Archive for October, 2021

The Fool gets a bad rap. We are all the Fool at some point in time, and we often return to this phase whenever we make radical changes in our lives.

Happy Wednesday!

The Fool

While this card indicates inexperience and recklessness, it also represents new beginnings, a free spirit, and an open mind. Sometimes, we need to take a leap of faith. Yes, we might make some mistakes on this new path, but we learn from those – just take care not to be so reckless as to fall off a cliff (as is often depicted in The Fool card).

Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker

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Sometimes, experiences with recent ancestors puts a damper on our trying to connect with previous generations of ancestors. I have struggled with this on my father’s side of the family as he, his mother, and a few siblings were not what I would qualify as good people. Yet I heard that the grandfather I never met was a humorous soul and I can see that in one of my most beloved uncles. I eventually came to the conclusion: “They can’t all be assholes, right?” I’d never recommend honoring a recent ancestor that caused you harm in any way, but you might try reaching back and seeing what strengths you might have gained from farther down the line. Sometimes, even genealogy can be healing. We all have things to embrace as well as reject in our heritage.

Blessings!

ANCESTORS – The love and legacy of our DNA

I walk in their footsteps 
Their wisdom inside me remains
I am unique, yet carry a legacy
Their blood runs in my veins

Whether or not we know our ancestors, we are the product of those who have lived before us, DNA-wise. Externally, we may have the body type of our father, our mother’s eyes, our grandmother’s nose, our great-grandfather’s skin tone.

On the inside, it gets even more interesting. We know now that we can “inherit” the way our body works, blood types, genetic disorders, even propensities for aspects of brain function like introversion, musicality, and mathematics.

Many Pagan paths associated with Halloween believe that we are born perfectly imperfect to be exactly what we are meant to be. What does this mean? It means that the gifts our ancestors left us and the unique synergy of the combination of the physical, mental, and physical that is created within us, sets us up perfectly to achieve our ultimate purpose.

Should the Ancestor card bring itself to your attention, know that you are ready and able to action your birthright of power. You have the support of those who came before you. There may be challenges or struggles but you have everything you need to overcome them. You will prevail!

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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I love this card. The Hearth, whether you have a literal fireplace hearth or your kitchen stove, is such an important part of the home. Brigid is another good goddess of the hearth, for those of us with a more Celtic flavor to our tradition. So today, let’s focus on what home means to you and how to make yours align more closely to your ideal.

Blessings!

Hearth

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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This a beautiful card – and probably made so we don’t look away from it in a hurry. Anger can be a powerful tool for change, unless we let it fester and become a toxicity we ourselves spew even when we think we are doing what’s right. We must forgive ourselves for past mistakes and missteps and forgive others for past transgressions (which is not to say we have to let them back in our lives). This is difficult stuff, but doable.

Have a wonderful weekend!

FORGIVENESS – Reducing burden

A wrong is done
Consequences you cannot deny
But to hold a grudge is to drink poison
and think that the other person will die.

Being a cold-season festival, Halloween is the perfect time to pause and think about how things actually are in our lives and what heavy burdens we do not wish to carry through these harder, leaner times. Some of this heavy-heartedness may relate to old relationships or grievances. Some may relate to negative feelings we hold onto tightly about others and even a lack of compassion for the “mistakes” we have ourselves made.

It is said that it takes a “big person to apologize” but in many ways it takes an even bigger person to forgive. When we hold grudges, the negative energy is incredibly toxic. It is like drinking a poison and expecting the “other” unforgiven person to die! Whilst we may even harbor feelings of revenge (and to be honest, that does feel good for a while), it is important that we move those feelings along to forgiveness and release as soon as possible for our own health and wellbeing.

If you have chosen this card, think about who it is that you could be forgiving – and that includes yourself.

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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Alright, this was interesting having the Star bookended with two of the Pentacles Suit, both of which represent physical situations in a positive light.

The Knight is a mature and responsible individual and persistence, while the Ace suggests attainment, prosperity, bliss, and wealth.

The Star

Meaning: Represents the spirit of hope and faith. Inspiration, bright prospects, mixing the past of the past and the present, fulfillment, pleasure, promising opportunity.

This image for the The Star in this deck is a little different, yet we have the three cat representing the person, the conscious (see that cat looking at ya?), and the subconscious. The Star is generally perceived as a time of reprieve and positive things happening. Focus on the good in your life and you might be surprised by how much there is.

Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker

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Today’s card is a sign that we are using our brain when we ought to be conferring with our gut feeling – another word for intuition – more. Wisdom is not one or the other but both in balance.

Have a good 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 set 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 author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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We often wonder what lies ahead. Will a new venture be successful? Is a new love interest a worthy investment of your time? This card signifies that things will go well when kept in balance.

Have a great Monday!

BARMBRACK – Sweetness and synergy

A pea, a cloth, a coin, a ring, and stick
Within a loaf of speckled sweetness
Slice it and eat it
A glimpse of my fate’s completeness

Not quite a cake and not quite a bread, barmbrack is a sweet loaf, larger than a typical bread loaf, baked with flour, sugar, salt, and dried fruits such as raisins. The making of barmbrack is an Irish tradition that still stands around Samhain. The person baking the loaf would be sure to set the intention for love, truth, and synergy while preparing. Inside the dough, a number of special objects are hidden and baked into the loath.

The objects are used as a kind or random oracle – each one has a particular meaning which represents the fate of the person who found it in their slice! The traditional objects include a coin, a pea, a stick, a ring, and a small piece of cloth like muslin. Some other additions, made in more modern times, were religious medals.

Should your slice of brack contain a coin, this would indicate prosperity and good luck. The pea unfortunately meant that no marriage would occur for you that year, yet finding the ring meant a marriage was certain. The stick – to be avoided at all costs – indicated disputes and unhappiness and finding the cloth meant bad luck and little money ahead.

When you pull the Barmbrack card, it indicates a curiosity to know what is ahead but it’s important to balance that with the now – after all, we have the tools to change our future should we choose. The sweet synergy of barmbrack – all the ingredients including the objects are more complete and powerful together, than they are individually, should encourage you to seek your own “sweet spot.”

The Halloween Oracle by Stacey Demarco, art by Jimmy Manton

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Yet another card that touches on transformation and change – something is definitely in the air!

MUMMY – Change

The sand in his mouth
The bandage wound
Jealous of the living
Eternal life bound

The ancient Egyptians took death very seriously. Death was not seen as many of us see it – a finality to be dreaded – but as just the beginning of a new life and often eternal life, in a better place, the “afterlife.”

The practice of honoring and preserving the body through a complex process of mummification was central to ancient Egyptian culture. This was not just a physical embalming process but a carefully enacted ritual process that ensured preservation in the next world. Many other cultures also mummified their dead including the Incas, the Argentineans, the Maori, and many cultures of the Torres Straight Islands.

In our modern horror genres, the mummy has become an icon. From early horror writing at the turn of the century to the very popular films The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, the plot normally revolves around the mummy returning to life and cursing and hunting down the living. The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tombs and other long-hidden Egyptian treasures in the 1920s in particular sparked an explosion in mummy-related films and literature.

Should you pull the moaning Mummy card from the deck, know that change is inevitable and that no matter how hard you try, things will not be preserved exactly the same way. The card also indicates that this change will be for the better. The endings, the closed doors, the barriers? This is just a healthy pause and and an indication that a change of tactics is needed. You are not cursed – you have just developed a pattern. You can take control and change it.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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OK, so all three cards that popped up this morning all indicate a pause and some calm consideration. Take a gander:

Yet the Underworld card was the strongest. The Underworld is a potent image for many of us, but too often those in Western society immediately think of hell. The Underworld varies by culture, as the oracle author discusses (and there’s even more difference if we add in the Celtic cosmology and view of the Underworld), so this card should not trigger fear. Much like the Death card in the tarot, this is about transformation, so is it time to stop, pause, and consider how you want to transform your life?

Blessings.

THE UNDERWORLDWhere all things pause and begin again

Another realm, shadow filled
Travel from death’s bed
Where we stop and transform
Within the realm of the dead

The idea of the “underworld,” a whole realm that we go to after we die, is a concept that crosses a huge variety of cultures and eras. The Sumerians, the Turkish, the Incas, the Greeks through to the Siberians, the Maori and the Kymers – all had a distinct word for the underworld. What is different though is how these cultures treat this concept – whether the underworld is seen as a place of rest and rejuvenation or horror and punishment.

The Christian hell is a place of darkness, fire, and punishment. The Egyptian underworld is one of judgment, peace, and renewal. In Maori culture, it is an in-between place of waiting, wisdom, and transition. Many myths that mention the underworld often involve the concept of a place of waiting and of trials and eventual judgment. It can also be a place of joy and peace.

Should the Underworld card be present in your reading, you are being asked to consider exactly what you have to do to transform your life into something you find easier or more authentic to you. This may involve changing course. It may involve trials and tests. Keep moving. Whilst things may fall away and your life may appear bare for a time, this is temporary. Space is being made into which you can create the new.

The Halloween Oracle by author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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For me, this card immediately conjures up the sense of a regal and grounding presence, but that might be due to this cat resembling my late queen of the house, Gabriel. She was the most regal presence my household ever had, and she never had to try to be that way.

This queen’s topaz eyes are reflected in the triquetra’s gem; blue topaz is thought to be a soothing stone as well as meaning compassion, communication, and strength. Note how she resides on a staircase, encouraging you to step up.

Queen of Wands

Meaning: A Sympathetic and understanding person, honorable, friendly, loving, practical, full of feminine charm and grace, sincere interest in others. The Queen of Wands wants us to be upbeat, creative, and self-aware – she is generally seen as a supportive figure. Do keep in mind Wands is connected to the element or Air, which ties to communication, intellect, and inspiration.

On the flip side, it can mean fickleness, as well as someone who has realized their self-worth and self-respect, which can appear as fickle and contrary to others! This can also indicate that you are being more introverted than normal. Examine why this is. If you simply need to recharge from a extra expenditures of energy, it’s perfectly ok to do so! If you are hiding from something, that’s a different story.

Tarot Familiars by Lisa Parker

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