Wednesday, February 29, 2012


February 29, 2012(Leap Day): High Priestess, Haindl Tarot

The High Priestess in this deck is a radiantly silent woman gazing from behind a lovely and luminous Full Moon at the serenity of the night-silent Earth. The Moon here appears to be Full, but the High Priestess, symbolically, is not in the moonlight, but hidden behind the Moon. She therefore signifies the Moon's silent time, the darkness of the New Moon, when you are not the Sun shining upon your "Earth" but are withdrawn into your own dark stillness. It is the season when you must be quiet, must look inward. This does not mean barricading yourself in the house and refusing to speak to anyone. Instead, it means to take life slowly, to spend time alone, to keep still and feel a returning to who you are, to re-introduce yourself to your Self. If you have been very active in your business or social life, the High Priestess says to step back and look inward for awhile. Instead of trying to conquer the world, seek peace with yourSelf. Under the influence of the High Priestess, patience and calm are more important than action.

During the season of the High Priestess, you are able to find a sense of wholeness in life, and you need not try to separate your existence into pieces. It is a time for intuition rather than analysis, for feeling rather than thought. You may experience deep feelings that you cannot put into words. That's ok. You may actually, perhaps, find that you do not want to put these feelings into words. They are yours, spoken in the silent realms of your soul, where words are not necessary and you speak to yourSelf in that hidden language known only to you. The High Priestess advises resisting any demands, the clamor of your outward-focused mind, to "explain yourself." You need time, you need distance from the world, you need silence. Yes, you have commitments, to your business or to your children or to your responsibilities. But this day is sovereign. Today is the one day in the last four years when all things are turned around. You may say, to me or to your Self, "That sounds great, but I can't right now. I'm too busy." But--is this really true? Often, for all of us, at least part of our "busy-ness" is habit. If there's work to be done, yes, we must do it: feed the baby, answer the e-mail, do the dishes, go to the meeting. But after your work is done, instead of going out or scheduling something else, today is the day when you might best choose to spend some time alone. Even in a frantic day of errands, it is possible to try to develop a distance, an inner calm. Sit down, relax, be quiet. It's just you, now, you and the High Priestess. You are alone. Be still.....

OK, OK, I hear you. You're a wee bit uneasy about that, about a whole day/afternoon/evening of only your own company. Time to the Self is so rare, that when someone suggests it, most people say, "Oh, YEAH! That sounds great!" But often, we do not really mean it. The idea of doing nothing, of letting the inner life awaken, frightens us. Being alone with my Self? Having to look at my Self, listen to my Self? No, thanks! Let's go to the bar! But the High Priestess gazes serenely from behind her Moon, and asks you, "Am I really so hard for you to talk to, Self? Please stay here with me. I miss you."

The High Priestess is a card of quiet joy and inner peace. She represents your Soul, your Inner Power. Just as the Magician is the avatar of Personal Power, the outer power to Act, so the High Priestess invites you to join with Her, with your Self, in the Inner Power of serene and silent meditation. You have family, you have a sweetheart, wife or husband, you have kids, you have a job, you have responsibilities. But most of the time, the one place you are likely to fall down on or ignore your responsibilities is in taking time for your Self. Today, one day in four years, in a "time outside of time" the High Priestess is asking you to do that, to be with your Self, to be with Her. Go on, now, get outta here, go take your Self time. I am doing that, too. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Walking The Line...

February 28, 2012: Temperance, Utah Maninni One Tarot

Water pours down, fire rises up, meeting at the center in circles of earth and air--all the elements, all in balance, each effectively manifesting itSelf...

So--here we are, a brand-new day, nothing much has happened yet at 11 AM....What can we do to balance this day? How can we use ALL our talents and abilities, and overstress NONE of can we do what is appropriate for the situation? I have an idea....

I awoke this morning to a long-loved saying posted on my FB wall by a friend. Here is a way one can truly remain in balance, exercise Temperance, today and every day...

The Four Agreements (Don Miguel Ruiz)
  1. Be Impeccable With Your Word.
  2. Don't Take Anything Personally.
  3. Don't Make Assumptions.
  4. Always Do Your Best.

If we can do this, today and every day, we will be in the very aura of Temperance. Might not be a bad way to live...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Three Messages....

I spent the last two days either afk or ill, so your TarotWitch let the Realms lie silent. So, of course, stepping back into the aether, the question for today is, "What would you like me to know, now that I've been away?" Three days, counting today, three cards, one each from three Avatars. Here we go:

Friday, February 24: Avatar of this day, Spider Woman. Card, Mother of Stones, Haindl Tarot

She stands, gazing deep from within the labyrinth, into your eyes, into your soul. She is silent, as the turning angles of the labyrinth bring you face to face with your Self, again and again. She has drawn the threads together, and has created a shape of complexity, one which rivals the interconnected and divergent threads of your life. She is at Center, remembering that from this position she is aware of, and has control of, each and every breath, thought, being, idea that touches the strand of her web of Self, anywhere. At the Center, there is power. Where do you stand?

Spider Woman is the Life-Weaver, and at the end of the week, she draws the threads to center. She's a reminder that power always is found most plangently in the Spaces Between, and that nothing can reach you at Center that you do not control. Not a bad message for a Friday evening!

Saturday, February 25: Avatar of this day, Saturn. Card, Seven of Cups, Haindl Tarot

It's a party, and of course, you're the guest of honor. The drink flows freely, and the tone is convivial...or is it? Who's that, standing over there in the corner, talking to no one, an empty cup in hand? Could it be you've forgotten something in this mad flurry of alcoholic abandon? Where's that rent check again? What, you spent it on all this wine? Aaargggh!

This card shows up when you have been hurrying headlong through the moments of your day without actually noticing what they contain, because your main focus is to get through it all, getting'er DONE. When you arrive at your well-earned after-party, you simply leave it all behind, forgetting that there might have been MESSAGES in the mad scramble. So--here and now, think. Sit back, breathe, consider. Take a retrospective look at each and every accomplishment of the week, with that Saturnian focus of order and guardianship, that set of lenses that gives you the acute focus on the minutiae of the moment. What might you have missed, have failed to notice? What could you, perhaps, rethink? Go over to the Being in the corner, right that cup and fill it, put a loving arm around the part of your Self that has missed your attention in the headlong scramble. Success is an illusion when the precious bits of humanity and self-care fall by the wayside. Let's think the moments through, this time, and make sure we pick up all the pieces.

Sunday, February 26: Avatar for this day, the Sun. Card, The Moon, Utah Maninni One Tarot

Maybe it seems odd that on Sun Day, the card the Realms send us is the Moon. It shouldn't, though, if we think scientifically. The Moon is, after all, a rock, a cold body hurtling through space. It's luminous, plangent and illusory--its mysterious light is, when all is said and done, a reflection. And it is the Sun which makes the Moon shine, and changes its shape--the Sun, and the Earth.

So--put yourself there, into the heavens, for your message for this day. You are the Sun, today--you're the flaming source of heat, light, and energy in your own personal Universe. But--you are also the Moon. You reflect that which surrounds you, in the form and shape which is permitted to you by your own personal Earth, your body, your spirit, your responsibilities. You are the source of your own Being, you are the shaper thereof, and you are that shining reflection of Life that illuminates your own darkness.

So, today, make up your mind that you, as the Sun, will shine your brightest, reflecting light on your own Earth, and that your Moon will gleam serene and calm into your own darkness. I am being deliberately obfuscatory here--you know exactly what I am talking about, though, as it applies to you. So--focus, shine, shape, reflect. And go and do. It's Sun Day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's Waiting For You...

February 23, 2012: Page of Coins, Utah Maninni One Tarot

Here stands the child, welcoming you into the richness of the ornately decorated library where gold coins spin in the air. It's a tempting, intriguing, and totally satisfying sight, all that luxury and comfort. And it's all waiting for you....or is it?

The Page is the youth, the harbinger of potentiality, not actuality. Maybe that gold coin spinning in the entrance to the inner room is someone's vision of what could be. Maybe that roguish grin on the child's face is there because she's playing a trick on you. Maybe this lavish and ornate scene isn't one that can, or does, belong to you, but is only a dream in the making.

The Page of Coins says that there is a future of success and achievement waiting for you--but you have to earn it, you have to learn it, you have to discern it. The most important thing a child has to do in life is to grow up. So--what learning, what knowledge, what skills, what abilities, are waiting for you behind the welcoming door? What do you have to do that will teach you how to claim this richness as your own? You are not only being beckoned into the realm of wealth and success by the Page of Coins--you are the Page of Coins... So, get started, eh? It's all right there waiting for you...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Did I Win?

February 22, 2012: Six of Stones (R) Haindl Tarot

Today we have a card that demands our focus, because at first glance the message is scary and perhaps even negative. But always in the tarot approached through the lens of Witchcraft, things are never merely as they appear on the surface. So let's take a deeper look.

The card is a circle of stones in the depths of a cave, suggestive of the Inner Landscape. The stones form two triangles, an upper and a lower. These are reminiscent of the top two triangles of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, as well as the separated figures of the Star of David which bespeak "as above, so below". The center of the figure, however, is a hole in the cave, somehow reminiscent of that empty place which is often present at the core of our success.

However, Haindl did not mean to imply this, and that is why there is a golden light shining through the center hole. This light tells us that the "space within" does not signify emptiness at the core, nor does it mean to suggest the idea that our joys and successes are meaningless. On the contrary, the light tells us that we can find the true source of meaning, the glorious nothing of the Fool, within the happiness of daily life. We do not need to abandon the pleasures and satisfactions of success, at least not for now. Instead, we need to become aware of the Center, the light shining behind and through the solid things of this world.

But, we exclaim, our card is reversed!! So, doesn't this in fact mean that there really is "nothing" inside the emptiness? Not necessarily. In your Tarot Witch's experience, the reversals always surprise us, and that's the point. Reversed cards do not necessarily mean the opposite of what the card means in its upright position, but rather cry out "PAY ATTENTION! You're MISSING something here!" The reversal of this card forces our eye to that hollow center, and implies that we may have lost sight of spiritual values, seeing only the outer realities of wealth and success, and discounting or not nurturing the light at the center.

I use the phrase "Wholly, Holy, Holey" to describe the profound and sacred act of active not-knowing, not-doing, remaining clear, plangent, and empty so the light can shine through. The message of the reversed hexagram indicates the need to simplify, perhaps to look for values beyond outer success, or to take a more modest approach to other people and to life in general. When you look at life upside-down, only the center is right-side up. Especially if its empty.

So, in this case, because the card is reversed, the "hole" in the center is even more striking, and compels even more of our attention. The hexagram pattern, perfect balance, and especially the hole in the center, urge us to see the inner truth within the external delusion of material happiness. Riches and security are not "success" if your center is crying out for sustenance. Use this so-called success as a tool--having more security on the material level may leave us free to pursue more arcane foci, thus making our material security a true means to wisdom.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Serendipity....It's (c)up To You!

February 21, 2012: Ace of Cups, Utah Maninni One Tarot

Again, a repeated card...if I draw the same card twice in a 2-week cycle, it stands out as a message. Here I see the liquid flowing into the cup from an unknown source above, and the Guardian watching carefully, and I read: Your emotional triggers DO come to you, often, from outside your Self, but what you DO with the feelings is always up to you. Your cup is what it is, it is the shape it is, and you are the one who forms and shapes the contents. So be like the little Guardian avatar here, watching carefully as the cup is filled but not reacting as of yet--he's still considering. No matter what flows into your cup today, you are, as always, completely in control and response-able for your own emotional response...No one else holds your cup. No one else "makes" you feel any way at all. You are in charge of your feelings today. You always are.

Monday, February 20, 2012

And Again...

February 20, 2012: Strength, Utah Maninni One Tarot

When the same card shows up so often I know something important is happening...

I have no words. Let's look at this and decide--am I the mouse, or am I the cat? Am I strength by action, or strength by silent inaction? And what does that have to do with me, today? Because, it does...

Saturday, February 18, 2012


February 18, 2012: Cat, Druid Animal Oracle

I am experimenting with random draws online, and today we didn't get a Tarot card, but a totem from the Druid Animal Oracle. The Animal totem for today is "Cat". Since we are using the Druid Animal Oracle, let's do some research on the concept of "catness" from Celtic cultures. There are numerous Celtic references to Cats, but these do not refer to the domestic feline, which only arrived in Britain with the Romans, but to the wild Cat, a larger and more aggressive creature, which still inhabits the Scottish highlands. The Celts believed that looking into a Cat's eyes would enable you to see fairies, or peer into the otherworld. Cat's eyes change according to the levels of light, imitating the waxing and waning of the moon, which may be the origin of the Cat's strange reputation. Along with its nocturnal hunting habits, this made the Cat a totem of the moon goddess. The Cat is a creature often associated with magic, from the sacred Cats of ancient Egypt to the archetypal storybook Witch (and, in my experience, real-life Witch) with her Cat familiar.

So, what is the silent prowl of the Cat at your heels trying to tell you for today? Aloof, knowing, and mysterious, her eyes seem to promise secrets. When Cat prowls into your cards, she indicates hidden knowledge and mysteries that may only be revealed by using your intuition or your psychic senses. Whatever it is you are hunting , whether it is a job, a lover or knowledge itself, you can learn from Cat. She does not waste energy chasing here and there and everywhere - she might miss the clues that reveal her true target. She listens to every whisper on the wind, sniffs the air for every scent and watches carefully for the slightest movement. She waits quietly until she sees what she really wants, and when it is within her grasp, she moves like lightning, and with one graceful pounce clasps it within her paws. Cat tells you that there is power in stillness, and beauty in dignity.
Watch, wait, scent the currents around you. When it is the right time, you will only have to pounce to achieve your goal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Inner Fire

January 17, 2012: Seven of Wands, Haindl Tarot

Seven spears alight, rising from the rocks, standing like either a barrier of flame or an illuminated gateway. Which kind of courage will we need today? Oh, you say, there is more than one kind of courage? Well, let's see what the primary commentator on this deck, Rachel Pollock, has to say in her dissertation upon this card. She is speaking not only of the illustration, but of the I Ching hexagram which is part of the picture. She says:

"The hexagram is Liberation or Deliverance. It calls for firm action to overcome anxiety in the self and conflict with others. The commentary for the hexagram cites the image of a thunderstorm clearing the air on a hot day. The image stresses relief rather than conquest. The purpose of courage is not to subdue others, but to remove problems. Often we need the deepest courage to look honestly at ourselves, rather than judge enemies or blame others. The reversed hexagram, Obstruction, would seem to be the simple opposite of deliverance. However, it does not just tell us that something blocks our liberation, it lets us know that perseverance will overcome the obstruction."

Going on, Pollock also speaks of the photo. Here I have interspersed ideas from her discussion with some thoughts of my own (in italics): "The picture shows rocks at sea. The scene is peaceful, the sky appears gray with clouds, indicating a possible storm. Courage at sea is different than courage in battle; in a storm at sea, the sailors must all work together to survive. The spears rise out of holes in the rock, like lingams rising from yonis. The spear symbolizes active humanity striving upward, traditionally a masculine value. The rock symbolizes nature and our eternal ties to the Earth, which is often thought of as feminine. The rocks appear vaguely like stone faces or statues so old they have lost all detail. This emphasizes the universal nature of courage, and the idea that sometimes courage means "act" and sometimes it means "be still". We have a tendency to believe that to be courageous means to DO something. In many cases, however, courage equates to stop, think, and figure out what is happening, and whether or not I should do something. In readings the Seven of Wands emphasizes its fundamental attribute—it shows a person with courage and daring. The way he or she uses the courage can become a vital issue. Is it for conquest or personal development? Does it lead to something important, or just a love of battle? All situations call for courage. Sometimes we need to recognize weakness, limitations, or an impossible situation that cannot be saved. Courage may mean the courage to retreat. In its deepest sense this card means having the courage to use one’s own power for transformation."

So here we are, today, looking at our lives, at that situation which demands courage. But which kind? Act, or be still? Speak, or be silent? Do something, or do nothing? Only you can decide which course exemplifies courage for you today. But you do have the inner fire, the courage, to do that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fill Your Cup!!

February 16, 2012: Ace of Cups, Haindl Tarot

Cups is the suit of Water. Water is shapeless, constantly changing, so that it represents feeling, which is not rigid or solid, but always shifting. We each pass through many emotional states in a single day, even a single hour. For most of us, our moods change so subtly and quickly we usually do not notice all the variations. The cup holds the water, contains it in a form that evokes the idea of giving some form and understanding to shapeless emotions. Water, the element itself, is a mystery, the sea represents the unconscious, the rise and fall of emotion, and the salt within it as "sel", the Self, because your emotions are never the same as my emotions, even if we call them by the same names. Whereas the element of Water is amorphous and fluid, the tool, the Cup, gives Water a more recognizable meaning; that is, the cards in the suit of Cups deal with emotion shaped and formed by circumstance and experience. The cup is meant to be used; an empty cup is a meaningless tool. At the same time, that "use" is passive rather than active--the cup does not have to do anything except contain and shape the liquid within. It fulfills its purpose simply by receiving the water. Therefore, the suit of Cups is receptive, peaceful, at rest rather than moving or aggressive. If a cup moves too rapidly, it spills the water. However, a cup not holding water is not fulfilling its purpose. And the shape of the cup forms what it holds within. If we create perfect forms and structures in our lives, but these forms contain no real content of feeling, they become meaningless.

The Ace in the Haindl Tarot is the Holy Grail itself. Here is some background on that relic, written by Rachel Pollock in her book on the Haindl Tarot.

"Christian myth describes it (the Grail) as the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper. Later, Joseph of Arimathea used this cup to collect Christ’s precious blood as He bled on the cross. Joseph then took the Grail to Britain, landing at Avalon. Joseph later was wounded, and because he had come to embody the spirit of the land, the country all around him became a wasteland, a barren desert, as long as Joseph remained ill. And nothing could heal Joseph, nothing could make him whole, until the Grail knight, Parsifal—or in some stories Galahad—achieved the quest of the Grail. For even though the land was wounded, the Grail kept it alive until that moment when the holy knight could restore the king (the story has many variants; this version gives the essentials). There are many interpretations of this story. Most people agree that it goes back before the Christian versions to ancient Celtic myth or ritual. Avalon—usually identified as Glastonbury, in southwestern England—was the entrance to the Otherworld of the Fairies, the spirits. The Grail was probably the cauldron or feeding pot of the Great Mother, inexhaustible, always giving food to the Mother’s worshipers. The image of a pot symbolizes the Goddess’s womb, source of all life. The food was spiritual as well as physical, for the Mother fulfills our souls with joy as well as our bodies with nourishment. The wounded king represented the land in winter, or in times of famine, but also the cycle of decay, death and rebirth. Rebirth came through the young knight who brings healing by giving himself to the Grail, to the Mother. Remember the surrender of the Hanged Man..."

So for us, today, the Ace of Cups stands upright, and let us think of it as empty. You will, today, be the source, and the Shape, of your own feelings, your own emotions. Your Cup may be empty, but you will fill it--the question is, with what? Today, you have a choice. Your own feelings and emotions belong to you, and you may shape and form them as you will. You have a right to feel your feelings, but they are subject to you, to the shape of your Cup. No one can "make you feel" anything or any way at all. You hold the Grail, the source of your own Healing, and the choice is yours, always. Fill your Cup!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Shall Not Be Moved...

February 15, 2012: Strength, Utah Maninni Three Tarot

This card was contributed to the Utah Maninni Tarot by Magpie Rainsinger, Doyenne of MountainShadows Clan of Toteg Tribe in Salt Lake City. Here is the description and interpretation of the card as submitted for the deck:

Composition: This card is pictures I have taken on MountainShadows Clan outings in and around the Salt Lake Valley. None of the photos is anyone else's work, and none has been altered.

The Goddess Utah: These pictures were taken in Affleck Park, the Great Salt Lake, the redrock country, and up Millcreek Canyon. All of them represent the Goddess in her strength and power.

Card Meaning: The photos I chose may represent enduring strength in Nature, those things that cannot be defeated, even by time. Strength is more endurance than power, more persistence than aggression. If you receive this card in a reading, upright it represents the need to maintain your position, your integrity, your focus. If reversed, either you are falling into a position of bullying rather than strength, or you are exerting your power on the wrong object.


Today, this card comes on the crux of the waning moon, moving from the second quarter of Rowan to the Dark Moon of Ash. It resonates with your TarotWitch to the tune of "take your power!" We have come out of the darkness of winter and are moving towards the fashioning of tools for our journey into the new spring of a new year. I think of the Celtic Triads, "Three things from which never to be moved: One's oaths, one's Gods, and the Truth." You have your own Truth, reader, and your own oaths to your Self, and the help of your Gods. Be strong, be not moved. Take your Power! and do with it what you Will....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hare You Go...

February 14, 2012: Hare, from the Druid Animal Oracle

There are days when another tool than my Tarot falls out of my Crane Bag, and this is one of those days. Today's draw didn't seem to want to be a tarot card. Instead, we have a card from the Druid Animal Oracle. This card is "Hare", in Gaelic called, "Gearr." The hare represents Rebirth, Intuition, Balance. The image on this card the shows the original hare of Britain- the Arctic hare, which was later replaced by the common brown hare, imported by the Romans from the plains of central Europe. It is nearly dawn but we can still see the moon in the sky. In the background stands a dolmen- symbol of rebirth-and in the foreground we can see a lapwing's nest. with the eggs which were said to have been brought by the hare. Harebell, hare parsley, and hare's foot clover grow close by.

Gearr brings us the benefits of balance and intuition, of promise and fulfilment. The hare is a creature of the Goddess, the moon and the night, and yet it also represents the dawn, brightness and the east. It is the most adept of animals at shape-shifting; we can never be sure exactly where the hare is - in this world or the Otherworld. It represents intuition, which makes things appear suddenly in our consciousness, like the lapwing eggs of Eostre, that magically appear in the hare's form (nest). The hare brings the excitement of rebirth, fertile abundance and willing release as each creative cycle comes to an end.

With the Hare as your ally you will be well able to negotiate times of change, and you will be able to draw on your intuition to guide you through life. As bearers of good fortune, and as animals sacred to the Goddess, hares, or figurines of them, have been found buried in ritual pits. As a grave companion the hare is ideal, for it symbolises the power of the Goddess to bring rebirth and immortality. This power is often represented in the Corn spirit, who embodies the magical ability of the life sustaining crops to die in the autumn only to be reborn in the spring. The pagan underpinnings of Christianity become abundantly obvious at Alban Eiler, the spring equinox. Here the hare is the original "Easter Bunny" - The word Easter being derived from the Saxon Goddess Eostre, to whom the hare was sacred. We look forward, here on the second quarter of the Rowan Moon, and see the old dying away and the new being brought into existence.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yes, I CAN!!!

February 13, 2012: Ace of Pentacles, Utah Maninni One Tarot

Here is a card that is a wonderful "omen" for a Monday. Most of us have "draggy Monday" or "Damn! It's Monday" fused into our instincts from years of societal pressure--but the Witch lives outside society, over the Hedge, and doesn't see the weekend as the be-all and end-all and the work week as the "aw-shucks" of existence. This card is a reinforcement of the idea of "let's start all over again and GO FOR IT!" I love the "anything is possible" idea rising out of the well of possibilities--it makes me think of Pollyanna's wonderful statement, "It's a brand new day, with no mistakes in it yet!" This is your Monday-- this is your new day, new chance, on the Earth axis--this is your opportunity to make something wonderful happen in your World. Go for it!! Anything is possible!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Get OUT of My WAY!!!

February 12, 2012: The Eight Of Swords, Haindl Tarot

This card is simply one of the most difficult cards in any deck, one of the multiples of four that does not mean "building on a foundation". Indeed, this card is more like "repeatedly failing the building inspection." Each of the swords here represents one of the four basic elements, Air/Mind, Fire/Will, Water/Emotion, and Earth/Mundania. The pillar of the tree trunk they are piercing is the representation of spirit, and the visual image is of interference on every front preventing the growth of spirit. So--take a look around and see if you can figure out where you are standing in your own way, and where might be the first place you might be able to make an opening in the barriers...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

After A Break....

February 11, 2012: I've had some issues uploading images for a few days, so haven't been being an online TarotWitch (real life tarot witchery was just fine, however--yes, there is life offline). But I finally think I have fixed the "issue" by going back to the old blog interface, so we're back. And since we've missed almost a week, instead of the card-a-day draw that is my usual procedure, we've got an actual full reading today. We missed five days, so here's a Five Elements Spread, with the associated questions and interpretations for each card. (A note about the elemental order here--I am a Traditional Witch so my Compass moves from Air to Fire to Earth to Water to Spirit. If you use the Wiccan/Golden Dawn correspondence system, this draw will still work for you, however, because it is not about directional correspondences but about each individual element--so try not to think of them as being "out of order" but simply consider each card individually)

1. Air/Ideas and Insights: What should I be "seeing" today that I usually don't "see"?

We've drawn the four of stones from the Haindl Tarot, which is the "power of earth". In this deck, "earth" stands for the Planet, the Living Earth. So--there is something in our physical surroundings today that we usually don't notice, that maybe we need to have brought to our attention. Take a look around your house, your yard, your neighborhood, your world...what natural object, phenomenon, occurrence, is there that needs your focus today? This isn't about doing chores in the yard. It is about your "message" from Mother Earth. She's speaking to you. Listen.

2. Fire/Desires and Passions: What do I "want" today, and is this what I should "want", or is my "Will" something else?

We have here the Seven of Wands, again from the Haindl Tarot. Wands are Fire in this deck, so the resonance of the element is squared. And the Seven of Wands, labeled "Courage", is the card we use in this deck to represent the ability to withstand opposition and keep to our designated course and focus...we are courageous enough to stand firm, even if we are standing alone. So--for today, what/who is going to try to make you change your mind about something you Will/Want--and why shouldn't you?

3. Earth/Mundane and Physical Circumstances: What is my "condition" and what should I pay attention to in the realm of the physical (i.e. "real life") today?

This card is the Three Of Cups from Daniel's Bootstrap Tarot. The lovely ladies are a perfect representation of the basic meaning of Three Cups--conviviality, friendship, celebration, exuberance--so--Is there a parTAY in your day today, and if there isn't, should there be? Someone is trying to tell you to sit back and relax with friends, celebrate not cerebrate, have a cuppa--or three. So--let's go do that!

4. Water/Emotions, Change, Flux and Flow: What is changing for me today, and how might I like to respond to that emotionally?

We've drawn the four of Wands, reversed, which gives us an interesting view of "Perfection", especially in the Element of Water. Sounds like we're being told to stop trying to "feel right" or "feel perfect", and simply relax into what we are really feeling. Our emotions have a tendency to be the main place we suppress ourselves, and we're being told today to turn the expectation of perfection on its head, and just feel our feelings, whatever they are.

5. Spirit/The Gods, Inner Light: What is the Universe trying to tell me today?

This one is absolutely perfect in the light of the other four cards. The "Knowledge" here doesn't mean book-learning, nor does it indicate factual knowledge. It exemplifies awareness, being in the loop of whatever it is you're considering, and to use one of my most-utilized magical phrases, "Paying Attention." In the light of the other cards, I would use the concept of "Know Thyself" as my message from the Universe. I've been asked to be aware of Mother Earth, stand up for my own Will, enjoy life with friends, and permit myself to feel how I really do feel--so the Universe sums it all up by saying, "You need to Know who you are, and you need to do that thing, and be that thing...." So---I will. You?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Plus Ça Change....

February 6, 2012: Luna *The Moon", Daniel's Bootstrap Tarot

The Moon in the traditional Tarot is of equivocal meaning; sometimes it is about Deception, and sometimes it is about one's own Inner Light, as reflected by you from the Light you see shining in others. Mutability, cyclical movement, water and emotion, they all fall into the realm of the Moon. Today's card gives us another view, the Lady in the Moon, Luna, she of the joyous abandon of constant change (did anyone else ever notice that the phrase "constant change" is an oxymoron?)

Luna is dancing, swinging on her silver crescent, naked to the world, and expressing her freedom and her joy in living. She is not particularly securely balanced on her crescent, but I get the idea she might not care if she fell off--it would simply be another night adventure. And somehow, I see her singing. She's simply giddy with the moment, and she's totally immersed herself in the shower of stars around her. 

For us, today, Luna is an icon of being in the Now. Everything changes, all the time. Nothing remains constant. And so every moment of living is unexpected, and nothing is "same old same old", because it never IS. So for us, today, Luna says..."Be absolutely full of your light and shine it far and wide. Be absolutely overjoyed at what today may bring you, because in a minute, it will all be different. Be here NOW, be YOU, right NOW....and LOVE IT!" SO--let's do that. Here's to being a Lunatic...just for today!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bloom Where You're Planted

February 5, 2012: Four of Stones, Haindl Tarot

This card takes us back to the very roots of life, the World Tree, and the immutable, incomprehensible power of the Earth Itself, the silent force beneath, behind, and beyond every act we perform, every moment of our journey, every facet of our being. Mother/Father Earth is the Ultimate Source, and it is in conjunction with the Powers of Earth that we must learn to live our lives, either in compliance, or in transcendence. Rachel Pollock's explanation of this card includes the following ideas:

"The title of this card takes us back to the archaic idea of nature as a mystical force. We see in the Four of Stones the base of an ancient tree, with roots sinking into darkness. It could be Yggdrasil, the World tree, with its roots in the hidden underworld and its branches in heaven....The card calls us to respect the sources of power in our lives. It symbolizes creativity and new ideas. The person may feel overwhelmed by the energy of a situation. If she or he feels afraid, s/he needs to respect that feeling. The four directions tell us to orient ourselves in the situation, to see how the different parts contribute to the whole, and to find our own place."

We ourselves are individual nexi of power, but all our power is sourced in, and arises from, our connection to the Earth, since we are beings of flesh and bone. So, today, we think deeply about our Source, about life on Earth and our part therein. Where are we planted, and how do we bloom in that place?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Seeking Shadows

February 4, 2012: Mother of Swords, Haindl Tarot

She arches over the earth, a starry night sky filled with mysterious stars, and surrounds the green and beating heart of creation with her ever-deepening silence. She is the shadow, the mystery, that which lies at the furthest edges of the psyche and leads us on into journeys with no destination. 

She is Nuit, Goddess of the Night, and perhaps is the oldest iconic Goddess in all the cultures of the earth. Her lore is an attempt to answer the age-old question of mankind, "where does the Sun go in the nighttime?"  And so, for us, she is the avatar of that-which-lies-within, and bespeaks the journey to our own dark places...

And why is she a Sword? Perhaps because the truth of darkness is so piercing, perhaps because her legends speak of her lying over the face of Geb, the Earth, the obelisk of his phallus piercing her eternal darkness...and perhaps because, of all the states of Being, for humans darkness has always seemed the most threatening. 

So, today, we contemplate Nuit. Where is your darkness? What is there to explore within it? And how does your darkness enhance your light?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Take Your Power!!

February 3, 2012: The Mage, Haindl Tarot

This card has layers of complexity in the artwork which were intended, by Haindl, to bespeak the many different aspects of the uses of power, and the many different ways in which we can empower ourselves and use power in the world outside ourselves. 

You see the sword and spear making the cross of Gyfu, the rune which bespeaks either a curse or a blessing, or both, over the holy Grail, which is the core essence of personal worth, but which, in this drawing, looks as if it is on the way to tipping over, and whose transparency gives away the fact that it is, in fact, empty. You see the bull of Taurus, material comfort and stability, and the Norse rune Feoh, which is Cattle, wealth, prosperity, and yet between them is the changeable moon and the bleakness of a desert, reminding us of the insecurity of the material world. Our Mage has "two faces", his forward-looking, brightly "enlightened" conscious Self, smiling into the distance which invites him, and his Dark Self, the brooding shadow which literally "overshadows" him in the card, reminding us again that in the uses of power, all is seldom what it seems to be. 

As one contemplates this card, different bits and pieces seem to "pop" out at one, with no necessary order nor flow of ideas, and the very lack of synchronicity says a great deal about our attitudes towards power, especially our own personal power, and how confused many of us appear to be when it is time to grasp and use it. This is the very essence of the Western world's confusion about the uses of power, and the differences between being empowered and power-over. 

For us, as we look at the message of this card for this day, it needs to be made simple. Each and every day, the Mage dwells within us, and we far too often bypass his call to action. So, today, simply put--what are you supposed to be doing that will empower you, and why are you resisting the doing of it? Put behind you the confusion which whispers in your ear that you are not, in fact, a "powerful" person, and that you need others to tell you how to think and how to act. Accept, for today, the concept that you are, in fact, the boss of your own life, and that you have the power to act as you Will. Then--get up out of your chair, and go and DO it. Okay?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

And Happy Groundhog Day!!

February 2, 2012: Imbolc Day, and Groundhog Day
Again, today, on the second day of Imbolc, our draw is not a Tarot card, but a Celtic oracle. Yesterday we dealt with trees, today we are using the Animal Oracle...Happy Groundhog Day to our American brothers and sisters, and today's draw is a cousin of the groundhog! 
The Animal Totem for today is "Badger." Badgers were highly revered by the Celts, with Badger skins found buried in the graves of chieftains. The nickname "Brock" is derived from its old Gaelic name of Brocc. Pictish Druids were known as Badgers. This is probably because the Badger lives deep within the earth, the supposed dwelling place of gods and ancestral spirits, and is therefore privy to their secrets, including the mysterious germination of life that takes place in the underworld. The Badger is one of the sacred animals of the goddess Brighid and a totem of Imbolc, when the Celtic women gathered together to celebrate the rebirth of spring symbolized by the Badger emerging from beneath the earth, just as new growth mysteriously emerges from the ground. 
If it sometimes seems that the whole world is against you, turning you into the "Badger in a bag", then listen to the lessons of Badger. His defenses are his fortitude and his indomitable will, even against overwhelming odds. He does not waste time on blame or regret, but stands his ground, tenacious and unyielding. If you feel powerless and angry, stop blaming other people, they can only make you feel what you allow them to. Go within yourself and find the power of Badger - centered, grounded, and unshakable. Badger may be advising you that healing may come from earth-based therapies, such as herbs, essential oils, massage, and body work, from grounding and feeling your deep connection to the physical realm. Blessed Bees!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

In A Nutshell

February 1, 2012, The Feast of Imbolc, Brighid's Day

As is my many-years-long tradition this day, my draw of divination on Imbolc is not Tarot, but the Celtic Ogham. And today's Gift from My Lady Brigid is the Hazel, Coll, the tree of Hidden Wisdom for the Seeker of Wisdom.

As well as poetic skill, this Ogham card represents intuition, the power of divination leading straight to the source. Hazel twigs have traditionally always been used for divining because of their pliancy and affinity with water. So the Hazel embodies many talents: poetry, divination and powers of meditation. Through the guidance of this card, these talents can also be a channel for creative energies, especially that which allows you to inspire or increase these capacities among others, through your work, interests and pursuits.
The Hazel, in fact allows you to be a catalyst or transformer, working through the promptings of intuition to bring ideas to the surface. Inspiration from a higher source will be bestowed upon you, as the Hazel feeds you with spiritual nourishment. You are at a creative high point. Everything will proceed smoothly if you trust your intuition and proceed bravely, with the knowledge that all will going accord to plan. Through your apprenticeship, you are discovering your own power. Sometimes you will need to act quickly and change your plan as you go along, but you have all the wisdom, energy, and inspiration that you need to dance through situation with grace and power. 
From the skill and dexterity needed to crack a seamless hazelnut and remove the meat without crushing it comes the saying, "that's the whole thing in a nutshell." The Hazel encourages us to seek out information and inspiration in all things and emphasizes the value of the enquiring mind and of learning of all kinds. Just as the hazel concentrates all its goodness and its continued existence in the kernel of its fruit, so we attain wisdom by reducing knowledge down to its purest form and passing it on down the ages. 
Through meditating on the essence of wisdom, we gain creative inspiration. Like the limbs of the hazel, we must remain pliant in our approach to learning. Concentrated thought in an open mind can, like the hazel, become a connection with the divine source of all things. The hazel teaches us the noble arts of learning, teaching, communication, and healing.