For those of us living in the Southern Hemisphere this Wednesday is Yule (Litha for those living in the Northern hemisphere.)
Yule marks the longest night and shortest day and is the time when mid-winter celebrations are held. These celebrations usually center on welcoming back the light, abundance, generosity and giving thanks to those energies that have helped us through the dark. It is perhaps no surprise then that this is a fire festival, even though the Goddess is technically still in her dark phase.
Just like the wheel of the year and the cycle of life and death, the muse goes through periods of dark and light. Some people find their muse is innately connected with nature, some less so. An artist’s connection with their muse is a very personal thing. However, from my understanding and research there is a central muse energy that all other muses come from. Just like there is a central energy that all humans come from, or all trees come from, or all dogs come from. And in the end – we are all one. We are all stardust, as they say.
Probably the most famous depiction of the muse comes from the Greeks and their nine muses. However, the concept of the muse goes as far back in human history. Most cultures have some way of recognizing the muse. And whether you take this as literal (the muse being a separate spirit or entity you connect with to do your creative work) or archetypal (a symbolic way of understanding and speaking about your artistic inspiration) there are always ways of working on your relationship with your muse to help yourself and your muse, not to mention your art.
Yule is the longest dark of the year just before the wheel starts turning towards the light. The first big astrological shift to occur after Yule is the Super New Moon in Cancer. So having a look at the balance of light and dark around your muse and making plans for the coming year before these creative and emotional waters rise up and start flowing only makes sense.
Yule Tarot Spread for the Artist and their Muse.
- What needs to be surrendered for the health of your art?
- How can you increase artistic abundance?
- How can you best share your artistic gifts with the world?
- What wisdom can the shadow impart to deepen and enrich your art?
- What light does my art bring to the world?
- What is your muse calling on you to celebrate in yourself this coming year?
- What energies are working through you this year?
- What blessings does this year hold for you?
- What is the best source of “fire” (inspiration) for your muse?
- What does your muse want you to know?
- What is the best gift you could offer your muse right now?
Yule Tarot Reading for the Artist and their Muse.
(As seen in the above photo)
- What needs to be surrendered for the health of your art? Six of cups. Nostalgia. Holding on to old dreams or old ways of being.
- How can you increase artistic abundance? Eight of Cups. Make sure you are creating for your own pleasure and benefit before anyone else.
- How can you best share your artistic gifts with the world? Three of Cups. Celebrate yourself and your gifts. Make sure you’re sharing your accomplishments and not hiding under a bushel.
- What wisdom can the shadow impart to deepen and enrich your art? Nine of Pentacles. As well as focusing on bringing beauty to the world, don’t be ashamed of needing beauty in your own world. No matter what your occupation, we all need a little sanctuary to retreat to. Don’t let shame or a belief in the ‘suffering artist’ myth hold back your personal bliss.
- What light does my art bring to the world? The Star: Hope.
- What is your muse calling on you to celebrate in yourself this coming year? Death: Change.
- What energies are working through you this year? Strength: Wild compassion.
- What blessings does this year hold for you? Ace of Pentacles: A new era of prosperity.
- What is the best source of “fire” (inspiration) for your muse? Three of Swords: Turn your pain into art.
- What does your muse want you to know? Two of Cups: You are loved.
- What is the best gift you could offer your muse right now? The Devil: Free yourself from false ‘shoulds’ and addictions that you KNOW are blocking your creativity and energy levels. Also, don’t lean on the muse like you would an addiction, they need their freedom too.
As part of my Yuletide gift, I will be giving away three Yule Tarot readings (adjusted to Litha for Northern Hemisphere). As well as a free Yule Reading you will receive a spell jar for “Creative Inspiration and Abundance.” These jars are great to place in your studio or study. They help bust through creative blocks and nurture the relationship between you and your muse. All you have to do to enter the draw is repost this post with the hashtag #WeaverYule on either Facebook or Instagram and tag a friend! Winners will be drawn and notified on the New Moon: 24/6/2017.
Today’s card is the Knight of Cups. This energy often represents the connection between your conscious mind and your muse. You may already be feeling the trembling of the oncoming storm of emotion. Maybe your dreams have become more intense. Maybe you have found your thoughts have begun to wander in to new and fantastical places. Today will see that surge of emotion and imagination come to crest and break – for better or worse.
This Knight with his cup full of fresh inspiration from your muse will charge in on a wave of feeling however, this feeling can be one of profound joy or profound sadness. Muses are not one-note beings. They need a bevy of shades to work with from light to dark. And that is okay. Whatever the Knight brings to you today, it will feel like you are falling in love. The ideas and feelings are so familiar and so right, it will feel like a sort of homecoming. Your first instinct will be to grab these new ideas with both hands and run with them, after all, the muse is quite a seductive beast at times.
But remember this: you are the artist and you have choice. It’s wonderful to receive messages and energy like this from the muse. But given that it is the Knight of Cups, it can lead to so choppy emotional waters. It can also demand a lot of energy from you, as well as supplying a lot of energy. So, let the feelings rise, let the ideas tumble forth, let inspiration strike and know you are at one with your muse… then stop. Check in with yourself and ask yourself, is the timing right for me now? If it is, great. The Knight’s energy and the muse’s love will give you more than enough to go on to create some truly magical art. But if it is not the right time? And even if it feels like you are turning down a chance at true love? It is okay to say no and set the ideas aside for another time.
Your relationship with your muse is just that, a relationship. The muse is always there and while it might feel like the connection waxes and wanes, the more you work on your relationship with your muse, the less you will feel like you are at its mercy.
Many people sit around waiting for inspiration to strike – just like the Knight of Cups here – and that is fine, but there are other ways of working with the muse. And the more you understand your muse, your relationship and how it works best for you both, the less you’ll feel powerless when dealing with the muse.
Yes, powerless. Many people feel like the muse has all the power and they have to sit around and wait for inspiration to strike like it has today in the Knight of Cups and can feel terribly guilty and afraid when they don’t answer the call. Just know, it doesn’t have to be that way.
In short, the muse is sending you seductive and powerful wave of energy and inspiration, whether you choose to surf it is up to you. Before art, before the muse, you are the most important person in this cycle of creation. Loving yourself is loving your muse. Muses love strong willpower in their partner because it is that self confidence that also helps keep the muse safe and fed, but more on that in another post.
Today’s card is the Moon. The Moon has a very particular relationship with the muse. The core message being:
“It’s okay. Let go. It’s okay. I need this chaos to thrive. Trust me. Trust the darkness and her gifts.”
While you may be feeling anxious or unsure, unable to see a clear path forwards, that doesn’t mean the way isn’t unfolding. Quite often the muse doesn’t respond to logic, it responds to the language of dreams, wildness and instinct. The idea of surrendering completely to instinct and the nature of the wild self can be downright scary for some. We all just want something to hold on to, to give us hope that things will be okay.
Things will be okay.
But you need to trust, to let the Moon do her work and guide you through waters that may seem strange and at times terrifying. Hand your fear over to the muse. The muse is no stranger to fear and often feeds on it, lifting it from your shoulders and transforming it into something beautiful. Not everything that feeds our muse is pretty, and nor should it be. Whether you are a writer or a painter, you know that a lot of the artistic process is about deleting and destroying just as much as it is about creating and building up. The muse is no different. Your journey with the muse is no different.
So while you may feel a little crazy or out of control – go with it, tap in to your wild and let go of your fear. In time, the Moon will either guide you to a new shore or provide you with dreams and visions that help you navigate to the next step in your journey.
It is important at this time to strengthen your practices of self care and self awareness and brace for an emotional rollercoaster, but remember: art is not birthed from safety. Let go. Be free. Trust the dark. Be wild. Run with the Moon and know it will be okay… in time.
The Empress has been a powerful and potent force this week. She has come up in just about every reading I have pulled this week. As such, it is not surprising that she came up today under the velvet dark of the Gemini Dark Moon.
The Empress and Gemini Dark Moon might seem like they should be opposites with contradicting energies. Normally the gregariousness and fertility of Gemini aligns quite naturally with The Empress. However, on this the Dark Moon of Gemini, the energies are in a spin. But while the world races and throws up all kinds of provocative challenges, now is not the time to act or speak despite the natural inclination of Gemini energy to be outgoing. You will need all of your energy to keep yourself centered and focused on inner revelations that are coming to light. You won’t be able to dodge these revelations as they are really packing a hell of a punch. But while these revelations blow apart what you knew of yourself, being stripped back to your bones lets you rebuild your life and yourself so that you are in greater harmony with your soul’s beat. As painful as it might be at the moment, seeing the truth of your soul and being given the chance to embrace our wildness and build them into our destiny is a blessing. Become the artist of you.
It is likely that you will be feeling things such as powerlessness, confusion, fear, and sadness… Sadness as you let go of the plans you had, sadness as you realize anger is not the way forward, sadness as you tell your old friend ‘ego’: “Reaction and defense is not the way. I need to open myself to these pains and truths if I am to grow and become wise in the way spirit intended.” Tears will run in rivers. Let them wash you clean of your doubts.
Here steps forward the Empress with her bare-feet and tender hands, reaching for you in that dark. She sees your courage – even in this place of not moving and not speaking, she sees the truth of you. The Empress didn’t become the soul mother and nurturer without walking many a path of pain before. She knows what it is to struggle in silence while looking into the abyss of the self. She knows what it is to await the perfect timing. She knows what it is to be confused and afraid while still having the courage to be true to yourself.
Just because it is a time of shadows and stillness does not mean it is not a fertile time. It may not feel like it but you are learning so much about yourself and your place in the world right now and that will come to the fore in the very near future as you start walking towards a new, bright destiny. The Empress’ gentle caress at this time may come as a brush of wind through the grass, a rattle of leaves, the rub of a silken cat tail along the back of your calf, or the flow of hot honey tea over your lips. It could even be the gentle slide of a loved one’s hand into yours. With these sensual everyday touches, the Empress is beseeching you to remember that even as you journey into these jagged depth of your shadow self to find your truth, and even as you spin through the wild dark winds of the sky, that you can always find time to care for yourself. You too are a great mother to you, to your inner soul child, and to your shadow self.
Ask yourself: what do you need to feel loved right now? The Universal Mother Energy is there to support you in this time of change and upheaval. Don’t forget to reach for her as she reaches for you.
You are never truly alone, even if the work you need to do is lonely.
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Spin into the vibrancy of entropy with star-hair swirling and feet tripping.
Don’t let them tell you to hold it together.
Don’t let them tell you to smile.
Don’t let them tell you to be love.
Don’t let anything.
Become your destruction.
Kick out the feet of understanding and welcome the chaos with open arms.
May ghosts flood your home and demons tease your doorstep with livid tongues.
Watch the boots of angels crash through your very existence.
Stand tall on those spindly snakes you call legs and cry: “I am home.”
And as you fall back into those choppy waters, tossed left and right by the moon, let go or swim, it doesn’t matter.
You’ll find your way back to you, because you never left you.
Light and smiling.
Dark or falling.
It doesn’t matter.
You are you.
That is your power.
You’ve got this.
Not even the devil can scare that out of you once you know it to be true.
Know it to be true.
Know nothing is perfect, not even you, and that is your most perfect power against the madness of this beautiful universe of clusterfuckery.
You are you.
Free to be bad, wild, and true.
Today’s full moon reading was perhaps unsurprising given the power of the Scorpio full moon. Full Moons are the moon at full power and are perfect for just about any kind of magick but are typically associated with illumination, divination, expansion, attraction, connecting with the divine, wildness, power and psychic skills.
As you might imagine, the Scorpio full moon is even more powerful in some respects. Scorpio is related to many of the same elements: powerful, wildness, intelligence, sensuality, psychic ability, secret knowledge, spiritual wisdom, great mysteries, emotional depth, heightened creativity, transformation, fearless in the face of shadows, magnetism, focus to the point of obsession, passion, elusive, and a force of nature.
When you combine these two, it leads a potent full moon, ripe for magick and deep workings, especially around the theme of transformation and personal power. With the moon as your light and Scorpio as your guide, be confident as you sink into your night and become intimate with your shadows, merging and transforming allowing you to blossom into your full wildness and power.
The cards that came out for today’s Scorpio full moon reading were The Moon, The Devil and Temperance. This reading is as complex as it is simple, and that is where its power lays. Trust your intuition as you journey into the dark. Let go of the destination, let go of the journey, let go of everything except yourself and your wild. You are about to come face to face with the truths of you – your shadows, temptations, fears, and restraints. The choice is yours whether you use the power of this moon to reclaim those parts of yourself and find balance and mastery over yourself, or not. Don’t be afraid to change, to die, to transform and to be reborn. All things must move onward through time to exist here, don’t let your demons stunt you and your power. You are worth your wildness.
The Moon, Seven of Swords and Six of Cups.
These cards have been coming up a lot lately so it is interesting they all came together in this reading. There are many ways each of these cards can be interpreted and pulled apart, but I want to talk about a topic that this combination brings up that is rarely talked about in tarot: not trusting the self.
It is not uncommon for readers, myself included, to say: “Trust your instinct. Listen to yourself. Your higher self knows the answers.” etc., etc. And a lot of the time this is true, but sometimes, especially when you’re working in the shadows of The Moon, when things can seem confusing and emotionally overwhelming, aspects of your self can rise up to eat at your confidence and obscure your truths through seeding self doubt and lies (The Seven of Swords.) These conniving aspects of the self are actually working to protect you. The human psyche can be quite resistant to change and is invested in keeping the status quo. Often when we get in touch with our intuition, the truth it reveals is a catalyst for change.
This combination of cards is not a warning against listening to your gut or meditating on your inner truths, but it is a warning to not always take what you find on face value. It is okay to question your inner world and look at the motives for some of the truths you find. Here we see nostalgia as the final card (Six of Cups.) A desire to hold on to the past as a mechanism for avoiding loss is often a strong motive for the psyche to resist change.
In short, listening to your instincts and exploring your inner self is always sound advice, but so is the advice to go in with a critical eye at times. When working in the shadows, not everything is as it seems, even yourself. This post isn’t meant to encourage you to give into self doubt and fear, rather check in with your instincts, ask a couple of questions, and if your instincts hold up under scrutiny, move forward with them. Some good questions to ask:
What do my instincts say?
Am I feeling afraid?
What am I afraid of?
What do I have to gain from acting on this instinct?
What do I have to lose?
Do I need to act at all?
When I hear, see, or sense this instinct – is it in my own voice or in the voice of someone I would consider an oppressor?
Are there any ‘shoulds’ associated with this instinct?
Is this instinct clear, or murky?
Are you fighting? Are you fighting to stay strong and live the life you ‘should’ be living? Are your dreams troubled? Do you wake tired? Fists sore from gripping shields and arrows that you hold aloft to wage the war that is tearing your mind and heart apart? Do your teeth gnash, the beast inside you hungry for righteous blood?
Are you exhausted and aching from your bones inside out?
Are you trying to be the better person? Extend all your compassion and understanding yet feel your own heart breaking? Being torn asunder from the cradle of your chest?
Is your heart swollen and hurting, crushing the flame of your soul-light?
That is because while you were busy trying to be so many different things to so many people, and be that better you, you distracted yourself from the most basic and fundamental truth: you are all these things and more.
Human instincts can be to fight or flight, unite or divide. But at our core, we are wild and we are love. Language can make it seem like these two aspects of ourselves are divided and thus, can only be used one at a time. That is a fallacy.
Forget what society taught you. Forget what you think you should be. Stop, breathe, close your eyes and touch the soul of you and find the love that stems from your wildness and the wildness that stems from your love. You are both the maiden and the lion. There is no war, outside or within. Your maiden and lion’s natural instinct is to work together: love and wildness coming together to express the strength and beauty of soul that live with in you.
You are strong. You don’t need to ‘be’ strong. Do what you need to do, walk in beauty and grace. You have the stamina, support and spirit to get through these hard times. As soon as you stop struggling, the world will stop struggling around you and a path will become clear.
Let your heart guide you. Let your wildness free you. Let your soul be. And over time, challenges will become solutions because you are the power you are looking for.
I’ve never attempted sculpting before. The above is my first try. I am pretty happy with it. The eyes could have been bigger and the antlers aren’t as even as I would like. But it was still a fantastic way to spent Samhain. I was alone, listing to music, surrounded by candles, incense, and pets, meditating on life and love as I made this art.
I didn’t have a very pleasant upbringing. Despite becoming a Doctor of Psychology and a Master of Creative Writing, it was never enough for my parents. But that is okay, I could only sustain that kind of work and focus for myself. From the moment I could talk all I wanted to be was an artist. As I got older, a psychologist became a close second. But any time I raised the idea of being an artist I was promptly told I wasn’t good enough to be anything let alone an artist. My mother was a very famous artist so I always assumed she knew what she was talking about. (Let that be a lesson in not making assumptions!) My heart had always been drawn to writing, sculpting, and photography. I have always written – you can’t take away a person’s words (such is the beauty of poetry!) I became a photographer because that way I could photograph my mother’s art for her. I never attempted sculpture.
Samhain was about letting go of these heavily embedded beliefs that I couldn’t be an artist and bringing in open ended possibilities of what I could do in what time I have left before I die, starting with sculpture.
This little guy came to me in a dream a while back, but I knew I had to wait for Samhain to create him. He is part owl and part stag and all magick. He has a heart-shaped emerald as his third eye; seeing and speaking with the wisdom of the night-forest.
I loved the process of making him. My hands sank into the clay like they were making love to it, and proceeded to make love to, and worship the clay all day. I will be making more of these Magick Medicine Beings over the coming months and will list them on Etsy. Once I get better, I will take commissions but not before I feel like I am at a standard that can combine beauty and magick to a professional standard.
I hope you all had a blessed Samhain, and remember – let go of anything that holds you back from being you. Life is too short.
Today’s tarot card is the Seven of Swords. This card has come up a lot this week and it has had me thinking about Samhain, the dark, and temptation.
We see here that the raven is trying to steal what looks like an emerald from the white snake. But the white snake has spotted the raven – unbeknownst to the raven.
The Seven of Swords is associated with trying to steal and sneak away with things that don’t belong to you. These things may be physical or more ephemeral like reputations, energy, or love. The raven seems confident and focused only on his goal, and thus completely unaware of the looming threat the white snake poses. The raven will be found out. Luckily, in most cases, the white snake represents new beginnings. There will be a loss of face, pride and many apologies to make and healing to do, but learning that stealing, trickery and cunning, when used for selfish ends are ultimately only going to result in loss and upset, is a powerful lesson that once you grow through will make you a stronger and wiser person. Trying to build any kind of happiness or future on a premise of lies will never last. This is because at the root of lies and trickery is fear.
You don’t have to be governed by fear. Release it. Be free. Be wild. You’ve got this. The universe is with you. I promise.
Once you have learned this lesson, it will open your eyes to any trickery or cunning being used against you at this time. In the case of lying and manipulation, it is not uncommon for like to attract like.
Some people use lies and manipulation as a way of distancing themselves from the people they are close to because they are afraid of rejection. It can also be a means of self-sabotage if you are afraid of success.
Coming into the darker months, it is important to understand that there are no shortcuts. There will be hard times, and there will be times that you have to work hard to be your own light as you travel through the shadows. If you are struggling, sometimes the best you can do is work to sooth yourself and wait it out. Or, you can take the opportunity to explore your shadow-self and the darkness further. It is your choice. But there is no skipping this part of the journey, and if you want to grow, there is no moving forward until you have addressed all aspects of yourself. Don’t be afraid to seek support and help, but if you are hoping to manipulate and trick your way through this period of the year, the person you will hurt yourself most is yourself.
In order to be reborn, we first need to die. Don’t be afraid, look at what needs to be let go of, release it with love and move on. The universe is there to support you. You can do this. You don’t need to cheat. The darkness is not out to get you or hurt you, it is an important part of growing. Don’t cheat yourself out of a magickal (albeit it challenging) time that can offer so many rewards when you see it for what it is. This is especially true for artists who may be looking for a new direction or seeking to clear creative blocks – now is the time to cleanse what has been so something new can come.