Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tarot Thursday Three: Card Readers Aren't Mind Readers

I'm jumping in for another round of Tarot Thursday Three, hosted by Julia from Spiral Sea Tarot! As usual, feel free to answer these questions for yourself and share your answers in the comments (or create a blog post of your own!). Here we go:

1. Scenario: You're reading for another, but your mind goes blank. None of the cards seem to "match" the inquiry and you're having a hard time interpreting what you're seeing - tips or strategies to overcome the situation?

I don't typically have this problem. That's not to say that there aren't times when I need a moment or two to reflect and consider, because that certainly happens. But this question reminds me of the faulty assumption that somehow a love question must involve Cups, or money queries have to relate to Coins, etc. Tarot is far too nuanced to be that compartmentalized. That said, if you ever feel at a loss for how to correlate a card to a specific circumstance, be willing to explore the card's facets and to create a dialogue with the client. Tarot readers aren't mind readers - we can (and should) ask questions.

Also, if blanking out during a reading is something that a reader struggles with, or worries about, a simple practice would be to take time out to sit quietly and pull a random card from the deck. How would you apply this to a romantic relationship? What if the question was related to employment? What might you say if this same card appeared in response to a query about a vacation?
Pagan Otherworlds Tarot - Uusi 
2. If you were going to get a Tarot inspired tattoo, what would it be? Bonus points if you know where you'd get it!

Hmm.... interestingly, my husband has a Tarot card tattooed on his forearm: the Lovers from the Mary-El deck by Marie White! Does that count? Maybe not. Um.... since I prefer symbols to pictures, I could imagine getting runes or Hebrew letters that have been correlated to particular cards (for example in the Haindl Tarot). I am already planning a rune tattoo, albeit not connected to Tarot, for my left forearm!

3. What are your thoughts on PIPs or scene-less suit cards? Love them, hate them - I want to know what and why!

My thoughts are that they are just fine. I learned Tarot on a Marseille-style deck, and my all-time favorite go-to deck is the Pagan Otherworlds, which features very lightly illustrated minor cards that many people categorize as "pips" (it's debatable, really, but I would say that while they tend not to be "peopled," they are definitely scenic). I'm currently craving Le Tarot Noir, a beautiful and OOP Marseille deck that would be a total pleasure to read with.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rune Study Post #7: Kenaz

Happy Wednesday! Today's focus will be on Kenaz, the sixth rune of the first aett.

Kenaz translates to "torch," and connects to themes of craftsmanship, skill development, illumination, and the quest for knowledge.

An Anglo Saxon rune poem reads:

The torch is known to every living man
by its pale, bright flame; it always burns
where princes sit within.
Kenaz is one of several runes that I felt called to work with when my children were quite ill with a stomach flu earlier in the winter. The element of fire as a way to burn away sickness felt very appropriate and ultimately was very effective as well.

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Kenaz?

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

3) If Kenaz has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

8 of Cups: Go to the Doctor!

I am slowly recovering from a bad cold that led me directly into a flare-up of asthma. Getting myself back out of the "hole" is taking just about as long as it did to reach the depths of the valley, but I am definitely seeing progress each day, and I'm grateful for that. Last Thursday I tried to secure an appointment with my doctor, but unfortunately the receptionist informed me that the last open spot had just been taken, and if I needed any medical care prior to the following Monday I'd have to go to the urgent care center. I spent some time muttering to myself about the U.S. health care system (what's the point of having a primary care doc if you can't get in to see them when you're unwell?). Between long wait times and a higher co-pay, I was feeling reluctant to go to urgent care, and yet I knew that "something" was brewing.

Still, couldn't I swing it with herbal tea? Maybe I could get some eucalyptus and have a nice steam! I decided to consult my Tarot app: "Should I stay home and do homeopathic treatments, or should I go to the doctor?" Tarot app said:
Dammit! It doesn't get much clearer than this in Tarot World. The 8 of Cups was telling me to suck it up and go to urgent care. Still, I hesitated. I put it off. I waited until later in the afternoon, and when my husband returned from work, he started in on me: health is far more important than anything else - get going! So I went.

I waited for two hours, and yes, I paid a really annoying fee to see the doctor, but my hunch was right: my lungs were a hot mess, I needed a nebulizer treatment and a round of prednisone, and I really needed it in that moment - waiting would have been a poor choice. As reluctant as I was to heed the advice of the 8 of Cups, I'm glad I finally did!

Rune Study Post #6: Raidho

This post is part of an ongoing rune study series that invites discussion around the runes and personal experiences that relate to working with this system.

Today's focus will be on Raidho, the fifth rune of the first aett.
Raidho translates to "wagon," and in a basic sense represents travel, movement, transportation, and journeying.

The Anglo Saxon rune poem (translated by Tom Wulf) reads:

Riding is to the warrior in the hall easy,
But very strenuous for one who sits on top,
Of a powerful horse over the long miles.

In a very mundane example, this is a rune I often pull on days that I end up doing a lot of driving around town for leisure activities or various errands (usually the nice sort!).

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Raidho?

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

3) If Raidho has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested?

This catches us up to the current course flow! Tomorrow I will post on Kenaz, and I will only be posting every Wednesday from then onward.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rune Study Post #5: Ansuz

This post is part of an ongoing rune study series that invites discussion around the runes and personal experiences that relate to working with this system.

Today's focus will be on Ansuz, the fourth rune of the first aett.
Artwork by Grace Palmer
Ansuz is connected to Odin, the ancestral god, the breath of life. It governs words and communication of all types, wisdom, advice given and received, knowledge, the naming of things that leads to deeper understanding and order.

When I made the conscious decision to embark on the path of Heathenry I pulled a single rune around the topic, and Ansuz was what I drew. It was incredibly apt for so many reasons (it felt like a blessing, of sorts).

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Ansuz?

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

3) If Ansuz has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested in the tangible world?

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Rune Study Post #4: Thurisaz

This post is part of an ongoing rune study series that invites discussion around the runes and personal experiences that relate to working with this system.

Today's focus will be on Thurisaz, the third rune of the first aett.
Power of the Runes deck by Voenix
Thurisaz is connected to Thor and his hammer, and the rune's root stems from an Old Norse term for "Giants." Very simplistically, Thurisaz represents energies associated with protection, defense, chaos, and at times the wisdom born from conflict. It's quite a fierce rune!

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Thurisaz?

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

3) If Thurisaz has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested in the tangible world?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Rune Study Post #3: Uruz

This post is part of an ongoing rune study series that invites discussion around the runes and personal experiences that relate to working with this system.

Today's focus will be on Uruz, the second rune of the first aett.

Whereas Fehu represents domesticated cattle, the word "Uruz" translates to "Aurochs," the wild ox of Europe and other regions. Uruz connects to health, strength, and courage. Interestingly, I've often drawn this rune on mornings where doctor visits or other health-related activities have been the theme of the day! This is also a rune I have utilized with galdr (along with some others) when my kids have been ill.

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Uruz?

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

3) If Uruz has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested in the tangible world?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rune Study Post #2: Fehu

This is a continuation of the rune study series that started with a brief overview of the three aetts (click here to read that post). I will be posting these rather close together until I catch up to where we are in the current course, and then I'll slow down and begin to post only every Wednesday.

Today's focus will be on Fehu, the first rune of the first aett.

The word "Fehu" translates to "cattle," and this rune connects to moveable wealth and resources. In the distant past your wealth was apparent in the size of your herd. Nowadays this often equates to money, but it does encompass more than that, such as goods that we acquire, personal assets, and even our hamingja.

Questions:

1) What other meanings do you attribute to Fehu?

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

3) If Fehu has presented itself in your rune castings, how have you seen its energy manifested in the tangible world?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Rune Study Post #1: Three Aettir

I have been facilitating a rune study "course" of sorts for a group of Heathen women, and have decided to post here as well in case the content is helpful for the broader community. The goal is to create discussion around the runes, to share knowledge and experience. In that light, please share your own relevant experience with runes for each post! I begin with a broad overview of the three aetts, and then continue on to discuss each rune in the Elder Futhark.
Image: ChaoseVIIn
Rune Post #1: Three Aettir

To start us off, I thought it would be helpful to take a step back and consider the entire runic alphabet and its structure. In the Elder Futhark, the 24 runes are divided into three families - aettir - of eight runes. Assigned to each family is a common title: the 1st is often called "Freyr/Freyja's aett," the 2nd "Heimdall's or Hagal's aett," and the 3rd "Tyr's aett." Each aett is considered to govern a particular process, and there is some variety in terms of definitions for each, including: creation/production (Aett 1); transformation/initiation/change (Aett 2); order/divinity (Aett 3). (Runic alphabets are referred to as "Futhark" due to the order of the first six runes in the 1st sett: fehu, uruz, thurisaz, ansuz, raidho, and kenaz).

For the sake of structure I'll be following the aettir when creating the rune posts, moving next to Fehu, and ending ultimately with Othala. (Incidentally, for those new to runes, dividing them into their respective families may help with learning and retention!)

Questions for consideration: 

1) Do you recognize/find value in the attire?

2) Does your understanding of them differ from what is included in this post, and if so, in what ways?

3) How do you incorporate them into your practice?

4) If you don't use them, why don't you?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tarot Thursday Three: Spellwork and Ritual

Here's another round of Tarot Thursday Three, hosted by Julia from Spiral Sea Tarot. Feel free to participate on your own blog, or answer the questions in the comments below!

1. Does spell work have a place in your practice and if so, how?

Sort of. I don't necessarily connect Tarot with it, and I don't do it as often as I used to, but it is something that I practice from time to time. In fact when I was first starting to read for others years ago I didn't know how to market myself (I still don't like it!), so for a handful of months as a new reader I didn't see any movement at all in terms of reading requests. One day I decided to do a candle spell to invite fresh business, and within the next few days I suddenly had three new clients! I was pretty surprised (happily so).

I have a bóveda, or ancestor/spiritist altar, which has become my central focus/tool for setting intentions on, or doing workings around, particular areas of my life, or to support people who are struggling.

When my kids were very sick a month or so ago I used galdr and traced runes onto their backs and tummies, and over their tea, to help support their healing. I found it startlingly helpful.

So perhaps I use "spell work" more than I thought ;)
Celtic Tree Oracle
2. What is the element you most identify with and/or enjoy working with and why?

I've always been an earthy woman - the kind to smear mud on my face, and sit for long hours watching the tree branches bend and sway in the wind. But then there is something deeply healing and soothing about water, and while I've always loved lakes and rivers, this past year I've become much more attached to the sea. I wrote this after a recent beachside stay:

I spent a lot of time visualizing, 
last weekend at the sea. 
As I gazed, 
I leapt into not the waves 
but the deep green depths, 
far beyond the fisherman's pier. 
I felt the water wash over me, 
I dove and soared and leapt and breathed. 
Then, in the early hours of morning, 
a quiet in and out of tides, 
a bird call, 
a hush, 
a dance of sunrise. 
Peace, it was.

And I've also been thoroughly enjoying working with fire. I love lighting candles, and do so almost daily, but last month's celebration of Biakendai/Biikebrennen was particularly beautiful and cathartic. 

3. Besides the cards, what are you favourite tools for divination and/or ritual?

I work with the runes daily, though I rarely post about it. I'm currently facilitating a slow-paced study of the Elder Futhark for a group of Heathen women on Facebook. I read Lenormand for almost two years, and studied it voraciously. I still enjoy it but find myself rarely pulling out a Lennie deck of late.

As for ritual: candles, altar space, cards, incense, and my thoughts.