Full Moon Reflection: 23 Mar 2016

At this full moon, I decided to try a spread from New Age Hipster. I used the Animal Totem Tarot and the Mirrors of the Heart oracle deck.

Position One: What’s going on in my life right now

March 23 - 1

King of Cups, Gentleness

The King of Cups has great control over the watery element of emotions. I am barely hanging on to control, but I suppose the key is that I haven’t let my emotions overtake me. There are many changes happening right now in my life. My business plans are moving along, Mr. Donkey just got a new job, we’ll be moving, and I’m having trouble with a particular relationship. While most of these are good things, I still don’t handle change super well. So it’s good that I’m still tenuously in control of my emotions. I have to be gentle with myself when I stumble and gentle with myself by allowing myself to feel some of the intense emotions that are headed my way. They aren’t inherently bad. Just observe, feel, and don’t lose control.

Position Two: What to release, it no longer serves me

March 23 - 2

The Hermit, Movement

At first these cards seems to be contradictory. But in the position, perhaps I need to let go of the expectation that others will go within themselves, reflect on certain issues, and take action based on their introspection. As much as I would love this, I certainly can’t make it happen. And if I expect it I’ll be disappointed quite regularly. It’s a hard thing to release, though, because I just don’t think it’s asking a lot for people to think before they act when their actions are potentially harmful or damaging. Having this expectation brings a lot of pain.

Position Three: Lessons

March 23 - 3

Page of Cups, Awakening

I’m not even sure yet. I feel like I’m in the middle of many lessons right now, but I’ve not yet quite “learned” them. Time will tell. Pages are the youngest  and least developed of the court cards, and the Awakening card depicts little fetuses in the earth. I’m still in the beginning stages of many lessons during this crazy transitional time in my life. So who knows? Like the seal, I just need to go with the flow and have as much fun as I can along the way.

Position Four: Blessings

March 23 - 4

Two of Wands, Peace

It’s been a blessing to start taking some big steps in my business plans. I’m finalizing a logo at the moment, and when we move I’ll be creating a brand new work space. I have many choices ahead, and being able to create these plans is a blessing in itself. I’m much more at peace beginning this work than have been at other work. This work will allow me to care for myself and to create a peaceful environment in ways I could not with a more “traditional” job. A privilege and a blessing indeed.

Position Five: What my heart wants

March 23 - 5

Nine of Pentacles, Sanctuary

Sanctuary! It’s been a really rough go for a while. My soul aches some days. I wish for peace and contentedness. A nice slow pace of life and quiet place to seek peace. I want sanctuary from heartache. But I don’t want to isolate myself.

Position Six: Big step to take to reach my dream

March 23 - 6

Ten of Cups, Voice

Speak up in my family of choice. If I show up without my voice, I’ll never feel like myself — which means I’ll never feel like I really belong. Show up, speak up.

Position Seven: What to focus on next

March 23 - 7

Two of Pentacles, Stillness

One thing at a time without overburdening myself or over- or under-focusing on any one area. Make small goals, all the while maintaining an inner sense of quiet stillness. One day that might be to pack several boxes. Another day that could be to revise my code of ethics, to walk in nature, or to read and journal. Focus is needed during this time, but I need to focus on only focusing on one thing  at a time. Focus on not getting overwhelmed.

Monday Meditation

(This post is so late because our car’s engine went out earlier today. What fun!)

A meditation for the week ahead: February 29 – March 6

Feb 29 - Mar 6
Dreaming Way Tarot: Two of Wands, The Empress, Queen of Cups

May I carefully consider the choices presented to me during the week.

May I nurture myself, particularly my emotional self.

May I listen to those around me and appreciate those who support me.

May I see the abundance around me: in my home, in nature, and in the people I love.

May I work harmoniously with those around me.

May I understand that big dreams have small beginnings, and may I stay passionate about my dreams.

May I tap into and have confidence in my creativity.

May I listen to my heart when dealing with others and when caring for myself.

I think it’s pretty cool how this spread shows the person in the Two of Wands facing the Empress and the Queen of Cups. It seems like they’re having a conversation. Maybe giving advice or support.

 

Reading: Openness

I’m a hot mess right now. Angry, sad, confused. My eyes are puffy, I have a headache. I don’t even really trust myself right now. So I asked tarot, “How can I be open to some movement toward positive change?” Because I feel like I’m not open to anything right now. I’ve very much in “scared donkey” mode right now. I’m frozen and everything sounds like a terrible and scary idea. I am not budging.

Reading 2016, Jan 28
Ostara Tarot

Five of Cups

Yes, I am grieving. I feel sadness and some regret. At this moment I am having a terribly hard time seeing that there are still cups standing. The cup that got knocked over was trust, so the others seem insignificant in comparison. This card has snakes, which can symbolize new beginnings. Right now sucks, but maybe maybe the contents of some of the other cups can be mixed up to make trust again. Maybe!

Strength

At this point in time, Strength seems to be saying to me, “Pull yourself together, woman!” My inner lion/dragon is a terrified thing running around in circles, knocking things over, and biting people. There is no balance! I need to take my inner dragon, hold its little face in my hands, and say, “Look, I know you’re scared right now. But trust me. We can do this. It won’t be easy, but it will be even harder if you don’t sit still for a hot second. You are adding to the chaos. Drink some tea, take a nap, find a safe place to calm down.”

The Emperor

My life feels like chaos right now. Maybe I can create some stability. Not over this situation at the moment, but I can fold the laundry, get back to daily tarot in the morning (that really helps start my day off right), and plan out the meals for the week. I can be someone I can count on. That little bit of created stability may make the rest of this mess feel easier to handle.

Two of Wands

In this depiction of the card, a girl is caged up while the birds fly free. I’m not ready to the leave the cage, but maybe if I can even just imagine that the door is open that might help. Like I said, I don’t know what the solution to this mess is, and nothing sounds good. But even so, if I just imagine that something (even if I don’t know what it is) can open the door maybe that will help. The Ostara Tarot’s lwb description of this card mentions courage, which is my word of the year. Maybe I can scribble the word on a sticky note and post it by my bed, because I’m having an awfully hard time remembering it on my own right now.

Reading: Three of Swords

Oh, it’s a bad day. A sad, bad day. I decided to pull three cards to represent the three heartbreak swords piercing my heart.

Reading 2016, Jan 26
Animism Tarot

Two of Wands

Uncertainty. A new horizon lies before me, but I don’t know if it’s one I want to see. It’s not where I wanted to go, but I don’t know how many choices I have. I’m afraid I may have to go there without someone I thought was my friend. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” and I don’t want to take either. I want to lay the dirt and cry.

Page of Swords

Even though I tend to lean sword-y, I’m feeling at a loss. I don’t know what to do or what to think. What is right or what is wrong. My thoughts feel confused and underdeveloped. I want change and justice and action, but I can’t actually make any of these things happen. In this situation when I think “earth of air” for the Page of Swords I just picture dirt and grass and tree bits being hurled around by a tornado. Chaos and loss are swirling around me.

Eight of Swords

Trapped, trapped, trapped. Even when I try to use the eight swords to cut my bonds loose, I just feel like I end up shredding my own skin and somehow being more tightly bound than before. I don’t know what the trick is to untying myself.

Gray Day, Open Reading

This morning I was particularly sad. I’m taking a break in communicating or spending time with someone, which is something I need to do while I figure out what I want or what to do. But that doesn’t make it easy. I’m sad! I miss them! This ache was, for some reason, rather acute this morning.

I wanted to do a reading but wasn’t sure what to ask, so I decided to do a four card open reading. Then I couldn’t decide on just one deck, so I decided to consult two of my tarot “friends.”

Reading 2016, Jan 25
Top row: Ostara Tarot, Bottom row: Gypsy Palace Tarot

Ostara Tarot’s Message

Ace of Coins, The Hierophant, Four of Wands, Seven of Coins

The Ace of Coins says to me that there is an opportunity for a new beginning. In this scenario, I’ll consider that beginning as encompassing most of my world: work, family, relationships, home. While this can be a good thing or lead to a sense of stability and joy (Four of Wands), it is not an easy thing. I am having to question many of my currently held beliefs (The Hierophant), and it’s not quick work (Seven of Coins). The colors in this spread seem very mellow. This feels like it emphasizes the slow nature of the work I’m doing right now and reminds me that many wonderful things grow out of slow processes. This wait is part of what makes the end result so valuable or special.

The Ostara description of the Ace of Coins mentions the garden as growing “organically” — things will happen as they unfold. I can tend my proverbial garden, but I can’t make a rose a watermelon or make a sprout flower overnight.

The Hierophant represents not only belief systems, but larger systemic structures. I can search for outside wisdom and inspiration during this time. For example, I’m reading my new book The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren and it is already giving me so much to think about as I process my emotions in this situation. The Ostara depiction is my favorite Hierophant because there’s a book and pages. A plant grows out of the Hierophant’s head here — another hint at organic unfolding.

The carrots in the Four of Wands offer a similar hint.

The Ostara depiction of the Seven of Coins with the little raccoons snuggled in their tree reflects the need to patiently cultivate the world around me. The coins seem to magically grow out of the tree, representing where true treasure lies.

Here, the Ostara Tarot is reaffirming the slowness of this transition in my life. It is what it is. I should use this time well.

Gypsy Palace Tarot’s Message

Two of Wands, Nine of Wands, The Empress, Ten of Pentacles

I’m feeling trapped in a “stay or go” cycle of questions in my mind. Huszka’s depiction of the Two of Wands warns us that if we wonder for too long, stagnation and decay will set in. While I wait for the things that need to unfold organically, I can throw some fire energy into other things, like planning for my tarot business and being a good partner to my sweetheart.

I think in this situation, the Nine of Wands can represent not only my current sense of defensiveness but also my questioning and restructuring of personal boundaries. Particularly emotionally. This is one of the things that I feel will unfold as a combination of organic, subconscious happening and concerted, conscious work. Right now I feel like the grumpy woman guarding her fenced-in property!

The Empress reminds me to be nurturing and compassionate, which I think I’m doing a pretty good job of lately with myself. With others it feels tricky because of my unsureness about where and how to set boundaries. Before, I’ve always put others before myself, so it feels strange to put myself first and to leave others be on their own. I look forward to striking some kind of balance between the the Nine of Wands defensiveness and the Empress’s outward love and nurturance.

Where the Ostara Tarot gave me the Ace of Coins, The Gypsy Palace Tarot shows me the Ten of Pentacles. In fact, the Ace is the first card in my spread, and the Ten is the last! Perhaps here the Ten may indicate the end of an old cycle of being and thinking. One that worked for a while but isn’t functioning in a healthy way anymore. It can also represent a hopeful peek into the future: a joyous Ten of Pentacles representing success and fulfillment.

Broader Observations

Each deck gave me one major card and a combination of coins/pentacles and wands. No swords, no cups. Much of what is happening feels like emotion and thought, but perhaps this spread indicates these are actions that are unfolding organically around and within me. The two major cards symbolize, broadly, love (The Empress) and beliefs (The Hierophant). I feel that these two things are really at the core of what is happening in and around me right now. I am full of love, but I just have to figure out what I really believe is the best way to share that and to protect my heart.

Reading: Death

Reading 2015, Nov 23
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for Death, based on the White Rose (designed by Paula C. Scardamalia) from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What has already died?

Six of Pentacles

I’m learning this card is much more nuanced and complex than I first thought (that’s starting to happen a lot lately as I get a better grasp of tarot). While Huszka’s depiction does not show the merchant and beggar of the RWS Six of Pentacles, the merchant and beggar symbols are both important in this position for me. I have given up on being so rigid I will not ask for help. Like the beggars, I am not too proud to ask for what I need. However, as a shadow, I do at times feel like I’m begging. I’m in the midst of the mystery of this death of pride where I’m not yet comfortable in a position of expressing need.

Huszka’s depiction seems very optimistic, perhaps pointing to the good that will come as I complete this passage in my life.

Position Two: What killed it?

Ten of Wands

I couldn’t carry my load alone anymore! I like the symbolism in the RSW depiction, but I really like Huszka’s vision of this card. I’ve pushed so many rocks on my path that I became trapped. They all piled up and I couldn’t move forward. I became completely overwhelmed, and now I’m having to say, “Yes, I do need help. Will you please help me out of this situation?”

Position Three: What needs to die?

King of Cups

While I am able to ask for help, I still keep a pretty good poker face about it all. Rachel Pollack in The New Tarot Handbook says, “The King of Cups may indicate someone with deep levels of feeling who does not show this side to others lest it rise up and flood him” (233). While it’s good to have boundaries, a perpetual refusal to allow people to see my emotions is not a good way for building deep loving and trusting relationships. This fear of vulnerability needs to die.

Position Four: What will release it?

Five of Cups

The traditional RWS depiction is a figure cloaked in black looking at three spilled cups while two upright cups stand behind them. This speaks to grief and loss as well as the hope that remains. I also like Huszka’s interpretation: without sufficient rest or love or trust, our fears can grow and overtake us, making it difficult to see the good. Using both of these depictions, I can say that release from my fear of vulnerability will come from turning around and picking up the two upright cups in the RWS version and in surrendering to the rejuvenating love that is being offered. Both require an act of will. I have to make that choice.

Position Five: What is buried?

Two of Wands

This is a tough card for me to interpret in this position. The Two of Wands can speak to a motivation for change, but an uncertainty about staying put (security) or moving forward (adventure). I have the spark, but what is buried is the confidence to throw myself into the adventure. I peek my head out the door, but I haven’t made a run for it yet. But as Huszka’s depiction of this card shows, stagnation can lead to rot.

Position Six: What can be born?

The Hanged Man

A higher level of peace and acceptance with vulnerability. That word, vulnerability, is what I always think of when I see Huszka’s Hanged Man. And yet she does not look sad or distraught or afraid or uncomfortable. She returns my gaze without shame.

Reading: The Hierophant

Reading 2015, Nov 11
Animal Wisdom Tarot, A Reading for the Hierophant in Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: How has tradition affected my life?

Beaver, Eight of Fossils (Pentacles)

The tradition of “family” has affected my life in multiple, conflicting ways. For the majority of my life, family was a obligation and a system where I had to be obedient. This was a joyless tradition since it was all work and no spiritual fulfillment. I had no concept of family as a positive, safe place for spiritual and emotional support.

I have finally begun to assimilate with my family of choice, and this took a lot of learning and unlearning (the Hierophant as education in a tradition). It has been a healing process and, as I am becoming more confident, an enjoyable kind of “work” as portrayed in the Eight of Pentacles. In fact, I’m bringing some of my own “traditions” to the family, particularly holiday traditions. Before I became an active member of the family, they didn’t celebrate a lot of holidays even though they recognized them. This has been a really enjoyable experience, bringing these holidays to life and making them our own.

Each eight card in the Animal Wisdom Tarot contains a lemniscate, representing cycles and patterns. Traditions are shared patterns of actions and beliefs.

Position Two: What have I learned?

Dog, Ten of Fossils (Pentacles)

This new way of experiencing tradition has taught me how to play and be happy, to feel fulfilled. Now, of course it’s a learning curve and I still experience fear and inhibition a good bit of the time as well. But that doesn’t diminish this incredible lesson which I continue to grow with.

While the traditional RWS depiction of the Ten of Cups shows a family joyful in only needing each other’s company, the traditional Ten of Pentacles can be said to be more structured and rule-based. In this context, the Ten of Pentacles can represent family tradition. And that doesn’t mean less loving or more strict. Tradition, when done “right,” can be a warm and beautiful shared experience. That is what I am learning to be a part of.

This card appeared in my reading for the High Priestess regarding what is deep within me. So maybe I’m just learning to let it out 🙂

Position Three: How have I broken with tradition?

Scarab Beetle, Ten of Branches (Wands)

This card in the Animal Wisdom Tarot can can represent “conscious transformation.” In the traditional RWS depiction, it can represent excess and burden — the person in the card carrying the ten wands has their arms full and can’t see the road in front of them. I can relate to both sides of this card. The old “tradition” of family life for me was very much like the person weighed down with so many branches she can’t see anything else. But like the Animal Wisdom Tarot’s interpretation, I have made a conscious choice to do something else with those branches, and the road ahead is clear, even if I’m not sure exactly where it leads.

Position Four: What do I have to teach others?

Bat, Master of Suspension (The Hanged Man)

The Hanged Man shows us that a drastic change in perspective and/or a pause can bring great transformation or enlightenment. Not only do bats hang upside down, but they can “see” with echolocation. While I am by no means a “master of suspension,” I have made huge strides in my life from being utterly trapped with no sense of my own power to embracing my power, making choices that are far outside my comfort zone, and creating a new life for myself, starting with my inner world. I can teach and encourage that in others.

Position Five: How can I fulfill this role?

Salamander, Two of Branches (Wands)

Twos represent duality and balance, as symbolized by the yin-yang symbols on the twos in the Animal Wisdom Tarot deck. And while the salamander is a symbol of fire, she also lives on both the earth and in the water. A fiery spark with a balance of emotion and reality. Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life says that this card “illustrates the tension between stability and mobility” (148). So perhaps I can fulfill this role by carefully choosing when to remain still (like the Hanged Man) and when to move forward. A balance between the creative action of the Magician and the quiet contemplation of the High Priestess.