Monday, January 31, 2011

A Look Back at Last February and The Answer Deck


Last February, 2010, I pulled these cards using The Answer Deck. I didn't intend to post them, I was just curious what cards I got a year ago almost exactly, since it's the last day of January and I'm thinking about February.

I find it interesting that, in my readings over the past couple of days, I've gotten all of these cards shown here, sometimes a few times. It's as if things have come full circle from last year.

The message in these cards seems quite positive and since it has been something of a goal of mine to try to look less grimly into the future, I will try to heed their advice.

Here's a happy, productive and peaceful February to you all!

Love,
Magic Mentha

Patience and Hope



I tried doing several readings just now but I was really unfocused and the readings were too involved. I decided to K.I.S.S. and just pull two cards representing upcoming influences, something basic to stay apprised of. I can't seem to wrap my brain around more complicated spreads nowadays.

I got Patience and Hope. Both of these cards I've gotten a couple of times lately. Repeat cards. Trying to be patient and hopeful! These two things are not my strong suit, but I'm trying!

Love,
Magic Mentha

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Plethora of Shiny, Happy Cards

Good News, The Stranger, Strength, Home, Fair/Gray-Haired Woman, Love, Hope


I've no idea what these cards represent, exactly, but they're what I pulled this evening. Just thought I'd post them for posterity, and/or just a week or three from now when I can confirm or deny them.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Hopeful Hope

I don't have much time to post; we're about to leave. BUT, I just wanted to post this. This is today's card which is one of my favorite cards. Out of darkness and sadness arises hope. 


The fact that this shows a couple holding together for strength makes me think of my husband and me, trying to keep it together while things get settled with/for our daughter. 


Anyway...trying to 'remember to hope' as one of my friends told me months ago...


Love,
Magic Mentha

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Answer Deck and a Reading for a Friend




I realized I hadn't done a reading today (I've been out much of the day) and so I decided to pull a few cards. It's funny because even though the first reading was really positive I kinda dismissed it (no idea why!!) but here are the first set of cards I got (sorry, no pic):

Surprise, Diligence, Generosity

Surprise shows an envelope that was slid under a door, Diligence shows a man panning for gold, and Generosity shows a hand holding a present. Kind of interesting, right? Not sure quite what it means but it looked positive. Either receiving or giving a surprise gift. Both might apply. I gave my sister her birthday gift early today. I found a few affordable things for her and decided to bring them to her since I was seeing her today, which was a surprise to her.

Anyway...so the next set that I chose was:


Friend, Troubleshooter, Strength

Now, I'm not 100% sure what this is about, and you know it would've been SMART for me to actually read about something, but what this brought to mind was reading tarot for a friend, which I offered last night. The Troubleshooter card shows a guy reading tarot, and the Friend card is, of course, for a friend. And the Strength card is sort of uncertain to me, but it occurs to me that this friend is very physically fit, so that could be part of the meaning.

Anyway...just a thought.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Friday, January 28, 2011

What's Wrong vs. What's Right

Anxiety sometimes creeps up on me a bit, taking me by the throat. Since yesterday's meeting with my daughter's DAN doctor, I find myself feeling a bit panicked at the confusing results of my daughter's test and fearing the worst, but I recognize this feeling as panic and fear, and have to treat it as such by doing my best to dismiss it and focus my thoughts elsewhere.

So, feeling this I used Crystal Clear Reflections for a single card draw and got the quintessential anxiety card: Nine of Swords. This card is almost always shown as a woman, being awakened in the night by her own intense anxiety, covering her face, sobbing. It's a card of nightmares. I have literally gotten it many times as 'intense anxiety causing stress bad enough to wake you at night.' but it can also mean generally stressful anxiety.

So what I did next was chose a single card that represented what was REALLY happening,beyond my fears, and amazingly, I got the 3 of Cups! That's almost the OPPOSITE of the Nine of Swords. The 3 of Cups is about happiness, celebration and good news. I sure hope this is true! Whether or not it is, for my own sanity, I'd rather dwell in gloriously fun Three of Cups land than nightmarish nine of swords land.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Reminders for Today: Patience, then Victory


Here are the two cards I pulled for today. Patience is not my favorite card in this deck (though I find it much more comforting than, say, destruction or loss) but the presence of the Victory card was cheering to see. It seemed like a very straightforward message: be patient with this stressful situation with your daughter: you'll figure it out.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yesterday Good News, Today Good Fortune



This is pretty weird. Not 'crazy weird' or 'mindblowingly weird'...just kinda weird. Now, maybe not to those of us who read with oracles and see this sort of thing happen a decent amount. When I was asking about today's consultation with my daughter's DAN doctor yesterday, I got Fair/Gray-haired Man, Good News and Talent. I interpreted the first two as pertaining to my daughter's test results (the follow-up blood tests, metabolic stuff as well as the food panel tests) and the final artsy one pertaining to a potential new art venture or other creative thing.

Fast forward to today. After dropping our daughter off at my parent's house where my mom would watch her as we consulted about the test results, we made our way there (barely getting there on time, actually slightly late, but no big deal) and the consultation was just...odd. That seems to be today's theme. Odd. Everything was sort of wonky. My daughter's sleep was off, the test results were strange, and it left us feeling rather confused.

Here's the confusing shorthand. It's made even more confusing because we don't quite know what's going on yet, though we know SOMETHING is up. The DAN doctor is having to play medical investigator with these labs. He showed us her results. He didn't have the IgG results yet (food intolerances) because her blood sample was so weird they couldn't use it?! He said there was a strange, milky layer of fat in it. FAT! He said he'd never seen anything like it. This is bizarre because our daughter is not significantly overweight and her diet is not particularly fatty. She takes cod liver oil as part of her supplement regime, but the DAN doctor said he's taken blood samples from many kids who are also on fish oil and it simply does not have this effect. Nevertheless, he is having us take her off the fish oil for a week and then return next Friday to re-take the blood for her IgG, as well as some other labs to look more deeply into what might be happening.

It's very confusing, but he also said her blood was clotting very quickly. Now that one had me REALLY worried. I found myself panicking and thinking about things like strokes, aneurysms, heart issues, things that happen when you have blood clotting problems. It runs in my family, too. My uncle had an embolism in his leg (still does, I think...DVT) and my grandmother has had many mini-strokes. She has been on blood thinners for years.

Anyway. I am sure I must have blanched at hearing this but I think (or I hope) he saw the bigger picture because he pressed on and explained what he was going to do and how he was going to figure out what to do next (a combination of a few more labs and consultations with colleagues) but I admit that I am still feeling quite unnerved by the strange results.

The blood we're taking in a week will be after fasting. I hate doing fasting tests for my daughter because she loves to eat. Eat, eat, eat. She doesn't eat a whole lot at a time, but she loves having a little something here and there. But he says there's a better chance of the sample being good if we do it this way, plus I think they're retesting her glucose after fasting. There are some other things but I can't remember what they all are. There's a lot of work yet to be done with this.

Here's the good news, though. If you can call this good news. Why not, I guess? While he did not have her delay-onset food allergy panel done (IgG) he did have the IgE panel in, which is the intense, hardcore allergies. The immediate ones, and also there was even a bunch of environmental allergies (pollen, mold, local trees, pet dander, etc, etc) thrown in there as well, to get a picture of her allergenic load, but she didn't have a single IgE (immediate reaction) allergy. Not one. Not a food allergy, not an animal/tree/dust/whatever allergy.

But, the food intolerances she may have quite a few. We won't know until after we get the results back after next week. He admits he is quite surprised that she didn't have ANY IgE allergies. He expected something to show up, but again we're reserving judgment until we get the other allergy panel results in, as well as more information on what's happening in her body with the deficiencies and the weird lipid stuff.

Additionally, her B12 is still very low, which is weird because she had several shots of B12 in the bum (which she absolutely HATED) AND she's taking sublingual B12 every single day. So he isn't sure why that isn't going up. Another mystery.  Her iron is also still low, though we've been supplementing for a few months now. I stopped recently because of the constipation but I may need to start again. The issue here is that vitamins become what are called co-factors, which means they use other vitamins as they're performing functions in the body. Well, uh. I'm not sure if I'm explaining that right, but here is a very good explanation with examples.

Sooo...I don't know whether to be freaked out, relieved, or just confused. I think mostly the first and last one. I would love to be relieved but I'm almost more nervous now. This does, however, confirm my suspicion that something else was amiss that we weren't aware of, and now we're getting some inkling of that. I just hope it's not life-threatening.

The cards I've gotten on this seem positive, though. Yesterday's card depicted the doctor as Fair/Gray-haired (which he is) along with the Good News card. Today showed the Fair/Gray-haired man again with the Good Fortune card. Weird.

So, since I really can't do anything about this until we get more information in the form of consultations, blood test results and other things--I really just have to bide my time. I have to find a way to relax and to believe that, as far as we know, whatever condition or situation she has is at least somewhat under control, and despite some mood/sleep and behavioral difficulties, at least she doesn't seem to be having seizures. Hopefully we'll figure this out and get it taken care of. I feel so helpless! I just want to do something about it NOW but it takes time to figure these things out.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Answer Deck: Love

I guess Valentine's Day is in the air because I love this card: LOVE. Oh me, oh my. So romantic!

My question was just a basic 'what's coming up' kinda thing, and I got this vague yet sweet reminder of the one thing that TRULY matters: LOVE.

Whether it's love between romantic partners, friends or family, it's always the most important thing.

I have to be honest for a second here...while I KNOW the true importance of Valentine's Day is genuine, gentle sharing, and only what you WANT to do, not what you're obligated to, I still find myself dreading this holiday on occasion.

At first, when my husband and I got together I loved it, because our relationship was new and it was fun doing things for each other. I am not exactly being cynical but I do think being together for a long time does change that. I'm very, very glad we've been together as long as we have (12 years this year) but sometimes (read: most of the time) the romance really is lacking.

We have great friendship, great respect, and even the attraction to one another--but we seem to lack the emotional energy, time and just wherewithal to do anything really romantic together. This has, of course, gotten more challenging in recent years with my daughter around, especially over the past year or more since her health issues really came to a head, but also well before that.

It's like we really gave up, for the most part, doing anything much together, either date-wise or just gesture-wise (flowers, or romantic notes, etc). I do try to compliment my husband, tease him (TMI) and that sort of thing, but there definitely could be more of an effort made there. I know the potential is there.

So I guess instead of focusing on what is lacking, I'm going to focus on what's strong in our relationship and see if I can get back to the loving, emotionally-charged place where we craved each other's company and attention. It's not always easy, especially with the stresses of day-to-day life, but I'm sure there's something we could do.

Love,
Magic Mentha

The Answer Deck: Good News and a Creative Muse

The cards I pulled today...

So I decided to whip out my Answer Deck, since I haven't used it for a while. It's so darn petite and powerful. I am no longer afraid of its stark imagery. Of course, it helps when you actually get positive cards, too. Overall, the cards I pulled felt uplifting rather than heavy, despite their black and whiteness.

I drew three cards and regarded them briefly before coming to the conclusion that I might be getting some good news tomorrow when we consult with my daughter's DAN doctor. Or at least useful news. Of course the whole 'Good News' card seems, well, good.

What was in my mind when pulling the cards was how tomorrow's consultation would go and where it would lead. We're going over the food allergy blood panel (for 96 foods) for my daughter. We also took it (my husband and myself) but what is more important to me is my daughter's stuff. I know I need to look out for my own health, and I intend to, but first I really want to figure out how best to help my daughter and ease her transition (hopefully) off of the anti-epileptic drugs.

The first card, Fair/Gray Haired Man, made me think of our DAN doctor. He is not really old, per se, maybe in his early 40's at the latest. He looks pretty youthful, but he does have light-colored hair which is graying in some spaces. So that part did make me think of him. In this card he does look rather serious and studious, but that too is appropriate since he's reviewing labs with us. Even so, he's generally more upbeat than anything.

In the next card we have Good News, hopefully this means positive news being conveyed to us. It is possible that this is news unrelated to what we're meeting about tomorrow, but I'm not really sure. My daughter is also being tested for a couple other things, including a metabolic panel, so perhaps things will look good there. I don't quite know--I'll try to update tomorrow after we've met up with him.

Finally, we have the card 'Talent' which I thought was oddly out of place in this spread which, in my mind, refers to developments for my daughter. I always think of creative ventures when I see this card, as it depicts a paintbrush, music and pen. I generally see this as some art-related thing going through. I sure hope this means something like my friend having me illustrate her cookbook or a commission coming in for some art thing. I don't know. Again, I'll try to update.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Window: Allowing Clarity and Focus

The window is the portal to a clear view of the world. You have a true vision of what you want from the situation. Your ideas and concepts are honest, but things are still in their initial stages. It is crucial that you keep your goal in view and not lose your focus. This card can also be fresh starts and new beginnings after hard lessons learned.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sphere and Unexpectedly Early Test Results

Earlier today, this afternoon, I got a call from my husband (actually a text asking him to call me) where he informed me that he was contacted by the integrative health center where my daughter is receiving treatment. Apparently they've already gotten the results of the blood food allergy panel back! I was not expecting that. It's only been a week and he mentioned about two weeks until the results.

We didn't have an appointment until February 10th, which is two and a half weeks away, so I was not expecting to hear back until then, when we were scheduled to consult. But apparently the results came in early and he wanted to see us this week. So on Thursday we'll be reviewing the results of the food allergy panel with them.

I'm kind of glad and also kind of dreading it (since catering to food allergy restrictions is not easy) but I think overall if it helps her symptoms and issues then it is definitely worth it.

So therefore, I found it interesting that when I consulted with the Graven Images Oracle, this card, Sphere, came up in the reading. Lately, if I use the Graven Images Oracle, instead of reading the entire big thing (you can't choose a single card, you have to just use the celtic cross or whatever other spread they have) I just randomly single out a card and then read that from the list of cards. Whatever crosses my field of vision first.

This card was not familiar to me. I don't remember seeing it before, but here's its meaning:

A call for a holistic approach to the situation. Spheres are complete within themselves, seamless, balanced and smooth. There is a need to let criticisms, minor disruptions, and petty arguments 'roll off your back.' Rise above the commonality when all others are in the grip of stress and complaint; the current disruptions are transitory. Engaging in the fracas will only serve as a distraction. Keep a positive outlook.

Several things stood out to me about this card. The first thing is, of course, the idea of a holistic approach. That's the entire basis of this health center. It's founded on principles of holistic medicine. You treat the entire person, the cause, not just the symptoms. You find the root. So the fact that 'holistic' came up in the first sentence was a big clue.

Secondly, I appreciated the message of letting go of minor/petty things, and releasing the stress, keeping it positive. This is definitely true when undergoing anything a bit complicated or tricky, such as navigating multiple food allergies.  I also love the phrase 'engaging in fracas'...how can you not love the word fracas? It's a great word.

That is all.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Humdrum Day: 10 of Wands

10 of Wands, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
You know, I'm OK with the fact that today wasn't as carefree as yesterday. Yes, I'd rather be in a good mood and not feel as drained, tired and discouraged as I do today, but half the suffering lies in worrying about how I feel or dwelling in it, thinking I'll never get out of a funk.

That being said, today is not THAT bad. It's not nearly as bad as many days I've had, and again, it's more this strange, heavy malaise that's descending upon me. It's Sunday evening and I realize I'll be pushing through another week with my daughter, unsure what her behavior/mood and sleep will be like, and going it mostly alone.

Some days I feel as if I'm coming upon a mirage of an oasis, but the more I try to reach it, the more I realize it's an illusion. Often, it takes time for things to resolve, and there may never be a point where things are 'easy'...so it's pointless to set sights on something that may or may not happen.

My time would be better spent figuring out honest to goodness ways to mitigate my current stresses, and lighten my 10 of Wands load. I went out on break a bit ago--and actually I'm nearing the end of my break now. And I'm spending it in reflection because I haven't been able to tap into what I need based on what I'm feeling. I feel empty, tired, uncertain of what to do, how to proceed.  So that's part of why I chose a card. I actually chose two cards. The first card I chose was Judgment, and then the 10 of Wands. Together, they felt quite heavy. Something about the burden of decisions, making a heavy situation heavier by placing expectations and judgments on it.

It reminds me of a lyric from a Tori Amos song, Bouncing Off Clouds:


"Make it easy. Make this easy--it's not as heavy as it seems. Wrapped in metal, wrapped in ivy, painted in mint ice cream..."

Those lyrics often pop into my head when I'm feeling dragged down in the difficulties of day to day life, or, conversely, dragged down into the bigger decisions.

Another great lyric:

"Well you can stare all day at the sky, but that won't bring her back. You say you're waiting on fate but I think fate is now waiting on us..."

This portion of the song reminds me that no amount of freaking out, stress, or exhaustion can make up for the fact that life needs your input. If you aren't interactive with your own life, you aren't going to be as satisfied with the results. So that's my goal. Lighten things up--including my judgments, expectations and also my duties. At the same time, I want to participate in a meaningful and often joyful way, a way that does not drag me further into the mire, surrounding by people who actually want to be around me, and who love me and support me.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Sun and the Ten of Cups: Are We Having Fun Yet?

Ten of Cups, the Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
I had a really pleasant day today.

I know how inane that sounds, but it's true! In some ways, it is a novelty when that happens. After many, many difficult, exhausting and generally unpleasant days (not of my own volition!) I've been craving more days like this.

We've been out and about most of the day, and while that may normally cause stress due to it triggering my daughter's tendency to get overwhelmed sensory-wise, we were impressed by how well she did.

Despite yesterday being one of the somewhat less pleasant days (we think, in part, because her sleep has been messed up and the previous night's sleep was not good for her) we were a tad leery of doing anything too involved today but it was an unfounded concern, apparently.

First thing I decided to do today was to do something 'different' from what looks and feels a lot like a rut to me--doing the same old things day in and out. I know we all struggle with this at times. When does a routine become a rut? Sometimes routines and even ruts are comforting. But today I opted to risk doing something new. There have been many days when risking doing something ended in disaster, and I won't discount that, but today was not one of those days, thankfully.

My daughter, having woken up early, napped in the car while I drove around. My husband also napped a little. This is not unusual. We've all been quite tired. But instead of doing the same ole, same ole, we opted to try a pizza place we'd heard of which serves gluten and dairy-free pizza with a reputation for being really good. It's very hard for us to find places like this around here, as most pizza places are either one or the other (gluten-free or dairy-free, but not both) and also we avoid soy, so this was great because it was also soy-free! The food was awesome and it was worth the moderate splurge.

The Sun, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
Then we opted (after getting slightly lost) to go visit with my two sisters who live in Boulder. We drove around then met up with them at their apartment, chatted a bit and then left for home, still feeling sane. This, again, sounds totally inane. Most people would think, 'Oh that's nice. Have some pizza, talk to relatives, go home.' What's the big deal?

Well, the big deal is that when you have a child on two seizure medications who often has sleep and mood problems, nothing is simple. Even the simple things. Every outing has to be planned around possible meltdowns or other problems. And because of her gluten and casein-free diet, it's not always easy to find places to dine (so we rarely go out--which is fine usually because it's pricey to go out anyway) but sometimes it's just nice to have something work out well.

When we got home, I actually went out for a 2.5 hour break. Although I was a tad aimless, it was just nice to be out and about by myself. I got back home and things were fine here. No major issues. So again, simple things. Even though my daughter is now a little bit on the hyper side at least it's not too bad. My husband is going to go take his break now and hopefully we'll all go to bed tonight feeling a little less crazy and a little more hopeful.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Friday, January 21, 2011

What to Expect: Three of Pentacles

"Can I help you sir and madam?"
I decided to pull a card representing what I can expect as an upcoming influence in the near (immediate) future, and I got the 3 of Pentacles.

I've actually received this card quite a few times recently, especially as my focus seems to have shifted from mommy concerns (though honestly it will never truly shift from that) to more work-related and creative things.

I've been wondering what I can do either from home or otherwise working on some project, commission or similar activity. Something paid.

I always think of skilled, paid work when I see the 3 of Pentacles. I think most readers do. Sometimes it means something else, but I'd say it means work and work-related issues 95% of the time.

I have a couple ideas in the works. One of which is (hopefully) illustrating a friend's cookbook. Another is perhaps finally beginning to work on my tarot deck in progress again, but I'm not so sure on that. It doesn't quite seem like time yet to do that. I want to wait until I'm feeling a bit more into it.

Right now I'm allowing opportunities to arise instead of trying to pin anything down too hard, but at the same time I am being careful not to be too complacent and ignoring good ideas.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Vivid, Disturbing Dream

Multi-media piece I made of my grandma and great aunt entitled, 'Grand Sisters'
I just woke up from yet another vivid, disturbing dream. My subconscious seems to want to alert me to my hidden personal sorrows today...

Anyway. I'll type this quickly so I don't start crying again. I went back to sleep a while ago after very bad sleep last night. My daughter woke up early (again) and then went back to bed. At first I fought going to sleep but I decided I needed to. I lay down then eventually had this dream...

I am going inside my grandparent's ranch house in the Valley. I'm there to visit my grandma, who I know (in both real life and in the dream) is suffering from significant memory loss. I go in and she looks over at me, with no recognition in her eyes. I am instantly slayed. I have not prepared myself for her not recognizing me and I am not sure I can handle this.

I forcefully put on a smile as I come over to her and kneel down in front of her, putting my arms gently around her. I see that she now recognizes me, and I can smell in the dream! She smells like an earthy perfume I have especially concocted for her. I take note that I don't really like the perfume I've blended for her, but in a characteristically kind gesture, she has worn the perfume, knowing I am coming. I don't mention the perfume, because I am too busy trying to compose myself to speak.

I say something friendly and inane about being glad to see her. I don't remember what she says back--it's something only marginally coherent. I speak to her as well as I can for a few minutes and then I catch sight of her sister (who also has dementia but not nearly as badly progressed standing up to greet me, perhaps to help me interact with my grandma. I go over to her to hug her and say hello, but I am suddenly overcome with grief as I begin sobbing into her arms. She holds me tenderly and quietly comforts me, saying some words of wisdom which I unfortunately don't remember, but I know that she knows I'm suffering and I am having a hard time seeing my grandma like this.

This is when I wake up.

A Vivid Dream


This morning I woke up from a vivid and fairly disturbing, or at least emotional, dream, where I was in my house with my daughter and it was evening. Several Mexican families were suddenly over at my house. There was a name for what they were doing, which was gathering parent and child alike at one person's house and letting them play, eat, and do whatever they wanted there. Then they'd leave that person's house and go back home.

I was overwhelmed by this arrangement, being something of a hermit (in both dream and reality) and not wanting people disrupting my privacy or my house. Worse yet, they brought cheap and sugary treats in with them that were loaded with things my daughter couldn't eat (wheat, dairy, etc) and I was trying in vain to keep them from her.

Toward the end of this run through my house, the families departed (much to my relief) but at the end I found that a newborn baby boy had been left at my house. And it had a soaking wet diaper and hadn't eaten. The person whose child this was had since left and I had no idea what to do, since I had no idea who any of the people were or how to find them. I held the tiny, wet baby in my hands which seemed to be very sleepy. I wanted to make sure it was dry and fed ASAP.

Prince Lenormand, you were in my dream! Haha, if you're reading this. Anyway, you were left at my house (which is funny, too, since you live in another country) and you are the one who discovered the baby, I think. You offered to go to the store to get newborn baby diapers, but you said it would cost more money than you had, so I was going to give you some money.

I'm not quite sure what happened next, since there was some lingering chaos for a while. I was chasing my daughter around, trying to get her calmed down from all the visitors. Then I remembered the baby. Where had the baby been for this past while? I heard no crying, everything was silent. Somehow I'd lost the baby. I looked frantically everywhere.

Then I saw my daughter in the kitchen and I asked her where the baby was. She calmed opened the refrigerator door and I gasped in horror. She had put the baby in the refrigerator for 'safe keeping'. I cradled its lifeless body in my arms. It was dead. Also, it was frozen. Its arms and legs were cold and brittle, and its face was contorted from crying and was frozen in that position. Part of one of the arms broke off and fell into a pocket I had.

I was extremely upset but I knew that my daughter had no idea what she had done, so I wasn't mad, just deeply upset and sad. That's when I woke up.

Obviously I had some interpretation ideas on this one, but I think I'll just leave it at that.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Down in the Dumps: Ace of Swords to the Rescue

I'm feeling low today. Well, this week in general. My daughter's behavior has been weird, her sleep has been erratic, and I just feel worn down and desperate. And frankly, lonely.

I know there are likely concrete reasons for this, but until I get the food allergy panel results and get more of a cohesive 'next step' plan, I simply have to suffer through this. Our appointment to review the labs isn't until the second week of February.

I feel like I've spent so much of the past five years waiting and suffering. Up all night with a baby and toddler and now young child who won't sleep well, and though, as my husband pointed out, things have improved, they have been painfully hard won and extremely gradual. It IS very hard to see when something is improving when it happens at a snail's crawl.

I have, however, noticed larger improvements in other areas, but when things are so weary-making that I can barely see straight, it's also hard to see what is better. To quote myself, it's hard to arrange flowers when your hair is on fire.

My husband and daughter are asleep and I feel physically and emotionally slayed but at the same time I kind of want to stay up and reject the whole normalcy of sleeping at night. I wish I had oddles of fresh, bouncy energy that could carry me through the night. I wish I had the energy and the will to stay up all night, creating art, like I would sometimes do in days past. Right now, I can barely keep my eyes open.

I am going to try to heed my own need for rest, even with my evening anxieties bubbling up to the surface. I am going to try to put aside my fears, at least for the night, and lock them away securely in a box 'to be reviewed later' and hope that I'm able to get through a night for once without waking up in panic, or tossing and turning from some nightmare.

A quote from Crystal Clear Reflections on the Ace of Swords:
Trust your imagination - become creative - open your mind. Use your logical reasoning to put your ideas into a workable order, then refine them so that they appeal to others.
That's it for now, I think. Time to make like a newborn and sleep.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Feisty and Adorable Modern Deck: PicTarot

PicTarot, Image copyright Pictoplasma Publishing

This deck really caught my eye. I admit I'm not always as into the more modern decks, but really as times goes on I just like anything fun and interesting that catches my eye. This is one of those!

There's something about this deck that reminds me of growing up in the 80's in Austin. Funky, colorful, graphic and unique. Austin is a lot like that. I resonate with that vibe!

Lovely graphic work...cheerful, slightly sinister and colorful all at once, this deck just has loads of personality. There's even a touch of perviness. I have considered buying it but I may hold out for a while. It might be a nice gift for someone I know. Hrm.

To see more examples of the cards, go here. There's even an iPhone app! I don't have an iPhone so this is irrelevant to me, but it's kinda cool nevertheless. Some cool screenshots of the app are on the site as well as a video about the PicTarot.

Check it out!

Love,
Magic Mentha

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hire Me, Pleeeeeease!

A painting I did in art school which I cheekily titled, 'A Poet's Trash is a Painter's Painting'
Haha!
I feel like that's what I am begging the world right now, but maybe silently. Hire me. Perhaps I should actually put out feelers instead of just feeling something. That may help. Duh. Silly me.

I realized lately, though I've thought of this before, how I often yearn for something but do little to achieve it. On the other hand, I can be quite an overachiever in other areas. But primarily, I'd say my problem lies more with fear than it does in knee jerk reaction.

I got an e-mail from a friend today who responded to my offer of free graphic's help, since she's been so kindly to me, especially through my daughter's health problems. She responded back that perhaps I could illustrate her cookbook that she's working on. (!!!) I think I pounced on it a bit TOO eagerly. I told her enthusiastically that I would LOVE to. I don't know if she will be working on it in earnest soon, but at least it is something. Something new and interesting to do. I've illustrated a calendar before, but not a book or cookbook. 

So I'm eagerly awaiting her response and hoping if she has me do it that it actually all works out and goes through. If it doesn't, I have to vow to myself that I won't simply give up and will try to converse with other folks who might want to do something with me, either collaborate or hire me for spot illustration, book illustration, or something else along those things. 

The idea of creative collaboration is both exciting and nerve-racking for me. In many ways, working by oneself is easier when you're creative, but at the same time, it's harder to get motivated because you're the only person you're accountable for. In this case, I truly need to push, the extra momentum, because I've had a hell of a time getting motivated. It's not just motivation, though. I can be a freight train of creation if I do get started in earnest, but the problem is my fear and ambivalence. I feel torn in directions...all of which seem somehow wrong and right at the same time.

Anyway. Just thought I'd update.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Tarot Goddess Online Reading Using the Animals Divine Tarot: Teaching Art Again?


Here is your reading, Magic Mentha.

Your question: What will lead me most directly to my path of happiness and wellbeing?

Click on the card to turn it over.

Card 1 symbolizes your question:

King of Wands


Past Card

Leader, explorer, promoter, influential, risk taker, charismatic.

Card 2 represesnts obstacles or supporting influences:

Ten of Cups


Present Card

The achievement of goals and dreams, happiness and contentment reign, a feeling of wholeness permeates one's being, renewed familial ties and friendships.

Cards 3 and 4 present your hopes and fears in reference to your question:

King of Cups


Future Card

Connection with nature, thoughtful leadership, social responsibility.

Four of Wands


overview Card

Recognition for one's accomplishments, financial success, a period of happiness.

Cards 5 and 6 offer additional information to be considered:

Temperance


overview Card

Achieving balance, going within, moderation.

The High Priest


overview Card

Teacher, greater awareness, education.

Card 7 suggests an overview:

Death


overview Card

Transformation, rebirth, renewal, new beginnings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Graven Images: Counting My Blessings



Using some of the most positive images from the Graven Images Oracle, I made a collage in Photoshop that shows, visually and verbally, the good things in my life. I am truly grateful for the kindness and love from my friends, family and, of course, followers of this blog.  Finally, I am grateful to myself for suffering through things long enough to get done what needs to be done, despite my great reservations, fears and the expense in time, energy and money.

Thanks to everyone!

Love,
Magic Mentha

p.s. As a side note, I wanted to add that I have been oddly drawn to hands lately. There are lots of them shown in this post, but I also just really like them!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Secret Demon: The Green-eyed Monster

While I was at it, I decided to choose another card representing a current issue for me. I got envy. Well, you got me there. At first I thought about denying it, but it's really true. I am not going to lie!!!

I know that we've all experienced envy in our lives. Sometimes for long stretches of time. Normally I would not necessarily describe myself as envious. Maybe at times, about things like body image or something a bit more fleeting than that, but lately I've found myself dwelling on envy.

Rather than try to push down the feeling I have been trying to let them surface so I can examine them before exorcising them. These demons have a message for me, a story to tell. I need to listen so that they won't take me by surprise later, hijack my consciousness and threaten to take over. It may have already started...

Just yesterday (or was it today?) I was thinking of how I'd been dwelling on 'what ifs' and 'why mes' but more than that, I had been feeling outright jealousy and envy of other people--people with neurotypical children who don't have horrific sleep problems, seizures, and exorbitant supplement and medication costs and the like. I found myself disturbed and even angered by the blase attitude that many parents of typical children have. They don't realize how lucky they are.

But similarly, I don't fully realize how lucky I am for the things that are right for me, and this is hard, I think, for a lot of people. It's easy to get mired in what is wrong, especially when that thing is staring us in the face so often. Something that takes over my whole life. Sometimes our pain has to be recognized and almost celebrated before we send it packing. Pain does serve a purpose, just so long as it isn't taken to an extreme. It gives us clues as to where we're going and how we're growing (or not) depending on the situation.

Thinking on it now, it does give me some measure of relief to just admit, 'hey, I am angry, bitter and envious of people without the problems I have!' because I know that I am not a bad person for feeling this. Nor am I 'right' or 'wrong'...it just is. My feelings are real, my feelings are justified in their own right, but they also cannot take over my entire life. That wouldn't be good, either.  Getting these things out in the open is half the battle.

For months now (maybe a year or more) I've been battling a nameless anger and fear that I can't seem to quell. But feelings are not made to be squelched, redirected or suppressed. They are there to be storytellers and counselors. I'm a highly feeling person. I have intense, vivid emotions and the more I fight them, the more they fight me. The solution is to tap into their message with as much acceptance as we can muster. This isn't always fun, but it is very important.

I'm willing to admit my mistakes, my fears, my anger, my jealousy, even a streak of vindictiveness, because beneath it all, I finally understand that I am still a good person, a person that cares about doing the right thing and doing right by her child and her life, even if I can't always quite make it there. It's just a basic sort of transcendence that everyone is capable of, but it has to be brought to our attention now and again. I can't forget my essential goodness, no matter how upset I get in the moment.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Graven Images: Fidelity (Stick-to-it-ness) or Not...

So, I chose a card from the Graven Images Oracle site, and honestly you can't really choose one, you click on the icon and you get a celtic cross layout, but I just closed my eyes and click on a card, and this is the one it settled on. The headless angel child thingo. Hehe.

I think this is telling me that I tend to get obsessed with things. Things I worry about, things I hold onto for dear life--things I really don't NEED to hold onto but do out of fear, or rejection or something unnameable.

As my nodal position (south node in Pisces) mentions...my life is not meant for sacrifice and martyrdom. This is a life for participation and practicality. Joyful connection with others. So, I don't NEED to struggle for everything. That's a big misconception.

Do I need to work for my life? Do I need to put in some effort? Yes...but as the card states (below) there's a huge difference between dedication, focus (or other positive application of attention) and just plain old miserable obsession, worry or sacrifice for no good reason.

Fidelity

There is a need to let go. Fidelity is faithfulness, a good trait to possess. But there comes a time when standing your post, sticking with a situation, or staying in a relationship is taken to extremes. There is a difference between being faithful and being obsessive. In this case, you have sacrificed and stayed the course. You have given of yourself, but now you are at the point of martyrdom. This is unnecessary. It's over. Salvage what you can and step back.

While struggle happens at times in life, and cannot always be avoided, there are times when you just don't need to make matters worse by striving for things, people, places, events that are not right for us. I often second, third and fourth guess myself. I seem to have trouble forgiving myself for any wrongs or mistakes, any foibles I have, and just simply moving on. I dwell. Oh, I dwell...

I often accuse myself of not staying the course, but when I really think about it, I realize that more often than not, overthinking, overdoing and obsessing (not to mention worrying) are more my enemies than anything-not the lack of work ethic or stick-to-itness (aka fidelity--though I'm not talking about cheating here...hehe). So I have to remind myself of fear and doubt being the two greatest enemies of a person (this last quote about fear is something I heard just tonight) and that is especially true of me! 

Letting go. Gotta do it sometime...

Love,
Magic Mentha

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Epically Epic Soap Company on Etsy

 Custom Scent Roll-on from Epically Epic Soap. Tea and Cake and Jessica Rachel are ones I ordered! Photo taken by seller.


This is neat! Wanting to treat myself with something affordable but fun after a very lean year last year, I decided to get myself a custom scented roll-on from Epically Epic Soap Company on Etsy. Such a lovely concept! Enjoy a single note scent or several scents. The aroma lover's dream!

Besides the delightful soaps she sells, she also offers natural lip tints in a myriad of interesting flavors such as red velvet cake, and lusciously scented solid lotionscustom scented roll-ons and sprays. All of her items look great to me! So far I've only tried two of the lip tints, the chai and turkish coffee. I use both of these on a daily basis and I appreciate their texture, color and scent, and the fact that they don't have petrolatum or preservatives. I got four custom scented roll-ons, one for each of my sisters and one for myself. The roll-ons are only $8.50 so it was an affordable splurge.

I should curb spending, though, and I probably won't order for a while, but I highly recommend her! The list of scents to choose from for the lotions and custom roll-on perfumes is quite extensive and you can combine as many as you want.  And, she uses all natural, high quality ingredients and bases for her products with vegan-friendly ingredients such as avocado and jojoba oils. 

Here are some scents and scent-ideas I had. I didn't do all of these, but a few:

Volcano Goddess:
(I kept this one for myself!)

Plumeria
Birds of paradise
Passionfruit-Rose
Cinnamon
Amber
------------------------------
Eve's Apple:

(I may make this for my sister of the same name)


Apple blossom
Red Apple
Green Apple
Earth musk
Bonsai
Cypress
Cornmint

------------------------------
Natalie:
(for my beloved grandma's 85th birthday)

Carnation
Gardenia
Tulip
Lilac
fresh cut flowers
mimosa
cotton
---------------------------------
Tea and Cake:

(gave this to my tea loving sister)

Zucchini Flower
Apple Blossom
Black tea

---------------------------------
Jessica Rachel:

(gave this to my older sis as an early b-day present)


Violet
honey-saffron
pistachio
basmati rice

---------------------------------
Mary de la Mer

(making this for my mom, perhaps for mom's day)


Aloe
Ocean
Cotton

---------------------------------
Bev, LLC:

(making this for my friend Bev's birthday)

Lilac
Lemon
Carnation
 
---------------------------------

I am going to make the one for my grandma (see above, Natalie) for her birthday. She'll be 85 this year! I cannot believe it. I just love my grandma so much. I hope to see her sometime this year.


Anyway...I just thought I'd feature this truly worthwhile shop. The seller is very sweet and great to work with.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Friday, January 14, 2011

What Are You Feeling Now? Thanks, Morgan Tarot!

 I felt like I needed the trippy, Zen wisdom of the Morgan Tarot. I pulled this card and I really liked how it directed me back to myself. A lot of oracles do that and I think it's a good idea. 
We all need to listen to our own needs and wisdom through it all. It's easy to get sidetracked and try to beg those outside of ourselves to help us resolve our situation, when really much of what we need to do is resolve things from within. 


I found myself doing just that--expecting (or even fearing) a certain response from friends, family, a therapist...you name it. I had checked in with everyone and allowed myself to fall at their whim, but I had forgotten the most important person of all to check in with: myself. And just for the heck of it, I chose one more card, and I got the 'I still don't get it' card, which is just funny, but often true.

I really am in a phase right now where I simply don't get it. I feel like I'm floating, adrift in a sea of confusion and indecisiveness, but it seems that my task is simply to 'let it be' for now. I don't think I will get anywhere by struggling with this one. Sometimes greater force is required, but I think slow and steady is usually the best way. I don't have to understand everything. But what I do need to do is stop wondering and start doing. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, even, as long as it keeps me from obsessing and worrying.



WHAT ARE YOU FEELING NOW?

You might as well feel good now. However, if you are unable, don't worry about it.
 
Our feelings are usually related to our thoughts concerning the future, the past, or our perception of how others feel in relation to us. Plots for the future are valid, but awareness of the present moment clears away spiritual obstacles.
 
All this has little to do with the Japanese wind-bell sounding outside my window.

Glutton for Punishment and the Three of Swords

Three of Swords, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
Today I was thinking about how, throughout my life, I have tried to get people who clearly have decided they don't want to be friends (or lovers, or married, insert situation) with me to like me and talk to me. There is this part of me that just really wants to make things work, even if they have fallen out of favor. And it's a genuine thing. I really do want things to work out.

I thought about it and even though I am not 100% sure why I do this (maybe fear of rejection?) I have decided that I need to let this go. My mother, who loves me very much but was not always tactful with me, used to tell me things like, 'don't call him, he doesn't want to talk to you' when I would want to speak to a boy I had a crush on but who had stopped speaking with me. It did upset me, but I know that she just didn't want to see me get hurt.

This is a very bleak and barren card, but even the best love carries heartache and as life goes on we are renewed and are able to find solace and comfort beyond the pain. The good memories surface from beyond the bad; you take these experiences with you for future growth.

There's definitely a part of me that believes that there is no reason why you can't reconcile with someone and be friends again, if both parties are willing and the circumstances are right. Now, I think this is not generally true with romantic relationships, though. I've seen friends get back together that works out and the relationships don't usually. Just an observation.

But regardless of the circumstances, what I have realized is that I need to focus on who is in my life now and who cares about me and actually shows it, and stop looking for emotionally unavailable people and situations, ones that have dried up, moved on, or otherwise left. I need to truly appreciate and celebrate the lasting relationships in my life. So that's what I'm going to do today. To send out a thank you to my dear friends, family and of course my husband, who have chosen to stick by me and love me unconditionally.

Thank you.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Graven Images: Empty

Using the Graven Images Oracle, I did a few really interesting readings last night. Admittedly, this is a stern deck, but when it does speak, it says something really thought-provoking. While I was kind of afraid of it before, I kind of appreciate its stark honesty now.

Card #6: Final Outcome
Empty (Social #11)

Empty is a warning against starting anything new or signing contracts. You have not done the proper examination and research to launch a new venture, nor are you in the right frame of mind to do so now. The advice is to wait until you are absolutely ready for change, and committed to doing the homework necessary for a positive effect.

For two of my readings out of three I did, on two separate days, I got Empty as the outcome card. One reading was specifically asking about my new art website and just seeing what was to be said about it.  The reading (not only this card, but the others) were very specific about ventures, and art/creativity! So strange. I was really impressed.

I was not pleased with the outcome but it totally was true. Absolutely true. I didn't want to admit it, but it was.  It was a totally hollow victory. I only felt slightly motivated, for the day and a half that I was working on the site, but then when it was over, it felt empty. It felt like a rerun of the past several years, not a fresh start.

Now I am beginning to wonder if my suspicions are correct--that I am so focused on how my daughter is doing that every other thing in my life just seems like nothing to me. So the thing is that it may not even matter what I do (I think it does, but, still) so much as how I'm feeling now, and what I'm able to focus on. How can you focus on arranging flowers when your hair is on fire? Funny example but that's the metaphor that came to mind.  It really is hard to make changes that you feel good about when your mind is clearly elsewhere.

I'm trying to 'put out fires' with my daughter's situation and get her through this difficult and important time. And, of course, to push aside my considerable doubts that she can get through this time without reverting back to where we were a year or so ago. However, as I quote recently to someone, trying to shove down my doubts and not acknowledge them often will make them stronger. What I need to do is say, 'Ok, I admit I am full of doubts, but I am going to make room for the future and hope anyway.'

So the deed is done--we're on a path toward the future, but we always are. I am going to do everything I can to ensure that things go well, that my daughter has a safe place in this world where she can grow and thrive, be who she needs to be.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Husbandly Man Power

King of Swords from The Artist's Inner Vision
I chose two cards, supposedly representing the step I'd just taken by making a new personal creative site, but the response surprised me a bit. Seems very manly. Hehee.

I selected the King of Swords first, which is my husband's card. This is a cute and quirky King of Swords, as the sword makes up the nose, the scales make up the eyes and unibrow, and the banner makes up the king's smile. Charming.

What comes to mind when I see my husband's card is firstly his support of me. Not only with this endeavor but in general. He has always been greatly supportive of me, regardless of what I am doing. Pretty much, unless it's something self-destructive.

Additionally, I thought that it reminded me to keep in mind his advice about starting small and very slowly branching out, instead of my usual intensely fast, slapdash, but overly focused obsessiveness. I'll work on something to the point of collapse, and then get sick of it before it even has a chance to take root. There's an obvious exception to this which was in the case of my hand-painted jewelry, and also to an extent with the art classes I taught, both of which yielded far less than I had originally hoped, but overall I'd say my tendency is toward haste.

The King of Swords (and the King of Pentacles, I suppose) is the perfect counterbalance for the Queen of Wands (me) who often leaps before looking. Or, barring that, she simply burns up with fiery impatience and moves on to the next thing. But really, I've noted this tendency in all signs, but it is perhaps the most pronounced in the fire signs. At the same time, though, I do think I have a talent for specialization. Once I get interested in something, I often research the living daylights out of it. Why read one article about something when you can read fifty?  Well...the answer is that you'll burn yourself out then not complete what you set out to do.

The Emperor from The Artist's Inner Vision
Next, I got the Emperor, which emphasized the manly thing. The Emperor I often see as representing work endeavors. He's the classic 'breadwinner' which can really come up for anyone-man or woman. This is the same frame of mind as the aforementioned King of Pentacles or even the Magician. That whole 'making things happen' bent.

At the same time, the Emperor also reinforced the message of my husband's card, meaning that it was specifically referring to my husband. It's a 'father' card, which can mean either your own father or the father of your child. My husband is so very instrumentally important in keeping me sane by giving me whatever time he can when he's home (when he isn't taken some time for himself, of course) and I know that I couldn't do anything if it weren't for him.

So I will be sure to give him an extra measure of thanks today for his love and support in everything that I do.

Love,
Magic Mentha

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hooray for Doing Something!

Click on the banner to visit my new generally artsy site with not much on it! WoooHoooo!?

Things I Can Do for Money

I've selected two of these things from the list of seven that I am going to pursue...


So today's goal was hard to narrow in on because it required me to just make a choice and take a chance. At least a chance I feel comortable with.  As my husband told me today, 

I think you just need to learn to make some compromises.   I fear you're trying to find the absolute "perfect" scenario and it's unlikely you're going to find it without poking around some first.   You should figure out what your top one or two things are and work to satisfy them instead of trying to satisfy everything.    And yes, your solution might not be 100% perfect, but at least you'll be getting some of your needs met and maybe once you get some momentum better opportunities will present themselves.

The tricky part about what I chose from my list of seven feasible (?) options is that many of them require so much input from other folks. Like the gallery art one for instance. This requires collaboration and help from a gallery owner or owners. However, when I selected my second-most interested option, the on-line venture (venture was not one that I had decided, but could be anything I listed, or even something I didn't list) I realized that the two things could be merged. I could start a website for my art. Not a specific VENTURE per se, not a specific product (like HH, for instance) but just my art in general, not unlike my old art site which is not up anymore, either.

The art page would be more general and just list my art. I'm not sure if it would just be my name or if it would have a catchy name, but I think it would probably just be pretty straight forward as a page for my artwork, obviously not using my full name in the URL because my name is loooonnnnng.

The reason for this generalness is two-fold: first of all, I know that making a very specific niche of artwork (like just jewelry for instance) can be problematic because you don't know if you'll get sick of it or if it won't sell well (both of which happened to me) and secondly, it allows me to start out large and vague, and narrow in on an area or areas of artistic interest gradually, instead of starting in a niche that I end up not liking as much as I hoped I would.

The fact of the matter is, although I considered other avenues in my creative/money-making schemes, that I am an artist and I can't really get away from that fact for long. I've tried delving into alternative medicine and making body and home products and other things, but in the end I'm more of an artist than anything else. I may not be the world's greatest artist, but I'm not bad, so I shouldn't flee the title so readily.

So that is what I've decided. And the decision feels normal and natural and doesn't give me anxiety, which is a pretty good sign that it isn't a horrible decision. When I feel a large amount of tension in my body and mind after making a decision I know something is not right. I trust my instincts on that.

I am writing this here so I'm accountable, but since the alignment I feel about it is there, I don't think I'll need the external reinforcement or validation at this stage of the game, but that doesn't mean I won't need encouragement or occasional harassment, so that's why I'm writing about it, primarily. Hehe!

One thing I had to get over when making this decision is my craving for instant gratification. The thing is, artists often have to wait for gratification. First, we have to make the artwork. This takes time, emotional energy, materials and a good deal of inspiration. Then we have to display the artwork somehow--either on-line or in person. Then we have to wait for someone to buy it (or not)...but that's why when creating art you have to discover the most important things about the artwork other than the money you may or may not get from it.

Of course I think this is good advice for anything. You don't do things simply out of a sense of needing to make money or wanting security. Sometimes you have no choice, but if you do have a choice, then you should exercise that choice and try to make your life less painful by allowing yourself to have a main job and a vocation on the side that you enjoy more. Or if you're able to make lots of money doing what your passion is, then do it.

In my case, I know that what I'm doing (at this stage of the game) is not going to make enough money for my family to live off of, so that isn't my goal, obviously. But that doesn't mean I don't want or deserve compensation. I just need to adjust my expectations and try not to FEEL like a failure. The failure is very subjective, anyway.

Well, I've rambled on long enough. Now I am going to find and secure a domain name (or use my original domain name that I had several years back) and begin figuring out the process of making a website, and what I want to include in it.

Love and Decision-making Power,
Magic Mentha

Replacing Downer Delays with Happy Actions

Seven of Coins, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
Something about this particular version of the Seven of Pentacles just gets to me. Oye, the melancholy! Oh the waiting! It seems more emotional and angsty than the traditional one. There's more than just the waiting, there's a sadness to the woman's face.

There's a time piece on the bottom right corner of this one, and dominoes all over. There's some type of game being played, some strategy, someone counting, waiting, planning, agonizing over their next move, wondering if what they already did will pay off, wondering what to do next...

I decided to pull a card representing what to do next, how to replace this downer card with something happier and more active, and I couldn't have gotten a better card for this (especially in this deck, that is).

Four of Wands, The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
I got the Four of Wands. In this deck, the Four of Wands shows four figures leaping joyously across the image of the card, with clock faces all over the image. There's an Eight of Wands kind of feel to this version. Motion, action, forward momentum.  It feels dynamic.

Originally, I was going to post the Ace of Wands in the place of the Four of Wands, because I got that card several times in the past couple of months and I got it again today, but I then got the Four of Wands when I asked for clarification, and as you can see, this card really makes for a good counterpoint to the slow sadness of the Seven of Coins/Pentacles.

So now my task is, again, to replace these downer delays with happy actions so that I can truly and finally move forward in my life instead of dwelling on what has been and what will be. Instead of FEARING it so much.  The original point of my 'Too Much Divination, Not Enough Action' post was to say that I really have not ACTED on enough things lately.

Today is 1-11-11, and if the number 1 makes me think of anything, it is the beginning of things. Now us tarot folk often think of 0 (The Fool) as the beginning, but 1 is when things REALLY ignite. The power of an individual to set the world on fire with their ideas and inspiration. The power of creation.

Love,
Magic Mentha

1-11-11

A silly but 1-riffic graphic I made in Photoshop for the occasion...

My Form of Temperance: Creativity

Temperance from The Artist's Inner Vision Tarot
Lately, instead of using tarot or oracles strictly as a divinatory tool, I have been using them as a sort of meditation or affirmation.

Case in point: I saw this card (after already choosing several others) and I felt drawn to it. This is probably my all-time favorite Temperance card. Normally, Temperance is depicted as an angel with two goblets, balancing the liquids between them.

This is a card of balance, timing, forces being combined in a harmonious way. In a way, it feels more like a meditative or spiritual version of Justice, without the whole law enforcement part.

To say I'm feeling a bit imbalanced lately is a slight understatement. Some days I feel like my head is going to explode. Unfortunately, this is par for the course of mothers of kids with neurological issues. Especially if they're on medication.

Frankly, some days I think I should be on anti-depression or anti-anxiety medication, but I've been there, done that, and honestly I don't like how medication impacts me. I feel that healthy diet, stress reduction and other natural means produce a more balanced feeling that comes from within, rather than a drug-induced feeling which just adds to a feeling of imbalance.

That's where we come to what this post is about. What balances me? Well, creative expression is a huge part of what keeps me sane. This integral aspect of my character has always given me a healthy outlet to express my at times considerable emotional output. When I begin obsessing over everything in my life, when worry creeps in and destroys my peace of mind, I can often regain balance, at least some of the time, by creating a work of art, writing something, or otherwise making something.

Lately, however, I have not felt able to tap into this creative vein. This is unfortunate because I really could use something to balance me now. So, sometimes I kind of have to force it, which flies in the face of most ideas about creativity having to flow. But in my personal experience, if you don't shove yourself a little bit into experience, you often won't take the plunge.

So I've realized that maybe my first goals, before exercise, before any other types of resolution, must be creative. I have to give myself an objective--something that I know will satisfy my divine discontent and go towards healing my heart and soul.

Love,
Magic Mentha