Welcome to Full Moon Tarot, a blog dedicated to the beauty and mystery of Tarot.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thoughts, inspirations and stuff

I am going through a period of my life that is proving incredibly fertile, thought provoking and maybe even path changing. I was really unsettled by this because there was a great deal of disconnection involved to the point I wasn't feeling grounded in some aspects of my life.

I started to contribute to Tarot Town's Project X. I can't reveal too much about it yet but I can say it was a much deeper experience then I envisioned when I put my hand up for it. I had to live and breathe tarot for a period of time much more then I have ever had to before ~ I worked my considerably sized buns off on this one! It was while I was writing the manuscript (the project is a book with many volunteer co-authors) for Project X that I realised a lot of people are going to be reading this and I am going to be judged in one way or another, which sent me into a bit of a self reflective spiral. What of me is coming through this piece of writing that will be published for all the world to see and judge? What of me do I want to come through this?

And more importantly, what is my philosophy, my view on all this? I had an idea of how I saw the world, and my place in it, but lately, that idea hasn't worked, what I thought I lived and breathed isn't sitting with me very well.

Halfway through researching and writing my contribution Project X, I attended the Goddess Conference put on by the amazing Goddess of Association of Australia (http://www.goddessassociation.com.au/) I felt disconnected throughout a lot of what should have been a brilliant experience ~ the group opening ritual, the international guest...I just couldn't get into it. I didn't feel like I belonged there anymore. At one point I even felt like everyone else knew this and was watching me, wondering why I was there when it was so obvious I didn't fit in.

Then I went to Lucy Cavendish's workshop on Walking Between the Worlds and things started to make some sense. As I listened to all the women in the darkened room with their eyes shut talk about how they walk between the worlds and their experiences of such, I started to realize it's not about belonging to a philosophy or a group because we are all navigating our way through the darkness to find our own light and way, so to speak. You can belong to or subscribe to whatever it is that gives your identity some semblance of solidity, but once you start walking between those worlds, you and your gifts, talents, abilities and challenges are all yours and all you have. At the end, we had to do quick readings for complete strangers with the choice of using Lucy's new Oracle of the Shapeshifters deck as a prompt ~ I am not ashamed to admit I prematurely evacuated my pants. The next ten minutes were fabulous ~ one of the amazing Desert Moon Dancers, Dani (an AMAZING belly dance troupe from Newcastle http://desertmoondancers.net/) came straight to me and we had a wonderful exchange. I came out of that feeling brilliant ~ her words were such confirmation, it was such a confidence boost!

And I had a wonderful experience with the drum troop Alchemy of the Hearth. We were supposed to go on a journey but all I felt from their amazing Mother Drum (that I dubbed "Big Mama") was the rhythm of the universe just taking me along for the ride. So I thought "Ok, I'm hanging out with a big drum and getting funky with it, that's cool. But why didn't I get as far on this guided meditation as I was supposed to? What's wrong with me that I didn't go there, that I went on my own little ride?"  

Then came Hollie B (http://www.lunationonline.com/) on the Sunday morning, who explained that the disconnection, the going on your own journey ~ that's all cool. You've got your own rhythm and it's perfectly ok to just Be. As long as you're Be-ing you, who the fuck cares? Want to dance naked under a full moon? Fine, do it, get funky. Want to study and be surrounded by books and be correct with every single thing? That's cool too. Not following the group meditation, going on your own journey? Cool, tell us about it, you might have gone somewhere interesting.

The point is that you don't have to connect to anything other then yourself. Your Truth, your Self ~ if you are coming from a genuine place with it all, you're probably doing ok. And nothing is static ~ the beauty of it is that it all moves around, gets re-arranged, put back together in it's own time and way.

I found this amazing quote by a Tarot expert I really admire, Wald Amberstone, co-founder of the brilliant Tarot School:

The stories of tarot are the reason for its existence. With a deck of cards, we can tell the stories of where we come from, how it is that we are here, what awaits us, and what we will or might become. Tarot tells the story that we are made in a divine image, and that the world (at least the world as we experience it) is made in that same image, so that in some subtle way God, humanity and the world are all the same shape and are made of the same things. If that is true, then to be a student of tarot is to be a student of everything. ~ Wald Amberstone
 And it made me reflect more on "Why Tarot?" Cos I love it. Because there are decks that incapsulate every imagineable walk of life, philosophy, culture. Because you can live and grow with a deck, have them be like 78 friends that don't bullshit you, nurture you when you need it, and never leave you.
There is so much inspiring work going on in the tarot world at the moment ~ a lot of bloggers and authors producing amazing work, a lot of them in my blog roll. Associations like the Tarot Professionals working hard to "restore the spiritual dignity of Tarot" or the Tarot School and their brilliant teachings.
How can I not reach out and want to be part of it? So much of me wants to drown in it and come back for air in the real world only occasionally. Maybe the trick is just to Be, and see what happens, what and who fits in with my life, and what and who doesn't. Kind of like the Two of Swords reversed ~ integrate opposites that work for you, cut what is deemed irreconciable ~ just do it all with clear sight.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ostara is the wonderful blossoming of Spring on the Wheel of Life ~ it is the youthful, exuberant life affirming joy that comes with the Goddess throwing off the ice shackles of winter and re-entering the world in her Maiden form. She is rejoicing in the abundance of nature and inspires all living things to reproduce. Ostara is the time of the year when the energies of the Earth are awakening and we begin to act on all that you planned during Samhain and Yule. Ostara is a time of beautiful beginnings and is such an exciting time!

This Ostara we are going on a journey with the Maidens of the Tarot ~ the princesses in the Tarot court. Not all decks have Princesses, in a lot of other decks their equivalent are the Knights. The deck that I use (but by no means the only deck I have; my wife has finally come to terms with the fact that I will collect as many decks as I possible can!), the gorgeous Druidcraft Tarot, has some beautiful Maidens as Princesses in it's court that we will be exploring. Each has the beautiful mix of the Maiden energy of Goddess and the elemental energy of their suit.

Even though they are titled Princesses in the deck, for the purposes of the article I am going to refer to each as a Maiden. Each of us will relate to one of these gorgeous girls and see Maiden aspects of ourselves in them, which is wonderful! I personally don't subscribe to the idea that we move through each of the stages of Goddess 1) in a lineal manner and 2) in strict order of Maiden, Mother, Maga, Crone. Some days I feel the exuberance of the Maiden singing in my blood; other days the patient benevolence of the Mother. I believe that is one of the gifts Goddess gives to us sacred women ~ the ability to be all.

Maiden of Cups

Maiden Of Cups ~ Druidcraft

The Maiden of Cups personifies the element of water ~ she is endless tenderness, kindness and love whose drive is to explore her inner world. This Maiden is artistic, intuitive and has a rich imagination. Because she is a Cups girl, her high level is intuition gives her a heightened sensitivity and perception to those around her ~ the down side of this though, is that she is incredibly sensitive to conflict and does everything she can to avoid it, because love, tranquility and harmony are high priorities for her. This Maiden displays the tenderness and beauty of a maiden who is sensitive to the inner world, the world of feelings and dreams, and should she come up for you in a reading, is bringing you the message that you should follow your dreams so that you are emotionally and spiritually fulfilled.

Have a look at the stance of this Maiden. She hasn't yet mastered the control of her emotional world that the Queen has, which is why she has her eyes closed to the world and is holding her cup (which can be seen to represent her heart) so close to her. She seems to be in a meditative state and indeed, meditation and internal creativity such as journaling, writing and painting are favored activities. This beautiful maiden is highly intuitive, emotional and moves beautifully and with ease in the emotional and imaginative realms. To be in touch with herself emotionally, creatively and to live from her heartspace is her truest expression of her sacred gifts. As a friend she is an emotional stabilizer and supporter with the ability to take you from the harsh realities this world sometimes gives us into her own amazing realm ~ she is the sort of person you intend to spend “a quick coffee” with then end up spending the good part of the day with her with no idea how all that time has gone by!!

Like everyone we meet in the tarot, this Maiden has a shadow side. She may spend too much time in her own world and lose touch with this one thus being unable to relate to the “real world” and the people in it because she has been seduced by the romanticism clouds their intuition. Emotional manipulation and temper tantrums are also some of the nastier traits of a Maiden of Cups in her shadow aspect can display. She may also try too hard to please others at the expense of her spiritual growth. On the other hand, she may become quite insensitive others because she is trying to avoid the vulnerability of being so emotionally open and honest.

Maiden of Pentacles

Maiden of Pentacles ~ Druidcraft
Here we see a studious, self reliant Maiden who is intent on study and would rather spend time alone in her pursuits then with a crowd of people. The Pentacles Maiden is generous, warm hearted, sensual and practical with an unwavering focus on her goals and the patience to see them through. She is driven by creation, growth and to understand her place in the Natural world. She is gentle, reliable, diligent and trustworthy but despite her quiet exterior she has an amazing resource of inner strength both for herself and for those around her whom she values. This Maiden works hard and confidently to seek material success and personal growth by taking practical and realistic steps in an orderly fashion, which is her nature.

The Pentacles Maiden has a deep connection with the Earth, and this is how she experiences divinity. She is in touch with the tiny and seasonal changes of Mother Earth and her seasons and is aware that she is an important and integral part of the living being that is the Earth. This gives the Maiden her sense of self esteem and personal security, she draws on the Earth for strength. Not surprisingly, the Pentacles Maiden loves physical exercise, work and the outdoors. Being so close to nature and the incredible abundance of Mother Earth is what gives her the feeling of how rich she is just to be alive and healthy. She can trust the Earth to be her Mother and home.

The Pentacles shadows at work here is that work and the home take precedence for this Maiden, and she will likely work hard without taking proper breaks to recharge her batteries. Work must be balanced with play after all! This Maiden can be wasteful, illogical and stubborn.

Maiden of Swords

Maiden of Swords ~ Druidcraft
Notice that this Maiden does not face you in the card ~ this is because the Swords Maiden takes a detached view of life. She is an intellectually inclined, perceptive and intuitive young woman who uses her sword to see through the illusions and masks and “tell it like it is” with a frank honesty that some find hurtful. This Maiden cuts away the un-necessary in all situations and uses her words like swords to cut through deceit and confusion to the truth and heart of the situation. She is a very spiritual person whose search for truth is her way of experiencing divinity. Honesty is incredibly important to her, as is her intellectual prowess which she uses to find order in the everyday world as well as traveling through the Otherworlds. This Maiden has a mastery over communication and uses language skillfully to describe her experiences. Her strong connection with spirit gives her a sense of her own value and the confidence to teach what she knows. Her clear view of the web of life with it's many dimensions means she can be an inspiration to others because her search for truth and desire to live honestly means she is quite courageous and adventurous.

As a friend, her keen mind can help you plan through your dreams and get started on the road ahead. The Swords Maiden knows that if she has the right plan for her growth, the Divine can be trusted to support her in her quest. This is the gift she can offer you ~ she can convince you on the true plan for your growth and convince you that the Divine will be with you.

The Swords Maiden shadow can be a very nasty and spiteful one, even malicious. Her detatchment can lead to a discerning view of others ~ what her detachment also serves to do is lead her to seeing life as a curiosity to be observed rather then a joyous experience to be lived. Because she hasn't yet mastered the art of diplomacy the way the Queen has, she can be frightfully forthright. If the Swords Maiden is living through her Shadow and is crossed by someone who has not been honest with her, watch out! After the anger will come the viscous, spiteful and even heartless girl who will be cruel in her quest for revenge.

Maiden of Wands

Maiden of Wands ~ Druidcraft
Look at this confident young woman in this card ~ here is a young girl standing in her truth, absolutely convinced in herself and her path, one foot out the front eager to step in and get into the action. The Wands Maiden is a lively, playful, outgoing young woman with a larger then life personality with an easy flowing energy whose drive is to experience life and try new things. She is a loyal friend & lover with an infectious enthusiasm and burning (pardon the pun, Wands being fire and all ha!) desire to achieve. This maiden is a charismatic, honest, decisive, faithful and trustworthy girl who is outspoken and certainly not afraid to voice her opinions! Morality and ethics are incredibly important to this Maiden, who holds high standards of herself and those around her ~ it is these high standards that lead her to place the high expectations on herself that drive her to continuous spiritual growth. She openly and confidently faces her fears (her biggest fear being that she is “not worthy”) with courage for her spiritual development. She does not rest on her laurels or expect past achievements to define her ~ she is constantly striving for the next challenge, looking forward to the next achievement.

Her optimism and energy means she will overcome obstacles that stand in her determined way, which alone with her insight and wisdom, inspire others to follow her brave example. Her passion and joy for life is what drives this Maiden; her experience of the Divine is through the pure joy of being alive and surpassing the constant challenges she sets for herself.

The Wand Maiden's shadow can be an overwhelming one to deal with ~ think about this in terms of balance. If she is larger then life in her generosity and personality, imagine what she would be like to deal with when she is in a not-so-fabulous mood? This maiden does not go quietly into the night!! She can be selfish to the point of gross self-indulgence, not to mention cold, domineering and arrogant. If you don't meet her high standards, you will cease to exist to her ~ but not until she has thrown a tantrum full of theatrics and melodrama. In her shadow aspect the Maiden of Wands can be wishy washy and not follow through on decisions, existing in a temporary limbo that leads to self pity.

Each of us has one of these Maidens within us, just waiting for Spring so she can come out and be expressed! Enjoy this trip through the Maiden court of Ostara find your inner maiden and let her live a little!!

Here is a gorgeous spread called the Wheel of the Star Maiden spread which is from the companion book to the Swedish Witch Tarot. It's a lovely spread for us coming into Spring; nothing too heavy the way the winter spreads can be, but enough food for thought that you should be able to contemplate the seeds you have sown and what direction you are going in with regards to these.

*** 9 *** 5 *** 10 ***

*** 4 *** 1(2) *** 6 ***

*** 8 *** 3 *** 7 ***

1. This card represents what is in your heart right now.

2. This is how others see you.

3. This is your inner maiden or your past.

4. Your body and physical health.

5. Your self-belief.

6. Your (sex) drive and motivation or the relationship you are currently in.

7. Relationships to everyone other than your significant other.

8. Your hopes, dreams and aspirations.

9. Work.

10. Where you're heading, the future.