Saturday, April 21, 2018

Saturday Search - Tarot

L to R: a traditional Tarot card, The Angel deck, Mary-El deck
About 2 years ago, a friend gave me a deck of Angel cards while I housesat for her. I used them while I had days alone communing with myself and nature. I didn't understand them, but there was a sort of peacefulness in dealing cards, reading the little book, and working out if they meant something. I became somewhat addicted to this peaceful practice.

In the past Tarot had been a voodoo 'thing' that I'd steered well clear of. It was associated with fortune telling and all 'bad' things.

These cards were different to anything I'd seen before (e.g. the 'traditional' Rider-Waite deck on the left in the photo above) or been told. They were channelling images of Angels and unicorns and faery folk (pictured centre in image) and there was no fortune telling at all. Instead they were delving into me, poking at my thoughts about me, the world, life.

So began a practice that I'm still addicted to!

Top row: Mary-El Tarot cards. Bottom: Tarot of the Crone
I then found a writer with a Tarot business (Weaver Tarot) and gave my friend a reading for her birthday. She raved and raved about the reading. As I thought I should have one, I was gifted one in a website promo. Aside from spending a lot of time talking about writing, Cat did a reading for me and used these Tarot cards that yelled at me from across the country (on the right in the top image). The symbolism in the cards were nothing like the Tarot cards I'd seen in the past, nothing like the Angel cards, and were something I could understand just by looking at them. On a gut-level, they spoke to me.
The Tarot of Femmes Erotiques - celebrating women

So I bought a deck of my own. The Mary-El Tarot deck.

And this weird thing has become even more addictive. I have another deck now that talks to me too (Tarot of the Crone), and not only that, it works with the first deck (middle picture).

Then I found a deck celebrating women, and I bought that too (last picture).

And I know I sound like a loopy person, and I know it's all weird and insane, but each morning I dig a little deeper in understanding myself as I flip a daily card from each deck and ponder how these cards relate to me, my life, my writing journey.

Have you ever used Tarot cards? Do you have a favourite deck, or symbol, or card?



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday - Tiger Moths

I think a long time back I did a post about these moths but I didn't have the name Tiger Moths so I'll use that this time! I'm doing it again mostly because my new camera takes great shots and I wanted to show off the photo I took! Gosh, plus it's 5 years since the last post - where did time go?

Tiger Moths in this case aren't the aeroplane but an orange and black moth. In my childhood, I called them Jaffa Moths, and that's still what I call them in my head.

Tiger Moths are only on the East Coast of Australia, so you probably won't have seen them, Lily Malone.

The eat nectar from wildflowers but also love lichen (an algae-fungi organism) and we've got heaps of lichen around our place. Mr E hates lichen and wants to bash it off everything, but I love it and keep telling him he can't! I don't think moth food will change the discussion any :)

Friday, March 30, 2018

Saturday Search - Oracle cards

I had never heard of Oracle cards until last year. There seems to be a heap of different types but I think the basic idea is that it's a simple deck of cards which uses symbolism and/or a word to stimulate thought. These can be used for whatever purpose you require - answering a question, helping to work out yourself or your thoughts, for clairvoyance, etc.

They seem to be a quick way to encourage thoughts and/or discussion.

I own three packs, each are very different. One is a Celtic Tree pack and it has some depth to it, linking in Runes, tree meanings, seasonal links, and personal meanings. It's a bit too deep for my daily use because I found I wanted something basic so I could think for myself after a prompt.

So, I was then pointed towards two decks and I couldn't decide between them. I followed both creators of FB and I still couldn't decide. Then one had a sale, so my decision was made, but then the other one kept attracting my attention and when she had a sale I had no resistance! 

One I use for my daily thoughts and the other for my dreams :) 

The Soul Trees cards are basic and beautiful. They have a coloured tree and a single word. I adore them.

The Messenger Oracle has artwork filled with symbols, rich with colour, and usually a phrase. They give my subconscious homework while I sleep, sometimes I dream with the dragons or mystical characters from the cards (I don't write fantasy but I do love it!)

This past month I've been participating in a challenge on Instagram where I create my own oracle deck using prompts set by Over the Moon
Academy. A friend encouraged me, then another participant told me I needed to share my cards regardless of my skill. It's been the strangest experience. I draw terribly, like a child, and yet it's been a positive experience, even with putting my 'art' out in public. 

Looking at a word and then expressing it as a simple image has loosened up my creativity - kind of like word association game. Then trying to express that in a drawing has been a challenge. I don't see pictures in my head. So if I think of a frog, I know things about frogs and I know the basic shape, but I can't envisage a frog in my mind's eye, I can't get small details, and so I draw some rudimentary thing to skim over details. It's not much better if I look at a picture and try to draw it because I really need to trace to get it right, I have no clue how to work with perspective! I know mine looks like shit but I've no clue how to un-shit it, if that makes sense.

But it's been quite a rewarding experience and I've seen some incredible artwork and my mind's been opened by looking at other people's interpretation of a simple word. Sometimes people's interpretation of my art has me rather shocked in a good way.

Have you ever used Oracle cards? If so, do you have a favourite deck?

Sunday, March 25, 2018

A dreadful day for Aussie sport

No no no no no. It's a shameful day in Australian sport. A day when I don't have sensible words. A day when I'm horrified by what's happened on the field, and more than horrified about must be happening off the field.

The Aussie cricket captain, along with one of the newest players, have admitted to cheating - not just cheating on the spur of the moment but a blatant planned cheating where it was discussed and agreed upon by a 'leadership group' before it happened.

That's horrifying, especially given all the other nasty crap that's happened during this tour. It's diabolical. It seems that there's things happening behind the scenes that we're not privy to. And that makes me speculate. It has me trying to read between the lines, read body language, and try to surmise what's happening that we can't see.

I watched Michael Clarke struggling to understand and explain what's occurred. I admire that he sat on the fence and wanted more information before he'd condemn anyone...but that also makes me question so many things. Michael Clarke has had nothing good to say about Cricket Australia since before he left/was forced out. The way he supported the current captain this morning, without directly supporting anyone else, has made me wonder how much more is beneath this incident...and who/what is really behind it.

Smith and Bancroft have owned up to this. Smith has also laid blame on an as yet unnamed 'leadership group'. Are Bancroft and Smith the only blokes with the honesty and guts to own this? Are they falling on their swords, but cleverly toppling a whole empire of gutless cheaters?

When Clarke left, some cloud hung over Cricket Australia, but as fans looking in we aren't privy to what that was. This morning he explained that partway through his captaincy, he lost control of the cricket team by CA putting in new structures which made a mess of the accountability, which previously had been so clear. And after Phillip Hughes' death, Clarke has said he felt he wasn't supported by CA and had been pushed into doing things he felt he shouldn't have had to do. I always thought he meant he was forced to play and captain, and encourage others to play through their fear, grief, emotion.

Is it more than this?

Is CA so focussed on winning that they've set up a system where players feel they need to cheat rather than just playing the best they can? Have players been forced to do things they're not comfortable doing in order to play in the Aussie team? God, have we lost sport and become something led by money/prestige/crowds/sponsorship/whatever?

I'm appalled to think of how deep this horror goes. I'm appalled to be a cricket fan, particularly an Aussie men's cricket fan, today. I don't want sport tainted by cheating. I don't want to be associated with this win at all costs mentality. I don't want our nation associated with appalling behaviour - which has been the case of this whole tour.

This isn't an isolated incident now. In light of this, I look back to Cummins standing on the ball the other day and his smug reaction when asked about it, saying of course it was an accident. Was it? I'm doubting that now. And last test, Warner had a huge amount of taping on his hand, which wasn't completely unexplained or illegal, but when South Africa protested about it the Aussies claimed all innocence - were they? Wasn't that tape there to do exactly what the SA's were worried about? 

It's not like the Aussies were doing so poorly that they were at the bottom of the entire world of cricket. No. This is a team that others should have admired...and they've lost not only admiration for themselves, but for every Aussie cricketer and cricket team in the past and possibly the future. They've besmirched the name of Australian sport. They've lost fans. And I would hate to have to explain this to a cricket-mad kid when I can't make sense of it myself.

I don't know how this will unfold. James Sutherland, CA boss, had a media conference where he sounded as if he was trying not to cry, and said nothing except that there was a process and it would be followed. That process is that CA send 2 people to investigate - how can that be fair if this problem is systemic? He said he hadn't spoken to the Captain - and that worries me deeply. Why not? The Captain surely needs his support, and needs to explain himself, and I would have thought should have been his first or second call. That's not looking good for the relationship between CA and the players. Add in the bad blood after the payments negotiation and nothing looks good there.

Has Smith been backed into a corner and is toppling a tower to weed out more serious cheating? 

I could be a conspiracy theorist but I think there is so much more behind this than we may ever know. I just pray that none of these young men are in positions that cause irreparable damage to their mental health and/or life.

I wait to see what happens, but my heart is broken and I don't think I can watch men's cricket with any passion.

What are your thoughts?