Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Have Found My Way Between the Worlds

    After three weeks (almost) of searching and trying to learn the lessons of the High Priestess, I have found my way.  The High Priestess represents the way between the worlds.  Between where we are this moment and what we may become.  The magician is the resource we need but the it takes working through the High   Priestess to find out what that resource is.
    My resource is my creativity with photography.  I am not sure yet in what way I will need to utilize this resource.  But I am sure that photography will be what takes me along my path.  As Frigg waeves the fabric of life, I too need to weave.  But my weaving will be a story.  Perhaps only in images, perhaps in words as well.  I have now to move on from the High Priestess and learn what purpose my weaving is to serve.
    This is an exciting time for me.  Almost a year ago I had set certain goals for myself, but, as the saying goes, life got in the way.  Well, the year from hell is over and my time has now come.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Searching for the High Priestess

    Searching for the High Priestess, come out, come out where ever you are.  I haven't had much luck yet in connecting to the divine.  I've tried meditations, herbal teas, hearbal pillows and good old fashioned hard physical work.  All I've managed to locate are some old ambitions and a bad cold.  Come to think of it, the old ambitions were worth finding again.
    Last year I had a grand plan to acheive personal success with photography.   During my year from hell it fell by the wayside.  While searching for my connection to the divine I may not have found the key, but I did find the ambition to get shooting again.
    Other ambitions have also surfaced.  Plans and schemes to take the place of dreams that no longer fit.  I don't know if this is the way that I am supposed to be connecting.  Perhaps it is.  Perhaps my merging of the two worlds is supposed to be one of photographic capture.  i can only find out by trying.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Moving on to The High Priestess

    It has taken me some extra time to finally leave the Magician's realm and move onto the next card.  I have spent this time involved with changes at work, putting the gardens to bed for the winter and fighting off a series of colds. 
    I have also spent this time working on projects that I needed to get started.  Holiday gifts to be made from herbs and gems, cleaning of closets and reconnecting with old friends.  I have finally started on my CafePress stores and will be also working on some photo ideas I had put on hold.
    Tomorrow is the full moon.  The next two weeks will be the time for me to again rid myself of excess baggage.  Memories that serve no purpose and daydreams that do nothing but waste time.
    The High Priestess represents our striving to go between two worlds.  Linking the everyday that we live in with the realms of the divine.  It is often likened to the Wiccican way of "Drawing Down the Moon", of trying to embode The Goddess into ourselves so that we may share of her wisdom.  I'm not sure of what I will find as I meditate upon the High Priestess.  I only know that I am now ready to try.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What Kind of Magician am I?

    The saying goes that if you ask ten people the same question, you'll get twelve answers.  I feel the same way about consulting various Tarot resources about the meaning of the Magician card.  Depending upon the source the Magician can represent a period of study and learning, a period of using the elements; earth, air, fire and water in magic, a person who has the answers.  One I found particulary interesting said that a person who is represented by the Magician has all the resources they need within themselves to suceed.
    The one constant though was the need for honesty.  The magician, despite all the differences in definitions, must be honest to both herself and to others.  Magic requires integrity as much as it requires ability.
    As for myself.  I fell that although I may already have the resources within me, I'll need much study to be able to use them to their fullest.  I've suceeded, I think, in banishing some of my space wasting thoughts and emotions.  This will leave room in my life for my own "resources" to grow.
    I feel ready to leave the realm of magician and move on to the next card.  My needlework magician is represented by stairs leading up to a path, and the path continues on.  I am now ready to climb those stairs and leave the nest to start on my path.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Living With Your Past

       I have been having some vivid dreams lately.  A woman I know and respect online has suggested that I am preparing for a new level of energy in my life.  This makes sense to me.  So, in order to make room for the new, some of the past must be let go.  I am not planning on forgetting my past.  Mistakes are to be learned from, not banished from memory.  But, they must be put into perspective.  To this end I have come up with two rituals.
   In the first, all of the choices I regret making I will be writing down, cutting up the paper and burying it in the earth.  I originally was going to be burying them away from my home and land, but then I realized that such an act would serve only to banish them, not allow me to retain their lessons.  Here the earth can cleanse them of their negative aspects and leave their lessons for me to draw on.
   In the second ritual I will be writing down all my dreams that I never put the effort in to make come true.  These I will be burning so that the wind may carry them to another who may make them come true for herself.
    Our past is more than just the sum of our years here.  It includes our family, our ancestors, our shared history.  Along the way I hope to find ways to honor my past.  One of the first I plan to start is to prepare foods that my ancestors ate.  Not on a daily basis, but hopefully on a regular one.  To eat according to the seasons and try to see  life through their eyes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

You Can't Know Where to Go Without Knowing Where You've Been

    Okay, here I am.  A newly hatched magician on her way to enlightenment.  Except it's not that easy.  When my children were growing up I always knew when they were about to make a jump into a new stage of maturity.  They would first regress a little, then hesitate, then without warning suddenly appear in their new, more grown up roles.  My mother used to say that an illness had to reach a "crisis" stage before you overcame it.  During that crisis your fever grew higher, your body felt sicker, and either you died then and there or you were suddenly feeling much better.
    Right now I am being flooded with past feelings and desires.  All my dreams of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be are coming back to mock me.  If I'm not careful they will hold me back from growing and leave me here depressed over choices I made and despondent that I'll not have the chance again to choose differently.
    The best way for me to move on from here will be to face my past and put it in perspective.  Some of my choices I don't regret and would choose again without hesitation.  Although I may regret my choice of college, if I hadn't gone there I may not have met my husband.  My husband and my children are choices that I definitly would make again, and again.  Others however need to be put to rest.  There are some lines in an old Country Joe and the Fish song called "Who Am I" that sums up how I feel sometimes.
    "Of promises and deeds undone.  And now again I want to run.  But now, there is nowhere, to run to."
    The only difference is that the song refers to promises the singer made to his friends and family, and for me it is promises I had once made to myself.
    No matter how I do it, I must place these things where they belong.  It will only be then that I can move forward to my future.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I've hatched: The Magician

    I've made it.  I have hatched from my egg and am wobbling around on unsteady little new born legs.  Despite it's name, the Magician doesn't stand for someone all grown up and in charge.  Someone at home casting spells and making rabbits appear from thin air (or even hats for that matter).  No, the Magician is about choosing your destiny and going about learning how to attain it.
    If the Fool gave me both hope and despair then I'm not sure what to expect on this leg of my journey.  Here I am, newly hatched.  I haven't even braved out of my nest yet, (actually I shouldn't, I'm still cleaning it) and I need to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up.  I know that this was part of the reason for my starting the journey, I just figured I'd have a little more time before I really needed to be thinking about it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I've made a fool of myself or "It's not easy being green"

    My time with the fool has left me filled with a combination of depression and determination. The fool that I discovered was not some cheerful, carefree youngster heading off on an adventure.  Those who follow Asatru say that there are no fresh starts.  When a person has done a wrong he or she gets no clean slate, there is no just saying your sorry and starting over.  Instead your past stays with you.  For better or worse you need to work with that past in order to move forward.
    Instead of starting this journey as a carefree hatchling I am now working first to overcome past wrongs I may have done, to shed bad habits and to learn from my personal history.  I must be sure that as I step down the path that I am not deceiving or "fooling" myself.
    On a positive note I have started my needlework "journey map".  At first when i made a mistake i wanted to start over, but then i realized that in many respects I am just an egg.  So in honor of learning from my past I have left the mistakes in and hope that as my journey continues my skills improve.
    To me the fool had always been the color green.  Green is the color of those who are less experienced. Green horn.  Green is the color of things not yet ripe, like green tomatos.  Green is the color of spring.
A wise frog once said that it's not easy being green.  He was right.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Jesters and Fools, Not Always What They Seem

    Ever since I started meditating upon "The Fool" I keep thinking of the ending line of a song that Danny Kaye sings in The Court Jester.  "I made a fool of myself."  That 1955 movie concerned a man who played a jester in order to gain access to the royal court and assist in a plan to place the rightful king on the throne.
    Although almost every tarot deck depicts the fool card as an innocent lad, or perhaps a seedling or a newly hatched creature, in reality fools are not so simple.  The vocation of jester was a complex one.  Jesters came from all walks of life.  Unlike the upperclass or the skilled craftsmen, you did not have to be born into a jester's family in order to become one.
    Jester's usually started out small.  Much like the sidewalk entertainers we see in tourist towns today, the jester would mark off his stage and perform as people gathered.  At the end of the show he would pass his hat for donations.  The shows ranged from simple mime acts to acrobatic feats, tightrope walking, singing and dancing, to magic.  As the jesters abilities grew, his performance became more polished.  If he was one of the lucky few, he would be asked to audition for a position at court.
    Once at court many jesters were sought after by their employers for more than entertainment. After the costumes were off and the castle was to bed, the jester could be called upon for conversation, advice or perhaps just a listening ear.
   In this aspect the jester was far from being the innocent youngster that most sources on tarot like to say he is.
   Another aspect of the fool is someone who is "playing the fool" as a deception.  This would be a man who pretends to be inept while grocery shopping in order to get the women shopping nearby to feel sorrow for him and want to help him out.  This would be the pool hustler who pretends they can't play the game and then takes your money in a few easy shots.  This is also the woman who pretends to be helpless and lets someone else change the tire on her car.
   The point that I have reached is that when the fool card is drawn, it cannot be taken at face value.  It may well be a warning of deception.  Either your own, albeit unknowingly, or someone you will meet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"I Am But An Egg"

     I don't remember the original source for the quote "I am but an egg" but I do know I have heard it used many times in reference to being totally new at something.  Well, that is how I am approaching the first full day of my journey. 
   The Fool card represents many things.  In the most basic sense it is the beginning.  This card can be likened to a seed, an egg or any other embryonic metaphor we can think of.  I used to think of it as a seed, the seed that grows into the world tree at the end of the journey.  But lately I am more inclined to think of it as a starting point, the place where Dorothy starts off on the Yellow Brick Road, the place where Highway 61 began. 
   A seed may grow into a tree, but it never leaves the place it was planted.  To me a journey means traveling and experiencing things that you may not see if you stayed rooted to one place all the time.  
   So, I am for now but an egg and as such will be spending the next couple of weeks cleaning out my nest and restoring some much needed order and peace to my life.  This will be a time for active meditation, thinking while cleaning and trying on new ideas.  I bought the supplies today for the dream pillows and to start my "journey quilt" but that is only part of it.  My real hope is to end this quest with a better knowledge of who I am and what I want to be when I grow up.
     Many sources on the tarot place the Fool at the beginning of the deck, but others do place this card at the end.  The reasoning being that you can only be free to fully enjoy life  if you have already obtained  wisdom .  Thus the Fool can now go on his carefree way as he has the wisdom to avoid stepping off cliffs, drowning in rivers and running blindly from things that go bump in the night.
    To me the fool belongs at the beginning of any new venture, even if the journey had been made before.  As we all end to forget things as time passess.  He is seen as carefree, young and at times unwise.  What some cards depict as reckless, I see as unaware or forgetfull of dangers.  He is a child learning to ride a bike for the first time.  He is a woman who is living on her own after her husband has passed on.  He is a man learning a new trade after being laid off from his job.  He is an adult fulfilling a lifelong dream of learning to play the piano.  He is all of us.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day One, Card One, or Zero; The Fool

     Today was the equinox, it officially became Autumn and my journey began.  Of course it was also my last day at work before taking off three days for my daughter's wedding.  So instead of coming home and leaving offerings in my gardens for the land spirits, I worked twelve hours and then drove an hour home.  At least I can face the next few days with the knowledge that I did my job well today and not feel guilt over taking the time off.
   It seems almost ironic that my journey is coinciding with my becoming an "empty nester".  Hopefully tomorrow I will get the chance to actually start my journey.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In the Beginning, Part Three, Hopes and Plans

    I hope to make this next year an important one in my life.  A year of accomplishment, a year of joy and a year of learning.  To this end I am starting other projects that I feel will go along with my journey.
    The most importnant thing of course is the completion of the journey itself.  Not the study of all 22 cards, I've done that before.  But to actually live the cards, absorb their meanings and walk along the path they illuminate.
    My first project is actually a series of smaller ones.  I will need to get my house in order.  I will be cleaning up, fixing up and in general making my house a better place to live and work in. I will also be making a dream pillow, a new bag for my tarot cards and completing other small projects I have been "meaning to do"
   The second project will be to do a quilted wall hanging of my journey.  Each card will have a square (or possibly a circle) and together will serve as a reminder of my year.  I intend to create one square per card as I am working with that card.  The three months at the end of my year, between the autumnal equinox and next Yule will be spent putting them together into the final display.
    My third project is one that I hope will last a lifetime.  I am going to start learning to play the hammer dulcimer.  It is something I have always wanted to do and the study of it will take me well past the next twelve months.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

In the Beginning, Part Two, Why Start Now

    I'm a person who likes touchstones.   In the past I have started the journey at Yule.  The beginning of the new year seemed the logical starting point.  Yet, in the back of my mind it has always seemed a little like the mundane new year's resolution.  The logical starting point for the journey is actaully at the spring equinox.  In some respects the Fool is also the seed.  The seed that eventually grows into the World Tree.
     So why now?  Last year I was in the process of trying to leave a high stress job.  My daughter was going to be married in a year and I wanted a job that would give me the time and mental space to concentrate on the wedding.  I interviewed with two prospective employers.  Employer A offered everything I could want in a job except less stress.  The company was known for it's high stress, high action and great compensation packages.  Employer B offered less compensation but the steady low stress enviorment I needed. So, I went with employer B.
     Well, my stress free year to concentrate on the wedding turned out to be anything but.  The second week into the job my husband became seriously ill with a heart condition.  We made it through his hospitalizations and treatments and the holidays.  Then my previously stress free job became a study in dysfunction.  All of the key players were either fired or quit.  I was left as the only nurse manager who was not a "agency rent a nurse".  Work was fast becoming a nightmare, my husband was still home recovering and the wedding was looming ever closer.
    In the spring I injuried my foot, after limping around for four weeks I finally had surgery on it.  While recovering from the surgery I received a call from employer A.  Two days later I accepted their offer.
    Okay, now it's summer.  I've just started my new job and my father has a massive stroke.  I fly up to see him.  Two days later I come back home having arranged for him to be made care and comfort only.  The next day I see my foot surgeon and the cast comes off my foot.  Yipee.  The day after that my car gets rearended and the foot is once again injuried.  Two days later, my father passed away.
   So, after taking some time to melt down, help my daughter move to her new apartment and just breathe, I decided that my new year was going to begin.  That was on September 1'st.  It was closer to September 12'th when I decided to make the journey again.  And being the touchstone person that I am, I chose the equinox as my staring point.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

In the Beginning, Part One, Why I'm Doing This

     The Tarot has been a large part of my life for over forty years.  I started using my first deck when I was twelve and have not been without at least one deck ever since.  To me the Tarot is not a means of "fortune telling".  I do not believe in divination per say.  I have done readings for others, but I always tell them my philosophy before hand.  Daily horoscopes and palm reading may be fun, but the future is anything but certain.  Once we know the future, we have the power to change it. 
     To me, the Tarot, and to the same extent but on a different level the Runes, are a tool of meditation and focus.  If I'm worried about something at work but can't quite put my finger on the problem, I'll draw a card and meditate upon it's meaning.  This simple method works for me more often than not.
     Over the years I have tried to make the "Fools Journey" many times.  But, each time, even if  I completed all twenty-two cards, I never felt as if I'd "done it right".  It had felt as if I studied the cards but did not really try to live their meanings.  Now, as I'm getting deeper into middle age I feel the need to at least try one more time.
     My nest is now empty, I have a challenging career and a loving husband.  I also have hobbies that I enjoy and a home to enjoy them in.  Yet, I still feel unfulfilled.  Something is missing in my life, and by making the journey I hopeto discover what it is.