Finding Joy

IMG_4372Today’s meditation was fifteen minutes long and was not a guided meditation.  Instead, I did a few minutes of deep breathing pranayama followed by a quiet, centered meditative state where I considered the question in this graphic that I came across in my feed on Instagram.

The question really struck a cord with me when I saw it, it really resonated and I feel like it needs more attention than just a passing thought.

There are a couple things that really came to mind for me when I thought over this question.   The first is… the sleep. Pre-pandemic, I was averaging about 3 hours of sleep at night, and then another 2-3 hours in the afternoon.   I have been sustaining this schedule (not without a bit of struggle) for…. ten… maybe fifteen years now.   The pandemic and loss of employment it caused opened up a number of hours to me that I would normally be working.  Hours that I filled (predominantly) with sleep.

It has been fucking glorious.  And, although I know when things get back to normal I will need to take those hours of sleep away and put them back to working?  I wish I could keep them. Just sayin’.

Second is the time I have been able to commit to my emotional growth and development.  This isn’t so much about extra time as it is about the ability to remain open for an extended periods without the need to protect myself or guard myself.   Because I am sensitive to energy, I (apparently, although I didn’t realize this until recently) usually run around in the world with a certain amount of energetic/mental/spiritual shielding in place.

During this time when I have been forced to let go of so much and remain away from most people more than usual, I’ve found that I’ve been able to ease those shields down a bit and this has had an interesting side effect of giving my emotions and inner self some “breathing room” much like someone taking off a body suit to run around nekkid instead gives the body/skin breathing room.

Maruco Animal Tarot - The ChariotToday’s draw is the Chariot card, which is traditionally interpreted as… well essentially it is the epitome of the Wands suit of the tarot, all rolled up into one and then spread out like peanut butter on toast throughout all of the different aspects of life.  This theme is one of control, willpower, and drive.  It’s about taking those horses by the reigns and pointing them toward the triumph you desire, and plowing forward with determination.

What stands out to me in the imagery of this card today is the expression of pure joy on the squirrel’s face as he drives the chariot forward.

The message here in today’s card is about enjoying what you do and not allowing yourself to fall into a mindset of seeing those things you do as a chore and an obligation rather than as a joy.

I struggle with this sometimes, especially when I am feeling overwhelmed.  I start to see the things that I usually take such pleasure and passion in as pain in the ass chores.  I have the blessing of being able to do something I truly love with my life, and being able to express the massive does of creativity I’ve been blessed with in a myriad of ways.  Today’s card is a reminder to take that creativity and enjoy it as I go about the day to day activities of my life.

DECK USED:  MARUCO ANIMAL TAROT

#TarotForGrowthMay Challenge Prompt
Question
: What aspect of myself am I keeping hidden that needs attention?

Mucha Tarot

Reading Summary: This spread is referring to my COTD message above. It has to do with limiting my  perspective (Hanged Man Rx) concerning my work (Eight of Pentacles) and ending up disappointed with the process as a result (Three of Swords).

Take Away:  The aspect of myself that is being kept hidden is the fact that I’m not allowing myself enough joy in my creative process to keep that spark of joy and interest alive in my work.   I need to work on focusing on the enjoyment of the process of creation and how good I feel in sending out my creations into the world to bring pleasure to others.   I’ve lost track of that a bit lately.

DECK USED:  TAROT MUCHA

#DiscordTarotholicsMay2020 Challenge Prompt
Question
: What secret do I need to let go of and set free?

The Fountain TarotReading Summary: This reading is also about that hidden discontent (Ten of Pentacles Rx) I’ve been feeling lately (mentioned in today’s COTD) concerning the menial and repetitive tasks of my work (Eight of Coins Rx).  The Empress speaks of a need to allow her kindness and nurturing to flow out from her (the green behind her and at her feet) and into these aspects where discontent has flourished (the green in the other two cards).

Take Away:  Instead of hiding how I’ve been feeling about my work concerning my home business, I need to let it out and treat it with kindness and understanding.  Consider how the items I create and send out into the world influences the lives of others, and allow that pleasure I give them to re-kindle my own joy in the process.

DECK USED:  THE FOUNTAIN TAROT

#MysticStarChallenge
Question
: What can I do to better cope with this time away from my ‘normal life’?

The Muse Tarot

Reading Summary:  It is a good time to work at bridging the gap (Muse of Materials) between the spark of ideas (Ace of Voices) and my intuition (The Priestess).

Take Away:  So often, the mind and intuition are at odds with each other.  Intuition whispers quietly, just barely able to be heard most of the time… while the mind shouts loudly and tries to run over everything with its voice.  

Spending time focusing on bridging that gap and allowing intuition to have its way (tip of the moon piercing the priestess’ palm… which bleeds light) will allow me to find a better balance and allow me to use my intuition and depths of inner knowledge to calm my brain down and keep it from overwhelming everything.

DECK USED:  THE MUSE TAROT

#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
Question: When I remain silent, what is blocking me from asking my partner for what I need?

Mythical Creatures Tarot by BabaStudios

Reading Summary:  The idea that if I let my freak flag fly (Hierophant Rx) that he will turn and walk away (Eight of Cups) and my bleeding heart will be my own doing (Justice).

Take Away:  This reading is referring to having hidden from you for so long just how much tarot and my spirituality was a part of my life.   It is about the fear I felt about losing you due to a lack of conventionality.   When I am silent, this is often the fear that holds me back.  That fear of you walking away and it being all my fault that it happened…. all my fault that my heart is bloody pulp on the floor.   Somehow, the fact that I am the one that destroys everything… just makes it all that much worse. 

DECK USED:  MYSTICAL CREATURE TAROT BY BABASTUDIOS

 

Sink or Swim

Today’s meditation was skipped in favor of getting my ass going on orders.  Yes, I know that is a horrible excuse and yet… I’m not going to cover it up.  I made the decision to skip today in order to dive into work and get things done.

Maruco Animal Tarot - The TowerToday’s draw is The Tower card of the Major Arcana (again), which is a representation of sudden and chaotic change.

What really stands out to me in the imagery of this card today is the two bunnies.  Unlike in most Tower cards where the figures look like they are being thrown from the tower by the force of the blast, these bunnies look to me like they are fleeing.   This speaks to me of the reality that sometimes?  When your boat is sinking it’s time to jump in the water and pray for the best.

It’s not really in my nature to bail on a struggle, but I do understand that sometimes?  Just have to do so.   Especially when you don’t like what’s happening and have no control over the chaos or the outcome.

I feel like this has to do with my expectations. Specifically those to do with humanity’s intelligence as a whole.  Not that I can bail on humanity, but it might be time to bail on the expectation that intelligence is an inherent part of humanity.  At least… that’s what it feels like lately whenever I watch the news.

Or maybe the real message here is to bail on paying so much attention to the news, because every damn time I do?  I become more disappointed in the intelligence level of society and humanity as a whole.   I understand there are small pockets of real thinkers… but jesus… it just seems like there are so many more idiots out there than people using their brains.

DECK USED:  MARUCO ANIMAL TAROT

#TarotForGrowthMay Challenge Prompt
Question
: What makes me feel more connected or aligned with Self?

Sun and Moon Tarot

Reading Summary: When my plate is full (Ten of Wands) and I am feeling clear headed and in charge (King of Swords) with a sense of inspiration and adventure blowing wind into my sails (Princess of Swords).

Take Away:  It’s only when I am feeling the fog of confusion, fear, or struggling with emotions that carrying a full plate of responsibilities becomes a struggle for me.   When I feel most “myself”, it is when my mind is clear and I’m invigorated with lots to do and a sense of productivity at  play.

DECK USED:  SUN AND MOON TAROT

#DiscordTarotholicsMay2020 Challenge Prompt
Question
: How can I improve upon my self-care at this time?

The Muse TarotReading Summary: Lean your expertise (Eight of Materials) into ideas that inspire you (Ace of Inspiration). Your progress and stability (Imagery in the Muse of Materials) will continue for a while without you in the saddle (Knight of Materials).

Take Away:  The cards here are encouraging me to delve into my new ideas and inspiration instead of focusing so tightly on my financial stability and progress.  It’s okay to take some time away from these stresses that I spend so much of my time and energy focusing on.  It’s okay to delve into other passions and ideas for a bit.  Nothing is going to topple off kilter if you do this for a short time (and perhaps begin to incorporate it into my life in some way to carry it forward in the future as well).

DECK USED:  THE MUSE TAROT

#MysticStarChallenge
Question
: How can I overcome my fear of change?

Mystic Faerie Tarot

Reading Summary: Hope for something better to come (The Star) while taking action to defend (Eight of Wands) what I hold most dear (Three of Pentacles) with all the tools in my arsenal (The Magician).

Take Away:  When change comes around, whether it’s gradual and builds up over time or comes out of the blue with chaos and a cacophony of stress, I have a habit of going immediately to a pessimistic view and start catastrophizing.  I think this is pretty normal for a lot of people, but it isn’t productive and only indulges my fears.

The cards here indicate that if I want to overcome these fears, a better option is to consciously reach for a more optimistic view of what the changes might result in while making sure those things that are important to me stay whole and cared for along the way.

DECK USED:  MYSTIC FAERIE TAROT

#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
Question: How am I different in my romantic relationship than I am with others?

Tarot Mucha

Reading Summary: Vulnerable (Five of Pentacles) and uncertain (Nine of Cups Rx) and more open to allowing my emotions to overflow (Ace of Cups).

Take Away:  In my romantic relationship, I allow far more vulnerability to rise to the surface and be shared with you than I would ever allow others outside of that intimate relationship to see.  I share with you my uncertainties and fears, my worries and self doubts.   I share with you all of these things, and I share with you my emotions, which is something I very rarely share with others in any true depth.  With you, though, I allow those emotions to spill over within the safety and security of the knowledge that you want them… need them… and will love me no matter how intense or disorganized or messy that emotional part of me may be.

DECK USED:  TAROT MUCHA

Preparation Before Action

Today’s meditation was cut short, as I had a telephone dermatology appointment.  Which seriously…. I don’t see why they bother.  In dermatology, a couple of pictures is not enough and it seems like a bit of a waste of time to have telephone appointments.  Not even video appointments like Zoom or FaceTime either… just voice supplemented with a couple of emailed pictures.

And of course, it didn’t go well and I have to go in.  Probably in June.

I will try to meditate again tonight before I go to sleep.

Forager's Daughter - Ace of WandsToday’s draw is the Ace of Wands, which is traditionally interpreted as a seed, new start, or beginnings concerning one’s drive, ambitions, or passions.  This often comes across in themes concerning the spark of new inspiration or new opportunities relating to one’s interests and ambitions.

What stands out to me today in the imagery of this card is the grape vines (especially the ripe grapes) and the spiderweb (which is actually supposed to be the north star, I think… but that’s not what I saw).

Grapevines, especially wild grapes, are vigorous grower.  They climb and climb, reaching for the sun, and the more sun they get?  The more they bear fruit.   Combined with the new moon above, the connotation here that see is one of bursting forth with energy and purpose.  No slow starts here… it’s all about the “get up and go“.

Combined with that symbolism is another aspect, that at first might feel counter-purpose to that burst of energy.  The cobweb (yes, I’m sticking with cobweb, because that’s what I saw) feels like a moment of pause.   When a spider builds a web and prepare to feast, they sit on the outside of the web and wait with perfect patience for something to become caught in the sticky strands. They wait for their opportunity  with patience and care, watching for the perfect moment to spring forward and claim the reward that comes from that judicious pause.

And that is the message here in today’s card.  It’s about my struggle with doing so much less than normal during the lockdown of the pandemic, when only one of my four part time jobs still exists, and even sales for my home business have slowed.   Now is the time to perfect my web, tighten up any loose strands that need brought into line.  Now is the time to practice patience, because soon enough the time to leap forward will arrive and things will once again be busy… and instead of feeling overwhelmed by inactivity, I will be overwhelmed by the familiarity of having too much on my plate at once.

It’s time to start viewing as preparation and the pause as a form of action… rather than something that is getting in the way of action and ambition.

DECK USED:  FORAGER’S DAUGHTER TAROT

#TarotForGrowthMay Challenge Prompt
Question
: How can I go about that process of self-forgiveness?

Tarot of 78 Doors

Reading Summary: Let go of (Death) some of that demand for more (King of Wands) and take some time to appreciate what you have (Nine of Chalices).

Take Away:  Not only does this answer the question on how I can go about forgiving myself for taking some “down time” for myself, but it also correlates with my card of the day today.  The message here is about letting go of expectations and releasing some of that “do it” energy that is driven by my ambition and drive for more and better.

DECK USED:  TAROT OF THE 78 DOORS

#DiscordTarotholicsMay2020 Challenge Prompt
Question
: What do I need to focus on for self care for this full moon?

The Muse TarotReading Summary: Delve into your inspiration (Two of Inspiration) to improve upon your craft (Eight of Materials).  Take some time to plan ahead for what I’m going to need and take action to get that done (Three of Inspiration atop Page of Materials (necklace chain).  Stop ignoring your intuition on this matter (High Priestess).

Take Away:  Order those 100 meter spools of necklace chain.  Order it now. 

Yessir!

*Chuckles*   Okay so I went and contacted my supplier to get me set up and order the chain.

DECK USED:  THE MUSE TAROT

#MysticStarChallenge
Question
: What blessing can I embrace right now?

I Tarocchi Visconti Sforza Piccolo

Reading Summary:  This time is filled with opportunities (Ace of Swords and Ace of Wands) and I only need to tap into my intuition to choose a direction (The Popess).

Take Away:  All of today’s reads seem to be focused upon my ambitions and drive. That is to say, about my business.  Whether that be encouraging me to wait, or encouraging me to begin looking for those little sparks of seedling energy waiting to be snatched up and set into motion.   The blessing I am given the opportunity to embrace right now is the plethora of new inspiration and new ideas that are currently before me.   The Popess in this reading is a reminder that I can’t go after all of them, and have to choose wisely.

DECK USED:  I TAROCCHI VISCONTI SFORZA PICCOLO

Self Care Saturday (On a Sunday)

These Saturday 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 is not meant as a predictive reading… although that, too, happens on occasion.

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

SCS

EarthThe Emperor and Balance – This week you have everything in hand and running well.  You know where all of your money is and where it’s going, and need only to focus on keeping things balanced to take this week in hand and make it yours.  Yes, balance will take a bit of work, but that work will not be spurred by uncertainty or fear, but rather by a feeling of strength and control.

AirQueen of Emotions, Hanged Muse, Clarity –  This week is going to give you the opportunity to see your emotions in a different way.  The cobwebs and fog of fear and uncertainty will give way to a clarity of understanding on where things are going concerning your emotional growth and how you’re going to get there.

Water – Eight of Materials and Understanding – Carrying over from the clarity of the mind, the cards here speak of developing stronger skills concerning my emotions and allowing that clarity of mind to connect with a sense of understanding within the heart.  There is no warning here, just encouragement to allow myself to learn and grow, and to keep myself open to the process.

FireTwo of Voices, Ten of Emotions, Emotion – Again we land in the realm of the emotions even in the position of fire.   Choices need to be made to either allow myself to embrace the emotional development in the works… or not.

WaningNew England Aster – This week is not the week for action or quick leaps forward.  Take your time. Take a breather.  Allow yourself to step back from the constant push forward and, although this doesn’t mean abandoning responsibilities, it does mean not pushing to do more than is needed this week.  Give yourself the time and room to grow.

WaxingLand Within/Out –  Find the balance between what is without and what is within and the card here echos the reflection of seeing a heavy presence of emotion spread throughout all positions of this reading.  It speaks of a need to allow your emotions freedom instead of containing them in that dark, closed up space inside, hidden and secluded from the rest of yourself… and the rest of the world.

Take Away –  The presence of a heavy emotion element in all four sections of the reading speak of needing to make some room to let your emotions and your emotional growth take the forefront this week.  Don’t allow yourself to fall into the work and close out what’s happening.  Stay alert and aware of the inner shifting going on in the heart and don’t step on your own toes by forcing pessimistic viewpoints that aren’t needed.  Ease up and allow yourself to feel this week, and take care not to smother or beat down positive emotions, or negate them with negative self talk.

DECKS USED: THE MUSE TAROT, WHEN MY SOUL WHISPERS ORACLE, PLANT SPIRIT ORACLE