Sunday, November 22, 2009

Josephine’s Tarot Journal, Nov. 21 - Three of Cups

The three of cups is a positive card. It often represents exuberance, community, friendship, high spirits, family, celebration of teamwork and a common goal. I feel like today, this card is reminding me to celebrate the small victories. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the stress of everything in my life right now. We still don’t know 100% about the house, we are beyond broke, and the stress just makes every little thing seem so hard. But today was a good day. Despite the stress and drama at work, it was a good day at home with the kids. I need to be reminded sometimes to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that I have a wonderful and amazing family. And life will get better. I know it will. In the meantime we just need to focus on working together as a family, not only in working towards our goals, but also in helping each other feel uplifted and celebrated.

I have had many victories in my life, but they are so often overlooked. With Thanksgiving coming up next week I think it is important to make myself find time to have gratitude for everything in my life. I should be grateful all the time, not just at Thanksgiving! I think we tend to find it much easier to be grateful when things are going well, and much harder to be grateful when life is full of conflict. But the conflict and stress should just make us that much more thankful!!

There was a game I saw on a website, called “The Gratitude Game”, in which people worked together to find gratitude in things that you normally wouldn’t be grateful for. The game went like this;
1st person - I am grateful for my old vacuum cleaner, which doesn’t work very well.”
2nd person - You are grateful for that old vacuum cleaner, because it means you have a floor to clean, which means you have a home!!! I am thankful for my job, even though I only work 2 days a week.
3rd person - You are grateful for your part time job because it brings you income and you still have time to spend with your family and doing the things you love! I am thankful for the leaky pipe under my bathroom sink!
…. And it goes on like that. You would say you’re grateful for something you wouldn’t normally think to be thankful for, and then the next person helps point out why it’s a blessing and then they post their own. It helps to put things in perspective and be thankful for those little things that we think are nuisances or bothers.. When we begin to see everything in a light of gratitude, we find we have so much more to celebrate.
What am I grateful for?
I am grateful for my aching back. My back hurts because I was at work all day and I made money to bless my family with groceries! I am thankful for the drama at work, because it makes me realize how blissful and happy my home life really is. I am thankful for my kids’ bickering and arguing, because they are full of life and healthy and learning how to cope with social situations by interacting with their siblings! I am thankful for the dirty dishes, because it means that we had food in the house for eating! I am thankful for the dirty laundry, because it means that my family has clothes to wear and places to go to get that laundry dirty - like work or school! I am thankful that it is late and I am tired, because it means another day full of blessings has passed and I will soon be sleeping and getting my rest! I am thankful for tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tarot Journal - Knight of Wands

Josephine’s Tarot Journal, November 3 - Knight of Wands

To be honest, I have a problem with Court Cards. I am finally beginning to understand how to interpret their meaning in a reading, but still get stumped. Tonight as I shuffled the cards, I was thinking about how this whole day was wasted. My motivation and inspiration seem to be gone completely, and thru the day I keep thinking about yesterday’s card, the Queen of Pentacles. Why is it that when I set a goal, I tend to drag myself down? When I try to quit smoking, I end up smoking more. When I see my highest personal potential, I backtrack to a lower potential. So as I shuffled, I asked the Universe, what message does the Queen of Pentacles have for me? What should I do to allow myself to really embrace her as my true self? I got the Knight of Wands.

Air and Fire. Idea and Action combined. The Knight of Wands is confident - perhaps overly confident. He clearly has a goal in mind and is inspired to chase after it, no matter what the risks may be. This Knight doesn’t seem to be the type to over think things, but begins to take action soon after the idea is formed, willing to act on his inspiration. Perhaps today I was over thinking things way too much. I am tired, and I am reaching a point where I need to take it easy physically (thanks to Mother Nature’s monthly gift which should arrive shortly.) But today I gave up on myself too soon. I could have found a project within my home; something to appease the desire to be nurturing and creative, but instead I waste my time. The more time I wasted the more I over-thought things, dwelling on my failure rather than possibilities. Action is the answer. I know from personal experience that sometimes the large goals will overwhelm me, and that it’s best to take “Baby Steps” or just do things one thing at a time. It think today I was thinking of the big picture and dwelling on everything I should be doing as a mother and housewife as one huge impossible goal. If I had just picked one thing and done it, then the feeling of accomplishment would have fed my inspiration; and then I could have moved on to something else. I just have to keep moving. The Knight of Wands doesn’t rest, if one thing isn’t working he will think of a new plan or idea and then take action. He doesn’t think it through - which makes him reckless and adventurous; sometimes a downfall. But it is better than doing nothing and failing by default.

I also feel like this card is telling me to exercise. I am restless being at home all day with my pre-schooler and we both get bored and need an outlet. Even though I enjoy my outlet of reading, writing, and the internet, it doesn’t help my feeling of restlessness. Doing something active like taking a walk, playing outside with my son, or otherwise being physically active are something I need to incorporate into my daily life. When I was working full-time I was more active. My hours were cut back at work, which has increased my financial stress, but I did nothing to replace the physical activity, and that was a mistake. I need to get active again, and this Knight of Fire and Air has reminded me of that.

I am going to make a list of my goals for tomorrow and break it down into small sections that I can tackle one at a time. Just doing something and being moderately active will help me to feel better, and once I start to feel like I am contributing to the home environment and filling that role of a mother, I should be able to find myself in the Queen of Pentacles again.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tarot Journal - Queen of Pentacles; my Personal Potential Card

Josephine’s Tarot Journal - Nov. 2 2009 - Queen of Pentacles

This is another card that is in my Tarot Profile. The court card that is related to my Sun Sign, it is called my “Personal Potential Card”. A person’s Personal Potential card can show them their greatest strengths, and the possibilities of what they can become. When I look at this card, knowing it’s meanings, I see both reflections of myself as I am, and aspects that I would like to have. I also see some negative traits that I would like to overcome, and these are described by this card’s reversed or negative meanings. The Queen of Pentacles is close to Mother Earth, she is crafty, creative, and nurturing. She is probably the “ultimate mom” of the Tarot (other than the Empress), and though I know my parenting skills need some work and fine tuning, I can relate. Being a mom has helped me mature, and it keeps me grounded and responsible. I guess one way I could examine this card and how it relates to me as my Personal Potential card is to make a list of character strengths and weaknesses. In therapy or counseling sessions, a therapist will ask you to make a list of what you perceive to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses…what better way to do that then to compare and contrast with your Personal Potential card?

The Queen of Pentacles’ Strengths;

She is Nurturing - Mothering, good with children and animals, Supportive. I am a good mother, but I feel that I could be much better. I could be more patient, more supportive, and more nurturing. I think I lose my patience too easily and often expect much of my children, but I will do anything to make sure they have a comfortable and loving home environment.
She is Bighearted - will do anything thing for others, is generous, warm and welcoming. It’s true, I won’t turn away a friend and will do anything in my power to help them if they need it. I love being a generous hostess, and I enjoy my job in the service industry because I find it very rewarding. But I have learned to be more cautious and have curbed my generosity as I have gotten older, because I have repeatedly been used and taken advantage of. I do not like the feeling of not trusting people, it doesn’t come naturally to me, and I hope to eventually be able to trust people again.

The Queen of Pentacles is trustworthy - loyal, true to her word, and keeps secrets and confidences. She is naturally trusting of others and therefore is trusted by others in return. While I think of myself as an extremely loyal person, I haven’t always been so trustworthy. Maybe this is one of the aspects of my Personal Potential that I have had to grow into. There are times in my past that I am ashamed of because of my dishonesty or gossiping, but I feel I have grown into a much more trustworthy adult. People often come to me with their problems seeking advice or just someone to listen to, and I put that trust and respect on the highest platform and will do whatever I can to not only help them, but keep their trust.

The Queen of Pentacles is Down To Earth - she is realistic, sensible, accepting of people for who they are, and has a matter-of-fact way of finding solutions or handling life. I think sometimes people who know me can find me rather abrasive or seemingly cold-hearted, but this isn’t really true. It can seem that way because of my Capricorn personality detachment; which is really just my way of looking at things in a down to earth and matter-of fact kind of way. The shortest distance between two points is the direct, straight path. To me, the simplest, most sensible approach is always the obvious answer. I like to have all the facts before I develop an opinion, and my friends will wonder why I don’t automatically take their side. I can be rather blunt and have a “tell it like it is” attitude when I am asked for advice, and I know this can come across as cold or mean sometimes but in reality, I wouldn’t be that honest and matter of fact with someone if I didn’t care. It’s truly out of love, but I think that the Queen of Pentacles; while Mothering and Nurturing, is probably a believer in “Tough Love”. She is, after all, a Capricorn.

The Queen of Pentacles is resourceful - versatile, creative, handy, and not one to easily give up. She is thrifty and responsible with her resources, will come through in a pinch, and make due with what is available. Though I often stress about money and finances, I can be pretty good at managing a budget and making things work. Just tonight I was so proud of myself for the way I stretched my grocery money. There have been times I have managed to make a little bit go a long way (or at least a little farther) - like this morning when I noticed we were almost out of milk - rather than using it all for the kid’s cereal, I watered it down just enough to make sure that there would be enough left over to make lunch with later on. No one noticed the difference, and I saved myself the hassle of running out too early. These are simple examples from my day but the Queen of Pentacles is just showing me how like her I really am. :o)

There are some times in a tarot reading when the negative aspect of a card will be indicated, sometimes through reversal, and sometimes through placement, and so I think the negative aspects can be important in a Personal Potential card as well. While it’s great to look at the positive potential of what I can become, I think it is also important to accept that every coin has it’s flip side; The Queen of Pentacles has the potential to become messy, lazy, slovenly, or even fanatic about housework. I can see how these are dangers of what I could become. When I get depressed or stressed out, I get lazy, messy, apathetic. Sometimes when I have spent a lot of time and energy cleaning the house, I will get really picky about it and get rather obsessed with it, and this could easily turn fanatical if I let it get out of control. The Queen of Pentacles can be materialistic, selfish, disloyal, Helpless, lacking self-confidence, and she can even become so self involved that she no longer nurtures others or takes care of herself. These descriptions of the negative or reversed aspects of this card all reflect how I have been at one point or another in my past. In my darker days when I was lost and wandering, I was all of these things, and much less of the good. Looking at this card in this way shows me how much I have grown and the positive changes I have made, but it also serves to warn me. Because I could easily fall down this path again if I let myself. I can be selfish and self-involved. I do sometimes find myself thinking with a victim attitude of helplessness. I can become obsessed with finances and materialistic. To embrace my role as The Queen of Pentacles in my life, I should strive to adapt and nurture all of her positive traits within myself, and guard against slipping into the negative traits or patterns. And even if I do slip from time to time, I just need to remember how far I have come and that my true potential is not that hard of a goal to grasp, in the long run.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tarot Journal - 13 Death; my Hidden Factor card

Josephine’s Tarot Journal - November 2 2009 - DEATH

I have always been afraid of change and the unknown. Capricorns generally like stability, and we can be quite the perfectionists as well. Change is uncertain, and how can I be sure that things will turn out just right if there is any uncertainty in my vision? I think for most people, fear can be the biggest obstacle in life and it is no different for me. I can’t see the future. I can make educated guesses about what will happen, and I sometimes can utilize my intuition and empathy to help me divine what the next step will be, but tomorrow is mostly unknown. I can admit that this fear of change, this fear of the unknown outcome, has prevented me from taking risks in areas like my career and my finances. I am, after all, still a waitress after 11 years. I would love to be able to take my tarot readings and interest in astrology to another level and do it professionally, but I tend to hold myself back. What if I’m not good at it? What if I give someone bad advice? What if I don’t make enough money doing it? What should I charge for my services anyways? What would my mother think? That’s just an example of one area in my life where I know that fear of change and the unknown has held me back.

A couple years ago I discovered how to make a “Tarot Profile”. Using numerology and astrology, you can figure out what specific tarot cards represent you. Learning the meanings of these cards can help you on a journey of self discovery, and I believe that knowing yourself is the first major step towards enlightenment. There are three main important cards to know, and these are your Personality Card, your Soul Purpose Card, and your Hidden Factor card, sometimes called your Shadow Card. My Hidden Factor card is Death. When I first calculated this card, I was not too happy with this outcome. I mean, of all the 22 Major Arcana, who wants this card to describe their personality? But I have come to understand it and accept it over the years.

The Hidden Factor card usually represents aspects of your life or personality which are hidden from you. The things about yourself that you fear or reject. It could be defined as the “Denial Card”, and it shows the true nature of your challenges and obstacles through life. Though it’s tempting to reject and ignore this card in my Tarot Profile, I can see how it fits. I am constantly in a state of change or growth. My interests, beliefs, projects and goals are always changing. I will become stagnant or “stuck” for awhile; sometimes I get overwhelmed, tired and depressed and just get stuck in a rut or give up on my goals for awhile. Then I will wake up again, grow, change, take a new direction and begin again. It is how I have always functioned. Seeing this as my Hidden Factor card is actually comforting in some ways… to realize and see that these cycles I go through aren’t just laziness or ADD, but perhaps just who I am. It gives meaning to my past and hope for my future. I know I will experience stagnation again, but it will always be followed by another new beginning or surge of growth. The song by Tori Amos, “Little Earthquakes” comes to mind. It really is how I function. My experiences and emotions run so deep, I sometimes have to experience a “little earthquake”, or strong change or upheaval before I can move forward. I tend to hold myself back not just because of fear, but because I want to be sure to get the full experience and learn all I can before I move on and transform myself again. In a way, I guess I need to recognize and accept that I am always changing, always in a state of transformation and renewal. As much as my past has shaped me, it does not define me.

Yet sometimes before growth can really happen, some healing and purging needs to happen. Like cleaning your house, you can’t rearrange the furniture until you clean house and get rid of some clutter. Despite all the changing and growing I have done, I still feel like there is a lot of healing and purging that needs to be done as well. I tend to feel better when I write, and I am always advocating journaling as a tool for self-discovery and healing. But lately I haven’t been doing very much personal journaling or blogging. Perhaps it’s time to challenge myself, to make a commitment and see if I can stick with it for a whole month. I am always starting new things but never finishing them. What would happen if I actually set a personal goal and met it? Would I find confidence? Healing? Closure?

Why not start right now? I enjoy using tarot cards as tools and prompts for my journaling, yet I don’t stick to it as often as I like. What about a card a day, and a journal entry or blog every day to go with that card? 30 cards, 30 days. I feel like my Hidden Factor card, Death, is calling me to action. It is time to take some steps and start writing down my thoughts and feelings, purging and healing and “cleaning house’. A transformation is at hand.

This journal is part of my NaNoWriMo project for 2009, "November's Cards"

it is also a response to the journaling assignment or prompt at my other blog, Journal Yourself Awake.