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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-21-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

If I work with cards, what’s my favorite deck and why? If I don’t, why not?

“If I work with cards.”

Ha!

I love Tarot. We’re not going to discuss how many decks I own, primarily because I don’t know. I do know that it’s a lot fewer than I used to have because I gave away a bunch that I wasn’t using and likely never would.

Each deck seems to have its own… personality (for lack of a better word). Here’s a run down on the ones that I use (or have used) the most.

Hanson-Roberts
A friend of mine dubbed this “The Cabbage Patch Deck” because he said that the people on the cards reminded him of Cabbage Patch Dolls.  Be that as it may, the deck is friendly and not overly “deep” as a general rule. It’s great for reading for the public, especially at a venue that isn’t a psychic fair. (I used to do readings at singles’ dances, which is a whole different kinda vibe.)

Robin Wood
I love the artwork in this deck, and it’s an easy-going, straight-forward deck. Also a good deck for reading for the public, in any venue.

Smith-Waite
It’s the classic Rider-Waite but with better colors. I could never connect with the original but this deck is sweet to use.

Enchanted Tarot
This is a fun deck with oversized cards that can make it difficult to handle physically. (I have small hands.)  The art style is a little bit different, but it’s fun to use.

Aquarian Tarot
This deck is a bit deeper – and a lot more blunt – than the others. It can also be finicky and temperamental to work with.

Morgan-Greer
Ha! What can I say? I love this deck. It’s in-your-face, no bullshit, take no prisoners, about as subtle as a nuclear explosion. Not usually good for reading for the general public because the general public doesn’t usually want to hear what it has to say.

And now for my all time favorite deck…

The Mythic Tarot
This deck is a little different, in that each suit tells a story based on a Greek myth, with each card illustrating a part of the story. This makes it great for learning the cards because it’s easy to associate what’s happening in the story with the meaning of the card. There is also an excellent book (real book, not just the little paper thing that comes with most decks) that comes with it that tells the story and how each card relates. This tends to be a very “internal” deck, dealing more with what is at work within the Querent, hidden aspects that s/he may not be aware of (or not willing to acknowledge). This makes it somewhat less than ideal for “light” readings for others, but if someone is sincerely looking for change, this deck can help point them in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-20-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What divination methods do I use? Why those ones?

Well, let’s see.

Every now and then I do some simple (yes/no) pendulum work, mostly because it’s kind of fun.

I have a set of Greek Oracle stones and I love them, but am still getting a feel for interpreting them – applying the meanings to my question and my life. (But with Apollo and Hermes both mentioned in a prayer to use with them, how could I resist?)

A long time ago I used to do a reading every morning before work, often by pulling a Medicine Card and sometimes a Sacred Path card to go with it. I don’t remember why I stopped and I should get organized and get back to doing it again.

And before that I fell in love with the I Ching, which I first encountered in a science fiction book, The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick (my all time favorite author). The problem with the I Ching is that there are so many interpretations of it, some easier to follow than others. (I recommend the one by Kerson and Rosemary Huang. It is hands down my favorite.)

And speaking of favorites, my favorite divination method is far and away the Tarot.

Why Tarot?

The answer to that question is probably as individual as each reader, but for me, Tarot bridges the gap between the conscious/intellect and the subconscious/intuition. The individual cards have meanings, yes, and those meanings are reflected in the artwork on them. But those pretty pictures give my mind something to look at and think about while my subconscious finds the answers – and then those pictures let “knowing” find expression in actual words.

 

 

 

Dream Analysis

Every so often I see posts on Pagan groups asking someone what their dreams mean.

First of all, not all dreams have meaning — some are merely “housekeeping” dreams, in which your subconscious clears away the debris of the day. (Mine tend to be really amusing and silly.)

Others are your subconscious’s (or Higher Self’s, whatever you want to call it) way of getting a message to you, and in that case, you are (usually) the best analyzer of your own dreams.

There are a lot of books out there on dream symbols, all of which are interesting but none of which is entirely accurate.

If you want a book on dream interpretation I would like to recommend Sacred Sleep: Dreams and the Divine by Scott Cunningham. Among other things, it teaches you how to construct your own dictionary of symbols that have personal meaning to you. After all, just as one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, one person’s dream of cats may be reassuring while another would find it terrifying.

(I have a feeling that most of the following ideas came from that book, but it’s been so long since I read it that I’m not 100% sure.)

Start keeping a dream diary. If you have a dream that you remember write it down as soon as you wake up.

Write down everything that you remember about it — inside/outside, weather, lighting, colors, other people/animals, what sort of place, as well as what happened and what was said.

And the setting. I will sometimes have a series of dreams set in the same location and just that setting clues me in that it’s a dream that I need to spend some time thinking about.

(That said, I find that the “important” dreams tend to stick with me: I still remember a setting for dreams when I was in high school — a dusty road through a town, but the buildings were just facades, like a movie set.)

Once you’ve written down everything you can remember, start to free associate the images in it. Record those results under the dream entry, then try to piece together an overall theme or meaning.

Don’t worry if nothing comes to you. Sometimes it takes a while, so be patient. If it’s important, the message will get through to you one way or another.

And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to pin down a meaning by yourself. Sometimes you are just too close to the situation and are either resisting the meaning or simply unable to see it from where you are. (This applies to Tarot readings and other forms of divination as well.) In that case, it’s helpful if you have others that you can present the dream to, just to see what they say.

Especially people who know you well.

After all it’s not for nothing that the words above Apollo’s oracle at Delphi were “Know thyself.”