The Sandbox Writing Challenge #37 – The Importance of Something

The Lady Calen, at Impromptu Promptlings gave us a rather challenging question this week. I puzzled over it all week, and planned all manner of investigations. But I got lost in that quest.

old man


The challenge was for me to imagine the man in this picture telling me something important; something I need to hear. What is he saying?

First, I decided I wanted to find another Elder to talk to. Sorry, that man didn’t speak to me.





I walked for a while, through the faces I’d seen, and come to know over

time, wondering which one spoke to me the most. Many did, but there was

one who I just knew I had to go and sit down with:

elder-fire She was a formidable woman and in that moment when she became a still life, I saw so much in her which held an important message for me.

I’ll call her La curandera. It’s really a title. It means ‘Healer.’

I recall the first moment I met her. There was an exercise in which we would meet the Courts, and they were all spread out, and when our eyes met, there was a sense that she knew everything there was to know about me.

There are times when I meet people with whom I feel intimidated. But something happens after that meeting, and I find that I somehow manage to get noticed, and become essential.

So it was with La Curandera. In some way I actually ‘turned and faced my fear,’ with Her. It is the challenges which I struggled hardest against that have the greatest teachings for me. I feel that somehow I’ve been taken under her wing, and now I must find out what that important something is She wishes to convey to me.

Reading with Elder of Fire: What important information does Elder of Fire have for me?

Sometimes, the reading simply guides me to pay attention to things. And so it was this very evening that what she had for me was simply:

“Like the Quest you are on. You know that search?  That’s the fun. The more lost you are, the more you have to look forward to.”

It made me think, I’m having a great time, and I don’t even know it.



A to Z Challenge –

Day 20

April 23, 2016

The Thematic Letter: T


Somewhere before I got married, I bought a Tarot deck. I don’t know why, and I didn’t really do anything with it. But it came with me wherever I went, and was the start of a collection that would grow over the years. I bought, one after the other, here and there, but never did a thing about it.

I remember, I got a book which I hoped would shed some light on the how to of Tarot. And I began a tentative course of learning. I don’t know why I stopped but I’m easily distracted, so it’s likely something else came along and took my attention.

When I was living down in Texas, home alone while Q worked, I found one of the decks, and opened it, and took out the book that came with it and began to make sense of it. In fact, that deck had come with an audio tape of the instructional kind. So I put the tape into my stereo audio tape slot, and listened, and tried to figure it out. The problem was, at that time, one of our beautiful fur babies had thrown up on the deck. Blech. WHO wants to use a deck with throw up on it? So, away it went. I did, however, sign up at Tarot dot com. I got lots more info, and found many more things to play with. I’d already had a set of iChing coins, and enjoyed playing with them.

But I got my first opportunity to really look at the many Tarot decks available, and read up on how they could be used. This brought me to another site, Aecletic Tarot dot net where I really began working with cards. At first, I spent a few months just perusing the forum threads, and then I started to look through all the decks because I was determined to pick the deck I wanted to begin my education with. Where were all these other decks, you ask? Somewhere packed away. We’d moved from Texas, and we were living with half of our stuff still packed and stored in our shed.

I found the perfect deck – for the moment:

Robin Wood Deck

The Robin Wood Deck (cover)

And it came with an acompanying book (not just an LWB – little white book)

Robin Wood book

Robin Wood Tarot – The Book

This time I really immersed myself in learning, still hanging out AT Forum, and began meeting, then working with my cards. It was a very exciting time. Unlike when I was in school (the earlier years) I was ready to learn. And for two years, I read, and kept a journal for all my readings.

The reason, I figured out, why Tarot? was to connected directly to my inner path, and the fact that I learned that all of the information I needed for my Journey, was within me. But I needed a way to tap into that information. Tarot was the key, and the tool.

But all good things must come to an end, even if just temporarily. Full time care taking of my father at the end of his days would take up all my time. But I’d learned so much, and come across so many MORE decks which appealed to me that when the time came to continue my studies, I’d be able to almost pick up from where I left off.

Back in the days of Tarot Dot Com, I’d found a Tarot site which held a rather more appealing deck of cards. Now I’d already worked with The Robin Wood deck for perhaps three years. In that hiatus from learning I’d found this new deck, but it was a special edition and out of my price range. Still, a more ‘standard’ deck was going to be released, and I bought it, along with a few other decks.

When Q and I were near the end of our move from Charlotte Grove to our new digs – my inheritance – Serenity, I had been already receiving the newsletters from the Gaian Tarot Deck website for a couple of years. The deck designer and a Tarot teacher was offering a course. Tarot 101 for Beginners. I decided it was time to open that deck which I’d put aside when I bought it, and I signed up for that online course.

What a world opened back up. I was in my element (pun intended), and happily back in the world of study.

For the next year I worked with my new deck (I’d made a pact with myself that if I opened a deck, I’d work with it for a full year before moving on to the next):

Gaian Tarot

Gaian Tarot book (left) and Box (right) with face up and face down card.

The course was well worth the time and money, and I’ve learned a great deal, and met some wonderful people within the Gaian Soul Group, with whom I’ve remained in touch.

Even Mr. Quantum got his own Tarot deck – The ALICE Tarot (of Wonderland fame). And is quite a good reader, though he doesn’t spend much time with his cards at present.

My Extensive Collection:

Tarot Collection

Fenestra Tarot

Gaian Tarot

Greenwood Tarot (OOP)

 Hansen Roberts Tarot

Hidden Realms Tarot

Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Prediction Tarot

Rider Tarot

Rider Waite Tarot

Robin Wood Tarot

Wildwood Tarot

I also have Oracle Decks, but that is for another time.

My journal, used when meeting The Robin Wood cards, is in the middle of the table, and has the words on the cover, “Don’t Quit!”

Hence, I keep on moving forward.


Hanging Out With The Cards

A new day dawns. Time to rise and shine! Though there is not so much shining as flickering. Age takes its toll upon my ability to reach the shining point any faster than perhaps a turtle, these days. Like the saying goes, “everything happens at the pace at which it happens, no faster, no slower.”  The house is quiet. I am the first one up. I love this time of day. It’s new, with no mistakes in it yet. I know that is not the actual quote, but I don’t care. Poetic license, and all that.

The way through, to where my books and cards are, is the soft carpeting beneath my feet. It is late Spring, the time when I prowl the house barefoot, loving the sense of freedom. I pad down the stairs, and press the button on the Win7, then return to the main floor.

My work station is quiet. A new adventure begins. Opening the laptop, I start it. I want it ready.  Looking around, I spy them. “Ah, there you are. Good morning Your Majesty, Builder of my Soul. And to you, La Curandera, my great role model. And to you, little girl lost.” I take each card as I greet them, and slip them into the book which holds meanings; old traditional meanings. I call them ‘memory’s little helpers.’  The lined notebook, along with the velvet bundle, are the last items I pick up before I head back toward my reading room.

Mmmmmmm, the lovely scent of the unlit candles, not too strong, just a pleasant smell. Oh, the sun is shining in. Sam can eat, but I don’t want to wake my sleeping husband. I shrug and place my books and bundle upon the table.

Setting up is part of my ritual. I find a moving meditation in my actions, and focus on each movement. The drum, I lift off the table to a side desk. I look at the stones, a circle, with the largest surrounded by the smaller ones. Carefully, I pick each up and place them into the abalone shell, sitting at the northeastern corner. I move the small double pronged wand to it’s place by the Southeast edge.  The books are placed upon a second computer I have in here, after retrieving the cards, which I set next to the velvet pouch, center table. Unfolding the pouch feels like unwrapping a gift, and it is. Lastly, I retrieve the fireplace lighter from its holder, and flick it to life, a little blow torch whooshing out, which I touch to the wick of my current candle just beyond my reading cloth, among a collection of personal artifacts. The stage is set!

The cards are nicely organized, no reversals here, my three sentinels slipped, each into a random spot, within. I don’t read reversals. There are enough shadow cards within the deck itself, that reversals are not necessary. The stack is face down, now, to my left. My hand sits atop, and I fan the cards out, so they arc across the tabletop, 78 cards in all.

Taking up my spirit stick, double pronged wand, I sit, both hands holding the wooden tool, feeling the ribbons and feather with my thumbs, as I close my eyes. Breathing in deeply, I feel the energy begin to flow down, grounding me, letting everything seep into the earth. My shoulders follow suit, and I take a second breath, my mind concentrating only upon my inhale, and exhale.

After the third breath, I  welcome my Guides to walk with me on this daily reflection, through divination with the Gaian Tarot. I seek wisdom, to see with greater insight the message which the cards bring me today.

The words fade and I open my eyes, gathering the cards in my hands, holding them momentarily, feeling the possibilities therein. What I call my long shuffle commences. The first three cards I lay down across the top, then three across the bottom, and two in the middle. The rest of the deck is placed randomly in piles. I repeat the question, “What do I need to know today?” as I keep pulling cards off the top, dropping them onto the table.

The last card falls onto a pile, and I choose one, and then a second and holding them so each hand has the top facing right, and the bottom facing left, weave them together. Choose, choose, shuffle, shuffle, as I repeat the traditional dealer’s technique until there are just two piles, and then there is one single pile. I am habitual, as I hold them and do a flip, flop, drop, drop motion, back and forth. Finally, I place the deck on the cloth, and use my left hand to cut the cards, once, right to left, placing the right pile on top of the left. The cards are ready.

I grab the lined notebook and open to the next blank page, where I write the date, and note the deck “GT” with the words, “Daily Reflection,” between, on the top line. I finish by finish by jotting down my question, “What do I need to know today?”

They say, ‘Position is everything in life, and so it is in Tarot. My daily reflection has four of them.  THEME is the first card over, left to right.

“The theme for my day is The Ace of Air.” I smile as I write the name of the card next to the word THEME, and turn my attention back to the image. I see a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, upon the branch of a tree, flowers surrounding it. I study the image for a moment, and write, “Clear my thoughts to receive new ideas, and have an  orderly mind. Think before speaking, and listen to the whispers of the wind. The teachings can be transformative if I let them be, if I am open to new and different ways.”

I skip a line, and print the next position. “GUIDE,” drawing the card from the top of the deck. “My Guide is Six of Fire!” I write this and let the thoughts about this card flow out through my pen. “Community is important. Continue to search for a Red Tent Temple within the Realm of this day; follow the wildness and energy of the day. Use music and dance as my connection to Spirit, and keep in tune with this week of celebration!

The next position, MEDITATION,  I print on the suceeding line and pull from the deck  “THE WHEEL.” As I write it down, I include the number 10 in parentheses, to indicate this is a Major Arcana card. I continue, within a second set of parentheses to reduce this number “(1+0=1) – The Magician is the foundation.” *Happy dancing in my heart* “Feel the turning of the Wheel, and find the same energy within. Contemplate what this transition from Spring to Summer can teach me. In this phase two days past the New Moon, what is emerging? This season can bring me great wisdom for my own inner Summer. My Solstice draws near.”

In the fourth position, which is my special addition to the typical three card reading, I print, “HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE:” and pull the fourth card from the bottom of the deck. “Ten of Earth.”  I gaze at the placid scene, feel the serenity in the image, and write. “A cycle in the Earth’s flow is in flux. Pay close attention to the changes and ready myself for the turning – the transition – from one season to the next.”

Each card, now face up, rides the upper edge of my reading cloth, a straight line. Looking at the group, studying the placement, I begin to write again.

“The Flow. As the new time is upon us, prepare for the next turning. Transition. The Wheel, and The Hidden Factor strengthen this.”

My attention is drawn back to the pictures. Three of these four cards are founded in The Magician. I write, “NUMBERS, and then “Ace and Tens, the realm of moving forward, the realm of action dwells in movement.” I am happy. I love The Magician, the drummer who brings the rhythm of motion. Six is a connection to The Lovers, and is a final aspect of the second triad, the psychological aspect.”

Another scan of the cards and I see where the Elements play their part. “Fire, Air, Earth and ?” Majors are a bit of a conundrum. So many different thoughts about the influences on an elemental level. Still I see The Magician as Fire. My call.

Not for nothing, I write, “Remember, two hawks flew from North to South.” Just saying. I sit drinking in the sense of the reading, the direction it indicates. It feels good to me. The Wheel is change. Change is ever present. I nod, as if in agreement.

Sliding the cards together, I slip them between the pages of the book, placing it upon the written pages of my journal. I put my deck back into the velvet sheath, and rest it, as well, upon the books.

Taking up my wand, I close my eyes, draw in three deep breaths, focusing on only the inhale and exhale, and I thank my Guides for walking with me on this daily reflection through divination with the Gaian Tarot. “May we walk in peace and power through this day, and through this night, to the place betwix and between, where today meets tomorrow. Blessed Be!”

Blowing out the flame, I take my books and cards back to the living room and greet my husband who sits in his chair drinking his coca cola with lemon.

Another successful reading!

Touching Base With Myself

I’m in hibernation. You wouldn’t think so, with all the activity I’ve been doing here but it is a chosen (first time ever) hibernation. It is winter, and like many brother and sister – Other Than Human – beings, I have retreated from the larger world. I’ve gone  off world,’ to put it more precisely. And strangely enough, this is the first time I’ve actually been able to see that I hibernate during this time of year.

For years, I’d see myself pulling away from what I’d been immersed in. But I never got that it was happening at the same time every year; that it was in the ‘dark times’ of the Wheel of the Year. I just thought of it as, going (moving) away from The Source. Through a return the Self, over the past year, I have begun to excavate my authenticity.

It began, interestingly enough, with taking a course. It was a beginners 101 type course, but I wasn’t a beginner. No, the learning started longer well before a mere nine months ago (oh, wait, does that mean I’m being ‘born again?’). I’ve only just been coming back to it. I didn’t understand that, however. But I knew there was cyclical movement in the flow. With the course, and the community in which I was enfolded, I began opening up to all the lessons which I hungered for, and which I did not see was always there, all the time, when ever I was ready to receive.

When I crawled into my cave, to hunker down and await the return of the time of growing, and greening, and warm sunny days, where there were birds and bees, and budding trees, I knew I would probably be tinkering with old familiar games, and such. But instead, as the calendar year transitioned one to the next, I did something oddly spontaneous. Read all about it…  Sound familiar? uh huh. That 101 thing.

Can we call it a pattern yet? nah. Three’s the charm. Well, can I call it full circle? Hmmmm. Okay.

I came full circle. There.
And the point is?
Well, it’s March 1.

Oh, right… I’ve skipped over a part. Last February, heading into the world of 201s, I fell out of touch, due to techical difficulties. But I rebounded. Got back on the horse.



What about the hibernation, and why did you bring it up????

Right, I’m getting there.

Taking the scenic route, are we?

*rolls eyes at snarky self*

See, the hibernation caused (brought a halt to) a rather important daily routine. Having not been in hibernation consciously before, I wasn’t completely aware that I let some favorite things slide. Like daily readings. But I wanted to do SOME reading. so I decided that I’d read once a month while in my cave.

That brings us to this moment in time.

My chosen day was the first of the month. Over the last year since I’ve returned to reading (my Tarot cards – not to be confused with the reading books kind of reading – that’s a whole lot more simple thing to do), I had daily reflections, which were readings I did in the mornings, starting off my day with a nice Theme, Guide, Meditation, and Hidden Knowledge spread. It was an old friend, since the first days of learning to read. It was comfortable, and I liked it more than the daily draw, which was a simple one card reading. I like seasoning, expansion, elaboration.

But to use a spread for a month, required another rather well structured spread which I call the Path Practice Persona. The reading’s done, and I’m ready to face the month with gusto (or maybe something akin to hope?).

I’m posting it next, so anyone who might be interested in the fine art of Tarot readings, is welcome to the process. Three ingredients. What did I make out of the chaos? See ya there.