Monday, August 13, 2018

Why I Modify My Decks

Top two: Wisdom of the Oracle
Bottom: Shamanic Medicine Oracle

As you can see, I've got pictures of a deck that I trimmed, which I then edged in red, and one that I only edged (this one in a brick red). Why do I modify my decks? To some every deck gets modified and to others it's sacrilegious to modify your decks, and some have just never heard of such a thing.

I don't trim every deck because I don't have a hatred of borders. For example, one deck that is commonly trimmed (and even the creatrix modified her copy) is the Mary-el Tarot, but I love those glossy deep black borders, they remind me a bit of a scrying mirror, so I've left them on. I don't even notice the unevenness of them most of the time unless I focus on them. I did, however, edge my copy in black because when the fronts and backs of cards are black but the edges are raw and white it just doesn't look right. Edging them with a black marker makes the deck look more professional, more finished, and it also protects the edges from the oils of your hands so that the deck will look better longer and last longer. 

That makes my other point of edging most of my decks, is that most have raw paper edges since they're printed in sheets and then cut. Those raw paper edges will turn gray and get frayed from use so using markers or ink pads that are archival ink protects those edges. Because of this I'll even use white to edge my decks that have white borders front and back. 

Decks that I choose to trim are usually due either to size, like my large Thoth, or because the borders are too ornate or large and detract from the images, again like the Thoth or like the Druidcraft Tarot (and it's companion oracle decks, the Druid Animal and Druid Plant Oracles). Like many, I have difficulty shuffling really large decks, especially tarot decks, because it hurts my hands--only those with large hands don't have this trouble. And ornate borders distract one from reading the cards, as many of us don't find them "framed" but rather find the border fights with the image--again, the Thoth and Druidcraft are great example of this. Freed of those borders, the images really pop. The same held true for The Wizard's Tarot and trimming that one made for a wonderful pocket-sized deck.

The last reason that I modify my decks is that it's a wonderful way to bond with a deck. I usually trim and/or edge from the back, but when I put them back into a finished stack I look at each one. You can get really creative with coloration, some people do rainbow looks even, and really make a deck uniquely yours. Some of my favorites have come from layering colors. 

If you've never thought about modifying your decks but want to give it a whirl, or never heard of such a thing and want to see some great examples, do a search on YouTube where there are some wonderful videos of modified decks and tutorials for how to modify your decks. My favorite tools are Tim Holtz Distressed Ink Mini Pads and Prismacolor chisel tip markers. 

Have fun with your decks! Remember, while tarot is spiritual and you might do it professionally, it can also be a lot of fun! There's nothing sacrilegious about creating a closer bond with your decks and protecting them!  

Monday, August 6, 2018

What Does the Happy Squirrel Card Mean?

Happy Squirrel card from The Wooden Tarot

I recently purchased The Wooden Tarot and it has this cute little guy in it as the 23rd Major Arcana card--unnumbered though, so not counting as a numerical card unless you count it as the 79th card. It wasn't part of the original Kickstarter Majors and Aces only deck.

I had to do some research to find out what it means. Of course I remember the episode of The Simpsons when Lisa had her cards read by a fortune teller and that it was implied that this was a negative card, but is it really?

After my research I did some sitting with this card to see what it would mean to me if it came up in various readings, and I feel that it can--like any other card in the deck--have both positive and negative connotations depending on the question and the other cards around it. Here are some meanings that I came up with for working with it:

Squirrel away for a rainy day
Time to prepare for the next “season”
Scurrying around wasting energy and time
Hard work ahead
Hard work has paid off

I haven't worked with this deck much yet, but I will because this is definitely a new favorite of mine, along with The Earthbound Oracle and The Seekers Lenormand. I look forward to doing my Triskele (Three Stories) readings with these decks. I can't wait to see what this little guy with his wide open third eye will tell me! 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Why I Feel Political Posts Don't Belong on Social Media

I was raised in the old-fashioned way where I learned that there were three things never discussed in public: money, religion and politics. Honestly, I wish we still lived by those guidelines on social media today, it would be so much more pleasant! 

Of course, it was easy for me not to discuss those subjects because I really didn't care about them back then either, and I'm still not one who cares a lot about politics and would rather everyone didn't share their opinions all over the place, especially since on social media people get nastier about it than they would if they were discussing politics face-to-face. I have friends with whom I can agree to disagree and when we get together we just don't discuss politics. Can't we all do the same on social media and focus on what we enjoy and have in common instead?

I've almost left Facebook because of the rabid political posts and other offensive content some people that I otherwise like and respect put out there. Most of those, whether I agree with their point of view or not, I've instead either unfriended or unfollowed. The only reasons I truly remain are to stay in touch with close friends and family across the country and around the world, and to build my business by making genuine connections and promoting it there plus the groups that I belong to where I value the information and connections.

I did make some political posts for a while, but I've stopped because it doesn't change anyone's opinion but it does create divisiveness. This is becoming a huge problem, the divisiveness. The old saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall" and that is still so true today. We live on one small blue ball hurtling through space and it's extremely endangered now because of our presence on it. Rather than fighting amongst ourselves we need to unite to solve problems that will affect us all like the pollution in our oceans and the decline of the bee populations. 

I've returned to Instagram because it's a social media platform where I can connect more with those who share my interests and people don't tend to post rabid and violent nasty political opinions there, nor is it all fluffy bunnies and cute animals. There is something to enjoy that says something about people's lives instead. 

I've also gotten more active in some groups on FB because those tend to be focused on a common interest, and in the ones I'm in now supporting each other and answering each others' questions, helping each other build and grow in a field of study or our businesses. I'm less focused on my news feed there now. My focus is on developing my skills and my spiritual practices rather than interacting in negative ways that put people down--something that I find very disappointing in a few people that I otherwise look up to and like. Basically, if it's not uplifting and positive I don't want to see and hear it anymore. 

Let's improve social media by lifting people up, supporting and encouraging them and educating people in a way that makes them feel better rather than demeaning a group of people because they feel or think differently about certain subjects than you, especially if you run a Tarot, Spiritual or Coaching business (even if they might be amongst the 1 or 2% that feel and think differently than you in your network--unless you only want to work with those who think 100% like you). We can make sites like Facebook a positive place to be.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Holding Space for Someone

You hear it a lot, and maybe you've even said it, but what exactly does it mean to hold space for someone? 

I have a very close friend who just lost her husband, and that's something I've been through too. As she said, I walked her road in my shoes since our experiences were a little bit different. All the same, I know what it's like to watch someone you love that much die. During that journey, from when he was diagnosed until he was gone, I held space for her.

That meant that I kept her in my thoughts and prayers, that I let her know that I was available 24 hours a day if she needed me, and that whether she called me or not, I offered her a safe space, a judgment-free zone, where she could let down her defenses and get the unconditional love and support she needed even if that was through FB posts. The years and the miles disappeared.

It's a very special thing one can do, to offer that space where support is there unconditionally and without judgment, though advice is available if desired and requested--and only then. The point isn't to try to fix the situation because you can't. It is what it is. They'll get enough unsolicited advice from others who feel they know what's best. Honestly, that doesn't help. The biggest help one can offer is love and support, a shoulder to lean upon (literally or figuratively) and an ear to bend even if it's the middle of the night. 

After all, as she so wisely said, we may walk the same road but it will be in different shoes so we still don't know exactly what it's like to walk it in their shoes and they still have to find their own way.

Monday, July 16, 2018

My Journey with The Tower Card

The Tower from the Druidcraft Tarot

Several years ago, when I was still relatively new to tarot, I did a reading for myself using the Celtic Cross spread and the Quest Tarot. The final outcome card was The Tower and I read in the book that it means loss of everything, and they were talking about material losses. Shortly after that reading my house and car were both repossessed and I put down my cards for a while. I bought a couple of new decks, including some oracle decks, but I never picked up that Quest Tarot deck again--at least, not for many years. When I did, I found that I still couldn't read with it, and finally a couple of years ago I gave it to a friend. I actually recently discovered that I can't read with the Haindl Tarot either because some of the imagery in the minors reminds me too much of that in the Quest Tarot. 

I've learned a lot since those early years and I now see The Tower as a good card, meaning that one's life is about to get stirred up and you're about to get thrown out of your comfort zone. In readings regarding love and relationships, I often see this card in readings where someone is about to meet a new person that they're going to fall head over heals in love with, or I see it when a relationship is about to suddenly break up. I see it in career readings when a job is about to end or when someone is going to find a position that's outside of what they were seeking. 

Regardless of the situation, it means that something old is ending or something new is coming into your life and it's going to be sudden and dramatic. This isn't a gentle card, but it doesn't always forecast disaster--whatever is about to happen is going to move you into a better place.

Case in point, when I lost my house and car I ended up moving in with my fiancé and his father, and we bought a new car together that was much better on gas mileage and fit my needs better than my old SUV. His father ended up needing the care of us both and then needed to move to an assisted living center as he had a terminal illness when I met them, and I was on hand to help with all of these transitions. Then Gene and I got married and we found out that he had Stage IV laryngeal cancer--again, it was a blessing that I was already settled in here and available around the clock through the death of his father and my new husband's round the clock nursing needs. He died a few months later after only eight months of marriage, and I had two estates to settle since he was an only child and had no children.

During all of this, I started going to a spiritual and healing center that became my support throughout everything. The owners were there with me when I scattered his ashes and had one of the most mystical experiences of my life--which is a story for another post. It was a turning point in my life, putting me on the path I'm on now in a series of traumatic events, but it led me to here and now and the very happy life I now lead and all that I've learned since then. I could never have foreseen all of this that day The Tower card showed up as my final outcome. 

So, when you see The Tower you may be in for a bumpy ride, but it will bring you to a place of happiness that you couldn't imagine. I call it the "Snow Globe" card--your life is about to get shaken and stirred, so hang on tight and enjoy the ride, bumps and all! 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Where Did The Chemtrails Go?

I know some people don't believe in chemtrails, especially those who live outside of the US. However, just because it wasn't happening in your country doesn't mean that it wasn't happening in ours. 

I'm a pilot's daughter so my entire life has been spent in and around airports and looking up at the sky. Commercial airports, military bases, private operations and small runways, I've seen them all. I grew up across from a private airport that my father managed and within the flight path of an Air Force base, and I now live in the flight path of the Pittsburgh International Airport and another Air Force base. I can tell you that about a decade ago the skies here changed.

Contrails are the white trails that you see behind an airplane that disappear right behind it. Usually you can see both the airplane and the dissipation of the contrail at the same time. Then suddenly there were these trails that looked like someone had played Tic Tac Toe in the sky, and they stayed long after the airplanes were gone, finally spreading out slowly and creating a hazy sky. Gone were the clear bright blue skies I remembered.

Additionally, one thing we noticed was that if we hosed off our back patio and yard, soap bubbles appeared, and not just after bathing our dogs, nor just in the area that was done. We don't soap our patio. We don't use chemicals in our yard because we grow organic herbs and vegetables in our gardens and we also happen to like dandelions (yep, we're weird that way). So the only way such a soapy residue could appear would be to come from the sky.

However, lately my husband and I have noticed that we have those clear bright blue skies again, the ones we remember, and that the vegetation is brighter, greener--we're wondering what happened to the chemtrails. It's hard to find out the truth since there are very few articles that don't claim that chemtrails are a conspiracy theory and anything about them is false, but I did see something that refers to the possibility that President Trump was going to stop the secret spraying of chemicals over our heads. Either he did or it ran out of funding, I don't know, but whatever happened I'm grateful for the end of it.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Why I Left YouTube and Instagram

Not only have I left You Tube, but also Instagram (for the 3rd and final time) and Tumblr. I almost left Facebook altogether as well, but instead I've gone from 400 "friends" to 130 in a week, purging out any connections that aren't truly friends and family with whom I interact in real life, or those who are rabidly political regardless of which side, only keeping those with whom I have a real connection no matter how physically distant. I still have my Page for others to follow, and I'll be writing my blog here for anyone who cares to follow my journey, but now at least those with whom I'm still connected on FB I know for sure who they are, whereas before I'd send birthday wishes to people wondering who they were and how I was supposed to be connected with them.

I’m a 9 Life Path/Hermit to the core, and an INFJ, and I'm honoring that truth. No matter how you cut it, I'm a recluse--just a friendly one because I have a Leo Sun and Sagittarius Rising--but then I also have my Moon in Leo. It's never really been comfortable for me to be on either side of a camera, though my time on YT and IG helped with that quite a bit. I'm more comfortable taking pictures now, and even being filmed.

However, this year I've felt called to get more serious with my studies and self-development, to start reading much more again. I've been an avid reader all of my life, the kind who finds it hard to put a book down until it's done, but lately I can't read for more than the span of a commercial break without getting restless. I have 10 years worth of reading on my shelves that will take me 100 years at the rate I'm going, and I keep buying more books. I have also enrolled in a course of study that I'm not making progress on.

The only way that I could figure out to be able to focus again was to eliminate my distractions, because really all of that social media isn't living life for me, it's distracting me from living my life, from developing myself further and doing the things I enjoy doing. I wasn't truly present with anything, even as I was watching videos I'd play solitaire in order to be able to focus on them. 

Being a part of the YT tarot community meant a lot to me, but it wasn't me. This has been a struggle for a very long time for me. I'm not one who loves the spotlight or feels comfortable having people look up to me, following me and wanting to see everything I do. I've always said I don't envy celebrities because they live in a fish bowl, and then I turned my life into one. However, there are true friends I've made and branches of my path that I wouldn't have gone on without that journey of being on YT. Branding myself and my business under Indigo Moon Woman for example. Choosing The Priestess card as part of my logo wasn't by chance I guess as I withdraw into my own world in search of higher knowledge and development. 

I felt a lot of pressure to watch other people's videos because there were watching mine, and felt guilty if I wasn't. Finding balance became more and more difficult as the community grew and I found new channels. The final catalyst was watching a live stream on a beautiful summer day, glued to my computer in my office, while my husband walked in three times to see what I was doing and get my attention since we both had the day off. I realized that I was putting YouTube ahead of my family and living life in the here and now. 

Many in the community, and throughout the world, are going through evolutions in their spiritual path and their lives, making radical changes, and I am just another as we go through major energetic shifts, and this is how it has affected me. I hold you all in my heart as I continue on my journey, with much love and appreciation for your presence in my life. Many blessings from my heart to yours. 

Update: I have returned to Instagram, I'm working to find my balance with social media. 

Why I Modify My Decks

Top two: Wisdom of the Oracle Bottom: Shamanic Medicine Oracle As you can see, I've got pictures of a deck that I trimmed,...