Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hawk Encounter/ Updated June 12th, 2013

----- Original Message -----

At the borders of Oklahoma and Texas Panhandles, we had a close encounter with a pair of Hawks on Friday, May 17th.
Heading  on to Santa Fe , New Mexico after visiting family in Guthrie, OK. we neared Erick, the last small town on Interstate 40. Noon was approaching and we were discussing where we might stop for lunch.
A large RV was lumbering by us in the passing lane when out of the tree line on our right, two large hawks, one light/white colored and one dark colored, came diving from the tree tops.
Now that I've had time to review and replay  it in my mind  about what it was that I was seeing; I believe they may have been two males in combat or a female and a male having a difference of opinion.
These two birds were so involved in their struggle they completely ignored the traffic and fell to where they were just 3 to 4 feet above the highway pavement.
As we approached them I kept thinking that they would break apart and fly up and out of the way. We were nearly upon them when the white hawk let loose it's hold on the dark and flew straight up and out of the way.
But it was too late for the dark hawk.
Just as it gathered itself to fly upward, we were there and collided with it.
I put my arm up in front of my face just as the bird hit the windshield. The noise was loud and horrendous!

Due to the modern wonders of safety glass, I'm still here. The impact left a large crazy spiderweb of cracked glass on 80% of the windshield.  Tons of small splinters and shards of glass flew all about us. The impact of the hawk's body on the windshield was so forceful it broke the plastic housing around the rear view mirror. The pieces flew down around my ankles,hitting and scratching my elbow as they descended. The only thing keeping the rear view mirror attached to the roof of the car was the thick cable it was attached to.

We were stunned!

We drove into Shamrock Texas to collect our wits, find a vacuum at the nearest car wash, so we could vacuum up all the glass and make some calls to find the nearest  Benz car dealer who could repair our windshield.
Turned out the nearest was 400 miles away in Albuquerque, N.M.
That's where we went.
 I jerked  and flinched every time a bird flew by the car.
It's an experience I'll never forget.

I've learned that the hawk is considered a messenger bird and is associated with Jupiter.
 I'm still puzzling over just what the message might be. Or even if there is a message.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trees In Creation Stories

The Ash Yggdrasil by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine

Trees are central in the creation stories of diverse cultures including the Celts, Greeks, Indonesians, Scandinavians, Siberians and the Japanese.
In early civilizations , the tree symbolized a two-fold identity; the World Tree, which connected the realms of existence and the Tree of Life, which represented the source of life and abundance. Numerous times these aspects were attributed to the same tree.
One of the most recognized World Trees is the Ash of Norse Mythology called the Yggdrasil. While many cultures believed in the existence of three realms ( heaven, earth, and the underworld) Norse legend tells of nine realms existing on tree levels. These realms were said to be connected by the nine roots of Yggdrasil.

 The Tree of Life in ancient Egypt was usually portrayed a top a sacred mound, As the Axis Munde, its branches reached to the stars and its roots extended deep into the netherworld. Osiris, the god of the dead was sometimes represented as this world tree.

In Finland, the Tree of Life also served as the cosmic sky pole that held the heavens aloft. It was believed to extend from the North/Pole Star through the center of the Earth.

Trees are central in the creation stories found throughout the world cultures. Lithuanians designated certain areas as holy groves.  Ash groves were dedicated to Apollo and Myrtle trees were believed to be sacred to Aphrodite. Twin sycamores flanked the gates of the Egyptian heaven where the sun god Ra appeared each morning.
Trees also served as religious  symbols for Christians and are mentioned throughout the Bible. Of the trees in the garden of Eden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. the latter is probably the most famous. However, it is the palm tree that is most symbolic in Christianity for strength and longevity.
The palm tree is a symbol of the garden of paradise and Christ's triumph over death.

This dual notion is not far from Pagan concepts of the Tree of Life providing sustenance and trees in general representing the turning of the Wheel of the Year and the soul's immortality through rebirth.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lesson Nine- Justice

True to many of the Tarot cards, the Justice card can indicate its' most literal sense-Justice.
The playing field is once again made equal by setting things straight. It is the eye for an eye, Karmic revenge or demanding payment of a karmic debt.
One must remember the Tarot speaks in symbolism and these symbols will reappear time and again.
The sword for instance is a symbol of the linear mind, absolutes, truth, strength. The scales are a symbol of balance. In this instance the necessary balance of Karma, Cause and Effect.
The card must be looked at in its context. If we are exploring an inner situation the seekers or others desires or motives, we would look to the inner presentation of the Justice card, which would include scrutiny, careful consideration, weighing of options,  and seeing the truth of a matter ( often hidden).
Justice is not blind. She wears no blindfold. Her eyes are wide open suggesting besides observing the rules, careful observations, logical thinking of the situations without emotional coloring and balancing both sides of the question.

There are many similarities between the Justice card and the High Priestess card. The latter suggests using intuition as the guide while the former speaks to concrete evidence and linear thinking.
In a reading the seeker will be advised to keep emotions and feelings out of the decision making process. The facts nothing but the facts.
The Justice card may also speak to the obvious first impression; the legal system, court proceedings, judges etc. As readers we must keep this in mind. It is surprising how often the Tarot will present in this fashion. When a message needs to be crystal clear, it will be sent in the most basic way.
Justice is a card of truth. It advises truthfulness to yourself, your morals and your judgement.

Exercises: Take the Justice card and use it as a "theme" card to gain insights about its energy in your life.Take the card from your deck and lay it face up on the table. Spend some time examining the card and all its symbols. Hold the remaining cards in your hand, ask for a message regarding the ways in which the ideas of truth, justice , fairness and balance have a place in your life or in regards to current situations.
Pull two cards and interpret. Document the cards pulled and your interpretations in your journal-

Lady Justice sits on her throne of wisdom a balance in her left hand and the sword of truth in her right. She looks straight at me.
The two cards I pulled are the two of Pentacles and the Magician.
The Big Situation in my life for the last nine and a half months has been the selling of our home. I feel like a One Note Nora, my question has been the same , Will our house sale? Has the potential buyer darken our door?
We have had one offer on the house but it was so low that it was ridiculous and that was late last Fall. We have had tons of showings. In fact it averages out to a showing and a half per week since we went on the market in the third week of last July.
Living in limbo for over nine months is taxing on the nerves.   But all the cards that I have been pulling all seem to say...Patience, Workable Business Activities, Fluidity, Growth and Finances.
When I did the exercise for The Chariot card I pulled the Temperance card.
At one point two weeks ago after a third showing to the same out of state couple. I pulled the Hangman. In reading the meaning of this card, I had to laugh when I read ,On a mundane level, this card can  quite literally indicate a period of hanging around waiting for the outcome of a major decision or a pending contract.

I know that the place we are wanting to move to is right. It is where we lived for a very short time when we were first married. Our eldest child was born there as well.
Am I missing something? What am I not seeing?

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Little Tarot Deck History

Arthur Edward Waite
October 2, 1857  -- May 19 , 1942

Pamela Coleman Smith
I've been participating in Aine O'Brien's, Black Crow Tarot Course, over at her blog, the deepest well ,and  I am really enjoying the experience.
I came to the course after the start date, which has been a good thing for me. 
I can study at my own rate and take the time I need to really address the exercises that Aine has at the end of each card's tutorial.
I was ready to do Lesson Nine when I hit a small stumbling block. The Strength card was being presented as number 8 of the Major Arcana.   Aine did inform us that she would be using the Rider-Waite Deck.    
Being very new to Tarot study I had purchased a Liz Dean deck. I consulted with Aine and it was decided there shouldn't be a problem  with using my deck. 
 In Lesson Nine , Aine gives instruction and interpretations for the Strength card  which is numbered as the 8th card.   In my deck the Justice card is number 8 and it made me wonder why.  
It was time for me to do a little research. I have always wanted to know the" why" of things. Doing research is like unraveling a mystery for me, I savory the adventure.
In my book The Secrets of the Tarot, Origins, History, and Symbolism by Barbara G. Walker ,she discusses the possibility that due to the fact that similar symbols show up on the Strength and the Justice cards maybe the  reason  the Golden Dawn Society transposed them.
Okay, what is the Golden dawn Society? I wondered.  It  was a magical order active in Great Britain during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
It's system was based on hierarchy and initiation like the Masonic Lodges with the exception that women were allowed and had equal footing with the men. One of it's members was Arthur E. Waite, 

Arthur E. Waite was a member of the Golden Dawn Society who co-created the Rider-Waite tarot deck and composed its companion volume, the Key To The Tarot published by the Rider company in 1911. Mr. Waite was a scholarly British mystic and a prolific author. Mr. Waite's name is known because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism,viewed as a spiritual tradition.
A.E. Waite hired, Pamela Coleman Smith, an artist and member of the Golden Dawn to fully illustrate all of the 78 cards.
In numbering the deck, Strength is traditionally the 11th card and Justice the 8th, but in making the deck, Waite switched their positions  so that they would better fit the astrological  correspondences.
The eight card  is associated with Leo and the 11th with Libra.
I've written the information I've found concerning the Rider-Waite Deck into my notebook and I will print out the photos and add them as well.

Because my deck has the Justice card as the eighth, I will study it next. I'm grateful that Ms. O'Brien has already lectured on this card. I can jump ahead and then return to the original Lesson plans.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Threefold Wisdom of The Tree

Beech Tree
Leaf Wisdom- of change, ever releasing
Branch Wisdom- of growth, ever reaching
Root Wisdom- of endurance, ever deepening

     Rediscover the majesty of trees and appreciate the wonder of these magnificent giants.
In the woods one can't help but feel part of the natural world. And with these feelings comes the self realization of returning to Source, to the Divine.
    One comes to know that the integrity of ones spiritual life is intimately bound to the integrity of the natural world.
     Trees provide a gateway into a wider world of Spirit and magic. Like music trees speak to something deep and primal within us. They can help us open our souls to the power and spirit of Earth's rhythms.

A walk in the woods makes it easy to understand the awe and reverence our ancestors had for trees.
We humans share a symbiotic relationship with trees. As we breathe , we take oxygen into our bodies and it becomes a part of us. Trees produce the oxygen we take in.
We breathe out carbon dioxide; the trees take it into their beings and it becomes a part of them. Through this biological connection of breath, humans sense the spark of life that we hold in common with the trees.
Trees became part of the human spiritual and cultural traditions, as well as one of  the most powerful symbols that embody life.
Trees are constant reminders of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. They seem imbued with magic because they simultaneously dwell  in the three realms of heaven, earth and underworld.

As I study Sandra Kynes book, The Lore & Magic of Trees, Whispers from the Woods, I felt the need to create a working notebook. I like using the good ole standby composition notebook. It's sturdy and the pages are sewn into the spine. Plus the price is right.
 I covered my book with cotton cloth that I sun printed using leaves as my  printing objects, acrylic painted and hand stitched.

I have saved paper clippings and scraps with tree and leaf images that I thought I would use in my collages.  Instead , I'll be using them in my Tree Notebook.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beltane... Musings From a Still Somewhat Beginner

There is so much to learn and absorb when one begins to follow the Path and study the Craft.
I'm still learning how to celebrate and honor the solstices and the Sabbaths.
 Being a Solitary, its not like I have a Teacher or Mentor, other than my books so it takes time some time to acquire the needed knowledge.
As a child I always loved the idea of celebrating the first of May with flowers and a joyous nod to Springtime.
 Now that I know the true knowledge of the Time. I'm gathering altar ideas, recipes and rituals.
Scott Cunningham's Book , A Guide for the Solitary practitioner has a recipe for Crescent cakes( almond butter cookies) I'll be baking.
 Beltane Eve we will be hosting our neighborhood's annual homeowners meeting. I'll have white and green candles burning on the mantel over the fireplace, white and yellow fresh flowers in vases sitting about and I'll be serving the cookies.
Anyone have any ideas for anything else I might want to do?
I'll take all and any suggestions.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Trees, Myth and Magic-A Study Course

Cotton Wood
Ponderosa Pine
Spring is in the air.
 The trees are dancing shaking off the sleep of winter; exercising their limbs to get their sap moving.
The wind swirling through their branches creates whispers, lovely whispers from the woods. They call to me. I find myself aching to take  walks in the woods, to see what's growing and coming alive and to touch and commune with the trees.

I purchased this book last year with the intent of doing some  magic tree study.
The time has come. I invite you to study along with me.

The author of the book is Sandra Kynes. She is a member of the England-based Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids. She is a certified and registered yoga instructor as well as a Reiki practitioner. 

Information comes softly from the natural world.
The seeker must listen carefully to hear the many voices that call.
Listen for whispers from the woods, and wisdom will come.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Chariot Tarot Card-Lesson Eight

The Chariot card in a reading lets the seeker know that he/she is in the driver seat and can succeed if he/she is determined enough. The card doesn't insure that the journey will be smooth and uneventful, but as long as the seeker keeps their hands on the reins and keeps the horses on course, the seeker will end up at the desired destination.
Classic Rider Image

The classic Rider image shows a man dressed in armor riding in a chariot of sorts. In front of him are two sphinx, one black and one white. The man stands tall and in his right hand is a scepter or wand.

In most decks the animals are horses, but there maybe dog like animals and sometimes a strange two headed creature with four fore legs and no hind legs, facing in opposite directions like a pushme-pullyou.
The horses pull at the reins and each horse appears to be headed in a different direction.
Here is the idea of control.
The man must control two opposing forces. He uses not only his physical strength but his strong will too.
The colors of the horses indicate opposite forces at play. This can be anything from points of view to good and evil. This card shows that in order to achieve one's goal one must master the two forces and harness the combined strengths towards the goal.
From a simple aspect this card along with others can indicate literal travel.The seeker may be physically traveling or the seeker may be moving on in their life or moving towards something new.

  When the Chariot card shows up in a reading it's likely the seeker has a goal that may not seem easy to achieve but yet the cards appearance assures that it is within their control despite the odds.

 In thinking about the Chariot in your own life, can you remember any time when you felt the need to combine seemly opposite forces?
What were the forces?
When have you experienced success through shear determination and will?

Remove the Chariot card from your deck and lay it down face up. Shuffle the deck and pick another card to clarify the Chariot's meaning to you.
Use any reference material to interpret this, or you can give it a try using your intuition.
Ideally, try using your intuition first, and then look up meanings in a book, online etc. and note any similarities.

 Black Crow Tarot

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Catrina Cavalres, A Quilted Canvass

A couple of years ago I participated in The Day of the Dead  Celebration at the Art Center In Indianapolis, In. I created this Studio Art Quilt to hang above an altar I set up in honor of  Jose Guadalupe Posada.

It was an amazing adventure to study another country's culture and holiday traditions. I have decided I like  the idea of seeing skeletons depicted in a lighthearted but practical view. Catrina in her flowered and feathered hat is a very festive lady!
 And I love all the colors , decorations and the idea of one celebrating  the life of one's ancestors in the traditions of the holiday. 
The quilt is created in a whole cloth manner. I drew my design free hand on  white cloth with pencil. I sandwiched, hand quilted the design and bound the quilt in the traditional manner. Then went back in with  acrylic paints and painted in the picture.
I call my creations Quilted Canvasses.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Little Bone Poetry and A Little Past Due Recognition

Close up of  Catrina Cavalres, Studio Art Quilt
By R. Paulette Lancaster

Phyllis McGinley
( 1905-1978)
There are some poems that when you read them they engrave themselves on your heart.
I recall sitting in my eighth grade English Literature class and reading this poem:

Sticks and stones are hard on bones,
aimed with angry art.
Words can sting like anything but
Silence breaks the heart.

Now  most every school child gets to know the classic version,
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But words will never hurt me..... followed by one sticking out one's tongue at the offending jerk.

I was touched to my core with the truth of that little poem. Being a teenager at the time, one sometimes comes to know the peer pressure of being ostracized and or given the silent treatment for what ever reason happens to be handy.

I also recall that there wasn't an author's name given for the poem, the tried but true anonymous had been trotted out as author.
Thinking on bone subjects I remembered this poem and was curious to see if I could find it and possibly the author for it as well.
And I did!
Her name was Phyllis McGinley, an author of children's story and poem books.  She was the copywriter and poetry editor for the prestigious Town & Country magazine.
She also won the Nobel Pulitzer Prize  for Poetry in 1960!

So my question is why in the hell wouldn't a school text book know who had written that poem, considering Ms. McGinley was a Noble Prize winner for Pete's sake!

I have read that Anonymous is a woman
 I truly believe that now.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Lovers/ Lesson Six

Jean Dodal Tarot( 1701-1715)
of Lyon- a classic Marseilles deck

Rider Tarot

Liz Dean , Art of Tarot Deck
Adam and Eve stand in the Garden of Eden. Above them an angel sends its blessings suggesting a spiritual or karmic bond between the couple. Adam looks to Eve , who looks to the angel. The mountain stands between the Lovers suggesting that there are conflicts or differences that could become issues in the relationship.

The Lovers card is about choice, not quite apparent in the Rider Tarot deck. Older versions of this card shows a man standing between two women. One woman looks older and quite matronly so most see this image as a maternal figure.
The man looks to his mother, who looks to the young woman, who's eyes are downcast. This suggests the man is seeking  his mothers approval.
Symbolism comes into play in readings regarding love and they could suggest the man has to chose between his mother and his lover.  Or the man compares his romantic interest to his first love, his mother. He may be comparing the positive attributes that he associates to his mother with his lover.
This card could also be suggesting that a mother has to much control in the relationship or that the man is to attached to his mother and may not be able to form a relationship with his lover.
  There is always the possibility that a choice must be made between an older woman and a younger one suggesting an indiscretion.
The Lovers card does not have to address physical love concerns. It can also appear simply when a choice has to be made. And to guide the seeker to listen to his/her heart when making the choice and avoid letting others interfere or get involved.
One must consider the surrounding cards before an interpretation.

Study the Rider and Marseilles cards. Which figures do you most closely associate with?
What choices have you had to make in the name of love?
Did you discover after the fact that you had chosen a mate with qualities like someone else you knew in life?
Have you found yourself in a relationship with "your mother or"your father"?

Do you look to others to help you make choices?
What do you base your decisions on ?

 I found these questions to be quite challenging to articulate answers while addressing them.
 What choices have you had to make in the name of love?
          Not to long after graduating from High School, I married my childhood sweetheart mainly due to religious pressure and the need to escape parental pressure.
 The marriage lasted less than two years. That relationship was very abusive for me in more ways than one.
And I learned the hard way, two wrongs don't make a right.
       I met the man to  whom I have been married to for  the last 38 years while I was married.
 Meeting my husband was like discovering the second half of myself.
    When I went for a job interview, I felt an instant connection to the Boss who was interviewing me.
The best way to describe the feeling is, for you to imagine that a very close friend and yourself are pretending that you have never meet before and are playing a role as interviewee and interviewer. The situation seems  very funny and you can hardly keep from laughing but you know you have to keep a straight face and play out the scene.
 Since we were both married to others at the time, there was a lot of opposition against our divorces from   from both sets of parents.
    That sentence doesn't do justice to all the drama we both had to endure.
 I had to find the courage/ backbone to go against everything I had been raised and taught concerning religion and parental authority to be with the man I loved.
I was only nineteen at the time.  I look back now and realize just how young I was; still a teenager  who had to make some very grownup decisions that were going to effect the rest of my life!
After we married it took some time for the parents to feel comfortable with our marriage.

My husband has been the person I have turned to in when it comes to making good choices. I greatly value his opinion and his insight.
As far as finding myself in relationships that echo either parent, I don't think I have. I consciously try to think what would my parents do or act in any given situation and then I usually do the opposite.

Black Crow Tarot course,Black Crow Tarot Course

Astragalus bones-

astragalus bones

Knuckle bones is very ancient game of chance used for gambling, magic and divination. These bones are the small ankle bones of sheep and or goats.
The origin of knucklebones is closely connected with that of dice, marbles and the children's game of jacks.
Sophocles ascribed the invention of the game to Palamedes, who taught them to his Greek countrymen during the Trojan War. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey contain allusions to games similar in character to knucklebones.
In ancient Mongolian cultures a larger knucklebone acquired from a cow would be used as a shooter in order to move the smaller bones in the game, very similar to the large ball used in a game of marbles.
Later metal was applied to this larger bone in order to give it weight. Molten metal was poured over the bone. The shape the metal formed from the holes in the bones is very similar to the present day metal jack.
Witches in Fiction 2013 To The Bone

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Emailing: black and white skull

black and white  cow skull, Ghost Ranch, NM
I've been gathering poems, stories, photos and ideas for Magaly Guerrero's Witches In Fiction 2013.... To The Bone.
stay tuned

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Hierophant/Lesson Five

The Hierophant is usually depicted as a spiritual leader, most often a religious leader such as a priest or pope. His right hand is raised in a manner to offer a blessing.
This card stands for spiritual leadership in a more conservative traditional form with a definite sense of authority. He revels what he wants you to see.
This card signifies authority, guidance, upper management, conservatism but it also can indicate a leader of a spiritual path/ a higher being or spirit working through a spiritual person/teacher.
It may represent a religious ritual or rite and combined with other cards could indicate a marriage, christening or other ritual/rite passage into a religion or belief system.
The spiritual/ religious aspect of this card is very clear but the interpretation isn't limited to just that.
It represents knowledge and education and or joining a group.
The Heirophant is the trusted guide, the one leading the way.
 Consider the spread and surrounding cards, it may indicate a person in a place of power and influence and whether or not the seeker is the heirophant or one of the ones who kneel at his feet.

 Reversed this card may  represent a false leader or one is ruling with an iron fist. It may indicate that you are feeling restricted or constrained by the structure or rules in a group or situation. It is about breaking the rules and challenging the status quo. You no longer accept the rigid dogma or traditions surrounding you and you are questioning whether what you are doing is really right for you.

Exercises: Write about your experiences and dealings with religious establishments and spiritual leaders/ leadership, even in regards to your current path. What/who have you found to be the best spiritual teachers in your life?
How in your mind and in your experience have you differentiated between teachers and leaders?
Is it right to award a role to a person who is experienced in spiritual matters or are we all on our own very individual spiritual course, where personal experience is the only teacher needed?

I find this a very interesting card. My first feelings when considering the card was one of vague dislike.
Having a preacher for a grandfather, brother-in-law and a cousin, I've had first hand knowledge into the
fundamental structured dogma and all the guilt, fear and dictatorial leadership that goes along with organized religions.
As a young woman in my church I was put in charge of the 3 to 4 years old nursery class. Basically I was a glorified babysitter who told bible stories , sang songs and supervised the coloring  of bible verse pages.
It was summertime , I and my brothers and sisters were going to our little town swimming pool for the afternoon.  Mother was driving us but we needed to stop at the local clothing store so my oldest brother could purchase a swimming suit. We had been parked in our car out in front of the store waiting for him  for a bit of a time when Mother asked me to go in and see if he was almost ready.
 I was sixteen years old, dressed in my bikini with no cover up, only my beach towel  to wrap around me. I went into check on him, as I was coming out of the store I happened to notice my pastor and his wife driving by and the look they gave me was chilling.
The following Sunday evening I was early for services. The deacons of the church were meeting with the pastor in the main auditorium. I went in the back pews to leave my purse when I happened to hear what they were discussing.
   They were criticizing and condemning a Sunday school teacher who had been spotted downtown in their little bitty bathing suit exposed to the world. And wasn't it shame full. Until that moment I had had some regard for my Church Pastor. I was embarrassed and mortified that these elders of the church could gossip so. My Pastor never had the decency to come talk to me first before he felt the need to condemn me to those old men. I stopped being the babysitter right after that happened.

 The best spiritual teachers/ epiphanies that I have had have come from movies and books.
 When I was thirteen I saw the Disney movie Pollyanna. In it she talks to the pastor about all the verses in the Bible dealing with love and why didn't more preachers preach on that subject instead of fire and brimstone.
I felt like she had voiced the inner most feelings  that I had always had about church. I realized that it was alright to talk about love and the tolerance of other people besides what one had to do and not do to stay out of hell.
 When I was eighteen I went to see Fiddler on the Roof. I was dumb founded to learn that it was alright to talk to God like he was a friend instead of a fierce, mean dictatorial presence who was ready to strike you dead for any sins you may or may not of known you were committing. It was a revelation to me.
So I tend to take a very dim view of religious leaders until I feel that they merit my respect.
Now as I travel the Path I have come to know that one needs teachers sometimes for learning the basics of rituals and rites but true spiritual learning comes by being aware and open to divine spirit as one walks the path.
It is an on going life changing practice. And I am so much more content and happier than I have I have ever been.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Emperor/ Lesson Five

The Emperor sits on a stone throne. He is a stern no nonsense individually, who is emotionally guarded illustrated by his armor.
The Emperor as Aries the naturally follows the Empress and is the mars to her Venus, her lover, her compliment, Father to her Mother, civilization to her nature and imposed order to her creativity.
He is the All Father giving his children structure they need in their lives to help them be responsible adults.
He is wise due to his years of study, position or lifestyle which has made him an authority figure.

Often this card literally represents the Father in the reading or a father authority figure.
In a negative sense The Emperor appears when there is a controlling figure or force present.

In the positive it can represent the voice of reason, the stern yet wise counselor that part of ourselves which is ready and willing to fight for what we want, need and believe in. The Emperor card is the "who's the boss?" To the seeker it could be address being in control over ones' body, temper and or love life.

 One must remember that in tarot reading certain cards will hint at certain issues. Tarot reading is communication with the spirit world and symbolism is the language. By learning the language we can communicate with spirit. It is a two way street in that spirit will learn the way in which we interpret the symbols too.
Even as one learns all the interpretations for a card, one will tend to have an overall knowing about each card and the spirit world is aware of this. It becomes important to take note  about first instincts and feelings about each card.

What are your first feelings about this card?
Do you possess any of the traits of the Emperor? If so do you find them useful?
Who are the Emperors in your life? Have they helped or hindered you?
What are your feelings about authority? Do you tend to resent or respect it?

When I first read the traits of the Emperor, I immediately thought of my husband. He is very knowledgeable, wise and has loads of common sense in just about all things. I've always admired his ability to see to the heart of a matter and how to go about the right way in resolving the problem.
I have learned much from this man but I have felt sometimes that I am being overran and am in danger of losing myself and who I am.
 I've never considered myself a leader but more like a good right hand who helps implement.
I've always had a healthy skepticism when it comes to authority figures. I need to know that they are truly knowledgeable in their positions of authority and that they won't abuse it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Empress/ Lesson Four

The Empress is number III in the major Arcana of the Tarot. She is Earth Mother, abundance, fruitfulness and all that is feminine and natural.
She sits on her throne in a garden,pregnant with life. She is comfortable with her fertility,kindness and her ability to flourish through nurturing others.
The Empress represents the power inherent in women, one not of force but of flow, repetition, cycles and seasons.
The card may represent a kind gentle nurturing  mother or pregnancy either the seeker or in the seeker's life.. It may indicate growth in other situations such as a goal, dream or a wish. But one that needs mothering and tending to for it to grow.
This card can represent a person, male or female who seems to create naturally.
On the other hand the card may represent someone in the seeker's life or the seeker themselves , who maybe to mothering, smothering, some what intrusive and worrying about their baby.
The Empress is a goddess and she knows it!
Think of people you know or have known who have the characteristics of the Empress.
Think about your own mother and her comfort or discomfort with the role of mothering.
What part of you connects with feminine energies? How do they express themselves/
What do you give birth to?
What do you nurture?
What are the gifts of the Empress personally and globally?

In thinking about who do I know that has Empress qualities I immediately thought of my younger sister.
She is a mother of six children, a pastors wife and therefore mother to their church family. She home schools her children, manages the household and still finds time for herself. She amazes me.
My mother was very young when she married. She had three children in three years. I believe that her youth and inexperience, mental and physical health issues put a great burden on her.
 In looking back on my childhood I think she struggled with being a mother and I don't think she was happy. But by the time my sister was born Mother had matured more. There were five of us, myself being the third and middle child.
 I do believe my sister and I were raised by two different mothers but the same woman.
There is 10 1/2 years between myself and my younger sister.
I have two sons 5 1/2 years apart. I wasn't sure that I could be a good mother. And I always worried was I doing things right.
I think my Empress like energies are expressed through my art and my need to create it.
Creating, making art is necessary to my health and well being. I can not stop doing my art, it is like breathing.
Without it I would die.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

As I study Aine O'Brien's Black Crow  Tarot Course, I find that not only am I learning a lot about the cards but about myself as well.
As I have worked on the exercises following each lesson ,I've had a few revelations concerning myself and relationships in my family.

A friend gave me, Barbara G. Walker's book, The Secrets of the Tarot, Origins, History and Symbolism, to read. I'm finding that Aine's  Course and the information I'm getting from the book seem to complement each other nicely.
Aine lectures on the meanings and interpretations of the cards more while Ms. Walker's book focuses more on the history. Together I feel as though I'm getting a good base for Tarot reading.
Per Aine's basic instructions for having a notebook to record information and insights while studying the Course. I took a basic composition notebook, created a cover for it and an introductory page.
I am very glad that I am taking part in the Black Crow Tarot Course.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Crafting Lavender Hand Salve

Working and creating with paints and paper causes my hands to get very dry to the point of cracking and bleeding.
I have tried various lotions on the market and have had mixed results. Seems the only thing that I could tell making a difference was good old Vaseline.
But a small incident of serendipity occurred when I was making some small jar candles.
I love the Bougie Parfumee Luxury Lavender Candles sold at World Market. They are made with soy and other vegetable waxes, essential oils and have cotton wicks. They smell wonderful!

They are sold in open topped glass jars.
     After having used up two of the candles, I noticed that there was wax still coating the sides of the jars.  I decided to scrap out all the wax remaining and craft some small jar candles.
As I worked with the wax I noticed how good my hands felt and smelled.

Could I possibly create my own hand ointment? I wondered.
To the Cauldron!
I measured and melted two tablespoons  of the scented wax bits and crumbs.
Next I added two tablespoons of bees wax pellets that I had purchased at  my local Whole Foods Market. Once they had melted I stirred in three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.  Because the candle wax was highly fragranced with the lavender essential oil, I only added three drops more of a lavender essential oil that I have on hand.
 I poured my melted concoction  into a 1/2 cup clean warm canning jar and let it cool.

The first batch I made was a little stiff, not cute the consistency I was looking for but boy did it work on my hands and the heels of my feet.

The second batch I made I used the same amounts of candle wax, bees wax pellets, and lavender essential oil.  Only this time I added an one extra tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
After the salve had cooled, it was much more creamy feeling but the fragrance was a little diluted.

I'm still tinkering with the amounts.  Next time less olive oil and more essential oil, I'll have to wait and see.
 I am using my salve and so far it is working well.