Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Choices, Choices, Choices!

This week, I've been struggling with choices.   What better time to use the Choices Spread I shared in the Celtic Lenormand companion book?!

With three cartomantic projects I could work on this week in what little time I have, decisions are necessary.  I'm not even going to count the "day-job" projects, as those have to be done come what may (hence not having much time for the more fun projects).  So, I drew three cards for each of the three projects, three cards for the wisdom of the reading, and three cards for a deciding factor.

In particular, I want to use this reading to look at how you can use the playing card inserts to give additional information.  For this, you consider the areas of influence for each suit: hearts for emotion and relationships; diamonds for enterprise and energy; spades for society and service; and clubs for challenges and necessities.

Choice A - Clouds (King of Clubs), Oak Tree (7 of Hearts), Flowers (Queen of Spades)

It's true this is a project that is rather long term (Oak), and full of creativity (Flowers).  It's also true there is quite a lot of uncertainty about it (Clouds).  As the Clouds are at the start of the reading, it suggests that enduring creativity and growth will eventually trump uncertainty - the more I work on this, the clearer it will become.

As for the playing card suits, there's one club, one heart and one spade.  A mix of challenges, emotion and service - working to be creative and make something that will serve others in a way that nurtures emotional understandings in the face of difficulties.

Choice B - Fish (King of Diamonds), Burial Mound (Coffin - 9 of Diamonds), Bear (10 of Clubs)

This line is a good representation of the second project - there are a lot of parts to it (Fish), it is now nearing an end (Burial Mound), and it requires some "managing" (Bear).  For this week, it feels like the flow of energy for this project is at an end, because of a need to use resources wisely.

Equally, looking at the playing card inserts: with two diamonds and a club there's plenty of energy, but it feels rather blocked at the end.

Choice C - Fox (9 of Clubs), Ship (10 of Spades), Stars (6 of Hearts)

This project is in many ways the most "business-y" - connected to marketing.  The Fox suggests my dislike for marketing, which seems a combination of needing street smarts I don't have, and trying to "deceive" people.  The Ship highlights the business venture aspect, while the Stars talks of a need for planning.  Looked at more cohesively, a business venture can be both spiritual and smart.

As for the playing cards, once again a club, a spade and a heart.  Difficulties around business are resolved when you act from the heart.

Wisdom - Woman (Ace of Spades), Moon (8 of Hearts), Rider (9 of Hearts)

At a practical level, my intuition (Woman) tells me I should focus on marketing (C): gaining recognition (Moon) through the distribution of information (Rider).  Yet, there are also cycles of energy and emotion, and information is a two-way street.  There is practical and intuitive work to be done on the first project (A) to gather information.  And equally, the second project involves spreading information which requires putting my face in front of other people.

All of these projects have equal claims, that is part of the reason why making a decision is so hard.  And perhaps the true wisdom here is to recognise the cycles that make up the day, as well as the week.  Can I focus on project A for a while one day, and on C the next day, using my own emotional cycles to make the most of whatever time I have available?

What say the playing card inserts?  A spade and two hearts - there is a lot of emotion involved, which is not always clear.  Putting it to service in the most practical way sounds like a good idea.

Deciding Factor/Path to Take - Paths (Queen of Diamonds), Lady (Ace of Spades), Lord (Ace of Hearts)

Well, a clear recognition that there are choices here!  Both intuition and logic have their part to play in finding a way forward.  The most intuitive option is A, the most logical is C, once again. 

The playing card suits are once again split - a diamond, a spade, and a heart.  The intuitive choice (A) is one that is more sociable, as well as being of service.  There is a deeply emotional part to choice C, both in my negative emotions around marketing, and in the emotional content of the actual thing I am marketing, despite this being the most logical/business-oriented option.  Seems like I have enough energy (Queen of Diamonds) to work on both, at least a little.

So, B is out for the rest of the week.  Even though it's nearly finished, it'll just have to wait.  Following my heart, and my natural rhythms, is more important.  A dab of project A when I have enthusiasm for it, a smidge of project C, when I can get some computer time...

What do you think looking at the playing card suits adds to a reading?

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Did She Have An Affair?

Clearly, this isn't a question I would answer if a jealous partner came to my reading table.  Ethically, that's not something I want to touch with a bargepole!

However, in this case the question is one that arose for me while reading a biography of the Empress Sisi.  Seeing as she's been dead for nearly 120 years, I don't think anyone will mind much if I do a little exploring of her life through the cards.  It's "For Entertainment Purposes Only", after all ;)

Sisi was a Bavarian princess, whose mother wanted one of her daughters to marry the Austrian Emperor.  While the plan was to have her older sister get engaged, the Emperor fell in love with Sisi, of whom he said:

"How sweet Sisi is, she is as fresh as a blossoming almond tree and what a splendid crown of hair frames her face!"

They married, but Sisi didn't deal well with the formality and gossip of the Austrian court.  Her health also suffered, in part due to her many pregnancies and the loss of one of her children.  More and more, she fled the court, immersing herself in travel and exercise.  She was an accomplished rider, and became rather vain - spending up to three hours just dressing her hair!

There are two men, whom gossip connected her with.  One was her riding instructor, an English man named William George "Bay" Middleton.  The other was a Hungarian politician, Gyula Graf Andr├íssy.

Looking at the cards, the Rider is the obvious choice for Middleton, and the Lily (an older man, a man of peace) for Andr├íssy. 

The Lily falls directly under the Lord, he was one of the Emperor's men.  Nothing doing there.

The Rider, on the other hand, lies at one of the cross card points between the Lord and the Lady - something that came between them.  And the consequence of this, as seen in the diagonal moving to the right of the card, is the Meadow (Garden) and the Birch Rods.  Sharp words expressed in public.  This could also express publically recognised sex.  To the left of the Rider lies the Mice, little thieves.  Did he steal away the Empress' Heart, just to the left of that? 

Overall, I don't think so. 

The only card around this that implies sex at all is the Whips, and it is quite far from the two people involved, and can just as well be interpreted as the harsh words that were expressed very publically on the topic, causing Sisi to break off her classes with Middleton. 

More likely, it was riding itself, and the movement it allowed her - travelling around Europe to take part in riding events - that she lost her heart to.  And it was a freedom that was eaten away by the burdensome gossip (Cross, Birds - diagonal to the top left of the Rider) that endured (Tree) throughout her reign. 

It is notable that harsh words and gossip are on two of the four diagonals from the Rider (Cross, Birds and Meadow, Birch Rods).  What those gossips couldn't see was the other cross card between the Lord and Lady, just under the Lady: the Dog. 

The Empress and Emperor were both faithful in their love, in whatever way the mores of their society allowed.  And while Sisi longed for more choices (Paths), and was depressed at their lack (Clouds), she was also a woman of her word (Ring).  She was vain (Sun) and dedicated to beauty (Ring under Flowers).  Yet, she loved her Children (Child, Heart), and the Rider can also be read as the Crown Prince Rudolph (older child, young man), the only son born to the two of them, a uniting force between them, too.

Certainly, much more can be read from this Grand Tableau.  However, I'll leave it there, with my own answer to the question I started with: No.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Money In The Cards

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When Ania asked us to talk about finances in the cards, it got me thinking about our relationship with money.  This isn't just random philosophising (or perhaps it is), but rather connects both to how money appears in the Lenormand deck, and to something I read recently about investing or spending money.

The two main cards that can be seen as talking about money are:

The Fish

Stands for the flow of money, spending, everyday finances, shopping, the small amounts that come in and out of your life on a regular basis.

The Bear

Represents using your resources wisely, investing, making the most of what you have, managing your money, the richness and sweetness of life.

The piece that I read talked about spending money being a waste, that if you invested the same amount you'd be a millionaire.  Of course, there are a number of big problems with that thesis.  First off, you need to spend enough to live, which in this day and age doesn't always leave much over.  Secondly, investments don't always work out.  Thirdly, money (and multiplying it), isn't the only thing in life worth "investing" in.

On the first point, it just isn't possible to "invest" all your money.  We all need to eat, to have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and a way to get around (okay, some people can walk everywhere they need to get, but that's not realistic for everyone).  So, you need to spend money on the day to day of life, and for many that's pretty much all they have.

Secondly, there is no such thing as a sure thing.  There's a reason why investment firms have to post up provisos saying something along the lines of "past performance is no guarantee of future performance".  Just recently, the antiques market tanked, and people who had "invested" in a bunch of old furniture now just have some very expensive stuff to sit on!

As for the bit about money not being everything, I'll admit, I sometimes try to "justify" some of my spending as investing.  However, to be honest, I really don't need all the decks I have, even if I do work in the field of divination on a professional basis.  There are plenty of card readers who only use one or two decks, and I could blog in other ways than offering reviews of different decks each week.  Equally, not all (or even many) of the decks I buy are ever going to become collectors items worth lots of money.

But I love decks, I love variety, and I feel my life is richer and sweeter for having lots of decks in it :)

All that being said, I thought it might be worthwhile to consider the relationship each of us has to money.  One way to do that is to shuffle up your Lenormand deck, and then look through to find the Fish and the Bear.  Take the two cards to either side of each of them, and you have two lines of five to express your relationship to these two different ways of looking at money...

Here are my lines:

Fish: Flowers, Stars, Fish, Birch Rods (Whips), Paths

I spend money on gifts and on spiritual items of beauty (decks!).  This spending also allows me to connect with my creativity in a way that follows my plans and aspirations.  Still, I could do with a bit of a clear out.  In particular, it would help to make choices to clear away things that just cause arguments anyway :D

Bear: Chickens (Birds), Lord, Bear, Rider, Cross

Using my rational mind can help allay worries around money.  Sometimes, I feel overburdened with information - so many options, how to decide?  Still, there is a life lesson here about filtering information rationally, and using word-of-mouth sources (personal connections) to narrow down the overwhelm.

I really hope you'll use this idea to take a look at your own relationship to the concepts of spending and investing.  What do you think: are they all that different, and which is more important in your life?

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And if you'd like to explore your relationship with money in more depth, as well as having my help in creating a spell to improve it, I'm just a click away.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Houses in a Line

This is a technique I demonstrated last year, but it's good to revisit such things, I think.  The basic idea is to take a line (in this case of three), and read it using houses to add an extra layer.  You can either take card one as House one, card two as House two, etc.  Or else, my preference, you add the card number to the position number, to come up with something different.

This reading is about a new, creative project I have been thinking about for the last ten days or so.  So, very early days, and what do the cards think about it?

Reading just the cards would give us: 

A spiritual project is new.   Clearing up mysteries through openness.

Adding in the layers of the Houses:

26 + 1 - 27 - Book, Letter
16 + 2 - 18 - Stars, Dog
13 + 3 - 16 - Child, Stars

A writing project requires clear dedication as part of a new plan.  Esoteric writing is part of my dedication to my spiritual beliefs, even when these are expressed in a new way.  Writing about the mysteries should be done in a way that is clear and approachable, done from a place of spiritual openness.

As you can see, this adds a whole new layer to the reading, and is a great way of practising using Houses.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Which Way To Turn?

Decisions come up in our lives all the time.  From the biggies - marriage, kids, career change, relocation - to the everyday - what to wear, what to eat, what to write in your Facebook status :D  The Paths Spread, based on the Paths card, and found in the Celtic Lenormand companion booklet, page 179, is a good one for choices: big, small, and anything in between.

The decision here is around marketing strategies for a particular service.  For each spread position, I drew two cards:

Where you are right now on the path: Birch Rods, Child - repetition, something new

Yes, this rings true.  I keep trying new things, but without much obvious success.  Sometimes it feels like I'm whipping myself into a frenzy, or perhaps beating a dead horse, and it may be that I am a little naive when it comes to marketing...

The wisdom being offered: Anchor, Ring - work, commitment

There's a need here to commit to a single path and see it through.  A need to work in a more consistent and committed way, rather than chopping and changing.  Ack, as a double Gemini, chopping and changing is both my greatest strength (adaptability), and my greatest weakness (lack of follow-through).  I often worry about beating a dead horse, but it could also be that I just need to stick with something, and wait for it to bear fruit.  Wait - now there's a four-letter word!

Obstacles you may face: Fish, Chickens - money, communication

Ha, communicating about the price of the service is definitely a problem.  Doesn't help that I keep changing my mind about that myself!  And that I'm getting very mixed messages from different marketing 'gurus': 'charge what you feel comfortable with'; 'charge what you're worth' (according to whom?); 'put your prices up - otherwise people won't value your service'; 'go for fewer clients who are willing to pay more' (but what about my pre-existing clients who aren't that flush, but who are my tribe?).  Yeah, I hate thinking about money, and I hate charging it almost as much.  A definite inner block there.

Best way forward: Scythe, Fox - sorting, strategy

Okay, I can get behind this.  I need to think strategically about an 'ideal target market'.  Back to the double Gemini thing, and I can see the usefulness of this service to pretty much anyone.  But I can't market to pretty much everyone, at least not effectively.  So, it's time to cut down my target market, even more than I already have.  And perhaps to change the emphasis of that marketing, in a way that fits other people better.  I have to appeal to their instincts and strategies, rather than following my own.  I need to figure out what 'makes the cut' in their world.

Funnily enough, the obstacles cards also gave me another idea about who might be my ideal target market.  Something to ponder...

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Eye On The Prize!

Kelly from The Truth In Story is running an instagram/Youtube challenge this month called #lenormarch.  I was rather tempted to join in, even though my Dear One is away this week, and we're off for a short break next week, and though I had promised myself to focus on another of my projects this month. 

As I generally do in such situations, I turned to the cards for advice.  Throwing down a Nine Square, one card jumped out as I shuffled: the Fox.  This looks like a good thing to do, joining in the fun with friends old and new.  Still, looks can be deceptive, and I need to work smart this month, using my skills and my time to best effect - got to keep my eye on the prize!

The Nine Square reinforced this message.  At the centre is the Ship - what is my life's journey about?  If the answer doesn't include a good reason to do the #lenormarch, then I shouldn't do it.

The corners clarify on this theme: Heart, Woman, Scythe, Flowers.  I should trust my intuitive emotions around this (my first thought when looking at the list of prompts was that this wasn't for me), and cut this invitation out of my month.  Sorting the wheat from the chaf, in terms of what to do, will allow my creativity fuller rein.

The central cross gives advice on action to take: Clouds, Man, Ship, House, Snake.  When uncertain about my actions, I should focus on business ventures close to home, and keep my boundaries clear. 

So, while I'll check in now and again to enjoy other people's posts, I won't be taking part.