Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tarot Working, The Tower

The Tower
I had difficulty with the Tower. It was only after three sittings that I was able to have success with my scrying. It has also been the most stressful week of the year so far. I don’t know that it is related but it seems awfully coincidental. Maybe I was just looking for it.

On my third try at scrying this card I sat with my candle and the card but I put it in a different position than I have with the rest of the previous cards. I still used the same words as with the others. The signal came rather late and with difficulty and it was like the image in the card suddenly came to life. I saw a long nosed face like some kind of goblin or giant carrion bird similar to a condor or a vulture. With this face came the knowledge that it was the bolt that strikes the Tower, the bolt was the spirit of the card.

I ask, “how can I use your energy in my life?” The image in the card changes and I see a hand extending from the heavens and reaching into the top of the Tower. I hear, “going within”. Then the two figures who look like they are falling from the Tower no longer look like they are in danger or distress but they are doing somersaults and embracing the earth.

My candle in the lantern seems very loud. I can hear the rush of the air as it rises in the heat of the flame. It seems to be roaring.

“I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” At this I see a vision of a parade of ancient soldiers marching in a street. Above them flies a red flag. The flag is being watched by someone in the crowd who is feeling crushed by the press of the crowd. The lesson is from that person’s perspective. My gaze moves a little lower down the image of the card to the middle section and I realize that that image was the message from the upper part of the card. The message from the middle section was, “how stars stay suspended in Heaven.” At this I see a vision of planets orbiting each other moving in a viscous jelly instead of empty space. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that space isn’t empty but is instead a media in which the plants float. I move my gaze to the lower section of the card. There the two figures say to me, “we only want to distract you from your other lessons.”

I ask the bolt, “Bolt, are you moving into or out of the Tower?” He says, “I open the Tower and move both ways.”
I ask, “to whom does the Tower belong?” At this I have a vision that I am flying into one of the dark windows of the Tower and into a very dark room. There is a figure there, a pale woman with her back to me. She is bent over slightly and clutching something tightly. She turns and I see it is a small box. It glows faintly, the light eaten by the gloom of the room. She offers it to me with a kind of thrusting gesture. I take it and hide it and I am sucked back out of the Tower window leaving the woman behind.

I ask, “do you indicate destruction?” He says, “sometimes, yes.”
I ask, “Bolt, why do you open the Tower?” He says, “The inside needs to be emptied before it can be filled.”

I ask, “what is your foundation made of?” He says, “the marrow of the bones of the earth.”

I ask, “who are the two falling from the Tower?” At this they answer and say, “we are travelers you have seen before.”

I ask, “travelers, where are you going?” And the answer, “the wormholes of the earth.” Then I see a vision of the interior of an immense dark cavern of black stone. A Tower is built on a jutting cliff in such a way that it appears that half of the Tower is above the cliff and half of the Tower extends below the cliff. The travelers say, “in the lower floors the stairs are in a spiral.” Then I see they have halos of white light and they say, “we are the consciousness of the earth.” Then I notice the hills that surround the tower and all the hills have eyes that are closed as though they were sleeping.
At this I decide to close the session. I call on the spirits of the Tower to be my allies and to help me learn their lessons and to be at peace.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tarot Working, The Devil

The Devil.
There is not much to report on the informal side of working with the Devil. Perhaps it is time to reiterate what I mean by “informal”. In general it is deliberately loose. I put an image of the card on my phone’s home screen so I look at it multiple times a day. (Yes, I play with my phone a lot.) I carry a small version of the card in my shirt pocket every day. I also try to contemplate the card through the week while I’m at my day to day activities; riding the bus, walking the dog, doing dishes. Sometimes a message will come through sometimes not. I try to keep my eyes open to see if I can spot manifestations of the cards out in the world. This week with the Devil I didn’t feel like I had received any messages before the formal working nor did I see the Devil as I went about my day.
On Tuesday I had a chance to do the formal working. I lit the candle in my lantern and propped the card up in front of me. I called in the same way I’ve been calling the others. “Devil, I call to you. Come to me, speak to me. Share with me your wisdom. Show me your forms.” Almost immediately my vision is obscured with what I’ll describe as a kind of visual static that washed over me in a wave. The figure of the Devil in the card’s image began to glow. Butterfly wings sprouted from the sides of the Devil’s head, resembling elephant ears.
I ask, “how can I use your energy in my life?” The Devil laughs and frowns at the same time. His arms take on a bestial look, hairy and shaggy. His body appears and disappears in and out of my vision. Flat spiky horns sprout from his head, grow, fall away, only to be replaced by a new fresh bone spike. It is like watching flames made of bone burning on top of the Devil’s head. In response to my question he sweeps his arm over the heads of the imps at his feet. He says, “gathering”. Then I see that the flesh of his body resembles a loose fitting suit with gaps opening up at the seams. It is a full body mask and he says, “masks”.
I ask, “what lessons can you teach me?” Holes appear behind him. The holes have jagged edges like there are rips in the air. The Devil says, “connected openings”.
I ask, “what other lessons can you teach me?” He says, “the divinity of your guts.”
I ask, “who are your minions?” The Devil says, “they are not minions, they are guests, friends.”
I ask, “alrighty then, who are your friends?” They say, “I am the one. I am the other one.”
I ask, “do you have names?” The one on the right says “Florin”. The one on the left says “Sorin”. Then they switch back and forth, both claiming to be Florin as well as Sorin. The whole time their gaze is strictly on the Devil.
I ask the Devil, “what is your torch?” He says, “the sensation that hardens the nipples,” and he laughs. Then a wide, shining golden ring forms around his head and then disappears. I take it as another answer to the torch question.
I ask, “where are you standing?” In response my vision changes to a wide sea, no land in sight. The Devil stands on a rock in the middle.  The waves lap at his feet but the waves are tiny and the Devil is huge. His arms blow in the wind, suddenly made of yellow silk. Then he changes to a plume of smoke rising in a great column from the rock in the sea. Then the scene changes and he is the Devil again. His head is still sprouting bone fire. Two birds alight on his brow they are singing.
I ask, “are you evil?” The Devil looks at me and asks, “do you even know what that word means?” He scoffs with derision and says, “if you need someone to blame I can be that.” He seems disappointed.
I get the wave of static across my vision again and as it clears I see two great eyes open on either side of the Devil’s head. The Devil’s face changes to that of an old woman and he says, “learn your lessons well.” Then the giant eyes close and a big mouth opens at the Devil’s neck, singing. It looks like the Devil’s head is now the nose of a larger face. The birds on the Devil’s brow are singing, the great head is singing, and the Devil is in the middle. He says, “as above, so below.” Then I see a vision of deep space and I know that the song of the greater head is the turning of galaxies. Then the birds and the greater head disappear and he is the Devil again.
I ask, “Devil, what is your connection to the Underworld?” He looks down. I follow his gaze and see that he is standing on a large, floating disembodied head of a man. The man’s head has its eyes tightly shut and his teeth are gritted in a grimace of enduring. Below them I see the rolling hills of a countryside. Then above all of it I see another face, this one calm, serene, and reassuring. I hear a voice say, “your pain serves a purpose,” but I can’t tell who has said it.
At this point I was getting pretty tired and so I decided to close the session. I called on the Devil to be my ally, to help me learn his wisdom. I thanked him for coming to me and speaking with me. I release him to be at peace and I close the session.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tarot Working, Temperance

I sat with Temperance this week. There almost no activity for the greater part of the week in the informal stage. On Wednesday afternoon I had some time to scry the card.
I lit the candle and did the invocation as I have been doing. Soon I felt a warmth at the top of my head that spread down into the rest of my body. This was the mark of the arrival of the spirit.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” The Temperance angel draws her hands apart, the water between her vessels growing longer. She says, “expansion”. Her face changes to become a conglomerate of multiple faces. A figure appears below the stream of water and seems to be reaching toward the water as some of it falls in a shower. She says, “cleansing”. Then the figure disappears and the stream of water moves to flow over the angel’s midsection and I know it is over her womb. The water seems to be flowing out of both cups, meeting in the middle at the womb of the angel, and disappearing there. Then the angel draws her hands together so that the cups are rim to rim trapping the water between them. She says, “containment”.
I ask, “what lessons can you teach me?” At this her dress changes to resemble a high ocean wave. I can see just below its surface a fish gliding under the water. She says, “riding the wave”. Then she lifts her head, her eyes roll back, and her mouth opens slightly. I understand this to indicate religious ecstasy. Then she looks at me and smiles. A small cherub alights on her shoulder and leans toward her head. I can’t tell if it is whispering to her or not.
I ask, “are you my guardian angel?” She smiles and looks away.
I ask, “are you helpful with spirit work?” The image on the card moves in and out of focus and whips form and swirl around the outside of the card, like the air over hot asphalt. Then the angel’s face changes through several forms, people, devils, angels, beasts, before becoming the angel again. It seems that this answer is much more than a simple yes or no but it seems positive so I ask, “how can I use your energy in my spirit work?”. In response the image changes so that a hole opens in the angel’s midsection and the stream of water resembles a road. It seems another card is offering itself as a doorway.
I ask, “what is the flower at your brow?” At this I get a vision of wildflowers in early spring on the side of a rugged mountain. She says, “return of beauty, return of life in harshness, a balm”.
I ask, “what are your cups?” She gives me no answer. Multiple cherubs alight on her shoulders then fly away, leaving two behind, a gold cherub on her left shoulder and a blue one on her right shoulder. Is this an answer to my question? And if it is, is it too easy to think it simply represents duality? This will require more contemplation.
I ask, “what is the liquid passing between the cups?” The angel’s face changes to appear fanged and then it changes again to look like a skull face. This doesn’t seem like an answer so I look away from her face and look to the stream of water directly. I ask again but receive no answer.
I ask, “what is the purpose of the red book?” The cherub on her left shoulder, the gold one, puts a horn to his lips as if to blow but I hear no sound. [This question is based on some elements of my practice at the moment. A bit of UPG.]
I ask, “what is your message to me?” She says, “moderate your passions”. Then her face is replaced with a dog’s but it disappears quickly.
I ask, “are you an angel of heaven?” In response her image jumps into extremely sharp focus. She looks down at the stream of water between the cups and I see that it is made of multiple, striated layers all mingled together. I take this as not quite a no but perhaps it means something more like not only. Her eyes become windows and I can see stars in a night sky through them.
I ask, “where are you standing?” She gives no answer. The gold cherub leans in and whispers in her ear again. I ask, “what is that cherub saying to you?” The cherub flies off and she looks at me flatly saying nothing. I decide this is a good point to close the session. I thank her for her guidance and her wisdom. I call for her to be at peace, to be my ally, and to be a presence in my life.
When I snuff my candle there is no soot and no pain.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tarot Working, Death

Even though I spent as much time with Death as with the previous twelve cards I have a distinct feeling that I’ve barely scratched the surface. Once I’ve gone through the cycle of all 22 I will want to come back to several of the cards and Death will be near the top of that list. There was a strange feeling of the spirit of this card being distant and aloof yet immediate and always present at the same time. I suppose feelings about one’s own mortality come to the fore when one is calling for Death to come and visit. My feeling was that the spirit I communicated with was not the Grim Reaper nor was he an Angel of Death. An emissary of Death perhaps but it is probably less than ideal to try and limit my experience with labels.
 Early in the week, during the informal phase of the operation, I had a vision of the scythe of Death being analogous to the dawn as day breaks. I saw the light of the Sun sweeping over the land and it was the blade of the scythe mowing down all in its path. The blade was the dawn in its capacity to destroy as the first step of creation.
Time to myself was more brief this week than most and so I did the scrying in two relatively brief session. I lit my lantern, propped up the card and sat before it. I did my breathing exercise as usual and called to Death with the same words I have used for all the cards so far. I repeated the call a few times and soon a shiver ran across my body, standing the hairs on end. This was the arrival of the spirit.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” In response his eye becomes a keyhole and he says “see the other side,” in a whispering voice. Then he holds a rod between his hands and he says, “taking a measure”. Then his scythe becomes an oar and his is Charon on the Styx. He says, “crossing over”.
I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” His arms and legs turn into architectural structures and he says, “keep going”. [I have no idea what this means.] Then his torso becomes an open cup and he says, “your body holds what you receive”.
I ask, “what is in your pocket?” He says, “it’s empty, I’m looking to fill it”. So I ask, “what do you want to fill your pocket with?” He hesitates and then says, “ask me again later”.
I ask, “are you a shadow?” He doesn’t answer me. I am getting distracted by the time. I can tell this annoys Death so I thank him and close the session.
The next morning I try again, same candle, same call. This time I get the shiver again but not as strongly. This time Death looks less skeletal and more like an emaciated man, bone thin. So I ask him, “are you hungry?” He looks at me and smiles widely, not so much with humor but almost more predatory. The candle flame in the lantern suddenly grows larger and brighter. Death turns away and says, “disinterested”. [Wait, did he just think that was an invitation?]
I ask, “what are you looking for?” In response I receive a vision of roots burrowing in the soil.
I ask, “are you a killer?” He looks shocked at my question. Then he looks away and says, “no,” with a determined look on his face.
I ask, “what is your connection to the Underworld?” He says, “I know the path. I hold the charms of passage.”
I ask, “how can I visit the Underworld and come back home?” [I worded it this way because I know of one sure way to visit the Underworld and that was not the answer I was looking for.] In response to my question the image in the card changes. The eye becomes a keyhole again and his ribs look like stairs. I see that the card is a doorway.
I ask, “what is your message to me?” He says, “keep at your labor. It lasts forever”.
I ask, “do you know the secret of immortality?” His head becomes a dark tunnel leading into the distance in front of me. Death smiles and says, “the answer lies in sleep”.
I ask, “who is your master?” He hesitates and before he can answer I am interrupted so I close the session, thanking him for coming and speaking with me. I ask him to be my ally and to help me to use his energy in my life.  

Friday, April 1, 2016

Tarot Working, The Hanged Man

Hanged Man
I began my work with the Hanged Man this past week by trying to connect through art making. As I sketched and doodled I had him manifesting as a man hung from a signpost at a crossroads. He had a wound in his side and became the divine martyr like Prometheus and Jesus. He had a wooden box enclosing his head. It was locked with a big padlock and the key was on the ground, out of reach and out of sight.
When I did the formal scrying session I called him in the normal way and soon the image in the card was surrounded by a purple glow. Suddenly the image switched so that the Hanged Man had his head underground. The earth appeared like a cross section and I could see bugs and shells and stones in the soil around the Hanged Man’s head. It was a very abrupt announcement of the Hanged Man’s arrival.
I asked, “how can I use your energy in my life?” He says, “Rest. Gathering strength. Constriction”. Then a small bear appears next to his head then it disappears and the image of a mountain range appears under his head. He says, ”Connection to the earth”.

I ask, “what are the lessons you can teach me?” In response it appears as if rings form around his legs and arms, resembling targets and he says, “focus”. Then an angular face appears at his coat and he says, “gathering spirit allies”.

I ask, “who has hanged you?” The image of a large man appears and the Hanged Man says, “Greed,” and his feet start to glow.
I ask, “are you connected to Odin?” At this the image changes. It appears as though the wind is blowing. Then the image changes to become a large skull. The eye sockets become portals, windows I can look through. They merge into one opening and through it I see a green hill with a tree at the top. And even though the Hanged Man didn’t say anything I take this as a strong yes.

I ask, “what is your connection to the crossroads?” The Hanged Man moves his legs which are crossed and a spot glows at the cross. He says, “like this I am a cup that receives”. I wonder if this is an answer to my question but I keep going.
I ask, “are you in pain?” He says, “I wait with patience.” It seems he is not in distress.

I ask, “what are you waiting for?” In response I see that in his hands bound behind his back is a large seed pod that is just beginning to open and send out a small white root tendril.
I ask, “what is the knot that holds you?” The image changes to a man in a small boat, like a canoe. The Hanged Man says, “wanderlust.”   

Then I hear my house waking up and I know that I will be interrupted soon so I close the session. I thank the Hanged Man for speaking to me. I ask him to be an ally and a presence in my life and I thank him again.