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white-carpathiansIt often happens that my Significant Other will attend family and friend gatherings without me when I am away celebrating a Sabbat with my community or when I am busy ministering to my Coven as High Priestess. This used to be a topic for heated arguments, but that is a story for another time. Now it is tolerated, if not accepted as, “The-Way-It-Is.” We plan around such times and share the news and happenings from the events afterward.

This year my Wiccan tradition’s Samhain Ritual and celebrations fell on Halloween itself so I was unable to be the Wicked Witch handing out the candy to all the Trick-or-Treaters as is our custom. My SO’s youngest son and wife DO HALLOWEEN BIG and win prizes for the most decorated and scary yard. There is always a ton of kids that visit and the older son brings his family and friends from across town for the occasion. It is a BIG Family affair and my three *gift* grandchildren look forward to everyone being there. So it hurts when I must miss it, but as High Priestess to a coven of students and Initiates that I expect to attend Sabbat events, I cannot miss because it is inconvenient for me.

(*I call them gift grandchildren because they ‘let’ me be their Grandma even though we are not family. They are wonderful gifts to me!*)

In the past, he would make excuses for my absence. (I would often respond to whoever had invited me/us, but he would still be asked when he arrived without me.) I don’t know what he would say.

This year, he surprised me when he told me that he just tells people the truth now. I asked him what the “Truth” was, and he said he told them that I was Wiccan and off attending a Sabbat with a bunch of Witches. He said he was amazed that so many people did not know what Wicca was and didn’t know there were real Witches. When they pressed him for more information, he said he told them that we celebrated the Seasons and a bunch of Gods and Goddesses and “stuff like that” and would finish with, “This is way more deep than I want to go!”

I suggested he could add that I am part of an Earth-based religion that sees the divine in all, worships many Gods and Goddesses, and celebrates the new and Full Moons each month and the 8 Seasonal changes of the Solstices, Equinoxes, and the Mid-way points in between them each year.

I’ve thought a lot about this conversation ever since with admiration and amazement. I realize that he walks this path with me, whether he wants to or not, just by being part of my life. The fact that he knew enough about my religion to know anything to tell them is wonderful and it is amazing that he is now comfortable enough with it and me that he is willing to talk about it.

This makes me so incredibly happy and full of gratitude. Once again, I am reminded that my life is full of riches.

One of them is my funny, strong, intelligent, kind, incredibly handsome, and wonderful-beyond-words SO who shares my life. He is definitely a story for another time.

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Samhain 2015

 

801px-Dark_forestMaybe because it is a rainy day, and they can always draw me inside myself, or because it is now officially the ‘Dark Time’ of year, or perhaps it is the medical procedure I underwent earlier this week, but Samhain this year is less raucous, more quiet, and much more contemplative.

The day started at the butt-crack of dawn to attend an early ritual to grant a Third Degree to a New High Priestess within my beloved Tradition, American Tradition of the Goddess. There are many of us now, though as one of the newest High Priestesses, I hear stories of the days when we were few. Initiations always bring tears. Remembering one’s own; the beautiful and poetic liturgy that is read never cease to move me, no matter how many I experience. This one was moving in many ways.

It was my first Third Degree outdoors. The morning mist had barely cleared as we gathered in a damp grotto still wet from the heavy rains all night. With each morning breeze, the tall trees emptied their rain drops onto us in great blotchy drops of cold surprise. As we are naked for our rites of Initiation, our bodies soon grew accustomed to the chilly, damp air. We would suffer the heat afterward in our now-restrictive clothes once we were inside, back to our muggle selves.

As is often the case for Thirds, we end with a chalice of some luscious alcoholic drink, this time containing Celtic Honey and Pomegranate Juice. Surprisingly good, I might add. It will be just a taste since we have Samhain ritual tonight, and our tradition does not allow drinking prior to ritual, except in ritual if it is called for. Often Thirds are followed by a great break-the-fast feast with plenty of alcohol, garlic, and often meat, because the Initiate is craving those items. Today, the meat and garlic had to suffice for our feasting.

When I return home, I am held hostage by my beloved Significant Other and his exasperated political talk, but my heart and mind are within, dreaming of Faery and Divination begging to be visited. Later, I tell them. I will see you all Later. My SO is a Muggle who does not understand my commitment to Wicca and fondness for Witchcraft. He is often amused, and usually perplexed, but does not share my interests.

Though I have not mentioned anything to the Goddess or God yet, seekers are seeking me out. Three just today. I muse that it might be Samhain calling to people of a certain nature, but my inbox has been full of seekers this last two weeks. I feel certain that we will find wonderful new students for the coming year of studies within the coven, but for today, I am content to go within and experience the dark. The cauldron of rebirth is full of starlight and darkness just now, swirling around and around, calling me to come experience the Divine. Tonight I will honor Hecate and draw cards to see what Wisdom She might have for me.

May your Samhain be as dark as you need, my little pretties.

So mote it be.

Faelind

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betweenheavenandearthseasunsetnature1

For those who need a refresher, Friday, March 20 was Spring Equinox, (known in my tradition as Ostara) when day and night are balanced and equal.  It also heralded the first day of Spring and the growth of the Sun.  Friday was also the New Moon and not just any moon, but a Supermoon where the moon is closest to the earth in its orbit.  As if this were not enough, Friday was ALSO a Total Solar Eclipse seen in the most northern latitudes, but felt over all the earth.

I’ll just summarize all that again!

  • Spring Equinox – Ostara
  • First Day of Spring
  • New Moon
  • Supermoon
  • Total Solar Eclipse

It is no wonder my spirit was anticipating something!

Between heaven and earth, between light and dark, between Full and New, between day and night, between winter and summer, between the worlds, we find balance.

I found myself searching.  Dreaming of something nebulous, just out of my reach, just out of my sight.  Something liminal.  Coming but not yet here.  I found inspiration for my search from a veritable potpourri of all things Spring from one of my favorite blogs, Hecate Demeter’s Undermining the Patriarchy:  https://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/first-evening-of-spring-potpourri/.

Her Light and Darkness spread fit the confluence of magickal influences happening for Divine Ostara and I modified it just for me.  I used the Osho Zen Tarot because it fit my mood and I love the artwork of the cards and the simplicity of the descriptions.

Osho Zen Tarot

LIGHT AND DARKNESS SPREAD (Cards 1 through 6 are from Hecate Demeter)
Card 1: Beloved Light – what lights you up brightest (inspired by the sun).
Card 2: Shadow obscures my light – this is the obstacle, habit, barrier etc (inspired by the moon).
Card 3: Move from the shadow to reveal my light to the world (inspired by the solar eclipse).
Card 4: Beloved Darkness – a part of yourself that you do not share with others (inspired by the dark supermoon).
Card 5: How I balance my beloved darkness and beloved light to enhance my life and those lives around me (inspired by the Vernal Equinox).
Card 6: What the Universe wishes me to shower upon the Earth (inspired by the Northern Lights where the solar eclipse was visible).

Card 7: For the Magick Over All (inspired by my love of the Magic number 7).

I drew them into the following layout with card 7 at the top, card 6 showering over the rest, then card 1 as the sun, card 2 as the shadow over the sun, card 3 moving from shadow, card 4 at the bottom for the beloved darkness, and card 5 over it to balance between.

layout

 

The Cards I pulled:

Card 1 – Beloved Light – 2 OF RAINBOWS (in the Osho Zen Tarot, Rainbows represent the Minor Arcana suit of Earth but with the Zen-like qualities of the Rainbow which bridges earth and sky, matter and spirit.)  The card is named, “MOMENT TO MOMENT”.  The card challenges me to move away from my preoccupation with other spaces and other times, and stay alert to what is happening in the here and now.  It encourages me to drop all judgments in order to attain freedom and be available to what comes.

2 of Rainbows - Moment to Moment

As the Beloved Light card, this makes sense to me as I am either consumed by work, or preoccupied with upcoming events, or day-dreaming something other than where I am.  Being in the moment is a most precious gift and does light me up when I gift myself with presence.

Card 2 – The shadow that obscures – VIII COURAGE – This Major Arcana card suggests that when faced with difficult challenges (perfect for a shadow card, yes?), we can be resentful or we can face the challenge and grow through it.

8 - Courage

As the flower has conquered the stone, I too, can conquer my obstacles.  I love the Zen description, “The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower.  The seed cannot even believe that it has the potential to become a beautiful flower.”  My barriers to fulfillment and joy come back to gifting myself with care.  My challenge is to overcome not listening to the needs of my physical body.  (Having recently turned 60, this has become more important to my well-being.)

Card 3 – Move from the shadow – QUEEN OF FIRE – The card is named, “SHARING” and suggests an opportunity to share love, joy, and laughter.  The Queen of Fire is so rich and abundant that she can afford to give without limits or worry about putting aside something for later.

Queen of Fire - Sharing

It has always been the case that the way out of any depressing situation (at least for me) is to give of myself; my time or money or something as a way to get out of my head and my own problems, and become connected to others.  While I am not now depressed, it is good to see that the cards say the way to move out of the shadows is to share.  The card describes my life perfectly.  It says, “everything around you seems to be ‘coming together’ now.  Enjoy it, ground myself in it, and let the abundance in me and around me overflow.”  Sweet.

Card 4 – Beloved Darkness – KNIGHT OF WATER – TRUST.  This card demands absolute trust.  It suggests taking a quantum leap into the unknown without preparation or thinking about it first.  It promises the exhilaration will be tremendous, even if I am scared to death.

Knight of Water - Trust

I don’t often employ my Beloved Darkness of absolute trust, but when I have, the results have been as beautiful as this card.  There are ‘opportunities’ on the horizon that I have pondered and have not prepared for, nor made any firm decisions regarding whether to do them or not.  Perhaps I just need to trust that if they appeared to me as they have, it is something I should trust myself to do.

Card 5 – Balance – XXI – COMPLETION – (*Magickal synchronicity* This Major Arcana card in most Tarot decks is the WORLD card, and was the card I drew for Ostara 2014.  I even blogged about it here: http://wp.me/p2oWch-5A).  Osho Zen Tarot suggests that whatever has been absorbing my time and energy is now coming to an end.  In completing it, I am clearing space for something new to begin.  A perfect card to pull for balance.

21 - Completion

There have been many endings lately, but the one this brings to mind is my coven work.  Over the last several months, my coven completed another student year and initiated two new members.  The newest initiates wrote and performed their public ritual for Ostara for the Tradition Clan just last week and did an excellent job.  Now they begin classes for the initiate year, and we bring in a whole new group of students.  Lots of endings and lots of beginnings.  The card suggests this is a time to celebrate both – the end of the old, and the coming of the new.  Couldn’t be any more perfect than that.

Card 6 – Shower from the Universe – 0 THE FOOL – With every step, and moment to moment, the Fool leaves the past behind and jumps into the unknown.  The Fool exudes purity, innocence, and trust and is supported by the Universe at this moment.  The Fool is at the peak of intuition and is in harmony with all the elements.  Adventure awaits!

0 -The Fool

The card suggests that I too, should leave the past behind and shower my intuition and elemental knowledge to those around me.  If I trust my feeling of the ‘rightness’ of things, I cannot go wrong.  My actions may appear ‘foolish’ to others, but if I am in harmony with the elements, I can take that leap into the unknown and will be supported.

Card 7 – The Magick over all – ACE OF FIRE – THE SOURCE – This card reminds us that there is a vast reservoir of energy available to us.  We tap into it not by thinking or planning, but by getting grounded, centered, and silent enough to be in contact with the Source.  Seems a fitting and perfect card to pull last to represent the magick over all.

Ace of Fire - The Source

When we speak of being grounded or centered, this is the Source we are talking about accessing.  This is also the Source we would go to for inspiration to begin something new or for safe haven to rest from a challenge we just finished.  I am so fortunate to have this Source available to me as I need.  And I do need.

Summary:

LIGHT AND DARKNESS SPREAD

Layout pic

 

Card 1: Beloved Light – what lights you up brightest (inspired by the sun) – 2 OF RAINBOWS – MOMENT TO MOMENT
Card 2: Shadow obscures my light – this is the obstacle, habit, barrier etc (inspired by the moon) – VIII COURAGE
Card 3: Move from the shadow to reveal my light to the world (inspired by the solar eclipse) – QUEEN OF FIRE – SHARING
Card 4: Beloved Darkness – a part of yourself that you do not share (inspired by the dark supermoon) – KNIGHT OF WATER – TRUST
Card 5: How I balance my beloved darkness and beloved light (inspired by the Vernal Equinox) – XXI – COMPLETION
Card 6: What the Universe wishes me to shower upon the Earth (inspired by the Northern Lights) – 0 THE FOOL

Card 7: For the Magick Over All (inspired by my love of the Magic number 7) – ACE OF FIRE – THE SOURCE

 

So mote it be!

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Is it Imbolc?

black forest -germany

I’m dragging my feet, scuffling along as if I am asked to go to bed while it is still light outside.

Spring is coming.

Too soon.

I have squandered my dark time.

Loss.  Grief.  Loss.

Keywords that have colored my world through this dark time.

Yet?

I have known love.

I have felt gratitude.

I have seen growth.

Sitting with the Cailleach.  I am home.  This is familiar.

But Bride is calling.  I hear her soft humming over the hills.

There is a greening on the land.

How can I let go to meet her?

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On Winter Solstice, December 20, I pulled two cards for each member of my coven for 2015.  I pulled two because I wanted to use two different oracle decks.

The first was from the Green World Oracle with art by Sandra Stanton and written by Kathleen Jenks.  These cards are new to me and I am still getting used to them.

green world cover

The second was from The Faeries’ Oracle with art by Brian Froud and text by Jessica Macbeth.  (Warning: The Froud Faery Oracle cards have consistently been the most accurate oracle cards that I have ever used, and that includes all my Tarot decks…)

faeries oracle

They are each very different decks for different things as you will see.

The purpose is to see what ‘flavor’ the new year will be…

 

Initiate Number 3 –

Green World Oracle card – Rain Forests
The card depicts the Vodoun Loa Erzulie with her magic mirror imprinted with her Veve.  She is a major Goddess of love, sexuality, health, good fortune, jewelry, dancing, flowers, wealth, dreams, art, language, beauty, creativity, hopes and aspirations.  Her rain forest roots were in Haiti and Africa and when her people were made slaves, she added vengeance, jealousy, discord, and wrenching sorrow.  The birds depict the time she transformed into a pigeon and escaped into the waterfall’s iridescent mists to escape the Catholic priests.

gwrainforest

Reading:

Rain Forests are the earth’s lungs and womb.  Take time to breathe deeply.  Enjoy fragrances, scented oils, exotic blossoms, brightly colored fabric, birdsong, and music.  Go within – this is not a time for action.  Let good fortune, whether material or spiritual, come to you.  It is a time to stand still and be, living as fully as possible in the moment, detached from whatever is trying to wear you down from the outside.  You are your own Rain Forest – Trust that the forest is good as the ancient ones who once worshipped Erzulie trusted.

Do not let your life get too fragmented.  You are a rich ecosystem just as you are.  Do not let anyone write you off.  Do not suffer any abuse.  Do not let your resources be wasted.

In relationships, find new ways of cooperating and sharing tasks so that you will have more time to enjoy each other.  Do happy, playful things with one another, but also explore dimensions of the sacred that you can celebrate together.  Be generous and great-hearted with one another.

For health, consider combining Western medical techniques with alternate approaches using herbs, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, and nuts.  Breathing exercises and forms of breathing meditation will be useful.  Instead of writing off an illness as an “evil curse”, (which is how many people see the jungles and rain forests), shift your attitude to one of deeper insight and trust.

In many cultures, rain forests are considered realms of good fortune, abundance, and treasure.  Drawing this card may mean that wealth is about to enter your life.

 

Froud Faery Oracle – 7: The Singer of Intuition
Singers are the great ones, whose wings span the multiverse in all dimensions.  They show us what we have the potential to ultimately become.  They also help us move in that direction when we stray from the path.  The Singers are always with us, and their energy and compassion are always available to us when we need.  We but only need ask. Gratitude is their payment.  Open yourself to the Singers and allow their essence to flow through.  As with any Otherworld help, we may not get what we ask for, but we will definitely get what we need.

7-singer of intuition

Reading:

The Singer of Intuition – Perceptiveness – Oracular Powers – Awareness – Trust

The song of the Singer of Intuition carries all of the information there is.  Some call this the Akashic records, the great collective unconscious that we all have access to.  This song is in our blood and flesh and bones just as it is within the rest of the universe.

In a reading, the presence of the Singer of Intuition indicates that information is available to us if we will just listen to our own inner knowing. Perhaps we have already heard it and still doubt our subtle senses.  The Singer says this is the time to really listen to our intuition. What are our feelings, hunches, or insights?  It is desirable to seek solitude, meditate, and practice stillness and patience.  This is a time for inward focus, a time to open the inner door to intuition (there are a lot of “in”s in this sentence because important answers are to be found within ourselves.)

Always remember what the Faeries say, “Not all meanings are meant to be clear at once.  Some ideas take time.  Some words are designed to lead us on inner journeys with truth hidden deep inside them.”

 

Initiate Number 2 –

Green World Oracle card – Bija

This is the seed.  It is not a seed you can hold in your hand.  It is the formless primal impulse or point at which everything starts.  A profound example of this comes from the opening passage of the 2nd Century C.E. “Epiphany of Hekate” from the Chaldean Oracles’:

…You will behold a fire leaping skittishly like a child over the aery waves;

Or a fire without form, from which a voice emerges;

Or a rich light, whirring around the field in a spiral.

We are given a sense of those moments when the Greek Goddess Hecate, as the playful fire-seed, the bija (a Sanskrit word for “seed”) first begins to take form.  Hecate, as the Cosmic Soul, brings all of creation into being out of that playful, fiery spark.  She is Birth-Mother and Death-Mother and another title, “Closer of the Boundaries of Things within the Cosmos.”  While it might seem strange to think of Hecate as a child since we know her as the Crone Goddess, in BIJA she reclaims her wholeness and reminds us that when old age is wise, as opposed to egocentric, it is also child-like, spontaneous as fire, and full of joyous music.

gw Bija
Reading:

When you draw the primal seed, bija, all possibilities are open.  This is a time of destiny – do not hold back out of pettiness, modesty, a conviction of unworthiness, or any other form of self-hate.  This is a powerful time for you, a time to explore, full of a wise-fool’s curiosity and delight.  Let yourself range through new times, spaces, ideas – “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

If you are agonizing over several paths or options, drawing bija frees you.  It tells you, you cannot make a mistake no matter what you choose, as long as your decision is based upon a deep sense of self-worth.  Decide from strength, not from fear.  Be aware of your interconnectedness within the vast shimmering patterns of the cosmos, and know that you are never alone.

This may require loosening bonds that have held you back from your own fulfillment.  It may feel like decay or a death as you allow what was once solid to dissolve back into formlessness.  In that process however, new forms come to birth from that emptiness.  Energy is transformed.  Nothing is ever lost.

Drawing bija should lead you to a positive emotional response – a fire-spark leaping within you, a sense of pleasure, an “Aha!”  If it leads instead to disappointment or a sense of being overwhelmed by the magnitude of what lies before you, this might signal that your question is premature.  If you feel ‘blah’, this may be an indication that your query is part of a worn-out pattern and no longer works for you.  You are beating a dead horse.  Let go, boldly, of whatever it is and release it to the formless.  Something new will come.

 

Froud Faery Oracle – 64: Gawtcha
Gawtcha is one of the Faery Challengers.  The Faery Challengers bring us face to face with our fears, our denials, our inner traumas, our insecurities, our delusions and confusions, and our misbehaviors.  These are the faeries who, metaphorically speaking, stick out a foot in front of us to see if we are paying attention to where we are going.  They test our alertness and awareness, our insight, our knowledge, our wisdom, and our dedication to our personal growth.  Without them, we might get very lazy…

64-gawtcha

Reading:

64 – Gawtcha – Sudden shock – Unexpected events – Rude awakenings

Gawtcha is the ‘Out of the Blue’ Faery.  He likes to surprise us.  You know – you’re walking along, minding your own business and the universe smacks you on your blind side with something that makes an awful splat.  Gawtcha is capable of happy surprises as well as shocking or miserable ones.

There is a school of thought that says this is just karma.  Not so.  Karma is about lessons we need to learn, not about punishment; and meaningless events don’t teach us much.  So this may be karma, but it isn’t that kind of karma.

There is another school of thought that says all of these things are our choices; we chose to be there when this was happening.  We choose to step in front of the invisible cosmic bus.  There is some truth to this, but it is on a higher level of consciousness that we don’t usually operate at.  Gawtcha says, “I know more than I see!”  Many of us do get hints, little flashes of intuition, and sometimes even big flashes of insight.  We often say, “I knew I shouldn’t have gone that way, {or trusted that person, or invested in that stock, etc…}”

There are two things Gawtcha is trying to teach us.  First, we need to learn to listen to and trust our intuition.  We need to be awake and aware.  Second, we need to learn to roll with the punches, to take what comes at us, learn what we can from it, and regain our balance as quickly as possible.  Things happen.  We can’t always control them, and we can’t always get out of their way.  We often don’t even have a choice about them.

Gawtcha in a reading speaks to us of sudden, often violent breakdowns of existing structures, habits, patterns and/or attitudes.  When we become too tightly confined by our own self-imposed limitations (including the desire for comfort and security), Gawtcha kindly breaks the structure restraining us – whether we think we want him to or not.  On a soul-level we know this to be necessary, but it can still be hard to take.  Remember breakdowns can lead to breakthroughs, but do not try to put the pieces back together just like they were.  Instead, build something new, and leave room for growth.

 “Faeries are profound – profoundly annoying!”  Brian Froud

 

Initiate Number 1 –

Green World Oracle card – Myrrh

The Myrrh Tree’s name comes from the Arabic mur, meaning bitter.  Myrrh has long been associated with the bitterness of death.  Along with Frankincense and Gold, Myrrh was one of the precious gifts brought by the three Magi to the Christ Child – myrrh spoke of his death, not his birth, for barely three decades later his corpse would be anointed by the fragrant ointment by another triad, the three Marys.

In Greek mythology, a young princess of Cyprus named Myrrha was raped by her drunken father.  She fled into the wilderness where the gods turned her into a myrrh tree to prevent further abuse; gum-resins exuded by the tree came from her tears, for she was pregnant with her father’s child, the tragic Adonis.  The child grew within the myrrh tree for ten months, until her bark swelled, burst, and he emerged.  In another version, a mother-boar gores the tree so a passageway is made for the infant to be born.  Adonis was so beautiful and beloved that he spent half a year with Aphrodite as foster mother and the other half in the underworld with Persephone as foster mother.

When he reaches adulthood, he is castrated and killed by a wild boar.  The boar is one of the earliest known sacrificial animals and was often Adonis’ and other Near Eastern “dying Gods” alter-ego who were sacrificed either in boar-form or by someone dressed as a boar.  Adonis, moving between the twin-poles of birth and death, came to both, equally, in violence.  Each year, Adonis, like Attis, the Oak King and Holly King, Osiris, and Jesus were slain, then resurrected (re-born).  Myrrh myths are mirrored in the life of Jesus, born of Mary whose name is cognate with Myrrha.  Mary was known as “Myrrh of the Sea” by early Christians.  She is both birth-mother and death-mother and was myrrh at his birth and myrrh at his death.  She, with the other two Marys present at the Crucifixion, were called the myrrhophores, “myrrh-bearers,” a title also given to ancient death-priestesses.

green-world-oracle-Myrrh

Reading:

Drawing Myrrh suggest that you have just emerged from a difficult, painful, perhaps even dangerous period.  You may have given birth, physically or symbolically.  Or you may have experienced the ‘death’ of releasing a person, plan, or situation that you greatly valued.  Myrrh invites you to let yourself simply relax and be pampered.  Release troubling thoughts and feelings.  Sink deeply into the goodness and wonder of your body.  Treat yourself to a massage, pleasing fragrances, soft clothing.  Blissfully squander as much time as you wish.  Put your anxieties on hold and let the Myrrh-deva whisper over your body, running across your skin like the finest balm, soothing every joint and aching muscle.

Drawing Myrrh can also be a signal to take physical health matters more seriously.  You might be ignoring your body, forcing it to pay the price for short-term goals.  Myrrh-balm is priceless in value but so is your health.

Emotional or spiritual areas of your life might be in need of purification.  Explore your underlying motives in either trying to birth or complete a relationship or project.  Take time to honor your interior life.

Your body, like myrrh, is precious.  Wind back to your essential nature: you are able to birth wonders from your mind, womb, heart, and your soul.  You are wise, a healer with an understanding of the ongoing cycles of cosmic birth and death.  You have within you a well-spring of ancient strength and you will be able to succeed if you draw that into your life.  Honor what has passed, grieve for what is lost, but find spaciousness and compassion for yourself.

 

Froud Faery Oracle – 54: Epona’s Wild Daughter
Epona’s Wild Daughter is one of the Faery Challengers.  The Faery Challengers bring us face to face with our fears, our denials, our inner traumas, our insecurities, our delusions and confusions, and our misbehaviors.  These are the faeries who, metaphorically speaking, stick out a foot in front of us to see if we are paying attention to where we are going.  They test our alertness and awareness, our insight, our knowledge, our wisdom, and our dedication to our personal growth.  Without them, we might get very lazy…

54EponasWildDaughter-1

Reading:

54 – Epona’s Wild Daughter – Inner Shadows – Nightmares – Depression – Madness – Growth

In the bleakest part of the night, Dorcha comes, wearing her crown of faery stars.  She kneels on the ancient owl, bearer of the hidden wisdom of the night, and, facing into the past with a clear, unflinching gaze, she holds us.  We are held immobile, inwardly focused, by her comforting yet implacable light-filled hands.  She asks riddles that often seem impossible to answer at first – and yet she will not let us go until we find the solutions within ourselves.  She is one of the great teachers of Faery, but her method of teaching makes Socrates’ questions look like child’s play.  We must expect this of Dorcha because her lessons are about the shadow side of ourselves – the things we fear, our insecurities, self-doubts, and denials.  She is a practitioner of ‘tough-love’ therapy.

Dorcha is the Wild Daughter of Epona, Lady of the Horse and the Moon, and she takes us through the dark, hidden side of ourselves and into healing and fulfillment.  She drives us on the journey through our internal hells.  When we complete the journey, we are transfigured and transformed, transcending our old selves.  We can never be frightened by that darkness again, whether our own or that of others.  But until that journey is fully complete, we exist in a state of vulnerability – which is where most of us are most of the time.

Dorcha wears the crown of stars, a mark of service, compassion, and great wisdom.  Dorcha’s element is moonlight, the fifth element, which tempers and tests the spirit.  Through her teaching, our inner conflicts and struggles become, as they are resolved, our greatest strengths.

Epona’s Wild Daughter, Dorcha, is the Sphinx, whose riddles must be answered lest we otherwise be destroyed by our own internal conflicts.  Dorcha reminds us that we cannot go forward until we have faced something buried within us that is holding us back.  Her presence in a reading suggests that finding and working through this is a task of some urgency.  We can expect help in this from other people, from the faeries, and from our dreams, but we must be open to these difficult questions and answers and be ready to face things about ourselves that are not as we would wish them to be.  She urges us to heal the unresolved issues about who we really are and what we truly want to be.

The answers to her riddles often come in a sudden burst of enlightenment, like the ‘solution’ to a Zen koan.  We may watch a leaf fall or catch a glimpse of the tiny sliver of the new moon in the sky and suddenly be hit by the answer.  Before that happens, we usually work long and hard upon the question, searching and digging for an answer.  The realization, when we really have it, will be transformative, we will no longer be the people that we once were.  Ask Dorcha what message she has for you – and don’t be surprised if her answer is another question or riddle.  The solution may be deeply buried within you.  What do your nightmares tell you?

“I believe no faery is completely good or bad but fluidly embodies both extremes.”  Brian Froud

 

Maiden –

Green World Oracle card – Olive

Long associated to peace, the Olive was sacred to Mediterranean Goddesses.  Robert Graves identifies Libya as the original home of the first cultivated olive tree and argues that Athena’s origin is also Libya and she brings the olive tree to Athens.  The Libyan precursors of Athena would have been the ancient pre-patriarchal Great Mother Goddesses, bearing little resemblance to the Greek’s Athena.  Athena, the war-goddess, fully armed when she emerges from her father Zeus’ head, is motherless, often scornful of women, fiercely loyal to male comrades, and famous for her cunning military strategies.  Yet she has the same piercing eyes, wise and all-seeing, of older, staring, owl-eyed Goddesses.  She is usually accompanied by her owl, whose oracular vision looks deep into secret places.
Athena gifts the city of Athens with the Olive Tree in a contest to best Poseidon, where the winner gets to name the city, hence the name Athens since Athena was victorious.  The olive plays a role in another Greek myth, when the Goddess Leto is in labor she reaches out to a female olive tree with her left hand and to a male palm tree with her right hand.  Clinging to the ying/yang partnership she births her daughter Artemis, Goddess of the Moon, and her twin brother Apollo, God of the sun.

gw olive

Reading:

Olive is a tree of peace, harmony, wisdom – and also hard work.  Whatever area of your life has brought you to seek the tree’s advice, know that you are promised rich rewards, but the path may be gnarled, not smooth, and you must be prepared to invest quality time in this endeavor.  The work will require attention to details and the results may seem bitter at first, but that bitterness, like the olive’s, is amenable to transformation.  From the olive comes the oil of gladness – trust that the harvest will bring you satisfaction.

Your attitude towards this work is significant.  Although the olive originally symbolized peace, not war, the olive’s symbolism was eventually so warped that wreaths fashioned from its leaves were awarded to Roman soldiers for excellence in battle.  Stay alert and avoid seeing your work as a “war” requiring unrelenting bravery and heroism.  That attitude bruises the olive’s vibration of graciousness and peace.  Be a patient gardener, not a warrior-hero, and the fruits of your labors will ripen.  Your attitude could be your own worst enemy – your emotions threaten your balance.

You may be living, emotionally or physically, in cramped quarters.  You may feel your potential is being stifled, the duration of your imprisonment is unknown, the future hopeless much as Noah and his family felt on the ark in a vast sea with no land in sight.  Like the olive, you may need more space for the extensive root system that is your nature.  Olive asks you to keep sending out gentle doves.  Do not despair.  Keep probing beyond your confines.  One day the olive branch will come to you as a promise of a new life, one that will require the best of your skills and give you a solid future at last.

Take care to not let the world swallow you up or disenfranchise you.  Refuse to be subjugated to a realm of cold intellect without compassion.  Find the both/and.  Olive further suggests that you should be aware of the emotional ecosystems inhabited by your parents so you may work toward more loving partnerships.  Athena, un-mothered, never managed it.  Despite her many gifts of peace, she remained an unyielding warrior-maiden.  Trapped in Zeus’ head, trapped in her own, this Goddess reveals much of vengeance but little of love.  You deserve better.  Work towards that.

 

Froud Faery Oracle – 9: The Singer of Initiation

Singers are the great ones, whose wings span the multiverse in all dimensions.  They show us what we have the potential to ultimately become.  They also help us move in that direction when we stray from the path.  The Singers are always with us, and their energy and compassion are always available to us when we need.  We but only need ask. Gratitude is their payment.  Open yourself to the Singers and allow their essence to flow through.  As with any Otherworld help, we may not get what we ask for, but we will definitely get what we need.

9-singer of initiation

Reading:

9 – The Singer of Initiation – Passage through trial – Triumph – New level

The Singer of Initiation brings a major transition between old and new.  As we prepare to pass through any gate, we are greeted by this Singer, who test us to see if we are ready to enter into the new realm – or whether, for our own safety and well-being, we must stay where we are.

There is no initiation without testing, and this testing must take us to our limits in order to be valid.  Initiation is not just a charming ritual with candles and incense and other occult paraphernalia.  True initiation is grounded in material reality and it extends through the body, mind, and emotions.  The testing occurs on all levels of our being.  The more profound the change being processed, the more rigorous the test.  However, these initiations are only given when the Singer knows we have the potential, the ability, and the opportunity to pass them.

If we pass the initiation this Singer offers, we are strengthened by the process itself.  In working through it, we learn something about ourselves, and we move finally and irrevocably from one way of being to another.

This card is about breakthrough.  Drawing this card notifies us that significant change and challenge are both occurring in our life, with the potential for moving into a new realm, which involves a new way of being.  This major challenge has been building for a long time, and the moment is now here to meet this challenge.  We may already be aware of the initiation process but perhaps have only seen it as bad luck or fate.  It is neither.  It is an opportunity to see if we have, deep down, truly learned the lessons we have been working on and are willing to apply them in our lives.

When we stand in the gateway of an initiation, it is often difficult to tell where we are going, and the process may feel more like loss than like movement into a new level of being.  Often, just knowing what the Singer of Initiation is all about can be the most difficult aspect of the process.  It eventually will become clear in Hindsight.  The Singer of Initiation says, “It can be done – look within your heart.”  It is a test and much of the process is about discovering and showing what we can do.

The presence of a Singer of Initiation in a reading often presages a period of success, of seeing, accepting, and using our own powers at a higher and more ethical level.  We move into greater fulfillment of our potentials.  It also means taking on a new level of responsibility for ourselves and in the world.  The gate is open to us, but we must take the action of stepping through it.

“Faeries hide what you want and reveal what you need.”  Brian Froud

 

High Priestess –

Green World Oracle card – Linden

[I thought this was serendipitous since it is a form of my name (Faelind)!]

In Greek mythology, Linden was the Goddess Philyra.  In a Linden Grove on a tiny island no bigger than 100 yards, she turned herself into a mare to escape the Titan-God Chronos.  Undeterred, he turned himself into a stallion, then caught and raped her.  To her horror, she soon birthed a half-human, half-horse.  The unwilling mother begged the Gods to change her form so she would not have to raise such a grotesque newborn.  They changed her into one of the Grove’s Linden trees.

The abandoned child could have grown up bitter.  Instead, Chiron became famous for his kindness and wisdom.  As a physician, he knew how to use herbs, plants, and dreams; as tutor and seer, he functioned as a living, human version of a divinatory tablet made of linden-bast; as a musician, he carved fallen linden-limbs into wind instruments.  Somehow, he intuited how to express the best of linden-ness in his own life.  Chiron knew how to “parent” as his own had not, raising many heroes; Jason, Achilles, and Aeneas; and the most gifted of Greek physicians Asclepius.  He was accidentally poisoned on his knee, suffering an agonizing wound, but as an immortal, could not die.  The Gods, finally allowed him to surrender his immortality to fire-bringer Prometheus, and Chiron died in peace.

Linden also played a role in an early 13th century Grail epic where the Fisher-King (Latin infirmatus – infirm man) who, like Chiron, has an incurable wound that causes longing for death is tended by his sister and he and his court fed from the mysterious Grail.  Sigune, cousin to Parzival, niece and nephew to the Fisher-King, is raised by the Grail sister after being orphaned as an infant.  As an adult, Sigune meets and falls in love with a knight, only to lose him to an untimely death.  Parzival finds her in a linden tree holding her just-slain beloved.  He offers to bury the corpse but she refuses.  She spends the rest of her life mourning his death and grieving over his corpse, never allowing it to be buried, but it never decomposes, a sign of sanctity in medieval times.  Parzival sees Sigune three more times where she is fed by the Grail via Kundrie, a shape-shifter and Grail-Messenger who travels between realms.  Sigune, for all the victim-quality of her chosen life, has powerful, magical connections, and genuine knowledge.

green-world-oracle_Linden

Reading:

The Linden tree is famous for the warm, honey-sweet fragrance of its creamy blossoms, which reach their peak around Summer Solstice.  Bees love the abundant nectar and Linden honey has long been prized.  The flowers are fermented into a light wine; as medicinal tea, the deliver flavor of dried blossoms soothes anxiety and stomach troubles.

Guided by Linden, you are soothing, mellow, and good for yourself.  Just as the bast-fibers that make up the soft, inner bark of the Linden trees were once used as bandages, recognize your gift for wrapping others in healing words.

A life-long romance is favored.  It is a honey-sweet time, fragrant as Linden blossoms, light-bodied like fine Linden wine.  Linden trees are vigorous, growing 60 to 100 feet high with trunks four feet thick in 50 years then growing slowly for another 4 centuries adding another 3 feet to its trunk.  Your tall and spacious spirit can afford to be “lithe” (a word cognate with “linden”, playful, unresisting because whatever is happening to and around you suits your creative purposes.

The romance could be with a mate, but could also involve work you love deeply.  It may have a magical quality, a sense of galloping into parallel-universes and returning with gifts of healing and wisdom.

In terms of children, issues of self-worth might be indicated (the child might be your own inner-child).  As with Chiron, whose mother thought him a monster, there may be values and needs that conflict with your own but which, if handled wisely, will enrich you both.  Be pliant, yielding, yet crafty.  Much is at stake – there is potential access to a whole world of civilizing wisdom.  Take steps to ensure your child’s access to that wisdom.

In matters of romance and creativity, you may have misjudged the commitment.  The situation may require more work (or less return) than you envision right now.  The extra work may result in something wonderful – but you are wise not to expect rapid growth just yet.

Be careful of accidental injuries.  As with Chiron, these might be more serious than they seem at first.  Do not delay in seeking help.  Also be careful of emotional injuries, to yourself or to others.  Do not let yourself get too tied up in your role as “rescuer.”  You risk having your good intentions twisted, leaving you feeling abused and at the end of your (bast) rope.

With emotional issues, go within, trust that the honeyed times will spring anew from another season’s shorts – and never forget that Linden, once its time comes, grows fast, mighty, and lives for many centuries.  Be aware of long-standing grief where like Sigune, you might live joyless, blighted, stern, or too damaged to embrace life.  Linden asks you to look at the situation from an entirely new perspective.  Climb higher into the tree.

Do not be afraid to look back at your life without anger or pain.  Then was then, now is now.  Do not cling to whatever contaminated your wellsprings of hope, poisoned your Chiron, or struck down your youth.  Regardless of what guilt, need, fear, abuse, pain, self-hate, or anguish explored in your past, you survived or you would not be here now.

Tell your inner-Sigune you want her with you, but do not let her lose her way in grief.  Call her back.  You need her wealth of knowledge and mystical connections.  She needs you to trace a new path for her through the flowering Linden wood.

 

Froud Faery Oracle – 10: The Singer of Healing

Singers are the great ones, whose wings span the multiverse in all dimensions.  They show us what we have the potential to ultimately become.  They also help us move in that direction when we stray from the path.  The Singers are always with us, and their energy and compassion are always available to us when we need.  We but only need ask. Gratitude is their payment.  Open yourself to the Singers and allow their essence to flow through.  As with any Otherworld help, we may not get what we ask for, but we will definitely get what we need.

10TheSingerOfHealing
Reading:

10 – The Singer of Healing – Healing of body, mind, and spirit.

The song of this Singer has the power of healing deep wounds of the spirit – wounds that can destroy mortals or immortals alike.  Faith betrayed, love dishonored, trust abandoned, and other injuries of the spirit all inflict serious wounds, which are reflected in the body’s illnesses and injuries.  Through the song of healing, we may be restored and renewed, but only if the wounded one is prepared to forgive and let go, returned to love and compassion.  As always with all gifts of spirit, healing is offered, not forced, and requires active participation on our part.

True healing must take place on all levels at once – body, mind, and spirit.  These levels are inextricably linked, all one piece, and we cannot expect to change one without changing the others.  The principle of self-healing is simplicity itself.  We need only let go of the things that are hurting us and nurture ourselves with the things that benefit us.  So simple!  So difficult! 

The song of Healing is present everywhere and it is without limit.

This is the healer’s card, and its presence in a reading may speak of healing to be given or of healing to be received.  The circumstances may seem easy or they may bring great challenges.  In either case, we are asked to participate in our own healing as we are strengthened by this Singer.

Usually, this Singer speaks of both giving and receiving healing because we cannot truly and freely give without receiving as well.  Healing is something that flows through us, not from us, and as such we are inevitably affected by its passage.  Drawing this card tells us of both a need and an opportunity for healing ourselves and perhaps others as well.

When illness of body, mind or spirit prevails and we feel disconnected from the great song of healing, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “What feelings or ideas or beliefs am I holding on to that keep my wounds open and unhealed?  What can I do to nurture myself and open to the song of Healing?”

“Faeries show us the flow and the possibilities of change.  They show us clarity and insight and the fact that everything is connected and that we are all part of one another.”  Brian Froud 

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A new tradition I have begun is to review my Year Oracle or Tarot Spread after the year has completed.  You can see my 2013 here: 2013 Through the Faerie Looking-Glass.

I draw one card for each month, and then one more card for the entire year.  I record which cards I drew and keywords about the card and then put the notebook away until the end of the year to analyze the results.  (This meets the needs of my analytical Virgo Ascendant and my magical Pisces Sun!)

For 2014, I used the Gilded Tarot deck with art by Ciro Marchetti and a companion book by Barbara Moore.  Each is accomplished with many other works to their names, (one must only Google them to see…)

This spread was drawn in the liminal time between 2013 and 2014 that still feels like the Old Year, but might really be the New Year!  I am about to draw one for 2015 to see what will be, but what follows here is how this year went down!  It is amazingly and divinely accurate…  (They always are!)

January – 9 of Cups

Sharing – Opening Home – Gratitude

 nine of cups

 I was feeling gratitude in January.  I’d had time off work for the holidays (a luxury I treasure during the Dark Time of the year), a new calendar put together for the year (no mean feat), and I was preparing my home for 6 new students to begin study in early February!  I love sharing my path with my coven.

February – 9 of Pentacles

Accomplishment & Pride – Well-earned

 nine of pentacles

Starting a new course of study as in depth as we do in my coven can be daunting and not for the faint at heart…  6 students began and I was very proud of the 5 new students who made it through the first month!  But I think this card and January are about my feelings for myself.  It is good.

March – 4 of Swords

Need to regroup – Find your Center – Use Spiritual Foundation

four of swords

I definitely got in touch with my spiritual foundation.  I learned about Despacho’s which are a wonderful and magical way to dispatch a message to the Universe.  I also spent a day with a dear sister-of-the-heart finding ‘my muse’ for her Teaching Certification in The Color of Woman Method of Intentional Creativity.  I was inspired and still look at my painting and think of the symbolism in it and the memory of that day.  You can learn more here: http://sacredriverart.com/

April – King of Wands

Focused – Determined – Driven – Be aware of intolerance & bossiness

 king of wands

By April, my job was demanding more of my time for a huge project, and this card fits that.  In the coven, two students’ jobs are demanding more of their time, with one taking a temporary position in another state and going on sabbatical and another realizing that this may not be the best time to study with us.  It is a labor of love, with the keyword being labor.

May – Ace of Swords

Gift of thought & intellect – Words can heal or hurt – Communicate well

 GildedTarotAceofSwords

I attended the Association for the Study of Women in Mythology conference in San Antonio in May and it was certainly a gift for my intellect and ideas.  I am still thinking about things I learned there that shattered myths we have taken for granted.  A Gift you can find more about here:  http://womenandmyth.org/

June – Queen of Swords

Confidence – Ease in World – Lack emotion – Allow others to act as they see fit

 queen of swords

The Tree of Knowledge Coven presents the Midsummer-Litha public Ritual for the Texas Local Council of Covenant of the Goddess and we ROCKED!  I am very proud.  You can see the schedule of Sabbats here:  http://www.txcog.org/txcogrituals.html

July – King of Pentacles

Impatience – Wield authority & talent wisely – Willing to work hard for material things

 king of pentacles

By July, the student who had taken a sabbatical has decided not to return.  There are 3 students still working hard and dedicating themselves to the Goddess and Wicca.  I’m learning patience.  Again.

August – 4 of Wands

Time of Abundance and Contentment – Happiness

 four of wands

In August, I travel home to see my grown son and my grandson, my brother and sister, and my elderly father.  Only my men-folk still live in Salt Lake City, Utah.  My sister travels from the top of the country and I travel from the bottom and we meet in the middle for several days.  I have long said I go ‘home’ to “Fill Up My Tank with Love” at least once a year.  Then I fly to Grand Council in Atlanta where I get to see my Witch-kin.  It is definitely a time of abundance and contentment.

September – Ace of Wands

Don’t ignore opportunities – Gifts from human hands – Inspiration

 ace of wands

Work is so busy I hardly have time to think.  But my coven inspires me with their moons and rituals.  The new students do a wonderful moon for their first time and it rocks.  My Maiden shows me opportunities to grow with her dedication and creativity.  These are my gifts and inspiration.

October – Ace of Pentacles

Gifts of resources; money or time – Be grateful – Temptation to be greedy or undervalue

 ace of pentacles

I get to spend a wonderful weekend with my coven at our annual Coven Retreat in the wilds of Oklahoma’s Broken Bow area glamping (glamorously camping in a cabin!)  This is my gift of time with my family-of-the-heart.

November – Justice

Being called to do something.  Face it with courage & action.  Don’t ignore the dance & music of your own heart.

 Justice

My father passes away after a short illness that we only learn about when I visited in August.  I was there when they told him stage 4 lung cancer and it knocked the wind from me.  This blow is harder than I imagined it would be.  I had scheduled to visit him over Thanksgiving, but he passed over the veil the day after Veteran’s Day.  I lose another student who has decided that this is not her path. The loss is hard, but I also initiate my first male member to my coven.  A wonderful priest in the making and I celebrate in my heart for him.

December – 4 of Cups

Don’t quest for perfection and not see reality – See what is in front of you

 Tarot_4Cups_Gilded_Tarot-181x311

I travel home on the day after Thanksgiving to lay my dad to rest.  He is interred with an Honor Guard on December 1 and my grief shades the Yule celebrations for the rest of the month.  It is hard to see what is in front of you when you have lost what you want.  Loss seems to be the keyword for the month and I move through my days like being in a dream.

Card for the Year – Temperance

Moderation – Temper extremes – Moderate life in all ways; physical, emotional, spiritual, & intellectual

 temperance

This card does not look at all like the description to me.  The description for the year is balance.  Be balanced in all things.  A worthy objective to always strive for.  But the art on the card looks like someone who is actively, magically making things happen in a cosmic way.  That the woman is looking away and almost behind her or perhaps meditating on the fire she holds in her chalice does not look like moderation.  (Maybe my view of moderation is that life would be boring, and this card is not boring.)

Short Tarot education:  

Most Tarot decks have 78 cards that are classified as Major Arcana or Minor Arcana.  There are 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana cards.  The Minor Arcana cards are divided into 4 suits that represent the elements; Earth, Air, Fire, and Water and in the case of the Gilded Tarot deck, Pentacles represent Earth, Cups represent Water, while the Wands and Swords can be either Fire or Air.  I choose to use Wands for Fire as they represent actions and the spark of life, and Swords for Air because they represent intellect and challenges.  (The colors also seem to suggest Wands are Red for Fire and the Swords are Blue for Air despite what Barbara Moore has written in the companion book.)

Analysis:

I drew just 13 cards out of the 78 cards possible in the Tarot, and all but two were from the Minor Arcana.  According to Barbara Moore, the Minor Arcana depicts everyday life and aspects over which one has personal control.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  The only two cards from the Major Arcana that I pulled were for November and one for the entire Year.  My father died in November.  Definitely something out of my control and the Justice card I pulled for November called me to face something with courage.  Seems very fitting.

I pulled 3 of the ACES; Pentacles, Wands, and Swords, and 3 of the FOURS; Cups, Wands, and Swords.  ACES are all about new beginnings, opportunities, and gifts and FOURS are all about structure, stability, and stagnation.  I shuffle my cards very well, and I choose from all over the deck so it seems very telling that I have pulled THREE of each of these cards.  They represent HALF of the year!

As a High Priestess to the Tree of Knowledge Wiccan coven, I take new students each year, (or so – sometimes it takes more than a year before I take a whole new batch of students.)  I am very passionate about my work as a High Priestess and teacher and this year began a new student year in February with 6 new students.  There were many new beginnings, opportunities, and gifts throughout the year but also challenges to structure and stability with the loss of students and the potential of stagnation by the end of the year due to loss and grief.  I can easily say half my year concerned these aspects.

I also pulled 3 Court Cards; 2 Kings (Pentacles and Wands) and 1 Queen (Swords) and 2 of the NINES; Cups and Pentacles.

According to Barbara Moore, Queens are mature and reflective and nurture others but can be prone to obsessions, while Kings are mature and expressive, organize and control external matters, but sometimes at the expense of personal issues.  NINES are all about fruition and attainment, and these Court cards related to Ideas, Actions, and Resources.

There was much fruition and attainment with one student initiating into the coven in November, but both of the NINES cards were pulled for January and February.  I think the fruition and attainment is more personal for me.  I have worked hard in all areas to be where I am at this point in my life.  I feel I am the King in these aspects of being driven in the areas of Ideas, Actions, and Resources, and I do often neglect myself for my passions (maybe even a little obsessively, like the Queen!)  It fits that these aspects pertain to most of the rest of the year.

Pulling just 2 Major Arcana; Justice for November and Temperance for the whole year is telling.  I’ve written above about November and a card from the Major Arcana to represent the whole year does seem fitting.  In the end, though we can actively engage in our life, the whole of it can be seen as out of our control.  We do not bring the challenges or the opportunities into our lives, we just meet them and take them.

Temperance for the entire year seems the ideal, and I cannot honestly say that I succeeded.  The other cards each make sense, and are perfectly in tune with the year and very telling in their divination, but Barbara Moore says this card more than any other in the tarot, speaks of perfect balance, perfectly expressed.  The Temperance in my life may be my partner, a Rock of a man who is very balanced in life.  He travels this journey with me, ‘whither he wants or no’, just because he loves me.  He is my Temperance.

My life, my year, is wholly my life, lived to the fullest.  There were highs and there were lows.  Each challenge was met and each opportunity was embraced.  I spent more time with family and friends.  I spent more time exploring my spirituality and less time at work.  I have what I need financially and am healthy physically and feel very fortunate for that.  My Rock of a man keeps me grounded and I am grateful.

I’ve learned and grown.  I’ve loved and been loved.  It is enough.

May it be so for you.

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After what happened last week, reading this helps me understand.

From http://www.bigskyastrology.com/mars-conjunct-pluto-sometimes-youre-the-bug/

MARS CONJUNCT PLUTO: SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE BUG

Posted November 14th, 2014

windshield-bug-300

One morning last week, just as the transiting Mar/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn was rising, I was falling. I had just set down the cat’s food dish, and when I stood up, a violent spasm in my lower back sent me crumpled to the hard, tile kitchen floor. As I lay there writhing in agony, the cats ambled over to investigate. Spike apparently decided that if I was screaming, I was still alive; so he calmly started eating his breakfast a few inches from my ear, in a show of Mars/Pluto ruthlessness and Capricornian pragmatism.

As Mark Knopfler once wrote, “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” When Mars and Pluto come together, anything soft and slow is going to get squished against hard, fast-moving reality. Much of what happens during this roughly one week transit seems sudden, like a slap across the face; but the underlying cause has been building for a while. I’d known for days that I needed to do some yoga to stretch things out and relieve the building tension in my back. Driven by deadlines and obligations, I’d ignored the warning signs and let circumstances twist me into a pretzel. The next thing I knew, I was crawling to the sofa to wait, powerless, for the next spasm.

Transits involving Pluto always reflect our part in a larger, collective struggle with power and control. Struggling for control creates fear and tension that collect deep below the surface until something—say, Mars—sets off volcanic emotions that melt them into hard, unyielding glass.

Even the transits of fast-moving planets like Mars can express themselves potently. When Mars and Pluto, two hard-edged characters, come together in any kind of aspect, little bugs like you and me need to look both ways before we fly across the road. We rarely see the windshield coming until we’re already on the floor.

The solution is to be a smarter bug. Fly higher; the hard, fearful places are down low, and that’s where the danger is. Don’t let yourself get sucked into petty disputes. Fly faster, in the direction of your own choosing. Recognize when you are powerless, and retreat to fly another day.

Transiting Mars/Pluto aspects: conjunction (Nov. 10, 2014), sextile (Jan. 30, 2015), square (March 11, 2015), trine (April 21, 2015), opposition (July 15, 2015). These are the dates the aspects are exact; the influence of them is usually felt about one week before and after the exact aspect.

 [from Faelind – Conjunctions are the strongest influences, usually beneficial, but depends on one’s chart.  Sextiles are harmonious or favorable, but require effort.  Squares are challenging and stressful but, like obstacles overcome, can build character.  Trines are most harmonious and require no effort on your part to bring ease.  Oppositions are most unharmonious and bring strain and separation.]

On Monday, November 10th beginning mid-morning and lasting until early evening, I had such a horrible pain in my right side I thought about driving myself to the hospital.  I didn’t feel it was a heart attack (as if I would know-LOL), but the pain was excruciating.  I could not understand it.  I was afraid.  Afraid of being ill, afraid of dying with so much left to do, afraid because I did not understand what was going on.  (Methinks this may have been what AH PUCH the God of Fear, the card I drew from the God deck during class on November 9th may have been all about.

I didn’t drive myself to the hospital, but continued working, and stayed afraid all day.  When my SO got home from work, I told him about my pain and asked him did I look all right?  He responded, “Do I need to take you to the hospital?” and then told me I better not be dying, he wasn’t having none of that – we laughed…

 I usually called my Dad on Monday’s because I am so busy on the weekends.  I didn’t call him that night. 

Tuesday evening, my brother, Dean returns from an out-of-town trip and is called by my step-sister who tells him that Dad is doing really bad and she is scared.  My step-sister, (who seems mentally challenged) has been staying with my Dad to help him as he had gotten weaker and weaker and more winded just walking from room to room.  The hospice people saw my father each day, but were not there in the evenings.  Dean tells her to call the hospice nurse and he meets him there. 

He learns from the hospice nurse that my Dad’s right lung has stopped working and is either filled with fluid or the lining has filled with fluid and has collapsed the lung.  My dad never complained of the pain but the nurse tells my brother that my dad is in a lot of pain.  The nurse gives my dad a breathing treatment and morphine to calm him down so he can breathe a little easier and to help with the pain.  My Dad, ever as stubborn as I am, does not want to sleep in his easy chair where it is easier to breathe, but wants to go to bed. 

 My brother calls me when they have just put dad to bed and tells me the nurse thinks he won’t make it through the night.  It is too late for my sister or I to fly there from 1,200 miles away, so we can only cry from afar. 

My dad doesn’t wake in the morning.  It is expected.  It is the day after Veteran’s Day and 12 days before I was to fly home to visit him. 

 Since my Father passed, I have thought about that pain and have been hard on myself for not understanding what was going on.  Why didn’t I know it was about my Dad?  Why didn’t I realize that it was my Dad’s time so I could get a plane ticket and fly home Monday to see him before he passed?  I’ve been very hard on myself for not knowing the signals, for not interpreting the signs, for not being in touch with the ‘otherworld’ that I am so much a part of.  Why hadn’t I called him Monday night?  Even if he couldn’t talk for lack of breath, I could have talked to him… 

 My sweet cousin calls me when she is told the news.  I had called my Uncle to let him know.  I tell her about the pain, and she said for as long as I’ve known you, you were always in touch with the otherworld.  But she encourages me to be gentle with myself for not knowing what it meant.  Even you cannot always understand the signs, she said.  (Methinks she is the KWAN YIN, Goddess of compassion that I so needed at the moment, and who appeared to me when we pulled Goddess cards at class November 9th.

When I tell my SO how disappointed in myself I am that I did not put 2 and 2 together, he says, maybe you should look at this differently.  “Maybe it was your Dad saying good bye to you the only way he could.”  (Perhaps he is my Kwan Yin too…)

 Tonight I read this excerpt from Mama Donna Henes and break into hard tears…

 “The relentless bombardment of losses that batters us in every area of our lives in midlife effectively strips us of any unrealistic, immature confidence that we once might have had that we were safe in an unchanging and dependable world. Though we may have been shielded by our youthful sense of indestructibility as well as by our notoriously death-denying culture, we now understand, because we have experienced it, that nothing and no one stays the same forever, that all things must end sometime, that shit does, indeed, happen. We have seen what we have seen.”

 Death is the shadow of life and we have seen what we have seen. 

 Embrace today.  It is all we have. 

 This too, shall pass…

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