Card of the Day: Six of Arrows

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Today’s card is the Six of Arrows from the Wildwood Tarot.

img_0331Well, isn’t this a little on the nose today.  The six of arrows shows the keyword Transition.  On inauguration day.

The figure holding the tiller on the boat is shrouded in black robes and wraps.  A nose and some kind of facial hair can be seen and the expression and pose looks serious and focused.  They’re sailing away from the bright and sunny waters and into the dark of the unknown.

The hidden face reads defeat to me.  Returning from some confrontation that was lost.  Something is being left behind and the figure carries regret and an intense feeling of loss.  This is an uncertain and fear filled time.  But this six reminds you to harness the energy around you and use it to power yourself onwards.  The energies here are air, intellect, the mind.  It fills that sail and you can see from the water in front of the boat that it’s cutting quickly through the water.

That’s the message I’m taking away from today’s pull is that when you’re walking through hell, keep on walking.

Be safe, take care of yourselves, and give ’em hell this weekend and for the next two years when we can kick a lot of them out at the midterm elections.  ❤

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Card of the Day: The Green Woman

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Today’s card is the Green Woman from the Wildwood Tarot.

5b609218-13b0-4880-9c54-1cdfa93d315fIn the Wildwood Tarot the place of the Empress is played by the Green Woman.  I really dig the Green Men/Women mythological stories.  They’re often these mysterious figures who defy definition and understanding and I find them such intriguing mystical characters.

This card felt SO great as a card to have drawn just before the Inauguration and the protest march that my wife and I are going to on Saturday.  The Green Woman is such a powerful female figure, exactly what I’d like to embody on Saturday, and heck, everyday.

Sometimes the Empress is read as being a gentle maternal lady surrounded by woodland creatures, and sometimes that’s fine, a gentle earth mother to give you a hug and a cup of chamomile tea is just what you need.  But this Green Woman is not that gentle lady in a flowy dress.  This Empress is a powerhouse of creative energy, sexuality, and presence.  She doesn’t recline meekly, when she’s in the room -BAM- you notice her.  I picture her leaf and moss cape growing as she wears it, moving through the room and catching everyone’s eye.  It’s not a cruel unattainable smirk that she wears, but this charismatic magnetic smile that invites you in, but commands respect at the same time.

All of that and she still manages to be nurturing, teaching us to embrace our connection with nature and to build those relationships that help us grow in our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.  That way we can turn around and own our power and use that inner strength to defend our marginalized brothers and sisters.

Feel that fire roaring beneath her cauldron, and look at the way she radiates lights all around her, almost like she’s her own source of light in a darkened wood.

And that’s my wish for all of you out there.  Find your strength and make your own light, and then shine it into the dark places.

I’ll see you all on Saturday for the protest marches, and then I’ll see you showing up to fight institutionalized racism and sexism and homophobia and ableism and all those other -isms that the new President Elect stands for.

Wear your Pussy Hats with pride and may the strength of the Green Woman go with you and continue to inspire you!

Card of the Day: Three of Stones

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Today’s card of the day is the Three of Stones from the Wildwood Tarot

With this deck I both like and don’t like the fact that they have keywords printed on img_2032the minor arcana cards.  I like the intuitive cue that a word can have when working with this as a new deck, but I also don’t like having that word overwrite what comes to me intuitively.

Stones represent the suit of Pentacles in the Wildwood Tarot and I love that choice.  It’s so perfectly earthy and grounded and I like the idea of stones instead of coins which I’ve often seen done instead of pentacles.

 The figure on this card reads two different ways to me.  I see her growing out of the earth in one reading.  Blossoming out of the brown earth and unfurling her leaves.  She’s rising from the earth as we watch her.  And it’s kind of neat to see the seasons reflected in her.  We can see the brown earth that means winter, that light green over her legs that shows the first tendrils of spring, the green leaves over her chest make me think of summer, and then the turning color of leaves read fall to me.

The other way that I see this is I can see her unfurling from the center of her body, putting down roots and just expanding to fill this card.

And I like both of these readings for creativity.  I feel like it embodies all different kinds of creativity.  It’s a creative thing to garden and raise plants and it’s a creative thing to create art with paint and ink on a canvas.  This card is showing that spark that ignites those creative passions inside us that drive us to make and to keep exploring and expanding.

Card of the Day: Page of Bows

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Today’s card is the Page of Bows (Wands) from the Wildwood Tarot.

img_2030The card depicts a stoat perched on a fallen tree.  In the background we can see a waterfall and wild greenery fills out the image.  It’s such a welcoming a happy image as I sit at my desk with snow falling outside, blanketing my world in white and then later in slush and salty grit.  This window into a the lush greenery of a late summer scene is so inviting.

The stoat stands a little bit warily, watching us to see what we’re going to do as we enter their space.  In this frozen moment in time anything is possible, the stoat could leap out and attack us, it could take flight and vanish into the bushes, or it could stand and watch us a while longer.

It seems to stand, watching and wary but not afraid which embodies the energy of a Page card so well.  Pages represent childlike people or energies or situations in your life.  It hasn’t yet been burned by the fire energy of the wands suit although it’s starting to learn about it.  The stoat has a coat that changes colors with the seasons and that is a great representation of the flexibility the Page is representing/encouraging.  When you have a flexible sense of yourself you can more easily adapt to the rapid fire changes that the fire suit holds.

All those things make it easier to be brave and creative and to try out new things and experiment with fresh ideas.  Let the Page of Bows be you guide through the forest so you can dance with the fire and (mostly) not get burned.

Card of the Day: Page of Cups

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Today’s card is the Page of Cups from the Shadowscapes Tarot

page_of_cupsThis deck actually belongs to my wife and not to me, so I haven’t worked with it very much.  I’ve definitely ooh-ed over it though, the art is so very beautiful.

This card has been pulled for me by other readers more than a few times.  I hadn’t really noticed it until just recently when I got a very timely mini reading from Beth at LRT.  It was one of those moments where it sort of feels like it’s a message that the universe has been trying to hammer through my thick skull for ages and I’m finally paying attention.

One of the things I like the most about this version of the card is the aspect of bringing light.  The mermaid is holding a bowl that I read as liquid light, maybe even liquid gold.  She’s looking within and the light is emerging and curling around her.  There’s darkness all around her.  Tangling seaweed drifts around ready to ensnare and entangle.  Her tail is tattered and her body is marked, they could be scars, they could be tattoos.  I get the feeling that she’s down at the bottom of a deep underwater canyon.  Which echoes the feelings I’ve had lately of being stuck at the side of a deep chasm.  I’ve learned not to ignore those kinds of synchronicities.

This is a sign for me to turn inwards and do some shadow work, understanding myself better so that I can help spread that light.  I might only be capable of carrying the bowl right now, but with dedicated work someday I can help spread that light to other people.  Work towards standing firm in my own power so that I can use my priviledge and power to help people who don’t have it.

Breathe in light, breathe out darkness.  Breathe in peace and empowerment and breathe out helplessness and fear.

Card of the Day: Eight of Cups

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Today’s card is the Eight of Cups from the Universal Goddess deck.

08-of-cupsThis card talks about loss and grieving and feeling abandoned.  It’s a sad card to see, it depicts Calypso as her lover Odysseus sails away from her.  In the Aeneid, the Roman re-imagining of this same tale, this would be Dido as Aeneas sails away.  The only difference being that Aeneas wasn’t married to a woman, just married to his job as legendary founder what became the Roman Empire.

In the mythology Odysseus stays with Calypso for a number of years (between one and five depending on the sources) as her lover.  This is all part of the story of Odysseus’s ten year journey home after the Trojan War.

In Western culture, Odysseus is hailed as a pious man, a brave warrior, and a cunning tactician.  But examining him from a different angle, with admittedly a more modern lens, he doesn’t come off so well.  Like so many myths of the time the women are portrayed as wicked temptresses, deadly sirens, and catty bitches.  You’re not meant to feel sympathetic to Calypso because she was ‘imprisoning’ Odysseus and forcing him to stay there.  I argue that this is because these stories were written by men, for men.   Odysseus must be heroic, and therefore must be a vanquisher of all his foes.

I don’t, and neither did the creators of this deck, see her that way.  She is a woman betrayed by a lover whom she trusted.  She grieves for the loss of something that she held dear.  The circumstances of his leaving were outside her control.  Mightier gods than she insisted that Odysseus had to leave, so Calypso had no voice in the matter.  Despite the fact that things were collapsing all around her she still provided Odysseus a raft and provisions for his journey.  She didn’t want to lose him, but at the same time she still loved him and wanted him to be safe and reach his destination, even if that meant she had to let go of her love forever.

The eight of cups talks about grief, about loss, and that feeling that nothing will ever be the same again.  It talks about the ending of one cycle while another cycle begins.  Sometimes the ending of something is a reason for grief and it’s perfectly okay to grieve that ending.  In fact this card is telling you that you should hold space for that grief.

Card of the Day: Ace of Swords

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Today’s card is the Ace of Swords from the Prisma Visions Deck.

img_0705This Ace slices through all of the crap.  It represents a clean cutting away of brain fog and cluttered disorganization. You can think of this sword as a breath of fresh air slicing through a heavy smog leaving clean breathable air behind it.

The suit of swords, the suit of air, represents the mind, clean sharp intellect at work that can slice through any challenge.  The sword here looks like it fell from the heavens and embedded itself in the ground.  It shines with power, a glittering beacon in the winter cold.

Aces, as I’ve said before, are always a positive sign.  So if you’ve felt mired in a lot of disordered thoughts and your plans keep getting messed up this is just the sign you’ve been looking for.  This Ace tells you to be on the look out for a great idea, opportunity, or a chance for something.  It might take a little while to manifest, but if you seek it out, you’ll be rewarded.

Card of the Day: Ten of Cups

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Today’s card is the Ten of Cups from the Universal Goddess deck

This cup shows Hestia the Greek Goddess of the Hearth.  Hestia is a goddess who is very IMG_0566near to my heart.  I love the hearth based deities because I’m very much a home centric person.  The modern day hearth is sort of the whole kitchen these days.  The kitchen is where people gather, food is prepared, and love is given.  We have a lovely home altar above our stove at my house and it’s a very homey place.  Before we bought our house I had a very distinct image in my head of my yellow kitchen.  And when we bought the house, that was the first paint color that I chose.

Getting back to the card itself, I both like the image and I don’t like it.  I’m not crazy about the whole white washed look of the whole thing and I don’t love the man+woman+children = the epitome of family and home.  Families come in all shapes and sizes and colors and configurations and this one just reinforces that white nuclear 1950s family thing.  But I can deal with it, I do like the gathered around the fire image and the image of Hestia’s arms stretched out protectively around the scene.  I also like that Hestia is shown here as a mature woman.  There are lines on her face, her arms are muscular, and she’s dressed comfortably and sensibly.  She was the one who tended the hearth fires of the gods and was the home builder.  She is the goddess of ‘women’s work’.  All those thankless but essential tasks that are needed to keep people safe and warm and fed.  Especially in the past when we cooked over open hearths instead of on tidy gas or electric stoves.  In most cultures women were just expected to do all these kinds of tasks and the amount of work that it took was never acknowledged.  Running a household, keeping it clean, keeping food on the table is no small task.

But I’m getting away from the Ten of Cups here, so I’m going to pull it back in now.  This card is a wonderfully comforting sign.  In Tarot, the Ten cards are symbols of a completed cycle or the end result of the labors of their suits.  This ten represents a safe and happy home.  What that means to you might be completely different than the very limiting depiction on this card.  To me it means my wife and I with our two cats curled up on the couch with lots of blankets, snuggled together drinking tea and watching a documentary about nature or cooking.  To my parents it might mean all of us kids and our spouses at their house, having a barbeque out back in their gorgeous backyard pergola.  To you it might mean quiet space alone in your loft in Boston or a tiny cabin in the woods on a mountain top.

The Ten of Cups means family too, but it means your family of choice.  I’m lucky enough that my blood family is wonderful and supportive and loving, but that’s not the case for everyone.  This Ten of Cups family isn’t a family where people hold anger towards each other in their hearts or say hateful things or try to harm you.  The Ten of Cups family is the people who love you unconditionally and who are always there for you, whether it’s through a Skype call or a text message or a hug and a movie night.

Wherever you feel comfortable, safe, secure, and loved, that’s what the Ten of Cups is all about.

Card of the Day: Princess of Cups

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Today’s card is the Princess of Cups from the Manga Tarot

img_0630This Princess looks like she might be wearing a wedding veil.  She has flowers in her hair and a lovely kimono as she bears a golden cup aloft while riding a sea dragon.  I got myself into a little stir trying to figure out what the flowers in her hair were.  I used a plant ID website and (assuming that these illustrated flowers are based on real ones) I think these flowers are either Japanese Meadowsweet or Wild Sweet William which might be a type of Phlox.  I don’t know much about either of these types of plants, but there you go.

Botanical ramblings aside, there’s a lot to dig into with this depiction.  I appreciate the image of the Princess (sometimes called a Page or Squire or Daughter) as the cup bearer of the suit.  The card position typically depicts the youthful or inexperienced energy of the suit, sometimes shown as a young child excited at something.

This depiction shows a young woman but she isn’t rushing about like a giddy child.  Instead she takes her position and her role with seriousness and strength.  She understands that she still has much to learn, the dragon is as much her protector as he is her steed.  But she holds the cup carefully with a steady and intense gaze.  There’s almost a challenge in her expression, warning you not to trifle with her.  She doesn’t race into the fray like her sibling the Knight might do, she approaches with reverence and steadiness.  You can feel that she is in the progression and I feel hints of the Queen in this card.  It’s what the Princess will become as she grows in age and in her power.  Notice the way that the Dragon’s gaze matches hers.  A psychic link exists between the Princess and the Dragon, they are partners.

I get both literal and political forward motion out of this card, the Page wanting to advance and also the Dragon charging through the water, you can see it all displaced around him.  The control of the Page is very evident here, she sits serenely in the middle of all this chaos.

When you see this Princess it’s a sign of calm and respectful control.  This card indicates that there is much to be learned, but you’ve got a good grasp on things even if our surroundings feel wildly out of control.  Keep your eyes focused on your goals and someday you might become the Queen too.

Card of the Day: High Priestess

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Today’s card is the High Priestess from the Universal Goddess deck.

This card depicts Isis seated on a throne in front of one of the great pyramids.  She wears a IMG_0562beautiful gold headdress and a brilliant star shines above her head.  Wikipedia tells us that “Isis was worshipped as the ideal mother and wife as well as the patroness of nature and magic… Isis is often depicted as the mother of Horus, the falcon-headed deity associated with king and kingship… Isis is also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children.”

I love the way that it almost feels like she is drawing down starlight, you can feel that the cosmos are hers to control and shape as she will.

I always see the High Priestess as a reminder that we possess all the magic and power we need within ourselves.  Sometimes we get a little lost and our confidence takes a tumble, but it’s always there inside us.  Isis seems to be showing us the path.  Look to the natural world around you, feel your connection to the stars.  We are literally comprised of the same materials as the stars themselves.

The High Priestess is a reminder to stop and look within for the answers.  Just as the Magician before her who teaches the Fool to connect with the external world, the High Priestess teaches the Fool to connect with the internal world.  She is a sign to start paying attention to your unconscious mind.  Meditation, dream work, and spirit work are all her magics.

When you see her look for hidden mysteries to start becoming clearer.  Find that place of stillness inside and outside and hold that space for whatever messages are waiting to come through.