Archive for October, 2019

Sorry for running late today, but I didn’t want to miss pulling a card entirely on this day.

Last night, I finally set up the Beloved Dead altar. It’s a ritual I have come to love, even in years where I seem to barely get it done in time. Remembering family, friends, and pets that were so important to my life helps keep them with me. The altar is a bit simpler this year – there’s something about 2019 that has been stripped down for me, so it carried over.

As many of us honor and invite our Beloved Dead, it is perhaps fitting that today’s card reminds us that we are all equal in the end and to not approach everything so seriously. Take time to remember loved ones in a positive way. Consider divination tonight, as it will be a key time to do so. However you celebrate this occasion, I wish you all the blessings of Avalon.

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 Dead, 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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This is always a great card, reminding us not to be single focused in our efforts. Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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 author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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These two cards were equally insistent on being a focus today, so I decided to post them both. Take one or take them both – that is up to you!

JOY – Rejoicing in the present



I stand here,
I am where I am,
Fully alive and present
Stress is a sham

Besides the “HOOOOOOO” of a not-so-scary trick-or-treating ghost on Halloween evening, one of the most common sounds you’ll hear is laughter. There is so much joy at Halloween and it can be one of the most fun nights of the year if we allow that into our lives.

We lead busy lives: whether we are studying, running a household, have a demanding job, or all of them at once, it seems there is little time for us to stop, be present, and enjoy exactly where we are at this time. It has been said that the first step of real change is stopping and acknowledging that we actually need change. While sometimes we might feel that there is little to feel happy about and much to change, we can always fee grateful for something right now – and there is power in that position.

It is time to find the joy in this moment and to find that joy more often. Should this card come up in your divination, it heralds arrival of more happiness and profound joy into your life. It is a good omen!

Actively seek pleasure and build in more of the things that give you personal joy and laughter in your life. After all, we build in appointments for the dentist, so why not for our own pleasure?

 

HEARTH – Happiness in our hearts and homes

The heart of every home
The fire that unites
Winter’s warmth centres
Stories, love, and delight.

The ancient Romans believed that every home had a heart and it was the hearth. Where the fire burned, the family gathered for sustenance, communication, and protection. This concept was so important to the culture that there was a huge city hearth – the Vestal temple – where the fire of the home goddess, Vesta, burned forever without ever going out. This sacred flame was protected by the soldiers with their very lives should there be an invasion.

The place where the Goddess Vesta was honored within every ordinary home was also the hearth, and it is where women prepared food and cooked. Some of the food was always offered back into the fire as an offering to Vesta for her blessing and protection. Often husbands were sent away on military duty for years on end and their wives at home were not just expected to keep the home and and often the business running, but to wait for their husbands faithfully until their return. They prayed to Vesta to ensure their family members’ safe return and to keep the fires of love stoked. The saying “Keep the home fires burning” was inspired by this practice.

Should the Hearth card appear in your divination, you are being asked to look to your idea of what home and family is for you. Take the time to build up your “love” fire and have it burning brightly. Make your relationships a priority. If there is conflict within your home and family, it is time to take concrete steps to address the issue for good. If you or a member of your family is away from home due to travel and work, know that protection is being given.

The Halloween Tarot by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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Time to look at your energy and how it’s being used.

VAMPIRE – Emotional Intelligence

The deepest, the coldest
The evening of the blood
The hole never filled
The longing like a flood
While there are almost uncountable examples of vampires in literature, movies, and games, somehow the archetype of the blood-hunting, night-stalking, and somewhat elegant creature keeps being reinvented to seduce yet another generation.

Although the beautiful and somewhat desirable vampire form doesn’t really begin to enter the public consciousness until the mid-1800s, the idea of a human feeding upon the very stuff of life is much older. The Egyptians, Sumerians, Indians and the Balkan people all have mythos containing vampire-like creatures.

The vampire is an interesting figure because it is both horrifying and desirable. Having someone want us so much that they desire to be that closely linked with us does feel good – until we realize there is nothing much left of us to give.

Most of us have heard of the concept of emotional vampirism – the idea that people feed off our energy and our goodwill and take advantage of us through manipulation and their incessant neediness.

Should the Vampire card appear in your reading, it may indicate that you are being drained in this way and the time has come for stronger boundaries. We need to be very aware of what gives us energy in our lives and what takes it away. We should be aware of needing people to need us and why we invite people like this into our homes, workplaces, and lives, if indeed we have them around us. Developing the emotional intelligence without ourselves helps us defend against this kind of emotional and psychic attack and enables us to foster healthy equal relationships of all kinds.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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Regret is a slippery slope. On one hand, you can learn from that which you regret. On the other, if you never let go of regrets, you can never move on from them. They will haunt you and hinder your path and growth. Take care not to let past mistakes attach themselves to you for too long.

Blessings!

GHOST – Regret

Like smoke rising from the ashes
A mist from the sea
The dead they are watching
They have come to haunt me

The traditional definition of a ghost is the apparition of the spirit or soul of a formerly living being. Ghosts can be both in human form or animal and even occasionally inanimate objects such as ghostly ships have been reported. The belief in spirits and ghosts is extremely widespread across time and cultures and different words such as spirits, wraith, phantom, and shade have been used to refer to them.

Ghosts can be both people that we have known (ancestors, for example) who visit to assist us, or presences that are bound to a particular place because they have found it difficult to let go even after death. The concept of the haunted house or the “cursed” place is the basis for many a creepy ghost story. In fact, the most interesting ghost stories often involve a very angry or destructive spirit coming back to wreak its revenge after death. (The Old Norse word for “ghost” has the same root word as the word “fury”).

It is said that spirits that cannot let go of this world have a reason for this. Sometimes it is to warn the living, to guide them, but generally it is because they haven’t finished their business here on the plane of the living. They have regrets that they wish to resolve.

Should the Ghost come gliding into your life during divination, it may indicate that you have some regrets to let go of. Holding grudges or regrets is burdensome work and it weighs us down eventually. By taking actions to free ourselves of these old burdens, we clear the way for more rightful and wise action for the future. We can begin to live again fully if we let go of what was and step into new possibilities.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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This card is beautiful and significant. It reminds us of what is truly important, the thing many wise men and women has told us to focus on, and that is love. We are all energy, but it is up to us whether that energy is helpful, kind, and loving – or if it is concerned with the material things and ego.

ETERNAL LOVE

Love is love is love and it transcends physical death

When the body leaves us
And our souls are above
Our possessions no longer
Nothing remains
but the intertwining of love

All of us are the product of millennia of love. Our parent’s parent’s parents, our ancestors by blood and ritual all have in some way created the DNA that waves throughout our bodies. Love, in fact, powers life and death.

When most of us first encounter death in our lives, we experience grieving and in some ways that feeling could be described as an absence of love and the absence of that person or being. But the kind of love that is often shared between family members, friends, and lovers, separated only by physical death, is the kind that poets wax lyrical about, that is truly eternal and transcends death.

Should you choose this card, you are being reminded that love is the most power force in the universe. It is more powerful than death itself. Love lingers. It leaves its own legacy and we should be aware of this every day that we live. For those that are ready for and desiring of a partner, it also indicates that a significant love is close at hand and to be ready to open up to this new experience.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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Sorry to be running late, but here is your card of the day! Jack tells us that we are under his protection today.

Blessings!

Jack-O’-Lantern – Protection

Oh Jack! Oh Jack!
Let me carve my protection
Shine your fire outwards
Evil rejection and reflection

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without the carving of pumpkins into scary jack-o’-lanterns. Glowing menacingly from porches, dinner tables, and porches everywhere, Jacks actually have a rich history and a spiritual bent.

The original jack-o’-lantern was a will-o’-the-wisp, an old British term. The will-o’-the-wisp was a small bundle of sticks used as a flame or torch. The Irish and those living in the Scottish Highlands all carved winter vegetables – not just pumpkins but also parsnips, carrots, and beets. The time around Samhain (Halloween) was of course when the fae and goblins were said to be roaming wild and so the lanterns were intended to be both scary (scaring off the undesirable) and to light the way in the dark.

Today, carving pumpkin jack-o’-lanterns has become an art in itself and a true icon of Halloween. Intricate designs both scary and funny can be found in almost every home that celebrates the holiday. Both electric light and candles now illuminate the inside of the lanterns.

Know that you are protected and that you are capable of creating the life that you want and that the universe supports you in this should Jack shine his light upon you. Boundaries are important to teach people how to treat us and drawing this card indicates that you may wish to renew the ones you have or to establish new ones.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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