A few months after my first Reiki Attunement, my lover and I moved from New Orleans to Salem, Oregon. A year later, we split up. I moved--first into a questionable apartment complex in downtown Portland, then into a house with my new lover--and his two young children. Transition, work and motherhood kept my head spinning for the next few years. But in early 2007 I looked around and realized I had settled into a kind of rhythm, and I wanted to continue my training as a healer. I met with two different reiki masters who I found by searching on-line. By early March I had chosen a teacher, and at the end of March I took my second class....
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It seems fitting that for a review on an Alice in Wonderland deck it feels like I myself have just climbed out from the rabbits hole! I notice it has been a while since I posted, yet somehow in my mind it seemed only a few days ago. That is what happens to authors and creative content producers, we have a tendency to lose space and time.
At this point I am a complete Alice sympathizer and this deck arrived at the perfect time.
If you are a Baba Studios fan then you have been watching this deck come to life via both facebook and their website. If you are not familiar with the incredibly work from Baba Studios then it is my honor to introduce you to some tarot VIPs.
One thing Karen and her team are known for is an exquisite product. Think high end luxury for the tarot market and you think Baba Studios. The Alice Tarot is just breath taking from beginning to end. I am even impressed by the box the cards sit in. It sort of flips open and hinges on the side making removal of the cards effortless.
The cards themselves go above and beyond with the special metallic ink that makes the images appear almost 3D. But like everything Baba Studios this is done in such an intuitive way that it only adds to the beauty and depth of the images. The back of the cards are just as stunning as the front of the cards and when they are sitting in their special red box look down right regal.
What makes this deck so special to me is not the exquisite attention to detail, though it sure doesn't hurt, is the fact that this deck has taken just one story and applied it to the depth of the tarot archetypes.
This deck embodies the art of story telling as each card has become an individual story inside the larger story of Alice's journey. This deck invites us to see what a deconstruction of a story looks like, piece by piece, card by card. This is emphasized in cards like the ace of swords and the four of wands. We really do feel in this deck that we are following Alice on her journey through the looking glass.
There are two versions of the Lovers card in the Alice Tarot, one is of the Walrus and the Carpenter the other is of two flamingos. The Walrus and Carpenter is the one that I have kept in the deck, for me it is much stronger image then the flamingos and brings more depth to the lovers archetype.
Although there are so many special cards in this deck two of them are super special to me. The first is the page of cups. In this card we see a fish delivering a message to the duchesses door. I have close friend who I call little fish and she often brings me donuts and coffee. Hence why gifts from little fishes are special to me.
The second card I just love to pieces is the temperance card. To stretch or to shrink, what's a girl to do? Such is life, sometimes we need to stretch, expand and grow to make our goals and dreams come true. And sometimes it is in our best interest to be as small and insignificant as possible. Which piece of the mushroom do you need to eat?
This particular deck comes with a little white book, which to be honest is not that bad, as far as little white books go. I really enjoy the split meanings as you get a typical tarot meaning and then an Alice meaning. I have to say I personally prefer the Alice meanings. For whatever reason I totally missed out on the companion book for this deck, but I am able to order it right off the Baba Studios site. Thank the Goddess!!!
The Alice Tarot is truly a special deck. It is not only unique but sets a new standard in deck and product creation. This is a 5 star product from beginning to end. I congratulate the team at Baba Studios for knocking it out of the park with this one.
Sometimes, where we least expect it, we can find spiritual communion. This isn't my usual monthly post with tips and advice, but perhaps this anecdote has something to offer you, as it did me.
It was my birthday about two weeks ago, and though I wasn't planning a birthday party, the gathering planned for testing my new fire pit and grill ended up being scheduled the weekend after. It seemed a good time: just after my thirty-sixth, just before Mabon. I was surprised when I did a head count from R.S.V.P.s that we were expecting up to twenty-seven people, something our house isn't used to accommodating, but I was determined to make it work.
Then, the morning of the gathering, my one year old had sniffles, and not knowing whether it was an on-coming cold or just an allergy, I posted a quick update to my guests. In under three hours, I had fifteen cancellations (understandable) and a fridge crammed full of food I'd bought and prepped specifically to feed the large guest list (unexpected).
By the start time, I wasn't sure anyone was coming, though I went to build a fire anyway. Then someone showed up: a friend from university I hadn't seen since I'd graduated. We sat alone together and carried on small talk, while I felt first embarrassed at not having anyone else there and then embarrassed because I didn't know what I was doing. I'd never grilled before, nor had I done so by starting a wood fire outdoors. (Can you tell I work mostly with water and earth?) As I'd expected other witches there, some far more experienced with fire who could give me a boost, and maybe join in a touch of spirit-calling to welcome the fire, I felt wholly out of my -- pardon the pun -- element.
My friend started giving advice from his own experiences camping, and we tried to implement them together. Shortly after, one of my dearest friends arrived, bringing along his mother, whom I knew from online conversations, and his brother whom I knew not at all.
Feeling a little relieved, we proceeded to acquaint ourselves to one another while discussing the best way to start a fire. As it turned out, two of the guests including my friend's brother, were experts. Together, they worked to both encourage the smoldering wood and to teach me how to work with fire in a practical way I'd not learned before.
Though there were a few bumps in the process -- and one very stubborn sweet potato that refused to cook -- after two hours of talk and finesse with fire, we had all managed to enjoy a host of delectable, locally-grown vegetables and meats grilled by our own hands.
What's more, we created camaraderie through the evening's adventure that led to a natural moment of reverent silence between us. Though each of us were from different backgrounds and honoring different traditions, the silence became a communion in which, serene and smiling, we found spiritual connection.
For several breaths, without intent to guide it there, our small group became one -- with each other, the food, the fire, and the night. The embarrassment and disappointment I'd felt earlier in the day had burned away, and leaving a spiritual community created just for the purpose of one evening and to teach me an important lesson.
Though my usual band of friends who share in similar spiritual pursuits were unable to join with me that evening, I learned that no matter who I'm with, it's possible to create a supportive, spiritual community whenever needed. Our paths need not be the same, only the willingness to sit with one another, share in the simple joys, and open our hearts to the possibility of communion.
Thus were my needs met that night, and I realized, have been at every point in my life when I needed connection of this sort. This event helped me recognize and appreciate the abundance and connection we bring to one another, and all it took was sharing a fire.
Of course, it's been a week now, and despite a lot of creativity, our fridge is still burgeoning with food. What a blessed challenge to have!
May your Mabon and harvest be as abundant!
They speak to me at times, the ones behind the veil. I can hear them and sense them, but I cannot always see them. Other times I can see them, but cannot hear what they are saying. Its frustrating to have this happen, so see things that you cannot explain to people around you. It's even harder to know that there is something that they are trying to tell me but I cannot make sense of it.
At one time it was easier, before kids, before the business of life. Now the tide is changing and life is slowing a bit - at least for me in some ways - and they are coming back, talking....
I think that autumn is truly becoming my favorite season. In my realm of the northern hemisphere winter predominates for six months, from mid November to mid May, bringing ice, snow and cold. Spring bulbs often get nipped by a late, last frost and tender perennials wilt in the cold nights of early September.
The New Moon pulls me from sleep. I come into consciousness to the sound of rain outside my bedroom window. We are in a drought here in California and although it is two-thirty in the morning, I find my thirsty self wandering downstairs and out the back door to stand naked in the Dark Moon night, grateful for soft rain falling on my body. I feel it touch me as it makes its way to The Earth. It is not a hard rain, the softness of it are tiny kisses on my upturned face. I kiss it back and delight in the moisture. Everything around me does the same, tiny wet kisses for the thirsty dirt and parched roses.
Recently, a 14 year old boy shot himself in the head in the boys’ restroom at his central Florida middle school. His family had moved here all the way from New York to escape bullies. Turns out you can’t end bullying by moving hundreds of miles. You can’t end bullying by talking to school administrators or teachers.
You can’t end bullying by fighting and punishing bullies because fighting and punishing IS bullying. Imagine firefighters trying to put out fires with flamethrowers instead of water hoses or buckets of earth....