Monday, August 28, 2017

Embracing the Shadow: An Eclipse Reading

This summer has proven to be a whirlwind of activity, movement, joys, and intense challenges. My blog has certainly landed toward the bottom of any priority list I might have had, and even this post has taken a week to finish writing (but I did it!). This grand solar eclipse a week ago was a special moment that has felt so profoundly relevant to all of the energies flowing in, around, and through my world since summer began. I saw an eclipse spread developed by Sharron Basanti from the School of Gypsy Arts  and made space to draw some cards.
I used my (fairly new) Visconti Sforza deck - the Golden Tarot by Mary Packard, which is sumptuous and rich and fun to read with....
What area of my life is the most influenced by the Solar Eclipse? Strength

I love the Strength card, though to be honest, this particular version was what prevented me from acquiring the Visconti-Sforza for so long! A man beating an animal is not at all how I experience Strength, but with historical decks it's critical to understand the context in which the deck art was created. In this case, it's meant to be a man keeping his pride and baser impulses in check. Still, I much prefer to see the friendship between a woman and a lion, bear, boar, or any other similar wild and fierce creature. To live in harmony with the wild within us is far healthier than to beat it into submission!

All of that said, this card makes so much sense for me (and I love the Leo connection between the eclipse and the card itself!). For months now I feel I've been getting to know more intimately than ever before my own wild nature; learning about how to stretch my wild limbs. I feel like a wolf on the inside, and sometimes even see one in my mind's eye when closing my eyes to fall asleep. How do I embrace this birth and still try to hold onto balance? The answer is: I can't always. Birth is messy. And that has largely been my focus for some time now. It's not always pleasant, but then sometimes it is, and I am filled with this glorious and wonderful power of my own feral self.

What illusions are being brought into the light? 8 of Swords rx

Patterns and paradigms have a way of turning in on themselves. Over this past summer I've come to startling and moving realizations about my own mental cages, the constructs that have kept me locked into a particular way of being that no longer fit me anymore. I was too big, and the surroundings too uncomfortable. I was ambling along, quite unaware of what was happening to me, and then one day, I woke up.

How can I embrace my shadow medicine? Knight of Swords rx

The Knight of Swords has long been my shadow warrior. He is upside down because he is my flip side. The Knight of Swords sees so clearly, and is not blinded nor deterred by the ebb and flow of sentimental tides. Once you see, you cannot (and should not) unsee, and there is great strength and conviction available there, in staying in that awareness. This Knight has kept me focused, has encouraged me to speak my truth, even when that truth is sharp and piercing. The determination and forward orientation of the Knight has kept me moving, even when I am uncertain of the destination.

What paradigm shifts will emerge after the eclipse? 2 of Wands

Themes of personal power and the willingness - readiness - to explore new landscapes (both outer and inner) have formed the backdrop of all of "this." If the 8 of Swords directly symbolizes the paradigm shift, the 2 of Wands is the door to new ways of understanding and engaging with myself and my space.

How can I harness potent medicine of the Solar Eclipse for my spiritual practice? 4 of Wands rx

In addition to some pertinent elements including "freedom" and "transition," this card is associated (via the Golden Dawn) with Venus in Aries. Learning how to honor my heart has been another fundamental theme this summer. The other day I pulled a card from the Raven Oracle (by Gabi Bücker) to serve as "food for thought" over the next handful of months - a sort of mantra or reminder when I need to refocus. The card message I received said: "Your heart is a treasure trove - not some smelly sewer." I laughed at that last bit, but the essence is true and relevant for me now. Love is everything; our hearts can handle limitless amounts of it, in all of its many forms. I want to explore all of the love that my heart has to offer, and that is certainly a spiritual practice.

Message from the Sun: 8 of Cups rx

In order to walk a new path, is it necessary to leave behind the old? Can I search my soul, honor myself, live authentically by transforming "what was" instead of discarding it? I think so. And at any rate, I believe that is the "question of the moment" that the Sun is presenting for my consideration.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Rune Post #25: Othala

Here is the (slightly delayed) final rune post featuring Othala, the twenty-fourth rune of the Elder Futhark, and eighth rune in the third aett.

Othala translates to "homeland," and connects to themes of property/land, ancestral legacy, ancestral streams, inheritance, and home.*
An Anglo Saxon rune poem reads:

An estate is very dear to every man,
if he can enjoy there in his house
whatever is right and proper in constant prosperity.


1) What other meanings do you attribute to Othala?

2) How do you utilize this rune in your practice?

3) If Othala has presented itself in your rune work or castings, how have you seen its energy manifested, or experienced its impact?

*It has sadly been misappropriated by some neo-Nazi groups that seek to align heathenry with racist ideology; it's critical to understand that the runes (and heathenry as a whole) have absolutely nothing to do with such ignorance, small-mindedness, and hatred.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rune Post #24: Dagaz

Happy Wednesday! Today's focus will be on Dagaz, the twenty-third rune of the Elder Futhark, and seventh rune in the third aett.

Dagaz translates to "day," and connects to themes of daylight, breaking dawn, awareness, enlightenment, sudden and powerful realizations, cognition, enjoyment, breakthroughs, clarity, and hope.
Power of the Runes by Voenix; Ostara Tarot
This morning I happened to pull Dagaz (along with a Tarot card - the Page of Swords). Later I realized that Dagaz was today's rune post as well, and so I thought I would share what I wrote about that pairing:

This Page frequently comes up in connection to my relationship with Odin, so I wondered which rune would then appear...sure enough it is Dagaz, the Odinic Paradox, the great awareness, the meeting of right and left brains, the light bearer. There he sits, nursing a vibrant fire as the sun just starts to make its way over the edge of the horizon.

The Page is a seeker, asks questions, pursues knowledge and information and truth. The Page is a student of the universe, curiosity not constrained by age or social norms. We all see the world through different eyes, and yet as different as our experiences may be, there is something true in them all. I value the pursuit of understanding as a precious resource, cradling the reality that two opposites may indeed be part of the same whole.

An Old English rune poem reads:

Day, the glorious light of the Creator, 
is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, 
a source of hope and 
happiness to rich and poor,
and of service to all.


1) What other meanings do you attribute to Dagaz?

2) How do you utilize this rune in your practice?

3) If Dagaz has presented itself in your rune work or castings, how have you seen its energy manifested, or experienced its impact?