12 December 2016 5 comments

Tarot Conversations: A Time & A Place

(From L: Mary-el, Arcana, Lumina, Darkana, Wooden)
The Wheel of Fortune in the traditional tarot structure is customarily portrayed as a wheel construct or form. The cyclic nature of life, of seasons, the constancy of only one thing -- change -- is inherent in this card's meaning and interpretation.

For me personally, this card evokes a theme introduced early in life while still beneath the influence of religious upbringing. And despite the deviation of my spiritual path away from those teachings, I find that some truths are simply universal and cannot be claimed, contained, or constrained by any particular faith or path. In Hinduism, it is dharma, the principle of cosmic order. In the West, it is Ecclesiastes 3, written by Solomon, recognized as a king of Israel by both Muslims and Judeo-Christians.

There is a time and a place for everything, a season for everything under the sun.

The Wheel: Fortuna, the heartless and unbiased goddess of Luck and Chance. The Orbweaver, webspinner of Fate, Destiny, Synchronicity. I cannot force or push things to happen faster than they're meant to. Does that mean everything is preordained and I don't control anything? Of course not, but there is a rhythm, a natural cadence for the pace at which things occur. Embracing that and acting in synchronicity with the energies of my environment and those around me will cause things to happen with greater ease, with less effort and strain, with more positive outcomes. Sometimes I must bide my time and follow the path through the darkness, knowing it is not unending, knowing that the sun will return, just as the moon swells and fades, just as the tides surge and recede, just as the heart beats in my chest.

Accepting the natural order of life, working and moving in harmony with it instead of straining uselessly against it. Waiting for the chance to come around, that optimal moment, and recognizing it when it arrives, grasping the opportunity with both hands and making the most of it. This is what Fortuna is for me, this is what I see in the Wheel. It is a reminder to attune myself to nature, to ground myself back to the earth, to remember that we inevitably return to the earth from which we came.

This blogpost is part of the Tarot Rebels' Alternative Tarot Blog Hop. Click the link below to see the full list of participant blogs and content for this month's Wheel of Fortune theme.

31 October 2016 9 comments

Tarot Conversations: Remain Nameless

(This blogpost is part of the Tarot Rebels' Alternative Tarot Blog Hop. This month's theme is "The Thirteenth Card." Click the icon for a full list of participating blogs and their related content.)

Call me when you need me,
Call me anything you want.
~Florence + The Machine, "Remain Nameless"

Most readers who've been following me for a while know who my writing mascot was.
A Blue Heeler and Australian Shepherd cross, he came into my life thirteen years ago as a bright-eyed two-month-old pup in a year when, fortuitously, my soul path card was The Fool. We parted ways earlier this past summer when his tumors finally got the best of him. My soul path card this year -- XIII.

The original Tarot de Marseille called this card L'Arcane sans nom, -- the Arcane with no name. Later iterations included the label LA MORT, yet naming the thing doesn't give us power over it. Or does it?

In the archetypes, XIII is a point of transition, where the focal point of the major arcana shifts from the individual path to the grander spiritual path where everything is bigger than the body, beyond the parameters of the individual, extending into higher awareness, the spiritual journey, the oneness of the individual with the universe as a whole, as a small piece of a grand tableau.

I like to think my friend, who walked with me a little while, has moved on to the next stage of their journey. And for all that we give one another names, whether we name our children or our animal friends, we can never know truly another's name. Names have power. Names influence how we perceive a thing, be it a concept, object, or individual. Names give us power. If we can identify and label a thing, it loses so much of its mystery, and thus its influence over us. Ignorance, after all, isn't a strength.

Is XIII about mortality or death of another kind? Either way, can we diffuse the power it has over us? Why do we grieve what ceases physically? The corporeal form doesn't truly identify us, only houses the essence of who we are. Energy cannot be destroyed, only transmuted. Thus XIII isn't a literal mortality but a figurative one. Slay the things that rule you, it says. Kill what holds sway over your soul, constrains your path. Separate the gross from the divine. Set yourself free.

We mourn the things we lose from our lives, even when they aren't fellow souls. Our jobs, our homes, our relationships. Change is painful, for some reason. It places us at the whims of the unknown, in the currents of chaos. In a visceral sense, it represents an increased risk, and for the earlier, more primal humans, such upheaval could spell disaster and doom. Yet for modern humans, this no longer holds truth.
In the same vein, freeing ourselves from the structures holding us captive is equally disruptive. Social expectations, cultural convention, archetypal roles, presumptive labels and stereotypes. These are the true characters in need of slaying, depicted in later iterations of L'Arcane sans nom. The king, the pope, the woman, the child.  Overriding our programming takes strong will, determination, and perseverance.

Whether there's a skeleton with a scythe staring back at you from XIII, or the imagery of transition takes on another form, the message is the same. Let go of what no longer serves you. Clean out your closet; let go of the dead things, the pieces of the past, to which you cling.

Does all this give new meaning to the loss of my mascot? Not really. My friend has ascended and moved on. He is with me in spirit, as are the others who I hold close to my heart though they no longer walk with me. The synchronicity of what this year means for me personally has helped me come to terms with his departure, though. L'Arcane sans nom holds new and more personable meaning for me now.

The cards hold meanings unique to each of us, within the context of our experiences, our perspectives, and our mindsets. How far we've come, where we are, the path we walk, and where we're heading. I don't imagine XIII will hold the same colorful meaning in a few years' time, for only a year ago it certainly didn't have the connotation it does now. For where I now stand, this is what the landscape looks like for me. Once I have accepted the pain of change and moved forward, the scenery will alter, and even looking back won't offer the same view as I have in this moment.

29 October 2016 0 comments


Is 2016 over yet?
It isn't!?.... Fine then.

I know I'm not alone in saying it, but it's been an extremely rough year. For all of us. I've struggled to find creative energy and inspiration for the greater part of this year. I've shown up, and I've been writing, but it's all been of a non-fiction nature. Tarot studies, shadow work. I haven't shirked my daily spreads, and sitting down to do that each morning, and the associated writing, is admittedly a huge part of what's kept me going long enough for the juices to start flowing again. The trigger point that tipped me back into writing earlier last week was an album that Aleks shared on Facebook -- the soundtrack from a video game, Mirror's Edge: Catalyst. Never mind that the character on the game cover looks suspiciously like a muse of mine, from a futuristic spec-fic I've been toying with, which will likely be my next-year project.
Image link takes you to the full soundtrack on Youtube.
The music in this game reminds me of Bladerunner, which of course makes me think of the Blue District, and lyche. So the urge to return to Black's rewrite has settled back upon my shoulders. Just in time for... a week's respite from the day job before the warzone of the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.

01 January 2016 0 comments

Having survived the apocalypse of holiday zombies, our hero continues their quest.

In which resolutions are not made.
(Because aren't they made to be broken or something?)

Last year, around this time, I made a decision to get to know my recently acquired tarot deck, the Mary-el, with daily card readings. It worked, and with every passing week and month, I fell more in love with Marie White's artistry as well as her positive interpretations and applications of traditional and conventional meanings and associations.

I guess one could claim it was a resolution. If so, it's gotta be the very first time I've followed through for the entire year, to the very end. Sure there were days when my interpretations were little more than a few sentences. And I think that, somewhere along the way, I actually missed a couple days here and there. It's the intent and follow through that matters. Even when I faltered, I didn't give up. Mostly because it was something I was doing for myself, something I was interested in and moderately passionate about, and at the same time I was bettering myself, walking a bit further along my own spiritual path to enlightenment.

It was easier, I'll admit, than making a resolution to write three hundred fifty words a day (the equivalent of a page). It required no coherence and very little forethought. The image and its meaning did the work for me, I just recorded my thoughts. And now? Now I make time for it in the mornings, even if I don't get to do a written entry, even if it means I'm a couple minutes late getting to the day job at ass o'clock.

The discipline is something I know about myself. The dedication, well, that is something I intend to apply to my writing this year. One page each evening, of fiction. It doesn't have to be the same project every day. It doesn't even have to be an existing project. Just a page a day, to let the waters flow, to stimulate that aspect of my brain, in a regular and predictable schedule.

[The rest of my ramblings, along with hi-res photos, under the cut.]