Imbolc Enchanted Map cards reading.
Imbolc Enchanted Map cards reading.
I’ve been going through a bit of a crisis lately. The fibro has pretty much changed the way I look at everything. It made me reexamine how I spend my energy, who I give it to, and what actually feeds me energy back. I’ve spent the last 2 years getting more weak, feeling less ME.
THE LONG STORY
Part of this is due to my retail job. Anyone who thinks that retail is a nice, easy job has never done it. The energy output is boggling. Even if I don’t step out from behind my counter once the entire shift, the running back and forth, twisting for cigarettes, bending over for dropped change, etc. makes the shift seem more like 8 hours of Jazzercize than 8 hours of honest work. Add in people who can’t summon up even the most basic politeness, and my energy plummets. When I have a true problem with a customer over some misunderstanding or miscommunication, it truly wrecks my day. Those are the days that ensure I’ll be in pain for the rest of the night and part of the next day.
But I’ll get to that later.
I attempted to take a class for a work-at-home customer service job. I’ve done it before, and while it is a bit more stressful taking call after call, it’s also less stressful in that I don’t have to constantly rearrange my sleep schedule based on what days I’m opening or closing, and I don’t have to try to arrange for a ride. I also wouldn’t have to stand/Jazzercize for 8 hours at a time, and I was really looking forward to how that would help my body. So I was taking classes from 9-1pm, then going to work 3-10. This all sounds reasonable until you factor in the 2 hours of homework, and the fact that I didn’t get home/fed/tired until somewhere around 1am. So I kept getting behind on homework, losing sleep, stressing over the class, and I realized that it just wasn’t going to work if I was still working my retail job at the same time. Sadly, I can’t quit retail for a month of unpaid training for what could have been a temporary job, either. So it was a no-go.
And suddenly, I was stuck in the same position. All my hopes for getting out were dashed. The problem is that I have a very limited time in retail before my body just crumbles. I can feel it coming. It’s getting worse and worse, and there’s going to come a time when I really CAN’T physically do it anymore. Some people may have passed that threshold a while back, but unfortunately for me, I have a lot of experience with pain tolerance. So I’ve been sticking with the situation that’s hurting me.
So this leaves me with some interesting questions. First and foremost, what the fuck do I actually want to do? I love writing, and would love to be a full-time author, but that’s the kind of thing that makes money in the long run. I may look into freelance writing or editing, but those would just bring in a little money here or there. You can’t really make a career out of those things. I’m almost 40. It’s time to think bigger.
Then I flashed back on a company idea that Bear and I were kicking around a year or so ago. I made a huge batch of kyphi, intending to sell it on Etsy for basically enough money to buy more incense ingredients. I had an aromatherapy company a long time ago, and I burnt myself out on it by working too many 16 hour days and eating/sleeping/breathing aromatherapy. There came a point where I realized that I didn’t even enjoy it anymore. I tend to be a bit Type A about these things.
This time, I’m going to take it easier. I’m going to work on a few things at a time, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. One company that has really inspired me to try it this way is MoonaLisa, whom I’ve never managed to order from because her products are in such high demand and I miss the window to order. If you look at her catalog, you’ll see that everything is sold out. I love that.
THE SHORT STORY
So, we reopened the topic of Ravenson Reagents. We’re going to sell on Etsy, maybe Ebay, and probably end up with a full shopping site at some point, but with a limited product range. I’ll have some incenses that are available most of the time, but there will be special lines when I get inspired. Right now, I’m working on one called ‘The Temple of Morpheus’, which will have incense, tea, bathsalts, and candles to assist with dreamwork. I’m also going to list my first batch of kyphi, and I will continue to tweak my recipe and offer the results for sale. (Hint: the next batch will have about half as much frankincense. I love frankincense, don’t get me wrong, but I wished that some of the other ingredients could have shone through a little more.)
I’m also trying to visit here more often, and I’m sorry to say this, but I might start placing ads here. It’s not something I wanted to do, but if it helps me through this transition, so be it. Since nobody wants to place ads on a blog that doesn’t get many hits, there will be some more promotion work going on behind the scenes. I’ve always had a linked Twitter and Facebook, I just haven’t used them much. Now I will. For other places to visit me, click here.
I’m also noticing how certain people impact my energy level. I’ve always been relatively empathic as far as sensing how people are feeling, despite what they say. But more and more, I’m letting their energy impact my own. It’s like I had stronger boundaries once, but they’ve weakened with the rest of my body.
I’ve always believed in the energy exchange of personal interaction, and I’ve always had a huge aversion to attention whores. There’s a big difference between a happy extrovert and an energy-sucking vortex, and I’m really noticing that there are a lot more of the latter types than what I initially suspected. Again, I think I had better boundaries and shields at one point.
So, that’s something that I’m needing to manage as well. I need to make sure that I limit my time with people who exhaust me and make sure that I have some sort of shield up when I am around people I don’t know or who drain me.
It looks like some deeper energy work is in order.
I’ve been doing some meditating, which is a practice that I always seem to let go of after a while. I’m trying to figure out a way to make a daily practice of it, something short and sweet. We’ll see how that goes.
While I was at the sauna, I did a reading with my new The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards. These are supposed to be used as a companion to The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life, which I haven’t read yet, but it looks interesting. At any rate, the art on these cards is gorgeous, and the meanings are relatively easy to glean. So I bought them as an unbirthday present for myself.
I did the 6 card spread, and this is what I got. (My descriptions are paraphrased loosely from the handy-dandy included booklet.)
Card 1: The Past Influence — 38. Heal the Ouch — Healing and soothing heart, body, mind, and soul. This is a time of healing and spending time with the healing arts. (I’m seeing this as me trying to heal myself of all the physical pain of fibro, as well as letting go all of the things that were holding me down. I can also see this as representing Bear’s heart attack, and just all the chaos of our lives, and having to get through that to get to this point.)
Card 2: The Present Point of Vantage — 34. Spark — A spark of creativity, and moving on with optimism and hope. Good time to give birth to an idea or begin a new endeavor. (No-brainer. I’ve been creative and manic, and the spark is CERTAINLY there.)
Card 3: What You Resist — 52. Magical Map Shifter — People who come into my life to affect personal growth. “The Magical Map Shifter always initiates you into a better version of yourself.” (This is true. I resist this. I tend to keep people at arm’s length, most especially when I’m in one of my tender creative periods. I have NO desire to ask for, or even accept help, and this seems like a very foreign concept to me. Also, I really don’t think this is Bear. He’s absolutely my soul mate, and he’s willing to help me with this, but I know that this isn’t his dream, and may not be part of his life path. So I’m cautious about asking for him to do too much for Ravenson Reagents if it’s going to keep him from pursuing his personal goals.)
Card 4: Unexpected Help — 2. Gentle Gardener — A reminder that my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs help create my reality. Stay positive and expect a wondrous return. (I love this card so much. It’s very ‘Law of Attraction’, and that’s something I’m striving to work with right now.)
Card 5: The Next Right Action — 16. Rescue — Ask for help to expand your life. “Ask and you will receive.” Also, ask for divine assistance. (I did ask Bear if he would help me with small things, but again, that just doesn’t feel like what we’re talking about here. I don’t honestly know who else to ask. But I’m going to keep an eye out, and spend time with my meditation to see if I can deepen my connection with Goddess. Karmically speaking, I think I’m about due for some good things to come my way. I don’t feel entitled to them necessarily, but I’d like to think that all the BS was building up to something beautiful. :-))
Card 6: The Probable Future Destination — 28. Movement — “This is the time for positive momentum as you come out of a time of restriction.” The fog lifts, I feel compelled to move forward, and I take the right actions to change my life. (Ye Gods, I hope so. This is a wonderful card, and the ‘period of restriction’ really spoke to me. I’ve mentioned to Bear and J how much I’ve just felt ‘stuck’ lately. I’ve been feeling like I’m out of options. Maybe that’s not entirely true. What a wonderful feeling that would be, to actually move forward with something and be successful. :-))
So this was all a really positive reading. I loved it, and I want to work with these cards A LOT. Again, they’re beautiful, from the artwork to the gorgeous gold-leafing on the edges, and I love the archetypes and their influences. It brings me back to the bosom of Jungian theory, and that’s always been something I’ve loved.
This is the last of my obsessive self-analysis posts for a while. I’m actually boring myself with all this processing here, but it IS that inner exploration time of the year, after all. I promise to get back to something much more fun and upbeat next time. Maybe I’ll post my recipe for Imbolc potato soup. Actually, there’s not really a recipe, it’s just something I make up every year. There’s always onions, potatoes, milk or a milk substitute, and lots of garlic and herbs. Sometimes there’s also cheese. 🙂
It’s been a while since I’ve done a tarot reading for myself, and so I thought I would do a general reading just asking about the year ahead. I didn’t focus on work, relationships, money, creativity, health, or any of the other things that occupy my every waking minute, I decided to just let the cards show me what the general focus would be. To that end, I did a 12 month wheel spread, beginning at the top with January.
(Note, though I don’t really read reversed cards, I have a lot in this reading. 8 to be exact. Will note which ones are reversed and examine that later, perhaps during the months themselves.) Overall, I have 4 wand/fire cards, 2 chalice/water cards, 2 sword/air cards, 2 pentacle/earth cards, and 2 major arcana cards.
I’m just reading the ‘focus’ section from Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen.
January: King of Cups (Water)- Focus is on activities centering around the home or a business that you can do out of your home, financial independence; day-dreaming about love and romance, and/or a person with a Cancerian type of temperament.
February: Page of Wands (Potential) REVERSED- Focus is on inventory and analysis; philosophical, spiritual, and work-related ideas, discussions and activities; the desire for expansion; sexual attraction, new beginnings, and/or a person with a Sagittarian-type temperament.
March: Ace of Discs (Abundance) REVERSED- Focus is on continuation and/or things that come together later on; new things replacing old; investments of time or money; potential partners or partnerships; and pleasure, satisfaction, and prosperity.
April: Queen of Discs (Expression) REVERSED- Focus is on hopes, wishes, and aspirations; verification and tangible results; compassion for or service to mankind (or the ministry); finance and profit; and/or a person with an Aquarian-type temperament.
May: 10 of Swords (Disillusion)- Focus is on unfinished business or conditions that have become stagnant and must be cleaned up, cleared away, or corrected before any further progress can be made, be it in yourself, your family, your home, your business, or your community.
June: Ace of Wands (Creativity) REVERSED- Focus is on potential, that which could be or is about to be, increased business or social activities, and new avenues of fulfillment or promise that come in from out of the blue.
July: 4 of Swords (Rest) REVERSED- Focus is on activity, with special emphasis on printed materials such as letters, papers, and graphs, as well as money matters, social affairs, self-promotion, and starting or renewing a business of your own.
August: 6 of Wands (Success)- Focus is on a period of frustration, tension, or anxiety caused by intolerable conditions or restrictions placed on you by time or circumstance; also by things that break, snag, fall apart, or just don’t gel the way you want them to. (This one doesn’t seem right according to the picture in the book, OR the picture on my card.)
September: 1 The High Priest- Focus is on new beginnings, manifesting desires, love’s urgings, houses or property, finance, and the future.
October: 6 of Cups (Nostalgia) REVERSED- Focus is on environmental changes, comings or goings, short trips or jaunts, friends, lovers, relatives, nostalgia, work or employment.
November: 3 The Lady REVERSED- Focus is on passive rather than active activities; feelings, emotions, inner promptings, and intuition, self-expression, socializing, or connecting; short- or long-distance trips; and “being” rather than “doing”.
December: 4 of Wands (Development) REVERSED- Focus is on a “mulligan stew” of experiences, with special energy directed toward interpersonal relationships, communications, particpation, short or long distance trips, and/or the quest for enlightenment.
Then I drew cards for specialized questions, asking about these things:
Health: 6 of Discs (Bounty)- (Read the physical body description) Guard against accidents on the home front and be careful of what you eat… you could harm yourself or experience a life-threatening situation. (yay? :-/)
Love: Knight of Discs (Husbandry) (Read the romance section) You will experience apprehension or disquiet over a schedule because you’ll feel it will wipe out your chances for a relationship; and/or you will intuitively sense that which is to come. (This picture looks a LOT like Bear. He’s also a Capricorn, soooo…)
Career: 7 of Discs (Prudence) (Read the work/career section) You’ll be dissatisfied with your progress and experience anxiety about your business or financial state, and will want to be much more successful or solvent. (duh..)
(I love that they’re all discs/earth cards!)
Preface: Bear and I have been seeing someone since roughly December. She’s very limited as far as the time she can spend with us, but we usually manage to see each other once/week. I’ve been fine with that. I know that a relationship isn’t measured in time, but in emotions. Bear and I had a deep, intense, loving relationship for an entire year online before we moved in together.
We have both used ‘the L word’ with her, but she hasn’t used it back. I’ve tried to welcome her into my family, my home, and my BDSM ‘house’, but she stays one step out the door. She hasn’t ever acknowledged me on Fetlife, as if she doesn’t even know me. She hasn’t even changed her profile, which says she’s still looking for someone to serve.
A few weeks ago, I tried to ask her about the seriousness of our feelings for us. i.e. If Bear ended up in the hospital again, or I did, would she be there for us? Would she be there for me through the pain stuff I’m dealing with? I wasn’t having one of those crazy woman moments, I was honestly just wondering. She withholds a lot, and I wasn’t sure where we all stood. Long story short, she didn’t answer for a whole night, though she WAS on CollarMe. So I’ve always gotten the sense that she’s just keeping her options open.
She also went to a munch a few days ago where her ex Domme was. If she was mine, that would piss me off. She should have at least told me that it was a possibility. But she isn’t mine anymore, and she didn’t choose to tell me. So that’s a pretty good sign of where things are with us.
She either doesn’t seem to know that a relationship can still be deep, though the time is limited, OR, she just doesn’t want a deeper relationship with us. Either way, we’ve talked and decided to take things down a couple notches. We aren’t working on a relationship or something stable (though in the end, that’s what I really want), and we’re just casual until things change.
Which made me IMMEDIATELY want to go find someone else to get the taste of her out of my mouth and Bear’s mouth as well. However, I don’t honestly have the energy for that right now. So I’ve started up a new long distance friendship with a kindred soul in Virginia, and that’s been kinda great, actually.
But I’m still wondering where we’re at with J, and if there’s anything there that is worth trying to fight for. Casual is fine, but it breaks down pretty easily as things just become too much of a pain in the ass to bother with.
So, I watched THIS VIDEO and learned a new spread- The Relationship Spread. I like the flow of it, and it rings true, so I decided to try to use it.
My signifier is the Queen of Discs, since I’m a fully grown adult Capricorn woman. J’s signifier is the Page of Swords for various reasons, mostly since she’s an Aquarius.
The bottom row represents us (our signifiers) and what is between us physically. The card between us is the 3 of swords, or discord. This card really rings true, since there are two swords moving in one direction (Bear and I), and one sword moving in a different direction. It’s not like anything is so bleak, nothing is coming to blows or anything, but I just don’t feel like she GETS us. It’s more a discord of ideologies and life paths.
The second row represents what’s between us emotionally. On my side is 10 of Cups or ‘reward’. This could be one of several different things. She’s a submissive, and I reward her for the things she does well. Also, I could also make a case for a submissive being a reward for me and for Bear for all the other misc. bullshit that we deal with in life.
On her side is the Shaman, which signifies transitioning into a new lifestyle, and attaining that which she is seeking. I find this card particularly interesting for her because she’s gender queer, and likes to fantasize about transitioning completely. To me, the Shaman is about transformation.
Between us lies The Druid. The Druid has some interesting interpretations in the book I’m using, Tarot Made Easy by Nancy Garen. Here are some snippets… “You want to establish a deeper bond with someone or to unbind the bonds that block, restrict, or keep you from having what you want.”, “Romance will enter your life, but the relationship won’t get off the ground because you want an elevated love and will not settle for less. You will sacrifice love altogether rather than have a relationship that isn’t right.”, and “You will not be fulfilled in your relationship because it is either non-productive or dissatisfying at a very deep level.” Yep, all those sound about right. :-\
The third row represents what is between us on a communication level. On my side is the Ace of Wands and creativity. I do try to come up with interesting games we can play and ways to keep in touch that are fun, and not a daily burden. The Ace is very telling too, as I can be very forward in my attempts to communicate. The wand then becomes a torch, and I try to illuminate all the dark corners so that I know exactly what I’m dealing with. It can come off as pushy and possibly intrusive.
On J’s side is the 8 of Cups, or Abandonment. I don’t know if she’s been abandoned so many times (haven’t we all?) that she’s afraid to communicate with me, or if she doesn’t want to communicate because she thinks everything will end anyways. The book mentions feelings of pressure or negativity which may create feelings of alienation or cause the relationship to sour. Maybe she feels like me wanting clarity is creating pressure or negativity? Or maybe that’s her other relationship? Not sure, but it doesn’t look good. It may also be that she’s abandoning us.
Between us is the 9 of Cups or Stability. We both wanted stability in the beginning, or at least she said she did. I’m always upfront about wanting an actual relationship, and not just a play partner situation. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe she just doesn’t have that stability to give. *shrug*
The fourth row represents what is between us on a spiritual level, and also what will happen in the future. On my side, there’s the 8 of Discs, or Skill. The focus is on success in projects and accomplishments. I DO have about 5 big projects I’m working on, and so that is something lovely to look forward to. I’m still not writing a ton, but the end of the novel is nigh, and I feel like I do need to focus on that quite a bit.
On her side, we find the 9 of Wands, or Grounding. This represents events coming to a plateau or a completion. Also ‘biding time, or awaiting the right moment to react”. “You want efforts to bear fruit, to socialize, circulate, and be out with others, and your health (or that of another) to improve.” So.. Yeah. She needs more than just us.
Between us is the 9 of Discs, or Gain. Since this is also a 9, it also represents events coming to a plateau or a completion. Sounds like we’ll be going our separate ways. Interactions will be “primarily business-oriented” and there may even be unexpected offers of employment or money. FABULOUS for me, but it sounds like her focus will be primarily social and mine will be primarily in promoting myself and getting my financial shit together. Bear’s big focus is in the same self-promoting/career direction right now too. I’m fine with that. It’s really positive to me, and kind of bolsters the reading I did last time that said that financial gain is coming to me.
As for us? It sounds like we’ll just end up outgrowing whatever this is. My only regret is that it’s hurting Bear. I’m actually kinda fine with it. While I wish we could meet someone who was passionate about us, I’m glad that we have each other. He’s my rock, and maybe we’ll look again in the future when we’re ready.
Sooo.. I had completely given up on finding our third. We weren’t even looking any more, even though that seems to be a natural state for us. It’s not that Bear and I aren’t enough for each other, it’s more that we have a lot of extra love, and the idea of bringing a third into our relationship feels right.
Things didn’t work out when we tried to form a relationship with J, and that hurt. But it got to be OK over time, and now that we’re not trying to force something that isn’t going to be there, we’ve found a really amazing friendship. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone. He’s truly been there for us at our worst, and I can’t imagine trying to go back and create a relationship that would never work. I’m very happy with the balance we’ve found.
So I decided that I didn’t want to even try anymore. There was a flurry of activity after J, but that was more a balm for my bruised ego than anything else. Nothing stuck. I was looking forward to writing, getting back to my spirituality, and focusing on Bear. And then SHE showed up. And she was so lovely, charming, sexy, and clever, that it seemed worth the effort to try.
We were completely charmed with her. And after the first date, we were truly hopeful that there was something there. She’s even interested in chastity, which is a HUGE hot button for me.
We were giddy the next day, and per her messages, she was too. I was filled with a mixture of fascination and fear. Not just fear, terror. The idea of being hurt again (with all the other hurts in my life), just left me feeling unsure. And when I started to actually examine things (after the giddiness of the first few days had passed), I realized that while we had all these plans, all these hopes, we actually knew NOTHING about her. We don’t even know her name, aside from her Fetlife tag and email. She’s also been really tight-lipped about any information that could be used to identify her.
Granted, as a professional and a cross dresser, she has reason to be cautious. But honestly, when I break it down to the barest heart of the matter, the truth is that I don’t want to fuck someone whose name I don’t even know. I need someone to show me some trust and intimacy before I even try.
Does that mean I have trust issues? Sure, whatever. I’ll claim that. But I still think that my point is valid. If I’m going to let myself be vulnerable enough to try to invest some emotion into something, it needs to have some sort of a solid basis. Lust isn’t enough.
So long story long, I sent an email to that effect. Maybe my phrasing was off, but I was trying to express that I really liked her and just wanted to know more about her, or that maybe if she wasn’t sure about us we should slow down. And she lashed out. She doesn’t want a second date.
I’ve developed a relatively thick skin with all the dating/casual play I’ve done in the past, but this one aches. What’s worse is that Bear is hurting too. He was very taken with her, and he’s just moping and sad. I feel like it’s my fault that he got hurt.
I’ve given him permission to date her on his own if he would like, but I’m just not involved. It would be nice if she somehow realized what I was trying to say and made the effort to open up to me, but I don’t see it happening.
I have big walls, she has big walls, and neither of us are tearing them down anytime soon. I thought maybe it would be worth it to try, but I don’t think she does, so fuck it. 😦
So I took a long bath, cried a little, and did a 3 card tarot reading.
PAST: 6 of swords (solace)
This one’s pretty easy to interpret. 6 of swords is about leaving difficulties behind with a change of scenery. Kind of a cut-and-run scenario. Yeah, that’s me. When things get difficult or too confusing, I just leave. I have too much other chaos in my life to allow myself to be wrapped up in anything that makes me confused, stressed, or doubtful. Maybe it would be healthier to stay and face shit, but that’s not my strong suit.
PRESENT: Queen of cups (intuition)
Honestly, this might represent her. She’s a water sign and does have a very feminine energy. However, I think it’s more likely that it represents my state of mind right now. I’m going through a loss, fighting with my family, miserable in my job, and scared of my life just generally caving in. I’m emotional to the extreme right now, and I feel a lot of watery emotional energy in my present state. I’m feeling like (aside from Bear and J, maybe Wolfit) I have NOBODY in my corner. The people I’m closest to are attacking me, and I feel like I’m drowning.
FUTURE: 3 of discs (dedication)
At first glance, I see three smiling faces, and that gives me a little hope. However, when I read the meaning of the card, it’s more about building a solid basis in business, or starting a physical project. Maybe this is the incense business that I dream of creating with Bear? I’d LOVE to think that it means that things will come back around and she’ll try for us. And that we’ll be able to build things on a solid basis and be strong together. But I can’t really imagine that that’s the case. I think the part of me that hopes, that tries to connect with people, is broken. I think it’s just been damaged beyond repair. I don’t have the energy for it anymore. So who knows what this means. *shrug*