Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A New Year! (or is it?) with the Four of Wands

Well, it IS a new year for the Canada Revenue Agency. They tally income from January 1 through December 31.

There are other indications that January is perceived to be the beginning of a new year.
Charitable donation receipts begin to arrive for the previous calendar year.
The first page on most calendars is January.
The big ball drops in New York City`s Times Square on New Year's Eve, December 31.

For a lot of people, January 1 heralds a new year. And with it come the (insert retching noises) New Year's Resolutions.

I'm totally crap at New Year's Resolutions. Notice how I've capitalized Resolutions three times now.
I must have a lot of accumulated guilt surrounding this concept.
I did try, for years. But my heart wasn't in it.

AND NOW I KNOW WHY.

A person who has spent most of her life either in school, or teaching, runs on an entirely different cycle.
The year does not begin in January, but in September with new pens & paper, new binders, new kids and teachers and schedules. Ah, the bustle that is back-to-school! Now that's new.
The year doesn't end in December, but in June when classes are done. Finished. The end of the year.
And then there are July and August, which have been renamed.
This is how it looks.

It's clear that my failure to stick to New Year's Resolutions is not my fault. I'm merely four months ahead or eight months behind. I can live with that.

So...I'm looking for a card that speaks of a beginning that is not a beginning, or depicts a middle that many perceive to be a beginning. Perhaps a hiatus before resuming.
It can't be an Ace. Nor a Ten finishing up a cycle. I considered Pages, but they're too inexperienced.
Fives? They're in the middle, but there's too much drama going on there.

How about one of the stable Fours? Yes!
The Four of Wands (15 of them to welcome in 2015!)


Intuitive Tarot
We're in a friendly little bubble as we break for Christmas and New Year's, knowing that on the other side of these celebrations comes the dismal stretch that is January and February.






Some people travel to be with family over the holidays.
AnnaK

















Fireplaces take on new importance during Yuletide celebrations. This one would be a breeze for Santa.
Druidcraft










Friends get together.
Bohemian Gothic
















There might be weddings (I attended a magical one earlier this month). If it's held in a church, there's the added bonus of free seasonal decor!
Dreaming Way










We invite people to our homes,
Elora Tarot

















where groups of friends celebrate together.
Fantastic Menagerie











We dig out the candles and wonder why we don't bask in their soft glow all year round.
Gaian Tarot


















We enjoy some of the gifts we've received.
Housewives Tarot











There are concerts galore,
Karma Tarot
















where we get to show off our finery.
Victorian Fairy












When the band has packed up,
Victorian Romantic 2006

















we head for home sweet home
Llewellyn Tarot











to play with our new toys.
Mystical Cats
                                 






















And then comes January, the beginning of the rest of the year.
Take a deep breath and plunge in!
Ghosts & Spirits Tarot
             

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Need a little Christmas, right this very minute?

This post is a bit of a cheat. And at this festive season, too. What's this blog coming to?
However, there is a reason behind the lack of keyboarding involved in producing this post. Who am I to disregard the iconic Christmas Eve scenario penned by Clement Clarke Moore? (or Major Henry Livingston, Jr. as is now believed.)

In his 1823 verse,  
he clearly states, on the very first page, that at this busy time of year one's keyboard tools are to be stilled. He was a man ahead of his time.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.  

If your Yule appetite is craving more Christmas, you might try these posts from December, 2013.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Rolling in Dough with the Ten of Pents

It's that time of year!
Christmas cookie time. Flour-butter-sugar-spice time. The holiday CDs are cranked up to be heard over the mixer, baking tins are filling, list-making's in full swing.


What is this bubbling up of joy as December rolls in? It's the Christmas spirit! Magically, every year, it arrives anew, as wondrous as in years past.


And somehow, illogically, rolling OUT dough makes me feel as if I'm rolling IN dough. I feel rich, blest.
I'm inhabiting the 10 of Pents!
L to R: Legacy of the Divine, AnnaK, Victorian Fairy


JOY!


Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Organization and the Eights (16 days 'til Christmas!)

I've always had a problem putting the Eights in their place. Where the heck are they in the scheme of things, anyway?
The Wands are happily throwing things, Cups are leaving, the Swords are stuck in the mud somewhere, and the Pents are solitarily working away. Where's the common thread?
Llewellyn's Classic Tarot

Gail Fairfield to the rescue! In her book, Everyday Tarot, she calls the Eights "organization".
Organization of energy, emotions, thoughts, or your stuff.
So how does this help me with the fact that there are only 16 days 'til Christmas?

Eight of Wands
Prioritize your energetic thrust.
Don't go to the mall unless you've eaten a good breakfast and are primed for battle. Arm yourself with an action plan and enter the fray with guns blazing.
Dark Carnival Tarot
Eight of Cups
Sort out your relationship tangles.
Am I buying for someone because I should? Because someone told me I had to? Out of guilt? Because I've done it for years even though we're not close any more? Maybe this year I'll only buy gifts for those on the same wave length, with whom I feel harmoniously in tune.
Inner Child Tarot
Eight of Swords
Organize your thoughts so you don't feel so stuck.
Sit down and make a list. What needs to be done today? Tomorrow? Next week? In 2015? Never?
What's the most productive use of my time? What doesn't need to be done until after the holidays? What can I delegate? What do I do every year that no one even notices?
Shining Tribe
Eight of Pentacles
Take an inventory.
Do I have unsalted butter for Gram's kipfel cookies? Leave it out to soften.
What am I wrapping with this year - plain brown paper or glitzy stuff? Clear a surface somewhere (anywhere!) for this wrapping to take place.
Where's the business card from that lady who makes non-sticking, non-staining playdough? The grandgirls would love it. So will their parents' upholstery.
Am I making those tote bags for friends? Set up the sewing machine. Dig out fabrics. Figure out how to thread the bobbin (yet again).
Victorian Fairy
Thanks, Eights! You've been a great help getting me organized for the holidays!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Tarot: hellbound or helpful?

I have a beloved family member who is smart, funny, generous, creative, kind, industrious. An all round exceptional and wonderful person. And she's terrified of my involvement with tarot, particularly the soothsaying aspect. I'm on the slippery slope to damnation.
Oh dear.
Not only does this cause an "elephant in the room" situation between us, but it also cuts out a chunk of conversational possibilities. Tarot pursuits of one kind or another account for a significant proportion of my available time and head space.
Here's my brain (not on drugs, for those of you who remember that ancient TV commercial).

So, what would I say to her if we were ever to have a genuine conversational exchange about "my" tarot? Much as I love elephants, I'd really like this one to go away.

First, let's settle that oft-quoted Biblical injunction against "soothsaying".

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)


I don't use tarot to predict anything. Period. Nor do I cast spells or call up the dead. I guess I'm off that particular hook.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Next.
So... if you don't use those cards to tell the future, what do you do with them?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 




Well...
They might remind me of something I meant to do/fix/learn about.
What deck is good at keeping me on task? The Sidhe (sides cropped).

Maker Ten - Kingdom Prospers
(10 of Pents)
Oh, thanks for the heads-up.
Be especially generous with my kids this Christmas season since my own "kingdom" is in a stable and safe place right now.
Relish planning a holiday dinner party for friends.
Shore up the house with necessary repairs that I've been putting off.
Be grateful and bask in the feeling of ease while it lasts.
Also, look to the future and be prudent. No reckless squandering.
Enjoy all my blessings this festive season.









Sometimes they reinforce a decision.
What's a wise comfort deck? The Gaian
15 ~ Bindweed
(The Devil)
My life and surroundings have to work for me, not for other people.
Possessions that no longer serve me need to go.
Obligations that bring me no solace or warm feeling for having done them need re-thinking.
Furniture incoming from Mom's house when it is sold must have either a purpose in my home, or an emotional value. Everything else - let it go. It's only stuff.
Free myself from the unnecessary.
Continue the decluttering.
Unhunch my shoulders. Breathe.








Often they present a completely new way of looking at an issue or circumstance.
What deck is bursting with off-the-wall ideas? The Fantastic Menagerie
Page of Coins
I need a change. How about a new hair colour? Art lessons?
Practice focusing on a task with someone looking over my shoulder. Concentration skills will improve.
I don't always have to be the boss. Let someone else do it.
The house is too cold. I'm reluctant to hike up the heat. Why not buy that cool purple jacket I saw at the local resale shop? Or wear tights under my jeans.
Overworked? I can hire a student to help with the routine tasks.
People don't have to look like I expect, to be smart, worthwhile, and competent.
You know what might help with organizing my office? Colour-coded binders!
That old blue dining room chair of Gram's would be super comfortable to work in. I'm going to bring it upstairs.






Just scratching the surface of how tarot can help!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Energy Extensions Part 5: not so different after all?

The content for this post is pure serendipity!!
In case you're not sure, serendipity is the opposite of shit happens.
Doing a reading this week, I decided to use two very different decks to give the querent a broader range of ideas.

I chose the gentle inclusive Gaian Tarot.
And the tough-love energy of the Tarot of the Sidhe (cropped at the sides).
Disparate decks for sure. Opposites. They agree to disagree.

Guess what? They have SO MUCH in common visually. I'm floored. Flabbergasted.

Here are two views of the first card that came up.
Notice the V-shape between the man and girl, and a similar shape above the Sidhe's head.
The roundness of the drum heads echoed in the circles surrounding the acorn.
The yellows and whites, the colour of the sky.

Their legs and the standing stones!

Small creatures curled or crouched at the bottom of the image.
The colours, the shafts of sunlight.
A background of trees.
Spirals in the fern fronds and on the Sidhe's skin.

So many birds! So crowded in by foliage or feathers.
The diagonal lines of the branches and the matching sun lines.

It just goes to show that you never know!

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 11, 1918 "The Wonderful Day"

Poppies have become the symbol of World War I because of this poem by John McCrae of Guelph, ON.
It was composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium.          
                                            
When my neighbourhood was laid out eighty-odd years ago, the planners began with the centrepiece, Memorial Park, and framed it with streets honouring the participants of those terrible battles.

My Mom recently entrusted me with a shoebox full of letters her Dad posted home from France during WWI. Here's the one my then-19-year-old grandfather wrote on the day World War I ended.
He entitled it "The Wonderful Day".

I don't know what all those young people, who'd been slogging through the mud of Passchendaele, Ypres, Somme, and Vimy Ridge, watching so many of their companions fall, felt when they received the news that the "war to end war" was finally over.
Gratitude, exhaustion, triumph, anger, sadness, remorse, survivor's guilt, joy, fear, disillusionment? Perhaps all of them. A kaleidoscope of confusion.
Gratitude - Gaian Tarot
Exhaustion - AnnaK Tarot
























Triumph - AnnaK Tarot
Anger - Gaian Tarot
























Sadness - Voyager Tarot
Remorse - Tarot of the Burroughs
























Survivor's Guilt - Tarot of the Burroughs
Joy - Gaian Tarot
























Fear - Gaian Tarot
Disillusionment - Golden Age of Hollywood 

























I offer this post with awe and gratitude
to all the men and women who left their homefires
Druidcraft Tarot


to set out on their great adventure,
AnnaK Tarot























and encountered this,
AnnaK Tarot

and this.
Gaian Tarot
























Karma Tarot
Golden Tarot of Klimt

Death came, not in a glorious blaze of patriotism but with indiscriminate gore, to combatants and townsfolk alike.


















Those fortunate enough to return brought their nightmares with them. 
Circle of Life Tarot

Lest we forget.