Archive for February, 2021

Today we are working with a new deck, The Herbcrafter’s Tarot, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit though I still have much to learn and sense with the deck.

Cedar, here representing The Chariot, is a quietly beautiful card – cedar is strong in many ways: aromatherapy, ability to spread and grow easily, used as a smudge to cleanse, and more. However, it is also a soft and flexible wood. These traits make it a sound representative for how we should all try to move forward.

Blessings!

The Chariot – Cedar

Move forward with confidence; be disciplined yet flexible in your pursuits; and embody the journey

A mandala lies on a dark forest floor. A cedar branch stripped of its needles forms the shape of roots, while another, fuller one makes the shape of a tree canopy. The two stems come together to create a trunk. Cones encircle the tree. The mandala is framed by lush boughs above and below. A starlit sky casts an aura around the tree.

Meaning: Life is a forward-moving gift. embark on a deeper quest; learn from ancient wisdom and forge a new path. Cedar is both a spiritual vessel used in sacred ceremony and a literal vessel when it is used for making canoes. Like strong, flexible cedar roots finding their way through the forest, be determined and opportunistic. Travel between the worlds of heaven and earth. Bring the knowledge of spirit and soul into the body just as the cedar trunk contains the stories of the earth. Have faith in the experience. It is not the triumph but the journey that leads to mastery.

Crafting with the Chariot:

Encounter cedar in the wild; ask for guidance. Carry a small leaf in your pocket for courage.

Practice discipline and flexibility; learn to harvest cedar honorably, with ceremony and intention.

Journey into the spiritual realms with a cedar steam or cedar smudge.

The Herbcrafter’s Tarot by artists Joanna Powell Colbert and author Latisha Guthrie

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TWO OF STONES – CHALLENGE

Challenge isn’t always a bad thing. We all need to learn to hold our ground when it’s needed, and we all need to learn to compromise when needed – and learning how to do it with considered action, not angry reaction.

Blessings!

MEANING: Female hares box for domination and territorial rights to breed. After drawing on your grounded energy to reach self-empowerment, a position may be challenged or a struggle for control initiated by others. Learning to deal with rivalry or adversity in a dispassionate manner is a practical skill that can be used to advantage. 

DESCRIPTION: Two low, worn stones stand side by side at the edge of the trees. On each one stands a hare. They are boxing furiously. Ripples of energy flow out from them as if their power and force were manifesting.

READING POINTS: Many challenges or rivalries are born of insecurity and subconscious issues with peers and colleagues. Usually, it is these emotions rather than actual malice or personal ill-will that dictates a rival’s mistrust or understanding of your efforts. In the modern material world, where so much emphasis is placed on a show of power or wealth, it is often a perceived position or status that enflames jealousy, rather than the reality of a situation. Holding your own ground and defending your position at such times can be achieved by keeping in touch with pure and positive motivations and holding on to a personal integrity and sincerity, which is the basis for any fair and enduring material reward or advancement. Some competition and honest differences of opinion can be productive and even beneficial. Remain clear and focused on your objectives and stay firm in your ethical efforts to proceed with a plan or project.

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

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OK, so how many of you have a certain song from The Lion King stuck in your head now? Goooood.

This card indicates a need to find your center and work from there to make dreams and goals a reality. Be prepared for change.

Circle of Life

Meaning: All things are possible. Stand in your center and be open. The Four Winds are bringing your dreams to fruition. Embrace and accept where you are in the great circle of life. Bounty and abundance are flowing to you. If you’ve had relationship or financial challenges, things are about to change.

Native Spirit Wisdom: The circle of life (called “The medicine wheel” in Native American traditions) symbolizes a cosmology that honors all the circle of life. Those in Western cultures tend to see life as linear; however, those in indigenous cultures view all life as a circle. When this card chooses you, it’s time to honor and cherish all aspects of the great circle. All parts of the journey have beauty and grace. There’s beauty in the rising sun, just as there is in the setting sun. To only revel in the rising sun (and demean times of endings) depletes your energy. Choose what is and you become master of the Universe (or at least of your own personal universe).

The Journey: Create a medicine wheel for yourself. It can be as simple as creating a circle of stones that you place on your desk or making a circle of stones or pinecones that you lay outdoors. As you place each part of the circle, hold the intent that you’re honoring all aspects of your life.

Native Spirit Oracle by author Denise Linn and artist Charles McStravick

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The Hind is always such a beautiful card that it is easy to see the meaning of the card in it, however, don’t forget that we all have masculine and feminine energy within us. In other words, this card is for ALL of us. Given some of the lack of subtlety in the world today, perhaps we all should look to be more graceful and gentle in our interactions with others and with the Earth.

Blessings!

HIND – SUBTLETY, GRACEFULNESS, FEMINITY

THE CARD: This shows a white hind, or eilid, in the forest in late summer or early fall. Acorns hang heavy from the oaks. The hind calls us to follow her deeper into the forest. Standing in a shaft of sunlight, she appears so elusive we are not even sure if she is of this world.

MEANING: Eilid brings us the gentleness and grace of the feminine principle. Whether you are a male or female, opening to the qualities of the Hind will enable you to achieve a greater degree of sophistication, subtlety, and elegance – in the best possible senses of these terms.

Deer, and the white hind in particular, call to us from the Otherworld, from the realm of Faery, and invite us to look beyond the material, beyond the superficialities of life, toward the heart of things, toward the realm of causes rather than effects. Poised in moonlight or sunlight, Eilid invites us to begin an exploration of the Otherworld, of the spiritual dimension of life.

The Hind may also be warning you to be less self-effacing. Rather than adapting yourself, like a chameleon, to the perceived demands and expectation of those around you, you may need to become more assertive. You may also need to be wary of becoming preoccupied with the Otherworld. Our psychic life has its seasons, and at times it is good and balancing for us to explore the inner mysteries, but at other times it is important for us to focus our awareness on everyday life. You may have reached a time when an interest in the esoteric needs balancing with a period of outer activity. Do not worry that you will lose touch with the Otherworld, for the magical white Hind will always be waiting for you at the edge of the woods, ready to guide you into the heart of the forest.

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

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Have a sweet day, everyone!

Heather – Luck, Celebration, and Community (also Alienation and Yearning to belong)

Meaning: Heather honey is so delicious that some beekeepers transport their hives to the moors each summer to harvest the flowers. Heather, like Clover, is considered to be highly auspicious and a bringer of good fortune. A major celebration may be imminent or the time may have come for you to start celebrating all that is best in your life. Heather symbolizes the power and the joy of community, and much of our pleasure and our pains result from living together. We spend much of our time thinking about the difficult aspects of relationships and of our life, to try to make sense of them. But try thinking about your life with a different focus. Spend some time dwelling on all the positive aspects of the people you know and have known. Then do the same for your family and community.

Choosing this card may also be indicative of the fact that you are becoming more aware of the communities you live in – at work, at home and spiritually. You may feel drawn to becoming more actively involved in them, or perhaps you are contemplating a change in your relationship toward them.

This card could also mean that even though you may be trying to get out of a situation, you are probably being driven by a yearning for a deeper sense of community. Choosing this card reversed may indicuatethat you feel you don’t belong – in your family, at work, or in your relationship. This feeling may be mild or severe, but behind it could be the urge to be part of a community or tribe, as well as a loving relationship, in a way that your current situation does not satisfy.

Rather than trying to get away from this feeling by leaving on e situation and jumping into another without much thought, Heather may be urger you to pause and explore more fully your feelings of alienation or not belonging to discover which aspect of your life you need to consider changing.

Plant Info: Heather is a hardy shrub indigenous to most of Europe and Asia Minor, and can grow in both wet and dry areas. Typically topping out and 18 inches tall, it grows on hills and mountains above where the trees will grow, and on open heaths, so named because they are covered in Heather.

The Picts were using Heather to many an alcoholic drink over four thousand years ago – as archeologists discovered on the Isle of Rhum, where a Neolithic shard was unearthed with traces of fermented beverage made with Heather Flowers. Heather beer was made in Scotland for centuries, drunk in the highlands from cattle horns, and in 1994 its commercial production was revived. In the past, Heather ale was popular in Wales and was drunk for its restorative powers.

Heather is associated with good luck, which could be because heather is associated with bees that are also associated with community and celebration. A heather pillow is said to give restful sleep, and adding its flower tips to hot water makes a refreshing tea or bath.

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

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This card reminds us that it is normal to struggle sometimes. If everything came easy, we wouldn’t appreciate them. Currently, there are some serious struggles socially, economically, politically, and even with our current weather. Overcoming things has to be taken one step at a time. Big issues sometimes makes us want to take wide, sweeping actions, but when others are involved change is often more effective in little steps. Keep the faith, folks.

EIGHT OF ARROWS – STRUGGLE

MEANING: In the darkness of failure, the burning torch of hope remains lit in the human soul and encourages struggle. Courage is needed to survive the storm. 

DESCRIPTION: A lone figure struggles across a bleak landscape, leaning heavily on a staff. Closely wrapped in a cloak and thick garments, she fights her way through a blizzard that whirls around her. In the ground amide the whirling snowflakes, we see eight bent, broken, and wasted arrows, weathered and tattered by the elements.

READING POINTS: However much we wish that divisive and conflicting issues and moral dilemmas didn’t exist in our lives, sometimes they are an unavoidable part of the journey. If we are lucky, we have the support and sympathy of friends and loved ones to help us deal with the struggle, but not always. 

Sometimes, because of the very personal nature of the problem, we are alone, dealing with a thorny dilemma that only the individual at the center of the issue can negotiate. The choices can be painful and stark. The path may appear fraught with unfamiliar obstacles and pitfalls, and with no obvious remedy. All these elements may strain our core beliefs, causing us to doubt the validity of previous choices. Such profound personal struggles require calm, decisive and resolute action. Reach down into the very core of your being and summon all the reserves of your courage and wisdom. See honestly what the issue will require for you to resolve it and present those who might be a party to the problem with an implacable and unyielding dedication. View this necessary sojourn with clear eyes and a resolute heart, for to overcome these tests of life makes us stronger.

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

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While yesterday’s card suggested we take a break, today’s card is all about getting ready to take aim at our goals.

Still a super cold day here (woke up to -14 F!), and we are having rolling blackouts from our electric company. It should prove interesting! Have a great Tuesday!

THE ARCHER

READING POINTS: The dawn of a new adventure, folded in the web of universal potential, waits for you to string the bow of your imagination and loose the arrows of creativity. This is the time to be bold and commit to the hunting of new life and a better relationship with the world, as well as the fulfilment of wholesome ambition. Take a moment to gather your tools and steady your state of mind. Take careful stock of what you want to achieve, why, and how you will go about it. Then harness your potential by filling your quiver with all the talents, knowledge, and cunning you possess and string the bow of burning gold” with the “arrows of desire.” Take a deep breath and be calm. I tis time to let your soul take flight.

MEANING: The bow’s importance for most of early mankind, both as a tool for survival and for defense, cannot be underestimated. It is for this reason, perhaps, that it has also become a spiritual symbol, and the drawing and releasing of an arrow is sometimes seen as a ritualistic practice in its own right. For many, the bow is a powerful link to our past, and the patience required to mast it connects the Archer with ancient life-or-death experience.

The Celts placed written spells on their arrows and Sioux Indian “medicine” arrows were painted with geometric designs and held special ritual significance, so that from early times the use of the bow took on a role in the harnessing and transmission of the will. Stringing the bow gives the wood a potential for the release of energy, drawing the bow controls and harnesses that energy, and releasing the arrow with intent finally sends the archer’s will through the air to its target.

Just as spells and curses were loosed through the air by hunters and shamans, so we must ourselves tune in to this ancient process and become archers with quivers full of ideas and desires, capable of forming and focusing our aim in the steady drawing of our will and then loosing our creative and intellectual drive in a controlled and effective way.

The key to a smooth and accurate release of the arrow is a steady and relaxed state, both physically and mentally. As hunters in the forest, we need patience and cunning, as well as an intimate knowledge of the Wildwood, to move with stealth toward the quarry. Then, with a cool and deliberate aim, the arrow must be released, itself containing something of our will and of our spirit on its flight toward its goal.

DESCRIPTION: The Archer holds the broad longbow poised in the act of release. The bow is of the Meare Hearth design, the fletchings are of good feather, taken from the right wing, and the arrowhead is flint. The Archer’s gaze is focused and steady as she looks beyond the arrow into the sky, holding the tension between the bow and the sinew bowstring with controlled and relaxed intent. She wears a simple amulet and appears serene and confident yet full of purpose. By her side wait two great hunting dogs, messengers of the power she holds within herself.

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

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This card is perfect for folks in my area – there’s a limit to the work that can be done in -4 F degrees! I know northern folks are accustomed to those kind of temps but in southeast Kansas it is definitely rare. Brown Bear is here today to relax, consider, and plan and wait to work or take action for a day or two. It is better to act with intention than simply reacting.

Also, I’m working with a new deck, The Herbcrafter’s Tarot, so look for a review soon as well as seeing them in the daily card mix.

Happy Monday!

Brown Bear Spirit – Take Time Out

Message: There is a time to act and a time to focus your attention on patient strategizing. The arrival of Brown Bear Spirit signals that you are best served by foregoing hard work toward your goals at this moment and instead taking the time out to meditate – or just take a nap so you can refresh yourself and begin planning what you want to co-create next. Come to know the lay of the land as you contemplate and imagine what you might do in this vast space of possibility before you, and begin forming a plan. Remember, sleep allows for dreaming and rest allows for clear-headed strategizing.

How might you become the person you wish to be and experience whatever your heart desires? Insights will arise as you explore the possibilities and begin envisioning your plan. Knowing what you want will ensure you use your energy wisely in the days ahead. Be patient at this time. Relax and be calm and peaceful so you can recharge. The call for action will come later.

Protection Message: When you become so frazzled that you can’t decide how to move forward, Brown Bear arrives to remind you to let go of your impatience in getting to answers and solving the problems that face you. Now is the time for rest and meditation. Take a break, let insights arise, and know that you have plenty of time to make plans.

Brown Bear Spirit reminds you that sometimes the best and most effective action is inaction, allowing the situation around you to reveal itself to you so you can better understand it. Remember that what is yours will never be withheld from you, so you really can relax and wait until the next right action is revealed. Miracles come from out of nowhere, and yours will arrive on Great Spirit’s timetable.

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

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The Bee card is always a welcome sight – and we can definitely use more effort in building strong communities. Hope everyone has a good Thursday!

BEE (Beach) – Community, Celebration, Organization

The card shows a queen bee resting on a stone. In the background we see the House of Mead Circling at Tara as it may have looked at the height of its powers. In the sky, the noonday sun shines brightly and we see Ur, heather, growing by the rock that is carved with the Ur Ogham.

Meaning: Bee invites us to celebrate. You may have special reason for celebration, or you may simply need to celebrate the wonder of being alive. You may like to enjoy a glass or two of mead, which – if it has been made in Scotland – will carry the scent of heather, and will bring you closer to the spirit of the highlands. In the Druid tradition there are occasions to celebrate every six weeks or so. As human beings we need to have times when we can come together to enjoy each other’s company. The bee tells us that we can live together in harmony, however, impossible as this may sometimes seem. By being at one with the natural world, by paying homage to the sun, by centering our lives around Spirit or the Goddess, we can work together in community.

The card may also indicate that you are feeling out of place – unsure of your role in the world. A beehive functions harmoniously because each bee knows its role and the work it must do – consequently it is highly productive and plays an important role in the local ecology. We talk of a productive work environment as a hive of activity. If you find you are lacking in motivation or are feeling isolated from the community that surrounds you, you may need some bee medicine. A modern English folk healer uses bee stings therapeutically to cure asthma and other ailments, and you may need to prod yourself into action before others do the prodding for you. If you find this applies to you, spend some time thinking about your role in life, and then make decisions in accordance with your sense of purpose and the resulting goals that this engenders. Remember that the bee knows the value of organization, of paying homage to the Goddess and the sun, and of working hard. Remember too that she call us to a celebration of life and an inner recognition of our membership of the community of all Nature.

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

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OK, so yesterday we had the Green Woman and today we have this fierce wild protector. While the Green Woman focuses on what we benefit from the Earth, this card tells us to protect and respect it. Hey, I just pull the cards – they get their message across even if you change decks!

Have a lovely Wednesday, everyone.

Protect the Wild and Green

You are a guardian of the earth and all who share it – the trees, the animals, the birds, insects, and inhabitants of the ocean blue. It is time to play an active role in protecting and preserving the wild and the green by being aware of and limiting your impact upon the natural world. This world is not yours to possess; it is a gift given to you and your children. Trent gently. Tried with care and walk with love. Remember, your relationship with the world is a symbiotic one.

Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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