Friday, March 30, 2012

The Wheel of Fortune


The Wheel of Fortune is a card rife with symbolism and open to many interpretations depending on your spiritual beliefs and background. However no matter how you interpret the symbols you always come back to the same definition. Cycles. The Hermit who was once The Fool is no more. He has passed on into the afterlife and The Wheel of Fortune represents the culmination of that life. Perhaps he's waiting to be reincarnated, or perhaps he's awaiting entry into heaven but in either case he has transformed, for better or worse, even though we always hope for better.

1 The most prominent symbol on the card is The Wheel itself. The Wheel is representative of many things. The letters on The Wheel are TA - R - O returning once again to T with the rotation of the wheel. This represents the course of events from beginning to end. The Wheel is made up of eight spokes. Eight is considered to be a lucky and mystical number and is thought to be mathematically perfect. It is an important number in many religions. For example in paganism there are eight sabbats. In most belief systems eight represents a type of momentum, i.e. the turning of the wheel, abundance, and in Egyptian mythology the eight deities of creation. The Wheel symbolizes either good or bad luck, depending on the influences of nearby cards.

2 On the right side of The Wheel we see a red canine creature. One could interpret this as being Anubis god of the dead, or as the representation of our inner animal nature. This creature represents inevitability. Whether that be the inevitability of death or coming to terms with our inner animals.

3 On the left side of The Wheel is a golden snake. This serpent could be seen as the snake from the Garden of Eden, representing the tree of knowledge; or simply as a snake with all of the meaning that it entails. Snakes represent knowledge, rebirth, transformation, healing and immortality. The snake and the red humanoid dog are opposites bringing balance to The Wheel. If the dog is death than the snake is immortality, if the dog represents animal than the snake represents spirituality.

4 Atop The Wheel is a blue sphinx bearing a sword. The Spinx is traditionally the giver of riddles and keeper of arcane knowledge. It is the one who knows the answers to all. Ultimately it represents truth and knowledge. The Fool/Hermit has all the answers he needs from life and is approaching the end of all of his problems.

5 In the four corners of the card are a winged human, eagle, ox, and lion reading a book. These could be anything from the four horsemen of the apocalypse, to key characters of the zodiac. Regardless how you see them whether they be fallen angels or something else entirely they are undoubtedly hosts of the afterlife in which The Fool/Hermit has found himself.

6 The clouds we see in the background against a blue sky represent destiny. Clouds are generally associated with the element air (even though it can be argued that they are a combination of all elements) and higher thought. This is a card abundant with spiritual understanding and knowledge.

Key Words: Fortune. Fate. Outcome. Cycles. Culmination. Transformation, for better or worse. Course of events from beginning to end. Good or bad luck, depending on the influences of nearby cards. Inevitability. Immortality. Spirituality. Approaching the end of a problem. Destiny.

When Using Reverse Meanings: When right side up this card could mean either good or bad luck. Essentially it means whatever was meant to be will be. Inversed this card can only mean bad luck. Something has been altered, either by our own doing or by unexpected circumstances and now what was meant to be cannot. The natural cycle of events has been broken. We did not contemplate what the effects of an outside influence could do to us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Book 5: The Magician's Guild

My husband recommended the next book I'm reading for the Witchy Reading Challenge. It's actually book one in a trilogy so I'm going to try to read all three. It's The Black Magician Trilogy written by Trudi Canavan and it starts with The Magician's Guild.

~ The old magician paused. 'If this young woman is a natural, we should expect her to be more powerful than out average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.'

Each year the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know than no ordinary lowlife can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as impenetrable as they think.

Sonea angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, throws a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. She is amazed when it sails unrestricted through the barrier and knocks a magician unconscious.

The Guild's worst fear has been realised. There is an untrained magician loose in Imardin who must be found before her uncontrolled powers can destroy herself and the city. ~

I'm not usually interested in fantasy novels but it will be a welcome change from the romance novels. I'm starting to realize, if a book is fiction and listed as free on the Kindle, chances are it's a romance novel. Not that I mind a good romance novel mind you.. but the genre's getting a little stale. So here's to something new, I hope I enjoy it.

Read any good books yourself lately?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Honor Bound Review

I finally finished Honor Bound by C.J. Archer! It felt like it was taking me forever. It wasn't a bad book. On the whole it was pretty good but for some reason I had a hard time getting sucked into it. Some books grab me right away and I don't want to put them down until I'm done, this book kept giving me moments where I felt like I needed a break, and it wasn't very long.

It was mostly a romance novel complete with an evil mother-in-law who was very easy to hate, with a mystery flair. It had a nice twist at the end and I at the very least didn't see it coming.

The main characters were relatable and I really liked Isabel, a witch and apothecaries assistant who barely uses her powers for fear of being found out. She's brave strong and sure of herself good qualities in any woman. Her estranged husband Nick is fun, sexy and the perfect masculine stereotype. Enough boyish charm to keep him sweet and a nice hard edge to his personality to make him a man. All of the character's are fairly realistic and relatable.

I felt like the author could have boosted the witchy quotient but that's just my personal taste (although it was nice that she wasn't constantly flashing it around). The thing I liked the most is that she kept Isabel "normal", at least she's wasn't absurdly unbelievable.

I'd give it a 3 out of 5 star rating.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Hermit

In the ninth card we see an elderly man, robed in gray, standing alone on an icy mountain top. He carries a lantern and a staff. We have met The Fool once again after a long life of challenge and enlightenment. The passage of time has turned him into The Hermit. The Hermit is a card that symbolizes wisdom and counsel as well as regression. The Hermit has come to a point in his life where he spends his time viewing the world rather than taking part in it. His withdrawal from society has given him the space to transcend the mundane and achieve higher understanding.

1 The first thing we see is The Hermit. An elderly man dressed in gray robes. His robes represent balance. Gray is neither black nor white but both. Gray is also symbolic of old age and intellect. The Hermit's two most defining characteristics. His age is also an important symbol. Old age has long been a symbol of wisdom.

2 In the Hermit's left hand he holds a staff (also known as a wand). The staff is representative of power, authority, and guidance while his left hand represents the unconscious mind. This symbolizes the control he has over his unconscious mind. He is long past the point of being ruled by desires and emotions and is now a man of discretion, caution, and self-denial.

3 In The Hermit's right hand he holds a lantern. This symbolizes the illumination of his conscious awareness. He is a knowledgeable man who has taken a lifetime to broaden his conscious mind.

4 The Hermit is standing on an icy mountain top. Before now we have always seen mountains in the background but with a lifetime of traveling and learning behind him he stands atop the precipice. Mountains generally represent achievement. Since The Fool's journey has led him on a path of spiritual enlightenment we can say that he has achieved his goal for this particular lifetime. Mountains can also represent solitude as they are above and separate from everything else, looking down on the world. This is indicative of the life he now leads.

Key Words: Wisdom. Counsel. Regression. Withdrawal. Higher understanding. Balance. Intellect. Authority. Guidance. Discretion. Caution. Self-denial. Knowledge. Solitude.

When Using Reverse Meanings: When we see The Hermit inversed we are seeing someone who has not learned the lessons of life. They are either over-prudent or imprudent. They give poor advice and experience failure due to their lack of knowledge. Also they have rushed to label themselves a wise old soul when in fact there is much more life has to teach them. They have hurried to remove themselves from the world when the world is not yet done with them.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Colcannon

A delicious Irish dish definitely worth trying.

Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds potatoes (washed and peeled)
  • 1 small head of cabbage (washed and chopped)
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 pound bacon (crisped and diced)
  • 4 leeks (washed and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Crisp bacon and set aside to drain off excess grease.
  2. Boil potatoes until soft. Drain and mash with one stick of butter and milk.
  3. Boil cabbage for 8 minutes. Drain and add to potatoes with second stick of butter.
  4. Add bacon and leeks.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes and season to taste.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Strength


The card we reviewed last week was the first card to focus on an object, this wee we see the first card to focus on a personality trait. The card depicts a woman in a white gown interacting with a lion. It's a simple and straightforward card best described by it's title. Strength could either be referring to the lion, the woman, or both combined.

1 In front of everything else we see the lion. The lion is a classic symbol of Strength as well as, courage, power, and ferocity. Those under the sign of Leo are known to be controlling and confident. The lion also represents our inner passions and desires. The forces that motivate us and call us to action. This creature is pure energy.

2 Gently holding the lion's head we see a woman. She is clothed in a white gown, a wreath, and a sash. The white gown represents purity while the wreath and sash represent victory. She exhibits a different kind of Strength. While the lion represents a fierce and brutal Strength, the woman possesses the Strength of conviction, resolution, and self control. She controls the lion otherwise known as her inner beast or animal self with patience and kindness which are Strengths of their own. She keeps it's zeal in check and it gives her the confidence to succeed.

3 Above the woman's head we see the symbol of infinity. This was the same symbol we saw above the head of The Magician. This depicts her Strength as unfathomable. It is never ending. Again and again she will defy the weakness of giving into her inner demons.

4 Behind the pair, in the distance, we see a mountain. The mountain represents the reward reaped when one exhibits Strength. It symbolizes accomplishment.

Key Words: Strength. Courage. Power. Confidence. Action. Energy. Conviction. Resolution. Self Control. Zeal. Defiance. Accomplishment.

When Using Reverse Meanings: Obviously the opposite of Strength is weakness. This is a pathetic and petty person. Depending on the question this is someone who either easily succumbs to temptation or is about to succumb to a specific temptation. They have no faith in themselves or anything else, they lack conviction and are indifferent. If they are a person in a position of power it is likely they will abuse it. This could also symbolize a physical ailment. The person the card is referring to may be sick, or about to get sick.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Chariot

Following The Lovers we see The Chariot. For the first time the star of card is an object rather than a person. However while the vehicle does take center stage it is nothing without the man guiding it. He is a man in the prime of is life ready to do battle. This card represents a challenge or an opposing force. This could even be a challenge that you've already overcome.

1 The man guiding The Chariot is a golden haired youth bearing a scepter, adorned with a crown and dressed in armor. He is someone that doesn't lose and finds success through hard work. Although hard work is not everything, he must also have confidence. Without it he would be unsure of himself and his decisions, and even though he may rush to make those decisions he has confidence his plans with seem him through to victory. as he is a man ready to take on any adversary he must pay attention to details. His armor represents this personality trait as it helps to keep him protected. If forgotten who knows what tragedy could befall him.

2 The Chariot is being pulled by two Sphinxes, one black and one white. The black and white Sphinxes represent conflicting influences that need the warrior's guiding hand. Not only are they opposing colors but they are also each pointed in a different direction. It is up to him to make sure that each elementt works together to achieve the desired goal. The Sphinxes represent arcane wisdom and unity as their bodies are comprised of so many creatures. Harnessing their power is invaluable when overcoming odds. The relationship between the man and the Sphinxes also represent redirecting energy and the need to control one's emotions.

3 The Chariot is the final piece of the overall war machine. All are important but without each other they are useless. The Chariot represents movement and motivation.

4 In the background we see a town and then a body of water that he has crossed over. This depiction of crossing terrain symbolizes a journey, or possibly an escape. This could be an escape from a person, place or situation as is often necessary in battle.

Key Words: Turmoil. Vengeance. Challenge. Opposing forces. Success. Confidence. Rush to make a decision. Paying attention to details. Conflicting influences. Redirecting energy. Need to control one's emotions. Movement. Motivation. Movement. Journey. Escape.

When Using Inverse Meanings: This would be the failed warrior. This is a person overwhelmed when faced with adversity and who can't face reality. Their plans fail and they lose everything even when it seems like they have it all within their grasp.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Fitness Update

I checked my weight this morning and I seem to be on track for my goals so YAY ME! I've been a bit lax in my workout routine so I could definitely be doing better in that area but I've also found myself eating a lot less and getting full sooner so I guess it balances out. I've started taking a Super B Complex supplement for metabolism energy to go along with the vegetarian water pill I take. I have a tendency to retain water and they help tremendously.

I'd like to offer everyone who is trying to get healthier and lose weight a tip. Don't try talking yourself into buying or eating food simply because it's "healthy". I'm talking about those super organic insanely healthy cereals that taste like cardboard and sand, and those horrible "chips" that to me taste kind of sour. For me, I've always bought and ate that crap because I'm telling myself that I'm giving myself the same food I always eat just healthier and that will help me to lose weight. Wrong. If you like it, great, munch away. If you don't though please don't waste your money. You're going to eat that because you're "supposed" to, you won't feel satisfied and you'll end up binging on the junk that you're craving. Eat the stuff you like and simply make sure you're limiting it to a proper serving size. It'll stop you from associating food with guilt (you shouldn't have an emotional relationship with food) and you'll actually end up eating less.

Another thing that I know but I always have a hard time doing anything about, taking care of me. As a mom it's easy to forget about doing stuff like brushing my teeth, or putting on deoderant (gross I know, but I'm being honest). No one should constantly put themselves on the back burner like that. You'll end up with low self esteem because you don't look like you want and the depression from that will have you turning to all of your comfort vices i.e. sitting on your ass, and eating junk. When you feel good about yourself you want to move around, be seen, and get things done. So I'm trying really hard to force myself to do those basic hygiene things every day even if I need to write them into a to-do list and check them off.

I hoped this helped or encouraged someone, and if anyone has any health or beauty tips please share. The best way to honor the divine is to honor ourselves. The divine is within all of us, no exceptions.

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