Blog, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Yule

Happy Yule! Nice to see everyone’s doing okay after the alpacalypse. πŸ™‚ This is the last blog hop of the year. Yule (also the Winter Solstice) brings about the shortest day of the year. This is a time when we’re taught to look within and find the light that can sustain us while the sun grows brighter. We huddle around the fire and share our gifts and stories and presents. This blog hop is wrangled by Alison Cross and I welcome everyone who joined in from Alison Coal’s blog.

Alison Cross asked us to write our thoughts about Christmas Present, in whatever incarnation we think Present means. In my personal winter tradition, I’ve been sick so it’s been hard to figure out what “Christmas Present” means to me. So I decided to see what the tarot had to say for me.

I pulled out my trusty tarot deck and asked the cards, What does Christmas Present mean to me? And wouldn’t you know it, two cards fell out while I shuffled: the Knight of Cups and The Chariot.

Knight of Cups from Rider Waite Smith (Dover edition)
Knight of Cups from Rider Waite Smith (Dover edition)

On the traditional Rider Waite Smith card, the Knight of Cups holds out a cup, almost like he’s extending a present to another. When we give of ourselves or give things to others, we are learning to control and deal with emotions. Therefore, Christmas Present for me is showing love towards others as I want to be loved by them or by myself.

The Chariot from the Rider Waite Smith deck (Dover edition)
The Chariot from the Rider Waite Smith deck (Dover edition)

The Chariot, like the knight, is a fast moving card. Both cards are actively seeking out a perspective of learning or doing. Where the Knight of Cups seeks to master emotions through sharing gifts, The Chariot seeks the greater understanding found in the universe. Therefore, The Chariot represents Christmas Present to me by reminding me of the greater good that comes during this period of darkness. It reminds me that while things seem to be moving rather fast, it’s okay to pause and look around and enjoy what I think the true meaning of the season is.

What is everyone else doing for Yule? What does your Christmas Present mean to you? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you for visiting my house on this dark Yule morning. To continue on with the Tarot Blog Hpp, please visit Chloe McCracken’s site.

Blog, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Samhain

Blessed Samhain everyone. This is a holiday of connecting with our ancestors, the ones who have gone before us; of facing our fears and our darker sides; and of divination. It’s a misty, dark autumn morning as I type this. This blog hop is wrangled by Amethyst and I welcome those who have arrived here from the lovely RoseRed Robinson’s blog, one of my favorite tarot peeps.

For this blog hop Amethyst asked us to: “Explore your Shadow side. What aspects of yourself do you feel like you have to keep hidden? Sometimes this takes form of hiding our magical selves from the β€œnormal” world. If Harry Potter taught us anything, it is that we must hide from the Muggles.” This is a pertinent topic for me as I feel like I am riding the waves in my Shadow side. Everyone has a shadow side, whether you recognize it or not. It’s those darker aspects of yourself… the things that make you worry, fear, and just want to hide from everything.

In perfect Samhain tradition, I’m using my Zombie Tarot deck for this post. It’s a great deck for exploring the shadow side without feeling like you’re drowning in it. And I love zombies. For this blog hop, I pulled a few cards that relate to the following questions.

The Chariot from the Zombie Tarot
The Chariot from the Zombie Tarot

What mask does my my Shadow side wear right now?
The Chariot. This card shows a 1950s style hearse that has been modified to have a double barrel machine gun. The driver shoots a pistol at an unknown shambler. While his companion fires the guns. A coffin hangs halfway out of the back. Dead zombies lay all around. This is a card of escape! Of running away from the things want to hurt me. The shadow side haunts me, cutting off all my escape routes. I fight back standing still, wasting ammo, and running around without at plan.

Six of Hazards from The Zombie Tarot
The 6 of Hazards from the Zombie Tarot

What message does my Shadow side have for me right now?
Six of Hazards (aka Pentacles). This card shows a human wearing a lab coat, dangling a human brain at the end of handmade fishing pole. A chained zombie pushes a lawnmower towards a plot of grass. This card warns of the price of rewards. My shadow side tells me that while giving myself pats on the back in the forms of gifts, those gifts may be doing more harm to me. They may add weight to my body, or make it so that any progress on my creative works may always require that proverbial carrot. In the end, I need to be a human, not the zombie.

Eight of Swords from the Zombie Tarot
Eight of Swords from the Zombie Tarot

What must be done to move out of the dark and into the light?
Eight of Swords. In this card, we see a ribcage prison holding a heart, lungs, an upside down brain, and a human man crouched at the chicken wire fence holding him in. A sword, his salvation, lies just outside the wire, stopping him from getting free. This is an offering. In order for me to move forward from feeling trapped to my Shadow side, I must first stop combating it. I should sit still, meditate. For only within the stillness can I see that I am not really trapped. That I can lift the wire boundary off the ground and crawl my way to freedom and safety from the zombies.

What are you doing to face the Shadow side of yourself for Samhain? Please let me know in the comments below. Thank you for visiting my house on this dark Samhain eve. To continue on with the Tarot Blog Hpp, please visit Mary’s Harmonic Spirit blog.

Blog, Essays, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Mabon

photo 2007 by me. Portland Japanese Gardens
Autumn Leaves at the Japanese Gardens (photo from 2007 by me)

Blessed Mabon. I’d like to welcome all the visitors from Donna Faber’s lovely website. Mabon, also known as the Fall Equinox, is a time of rebalancing our energies. We thank the world and summer for giving us a hearty bounty. We also acknowledge the time to rediscover and balance the light and darkness that can be within us. And apparently… it’s a good time to make mead.

In this blog hop, Aisling the Bard, charged us to discover:

Of all the cards in the Tarot, of all the spreads you may use, of all the meanings and significances of relationships between cards, which to you most truly bespeaks the Power of Transformation? What is the crux of your Search for the Hidden God, your Mabon Mystery, that power which makes you able to transform your Self, your circumstances, and produce something better than that with which you began? It is this which I ask of you as a focus for your Blog Hop posting. Show us your Mabon Gift, your Transformation. Make Mead with us, and we will all rejoice!

This year has been a very transformative year for me. Last year, at this time, I was invited into a goddess project. I wrote a little bit about this project for the Ostara blog hop. Last weekend was the culmination of the year long journey with this mask. We made magic during our ritual using song and theater. Afterwords, I reaped the stories attendees told to me. Here I sit, a week later, still processing the festival moments and stories.

Which leads me to this blog hop topic Mead Making (or incense making). Carl Neal held a Incense Making 101 workshop and I got to make two types of incense. And I’m using the components he talked about to frame the idea of making and transformation as my post. He taught us that incense is composed of three ingredients: a base, aromatic, and a binder. Separated these three ingredients don’t look like much, but when combined in just the right amounts, they transform into olefactory heaven.

Will all this said, here’s my recipe for transformation using tarot cards for ingredients.

The Devil from The Shadowscapes Tarot
The Tower from The Shadowscapes Tarot

The Tower: The base is used to assist in burning and it can mellow out strong scents. The Tower is my base because it’s Lilith’s card. As a Goddess, she is ever present, blunt and stands to assist others in their spiritual searches. Goddesses also form the base of many spiritual practices, so this also seemed fitting because I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate her into my own daily tarot/spirituality practices. The Tower is a card of strong and immediate transformations. If you are not living your life with authenticity and integrity, Lilith will invoke the powers of the Tower to strip yourself bare and look deep within.

The Magician from The Shadowscapes Tarot
The Magician from The Shadowscapes Tarot

The Magician: The aromatic part is the stuff you smell when incense is burned. And for my aromatic, I’ve chosen the Magician. This card represents me, who I see myself, and my passion for inspiring magic in everything I do. Magic, and tarot, is the scent of my life. The Magician is the intent, the beginning and the I. Without the I, we cannot work any magic in our life.

Temperance from The Shadowscapes Tarot
Temperance from The Shadowscapes Tarot

Temperance: The binder is the glue that holds this all together. Temperance represents my binder for it’s the card of alchemy, of art, and balance. It’s the act of transformation in motion. Temperance is also the card I associate with the Equinox. Temperance is the key to balancing all the light and shadow aspects around us. When we use the power of this card, we blend the high notes of light, in with the dark, musty notes of our shadow selves to create a blend that is unique and truly our own calling.

In the recipe of my own mead, these are the ingredients that help spur on my transformation. They contain the lighter notes of flowers I enjoy (like daffodils and roses) and the musky shadow scents (like vetivert and patchuli) that get blended together through the power of adding just the right amount of binder (glue or alcohol) to create the person I am at any given moment. Of course, the other 75 cards of tarot blend their scents to occasionally alter the scent when burned but lately… these three cards form the basis of any core transforming I have in my life.

What grapes of the harvest will you pull to make your blend of mead? What light and shadow sides will you include to pour into the pot of transformation? I’d love to know, so please comment below. Thank you for stopping by Tarot Inspired Life. To continue the blog hop, please click here to visit Christiane’s blog.

Blog, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Lammas

Happy Lammas (Llamas! as I like to call it.) This time I’d love to welcome all the visitors from Kerry Ardilla’s website. May this post be fruitful to you!

The topic for this Lammas blog hop, brought to us by our wrangler Kareena Narwani, is “Pentacles: the Fruits of Harvest.” Lammas is the first of two harvest holidays. During this time, we thank the Earth and the gods for providing us the grains that sustain us. It’s a time of abundance and warmth, of gathering and celebrating the summer. And for this post Kareena asked each of us to find the Pentacles card that we relate to right now.

Three of Earth from The Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert
Three of Earth from The Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert

So, I pulled out my Gaian Tarot and sorted out all the Pentacles (aka Earth). I then focused on the idea of what I have harvested this year so far and drew the Three of Earth. The image of this card almost reminds me more of the traditional Rider Waite image on the Three of Cups, where three women come together to celebrate the season. So that’s the first thing that I see fits into this card, a celebration. There are all sorts of harvests appearing in this card. Fruit, herbs, and drinks have been harvested and made and the ladies are all enjoying the harvest of the land and the work they put in to getting all those items into the hearth. The three women have been working (as evidenced by the woman on the right who is using a mortar and pestle) and now they’re laughing and drinking in a break. Just as I have been working hard the past two months with the move from Washington State and into my new forest retreat in Portland, Oregon.

The second thing that this card shares with me focuses around the work I’ve put into the house we purchased. The Three of Earth confirms for me that I’ve successfully set up a solid foundation to making the home a place where I can relax, celebrate success, and enjoy the world I live in. I look back at the last two months of all the labor and magic that I have put into my relocation project. Packing boxes, loading up the pod, and ending with returning our possessions into their new spots in this house. I love that we have such a quiet location that’s surrounded by trees and nature. It’s the forest retreat that I’ve always wanted to have. Last Sunday we had a wonderful BBQ with friends and it was fun to share all that we’ve done with our friends. The Three of Earth reminds me of why this work was so important. We work hard to celebrate and relax with friends, to reinforce the connections between ourselves, and the earth and how we can use harvest to strengthen those connections.

As the card appears near the beginning of the Earth’s numerical sequence, I see that my harvest has just begun. The physical connections and relationships that I have worked hard to grow are just starting. From a tarotista standpoint, the work I did at the Readers Studio was just the beginning. Later this month I’ll get to continue developing and nurturing these relationships at SF BATS and, in October, at the Dallas Tarot Convention. And I look forward to seeing what I harvest from these events. I also see that the work I’ve done in our new home is also just the beginning of the projects we’ll be doing to continue to turn this place into a reflection of our personalities.

I hope that everyone out there takes time today to think about what you have harvested so far this year. Pull a Pentacles card and see what Tarot inspires you to write about. Thank you for stopping by Tarot Inspired Life. To continue the blog hop, please click here to visit Carylon Cushing’s fabulous blog.

Blog, Tarot Blog Hop

Tarot Blog Hop: Beltane

Photo taken from the Beltane Fire Festival page on Wikipedia.
Photo taken from the Beltane Fire Festival page on Wikipedia.

Blessed Beltane everyone. Special welcome to the visitors of Mary Caesto’s Harmonic Spirit. I hope you find my post as illuminating as the other posts in this hop!

This Tarot Blog Hop was run by Andrew McGregor who presented us with a challenging topic of: The Fire tends to all. Beltane is a challenging sabbat for me. It contains overpowering sexual energy that, for me, clouds the true beauty of this holiday. Namely, the ideas of love, new growth, and love of community. I had no idea what I was going to post for this topic, but seeing that I just spent a whole week filled with positive, radiant, loving people in New York City at The Readers Studio, I believe I have found my voice for this topic.

The fire tends to all when we come together in circle to celebrate our passions. The fire re-energizes and fills our cups over when we experience something so deep, so clearly, and the voice of the Universe blends its energy and messages into a voice so clearly that you cannot misinterpret the message. This is the type of experience I had this past week. Before leaving for New York, I felt used, bland, and generic. But after spending a week with people I love, people so excited about tarot as I am, I learned that I am a beautiful dynamic person who is LOVED by her peers without prejudice.

The fire tends to all, to support us, our voices, and helps us transform like a phoenix until we become the best that we can be. That’s when we shine like the stars appearing in the night sky and across the Universe. Or as Rainer Maria Rilke says in the poem You, Darkness, “for the the fire makes a circle of light for everyone.” Which is also what tarot does for those who use the cards.

Thank you for stopping by Tarot Inspired Life. To continue the blog hop, please continue on to the lovely Zanna Starr’s Tarot Notes blog to read her post.