Archive for October, 2018

First, Tommy the Porch Cat says Happy Halloween and Blessed Samhain!

I’ve been MIA a lot the past week. The last couple days I got busy early doing stuff around the house and yard, and we’re trying to empty a storage unit. (I’m sure many of you know how hard that is!) Even the Beloved Dead altar, the high schooler’s costume, and pumpkin carving has been a bit last minute, but we did get it done. I’ve had to add three people and two pets to the altar this year, which makes me a little sad though I know we are doing the altar to keep them in our hearts.

In regard to the cards today, I thought the spread was spot on for the holiday!

We have the Graveyard representing unnecessary fear, the main card is Trick or Treat for mischief and play (how appropriate for today!), and finally Dawn for the light after the darkness as we head into the dark season of Samhain. Even though it’s the time to go within and to rest in the darkest part of the year, we still have the light within ourselves and the knowledge of the returning light next spring. There is always hope.

Blessings to you all! Here’s to a fun and safe Halloween and a beautiful and thoughtful Samhain.

TRICK-OR-TREAT – Mischief and play

Stalking and stomping
Eyes shining and begging baskets
Faces and bodies
that are no longer ours
Laughing, skeletons and candy caskets

Trick-or-treating is such a fun thing to do, is it not? Yet, why do we trick-or-treat?

Ancient peoples understood that there were both mischievous and perhaps nasty spirits wandering around at nightfall at Halloween as well as happier, more benevolent spirits. They thought that if they dressed as spirits themselves (or other frightening creatures) then they would not be recognized as human and attacked. The idea of causing a little chaos as one of these “spirits” was part of the imitation (and the enjoyment) of thenight. The practice in medieval Britain was aptly called “souling.”

Today, trick-or-treating is a huge event. We spend much time, money, and effort dressing up as our scariest creatures and this has even extended to dressing up as our favorite celebrities and other pop culture idols. Instead of traditional candy apples and barmbrack, we give out a mind-boggling variety of candy. It matters not – the idea of frightening away death and darkness still stands.

I believe that the modern trick-or-treating also unites communities by introducing our families and friends to those around us in a non-threatening and joyful way. Many of us do not know our neighbors – even those who live next door – and Halloween gives us an excuse not to be so reserved and extend our boundaries.

Should you receive the Trick-or-Treat card in your divination, it may well be a time to examine your own life. You don’t have to be a child to let go and have some playtime and you can extend the fun to others. Sometimes we are afraid to make mistakes and play is one way to alleviate the pressure that we sometimes place on ourselves to get everything perfect every time. Alternatively, it is worth knowing that there is a balance between manipulation and mischief – the former is not pleasant and the other has at its core a sense of irreverent fun.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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OK, folks. Sorry that I’ve been MIA for the last few days.

This is a telling card for many of us. Considering the many hateful acts that have occurred in the U.S. this week, we really need to think about the direction of our society and how we change the idea that some have that their way is the only way.

Look at the whole spread too. Being enlightened enough to understand that there are many ways to be a good human is not enough – we need to be active in our lives and our communities to make change. Look to the Lady de los Muertos as a guide. WE are all born the same way and we will all die regardless of the riches we do or do not attain, the religious path we choose and so on. Blessings!

LADY DE LOS MUERTOS – Acceptance & Equality

Pale, you step out of the night
In red lace,
Full flowers upon your crown.
You bring the beauty to death
The equality and joy
Of the underground

The iconic lady of death, with a pale skull-like face, zombie eyes and rich red funeral flowers in her hair has become one of the most recognizable symbols of Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Deal, El Dia de los Muertos.

The original model for this flamboyant lady of death can be traced back to the ancient Aztec goddess Mictecacihuatl. As time went on, the figure remained balanced between beauty and horror, and morphed into the Lady of the Dead and eventually into the more modern graphic figure of “Catrina.” It is also reported that the identity of the original “Catrina” was bawsed on women who were very rich and had everything they wanted in this life. Yet, death takes everyone, equally, so it was a reminder that no matter how beautiful, rich, popular, or famous you were – in the end, death takes all.

The Mexican culture has a long-standing history of “laughing at death” and seeing it as just another aspect of life. In some ways, death is the last taboo in many Western cultures. We tend to hide away our dying and some of us may never even see the body of someone who has passed in our whole lives, but this was a much more common occurrence in the past.

Acknowledging that death is a natural process that will enter everyone’s life at some time and that perhaps, until then, choosing to be life affirming takes away much of the fear. Take a light approach to a situation initially and it may work out better. If you are holding on to something that does not serve you any longer – in particular materials things – simplify and let go.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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Ahhh, fear. I have no fear of scary movies or a walk at night, but sometimes fear can affect us in more subconscious ways. Fear of change. Fear of failure. Fear taking a leap and falling on your rump a few times. We need to remember that failure and change are key elements of growth and learning – not something to be feared constantly.

Blessings!

GRAVEYARD – Unnecessary fear

The stones they mark
The eternal resting place
Yet the spirits they are walking
And they are ready for the chase!

Today’s modern graveyards are restful places – normally highly manicured and very well set out. While they can be places of profound sadness, few are the creepy gothic places of old, yet they still hold an undercurrent of fear and seem frightening places.

Due to countless stories of haunted graveyards, the thought of walking through cemeteries evokes fear in many of us – we imagine zombies and ghosts rising from the graves and bad spirits hiding out, waiting to harm an unsuspecting living person walking by. The idea of being at a graveyard after dark, or worse, at midnight, is the stuff of dares and nightmares.

But this isn’t the way with every culture. On the Mexican Day of the Dead, whole families picnic on the graves of their loved ones who have passed. Children play upon the graves, people play music, drink wine and share food all in the “company of the dead.” Graveyard dust is used as an ingredient in protective spells, not in curses.

Pull this card and know that you fear unnecessarily. Things are not as they seem and you can overcome your obstacles. The anxieties you have, although real, should be put aside before they haunt you long term. Instead, trust that you know the correct next steps and that you will act upon them.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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Today’s card speaks to me both for everyday and spiritual life. I need more diversification in my work but have always had it in my spiritual endeavors (which has been fruitful). Being open to new paths and ideas, though initially uncomfortable, has often provided me with a richer experience. Just keep your antenna up for anything that could be amiss, but even things that don’t work out will give you a learning experience.

Blessings!

CAULDRON – Synergy and healing

Where all things come together
Under pressure, flowful synergy
A new thing is created
A crucible of infinity.

A typical depiction of a witch sees her standing over a boiling cauldron slowly stirring the bubbling and mysterious contents. As she stirs the enormous metal over the raw flames, she cackles and incants commands to all the elements, transforming the contents into something magical.

Cauldrons were commonly used in ancient and medieval times for everything from the nightly meal to the making of medicines. This “family crucible” was usually placed within the hearth of the home, making it an essential part of the gathering of family. Much healing and nourishment came from the cauldron.

Should you receive the Cauldron card, it indicates the importance of combining a variety of techniques or elements to get the best result. Do not pull all your eggs in one basket. Refuse to choose just a single rigid pathway when a variety of ways are there to be enjoyed and experienced. You can find your own ways to create something new. The cauldron is a deeply transformational tool – things change once they are put under pressure. Resilience is being cultivated over time and this means that you will be able to withstand any negative pressure much more healthily from the inside out.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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So, first up in news in the PTM household: We may have a new family member! I posted about this cutie a couple days ago, but no one has claimed her yet. We were planning to find her a good home, but of course, we’ve gotten attached to her already (we *think* it’s a girl). She’s sweet but can have an attitude, and she has this uncanny knack for making everyone feel like she’s their kitty. Anyway, we’re calling her Cerridwen for now.

Tarot Kitties Newt (below) and Budge are NOT happy at the moment, but we are sure that will change with a little time.

We are back with a card today, and it looks like we might need to pull out a mirror, crystal balls, or a cup of water and see what you can see. Or perhaps find another way to develop your intuition. Whatever you do, have a great day!

SCRYING – Intuition

Scrying is the divination technique of seeing unconscious images (or images from the divine or supernatural) appear upon or within a surface. People scry into a crystal ball, a black mirror, water, even the surface of ice. It is a very ancient technique and one traditionally enacted on Samhain (Halloween).

The keys to effective scrying are being as relaxed as possible, minimizing possible distractions, softening your gaze and allowing.

The enemy of effective scrying is distraction, both from inside and out. Turn off the phone, electric lights anywhere you can see them, any music, and if you are scrying outdoors, take the time to setting into the environment and listen to all the noises so that your mind will not need to break your focus later. It is also vitally important to settle the mind as much as you can.

If you regularly meditate, you may wish to use those techniques or otherwise you can simply shut your eyes and focus on slowing your breath – this is usually very effective. If you have a specific question for the scrying medium, state it up front. Then, when you feel relaxed, turn your focus inward. Imagine pulling your energy within you and then you focus on the third eye point (the chakra point on the center of the forehead, just above the eyebrows) and imagine opening it. Then gaze in a soft unfocused way at your scrying surface and simply allow images to form and observe what present itself to you. Do not engage your rational mind – this is about receiving and not thinking!

Should you pull the Scrying card, I suggest you try it for starters. It also indicates that you may wish to develop your intuition further and not rely solely on the logical part of your mind for all the answers. It takes a balance of logic and imagination and intuition for true wisdom.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

 

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Morning! In our household, much time and energy last night and this morning has been sucked up by this little bundle of cuteness. A neighbor was trying to keep this lost one out of freshly poured concrete, and for some reason everyone thinks we are the neighborhood caretakers of all the lost critters. Of course, we did keep it and are trying to find wee one’s home. Yes, we are suckers.

Now on to the cards. I found all of today’s spread interesting, and I think it says something about the current state of society: Dawn (the light after the darkness), Skull of Flowers (creating through the ashes), and Spider (Community and web-weaving).

Skull of Flowers was the main card in the spread, so here it is! Have a great day, folks. 🙂

SKULL OF FLOWERS
“Creating through the ashes”

To blossom and bloom
The work must be done
Through the fire and ashes
Our fortune it comes

Before flowers are born, they are sweet buds on a plant that came from a smaller form like a seed or a bulb. The seed needs prepared, nourishing soil to grow to its potential. Some plants and trees only seed after fire or a period of extreme adversity like drought or flood.

Sometimes we wish for a life different from the one that we have and that can mean radical change. Sometimes to have that new life, everything falls apart to make it so – and that can be uncomfortable. We may lose our relationships or they may change. We might lose a job, have to move house or become ill – all big events that lead to a reassessment of the “how” of our lives.

The Skull of Flowers illustrates that there is a sureness and yet a rawness to creating again, to starting afresh. Sometimes the universe gives us a blank slate to work from, so we can build what we really want, rather than just settling for less. The Skull of Flowers celebrates not just a kind of phoenix energy but also an energy of success and full bloom through adversity.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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This card is revisiting rather soon, but perhaps there’s a reason for it. Take time to act in ways that benefit you in the long run rather than a knee-jerk reaction.

Blessings!

Owl – Wise seeing, wise action

Silent winged and wise
All seeing creature of the night
Show me the way
I will follow you in flight

Owls have for thousands of years been part of folklore and have been considered a special or sacred animal. With their huge forward-facing eyes and otherworldly appearance, they have been seen as both wise and as harbingers of the supernatural.

There are many hundreds of species of owls and almost all are nocturnal and carnivorous. Interestingly, they all have specially designed feathers that enable them to fly silently at night, giving them an incredible hunting advantage, sort of like having a stealth mode!

Many deities were said to be able to change into owls and perhaps the most famous was the Green Goddess Athena, who was famous for her strategy and intelligence. To this very day, the capital of Greece, Athens, has Athena’s owl as its symbol.

Should the hooting owl come looking for you this Halloween, it indicates the need for wise council or further information before you make a decision. Considered action is warranted. Think before you act emotionally and ensure that you think strategically, not impulsively.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco

 

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