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Mar. 5th, 2011

reviews, phones, card of the day

So in the course of Googling myself (as one does, regularly), I found a 2/5 star review of a flash fiction story of mine that was published in 2005 or 2006 (I don't remember), and the entire text of the review is four words long. Very, very strange.

Today Nefertem the Magical Purple Smartphone almost gave me heart failure when he abruptly stopped working. I went to a Sprint Store but they wouldn't help me because while he is a Sprint branded phone, I don't actually have a Sprint account. Doh! I was able to call on one of their phones to get tech support from Credo, and now Nefertem is back in working order. Thank goodness. I was worried for a moment there!

Today the card I pulled was the Eight of Earth in the Gaian Tarot.
Eight of Earth, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about lessons, so I've had a few lately. Today, my lesson about how to manually reboot my phone. Also a lesson about how things on the 'net have a way of being resurrected even after several years of downtime. Fiction never dies! Bad fiction really never dies!
That flash fiction piece was my second piece of paid prose. Fun.
Today I also got a lesson from the universe in being a nice customer despite frustration. Frustration and anger live in very particular parts of my body, too, and it's always a sign to me that I need to slow down and breathe and get things under control when the emotions come out physically.
This card also makes me want to go to a fire circle. I love the drumming.
Delicious lessons for today: how to reheat rice in the rice cooker. (It turned out well!) And adding mushrooms to my sauteed kale really worked! Nom nom nom.
Other lesson: Bar Code Viewer on phone works, but no easy way to link it up to LibraryThing. Oh, well. Manual entry it is.
And lessons in general: The Wild Hunt has a couple of nice link round-ups for the recent gender discrimination/inclusiveness controversy that has rocked the public pagan sphere lately. Looks like some really exceptional conversations are starting.

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Mar. 3rd, 2011

Card of the Day: Awakening

This is one of my favorites in the Gaian Tarot deck - the illustration is just so incredibly evocative, and it has a lotus flower on it! I have a particular love for the lotus! (By the way, the deck will be published this year from Llewellyn! I plan to pick up at least one copy of the mass market edition, for carrying to tarot meetups or just having in my purse. (Yes, I have a tarot deck in my purse all the time, why do you ask?))
Awakening, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about just that - waking up to what's around you, seeing and doing and BEING a part of the world that surrounds you and nurtures you, and thereby becoming a nurturer of others. I think that this may refer in part to my continued search for creative space in town (calling the property manager for a tour is a big step, which we did today!), and also to my recovery of my creative impetus. I did a new digital painting today, which is for a challenge that will remain anonymous for a while, but hopefully I can unveil it by the end of the year.
I also did a few more small steps toward re-arranging my living space this week, and hope to be able to act with the New Moon in a formal manner after work tomorrow.
I've also enrolled for a spiritual retreat! Eek. But I think it will be good. It's about praying with the body, and I know that body-spirit work is what I really need to do. The posture of the man on this card is a good example of a full-body prayer pose, and it is surprisingly difficult for me to feel comfortable raising my arms like that. Weird, huh? So I'm going to go to this retreat (two one-day workshops, really) with a teacher who has studies all sorts of different body-oriented prayer/rituals from whirling dervishes to martial arts to zen, I think. I am really looking forward to it.

Yay, Awakening!

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Mar. 2nd, 2011

Life, the universe, and the rest of it

So mostly over the last little while I've been posting photos of food.
I should take more photos of the food I cook at home - I made a really excellent dinner tonight that hasn't made me sick, so hooray!
Today I went to a Brown Bag Lunch Presentation at the university, by the Executive Chefs from a couple of the residential colleges here. These students eat so well! They prepared some great stuff in the kitchen theater and then we all got to eat it for lunch. (On the menu: Seafood medley, Beef Wellington (with portabella mushrooms instead of foie gras), and mascarpone crepes with berry flambe drizzled with strawberry jam, a balsamic reduction, and fresh basil.
I did not eat like this in college... (photos) )

Ok, that was more than I thought I'd type about food and eating.

On a different subject: reading.
I read The Eagle of the Ninth and really enjoyed the heck out of it. I borrowed a nonfiction title from the office Liberal Studies Library, Slaves and Masters in the Roman Empire: A Study in Social Control that should be an interesting follow-up to that. I don't know if I will be able to bring myself to see the film while it's in theaters. I might find that very fun, actually, but I have terrible motivation about going to films alone, and I don't have a movie-going geek tribe here. At least not movies in the theater. ;)
I also have on the back burner some Northern European primary source mythology - The Eddas and the Mabinogion and some others, as many as I can find in Public Domain libraries for download. (Have I mentioned that I love Nefertem the Magical Purple Smartphone/eBook Reader?)
And yesterday I spent the entire evening devouring in basically one sitting Anne Bishop's latest Black Jewels offering, Twilight's Dawn: A Black Jewels Book. I have read much criticism of the series and even agree with some of it, but damn, they are addictive and I love them. I couldn't bear to put it down. And I thought it would be easier to pause since it was a series of connected novellas rather than one story! Ahahahaha, so wrong. I was very surprised, but not in an unpleasant way, by the turn of those novellas, so that's good. Kept me engaged.

Today's card: The Four of Air, Gaian Tarot
Four of Air, Gaian Tarot )
Oh, dear, it's the nesting card. I just put in some inquiries with my property management company and some warehouses in the First Ward about larger apartments and art studios for rent. I am taking active steps to pursue changes in my living and creative working situation. I am actually a bit amazed to be in a position to consider such, but again, that's part of why I moved back here. Options. Relatively low cost of living. Thriving arts community. I have to do some buckling down here, too, and make decisions.
It's a good card for today, I think.

Plus I did my taxes. Always a nice feeling.

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Feb. 24th, 2011


Today was one of those days when folks left early or were out of the office in my corner, so I got involved in some doings with the Spanish and Korean versions of one of our sites (menu items not acting correctly), and when I next looked up it was 5:40 and most of the office was gone. Whee!

I also had my hands full with the anti-bullying discussion, which is still open and welcomes anyone who comes with a genuine desire for discussion and problem-solving. Feel free to stop by. (And I need to renew my connections with my support staff - even online ministry can be harrowing if one is not well-prepared.)

And in a bonus for the day, I was asked to help a friend with a web issue and found that my skills are still there. It's nice to be able to use creative html and css wrangling, especially when most of my time is spent elsewhere these days.

Today I ate all my kale chips. Nom nom nom. And there was the office birthday celebration for which I was an honoree. Sugar high coming right up!

I received in the mail a correspondence elective course from The New Seminary, which is awesome. This course was a really great (and welcome) presentation by Rev. Galina Krasskova on "The Polytheist Perspective" in interfaith work, which has a lot more pitfalls than one might imagine. I really loved it, and wish I could have been there in person to see everyone and take part in the discussion.

Perhaps that elective did a bit of shifting, or else my interesting day did, because I pulled the Child of Air from the Gaian Tarot.
Child of Air, Gaian Tarot )
This is a dreamer's card, so delicate and fragile in a way that the Page of Swords usually is not. The relationship between ourselves and our dreams is equally delicate, and often just as beautiful as the ethereal and short-lived butterflies in the card. I hope that the dream itself outlasts the mortal inspiration, and finds new shape in the eternal aspect of the butterfly, the psyche or soul.
I've been concentrating a lot today on other people's dreams, both in fandom and elsewhere.
But I also have been trying to allow my own creative energies to flow. I created some art this evening (I'll give it its own post) that just seemed like an interesting thing to do. No challenge or deadline or event prompted it, just the fact that I had an empty piece of screen and a tablet. It's fun to be spontaneous, to just see what speaks to me from my files of reference photos, or from the sketch books that I should be using more often.
Dreams need nurturing.

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Feb. 21st, 2011

another year begins!

Ok, so I had an excellent birthday weekend all around. Got to see some old friends I haven't seen in a while, and had delicious food, and subjected my father to a Disney movie musical (we went to see Tangled - thanks, Dad!), and did not get a damn thing done on my housekeeping.

I am debating getting a jigsaw puzzle to set up in my bedroom. How much do I really want a puzzle, or will I lose several days to obsessive concentration over it? Hmmm.

Still working on some art, but it's been days since I've actually drawn anything, or sewn anything. Just been very busy, and had some books taking up time. (Dude, my phone now has an ebook reader on it. It holds my place when I close it down! Damn, this phone is awesome!)

I may need to create my own three- or four-day weekend once I get things under control at work, so that I can do crafty things and household things. I swear, if I don't take my recycling to the center by the end of the week, I am going to be wading through paper and plastic to get to the kitchen.

Speaking of work, things are still good, but busy, and the tedious kind of busy instead of the frantic deadline-heavy busy. There are some repetitive data-management tasks that just have to be done manually until we get a better system in place.

For various reasons I am feeling very good about my general health, and I have exercised today in hopes of maintaining it. I still need to figure out some way to get my swim on during the day, but perhaps this year will be the one.

And in other news, tragedy at the grocery store today: no kale to be found! Woe! I'll have to remember to swing by the farmer's market for some tomorrow.

In other other news, I'm watching Book 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and i just noticed that the wall behind the throne of the Earth King is designed to look like a badger mole. Awesome!

Today's card is the Three of Earth from the Gaian Tarot.
Three of Earth, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about teamwork, synergy, and community creation. I hope that means that some of what I'm doing both online and off with friends and allies will bear great fruit in the coming year. I look forward to working with friends on exciting projects.

And now I should try to sleep.

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Feb. 17th, 2011

Food, politics, and creativity

Today's card: Two of Water (again), Gaian Tarot
Two of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This again? Hm. Well, it's certainly apt as usual, because there's a lot of really exciting stuff happening, and I'm feeling lots of creative vibes.
New collaborations are in the works, plus progress is being made on writing and art that had been sidelined. Yay!
I have new connections of all kinds through Nefertem the magical purple smartphone, too. Never underestimate the power of FourSquare, I guess. Except I can't get it to post to Twitter (probably a good thing, really).

I had something really important to post about but I got distracted because, you know, work and stuff. Now I don't remember what it was. Possibly something political, but just thinking of all the petitions and congressional faxes and whatever else I've been sending is depressing. Democracy Now! every morning is depressing. Politicians' being assholes is depressing. Rape culture is infuriating, and the political attacks on womens' health are part of it! Rar! My Facebook overfloweth. And my state reps are screwing us over, too. Fun times, indeed.

I got spoiled for Fringe in a pagan blog, of all places. Oops. But I'm still totally engaged and watching Season 2.

I picked up some kale at the Farmers' Market this week and sauteed it with olive oil and garlic powder and it was AMAZING! Good grief. I want it, like, all the time, now. Bring me all the kale and garlic in the land!

Also on the subject of food, the H-town Streats lunch truck continues to be awesome, and Kim and I are planning to go to Inversion on other days, too, to hit the other two local trucks. Nom nom nom. Today for lunch we had beef sliders with bacon jam, parmesan truffle oil fries, and deep-fried chocolate coconut brownies with dulce de leche sauce. *swoon*

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Feb. 13th, 2011

Home with new toy

So, I made it home from San Antonio after a very fun conference and a brief stop at the Alamo and at El Mercado to have lunch at Mi Tierra restaurant. (Well worth the hype, IMO, and also a family tradition.)

Here is the required photo op:
In front of the Alamo
I think I will go get my hair cut today. Egads.

Also resident at the Alamo, which I had forgotten or perhaps never seen, beautiful giant koi fish:
Giant koi at the Alamo. Gorgeous!

Yesterday I visited the ancestral homestead to pick up my new smartphone (purple, already be-stickered), so expect me to become a head-down drone during all important interactions for a while now. :P He really is very cool, and I am very happy with him so far. (I think, as he is purple and has an Egyptian lotus sticker on his back, I will call him after the god of the lotus, Nefertem.)

I also got to have dinner with Donna and Jon and the little ones, who are very entertaining. (And were forgiving of my smartphone obsession.) We watched Star Wars, Episode I, which is Lando's current favorite, and it was actually not terrible to watch. Lando is a very enthusiastic Padawan learner, with his own lightsaber and everything. Watching with kids really makes you view these films in different ways.
As long as I didn't listen to any of the dialogue, it was great, and Liam Neeson was awesome! Donna and I had a whole conversation about the AU where Qui Gon lives and Obi-Wan doesn't fuck everything up with Anakin. It was awesome!

Today's card: Temperance from the Gaian Tarot.
Key 14: Temperance, Gaian Tarot )
In her description of this card, Joanna mentions specifically that it is a card beloved by and created for artists. It is a card of mixing and making, of creative solutions to problems and cooperation among disparate elements. I'd like to think that Temperance creates great energies in my life all the time, both spiritually and socially. I hope also that she watches over my creativity to keep me from becoming too predictable, or stuck in any ruts.

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Feb. 8th, 2011

working, writing, fun stuff

Today's card is the Eight of Pentacles from the Llewellyn Tarot.
Eight of Pentacles, Llewellyn Tarot )
This card is about employment, creative work, achievement, success. I think it's a statement both about the great volume of work I'm doing currently for fandom, and the fact that I'm prepping for a conference for my day job. It'll be an intensive three days starting tomorrow, what with traveling plus the actual conference sessions and networking events. (Karaoke? Really, Conference? Really?)

I'm pleased with my progress and ideas on most of the art I have in the wings, and I'm thinking about doing something special for my Merlin fandom friends. (It's a surprise! But it will hopefully be something they like and may want to own... We'll see.)

My writing will hopefully get a boost over the conference days, since I'll have some time without access to the art computer to write. Plus I got some really good feedback from my crit group so I need to start thinking about how to approach this very difficult setting, to get the reader through the opening scenes.

Fun all around!

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Feb. 6th, 2011

Tarot Cards

So yesterday, I pulled The Gardener from the Gaian Tarot.
The Gardener, Gaian Tarot )
I'm thinking this is both a statement about my need to go grocery shopping (after being stuck in the house because of the ice for days), and then also the fact that I got so much done. I cleaned, I created, I cooked, I exercised, I really felt good about myself and the things I was working on.
The only thing that didn't get done was sewing, and I am working on that. But it was a very fertile day, and weekend, and then I went to a dinner party last night that was full of laughter and friends and music.

Today's card is Explorer of Water, also from the Gaian Tarot.
Explorer of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This is a card that speaks of meditation, ease of mind, and being "in the zone". I can see how that would be a good thing for me, especially since I'm getting more creative projects on the horizon, and trying to bring in a deeper spiritual connection in my life.
Both of those things are the sorts of things that the focus and inspiration of the Explorer of Water can aid.

(This time I've remembered to add a link to each picture, so you can go to the website for the Gaian Tarot and see the whole deck, or find out when the mass market version will be published. It's a great deck, I highly recommend it!)

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Feb. 4th, 2011

making progress

So today I had work off because of the ice and treacherous roads. I managed to do the small amount of work required from home (mostly updates about canceled classes), and got a lot done.
I made some great progress on my Merlin Zodiac painting.
I exercised.
I cleaned my bathtub with the grapefruit-and-salt method, and it seriously worked. Amazing!
I turned my sofa cushion to try to get it misshapen evenly, if not restored.
I sorted my paper into recycling, keeping, and shredding.
I started my latest pinch hit for the A:TLA Lunar New Year Exchange.
Now I'm trying to get rid of a few pesky computer errors.

Seriously, that grapefruit thing in the bathtub was amazing. :)

Card of the Day: Ten of Air
Ten of Air, Gaian Tarot )

This is certainly a wintry image, and we're having some amazing winter weather here. This has been a day full of winter activities - cooking, cleaning, sorting, and doing indoor crafts. Oddly enough that's not so different from my usual activities, no matter the season.

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Feb. 1st, 2011

been busy...

We can see how well my "card a day" posts helped me remember to post regularly. Hahaha.
So, been busy - working on a lot of illustrations, mostly for Avatar: the Last Airbender but there's some Merlin caught in there, and planning stages for the Harry Potter Snupin BLU art focus big bang, plus [ profile] paperlegends is signing up now for Merlin stories and art and cheerleading.

I've been writing - I started my steampunk submersible craziness for my group, and for the [ profile] camelot_fleet Finish-a-Thon. Yay! Very excited about that, although if anybody is interested cheerleading and hitting me over the head when I skip important descriptions, that would be awesome.

We're having a ridiculously cold wintry snap for Imbolg this year. Fun times. It's a good time to re-dedicate myself to some projects, though, and perhaps kick-start some of my 2011 spiritual goals.

Appropriately enough given the Imbolg planning and spiritual kick-starting, I drew Taliesin, the Hierophant, from the Llewellyn Deck today.
Taliesin, the Hierophant, Llewellyn Tarot )
This card is about custom, religion, society. It's often a card about conforming to expected norms, so in a way it's a reminder to actually be in my religion, instead of just sitting around the outside of it.
Reading Britain AD: A Quest for Arthur, England and the Anglo-Saxons (which, incidentally, is making a case to debunk the "Anglo-Saxon Invasion" of Britain and thereby most of the legends in their traditional form - awesome book) has reminded me of the sense of connection that many non-Christian religions have. Christianity (especially early and medieval Christianity) seems to begin this idea of religion as something separate from lifeway, something that can be compartmentalized into a part of the mind, unrelated to the physical universe of body and labor. Many pagan traditions, and the neo-pagan one I'm practicing (badly), have an intense unity between the spiritual and the physical. Physicality is part and parcel of practice, and in fact it isn't really practice but rather lifeway; worldview; lifestyle, perhaps. It's intimately involved in everything - every decision, every movement, every breath. This echoes the kind of ritualized existence early archaeologists posit for those early historic cultures. Seriously, this book has me examining all sorts of thoughts I'm sure I've had before, but now with added personal relevance and a sense of quiet revelation.
Pretty intense. When I go into my occasional existential crises over my purpose in the universe, it's a good time to remind myself through divine physicality that I am part of this great spirit, and that I am worth believing in. (If I don't think so, who will?)
Yes, I think this card definitely wants me to do a working later.

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Jan. 28th, 2011

Card of the Day: Three of Cups

Yesterday I got the Two of Water again - Deck, I love you, but I seriously can't have a pet in my current apartment.

Today, The draw is the Three of Cups.
Three of Cups, Hanson-Roberts Tarot )
This seems especially appropriate given that today I went out for a very lovely social lunch with four other ladies from the office, and we ate outside in the sunshine at a sidewalk cafe serving crepes. Delicious!
I am making good progress with my various illustration projects, but not so great progress on my crafty ones. Time to get on that.
Work continues to be crazy busy but fun, and I am thankful all the time that my new boss and my team make going to work such a great experience.
I've been super busy the last few nights with meetings and classes - I'm working on a great new random art project that's turning into a vaguely Avatar: The Last Airbender inspired dancer / bender figure in watercolor and colored pencils.
I've also blown through most of Season 1 of Fringe. I think I'm on the last three episodes, now, then Season 2 will start arriving in my mailbox. I am really enjoying it! I can see why the show is so popular, and I don't know how I will ever catch up when I run out of DVDs.

In other news, I am officially visiting the NYC-Philly area in April. [ profile] minimerlin is happening April 8-10, and I'll be in NYC the week before, then in Philly for a couple days after. Yay!

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Jan. 23rd, 2011

Card of the Day: Two of Water

Ok, today was a fascinating day, and so was yesterday for different reasons. I didn't get to post about drawing a card yesterday because I was so busy with family stuff, but today's is:
Two of Water, Gaian Tarot )
This card is AWESOME. How much do I love that the unconditional, open-hearted love relationship here is with an animal companion? WONDERFUL.
So, given that, of course, I don't actually have an animal companion, although I am a big fan of my dad's beagle, Gabi. She likes to climb on my and lick my chin, and she's cute as a button, so how can you go wrong, really? I am also friendly with Zephyr, Hillary's cat, although being a cat he only occasionally deigns to acknowledge that I exist.
This card is also about being open to connections. I made an interesting, brief connection today while standing in line for a book signing at the museum (see next post) - the woman I was behind ended up saying something briefly after somebody from the museum came through, and that started a conversation between the two of us that lasted the entire wait. I now wonder why I didn't give her my card, or at least ask her name, but the conversation was lovely. Wide-ranging and fascinating, with all sorts of interesting tidbits. She was visiting from New York, so we had several common places to discuss.
This kind of connection is usually pretty difficult for me, but I love it when it happens. One day I'll get better at handling it (and presenting myself) so that I can make a connection that lasts longer than an hour.
I also encountered this sort of open-heart moment yesterday at my aunt's 75th birthday party, when so many of my relatives and her friends were there. Folks I hadn't seen in ages showed up, and we were all very close again very soon. And then after the bulk of the visitors had gone home, still many of us lingered and ended up crafting and conversing until the evening.
It's nice to feel that love.

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Jan. 21st, 2011

Card of the Day: The Builder

Today work was fun but busy, which seems to be about par for the course these days. I really need to get out of the office to eat lunch, especially once the weather warms a bit.
I've finished all my Netflix DVDs of Fringe and have to wait a few days now for more. I am a little less than halfway through the first season now, and it's great.

I have been trying to get going on this ficlet for my challenge, and may have figured out a way into it. I drew cards for it, but first the Card of the Day:
The Builder, Gaian Tarot )
Aw, man, this one is so awesome and yet so much a rebuke, in some ways. Or perhaps I'm too hard on myself. The Builder is the card about sustainability, environmentally responsible development, and co-operative living. This card represents a power and authority over one's own life and place that allows one to choose wisely for the future.
I recycle. :P That's about it, really, when it comes to very practical things. And I probably don't do that enough. I try not to buy rayon, or bamboo fabric, or chemical cleaners, or things with excessive packaging, but sometimes I do all of those things. And it's hard to imagine that my choices will impact the larger picture, especially when there are places all over the world that are suffering from a disturbing lack of clean drinking water.
In any case, my own hang-ups about lifestyle aside, the builder is also about building a responsible and compassionate life, and being aware of the great truth of the universe: we aren't, any of us, alone. No one acts in a vacuum. Everything we say, or do, or type, changes the world.
I used to write poetry about that - how breathing displaced molecules that would otherwise have been moving with their own inertia and that changed everything - when I was in the midst of my greatest spiritual crisis, and stopped believing in an immortal soul. Crazy the way images and ideas carry such great reminders of the past. I can even think of the sidewalk in Astoria, Queens that I walked down while composing that poem in my head.
Sometimes it's really hard to remember that, but I think it's important to get these reminders every so often. And to be gentle with myself when I think I've fallen short.

I just had an idea for my story (the original one, not the fanfic, although I may have a clue for that one, too). Gone writing, be back later.
If anybody on gmail wants to ping me, feel free. I miss my writers' chats.

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Jan. 20th, 2011

Card of the Day: Child of Fire

More fire. Fire = passion, inspiration. Creativity!
I painted an original work yesterday in class, and today on the computer.
Child of Fire, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about discovery and joy - I rediscovered my joy of free drawing, I suppose, and painting with watercolor. Yesterday I started by painting some glops of color on wet paper, and let them bleed together. Then I blew it dry and spent some time picking a form out of the shapes. I'm not sure it will turn out well, but it's a promising start.
I've also been getting out around town socially this month, which is great.

Also I have begun watching Fringe and it's pretty cool so far. I'm pulling Season 1 from Netflix. I am on Episode 4.

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Jan. 19th, 2011

Card of the Day - The Tower

Today's card is Key 16, The Tower, in the Llewellyn Deck.
The Tower, Llewellyn Tarot )
The Tower traditionally heralds catastrophic or unexpected change.

I'm also going to quote my horoscope:
The tender Cancer Full Moon falls in your 5th House of Romance and Creativity, encouraging you to have fun while expressing yourself. Still, your friends could act quite judgmental, distorting your easygoing attitude and misinterpreting your true intentions. Don't skip over any miscommunications today; take a few minutes and clear things up before moving on to what's next.

The book that came with the deck specifically mentions in association with the The Tower "triumph over enslaving, compulsive behaviors such as addiction or obsessive complexes" which relates to Monday's card, The Devil. And the horoscope seems to talk to the High Priestess from yesterday as well as today's Tower, about the risk and change inherent in creative work.

Perhaps this is a sign that art class will be interesting today. :) Or perhaps it harks to the fact that my cough has come back today with a vengeance.

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Jan. 18th, 2011

Card of the Day - High Priestess

Key 2: the High Priestess
High Pristess, Hanson-Roberts Deck )
Intuition and mystery - concentration and spiritual integrity. Maybe this means I shouldn't feel bad about filling my Facebook with activist link sharing?
Possibly also this means that I should trust myself in my creative endeavors - not everything needs to be worked to death to be "finished".
In that spirit, I have done 3/4 of my project for the Avatar: The Last Airbender Lunar New Year exchange, and need to get started on my Merlin Zodiac Project.

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Jan. 17th, 2011

Card of the Bay - Bindweed

Today's card is Key 15: Bindweed, which in the Waite symbolism would be The Devil.
Bindweed, Gaian Tarot )
This card represents imbalance, struggle, despair, and addiction. This card speaks to me of the darker side of life, the pain of dealing with reality and humanity when it seems that compassion and love have departed forever. I struggle a lot with my spiritual self partially because of that societal difficulty. Especially in the United States lately, religious pluralism has been under attack and apparently religious freedom eroding slowly. It's pretty depressing to think about, in addition to other issues of tolerance and diversity, like sexuality, gender, ethnicity, class, and age.
I think this is a key card to get today especially, when we are reminded of the great work of Dr. King toward peace, and the harsh imbalance of the world in which he lived, and which we have inherited. Patting ourselves on the back for perceived triumphs while ignoring the vast edifice of inequalities still shadowing our word serves no purpose.
This card is as much about solutions as it is about problems. As with many addictions, this imbalance is one that can be eased by action on the querent's part. Uncurling from the painful posture, looking at the problem, accepting accountability, coming to understand one's own power to change... those will break the cycle. Continuing to curl up into a ball of denial will serve no purpose.
Again, this card makes a case for action - action with direction. Finding a purpose - it's difficult but worthwhile.

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Jan. 16th, 2011

Card of the Day - Seven of Earth

Gaian Tarot again today... I've been doing some meditative work with these cards.

Seven of Earth, Gaian Tarot )
This card is about long-term goal-setting and creating projects that last. The woman in the illustration is planting a sapling that will grow into a mighty tree, as part of a forest recovery project. The sapling is just a tiny thing now, but with time and care (Mother Nature's care) it will become mighty.
I need to take some time to examine my goals and lay foundations for those that are long-range. It's hard to be optimistic when the end of the line seems so far away, but it's important to understand the scope of the project and plan for the end that may be months, years, or even decades away.

Funny how all these cards are about doing important work. I wonder if this card is telling me that I should take another look at the M. Div. from Cherry Hill Seminary.

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Jan. 14th, 2011

Card of the Day

I drew this this morning, it's just taken me this long to get a post up.
King of Wands, Llewellyn Tarot )
King of Wands, from the Llewellyn Tarot (which my dad bought me for Christmas. I would never have purchased this deck for myself - it did not appeal to me in the box, for some reason, and I had the mistaken impression that it was an Arthurian deck. It is, in fact, based on Welsh myth and legend, but not directly touching Arthur, and the art is watercolor with sharp lines and broad strokes of color. I really like it! Hooray for gifts!)
The Llewellyn Tarot book includes the phrase "An intellectual, artistic force" when describing this card. I like that imagery quite a lot. Today is a day of evaluation and creativity at the office, so it's even appropriate. I've been engaging in much more graphic design and creative tasks at work, which is fabulous, plus trying to branch out a bit in my own personal portfolio.
I have new fandoms to create for, as well as unexplored media (fabric paint! watercolors! Painter X! 3-D collage!), and the hopes of great productivity into 2011.
I like the promise of discipline (which is something I need to work on) and success in the card, as well as the warning of both. As always, my artistic direction is in my own hands.

Now to see how reliably I remember to draw and post a Card of the Day.

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