Card of the Day: 48, 9 Pentacles, Crystal Visions Tarot

Card of the day00099 Pentacles,  Crystal Visions Tarot by Jennifer Galasso

Such bounty, such attainment, clearly this woman is successful and accomplished.

Isn’t this what we all wish for?

Surely this speaks of security and material comfort, elegant living, beautiful surroundings and a plentiful supply of good food.

Humming birds, symobolic of joy, flit prettily in the autumnal background.

There is certainly no negativity in this card, that I can see.

Of course, such comforts come with their own price. Well, did you imagine they would not?

Take for example, the gentle woman’s companion.  He is beautiful, rare and he is also dangerous.  Such companions are not to be toyed with.  They demand respect, faith and loyalty.

Is that all?

Well, it is autumn – look at the fruit on the trees, look at the sunset cast of the sky.  In autumn, the days grow shorter, the nights get longer and there is little time left before the wheel turns again into winter.

This is the long road; such happiness and harmony may take a lifetime to bring into reality, and always takes hard work and dedication.

What abundance are you working towards in your life?

Are you prepared to do what needs to be done to achieve your goals?

Can you Walk the Talk?

Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related

Freespirit x

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Deck Review: Sacred Path Cards by Jamie Sams

Sacred Path Cards by Jamie Sams

Sacred Path Cards: The Discovery of Self Through Native Teachings

Jamie Sams teaches in the Senaca Sioux tradition of Native American culture, in whose belief system every thing is seen as living, and each living thing has a specific role as a teacher and storyteller.  She is an accomplished author and teacher of the Wolf Clan.

These cards are quite beautiful and this is certainly my favourite oracle deck. Please do not confuse these cards with Tarot cards, as oracle cards are quite different.  They do not follow the rules of tarot and rely upon their own ‘stories’ to guide the reader.

Lets start with the design, which features a black background upon which is painted a hide with a picture in the middle.  Each of the 44 cards illustrates an important lesson to be learned on the ‘Good Red Road’ of this earthly life.  There are no contrary cards, as the purpose behind this deck is self-development and coming to an understanding of your own personal truths.

The card stock is a little flimsy – my own deck bears the scars of frequent use.  However, this is a small irritation, when weighed against the cards many virtues.  I like to remind myself that all beings and things have their frailties, yet they also possess unique virtues and lessons to teach.

As with each deck you use, you will find some cards speak to you more than others.  For example, I love the Sacred Space card, which I think is beautifully drawn and needs little explanation.  Its keyword is respect, but the teaching reminds us that we should expect this for ourselves as much as for others.

Another card I really like is the Talking Stick, which has the keywords Viewpoints/Options.  One of the most deeply held beliefs among Native American traditions is that each of us is entitled to our Sacred Point of View.  This means that each person’s opinion should be considered before important decisions are reached.

Traditionally, at tribal council meetings, only the person holding the Talking Stick was allowed to speak, so that everyone would listen.  Each person wishing to express an opinion was allowed a turn.  Again it had to do with respect, but also about seeing things from different perspectives and not allowing yourself to develop tunnel vision; really considering all options before reaching a decision.  This reminds us that in order to make choices with wisdom, we must really listen to all points of view, including our own.

This is a lovely deck and possibly not the most obvious choice for a beginner.  However, if you love the use of fable and metaphor and enjoy learning about Native American spirituality and culture, then this is definitely one for your collection.  Highly recommended.

Walk in Beauty – Freespirit

© Free Spirit 2012

Reproduced from http://www.FreeSpiritTarot.co.uk

Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related

Tarot Talk: 4

Merry Meet!

I was looking at my Druidcraft cards earlier and felt again a deep and abiding connection with them, which goes beyond a simple relationship between reader and deck.

I have sometimes remarked to my students that the cards have no intrinsic powers of their own, but today I wonder if that is a rather simplistic view.

If I believe that all things have spirit and as such a divine purpose, surely this includes my deck?

If I believe also that an object may be empowered by intention for a specific purpose beyond its primary function, then that would mean my deck could be programmed as an instrument of healing, since that has always been my intent for its use.

Of course, I  honour all my decks and treat them with respect, whether they are the ones that I call upon frequently, or those I use only for teaching.  But its true to say that there are some which mean much more to me; they are trusted friends and allies.  Though logic may suggest they are simple items constructed from card and ink, I know that they have become more, they have grown and I believe they have a spirit of their own.

Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related

Brightest Blessings – FS

Card of the Day 14

Each day, I will draw a card from a different deck and post here my reflections

West Shield: Sacred Path Oracle

I selected today’s card from my beloved Sacred Path cards, the only Oracle deck I use regularly.

It’s widsom comes from the Plain’s Indian culture of North America and I think it holds many insights into modern living and the lessons we need to learn about treading lightly upon the earth.

West Shield brings the message that personal reflection is necessary at this time.

If things lack clarity, the way forward is within you, but you are not hearing it because there are too many other things on your mind.

You must make time to hear your inner voice in order to make the wisest decision right now.

Bear’s personal medicine is keen observation and adaptability.

As one of the largest predators she has keen instincts and the ability to provide well for her family.

Use her medicine now to find out how to keep on focus for achieving your own goals.

Mitakuye Oyasin – We Are All Related

Reflections on a rainy day

I awoke today to a grey sky and a thin drizzle of rain.  The thought of getting out of my warm cosy bed was less than appealing.  But the rain is a gift of the season.  It waters the thirsty earth, bringing life and vigour to the slumbering vegetation.  I too must use this day, as if it were my only day, and not squander its opportunities.  I have writing to do, work preparations and perhaps the greatest gift of this day, an opportunity for reflection.

So I shall leave you with these words, written so long ago by someone much wiser than I:
Continue reading

Samhain

Every year throughout October, we prepare for Hallowe’en. Some people love it, some try to ignore it, others loathe it but we all feel its presence. Like a dream in the collective unconscious it creeps into our awareness and will not budge until the last trick or treater has gone home and laid its ghosts to rest.

The first signs appear, of course, in the shops. Bats; broomsticks; spiders; cauldrons and pumpkins can be seen everywhere. Then the preparations infiltrate playgroups, nurseries and schools. Because children love Hallowe’en and for them, its all about Trick or Treat. For the young, the emphasis is on treats – dressing up and going around the neighbourhood with a goody bag, which will, with luck, come back bulging with goodies. For the older child it may turn to trickery, ranging from harmless pranks to more serious misdemeanours. People who fall pray to these tricks may be heard to mutter about American Ideas, believing it to be yet another notion from across the pond that has taken root in our culture.

But did it really begin there? Or does Hallowe’en draw on an altogether more ancient heritage?

The truth is, like most modern festivals, its roots probably go back to the mists of time before recorded histories began. All we can be reasonably certain of is that this celebration, to our pagan ancestors, was the most important festival of the year.

To our Celtic forefathers, Hallowe’en was known as Samhain. The word Samhain means more literally Summer’s End. To these farming folk, there were really only two seasons – summer and winter. And this concept became reflected in their spiritual beliefs as dark and light; bountiful and barren; active and inactive.

Its original purpose was to celebrate the final harvest of the year and prepare for the hard days of winter. For our ancestors farmed the land and lived from its bounty. They had no science, no technology. Everything they had came from the land on which they made their homes; their lives depended on what they could hunt, grow or gather and so they lived with, and by, the seasons. In their tribal culture, they had to make the best use of what nature provided during the growing season and store sufficient to ensure their tribe’s survival through the winter ahead.

Samhain was celebrated around about October 31, or when the last harvest was in and the food was safely stored. Cattle would be culled and only those best suited to surviving the lean months could be kept until spring. The meat from the cull would be salted and cured to keep the families fed. The final harvest from fruit and vegetables was gathered and carefully packed to ensure good keeping. The last of the grain harvest would be stored for cattle feed.

Everyone high born or low was involved in this work. But at the end of all their hard labours, they would feast. This was a way of celebrating both their work’s end and of giving thanks to the Deities of the land who had provided their food.

It may seem odd that the end of summer should be celebrated as the most important of the ancient festivals. But to our Celtic ancestors, all things began in darkness; the day began at dusk and so it is logical that their counting of the year would begin at the onset of darkness too.

And perhaps it seemed only right to thank the Gods for their provisions after the harvest while also petitioning them to protect them through the winter to come. For just as Samhain marks the end of one season, it also heralds the beginning of the new. And so to our Celtic forefathers, Samhain was the New Year, or the turning of the Wheel. One of their many gods would straddle this time nexus, looking back over the passing year and looking forward to the days ahead.

I think there were other, more pragmatic reasons for beginning the year as the days of darkness approached. If we look at the lifestyles of these people, they were run by the seasons and at the end of the harvesting period, the time of planning for the next year’s work must be done. It would be no good leaving it until our New Year, when the days were so short that little work could be done. In October, however, there was still some daylight to get outside and do essential repairs on the land; hedges to cut back; fences to mend; decisions to be made about spring planting. And I wonder if this is how our now diluted New Year’s Resolutions came about – essentially an in-depth planning strategy for the next year’s labours, begun immediately after the New Year Feast of Samhain.

There may have been an even stranger reason, to our modern way of thinking. During the summer, any fighting over boundaries would be done; many of the men folk would go to battle, leaving the youngsters and the women to care for the land. As the days began to grow shorter and darker, the men would finally come home, for the darker months decreed that any hostilities would cease and for a few months the men would be back with their families, safe in their simple homes. What better time to celebrate?

And in that spirit of reflection and remembrance, their simple harvest festival of thanks and feasting took on another role, that of honouring their beloved dead and inviting them, for one night of revelry, to join them again in the physical world. This custom lives on in Hallowe’en with its themes of ghosts; is echoed by All Saints Day in honour of the Saints of Christianity celebrated on November 1st and echoes once more in Latin America on El Dia de los Muertos; the Day of the Dead. On this day families decorate the graves of their dear departed with flowers, sweets and other gifts. And so, the two themes most evident in modern Hallowe’en celebrations ~ of remembering the dead and divining the future ~ are inextricably linked to these first pagan customs.

So the ancient worship of the land brought about through our reliance upon nature made way for the coming of more modern religious practises. Its sacred purpose has been re-written; but Samhain or Halloween, our ancient heritage is alive and well.

Perspective

The carousel horse gazed at me with sadly vacant eye
And whispered softly in my mind; I wish that I could fly
Instead of going round and round and round …
And then the rocking horse spoke up, I wish that I were you;
You’re blessed in that you get to see an ever changing view
I’d rather that than bouncing up and down …
But the marionette murmured sadly, I wish I had your springs;
I only get to dance around when someone pulls my strings –
What point is there in being someone’s clown?

Then from a tiny gilded cage I heard the sweetest song
The golden notes sang clear to me; I think they have it wrong –
Things are not always as they seem to be;
I saw the wings so cruelly clipped, the tiny flightless bird,
Who gladly sang within her cage and uttered not a word
Of what she’d lost and things she’d never see.
She sang a song of love and joy for everyone to hear
And people came from far and wide.   I brushed away a tear,
For still I saw a bird who was not free.

But later on I reached a point I thought I understood;
From every situation you can find something of good
If something good is what you think you’ll find;
But if you always think that someone else has so much more –
Your expectations will be met – you always will be poor:
Our limitations forge the chains that bind.
So many things we cannot change except our point of view:
Perhaps in hope the captive finds a liberty that’s true –
And freedom may be just a state of mind.

Freespirit © 2004