This final week of April I had hoped would be joyous as it was spring break and I'd taken the week off to spend with the kids. A much needed break.
The Haunt. This darn card. This woman with her face buried in her hands, with so much worry. That is exactly how the week went.
When I did the ritual coloring for this card, I colored in the bed with all of the astrological glyphs. In reading about the intended symbolism of this (Spirit Keeper's Tarot created by Benebell Wen) it struck me how this symbolized some type of karma for the worry that has taken this literal form of a shadow hanging over the woman.
I had not planned a whole lot for the kids and I over spring break. Whilst some of their friends were off to Disney or Jamaica, we would be having a "staycation". Having been gone for work the week before I really felt out of sorts. I knew this week was coming and had a few ideas - but, I was just worried it was going to be zero fun. We did however plot out some activities that they both seemed pretty happy with: tennis at the park, baking, and also just plain old sleeping in! Also we'd been talking about going to the Franklin Institute for the day to see The Marvel exhibit. So I got tickets and all seemed right with the world plus the weather forecast was gorgeous.
I did not however sleep in because I was so worried about being away from for an entire week. so I logged in each morning for an hour just to check in.
Then the morning we were on our way to Philly, about 4 minutes from the house - wham! Car accident right in the middle of an intersection. The other driver ran a red light and slammed into the driver's side of the car. It was scary and I'm still a little shaken. But everyone was ok including the other driver. We took my son to AI DuPont just as a precaution per EMS even though visibly there was nothing wrong - nothing broken, no bleeding (he was sitting behind me, driver's side - my daughter was in the front passenger side).
Then The Haunt kicked in to high gear: Was my son actually ok? Was this my fault? I've ruined spring break.....etc etc etc....
Once my son was deemed ok, I started re-hashing the whole thing. Their Dad came straight away and I have to say, he was a grounding force for all of us. He's listening to me recall everything, and then he says, "Leah, I stopped at the scene and took a ton of pictures. I saw it. Don't second guess yourself." Then my son, "Mom. Stop. The light was green. I saw it, too."
Still to think I could have been the cause of harming my own children and another person, it weighs heavy on me.
The energy of The Haunt is no joke. It creeps in your head, and stays until you gain the mental capacity to shake it off, cut cords with it, put plans in place to strengthen your karma. Or better yet, all of the above.
The Warrior, Master of the Mystic Light reversed as the month's theme, well it definitely could have been much worse - but it wasn't. The Marvel tickets were refunded, and cars can be fixed. My former husband is also a Leo - Leo being associated with The Sun card and in this case The Warrior. For certain he was a warrior for us this day for which I am incredibly grateful. We didn't get to do all of the things we wanted to do, yet we were still able to find some joy. We all recognized how lucky we were, and did our best to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather and allowing it to seep in to our bodies helping us regain our vitality.
April was a lot of ups and downs. I'd say I'm pretty ready for May.
This third week of April focused on the 3 of Chalices, from Spirit Keeper's Tarot created by Benebell Wen (...I'm a geeky fan girl. It's true.).
It's spirit resident is The Kindred.
Not long after I pulled the April month ahead cards, work approved me to go to North Carolina for a week to meet with my staff there and welcome two new hires so I could start the on-boarding process in person. In this virtual world, I had never met my staff in person. We talk on the phone, video chat sometimes, IM all of the time - but never in person. So this was a big deal for many reasons.....I actually still can't believe they approved it. When I went back to the 3 of Chalices I thought, yeah, this is good, it's going to go well. And so it did. That face to face interaction was so needed. This group of women and one gentleman are down to earth and delightful, support each other, and work hard. I was so happy we could all find the time to have a nice leisurely dinner together during that week. Perfect.
Ok so now is the point where I go to my theme card for the month: The Warrior Rx (aka, The Sun): Master of the Mystic Light. By this time I'm really getting the whole "things are great and all, but...." and "almost but not quite" vibes from this card. Indeed, the week was great; I just wished I'd had more time! It was so busy. When I left to fly home, and there were flight delays marring my otherwise smooth as silk traveling experience, immediately I thought, "Well, there's my Reversed Warrior."
Sitting at the terminal waiting for the latest news on when our flight might finally leave at the mercy of some weather, I did what any normal person would do: take out my book, "The Marseille Tarot Revealed" by Yoav Ben-Dov as I am learning Marseille. A woman came and sat down right next to me, got settled in, and she looked at me and said, "Do you read tarot?"
Me: "Yes! Yes I do!"
Woman: "So do I!"
And from that moment we started talking shop up until it was time to board, and right on to the plane. It was absolutely a "kindred" moment. AND that may not have happened had it not been for this "almost but not quite" Warrior Rx flight delay.
It gets better.
We walk onto the plane, our seats are exactly next to each other, and we're just dying. Of course they are together!
She looked at me again and said, "Are you a Scorpio?"
Me: "I'm Scorpio rising! It's even my IG handle!"
She is a Scorpio sun.
Our daughters' names are the same, and her daughter's middle name is my first name.
Can you imagine? The epitome of Kindred Spirits, somewhat like Anne and Diana. We continued to talk barely noticing the plane taking off, and exchange esoteric knowledge, web sites, astrological readings, etc. etc. etc. It was bliss to talk to a perfect stranger about all of the things.
If I were to write a Warrior Rx addendum to this post, I would tell you that the flight was very bumpy and rough, and that I became quite green around the gills, and that I almost threw up.
But not quite.
Ah yes. The Burdened One. Ten of Scepters. The burden of obligation.
When this card showed itself at the beginning of the month, I assumed it would be with work what with all of the wands. I saw that coming. There's been a massive uptick in that realm, and I was planning a work trip during this 2nd week, so this didn't surprise me. With it being a 10, I just figured, ok, I've gotta muscle through this week and just manage all of it the best I can knowing it would be somewhat finite.
What I didn't quite see coming was my daughter having a full on meltdown.
Her beast of burden: dyslexia.
We've been here in this place before, and typically I can talk her out of it. We've discussed in every possible way why we have her go to the reading specialist, give concrete examples of how it is helping, also explain that we hold privilege and as such have resources to do this and we must honor it, and on and on.
However, in this moment, during this week, this was not at all what she needed. She needed to let out how this is impacting her. She's in this constant state of doing homework and then her dyslexia exercises. Monday's are hard. She doesn't get time to do her schoolwork at the end of the day because we're off to the reading specialist and then don't get home until around 7:00PM. Then she goes to do her assignments.
It's a lot, and her overriding feeling of needing to get it all done on this particular Monday had built and built and built. So much so that she was in an out and out refusal to even walk into the office. In hindsight, I understand that for her the act of walking in is just a tangible reminder she's got this thing she's gotta deal with. Always. This isn't something that goes away.
She lashed out in ways that I hadn't before seen. For my girl, that's pretty big. She's such a sweet and kind soul at her core that to see her like that - well, I couldn't even be upset with how she lashed out. She was at her point, and I needed to give her the space to be there.
Thankfully Dr. C., as we call her, has this way with her..........and me, too, to be honest. I'm fairly certain Dr. C. should be sainted. Long story short we're implementing some steps and ways that we can ensure she doesn't get to this point again - or at least any time soon - because.........well, life, right?
The lesson from The Burdened One is to try to have a conscious moment during the times you are just overwhelmed with obligation. Easier said than done, yet, if we can we should remember this: We break down to rebuild and start over. If we need to stop and unload before we take what we learned and keep going, then know this is necessary. So it is and so it shall be.
The Warrior Rx (aka The Sun)?
Again, this whole feeling of "almost but not quite".
I don't know how successfully I resolved all of that meltdown. I don't know that I was a true Warrior/Leo Momma for my daughter in the way I should have been or could have been. In that sense there is this burden that weighs on me. It's all a learning for me, too - figuring out what works and what doesn't work as a parent.
Alright - on we go.
So now that I have figured out that I am supposed to be using Spirit Keeper's Tarot for my month ahead spreads ALL YEAR, I think I'm set. In a previous IG post I mentioned that my intentions had been to use a different deck every month. When nothing clicked for March having used another deck, I had an epiphany that when I did my year ahead wheel I had apparently entered into some kind binding agreement with Spirit of which I was not aware. Hm. Not sure how I didn't get that since it's blatantly called "Spirit Keeper's Tarot"! Well now that that's out of the way......
The card for the first week of April was the Archangel of Glory, Angel of Art and Grace (aka King of Wands). How did this card show up for me during this first week? A lot of it had to do with taking my power back, and having the courage and confidence to do so. I don't often associate this card with boundaries, but in order to get some of this back, laying that down was exactly what I had to do.
It mostly came into play with my day job, which makes sense. The card would be associated with the suit of wands which is often times related to career, and I am also a Leo in a leadership-type of position. I realized there were some things where I was being taken advantage of due to a particular skill. Not to bore you with the details, but basically I finally had to say "no" and find a clever, diplomatic way to put a stop. So I did.
Where Archangel of Glory and my theme card for April, The Warrior Rx (aka The Sun), showed up for me was also in the work arena - not surprising given the wands and fire. A good thing: my reward statement became available and effective. I'm never quite sure how I'm doing compared to my colleagues, and I would never ask. I just make note of what increases look like from year to year to ensure thing are going in the right direction which they are. This first week of April though, it came to my attention that I'd been passed over for a promotion.
Am I grateful for my job and how it allows me to provide for my children? Am I fortunate and privileged with what I was given? Without question, absolutely, yes yes yes. Completely grateful.
Did it sting? Yep. 100%. It means I wasn't as successful maybe as I could have been (the Warrior Rx) as a leader and a prideful Leo (Archangel of Glory/King of Wands).
What I realized with the Archangel of Glory, specifically as it pertains to Spirit Keeper's Tarot, is that when it shows up you are being tapped on the shoulder to live up to this Archangel's message and Divine qualities because - and this is important - you can and should. As a result, I'm now on the lookout for opportunities where I can make more of a difference within this microcosm of the work realm, and keeping my boss informed, and working with him to flesh these things out as needed.
These cards also showed up where my tarot endeavors are concerned. During this first week of April I read at an event that one of my girlfriends had arranged at a salon. The primary goal was to get my name out there a little more - to just go for it, exercise skill and confidence. Was it successful? Welllllll - yes and no (again, The Warrior Rx). The people for whom I read were appreciative which was great. I got good feedback. They were each a little chatty (especially after some wine) and I didn't manage the time very well. Also the money, not good. Still that didn't bother me because I still did it and everyone seemed happy AND I had the chance to see exactly what and how I would do things differently the next time.
As it so happened, the salon invited me back as soon as that next Wednesday for another event. I was able to implement almost everything I wanted to change. It went smoother and was more prosperous due to some prep work I did, including timing a couple of readings for my soul sister to ensure I could deliver a solid, concise message in a specific amount of time needed for these type of things. And in that way, I could shift my perspective to putting into action what I could personally do to manage this theme card reversal in a positive way.
The takeaway from The Archangel of Glory and The Warrior Rx: Call my shots, prepare, lead with boundaries, and know that it's ok to process improve from missed opportunities. It doesn't mean I'm "bad" or "unsuccessful" or not valued. This is how I grow. Also I think I can see now how important this will be for the remainder of the month.
As always, if you've made it down this far thank you for taking the time to read these little posts......xo, Leah
Yikes it's been a minute! But I wanted to wrap up (finally) the last week of February for the month ahead.
That last week in February it was hard to see where The Ivory Shield began and the Empress (my February theme card) ended.
In Spirit Keeper's Tarot (SKT) the Shields represent the Queens of the tarot court. In this case The Ivory shield would be equivalent to the Queen of Cups. The Shields symbolize protection and defense, and to quote The Book of Maps, "A shield appears as a spirit protector to block something from harming you." The Ivory Shield blocks distractions that hold you back from embodying the characteristics of the water element: relationships of any kind, spiritual development, emotional development.
Inscribed on her shield in Latin is a verse from Psalm 23, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil for you are with me."
Now that's what I call a shield.
Both The Empress and The Ivory Shield showed up for me in full force as Mother, nurturer, and protector for my daughter and son. It was helping my daughter get through her cold while making sure my son didn't contract it. I maybe should have shielded myself as I ended up getting it, too! Then it was nurturing my son through the middle a middle of the night stomach ache and nausea.
It was being supportive and empathetic for my daughter as she struggled to get through a book report. Book reports for dyslexic children are.....let's just say many tears were shed. It was something from which I desperately wished I could shield and protect her; that level of frustration that I know will always be there. Ultimately she just wanted me next to her for moral support as she was so determined to work through it.
It was trying to somehow nurture my son who was feeling neglected due to the book repot saga. Was there some grand gesture I could do to show my affection toward him post book report saga (said the Leo)? No. It was just staying up a few minutes later than usual to watch YouTube videos of someone building a shelter by hand in nature, and also Ancient Aliens (that's our thing).
The week was also movies and popcorn and warm blankets. Stealing kisses on my son's forehead, and my daughter, who at 12, surprisingly doesn't hesitate to hold my hand going from the parking lot to the store. It was creating new spaces for my daughter and I to each work (we did a desk switch), and creating more space in my son's room by purging those items now deemed "too young" or "babyish".
We finished the month strong, the three of us together.
On we go.......
I felt this one.
Even without any knowledge of tarot, one could look at the card and know this isn't good. We see the figure in the card upright in bed, face in hands, a shadowy, horned figure right beside her. For me this showed up as not much sleep due to anxiety. You know that song "Overkill" by Colin Hay? - that could pretty much some this up nicely.
For Spirit Keeper's Tarot, which is what I used for this month ahead spread, the prescribed method of activating your deck was via ritual coloring in the Book of Maps. The Book of Maps is basically an LWB on steroids. It is a grimoire for the deck with incredible information within, as well as full page pictures of each card you can color.
I've included a picture of the one symbol I chose to color which was the astrological glyphs on the bed. When I started coloring I kept hearing, "You made your bed now you have to lie in it." I also heard, "You can change your karmic debt." There's a feeling with this card that you've created your own destiny that is the basis for this mental turmoil.
Now, I saw this card a few weeks ago when I pulled the month ahead. I've been dreading it, and as such the anxiety for this past week built and built. Months ago I colored in the glyphs on the bed, and here I was having anxiety over the potential of having anxiety. At the risk of stating the obvious it all very much became a self- fulfilled prophecy, the shadowy figure my own shadow haunting me.
It did however become prevalent at work (my "day job"). On a much more mundane level, I'm losing 3 of my staff; all for great reasons! Two to career development moves, and one who is on maternity leave. Two had their last day on the 15th and yes one of those two had the baby girl on that day which also happened to be her own birthday!
This is exactly where my February monthly theme card The Empress and the 9 of Swords intersected. Three females all growing and expanding in different ways. Beautiful! The downside - me having to implement all of the coverage plans for all of the work. This was no easy feat, but it got done.
Another way I saw the Empress intersect with the 9 of Swords was awaiting the release of the album. For this I only play on one track, but it was going to be birthed out into the Universe at the end of the week. I've been fortunate to have a window into how things get done with an album almost from beginning to end over the last 5 years. I've been an observer, yet there was strong sense of anticipation turned anxiety throughout the week; not only for the release, but also in kind of feeling liked, "Hm. What now?"......I'm still figuring out the latter. lEt' call it a 9 of Swords hangover of, "Oh my God/dess what do I work on now musically?".
The Empress is there to remind me that in fact I do create, and I will create again when Spirit whispers in my ear.
as always if you've made it down this far i appreciate you! - leah
Week two of my February month ahead spread was the 6 of Chalices. This card is all about feelings of nostalgia, childhood memories, maybe unrequited love, or even just sweet memories from your past. When I look at the Spirit Keeper's Tarot's (created by Benebell Wen) 6 of Cups-or Chalices in this deck-it was easy to see my own son and daughter as the baby phoenix and the baby dragon respectively. The spirit occupant of the card is The Memory Keeper, and there's a sense of being able to access your Akashic records with it's presence.
There were several moments over the last week where I was feeling nostalgic, and it was through my children. Also ever present this past week was my theme card of the month, The Empress: the mother, the earth, the creator who births art and beauty into existence. The most obvious to note was that the children were with me last week (as opposed to with their Dad) so the Empress was truly predominant, but hold that thought....
Alright so going to back to the 6 of Chalices there was definitely a food theme.
In once case specifically Girl Scout Cookies. At the behest of my progeny, I caved and bought a few boxes outside the store where the girls were set up . Honestly, I can't remember the last time I had had these delectables. Together the 3 of us sat on the couch to watch a movie, and my son popped a thin mint in my mouth.
It was joy.
So much so that my son sat up and exclaimed, "Mom! You looked exactly like how you must have looked as a little girl eating these!" It was that plain on my face. Immediately I was 10, sitting in the grade school cafeteria taking one out of my lunchbox. Sheer, genuine delight.
Then there was a snow day and I made hot chocolate. Not unusual. But there was something about standing in the kitchen, looking out at the snow as I stirred the chocolate on the stove, the aroma, it took me back to snow days in Ohio when we'd trek to my Grandmother and Grandfather's house to sled down their hill. My Grandmother and I were very close and she passed just 4 years ago at 97, but it seems like it could have happened yesterday. She was my number one supporter in all things and in life.
And I stood there.
And I cried.
It was visceral how it took me back. I could almost hug her again with the warm mug of hot chocolate in my hands.
One day during the week I was just exhausted. So.Many.Projects.Due....for the kiddos. And I'm not crafty. The Empress got us through, but Sweet Mary. I laid down in my bed, just for a minute, and my son came in and said, "Ok I'm gonna tuck you in."
What? Really? When in the world was the last time someone tucked ME in? Surely I was a child! And so he did. He put the covers over me, tucked them around, turned out the lights, and gave me a big hug. When the children were babies into their toddler years, I took great joy in the night time routine. Books, stories, puppet shadows, and of course rocking in the chair and singing their songs to help them sleep. There are days when I kinda miss it. It appears I taught him well though because I slept like a baby that night.
Now with my daughter both cards were ever present last week. Really for both of us.
She is in 6th grade ("6" of cups....see that?), and also 12 ( 1+2=3, The Empress....by the way if you are into numerology she is in her "3" year. Coincidence. I think not), and there was a lot of ....let's say navigating the whole being a young lady of 12 in the 6th grade last week. Again, there was so much memory recall of that time in my own life. All I could do was say all of the things I wished I could go back and tell my 12-year old self, only to my daughter.
She told me something amazing. She and just a couple of her close friends are talking things out. They meet under a tree at recess and talk about all things awkward. They've named the tree "The Awkward Tree". That's way more emotionally intelligent than I remember being at that age. They hold counsel there without judgment. Just talk. Goddesses in training I think.
Indeed I will keep these memories created by my children this past week as per the The Memory Keeper spirit occupant of the 6 of Chalices.
I suspect having recorded them here will invoke nostalgia in years to come.
(if you've made it down this far, thank you...xxoo Leah)
For February's month ahead, I opted to use Spirit Keeper's Tarot created by Benebell Wen. In January I pulled the year ahead wheel, and have decided to use the cards from the wheel as the theme card in the month ahead spread each month.
So for example, the card for February from the wheel was The Empress. Before pulling the four cards that would mark each week of the month, I searched through the deck and pulled out The Empress and laid her down, like a significator. Then I shuffled and drew the remaining 4 cards.
So onto the 8 of Swords for this first week. You'll notice the cards have a spirit resident, and so for the 8 of Swords it is The Captor. This was so true during this first week of February where I found myself feeling stagnant and still, unable to move forward, not knowing how to take up space on IG, as a musician, as a Tarot Card reader, in a relationship, and also being in a rift with my parents (long story, I'll spare you).....but, you get the idea. In reflection, there has been a lot of self-talk that goes like, "I can't..", "You shouldn't...", "Who are you to..." rinse, repeat. By saying these things I just haven't been able to see clearly. In essence, I am my own captor and such is the 8 of Swords, right?
Part of how I like to operate with the month ahead is to take each card of the week first by itself, and then take a look at it alongside the theme card. As I close out this week, I started to look at The Empress and see her as my guidepost for the month. So I asked her, "How do I get out of this?" and she said, "You are going to create your way out of this. I am here to help and nurture this."
Then an idea came. In Mary K. Greer's book "Tarot Reversals" she writes about enantiodrama, a term borrowed by Jung from Heraclitus. Greer further quotes Jeremy Taylor on his definition of enantiodrama which is ".....this predictable tendency of seemingly polar opposites to flip over, and turn into one another at precisely the moment when they seem to be most in opposition."
Although this was used in the context of learning tarot reversals, why not apply it to this Captor situation? Worth a shot.
I started saying all of the "You can'ts" and "You shouldn'ts" and "That won't works" with exaggeration to the point where things flipped over. I heard myself and my self sounded utterly ridiculous. Then it became, "I will." Then, I did a tarot reading for a fellow IG kindred spirit that went well. I picked up the phone and called my Mom (Mom/Empress....see how that works?). I posted this here. The other things will get sorted, but in the end perhaps this was a creative way to untie the ropes and take off the blindfold.
Each month I begin with a month ahead spread. The spread itself I found on my RWS phone app of all places. Five cards: four to mark each week of the month, and then one theme card. It became a good "go-to" spread when I was doing reading for people who didn't have a specific question, but just wanted a general outlook for the month, or the next 4 weeks.
Eventually this became my own practice for a few reasons. First, it really did give me a pretty good outlook for the month. Second, it just helped me connect with the cards more. Relating the card meanings back to my day to day life only further deepened their meanings to me. It became personal, spiritual, it made me stay present so I could really and truly get how each card was showing up for me day to day, week to week, and then month to month. It also became apparent that it was vitally important for continuing my Tarot education. Paternicity people! Paternicity! Finally it was a chance for me to reflect through writing during the course of the month. It started to become so clear the connections not only in my own life, but in the people around me, and even at times world events.
Now, for card readers or anyone who practices a form of divination this will not seem unique that such connections would be made, and yet I can't help but be fascinated with it like a little kid every. single. time. I feel as though there is always more to learn or write about when it comes to Tarot and so I thought why not put my thoughts here, on this blog portion of the web site I'm obviously not using and needed to evolve.
And so I realized this Citrine Compass's truer north.
No coincidence that my soul sister contacted me as I'm writing to let me know North actually changed a little today on this New Moon Aquarius.
"North is no longer North, " she said.
And so it is.
These are my musings and experiences with Tarot and the month ahead.
Just a girl and her cards.