Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Celtic Cross Question & Answer

I used the Celtic Dragon Deck, created by D.J. Conway, with artwork by Lisa Hunt, published by Llewellyn Worldwide in 1999. I will post photos and photo credits for the cards used in this reading in a couple of days. (I’ll come back to previous entries and post the appropriate photographs).

The spread is the Celtic Cross.

The phase of the moon is Waning.

Retrogrades: Saturn (life lessons) and Venus (love/relationships).

The question was a challenge, since I’m facing major life changes/crossroads in hearth and career this year. I know where I am and where I want to reach – I’m not sure of the path.

After wrestling and rephrasing the question over a period of weeks, I came up with:

“What steps can I take the improve the hearth situation?”

. . .Since that has to be resolved before anything else in my life can be tackled.

The cards that came up were:

Position #1 (Current Situtaion): Four of Cups.

Position #2: (Energy Surrounding Situation): Temperance

Position #3: (Aspirations): The Empress

Position #4 (Foundation): Seven of Swords

Position #5: (Recent Past): Page of Cups

Position #6: (Near Future): 4 Swords

Position #7: (Where I am Now): Queen of Swords

Position #8: (Environment): Six of Swords

Position #9: (Hopes and Fears): Chains

Position #10: (Possible Outcome): The Star

On Monday, we will begin our exploration card by card and how each card in each position relates to the other cards. Since our interpretation takes place over a period of time, it will be interesting what shifts during the exploration.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Exploring and interpreting a Celtic Cross Spread

Over the next few sessions, we will explore and interpret a Celtic Cross spread, especially in the way the cards relate to each other, in addition to what each card means in relation to its individual position.

There are several ways to set the spread, and I will explain how I do it first. Different people use different positions and different meanings. It’s a matter of personal choice, not right and wrong. I’m explaining how I do it, so that the following entries will make sense within that method. Don’t feel boxed in simply because this is the way I do it. You can take the same techniques and apply them to your personal layout.

I do not use a significator card. My significator is The Queen of Cups, and she often shows up elsewhere in the reading. So I prefer not to tie her up as the significator.

In the center of the reading, in the #1 position, is the card I called “Current Situation”. It’s an overview of the question, practically a restatement.

The #2 position is on top of the number one, at right angles, forming an equal-armed cross. This, to me, is the Energy surrounding the situation.

Then, I move directly above the two cards, to my #3 position – Aspirations. This is what you want it to be. The trick in this position is when you’re sabotaging yourself, whether consciously or unconsciously, that self-sabotage will often show up in this position.

I move below the equal-armed cross to the #4 position, the Foundation. This is what causes the need for the question.

I then move to the left of the crossed cards, to my #5 position – Recent Past. That sounds redundant, but it means the past 3-9 weeks (in my experience) of the situation.

Then I hop over the crossed cards to my #6 position, directly to their right, which is my Near Future. Readings tend to answer questions for the coming 2 weeks – 6 months (which is why you don’t want to ask the same question every day for six weeks – it takes time for things to manifest). The Near Future usually means the upcoming three months, although the entire reading can take six months or longer to complete.

Now, we move one more position over, and down, because we will have four cards laddering up the right side of the reading. The bottom of this, Position #7, is Where You Are at This Moment. If you asked the question an hour from now (and I hope you won’t), a different card may come up, should you make decisions and act upon the questions in the meantime. It is a card of Present Moment.

Directly above this, in Position #8, is Environment. It reflects the environment in which you are operating right now.

Above that, in Position #9, is Hopes and Fears. What you want the most if often what you fear the most, which is why both of these seemingly contradictory forces happen within the same position.

And the top card, #10, is the Possible Outcome. Again, it will only happen if you take the action to make it happen, and if you follow the advice of the other cards in the reading. If a card comes up you don’t want to take effect, you make decisions and take positive action to come up with a different outcome.

Next time, we will look at an actual question and which cards come up, and, for the next few sessions, break it down, card by card.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Importance of Silence/Stillness

One of the most important aspects of working with oracles is learning how to be at peace in silence and learning how to listen in the stillness.

You can’t do an accurate reading with death metal playing. You can incorporate music into the reading – i.e., pick music you connect to, ask the cards a question, pull some cards and then, for the moment, tune in to the lyrics at that moment and interpret the relevance. But having music running in the background – or, even worse, the television on – will only sabotage your reading.

The point of oracle work is mindfulness. You don’t need to be entertained by something on the outside – TV, iPod, video game – at every moment of every day.

Until you learn to be comfortable within your own silence, your readings will barely scratch the surface. It will be play-reading, not the multi-layered experience that will actually help you change your life.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Using Oracles When Stressed

As one reads through the myriad of information available about working with an oracle, over and over comes the caveat to not use them when upset, sick, tired or stressed.

That’s the ideal situation. But, the raw truth is that it is when you are in the depths of despair that you need the oracle the most.

I would amend the above to not reading for others when you’re ill or upset. In my experience, I’ve found my personal emotions can overcome the objectiveness needed for the reading. I have read well for others in times of (my) extreme stress, but, for the most part, I try not to. I also don’t read for anyone else if I’ve had a few drinks or taken medication of any kind. I find it affects the reading, and not for the better. I don’t read when I have a cold or the flu, either.

When you are in a difficult situation and need to consult an oracle for yourself, take a few steps to ensure as balanced a reading as possible. Try to sit in meditation for about twenty minutes before attempting the reading. Drink a cup of chamomile tea, or something else that you find calming and restorative. Take the time before handling the cards to clearly and succinctly prepare your questions, as discussed in previous columns.

If cards come up that further agitate you, remember that they are showing possibilities, not absolutes. Delve further into those cards with additional readings or extend the current reading to find out more options, more possibilities. Remember, you can manifest or change anything that appears in a reading with positive action on your part.

In times of duress, I find the advice and guidance of the oracles to be of enormous comfort. I’ve also found the clarity shed on the situation by the oracles helps me move forward actively and positively to reach the best possible outcome for all involved.

And, after all, that’s the point.

I’d also like to take a moment in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, and his message of peace and hope for humankind.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

How To Interpret Answers

This is the quintessential question for readers and querents alike, is it not?

The wonderful and frightening answer to this question is that there are, literally, millions of ways to answer questions, and each reader must find his or her own path. However, there are books , classes and guidelines to help you get started.

When you’ve hit the right interpretation of a card, you will feel it, you will know it, deep down. The more you work with the cards, the more confident you become with the knowing.

Far too often, when a reader self-reads, the reader either second-guesses or twists the interpretation to suit what the reader wants it to be. Again, the more one works with the cards, the more one will fill the twinge, almost like a pulled spiritual muscle, when you’re not being true to the cards themselves. And that’s just a warning. If you continue to disrespect the cards and warp the meanings –intentionally – the Universe will give you a good, solid smack upside the head. And it won’t necessarily be in the way you expect it.

The fact is that sometimes the cards will tell you what you don’t want to hear. They’re not doing so to be “mean”. They’re revealing information that you already have in your subconscious in order to help you make the best, most informed decision along your true path and your true self as possible. It won’t always be pretty, it won’t always be easy. But it will be true.

And this is information, not anything written in stone. When you see information you like in the cards, you take the positive actions to make sure it comes to pass. When the cards warn you, use that information and take another look at the situation. Lay out options, start exploring new approaches so that you can make other choices.

The ultimate power from a reading lies not without, but within.

It is all up to you to both take responsibility and to take action.

Monday, January 09, 2006

How Do You Ask an Oracle?

Once you’ve decided it’s time to use a divination tool, the next important part of the process is to phrase the question.

Simplicity is the key here. I’ve said this several times on the blog and in my other work: no complex or compound sentences. No “and”, “if”, “but”, “however” or any words in that family.

If you find yourself asking a long, involved question, break it down into several questions, and ask each one as simply as possible. Sometimes, the information you get from one question will negate the need to ask one of the others.

Also, make sure that you genuinely want to know the answer. I know a woman who is an excellent reader for others; yet, when she reads for herself, if she doesn’t get the answer she wants, she keeps asking the question. That’s not going to give you true information. Each re-question will bring a muddier answer, because the question was answered the first time.

It’s one thing to ask for clarification on a response and take the question further. It’s quite another thing to spit in Spirit’s face because the answer was something you didn’t want to hear.

Although as readings progress, you may need to amend and rethink your question, it’s wise to take the time before the reading to thoroughly think through your questions and have a clear idea of what it is you want to find out.

Sometimes, you’ll get everything you need in fifteen minutes, and the reading can stop. Sometimes, the full hour won’t be nearly enough time. Prioritize, simplify, and, most importantly, listen.

When Do You Ask an Oracle?

How do you know when to ask your divination tool a question? How do you judge when something is too trivial? Does a trivial question offend Spirit?

These are questions that are debated incessantly in the community. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is entitled to that opinion. I’m going to share my opinion, which I’ve arrived at via trial and error.

As with anything, it’s best to use divination in moderation. It’s one thing to do a daily card pull in order to get an overview of your day. It’s quite another thing to put yourself in a position where you’re too frightened to make a move without consulting a divination tool. In the latter case, all you are doing is refusing responsibility to make decisions. After over-asking your questions, the tool will stop making sense.

When you’ve exhausted your other avenues of contemplation and consideration, that is the time to consult a divination tool. When you’ve got several options and you need help focusing so that you can sort through them and figure out which path is the best one for you to take at this time, that’s the time to consult an oracle. When you feel cornered and can’t look at a situation with any sense of objectivity any more, that is the time to consult an oracle.

Asking which pair of shoes you should wear on your date is not your best use of the tool. Asking to explore the possibilities about a move to Oregon or to Maine will glean you information that you can apply to your life.

(Note: This entry should have gone up on Thursday, January 5, but I couldn’t get Blogger to work. My apologies).

Monday, January 02, 2006

Fresh Starts

That’s what a New Year is all about, isn’t it? So it goes with Kemmyrk. We are starting fresh with the New (Gregorian) Year. My aim is to have fresh information on Mondays and Thursdays, ideas, exercises, and explorations, rather than sporadically showing up for a few days and then disappearing.

We’re lucky with our fresh starts. We can start over and re-evaluate many times. We can pick and choose – Dec. 1, Nov. 1 (the day after Samhain), each new moon, the first of each month.

How do you use an oracle for a fresh start?

The first and most important thing to do is decide on your question. You need to formulate a simple question. That does not mean an easy question. What it means is that your question must be succinct. No “and”, “but”, “if”, “however” or any words along those lines. If you find yourself constructing a complex or compound sentence, break it down into more than one question.

Also, ask the question actively instead of passively. Writers will recognize this: how often do writers hear their work must be active, not passive? The same is true when you ask for Universal guidance – things are not being “done to you” – you are in the midst of the experience. You need to actively seek guidance so that you actively can make the best possible choices.

Another aspect to remember is The Rule of Three. What you put out will come back to you, at least three times. I believe it hits harder and faster when you do so after you’ve asked for the Universe’s help.

In other words, once you’ve taken the step of acknowledging the Universe and asking for help beyond the realm of the mundane, you are held to a higher standard, and there’s no going back or pleading ignorance. If you’ve’ asked for help and it hasn’t happened in the time and way you’ve asked for it, and you’ve gotten drunk in some bar somewhere and railed against the person you see as doing you harm – it’s going to come back and bite you in the butt.

We’re not supposed to be perfect, and we won’t be perfect. We’ll get angry, we’ll get frustrated. And, once we’ve stepped beyond the mundane, we have to accept and deal with the consequences.

In other words, when you ask for Guidance to help yourself out of the Muck, don’t dump another bucket of it on your own head.

The Universe has its own schedule and its own way of shaking things out – often in a much more interesting way that we could ever imagine. You don’t get to set the time schedule – and believe me, it’s very frustrating. Right now, I’m in a situation where I’m getting squeezed by all sides and I have no idea which end will pop first. I’m actively doing what I can and frustrated that the Universe’s schedule and my schedule are not in sync. Keeping a cool and positive head is a major challenge. And I’m faltering here and there and paying the consequences.

It’s especially difficult astrologically right now, because both Saturn and Venus are in retrograde. A Saturn retrograde is about life lessons and Venus retrograde makes loving relationships and unresolved entanglements even more complicated.

Ground, center, focus on finding an active and positive answer – and come up with a simply phrased question in order to get guidance on your direction.