Sunday, August 4, 2019

Working with Crystals: Rose Quartz

Many tarot readers enjoy incorporating crystals with their readings, creating lovely grids or just keeping one or two on hand during a reading. Others store their decks with crystals to cleanse or charge decks with the energy of the stone.

I am personally not an extravagant user of crystals, but I love them, and I love having them around. I love wearing them. I feel like I have a crystal necklace for almost every occasion, and that is simply not enough! When doing a reading that I feel connects to a specific type of crystal, I have it nearby. I also a few particular ones nearby for all readings (selenite, labradorite, quartz, and aqua aura quartz). For romance readings, or ones I feel require an extra boost of love, I include some rose quartz. My first and favorite deck is stored lovingly with a crystal quartz and a rose quartz.

Rose quartz is one that over the years has developed a special place in my heart. It was my first crystal purchase, and my first foray into finding healing through crystals.

Rose Quartz Meaning & Properties

Rose quartz is most closely associated with love, romance, and the heart chakra. It can open the heart to giving and receiving love, improve bonds, and heal emotional wounds. Though most people primarily tie this deeply loving stone to the purpose of attraction, it can help with self love as well. It increases sexual energy (possibly a by-product of increased self-love and creativity), and is a wonderful stone to keep near the bedroom.

For use with tarot readings, I personally like to include the stone anytime I do reading about relationships or other bonds. Rose quartz is not just for romantic relationships, but can be for familial ones such as a relationship with a mother. I also like to include it when I have the sense that some element of self-love or emotional healing may be tied to the reading at hand.

Rose Quartz in My Life

My first rose quartz was a pendant necklace with a snake wrapped around the top. I didn't know much about crystals at the time, but I knew my heart needed healing. After dealing with serious health issues, a devastating breakup, deep depression, and struggles with loving myself and my body, everything I read about the crystal sounded like exactly what I needed.

I bought it thinking to attract partners, and I certainly did. At the time, I needed love outside of myself because I had none left inside for me. I was struggling with my sense of self as a woman, and my identity as both a spiritual human and a lover. All was well until I suddenly developed a case of clumsy fingers and dropped the crystal, breaking it in half.

I was devastated by the loss. Up to this point, I felt that the crystal had been giving me such a boost. But perhaps it was time for me and this particular rose quartz to part ways. I gave one half to a friend I felt needed the boost in their life. I found another beautiful chunk of rose quartz which I placed on my desk at work, and went on merrily. At least as long as I was near my wonderful office chunk of love crystal.

I was in a very difficult time of my life, and harder times were coming in sheep's clothing. Perhaps this instance of the crystal breaking was more of a warning than a merry parting. I began to backslide and struggle again as I allowed outer influences to impede my personal growth. However, I also began seeking solace in other places, places which would help me find my own inner love.

Often when a crystal breaks, it could be warning of impending danger, but more likely it's time for you to move on to bigger things. Perhaps your energy has begun to resonate too highly for the current stone. Perhaps it has simply done the work it needs to do in your life. Either way, much like the Tower, it's a symbol of an impending shift to a new direction or a higher vibration. I'm glad that stone broke. I'm happy with the direction I went after and even the mistakes I made because they led me in a better, stronger direction.

Working with crystals brings beautiful energy into my life, especially when working with my favorite, the rose quartz. However, it's important to remember crystals are just an aid. They lend energy, they amplify, but they are not a crutch. They come and go in your life as resources along your journey, but ultimately the healing work is yours alone.

Resources

Crystal Vaults - Rose Quartz Meaning

AtPerrys - What Happens if Your Crystal Breaks or Fades

Spirit Dancer Crystals - What Does it Mean When a Crystal Breaks?


Thursday, August 1, 2019

Lughnasadh Blog Hop: The Power of a Name

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It's that time yet again when I participate in the Tarot Blog Hop! For this one, we celebrate the holiday of Lughnasadh/Lammas and the importance of names. Under either name, the holiday celebrates the first harvest and has strong ties to wheat and bread.

Lugh, for whom the holiday is named, is tied closely to the Welsh Lleu Llaw Gyffes who appears in my Llewellyn deck as The Sun. The sun is a card that appears frequently in my blog hop readings, but I don't feel that I have ever fully explored his story beyond the hope he gives me.


As both Lugh and Lleu, he is tied to the sun, though his ties to the harvest are stronger in his incarnation as Lugh. As Lugh, he was destined to kill his grandfather, and so as an unnamed babe he was tossed into the sea. He came to be raised by foster parents and given their names and allying him to their families. As Lleu, his mother denied him a name, and thereby denied his existence and power. Over time with the help of his uncle, he was able to receive the gifts he was denied. Their stories share many similarities and each incarnation, both Celtic and Welsh, are given an abundance of names which they are known by. However, each have their own legend, their own set of names, and seem to be distinct from each other. The tie that binds them as related exists only in the roots of their names and connection to the sun.

Naming has the ability to give or take power, bind loyalties, and reveal or hide truths. Lleu's mother tried to deny his spirit the power a name would give him. Lugh's grandfather attempted to divert destiny through a similar solution. Neither worked, because at their core there was a truth to their existence which in turn manifested the names they came to be known by.

My first encounter with the concept of names giving power over things was in the Wizard of Earthsea series by Ursula K. LeGuin. By learning the true names of things, wizards were able to call on ancient powers and face dragons who would have otherwise made a meal of anyone daring to enter their realms. The wizards themselves protect the knowledge of their true names to prevent others from having power over them. We see this concept appear in other popular literature such as Harry Potter's lack of fear of speaking Voldemort's name. It appears again in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet when Juliet laments that no matter what name Romeo existed under she would love him the same, but that as a Montague, she is unable to marry him.

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

She may argue that there's no power to a name, but she undermines her own premise by asking that he break his binds to his name (and family) by taking another. There is magic in the underlying truth of a name and the connections it forms. But would changing his name truly change the truth of his heritage? Would it change who he is? It may break a binding to family, but he will always be their blood.

Much as deities have many named aspects, and each are called upon according to purpose, so it is as well on earth. Plants have a common and scientific names. Cats have their true name known only to them and the many names given to them as they pass through the lives of humans. We each have a given name, a family name, and some of us a nickname or other chosen name. Does it change who we are or just manifest an aspect of our truth?

Often artists resonate with specific aspects of tarot cards and change or modify the names of some cards. In some, they change the order according to their own truth. However, does this change the power of the card? Does it change its core truth? I would argue that it does not. The card is always tied to its inspiration. It carries with it the meanings and its history. A name may obscure those ties or attempt to break them, but in the breaking does it only bind it more strongly as an influence. The changing of a name simply highlights an aspect which may have been less clear previously.

And so as Lugh and Lleu are not the same, their truths represent similar meanings to both the Irish and the Welsh. They are inextricably tied to one another - separate and inseparable in being. And thus the tarot continues to be a constant study as we seek to learn the truths at the core of each iteration of the cards and so find how those truths manifest in our lives.

This post is part of a series. Use the navigation to browse ahead or behind in the series, or visit the master list to go directly to a blogger. If you are a tarot reader with a blog and wish to join future hops, join our TarotBlogHop Facebook group.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Equinox Blog Hop: Tarot Muses

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A year ago, I would have opened this post with Ostara or Spring Equinox greetings. Instead this year I wish all a happy Alban Eiler. This year I’m excited to announce I will be initiated into the Bardic grade of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. When I began my journey with tarot many years ago, I never thought it would ultimately lead me in this direction. It certainly opened my eyes to new spiritualities. In fact, I tried on eclectic for quite a while until I found the grove to which I currently belong.

Tarot has been the start of many journeys for me and impetus to join many of the groups to which I’ve found myself belonging. Though life kept me more than a bit distracted last year, I’m happy to be participating in another blog hop. I’m quite terrible at keeping my blog up-to-date without the group’s friendly nudges to write again – a practice which I’ve promised myself I’d do more of. So, here I am, celebrating the equinox and bringing another post to bloom!

For this fabulous hop, our theme is tarot muses, of which I’ve chosen three. For me, the Queen of Wands, Queen of Swords, and 9 of Pentacles has factored heavily into my growth throughout the year. I’m happy to find myself at a place in life where I find myself reaping the benefits of their lessons. With that, I’d love to share the lessons I’ve learned from each of these ladies.

The Linestrider Tarot by Siolo Thompson

I chose for this post to work with my Linestrider deck by Siolo Thompson. Her beautiful watercolor designs evoke images of spring, not to mention her ability to encapsulate so much emotion in simple (and incredibly feminine) images truly stir my soul.

Queen of Wands:

The Queen of Wands is a woman who knows and owns her power. Much like the Magician, if she wills it, she can manifest it. Often pictured with a black cat, her ties to the occult are clear. She’s full of power, but not just any power, unbridled feminine power.

She lives in the present. She is here, and she is now. Her instincts steer her in the right direction, and when they don’t, she owns her ‘oopsies’ with the grace of a queen. There’re no apologies from this one. In fact, her passion can burn a bit too hot for some. At times she can be forget herself and burn those close to her.

This lust for life is contagious and others want a taste of it for themselves. It’s this desire the queen can manipulate for her own ends – may they be well intentioned or not.

After many surgeries, female power is one I’ve struggled with repeatedly. I have moments where I feel her shining through me, only to feel her slip away with a loud hiss. The queens all must balance the element of water with their suit’s native element, and for the queen of wands, it’s a battle between fire and water. It is here she has another connection to the major arcana card, Temperance.

As my astrological card, Temperance is yet another card I’ve spent much time contemplating. Balance is important in all things, but how do you allow the flow of water without it extinguishing the fire within? It’s this queen who helps me understand how to both feel and flame.

Queen of Swords:
Almost in opposition to the Queen of Wands is the Queen of Swords. Ruled by air, she is not here or now. She’s a woman lost in thought, full of intellect, and contemplating the wisest steps to the future she wants. This queen can manifest as well, but it is the product of much planning. She has a dream and she can bring together all the right information to plan the path forward.

However, her calculations can be cold. Her stance against anyone who moves against her or simply has the misfortune of standing in her way are cruel. She’s not a heartless woman though. As with all queens, her air is balanced with water. It can make her anxious and unsure that her path forward is the right one. She lacks the passion the queen of wands embodies, and so she struggles with the concept of simply going with her gut.

Her unparalleled ability to put aside emotion and settle swiftly on facts makes her a powerful force to channel when facing tasks which require you to put aside deep hurts and continue forward with sword swinging. It is her that keeps me walking when my fire has long since burned out, and I’ve lost faith in myself. She is a true, though harsh, sister to the queen of wands.

9 of Pentacles:
There is one card within the minor arcana that has a power and personality so strong that it could easily join the court cards on a night out should it so choose. The 9 of Pentacles functions, for me at least, almost as a courtesan to the court cards. She is strong, powerful, and self-made. She has manifested greatness into her life using all her skills as a woman. Falcon in hand, her queen of swords-esque fierceness is unquestionable. Her wit is sharp, and with it she has felled many who stood in her path.

It is in the spirit of the Queen of Wands, however, that she relaxes provocatively amongst her finery. She enjoys the now of her achievements, and her earthiness may have been helpful in winning some of her battles. She has done much to deserve her respite, and she will do much more to continue her life of luxury.

She reminds me to stop and look around me and congratulate myself on my achievements. It’s okay to stop for a while to enjoy yourself. However, all of it was hard-won. Even in leisure I must remain sharp. More is always around the corner, and the work never ends. By nature of being minor arcana, though, she carries with her another lesson the queens more softly embody. Her nine-ness resonates with incompleteness. She is only a stop along the way to more, to better, to everything. She could remain stuck as a nine forever, and it wouldn’t be a horrible place to stay, but nothing is meant to remain in stasis. Eventually her lust for adventure will bring her to the next stop on the way, which is the 10 of pentacles.

This lesson is one I struggle with. My inner queens are often at odds at how to move into this next stage and often at odds over if I truly even want to. However, in the spirit of Alban Eiler I must eventually learn to embrace new adventures and try new things to truly blossom.

This post is part of a series. Use the navigation to browse ahead or behind in the series, or visit the master list to go directly to a blogger. If you are a tarot reader with a blog and wish to join future hops, join our TarotBlogHop Facebook group.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

When Tarot Readings Don’t Make Sense

We have all had the experience of doing a tarot reading which just doesn’t seem to make sense. We form our questions, shuffle the cards, lay them out, and then when we look at the cards, they don’t seem to come together in a way that makes sense of the question asked or the situation being examined.

This shouldn’t be a signal to reshuffle immediately. While the problem could be the result of your cards needing to be cleansed, there is usually nothing wrong with the cards, and the reading needs to be looked at differently.

Unknown Knowns

Often, when Tarot cards don’t seem to make sense, it is because you don’t know what it is that you know. Tarot works with the subconscious part of your mind that pulls in immense amounts of information from the world, much more information that our conscious mind can manage. As such, while our subconscious mind knows what is going on, and pulls things out in the cards, our conscious mind can lag and be unable to make sense of the information being presented. This is a case of not knowing what it is that we know.

Often this means that you need to let the reading sit in your mind for longer and give your conscious mind time to put all the pieces together. In this case, a good idea suggested by Numerologysign.com is to record the reading in a tarot journal, and then return to it the next day after you have had a chance to process it further.

Uncertain Future

Sometimes when focusing on the future and the outcome of a situation, the reading can be unclear because the future is in flux. The future is not set in stone. While the energy of the universe is pushing everything in a certain direction when it comes to our lives, our intentions hold huge sway over what the future will look like; our decisions matter. This is how Tarot helps us take control of our lives, by showing us the trajectory that we are on and giving us the chance to change it if we want to.

If a key person in a situation is suffering from indecision, and changing their mind regularly, it can be difficult to see the future of that situation, as the intention is not yet set. This is often a sign that the client needs to take time to consider what it is that they want from the situation, solidifying their intention. You can then revisit the situation after a period, and the future will hopefully be clearer.

Denial

Often the problem is not that the reading doesn’t make sense, but rather that we don’t like what we see. We are masters of lying to ourselves in the face of things that we don’t like. This clouds our judgement, and that of our clients, who won’t exactly lie to us, but will block out and therefore not share information that will make the reading clear.

A reading like this too benefits from being slept on. Information which can be incredibly difficult to accept in the moment can start to make sense when the conscious mind is given time to process it. Record the reading in a tarot journal and return to it in a few days, hopefully with a more open mind.

Cleanse Your Cards

If you repeatedly find that your readings are clouded or don’t seem to make sense, it could be that your cards have picked up energy that is interfering with your readings. Tarot is all about energy. You use the cards to channel your energy, that of your client, and the energy of the situation that you are delving into. The tarot cards work because they can pick up on this energy, but sometimes energy from particularly strong readings can stick to the cards, interfering with future readings.
When this happens, as well as having readings that seem clouded, you will probably find that you struggle to know when to stop shuffling.

There are some simple ways to cleanse the energy of your cards. You can do a simple reset shuffle where you put the cards back in their original order, and then spend a few moments with each card, remembering what it signifies for you. After this you can shuffle the cards again, re-imbuing your energy into the cards as you move them through your hands. Another alternative is a sun or moon bath, which simply involves placing your cards somewhere that they will be bathed in the light of the sun or moon for a couple of hours. You can also store your cards with a crystal that draws energy, such as a Spirit Quartz.

Your cards aren’t the only thing that can pick up excessive energy from a tarot reading, both you and your space can pick up on it as well. Cleanse your space by smudging it with Sage incense. Pass the incense stick around the area filling it with smoke, while visualizing the energy in the space dispersing. You can similarly place crystals that cleanse energy within the space.

For yourself, you can smudge yourself with incense, or conduct a simple meditation practice to renew your energy. If you feel like a particularly strong or negative energy has attached itself to you, it is also possible to conduct a cord cutting ritual. Select a crystal that dispels negative energy, such as Black Tourmaline. Hold it in your dominant hand and make cutting motions in front of your body while visualizing cords of negative energy that have attached themselves to you being severed.

Making Sense of Nonsense

While with these types of tarot readings it can sometimes feel that we are trying to make sense of nonsense, this is not the case, and the fact that the reading is clouded is itself useful information. It can tell us that while we think we have made up our mind about something, we need to admit that we haven’t. It can also tell us that one of the things holding us back is our fixed mindset and refusal to accept certain truths. This knowledge itself can help us unravel the problem.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Yule Blog Hop: Find Your Cozy


Darkness rules the winter months as we move toward Yule, the longest night of the year. Yule is a time of hope, but also encroaching darkness. The cold creeps in and we fight to keep it out. We fight to make it through the darkest night of the year with the hope that the days will begin to lengthen and the sun will eventually return to its zenith. To keep this hope in our hearts, we spread cheer through gift giving and a bright fire in the hearth. The Yule log burns through the night, chasing out darkness. The Christmas tree brightens the home with cheerfulness.


For me, this is one my favorite time of year. I enjoy the cool weather because without the cool weather, we would not be able to enjoy the coziness of lit fires, warm sweaters, and fuzzy boots. For many though, there is no fire to look forward to. With the cold creeping in and cheer no where to be found for them, only darkness can reside. The tradition of Yule is an important one. We must find our cozy to carry our hopes forward just a little bit longer.

Yule log traditions embody this with keeping a piece of the log for lighting the next year's fire. Each year carries forward the hopes of the year prior. The remaining piece may be small and almost burnt away, but it can light a bright new fire to carry into the next year.

I have found my inner flame waning, and I have been struggling to keep it lit this year. It has only been with the moments of shared cheer that I've been able to keep my tiny light lit just a bit longer. I'm moving toward a new year with a waning flame, but hopefully it is just enough to give me a fresh start in the coming longer days.

To begin to examine and understand my inner yule log, I put together this spread:
I started by laying the cards for the log itself and put down the threats to my fire last. I was surprised to see a returning card from last year's Yule blog hop spread, The Sun.

It seems the wands have more for me to learn as well! Last year's spread asked me to start as Page of Wands to find my fire.

The Magician - Gwydion appears as the starter to my log, reminding me there is always an opportunity for redemption. The Magician manifests greatness and creates much out of seemingly nothing. With that power I can summon the power of the Sun - Llew Llaw Gyffes and overcome the things that have been seeming to get me down. Last year, I was asked to start from the beginning finding my passion. This is still a work in progress as I involve myself more and more in my Druid Grove, settle into my new home, and find the places where I belong. I'm not quite ready for the Knight of Wands, and so it is reversed. This what I will carry into next year to light my fire, but I still have much work to do.

There have been threats to my flame, and I have felt the sputters throughout the year. The King of Pentacles can be one of overbearing male energy. This year I have felt myself faltering under the grind of holding my own with male colleagues and commanding respect from male peers. Unrealistic expectations also threatens my warmth as The Fool reminds me. I find myself overly tempted by fresh starts to point of tossing aside the work I have done just to get away from the threat the King of Pentacles presents, but I shouldn't let myself be chased foolishly away. I can stand strong and burn brightly without wavering in my resolve.

I feel brave knowing I can carry this fire forward. There is always a remnant from before, and that I can use the fading embers to relight and start anew.

This post is part of a series. Use the navigation to browse ahead or behind in the series, or visit the master list to go directly to a blogger. If you are a tarot reader with a blog and wish to join future hops, join our TarotBlogHop Facebook group.