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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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. 1st, 2011


So I've made lots of false starts on a lot of goals, but I did want to take a moment to say that today I did a formal ritual at my new altar. I used a variation of James Wells' tarot game, as sent by Joanna Powell Colbert for adaptation for Imbolc, and used quite a lot of fire.
One thing I learned by doing this, though, was that I still need a few tools. ;) Some of them I know I own already, I just need to find them. Others I'll have to acquire.

It was a really good feeling.

Now I just need to use this inspiration toward some exercise as well as creative pursuits. Heh.

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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. 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. 15th, 2011

Card for the Day - Elder of Fire

Elder of Fire, Gaian Tarot
Elder of Fire, Gaian Tarot )

The description for this card includes the following: "The Elder of Fire reminds us to open up to the Otherworld, the world of energy patterns and spirits and Invisibles. When we shift our inner reality, our outer reality shifts as well."
This card reminds me to take care of my spirit-self, and to listen to my inspiration and intuition. I think this comes into play a lot, also, when I am organizing my apartment. As I discover and place the physical elements of my spiritual practice, and clean up the rest of it, I get my inner self organized, too. Every time something new finds its way to the altar, I rediscover a part of myself. This works in reverse, too, as I meditate or do my daily draw and figure out how I can bring that sense of self into the physical world, too.

Now if I could just get myself together to put get my dolls out of their boxes and into their display cases!

I think this card also encourages me to put aside anxiety and fear and even pride and just do the work I want to do - seize my inspiration and create, create create!

ETA: Although this is a very different reading because it's a different deck, this is essentially the same card I drew yesterday. Hmmmm.

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Aug. 2nd, 2010

in which I blather more

a) Toddlers are hilarious.  Lando's biggest thrill when I visited was to have me sit in the armchair, then he would go to the other end of the room, start shrieking, and run run run run to throw himself onto my lap. I flipped him upside down, then, of course, which only made the game better.  And then he'd do it all again. And again.  And again.  ;)  Ah, to be two.

b) Lughnasadh was nice. Jon grilled and we had a tremendous harvest meal. It was a lovely day, indeed.

c) I've been seeing a lot of stories cross my feed and sometimes my flist about the proposed Cordoba House in NYC. It boggles my mind that there is so much negative press about it, in fact. And since it's crossed my flist and feed so many times, I just thought that I might give it some screen time. It's an idea that I first heard mentioned when I was in Seminary in New York, by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf himself. Imam Feisal was our lecturer in Islam and leader in a zikr. He is a wonderful teacher and inspiring leader. It is tremendously exciting to see the Cordoba Project reaching the point of having a building, a community center, in New York. 

d) I spent a large part of Sunday sewing. Good grief, there was a lot of sewing.  It takes me a lot longer than I think it will to cut and sew strips, but I eventually shaved a few minutes off each step by not ironing the seams between every step.

e) Still enjoying Sherlock from the BBC, but The Blind Banker was not as good as A Study in Pink. I was a bit disappointed by certain character developments, but on the whole it was still entertaining. spoilers ahoy ) Despite this, I will keep tuning in. (Plus the fanfic is choice.)

f) I have a few really exciting art projects on the horizon. I am trying to figure out what project to work on for this semester's studio course. Fandom deadlines for the most part preclude using any of those projects, but one never knows.

g) I think that's it for now.  I'm sure there are plenty of other things I could blather about - in fact, I was thinking of blathering about a few in more detail, but I'm not sure if a public forum is the best way...  one of the topics is religion, the other is crafty projects. (They will doubtless at times intersect.) Does anybody want to follow that kind of blather?

Good night!

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July 2014




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