Archive for the Divination Category

A preview of things to come

Posted in Divination, Vodou with tags , , on July 19, 2015 by cheshirecatman

This is but one of the projects my mutli-talented spiritual mother is working on at the moment. Personally, I can’t wait for the deck and the book to be done; I love the idea of a Vodou-specific deck.

Haitian Vodou Tarot Deck

*Note: And I fully expect the GWS haters to start harping on this too. Hey people, your own gardens need tending.

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Stupid questions, obtuse answers

Posted in Divination, lwas, Psychic with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by cheshirecatman

Teachers often say that there are no stupid questions. I disagree.

Questions asked with a sincere intention to learn are not stupid. The types of questions I’m referring to are those asked with insincere intention (such as trolling questions), those asked when you already know the answer and those asked when you know you are not supposed to know the answer. I am recently guilty of these last two.

My last session with my animal communicator/medium friend was interesting as always, but it was also a little frustrating at times. I did not get answers to some questions and some of the responses I did receive were so obtuse that I was left with more questions than I started with. Afterwards, I wondered if the ancestors/guides/lwa think that I rely too much on outside validation when I should trust myself more. This is sometimes true; however, I believe that outside validation can help us to untangle the truth from our personal hopes and desires. I also suspect that some of my questions were inappropriate. For example, I asked them how much longer I was going to be alive. Yeah, yeah, I know….

Sometimes when I get too dependent on their validation, I think they mess with me a little. Particularly when it comes to a certain trickster lwa.

I have yet to sort through and type up my notes, but as soon as I do I will post some excerpts here.

Beautiful new card deck and an online class

Posted in Art, Divination, Psychic, Religion, Ritual, Sekhmet, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2013 by cheshirecatman

For me, feelings of depression or stagnancy are signs that my spirit is malnourished. One of the ways I deal with this is by finding new things to learn.

Nefer Khepri’s Egyptian Lenormand Deck

www.egyptianlenormand.com

My friend Nefer Khepri has just created and published her Egyptian Lenormand card deck. These beautiful cards feature original art hand drawn by Nefer herself using channeled images and colors traditional to the Egyptians. Nefer serves several Egyptian deities in her practice (including my beloved Sekhmet) and has a PhD in Latin American Studies (Mayan Iconography and Epigraphy). She has run her Magickal Musings business since 1998.

The deck is priced reasonably at $33.15 (Price includes  shipping, a clear protective case and an attractive satin draw string bag. Shipping is slightly more for addresses outside the U.S.). The deck can be used with the traditional Lenormand meanings and spreads, but Nefer has included some additional cards and interpretations unique to her deck. The deck is in limited supply and I don’t know if there will be a second printing or not. The last time I heard, it was nearing 50 percent sold out.

Sosyete du Marche Four Circles Online Class

www.sosyetedumarche.com

The wonderful Mambo Pat and Sosyete du Marche have begun offering online Vodou lessons (click the link above). These classes include links to exclusive online video and a forum where you can discuss class material. While classes are not a substitute for attending services or working with a house  in person, there are still many things a solitary person can do to serve the lwa and I think this is a valuable resource for those who do not live near a sosyete. Even though I have a local group, I am planning to sign up for the class anyway because I know there is more I can learn (plus I love Sosyete du Marche, as I’ve said before on this blog). Class begins May 15 and the price is $150, which includes access to the videos and copies of Mambo Pat’s book “Serving the Spirits: The Religion of Haitian Vodou” and her CD “La Priye Ginen: The Prayer of Africa.”

Happy learning! Ayibobo!

Lave Tet follow-up and other updates

Posted in Divination, Dreams, Ghede, La Sirene, Legba, lwas, Religion, Ritual, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 1, 2012 by cheshirecatman

I haven’t been posting much about myself recently because there haven’t been any earth-shattering things going on around here. It’s been fairly low-key for the past few months.

I hadn’t been feeling any dramatic effects following my lave tet back in August, or at least I thought I hadn’t. But effects can sometimes be subtle when it comes to metaphysical stuff, and true to form they manifest very differently from what I expected.

I’ve been strangely unproductive since August, dragging my feet on art projects and other tasks that need to be done. I didn’t really associate this with the lave tet until I had an unrelated conversation with Mambo C. During that conversation, she explained that when a person attends ceremonies and performs other activities that bring them into close contact with the energies of the lwa, things can get uncomfortable.

This isn’t a bad thing—in fact it’s quite the opposite. Vodou services expose us to energies that help to balance us, and sometimes this attempt at balancing can feel uncomfortable and awkward until the balance is actually achieved.

I’ve been feeling for a while that I need to make changes in my life, but I am procrastinating. Procrastination can be the bane of people like me who lean towards perfectionism. We want to do things right; we want to fix everything at once. Then we get overwhelmed and don’t even know where to start. And then end up doing nothing.

For example, I know I need to simplify my life and get rid of items that do not help me along my path. The problem is I have so much stuff—in the closets, in the garage, on my bookshelves. (I am a bit of a pack rat due to having been pretty poor at various points in my life.) I also know I need to prioritize how I spend my time and, if I continue dragging my feet, the powers that be may lose patience with me and start taking away the distractions. Recently I was planning to load a game I bought months ago into my PC (read, “major time-waster”) and then my CD-ROM drive spontaneously stopped working. I’m still trying to fix it and think I’m getting close, but am now having second thoughts about loading the game.

As I travel deeper into Vodou, I am going to have less and less time to waste. And the body dislikes change, even if it’s change for the better. As my friend Shannon Knight likes to say, the body views all change as death. It gets scared and resists. It’s that whole “the spirit is willing but the body is weak” thing.

But not everything has been struggle. I am happy that the energy around my shrine cabinet seems stronger since returning from Philadelphia. Sometimes I can feel the energy pressing against my head the moment my thoughts turn towards making an offering. I wanted to add more lwa to the shrine but the shelves were full. So I found a hanging candle holder at a thrift store for a couple of dollars and hung it on the inside of one of the cabinet doors. Then I scanned a few of the cards from Sallie Ann Glassman’s NOLA deck and hung them above the candles. Voila, three new mini shrines.

Also recently I received a message from Legba, who told me “If you feel like you should go, you should go. If you feel like you should stay, find the high ground so you can fight for what you love.” I think he was referring specifically to my preoccupation with death (and it warrants mention here that the Ghede showed up in the reading I had with Mambo Pat back in August, although I chose not to mention it in previous posts). I may elaborate more on this in a later post after I work out some issues for myself.

In other lwa-related news, it seems that La Sirene wants something more of me too, and has turned up in at least three readings I’ve received in the past several months. I am working on serving her better so I can figure out what that is.

And my dream life has been pretty active, with a lot of time spent wandering around old buildings in the astral realm. Sometimes I am looking for shoes, undoubtedly to help me find my way along this path.

Philadelphia Part Two: Chatting with Legba

Posted in Animals, Divination, Legba, Marassa, Possession, Vodou with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2012 by cheshirecatman

Note: I realize I mentioned in my last post that this one would be about the lave tet, but there was too much material to cover to fit it all in one post. So the actual lave tet will be discussed in the next installment, so that I can keep events in somewhat of a chronological order.

I arrived in Philadelphia late Friday afternoon, then headed over to Sosyete du Marche for dinner. There were already maybe 7 or 8 people gathered around the table when I walked in the door, as well as two dogs roaming the dining room–a handsome black standard poodle and a cute little shih tzu whose hair was clipped short for the summer. And finally, I got to meet Mambo Pat, who exudes the same warmth and good-natured humor in person as she does online. I sat down and shared a wonderful meal of pasta, salad and bread.

Normally, I am very self-conscious in unfamiliar settings with people I don’t know very well, but this time I was surprisingly relaxed. This was more than a Vodou group–it felt like I was a new in-law or not-too-distant relative at an informal family gathering. It turned out there would be nine of us receiving the lave tet, and to reduce her work load on Saturday, Mambo told us she would read the cards for the three of us who were at the dinner that night. The reading is included with the lave tet, and reveals which lwa are currently walking with you. While I waited for my reading, I helped out in the kitchen washing dishes, which can be meditative for me.

When it was my turn, I went downstairs into the hounfò. It’s a beautiful room, with two long altars set up  along the back wall, one for the ocean lwa: Met Agwe, La Sirene and La Balenn, and one for the Petro lwa. In the center of the room, in traditional style, was a square poteau mitan, complete with a low altar platform built around it. Several assons (rattles used by mambos and houngans) hung from the column.

I sat in a low chair next to the center altar, with Mambo Pat facing me a couple of feet away. A houngan and a mambo also sat in on the reading and occasionally offered advice and suggestions. Mambo handed me the New Orleans Voodoo tarot deck and told me to shuffle the cards until she said stop, which I did.

Now, I am not sure exactly when Mambo left and Legba arrived, but at some point very early in the reading, I was aware that he was there. Mambo’s voice changed, taking on a slower relaxed cadence and an accent. The usual alert look in her eyes was replaced by the confident gaze of an old man. The other mambo handed him a cigarette, which he enjoyed while we talked.

It’s an amazing and deeply moving feeling to speak physically to a lwa. I am not going to describe very much of what was in the cards, mainly because it was a personal reading and would not be of use to anyone else. Of course, Legba showed up in the cards, in the met tet position, although it was his Petro aspect. What was really surprising is that none of the ocean lwa showed up in the cards. This was highly unusual. In previous readings I’d had with Mambo C and Mambo Racine, the suite of cups were all over the place. I still believe Met Agwe and La Sirene are with me–my current thought on the matter is that it was a nine card reading, and perhaps it was more important at this time for other lwa and information to come through. Four new lwa are now with me, including the Marassa (whom I mention here because of something that would happen the following day). I had no clue how I was going to come up with altar space for them, and made a mental note to seek Mambo C’s help once I returned to Seattle.

After Legba explained the cards, he asked me if I had any questions, and of course my mind went momentarily blank. I tried to think, as who knew when I’d have an opportunity like this again. I thanked him for his patience with me, and he commented that the world is a loud place, but they (the lwa) keep trying to get through. And then, me being me, I said, “I know you love dogs.” (And as soon as the word ‘dogs’ passed my lips, we could hear Mambo Pat’s dogs start barking vigorously upstairs.) “What about cats?” I had to ask this question, because when Legba first appeared to me, Puck was with him.

Legba looked at me with his relaxed steady gaze, and took a drag from his cigarette. “Sure, I like dogs,” he said, and then went on to explain that he values not just dogs, but all creatures. He expressed great displeasure towards those who treat animals with disrespect.

He also scolded me a little for spreading myself too thin, telling me I needed to choose one path. And he was completely right about that. Throughout my adult life, I’ve scattered my energies all over the place, which has not helped me progress at all. We talked about art a little, and I will never forget what he told me. “When you create something you are truly satisfied with, God smiles.” To me, this means that the creative process is, in a very real sense, an offering of great value. I just wanted to share that with the artists, dancers, writers and other creative types who read this blog.

The conversation was over far too soon, but Papa promised he would talk to me the following evening. And I was left with an even deeper love for this lwa. Ayibobo.

Dreams and classes

Posted in Divination, Dreams with tags , , on May 13, 2012 by cheshirecatman

The last few nights have given me some interesting dreams. On both occasions, prior to going to sleep, I was listening to Shannon Knight’s chakra clearing meditation, so this may have had something to do with it.

On Thursday night, I dreamt that I was riding with a former co-worker (along with two other people whose identity I am unsure of) on the freeway. We rear-ended a semi truck and were killed. Now this may sound violent, but in the dream it was not; death was instantaneous and I was out-of-body in a flash of white light and never even felt the impact.

The rest of the dream was spent wandering around on the other side, which looked a lot like the current world only I was not worried about anything. There was no place I had to go, I couldn’t be harmed so there was no fear. The overwhelming feeling was relief that my death had been so swift and painless and that the worries and toil of my life were over. As the dream progressed, I started wondering where my late cat Puck was and why he had not come to see me. Then slowly I realized I was dreaming and attempted to wake myself up. I had one false awakening (where I was still in the dream) and then I woke up for real and had to get ready for work. Bleh.

Then last night I dreamt I was on a road trip with friends and we visited this old hippie couple. The woman was holding a feathered Mardi Gras mask on a stick which she would sometimes hold up to her face. The man was dressed up as a knight in a homemade suit of armor. He held a colorful shield and on his chest was the word “Ashmead” in a fancy Old English-type font. (I am surprised I could see this as I often have trouble reading in dreams).

I am not sure what these dreams mean and it’s quite possible they are just reviews of things I thought or spoke about during waking hours (at least some of the elements and people I can trace back to that).

Although I am starting to receive commissions, financial recovery from some setbacks during the winter will take some time. Of course, I am running across things I want, including some online class offers. Two classes are from a local woman whom I have great respect for. I would love to take her rootworking class, but realistically I can’t afford it at this time and also my schedule is rather stretched to the limit as it is. She is also offering an Orisha tarot class, which sounds really interesting. However, I am reluctant to attract the attention of more Mysteres. As I’ve mentioned before, I no longer court any deities/lwa/spirits; I am already finding it a challenge to properly serve those I am currently committed to.

However, my friend Shannon is offering a deal (expires sometime tomorrow) on some of her audio workshop classes, and this was too good to pass up, at $10 each. So these will tide me over until my ledger is in the blue again. 🙂 I took one of Shannon’s workshops in the past, and it was incredibly helpful to me.

A tarot reading with Snow

Posted in Divination, Psychic with tags , , , on December 24, 2011 by cheshirecatman

Last weekend the lovely Snow of Swamp Witchery did a tarot reading for me. I’ve known she is the real deal since reading her blog, so I was not surprised that she is indeed a gifted reader, as well as being fun to talk with.

My current situation was the Four of Wands. She told me that I am enjoying the outcomes of my ventures. My initial reaction was to think about material ventures, and I could not think of how that applied to me. Then I realized it DID apply regarding spiritual ventures. No sooner had I thought that, then Snow added, “I think this very much has to do with your magical path in some ways, ready for deeper commitments and more work.” Bingo. Hit number one.

The second card, the Page of Wands. “Page of Wands adds to the situation, crossing the four–you are, in this magical aspect, VERY brave, willing to do so much more than those around you. You’re in a place where you are both an old master and a new student, and unfortunately people are only seeing the new student.” This was heartening to hear. I often do not feel brave, but I can be in spiritual matters. I am not particularly afraid to have my beliefs torn down and reformatted. Hit number two.

Snow: “Your thoughts are VERY interesting, the Six of Swords is what’s on your mind. Recovering from trauma of sorts, coming out of a very dark area of your life.” Big hit number three. I had just come off a pretty bad bout of depression, and had never mentioned it to her.

I’m not going to include the entire reading here, but there were a lot of wands and swords in my cards.

Snow: “Your last four cards hold two more swords. Nine of Wands is courage in the face of danger, plunging in head first, no matter what. You’ve asked for the universe to let you have more in the way of magical responsibility, so be ready for it.” (And here I was thinking, ‘goodbye lazy days.’ But Snow said this is for the best, and I agree.)

Snow: “Knight of Swords is your doorway from the present into the future–you’ve got a lot of good ideas, time to put those into action. Something that you want to do is going to get you that stability you need. You just need to decide on one!” Per her advice, I’ve been thinking on how to make my art more marketable without producing boring “office” art (which is art you would see in your dentist’s office). I have some ideas and may post them once they come to fruition.

Snow: “Your domestic life is the Six of Cups, moving forward, happy memories. Realizing your blessings and loving what is good in your life. The card in your Hopes/Fears position is the Nine of Swords. This card represents what I like to call ‘Agony of the Mind.’ This is that eternal worry, the eternal fear. I think that fear is what will get you to the next level in your magical process–overcoming it, slaying dragons.”

My final card was The Lovers, which Snow interpreted as being in love with my spirits and how I’m living. I was very pleased to hear that.

This gives you a taste of what a reading with Snow is like. I can’t recommend her highly enough. I’ve been wanting to get a reading for a while, and know who I’ll be coming back to.