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Monday, December 12, 2011

Does it really matter?

I’ve been reading a great deal online, as I have given up watching the news on television as it is an entirely too much of a drain, about the various issues coming up this year regarding the winter holidays. I do not say winter holidays to be politically correct or to avoid offending someone, it simply is the way to encapsulate everyone who celebrates a Holy time during this part of the season, and that season would be the end of fall and the start of winter as marked by the solstice on the 21st of December and conveniently stamped onto every calendar. I have a growing concern as a spiritual person that perhaps all arguments are beginning to infringe upon the purpose of each of our celebrations. People seem to be spending so much time this season saying what is correct, what is not correct, that they take away from their own celebrations.

Unfortunately the largest outcry I have witnessed has been by Christians. Do not get me wrong, I was a Catholic for much of my life, later Baptist, and have a great fondness for the story of Christ and his teachings. However, that said, one of the reasons I sought my own spiritual path was because the teachings of Christ were getting lost in the argument of “We’re right, everyone else is wrong”. And when it came to Christmas/Yule the arguments were so strong, so thick, that I wondered if even my fellow Christians at the time understood what was happening to their own walk.

Most who read my column know that when I use a label now, though I don’t feel they are necessary, that I use the term Pagan. That said I’ve spent the last several years researching, reading, and finding out the origins of said Yule time myths. I did not do this so that one day I could sit here and say “Oh look at you, you’re all wrong”, but so that my own understanding of the season would be personally enriched, so I might understand my fellow mankind better. So even though I know that this type of writing does come across as it does, it is not meant to do so. It is meant only as a little light back to what we all want, peace and love during the year and to remember the Light at this time of the year.

Recently I read about an elementary school who took out a word of a popular carol. I then read several varying statements across the last week of how the real season is for Christ and how Santa has taken over the season. What I find interesting about both of these commentaries is that so many simply do not know the origins of their own myths and beliefs. They have never been taught, never listened, or simply chosen to ignore them. I do not claim to be the expert of folklore, but I do know many experts have written about them and are happy to explain to explain them. I can only share what I do know in the hopes that perhaps we can all celebrate with gladness.

For some time, I suppose since the dawn of Christianity, there has been debate of what is the “right” way to celebrate. Early Christians were still clinging to either Pagan or Jewish beliefs and trying to live the best of both worlds. I summarize this for brevity but in short over the history of religion in general people have tried to get the best of both worlds. In America, as we’re quite young, we’ve gone from hard core purist to easy go secularism over a short 200 years. Does this make one better than the other? Does it make us less spiritual?

In my own humble opinion nothing can make one more or less anything unless one wants to be so. However, if it is the belief that for example celebrating Santa makes one forget the season than the answer is to simply not partake of said custom. Though the custom originates with a Saint, spiritually inclined (but human), it does not mean one has to celebrate it. It also does not mean that said abstinence is right for all. In the Christ myth the baby was given three gifts. Something I did or at least encouraged with my older children was the lesson of three gifts. Of course, in order to do so one must be able to put a halt to overly zealous relatives who may or may not agree with your chosen path. It does not though make them any less spiritual because they believe or do not believe in the spirit of Santa.

When I think to the teachings of Christ, especially the Sermon on the Mount, I think that it is something that should be done all year, but it is something that we especially take to heart during the Christmas season. As a pastor stated in his article recently, it is about giving. Instead of running around yelling blasphemy to every Santa, holiday lighted house, perhaps one should be out doing what Christ would have done. He wouldn’t have been running to Macy’s for the latest gift, or standing in long lines for a two dollar waffle iron. He would have been out feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, sitting with the poor and out of luck. Even I admit, there is a bit of irony when those who cry out the most about how Christmas is losing its meaning are the first to the stores, have trees up inside, hang stockings, give out handfuls of gifts, and cry if they don’t have the perfect Christmas dinner.

Let us look to the secular side of things for a moment. In researching the song held in contempt the words were added later in America, or so they have been thought to have originated as the original was simply a melody without words. It reminded me of the indifference of many that we now say Happy Holidays at schools, etc. instead of Merry Christmas. If we knew the origins would it really matter? Society’s issue today seems to be that most of us are caught up in the storm of saying what offends us that we forget to live what we believe. We have created an environment in which we want to sit here and point out “That word now means something different. It is offensive”. “That belief offends me”. “That person is ruining my holiday”. Yes, I’m well aware that my own articles could be said to be the same, yet there is a part of me who hopes that by pointing out a few of the arguments I’ve heard recently, that we can all come to the conclusion that it doesn’t really matter what our neighbor is celebrating or how they are celebrating. What matters is how are we celebrating, does it go along with our own beliefs, our own path, and does it make us a better person, and have we helped our fellow sentient beings in doing so. If it does not, then perhaps it is time to check, but it is to check with one’s own self, not to blame others for our own choices.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Home Made Yule/Christmas Ornaments (Support the 99)

I grew up watching the Hallmark holiday commercials and still continue to find them rather enduring, but I've come to realize that they are not selling the spirit of the season, but rather simply profiting from it. This year instead of giving into the corporate processing of cheap plastic or glass ornaments, make ones that will endure generations of love.

One of the most precious ornaments on my tree is one my third daughter made me when she was in kindergarten, and it still is proudly hanged each year. It is two cd discs glued together with a red bow. On one side is Merry Christmas in glitter paint, and on the other side is her picture from that year. Don't know what to do with those scratched discs that cannot be salvaged? Turn them into priceless family keepsakes.

Another project that I grew up making alongside my mother was egg carton ornaments. Simply cut out Styrofoam egg cartons so that you have just the cup remaining. Spray the inside of the cup with spray glue, or you can simply use clear drying Elmer glue and sprinkle with gold or silver glitter. Once dry sew decorative light weight fringe to the edge. Once that is done glue in a miniature of your choice. You can find small enough miniatures at any Michael's or JoAnne's craft store. You simply want a piece that is small enough to glue inside the egg cup. You can then sew a hanging string into the top of the ornament. These fragile but precious ornaments make fun family projects and precious gifts.

A slightly more challenging project but one that is fun is beaded ornaments. There are many patterns out there for various types but one that I like involves simply using plastic beads (found in any store in the craft department)and threading them on wire to form a cross. You can create the cross by tying the string in the center (two pieces of string tied in the center) or if using wire you can simply wrap the wire in the middle. You can do any color design, and bend or tie the wire or string off at the end of the cross. Simply put the hanger on one end of the cross and hang.

Stain glass ornaments are also very pretty. An easy way to accomplish this is to use wax paper and shaved crayons (everyone seems to always have a handful of old crayons hiding out in odd places around the house). This project requires adult supervision because it uses an iron. Simply cut out the shapes you want your sections of stain glass to be (you want two pieces), then place the colored shavings into each piece. The adult should then use an iron on low to rub over the wax paper to melt the crayon in between. Once dry you can then hole punch the top and hang to the tree. If you want to create a Yule picture you can use construction paper to frame around each section.

Decoupage is another wonderfully creative way to make a classy home made ornament and you can do this with virtually anything! I find that anything from glass ornaments to spaghetti tops work well. Simply select the pictures you wish to create the piece, glue them down, and when dry shellac them.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Scrooge Need Not Apply

It's a scam. They are just lazy. They will just use the money for drugs/liquor. Sound familiar? This time of year it seems to scream louder but it is a sentiment that seems to be there year round. The moment someone is approached by someone needing help there is a great deal of skepticism and sometimes false accusations that occur quite unfairly.

Oh, I'm in agreement that there are those who do have quite the tall tale, but I'm human enough to know that most people in need are genuinely in need. So during this time of year when we see more families in need of food, shelter, clothing, and a Yule experience let us all think about our own journey first before we pass judgment. Was there a time we needed help? A time we struggled?

Keep this thought throughout the year, and perhaps we will change the world. Anora

Thursday, December 1, 2011

99% Support-Not just for the holidays

We've all been following the local occupy groups in various cities and it is my hopes that we are all supporting the changes that need to occur. It is my hopes that we as citizens would understand that this is a life time change, and that includes our own shopping needs. It is the time of year that most of us are hustling and bustling to the stores and malls to get the latest cool toy, clothing, jewelry, and so forth for our children, significant other, or family. It is time to turn that shopping habit around and start buying from local vendors and artisans. There are many websites that host local artisans, and it is quite easy to start shopping local stores for the next the gift. This turns the revenue away from large corporations and sweat shops towards local residents and communities. I know from personal experience that it is easy to sit back and say "Well, it's cheaper", but is the decision to buy from large corporations really all together less expensive? Not really. Though in price it very well may be cheaper to by that $2.00 waffle maker but in order to have a price that low it means that people such as yourself in another country spent hours making them at low wages, and living in cramped apartments to do so. It just doesn't make the gift that nice when one begins to think about just how that item came into existence. Some of the most memorable gifts I received as a child were home-made. A home made wooden barbie doll set which included a dresser, closet, bed, and rocking chair. A hand-made baby doll complete with a dozen hand-made outfits. Do not think that children do not appreciate the home made gifts! Most of the special memories are about the experience, not how many of the latest gadgets they received. This is also a change that has to occur for a life time. It is not just limited to the holiday season. The more we as consumers support our local artisans and vendors the more we empower our communities and discourage the larger corporations. So make your life style change this holiday season, but keep it for a life time. Anora

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Prayers to Joplin, MO

Our prayers and thoughts are with the people of Joplin, MO who suffered at the hands of mother nature. In doing some browsing I did see that there was a Joplin Survivors page listed on Facebook. Please check it out, and pass it along to help others.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carrot-More than eye sight

Carrot-Fertility, Lust. Women should eat the seeds to become pregnant. Eat carrots to promote lust and cure impotence. And we thought it was just good for eye sight. : )

Friday, May 6, 2011

Significant Others

Don't treat your significant other as insignificant or they just might become so. It's very easy for us to come home from a bad day at work, school, or just our travels about the town and take it out on the spouse. It's very easy for us to sling our clothing about the clean bathroom without so much as noticing that the toothpaste stain we left that morning is now gone. It takes focus to realize that your clothes are not magically transporting themselves to the cleaning bin, the drawer, or the closet. It takes focus to notice that significant other is taking care of things when you are out and about doing business as usual. It takes a few moments to let them know you appreciate their hard work, to pick up after yourself, to lend a helping hand in the day to day running of the home that you occupy as well. Living with another is never just about one person.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Administrative Professionals Day

Happy Administrative Professionals Day! Be sure to tell your Administrative Professionals how much you appreciate all their hard work! (Even if you run a home business, don't forget to thank the person who helps you. )

Friday, April 22, 2011

You alone are responsible

You alone are responsible for the choices you make, the feelings you experience, and the manner in which you handle them. When you hide from your own nature you are like a man who refuses to fix his water bucket and blames the water for leaving the bucket.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

No one is ever too small

Tonight the family and I enjoyed watching Horton hears a Who. I cannot say enough how there are so many life lessons to be learned through Dr.Seuss but even us adults sometimes need to be reminded that we are never too small or too large to do something great.

There will be times in our life where we will feel the odd man out and yet if we are true to who we are, our spirit will keep us moving forward in the direction. And to some degree to out lasting the popular fads, the passing cliques, to find that we have done something very great even if it is something very small.

Remember that no matter what you do in life, it is great because you do it.


Friday, April 15, 2011

10 Virtures (Great Article)

I love when I can come across great articles! This one is on the 10 virtues.

It is well worth the read. Spend some time reflecting upon each virtue. How are they going in your own life? Are there areas that need improvement? Journal these thoughts and come back to them in thirty days.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Get Up

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is get up and get dressed.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Balm of Gilead

Balm of Gilead is said to have magickal properties over lovers spats, arguments, and quarrels. Seeds burnt over charcoal are said to bring peace, love, and reconciliation in the household. You may wish to burn in the bedroom you sleep and share in love to bring the relationship back to whole. You may add myrrh to the mixture to open the heart or bring back a lost love (no deceased, just not in a relationship).

Friday, April 8, 2011

Minn. Dog Owner Recalls Dramatic Eagle Attack « CBS Minnesota

Minn. Dog Owner Recalls Dramatic Eagle Attack « CBS Minnesota

This just amazed me when I saw it. We sometimes forget that we share our backyards with other creatures who may very well take our pets for something else. It reminds us to always be mindful of our surroundings.

Repelling Magick

The following is a Voodoo ritual for dealing with someone who is tormenting you, spreading lies about you, harassing you or your loved ones, either on the material or the mental level. You can perform this ritual on the waxing moon (when the moon is starting to become larger).

Spread a black cloth upon your work area and place a white candle on the right and left sides. Take a picture of Hecate and place it in the middle of the cloth. Engrave a black candle three times with the name of the target person. Rub it with the juice of dieffenbachia (a common house plant called "dumb cane").(Make sure you wash your hands after working with this plant as the juice is toxic,or use gloves). I personally believe in being able to substitute for things with like properties if you don't have it on hand or do not feel comfortable working with some things. Say:

The tongue of (name) shall become mute and fail him, when he/she is spreading lies about me and saying untrue things.

Next, roll the candle in spider webs and say:

May (name) be caught in the net of his/her own intrigues and viciousness.

Then place the candle in the middle of the black cloth, before the picture of Hecate. In addition, write the name of the victim on a piece of parchment paper.

With the greeting of the fire spirits, light the white candles and then the black one. Burn the parchment paper with the name on it, while you say:

Here is (name) alone and helpless, emptiness and failure accompany you. May sorrow and desperation consume you. Stop torturing me or Hecate's ire will cove over you! O Hecate, avenging mother, assist me in my work and help me. Let justice prevail. Destroy the plans of (name). So be it by the might of the lady of darkness!

You can adapt the magic formula to the situation. When the candles are done burning you may wish to burn a cleansing incense. Don't forget to wash your hands from working with the plant. After the ritual wrap the remains in parchment paper. After darkness has set in burn the package in front of the target's house or on a road that he will use. If this is for someone that you won't physically cross but may have dealings with on an internet level you may wish to burn and direct the smoke towards the person's internet profile or perhaps a picture of the person online.

Spell taken and adpated from Voodoo Rituals by Heike Owusu

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do not forget about today...

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

This is so true. Sometimes we do this as magicians/occultists. We sometimes become so focused on what we want to become, what we want to learn, what we want to accomplish that we lose who we are right here in the present moment and we lose the experience. Engage in goals, activities, and the dreams of what you hope to accomplish as a magician but do not forget about there here and now, the moment.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Drawing Powder Personal Dusting Powder

In our economic time I've decided to seek out a few business spells that may assist us in our goals. I truly believe that we all make our own magick but adding a little help to the pot never hurt anything. Remember that intent is everything. The following spell was one collected by Judika Illes. I've used money baths in the past, and this one would be just an addition to the basil bath.

Drawing Powder Personal Dusting Powder

1. Blend powdered confectioner's sugar into cornstarch.
2. Lightly dust this on your body with a powder puff to magically attract personal attention-and open pockets.

For added enhancement you can sprinkle the powder with essential oil of basil before applying to the body.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Relationship Balance

One of the things that I think is difficult in any relationship is the idea of two persons being both an individual entity as well as a combined force of nature. There is a danger in this delicate balance of one partner in the relationship becoming completely absorbed by the other. I’m not speaking about the togetherness that occurs with parenting, or such parts of the relationship where a united front is appropriate. I am speaking about one partner losing their identity in the presence of another. There is danger of this in any sort of relationship be it platonic or romantic.

I’m not exactly sure when or where it begins in a relationship. Perhaps it starts when a partner wishes to please or even seek the approval of another partner or even surrounding persons to the relationship (i.e. friends, family, etc.). Slowly the partner begins to give up those things that have defined them to themselves. I am not speaking against transcending one’s own system, beliefs, or such as we find our goal in magick, occult work, and spiritual work (or one’s religion). I am speaking about the core of our identity that we may give up in order to seek the approval of those we are around. There is a large difference between transcending a particular ideology or set of beliefs (the ego) or such, and simply becoming the person or people we are around where our original character/soul/spirit or that name which you like to refer to your unique self is lost.

When in a relationship we must keep in mind that we are first individuals, partners second. It is not to say that these two cannot work in tandem, but we must remember that even in tandem there is a balance to be kept. We must allow our partner to be who they are whilst working together. Though we may be very comfortable with our way of doing things, thinking, and so forth we must have enough allowance for our partner in the relationship to have the same. As I said, balance. I think one of the best ways we can accomplish this is through open and honest communication. It calls for the openness of both partners (regardless of the type of relationship) to be open and honest about their thoughts, and also be open to listening and hearing what their partner in the relationship is sharing.

Once we have communicated our thoughts the next part of developing balance I think can be one of the most difficult. We now have to accept our partner’s individuality. It seems as if it this would be common place, and extremely simplistic in nature but even I find that it can be one of the most difficult parts of a relationship. Regardless of the relationship be it fraternal, platonic, or romantic there is a period of newness that clouds a great many things about our partner. Perhaps we over look things that we find cause us awkwardness or unsettled feelings because we are caught in the excitement of the new relationship. However, over time, these facets of our partner’s individuality can begin to seep in and at times instead of acceptance it is met with resistance. We may find we try to change our partner in the relationship. We may find we begin to change ourselves to suit the other’s individuality. Again, this is why balance is so important. We must be willing to accept those qualities that make our partner unique, who they are, just as we would wish them to accept us in all of our unique qualities. We will find that when we begin to accept these unique qualities our relationship begins to blossom with fragrance, rather than wither.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring/Autumnal Equinox

Blessed Spring Equinox to my Northern brothers and sisters. Blessed Autumnal Equinox to my Southern brothers and sisters.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Do not think we're all so different. We're alike in that we are all sentient beings. Solidarity!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Merlin Stone

I'm a bit late on this one but Merlin Stone sadly left this mortal journey on February 23 of this year.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How we speak to others...

We've all experienced this scenario: We spend hours doing a project or home make over (cleaning, etc) to have the significant other make a George Bailey comment, "Why do we live in this drafty old house anyway". It can be hurtful no doubt. However, if we play quiet the other may not know their behavior is upsetting. Sometimes it can be difficult to express during the moment, but find a quiet time to explain to your partner how you felt during the moment. If you are "George" genuinely listen and be open to your partner's needs.

First Official Women's History Month (March 2011)

As many read in yesterday's news President Obama has declared that March 2011 will mark the first official Women's History Month with the International Women's Day being celebrated on March 8.

In honor of the first official Women's History Month I invite each of you to share stories of the women who have been influential in your life.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Card 21-The World

The World also called the Universe in some decks represents things to come or things coming to an end. It is the beginning of a journey. It is the end of the journey. It is the god Saturn, Sebek, Pan, and Vidar. It is the goddess Gaea as earth. The World is the great one of the night. It is completion, and fulfillment.

The World falls on the pathway between Malkuth (The Kingdom) and Yesod (Foundation) on the Tree of Life. This pathway signifies the movement upward toward Kether or downward from Kether. It is the beginning of a pathway toward the Crown, or the completion of the spiritual journey from Kether. Is said that Malkuth is in Kether and Kether is in Malkuth. As the Emerald Tablet says, “that which is above is like unto that which is below, but after a different manner”.

If one draws the World in a tarot spread or by itself it signifies that a journey is about to begin or a journey is coming to a close. In the positive it represents completion, success, and fulfillment. The conclusion of events. In the negative it signifies that a project or issue may not be ready to come to a completion, or that there may be a fear of change. It is this fear of change that may stagnate the Querent.

Blessed Imbolc

Blessed Imbolc/Lughnasadh to my friends who celebrate. Blessed Ground Hog Day (I heard he saw his shadow). Happy National Tater Tot Day (thanks to Sonic), and as we approach the celebrations for the Chinese New Year, welcome the Rabbit. Blessed Candlemas to my Christian friends.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Card 20-Judgment

Judgment is a card that calls for the Querent to look Judgment in the face and decide if they have been fair in judgment, have all the facts, and have fully understood a situation before making judgment. It is the gods Hades, Pluto, and Vulcan. It is the Spirit of Primal Fire.

Judgment is found on the pathway between Malkuth (The Kingdom) and Hod (Splendour) on the Tree of Life. This placement is on the path of severity, and needs to be reflected upon. It is a path where if not careful there are many forms of judgment that can be made, and not all of them are good. It is a path that the magician must use restraint. He must research all of the variables involved before making a final judgment so his spell will not go awry.

When Judgment is drawn by itself or in a spread it is calling for introspection on the part of the Querent. In the positive it can call for a decision to be made with existing problems but that the Querent must choose wisely. It can indicate an awakening or even a renewal because of said decisions. In the negative it can represent poor judgment, judgment of others, judgment based upon preconceived ideas, judgment based upon assumptions or lack of facts. If in the negative it is a warning that the Querent needs to seek out all the facts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Card 19-The Sun

The Sun represents Gnosis. It represents the knowledge from the divine learned through experience. It is the god Ra, Helios, Shammash, and Apollo. It is the fire of earth. It is the transformative power of the magician on his path to enlightenment.

The Sun falls on the pathway between Hod (Splendour) and Yesod (Foundation) on the Tree of Life. The seeds sown in the foundation are starting to come to light, and begin to bloom. The magician at this stage is coming into an intellectual understanding of the divine mysteries. It is important to understand that the Sun is not the true Sun, it is but a candle in the Sun. The true Sun is shining directly from Tipareth into Hod and is refracted along the pathway from Hod into Yesod.

When the Sun is drawn by itself or in a tarot spread it represents the unrealized magician who is still young in his or her training in a manner of speaking, they're just now starting to turn towards to the Sun as it were. This is the significance of the sunflowers typically found on the Sun card as they are flowers that always face the sun. That which has been germinating in darkness is starting to come to light. In the positive it represents a new idea/invention. It may represent good health. It may also tell of an abundance of energy to come. In the negative it could represent failure. It could represent a misguided attempt or misjudgment about the question at hand. It is the danger of thinking that you understand what is going on but yet you don't quite know everything yet, and so you could be led astray from the Great Work.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Card 18-The Moon

The Moon represents the intuition, dreams, emotional, and psychic aspects of our lives. It is the aspects of womanhood. It is the Goddess Artemis and Hecate. The Moon is also deeply connected with water and thus has the attributes also of the God Poseidon and Khepera. Think of the effects the moon has on the tides of earth and you have a good visual representation of what the Moon of the tarot has in store for the Querent.

The Moon is found on the path between Netsach (Victory) and Malkuth (The Kingdom) on the Tree of Life. This placement is a lesser reflection of the moon as Yesod is the actual sphere of Luna. As we are just passing through the Moon there is a danger of being led astray by astral images and mistaking those for the real thing.

When the Moon is drawn by itself or in a reading it symbolizes a great many things that all deal with the ethereal plane, or the plane at least not seen in the material world. In the positive it often symbolizes work that is done in the creative field or the field of creation. It may represent dreams, intuition, and even psychic work for the Querent. In the negative it may represent illusion or deception. It may also represent an inability in the Querent to distinguish truth from illusion, or perhaps an inability to deal well with reality.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Card 17-The Star

The Star represents the beacon of light present or about to become present in your life that inspires a change in consciousness or change in spiritual awareness. It is the guiding light that leads one to the truth. It is the fountain of youth that leads one to enlightenment. It is like Athena or Juno.

The Star falls on the path between Netsach (Victory) and Yesod (Foundation) on the Tree of Life. Its placement is in the astral triangle and in this we are reminded that it is not the stars, the moon, or even the heavens we seek. What we are seeking is the True Light, the source of the Light. As Crowley once , every man and every woman is a star. We are but beacons of light reflecting the light of the Divine source.

If the Star is drawn by itself or in a tarot reading it represents in the positive a chance in mental, spiritual, and even physical understanding. We find hope and inspiration. We gain confidence in the situation at hand. In the negative it can represent self-doubt and a lack of trust in others. It may represent that the Querent is stubborn and unwilling to move forward perhaps even ready to fall to earth. Much does depend upon surrounding cards but we are reminded in both to keep in mind the true Light and that we too will shine with the light once that path is accepted.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Card 16-The Tower

The Tower is symbol of change, disruption, and essentially a tearing down of the old way of life. Just looking at the imagery of the Tower it is generally depicted as falling down, or on fire. The Tower is something that is widespread, the shaking of the foundation so to speak. It is like the tower of Babel struck down by the heavens with fire. It is like the god Horus, Ares, or Mars. It is like Odin who hangs on Yggdrasil to gain knowledge.

The Tower makes up the top part of the Astral triangle on the Tree of Life. It falls on the path between Hod (Splendour) and Netsach (Victory). The position between Hod and Netsach represents the tearing down of illusions. It represents the imperfect ego that needs to be tore down in order to pass through the veil to reach the Divine.

When the Tower is drawn by itself or in a spread it represents change at its most chaotic and destructive. In the positive it represents a change or an overthrow of the current life. It can also mean the uprooting of old paradigms and giving up those illusions that we have been carrying around like a security blanket. In the negative it may relate to our tower that we've built suddenly crashing around us. It is one of those cards that regardless of the position (positive or negative) indicates a sudden change and one that is turbulent. Either way the card is positioned we have choices. We can sit around and wallow in self-pity or we can be resilient and adapt to the changes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Card 15-The Devil

The Devil is one of the cards in the tarot deck that for most will lead to the conjuration of pictures of the evil devil with the pitch fork. It seems to be the card of choice in almost all “B” grade horror flicks that the gypsy will lay down as a terrible omen to the poor man about to become a werewolf. There is some underlying truth to that depiction, as the card does represent the earth based matters but it is not always a bad omen. It is the god Pan. It is the god Priapus. It is the god Bacchus. All three gods of bounty and reproductive natures. The Devil is a card that represents the true force of nature. In that though do not be misled to think that this card is without its warning. Pan was quite infamous into tricking young maids to frolic with him thus giving up their maiden heads so to speak in one lust filled afternoon.

The Devil is on the path between Tipareth (Beauty) and Hod (Splendour) on the Tree of Life. It is recognizing true beauty instead of being trapped by earthly splendour. It is mastering our own passions instead of being led by those passions.

If the Devil is drawn by itself or in a spread it represents the aspects of earth or this realm. It represents the instincts or basic forces of nature. In the positive this card reflects a desire for material things. It reflects the Querent's understanding of their own needs or wants, and their power to obtain them. In the negative it represents an abuse of power, perhaps even corruption. It represents that the Querent in the given situation has become very self centered and is acting against even nature herself. It could very well be that the Querent is trapped by an illusion or living an illusion.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Card 14-Temperance

Temperance is just what it states, the ability to cooperate and coordinate and balance. It is the well balanced outlook on the journey of life. It is the god Apollo or goddess Artemis as the hunter. It is like Ares as the Rainbow. It is the calm after the storm when all is balanced as it should be.

Temperance falls on the path way between Tipareth (Beauty) and Yesod (Foundation) on the Tree of Life. It is this relation between Tipareth and Yesod that we can look at Temperance as being the blending of the beginning and the end of all that is beauty. It is foundation leading to beauty or supporting beauty. Yesod is often said to be the seat of the soul. It is the moon reflected in the water. In the silence of stillness are the workings of God revealed. Only when the waters of the mind and soul are still do we see the clear reflection of the heavens revealed there in.

If one draws Temperance in their spread or on its own it can symbolize that the situation requires a well balanced outlook, and that the Querent should have the ability to adapt to any circumstance of the situation at hand. It calls for innovation as well as good management of those resources surrounding the situation at hand. In the negative this card could reveal that the Querent has used poor judgment and thus this situation exists. It is possible that it is showing that the Querent is simply involved in too many activities as a superficial level and that scaling down is needed so that the Querent can focus more in-depth on one subject/area and become proficient at it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Card 13-Death

Death is often misunderstood and is often misinterpreted when read, but it is a quite interesting card in the tarot deck. Death represents true victory. Is the God Ares or Mars. It is Khephra the god of light in the darkness.

Death lays on the path between Netsach (Victory) and Tipareth (Beauty) on the Tree of Life. It is in the path working of true victory. Victory that becomes beautiful or is beautiful because of the way in which it is obtained. As beauty lays in the middle pillar it is Death that helps us to move from a purely right pillar path to the middle pillar of balance.

When Death is drawn by itself or in a spread in a tarot reading it symbolizes change through a transformation. This transformation may be in your spiritual life, physical, or even your emotional/mental life. Of course if in a full spread Death's meaning would be dependent upon the surrounding cards. In the positive this change is akin to the metamorphosis of a butterfly. It is long, sometimes exhausting process but the result is beautiful just like the emerging butterfly. In the negative it is a card that symbolizes something that may be taken away that should have been voluntarily given up. It represents a refusal to change or a change that is thrust upon you.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Card 12-The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is often misinterpreted and seen as a bad omen. It is under the sign of water, presided over by the water Gods such as Poseidon/Neptune. It is a sign that means change or activity and calls for flexibility. It is the old Mr. Lee saying, “Be water my friend”.

The Hanged Man on the Tree of Life is located on the path between Hod (Splendour) and Geburah (Severity). It is on the pillar of Severity, the left hand pillar of the tree. In this placement The Hanged man represents the self-sacrifice for the greater good. It is the myth of the pelican who pierces its own breast to feed its young. Furthermore it is every slain god who dies to bring life and love and light to the world.

If the Hanged Man is drawn in a reading or by itself is symbolizes a still in the water. In the positive it may represent your willingness to adapt or be flexible and to sacrifice in a current situation. If it is in the negative it may mean that you may have been inflexible and stubborn and unwilling to sacrifice and that has resulted in a poor outcome. If the situation is a negative the Hanged Man reminds that we did it to ourselves by our own actions. As the old saying goes “selfless services is its own reward”, which is why in its negative position it can mean being trapped in your own web of lies and deception.

Card 11-Justice

Justice represents justice through truth and balance. It is like Maat or Themis who are over judgment, truth, and balance. It is akin to the way justice is depicted in American legal systems with scales, sword, and a blindfold. It is impartial, always truthful, and blind to deceit.

On the Tree of Life Justice sits on the path between Tipareth (Beauty) and Geburah (Severity). We could say that it is severity balanced by beauty. Justice along with Strength, and The Hermit forms the ethical triangle.

When one draws Justice in a tarot reading it symbolizes a legal matter though this matter is dependent upon the surrounding cards. This may be a legal matter as in the typical, but it may also be a signing of agreements where purchases are concerned, organizations, schooling, or even spiritual institutions are concerned. The negative could mean perhaps an injustice in your path or the matter at hand. Again it does depend greatly upon the surrounding cards. The lesson of Justice is to temper justice with compassion.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Card 10-The Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune represents change in one direction or the other in reference to the fortune cycle on the wheel itself. It is like Njord who was guardian of the wealth, or Zeus who was a bringer of good fortune, and even in one tale changed into a shower of gold in order to enter and bless a woman with fruit. It is representative of journey as a whole as well as solitary journey from one to the other.

The Wheel of Fortune resides on the path between Netsach (Victory) and Chesed (Mercy). It is representative of Victory tempered by Mercy. It is the path between the astral triangle and ethical triangle, which places it as a way for the journey to continue on the right hand pillar (mercy) from the world of Malkuth (earth).

In a reading when the Wheel of Fortune is drawn it can be symbolic of a movement from being without to being with something. This may come in the form of literal financial riches, but it may also reflect the spiritual riches/wealth. In the negative this card is a warning that a change may be coming from being with to being without. It should be noted that the Wheel of Fortune is a very difficult card to read simply by itself as there are too many factors involved. The future is never certain, never solid, so the interpretation is not a definite. Change is always difficult to read. It would depend upon the person involved, the question at hand, the surrounding cards, as well as the person's own choices even after the reading. The Wheel of Fortune can be likened to one coming to a cross-road. One path is right and one is wrong, and the choice is for the person to decide. No one can chose the right path for them. One can only be certain of one thing when the Wheel of Fortune appears, change is coming in one form or the other.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Card 9-The Hermit

The Hermit represents reflection and solitude. It is the monk who retreats away from society. It is the wise shaman who is found only in the hidden caves of a mountain side. It is the priest who takes sabbatical away from society in a vow of silence. It is the mountain yogi. It is mercy reflecting on beauty.

The Hermit resides on the path between Chesed (Mercy) and Tipareth (Beauty) on the Tree of Life. The Hermit has had the vision of the Beauty of things and finds himself being drawn toward Mercy. He begins to retreat from the material world to reflect upon beauty, thus growing closer to the Divine beauty of life.

If the Hermit is drawn by itself or in a spread (though it depends upon the surrounding cards) in the positive aspect it is an indication that a time for solace or reflection is needed. It is a time to pull away from your material world and reflect upon your life in the spiritual world or spiritual sense. Depending upon the question asked it could mean that counsel is needed in the question at hand. In the negative aspect it could mean that you have refused sage advice or counsel. It could mean that you are clinging to your own bad habits or things that are unproductive in your life that others have pointed out to you as being harmful to yourself. It could also mean that you are harboring unfounded thoughts about another and need to reflect upon the basis of those thoughts. In the entirety the Hermit in your spread means the lessons you need to learn or are learning are that of the Hermit in all his attributes. It is a time to reflect in the quiet of the moment and a time of introspection.

Card 8-Strength

Strength is as it says a card representing strength. However, it is also a card that is more in-depth then just the appearance of physical strength. It is strength of character as well. It is the control of passion as well as mental and emotional forces. It is a card that also represents courage. It is the same as Ra Hoor Kruit god of the Sun, or Demeter and Venus. It is embodiment of all that is Leo in balance.

Strength is found on the Tree of Life between Geburah (Severity) and Chesed (Mercy). Strength forms a part of the Ethical triangle in this relationship. If we look at this pathway it is strength or severity tempered by mercy. If you have too much strength you are cruel, and if you have too much mercy you are weak. Strength then as the tarot is a symbol of true strength, not just a symbol of might.

When Strength is drawn by itself or in a spread (though as mentioned in previous discussions it does depend greatly upon surrounding cards) it can be seen in several ways. It can be viewed in the positive that you have learned to temper your strength with mercy in a given area of your life. It may represent that you have increased courage surrounding the question at hand. However, it very well might mean in the negative that you have too much mercy (weakness) or too much strength (cruelty) in a given situation. You may also have a lack of self-discipline and perhaps have become impulsive. It is a card that if drawn one should be reflective upon and take inventory of the current situation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Card 7-The Chariot

The Chariot represents strength, will-power, self control, and balance. It represents understanding with the temperance of severity. It is like Thor going across the skies. It is like Mercury returning the messages to the Gods. It is like Ra ruling with power but with understanding. The Chariot is representative of the true understanding of true power.

The Chariot resides on the pathway between Binah (Understanding) and Geburah (Severity) on the Tree of Life. The location of the Chariot on the Left Hand Pillar which is the severity path is part of the reason for the Chariot's attributes. As with previous path work we can see that as one moves closer to the Divine in an upward direction we have positive attributes. If we move downward away from the Divine toward materialism we have negative attributes. In terms of the Chariot the closer we move toward the Divine toward the sphere of Binah we will have a leader who understands the power he possess. If we have more movement toward the material world we have a leader who has an excess of strength and hence cruel. In my personal view it goes right along with the saying “With great power comes great responsibility”. The chariot is also the center of stillness in the midst of movement.

When the Chariot is drawn by itself or in a spread (though it does depend greatly upon surrounding cards in the spread) it is a sign that there is a success that is the result of your own hard work. It could mean the mastery of one's life, or the mastery of self control or will-power. It could also be externalized to situations surrounding these attributes. In the negative it could mean that you have an imbalance in your life. It could mean that you are limiting yourself by traditions that are no longer relevant. It would be a time for self reflection as to your own character, how you are handling yourself despite the external forces at work in your life. Remember that if we simply look at the Chariot as a vehicle it was one that could not just be driven recklessly. It took a tremendous amount of strength to control the vehicle, as well as a tremendous amount of self-control. One could not simply go speeding around the streets so to speak. One could also not load one's chariot up with everything under the sun as the chariot would easily become unbalanced. In this sense, this card speaks to us about using discernment, carrying just what we need in life, and being responsible with what we do carry.

Card 6-The Lovers

The Lovers represents the blending of masculine and feminine energies. It represents the harmony of beauty and understanding. It is the understanding of beauty in the higher sense of beauty, not of the earthly beauty. It is the spiritual beauty of the higher self that is realized through understanding.

The Lovers is on the pathway between Tipareth (Beauty) and Binah (Understanding) on the Tree of Life. It is this position that further clarifies the meaning of The Lovers in that though they are connected to Tipareth (Beauty) a more connected “earthly” sphere, they are connected to Binah (Understanding) which is directly connected to the Crown. This connection places the emphasis on the higher self and its recognition of spiritual beauty. It is not to say that earthly beauty is not recognized or even enjoyed, it is to say that the Lovers represent the seeking of or understanding of a spiritual beauty, and not carnal indulgence. The pathway between Tipareth and Binah is always two directional. The Lovers on this pathway can represent the journey towards or away from understanding through beauty.

If the Lovers is drawn by itself or in a spread (though in a spread the meaning would depend greatly on the surrounding cards) it generally represents the influence of this higher self and understanding on your life. It is the guide that your choices in life should be made from the higher self or the spiritual self rather than from your more earthly self or intellectual self. It may represent the need for harmony in your life, for the balance of the earthly with the spiritual. Though it could potentially signify an “actual” person it is wise to not mistake this card for the “perfect mate”. It does not necessarily symbolize an actual romantic partnership. It may simply be a person that comes into your life for the purpose of helping you to find that balance between Binah and Tipareth. In the negative the Lovers can represent being drawn toward earthly beauty and worldly pleasures at the expense of the spiritual.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Card 5-The High Priest/Hierophant

The High Priest (Hierophant) represents the God on earth. He is the Old Horus, or the Old Arthur. As the Emperor is the judge in the stern sense, the High Priest is a judge in the severe sense. His law is will and there are no second chances with the High Priest.

The High Priest is located between the spheres of Chokmah (Wisdom) and Chesed (Mercy). His wisdom is self learned, and though he connects mercy to wisdom, his attitude is bullish and stubborn. His decision is law. He is the letter of the law, where as the Emperor is the spirit of the law. Where as the Emperor's decisions were just, the High Priest's decisions are purely his way or the highway.

When the High Priest is drawn by itself or within a spread he is advising that strict adherence to rules is necessary. He may be foreshadowing a possible legal agreement or contract where you may want to read the fine print before you sign. He could possibly be relating spiritual rules/adherence but because of where he sits on the paths of the Tree of Life the interpretation relates more to matters on earth or in the physical realm rather than the spiritual realm.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Card 4-The Emperor

The Emperor represents leadership, power, and authority. He is Jehovah. He is the judge among men as well as spiritual. He is like Anubis handing down judgment after the soul is weighed by Ma'at. He is not without wisdom and compassion but he is a stern judge.

The Emperor is found between Chokmah (Wisdom) and Tipareth (Beauty) on the Tree of Life. He obtains all of his knowledge through wisdom, but it is tempered by beauty.

When the Emperor is drawn by itself it is telling us that there may be a situation that is coming down the road that will need dealing with by a sort of judge. This may be any authoritative figure in your life at the time, perhaps a boss, a teacher, a parent, a law enforcement/judge, or a mentor. This may not necessarily mean the person is male, but it does dictate that it is someone with that masculine energy or in that position of masculine energy. As with all tarot the meaning will depend greatly upon surrounding cards but one should pay close attention if the Emperor appears in your spread.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Card 3-The Empress

The Empress represents the Goddess on Earth. She represents the Goddess's creative forces as it directly relates to her Earth. A relevant Goddess comparison would be Demeter in all of her connections to the earth. She is the teacher and the counselor. She is the earthly Queen of Heaven. She cares for all who are under her protection and watch.

The Empress herself is between Binah (Understanding) and Chokmah (Wisdom) on the Tree of Life. She is positioned through D'Aath (Knowledge) in the position of lying on her back between the two spheres, hence part of why we relate creation to her. She is the pinnacle of balance between being understanding of life as well as possessing the wisdom to know how to use the knowledge she acquires. Where as the High Priestess receives her knowledge directly from the Divine (through the Crown), the Empress receives hers knowledge as she passes through the path of the High Priestess (D'Aath-knowledge). A real world example of this type of being would be Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603).

When the Empress is drawn by itself she represents creation. These creations may come in many forms, and are with ease. They are often viewed as blessings, gifts from the Goddess so to speak. Again it depends upon the surrounding cards as to the full meaning to the question being asked. It may mean a new creation or blessing in the area of spirituality, work/career, or hobby/sport. It may also relate to a monetary blessing or creation.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Card 2-The High Priestess

The High Priestess is a card of mystery. She represents the feminine mysteries, and is in her right the Great Goddess. She is the bearer of the Grail. She is the Lady in the Lake. She is the keeper of the veiled knowledge. In the progression of the cards she is the magician realized. She knows that she is responsible for all magick that she does.

When we view the High Priestess by herself in the drawing of the Tarot we are being given the guidance as it relates to our intuition, and our own connection to the mystery studies. We are also gently being reminded that our life should be balanced. The High Priestess is located between Keter (The Crown) and Tiperath (Beauty) on the Middle Pillar of the Tree of Life. She in a sense is the embodiment of the true balance of Mercy and Severity (Might). Though, as we can see her pathway is a downward movement from Keter to Beauty so her knowledge (D'aath) is hidden or mysterious and comes from the Divine. She is reminding us that all things must be lived in balance, but she is also teaching us to be open to those mysteries and to trust our knowledge that may come through dreams, astral travel, or deep meditations.

In application to the world outside of the ethereal plane the High Priestess is guiding us that we cannot be one extreme or the other. It is like parenting. A parent cannot be completely authoritative allowing his child to do nothing, but he can also not be so relaxed that he permits his child to do everything. It is reminiscent of the old teaching “everything in moderation”. So if this card is drawn one may need to take stock of their life and find out if there are any areas that are in need of balance.

In relationship to the ethereal plane this card is guiding us to use our gut instinct. In any given situation that one experiences in life one may get that sixth sense about it. The High Priestess guides us and encourages us to use that sense. We are all capable of tapping into that hidden sphere of knowledge to find our answers to the current situation at hand.

As with any reading the guidance depends greatly upon the surrounding cards, and the application of said card would depend upon the question asked.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Card 1-The Magician

The Magician is an interesting card as it is the first, in progression, where the Fool begins to use his knowledge in alchemical processes. The Magician represents the aspirations of the Adept but he is still working with worldly elements to get what he wants. Though no card is bad or good, it just is what it is, there are warnings with each card that are there to provide us with the guidance we seek from the cards.

When we see the Magician in a spread either by itself (as we draw one card) or in a spread where by which we seek the cards around the Magician for further clarification it generally is showing us that we are in a sense discovering magick be it will power, faith in prayer, or actual ritual magick to obtain the goals we want in life. As the Fool was located between Keter and Chokmak, the Magician is located between Keter and Binah. Binah on the Tree of Life is Understanding. So the Magician represents our ability to take that knowledge we were exposed to in the Fool and making meaning of it.

This is the point at which the warning label clearly flashes the yellow light in our direction. We can think of this two fold. The wise magician takes their time learning their new skills and using them appropriately. A seasoned Magician such as Gandalf or an older Meryln would come to mind when using magick appropriately. The brash magician, or hence apprentice such as in the Sorcerer's Apprentice where when left alone in the Magician's parlor creates massive chaos that he cannot control is the warning to use self-control. Knowing when to use magick and when not to use magick is key. We may wish for that new job, but knowing just how quickly to proceed is wise. One would not just quit his current job without having another one lined up if one had a family to take care. The wise magician understands the consequences of his actions be they good or bad.

The Magician like any card does depend greatly upon what the surrounding cards in the spread may be, as well as the question posed, but it is a card of self-control and study. It is the card of understanding, and not just a “I read the label”, but an in-depth understanding of knowing something inside and out before one uses it. It is the card of knowing when to use one's magick/skills and when to use another means to accomplish the goal.

The Magician represents obtaining knowledge through work/study where as the Fool represents obtaining knowledge directly from the Divine or through Divine inspiration. We can compare the two by looking at the Fool (or Divine Fool) as the Mystic, where as the the Magician is the Magus. When the Magician is pulled we can expect that we will have to work and study for our creations, they will not simply be revealed through Divine contact. We can expect that regardless the question at hand that we ourselves will create our outcome.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Card 0-The Fool

To me the Fool represents the start of the spiritual/magical journey. Yet, in another breath it is the connection between Wisdom (Chokmah) and the Crown (Keter) where we are already at the end. At the start of our spiritual/magickal journey we are closest to enlightenment, to spiritual awakening and yet we do not know this because of our innocence on the path. It is said that children are in this state of being on a daily basis, and perhaps that is why so many spiritual teachers in the past have used the statements of being child like in their writings and talks.

In modern day definition a fool is typically defined as a stupid person or an idiotic person. It is defined as a person who may be weak-minded or lacks judgment. It is an unfair definition that has come upon mankind in general society and may in itself be a definition that lacks judgment. For the Fool in the Tarot and spiritual world is not stupid, nor is he idiotic. Though, as he is at the start of his journey he very well may be mislead by those around him, or not have enough experience to make the best choices.

In a reading the cards all depend upon the cards around them but we can look at each one individually to understand the cards around them, as well as the card by itself. The Fool represents the start of a new journey, this could relate to your spiritual walk, lifestyle, career, or any host of “new journeys” in one's life. The Fool is always eager to begin, to dive right in so to speak and this is always a positive. It reminds us to stay open to the opportunities that life presents us. However, it also is a cautionary card because as mentioned the Fool lacks the experience of life and education. He may lack the necessary discernment needed that perhaps someone who is an adept would already posses. Keep in mind though that the Fool on the Tree of Life is located between Keter and Chokmah so it is the connection between The Crown (just below the three spheres of negative existence) and Wisdom. The Fool must trust his inner connection to the these two facets, to the Divine, to his own Divinity when making these choices. It is a card that is telling us to bravely step forward but be always aware and mindful of one's surroundings.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Would you, my readers, like a series on the Major Arcana?

I would like to know if my readers would benefit from a series of discussions on the Major Arcana as I view them? That is not to say there is a "right" way, this would simply be my take on each card. : ) Let me know.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 2011

Dear Readers-

I just want to wish all of you a very blessed New Year. I hope that all of your desires are fulfilled and your needs met. I wish you a prosperous new year.