Monday, June 30, 2014

Three of Spirals - Contemplation

Chrysalis Tarot, Three of Mirrors
All in all, yesterday was a good day. I've managed to  keep my emotions out of the equation and we had a sociable get together.  My husband was pleasantly surprised with the leek pie and the cake was eaten to the last crumb. Today is a day of rest and recovery of the emotional roller coaster which I've been riding for the last couple of days.
My card for today is the Three of Spirals from the Chrysalis Tarot by Tony brooks and Holly Sierra. Again a fitting card for me. Look at how the head of the Buddha statue is held by the tree. It looks as if it's been there for such a long time. The three has folded himself around it over the years. This card is about slowing down and contemplating your next move. Really assessing where you are and where you want to go next. It is time to ask yourself: What do I really want?

For me this card also symbolizes that, in order to become one with everything around you, you have to lose yourself (ego) first. This can be so scary at times because you have to let go of the illusion of control. I begin to experience this little by little while meditating. Only fractions of moments I feel utterly free of self and connected to everything around me, only to get pulled back again in me. But this tugging and pulling is of such gentle kindness that is also teaching me not blame myself for “failure” and except what is.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dreamer two - Half-Moon Truce

To be honest I didn't feel like blogging today. Yesterday was our 28th anniversary and today my husband is coming over to celebrate this. A lot of mixed feelings are whirling through my mind but most of all I am determined to make this visit a success. Especially for him and hopefully for all for us. So some of my feelings has to be put on the back burner for today. But when I was playing with my tarot decks just for fun and relaxation, I noticed I kept drawing a version of the two of swords. I thought this was so significant I had to write about it. The first two of swords I did pull this morning was the one from the Tarot of the Sidhe. We see a face in the sky, half black half white.  It is a quarter moon, half full, half darkened. At the bottom of the card a magpie spreads it wings; showing his black and white feathers. Everything points out to a stalemate situation, a temporary balance.

“Now the Mind is split in twain
The glorious whole is seen to wane
And two thoughts must find a path
To bring both peace and conquer wrath”
Emily Carding

This is a very timely card for today. On one hand there is this profound sadness and on the other hand joy and festivity are in place and expected. M and I have made a delicious cake with walnuts and chocolate. This will certainly heighten the mood. For tonight I am going to make my husband’s favorite meal: leek pie, kidney beans and salad. So now I am going to prepare the leek and the dough for the pie and I will put in some extra love as “secret” ingredient. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Two of Air: Listen….

“A woman stands by a hawthorn tree in bloom, listening to two cedar waxwings making companion calls. She closes her eyes to shut out extraneous noises so she can hear the quietest bird call, the one behind all the other ones. She cradles something precious in her hands — perhaps a stone or broken bird's egg. It becomes a talisman of silence and awareness.
"The quieter you become, the more you can hear," Ram Dass.
You are learning to become so still that you can hear the quietest sound of all: the voice within your own heart, the voice of Spirit. Come into the awareness of silence and stillness. Make time and space in your day to sit in silence and allow insight to appear. When there are decisions to be made, it’s best to "move at the pace of guidance," as Christina Baldwin says in Seven Whispers.”

This text came from my First Android App, The Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert,  I've bought from Foolsdog, a company which sells tarot apps for iPhone and Android. Yesterday I've also bought Tarot of Trees by Dana Driscoll, a lovely deck but due to high shipping costs to The Netherlands too expensive for me to buy as a real deck. I like both apps; they are fun to play with and it is rather handy because if you tap on your card it turns around and you can read the meaning on the backside J. But I do miss the feel of a deck in my hands. I think you can compare it with reading a physical book or an E- book on your reader. It is okay but you miss the smell and the feel of real paper. Still I do enjoy having those two decks on my tablet. The card for today was very timely. Because as I've told you before I am trying to meditate more frequently. This card is showing me what wonderful peaceful experience it is to be still, to listen and to become aware of that soft inner voice of intuition.

Affirmation:” I take time in my day to listen, and be open to receiving insight”

Friday, June 27, 2014

New moon in June reading with the Tao Oracle

Lately I've been meditating more regularly again. My practice was buried under too much worrying and feeling restless and so forth. Working with the last Embrace card “No-Thingness” has been very revealing to me.  I've discovered the more anxious and stressed out I am the less I do the things which could be healing for me, like prayer, meditation or just sit and do nothing. So now I've picked up my meditation practice (again) and so far so good. Before I start with the actual meditation I like to visualize a circle with elemental symbolism like colors, forces of nature, animals, goddesses, seasons etc. (not all at once of course J). This separates me from my daily hustle.
Any way after my meditation instead of picking up my The Osho Zen Tarot as usual I've pulled my Release and Embrace card for the coming lunation from The Tao Oracle by the same artist: Ma Deva Padma. 

Release: Work on what has been spoiled
Embrace;  Opposition
At first I was bit confused because It seemed as if the two cards had to be drawn just the other way around: to release oppositions and misunderstandings and to embrace healing and restoring the balance  But then I realized this is exactly what the cards are telling me. My first automatic response to a situation is to try to make things right for everybody. To restore the balance, to clean up the mess so we can move one like nothing has happened. Everything for the sake of peace.  Often I feel very uncomfortable if there is a conflict, a tension or even a difference in opinion. So this will be my challenge for this lunation: to let things be as they are for a while and let others work out their own issues without me coming to the rescue. And perhaps even more to be able to have and to keep my own viewpoints without letting myself be talked over by everybody else for the sake of harmony and balance. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mut, Mother of mothers

Today's card is from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle by Kris Waldherr and is called Mut, which literally means “mother”.
When I saw the attribute by which she was honored: Mother of mothers, the first thing that came to mind was this does sound a lot like we are taking about Mary
But this card depicts a much more ancient picture of the feminine Divine. Mut is said to be the origin of the cosmos; of all life. She is the primordial mother goddess of Ancient Egypt and similar to o.a. Erda (Norse) and Gaia (Greek), both earth mothers too.  She was especially revered by pregnant woman and mothers.
I am always a bit in awe when I realize how many men and women  before me have made a connection with the Goddess by whatever name they preferred. I mean Mut was already in the picture in 2500 BC and perhaps even earlier!
The message on the card advises us to mother ourselves. Immediately I think about spoiling myself with lots of chocolate. I guess that’s the little Ellen in me who wants treats and if possibe now! But mothering also means to be firm, encouraging and supportive with a large dose of love.
Today I will be cherished by my loving and supportive inner mother 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Embrace Change

Conscious Spirit Oracle, Kim Dreyer, Embrace Change,
Today’s card is from the Conscious Spirit Oracle by Kim Dreyer and is called: Embrace Change. At the bottom of this card we read the following affirmation:
I move easily and confidently through the changes of my life
In the depiction we see a woman with arms open wide before a gateway towards the light. She is still standing in the moonlit night and the stairs will lead her into the sunlight. Two trees make an archway before the portal.
Change is often difficult and scary and the instigator of lots of anxiety but change is also a natural occurrence in life: All things change. When we seek out the positive aspect of change we may learn to embrace it instead of fighting it. Change will lead us to growth one way or another. I've been trough many changes in my life. Some were absolutely fantastic and some were intensely sad and many were good and or necessary. But every change in my life has brought me growth and  has contributed to the woman I am today.
Resisting those changes will only bring more stress and fear. Since it is inevitable we might as well go with the flow and make the best of it. We might even enjoy the process that much, we will want to look for change ourselves! 
"Change brings opportunities for us to try
And if we snooze, they’ll pass us by...
The past makes way for life anew
A future to look forward to
Lift your head, stare change in the eye
For you won’t know if you don’t try."
 Poem by Kim Dreyer ©

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Six of Cups - Trust in yourself; You've already come this far!

Joie de Vivre Tarot Six of CupsFor today I've drawn the Six of Cups from the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. The keywords are: Trust, harmony, nostalgia, community, innocence. 
Swimming side by side, Bliss and her mer-bunny friends, Charity and Innocence, appreciate the simple joys of life. Six cup-flowers gently sway with the waters of emotional contentment. Their peaceful, turquoise ocean ripples with harmony and balance”. 
What a peaceful card for a sunny summer day. Wouldn't it be lovely to just float around in a sea of contentment and be happy? When we revisit the past in our memory it is often colored by our own perception. Memories are not objective pictures and reports about what actually has happened. More likely they resemble the past in colorful paintings and fiction. How we perceive the past is up to us. We can highlight the wistful victim stories or we can swim between our blissful memories which can strengthen our trust in ourselves. So much has happened but now we are exactly where we are supposed to be. Every event and decision has brought us here today and I for one am grateful for that. From here on I will be moving forward making new memories for tomorrow. 
Today I am going to make some blissful memories!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Combined Tarot & Oracle Reading

For today I wanted to try something different. I was inspired to combine an oracle and a tarot deck in one reading by a post from Eowyn about questions and tarot readings.
Sometimes you may run out of questions when you read mostly  for yourself. So I thought what if I drew a oracle card to determine the subject of the reading?

Goddess Guidance Oracle, Rhiannon sorceress
I've pulled Rhiannon, The sorceress, from the Goddess Guidance Oracle by Doreen Virtue. The message of this card is: “You are a magical person who can manifest your clear intention into reality.”
Without delving much deeper into the meaning of this card, we now have our question: How can we manifest our intention or desires? Now I can pull two other cards to answer this question. They will provide me with two things I want to consider when manifesting or you could also assign one as Do and the other as Don’t or whatever you  prefer. You can make the reading as elaborate as you like but personally I prefer small spreads.
From my Universal Waite Tarot I pulled:

Universal Waite Tarot, Ace of Swords,The Hermit
The Ace of Swords: in order to manifest your intention you need to have a clear vision or idea. Besides that you might want to make a plan how to proceed and what you require to manifest your desire. This Ace is just the first step: The potential of success. You have to make things happen yourself. Work together with the Universe. You desire won’t get signed sealed and delivered when you don’t participate in the process
The Hermit: When you create a vision of your intent, it is perhaps a good idea to really think about the consequences of your desire. What is your inner wisdom, your intuition telling you? If you shed a light over this intention is it still desirable and for the good of all or it is only beneficial for yourself This card is more about ethics than practical measures.

I love it how the two tarot cards are fitting together with the oracle card: the Ace of Swords resembles the horn the Unicorn and The Hermit highlights the solitude of the this goddess. Even the colors are matching quite well
All and all this trio of cards has given me something to think about. I think it is a good advice and I like how they make me think about something besides my usual interests. Sometimes you are so preoccupied with a situation, the cards only seem to talk about that instead of addressing something entirely else This can be a nice way to step out of your own circle of thoughts.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Eight of Mirrors – The Noble Eightfold Path

Chrysalis Tarot, Eight of Mirrors
In this Depiction of the Eight of Mirrors from the Chrysalis Tarot we see an old sage walking downhill along a path with eight mirrors. Over his head butterflies are flying as a symbol of transformation and enlightenment On the mountain words are written. Words of encouragement, Love and self-awareness. These words can be found in every philosophical or religious book because Truth it universal. And maybe universal Truth can be written in stone? The mirrors on this path are reflecting the wisdom of every great teacher the world has ever had: Selflessness, Truthfulness, Harmlessness, Mindfulness, Respectfulness, Goodness, Peacefulness, Righteousness.
This card reminds us to walk the path of these teachers, gain their insights through learning and practice without losing our own identify. Only then our own butterfly can spread its wings.
It feels like this card is the follow up of the Eight of cups. You may have to walk away from your cups in order to realize the beauty they hold so you can return more wiser and content with the same cups. Finding Happiness if often is only a matter of changing ones perception.

"And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of Dukkha (suffering): precisely this Noble Eightfold Path” (Buddha)
1.       Right vision, or understanding: understanding that life always involves change and suffering; realizing that following the Noble Eightfold Path is the way to overcome suffering and be really happy.
2.       Right emotion: committing oneself to wholeheartedly following the path.
3.       Right speech: speaking in a positive and helpful way; speaking the truth.
4.       Right action: living an ethical life according to the precepts.
5.       Right livelihood: doing work that doesn't harm others and is helpful to them.
6.       Right effort: thinking in a kindly and positive way.
7.       Right mindfulness: being fully aware of oneself, other people, and the world around you.
8.       Right meditation, or concentration: training the mind to be calm and positive in order to develop Wisdom.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Psyche – The World – Walking a spiral path

What a wonderful card for Midsummer: Psyche (the World). The creators of the Chrysalis Tarot couldn’t have chosen a more apt depiction for their last Major Arcana card. Psyche is the Greek word for Soul or butterfly. It all started with a caterpillar and a chrysalis and now, after having finished this journey of transformation, a butterfly is born; the caterpillar has entered a new phase in his life; he has ascended. I like to see our life’s journey as a spiral. After each  successfully completed cycle of experiences we travel further, higher on the winding of our spiral path. Each time we encounter similar situations but we can try to respond differently so we will evolve again.
This is also a card of celebration and of recognition. It is good to be fully aware of your successes and accomplishments and to take the time to celebrate them. But don’t stay  too in this place. Because it is a tempting and safe haven. Look for new possibilities and challenges. Search for the next cliff to take that leap of faith again and to become the Fool once more.
The spiral is the most natural of paths, in fact nature never creates in a straight line.” ~ Lesley Jackson

Friday, June 20, 2014

Three of Mirrors - The lion and the lamb

For today I've got the Three of Mirrors (Cups) from the Chrysalis Tarot. Here we see a picture of  the proverbial lion and the lamb, which is by the way a misquote because Isaiah talked about a wolf and a lamb but the intention is still the same. The Three of Mirrors is all about togetherness and celebration but in this depiction even more about compassion and acceptance. How often do we judge others according to our own so high and mighty standards. Who can live up to our expectations? Maybe if we would see ourselves reflected in the mirror of Love, we would be more inclined to see the inner beauty of others too. What would the lion see when he would look the lamb in his eyes? Maybe he could see his own tenderness and inner fears and vice versa the lamb could see his growing courage. There is no real separation between ourselves and others. We are all loved in the eyes of the Divine. They say our eyes are the mirrors of our soul. Perhaps this is a good time to have a closer look at the person  in front of us with compassion, acceptance and Love, especially when it is the one in the mirror.
"I'm starting with the man in the mirror,
I'm asking him to change his ways,
And no message could have been any clearer,
If you wanna make the world a better place,
Take a look at yourself and then make a change"
Michael Jackson

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My most favorite card from The Chrysalis Tarot

Chrysalis Tarot, The Watcher, Queen of Mirrors
Instead of drawing a card of the day I've decided to flip through my deck and put aside every card that appealed to me in a special way. Then I picked up that pile and  repeated this until I had one card in my hand and it was…..
The Watcher - Queen of Mirrors (Cups)
Why did I pick her?  What appealed to me so much that she stood out from 78 cards?
It is an mixture of color, depiction and symbolism. I adore the blues of the nighttime combined with the soft purplish pink of her dress. The Watcher is beautifully portrayed. She radiates the wisdom and patience of a crone. Supported by her staff and accompanied by her owl she watches, learns and teaches us what she knows.
Her attributes are "contemplate and intuitive" and her role in this deck is of "the mystic". She will help you to tap into your intuition, to read the subtle signs around you in nature, and how to use this vast source of wisdom to guide others as well as yourself.
I've always imagined if I would grow old. (older than I am now J)  I would look like her. We have already our hair in common so that´s a start. I sometimes fantasies about me living in a little cabin in the forest with my books, my cards and a crackling hearth, An owl  is sitting in a nearby tree and a wolf is watching me from a distance. A young hare is jumping around in my garden. Only in my imagination I can be unafraid and completely relaxed while I'm alone in the woods watching the world go by.
So that’s why this card feels so special to me.
(To watch:
- to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens
- to look or wait attentively and expectantly
- to be careful or cautious.
- to keep awake, especially for a purpose; remain vigilant, as for protection or safekeeping:
- to keep vigil, as for devotional purposes.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ma’at~Justice –Reciprocity will keep the balance

Chrysalis Tarot, Ma'at - VIII JusticeFor today I've drawn Ma’at or Justice from the Chrysalis tarot. Ma’at Is the Egyptian personification of Truth, Justice and Stability. She is the one who guards the cosmic order of the Universe. In the depiction we see a goddess who spreads her wings over the earth and all her inhabitants to shield and protect them from chaos. In the background we see the statue of a lioness. This is Sekhmet. She is a destroyer goddess as well as a protective one. She destroys the wicked and protects the righteous. Together with Ma’at she will remind us to resolve a problem or to deal with other people with caution and deliberation. Don't be too impulsive and assess the situation before you do or say something, so you won’t have any regrets afterwards. Justice and Balance isn’t  only about how we want to be treated but even more how we will treat others. This principle of reciprocity has been the topic of many writings for centuries and  it has its roots in a wide range of world cultures. We call it “The Golden rule”  which says: “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
In my opinion this ancient principle is still as valid as ever, and a sound advice to keep in mind.
be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ten of Stones - Beware of possessive behavior

Chrysalis Tarot, Ten of StonesThe Ten of Stones from the Chrysalis tarot is reminding me a bit of the Four of Pentacles. Look at this lovely, intensely satisfied figure with his beautiful crystals. He has so many of them. He is short of hands and he has to use both feet to hold on to the rest of his collection. Being so overly occupied with his prized possessions, he isn't able to go anywhere anymore. But he is chuckling to himself and is perfectly happy where he is. And I suppose he has been there for quite a while because his hair is entwined with the shrubs at either side of him and also with the Celtic decorations in the background.
The message of this card is quite clear: It is okay to be happy with your stuff, your physical routine, your work etc, as long as you stay aware of it's real value. Everything physical is here to please and support you but not to own you. Too much stuff can suffocate you. As can a too rigid health regime or the ambition for yet another promotion. We have to set our priorities straight and as long as we keep moving and changing, we can keep growing. And our hair shall blow freely in the wind J

"what you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else. but what you are will be yours forever. H.v.Dyke

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gaia – Off to meet the Empress

Chrysalis Tarot, Gaia - The EmpressGaia is the Greek personification of the Earth. She is Mother Nature, Mother Earth, and the Great Mother of us all. She is the living consciousness ; the soul of the Earth. Everything physical, everything what grows and blooms, every living creature is part of Her. She is everything and she takes care of her realm in a just, fair and loving way. When you look at the depiction you can see She creates an unbridled wealth and abundance and She loves whatever she creates (the dove in her hands)

Our five senses are the best instruments to get to know Her. Connecting with Her can be a wonderful sensual experience. Smell the flowers, the rain, and fresh baked bread, touch your loved ones, brush your hair, listen to the birds, taste some chocolate and look at your gorgeous reflection in the mirror. And while writing this last sentence I realize I am too much a swords person and am neglecting the physical part of my being. I take my health for granted and spend too much time inside behind my books and my laptop. Especially now, when I'm getting older, it is so important to keep my body strong and healthy. So enough written about Gaia. I am going to take my bike out of the shed and I am off to meet her

Today I will give extra loving attention to my physical body  to restore the balance between body, mind and heart

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Chrysalis tarot – My First reading!

Yesterday I've received my copy of the Chrysalis Tarot in the mail. I was pleasantly surprised because I’d expected it to arrive on a  much later date. In this post I am not going to write about the beautiful artwork, the warm color palette, the magical charm of the depictions, the great quality of the cardstock and the beautiful matte finish. Instead I will just jump in with a small reading! I've seen this deck on other blogs so I was prepared for the differences between this deck and the Rider-Waite system. At first I was hesitant to purchase it. Would I be open minded enough to read with this deck? When it arrived, I decided in advance I would let the deck do the talking. I wouldn't try to find similarities between this deck and the RW system, which weren't intended by the creators.
Then I drew the first card as the main characteristic of this deck: 

We see a Sun with a tear on his cheek. The Sun is a card of confidence and optimism. The keyword from the LWB is Empowerment. I think when I am going to read with this deck and let it speak to me in its own language, I can  expect a great deal of empowerment and a boost of confidence for my intuitive reading skills. Also, I feel this card  is showing me the warm and loving energy of this deck.

The next two cards are adding some more information to this reading.
The Companion:
I don’t have to do this alone. The deck has  a troupe  of guides for your journey and this King of Spirals will accompany me while exploring the Chrysalis Tarot. When I feel stuck he will show me which way to go. It seems he is a bit pushy, sometimes arrogant (fire) but that is tempered by the little laughing bird
Nine of Spirals:
The winds of change. How apt for such a new approach to tarot. New winds can be refreshing and stir things up. The keyword for this card is perseverance. So when I encounter difficulties I will  be motivated to continue working with this deck

In my opinion three great cards to sum up some of the wonderful aspects of this deck. I am looking forward reading with it and getting to know it on a more in depth level.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Painting – Reclaiming freedom!

Today I would like to share my painting with you. It is quite different than what you expect from me. Because of that it is rather daunting for me to make this post. But since the process of making this painting has given me so much pleasure and an enormous sense of freedom I  decided to take this last hurdle too.
I've started out with a simple line drawing without thinking beforehand what I wanted to draw. Because the large shapes did remind me of monsters, the last thing I did was drawing the eyes.
From there on it was a playful experience with paint, palette knifes and brushes. Is the painting finished? I don’t know. Perhaps in a few days I will add another layer. Or I might start a new one. Or I'll paint a few simultaneously. Everything goes, everything is allowed! Isn't that amazing! 

(Ps Sorry for so many pictures but otherwise I wasn't able to convey the process properly.)

Friday, June 13, 2014

The High Priestess - Finding the keyhole

My card for the day is the High Priestess from the Shadowscapes Tarot. Just like The Hermit, The High priestess is one of my most favorite cards and both of them rarely come up as my daily draw. So when I do pull one of them it feels like a special energy is visiting me.
The High Priestess is the embodiment of intuition and profound wisdom. She is the keeper of the well of knowledge and truth. A well with abysmal ink black depths where secrets safely rest, where the collective unconscious resides.
She however is free to rise up and bask herself in the radiant sunlight. An owl, her trusted companion and a symbol of wisdom, is flying with her while holding in its claws a key with a red ribbon which, unlocks many mysteries.

This particularly High Priestess looks so happy and blissful. It's like she has unraveled yet another mystery. Again this brings me back to my creative ventures. It feels like because of the experimental painting I've been doing, I've found a hidden keyhole. Something deep inside of me has been unlocked; a door has opened and it makes me so happy. I’m still working on the same painting. A few times a day I add something to it and try to figure out what my next move will be. It is like a game of chess for the soul I guess. Working on this painting is giving me the same lighthearted feeling as this Priestess must have. No pressure, no fear of failure, just enjoying  the process and following my intuition.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Five of Swords – The bitter taste of victory

Shadowscapes Tarot  Five of Swords
Today I've drawn another five card: The Five of Swords. Five is representing strife and conflict, instability and loss.
This cards is all about conflict and the drive to win at any cost. Putting your own interest first, because if we lose we have to suffer the consequences: a feeling of failure and the realization of being outwitted. But we have to ask ourselves if the victor is truly happy with his victory. How can you feel victorious if you win at the expense of others? When you look at the angel his wings and hair are white and his clothing is black. As are his two companions, the black swans. This could symbolize this intrinsic conflict in the card's meaning. Do we identify with the victor or the defeated?
This card teaches us there are always alternatives to be considered before you act and slash your sword. 

For me this card is mostly about mind games, quarrels and arguments, because it is a Swords card. Swords can be sharp and ruthless and inflicts severe wounds.  Perhaps it could be wise to broaden our horizon; to look at multiple options and opinions before we claim to be right. Ignoring this and go for victory is the easy way out, because when we try walk the middle way there will be less victory but also less defeat: there will be compromise.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Five of Wands – Don’t give up

Shadowscapes Tarot  Five of Wands
In the Five of Wands from the Shadowscapes Tarot we see a pack of foxes chasing a white hare. It is a disorderly tangle of fur. And how could it be anything else since foxes usually don’t hunt in packs. It is every fox for himself. They jump up and down, cling themselves to the wands and the red ribbons, and collide with each other. A man is trying to run up hill but the foxes are slowing him down and they are obstructing his way up.
While living our life we find numerous obstructions on our path. Mostly small ones we can either deal with or choose to ignore. But sometimes it seems like the all these conflicts and setbacks are piling up into a big overpowering wall. It is up to us to keep seeing the building blocks of this wall for what they really are. And if we are able to do this, the cement made of fear and anxiety will crumble and we will be able to tackle one problem at the time. We will find in ourselves the strength to do so. Undoubtedly this strength will grow stronger with each obstruction we've cleared away. Just like our physical strength, our spiritual strength can be trained too.

It is hot and moist in Holland. Sunny hours, rain showers and thunder and lightning are talking turns. Leaving us with a very humid weather which is slowing me down. Chores seems harder to do, and the “foxes” seem stronger. I am so happy I've taken up my drawing/ painting again. Although my floors aren't vacuumed as they should be, I do have a sense of accomplishment after I've made some marks in my sketchbook. Luckily the weather is going to be cooler this week. Fingers crossed J

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Queen of Cups – Listen to my heart

My card for today is the Queen of Cups from the Crystals Visions Tarot. This queen isn't  sitting on a throne; instead she has chosen a rock near a deep pond to meditate and reflect. From the muddy bottom of this pond Water Lilies are blooming in the moonlight. Dragonflies are flying from flower to flower. Both are symbols of emerging from the unconscious, being aware of your feelings and see them as a reliable guideline.
This queen is warm, sensitive and highly emotional. She is a gentle nurturer and empathic compassionate caregiver. Since she is rather passive (water of water) her strength lies in sharing feelings and listening to others. Don’t expect her to help you organize a party but she will be a wonderful host and make everybody feel at home.
When all her emotions get too overwhelming, she can become broody, needy and manipulative. The best she can do then is to shield herself from too much impressions, cool her feet in the water and sit there for a while with herself.
Some days I can relate to this queen but a lot but after a longer period of “Queen of Cupsiness” I get irritated with myself. Then I long for some action and to get my feet out of the water and back on the ground.
For today however it might be a good advice to listen to my  gut feelings and intuition and put my overactive logical mind to rest for a while. This might help me to be more attentive to the needs of others as well as to my own. (Somehow I keep forgetting that “Listen” is my word of the year J)
The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear” - Rumi

Monday, June 9, 2014

Eight of Pentacles - Practice increases confidence

Crystal Visions Tarot  Eight of PentaclesNo, I didn't write “practice makes perfect” because I think aiming for perfection is aiming for fear. In this Eight of Pentacles from the Crystal Visions Tarot we see a woman at her spinning wheel in the shadow of an apple tree laden with apples. I suspect she is humming because from here I can sense the peaceful flow she has entered while spinning her yarn. It looks so simple but looks can be deceiving. Spinning takes hours of practice before you can spin a fine even thread without breaking it too often. And once you've got the hang of it spinning becomes a dance between the wheel, the wool and the spinster's hands and it can be as serene as a meditation. That is what strikes me the most of this depiction: the peaceful tranquility of the scene. This is of course enhanced by the green pink and yellow colors.

Since I've picked up my art again I've been practicing daily in small bits and pieces: putting a layer of paint somewhere. Dripping some ink somewhere else, sketching little things etc. This way it will become more easy to take the leap and create something and I am practicing my skills on a daily basis which will improve them eventually. Hopefully I will be able to incorporate my art into my daily life and it will become as approachable as writing. The biggest challenge is not to create but to keep creating!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Justice - the ripple effect

Crystal Visions Tarot JusticeFor today I've drawn another Major Arcana card from the Crystal Visions Tarot: Justice. This is one of the few cards I often don’t know what to write about. It is about fairness and truth and being accountable for your actions and words. This angel of justice will make an impartial decision. She doesn’t look at her sharp edged swords which is reflecting the light of truth. She is completely focused on her scales to make sure they maintain their balance with every decision she makes. In that way I see this card as a symbol of the universal law of cause and effect, which is always just although sometimes harsh. The Universe is always seeking for balance trying to fill empty spaces. Just like this small brook at the angel's feet keeps flowing in search for  a broader riverbed.
So what does this card has to tell me today. I honestly don’t know. I drew a blank on this one. I know everything I do or say has an impact on mine as well as other’s tomorrows. Often we do not see the effect of our actions right away; it is more like a ripple effect into the future. So I will try to stay aware of what I send into the world as it will influence so many others, some of whom I probably do not even know. And one day it might even return to me, in any way whatsoever.

"When we focus our energy towards constructing a passionate, meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world, creating a beautiful ripple effect of inspiration. When one person follows a dream, tries something new or takes a daring leap, everyone nearby feels that energy, and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle."  Christine Mason Miller

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Fool – Jumping over the pitfall

For today I've drawn the Fool from the Crystal Visions Tarot. Two days ago I drew its counterpart, The Wanderer from the Wildwood Tarot as an indication of where I could find my Mojo. And as you all know, I did find it. So for today again The fool. I see this as an encouragement to continue on this playful and experimental creative journey. The woman is looking behind her at the flight of the butterflies. She doesn’t notice the she is nearly stepping off a cliff.
Does she take a leap of faith or will she be cautious for possible danger? Making art is all about taking the first step, which is a leap of faith. After that, every brushstroke or pencil line, every color tone is a choice. Making art is about making choices over and over again. Every drawing ,painting or whatever form of art you love is a fool’s adventure. And inherent there is always the danger of asking too much of yourself or taking too great a risk and “fail”. It is also an art to acknowledge failure as a lesson, how to proceed differently the next time.
Yes for me the greatest danger of this card is to be too overconfident. Often when this happens I get stuck in the process or so disappointed with the results, I will put my supplies back again in the closet for months. Though I embrace this spontaneous playful energy I will keep an eye out for potential and well known pitfalls
"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail." Edwin Land

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Chariot - Confident I’m on my way!

Crystal Visions Tarot Chariot
Today’s card is the Chariot form the Crystal Visions Tarot. As most chariot cards this one too radiates willpower, self confidence, perseverance and victory. The woman riding this chariot, is a young warrior leaving the safety of the town and castle behind her. She is holding her reins with only one hand which tells us she’s in total control over the horses, who would rather choose their own direction. One is black, the other is white as a symbol of opposing and/or conflicting emotions and ideas. But the charioteer doesn't seem to be bothered. She know where she has to go in order to be victorious. She is  also accompanied by two sharp eyed eagles who help her to make the right decisions along the way.
She does remind me of Freya riding her chariot in the sky with her two cats. She is to me also a representative of fiery strength and self confidence.
Yesterday I've gathered my strength and  I went upstairs to look at some old paintings and drawings I've made. After that I've picked up a piece of paper and only two pencils and an eraser. Nothing more. I started doodling and I felt good. It was difficult to let go of having to make a “beautiful “and finished” drawing. Finally just before dinner I've drawn a duckling. So no time to make it perfect either. I have enjoyed myself so much (humming !!!) and I was so relieved to be able to eliminate the blockage and stifle my inner critic. It was an empowering experience. I definitely feel something has shifted. J
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”.  Winnie The Pooh 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A three card spread to get my creative juices flowing

Yesterday I've come across another fabulous spread created by Beth from Little Red tarot. Her spreads are always down to earth and yet at the same time so in depth. Since I love small spreads I couldn't wait to try this one out: "How to find your Mojo back"! Maybe you haven’t noticed but the last painting I have posted here was in February and since then my inspiration and drive to visually express myself went from zero to nothing. I’ve  been writing a lot but I miss being able to just pick up a piece of paper and paint, draw or do some collage. And while writing this, I know it is my own mindset which is keeping me from creating. (eight of Swords mentality L) So finding this little spread is very timely for me. I’ve used the wildwood tarot and the cards couldn’t have been more outspoken and clear today: 
Firstly, divide your cards into majors and minors. Shuffle the two piles separately.
Draw the first card from your major pile. Then lay cards two and three from the minor pile:
1.Major: Here’s your mojo, hiding – The Wanderer
In order to find my mojo back, I will have to reconnect with my inner child, be open for adventures and new possibilities, play and have fun. Let go of fear and tread new paths with courage and an open mind; taking  a leap o faith. Oh yeah!
2.Minor: Here’s what’s getting in the way. – Four of Bows – Celebration
Although this is quite a positive card which is all about celebrating the bounty, good fortune and finished projects, this card can also warn us about the danger of feeling too secure. It is often tempting to stay in the Four of Bows energy afraid for what might come next and thus we stagnate our own creative flow.
3.Minor: Here’s your solution. Do this now! – Six of Vessels- Reunion
Remember the times when you felt you were empowered and able to create. When being in the flow was a like a second nature and revisit them and reconnect with your inner strength. l drink form the well of experience and wisdom to rediscover my inspiration and trust in my own ability to create.

So what does this mean in practical terms? I am going upstairs with a large mug of coffee to flip through some old sketchbooks and paintings and after that I am going to pick up a piece of paper and I am going to play without troubling myself with the outcome. J

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Knight of Vessels - Eel

The Wildwood Tarot  Knight of Vessels EelAfter we've chosen our path and have received the blessing of the Archer we are on our way again until we arrive at a brook in these luscious woods. Here we encounter the Knight of Vessels; the Eel. Quietly he moves through the currents of the stream and he is teaching us to move along with our emotional ups and downs without being unexpectedly washed ashore. It is a real challenge to be fully aware of our feelings and emotions and not to be overwhelmed or intimidated by them. It could be life changing if we could use them as a guiding light on our way instead of hiding them deep, deep down inside ourselves. So deep, we are tempted to deny or even forget about them. Thankful for the wise lesson of The knight of Vessels, we are following our path through the Wildwood leaving the eel to continue his personal quest on his own.
I wonder how great it would be if I could deal with my feelings and emotions like this Eel does. I used to be a great hide and seek player, for myself as for others. Putting on a mask and pretending everything is okay has been my coping mechanism for many years. Lately I've been learning to be more honest about who I am and what I feel and I've discovered that sharing does bring a sense of relief and acknowledgement, which decreases the strength of my emotional currents

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Three of Bows - Fulfillment

The Wildwood Tarot Three of Bows Fulfilment
The Hooded archer from Three of Bows (Wildwood Tarot) is welcoming us. One hand is raised like a greeting or a blessing, the other hand is holding a longbow. He is meeting us at the crossroads in the Wildwood.  In the two of Bows we had to make a decision and pass to a similar gateway, only that one was on fire. Now we are less passionate, impulsive and more internally focused. We have come a long way and can be satisfied with our achievements. But we’re not there yet. This is the time and place to take stock and find balance, in order to be able to aim and shoot our next arrows with the longbow. We see the two snakes of the Balance card on the archer's robe.The archer is standing in front of a large tree with two paths on either side of it. Which path should we choose? 
Again, just like yesterday, this card encourages us to choose. And again when we try to  listen to our intuition and make the best choice, we cannot go wrong and will not get lost. Because our life is our path and following it, living it, will bring us our deepest Fulfillment. On this path we will discover the experiences, dreams and goals we were set out to find in the first place, perhaps even without consciously knowing it. Life is all about moving forward and not about reaching a goal or a destination.
The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Moon on Water – You can’t be sure of anything

The Wildwood Tarot The Moon on Water
For today I've drawn The Moon on Water from The Wildwood Tarot. The moon is full. We see the shadows of a heron, an auroch and a flight of crows. The moon sheds her light over the marsh. It creates the illusion of a pathway. Everything seems so clear and bright in the silver light of the full moon, yet everything looks different than during the day. We fear what is hiding in the shadows and we don’t know what is hidden in this primal egg beneath the surface of the water. Just as we are apprehensive for our own unconscious; an unknown territory only accessible by our intuition, with its ambiguous messages. All these uncertainties can cause anxiety and stress. We are curious about this egg but at the same time we are fearful for what will happen if we ignite its hatching with our creative force. So often we are paralyzed, not knowing what to do. How do we ever know we make the right choice. The answer is as difficult as it is simple. We only have to make the best choice for now, see what happens and go from there; one step at the time. The most important thing is to keep going.

“To fight fear, act. To increase fear - wait, put off postpone.” David Joseph Schwartz

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Four of Vessels – Boredom or doing No-thing?

The Wildwood Tarot, Four of Vessels -  Boredom
Today we have another Card from the suit of Vessels from the Wildwood Tarot: the Four of Vessels – Boredom. When I read this caption it's giving me instantly a negative feeling. The guidebook speaks about “emotionally frozen and disconnected”. I was raised with the notion that boredom is a waste of time and energy. Maybe this card can also mean something else. In my new moon reading I've got No-Thingness as my embrace card. Isn't this exactly what this woman is doing: No-Thing. Behind her back there are two large vessels with vine like plants. They are forming an arch over the entrance of the cave. Two smaller vessels are watering these plants. The woman is paying no attention. Did she came out of this dark cave or does she has to turn around to enter it. At the moment she doesn't seem to care. She is just sitting there and doing nothing. Personally for me this is an art in itself. Doing nothing and watching the world go by. Since the Universe has a way to fill emptiness, this phase will pass eventually. She will get up and go from doing No-Thing to doing Some-Thing. But for now she needs to reassess herself. How does she feel? what does she want or need? The risk of getting up to soon and chasing after the next whim is living a life filled with restless superficial distractions. So I will practice “the art of Boredom” for a while; doing nothing, to regain my focus and some inner peace.
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows, by itself.” Zen Proverb