Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Moon in April

A new moon is all about new beginnings and leaving behind that what serves us no longer. This particularly new moon is a very special new beginning for me and my family. Yesterday afternoon we have received a phone call from the hospital which informed us that M her swelling is benign. The fog we have been living in for weeks finally cleared and the world looks so much more colorful today.
After a short  meditation  I drew as usual two cards from the Osho Zen tarot. They couldn't have been more apt for this coming lunation
Release: No-Thingness
The first thing that came to mind was us leaving Limbo, where time stands still and nothing is certain anymore. Where slowly  the energy  is sucked out of you. A black hole. I gladly release this waiting game
The guidebook has a more nuanced interpretation:  “Being "in the gap" can be disorienting and even scary. Nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction, not even a hint of what choices and possibilities might lie ahead. But it was just this state of pure potential that existed before the universe was created. All you can do now is to relax into this no-thingness...fall into this silence between the this gap between the outgoing and incoming breath. And treasure each empty moment of the experience. Something sacred is about to be born.”
I know it is my mind which attaches labels of good and bad to a situation. Everything just is. From Nothing always come Something. But I am glad it has turned out this way for us.
Embrace: Knight of Fire
The same card as I've pulled for my daily draw this morning from the Joie the Vivre Tarot!
Now there is definitely room for some action. The future is looking so much brighter again. Tomorrow is Beltane, the beginning of summer and I am looking forward to it. I want to be strong and confident and move forward with enthusiasm.
This card from the Osho Zen also emphasizes the importance of not only moving forward with intensity but experience the present moment with that same state of mind and level of energy.
“The figure in this card has taken on the shape of an arrow, moving with the single-pointed focus of one who knows precisely where he is going. He is moving so fast that he has become almost pure energy. But his intensity should not be mistaken for the manic energy that makes people drive their cars at top speed to get from point A to point B. That kind of intensity belongs to the horizontal world of space and time.
The intensity represented by the Knight of Fire belongs to the vertical world of the present moment--a recognition that now is the only moment there is, and here is the only space.” 
I love how these cards fit my current situation and how this deck always gives me some valuable guidance for the next four weeks.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Beltane Contemplation with The Wildwood Tarot

Time is flying too fast for me. Beltane is already the beginning of Summer. Where did Spring go? This is a time of fertility for the animal and plant kingdom. Animals are procreating and flowers are pollinated so they can bear seeds and fruits. It is a lusty season for the wild and the free.
In the Wildwood we move from the period of the Arrows to the period of the Bows. This is a time of high energy levels which will reach their peak at midsummer. Bows represent willpower, creativity, spiritual pursuits and other “fiery” aspects of life J
The two Major Arcana cards which are representative for Beltane are The Forest Lovers (The Lovers) and Balance (Temperance).
We are invited to the handfasting of the Forest Lovers. They are speaking their vows and begin their commitment to each other. A new relationship is born. From two energies a third one comes into play, whether it is their child or the energy of this constant fluctuating togetherness. It is giving and taking, again and again; always changing, never the same. Each moment the Forest Lovers are creating their relationship over and over again. They are continuously seeking Balance which is the second card of this post.
Here we see two snakes intertwined. They’re coming together but they’re keeping their own identity/color. Always seeking the balance of life always moving and adjusting.  Together they look like the shape of the double helix of human DNA, the building block of life. The face carved in the rock at the bottom of the tree reminds us that in order for light to shine there has to be darkness to. In this darkness our greatest treasures are hidden which will restore the balance once again.
For me personal The Forest Lovers also represent the balance between the masculine and femine energies in every human being and in the Divine as a whole. Jung explains it as follows: “In the unconscious of the male, this archetype finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima; equivalently, in the unconscious of the female it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus. The anima and animus can be identified as the totality of the unconscious feminine psychological qualities that a male possesses or the masculine ones possessed by the female, respectively”.

Maybe this year Beltane for me will be all about acknowledging and embracing my masculine aspects: my animus. Besides that I also want to create a more balanced image of my Gddess: to affirm She is feminine, masculine and probable so much more which I don’t know yet J

Monday, April 28, 2014

Abeona – opening doors

For today I've drawn a card from my Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr. This is the same artist who has created the Goddess tarot.
The card shows us Abeona, the Roman Goddess of departures. The caption says: Beyond your home is a world to be discovered. Explore it.
Abeona is the Roman Goddess of Outward Journeys, who watches over a child's steps and protects travelers. She is likely an old Italic Goddess who was later considered an aspect of Juno, the Roman Goddess of Mothers, Women, and their Children.
Abeona's name comes from the Latin verb abeo, "to depart, go away, or go forth". She was believed to especially guard children as they took their first steps away from home to explore the world, an anxious time for parents, perhaps reflected in the fact that abeo carries the added meaning of "to die, disappear, or be changed". Abeona watched over any "first steps", whether literal or metaphoric.

I like this oracle a lot.  It contains a lot of goddesses I've never heard of. (like this one) and each one covers an aspect of our daily experiences. For me it is always difficult to leave my house and expose myself to the “dangers” of the world. Years ago I've had a few traumatic experiences which has caused  a lot of fear and anxiety. Although things aren't still what they used to be, nowadays it is going so much better and  I am increasingly enjoying to go out on my own.. Knowing that guardianship is also an aspect of the Goddess, might give me a gentle nudge to expand my boundaries a bit more. Look how beautiful and tempting the world looks behind the walls of our own confinement.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Emperor – Freedom within Rules

Sometimes it looks like the tarot is playing games with me: for today I've drawn the Emperor, the ultimate masculine energy in the deck. This is the third post in a row about masculinity. And besides that, it is the first time I've pulled this card for my blog. So what does The Emperor has to tell me? It used to be no more than an archetypal image of a father for me. Very much  like my own father: a structured fair man who took care of and provided for his family. A loving and supportive father whose memory I hold dear to my heart. As easy as I have assigned The Empress card as a symbol for the Goddess, The Emperor has never left the earthly realm. In most depictions he is sitting on a concrete throne and it looks as if he has never left his seat.
But not this emperor. He has climbed the mountain on his own accord. He is determined to show me that he is worthy to rise above his physical empire. He wants to be reunited with his Empress, so they will  become One again: masculine and feminine, equal and inseparable. This season is of course  is the perfect timing for me to finally understand this. The background of  this depiction symbolizes beautifully his fiery nature. I love the eagle in this card. A symbol of flying fearless, aiming high and being free. But also a symbol of vision and decisiveness;of what has to be done in order to be the protective guardian of the empire.

On a more personal level this cards advises me to be more structured in my daily living. Too much time is wasted with trivial diversions like zapping, surfing, etc. I would like to become the emperor of my own life again. There is so much more I want to do in a day and I get so easily distracted.  So I am going to trust and depend upon my own power and I am going to make some kind of structure for myself with enough room to play around. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Woad - a taste of freedom

For today I've drawn Woad from the Druid Plant Oracle. The keywords are: freedom, Bardistry and Warriorhood
In the picture we see a fully grown Woad plant. The leaves were used  to extract a blue dye which the Picts, the ancient British warriors, used to paint themselves with before going to war. This was very clever indeed it because besides frightening the enemy, it also prevented wounds to bleed to severely because Woad has styptic properties. It was also used for dying cloth. Nowadays Druids use it to dye their Bardic robes.
The spear and the boar are both representative of warriorhood.
When you look outside at the clear blue sky you will often sense a feeling of freedom. How wonderful it would be to just fly away. This is the same shade of blue as the dye made from Woad leaves. To obtain this sense of freedom our inner Bard, our creative self, urges us to express our creativity. Not only to think about it but to really put yourself out there. Whatever you create is worth the effort because it is yours. You have to fight for your freedom; to aim for what makes you happy and fulfilled.  Without the desire to achieve what you really want, it is possible you’ll put your own need to create aside for the needs of everybody else. Or maybe worse, you will hide your true creative self behind needless chores, afraid to fail or perhaps to succeed? So put on you warrior paint and pick up your pen. pencil, brush or flute and  aim for  what makes your heart sing!

Lately I've noticed how I can feel totally free when I'm writing. Time seems to fly. I love to puzzle with words and sentences or to freewrite and accept everything what is pouring out of my pen, I am less afraid to fail than with my drawing and painting. Not only do I write daily for this blog but I also write in Dutch, just for myself. It is something I've always done but lately I enjoy it so much more. I think the combination of writing and tarot really has opened countless doors for me.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Beltane Issues

The Lovers
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the Divine again, after reading a blogpost by Kerry from Neopagan Priestess about incorporating the male aspect of divinity into your practice. 
Although the God of my childhood is a Father, nowadays in my spiritual practice God is Feminine; a Mother. But sometimes I wonder if perhaps I am forgetting or neglecting a major part of my God(dess).
Since it is almost Beltane I am not surprised this subject is asking my attention now. I've always struggled with this Sabbat, because I never knew what to do with a god and goddess in love. It feels strange to me,  although I  know it’s just a myth, but still ….
How could I research this aspect of the Divine in a creative way without diving to deep in all sorts of mythologies, which can be ever so confusing. Although I love to read them, in my opinion the gods are described often as being too human, to really satisfy my quest for understanding Divinity on a more spiritual level.
The Hermit
I had suggested Kerry to name the masculine aspect of the Divine using the tarot, the same way as I have done with the femine aspect.
Trying this out for myself I came to the conclusion it didn't really matter which personal pronoun I would use in these naming exercises. Even if the character in the depiction was male or female; it didn't make any difference for me:
The Hermit: The Keeper of Knowledge, who comes to me in silence and sheds his/her light over my hidden wisdom
The Light Bearer, who takes me by the hand and illuminates my way in the darkness
Strength:The One who perseveres and is strongly committed to protect those who are in need
The Patient One, who teaches me to reach deep within for my own inner strength 

God can be as nurturing, gentle and creative as Goddess and Goddess can be as fierce, militant and lustful as god. They are all the same. Every Goddess is an aspect of the Divine and every God is an aspect of the same Divine too. Since I don’t feel comfortable with aggressive warlike Gods, I turn to Kali or Sekhmet who are both fierce goddesses to defend and protect me in times of need. So we are free to reach out to the Divine in whatever form we feel comfortable with. Recently I've started calling Her Amma (thank you Sycamore). With this name, which sounds a lot like “mama” (Dutch for mom) I can see Her as all encompassing and at the same time very approachable to build a personal relationship with. She is every God and Goddess for me. She is Spirit. She is Nature, She is Everything. I just choose to call upon Her as female instead of male

For me this was another step closer to what I belief to be God(dess). More and more I come to realize that All is One and the freedom which emerges from this is so liberating.
I am even looking forward to Beltane now J
(The cards are from the Druidcraft Tarot by Philip Carr-Gomm and Will Worthington)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ten of Wands - Overloaded

I couldn't have drawn a more fitting card for today: the Ten of Wands from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. After all the anxiety of the last week and everything that had to be done because life just goes on (although you would love to be able to push the pause button), I am so to speak dog-tired.
The guy in the picture is carrying his ten wands home. He doesn't watch where he is going anymore. He is just putting one foot in front of the other and is stumbling forward. But in the distance we can see his house; he is almost there. I hope he will make it. I am sure I will make it. I am sort of a workhorse and when I smell my stable,  I tend to run a bit faster; determent to get home even though I am already exhausted. So when I do get home, there is not much energy left. Perhaps just enough to make some coffee J
The advice for me today is to unload my wands at the doorstep, go inside, sit down, relax and restore my energy, because I think I have deserved it.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The gift box exercise

Today I want to share another exercise with you. I've came up with this one yesterday to pass the time in a positive way, while waiting to go with M to the hospital for her second ultrasound and  a biopsy.  I am happy to tell you things look positive but we still have to wait another week for the test results.
For now back to the exercise. When you think about it, a deck of tarot cards is like a gift box with 78 presents.
So what did I do: I picked up my Joie de Vivre Tarot and pulled a card which I interpreted like opening a present:
I am fully present in this moment to receive the gift of  (name of the card)……….. which is (gift)……………………
I've pulled  a lot of cards one after another and it felt like being showered with goodies and gifts from a group of very close friends. Sometimes when you do exercises like this you get to know your cards on a slightly different level. Which in turn can add another layer to you regular readings
A few examples:
* I am fully present in this moment to receive the gift of  Nine of Swords which is the strength to look upwards to see the hearts in the tree
* I am fully present in this moment to receive the gift of  Four of swords which is to go within and put my worries aside
* I am fully present in this moment to receive the gift of  Nine of Cups which is to wish for my heart’s desire
* I am fully present in this moment to receive the gift of  The Devil which is The awareness of having scissors to cut my cords
As you've noticed it doesn't matter if the cards are “good or bad”. Every card can be interpreted as a gift. Of course you can alter the sentence at your own discretion. It is the idea of receiving gifts that counts. For me it was an encouraging experience J

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Daily draw exercise with the Six of Cups

As I've stated earlier, when times are stressful, reading the tarot isn't always the smartest thing to do. At least in my case it isn’t. So for today’s daily draw I’ve come up with a little exercise on how to explore a tarot card without diving in to deep, Of course this can be altered and extended to anyone’s taste
My card for today is The Six of Cups from the Original Rider Waite Tarot:
Some keywords are:
Innocence, memories, trust, friendship
What is the gift ?
To experience my day with a childlike open heart
What is the challenge?
To be aware of too much dreaming about a past when everything “used to be so much better”
What  are you grateful for?
For a happy childhood
Journaling prompt
Write about a time when you still thought anything was possible. What did you want the most out of life.
( In short: I was saving pennies for my own real  horse and stable )
I remember a time when……
I could play for hours and would lose track of time until my mother called me inside for dinner
I am aware of the needs of my inner child and I will cherish her with love
If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
Tom Stoppard
Naming the Goddess
She who stirs our happy memories so we can move forward with renewed strength and optimism
What stands out the most and why?
The feeling of safety of the little girl and the trust she has in her companion

Monday, April 21, 2014

I've finished knitting my tarot bag

Yesterday I've finished my tarot bag for the Joie de Vivre tarot. It is more like a wrap with a little sleeve for the deck so the cards won’t fall out. I've found this pattern a long time ago online and I don’t know anymore who has designed it. A lot of my decks (tarot and Lenormand) are the proud owners of such a wrap. Most of the time I try to match the yarn with the backs of the deck I am knitting for. Sometimes I even wrap them first in a little scarf or a silk hanky. In that way I always have a little spread cloth at hand.
Since I cannot knit large projects anymore, I love to be able to cloth my “baby’s” in warm and soft outfits J 
Knitting work and Joie de Vivre Tarot
Open bag with tarot deck in the little sleeve

Tarot bag and Joie the Vivre tarot on a  small silk cloth

Tarot bag – Tarot wrap

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Our home baked Easter wreath

I wanted to share our traditional Easter baking. It is a roll of yeast dough filled with cream raising, hazelnuts syrup and apple  and formed in the shape of a wreath. We have just had our first serving and it was delicious!
The card says "Happy Easter!"

Happy Easter

With my pastel drawing of an Easter Hare, the predecessor of the Easter bunny,
 I want to wish you all a
Happy Easter

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Eight of wands - A boost of optimism and confidence

For today I've drawn the Eight of Wands (twice) from the Joie de Vivre Tarot. To be honest I don’t like this card (in any deck) although this depiction is rather cute. Look at his rod, illuminating the way and the two little friends who travel along with him. But eight wands  are often flying too high and too fast into the unknown. When you've read my post about Poe brave flight you’ll know why I feel troubled about this card
The keywords from the LWB are Boldness, direction, activation, passion, acceleration.
“Aiming high, the courageous astromouse, Nucleus, ventures across the galaxy with a take-charge energy that will break down all obstacles. One-eyed aliens, Zoom and Boom, help guide him in the right direction as he forges ahead with powerful determination."
To be honest when I drew this card I didn't feel like blogging about it and I put it back and shuffled the deck again. I never do this unless I draw the same card from one or two days before. After  I had shuffled the deck I drew  another card…. and I pulled the Eight of Wands. What are the odds!
For me this card is about hurry and haste. Moving quickly and putting you best foot forward. I am a box checking person. First everything of my todo list has to be done before I can allow myself to relax This can be very annoying for my girls and tiring for myself. So the hurry and haste thing I can relate to and perhaps I should try to be somewhat more relaxed with the Easter weekend coming up and a lot of  boxes still to be checked.
The Aiming high is a bit more difficult. You have to be bold and daring to aim high. “To boldly go where no man has gone before” says Nucleus (or captain Kirk) I don’t consider myself as bold;  on the contrary. Perhaps if I translate this to optimism; expecting everything will work out all right. This attitude could be one step in the right direction. Again with Easter on its way I could use a dose of confidence and optimism to create a wonderful holiday for my family. Perhaps this post is a bit rambling but while writing, this card makes more sense to me now.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Three of coins – working together in harmony

For today I've drawn the Three of Coins (Pentacles) from the Joie de Vivre Tarot .Usually I think of creativity when I pull this card but this depiction is focusing more on working together for the greater good: “The whole is more than the sum of the parts.”
Let’s see what the LWB has to say about this card: The keywords are: Progress, success, perseverance, teamwork, planning. 
Harmony shines as Soma, Pneuma, and Psyche combine their concentrated creative energies.  Focused and committed, their cooperation delivers healthy progress and quality workmanship. The shimmering golden coins are the fruits of their work.“ (LWB
I like the names Paulina has chosen for these three figures: Body, Spirit and Soul. It is without a doubt that when these three parts of us are fully balanced there is nothing we can’t accomplish. Each part of us contributes something unique to the whole and even with just one moon phase missing there can’t be a complete moon cycle. Don’t you just love it how all three of them are so in awe of their moons joined together? Of course this card also speaks about working together as  a team and about appreciating the qualities of others and what they add to the mix. How much I love to be on my own, I do acknowledge I need people and I am glad to be needed too. Yesterday M and I have had a lot of fun hunting for jeans for both of us. We were discussing each other's choices in the fitting room and were happy with the saleswomen’s input. Now we are both pleased with our new jeans and we have had a lovely afternoon together.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My First Impressions of The Joie de Vivre Tarot

Yesterday I've received The Joie de Vivre Tarot By Paulina Cassidy in the mail. I've ordered it two weeks ago at Book Depository. And to be honest is was a kind of an emotional purchase. Although I am celebrating my birthday in about three weeks and I am promised some tarot presents, I really needed  to treat myself on a light, friendly and uplifting deck.

A deck which will comfort you. A deck which will tell you the truth but in a gentle and kind way. A deck which will emphasize the positive side of a situation. Even the most dreadful cards are friendly and they speak more to your compassion than to your fears.
For instance the figure in the two of words is being  held by birds and the girl who is falling from the tower is held by butterflies

It had to be also a deck which would distract my mind form worrying. So there had to be enough symbolism in de pictures to keep my mind busy. Look how many symbols there are for instance in The Wheel: the zodiac, the moon cycles, the four trees on his head, the lemniscate on his jacket. In every card there are little treasures to be found.

And that’s when I knew it had to be the Joie de Vivre Tarot:
French for 'joy of living', the Joie de Vivre is designed to access the childlike energy in each one of us to help stimulate, enhance, and inspire joy in our own lives. A truly fantastical people, the living beings in the Joie de Vivre realm are all sentient souls of love who want nothing but the best for those who take a journey through their world. An amplifier of intuition and a connection to the divine source, they hope the Joie de Vivre deck will help awaken a response from deep within your heart, mind, and spirit.
It is the second tarot deck by Paulina Cassidy. I don’t own her first deck: the Paulina Tarot, because the artwork was too detailed for me. In the Joie de Vivre tarot the pictures are less crowded but still they contain a lot of little adorable details and symbols. The pictures were done in watercolors and ink. The colors are soft and transparent. The backgrounds are often just made  with a color wash and some swirls which is a good contrast to the detailed figures. The cardstock is average and the finish is glossy and smooth. The colors are much more vibrant than I had expected and they are absolutely beautiful.
One more thing about the LWB. Paulina has written a tiny little story about each character in her pictures and she has even named them. This makes this little booklet a very surprising addition to the deck
AL together it will be rather obvious I totally adore this deck.  And I haven’t even started reading with it. I do have already begun to knit a bag because the little tuckbox didn't survive the long journey overseas. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poe’s brave Flight – spread your wings

Shapeshifters Oracle
Sometimes you pull a card which you would like to put back into the deck as soon as possible and I am not talking about the Ten of Swords or The Tower. Today I've got Poe’s brave flight from the Oracle of the Shapeshifters. The caption says: “You will not let fear stop you this time”.
Caused by a lot of negative experiences I have developed a large amount of insecurity, distrust and fear and I am also often too overprotective of my daughters and too concerned about their welfare .
I know this fear has prevented me from doing things I love and enjoy or going places I would like to visit. I am happy to say that the last few years thing have improved and I am grateful for that. I also know that everything is still possible but I have to achieve it with baby steps. Positive experiences can change your perspective to life. And gradually the things you used to fear seem less scary than before. I also know my fear is mostly based on self-limiting thought patterns. (my Eight of Swords mentality). The guidebook says: “You are going to be offered a chance to do something out of your normal reality, and instead of thinking it through, again and again, and analyzing its risks until you are immobilized. Poe’s Brave Flight asks you to take the suggestions of another and fly high.”  And also:“You must allow uncertainty to enter your life – because your life is being slowly killed by all the safety. Take a chance; Travel, explore and overcome a fear of flying – all will be worth it, for you will discover something wonderful about yourself in return. You are brave and capable of greater things!”
This encourages me to challenge myself on a regular basis to step a little bit out of my comfort zone. I am confident this attitude will add an extra sparkle to my day. J

By the way, when I pulled this card the first thing that came to mind was the song“Feeling good” by Michael Bublé. I thought it was very uplifting and encouraging to spread my wings.
Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good
I'm feeling good

Monday, April 14, 2014

Five of pentacles - Sticking together

For today I've drawn the Five of Pentacles from the Morgan Greer Tarot and I wanted to try to answer the question which has been popping up lately on various tarot blogs( including my own):
What can I do right now in this moment that will bring me pleasure and also positively impact my future?
I can think of easier cards to answer this question with, but I will give it a try. The key is to not to focus on what is lacking in this card; which is a lot but instead focus on what it still there.
When we have lost a lot: finance, security, health and other Pentacle aspects, it is good to focus on friends and loved ones. The two people in the card hold on to each other and find comfort together. They give each other the strength to keep going  and perhaps even endure more hardships. In my opinion the emotional bond of love and friendship is often strengthened in a Five of Pentacles situation. In times of need you know who will be there for you (and who won’t) Together you often can overcome the most stressful situations.

So for today I will be grateful for what we do have (love, friendship, togetherness) instead of complaining about what we don’t have. This will impact us positively for the future because we will grow more closely together and we will appreciate each other even more.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Our Palm Sunday Rooster Bread

Today is Palm Sunday.  The Christian community celebrates the entry of Christ in Jerusalem. It is an old custom in some regions of the Netherlands for the children to participate  in a procession with a homemade Palm Sunday pole. My daughters have been attending the Waldorf school in their childhood, were this custom also was being kept alive. 

Of course we’re not making the entire pole any more but the rooster on top is so delicious, we kept the baking of this rooster as a  family tradition for Palm Sunday.
An example of  the Palm Sunday pole
Although the church has attached their own interpretation to the symbols of this pole (as they have done with many customs of the our holidays), I’d rather see this as the a version of the May Pole which is a kind of fertility pole. This type of maypole originates from the Germanic custom to carry around a decorated pine with a rooster on top which was the rooster Gullinkambi (Old Norse for Golden Comb) The Rooster is a symbol for the coming of the light which he announces every morning.  The pine was a symbol for Yggdrasil, the world tree.
 The habit of using bread in the shape of an animal dates back to the period in which they no longer sacrificed real wild animals.
After this small dilatation I just wanted to share we had a lot of fun  with the baking and shaping of our rooster. My son in law thought it looked more like a dragon than a rooster but it tasted wonderful J

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Apple blossoms and presents

For today no daily draw but instead I wanted to share some pictures of our apple tree, we’ve planted last Autumn and I also wanted to show the presents I’ve got yesterday.
Yesterday was a good day. Like the Page of  Swords, M. and I wanted to clear our heads and we went to a town nearby for some shopping J
We had discovered a beautiful New age shop where we could drool over the crystals, tarot decks, incenses, books etc. M had bought some nice things for herself and the sweetheart had found two perfect gifts for me too:
First she showed me a fragrant piece of wood. It was Palo Santo (Holy Wood). It was a lovely coincidence because yesterday I had seen this wood for the first time in a video from “Between traditions” where Avalon used it for cleansing her reading space. It smells so good. I haven't burned it yet but the wood itself smells lovely too. Then she showed me a bracelet of red garnet chips. I really love this deep red color a lot. I immediately fell in love with it. Its properties are: energy, willpower, passion en self confidence. That sounds a lot like a Queen of Wands bracelet to me. Isn't it strange; I‘ve seen so many beautiful things in that store and I couldn’t decide what to buy and she just picked out the two perfect presents for me

Following are the pictures of our apple tree. Slowly the blossoms have started to bloom. Now it is a coming and going of bees who will hopelfully pollinate them

This is promising for  a good harvest (apple pie! J)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two and Page of Swords - How to air a closed up mind

For today's daily draw I've used my Original Rider Waite Tarot and I wasn’t surprised at all to have drawn the Two of Swords. The woman is sitting blindfolded with two swords crossed for her chest. She doesn’t want to know, to feel or to deal with the situation at hand. There is delay and uncertainty, there is doubt and probable a touch of anxiety. I can relate to those feelings but like this woman I don’t want to deal with them now. So what to do? I pull another card.
The Original Rider Waite Tarot
And there he is, my brave Page of Swords. With his brand new sword swaying above his head. He isn’t even watching what he is doing. He is just moving it back and forth. He has a lot of sparkling idea’s which are circling around in his mind. He is the one who will clear away my premature worries and who will open my mental windows to air my mind. At this very moment I am sitting near my open kitchen door and a Spring breeze is blowing some blossom leaves in my kitchen. It is good to breath the fresh air as it is also wise to allow freshness and bright thoughts to enter my mind. This page is my perfect hero for today J

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Queen of wands - full of life and enthusiasm.

For today I’ve drawn The Queen of Wands from the Shadowscapes Tarot. Opposed to the King of Wands, I like this Queen a lot. Probable because all the queens have that soft female nurturing energy about themselves
I see her as an advocate of living life to the fullest  in every way possible. To enjoy yourself  and be happy and to seize the day. She is outgoing, self confident, fiery and passionate, creative and she inspires other to feel and live like she does. The foxes, the dryads, the birds; everybody has come to listen to her song and to be enchanted by her presence
“Follow me and I will lead you out of your darkness into the light. I am the personification of the joy of living. There are so many exciting things to do and see, and I will take you places you have not dared to dream of. I bring wholehearted dedication into everything I do. I find light in every task, every situation. I am confident in my ability to create gold from even the basest of circumstances. I welcome you with open arms; all that I have I offer to share with you, for I know that I will never run out of those things that are most important to me.”(Leila Vey)
Seeing her as a role model can be very helpful for me the coming weeks. I am sorry to say M has to have a few more tests and we will get know the results only after four weeks. So nothing is sure yet, but the doctor has advised us not to worry. I am going to try not to get sucked into the waiting/worrying mode but to live my life as usual. I hope I will be able to inspire M to do the same thing. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Listening with an open heart

For today I’ve drawn a card from the Enchanted Map Oracle: Listening. It depicts a wise old elephant who is listening to the song of the little Red Robin on his head. Before I pulled this card I’ve asked the question: “What energy or attitude can help me to be more loving and kind to others?” I suppose “Listening” is a wise answer to this question. My first reaction was astonishment because I had totally forgotten all about my word of the year which was: Listen! I had planned to be really aware what others would communicate to me; with or without words. And here I am in the beginning  of April standing with this card in my hand and wishing I had the memory of this elephant instead of my own sieve.
Let’s look at the message from this card:
“An open heart will hear the message.”
When this card appears, you’re being reminded that there is a time to speak and to be silent. Now is an occasion for listening. Pay attention not only to what is being spoken, but also to what is not being said at the moment, for the deeper message is not always obvious. Listen with your heart, not just your ears, and you’ll find clarity.
 So it is obvious to me I have to put up some sign to remind myself of my Word and to practice the art of true listening.  Because “just” by listening you can spread also love and kindness around you and when you listen carefully you will know more clearly where your love is needed.

The Knight of Arrows – Hawk tempered by The Laume

Lately I've been rather enchanted by the Wildwood tarot, so for today another draw from this gorgeous deck. It is the Knight of Arrows – Hawk. Although a hawk can be very aggressive, today his vigilance stands out to me. Yesterdays post was all about being generous with love and kindness but in the meantime being aware of my own pitfall: giving too much. This knight is an energy which can help me to look after myself in this process. He has an enormous overview of the situation. He can detach himself by watching everything from a great distance and if necessary he can strike without a single doubt because he is so certain about himself. It can be a good thing for me to mirror some of his fearlessness, confidence and self awareness. He will be my inner knight in shining armor, My defender.
Because this was quite a fierce card I thought, lets pull one from the Faeries’ oracle to soften it up and I've got, don’t laugh, The Laume. Her keywords are: Unconditional Giving and Unconditional Loving. It is a good thing to stop focusing on the self once in a while and start giving to others without expecting anything in return. The Universe has a way a keeping the balance so we don’t have to worry about that. This is exactly the same message as I have written in yesterday’s post. And then my eldest called from work, while I was writing this post, to ask me if I could buy some printing paper and bring it to her. “Of course” I said. “no trouble at all”. I took my bike and did what she had asked me. In return I got the biggest smile, some  sunshine, singing birds and so much more. J

PS. When I was upstairs in my room. I saw the Queen of Rainbows on my altar; Flowering. She is my embrace card for this month And now these messages about being generous with love and kindness make so much more sense…

Monday, April 7, 2014

Nine of Vessels - Generosity

For today I've drawn from the Wildwood tarot a card with a whole different energy than yesterday’s Seven of Vessels. It is the Nine of Vessels (aka The Nine of Cups, the traditional wish card in the Rider Waite tarot). In this card, as in the Nine of Cups, a man is depicted with his vessels. In the Nine of Vessels it is not so much about enjoying yourself on your own, being content and perhaps even being smug. In this card there is an ongoing stream of inward and outward energy going on: Giving and receiving love. The keyword generosity is self-explanatory. As we all know: When you’ll give you will receive. The person in the middle is glowing like a sun, he is a conduit for abundant kindness, love and wisdom. He is sharing it selflessly and out of the goodness of his heart. And he is receiving with grace and openness the blessings of the Divine in any form whatsoever without expecting it.
This card is has a difficult message to me. I understand it perfectly but acting like this is hard. For me it is all about finding the balance between giving and receiving and being brave enough to let go of any expectations. I've given too much once and it was a hard lesson for me. I am scared to be too generous again. When I can remove  the “too” from the equation it will be doable: To give Loving Kindness ,to stay aware of my boundaries and  to trust I will be replenished. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seven of Vessels – Mourning

Seven empty vessels and a decorated human skull at the foot of a large tree are the main components of this beautiful card of the Wildwood tarot.
It is something entirely different than its RW counterpart which is all about fantasy ,illusion and options.
Perhaps it is not according to the guidebook but this is what I read in the card:
What stands out to me is the fact there are all kinds of different bowls. Most of the time when we think of mourning we immediately remember our greatest loss, our biggest bowl. The person we miss the most, a situation which has scarred us intensely. But I've learned the amount of grief increases by various losses (bowls). Sometimes we mourn parts of us we had to let go in order to move on to the next phase of our life (skull). So did I had to let go of being a mother of little children, in order to become a mother of adult women. I had to let go of the town I grew up in so I could follow my husband to a strange part of my country for a job he had found there. My piano was sold because I couldn't play anymore (neck injury) There are also minor events which I mourn for instance the chopping of the most beautiful Cherry Blossom tree by my neighbors.
This is not the place to list my greatest losses; the things I mourn the most. Everybody has their own empty vessels but I guess you will understand what I am getting at: Every day something is left behind. So our bowls gradually increase in number. Does that mean I am crying all  the time. No, sometimes mourning can be as sweet as honey: the most beautiful memories mixed with a longing for lost loves and sometimes finished with a topping of a few heartfelt tears. I always say grief is the downside of love. The more you love the more you will have to mourn.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Three card Daily Spread - Something needs to change

For today I've done a three card daily tarot spread for myself with the Druidcraft Tarot. The positions are as follows: 
1 The general energy of the day
2 The challenge of the day
3 The gift of today

1 The general energy of the day- The Four of Cups. It seems my lethargy of the past week isn't quite over yet. The events with M has taken a lot of my energy and I am still feeling a bit “bleh”. The cards of the last three days have been obvious doorways to a different mindset but I have not yet been able to give in to their call. I am thinking a lot about what I want to change and what is worth to hold on to. But looking at the person in the card it is clear my batteries has to be recharged again
2 The challenge of the day – Three of wands.  This card is urging me to rise up and stand tall . To look at the road ahead.  To be aware of what I have accomplished and  how foolish it would be to stay in the shadow of the tree too long. The road is there to be taken, not to be looked at.
3 The gift of today - The Hermit. And what a gift this is. Not only do I have to look at the road ahead but I also have to look inward to become mentally and spiritually aligned: to discover if what I want and where I want to go from here is in sync with my heart’s desire, my core purpose, Sometimes I am too eager and impulsive; to all or nothing and it is a wise thing to reflect before I continue to walk the road ahead.

While reading these three cards it occurred to me how the man in the Three of Wands and the Hermit are connected in this spread. They both are standing straight and are looking in the distance. In the three of wands the man is standing in the shade of the tree and is looking into the bright light of the day while The Hermit has his lantern to light his path in the night. They both are standing on higher ground; a safe place to consider their next move or decision. And they both are supported by either a tree or a staff. Finally the last thing I've noticed was that in both cards a path is depicted. In the Hermit card the path has lead him to the cliff, while in the Three of Wands the path is yet to be discovered.  I love how this Hermit is accompanied by the wolf of yesterday’s draw. It is just like he is trying to get my attention again. How wonderful it will be to find some Hermit moments today 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Wolf –Alone or part of the pack

For today I've  drawn a card from the Druid Animal Oracle: Wolf- (Faol). The keywords are: Intuition, Learning, The Shadow
This card shows a wolf stalking in the forest near the source of  the river Findhorn in Scotland. The last wolf in Britain was killed here in 1743. It is around February, the last month of winter and the first of spring. In the foreground we see snowdrops, the flower of Imbolc, the beginning spring.
“The wolf brings a strong sense of faithfulness, inner strength and intuition. But the wolf brings learning too. Sometimes you need to cross barriers, to take risks, to go beyond the limited compass of "normal" behavior in order to learn and grow, although crossing these boundaries may seem unattractive, even painful. You need not fear the inner power and strength you feel when you spend time alone. Come to know your deepest self and even in the darkest places you will find courage and spiritual companionship.”
I've never been afraid of my own company; of being by myself. Maybe because I am a typical lone wolf. I also can relate to the territorial boundaries which a wolf sets out and protects. But when we go one step further it gets difficult. The book talks about crossing the barriers and go further into unknown territory, to learn and discover what lies beyond the normal everyday routine. That is scary for me. I can travel miles into my own darkness but I find it very hard to go out, socialize and be one of the community pack again. I do go out and am able to enjoy it, but I cannot say it is my favorite pastime. I go to town with my girls, I ride my bike for exercise and I do my shopping etc. but I rather keep to myself and relax at home where I feel secure as a part of my own little pack (sometimes I wonder who is the alpha J). I don’t enjoy big gathering’s, parties and so on. It gets too overwhelming for me; too many impressions.
So back to the wolf.  I am very fond of this animal. Like the hare, I meet him often in my visualizations and I feel comfortable when he is around. He just is there where I am, and  it feels like he is guarding me. So all and all a good card to draw 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The King of Rods – not my best friend

After all the hectic events of the last couple of days we are getting back in our normal routine and for this day I have drawn the King of Rods from the Anna K tarot. This king is radiating fire and passion. Most of the picture is painted in yellow, red and orange. He is walking with a confident pace and a clenched fist which both are signs of his determination. Looking at his face I don’t think he is angry. He is creative and resourceful and  he inspires (expects) others to be so too (No pressure J)
“I am not a tame man. Although I am a leader, and bear responsibility well, my heart is forever free from the restraints of guilt, shame or routine. I am the fire behind all new adventures. I thrive on dynamic change. I live life to the fullest, and choose to pursue every experience I can that will bring excitement and enrichment into my life. I live by my convictions, and guard them with passion. I love grand gestures, dramatic expression, artistic pursuits. I am a force to be reckoned with, and I command respect from everyone.” (Leila Vey)
Well to be honest, I am not a King of Rods person. He is too dominant in my opinion: Fire times two.He is too much of everything. I would be shattered by someone like him. Perhaps it is significant that I don’t like the guy. What does it say about me? I used to be a people pleaser; making everybody happy at my own expense. A lot has happened since then and now I am in a place where most of the time I am brave enough to say :”No!” . But I think beneath that strong voice there is still a lot of insecurity  and fear: what if something happens and I will fall back into those old behavior patterns?
Perhaps that is what this king is representing for me: an over overconfident person who will overstep  my fragile boundaries. And of course this King  can also be a pressing situation where I am obliged to give in for everybody’s sake. While writing this and thinking it over I am not surprised I don’t like this king. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Four of Vessel and Ace of Bows: leaping out of limbo

Yesterday was a difficult day. Last Friday, M. had learned from her doctor she had to have an ultrasound of a lump under her yaw which has been sitting there for about six weeks. And we all know what everybody is  thinking, when a lump is in the picture. Whenever one of my kids is not healthy and I don’t know what is wrong with them, I worry a lot and my anxiety tends to get overwhelming. Gradually I get sucked in a kind of limbo, where all I can do is wait, hope and pray and desperately seek for distraction in gaming or watching TV-series. In limbo tarot shouldn't be allowed. The cards speak only about gloom and doom and I am forgetting the fact I don’t do predictions. But then the moment came we were at the hospital and the doctor spoke the liberating words:” It’s nothing serious”. I barely could keep myself from kissing the man. We celebrated life with a large ice-cream. When I came home I felt so good, happy and relieved.

Wildwood Tarot
This morning I looked at the last two cards I had pulled yesterday before we went to the hospital. And no, the Ace of Bows isn't a laser or radiotherapy and the Four of Vessels isn't a waiting room in a hospital. When I look at those two cards today  I see myself sitting in limbo not knowing what to feel; “Sickness of the soul” and “emotionally frozen” the book is calling it. But then there is this Ace of Bows,this spark of life,which encourages us to stand up and start living again. It is almost like a rebirth.