The 8 of Swords: There is a Way...
"....This swan is not the first to have fallen victim to the lures of the brambles crone. The old one has a collection of the skulls of those others who have thought that might and arrogant strength could overcome everything. Like the tangled enchanted briar forest that surrounded Sleeping Beauty and tempted hundreds of brave knights to die within the thorny embrace, pure might and abusive power will not always cut the path to victory.
The Tarot: A Muse for a Magical Life
The tarot is magic. It is a language of images, full of metaphor and symbology, that speak of the tale of life. The tarot is an ancient tool of insight, wisdom and guidance that leads us along the path of transformation.
The tarot typically consists of the Major Arcana, which has been described as "the Fool's Journey", and then the four suits, Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles, which are the four elements of fire, water, air and earth, respectively. There are many different decks with different themes, but the structure generally remains the same.
The Major Arcana consists of twenty-two cards but is only numbered to twenty-one, because the first card is numbered zero. Zero is the Fool. The Fool carries potential and possibility. This is where the journey begins. The Major Arcana ends at card twenty-one, The World, which is fulfillment.
The cards of the Major Arcana are as follows:
If The Fool, that symbol of possibility and potential, is set aside, then the remaining twenty-one cards can be divided into three groups of seven. The first group is the Magician through the Chariot. The second group is Strength through Temperance. The third group is the Devil through the World. Now these three groupings can be seen as three distinct levels of consciousness or spiritual awakening. The tarot is steeped in hidden meaning and symbology and there are so many discussions of different ways the Major Arcana can be divided and analyzed that I can only begin to touch on it here.
Within each elemental suit of the Minor Arcana, there are numbers one through ten and then a page, knight, queen and king. In readings the court cards (as well as the cards of the Major Arcana) can be referring to a specific person in addition to its situational meaning.
The basic meanings of the cards of the suits are as follows:
There are different ways of handling and laying cards for different situations. The cards will always tell a story. When asked with a specific question, they will give a specific answer. If the question is vague, so will be the cards. Part of the lesson the cards teach is that we must truly understand what it is we wish to know. The imagery of each card is rich, so after associating the key meaning of a card with its position in the spread, look at the imagery and use your intuition. This is an art - it's more of letting the meaning arise than trying to fit everything into a neat box.
The tarot's beauty, timeless wisdom, and guidance will be shared in my posts often. Each image is a portal into another realm showing us what might otherwise be hidden. The cards can serve as a beautiful muse as we journey through this life, infusing it with their insight and magic.
In 1999 Masaru Emoto published his first book of experimenting with water crystals by exposing them to different pictures, music and words and freezing them, Messages from Water 1. The above photos show differences in the crystals that have been exposed to the different words, "love", "thank you" and "I hate you". The photos show the vibration that the words and thoughts carry reflected in the water, giving us visual proof of the consequence that our thoughts and emotions carry. We cannot manifest love or gratitude while we are carrying negative emotions and beliefs. We cannot manifest the new while we are stuck in the old.
In Part 1, we met the magical creature within, meaning we delved into what makes us uniquely ourselves, what our deepest hearts desires are and what we feel guided to contribute to the world.
In Part 2, we discussed the Law of Attraction and how powerful our minds really are, and how to focus our attention on what we want, eliminate limiting beliefs, and replace them with beliefs that support our desired experience.
Now that you've aligned with something you truly desire, and you've harnessed the Universe to work for you by clearing powerful subconscious beliefs that limit you and adopting new beliefs that support you, its time to get out the manifestation tool box.
We already know you are a magical creature who is now aligned with the power of the Universe, so of course you have the power of manifestation!
Manifestation is only seeing the outward results of the inner changes. One naturally follows the other. Remember that the key to success here lies in being able to identify your truest and most authentic desires that are not colored by "shoulds" or fears of any kind, and that you must align with the vibration, the feeling energy, of what it is you are wanting to obtain or achieve. The inner changes you are making in order to be in alignment with these things will bring the outer changes that will be your results. It is also very important to remember that the becoming aware of negative or limiting beliefs and replacing them with positive supportive beliefs is an ongoing process in the upward cycle. To constantly create we must constantly release.
So what are the tools that support the manifestation of your intentions? Affirmations, vision boards, belief boxes, working with lunar cycles, ritual, and adopting a muse are some great ones to get you started.
The Manifestation Toolbox:
These are all tools available to help keep you on track in focusing on your intent and manifesting your desires. There is a lot in life that can distract you and pull you off course. These tools are reminders of where you want to consciously direct your energies. To consciously create is to be in a constant state of being aware of what truly sets your heart ablaze, acknowledging that you are unique and special and that you are powerful a creator, becoming aware of negative and limiting patterns and beliefs that are blocking you, replacing them with new beliefs, and constantly aligning with the vibration of your goals and desires. You are constantly creating and constantly releasing, always spiraling upward towards your heart's desire, always manifesting.
My elephant spirit animals started showing themselves in 2012 in my meditations, but never in dreams. It was around the beginning of 2014 that I had a succession of spirit animal dreams. Early in that year, I had a dream of a white horse laying down next to me. A while after that, I was visited by a white wolf. In that particular dream I was standing in my living room, at night, looking out the glass back door, and the wolf was standing on the other side of the glass, staring in, tempting me. Why are you still in there? Come with me. The overall feeling of the dream was unsettling, like I was being urged to action, to heed some call that I did not yet understand. Then I spent a night searching for rose oil in India. Rose oil was an interesting symbol in the dream, as it is the oil with the highest vibrational frequency, at 320 MHz (Damask rose oil specifically). According to vibrational healing, raising the body’s vibration can heal the body, mind, and spirit. My search for rose oil in the dream seemed to be symbolic of this search I had embarked upon in life. The very next night, She visited.
That night my dream terrain was the jungle. I had a small homestead that had been clear cut to make room for a small house and barn. I lived there with my horse and dog. She appeared right on the edge of where my domesticated space met the untamed jungle, careful not to intrude into my space; confrontational, yet not threatening. A beautiful, powerful jaguar of jet black, with piercing eyes, stood on the edge of the unknown and gave me an ultimatum. If you don’t feed me, she said, I will eat everything you love. She did not threaten me directly, but left no doubt my horse would be the first item on the menu if her words weren’t heeded.
The imagery was imprinted in my psyche. This was no ordinary dream. What part of my subconscious could this be? What did she mean? What was I supposed to feed her? Maybe it wasn’t part of my subconscious but some part of the collective conscious. She seemed ancient and powerful. An energy to be respected. This was the beginning of my journey with her.
She didn’t return until later that year when I went to hypnotherapy school. In the first two weeks, I had met a fellow student who did shamanic journeying and she offered to guide a few of us on one. We walked to the river, placed everything we wanted to let go of onto a boat and pushed it off into the current and watched it disappear on the horizon. We then got into the river and cleansed ourselves in the water, and emerged from the river into the warm rays of the sun. From the sun we soaked up all of the things we wanted for ourselves in life. Then we awaited our spirit animal to come and guide us on the next part of the journey. There she was, sleek and powerful, gliding through the tall straw-colored grass towards me. She took me to a cave behind a waterfall. In the cave I laid down on a slab of rock. She laid down several feet away. It wasn’t until later that I would read about caves being symbolically linked with retreating into isolation to do soul work, and a prime habitat of jaguars being caves.
There were two times in school, when in hypnosis, that I jumped back to being in the cave. The second time I was in the cave, she was closer to me. The third time she was winding around me in a circular fashion, clockwise, the direction of creation and building power.
I completed school and was back at home meditating in my hot tub, as was my personal practice. Black Jaguar came into my awareness. She was walking towards me. She came so close her face was against mine. She was rubbing her head on me. She suddenly walked through me, and then I was wearing her skin like a cloak, her majestic head sitting atop mine, like an image of an ancient shaman.
The next time I encountered her was again in meditation. This time she swallowed me and I rode around in her belly feeling safe and protected. Then I was laying with her curled maternally around me with one giant paw resting over me.
During this process, I had become very curious about the symbology of the black jaguar and had been doing some research. On one website, there was a poem, "....Sister of Artemis, and the Guardian of the Gateway between the Known and the Unknown, you prowl the night, bearing witness to the blackness that exists before the dawning of morning light. Blazing eyes pierce the veil of darkness of Forgotten Realms, to bring consciousness to the unconscious.”
The black jaguar, or black panther, had to do with inner quests and reclaiming power. She represented power, but also the feminine, knowing death and the cycle of death and rebirth, and the ability to see in the dark. Her ability to see in the dark and journey into the subconscious was also the ability to sense the true motivations of others, which did not always gain Black Jaguar the warm reception of others. She was strong enough to walk her own path without others if necessary. She was a guardian. She was a shapeshifter.
There were two paragraphs that especially caught my attention. “The early life experiences of one with whom Black Panther walks will never be 'easy' as these souls will seem to attract and/or elicit strong reactions both within themselves and from others. Early on this may tend to give the Panther soul a sense of isolation from their fellow two-leggeds as they struggle to find their own identity, for the way in which they view and approach life often attracts attention and leaves them feeling as a stranger in a strange land.”
“The Black Panther is a shapeshifter and the responsibility unique to these animal spirits is that of piercing the veil of darkness that dwells in the heart and mind of an unintegrated soul. The Black Panther teaches us there is nothing in the darkness to be feared for the Light of Acknowledgment will disperse the blackness and illuminate the way through the jungle of unresolved issues, pain and 'old programming'.
The reason I had chosen to attend hypnotherapy school was that I had become infatuated with the power our subconscious minds held over us, and the idea of bringing awareness to that and breaking free of those invisible walls we operated in captivated me. It seemed we all, myself included, had beliefs that we were not consciously aware of, that we had picked up somewhere along the way like an airborne virus, that were secretly running every aspect of our lives.
Black Jaguar remains my main spirit animal and a powerful presence in my life. She has not chosen to come to me in any more dreams, but shows up regularly in meditation and always guides me in shamanic journey, and I can call upon her energy at a moment's notice. When she does come into my consciousness, she always brings guidance or support, showing me the path of confronting the dark within ourselves, that being the things that lie within our subconscious and hold us back from true freedom and living our most authentic lives.
Today we have a new moon in Aquarius. As always, the new moon represents a time to renew our intentions. This is a great time to pause from the tasks that keep us running each day and focus on what it is that we truly are trying to create in our lives. This new moon also marks the the Chinese New Year, and the beginning of the year of the Fire Monkey. We have fire after two years of wood, so it's time to ignite after a couple of years of preparation.
After January's intense astrology, we are moving into a fresh time with more beneficial aspects. Mercury has completed his retrograde and his dance with Pluto and Venus just moved through Pluto's cross-hairs as well. Mars is still working away in his home-turf of Scorpio, but that influence will last most of the year, as well as the Saturn-Neptune square.
With this moon we have Pallas Athena giving us wisdom and support from Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Mars is in the mix with a tense aspect that might bring up some conflict, but that, as always, is just an opportunity for growth. Next month we will have two eclipses. Eclipses are agents of change and will send us warp speed into whatever it is that we are moving towards, so now is the time to align with your intent and prepare.
Ask yourself what within you do you want to release so that it isn't brought with you as you move through this threshold into the new? And what is it that you want to intentionally create for yourself? You may notice lessons coming from a certain area of your life right now. Examine what has been happening in your life closely and find the message. Release ideas of good and bad and right and wrong and align with what you want to feel in your life and what you want to experience, and what thoughts, habits, beliefs or circumstances have been keeping you from that. Align with this fresh, innovative vibe and use this lunar cycle to prepare for next month's big eclipse astrology.
We are courageously stepping into the New!
Riding the Waves to Victory
Riding the waves to victory, like the goddess Nike. But it's hard to see when you are in a trough between the waves. Have trust; have faith; remember that when you stop struggling you will float. Remember that you have the skills to handle this with grace. Yes the terrain may seem tumultuous at the moment. There is a lot going on.
We are in the Dark Moon phase, the time for self-care, turning within and release, as we prepare for a go-getter of a new moon in Aquarius on Monday February 8th.
The thing is, currently, Venus is about to make a conjunction with Pluto on Friday February 5th in Capricorn, covering the territory Mercury just went back and forth over as he went through retrograde. Uranus is still making a square to Pluto in Capricorn from Aries and beautiful Venus is running right through the cross-hairs of that, while Vesta conjuncts Uranus and is opposed by Lilith in Libra. And on Sunday February 7th, the Sun in Aquarius (which Uranus rules) is making a square to Mars in Scorpio (which both Pluto and Mars rule). That's not all that's happening but those are some of the biggies.
Add to the mix that we are already starting to feel the March eclipse energy. You can generally feel the energy of an eclipse begin to build about a month before it. Eclipses are representative of big change and the astrology is very involved with Uranus right now, the change god himself.
So, as we navigate this intense little bit of astrology this week and over the weekend, here are some survival tips:
Think of yourself as the Winged Victory, the goddess Nike or Maeve, triumphantly riding the ever-changing waves with confidence and certainty. You have all the skills you need. There is a part of you that knows exactly where you are going and what to do. Trust that part. Ride the waves to victory, with the wisdom that whatever is happening is part of your path, your story, your journey, whether you can see it now or not.
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As an ambassador for Consciously Creating Life, Kasey serves as an advocate of the magic that exists in this life and in each and every one of us. She is a champion of the journey to access our own powerful magic by returning home to ourselves and reclaiming the thrones of our hearts as sovereign rulers of our realms, through practicing the Art of Consciously Creating Life.
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