Thursday, January 1, 2009

resolutions? not today.....

I don't make resolutions for myself. I set intentions, I think about what I want to achieve, and how I can get there. I look back a little bit, too, see where I've been and whether or not I've met the goals of the past year.

I'll get to that later.

I fully intended to blog about my goals. I woke up with that idea in my head, but something else happened instead. I gave myself a tarot reading. As a pagan, my new year begins on Samhain. Part of Samhain ritual is often devoted to divination - using tarot, scrying, runes, and other tools to see into the future. But this samhain I scryed, and got nothing. So now I get to try again.

If I were a television psychic, I would ensure that the following was noted as being "for entertainment purposes only" in order to legally cover my ass. But since this is my reading, about me, and nobody's paying for it, I can do whatever the hell I want. Believe or not, as you choose. It will be great fun for me to go back, in a year, and see what was accurate or not about my reading.

I actually did two spreads. The first is called the "tree of life" spread, and it's designed to tell you where you are in your life at this moment. The cards are ordered as follows:


3 2
5 4
8 7

For those of you that care, I use a traditional Rider-Waite deck. I've had these cards for a few years now. They used to belong to my ex, who is a confirmed skeptic and atheist. Not sure what he did with them, but he was happy to pass them on to me. I have another deck, called the Gilded Tarot, but I can't really connect with it - not sure why. But my cards are mine, they speak to me, and I like them, although some people find the images old-fashioned. If blogger is nice to me, I'll try to post illustrations.

There are set, standard meanings for the cards, and reams of books out there that can help with interpretation. I try to rely on my intuition first, and I record what I see. If I get stuck, or I really can't figure it out, then I'l look at a book. For some reason, I'm much more comfortable with the Minor Arcana.

Card 1 - The spiritual world, my attitudes towards it, my current state of being:

Three of Wands

The figure in the card seems to be overlooking a difficult journey. To me, in this card there's always the sense of having arrived somewhere, and finally having the time and space to look back on the journey. The figure (which I've interpreted as myself) has reached a summit, or pinnacle - goals have been achieved, and she/he is looking towards whatever comes next. This card (according to the book) is also about manifesting one's dreams into reality.

And I have. And my dreams grow bigger and more elaborate each day.

Card 2 - Energy, drive, spheres of responsibility

Six of Swords

This card gives me a sense of both sadness and happiness. The figures are moving away from something that's given them pain, moving towards an unknown future. I get a sense of loss, but also of hope - what lies ahead is unknown, but things aren't likely to get worse, only better. The cards reminds me of some personal characteristics I have - sometimes I have trouble letting go of things, and trusting the universe. And I tend to over-analyze to the point where I cannot see reality clearly. The swords, representing the intellect, are clouding the vision of the person who's steering the boat.

Card 3 - Understanding the limiting or containing factors operating in my life

15 The Devil

The devil - what is now viewed as the personification of evil - was once known as "the horned god" and invoked during fertility rites. The devil represents physical desire and material concerns - money, security, and home. I get this - while I know on one level that a relationship would be wrong, wrong wrong for me right now, it's hard to be without one, and hard to be alone in the physical sense. When I look at this card I also think about my tendency towards depression, and my sometimes negative outlook on myself - my appearance, my ability to be attractive, my uncertainty about my sexuality (not my orientation, just in general, tied with appearance and how I'm perceived by others). I feel like I need to test things out - what if after losing 125 pounds, there is still no physical appeal there?

Oh, insecurity! What would I do without you?

Card 4 - Financial matters, practical activities

Two of Wands

I have the world in the palm of my hand. Or so it seems. Materially, I feel really good about things. This card is about good business deals - and the closest thing to a business deal that I can think of is moving, and letting N buy me out. Our current financial arrangements are good for both of us - within a year we should have our debt paid off, and that means that the equity in the house will mean a material advantage for me. But I also see in this card a sense of separation - there is a wall that divides me from where I want to be. I'm still in the house, I still have the attachment to the material, and I need to keep moving forwards. I also think about my creative goals, and the fact that they're on the back burner a little bit - earning a living and providing for myself materially has taken priority over my creative goals. I feel like I need to balance that out a little bit.

Card 5 - Strife, challenges, opposition to overcome

VII The Chariot

In The Chariot, I see androgyny. I like androgyny, so that's good. I see a balance of energy - black - white, male-female, and opposing forces that occur in nature. All good. I see the twin-spirited me. But the figure in the card is blocking my path - I can't get to the city behind him/her unless I can get past the figure who seems to guard it.

This time I consulted my book, (I recommend the book but not the cards. I can't stand the marsailles deck) and this is what I found:

" linked with Cancer and the crab, this card also expresses the tenacity of that sign. Crabs hang on tightly, do not give up easily and often make intuitive sideways moves. They are extremely self-protective, for their tough outer shell cradles a vulnerable, soft interior. Ruled by the moon, they are more aware than most signs of the shifting of the universe."

Well, I'm a Cancer. And that pretty much describes my inner world. I can't fully let go of the past and move ahead. And it's not easy for me to open up - I want to stay protected and safe inside my shell. In short, I am my own worst enemy, and the obstacle that stands in the way of achieving my goals.

Card 6 - Achievements, Success, outer image

III The Empress

I love this card. The mother goddess. Fullness, ripeness, feminine energy. Balance. Creative energy flowing. Fertility and productivity. Comfort. Earthy, sensual. Abundance.

Enough said.

Card 7 - Love life, emotional attachments and surrounding emotions

Four of Cups reversed

So here,a gift is being offered and the figure in the card is refusing it. Perhaps out of fear. I tend to shut people out - I don't call my friends, I stay at home alone when I could go out, I keep my crab shell on all the time. The reverse of this card is a warning - don't settle for shallow relationships because of insecurity...don't let fear rob you of the valuable gifts that life has to offer. This time I turn to the Charge of the Doreen Valiente..."And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire."

I need to fill my own cup first, and then I can accept the gift of someone else's love.

Card 8 - Worldly matters - business, career, cultural and artistic endeavors

V - The Hierophant

I have a bias against this card, because it's very pope-like, and reminds me of all the negative things about the catholic church - like patriarchy and hierarchy. He's the pope, people, and what does he have to do with me? Oh, the favoured one to whom we bow low? Convention? Male energy (not in itself a bad thing, but in a church context it's heavily imbalanced). Maybe this is where I turn convention on its head....

But really, in spite of my lofty artistic ambitions, I'm working in a conventional job, because I must. An environment in which I'm comfortable, but which doesn't feed my creative side very well. I've worked in child care for 16 years now. I still enjoy the work, but I feel the stagnation that this card reminds me of. My job is not enough, and I rationalized that I could do the work as long as I could still find an outlet for my creative energy. It hasn't worked out the way I expected. I need to carve a niche for myself, take a chunk of time and start writing again, or I'll end up worshiping some god that I can't stand, like the paycheque and doing it because I have to god. I also see a desire for community in this card - I need community in order to reach my creative potential, and I haven't found it yet. Those five glorious days in August need to stretch over the rest of the year...somehow. Spiritually I need to go deeper, and start to listen to the inner voice, spend more time writing, meditating, creating, and in silence.

Card 9 - The unconscious mind and all its depths. Physical health.

Two of Pentacles

This is a card of balance. Carrying two loads, identities, personas.... a juggling act for sure. I feel like I'm juggling a lot of time. The two-spirited me. Walking in the straight world while learning more about the gay me. The me who is living in a house I can't afford and waiting to move. The me who schedules time with and without her child. Balancing the creative and the practical is also significant here. I seem to be able to juggle all this stuff - I have more balance now than I've had in years.

Card 10 - My roots. Home, family, close relationships

Ten of Wands

This card is supposed to be positive, but I always feel overwhelmed when I look at it. There's so much work to be done. And why don't I have the courage to ask for help when I need it? It's about being overwhelmed, but also about knowing that there is a reward coming for all of my hard labour. I'm busy, very busy creating a new life for myself, becoming independent. I am not alone, and I need to remember that, and ask for help when I need it. What I'm doing is so important to me personally, but so hard.

Whew, that was a lot of writing. Are you still with me? I'll post the other reading later.

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