Posts Tagged ‘tarot’

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Kami of the Hearth and Experiences with the Two of Pentacles

November 8, 2017

Kami of the Hearth
According to Z. Budapest’s book, The Grandmother of Time, November 8 is a day to celebrate Kami of the Hearth. I’d never heard of Kami of the Hearth, but I like working with hearth and kitchen energies, so I thought I’d add her into my personal calendar.

I did some research. According to the Japan Talk website, there are eight million kami. They are spirits honored in the Shinto religion. Another site I visited said it can take up to ten years to learn certain Shinto rituals, because they must be performed perfectly.

Well, that makes it a little more complicated to decide to honor Kami of the Hearth a week before the designated day!

Looking at the Japan Talk site again, it seems Inari is the closest Kami to what I consider the hearth — she takes care of “rice, tea, fertility, and worldly success.” The fox is her totem — which also happens to be one of my totems. Patricia Monaghan has similar information about Inari that in her Book of Goddesses and Heroines.

The debate then became, do I honor Inari or a nameless “kami” of the hearth? Could I possibly honor both? Could I create simplified rituals to honor them, and then grow those rituals over time?

That’s what I’m trying to do today. I’m going to give thanks to Inari and to the unnamed hearth kami. I’m keeping my eyes open — when I visit Asian stores in the coming months, I will look for Japanese fox figures and small shrine buildings that I can use creating a larger, more permanent shrine to Inari/kami.

I will read more about Shinto practices, although I won’t train for ten years or be able to learn the “perfect” ritual. I will honor the spirits as best I can in the tradition I’m creating, and it will be, as life, a work in progress.

Two of Pentacles in the Tarot
Every Samhain, I do a reading using three decks whose layout mirrors a clock face. November is twelve, December one, January two, and so forth, with the thirteenth lunation in the center.

I use the Goddess Oracle, pulling one goddess to work with during the month. Then, I choose one deck as the “action” for the month and another deck as the “energy” for the month.

Last year, the Steampunk Tarot was the Action Deck and the Celtic Dragon Tarot was the Energy Deck. The upside is that you get to work intimately with those decks all year. The downside is that you can’t use the decks for any other readings that year (at least, in the way I’ve set up my altar and energetic work with those decks).

This year, I’m using the Witches’ Tarot as my Action Deck and the Medicine Woman Tarot as my energy deck.

When I did my reading on Samhain, my November goddess was Kuan Yin (Compassion). But both the action and the energy card were the Two of Pentacles. And, in my daily advice reading, the Two of Pentacles keeps coming up (I’m using the Tarot of the Four Elements for that).

Obviously, I need to balance this month.

That is absolutely correct. I’m working with two new clients, and my schedule has changed to accommodate them. I thought I was on a steady track with some other writing, and that’s been thrown into jeopardy.

Even though each card is a Two of Pentacles, each is a slightly different shade of meaning. Each image is different and striking.

In the Witches’ Tarot, the figure is a buff man holding a barbell with two pentacles painted on it, being offered green cash by several hands. It deals very much with physical force, energy, work. Which makes sense, since it’s the “action” card for the month.

The Medicine Woman card, called the “Two of Stones” shows a woman kneeling by flowing water, washing stones. It’s about one’s relationship to resources and reciprocity. Again, it makes sense as the “energy” card for the month. Redefining my relationship to the material work, neither giving too much, nor holding back and being untrue to myself.

And Kuan Yin reminds me to have compassion, as much for myself as for others.

The Two of Earth in the Tarot of the Four Elements deck shows two growing trees, each with a pentacle in the middle. It reminds me of the need to work together, and not rush into a new business relationship or make decisions too quickly. Find the kindred spirits and work slowly. Based on the disappointing news that changes the direction on a good many things received Monday evening, that, too, makes sense. A reminder not to make long-range decisions when upset, but work with others, review options, and make informed decisions.

Digging deeper, Gail Fairfield’s Choice-Centered Tarot tells me I am choosing a new physical, financial path. That is certainly true with the new work coming in, and with the decisions I have to make based on Monday night’s information (not trying to be cryptic, just can’t discuss it yet). It’s also a reminder to conserve energy, to use it wisely, not blow it all out or hold it all back. Again, ties in to the positional meanings of the cards for the month.

Janina Renee, in Tarot: Your Everyday Guide goes even further, pointing out the need to take on additional responsibilities, and the sense that we often feel pulled between our inner and outer lives.

Some other decks depict the Two of Pentacles as someone balancing on a tightrope, or holding one pentacle aloft and the other closer to the ground. Those would be different shades of meanings.

The decks I’m working with turned up cards that have the direct shade of meaning that makes the most sense in the situation. That’s why I believe, when faced with choosing decks in a reading situation, you are drawn to different decks at different times, and the deck with the most relevance has the strongest pull.

These cards are a comfort, that I can work my way through the month’s challenges in a positive fashion, while also reminding me that it will take work. In other words, much as I’d like to curl up in bed until the New Year, that is not an option on any level.

The next post will be on November 16, Hecate’s night.

Namaste!

 

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Fashioning Ritual

October 22, 2009

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This is my busiest time of year — not that I’m complaining. I usually teach at a conference in mid-October. Often, I’m prepping for Nano (although I’m skipping it this year due to deadlines). And we’re getting close to Samhain, which means ritual and more tarot readings than usual.

I’m doing different rituals with different intents for a variety of clients, as well as creating the ritual for Cerridwen Cottage’s Rituals for Gaia, which will be a posted series of sabbat rituals for the coming year. And, I’m working on my personal rituals for the year, which include the days of Tending the Dead and the Ceremony for the Ancestors. (If you want more information on the way I Tend the Dead, please click here).

It’s a unique challenge to work on different rituals simultaneously. Usually, I have plenty of time to create a ritual, perform it with the client, , rest up, move on to the next. But, this year in particular, I’ve ended up with more ritual bookings around Samhain. Since the individuals are different, the ritual is different.

Each individual’s needs and intents are taken into account, and the unique ritual is fashioned with that in mind. The use of pantheon, guardian, etc. is factored in; the supplies necessary; how many will participate. While seasonal rituals with similar intents can contain similar elements, using too much of a boilerplate dilutes the impact of the ritual. So every ritual has to be fashioned carefully and uniquely.

This year, they have to happen simultaneously.

How does one do that? My way is only one way; I don’t want to pretend it’s “the” way. I take notes when the client and I talk about the ritual. I make sure I know patron, pantheon, comfort level with ritual work, experience with ritual work, and any allergies, which is just as important as need and intent. If you’re using incense or oil in the ritual to which the client is allergic, it’s going to negate the ritual.

Then, I take some time meditating/visualizing the result for which the client hopes, and work from there. Obviously, it’s an intent that harms none and doesn’t interfere with free will, or I wouldn’t agree to do it.

I start with the basic structure: Casting the circle, calling in the directions, the actual work of the ritual, thanks, and closing. Then, I fill it in, according to the specific purpose of the ritual and affinities of the client. Usually, it percolates for a few days, and then suddenly, it’s as though a veil lifted and it becomes very clear. I rush to write it down while it’s still clear, and then put it away and edit it over a few days, much the way I do with any piece of writing. You want it to be succinct and focused. It needs to be something in which the client can participate (because you’re not there to perform For the client, you’ are working WITH the client) without feeling lost and without needing weeks of preparation.

Also, once the ritual is written, go over it and make a list of what each participant needs to bring, and what the client should have on hand (cups, dishes, etc. to hold things) so that you’re not scrambling at the last minute. Try to get the list to everyone four or five days before the ritual, and run through the checklist when you set up the space, and before you cast the circle.

Sometimes, looking at a full calendar can cause anxiety, but once you start to sit down and work on specifics, you feel the internal shift, and you feel it when you’re on the right track.