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.