Friday, December 31, 2010

Forging Ahead with Plans in the New Year

2011 graphic using images from The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot

I have to admit that I really don't have enough traditions when a new year rolls around. I think we did more when we were kids and we'd toast each other and all get a hug or kiss.

Now I think I'm more likely to just quietly make note of the change, maybe make goals or just reflect on the past year. I don't really have a set plan for each year.

I pulled a single card from Crystal Clear Reflections to guide me in the new year, and I got a card that I actually seem to get a lot on CCR. The Two of Wands reversed. You see...the Two of Wands really is an excellent representation of new year's plans and resolutions. But the fact that it is reversed to me shows stagnancy. I highlighted a part in red below that I especially enjoyed but the whole thing is really very good and a nice pep talk.

I'll keep this in mind as I move forward in 2011...

Love and a Happy New Year,
Magic Mentha

Two of Wands (R) - Your true challenge is your own boredom - this lack of a new direction or stimuli. Have more patience, don't spoil things by being over anxious - organize and bring order to your personal life. Clarify things in order to prevent any misunderstandings and do not allow anyone or anything to dominate your thinking.

You have lived in this unpleasant, unsatisfying situation long enough - it is time to make a change! You are becoming confined by non-universal, puritanical and moralistic beliefs that inhibit your total personal expression and the liberation of your human potential. You will have the energy you need to move in new directions.

Apply yourself - remain balanced and in harmony with the energy that surrounds you. When you jump into a new experience, leaving behind safe situations and past successes to enter the unknown - you liberate so much emotion and energy that you cannot avoid the wonder and enchantment or the fear that goes with it. Allow yourself to experience this freedom!

There may be difficulty in taking this step, in understanding its implications, in choosing the correct discipline for yourself. There may be many choices competing for your dedication or it may be hard clarifying a choice already made. Some of what beckons you must be regarded with care, much as with the calls of sirens at sea. Pursue your visions with a discerning eye, ever cautious that the discernment does not deteriorate into discrimination.

Questions to Answer: What two ideas are you bringing together in a new and different way? What are you planning to accomplish? What are you competent at? What conflicting desires do you wish to integrate? At what threshold do you stand? What options do you have?

Waking at Three AM: Emotional Pain or Heartburn?

Five of Cups, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
When I woke up about an hour ago from a dead sleep, after only a couple hours of sleep, I wondered why. This has happened nearly every night lately, and I can't quite pinpoint why. I'm not in any excruciating pain, and I don't necessarily need to pee that badly, though once in a while.

I lay in bed for a while but finally got up and took a bath downstairs. I was nervous about waking my daughter, who was laying in the bed with me (she normally sleeps in her bed but comes to lay with me--it's annoying but she sleeps much better when she's with me, and honestly I don't care as long as she sleeps.) I've co-slept with her for years and I don't think my waking is because of that, but I guess it's possible.

When I pulled a card, I got the Five of Cups. This is the card of emotional disappointment, loss and general bereavement.  One of the first things I noticed is that this woman's left breast has a heart on it. Of course this makes sense because the heart is on the left side of the body. This made me think of a possible physical cause of my waking: heartburn.

I've had heartburn/reflux type symptoms a lot more than usual over the past few months. I'm pretty sure that is what I'm feeling, a slight burning in my chest often accompanied by digestive pain or other similar sensation. For a while I thought something was seriously off, as in maybe a heart condition...angina or something like that. But I started noticing that gastrointestinal distress was also concurrent. And it would make sense, considering that I often eat too late at night, and I think it's disturbing my sleep.

I've had a weird appetite lately. I'll be completely and utterly lacking in appetite and then suddenly ravenous at another time. I definitely need to pack calories and meals earlier in the day, so that I get more energy early in the day and it carries through and I don't feel so hungry at night. I'm having a hard time retraining myself that way. My husband is smarter about this and he always comments that he won't eat late because it will disrupt his sleep. It turns out that maybe he is absolutely right about that. I always sort of scoffed at him about that, but when I eat a lot late in the day I often feel a lot of heartburn and gas. I've also noted that having too much caffeine, even earlier in the day, makes me agitated, bothers my stomach and also causes cyclical breast pain to be worse.

Sometimes it's the simplest changes that can help us...such as getting more fresh air, healthy food and not eating at inappropriate times. Not worrying obsessively, getting rest when you need it, not drinking too much caffeine, etc. All of these things add up. I often forget that and I tend to obsessively worry about what could be wrong with me. I always jump to the worst possible conclusions. For instance, 'oh, no, I am having a heart attack.' or 'I bet I have some horrible infection' or 'I wonder if that pain in my breast is cancer?' In reality, it is almost never any of these things. That isn't to say you should ignore pain in your body, because you shouldn't. Even if the pain is simply saying, 'Look...don't eat so late, drink water instead of coffee, etc.' Our bodies do give us clear signals.

There is another possibility which may go along with this first one, which is something is bothering me. I think this is also true, but doesn't preclude the first option. The Five of Cups represents something causing you lingering emotional pain. Often there is one clear cause, such as a relationship or friendship ending, but not always. Sometimes it's more than one thing. In my case, I'd say it is both. I tend to remember and dwell on things that happen, and it takes me a while to release the pain of the experience, and I know this impacts my well-being.

One must learn to work through these difficult feelings and see there is good that may come from the pain, impossible to see now, but through time and healing will eventually become apparent.

This quote reminds me that all pain will eventually fade. It may not be removed from our experience and nothing can take away our knowledge and memory of those difficult experiences in our lives (whether it's a lost friendship, or something stressful happening in our health, whether our children or ourselves, or some other loss) but we will be able to make more sense of it or at least feel that we have more of a perspective on it.

To me, the greatest pain in something leaving our lives, whether it's a venture, project, person or situation, is that we often wonder 'what if' I had done this or that? The clinging part is hard. I do think running away prematurely is also problematic. There is a balance to be made. We must learn when to stay and when to let go. There have been many times in my life when I've walked the line between staying and letting go, choosing what may not have been the right thing, but realizing that I'd made my choice. I do feel that I prematurely left many situations in my life (certain jobs being the least of it!) and sometimes I do feel that I really would benefit from not running at the first sign of trouble, from sticking with something or someone because it's worth it.

That is what I've done with my husband and daughter: I've truly begun to understand their worth and beauty. I do think it's easier when you have a strong emotional connection to a person. It's harder when it's a job. When it became more and more apparent that something was off with my daughter's health, it dawned on me in a very all-encompassing way how much I needed my daughter. She needed me, but also I needed her to live. My life became meaningless when faced with the prospect of her sickness and possibly losing her. And with my husband, over the past decade or more that we've been together, I've felt more and more in touch with the amazing stability he brings to my life. And I'm not even talking about money. I mean his presence, his energy and his love for me and my daughter are what holds me together a lot of the time.

I'm not saying that I lack my own strength, but when our strength falters (and it does) we need these true, strong connections to keep us grounded. And this is the real path to sanity for me...remembering and affirming these true connections. Time tested relationships coming into focus, and other relationships fading away or breaking apart. It's not an easy situation to navigate, and it doesn't mean that the person who left you was a bad person or that you were. It just wasn't a long term connection.

That being said, I've had some friends return to my life recently, which I am so grateful for. Sometimes you can tell when this will happen, and other times not. The best thing you can do is simply to let go and allow it to happen if it's right. If you try to force someone to love you or bribe them into being your friend, you know that they really aren't your friend in a lasting way.

Magic Mentha

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Redundant Reading About Communications and Travel

I found this fascinating. After doing a reading a few hours ago, I received nearly these identical cards, but in a slightly different configuration. More interestingly, I shuffled these cards many times (dozens?) in-between the two readings, and even did a couple readings before this one.

The only differences between this reading and the last that I posted is that the Princess of Swords shows up instead of the Queen of Swords. Hrm. I always think of the Princess of Swords as representing more about news. The Queen of Swords I see more as a person rather than a concept, but pages (and in this deck pages are called princesses) represent some new idea or energy. The swords suit makes me think of news, and indeed the Princess of Swords is reading a letter from someone. Butterflies show the mercurial nature of the suit.

Secondly, the Eight of Wands is replaced by the Six of Wands. This makes me think that the news is that she'll reach her destination safe and sound. The Eight of Wands shows something happening, and the Six of Wands shows that something has been successful, so I guess this is a decent interpretation.

So, all in all I still think this portends safe travel for my sister, as the two positive six cards indicate safe passage and victory.  I'm not entirely sure, but it would make sense considering. I received an e-mail from my mom an hour ago saying that my younger sister left at 3:30pm with her boyfriend and she would worry until she knew they were safe on the snowy roads. This reading seems to indicate they'll be just fine.

Magic Mentha

Zerner-Farber Tarot: Communications and Travel

Today (late last night) Mercury went direct, and this reading has a certain theme of communication to it. I admit I'm not entirely sure what it means, though I have some theories.

The first card, the Six of Swords, indicates both travel and improvement after a difficult, transitional time. It's a card I'm generally happy to see. It can mean safe travel on a trip, which is actually something I was pondering, as today one of my younger sisters has to travel with her beau back to the Denver area from southern Colorado in the snow. My mom was not happy about that.

The second card is my card, the Queen of Wands, which made me think I was involved somehow in whatever the cards were showing. The presence of the Eight of Wands, a similarly warm and fiery, active card, shows up right next to me, indicating swift news and information being relayed to me. The Queen of Wands could, in fact, indicate one of my two little sisters as well since it is any fire sign woman. My little sisters are both Sagittarians, and it's possible it's not me at all.

The final card is the Queen of Swords. Most of the time when I think of the Queen of Swords I think of my older sister who is an air sign, since this is the card representing an air sign woman, and interestingly I don't know that many air sign women that I speak to regularly. The only other two I can think of are friends of mine. All three of these women are Aquarians!

I received a card in my inbox (Eight of Wands) from my Aquarian friend (Queen of Swords) today, and I need to look at it and then e-mail a response. I also have received several communications from my siblings in our Google group, some of which were from my sister who is trying to reserve domain names for us to use on a sibling-centered website.

I also liked the hot and cold look of this reading. The cool, wintry blues invoke the feeling that today brings, with the first TRUE snow of the season, several inches slowly but surely falling, and temperatures dipping down into the teens. The warm cards in the middle make me think of how warm and cozy it is inside, and how icy and cold it is outside in the snow. That contrast...

Magic Mentha

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eight of Coins: Evening Activities, Organization and Mercury Retrograde's Last Day

Eight of Coins, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
Isn't this a pretty version of the 8 of Pentacles? Usually it's an image of some dude pounding some metal circle with a hammer, or other industrious-looking thing. Not so in this card...

When I see this card, I know that there's something I need to be working on, usually a decently large project. When I had HH, it meant working on a series of necklaces, pins or other small pieces.

This card does NOT mean mundane chores to me, like laundry or sweeping or something. I think it can mean chores, but if it does, it has to be a more complicated project, such as organization or re-doing something in the house. It's more of a decoration/organization/renovation/major project card, but usually it means work to me. Some creative or business-related project.

This makes me think of today being the last day of Mercury Retrograde. Merc RX is great for organization or other projects....ones you've been putting off for a long time. The ones that often are tedious or not so simple. I am thinking of a list of things that we need to do but have been putting off for several months. This list usually seems to get longer rather than shorter. Lists are like that, sometimes...

Since my husband is home until Monday, it's the perfect opportunity to work on things around the house. And because we have no money to spend until Friday, we really don't have any distractions from projects, except for our daughter who is admittedly hard to do projects around, and has been up since 5am...le sigh. I think my tiredness is more of a deterrent than anything. But I am determined to finish at least a couple of projects before my husband goes back to work. I honestly don't know what those project are, and they may not end up being anything major, but I'd like to do something. I think I may join forces with my husband and sort through and donate things in storage and do things in the downstairs. It tends to get the most neglected because it's an area we don't really spend much time in, but it bothers us. It niggles as us with its chaos and storage-spilling-out-into-the-hallway-ness.

Right now I'm trying to decide whether I should try to get more sleep or do something else. I know that my sleep has been really mediocre lately and that my mood and energy levels suffer when this happens. But I also hate sleeping during the day, and I often struggle with it and waste hours trying to sleep but failing. I'd almost rather be a little too tired than to be tired but not able to sleep.

I think my prevailing feeling, despite my tiredness, is restlessness. My routine has been disrupted a lot lately--with my husband home (which is a good thing) and my daughter's sleep being messed up again (not such a good thing) and with it being the holidays and the year ending.  I am just going to try to do a few practical and helpful things and also be sure to have some fun while my husband is home. We sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to be productive, but when we balance productivity with fun, we tend to have a really satisfying time.

Magic Mentha

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Four of Swords: Sleepy Fetuses

Four of Swords, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
This is one of the more bizarre versions of the Four of Swords, from one of my favorite decks that I don't own but use on-line, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot.  It reminds me of something I would've painted as a teenager. I loved surrealism and fetuses. I know, that sounds weird, but fetuses are cool-looking.

Anyway. I am very, very tired and hormonal (I'm guessing, considering all my symptoms) and headachey, and I've gotten the Four of Swords a couple of times today. Once just now when I pulled a card and once earlier when I was playing with my Tarot of the Vampyres deck.

I don't want to sleep and I'm fighting it. It's 4pm and I want to give my husband a break since he's been so kind to watch our daughter while I bumble around the house, occasionally crying and nursing my aching head. Plus--who goes to bed at 4pm? I feel like a lame fool! It's kind of funny, actually! I feel like one of those fragile, helpless Victorian women who faint into chaise lounges, except with worse hair and more acne.

I guess that I'll need to assume the fetal position soon so I can get some rest. I'll have to construct a womb of quiet and rest. I haven't been able to sleep very well or very much the past couple of weeks. After a period of improved sleep, things began to go south again when we did the vitamin injections and I've been awakened before dawn every morning, and oddly...every morning around 3-4am, I seem to bolt awake. I can't quite figure out why. 

I made an appointment for January 4th with a nurse midwife that my mom recommended. I want to talk to her about my strange hormonal issues and find out what is going to happen with my cycle. I just feel really icky and want to make sure everything is OK, and isn't anything more than a disturbed cycle that will regulate in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I feel really strange and crappy.  I'm trying not to worry or to make myself feel worse about feeling bad.

Magic Mentha

Recurring Card: Three of Wands

Crappy but somewhat visible pic of ZF 3 of Wands
I decided to pull a single card today but I can't find my digital camera (!) so I used my Photobooth program. It doesn't take very good pictures (see left) but it's better n' nuthin'...

I think my camera is still packed away somewhere in the car, but anyway. This will do just fine. I got this card in conjunction with the Empress while I was on the trip. I'm not 100% sure what that means, but it doesn't really matter.

I'm trying not to overanalyze my readings, nor come to conclusions too soon. I find that a lot of tarot readers (myself included) don't really interpret the cards correctly because they're too hasty in coming up with a meaning. While this may be useful to some extent, I think it can be premature.

In my Google search for meaning on various angles of the card, I found an article on the 3 of Wands and very much liked this general but quite helpful quote on its meaning, which mentions things going well and also asks the querent to embrace the coming challenges and rewards:

"In divinatory tarot reading, the three of wands signifies a quest or difficult journey that must be met with optimism and acceptance. Just as the nobleman has climbed to new heights in order to see the journey ahead of him, the tarot reader must greet a challenge in order to fully achieve a goal."

Now, this is interesting to me, because even though I would say that I consider the 3 of Wands to mean a step forward on a journey, one that has been planned and contemplated in the 2 of Wands, I definitely have not seen it as a quest or journey, something more intense. There's a certain expectant tension to the 3 of Wands, which isn't unpleasant, but is mixed. There is hope and optimism, but also a good deal of nerves and uncertainty.

Rider-Waite Three of Wands
A key word that has been used for this card, which I've come to associate with the 3 of Wands in a reading is 'opportunity'...opportunity has to be met with action, which is what the wands suit really is all about! Action and inspiration. As a fire sign, this is something I do know about, even though hastiness can also be indicated when fire and energy is applied. Sometimes inspiration and action are premature, but there's one thing I'll say for movement, and that is that it really makes things happen in a short period of time.

I forgot where I read this, but I believe it was a Rachel Pollock book for the Haindl tarot deck. I really got a lot out of her interpretations from the two volumes, one for the minor arcana, and one for the majors. I can't find them on Amazon, as they are likely out of print, but they are two volumes, using the Haindl Tarot as their basis.

In any event, I think I read that opportunity and crisis were often viewed as the same thing (the word in Chinese for opportunity and crisis being the same) ...well, actually I read somewhere that it isn't TECHNICALLY true but only somewhat true. Still the example is helpful to me. Crisis can take you down a path of both danger and opportunity. Wow...that was weird. As soon as I was typing danger I heard the word repeated three times on the TV show my daughter is watching (Richard Scarry's Busy Town)...'I see DANGER!' How crazy.

Anyway. This example simply serves to remind us of the simultaneous frailty and strength of humanity. We take risks all of the time, some bigger risks than others, when we move forward and try something new. As to whether a risk is acceptable or not, we have to decide that on our own. Sometimes it is not, and sometimes it is. I have been thinking about this a lot today, and it's only 11am. I woke up very early (not of my own choice!) since my daughter is still experiencing lingering effects of the vitamin therapy which disrupt her sleep. I admit I'm tired of being awoken before dawn.

I feel cranky and frazzled, but I'm trying to be patient with this process. This is not a sprint; this is a marathon. The sleep deprived nights I've endured are just one step of many. Some days make these steps feel exhausting and tedious, but these steps are a helpful part of the journey. And when they're not helpful, at least they're temporary. 

Anyway, as I left this morning with a very limited grocery budget to last the next several days, I felt as if all of my worries were crashing down on my head. The hope I was beginning to feel about my daughter's health and wellbeing were faltering. I felt myself filled with panic and doubt, scared to death of the process that we're going through, the possibility of removing medications that are keeping her from having grand mal seizures, but simultaneously holding her back cognitively.

Last night I had an argument with my husband where I aired my concerns about removing the medications, and the hundreds of accounts I'd read about people with epilepsy who had removed medications, only to have seizures return time and time again. It didn't help that last night I read two status updates about grand mal seizures. One was about a singer who died of grand mal seizure in her sleep (sudden death in epilepsy) and the other was about someone's dog who had suffered a seizure. This is a very, very serious thing. Life threatening.

Now, I'm not one to shy away from taking chances, but when someone's life is at stake (my daughter's life!) I am not feeling like taking chances. That is what is scaring me to death right now. I can't go back to that place where I don't know if she'll live or die. The DAN doctor and neurologist may feel justified in weaning her off the medications, but what if this is simply another case where she begins seizing again? That can't happen...

So this is what I thought of when I saw the Three of Wands. In my heart, I KNOW that I HAVE to try to take the chance to get my child off of these horrible medications, if it's possible, but at the same time, nothing can really take away my nerves regarding the danger and risk of it.  Now, I know that because I'm so close to the situation, and so protective of my daughter, that I am more apt to see the danger, but I also believe what I'm feeling is justified.

But the resistance is what the biggest problem is, not so much the fear. Fear comes from a real place, as my fear comes from the experiences I've had with my daughter.  But when fear turns into rigidity and resistance, we keep things from unfolding. That's another key word for this card: unfolding.

Another quote from this article on the Three of Wands:

"Things are looking good but success and opportunities that are now coming their way won't have been without a lot of effort on their part."

This is a card I also have read to be the 'right path' or 'virtue' card. I read something that described receiving this card as a sign that the querent is on the correct path, and things are going according to plan, and should be successful. I like that the article that I just mentioned, showed this the early stages of lasting success, which I dearly hope to be true.

As far as success in the traditional sense goes, I can take it or leave it. Sure, it is nice to be successful or admired, but it isn't a life necessity. Success in its shallower forms is just fluff. But what matters to me is the health and wellbeing of my family and friends. If this is the sort of success that's being hinted at, then that is what I consider true success.

Magic Mentha

p.s. also, here's the excellent description of the 3 of Wands from Crystal Clear Reflections.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Soothing Cup of Tea After Holiday Chaos

Vintage Tea Cup by Tina Marie Rothwell
We can't underestimate the power of a soothing, warm cup of tea! Or, if you hate tea, like my husband's paternal grandmother does, you can have coffee, cocoa or warm milk/soy milk/almond milk, or whatever pleases you.

I'm sitting having a warm drink in my favorite purple mug, made by a local potter. I'm feeling drained from bad sleep on my trip and lingering hormonal/cycle problems, but I'm very glad I was able to spend the time with my family.

Family visits are always like that -- hectic but full of love. The love is worth the hectic pace. I wish I could have spent more calming time with the family, but I'm so happy they all got to enjoy my daughter's cute antics.

One thing about life is, we never seem to have enough time, money or energy to visit with every person we want to for as long as we want to, but that's what I like about the modern age of internet technology. We can always send e-mails and texts and photos, knowing that they can see what we're up to even if we aren't together. I try to be communicative with my friends and family. It's not always perfect, but it has been very helpful, especially in keeping them updated on my daughter's progress and also just to show new and fun photographs, snippets of daily life.

I know that not everyone is having a relaxing holiday, and I am thinking of those people and hoping for the best resolution to whatever is ailing them or those around them. We really do appreciate gathering together with family after the past year and a half, which had been the most frightening and tumultuous of our lives. Times like these make us truly appreciate when things aren't so tense.

Magic Mentha

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One Last Post: Clinging to the Idea of Pregnancy...and Weight Gain!

I decided to do one last post before going on 'holiday hiatus' as tomorrow will be spent packing and cleaning and I've been doing too many tarot readings lately (though honestly sometimes they have merely confused me) but I think I need some time for them to percolate. That's one really good tip for tarot readings: sometimes it's good just to give tarot readings some breathing room, time to develop. 

O.K. then. On to the reading! Aren't these cards pretty together? And I know it sounds insulting but what I saw in these three cards were three fat women. This deck has curvaceous women, though, but these cards especially make me think of it. The Nine of Pentacles always indicates fulfillment and plenty, and the description to many Nine of Pentacles cards indicates that weight gain can be a problem with this card! The Four of Pentacles can also show someone who is plump. In the case of the Tarot Nova, it actually shows a PIG. Wow, man. Subtle, right?

And of course the Empress looks plump but it is because she's pregnant. At least that's the main reason. Interestingly, in this deck, the Empress doesn't look very pregnant, like some Empress cards do, but yet you KNOW that she is, because that's how pretty much every Empress is depicted.

When I was driving around, getting my tired daughter to nap (despite my own tiredness!) I was thinking about how when you're pregnant it's one of the few times as a woman that you are PROUD of your big belly. If you have a pouchy belly like I do (a lot of women do!) then you tend to want to hide it. When you're pregnant, no matter if it's only a few weeks into your pregnancy, you can't wait to show and you want to flaunt it.  I like that aspect of pregnancy, although the later discomfort is not as fun, but that's ok. 

The image of the Four of Pentacles shows a woman clutching pearls and other precious jewels to her naked bust, covering her mid-section. This reminds me of how I feel about my stomach most of the time. In contrast, the Nine of Pentacles lass seems carefree and happy despite her obviously big stomach. The Empress, again, doesn't care one way or the other. She is what she is.

As the title of this post suggests, when I see the Four of Pentacles I think of stubbornly clinging to some material or physical thing. In this case, I believe it's the idea of pregnancy/having a baby, since I have often seen the 9 of Pentacles and Empress to represent pregnancy. I definitely have not gotten 'over' my feeling of wanting to get pregnant, despite the pitfalls and my pretty firm decision not to try now. The clinging reminds me of 'my preciouuuuusssssssssss' but you know, the two very positive cards flanking it shows that maybe I'm clinging to something that's actually good.

Well, that's it for now. Have some happy holidays.

Magic Mentha

Holiday Hiatus

I'm going down to see family on Friday so I'll be on blogging hiatus until maybe Wednesday. Hope everyone has a wonderful time with family and friends...

Magic Mentha

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Morgan Tarot Mentions the Valley

I found this interesting. I wasn't thinking too heavily about anything, just a few thoughts floating through my mind, but in the back of my mind I was thinking about our upcoming trip to the Valley. This isn't its full name, but everyone from there refers to it simply as 'the Valley' and so you can imagine my surprise when I saw this card very directly confirming my trip.

The first card, amusingly, made me think of seeing my brother. No, he's not gigantic and tubby, but he does have thick, luscious earlobes not unlike the Buddha. In fact, all throughout his childhood and into his adulthood we've referred to him as such, rubbing his ears for good luck. Hehee!

I really don't quite know what to make of the Power card. I didn't get any real feeling off of that one. It seems positive but otherwise I don't quite know what it's saying.

In any event, I just thought I'd share that little tidbit. We're leaving on Friday and will return here on Tuesday. My goal is to have enough gas and snack money to last us and also a little bit of money left over for food for a few days before my husband's paycheck on the 31st. I wish that paycheck fell a week earlier, but oh well! We shall survive.

Post 100 and a Healthful Tip on Cinnamon

This is my 100th post here at Magic Mentha, my new art, herbal, dream and divination blog. Admittedly I've gone heavy on the tarot and oracles here, but that doesn't mean I am not interested in anything else. Far from it! In order to change things up, this short post is about cinnamon.

I've always been interested in holistic and herbal medicine. There have been significant studies, especially lately, on the positive impacts of cinnamon on blood sugar levels. They help stabilize blood sugar and also lower lipids, blood cholesterol levels, both of which are hugely important in preventing major issues such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

This is even more important if you have a family history of these diseases, which I do. That can make a big difference, but let's not forget that there are things we can do to help improve our chances of escaping the fate of our ancestors. So far, I have not been diligent enough in these areas, but I aim to change that now!

Here are some links which talk about it:

Reuter's article on cinnamon to lower blood sugar levels

Vitamin Research Online's article on cinnamon, Syndrome X and blood sugar

Life Enhancement's article on cinnamon, blood cholesterol and blood sugar

I purchased some cinnamon capsules for this very purpose a while back. It was recommended to me by an integrative physician's assistant who I like a lot. She also had me take b complex and vitamin D because my labs showed that I was borderline low (on the very low end of normal) I believe I am going to go back to taking the cinnamon. It isn't too expensive and studies show a great benefit over time in blood sugar levels, which I could certainly use, with my A1C levels borderline pre-diabetic, and diabetes in my family.

An obvious thing to do along with this is reduce my carbs and exercise more, the latter being the hardest for me, by far. Additionally, my cholesterol is quite high and has been since my early 20's, and this is unfortunately true of many women in my family, even all the women of normal weight! Levels well above 200! In order to steer clear of heart disease and diabetes, I must implement these changes. Prevention IS the better part of medicine!! Well, it's better to prevent than be in full-fledged disease process...

Magic Mentha

The Prince of Wands Returns, Riding on the Chariot

The Prince of Wands from The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
This is another card I've gotten several times recently, but for some reason haven't posted about -- The Prince of Wands. Mover and shaker.

A while back, maybe earlier this year, or was it last year? I received the Prince of Wands repeatedly as I was contemplating selling our house and moving to another neighborhood.

But fate/chaos had other plans for us, and my daughter's health stuff cropped up and we were enmeshed both physically and financially in the whole health crisis.

This was today's card. I decided instead of pulling multiple cards and effectively confusing my poor exhaustion-addled brain, I would just pull a single card. This is the fella.

I always think of moving/relocating when I see the Prince of Wands, even though he doesn't ALWAYS herald a move. But it DOES always mean forward momentum. This is not the quiet, plodding money-minded Knight of Pentacles.  He wants action and he wants to change things up.

I definitely agree that this is where my mind has been going, but my circumstances and my body have not harnessed the means or the energy necessary to move forward. The time has just not been right yet. But I do feel that time is approaching rather rapidly. That's another keyword for this card: speed. Not unlike the 8 of Wands, though maybe not quite THAT fast. All wands cards have a certain intensity to them, but not all of them are quick, though I'd say that's more true than any other suit.

So I admit that I'm not sure what to DO about this, because that's the other thing...this is an action card. This is not the contemplation of the Hermit or the inner knowing of the High Priestess. This is sheer action and forward momentum. There's a definite goal, of course, but that's what I have to figure out.

The Prince of Wands alerts us to movement and change within our lives, reminding us that change is essential to growth and presenting us with the knowledge that we have the strength and elasticity to roll with the changes we encounter.

Now, what is left to do is to a.) identify the goals I want to reach in a relatively short period of time (months rather than years or decades!) and then b.) work on it in a sincere and focused, impassioned way.  Finally, I think I have to prioritize. I look at our house and I see that we have ancient flooring that's falling apart that needs to be fixed, and a hot water heater that's leaking and about to die, and a roof that needs to be replaced relatively soon, among other things. I have to decide whether to renovate a bit, which requires time and money we probably don't have, or to cut our losses and just fix a couple basic things and try to sell. OR, to fix what we can and just stay in this house. So far I haven't figured it out.

When I decided just now to pull a card asking about what direction or action to take (or lack of action, as it were) I got the Chariot. This to me indicates that this is something I'll HAVE to be proactive about. It did not suggest waiting (Hanged Man or 4 of Swords, etc) and the Chariot is a card of action and drive, not unlike the Knight of Wands. It's true that we'd have to summon the strength and resources to work on the house and then put it up for sale. I have to admit, though, I'm not feeling all that encouraged by the fact that houses around us are selling for WELL under their price/value and the house next to us (which is in HORRIBLE shape) is selling for $85,000 (which is insane...) while our house is worth maybe $160,00 and I'm getting the feeling it will be a miracle if it sells even for $150,000. I don't even think we can break even! We can't really afford to owe money.

The Chariot from The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
We aren't the only people with this trouble. It's definitely a buyer's market, with houses falling WAY below normal purchase prices, sometimes tens of thousands less. I saw houses that may've sold for 175,00 or 180,000 sell for maybe 130,000. The ones that sell at their previous price are the ones that are extensively fixed up, with lots of updates and a ton of money put into it. It just doesn't seem worth it! I don't know whether I have to wait for the market to change or to just try something.

The other weird thing is that a few months back, I tried contacting two realtors, from two separate places, and neither one of them responded. So strange! I'll be searching for clues and researching what the potentials are with selling this house. We have two houses for sale to the left of us, and one them, which was recently renovated, is not selling, and the other one is priced so low that it's a I don't know. Ours is somewhere in the middle. It is not dilapidated, but it needs some work.

I think what I'll do is research the market and what changes would be cheapest and most beneficial, as well as contact several realtors (or a larger company) and see what they recommend. I'm sure that they must be well aware of the way the market looks right now. Finally, I'll need to assess our financial situation in the new year and see if it's even feasible to do it. It very well may not be.

Often in life, situations arise that require every bit of our energy and concentration to conquer and rise above. There is a play of forces that make it necessary for us to muster our resources and overcome the challenge that has been placed before us. 

The feeling I get is if we present our house in a very appealing way, fixing up things to make it look nice and ensure the buyer is getting a good deal, then we might be able to break even. Then we can try to save some money for closing costs. But I feel the most important thing is we'll probably have to buy a cheaper house than the one we're in now. One benefit to the buyer's market thing is that people are desperate to sell. If we can find a house less than $150,000 and get a cheaper mortgage payment in a house that better fits our needs,  that would be great!

Anyway...I'm tired. I rambled on too much about this. I have to go do some research now...

Magic Mentha

Monday, December 20, 2010

Popular Front: Snow Days Make-a-Flake

This is a neat program. You can create snowflakes using this site. I discovered this a few years back and it is truly addictive. Get into the holiday spirit and try it out!

Magic Mentha

Holiday Baking: Are You Doing Any?

Chocolate glazed gingerbread from Fudge Ripple
Are any of you doing any marvy holiday baking? Admittedly, I would love to but I'm not, due to financial constraints. I need to reserve money out for gas, groceries and cheap entertainment through the end of the year. We're cutting it close as it is. But, that's alright.

We opted to travel this Christmas (by car since there is not way we'd be able to afford any other travel) down to the valley where I spent my middle and high school years. It is beautiful there, even though I admit freely that I would probably never choose to live there again. It's just too conservative of an area and I feel like an odd duck there...I always have!

Anyway. I do LOVE gawking at food blogs, not just Foodgawker, but specialty blogs, since my baking is nearly always gluten free, casein/dairy-free and soy free, due to my daughter's dietary needs. But I've modifed recipes several times and they usually turned out well anyway. 

Stained Glass Cookies     photo credit: Howard
Something I've always wanted to make are those stained-glass window cookies. You know the ones, right? They're shaped in some fantastical holiday shape (a classic example being the church window and then the panes of the church are made with a thin layer of melted candy? Yeah, that one! They look so neat! And they'd make great ornaments. But I don't believe I've ever made them. I bet if I made some with salt dough then I could have some great ornaments, provided I packed them away carefully so they didn't break.

I have made beeswax ornaments, as I mentioned here recently, but it's not the edible ornaments that you've seen. I have also wanted to try making a garland out of cranberries or popcorn or whatever else, but haven't done it. I have a feeling that my daughter would try to eat it, as fond as she is of popcorn.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxing holiday (perish the thought!) and spends it with dear friends and family, with love and good intentions for the year 2011. On a similar note, today is my little sister's 22nd birthday! I can't believe it. I remember her birth. So strange, the passage of time.

Magic Mentha

The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot: A Difficult Decision

Two of Swords, Nine of Wands, Six of Cups and Death

After a great deal of soul-searching, which has lasted more than a year, actually, I've decided not to have a second child, unless something tremendous happens to change that. Although I'm quite ambivalent and part of me yearns for a second child, I realized that a bigger part of me feels both exhausted with my current circumstances and also unable to risk having another child with health issues. This has nothing to do with anyone except me. I am simply not OK with that risk at this time.

Earlier today, I chose the Two of Swords twice in a row, representing my decision-making process. I've been hoping that I'm somehow randomly pregnant from only a few tries, and I believe now that the reason for this frenzy is that I was hoping that something else would take the decision out of my hands so that I didn't have the heavy burden of choosing. But since that seems not to be the case, I'm left with this very uncomfortable reality of choice, a choice with some painful risks to the health and sanity of my family.

The second card I chose was the 9 of Wands, which is the 'holding out' card, which to me is simply one step away from total exhaustion (10 of Wands, a card I often get) and I know, especially after today when I drove the wrong way down a one-way road and almost got hit because I was so tired I didn't realize what I was doing, that I cannot walk around in the world like the living dead and also try to nurture a new life. It wouldn't be good for me or the baby.

The third card was actually the 5 of Wands, which I forgot to post, but that showed the internal conflict created by the indecision, and the fourth card is the 6 of Cups, which to me makes me think of two children, since the original Rider-Waite version shows two children, one younger, one older.  It makes me think of children and childhood, although it can also mean old friends and family, but in this case it has come up several times for me, representing the concept of a second child (since it nearly always shows two children).

And finally, we have Death. This version of Death actually shows a woman (who is Death in this card?) taking an infant away from a woman's dead body. Kinda morbid, hunh? Seeing this image actually gutted me a bit, because it made me think of someone taking my baby from me. In this card, the reverse is sort of true. The woman has died and the baby, the new life, lives on. But in this particular decision, the concept of a new baby is what dies, and I live on.

Magic Mentha

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nice Variety of Tarot Spreads

This page, on Psychic Revelation, has a great variety of spreads on different topics. I decided to try one, the 'Checking the Direction' spread, since it seemed applicable to me.

Tarot Spreads - Checking The Direction

Checking The Direction Of The Flow
Category: General Description: This is a good seven card Tarot spread for looking at the way things are heading in the querent's life i.e. what trends are shown. Useful as it gives tips and hints for what the querent can do to help themselves and what pitfalls there are to avoid.
  1. The power of the past. Knight of Swords
  2. The power of the present. 10 of Wands
  3. The power of the future. The Moon
  4. Suggestions and tips for the querent #1. Page of Cups
  5. Suggestions and tips for the querent #2. 9 of Wands
  6. Obstacles that the querent must overcome or avoid. 4 of Cups
  7. The outcome. The Star
Origin: Burger/Fiebig ©

 (Mentha's note: I listed the cards I received next to the description of the position)

Two of Swords, Twice: Double Your Indecision

Two of Swords from the Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
In using the Artist's Inner Vision Tarot Online, I got the Two of Swords twice in a row for my two card draw.  This is not really a card I just LOVE, as I suspect most readers of tarot would agree, but it is pretty accurate.
When times are difficult and choices need to be made, it is easy to procrastinate. Make the decision tomorrow and the tomorrow we think we are approaching with courage and decisiveness never comes; it becomes simply another tomorrow. The more time goes by, the harder the decision. We let emotions cloud our judgement, not wanting to leave one option behind for another. We lie balanced in inertia and fear of the unknown.
 I've been thinking about a few decisions for over a year now, probably longer, which is quite unnatural for me! I keep making then unmaking my mind about things, which seems to have the effect of just making things worse.

I know I must be paralyzed with fear to be doing this to myself, since indecision is not something I usually embrace. I love just making a decision, moving forward and getting on with it. I'm not really a cautious person by nature, despite my anxiety.  And from my own experience and observations, I've learned that indecision and being passive about life just brings more of the same. You feel restless, you feel unfulfilled, you feel deadened to the world, too 'safe', and usually wallowing in some sort of ennui.

Three of Coins, Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
As for me...well I definitely feel that way, but also I'm tired and I've been recovering from chaos this year (while at the same time still embroiled in it) and I find that prolonged exhaustion seems to exacerbate indecision! a maggoty old varmint (don't ask!) I decided to ask, 'well, what the *@(# DO I do, EH?' And I got my other friend-of-the-week, the 3 of Pentacles, my recurring card! I need to get working on a project! Now, whatever this project is will be open to interpretation but I would agree that despite (and even because of) my tiredness I need to find something to create and focus on and preferably something that can be satisfied with a relatively short term goal.

I started to realize that right now I need something that feels good and feels right in the now, not just something that maybe a year or two from now I'll be done with (like the tarot deck I was making)...I may go back to doing that at some point but I realized that I don't want something where I'll be spending a lot of time just waiting around for someone to acknowledge it. Or, as I said, will take me a year or even longer to create. I need something that I can sit down and finish in a day, maybe two. That was one of the allures of my hand-painted jewelry business, but I'm undeniably done with that, at least for now, and so it would have to be something else...

Magic Mentha

Saturday, December 18, 2010

«Déjà Deck Tarot» Warns Me of Overdoing, Loss of Balance and Self-Deception

The Emperor
I'm up early again, and have been for a while. My daughter's sleep has become disrupted again, likely due to the temporary effects of the B12 injections she's receiving. While i have noticed some definite but modest gains in speech, I've noticed the hyperactivity/poor sleep and other things much more. But the main thing I am hoping for is for the deficiencies to be treated and addressed so that we can move to the next phase of things, which will hopefully include weaning her off of medication.

I've been feeling down, as I mentioned in a post or two ago, and I know this is due to worrying about things but more than that, I have realized that I've been in panic mode for so long and it's taking a toll. My anxiety is at a trigger-hair place where if I begin to worry, I start to hyperventilate and get globus hystericus. Last night I noticed it was difficult to breathe and my throat began constricting again.

For the most part, I have been trying to ignore these feelings due to not really quite knowing how to cope with them, but I realized that was not a good idea. I feel these things because my body and mind is trying to alert me to what I need to do. When I was taking a bath yesterday I pulled a couple of oracle cards and they both spoke of taking care of basic needs (food/water/exercise/sleep) and also grounding myself so I don't feel completely off and overwhelmed.  I've read in books on intuition as well as just books on health, both holistic and otherwise, that ignoring the needs of the body and mind will tax the spirit and make it very difficult to either relax or connect with your inner guidance or even just feel half-way like yourself.

IX of Money
Anyway, last time I started feeling the panic rise up in me, in May, I was not self-aware enough to realize that I was having a nervous breakdown brought on by prolonged stress and sleep deprivation. I ended up in the hospital ER because I couldn't of these unusual symptoms which were not a usual part of stress for me. I often forget how a simple good night of sleep, proper nutrition, and stress reduction have a tremendous impact on a person. It isn't until I begin feeling like I am on the verge of losing it that I stop and realize what is happening.

Well, this time I need to be proactive. I feel myself slipping into anxiety mode, quite possibly due to my sleep being disrupted again, not having time to relax, and due to my hormonal issues stemming from my monthly cycle being screwed up.  I often underestimate how things might impact me. I'll worry about one thing, not seeing that something else entirely needs my attention, like my sanity. Hah!

Fom now on I have to make myself more of a priority. To be a proper caretaker, especially to someone who has health/mood and sleep issues, you need to take care of yourself, to recognize your own needs and cues. I think part of me was really hoping that things would have improved faster than this, or that I would just wake up one day and my problems would all be gone. But that strategy is not effective. What helps me more than anything is recognizing what needs to be done and involving myself in it, knowing that my contribution will actually mean something. As it is now, if I simply survive day to day, without feeling even-keeled or deriving any satisfaction from what I'm doing, simply existing to feed, clothe and entertain my daughter, I am not really living.

Two of Notes
So anyway. Enough rambling! I just wanted to explain what was in my mind, maybe just to clarify it to myself. The cards themselves mostly make sense, but I'm not entirely sure about the Emperor. I see the Emperor as having pros and cons. He can be overbearing, but he can also have a take charge attitude and turn situations around with great aplomb.

Despite my status as an Aries (which is the sign depicted on most Emperor cards)  I actually am not very secure or forthright in most of my dealings. If anything, that trait only comes out during certain times of duress, or even when I begin to feel more relaxed around someone. But mostly, the trait of self-confidence gets submerged. Perhaps this is a recommendation. While I don't need to be a general, hard ass or control freak, I could stand to feel less powerless. The Emperor is nothing if not powerful, at least when it comes to how he feels about himself and what he can do.

The Two of Notes, aka pentacles, like most twos, is about balancing something. This charming depiction shows a black cat, a squiggly road sign and a palindrome. I think that's cute, because my name is a palindrome. The Two of Notes indicates that something has to be balanced. There are multiple things to consider, juggle, and otherwise deal with, and it may require a choice.

I did not know what card the IX of Money was. I had to look it up, since these suits are different from the traditional.  Turns out it's the 9 of Swords. That makes total sense! The description of this card is very interesting. To see the descriptions of the cards, click on their captions under each picture. This card, the 9 of Swords, shows me deceiving myself. I find this an interesting take on the typical 'stress/anxiety/nightmare/bad sleep' meaning of this card, which is obviously still very applicable.
Or, you will find that something you have intrinsically believed for a very long time turns out to be a complete untruth. Best to chalk it up to experience and move on. These things do happen. There is no sense stopping here to dwell upon it.

Well, I'm practically asleep at the keyboard, so I must flee, but I think this reading has been very helpful. After last night's panic and the lingering uneasiness I feel, it's a good reminder to see that I can regain balance and figure out how best to approach my anxiety before it gets the better of me (more so than it already is, that is!)

Magic Mentha

Friday, December 17, 2010

«Déjà Deck Tarot» and the Repeating Three of Pentacles

Me imitating the 3 of Notes

I decided to use the «Déjà Deck Tarot» today. I got the 3 of Notes (aka 3 of Pentacles) twice in a row! In this deck, it's a confident-looking woman. I find it interesting that the Three of Notes (aka Pentacles) in this deck mentions accomplishment or ease of tasks after a considerable struggle. That sounds like the past couple of years, for sure! 

Of course, to me this card still represents actively working on a project, job, commission or other venture in action, and somewhat at the beginning stages, at that! It does represent mastery and accomplishment, but not in a final sort of way. More like in an ongoing, occupational way. 

This definitely confirms my idea to focus on something creative again, in a new capacity. I know that every act that anyone does is creative in a way, but I mean in the more literal 'making art' sort of way. As I mentioned on my Facebook page, I am thinking of actually trying gallery art. Oh wait, I guess I mentioned that in yesterday's post when I got the 3 of Pentacles, too! Redundancy. A definite thing to look for when reading tarot...


A completed climb. Nobility. A satisfied and accomplished woman. If female, this is you. If male, this is a woman in your life at the moment.

If female, this card represents the end of a struggle. From rags to riches, either figuratively or literally. You may be exhausted from a tough climb or battle of some sort, but it is over now, and you are, in more ways than one, the victor. Enjoy your post. You can at last relax.

If male, this woman in your life will aid and abet your challenges, journeys and tasks. She is a woman of great generosity, and requires in return nothing but your happiness. Don’t turn her down — she has things of value to offer. If possible (or applicable), marry her quick.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Time for a Project: Displaying Art? Gallery Artist? Hrm.

I decided to pull a single card from the Tarot Nova, but I didn't post the image of it, which is just three pentacles and a ladder with a vine on it. And to be honest, the pic from the original Rider-Waite doesn't interest me that much either. I think it's lovely and no doubt meaningful, but I'm more concerned with the fact that this has been a repeat card lately.

Work or at least a creative project, have been on my mind lately, hovering somewhere in my consciousness. It's starting to become more focused, but I'm still completely unsure of where it will take me. I don't actually have any SOLID IDEAS yet.

The only thing I thought of doing was making a slew of new artwork, using my recent angst, exhaustion, hope, and other types of stored energy, and then trying to sell them in a local gallery or two. In order to do this, however, I would have to invest some money in either a yearly or monthly gallery membership fee. I've talked to a number of galleries over the past several years and it is rare to find one without either a fee or having to work in the gallery to make up for your presence there.

I'm not sure if the fee I'd incur would be worth the chance that maybe I'd sell a few pieces. I suppose it would depend on how much my pieces cost and how prolific I was. If I made one or two pieces (doubtful, I'm definitely more of the type that if I make something I'll go insane making tons of them) then it may not be feasible to pay some exorbitant gallery fee. That is the case for any artist who has to navigate the rigors of selling their art. When? Why? Who? How?

In any event, I think that regardless of what any gallery is doing...I need to do something! Worst case scenario, I make several pieces and don't sell them. If that happens at least I will have been creating. Best case scenario, I find a gallery with a fee that isn't too high and make a steady stream of work that I am actually interested in creating, and sell a few pieces occasionally. 

It's interesting because even though I have definite self-esteem issues and even though there's a definite amount of self-consciousness involved when displaying your works of visual art, I feel more confident in myself in this area than pretty much any other area in my life. I mean sure, I have an art degree and all that crap, and I've been making art since I was little, but that's not even what it is. It's more that I know that this is something I need to do, and I'll do it whether anyone else approves or not. That is a hard-earned feeling of satisfaction. Even though it doesn't necessarily shield me from disappointment when people don't buy my work, it gives me a better perspective on things. I see my creativity more as a part of me rather than some upwardly mobile achievement. Even if there are moments of recognition, my life will continue regardless, and my desire to create things will continue along with it.

Magic Mentha

Tarot Nova: Turn That Frown Upside-Down

I've been in a funk lately. It started maybe just under a month ago when I thought I was pregnant. I started to bleed lightly then slightly more heavily, accompanied by some exhaustion and back pain, more than a week before my expected period. I wasn't sure what was going on, whether I had a chemical pregnancy or if I was just having a completely insane out-of-whack cycle.  We had only tried four times to conceive, and I was surprised to have any weird symptoms so soon.

Then I did many pregnancy tests, most of which showed nothing. A few showed some confusing evaporation lines, and mostly negatives, with a lot of confusion. The blood test at the doctor's following my unusual atypical bleeding showed negative for pregnancy.

Then I waited, and saw that my period was well over a week late. Tested again and thought I saw the faintest of pink lines. My husband saw it too. I retested, only to see negatives. I tested again this week, and I saw something that was a very, very misleading evap. Yesterday at testing I thought I saw the faintest hint of a line and then after I looked at it later, it looked like this:

Yesterday's pregnancy test

Of course blue dye tests can get false positives. It may be that this is the case, because when I purchased a pack of two red dye tests (Answer brand) they both showed negative. So I'm basically assuming I am not pregnant now, but I really won't be confident about that until I have my next real, normal-seeming period. For now I just feel both confused, disappointed and...not sure what else.

I told myself last night that no matter what happened I should be happy. If it is positive, I'll be happy to experience getting to know a new child. If it's negative, I should be glad that I don't have the extra stress and responsibility of having a baby and also a child with some health issue (which are hopefully resolving, if gradually) but I'm having a hard time not feeling down. I'm going to let myself mourn whatever it is exactly I'm mourning, and then I have to make the decision whether or not to keep trying, or to give things more time and decide if I really want to do this.

On an amusing note, the cups dumping water remind me of all the cups of urine I have to dump into the toilet after dipping the preg test sticks. Hah!  Funny. The only thing that came to mind visually with the crown is that it kind of looks like a slightly closed,  upside-down umbrella. Kinda. That's what made me think of the post title, 'turn that frown upside-down' but also, it does remind me of my promise to myself, that I would understand and see the good side of whatever happened. Now my main concern is that I'm OK health-wise. I want to make sure I have no serious infection or diabetes or other weird thing that may actually be causing me to feel so off.

I'm feeling off and I'm guessing my hormones are out of whack from whatever happened in November, with the early miscarriage or whatnot. I almost wish my stupid period would start, or I would be pregnant...anything but this limbo where I feel like my body has been hijacked by aliens who want to make me feel really, really tired, icky and cranky.  I am not a fan of limbo, but especially not when I also feel physically and emotionally gross on top of it.

My main goal tonight is to see my parents, have tamales, then let my husband watch our daughter for a bit while I take a warm bath and try to come down from the emotional rollercoaster I've been on for so long. I know that things are going to improve...they've got it. Well,  I think so anyway.

I know we have a big paycheck coming. My husband put in a lot of hours during the spill at his work, and has a bunch of overtime he wouldn't normally have. It was hard not having him around when my daughter has been mega-hyper and sleeping badly due to the vitamin injections to address her deficiencies, and during the weird pregnancy confusion, but I'm glad that at least we got a financial boost out of it. We definitely need it. I floated two checks today. Thankfully money arrives tomorrow with a pay check. We still will be pretty tight through the end of the year and we're not sure what we're doing--whether we are traveling or not to see family, but I'm just going to try not to worry about some of these details right now.

Magic Mentha

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Totally Funny Star-themed Collage

Ridiculous Photoshop collage star thingie

Inviting Healing: The Star

Tarot Nova's Star
So, I've been getting the Star a lot with my readings using the Tarot Nova.

I've also gotten the Four of Swords. Both cards indicate the need for rest and recovery.

I admit that I've been fighting this recommendation, mostly because of boredom, but now I'm revisiting the wisdom of those cards...

I have not felt well the past couple of days, especially. I feel uber cranky (like PMS on steroids!!) and physically very off. My back hurts, I'm exhausted, nauseated, weak and digestively strange, and I just generally feel awful.

I'm wondering if whatever happened to my cycle last month is impacting me negatively now. That weird, strange, short early period I had in November, and then my normal period not happening, but negative pregnancy tests and uncertainty about what is going on, and inconclusive results elsewhere, just makes me scratch my head.

I really need lots of time to recover to myself but I can't get it just yet. It's only Wednesday and my husband won't be home much until Saturday.  He does get home earlier starting tomorrow because they FINALLY found the leak at his work...more than a week after it began. At the same time, he's been on call, which means he's gone even more than usual. Meanwhile, I feel like I'm on the verge of a nervous and physical breakdown.

I hate this feeling, like my body, emotions and mind are out of control. To make matters worse, my daughter is super hyper and demanding lately because of the injected vitamin therapy which has the (hopefully temporary?) side-effects of hyperactivity, stimming, sleep disruption and other things.

So, my main focus is on how I can possibly feel decent when my daughter is like a crazy Tasmanian devil of destruction and chaos and hunger, and I'm like a wounded beast with the foul mood of a bear who has been disturbed in its hibernation.

I'm going to take it easy as much as I can today, whether that means not bothering doing anything productive or being ultra low-maintenance with my daughter (as much as possible) and just trying to hang onto a shred of sanity. I am keeping an eye on my health because I want to make sure I don't have a bad kidney or urinary tract infection. I got a home test kit which showed negative for UTI, but my lower back hurts and my urine is cloudy, so I don't know what to think.

Yours Confusedly,

Magic Mentha

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wanting Direction Single Card Pull

So, I've been fed up with my own indecision over the past year and a half or so. I feel like I'm on the verge of major decisions but I still feel stuck. Here's a card I picked on the subject:

 Seven of Pentacles (R)

You are experiencing dissatisfaction - the trapped feeling that comes from an unsatisfying lifestyle, job, relationship or commitment. Face and move through the self-doubts that raise your fear of failure and the apprehension that your work will all be for nothing.

No matter what you do - there is a certain point that you have to wait for the results and allow the fruit to ripen in its own time. Calculate your odds, sow the seeds most likely to grow - let go of your expectations and cultivate patience. When you experience anxiety and depression related to your finances, do not allow these anxious thoughts to create depression.

Learn from the lesson being presented and understand that when you are centered on feeling sorry for yourself - you are unable to carry on with your project and your own impatience can ruin everything. Make no rash decisions now - before you move ahead, always think carefully and ask yourself "Is this what I really want?"

Maintain balance on all levels and take care that you do not hurt anyone during the transition.
A lack of resources, perhaps in spite of good efforts. A poor harvest. The next phase may require a tightening of the belt, budgeting or rationing. Delay or blockage with new cycle. Immaturity in a physical/material matter. A lack of physical readiness for the next phase. A rift with nature - attempting too much control over...a natural disaster destroying mans prosperity. Theft, someone else harvesting your crops.

Questions to Answer: What is growing and maturing that you are concerned about? What do you fear will fail or be spoiled? What mistakes did you make in a similar situation and what can you do differently now? What investments have you made in time, money or labor that worry you? How have your efforts been worthwhile?

Pondering the Wisdom of Working for Myself or Something Else?

Eight of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles, Ten of Wands, The Hermit 

When I pulled these cards I saw them as working steadily/through some kind of focused effort or apprenticeship (Eight of Pentacles) on a new business idea (Knight of Pentacles) which may prove to add a heap of stress to my life or added responsibility (Ten of Wands) and then the Hermit made me think of doing something by yourself. Since I've gotten both the Hermit and the Ten of Wands several times lately I try to put extra emphasis on those cards.

Of course, I could be misreading this and the Ten of Wands could merely describe my current stresses, and the Hermit could be the antidote or recommendation to that stress. Last night I stayed up WAY too late, going to bed after three a.m. and then my daughter waking me around seven a.m. I was a zombie. And I should've known better. I've been sleeping badly again (which is nothing new, but things have been improving overall with my daughter's sleep!) and I really should guard against going to bed so late, as my mood and physical health suffers when I do.

Anyway, I pulled a single card last night and got the Four of Swords, which is the rest/repose/sleep card. I actually tend to get this card before bed when I should be sleeping but I'm reading tarot or doing something else. I also got that card as a near future card about a month ago when asking about upcoming influences. The message seems to be to chill out a bit. Things will happen, even though they've been happening slowly. Progress has been slow but definite, and for that I am grateful. I would rather walk very slowly in the right direction than not at all, and as tired as I've been (also my husband and daughter!) I think we could use a gentler pace anyway.

I realized something, which is that I tend to be especially hard on myself when I'm stressed. Instead of extending sympathy or kindness to myself, patience like I might want to give someone else under stress, I tend to be irritated with myself. I get mad at myself when I don't do as much productivity-wise. I get annoyed if I'm cranky and not always pleasant. I tend to not feel too good about myself. But when I stop to think about and realize what I'm doing I try to take a deep breath and take a break and try to regain balance. I've been off balance for so long, and I deeply appreciate those of you who have stuck around and stayed in my life! XOXO.

Magic Mentha