Wednesday, April 30, 2014

5 of Swords: Appropriate Letting Go, Healthy Self Care

Here is the card I got for today's pull. I actually got it twice. I received it and I thought, "UGH...5 of Swords?" So I shuffled it back into the deck. Upon pulling again I decided just to accept what I got. The 5 of Swords reared its head again, so I am going with that! And really this card isn't so bad. I am learning to love this message, and hopefully, to follow it.

Some decks highlight the sense of mental defeat--needing to see things from a new perspective. I think that's very valid. For me, this card very often means a necessary letting go. This guy is waving his white flag, offering up a surrender. When you've got an armful of sticks like in the 10 of Wands, a burden that's hard to carry but you just won't drop it...well, it's time to...DROP IT! To polish off an old chestnut, sometimes knowing when to walk away, let go, drop stuff, is the healthiest thing.

I loved this portion of the Learn Tarot website's description of the 5 of Swords:

acting in your own self-interest
setting aside the concerns of others 
looking out for number one 
thinking of your own needs 
knowing you must concentrate on yourself 
encountering selfishness 
indulging in power plays 
going for the win-lose result
Well, it wasn't so much the indulging in power plays and whatnot that I liked. It's the whole idea of needing to take care of yourself. If we act out of self interest it is often a good thing--something that is forgotten in a society that favors martyrdom over self care. I definitely LOVE nurturing others, doing things for others, gifting things to others, supporting others, but it can also be very tiring if it isn't balanced out by letting go of responsibility from time to time, and/or turning over the responsibility to taking care of yourself.

There's a pretty thoughtful portion of the description of this card on the Learn Tarot site:

The Five of Swords is about self-interest. Society tells us to think of others, yet we resist. How we can ignore our own concerns and still survive? This dilemma comes from our definition of self. If we view our self as our personality/body, our interests become those that relate to that self. Do I have enough to eat? Am I happy? Do I have all I want? 

We may expand our concern to those we love, but, then, how can we stop there? We are connected to everyone in the long run. In truth, our self is the world. What we do to that world, we do to ourselves. This understanding is so basic, but so infuriatingly easy to forget day-to-day.

In readings, the Five of Swords can mean that you or someone else is forgetting this larger view of self. You are defining your interests too narrowly. If you try to get ahead in isolation, your actions will come back to haunt you later, one way or the other.

Sometimes this card implies a need to put your own interests first. If you are being abused or taken advantage of, you must get free. If you are worn out by demands, take care of yourself. If it is your turn, step forward and claim your due. Just be aware that if you hurt others in the process, your victory will not feel complete.

It's been a recent theme in my life to see that modeling self-care, good self-esteem is highly important. It is something I see women in this country (and men, too!) need to do more of. We're taught that delegating tasks in order to do things for ourselves is indulgent. But what this results in is showing our children that our sanity and our selves are sacred and it's crucial to care for ourselves. I see such a legacy of negativity toward ourselves. To me, that's just as abusive as being cruel to someone else. It's not OK to be cruel to ourselves. To ignore our own needs and the loud messages we receive from our bodies and minds when we're burnt out and miserable is madness! It is so loving, so nurturing, and in everyone's best interest, to infuse our lives with positive self-talk, positive self-concept.

Who's with me? :)


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Crazy Fool

I recently purchased this rather affordable ($5) app by Sonia Choquette recently. The concept of the deck is pretty cute. Every single card is a fool. The Fool's Wisdom Oracle Cards is a charming deck, and even though I admit I am not a huge fan of the artwork, I actually like the card meanings and various versions of the fool. I've found them to be very accurate as a reading deck, as many unusual decks are.

This particular card is about really being in touch with yourself and what you want, and that it should be your top priority, not other things. There is a message of being overstimulated and run over by outside ideas of what you should do. I really like this line to sum up its meaning:

"You're in a temporary state of madness, aggravated by the stirring up of unhealed wounds from the past colliding with too much stimulation from the outer world in the present."

That is funny! Interestingly, I have very much been feeling like that this week. For some reason I felt like a lot of emotional triggers got stirred up in the past week, coming from various sources, but ultimately the source of all of them was within me. This is a great clarion call to go back to center and honor that part of you that feels vulnerable and agitated. Recognizing this, I decided to keep things simple this week, after feeling increasingly tense.

There is specific information in the card about being in a triggered state where you either lash out at others, feel depressed and worthless, run away via addictive behaviors (food, alcohol, whatnot), etc. I have found myself a bit cranky and accusing toward people this past week and I am not proud of that, but at the same time...isn't it true that we can't go through life without airing some of these things, even if we feel a little crazy at the time for doing so? This card honors that feeling of craziness and grounds it in a restful place where we can restore our equilibrium.

In any case, I recommend this app if it is available for your phone. For the most part, the advice is very practical and there is not as much of the usual preachiness here, though there is a little bit, and you can gloss over that. It's a great deck to pull a card to think about for the day.

Much Love,

p.s. I came out of my writing hiatus early just because...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hanged Man Hiatus

I haven't felt as much like posting so I decided not to fight it. I will see you all in May. I hope you have a pleasant remainder of April!

Much Love,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tarot Fauxbergé: Hermit Hideaway

I decided to pull a single card from the one-of-a-kind Tarot Fauxbergé. I received the Hermit. Sparkly though he may be (decked out in glitter, as all the cards are in this deck), he still represents a kind of meditative, quiet, spare, alone-time vibe. He shows up for me today appropriately enough. I've been with my daughter more than usual this week and today is a day that I have to be quiet and have some time to myself. Thursday and Friday she is home due to parent-teacher conferences. All of Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday she will be home with me. She was also home Monday due to a teacher work day. I appreciate today when she is in school.

Sending you all mellow mid-week love,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Full Moon Focus: Movement and Flow

I decided to pull a single card using the Earth Magic Oracle Cards App I have on my phone. I really dig this app because the images are so compelling, crisp and a great springboard for intuition. The descriptions are also quite thorough and thought-provoking.

In particular, seeing this river image can do a couple different things for me. When viewed through a lens of fear, I could see myself hurtling down a fast-moving river with zero control, grasping reeds as I go past, trying to stop the movement, or I can lazily float down on an inner tube, allowing the river to carry me. I know! Super cliche, but it works! Great metaphor.

I have been known to fight the flow of my life on too many occasions. As I've often told my husband, I will get an impulse to do something, throw myself into it, only to quickly go back into my shell, scamper back to safety, to my little cave or sequestered hut, away from the influence of others or from any sort of risk. Two steps forward, two steps back.

To be specific, I decided to teach four workshops this spring/summer at a local coffee shop. There is one per month and all of the workshops center around very low key, relaxation-based topics that require little to no art experience. For some reason I really gravitate toward art that requires more relaxation and flow than technique or talent. I find that the hardest thing I had to do in teaching (when I taught 8-10 years ago), was trying to get the students to relax. There was so much self-judgement involved in the creation of art pieces and so little trust in the process. And so, I feel this lead me to a path of teaching in a way that opened up the possibilities, made the process less precise and more intuitive. In effect, I feel like I combined my love of intuition with my tendency toward creativity.

In truth, I get really nervous teaching classes or workshops. I've done it before and every time I get consumed by fear. Even with this class this coming Saturday, the 19th, I feel myself clenching up. But it's humorous considering the class is supposed to be very low maintenance. Plus, there will only be a few people there. It will be small, intimate and low pressure. This just goes to show that the real pressure in a person's life comes from the inside. I know what you're thinking, though...there are jobs that are very high pressure such as being president, but for most people, we add heaps of unnecessary stress to our lives via our expectations of ourselves, others, and situations.

I haven't prepared anything yet for Saturday, and I feel that, besides prepping materials and a couple very basic exercises for people to follow, I am not going to go overboard on the planning. I feel that, whenever I do that, I tend to do so from a place of anxiety rather than confidence.

I included the Dana (High Priestess) card from the Goddess Guidance Oracle App. I received this card last night and I thought it was a good companion card to the River card. Both serve as a good reminder and focus for me as I head into the next several months, embracing rather than running from opportunities that arise in the creative sphere.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Spring Focus for 2014

Hey Everyone!

Sorry I haven't been posted very much the past month or so. Not that it matters that much. I know that a person should only post when they feel like it, and I know that, if you're like me, you have a ton of blogs to read and are always behind in reading them! But I do miss blogging daily or at least a couple of times a week. I am not sure what pulls me away from blogging. I think, in part, it was socializing last month. I felt drained a lot, even though the stimulation of connecting in a social sphere was helpful to me. This month, so far, I have no real excuse to not blog, except that I have simply gotten out of the habit of doing so.

I whipped out my The Answer is Simple Oracle Deck for a quick three card reading on the influence and focus of the next couple of months, through June. What a lively trio of cards, don't you think? I mean, color-wise, this deck is pretty bright. But this trio seems especially brilliant to me. Maybe it's the lush green in the first card, or the multi-colored splendor of the other two. In combination they feel very active and a little intense, almost.

The first two cards seem to be a sort of cautionary tale. We have Step Away from the Crowd, which is fairly self-explanatory, but I'll quote a bit from the booklet so you can see:

"You're suffering from a case of too much talking, your own and others'. You can't hear your spirit because it's drowned out by too many ego voices and opinions. No doubt about it, you need some time alone."

Interesting. This is actually different than what I thought the card was about! Apparently this card is more like the Hermit or the 4 of Swords than it is like what I first imagined, which is expressing your unique perspective, and going against the status quo. But it seems the more important part is quieting down and having time to yourself to do that. Alrighty!

The next card, Drop It, is one of my favorites. Maybe because I've come to believe that sometimes the best thing you can do in a situation is to just drop it. Staying in something just because it seems like the 'right thing to do' is often the worst thing you can do. Having the ability to let go of a mediocre situation and move onto something better, to seize opportunities and to let go of obsession--that's something I think we can all benefit from. 

Anyway, the card's meaning is about focusing on the present, being mindful of what is in front of you now, rather than dreading the future or lingering over the past. Also of releasing burdens in general. I love the image of dropping a sand bag from a hot air balloon. :)

The final card is Have Fun, which is a very pleasant way to end the reading. This card is about being frivolous, silly, and generally just having a good time, doing things in a child-like way. I told my husband a while back that I get annoyed when I get cards that talk about being child-like or having fun or anything else that you would associate with gleeful interaction with the world. Strange, right? I guess that the fact that I resist this concept is even more indicative of its value to me.

I have to admit I am a little surprised by the cards that came up for the next few months. Part of me was really focused on having to network, plan and struggle a bit to get creative stuff going, but when I thought of how tense that made me feel it's no wonder I have so many cards urging me to relax, step back from pressures and connect with the present and its joyful potential.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Heart to Heart

I felt like posting today, though I'm cutting my hiatus a bit short in doing so. I pulled a card from the online Dolphin Divination cards, and received Heart to Heart. 

This is so appropriate for today, as I had a wonderful heart to heart exchange with three dear friends. It was very heartfelt and open. These times are intensely healing and lovely, and I'm grateful for them. 


Heart to Heart
When you're heart to heart, it's like a smile that spreads through your whole body.  Having a heart-to-heart talk with another person, sharing your life stories and confidences in a completely open and trusting way.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Single Card April Forecast: Handshake

(Note: I will be back next week around April 8th. Trying to minimize internet this week.) 

I decided to pull a single card for the month of April, a month which many astrologers are calling the most intense of 2014, full of potential and intense energy of change, shaking up the status quo and throwing it out!

Here's the card I got: Handshake. This is about some sort of meeting that ends up being important. I love that there are hands in this reading because I chose a single card to fit in this cool hand dish that I found at the thrift store yesterday. I will certainly look for this meeting and connection!

Sending you all positive changes for April,