Casting Divination for the Solstice with Solstice Dreams by Carrie Paris

Hail Yule, my dears! Magical divinatrix Carrie Paris has created another casting sheet for the solstice called Solstice Dreams, and it’s marvelous. It’s about discovering what your elemental purpose is, and what distracts you from becoming that. I decided to print out the casting sheet and give it a go, and here are the results. Please do head over there and check it out!

Here’s the full casting:

The full reading

The full reading

We can see that there are charms or runes on the four suns of Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit, and also on the snake’s body as She winds her way between them. I also drew a charm for the snake’s head, and then cards from the Tarot for the goddess watching over the whole process at the top and what’s holding onto the snake’s tail at the bottom. Photos of the cards in their positions are below.

VIII Strength (the goddess Samovila) watches over this process

VIII Strength (the goddess Samovila) watches over this process

3 of Cups reversed (the Undine Bylgia) holds onto the tail of the snake, keeping Her from moving forward

3 of Cups reversed (the Undine Bylgia) holds onto the tail of the snake, keeping Her from moving forward

Beginning with the Sun of the Body, we have the Bridge/Arch and the Ship. Great movement is happening, and passage through from one state to another. Bylgia, daughter of Ran the Norse goddess of the drowned and the Sea, is in her reversed state here. She is lethargic and lazy, and the energy is not present to move things forward. She will not let the Snake go because perhaps she couldn’t be bothered, or she is too deeply into a rut that she just hangs onto the Snake’s tail because that’s what she’s always done. We can learn from this that letting go, getting ourselves motivated and firing up the inner engines, will help in moving everything forward that we want. We must release in active participation with the process in order to receive. The Bridge is in place, the Ship is waiting to sail. All that is required of us now is to weigh anchor, let go, and sail.

What's Going On Below

What’s Going On Below

Along the undulations of the Snake between the Body and Mind we see the Artist’s Palate, the rune Mannaz, and the Artist’s Talisman (the encircled crow). It is critical to not cut ourselves off from the community of our peers. During this time of year it is so easy to get overwhelmed by all the holiday madness, the rituals, the family events, that all we want at the end of it all is to go live in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude for a month just to calm back down to normal. Naturally, unless you people are hiding something from me, there is no Fortress of Solitude. These charms and the rune Mannaz remind us that there are communities out there who serve to invigorate us and bring us back to our Center, and we should not abandon those. Find your soul mates, your closest friends, the ones who love you no matter what and share your patterns of wacky identity, however that manifests for you. They are the ones who make you laugh no matter how grim you feel, the ones who share your light. You’ve got them; they’re there for you and for us all. Reach out to them when you’re down. Ask for help when you need help. Don’t try to carry all the weight of reality alone right now. (And by all the good gods, do NOT turn on the news any more than you can help it.)

The Sun of the Mind holds the Life Ring. We are our own worst enemy right now–or, rather, our potential for negative thought patterns is our own worst enemy. The thinking that got you into despair or distraction will not get you out of it, no matter how much you hope it will nor how many times you try to make it so. The message of the Life Ring is to hang on. Help is at hand, and a new way of thinking is just around the corner. This is emphasized by The Rider, that daredevil motorcyclist who is bringing messages of hope and new things to you and who is just around the corner. Hang on. Don’t lose hope.

The Center, Your Core

The Center, Your Core

Your heart is so guarded, my friends (or maybe that’s just me and mine, which is also true). The charms on the Sun of the Heart are the Axe and the Bullet Shell, indicating both wounding by an immediate shock (the Bullet Shell) and the long-term work required to get the walls down (the Axe). You have so much love to give, so much that the world needs from you, and you are to be commended for all the work you’ve done on yourself to get those walls back down. You’re doing it, and what’s more important, you’re doing it the best possible way. If you were trying to take a wall down and you used a wrecking ball, you’d destroy everything on both sides of the wall as well as the wall itself. If you used fire, you’d destroy the building as well as the wall. If you used a jackhammer, you’d do major damage to anything that accidentally got hit with it, not just the wall (how many times have we all gotten stopped in traffic because some municipal workers broke a water main or a gas main by using a jackhammer where and when they shouldn’t?). And don’t even get me started on the whole dynamite/C4 option to take out a wall. No, the Axe is the best way because it’s slow and steady. It builds muscle and allows you to see what you’re doing. You can stop and rest if you need to. And you can clear out the crumbling wall as you go, getting rid of debris and clearing the path for future work.

As we follow the Snake up between the Sun of the Heart and the Sun of the Spirit, we find the Noose and then the rune Uruz.

The Heights

The Heights

We must walk through Death to get to Spirit, to wisdom and an understanding of the movement of the Spirit. Now hold: this does NOT mean that you’re to go jump in front of a bus. PLEASE DON’T DO THAT. The death we’re talking about here is the death of previous ways of thinking, loving, and being. This death is a letting go of what may have previously been so precious to us that we couldn’t possibly even think of letting it go. We are being called to sacrifice those things to reach our higher purpose. The rune Uruz is the bull: strength, power, passion, and the relentless movement forward toward the ultimate goal. It is a rune of action and instinct, and for some of us a rune of Ancestors–a reminder that we come from an ancient line of driven people who are not afraid to do the work required to get where we need to go. If that’s you (and it probably is), dig in. Take a deep breath, and forge ahead. Do not be afraid of anything. Because look at the head of the snake: She has The Angel at her brow. Her purpose is sacred. She is a priestess of the holy realms, and She is guided by Divine Love. She speaks the languages of the gods, and they whisper to Her as She moves, carrying the parts of the sun forward in this cosmic dance.

You are holy. You are beloved. You are not alone. And you are meant to be doing your work for your own benefit and for the benefit of all beings.

Depression LIES, and Don’t You Believe the Lies

Good morning, my dears! Today we have a reversed card, The Moon, from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot and charms from Carrie Paris’s Magpie Oracles I and II. In case you haven’t realized it yet from my daily draws over on Facebook, I love pulling cards and charms together. The charms deepen and direct the information coming through, and add layers to both the questions and answers. So let’s see what we have here for today, shall we?

The Moon reversed can be read in a variety of ways. I tend to read reversals as a delay or a block of the energy of the card, and in some cases a perversion of the card’s energy, a twisting of it into something it’s not meant to be. In this case, it feels like something deceptive and dark is getting driven into the light. I’m seeing this as a good thing, for the following reason: I suffer from depression. It gets pretty bad when my material circumstances aren’t great, which is what’s going on for me right now. In July I was laid off from my job, and I’m really struggling right now to find a job that I can enjoy spending my time doing. My depression is rearing its ugly head, telling me I’m never going to find a job, never going to get to have a job that I enjoy, that that experience is for other people. This card, in this aspect, is a reminder that such thoughts are lies. Deception is a big message with The Moon, that the possibility exists that what one sees is not the whole picture, that there are things coming up from the depths that are at present uncatalogued and unidentified. There is a wild side and a familiar side to this card, and a sense of sacred journeying through the darkness. When reversed, I read this card to mean that these processes are twisted, that the journey is blocked and the flow is dammed up so that nothing is moving. The wild and the familiar have switched sides (or are morphing into and out of each other), and you can’t trust anything because it’s hard to know what’s what and where you stand. So the card is an indicator to me that depression has taken hold and has affected how I see the world.

Now, let’s add some charms starting from the bottom and working our way up:

The Moon (Rev) and charms

The Moon (Rev) and charms

  •  The Stork brings messages of new things coming. Have faith despite not being able to see right now. Have faith. New beginnings are coming.
  • The Crown and the Coin sitting on the Moon’s face indicate both wealth coming from the unknown and a sort of dominion over that realm.
  • The Horseshoe and the Sun sitting on the Coyote indicate goodness and good fortune coming from the wild side, from that which is not domesticated yet.
  • The Needle is a symbol not only of creation and of work, but for me it is also a symbol of ancestors–my grandfather was an upholsterer, so that’s where that comes from.
  • The Dragonfly on the dog is a symbol to me of shape-shifting out of domesticated form and into … whatever comes next.
  • The Caduceus reminds us that this is a healing process, that what is being gone through is necessary to rid the spirit and the self of toxins previously absorbed.
  • The Passport is an indicator of travel and shifting environments.
  • The Woman symbol is an indicator of the Sacred Feminine.

All of these charms have positive messages, and it feels like they are bringing a positive message over the more negative one that the card alone brings. We are being reminded that the most devastating thing about depression is that it lies. Do not believe the lies today, my friends. Try to remember that your mind is lying to you when you are swamped with overwhelming negative emotions, and that recognizing the lies is half the battle in coming out of the darkness. ❤ ❤ ❤


What is the best way forward today?

Being a recently laid-off person, the question that comes up most for me (usually) when I divine for myself is, “What is my best way forward right now?” It gives me at least a little comfort in that it provides some form of action I can take, where if I’d asked “When will I get a new job?” I’m kind of implying my own powerlessness, which makes me crazy. So when I asked this morning what my best way forward is at least for today, Ran came up. She is the Norse goddess of the deep oceans and the drowned. (Oh, p.s.: the deck I’m using is Ellen Lorenzi-Prince’s Dark Goddess Tarot  and the charms are Carrie Paris’s Magpie Oracle II. Huge amounts of YAY! on both, and I highly recommend them.) When Ran (whose name is pronounced “Rawn”) appears in a reading, it’s time to get way into touch with your own inner depths.

Ran, Hag of Water (King of Cups)

Ran, Hag of Water (King of Cups)

Personally, I’m being called on to go deep for answers. That’s the short answer to why I drew this card for today. But what else is going on here? Let’s look at the charms because there’s all kinds of stuff happening:

  • The Camera rests over Ran’s eyes. This is indicating the importance of observation and of trusting what you see. Don’t add or synthesize the data, but just SEE what’s there and record it. Be an impartial observer, if you can, of the real and the immediate.
  • The I indicates that we’re talking about your deeper self here. This isn’t about how you interact with others, it’s about how you are with you. Your relationship with your higher self (the I is at the top of the card, after all) is the most important relationship you’ll ever have, and while the charm is reminding you of that fact, the card is telling you where to find yourself. (Hint: it rhymes with “m-ocean.” 😉 )
  • The Clock is simply indicating that we’re all on the clock, as it were–tempus fugit and all that.
  • The dice are interesting. I try not to draw them for these types of castings because they’re best used for Yes/No questions (Red means “no,” Yellow means “ask again later” or “maybe” or “pause a bit,” and Green means “yes”) rather than for larger questions. But if they come out of the bag when I grab a handful and end up on the card, I’ll take a look at where they land and what number is showing to see if there’s a significance. Here, both Yellow and Red dice show up, and both are at the number 1 which indicates the Self to me. The Yellow die fell on the little guy struggling to keep his boat afloat, which tells me he needs to just hang on a bit longer. The Red die fell on the little guy who’s sinking into the depths (i.e., he’s dead or about to be dead), which tells me to not give up, to stop acting like everything’s over because it’s not.
  • The Fan brings elegance to the equation, telling me that no matter what I’m going through, facing it with grace and beauty is ALWAYS an option, and the gods tend to like that sort of bravado in the face of adversity.
  • The Broom is a profoundly witchy tool, and it’s one that we think of whenever we think of hags in general. “Hag” = “witch” = “flying away on a broom, cackling.” There is great power here, and it’s in the darkest depths of the water (the blue on which the Broom landed is the darkest blue of the card. Go deep. That’s where your witchy power is.
  • The Handcuffs indicate that this is a situation to which one is chained. This issue has happened before, and since it’s on the right, it will probably happen again in the future. Maybe movement is limited, the way you have difficulty maneuvering when your hands are tied. Well, your hands are tied here. Maybe the hands of the Divine are tied too. Maybe this is just something that needs to be gone through, to get through and move on.
  • The Plane is flying away, into the left of the card. The left side is usually associated with emotions and the unknown, so we’re being encouraged to take a trip into the wild unknown, the Mystery with a capital “M.”
  • The Shark is a wonderful sign. Sharks are very mysterious and ancient creatures, and while they are constantly moving, it’s very difficult to track all their movements. Scientists have noticed via tracking tags on Great Whites off the west coast of North America that these sharks for some reason travel to the same very very deep spot way out in the Pacific, and then they come back. Nobody knows why they go there, or what they do. It’s a shark mystery, and since they are so old on the evolutionary chain, it’s probably a mystery that goes back millions of years. Go with your inner shark. Visualize yourself following Shark out to your own inner depths, and see what you find there.
  • Both the Indigenous Chief and the King appear here, emphasizing the card’s nature as the King of Cups. You are the ruler of this element, and you are in command of yourself throughout this process. Act like it.
  • The Mask is under Ran’s feet. There is no hiding here, no putting on personas or costumes or hiding behind alternate personalities. You must be who you are in Her realm. No fakes, no phonies. All masks will be stripped away and crushed underfoot. Can you take it?
  • The Wand is another power tool like the Broom. It’s on the sea floor, so you have to go down, down, down to Ran’s realm to get it. You may even need to bring Her something to trade for it, because that’s often how it goes in these matters. But it’s there for you and can be yours to take back up to the world, IF you’ve got what it takes to go get it in the first place.
  • The Dragonfly is also at the bottom of the sea in the card. Great power and the ability to transform are there, waiting for you.
  • Lastly we have the Wishing Well. Are you making wishes? Are you praying? Take time (make the time) every day to send up your wishes into the air and the sea. They are being heard, so keep it up. Wish on stars. Throw coins into fountains. Pick up pennies you find on the street. Blow dandelion fuzz into the air. These may seem like ridiculous whimsical wastes of time, but they’re not. They’re powerful spells, just like any other prayer. You are acknowledging the existence of the unseen.

We’re back! And with a reading, too!

Good morning, friends. I’m sorry I’ve been away so long. It’s been an upheaval-y kind of quarter, and I’ve been working on getting my feet back under me. Hooray! So let’s get right back into the readings. Today’s cards are from Robert Place and Rachel Pollack’s fabulous new Burning Serpent Oracle. It’s a Lenormand deck, so the reading will naturally be to the point and clear (if not necessarily simple 😉 ).


The Burning Serpent Oracle

The question I asked was an easy one: Show me what I need to know today. You’re always sort of taking your chances with readings like this because the cards can either come back very vague and drifting, or they can come back like a cosmic frying pan to the head, as this one is. Like the cards are saying, “Thanks for asking, stupid! Now pay attention!” So let’s look at what’s written on the underside of this particular frying pan.

The card on the left is Isis. In The Burning Serpent Oracle, Isis represents the highest self of the Woman (29) card. She is all about the best potential of the Woman/female energies, and also about doing what nobody else can do, of making the impossible possible. The Key (33) heightens the karmic resonance of this reading because it represents unlocking the mysteries and of making something clear or coming to a resolution about something that wasn’t clear or possible before. So it’s not only in our best interests to pay attention to signs around us today and work toward uncovering our life purpose, but it’s critical to pay attention to what’s smack in the middle: The Mice (23). What’s in between you and your highest good? Worry. Stress. Those little niggling freakout anxiety attacks that keep you up at night. Fuck ’em. Seriously. Stop worrying. Breathe through the panic and anxiety and just let it flow. Don’t hang onto it or make it into something it’s not. Notice it, call an exterminator (or find a way to humanely move the little meeces outside where they belong), and get them out of the way of that Key. You are what’s in the way of understanding (and when I say “you,” yes, I mean “me” too). So let’s work on getting those Mice back outside where they belong today, ok? Meditation, mindfulness, exercise, healthy eating, noticing what’s around you. That’s a good start.

Reading: 4/18/14

Sometimes when I draw the cards, I do so without a layout in mind. I just pull the cards out and see what the story says. In this case, with these cards, it’s the story of my life as a writer: things began badly many years ago, and the “badness” was compounded by sorrow and regret in the decades since. But then I began to dig into the mysteries, into the shadow spaces that informed how I was seeing my own gifts. And now I am reminded that I can draw strength and wisdom from those lessons, that hope and my gifts are not dead but transformed–the drooping, dying red rose has been purified by experience into the white rose of dawn and possibility. I am not reborn, but remade.

(deck: The Wild Unknown Tarot)

reading writing