Saturday, January 31, 2015

Brat Bride update

I've just hung my Brat Bride in a shrub in our back garden. It felt very special to perform this little ritual. The sky was clear so the moon was visible which added  a little extra touch of magic to it.

Brat Bride

M was so kind to take a picture of my Brat Bride with her DSLR camera.

A Brat Bride Tarot spread

On the evening of January 31, the day before the Feast of Brigid, women in Ireland put a piece of cloth  on a shrub or hedge and left it  outside all night. This is the Brat Bride. The piece of cloth symbolized the mantle of Brigid, a Celtic goddess who brings healing and protection.
The dew and perhaps the snow that falls on the night of January 31, is Brigid’s and has healing properties  for body and soul. The cloth was kept throughout the year in a special place and came out when someone was sick as a tangible prayer for healing.

Brigid, Brat Bride, cloak .Imbolc Altar,  Gaian Tarot, The Empress, The Teacher. Seven of Earth

I’ve made my own version of the Brat Bride of a white handkerchief which I decorated with a little clover charm to give it a Celtic touch
I’ve done the following  three card tarot reading  with the Gaian tarot to put my intent into it before putting it outside this evening

1: What is my wish to imbed in my cloth?

The Gardener. What an apt card for this reading  since Brigid is the Goddess of creativity.  The wish I imprint in this cloth is to express my creativity freely and abundantly.

2: In what reoccurring situation, is it beneficial for me to call Brigid for help?

Whenever I feel insecure if I am on the right path, I can call on her for guidance and wisdom

3: How is Brigid’s healing dew offering me help and guidance during the year?

She will teach me to be patient and to see nature as a metaphor of the Divine. Nature is our most precious healer so it will be very beneficial to my health to go outside and find God(dess)

Dedicate the cloth with these words 

(they will transform your reading in a kind of tarot spell/intention):
I dedicate my Brat Bride to Creative Freedom. (name the wish, card 1).
I call on Brigid for help when I feel lost (the situation, card 2).
The healing dew Brigid offers me will help me by developing  patience and reconnecting with nature...... (card 3).
Tonight I will lay down my cloth on a shrub in our garden and be patient……

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Hiccup in my Solitary Tarot Challenge and the Elder of Earth

As you all know I've been participating in the Solitary Tarot and Oracle challenge by Raecine from Owlmoon513. The deck I had chosen was the Chrysalis Tarot. I was under the impression the challenge would take four weeks and honestly it was  about time to start playing with my other decks again.  Although I do love this deck, I don’t think it is a deck to use all the time. A bit too many wings and butterflies. I needed to put my feet back on the ground.  So just in time my Gaian tarot had  arrived and I was set and ready to start working with it. Then yesterday I saw the last video of the challenge: there was going to be a week five! I just didn’t want to spend another week with the Chrysalis since I already had decided we should take a break for a while. So what to do?
I decided I would finish this challenge with my new deck. Being so eager to explore it, this attitude could be very helpful to do the last assignment for this challenge:  After doing shadow work and (re)discovering new parts of ourselves, now we have to learn to be true to who we really are and how to follow our bliss.
With our daily draws we will be focusing on empowerment. It is convenient that in the guidebook for every card there is an affirmation to be found

Gaian Tarot Elder of Earth Joanna Colbert
So for today I' drew the Elder of Earth.
A woman is spinning in the orchard. She is clearly enjoying herself  with this meditative activity.  She doesn't  need to watch her hands. They know what to do. Her focus is constantly on the quality of yarn, so it will be strong yet soft and even. The deer represents the gentleness of this elder.  She is living a simple life of abundance and gratitude. She is at peace with her place in this world. She is working her magic into her daily chores. Making them special and revered. This Elder knows her true wealth is to be enjoyed moment by moment.
This is far out one of the most empowering cards I could get. This Elder is living part of my dream: living a self-sufficient  life on a farm. Selling homemade goods, baking my own bread, growing my own vegetables. It is a long forgotten dream but it still lingers somewhere inside…
maybe I should finish my knitting project. For me this also a relaxing activity much like spinning.
Affirmation: “I spin a prosperous and abundant life for myself and those I love.”J.Colbert

Thursday, January 29, 2015

My copy of the Gaian tarot has arrived!

Yesterday I've received the Gaian Tarot  in the mail. This is a deck which  was off and on my wish list for years. I already had the Foolsdog app of this deck but in the end  that wasn't  it for me.  

The Gaian Tarot Joanna Colbert

A few weeks ago I decided to finally purchase a physical copy for myself and was deeply disappointed when I learned it (the Llewellyn edition) was out of print. 
There and then I decided to let it go and not obsess about any further.  But a few days ago I found myself searching the net again for this deck and  to my great surprise I found a Dutch Publisher who still had a one copy in stock. Without any delay I made the purchase and now I am ever so glad to have The Gaian tarot in my collection. It is a welcome counterbalance to all the more whimsical decks I have. It reads very intuitively which I like and it has a soft nurturing feel to it. For me it is a grounding deck after having read with the Chrysalis tarot for whole month now.

Gaian Tarot Seven of Earth Joanna Colbert
Today’s card is the Seven of Earth. Well it couldn't be more grounding than this. We see a woman planting a young sapling in the soil of a large forest. She is holding the root ball carefully in her hands and with her smile she is giving the young tree the confidence to grow.
Growing a tree needs patience; a lot of patience just a some of our other projects do. Not always we get the results we want and when we want them. Sometimes we just have to work slow and steadily towards our goal. Often life is not about our pass but more about Nature’s and Spirit’s pass.
When we learn to take pleasure in daily progress and in taking baby steps  then we can be grateful for each new leaf of our sapling, for each millimeter growth in length and or thickness.
Just before I wanted to upload this post I got the feeling this woman was adding her precious new deck to her collection with the intention of growing a solid and deep relationship with it. J
Affirmation: “ I trust that my efforts are growing to fruition in their own good time” J. Colbert

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mixed media collage: Brigid’s Fire

Yesterday I have finished a mixed media collage which shows my interpretation of Brigid, goddess of Fire and Inspiration. Here she is faceless and fiery, caring for her eternal flame with nurturing attention, She inspires me to rekindle my own fire and start creating again.... 

Mixed Media Brigid Fire Inspiration

The quote says: "From a small spark comes often a big fire"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shadow work and preparing for Imbolc

The last week of the Solitary Tarot and Oracle challenge is all about shadow work. And to be honest at first I wasn't excited about that at all. As soon as I heard Reacine mentioning the theme of this last week my I burst out  a whole repertoire of excuses: it is not the season to do this kind of exercises, my deck is far to sunny, I know my shadow part already, I don’t want/need to know my shadow parts, first I have to watch YouTube video or read blogs about shadow work etc. All these excuses were born out of fear and anxiety for the unknown.
And then I pulled the Four of Stones which summarized  how I felt perfectly: in the doorway to my path which will lead me to self-awareness is standing a huge heavy chest filled with blocking attitudes and false assumptions of safety. So reluctantly I've started with the last week of my challenge: I am dipping my toes in to shadow work. Since this is all rather too personal to blog about, I thought I’d show you my altar for Imbolc. 

Altar Imbolc Brigid Creativity

The goddess statue is a thrift store find from last week. When I saw her I immediately knew I had to take her home. I love that she is not overly detailed so I can see in her many aspects of the Goddess. For now she is Bridget to me. Lately I feel very drawn to the creative part of The Divine; to seek inspiration. A few days ago I was trying to write some poetry when I remembered that Brigid is the goddess of fire and inspiration and yes even of poetry. I thought it was fitting she would be my focal point for Imbolc.
Slowly the earth is waking up for Springtime and I feel it is time for me to open myself up to her energy too and allow myself  to be playful and creative. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Eight of Scrolls – Illusion

Chrysalis Eight of Scrolls Illusion  Holly SierraFor today I've drawn the Eight of Scrolls (Swords), from the Chrysalis Tarot. A far less glooming depiction than we find on a more Rider Waite based Eight of Swords. Here we see an Egyptian visionary with her Crystal ball gazing at eight pieces of shredded scroll.  She is hovering over a camel in the desert, a symbol a endurance.
This camel makes you wonder, how long you have been carrying your obstructing, fragmented stories through your emotional desert. With each step they alter, cause for more fear, anxiety, stress and illusions. Because most of the time we tend to fill in the gaps with negative self talk, worries and doom. This card urges you to enter the tent of the visionary, where she will guide you to gather the pieces and with focus and heartfelt intent and to see  the content of the entire scroll for what it really is. 
This is like a bucket of water for the camel; a relief, a moment of rest, of freedom and letting go. 
Then the visionary gives you a new blank scroll to write down your story, so whenever you doubt or are tempted to add preconceived notions and misinterpretation you can write down what you really know to be true
Today I am going to I consciously check if my thoughts and assumptions, are based on truth or illusions and journal about it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Storyteller is giving me back my dreams

Yesterday I drew the Four of Scrolls, just as the day before, as a reminder to try to stop worrying about things I cannot change. Since I had drawn this card already for my Solitary Tarot Challenge I pulled another card with the question how to accomplish this and I got the Storyteller, The Hermit of the Chrysalis Tarot. 
Chrysalis Tarot Four of Scrolls Recollection, Storyteller The Hermit, Ravens The Magician, Holly Sierra
She is a wise old crone, a healer and a shapeshifter. She announces the need for introspection. In a previous post about The Storyteller, I've mentioned her ability to tell you the stories you need to hear, to share truth, wisdom and healing through ancient tales. But she is also a gatherer of stories; our stories. She asks you to confide in her, to tell her our worries, secrets and desires. When we are invited to share our story, our dreams, we have to turn inward to find them. By giving them words and thoughts they can be elevated to our consciousness.
I've been thinking/fretting a lot about  pursuing my dreams and goals lately, somehow afraid I had forgotten all about them but this morning I realized I haven’t been doing so bad at all. When I was meditating I found myself lying down on a bed of withered leaves from last autumn. I felt  weary of life and just wanted to sleep when an old crone passed by and stopped to sit down beside me leaning against a big old tree. She asked me to tell her what a was wrong and to share my dreams with her and when I did,  I realized that all the dreams of my youth had come true one way or the other. Life has way of adjusting and disguising them but in their core they were still my dreams. We only need to look more closely. Before she left she swept aside some of the leaves with her hand and there was a tiny green sprout from a very brave Crocus  All and all it really  was an empowering meditative journey.
Later this morning I pulled my card for the day and I got the Ravens (the Magician) These Ravens are called Hugin and Munin and they are Odin’s ravens. They are playing with pearls which stand for synchronicity. They live in the upper branches of the Tree of Life and today I cannot help but wonder if they have overheard me talking to the Storyteller and came to confirm I can trust my own instincts to make things happen according to my intention and my dreams.
P.S. did  I already tell you I adore this deck???? J

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Two of Stones – Trust

Chrysalis Tarot Two of Stones Trust Holly Sierra
Today’s card is the Two of Stones (Pentacles) from the Chrysalis Tarot. We see a bear considering if he is able to move to the next rock. The situation looks dangerous but the bear, just awake from his winter sleep, feels the need to search for food. The ice in the river is melting and spring is waiting just around the corner. We see the bear scouting the area, thinking: “Is it safe? Am I strong enough to make the leap? After being in hibernation that long we can assume he might be a bit uncertain and wobbly on his feet. It is crucial he remains firmly grounded and surefooted before he makes any attempt. And above all he has to trust himself. When you feel insecure you are likely to make mistakes or freeze and do nothing
So often we balance between opposing energies. Not knowing which way to go. Only after we've first turned inward to find our strength and confidence we can trust ourselves to make the right decision

Today I promise myself to breath before I jump!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Queen of Stones - The Artiste

Imagine my surprise when today I pulled The Artiste – The Queen of Stones (Pentacles) from the Chrysalis Tarot. She represents the creative impulse of imagination and intuition. This is an impulse I am always trying to feel and learning/practicing how to work with.
She is the fourth Queen I've pulled during The Solitary Tarot Challenge. A few day ago I've got Gaia – The Empress. So this Queen completed the full ranks of female royals I've got for my daily draws.
When I read what the LWB had to say about her  I was even more amazed:
The artiste paints your path through a tranquil grove of ash trees. A butterfly watches the process of transforming blank canvas into glorious reality, a metaphor for your personal journey…. You’ll find yourself immediately drawn to her as she charts your progress with brush strokes of wise and sensible advice
I could not think of anything to add to this. How beautiful does this Queen link to my Spiritual Journey Spread. Together these four Queens and their Empress unlock hidden doorways to new opportunities  new ways of thinking and they open up windows to let in a fresh breeze.
I am so grateful I chose to participate in this challenge.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Spiritual Journey Reading with The Chrysalis Tarot (II)

Today I wanted to share the Tarot reading which I did last night. It was very special to lay out the cards in a self created spread. Interpreting the reading took a bit longer than usual because thoughts and feelings were changing over time. Finally this is what I came up with:

Spiritual Journey Tarot Spread - Chrysalis Tarot.

1 Right now I am here; this is my current situation: The Pilgrim – Page of Scrolls

I am a seeker of  truth. Always reading and learning, but kind of lost along the way. I carry a lot of baggage, not sure what to bring along and what to discard. Always searching for a more beautiful butterfly

2 Where do I come from? Herne the Hunter – The Chariot

Willpower and strength has brought me here. Determination to succeed has made me hopeful.

3 Where do I want to go? Nine of Scrolls

I want to conquer my fears; to unnerve them with my mind. I want to let go of my worries and anxieties! 

4 Where does God(dess) want me to go? Moon – The Moon

To  my inner core where fears are born, To connect with my intuition and to dare to embrace  my shadowy parts in the light of the Moon. This way I will gradually become whole. This is such a different process than deciding not to be afraid anymore. (3) And it is God(dess) (The Moon) who will embrace me when I am stranded on an island and don’t know which way to go.

5 What is blocking me, holding me back? The Watcher – Queen of Mirrors

This card was a bit confusing. How could my most favorite card block me. Maybe it could be a warning not to become to dependent and/or fixated on the archetype of The Watcher; Trying too much to be like her and when I cannot succeed this could result in feelings of in disappointment, failure and insecurity

6 What is helping me on the way? Six of Stones

Of course: Practicing Loving Kindness! Giving love to others and to myself. Not just feeling love and meditate about it but showing it in so many various ways. And besides that, also trying to accept the gift of love from others too. Taking care for and loving one and other is the most nourishing and strengthening practice one can think of.  The Tree of Life show us everything is connected

7 An encouraging nudge from God(dess) Five of Spirals

By a fierce Dragon I am chased from my hiding place; out of the darkness into the light of the Crescent  Moon. Stop my inner struggling and do something! This feels a bit more pressing than a nudge though! J

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Spiritual Journey Tarot Spread (I)

Last week Raecine from Ownlmoon513 asked us, as part of the Solitary Tarot and Oracle challenge, to create a personal spread tailored to yourself and your deck. That would be a first for me, so I found it rather intimidating to come up with such a spread. She suggested we should use at least 5 cards and you all know how I feel about large spreads J
The Chrysalis Tarot is a rather spiritual deck which in my opinion would call for a spread of a similar nature. Since I often struggle with my own spirituality and relation to and connection with the divine I thought it would be a good idea to create a spread around this subject.
Spiritual Journey Tarot SpreadThis is what I came up with: 

My Spiritual Journey Spread
  1. Right now I am here; this is my current situation
  2. Where do I come from?
  3. Where do I want to go?
  4. Where does God(dess) want me to go? ( it could be useful to compare position three and four.
  5. What is blocking me, holding me back?
  6. What is helping me on the way?
  7. An encouraging nudge from God(dess)
Tonight I am going to try this spread with the Chrysalis Tarot. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments or perhaps your own experience with this spread

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Queen of Spirals - The Muse

Chrysalis Tarot The Muse, Queen of Spirals, Queen of Wands, Holly SierraToday’s card is the Queen of Spirals (Wands): Yes another Queen has come to me today! This Queen is a perfect example of how “The Troupe” aka the court cards in the Chrysalis Tarot are not always similar to their Rider Waite Counterparts. Usually we experience the Queen of Wands as the fiery, extrovert and passionate queen; our go to archetype in need of courage, confidence and creative drive. 
The Queen of Spirals however is much more gentle and she approaches you with care and softness. This is highlighted by her spirit animal; a fawn. Just like this fawn she comes silently and if you try to catch her she gone in an instant. And look how she holds her hand to calm and reassure you. She is your inspiration. Whenever you are doubting and feeling insecure, she whispers softly in your ear or give you a slight nudge in the right direction. She is your stream of consciousness, your intuition. She knows what you need even better than yourself.
Whenever you write, paint, dream, sing or whatever creative outlet you prefer, she is there to wake up your inner wisdom and to let it come into being; on the paper, in the words, as a vision…..
This is what she has in common with her more fiery sisters: She inspires…..

"Often the Muse will not respond to direct and logical requests. She must be lured in with the playful and gentle. (Jill Badonsky)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Journaling about The Queen of Scrolls - The Weaver

Chrysalis Tarot The Weaver, Queen of Scrolls, Queen of Swords, Holly SierraFor today’s daily draw I've pulled the Weaver – The Queen of Scrolls,  aka the Queen of Swords, from the Chrysalis Tarot, my deck for the Solitary Tarot Challenge.
I thought it might be fun to show you how I do my journaling about a daily draw. This is slightly different and less cohesive than writing a blogpost.
First I pour myself  a cup of coffee  and then I start shuffling the deck. I don’t have a particularly way of shuffling. I just shuffle until I think it is enough. One thing though, I tend to smell my deck a few times between the shuffling. I store most of my cards with a small scented pillow or some incense, so smelling the cards makes me feel relaxed and is very comforting.
Then I pull my card and start writing whatever comes to mind:

“Yes! Another Queen!! How I love all my Queens of Swords so much. I can identify with them on such a deep level. And this one is particularly kind and lovely….
Purple is peaceful, conscious, serene and wise. Scrolls stand for idea’s words, stories, knowledge, intelligence, reason
This Queen is a weaver. She weaves her yarn into an image. With her words she weaves stories, parables, lessons, life itself. With her mind she weaves solutions and idea’s, truth and knowledge.
She invites me to come closer and to look at her weave and learn from her. She is waiting to share her wisdom and teach me.
This card radiates a peaceful serenity. Her cat is sleeping; snoring lightly.
The heft is a given fact but with the waft she is creatively filling up the open spaces in between. This way I can solve my problems, take on challenges and process knowledge.
When my basket is filled with all sorts of yarn, my possibilities on this loom are endless.
This idea fills me with peace and strengthens my confidence” 

These lose scribbles are  straight from my journal (except just a few more personal ones). It is not much but enough for a daily draw. After jotting down my notes I read the corresponding chapter from the LWB for additional explanations and interpretations.
I sincerely hope this way I can keep up with the challenge, which I am enjoying so very much. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Wolf Moon in January – Seven of Stones

Chrysalis Tarot Seven of Stones regret Holly SierraThe Full Moon in January is often  called the Wolf Moon. This name originates from America. During the winter  wolves would come very near  the villages of the Native Americans and howled. They were hungry because there was so much snow and finding food was extremely difficult. Therefore, the villagers called the full moon in January: The Wolf Moon.
Question for  a daily draw: What am I hungry for? And I pulled the Seven of Stones from the Chrysalis Tarot.
The keyword for this card is Regret. Well that is not what I am hungry for but I see this card as the very moment this girl has enough of her own wallowing in too many regrets. This is the moment she is considering to put her pan flute to her lips and blow a cheerful tune. Sometimes enough is enough and all you can do is accept the past because there is nothing you can do to change it. Try to embrace its lessons and continue to follow your path; step by step, day by day.
So I am hungry for following this river to wherever it may lead me; I am hungry for the flow of life without these stagnating blocks of guilt and regret. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Solitary Tarot Challenge: So far so good!

It is just the third day of the new year but I wanted to give you a quick update about The Solitary Tarot Challenge, which I am so excited about. 
creativity Solitary Tarot Challenge Owlmoon

Each morning I draw a tarot card from my Chrysalis tarot deck and immediately I start  jotting down the thoughts  and feelings this card is giving me. There is no right or wrong; everything goes . It is all about listening to your intuition. Although I blog about my cards I haven’t been journaling about them for myself and I must say this is such a comforting thing to do. It is just me and my journal and of course a mug filled with my morning coffee.
Chrysalis tarot Five of Stones aquarelThe first three cards have made me realize how long it has been since I've drawn or painted something and how I miss doing this. Facing my fears, I picked up my pencil and made a quick little sketch of the Five of Stones, one of my daily draws and added a touch of watercolor to it. Doing this was very relaxing and it made me so happy
So I thought I would share my enthusiasm for this challenge because it has brought me already a lot in just three days  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year - Solitary Tarot Challenge

Chrysalis Tarot The Watcher, Queen of Mirrors, Queen of Cups, Holly SierraFirst let me start of this blogpost by wishing everybody a wonderful, joyous and creative 2015!
I think most of you are just as excited as I am to leave the festivities (which have been really good this year) behind us and start a whole fresh new year with an abundance of chances and possibilities
To underline this feeling  I've started The Solitary Tarot/Oracle Challenge from Owlmoon513. This is mainly a challenge for people who want to use their cards as a tool for  spiritual development. She will upload a video every week with some exercises and to share her own experiences
Her advice is to chose one deck  for this challenge which you are particularly drawn to or maybe a deck you want to get to know  better.
I’ve chosen The Chrysalis Tarot. Although I love this deck which I consider truly a work of art, so much, I still struggle with the different imagery and symbolism compared to a Rider Waite themed deck. As a supportive tool I’ve bought the  corresponding app from Foolsdog . That way I will have a quick access to the deck wherever I am and I can record my daily draws with the LWB interpretations in the journal which comes as an extra feature in this app. My more personal thoughts and feelings will be written in my regular tarot journal.
The card I've chosen from my physical deck for myself today is my favorite card: The Watcher, The Queen of Mirrors. I see her as my guide on this journey with this deck. You can guess my surprise when the first card I pulled from my app was: The Watcher! J