Friday, June 7, 2013

6/8/13-6/9/13—Enjoying the Spotlight

Weekend Reading: Moon and Heart from my Keywordy Lenormand, now available wherever Tierney's decks are sold! Lenormand cards are usually read in pairs. Think of the first card as a noun and the second card as a verb or adjective. As you can see, there are a lot of different phrases and meanings you can come up with. But the one I'm choosing for you this weekend is to enjoy a moment in the spotlight. So many of us normally mourn our shortcomings and brush off our accomplishments. But this weekend there's something to be proud of. Enjoy it. Maybe it's that you've got an adult child at home and are proud of them. Or maybe you win at BUNKO. Or maybe you get your list done early this weekend. We all have so much to be proud of if we just let ourselves accept it (and refuse to accept the criticisms of others.)

Try to read this pair for yourself. The first card is the noun and the second card modifies it. What do you see? A date with a friend for the movies? A kiss beneath the dark moon? Some afternoon delight? 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

6/7/13—Setting Your Own Personal Default

Today's Draw Classic*: Seeker of Fire (Page of Swords) from the Shapeshifter Tarot by Lisa Hunt. Would you generally call yourself a diplomatic person? Do you tend to be diplomatic in your actions and words, but not in your thoughts? If diplomacy and discretion are society's defaults, what are your personal defaults?

The book for this deck speaks of messages and diplomacy when you get the Seeker of Fire. 

Recently I've been thinking a lot about things like diplomacy and discretion. I think if you look around your life, you might not realize all the times in a day or week you are limited in what you can say or do for the sake of diplomacy or discretion. 

In writing this blog, I frequently subject myself to that. Certainly I don't want to use peoples' names in a public place without their permission. Then there are situations where I'll talk about something, but hold back a lot of details so the situation or person can't be easily identified. Then there are the times you just can't discuss an issue at all, whether it's because you know someone involved will read it or because it's just too hot button to be diplomatic about.

Then there's work. How many times a day do you keep yourself from saying or doing something too personal or too crass at work....or from telling someone off? You stop in the store on the way home and run into a neighbor and the niceties come out, even though their dog is always peeing on your grass. You go home and keep from saying something because your partner has had a hard day.

Then there are those situations where you find yourself between friends, both sides wanting you to take up their cause. One side thinks the diplomatic thing for you to do would be to choose their side. Because they're in the right. The other side thinks the same. So you can't win. And if you choose both sides...or if you choose're really screwed. So you choose whatever you feel is right, because you can't win for losing. 

After a while with all this jockeying around to be diplomatic and whatnot, we lose touch with what's genuine to us, though. We become socially trained automatons. Even outspoken people with no filter will find themselves saying or doing the socially acceptable thing from time to time. And there's good reason for a lot of it. It's how we get by in a civil society. 

I think it's worth considering what's really beneath your choices, though. Because when we're in those situations where diplomacy isn't going to do us any favors, we should be able to know what's really driving our decisions—a socially trained desire to not create waves or something that is truly genuine to ourselves. It sounds very simple. but if you really explore, you may find that it's really hard to separate the programmed part of you from the "you" part of you. One way to tell the difference is, do your thoughts mirror your words and actions? If not, it may not be genuine to you.

But what about those situations that weren't in the guidebook? Or the ones we're not prepared to encounter? Like the time I was briefly stuck in an elevator with a dude with Tourettes who was trying to chat me up about the "n-word people" he worked with. Or when the neighborhood meth addicts stopped by to borrow my phone and ask if they could siphon a gallon of gas from my car. That's when having a personal default comes in handy.

In the past year or so, I've been using a personal default of kindness, drama avoidance and quietly walking away from situations that don't serve me. I find this covers most situations and it's not always the diplomatic or popular thing to do. Especially in the midst of a drama, because it doesn't preclude saying no and detaching from the situation. It's not always easy to follow, and my thoughts are still catching up to my words and actions. I'm still limiting what I might say or do, but I'm doing it for my own personal growth and aligning with the spiritual path I'm on, not because of any societal agenda. I'm not 100%, but I'm doing pretty well, considering my old personal default was loudly telling people off and using the "f" word a lot. That covered most situations, too. :D

So what's your default? You could consider it a personal code or philosophy of dealing with others. Have you ever considered this before? And if you have, how consistent are you with it? Is is something you just say or use when it's convenient? Or is something you stick to, even if it pisses other people off?

*Taken from a post on 2/15/12.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

3/6/13—Giving Your Soul a Taste of Home

Today's Draw: The Warrior of Souls from the Dreampower Tarot. Have you ever considered seeing life entirely through the eyes of the soul? What might that look like? And how might it change the way you walk through life?

The Warrior of Souls is a hermaphrodite, representing a balance of male and female energies. He/she invites us along the path to the sea of the soul, navigating the depths of both logic and emotion. This is a warrior that conquers through love, understanding and compassion. He/she is invincible, a spiritual inspiration who understands the power of each sex within. 

What do you suppose it means to be a Warrior of Souls? It's not someone who fights for the individual...for Tierney or Sue or Pete. It's a warrior fighting for that part of us that is eternal, perfect and essential to being. But if the soul is eternal and pure at its essence, what would it need with a warrior?

One theory about souls is that they incarnate in order to experience different forms of life and different experiences of life. Life gives the soul a form to incarnate into, as well as a series of variables to deal with during that lifetime, driven by the personality...the part of you that is Tierney, Pete or Sue. So it would make sense that an androgynous figure would represent the warrior form of human life—it's a neutral vessel from which to experience all of human life. 

But for the other variables of life—those locked in human thought, personality, instinct and emotion—you'd think a neutral position would be something akin to non-judgment and/or a meditative state. So why might this warrior choose love and compassion to do battle for the soul?

I don't know if it's like this now, but when I spent a summer in Europe 25+ years ago, ice was hard to come by when you ordered a drink. If you asked for it, you may or may not get it there, while here, it's ubiquitous. Then there are other types of differences, such as language, social mores and societal quirks. Nothing devastating in the adjustments you have to make to spend time over there. But it's not fully comfortable. It's not fully "home". 

I imagine the soul feels the same when it's here on earth inside a human body. So many emotions! So many thoughts! Some less palatable than others. While this is a beautiful planet to be on, being a human is a very complex thing. An interesting thing. An educational thing. But not comfortable. Not pure. Not perfect or peaceful. Not like "home". 

Love and compassion are, at once, the easiest and hardest states for humans to live in. When we challenge ourselves to look at everything through the eyes of love, understanding, compassion, we challenge ourselves to see our world through the eyes of the soul...through the universal heart. When we balance the male and female sexualities and drives within us, we exist in balance with the soul. 

And when we can manage to do either or both, we give our soul a gift as great as the one it gives us in being able to see life through its eyes...we give it the gift of feeling at home within us. Even if it's only for a day or an hour at a time. If, for no other reason, we take the warrior's invitation and try to see our world entirely with love and compassion now and again, isn't that worth it?

*Taken from 8/16/11.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6/5/13—Letting Go With Love

Today's Draw Classic*: The Lovers from the Tarot of Transformation. Who do you love? And more importantly, how do you love? Where might you be holding back on your love with someone and is the reason really good enough?

Today's draw features the ultimate healer of all—love. This particular card is subtitled "Love in the Highest Octave". And while we might usually read The Lovers as a card of choice...or choice between love and something else...this particular one is about "the higher state of consciousness that comes when your heart is transformed by love." Which is actually a choice, because we choose who, how and how far to love. 

There is a lot of emphasis in society on the love that exists between humans, primarily between you, your mate and your children. In fact, when we say the word "love" the images conjured in our minds are that of our ideal mate or of a smiling baby wrapped up in blankets. 

The next thought that may occur to us is self love. But other forms of love may include the love you have for something you do, the love for friend or sibling, the love you have for an animal or the love you have for your god. 

So here is what I'm here to tell you—love is love. It doesn't matter who or what you love. I'm not so lucky in the romantic love department. I don't have children. But lord, do I have love. And lord, do I give it. 

We're socialized to place love in for a mate or child is considered more important and more pure. But what I've learned from having neither in my life for quite some time (and from the times I have been in relationships) is that all of that is bollocks. What's most important in love is how you do it. Do you give yourself fully? Can you give and accept deep intimacy? Do you make yourself worthy of the other's trust? Does the love you give reflect your love of self? And by that, I mean do you love people who also know how to give and accept deep intimacy in a relationship? 

And here's a big one—Can you love despite what the other is feeling? I'm not talking foolishly or obsessively. If someone is abusive, I recommend you send them love from afar. If someone wants you out of their life, let go of them. But can you continue to love—continue to hold loving thoughts—for someone who no longer loves you? Can you let go with love? 

It's big because it's hard. Life seems to tell us that if someone no longer loves us or thinks poorly of us that we have to stop loving them in return. And that's just not the case. We do have to let go of the hope of them loving us in return. But we can still love them. And by doing so, we can heal the pain of losing them in our lives. 

Love isn't about what happens between the sheets. It can't be cemented by a contract. It's really none of the things we see on TV or in our fantasies. That's lust. Or it's a fairytale. That's all love under perfect conditions. Anyone can do that. 

Healing love happens despite...despite socks left on the floor, despite petty squabbles, despite an extra 50 lbs, despite what they feel about you, despite the awful things people do to people, despite the fact that they've died and despite whether or not they're aware of your love. It's not who or why or when you love, it's how you love that determines how big a force for healing love can be in your life. It's about letting love remain at the forefront while all the other crap is going on. And giving is enough. You don't have to receive in return for love to be healing. 

The more you love conditionally, the more you'll need to heal in your life. You'll have more arguments. You'll have more frustrations. You'll have more ups and downs. It's the logical outcome of hinging your most powerful emotion on outside forces...the way others act...the way others love you back. 

But if you love because you ARE love, then your most powerful emotion hinges entirely on whether or not you love. It matters not what happens outside of you, only on what happens inside. Does that mean people will take advantage of you? No, you can love without allowing others to take advantage of you. You can say no without resentment. You can say it with love. And if they take their love for you away from you because you said no, you can still hold love for them. You don't have to stop giving love just because someone stopped loving you. 

It all sounds corny, I know. But I had this dog named Passion that was like a child. I mean, she was a dog that was more human than canine. And she would get piffy with me and ignore me and give me attitude if she didn't like the way things were going at any given moment. Just like a child. But my love for her never waned. Never when she peed on the sofa in her sleep because she was old. Never when she was aloof with me. Never when she wouldn't come when called. In fact, some of these things made me love her that much more. I had made a conscious decision when she was a puppy that, no matter what, I would love her. And I lived up to that decision. Even when days or weeks would pass with no outward show of love from her. And trust me, she was that stubborn. 

There is nothing any of my dogs can do to diminish how I feel. And I would imagine that the same is true for every mother of a human out there. The mother of that boy who shot all the people in Colorado? Do you think she has stopped loving him? I certainly hope not! Unconditional love is a healing love. It's easy to give to pets and progeny. And to God. At least for me. Some people stop loving God when they get sick or someone they love dies. With unconditional love, the whole topic of forgiveness is moot. Forgiveness happened before they even did the offending act. 

But that kind of love is harder to give to others, like husbands and siblings and friends. And strangers. And, fercryinoutloud, to ourselves. Which is exactly why we should try. Because the more divine love we're able to give...the more love "despite"...the more it heals us. The less our emotions ride on things outside us. And the more often we walk around with loving, healing chemicals inside our body, as opposed to toxic, fear-based or anger-based ones. 

I'm willing to bet there's someone out there, right at the tip of your tongue, that you could be giving love to right now instead of a host of other conflicted emotions. You know who this person is. What's stopping you from holding them in your heart with love?

*Adapted from 9/7/12.

Monday, June 3, 2013

6/3/13—Smudging Your Home

Today's Draw Classic*: The Smudge Stick from My Big Sack O' Smudge. Does the air in your home feel dense? Has there been an illness, trauma or argument in your home? Do you think your home may be haunted?

Honestly, today I don't feel like being all wise and crap. So I thought I'd talk about smudge. 

Smudge is, at its most basic, just dried sage that you burn to purify your home or items, such as things you might buy from a second-hand store. You can buy it loose or tied up in a little bundle like in the picture. You can usually get sage bundles at Whole Foods or any kind of metaphysical store. Otherwise, there are tons of online sources to use.

Sage is one of four sacred Native American herbs used for ceremony, purification and healing. The others are cedar, sweetgrass and tobacco (or, alternately, lavender). Often you can find bundles with more than one of these herbs included. Though any sage is acceptable, the most popular is white sage—popular primarily for its aroma and not for any special powers it has.

What kinds of things might you "smudge" or "sage" or purify with sacred smoke? You might smudge a house you're trying to sell or a previously owned item you've received to release the energies of the previous owner. If you buy crystals or other metaphysical items, you might want to smudge them to clear any energy that gathered before you bought them. You might smudge your own home to release negative vibes, ease a change or transition or just as part of a regular "cleansing" of energy. You might smudge yourself as part of a healing ritual. And if you're taking part in a spiritual ceremony, the facilitator might smudge you upon arrival. 

How do you smudge? It depends on what you're smudging. If it's an object, just light the sage until it catches fire. Then blow the flame out and let it smoulder. Then just run the object through the smoke, like you're bathing it in the smoke. That's it. The sage will probably go out on its own, but if you have a stick, you can douse it in sand or earth.

Sweetgrass puts out less smoke than sage and needs to be re-lit more often.
The braids are usually a couple of feet long. I keep a sweetgrass braid in my
car as an air freshener. It has a sweet, fresh, vanilla-like scent. 

If you want to get fancier, then it's good to know what each of the herbs does. Sage and cedar remove negativity, heal and purify. Sweetgrass and lavender draw in positive vibes. You'll find a lot of different thoughts on what I've just said and that's OK. Really, any of the herbs can be used to cleanse. Sometimes cedar is used on the heels of sage to purify after negativity is removed. And sometimes lavender is used to call in beneficial spirits. What's most important is the intention you place behind the smudging.

To smudge a home for any of the reasons mentioned above (though for harmful ghosts, you will probably want a professional's help), light the sage stick on fire and blow out the flame. You will probably have to re-light the sage several times during this process. Start at the North end of your home on the lowest floor and "bathe" the space, following inner perimeter of your home in a counter-clockwise direction (in other words, move from north to west to south to east). By bathing the space, I mean blow the smoke toward your walls and into corners, wave the stick up and down and make sure the smoke gets everywhere, including in the middle of the room and in closets. All the time you're doing this, you can repeat your intention, such as "this sacred smoke cleanses and removes all negativity from this space."

Once you're done with the lowest floor, then move up to the next floor and the next until you've cleansed all levels of your home, moving in a counter-clockwise direction, starting on each floor on the North wall and repeating your intention throughout. Then you can open your windows long enough to air out your home, if you like. Or you can just let the smoke settle in there. It depends on your tolerance and preference for that sort of thing. 

Most won't have to go far to find a some cedar to burn. It's always nice
to use homegrown ingredients when you can.
You can stop there and that's cool. You'll probably notice your home feels more lighter and more open. Your house should now have neutral energy. But if you'd like, you can repeat the process IN REVERSE with sweetgrass to draw positive energies in. So in this case, you start in the North on the top floor moving clockwise (or north to east to south to west.) Then work your way down from the top level of your home, all the while repeating your intention, such as "I fill this space with light, positive energy." As an FYI, sweetgrass has to be lit more often than sage, so don't be discouraged if it's more difficult to work with. 

Now, as I said before, you can buy smudge bundles with multiple herbs in them. If that's the case, then I would just follow the instructions above for sage. Personally I prefer doing the separate thing. And my habit is to add the sweetgrass step maybe every other time I sage. If you google "smudging ceremonies" along with the  specific purpose you want to smudge for, you should find tons of information to help you accomplish your goals. Mine is just one way to do it. Again, the intention behind it is more important than the steps you take. 

Whether you believe the smoke has any "power" or not, sometimes just the ritual of doing something like this can help release emotional things we're holding on to. Even when done symbolically, it could be just thing you need to draw a line in the sand between yesterday and a new tomorrow.

*Taken from a post on 6/21/126/3/13

Sunday, June 2, 2013

6/3/13—Trusting Your Instincts

Today's Draw: Key, Clouds and House from Lenormand de Marseilles by Edmund Zebrowski in the Immediate Future position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. How much do you rely on your instincts over other forms of information? Where do you see that you can make changes to rely on your instincts more? How do you determine the difference between instinctual fear and paranoia?

A friend from one of the Lenormand groups online had told me that she likes to pull a card from the Deck of 1000 Spreads and then draw three Lenormand cards to give her a daily reading. So I thought I'd try this particular system today and share the technique on and share the reading here. What happened amused me. 

Lenormand is a linguistic sort of tool. You read the cards in pairs and in sentences based on keywords for each of the cards. The Key card commonly speaks of solutions, answers and destiny. But it can mean an actual key, too. The Clouds speak of confusion and hidden things, but can also  mean actual clouds. And the House card can talk about family, property or an actual home. 

So one way of reading today's combo is "In the Immediate Future, your Destiny is Clouds over the House." And sure enough, there are. Dark ones moving in just like in the picture. I think the reason this rather silly, but accurate reading came up is because two out of my three dogs get really upset about thunderstorms. So the energy of nervousness in the room is pretty high right now, as it was when I chose the cards. 

The beautiful thing about dogs is that they really rely on their natural instincts to inform their world. They know when thunder storms are coming. When their mommy is coming home. When it's treat time. When I want to brush their coat. And they have this uncanny ability to run through the yard at breakneck speed chasing squirrels and each other and not step in any poop piles. It always amazes that, even in a rush, they're aware not only of their own poopies, but of those of the other two dogs. 

We have abilities like this, too. But more often than not, we'll check the Weather Channel to see if it's just cloudy or if there are major storms on the way. We'll call our mommies to see when they're coming home, rather than sense their presence in the vicinity. Or we'll walk right into a grooming situation unaware we're going to have get our coat brushed until it's too late...haha. Our access to other means of information has put us in a position where we've deadened our own natural instincts. But they're still there. 

So there's a bit deeper meaning to why the cards have told me what I already know today. In a way, they're telling me that I don't need them to tell me things I can already sense within myself. Sometimes the questions we ask ourselves alone are clues to the answers. "Am I walking into a trap?" "Should I get myself out of this situation?" "Is my job in danger?" Well, why would you even be asking these questions if you didn't have a sense that something was goofy?

Of course sometimes our own fears and insecurities can cloud our instincts. Maybe you think your job is in danger because you're paranoid and not because it's based on any fact. Even the dogs do that. They're here terrified of the clap of thunder, when the fact is that we're pretty darned safe most of the time. We get severe weather here...hurricanes and tornadoes. But it's rare that we have devastating situations where life and limb are concerned. 

But whether it's paranoia driving the question or instinct, there's something in there for you to learn. A solution at hand. If you're afraid of losing your job, it's because you don't feel secure at work. You don't have to actually lose a job to look for another one. So maybe the universe is prompting to take steps to feel more secure. Start a job hunt and learn what you're worth, whether you're in real danger or not. 

We had storms last week, too, and I observed Mystic, who is the most frightened of my dogs. She sought out places to hide where she could protect her head. She ultimately decided on hiding underneath the desk in my office. Her fears weren't founded, but she found a solution anyway. Sometimes that's all the universe wants you to do...find a solution. Know there's a way out. Sometimes that's all you really need to know to move past paranoia and back into a more neutral state where you can trust your natural instincts. 

Want to know more about combining Lenormand with the Deck of 1000 Spreads AND also see a sneak peek of my new Lenormand Deck? Click here!!!