Flower Speaks: Fighting denial with openness

Now that the day of my departure draws closer, I am busy packing my bags and taking care of some final details. But until a couple of weeks ago, I was in a state of denial about it.

Yes, I want to go. Yes, I do love travelling. But the fact is that travelling always makes me anxious (different country, different language, don't know anyone, don't know what to expect etc.), and the only way that I could deal with it was pretending it was not there. La-la-la can't hear you, can't see you. But eventually, maintaining the denial was becoming more painful than facing the source of my anxiety, so I decided to do a reading about the whole... thing.

I used the Flower Speaks deck because nowadays it seems to be one of the few oracles that I can still use for myself. I don't know what's happening, but suddenly any self-readings I do using either the tarot or the PCO (or even my beloved Witches Runes) just make me more confused than enlightened. Thus, I have been saving these oracles to use for others. I guess the decks that work best for me are the one I love but never bothered to memorise the cards, so I still need the companion book... that keeps me from confusing myself, since I don't have many preconceived ideas about the cards.

But I digress. I did a reading and it was amazing how it helped me to see my situation under a different light... and also to recognise what emotions/fears inside me are making the whole thing harder than it has to be.

My question was what am I supposed to be learning from this experience?


The Wheel is the moment...

For the last few years I have, during the New Year (well, not during the celebration itself, since at that time I am usually too busy chugging my champagne as if I wanted to sink my brain into alcoholic oblivion), I do myself a 12-card reading to see what awaits for me in the coming year.

It's by no means a detailed reading - it's actually vague enough not to spoil my enjoyment (hahaha) of the coming year, and interesting enough to keep me curious and looking for signs. And indeed, I was looking for signs when I discovered the first card - corresponding to January 2014 - was the Wheel of Fortune.

Well. What do you do when you get the Wheel? Right, you expect CHANGE (and I don't mean the monetary kind) to fall from the skies like a bounty from the High Powers themselves. And the Wheel usually makes us optimistic about what is to come... because, really, one can only live the same old thing for so long before wondering whether they slipped into a coma and life has become just a recurrent bad dream.

So obviously when I saw the Wheel, I immediately expected a change. A sign. A hint. An unforeseen situation. A tall, dark stranger. Preferably in the next corner. Preferably bumping into me and and turning my life upside down in the best way possible, and me, assaulted by so many unexpected emotions, being immediately catapulted from Boring Dream straight into Epic Romance.

Obviously, if I'm sitting down here writing about Tarot instead of planning my marriage, that didn't happen. In fact, no big change or unexpected situation came, except for a bus strike that lasted for two weeks and literally threw my city into chaos. Oh, and there was yet another Postal strike.

What happened? Did Tarot fail? Did I lose my powers? Was there kryptonite in my pocket?

No. No no no. Not.

The Wheel of Fortune was here. It was right. It did not lie. What deceived me was my exaggerated expectation about what it was pointing to (combined with some mental sloth). But eventually I understood its meaning - I saw it, in all its glorious subtlety.

Follow me.


Is it possible to be addicted to tarot readings?

Yes, it is possible.

If you need your cards to decide between the bathtub and the shower, that's a good sign that you are suffering from a tarot addiction.

If you have more tarot readings in your week than actual life experiences, you are probably addicted.

If you don't trust yourself to handle any situation without asking your cards first about it, you are addicted.

If you freak out because you forgot your tarot deck at home, or if you are doing 10 Celtic Crosses to find out what exactly did your crush mean when he/she said "get out of my life", then it's definitely time to go to rehab.

I know some people who are more worried about predicting and/or understanding what is happening in their lives than actually living. It's sad because they seriously think they are wiser or superior for doing so. Only tarot is meant to be a complement to life, not a replacement.

Tarot is a symbolic language, used to represent... guess what? Life.You need a life to work with tarot. If you don't have a life, the only way tarot can help you is advising you on how to get one. If you sit in a room all day using your cards to analyse all minor details and what ifs of all choices you have to make before opening the fucking door and facing life, chances are tarot will only help to feed your illusions. You'll think you are living, but you are not - you are just caught in a self-indulgent mental cycle, imagining what life would be like if you ever decided to live it.

It's just like the people who imagine themselves being rock stars but never learn to sing or play an instrument. It pumps your feel-good hormones for a moment, but it doesn't really get you anywhere.

What is the point of this post? Am I self-righteously handing out rules for others to live by? Perhaps, but that is not my intention. For one thing, I am a master at getting caught in self-indulgent delusions, so I know what I'm talking about. When I decided to open my eyes, I was neck-deep in the quagmire. And second, I confess I am a bit tired of all these people in tarot communities glorifying their addiction - as if it was something to be praised.

No, it's not. It's disturbing.

But if a sitter comes in and asks them for the second reading about their ex-lover, they are quick to write one big annoyed post about "sitters who cannot let go of their illusions". Hum. Hypocrisy much?

Any kind of addiction is bad. Even addiction to apparently harmless things - spirituality, yoga, exercise, tarot, imagination, you name it. Addictions cripple you. They turn a pleasure into a crutch.

Remember the Devil card? You should.

So if after reading this post you think you might be addicted to tarot, now is a good time to put your deck in the drawer and start practising your good sense instead. And go live a bit. Magic happens outside your comfort zone and, goodness knows, tarot can go from challenge to comfy zone in a snap.


Lazy, uninspired or just introspective?

Or all of three above?

Okay, okay... I'll start confessing. I have not been writing. Ah, no shit Sherlock - like you hadn't noticed before. Alright, let me rephrase it: I have not been feeling like writing. And that's a problem because I really wanted to write, at least in theory. I feel that should be writing. But I'm not and the truth is that often it seems I don't have much to share right now.

It's not like I'm absolutely overwhelmed all the interesting things that have been shaking up my life lately. Nor am so depressed that breathing feels like a waste of good oxygen. My life is pretty normal right now; I daresay that it's actually feels like it's moving, at least in my mind. Where? No idea, but any movement in my situation is good.

And no, I have not yet again forgotten all my decks in a drawer and decided 'spirituality is not for me'. Of course, my spiritual path is not any smoother than it ever was but I'm kind of getting used to the walk-stumble-fall-get up-shake the dust off-walk pattern that seems to rule it. And I still read my cards and runes - a bit less to myself (except for the Flower Speaks deck, which I use as a self-knowledge/self-healing tool) and more to others, which is good.

So there's really no reason for me not to feel inspired regarding spirituality and divination. But for some reason I find it difficult to put it all in words, or to share any new discoveries. It's as if they were... non-verbal somehow. As if any changes or discoveries I have been making were happening so unconsciously, or in such subtle levels, that it's hard for me to rationalise and then verbalise them.

D'you know what I mean?


Flower Speaks: Silent, not Awkward

I can't wait for 2013 to be over. What a dreadful year! Like a proper Saturn year, it tested my family and I in all ways possible and, when we thought we would finally be able to breath, Old Father Time came and took my beloved Grandfather with him.

Yes, my dearest grandpa, the man who was often closer to me than my own father. He had been battling leukaemia for almost an year and a half. He was strong, he fought bravely, but in the end... it became only suffering, and he deserved his rest. I hope he's in peace now.

Saturn is not only the bestower of trials and obstacles, but he's also the one who helps us to recognise our limitation and persevere when all seems lost. And I know that for the last couple of years he has been here with me, testing me, forcing me to face reality and get up to fulfil my responsibilities when all I wanted was to lie down and forget.

But Saturn sometimes makes us too critical and a bit awkward when we should relax. In the moments we really oughta let go... we get overstrung. We are unable to go with the flow, to expand, to let life bring what it may. Walking too long with Saturn kills a bit our flexibility, no doubt.

Later today I'm going to the beach, to spend the New Year holidays with my dad & his family. I already know some problems wait for me there: people I don't know (which always make me nervous), the fact my relationship with dad's wife is less-than-peachy... and the fact I'll have to wear a bikini. I'm by no means overweight, but I look at myself and all I can think of is... ew. I also agreed to spend a couple of days with a friend, who is a very social and extroverted person, and I'm very unsure whether I'll be able to keep up with her or not.

And that's the first step for me to fall into a downward spiral of self-criticism, until I'm suddenly hating myself and feeling utterly inadequate. How will I face people, if I'm so imperfect? How will I react if something unexpected comes up? How will I survive my own negative self-talk?


The Peladan Spread

I learnt the Peladan Spread from a book written by the Brazilian tarot reader Nei Naiff, almost 10 years ago. It was one of the first spreads I learnt, and it remains to this day one of my favourites for its simplicity and straightforward way of analysing a situation. It's very concise and yet very informative.

It's not very good for general questions though. I recommend using it with an objective question in mind.

1. What is the situation about?
2. What is the situation not about?
3. How will the situation develop.
4. How will the situation end - the final result.
5. Synthesis - how does the querent feels about the situation OR an advice to the querent.


Dream: My sweet and tender crocodile

Have you ever seen a crocodile smile?

I have, last Friday. In a dream.

In this dream, my sister and my mother found a poor crocodile in a frozen lake, nearly dying due to the cold. They took pity on him and brought him home. They went so far as to give him a little, hum, crocodile sweater, so he'd get warm.

We kind of kept him around as a pet, but after a while I realised he was sort of in love with me. He lay down by my side, asked for attention (not with words, obviously, a bit like a dog), followed me around... and smiled. And then there was a moment in which I was lying down and he came and started to brush my hair - with his teeth!

I liked him, but I was also terrified. I couldn't help it but to think that at any moment he would recall he was a wild animal and would then chomp down on my head! I couldn't relax at all, even though the croc was showing me affection. At some point of the dream he disappeared, and when I started looking I found him on the outside of my bedroom, hungry and tired and waiting for me to let him in.