Monday, July 12, 2010

It's time to get personal with the Tarot of the Day

The Ace of Pentacles rests like the moon on an outstretched hand. The moon is new right now, and I've smelled like iron for the past few days but so far, no menses, and it's been almost four months since I birthed my daughter, making it over a year since I've bled in my course. I never thought I would feel heartsick for menstruation.

I feel like I need to clear and cleanse to make room for this bounty coming in.

I don't usually associate the Ace of Pentacles with the moon, but it seemed connected somehow tonight. Maybe it's the raw energy aspect. Maybe it's simply that the Ace is suspended in the sky.

All the Aces are new beginnings, raw energy. The raw energy of earth is the impulse to work, to make manifest, to put thought, passion, and feeling into form. Birthing, physically and creatively. I once heard a songwriter describe his experience of writing like giving birth. He would seclude himself in his room, his communications would simplify, limited to his basic needs. He would only emerge when the song was ready. Men also have a womb. We all have a center, where our ideas generate.

I am grateful for my talents. I am grateful for this gift, though I am not sure what it means yet. I am grateful for the generosity of the Universe.

The Ace of Pentacles is also a gift, a new talent we discover which we never knew we had, or which has hidden in the recesses of our Self and we finally pull it out, dust it off and begin to hone it. Or maybe we decide to practice coin tricks.

Stasis. Peace. Fullness. This is the power of the Ace of Pentacles.

(image credit: Scott Malo:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Card of the Day: Queen of Cups

I feel relief any time I see this card. I feel the waters surrounding the Queen of Cups are warm and inviting, calm and refreshing to take a dip in.

She herself is calm, collected, and highly intuitive. She sees your soul when she looks into your eyes. She appears as the goddess in her healing aspect, saying, "Come to me, drink of this water, be healed, and thirst no more."

The appearance of the Queen of Cups signifies her presence in the seeker's life as well as a need to exhibit her qualities individually. For men, it means getting in touch with the feminine side, as well as the gentle reminder that She is there just under the surface. For women, it means getting in touch with our nurturing side, being a mother, and finding strength in our mothers. It is letting yourself be healed, and passing on a healing touch to a friend.

She also heralds the culmination of emotional change. Something has been growing under the surface, and now it is time for this change to step out of the primordial womb and be fully born into the world. It could be big as the first fish with legs, or it could be as small as a mitochondria. Either way, it brings new possibilities and secrets of the deep.

Image thanks to: The Dreamers Deck. More info at

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tarot Food for Thought.

Tarot helps people look at the future. On the surface, this seems like a simple process of memorization of symbols and key phrases. However, the Tarot itself holds a potential of awe-inspiring enlightenment, and holds important messages for the querent that are sometimes better summarized by the card itself than by any phrases associated with the card. Gazing at the picture on the 7 of Wands, for example, says more than simply “competition,” “defense,” “stamina” or “rivalry” because it contains all those things plus other words that may come to mind as the querent meditates on the image. Pictures speak to us more profoundly than words (don’t believe me? Ask Jung and Campbell).

Each tarot card is a world in itself. This concept applies from the most simplistic images to the most intricate of tarot designs. The tarot resonates with our collective unconscious, which when you think about it, is pretty huge. It contains our collective memories and experiences as a species, and humanity existed for many aeons – written history is really just the surface. Tarot connects with those elements of our essence as humanity. A reader reading accurately, and drawing up specific events from seemingly broad symbolism, is working from a mystical perspective.

(Image from the Victorian Romantic Tarot, Magic Realist Press)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Deity of the Week - Oya

She is the instigator of earth-shifting storms, warrior goddess of magic, and guardian of the dead. Her whirling skirts are tornadoes as she dances across the sky. I am thankful for her powers because she moves the junk that collects in my life so that I can be cleansed. She also reminds me that I should get around to cleaning anything I want to keep so that it is not moved for me.

I am reminded of Oya every time I hear this song (even though it's really about Durga, I think of Oya, too - I'll have to feature Durga next, I suppose), and so I had to look up a video of it to share.

Oh there is a murderess amongst us
Her love is a violent spiral
Hurling in upon us, conjured up
At the birth of the world

Durga is a dancer
Mindless questions find no answers
Slicing through the ether
Yeah she's gleaming like mother of pearl

Dirty little whirlwind
Commander, destroyer
I've found you
Dirty little whirlwind
I am pinned by the heat of your swirl
Dirty little whirlwind
Defender, controller
I found you
Dirty little whirlwind
Tangled up in the flesh of a girl

Oh you could curl me beside you
The spark in your eyes belies the apocalypse inside you
Twisting the pits from the particle
Skull can't save face

So shake the shame from it
Burn it up inside you
Let me churn in your furnace of whirl
Dirty little whirl wind
Defender, Destroyer
I found you
Dirty little whirl wind
I am pinned by the heat of your swirl
Dirty little whirl wind
Commander, Controller
I found you
Dirty little whirl wind
All caught up in the flesh of a girl

All that I ever wanted to be was destroyed at sea
hurricane rescued me salvaged calamity

All that I ever wanted to be was destroyed at sea
hurricane rescued me salvaged calamity

Do not delay we stood in place for it
Turn me up inside you
Up and into the heart of your whirl

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Terry Pratchett Knows Witches

I just have to put a plug in here for Terry Pratchett because he seems to be one of the best writers at capturing the philosophy of modern day witches, true witches - real witches - even when they live in a totally fictitious world.

I just finished reading A Hat Full of Sky, which follows the character Tiffany Aching through her adventures as a trainee witch with a certain Miss Level (yes, it's juvenile fiction, technically, but I think they only call it that because the main character is a young girl). Pratchett even features a real geographic location, the Uffington White Horse, a chalk drawing in the hills of Great Britain, which, as certain characters in Hat accurately point out, it's not so much what a horse looks like, as what a horse be.

The novel features Granny Weatherwax, one of my favorite fixtures of Discworld, who also appears in Wyrd Sisters, which I have also read and highly recommend.

In Wyrd Sisters, Granny Weatherwax teams up with Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick to restore an exhiled heir to the throne of Lancre. Although I've never seen anyone truly pull off time travel in this reality, the characters themselves are model witches. Throughout his novels, Pratchett outlines very sound principles of magickal ethics and very accurate depictions of life as a Witch. Of course, some live up to those ethics better than others, and some of his witches see fame as synonymous with acheivement. I have definitely met some crones who meet Granny Weatherwax's meddle: staunch, grouchy, apparently crotchety, but brave and when the need arises, downright resourceful.

For an example of sound ethics, that I have seen in practice with real witches, in Hat Full of Sky, Miss Level explains to Tiffany how she handles gifts given to her in exchange for her services as herbalist, midwife, and all-around helper.

"What do you do with all that food?"
"Store it," said Miss Level.
"But you---"
"I store it in other people. It's amazing what you can store in other people," Miss Level laughed at Tiffany's expression. "I mean, I take what I don't need around to those who don't have a pig, or who're going through a bad patch, or who don't have anyone to remember them."
"But that means they'll owe you a favor!"
"Right. And so it just keeps on going around. It all works out."

The witches who would fail an ethics test are not evil, simply caught up in their own character flaws. One such witch, Mrs. Earwig ("It's pronounced Ah-wij") comes across as rather vain, attached to material goods, and, as a creature trapped in Tiffany notes at the time of her visit to Mrs. Earwig's house, "she thinks you can buy magic."

Indeed, I have noticed that the most admirable witches I have met seem not to hang onto any anxiety about getting their physical needs met, as long as they are doing the best they can with what they have to help others who need it. If this doesn't sound very glamourous, that's because it's not. What counts is that we're there for people.

Conversely, I've noticed that other witches that don't exactly ring my bell are the ones who get really caught up in having the stuff (which I am guilty of sometimes, after all: human) and maintaining their reputation.

The one point that I disagree with, that Pratchett maintains is a taboo for witches in his Discworld series, is that good witches help check one another against cackling. I personally like to cackle sometimes, but it may be a guilty pleasure, come to think of it.

Now go, readers, read! And let me know what you think.

Light and Laughter (and maybe a little cackling)


Friday, January 16, 2009

Deity of the Week

I have decided to start posting a daily deity. This one was inspired by research for a book I've recently begun working on.


Ammit is the god of ancient Egyptian lore who devours the souls who do not pass the feather test with Ma'at.

I see this god, this strange combination of lion, hippo, and crocodile, as a message of transformation. Devouring is always part of a cycle, and why would mythology be an exception? The soul is devoured, and purified. I'm not sure what the Egyptians thought would become of the devoured soul, but I know that would not have been the end. The Egyptians seemed to have a place for everything, a continuance in existence although in changing forms. So Ammit would help us with this cycle. I would be interested if anyone has done a meditation with him in mind. He has been demonized, but those who are with me in thought would realize that one group's demons are often another's gods, and there is a Dignified and Reversed meaning behind any deity, as with tarot cards. I think practitioners can focus on either side to empower it, and keep whichever side is undesirable a little dormant, in the background. At the same time I think we still need to appease both sides.

Ammit then is a gatekeeper, an usher - we might see the ugly insides of his belly if our hearts are not light as feathers, at first, but we return in the cycle of consciousness. Perhaps Ammit appears to some of us in life to warn us away from his belly. Or is he hungry? I'm still working that out.

I can't tear myself away from the thought that the deities a person works with are highly influenced in nature by how the worker thinks of them, to a certain point. Of course, it would be unwise to confuse a goddess like Kali with a less ferocious entity, but at the end of the day, the power they have is power we have given them. It's not something to take lightly, but it's not something to completely avoid, either. Ammit says, "Hey, I am mean and ugly, with sharp teeth and pointy claws, but I can grind your consciousness into little pieace so that you lose your ego. You are remade when I shed you from my digestive system, and you go back to the earth and are reborn as someone else to begin again."

Just my thoughts for today.