three days in


I spent some time really looking at The Fool card before asking it to show me its spirit and tucking it away under my pillow. In my deck it is called The Wanderer and feels very liminal to me. It’s cloudy beneath The Fool’s bare feet.. one which is firm connecting to the earth and one poised to take that step into the unknown. The rainbow shows a path but The Fool cannot see what he is about to cross. His hands are out in surrender or welcome, the forest ahead is both menacing and full of mystery; and his back is to me.. is he willingly going forward or turning away from a situation which no longer serves? It feels like a pause to me. There is a face in the trees and something beckoning in the distance. It reminds me of a recent time when I had to make a choice in path to leave the road I started on, sure this was what I wanted and discovering that in fact it was just a connecting path to new friends and an even newer undertaking.. and again just this past weekend of a leaving behind of some things.

“Your goal is to make the cards an extension of you”.. such was the beginning of the course. I am taking 78 Days of Tarot which so far has been a spirit shaker.. and has found its way to me at the most perfect time.

I actually brushed up against The Fool early in the year, leaving a path that turned out not mine. In between that brush and when I took his hand, I spent some time breathing in the cleansing air rolling off the ocean with Walking Bear. It was the third anniversary of my fathers passing. Already so much had passed in the Wheel’s previous turn.

Soon after came a weekend of truths, giving me a view from the other side.. albeit in a different situation. This plunged me into a deep depression- the kind we are not supposed to talk about. I wanted to walk away from everything in life and spiritual. I was tired.. but then came Walking Bear’s call and slowly things moved back to okay.

The Shaman looks directly at me in challenge.. the answer is there but am I ready to know it? The spirals on his body make me think of cycles and the skulls about him are the knowledge keepers. He is draped in the skin of Bear as if they are one. This is a familiar card to me as it sits opposite the Seer in my deck and not only does he show when I need to hear my brother’s voice in my head, but when I find them together in the same reading then I know it has to do with us both. This card, when I pull it, is almost always Walking Bear.

“There are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.”

This morning I drew the five of arrows.. frustration. I had to ask myself once again if I was the archer or if I was the goat.. and again, I was both. Last time I pulled this card I had gotten hurt pretty badly.

One side:
Yes, I am absent. Yes, I am lacking in providing the level of support you seem to expect. Yes, I am not a good friend in your eyes. I see all of your points and I understand where they are coming from. I have things holding my time that you may not deem important.. but I do, and maybe that could have been addressed with me directly. I can only do what I can do.. and I have made my peace.

*snick* I am closing that door, I cannot live up to your expectations, nor will I try to.

The other side:
I put on my big girl panties (by this time very worn and tattered.. I may need a new pair) and opened the discussion. Brutal honesty was given in the hopes of some sort of resolution.. there was not one. I could not truly summon the level of sympathy asked for. In the end, I didn’t like myself very much.. but it is what it is.

*snick* I am closing the door, it is time for me to step away.

The Seer is enveloped in the wisdom of owl, skull suspended from her neck. Her cloak echoes the Shaman’s. There is a carving of a Labyrinth supporting her vessel, filled with the reflective waters.. but her eyes are closed. She does not need it to see. The tree seems to whisper to her from behind as its roots reach out toward her.

Today was my walk with The Seer and I spent it trying to embrace silence.. but silence would not come. All of these things were still floating around in thought. I do not know the truth of the middle, I have only my truths to live by. The Seer stands in that middle, she is the gateway keeper and sometimes that is a painful place to be.

*snick-snick-snick* I close the door on the path not mine, I close the door on expectations that I cannot fulfill, I close the door on relationships that no longer serve; and though I may find myself sometimes in the middle.. I do not fear turning my back and walking off into the unseen. I am three days into this course, and already I have found so much..





a quiet stabbing


..something was being put to my direction, like a quiet stabbing..

I woke up after a day spent in anger still angry. I just could not find my Zen. The old reading popped into my head.. yes, there was a quiet stabbing and now I had a smarting back.

five of arrows, frustration – a goat with long curving horns and a wildly tangled coat leaps upward into the sky.. around it are four arrows, none of which strike it.. unfocused energy leads to the archer releasing inaccurate arrows or lashing out in an uncontrolled manner..

As it was, it turned out that I was indeed both the goat and the archer (see – sometimes I do follow up on my writings).. the arrows of my words sent out and also being fired back. Thankfully, I spoke my truths long ago and I stand by their original context.

..take a deep breath and steady your mind.. see the futility of games played against you and go about your business.. cocoon yourself away from outside influences.. the trees act as a reminder to follow your path..

Nothing had changed really, except that I now held more knowledge and a clearer perspective. If you walk your path with integrity and truth, there should be no need for these things.. that was my first response.. pre-Zen. However, thought reminded me, we are but human and can only do our best.

My truths for today (before they escape me) – We don’t have to agree, but we can learn from our differences. Our diversity should be a strength. Your fellow is not a tool to be used, or worse.. persecuted. Yes, I will stand up for them. You should too. Learn from one another. Strive to be kind. Extend that kindness to yourself. Do your best. I will do mine. Be true. Speak those truths when necessary. Breathe.

I lit the candles and steadied my thoughts. “And now?” This I asked, knowing the question was not very specific. I shuffled the threes..

eight of bows, hearthfire – on the edge of a sparse winter forest camp, lit with the warm dancing flames of a large log fire, we see eight figures gathered around a roaring hearthfire.. the merry band raise goblets, shake hands and laugh, bathing in the shared bonds of fellowship and harmony created by the true loyalty of lifelong friends..

Ironic, that was my first thought.. but then if not for this situation, this card would have spoken to me of another. Soon after, I heard from said other.

four of stones, protection – the newly risen sun brings hope and renewed vitality to the vulnerable..shelter and protection for the weak or the spiritually wounded is the responsibility of us all.. for those who have weathered adversity and known loss, the light of life and love will always burn brightly within them.. by building on a foundation of ethical beliefs, boundaries and skills, we can be assured that when the test comes we are secure in our self-knowledge and confidence.. the human ability to recognize and feel compassion for those who need help is just as important..

To the lost, may you know my hut is ever open.. even if you choose to burn me in the hearthfire..


the whisperings of time passing


I kept cycling back to the dream of the exploding bombs.. this dream I had before all the momentum of what was to be became realized. So much had passed now during those following months.. loves lost and loves found, the ripping apart of hearts, and the constant change that chaos brings once the shadows are revealed.. the whisperings of time passing.

I rarely read the cards for others, all except for the fiery one.. hers I’ve read quite regularly over the years. Hers are always so clear due to the unnatural bond.. the upside to years upon years. Also, she is better able to withstand my brutal death blow.. I am not always the gentle reader. My girls would be the first to tell you that I am great at asking the difficult questions.

We never made it to that big goodbye but I did sit down on the day of her leaving to do what may be the final read.. there are whisperings, you see. I set the incense to smoke, lit a candle, and shuffled three times three.. out came boredom and the wheel. Well, no surprises there my love.. blessed journey and he will understand in time.

the long and rambly – fate, free will, and destiny


Three factors shape our lives: fate, destiny, and free will. Fate is that which we cannot altar. Destiny is the unique gift that lies potentially within each of us. Free will is about the choices we make for ourselves. –pulled in bits from The Wildwood Tarot Book

Puzzling pieces.. this is how I’ve felt about my workings and such this past year-ish. It has been sometimes confusing, sometimes ill fitting, sometimes falling perfect, and sometimes just a bit of wtf is this supposed to be? A few days past setting the altar I did a long reading, choosing a new layout – Fate, Free Will, and Destiny, found in the Wildwood book. I put forth one single word which I choose not to share. In the first instant of looking at this reading, I had the feeling of things falling into place.. some of which I instantly recognized, some reassuring, and one that made me a bit hesitant. All together they gave me a feeling of place and the next morning I woke up feeling I was finally over some things and ready to move on. The healing had started.

The issue – the journey, placed at Samhain, associated with the waning moon and the elements of Water and Earth. It is the time of the dead.

..hello there stag who insisted to be moved to my altar, even though I wasn’t ready to work with you yet.. this card felt like a big thing.. a big thing that’s niggling me.. I know where I want to start, I know it’s tied to many things.. the path chosen, the feeling of being stripped down, the ancestors.. but still.. niggling.. in the “roots and branches” of the  book’s description it lists “the washer at the ford and the dark mother”.. one day when WB was over and while pulling bits out, I had two misplaced cards found – the lady of shadows and the crone.. I immediately thought of these.

The solitary horned skull of a reindeer lies in the forest, picked clean to the bone by a circling flock of ravens.. one great raven sits beside it, the flesh of the reindeer in its beak. As both guardian and guide, it’s unblinking eye is all-seeing and unafraid.. on one level, death does translate a simple expression of change but, however profound, extreme and cleansing that change may be, that reading simply does not deal with the core experience and meaning.. once the dead were not feared. They were seen as guardians.. holders of wisdom.. as a metaphor for cyclic change, the Journey is a required experience on the passage around the Wheel..

Reaction – the Shaman, at the hub of the wheel, opposite the seer, located in the quarter representing Air and embodies aspects of magic, protection, and insight

The Shaman looks from the card with eyes that are both clear and open and yet there is something ancient and profound within his steady gaze. He is wrapped in bearskin that is adorned with Paleolithic paintings of animal spirits.. on the ground before him are laid objects that represent the four elements of the world.. representing energies and levels of consciousness that defy human rationalization.. this is a gateway card.. a new spiritual chapter emerges.

What is inescapable – seven of vessels, mourning

..I saw the lines in the mirror long ago.. what I saw there prompted my pledge that summer.. letting go and being at peace with that past.. I am working on it..

A human skull painted with an array of designs including spirals, zigzags, and wavy lines, lies at the foot of a tree. Around it are scattered typical grave goods.. this is a time to honor what is dead and mourn for what has gone. Learn the lesson of letting go by offering thanks for cherished memories and being at peace with the past..

The changes – the sun of life, connected to the green man and green woman, associated with the element of fire, the period of noon, and the gateway of the mind

..for some reason this felt very halfway point, and then I read..

Viewed as if from the center of the summer Wildwood, the Sun of Life is surrounded by fecundity and growth.. the promise of the sun’s return after its sojourn below the horizon during the winter months.. the next step in the awareness of the universal mind.. beckons you to see beyond the noise and clatter of human reality and become aware of the vastness..

The choice – the pole star, placed at Imbolc, associated with the new moon and universal lore and stands between the elements of Earth and Air

..this sung for me because of the airy altar which I had planned to take down at Imbolc, although it fell earlier, just one of those funny things I guess considering this Imbolc fell around the new moon and the new altar reads of Earth..

The blessing of the Pole Star radiates to the Earth across the abyss and reminds us that the same stuff of creation that fuels and binds these mighty sentinels of the night sky burns within us.. symbolizes universal law, higher spiritual knowledge, and power.. the power of universal lore is at work here, either within the individual or permeating a web of circumstance that will bring profound change and a new spiritual hope.. of prophetic guidance and inspirational knowledge has rising and will guide you on your forthcoming journey through the forest..

Wildcard – queen of stones, bear, approaching midwinter

.. bear feels very feminine to me, maybe because the one called that rests on my altar now feels very feminine.. like a great mother/elder presence.. so much of this one speaks..

The ancient ancestor of the modern bear, the cave bear hibernated in caves during the cold northern winter. Neanderthals buried their skulls here and even shared their caves during some periods.. learning to manage things wisely, putting the family first, refusing to nurture.. if you practice a craft or design, be expansive and liberal..

.. and so there, the long and wordy.. all of those which moved about me and of those who came to rest on my altar made their way to speak through the cards.. the niggling of the journey awaits but quite frankly, I am just ready to get to the warmth of that halfway point waiting right around the bend.

baby bear’s reading


My new loves Gomi has been taking quite an interest in my spiritual. He’s been rearranging the altar as he sees fit, trimming the workroom plants, and running off with bones he doesn’t think I need to work with at that particular time. . very helpful. Most recently, he’s taken up the cards. He spent an entire afternoon pondering their mysteries, shuffling them around on the floor until just the right one called to him. I know this because he was particularly adamant about that one, having carried it off to the side of the others to contemplate it and mark it as his own.. thoroughly chewing the corner to be sure he could find it again. He insistently refused to give it up when I tried to retrieve it from him, laying full body on it and swiping at me whenever I tried to see what it was. Originally we gave him the spirit name Little Big Head but now he has a second.. Baby Bear. Apparently, at least in his sphere, he is the great polar bear.



The Great Bear

The Great Bear is placed at the Winter Solstice on 21 December. It’s element is Earth and it is associated with the dark sun, the gateway of the dead and their rebirth, and the still point of renewal and healing.

Between two yew trees lies an ancient burial mound of the kind known as a passage grave. Upon this a polar bear crouches, keeping watch. The initiate has been laid to rest, covered by earth and stone, and now waits to be reborn, guarded by the shamanic sentinel of the mound.

Roots and Branches

renewal, universal mind, inescapable truth, the even hand, cosmic law, reincarnation, the sleep of the just, karma, nothing is forgotten, the cage of guilt, reaping what has been sown, the divinity of forgiving

the two truths

In this cup lies all the world’s wisdom, And I will share it with you.. Froud (GF/BF.. i believe)

Saturday past woke me with anticipation.. I had a planned sojourn to the coast with one of mine to visit Walking Bear. As always, he refreshes my spirit and makes the day to day a little easier to go back to and I was looking so forward to seeing him. I had plans to visit my grave and so was up early collecting this and that needed, still thinking on (as I had been the night before) of what I would want to do once we went to sea. For just a moment I saw her reflected in the altar’s ball, shining white with a crowning mass of coral where her hair should be (things have really been sneaking up on me lately) and an hourglass. She said I had but to just come and ask. I gathered up her bundle – some incense, the 8 crossing herbs, and the object requested. I tied them in an old piece of first altar cloth, still figuring what was needed. Then, remembering a convo with Blau earlier, I realized I already had my answer. He, with his great wisdom, had provided it not long before.. a truth was needed. Again, I love when things come together.

We made our first stop to the cemetery. At my grave I sat aside the cards a moment to retrieve the needed dirt. I left in its place the bottle I had prepared the previous evening, also dealing with a truth.. just one of a different matter. I reached over to grab my cards to read but one was already waiting for me – King of Stones, Wolf. Spirit felt quick and sure with its card. This one was for Walking Bear, and for once, it was not a bear card. I contemplated challenge and change, and the importance of being a rock. Was I up to it? Was he up to it? It’s all in time’s hands. I went to join the others.

With the first task completed, and a cup of coffee under our belts, we headed to the sea. The wind was something great, the cold was breathtaking, and the sand beat at us in challenge.. but we trudged along our path just the same. Determination was almost a living thing inside me at this point, and I had come to seek a truth for one of mine. As life would have it, the path set us out near the rock (a place I had just been thinking of just that morning) and I knew this to be my spot. I headed out into the turbulent water to give the lady her prize and to collect that which would hopefully hold the answers. Her icy chill invaded my very being, calling me to the waves.. always calling me in. I silently sent my request upon the air as I tossed her the bundle, turning to collect a bit of the waves in my bottle. I quickly headed out, lest her kindness turn, the wind ushering me on my way. She is the sea, after all, full of ancient things and ancient wisdoms, all there if you would but choose to surrender.. and for me her call is always strong.


King of Stones – Wolf (from the wildwood):

Revered as a ruthless tracker and hunter, the wolf has had a special symbolism for thousands of years and was the subject of ancient Pictish stone carvings. Comfortable in the dark and cold of winter, it was seen as a guardian of the dead on their journey through the night to the otherworld.

Love of the land and of the natural world guides much of what you do. You look often to the wisdom of others and to traditional values to color your life choices. Security brings pleasure; loyalty crowns every endeavor.

Questions – Who offers you the best security or pragmatic advise? What is the intrinsic value to you or others? Where do you need to provide support? Where is life offering you its riches?

grave messages


Quite some bit ago, I visited the graveyard in Beaufort (NC) with some good friends. I had been trudging about, cards in hand and without much success, when they were knocked out of my hands. I had been passing over a particularly unobtrusive grave at the time, one I might not have paid much attention to if not for that. We gathered them up, paying care to separate out any that had landed face up, for later contemplation.


This past visit I made a special trip out to that grave to do another pull and see what there was to see. I pulled a central card, four to surround, and (I learned this little trick from the lovely Kayla Wilde) a hidden card. That shadow card was one of the very same as was in the first visit. Again I put the cards to side for later but as life would have it, I forgot about them in the day to day. I think it was about a week-ish or so later when I had come home to find one of the other cards (also a bear card.. apparently bears just love me) laying on top of a candlestick holder in the dining room.. being that my deck was in my bag as is always, I am not exactly sure when it found its way out. In any case, I sat my bum right the down to work on them.


The hidden card – The Guardian (from the wildwood tarot):

The Guardian stands at Samhain, on 1 November, at the gateway of the dead. He stands between the element of Water and of Earth  and is associated with the waning moon.

The guardian spirit of the beast challenges those who would enter the cave of ancestral memory without understanding the nature of their own darkness. Within the cave’s open maw, filled with jagged and sharp stalactites, is an unknown and untrodden path. Its destination is shrouded in gloom..

The prime role of such archetypes is one of protection and initiation and is the human link to the wilderness, nature and fertility, sometimes manifested as fierceness, ecstasy and sexuality.

A challenge has arrived in your life. The situation may be very complex. It may even have profound implications for your life and how you deal with the world.

Indeed, when I think back on it, a challenge had arrived.. and still I am working on that particular curve (bump, crater??) in the road.