Wednesday, 27 January 2016

My Cross To Bear

Just a quickie this week, as I have an essay to write.  Gosh, you'd think I'd be past that at my age, but I can't seem to stay away from expanding my horizons :)  So, I asked the cards for some advice on getting this essay done:
Flowers, Cross, House
One message I get here is about finding a balance between getting creative and staying within my comfort zone when facing this kind of challenge.  I've had plenty of experience writing essays over the decades, but doing things by rote is boring.  So, I need to find the joy in the beauty of the subject, the challenge that feels like a gift because it inspires me to explore, and to create a new comfort zone for myself beyond the old one. 

Another message is that I need to balance creativity with my family life, which is a big challenge in and of itself.  Essays take time, and kids definitely take time, too.  Still, the kids aren't going anywhereWhereas if I don't get this essay written in the next seven days, it's me that won't be going anywhere: I need to pass this to move onto the next level of this training!  So, while I need to cover the basics of family life (getting the kids to school, making sure they eat enough, getting them to bed), maybe other times they can play by themselves or watch Kids Youtube for a bit while mummy sits at her computer...

And just a quick message: next week's post will be out on Thursday instead of Wednesday, as it's part of the next Tarot Blog Hop :)

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Grand Tableau Hits The Nail On The Head

As I haven't posted a Grand Tableau in a while, I thought the start of the year was a good time to throw one.  That being said, I was asking specifically about the next month, and an upcoming exam and essay I have...

For this particular GT I chose to use the Woman and Man cards, and it just so happens that the Woman faces left.  Hence, for this GT I will read the left side as indicating the future, which confirms what the reading is about.  Her line ends with the Coffin and the Book - an end to studying, which will come by the end of the month time period I set, when my final essay has to be handed in.  And right above that, the Scythe and the Letter - a written piece of work that needs to make the cut.

The corners address the theme perfectly.  Scythe, Sun, House, Dog - putting energy into 'making the cut', and sacrificing home/family and partner for it (my partner sees himself as the Dog, and that's how he always appears in my Lennie readings). 

My partner is not particularly impressed that this course runs on weekends, stealing from my time with him (Mice, Dog), and from family time more generally.  Nor, that I've been rather focused (some might say obsessed) with getting my work for it done.  Hey, the kids are happy watching online videos (Child mirroring with Stars, connected to Sun, Owls) or choosing to bury themselves in a good book (adjacent to Book, Coffin, Paths) :D

Still, my partner and I had a talk about it last week, so things are somewhat clearer now.  Clouds are behind the Woman, after a conversation (Owls) that lies where our lines/rows cross over.  The other joining card is the Cross - it has been a sorrow between us, but it is also a life lesson in how to keep a partnership working through clear communication.

What I'm in control of (directly beneath the Woman), is moving my work reputation forward (Anchor, Moon, Storks), which this course will do.  Pieces of paper, and memberships to offical bodies, are always good. 

As for what's on my mind, Fox, Cross and Mice suggest that there is also a life lesson around deception undermining my sense of self.  I recognise this: I am not speaking my truth on this course.  The course is directly related to my understanding of magic but, from their very scientific perspective, the two have nothing to do with one another.  So, I have kept quiet about my affiliations and prior experience - not out-and-out lying, but not speaking openly, either.

Moving forward, the advice seems to be to gather my resources and use them creatively (Flowers, Bear) in order to write this paper that will be assessed (Letter, Scythe).  This opportunity to gather more information and grow can bring me happiness, even as it requires work to complete (Clover, Tree, Rider, Book, Coffin).  And this work is definitely something that gets me into a feeling of flow, while requiring a rational perspective, making clear choices and trying to come up with something new and original (Anchor, Fish, Man, Paths, Child).

I notice the challenges that I may face with my commitment to this particular professional institution, despite their narrow, scientific approach (Anchor, Tower, Ring).  A discussion with clear boundaries may help me to feel more comfortable (Birch Rods, Snake, House).  And this seems to be something under my control, that's good to know.

As a final message, the last four cards suggest the key to overcoming the obstacles I will be facing over the next few weeks lies in committing to this emotional journey - embracing the opportunity this institution is affording me with this exam and essay (Key, Mountain, Heart, Ship, with Tower above Mountain and Ring above Heart).  It's not just about making the cut for them, but about enjoying the process - so much to learn and explore, with a practical element, too, where I am applying these learnings to my own life.  Yes, I embrace it!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Nine Square Spell For Focus

As I may have said before, the Nine Square, as well as a versatile reading tool, has become my favourite spread layout.  In need of a bit of focus at the start of the year, I decided to create a spell to support me.

I was asked last week how to avoid overwhelm with larger spreads.  The simple answer is to "chunk" them.  It used to be said that a person could deal with 7 plus or minus 2 pieces of information at once, putting nine cards at the outside of human capacity if seen as individual bits of info.  These days, the recommendation is actually 5 plus or minus 2 pieces of information.  So, dividing the spread up into smaller pieces is the best way to be able to hold it all in mind.

One way to do that is to read the Nine Square in two chunks: the four corner cards as one piece; the five cards of the central cross as another piece.  Another, and the one I tend to use in my spells, is to see it as three lines of three.  I like the latter as a starting point, and then often also read it the other way for added information beyond what my intention was, which I'll do here.

The three lines here are:

Central Line - Stars, Lord, Scythe: Rational clarity to cut through what isn't necessary.

Upper Line - Songbirds, Book, Storks: Studying healing brings progress.

Bottom Line - Fish, Hill Fort (Tower), Letter: Institutional money form - that's a tax return!

My two main focuses in the short term are on a class I'm studying in a healing form that I hope will help me develop my understanding and practice, and getting taxes out of the way in my day job.  For this, I need clarity, focus, and an incisive ability to prioritise.

Reading this with the corners as theme and the cross as action brings some different ideas into play.

Theme: Songbirds, Letter, Fish, Storks

Study - Writing about healing brings an expansive change, if I can get into the flow of it - I have an essay to write for my course.

Taxes - Anxiety around the paperwork about money can be overcome.

Action: Book, Stars, Lord, Scythe, Hill Fort

Study - Spiritual study in a rational form makes the cut at an institutional level.  A reminder to keep my focus very much on the marking guidelines and learning outcomes, rather than going into the more intuitive side or getting sidetracked into other areas.

Taxes - Clear up any secrets through incisive logic that fits institutional requirements.

In both cases, not only do I need to stay clear and focused (as was my thought when creating this spell), but the 'reading' highlights that I need to keep clearly in mind the institutional requirements, both for my essay and for the tax paperwork. 

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

An Alternate Reading

Last week, I did a reading using the 5 x 3 layout.  This week, here it is again, but with a different layout for interpreting it.  It was fascinating, as three alternate cards came up, and with really influential positioning!

I asked about a course that I am in the middle of, and how it will progress.  In this variant of the 5 x 3 spread, you read it as 3 nine squares, around cards 1, 2, and 3.  The nine square around card 1 indicates the past, around card 2 the present, and around card 3, the future.  In this case, I will be reading the nine squares using the corners/central cross method.

So, the first nine square around card one (the Holly Tree) is Anchor, Letter, Man, Heart, Woman, Moon, Holly (Tree), Cat (Dog), Hill Fort (Tower).  Written work must combine logic and love (Anchor, Letter, Man, Heart).  Yep, I've started work on an essay for this, and although the writing guidelines are very strict and logical, I also need to honour the emotions that make me care about this subject.  I need to keep my emotional intuition a part of this, so as to remain independent while working within the institutional framework, no matter if this means things take a little longer (Woman, Moon, Holly, Cat, Hill Fort).  And yeah, I'm only 20% through my essay - it is taking time!

The second nine square is Woman, Female Rider, Hill Fort, Lady, Heart, Holly Cat, Oak (Tree), Letter.  In the present, I must still listen to intuitive messages, and also messages from other women, in particular perhaps the women who work within the college (Woman, Female Rider, Hill Fort, Lady).  I had a very useful tutorial, with my tutor, who is female.  And I will keep my eyes peeled this weekend on the course for other important messages, too.  Emotional growth comes with a growth in feelings of independence, which I should note in my journal (Heart, Holly Cat, Oak, Letter).

The third nine square around the Oak is: Heart, Songbirds, Letter, Owls, Lady, Cat, Oak, Girl (Child), Female Rider.  Moving forward, I need a better balance between emotional communication and written wisdom (Heart, Songbirds, Letter, Owls).  I see here the fact that it's not just about the essay, but also about how I communicate with my fellow students and the tutors, especially as we also have a practical exam, where relationships will matter.  In terms of what to do, I read that my independent spiritual practice will bring growth opportunities so long as I remain open to the messages I receive (Lady, Cat, Oak, Girl, Female Rider).  A bit of beginner's mind is never a bad thing when you're learning :D

It was fascinating to see the alternates here!  For instance, the Woman falls above the Holly, while the Lady falls above the Oak, and the Songbirds and the Owls both fall in the last column (the most distant future, if you were reading more purely across the lines).  A real focus on intuition, growth, and communication, therefore.  And with a nice progression towards more vibrant and stronger aspects of the two first elements (Lady and Oak), with the future holding new wisdom through communication around healing (it is a course on a healing modality, after all).  Altogether, a very encouraging reading, with a remind at the centre to stay true to myself, above all!