Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Something rather different!

So I attended a local tarot society meetup last Saturday, and there procured a set of Arcana Stones. These are a nifty take on divination - Rachel chose 22 different crystals to represent all of the major arcana in the tarot. The stones are a self-contained method of divination, with a drop sheet based on the astrological houses to use with them. But seeing as a) I haven't had time yet to have a proper read through of Rachel's booklet about the houses and b) I really like using tarot cards themselves, I thought up a combined method of divination that uses both a tarot deck (the Thoth, specifically) and the stones.

Since I just finished up my last exam today, I decided to do a reading for myself on the topic of Advice for the next few weeks/What I should focus on between now and when I leave for my adventure in Tunisia.

What follows is my attempt at explaining the method/reading, which hopefully will make as much sense in words as it does to me in my head. ;]

So first, I shuffle/cut/fan the deck according to my usual reading method, and lay out a certain number of cards, face down. I like evenness when doing this, so either multiples of two (4, 6, 8) or a nice square made up of nine cards. Mostly this just depends on how many cards I want to potentially have in a reading/how big of a spread I feel like dealing with. For this, I decided six cards would work for me. After I have the cards out, I take the black satin bag with the stones, shake them up, and with eyes closed grab a small handful and drop them, without looking, down on the cards.

Stones can either be directly on top of one card, or linking two cards together. Any stones that don't fall on a card get removed; any cards without a stone on them are likewise removed. Then, the cards are turned over, with the stones left on them. Cards are read normally, but with the stones and the arcana they represent adding additional layers of meaning to the cards they are on or the cards that they are linking. Rather than a formal spread, I read the message intuitively.

So, we basically see two separate but related messages here, as the visual shows. On the left we have the Aeon and the 10 of Swords. The fiery reddish tones definitely a theme here. Essentially, the Aeon, Thoth's counterpart to Judgement, is a card of decision, of the fading of the old to make way for the new. We see have illustrated the ancient Egyptian belief about the dusk and dawn, the rebirth of the sun each day. It's a dynamic card, movement towards a new age. And indeed, a lot of things are obviously in flux for me. The end of the school year, the end of my living situation, the beginning of a long summer full of many new things to do, plans. Connected to this card in the 10 of swords, which is also a change...of sorts. Ruin, destruction, the end of things which must end, pain and chaos. the piercing of that heart in the center of the swords...As I have mentioned before, this has rather been a year of highs and lows, and there are definitely aspects of my own actions, approach to things that have been less than positive, that I would be rather better off leaving behind as I go into that sea of change that is the Aeon...

And indeed, the stone that links these two cards is the Rose Quartz, representing Temperance, or Art in the Thoth. Art is an alchemist, a mad scientist, a healer. It's a card of synthesis, of combining and taking away, of healing, of a more moderate, balanced approach to things, experimenting and renewing and..yes, an ongoing process, and one to keep in mind as I move ahead. I have done new things, lived with old, familiar things...and now, with all this changing and packing and sorting, what better a time to decide what would be best to keep and what to let go of? A time for balancing, for equilibrium seeking; and indeed, the stone of the Aeon card is Aventurine, representing justice. The cool blue-green tones to balance out all the red...balance, using my mind to figure out what is worth taking with me into the new 'age' of the next few months and what best to leave behind. What will serve me and what will hold me back? What kind of chaos am I ready to let go of?

The second set of three cards enforce this theme on a more practical level, which makes sense given the disks suit we see here. We have at the bottom the 6 of disks, for success, especially materially. the balanced glow of that star, the rose at the center. This I see as the school year completed, half of my Masters program behind me, difficult classes and assignments and all of that, the sense of accomplishment and relief because finally, finally I am DONE. But the stone on top of this card is Mahogany Obsidian, representing Death. Yes, transformation, evolution - I barely have time to dwell on this success, because already there are all these new important things I MUST focus on because there is so little time to get them done in. It is time for a shift in focus, away from what I have gotten done and towards the new. In fact,this card is connected to the next with Botswana Agate, which represents the Wheel: what clearer way to emphasize that things are rolling forward?

How? Well, we have the Empress. Time to nurture, to grow, to focus on creativity, on inspiration, on using my inner resources to make things happen. I will need some ingenuity to get things done, and well, once I get the bulk of logistics preparation done with, I do hope much of my summer and my time in Tunisia will be a time where I can really focus on doing creative things and things that inspire me - taking pictures, writing, reading, working with tarot, exploring, teaching myself new things. I am also struck by the idea that the whole nurturing message - if I made more of an effort to take care of myself better now that I have more time to...well, easier to get things done if you feel physically healthier, right? As for the stone on the Empress, the Fluorite represents the Hermit, which makes perfect sense: by and large, much of what I am going to be doing, and what I have to do, is going to be me going at it solo. Motivating myself, and getting the most out of these experiences by myself, is a good thing to aim for. At the same time, Hermit can also sometimes indicate a guide or mentor, that shining light - don't be afraid to ask for help when appropriate, if doing so will make moving forward easier.

Finally, we have 5 of disks, Worry. No stone directly on this card, which I take to mean that it's more of an addendum than a strong message in itself - and well, yes, the whole reason that I am doing a reading on this subject is because I feel a bit stress, overwhelmed, and worried about all that I have to do in the next few weeks, the material realm logistics of everything...I always have this feeling that I am 'good' at academics but less capable at 'life skills' and so much of what I have to do falls under umbrella of the latter...but the connecting stone between this and the Empress is Carnelian, which represents the Emperor: organization, self-discipline, a strict, methodical, no-nonsense approach to things. Combined with the raw creativity and inspiration of the Empress, this approach WILL lead to getting things done, thus addressing the concerns of this card. Just...really need to channel that organization and self-discipline, the Aries energy, fire.

So yes, I quite like this reading method and will likely be playing with it more in the future. Though possibly with fewer cards because even just the five...this was a bit long to type up, and in addition to being lazy, I wonder too if this makes for over-long tl;dr reading.


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