There is no wrong way to read the Tarot

If there were only one way to read a tarot card then why are there so many different decks?  Why do we even need pictures?  Why are there so many beautiful decks out there?  Some decks are “traditional” Rider-Waite style with a story in the picture while others are more abstract.  Is any deck “more” correct than another?  Is a 4 of cups in 1 deck the exact same as the 4 of cups in another?  Do cups in one deck have the same significance and symbolism as in another?

 

This is one of the frustrating things I’ve learned about tarot.  I’ve been reading books on the tarot, and one thing I find super common is the reliance upon the Rider-Waite (RW) mythos to heavily influence all interpretations many of my books.  This would be great if all decks shared the same mythos, but they don’t.  My Druid Craft deck has similarities to the RW, but also has card unique to the druid belief system.  These cards are similar in their representations, but also hold their own power because of their source in the druid faith.  Does that make them wrong?

 

Is it more important to apply the same meaning on a card even if it doesn’t answer your question?  Is it super crucial to worry and sweat over trying to find meaning in an answer you can’t even see in the card, despite what a book says?

 

For me, the answer is no.  I try to make sense of the picture more than what the number, title, signifier or suit is.  I try to see if the cards are interacting with each other or not.  Then I try to find the answer in my gut.  Is this right?  Who knows?  It feels right for me so I’m going with it.  I wish I could be one of those people who draws a card, sees a story and is confident enough to share it.  That’s one of my goals, and I’m hoping to use this platform to get there.  But it’s hard.  Where’s my research, my source, my evidence?  My gut, my heart, and my soul are all I really need.  Right?  Yes, yes of course.  Intuition, deep breathing, and a story are all you need.

 

Is it right for you?  No?  What do you do?  

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Setting Intentions

Sometimes life becomes so routine and “normal” that it’s easy to find myself stuck on autopilot.  And sure, autopilot can be great when it comes to getting lunches packed, coffee made, and the taters started on breakfast before I can join them.  But some days I feel that I missed an entire day.  I try to write in my journal and it’s just a list of things I did, robotic and unattached.  There wasn’t any living, it was just doing.

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Recently, I’ve found myself at odds with this in terms of my spiritual path.  I’ve found myself doing things because others do them that way.  Like I read in a book that I’m supposed to do X then Y then Z because that’s what the author does.  I watched a video and was instructed to this thing this certain way because that’s how they do it.   But I’m not them.  

This has been my biggest challenge since starting on my solitary spiritual path.  Being solitary works really well for me, but its hard to feel any sliver of confidence because I’m so new to this whole thing.  So much that I’ve spent an incredibly long time in the “research” phase of this path.  Constantly pushing off actually doing something because I need to read 4 more things that support or deny it.  I need to wait for the right time or I jump into a new subject because it’s easier for me to read and research than find the courage to act on what I know.

I have many theories in my head, many reasons for using this herb or this lunar phase or why its important to some to work in a circle and why others don’t care.  Sure, but that’s paper and thoughts.  That’s not actions.

I want to share the one thing that I have noticed works really well for me.  Setting an Intention Whenever I pull tarot cards, I try to sit for a moment and set an intention before I even touch my deck.  Sometimes I write this in my tarot journal, but if I’m short on time then I just say it to myself.

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Setting an intention is like lighting a candle.  It provides a focused amount of light to help guide the activity, be it tarot draws, meditation, even a spell.  For me, it helps provide focus, which helps me better connect to the activity.  Sometimes I make them very specific, sometimes broad and open statements.  It just depends on the day and action at hand.  I have noticed that I am more receptive to understanding a message when I have an intention than if I pull a card just to pull.

Intentions can also help kick me out of autopilot.  Instead of just reaching to my cards, shuffling, and picking one, I have something to think about, puzzle through, and gnaw on as I study the card or cards.    Is it guiding or leading me to certain interpretations, certainly; however, I feel that I glean more from the cards this way than just looking at them blind.  Not only will intentions help provide nudges and directions, they also help get me more in-tune with what I’m doing.

Intentions can be set for anything, even outside of the land of the spiritual realm.  I sometimes set them for myself when I have to run errands with the kiddos, when I make dinner, even at the start of my day.

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They can be pages upon pages in a journal.  They can be a few words.  They can even be an image.  It’s up to you.  They can have their own pomp and ceremony or just be conceived between breaths.    Whatever feels right.  Sometimes I get carried away with them in my journal, but sometimes I just envision myself smiling contently after doing some action.  They don’t have to be fancy, recorded, or even remembered after the action.  But they are super helpful in guiding the action.  A simple phrase such as “I am strong” can do amazing things for you, despite its small size.

I’ve found many websites that offer “powerful” or “inspiriting” intentions for you to borrow.  Borrow them if you need to, but never forget that you are capable of creating just as powerful or inspiring intentions yourself.

For me, action without an intention leaves room for anxiety.  Am I doing this right?  I don’t feel anything.  Did I miss a step?  Am I even close to doing this right?  What did I do wrong?  Thoughts like that flood through my head.  But with an intention, I don’t have to look so far and wide to feel something or see something.  It doesn’t skew my vision much either because sometimes I have a plan that goes this certain way, and then the actions take me another way either because the way I want isn’t the best way or the way I want isn’t the only way.

I can talk up a storm about this topic.  I need to remember to put this into practice when I do my actions.  Not only will they lend clarity, but they will also build confidence.  Something I feel that I really need in order to ever start doing all of the things I’ve read about.

Do you set intentions?  When and why?  Any favorites?

Thoughts on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (so far)

Okay, so I am way behind the times.  I’ve been meaning to read this book, but I’ve been avoiding the actual cleaning that will most likely occur while and after reading it.  I’m such a great example of a grown up, totally taking responsibility.

 

During my walk this morning, I was in need of a book to listen to and Hoopla was kind enough to remind me that this audio book was waiting for me.  J and I have been trying to be more minimalistic in our lifestyle, so why not try to be a family of tidy minimalists?  So one dog, 2 headphones, and 2 miles later I made it through Chapter 2.

My initial impressions include downright shock, shame, and hope.

The shock was from her repeated direction to tidy all at once.   In terms of areas that I cohabitate in with the husband and kiddos.    I’m not purging husband’s things without asking him or having him review the “disposal” pile.  And the kiddos.  I feel that the only way I could really do this would be to surprise them one day while they were out of the house, but I feel like that can be violating.  My mom used to do this.  It was out of love, but she would go through my stuff and it was uncomfortable.  But  maybe that’s just me projecting my own issues onto my kiddos.

And this leads into the feelings of shame.  I have a lot of stuff, and a lot of it I know I don’t actually need.  But I like it.  I have a connection to it.  I know it’s bad for me.  I’m not going to be seen on the latest episode of Horders any time soon, but I know we could use less stuff.  I have a terrible case of the “what ifs”  Sure, I only use this thing once every x months or even years, but what if I need it again?  What if I ask you.  I should probably look into this fear of not having an explore that more… The logical part of my brain tells me that I don’t need to feel ashamed of having stuff if I am willing to work on this.  The squish part of my brain is already looking for a box of tissues because it’s going to be hard no matter what.

But the end result will be amazing.  If everything could have a home, a use, and a function in my daily, weekly, monthly life I would be very happy.  She concluded chapter 2 with giving intentions for space and its use.  I LOVE this idea and I know that THIS, this right here, is what will help me with this challenge.

Certain areas in the house need this more than others.  And while I’d love to get through the entire house in one go, I know that’s not possible.  With a babysitter, laundry baskets for sorting items (donate, save, trash), and a lot of well-focused intentions I know we could make it through the living and family room.  (The worst rooms).  After those, I feel that the rest of the house could easily fall into order and be tidied.

 

However, before I jump into it, I’m going to make sure to finish the rest of the book.  Don’t want to miss any secrets or important steps because I rushed my actions without further reading.  Should finish it in the next few days, till then, I’m going to work on the intentions for each space.

2 of Pentacles Reversed: A lesson on listening to the advice the universe throws your way

Last week was a rough week for me.  There was a test, a practical, and then another test the following Monday.  Needless to say, I was a ball of stress.  Similar to a ball of yarn that you rescue from a litter of kittens after a few hours.  At least when asked to describe me, my husband was kind enough to stress the word hot before mess.  He’s so wise, that man.  😉

So many little pieces were in front of my eyes.  They all had the same need, but alas, there are only 24 hours in a day, and I would like to be nice to my family whenever possible, tests or not tests.

I tried to do it all.  I tried my best to Liz Lemon it, but we all know how that can turn out.

So, I turned to my tarot deck for some “support”.

I was hoping for a nice and warm card like the empress who’s totally showing off how much she’s got this thing call life covered.  Or even something more simple, the Star, which for me is my “I need to refill my own cup first” card.

Instead I pulled the King of Swords, reversed.  For me, swords are “head” cards.  They represent the mind, the logical, literal, must be in control of everything cards.  And to see the King, the master of all things heady standing on his head, I knew I needed to get out of my head.

But, not today.  It’s never right then, ever.  Am I right?

 

Okay, so that day ends, I have one more day before the stats test.  I “study” as best I can.  I really don’t enjoy stats, so it takes a LOT to even try to do this.  But I tried.  I worked through our review packet, I looked over things.  After 30 minutes, I slam my hand down on my imaginary Fuck it button.  That’s it.  I’m done.  Who cares about stats!  In a huff I turn to my tarot cards and pull the Fool, reversed.

The fool and I are not the best of friends.  I don’t pull him often, so we had to have some small talk before getting down to the heart of the matter.  The Fool is usually my “what could go wrong” card, the “leap then look” card.  However, while reversed, he was telling me to halt my super impulsive horses and look first.  So I made a plan to get back to studying, but with a time limit and reward for my super duper hard work.  (The reward was to read in bed, if you were wondering.  That is one of my favoritest things)

Okay, so I took a few deep breaths, worked a little more and then called it quits when I wasn’t understanding anything anymore.  I sorta listened to the card, but I don’t think it was just this instance it was referring to.  No, it was letting me think about things that would come the next day.

School the next day was just a pit of anxiety.  I had a hard time not getting wrapped up in it.  I am still working on this, it’s a really big challenge.  However, when I would get going the Fool would float up into my mind for some reason.  Don’t jump into the anxiety right now, you have enough of your own to deal with and you really don’t need any more.  I listened as best I could.

It actually helped.  The test was awful, but I could at least attempt an answer for everything.  And I passed it, so what more do you want?  I’m totally good with that.

By this time, I wasn’t as worried about the practical the next day.  It involved people, and I’m good with people.  I am an introvert to the max, but I can people with the best of them.  I just need to nap for 12 hours afterwards, but I’ve got this.

I am still waiting so see how that goes, but it’s cool.

I spend time with my family over the weekend.  The kids and I had some good time together and I was relaxed.  It was so nice.  Sunday afternoon, I had a study session with some classmates and got caught up in the frazzledness all over again.  So got home and panicked for a bit, studied more, and freaked myself out.

Monday morning, I arrived on campus 30 minutes before the test.  I had my cards in my bag and I pulled the 2 of pentacles out.  However, she was reversed.  In the druidcraft deck, when she’s reversed it looks like she’s dropping the balls, but it okay with it.  This was my sign to let it go.  It’s a test.  It’s not that important in the long run.  I need to just do my thing, read the questions, pick the right answers, and take many many many breaths.

So I did.  I listened to another chapter on my audiobook.  I walked in a little early, but I didn’t really study.  I helped answer questions of my classmates, but if I didn’t know it, I let someone else answer and I just tried to remain calm.

As I took the test, I felt that 10 out of the 30 questions were confusing.  But I took many breaths and didn’t jump into answers blindly, I listened to my gut, I did think about the questions and the answers, and when I did want to throw my hands up and turn it in because I was flustered, I didn’t.  My grade in the class was high enough, that even a test score that low wouldn’t be the end of my time in the program.  And then I took many more big and little breaths.

And after I turned it in, I was okay with myself.  I tried my best, I gave it my all, and I can’t do anything else about it right now.  I let that go.  Dropped it like it was more than lukewarm.

Why do I need so much nudging?  I get so mad with the kids when I have to repeat myself 47 times, and here I am acting just like one of them.  Where is the thing I’m looking for?  No, it’s obviously not that thing right in the middle of the floor that looks identical to what i’m looking for. Nope not it, it’s a clone.

Get out of my head, slow down and don’t be impulsive with my choices, and I can’t carry it all.

Solid message.  Now if only I could accept them as they come.  Stop fighting them.

 

So there it is.  My refusal to listen to the cards.  My cards and I are pretty tight, they give solid advice when I’m big enough to take it.  😉

 

All of that stress, and I could have been more receptive and enjoyed my week rather than drowning in feelings of overwhelm about all of the things.

 

 


Side note:  I read tarot without the book.  I have the Druidcraft Tarot Cards and they tell great stories.  I use the stories.  Anyone else do that?  Any one have a favorite deck?

 

Heart vs Head: a 30 day challenge to get my Woo back

It’s been awhile since I sat down with my tarot cards or even thought about the mystic world.  I apologize both to myself, my cards, and even to you.  Things have changed a lot since the eclipse.  I’ve returned to school to pursue a degree as an Occupational Therapy Assistant and have been swamped with homework that involves finding evidence, proof, research, studies, etc.

I love it, and honestly when I’m done, I feel that my own magic and divination practices will fit in well.  Occupational Therapy is about returning someone to wholeness, empowering them to function as the best version of themselves.  It’s not just what’s broken, it’s what lies underneath, surrounds, and looms ahead that is considered, too.   How does that not scream of magick?

And yet, I’ve been almost ashamed of using my cards, of burning incense, of anything “woo”.  Why?

So I decided to do something about it to try and reconnect with my cards and myself.

November is the host of “National Novel Writing Month”  which leads to the NaNoWriMo challenge of trying to write 50,000 words in one month.  I’ve participated a few times in the past, never reaching that goal, but still having fun.   However, with school I knew I’d have to put it off for this year.  Instead, I decided to work on my spiritual interests and build on my books of shadow and light.  30 days of tarot, magick, magical study.  I’ve been journaling my adventure over the past 12 days.

Somedays I’ve had a lot of time to read or meditate.  Others days I had just enough time to burn incense with a focus in mind.  However, I feel much closer to my cards and belief system.  I almost lost that to science.  I’ve even taken two days to reorganize my space and create a plan for where I could have “scared space” in a more permanent place of the house.  It all goes towards my 30 day goal of having a larger base of my book of light and shadow.  I’ve been reading more and letting my intuition pull me towards different aspects of magick.  I thought for a long time, I’d be a green witch.  But I enjoy gardening more than using the plants I grow.  And I’m very close to my rosemary right now.  So, greenish.  But making herby teas and remedies like that isn’t something I’m excited about.  I thought I would never enjoy candle magic, but I can’t wait to try it.  It’s fascinating to expand, grow, change, and learn.  I love it.

During this time, I’ve also been working with a new oracle deck that I rescued at my local used bookstore.  Tiger and Dragon Oracle I Ching cards.  When I first opened them at home I had a little buyer’s remorse.  However, they play super well with my Druid Craft Tarot deck, and we are all becoming fast friends and better at designing spreads.

Today’s spread is simple: past, present, future – tarot cards; and an oracle card to help show the relationships.

Past and future sit below present in a pyramid shape.  And the idea of the present it literally within this moment, or even moon cycle.  Nothing super crazy, but I like seeing how past and future are more connected than I realize.  And I like that present is highlighted at the top of the pyramid to remind me to be more present.

Today’s pull: using the Druid Craft Deck and the Tiger & Dragon Oracle Cards

Past – 2 of Swords

Present – High Preistess

Future – 5 of Wands

Oracle – Resoluteness

Seriously cards, this is exactly what I needed this morning.  I felt that the choice I had to make was getting harder and harder the more I was using my science and logic-loving mind.  I’m grateful that I created my grimoire project it’s helped reconnect.  This project has led me to draw the High Priestess card (a first).  I usually never resonate with the High Priestess.  She’s what I want to be, but I always feel that I’m not even close.  However, having her represent my present is a big reassurance that I am on the right path.  However, it won’t be easy and there will be conflict ahead with my choices.  And I can already think of a handful, which I won’t delve on, but I will journal about later.    As for my Oracle’s wisdom, Resoluteness is needed to keep my hold on trying to reach High Priestess-ness.  It won’t be easy, it hasn’t been easy, but it’s what I want and feel is right for me, so I should stick to the path.

 

Mindful Tarot, just a few thoughts

I just listened to the Biddy Tarot Podcast with special guest Lisa Freinkel discusses how to mindfully approach tarot.

Wow, so many ideas are racing around in my head after listening to this.

I’ve been wanting to become more mindful in my life.  I have my little timeouts that I try to go to when life is too hot of a mess.  They help, when I remember to even try them.  I have them, but they are a little dusty.  So, it seems that this strategy isn’t working for me.  If I were observing someone else, I would suggest that they try something different because whatever is trying to happen isn’t happening and probably won’t happen at this moment.  And that’s okay.

But I’m observing myself, and so kind words like that are never an option.  Nope, I am a failure, I suck, I should just give up and accept that I will never be X or Y or even Z.  The typical self-defeating talk.

Not today.  Nope.

Today, I learned that mindfulness can be done right with my tarot cards.  Now, how about that?playing-cards-2205554_1920

Lisa Freinkel explained that instead of arriving at the deck with a question, lay the cards and let the questions, reactions, ideas arise from there.  Don’t have expectations, just look at the cards to find resonance with your life.  Also, take breaths and reconnect with yourself, don’t rush the process.  And if you are being fair and honest with yourself, the meaning/questions will surface.  She also mentioned to free write with the card/cards in mind and allow the pen to take you places, but always make sure to breathe.

It’s almost like approaching the session backwards.  You see the answers and then need to glean the question.

Why I like this.  I usually do my tarot alone my bed, which is usually one of the few places I can hide from the kids of J.  So I am usually always in a place where reflection could naturally occur if I took the time.  I’ve just never thought about that before.

My bedroom has a lot of room for breath.  A lot of room for quietness.  A lot of room for stillness.  Something that usually isn’t found in the rest of our house, bless those kiddos.  😉  So starting in a mindful setting, it is only a natural leap to try a mindful tarot reading.

Pull a card or two and just feel them out.  I always try to journal about my readings, note any questions, spread designs (if they are significant), any patterns (like this morning, I drew the nine of wands and the nine of swords but both were reversed.  I also drew the hermit.  That’s a lot of nines), any cards that I’ve never pulled before in this spread or for this type of question or in a long long time.

Freinkel teaches journaling along with mindful tarot, delving into the moment of the cards and, as Bridget always says, NEVER TOUCHING THE BOOK. 😉

I try really hard to never touch the book, unless its a new deck and they have different images or names for cards.  And even then, I usually research the symbolism or names online.

 

I can’t wait to try this.  So glad I brought my headphones with me to school, this was a fascinating listen during my breaks.

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The podcast is on the Biddy Tarot website – episode 85

And Lisa Freinkel has a Youtube channel called “Mindful Tarot”.  (I haven’t had a chance to check this out yet, but I will be investigating soon)

 

Any tarot tips to share?  Any one try this before?  Where do you like to do your tarot readings for yourself?

Reading for the Week of September 10th

The incense is burning.  Sandalwood.  One of those smells that instantly relaxes my mind.  As I shuffle the cards, I ask for an easy week.  No lessons, right now.  I’ve had enough the past three weeks.  Maybe you have too.

As I shuffle, a card falls out of my hands, still face down.  This I usually take as a sign.  The cards saying to me, “THAT one, right there.  That is the one you need NOW.”  Okay.  I shuffled a few more times then felt like I was ready to flip the gifted card over.

Hello, 5 of Wands.  So glad you chose to answer my question about the energy for coming the week.  Well played, cards.  Well played.  

And I felt this would happen right as the words left my mouth.  It’s when we don’t want a lesson that we really need one, right?

I am using the Druid Craft Tarot Deck.  A birthday gift from my husband, and my first non-Rider Waite deck.  I absolutely love the artwork.  Each card tells a very vivid story, which is how I read the cards.

And there it sits, the 5 of Wands, Reversed.  Great, reversed means it really is a lesson I have to work through.  Damn…

In the Druid Craft Tarot Deck, there is a band of men (5 to be exact) rough-housing with sticks.  I say rough-housing because they don’t look like they are trying to murder each other, some look annoyed, but others look like they are enjoying creating the chaos.  They rough-house on a hill, their wooden wands intersecting and make triangles and intersections that look like astrological trines.

Below them is a chicken, pecking in the dirt.  It’s actually the chicken I saw first.  She’s not distracted by the chaos behind her, she is looking for something.  But what exactly, I’m not sure.  But is she ever determined and brave during the craziness that is just behind her.

I guess that means that I should work on my focus as well.  As I breathe the sandalwood infused air, I can see exactly what this means for myself.  My life has completely lost its routine.  A routine that I spent two years creating.  A routine for myself and the family.  In August, both E and myself started school.  E is in kindergarten, and I am returning to the local community college.  We both are learning a lot, but our schedules are off.  I’ve been working on adjusting the housework, dinner prep, and family time so that I still have time to do my homework, and E can do hers.  E also started Tae Kwon Do, and does that twice a week.  It’s very different for us.

But I need to find my focus and reduce the amount of irons in my fire.  Be like the chicken, and maybe all the things (important or not) will give you time to sort them out.  It’s impossible to focus on all of them at once, but they aren’t going anywhere, so don’t worry about that.

 

What can I do to best embrace this energy?

The crazy will come no matter what right?  So how can I best work with it?  I always pull three cards because I like the number 3.  It provides options and the relationships between the 3 cards can be more meaningful than just a pair or lone card.  And 4 is just flat out too many.

The cards:  7 of Wands, Princess of Wands, The Lord.

Wow, there is a lot of wands in this reading.  A lot of fire.  Hopefully cleansing and not wild.

Seven of Wands.  A man stands atop a stone wall holding a staff, below him six spears can be seen.  Defense, boundaries, sticking to your decision.

The Princess of Wands.  She looks like she’s about to step out into an brand new adventure.  The wind is blowing her hair back, her face looks determined and excited, and her walking staff is there to join her.

The Lord.  I pulled him last week as well in terms of helping accept the week’s energy.  Hmmm…either I didn’t learn enough or his lesson is just that important.  He sits atop a stone throne, while his face looks stern, he does seem ready to listen.  He is making direct eye contact with me, his staff of power is in his hand.  His staff has the runic symbol for sun or power carved into it.  His helmet is adorned with antlers, his throne with horned rams.  Interesting references to nature, antlers are a seasonal adornment, while horns are lifelong.  Does this mean that as a king he will only last a season (or until he dies) but his legacy (kingship, leadership, being the governor of his people) lasts forever?  Hmm…

 

So yeah…  How does this work?

I feel like I need to embrace the journey like the Princess of Wands.  I may not like it, but it’s happening, so why not try to find something to enjoy?  I am still my own boss.  If I need to study instead of worry about the dishes, then I should study and ask for help, or delegate.  Could the Lord also be my husband?  Should I ask him for help with the house more?  I hate to do that…but maybe I should.  I am already feeling threatened by the amount of homework and paperwork E brings home, along with my own homework and studying.  I need to stick to my guns and remember why I am doing this.  I know my friends and family think I’m nuts for going back to school again, but I shouldn’t let that get to me.  I know what I want, my husband and kids are my biggest support right now, and that’s what I care about the most right now.

I also feel like the 7 of wands is warning me about trying to deal with too many things at once.  A king hears audience with one person at a time, I need to deal with the upcoming spears one at a time.  I need to walk tall in my choices and embrace the journey.

 

If I work on these things and try to best embrace this energy, what could happen?

Six of Pentacles.  An old man, dressed in a gray robe with a large golden collar is handing out coins to open hands.  He has a staff and a large bowl with him.  He is crouched under a tree.  The tree is adorned with six pentacles.  There is snow on the ground, but the tree has leaves and berries, some sort of conifer.

 

 

So the takeaway:

If I stop and work on myself, find my focus, and don’t give into distraction, then I will be able to help those around me more.  I can do this by sticking to my decisions, delegating, and embracing the journey.

 

 

Notes and Reflections:

There are a lot of wands in this draw.  Even the non-wand suits have staffs.  Wands are bringers of creation.  They are a fire sign, so action must be taken to deal with the distractions and chaos that is overwhelming me right now.  Fire will lead to earth, the pentacles.  Earth in winter, but still able to help.  This is the first time I’ve pulled the six of pentacles.  So that’s interesting.

 

Queen of Cups and a New Journey

I am going back to school.  Today, actually.  In a few hours, and I am extremely excited.  The plan is to study to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant.  My dream is still translucent, but I am interested in mental health and creating habits and baby steps that will improve their lives.

A goal that I am eager to reach and eager to put the work into, but not without the help of the Queen of Cups.

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The Queen of Cups:  Manifested her dreams and intuitions into her special cup.  Brought the metaphysical into the physical world.  It wasn’t overnight, she was trained, taught, and primped for this.  And there are rules, laws, and truths she can’t bend or break, these rules are her foundation and her pillar of power.  She let her intuition and dreams surround her so that she could better use these truths to reach her dreams, but she didn’t let them overtake her, she is still in control of her reality and knows what is firm and real and what is fluid and illusionary.

 

 

Why an OTA?  Honestly, less school, but still able to help.  (like a vet tech and not a vet).  And Occupational Therapy needs to be in our lives more.

This is something I personally could have used help with after being diagnosed with postpartum depression after both kids.  I don’t think I ever really recovered after the first one, and it got pretty dark after the second one.

For both events, I was given pills as the ultimate and final solution.  Okay, so I took them.  That is what the doctor told me to do, and he’s a doctor, so I should believe him, right?  This is the ONLY thing that will help me.  No other options were offered, and at the time I was so tired and sad that I didn’t even think to ask about something like therapy or even a call line.

Nope, just take this little beige pill once a day and be on your way.

I returned to work after the first kiddo, and while on the medication, nearly got fired a few months later because I was becoming a robot.  I was a teacher, I was supposed to respond to my students and all I had become regurgitator of lecture.  It was not good…  At home, I would rush with the baby and get her to bed so I could work on grading, new lectures, and other teacher things. It was bleak and bad.

Thank goodness my boss talked to me about it.  Thank goodness she gave me another chance and time to either change or wean myself off the pills.

I chose to get off the pills.  I decided to try gluten free.  I’d heard that it could help with depression, and it would give me something other than work or baby to focus my energy.  It worked fairly well.  I found myself in a clearer headspace, I enjoyed parenting and teaching once again and was no longer a robot.

When I had the second baby, I was sick of working at that school (long story, not the right place for that).  I worked one final semester and then was fortunate enough to stay home with them and work part time.  Which actually saved us a TON of money (again, another story).

And I could feel the darkness once again after baby number 2.  And because I was desperate not to fall into myself too deep, I asked the doctor again for help and he threw more pills at me.  The same pills.

And that was that.

I took them, but when I started to feel the robot coming out, I weaned myself off.  I would rather be sad than be a robot.

Not only was I sad, I was upset and hurt by my doctor.  What the hell?  Here take this…  Not, let’s look at what’s happening in your life.

It took three years, but I am in a much healthier and happier place.  I still have dark times, but I am becoming much kinder to myself and they are becoming less and less.

In these three years, I have developed habits for myself, the children, and the house.  Journaling, yoga, meditating (still working on that one), expanding my spiritual side, eating keto (good bye sugar, you were making me the saddest and I didn’t even know it), playing with the kids, exercising, getting a dog, my planner, setting goals, learning tarot, combining mundane with magical, learning what the heck self-care was and how to actually do it.

There were lots of trials and errors.  For some of this time, we didn’t have insurance so outside help wasn’t really feasible.  If I had a buddy to reach out to or become accountable with the journey would have been a lot smoother and easier to traverse.  However, I wouldn’t be here now with the same desires to help others.

I feel like I can be a good helper.  I was a vet tech for 12 years, a teacher for 7 years.  My favorite part of both careers was the one-on-one time with owners, teaching them how to understand and work with their pet’s recently diagnosed disease or injury (emergency and internal medicine for most of my time); and working with students together on a project or paper.  I feel that both of these will help with a career in OTA, and honestly, I am excited about that.  Sure, there will be hard days, but I’m sure there will (and always will be) more good days than bad.

Well that’s the story.  The motivation behind my new adventure.  Here’s to creating a unique cup of my own to hold all my future adventures and to toast to fulfilled dreams.

To keep myself on track, I placed the card in my planner.  She’s taped to the ‘dashboard’ tab, so I can see her every day because I use her every day.

 Keep our dreams close, but our goals closer, right?

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The Empress and Toni Morrison

I’ve just finished reading Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly.  A great (and sometimes hard) read about vulnerability and shame in our lives.  This book helped me open my eyes and better assess the habits I’ve recently been hiding behind to make myself feel like a “good” mom and wife.  But what I realized was it was a front.  And I want to change my habits so that I am my best version of what mom and wife mean.

I want to be more Empress-like.

 

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The empress: the mother, caregiver, provider, nurturer.  Influenced by intuition and love.  Sitting on a firm foundation, but softened by love.

That is the mother I want to be, but in my own way.  I will never be the Pin-perfect mother of the year.  I will not turn into Donna Reed overnight.

It’s going to take work, I’ve been living with these habits for a long time.  I’m going to start in the most simple way I can think of.  In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown quotes Toni Morrison.  It’s not a pithy or super striking quote; it’s simple, to the point, and heart-driven.

“When a child walks in the room, your child or anybody else’s child, do your eye light up?  That’s what they’re looking for.”

 -Toni Morrison

I heard this Monday, and I have been trying to do this every time O or E walks in the room.  Even J, not that he’s a child, I just want him to see that I still love him with all my heart, and I’m glad we’re still on this journey together.

I’ve been trying.  It’s hard.  When stomping of feet or whining proceeds them, it’s hard to want to react immediately with kindness.  And safety does come first, that applies to you O, especially when you are trying to defy physics.  But you get the point.

When I used this as my first reaction, the tears and overall grump faded faster than if I met them with annoyance, frustration, or exasperation.

This is just a baby step to becoming more Empress-like.  Baby steps in the right direction. 🙂

 

More to come, I’m sure.  I’m still learning every day.