Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Drainers and sustainers

Daily Draw: Margarete Petersen Tarot, Mother of Coins

This struck me as quite an arid queen of coins card or maybe it's gold and my perspective needs to change? 

I learned about the exhaustion funnel today (although I already know it experientially). The top circle is us when we lead a balanced life (work, family, friends, hobbies, exercise, creative pursuits). 

Then we get overloaded at work or a family member falls ill. Usually the first thing we drop is something non-essential that won't involve letting others down (like yoga practice, listening to music, seeing a friend). By the end of the week we feel more stressed because we didn't do one of the things that keeps us nourished. So we drop something else, further narrowing our lives and the next week feel even more depleted. 

So on until we reach almost the bottom - a life that has been stripped down to merely doing what we have to do to stay alive - work, cleaning, food shopping. I shudder when I think of what comes next. 

I spent time with a lovely group of ladies at my mindfulness class today. Women who have been or are really sick, and/or caring for relatives, or helping their families through bereavement. We were in agreement. You can't look after anyone else until you look after yourself first. 

Picking up the things that we once enjoyed takes effort and we can make all kinds of excuses. I suppose it comes down to whether to remain a husk...

When mood is low, motivation follows action,
rather than the other way around. When you put the action
               first, motivation follows.

unattrib.


Monday, 27 March 2017

Heart's expression

Daily Draw: Margarete Petersen Tarot, Queen of Cups

Being water of water this queen represents fluidity and depth. This card reminds me there is more than one way to reveal a mood or express a feeling. 

The heart may find its expression in a colour, a shape or a texture. The queen in her creative element is someone I am keen to know better. 


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Structuring

Daily Draw: The Margarete Petersen Tarot, Four of Coins

I was thinking of our four year plan for a new set of walls when I drew this card which means occupying a space, solidity and structure. 

In this deck the serpent appears as a lemniscate in the two of coins and looks outward in the Ace. Here the head is inward perhaps indicating the dangers of self-imprisonment. On the surface it appears there is more gold outside the boundary drawn by the snake's body than within it. 

Yet as well as stillness the snake represents mobility and flex thereby overcoming the rigidity of holding on too tightly. 

As Petersen explains this card offers four possibilities - a solid space, security ensuing from that, the power of boundaries and going beyond all limits. 

A practical and earthy four of coins which speaks of the freedoms that come from structuring oneself and ones resources while hinting at the need to remain flexible. 








Saturday, 25 March 2017

Pathwalking

Daily Draw: Margarete Petersen Tarot, Six of Coins

The Ammonite named after the Greek Ram-horned God Ammon has a positive earth energy. It may signify taking a spiritual spiral path to the centre. 

Pathways can be experienced at once physically and spiritually. As Petersen writes walking on different terrains, sand, stone, moss, meadows forms an exchange with earth that refreshes body and mind. As the feet take in the hands give away. 

One pair of feet two pairs of giving hands. Enough to convince me to get out walking in the sunshine today. 

Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
'Ride,' Pleasure said;
'Walk,' Joy replied.” 
W.H. Davies, 1871-1940





Friday, 24 March 2017

Damp air

Daily Draw Margarete Petersen Tarot, Son of Feathers

The Son of Feathers tells a story of a warrior who bathed in dragons blood and thought he was invulnerable but died by the spear of his own shadow while drinking from a spring. 

Perhaps why this 'knight' in a complete reversal of the usual depiction sits in lotus position meditating and condensing himself. He's accompanied by a vermillion dragon which in Chinese mythology blesses lakes. 

The message is self-awareness. Still I find this an oddly watery air card...

Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.” 

Francis Bacon, 1561-1626








Thursday, 23 March 2017

Dare seize the fire

Daily Draw: Margarete Petersen Tarot, Seven of Flames

I dreamt of a tiger and lo she appears. If a tiger appears as a guide it can be interpreted as a prompt to develop the qualities associated with this animal. Those attributes of free will, strength and self-expression figure in Petersen's interpretation of this card which urges us to realise our own needs and desires. This involves taking responsibility for our own emotions but not those of others. 

The seven of wands is sometimes described as the price we pay for the triumph in the six. Yet it is possible to experience the onslaught of the seven without having knowingly been in the six. When it seems that no matter how small we make ourselves others cannot accept the mere fact of our being. This is when we need to rekindle the fire of our unique purpose, power and energy. As Marie White has written 


'the tiger is all you, ALL you, without judgment or pretence, nothing purged or watered down, tamed or humbled' 

This means not being a victim of circumstance and tearing up patterns of self-restriction that we may have imposed on ourselves. 

The tiger heals quickly both emotionally and physically. She has to in order to survive. With humans it is not so life or death. Or is it? I wonder what limits I can burn free of today. 


Tyger Tyger, burning bright, 
In the forests of the night; 
What immortal hand or eye, 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? 

In what distant deeps or skies. 
Burnt the fire of thine eyes? 
On what wings dare he aspire? 
What the hand, dare seize the fire? 

And what shoulder, & what art, 
Could twist the sinews of thy heart? 
And when thy heart began to beat, 
What dread hand? & what dread feet? 

What the hammer? what the chain, 
In what furnace was thy brain? 
What the anvil? what dread grasp, 
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

William Bake

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

illuminate

Daily Draw: Margarete Petersen Tarot, The High Priestess

In the LWB Margerete Petersen writes that the major arcana wasn't painted in chronological order. Instead the cards chose her through 'dreams in random sequence'. Having had three vivid dreams myself last night this intrigued me prompting me to select this deck for the week. 

Then High Priestess pops up...The link to the subconscious mind who asks us to pay attention to dreams and intuition. 

The three moons in this card remind me of my night dreams. One about finding a beautiful book of tarot cards where the interpretations took the forms of stories (and cooked food), the other less well remembered about packing, exodus and travelling with tigers and one in between which I don't recall at all other than it seemed highly illuminating when I woke from it. 

The pearl on the left below the faintest moon reminds me that not all can be accessed through the conscious rational mind and accessing the far off subconscious takes effort. I might keep a dream journal this week...  


For some she came in a dream. For others in words as clear as a bell: it is time, I am here. She may come in a whisper so loud she can deafen you or a shout so quiet you strain to hear. She may appear in the waves or the face of the moon, in a red goddess or a crow.

Lucy, H Pearce, 


Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Locomotion

Daily Draw, Everyday Witch Tarot, Ace of Pentacles

The witch has her coin, the cat her cream, the sun is shining. It's new beginning. 

The fresh broom tells me it is time to get moving and not let the grass grow under my feet. 

I don't want locomotiary substitution or remote intransitory convolution; only one precise solution is the key: substitutiary locomotion it must be!

Eglantine Price, Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Monday, 20 March 2017

Providence doesn't care

Daily Draw: Everyday Witch Tarot, Wheel of Fortune

I admit to feeling a bit uneasy to receive this card again. If I've set my intention why ask me to choose again? A warning perhaps? 

Mulling it I think there are big opportunities in life and everyday ones which can add up to a big one or at least preparedness for when it comes along. 

This card reminds me of my tendency to dream small. Lurking within there is a fear that dreaming big will trigger a providential backlash at the implied critique of my present fortunes. 

It's a belief that sedimented in some hard life lessons in my twenties and I'm not sure I will ever unlearn it. All I can do is keep trying to move forward and if the wheels come off not take it so personally. 


No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

C.S. Lewis 1898-1963





Sunday, 19 March 2017

Salt of the earth

Daily Draw: Everyday Witch Tarot, King of Pentacles

Despite being pictured seated with chocolate cake and wine this king is the slimmest in the deck. He likes physical work and keeping fit in the process.  This ensures he stays lean and sinewy enough to look good in his yellow leggings. 

The snoozing dog suggests this is a moment of pleasurable repose after a day of hard work. 

I am reminded of when we bought the house, how hard we worked to make it liveable. Every day we had a challenge and most evenings an achievement to celebrate if not a mishap to commiserate. How satisfying it was. 

This king is a timely reminder to keep on track with the four year plan and not idle away time and money in the shopping centre today. 

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears or the sea, Karen Blixen, 1885-1962. 






Saturday, 18 March 2017

Gifting

Daily Draw: Everyday Witch Tarot, Six of Pentacles

This lady offers gifts of coins and food to those in need. Her green dress symbolises not only prosperity but balance, harmony, and healing. The mauve indicates the offer is grounded in compassion. 

This image gives us a snapshot of generosity but really it is an ongoing and reciprocal process. The young man on the right looks like he is off to college, one day he might develop a medical cure that helps many people. The crone on the right may be the younger witch's teacher kindly sharing her accumulated knowledge.  

The multiple shafts of light in this card suggest that the outcomes of giving are multidirectional and may grow exponentially. 

I wonder what I can give today.  





Friday, 17 March 2017

Sea time

Daily Draw: Everyday Witch Tarot, Nine of Cups

The seaside where I go to fill my cups. If time heals all things 'sea time' is faster than ordinary clock time. 

Creating a coastal feel at home with candles, sounds and colour is well and good but sometimes you've just got to be there. Time to book a break...

We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.

Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862




Thursday, 16 March 2017

Doublespeak

Daily Draw: The Everyday Witch Tarot, Justice

This card didn't immediately speak to me today so I dew again and again and got her numerical counterparts the two of wands and the two of pentacles. These clarify the message of justice today - making a choice and achieving balance. Both difficult to do in a state of reaction. 

The preceding cards (in the deck and ones that I have recently drawn) are relevant here. The hermit offering clarity through critical distance and the wheel which reminds us of the patterns and cycles of life. 

The curtain and the blindfold suggests there is still more to be revealed and my plans may need to adapt accordingly but for now it feels good to have an outline agenda. 

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything

Warren Buffet, 1930 - 






Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Heath warning - academic rant

Daily Draw, The Everyday Witch Tarot Tarot, Page of Pentacles

I usually identify with representations of this page as a scholar. This version offers a different perspective. Actually in this deck the it is the Page of Swords who appears with a bag of books. 

According to the book this page is the best prepared for the journey ahead and yet he tosses a coin to decide why way to go. Really? I can imagine the raised eyebrows at home if they knew. Or perhaps daddy pentacles is too rich to care...

The ivory tower is not in this chap's line of sight at all indicating that he is interested in practical knowledge with immediate applications not theory. 

This rendition calls into question my cherished assumptions about this court. A quick whip around the web reveals that popular interpretations of this card often emphasise learning something to make money. 

This reminds me of current trend towards the commodification of education - an impoverished view of learning which alongside other factors is causing the demise of the arts and humanities - disciplines which develop creativity and critical thinking skills and in the process encourages the development of decent, well rounded human beings. 

On the other side the research focused institutions/ivory towers which host those disciplines are culpable. A major special collections library (funded by the taxpayer) is still making it really difficult for anyone outside the university to access the catalogue let alone the collections. Although public membership is theoretically possible it requires something akin to a masonic initiation. 

I spent a good four hours today on their website and am still none the wiser about what they actually hold. If with all my accumulated research skills I can't find a way in then god help anyone else. 

In my day digitised (scanned) resources available on the web was the dream but to young people today that is old hat. They want books in audio. 

Perhaps this youngster is not so disinterested in book learning after all - a smart kid he's sussed early on he hasn't got time to waste knocking on a locked door that will never open. 

If only we were all better educated. If then, higher education would at last be a journey for skill and knowledge rather than for power and status.

Criss Jami, 1987-





















Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Structure and agency

Daily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Emperor

Leadership - something my thesis attempts to denaturalise. 

Who gets to be a leader and seen to be a leader often depends on embodied cultural/symbolic capital (white, male, heterosexual, middle aged, of a certain social class). This is normal or 'invisible' capital - the attributes of excellence or authority or 'natural leadership'. The latter being a common sense concept which like all common sense concepts tends to bolster the power of dominant 'elites' in society. 

The embodied entitlement to space (both physical and aural) is often a strong statement of social entitlement. From the guy sitting legs sprawled on the train to the politician authorised to speak on behalf of the electorate. 

As they take up space space for others diminishes. Women commonly speak more quickly and for less time at academic conferences anticipating the value of their product on the 'linguistic market' (speech is worth what the speaker is worth) and adjusting accordingly.   

While I am critical of 'authority figures' being authoritative is worth aiming for. We may experience disadvantage that is structural in nature but we also have agency. 

With that in mind the two positive messages I take from this card are: 

1. Vision - things don't have to be the way they are and can be different
2. Structure - present an argument capable of persuading people of that

In the case of sociology however, we are always walking on hot coals, and the things we discuss are alive, they're not dead and buried.

Pierre Bourdieu, 1930-2002


Monday, 13 March 2017

Entanglement

Daily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot, Wheel of Fortune

This card reminds me of haecceity - an assemblage of humans, animals, time, space, physical objects and everything else in the world. An example could be an hour of the day. 

Alternatively if the tangled cords map on to the different spokes of the wheel of an individual life - health, wealth, work, family, friends, leisure, love, spirituality - (I'm thinking of those seductively simple management development tools) are we ever truly up or down fortune wise? Can we even disentangle these aspects of our experience? I would expect that most times we are doing well in some areas, feeling less fulfilled in others and elsewhere nothing much to report. 

This wheel is less knotty at the top indicating greater freedom or less constraint. However the lower half is more stable. Moving into the 'up' position will mean giving up some of that security. 

I know the many disguises of that monster, Fortune, and the extent to which she seduces with friendship the very people she is striving to cheat. 

Boethius, 480-524

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Something just clicked

Daily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Hierophant

The fifth of the tarot keys perched on his insight opener. Still so much more to unlock. What keeps me hooked. 

Life is nothing more than finding the key that unlocks every part of our soul.

Shannon L Alder

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Synchronicity

Yesterdaily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot, Mother of Cups and the High Priestess

These two cards have not easily resonated with me in the past. Perhaps a strong sign to pay more attention to them (which I have of course ignored).

Kneejerk 'nothing like me' might actually be the reaction of a Queen of Cups in need of recovery. 

This High Priestess has knowingness that encompasses the shadows as well as the light. Incredibly composed her power has no need to roar. I feel my resistance to what I used to call the obtuse card eroding...

As these are the two psychics of the deck I got inspired to do some deck cleansing work. As luck would have it the timing is perfect. Tomorrow is a full moon and I am going to leave a couple of my favourite decks outside to catch its beams. 

The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.

Anais Nin, 1903-1977

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Come as you are

Daily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot, The Hermit

Last summer I had a reading at the wonderful Spiritual Connections in Whitby. When the hermit came up as the card signifying me my reader looked a little apologetic and said 'This doesn't mean that you're a loner or strange...' My response 'I'm fine with being a hermit and if people think that's odd I'm ok with that too' 

At that point the whole energy of the reading changed. His face lit up, we both relaxed and he began to share with me his fascinating research on hermits through history. 

Susan Cain writes that one third to a half of us are introverts and yet we are conditioned by society to think the extrovert is the ideal. 

My experience in Whitby reminds me of the importance of not living in camouflage. Sharing our own light of truth we invite others to share theirs. 

Here is the magic of the nine which always returns to itself. 

..some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and...some humans are just the same.

Susan Cain, 1968 - 


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Shepherd's delight

Daily Draw: The Wild Unknown Tarot: Nine of Wands

This cult classic arrived today and in my hands I understand why it is such. Elegant, emotional, honest, raw. I felt an immediate connection which hasn't happened before. The thoughtful packaging speaks of the treasure within and the cards don't fail to deliver. I can see why this gained a following in fashion circles. 

The backs of the cards are snakeskin patterned (initially I thought fishnets but was happy with that also). Being a big fan of animal print I love the leopard/magician and the tiger/high priestess. I did a mini interview which revealed the strength of this deck is travel companion. I can indeed envisage taking it everywhere I go. 

The guidebook is written with beautiful economy. It doesn't shy away from shadow. Dark and light are equally present with neither being overworked. 

My first reaction to the deck was 'wands dominant'. I don't know if individual decks have a prevailing suit? I'd be interested to know other's thoughts on this...

So it was my card of the day was nine of wands. An almost complete journey and a final stretch in which we may feel weary. The thickets either side of the steps reflect this feeling of being hemmed in but if we take a few more steps we emerge into the blush dusk sky. What other delights lie beyond?   

Pink sky at night, shepherds delight. Unattributed. 




Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Water barriers

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards: Breaking Barriers/ Druid Craft Tarot Deck, Queen of Cups

This card is about breaking through self imposed barriers. The guidebook advises 'don't let fear or even reason prevent you from over coming barriers'. My thoughts went to a situation in my work life from which I've withdrawn so much I'm almost in Narnia. I will need to (and friends have urged me to) reassert my right to go to work and get on with work peacefully. Yet I don't relish the reaction that is likely to provoke. 

Over the past couple of days I have been preoccupied with creating a more harmonious home especially through the use of water. Wondering if this is a distraction or diversion I sought clarity in the Druid Craft (my go to deck when I want immediate guidance). I drew the Queen of Cups which speaks to me of healing and nurturing indicating that creating a serene space is necessary not just nice. Truly accepting that might be my barrier...

Perhaps as I enlarge the peace in my home I will achieve a shift in perspective so the significance of the snake and the bug diminish just as they are small in this card. 

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. 

Norman Maclean, 1902-1990

Monday, 6 March 2017

Doors again

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Embracing the Future

I think one reason people remain in situations that no longer serve them is because they don't know what the future looks like. The irony being that when the future comes a'calling we don't notice it let alone embrace it. 

I am reminded by this card that visualisation can be a powerful motivator. In the absence of it we put one foot in front of the other although it can feel like a slog to nowhere. 

The doorway that the woman walks through is the outcome of the path she has trod so far. As the card shows there are clearly other ways forward that have always been open to her. Perhaps if we take off the blinkers instead of trudging forwards there are opportunities to dance our way. 

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards 

Søren Kierkegaard, 1813-1855


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Reflexive openings

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Looking Deeper

I had an enforced meditative practice this morning when I went for breakfast stuff and locked myself out of the house. Listening to clear birdsong outside rather the muffled sort I hear in the kitchen was a good experience I will repeat. 

The message of this card is that something that may seem closed could actually be just about to open (like my door). I am reminded by this of the difference between surface and deep reflections. The former describes something that happened whereas the latter involves an unsettling of assumptions so we think and do things differently in the future. 

Maybe joy is whatever is happening minus our opinion of it, and love is whatever is happening minus our attempt to control it. 

Sebene Selassie, 


Saturday, 4 March 2017

sort of anniversary

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Planting Seeds/ Fairy Lights Tarot, Ace of Wands


It is a year today since I began blogging my daily draw. Although it was in secret so not sure today counts as an anniversary. 

Today's oracle urges us to be clear on what our hearts truly desire. It suggests to me the importance of planting spiritual seeds first for the clarity we need to decide which worldly seeds to sow. The card also speaks of nurturance so what we plant grows strong like the oak. Partly this means being willing to pull the weeds along the way. 

I also drew a card (the Ace of Wands) from the Fairy Lights Tarot which is the first deck I blogged with. According to the guidebook "A tree of inspiration is growing from a seed planted long ago. Tend it well and draw upon its creative powers''

This image of the sapling growing from an old trunk reminds me that we don't always get to start from a perfect beginning. Sometimes growth emerges out of broken or dying things. Things can grow from seeds which we planted quite unintentionally or without great expectations. Whether the tree in this card is beautiful or a weed depends on your point of view. 

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant

Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894



Friday, 3 March 2017

Oh well

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Making a Difference

Been mulling this one. According to the book the card represents making a difference to the lives of others in ways we do not know. Not feeling it today. Oh well. 







One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.

Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970


Thursday, 2 March 2017

Quiet

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Stepping into Stillness. 

I have a meeting with a noisy drama queen today. This card speaks of the need for inner calm even as there is chaos and disharmony around us. I see it as a continuation of yesterdays card. If I allow myself to be sucked into the madness it will affect my relations with others and their relations with others and so on in a domino pattern of negativity. 

The challenge today is to resist the temptation to embrace unnecessary drama and invented urgencies. As the book suggests true power is born in stillness. 


We don't need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run. 

Susan Cain, 1968 - 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Out of clutter

Daily Draw: Gateway Oracle Cards, Cherishing Self

I was surprised to draw this as I've done a fair amount of self-cherishing in the shopping centre recently. On reflection though this is surface level self care. 

Real self nurturing is feeling good on the inside which shines through to the outside. Partly why I've chosen to work with this deck. Feeling a little trepidation at getting back into the thesis and in need of some positive calming energies.

A harmonious environment helps too. I bought Denise Linn's Sacred Space last year and ironically became too busy and stressed to read it let alone indulge in the home clearing rituals she suggests. The wrong way round. As the oracle guidebook suggests we cannot adequately look after anyone else when our glass is empty to half full. 

So I'll start reading and try to remember to balance headwork with the housework that makes a home a joy to live in. In fact clearing a smudge off my MacBook I've just discovered a function that has evaded me for two years. Woohoo! What other possibilities await? 

The table's simple balanced offer reminds me that I like nice things in small quantities. A single rose can bring great pleasure. One artisan made chocolate delivers over and above a bumper box. Who knows as I centre my space I may become a more mindful shopper...

Out of clutter, find simplicity.

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955