Posts Tagged ‘avalon blog’

The last week has brought about the typical scene on social media with folks sharing their New Year resolutions. While I haven’t made a resolution in a few years, I usually like to encourage others. This year, all I could think of everytime a friend asked about resolutions was this: to live.

No, not to live as in living fully or intentionally – as in living in the physical sense. 

Some who follow the blog may have noticed I’ve been irregular with daily card posts, which is something I’m good at doing even if meatier posts might be less common. That’s because of a personal health issue that has rocked my family.

I have cancer, specifically Stage 4 ovarian cancer. 

When I first learned this news, I didn’t intend to share it here at all. But as the weeks went by and after the reality of my first chemo treatment hit, I realized that accepting, fearing, and fighting this is strongly linked to my spiritual life and beliefs. 

My local clinic gave me the news about the ovarian mass and that it was likely cancerous on Halloween. They quickly referred me to an oncologist at Kansas State University Medical Center. After getting such news on Samhain eve, one’s perspective of the ancestor altar and the holy day shifts a bit. Somehow, I felt closer to those whose photos and memorial cards graced our family altar – I felt their whispers in my ears more than normal. 

On the other hand, seeing the altar was also a motivator to do what was needed to be as healthy as possible going into treatments. I’m simply not ready to join these ancestors! So, chug a couple protein shakes a day (as my body is not processing regular protein correctly and I’ve lost 40 pounds) – check (though I have to admit it’s been difficult with our holiday schedule the last couple weeks)! Driving to and from Kansas City for consultations, a colonoscopy, and biopsy – check! (Though I didn’t have to do any of those alone – my boyfriend or my sister were with me.) Try to walk or do yoga as well as some arm weight exercises to rebuild muscle – check! 

Receiving my educational meeting about the chemotherapy was eye opening. Of course, there are many possible side effects and a 90% chance of losing my hair. As I’ve approached the two-week point after my first chemo treatment, when I was told to expect the hair loss, every time I run my hands through my hair or comb my hair, I’m thinking “will it start falling out now?” The hair loss actually started this weekend, and is a bit of a downer even though I was prepared for it. 

Aside from the typical identity issues women often have with their hair, my mind ran to the very witchy concern of my hair falling out in public places where people could easily get a piece of it (I dare say that’s not a typical cancer patient thought). Though I’ve cut my hair short to prepare for this change, it’s still in the back of my mind. I took to wearing a knit hat when going out this weekend. 

Another side effect is neuropathy, which has happened in my toes, bottom of the feet, and fingertips. Handling my cards for the first time after the neuropathy kicked in, I was stunned that I did not feel the energies of the cards as easily. I have no idea whether it’s the physical neuropathy or my mindset about my digits that is causing it, but it definitely sat me back in my seat a bit. 

On the bright side, my spiritual community (as well as family, friends, and coworkers) has been incredibly supportive and generous. I’ve received many care packages that spoke to my spirit as well as my physical needs, and I know there is a ton of healing energy coming my way. From “Suck It, Cancer” coloring book and healing stones to teas and warm socks and hats, my family and community is taking care of me in a way that is both humbling and encouraging. Trust me when I say there is a lot of love and kindness in this world – no matter how much you see in the news that suggests otherwise. 

Learn Symptoms to Catch it Early!

OK, I’m using the end of the post to share some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer because it can be really subtle and confused with other issues. If you have a few of these symptoms and they aren’t going away, please see your doctor or clinic! I thought I was experiencing serious digestive issues combined with premenopause; I had NO IDEA my health problem was so dangerous. Please don’t take your life for granted, ladies, and pay attention to these signs:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Increased size of abdomen or swelling 
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount
  • Pain during sex
  • Urinary changes, such as frequency or urgency

Thank you for patience with my posting and hijacking the blog for the day. Blessings of Avalon to you all!

Thistle

 

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Interesting followup to yesterday’s card – perhaps some of us are having a hard time letting go of unhelpful things? Life is too short to not enjoy it, and it’s too long to hold on to suffering. Blessings!

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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A thing to remember when we see this card is that it’s about so much more than honoring our ancestors. It’s about action: healing ancestral wounds and using our ancestral gifts. We often forget to consider these things. Take some time today to do so and how you should act with these in mind.

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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Today’s card is always a good one – let us brew ourselves a healing potion. Learn how the cauldron was never a “witchy” implement; it was a tool for the home. In it brewed healing draughts, food for the family, and more. What do you need to bring together to help you heal and be sustained?

Blessings!

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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This is a beautiful card and its meaning follows suite. Is it time to reassess your path? Don’t fear if things aren’t going as planned – happy accidents can be wonderful turning points in life.

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 author Stacey Demarco and artist Jimmy Manton

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Sometimes we all need to loosen up and fly free for a bit. Might be an odd card for a Monday, but sometimes that’s the day we need the reminder the most.

Have a beautiful day! Bendithion Affalon.


TRIBAL SPIRIT DANCER

MEANING: Let go. Say yes to life! Be daring. Dance to your heart’s desire. Unfurl your wings and fly. Cast aside conventions and restrictions. Tune in to the rhythm of life. Laugh. Explore. Go beyond your predictable behavior. Sometimes life is messy and chaotic, and that’s okay. Leave the dishes; run outside in the sprinklers.

NATIVE SPIRIT WISDOM: You are on the planet to be free. You don’t always need to meet the expectations of others. You’re here to explore, expand, and step into your extraordinary self. Of course, there are times to live an ordinary life, but there are also times to joyously fling your arms to the heavens and dance. Choose life on your terms. Clear out mental and emotional clutter. Move beyond those situations that you have outgrown. Don’t accept the rules you have placed on yourself or that others have placed on you. This is your time. Don’t delay listening to the rhythm of your heart and following your dreams.

THE JOURNEY: Turn on music and move. Tribal dance isn’t about looking good. It’s about feeling the beat inside your heart and expressing this with your body and your emotions. If you want to break free, then start first by expressing yourself, wild and free, and the circumstances of your life will transform.

Native Spirit Oracle by Denise Linn, art by Charles McStravick

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When I look at this card, I often look beyond the card meaning to the balance of material need versus want. We are currently in a time of great imbalance of these two forces. Many do not have what they need while others waddle in material excess.

How does this card speak to you? As the intended meaning of balanced in action or in material?

Blessings!

Need and Necessity

Night and day exist within the very same moment. Creation and destruction wear the same face. You only see one or the other because you’re not seeing the whole. What you may see as harmful, another may believe to be good. All is based on perception. In nature, all occurs according to need and necessity, not right or wrong. Ask yourself: is there a genuine need to act? Is change necessary for your continued well-being and happiness? If the answer is yes, then act. If the answer is no, then do not.
 
Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan

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