Archive for December, 2022

Thank you all for your patience with my inconsistency this week – nothing bad happened, just some weird scheduling that I didn’t adapt to quickly.

This morning I realized that Mercury Retrograde started yesterday (happy new year to us), so I went with a gentle deck. As many of the retrograde experts will say, this is not a time to start a big endeavor, communication might be wonky, and don’t make a big commitment. Researching and learning, decluttering and cleaning, and relaxing and reflecting are great alternatives. Spider is here to say we do have to the work to make our dreams real and that Spirit/Universe will gladly meet us. Even though big commitments might not be in order for a couple weeks, we can take small steps toward our dreams.

This is also a good time to be creative, which is a great way to work through a retrograde. Take some time for yourself and let your creative juices flow in whatever way works for you: painting, writing, planning a garden, culinary, or whatever.

Have a lovely weekend and safe and happy New Years!


Spider Spirit – Make your dreams real

Message: Weaving your dreams into the fabric of life begins with a single thread of intention, and then spirit joins you as your co-weaving partner. Take but a single step to make your dream a reality, and Spirit will take ten toward you, for the universe is designed to support your dream-weaving.

Spirit Spirit arrives when you need reminding of the awesome power of co-creation with Spirit. Ideas and resources will begin to appear as if by magic as you begin to bring your dreams from the realm of intention into the world of the senses where they take form. The action you need to take is to be clear about your intentions, and then act as if you have become the one that lives the life you desire. The web of creation has an uncanny way of coming together to weave the beautiful pattern you set in motion.

Another message of Spider Spirit is about any creative project you may be considering: Writing, painting, music, journaling, gardening, etc. Now is the time when inspiration wants to be channeled through you at something creative, even artistic and tangible. Creative projects are successful now, if you are so inclined. Let yourself be open to abundance.

Protection Message: Are you expecting your dreams to weave themselves into reality? Are you stuck in the sticky web of weaving dreams, but never following through? The thread of Intention isn’t enough to make dreams a frailty unless you do your part in the weaving. Spider want you to know that your plans will remain ephemeral unless you commit to being productive and industrious, for Spirit will not do it all for you. Magic needs to be instigated, so begin to make your dream a reality by taking action today.

What are you willing to do? What are you willing to sacrifice? Can you release your limiting beliefs? Your dream is worthy of weaving. Today is a day to choose one small step toward your dream. Remember, Spirit is your weaving partner; you just have to be the first one to bring the thread to the loom, then continue to do your part.

Spirit Animal Oracle by author Colette Baron-Reid and artist Jena DellaGrottaglia

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Today we were greeted by what I consider an auspicious set of cards: A Land, Sea, and Sky trio. The Stag is the key card today and is described below, but the Hawk respresents Nobility, Recollection, and Cleansing while the Otter add Joy, Play, and Helpfulness to an otherwise solid but serious set of cards.

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday and came through the Arctic weather blast OK.



Stag – Pride, Independence, and Purification

The card shows a stag bellowing as it stands before a gateway of birch trees. According to Druid tradition, the birch is the tree of beginnings, and the stag is a creature from the beginning of time. The gateway represents the place transition from this world to the Otherworld, and the stag is often seen as Otherworldly messenger. On the rock beside him is the carved figure of a man wearing antlers – he is the god Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter, or Merlin. The plants in the foreground are all associated with the stag – pennycress, (deer’s pot-herb), mountain sorrel (Deer’s Sorrel), common asparagus (deer’s son’s leek), and heath rush (deer’s oats).

Meaning: Damh brings us the qualities of grace, majesty, and integrity. Contemplating the stag can help you achieve a greater sense of poise and dignity. If you are ever confronted with a situation in which you feel vulnerable or under scrutiny, such as in the court of law or a public appearance, by attuning to the stag and asking for the protection of his spirit you will find yourself feeling calmer, stronger, and more dignified. The stag signifies independence too – both spiritual and physical. By drawing this card you will be able to find the strength to gain and maintain your independence. In Ogham, the Druid language of the sacred trees, the Stag is related to Beith, the birch tree and and number one. The Birch is associated with the blessing of beginnings. It is auspicious to draw this card when contemplating new projects. The stag’s connection with fertility and sexuality signifies that you will find a way to bring dignity, grace, power, and integrity to your sexual life.

This card can also show that you need to examine the degree to which your pride is helping or hindering you. Pride can be a valuable feeling when it helps you to give only your best, but it can also block your development and enjoyment of life if it exists only to protect your feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy. Ask yourself whether your pride is serving you, and if not, see whether the qualities of the stag can help you find integrity and dignity without the need for inappropriate pride. The stag-god, as Lord of the Hunt, is responsible for culling, which can be seen as a process of purification and sacrifice, maintaining a proper ecological balance. Drawing this card reversed may signify the need for sacrifice or purification in your life – perhaps through a letting-go of unnecessary possessions or emotional attachments, thereby helping you to gain independence and integrity.

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

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The days leading up to Christmas (which I celebrate with family as a secular event, though my family sees it otherwise), can be hectic and frazzled for many people. It can make us less than generous when we are stressed. Now is that time to remember that not having everything “perfect” for the holidays won’t be the end of the world.

However, being helpful and kind to others at this time could really make their season. In our local community, which hasn’t had an overnight homeless shelter in several years, the community is rallying behind our local food bank and community health center that is coordinating an overnight shelter through the winter months. Luckily, it started this Wednesday, before the arctic blast hit us. It has made my heart lighter seeing people taking care of strangers in the season when we are supposed to reach out to others in need.



Uncle Holly

Santa’s Chief Helper and the Supervisor of his Workshop

This is a jolly-looking fellow who seems to be doing something very Santa-like  – making a list and checking it. Uncle Holly is a character in a short play about Father Christmas and his secret twin brother (Holly). At Selfridges store in the UK around the 1950s, Uncle Holly was a character children spoke to instead of Santa (I’ve also found that he was the person they spoke to before visiting Santa’s lap).

Let’s not forget that Holly, in Celtic tradition, is half of the battle for the year: The Holly King (winter) and the Oak King (Summer). Holly itself reminds us of the earth’s energy and vitality when most other plant life has gone dormant. It reminds us of hope and generosity.

StoryWorld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews and (this card) artist Tomislav Tomic

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Sorry to be running late today, but with 1 degree Fahrenheit, it’s hard to leave the cozy chair with it’s soft throw and two warm kitties! I hope everyone facing this arctic blast is safe and warm.

Fittingly, the Polar Bear is here to help us make our journeys safely. Seek this powerful ally if setting out on a new journey – and today let some of that ally be caution and common sense if you have to go out in unsafe weather!



The Polar Bear

Powerful and fierce, he carries friends on long journeys

Bears are often seen as protective and fierce, and here we have a polar bear carrying a girl on an adventure by the light of the full moon. Behind them is a cozy home with a couple folks watching her leave – at least one of them is a child as well. Notice how she doesn’t look frightened at all? She knows the power of the bear is with her and will guide and protect her. 

I think we might be getting the suggestion that we should seek a powerful ally in a forthcoming journey, whether it’s an adventure or a journey to a new job, home, relationship, or connection to spirit. Don’t forget that we are not alone. Even if you do not believe in deity outright, the symbolism of a powerful ally like a bear, wolf, or eagle can empower us. The cold of winter and the dark season need not frighten us when we are prepared.

Storyworld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlinn Matthews and (this card) artist Peter Malone

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Sorry to miss yesterday’s card – we had a morning guest and I didn’t have time before work. But here we are today with a duo that is powerful though they might look demure. There is much lore and wisdom with the Wren and the Robin, so take note of that but also keep in mind they are breaking free of the cage they were in. We too can break free and recreate things for ourselves – even age-old traditions for Yule and Christmas can take on a new luster if we tweak them for our current lives.



The Robin and the Wren

In this card, we see a robin and a wren sitting on a holly branch (feminine aspect) in front of a broken bird cage with an evergreen tree inside. In the bottom left, you can see little toy soldiers walking through the snow with a cat, dog, and squirrel also walking away. 

OK, so the thing to note here is some of the folklore of these two birds. 

The wren has associations with this time of year and is the King of Birds, according to old folk legend. This ancient totem bird flew highest of all creatures by riding on the back of the great eagle, thus earning itself the title of King of All Birds through it’s cleverness and resourcefulness rather than on pure physical ability. It serves as a reminder that the smallest of the Earth’s creatures is capable of soaring to the greatest heights and seeing beyond the furthest horizon. In Ireland, there is an old tradition of “wren boys” or “straw boys” hunting a wren on Dec. 26th, or St. Stephen’s Day. The dead wren was affixed to the top of a pole and the wren boys would go around the community asking for money. 

There are a lot of theories of why this is done. It is believed that the Celtic Druids considered the bird sacred, and later Christian traditions sought to dismantle its ideology, even recasting it’s resourcefulness to become King of Birds as deceit and treachery. 

As for Robin Redbreast, who hasn’t heard of the “first Robin of spring”? Well, that’s not really an accurate concept, as the Robin is not a spring-only bird as the common expression would have us to believe. They will stay in winter if it does not get too cold and if there is a good food source. The striking birds were also featured on the earliest Christmas cards, but that might be due to early postal workers wearing red jackets and artists associating the two for the new postal system. 

Given all this, these birds here are breaking with their traditional folkloric roles – and perhaps we need to do the same. At Yule and Christmas, it can be easy to get stuck with the traditions handed down to us. Sometimes they are wonderful and nostalgic, but sometimes they need changed or updated for the new age and new people. Perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit and create a new tradition or evaluate an old one. To quote Gustav Mahler, “Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.” 

Storyworld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews and artist Peter Malone

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I guess even the Christmas Tales deck has a challenging card! What challenge is before you and how will you tackle it?



The Frost Queen

Makes the ice and snow in wintertime

Though one may associate this Frost Queen with the legendary Snow Queen or similar winter figures that tend to have a destructive or negative side, I’m not sure we could so easily dismiss this card as like that. This Queen is feeding the wild animals and though she doesn’t look particularly friendly, she also does not look harsh either. The animal are all looking to her for something. To me, it appears that she wants us to understand something; note the empty bag in the foreground with a note. A mystery is to be solved or a task or quest is being asked of us – or perhaps a challenge. After all, she makes the snow and ice in winter, which is both beautiful but challenging to live with.

Perhaps it’s time to detach a bit from those around you to get your grounding or to evaluate something not going according to plan, to create a new plan. Or are we avoiding a challenge set before us? Remember that overcoming challenges can help us to grow, so avoiding something that seems hard may hurt us in the long run.

Storyworld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews and artist Tomislav Tomic

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No matter what winter holiday you celebrate or how you do so, take a few minutes today to consider the magic of the season. For many cultures, this is a time to hold the light through the longest night of the year. How will you come through the darkest season? Perhaps someone you know needs a little of that magic and YOU can be the fairy, bringing light to others in need.

Blessings and have a lovely weekend!


The Christmas Fairy

Bringing magic to people who need it at the holidays

In this card, we have a live fairy atop the tree, winding its magic to light up the tree and inspire awe. Even the ball ornaments have become personified and are smiling. And while for some it is an angel who delivers holiday magic, for others of us it is the Far and the Spirits of Nature. While some might think I’m stretching things to align a fairy for the top of a tree instead of an angel, consider some of the lore for fairies – that they were fallen angels who weren’t bad enough to be sent to hell with Lucifer. And ever notice how some folks refer to Christmas lights also as fairy lights?

No matter what winter holiday you celebrate or how you do so, take a few minutes today to consider the magic of the season. For many cultures, this is a time to hold the light through the longest night of the year. How will you come through the darkest season?

Storyworld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews and (this card) artist Tomislav Tomic

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This is one of my favorites from the Christmas Tales Storytelling deck, and I tend to think it’s here to remind us to stop during all the busyness of the season to take a breath and enjoy nature. However, remember this is not an oracle deck and it wide open to interpretation – what does it say to you?



The Christmas Elf

Though the Christmas elf is normally associated with the workshop where the toys are made, here we see one in the woodland setting surrounded by animals: an owl, a deer, a woodpecker, a bird and badger, squirrels, and even a little rodent in there. What would make the little guy leave the shop and take time in nature? Of course, most elven lore indicates a strong association with nature, rather than just being production machines for the man in red. 

Perhaps this is a reminder that as we are busy with all of our events and gift buying, it is good to take some time to appreciate the season for what it is. Remember to appreciate the beauty of the wildlife in your area. Are you holding up indoors or remembering to enjoy nature in even small ways, such as feeding and watching birds, bundled up strolls in a park or nearby trail, or even caroling with your family?

What does this card say to you?

Storyworld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews

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A sweet and warm card greets us on the first day of the Christmas Tales cards, but it also reminds not to fall into materialism. What does it say to you?



The Christmas Wish

It’s a tradition generations old – making a Christmas wish list for Santa. What I love here is that, as the children carry on this tradition, there are little elves and sprites all around them listening and taking notice. Not only do they see if we’ve been “good or bad” but they can also see what we already need and have. As we make our wishes this holiday season, it’s good to remember what we already have and not ask for excess – or even to ask something for others who have less than they need. These children are clearly loved and cared for: they have books and toys and a warm home. Let’s hope they (and the generations being raised now) have learned to ask with a humble and appreciative heart – and to learn to see the magic around them.

StoryWorld: Christmas Tales by John and Caitlin Matthews

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We saw the Wren from the Wildwood Tarot not even two weeks ago, but here we have the Wren from the Druid Animal Oracle (same artists, different authors). Perhaps we still having something to learn from this little but smart bird. Cunning often has a negative connotation and for good reason – so many people use it in ways that are harmful. But cunning can be a useful tool when kept in check. Examine how you use this trait – are you using it to move a goal or project along that will help many? Or just to advance yourself?



Wren (Drui-en): Humility, Cunning, God

The card shows a wren holding a feather in its beak, as it guards its nest filled with eggs. Tradition calls the wren’s nest the “Druid’s House.” A bolt of lighting represents Taranis, the bull-god of thunder and lightning, the oak tree, and the wren. The Ogham sign on the stone is Duir, the oak.

Meaning: Wren allows us to glimpse the beauty of God or Goddess in all things. He tells us that “small is beautiful,” and that self-realization lies not in grandiosity or apparent power, but in humility, gentleness, and subtlety. Cunning, if tempered with humor and good intent, is a way of achieving great things with an economy of effort, and a rational and honest use of the achievements of others.

On the flip side, this card could mean that you need to look at whether your humility and gentleness actually render you invisible to others. Are they your way of defending yourself from life and from others, rather than facing life and its difficulties? Perhaps you also need to look at how you use your cunning, your native wit. It is easy for the habit of building on the work of others to become dishonest exploitation of others’ achievements, just as it is easy for the cunning to become malign rather than benign. Remember that the story of the wren and the eagle can also be interpreted in a way that sees the wren as a cheeky and dishonest “upstart” who naively believes he can fool others and win status for himself through his ruse. Cleverness and building on the work of others require wisdom and honest skill if they are to be of value.

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

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