Saturday, 27 December 2014

This Person May Be Hazardous

How many of us have toxic relationships?  If we are honest we all probably have at least one person in our lives who we feel we would rather be without yet find it hard to walk away from.

Toxic relationships can vary from that 'friend' who always has to put us down, to the overcritical parent right the way through to an abusive partner.

When we stop and look at these relationships in the cold light of day, even through someone else's eyes it can be quite saddening to see how we let these people make us feel. 

I believe the tarot can show this through various cards,, firstly lets start with our old friend The Devil:

 The Devil can symbolise the scapegoat, selfishness, self delusion,  and a dysfunctional relationship

Are we really chained and bound by the devils chains?  We are, in actuality, free to release ourselves at any time.  Yes, we have that choice, although we sometimes are brought so low by constantly being put down, we fail to see it  .  

In toxic relationships, we usually are the scapegoat, the one the other person projects their negative traits on, and they take great pleasure in pointing out 'our' flaws to us and others.  This gives them power, it makes us eventuslly believe that even though this relationship feels intrinsically wrong, by being so flawed, who else would be-friend us.

Often these toxic people are self deluded, by projecting their insecurities they convince themselves of their perfection, they portray it as a badge of honour, happy to tell anyone who will listen how they have martyred themselves to maintain a relationship with  such a lowly creature as us.  So we continue to keep the chains that bind us to The Devil  intact, 'better the Devil you know' fits perfectly here. 

I actually like the card in Tarot of the Hidden Realm's portrayal of The Devil, it is called Shadow Dance.  It fits so well with the theme.

I remember  when trying to come to terms with the physical and emotional scars left over  from a seriously abusive partnership, I read a book called The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner, it was given to me a one of the Womens Aid Refuge workers.

It explained how the self perpetuated cycle of a toxic relationship worked.  It is as though we take part in psychological dance, each step written as a formal move,  we repeat the same steps over and over, until we have perfected it enough to win  trophies.  The clue in ending this dance is to change the steps, throw in a jive when the other is not expecting it, dip and heel, ball , shuffle in an unexpected part of the cycle and the toxic person loses their momentum, thus losing control. 
As the card itself is called Shadow Dance  it is interesting to see how the other person,s shadow side is brought closer to the surface when we do the twist in the middle of our usual foxtrot.

Another card I feel fits with the theme of toxic relationships is the 5 of Swords.  Who is the person with the smug look on their face, collecting his trophies as the other figures walk away, heads bowed.  Does this card portray how you feel at the end of any social event when your toxic person is involved.

Does this toxic person feel good about themselves for the fact that they have, very openly upset others.  Usually you find a toxic person only feels successful when they have caused maximum hurt or embarrassment to their chosen scapegoat.  It may not even be noticeable by others, however when you are constantly being sniped at and little comments being made it starts to build, and slowly wears you down, then, as other people are unaware of the constant poison, you are made to think you are over reacting. 

This is not usually the case though, we never 'over react', we react in exactly the right way as to how a situation makes us feel.

The 8 of Cups can be the best outcome card for toxic relationships,  As the lone figure walks away from the 8 cups, head bowed and mountains to climb, sometimes although hard, to leave those emotions and ties that you feel, behind you, it is as though climbing up to that higher ground can give you the clarity you need.  Those cups you left behind may be filled with all sorts of emotions but that tide is going to come in and knock those cups over and empty them all, to eventually be washed away.  

As 2015 approaches, I ave been looking at some relationships that have a toxic feel to them, some I am preparing to cut loose, others I may have to take dance lessons for as cutting the ties is not viable, however if I can stop their choice of music I can stop dancing to their tune.


Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas

Wishing you all a happy, peaceful and 
love filled Christmas.

Its the people we spend Christmas with that counts, not what we spend on people for Christmas.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A spread for 2015

As we all move towards a new year, we all make promises to ourselves that this year will be better/different/the year we achieve all our personal goals.

I've been developing a spread that may be of some use if you are not sure what 2015 shuld be doing for you.  It is not a predicitve spread, but a spread of self learning and awareness. 

The spread uses O The Fool as the pivotal card and is loosely arranges around the figures 2,0,1,5.

The first 2 cards I have placed as something from your life that needs to be left in 2014, something that no longer serves you or doesn't working for you.  In practice readings I have done, it has read two ways, so you need to use your intuition to go with it.  The first interpretation can read as an entire situation, a brief outline of an issue, the whos the whats the whens.  The second interpretation (and it has happened in approximately 50% of the practice readings is that it shows an issue and the reason to leave it behind, the whys.

The Fool card is not interpreted, per se, it symbolises the new year, new start, new step in your life.

Card 3 is the main focus you need to keep in 2015.  It is the lesson that we need to learn to put all the rest into place (even better if a Major shows up here).

Cards 4 through to 8 are also lessons to take on board over the coming year, they may be small changes or realisations that need to be addressed to help us deal with whatever 2015 is going to throw at us. 

It has taken a while to figure if the positions work, and in reality they can be tweaked to be whatever you choose them to be.  But I do like this spread, it can be a bit of an eye opener when most people tell you they are going to go to the gym next year, or give up chocolate and you can say, I'm going to develop my authoritive side/ try and become less self sabotaging, or speak my truth, and I'll keep eating the chocolate when I feel like some (and not judge myself harshly about it) thank you. 

Have a play around with the spread and let me know what you think, let me know if you have given the positions different meanings and if so, what are they, and how do they work for you.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Yule (B)Log

As the shortest day and longest night, Yule, to me is a turning point.  I love the long lazy summer days, so my heart sinks when the sunny days leave us and the dark days creep in.  

Yule gives the promise of the returning light, the plants and flowers slowly begin to stir beneath the earth and the birds and animals start to re-appear.

I think Yule is the perfect time to leave some of our baggage behind in the darkness and nurture what we want to bring into the light.  Tarot can help us look at what these tings can be,  I have always been inspired by The Four Queens' approach to tarot and she has lovingly shared some lovely Yule tarot and oracle spreads on her YouTube channel here.

I think if we dig deep enough within ourselves there is always something we can find that can give us hope and inspiration to pursue, something to bring light into our lives.

Too many people make new year resolutions based on a major change in their lives and by February, have given up as they are not seeing the rewards fast enough.  By using tarot we can 'check in' with ourselves and get a snapshot of what we need to address to accelerate our goals.

I am going to spend some time tonight assessing my goals for the coming year, and if I have to journey one small step at a time, I will.  I will have a monthly check up with the cards to see if I am progressing in the right way and if I need to change anything I am doing, or even need to address an entirely different issue then so be it.  I am not going to run a race with myself to get where I want to be.  I'd rather take a stroll and enjoy the scenery, after all life is meant to be an experience and I want to experience as much as I can.

Have a blessed Yule and may the returning light illuminate your heart.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Pre-Christmas Cards

Father Christmas came early this year, I have acquired the latest addition to my oracle collection, Colette Baron-Reid's Wisdom of the Hidden Realms.

All I can say is, 'amazeballs'.  The artwork is so rich, the images just speak for themselves. All the card artwork is by the artist Jena DellaGrottaglia, which gives a nice constant flow to them, which I like.  I sometimes feel when the artwork on the cards are a collaboration of different artists, some cards in the deck just don't give me the vibe.  

This could be why the Oracle of Shadows and Light, and Shapeshifters remain my favourite oracle decks as Jasmine Becket Griffiths artwork is consistant on both decks. 

I have been having some 'getting to know you' time with each card and think the deck and I are going to get along well.

The Wisdom of the Hidden Realms cards use reversals, which I like, however the upright position is called an ally, and reversed is called the challenger.

Some of the cards are ally only, a few of the cards are both ally and challenger in the same instant, making it an interesting deck to read.

I can't wait to try them out properly and really get to know them, this is why I'm going to offer some free readings HERE in the coming days, so keep checking back if you would like to find out what these cards have to say to you.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

I Am Woman, Hear me Roar

As The Empress card goes I think this one from Legacy of the Divine tarot has got to be my favourite.

If an image has to symbolise the femininity, fertility and abundance associated with the Empress, this card has it all.

I love when this card appears in a spread, it gives me such a happy feeling.  It is enough to tell any female querant that as she stands, she is amazing.

The heavily pregnant Empress, draped in her sheer robe rejoices in the beauty of the female body and its ability to grow and expand with the seed of the future.  I love explaining to querants that this does not signify pregnancy per se, but symbolises that we should rejoice in our ability to grow and nurture the seeds we plant for our future.   

As women, we tend to down play our strong points, sometimes we find they are down-played for us.  We need to learn that as the bringers of life we hold amazing power over our lives.  The Empress also shows that no matter what or physical body is like, we all hold that potential to create, nurture and reap the bounty of those sown seeds.

The Empress is the mother archetype, she not only nurtures the child growing within her, but all that is around her.  She cares for her own, for the earth and everything in it, knowing it is all connected.
Loving and caring the Empress embraces all, but she is no martyr to her cause.  She enjoys the good things in life, luxuriance and abundance are evident in her life.  But these things have come from the seeds The Empress has sown, that she has tended and protected.  She is one practical and grounded lady, and the fruits of her harvest are for sharing.  She is a life giver, protector and generous in her love.

There is so much more I could waffle on about regarding The Empress, however I am going to leave it there for now.  I really just wanted to share the beautiful image of Ciro Marchetti's work.  

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Festive Tarot Spread

Feel free to use this spread, if you are using it on a forum or blog or any other website, please link it back to me here.
Many thanks.

I've put together a little seasonal spread for you.  Its been tested out using Legacy of the Divine tarot deck, and seems like it is pretty accurate.
Feel free to use it, let me know what you think.  All I ask is if it is going onto a blog, forum or any other website, can you please link it back to me here.

Obviously its festive so here are the card position definitions.

Card 1 The Tree, this is your basic 'core', where you sprang from, where your roots are deep.

Card 2 and 3, Your Branches, this is where you have had growth, the lessons you have learned, where you have been developing.

Card 4, The Tree Lights, this is where/what makes you shine.

Card 5, The Baubles, this is what hangs from the branches, subconscious thoughts/underlying issues.

Card 6 The Star At The Top Of The Tree, your hopes/fears.

Card 7, Your Gift Under The Tree, this is something coming your way.  I placed card 7 horizontally to make it neutral 'cos lets face it, nobody wants coal in their Christmas stocking.

I hope you have fun with it.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

The Tower and the Compost Heap

This quote reminds me of The Tower card in tarot.  We are sometimes dealt a blow that can seem like the end of our world, as we know it.  

I believe that no matter how destructive the damage of a bolt from the blue can be, there is always a chance to salvage what you can and re-build something better.  Even if there is not one thing salvageable, if you have your self then you have something to re-build with.

We occasionally read an article somewhere on hugely successful people who have been plummeted to their very depths by losing everything they have through various seasons, and yet they have the determination to climb through the debris of their life and climb back up.  We believe these people are the exception to the rule, but are they?

What of the ordinary wife and mother who, because of a divorce, ends up in social housing, working for minimum wage, feeling everyday is a struggle.  In doing so, she instills a strong work ethic in her kids, as they decide to stick in with their education so they can take better employment.

Or the young widowed father, quitting his job to raise his kids, so in years to come, his own son is comfortable being a 'hands on' dad.

Aren't these all 'Tower moments? Making fetilizer from the 'shit' in which we can then plant seeds that will grow and flourish.

Not all 'Tower moments are this severe, it may be the reputation of the card that makes us believe, when it shows up in a spread, that we are going to lose it all.  It may be that the disaster we are waiting to befall us can be that flat tyre we notice as we are leaving for work, delaying us, just long enough to miss the hold up on the motorway due to a minor collision.  Or missing the bus for that all important job interview only to receive a call later that day regarding a job closer to home and with better pay and conditions.

The Tower hits when we least expect it or want it, but fearing it is not going to help. Embrace the changes it will bring.  It can be so liberating when you realise all those expectations, responsibilities and social conventions no longer count and you can let go and make a new beginning, doing it your own way. 

Life is meant to be an adventure, how can you enjoy the twists and turns of your story when you have your stage directions are already written, you need to use some ad lib too.

Friday, 12 December 2014

A Backward Step and A Happier Place

Tarot of the Hidden Realm

I'm not one for gender specifics and don't always assume that a male energy card in tarot necessarily represents a man, why?

The Emperor is a representation of father figure.  The strong archetypal male role model, the authority figure who gives us rules, boundaries and guidance.  

I was a single parent for many years, even through my marriage.  I was my children's' mum and dad, I was the Empress and Emperor.  I was the nurturing, caring, provider and the rule maker and enforcer.

The Emperor is a man who has wisdom and experience.  He knows that he needs to exert his power and make the rules to ensure that his people exist in harmony.  He also has the knowledge to know that as restrictive as rules can seem, they are needed to maintain order.  

He is not a dictator though, he knows when to use compassion and to see when he may need to adjust and modify the rules he has made, however this is never done lightly, for the Emperor knows he must always do what is best for the majority of his people.

He cares for his people and has the respect from them that his position requires, this respect though has been earned by the way he has ruled, for he does not make his decisions for his own benefit, he may have to fore go his own desires and needs as the higher good is what is sought, this in itself makes him a humble and honourable man

So today I slipped back into the Emperor role.  Not as an authoritarian figure, but as one who had to use logic and have the courage of my convictions, to know that the decision to be made needed a sound structure with limits and recognising the consequences this decision would have.

I have really juggled with this decision and at times I have felt quite anxious to-ing and fro-ing.  I do believe that the decision made will have the best outcome for everyone involved.  And it puts me back to the Empress, which is where I feel happiest.   

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wicked Wishes and the 9 of Cups Rx

'Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated
There's a kind of a sort of, cost
There's a couple of things get, lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn't know you crossed
Until you've crossed

(Lyrics from Thank Goodness, from the musical Wicked)

As the wish card in tarot, the 9 of Cups seems like it can do no wrong.  Reversed though, well lets look at how I see it.

I always try to relate my understanding of a card with an experience from my life, that way it makes it easier to understand. The above song lyrics tend to resonate so well with how I see the 9 of Cups reversed.

Using the RWS card, the man in the card seems to be sitting, claiming his space, arms crossed and a hint of a smug look on his face.  This is someone who seems to be in a stance of arrogance, closed off and with little regard for anyone else's feelings or opinions  No matter what is happening he is going to put himself at the forefront of any situation.  His own inflated self importance is almost sickening.  

Behind him are 9 cups, upside down, I think we all know that an upside down cup is an empty what exactly is this telling us?

The man is too arrogant to realise the cups are even there, is this someone's emotions being drained?  is it their dreams being tipped away? and still the man sits there, smug and full of his own ego.  

How did this card go from being the 'wish card' to a card of shattered dreams.

Maybe this man is so wrapped up in how everything affects him and his world, that he ignores the emotional upset he is causing. 

He has no interest in seeing what is happening behind him, he is the centre of his world and his dramas.  

At some point this man was the epitome of contentment, he was the fruition of our deepest desires, hopes becoming real, and dreams manifesting.

Somewhere along the way this changed and this wonderful feeling of a dream come true, of emotional fulfillment has become a feeling of complete emptiness, of emotions spilled or simply drained.  And yet there he sits pompous, self righteous and full of denial that he has caused this.  His back turned, determined not to look at the devastation and loss behind him.  Determined not to accept responsibility for his part in any of it.

Its a time to go back to the 8 of Cups and learn the lesson of walking away, leaving the emotional ties behind.  If the advice from the 8 of Cups had been followed in the first place then maybe the 9 of Cups reversed wouldn't have happened.

However it did and only then did I realise that 'getting your dreams, it's strange but it seems a little, well complicated'.  


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Monday, 8 December 2014

Internal Sat Navs and the Re-calculating Route

I'm a great believer that we meet people in life for a reason.  These reasons can be varied and confusing at times, but I feel that there are lessons to be learned from each and every one of our encounters.

As a typical Pisces I can be a bit of a dreamer and not always decisive on my direction in life however I have met people and been in situations that have made it abundantly clear to me the direction i do not want to take.

These people are like the Magical Map Shifter, they can throw you off course.  They change your direction in life either temporarily or permanently, sometimes in a good way sometimes not so good.

We need to accept that not everyone we meet will be for our higher good, some interactions may happen to actually make us question ourselves about just where our motives and ideas have been leading us.

This can sometimes make us have to double back on our life journey and plan to re-route and make the changes we need to make in order to reach that better place.

Some people turn up to help take us further down our path when we feel stuck, lost or just need company over the rocky bits of the mountain we need to climb.  These are the people that sometimes, just as quickly disappear from our lives.  Yet, these are the people who impact on us and magically shift our personal maps for the better.    

In years gone by, I would simply refuse to acknowledge my part when things went wrong, when I wandered in to bad places.  I now see that I had to accept my part in these things, and I can now understand that the people who were there with me at the time were there to show me a lesson about myself.  Believe me some were pretty hard to learn.  However each person that has touched my life has been a part of my personal map, they helped shape the landscape and build the pathways that needed exploring.

I feel that every connection we make in this life has the ability to be a magical map shifter, we just need to choose which of these can help us on our journey and which ones want to take us to the dead ends.  

Friday, 5 December 2014

All Pain, No Gain

I've had a really bad few days suffering with a dental abscess and doped up on pain relief and I noticed that I really wasn't connecting to my cards at all.

I tried meditation, however the constant throbbing in my lower jaw was too intense to transcend, and after pain relief I was more unintentionally starting to drift off to sleep.

I think I'm back up to speed now and have been working with long time favourite cards, The Psychic Tarot Oracle deck by John Holland.  Its very close to the RWS tarot but has no court cards (yayyy) and has chakra cards added.  It has a full set of Majors although the names are different and four 'suits'.  These being, Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spirit. Included are 7 chakra cards.

My favourite card in the deck has to be 'Power'.  I think the image of the half man, half lion is definitely telling us that strength lies in us and we can use that strength at any time if we let it show its face, however the card also shows we need to balance that power with who we really are, never let the beast completely take over.

I love these cards for intuitive work.  They speak to me in a clear, straight forward way.  I don't believe that 'sugar coating shit' solves anything.  In real life I do try and be diplomatic, in that I will say, what I believe or advise on what I would do but always state that its not me in the situation, so its not my decision to make.

When people ask for a card reading, they are looking for answers, truths or clarity, and I feel that by sweetening the blow we don't do our sitters any favours, or ourselves any justice.  However the ultimate decision is the sitters and not the readers.

I think by pulling the Power card today the cards are telling me that I need to find the strength to get to the dentist (massive phobia of anything dental).  I need to take control of this situation and the strength to overcome my fear.  But its feeling better now so maybe not. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Parlour Games and Positive Movement

Hands outstretched and her vision obscured by the blindfold, she steps out cautiously, hoping to get a sense of where she is. 

Sometimes in life the only way to move forward is to go blindly, feeling for a touch of something solid to steady us as we go.  The inability to see what lies ahead can make the journey scary but it may be that we may cannot have the distraction of stopping to see what is around us.  If, like the woman in this card, your current place is one that is appealing, you may decide to not move anywhere and become stagnated in where you are.  If, however your surroundings are not so pleasant you would hurry yourself through to get away from it, and miss something important that you needed to find there.  

Some people will happily go along and enjoy the adventure, relishing the air of mystery, not knowing where they are going but happily explore wherever they are.

Some people are reluctant to move, but know that the blindfold will not come off if you don't even try.

Some peoples' blindfold is thrust upon them and have no choice but to participate and fumble about in fear and dread, but are then happily surprised that they found courage and strength in themselves to allow their lack of vision move them forward.

Then we have the ones who will stand on the spot, refuse to move, if they can't see where they are going they are not going to take the risk of falling or bumping into something for fear of hurting themselves.They fear they will end up somewhere unpleasant, that they will be made to look foolish, so they stay exactly where they are.

I think its all a part of life, instead of being focused on how something looks, we need to experience how something feels.  We need to sometimes have the courage to use all the other senses to guide us. 

In todays modern age we are bombarded by media images of what our lives should look like, The beautiful people with their beautiful families and homes, the fantastic successful careers they have.  

In reality what do these people feel.  Does the woman struggle with food issues in a bid to stay slim, is she constantly concerned by her looks and fear the first signs of age.  Is the man in her life spending vast amounts of time working out to keep that six pack, toned pecs and pert butt after a long day in a cut throat job that drains him mentally.  Are the children nurtured and having quality time with their parents or being pacified with material goods.  Life may look good but how does it feel.

If we stop just using our eyes to see where we are heading in life and allow ourselves to just take a 'leap of faith' and let our other senses take us where they will, we would possibly find a lot more satisfaction in where we find ourselves and the lessons we have learned.

If you have faith in your gut feeling, then you are not going to go wrong.