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.

gypsy-caravan-2452475_1920.jpg

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?

Advertisements

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.

cups13

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?

IMG_20170817_142250.jpg

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.

 

download.jpg

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.

Changes suck ass

Change.  It’s one of those things that is needed but not always wanted.  Sometimes not ever.

Right now, I am going through a needed and wanted change – a new way to embrace spirit and all that is above the mundane.  However, I am not happy with my body or habits.

Houses won’t stand with a weak foundation.  Plants don’t bloom if soil can be contained.

My personal foundation, my pot, is my body.  And I really have issues with it.  Not just how it looks, but how it feels.  I do love my body, I am fairly comfortable in my skin, but a few areas can throw all the confidence I have out a window in front of an oncoming bus.

Physically, I my belly fat isn’t shrinking.  In fact, it’s been growing.  This is becoming VERY unsettling for me.  In my mind’s eye, I don’t have it or even notice it.  However, when I look in the mirror or see pictures of myself – my confidence isn’t always gleaming out of my eyes.  I am subconsciously uncomfortable – you can see it if you look closer.  My posture, my hands, my eyes.  I don’t feel like that, at least I don’t think I feel that way, but then I look again, and I am surprised that that is my outward projection of myself.

The extra weight is pulling me down emotionally, even when I am not thinking about it.  Sometimes I do think about it, and I can’t stop.  Usually at 3am, when I can’t really do much to distract myself.  So I lie there in bed, berating myself for how much control I’ve lost.  And then I beat myself down so much that the next day I give in to every single craving that is caused by anxiety, guilt, shame, or frustration.  I know the sources – I know that I am not hungry, but I can’t stop.

Other things that have been going on – I have a large cyst on my ovary.  It’s uncomfortable, but everyone tells me that it’s fine.  They happen.  It does rupture (can tell you exactly when too…ugh…) but it is replaced by another.  It is uncomfortable, but nothing I need to worry about.

To me this is screaming that my hormones are off.  This isn’t the only sign I’ve been taking note of: my skin isn’t as resilient as it once was, my facial hair is becoming more obnoxious (mammal problems), and I sweat a lot – all the time – no matter how cold or hot I am, no matter what deodorant I use.  It’s the stinky anxiety sweat too.  I don’t feel the anxiety most of the time – so I know there is something wrong, just below the surface.  Just on the brink of surfacing.

Will losing weight help with these issues?

Well, the confidence probably most likely.  The health of my body, why wouldn’t it?  I’ll be changing my diet, which will change my body, my health, my life.

Is this going to be fun or easy?  Nope, not at all…  It will take work not to burnout.  It will take work to be patient enough to see any benefits – it’s a slow change.  But it’s needed, very much so.

So what is the plan?

The keto diet – train my body to burn fat – I have enough of it.

Book of Light & Steps to a New Happy

I’ve only heard the term once, but I quite liked it.  If a Book of Shadows is all secrets, spells, and things that I created based on my research; then a Book of Light should hold and store all the research, notes, and general information that I collected.

I have a lot of interests so far:  divination, candle magic, moon magic, deity concepts, holidays/celebrations, magic in general, meditation, chakras, mindfulness, visualization, and the list continues.

However, if I don’t SLOW DOWN, I will get overwhelmed and give up.  And that is the last thing I want to do.

I don’t want to give up again.  I did that for years.  I lived with the thought that my choices don’t really matter, because every week we were forgiven.  This led me to feel that my choices didn’t really matter UNLESS I chose not to take sacrament.  I could murder someone, confess and talk about it, do some praying, then BOOM forgiven.  So what does human life matter?

I was lost in my own head – stuck with the ideas of having to be perfect because of what my peers and complete strangers do on social media or talk about at gatherings.  I love my children, but their constant needs (through age appropriate) drain all my energy and cause me to become short tempered and reactive.

They deserve better.

I deserve better.

It is my life after all, and my decisions are significant for those around me.  Sure, my choice of what’s for dinner isn’t going to cure cancer or cause the next war (hopefully) but my choices are seen by my family and if they see me not able to take care of myself, and not value myself then what are they to expect for their own lives.

So I looked outside of “traditional” religions.  (traditional being Judeo-Christian oriented.  That’s all I’ve experienced, as far as attending services, being a member of, and youth activities, etc).

It started with Buddhist teachings, but I don’t feel that I could be a true Buddhist due to the vegetarianism and not killing insects that are invading my sacred living spaces.  (Sorry, but any insect or spider within 10 feet of my bed has 2 seconds to run as far away as they can)

What I do like are the ideas of mindfulness and self-regulation.  I need mindfulness in my life.  I spend too much of my day rushing through chores and making dinner and entertaining the kids, that I forget about actually enjoying the time I had that day.  I fall asleep exhausted and feel that I have nothing of matter that shows for my stress.  Sure, I cleaned the living room, but my kids are little, so it’s as good as trashed by the time lunch rolls around the next day.  Was it worth the aggravation of trying to make them help me?  Was it worth the yelling and over-reacting because I was trying to control everything?

Hell no.

Instead, I need to send the kids outside (weather permitting) let them be kids.  I need to sit still and enjoy how my coffee tastes, how tense my shoulders are, how shallow my breathing is and how this is making me crabby.  I need sit and be still.  Sit and relax my mind.

Meditation, self-reflection, journaling.  All things I need to keep myself more relaxed.  Help myself understand and discover myself.

But what about outside myself?

I looked into lots of different directions and settled with magick.  Paganism and Wicca.  These have a lot of systems that I naturally connected with.  I have always felt a connection with the elements – earth, air, fire, water.  Always liked the moon and her cyclic nature.

Most of all I like the idea that there is divinity in all things.  It isn’t missing until I am baptized or blessed.  It is there, it has always been there, and it will always be there.  This divinity connects us all beyond our religious, cultural, and racial beliefs.  We are all divine.  And with that comes responsibility.

I am divine.  You are divine.  My lilac bush is divine.  I have no right to be disrespectful, unkind, or aggressive towards you or my lilac bush.  You share this right as well.  We are connected and we can make our own paths and choices.  I am responsible for the consequences of my actions.  Me and only me.  I have to live with them, so I better make ones I can stand, so that when I can’t sleep at night, it’s not because I’m tormented by the awful things I did that day.  (I have other things that keep me up, potty training, sick kids, sinus headaches…)

Along with a new found self-respect, I can also adapt this to what I need at any given time.  Growing up, it was all-or-nothing all the time.  Somethings I wasn’t comfortable with, but my family would lose face if I didn’t participate.  Some things I loved and was happy to dive in head first.  It wasn’t that it was miserable, it just didn’t always fit and that always seemed to be my own fault because I wasn’t worthy enough or “holy” enough or “righteous” enough.

This path I have chosen is also something I can do alone.  I love that.  I never liked testimony meetings.  I felt the pressure from my parents to stand up and address the congregation, but the idea of talking to that many people at once made me nauseous.  I had a testimony at the time, but I feel that it was built on peer pressure.  When I was left to do my own soul searching, I found I wasn’t happy alone, but I naturally prefer to be alone.  This was contradictory and made me super anxious and even depressed because obviously something was wrong with me.  I wasn’t happy like my friends and family in church, so I must be full of sin or broken, but never unhappy.  That was never an option.

And yet I was, and I seemed to be the only one.  Anxiety overload…

For a while, I just gave up on anything as far as “religion” or divinity.  The universe was just chaos, nothing made sense, nothing mattered, especially me.

This was not healthy…  not in any sense –  physical, emotional, or mental.  I kept it under control a lot, replacing this feeling with becoming a control freak and workaholic.  But when I found myself working too much for a company that cared too little and I was about to have baby number 2, I realize that I had had enough.

It took about three years to find something I can feel confident in.  Something that will meet me at my own personal level, not a level that others think I should be at, but where I am, without any shame, guilt, or disappointment.

The vastness of this path is overwhelming at times.  I totally understand why having a set path is both appealing and comforting.  But the individuality, the personalization, the self-accountability and self-improvement is  what I need.

Preparation, Practice, and Reflection.

These are things I need in my life.  I have been working through this in my journals, and this is what feels right.  My own path, my own heart leading the way, my own connection with the divine centers of the universe, my own self discovery and development.

And this blog will become a place to reflect.  A place to slow down.  A place to try and find myself once again.  For myself.  Maybe I’ll open up with this, maybe not.  There is nothing wrong with either choice.  As long as I do what helps me in the end.

It’s hard to write like that.  I tend to be more selfless when it comes to making time for me or spending money on myself, etc.  So this part of the whole mindfulness/magick path will be unexplored territory for me.  It’s not wrong to be selfish – one needs to stand up for what one needs, desires, and dreams.  But that word has so much weight with it.  But it’s not wrong.  Without taking care of oneself, you cannot adequately take care of others.

With that said, here I go, one step towards a new happy, and new me.