Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Sun – The Joy of Living

Joie De Vivre Tarot Paulina Cassidy  The SunFor this last grey and cold day of March, I’ve pulled the Sun from the Joie de Vivre Tarot.
Keywords: Enlightenment, energy, growth, vibrancy, bliss.
Drifting through the sky on a seahorse named Light, Flare carries a message of cosmic love and joy. His heart holds a flaming connection to the sun itself. With a childlike perspective, Flare's intentions are pure and his energy is vibrant.”
This got me thinking about how to find and hold on joy or a general sense of well being when things don’t go as you would like them too. I have to admit often my feelings tend to go all over the place, following the circumstances like a racehorse. Flare is riding his horse Light and wherever he goes and whatever he encounters he has a firm connection to the Sun. I guess that is the main issue. It is so easy to let go of this thin cord when we feel troubled and then we are adrift, lost in our vast ocean of emotions, negative thought patterns and repetitive sad stories. Each time we have to go find that cord again. What a waste of energy. Holding on this cord teaches us the joy of living in every circumstance.
So for day I intent to hold on to my Sun whatever happens. Mediation, prayer, gratitude, making art, writing, walking etc , are my main tools to accomplish this.

 What is your favorite way to keep your Sun close?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Pitfall of the Eight of Wands

Joie De Vivre Tarot Paulina Cassidy  eight of wands
For today I’ve drawn the Eight of Wands  from the Joie de Vivre tarot. 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."
It is  not a matter of to having no determination enough, but more a matter of feeling overwhelmed by all the things I should do, according to my own high and not always realistic standards. After two very pleasant and enjoyable Easter days, I was more than willing to stumble or perhaps rather jump in my own pitfall of long daily to-do lists with a lot of boxes to tick off.
No matter if I enjoy  them or not, a strict part of me me tells me they have to be done. Now that’s where this Eight of Wands comes in to play. Look how curious and exited Nucleus is about his life. He is enjoying his journey and all the beautiful experiences he has encountered so far and so many beautiful things are still to be discovered before he will reach, (will he ever reach??) his destination.
I have to remind myself about something I tend to forget very often: it is me who makes these lists, joins the challenges, sets the goals, plans my chores and activities. I put them there because I want them there.  It is also  up to me to take them off this list if I want to. So whatever I am going to do today, it is because it is my desire to do so and that way it will also ask a lot less energy of me than when I view them as “have to’s" and “should’s”.
Also a lovely alternative for a to-do list is a: “What have I done today list” or as Nucleus would describe it: filling in the ship's log!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

With the Four of Wands and the Seven of Wands from the Joie de Vivre Tarot, I want to wish you all a Happy Easter Sunday!

Joie de Vivre Tarot Four of Wands Seven of Wands Easter

These two cards encourage us to enjoy the celebrations with our family and friends but also they remind us to  take care of our own needs and make time for ourselves. As always balance is is everything!

Hugs Ellen

Friday, March 25, 2016

Portrait of Jesus in Oil Pastel

Yesterday I read the following journaling prompt from Journaling Sage on IG: “If you let go of expectation, what would you start doing?” And I wrote: “I would draw and paint all day long!” That was indeed an eye-opener for me. All these expectations of creating the perfect artwork prevent me from doing anything at all. It is not so much that I think I can’t draw, but more that everything I draw (or paint) has to perfect, otherwise what is the point of drawing it anyway....
Now this made me realize how much I  undermine my creative playful self by putting such high expectations on the result of my efforts. And then I picked up my oil pastels and drew a portrait of Jesus. 
Portrait Jesus oilpastel ellen k

For me a logical follow up after my renditions of Mother Mary.  He is a lot on my mind lately and for now this feels very familiar and comforting. While working on his portrait, it felt so liberating to have none of those negative thoughts. Only after I was finished these nagging voices tried to disapprove of my work. They saw so many flaws and mistakes but I was able to let everything slide and focus on the contentment and fulfillment which making this portrait has given me.
This felt remarkably strong and confident. Yes making art and to be able to be grateful for whatever you create is all that matters!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Joie de Vivre Tarot - A Recipe against Crankiness

joie de vivre tarot four of swords
Since a few days I am very quick tempered and snappish. Because M and I are now living with the two of us, she is often the victim of my irascibility. After having discussed this together and we realized  what was happening, she gave me the advice to “go find my Zen again”.
Yesterday I drew the first card on this subject, asking what I needed to get “my Zen” back  and I drew the four of Swords from the Joie de Vivre tarot. I thought I couldn’t go wrong with a gentle spring like deck like this. The four of Swords told me to calm down and relax, to put my to-do’s on the shelf and make some time to meditate. This was such an amazing experience that once more is has become a priority for me.
This morning after my meditation (two times in a little row) I asked what would help me to maintain my emotional balance and I drew... the Ten of Coins……. Lovely, couldn’t be better…. But I wanted more…. The Sun….. Oh my… should I try again or would I tempt the fates …..the Ten of Cups!!!!
Joie de Vivre Tarot Ten of Cups The Sun Ten of Coins
I don’t think it is necessary  to talk about the meaning of these three cards. It is obvious they radiate love and joy, abundance and gratitude. For me they represent heaven on earth.
With these cards in mind I am sure I will keep my Zen today.

P.S. I just noticed, while editing my pictures, the only suit that is missing today it the suit of Wands. Perhaps I am fiery enough as it is. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Art journal page with watercolors

Yesterday, I’ve created a page in my art journal: "Looking for the best part in your self", which I wanted to share with you today. 
Instead of using acrylic paints for my back ground as usual, I decided to use watercolors for the first layer of my page. Just playing around and watching the colors flow is so relaxing. You never can go wrong with that. Secondly, I used my watercolor crayons to strengthen the colors and bring more structure into the page. Then I drew the hand with oil pastels and cut it out. Together with the duckling and the other collage elements they formed the third layer. And last but not least I decorated the page with some doodles.

I had so much fun with this page.  Lately I am working in an unstitched insert in my A5 Fauxdori. (travelers notebook). The fun thing about this booklet is that I am playing on all the pages at once. Slapping some paint here and there. Pasting some bit and pieces  on several pagers and so on. Every now and then a page gets completed just like this one. 
It is a very freeing method, since you don’t have to create the perfect page anymore. You just add elements on the page which needs something extra. When you feel you're ready you’ll  stop, even if non of the pages is finished. The pages develop questions and you can return to your art journal when you’ve found a part of the answer.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Two of Cups – Mirror, mirror…

Original Rider Waite Tarot Two of Cups
My card for today is the Two of Cups from the Original Rider Waite tarot. This is the card about our relationships. Much like the Lovers but for me more about how we approach our loved ones on a daily base. In this card we see two people looking at each other and offering one and other a cup filled  with… probable lots of feelings and emotions and if we’re lucky with unconditional Love. They will except the cups without hesitation because they know and trust that what is in it will be beneficial and wholesome for the heart.
Relationships are our most profound teachers. We learn so much from the ones we love and care for. They are often like a mirror for our own feelings and  they are able to ignite dormant emotions in a split of a second. Sometimes we fight. We have to fight to resolve these unprocessed issues.  After releasing bottled up emotions like an angry or sad little child, it  is possible to start communicating on a more adult level. Only with people whom I absolutely trust, I find the courage to work through matters of the heart. And only from people whom I absolutely love, I do accept those emotional outbursts and possible conflicts. Because in these kind of relationships there is complete trust in and a profound acceptance of who we truly are.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Eight of Pentacles – Keep at it

Today’s card is the Eight of Pentacles from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. This card is all about being dedicated to what you are doing and to trying to improve your skills. If we want to get better at something we have to put in time and energy in it and most important the will to begin our practice.
Often the moments before I actually start practicing, whether it is drawing, painting, meditating exercising, you name it, I hear those nagging voices, giving me all sorts of reasons why I shouldn’t do it. Fighting these voices feels like such a waist of energy.  I wonder why we are so often set out to sabotage our own personal growth in the different areas of our life.
This morning I’ve started taking regular morning walks (again). The sun was shining, the world looked bright and fresh.  I took my camera and stepped out the front door. While walking  I noticed how nature was coming to life again. I took some pictures here and there and was contemplating my daily draw. I even noticed I was praying, giving thanks to God(dess) for the beauty of this morning. So besides getter fitter, this walk has given me so much more: some undivided attention to the world around me and the world within.
I suppose it matters a lot what your thoughts are about improving your skills. Are they strict and serious or playful and delighted for this opportunity to better ourselves? Is there room for failure and errors or do you beat yourself up about such things?
Maybe if we would change our thoughts about what we are trying to improve, the voices wouldn’t have so much effect on us and we would have more energy to put into our practice :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Tower - I am only human

The druidcraft tarot The Tower
Yesterday morning I drew The Tower from the Druidcraft Tarot as my focus card for my daily Lenormand reading.  Not the most favorable card for a daily draw. The question I derived from this card was: What will shock me and/or undermine my confidence in an abrupt way?
From the Celtic Lenormand I pulled: cross, ring and clouds. I see cross and ring as a commitment to my spirituality. All my cards together looked like a rather unsuspected and emotional test of my spiritual beliefs. Again nothing too look forward to…
The day went by and nothing happened and honestly I totally forgot all about my cards until late at night when I went to bed to read a few pages in one of the books on my tablet. 
Celtic Lenormand cross ring clouds
Since the battery was almost empty I had connected it to my brand-new charger cable. (A replacement for the one that died on me after about two weeks). I started reading and after a few seconds I noticed again the red cross in the battery icon: the G*dd*mm*t, F*ck  and Sh*t’s  broke the silence in my sleeping room. Ample moments later I noticed I hadn’t fully pushed the plug in its charging port. When I did so my battery was charging again….. And then I remembered my cards…
An electrical setback causes such emotional distress that I forgot all about my beliefs and started swearing ( which of course normally I never do!).
Often such minor events can be tracked back literally to our daily draw. Look how the lightning strikes The Tower…

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The fool - The Magic of a Fresh Outlook

The druidcraft tarot The Fool
The last couple of days I’ve been having a lot of fun with my Lenormand cards,  so for today, just like in my previous post, I have pulled one tarot card as a focus for my daily three card Lenormand spread. My tarot card  for today is The Fool from the Druidcraft Tarot.
This card is all about naivete and innocence; about seeing the world through the eyes of child with wonder and amazement, as if today is the first day of our life. So the question that came to mind was: What do I need to be open, carefree and content about? What do I need to experience today as if it was the first time?
And I pulled from the Celtic Lenormand: fox, ring and tree.
The ring stands for commitments and relationships. The Tree card tells me this is not about casual relationships but more about long standing family ties, deep rooted but often with gnarls, cracks and broken branches. And then like in all families often the fox comes around to emphasize the nasty little irritations we all have gathered over the years. 
Celtic Lenormand fox ring tree
Some even have turned into festering wounds of unmet desires and expectations. Often this says more about us than about them, so how do we shut up this deceiving inner voice who seeks out the tiny cracks and flaws in our commitments? I think if we were to look at our loved ones like we did the day we realized we loved them, everything else would be trifling and meaningless…

So this morning I have visited my husband and we had a very pleasant get together indeed. I will also try to  keep this message in mind when I address M and my mother today. I suspect it will make all the difference.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Sun - Finding Peace

Druidcraft Tarot The Sun
Today’s card is the Sun from the Druidcraft Tarot. We see a boy riding a horse on a summer's day. The sun is directly behind his head so we can only see its rays. This card is about everything joyful and happy we can think of.  It's also about confidence and vitality, about having the courage to put yourself and your talents out there,  so everyone can see how magnificent you truly are. But too often we don’t; feel like this and we are tempted to chase this illusive happiness in the outer world. We buy things, we eat things and yes they do make us happy, for a while, and then we have to hunt for more.
So my question for the Celtic Lenormand was: where to find a more lasting joy and I was quite surprised by the cards I pulled:

Lily + Cross + bear

Celtic Lenormand lily cross bear
In the center there is the cross; for me the card of spiritual beliefs and faith. In this context I see the lily as a symbol of harmony and inner peace. The bear is all about strength and courage and standing up for who you are and what you believe. These cards tell me that instead of chasing  happiness, I should turn inside to my spiritual beliefs and find there the inner peace and strength to bask in that sunlight which is a beautiful symbol of the Divine light shining from without and within every moment of our life. (whether we are aware of it or not)

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New moon in March

For this New Moon I've drawn two cards as usual. The first one for the energy I am going to release and the second one for the energy which is beneficial for me to embrace. From the Raven’s Prophecy Tarot I pulled:
Release – The High Priestess
In this depiction of the High priestess we see a hand holding  a mirror, which doesn’t reflect her face but a clouded sky. She holds her secrets within. She is all about the silent inner journey into the hidden parts of ourselves. But not for me this lunation. It is time to look at life itself; Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Holding my mirror, I might forget there is so much to enjoy  in the outer world.
Embrace – The Knight of Cups
Mmm not the Knight I had expected, but I suspect we’ll get along just fine. The Knight of Cups is represented by feather adorned with ribbons. They will dance in every breeze they'll catch. Being present with my feelings is quite a challenge of me.  Making heartfelt decisions as well. Having been stalked by Swords for  a long time, the Knight of Cups feels as a soothing balm for my mind. He will inspire me to seek out beauty in the world around me and create colorful pages in my journals. He will inspire me to find the inner peace to enjoy music and novels. Yes, he and I are going on a quest for love, beauty and making dreams come true!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Eight of Swords and Five of Cups – Finding a way out

Shadowscapes Tarot, Eight of Swords  Stephanie Pui-Mun LawToday’s card is the eight of Swords from the Shadowscapes tarot. “Not again! ”(Deep sigh).
This card is all about being held captive by our own limiting and condescending thoughts. Although I do love working with his deck a lot, I have to admit I get a bit tired of all the swords it is handing me out. I think I do get the message now: I need to be more in though with my feelings in order to be able to move on from this plight. In this card we see how a little tiny colorful bird is showing the magnificent white swan the way out of the brambles.
For advice on how to free myself I thought I’d pick another deck; perhaps one less prone to present me a Sword card. I chose the Wild Unknown Tarot and the card I got was the Five of Cups:
I immediately was reminded of Eeyore the donkey, friend of Winnie the Pooh, who has a “always look on the dark side of life” demeanor.  So the ability to step out of the Eight of Swords situation it is not about being  more in touch with your feelings because our Eeyore knows all about that.
This card also want us to look up and this time to our five cups filled with things to be grateful for. Lifting your head up is an active conscious decision. Whether it is to God, to our higher self, to the abundance in our life or to the sun, I believe if we choose peace and acceptance over misery we may not be happy right away but it is a much better place to be that fighting to get out of a desperate situation while being sorry for ourselves.
And maybe, just maybe this challenging situation might be the door to something beautiful
"I'd look on the bright side, if I could find one." –Eeyore .

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Truth calls for change

Today’s cards are “Listening for Truth” from the Sacred Rebels Oracle and a card from Soulcards 2.
Sacred Rebels Oracle, Listening for Truth, Soulcards 2
“Listening for Truth” is about being open to hear the Truth beyond words. Words can be so misleading, even for the most seasoned and empathetic listener. Rather listen to your intuition, who always is in perfect alignment with your inner truth and you higher self. Listen to the movement of your feelings and the colors painted behind the words. Listen to the currents of you deepest knowing and the whispering of your soul.
Why then do we so often hear that undeniable strong and loud: NO! I don’t want to know! The person in Soulcards 2 averts his head and pushes the Truth away with all his might.
In my opinion it is not because we so afraid of discovering the truth and neither are we scared to be vulnerable because those are things we can hide on the inside; keep away from others. No the most scary part of listening to our truth is that we are asked to act upon it and action brings change.
We are often so much more afraid of change than of knowing the truth.

“we can’t change the truth, but the truth can change us”

Friday, March 4, 2016

Three card daily spread with the Shadowscapes Tarot

For today I want do a three card daily spread with The Shadowscapes Tarot. This deck is currently almost the only tarot deck I work with. Each time I pull my cards from this deck, I am amazed by how the message it conveyed with such a gentle and kind energy. Even the more difficult subjects, although never avoided, are so cautiously approached.
For my spread the positions are as follows:
1 The general energy of the day
2 The challenge of the day
3 The gift of today
Shadowscapes Tarot Three of Cups Nine of Wands Knight of Swords
1 The energy of the day – Three of Cups.
Many of you know that this is the card which for me resembles me and my girls: How we interact, how we laugh and cry together and yes often quarrel together too. But we always return to our small circle of love. Each of us bringing a filled cup to the brim of our own special flavored drink and mixing it together to something quite delicious and extraordinary.
But  S doesn’t live here anymore. Of course I do think about her often but seeing this card made it a bit sour. And then this morning she called me to invite me to have coffee together at her place which was good and we talked and laughed as usual. Both my girls live in my heart so where ever I am we will always be the Three of Cups.
2 The challenge of the day – Nine of Wands
This cards challenges me to not to expect the worst. Of course there is nothing wrong to have some strength in reserve but for me today there is no need to be extra vigilant. And worrying about what might happen only drains me from the strength I do have.
3 Gift of today –Knight of Sword
My gift is to be able to speak my mind if necessary and to know when to be silent. Since he is my gift I interpret him more positively than usual. So no conflicts today!