Monday, March 31, 2014

Taroscopes for April 2014

Ahhh, the warm breath of Spring washes over the northern parts of the country, slowly melting the snow and encouraging the flowers to bloom…. keep that image in your mind, it's been a long winter! This month I used the Mythic Tarot and the underlying influence for April is the lovely Empress - very fitting as the Northern Hemisphere begins to come alive once again following a difficult, long, icy cold-spell. Demeter is loosening up the soil for planting and bringing our creative energies to life!

Capricorn - Knight of Cups: This month expect to see progress as your creative and/or spiritual journey - already well underway - continues to develop. If you're starting relationship, or hoping to start one, April should be a very pleasant time!

Aquarius - Knight of Pentacles: You'll assume a comfortable financial pace this month. Don't expect swift movement, but all projects (whether educational or economic) should see some progress.

Pisces - Page of Swords: Be careful you don't blow yourself around in circles with questions-and-thoughts-and-concerns, because you'll get nowhere fast. Focus on one, or maybe two, ideas and work on grounding them in order to stabilize your momentum.

Aries - 8 of Wands: You'll see smooth sailing this month as things pick up the pace, so get ready! Some matters may come to an end while others take off rather quickly - you may even do some traveling. Over all things look quite positive for you!

Taurus - 4 of Wands: Transitions this month may bring feelings of instability, and you may have the sensation of being in cramped quarters. Just remember that any tension is only temporary, and try to go with the flow!

Gemini - 8 of Swords: You are your own worst critic, so don't worry about what other people say - focus on being kind to yourself, and pushing yourself forward. The first step is always the hardest, but you can do it!

Cancer - Ace of Swords: Clarity and focus will be your friends this month. You'll narrow things down to what really matters, and feel perfectly happy letting the rest go.

Leo - 4 of Pentacles: You may be cautious and careful this month, both financially and emotionally. Wise decision-making is important so take your time and make your plans according to what feels right to you. Just remember to use discretion when guarding your hand - don't shut out those who want to support you.

Virgo - 5 of Cups: If you're feeling down about something that has escaped your grasp, keep in mind that when one door closes, another opens. Love yourself, and know that there is still some good out there for you.

Libra - Star: You're shining brightly this month with an inner sparkle that inspires your own creativity as well as that of others. Share that light with the world, it'll do a lot of good!

Scorpio - Hierophant: If the status quo is getting you down you may find yourself looking for less traditional alternatives. You may have the desire to withdraw from "the scene" and refresh your goals and intentions.

Sagittarius - Sun: Happiness and success are shining brightly all around you this month - what an auspicious card! Harness every opportunity because you never know what fabulous people you'll meet, and to what fortunate places you'll be carried.

Happy April, everyone, enjoy the embrace of our great mother, the Empress!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

My Own Playing Card Lenormand

Last week I finally acted on an urge I'd had for a few months - to create my own, personal Lenormand deck with a regular pack of playing cards. This is something that plenty of people have done, and it felt like a really good way to establish a special connection with a deck by putting my own "mark" on it, and in addition to work on improving my knowledge of playing card correspondences.

So after putting it off for a while, I finally snatched up a pack of two decks the other day while out on an excursion with the kids. I decided that the double pack was better because I could make one into a Lenormand, and use the other to do playing card readings Tarot-style. 

Lenormand decks only have 36 cards - just the sixes to the Aces, like a traditional piquet deck, but with the addition of the extra four six-cards. So I used my Blaue Eule deck as a reference, and went right on ahead with my Sharpie, drawing little pictures and numbering the cards from 1 to 36. I had space issues on certain cards where there wasn't much room to fit in a good image, where I had to improvise a bit, but it worked out fine, I'm happy to report. I've heard that you can also use a razor blade to scrape off extra blank surface area in the middle of the card to free up drawing space. If I create another deck in the future perhaps I'll try that, but all in all I'm happy with the final result:

Homemade Lenormand from a deck of playing cards
So what do they look like laid out in a spread? 

Line of 5 with homemade playing card Lenormand

They're easy on the eyes, clear and I've had some great readings with them thus far. If you're considering jumping into Lenormand study but aren't sure what deck to get, keep in mind that you can make your own for a very small cost ($1-$3) and the process may well help you become more familiar with the Lenormand deck style and features, which is an added plus!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ostara Blog Hop - Rebirth

This Ostara we're celebrating the cycle of life, and in particular that part of the cycle that speaks of rebirth. Our wrangler this time around is the lovely Joanne Sprott from Cosmic Whispers Tarot. Please see the links at the top or bottom of this post to access the other posts in this circle!

This blog hop I want to share some aspects of rebirth that have been living most vibrantly in my mind recently. The first comes from my work, of late, with the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot (and if you want to see my review of the deck, click here) which has been a deeply rewarding and meaningful experience. "Rebirth" (also called Judgment) - both the card and the concept - is a beautiful and integral part of who we are as human beings, and as spiritual beings stumbling and dancing through life. It's often the first card I look at in a new deck. The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot is the first deck I've worked with where absorbing the eloquence of the accompanying book made me feel like I was receiving sacred knowledge and wisdom that nourished me and opened my eyes a little wider at the same time (not unlike the impact of reading an excellent poem, but hold that thought for just a moment!). I want to share the first paragraph in this book, in the entry regarding card XX - Ancestors:

"The voices of thousands of souls cry out within us. The hands of the ancestors weave our destiny with threads whose beginnings are dipped into the waters of creation. To hear the cry of these souls, to feel the twistings of this thread, is to know our Name in its most pregnant fullness. We are heir to a largeness that knows no end and is touched by no beginning (1992, Martinié; pg. 82)."

New Orleans Voodoo Tarot

The great circle constantly expands, folds back onto itself, and reaches out again into the universe. I love the essence of this particular version of XX - that we are fundamentally connected to those who came before us, (their realities and experiences as much as our own), that everything we do falls in the context of a great Cycle that our actions indeed impact. We move forward insofar as we recognize and respect where we've come from. There are many layers to that concept!

Rebirth, choices and actions. Sometimes transformation happens to us unbidden, and sometimes we invite it in. In both circumstances a decision is involved - we choose to put our full awareness to the newness coming into our lives…or not. We choose to back-pedal, or go with the flow. We choose how deeply we will accept the transformation into our lives, what we learn from it, how it changes us, and how we integrate that into our hearts, minds and spirits. In this light, as a second offering I want to share an excellent poem (a favorite of mine since I was a child, and perhaps a favorite of many people), The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost (1920), that also reads like sacred and wise text:

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

To close, I'd like to offer a very simple exercise you can do with your cards (or runes, if you like).

Consider these questions: What are you being called to at this moment in your life? In what way are you experiencing rebirth at this time? 

Take your favorite deck, and with this thought in your mind, select a single card. What does it tell you? Do you recognize the message, or is it a surprise? How does it resonate with you? What does it underscore for you? How does it make you more aware of the transformation flowing through you?

I drew Congo 3 - Manman Brigitte. She is a loa (spirit) of feminine power, wisdom and death, married to Baron Samedi, her male counterpart. This card is about right judgement and balance. We can only be truly free to enjoy life's pleasures when we accept the inevitability of death, and the endless cycle of change that moves through the universe. This loa shares some similarities to Kali's intense power - she brings change - sweeping, deep change, so it's better to go with the flow rather than resist!

This card is inherently about change, so it fits very well with the topic of the question that I posed. I've been working through a period of significant change for the past year, or a little over a year - a slow and powerful unfolding of a new phase of being that has touched many aspects of my life in very positive ways. I often do feel like I'm in the process of being reborn, with all its discomfort, excitement and mix of shadow and light.  Manman Brigitte affirms for me this transition, and its inevitable and significant nature.

Even looking at this card as the 3 of Cups (its sort-of counterpart), there is meaning here for me. Recently I've been undergoing a process of growing new friendships and connections with people who share interests and understandings that are similar to my own. It feels like a bright and welcoming new phase, after having been quite secluded within family life for many years, so it does have a sense of metamorphosis. I like being private, but I've realized that some of my privacy has been due to not feeling able to speak openly about my experiences (especially in regards to spirituality and divination) with almost anyone except my close family members. Becoming aware of those invisible restraints was good for me, and I'm enjoying the feeling of being able to really share with and learn from others. There is something rich and sustaining in community, and it's not lost on me that this blogging community is just another meaningful and nourishing layer.

Happy Ostara, Happy Easter Season, and Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lenormand Predicts a Problem (and a Solution)

My husband left this morning for Cuba to visit his mother, sister and niece for a week. Two nights ago I pulled a line of five to find out how his trip would go, and drew:

Key - Birds - Fish - Crossroads - Coffin

Reading with Enchanted Lenormand
Caitlín Matthews

Everything seemed to make a lot of sense, but it concerned me because I saw him making calls to me to tell me about a problem with money, and decisions that would need to be made in regards to some financial issue. The Key underscored the certainty of the situation, but I had no idea what the issue would be. In Cuba credit and debit cards don't work so you have to bring cash. My fear was that either someone would steal his money, or it'd be lost, however the end card was Coffin, not Mice. So I wasn't sure how to envision the actual problem. I told him about the reading, showing him the picture I'd taken of the cards. I asked him to be extremely careful with his money, keeping it on his person, being careful not to be lured into going far beyond his originally planned expenses for any reason (or whatever the issue might have ended up being).  He was nervous, but I said "Look, at least by having an idea about what might happen, you have the opportunity to try to protect yourself." (Though to be honest, sometimes I feel like you can surely know the future, and still have no idea in what context it might occur, which does really put limitations on how well you can prepare for it. But I digress, kind of…)

So our principal bank is located out of state which means that to obtain larger quantities of cash it's necessary to use the ATM. He had taken out half of what he planned to bring with him several days earlier, but waited until he was near the airport, with the friends who were bringing him there, in order to stop to take out the second amount. So at 11:00pm I began to get frantic calls from him saying that the ATM wasn't working, and wouldn't let him take out any money. I checked our account and all was well, he checked his card's expiration date, and all was sound. He kept trying, and it just wasn't working. It was not within the same 24 hour period as the first draw. We had no idea what was going on, and then suddenly it dawned on me that my draw had predicted this exact turn of events. My question had been "Tell me about his trip." I didn't specify what part of the trip! I was thinking it would be about his actual duration of time in Cuba, and hadn't even considered his initial leg of the journey - driving to another city and getting settled at the airport. The reading very clearly stated what was transpiring, and now the Coffin was so obvious - the cancellation of a financial transaction!  

So what's the breakdown of the line? Key - Fish - Coffin = the cancellation of a financial transaction is certain. Key - Coffin = certain endings/cancellations. Birds - Crossroads = telephone conversations about a decision that needs to be made (about the financial cancellation). 

So I decided to pull another line of five to find out how this situation might develop:

Rider - Child - Owls - Anchor - Lady

Reading with Blaue Eule Lenormand

What I saw here was continued, rapid communication with me (Rider - Owls - Lady) about this issue, and support that helps stabilize the situation (Child - Anchor). Okay, so it might be alright after all. 

I pulled a final line of 5 to see how this might impact his actual follow-through with his trip, and pulled:

Lady - Dog - Scythe - Man - Stars

Reading with Blaue Eule Lenormand

Lady - Dog suggested to me both my own loyalty to do whatever I could to help, and also Ariana*, one of our friends who had driven my husband to the airport. Scythe was about very rapid decision-making in order to clear out the confusion and find a solution, and Man - Stars told me that my husband would find a way to make his flight when all was said and done. In fact Lady - Dog had me wondering if it would be some sort of teamwork between Ariana and me (which is indeed what happened).

(I am editing this post to add a note about the Scythe. The Scythe sucks - no way around that. The rapid decisions did allow for the trip to take place - a good thing - but certainly there was some stress and also some unpleasant consequences).

As I went to bed my husband was still waiting for midnight in order to try one more time at the ATM. I drew three cards to see if this final attempt would be successful, and it didn't look promising (Letter - Man - Mice). So as I drifted off, I decided to put my faith in my draws, that all would work out okay.  When I woke up the next morning I had a series of texts telling me that the final attempt had not worked out after all. My husband and our friends had arranged a plan where Ariana was able to cover the money that wasn't able to be withdrawn from the ATM, and I would then send the same amount to her in the mail to replace her loan. Quick thinking, and a successful conclusion. 

*I changed this name to protect privacy

Monday, March 17, 2014

Two Thoughts Talking

Last night I decided to do a short self-reading with my Voodoo Tarot, not asking anything in particular, simply opening myself to whatever message appeared for me.

As I turned my cards over, there appeared 3 Rada (which loosely corresponds to 3 Swords), sitting happily next to 2 Rada (kinda sorta related to the 2 of Swords). And while I was initially a bit surprised,  what it did was connect my psyche more consciously with my feelings, and suddenly I was startlingly aware of how sad I was feeling.

3 Rada - Guedeh
New Orleans Voodoo Tarot

So why was I feeling sad? My husband is leaving today for a visit home to see his ailing mother. I'm sad that she's sick, and I'm sad that my husband is leaving. I'm sad that he always has to deal with so much heartbreak, and it hurts doubly because his feelings of being torn also divide his mind and emotions between two places, which impacts everyone including him. (As I write this I see both my own feelings and his experience reflected in these cards, which is interesting.) While I'm sad to see him go, I want him to see his mother, and his sister, and niece who love him dearly. They need him, too. I'm excited that he'll be able to bring them some of the things that they need, and I love the image of them excitedly awaiting his arrival. Guedeh of 3 Rada has me recognize the sadness in my heart as being an inevitable part of the human experience, but there's a soothing, protective quality to this card. Guedeh represents the heartache and eventual release that is inherent in change. He comforts us and says "this too shall pass." All of this is important because there's joy in this moment, too, not just sadness. I also notice the thee skeletons which are perhaps the most striking quality of this card. In Cuba my husband is always worrying about the welfare of his mother, sister, and niece, while in the U.S. he is always concerned about the needs of our three children. Guedeh with his sunglasses on reminds me of my husband - full of feeling, yet often concealing it. He has one eye each fixated on both places, and both dear groups of family.

2 Rada - Nan Nan Bouclou
New Orleans Voodoo Tarot

2 Rada/Nan Nan Bouclou represents healing (particularly via herbs) and the importance of sharing knowledge for the benefit of the whole community. I see this as representing the need for my two contradicting thoughts (I want him to go/I want him to stay) to talk to one another and find some common ground. I see my husband with one hand in Cuba and the other here with me and the kids, trying to bridge the two. I see the need for us to openly communicate our thoughts and ideas, and acknowledge our feelings. I see a good cup of steaming herbal tea to calm the nerves! I, again, feel the comfort and kindness of Nan Nan Bouclou, the ancient, wise, loving grandmother spirit. Healing is possible through sharing and working together, all of us - me, my husband, our children, my sister-in-law, niece, and mother-in-law -  as one united community regardless of the great geographical divide.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Family Lines: Divination and Spirit

My mother is a Tarot reader. She is very intuitive and clairvoyant, and while she doesn't read professionally, she's always read for family and friends. Listening to her give readings with the Mythic Tarot when I was a kid is a lovely memory for me (I blogged a bit about that here). I had a good laugh the other day upon reading one of her Facebook status updates that went something like this: "I was really worried about my lost cell phone so while I was at the salon getting my hair done I did a Tarot reading. The cards told me to stop worrying about it because it would turn up. So I did, and it did!" The image of her sitting in a hair dresser's booth doing a reading about her lost phone was priceless. (And I'm really curious as to what her hair dresser thought!!).

But as I was thinking (and laughing) about this incident, the value and beauty of having this connection with my mother was not lost on me. My mother's family is predominantly from Calabria, Italy, and she grew up in southern Italy, splitting her time between Naples and Palermo. I remember that she used to describe southern Italian Catholicism as "pagan Catholicism," which always had an excitingly subversive feel to it.  She rejected the sense of male dominance in the Catholic church, but always held a deep affinity for Mary, and she has an entire wall of her kitchen dedicated to images of the Virgin and Child. Really, this "pagan Catholicism" was just syncretism, where an older religion or spirituality has been woven into the dominant belief and practice of the region. Common people never stopped believing in things like the evil eye, or seeking remedies for it. During one of my mother's visits home she brought me back a cornicello - a small red horn used to ward off the malocchio, which is a common talisman.


It was also my mother who introduced me to Tarot and oracles as a kid. It wasn't a formal introduction, it was just "there." She would read for me on occasion, or for friends, or sometimes other family members. Her cards always felt like a great mystery to me, and in my younger days I stuck to learning her animal oracle deck, which I adored. Tarot study, for me, would come later.

One of my most powerful memories with my mother (in terms of spirituality) was the night she took me to a ceremony when I was maybe 13 or 14. It was held at a social justice and environmentalism center outside of the city where we lived, deep in the heart of a forest. I honestly can't say I know what the ceremony was about or what the purpose was. What I do remember was being amazed at the powerful energy that united all of the people in the circle. At one point we were all chanting, and we started out very loudly, and at some point we all naturally started chanting more and more softly, until at the exact same moment we all stopped. It was about at that moment that I snapped "awake" and realized that I had been in some sort of altered consciousness with everyone else. I was in awe at how everyone seemed to be so connected, and it was all non-verbal. Later we all sat and ate together in potluck style, and I remember telling someone about a strange and striking daytime vision I'd had, and he was the first person not to look at me like I was a little crazy.*

I grew up with the powerful, embracing spiritual openness of my mother (who also was involved in aspects of feminism and the Goddess movement), and also very entwined with indigenous American culture and spiritual practice (and the rusty, dusty, bittersweet reality of reservation life) which all impacted my development. I met my husband when I was 24 years old, and one of our instant connections was some sort of spiritual resonance. I remember the first native dance I brought him to, and how moved he was by the drumming. He said it felt that although he was sitting still, something inside of him was dancing. I guess that sealed it!

My husband was raised in Cuba and Santería was the spiritual practice he knew. His grandmother was a seer of sorts, a card reader who spoke frequently with "her spirits." When Jorge and I moved in together our respective alters sat side by side, a mix of Elegua's stone and shell face, metal tools of the Warriors, offerings, stones, abalone, sage and sweetgrass.

Dancer of Yemaya

Through my husband I came to know aspects of the orishas, and have introduced them to our own children. Today Santería is a home for me, and I have great love and respect for the orishas, who feel like my family, and the practices associated with this religion and spirituality. Ten years after we first moved in together Lukumí forms a central part of our household, and our Warriors sit side by side behind our front door, while my stones and sweetgrass decorate my boveda, in another part of the house. My husband is leaving in a few days for one of his periodic visits to see his mother, and he's made a special mission for himself - to find and bring back his grandmother's cards for me. I was touched and honored.

Two or three different branches, or lineages, of religion, spirituality and practice have converged in my household, and as the years pass, the union, and the nourishment it offers, becomes so much deeper. I'm happy to have this legacy to pass on to our children.

*The vision occurred when I was walking home from middle school with two friends. We came to a point in the walk where one friend would start heading off in another direction, so they stopped to chat for a minute. During their talk, I sat down on the grass by the curb to wait. I felt something strange in my pant leg, so I reached up and pulled out a hand full of earth worms, all cut up and writhing around. I was horrified and threw the handful down in the dead grass and jumped up and shouted to my friends what had happened. I thought they'd be horrified too, but the big shock came when they looked at me like I was insane - I wasn't expecting that. I looked down and there were no worms anywhere to be found. Then I realized it hadn't happened at all, at least in real life. I walked home in a daze, and wondered for a long time what the hell that was all about! Now I understand that earthworms are about the power of regeneration and growth and healing, which was an apt message for me at that time because my parents were going through a divorce. There may be more to it, but at any rate, it would have been wonderful to have understood that at the time.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Lenormand Journey

I've been studying Lenormand for a while now, and I'm really enjoying it. I remember (not oh so long ago) when I first began this journey of learning and I wasn't so sure this system was for me. Tarot (and some forms of Oracle) were what I knew, and the first few 3-card spreads I did really boggled my mind. For a short time I wondered if I'd ever start finding meaning in these cards, using this method. But I kept trying, and slowly they started to come to life for me. It was a pretty awesome experience that first time I laid down a row of cards that actually made sense! Doing 3-card daily draws was probably the best leg up because I could start to puzzle together what they had to say about a finite period of immediate time. All of my daily draws were making sense, and it was a great boost to my self-confidence. But, as with all things learned, there are rises, plateaus, stumbles, and little falls before continuing the ascent.

Once I heard, or read, someone's words about the process of acquiring new knowledge - that the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know about whatever the subject matter happens to be. I'm a language teacher, so this fits in nicely both with the topic of learning in general, and the topic of Lenormand, as it's often called a "language-based" system. When learning a language, a student feels very confident after learning basic conversational skills. They can suddenly "get around" in Japanese (or German, or Spanish, or Portuguese) and they can understand simple exchanges with a native speaker. They have a sharp sense of progress. As they continue to absorb language they're exposed to increasingly wider arrays of vocabulary, contexts, grammar, syntax, and paralanguage (which includes the meaning behind a speaker's use of pitch or intonation). Suddenly they start forgetting vocabulary words they used to know, or grammar structures that they never had problems with before. They become upset with themselves, feeling that they're drowning in language, that they're cycling backward instead of forward. They realize that language learning is actually a complex and challenging feat to master. This is where some people drop out of the language learning game, and others stick it out and keep working. It's the proverbial "line in the sand." The people who thought language learning was a fun and novel activity go back to the comfort and safety of their first language(s), quickly forgetting what bits of their new language they had once learned. The second group forges ahead, sometimes feeling foolish, confused and shy. But they aren't truly drowning, or forgetting - they're simply assimilating an increasingly large body of information into something they can manage and work with. That's quite a process! They've climbed to the top of the hill only to find that from their new vantage point they can see a whole mountain range ahead. Bit by bit they learn-acquire-absorb-produce and stumble on. The shift is so subtle they often don't even realize it's happening. They start communicating with more clarity, with a wider range of words, and more complex grammatical structures. Their slow speech evens out and starts to flow more smoothly. Sometimes they don't realize how far they've come until people start to comment on how well they're doing, or they listen to a recorded file of their conversational abilities from months past, and realize how "funny" they sound ("I can't believe I SAID that!!! That was so wrong!"). But these are milestones on the path of the true, dedicated student. It's not always pretty, it's definitely not easy, and sometimes you wonder if you'll ever make it to the top of the mountain. The good news is that you will.

I know this, but that doesn't mean it helps me on my own journey all that much. That path I just described is the path of all learners of any subject matter. For divination, those milestones might be the point when your clients or family members tell you just how dead-on and scarily accurate your reading was (or you yourself realize that same fact), or when you look back at your own journal and wonder how you ever could have thought that Cross-Clouds was a beautiful combination!

I know I'm continually getting better. Things start to make sense to me without having to slowly piece each card together with the one beside it (though I still do that sometimes). I've experienced some "scarily accurate" readings that have in all seriousness almost scared me with their precision (click here to read about a couple such readings!). I love Lenormand, and my goal is to become skilled enough with the system that I start to offer it in addition to Tarot readings. But damn, it ain't easy, and in those brief, periodic flashes when I feel like I've blown it (which is usually vastly out of proportion to the actual inconsistency of my interpretation) I start to wonder if I'll ever truly "get it."

So what did I do? Naturally, I pulled a Lenormand line of 5 about my future as a Lenormand reader!

Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand

Letter - Path - House - Bouquet - Mirror/Moon

This is Kendra's Vintage Petit Lenormand, the landscape version (I won it in a drawing, and I think I got one of the last copies!). I had to overlap the cards as they're so long, and if you're a Lenormand reader you might notice that Mirror is certainly not a traditional card. This is why there are two cards in position 5!

So this is what I understand from this line: Indecision regarding cards (Lenormand) stabilizes and becomes a gift that enhances my own self-confidence as well as my career.

Well okay, that looks promising! Letter (in this case "Postcard") also represents cards, and Path is about a decision that needs to be made. Path also signifies…. a path, or journey! So I can also read this as "the path of the cards" which is pretty much right on…. hence the title of this blog post. It's important to remember that Lenormand (as with all systems) is truly a path, with all its ups and downs, mistakes and accomplishments. Fool energy.

The House is my anchor card, which is nice to see as it represents stability and support (fitting for an anchor card!). The card journey begins to take shape, take on a structure, and (in a less-Lenormand-like poetic sense) become like a home. The Bouquet is like the fruits of my labor - the benefit of putting in the hard work, taking the hits, and staying in the Game (of Hope :-D ). This gift enhances how I see myself (Mirror) as well as how others see me (Moon) in regard to this card system (both end cards mirror Letter/Postcard). Crossroads-Bouquet also suggests a positive outcome to my decision to stay on this journey.

I could go into more detail probably, but that's pretty much the gist of it. It's nice to see the Bouquet-Moon ending, and it's much appreciated on a day when I'm feeling a bit lost at sea….

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gifts in the Mail

I've been really sick this past week. Well, "really sick" is just a matter of perspective, but it's the worst head cold I've had in almost a year, and it really flattened me for a few days (I can happily report that I'm now improving). They say everything happens for a reason, and in that light I have to say I was the happy recipient of a lovely box of goodies from a friend which couldn't have arrived at a more opportune time.

The lovely Robin from The Quartz Cafe had told me she had an extra copy of the Mystical Kipper deck, and she wanted to pass it on to me. Okay! Kipper cards (Kipper Karten) are a fairly new (circa 1900-ish) particularly German-style divination system similar to Lenormand, which I'd been interested in beginning to experiment with. In fact it was Robin who brought them to my attention to begin with, so in some way it seemed appropriate that I should come by my first deck through her kindness. The deck is really cool, and has been fun to play with thus far. She told me that she was sending the package very well wrapped and marked; she had spent many years as a postal clerk and was very keen on making sure a box arrived at its intended destination!

So I was sick at home when the FedEx fellow rang my doorbell announcing the arrival of my new Kipper cards. The box was a bit larger than necessary for a tiny box of cards, but hey, Robin doesn't mess around!  Well, maybe that last statement is true, but the reason for the large box was that it contained much more than just a set of cards.  She had sent me loads of different teas, a sack of dried rose buds, a nice card, and several types of cone incense!!!  I was surprised, excited, humbled, pleased, and really touched.

Plus, I was sick. And I love tea. And this box of tea was precisely what I needed, and at just the right time. As I descended into the depths of mental fog, brain congestion, and feverish aches and pains, I found great pleasure in sorting through the box of tea and deciding "what next??" Hmm….maybe some mysterious Chinese black tea, immediately followed by Pumpkin Spice….then a berry tea, and then maybe some Prince Grey. Some I drank plain, some with a little honey, some with a touch of milk. And all were piping hot, and just what I needed to get me through the rough seas of a bad head cold.

Meanwhile, between nose-blows, I pulled out my new Kipper deck and began to explore.

Thanks to Robin for the immensely thoughtful package, and to the Universe for the synchronicity.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Taroscopes for March 2014

I'm doing things a little bit differently this month - instead of using a RWS-based deck I'm using my new (and already dearly beloved) New Orleans Voodoo Tarot (click here to read my review). It's March 1st, and in Florida it's a wickedly splendid, dry, cool, sunny and breezy day. The snow, ice and gray in northern lands won't last much longer - it's countdown to Spring time! So here we go (and aren't you so very happy that Mercury Retrograde is over??):

New Orleans Voodoo Tarot

Capricorn - Hounsis Rada: It's time to turn ideas into reality. Plans are good, and so are questions, but it's time to breathe life into them so they can start to manifest. If you feel scattered, take time to regather your thoughts, and then move right on forward!

Aquarius - 1 Petro (Damballah la Flambeau): Raw fire energy flows through you this month. While we're out of Mercury retrograde, you might be frustrated, feeling that your path forward keeps meeting resistance. Slow down, and remember to breath!

Pisces - Houngan Petro: People will be following your lead this month and you may have a clearer than usual sense of power and direction in everything you tackle. Own that!

Aries - 6 Congo (Shi-li-bo Nouvavou/Dan-i): Joy and satisfaction will be important elements of the month ahead. Drawing on your deepest soul urges and your ancestral ties, you'll find any kinks in your path working themselves right on out.

Taurus - 5 Rada (Ogoun Ferraille): Don't be your own worst enemy this month! If one door closes, know that another will open, and that there is always a way to find peace amidst the chaos. Sometimes you just have to let go and ride the waves to see where they take you.

Gemini - Les Barons (Wild Card): It's simple: expect the unexpected this month! Great change, with a light-hearted twist, is the energy the Barons bring you.

Cancer - 4 Rada (Agwé): Inner peace in the face of turmoil will be your greatest friend this month. Let go (I know that's far easier said than done) and let the wind pull you through each challenge, trusting that things will be okay when all is said and done.

Leo - 6 Petro (Legba la Flambeau): Tap into your abundant creative energy this month and let it guide you. You'll find things falling together nicely this month, as challenges move aside!

Virgo - La Place Rada: Slow down your mental energies this month. When you feel the urge to rush ahead with plans, thoughts, ideas or opinions, remind yourself that clarity, focus, and discretion are your allies. It was the tortoise (not the hare!) that won the race.

Libra - Houngan Rada: The best direction lies within your higher mind. If your environment isn't providing the clarity you need to tackle important decisions, take time out for quiet and meditation, and see where it leads you.

Scorpio - Mambo Congo: Don't forget to take care of yourself this month. If you experience emotional ups and downs, be gentle and loving to yourself. Your spiritual North Star is within you, guiding you even when you're feeling lost!

Sagittarius - X Market: You might feel like you're on a roller coaster this month, always wondering "what's next??" Fortunately most of what transpires should be sweeping you in a positive direction. If you find yourself all over town (or Amazon) looking for ways to spend that tax return, just remember to spend wisely and focus on the things you most want and need. You never know where the wheel will take you next, and it pays to be prepared!

Happy March, everyone, especially for those in the further north, whose eyes are fixed on that first day of Spring!