Wednesday, May 25, 2011

World Tarot Day

Today is World Tarot Day. Most people have no idea what Tarot is actually about. It doesn't predict the future. It describes the potential energy in a situation. Even getting a reading can trigger changes in that moment. With a good tarot reader, one will be better informed as to how to change the state you are presently in for the better.

Tarot is a conversation between the conscious self and other aspects of the self and the reader. It should engage all parties.

I bought my first tarot deck when I was about fifteen, and haven't looked back since. That deck is sitting in the other room. I've taught classes on reading the cards intuitively, because people seem hung up on the little white book, and think that you have to memorize each card's list of keywords.

I have about forty decks, but only two or three are in circulation at a time. Each New Moon and Full Moon I pull an oracle card for a theme for meditation for that part of the cycle. Currently, the card is from an Animal Oracle, and is the Raven. Its a call to listen to my intuition, to consider how Mother Nature makes use of everything no matter how disgusting or surprising that might be.

One of the problems with working with tarot is figuring out what your limit might be, that is, how much is too much tarot. People get addicted to the illusion of certainty. And it is an illusion. It provides insight, not answers, and it is never certain.

We all have days when our intuition is off-kilter, when we aren't listening, when the answer we want just isn't there and we're ignoring what we see.

The best way to counter all that is to pay attention. Do a daily tarot pull, but pay attention to how connected and centered you feel when you are doing so. My own method of daily reading is thus:
I shuffle thoroughly after meditation, which helps me to be centered. Then I cut the deck three ways, and draw one card. I write down in my journal the date, the card and the first three things that come to mind when I'm looking at the card. Then I pull out my tarot journal that includes notes on that card and check the meanings there, writing down any that jump out at me for the entry of the day.
Having done all that, I look at the previous day's entry, and underline those terms and notes that seem to have actually occurred. Sometimes it is very accurate, and sometimes I only underline one term.

I don't do this if I'm sick, or haven't had adequate sleep, or if I'm distracted. Because then I know my reading isn't going to be worth crap.

Which is why my original plan for World Tarot Day isn't going to happen. I have many distractions going on right now, and I'll implement my surprise later for you, my what, three readers? :)

Woohoo! Three readers! Plus another who uses facebook to see what I'm saying.
Suffice to say that my plan involves offering a new service over at Wicket Icons, and that it involves Tarot. I hope to get it set up by next weekend.

In between that time, the shop will, sadly be closed while I do some very important things. :)

So, in simpler language. The shop will be closed: this Friday May 27, 2011 until June 3, 2011. At that point, I'll unveil my latest offering for you, my friends and customers.

I hope you have a blessed and beautiful week. Happy World Tarot Day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hymnal: The Grove of Poplars

As promised, a poem for Hekate:

Deep in the forest where few dare to tread
There stands a grove of poplars
Near a bubbling stream
There stands a Maiden
She waits there for me.

Her torches shimmer and shine in the night
Against the darkness of the trees.
A growling descends from the hills near and far
As I walk towards the crossroads
She waits there for me.

Deep in the forest where few dare to tread
There stands a grove of poplars
And the path is a crossroads
Whereon stands the Maiden
She waits there for me.

She knows all my secrets that I could not speak,
With her torches, the truth she reveals
The mysteries she guards for those who would seek
These span the heavens, the earth and the sea.

Deep in the forest where few dare to tread
There stands a grove of poplars,
and the moon shines brightly down
Where stands the Maiden
She waits there for me.

I have washed and dressed
I have carried forth the offering
to stand at the crossroads where she gave me the key
There in the darkness with torches so bright
A maiden waits there for me.

Deep in the forest where few dare to tread
There stands a grove of poplars.
Grown by Hekate's hand.

According to Walter Burkert, Black Poplars grown in the Underworld, and the Poplar and Fig were both understood to be signs of a nearby entrance to the Chthonic Realms.
This came to me while I was singing to my plants and folding laundry the other day as I was just starting to come under the weather. It will probably get sorted and tweaked for a while longer, and I need to sit down with my lap harp and work on the music that it will be set with to be played. Here's hoping I can remember how to do music notation! :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Overdoing It

In preparing for The Rite of Her Sacred Fires, I made an altar cloth, designed and crafted bookmarks for the guests (I invited about ten, and we had six participants), finished an offering for Hekate, cooked a decent amount of food, and did half a dozen smaller tasks that included finishing my spring cleaning.

In my enthusiasm, I totally overdid it. My allergies kicked in, my throat inflamed, and I've now spent two days in bed. I don't do so well at sitting still, truth be told, and I get a bit grumpy when my body insists that I stop for rest.

That doesn't mean that I just lie down and take it, of course. I'm a fan of shifting my diet to kick my immune system into gear, and even using the occasional healing spell. I thought about talking about how to use sex magic to heal the body, but even that brief mention makes me blush.

I did promise that I would post at least once a week, however, and I wanted to at least try to make good. Neglecting to fulfill one's promises is a fantastic way to sabotage your trust in your own Will!

The ritual and then getting ill means that I haven't done much in terms of art. I wrote a poem for Hekate for the Full Moon, however, and will share it shortly, after some minor editing to improve its cadence.

In the meantime, I'm going to go back to dozing in bed with my dog and my cats, and my hot cup of tea. I hope you all have a lovely week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tomorrow is Huge for me

and it's all about Hekate.

The house is as spotless as I can get it without making it feel sterile, the food prep is almost finished, and my offerings are ready I think.

I have preserved figs, double dipped dark chocolate and white chocolate blackberries and cherries, the fixings for gyros and Greek salad and a lemonade that has watermelon in it. A friend is making homemade real Baklava. Another friend is bringing more food, and I'm making that Southern classic, sun tea (with Moroccan Mint in it).

There are eight people that I know are coming, most of whom celebrated The Rite of Her Sacred Fires a year ago with me. This time, though, my best friends - who couldn't be there last year - will join us.

Last Spring, I was surfing on Facebook and came across a request from Sorita D'Este for Art and Articles for a book on Hekate, and I got a nudge to show her my two paintings of Her.

Hekate v.1 by ~Neheti on deviantART

torchlit hekate by ~Neheti on deviantART

To my eternal joy and gratitude, both were accepted and I became a contributor to one of the most amazing projects: Hekate: Her Sacred Fires. That May, at the Full Moon, the first Rite of Her Sacred Fires joined thousands of followers of Hekate together.

Even then, I knew that this would become an annual thing. The ritual was amazing and pretty private that night.

Tomorrow we do it again, and I am blitzed with joy and pre-party jitters.

If I had the room, I'd have invited everyone I could think of in Texas, and there would be much scarier logistics. :)

Thankfully, my very not interested in any of this husband is amazing and wonderful and happy to help me out with all of this.

Now to go off and brew some non-hallucinatory kykeon for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hefty Thinkin': Patience

I've been on my spiritual journey for over twenty years, but I've never been in a coven. My lessons are from life, from nature, from socializing with other people, and from a lot of reading and work.
My first Athame (ritual knife typically used by those inspired by Wicca and by Wiccans) was a cheap kris dagger given me by a friend. It was missing the pommel and part of the wood was damaged on the hilt, but I loved that thing to bits. I still have it tucked in my ritual gear. It is such a piece of crap! :)

My second was a letter opener designed to look like a medieval hand-and-a-half sword.

I've been through a succession. Some were gifts, others were bought online.

Last year, I commissioned a dagger from Lupa and she is so beautiful. I've been half afraid to mess her up with further personalization.

I tried stringing beads on her but that didn't mesh and were that same night rejected by the blade.

Patience is important in any spiritual life, but some things take that to new levels. It took relationships with a series of Gods and Goddesses (both called by them and simply groping in hopes of their response) and almost twenty years for me to find my Patron Goddess, Hekate.

I had to live with my new Athame for a smidge over a year to get to know her well enough to know how to fully work with her. Tonight I add my personal touches. It feels right and well and awesome. Each stroke is gliding on.

Patience pays off, whether that's in learning to sit for meditation and breathing, or in listening for what will belong upon your athame. Cultivate it, and the rewards can be massive.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Promises, Promises

I've been thinking about the blog and what to do. I'm promising you that I'll at least write here once a week. Any more than that and I worry about burn out.

...and there needs to be time to work on art and the mundane not-so-trivialities.

I'm hemming an altar cloth by hand in preparation for embroidering the center of it for Hekate. I'm also working on a special beading project that shall remain un-named until they're given to their respective owners after The Rite of Her Sacred Fires.

Last night was the New Moon and today is Hekate's festival of the New Month. I had a migraine take me out of the picture yesterday, so I did the barest minimum of what I have promised Her and then adjourned for the night. I feel much better today.

I'm slowly rearranging the house and clearing out a lot of gear that I just don't use. The process also clears out a lot of energy, which is always good.

On that note, I should get back to work, poking through things and finding them new homes, whether that be at a donation center or with friends.

May She light your way,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

New Moon

A lot of my art is born out of my spiritual life, and at the heart of that life is the New Moon. The Goddess that I honor, Hekate, has a bit of a bad rap, and her followers have been honoring her at the dark of the Moon for a very long time.

She's most well known from her roles in Shakespeare and in what has survived of Greek Mythology. If you dig through the remains of the Hellenes, however, you do not find a dark crone stooped over a bloody cauldron. Instead you find a young Goddess, proficient in herbs, for good or ill, who can lead you through the darkest parts of your life and help you to find a new day.

There is a reason why She has been called Soteira, Savior. She is also the Torchbearer. The Key-bearer. She guides those who know Her mysteries, and sometimes it is a scary ride, but Her gifts are more than worth it.

A lot of the art I make for myself bears Her mark. She has such a large role in my day-to-day life, that it's to be expected. Sometimes I think I'm becoming the Pagan equivalent of a nun in Her service. ^.^'

That doesn't mean that I can't do art for other Gods and non-spiritual purposes, of course.

Tonight is Her night, however, and soon I'll be participating in the Rite of Her Sacred Fires with thousands of others worldwide. I'm honored to be one of those lucky enough to hear Her call. For the next few weeks, I'm sure Hekate will be a prominent part of this blog, as I prepare altar cloths, paintings, trinkets for my guests, and redecorate the house a bit. Hope it doesn't bore you too much!

May She stand before you to light your way,

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Beginnings

It struck me that I should start a blog wherein I talk about my art, my magic and mysticism, that could also serve as a means of getting the word out that there exists a person who will do art according to your needs.

Expect art, magic, religion.
Coming soon!