Belated Tarot

My days run together, my weeks run together.  I have too much on my plate.  I fall behind.  I am only now sleeping more normally after yet another PTSD-triggered bout of insomnia after the Florida school shooting.  Various niggling household finance issues plague me expensively.  So I fear to even modestly celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary with a dinner out and a two day escape to hike beaches in Oregon while my three sons hold down the household fort for me.  Or so I tell myself…

Day 16, on the 21st my “wearable” draw card was the 4 of Cups -Lady of Blended Pleasure.  Color me confused, that day I was blending a lot of things, almost none of them “pleasurable.”  (The necklace in question was one of my making using leftover freshwater pearls of several types — bits and pieces from making several necklaces for other people.  Literally a blend of pleasures.). So, feeling pressured and like I might be missing some vital point, I asked my card layout, using my Minoan deck by Laura Perry, whether I needed to bow to anxiety and financial pressures or fight for some life pleasures instead of forcing a sort of personal “austerity zone” on myself and family.

That Minoan deck is so subtle and lovely to look at, but in meaning as brutal as my old Barbara Walker deck: it told me I was being a frightened child, letting old memories of tragic trauma and deprivation rule my current life. Yes, there were challenges and many demands, but nothing in my life is actually falling apart, so buck the fuck UP.  I can call upon the cooperation and aid of other family members instead of falling on my sword(s) in self-pity.  Also, just a by the by thing?  “Judgement” in this deck looks rather like a giant dick.

Do you suppose that means “Prepare to be fucked!”  In this case, the card was reversed and its position suggested I stop making myself a fucking martyr and try to find some enjoyment in life like normal people do.

The 22nd of February I skipped the Wear the Tarot Project entirely.  Something about 222 doesn’t work for me sometimes.

Today I drew the King of Pentacles to wear.  This is a favorite and underworn piece of mine because I love blending metals and am especially fond of copper.   It is a “Viking knit” necklace made by a friend in New Zealand and a pendant I bought from Longship Trade Goods.  Since today’s question for my card spread was literally “How do I calm the fuck DOWN?”  – this was a nice draw because it fronted me with my own money-related fears.  Also, it reminds me that for a good deal of my marriage I have been resentfully dependent on my husband to be the “king of money” because he always earned much more.  So right to the damned crux of my personal mental uproar….yikes.

The cards, again the Minoan deck, told me I needed to move forward out of memory and anxiety and consider that children DO have an unfettered sense of freedom that I somehow lost.  The “deep” question ignored was the #15 (Devil in most decks) MINOTAUR in this no-Christian-images deck!  As some of you know, Minotaur is my husband’s nickname from me: a somewhat passively aggressive bellicose man damaged and lost in his own PTSD-crafted mental Labyrinth every since I’ve known him.  This card suggests, as ever, that it involves fears.

I fear my husband.  How naked is that?  I fear his ability to hurt me, deceive me, deny me, ignore me, wound me more than the last 40 years has already done.  And how hurtful that would be to him, because the cards remind me he is striving to be the romantic King of Rhytons(Cups) in our marriage now and is trying to break those old bad habits.

The 4 of coins/horns insisted I worry less over spending or saving money and more on how it serves my life.  Cards suggested I should draw away from my own too often role as the Queen of Swords and try on the crown of the Queen of Cups.  The “manifestation” card was The Fool – telling me a new self discovery awaits me if I have the courage to move forward.

This deck has four extra cards labeled “Priest” and “Priestess” for each of the four elemental suits.  I am trying to use them — have had them come up in readings the last two days and I really want to pull them out and toss them in the trash.  It feels like they detract from the usual king/queen face cards.  But I want to make myself experiment a bit more; after all, ambivalence over Perry’s assigned meanings to king/queen still dog my mental heels as well.  To one of the queens she assigns the caveat “I emote” and to one of the kings, “I react” which pisses me the fuck off even though she insists the cards are not gender specific.  The priest/priestess cards are simply another dimension of sexist stereotypes for me.

I remind myself maybe I am still roaming in the haunted shadows of my own psychology.  The “feelings of querent” card being the Priest of daggers reversed said exactly that.  So, I will have to work some more on personal issues before shredding tarot cards!  This little project IS bearing fruit.  I am becoming re-familiarized with my favorite card spread and digging out all sorts of nasty personal issues that have been growing in the dark like poisonous toadstools in the recent years of increased stress and challenge during a time of emotional abandonment and loneliness.

Of course, this is all about as much fun as getting teeth pulled without pain killers.  But it is necessary work: tarot cards for me hold up a mirror I MUST look at to find out who and what I am and what I will become.

 

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Winter Came BACK

February is usually a month fooling gardening types into early pansies and optimistic garden blunders.  It is the time of year when I begin the hands-and-knee weed war.   Yes, weeds grow and even bloom in February in the Pac Nor’west.

But this week’s yard work was cancelled.  It got cold – twenties and teens – and snowed again.  It wasn’t much snow and it didn’t last long on the roads.  It dressed the trees in splendor and made colors pop.

I really DO need to get out there in the cold and prune back the hedge of roses.  But I admit to a complete lack of enthusiasm.  One thing about being older?  My body resents being cold more than ever before.  Everything aches after a chilly brisk outdoor walk, for instance – for the next forty eight hours!

The things I enjoy most about winter now?  Sunny days when it sparkles as I listen to ice fall from my gutters.  Oh, and enjoying the sights in my garden from the safety of my kitchen window!  I am very fond of an old silver teapot recycled into yard art with a stream of solar powered lights pouring down on the snowed over greenery below.

Best February activity?  Making beeswax candles in the little Hexenhaus while listening to blues on the old I-pod!  Sweet scents, sweet sounds, and a warm steamy haze in the air around me.  Refuge for a day or two from the harsher realities of life.

Find YOUR rest-up spot, too!

Tuesday Tarot – Spread Thin

Some days, right? Problem handled.

Yesterdays “wear the tarot” card was the 3 of Pentacles.  The earthy suit, so why does my jewelry piece seem to be dwelling on flying things?

Well, every element has “bits” of the other three, you see.  And yes, tarot usually uses face cards to be those bits.  But for ages, when I see a 3 of Pentacles, it has meant some bill was going to bite me — my money would be flying!  

So I assigned this little home-made charm necklace with a bee, a hummingbird, and a feather to the job of reminding me.  I worked outside in my Hexen Haus making candles yesterday, all serenely NOT spending any money on my mental health day #2.

But today, dawning very cold and with snow again?  The toilet made an odd noise when flushed.  It bubbled.  Toilets are not meant to bubble.  Yes, ultimately money flew.  My card spread yesterday should have been maybe asking why that card at this time; but I was still over-focused on the whole gun violence thing and not concerned with mundane close-to-home issues.

Today’s card draw was the 7 of cups.  Lady of Illusionary Success.  This card always gives me a gut reaction that my resources are spread too thin.  Hmmmph, about the time I was fastening this little yard sale find round my throat was when the toilet bubbled!  So, with a fresh issue hitting, I admit my success felt illusionary!

That made today’s card spread was much closer to home in query!

But the reading left me unsatisfied – I couldn’t tell whether my worries, my fears of a planned getaway for my anniversary are real or illusionary.  I could have stopped with my drawn card, couldn’t I?  The card connoting the choice between material and mystical?  Or between material and emotional?

It dawns on me this week, as I dealt with PTSD triggers, that I am not really comfortable with choices.  In general, I acknowledged choice in my life – but it never felt very honestly “choicey” because one choice or another always felt too tenuous, too risky to be indulged in at all.

I have been stodgy.  There it is, I go for the safe bet.  That’s how I see it.

But I’m constantly told that I am brave and take risks.  That I am fearless.

No, I am terrified a good deal of the time; I am NOT fearless.   As I have realized from doing a year’s worth of a psychological study which involves answering questions monthly, aimed at ferreting out avoidant behaviors and such, I generally act in spite of my fears.

I was always shy of public speaking, but I do it and moderately well.  I hate crowds, but I go to gatherings, protests, speeches, etc.  I didn’t trust marriage at all – but I’ve been married for forty-one years.  I act the opposite of what my fear tells me to do in most cases.

How I feel and what I do are often opposite.  Does that make my successes illusionary?  Or are my illusions successful?

 

Failure To Protect?

Please ask this question loudly and angrily: “What if EVERY parent who has lost a child to a school shooter, OR had a child wounded or traumatized bonded together and launched a class action suit against the US government?”

After all, most schools have metal fire doors on class rooms – those could be fitted with magnetic locks that DO not open to admit a shooter. Why does the government NOT do this to protect children?

Tarot Sunday Tell-Alls

I am that point in my experiment with tarot meditations and inquiries where I remember why I sometimes put down the cards for years at a time. Because like anyone else who is honest – I must admit sometimes I just don’t want to know, don’t want to see what is right in front of my face.  Because I am human and humanist; I suffer fears and yet have requirements for and of myself that I must meet.  I believe in arete.  It is what I must strive for or admit defeat.

I don’t like losing.  Especially against myself.  And make no mistake – embattled within– I am right now.

Friday’s Wear the Tarot card was the 2 of cups – Lady of Love.  My card spread question asked whether Trump might turn on the NRA – or well, what did my hope/expectation related to that possible happening tell me?    I asked because I feel a pressure as a woman, as a mother, as a veteran who knows too damned well what the rounds used in AR-15s do to the human body.   That silvery moon waxing tells me I better get ready, love (like freedom?) is never free. My question came, as that drawn card and a piece of jewelry to wear tells me, from a need for harmony and connection.

That connection is deeply missing in my nation.  And frankly, in myself.  I don’t want to talk to those on the other side of the gun violence equation.  I want to hit, smash, kick, and break things.  Like the man at a town meeting that basically verbally assaulted one of our Moms Demand Action red t-shirt wearing women by walking past her and growling “Don’t touch my guns.”

Likely lucky it wasn’t me.  I’d have snarled back.  “Don’t worry, you sorry assed loser motherfucker, your little metal penis is safe!”  This is another reason I am at war within.  The twos also relate to conflict – and Watery cups is emotional conflict; I don’t really want to be rational.  I want to throw ashes on my head and scream aloud.  But really, what does that get me?

I want to solve this problem of swords bullets flying around schools with a sword of my own.  So, Saturday’s card shouldn’t have been a shocker: the Princess of Swords.  The Princess of the Rushing Winds – I want to blow them all down, don’t I?  I’m all fired up with a message as is right for the card often called a “page”.   This card is called the “earth of fire” – possibly because I am “earthy”?  In other words, when I am fired up, I swear.  A lot.  But the question I asked for Saturday was whether I was dealing with the real problem, which was not mere anger and the need to throttle deserving assholes.

The real problem is my PTSD trigger being hit by yet another shooting.  And not being able to sleep in the dark hours since then.  My cards told me I needed mental health days to rest and recharge.  And there were lots of Major Arcana cards in the eleven card spread – FIVE of them.  Uh oh, brace yourself, I thought — this isn’t just “re-charge”; this is “get ready TO charge”.  Also, the 5 of swords in my “relationships” spot, telling me to not be a freaking coward.  No wussing allowed, no matter how PTSD triggered!

So today’s wearable?  The fucking Knight of Swords – Lord of Winds and Breezes him/herself.  I barely had it hung over my fucked up, aching, sleepless, dark-eye-circled face when I got the text from our Moms Demand Action lady who works with legislative matters for our local group.  She wants me to be her assistant because last week we managed the apparently Herculean task of making our own appointments to meet our state legislators.  The Minotaur phoned, I emailed and kept track of proper timing.

I told her I was having a mental health day and would get back to her after Monday.  That damned piece of lapis from a war zone!  I knew that meant I was  going to be asked to step up and into the range of vocal fire that would make me want to do “Hulk Smash!” shit.  :::::head desk::::::

So, I asked the cards.  I had numerous repeats over the last three days. – the 4 of Swords, telling me about convalescence.  The Chariot, telling me taking control was necessary.  Both the Emperor (male political power/patriarchy) and the Empress (female political power) telling me to REACH for that power myself.  A reversed 2 of wands telling me that lack of action would be the worst (and most cowardly) choice ever.   In the physical manifestation spot?  In Malkuth of the “Tree of Life” spread: Justice, and the Da’ath “secret I must know” spot: Queen of Wands — BE fired up and put that Will to work!

I’m kind of grateful I beggared myself putting some big chunky lapis on layaway to make myself a new necklet or two.  I’m going to need it.

 

Tarot Klaxons – Look Out Florida – the King of Pentacles is A-Coming

Yes, you poor unfortunate souls, you are in for a Presidential visitation.

He will say the right things: no child should be harmed in school, that gun shouldn’t have been in that messed up kid’s hands.

He will promise you ANYthing to make sure you don’t yell or throw rotting vegetables or shoes at him.

Then he will fly away home from your hearts on fire.

And then we will all remember he is a LIAR.  (Trump #15 in pivotal spot on spread of cards)

Because unless there is a wave of feminine political power to swamp the GOP ship of fools?  Nothing will change.

He will go home and take care of his own business and comfort and forget all about you.

Just sayin’….and wishing and hoping I am wrong.

Even The Moon Is Dark

In a landscape gray iced rain goes down your neck,

My disk of charcoal glows red hot,

The moon is new and sky-hidden in shadowy black,

Amidst the winter dullness – something bright

A cube of green – green as young lives cut short as grass,

Amber of a verdant hue and clear as glass,

Flipped onto the hot coal it turns golden edged,

Smoke rises smelling of a pine forest afire,

Raindrops hiss hitting the ashy edges as I walk,

Around and around, reciting names,

Sacrificing the precious?

Me, my amber consigned to burn?

Or my nation, consigning children to Moloch?

They spin the tale, it’s not their fault,

The merchants of death and profiteers off tears,

They spin it, spin it, spin it – lying spiders,

But there is other spinning…better spinners,

What goes around, they say, comes around,

I spin words as I walk the labyrinth,

Wheels spin in minds ticking with broken hearts,

Just wait, you smug spinners, just wait,

The Wheel turns, and even the moon is dark,

Mourning fuel burns like green amber,

To light your pyre.

 

 

 

 

 

Tarot Thursday

To be honest, I almost put up a “hiatus” sign here instead of posting.  You have only to look at the tags on this post to know why.  My mind is a labyrinth full of bloody mouthed monsters.  Again.  On Wednesday, my Wear the Tarot Project draw was the 2 of Wands – “Lord of Dominion.”  My choice was two carnelian bracelets – one bought from a sweet friend who had a jewelry business called “Ajmer Trading Company” for a while, the other – red scarabs that were a gift from my sons.

Is it me, or do those stones look particularly bloody today?  A dozen and a half people – young people – dead and more than a dozen more wounded and hundreds terrorized and traumatized.  We are again offered “thoughts and prayers” of course.

“What the fuck,” you ask, “does this have to do with tarot?”

Oh, excuse me, did you mistake me for some bit of pagan fluff whose patchouli scented spiritual life exists in a vacuum?  Wrong place, wrong time if that was your idea of who I am.  I am the Bitch of this place who gets rather routinely so pissed off that I simply let fly what I loosely call “General Imprecations”.

Was the boy with the AR-15 the recipient of those curses?  No.  Actually not.  I am horrified for him just slightly less than for his victims.  The moronic media is all “How did everyone miss the danger signs?”  WTF?  NOBODY missed the danger signs with this orphaned screwed up kid.  But nobody did a fucking thing about it except throw him OUT of the “good” school.   So kids are dead again and the NRA is slinking into the shadows and the GOP is saying not to politicize tragedy and quoting mental illness as the “real” problem.  Motherfuckers!*  IF mental illness is the godsdamned problem, WTF were YOU all about when the GOP stood up and said that even people WITH mental illness have sacred 2nd Amendment rights? .

That’s right, everyone.   Mentally troubled folks should have the same rights to killing tools as every other pissed off white guy in the country.  The GOP likes to label mental illness as THE problem instead of guns because they know they don’t want to COVER mental illness or do jack shit ABOUT it.  They get to label shootings as practically ‘acts of god’ and go on collecting NRA dividends.

I think I misinterpreted that Wednesday card and the clue was right in front of me.  I saw “Lord of Dominion” and thought, “Yes – bitch slap those motherfuckers!”  After all, the card stands for projects completed as an act of Will.  But the reversed meaning is one of wealth and authority gained by dishonest means and used for private gain.  “Dominion.”  Like all those right wing religious cats who like the Old Testament rules about slapping women around, killing disobedient children, selling daughters, and taking sex slaves at war.  (You know, they DO sound a LOT like those ISIL bastards, don’t they?  Who knew?).

Oh, yeah – TAROT!!  Picking a card to choose a jewelry piece doesn’t show reversal — it has to be felt or belatedly recognized.  The concept of reversed cards has always been problematical to me.  I’ve tried recommended methods – intentionally upside-downing part of the deck and shuffling; that was unsatisfactory and very artificial.  I do occasionally get a “natural” reversal from tired sloppy shuffles – but those are perishingly rare.  But it is not unusual in a reading for me to look at a card, and check my “cribbing book” of ages of notes on card meanings repeatedly going “That makes no damned sense at all in this layout, for this query, in that position!”  I re-check the reverse meanings and suddenly it clicks like a good Tetris game.  For me, it is about the feel in the layout.  Is this always satisfactory or easy.  No, but then, what is?

So today?  I drew the 4 of Swords and it hangs around my neck.  I intend to obey this card with a nigh superstitious vigilance.  You see, the 3 of Swords was in yesterday’s spread of actual cards.  And I thought, oh HEL no.  It didn’t track, or I didn’t want it to track –that “Lord of Sorrow” card so often portrayed as a heart pierced with 3 swords.  But there we are again.  So today’s “Lord of Rest from Strife” telling me to convalesce and calm the fuck down?  I am SO trying to get there from here.

This leather corded crystal of ametrine with a drop of lapis always reminds me of war – though it is one of my oldest pieces.  I bought it from another buddy with a jewelry stand.  But almost all the lapis in the world comes from Afghanistan, you see?  That is why this got assigned to Swords.  My eldest son’s chosen brother, Lincoln, went to Afghanistan and did service at the big airbase there twice.  He came home a changed man with health issues.  He died two years ago of multiple aneurysms blowing up in his brain.  He sent me a lapis necklace from Afghanistan.  I still love lapis, mind you – but it will forever remind me of war and death and seem a sort of mineralized tears.

Those cards can’t give you, me, or anyone else what they want you know?  But sometimes they can strongly hint at what we need.  WE all need a rest from strife.  We need to stop sending our kids to school with a back of head fear of whether they will come home again.  We need to go shopping without jumping out of our skins at a sharp “thwack” sound.  We need to go to movies without a hyper vigilant glance at the closest exit every ten minutes.  We need legislators who care for constituents more than NRA campaign bucks.  We need less mentality revolving around solving every problem with bullets being taught in media.  I could go on all day.  But I’m going to go TAKE that rest from strife right now before I blow an aneurysm!

*Motherfuckers – YES, they ARE fucking mothers every time they let the children of those mothers be gunned down so sacred ammosexual rights trump the “right to life”!