Friday, July 3, 2009

If I Could Help Them

On Tuesday night I dreamt that I arrived at Stroud and it was like a school camp. I got there early and didn't realise until hours of walking around catching up with old school friends that I hadn't organised a bed. The Starchild was there but he had a single bed and didn't seem interested in changing locations. Even though it was a school camp, there were some older parents (who in the dream were of grandparent age as all of the school kids are in their 30's now) and some partners, but still a lot of the same friends hanging out in groups together.

The place was only a little like where we are staying this weekend. In the dream there were more buildings and there were beds lined up along an enclosed veranda. There was also an oval over a rise and as I walked up the slight hill and looked out I noticed there were many more people walking around than were staying there. I noticed that some of them were injured or bleeding and then I realised that some of them were dead. They were walking amongst the living but no one else saw them. After watching them for a few minutes, I could start to tell them apart from the real people, even the ones that weren't hurt.

At first I felt repulsion, mostly at the injuries, and also fear. It was like something horrible to watch but that I was absolutely captivated by and couldn't look away from. I then felt great sorrow and compassion for these lost souls. I wondered briefly if this was just a one-off but I felt sure that I was always going to be able to see them. This scared me, the thought of seeing hurt and lost people all of the time, every where I looked. At this point, one of them, a lady with a blood trickle down her right temple, saw that I was staring at them and started walking up to me. She was the only one of them with purpose and she seemed very intense - sort of excited with underlying anger at the same time.

She started talking very quickly and I can't remember what she was saying but I knew she needed my help. The last thing I remember before I woke up was looking up from her face and seeing more and more of these ghost people noticing us and starting to come to see if I could help them, too.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Karmic Spread

It's been a while since I dedicated regular time to the tarot and it's wonderful to have my focus turned once more in this direction in my second year of YAAD. It has reminded me how much I used to enjoy the weekly tarot class at the cottage so I am looking to return to doing some regular self-readings.

One of the fabulous spreads taught by the lovely Lisa is The Karmic Spread, which I have done tonight. This spread is done only with the major arcana cards so they need to be separated from the rest of the deck and shuffled thoroughly. It's helpful to have a tally sheet to record the cards you draw out as you will need to pick three cards from the deck of major arcana cards, record which cards you drew, return them to the pile of the major arcanas, shuffle them and repeat the same process another nine times.

The concept of this spread derives from using the major arcana cards, as they generally refer to major life events or areas of greatest energy, and combining this with recurring elements of chance by drawing three lots of cards ten times, thus how your personal karma interacts with the broader universal energy.

As you go through this process, you will find certain cards come out more than others. Once you have finished, you will have thirty tally marks spread over the 22 major arcanas recording the frequency that each of the cards were drawn.

Having chosen a particular card one or two times is usually insignificant, three times is often something to take note of but four or more is usually pretty important. If you draw four or more of any given card, this will give you the greatest insight into where you are karmically at that time.

It is generally most common to have two to four cards that appear in the total tally three times with a random spattering of zero, singular or double occurrences of the rest of the majors. Where there is less than this, it may indicate that there are not major changes or energies around you at the time. Where there is more than this, it can indicate that there are areas of significant focus or events or situations that play an important role in your fate/destiny/karma happening or about to happen in your life. When you perform this spread at regular intervals (e.g. weekly, monthly etc), it can help you build up a moving picture as well as a greater understanding of how to interpret these cards with your particular life and energy.

My Karmic Spread for tonight has given me five of the Hermit, which is actually the first time that I can ever remember getting five of any one card. Incidentally, the first three cards I drew in this spread tonight were X Wheel, XI Justice and IX Hermit, which I see as greater confirmation with the Hermit as well as a focus on a middle part of a cycle given the sequential numbers of these card at the mid-point in the major arcana "story". I also got three of the Empress and Judgement in the overall spread, but clearly the Hermit is the guy I've got to keep my eye on.

So, I've covered the Hermit in a previous post but I can see a clear connection with this card and my life at the moment. I have been in a period of great inner reflection, but it has been fairly tumultuous and not particularly productive. This Friday I will be going away for the weekend with friends from the cottage and I feel this will be the time when I will be able to really assess the things I have been trying to sort through. As I write this I realise that it was actually when I went to the same weekend away last October that this phase really commenced, although I didn't know it at the time. I have a lot of work to do in my mind and removing myself from my daily life - as well as from phones, TV, radio and general communication with the outside world - will help a lot, me thinks.

I'm looking forward to really relaxing and giving myself and my mind a break. I believe I will derive great rewards from such reflections and introspection and that the Hermit's light will start to really glow for me. I am avoiding specific expectations of the outcome but just being open to going into this hermit phase and having such a wonderful opportunity in terms of timing with the weekend retreat gives me much hope - and gratitude, of course, gratitude on so many levels.

Anyway, here are the cards, again from the beautiful Tarot of Dreams deck, that were the major players in my Karmic Spread tonight:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pentacle Yule Craft Wreath

Talk about leaving things until the last minute - our Yule projects are due today and guess when I started mine. Yep, you guessed it - today! I had a bit of an idea about what I wanted to make and was fortunate to have all of the bits and pieces lying around the house, so busy was I this afternoon, let me tell you.

I had some left over cane from a previous project but could have used thin sticks of vines or a craft ring or various other materials. I soaked the cane in some luke warm water in the bath for about half an hour to soften it so it wouldn't break as I worked with it. I made a circle about the size that I wanted the wreath and then started winding sticks of cane around the circle. It was nice reflecting on the symbolism of the circle as I was doing this, thinking about the turning of the wheel of the year and about the continuity of life.

As I wound more and more pieces of cane around, making sure they were of varying tensions so they would make an interesting pattern and would better accommodate the items that would be added later, the circle seemed to resemble more of a sun. Yule is a sun festival as it is the time when the sun God is reborn. At Yule, we acknowledge the increasing power of the sun and we welcome the warmth and growth that will soon follow.

When I was happy with the size and shape of the outer circle, I cut five pieces of cane that were roughly the length of the diameter of the circle and arranged them into a pentagram by pushing their ends into the wreath. This addition allows for the inclusion of air, earth, fire, water and spirit and thereby expands on the concept of all elements being brought together within the circle.

The red and gold on the ribbon that I started decorating with are wonderful colours of Yule as they represent new life and the fire from the sun.

If I'd had suitable real foliage then I would've added it as well but I had to make do with some fake but lovely light gold flowers...

...and some plastic holly.

As a bit of a finishing touch, I added a bell to the centre...

...and some silver tinsel to represent the chill of winter which will soon melt as the weather warms. Here's the final product: