It's Tuesday 6th November because yesterday got eaten by locusts—in a good way. I spent time with loved ones and doing things I enjoy, so not going to apologize (much) for the delay. However, on this grey Tuesday morning, I'm using the Quantum tarot by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler. I love working with this deck from time to time as I always learn something new. The information it contains is heavy! As always, you don't need to do anything to participate; just focus on the 3 cards and pick one, then look in the comments to see what the message from the universe is for you for the next few days. You can also read them from right to left, for a 3 card mini reading. If you'd like something more involved, Have a great week—what's left of it, then!
LEFT: Matter / Antimatter Annihilations
The science behind this card is that for every atom of matter there has to be an atom of antimatter. Antimatter has the same structure, but the opposite energy. They cannot coexist in the same space; they'll explode. Some readers call the Nine of Swords the nightmare card, and I tend to agree. It doesn't mean that your life is going to be a nightmare, though! What this card is telling you is to be very careful where you focus your thoughts. Like energy will always attract like energy, and by worrying about what might go wrong, you draw attention to that scenario, and strengthen the likelihood that it is going to manifest. The card is encouraging you to focus on what is positive and what is going right. Anything else is just a misuse of the imagination, anyway. Isn't it better to work with positive energy?
Middle: Fermions and Bosons
The science behind this card is a bit over my head, but here it is anyway. It's all to do with spins, which in quantum mechanics means the quality of a particle's momentum. A fermion is a particle with a non-whole number spin, like a fraction. A boson is a particle with a whole number spin. More than one boson can occupy the same space, but multiple fermions cannot. This card is asking you if you're feeling a bit crowded, and if it's time to move into a place where there's more solitude, and more peace. The Six of Swords may indicate a physical movement, like a holiday or a house move, or it may be something more metaphorical, such as distancing yourself from a toxic relationship, or unnecessary stress in your life. A different mental space makes all the difference...
The science behind this card is that Centaurus is a huge constellation containing the binary system Alpha Centari and containing the red dwarf Proxima Centari. If this were an astrological sign, it would be that of Chiron the Centaur. If you know your mythology you'll remember that Chiron was the wounded healer, hit by an arrow but unable to die. His quest to end his pain brought him much wisdom, and in the end, Zeus allowed him to die and placed him as a constellation in the sky. The Knight of Pentacles teaches you to be content with small steps, because they're still progress. The bigger the problem, the longer it's going to take you to find the solution, so kick back and try to enjoy the journey. One thing is for certain; this is a card of self-discovery, and if you're open to what life wants to teach you, you will learn wondrous things indeed.
It's Monday the 29th of October, and another opportunity to do one of these. I've used the Halloween Oracle by Stacy DeMarco again, last time until next year. As always, you don't need to do anything to participate; just focus on the 3 cards and pick one, then look in the comments to see what the message from the universe is for you for the next few days. You can also read them from right to left, for a 3 card mini reading. Don't forget that I'm offering a very special Halloween Reading covering All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day through my website. Have fun, and have a great week, people!
I loved making—and eating—barmbrack back on the Lincolnshire farm! It's a heavy bread, nearly a cake, made with dried fruit and more... but I digress! This card is giving you permission to be curious about the things in your life. Ask questions, seek answers, find new solutions to old problems. You have everything you need to create the future you want to live in, but it's not going to just fall from the sky! Like baking the barmbrack, you have to collect the right ingredients, mix them together with intent, and maybe feel a bit of heat before things are baked to perfection, ready for you to digest. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts!
Ooh, shades of Boris Karloff! No? Oh well. This card is reminding you that change is inevitable, and advising that you don't get too attached to the situation around you at the moment. Nothing can be preserved forever for change really is the only constant in life. You may feel like things are challenging at the moment, but try to love the questions while you're searching for answers. Even though you feel stuck, you're still making progress, and in time you'll look back on this and think, "Wow, I learned a lot!" In the interim, work on breaking bad habits that are holding you back from being all whom you can be.
RIGHT: Skull of Flowers
Wishing your life away, are you? The Skull of Flowers is reminding you that where there's life there is also death, and where there is death there is also life. In order to see your wishes manifest, part of what you're clinging to has to be surrendered. It's time to prioritize, to determine what you want to grow, and what you need to kill off in order that it can grow. The challenges around you now might seem like complete and utter bullshit, but that's okay. Use them to fertilize your dreams, for that's what they've ultimately been sent to do. What are you waiting for? Get moving!
It's Monday the 22nd of October, and another opportunity to do one of these. This week's deck is the amazing Alice Tarot, by Karen Mahony. Some of you might have even helped me to acquire this one, once upon a time! As always, you don't need to do anything to participate; just focus on the 3 cards and pick one, then look in the comments to see what the message from the universe is for you for the next few days. You can also read them from right to left, for a 3 card mini reading. Have fun—and have a great week.
LEFT: The Page of Swords
There's energy running amok where this card is concerned, and you might find yourself pulled every which way this week. Try to find a way to chill out, because you may find that the harder you try to get ahead and focus, the more distractions come your way. You're eager to get ahead—we know that—but be careful that you aren't 'all mouth and no trousers,' as my mum would have said! Be prepared to back up your words with action, and not just any old action, either. It has to be something that is constructive and determined, or you'll wind up running around in circles.
CENTER: The Nine of Cups
They don't call this 'the wish card' for nothing! There's great satisfaction with this card, but it is not a time to rest on your laurels. Yes, there's good energy here, but it's something that you have to work with, for if you take it for granted it will flee as quickly as it came. You've left your comfort zone and found that it was worth the risk, but that's just the start of the journey. The real reward comes in continuing. Use this positive influence to continue your main 'work in progress,' whatever that may be in your life.
RIGHT: The Knight of Cups
With the energy of the Venus retrograde squaring off with Mars this month you might feel that your emotions are flinging every which way like raindrops off a drum. It's okay. The message from the Knight is to get in touch with those feelings and try to understand why you're feeling the way you are. You have the gifts of compassion and understanding, but would you talk to someone else the way you've been talking to yourself, recently? It's time to silence the inner bully, and show yourself some kindness. Listen to y our heart. Listen to your spirit. They know which way to guide you.
It's Monday, and another opportunity to do one of these. This week's deck is the beautiful Celtic Wisdom Tarot, by the wonderful Caitlin Matthews. You don't need to do anything to participate; just focus on the 3 cards and pick one, then look in the comments to see what the message from the universe is for you for the next few days. You can also read them from right to left, for a 3 card mini reading. Have fun—and have a great week.
LEFT: The Quest of Skill
This card is reminding you to pause, breath, center. You may feel that you’re up against insurmountable odds, or that everything is piling on top of you and you’re stretched too thinly. The hard lesson here is that you created this situation with the choices you’ve made in the past, one way or another. It’s time to face that, then work through it, piece by piece, to get yourself out from under everything and back into your groove. Delegate when necessary, and learn to say no in the future so you don’t find yourself here again.
CENTER: The Adventure of Battle
Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true,” and this is vital for you at the moment. Do not try to cut corners, do not try to get out from under the consequences of your actions, do not try to be something you’re not. However, hand in hand with this goes standing up for yourself, shutting off the negative chatter in your head, and cultivating a positive mindset. When you know better, you can do better, and this card says it’s time to put that into action.
RIGHT: The Renewer
It’s autumn and the time when Nature slows down for most of us, but the Renewer is reminding you that your soul’s evolution is a constant process. This is a time of change, a time when you let go of what’s holding you back, so that you can take the next step forward in your personal growth. It may not always be comfortable, but that’s just growing pains. The real gift that the Renewer brings is a fresh determination to be who you were born to be.
Here's your astrological forecast from your friendly neighborhood luna-tic!
The first ten days of this month are likely to be a bit rough, especially when it comes to relationships with others. This is because Venus, the planet of harmony and balance, turns retrograde on the 5th. This isn’t that big of a deal in one way, but in another way it is, because Venus is the planet that spends less time than any of the others doing a backward dance across the sky. It may just be an inner planet, but those with any milligram of intuition in their beings will feel it pretty strongly.
Affection and your relationship with others may become strained at this time. Sometimes people become more selfish, more arrogant, and more demanding. You want to talk about soul mates? Yeah, Venus retrograde might bring them out of the woodwork, not to reconnect and fall in love happily ever after amen, but in order that karma might be brought back into balance. Now, remember, karma isn’t some big sledgehammer in the cosmos waiting to give you a headache when you least expect it. It’s just the laws of cause and effect, kind of like the apology part of a 12-step program.
Finances might be highlighted during this period, too, which lasts until 16 November. Because Venus is the planet of balance, money might be drained or out of balance in some way while it’s retrograde. It’s not the best time to invest in a big-ticket item. Watch your pre-Christmas spending, and don’t let things get out of hand.
This all might not sound like a lot of fun, but the retrograde does have it’s good points. It’s a fantastic time for doing what I call the inner work, of going within your own soul and doing some searching as to where you’re out of balance. Remember the karma I talked about? You may indeed find that you have some unfinished business with someone or that an ex-lover comes back into your life. Just don’t go rushing into their arms during the retrograde. They’re an ex for a reason; wait until Venus turns direct and then see if the bond is still there, and if you still feel the same about each other. Often things that start with a retrograde stop when the retrograde ends.
Everything could come to a head around the 10th, because that’s when Venus and Mars square off to each other. Mars is the planet of energy and adventure, and with Venus having that love factor around it, your sex drive may be up but the cooperation and amiability could well be down. If you’re in a good relationship and you know your partner well, then the sparks of passion could really fly, but remember that passion also manifests itself in rage, and make sure that you’re not taking any unnecessary risks or chances at this time. Don’t lower your standards just to hook up with someone or you might find it brings unwanted consequences into your life.
If your relationship is less than perfect, this is not a time to hammer out what’s wrong. Yeah, you might feel that you need to get it off your chest and clear the air, but no matter how well intentioned you are, it has the potential to all backfire. My suggestion would be to write it out; if you keep a journal, great, and if not, write it out in a letter and then burn it rather than send it. Just purge it for now, and then have that heart-to-heart in a few days, when the energy isn’t quite so volatile. The 15th of October, when Mercury pairs up with Venus in the skies, is the best time to approach that type of heavy conversation. In the meantime, if you find your own passion is getting the better of you, channel it in a positive way. I tend to throw clay around, pull weeds, or go for a long walk! Just do what gets it out of your system, so that you don’t say or do something you’ll regret later on.
Those are the biggies! There’s the New Moon in Libra on 8 October, usually a time for new beginnings but you might want to postpone things this month. For one, Venus is retrograde and for two, Venus is the ruler of Libra. There’s definitely a withheld energy knocking around here. The Full Moon in Taurus on the 24th throws some energy back into Libra and might agitate that Venus retrograde, particularly as it is conjunct impulsive Uranus at the time. The Sun bumps into Venus on 26 October, and while that would usually be good for new relationships remember that Venus is retrograde, so take things steadily—unless of course you’re just looking for a quick fling! The month ends with Jupiter buddying up with Mercury on the 19th, just in time to create some fun and shenanigans in time for Halloween!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this walk through the skies this month. If you’d like a more in-depth look at the way that Venus retrograde or any of the other transits might influence you, I’d be happy to do an astrology transit report for you. Just drop me a line and we’ll take it from there, yeah?
I love Llewellyn annual 'season.' Brainstorming ideas invigorates me. I feel alive with everything that's going on. New articles. New growth in the yarden. New paint in the office. New knitting patterns. New pottery ideas. All the newness. New New New New New New... New New New New New New... New New New York. I have a lot to do.
I've been busy the last 3 days, not so much in the studio, but working on new stitch patterns to incorporate into the next round of candle wraps and mugs. One of the things that I enjoy most about the entirety of the way this creative process synthesizes is that when I’m tired of having my hands in mud, or on days when my clay is having a temper tantrum and not wanting to do what I request, I can revert back to my knitting. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are days when the yarn can be equally cantankerous! But the days when all three of us are crabby are few and far between, and it’s nice to have the freedom to flit between the two. Besides, if my hands are filled with yarn or covered in clay, there’s less chance I’m going to snack myself silly!
I’m grateful to have such a vast wealth of experience from which to draw. I have sets of needles that are used the most often. My favorites are those belonging to my mum. I remember her knitting a three-colored cape for me when I was at school, and prior to that, she knit me a blue boucle jumper (as in pinafore dress, not pullover) with an apple on the front. There’s a slight bend in one from when I sat on it one evening in one of my infamous ‘where’d my knitting needle go,’ moments. I knit toys for my friends and their children on these pins. I knit sweaters and clothes for my daughter and her dolls on them. There’s a history there, and when I use them, I’m transported back to those days.
Then there are the needles that belonged to my friend Debby’s mum. I never knew her, but I love my friend Debby, and when she gave me her mum's needles, she knew they were going to be respected and well used. They are, dear one, they are. These knitting needles can't conjure up memories of Debby’s mum for me, but they do remind me of Debby, and of the countless mornings we put the world to rights when we were in our 40s, back in Fleetwood. I still have a set of them in my desk drawer to send to Debby's daughter, so she can make delightful things for herself and her little one, and the cycle can continue.
Other pairs continue to tell the stories. The aluminum ones in the case came from my brother's Aunt Blanche. The red ones belonged to my friend Mark’s gran; she gave them to me during my days of church bell ringing throughout Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. Then there are the short grey sets that belonged to my first husband’s Aunt Joan—not that they were her needles, but they came from her little village shop in Harlaxton, where I worked for several years, until it was sold. There are sets that were sent to me from an online friend, or which belonged to the mother-in-law of someone who was advertising them on Freecycle. I remember where all my needles came from, and always send fond thoughts to their previous owner whenever I search through them for the right size, or use them to create a specific fabric.
To someone else they may just be knitting needles, tools of a dying pastime, but to me they are echos of history. When I use them, I’m often transported back to those days, to places I thought I’d never be again and faces I never thought I’d see again. Would I trade where I am for those days? No, I don’t think I would. However, I know that the life I live now is made sweeter and richer because of those experiences, and I count myself very lucky—you could even say blessed—for the memories that have been created.
So, what’s on the knitting needles today? Today I’m finishing the last texture I want to try out in my clay (I'm a day behind schedule). It's part of a 'Scottish fleet' pattern, taken from an old fisherman's sweater from the 1800s. The texture is good, and the rhythm soothing to knit. I've been out in the glorious spring sunshine for awhile this morning; now it's time to get back to work!
You're on fire one way or another, aren't you? Either things are changing—positively or negatively—or something is happening to keep you on your toes. You're restless, or putting up with the restless energy of those around you. What gives?
Blame Uranus. Yeah, I know. Astrologers never get tired of Uranus jokes. However, this time it's not really a joking matter. Uranus takes something like 84 years to make an orbit around your birth chart, and at the moment it's leaving Aries and entering into Taurus. The Sun is also in Aries just now, preparing to launch into Taurus in less than a week. This means that, unless you're a toddler, this is the very last time to make the most of this Sun / Uranus conjunction in Aries.
"That's all well and good," I hear you say (because I'm psychic like that), "But what does it mean?" Well, any Sun / Uranus conjunction is always a time of change and excitement. You may be set free from something that's been holding you back, or perhaps you're less inhibited than usual. Aries always brings energy to any alignment taking place in its sign. The Sun is your personality, and Uranus represents the unpredictable, and the unexpected.
This alignment also has the potential to get you thinking outside the box as far as your philosophies on life and your personal belief systems are concerned. Uranus is thought to be the higher vibration of Saturn, and even though Uranus is nothing like the Old Goat when it comes to routine, they are both stubborn and willful. It's important that you tap into some of Saturn's discipline (which is retrograde in it's own sign of Capricorn at the moment) if you're going to make the most of this conjunction.
Pick your battles wisely these next couple three days. Stay open-minded, don't adhere to something just because you can; see whether it's really going to benefit you or not. You may be accident prone, or throw caution to the wind when you really should be acting more responsibly, and that won't do you any favors in the long run. There's a difference between assertiveness and aggression; the latter may have far-reaching repercussions, not all of them working to your advantage. This transit will be over in a few days, but the consequences from it will linger far longer.
What a silly title for a blog article! Well, bear with me, because hopefully by the end of my musings it will make sense—or not. My mind rarely functions within normal (what the hell is normal, anyway) parameters these days, and I'm okay with that.
My friend Carla recently turned me on to a blog by Spirit Cloth. In a recent entry she mused, "Nine works so well for framing, because it has a center." Something in my spirit started to sing. Pieces of the puzzle that I've been holding for the last 5 years, the last 20 years, maybe even longer, all of a sudden aren't just random bits that I'm sure have potential but I just can't see it, suddenly they're starting to fit together. It's exciting. It's invigorating. And aspects of it are mildly terrifying, too.
I've been tinkering around with the idea of tarot tiles for several years, now. I've even got some bisqued. Then what? That's always where I got stuck; what do I do with them? Smaller ones might be pretty cool pendants, and yes, after this weekend's art show, I'll be turning to that muse and seeing where we go. Larger ones could be desk ornaments or altar tiles or hung for wall art. Yes, lots of potential, but I always felt it was close, yet no cigar.
Then I read the quote about nine. Now, you have to understand that the numerologist in me also did a happy dance when I read that. The number nine is three 3s. It lifts the energy of three—which is very creative and optimistic, but not the most responsible of the single digits—up to a place where it's philosophical and enigmatic. I've always had a bit of a love affair with 9's energy... but I digress.
Let's hop back to the tarot (see how my mind works; it's no wonder I'm a list maker, it's the only way I ever get anything done). I do a reading called the Hero's Journey reading. Now, the Hero's Journey is the template of any story, when you break it down to its components. Your life is the same; you are the hero of your own story. This tarot card reading helps you to understand where you are in your own saga, so that you can deal with the different aspects in a more empowered and positive way. This is how you learn what this phase of your life is meant to be teaching your spirit.
The Hero's Journey is usually twelve steps, although I have seen diagrams of it only being eight. Returning back to the quote about nine having a center, well, we're the center of our own story. How well would that work for tarot tile murals?! Needless to say, I can't wait to get started. Don't worry. I'll be sure to include you as they progress!
Several years ago I had this idea to draw a tarot card in the morning and then let that be my theme of the day. Of course, that's not a new idea, people have been doing it for eons and there are several books on the matter. I messed around enough with the exercise that a book of my own was born (I have a contract with LLewellyn, and I'm currently in the middle of writing it, publication should be next year). However, my book isn't what this post is about.
I guess it's not really about the tarot, either, although that's probably the closest theme. See, back in the 1990s when I was living in England and working the folk festivals, I 'met' the Soul Cards, created by Deborah Koff-Chapin. I loved the free and organic movement in the images, and also the fact that they didn't have a LWB (little white book) that told you the definition of the cards. You were meant to let them speak to your soul. In those days I was an oracle junkie, and of course, I had to have them—both sets.
Fast forward to three years ago, when I was trying to find my muse and ignite a fire under her. My thoughts returned to the Soul Cards. What if, as well as drawing a tarot card and letting it be the theme of the day, I also drew a Soul Card, and let it be the theme of the mask or wall-art I was going to make that day. Oh, I had good intentions, but it wasn't until this morning that I actually got out the two decks, shuffled them together, and thoughtfully drew a card.
I was pleased with the result. In the past, when I've done readings with these decks, people have had an aversion to this card. They said it looked full of anguish, like someone screaming, perhaps in pain or turmoil.. I've always thought it looked like someone singing—but then, I've known since grade school that I didn't see the world through the same eyes as most other folks!
It's also pretty fitting for my mood, too. I'm tired. I'm tired of the weather. I'm ready for warmth. I'm ready for sun. I'm ready to have the studio doors open, rather than burning the propane heater.
I'm ready for more successes coming out of the kiln, too. I've got one glaze that doesn't even want to adhere to greenware, another that seems to bubble and froth and run everywhere when it's fired, and I'm not competent or experienced enough to know what is amiss and how to correct it. I thought that by purchasing commercial dipping glazes I might have avoided the need for a bunch of test tiles and experimentation but I guess I was wrong. Maybe it's the clay body. Maybe because they're Amaco glazes but not an Amaco clay body they're not compatible, but then, most of them were fine with Kentucky Mudworks clay previously. Sigh. I'm so pleased we did invest in the smaller kiln. Now at least there's a faster turnover, a quicker learning curve, and I've got the chance of pulling some successes out fairly frequently. I think these turned out rather well, don't you?