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Archive for December, 2012

So, everyone survived despite those rumors of the world coming to an end? Or maybe it’s just a case of PST? And what is PST?! There was someone on Facebook who had published on her log that maybe, since the Mayan people where pagans, they was operating at PST, Pagan Standard Time. You don’t know still? Here is a great explanation of it at About.com. I think my daughter is on it too… most of the time at least.

I was very happy and grateful for the gifts me and my daughter got from a sweet friend from Australia. She had sent daughter some clothes and I got Messenger Oracle by Ravynne Phelan and a lovely candle too, I forgot the name of the shop, but I’ll add it when I find it again 🙂 (I found it! It’s The Candlewytch Shop)

Today I tried the Book of Shadows Tarot out  for the first time. It’s always interesting to see what will be, if you can make anything out of those pieces of cardboard with pictures on them. Not to hard to hold in my hands, shuffled pretty easy but it’s also that question, how well do they hold together, without split corners and edges. It doesn’t seem to be any problems with that at least.

This spread I tried, called Interview with a new deck and I can’t find out where I got it from. Looks like this

….4

..3…2

5…1…6

1. 2 of Earth – Tell me more about yourself. What is your most important characteristic?

2. 5 of Air – What are your strengths as a deck?

3. 4 of Air – What are your limits as a deck?

4. 2 of Fire – What do you bring to the table – what are you here to teach me?

5. 4 of Fire – How can I best learn from and collaborate with you?

6. 10 of Fire – What is the potential outcome of our working relationship?

The first card shows two gnomes. One is going through water at a shoreline that seems very much stone and creates pools of water when the water is low. The sun seems to be going down and light up the clouds underneath at the horizon and create those beautiful colors of pink, yellow and orange. In the middle of those rose-colored and purple shades there is something blue and prickly that this gnome is about to get or look at. The other one is further back, sitting at the edge with his legs in the water, waiting or perhaps only looking for a place to put his feet before he gets in it too. This card is called Beach. What can we find out about this deck then, and what is the most important characteristic? First thought, or feeling, is stillness, then comes patience, waiting, get a feeling for things. A feeling of calm, relaxation, fills me all of a sudden. This is the cards that seeks the stillness and the answers that is there, it gives a feeling of what it tries to tell as much as a picture.

The second card shows us a palm where the most basic lines shown by fairies. The card is called Palmistry, reading of hands, and even the background is highlighted around this hand in a turquoise color like an aura  with darker lines across. This card is about what the strengths is and I’m not sure about what it’s trying to tell me as in the first card, but it’s just listen to the first card  and go inwards. I’m not good at this palmistry thing so I’ve tried to look at what lines they’ve marked, and all together it is the areas that we humans care most about. This is the deck that tries to help us find the answers on questions we feel is important in our lives and where we find them.

Four leaf clover

Four leaf clover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Card number three is a human that’s walking through a corridor of some sort with a cage or some similar (there are bars on it) on the right side of the card and in the background there seems to be a full lunar eclipse, might be why the light is dim. Fairies in purple and blue flies around, one on top of a raven and another holding a four leaf clover in front of it, yet another one seems is picking up a nut or something from the ground and the last one is fluttering behind the head of a sitting cat. The card is named Omens and then we might grasp that part with the four leaf clover, cat and the others. Then we might get an explanation of what kind of limitations this deck will have, at least in my hands. My thought is that there wont be any predictions of death and despair, not any lucky numbers or stuff like that (I don’t do that anyway so…). Even if there might pop up things that’s not really belonging to the everyday life one might be a little careful with interpreting things as danger and evil forces with any signs that can come up. I get the feeling that it knows that it can be a little frightening sometimes, that you can misinterpret things, but if you keep it in mind the unknown might not be so bad after all.

Fourth card shows us a golden sphere surrounded by a blue nimbus, almost flames on top of it. Underneath we can see two salamanders flanking it and above the sphere is Mercury with his staff and helmet with wings on the sides, so the sphere is probably Mercury. This card tells us what the deck brings to the table, what it is here to teach me. In short, communication. To learn to receive and deliver messages and learnings, to put it forth in a way that you avoid misunderstandings and that the messages wont get lost in the flow of messages and information we are overflowed by. Maybe we can have some help with sorting it out?

Fifth card is a fighter, pure and simple. A red planet in the background with a warrior in full armor and a spear in his right hand (resembles a Roman) and four salamanders at his feet. How I best can learn and collaborate with this deck. Hmm, that was interesting certainly to get this card then, how is that? To fight and not give up when it feels hard and one would rather give up and put everything away. Sometimes you just have to pull through those times, or what you for the moment perceive as difficulties, for it to ease and realise that sure you can and you have much more strength than you think. So I’m not giving up even if I’m wondering if I can manage to do spreads with this deck.

Last card show us a starry sky with lots of different constellations and salamanders at the edges like silhouettes lined with pale blue. The card is simply called Stars and it’s rather fitting considering. What the possible outcome is for our working relationship? It will probably be very varied and not ending at one thing but look at many aspects and possibilities, depending on how willing I am to learn more, widening my horizons and gain more knowledge. It will be as varied as I will let it.

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I know, it’s been a long time since last. Life in the real world got between. When we had finished the moving and things, I was really tired and then my back decided it didn’t like me anymore so being at the computer was not an option for some days and then only for a little while at a time. To add some more daughters new bed arrived and it took some time to get it done. But there’s nothing like three generations of women to take care of things (me, my mum and daughter), so now she’s got a new bed and very happy about it.

As I told you before my new deck, Book of Shadows Tarot – As Above, has arrived and I finally got around reading the book and looking at the cards. What is interesting with this deck is that it will be two of them that belongs together, but can be used separately. The other one is So Below and will be published during 2013, or so it’s said. This one, As Above, came in a box that is already made for keeping both decks and the book. And there is some extra thought put into it since it’s got a magnetic flap that’s keeping it closed. A well made box that is looking good too and well made inside, and it’s got a picture from the deck on the inside also. They have even thought about that it can become hard to get one deck out of it without dropping the other one at the same time so they’ve put a ribbon for each deck to make it easier getting them out of there. It’s sort of like things that has batteries with that little ribbon to help out with getting them out of tight spaces.

Book of Shadows Tarot

What more might one want to know if you haven’t seen it irl yet… Start with the book perhaps? It’s amazingly thin when you compare it with other tarot kits that you’ve seen before. But it contains the information you need about the decks and what is a little different is that the pictures is in color! And besides that? Barbara Moore, the author of the book has described paganism at large since there is a wide variety in this area, even if most of what you see has some relations with wicca. She also add some about magic and what it can be used for and how. The only thing that really disturbs me with this book is the spelling really, not that many, but maybe I’m a little geeky. I’m disturbed about that something that’s supposed to be professional  and reach a wide range of people at the market is let through with some petty spelling errors! But I shouldn’t say to much, no one is perfect and least of all me (this is my second language if that is any excuse). We all make mistakes, but once again… didn’t they have someone, or several someones, who read it and saw this? Oh well, lets put this aside, the content is good, well thought out and give some reading suggestions to give you some more to learn from, you can’t squeeze in to much in a book about tarot when it comes to magic and paganism, there is no room. Then she tells us some about this when she introduces the cards one by one so you get more than you think. And then all the cards have their space with explanations on their respective area that it covers and naturally some keywords for the interpretation. Then there is a summation of all the keywords for each card and a description of the next deck, So Below, but that one is much shorter. After this she continues to do comparisons of the cards in the major arcana from both decks and interpretation with the cards, more spreads, some familiar like the Celtic Cross and some techniques for using two decks when you are doing spreads. Will be interesting to try later and see what happens.

the-book-of-shadows-tarot-book

So, you want to hear about the cards too? I thought you would be happy just hearing about the book. No, would be very odd if you just talked about the book when the cards are here too. In size they are standard, usual size. They are not as shiny on the front as on the back, that one is just as slippery as most new decks. Looking at the back you can’t tell what is up and down, positive if you are using reversed cards or put the cards face down before you interpret them. A starry sky with the symbol of the Triple Goddess and the pentacle, bronze colored and not white as you would think when you read moon, and nothing that disturb the details.

More to tell then. This isn’t a standard version of RWS (Rider Waite Smith) when it comes to the pictures and names of the cards. If we start with the mMajor Arcana there is just one that kept it’s traditional name, The World. Strength is #8 and Justice #11. The MA deals with the bigger subjects in paganism, Wheel of the Year, the Goddess and the God, the Elements and things like that. The Fool is called The Summerlands, where we go when we die and where we come from when we are reborn, the Magician is called The Elements, The Moon – Samhain, Death – Yule, Star – Imbolc, Temperance – Ostara, The Lovers – Beltane, The Sun – Litha, The Devil/The Horned One – Lammas and Justice – Mabon. definitely different from what I’m used to and I will probably have to look twice until I get used to it. One card that probably will make me confused is The Chariot, called Transformation in this deck. It makes me think more of Death or perhaps Judgement, since it’s those cards that usually touch that area.

What about the minors? They are like Gaian Tarot, instead of Wands and the others, they are called Fire, Air, Water and Earth so you don’t have to argue about why Wands and Swords should be fire or air or anything else. Fire is about the planets and we are also told some about using timing in magic, like moon phases, days of the week and such. Air is about divination and oracles, dreams, palmistry and more. Water is different Goddesses and Earth deals with our dear planet Earth as man, the beach, plants, rocks and crystals and so on. The court cards haven’t gone unnoticed either, they have changed names and I know that I probably will switch places with Aces and Pages since the Pages are called Elements (she mentions this in the book, that the Pages have many similarities with the Aces), Knights are called Maiden, Queens – Mother and the King is the Crone. Pretty much Goddess oriented and perhaps the God should have some more space, but that’s not the way it is so just accept it or don’t. In the case of the latter you can choose not to buy the deck.

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Oh well, some times it ain’t easy. Lack of energy, major lack of it. And it didn’t become better when my beloved mum was moving, of course we helped out and then  when you get home, you don’t really feel like starting on your own home on top of it. Been some intense weeks here but now I’m slowly getting around my home too. It is after all coming to a bigger holiday no matter how and what you celebrate, or don’t.

 

So what do you celebrate? Christmas with the thought of the birthday of Jesus or do you just celebrate it because it’s nice to have good food, friends and family, lights and laughter, gifts and a wonderful day or two? Or maybe you’re one of us who celebrate the Winter Solstice, Yule or what you want to call it. I’m one of the latter, even if I do spend time with family a couple of days later out of tradition even if I don’t celebrate the birth of someone who might not have existed, and probably wasn’t born at this time of year anyway.

 

If we really start looking at it we can find out that, at least here in Scandinavia, the dark and cold north, we celebrated the returning light, and many other things. And in the middle of the darkest times what would be better than to try to coax that light to come back again and at the same time having something fun with good food, drink and light among family and friends? This tradition is old, older than we might have thought about even. If you start reading about Yule at Wikipedia there is a lot of interesting reading about where the word derive from and how and where it is used. And then we go take a look at Winter Solstice and find other interesting things to read and learn from.

 

And you know what, we don’t celebrate very differently from anyone else who’s having a Christian holiday coming up now. Simply because Christianity adopted (I don’t want to say steal) many old holidays as theirs because it made it easier to keep all those heathens/pagans into the church if they kept them, just as they erected churches at places considered holy where there used to be celebrations and rituals performed. Not blaming anyone here so don’t jump on me or anyone else pagan about it. My thought about it is that this has happened many times even if no one have ever recorded it so it’s been known in any book about history so far. A holy well that’s been used for thousands of years, why not continue using the same well instead of declaring it evil? Just easier to convince people that their old Gods and Goddesses, beliefs of all sorts, was evil and of the Devil or some other evil force/spirit.

 

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Santa Claus. Date approximate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It’s the same with Santa Claus and Lucia, why make them evil when you can turn them into saints (as did Brigid, or any other spelling you prefer). They where of different origin to begin with and then transformed to suit the church, simple as that. Just to make it simple for me you can read of Santa Claus, or Old Nik, and Lucia that really wasn’t that Catholic saint we’ve been told about but instead Freya that of course was considered an evil spirit instead until they came up with a better explanation. And this with the white gowns and the red ribbons around the waist started late 1800’s so that particular part of tradition we have now isn’t very old really.

 

No clean up fairy in sight and I better get something to eat before I continue her (or is it his?) job. Hope to get here sooner now. Oh, and before I forget it, I got my Book of Shadows Tarot the other day. More fun to do, and an excuse to take a break from cleaning now and then!

 

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