1 -2 February, Imbolc, Candlemas and Brigid’s Day

Today is Candlemas, the Christian festival of presenting Jesus at the temple, but before that, a more ancient celebration in Gaelic Britain of coming spring. Go on folks. Get with the programme. Parade down the street, go pray for the health of the fields! It’s all about the soil.

Plus today is a palindrome date: 02022020.

Candlemas is a continuation of the ancient festival Imbolc, which spans 1-2 February and began yesterday with St Brigid’s Day. The original Brigid was a pre-Christian goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was a daughter of the chief of the gods, The Dagda, and was known as a goddess of healers, poets, smiths, childbirth and inspiration. Her name means “exalted one”.

Her story was later merged with the Christian saint of the same name in the middle ages, St Brigid of Kildare.

This fire festival, whether viewed as pagan or Christian, began as a neolithic festival also celebrated in Scotland and the Isle of Man, roughly marking the 1/2 way point between the winter solstice and spring equinox.

From The Sacred Circle Tarot

There are various suggestion about the etymology of ‘Imbolc. ‘ It is commonly thought to come from a word meaning “in the belly.” This reflects goddess Brigid’s role as a protector of women in childbirth, as well as the safe birthing of precious livestock.

Any time now, is the time of the very first lambs. The start of the lambing season varies by up to two weeks in any given year.

Brigid was said to visit one’s home at Imbolc. Asking her blessings, people would make a bed for Brigid and leave her food and drink, and items of clothing would be left outside for her to bless. Brigid was petitioned to protect homes and livestock. This was a time for feasting and visits to sacred wells, and a time for ritual divination.

St Brigid’s cross is the classic icon of her saint’s day today, though this too, predates Christianity. It is made from rushes and was placed in doorways to protect the home from harm.

A new Christian story was created for it, that the earthly manifestation of Brigid, St Brigid of Kildare, had woven it for a dying man, using rushes from the floor, baptizing him at the point of death.

By Culnacreann – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3500722

Spring fire, fierce quickening of new green shoots.

Imbolc was when the Cailleach. —the divine  crone of Gaelic tradition—gathered her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend said if she wished the winter to last a good while longer, she would make sure the weather on Imbolc was bright and sunny, so she could go out and about, and gather firewood.

It was lucky, therefore, if there was bad weather at Imbolc (and the wind was screaming as I was typing this.)

If Imbolc was a day of foul weather, as it was here yesterday, and today is still damp and blustery, it meant the Cailleach was sound asleep, and winter was almost over.

Until next time 🙂

Psychic Scratching in the Cartomancy Sandbox

Recently I added to my reading mix,  a deck of ordinary playing cards. These have been in use for cartomancy; divination and fortune telling, for at least 400 years longer than the Tarot, and neither one of them began as fortune telling tools. They were both invented for gaming purposes. In the case of playing cards, it’s thought they first came to Europe from the Middle East, arriving there in turn from the Far East.

Fully illustrated Tarot cards contain pictorial ingredients offering unlimited possibilities of translation via associative thinking, but playing cards, while less interesting pictorially, and somewhat prosaic, will do the job.

I thought I’d try them out in a recent face to face reading for a new client, reserving them for getting at a few yes or no answers if required.

Asking for the Tarot’s insight into my client’s recent significant past I drew The Fool and The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, images by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

gilded-foolThe Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

The Fool is about opportunity, enthusiasm, a gamble, a birth. The Ace of Pentacles suggests a windfall, a new job or business, a new home, a garden or a new, precious object.

These following The Emperor prompted me to ask the client, had there been a recent major change or opportunity to do with a new job or new kind of work, and also maybe a new home?

And was it possible this new home might be in the countryside or else have a big garden or some land?

He said he had bought a house with land, and was planning to build on that land, and he wanted to know, what were the prospects for successful completion?

Yee-haa! Time to put my ordinary playing cards to the test and I drew these.

playing-cards-spread-showing-building

My first observation was that I had drawn two red cards and one black. Learning to do psychic readings is all about self-programming, and like learning anything, involves rote and repetition. I’ve decided a red card mean yes, whether it’s a diamond or a heart, and a black card means no, whether it’s a spade or a club card. And then I go for best of three, and the numbers might swing my thinking.

You could decide that a black card means yes, if you wanted, and a red card means no, and it might work splendidly reliably if you are consistent, though it might prove counter-intuitive as the most challenging cards in a playing deck – most, not all, are contained within the suits of spades and clubs.

Once decided on your own system, you need to stick to it. There’s no right or wrong with these things. There’s what works subject to proof. This is where there can arise a problem with going to classes ‘to be taught’ how to read. You are your own best teacher. Learning to ‘see’ in this way is solitary. Even lonely. It is not gregarious at source. Study adds skill and there is a vast library here to study, but in the end, while rendered articulate by skill,  the oracular spirit, to be true to itself, remains a cat who walks alone.

The short answer to the client’s question therefore was yes, but I was struck by the appearance of two diamonds cards, equating to the Tarot’s suit of Pentacles; the suit of earth.

I was additionally struck by the fact that the middle card was twice the number value of the first card. a 4 and an 8. It made me think of foundations, and plumb-lines; four walls, and then four walls, doubled.

It didn’t seem random, it felt as if it might be significant and I said to the client, ‘are there going to be TWO buildings, by any chance? And one is twice the size of the other? But this black card, the 3 of Clubs, suggests there’s a bit of stress already?’

Notice, I was asking him. That’s because I did not know if this was correct. I only knew that’s what I was being shown, and wanted to check.

‘There ARE going to be two buildings’ he said,  nodding surprised, ‘log cabins and one is going to be exactly twice the size of the other one. And yes, it’s fair to say there’s a fair bit of stress…’

And so the discussion moved forward.

Well done, my little £1.99 fortune-telling friends. Although I don’t tell fortunes, you’ve clearly got my number, and I think you and I need to get better acquainted.

Until next time 🙂

 

 

Tarot Parroting…Another case of psychic Art Imitating life

loro_en_bicicleta-640x640x80

Tarot loves to start off a reading, playing parrot.

Just as Art imitates or rather, conjures Life, that’s how Tarot works. As within, so without.  The first thing I aim to do in a reading, is ask the cards to help me identify my client’s most pressing concern or question. The Tarot tells me by ensuring I draw the card that most accurately mirrors that unspoken concern or question, as closely as can be managed from among the 78 cards in a Tarot deck.

This ‘mirror-card’ tells me and my client that we are on the same wavelength, which provides a reliable baseline for the rest of the reading.

My Tarot did it again today, and deserves one of those little nectar pots adored by larikeets and parrots alike.

I was about to self- inject for the first time, trying out a new med for quite a severe severe rheumatoid-type illness (I have tried MANY approaches in 20 odd years, with too much ground covered to mention, while exercising great care in agreeing which pharma meds to try )

The med is called Orencia or Abatacept. It is a new class of meds known as biologics. Orencia works to inhibit the production of T cells, T1 and T1. These are normal proteins, and are essential for your normal immune response, but if that goes wrong for any reason, they can go into overproduction, causing an inflammatory cytokine cascade resulting in acute pain and long term damage.

These biologics, while for some they offer a last chance of respite, can be dangerous, so I thought I’d pull myself a few cards before injecting.

The first card out was The Tower.

 

Katie-Ellen Hazeldine's photo.

Just look at that pic. How well did the Tarot do, with a deck of 78 cards to work with, shuffled and drawn blind and at random…in guiding me to draw this card, signifying the issue in question.

Look at the card again. Look at the injector pen.

Squawk! Pretty Polly! 

This is how readers know their question has been heard and logged by their unconscious mind. The first card out of the deck will mirror the stated question, or even the unstated question.

Next I drew

4 Swords, (illness)
Ace Swords ( a sword, or in this case…spring loaded needle)
and 7 Pentacles. (tend to the crop, patience is required.)
This last card was also a suitable reflection as this med is is a weekly injection.
I therefore concluded, that while I could not expect a miracle, or even a significant observable response, there would be no significant negative response; a finding which I am so far in a position to validate.
Tarot does make me laugh sometimes.
Till next time 🙂