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Archive for January, 2011

Tarot Cards


The exact origins of tarot cards are unknown. Some say a medieval version of the cards dates back to the early 1400s. Playing cards were in use in China in the eleventh century, and there is also evidence to link its origins to India and to Buddhism, although one of the most likely theories is that it originated in Egypt, where it is thought the priesthood used the cards. From these uncertain origins, the tarot survived (at times hidden, ironically, within church walls and at other times being used merely as a gaming tool) relatively unchanged until the 19th century, when several new decks were produced. Because of the small scale of production, these were probably limited in their circulation to those with an active interest in the occult

The first commercial deck – the Rider Waite deck – on which many modern decks are based, was produced in 1910 by A. E. Waite. The tarot has continued to grow in popularity, and modern printing methods ensure that it is becoming available to anyone who wishes to explore its uses. This is not to say that everyone understands the tarot – only study and personal growth can help to reveal its many mysteries.

Tarot cards – What are they?

Tarot cards are pictorial representations of events and energies that we are likely to encounter in life, such as determination, patience, new beginnings, leaving things behind, joy, togetherness, heartache, reflection and decision-making, amongst so many others.

Tarot decks contain 78 cards, 22 of which are referred to as the Major Arcana and depict the major changes on our path through life. The remaining 56 cards, known as the Minor Arcana, expand on these themes. Like a pack of playing cards, the Minor Arcana are made up of four suits – Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.

Can the tarot tell me my future?
The tarot can be used to map out trends in your future. It cannot give you definitive answers, but it can tell you what is likely to happen if you follow your current course of action. For example, it may show that if you keep shutting yourself off from your partner, you are likely to continue being unhappy. Some tarot readers do have clairvoyant abilities and they may see you with three children, but the final choice is yours. The future is in your hands and no one else’s. It can be used as a tool of guidance in the decisions you make. It is a tool that can be used to enhance and help develop your own abilities.

 

· A tool for personal exploration.

· A tool for personal growth, and achievement of self-knowledge.

· A focus for meditation.

· A tool for use in rituals.

· A tool for seeing the choices available to you.

· A tool for problem solving.

· A tool for clarifying goals.

· A tool for seeing into the past.

· A tool for understanding the present.

· A tool for creating the future.

· A tool for accessing our unconscious.

· A tool for helping us come into our own power.

· A tool for understanding and working with the Elemental energies

(Fire, Water, Air and Earth).

· A tool for enriching our lives.

· A tool for helping create and give power to personal affirmations.

· An oracular tool, used for fortune telling in its most basic form, and for dialogging and personal insight in its highest      form.

· A tool for helping you to access and develop your psychic  powers/abilities.

· A tool for helping to understand dreams.

· A tool for helping to “create” dreams.

· Can be a tool for whatever you want it to do

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Paganism


The Horned God and Mother Gaia

Paganism is diverse and personal and you will find that many people adapt this way of life to suit their own preferred system of belief… but within all this diversity, there are certain things that define our basic tenets of belief.

Paganism is a nature based spiritual system…in other words, we have a strong nature and ecological base. We do not worship nature, but rather we worship through nature. We see nature as a manifestation of Deity and we attune ourselves to this force. This alone does not define a pagan, as this nature based attitude could be applied to almost any other religion. But you will find it is a basic premise of all pagan belief systems. Nature represents the whole of divinity and gives us an intimate connection with that force.

Now within nature, you will find a polarity of all energies – there are two sides to almost everything in nature – you could label this the masculine and feminine aspects. Because we see nature as the divine, we also see our divine force as having two aspects – masculine and feminine – God and Goddess. Both are equally important to the existence of the universe and both are equally revered and worshipped within the craft. The fact that we worship both God and Goddess is very much a defining point of paganism. As everything around is energy, we are energy, all just vibrating at a different frequency, means that we are connected. There is no difference between you and the plant outside or the chair you sitting on or Divinity, therefore we are all one. We are Divinity as Divinity are us. WE ARE ALL ONE.

Another defining trait of Pagans are that we attune to nature through the ‘Wheel of the Year’. Our eight solar festivals (called Sabbats) are universally accepted as common ground between the many pagan traditions. The sun is seen as the ‘God’ energy and Solar festivals are usually ‘God’ orientated. And through the the eight festivals we see the ascend of the Sun God (being at the height of summer) to the descend into the underworld (height of winter). And the Sun God being the consort of our Mother Gaia (earth), she is always present in being, maiden, mother (pregnant with the sun just before summer starts) and the crone where she has given birth to the sun and where the cycle starts all over again.The Goddess represents all that is female and the God represents all that is male. But because nature is seen as female the Goddess has a wider meaning. Mother Earth or Gaia, she is seen as the creatrix and sustainer of life, the mother of us all which makes all the creatures on the planet our siblings.

As we attune to the solar cycle and the seasons, we also closely follow the lunar cycle. We perform our worship and practice our craft under the light (or dark) of the moon. The moon is seen to represent the Goddess.

Pagans do not believe that ours is the ‘one true’ path and do not proselytise…in other words we do not push our religion onto other people and try and convert them. We understand that each person has different spiritual needs and we do our best to respect other religious systems. Ancient Pagans would have worshipped one or a small number of Gods and Goddesses, while often recognizing the validity of other people’s deities. Many Pagans believe in reincarnation in some form. It gives Pagans a substantially different view of life. Early Christians saw Karma as a kind of treadmill, trapping people in endless reincarnations, never free. But Pagans see reincarnation as, at best, a chance to improve or to continue unfinished work, and at worst just a simple recycling of souls.

Pagans do NOT believe in the ‘devil’ (by any name). Most believe that the concept of a ‘purely evil’ deity has Christian origins…there is no mention of a devil until the New Testament in the bible. It is interesting to note that those of Jewish faith also do not believe in the concept… and that Christianity stems from Judaism. The ‘old gods’ have aspects of both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and it was only the idea of an all-good, all loving deity, that necessitated an antagonist.

This has been a very brief look at what the Pagan path encourages as a belief system.

Paganism is a philosophy… it is a spiritual system, an attitude and a way of life.

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