Adventures in Tarot~

Adventures in Tarot ~ Stories, Deck & Book Reviews, Card Insights and Reflections, Giveaways and a Library of Real Readings.

Owl Ka Myst Tarot

Owl Ka Myst Tarot

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Seeds & The Bees

We humans like flowers mainly because of their beauty, some smell pretty too. Some of us find more from flowers than just stimulating our senses. Some flowers are edible. It might surprise you what flowers are edible, and you may even have them in your yard already.

But what about the bigger picture regarding flowers. We understand that flowers are the way that plants reproduce. We know that birds, butterflies and bees assist in this process by cross pollinating flowers.

Here is where we have a problem with the bees. Colonies are suddenly dying off. This is called Colony Collapse Disorder. All kinds of things have been suspect from pesticides, EMFs, to a virus. What ever the cause one thing is certain, the bee population is falling drastically.

In May of 2012, beekeepers noted a 20-40% decline in their bee population for no identifiable reason.
Here in my home state, California, our number one harvest is almonds. Almonds are fully dependent upon bees for pollination. The orchards are having a very difficult time finding enough hives to do the job. I love almonds and I have noticed how much more pricey they have become.

Some Beekeepers have lost as much as 70% of their hives, and it was reported that one suffered a 100% loss.
This is very disturbing.

So what can be done to help the bees. There are entomologists and other scientists working of pin-pointing the cause which is very important. Of the many causes put onto the suspect list, one of them is lack of food. Bee's food are flowers.

Planting bee friendly flowers is an easy way that anyone can help the bees. Flowers that bees love don't come in just flower pots, bees love a variety of garden plants from fruits and vegetables, to roses and flowering trees and shrubs. The best plants to have around your home for bees are those that are native to the area. However, all plants that bees love is better than none.

Not everyone has the time or the space to tend to a garden, but you can still help by donating to the "Sowing the Seeds of Love" campaign. A group of bee lovers will plant seeds for you in your name.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My Pagan Way - part 2 the first in the series of My Pagan Way

How I Got the Pagan Label

We all get labels…like them or not. Some are fairly harmless. I have never had much issue with what labels others put on me, I could really care less. To me labels are often misused and some labels carry a negative connotation.
The question, 'what religion are you?' or 'do you believe in God?' would eventually come up. For a long time I was not sure how to answer that. It took me many years finding out how to answer that question. Lucky for me, I can only remember two times. Well, really once. But I was asked if I was a Christian. I KNEW how to answer that question…."No".

I started out irreligious right from the start for I was not raised in a religion. But I was exposed to the stories of the Bible from a very early age. What I knew of Christianity was not something I could connect to. The world created in six days, Adam and Eve. The idea of a heavenly father that impregnated a human and had a son that was some hybrid was not making any sense to me. While I did have an active imagination and wanted to believe in things like fairy-godmothers and dragons, I knew better. The some of the stories in the bible where just the same thing to me. I think that the Bible belongs on the historical fiction shelf. As much as I thought about it and tried out prayer, I could not find belief in 'God'.

In my search to find my spiritual self, I grasped at things like 'mother earth' and 'father time' to personify those aspects of the bigger spiritual picture of our own realities. Deep within my soul, from an early age, I knew that there was something of great divine power 'somewhere'.

An early encounter on the playground in elementary school taught me to not express my irreligious nature and I was able to avoid any religious exposing of myself while attending a Christian school for two years.
(why a Christian school is a different story, but I can tell you it had nothing to do with religion)
It would not be until I was 19 when the guy I was dating asked if I believed in God. I hesitated to answer that. I was not sure how to answer that so I simply said 'No'. He then said, 'So you are an atheist', and to that I hesitated and said, 'No'…..What was I? I had no clue. I did not know about things like agnosticism, paganism or Wicca. I was only aware of the major world religions and other than Christianity, I was not knowledgeable as to what those religions were about. Eventually I found the catch phrase, 'spiritual but not religious'. That was my 'go to' reply from that point.

It was also when I was 19 that I was introduced to Native American spirituality. I had always admired the native people of this land. As a small child, I would root for the 'indian' in the black and white westerns. The spiritual approach of the native people was something I could connect to, everything was very nature based. And the stories! The stories where much more fun than what is found in the Bible, and there was no vengeful guy in the sky. One might equate the Great Spirit with God, as a heavenly father creator. In those ways they are alike. However, He was simply the grandfather spirit and creator of the heavens. He did not 'rule' over any thing. I never got the impression that this Creator was some sort of dictator or egomaniac. And as far as one's fate, that was in the hands of Grandmother Spider.
But, that was not a 'religion' I could be a part of. Sure I could 'participate', but with all the respect in the world, their's is one of heritage. I can borrow the personified concepts and often do.

So all into my 20's I went without any religious label. I still don't consider myself religious. I got closer to a label in my 30's upon discovering pantheism. I liked the concept of 'all is god'. However, there was also the disregarding of things like reincarnation, ghosts and psychic ability in pantheism and those where aspect of spirituality and nature that I believe in. And I just don't believe in these things blindly either. Experience has given me the proof I need, but I felt these things instinctively from a young age.
Proof is just a side-effect.

It was also in my 30's, late in the decade, that I found my own original label. It started with my I having gravitated towards the occult in my late teens, starting with astrology. But that has nothing to do with religion. When it came to religion, I had picked up pieces of all kinds of faiths, found the good in them all, tossed aside the things that where just silly. With those things and my own personal experiences, perceptions and instinctive feelings, I came up with the term, Freeform Spiritualist.

It was art and the internet of all the things that brought me to paganism, For it for sure was not the pagans I had met, but that is a different story. The thing that did it was being part of a well known handmade website.  It was these pagans that were creative and artistic like me, and they were all different 'flavors' of pagans, and all shared my spiritual perspective and where just a whole lot of fun to hang out with. I had found a group of like minded people and it felt really good.
It was then that I became a Pagan.
But I still mostly use the freeform spiritualist term.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tarot & the Bathroom Ghost

Many years ago I was part of a tarot study group and we would play a game called 'Missing Card'. Someone would do a three card reading and choose one of the cards to be the missing one. They would present the reading 'report' in full but only identify two of the cards. Everyone else would then try and figure out what card is the missing one.

Well, it was my turn to do a reading. I really do not read for myself so much. I usually have to have a very serious 'crisis' that I feel totally lost before I pick up the cards. Finding something to read about was a challenge. After a while of pondering something 'fun' to read about, it came to me; The Ghost!

A little bit about the ghost.
I had been looking for a new place to rent. While at work I happened to strike up a conversation with a landlord (unknown to me) who happened to have a place available. I would not be off of work until late but he said "Go on in, it's open", I could go see it then. So that I did, I was eager to find something. Upon entering the house and getting about 10 feet in, I stopped, I felt something. I knew this feeling from my first ghost encounter. I acknowledged the presence and the feeling by saying, "There is a ghost here." It was a mix of knee jerk, and knowing that I should express that I know that the ghost was there.

I'm not the kind of person to let a ghost stop me from taking a place I like. I have lived with a ghost before. I moved into the place almost immediately.
It took a few months before we started to see a pattern with this ghost. We discovered that the ghost mostly 'hangs out' in the bathroom and the small bedroom.
Back to the reading. I decided to see if I could find anything out about the ghost that lived with us. Of the three cards I pulled, I could not decide what card to make the missing card. The cards flowed into each other so well. However, even with a good flow in the cards, it felt unfinished. I needed that one last card, the mystery card, and I let the ghost pick it (perhaps the ghost knew what I was doing and wanted to have a say, thus the unfinished reading).

I took the deck into the bathroom and told the ghost to pick a card. I left the room for a few minutes, retrieved my deck, cut it and took the card from the top and made that the mystery card.

'So what are the cards, where's the reading!?'
I hear ya!

I used a spread with the card positions; Idea, Challenge, Advantage.
I added the I Ching (**) associations tot he cards and after pulling the cards and doing the reading, I found that the well known Past, Present, Future(*) spread fell into place nicely.

Idea (*past)(**Temptation)
6 of Swords reversed: the imagery, right away, said to me, "crossing over the river" and I thought, 'could this be a drowning?'
The nutshell traditional meaning (upright) of the card is moving on, or away from a bad situation. Moving on and crossing over are terms of death. In reversed, the moving away would then be moving towards. My house was located just across the street from a river, a good sized one. Way back when, the river used to be much bigger. It was then that I got a sense that this was a young boy who wanted to go to the river and did not wait for an adult. The reversed nature of the card and the 'edginess' of the suit of Swords, there is an essence of defiance. In reversed, the card is about being stuck or an underworld journey. A ghost is indeed considered stuck.

Challenge (*present)(**The Well)
9 of Cups: this card continues with the focus on water, as cups is the suit of water, and the I Ching association of the well, as in water well. The challenge in the present is to find that place of calm, of peace & healing. To get away from the worry & have times of enjoyment.

Advantage (*future)(**Liberation)
10 of Cups: this is the card of home & happiness. I take this to be the environment I have brought to this place (the house). Here is a secure home, we, the kids and I all acknowledge the ghost without fear and have no problems cohabiting. The card indicates a goal achieved successfully & the emotional fulfillment (for the ghost I presume).

Water is a significant theme with this set of cards. There are two Cup cards, the suit of water. In the Sword card the river is just another character in the visual story. Seeing all the water is not a surprise, the ghost does like the bathroom, especially the tub, and we live along the river.

So the missing card. I took my deck to the bathroom and set it on the counter and told the ghost to choose a card and asked, 'What do we need to do for you?' After a few minutes I retrieved my deck and pulled the last card.

From the card: the ghost feels a sense of worthlessness. Maybe because he has difficulty communicating to others who have been in the house before. This child was taken away from the family life he enjoyed. His life was abruptly cut off & that is worrisome for the ghost. I believe that making the ghost a welcomed member of the family may give the ghost just the thing he desires, something that no-one else did, which left the ghost feeling doubtful of ever having a childhood.
The acceptance we offer could lead to the ghosts liberation.
(Can you guess the card?)

Now came the guessing. Typically people would just offer their guess, but one in the group wanted to play with this one so they did their own reading. They meditated on the question I asked.
"What do we need to do for you?"
5 of cups- the ghost has lost much and feels alone. He wants to feel cared about again.
8 of swords- the ghost is bound and unable to communicate, however, he could free himself if he were to choose to do so and the offer made.
9 of swords- the ghost is filled with grief and remorse about things lost and unable to recover. He feels very alone with no one to tell his despair to. He thinks all the time about his losses. They tie him to the house.
4 of cups- the ghost is miserable alone but has been given an offer to be cared about and become a part of a family again which he is deciding whether or not to accept.

The guess for the 'missing' card was the 4 of Cups. And guess what…that was indeed the card!

Putting the two readings side by side is very interesting. It is these sort of happenings that I wished that a skeptic had been in the room. Not only did both sets of cards express near the same message,
the cards themselves had a pattern.

Starting with the suits; except for the missing card, the first three card suits have 'flipped'. My Sword is their Cup and their Swords are my Cups. Swords is the Suit of Air and represents intellect, the mind and communication. Cups is the suit of Water and associates with emotions and psychic sensitivity. Very significant symbolism when talking about ghosts, or trying to talk to them.
Now the numbers. I have 6, 9, 10; they have 5, 8, 9. the numbers follow the same counting pattern because the second reading the number is one less in each position. I can't say much about any symbolism of the numbers or the pattern specifically. However, the way I see it, it is one of the 'coincidences' that is just a manner of expression that what is going on, really matters.
In other words, a coincidence is not a coincidence. The number pattern is just something to confirm and give validation to the reading and connection with the ghost.

Now let's look at some key words for the cards using words given by Joan Bunning
 ~ follow link for more detailed meanings
'Missing Card'
4 of Cups; self-absorbed, feeling apathetic, going within
First Cards
6 of Swords; feeling the blues, recovering, traveling
5 of Cups; suffering a loss, feeling sorrow and regret
Second Cards
9 of Cups; wishes fulfilled, physical enjoyment, satisfaction
8 of Swords; Restrictions, powerlessness, confusion
Third Cards
10 of Cups; joy, peace, family
9 of Swords; worry, guilt, anguish

Both readings share the sense of sadness, regret, loneliness and so on. My cards logically had the more personal and environmental card, 10 of Cups; giving the ghost a 'home & family'.

It was a really fun and interesting study of the cards. Not just this one game but the others as well. The study pushed us to look at a meaning and stretch the mind to figure out what card had been pulled.