Tuesday, 31 January 2012

How Can I Be A Better Candle?

Taken from http://www.wallpaperpimper.com/
Arwen - of Tarot By Arwen - came up with a really cool idea.  She proposed a Tarot Blog Hop, where each blogger would write a post on the same day about the same subject.  Being a blog-a-holic, I thought this was a lovely idea, and put my hand up for it (twice, actually, there'll be a completely different post on the TABI blog).

Welcome, therefore, those who have come through Carolyn's Art of Change blog, I hope you are all enjoying following these links as much as I am.

Now, what to do with this blog title?  What does it mean to be a candle, never mind a good one?  How can I answer something like that?  Well, of course, I just have to let one of my trusty decks do that for me!  And this week's deck, the Watcher Angel Tarot, with its mythos of angels who bring new ideas and knowledge and share them with humans a la Prometheus, seems a very appropriate deck for the job :)

I decided to devise a spread to look at this candle business and came up with the following:

Body of the candle - what fuels me/gives me strength? - Nine of Pentacles

What I see here are three things.  Firstly, following the image itself as well as more traditional Nine of Pentacles interpretations, I am fueled by everything I have learned and worked on over the years that has led me to being a strong and independent woman.  Secondly, the things I gather around me (all my decks, for example) act as supports, strengthening me.

Thirdly, following the keyword on this particular card, I am strengthened by everything I have inherited that has allowed me to become a strong and independent woman.  What first comes to mind is my mother, who brought me up on tales of having started to date my dad after challenging him to an arm-wrestling competition - she was never shy and had faith in her own strength, both mental and physical.  She is also a caring, nurturing person, a healer and a witch (though she doesn't generally describe herself as such).  She taught me to read coffee grounds and use a pendulum, despite being a university lecturer.  So, I inherited a blend of academic learning and esoteric enthusiasm, strength and self-confidence.  Thanks mum!

Wick of the candle - what lights me/inspires me? - Seven of Cups

What inspires me are all the possibilities that life holds.  Okay, so maybe not all of them can ever become reality.  Still, being able to see more than one way, more than one emotional perspective, more than one type of beauty, is itself a gift.

In my head I hear Alanis Morissette sing "Precious Illusions".  It reminds me that illusions can be a gift, so long as I don't fall victim to believing absolutely in the make-believe.  Instead, as suggested by this card's position in the spread, I can allow them to inspire me.

I could criticise myself for building castles in the sky, or for focusing on the impossibility of the things I imagine.  Perhaps, though, I can acknowledge that those illusions give me a glimpse of what might be, inspiring me to try, even if I sometimes fail.

Flame - how can I shine my light/how can I best serve? - Ten of Wands

Okay, so this is quite a challenging card.  If I go with traditional interpretations, I can best serve by my willingness to shoulder burdens, to take on challenges.  Looking at this image, though, my more intuitive interpretation is that I can best serve others through my own healing despite the weight of burdens.  By letting others see my weakness and vulnerability and the fact that, as suggested by the Nine of Pentacles, I still persevere and prosper.

Hmm... perhaps they aren't opposites after all: I can shine my light by continuing to shoulder responsibilities, while still being able to acknowledge my vulnerability and pain, rather than trying to hide them away.  This is quite a tough one: it's so much easier to say, "I'm fine." than admit to being weak sometimes.

Still, the first card was also a reminder that my strength comes from those around me, as well as myself.  Perhaps leaning on others from time to time is appropriate.  And it reminds me, too, that the idea that we are invulnerable and independent is also an illusion.  I might be inspired by the goal of independence, but that doesn't mean I have to live up to it all the time.  As a candle, or a human soul, being real is far better than trying to be perfect.

I give thanks for this opportunity to think about what fuels my passion, ignites my creativity, and how best I can shine.

Now, as I end, please do click through to Claire-Marie at Beauty, History Magic, and see what other takes there are on this subject :)

*By the way, if you like the card images, check out this link for a video review of the entire deck.


  1. Beautiful reading for yourself, Chloe. I can resonate with some of the insights gained here. And wasn't it Mark Twain who said: "Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live." The 10 of Wands is very prominent for me this year too. I feel that the self-healing aspect of it is apt for me too. Thank you for sharing <3

  2. Greetings, Chloe! Great to hand off to you. I really like how you used the elements of the candle to create a spread / answer the question. Enjoy the blog hopping today! Be well, Carolyn

  3. Stopping by to say hello and thanks for an inspiring post. It is so interesting that you got the same card in position 2 for both the TABI reading and this one!

  4. I truly love this spread, Chloe. We are getting such great spreads out of this blog hop!

  5. Hi Lisa, Carolyn, Zanna and Arwen,

    Thank you all for stopping by and commenting!

    Lisa, I hadn't heard that Mark Twain quote before - what a goodie. Loved the poem you used to create a spread - very moving.

    Carolyn, thanks, I really enjoyed your spread, too. As Arwen said, lots of great spreads coming out of this!

    Zanna, I just love the tarot's sense of humour! I got stopped by some dropped links earlier, so I'm off to finish the hop now, and hopefully get to yours :)

    Arwen, thanks again for organising this. It's really interesting seeing such different takes on the same subject. I thought it interesting we came up with two such different spreads, both of 3 cards and based on a candle. As others have said, it's true it's so easy to forget a candle has two ends.

  6. What a perfect, and very easy idea for a spread! WOW! I must try this.


  7. I like this spread very much. It's easy to remember but quite potent at the same time. Thank you.

  8. I may have to try this one tomorrow afternoon after I get back from my house hunt insanity.

    I loved your interpretations of the cards. This deck has a sort of practical gentleness.

    Not sure if that makes any sense. I'm rather tired!

    I like your acknowledgement of the importance of holding onto our dreams, options and illusions (7 of Cups) while also shouldering life's burdens and being strong and vulnerable (10 of Wands)...great one!

  9. Hi Donnaleigh and Coneflower,

    I love all the various spreads that have been created on this Blog Hop - amazing how a candle can spark so many different ideas! Thanks for commenting :)

  10. Hi MM,

    Well, there are lots of spreads to choose from if you Hop around the Tarot Blog Hop! I'd love to see your take on this, or any of them :)

    I agree with you about the practical gentleness of this deck - I have been using it for all my own readings for the past month or so, and really click with it. The Pentacles suit is the most practical, then the other suits tap more into other energies, yet the overall feel of the deck remains very grounded.

    Hope your day was not too busy and stressful, and that you managed to rest up.

    Hopping Hugs,