Sunday, 25 October 2015

Self-Development with Tarot: Assertiveness with the Queen of Wands.

Of the whole deck, the powerful, feminine energy that radiates from the Queen of Wands is my favourite. I know I say I love a lot of cards in the deck but if I had to choose one that I want to embody the most in my life it would be the Queen of Wands. She's the embodiment of feminine assertiveness and self-confidence.

Which brings me to the topic of this post. Being assertive is generally a difficult thing to do in our society, particularly if you are a female. Assertiveness in females is seen as being a bitch, self-confidence seen as being arrogant or "full of yourself.". Modesty and submissiveness in all aspects is pushed onto us females from when we are young. Everything tells us we should be quiet and modest to be a lady.

Assertiveness builds self-confidence and self-confidence allows you when to know the difference between passive, assertive and aggressive and when to apply your assertiveness to a situation and when to sit back and be passive. Assertiveness is being pro-active about yourself and standing up for your needs without neglecting or imposing on the needs of others. For example there may be problems within a relationship where the other party is behaving in a manner that hurts you, being assertive would be to talk to the other party, discuss with them the issue in a calm manner. If you were passive however, you would allow that person to continue hurting you, this damaging your self-esteem and causing stress and putting a strain on the relationship. If you were aggressive you would start a fight over the issue and end up sabotaging the relationship completely instead of working through the issues in an assertive way. 

There are many reasons why we are not assertive in our lives. As I mentioned above, women may be taught to be passive because they should be tending to the needs of others rather than themselves, this could also have some women wanting to rebel against societal norms and flip to an aggressive stance in order to claim back their voice. Men are often raised to be aggressive, feeling that their need to be dominant in all areas of their lives means demanding what they want, this, as with the example of women, may flip the other way around and they may want to not be seen as the dominant, aggressive man, rebelling against their upbringing they could become passive in order to show that they are "not like that".

There's also a greater societal reason for being passive. We're often taught that to be nice we must be passive and give everyone what they want. In turn we believe that our needs are sub-par to those of others and we give in to what others want or need for fear of appearing the bad guy or that the other person will walk out on us altogether, when actually the fact we are not being assertive in our needs causes stress, lack of proper communication and ultimately puts strain on our relationships and breaks them down.

Being assertive builds self-confidence and there's nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and considering your own needs in a positive and proactive manner.  Start small and begin learning to say no respectfully. Learn that it's ok to say no if you don't want to do something and that the other person should never make you feel guilty for saying no if it's not what you want. Learn to talk about your needs and feelings without being aggressive or blaming others but in a way that will allow them to be included in your feelings and let them know how they can help.

Channel the energies of The Queen of Wands by allowing the fire energy within you to be channelled through that queenly, feminine exterior. Rule yourself and your needs with the strong, assertiveness of a Queen who's fire allows you to be strong and dominant but who's feminine energy allows you to display that dominance and strength in a nurturing and loving manner. Respect yourself and others around you because you are worth it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Devil: self indulgence, vice and facing fears.

Hello my Unique Unicorns!

This is going to be the first in a new series of posts will be combining the messages and meaning of the Tarot Cards with self development and self improvement. Hopefully these posts will allow you to tap in to the energy and messages of the cards to be able to develop and enrich your own lives with Tarot.

(Prisma Visions Tarot)

Today's focus is on The Devil card. The Devil card is all about facing demons in a very literal sense. Are you following the Devil down a dead-end road? When the Devil card comes up in a reading it's time to face your demons and see where you are going in your life. Perhaps you're placing too much significance in the material things in life, or over indulging yourself in life's pleasures, to the point it's compromising your life.

Sometimes we can really use the Devil's influence to look into our lives and see what our vices are doing to our state of mind. Perhaps our chase for material possessions has made us lose sight of the things that really matter. Does this ring true to you? Do you find yourself working 12 hours a day, to the point you have no time for yourself and your family and your daily life has no meaning. You just go to work to get money to buy that car of your dreams. When our focus becomes wholly on the material, our mental and sometimes physical well-being begin to deteriorate.

Touching on your physical well-being (as your body is very much in the material plane) the Devil card represents over indulgence of the senses and this could translate into eating too much and becoming overweight to the point of it harming your physical health. Now, I think all body's are beautiful, thick ones, thin ones and all in between ones, but if your over indulgence is contributing to poor physical health you need to respect your body and nourish it with good things. Of course treats are an important part of enjoying life, but eating lots of sugary snacks or fast food is not good for your body and could be an area to look at in your life if you feel The Devil is present in this aspect. The card could even present itself in your life as an underlying issue of disordered eating that you had never considered; you may be using this food to cover up emotions you don't want to feel, to comfort yourself in times of stress. This is not good for you and you need to find a way of confronting and dealing with your emotions in a healthy way. I will not go into eating disorders in a full way as all people suffer theirs in very individual ways and what information I can give you about my recovery may not apply to you but if you feel you may have one, it's advisable for you to go and speak to someone about it and begin to recover and respect yourself and your body.

Another message I feel is within the Devil is holding on to things that no longer serve you or that hurt you, for example, relationships that are hurting you but you continue to beat yourself up by staying around those people who don't care about you and are only using you for their own gain. We touched on this with the previous post so I will not go into detail with this, but often we hold onto relationships that hurt us for self-indulgent reasons. We follow these people like we follow the Devil, with empty promises of good things only to find them devouring our souls instead. Sometimes there are just people in your life who will only hurt you and no matter what you do or how much you believe in their good deeds, and they will continue to do so time and time again until you decide enough is enough. It's better to let these people go. It doesn't make you a bad person to want to put your own needs and emotions before the people who care only about what they can gain from you. Watch out for emotional vampires before they suck you dry.

On the flip side of things The Devil can also signify your lack of self indulgence. Are you the person in a cycle of working, eating, sleeping, working, eating, sleeping? If so then you need to look at where you can add fulfilment into your life. Even if it's just reading a book for 5 minutes before you go to bed. Everyone has to be able to do something with their lives that is self indulgent at times. There's nothing wrong with making yourself happy and if you've fallen prey to working yourself to the bone you're certainly in need of some self-indulgent pampering! Part of having respect for yourself and your body is being able to give yourself some needed self-care. Neglecting your own happiness is not only detrimental to you but to those you care about as well. If you are someone who fails to care for themselves and do the things that make you happy, give yourself permission to engage in hobbies and pursuits that give you a sense of joy and fulfilment! You deserve it!

How do you feel the Devil effects your life? Do you feel as though you are overly self-indulgent to a point that it is hurting your mental and spiritual well-being? Does your obsession with material possessions prevent you from enjoying the more spiritual and natural parts of every-day life and leave you feeling envious of those who appear to "have it better"? Or are you one of those people who neglects your own happiness and fails to ever indulge yourself and therefore needs more self care? How do you feel The Devil represents the journeys through life and self-development? I would love to hear your impressions!

Much Love

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Give yourself permission to let go of the stuff that holds you back.

I have been having an eye opening past few days that have really been making me think about the decisions that have to be made in my life in order for me to be able to move forwards with myself and look towards the future. One thing I know I need to do is to learn to give myself permission to let go of the things in the past that still continue to hold me back. I, like most, have been through a lot of things in my life and a lot of them still sit with me, still hold onto me like ghosts that won't let me go. I know I need to throw them off if I ever want to move forward but that's easier said than done.

There are a lot of things that you will go through in life that will affect you and will be very difficult to get rid of but the things that you are holding onto are preventing you from living the life you deserve to live. I'm not talking about just past experiences, past mistakes, but relationships too that you're holding onto, clutching at for dear life when they are doing nothing but hurting you. If there are people in your life who don't care about you, who bring you down, you are absolutely allowed to let them go.

There gets a point in life where you need to be selfish. There is nothing wrong with being selfish sometimes. That word is shamed and put down to mean that if you think about yourself for once that it's bad but it's absolutely not. Sometimes you do need to put yourself first and think about your own needs and there's nothing wrong with that. I think we get caught up in catering to other people that we forget that we are worthy of and deserving of nurturing and sometimes only we can cater to our own needs and nurture ourselves. At the end of the day we count on ourselves to create our own happiness and if we are holding on to experiences, mistakes and relationships that simply hold us back and pull us down we are never going to live happy lives. There's nothing wrong with wanting to pursue our own happiness. Looking after ourselves doesn't mean we stop looking after others and we can absolutely find a balance between the two and staying in relationships with people who hurt us is not a healthy balance.

Sometimes you need to sit down and really think about the things in your life that is holding you back. Are there relationships you have at the moment where the person seems to do nothing but pull you down and insult you? Does a person in your life only talk to you when they need something, only associate you because it benefits them? Do you find yourself stopping yourself from doing things that make you happy because you are thinking about times in the past when things have gone wrong? Are anxieties about your past stopping you from progressing to your future? Now is the time to think about those things and give yourself permission to move past them. Sometimes you may need professional help to move through past issues and this is absolutely ok, go and seek that help that you need. If there are people in your life that you need to let go of, you can begin making steps to gradually distance yourself from those people and get out of those relationships. Sometimes this may be a relationship that is more serious such as family or partners, in which case this could be an opportunity to sit down with those people and talk about the problems you are having with them. If they aren't willing to change then it's best for you to cut ties with them, but I have found that, more often than not, those people care enough about you to want to change and just didn't know that their behaviours had been an issue for you.

So here it is, here is your time to change your life and cater to your needs. Here's your opportunity to allow yourself to move forward, to work through whatever issues are keeping you connected to things and people that prevent you from living your life. You deserve happiness, you deserve to surround yourself with people who care about you, you deserve to have the future you want. Don't ever forget that.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Stop normalising your negative self talk.

The past couple of days were a difficult time for me. My body image was never particularly good, I've been through horrible eating disorders that have had me destroying my body to a point that I was at deaths door and yet couldn't see that it was a problem because I was still in the normal BMI range; anyone who suffers from a "real" eating disorder is emaciated right? I'd done such a good job at hiding it from the people around me that I had hidden it from myself too. Purging 6x a day on average was something I'd done for so long that I thought it was a completely normal practice, even though my teeth were falling out, my hair came out in clumps and I was weak, dizzy and disorientated every day. I think that is a big problem for a lot of people, not just those of us who suffer from eating disorders, finding normality in our self abusive behaviours, one of the main ones being our negative self-talk.

Once you begin to see your negative behaviours as normal they begin to get deep seated inside yourself to the point that they become very hard to shift because they become a part of you. I know one of the biggest issues on my road to recovery with my eating disorder was finding out who I was without the disorder. I was diagnosed at 17 with Bulimia but had had these issues for a long time prior, for the entirety of my teenage years and spilling into my childhood as well; though these things were odd behaviours they were still things that eventually developed into a full blown eating disorder. The part of my life that should have been reserved for self development was taken over by the development of an eating disorder. I felt that all I was was the negative self-talk voice in my head.

Negative self talk is something that I have been plagued by as long as I can remember, even in other aspects of myself than the eating disorder. I'm a real perfectionist and even though I absolutely love writing stories and being creative my perfectionist voice kicks in and tells me that because it's not "perfect" it's not good enough. But what is perfect really? When negative self talk comes in one thing that really makes me think is "would I say this to my best friend?" Would I say that my best friends work is sub par or that it looks stupid? Would I stand in front of my best friend and call her fat etc? I would never do that. I think all my friends are gorgeous, talented and intelligent people in their own special ways but then I say these horrible things to myself. Shouldn't I be my own best friend?

Of course you should be your own best friend! The people in your life enrich it for sure but you are the creator of your own world and your own happiness and you have to be with yourself for your entire life. You are the main person in your life. At the end of it all you have to find happiness in yourself and appreciate yourself and all the things you can do. You are a superstar and the only one of you that there is. You are good enough. You are worthy and that negative self talk needs to go.

Stop normalising your negative self talk. It's not doing you any favours. Whenever you find yourself giving yourself negative self talk you need to stop and think. You need to stop what you're doing and really evaluate what you are saying to yourself. Sit with that feeling for a moment and then start thinking about the reasons why you are saying these things to yourself. For example, when I start thinking about how something is happening because I'm too fat I have to sit down and think about what is really the problem and most of the time I realise that it really isn't because I'm "too fat". We need to take back our inner dialogue and reclaim the parts of our brain that are our own worst enemies and fill them with cleansing light. Positive affirmations, meditation, journalling all the things that you did each day that were achievements or positive or whatever; anything that will make us fill our brains back up with self-love.

Our society conditions us to hate ourselves. There are multi-billion pound industries based on making us feel like crap, based on feeding into the negative self image that we are building up over the years of our life. Our society feeds on us feeling bad about ourselves and we need to stand up for them. Don't feel guilty about complimenting yourself. If your ass looks good in those jeans, own that! If you paint a gorgeous picture, own that! If your acheivement is to get out of bed on a morning where you really really would rather hide under those covers and wallow in your self pity then fucking OWN that! When good things happen you are allowed to feel proud. You are allowed to love the skin you're in. You're allowed to look at your body and appreciate all the things it does for you on a daily basis and, god forbid, love it. Stop normalising negative self talk, it isn't normal, it's toxic and you don't need it in your life anymore. You deserve to be your own best friend so own it. Own yourself. Own your life.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The Sun

Upright: I love the positivity this card emanates. It's a shame that it doesn't truly bring the sunshine out into the sky, (especially on this overcast English sky!) but it might as well have. Even talking about this card makes me bubble with positive energy. If you are looking for a definite answer to a question then The Sun certainly means a big, fat yes!

When The Sun appears in a spread, get ready to welcome success and positivity into your life. You have earned these good things and so it's time to bask in this good feeling. You are totally given permission to regress into your inner child, let your hair down and have some fun because you've worked so hard to get to this point and The Sun is shining down on you right now.

You may be feeling extremely creative right now, it may be that you are creating some of the best works you've ever done at this time. It's certainly a good time to begin new projects as they will be mostly a big success.

You are carefree, feeling the positive vibrations of all you've accomplished in your life so far. Let The Sun's rays penetrate your skin and warm your soul and your shining light will attract those around you and allow them to feel the positive happiness you are radiating right now.

Reversed: The Sun is full of such positivity that even in its reversed position it still means good things, just possibly slightly less overwhelmingly good! It may be that there are some worries in the back of your mind that could be tainting the good feelings you're experiencing right now. What you really need to do in this situation is decipher whether your worries are for good cause or just something your mind is creating to rain on your sunny day.

You may be feeling a slump in your self confidence and self esteem. Something may have knocked you off your perch; you're not rock bottom right now but you may be feeling just a little bit self conscious. There may be a feeling that you are not letting your inner child out to play, or pushing down issues with your inner child that you need to address. Stay positive and don't let things cloud your sunshine. Take a break from your projects for a moment to allow your creativity to flow once again and you'll be feeling the rays of The Sun soon enough.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Ritual baths for self love.

(background by: manvspixel@Deviantart)

Happy Sunday my unique unicorns! This Sunday was a particularly beautiful one to me, the sun just seemed to shine in a way that made me feel so connected and in awe. It was completed with a sunset so lovely that, whilst I usually wait until after dark to commune with The Morrigan and give my thanks for the day and affirm my devotion, I had to give thanks and share my awe of the sunset with the spirits and my Matron and I know she appreciated my intent. When it came to bath time I decided that with this beauty in the air I had to cast a ritual bath.

Ritual baths are a wonderful way of casting a glamour spell and generally make everyone feel wonderful. I think that anyone who is a magick practitioner should be taking a ritual baths, just as a way of practising self care alongside their ritual practice. They really are wonderful. Everyone has to keep clean and take regular baths, so why not incorporate your magick practice with your hygiene routine and allow that time to become more spiritual and more contemplative? I really find that ritual baths just make me feel like I'm more grounded and more connected to my spirituality and generally puts me back into a good vibration.

My favourite type of ritual bath uses the following:
  • A few drops of lavender essential oils.
  • Dried lavender flowers.
  • Dried Rose Petals
  • Dried Jasmine Flowers.
  • A cup of Epsom Salts
  • A cup of milk.
I light a few candles around the edge of the bath and put on some relaxing music, or sometimes I like to listen to a podcast or audio book (the celticmythpodshow is my favourite at the moment!). I get in the bath, take a few moments to ground and centre myself or even do a 10 minute meditation session. I then say a few words, usually something that comes to me at the time, to infuse the bath with self-love, happiness, positivity etc. As I say the words I swirl my hands around the water and visualise the water beginning to glow with cleansing light and as I swirl my hands around I feel the light flowing through my body and filling it up with good energy. I will then sit in the bath for around 20 minutes while I listen to my music or my podcast or audio book before I wash. I don't let my top-half get wet, as I follow the Japanese Half-Bath idea of allowing my body to cleanse through sweating etc, until after I have soaked for 20-30 mins. After this I wash and then get out of the bath.

Post-bath care is also a good thing to remember to do. I think it's all part of allowing that energy to really get into your core. Afterwards I like to try and air-dry myself as much as possible, or at least just pat-dry my body so that the smell and goodness of the things that were used in the bath, like the oils etc, aren't just rubbed off my skin. After I have done so I use some body butter all over my body and imagine that I am rubbing the energies I have absorbed from the bath deeper into my soul as I moisturise. After moisturising I wait about 5 minutes before getting dressed so that the body butter is absorbed into my skin fully.

If you want to do a ritual bath of your own, I really suggest looking up herbs and flowers etc that are connected with love, positivity, happiness etc. I find that Camomile is another really great flower to use in a ritual bath centred around self-love and inner calm etc. One way of getting camomile into my bath is by using camomile tea-bags. I use two in a big bath and put them under the hot, running water and leave them to "brew" for around 5 minutes before I get into the bath, though I tend to leave them in the whole way through and take them out when I get out of the bath (before emptying it of course!).

I hope this has helped and that some of you go away and have a ritual bath this evening! Let me know if you have your own ritual baths and what you like to use in your baths. I'd really like to have other ideas ^_^

Much Love

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Sigil Magick and Self Love Manifesto.

I have a couple of things to talk about in this post so bare with me as it may be long!

First up I want to talk about Sigil magick. I'm a complete n00b when it comes to sigils but I have been reading up a little on chaos magick recently and sigil magick is one of the most simplest forms of chaos magick so I had a go with them last night. I carved a sigil into the side of a candle and let it burn. My understanding is that as I continue to burn the candle each day the power of the sigil will get stronger and stronger until it is burnt out when it will begin to manifest. There are other ways to activate a sigil, one of the most popular being that you light a candle, one with a corresponding colour to your desire would be best but any will do then, write the sigil on a piece of paper pouring your intent and desire into the ink as you write it on the paper. Focus your mind on what the sigil means to you and then light the paper with the candle flame and put it into a fireproof dish and let it burn out. It would probably be a good idea to let the ashes blow away on the wind outside. I personally am going to bury what's left of the candle that I can't burn out when I'm done with it. Letting it go back to the earth helps it work with the energies of the earth to manifest.

The sigils I used were one to help me get over my anxiety and depression and another to help me stick to my diet and exercise regime. I will see how this progresses over the next few weeks.

Anyone else who is a big fan of The Four Queens will know that this month has been Self Love September and I've found it to be quite an eye opening experience and one that has really made me want to continue the positive changes I've made into the foreseeable future. Anyways, she made a blog post about her self love manifesto and invited us to write a manifesto of our own. So here goes mine:

I will allow myself to feel proud of my achievements.
I never let myself be proud of the things I've accomplished and always think I could have done better or that I've not finished everything I want to achieve therefore I can't be proud yet but I am going to feel proud of what I've achieved and not compare it to anything.

I will not compare myself to others.
I have a big problem with toxic comparison and I am forever feeling like I'm in competition with everyone but this will be no more. If I begin to compare I will remind myself that I am me and they are them and we are not in competition. They will never be me and I will never be them and that is all good.

I will not hurt myself to keep other people happy.
I care so much about other people and what they think and feel that I put myself out to make them happy but I will do this no longer. I will still care for others and make them happy but I won't do it at the expense of my own happiness.

I will take care of and respect my body.
I've been riddled with eating disorders and substance abuse since my early teens. My bulimia in particular destroyed not only my body but my mind and soul too. I am in recovery and I need to take care of my body, I need to respect it, feed it good nutritious food, water it as needed, give it fresh air and exercise and give it the care and respect it deserves. It's been through a lot, especially with what I put it through and my particularly difficult pregnancy and labour and it's still standing and that's pretty fucking awesome. My body is awesome!

Give myself time to relax and not feel guilty about it.
I'm a full-time primary carer to my son, I'm self employed and I'm taking a distance learning degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and so I am constantly on the go and rarely get time to myself. I've decided that I will make time to relax and not feel guilty about doing so!

Challenge negative self talk.
I am always talking negatively about myself and from now on I will challenge my negative self talk and ask myself why I'm thinking like this, what are my reasons? And turn the negativity back into rational thought and positive beliefs about myself. Along with this I will also challenge other people's negative self talk when I hear it. Anyone I hear talking themselves down will have my correcting wand coming over them to hopefully have them challenging their own negative talk in the future!

That is all I can think of right now but major points that need addressing in my life. They are all things that I need to think about in order to be able to promote self love in myself and in others.

Have you guys been following self love September? If so have you got a manifesto? Even if you haven't been following self love September I challenge you all to come up with one for yourself and stick to it. This time next year you can come back to it and see how well you stayed within your boundaries and how you have changed.

Much love

Friday, 25 September 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The World

Upright: The world comes at the end of The Fools Journey and a very positive card in general. It is one of the only cards that would be able to definitely answer a "yes or no" question and the answer would be a resounding yes. When The World comes up in a reading it almost always means that there is a great deal of positivity and success on its way or that success has just been had.

There is one thing to consider when The World comes up in a reading and to highlight this I will refer back to the Death card and its main theme, change and rebirth. If you think about life as a cycle and The World itself spinning around in a cycle from day to night to day again in a perpetual cycle, you will understand that, while the world indicates success and the completion of goals, this card also indicates that the cycle is about to start again and there will soon become a time when you will be The Fool again.

If The World card comes up in a reading it's time to feel proud of yourself and relish in your successes. You'll notice that other people will recognise these successes and will want to be around you to relish in your victories too. You may find yourself being rewarded with awards or promotions at work etc that will confirm the fact that other people are recognising your success too. The World card can be connected to fame so you may even find yourself becoming a bit of a star!

The World is a big motivator to go out and create your own world. You've gained enough experience and skills along your path that you're able to use them to create your own success and build your empire. All these things you have gained are not due to good luck or chance but through hard work and careful planning. You have got to where you are today on your own merit; you have persevered through the hard times, through Death and The Devil and you are now finally at a place where you can create and own your world. You should feel proud of what you have gone through and how far you have come.

There could also be a very literal meaning behind this card in that it may be telling you to take over the world, not in a Pinky and the Brain way but to travel, expand your business internationally, move or work overseas, anything that sees you seeing the world and taking advantage of all it has to offer. Exploring different cultures and seeing what different parts of the world have to offer you will be an extremely positive endeavour for you. The World could also be telling you to to get back to nature and explore The Worlds bounty in that respect.

In a relationship spread this card could be revealing to you the positives of a long distance relationship or of meeting a prospective partner who comes from a different part of the world from you; maybe even a holiday romance? In general these relationships will be built to last and likely to be extremely happy and positive relationships.

Balance is another big theme with this card. Life is in balance. Your hard work and perseverance is balanced out by success. You are at completion but on the edge of a new beginning; nicely balanced between the two. You probably feel a sense of being whole, a sense that everything is just... right. You can feel the good vibrations flowing and your own energy field is vibrating at just the right level. You are bound to be feeling grounded, you can feel your roots connecting you to the earth and feeling the energies of the earth and everything connected to it coursing through you. You could be feeling very alive right now.

Another big part of The World is the message of learning life's lessons. The World shows us that with the lessons of self discipline and responsibility the World is your oyster and as long as we learn from these lessons we won't be trapped in a cycle of making the same mistakes over and over again, we would be trapped in a cycle of success.

Reversed: The World in its reversed position indicates a resistance to change. Perhaps you're scared of changing or you've just reached a point of stagnation in your life and are finding it hard to move forward. You feel like you're stuck in a cycle of boredom and increasing frustration. The only way that you will be able to break out of this cycle is by a change of attitude. The World reversed calls for you to begin thinking positively and giving yourself credit for your own strengths in order for you to work through your issues and achieve your goals.

You may believe that the world owes you something and so you do not change because you don't put in the work, simply believing that you are owed the opportunities and they will just fall into your lap. You may be being too stubborn and fighting against the changes presenting themselves in your life instead of going with the flow causing you to never come across positive changes because your perception is that they are always negative.

It could mean that you are doing as much hard work as you possibly can but that it's all directed in the wrong place and thus you are not getting anywhere in your life because you're striving towards and empty end. You need to listen to outside points of view and different perspectives in order to be able to find success. You may need to look back over your past mistakes and see the lessons that you might have missed.

There could be a sense of an anti climax when it comes to the success you've just achieved. You've worked so hard towards a goal that you've coveted for so long that now you are here it's not as good as you'd made it out to be. It may be that you've pursued this dream for so long that you've now changed and the dream doesn't matter that much to you anymore. You could find that you've achieved you goal only to find that there's now an even bigger climb ahead of you, but that is life, to keep success going you have to keep working. On the theme of the work you need to keep doing after reaching your goal in order to continue to succeed, you may find that you've reached your goal but now you're carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders and you can't keep up with the work required to keep your success going.

The World reversed could also indicate that the world you've created for yourself isn't a safe place to be. You've surrounded yourself with negative self talk and thus have body issues that are plaguing your mind. You're finding it hard to get yourself out of your cycle of negativity and looking down on yourself and your body. You've started to put too much weight on your distorted view of your personal appearance and it feels like your whole sense of worth is being placed on how you look and how you fit into the societal ideal of beauty. 

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tarot Card Spotlight: The Hanged Man

Upright: The Hanged Man is an interesting and complex card. After the motion and activity of the Wheel of Fortune which directly contrasts the sudden stop and standstill of The Hanged Man, justice has tied him up to force him to contemplate what has happened. This card is all about suspension. The Hanged Man also reminds us that sometimes, no matter what we do, life will do as it will. It doesn't matter how much we push and pull at it, it will do whatever it wants and we merely have to go along with it. This can make us feel powerless but The Hanged Man is really here to remind us that sometimes we have to stop, stand still and focus.

Sometimes struggling against what life throws at you is pointless and we should save our energies and just wait it out; let it go. Resistance will only serve to deplete our energy and won't make any difference to the situation at hand anyway so why not just let it go?

When we take a closer look and analyse the image of the man we see that he is not scared, he is not worried or upset, he is calm, serene, in a state of tranquil contemplation at the situation. You could even go as far as to say that the glowing halo around his head could represent the lightbulb going on in his mind as he surveys his life and contemplates his situation. He is learning valuable lessons from his situation, lessons he know he needs to learn to be able to continue along his path without too many roadblocks that could have been prevented had he only stopped and reflected on his experiences. 

The Hanged Man is a person who once often felt like he was the victim, being punished by life but now, from his new viewpoint, he can see the lessons he must learn and the positives behind the experiences. He is taking advantage of his position to go deep within himself and look into his subconscious and develop his higher-self. Here he is able to undergo a period of wonderful self-development and enjoy a time of tranquil improvement of his inner self.

Another underlying focus of The Hanged Man is sacrifice; the sacrifice of our own wants, dreams and desires in favour of the bigger picture or the needs of someone else. Here there can be a clash of feeling as though he has been sacrificed by others for their own desires, or that he has sacrificed himself for the greater good. There's a paradox of victimisation and martyrdom. This is where this card can be connected to giving and helping others and foregoing your own desires in order to help those you care for achieve their own, or even to volunteer work.

If we examine The Hanged Woman as it appears in the Manga Tarot deck we can clearly see the presence of the element of water here. The fact that she is standing on her head to meditate under the waterfall makes us really think about the spiritual development and sense of enlightenment that this card brings. 

The Hanged Man draws your attention to the fact that your life is just not going the way you planned, no matter what you do, and trying to force things will only do yourself and your plans harm. It's time to step back and look outside yourself at the bigger picture. Stop, look around and just allow life to continue and go along with whatever it throws at you. You need to adapt to the changes that life is going to make and look at them objectively and not in a negative light. Such is life and you just have to live with it. Getting upset and angry at things you cannot change will only make you feel worse; you can either get upset and angry about it or you can grown and change and learn from it. 

Learn to enjoy this time of suspension. Enjoy being able to allow life to take its course. Time spent going within and reflecting on your experiences will allow you to get in touch with your spirituality, your higher-self. There is a sense that you will be experiencing insight so deep that the world around you seems to disappear for a moment, all that's left is you contemplating that insight. This idea that the world disappears from around you signifies the fact that this card is also showing you a sense of sacrifice; to receive you must give, even if it's the fact you are giving yourself up to the world, opening yourself up to the forces of nature, to gain truths and different perspectives.

People can find The Hanged Man because it symbolises so much paradoxical thought in our lives. It's a very contradictory card at it's core and symbolises the paradox of life. It presents us with truth by hiding it within the opposites. To uncover these truths we must let go and surrender to our past experiences and learn lifes lessons. We must reflect on what has been and see where we might have missed valuable experience we need to progress. At this point in our lives we can only move forward by standing still. 

 Reversed: A big theme of this card when it is in it's reversed position is obsession with the material concerns, to the point that your spirituality and higher self is compromised.  Your need for control has clouded your vision to see that there is no winning here and so you are depleting your own energy reserves by fighting a fight you cannot win. You have lost your ability to listen to your inner voice because the noise of your fighting is drowning it out.

Your inability to heed the warnings and learn the lessons that are coming your way in life has seen you repeating the same mistakes over and over again and this will continue until the lesson has finally been learnt. Imagine that The Hanged Man is beating you over the head with these lessons until he finally knocks some sense into you!

The reversal of this card could also mean that you are so tied up with other things right now that you are unable to sit and contemplate for any period of time. You desperately want to be able to stop and reflect upon your life but you're so busy that you cannot afford such luxuries. 

Hanging on to things that have already passed could be another problem associated with this card. For example you may be holding on to a relationship that is clearly not working, but instead of trying to fix, or getting out whilst you still can, you are holding on to your own detriment. The reversal of this card sees you fighting against your inner-self and this fight is exhausting you. It's bringing you down and making you unable to see the positives in life. Instead of reflecting on the good parts of your life and the lessons learned from the mistakes you have made, all you can see are the negative connotations to your downfalls instead of trying to see the glass as being half full.

The reversal of this card is crying out to you to stop. Take a breath and really dig deep inside yourself to find inner peace and re-establish your higher-self.