2017 Samhain Tarot Blog Hop – Ancestors

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Ah, the ancestor thing again. I am in a little bit of a pickle here, thanks to our wrangler Jay Cassels.

You see, my family never venerated our ancestors. After my maternal grandmother died, my mom used to go every 1 November to the cemetery and spend a few moments at her mother’s grave. But never visited anyone else’s – well, her brother’s after he died. I doubt she knows where her grandparents are buried and she had a rocky relationship with her father so there’s no chance of her going to his grave (I never even knew him, so you can imagine).

The only person in my family who loves going to graveyards is my other grandmother. She says she finds peace there. I find this both strange and beautiful. Although if you think about it, that’s where you are laid to eternal rest…

Back to the topic, in my family we don’t do this lineage thing and ancestors and whatnot. I have no idea what my great-grandfather’s name was. Also, I firmly believe in reincarnation, so I have trouble finding much importance in my current family tree when I have had so many others already. To cut it short, when I have seen the topic of this hop, I got nervous. I know that for my blog neighbour Benebell Wen her ancestors are really important (I adore her knowledge and connection to the craft, she is fantastic!) and that for many ‘pagans’ it is the same… so I feel as out of place as a lamb at the Annual Carnivore Conference.

I asked the cards how could I avoid totally losing face and having to withdraw half day before the hop. I got from the Goddess Inspiration Oracle, Mut; the mother of mothers. Very apt, thank you cards.

So then I asked my trusty old Egyptian Tarot (Mut is the *Egyptian* goddess of motherhood) what can I learn from my mother and my grandmothers. Here be the reading…

1. What can I learn from the matriarchs?

2. In what should I follow their example?

3. Where should I avoid following their example?

1. Ten of Pentacles, Judgement, Death

I can learn from them how to stay whole, and how to keep the family together. I can learn how to resurrect myself from my own ashes and continue on. How to cut away what is not healthy anymore and how to change with times.

2. Justice, King of Pentacles, Page of Cups

I should follow their example in giving myself justice, and judging others righteously. Giving everyone what they deserve. To be self dependent and unshakable. To show my feelings to those who deserve it, and protect myself and mine from outsiders.

3. Queen of Cups, Ten of Cups, Three of Wands

I should avoid being too emotional and emotionally dependent on others. I shouldn’t look for The Perfect Family because it is nonexistent. And I shouldn’t try to be ‘creative’ (dishonest) when dealing with mine. I need to be direct and honest, and tell when I don’t like something.

A lot to think about, Thank you Jay! Now hop on to Benebell on the right or to Joanne on the left, or if you like it random, click one link on the master list! Happy Halloween! Here’s my Thoth pumpkin I carved today. Because of the pumpkin’s curves it is not very visible but I am so proud of it, I had to show it off, hahaha!

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Centenary of the Russian Ocober Revolution and the 1917 Tarot

I have meant to write this post since the beginning of the project, but alas, something was always more urgent. But, you have time for what you make time for.

And as we know time goes by so quickly you don’t even realise! On the 7th November (25 October in the Julian calendar Russia used that time) 1917 a signal was sent from the ship Aurora, that would change world history forever. On that day, monarchy ended in Russia and gave its place to Lenin and the Bolshevik.

To commemorate this event Silhouette Publishing has came up with the idea of creating a not for profit, collaborative deck. Natalia Plakhina, Vladimir Sitnikov and Elena Udina have successfully herded their cats, and voila, the deck is in its final stages of creation and available to preorder!

Big shots who gave their name and artwork for the project include Ciro Marchetti, Robert Place, Alexander Daniloff, Oswaldo Menegazzi, just to name a few.

And among the smaller contributors you can find, well, me. 🙂 Here I would like to thank all the gods for TABI, social media and Ciro Marchetti’s choice of card! Ciro, thank you for choosing Rasputin! If it wasn’t for that post you wrote in TABI’s FB group, I would never have found this project!

And now, I’d like to show you my cards. These are the images I have sent in. They don’t have a border yet, they aren’t the finished product. But I am so very proud of them, I just can’t express it in words, haha! So much for trying to look modest.

Here I present my submissions for the 1917 Tarot!

My Emperor. Nicholas II’s icon. Did you know he was canonised? 🙂

The Two of Stars (Coins). You’d never guess I am a Marseille Tarot lover. 😉

My Five of Flags (Cups). I have a soft spot for Nicholas II… 🙂

The Six of Hammer and Sickle (Wands). Gagarin’s space flight was just 21 days before America’s Alan Shepherd’s!! He does look vexed, but then America beat Russia to the Moon. 1-1!

Two more cards were proposed by me, but they had to go through a little transformation before they could be added to the deck. One was the Page of Flags and the other the Three of Flags (Cups). I’d rather not embarrass myself with showing the originals, lol. You’ll see what came out of it when you buy the deck here: http://www.1917tarot.com! 😀

I am so, so grateful for this project! It has been an amazing inner journey, a great experience with art, and the start of some extremely strong friendships. Natalia, Elena, Vladimir… thank you! ❤

2017 Mabon blog hop – Sacred Food

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Welcome to this year’s Mabon tarot blog hop! Our wrangler Boglarka Kiss has asked us to write about what a specific tarot character would prepare for this occasion of celebrating harvest and abundance.

thoth queen of discs, mabon blog hopSurprise surprise, I chose the Queen of Pentacles. Why? Because it would be my significator if I ever used one. No rocket science until now. But!

This year, the Hindu festival of Navaratri coincides with Mabon. Navaratri means ‘nine nights’, and is meant to worship and celebrate the Goddess Durga and her nine forms. It starts on 21/09/2017 this year, so here we have Mabon and Navratri at the same time. Great!

I am sure all the hop posts will be full of delicious pumpkin recipes (YUM!), so I thought to use this lucky coincidence to show you what people eat in India on this day!

Food for Indians is sacred. Whatever the date is, even if there’s no festival going on (that’s a very rare occasion!) food has to be prepared in a certain manner, only then will the consumer lick their fingers and ask for more while still having some on their plate.

Short history lesson: spice blends like Garam Masala were created by priests/nutritionists not only to taste awesome but to aid people’s health as well. For example, Garam Masala has black peppers, coriander seeds, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, mace, black and green cardamom, cumin seeds and dry red chilies. You dry roast these and grind them in a blender. Some of this masala’s health benefits according to Ayurveda are aiding weight loss, lowering blood pressure and boosting the immune system. When you make it be sure to open all windows and send the kids out to play because man it will sting your eyes!

So, what do people eat on the holy occasion of Navaratri? For most of the day nothing, as you are supposed to be fasting, but when you finished your evening worship you can go and break your fast and oh was it worth the wait! Here I list some mouthwatering foods that all have one ingredient in common, that is easily available in the UK and around the world. It is nice and round, just like a Pentacle (Queen of Pentacles, remember?) Have you guessed it?

Yes, the disgusting sticky pudding thing, tapioca! And let me tell you, it is only disgusting because you have been making it wrong all this time! So now listen because here I present you the Queen of Pentacles’ list of dishes she prepares for Strength (Goddess Durga).

1. The Starter: Sabudana Pakora – Tapioca fritters made with mashed potatoes and roasted peanuts, served with chutneys. If you want to avoid deep fried things, try Sabudana Thalipeet instead!

2. The Main Course: Sabudana Khichdi – Tapioca cooked with peanuts and potatoes

3. The Dessert: Sabudana Kheer – Tapioca pudding

 

Eating tapioca is good for your bones, your brain, your insides, good for muscle growth, for aiding healthy growth of fetuses, and boosts milk production for breast feeding women. It is high in fiber, minerals and vitamins. The only thing is, if you want to lose weight, this should be a food that makes it to your table very rarely.

I hope I have changed your mind about tapioca, and inspired you to try some new recipes this year! Have a happy Mabon, and Hail the Goddess!

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Respecting the tarot – 2017 Lammas Tarot Blog Hop

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Our wrangler Morgan Drake Eckstein has asked us to write about how we show respect to the tarot and any other divination system we might use.

At first, I had no idea what to write. I don't have any elaborate rituals, I say no prayers, light no candles or incense sticks before reading… I was worried my post would consist of one line: "I wash my hands and wipe the table clean before starting to shuffle." Not a very interesting hop.

Then I made myself think harder and ended up looking like Winnie the Pooh; bent over with effort, scratching my head.

Still I had only a vague idea of the basic stuff everyone does (I think). I don't ask the same question over and over unless something changes in my (or querent's) circumstances. I read whatever cards came out and put extra effort in if they don't make sense at first glance. I don't like people touching my cards except when cutting the deck – a habit I got from my grandparents while playing Rummy. But these are common enough. Nothing extra there. :/

So what the heck do I do to show respect to the cards?

Even after falling over like a sack of potatoes (remember I was in the Pooh position), I couldn't think of anything special. And then, after resigning to hopelessness and almost withdrawing from the hop, it dawned on me. I'll ask the cards!

Out comes the wonderful Egyptian Tarot from its 15 year old cotton wrap that I sewn for it when its box fell apart! It looks as if a five year old has done the sewing but they have lived in it forever and it has a sentimental value for both of us – i.e. the deck and me.

Egyptian Tarot

Me: Hi guys, nice to see you again!

ET (Egyptian Tarot): And about time too! You always play with the Trionfi della Luna! 😡

Me: Oh don't be such Ten of Swords, you know you are my favourites!

ET: Yeah yeah, so you keep saying…

Me, shuffling: So I have this blog hop I want to do but I have no idea how I show respect to you guys and my other decks… help?

Egyptian Tarot

ET – Out jump the Seven Swords, The Crocodile (Fool), The Magus, and the Slave of the Pentacle (Page): When the need is great you come to us with an open mind, believe in our magic and put it to use, and strive to learn.

Me: Awww… 🙂 But that's what anyone would do. Don't you need a ritual or some candles or stuff…? I'm starting to feel bad about not having any special measures for you guys.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jumps the Nine of Cups, the Three of Cups and the Nine of Pentacles: You stay out of that BS, girl! You love us, and that is quite enough of an offering. (Nine Cups in this deck means a marriage proposal that should be turned down immediately)

Me: But how do I love you? I only come to you when I need advice. I don't do daily draws or journals or journeys. I just… come when I need you.

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Two Swords face down, The Two Cups, the Seven Scepters and the Ten Scepters: You don't fight with us, you work with us in peace and after taking our ideas on board you see them through to success.

Me: Ah, I'm starting to understand. I honor you and show you respect by actually listening to your advice and seeing it through, even if I don't want to. Huh, that makes sense. Still… Are you OK in your 15 years old wrap? It's kind of embarrassing, looking at the wonderful pouches and cloths available…

Egyptian Tarot

ET – out jump the Twilight (Moon), The Crown of the Magi (World), the Two Ways (Lovers) and the Four Cups: Don't let others influence you with their own beliefs. We feel good in our lame wrap, it is part of us now. We love it this way and feel safe and loved.

Me, melting down: I love you guys. Thank you! Anything I could do for you? You do look grubby, maybe a bath with a baby wipe? (In the 15+ years I've been using them I never physically cleaned them and well… I wasn't always washing hands before using them. Especially on a certain occasion on a gig ten years ago when I had to quickly grab a jam sandwich between two readings to avoid dying from starvation.)

Egyptian Tarot swearing at me

ET: out jump the Seven Swords, the Eight Swords and the Ten Cups:

DO NOT DARE TO TOUCH US YOU FREAK OR WE WILL NEVER ANSWER A QUESTION EVER AGAIN!

…We are quite happy as we are, thank you very much. *

Me, almost falling off my seat, laughing: Ok-OK! I love you too guys… 😛

*I need to share the description of these cards, to show the gravity of the deck's words (and for those who read RWS and may not understand the reason for the red colour and the caps lock): Seven Swords: sudden catastrophe that may affect the brain; a loss of position; ultimate triumph. Eight Swords: you are threatened with the loss of a law suit; that great anxieties are in store for you, you may even be sentenced to a heavy penalty, prison or death. The Ten of Cups is the sudden change of tone, and has the nice and cozy meaning similar to the RWS.

And so the reading ended, the wonderful Egyptian Tarot has gone back to its lame wrap, and I have learned that the important thing is not the ritual, the candles and the looks, but the love and respect you show your cards in your heart. Follow their advice and they will guide you through the maze of life.

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A reading with my Past Life’s Lesson Spread

I have been searching the internet for a spread on this topic for ages, but couldn’t really find what I was looking for. This is a spread I have made to look at past lives in a constructive way. What is the point of knowing who you were if you don’t learn anything, right? Now, this won’t give you your past name, but it will address some issues you might be facing in this lifetime.

Your positions:
1: The main characteristic of the previous life you have to know about right now – e.g. short, long, happy, sad, busy…

2: What kind of a person were you? – your main characteristics: kind, mean, optimistic…

3: What personality traits have you brought from that life to this that are hindering you now? – e.g. haughtiness or mistrust in people

4: Useful traits you brought into this life?

5: What is the lesson you had to learn then, and use in this life? – e.g. You had to learn to be persevering and you could use that trait now

6: What blocks do you have to release that stem from that life? – such as fears and dislikes

7: What karmic debt can you balance now that was made in that life? – e.g. If you were Emperor Nero then, you have quite a lot on your plate but most of us will have a lot less. 

8: How can you restore the balance? 

Let’s see a reading for me! Here are my cards:

Past life lesson and karma tarot reading spread
1: The main characteristic of the previous life you have to know about right nowThe High Priestess

On the card we see Devi Sarasvati, the goddess of Knowledge and Arts.

A scolarly life, quite lonely either because I have decided to be a nun or an ascetic, or because even if I had family around me I was living in my head. A life spent with studies. I was probably very proud of my knowledge too.

2: What kind of a person were you? Three of Pentacles

On the card we see Prince Siddhartha riding out from his palace, and being confronted with sickness, old age and death. He is deeply shaken and decides to start his journey to become Buddha shortly after this experience.

It seems I’ve been pretty oblivious to what was happening around me. Like, to really obvious things… sometimes I still am, haha! Also, the card means teamwork; I wasn’t such a loner after all? Maybe I’ve been a creative director or an architect, or a librarian… 

3: What personality traits have you brought from that life to this that are hindering you now?Ace of Cups

The card shows Lord Shiva in a meditative state as the source of spiritualism. The suit of Cups shows his evolution from an ascetic to a family person.

 I am way too emotional. I can’t handle stress and I crumble under pressure. I might also give too much attention to the ‘other side’ and not live in the ‘real’ world. I simply love to sit in one place and explore my imagination or do magick. That’s not very helpful when I should be getting about my daily routine… 😉 

4. Useful traits you brought into this life?The Fool

The card shows Lord Shiva’s Rudra avatar. Rudra (the Screamer) has jumped forth from Lord Brahma’s forehead and started breaking the half-made universe because he didn’t have a name or a purpose. When Brahma gave him the name Rudra and told him to do some creation, he calmed down and finished the universe. Yipee!

A useful trait I brought from that life is a faith in… faith. Whatever has to happen, will. Whatever had to happen, has happened. No use of being a five of cups and cry over spilled milk. Hakuna Matata.

The Fool is always ready to start on a new adventure and has complete trust in himself that he can do it. Or if not, there will be something else he can do. But there is no way he will be stuck for more than a short time.

5: What is the lesson you had to learn then, and use in this life?The World

The card shows Lord Shiva as Nataraj, the Lord of Dance – and the one who’s dance is the pulse of the universe. 

The complete opposite of the Fool! 😀 I had to learn to complete my projects, to follow them through even in the face of great adversity (the Fool has to reach the World by going through Death and The Tower and the Devil cards!) I wish I remembered this lesson earlier… I am not really good at finishing things. But I will remind myself now! 😉

6: What blocks do you have to release that stem from that life?King of Wands

Creativity, self-worth, confidence, loudness… something terrible must have happened because I have almost none of these things. I know I could be like the KoW but somehow I am afraid to be. I am afraid that my work will be misunderstood, that I will have to explain myself, I have impostor-syndrome… I’ll do a separate reading on this matter later on. It’s a lot. In a nutshell: I am afraid to be ‘out there’.

7: What karmic debt can you balance now that was made in that life? Queen of Pentacles 

Being a mom. Spending time with family. Being a family person, and enjoying it.

8: How can you restore the balance? 10 of Pentacles 

Well here’s to stating the obvious: have a happy family life without having a guilty feeling! Everything in my life led to the point where I am now: being a mom of two awesome boys and staying at home with them. The plan wasn’t exactly this; I have graduated from Uni and worked in an IT company. But when destiny/karma calls, there’s no whining about plans and expectations… Still, I do have a guilty feeling about sitting at home and not having a career. It comes with living in this era I guess. Homemakers are valued next to nothing. Big conflict between karmic balance restoration and expectations of modern society… Will work on this later on! 😉

So, what have I learned? To sum it up: I need to realise that this is a new life with new experiences and opportunities to get rid of some karma. I have to let go of the block on my Wands aspects (I will do a detailed reading on this later on); I also have to embrace being a mother and not let society’s expectations spoil the fun. And I have to make myself aware that I actually can finish projects and I know how to carry things through… just have to get the hang of it again! 

If you’d like a reading with this spread, drop me an email to katalin.patnaik at gmail dot com, or leave a comment and we’ll talk it through. The first person to write will have a free reading with it (because I am such a softy Ace of Cups… and because I feel that someone out there needs this right now). I will expect a detailed and honest feedback in return! 😉

Shuffle your cards in my name, and have a great day!
Love,

Kati

Cards are from the Sacred India Tarot by Rohit Arya and Jane Adams. 

2016 Yule/Winter Solstice Tarot Blog Hop

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‘Tis that time of the year again! Be merry, open your moneypurse and overspend your credit limit. The Coca-Cola trucks have been sighted: it’s officially Christmas!

Also, welcome to the Yule tarot blog hop. Our wrangler, Joanne Sprott from Cosmic Whispers Tarot has given the topic of looking inside, digging for gold in the dark, fertile soil of our souls. How marvellous! I love the moist smell of rotting autumn leaves, and can’t wait to have dirt under my nails!

That said, after the October Tarot Shadow Work Challange I have created I had no idea what to write. I have used up all the ideas I had, and recycling them into this post didn’t feel right. Then inspiration hit!

Norse Mythology on Facebook came up with an art competition with Goddess Freyja and Midwinter as topic, and how these two connect ( results were out on the 23rd, I haven’t won anything, lol). I have made this painting to submit:

Freyja as Goddess of Death

Freyja, the Lady. Freyja the beautiful. Freyja the sexy. Njörd’s daughter; Frey’s sister; Od’s neglected wife; owner of Brisingamen, the most precious piece of jewellery in the nine worlds. Roughly these are the things your average viking enthusiast will associate with her. But she is so much more than these suprficial, mainstream love-goddess things!

Some researchers say she is Gullweig-Heid; the Van goddess who has been burnt by the Äsir three times for bringing disquiet to Asgard (in the form of erections and posessive machoism). With the help of her magic she has resurrected after each murder attempt, but this attrocity has triggered the great war between the Äsir and the Vanir – at the end of which to seal the peace, hostages have been exchanged; can you guess who was one of them? Exactly.

Living amongst the people who have put her on a burning pyre three times, and yet most of whom can barely hide their erections when they glimpse her – the guys anyway – is tough. And Freyja, along with being extremely magnetic, is a tough woman.

Her carriage is pulled by two cats [this alone proves my point: go and try to teach a cat this trick and see what it thinks about it! ;)] as she flies over battlefields, claiming the souls of the dead. No, it is not only the valkyries who deliver heroes to their heavenly abode in Walhalla. Along with Odin, Freyja has the right to half of all the souls who have fallen in battle. She takes them to her castle Sessrumnir to party until Ragnarök comes and they can prove their worth. Very goth!

The painting shows her in midwinter, suggested by the tiara made of holly leaves in her hair. Her long blond locks are left loose, somewhat unkempt. A warrior doesn’t always have time to brush out those knots! Around the corners of her blue eyes you see the tiny marks of ageing. This is a mature goddess who brings you the honour of death in battle, not some damsel in distress! (Although if I would have drawn more wrinkles, I suspect I wouldn’t have lived to the day this hop goes live, hehe) Her facial expression is a kind of RBF (resting bi*ch face) to convey the message that she does not care for your BS. She has heard all the pleas, knows all the lies men have ever made up to convince a woman. You will need something more if you want her on your side.

She wears her falcon cloak that makes her able to fly without having to transform into an actual bird – and probably having to arrive as naked as a newborn after taking her own form back. On her leather shoulder plate you see the likenesses of her sacred animals: a boar and a cat, made of gold with ruby insets. (They are based on viking replica jewellery, here and here

It is said that she sheds red gold, or in this case ruby tears for her missing husband. I have used these tears to decorate her armour. She is beyond playing the neglected wife now. She uses her past sorrows as ornaments, as precious stones for her soul under fallen autumn leaves.

I will leave you with that thought and this card I have made for the hop.

Viking Goddess Freyja as Tarot card Death
Cloudless Winter Solstice for everyone! Make sure to like, share and comment before you hit the Next button! 😉

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Kati’s Tarot Sadow Challenge Day 3 – The High Priestess

Day three, The High Priestess – nursery, primary school teachers, female family members (like sister or nieces) apart from your mother and grandmothers. The first time we come in contact with women other than our mother (who ideally was the epitome of love this time) can be hard. They might act differently than we are used to with ‘mom’, and that can lead to confusion, disappointment or fear. If a teacher gives you punishment for something your mom would just smile on, it leaves a big scar. This is the first step to realize not everyone loves you unconditionally. Ask your cards: How did these women affect my Shadow? What part of me did they put there?
tarot, shadow, work, high priestess,

The Master of the Cup – How did these women affect my Shadow?

Through my sister I had to learn that I am not the centre of the universe – at least of my mother’s universe – and that sharing can be good, although I was not very happy to share my mother’s love and attention. I am the oldest child so for some time I have got all the attention and naturally it is hard to give that up. 
Through my teachers I had to learn to shut up, sit down and “drink my milk” even if it’s too hot -see how the cup has a cloud of steam rising from it… by this I mean obedience and listening, even if I know it is not exactly right. I was never brave enough to stand up for myself.

2. The Sphynx, The Mistress of the Cup and The Three Swords – What part of me did they put there?

Accepting that things change all the time is hard, and I guess I am afraid of change after all. I never though I was, but thinking about it now yes, I am uncomfortable with change.

The part of me that could say “no, I’d like to have this ice-coffee, thank you very much all the same!” The one that is not jumping to other’s tunes.

The fighting back part.