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Monthly Archives: November 2013

I know I’m not one to write gooey emotional posts (gross), but a lot of things went strangely right today, when I’m so used to the opposite being true, and I feel like writing about it. It’s not like that many people actually read this blog, so I don’t really care (the people who would be interested in it will read it). So this post is going to be very joural-y. Basically what it boils down to is that I did pretty much everything that I wanted to get done today/tonight, minus one thing that I had already pushed to next week and one thing that I will do later if I’m still lucid after eating a late, late dinner.

The first odd thing is that I woke up easily this morning feeling fine despite only getting six hours of sleep in the last two days. This happens sometimes. Not too long ago I even went a straight 48 hours without sleep and felt way better than any good night’s sleep could do for me. However, it was extremely fortunate that it happened today, as I had promised my mom I would meet her at 8am (which is ludicrously early for me) to help her with one of her cleaning jobs. The sinus problems I had been battling all night abruptly vanished around 4am so that I could sleep for a couple of hours before I had to get up and make breakfast.

Then, despite being almost 15 minutes late, I arrived precisely on time to see my mother emerge from Wal-Mart (where we had arranged to meet beforehand) just as she was sending me a text to see if I was there yet. She had apparently gone in while she was waiting for me so that she wouldn’t have to do her shopping afterward. What was that about a wizard never being early or late?

As for the cleaning job, it was uneventful, and we got done a little earlier than we usually do. I prefer to chalk this up to being more prepared than I usually am, running on a full stomach and toting my own alchemic version of Gatorade (It’s apple juice, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and water). And by “alchemic” I mean “poor.”

I also had the presence of mind not to get into an argument with my mother as she was taking me back to my car. She has a habit of pushing my buttons; I don’t think it’s intentional, more like compulsive. So instead of speaking my mind like I normally do I instead deigned to let her live in ignorance of my divine wisdom – and by that I mean that I told her “I’m not getting into it with you today.” She made a couple of wisecracks before finally letting it go (and people wondered where I got my sarcasm from…).

In the course of things my mom reminded me that it was my brother’s birthday, and no I didn’t have it on my calendar even though I’m notoriously bad at remembering birthdays, so shut up. Armed with my cut from the cleaning job, I went in and browsed the store for something I could get him. On the way to the electronics section I ran across the fragrance aisle near the craft section and found out that they were selling packs of incense for a dollar (!). They also had several interesting incense holders, including a dragon one, and several assortment packs that came with simple holders as well. I had been wanting to stop by the craft store and buy more incense all week. I restrained myself and only bought one pack of frankincense sticks, manly because that was the only kind they had out of the ones I have been really wanting to try.

I then made my way to electronics and walked down a few aisles, wondering what would make a good birthday present for my brother. “Something he wouldn’t pick out for himself,” I thought. Since he really likes watching movies, I headed toward the DVD section and immediately came across the first season of Adventure Time. As soon as I saw the cover I knew that this was it. My own feelings on Adventure Time were mixed until I actually sat down to watch the series (direct your thanks to tumblr gifs). My conclusion: weird but good. So even if it isn’t necessarily his thing, at least it will get him to try something new, rather than the medieval and pirate tripe he usually watches.

So I went by the house and gave it to him. After that I got a headache, which was the only reason I stuck around long enough for my mom to ask me to take my brother to work today (our dad borrowed his car because his was in the shop). I agreed and she left for work herself, although it would be several hours before we would need to leave. I watched a bit of an old TGS Podcast I hadn’t seen until it froze because the file was incomplete or corrupted, then got rid of my headache in record time once I actually put my mind to it. I ate a piece of my brother’s birthday ice-cream cake while watching Game Grumps, and a little while after that it was time to go.

The ride was uneventful other than some good music playing (a trend which would continue into the night). My brother repaid me for gas, which I already had covered, so I decided to go ahead and get groceries on my way home since I was already out. If I could do that, I would be set, and I wouldn’t have to go out again until my chiropractor appointment on Tuesday.

However, the most important thing that happened was that I remembered the penny. If you recall, a few weeks ago I did a money spell which involved enchanting several pennies, which I would later spend on each following Thursday. Well, because I was in a hurry and my week had already been thrown off because of having to drive my dad around on Wednesday (because his car was in the shop), I had forgotten to grab the penny I needed to spend today. I very nearly forgot all about it, and I very nearly missed my chance to spend it.

I just happened to remember it on my way from dropping my brother off. I can’t even tell you the thought process that lead up to me remembering, it just sort of came to mind. So I went back home and got it, then headed back out. I stopped by the gas station again just to replace what I had spent driving today, and I decided that if they had one of those leave-a-penny trays that I would leave it there, but they didn’t, so I went on my way. After that I stopped by the Pizza Hut Express near the grocery store that I normally shop at in the next town over, thinking that I could get rid of it there, but I didn’t have enough pocket change on me and giving the guy twelve dollars and a penny seemed really weird, so I shrugged and drove on to get groceries.

Luckily, a lot of the stuff I was going to get anyway was on sale. I stocked up on some things, although they didn’t have some of the things that I wanted, which kind of made me wish that I had gone to a different store that had more selection, but I decided just to hold some money back in case I got a chance to go later. When I got to the register, I ended up spending even less than I thought I had (I think something was on sale that wasn’t advertised). So I swiped my card, looked up at the price total one more time and almost slapped myself because there it was: $77.01. I had almost missed my chance again! But through some aneurysm of luck, I managed to catch myself before I punched in my PIN. So I asked the cashier “Er..actually, can you do a split transaction? Because I think I have a penny somewhere…” basically stalling so I could fish it out of the tiny key-pocket thing in my jeans I had stashed it in. She said that was fine, canceled the card transaction and graciously took my enchanted coin before letting me swipe my card again.

The rest is self-explanatory. I picked up my pizza (it’s staying warm in the oven as I write this), brought it home, put the groceries away, and sat down to write this stupid post. I know it was extremely boring to read. If you made it this far, it’s your own fault anyway for being so stubborn. This is more for me than you anyway. I just wanted to chronicle my experience of the day when instead of everything going tragically wrong, it somehow went strangely right.

What will bring me luck this week?

In my last reading, we saw how the Wheel of Fortune’s energies were starting to play out, so somewhat appropriately my question this time is going to be “What will bring me luck this week?” Hopefully this will shine a bit more light on the matter and tell me how I ca tilt things more in my favor.

I’ll begin with the shadow card, which in this case is the Moon, meaning this reading will have a lot to do with imagination and the subconscious. It’s the shadowiest shadow card, being the card of shadows in the Major Arcana. Often it becomes a symbolic stand-in for “things you couldn’t possibly know” becoming illuminated at an unexpected time.

The first card in the triad is the Empress, which has to do with nurturing, abundance, and nature. This could be saying that the best thing I could do is to spend some time outside. It also might not be a bad idea to pay more attention to my physical state and start being more active.

The next card is Judgment. This card is fairly straightforward, and usually involves making a judgment call based on inner conviction coupled with a little critical thinking. It calls to mind the utilitarian idea of doing the “most good for the greatest amount of people.”

Last is the Knight of Pentacles, which portrays a character who is cautious, thorough, and unwavering. However, he can also be stubborn and pessimistic. What this card seems to be calling me to do is to channel those Earth energies alluded to in the previous readings, while warning me that being cautious doesn’t mean being unwilling to take a chance.

[This reading was done on 10/29/13 at 7:26pm EST]

What do I need to focus on this week?

 

I’ve grown quite fond of this triad spread, so I’m using it again to ask, as I normally do, “What do I need to focus on this week?” This lets me hone in on where my priorities should be, and in general gives me options for which direction I should move in throughout the week.

The first thing that you may notice is that there’s a lot of green in this reading; as you can see, the three Pentacles cards surround the Major Arcana card, which is the shadow card here and therefore represents the major forces working in the background and the premise of the reading.

The Wheel of Fortune in the center often symbolizes a turning point or a reversal of fortune. There is a sense of movement, shifting energies that open up new opportunities – some expected, some unexpected. To me this card illustrates the chaotic energies of life being drawn in and harnessed, like a loom that weaves a tapestry out of disparate threads.

Around it we have the Two, Seven, and Eight of Pentacles. This means that issues involving money, health, and material possessions are going to be front and center for a while, commanding most of my attention.

The Two of Pentacles is all about balancing. It’s the balance of needs vs. wants, work vs. fun, and activity vs. rest. All of these are two sides of the same coin. When this card shows up, it could mean that something is out of balance, or that holding the balance that you have attained will become all the more important.

The Seven of Pentacles can point to reward, but also a time of assessment and a need to change direction. Under the influence of the wheel I’m inclined to interpret it as the latter. It could be time to change what I’m doing in regards to my material situation, and trying something new might really pay off for me.

The Eight of Pentacles belies the need for diligence and learning. Although progress may not be quick, it will come steadily if I stay on target. Whatever direction I decide to move in regarding my material circumstances, I should remain steadfast and trust that I made the right decision.

These cards all seem to reinforce each other fairly well, and while I’m sure I’ve missed some of the connections between them, I’m not blind to the overall harmony they produce. Hopefully moving forward it will become more clear what I need to do.

[This reading was done on 10/29/13 at 7:22 EST]

What will it take to become a rockstar?

Every once in a while I pick up a guitar, and it always manages to defeat me. My fingers don’t move easily around the fret board, and my fingernails keep me from being able to press all the way down no matter how short I cut them. I still have no idea how to tune a guitar, or even strum in G. It’s depressing. However, I haven’t given up on my dream. I wanna live the life few others can lead. So now, I’m asking the cards: “What’s it gonna take to become a rockstar?”

This is a spread I found on 365 Guitars, of all places. However, it was as an aesthetic piece rather than an actual spread, so I had to come up with my own positions. Too bad we don’t have more people coming up with real creative spreads — it would make my life a lot easier!

At the very top we have the headstock where the tuners are. The card in this position describes what attunes you; this is how you “tune in” to your spiritual side and your surroundings to harmonize. In my case it’s the Hierophant. This likely means that I fall back on discipline and structure in order become re-attuned. It could also mean that I find comfort in playing an established role.

At the top of the neck we have the first six frets carrying the lowest notes, which can tell us what relaxes you. For me it’s the Six of Wands, a card symbolizing success, achieving victory, or receiving honor or recognition. This could be true in several ways; rather than being pumped up by achievements, I revel in the sense of release and security it brings. I love to finish things, because that means it’s over. Likewise, the stress of straining to achieve something has given way to the satisfaction of having accomplished something.

Moving down fret board, the next six frets can tall us what engages you. For me it’s the Nine of Cups, suggesting that I’m most mentally and emotionally engaged when enjoying the satisfaction of getting the results that I aimed for. It’s at least very true that I feel very disengaged and unmotivated when I don’t meet my goals. I’m also a fairly sensual person (for a Knight of Swords), so that meaning fits in here as well.

The final frets compose the highest notes, and can tell us what excites you. My answer is Temperance, which would seem to say that I get excited to join with others and combine our creative, intellectual, or even physical forces in some collaborative endeavor. I’m very much a loner, so when I get the chance to throw in with a group of people — and it actually works out — it can be very exciting to accomplish something far greater than I could hope to do on my own.

The next twelve cards describe your own personal journey, with the first six focusing on yourself and the next six focusing on others. However, before we move on it’s important to address the shadow card here, which in this reading is the Three of Pentacles. This card, drawn from the bottom of the deck, elucidates the underlying theme encompassing all the cards around it. It’s the sound hole; the place where the vibrations of the strings enter to reverberate throughout the body of the guitar (Yes, I’m aware it should actually be further up. Sue me). The message of the Three of Pentacles here is one of planning, perfecting, and working as a team; highly appropriate, to say the least. This is the life of a musician, summed up in one simple card.

Now that we’ve got that covered, `let’s return to the body of the guitar. This section is set up into two simple past-present-future sections, one focusing on self, the next focusing on others.

Self – Past: Page of Swords & Three of Cups. This pairing alludes to a friendship with a Page of Swords type (or types) that fostered my desire to play music or engage music as a creative outlet. Since none come to mind at the moment, I’ll have to explore this idea further.

Self – Present: Hanged Man & Five of Wands. This pairing describes suspending action because of competing interests. There are several directions my life can move toward, which is one of the reasons I’ve been exploring my options through tarot spreads. Music is only one path among many.

Self – Future: Eight of Cups & Two of Swords. This pairing has a lot to unpack for just two cards. It speaks most loudly to me about growing weary from being in a perpetual stalemate. However, it could also be saying that I need to make sure to keep my cool as my path forces me to let go of some things I’d rather hang onto; it may be the only way to break the stalemate and end an unhealthy cycle.

Others – Past: Four of Wands & King of Pentacles. This is a curious pairing. In the future position I might have said it would point to being signed on to a record label (or something like that), but here it most likely points to enjoying the success of others and supporting them in their work.

Others – Present: Four of Swords & King of Wands. This pairing quite simply points to quietly preparing for a great creative awakening. Basically I’m waiting for the chance to join up with someone who is intensely creative and driven, who can perhaps mentor me as I begin my journey to rockstardom.

Others – Future: Two of Cups & Three of Wands. This pairing speaks of cementing a partnership (perhaps with the aforementioned King of Wands) and embarking on a journey to expand my horizons. There’s a calculating nature to the Three of Wands that appeals to the Knight of Swords in me, meaning that this isn’t a decision made lightly.

Finally we arrive at the Outcome, the place where all the other cards point to, and here that card is Justice. The message this card gives most clearly is: you’ll get out what you put in. If I want to devote myself to this craft and really make a musician out of myself, I have the makings for it. However, I can’t expect huge returns without huge investment. It may be more than I’m prepared to give right now, but if I ever decide to pursue this path, I know that I have what it takes to ultimately become a rockstar.

[This reading was done on 10/26/13 at 9:25pm EST]

What do I need to know about starting a career in music?

Time again for the Celtic Cross to make an appearance. To gain more clarification on the previous reading, I asked the question “What do I need to know about pursuing a career in music?”

The center card happens  to be the Eight of Pentacles, and the card crossing it turns out to be the Five of Swords. To me this says that I have  a lot to learn before I’m ready to embark on this journey, and setting out before I’m ready could result in losing sight of my ideals and getting caught up in self-absorption.

To the left is the Ten of Wands, which suggest struggling or fighting an uphill battle. This is how I always feel when I try to learn more about music, or increase my musical talents; whether this be learning a new instrument or trying out a new music program. God knows the hours I’ve spent poking around in Audacity trying to figure out how to do stuff.

To the right is the Seven of Swords, a card suggesting theft, lies, or dishonor in my future. This could be interpreted either as people stealing my work, or my own temptation to try to make money off of the work of others (doing covers, etc). In a more general sense it points to the feeling of “getting away” with something, which may simply be a factor of being in awe that I can make a living off of creating music while others have to work a 9-5 office job.

Above is the Tower. This could be either a shocking revelation or a dismantling of my comfort zone, but in its position at the top of the cross I think I prefer to interpret it as the effect that I go for when I create music, as in creating something that inspires others, or otherwise the inspiration that  I need in order to really cut loose and create something of high quality.

Below is the Ace of Wands. This is the raw creative power waiting to be unleashed, that I have yet to tap into. It brings a source of confidence and courage that I can rely on, knowing that what I do is appreciated by others.

Topping the Staff is the World, signifying my desire to take on the world and accomplish amazing things. It also shows my willingness to collaborate and get involved in the musical community. Most of all though, it’s my search for fulfillment that drives me.

Next is the Two of Cups, which seems to imply an environment of sharing and reinforce that idea of collaboration. I see people doing cool things together and I want to be a part of it. I’m attracted to the lifestyle that musicians seem to lead, as well as the connections they seem to make as a result of honing their craft.

Next down is Temperance, foreshadowing a great need for balance and avoiding excess. Again this idea of cooperating with others is repeated. However, this card seems to be saying I shouldn’t push myself too hard in pursuit of my goals — basically to not stretch myself too thinly and get involved in more projects than I can handle.

Finally we come to the Ace of Swords as the Outcome, or the result which all present energies are flowing to. The primary meaning here, I think, is clarity. At the end of the road all doubts will be dispelled and I will have a clear understanding of my calling, as well as the tools of my craft. For better or for worse, I will see things as they really are. Where I go from there, one can only surmise.

[This reading was done on 10/26/13 at 9:25pm EST

Should I pursue a career in music?

Time again for another decision spread. I wish I could find some decent five-card spreads that weren’t decision spreads, but alas. This time I’ll be exploring new career options and asking the cards: “Should I pursue a career in music?” The layout here is a little different but the positions are the same, with the left path being “yes” and the right path being “no.”

The center card representing me, or my current situation, is the Ten of Cups. Put simply, this card means “joy.” I’m looking for something that will make me happy, but also allow me to share that joy with others.

Underlying this, the shadow card here is the Ace of Swords. This says that I want something that is true, not ephemeral or superficial. I don’t want the temporary feeling of happiness as much as I want that deep and pervading sense of peace that comes from true contentment.

Pulling me toward a musical fate is Justice. The meaning here is pretty straightforward; to weight every aspect of the decision and judge it. My concern is for doing what’s right for me. The outcome of this process will be the Lovers; to do what I love and to love what I do.

Pulling me away from this is the Five of Pentacles, usually symbolizing money or health problems, pointing toward my desire for a stable income. It could also be an indicator of a subtle fear of rejection, or lack of faith in my own abilities. The outcome of this process is the Fool. Now rarely does this card actually mean foolishness as we think of it, but considering the Five this may be one of those times. If not, it could represent throwing myself to the wind and seeing where luck takes me; not a bad description of the typical job application process.

Looking at all the cards together, basically it seems that I can either make a smart decision or give in to my worries about money.  Maybe this is a sign I need to start doing something with music.

[This reading was done on 10/26/13 at 9:18pm EST]

What challenges do I need to overcome?

Extending the theme from the last reading, I decided to use the same spread layout to answer a different question: “What long-term challenges will I need to overcome?” In this case, the inner triad represents the three challenges while the outer triad represents the solutions I will need to implement, and the shadow card in the center illustrates the premise of the reading, or how all of these challenges are connected.

First we have the Nine of Cups, which has the idea of granting wishes or finding satisfaction. This would seem to say that one of my recurring problems will be finding something fulfilling that I can take joy in, that will bring me closer to realizing my goals, rather than send me further away and cause me to put my own desires on a shelf.

The way for me to do this is illustrated by the Eight of Swords. This is an intriguing, and confusing, card to pull here because it has to do with restrictions and perhaps waiting to be rescued. The message here might be that there’s no point waiting for the perfect solution. I’m not going to find my dream job by waiting for it to come to me; I have to be the one to initiate. Picking a direction and moving forward is going to serve me better here.

Next we have the Eight of Cups, which has the idea of realizing that a cycle is ending, lacking energy or motivation, or focusing on your spiritual side. This may be saying that one of the major challenges I will face will be disengaging and moving on from things that are draining to me. There are several things in my life this could apply to, and I’m already in the process of doing this in some cases.

The Page of Wands says that I will be best served in this endeavor by focusing on renewing my creative energy and going in a new direction. The message seems to be that I should follow my passion instead of trying to force myself to spend creative energy on things I’m not as enthusiastic of out of obligation.

Finally we have the Sun, which is very interesting considering that in my last reading it was also one of my long-term goals. This may imply that my ideals are limiting me in some way. Going back to the Nine of Cups, it would appear that in setting such lofty goals, I’ve lost sight of the mundane.

The Ten of Wands suggests and interesting way to deal with this conundrum. Interpreted in a positive way, it speaks of pushing through with determination and pushing against the current. Basically it means I shouldn’t shy away from the hard work that needs to be done, even if it is unpleasant or doesn’t seem to bring me closer to my ideals.

The Five of Cups links these issues together, and finally we have a negative card that makes sense in the position it’s drawn. This card speaks of loss and regret, and letting go of things that you wanted to hold onto, but no longer are able to. This is reflected in the other cards which speak of leaving behind attachments to things no longer serving me, but that I still feel obligated to try to find a way to make work. In a word: it’s not.

Taken together, I get the sense that now may be the time to start pushing myself again, if I can manage to shrug off the things that are holding me back, emotionally and creatively. I need to start making progress, in whatever form it may take, even if it means working a little overtime.

[This reading was done on 10/25/13 at 12:10am EST]

Spell 1a

The air was strangely warm all day and into the night. Odd for such a cold October, even more so on Hallows’ Eve. I have many memories as a child retreating into the warmth of a running vehicle after braving the dark streets which seemed to teem with a chilly energy. A few days ago it felt like early winter, and now it feels like early spring.

As is my custom, I conduct the ancient rite of starting something new while ignoring the project I’m supposed to be working on. I didn’t expect to cast a spell tonight. I only realized today that I finally had everything I needed, more or less. Some substitutions had to be made for lack of proper tools.

The idea was to use new one-dollar bills for this money spell, but those are harder to find than I thought. Completely by coincidence, however, I came into possession of five pennies minted in this year. A certain bestselling author might raise an eyebrow in disfavor, but I’d like to think that he would be proud of me for giving some value to this useless and outmoded currency.

I wanted to use new ones that hadn’t been handled very much, so as to cut down on ambient residual energy. You may prefer a different approach in using much older currency that has built up a history, and therefore an energy, of its own. There are benefits and drawbacks to either approach that really comes down to your own style and aptitude. As a beginner, I thought it best to not muddy the proverbial waters.

As far as casting spells goes, few dates are as auspicious. Perhaps it was providence, or fate, but I felt compelled. This was a long time coming. I’ve been planning for it almost as long as I’ve been learning tarot. Preparation took longer than I thought, pushing the actual casting well past midnight; the tablecloth had to be washed, incense had to be burned, candles had to be cut down. Finally, though, everything was ready.

Spell 1bThe Tools

As a money spell, the most obvious component is, well, money. Specifically, in this case, pennies minted in 2013. I also used five tumbled gemstones and a rough crystal point as a makeshift athame. I purified all of them in salt water, within my “chalice,” for around thirty minutes.

Spell 1cThe Setup

In the very center I laid a pentagram using the copper coins. Lacking a proper altar cloth, my imagination had to suffice. Atop each coin I placed a gem; champaign-aura quartz for Fire, aqua-aura quartz for Water, angel-aura quartz for Air, prasiolite for Earth, and a celestite chip for Spirit.

Outside the pentagram, four colored candles stand sentinel. Their fire alone lights the dark room in this dark house. Beyond them lie the other symbolic instruments; a chalice sits half filled with pure water. A broken amethyst pendulum is encircled by its metal chain. Sandalwood incense burns within its ornate black soapstone holder.

The stage at last set, there is one last step before the casting begins. I meditate. I visualize the energy flowing into me, the energy of the elements, and the pale strand that connects me to the Divine and the Earth. All are made one in my mind. Taking up the crystal point, I go through the motions of the spell, solidifying it in my mind. I don’t count the minutes, I simply know when I’m ready.

Standing, I trace the pentagram with my crystal athame, starting and ending with the top of the star, the celestite piece. I hold it there for many moments, building up the energy inside of me. The words press against my lips like a river pressing against a newly formed dam; it is this hesitance to speak them that makes me know they will have significance. I feel the vulnerability that comes from knowing you’re being listened to. It is familiar. And so, crystal pointed unto Spirit, I begin the incantation.

Let prosperity cover me
Let my efforts not be in vain
Let this money return to me multiplied
And it harm none

Thus spoken, I thrust the athame toward the heart of the pentagram, binding the energy to the coins and sealing the spell. It is done. I lay the crystal point down. The hours of preparation culminated in a simple gesture, now over. Finished, I blow out the candles, one by one.

I sit in darkness. It seems too simple, I reflect. Only time will tell if it even worked. I don’t go down that road though; no use doubting myself. All the minor aches of my body that had been pushed out of my consciousness during the ritual begin returning, slowly, like strays tentatively and pitifully begging for attention and food, nosing their way into the house as you try to slip through the door.

I become acutely aware of the leaves being rustled by the wind outside, reminded of my vulnerability as I let the darkness envelop me. I do not fear the dark, but I know that stranger things lurk there. Especially on this night. Most assuredly on this night.

I will spend these pennies. I will release them into the world, bound with my intent, over the course of the next month. In doing so I make a tangible gesture, no longer a thought or a wish, that pushes my will into the world. As they trace paths unknown to me they will pass on the energy once imbued, and that energy will in turn open doors for me that I could not have anticipated. Everything must return from whence it came. The circle will close; only to begin again.

This was my first spell, but it will not be my last.

Spell 1d icon