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.

When Magical meets Mundane

The full moon was a week ago and I was ready for it.  Sorta…

Keeping track of the moon and having a plan of what I want to manifest outwardly has been something I’ve been working on.

I had my plan:   I was going to create a ritual space along with a daily ritual.

I thought of this around the time of the new moon, so I had time to create the space and decide the ritual.  The space would be in my bedroom, that is probably the most sacred space for me in the entire house.  Other than sleep, storytime with the kids, sex with the hubs, and reading, nothing else super worldly enters that space.  No homework, no work of any kind.  That’s always been my rule.  And it’s worked, it’s a very peaceful place that I enjoy very much.

I began finding a space in our room and clearing out clutter.  It was very fun, I enjoyed it a lot.

However, about a week later, something else was beginning to gnaw at my heart.  Ritual was great, physical space was great, but something wasn’t right.  It was like a rock in my shoe, something small was rubbing just right to make everything feel off.

I made a list of other things that I need help with.  Things both personal and that would benefit others.  The winner of the list making was that feeding the family was most important.

Okay, it’s not that I don’t feed my family, I just make dinner last minute and sometimes the protein is still frozen when I try to cook it.  This leads to spending too long making dinner and eating way too late and finishing dinner right at bedtime.  Also, the resources we already had weren’t being used.  I’d go out for a last minute trip and end up buying something twice.  It was stressing me out and a giant mess.

Then came the doubt.

Isn’t the moon’s blessing supposed to be spiritual in nature?  But if the body isn’t happy, the spirit can’t be happy right?  And if Momma aint happy, nobody’s happy.  But this is just so, so, so boring.

 

I pulled out my tarot deck and asked my normal “upcoming week” questions for help with picking a direction.

What is the energy of the upcoming week?  Nine of Cups, reversed

What can I do to best channel this energy?  Eight of Pentacles, Two of Pentacles, and Ace of Swords

Likely outcome of the week if I best use this energy?  The Lovers, reversed.

I read reversed cards as pertaining to myself personally.  So What I got from this is that my own wish and needs will be met.  This allowed me to embrace the mundane goals for this full moon.  The lessons in the channeling cards show that a habit should be created, but the 2 of pentacles meant it was still fluctuating, and that if I kept it as simple as possible (the Ace of Swords) it will best serve its purpose.  And if I worked at creating a routine that would help with this goal of keeping up with meals, groceries, and inventory, harmony would be reached within myself (The Lovers, reversed).

[Again, I read intuitively based on the story of the Rider-Waite deck cards]

 

Okay, so with the cards showing me that I should follow my gut and that it was possible to create something that would help with my current dilemma.  And that’s what I did.

I made a printable that has space for days of the week (dinner only), a space for noting needed groceries for the planned meals.  Along with a note about any prep needed for the next dinner.  A small space to note where they can be purchased.  On the back is an inventory based on category.  This lives in a page protector and can be written on as needed.

It was all finished the day of the full moon.  That night I meditated on it and set my intentions for the upcoming moon cycle.

One Week Later:

I really like this planning page.  I plan all the meals for the week on Sunday, note anything that needs to be prepped for the next day.   The list lives in my keto binder, so I can make a grocery list as I plan the menu for the week.  It’s easy to update and manage.   I feel much calmer about dinner, even though I’m still working on creating things that the entire family will eat and will be in line with my diet, but that’s just part of this new transition.

 

While I would rather work on spiritual endeavors in sync with the moon phases, if the physical isn’t happy then the spiritual won’t have a place to reside.  So when I get this under control, I will be more likely to turn more spiritual once again.

Tarot Journal Revisited

A few weeks ago, my list of reasonings for having a tarot journal posted.  While my reasoning for such a thing is still desired, I have attempted 3 different mediums to accomplish the task: A paper notebook, a binder, and digital.  My first attempts was a binder, and you can read about how it worked out below.

  1. Familiarity with cards
  2. Creating stronger systems for relating with the cards and connecting with my intuition
  3. Creating a stronger foundation for using my intuition
  4. Increasing the likelihood that I might read for others one day

Okay, but how?

Some people use notebooks, others, binders, and some are even are all digital.

I have tried all of these methods in the last 2 months that I have had my tarot cards and I have mixed feelings about all of them.

And while I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned about all three methods, that would become a VERY VERY long post.  So, I’ll start with the Binder Method.  The easiest to update and evolve with as you progress

The Binder Method

Okay, so first I feel that I should say a few things about myself to explain my rationalization about these various systems.  I taught in the higher education world for 6 years.  One thing I learned when teaching multiple classes at a school was to use a single binder to keep that entire class organized.  I had 4 inch binder per class.  Each binder held the lecture notes, the quizzes/tests, handouts, extra resources like magazine articles or diagrams, etc.  We all used binders, and we all loved them, even though they were a little excessive in size.

While they are nice for storage and portability, binders are coffins for my creative ideas.  I hardly ever updated my binders; instead, I would update my digital copies, but never print out the new versions for the binder (my inner Lorax just wouldn’t let me do it).  So my physical binders were usually out of date – if any one had ever stopped to check.  For a while, I avoided using binders outside of work; they were the places that creative ideas died, for me anyway.

But I wanted a place to keep all my research on tarot AND be updatable as I read and practiced more.  I am a natural journaler who loves composition books, but updating those is a challenge and usually leads to confusion rather than learning.   Also, as I was delving into the world of Tarot the idea of a journal was pretty common when it comes to beginning studies.  Some people stress notebooks, but there were numerous binder versions out there.  So I felt that I should give it a try and see how it worked and if it lived or died.

How I Set Up My Binder (in the Beginning):

Through all the research, I decided to use the following setup, which I think came from Biddy Tarot (I am 90% sure on this).   The following sections were suggested; and I initially used them:

  1. Card Meanings
  2. Personal Tarot Readings
  3. Tarot Reading Techniques
  4. Tarot Resources
  5. Tarot Spreads
  6. Personal Reflection

I really liked this system of organization.  I thought I would like that there were so many specific areas to fill with notes, etc.  I also loved how the message of feel free to change it however you want was dripping off every paragraph.  So I tried this method for June, and it was okay.  I printed out some of the handouts I’d found online, I hand wrote a few things, and I tried journaling on looseleaf.

I quickly became indifferent to this set up, and by the end of the month, I wasn’t enjoying the numerous section.  They were too many, and I felt like I was splitting hairs with deciding placement for some things.  Some handout may fit into the Spread AND the Resource page, so which one is it?  I also do NOT enjoy journaling on loose leaf.  My inner voice is much more academic on loose leaf – I hold back because I worry that if the paper fell out due to tears or faulty binder rings, then someone else might read it and I would not enjoy finding that out.  So I moved those to an actual notebook – which I know, anyone could read, but it works better for me.

I have combined Personal readings with reflection since at this time I am only reading for myself.  I have also combined the techniques and resources.

What I love is that I can print out or take notes on tarot topics from books, blogs, etc and store them all together in one place.  AND you can update your feelings about a certain card because a binder if a living thing when it comes to housing research.

The sections that do the least for me are the Personal Readings and Reflection.  A binder isn’t a good platform for me with these.  I love reflection – but not in a binder.

What my Binder Looks Like Now:

  1.  Card Meanings – This includes meanings that I glean from numerous sources, as well as color theories, numerology, astrology, and archetypical symbols (like what castles can mean, etc).   For each card, I have handwritten notes about their meanings, and update them with others as I keep learning, and even my own meanings that I’ve gleaned through practicing.
  2. Techniques, Resources, and Spreads – For me this makes more sense to have all in one place.  I use different colors of ink or paper to keep it separate.  This is where a lot of my research now is heading.  Lists of what 3 card spreads can be used for, new spreads I discover through social media and notes on if I like them or what I would like to change about them.  Lists of books I want to read on various subjects related to tarot or divination in general.
  3. Notes – This is where I place things that I am working on, goals, and things I want to learn more about when I have the time.  Again, colors are used to keep things organized.  Lists of books to read, decks I want to own, personal challenges that I am trying to work out in terms of tarot learning.

I removed the journal section, I like to journal in notebooks.  So I moved to a notebook that I can keep in my binder if I want, or take with me.  I do try to journal or, at the very least, make short notes about a reading at least once a week.  I only note daily cards if I feel a deep connection with them, and even then, I usually only jot it down in my planner.

Take Aways

PROS:

  • Great for actively updating and fine tuning your research.
  • Can organize it any way you like and include what you like (astrology or candle magick correspondences with your tarot cards, go wild!)
  • Can use any colors or materials you like to make the pages, and even the binder itself, something personal and treasured.
  • It is a great storage site for your research.
  • Can purchase accessories to hold pens, tape, stickers, etc.
  • Can journal in a spiral notebook and store it in the binder

 

CONS:

  • Binder rings can wear out and become either uneven or gapped, which can make turing or storing pages almost impossible.
  • Binders can be expensive for what they are.
  • Fancy binder materials can be expensive as well, but sometimes are worth the investment – like page protectors
  • Holes can rip and tear over time, but you can put your notes in page protectors.
  • If you have your pages in page protectors, can be cumbersome to annotate pages.  You have to remove them from the page protector and then make sure to return them when done.
  • Page protectors make your binder thicker than it really is

 

Next time, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of a composition book and a digital book of shadows.

 

Did I miss anything?  Do you have a tarot journal?  What kind?  Do you love it? Why?  Would love to know! 🙂

Creating my Tarot Journal

I’ve been playing with my tarot cards since Mother’s Day and am really enjoying them.  However, I feel like I’ve only stuck my toe into the vast sea that is Tarot.  I’ve been delving into the surface with the help of Pinterest, but a common suggestion that I have been stumbling upon is to create a Tarot Journal.

Oooo!  A journal! This should be right up my ally, right?  I’ve been putting it off for weeks now.  With the encouragement of the the New Moon this month to strengthen my spiritual practices, I finally dove in and began working on this project.

I am also FINALLY using this handmade notebook that I’ve been carrying around with me for over a decade (maybe even over two).  I always felt it was too pretty to use for regular journaling, but for this it just feels right.

I’ve completed the Major Arcana so far.  It was interesting.  I had read the book 78 Degrees of Wisdom a few months ago, and boy was that a LOT of info.  And I’ve been listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast for a few weeks now.  Biddy Tarot is all about use your intuition to read the cards, while 78 Degrees was VERY VERY VERY detail oriented and specific.  However, with these two resources and my own self, I’ve been putting together something that I really like so far.

I start every page off with the story that I see in the card.  Here is the character, the focal point, the feelings that I get from the card in general.  If a symbol stands out then I note it, I ask questions in the stories too (like the people in the tower – did they jump voluntarily or were they thrown out?).  I could pull up 78 Degrees again, and note every symbol and detail and meaning of them all, but it’s okay to leave that for later discovery.  So I have my little story.  Then i have the number and any helpful insight about the number or astrology that is tied in with this card (planets or numbers).  Then I use the Biddy Tarot website for meaning because she has the most concise descriptions that I’ve found so far, and I like her podcast, so I like her blog.  In her descriptions she will go into symbols and whatnot, but I only note my overall strongest impressions.  What I want to know right now.  Again, later discovery will allow for delving.  I also note reversals.  It’s simple, there is a lot of white space on the page for later annotations.  So far I love it.

My process has been to look into the card and find the story.  Write that down and anything else that I know or notice.  Make a bullet style list of meanings and info.  Then move on to the next card.  I’ve been getting a lot more familiar with the Majors.  I don’t see a lot of them in my own readings.

I am starting the Minors today, and I am not sure how I want to do it.  Honestly, I was thinking about doing it by numbers rather than suits.  All the aces with their specific meanings, followed by the 2s instead of an entire suit followed by another entire suit.  I feel like there is power in the numbering as well as the suits, so looking at all of the 4s together could help me better understand them as a whole (and I’ll refer back to the Major 4s as well) and applying the nature of their suits.  We’ll see.  This part is making me the most nervous because I am not sure exactly how it will turn out or if I will be happy with this method.

 

But I am super excited about it.