struts, and with a 20-meter (65-foot) diameter it can house unto 34 children in its hollow trunk. The area around Herne’s Oak in Windsor Great Park is still said to echo with the call of the god’s hunter horn (Herne is a spirit of the trees, and is almost as old as the Green Man himself). Another famous oak, at Boscobel in Shropshire, is widely believed to have sheltered the fugitive King Chalres II from Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers. Each year, Oak Apple Dayis still celebrated in parts of Britain on May 29, when people wear sprigs of oak leaves in memory of this event.

The Spirit of Nature Oracle by author John Matthews and artist Will Worthington

Let Two Become One

This card’s meaning sounds simple, but it is truly difficult to do. Holding on to yourself while opening yourself up for a solid relationship with another takes love and finesse.

Hope you all have a great Wednesday!

Meaning: Share yourself with the one that you love. Be their best friend and let them be yours. Let your trust in each other be unshakeable and your love be strengthened by knowing and accepting each other’s flaws and weaknesses, and still loving each other despite them. Give yourself completely, trusting that you will not lose your independence or sense of self, but instead become two halves of a stronger, loving whole.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

It’s a good day to remember that you have power to affect great change in the world. It is rooted in the ancestors and in your spirit.

Blessings!

Bear (Art) – Primal Power, Sovereignty, Intuition married with Instinct

Bear connects you with the very deepest of your ancestral roots. Here, at this level, you are in touch with the Primal Mother – the Bear goddess Artio who will defend you fiercely from all danger. You are connected also with the Bear god Artaois, the mighty warrior Arthur, the guiding Pole Star of the Great Bear. Your intuition will never fail you, if you will listen to it in the still darkness of the night. Working with the Bear gives you the opportunity to become a spiritual warrior – like Arthur. You can find the way to come into your power by marrying your strength with your intuition. Integrating your primal power with your intuition means uniting your star-power with your animal-power – and both are symbolized by Art, the Bear.

This card could also be giving you a clear warning that you must take care not to be overwhelmed by the ferocious mother, by the berserk warrior – by forces of anger and primal ferocity that, untempered with the human qualities of compassion and reason, can damage not only your own life, but those of others around you. Art brings a strong presence and great reserves of power, and with perseverance you will be able to integrate your spiritual, intuitive qualities with your primal, instinctual qualities.

The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, art by Will Worthington

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