Today, I had a Tarot reading – a short, unexpected one. A young woman who read palms at the store was in today taking appointments – after hours, she suggested we trade readings (something I never turn down). I read for her first – sweet, simple and to the point three card spread. She wanted to read Tarot for me, as she’s just getting back into studying it seriously. The reading she gave me had a clear message: Follow your guide, and you’ll be led to greatness – so long as you’re truly willing.
What a timely message! It has been some time since I’ve last journeyed to Annawynn, partly because I’m afraid – not of her, or what she has to teach me, but of what happens after that. While I know good and well that I feel called to this path, am I sure my ego is not pushing me too far or too fast? How to I offer what I have to others? Do I really know what I’m doing? The self-doubt sets in and it is difficult to keep moving forward. So, this impromptu reading was very telling for me – I am being led to a place of beauty, grace, and fulfillment; so why fight it?
Now is the time for me to “rest” – to recharge and prepare for the next leg of the journey. I have the clear sense that there won’t be time for doubting as I begin again to move forward.
Today offered less time for reflection (as expected) but did offer me a good chance to check in with myself, in a few different ways. First, I was able to perform without breaking my fast (I did have some juice though). Second, I was hearing my inner dialogue much clearer today – for better or worse. I’ve always been a bit of a negative self-talker, and I’m trying to change that. Despite what my mind was telling me, I was told my solo (the subject of the most negative self-talking) was great.
Perhaps most important (or most noticeable) is feeling my body reach toward a new set point. A few months ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – basically my body produces hormones in less-then-optimal ratios causing many symptoms that up until this point I’ve never thought could be connected. I’m now on medication to help correct these cycles in my body – and with this fast I’m really getting an opportunity to feel that change happening. Thus, my word of the day is ‘reset’ – and I thought perhaps the runes could give me some insight into how this change really effects me.*And sometimes I find these simple, spur of the moment reading to be the most insightful – they are certainly the most practical.
On a side note – I was a little concerned about dancing in a headwrap – not because it’s unheard of, but because I’ve never done it. And I have to say, I looked beautiful.
*Runes that came up were Wunjo, Eiwaz, and Algiz – though the particular interpretation this time around is something that I do not feel called to share.
First things first – I’ve felt called to do my ritual in the morning rather then the evening – which I think works out better with my neighbors and their oodles of children. Something simple and less structured then in the past. Today, I did remember to stop and grab a bottle of mead for offering and made sure I know where my copy of the Poetic Edda is. I also did some reading in the Völva Stav Manual by Kari Tauring (I will have to write more about this latter) to inspire my ritual and get me in the right space. Last year was about feeling a call to Odin – this year is about claiming and reclaiming power, I think.
So, come morning, if I’m up as early as planned, I’ll be able to do my ritual outside before sunrise – not sure why but that feels right.
Also tomorrow I face perhaps the most challenging day of this ordeal – my troupe is dancing at an Art & Wine Walk event tomorrow, with a group rehearsal before hand. I imagine I’ll be able to handle everything fine; just have to remember lots of water and perhaps some juice if I’m low on energy.
The first day felt fairly low-key, which in a way feels right. I’m feeling more settled in this time around then I did last year.
So, the wheel keeps turning and I find myself again preparing for the Ordeal of Odin – and I’ve made a lot of changes in the past year, and so I will also be changing the ritual I used before. Change can be good!
Where I am now, the Ordeal is a time to separate a bit from the world – a time for introspection. Some of the changes I’ll be making include:
- Fasting from sun up to sun down – for health reasons, I can’t quite fully fast for the 9 days, so I’m modifying this part of my ritual.
- Wearing a headscarf – for me, this is an outward reminder of the introspection and separation the 9 days will be marked by.
- Nightly offerings of mead, song, poetry, and the like to Odin.
I’ll also be working on reading the Poetic Edda – I’ve read bits here and there, but I’ll like to do a better and more dedicated study. Also working more in-depth with the runes (of course) and using their energies in new/different ways. I’ll be writing everyday and am looking forward to talking time for some self healing and whole-ing.
Since I’ve been thinking about movies and Tarot as of late, I thought I’d share a beautiful movie that uses some familiar Tarot archetypes. Unlike the other movies I’ve shared, this isn’t a documentary. You may have heard the name in relation to the death of Heath Ledger, as this was the movie he was filming at the time and is his final role.
As you may have guessed from the trailer, the Devil archetype is a major part of the plot. He spends his time weaving webs of bets and debts around Doctor Parnassus. He knows that the man can’t resist a bet, knows that he can’t say no. He finds a way to make that bet, no matter how dangerous, seem tempting and worthwhile.
The Devil in the Tarot is much the same. The Devil is all about temptation, desire, wanting, longing. The physical things that distract us from our lives is what the Devil offers us; the bad habits and relationships that hold us back. He makes them look so good to us, like they are the only things that we could want. He tempts us and addicts us; makes us think we need what ever it is he’s pushing. Be it power, escape, wealth, or anything else, it distracts us from our true selves and keeps us bound, constrained. The Devil also reminds us that we choose to “give in” to temptation and that we therefore have the power to turn away from temptation. If we have the will, and we make the choice, we can break the chains that bind us.
Perhaps less obvious from the trailer is the role of the Hanged Man (mentioned before here), symbolized by the character Tony. As I’ve mentioned before, the Hanged Man speaks to one’s sacrifice for knowledge and wisdom. I don’t want to spoil the film, but it’s sure to say that “sacrifice” is indeed an important aspect to Tony’s progression through the story.
Even if you’re not a Tarot lover – I highly recommend this stunning movie.
Blessed Dark of the Moon! This is the time when I honor Hecate, goddess of the crossroads. I have a deep connection with this goddess and make a point to celebrate Her during the Dark of the Moon – which I mark as the day/night before the New Moon or the New Moon itself.
My plan this month is to leave a “Hecate Supper” out. This consists of a food left out, generally at a crossroads as an offering to Hecate. In anchient times, these meals actually became meals for the poor. Some months I leave food, like I will tonight, other I’ll donate to a food pantry or volunteer at the local shelter. Hecate cares for those at and on the crossroads, and as her daughter, so do I.
For your listening pleasure: Hecate by Wendy Rule from her album The Lotus Eaters
I’ve been thinking about the Tarot as of late, so I thought I’d share some of my feeling about the Hanged Man. I’ve always felt called to Odin, the most common myth associated with the Hanged Man. So, I think now is a good time to focus on this card and what it means to me. The Hanged Man is about decision making – namely the decision to sacrifice yourself for yourself. The Hanged Man sacrifices himself and gains wisdom and insight as his reward. This is why the story of Odin on the World Tree shows this so well.
Here, Odin is drawn as a traveler - a form he often took
138 I know that I hanged on a windy tree
nine long nights
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
139 No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn
downward I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there.
Havamal from Poetic Edda
translated by Carolyne Larrington
Odin hung upon the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights. He was a sacrifice unto Himself, seeking wisdom and knowledge from Well of Wisdom. From His sacrifice came the Runes – the gifts of magic and writing. He also sacrificed one of His eyes for a drink from Mimir’s well, giving Him great fore-sight.
The Hanged Man teaches us that we have to make sacrifices in order to attain our personal truths and wisdoms. Not physical sacrifices but spiritual and personal sacrifices. Learning takes time, takes energy, takes dedication. There are times when we will have to set the word aside and hang by ourselves in order to understand and find what we seek