Saturday, 1 February 2014

Imbolc Blog Hop

Question card (face down), 3 card draw, and sketch
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Last year, for the Imbolc edition of the Tarot Blog Hop, I created a couple of spreads based on Brigid’s different aspects (Inner Whispers and TABI).  So, when Christiana Gaudet suggested we write this time about Tarot, healing and creativity, based on her understanding of Brigid, I wondered whether I should just use one of my previous spreads again.  However, for me, creativity suggests something new, something a bit different, challenging ourselves in some way.

While writing the post for TABI’s contribution to this Blog Hop, I was reminded of a technique suggested by Lyn Olds at last year’s UK Tarot Conference.  And so, I decided to do a very simple spread, but with a bit of a difference.

You could do this as a two-card draw, answering: 1) What in my life needs healing?  2)  What creative answer will help with that healing?  However, I approached it from another angle.  Having picked a deck to work with - the lovely Wildwood Tarot (Connections, 2011) - I drew one card face down to respond to the first question, and three cards as my answer to the second.  Before looking at the first card, though, I turned over the three “answer” cards, and created a sketch based on the elements from each which jumped out at me.  Only after the sketch was done did I turn over the first card to discover what my “answer” was about.

Looking at what in my life needs healing, my card was Balance (Temperance).  The three cards I drew as the creative answer to help with healing were the Two of Bows, the Guardian (Devil), and the Archer (Chariot).

How to interpret all of this?  Well, I see the Balance card saying that what needs healing right now is the fact that my thoughts are currently all tangled, strangling the life and growth potential in me.  Two conflicting aspects vye for control, and I’m weighed down trying to figure out how to balance them. 

This speaks to me on a couple of levels, but I’ll stick with just one here.  I see the two dragons as my two children, one who is six, and one who is due in about six weeks.  My first son is severely disabled due to brain damage suffered during an infection when he was first born.  When he was just seven months old, we tried some stem cell therapy for him.  There is no way to prove whether or not it helped, but he is doing far better than his initial prognosis suggested.  So, we have been considering whether we should try giving him another treatment.  With a second baby on the way, the possibility of harvesting stem cells from the umbilical cord of this second child came up.

However, recent research suggests that it is helpful for a child if you delay clamping the cord, so that those stem cells flow into the newborn, having been pushed back by the pressure of coming through the birth canal.  They have the potential to give the new child an extra boost to their immune system, and their early growth and development. 

So, now I have the problem: do I harvest the stem cells for my first child, who might benefit from stem cell therapy, or do I leave them for my second child, to give him the best possible start in life?  There is also the possibility that I could delay clamping the cord by just a little while, trying to let some of the stem cells flow to number two, but keeping some for harvesting for number one...

Sketch from the 3 cards drawn
Turning to the answer sketch, the motif of two returns with the two dogs I placed in the opening to a dark cave.  These are the two children who have come from inside me, whose spirits have come from the void.  A creative fire rises above them, lighting the way out of the darkness.

As for the Archer, she stands a little way down the hill, on a grassy bank.  This tells me I need to stay in tune with nature, with the natural order of things.  Also, that I need to focus, be determined, and follow through.  Allowing myself to be distracted by lots of factors will just make me miss my aim, and not achieve anything.

I think this says that I shouldn't focus on one or the other, but go with what is most natural, and turn my focus elsewhere for a solution.  So, I should let Number Two have what is his due, and find another solution for my first child.  And in the meantime, I need to have my goal clearly in sight - giving birth to a healthy baby - rather than worrying about maybe's and possibilities related to other things.

This technique of drawing a sketch based on the cards is a fun way to approach the cards.  I might have come to a similar conclusion just interpreting the cards the regular way: Two of Bows, a choice to be made; the Guardian, protecting what is natural, not being tempted into anything that I might regret; the Archer, being focused and determined, reigning in disparate ideas.  Or I might not...

I'd love to hear if you give this reading technique a try, and please feel free to post a link if you blog or post a sketch!

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20 comments:

  1. My dear Chloe, no wonder you have trouble sleeping
    Hugs

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    1. Ha ha, I think I always manage to find things to worry about. Not necessarily because they are that troublesome, just that it's my tendency. Thank goodness for meditation and the reflective practice of tarot reading to help me through :) ((hugs))

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  2. This is a really interesting and cool approach to a reading! You have so much before you, and all I have to offer you is a lot of light and love!

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    1. Thanks, Olivia, light and love are always gratefully received!

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  3. That's a huge decision to have to make. Sounds like the Tarot guided you gently. I really like this method. Very intriguing.

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    1. I found it fascinating when Lyn Olds gave the workshop! Personally, it works better for me when I don't know the question, otherwise I put too much of my knowledge into the sketch rather than just going with my intuition, hence the card face down til it was done :D

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  4. Thank you for sharing that amazing post :-) I will be sending all my best wishes to you for the next few months. I will be trying out this spread in the next couple of weeks, I love the idea of the sketch :-)

    Hugs xx

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    1. Hi Moti, I very much look forward to seeing what you come up with if you try it. Given how artistically talented you are, it will probably be gorgeous, as well as insightful :)

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  5. That's an awful lot to think about and I'm sure that come the time, you'll make exactly the right choices. I love your sketch - I see your flames as looking like an onion... all those layers of decisions hanging over your pups' heads and the archer with the strength and poise and tools to hit the target :)
    I use this method a lot, though I'd not really considered it to be a method, just a lazy approach to note keeping... you did mention posting links, so here's one I did a few months back...
    http://pureblessedtarot.wordpress.com/2013/10/23/mystereum-musings-on-tarot-maths/
    Best wishes to you :)

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    1. Ha ha, I thought it looked like an onion, too - as I say, my sketching skills aren't up to much :D Still, I like your interpretation of the layers of decisions! And yes, I remember that post on tarot maths, that was amazing!

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  6. So much to think about...thank you for sharing this with us. I love the method you've created here - a fascinating way to combine creativity with tarot to find a way to heal. Much love to you, Chloe.

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    1. Thanks, Alison! It's a shame you missed the last Tarot Conference, as that workshop by Lyn Olds was very interesting. And it was interesting for me to combine it into a more traditional spread-type reading, too, to focus it more :)

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. What a gentle approach to thinking through all of these issues. Sending prayers that all works out for the best, for everyone. <3

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie! From your fingertips to the Goddess' ear :)

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  8. What a huge decision to have to make. Will be sending thoughts and prayers your way. I love the technique you shared and will definitely give it a go soon :)

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    1. Well, it's not so bad, as these days there are other ways for them to collect/create stem cells. I heard that they can make them from menstrual blood, and that potentially they will be able to create them from any cell, though that is probably still a lot more expensive. Still, it's good to know that there are options...
      Hope you do give it a go - I'll keep an eye out for it :)

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  9. Perhaps you could time it so there is a little for each child. Good luck anyway :)

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    1. The midwife seemed to think it might be too little for either to really benefit that way, but I will look into it. Thanks for the good luck wishes :)

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  10. This is a great example of a personal process of tarot, creativity and healing. I feel for you as you go through this process, but I also appreciate that you have taught us a really solid way of using the cards to deal with some very delicate and heavy stuff.
    All the best to you and your family!

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    1. Thanks, Christiana. As I say, I can't take credit for the method, but it's good to be able to share it :)

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