Sunday, July 26, 2015

Joie de Vivre Tarot deck interview spread

I've been using the Joie de Vivre Tarot deck as the deck for choosing my daily Tarot card draw. This deck was written and illustrated by Paulina Cassidy. I actually use the deck app from The Fool's Dog, which has a "card of the day" function. The deck booklet describes this deck as one that helps to "access child-like energy in each one of us to help stimulate, enhance, and inspire joy in our own lives."

For my deck interview spread I ask four questions. What should I know about your personality and characteristics as a deck? What are your strengths as a deck? What are your weaknesses as a deck? What types of readings do you prefer to do/answer?

Here is a picture of the deck interview spread I did with the Joie de Vivre Tarot.

What should I know about your personality and characteristics as a deck?
3 of Cups, 10 of Cups, 4 of Swords
     Working with this deck is like chatting with your friends. It's supportive and relational. This deck helps you see balanced perspectives and shows things in a positive light.

What are your strengths as a deck?
King of Pentacles, Six of Cups, The Tower
      This deck's strengths include helping you take control of your daily life, looking at the bright side of difficult topics, helping you to see big changes that are coming, and helping you to make big changes.

What are your weaknesses as a deck?
Ace of Pentacles, Page of Swords, Two of Cups
     This deck is lacking in helping with acceptance, thinking of things in a new way/alternative perspectives, and relationship questions.

What types of readings do you prefer?
The Star, Four of Cups, Knight of Wands
     This deck prefers readings for guidance and hope, showing people what their options are, and how to move into action.

I hope you enjoyed this deck interview with the Joie de Vivre Tarot by Paulina Cassidy. Please join me for more deck interview spreads in the future.  :-)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Having a set and scheduled daily spiritual practice... or not.

I just read the blog post above. This really speaks to me. With chronic illness, I have a VERY hard time with a set daily schedule or routine. My symptoms vary in severity from day to day, hour to hour, even sometimes minute to minute. For some reason I've gotten very hard on myself about not having a set daily routine of a spiritual practice. But it's just not always realistic for myself. However, most days I DO actually do something related to my spiritual path. I read books or websites related to my spiritual path. I spend a few minutes outside checking in with what's going on out there, looking to see if the Red tailed hawk pair are around, noticing the birds and bugs flying around as the dogs race around and play in the backyard. I think about my spiritual practice and what I'd like to do, even if I'm not up to doing it that day. I think about my personal spirit guides, pray, and make offerings. I work with my crystals, or even just tend to them by dusting them and rearranging them. I draw a daily Oracle card from one of my various decks and look at a daily Tarot card on my multitude of Tarot apps I have on my tablet. All of these things "count" towards a daily spiritual practice. So why am I so hard on myself for not having a set schedule or doing exactly the same "spiritual" stuff at the same time every day? Who knows... I'm rereading all I've just written and that's a LOT of different things that I do on different days that are related to my spiritual path. I'm not "slacking" at all. Guess I need to stop being so hard on myself and let go these preconceived ideas of what my spiritual path should look like.

I started this post early yesterday. While I was surfing around in Facebookland, a FB friend shared this blog post.

Seeing this blog post made my day!! It gave me hope and a new method to try for moving forward. It's not related to a set schedule, but to examining the decisions we make and trying to make better ones. Each day you decide what better decision you want to make that's different from one you're used to making. It can be different every day, but can't be something you already do on a regular basis. I feel like this is SO doable, even with how my physical (and mental) condition fluctuates so much. I have a phrase on the lock screen of my phone and tablet. This usually reflects something I want to focus on, kinda like an affirmation or reminder. I've already changed my phrase to "One better decision" as my focus for the time being. This really seems like a doable way for me to start making some of the changes I want to make, without it being too overwhelming.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Myths & Mermaids Oracle of the Water Deck Interview Spread

The Myths & Mermaids Oracle of the Water is another Oracle deck illustrated by Jasmine Beckett-Griffith. With this deck, she collaborates with her two sisters, Amber Logan and Kachina Mickeletto. The focus of this Oracle deck is the Water Fae, spirits of the water, mermaids, sprites, nymphs, etc. I've actually been working with this Oracle deck for the past few weeks, even though I generally try to work with a different Oracle each week. While I'm not typically drawn to mermaids, this Oracle has been quite soothing to work with over the past few weeks with how hectic and frustrating things have been (weather changes and such that have flared my health issues). I found the messages to be spot on and helpful.

Here's a picture of the deck interview spread for the Myths & Mermaids Oracle of the Water.

My deck interview spread is fairly simple. I ask four questions. What should I know about your personality and characteristics as a deck? What are your strengths as a deck? What are your weaknesses as a deck? What types of readings do you prefer to do/answer?

What should I know about your personality and characteristics as a deck?
23-Golden Mermaid
     This is a deck that stirs us up from complacency. It helps us to get out of a rut, set goals, and push ourselves.

What are your strengths as a deck?
31-Autumn Mermaid
     This deck excels at helping us to prepare for and work through change.

What are your weaknesses as a deck?
32- Hamadryad Lake (reversed)
     The short answer is this deck isn't great for relationship questions. It also can be lacking in dealing with things below the surface, which can create a false sense of security.

What types of readings do you prefer?
28-A Certain Slant of Light
      This deck prefers readings that give divine insight and illumination. It likes to help us see new perspectives. It prefers readings of enlightenment, that is bringing things to light.

I hope you enjoyed this deck interview spread with the Myths & Mermaids Oracle of the Water. Please join me for more deck interview spreads in the future.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Sparklies

Just realized it's been two weeks since I last posted. Ah, the "joys" of the ups and downs of chronic illness... So, here's what's happened since I last posted. I went to the Full Moon ritual at Sage Goddess. It was good. I also talked to a very nice lady and her daughter about stones. I have to figure out something for those rituals though as by the end I was so physically uncomfortable I could barely concentrate on the ritual meditation. I'm thinking I may need to try laying down instead of sitting.

I got two new crystal books. I love my Crystal Bible 1 and 2, but I wanted to take a look into some different perspectives on crystals and stones. I got The Crystal Healer by Phillip Permutt. It's decent. I like that it has the stones according to color. Makes it a bit easier to find a stone if you don't know the name of one. I also got The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals, and Stones by Margaret Ann Lembo. I really like the glossy pages for some reason. This book has quite a lot of information for each stone. It has keywords, colors, several associations including chakra, planet, number, element, astrological sign, mohs scale, emotional uses, physical uses, spiritual uses, mental uses, and divine guidance (kinda like some questions to think or journal on), along with some very basic geological information.

I have started exploring Druidry/Druidism. I have been looking for something to give me a bit more structure in my path. Wicca just isn't for me. I've looked at some of the Northern Tradition/Asatru stuff and that's just not quite right either. I decided to take a look at some stuff on Druidry since I really haven't explored that very much. I found a few things that really resonated with me. So I'm going to keep exploring. I also remembered that a friend of mine is a member of a Druid Grove, so I'm talking to her about some of this as well.

I really need to get back into a regular meditation practice daily. I've still not started back up with my shamanic journeying like I've been wanting to do either. I've been allowing myself to get distracted. So my goal is to refocus on daily spiritual practice (and blogging here). I also need to try to be doing something physically. My mom got me a low impact, low energy isometric dance video for people with chronic health problems. I've yet to even try it. I also found a seated tai chi video on youtube. So my goal is to try those with a slow and careful start. With my chronic health issues I'm incredibly sensitive to physical exertion. Even the simplest things can trigger a flare. So I plan to start with some seated movement work and see how that goes. I am doing a little better and eating some fruits and a small salad daily as a positive change with my eating habits.

My husband just got back from a work trip to New Orleans. While there, he picked out several stones for me from a store he went to.

Not the greatest picture... The largest is an Elestial Quartz. Then clockwise starting with the pink one is a Pink Lemurian, 3 forms of Prehnite, Lemon Citrine, Moonstone, Bronzite, and Howlite (center)
I just got them, so I'll update you in the future on how they feel and working with them.

That's all for now. I'll be trying to be more consistent with posting here. Hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

To be open about your path or not...

Hi all! I ended up taking a little break as the past 2 weeks have been pretty busy. My husband has been in and out of town for work and my parents came to visit. I had a wonderful visit with my parents. However, their visits are always slightly problematic. My parents are conservative Christians. They know I'm no longer Christian, but do not know about my Pagan beliefs or that I use Tarot and such. I'm pretty sure they'd be freaked out if they knew more about my personal path. The initial conversation I had with my mom after she realized I wasn't going to church anymore wasn't very great. She refused to read any of the books I suggested so that she could learn more about my beliefs. We basically agreed to disagree. She believes I'm in a battle for my soul with the Devil. I do not believe this. So we let the subject drop. But, when my parents come to visit, I choose to put away my more obvious Pagan stuff like my books and altar. I leave my crystals out because I have far too many to put them away and I can pass off my interest as an interest in Geology.

There are many people who say we should not hide our beliefs. I agree to a point. For me, letting my parents see my Pagan stuff would be incredibly stressful and would likely cause an argument. I don't want to deal with that and prefer to keep the peace, especially since I only see them a few times a year. For me, the negatives of being completely open and honest with them far outweighs the benefits. I believe everyone needs to decide what is best for them when it comes to sharing their beliefs. I don't see anything wrong with keeping things private, especially if sharing creates family strife or could put your job in jeopardy. I'm very lucky to have a spouse who supports me fully even though my path is not his.

I also got some new stones while I was out with my parents. We went into a shop down in Long Beach, CA. It was a Native American type store. Those types of stores tend to rub me the wrong way, cultural appropriation and all, but I was with my parents. The people working in the shop appeared to possibly be Native American, so who knows... Anyway, I was looking at their worry stones and saw a VERY nice blue stone that I just had to have. I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time. I also found a moss agate and tree agate worry stones as well. They were only $5 each, so I bought them. You don't see those as worry stones very often, so I didn't want to pass them up. After consulting with a friend of mine, we determined the blue stone is an aquamarine. I'm really glad I bought it now because I've never seen an aquamarine worry stone before and it only cost me $5. :-)

Left to right: Moss Agate, Aquamarine, Tree Agate worry stones
Saturday, I brought my Pagan stuff back out and re-set up my altar. I was looking at making some changes anyway, and this was a good time to do that. Lately, I have been feeling called by 3 different pantheons of deities. I have always been drawn to the Greco-Roman mythologies, particulary the Roman side of it. Recently I have also been very drawn to the Gallic-Celtic (ancient Gaul, as opposed to the British Isles Celtic) and Norse/Germanic pantheons as well. I have been seeing "coincidences" and signs that are pointing me towards these three pantheons. I believe this is in part due to my heritage, which is German, French, and Spanish (Spain) on my mother's side. On my father's side I'm a Polish mutt. :-) I'm still relatively new to this whole polytheism thing, so I'm still trying to figure this all out. I'm a book learning type person, so I've been exploring stuff on ancient Rome, the Northern Traditions (Norse/Germanic), and now Ancient Gaul around the time of ancient Rome. I've had some meditations that have lead me to exploring these.

There isn't as much information on ancient Gaul as there is for ancient Rome and the Northern Traditions. A lot of the information on Gaul and the Northern Traditions comes from historical sources of the conquerers (Rome and Christianity), so it is biased. However it gives some interesting information. There is interesting information from Celtic and Northern Tradition reconstruction groups, though I don't think I necessarily want to go that formal in my practice at this point. I also just found a website that might be helpful, I'm exploring this website and I think it will be quite interesting. I'm still reading and searching so I can try to figure out how I'm supposed to incorporate this all into my path. For now, I'm giving offerings (mixtures of dry teas that smell really nice) to the three pantheons on my altar. It's a start and you gotta start somewhere. I plan on doing some more meditations and journeys to explore this.

Today I'm heading to Sage Goddess for the July Full Moon Ritual. It's going to be a kundalini ritual, which I haven't experienced before. We'll see how it goes.  :-)