Sunday, December 27, 2015

How to bring more Magic into 2016

The prompt for today from the #MagicSeeker2016 Tarot challenge on IG hosted by @ghostkittenart is: What energy do I need to help me cultivate more Magic in 2016? I used the Wildwood Tarot to answer this question:
Wildwood Tarot Eight of Stones Page of Arrows Two of Arrows

My first card was the Eight of Pentacles – Skill.
This card is all about developing new skills and practicing both the new as the older ones. This requires perseverance, patience and self discipline. At first glance not the card I would have expected to draw. It seems that magic is more about hard work than about waving your magic wand.
For some more clarification I drew The page of Arrows – Wren.
This page advocates fortitude through difficulties, daring and agility and determination. All good attributes for practicing our skills. It feels like he also wants me to be really open to new possibilities and broaden my horizon both practical as spiritual. Narrow mindedness is something he loathes intensely.
Next I drew the Two of Arrows which clarifies the reason for the first two cards.
Here we see a pregnant blindfolded woman immobilized by false assumptions, twisted ideas and most of all by fear. This card shows me that the previous two are an encouraging promise to bring magic into 2016. If I want to give birth to new life, I have to let go of my fears and insecurities and then I will be able to truly embrace my creativity, to be open for new ways of thinking and to practice and hone my skills. This is “Big Magic” indeed!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Holidays!

 the winter 2014 by vladimir_kireev-

With this beautiful picture by Vladimire Kireev I want to wish you all a very Blessed Yuletide and a Merry Christmas. I want to thank you for your ongoing support and lovely comments on my blog. Especially during these darker days of winter it is so magical to realize that our circle of friends extends across the whole world. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you.

Hugs Ellen

Saturday, December 19, 2015

On my way to freedom

These last two weeks of December I am participating the #MagicSeeker2016 Tarot challenge on IG hosted by @ghostkittenart. The prompt for today is: What energy do I need to help me cultivate more Freedom in 2016?
Since carving out more personal time and freedom is one of the major challenges in my life, I decided  not to pull only one card but three, because all good things come in threes!

From the  The Wild Unknown Tarot I pulled: The Emperor, The Sun and the Five of Wands
The Emperor advises me to keep the reins of my life in my own hand. He is the one who makes the rules and expects both his people and himself to abide by them. He is also not afraid to delegate or ask for help . No emperor can do everything by himself.
I think I might benefit from some kind of schedule or routine which will bring more structure into my days and which will help me to find balance between activity and rest; breathing in and breathing out.
The Sun is a very welcome card for this question. Choosing actively for joy, love and light will help me to prevent losing energy to complaining or whining about everything I have to do or about how tired I am. Just get it done and be happy and content afterwards. Feeling good about yourself is such a great motivator.
The Five of Wands. This card is strongly connected to my word for 2016: Focus. The Five of Wands is an exact representation of my mind when I feel anxious and stressed out by the many things I want to get done All my ideas  and plans and whatnot are all mixed up and they all want to be heard and executed NOW! So for 2016 I am going to try to Focus on only a few tasks or projects at the time and the rest of my ideas will be written down on a “You don’t have to think about this now ” list
So all and all some clear road signs to more freedom in 2016

Monday, December 14, 2015

Different Cards - Same Message

Today’s card is the Three of Cups from the Druidcraft Tarot. A happy cheerful card, well suited for the Holiday season. Although in this deck the characters are male instead of female, I always identify it with my daughters and myself and of course for now also with my SIL. 
When I asked for advice on how to create such a loving and joyful atmosphere in my house, I got The Wheel: In this depiction we see a woman literally carving out space and time for herself. She is casting a circle with herself in the center of it. From there she can observe and respond mindfully to any given situation at hand without becoming overwhelmed by it. 
Finally I asked what the result would be if I would follow the advice of the Wheel? And then The Star jumped out of my deck. Hope an renewal, Cleansing and healing and wishes come true. When I trust enough that all will be well and I will be able let go of my Holiday anxiety, then I will find that inner peace and quiet: a well brimful of inspiration and loving guidance 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

New Moon in December - Leaving my cave

For this New Moon I've drawn two cards as usual. The first one for the energy I am going to release and the second one for the energy which is beneficial for me to embrace. From the Druidcraft Tarot I pulled:

Druidcraft Tarot Nine of Swords Ace of Pentacles

Release – Nine of Swords

Now that is a great card to draw for this position. Who wouldn’t want to release all their worries and think only happy thoughts?
As you might have read in my previous posts, there are a lot of changes occurring in my life right now. My first reaction to change is to try to control each and every one of them and when this isn’t possible (duh!!) then I worry about my lack of control. Also at night and in the early morning things always seem less positive and more difficult than during the day. In Dutch we have saying: “seeing a lot of bears on the road…”

Embrace – Ace of coins

Well look who is here: a bear! But I do get the distinct feeling that instead of me seeing the bear, this card is about me being the bear:
Slowly I am coming out of my cave, knowing my own worth and strength. It is not necessary I hide there any longer. I feel confident and at peace and I am entitled to claim my place in this new world full of opportunities and the promise of new beginnings (birches)

When a situation is somewhat difficult I often tend to retire to my room in to find peace and quiet. Chloe from Inner Whispers gave me the advice not only to seek shelter in my room (my cave), how lovely and cozy that might be, but also to create one in my mind so I can find peace within and take it with me wherever I go.
I suppose this strong brave bear has accomplished all this during the dark long winter nights in his cave. Yes, I think such a spiritual shelter cannot be made overnight but has to be build with multiply layers of courage, trust and faith…and most of all Love!
Spirtual First Aid BoxSo for now I am going to fill a “Spiritual First Aid Box”: It will contain items which will help me to ground and center myself and to enter that place of peace and quiet within, not only when I am alone, but also when I am around other people.

Some of the items are:

My knitting and chrochet
My journal and pen
My art journal and pencil
My prayerbeads
Some crystals
A mandala coloring page with coloring pencils
A deck of tarot and/or oracle cards
More suggestions are always welcome!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Knight of Wands - I can’t stop the Rain

The last few days have been quite busy and I suspect there are still a lot of those days ahead. Due to the changes in my household I felt too distracted and too tired to pull my daily cards. Somehow my daily routine has been tossed upside down and this has made me realize how much I depended on that routine to get things done and make room for me as well.
Raven's Prophecy Tarot Knight of Wands Seven of Wands

After a few days without tarot, I pulled the Knight of Wands from the Raven’s Prophecy. This is the same card from about a week ago. It seems I needed to hear and feel his creative energetic message again today. He reminds me to take charge and be strong for myself. I am a worthy cause to fight for as long as I take care not to hurt the ones I love.
When I asked how or when he would help me I pulled the Seven of wands. Usually we see a guy on a strategic spot defending himself against his enemies. But in this deck we see a hand shielding the little flames from the pelting rain. This is what needs to be protected at all times: “the fire inside that makes you uniquely you.”
You can’t fight the rain, you can’t make it go away but you can be there for yourself, take good care of yourself so the rain won’t dowse your inner fires.

For me personally this means to carve out time for myself during the day, since the early morning hours are not always for me alone anymore. I want to spend more time in my room to read and write, to play with my cards or just to find some peace and quiet. I am sure if I am willing to give me all of this, the sun will come out soon enough again.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

”La Loba” Tarot Spread

Yesterday I stumbled upon a very interesting tarot spread made by Vickie from EternalAthena Tarot: the “La Loba Spread”She was inspired to create this spread after reading the first chapter of  “Women Who Run With the Wolves” by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. In this chapter the story is told about La Loba; the Wolf Woman. The story tells us about how important it is to recover the lost “bones” of our inner Wild Woman and to become whole again. Since I love this book so much I was very excited to try this spread:
I’ve used the Raven’s Prophecy Tarot by  Maggie Stiefvater because the energy of this deck feels rather wild and primal and it speaks to the more concealed (wild) parts of me.

1 Who is the “Wild Woman” within? – The Two of Cups

This card is all about relationships with  lovers, friends and family and of course with myself and it tells me that my Wild Woman loves me enough to stay true to myself in any relationship. She urges me to cherish en love myself so much that I dare to love another as well without the fear of loving too much and losing myself or the other again.
My Inner Wild Woman wants to share her love and live from the heart

Where do I go to gather my bones? – The Six of Swords

By taking a step back and by reflecting on what went wrong. Taking the time to figure out which idea’s and feelings I can release and don’t need to cling on any longer. Just open my hands and let go… Then there will be room for new, more empowering ways of thinking about Love and Trust. Being a Swordy woman, reflecting and journaling about my thoughts is like to gathering bones to me

How can I express her? – The Ace of Swords

By taking the brightest and clearest idea about Truth and Love and pray it into existence.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Knight of Wands – My new best friend

Yesterday I’ve received the Raven's Prophecy Tarot by Maggie Stiefvater in the mail and because we have been quite busy decorating for Christmas, these two cards are the first ones I pulled from the deck.
Ravens Prophecy Tarot Knight of Wands Ten of Wands
The Knight of Wands, my least favorite card for ages but recently it has become one of my “sigh cards”. Whenever he shows up I get the feeling I am Brave enough  to do whatever I set my mind too. Up until now this card has always been mainly about overcoming my creative fears. So when I asked in what area of my life he would be willing to help me I was very surprised I got the Ten of Wands. This is the card of burdens and burn-outs. So soon in December and already I’ve pulled Ten of Wands. Together these two cards are telling me not to be afraid of whatever comes my way this month. They assure me I will be able to find the energy and courage to engage any challenge ahead and they also remind me I don’t have to do everything on my own. I have the tendency to believe “Ellen knows best” but I also know I have two very capable loving daughters and a darling SIL who are always willing to do one’s bit whenever this is needed and/or asked.  Also I will remember the almost magical soothing effect of making art. So whenever my head hangs low from anxiety and fear caused by the burden of feeling overly responsible, my paints and pencils will always be ready for action.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Let it Go!

Today’s cards are Strength and The Hanged Man from the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans. 
Wild Unknown tarot Strength The Hanged Man

The first thing which came to mind, when I saw these two cards together was the famous song from Frozen: "Let it go".
First I pulled The Strength card. In this version of Strength we see only the Lion. The maiden is represented by the rose. The lion is  gentle holding our higher self between the softness of his lips. The sun of consciousness is shining upon them. In this card we have fully integrated our more untamed, wild and powerful self  with the more conscious parts of ourselves. We even trust it to take over if needed. 
So I asked for what cause I needed Strength and I pulled The Hanged Man. The bat is hanging upside down. His feet are in the dark, his head is in the light. Seeing things from a different perspective can provide you with some illuminating insights.... That was the moment I started humming “Let it go”
This is the best advice I can get from my cards for the coming month. In two weeks my SIL is starting his new job. then he will move in with us until S and he have found a place of their own. And let’s not forget the upcoming holidays….

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Playing with watercolors

Nothing is a soothing for a restless agitated mind than playing with my drawing pens and watercolors. I am so grateful to have remembered this when I needed it the most.
The Divine Feminine in her aspect of Mother Mary keeps inspiring me and for that I am also truly thankful.

Mother Mary and Child water color painting

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Listen to the Hermit…

Today’s cards are the Eight of Pentacles and The Hermit from the Anna K Tarot.  The Hermit is showing up very regularly for me and also other cards which are conveying his message, like the King of Cups from the same deck who is enjoying some quiet time, reading a book by his fireplace. They all seem to want me to take some time for myself. 

It has been quite a hectic week so far. Last weekend I went to visit my mother and how much  I love to see her and spent time with her, it still always a very  energy consuming event. So when I returned home I was more than willing to follow the advice of The Hermit. But life has its own agenda and Monday morning we’ve received some very thrilling news: My SIL has found a job very near to our home town so S and he will be moving out soon but they will be living close by. He has applied for jobs all over the country, so this job is an answer to many of my prayers. But the thrill of excitement has changed S into a small indoor tornado. Chatting about moving out, houses, furniture, color schemes has left me with hardly room for my own hermity ways whatsoever. And because I do love to be included in her eager anticipation to move out, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to find some balance.
The Eight of Pentacles is my cloaked temptation to keep control over my daily life. As long as I am cooking, cleaning, doing groceries, meditating, drawing my cards, leaving comments, posting pictures on IG, writing in my journal and uploading a blogpost now and then, I will have the reins of my life in both my clenched fists. (p.s. let’s not forget the upcoming holiday preparations :D)
Look how strict and severe the master is checking the work of his pupil. This is my inner parent who hates it when I slack. I guess he is never really satisfied and how much effort I put into it, it is hardly ever enough. I can always do better and more.
So today I am going to embrace my inner Hermit. Like a wise and friendly elder he will guide me into a more quiet and peaceful state of mind. He will be able to convince me to let go of all my to-do lists even the “spiritual” ones and to listen carefully to that soft inner voice which will tell me what it is I  really need in this moment.

I am even considering to take week off from my digital life and spend some real quality time with Me. So if you don't hear from me for a couple of days you will understand why and what it is I am up to: No-Thing :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What does Tarot mean to me?

Today I had an interesting conversation with M about which place Tarot has in my life. Words as hobby, interest, obsession, collecting or hoarding, were mentioned. Recently I have shared with you my craving for new stuff etc.  I still think it is not healthy to give in to every budding desire but sometimes there are decks out there you just can’t say no too. For me this is the Ravens prophecy tarot By Maggie Stiefvater. So this afternoon after long consideration I pushed the buy button and I honestly feel so good about it.
To shed some light over the question: “What does tarot mean to me” I pulled three cards from the Anna K Tarot:
Anna K Tarot Three of Pentacles Four of Swords Four of Pentacles
Three of Pentacles. My all time creativity card. Tarot opens for me the door to the creative part of my mind. With each  drawn card there is a question asked and an answer needed. Each time a different answer is required, depending on the question, the surrounding cards or the mood of the reader. Tarot is for me the  Book  of Life made of 78 cards and it’s never finished. 
The other beautiful aspect of this card is the sharing of this creative outlet with other likeminded people and to learn from one another and enjoy each other’s work.
Four of Swords  This card is all about the stories we can create with the cards to tell ourselves when we are troubled. These stories mirror our deepest thoughts and fears. They unlock our unconscious and reveal what is hidden in the abyss. Eventually this will bring us healing and peace of mind.
Four of Pentacles  when I pulled this card I had to laugh out loud. My deck couldn’t have overlooked this aspect. This card urges me to walk the fine line between hoarding and selective collecting
I enjoy playing with my decks a lot. Holding them, shuffling them, flipping through them. Al these things are very relaxing for me. So reading this card more positively I would say I really do enjoy having a physical deck collection.
Seeing the two fours here also made me realize how much support and stability Tarot has brought into my life especially during life’s (inevitable) challenges.

What does tarot mean to you?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Painting of Mother Mary and her Child

As some of you might already know, lately I have been working a lot with the Mother Mary Oracle by Alan Fairchild and this has inspired me to create my own rendition of Mary with several different media. Her presence in my life has opened the door again to connect to the Divine Feminine. For me she is a very familiar representation of the Mother of all things. She is gentle and loving and her being a mother, I suspect her to be strong and protective too. The Mother Mary oracle highlights so many more different aspects of her, which I am very eager to explore.

Mother Mary and Child

During my shadow work in October I’ve come to embrace the creative fire of my inner Knight of Wands and this has resulted in picking up a large canvas and painting Mother Mary and her Child. It took me quite some time to finish it because when you create something, fear is always looking over your shoulder…
(inspired by peggy apl seeds

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Moon in November

Today’s cards are picked by myself from the Anna K Tarot to represent my intention for the coming lunation.
Anna K Tarot Seven of Cups Strength
Release - The seven of cups.
Lately I feel the desire more than usual to buy stuff on an impulse. YouTube is a very powerful enabler. Lots of gorgeous decks are unboxed, revealed, and reviewed. Besides that I feel the urge to smoke a cigarette more often and more intense. And don’t get me started about milk chocolate with hazelnuts. I know giving in to these cravings only will give short time fulfillment but none the less I feel them so intense.
Embrace - Strength. This card beautifully represents for me the practice of “Feeding your Demons” developed by Lama Tsultrim Allione which Bev  introduced me to.
The woman in this depiction of Strength is facing her inner lion, her untamed self, the sum of  her intense emotions and burning desires. She asks her what it is she really needs because it isn’t chocolate, the next new deck or a cigarette. And gently her lion puts her paw on the woman’s lap and looks at her with her deep brown eyes and she knows: Her lion needs to be loved, comforted, held, cared for, listened to, and so many other things that money just can’t buy. When all of her needs are met she can unfasten the collar and sit with her quietly.
I love it that in this depiction the lion is female too, which highlights the fact that the woman and the lion are on and the same.
This month I am going to focus on tending to my lions needs and to be compassionate with every part of myself when things get difficult. I also want to focus more on being grateful for what I have.   
Gratitude: Today I am grateful for seeing through the illusion that things will give me what I really need and for the inner strength to change my behavior patterns    

Monday, November 9, 2015

Knight of Cups - Searching, searching forever searching

For today I’ve drawn the Knight of Cups from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. The ultimate seeker for emotional and spiritual fulfillment; for Love.
It feels like he has his destiny, his holy grail in sight. He is no longer “lost in the woods”. The landscape is open and inviting. The only thing what prevents him from going on is a small river. His horse lifts his leg willing to cross it but the knight hesitates. I wonder why. The stream is obviously shallow. The knight looks at his cup. Maybe he is fearful of finding his grail because then the quest is over and he doesn’t know what to do next.

So what is waiting for him on the other side of the river. What is he longing for? And I drew The Empress. If he only knew he would be held in her arms. He would be nurtured and cared for because She has been waiting for him all this time. Yes if he only knew he would spur his horse and jump over the stream because She is where he needs to be and from Her many paths will come within sight

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The King of Swords needs to loosen up

My card for today is the King of Swords from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. It is not the first time this week the King of Swords is passing by. But today I finally understood why it is he is paying me a visit so frequently. 
Lately there are so many things on my mind; so many choices to be made. And don’t fret, nothing life threatening or life changing is going on, it is just me and my constant need for control who wants to organize and structure her life. Questions like: what journal do I use, do I type or write by hand? Do I paint in my small art journal or in my larger one? Do I meditate in the morning or in the evening etc etc etc. All those questions prevent me from doing something. 
So I pulled another card and I got the three of wands. Oh what a wonderful solution. Standing on a hill top watching the ships go by. For now he has nothing to do, the choices he has made in the Two of Wands are the right ones. Being confident about the decisions he has made is paying off. Maybe the ships are sailing to far away countries or maybe they are returning to the harbor, but either way there is movement in this card which is lacking in the depiction of the King of Swords.  So movement, flexibility in thinking and deciding is what I will focus on today. Nothing what I will decide today will be set in stone forever. So letting go of the need to structure (control)my life will give me a sense of ease and a freedom to listen to the whispering of my intuition telling what is good for me right now!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

And then... and then.. and then…..

Storytelling with tarot is something I really love to do. Mostly when my card of the day is not quite what I expected or hoped for, I start asking questions and drawing more cards until the story unfolds and the message becomes clear to me.
Today I started out with the Eight of Cups from the Legacy of the Divine Tarot. Usually I love pulling this card. It gives me permission to leave everything behind and to spend some quality alone time but today it felt a bit challenging so soon after all the shadow work I have been doing last month. My initial reactions was: "Oh no, not again!"  So I pulled the Four of Cups, where a man is longing for the cup in the sky and doesn’t see the beautiful ones in the grass. This card tells me how I felt in the beginning of October. I had all those grand ideas of how I would spiritually grow and  although I did grow/change,  it was so entirely different than I expected it to be. And the Three of Coins is showing me how different it all was. I found my creative fire again and the courage to do something with it. Up until now the cards haven’t told me anything new. It all feels like a big intro to the main plot: the Six of Swords. This card is all about a journey again. I think it is about taking all the ideas of how finding creativity has been my “salvation” under consideration and asking myself questions like: “Why do want to create? How do I feel when I create? What part of me do I share with others when I create? Etc. Making a painting is not the destination of the journey it is the beginning of a new journey. And then I pulled the last card: Judgment which is to me the call to an authentic life; when we step out of the box of who we thought we were and  to sing the song of our soul of who we really are. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Taking a moment…

After the intense experiences of last month it is time to settle down a bit. To let my feelings simmer and to try to blend my rekindled inner fire into the watery aspects of my personality. For today I've drawn one card from  Soul Cards 2 and from the Wild Unknown Tarot I got the Son of Wands.
The Wild Unknown Tarot, Soul Cards 2 Son of Wands
These two cards represent this need perfectly. For today I identify with the person in the middle. Although she isn’t looking at the Son of Wands, she can clearly feel his warmth and energy buzzing behind her. Her eyes are focused. on the lovely woman before her, who I see as a depiction of the Divine Feminine. Their hands  are touching and the same energy as in the Son of Wands card is now flowing directly into the woman in the middle.  Where the Son of Wands is sending out his energy to wherever it wants to go, the flow of the Divine Feminine is more controlled and gentle. Just now I noticed how the red and the yellow are actually blending with the blue hues of the woman in the middle into purples and greens…
This tells me that when I take time to really embrace my fire it will not only give me the courage to create and step out of the box but also a new found inner wisdom (purple) and compassion towards others (green)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain

Happy Halloween Samhain pumpkin cupcakes
I want to wish you all a beautiful Halloween/Samhain
The photo is taken by M and she has also baked these delicious pumpkin cupcakes for us

Friday, October 30, 2015

Four of Pentacles - The courage to let go

Crystal Visions Tarot Four of Pentacles Jennifer GalassoAlmost finished. Only one day to go of the Shadow Work October challenge by MnomquahFor today we are asked to revisited how we started out on our journey at  the beginning of this month and try to assess how far we’ve come, what we learned and how much work still lies ahead.

To answer these questions I've picked up my Crystal Visions Tarot (long time no see) and I drew the Four of Pentacles. This card holds the answer to about every aspect of my evaluation. I started this journey scared and insecure. Holding on to anything that would make me feel safe, even if it was preventing me to grow. This month I’ve learned to let go of my anxiety and embrace my inner fire, my creativity again.
Deep in the forest,behind the tree we see an inviting light shining bright. Beneath the tree gems and gold are lying all around, waiting to be admired and played with. All this little faery  has to do is to let go of his pentacles, jump on the ground and see how the magical treasures are freely scattered throughout the forest.

This card is also a warning not to get to attached to my happy feeling and creative flow because then they could easily get calcified as: “this is how it always supposed to be”  It is so tempting for this fairy to try to gather all these crystals and gems and get back into his tree again. For now I hope he will be happy to enjoy watching them, playing with them and keep on walking towards the light in forest, where probable even more shiny precious wonders are to be found.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Learning to appreciate the Knight of Wands

After nearly a month of shadow work, how do I feel about my least favorite tarot card of the deck: the Knight of Wands? Honestly my feelings couldn’t have been more opposite and if you would have asked me this in the beginning of the month I would never ever have believed my opinion about this knight could changed so much.

In my previous post about him I wrote how much I disliked his high spirited and adventurous nature and I even confessed I might be a bit jealous of him.
Well this month he has slowly come out of the shadows and I really came to appreciate his qualities. It is so easy to forget the positive aspect of a card you dislike. As always an aversion to a card says more about us than about the card itself. It is only natural when a card represents a shadow aspect of ourselves we are not prone to like it. But this month’s work showed me I was more afraid of this knight than that I actually disliked him. If I would dare to embrace him I might have to face my creative drive, embrace my passion and be vulnerable because I could fail or maybe even worse; be successful….

So carefully I’ve started to draw and paint again and I love it. It is still scary but I don’t feel anxious about it. For the first time in years I have started a painting on canvas. Rarely did I consider my art worthy enough to do so. Yes participating in this challenge has definitely opened some doors and windows for me and now a fresh breeze is caressing my soul

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ace of Wands – Feeling free to be me!

Today’s question for Shadow Work October by Mnomquah is:

Mage - What areas of my life need to be freed from outside influence?

I’ve chosen the Deviant Moon Tarot to help me answer this question and I pulled the Ace of Wands!
Deviant Moon Tarot Ace of Wands

The Ace of Wands heralds the beginning of all that is good as she cradles new life in her arms. Her massive torch is prepared to spread its fire throughout the woods, igniting
minds with creativity and passion.
Look how she gently holds  her new born in her arms. Just like a mother who is caring for her child, we all should be kind and nurturing for our ideas and dreams about who we want to be and how we want to build and create an authentic life for ourselves. I remember the fire inside when I was much, much younger. I wanted to change the world and make it a better place. I wanted to pursue and Eco-friendly lifestyle. I wanted to be an artist etc. But when I grew older I was taught to be responsible and do as grownups do: find a job, buy a house and start a family.  This is when I started to become more insecure about my own needs and desires. What would others be thinking of my choices?
This card reminds me that I am perfectly able to decide for myself what is best. This doesn’t mean I have to turn my life upside down and start over.  I can start right here and now. For instance I can be more kind and supportive towards my creative endeavors. My creative ideas are worth pursuing even if they aren’t successful. I am allowed to experiment and fail just as I am allowed to succeed and shine. Also I can try to be more clear about what I want and make things happen for me; like choosing what we will eat tonight instead of asking what everybody else wants for dinner. Yes it all sounds so simple but even the smallest steps can be the beginning of significant changes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Five of Skulls - Step out of the box

Today’s question from Shadow Work October by Mnomquah  is:

Waxing Moon: What should I attract into my life?

To be honest I was tempted to use a cheerful uplifting oracle deck as an easy way out. I didn’t feel like dealing with a challenging card from one of my darker decks. Writing this down I realized this was the case in my last post too. Maybe after twenty days of shadow work I have become bit anxious to discover what other aspects of me are still hiding in the dark…Anyway I found the courage to pick up the Tarot of Vampyres and yes, I got the Five so Skulls. As the answer to my question this card is telling me to step out of my self inflicted confinements and start tearing down the rigid stifling structures of my life which are obstructing my spiritual growth and  other aspects of my personal development. It is time to stop worrying about things that probably will never happen and to face my inner demons. Look how he is crouching over me, holding me down with his terrifying gaze. The only thing I have to do is get up and look him right in the eyes so he will shrivel up in  pile of dust; poof!
And then, when I am standing there, alone in the cold, then it is time to trust my intuition to lead me where I need to be. To let Spirit guide me. I know the challenge of this card won’t be easy. I am not one to step out the box easily but I feel this is the main message I get from the Work I am doing this month: To embrace my  inner warrior and not to be so afraid of whatever might happen. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Love can’t be measured on a scale.

Today’s question for Shadow Work October by Mnomquah on IG was:

Intimacy: How can you strengthen your bond with your loved ones.

For this question I’ve used the Rider Waite Tarot. After having worked with The “darker” decks for a while, for now it feels more comforting to pull from my trusted Rider Waite deck in order to answer these deep and sometimes disturbing questions. So while shuffling my deck to answer the question for today, The Moon jumped out and I pulled the Six of Pentacles myself.

Rider Waite Tarot The Moon Six of Pentacles

The moon is all about fear and uncertainty, about not being in control and about a lack of trust and boundaries. Mmm… this is a very blunt way of telling me that my social and emotional skills definitely are in need some healing and polishing up. It is true I’ve been let down so many times in my life that I do have trust issues and also a fear of commitment and abandonment. So fear seems to be a  strong  component of my relationships, which is not a good thing at all.
The Six of Pentacles is maybe a good start to examine how my relationships could be improved. This is a card about interdependence. We see a rich man give to  the poor with one hand and he is holding scales in his other hand. He distributes his money equally to the beggars. The question here is always: who are you, the beggar or the rich man?
For me the message for this card today is to get rid of the scales and give from the heart. In loving relationships the amount of giving and receiving don’t have to be equal and measured. It is not about the worth or weight of the gifts but it is about the intention of giving and being open and willing to receive. Sometimes receiving is even harder then giving, because sometimes you have nothing to give back in return, but a heartfelt  “thank you” and the relationship feels unbalanced. This doesn’t have to be true at all for the main component of each relationship is Love and Love can never be measured on a scale. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shadow Work Spread

Today I’ve done the Shadow Work Spread from the Shadow Work October Challenge by @Mnomquah on IG. For this spread I’ve used the Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza.

Deviant Moon Tarot Shadow work spread

1 The Light – What you know and accept about yourself?

Queen of Cups. I know I am a loving an protective mother. Always listening to others and  trying to understand them and to feel what they need from me; to know how to help them. I also acknowledge my depression and I try to live with it as good as I possible can.

2 The Shadow – What is hidden from you about yourself?

The Knight of Wands. This is the same card as I’ve chosen for my “least favorite card of the deck”. Well now it is obvious why I picked this card. My Shadow wants to be heard loud and clearly. She wants to be adventurous and to try out new things. She knows no fear or at least she will not be held back by it.

3 Why do you fear you Shadow? What is preventing you from seeing and accepting you Shadow?

Six of Wands. I am afraid of the resistance of my loved ones. They don’t know that part of me. Accepting my shadow might cause conflicts and I don’t know if I am brave enough to face that.

4 Why should you embrace your Shadow? What are the positive sides of your Shadow that would benefit you?

Temperance. My personality would be so much more balanced if I could embrace my Shadow. It would be a very healing experience for me.

5 How to integrate the Shadow into the Light. What steps you should take in order to accept your Shadow?

Four of Swords. It is tempting to try to do Shadow Work only in your head. You have to feel and digest what you’ve learned too; really sit with is and let it sink in and take your time for it. This is the part when the real healing begins

6 The Outcome -The possibilities if you succeed in bringing the Shadow into the Light

The  Magician. I like this card in this position. The possibilities are endless, I can do anything I set m mind to, if I marry my Queen of Cups with my Knight of Wands. Yes so much energy will be set free if they live happily ever after

I am always a bit anxious when I am doing a large and very personal spread like this. Would the cards make sense? What if it is all abracadabra? A bit like stage fright perhaps. Anyway I loved how this spread worked out for me and the insights I got from it. Now I am going for a walk; some much needed Four of Swords time....

Shadow work tarot spread

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Id ,Ego and Superego Tarot spread

Today I did the assigned spread for the Shadow Work October challenge by @mnomquah 
I’ve used the Tarot of Vampyres by Ian Daniels for this one. We were advised only to use the Major Arcana but in no means we had to go against our intuition so I decided to pull a Minor to accompany each Minor in this spread.

The positions are:

1 Id - Primal desires – your “wild” child

Strength - My inner child is wilder and stronger then I realize. She is totally in sync with her wild side. She powerful, willful and resourceful. She is so eager to be heard and I love her!
+ Prince of Knives – This card emphasizes she can use her wits to get what she wants and she is not afraid to think out of the box

2 Ego – Your practical “grown up” self; reason and self control

High Priestess - Not so practical, this one. I have been doing the practical thing my whole adult life. Let people cross my boundaries. Put everyone problems  before my own. Now it is time to listen to my intuition. Take care of me first. This phase of my life has a very inward focus. Searching for what I really want, need, love; reclaiming bit by bit who I am supposed to be.
+ Nine of Scepters This was such a welcome card. It feels like my “wild” child is surfacing and she is helping me to protect my boundaries, while I am doing this inner work of bringing all parts of me back together again

3 Superego - Your philosophical and spiritual ideals, the "Quest for Perfection"

Justice – Always seeking for balance, finding my center, meaning and purpose. Trying to be fair and just to everyone and now also to myself. Finding  a spiritual path which will keep me balanced when challenges arise
+ Four of Skulls – I have to be mindful not to get caught up in other peoples rules and dogma’s. I have to be my own guide. It is easy to be tempted to follow a set path but I know I am too much of a Hermit to belong to any group or to endorse a religion.

It was a very illuminating reading for me especially about the part of the “wild” child and how she appears as the Nine of Scepters in my daily life. At the end of the reading it struck  me how the subdued energy of the High Priestess is surrounded by much more vibrant cards 
I guess there is a whole lot more going on under the surface then I realized. I do enjoy this Challenge so much! 

Id ego superego tarot spread

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Time to leave my Tower

For today I wanted to share again a part of the IG Shadow Work challenge with you. This day the question for our daily draw was:

Devil – What do I need to let go of?
For me The Devil is all about illusions, so with that in mind I shuffled my cards and drew the Four of Wands. While shuffling, another card jumped out of the deck, so I decided to pay attention to this one too. It was the Four of Cups. Now I had two fours to work with. Four is the number of Stability and Security but two times four feels more like stagnation and being stuck in the mud.
The four of wands urges me to let go of my futile attempts to keep resembling a nice and quiet conventional family in a house with a white picket fence. I thought I had had it all once but all too soon I discovered that life isn’t about experiencing the suburban bliss but more about how to cope with the many challenges life offers you and how to cherish the moments of breathing in and out in between.
Besides the need of letting go of this illusion it is also important for me to let go of my feelings of discontent with my life as it is right now. Clinging to this illusion and the sadness over my major loss makes it very hard for me to really move forward.
Today, eleven years ago, my dream of always and forever was shattered to pieces. Maybe it is time I try to pick up some to the shards to make room for new dreams. In order to do this it is necessary I leave my tower but before that I have to fill up my Cups with lots of love and gentle compassion for myself because it is so scary….. 

I won a crystal give away

Some time ago I entered a lovely crystal giveaway on YouTube by Larissa from “Storytelling, Tea an Tarot. I only recently started following her channel after we had met on IG. Larissa is a very gifted writer. When she read her cards, a story wants to be written. If  you watch some of her video’s you will be amazed how beautiful and  evocative she writes. I myself find her approach to tarot very inspiring.
Anyway Larissa had decided it was time to let go of some of her crystals, so they could find a new home.

You can imagine how happy I was when discovered I had won this give away.
Yesterday a big envelope arrived from the US. Yes this lovely crystal family flew all the way across the ocean to my home. I found not only the promised crystals in the envelope but also a organza bag with herbs and a postcard from the desert where she lives. She had written the most caring message on the back of the card. For now they are sitting on my altar and are settling in besides my little goddess statue

I would strongly recommend you to check out her channel and if you are on Instagram she is known as @thebardslament 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Painting Chestnuts

This month the shadow work challenge  on Instagram is taking up a lot of my energy. Although it has been  only eight days ago since we've started, it's been a pretty intense experience so far. It feels like this challenge has entered my life at exactly right moment.
But sometimes I need to take a step aside and do something entirely different otherwise this challenge might get too overwhelming fro me
So I picked up my pens and drew some chestnuts which I colored with watercolors
That sounded so much more easy than it actually was :)
Three days ago I got the idea to make this painting and today I finally did it. I faced my fear of failing and enjoyed the process of making this so much, I thought share this one with you.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Struggling with the Knight of Wands

Day 5 My least favorite card. Why? What does it say about me?
Knight of wands

For now I would say this is mostly the Knight of Wands. I find his enthusiasm and high spirited nature annoying. It is often too much and for me too impulsive and exaggerated. People like him tend too draw a lot of attention and not always in a positive; they are loud, bragging and taking unnecessary risks. I know he has a lot of good qualities too but these are the ones that get to me.
Why? probable jealousy, wanting to have the courage to do my own thing no matter what others might think of it. I am often lacking the energy to "go for it" I have a lot of ideas in my mind but too often they stay there gathering dust..
To scared to get on that horse and just ride with my hairs dancing in the wind....

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Searching for the Pearl

Day3  The source of my greatest fear
The knight of Cups from the Deviant Moon Tarot:

He keeps on plodding along; always trying to please everybody but himself. Never satisfied always searching for the pearl in the shell, hoping one day it will be good enough. If he is going to continue to pour from his cup because he feels obligated it will run dry very soon. When will he know he can find the pearl in his own heart and that he is good enough just the way he is right now... and that his cup will keep running over when it is filled by a self loving heart?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Shadow Work October

After a month without challenges I felt like participating with the "Shadow Work October Challenge" by Mnomquah on Instagram. She has come up with a question or assignment for each day of October, related to working with shadow parts of ourselves. We start with checking in with ourselves by making a mandala: “who Am I” at October 1th  and evaluating the challenge by making another mandala “Who have I become”. At the end of the month.
mandala who am I
Who am I
Making  the first mandala felt so great. It has been a long time since I have created something with my watercolors.
Of course everyone can do this challenge for himself and you don’t need to be on IG to participate.  Mnomquah even insisted on the following:
“If you feel like any of the questions/tasks are pretentious, triggering in an unbearably negative way or too personal -- feel free to stop at any time into the process; share publically as little/much as you feel comfortable with.”

Reading this made me feel very comfortable to join in. I feels less obligated to finish this challenge or to post a picture each day on IG. I am planning on posting parts of this challenge on my blog and if you want to see more of it please check my Instagram widget in the right upper corner

Shadow work October Challenge

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Taking a pause and be grateful for where you are right now.

Today’s card is “The perfection of your life” from the Sacred Rebels Oracle. 

Sacred Rebels Oracle The perfection of your life, Wild Unknown Tarot The Chariot

Initially I thought what a “Woo Woo” card. My life is everything but perfect. I’ve got lots of mundane problems and worrying on my mind.  And on top of that I feel spiritually lost in the woods……Maybe it is the woods in this depiction where I am wandering. Trying so hard to find my way out. Being such a problem solver, this must be a piece of cake Then I notice the mandala in the earth: a flower of life, a source of life-giving  energy which is working its way up to nourish the forest and every living creature therein. See how the trees draw this energy in and all the way up until they are brimming with life.
And then I ask what do I have to do to experience this caring loving energy. And I pull The Chariot of The Wild Unknown Tarot and I feel I have to read this card as a challenge. Today this card is asking me to stop right here and now and to take care of my sweating dead-tired horse. We both need some downtime and nourishment from that mandala . What better way to show my gratitude for this gift than to appreciate the course of my life. For it has brought me here and now and there is no place I would rather be.

And now I am going to treat myself with coffee and chocolate in my garden. The sun is shining, the airs is crisp, birds are singing and that is perfect enough for me today.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Learn how to feel No and to discover your Yes

My card for today is Judgement from the Tarot of the Wild Unknown:
Living in the shadows. Overcome by doubt and not knowing. Being one of many. "Act like everybody else, then all will be fine", I hear in the back of my head. In the dark you often bump your head: Against thick walls or social agreements.
Sacred Rebels Oracle She feels, she knows, Wild Unknown Tarot Judgement

How long before I realize that there is a way out, into the light. A way to freedom and to the memory of who I wanted to be in the first place. To escape the pressure of always being nice and wanting to do everyone a favor expect myself. When will my wings be strong enough to carry me up and when will I know who I really want to be?
And then I pulled: “She feels, she knows”, from the Sacred Rebels Oracle:
This card ensures us we already know deep down inside who we are supposed to be. It tells us it is of the utmost importance to feel what you truly want; to listen to the signals of your body and your mind if you are being pushed aside by the blackbirds in the first card. Listen to the No in your muscles and learn to recognize your Yes in your breathing out. 
How long has it been since I've wondered what I really want. What will make me happy and filled with joy? I feel that at the same time of my spiritual Tower experience I’ve been starting to question many other aspects of my life too. I see this as a huge and rare opportunity to "discover" myself all over again. To find out what makes my true self sing.
Recently I started meditating again. That feels really good. I also want to dwell more on the things I'm thankful for and which make me happy. Not just writing down items to fill my gratitude list. Among others things I've been enjoying working more with my crystals and taking little naps when I feel tired. 
And so I continue on my path like everyone else, day by day and moment by moment.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Resting in No-Thingness and trusting the Adventure

Today I asked my Osho Zen Tarot to tell me who God is for me right now. I hoped for No-thingness and I got No-Thingness. Don’t you just love it when that happens. 
This card is all about darkness, emptiness; Nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction. It is isn’t negative, nothing to be afraid of. In absolute darkness there are no shadows. This is the place between death and rebirth: The  gap between the outgoing and incoming breath. It is like the dark soil where a seed lies dormant until the spring.
Osho Zen Tarot No-Thingness  Page of Rainbows Adventure

So again I asked what would be a helpful attitude towards  this Nothingness and I pulled the Page of Rainbows - Adventure. Here we see a child who moves from the darkness into the rainbow of light, led by her sense of wonder and her innocence. Just moving forward without an agenda or a map. Trusting that all is well and letting go of all expectations. She is just moving forward step by step, moment by moment
For now I feel nurtured by the darkness of Nothingness and I am not in a hurry yet to go on an adventure but it is good to know that from here out there will be Something to discover  if I keep an open mind. And perhaps I am already on this adventure without being actual aware of it….?
vision board spiritual quest
A few day few day ago I’ve made a vision board which turned out to be focused around my spiritual journey into the unknown. It has become an open, peaceful and spacious collage. The texts say:
Intuition as your compass
Go your own way (literally: Go your own wise way )

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Change and Awareness

Change and Awareness
Once again, I got “X Change” from the Osho Zen Tarot as my card of the day. This card has been popping up a lot for me the last couple of days. 
Osho Zen Tarot Change Awereness

In this depiction we see a large spinning wheel filled with all kinds of universal symbolism.
“It has often been said that the only unchanging thing in the world is change itself. Life is continuously changing, evolving, dying and being reborn. If you cling to the edge of the wheel you can get dizzy! Move toward the center of the cyclone and relax, knowing that this too will pass.
When I asked my cards what would be a helpful attitude towards Change, I pulled “VII Awareness”, where we see the face of a childlike Buddha looking trough the veil of illusion, which is torn away by awareness. This awareness, which is growing softly inside each of us, is getting stronger and more confident each day without strive or struggle on our part. It teaches us to behave like a witness and to respond to a situation instead of reacting instinctively to every change presented to us.
This attitude will let us observe the changes without being overwhelmed by them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Working with the Osho Zen tarot

Osho Zen Tarot Ace of Rainbows MaturityThe last couple of days I have been solely working with the Osho Zen Tarot. I have been alternately carrying it with me or keeping it on my altar but one way or the other, always accessible to draw from it whenever I feel like it. I have drawn so many cards already today that I don’t  even remember what my card of the day actually was. The cards I draw aren’t jotted down anywhere. I just look at them,  notice how I react to them, ponder sometimes a bit longer about them, put them for a while on my altar or just back in their bag and then I go about my business until I feel the need to draw another one or perhaps a few to tell me a story together. Sometimes I’ll  ask questions, sometimes I won’t . For now I am so enjoying the energy of this deck. It is as if it is calming me down with every card it shows me. The energy is so soft and gentle and at the same time so strong and truthful. I love the fact that it encourages me to live mindfully and to embrace the present moment in whatever form it may present itself to me. This moment is what it is and it is oke…
The deck doesn’t need me to belief in anything but what is here and now and yet it feels highly spiritual. It encourages me to feel connected; to be loving, kind and compassionate to myself and to others and in doing so it is carefully puts the door ajar to the Unnamable. But that is for another post.
The card which has come up for me a lot lately is the Ace of Rainbows – Maturity.  This card confirms to me that all my life experiences together are forming my inner light which will always be with me and will lead me the way.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Courage to take it slow

Today’s card is Courage from the Osho Zen tarot.  A small flower has faced the challenge of the rocks and stones. It has found its way towards the sunlight. And it has become a gorgeous flower in its simplicity: This tiny flower has no need to compare itself to a Rose or an Orchid because it is its own kind of beautiful.
To be kind and gentle for myself on this particularly part of my journey is asking for this kind of courage. The courage and strength to accept and to love myself even if I want to be somewhere else. even if I don’t feel happy and fulfilled, even if I don’t blog regularly or my house isn’t as clean as it should be. It takes courage not to compare myself with other flowers  who seem to be so much more attractive. But hey, they too will wither and die one day…

So today this little flower will help me to embrace every part of me and cherish it for no other reason than because it is a part of me.  Slowly and  carefully  I will guide myself out of the shadows  and into the light because that is where I am meant to be.

Lately I love journaling by hand again about my COTD. No worries about spelling, grammar or if others would understand what I mean etc. Just write word for word what comes to mind and enjoy the process and the little gems which sometimes may appear...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

To be free in September

Sacred Rebels Oracle Follow Your Own Rhythm
Since the beginning  of July I have been regularly posting pictures on Instagram and I am really enjoying it. Sometimes I make pictures of my daily draws, of Jofee, of my dinner:  just random snippets of my life. But to be honest the reason for making my IG account public was the ttjulychallenge by Steve from @tiferettarot. Then August came and I participated in the Listersgottalist Challenge. And although I didn’t feel that great, I thought it could be healing to do something creative every day. Well I didn’t finish it because it was too much pressure to create something "perfect"on a daily base but I was highly tempted to join one or two of the several tarot challenges for September on IG and then I realized I was fooling myself. I was diverting myself from what is my main priority right now: regaining my spiritual and emotional balance. So why would I invite intentionally more stress and anxiety into my life. Now is the time for self love, for going within with compassion and kindness and hoping to rekindle that flickering light of faith in, and connection with God
And then I saw the YouTube video of Kelly Ann from The Four Queens about Self love September.  Again I was tempted to commit myself to this project. To buy a new journal, to find myself a “reminder item”, watch the videos, read the blog posts and do the assignments like "a good girl". 
And then I got it. I really am tempted to fill my life with “noise”, even with “spiritual cloaked” noise but altogether it is still noise for me right now.
The best gift of self love I can give myself this month is to post pictures on IG if I want to, to write blog posts if I have something to say and to love myself with every breath I take and with everything I do or say.
And to be FREE!

"Do not follow the ideas of others but learn to listen to the voice within yourself." (Dogen)