New Tarot Deck

I thought I wasn’t going to buy any more tarot or oracle decks. After all, I have *so* many already—both that I’ve picked out myself and from a friend who was leaving polytheism/paganism and I bought out all her stuff just to keep it out of a landfill somewhere—and honestly, I’m so attached to my favorite handful that I never use most of them.

Then I saw a review (and more importantly, pictures!) of The Good Tarot by Colette Baron-Reid and that intention flew right out the window.

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I’ve been starting to get to know it the last couple of weeks and it’s lovely. The art is just gorgeous, sort of old-photo-blurry fantasy style. And it has a bit more diversity than a lot of my elven/Fae/Faery decks, which I’m really excited about (one of my others has almost all the male characters very obviously drawn from either Legolas or Thranduil, so they all look exactly the same…which is super annoying). And the suits are Water, Air, Fire, and Earth and I have a real weakness for elemental and seasonal themed decks.

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Honestly, though, as much as I loved all of those above things about this deck, the art of this one card “Messenger of Fire” is really why I bought it.

This card is the closest artwork that I’ve ever seen to what astral!me looks like. (Yes, I collect images that remind me of places and people in the Otherworlds…both art versions and real-life “if I had to make it all a movie” versions as well. 😛 ) Not perfect, but close enough to feel a little shocking when I saw the picture the first time. There’s even a ritual Out There that requires me to wear a crown of candles a bit like this. So it felt like a sign. 🙂

So far the only thing I’m not thrilled with is the book. It’s all vague affirmation-type stuff and—in my opinion—total crap. I mostly use my cards for communication and it doesn’t work if every single card is a variation on “you rock, Spirit’s got you covered, don’t worry, you can manifest anything, the Universe loves you, etc.” *sigh*

I reach a place with all my favorite decks where I just know the cards intuitively and don’t look at the book anymore, but it’s usually an organic process from doing so many readings with them. And since most of my decks are very nonstandard, the book usually helps me get started and understand any unique symbolism. This one I’m basically starting from nothing and having to sit and meditate with each card and go from there.

Maybe this is the next step in my tarot studies? It’s definitely forcing me to embrace a new level of trust in my own intuition and understanding.

Cat Tuesday – 5/16/17

Hello, Cats…

Not quite sure how my Cat Tuesday readings became A Thing here regularly again, but it’s feeling like a part of my journey that matters lately and that they want me to share so here we go:

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Six of Sky – Walk away from shit that sucks. Even if I was excited about it in the beginning. Especially if I was excited about it way back.

The Fool (Reversed) – Don’t be reckless.

*sigh*

I think I know what this week’s reading is about, even if Cat-sensei is playing coy. Two Certain Someones have seemed like They were back around lately, just out of sight–and my magickal wards. And in a moment of weakness I gave Them a temporary in…and I probably shouldn’t. (Now closed again; no worries.)

Doesn’t change that despite my best efforts, They still have a foothold on my heart. And I still think I’m probably going to have to square with that someday because I’m really not that good at hating.

But message received: Not This Day (…or any day soon).

Okie-dokie, got it.

Sorry, guys…

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Why?

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I’m fighting. Struggling. And I’m sick of it. I’ve done everything I know to do and I still feel like I have no hope most of the time. I realized this week that since I officially started calling actually myself a polytheist and spirit-worker in early 2015, I’ve now been living in despair and doubt and trying to “rebuild” for *twice* as long as I believed and trusted that everything would get better and be awesome.

A part of me wants to give up. A part of me wants to not care anymore. I think I can truly understand now why so many people walk away from this sort of path. If I could—if my love for my Beloveds and my family and my people and my Gods wasn’t so great, if Theirs for me wasn’t so extraordinary, if They weren’t the best thing left in my life, if I hadn’t taken oaths, if I hadn’t tried already twice in my lifetime here to shut down all this weird shit and failed so extravagantly each time because I can no more end it than voluntarily stop breathing—then maybe I would want to leave, too. But I can’t and I don’t. (And since I can’t then I’m firmly back in defiant brat territory, which my Gods and spirits kind of love about me in the first place.)

Any time I feel inspired or hopeful I full on break out the noise horns and happy dance around my kitchen and hold on like there’s no tomorrow…because my People have promised things will get better and maybe *this is the day* after all. But then crap happens and I feel slapped down again and then the despair is that much deeper and I feel like an idiot or like I’m doing something wrong for believing at all.

It’s been a rough week for so many reasons (like a doctor freaking me the hell out that those x-rays from a couple of weeks ago found something and they’ve missed it for all these years since I was spirit-attacked in college and I was going to have to have another invasive abdominal surgery…but nope, the x-ray reader was just a moron) and so I’m exhausted and emotionally drained.

But today, despite feeling totally unmotivated in every way, I did a reading. Anubis asked me to and I haven’t done a general reading (outside with the Cats) in a while so I sighed and agreed. And so, because I believe in sharing the struggles and not just the awesome, here we go:

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Where I am: Seven of Spirals – Inner strength, time to hold my ground. Don’t give up or give in.

What blocks my path: Six of Mirrors – I’m drowning in memories, and still so powerfully affected by the energies and patterns from the past.

Next step: Moon – Become the moon. (This probably makes no sense to just write but the moon and its associations is a Big Damn Thing to me from my spirit-people, so it makes sense to me.)

The lingering past: Three of Mirrors – I’m missing the sense of community and growing together that I felt like I had before.

The present: The Companion – Anubis indicated this card represented Him. He has strong opinions and is a little impulsive right now (like last night when I was half asleep and drowning in despair and He grabbed me and shook me to get my attention and I immediately regressed into *please don’t be angry and hurt me* mode and He was all “um, yeah, duh, I love you and wouldn’t do anything to hurt you here *as that is a given* obviously.”) We need to discuss things and He’s going to help me find a new way forward to get where I’m going.

The future: Elpi – Hope. Stars. Blazing light through the darkness.

My mindset: The Pilgrim – I am a traveler, a wanderer; I feel like I have no home and nowhere to belong. I’m chasing transformation and knowledge and awareness but it comes at the cost of everything easy and everything comfortable or safe. I’m supposed to remember: I was born for this road.

My environment: Two of Stones – Despite how it feels or looks to me, my path ahead is protected. I’m afraid I’m going to slip and fall. I’m afraid I’m going to lose it all (again), but there are Others out there testing the path before me. Trust that and stay strong.

What is hidden: The Acrobat – I’m a messenger—or I will be when I’ve learned my flexibility and strength. Everything I’ve been told is true. I’m still in my cocoon and so my progress is hidden from me but I *am* changing.

Outcome: Papa Legba – Liminality. I’ll always be in the spaces between one place and another…and those realms will maybe have their own gatekeepers, and maybe I’ll be always on the outside—but this realm out here is mine.

Basically what I’m getting here is that I’m never going to truly belong anywhere and should just accept it. I don’t want that. I don’t, don’t, don’t want that. It feels crappy and lonely to be always on the outside and never fit in anywhere…and that’s maybe the one thing I want most now, to experience community and feel less alone on my journey…but honestly deep down I’ve always known that this was my path. I’m hanging on and trying to fight like mad anyway and it’s only hurting me. I’m getting here that I can never win this one.

I’ve identified as a traveler most all my life here and it used to be what I dreamed of: so I’m asking myself when this became something ugly? When did it start to look less like a beautiful adventure and more like painful ostracization?

I think the first was when I realized (remembered) that, unlike most other folks who have a zillion past lives and have belonged so many places, I have only the one very long one that still affects me and my soul has never been welcomed anywhere ever. So I started to want what I’ve never had. And then it was sealed when I came to understand that as a traveler of “the roads” all I was likely going to have was people who passed though my life on the way from one place to another…and when they got there, they would almost certainly disown all the good things of the road and forgot me entirely (which has been the case with several friends). I feel like the Doctor during that one special when he swears off future companions because it breaks his heart too much to have everyone leave in the end.

Needless to say, this is not the lovely wonderful reading I was hoping for and I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking.

After, I asked Anubis if He would do “o/Our” spread too, also known as “Five Things Anubis Wants To Tell Me Right Now” and He very readily agreed. I literally pulled these cards and was at once like, “Oh, Gods…”

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Five of Spirals – This is my shadow work card. Diving inside. Fighting my hydras.

Ten of Stones – Possession or greed and worldly ties. In my personal readings it almost always means ideas or mindsets that I’m holding on too tightly to and need to let go of already because they’re really holding me back.

Five of Stones – Mourning. Desolation. Isolation and loneliness. Misery. Hopelessness.

Four of Spirals – Cleaning out the old. It’s time to sweep away what doesn’t serve me in preparation for a new beginning.

Phoenix – Rising from the ashes. New dawn. Transformation complete.

He doesn’t usually do chronology or hierarchy in this spread, just random things in no particular order…but these definitely tell and story and He says He meant them to do so.

Basically: I’m going to suffer and everything’s going to keep feeling like it sucks, but then eventually it’ll get better.

I can’t even express how much I don’t want to dive back in. I’m tired of suffering and “working shit out” or whatever. I’m sick to death of being cut back open to be healed right, of being re-broken so I’ll mend better the next time. Contrary to what this blog might lead you to believe, I really hate ordeals. It’s what I know, but not what I want.

And yet, this is my year of finding my way out of the labyrinth; last year (and a little bit before) stripped me of my illusions and false hopes and this year is all about figuring out what life after that looks like and why it’s still worth it. It’s taking me against all my impulses, everything I’ve done before.

That’s my weakness, I’m told. My soul has only ever been a survivor, a fighter, a soldier. I’ll go all Rambo and cauterize my own wounds with a red-hot knife even when there are healers *right there* waiting because it gets me back out on the line sooner and that’s all I’ve known. (A few months ago They put a moratorium on me attempting to heal myself because while I treat everyone else awesome, I’m pretty shitty to myself as a patient.) And then via “my way” those wounds don’t ever fully heal, just become layers and layers of scars to rip back open, and probably at the worst imaginable time.

I really don’t want any of this. But what’s my personal motto again? I want to know the truth, no matter how much it sucks…and it almost always does suck.

Damn it…

Year Ahead 2017

I did a tarot spread today for the upcoming year, a pretty basic card for each month and one overall thing. Posting here because last year I kept it on a file in my phone and when I lost my phone in August it was just gone…this way at least I know I’ll have it to look back on later. 😉

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Theme/lesson of the year: Ariadne (Death)

Ariadne is traditionally associated with mazes and labyrinths and this card in this deck particularly is about transformation. As soon as I pulled this card, I had the powerful mental image of a dark stone labyrinth and finding my way back out into the light. It’s a place in the Otherworlds, one I’ve been to before, and though I can’t go back now I’ve already been told that what I learned there and what that place represents is going to be a big part of my journey this year.

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January: Four of Spirals

It’s a time to recharge and sweep away the past. The new season comes with fresh opportunities and a chance to enjoy a reprieve from the struggle. I’m getting a strong sense of “home” from this card, like a cozy homecoming after long and difficult time away.

February: Ten of Spirals

Crossroads. The burdens of the past are too heavy to carry forward anymore; it’s time to let go and choose a new path. I’m going to have to make a choice, one way or the other and no more hesitating in the middle.

March: Lovers (The Lovers)

I’m pretty sure I know what this one’s about. I have a Big, Important Thing coming up in March and I couldn’t have drawn a more perfect card to represent it if I tried.

April: Five of Spirals

Shadow work calls: it looks like it’s time to face those inner “dragons” of conflicting energies and emotions that are still hiding out in the dark places within. Bring light to those “out of sight, out of mind” thoughts and memories.

May: The Sojourner (King of Mirrors)

This card points to a guide who appears to help show the way through changes and turmoil. Not sure whom it’s referring to, or even if it’s a person, but I’m getting a masculine vibe…so maybe Anubis?

June: Ravens (The Magician)

Magick and mysticism are in the air! Time to keep an eye out for “coincidences” and signs. Wise and mischievous, the ravens make things happen and herald new energy. I don’t know if this one has anything to do with the Raven spirits or one special Raven in my life but I guess I’ll see.

July: Two of Scrolls

Trust instinct and take a leap of faith. There’s a difficult choice to be made, but don’t overcomplicate it and don’t rule out the improbable. Put faith in imagination and counter-intuitive thinking; the impossible might just happen.

August: The Artiste (Queen of Stones)

Be inspired to art and self-expression. There’s wisdom and transformation in creation. Since it’s a stones card (the pentacles/coins suit in other decks) maybe it has to do with art as work or career? Hmm…

September: Ace of Stones

This card signals abundance and great potential. It promises that dreams are within reach and that whatever projects are underway will be successful.

October: The Dreamer (Knight of Mirrors)

This one symbolizes mystical experience: boundless energy, imagination, and the romance of magick. Dreams are becoming reality.

November: Ten of Scrolls

A reversal of fortune is here, brought on by a negative cycle. There’s an important lesson to be learned before the cycle can be brought to a close. All the inspiration and energy that’s been flowing is imprisoned and blocked by this negativity until it’s resolved.

December: Five of Stones

Hardship. This card shows desolation, misfortune, or isolation. But there’s hope: a renewal or new beginning is waiting just around the corner.

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Well, it sounds like it’s going to be a busy year! Looks like there’s lots of choices and transformation on the way, with both the good and bad that come with that. Bring it on! 😀

Welcoming New Decks

I ordered several new tarot and oracle decks recently and they’ve all now arrived. Today I had the chance to sit down with them, light a little white sage, and start getting to know them. And the more I look at them and handle them, the more I love them, so I thought I’d share!

Nefertari’s Tarot:

This deck is gorgeous. My very first tarot deck was an Egyptian-themed one but it didn’t end up resonating with me at all, mostly because it completely ignored the mythology in assigning images to the cards and so none of the symbolism matched well. I did a lot of research before buying another one. This turned out being my dream deck, but way out of my price range…then a couple of weeks ago, surprise! One turned up on ebay half price because there was a dent in one corner of the (otherwise perfect, still-wrapped) box. Since I don’t usually keep the cards in the cardboard box after I get them anyway, it was perfect. 😀

All the cards are gold foiled—SO MUCH SHINY—and even more beautiful in person than pictures can capture. These are a few of my favorite cards:

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Isis Oracle:

Not a tarot deck, but an original 44 card oracle. I set out looking for something that reminded me of Isis and this was (not surprisingly) the very first option that came up. Since She’s become mother figure in my life w/We haven’t had much chance to just talk or spend time together, and recently I started thinking on and asking about setting up some kind of regular “date” for u/Us to work on changing that. I usually end up using cards and/or pendulum in addition to what I hear and see directly (especially on days when my “antenna” just isn’t working 😛 ) and I really wanted something that would be just for Her.

I really love this one. Isis appears on almost every card, in various guises, sometimes with Others but often alone. And the images really evoke how I see Her. All of the Neteru overwhelming appear to me in *very* Egyptian forms and a lot of the jewelry and beaded hair and crowns in this deck remind me of things I’ve actually seen Her wear. I also adore how regal and complex this deck portrays Her; it seems like lots of people primarily see Her in a very maternal way, but that’s actually one of the aspects I’ve seen the least. She comes to me as the Queen, the Mistress of Magick, the Warrioress—and this deck has lots of cards that speak to those aspects.

The whole deck has such wonderful, rich colors. Here’s some of my favorites:

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Oracle of the Dragonfae:

Another oracle deck, this one 43 cards. And it’s basically exactly what it sounds like: the cards show either a Fae/Faery being, a Dragon, or a being that is a mix of the two. I had a very specific reason for looking into this one and thought I knew exactly why I was buying this deck when I picked it out, but now, interacting with it, I’m not 100% sure anymore. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

It’s the work of several different artists (five, I think…) and mine is the second edition where one of them was switched out with a new one. Even though all the online reviews overwhelmingly liked the first version better, I found the new artist’s work resonated better with me than the first so I chose this one.

Mostly I really love the colors and the whimsy of it. I especially like the art on these:

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That wraps it up. They’re all energetically cleansed and, where needed, dedicated now and so ready to use. I’m definitely excited to do some readings/communications with them over the next little while and get to know them better. 😀

Cat Tuesday #1 (Delayed)

Cats have been following me since July. At first it was imagery and dreams and then it became actual astral cats stalking me. I had several confirmations from People that I was actually being contacted by a group of cat-shifters—and even though I’ve been massively in denial about this connection and dragging my feet, I finally agreed to meet them and try to get to know them on a regular timeframe.

So, Cat Tuesdays. (I wanted to do “Caturdays” but I couldn’t get weekends to work out… *sigh*)

This week was supposed to be the first one, but then I was hit was unexpected crap in my mundane on top of dealing with some truly *stupid* drama with some folks Over There and I didn’t make my appointment—one of them actually tracked me down to find out why—so it ended up being Wednesday and I was even more nervous about contact than before.

Still, I lit my candles I made and gave an offering of catnip tea. They’d encouraged me to make them a pendulum and to buy two cat-themed tarot decks and use them together. I used a modified combo of several deity/spirit communication spreads I found around online for the first meeting.

The decks are the Tarot of Pagan Cats (PC) and the Medieval Cat Tarot (MC) and they specified no reversals on the Medieval Cats. So…here’s what they said:

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#1 – Who is this?

PC: The Lovers: A decision that makes your heart glad, and makes you feel strong, happy, even vulnerable like you’re falling in love.

MC: Seven of Wands: Trying to struggle against something despite all challenges when you actually need to go in a new direction. Fighting a battle already won against things that no longer threaten you.

#2 – What will the relationship be like?

PC: Nine of Wands reversed: Being surprised by events.

MC: Four of Cups: Even if you feel like you’re unfinished or unhappy with past aspects of life, don’t miss new opportunities that are being offered because you’re dwelling on the negative.

#3 – What do you want from me?

PC: The Emperor: Building structures and processes that encourage efficiency, prosperity, and stability. Making decisions for the greater good.

MC: The Popess: A figure or step on the path to self-wisdom and spiritual freedom who teaches that you are the key to our own spiritual destiny and path. A sign of ripening spiritual consciousness and that you may be looking for external answers when the truth is within.

#4 – How should I best go about doing what I need to do?

PC: Knight of Pentacles: Acting carefully and responsibly with the physical world, resources, or finances.

MC: Eight of Wands: A sign that many goals may be met at this time and new opportunities will be coming your way. Anticipation of what is to come.

#5 – What obstacles might I face?

PC: Seven of Pentacles: Appraising the results of your efforts.

MC: The Emperor: Standing alone. Conviction that requires you to stand alone and be independent, to lead, or to choose to go against the grain. Being true to yourself and your beliefs and matching conviction with commitment.

#6 – What’s the ultimate outcome of this relationship?

PC: Ace of Swords: An opportunity for a new way of doing things.

MC: Four of Wands: Finding time in mundane life to celebrate joy and togetherness. Often represents new commitments or the beginning of a new path that will bring happiness and personal transformation.

My thinkedy-thoughts about all this:

Despite all my intimidation beforehand, this may be the most positive first contact I’ve had with anyone Over There so far. Also, it was one of those scary readings where every card makes sense without finagling.

They confirmed not only who they are (as they have a somewhat prominent love/sex aspect to their culture) and even more, my connection to them from their perspective. The relationship they hope to cultivate will surprise me and require me to look past some (very specific, I suspect) “unfinished business” I have. They want me to build some new mental processes that will be beneficial for all of us and for me to act on what I know inside instead of worrying about what other people will say about me. I need to be careful with my resources—monetary, mental, magical—at this time (which makes more sense in light of some of the current stuff going on in my life) and find optimism about this contact despite my doubts. My biggest obstacles are going to be making appraisals about some decisions I’ve previously made and whether what I’m getting in return is worth my efforts and in breaking free and learning to stand alone. The ultimate outcome they’re hoping for is that I’ll find a new perspective and begin a path of transformation with them that will give me a chance at happiness.

Basically…wow. And it’s eerie that this comes now, with the stuff that’s been going on in my life. (I’ll probably make a post about it once things are settled and some decisions have been made.)

And I actually am kind of excited now—which, not going to lie, is a pretty rare experience in meeting new folks Over There for me. I don’t know if I’ll keep sharing these interactions long term, but if anyone has suggestions for tarot spreads that would help with the getting-to-know process, feel free to share. 🙂