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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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At The Tree Of Knowledge

 

The fruit of the tree of knowledge is a delectably beautiful thing

Wrapped within each divine fruit dwells a diffusion of truth

Our being, which is wholly connected to the energy that makes us, 

desires and burns for this truth.

 

Once this truth is taken within us we know

and are born again into a state of separateness.

Thus, we continue to seek and desire divine truths

until once again we are reborn combining the completeness 

of divine energy and the knowledge of truth we have tapped into.

 

We, each of us, wisely chose to eat of this fruit time and time again.

We chose our paths.

WE

choose

our path.

Somewhere we sit already complete in divine energy and truth.

 

But here, on Momma Gaia, the path that 

I have chosen becomes manifest as does the truth I seek.

And wild in the woods of this plane of existence, I continue to seek with my 

kin, truth and wholeness. 

Truth and wholeness, that begins at the Tree of Knowledge.

 

by Lily

Tree of Knowledge Initiate

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