Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ace of Swords and Eight of Coins - Chop wood and carry water

My card for today is the Ace of Swords; a card of clarity and bright ideas and also in this version: reaching for the light within, which is in my opinion a way to enlightenment. Finding your most inner truth can feel like being reborn. Often it is a simple truth, one which you knew all along but never fully understood. Something like mindfulness or the power of breath or knowing we’re  always connected to everything.
This is the season I  always feel very drawn to go within and search for truth there but I also know Autumn, even though I adore it so much, is the season during which I am more susceptible to downhearted feelings and thoughts. So I asked my deck, how do I keep myself from over thinking and trying too hard to discover my truth, my spark, my guiding light and what will prevent me from feeling depressed when I don't find it (yet)
And I pulled: The Eight of Coins.
Seeing these two cards together, I was instantly reminded of the Zen proverb:
"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
This card’s advice is to ground myself in my daily activities, cleaning my house, making dinner, watering my plants, knitting etc. All these activities occupy the mind just enough to keep it from wandering all over the place and they allow us to enter the present moment in a relaxed state of mind. It is doesn’t matter what you do but how you do it. Every activity can transcend from a boring and time consuming chore into an act of gratitude and grace. Not the activity itself has to change but the way we do things.
One more thing: often when I am busy with my daily “chores” I get the best idea’s. Something I think bright idea’s don’t want to be found because maybe they rather find us…

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Sun - How to get real

Since yesterday I have been thinking a lot about how to become more authentic and true to who I really am. This was brought about by several events during the day: reading Carolyn’s post about the Inner Child, reaching the chapter about Authenticity in  “The gifts of imperfection” by Brene Brown and becoming painfully aware of my “obligation” to be creative.
All this is strongly encouraging me to find out what it is I really want, as opposed to what I think I should want. Life can be so much more than ticking of boxes, even if they represent enjoyable activities.
 I have to admit I do find it a bit scary; maybe I don’t want to know what I really want or who I really am but then again I don’t like this feeling either.  
One thing which is in my opinion crucial to touch on this deeper layer is to live more mindfully and to make a full stop when a choice has to be made. This way we have the time to listen to our inner wisdom and to our inner child. I strongly belief that both of them are beyond pleasing and pretending.
Also I think tarot can be a great tool to trigger deeper buried desires and needs, especially when you read  the cards purely intuitively. So I have pulled two cards for today:
Raven's Prophecy Tarot Queen of Wands
What do I think I want? Queen of Wands
I think I want to be a passionate, outgoing, confident and creative woman. I want to speak up and to be heard. I want to be unafraid of failure as well as of success. I want tot breath fire with my words. 
As lovely and juicy this all may  sound maybe this is not really who I am at this moment and also not who I aspire to be for now.
What do I really want? The Sun
I do like the become more self aware and to shed some light over the shadowy parts of my personality. My inner child seems to be in dire need of some sunshine lately. I want to learn more about who I am and to see this as the beginning of a journey within, which will bring me more wisdom, joy and happiness than pretending to be something I am not. Also I want to keep safe everything I learn along the way safe and protect it from old habitual thinking patterns. So I will keep the light of the Sun close to my heart and let it illuminate my way.

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are” Brene Brown

Monday, September 26, 2016

Three card daily draw with the Raven’s Prophecy tarot

For today I’ve done a three card spread for my daily draw with The Raven’s Prophecy tarot. Although I have this deck for almost a year now, this is the first time I am working with more intensely and I enjoy this deck so much. The simple yet very skillful drawings are highly evocative. They are conveying their message very clearly and with little room for doubt.
For my spread the positions are as follows:
Raven's Prophecy Tarot Ace of Wands Knight of Wands Two of Wands
Well this seems like it is going to be a wandsy kind of day. What stands out for me in this reading is the fiery sword of the Knight of Wands between the Ace of Wands and the Two of Wands as if the Knight is somehow trying to prevent the sequence of the suit to continue….
1 The general energy of the day – Ace of Wands
This ace is all about creativity and enthusiasm. Yes after a good night’s sleep I feel like the Page of Wands from Yesterday is ready to roll. This card is about beginning and not worrying if you will complete your project in a perfect manner. Just start and enjoy the process
2 The challenge of the day – Knight of Wands
It feels like he is not letting me do my thing: play, make  mess and go for it. The knight of Wands in a challenging position can be about doing all your chores before you are permitted to do anything fun. He is also about doubting your ability to create and he is scared to fail. He will act busy so no one will notice he is actually procrastinating out of fear
3 The gift of today – Two of Wands
Being aware of the power of the Knight I will be able to bring my idea into the next phase. Building up my painting layer by layer after creating the initial playful background. This card is urging me to apply structure and direction to my work. Head and heart are coming together in The Two of Wands and are joining their forces

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Page of Wands – be mindful of the little sparks

This morning we have been on family chestnut hunt in a beautiful nearby park.  The perfect place to welcome Fall into our land. Lots of huge old trees, a pond, and loads of chestnuts. Each autumn they give me that giddy childlike feeling of wanting them all!!.
raven's prophecy tarot

When we returned home I was very tired, not only from this morning but last week was a busy week as well. So I wasn’t surprised when I drew this particularly Page of Wands from the Ravens prophecy tarot. This Page is depicted as a lit match in the dark and immediately I heard the song: "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine" . This spark of fire, with so little fuel to keep on burning has to be protected and shielded from draft and wind at all cause. It might go out any moment.  But when I am able to protect this little match, it might also be the start of a crackling hearth fire.
For now any idea or new project which comes to mind I will jot down in my journal for another day. I will not lose it to fatigue or lack of enthusiasm. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

My cards for the Autumn Equinox

For this year’s Autumn spread I’ve used the Ravens Prophecy Tarot. This deck is quite the opposite of the Tarot of the Hidden Realm because while that deck is mostly about people and faces, this deck is all about symbolism. I was surprised by the amount of Court cards I got in this reading but fortunately it was easy to relate  to them.
By the way, getting reacquainted with my  Autumnal decks after so long, makes me very happy! It feels like coming home: warm, cozy,  familiar but also completely new. 
raven's prophecy tarot
What have I sown? The World:
The potential to become and achieve whatever I want and cope with whatever comes my way
What have I reaped? The Queen of Wands:
I feel so much more confident to express myself in words and images and I’ve learned that art is not only something I like to do but maybe even more a way of taking care of myself. It feeds and fulfills my soul. I always feel so much better after I’ve created something.
What should I be thankful for? The Queen of Coins
I am grateful for taking better care of my body and I am also grateful to be able to be a caring mother not only for my family but most of the time for myself as well. 
Where do I still need to focus my efforts? The King of Cups
I would like to try to really listen what others have to say; at least give them a chance to let them finish their sentence. Also I think it is important to  become more aware of my own emotional currents.  
How can I achieve balance? The page of Swords
I need to find clarity in all aspects of my life especially about my emotional well being and for me the best way to do this is journal, journal, journal!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What does royalty have to say about workouts?

Now Autumn has finally begun this year, it is time to hit the gym again. To be honest, during this heat wave I wasn’t really up to it. When I haven’t exercised in a while,it is always a bit hard for me to pick it up again and to keep at it. Excuses seem to pop up from everywhere: too hot, too tired, too busy, or I just don’t feel like it, but eventually I went. While I was walking on the tread mill, I was thinking about what the Tarot might have to say about exercising. Immediately I saw four young Pages running around the gym, trying out the equipment. They didn't pay me any attention, let alone have the time to talk to me. So I directed my thoughts to the Queens and asked them why I should work out regularly, even if I don’t really feel like it:
Legacy of the Divine Tarot Queen of Wands, Queen Of Cups, Queen of Swords, Queen of Pentacles
Queen of Wands: "Girl, it is the perfect way to keep your energy levels up and set you ablaze. Feel how your heart is pumping the red blood through your veins! You will be fired up to seize the day!"
Queen of Cups: "Ah my dear, working out will most definitely reduce your stress levels and make you feel so much more calm and relaxed. Breath in and out and produce those endorphins!"
Queen of Swords: "My dear lady, nothing is more effective to clear your mind from worrying and depressing thoughts than to work up a sweat. The most ingenious ideas will come to you when you are physically active."
Queen of Pentacles: "Oh sweetie, what can I add  to  this sincere advice. Exercising is a gift to your body, which is just as precious as your spirit, your soul and your mind. Treat it well and it will serve you accordingly and don’t forget to eat healthy too."

Well that settles it: Working out will be an priority on my weekly to-do list!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Three of Wands - Bloom where you're rooted

Today’s card is the Three of Wands from the Tarot of the Hidden Realm.  
Tarot of the Hidden Realm Three of Wands  Tarot of the Hidden Realm  Page of Wands
A lovely couple with their new born child is depicted in this card. They’ve made a commitment to each other and they chose to stick with it for better and for worse. Their love for eachother and their hope for the future have brought a new life into this world. Their lives will never be the same but they are okay with that because this little baby will give them Love and Joy and so much more than they ever dreamed of.
I tend to read cards mostly as a mirror of my soul, so for today I see all three of them as aspects of myself. At the beginning of my adult life, like many of us,  I started to make life changing choices and with each choice I made, other options were ruled out. Little by little my path seems to have less forks in the road and mostly I am okay with that. I mean, I don’t mind that I can’t climb the Mount Everest nor do I miss milking my cows at four o’clock in the morning. I think you get the idea. The older we get the more settled we are becoming and the more rooted we get in our way of life.
Then there is this child, which represents the fruits of our labor, our goals and our passions. How do  I love this child: my children, my paintings, the home I’ve build for my family and my love for them and last but not least the becoming of me.
When I asked the cards to tell me a bit more about this child, I had to laugh because I pulled the Page of Wands. This little child is growing up so fast and he is getting stronger too. He is becoming more and more self aware and comfortable with who he is. He is curious, active and optimistic and loves to learn new things. A lovely guide  for when I want to play some more in my art journal to try out some new techniques  or maybe for when I want to do something completely different than what I'm used to....

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ace of Pentacles, Eight of Swords - Two creatures are walking in the forest

Tarot of the Hidden Realm  Ace of Pentacles  Tarot of the Hidden Realm  Eight of Wands
Two creatures are walking quietly in a dark forest. Each following their own path:
A warrior woman with her crow is carefully putting one foot before the other, expecting to be ambushed any moment from now. Behind every tree there  could be lurking a potential and ruthless enemy. There is only one way forward and there is no room for mistakes, because she knows that the tiniest mistake could be paid for with her life.
A hedgehog is scurrying between the rustling leaves, acorns and other autumnal seeds and fruits. The hedgehog is grateful for these small gifts from Mother Nature and while enjoying his meal he is always keeping an eye out for signals of danger. But he is not afraid. He knows he is more than capable to protect himself and so he strolls further over the crunching leaves without worrying about the sniffing and chewing and all the little noises he makes.

Two creatures are walking in the forest; Who are you or maybe  you are a bit of both?

(Ace of Pentacles and Eight of Swords from the Tarot of The Hidden Realm)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Eight of Wands and Fortune Faery - The Difference between Wanting and Wishing

My cards for today are Eight of Wands and Fortune Faery from the Tarot of the Hidden Realm. 
Tarot of the Hidden Realm Eight of Wands  Tarot of the Hidden Realm  Fortune Faery

In the Eight of Wands we see a highly skilled and focused young woman who is about to release her arrow towards her goal. She also has a lot of arrows in the quiver on her back; so many more goals to aim for. This card often urges me to list what I want to do in the time coming and today it got me thinking about what I want to do when Autumn will finally arrive here:
Learn how to knit toe-up socks, practice how to sketch quickly without an eraser, bake an Apple pie with the apples from our tree, go back to the gym, get acquainted with some of my decks on a deeper level and journal  more with them, clean my house, wearing long trousers, work with oil pastels…..
After I had written down a lot of wants and needs, I drew a card to find out if I hadn’t forgot something essential and I got the Fortune Faery. A little girl is about to blow on a dandelion puff and let her wish roam free on its little seeds.
She asked me: “You have so many wants, but what do you wish for?” And I was silent.
There is a great difference between wanting and wishing. Wanting is about things which are grounded in reality and which we are able to obtain if we direct our energy towards it. But wishing is more ethereal and fleeting. What we wish for is often not likely to happen but we can always hope and have faith it might happen one day.
Maybe I am afraid to wish because I don’t want feel disappointed. Or I am to pragmatic to believe in wishes coming true. Or maybe I am utterly content with where I am right now. This post will not provide me with an answer but it does stir up some serious food for thought.

"If you want to something, don't just wish for it. Life is too short to wait.” Stephen Hines

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Celtic lenormand – How to survive the last week of Summer?

For my daily draw I’ve used the Celtic Lenormand by Chloe McCracken and Will Worthington. First I’ve shuffled my deck thoroughly and then I searched for the sun card to represent the intense heat of this week. Then I picked up the two cards on either side of the sun, asking how to get through this week as good as possible.
And I drew: anchor + house and birds +letter:
Lenormand is sometimes such a blunt and direct tool and can tell you exactly what you already know. As if it is telling you: “why do you bother me with  trivial questions with such obvious answers! I am capable of so much more." And maybe it is right; I do tend to forget this tool when I need guidance for something. I also notice that I often return to the same decks and forget others entirely. And I do believe each system and each deck has its own individual quirks and qualities so this is a good reminder pay some more attention to my neglected decks. But I digress so let’s look at the cards: 
Anchor and house. 
Stay at home, especially during the hottest hours of the day.
Birds and letter
Write a blogpost, journal, phone a friend and talk with M about daily fun stuff and don’t start complaining  about how hot it is.
Anchor and letter
In Dutch we have a saying: “Who writes will remain” so I will take this as an encouragement to journal more elaborated this week. When it is so hot I tend to skip the juicy details and keep my entries more concised.
House and birds
Social gatherings at home. You're all invited! :D

Saturday, September 10, 2016

To have Faith in the Process

Today’s card is “Faith in the Process” from the Sacred Rebels Oracle by Alana Fairchild. My first thought was about how we have to have faith in ourselves when we want to bring about change; change in ourselves or in our circumstances. It often depends on how much confidence we have and how much willpower and inner strength we can muster if we are going to be able to fight our battles and be victorious in the end. 
But then I realized the woman was sitting on her knees in that little cart: hands folded, head bowed and praying. This card is not about our ego’s managing it all by itself . No, it is about when we are at our wits end how hard we try, nothing is changing at all. This card is about believing in something more than our ego. It is about trusting that all things can work together for the good of us. This can be very difficult to grasp, especially when when we seem to be stuck in some downward spiral or when we find ourselves lost in the desert of our souls. There and then is when we learn about Faith. In those desperate times we bend our head and we find relieve in knowing we don’t have to go through all of this on our own. It can be God/dess, it can be Spirit or your Higher self, or any other force who can lift you up, set you on your feet again and encourages you to move own. Yes sometimes we just need Someone to pull our cart a little further, just over that bump in the road. Maybe the best part of this experience is that we might remember to have faith also during the good times.

“Faith is seeing light with your heart when all you eyes can see it darkness.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

Temperance – The gentle approach

Today’s Card is Temperance from the Original Rider Waite Tarot and with this card we continue to explore how to find balance between opposites. In the background we see a road leading into the mountains. Because of this I like to assign this card also to Middle Way as it was taught by Buddha. He said that The Middle Way was a manner of living life in a balance, and avoiding extremes  and knowing our boundaries and limitations.
It is funny because while I drew this card I was wondering how I could better manage my online and other distractive screen activities. I was expecting something like the strict King of Swords or maybe even The Devil or The Tower but no, an angel came to me to encourage me to find inner peace and harmony so that I wouldn’t crave this digital refuge so much. Because that is what it is for me: escaping from the here and now, so I won’t have to deal with the scary stuff like writing, drawing, knitting, meditating, etc. When I spend my time behind a digital screen I can tell myself I don’t have time for anything else. The advice of Temperance so the opposite of how I would try to cut down my screen time myself. So no strict schedules or alarm bells are required. because by finding harmony I won’t crave it anymore but I can enjoy it and so I will find a natural balance in my activities. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Jera and Soulcards 1 - Inner balancing Act

Soulcards 1 Jera runesToday’s rune is Jera (year, cycle, harvest) and I was wondering what cyclical movement I needed to embrace and accept more.
From Soulcards 1 I pulled a card to give me an answer to this question. In this card we see a man en a woman standing back to back and holding each other by the hand. (Look how they almost resemble the rune itself). With their free hand they seem to welcome whatever comes their way. Together they are strong and firmly rooted in day to day’s life. Like The Lovers this card can represent a loving and supportive relationship with another person but for me today it is all about “Me Myself and I”. I wonder what part of me strengthens me, supports me and grounds me and how I should embrace this part more and let it into my daily life instead of ignoring it and underestimating its value. It feels like this card has to do with finding the balance between my masculine and feminine aspects, my Yin and my Yang. Like the turning of the seasons is based on the in and out breath of nature so are my Animus and Anima dancing around and with each other in a continuous movement of push and pull, to try to find an inner balance and to maintain it as good as possible.. For me it is also reminder to view the Divine as a integration of both these aspects. Nothing is complete without its counterpart and so we all keep searching, time and again for that which makes us whole.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Four of Swords - Doing nothing is sometimes the best thing to do

For today I got the Four of Swords from the Wild Unknown Tarot. A little lamb is resting, while four swords are hanging above him. On the place of his third eye a light is shining brightly. He seems like he is not afraid of those swords. He knows he has to turn inward to access his mental strength and clarity in order to cope with them before they might strike and wound him severely.
For me these Swords symbolize my reaction to Saturday’s Skeleton card. I thought I had overcome the challenge it represents a long time ago but now it strikes back and I have to deal with it again. Parts of me need to get some more meat on the bones, made stronger and less vulnerable. My initial reaction to all of this was: let’s handle this quickly; put a kiss and a bandage on the sore spot and move on. But after given it some more thought I knew this skeleton needed more gentleness, nurturing love and time to heal this time around. So my card for today is about giving myself the time to do nothing about all of this and just sit with the notion of feeling vulnerable and being okay with it. No more hiding behind a clever and fierce appearance but really trying to connect with this part of me and then I hope a true and more lasting light will begin to shine from within. Only then healing this part of me might have some more long-term results.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

A reading about energy-efficiency

Today is a bit of a Blah day. I don’t have much energy to do the things  I wanted to do. And those were fun things and not something like household chores. I even went to the gym to turn this downhearted feeling  around.  I did enjoy it but it did not have the result I aimed for so I decided to dedicate my daily draw to this dull and dreary Saturday.
The Hermit The wild Unknown Tarot Soulcards 2 Kenaz runes

My rune Kenaz told me there was something I needed to pay attention to, since this is the rune of fire, knowledge and clarity.  From Soulcards 2 I pulled a skeleton with an aura of yellow and red. It almost seemed like this skeleton was screaming in my head:  “Don’t you see, I am bone tired!” and I said: “You certainly don’t look that way, because you put a façade of knowing it all and being able to cope with everything  which comes your way!
Oops, that’s me all over. This perfectly ties back to my New Moon reading of September 1 and my ongoing quest to feel good. Today I realize (again) that  I don’t have to be creatively and intellectually  active  all the time. So what to do about it? And  I pulled the Hermit from the Wild Unknown Tarot. Ah, It is permitted by the cards to be tired and to take some essential me time, so I don’t have to do anything  but everything is permitted. I do hope that next time I feel like this, I don’t need The Hermit  to tell it is okay to be tired

N.B. Look how the flame is now protected in the lamp. It still shines brightly but It can’t be put out very easily anymore.  This is a much more energy-efficient way to illuminate yourself and everyone around you. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Three of Pentacles and Perthro - Creative soul searching

Today’s Rune is Perthro (cup) which  is all about mystery, the unknown, the womb and wisdom . So I asked for my daily draw: "How can I dig deeper into my subconscious to  illuminate my soul; to find wisdom there, which will guide  me on my path?" 
And I got the three of Pentacles. I had hoped I would pull The Hermit but no, no hiding for me in my room today. The Three of  Pentacles is my Creativity card. And what would be better to explore my soul than through some intuitive painting or free flow writing. I’ve just recently experienced how my art is able to unlock parts me without my initial intent. But this card is about more than locking myself away with my paint and journals. It is also about sharing my art and my writing with other people and be open to their opinions. Over the years  I’ve added  the insights from so many different people to my own magical cup of wisdom….
And just now I realize I’ve started this blog almost three years ago. I’ve learned so much from all of you! So to all my readers I want to say: 
Thank you for your wisdom, your encouragement, your kindness and your friendship. It means so much to me. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

New Moon in September - Gratitude can be found in every situation

For today I’ve chosen to work with the Goddess tarot by Kriss Waldherr. Maybe this choice of deck is influenced by the large amount of red and orange in my last Art journal page or, which I think is more likely, I felt in need of some serious motherly energy. Although my  cards did not feel like motherly cuddles and hugs, they did offer me some clear advice for the coming month:
Ace of Cups Fortune Lakshmi Goddess Tarot Kris Waldherr
Release - Ace of Cups
A difficult card in this position. Why should I want to release a potential of Love and Creativity. But then it hit me. It is my clinging to this Ace which I need to release. The urge to feel happy , joyful and creative all the time. Sometimes its feel like I am on ongoing quest to feel good.  And even that can become a exhausting burden. So to let go of this Ace will make room for life to flow more effortlessly and fluently.
Embrace - Fortune  Lakshmi
Lakshmi is a Hindu goddess of abundance, wealth, prosperity both in the material and spiritual field. At first glance you might think why should you have to release that lovely Ace if this is your embrace card? Receiving Abundance and spiritual wisdom is not related to feeling happy or loved. The abundance of life is bestowed to us not matter how we feel. It is up to us to discover this Fortune in every situation of our life and when we find it to be grateful for it. In doing so our hearts will be more open to receive Love and Creativity. So when we are able to let go of the  Ace of Cups, it will return to us naturally.