Eureka! The Year of the Empress!

Eureka! The Year of the Empress!

It’s been my tradition for a few years to pick a card for the year, right around new years. Understandably, it makes me a little bit nervous at times. What if I pull the Tower? Or Death? Both usually indicate a tumultuous year. Last year, I pulled The Star. As it turns out, le tarot definitely made the right call. While it’s been a rather difficult year for me on some levels, it’s brought a lot of subtle yet unexpected shining moments. It’s been a year of looming darkness, punctuated with hope and healing. Over the course of 2009, every time things seemed to hang from the ledge of despair, there was always a sudden turn around. A change of luck. A sea change. Things didn’t change in a great and flashy spin of The Wheel. For me, the Wheel is usually tricky and not typically a good omen. Whatever was needed to get things back on track, whether with my job, my husband’s job, our finances, our home, my family, my relationships, it materialized eventually. Things resolved themselves, and a beacon of hope set the stage. While I’m no fan of the darker times, it was a relief to know that things weren’t permanent and that plenty of help was on the way. I’ve never had a Star year before, so I can look back on it now, knowing that the challenges were certainly worth the effort. The year before, I pulled the High Priestess. That was a watershed year for me, as far as spirituality and self-reflection. I turned within, and busted through some barriers. I’m still navagating through the wreckage on that one, two years later. Ugh… I was brutal. Here be sea monster-beasties!

This year, I’ve pulled The Empress. This is interesting. I haven’t pulled the Empress in many years. It could mean a number of things. The first, quickest, dirtiest answer? Babyville. To which I reply… FUCK NO! I don’t want kids. My husband doesn’t want kids. If we were to have a kid, it would not be good. Let’s just hope that Madame Empress rearing her golden-tressed head doesn’t have any such thoughts rattling around up there. It’s not gonna happen, Mamacita! No! No! NO!

I’m also thinking that it may be a year dominated by creative works. That’s usually how she shows up in my House of Cards. When I was in design school she showed up quite frequently, a muse in need of Adderal, giggling and dancing through my creative process. She brought those delicious little snaps and pops of idea-sauce that led to some of my most meaningful and inspired projects. For me, the Empress is all about shouting "EUREKA!" at the top of my lungs. I’ve been a bit bogged down over the last few years, and haven’t really been working on much of anything. I don’t get very far on any of my novel ideas. I seldom feel the burning need to CREATE SOMETHING that used to be quite a familiar friend. It’s been a whole lot of "meh", with little or no impetus to move things along, or even get started. Perhaps I’ll be going back to that in some way. Building, creating, and shaping those twisty little idea nuggets into something very cool. When I am more spiritually focused, anything creative that I might have going on utterly dies on the vine.I feel good about the next year, if it has a return to my creative roots. I’ve been in a rut, and I could certainly use a little push. Just being who I am, there isn’t any part of my life that isn’t infused with just a bit of creative flair. I have a very non-creative job, but I push the envelope in regards to how creative I can be within it’s restraints.

Will we buy a house, paint and redecorate? Empress LOOOOOVES that shit! Will I actually sit down and work on one of my novels? AWWWWWWW YEAH! Will I slowly begin to take on more design work? Maybe. Will I make stuff? Quite possibly. For me, the Empress builds, creates, and nurtures ideas. She gives them a safe haven, a refuge, a place to rest while they prepare to jaunt out into the tangible real world of the Emporer. She is not the final product, she is the process. Perhaps there will be an element of building up towards, or preparing for something. If I feel good as I go through the process, I will have a more successful outcome. Perhaps we’ll be getting ready for buying a house?

I may flip over a clarifiyer, just for fun… Just to know where to focus… and…

6 of Wands… I mean… 6 of WIN!

There it is again! Well… I suppose I’m on the right track.

Temperance & the Great Infinite Hamster Wheel of Chaos & Order!

Temperance & the Great Infinite Hamster Wheel of Chaos & Order!

I’m glad to have some calm in my Mystical Cassarole O’ Plenty. It’s almost a relief that things have quieted down. They won’t stay quiet for long, of course. I’m a SINGLE FIVE… ON FIRE! Even my moments of clutching at primordial chaos and spiritual despair have a more or less predictable pattern. My inconsistancies and my relative ease with them are what make me a good little Eris Worshipper… It makes no sense for a girl who is delighted and obsessed with the creative possibilities inherant in destructive-seeming chaos to be so damn, well.. Organized. I am equally obsessed with patterns as with oozing incoherant jumbles of shamelessly mis-matched junk. The push-pull of Chaos vs. Order and the delicious balance between the two is the theme of my entire life, both mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, professionally, and of course in my personal relationships. It is why Temperance is my shadow. I am constantly pulled by both my creative trickster side (manifested through Eris) and my truthiness-wisdomy side (kicked into high gear through Maat/Athena/Sophia/She Who Has No Name But Adores Scales & Spreadsheets With Equal Aplomb). I wonder if perhaps Temperance is my shadow, because the two don’t seem at all compatible, yet they seem to have a kind of flow for me. Naturally, it’s been hard won.

One of the things that I love about many different renditions of Temperance is that her (I always think of her as female or at least a dude with really pretty hair) water flows up as well as down, always moving, and always connected like a mobius strip, or a DNA strand. It flows up, it flows down. Constant. It takes a great deal of balance and skill to get it to do that, and I have to admit… It’s a pretty cool party trick. She stands, firmly yet deftly, in a very focused yet quite tranquil state.

The drums go… order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order /CHAOS-CHAOS-CHAOS… / order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order / CHAOS / order / order / CHAOS /

Both of them weave in and out, sometimes simultaneously, like a biorythm… Up, down, up, down, with one always following the other. Hmmm… What else does it remind me of? There are two cups, some water, and… Hmmm… I can’t quite put my finger on it, but…

Ah. Yes. Hi Temperance. I see what you just did there. It’s not so much a great and conflict-rife push-pull wedged between my spleen, my psyche, and my pineal gland. It’s become a rythmic and contantly churning motion, infinite. One cannot exist without the other, so I gleefully and willfully jump through the hoops it presents. It’s a pattern, and I’m a Single 5, so of course I adore it! Single 5’s and patterns go hand in hand… Unlike some of my cohorts, I don’t necessarily go looking for them. They just sort of spring to life before my eyes. OH! I totally see it now! Sometimes I strive to see where things fit, but FIRE GIRL gets figety and bored easily. The deep delving doesn’t happen. The pattern, the order, can be taken apart and put back together again in a different way. That could be fun… or… it could also be taken apart and left there in a heap until I get back to it, which may be never. I’m sort of predictable that way. Really? Yes. Really.

The Great & Poweful Infinite Hamster Wheel of Chaos & Order! Hail Eris! Huzzah for Hierophants! Ma-aa-at is alllllllll tha-aa-at! And… erm… uh… Hagia Sophia? It’s a completely different sort of wheel than the Wheel of Fortune. When this bad boy spins around, and you know exactly where it’s gonna go.

Truly profound? Not really, yet still profoundly true. I knew going into this month that we’d have Divine Radio Silence. Fine by me. The Gods & Monsters have kept my spiritual life snapping, crackling, and popping over the last few months. I’ve had quiet weeks, but this month has been dead. For the first time in a long time, I feel good about it. Right about it. I saw it coming. I needed a break. November’s MONTH of ACID-REFLUXY DESTRUCTION & TRANSFORMATION, now with Extra Faux-Morning Sickness, brought to you by Special K was brutal. That’s chaos too, but of a completely different ilk than the Discordian variety. Take the good, take the bad, then you have the… Facts of Life as an Erisean. Order= Peace this month. Tradition. Familiarity. Comfort. Family. The kind of stuff you can always lean on if the shit gets too intense, and trust me… shit does get intense!

Temperance is finding a middle ground along the slope, steadying yourself, and exercising a little bit of skillfully wielded control to keep the gears oiled and the pumps primed, so the Show can go on… without making it look like work. Because it’s not work. It’s not always easy, but it’s not always unpleasant either. It has to keep moving, or the careful balance will be all but lost. Sometimes the show is quite good, other times you’ve got to bear an act or two that isn’t your favorite, but…


Semi-Daily Cardy Party:

Semi-Daily Cardy Party:

So… it’s time for the Semi-Daily Cardy Party! Whoohoo! And what, pray tell, is this day going to be like? Hmmm? Bueller? Bueller?

2 of Swords / The Sun / 6 of Wands

I’ve been pulling the 6 of Wands and Sun combo a lot recently. I did a spread recently on some health issues I’ve been having, and darn it if they didn’t show up there as well. I’m thinking that today isn’t going to be a very eventful day, but it’s certainly not going to be a bad one. I probably won’t have any new projects, but will move forward and get completely caught up on the ones that I do have. I’m not bored, but more or less content to have a little bit of down time. It’s always like that in my line of work the week of Christmas. Always. I’m feeling good, physically, compared to the last few days. I had a rough morning, since fatigue and chronic pain make cold rainy mornings pretty brutal. At this point, I’ve totally 6-O’-Wanded it, and am feeling quite improved. I’m in a good mood. I had a lot of tough projects last week, that I am seeming to wrap up all at the same time. I’m doing a whole hell of a lot of nothing after a pretty crazy and hectic end of the week last week. It’s not a bad kind of boredom, like I often experience when I’m caught up. It’s sort of nice and mellow. At home, I’m thinking I’ll probably be in a fairly decent mood. Again, nothing eventful seems like it’s going to happen. No major changes. Everything will just stay as is, but it’s not a bad thing at all. It’s a nice reprieve, and mentally and physically it’s agreeing with me. I’m not sure why it doesn’t bother me to be bored or caught up today, but the Sun confirms that it’s sure as hell not a bad place to be.

My Daily Cardy Party says "let’s keep it chill, keep it real, and good we’ll feel". I’m totally makin’ plans this evening for take-out (Carribean, I’m thinking. Fresh, tasty, juicy Sun-approved food), a nice glass of wine (White maybe? Would probably go with Island Slaw pretty well), and a book to upload to my Kindle. Something bitch-lit worthy. Nothing heavy. Nothing profound is going to stick with me today. 2 of Swords, baby! Nothing in, nothing out.

I also just got a really nice email from a Higher Up thanking me for a lot of the extra stuff I’ve been taking on lately.

6 of Wands? Yes, indeed!

Daily Draw: I am AWESOME and Full of WIN!

Daily Draw: I am AWESOME and Full of WIN!

I’ve been posting using email, which jacks up the formatting of my posts, but certainly goes a long way in making them more convenient. Hooray for convenience! I’ve been feeling the need to get back into doing regular Daily Draws. It’s a practice that has helped me more than any other tarot exercise or process I’ve done. It’s so simple, yet it’s amazing how much good solid practice makes a difference for me. I’ve noticed that I learn better or develop my skills better through pouring over the mundanities, rather than the BIG PICTURE. I am a fire girl, after all. Sure I see the BIG PICTURE, and have a rudimentary idea of how to get there, but the complex rivulets and tributaries of mysticism get in the way. I don’t have the patience for them. The foggy road map is good enough.

Through Tarot, I find that working through my day-to-day issues helps me to understand Tarot far better than any complex, theraputic, or more spiritually focused spread ever would. While I definitely reap the benefits of using the tarot for spiritual development and working through psychological issues, these processes don’t do dick-all to help me understand tarot better. Myself, yes. The tarot in and of itself? No. I notice that by doing daily readings, and keeping at it, I seem to keep building a stronger foundation that makes deeper and more complex spreads easier beasts to wrestle with. None of it is easy, of course. Still, it’s an improvement. It’s all a matter of confidence. Sure, this is one of many approaches, but for me it’s the best. I spent too many years using tarot to confront and work through the BIG PICTURE ISSUES. I didn’t get very far with my issues or increasing my knowledge of tarot. TAROT… YR DOIN’ IT WRONG. By using tarot to look at my workday, or annoyance with idiots in traffic, my readings that delve deeper into the ether are just that much better. Snap! Crackle! Pop! Boo-yeah, Motherfucker! vs. Pffffflllllllmmmpmeeeehhhhh-zzzzzzzzzzzzzsshhhhhhh. Big difference.

And what does today bring, O’ Wise Yet Noble Daily Draw?

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Gods, Grant Me the Cojones…

Gods, Grant Me the Cojones…

My younger brother is the one person I worry about more than anyone else.

He’s a bi-polar, narcissist, amputee with PTSD from serving in Iraq, who also has developed a frighteningly bad drinking problem over the last few years. He’s turned almost everyone away, including our own mother. Including me. His only medication is in a bottle.

Naturally, Big Sister is very, very, very concerned.

While I see the road signs with an eerie kind of clarity, I don’t know how many miles he has to go. I have no ethical issues about reading on a third party. It’s no different than googling someone, to see what they’re up to. I haven’t read on it in a while, and of course, since it’s the holidays, he’s on my mind. I’m not doing a spread, just a few questions, one card at a time. (I’m testing Facade still… It’s pretty accurate!)

Which one card sums up my little brother’s current state?

The Star- This is good news. Even though I’m thinking he’s at his darkest and lowest point, there is a beacon of hope. Whether he chooses to reach for it is up for debate, as he’s had many many chances. It will be offered at some point in the near future, and I see it as having a great effect on his life in a long term way.

Is there anything I can do that will help him in his present state?

Five of Pentacles- Great. There is nothing I can do, other than worry for him. Nothing at all. He’s definitely going through some very rough times, and has completely shut me and everyone else out. I’m still here for him. The light is still on. He is welcome, despite all of the pain he’s caused himself and others. Unfortunately, I think he is so mired in it all that he’s not able to see it at present.

If he follows his current path, what is the longterm outcome?

The Chariot- This is my brother’s Lifetime/Personality card. This doesn’t suprise me at all. He will come surging out of the darkness with a renewed sense of vitality and strength. This won’t be without a great deal of willpower, vigilance and effort on his part, but he’ll come through it in a vertiable blaze of glory. This is his personality. This completely fits in with how I see things turning out. Not only will he recover, he’ll be MR. RECOVERY. HERE I AM, WORLD! I HAVE TRIUMPHED, WITH NO HELP FROM ANYONE! BEHOLD! I HAVE FOUGHT ALONE, and am VICTORIOUS OVER MY VICES! BEHOLD! He’ll be in a healthier place and when he choses to get there it will happen in a hurry, I know. He won’t acknowledge that anyone might have been there to support him along the way. He’ll make a big show over going it alone, with the kind of over-zealous self-righteousness he exudes with all of the identities he takes on. Deep down, knowing how intensely he likes to take on new personas, I know that eventually if he does become sober, he will be the poster boy for AA. I see him as being the most sanctimonious, self-righteous recovering alcoholic in existence. He’s always worn some kind of uniform… Whether it was being a wanna-be gangsta, a biker, or a soldier. Chariots are very good at changing uniforms, but they always have uniforms. The purpose changes, but the drive and the ego does not. He takes his new identities on, uniform and all, with a strangely transformative brand of enthusiasm. It’s coming. I see it. It doesn’t change things for him right now. He will probably find Jesus also…. That’s so him! He’d make a very convincing Evangelical. (I make light of it. I have to. I gotta deal).

Still… I’d rather have him be a pain in the ass jesus-freak teetotaler than an alcoholic mentally ill mess. I wouldn’t worry about him quite so much. It goes to show, my fears and my hopes for him are very well justified.

Gods, grant me the cojones
to love and accept the Brother I cannot change,
Courage to call him out on his bullshit,
and the wisdom to know when to shut the hell up.

Running Without Bulls & Reading Without Cards

Running Without Bulls & Reading Without Cards

I am an erratic Erisian at heart when it comes to doing readings. I don’t really keep a routine, and even when I make plans to at least do a daily draw before I leave for work in the morning, it never works out like I plan. The inspiration or the desire to do so crops up at odd times, usually when I’m not in a place where it’s feasible such as when I am bored off my ass at work. This happens quite frequently these days, thanks to the Tower cropping up in October, and my current Hermit/Hanging Man existence. The Star is present, so this will all be rectified soon. I like being busy. I don’t like sitting around with nothing to do. It may be temporary, but I don’t have to like it. One thing I’ve done a few times, while sitting at my desk looking busy, is using that classic of classics online tarot reading site at Years and years and years ago, I think it was one of the first resources I discovered while doing rudimentary research on Tarot. It must have been 1996… It seems like an aeon ago, in internets years.

I wonder, are internet years like dog years? That’s a good question for Facebook or Twitter. We need not concern ourselves with that here. No, no! No non-tarot or non-spiritualesque philosofuckery on the Tarot Blog, Madam Eris! No! We cannot do eeet!

I always liked Facade, although there are plenty of other ways to read online. I generally reserve those for the curious noobs, and non-tarotistas, although for myself it’s nice to be able to have a means to electronically shuffle, pull some cards, and put them in a spread. If anything the randomness of the draw is more faithful, since it’s done electronically. I don’t rely on the meanings that the website gives, as that typically doesn’t mean much to me. With plenty of decks, and a good selection of spreads, I find that it usually suits whatever I’m needing. And… I still have the added benefit of looking like I’m working.

Sure, I don’t enjoy it as much as a traditional draw… I love the crisp snap of the cards as I shuffle my decks, poker-style. If a deck doesn’t have that sharp snap to it, the deck as a whole seems to lose something for me, regardless of whether I love the art or not. I love being drawn into a card, peering into it’s little microcosm of a world within a world, trying to see where each search for answers and meaning aligns. The luck of the draw, as you flip over each card is a just as much a psychological and spiritual act as it is a tactile one. There is a little catch, and I hold my breath for just a quick moment while I flip them over. Do I know what they are going to say? Sometimes. Will I like the answer? Not neccessarily. It’s like hitting the "Max Bet" button on a slot machine. The wheels and gears whirl around, and where they stop no one can know. And they will stop. And there are great possibilities. And there is a magic inherant in the process. The act of shuffling, drawing, flipping the cards over, and becoming lost in in what is revealed helps to make the connection for me. Being driven by fire and earth, I need physical acts, or that which is tangible to seal all metaphysical deals. It’s not enough to feel it in my heart or in my head. That’s for watery, and airy folk. Nope… there must be an active component for me, or it’s just not the same. (This relates heavily to Donald Michael Kraig’s "Dancing the Tarot", which I will eventually get around to doing a post about.)

Reading using an online tool is useful, but it’s missing something vital for me. Still… it will do in a pinch, like right now. I’m in the mood to do a daily draw from the comfort of my ergonomically correct desk.

So… Facade… What card is going to sum up my day today?

7 of Pents- This has been a recurring theme for me over the last week. I’ve been going over my finances in a major way. I was freaking out pretty seriously, thinking that I had completely messed up my credit by charging too much and spending too much on nothing. Now, looking at it more thoughtfully, I see that things aren’t really so bad. If anything, I’ve worked really hard and have accomplished a lot more than I’ve given myself credit for. I’m not behind on anything, and my debt is more manageable since taking a very close and mindful glimpse at it, rather than ignoring it. The time has come for a better longterm plan to pay some debt off, and I am at a turning point. I’m ready to do it. I am ready to make some changes. I’ve built upon my past challenges, and have become very good about budgeting and saving (even though I’m pretty indulgent with credit). I have the tools to make a plan, but I am deliberating. I’m not sure how I want to approach it. This is weighing heavily on my mind today. It’s daunting for now, but it is a positive thing in the longterm.

Not too shabby, Facade… Not too shabby at all! (This tendancy of anthropmorphizing my decks is becoming quite the habit. Maybe I’m an animist, and just don’t know it yet. Or maybe I’m schizophrenic and my voices haven’t told me yet.)

It seems pretty accurate. I’m going to have to play with this today. My workload is small so… let’s have at it! Woohoo!

Kindle the Flames of Tarot-ing Goodness!

Kindle the Flames of Tarot-ing Goodness!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this week, but I haven’t been tarot-ing much at all. It’s been a week of books, not cards, in a manner of speaking. Just to make this official, and fitting of a blog that’s mostly about Tarot & Erisian Dervishes of Magick & Madness… I’ll ask the cards what they think of all this. (Using the Illuminated… I’m in the mood for pretty sparkles!)

Hallo Le Tarot… How do you feel about me completely ignoring you this week, and choosing books over cards?

8 of Swords >> 4 of Pents >> 3 of Pents >> 7 of Wands

Oh. Well… Tarot is a bit confused that I’d be so stingy with my time this week, since we’ve been working so well together and have a lot more to do. That being said… I just did a little reading, and I wasn’t intending to, so Tarot has won this round over literary fiction. Huzzzah, Tarot! Huzzah!

Yep. Tarot-ing is a verb which simply means… to tarot... I usually tarot like a Pharaoh, B! Not so much this week, but it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking about it. Some weeks I tend to read less than others, for whatever reason. This week I blame it on the acquisition of my fancy-schmancy new toy. When my husband and I buy Christmas gifts for each other, if we buy gifts (our big demanding families seem to sap all of our mutual gifting funds this time of year), we usually give them to each other early. Our anniversary is the day after Christmas, so it’s a nice way to break things up. Mine happened to arrive early this week. Yay! I got a Kindle! It’s the perfect thing for me… Tons of books, with cheap, fast, instant gratification! I read voraciously, but hate lugging books around. I hate nosy people in the breakroom at work asking me what I’m reading, and then getting all weird on me when I tell them.

Nosy Rosie: “Whatcha’ reading?”

Eris: “A translation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.”

Nosy Rosie: “!?!?”

Eris: “I told you… I read a lot of non-fiction. History. Mythology. Anthropology. Philosophy. Psychology. “

Nosy Rosie: “Oh. You should read the DaVinci Code. It’s really good.”

Eris: “!?!?”

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