The Victor’s Responsibilities

Today’s meditation was (probably?) about fifteen minutes long, and was another self directed meditation, this time in the shower.  It was one of those in the bottom of shower watching the drops of water drip down the wall meditations, and was very soothing and a balm to my senses and my insides all at the same time.

It didn’t last until the water got cold, but I was there for a bit of time, so I’m guessing at the amount of time I actually spent in meditation.

Five of Axes - Tarot of the Unknown Today’s draw is the Five of Axes (Swords) which is a representation of tests, trials, and challenges in the area of one’s intellect, communication, and thought processes.  This often presents itself as conflict and/or competition, as well as a drive to win no matter the cost.

What stands out to me in this card today is the rope, which speaks to me of a connection between the victor and those he has defeated.  The message here is a reminder that even when you’re the winner, you need to ensure you keep in mind the fate and well being of those you have won against.   Sometimes, you need to do more than just stand tall as the victor and leave others in your wake.   Those you defeat are still people too, and as such, at the end of the battle they deserve more than just sand kicked in their eyes.

Today’s card relates really well to what is going on with one of my jobs at the moment.  I finally did talk to the owner about the shortcomings of his newest manager.  He wasn’t thrilled to hear the news, but after investigating for himself where she’s been dropping the ball and slacking off,  she ended up fired on Friday… and I ended up with a raise.  I don’t particularly feel bad for her, as she was abusive to the employees and not doing her job, but I did speak to her briefly today and offer her some leads on a couple jobs she might be better suited for.

Deck Used:  Tarot of the Unknown

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: How can I improve my relationship with confrontation?

Badger’s Forest TarotReading Summary:  Turn the other cheek (Four of Cups) rather than piling on and engaging in the conflict (Three of Pentacles), because sometimes you just have to take the high road (King of Swords) and walk away (Eight of Cups).

Take Away: Sometimes when coming in contact with confrontation, you really feel the need to defend your position and stand up against the opposing force.  But the fact is?  There are always going to be people that just refuse to listen to any view but their own, and there are going to be times when the conflict and confrontation just are not going to serve you well, even if you’re in the right.  Choose your battles wisely and remember that sometimes walking away is the best option.

Deck Used:  The Badger’s Forest Tarot

Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

As I’ve mentioned before, these readings are (not usually) bearing in on any one thing or event in my life, as the question used is asking for a more general outlook. This is a self care exercise, and are not meant as a predictive reading.

The question is… What do I need to focus for self-care through the week ahead?

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EarthThe Moon, Lady’s Mantle, Asian Elephant – Flow with uncertainties and have faith in your strengths. Sometimes life feels out of control and confusing, but that’s okay as long as you remember that you are strong enough to get through these times, and come out the other side stronger for it.

AirThree of Swords, Ten of Pentacles, Beaver, Spotted Skunk – It is important to display strength and serene resilience during troubled times and adversity. Stick to your guns in caring for and fostering stability in home and family life. In the position of air, these cards indicate there will be a need to provide reassurance to those nearest and dearest to me during the week to come.

WaterQueen of Swords, Seven of Wands, Mugwort, Orca – Now is the time to dive into the murky liminal spaces of the emotions and define clear boundaries within that space concerning what is welcome… and what is not. In these spaces, be aware and alert this week. Seek the truth and discard the rest.

FireThe Star, Queen of Cups, Trillium, California Poppy – The connection between my emotions and my passions, which was mentioned in a previous reading a week or two ago (I think?). In the previous reading, it was encouraged that I allow my emotions to more closely work with and influence my ambitions and inspirations. The cards in today’s reading speak of allowing this process time to germinate and grow, rather than bringing it out into the open too soon and therefore causing it to wither and fade.

Waxing and Waning – I am moving further away from that “dig yourself out of the emotional confusion” part of things and from the surfacing that comes afterward. Balance is coming back into focus, allowing me to depart from that state of picking myself up and dusting myself off. Now is a time to move forward and on from the recovery period into action once more.

Moral of the Story – This reading’s message is one of empowerment and forward motion. The time for stagnancy has come to an end and I need to foster clarity and precision in my steps forward into the chaos of the upcoming season.

Decks Used: The Children of Litha Tarot, Illustrated Bestiary Cards, Illustrated Herbiary Cards, The Moon Deck

 

Cycles and Transitions

Today’s meditation was a bit over sixteen minutes long, and I took a break from the ‘how to’ series that I’ve been working through to instead do a body scan where I moved from head to foot concentrating on the skin, then toes to head concentrating beneath the skin.

It was very thorough and very relaxing.  The only thing missing was some nice soothing music, but I had to charge my phone, so I couldn’t hook it up to the speaker at the same time or I wouldn’t have gotten a quick charge.   I may do this meditation again with music in the future to see how it feels.

Ten of Swords - Slow Tarot Today’s draw is the Ten of Swords, which is a card we spent some time on just last night in your lesson.   As you know from our discussion last night, I see more than just endings in the representation of the Ten of Swords, but also a time of healing (represented in this card by the birds).

The message in this card today is about looking for the silver lining.  Sometimes things come to an end, that’s just a natural progression, but in those endings there is an opportunity for growth and for moving on to something better.  It’s important to look for these opportunities and use them to pull yourself up off the floor and give yourself wings so that you can move on to the next thing.

Post Script Addition:  I was having a hard time finding a way to relate this pull to my life at the moment, and had decided to publish this post without that part added, as I figured that maybe it was just a positive message to keep in mind for the future.  But, I think you are right and that this message has to do with the extra time we’ve been able to have together lately.   With the holiday rush coming, that’ll come to an end very soon.   But fortunately, it’ll only be for temporary, and once the rush eases, everything can return to a far more happy and healthy balance.

Deck Used:  Slow Tarot

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: What can I do to better handle conflict?

The Herbcrafter’s TarotReading Summary:  Slippery Elm is used in the soothing of mucus membranes and in magic is often used in halting gossip. When combined with the Five of Pentacles, it indicates situations where struggles with resources and finances are present, and although you are possibly close with others, you are refusing to seek assistance because of a fear of your situation “getting out” into the awareness of others.

Wild Cherry is an auspicious tree that indicates good fortune and abundance of beneficial gifts available for the whole.  When combined with the Nine of Wands, there is a message not just of abundance but also of accessibility.  This message holds a message about needing to temper one’s desire to defend and block everything/everyone from gaining access to the abundance there for all.

Apple is a symbol of fertility and, like the Wild Cherry mentioned above, of bounty.  When combined with the Nine of Pentacles it is a message of long term preparations towards self-sufficiency, abundance, and being in a place where you have enough that you can comfortably share with others without the fear of “shooting yourself in the foot” as a result of doing so.   This is a card that says “rest easy, as there is plenty to go around”.

Take Away:  This reading refers to inner conflict.  It indicates that I should not allow what other’s might think or say behind my back influence how I feel about how well I am doing, nor whether or not I reach out for help when I need it. Take time to appreciate where there is bounty in my life, instead of struggling under the weight of perceived scarcity.

Deck Used:  The Herbcrafter’s Tarot

Passions and Paychecks

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long and was the next installment of the ‘how to’ series I’ve been working through.   The focus of today’s meditation was upon practicing what has been taught so far.   So it was about finding your focus and developing that accepting oneness with your surroundings while remaining in that quiet, calm place.

Tarot of the Unknown Today’s draw is a double without a jumper, which means both cards came out of the deck together. The cards in today’s draw are the Page of Pentacles and the Queen of wands… and apparently today is a wands and pentacles kinda day, because my bonus read is holding the same suits as the daily draw.

This message is all about turning passions into paychecks, which is something I seem to excel at.

What I see in these cards is encouragement to go after what I want.  Seek out those new opportunities, and use my confidence and passion to make them work for me and turn them into something lucrative.

Deck Used:  Tarot of the Unknown

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: How can I recognize when I’m over-exerting myself?

Pams Vintage Tarot Reading Summary: When there’s too many good ideas (Ace of Wands) and too much planning to be done (Three of Wands), and yet I feel like a novice and like I don’t know my shit (Page of Pentacles).

Take Away:  As I over-exert myself, and become more and more overwhelmed, my confidence begins to ebb like sand sifting through a sieve.  The cards are reminding me that when I am feeling that lack of self-confidence that makes me feel less-than in areas that I excel at, I need to look at how much of my passions I’m actually trying to load myself down with at once.

Deck Used:  Pam’s Vintage Tarot (Bridge Size)

 

Seasons and Holidays

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about the holidays we choose to celebrate.

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Topic for the Week of 11/04:  “How did or do you decide what holidays to celebrate?”

Although in the wheel of the year there are eight holidays, I really only dependably celebrate two of them from year to year.  My family, as I was growing up, has always celebrated all eight.

In my case, the holidays mark seasonal transitions, and although I appreciate them and even enjoy spending time recognizing them through hiking and other activities in order to appreciate the transitions from one season to the next?   I don’t celebrate all eight holidays on a dependable year-to-year basis.

I guess, then, that I should first begin by defining “celebrate” since I did just mention that recognize each shift in seasons regardless of “celebrating them” in a traditional sense.

So, for the purpose of this post, celebrating means to include ritual and/or activities that are performed on a specific day or days surrounding the holiday in question.

The holidays that my family celebrates are Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lammas, and Mabon.   Of these holidays, I dependably celebrate Samhain and Beltane every year without fail.   These are the two points in the year where the veil within liminal spaces is at its thinnest, and for me they are not just the most powerful days of the year, but also the most sacred.

So there you have it!  Although I consider the entire transition of season to season sacred and enjoyable, and appreciate them all in my own way.   As far as holidays go?  I really only go “all out” to celebrate just two of them.

Post Script Edit:    As you just pointed out to me, I also celebrate both Thanksgiving (US) and Christmas (in a far less religious way).

These two are celebrated for specific reasons.

Thanksgiving involves visiting my mother’s house, and is celebrated because it’s a holiday she loves.  A core part of her faith involves feeding others, and there is a lot of ritual and spellcraft that goes into the cooking on that day in her home.   Each year, my sister and I visit her because this day is so very important to her (and the food is so goddamn good doesn’t hurt either).

Christmas on the other hand, is not a religious holiday for me.  Instead it is something fun.  It’s a chance to give friends and loved ones gifts, show appreciation and gratitude, and get gifts from them in turn.  It’s a time for absolutely spectacular crooners music and amazing scents and sparkling lights.  I do decorate (alibi sparingly usually), and we do exchange gifts, but it’s more like the holiday is an excuse to do these things rather than a spiritual experience.

So you’re right.   Although they are not pagan holidays, nor spiritual in the sense of the other holidays that I sometimes incorporate into my year, they are absolutely holidays that I celebrate.

 

Control Within the Chaos

Today’s meditation was a little over eleven minutes, and was the next segment in the ‘how to’ series that I have been working through.  The focus on today’s meditation was

King of Wands - Slow TarotToday’s draw is the King of Wands, which is a representation of a projective alpha energy, personality or person in the area of one’s ambitions, passions, and drive.  This manifests in a push of energy toward leadership which displays itself with a commanding presence that possesses high expectations both of the self and of others.

With my feet resting upon the cusp of the busiest time of the year for me, this card’s arrival today is a reminder to project authority in what I do and confidence in my work, which is also my passion and my ambition.

This card is a reminder of the energy needed to ensure that the cacophony of the holiday rush does not overwhelm me.  I am capable of taking control, and I will do so, and move forward with strength and confidence into the chaos of the busy season.

Deck Used:  Slow Tarot

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: Where would I benefit from slowing down?

Gravity Tattoo Tarot Reading Summary: Letting money slide through my fingers (Six of Pentacles) while feeling confident I can indulge in my passions without repercussion (Queen of Wands).  It’s only through staying strong and practicing restraint (Strength) that I will find true stability that I can celebrate (Four of Wands).

Take Away:  As a previous reading has suggested already, as the money flows in from the holiday rush, I have responsibilities to focus on.  Where usually extra money would go into different interests and pursuits, for the time being (as is the same every year) the influx over the next seven weeks needs to funnel into those responsibilities instead.

Deck Used:  Gravity Tattoo Tarot

Feed the Seed

Today’s meditation was just over eleven minutes, and the next segment of the ‘how to’ series that I’ve been working through.  The focus of today’s guided meditation went back to finding your focus during meditation, and encouraging looking outside of the breath to try out different things to focus on to see if there is anything you personally connect to more strongly than the breath.

For me, this focus is the solar plexus.   The solar plexus is where a lot of my emotions and intuition spark from.  And, there is a reason that we call it the seat of the soul.  It is within that spot I can feel a constant inner kaleidoscope of sensation and sentiments living and breathing within me.

Ace of Pentacles - Tarot of the Unknown Today’s draw is the Ace of Pentacles.  The aces in the tarot a representation of new life that resides within the smallest of seeds, and potential for that life to spark and grow and break free of the seed’s shell and flourish.  In the Ace of Pentacles, this expresses itself most commonly as new beginnings and new opportunities in the area of manifestations, the physical world, and in finance and resources.

I will be having a bit of an influx of new money coming in over the next few weeks and I need to make some choices on what to do with it and where I want to direct it.  Responsible choices.   This card is a reminder that there is an abundance of opportunity out there, but if I want to encourage that new green to grow into something good, I need to both foster its source as well as respect where it comes from.

Deck Used:  Tarot of the Unknown

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: How can I reduce negative self-talk?

Tarot of the Cat People Reading Summary:  Take control of your mental chatter (King of Swords) by paying closer attention to what I do well (Knight of Pentacles) and appreciating what I have (Ten of Cups) rather than cutting myself and my acumen down every chance I get (Three of Swords).

Take Away:  The cards are reminding me that I need to focus more upon the good in my life and upon what I do well, and listen less to the slave driving asshole that lives in my head constantly demands for me to do more and do better.

Deck Used:  Tarot of the Cat People

Shadow Work (The Less-Than Whisper)

leaves

I have not done much in the realm of reading for shadow work this week, but I have been researching from writing prompts and tarot spreads that I will be able to use along that path once the holidays are over.

I have also decided to continue with the Tarot for Growth for another month, as although I sometimes find the prompts a little deep and skimming a little close to sensitive subjects, I am also enjoying it and I haven’t had anything from it actually trigger me, so I think it’ll be okay.

I may switch things up in December, though, and do a monthly challenge that’s a little more lighthearted.  We’ll see.

I am grateful, though, that the rawness that had caused that whisper to rise has eased off for the time being.  It was more than just the vulnerability of the drop, but incorporated the whispers of my father coming through when the veil was thin, as well as what has been going on with my mother over the past few weeks.

Now that her opportunity to “pimp me out” to her foundation buddy’s son for the Halloween fundraiser, all I have to deal with is her badgering about being disappointed in me, which is much easier to deal with somehow than the fact that she views my sexuality (and me at all) as a bargaining chip for social prestige.

Not Later… Now

Today’s meditation was just over ten minutes long, and was the next installment of the “how to” series I’ve been listening to.  The topic of today’s guided meditation was about the phrase “you are what you repeatedly do” and how that relates to meditation.

It went into the importance of filling your life with the habits, thoughts, and feelings that you want to perpetuate in your life, including making meditation a habit in order to bring the positive qualities into your life and incorporate them into a part of who you are.

Slow TarotToday’s draw is the Seven of Wands with the Knight of Swords as a jumper.  This is all about motivation and drive and being proactive about my goals.

This week my orders doubled, which is the beginning of the rush to come.  The Seven of Wands on its own is an indication of encouragement that now’s the time to amp myself up, get my ducks in a row, and start moving.   The fact that the Knight of Swords jumped out is a reinforcement not just of these things I need to do, but of the immediacy of it all.

This is not a “get ready” message.  It is a “get your ass moving” message.

Deck Used:  Slow Tarot

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: What can I do to better deal with emotional pain?

Sasuraibito TarotReading Summary: (There’s that Knight of Cups again.)  In the throes of emotional pain, I need to think first of grounding (The Empress), then seek a new more positive perspective of the situation (Ace of Swords).  Use my need to feel emotionally connected with those I love (Knight of Cups) as motivation to keep myself from closing off and building up my inner walls (Nine of Wands).

Side note on the above cards… just adding in: I like how the Knight and the Empress look IN on the two center cards. It feels…. good to me. Supportive. And I like the Nine of Wands in this deck in this instance, as I feel that the imagery fits well with what it represents in this reading, because to me it looks like ribs and a spine.

Take Away:  When I am hurt emotionally, my initial defense mechanism is to close myself off and bring up the walls that I learned to build so well during my childhood.  This doesn’t serve to heal anything, or help me in any way other than to make me “feel” a bit safe.  The pain is still there, and the wounds fester behind those walls instead of healing.   The cards are indicating that that discarding this pattern to seek out the comfort that my loved ones can provide while I ground myself and look for the silver lining is a far healthier way to deal with emotional pain.

Deck Used:  The Sasuraibito Tarot

 

Down Time is a Good Thing

Today’s meditation was just over eleven minutes long, which is Day 4 in the ‘how to’ series, and focused on what the narrator called inner smoothness.  I’ve never really seen it that way, and I view “smooth” as being something solid with a surface that does not contain irregularities.    What he was speaking of in his narration is, to me, not smoothness, but rather transparency… like a window screen.  There, but transparent.

Essentially what this meditation was about was concerning how we react to the world around us.  Do we react and cringe from everything?  Or do we practice acceptance and allow the sensations (such as sound, for example) to flow around us and through us as we become part of the environment rather than separated from it?

In meditation, this sense of being “at one” is a key part of the practice.  Instead of being reactionary, you focus on being calm and at ease, no matter the distractions that may be present at the time.

Two of Cups - Tarot of the Unknown Today’s draw is the Two of Cups, which is in direct relation to me scolding myself for loafing off yesterday.  I just plain didn’t work at all once I got home yesterday, which means that I didn’t work in my home business for two days in a row.   Instead, I spent them playing with you.

This is really unheard of for me, as even when we play I often multitask and work on the side.  Today’s card is a reminder that it’s OKAY to need to spend time with you.  It’s OKAY to want to direct all of my energy and time and focus on you now and then.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it builds good energy and good relationship by doing so.   It’s good for me, and it’s good for us as a couple.

So I need to take a breath and just relax and stop being so hard on myself for not being as productive as I absolutely, positively could be.

Deck Used:  Tarot of the Unknown

Bonus Reading – #TarotForGrowthNovember

Question: How can I be more decisive?

The Distant Past Tarot

Reading Summary:  Use a more stable energy (Queen of Cups) in reaction to my struggles (Five of Pentacles), and keep in mind when I’m dealing with uncertainty (The Moon), that turning inward isn’t always the answer (The Hermit).  Sometimes you have to remember to ask for help (back to the Five of Pentacles) and let other people’s input influence your decision (Four of Cups).

Take Away:  If I want to be more decisive, it helps to look outward rather than always depending upon the self alone. These cards are a reminder that there are an infinite amount of other perspectives out there to consider when making a decision, and the more information you have, the easier it is to make the right choices for yourself and the situation.

Deck Used:  The Distant Past Tarot