Tag: paganism

Self Hatred is Poisoning Us All

Self Hatred is Poisoning Us All

Find the peace in your heart.

Self love and self confidence is a long and often hard road full of shadow work, fear, and stress. The unknown is a scary thing, and in today’s world we are bombarded with words and imagery that make us question our self love. We are taught to hate ourselves, because hate is fuel for the fire of capitalism. If we didn’t hate our bodies, cosmetic surgery wouldn’t be necessary. If we didn’t hate our waist size then diet fads, waist trainers, diet pills, and all those other products that are sold to us to make us love ourselves wouldn’t be necessary.

I don’t believe that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love others. In fact, it could quite possibly be the other way around. I love my boyfriend with every fiber of my heart and soul. I love my child the same. And my friends and other family. But I still struggle with self love on a daily basis. I constantly find myself thinking that I need to be thinner, have longer hair, be softer spoken, be fragile and meak. Because these are the images that we are fed every single day.

So how do we fight that? How can we fight the nagging, meanness, and intrusiveness of our self hatred and self loathing? If we can easily love other people, why is it so hard to love ourselves? I think it all boils down to two things: human nature and our capitalist society.

It’s human nature to want to fit in with the crowd. It was a survival strategy from centuries ago when it was necessary to be like everyone else or risk being shunned, kicked out of the herd, and dying on our own. The same thing happens now. Teens, young children, and even adults have been conditioned to follow the crowd. That it’s detrimental to our survival to stand out from the crowd and be different.

It also has a lot to do with our capitalist society. The images and words we are fed are picked up by the “in” crowd, whomever that may be, and distributed to the world through any influence possible. These things are then seen as what is normal and expected of the “herd” and we feel obligated to follow the crowd.

It can be a hard habit to break if it’s the way you’ve been living your entire life, and at this point it might be something you do on a subconscious level. The first step to breaking this cycle of self hatred is understanding why you believe the things you do about yourself. Is it a legitimate feeling? Or is it something you feel because society has told you that’s how you should feel? Your shadow harbors those answers, and shadow work plays a part in the process of unraveling these ideas.

Take me for example. I have always struggled with my weight and body image, ever since I was in 7th grade. For my non-US readers, that’s about 12 years old. I remember coming back from summer and being told by a classmate, that I still remember her name, “Wow Megan, you got fat”. This has stuck with me since then, and that was 15 years ago!

I’ve done fad diets, taken diet pills, fasted, spent 3+ hours in the gym at a time. And for what? I was still unhappy because I was being fed the images of thin beautiful women that I never even had a chance to look like because let’s face it, even they don’t look like their pictures.

It wasn’t until I worked on myself recently and switched my mindset from beauty standards to my own health and happiness that I was able to let go of those societal pressures. And guess what? I’m still a work in progress, and that’s ok!

So next time you have those negative thoughts, imagine that instead you were saying those things to the person you love most in the world. Would you say those things to them? No? So then why would you say it to yourself? Practice that, and begin your journey out of self hatred and into self love.

Odin

Odin


“Brunhilde knelt at his feet” by the German painter Ferdinand Leeke

Odin is the most powerful God in the Norse pantheon. He is sometimes called the all-father, but in fact has many names as he has taken on many personas for various occasions. He is associated with the day Wednesday. This is because the word Wednesday comes from the word Wotan, which is another name for Odin. Therefore, Wednesday is “Odin’s Day”. Odin is associated with many things including healing, death, wisdom, and the runic alphabet.

Odin is capable of shape-shifting into any animal or human form that he wishes to take, and it is said that he speaks so softly that anyone who hears him knows what he says is true.

Odin also has several animal companions. This include his eight-legged horse Sleipnir, his two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, and his two wolves named Geri and Freki. Sleipnir was a gift from Loki and can travel as fast in the air as he can on land. His two ravens are a spiritual aspect of Odin with their names meaning thought and memory. Every morning Odin sends them out into the world, and every evening, they come back to him and tell him all they have learned from their travels in the nine realms. His wolves, Geri and Freki, are always by his side. Their names mean “the ravenous” and “greedy one”, respectively.

One of the most prominent myths surrounding Odin is his self sacrifice and hanging on the tree Yggdrasil to gain the knowledge of the runes.

“139. I ween that I hung | on the windy tree,
Hung there for nights full nine;
With the spear I was wounded, | and offered I was
To Othin, myself to myself,
On the tree that none | may ever know
What root beneath it runs.

140. None made me happy | with loaf or horn,
And there below I looked;
I took up the runes, | shrieking I took them,
And forthwith back I fell.

141. Nine mighty songs | I got from the son
Of Bolthorn, Bestla’s father;
And a drink I got | of the goodly mead
Poured out from Othrörir.

142. Then began I to thrive, | and wisdom to get,
I grew and well I was;
Each word led me on | to another word,
Each deed to another deed.

143. Runes shalt thou find, | and fateful signs,
That the king of singers colored,
And the mighty gods have made;
Full strong the signs, | full mighty the signs
That the ruler of gods doth write.

144. Othin for the gods, | Dain for the elves,
And Dvalin for the dwarfs,
Alsvith for giants | and all mankind,
And some myself I wrote.

145. Knowest how one shall write, | knowest how one shall rede?
Knowest how one shall tint, | knowest how one makes trial?
Knowest how one shall ask, | knowest how one shall offer?
Knowest how one shall send, | knowest how one shall sacrifice?

146. Better no prayer | than too big an offering,
By thy getting measure thy gift;
Better is none | than too big a sacrifice,
.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
So Thund of old wrote | ere man’s race began,
Where he rose on high | when home he came.

The Poetic Edda by Henry Adams Bellows

According to Northern Paganism, there are many ways you can honor Odin in your home and life. His colors include grays, dark blues, and black. Symbols that are sacred to him include ravens, wolves, and spears. If you want to have an altar dedicated to Odin, it is suggested that you have at least one of the following: a tobacco-filled pipe, the Nine Sacred Herbs, and Runes. Odin enjoys good quality alcohol, and you can honor Him by donating your time or money to any veterans organizations.

If you want to learn the Runes, that would also be a wonderful dedication to Odin given the fact that he sacrificed part of himself to gain the knowledge of the Runes for the Nine Realms. Learn the Runes and dedicate your hard work and learning process to Odin.


Sources
The Poetic Edda by Henry Adams Bellows
Northern Paganism


Persephone

Persephone

Persephone – cgaddictworld.deviantart

Persephone – The Poems of Sappho

I saw a tender maiden plucking flowers
Once, long ago, in the bright morning hours;
And then from heaven I saw a sudden cloud
Fall swift and dark, and heard her cry aloud.

Again I looked, but from my open door
My anxious eyes espied the maid no more;
The cloud had vanished, bearing her away
To underlands beyond the smiling day. [1]


Persephone [pər-ˈse-fə-nē] is the Greek Goddess of spring growth and the Goddess Queen of the underworld, married to Pluto (Hades). She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, and her myth explains the causes of Spring and Autumn. She was worshiped alongside her mother Demeter in the
Eleusinian Mysteries. She has many names, but the most common are Kore and Persephone. She is referred to as Kore when she is Earth-side, bringing Spring to the land by her return as Demeter rejoices. As Persephone, she is the Queen of the Underworld for the dark half of the year, aiding Hades in the receiving of the dead.

“The cult of Persephone was especially strong in Sicily and southern Italy, and besides the Eleusinian Mysteries at Eleusis there were sanctuaries to the goddess across the Greek world, most notably at Locri Epizephyrii, Mantinea, Megalopolis, and Sparta. Here annual festivities celebrated Persephone’s marriage and her picking of flowers. The Thesmophoria was a Greek-wide celebration of the goddess and her mother. Exclusive to women, it was held annually before the sowing period when sacrifices were made and putrefied pig’s remains were mixed with the seeds. Persephone, in her guise as Queen of the Underworld, was often appealed to in curse tablets and on the inscribed gold leaves buried with the dead followers of Orphism which gave instructions on how to conduct themselves in the after-life.” [2]

Her myth is controversial because of the many interpretations and the name of one of the myths. The Rape of Persephone has been interpreted metaphorically as well as literally, and it is up for personal interpretation as well. I believe that Persephone was at first taken against her will, given to Hades by Zeus to be his wife, but later, when offered the pomegranate seeds, she ate them of her own free will. She did this knowing that once you eat the fruit of the Underworld, you cannot leave.

You can read pieces of the myth below from Homer, and I will link to other sites as well so you can make your own interpretation. There are many ways you can honor Persephone in your life and practice. One of the main things to do to honor Persephone is to leave offerings of fresh flowers on your Altar. According to Theoi.com, asphodel is a sacred flower to Her [3]. If you have this available to you, this would be the recommended offering. Another offering would be anything related to pomegranates. You can also learn her hymns and recite them. One is listed for you below.

[28] XXVIII. TO PROSERPINE [PHERSEPHONE]

A Hymn.
Daughter of Jove [Zeus], almighty and divine, come, blessed queen, and to these rites incline:
Only-begotten, Pluto’s [Plouton’s] honor’d wife, O venerable Goddess, source of life:
‘Tis thine in earth’s profundities to dwell, fast by the wide and dismal gates of hell:
Jove’s [Zeus’] holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, fatal [Praxidike], with lovely locks, infernal queen:
Source of the furies [Eumenides], whose blest frame proceeds from Jove’s [Zeus’] ineffable and secret seeds: 
Mother of Bacchus [Eubouleos], Sonorous, divine, and many-form’d, the parent of the vine:
The dancing Hours [Horai] attend thee, essence bright, all-ruling virgin, bearing heav’nly light:
Illustrious, horned, of a bounteous mind, alone desir’d by those of mortal kind.
O, vernal queen, whom grassy plains delight, sweet to the smell, and pleasing to the sight:
Whose holy form in budding fruits we view, Earth’s vig’rous offspring of a various hue: 
Espous’d in Autumn: life and death alone to wretched mortals from thy power is known:
For thine the task according to thy will, life to produce, and all that lives to kill.
Hear, blessed Goddess, send a rich increase of various fruits from earth, with lovely Peace;
Send Health with gentle hand, and crown my life with blest abundance, free from noisy strife;
Last in extreme old age the prey of Death, dismiss we willing to the realms beneath, 
To thy fair palace, and the blissful plains where happy spirits dwell, and Pluto [Plouton] reigns. [4]


Orpheus – Myths of the World

“Demeter, knowing that one of the Gods had carried off Persephone against her will, and knowing that what was done had been by the will of Zeus, would go no more into the assemblies of the Olympians. She quenched the torch that she had held in her hands for nine days and nine nights; she put off her robe of Goddess, and she went wandering over the earth, uncomforted for the loss of her child. No longer did she appear as a Goddess gracious to men; no longer did she bless their fields. None of the things that it pleased her once to do would Demeter do any longer.” [5]


Homeric Hymn – The Rape of Persephone – III The Return of Persephone

“Now when all-seeing Zeus the loud-thunderer heard this, he sent Argeiphontes [Hermes] whose wand is of gold to Erebos, so that having won over Aides with soft words, he might lead forth chaste Persephoneia to the light from the misty gloom to join the gods, and that her mother might see her with her eyes and cease from her anger. And Hermes obeyed, and leaving the house of Olympos, straightway sprang down with speed to the hidden places of the earth. And he found the lord Aides in his house seated upon a couch, and his shy mate with him, much reluctant, because she yearned for her mother. But she was afar off, brooding on her fell design becuase of the deeds of the blessed gods. And strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] drew near and said : ‘Dark-haired Aides, ruler over the departed, father Zeus bids me bring noble Persephone forth from Erebos unot the gods, that her mother may see her with her eyes and cease from her dread anger with the immortals; for now she plans an awful deed, to destroy the weakly tribes of earth-born men by keeping seed hidden beneath the earth, and so she makes an end of the honours of the undying gods. For she keeps fearful anger and does not consort with the gods, but sits aloof in her fragrant temple, dwelling in the rocky hold of Eleusis.’
So he said. And Aidoneus, ruler over the dead, smiled grimly and obeyed the behest of Zeus the king. For he straightway urged wise Persephone, saying : ‘Go now, Persephoneia, to your dark-robed mother, go, and feel kindly in your heart towards me : be not so exceedingly cast down; for I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless dods, that am own brother to father Zeus. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods : those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore.’
When he said this, wise Persephoneia was filled with joy and hastily sprang up for gladness. But he on his part secretly gave her sweet pomegranate seed to eat, taking care for himself that she might not remain continually with grave, dark-robed Demeter. Then Aidoneus Polysemantor (Ruler of Many) openly got ready his deathless horses beneath the golden chariot. And she mounted on the chariot, and strong Argeiphontes [Hermes] took reins and whip in his dear hands and drove forth from the hall, the horses speeding readily. Swiftly they traversed their long course, and neither the sea nor river-waters nor grassy glens nor mountain-peaks checked the career of the immortal horses, but they cleft the deep air above them as they went. And Hermes brought them to the place where rich-crowned Demeter was staying and checked them before her fragrant temple.” [6]


Sources

[1] The Poems of Sappho – Persephone
[2] Ancient History Encyclopedia
[3] Theoi.com – Asphodel and Persephone
[4] Hymn to Persephone
[5] Orpheus – Myths of the World
[6] Rape of Persephone


I will never feel like I do Persephone justice. She is a Goddess that I feel extremely drawn to and it is hard to explain the feeling I get when I think of Her. To me, She is protection and justice as well as innocence and love. Veneration is a word that sticks in my head when I think of Her, and it fits.


Thoughtful Thursday

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I’ve thought about this before, but I don’t think I have one solid answer because there’s so much that I want to know. We know that history is written by the victor, and most often, the victor tainted the story of how things happen. I’d like to go back in time to witness the building of Stonehenge. It has always been a mystical place to me that one day I hope to visit. Seeing images of Stonehenge during the Solstices gives me a strange sense of nostalgia.

It would make my scientific brain happy to see how they managed to build such a great monument. The physics and mechanics that had to go into standing the stones upright and stacking the stones on top have to have been phenomenal for their time.

It would make my spiritual heart happy to speak with the ancient peoples and ask why it was built. What was their purpose in building such a beautiful monument that aligns perfectly with the Solstices? Was their a greater purpose? Were they called upon by a local spirit or deity? My heart just yearns to know, even though I know I never will.


What is thoughtful Thursday? This is something I created to give everyone a chance to dig deep into their spiritual selves and answer some questions that require a bit of thought. How do you participate? Well, you can comment here, post about it on Instagram, or use the question as a prompt for your own blog post! Whatever you write, drop me a link in the comments! I would love to read it!



Next week’s question: How do you define your faith? Be as specific or vague as you’d like!


Abnoba

Abnoba


Left: Statuette combined with an inscription to the Celtic goddess Abnoba. In the Badischer Landesmuseum de Carlsruhe. RG, Germ., 345 ; LIMC, II.2, n°418, p. 628. Right: Statuette in bronze of Artemis/Diana wearing a chiton*, boots and a quiver in her back. In the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Lyons. LIMC, II.2, p. 603, n°85

“Celtic goddess. Known in both Britain and on the Continent, Abnoba gave her name to the many rivers named Avon, including the famous one in England that flows through the the town where playwright William Shakespeare was born; she also ruled the source of the Danube River in central Europe and was associated with the Black Forest, perhaps because of its numerous rivers. Sometimes this goddess was called Dea Abnoba, which means simply “the goddess Abnoba.” Inscriptions to Abnoba from the Black Forest suggest that the Romans identified her with their woodland goddess Diana. She is sometimes depicted as a huntress accompanied by a hunting dog and a stag.” – The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore by Patricia Monaghan

There is little information available about Abnoba, and any real information is scattered, diminished, or lost altogether. We do know that the Romans equated Her with their goddess Diana. She is thought to be a goddess of childbirth, protector of woods, waters, and wild animals.

It is said that you can petition Abnoba to help preserve wild nature, forest plants, and animals. If you want to dedicate an altar or space to Abnoba, it should be decoarted with forest items like pine cones, fir boughs, and animal imagery. You can also leave offerings of spring water.


Altar of Diana Abnoba in the Roman bath ruin of Badenweiler. Badenweiler / Southern Black Forest / Germany


Altar of Diana Abnoba in the Roman bath ruin of Badenweiler. Badenweiler / Southern Black Forest / Germany

Links and Sources
* Theses

* The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore by Patricia Monaghan

* Sacred Haven


This post does NOT contain affiliate links. I own a copy of the book used as the source and highly recommend it for anyone interested in Celtic mythology and folklore.


Spring has Sprung

I don’t know what it is about this seasonal transition, but it has always been one of my favorites. I love walking outside in the morning and seeing the sky turn shades of orange and pink. The smell of new-blooming flowers. The scent of crisp morning dew on the grass.

It is strange to me that I feel nostalgia during this season. Growing up in Southern California meant that Spring lasted for a couple weeks and then we were back up to weathering the triple digit heat for 5 more months before the temperatures dipped back down below 70F.

Springtime has always made me a bit nostalgic and homesick. For where, I’m not sure. That happens to me a lot. Maybe its the melting snow. The slowly warming air. The chirping of the birds flying through the trees, swooping down to land on our bird feeder. Maybe I’m homesick for Mother Goddess, to be embraced in her eternal Springtime with the fertile land, and Father God in his warm rays of sunshine. Who knows, but I enjoy this time of the year.


A Beginner’s Guide to Crystal Healing

A Beginner's Guide to Crystal Healing

Crystals and natural stones have been used in the art of healing for thousands of years. Some of the oldest amulets from a natural source date back 30,000 years and are made of baltic amber. Humans have an affinity for pretty things, and stones and crystals are no exception. These healing and protective crystals were worn as jewelry, sewn into clothing, and placed around the home. As talismans and amulets, they were banned by the Christian church after the death of Christ, but that doesn’t mean that the practice itself died out (1).

How does it work?

Crystals, like everything else in this physical world, have their own vibrations. Some vibrate at a higher frequency while others are lower. Likewise, your body and different body systems work at different frequencies. When one body system is off, the vibration and frequency is off as well. The crystals pair together with the vibrational and energetic frequencies of your body to help heal and repair you mind, body, and soul. There is a well known IBM scientist named Marcel Vogel, who did a lot of research on crystals, their energy, and how they are affected by thought and breath. He learned that when exhaling from the nose in short bursts, accompanied by thought towards a quartz crystal, he could affect the shape of the crystal as it formed under a microscope (2).

So how do you start?

If we take the work of Marcel Vogel to heart and know that our thoughts and energy affect the things around us, it is entirely possible that the opposite is true. You must first open your heart and mind to the possibility that crystals can help you heal in one form or another.

Once you have opened your mind and heart, it is time to pick the crystals to suit your needs. There are a few ways to do this. My personal favorite is letting the crystal choose me instead (I wrote more about that here). You can do this by closing your eyes and holding your hand above different crystals. Feel the energy and vibration from the crystals and choose the one that resonates the best with you. I’ve found that my body and energy vibration knows what I need before I do, and allowing my own vibrational energy to choose the crystal that reacts with it works better for me. Another way you can do this is by researching the different crystals and stones available to you and choosing the one you think you need. Different crystals have different properties and can be used for different things based on their vibrational frequency and energy inherent in them.

Popular Crystals and their Properties

*Amethyst – One of the most popular crystals for healing, amethyst is perfect for anyone who needs some balance in their life. Amethyst is known to bring calmness and focus to the mind, stress relief, and stimulates motivation and memory. Physically, amethyst is thought to balance the hormones, strengthen the immune system, and help keep you sober. The name actually comes from the Greek word “amethystos”, roughly translating to “not drunken”.

*Clear Quartz – Clear Quartz, or Crystal Quartz, is a powerful healing and and meditation crystal. Its vibrational frequency and energy make it the perfect stone for protection and balancing of energies, both physically and spiritually. Crystal Quartz can be used to enhance psychic ability and is easily adaptable, allowing for “programming” with intention to be used for the desired effect. Physically, Crystal Quartz is said to promote healing and balance as well as stimulating the immune system.

*Rose Quartz – Widely known as the crystal of love, Rose Quartz is the perfect crystal for those suffering with heartache. Rose Quartz encourages unconditional love of the self as well as others. It stimulates peace, forgiveness, and compassion for those around you. It is also used to stimulate the wearer’s sense of self-worth as well as healing emotional wounds. Physically, Rose Quartz is thought to stimulate the circulatory system, increase fertility, and protect against miscarriage.

Some final thoughts…

Although healing crystals do work, it is worth pointing out that crystals should not be used exclusively for healing of any ailment, physically or mentally. I always advocate for using alternative healing methods in conjunction with modern medicine. It is also good to point out that some crystals and stones should not be worn directly on the skin, ingested, left out in the sun, or get wet. Please be sure to do your research before embarking on any alternative therapy.

Sources

(1) The Problematic Status of Christian Amulets
(2) Marcel Vogel: Dreamhill Research Facility
(3) 10 Popular Healing Crystals

I Need to Say Something

I Need to Say Something

I don’t have a passion in life. Simply put. This might not be Wicca related, or it might be. I don’t know at this point. I’m basically writing this to get it off my chest because it is something that weighs very heavily on me most days. With my 27th birthday coming up in the next few days, that feeling is getting heavier. I’m not where I want to be in life and, growing up, it was always pounded into us that we should know what we want to be “when we grow up”.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a job that I’m good at that I even have a degree in. But none of that matters. That just proves that with hard work you can keep moving forward. I’m missing that spark in life. That thing that gets me riled up and excited. I’m stuck in a cycle of sleep-work-repeat and I don’t know how to get out of it.

There are things I enjoy doing, and I pick up an interest in other things along the way. Once I reach a certain point with those things, I begin to lose interest in them and they fall by the wayside. I want to eventually make a career out of the spiritual and crafty things I can do, but I’m also a person who is terrified of failure. So much so that if I won’t try something new if I know I won’t be good at it, or if I even think I won’t be good at it.

I can crochet really well. I can knit ok. I can embroider ok. I can read tarot ok. I can meditate ok. I can give great advice most times.

I’m just blabbering on right now, but I needed to get this off my chest. I haven’t uploaded a new video on YouTube in a bit because…well, I haven’t recorded one, because I want the content that I post to be worth posting. I don’t want to put out crappy content, and I’m not entirely happy with what I’ve uploaded so far. See, I’m a perfectionist, and it really sucks when I have so many things and ideas I want to do, but no real passion for any of them, no matter how much i enjoy doing them.

Anyways, thanks to the handful of you who will read this shit-post lol

Until we meet again,

Megan

Tarot: The Fool’s Journey

The Major Arcana in tarot can be seen as a metaphor for life, with each of the 22 cards representing a major event/person/situation that we may experience on the physical plane. There’s a reason that the major arcana cards are called trump cards, and that’s because when they are pulled in a reading, they are given extra attention due to their importance in the deck. They don’t just stand alone. Each one leads to the next, either forwards or back, depending on your movement in life and the direction that your soul needs to take in this life to achieve its goals. Each image pictured below is from the original Rider Waite deck, which you can find here. Follow along with me on the journey of the Fool.

220px-rws_tarot_00_fool

(0) The Fool – He sets out for the first time in this world with nothing to himself but what he has in his bag. He is oblivious, but happy. Full of hope. He has no idea of the things that life can and will throw at him, and he doesn’t see the cliff he just might step off of if he isn’t careful. The Fool is the naivety in us all. The newborn soul stepping into this world for the first time. All he knows is the happiness he feels at being alive and part of the physical world and is ready to experience this life he has been given. He knows that the possibilities are endless, and it is fitting that this card is given the number 0, as it has no beginning and no end. The infinite number of possibilities give rise to the spontaneous nature of the Fool, whether to his detriment or not.

01-magician-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

(I) The Magician – The Fool then encounters the Magician, who teaches the Fool that our consciousness and our willpower can affect the world around us. The Magician represents that active part of our creative awareness and impulses, teaching the Fool that all we need to create, we hold within us. The Fool simply needs to take the pieces of the puzzle and put them together, and the Magician teaches the Fool how to use the tools he is given to change his life.

02-high-priestess-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

(II) The High Priestess – After meeting the Magician, the Fool encounters the High Priestess. She teaches the Fool about the mysteries of life and that sometimes they are better left as mysteries. She represents our hidden selves, the shadow of the unconscious, where all mysteries of the self are repressed. The High Priestess teaches the Fool that the shadow is not a bad thing. She shows the Fool that sometimes, it is within that shadow that our creativity may sit, waiting for the spark of imagination and idea to ignite it and bring it into the light.

rws_tarot_03_empress

(III) The Empress – When the Fool meets the Empress, he knows he is safe. The Empress is a mother figure to the Fool. Through the Empress, the Fool learns to express and appreciate his love for nature and sensation. She teaches him to explore his surroundings and take in all that he sees. She is the Fool’s biggest fan and encourages his growth through the exploration of what is around him.

04-emperor-meaning-rider-waite-tarot-major-arcana_large

(IV) The Emperor – Next, the Fool meets the Emperor who rules with strong will and strict adherence to the rules. He is the authority figure to the Fool and teaches him about structure, rules, and discipline. With the order that the Emperor teaches the Fool, the Fool begins to understand the way the world works. Rules will be enforced, and sometimes the Fool will not always get his way. However, with the guidance of the Emperor, the Fool begins to understand his place in the world.

de84fed320268e14d581f17ee943c017

(V) The Hierophant – Soon the Fool ventures away from his home and meets the Hierophant. This is when he begins his formal education and starts to learn that there is more than one system of beliefs. The Hierophant teaches the Fool about the belief systems that surround him, and soon the Fool begins to find a place that he fits with others like him. The Fool learns the acceptable behaviors of the society and culture in which he lives, and takes delight in fitting in with his group.

06-the-lovers

(VI) The Lovers – The Fool soon discovers the concept of love. He starts to long for companionship and relationship with another person, to become the half of a whole unit. He must understand that with love comes responsibility, and to be the half to a whole requires work on both parts in order for the partnership to be stable and last in happiness. The Fool begins to realize that a partnership with another person can bring joy to his life. He desires to share his beliefs and values with another person of like mind.

220px-rws_tarot_07_chariot

(VII) The Chariot – As the Fool grows and matures, his Ego is mastered, as that is all he has had thus far. He is self-confident and in control of his situation and surroundings, leading him to be assertive in nature and dominant in the things he pursues. He is well-educated and believes at this point that he knows all that he needs in order to be successful in life, and he believes his current success will last.

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(VIII) Strength – Soon the Fool realizes that not everything is going as great as he wanted. Things begin to happen in his life that require Strength, and he learns that sometimes suffering is necessary to grow. By calling on his Strength, the Fool learns to grow his courage to stand his ground and get back up when he falls. The Fool realizes that to be strong, sometimes you must be soft. The Ego of the Chariot needs to be put back in its place before growth can happen on a larger scale.

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(IX) The Hermit – When the Fool meets the Hermit, he starts to question the things around him. The Hermit teaches the Fool to ask “Why?” and to search for deeper meaning in life. The Fool comes to understand that the sensuality that he felt when he encountered the Lovers is not all there is to life, and he secludes himself away to find the deeper truth to life.

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(X) Wheel of Fortune – Not everything in life is guaranteed, and when the Fool encounters the Wheel of Fortune, that becomes clear to him. The Wheel of Fortune teaches the Fool that even though it may not always be clear, everything is by design. The Universe and all of its parts work together in harmony, continuously turning and moving the world forward. The Fool has some questions answered and knows now that even though he may have a small part to play, every part is important. His perspective is widened and his sense of purpose is found again.

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(XI) Justice – With a wider perspective, the Fool meets Justice. Justice makes the Fool look back at his actions, inactions, and their consequences to view the causal relationship between them. The Fool has grown much so far and is now mature enough to take responsibility for his actions. Justice makes the Fool question his current path and wonder if he wants to continue on in life with an open perspective and clean slate or go back to his secluded, yet easier, life of unknowing.

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(XII) The Hanged Man – After meeting Justice, the Fool encounters the Hanged Man who is quite literally hanging upside down. The Hanged Man teaches the Fool that sometimes your actions have undesirable consequences that turn your world upside down. The Fool sees himself in the Hanged Man, and learns that sometimes you have to let go and give up your control in order to move forward and find peace. The Fool feels suspended in time, unable to move forward from the daunting place he is in, until he lets go and allows the Universe to do its work.

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(XIII) Death – One of the more upsetting figures that the Fool meets, Death has an important lesson to teach the Fool. Death is not always the end. Sometimes, Death clears away the things that need to be gone from the Fool’s world in order to pave the path for new and better opportunities and learning experiences. Even though the Fool may feel he is suffering due to the Death of the old and unnecessary, Death teaches the Fool to rise up and face the new dawn. To grow once again where the old was removed.

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(XIV) Temperance – To say the Fool’s journey so far has been harmonious would be false. The Fool has swung back and forth on the emotional spectrum, from the hard and ego-centered ruler of the Chariot to the secluded and introspective character of the Hermit. Temperance teaches the Fool the joy in a harmonious life, one that is ruled by moderation instead of extremes. The Fool has now combined all aspects of himself into one, a centered and stable whole who is able to experience the extreme emotions of the Chariot and the Hermit without letting it overrun his thoughts and actions.

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(XV) The Devil – Soon after, the Fool encounters the Devil. The Devil’s lesson for the Fool may be a difficult one to learn, but it is one that is needed. The Devil teaches the Fool that sometimes, we may feel lost and hopeless. The Devil shows the Fool that though he may be happy with what he has now, the chains that bind him to the material world are holding him back and he only needs to free himself of these chains to continue to grow and lose any sense of despair he might have.

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(XVI) The Tower – The Fool wants to shake the despair that has bubbled to the surface after meeting with the Devil, and thus encounters the Tower. The Tower is not a physical place but a place within the Fool. It represents the wall he has built around his ego and he knows now that he needs the enlightenment brought by a sudden change to knock down the walls of his tower, topple the crown of his pride, and free the truth within.

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(XVII) The Star – The Star brings the Fool the peace and serenity after the storm of emotion that the Devil caused and the overthrowing of the Fool’s pride by the tower. The Star teaches the Fool to hide behind no disguise and be true to himself. The Fool’s trust in himself is restored, and the Star shines brightly, reminding the Fool to share the love and spread generosity whenever he can.

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(XVIII) The Moon – After the emotional turmoil caused by the Devil and Tower, and the restoration of the Fool’s trust in himself by the Star, what might the Fool possibly encounter next? The Moon shows the Fool not to get lost in his emotional state of being. In his state of pure bliss, the Fool is susceptible to the illusions of reality and a dreamy condition that could bring rise to living in a fantasy. The Moon reminds the Fool not to get lost in his thoughts, as he might end up feeling bewildered and lost when the reality of the situations at hand hit him.

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(XIX) The Sun – With the reminder of the Moon in his mind, the Fool then encounters the Sun. The Sun shines light on the Fool, illuminating all that might be hidden in the darkness and reminds the Fool that without darkness, there can be no light. The Sun directs the Fool’s imagination and dispels the clouds of uncertainty and fear that hold the Fool back. With the light shining on him, the Fool feels empowered and begins to understand the goodness in the world instead of just feeling it.

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(XX) Judgement – The Fool has finally began to shed his ego-driven facade in honor of his true self. Judgement calls to the Fool to examine his past mistakes and, though he may regret them, the Fool now understands that the mistakes made were due to his ignorance and fear. Judgement comes to ask the Fool which values he is going to cherish in this life and allow him to let go of that which no longer serves him. The Fool is now ready to follow his dreams, having the knowledge and experiences he needs to realize his purpose in this life.

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(XI) The World – As the final thing that the Fool encounters, the World is exactly as it sounds. The Fool steps out into the World with a new understanding of life, love, and happiness. He knows now with his experiences that he has the tools he needs to achieve his dreams and spread his message through the world. He becomes actively involved in the growth and achievements in his life, forever reaching higher to continue his growth and achieve his life’s destiny.

Though the Fool’s journey may be over for now, he is us and we are him. He will continue to grow, and he may revisit any of those he met along the way at any time in his life when it is necessary. We all need a reminder sometimes that we shouldn’t lead with pride, rule with an iron fist, or succumb to our fantasies. Let the story of the Journey of the Fool guide you in your life.


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