Wednesday, August 31, 2016

When art has a mind of its own

A few days ago I wanted to play in my artjournal and this time I felt like making something abstract: no pretty faces or flowers or even a jumping dolphin. I just wanted to get  some colors on the page and maybe add few marks. Everything about this page would be playful and intuitive. So I started to paint with hues of red, yellow, orange and brown.  

After the first few layers had dried, I noticed the shape of a cloak behind a tree and immediately all my intentions with this page where gone, like dust in the wind. The painting took my hand and guided me into a darkening autumnal forest where a little girl and her dolly came across  a cloaked woman with a lantern in her hand. .. I added some oil pastels to enhance the shapes which were eager to be found.

Then the only thing to do was to add some details and this is the final result:

Although I really enjoyed working on this page, the next one might be an abstract. But then again nothing is certain when you start playing in your  artjournal

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ehwaz and the Nine of Wands – Don’t let your past define you

Today’s rune is Ehwaz, which means horse and it stands for cooperation and loyalty, as well as for movement and progress or maybe even a combination of the these two aspects. For today I wanted to know how to  get going again after feeling a bit out of sorts due to the extreme heat and humidity here. I want to do so many things but it is so hard to really get anything done. 
To answer to this question I pulled the Nine of Wands. Often I see this guy as a defender and a warrior. Someone who doesn’t give up and will fight for the cause, although he might get hurt or overburdened in the process.  I’ve been there, done that and I’ve learned the hard way this isn’t always a  healthy attitude. I also notice he is turning his wounded head to the eight wands behind him his as if he is defined by his past experiences.  This might cause fear or recklessness or it might even render him immobile. 
The Deviant Moon card is highlighting the incapability to move. This figure is  sitting on the stairs with his head down and he is not even holding his ninth wand. A possible answer to this problem can be found in the Nine of Fire from the Gaian Tarot. In this card we are encouraged to stay in the here and now and  to acknowledge our past experiences but  not to  let ourselves be hindered by them in any way. By telling and retelling our story, our great deeds and challenges, we might color the present moment in ways that will prohibit to enfold our full potential. The Gaian tarot guidebook talks about the benefit of a spiritual practice which of course I fully agree with but which I am not putting into practice lately.
So for today I will begin (again) with a  daily meditation and gratitude practice. And I will not let my previous lack of success to maintain my practice taint this new beginning!

“Each morning we are born again.  What we do today is what matters most.” - Buddha 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Seven of Wands – A time to clear out the Dead Wood

For today I pulled the Seven of Wands from the Original Rider Waite Tarot and I picked its counterparts from the Wildwood Tarot and The Wild Unknown Tarot. 
Seven of Wands Original Rider Waite Tarot, The Wild Unknown Tarot, Wildwood Tarot
When I pulled this card, the first thing that came to mind was of course “standing up for your beliefs” but when I saw the other two cards, I was reminded of how some of us (including myself), struggle with too many creative idea’s, passions and whatever keeps our heart and soul occupied. That got me thinking about the concept of pruning. After the Summer our garden looks a bit like a jungle. Some of our plants, like the Wisteria, even grow offshoots which almost strangle you when you walk past them. But if you want to have flowers and the next year you have to master the art of pruning. Prune too much and the plant will wither and die, too little and all its energy will go to maintaining all the excess branches and leaves instead of growing new flowers. In short we have to prune our non viable ideas (for now) to give room to our most  passionate desire to come to fruition. And perhaps maybe you will be amazed by how rich and luscious your creative talents will grow and develop.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” Steve Jobs

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Moving from Summer to Fall with The Sun in my heart

By know, I suppose you all know I am not fan of Summer. In the beginning of this week it looked like Summer was finally over. Temperatures had dropped quite significantly and it was pouring all day long. Love it!! Drinking coffee, knitting socks and listening to the falling rain… I don’t need much to make me happy.
But nothing is as unpredictable than the weather and since Wednesday it is sweltering hot again. And so I asked how to overcome my disappointment about this and I pulled three cards:
1 How does this weather make me feel? – Ten of Swords.
Now that is exactly how I feel: defeated, self pitying , complaining about how hot it is, not being able to do anything physically active, depressed, you name it, I feel it.  I want to stop this so badly because it is preventing me from enjoying my day. So let’s see what I can look forward to, which might cheer me up a bit
2 What will Autumn bring me? – The Ace of Cups
And that I exactly how I feel about Autumn! An abundance of feelings of happiness, gratitude and Love is flowing from this beautiful Cup. Autumn is indeed a gift from God(dess), a time to enjoy the bounty of the harvest.
3 How do I move forward until the wheel turns to my favorite season? – The Sun
O my Goodness! There he is: the Sun, blistering hot but with a smile on his face. “Come outside and play” he seems to call to me. The Sun stands for joy, happiness and a for zest for life. I could use some of that for sure. So I think I have to stand up, get rid of those swords in my back and walk towards the rising sun in the Ten of Swords. No more complaining today. I want to finish this blogpost and that will be the beginning of a joyful day because I choose it to be so. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

“The Beauty of Letting go” tarot spread

A few days ago I came across a small but powerful tarot spread on IG. It is called “The Beauty of Letting go” tarot spread (from Arcane Mysteries) and yesterday I tried it for myself, using the Original Rider Waite tarot:
1 What must I let of? Queen of Swords. 
Now that was a major disappointment to begin with. How could I release the Queen I identify the most with but then I realized she is can also be the embodiment of my less positive traits:
I see her sitting on her throne, all high and mighty. She is been through a lot and it only has made her stronger and more willed to survive. She will make sure her people won’t have to go through any of her own ordeals so she is determined to advise them and guide them even push them into the “right” direction.
Yes I can relate to that: The hovering mother, the meddling mother, the know it all mother. At least I can acknowledge these parts of me and that will be the first step of letting them go
2 What will I gain and accomplish as result of this release? Ten of Wands
No, I don’t think I will get overburdened by this. Rather I feel this card means that I can lay down all these self imposed responsibilities and lift up my head to see the beauty of the clear blue sky and enjoy life as is comes without the burden of having to control everything and everybody. So I will lay down these ten wands and stroll leisurely to that lovely little house in the distance. There I will pour myself a cup of freshly brewed coffee and dwell some more on the liberated feeling of letting go.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Page of Pentacles and Jera – the beauty of our daily life

Page of Pentacles Original Rider Waite Tarot Runes Jera
My rune for today is Jera which means year, harvest and cycle and it got me thinking about how we often complain of the tediousness of our day to day life. Each day ,each week, each month, with its same chores, the same social obligations and the same boredom. Yes, life can be like that too. The turning of the year teaches us there is a time sow and a time to reap. We are now entering the reaping phase of the year and people will be turning more inward soon. It will be Christmas before you know it. Sometimes the inevitability of these cycles can make me feel a bit tired and dulled. So what attitude can be helpful if we feel like this? I pulled the Page of Pentacles. Notice how he is situated in farmland, which is the perfect metaphor for cycles and seasons. He is holding his Pentacle in his hand and he is examining it as if he has never seen a Pentacle before. And I suppose there lies his secret. He is amazed by every aspect of this Pentacle: how it shines brightly in the sunlight, how it feels smoothly in his hands and imagine all the things you can do with this magnificent Pentacle.
Maybe if we would start out our day with the intent to find beauty in the common things. Look at the world through the eyes of a child (a Page) and let the world surprise you again and again and again. It might even be fun to journal you daily discoveries!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Kenaz and the Eight of Wands - Let’s built a fire

My rune for today is Ken or Kenaz, which means Fire or Torch and thus it stands for all things related to fire , both literally and metaphorically. So not only for a sense of security and warmth and of comfort and safety, for home and hearth but also for enthusiasm and fervor, cleansing, inspiration, creativity and confidence. Since fire sheds its light in the dark it also stands for wisdom and knowledge. A whole spectrum of  meanings for such a little rune. So I asked my cards: “what do I need to keep my fire going” and I got, don’t laugh, the Eight of Wands, which I immediately interpreted as kindling wood. But not the ordinary kind, the dry sticks which we can buy in large amounts in stores like Home depot. No, these wands come flying straight to you when you need them the most to keep you inner flame alive. These eight wands carry inspiration, new idea’s and  a change of wind to feed your fire with Spirit’s breath.
Often when our fire is nothing more than a pile of embers these  wands seem to come out of the blue like a Grand surprise and once our bonfire is burning high, we can decide to jump over it, take the leap and live life to the fullest again

Friday, August 19, 2016

Soulcards and Laguz – Don't keep the lid on

laguz Soulcards 2 Six of Pentacles Deviant moon tarot, Wildwood tarot, Original Rider Waite tarot

My Rune for today is Laguz, meaning water or lake. This is the rune of feelings and emotions, of the unconscious and of the hidden and unknown. Combined with this Soulcard from Soulcards 2 it is obvious how unhealthy it is to bottle up feelings and emotions and to keep them under a heavy lid. One way or another they will always find a way to surface and always when you’ll expect it the least.  This intense screaming inside will hurt us so much more then expressing our troubling feelings when they arise. Sometimes our cover can be so strong and impenetrable, it might even be possible we cannot hear our own soul screaming. But what if we do hear it, what to do about it?
And then I pulled the Six of Pentacles from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. The first thing that came to mind was asking for help to someone we trust. Because obviously  we are left with little to give like in the Six of Pentacles of the Wildwood tarot. The card from the Deviant Moon Tarot advises me to keep some of my time and resources for myself when others come to ask for my help after I have recuperated from this emotional tidal wave . My initial response is always give, give, give and that’s okay as long as I don’t exploit myself.
Today after a very busy morning and afternoon I am claiming some space and time for myself to do the things I love most… and maybe take a peek under that lid…

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Soulcards and Runes – A perfect Match

Even though I didn’t intent to blog today, I had to write this post because my daily draw was definitely worth writing about.
Soul cards 2 , Nauthiz Rune
For today I’ve used my runes and Soulcards 2.  Since the  two Soulcard decks don’t come with any keywords or guidebook, they can sometimes be a tiny bit overwhelming if you don’t have a specific question to ask. And I don’t know about you but I don’t have that many urgent questions early in the morning. So I thought I would be a good idea to let my runes decide the subject or question for my daily Soulcard and I pulled Nauthiz – need
So my question was: What do I need today”; what is an absolute necessity to make the most out of this day?” and I pulled my Soulcard and what a gorgeous card this is. Immediately words and phrases come to mind: creative fire,  Earth Mother, Queen of Wands, instinctual, listen to your intuition,  Brigid,  don’t gestate but give birth, embrace you feminine power, her sacral chakra and third eye are on fire….
I love it how she is actually on fire but she doesn’t get burned. It is the fire of creative encouragement, of inspirational power
For me today it means, I did write this post, I drew a picture of her in my tarot journal and I am going to  finish my Art journal page from yesterday… and… I have meditated this morning since I don’t know how long ago.

Have a fiery day everybody!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

King of Pentacles – Our Pater Familias came to the party

Today’s card is the King of Pentacles from the Original Rider Waite Tarot, the Wild Unknown Tarot and the Wildwood Tarot. He is the patriarch, the provider and the defender of the family. He is strong, confident, skillful and  just. The perfect leader of his pack or herd.
King of Pentacles Original Rider Waite Tarot Wildwood tarot Wild unknown Tarot
For me not always an easy court card to interpret but for today it reminds me of my dad. “Family comes first” was his credo. He has worked his whole life hard to provide for us and after he had retired he could find joy in the simple pleasures of life: coffee, a walk, good book etc.  Yesterday it was M. her birthday and although he isn’t with us anymore in a way he was very present. Somehow it started when in the morning I gave M a kiss to congratulate her with her birthday. Suddenly I saw such a strong resemblance of my dad in her, which I’d never seen before because she is the spitting image of my mother and me. Throughout the day, when other family members arrived,  we kept seeing other family resemblances in one another. Some of us who were always compared to my mom suddenly also looked like my dad or vice versa but one way or another my dad was always part of the conversation. The King of Pentacles from the Original Rider Waite Tarot is connected to the earth by an overgrowth of winding and binding vines. This symbolizes today for me my dad is always with us; connected to us through his Love for us and his  Dna in us. And if  miss him we only have to look in our heart for him or the mirror

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Emperor and the Nine of Pentacles - Practice makes… Happy

the emperor the nine of pentacle original rider waite tarot
Yesterday I’ve pulled two cards from the Rider Wait tarot for my daily draw. One to answer the question: what is preventing me from experiencing creative freedom and the next would be telling me what my gift would be if I could embrace this freedom, which is already within me, waiting to be found.
The first card, the challenging one, was The Emperor. Look at him sitting there in his armor on his concrete throne. If he would only look behind him, he would notice the mountains, symbolizing the blocks he is experiencing. But no, he just sits there being high and mighty and if he would sit there much longer I think his armor would immobilize him because of the thick layers of rust.  The Emperor in this position is rigid and controlling and is certainly not in the mood for a  playful and open minded approach of making of art.
If I would discover my creative freedom my gift would be the Nine of Pentacles: a feeling a success. fulfillment, happiness and tremendous self-worth. This card is a perfect follow up of the Eight of Pentacles, where we see a guy practicing his skills.
Together these two cards have influenced me enormously yesterday. First I went to the gym because I knew I had to get out of my chair and out of my head and that I had to start moving. Then after a refreshing shower I picked up my watercolors and painted a part of the Nine of Pentacles in my Tarot journal. That was a big step for me. Instead of writing a blogpost about it (the wish of The Emperor) I also painted a Sunflower which was so much fun to do. Sometimes it feels like I have to open the floodgate to my creativity, which can be so heavy and is sometimes almost nearly impossible to do but when it is open creating feels like the most natural thing to do and it makes me so very happy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

My artjournal page is done!

The Magicians from last Monday got some help from three Queen of Wands yesterday to persuade me to finish my artjournal page. I was inspired to create this page by a free workshop,“Art Journal Wisdom” from Connie Solera over at Dirty Footprints studio
On day three, “ Get It Out, Get It Down”  she invites you to write down everything what prevents you to create; your fears, your not being good enough and not having time enough; just write it down anything that comes to mind.
Then tear it up in little unreadable pieces and paste it on the page and paint over it. Use it as an extra layer in your art work. And so I did. I hid my fears under thick layers of earthy colors: good riddance! But to my surprise they’ve found a way out. In the distance a Vulcano is  erupting fire and brimstone. Apparently Fear of Failure can’t be suppressed and neither can any other emotion. So the woman is sitting there quietly and watching everything the volcano spits out, acknowledging every piece of fire and lava as parts of herself.
After the layers of paint I stopped working on it, not knowing what to do next but I was certain it wasn’t  finished yet. Today I created a final layer of oil pastel to enhance the shapes and colors of the painting. And now it is done!

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Magician - On your mark, get set, go!

My card for today is The Magician from the Original Rider Waite Tarot. Since I am participating in the Tarotperspective Experience on IG,  I pulled the Magician card also from the Wild Unknown Tarot and the Wildwood Tarot in order to deepen my understanding of this card.
the Magician Original rider waite tarot Wild unknown tarot Wildwood tarot

What stands out almost immediately is the motionless posture of the three Magicians. It is almost  as if they are waiting for the signal to come into action. And when I am writing this, I realize it is me who needs to give the starting shot: steady ready go!
Then this big wild strong wildcat will run towards whatever his mind is focused on, the magician will channel the energy from above to whatever he wants to manifest in his life and the Shaman will share his knowledge how to travel into your inner realms to heal what needs to be healed in order to move on
I like how the tree Magicians each has his own expertise and how together they build such a more in depth description of this archetype.
For me today he urges me to get going and move forward toward the things that make me happy and feel confident. Beside knitting socks I have an art journal page to finish which I was putting off again and again. Getting back into artjournaling is really a magical experience. I never know what will happen if I put my first layers of paint on the  page. Most of the times it unfolds effortlessly and I just have to follow along, which is so relaxing. How strange that I keep myself from enjoying this practice so often

Anyway the Magician has get me going again, so next post will be my finished art journal page!