Lamplighter Tarot Challenge Exercise #2

[Note: I rewrote this somewhat extensively compared to the original post on Instagram. Over the intervening days, I’ve given these cards and information additional thought. This is reflected in the revision published below.]

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Prudence, Gain, and Wealth are the focus of the second exercise from the Lamp Lighter Challenge hosted by Hermit’s Mirror. The three decanic minors for Virgo in the Osho Zen Tarot are Ordinariness (Eight of Pentacles), Ripeness (Nine of Pentacles), and We Are the World (Ten of Pentacles).

When I do these challenges, I cleanse the deck beforehand and turn the cards right way up. That way, if there are reversals that pop up, I know it’s from fresh energy on the deck. In light of seeing that all the response cards are showing up reversed or mirrored to the focus cards drives home to me the point that these answers are within the context of what’s going on inside of me.

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Lamplighter Tarot Challenge Exercise #1

Sun Lamp is the title of the first exercise for this Virgo Season’s tarot challenge hosted by the amazing Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror. I felt so drawn to participate in this because I have found my drive for perfectionism to be paralyzing. It’s good to want to be great. But when the self-criticism gets to be so loud that you can’t even hear yourself think and you’re up to your neck swimming in anxiety, it’s time to assess.

If I can get in touch with this energy and do some shadow work to repair anything that is exacerbating the negative sides of Virgo energy, I want to do it. I’m at a place in my life, both financially and professionally, where I really need to take things to the next level. This is why I’ve chosen to use the Osho Zen Tarot deck, which is my go-to deck for shadow work more existential insight. I’ve showcased it here a few times in the past. The artwork is so vibrant and inspiring while the guidance is focused more on emotions, psychology, mentality, persona. The italicized portions are quotes from the deck’s guidebook, which I feel are relevant to the subject matter.

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Journal: Affirming the Past

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When I began considering titles for this post my first inclination was to use the term “reconcile”, but in a context similar to reconciling one’s transactions in their bank book. Since this is going to be about a relationship, I don’t want the presumption to be that the relationship has been queued up for replay. A legal term popped into my head: Affirm.

Affirm (verb) to state or assert positively; maintain as true.
The definition of “affirm” according to Dictionary.com

A couple days ago, I saw on Instagram a snippet of a quote that really grabbed me: “I don’t regret the love I gave because you probably needed it.”

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Journal: By the Light of the Moon

Serene view at Smacks Bayou

The moon was in Aquarius for this photo. I can still feel that airy reflective detachment when I look at this.

During most of my drive last night the moon was concealed by this small cluster of clouds in an otherwise clear night sky. On a lark, I took a detour and wound up at this bench on the water with a dynamite view. I just wanted to sit there and think. The breeze was gentle and the rain was sprinkling here and there. Actually, I’m not sure thinking was really part of it as much as I just wanted to sit there. The moon was so big and bright and the ceiling so high. I just wanted to look at it.

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After that fight, everything is different. The shock has faded, sure. But the vibe is different. More than that. It’s off. I’m not interested in being in it, around it. It’s very clear that there is no undoing what was done. This kind of emotional emancipation is something I haven’t felt in a while. It’s the they-crossed-a-line-and-now-it’s-done feeling. No anger, no malice, not even really sadness. That’s gone. It’s like they took a sword and sliced through the ropes that moored us together. Like a cord cutting even.

The irony of this is I had a conversation about this mechanism with one of the family members maybe a week before the fight. They knew what I was talking about and understood. It was solely about the concept and not because anyone had done anything. We happened to talk about it. And now here we are. This divorcing of my feelings doesn’t involve this specific family member, but another — their life partner. This adds another complication to it.

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Journal: Hiding in the Broom Closet from Family

Editor’s Note: I’ve gone back and forth on how deeply I want to dive on this as it involves another family member. While I have gone to great lengths to keep this (online and real life) part of myself quarantined from my family, there is always the possibility that they somehow stumble upon this blog. If they ever read this, to them I would say: I believed you were genuine when you said you wanted to build a relationship and so was I. If you have gotten past these issues enumerated below (or would like help in doing so), I am open to continuing forward.

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A few years ago, my father reconnected with a woman he had known overseas and quite quickly married her. There’s a lot of history between this woman and my father, my father and her husband, and my father and my mother. Like my mother, I had no idea about most of it. I’m not sure she even knew all of it before she died as my father had only spilled the beans during their first separation (which happened six months after my mother’s passing). This post is not about my father’s marriage to my mother and their subsequent divorce just as it’s not about the shenanigans he and my (now) stepmother participated in before my mother came along or their eventual surprise reunification and marriage. My mother had remarried (and divorced) in the intervening years so I had already dealt with a stepparent/family situation before. Again, that dynamic isn’t a factor here.

This entry is purely about my stepmother and how she has impacted my journey as a Baby Witch.

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This first time I met my stepmother was the Thanksgiving before my mother died. I had no idea what to expect as my father was very stingy with information about her. All I knew was that she was Puerto Rican, had worked overseas at the air force base where he was stationed, and the love they felt then was just as intense as they felt it now nearly forty years later. He was the happiest I had ever known him to be in my life. Seriously.

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Valentine’s Day 2019 Reading

Was it any surprise that I was going to do a Valentine’s Day reading with The Lovers Path Tarot? It’s such a beautiful deck. And full of wisdom! I keep it in this embroidered burgundy and gold drawstring bag that matches the palette of the deck’s artwork. I had been looking around a bit for a cloth to do readings on for it and happened across this gorgeous vintage Oscar de la Renta scarf with all the reds, pinks, and purples a person could want. My heart!

Six of Arrows and Fortune: Danae & Zeus, The Lovers Path tarot deck.

I have this relative that I’ve mentioned previously, the fire sign. She’s a maternal figure of sorts. She’s my mother’s sister. We have a very complicated relationship and it’s something I’ve really been working to improve. Earlier today, I was trying to help her with something. Unfortunately, it was beyond my ability and she’d have to find someone else to get it sorted. I came back to my desk to do my Valentine’s Day reading and she was sorta floating in and out of my head a bit whilst I was trying to get centered. It wasn’t enough to get me to stop shuffling, so I just went with it. Up come the Six of Swords and the Wheel of Fortune cards.

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Swimming with a Scorpio

Got into a rather serious row with my Scorpio friend earlier tonight. I took it personal and he followed in kind. We wound up talking it out almost right after it went down.

Though he was right about what we were arguing over, I brought something into it that while related — didn’t have anything to do with what happened.

A couple months ago we had that big row and I got what I thought would be the closest I’d ever get to an apology for what was said from him. Well, he apologized for all of it tonight.

I was floored. That’s a big deal. The things he said just… I love his heart so much.

The weapon we used to hurt each other earlier was the same: how people perceive us. It was so analogous to how people also perceive Scorpio — that hard shell, the pinchers, the poisoned tail. Not very cuddly on the outside. But man, there are so many instances when I just want to hug him when I see his tenderness hiding away in there. His heart is deep. Not just buried under the armour, but deep in its own capacity.

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Real Tits Float, Right?

So, this happened: Six of Swords, then both Nine of Swords and King of Pentacles reversed.

And then this happened: The Tower, the Sun, and the Lovers cards make an appearance.

That water sign business at the bottom there, oh boy. Thank God I have a pair of personal flotation devices built in.

I arranged the cards the way I did to highlight the imagery I see, e.g. the change in the couple falling out of the tower to their state in the lovers card, the journey and humbling of the water sign at the bottom.

As an aside, I’m not entirely sold that that King of Pentacles up there is my Taurean ex. I often associate him with the Knight/King. That’s the obvious answer. Moving on from the situation fully, out come the swords, his title/influence in my life taken away. This may be speaking more to a state of mind I’ve been battling, which also relates to Mr. Taurus.

2019 is going to be interesting. I may post the rest of this reading later.

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Age

feministism:

I can’t help but wonder if I wouldn’t have sought recognition and validation from others if my family had respected me enough to acknowledge my contributions and value instead of reducing me to “some kid”.

Dear Parents,

Every time you throw at your child, “What could you possibly know about xxxx?” or “You’re a child, you haven’t experienced anything yet.” or “You’re xx age, your life is easy.” – all you’re doing is driving them away by invalidating, minimizing, and rebuking their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and identity.

STOP. IT.

If the only answer you can or want to give your child is “because I said so” during a teachable moment, you need to re-evaluate your strategy as a parent. Teach your children logic. It will guide and protect them when you aren’t around.

For those parents who are going to spit at me about how I don’t have children and/or it’s impossible to reason with kids – I’ve dealt with enough children caught in the war of divorce and dependency cases to confidently say that they are more aware and intelligent than most adults would dare acknowledge.

Your children are going to out live you. Arm them today with the skill they will need after you’re gone.

Journal: Queen of Pen-tacles

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The chair arrived and has been assembled! It is so comfortable and can be adjusted to the perfect height for the desk. So very happy. It’s super plush and was very easy to put together. Yay Office Depot! It’s taken a couple days for the odor on the bookcase to dissipate. Or, at least I hope it has versus me having simply gotten used to it. I’m gonna wipe it down with some lemon scented Pledge later. 

The past week I’ve really wanted to write and yesterday was the first chance I got to really sit down to do it. The night before I read through some old stories and found a series of three that I wanted to revisit, rewrite, refresh. A lot of the stories with “couples” in them are based of my past situations with guys. This series in particular was with an Aquarius and we shared a very peculiar attraction. It was worth writing about then. But it’s interesting to read back through how I wrote the female character (a version of me, I guess). The writing is solid, but the character’s personality traits are just so… It’s just hard for me to imagine that I used to operate like that within a courtship. A positive spin on it: I can see that I’ve grown a lot.

It’s cold AF here today. I’m going to go for a drive, take some photos, and do my errands. Absolutely beautiful out there. Plus, I’ve noticed that when I get down or discouraged, listening to podcasts (catching up on The Serpent Cast and Betwixt & Between, right now) helps to lift my mood and get me back on track. Yes, I’m a solitary. But, I really and truly am in every sense of the word. I can’t share this with my family. There’s no “Guess what I’ve learnt today!” or “I want to share this with you!”. None of that. Best case scenario one relative might be totally apathetic to what is a joyful period of personal growth in my life while the others would be… I don’t want to think about that. I’ll eventually address that in another entry when I tackle it.

Probably going to do some Tarot tonight after dinner. There are a few notebooks I need to finish setting up. Trying to decide if I want to put my custom tarot spreads in a book of their own with my meditations and journaling or put it in a tarot section of my BoS. I do a lot of work with tarot. That could wind up being a major section all on its own. Probably best to put it in its own notebook.

Journal: Sky Paths

I’ve spent a lot of time catching up with my Scorpio friend recently. He gave me as close to an apology as I can hope to get. That’s enough for me. It seems like he’s opened up more in the last few days than almost the year we’ve known each other. I’m pleased to know he feels comfortable and safe enough to share more with me.

Our brief courtship was an eye opener into my behavior within relationships. Also now, I find being a close friend watching him date I’m recognizing patterns that I’m guilty of as well in my own dating life that I need to work on.

I honestly don’t think I would’ve seen things as clearly if it weren’t for him coming into my life and facilitating this, albeit unknowingly.

1st Osho Zen Tarot Reading

About a week ago, the Osho Zen Tarot deck arrived and I took some pretty photos of it showcasing the artwork. Just a few days after that, I pulled cards for my first reading. What an insightful experience.

I had been shuffling for a while and – though the cards felt quick and light – nothing was coming out. For a few days prior, I had slept with the cards under my pillow and they had snuggled with my main deck (Radiant Rider Waite) as well as the Lovers Path deck. They were definitely charged. A couple times I reworded my questions. Same result, quick and spirited flow in the shuffle, but nothing. Normally, I’d look at the bottom of the deck to see what was flowing underneath, but instead I just cleared my thoughts. I decided to let the cards talk about what they wanted to talk about.

Boom, a chunk of cards sprouted up stuck together. I can’t remember how many of what is on here were in that group, but I think only the last three were bottom of the deck. I’m going to quote from the guidebook in the order the cards came up. In parentheses is the name of the RW card that shares the same position to showcase the connections and differences. 

XI Breakthrough (Justice): “…the brilliant glow emanates from the solar plexus… if you are now feeling that ‘enough is enough’ [I am.], allow yourself to take the risk of shattering the old patterns and limitations that have kept your energy from flowing… It is the greatest adventure in life to go through a breakdown consciously. It is the greatest risk because there is no guarantee that the breakdown will become a breakthrough… But without facing this danger nobody has ever become integrated [!!!], nobody has ever become an individual, indivisible.” 

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Lovers Path Tarot: Isis and Osiris

Here’s my first reading from The Lovers Path Tarot under this full moon in Taurus.

Story time! My childhood sweetheart, Mr. Taurus, had a username with Osiris in it for the longest when we were younger. Earlier this year (during one of our episodes of talking), I asked him why he picked that name, if he knew the story of Isis and Osiris. He said he couldn’t remember why he picked it, but had probably heard the story in school around that time or something. Sigh.

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My Venus is in Cancer, his is in Gemini. I’ve spent a lot of my life thinking that loving him would usher in change and fix problems. It didn’t. Maybe he got bored? I remember when he first brought up getting a small house together where he was living. I panicked. It was far away from my family, my work, and in a much smaller town that was hours away from the beach.

He has been on my mind today since the massive hurricane. When I saw the Osiris/Isis (The Lover) card reversed, I cried. The rest of the cards (Five of Pentacles = emotional starvation, Eight of Cups = time to let go and walk on versus Ten of Cups = the dream, Nine of Cups = getting everything together) confirm that intuitive interpretation.

I’m eyeing that Page of Cups and the Dionysus and Ariadne (Triumph/World Card) as well. Out with the old and in with the new?