Friday, October 31, 2014

Samhain Blog Hop: Catching Fireflies in Glass Jars

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Happy Halloween, Happy Samhain!

Welcome to the 2014 Samhain Blog Hop! Please use the links at the top or bottom of this post to navigate through the other wonderful blogs in this circle.

Louise Underhill, from Priestess Tarot, asked us to describe (using our cards, naturally) a guest that we'd like to invite to a Samhain tea. It could be someone real or imaginary, someone known to us or someone famous. I always struggle with these sorts of scenarios, kind of like when someone asks you to name your hero, or your favorite music group of all time.

But this time I thought it would be nice to invite the spirit of my grandma Dorothy (my mother's mother) to spend some time with me on Samhain eve. I have fond memories of my grandma, though they be few in number, and connecting with her is something meaningful to me since I was never able to properly know her in life. I decided to pull three cards from my Golden Tarot deck, and in addition I, as usual, took a peek at the card at the bottom of the deck for an underlying theme or energy of the spread. 

Golden Tarot - Kat Black
U.S. Games Systems

This bottom card was: 6 of Cups. My, how fitting! Having tea with my grandmother's memory is precisely what this card is all about. I'm traveling down memory lane, remembering aspects of my young childhood, those that she was a part of…Life was certainly simpler then, and the image on this card could well be me and my sister in Dorothy's back yard, a place we spent a lot of time. The tree could be Dorothy's cherry tree; I remember the excitement with which we would pluck the fruit from its branches when ripe (even then, the notion of harvesting one's own food was great fun for me!). Now on to the central questions….

1) How would Dorothy describe herself? 2 of Cups
2) What would she like to talk about? 10 of Coins
3) What messages might she have for me? 10 of Swords

Golden Tarot - Kat Black
U.S. Games Systems

The first card filled my heart with a strong sense of understanding of the love that she carried within. Dorothy died when I was five years old. She had a difficult life, marrying twice (the first at a young age) and bearing six children across the span of it. I know that towards the end of her life she struggled quite a bit with relationships; I think she was just tired. My mom told me that when she was pregnant with me, Dorothy had told her, "I don't think I'm capable of loving any more people." But when I came into the world, she found that she was quite able to open her heart to me. I know that my grandmother adored her children, no matter how many steep obstacles she had to contend with along the way. The Two of Cups speaks to the healing and wholeness offered by love, and I hope that she has found that for herself. She is certainly still loved, even in memory.

The second card actually made me laugh a bit, oh my clever grandma….. She wants to talk about the powerful legacy of the family home, a very pertinent topic for this moment. One of the things I recall most about being in my grandmother's house was the activity. When I was a child we lived in Cheshire, Connecticut, and our own home was right next door to my grandmother's house, so there was constant communication and interaction. Many of our extended family lived nearby, so we often found ourselves playing and eating with our cousins, aunts, and uncles. I distinctly remember a group of us playing with GI Joe figurines in Dorothy's dusty attic. I remember catching fireflies in glass jars on summer evenings, and hunting for the perfect twig in the grass; if it passed inspection, an adult would tie a string to both ends to make our very own bow. I even remember tearing across the back yard on my Big Wheels trike, feeling pretty adventurous and cool. There is something special and "right" in family togetherness. Oftentimes it revolves around a central home, belonging perhaps to a matriarch or patriarch, that serves as the anchor of family unity. It's the nucleus, it is the hearth of the family heart. And it's the keeper of that precious legacy that is the root of a family's strength. We had that in Connecticut, and we don't have that now in the same way. My grandmother died long ago. We moved to Michigan and created a new life. Now I am living with my own family in Florida, and in these ways we continue to spread ourselves thin, stretching the energetic ties of our kin like rubber bands across vast stretches of terrain. Mambo Vye Zo has written about this sort of tie, the family "Oversoul", and says this about it:

Families often share an Oversoul that can have far reaching results.  If an Oversoul is something that is shared by two or more people, then a Family Oversoul is a deeper bond than mere pairing can create.  You share this Oversoul with your mother and father, as well as your siblings.  This Oversoul is the family vibe that runs through you all.  It descends from your grandparents' Oversoul or even further back, giving you a piece of their relationship with which you begin your own.

As I sit contemplating what the 10 of Coins means to me in the context of this Samhain visit with my grandmother, it is precisely this sense of our family's Oversoul that feels sharply defined, a thin yet steely vibration of ancestral connection threading its way through my deepest core. I am filled with a potent sense of urgency to relieve those deep stretches in our shared, energetic bond.

Just a few days ago my mother broached the topic of our coming back "home." Not to visit, but to stay. It's something we've thought of before, but you know how it goes - there are positives and negatives to everything, and in the end it's easier to stay put. But it goes beyond just missing each other. There is something deeper there, and the 10 of Coins feels like my grandmother's voice underscoring that topic. It's about restoring the core strength of the family, little by little. Giving our children grandparents to know intimately, to make memories with - there is no replacement for that. And there's no excuse for taking that away from them. With this card my grandmother is reminding me of what I had back then as a child, and encouraging me to make that a critical focal point as we seriously consider our next steps forward.

Photo Credit: Chantal Steyn

Not surprisingly, my grandmother's message to me is the 10 of Swords. This card, and the Death card, have been my followers of late. I know that big, at times painful, change is unfolding in my life at present. It sucks, I will be honest about that, and I'm certainly exhausted. But there's something therapeutic in catharsis. My grandmother is reassuring me of something I've sensed for a while now - that there is something new on the way. Although at times I'm not entirely sure just what it is, I do know that the only way to get there is to simply let go. Should we embrace the message of the previous card, there will certainly be some poignant 10 of Swords qualities to the transition. The truth is that there is something reassuring about knowing that all of the challenges and pain and difficulties are leading somewhere positive. That at its foundation this period is like birthing pains, that deep, primal pressure, the gasps when you start to wonder if you'll ever make it to the end….and then you do. And in that moment you realize that the fruit of your labor was so well worth it that you'd do it all over again. Yes, that is a bit what this feels like. And what a perfect meditation for Samhain, where we embrace death, rejoicing in the knowledge that a new life cycle is on its way.

So this Samhain I embrace and honor my grandmother Dorothy. I invite her to connect with me, to chat with me, to pass her wisdom on to me. I open my heart to receive her presence with gratitude and love.

Happy and blessed Samhain to you all!

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Removing the Mask

Not long ago I acquired the Viking Cards, an oracle deck by Gudrun Bergmann and Olafur Gudlaugsson that offers guidance through the teachings of the Viking myths, deities, and Sagas. I've done many readings with this oracle over the past few weeks and always find it startlingly clear, appropriate to whatever topic I'm reading on, and wonderfully insightful.

Every morning I pull my daily three Lenormand cards, but sometimes I like to add to it, usually by pulling a Tarot or oracle card. Today I felt like hearing what the Viking Cards had to say. I shuffled, holding in my mind the open question of: "What guidance is most beneficial to me at this time?"

I pulled card 29-The Mask: Self Expression.

Viking Cards - Bergmann/Gudlaugsson
U.S. Games Systems

This resonates with me in a couple of ways:

1) I don't need to be stoic in the face of the challenges I'm experiencing. I don't mean that I will break down and fail to weather the difficult changes, I just mean that I don't have to pretend that the responsibilities I'm carting around right now aren't exhausting and stressful. And by simply expressing that, I'm alleviating some of the psychological burden even if the material weight hasn't shifted. That does make it easier to bear.

2) Presenting my thoughts and ideas to the wide world, primarily via this blog, is wonderful in many ways, but not without its risk. I've never liked conflict - I'm definitely one of those peace-making, harmony-loving types. I want everyone to just get along. It's relatively easy to post a daily draw, to discuss possible meanings of whatever Tarot card I happen to pull, or to do a deck review, but it's quite another thing to be forthright about my opinions and thoughts about potentially divisive topics (like fortune-telling!); it's a major challenge for me. But it's also a necessary step, I think, toward sharing myself and being okay with the fact that not everyone will agree or even like my perspective. It's important to me not to allow the fear of "not being liked," or being misunderstood, keep me from being true to myself, and to the wider world.

This card encourages me to take my Mask off, to call on my inner strength to give me the fortitude to let myself be seen.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Game of Hope 2.0 Lenormand: A Deck Being Born!

It was a pleasure to participate in the creation of a new, collaborative Lenormand deck. This was a project coordinated by Edmund Zebrowski, and each participant developed the concept and artwork for one or more of the 36 cards in the deck.

I created the image for the 28-Man card, using acrylics on canvas. I have to say that it's immensely rewarding and satisfying to see how it turned out as a printed card! A long list of other artists/readers gave of their time and artistic ability to make this deck happen, including Carrie Paris, Bridgett Trejo, Maree Bento, Tierney Sadler, Angela Shikany, and Dennis Ng, to name just a few.

The demo version has been printed to make sure that all the details are in order, and soon a full order will go to print. I'll be sure to post more information about it when it's available!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Myths About That Nasty "F" Word

I want to talk about “fortune telling,” a polemic that by nature has both supporters and detractors in the divination community. Some feel it is entirely disempowering, and liken it to the mysterious ladies in flowing skirts brandishing crystal balls at the traveling circus – a bit doomy, and altogether distasteful, even unethical. Others find it simply a term, like any other, that represents a manner of divination that looks into the unfolding future of a client. Just when I start to think that this topic has died and become a non-issue, it rears its head again, begging a real discussion rather than brief (and at times heavily opinionated and biased) monologues throughout social media platforms.

Photo Credit: Mike Licht

I decided to offer up some of my own views regarding popular myths on the matter. This is hardly exhaustive of even my own thoughts, as one question tends to lead to another, and another, and so on. Nevertheless, I have to start somewhere, don’t I!  So here goes:

1) Fortune telling is disempowering.

There seems to be a school of thought that suggests that explaining the most likely turn of events in a client’s situation removes any ability to influence their own circumstances. Hell, if that were true, I would certainly not be a fortune teller – I’m all about empowerment! When done well, fortune telling identifies what will probably take place in the client’s future, and also aids the client in determining an appropriate responsive action, or at the very least, helps the client by allowing them to mentally/emotionally/materially prepare for what’s coming. There is nothing disempowering about that.  A very simplistic and practical illustration: I read my daily cards and if I see rain, I bring an umbrella. If I see a check bouncing, I move funds over. If I see an X-factor that could throw a wrench in my fabulous plans that surely could never go wrong, I make sure I have a Plan B. You learn how to read the future by doing it regularly, by being a dedicated student to the art, by seeing how things play out over time; by being painfully correct, and on occasion by being "off" and having to recalibrate. When you understand what you’re seeing, you can respond to it. Thus fortune telling can be extremely invaluable.

2) Fortune telling exists in a vacuum.

Most readers who read “fortunes” also read using other styles. Just because someone engages in fortune telling doesn’t mean that it’s the only approach they use, or even that it’s a preferred method.

3) Good/ethical/caring readers distance themselves from anything related to telling fortunes.

What I have to say to this: Bah humbug, semantics. It’s all semantics, and don’t let them try to convince you otherwise. What do you mean by “fortune telling?” What do I mean by “fortune telling?” I would venture to say that most readers, regardless of their discipline, and regardless of their self-perceptions and/or preference of labels, tell fortunes. Long ago I wrote a post about fortune telling and mentioned that any reader that pulls an “outcome” card in a spread is engaging in fortune telling. Many readers attempt to brush off the act by saying that they are simply looking at “what could be” – but also assuring the client that he or she is entirely able to alter the outcome by changing their decisions. I don’t buy into that 100%: #1, I think that in some cases it’s simply a matter of a reader being uncomfortable with attempting to discern the future, in which case saying that the future is "set in sand" relieves the pressure of feeling responsible for being correct (or incorrect!), #2, in some instances readers adhere to the false idea that by reading the future you are robbing the client of agency (in which case, see #1 in this post), and #3, I think that life is simply more complicated than that. Sure, I agree that we can and do influence our future every day. But I also believe that some things are beyond our influence. Perhaps that thought is frightening to some, but I find that by being aware of that, I’m more able to influence what is in my power to alter, or if nothing else, I’m able to alter my mental or emotional approach. As they say, “forewarned is forearmed.”

Another interesting thing to note here is that most readers I know, even those that eschew the notion of fortune telling, talk quite openly about how accurate their future-oriented readings are (“I told her this would probably happen, and she didn’t believe me, but hey - it did!”). I think that’s great, who doesn’t want to be highly accurate? But I do find it a bit hypocritical.

4) Fortunetellers identify themselves as fortunetellers.

I call myself a card reader, because that’s the clearest and most direct definition for what I do. As I said in #2, I don’t only look into the future. I look into the present. I uncover hidden agendas, inner agonies, the need for healing, frustrations, unrealized strengths, talents on the verge of blooming. I look into the past to see what came before and how it’s impacting the present, and how it may well continue on to impact the future if it’s not addressed. I don’t like labels, really, and as much as I don’t have a problem with the term “fortune teller,” I don’t tend to call myself one any more than I’d call myself a “Tarot counselor.”


I entirely understand the desire to dissociate from a term typically associated with the circus doomsday proclaimer, and I wholly support the fact that as diviners we have a responsibility to help empower our clients. I also recognize that there isn’t really any other term out there at the moment that carries the appropriate definition (except perhaps "predictive reader" or  “divination”??) to describe what fortune telling involves. But I also think that criticizing the practice both insults the art and those who ethically practice it, while at the same time supporting the negative myths associated with the term. I feel that once there is a better understanding of what fortune telling truly is, and how it’s most commonly practiced, there will be a gradual decline in the number of readers that object to its existence in contemporary divination circles.

First Earth Tarot on Christiana's Psychic Café!

Christiana Gaudet, from Tarot Trends, will be airing an encore of the interview she did with me for National Tarot Day back in the Spring. If you want to catch it, it will be available this Sunday night at 9pm EDT.  Click here for more information!

If you can't watch the show when it airs this Sunday, you can view it right here.

We had quite an interesting conversation about fortune telling, and how it can be empowering contrary to some beliefs!

Monday, October 13, 2014

2 of Pentacles: Balance Amidst the Tempest

Last week was full of ups and downs and twists and turns, and I was pretty happy when the weekend arrived. On Saturday I took the kids out with me to buy herbs and we discovered a new park that turned out to be a lot of fun to play at for the little ones. After dinner we stopped by the bookstore, which is popular with everyone. Aside from the endless shelves of reading material there is a train set for Gabriel to enjoy, a lego station where Lourdes loves creating complex structures, and a nice café with cookies and espresso. All the good stuff in one location!

On Sunday we couldn't leave the house for very long because people were coming to remove our old toilet and install a new one. I had no idea how long that would take, so in the morning I took the kids to the arts and crafts store and we bought some materials with which to make Halloween decorations: some bake-able clay, acrylic paints, a sugar skull wood cut-out, and a ginger bread haunted house kit. I figured that if we were going to be stuck inside all afternoon at least we could have something fun to do! Indeed we spent hours forming, baking and painting our creations, far after the fixer-man (as Gabriel called him) had gone.

Halloween/Samhain crafts
O. Destrades

After I put the kids to bed I made some tea and decided to pull cards for my week ahead. The Aquarian Tarot is one I'd admired from afar for quite a long time, and about a month ago the Italian version was on clearance for a very low price, so I snatched it up. I'm glad I did, because the combination of stark fields of white with bright, flowing color is quite interesting and beautiful. And the card backs are stunning and a pleasure to behold! I plucked the deck from my overflowing divination bookcase, and settled down to read.

I chose a card on which to focus my energies for the week ahead and pulled:

2 of Pentacles

Aquarian Tarot - Palladini

The 2 of Pentacles encourages me to balance all of the responsibilities that I'm currently experiencing in healthy ways so as to avoid the feeling of being overburdened. Yes, there's a lot to do, and I have very few moments to just "sit." But that doesn't mean I have to let my circumstances own me. It's only been just under two weeks that Jorge's been gone, and I'm still working to establish a flow in our routine. That's been difficult because the week after he left most of the kids came down with a nasty virus and are only on a significant upswing now, after nearly a full seven days of illness. So I hope that this week we'll finally be able to fall into a rhythm. And crafty activities are my friend! The Halloween activities that we did on Sunday are a great example of how to provide something engaging for the kids to do while giving me a breather or two. And I need those little breaks now and then in order to recharge my batteries, and refocus my thoughts and energies. So my goal this week will be to allow the 2 of Pentacles to guide me and help me consider positive solutions whenever I start to feel like I'm slipping under the surface.

Sometimes all we need is to see our reality reflected in the layout before us, a confirmation of what we're experiencing, and how we're feeling. And like the 3 of Cups I drew the other day, and the 2 of Pentacles today, having a clear focal point can be a powerful and effective resource to help us navigate the inevitable bumps in the road, encouraging us to think creatively, and to empower ourselves to move forward in the most positive way possible. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Herbs, Tea, and Books, Oh My!

This has been A Week.

Two of the three kids have been sick with something similar to the flu, and I've been making batch after batch of special tea to help ease their discomfort and strengthen their bodies' ability to fight off this nasty virus. I will say that there are few things more satisfying than being able to help improve your children's health. Sickness is really unpleasant, but especially for the little ones; there are few medicines they can take, and principal effort tends to revolve around making them as comfortable as possible while they get over the worst of it. There is a particular infusion I make when they're feeling under the weather, and it's almost magical to see how (relatively) quickly they start to feel better after spending a day sipping on steaming mugs of goodness. The recipe changes slightly depending on what symptoms they're struggling with most, but the base is always a combination of lemon balm, spearmint or peppermint, and echinacea root. I often add elderflower and elder berries, sometimes mullein and St. John's Wort. This is a wonderful, and powerful, combination of herbs that effectively fight viruses, ease coughs, and soothe nasal congestion.

Healing tea, red with elderberries.
O. Destrades

So after making several batches over the past week I was running short on supplies, and this morning the kids and I made a trip to Ann Moura's shop, Luna Sol Esoterica, in Sanford, in order to restock. We strode in, the only customers shortly after opening. I brought my list to the front of the store and announced my mission. Ann said, "Just read off what you need, and I'll start gathering!" She had everything I'd remembered to scrawl across my folded paper, and I picked up a few extras like beeswax, camphor and flannel bags. The first thing I did upon returning home was - yes, indeed - prepare a brand new batch of tea.

The second thing I did was ponder the ridiculous state of my divination/supply bookcase. It's in need of some major help. I simply don't have enough space for everything, and every time I restock, or acquire something new, I again remember just how no-space I have, and how desperately I need to find another bookcase, or a hutch, or cupboard that will allow me to make all my goods a bit more comfortable. Just looking at my cards and roots and figurines makes me feel slightly claustrophobic! So this will have to be an upcoming project to put on my ever-growing to-do list.

Having spent some time pondering this space issue, a large box arrived from my mother right on cue in the evening, just as I was settling the kids in for dinner. She sent quite a few things for each of the children, and threw in some surprises for me, too! She purchased a selection of Tarot and shamanism books, and a couple of sacks of herbs - one of raspberry leaf, and another of a blend of chamomile and red clover. Really, she is a special one! I am grateful for everything she sent, and am particularly excited to peruse "Jung and Tarot" by Sallie Nichols. Everything else will have to take a number and get in line for the bookshelf, but this one is going on my night table!

It's been A Week, but there's been a lot of good, as well. Herbs and tea, a stack of wonderful books from my most awesome and supportive mom, and the company of my funny and endearing kids. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Three of Cups Saves the Day

This has been one rough week so far! When I drew Death for my weekly card I suspected that it would relate to the adjustments here at home now that Jorge is in Sweden. Quite right. In the Lenormand system, Death's counterpart appears as the Coffin, and can represent illnesses and cancellations. I've had quite a bit of those as well this week. Now that Gabriel has started at his daycare center (which he really likes, for the most part) he's exposed to all those other adorable-and-germy children, so as is wont to occur, he's come down with a nasty cold. I didn't need the cards to predict that for me! And his sickness has led me to cancel some classes and rearrange my schedule so that I can be home with him, dumping elderberry and lemon balm tea down his gullet on the hour.

I was hoping to return to my normal schedule today, and was hopeful that Gabriel would feel better enough to return to his center. Being rather anxious about it, last night I decided to throw some cards about what I might expect for today. I first asked how Gabriel would do at school, and I pulled the 5 of Cups and the Hermit reversed. Sigh. That blurted out to me: he's going to be really sad, and he'll feel abandoned. Gah.

5 of Cups, DruidCraft Tarot
Will Worthington

Next I pulled a card about how things would go at work, and I pulled the 3 of Cups. Ah hah. I would have some friendly support from my colleagues. I started to wonder if I might even be able to find someone to sub for me for today, but then I realized that it was already 8:00pm, and knew it was a bit late to be scrambling around trying to find help. I would try to go to work, and I'd plan to bring Gabriel to his center the next morning.

After a full day of herbal remedies and rest he had a much better night last night, but he's still healing. He slept so long that I had to wake him up ten minutes before we needed to leave so that I could at least get him dressed and comb his hair before heading out the door. I knew that was a potential recipe for disaster; waking up a sick child and hurrying them out the door into the bright, wide world is not a kind way to start the day! But he did okay. He even brushed his teeth and consented to taking a little heart-shaped homeopathic pill to help with his congestion. It was as we were getting our shoes on that things started to go awry. He said, "I don't want to go to school, I want to stay home!" He refused to carry his lunchbox. He enjoys school quite a bit, so I knew that if he was feeling a preference for home, he really needed the comfort and security. But what could I do? I had no plan B. So we got in the car and drove to his center and as we sat in the parking lot the tears started to roll. He was just so sad. I saw the 5 of Cups and Hermit reversed floating through my mind, and as I watched those pitiful teardrops fall, I made a split second decision to take him to work with me. What the heck??? I didn't know. I didn't know what I'd do with him while I was teaching, I just knew that I couldn't force him to stay at his school in that state. So off we went. We dropped Lourdes at her school, and headed to the university.

DruidCraft Tarot - W. Worthington

On the way I was thinking about that 3 of Cups. I decided to call my colleague, Rose, and let her know what was going on. I explained the fiasco and she listened with a sympathetic ear. She had to give an interview at 11am so it wasn't a straight forward fix, but she thought we could work something out. We hung up as I pulled into the school parking lot. Gabriel helped me retrieve the room key, and my student was surprised and pleased to have a tiny classmate (this was a tutoring session, fortunately, rather than a full-sized class!). Eventually I reconnected with Rose, and in addition spoke with my program coordinator and another colleague, and between us all we worked out a plan to cover the necessary tutoring hours for my student. This allowed me to take my son home to ever more tea and couch-laying. I was grateful.

The cards accurately predicted how Gabriel would feel about attending school, but they also gave me a remedy. Though at first I didn't see how best to take advantage of the potentially available support network, when I made that sudden choice to not send my child to school, I was thrust into a situation that spurred me to reach out to others, and they indeed came together to aid me in that moment of need. What is special about that is the encouragement that the 3 of Cups had given me. I was feeling very much that I had to work everything out on my own. Pulling that card opened up an idea in my mind about how I might leverage help from others, and my trust in that possibility made me comfortable reaching out to ask for what I needed. I didn't have to figure it out on my own, and the positive energy of the card I'd drawn allowed me to believe that a solution was possible, and achievable. And it was.

Go divination. ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Reading Special for October!

For the month of October I'm offering a special deal on Halloween Oracle readings!

For $15 you'll receive a 3-card oracle reading that will provide insights and guidance on a matter of importance to you. To take advantage of this offer please see the Reading Request page by clicking here.

I've been working with the Halloween Oracle, by Stacey Demarco (art by Jimmy Manton), for some time now and find the images to be stunning, and the card messages to hit home quite potently. To hear a list of some of the card titles, see my October Taroscopes.

Happy October!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

A Moth Unfolding Its Wings

It's Sunday evening. I filled my belly with a simple dinner of roast chicken, mashed potatoes with garlic, and carrots. Later I decocted carefully-sliced ginger root and added lime juice and honey to make one of my favorite hot beverages. As I listen to my children's chatter, their pre-bed busy-ness, I've decided to pull a card for my week ahead, using my Halloween Oracle (Stacey Demarco).

I shuffled my cards, and drew Death. Sigh. My first thought was: again? This card has been following me closely of late. In fact it was my card of the month from my Taroscopes for October: 

"Significant aspects of your life are shifting and changing, which can be pretty uncomfortable. Know that the transformations unfolding now will ultimately leave you stronger, and even happier, when all is said and done."  

Halloween Oracle - Stacey Demarco

Yes, this week, and this month, are certainly times of big change. Gabriel has just started attending daycare, which in and of itself is a huge transition. He's three years old and loves to socialize; he was very ready for this. When my girls reached this milestone in their lives they were not particularly happy about it. In fact, Lourdes cried so much, and was so miserable, we ended up plucking her right out of the center again after three weeks, and she didn't set foot inside such an establishment again until she started kindergarten (at which time she was startlingly ready). Gabriel, however, has been raring to go, and has not cried at all. Well, that's not entirely true. When I pick him up and ask him how his day went, he reports: "I played, and I cried." When I ask him why he cried, he says, "Because I didn't want to sleep. Sleeping isn't fun." He is not a big fan of institutional nap-time. But he loves "school" and is happy to go every morning, which is a blessing. 

Another massive change has happened simultaneously: Jorge has flown off to the far, autumnal reaches of Scandinavia to work for at least a couple of months. It's the first time he's ever been gone for so long, and it's a significant transition. He's sad. I'm sad. The kids are sad. The distance irritates me, and I have to work to keep the big picture in mind. He left last Wednesday and fortunately we've been able to speak each day which has provided some peace of mind (and heart). 

On pages 27-28 of the Halloween Oracle book, Demarco writes: "Do not be afraid if you pull the Death card as it simply means that something is falling away, or will do so, so you can begin strongly afresh. There is great power in this clearing." 

This is true, and I feel it in my bones and in the depths of my soul. Despite the big changes moving through my life at present, I am keenly aware that ultimately these changes are occurring for an important reason, and that these fluctuations are just as they should be. I'm grateful for them, in fact, in the way that sore muscles after a powerful workout kind of feel good in a way; the achy newness of a moth unfolding its wings. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Taroscopes for October 2014

It's the first day of one of my favorite months of the year, and in thirty more days this mysterious and sacred time culminates with Halloween, Samhain. Though I live in Florida now I see and sense the changes in the season. Down here, far in the south, there are three discernible seasons: Summer, Spring, and Autumn. To someone unfamiliar with the subtleties of this environment it may seem that summer reigns for most of the year, but to those of us who live here year round, there is most definitely a quietly buzzing gleam of change in the air once September hits. You know, like when the ten-day forecast includes more days in the 80s than the 90s. When the evening low dares dip below 70. I rub my hands together, grinning with delight, and start brewing the mulled cider.

So in honor of this special time of year, I have decided to use my (rather new) Halloween Oracle, by Stacey Demarco, for this month's….(oracle)scopes!

Halloween Oracle - S. Demarco

Capricorn - Death: Significant aspects of your life are shifting and changing, which can be pretty uncomfortable. Know that the transformations unfolding now will ultimately leave you stronger, and even happier, when all is said and done.

Aquarius - Nightsong: You have a pot of gold hidden away inside you. You may have been reluctant to share your gifts and talents with others out of insecurity, fears, anxieties, or even self-doubt, but now is the time to let yourself be seen.

Pisces - Invisibility: This month consider how your inner and outer lives match up. Are you allowing people to know the real you, or do you have a tendency to compartmentalize? What steps can you take toward living and embodying your truth?

Aries - Ancestors: Regardless of your cultural or ethnic background, no matter how far back your knowledge of your forebears goes, you have a rich ancestral heritage living within you, ready to be tapped into. Allow those who have come before to nourish you. Remember that your spiritual ancestors are just as important as the biological - honor them, and let them guide you.

Taurus - Skull of Darkness: This card encourages you to make October a month for exploring the parts of yourself that you tend to neglect. Shining a light into the corners of your heart and mind can be difficult, but therein may lie the key to important healing.

Gemini - Jack-O-Lantern: This month consider your personal boundaries. Do you shut people out? Do you let people enter your life and take what they will? You have within you the strength to lead the life that you desire; a critical step toward manifesting it lies in being strong enough to know when to say yes, and when to say no.

Cancer - Dawn: The greatest tool in your possession is your ability to trust in the coming of the morning after a long night has passed. Hope will enlighten your heart - embrace it and let it be your focal point. Know that a positive phase of life is being born.

Leo - Hearth: Make loved ones a priority this month. Connect and reconnect, make room and make time, be willing to fix what isn't working as smoothly as it should.

Virgo - Owl: Night vision would be handy this month, but since you probably aren't an owl, be open to seeking as much objective guidance as you can. Don't make big decisions lightly.

Libra - Apple: They say that oftentimes the greatest rewards come through the greatest risks. But risks can be scary! Being cautious can be smart, unless you consistently shy away from things when the seas become a bit choppy. You might be missing out on the good stuff! Try to find a happy medium.

Scorpio - Underworld: When you begin to live a life that reflects your genuine self, it's natural to undergo a process of transition. If that realignment frightens you, know that it's only temporary, and the long-term benefits will likely be fulfilling.

Sagittarius - Vampire: Show love and help others insofar as there is a healthy exchange and mutual benefit. If the scale is getting off-balance learn to reinforce your boundaries; protect your emotional well-being.

The theme card for the month of October is JOY. This card asks each and every one of us to consider the following questions:

How can I bring more joy into my life?
What joyful aspects of my life am I overlooking, or under-appreciating?
In what ways can I share joy with others?
How do I open myself to receive joy into my life?
What can I do to bring joy to those around me?

Halloween Oracle - S. Demarco

Hey, I think that would make a pretty nice spread! What a lovely way to wrap things up ;-)

Happy October!