Archive for November, 2018

First, an update on our newest member of the household. Cerridwen has been pals with Newt for a few weeks, but this week she finally cracked Budge’s crusty demeanor toward her. He even cleaned her yesterday.

Now onto the cards! Today, we are revisited by The Guardian (traditionally the Devil), which is here represented by an animated bear skeleton. We saw this card just 5 weeks ago, but this time it is flanked by some very fluid and supportive cards:

Page of Arrows – Wren can represent watchfulness, mystery, determination, work, scholarship, wisdom, and a vigilant guardian.

Page of Vessels – Otter can indicate loyalty, devotion, study, willingness to serve, vision and contemplation, cooperation, and perceptiveness.

So we have the two fluid elements or air and water represented along with a challenging card. And though both of the page cards indicate sticking with your duty and using/building your wisdom, I’m suspecting that they are also telling us we might need to be flexible and think of things in a different way as we face the upcoming challenge.

Hope that is some help – bright blessings!

THE GUARDIAN

READING POINTS: A challenge has arrived in your life. The situation may be very complex. It may even have profound implications for your life and how you deal with the world. It may manifest itself in the form of a profound inner realignment or the facing of some physical outer predicament. Whether from the labyrinth that is the human mind or from some external source, the challenge that presents itself now must be seen for what it is: an opportunity. If something has been hidden or repressed, if a situation has been left to decay or become unhealthy, now is the time to take control of your fears and deal with the insecurity with courage and integrity. Always be aware that however threatening or difficult this situation is, you can only become stronger and more resilient from the experience of understanding and accepting inner darkness.

DESCRIPTION: The bleached white skeleton of a great cave bear stands sentinel in the night, guarding the entrance to a cave. The guardian spirit of the bear challenges those who would enter the cave of ancestral memory without understanding the nature of their own darkness. Within the cave’s open maw, filled with jagged and sharp stalactites, is an unknown and untrodden path. Its destination is shrouded in gloom. No inner light burns to show a way through. Before the path may be followed, the Guardian must be faced and mastery of one’s own fears achieved.

MEANING: Over the centuries, there has been much cynical manipulation of the concept of “the Devil” for political, religious, and doctrinal purposes, leading to the demonizing of this complex, pagan nature spirit. Yet the prime role of such archetypes is one of protection and initiation and is the human link to wilderness, nature, and fertility, sometimes manifested as fierceness, ecstasy and sexuality. However, the fear engendered by the warping of this archetype will be with us for a long time to come.

The Guardian stirs irrational fears from the muddy bottom of the human subconscious and fills the timid soul with foreboding. He is charged with an inhuman subconscious and unseen sentience, feeding off of fear and panic with a malevolent joy. But within this sardonic and chaotic energy lie wisdom, courage, and strength. The human survival instinct was geared for fight or flight, yet we have learned to rationalize our darkest fears and deal with unknown dangers with intellectual insight. As we have evolved our understanding of the unknown, we have learned that no diabolical or supernatural force in the universe is as frightening as the human imagination.

If the Guardian is frightening, it is because we are frightened by our own reflection, our own dark shadow, and it this element of ourselves that we must master. Within this process is the stripping away of conditioning and the distilling of absolute essentials within ourselves. Much can be gained by facing our most deeply hidden and suppressed fears, which usually stem from our own deepest instincts and desires. Once this truth has been absorbed and utilized for our own defense, the darkest of places and the most challenging of forest guardians can be looked in the eye without fear.

The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, art by Will Worthington

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If you haven’t noticed, we are working with the Wildwood Tarot this week, which is one of my favorite decks. Here we have the Green Woman, which may seem out of place to those of us with a dusting of snow (or more) on the ground. Remember, she is the feminine archetype of both the wild and the green, and the green is dormant not gone.

What lessons are you learning that she can help you with? Sometimes we can over-intellectualize a situation and need more gut-level and wild nature insights to the issue at hand.

Blessings!

THE GREEN WOMAN

READING POINTS: Appearing at a time of rich nurturing and protection, of learning and initiation, when loving and fertile relationships, both human and universal, abound, the Green Woman mediates the sacred sovereignty of the Earth’s soul and can show the path to understanding and communion with nature. But with this blessing comes responsibility. Remember that this glorious, magnanimous and generous spirit can live through you, radiated by the sacred breath of life and given to others who need guidance and healing. Learn from the abundant and joyous spirit of the Earth and be at one with the world and your true self.

DESCRIPTION: The Green Woman, disgorger of nature, crowned with ferns and wild roses, breaths the divine word of life. Her calm, serene expression is steady and full of graceful sovereignty. Around her neck is the golden Celtic gorget representing the sun throughout the year. The golden amber cup before her has within it the milk of love and nurturing and the sheela-na-gig on its side represents the life force of all women. The Green Woman symbolizes the forest at midsummer. Here, amide the luxuriant foliage, small animals and birds of the Wildwood live and build their homes, creating a whole ecosystem within the branches and a safe haven for the innocent and vulnerable beneath its roots.

MEANING: The Green Woman encompasses the female archetype of wildness and green energy. Her presence balances that of the wild man and represents the earthly manifestation of female solar energy and the rich bounty of the Great Mother. She also represents the goddess of the land, sometimes expressed as Sovereignty, who challenges all comers to braver her tests and to offer to those who succeed the gifts of inner kingship and love and a deepening bond to the riches of the Earth. From her pours the glorious light of the midsummer sun, blessing everything it touches with life and boundless energy.

This figure is complex and subtle but highly dynamic in her interaction with anyone who seeks to understand the nature of the Wildwood mythos. She mediates the sacred blessing of earthly fertility, and the beasts that inhabit it, and forms a deep bond with the seeker who wishes to attune to the rhythm of the Wheel of the Year.

In the Arthurian tradition, she validates the kingship of Arthur by bringing him the sacred sword and establishes him as a guardian of the Hallows of Britain, sometimes appearing as the Lady of the Lake, who fosters both Arthur himself as well as the young hero Lancelot. In other stories she manifests as the Flower Bride, sought after by more than one of Arthur’s great knights and offering the deep bonds of matrimony and joy to those with whom she shares her bounty. At its heart, her sacred role is the initiator of the human individual into the realm of the Wildwood.

The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, art by Will Worthington

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Dedication is such a meaningful word that can be applied to many ways. We can dedicate ourselves to a path, a person (even ourselves), a skill, a way of life, and more. Sometimes taking the leap of faith to dedicate yourself to something is scary, but it can be so rewarding. Don’t fear dedication.

Blessings!

NINE OF ARROWS – DEDICATION

MEANING: The spiritual warrior dedicates their arrows of inspiration by playing the bow as an instrument of summoning. The inner oath helps keep one on a balanced footing by dedicating skills to a great good.

DESCRIPTION: A figure, clad in skin robes decorated with patterns of leaves, stands in a clearing amid the Wildwood. She is holding a bow as though it were an instrument, the back of the bow cradled in her arms and an arrow held against the string as if it were the bow on a fiddle. Around her, repulsed by an invisible shield, are another eight arrows.

READING POINTS: To heed the calling to dedicate one’s life to any skill, spiritual path, belief system, or philosophy requires sincerity, self-discipline, and hard work. It is a sacred summoning that requires time and effort. For those who hear the calling and become spiritual warriors and protectors of the land, responsibility and sacrifice are also required. To deny that the human species has had a negative effect on the planet’s climate and atmosphere seems totally redundant. The growing awareness of our individual impact on the ecosystem may take on greater significance in the future.

We cannot predict what effect our avarice and rapacious exploitation of the land will eventually produce, but the dedicated defender of the soil must protect the living legacy we leave for our children. To teach by example the value of respecting other’s beliefs and philosophies in honoring the land is immensely important. Sometimes a simply daily ritual reminds us of the oath we have taken to conserve and protect the environment. Dedicate yourself to the task of preserving the land and be a part of making the difference.

The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, art by Will Worthington

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Making sacrifices seems to grow harder for society – often people don’t even want to give up watching a TV show or two to accomplish something greater. We must relearn the art of purposeful sacrifice in order to create a world for ourselves and the future.

Blessings and have a wonderful weekend!

Make the Sacrifice

You will not achieve the outcome you desire if you are unwilling to act upon your intentions. It is not as simple as wanting something to happen or believing that it will happen. You have to make it happen, and to make it happen requires that you be willing and ready to do whatever is necessary no matter the sacrifice. For everything you desire, you must give of yourself in return.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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Good day, everyone! We had a bit of snow last night, but it was too warm to stick around. Though many of us are about to experience winter, don’t forget to open yourself to new things. It’s easy to hermit during cold weather, but even at home you can try new food, burn a different incense (I definitely recommend something from my friend at Dryad Incense), try a new hobby, or whatever to open yourself to a new experience or renew the senses and the soul.

Blessings!

Nourish the Soul
Drink in life. Use your senses to explore your world – to see, touch, taste, smell, here, and experience all that is within you and around you. Your journey through life is meant to be a sensory experience. Your life is meant to be a rainbow of color, full of motion and sound. It is not meant to be a bland, tasteless existence of simply black-and-white. Be sensual. Explore yourself and your world every day and nourish your soul with every moment.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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The first day of using something other than the Halloween Oracle in weeks, and we get the very first card of the Messenger Oracle. Is a fresh start ready for you to accept it?

Blessings!

A New Day Dawns

Today is a new day. With the dawn comes an opportunity to begin again or to embrace something new. Create what you wish to create. Become the person who dreams of being. Do not allow your doubts or fears to hold you back for this day is bright with hope and good fortune. Go forth and greet it with a smile upon your lips and joy in your heart.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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In several ways, this card always reminds me of my mother. She loved cardinals, and she now belongs to the spirit world. Legend has it that when you see a cardinal making a point of being seen, it might be the spirit of a loved one visiting you.

Mom was also someone who (like many mothers) was good at knowing what kids were good at before the kids realized it. She gave me a typewriter a full year before I began to excel in English class and joined the Journalism class – she knew I was a writer long before I did.

My point with all this is that, yes, we all have hidden talents. No one but you can unwrap them, but do listen to those sincere people around you when they point out that you are good at something. They might have noticed something you overlooked.

Blessings!

NIGHTSONG – Hidden talents

A ruby red bird singing
In the darkness full of sound
Like an unopened present
Ribbons still bound.

A bird singing at night is an unusual occurrence and those birds who are known as “singers of the darkness” are almost always considered sacred – or frightening! From the operatic nightingale to the hooting owl, hearing a bird that you cannot see weaving its magic through the night sky has captivated humans for millennia.

In the past, at Halloween time, a night that the veil between the worlds was said to be at its thinnest, these night birds were considered either omens or messengers of the gods. Depending on the culture, their voices were perceived as good luck and a positive validation or, alternatively, a warning about continuing on a certain pathway. In some mythology, the night bird was able to direct us toward discovering our talents and true purpose – a kind of guide in the darkness leading us to the dawn.

Should this beautiful but shy bird sing to you by appearing during your divination, know that you must unwrap the present of yourself. Look! Some of the gifts within you remain unopened. The time has come to step into your true potential and claim all possibilities for yourself. There is no more time to waste. No more excuses!

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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This card has cropped up quite a bit in the morning spreads, and has been the featured card at least twice this season. Though this speaks to me personally for things happening over the past year, it does feel like it applies to society overall.

There is a lot of bad in our view on a daily basis. Let’s stop burning each other down and start recreating a more coexist-ful world from the ashes. Compromise. Doing what’s right for the Earth and not just ourselves. Looking after one another. We can do it, really we can. And it can be beautiful.

Blessings!

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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The Winter card was the strongest today, but the Forgiveness card was almost as insistent so I posted them both for you all to consider.

It’s definitely feeling more deep fall/heading into winter here today. Rainy and 46 degrees is perfect weather for reading or writing with a cozy sweater and cup of tea, but it also helps me to consider the need to take a breath now and then.

Then again, maybe the Winter card is telling me to get to work on the Yule deck I’m considering. I adore this Halloween- and Samhain-inspired deck, but I have often wished for a similar deck for the Winter holidays. We shall see how it goes.

Blessings!

Winter – The Sacredness of Pausing

Lightly I step,
for 
the earth falls asleep
A lullaby to rest and pause
The soul’s secrets to keep

Death is frightening even though it is inescapable. However, as we move into winter, we know it signals a literal and metaphysical death. In some parts of the planet, the extreme weather means snow and ice buries all life and the ground lies fallow and still.

In winter, the earth slows down and there is less light and often more wet weather. Many plants die back, many animals are less active and traditionally it was a leaner and more difficult time for those who worked on the land for their living. Winter often brought with it the end of a life cycle – a figurative or literal death.

Should the Winter card appear to you, it’s time to let what no longer serves you die away. Where it seems natural and right to let things that have been bothering you for some time die back, take real action to change those things. Anything that is superfluous, “extra,“ and burdensome – release it.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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We had this card just a couple weeks ago, but I definitely feel its re-emergence is for a reason (at least, it is for me). Remember to let your logic and intuition share ground – balance is key to most healthy lifestyles.

I’m headed to a short retreat with the women’s group I’m in, and I cannot wait to recharge my batteries a bit. Hope you all have a great day too.

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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