Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tarot Meditation – from the dark to the light

I wasn’t quite happy with the previous Mandala spread I had created from another reading. It seemed too stationary and didn’t quite tell the story.

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I redid the spread, with more of the feeling of a tree – with a main trunk with branches – and with a feeling of movement. I also added another card and changed some of the groupings.

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I added a card to the bottom portion, making a grouping wih the 6 of Cups (original spread), 6 of Wands and the 6 of Swords ~ their story is of past successes and victories, ending in a journey of emotional loss, that can be transformd with letting go of that history with Death.

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With the endings (Death, original spread), I can move forward with the power of my will and confidene into a new creative phase with planning fresh work. The trunk evolves into Strength, taming the force of my emotions and The Empress juxtaposed with the Queen of Pentacles. The two ladies provide bounty and grounding with the Earthly realm all graced by The Sun.

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Smudging Feathers, Asking Owl

I worked with our turkey feathers again last night, smudging them with Sage to cleanse and re-energize them in a small ceremony with Grenwinae. For the ceremony, I used a green velvet table cloth, a shell from the river (Water), a rock carved into an Owl (Earth), the feathers (Air), and Fire was the sage stick. A ceramic bowl made by Grenwinae in years past was the crucible, filled with salt, which I anchored our smudge stick in for easy use by both of us.

During a short breathing meditation, I asked Owl for comments or suggestions:

1.) Good job on providing the bird feeders. Keep going with that.

2.) Definitely develop the back yard behind the deck into a wild/garden area this summer. Haven and ceremony area for sure.

3.) Owl doesn’t tell me what to do. I have free will. Owl is only there to aid in understanding my decisions or helping me through difficult times. I am responsible for my own decisions and what happens due to them. Owl doesn’t take responsibility for me giving notice at my job for example, but will be there to give me strength through the process.

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Meditating with the Tarot

From a previous Tarot layout, I thought I would create a Mandala for Meditation using some ideas from the book 78 Degrees of Wisdom. I kept all the original cards, but paired them up with some new ones to better move the Universe (as Grenwinae) suggested into the realm of finding a new job (click the photo for a full view):

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At the base are the 6 of Cups and the 6 of Wands. I choose a card to be paired with the 6 of Cups that was the same number but didn’t suite. From the past, I can ride into a future victory and accolades or remember past successes.

The transformation card of Death (13) I’ve paired with Strength. With Strength I can come through the the time of change that I need to grow. Death is above the past, new comes from letting go of the old. I can draw strength from my past succeses (6 of Wands below strength).

The Sun remains the center: I know that I have difficulty becoming the child who is open to life though this is the outcome that I ultimately need in order to let go of old, destructive behaviors. From having the strength to let go and allow change, I can reach my time in the Sun, related to work success (3 of Pentacles).

The Empress (3) I’ve paired with the 3 of Pentacles. My need right now is to find productive and emotionally nourishing work. By pairing Lady Bountiful with a work being commissioned or in progress I hope to keep nudging that Universe.

The Queen of Wands – powered by will, open and honest, forthright and passionate, I’ve paired with the Queen of Pentacles, another Lady of Abundance and Plenty in the earthly realm of finances, work and earthly goods.

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I’m not sure if this grouping captures the full complexity that I’m needing or if the layout is exactly one that resonates with me so I’ll continue to work on it.

Cooper’s Hawk – intense and agile

A wonderful sighting of a hawk. I was driving down into an S-curve that goes through heavy, decidious woods on both sides, when a hawk glided right in front of me! He was really CLOSE! He was traveling from the right side of the road to the left – from tree’d area to another tree’d area.

Getting home and looking through the id books, I’m pretty sure it was a Cooper’s Hawk due to the location of where I saw him (woods), body shape (head was further in front of his wings then the Sharp-Shin Hawk) and the wonderful pattern of his wings.

This Accipiter has a different body shape then the Red Tailed Hawk or Red-Shoulder Hawk with no orange/rust color on the underbelly. He also prefers forests, where the Red-Tails and Red-Shoulder’s like open area to hunt. Because I clearly saw his head extended beyong the bend of his wings, I don’t believe he was a Sharp Shinned Hawk whose head is not as extended in flight. The tails of these two birds differ also but I don’t remember noticing the tail yesterday so can’t use that as my identification clue.

The Cooper’s Hawk is an agile bird, flying through brush and forest with dexterity, with a hard-core focus on it’s prey: mostly smaller birds. It flies with a flap-flap and then glide motion between perches.

The sighting took place on the day I gave my 2-week notice at the clinic. I’m still thinking over what this meant and at this time just know it was really, really lovely to see this beautiful raptor so close up!

That morning when I left the house at 6:40 a.m., Grenwinae heard a low, faraway “hoot” in the backwoods and I was lucky to hear Owl myself that morning – very faintly in the distance – giving me strength I think.

Tarot Spread with strong symbolism

An interesting spread that came up last week when I asked: What do I need to know? (click the photo to see full size)

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First impressions, just looking at the cards and not trying to interpret them as to meanings, several things really struck me:

The first card in the sequence shows death riding a white horse – the last card shows a child riding a white horse. The sun is rising in Death, and through the card sequence the sky goes from blue to yellow and finally is at full height in The Sun.

The flower on Death’s flag resembles the flower in in the 6 of Cups. The maiden fainting in Death’s card, resembles the woman in Strength (8) with the same golden hair, vine in her hair and white dress.

The throne of the Queen of Wands is made of lions (a lion again is shown in Strength). The sunflowers  in Queen of Wands, repeats with a garden of them in The Sun. The Queen holds a wand staff which becomes a baton in The Empress’ hand. The red throw on The Empress’ throne is the same red as the flag the child holds in The Sun.

Only the suits of cups and wands are represented. Of the six cards, four of them are from the Major Arcana. The Empress is from the Worldly Sequence of Personal Growth; Strength is in the second group: Search for Self Knowledge; and The Sun is from the last group: the Goal of Enlightenment. Reading from left to right, the cards are in the same progression of the Worldly Sequence.

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This card layout came with the Question: What do I need to know?

The first row, reading from left to right seems to me to say I need to let go of some nostalgic idea of the past – or some rosy memories in order to spiritually progress. The first row ends with the Queen of Wands which is the card I usually use to represent myself. While the Queen is an earthly person of strength and will, confident and action oriented, in the next row she becomes archetypical.

The second row starts with The Empress, the Goddess ideal of Mother and sensual Woman; bounty and abundance. From this worldly plain of goods represented by The Empress, we move to Strength where Intellect and Wisdom has calmed the turmoil of our baser emotions and passions… taming the beast. The journey continues and with understanding becomes the Child to experience full joy and freedom.

Honestly, at this point I have no idea how this relates to what I’m going through now. I am not a person who holds on to the past or is particularly nostaglic about a certain time of my life. However, I am having to contact old work acquaintances to get my resume updated and try for new jobs. This seems to relate to more of a spiritual growth and transformation then work – no pentacles are shown for example. Whatever it is seems pretty significant doesn’t it? I just wish I had a clue!

Reading Tarot Cards

It’s been a long time since I’ve read Tarot cards on a regular basis. I was a lot younger and relied more upon intuition to read the cards. In some ways it gave a more accurate reading then trying today by studying the card meanings via book.

Tuesday I was hoping Grenwinae would be released from the hospital and I asked the cards in the morning: What do I need to know today?

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Obviously, by the cards he would not be released and it turned out he wasn’t. Thankfully, he got the clear for discharge on Wednesday.

another Owl shows himself

I found another dead owl on my trip returning from Oklahoma to Missouri. I felt if I didn’t stop and take the remains for a proper burial that it would be betraying my Guide. This bird is older and larger, but still so light in terms of weight. He was found in an area more like the environment where he would naturally live – decidious forest with water.

With Grenwinae’s illness though I have not had time to say a proper goodbye. We will choose a location on the property and do a burial.

I’m still working on my communication with Owl. I’m not like Grenwinae and can slip into a trance just because he closed his eyes! This is a much slower process with just feeling glimpses. I like how Ted Andrews describe this as building a relationship and like any relationship it takes time to get to know each other.

I do feel like there are big, positive, changes on the horizon.

Illness

A very scary Saturday when Grenwinae was admitted to the emergency room with intense gastric pain. He’s been diagnosed with a colon blockage and so far, three days later, no movement. 😦 About five to six years ago he had a colon resection and they believe scar tissue from that may have contributed though I think with the stress of the last week it produced a perfect storm.

I smudged some Wild Turkey feathers last night and brought one to the hospital for his use.

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He’s calling on Horse because Sunday night, after leaving the hospital, I got word that Tristan (my retired horse in Oklahoma) was having the beginning of a colic episode. Tristan’s episode passed off quickly without medical aid, but I asked Grenwinae to communicate with all the horses and ask for their aid. Horses know a lot about pooping let me tell you!

Bringing Mindfulness into the Everyday

Some things I am trying it incorporate into my every day life are just small recognitions of what I’m working towards. Its part of mindfulness; recognizing and keeping Owl present so I can remember Owl’s teachings. In the rush of our day, it’s easy to forget and return to old, unproductive ways of thinking.

Owl’s lessons I need to keep in mind:

keeping confident in my own abilities;
waiting for the right moment to “go for it”;
using the power of silence to my advantage;
defining and protecting my boundaries;
seizing and holding fast to what I want;
looking past the obvious and using Owl-sense to seeing past the facade;
(when separated from the Ego), trusting my intuition to guide me;
and keeping the larger, birdseye view, of the entire landscape of my goals and life.

Hanging off our ceiling fan is an owl windchime I recently found. I try to touch it at least once a day to make the bells ring.

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JMO but sometimes people feel like they need to go overboard on stuff. It has to be bigger, better, longer, faster or whatever. My approach as I wrote before is far more lowkey but still striving for simplicity. It does no good to think on your beliefs once a month or four times a year, yet day to day forget what path you are trodding upon.

Candle meditation

I’m not a big fan of Big Ceremonies. I guess part of it is that I am not a group person. I don’t choose group activities to participate in and don’t like parties. I generally pick solitary activities: reading, drawing, writing, photography, Yoga, riding horses etc… and a love of solitude is something I do have in common with Owl.

Another place where I differ from others in the Pagan community is that I don’t worship or call on a deity. In general, I am not that keen on deities. While Brighid is interesting in a historical, pagan sense, and as an embodied symbol, the idea of worshipping Her or calling on Her seems far more unnatural to me then asking a natural animal force – one that I’ve seen and made a connection with, such as Owl – for assistance.

Being lowkey, for Imbolc, I did a simple candle meditation as flames, fire and the hearth are under Brighid’s auspices. Not asking or calling on anything in particular but trying to let my mind stay blank. At the bedside I used a white candle, set in salt poured into one of my favorite porcelian bowls. This bowl in particular as a red glaze at the lip that drips down the sides.

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My meditation beads are of Red Jasper with one disc of Red Jasper at one end, and a bronze Owl medallion on the other. The Bronze Owl looks fierce with radiating rays from the Head. My Owl locket we found at a downtown shop (owl art is very popular right now) and secretly holds part of Owl’s gift to me.

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I’ll be doing a candle meditation throughout the month of February. Practicing on bringing the mind to a still place and gaining a sense of calm. Meditation is very new to me so I’m still learning myself. Some further ideas on doing a Candle Meditation…. (beginner tips and breathing practices)