Saturday, August 17, 2013

Tarot Lesson for the Day: Princess of Swords

The deck I used for this lesson: 
Druid Craft Tarot




I’ve been reading tarot for quite some time, and I began reading just for myself and my family.  Needless to say, over the years, every court card in the deck became a family member to me, filled with both positive and negative traits.  (And I have to say here, just so we’re clear, that not every family member or individual will mirror *all* the negative personality traits associated with the card, or *all* the positive traits– most people are a healthy mixture of each.  It’s those few who go to extremes that make it really interesting, but not always pleasant.)  The court cards are interesting in that they are a psychological profile for a variety of personalities, and once you become familiar with these characters, you will notice that when you meet someone, you will automatically associate them with one of the tarot court cards, at least this is my experience.

The Princess of Swords**…first, the following is an excerpt from my book, “Tarot for Grownups”, and in this book I very clearly state the positive and negative aspects of this character from both extremes:

First, the negative side (ouch):

This Page is a bitch in the making.  He/she is a younger version of the King or Queen of swords.  It’s already difficult carrying on a conversation with this Page, because everything is all about them; it’s the only topic they care to discuss.  They’re conversation is blunt, verging on rude.  Vanity is already at work here, and because of their youth and immaturity, it can actually get to the point of ridiculous.  They have a skewered view of how attractive they really are, or how accomplished, how smart, etc.  Even now, and very sadly, they are setting a solitary path for themselves by alienating people who may actually love them.  They treat people like shit, and then act all puzzled when friends and acquaintances disappear.

Now, the softer side:

Like all the personalities of this suit, this Page is the most intelligent and usually has a very high IQ.  They tend to have a sort of tunnel vision when they are engrossed in the study of something in particular or are involved in a hobby.  This Page shares all the swords outwardly cool mannerisms, which so often masks a sensitivity they try to hide.  This individual will often latch onto relationships with pets in order to protect themselves from the possibility of being hurt in human relationships.  It’s a survival mechanism.

As you can see above, I’ve listed the extremes.  Individuals that I know, who are connected to this card, have in reality run a happy medium.  They’re smart, so smart it’s scary sometimes, and they love academics.  The person this card stands for in my world will be a life-time student…learning, writing, reading, teaching; this will be part of their existence for as long as they live.  The softer side also shows up for them, in that they love animals and have, over the years, acquired their own little menagerie.  And I do believe that the reason they have this deep connection with animals is that it’s easier for them to relate– animals (pets) love you for who you are just the way you are, it’s a kind of unconditional love that most human beings are not capable of.

Now the fun part, this is where you get to add your two cents, as it were.  It might be a good idea to grab a notebook and pen so you can jot down answers and impressions as they come to you:

1)  What color on this card catches your eye first?
For me, it’s ‘blue’.  My interpretation of this color…the element of Water, pointing to dreams, visions, psychism, intuition, and emotions.  I feel this card is awash in human emotions, some smooth and tranquil and others roiling and churning.  Blue is also the color connected to the throat chakra, and this tells me that issues of communication are being raised, perhaps new lines of communication need to be opened.  I also connect the color ‘blue’ to the goddess (and the Virgin Mary)– perhaps this is from my years in a Catholic Parochial school, passing the life-size statue of Mary in the hallway, wearing beautiful sky blue robes.

2)  What element is the court card connected with?
The suit of swords is connected to the element of Air…also emphasizing once more communication– now I’m really paying attention.  Whenever an issue like this surfaces more than once, or keeps resurfacing, a red flag should be going up.  Along with communication, creativity and mental endeavors are highlighted, but it’s this communication issue that I’m focused on.  So what’s the deal?  Who’s not talking to whom?  What relationship in this individual’s life is breaking down; how can we get the lines of communication cleared and running again?  Your mind should already be spinning with the reading of this card.

3)  What image, or images, on this card jump out at you?
I’m just going to let my mind roam here, and you should do the same thing… Yellow halos around the characters head and the sword:  Catholic saints come to mind, the idea of sainthood, medieval artwork,  purity of mind and intentions; but also illusions and delusions. (Has communication broken down because of a misinterpretation somewhere along the line?)  Also, Excalibur, and with this image comes all the pomp and integrity of ancient knights.  Her bare feet planted solidly on the stones:  stubbornness; digging in for the long haul; not wanting to be the first to back down.  But also, someone who tends to be very level headed, maybe even conventional, someone who’s solidly grounded, not easily swayed; someone who has a game plan and generally sticks to it.  The bird in flight behind the Princess:   an idea taking flight, an expression of freedom or a desire for freedom, something that this individual maybe hasn’t thought of yet, but something that will come to them in time; also, with this bird, comes a stronger connection to the element of Air and all that it entails– this is telling me to pay attention, it’s reinforcing the idea of communication as a central theme to the reading of this card.  The flowers:  to me they are indicative of spring.  I’m so often asked for a specific time-line when it comes to readings, but very rarely does this come to me; and when it does, it generally comes to me through the idea of seasons or moon phases.  When I looked at  the flowers on this card, that little voice in the back of my head, the one that’s only a light whisper, barely audible…it said “Spring”.  This would indicate to me that this season is important to this individual for some reason, or it means that the events surrounding this reading are going to culminate around springtime.

We’ve answered three questions in connection with this card, and look at all the information that was revealed in these three questions.  Look beyond what you have written down as your own answers.  If necessary, pick apart each interpretation to take it to a deeper level– for instance, I mentioned my association with the color blue to the Virgin Mary.  I could take this one step deeper and list all the associations that I have for this deity.  Do you see what I mean?  You can keep going ever deeper, from one impression to the next, bringing out unexpected results.  Mind you, this type of individual card analyses doesn’t have to be done as part of a reading for someone; this can be done as a private meditation, in which you will uncover layers of your own psyche.  Then there’s that little voice I was talking about, it’s your sub-conscious mind actually, and it’s so easy to dismiss it, or not notice it at all; it really can be this subtle, and it takes some practice to hear it.

At any rate, just because I choose to stop now, you don’t have to– keep going; if you have other questions for this card, new things to uncover about it or you, keep writing…feel free to leave your impressions in the comment box below.

Bright Blessings,
Amythyst
____________________
**NOTE:  The deck used for the writing of my book, “Tarot for Grownups”, was the Rider/Waite Deck, and in this deck the “Princess” will be referred to as a “Page”.
 
 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Which Goddess Guides You?

Do you have a particular Goddess who is your patroness?  How did you choose Her, or did She choose you?  Have you had a spiritual experience through this Goddess?  What do you do to honor this Feminine Divinity?

…I’m working on my 5th book, which deals with spiritual feminism and matriarchal spirituality.  I’d like to include in this book women’s personal experiences with the goddess.  The material received may be included (anonymously, of course) in this book.  If you’d like to relate your experiences, you can leave a message here, or if it’s too personal, you can send me a private email at:

witch_of_endore@yahoo.com

Blessed Be

Magick

Tarot Reading: Gypsy's Magick Spell (special offer)

Gypsy's Magick Spell
7 card spread
 
Special Price
$35.00


 
animated_candle_short.gif picture by witch_of_endore
 
1.  this is you
2.  this is your defense
3.  this is what you are afraid of
4.  this is what drives you
5.  this is what you are left with
6.  this is what the future will bring
7.  this is what brings you back down to earth
 
Tarot Readings with Amythyst

 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Plantain: Magickal or Mundane

The perfect carpet of suburban green lawn does not exist at our house; at least not yet, but that might change once my husband gets his hands on it. We don't have a conventional lawn right now at all, we have what's been called "pasture". Within it grows numerous types of plants, many of them labeled 'weeds' by the more pristine lawn connoisseurs. (A weed's a flower too, once you get to know it-- I saw this quote just yesterday somewhere, probably Facebook.)
 
One of the wild green things growing freely in our lawn is a plant called Plantain. You can see it in the foreground of this photo. It grows with wild abandonment in our yard, most often in cliquish little clumps here and there. In the early stages you won't see the long seed stems, just the wide green leaves close to the ground. Every year I gather bunches of plantain, filling a large glass jar, squashing the leaves down, getting as much as I can into one container, on my knees, going from one island of plantain to another, front and back yard. This is an extraordinarily versatile plant, both magickally and mundanely speaking-- which I value greatly. I'm going to start with the conventional side of plantain, some of the practical uses it can be valued for, sort of like nature's medicine cabinet...

For Insect Bites: Cover fresh insect stings (from bees, wasps, or hornets) with wet crushed plantain leaves. Replace the leaves as they dry out. The idea is to press out the poison, to draw it out, as well as to relieve any discomfort at the same time.

For Inflammation: Wrap bruised wet plantain leaves around the infected area, keeping them wet by covering them with a plastic bag or a wet cloth. Be sure to keep the leaves wet. It's been said that plantain works on infected finger sores where conventional antibiotic ointments have failed.

An Herbal Ointment: Plantain Liquefied Ointment (An ointment is a soothing healing balm made with a base of oil, lard, grease, or petroleum, into which you've added herbs and plants for medicinal purposes. It's most simply made by heating your base and adding your other ingredients; then pouring the mixture into a container to cool and thicken, and this process can be helped along if you wish by adding bees wax, coco butter, or honey. If you've a mind to, you can add a couple drops of benzoin, glycerin, or a preservative to the mix, but I'm a purist at heart, and either I'll use a batch of ointment up in good time, or I'll eventually toss it out and make a new one as needed.)

2 1/2 cups fresh plantain leaves
1 1/2 cups wheat germ oil
1/2 cup honey

Mix the what germ oil and the honey in a blender, adding fresh plantain leaves. Blend well, then scrape this mixture into a container of your choice (I prefer small glass jars), and be sure you label it.
To help the mixture harden up to the right consistency, add 2 1/c tablespoons of hot bees wax.

Now the fun stuff, we're going to leave the conventional world behind and look at all the wonderous magickal-- wiccan, pagany, witchcrafty ways we can make use of Plantain.

This is a plant that I use a lot-- I mean a lot-- for a variety of magick and intentions. First, I'm a fuss-budget, a worry wart-- a mother-- and I want my family to be safe whenever they are traveling in a vehicle, and I don't care if it's across town for a gallon of milk, or across the country to visit family. There must be, absolutely must be, a small bag of plantain and calamus root in everyone's vehicle. It's priceless, believed to protect travelers from harm, and as I've said before, I take a good deal of stock in it-- my oldest daughter has totaled two cars on Omaha's freeways, and she's walked away without a scratch both times, her mojo bundle of herbal magick tucked beneath the driver's seat.

Another protective use for plantain is to keep your property safe from theft: in good old-fashioned mojo tradition, fill a blue flannel bag with plantain and place it in the four corners, or at the four compass points, around your property.

Use plantain magickally to cure illness: it's believed that by writing the name of the inflicted person three times on a small piece of paper, wrapping this paper in a plantain leaf, and laying the leaf on the heart of the patient, you can chase out the disease and restore good health. (I know I sound like I have a lot of faith in plantain's magickal and mundane abilities, but for gawd's sake, use some common sense-- you can mix good old folk magick right along with a fabulous thing known as 'modern medicine'. I don't want to hear of anyone stopping routine medical care by competent medical professionals and replacing it with folk remedies alone...really.)

If you're the victim of someone with a big mouth and a little brain, you can stop one and/or the other with a mixture of crushed dried plantain leaves and slippery elm (Shut yo' mouth...says it all). I think I'd prefer to do a little candle magick with this combo-- oil up a yellow candle with a good oil of your choice, roll it in the herbs, place it in a cauldron or other fire-proof container and burn away...and just for good measure, I'd place a slip of paper with the target's name on it beneath the candle-- and if you get your hands on a photo of them, which is so darn easy to do in this internet/Facebook world, you can really go to town. Knock yourself out