Random Musings

Big Changes Can Be Hard

This is more of a personal post.

I’ve had a lot going on lately. Sometimes life throws  the whole book at you. My absence has not been due to negligence. I find blogging very relaxing. It allows me to connect with others with shared interests. I just haven’t had the time to sit down and do a lot of anything lately that I love doing. My husband and I have been doing a top to bottom remodel of a house we bought with the intention of flipping. Ideally we want to knock this out in a few months because we are planning to make a big relocation to Portland.

Why Portland?

There are a number of reasons. My husband is from Oregon. I’ve been out there a few times and I love it. We have been thinking about moving to that area of the country for while now. I’ve lived in Dallas my whole life. Dallas is so metro centric and hot. Its a concrete jungle. Everything is man made, including most of the parks. I crave the ability to get to go out into the wild and meditate and connect with the gods. I’ve been at my job for about 5 years and I’ve gone as far as I can go in my position and there is no room for growth in my department. We have also gone through several staff changes that have been less than ideal. I make pretty good money but I need more than that. I’ve grown tired of the corporate grind. Working in commercial real state is a hard business and working in the legal portion of it is exhausting. I want more time to devout to my spirituality and ritual. I’ve gotten restless. I have the deep desire to start fresh. I don’t really have any family and my mother passed away two years ago in October so I don’t have any anchors here. If you were given the opportunity to start fresh somewhere, to completely pay off all of your debts and start new would you take it? Who wouldn’t? I’m ready for the next chapter in life. New places, new experiences, new people.

With all of the hustle and bustle my practice in itself has been uprooted. Most of my altar items and books at this point are in boxes. I closed my Etsy shop temporarily until I get settled. I even have much of my tarot collection in boxes. I’ve kept out those decks and books that I go for on a daily basis. In my BOTA lessons I’m focusing on the Wheel of Fortune. There is an ebb and flow. I’ve just got to go with the flow. My intentions are set and are being executed. I do a visualization meditation on my goals and am using Tarot as my guide to listening to my inner voice.

So if you see me posting less in the next coming months that is why! I’m going through some major life changes. I hope for the better. Its all very exciting and nerve racking. I have my fears. What if this is a bad idea? What if this doesn’t work? I’m keeping going like the fool filled with dreams and fancies. Isn’t that what makes life exciting though? The unknown. At the end of the day we live in a world of unknowns just creating constructs to make us feel that we have a grasp on reality.

Here I go plunging  into the wild unknown (tarot reference there!) . I hope you all stay with me on my journey.


Random Musings

Tarot and the Spirit

Dictionary.com lists 25 definitions of the spirit, here are just a few:

  1. the principle of conscious life; the vital principle in humans, animating the body or mediating between body and soul.
  2. the incorporeal part of humans: present in spirit though absent in body.
  3. an attitude or principle that inspires, animates, or pervades thought, feeling, or action: the spirit of reform.
  4. the soul or heart as the seat of feelings or sentiments, or as prompting to action: a man of broken spirit.

I would like you to take a moment and think about what the spirit means to you. Can you identify with any of the above?

Let me just start on my ramble and try to explain myself…

Tarot consists of four elements, these elements are fire, water, air and earth. In addition to these four elements there is a fifth – the spirit. To me, the elements are encompassed by the spirit. The spirit relies on these more material elements just like the elements rely on the spirit to be imbued with the life force or aether. If we take this into consideration we can see how the entirety of the Tarot relates to the spirit. Some people only associate the Major Arcana with more spiritual matters and the Minor Arcana with more mundane day to day matters. I feel like every part of the Tarot can be related to the spirit and soul. Through each card we can learn a life lesson to better our spirit on its journey in this lifetime. Matter and spirit are not totally separate forces, they are closely intertwined. There is a symbioses between the two. The mistake I think many people make is seeing these at two totally separate things.  Let me break down each suite and explain further.

Wands – Fire: This suite represents the fire that ignites your spirit. It relates to intuition and that creative spark. Have you ever heard of someone having a creative spirit or a fiery spirit? The spirit houses this drive. Its important to nurture your souls creativity and passion. If we look across the suite of wands we see all of these characters poised to take off on some passionate endeavor, we see the wands themselves shooting across an open landscape with such force behind them. The spirit is being driven and directed in the material realm to feed upon the fire within. Likewise our material body and soul is being fed by the spirit.

Cups – Water: The Cups represent the whole range of human emotions. We can look through this suite and see the full spectrum. Emotion by default is closely and mostly related to the Ego.  Even though most of our emotion is rooted in this there is a higher spiritual emotion or exaltation we experience. Have you ever been so moved during ritual or spell work you could feel it in your core? I do believe that your spirit can be moved in the presence of god to an emotional state we as human beings cannot comprehend, it is the closest thing to being one with god that we can feel. To me this s most closely pictured in the ten of cups, the pentacle of emotional completion.

Swords – Air: Reason, justice, logic, the intellectual realm is the sphere of Hod – these are all of the things we see represented in the Swords. The swords deal with our minds, whether is be mental anguish or happiness. The realm of Fire is greatly dependent on Air to see it through. Once we birth a creative idea or endeavor we need our intellect and reason to see us through to make the best outcome. It helps govern the spirits creativity and direct it to an appropriate end.

Pentacles – Earth: Malkuth – or the material realm is a direct manifestation of the subconscious and the spirit. The spirit uses the human body and earthly realm to manifest into form. If we look throughout the journey of the Pentacles we can see the trials and tribulations the spirit faces manifesting in the material. The spirit uses the human body and material realm as a vessel in order to expand and grow. Each experience we face in this realm has a direct impact on the spirit and what we will face in the next incarnation.

You may have a totally different viewpoint and disagree with me entirely and that is totally okay! A trap I think many people get in is seeing things only one way based on one particular source. My opinions change over time like everyone else based on my experiences. Do you see things differently? Is there any suite that you feel is more related to the spiritual experience?

Random Musings

My Ancestral Altar

Above is my ancestral altar. The majority of it is dedicated to my grandmother. She brought me home from the hospital when I was born and raised me as her own. I did not know my mother or father until later in my teens. My father did come around more as my grandmother was his father, however, my mother was nowhere to be found. Now we are slowly starting to get to know each other, but I still do not equate her with my “mom”. I was very blessed to be raised by my grandparents. My grandfather passed right before my high school graduation. My grandmother passed about a year and a half ago. It was devastating. After that I decided to set up an altar to her memory as well as my grandfathers.
I do believe that it is very important to remember those that came before you. They laid the groundwork for who you are and where you are today. I do not know what exactly happens when you die. Nobody really knows because nobody can come back to tell us. That adds to the great mystery. When can theorize and postulate. Everyone has their different beliefs. I do believe spirits are a very real thing and it is possible to contact the dead, or something on the other side. The most disturbing thing about my grandmother dying is I did not feel her presence after she passed. Some people claim they can feel their loved ones around. She always swore that she could feel my grandpa sit on the edge of the bed and he also left her pennies. I felt none of that. I tried to, I even tried to make contact and there was nothing. Maybe she moved on or experienced reincarnation, I do not know.

My altar consists of many of her favorite possessions. She collected cookie jars and beanie babies. I also have a lock of her hair from her passing. I leave out offerings and flowers. She loved tomatoes so I frequently leave them out with some fresh herbs. I have other items from her lineage such as her fathers pocket watch and her mothers perfume. Sometimes I smell it to feel close to them. I’ll say a small prayer for protection over it and light candles. The act of this also sets the mood in my sacred space for my meditations and tarot readings. Its a nudge to say “hey if anyone is out there and wants to give me some guidance I’m open!” Many people who regularly work with spirits believe they are aided by opening the channels and asking for their loved ones assistance.

Even if she is not being “appeased” by my offerings it offers comfort to me. In a way it makes me feel close to her still. If she is out there actually watching over me then her presence should be acknowledged.

Below are a few of my tips for keeping an ancestral altar

You do no have to keep an altar for every single relative –  You cannot obviously have an altar for every single person that passed. It should be kept restricted to those who touched your lives the most. That is where the connection is going to be the strongest, and if you are doing spirit work the biggest chance of success is going to be with the deceased you were closest to, not your 3rd cousin Bill who you may have only seen once.

You do no have to keep an altar for those relatives you did not get along with – If my father passed today I would not add him to my altar. He is an alcoholic and meth addict who was verbally and mentally abusive to me throughout life. Why would I honor someone who treated me so cruelly? Your altar should be something you want to do for your loved one, not because you feel obligated. Also I would not want my fathers negative energy in my sacred space. If you calling down the spirits and you believe this energy is tangible you only want to bring positive energy down.

Add offerings regularly – Having an ancestral altar is an interactive process. Consider it the place where you keep conversation with your loved ones. Would you invite your mother to sit at a table covered with dust and cobwebs? Most people would spruce up and at least dust before inviting relatives over. Tending to the altar can be a ritual itself. Keep it clean and tidy. Leave out offering regularly. I leave out food and make sure to throw it away when its gets spoiled. You wouldn’t feel your mother a rotten tomato. The act of leaving offerings should be treated with respect. It has become such a habit for me to keep it tended that I actually feel bad if I don’t.

Your altar doesn’t have to be huge and elaborate – I’ve seen some elaborate and gorgeous altars on pinterest and throughout the web. There are no rules to how big your altar needs to be. It is very personal. Every person will be different based upon their family and traditions. Do not feel like you have to go big or go home. You might have limited space or not very many family possessions. The altar is not about the size or how many things you put on it but the meaning that goes into it itself. If you even have just one picture and candle that is alright because it was constructed by you to create that link. The bottom line is that it is yours, nobody else’s.

If you have any pictures of your altars please share them. Is there any special way you honor your dead?