My spouse and I do have a few things in common. Today I was reminded of some of them. That made me feel all warm and fuzzy, which I needed, since the dogs killed another animal friend and that made me sad.
I’m happier thoughts, I got something fun in the mail that my friend Deana told me about. It’s the Yarn Tarot. It’s so cute. The illustrations cover knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving.
The main reason to get the deck would be the art, some of which is clever. The deck was designed by Katie ponder, who does seem to know about the crafts. The Fool cracked me up, setting out over the precipice to buy yarn.
The suits are: pentacles a woven star, cups drop spindles, swords knitting needles (duh), and wands crochet hooks. I have a feeling getting weaving to fit in with the pentacle symbolism was the hardest.
The twee book is a standard tarot book and doesn’t refer to the art or archetypes, but it’s not a bad book. Just not exciting.
So, that’s one thing Lee the Hermit and I both like. Another is pens. We both own so many pens and each have strong preferences. I love to write in my journals, and he did, too, until he started making them on the computer.
I got more pens than I intended to today. I thought I’d canceled one set. On well, I will use them all in my horse journal! They are all subdued, muted colors, which will fit with the horses. One impressive surprise was the at one set of pens came with an entire set of refills! That’s a good idea. Some inexpensive sets don’t put much ink in the pens, so yay for that manufacturer. They make theme sets, so I might get more (ocean theme, etc.)
The final thing we have in common is a love for cute li’l animals. I was really excited to see the storks replaced with two sets of twin calves and their mamas. I’m pretty sure one set are the ones I saw at Sara’s a couple of days ago. Double the cute.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I’m going to see where I work!
This may or may not surprise you, but those of you who actually know me remember that I have worked with tarot cards for many years. I find them very helpful for clarifying my thinking, figuring out trends, and learning about other people. In fact, this blog and our ranch, The Hermits’ Rest, is a nod to the card Lee most identifies with, the Hermit. It’s about seeking the truth, teaching others, and yes, withdrawal from life.
I wish the card I identified with most was romantic and exciting, but I’m afraid it’s the less intense equivalent of the Hermit, 4 of Swords. It’s a card of calm, peace, meditation, and retreat. It used to come up for me nearly every day when I was drawing a card a day. Now that I’m a lot better at self-care, I don’t think it would do that so much.
Enough of the tarot blathering. I haven’t done many readings lately, except a few for others. The one I did for my sister a month or two ago was really something, and I think that’s the last one I did. But, with yesterday being the traditional new year for earth-centered folks, I decided to do my usual Halloween reading to see where I might be headed in the next year. Here’s what came up.
I was so rusty at reading that at first, I was a bit concerned. There are a lot of stern, mean-looking dudes in that spread. Who or what were they and why were they all over my life for the next year? But, as I looked at the other cards and considered the context of my life right now, it began to make sense. I’ll share with you what I saw. Note that my friends who are good this stuff may see something else. Alternative perspectives are welcome.
I tend to use the cards to draw connections my conscious mind hadn’t seen before and to see relationships emerge that I hadn’t realized where there. I’m not predicting the future.
The card that signified the theme of the reading is the 3 of Pentacles. That’s a card about doing high-quality work and getting recognition for it. That evokes my recent job change that is a new part of my life this year. I realize that a lot of the reading may concern work.
Crossing that card is the Wheel of Fortune, which is not a game show, but represents either luck or a life full of significant ups and downs. I’d say that summarizes both my recent past and my present, and the thing that’s made it hard to do my best work–so many other things going on and demanding attention.
Next, I saw the Empress over there to the left, in the past position. She’s a mom and a nurturer. I have, indeed, spent a lot of my time in the past few months to a year trying to make things better for people and expending a lot of energy in that. That’s the past, though.
Sitting high above me is the Hierophant, who signals institutions, bosses, teachers, and such, which used to be the card I hated. When I was in a bad job, he showed up over and over until I left. I think this time it represents the job I just left, because of feeling oppressed by the demands of out-of-touch higher ups but cautions me to be aware of wanting to conform to make a good impression at the new place, too. Hmm. Lots to think about.
Below, at the root of the issue is the particularly unattractive 4 of Pentacles. This represents someone who wants everything to themselves, can’t let go, or as Robin Wood (who created the deck I read with) said, “an emotional black hole.” This is telling me that the other part of my life that weighed me down for the past year or so (one I don’t talk about here) is still lurking down there, thanks to the Empress being so strong and me wanting to help even when it goes against my best interests. Since it’s tied (in my mind) to the Empress card, I think it’s in the past, too.
That’s confirmed by the future card, which is, hip-hip hooray, the World! That card hints that I may well be right that I’ve figured some things out, am in a better place, and come to the end of a cycle intact and with lots and lots of knowledge. Good, good.
So, what happens next? Well, the card on the bottom of the stack on the right is the 8 of Cups. When I saw that, I said to myself, “Ain’t that the truth?” This card shows someone turning away from all the “stuff” in the past, ready to step forward into whatever is next, without all that emotional baggage (cups are emotions). Right, right! That’s what I want to be doing. Thank you, random tarot cards, for confirming that.
Here’s where more of the “people” cards show up. They always make me think about whether they represent people in my life or traits. With the King of Pentacles in the position of my friends and family, it becomes clear. This is a kind guy who has money, and I would like that to represent the people in my household, who also work in our business. They know what they are doing and will be with me all the way.
Next is the card that represents my hopes and fears/dreams. I chose fears here because it’s the King of Swords. This is a scary guy, to me, often a military man or stern ruler. He’s smart, but not very emotional. You may laugh at me, but I thought of the Governor of Texas, who keeps passing laws that upset me and make me fear for the safety of women, children, immigrants, and other people without much power. Now why is THAT GUY in my reading??? I think I’m more worried that politics is going to mess with my happy 2022 than I let myself realize consciously.
Moving on to the end, things do get better, judging from the cheerful 6 of Cups at the top. It looks like if I do the stuff the other cards are hinting at, like working hard, giving up on nurturing people who don’t want to be nurtured, and learn from the crazy past year or two, I can have the kind of life I’d want, a simple one full of happiness and family. I would not turn that down!
There’s a card to the side. I drew it to see something more long term. It’s the Knight of Swords. That’s my estranged son, the cuttingly intellectual one who is always in my dreams telling me how I failed as a mother and human being. Maybe some resolution to that issue will come in the next year.
Well, if you ever wondered how people can read cards, that was an example of one way. It is NOT the only way. I use a lot of intuition. Some people are more literal. Others have different interpretations of cards, based on their own experiences. These things are flexible and can be what you would like them to be. Nothing to be scared of here, just time to ponder possibilities.
Hey. I’ve got to tell you ALL a big thanks for reading yesterday’s post and providing such positive and healing feedback. I feel much less alone, and am ready to go forth and find awe in the world around me again. Yep, that’s today’s word.
It’s not hard at all for me to find awe. Very often I am stopped in my tracks, just in awe of how the Universe works and the gifts we receive if we just pay attention. That’s why I put my altar in my Instagram post of the day. I’ve carefully put little reminders of things that tie me to the rest of creation, things I admire, and gifts I’ve received from the Universe.
I’ve got art by people I admire depicting the mysteries (look at that big ole Persephone hole at far right), symbols of religious traditions I admire (Ganesha, Buddha, a dark godddess, and a St. Brighid’s cross you can’t see. There are crystals, including my beloved labradorite heart and a flint rock from my previous house. In front is my wand that I made from an ash branch back when I was in a spiritual circle in Urbana, Illinois. Well, you get it, a bunch of symbols that matter to me and reflect what I’m in awe of. The lady in the photo is Deb Frueh. She is someone whose guidance has helped me more than she realizes, and who understands so much more than I do about the things we can’t always see with our eyes.
That Tarot Reading
I did promise you a tarot reading. I don’t often do these for myself, but the cards were still sitting there from a reading I did last week, and I actually had a question I could use some guidance on. So, I did this:
Once again I’m trying to distract myself, since I can’t go out and do much on this vacation (I did sit by the pool for quite a while until screeching children drove me away). But you know what? You can’t escape reality by reviewing a tarot deck. I’ll explain.
I think we all want to be at least a little badass. I think of it as having the courage to be ourselves, even when it defies convention, and sometimes when it defies logic. Being a badass comes with a little attitude, too, which may or may not make it challenging to do all those socially appropriate things like go to our jobs, engage in polite conversation, etc.
They may be sideways, but you get the idea. They’re true to tradition, just with an attitude.
While I’m not particularly badass, most of the time (I leave that to Mandi), I was drawn to a review I read of the Badass Tarot, over on the Papa Squirrel blog, one of the tarot blogs I read from time to time. Here’s what Papa says:
This deck is based in the RWS system but for sure is a stand alone piece of pop art reference! No guidebook included, but honestly that is part of the reason I love it! You don’t need it! The images are amazing and sometimes shocking and mostly hilarious but is not only open to the reader’s interpretation but also is SUPPOSED to challenge the status quo of tarot itself.
He summed the deck up really well. It’s got some pretty hilarious images, and some that are a little disturbing (there are naked people, so it’s probably not for the littlest tarot readers). Both Anita and I laughed aloud many times when we went through the deck after I first got it. There are many “aha” moments when you realize how well a card manages to make a social commentary AND follow tarot tradition.
Harley Spencer did a great job on the very badass collages on the cards. From what I can tell the obviously handmade and beautifully crafted version of the cards that I got will soon be replaced by mass market versions. That will get more people a chance to experience this deck, which is fantastic.
So, I went ahead and did a reading with the deck, in which I asked about the past, present, and future in today’s health crisis situation. It came out pretty unpleasant, especially the “future” card.
The past is one nasty ole 8 of Swords, where a man seems to be trapped by his issues. All that food is keeping him from having fun with the upside-down children. For me, I think this “past” covers both the immediate past and the present. So many of us feel trapped in our homes as we try to keep ourselves safe from the coronavirus. I’m out of town, but have been so careful!
The present is the Page of Swords. She’s looking out for something in the air. I’ll choose to interpret the zeppelins as badass viruses. Eek. We’re all on the lookout for sick people and germs, me included.
And the future is the Devil. Hmm, this one usually means you’re being so greedy that you don’t see what you really need. For me, today, it feels like I’ve been wandering around in my privilege just doing what I usually do and not paying enough attention to the needs of others. I’m taking the card as a warning not to be so complacent and smug that I think I’m immune to germs or that all the other consequences of the restrictions that come out more and more will affect me.
Nope. I’m very healthy, but in the risky segment of society. Lee isn’t as super healthy, so I need to watch over him, too.
So, how off was I? I plan to be prudent but stay badass. How about you?
For the past few weeks I knew I had been filling my time with too many things that take away energy and not enough things that build it back up. I know perfectly well what those things are, and usually I am able to keep a good balance, even with all my jobs, volunteer positions, and social/family stuff.
But, hey, as we all know too well, life happens. So, even though I have my nature walks, dogs, horses, chickens, and good friends to build up my reserves, some of these new things that have popped up have tilted the balance. I’m just worn out.
What’s Draining My Energy?
Well, some of the things are small and some are large. Some are at least superficially good, and some are plain irritating.
I got a new job responsibility in Austin that seemed like it wouldn’t be too much, but has put at least half a day per week of meetings on my schedule. Meetings drain me (the new people I work with are great, though, and I actually want to contribute by doing this work).
Some new management strains have surfaced, too. Yet another initiative for “creating a mentoring culture” and “celebrating wins” has arrived. These things are all well meaning and “just” take a few minutes. For each direct report and your own self. And then you need to schedule some one-on-ones, which will add another few hours of meetings (with people I like, for sure, but still…I want to do actual work). And corporate initiatives drain me.
I try to schedule just two nonprofit meetings a week, but with the Master Naturalist class going on every week, there ends up being more many weeks. I thought I had it all straight this week, with one MN meeting and one day of volunteering for MTOL and all the animals at the thrift shop, but, suddenly a house closing, in Austin, popped up. ACK. I wanted to do it, but that would mean going to Cameron for a Thursday night meeting, then to Austin for a Friday afternoon closing, then back to Cameron for the thrift store in the morning. I want to do all the things…but wow. Too much driving drains me.
Many of my friends and family members, near and far, haven’t been well. I want to be there for them, too. I can’t let that go to the wayside. Sending out good energy drains me.
And I want to help Anita get her Cameron house ready for a tenant who’s going to help her fix it up. Watching her work so hard with no help drains me by proxy.
So, I find myself having a hard time getting through days. I was just sure yesterday was Thursday. It was Tuesday.
Yesterday afternoon, after work meetings for both jobs, I was all nauseated and had one of those squeezing headaches, but powered through a 2-hour meeting. Today I had allergy symptoms and my throat has that weird feeling like it’s sore, but not like I have a cold or flu. I get it when I am physically run down. DING. I can’t even keep my eyes open.
Hey, that may mean I need to STOP WRITING and go rest. Gee. Quit yelling. My head hurts. I need to be kind to myself and remember that if I don’t get my balance back, I can’t be much use to anyone.
Gonna make a few schedule changes and re-balance. Lee already changed the closing to doing it from Cameron. Now to meditate. Om.
This is one of the most interesting times in my life, at least as far as my mental state goes. Why so interesting? Oddly enough, it’s because I’m not in a tizzy about anything. It’s not because my life has suddenly turned out to be like I imagined adulthood would be as a child, where you go to work, come home and do hobbies, enjoy a meal with your loving spouse, and sleep soundly, knowing you have the money to pay all your bills. Nope, that’s not it.
Rather, as I’ve mentioned in other blog posts, it seems as if all the things I have been working on to become my best self have taken effect, at least for the most part. Like what, you ask?
First, I had to accept myself the way I am. I’m human, with some issues that led me to develop some habits and tendencies that might bug people (let’s see, over-reacting to perceived criticism, crying when confronted angrily, problems with being “yelled at” or picked on, sarcasm, coming across as “looking down” at people…whatever). It’s weird, once I convinced myself that it was okay to be who I am, so many of those behaviors lessened. I haven’t cried in AGES other than when totally appropriate (death of people and dogs I love, mainly).
I’m recovering from spending so much energy the last few days, so I’ll just share two pictures and my tarot card (I have done them most days with the app but today I used my real deck).
The yucca bud sure looks like a giant asparagus stalk! Maybe it’s tasty. I’m not going to chomp on it.
High Priestess in Robin Wood deck.
So today I drew the High Priestess. It’s a favorite of mine. I think she is acknowledging how hard I’m working to be mature and use my skills for good these days. The weekend went so well, and I’m patting myself on the back a bit.
And finally, I love this hummingbird I saw today. It’s a black chinned one, judging from the male that was also flitting around. I’m so glad they’re still here.
Yesterday I had to take off work to do some boring personal stuff, but in the end, there was lots of time in the day left over. Since I will be out of town for Anita’s birthday on Saturday, I decided to take her to some places in Austin she’d never been. The first was the Contemporary Austin museum at Laguna Gloria, which I just shared some photos of flowers from.
I hadn’t been to Laguna Gloria since some art classes when my children were small. It’s changed a lot since then, and they have added some fancy new, but not quite finished, buildings there, like a cafe (we had a nice light meal from there, though we had to eat in the car due to no seating), a cute gift shop (where Vlassic got a new “dress collar”), and such.
But we were there for the sculptures (and plants), so off we went. The day got warmer and warmer, but we persevered.
All the modern sculptures were interesting, at least, and some I just loved. The settings in and among all the native and other plants was really pleasant. Plus, I’m just glad there is still a little space where people can see Lake Austin from the ground. Most of it is full of giant, fancy houses.
My favorite one didn’t photograph well, but it was party of a trio of pieces hanging from one of the many huge trees on the property. I guess you’ll just have to go to see it.
Hey there. It’s Weird Wednesday for me, but I wanted to share some cute photos I took of the hummingbirds migrating through our area right now. Beware of them if you are wearing floral perfume, because they will buzz right up to you and get in your face, as a coworker found out! The birds just LOVE Turk’s cap (because its nectar is extra sweet), so we always get a nice show this time of year at work.
I noticed we have at least three different types, but of course all my photos are of females, and who can tell what they are (answer: not me). But I saw the usual black-chinned ones, a couple of ruby-throated that only show up here during migration, and something very, very tiny, even for a hummingbird. That one was near my house, not at work.
Card o’ Day
Today I came up with the 7 of Swords. It’s typically a card about deceit or thievery, but when I looked at the card in this deck, I was reminded of the 8 of Pentacles, which depicts someone hard at work on a repetitive project. Immediately I thought of all those plans I’ve been making at my job, and how much work they will be, and I began to wonder if my boss and I are fooling ourselves to think we’ll get to do all this stuff, in a part of the company that’s being redirected and shifted around a lot lately (our turn has not come yet). Well, I’m not stressing on it. I’ll just deal with it.
Tomorrow I think I’ll go back to my beloved Robin Wood deck, just because it’s my buddy, and I can shuffle it. This DruidCraft one is pretty, but it’s too big for my stubby little fingers. Let’s just hope the Four of Cups doesn’t come back to haunt me from 2007. Speaking of which, here’s ME in 2007:
There will be more to report later, perhaps fun things, even.
For many years, I drew a daily tarot card and thought about what its imagery or the archetypes depicted in it meant to me, in the current moment. I did one yesterday, the Three of Swords, which is the “broken heart” card (a quick way to see it). In yesterday’s post, I wrote about how I really feel like the changing seasons meant time for me to end a chapter of pain, which has gone on for nine months (how long it takes to grow a baby!), and move on to see how it’s transformed me.
And then today, I got this one:
It’s the World or the Universe, or whatever your deck calls it. It’s the final card of the major arcana, and symbolizes the end of the Fool’s journey, where the Fool has learned all they need to move on to the next thing. Drawing this card was a nice confirmation that it is time to set aside some things and let them stew, and focus on new and maybe more productive areas.
I had some very interesting experiences, where I’d draw the same card over and over until I figured out some message my subconscious wanted me to know. For example:
The 4 of Swords kept telling me I was wounded and needed to take time off until I finally DID what it said. It lasted months! And earlier, the Hierophant kept popping up over and over until I got the heck out of an institution that was trying to drain the life out of me.