Monday Meditation: 17 Oct 2016

  
Ace of Wands and Eight of Wands (Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy, U.S. Games copyright 2011)

Ace of Wands and Eight of Wands (Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy, U.S. Games copyright 2011)

A meditation for the week of October 17 – October 23

My passions matter. This week, may I honor myself enough to put time and energy into what excites me, drives me, and makes me who I am.

———

Ace of Wands & Eight of Wands

What gets your engine revving? What makes you smile just thinking about it? Where can you get lost for hours while feeling that only 10 minutes have passed? Have you been honoring your passions lately?

If the answer is no, this week’s cards urge you to honor that part of yourself! Our passions matter, but when we are feeling overwhelmed (as last week’s meditation spoke to), it’s easy to let what we get joy out of fall off of our “to do” list.  For most of us, our passions don’t pay the bills so we become hyper focused on work or on other obligations. It doesn’t feel like real work, and fun is for “free” time, right? Wrong. Our bank accounts need filling, but so do our souls.

Do you enjoy sewing? Making yourself something pretty. (Or spooky! Halloween is right around the corner!) Do you like reading? Hit the library or bookstore. How about dancing? Put a record on or go out with friends. Whatever it is that floats your boat and puts a smile on your face matters because you matter. Your soul is hungry — feed it! ♥

Monday Meditation: 10 Oct 2016

  
Animal Wisdom Tarot: Goat, Shadow God of Liberation and Scarab Beetle, Ten of Branches

Goat, Shadow God of Liberation and Scarab Beetle, Ten of Branches (Animal Wisdom Tarot by Down Brunke, illustrated by Ola Liola; CICO Books copyright 2013)

A meditation for the week of October 10 – October 16

When I am feeling overwhelmed, may I take the time to evaluate what is within my control and let go of things that are not ultimately beneficial to me.

———

The Devil & Ten of Wands

We’ve got a couple of heavy cards this week, but they deliver an important message for us to meditate on: we have the power to lay down some of our burdens. This is easy to forget when we feel so very overwhelmed. It is important to take some time out and to evaluate what is, in fact, within our control. Are you loading yourself up with too many “obligations”? Are you spreading yourself too thin?

One lesson I have had a difficult time learning is that some things, if left undone, will not actually bring my world to a screeching halt! Don’t be afraid to push back a deadline, to reschedule a meeting, or to say, “You know, I thought I could take on x, but I am overwhelmed and will not be able to do this for you.” Or to say no to begin with. It is okay.

Occasionally, there are just time periods where each thing on our plate is quite important and does need to be taken care of. But, truly, most of the time we are taking on more than we need to. Rather than hurting yourself mentally, spiritually, and/or physically, let some things fall off of your plate. Focus on what really matters.

A Fool Stumbling Through Life

  

Oh boy! I’m ready to return after an extended hiatus. Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls, and even though most of them have been good it’s been quite a job adjusting to my new life.

Mr. Donkey and I have moved back to our hometown, bought a house, and started new jobs. I was planning to stay home and work on my tarot business (which is close to being born!), but I was offered a teaching position that was too good to pass up. So now I’m teaching full-time and trying to carve out a new routine, including maintaining my daily tarot practice which is so central to my spiritual and mental health!

Framed, stitched image of a boy with a walking stick. He looks up at the clouds and stands in nature.I found this little picture at a thrift store this summer, and the moment I saw it I thought of the Fool. I have hung it in my new office right where I can see it whenever I sit at my desk.

This little Fool reminds me that even though much of my life has changed that I can approach these changes with enthusiasm. He gave me a good pep talk on my first days in the classroom — it’s been so long I was nervous! I was getting ready to leave my office and my stomach was tied up in knots. I looked over, and this Fool said, “Hey, what’s the worst that can happen? Just go in there and have fun! No reason to be serious.” And it was great advice! My tummy relaxed, and nothing terrible happened.

I’ve also become a Big Sister through Big Brothers Big Sisters. I’ve only met with my Little a couple of times, but so far I’m really loving the experience.

Some changes have been not-so-great. A tenuous situation has collapsed, and I’m hurting. While this is really unpleasant, I’ve decided that there’s a small silver lining: I’m not judging my feelings or being hard on myself. My feelings are valid, and I am treating them as such.

In the world of tarot, I’m setting the following goals for myself:

  • Daily posts to my Instagram account
  • At least one post weekly to my blog
  • Open shop by Halloween

The Wheel of Fortune keep rolling along, and this Fool is doing her best to keep up and to make the best of this journey!

Book Review: Five Quarters of the Orange

  

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

Five Quarters of the Orange

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

This book is a first-person narrative of a woman, Framboise, reflecting on both her childhood in Nazi-occupied France and her present life. The past holds a terrible secret, and Framboise slowly reveals what she knows over the course of the story.

I was riveted by this book from the first page. Something about Joanne Harris’s writing style immediately pulled me in and made me want to devour every word that she wrote. She was able to bring intense emotions to the smallest of looks, movements, and thoughts. She captured very well the mindset of children, with their imagination, determination, and lack of adult-like understandings of some quite complex issues.

Harris also captures the complexity of human beings. No one is all good or all bad, but that doesn’t mean that actions cease to have consequences — at times irreversibly so.

Secrets can weigh on our souls and change the entire course of our lives:

Five Quarters of the Orange - tarot

Six of Cups, The Devil, Ten of Wands from the Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition, U.S. Games, copyright 2009

I deeply enjoyed reading this book. It was intense and moving, and it made me reflect on both the darkness and the light that lies within each of us. And as someone who can have a tough outer shell, even when I’m not trying to be defensive, it made me reflect on my own experiences and expression of self.

 

A Respite

  
Four of Swords

Ostara Tarot: Four of Swords

It’s a busy time! We close on our house in a week, move after that, and I have some serious personal exploration to be doing right now about a number of things.

So it’s time for a respite from the blog for a few weeks.

Once I have ushered a few of my ducks into a row, I’ll be back 🙂

Monday Meditation

  

A meditation for the week ahead: May 16 – May 22

16 - Monday

Golden Tarot: The Chariot, Three of Cups, Death

May I control what I can, celebrate whenever possible, and accept that change is inevitable.

May I actively seek out that which is good in my life.

May I look for the blessings that come with change — the birth of something new after the death of something old.

May I honor what is no longer useful in my life, not by clinging to it, but by recognizing the purpose it once served and letting it go.

Monday Meditation

  

A meditation for the week ahead: May 9 – May 15

9 - Monday Meditation

Golden Tarot: Five of Coins, Ten of Wands

May I focus on one thing at a time rather than further overwhelming myself by pondering all projects and needs at once.

May I recognize that some of my “problems” are good problems to have — problems of privilege and personal desire.

May I appreciate what I have rather than wishing for more.

May I be gentle with myself during times of burden, difficulty, and sadness. May I remember that I am worthy of compassion and patience.

Do Nice Folks Finish Last?

  

I have had a really rotten day today. I’m already dealing with the depression issues, of course, but I’ve had three different instances of being treated really poorly today. Like really, really poorly. It’s got me wondering, do nice folks really finish last? Because today it sure feels like it.

I try my best to be a good person. To remember that everyone is fighting their own battles. To come from a place of care and understanding. And boy, do I feel like I come up with the short end of the stick awfully often. It feels like being the “bigger person” just allows others to take advantage of me, or to take me for granted.

So I thought I’d ask tarot “Do nice folks really finish last?” I wanted to see what perspective I might see in the cards.

5 - Reading

Smith-Waite: Two of Cups, Eight of Wands; Arthur Rackham Oracle: Guardianship

Two of Cups, Guardianship: Protection of the Vulnerable, Eight of Wands

I wasn’t sure what to expect in this spread, but immediately these cards gave me pause.

Community and care are not passive activities. They’re greatly important and shouldn’t be dropped by the wayside when they aren’t reciprocated. But care and compassion should also be directed inward. So when a relationship is consistently negative or toxic, a different kind of action is needed. That could take a few different forms. One possibility is voicing concerns with the person or people involved. If they are invested in the relationship, they should care how you feel. It might not be an easy message to receive, and perhaps they’ll be defensive at first. But change should happen if they truly value you in the same way you value them.

And if you find out that you are not valued, it might be time to bow out. Which might be harder on you than the offending party! Unless of course they’re using you, in which case they may be in for a shocker when they stop receiving whatever satisfaction they’re sucking from your life force.

So I guess nice folks finish last when they never value themselves. But if we stand up for ourselves and leave toxic relationships, we don’t have to come out last.

Of course that’s in a nutshell. Living it out can feel much more gray than that, but this is the reminder I needed today. I can absolutely be a kind and caring person. But when it becomes clear I’m being taken advantage of, it’s time for a new action. And that is a-okay. It doesn’t make me a bad person.

Lost In A Depression Hole

  

Oh goodness. It’s been real dark and gloomy over here in my head. I’ve let myself fall off the wagon of daily routines which help me keep my sanity. Like tarot! I even missed my Monday Meditation this week. Not good!

So I pulled out the deck I’m getting to know this month (Golden Tarot) and asked “How can I get back on the wagon?” I know this won’t make things better or sweep away the gloom, but I just need to get up and get back to my daily things: tarot, exercise, cooking. Things like that. Without those I’m kind of a sad lump.

3 - Reading

Golden Tarot (in not-so-great lighting since it’s night!)

Page of Cups, Queen of Swords, Two of Cups

Child-like wonder, self-discipline, self-love.

Nice and clear today!

When I’m doing them, I really enjoy daily tarot practice, cooking, and general self-care. Think about it as fun, because it is! Don’t mope around. Say, “Donkey, get up! Go do a spread, go try a new recipe, go for a walk!” And then do it. And remember I’m worth this fun and this care. These are good things and enjoyable things I’ve let slip from my daily routine.

Well, maybe not let exactly. Depression is tricky like that. But I’ve fallen into a rut, I’m recognizing it, and it’s time to crawl out. And it’s okay to start small as long as I’m starting.

Magical Animal Messenger

  
29 - Owls

Top: Animal Wisdom Tarot. Left: Animal Totem Tarot. Right: Animism Tarot.

Last night I had the most wonderful visit from a beautiful Barred Owl. I followed her on foot as she flew from rooftop to treetop around the apartment complex. She was stunning and didn’t seem to mind my company. It was a truly magical experience.

When I returned to the apartment, I decided to pull out all of the owl cards from my animal-themed tarot decks to ponder the message she may have had for me.

The Hermit. The High Priestess. The Moon.

Intuition. Darkness. Alone. Mystery. Introspection. Fear. Confusion. Guidance. Searching.

Perhaps the message I can take from this beautiful visitor is, “I feel your pain. I know it’s a hard time right now. There’s no denying that. There’s also no rushing it. The dark night will pass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find small joys in the meantime. Night isn’t as scary as some folks think. There’s magic to be found. Maybe healing magic. Listen and learn. Don’t rush yourself and don’t be down on yourself. Healing will come at its own pace. Be present where you are, even if it is dark.”