Saturday, June 4, 2011

Make a learners tarot deck from regular playing cards


I have been incredibly blessed to come into contact with Leila Raven, the creator of Temple Illuminatus, a social networking site for people interested in spirituality.  This post, which she has kindly given permission for me to repost, is pure genius.  It's smart, realistic and very well written.  Enjoy the post and check out http://www.templeilluminatus.com.  
-The Cauldron Keeper
ying cards
If you can't afford to buy a deck, or just want a deck to learn along with, making your own learners tarot deck is easier than you might imagine!

The process of putting it together may even help you familiarize yourself with the cards as well as help you in the beginning of learning some of their meanings and symbols.

All you'll need is two decks of playing cards and a permanent marker or pen.

They do not need to be full decks, as you are going to moderate the meanings of the cards a bit with that marker anyways. So if you have old card decks missing cards around the house, or if you pick up some old cards at a second hand or thrift store those should work fine.

 
If along with, making your own learners tarot deck is easier than you might imagine!
The process of putting it together may even help you familiarize yourself with the cards as well as help you in the beginning of learning some of their meanings and symbols.
All you'll need is two decks of playing cards and a permanent marker or pen.
They do not need to be full decks, as you are going to moderate the meanings of the cards a bit with that marker anyways. So if you have old card decks missing cards around the house, or if you pick up some old cards at a second hand or thrift store those should work fine.

You can use which ever cards you want for these. Face cards are prettier, but if you want to write all over them number cards will give you more area for your learners notes. For instance if you make your Priestess a 2 of cups from the other deck you'd be able to write all over white expanse of the card. The 2 would represent her placement in the numbers of the Major Arcana, the cup/chalice a traditional symbol of priestesses, or perhaps you'd prefer a different suit for your priestess, for your own symbolic reasons. Or you could pick a pretty queen to make your Priestess instead, but have less room for notes on the card.
Up to you for the major arcana, which symbols do you connect to, and what would work best for you.
Additionally, you can also use permanent marker/s or just plain pen, and mark the cards with additional information about the meaning of that card. You can just keep it to the name of the card if you like, or if you are learning, you can write crib notes on your cards. Obviously you'll be able to tell which side is up then just by which way the writing goes.
If you're always looking up the meanings still, just adding a short note of a few words on the card to remind you of it's meaning, and/or add one or two of the traditional symbols, can help speed your recall.
IIt won't be the prettiest fanciest deck in the world, but it will be imbued with your own focus and creative energy and can be a great tarot learning tool if you're a beginner.
As an additional note, speaking of energy... If the used cards feel like they have a residual energy to them that you believe may interfere with their use, use a cleansing ritual of your choice before you start modifying them.
There are plenty of tarot card cleansing rituals you should be able to find online if you do a search, that is if you don't already have a preference for purifying/cleansing sacred items. I believe which ritual you use is less important than using one that 'feels right' to you.
Enjoy your 'new' deck and have fun learning about the Tarot!
Live in Love, Leila Raven

Copyright © Leila Raven -Temple Illuminatus


Friday, June 3, 2011

Letting go ritual

Thanks to a cosmic kick in the pants, I am finally finishing this post after letting it sit for months.  Thank Karen Cottle for it (and check out her blog http://keeperofbalance.blogspot.com) as her post inspired me to get some things done today.  


Letting go is not an easy thing to do for many of us.  We cling to things and feeling and ideas long after they are useful to us or healthy for us.  This ritual, which is part sympathetic magic and part Winnie the Pooh, is a nice way to try to get in the right frame of mind and symbolically act what we need to do.

You will need:

 flowers of the appropriate type and color or small pieces of biodegradable paper and a water based pen
a body of running water

Start my holding the flowers or pieces of paper in your hands.  Concentrate on pushing your feelings into these.  What are you letting go?  Be specific.  If using the paper, you can write down what you want to release, but it is not a required step.  Hold these symbols tightly, the way you are holding on to things you don't need.

Take a deep breath and release the flowers into the water and watch them float away.  Don't follow them physically, watch only.  See the things you don't need and don't want drifting away with the flowers.  Once they are out of sight, take a few deep, cleansing breaths.  Turn your face to the sky and accept positive energy, happiness and healing into yourself.

If you'd like, you can now complete a cleansing ritual or bath and spend some time meditating on what you want in your life now that you have more space for it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

White Wine Chicken Pasta

This is one of my family's favorite dishes and it's been a big hit for summer get-togethers, as it's not difficult, easy to customize and very flavorful.  The original recipe, modeled after a dish from Olive Garden, did not include the mushrooms or spinach, but they are staples of my kitchen, not to mention they add color and texture for presentation.  I am a haphazard cook.  I rarely measure anything precisely and cook with my nose and taste buds.  This recipes is also great as leftovers and has lots of ingredients to promote prosperity and protection!

chicken- boneless, skinless chicken breasts of thighs (1lb)
spinach (about 1 cup raw or 1/4 cup frozen) (optional)
mushrooms (portbello or white, cut into slices) (optional)
tomatoes (2-3 medium sized ripe tomatoes diced or a pint of cherry tomatoes cut into halves) (prosperity)
garlic, sliced (1 bulb, depending on your taste, more or less works well too) (also garlic is protection against theft)
onions, sliced (1-2, depending on how much you like them; I like purple onions for their color, but white or yellow work just as well)
olive oil or butter (3-4 Tbsp)
Parmesan cheese (optional)
cooked linguine (1- 8 serving package) (wheat symbolizes fertility and wealth)
white wine (3/4 cup) (to honor the sun)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper (I bake it, but you can brown it if that's easier) and cut it into slices.  Saute onions and garlic in the butter or olive oil until translucent.  Add sliced chicken, mushrooms, spinach and white wine.  Cook on medium heat for until the spinach begins to wilt and the mushrooms are warmed.  Add salt and pepper if needed.  Toss in linguine and tomatoes.  Remove from heat.  This makes about 8 servings.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve hot or warm.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Deflecting bad energy

Some people and situations are completely toxic.  You can't always avoid them, but you can shield yourself from the effects of such negativity as spite, jealousy and the evil eye.

One way to accomplish this is simple- simply place a mirror between you and the source- which reflects the negativity back on it's sender.  Of course this works best if you know where the energy is coming from and can place a mirror there.  In your home, a mirror directly across from the front door will work well for this purpose.  A compact in your purse can perform a similar function.  Or, you can wear a shiny locket, one with a reflective surface (either inside or out).  Mirrors have long been believe to hold magical properties and are the subject of much folklore and folk magic.  They are also, nowadays, inexpensive and easy to come by which makes them easy to overlook as magical tools.

Another way to eliminate bad energy is to image armor around you that protects you from any unwelcome energy that comes your way.  My son is very sensitive to negative energy, so I often remind him to put his armor on.  The difference in sense of wellbeing is amazing.  If armor doesn't appeal to you, you can also envision a sphere of white light or crystal surrounding you and your aura.

My third method for getting rid of bad energy involves using a pair or mental scissors to cut away the thread of negative energy that attach themselves to you.  Whenever necessary, sit quietly for a minute and look for thoughts and emotions that are sapping your energy or happiness.  When you find them, use your strong, shining mental scissors to quickly, cleanly and effectively cut them away.

There are many other ways to prevent outside negativity from affecting you.  I find these methods to be simple, effective and unobtrusive.

May positive energy and emotions surround and fill you.