Sometimes Shit Falls Apart

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on how the benefits of a calm mind created by daily meditation assists in a better life.

This was a very apropos topic, considering the card that I pulled today (more on that below), but I do agree with the topic for the guided meditation today.   I have noticed that on the days where I do not manage to fit my meditation in during my morning routine, that the day seems harder, longer… and just overall a bit more stressful.

On a side note, something else I’ve noticed is that if I hit the snooze in the morning… I feel way crappier when I get up (and throughout the day) than I do if I just get my ass out of bed when the alarm goes off the first time.    I think I’m going to have to ban myself from hitting snooze, or rolling back over for more sleep when I wake up early on a day I don’t need to.

Today’s draw is the Tower card of the Major Arcana.  This is a card that is representative of sudden, abrupt, and unavoidable change.  I think that a lot of people look at this card and have an immediate “oh shit” moment, and honestly?  Me too.  Not because I think it is a bad card.  I don’t.   But, like many people, I hate the process of change.  The end result?  Probably great… usually great.  You adapt and you move on.   The process?  That shit sucks.

When I look at this card, I see that ‘oh shit’ moment.   I see the struggle, as the beavers prepare to fell the tree and the bird that called the tree home grabs what he can and makes a run for it.

What I see isn’t something I see.  It’s something I feel when I look at the card, but am unable to pick apart and explain HOW I get there.   And that is that evolution is inevitable and required.   Shit has to fall apart in order to make way for better shit to come forth.  Sometimes?  It feels like the end of the world, but like the depression that sometimes nips at my heels and at other times swallows me whole… there IS an end to the chaos, and things always fall back into balance again in the end.   The key is to ride it out, and strive to stay safe through the process.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot

 

Rest and Recovery

Today’s meditation…. turned into a nap.  It wasn’t intentional, but that’s how it went.  It was just a really stressful and very long day, and once I managed to stay still and quiet my mind, the sandman cracked me on the head and sent me to sleep.

Today’s draw was the Ten of Zephyrs, which is a representation of endings, restoration, and resurrection (among other more negative connotations) in the areas of intellect, the mind, logic, education, and instinct.  Some of the more negative meanings include resisting closure, painful endings, deep wounds, and betrayal.  The other side of this coin, though, is that it is also a card of recovery, healing from said wounds, and moving on.

What I saw (and see) in this card today is not a predator looking over prey, but rather that the vulture is watching over the birdboy as the boy rests and recovers from whatever has washed him out so egregiously.   It reminds me of you, and of our current situation as you watch over me and care for me while I not just recover from the drop, but work at bolstering myself for the trip coming up at the end of the month.

I know you are there.  I know you are watching.   You make me feel safe enough to let my guard down and work on myself, even with that keen gaze upon me the whole time.  For you?  Vulnerability is okay.

I love you.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot

Nature Does Not Hurry

So every day, I have tea in the morning.  This isn’t because I’m a big tea drinker.  All the teas I drink are herbal, because I can’t handle caffeine.  And honestly?  It’s taken me a long time to even find some that I’m fond of.

Nature

That said, I have managed, over trial and error, to find a few.  One of them is a Rosehips tea by Traditional Medicinals that I like to mix with either  chamomile tea or peach tea.   In the Traditional Medicinals tea, each tea bag comes with a little quote on the tab.

Today’s quote was from Lao Tzu.  “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Although I get what this is saying?  I disagree with the quote in a very literal way.  The fact is that it is true, nature does not hurry.  But, everything is -not- accomplished.   This is why plants die before all the buds can open at the end of the season, and there are often still new leaves just coming into being when fall and winter come to kill off the plants and make the leaves fall.

Everything does not get done.

Everything does not survive and thrive.

This quote, or perhaps how it is used in this instance, makes it seem like you can just take your time with things and everything will fall into place.  And it’s true, everything -will- fall into place.   But if you want things to fall in the place how YOU want them to?  It’s going to take more than that.  Otherwise, like late blooms and off-season buds, those things that are important to you will die off instead of flourishing.

This is not to say you don’t need to take time to slow down and breathe, time to step away and relax.   But sometimes?  The only way anything gets done is with a PUSH to get it there.

Just my two cents.

And, because I know you’ll be wondering, I drink tea every morning because I need a hot drink to mix my collagen peptides into. It’s healthier than hot chocolate.

Bringing Inner Wisdom Into Battle

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on making sure that you do not get swept up into the fray of things to the point that you forget to take a step back now and then and some time for yourself.

I think this is a good reminder, as I know that I am guilty of this.   I had a little mini-rant earlier because the message in my tea this morning was similar (although badly phrased in my opinion) and that will post later this evening, but as a general rule?   I know that I need to have some balance.

I may forget now and then.  I may need constant reminding (as is the reason so many of my card pulls and readings for myself are always pointing in that direction…. but I know it’s important.  I understand its importance.  It’s just something I struggle with regardless of that knowledge.

Today’s draw is a double without a jumper, and one of them is a repeat of yesterday’s card.  (This is after 7 rifle shuffles and then multiple overhand shuffles until the cards fell out.)  That is to say, I drew the Five of Flame along with the second card in the Major Arcana, the High Priestess card.

The fact that the Five of Flame came up again today, and as the topic card instead of as the “details” card, makes it clear that the cards are trying to provide me with some guidance to get to that inner strength that it spoke about in yesterday’s draw.

The “how” of thing is where the High Priestess comes into this equation, and what I see in this card is more than just the High Priestess, but also the Empress.   When I view this card today, what I see is a nurturing directed to what is unseen and beneath the shell.  The High Priestess is the one that has access to what is beneath the shell, the nurturing of the Empress energy is what is needed to be directed there.

I also see this card as a very clear indication that I need to bring one of my decks with me on my trip.   The Five of Flames again speaks to me of a time in which I need to be strong.  The High Priestess card in this case speaks of being in touch with my intuition as a part of that strength.   That by being in touch with my subconscious and intuition during the time when I need that strength, it will only make me stronger.

And so, for the first time (other than that one trip to mom earlier this year) I will, in fact, be traveling with a tarot deck, rather than just a playing card deck.  I have been considering it, but have continued to be uncertain.  I think it is time to commit to that decision and set the indecision and lack of surety aside.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot

 

Self Care Saturday (on Sunday)

SCS

As I 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 on in the week ahead?

Earth Ace of Pentacles – It is time to again set your eyes upon your financial and business goals. Keep your focus and clarity will come along with the manifestation of what is desired.

Air Ten of Pentacles – Peace of mind concerning my stability and security of hearth and home as well as the business and finances. Be sure to pay attention, as some beliefs are mistaken and will need assessing for this stability and security to manifest past the mind into reality.

Water Four of Wands – The drop will soon lift.  Enjoy the time of peace and harmony that follows, and don’t take it for granted.  Languish in its comforting warmth.

Fire Eight of Pentacles – Reiteration of the draw for Earth. Stay focused and diligent on your goals.  Don’t get distracted by curiosity and pretty things.

Moving Away From The Child – A time of innocence and uncertainty. Leave behind the fumbling and replace it with surety.

Heading Toward The Witness – Acknowledge preconceptions and learn by observation and example of others.

Moral of the Story – Clarity and focus are your friend. Pay attention and examine your motives and beliefs, so that you can be sure to manifest what you really want.

Decks Used: Crow Tarot, Dixit Pack #6 Memories, Mystical Shaman Oracle

 

Messages of Empowerment

Today’s meditation was fifteen minutes long, and was not a guided meditation.  Instead, I visited my safe space for a time.  It was very relaxing and calming.  Since I woke up with a bit of an anxiety issue this morning that has chosen to ride me for most of the day, I thought the visit to my quiet place was in order.   It helped, but I think I would have been better off going for a hike after the farm instead of coming straight home, and then meditating.

Today’s draw is the Five of Flames, which is a representation of tests and trials, struggle, strife, and conflict in the area of one’s ambitions, passions, and drive.

When I look at this card, I hear it telling me to stand up and be strong.  The hyena-boy’s fist on that bone is a clear indication to me of it being a time to feel my power.   This really goes along very well with yesterday’s Self Care Saturday spread that will post later today, and with a brief reading done by Dee and R on YouTube this morning.

As with these other readings, today’s card is a message of empowerment.  “Stand Strong and Conquer”, it says.   As I ease  from the drop, this is important to keep in mind.  I need to build myself up now to prepare for what is coming at the end of the month, as well as to prepare myself and the business for the holiday season ahead.  In both cases, I need to be feeling stable, strong, and in my element.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot

Bonus Reading

I did the #TarotForGrowthSeptember prompt today from Instagram.

Question: Where am I not guarding myself enough?

Reading Summary: There was once a large and diverse family that existed with the constant threat of violence always just lingering in the eaves.  They were constantly trying to talk over each other and making lots of noise.  The only one of them that was ever happy was the one that found a way to get a bit of solitary time to rest and relax.

Take Away:  If I want to prepare for the visit out east at the end of the month, I need to work on my inner calm and find that place within where I can weather the storm without the constant bombardment of outside influences.

If I can find my inner peace and get well seated and comfortable within it, whatever abusive behavior and words are tossed my way during the week I’m away won’t make such an impact.

Deck Used: Dixit Pack #6 Memories

 

Where Do You Go?

In a previous post, I mentioned a type of meditation where I visit a safe place within my mind.   I thought in this post I would take some time to describe what and where this place is.

cabin

My personal inner space has not changed throughout my entire life since I first discovered this method of visualization and meditation.  That is not to say that qualities of the place haven’t changed, but the foundation is the same regardless of some of the trappings.    It is not a real place in the physical world, but rather it is a fantasy that is real only in my mind.   Within my mind, it has depth and breadth, though.  It goes through the seasons in time with the real world as well, and has been built over decades into a place that is not just a safe and secure place, but is a feast for all of the senses.

Deep in the forest, high in the mountains is a single level home made of earth and trees.

A winding road leads the way up to this part of the forest, and there is a small turn off where you pull in and park.  From there, you must hike the rest of the way in.  Grocery and package deliveries are the way most supplies come in, and at the end of the small turn off, there is a large lock box for the deliveries to be set in to keep them safe from weather and animals until I can come to pick them up.

The forest is like the rainforests of my home, thick and wet, filled with draping moss and lichen and the damp smell of decay and growth.  It is filled with lush ferns and trees of cedar, spruce, pine, and douglas fir.

Once you arrive, what you find is a cabin.  Log cabin style, it sits in a clearing in the middle of the woods. As you step out of the trees, the cabin is in a cleared spot of land, a river just beyond the house trailing away through a valley between towering peaks in the distance.

Surrounding the house is a yard  contained by a picket fence lined with a variety of herbs and plants and an arbor type of gate in the front.  There is a large tree with a swing, and in the side yard there are laundry lines for hanging clothes to dry.   On the other side of the house, nearest the river, there is a large fenced-in garden where I grow vegetables and other edibles.

At the back of the house is an attached conservatory/greenhouse much like the one in the movie Practical Magic, although that is where the resemblance with the movie ends.  Entering the house through the conservatory, there is a kitchen with gas stove and modern fridge, a large farmhouse style sink and plenty of cabinets.  Sometimes there is an island as well, other times there’s a large kitchen table instead.

It is an open floor plan, and the living room is comfortable, the interior a combination of dark wood and muted earthy colors joined with soft lines combined with hard surfaces.   Clean.  Organized.  Fragrant with seasonal scents and wood.  There is an open wood burning stonework fireplace, and large windows that look out at the river and valley in the distance.  The ceiling is high with exposed beams.

All of these things are the same, and have remained the same for many, many years.  There are things that change though, much like the alternating kitchen table and/or kitchen island.

These include whether the laundry lines at the side of the house are parallel or an “umbrella” style. Whether the tree with the swing is inside the yard, or outside of the yard.  Whether or not there is a small dock at the edge of the river. The size of the cleared land that the house sets on, as sometimes the trees of the forest are quite close, and other times they are further back.

I rarely ever see the bedroom in this house, and thus I can’t really say if much changes there, but in the kitchen sometimes the appliances change, or the equipment within the house such as the stereo, television, computers, etc will change. Whether or not there is a library or the living room is lined in books has also changed a number of times over the years. And the seasons…. the seasons always change with the seasons in reality.

These are not conscious choices, but  rather appear to happen depending on what I am needing at the time I retreat into this place. Funny enough?  My boots in this place are always the same. Not sure why I notice this, but I do.

And there you have my safe place. That place I retreat to when everything becomes too much, or I need a “time out” to just breathe. There are no photos shared in this post, because this place is purely imaginary and honestly?  I couldn’t find any photos that could do it justice.

 

Project Strength

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long and focused on getting in touch with one’s compassion for yourself and for others.

To be entirely honest?  I wasn’t listening.  I was drifting on my breath and very much in my own space throughout the meditation and I missed the message entirely other than a few snippets about projecting compassion first upon yourself, then out into the world.

Today’s draw is the Six of Flame, which is traditionally a representation of vitality, cooperation and harmony as well as “humanity issues and limitations” in relation to one’s ambitions, passions, drive, and willpower.  This card often comes up in relation to success, both private achievements and public recognition, self confidence, and at times, over confidence and ego.

That is not so much what I feel from this card, although there is a hint of it in the above.  I see a lamb in wolf’s clothing, tail tucked between the legs as they move through the night. I see the moon smiling.  I feel that today this card is more about taking time for yourself and watching your back as you show the world a display of strength regardless of how vulnerable the insides may feel.

Sometimes in life you have to put on the wolf’s clothing just to make it through the day, and sometimes you have to do it to get through what’s coming.  That is what I see here.

I am coming up on a trip that is going to be somewhat unpleasant.  I know this.  And I know I need to be in a place of strength when I go.  This card is telling me that even if I feel small, I can still project that powerful outer shell.

There has been a creeping trepidation coming in as the time to go gets closer and closer.  Today’s card is a reassurance that I am strong and I will make it through.  I may need a bit of adaptation, I may need to present a bit of a facade along the way… but the moon smiles in the sky and I will make it through.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot

 

Resourcing Supplies

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is a three-in-one, all of which deal with how you resource the supplies you use in your faith and/or craft.

pp01

From Jay Jackson:

I was wondering about the group’s different takes on using Items that are now mass-produced or that are not naturally occurring for use in their Craftwork or Rituals. For instance you can go down to one of the large camping stores and buy a cauldron or acquire one from one of the various “witchy” stores. Back in the day people usually repurposed a family heirlooms or acquired an old one from an antique store. Some Items that were made by hand are now available off the shelf.

I really don’t have an issue with this.  For some people, they are limited (sometimes severely so) in their ability to access natural resources, hand-me-down items, antiques and vintage pieces, and other such methods that were once common place.   Sometimes they are financially strapped and mass market is the only way to afford something they feel they want or need.

As long as all paths and venues are represented and none are causing the death of any of the others?  Then I say do what feels right for you.

In my own personal choices, I get a lot of what I need from my hikes in nature, as well as from second hand stores, yard sales, garage sales, etc…. and occasionally thrift stores and dollar stores.   There is also eBay and Etsy, although I usually avoid ordering spellcraft items online whenever possible (especially crystals), as I find I need to touch them in order to make sure the energies they emit are going to blend well with my own or my purpose.

Keep in mind when ordering online that if you are sensitive to energy emissions, you might not be happy with what you receive regardless of how many pictures you see of the item first.  Cleansing can only do so much.  Sometimes?  It’s just not enough.

pp02

(Cont.) From Jay Jackson:

Also due to modern technology, Laboratory grown Crystals are available. Last year I saw a really beautiful Crystal that was Opalite, I really felt it was ‘calling’ to me, my hopes for the stone were dashed when someone pointed out Opalite is man-made in Labs. I recently acquired one anyway to use as a focal point for a similar item found in Druid Practice but it is unknown what its historic nature was. (A Serpents Egg or Dragon Egg)

I’m okay with using non-crystal “crystals” in magical practice.  If the item suits your needs and/or you feel it has the energy and qualities you’re looking for to enhance your practice or crafting?  Go for it.  Crystals aren’t the only things in the world that carry energy, so why not?

I do have a HUGE issue with misrepresentation on the side of crystal suppliers.  Whether this is because they don’t know any better, or because they are intentionally being deceptive?  Not okay.

First?  They should know their shit, and if they don’t they shouldn’t be selling crystals.  So that they don’t know what they’re actually selling is NOT an excuse.

Second? Whether it is “accepted in the industry” or not.  Whether it is something “everyone is doing” or not.  Whether it is legal or not.  I don’t give a fuck.  Deceptive practices are still deceptive practices, regardless of the reasons and/or excuses used to justify their use.   And…. IMO?  Not okay.   This includes baking amethyst to then ‘pass it off’ as citrine.  This includes claiming opalite is a stone (it’s glass).  This includes claiming dyed stones are naturally that color.  All of that is deceptive.  Commonly done, but deceptive.

pp04

From Lea McAlister:

I’m curious what everyone’s thoughts might be in the Sephora Beginner Witch Kits that they [were going to] be selling. It seems like a pretty hot topic with divided opinions everywhere. I would love to know what everyone here thinks. :)”

Cultural Appropriation

noun
  1. the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society

I’m pretty sure that says it all where my opinion is concerned.

pp03

From Shadow_sun:

Favorite budget ideas for spells such as supplies, herbs, or just in general.

I already mentioned a number of them above.  One of my favorite sources is when I go hiking in nature or take a trip to the beach.  You have to be careful that you are sourcing sustainably, though.  Don’t just take whatever you want, as much as you want, and think it’s okay because it’s “free”.  Be certain that you are not harming the environment or those that live within it by what you decide to take away with you.

Second hand stores, yard sales, garage sales, thrift stores, dollar stores, etc.  All of these are really good for things like supplies and in general.  Estate sales can also be a good place to look for things such as crystals and supplies at a steep discount, although that’s not always the case.

For herbs, my biggest suggestion is to learn how to grow what you need.  This is what I do for sage, lavender, rosemary, and a few other herbs.  I grow them, bundle them (when appropriate), and dry them myself (or freeze them if needed).  You’d be amazed at how much you can get out of a single plant.

Other venues for herbs would be the local grocery store, ethnic markets (ie: Chinatown), bulk food stores, etc.

Craft stores often also are a good place.  They will often have coupons online that you can use to get some pretty steep discounts (such as 20% off an entire order, or 40% off a single item, for example).

You’ll notice I don’t mention metaphysical shops.  This is because I’ve found unless they’re having a spectacular sale or liquidating to close down?  They don’t really have good deals for saving money.  Since this question is all about how to SAVE money, I did not include them.

Nor do I mention Amazon, eBay, or Etsy on this question.   I have found that although you can occasionally find some really good deals from online sites, the results of what you get when your order arrives is a “mixed bag” when it comes to getting what you -expect- to receive. For this reason, I prefer to shop for my spellcrafting supplies in person whenever possible.

 

Wear Waders and Keep Climbing

Today’s meditation was ten minutes and twenty two seconds long, and dealt with healing from shame.

I want to say that the only time  ideal with shame is the kind that comes during my ultra vulnerable moments of the drop, but that’s not entirely true I don’t think.  This is because the meditation today made me wonder if that feeling that I describe as “discomfort” that I still experience concerning the scar on my face isn’t, in fact, shame.

Muffled shame.  Partially healed shame.   But still…. shame.

I’m not entirely sure, to be honest.  But this is the second time in as many months that I’ve wondered this, and so I think it’s something to consider.

I do not agree with the quote given in today’s guided meditation, though.  I do not thin that sharing your shame with a sympathetic and empathetic ear will miraculously make it disappear.  Shame, especially that caused by trauma, just doesn’t heal up that quickly or that easily.  At least, not in my experience.

Today’s draw is the Page of Flame, which is a representation of an receptive omega energy in the area of one’s passions, drive, ambitions, willpower, and inner spark.  This is a card of learning and development, and often comes up in relation to the spark of inspiration, the limitlessness of potential in a person or situation, and sometimes the unnecessary limits we put upon those people or situations.

In my mind, I always see the Page of Wands (Page of Flame in this deck) as a boy with a huge and infectious smile standing proud on a hilltop with a bonfire behind him and sparks flying up into the air around him in all directions.  I’m pretty sure this isn’t from any deck I’ve seen but is, instead, simply my own mental image of that card’s energy.

That said?  I think this deck’s card is a spectacular representation as well.   In this card I see the transformative power of life and positivity.  The caterpillar, the chrysalises, the butterflies in his hair.  The new buds of growing rack reaching up from the top of his head.  The lush carpet of new green sprouts.   All of it speaks to me of a time of newness, transformation, and growth.

I’ve been feeling my inner self trying to shut down and shut itself in over the past few days.  That vulnerable space is starting to get to me.  Perhaps too many drops too close together?   This card points out very clearly that shutting down is happening, and encourages me to keep up the good fight and not to let myself sink into the suck of the mud and muck.

Deck Used: Stolen Child Tarot