Monday, 29 November 2010

My initial musing on Tarot

As those who follow me on Twitter may know, I invested in two tarot decks, and following many months of tinkering, thinking and mulling things over I thought that I'd share my feelings at this point in my dealings with the cards.

It is worth mentioning at this point that my interest in divination began many, many years ago and developed as I discovered the runes of the Elder Futhark.
I approach divination in the following way. The past is woven and tied off, the present is being woven as we speak and the future has yet to fully take shape. Knowing that every single thing in the universe is tied to every other thing in the universe, knowing that cause and effect exists, and that it is impossible to predict with 100% certainty the events of the next hour nevermind the next year I still believe that it is possible to combine all the possible eventualities to come to a reasonably firm idea of what could be.
What could be.
That's the bit that is most important to be.

I believe that no process of divination can give you concrete results. What it can do is suggest possibilites, hint at the end that your current course of actions may lead you and help you realise what you already know but hadn't "twigged".
It's an inward glance.

So then back to my tarot experience.

At first I bought a Rider-Waite deck. Though the deck is beautiful I didn't connect with it (although I still have it and am allowing it to "absorb" my magic of my family before I  re-visit it in the future.
It is a very monthiestic deck and not really in keeping with my view of the world.

My next deck was the Sacred Circle deck.
This deck is themed around the polytheistic views of the ancient British celtic cultures.
I like this deck. I feel comfortable working with it (though I only read for myself) and can feel a connection with it (most probably because it doesn't clash with my world view).
The deck in itself is really nicely illustrated using a mix of both photographs, paintings and computer artwork.
The creators have spent time capturing the intended meanings of each card in the image and those looking to use the cards as an aid to meditation would find a lot of joy with these cards.

So I suppose the question is, would I reach for those or my stones?

I have to say that having had my rune stones for over 15years they are always going to be my go to's but I'm going to persevere with the cards.

After all it matters not what you use (books, stones, card or whatever) you're connecting to the same source, it's just a matter of finding what works for you.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Paganism as a recognised religion

There has been a lot of talk in the press in the last few months, particularly in one of Britain's more right wing mainstream publications, about the rights and wrongs of Paganism being recognized officially by a religion in the UK.
Now when taking on this topic it is very, very easy to get drawn into making rhetoric, biased and , in the case of the Daily Fail, down right hate filled statement making.
I'm going to avoid going down that route.

What I would like to say is that there is no reason for it not to be.
I will go as far as saying that there is no reason for anyone's religious beliefs not to be accepted and recognized.

If we accept that we live in a country that accepts an individuals right to believe what they want - which we do (and long may that continue) - then how can anyone say that anyone religious belief is any more valid than another. After all once you remove your own personal religious views out of the decision making progress then you have no choice but to accept the views of others as being valid.

Devout people, be they monothiest, polythiest, agnostic or athiest, will all hold opinions about what is valid and what is not, and some religions, and the individuals that belong to them, are more tolerant of beliefs that fall outside theirs than others, but the way to look at is it this:

If I were a Catholic then how would I like it were someone belonging to another faith were trying to belittle my religious beliefs by saying it wasn't really a religion and should not be recognized?
The answer is, of course, I would not like it.
Now then, this being the case, what would give me the right to do just that to others?

When people talk about a modern civilization being "formed" or "based" upon one particular religion and it's practices then they are wildly incorrect, especially when you consider the United Kingdom.
Whilst it is true to say that since 500ad, or so, that the country has been officially a Christian one, it is not true to say that the rules, laws and practices of this union of countries were based purely on biblical teachings.
The foundations of our laws, cultures and practices can be found to originate in Pagan Britian. The Church, be it the Catholic one or the Protestant one, never managed to fully Christianize this fair isle and remove the elements that preceded it.
You cannot claim that any one religion is responsible for the moral foundations of a group of people that existed prior to the creation of the religion.
A quick check of a decent history book will show how flawed that approach is.

Now getting back to my original point, to be fair to everyone, of all faiths, then we should scrap the list of "recognized" religions and adopt an approach of complete and total tolerance and acknowledgement.

If something rings true in your heart and soul to the point where you will stand tall and announce it to another then it should be recognized and respected by all.Simple as that.


Saturday, 20 November 2010

When my OCD attacks......

As some of you may know, I've been quite under the weather in the last few days. This has meant me being off work and having time on my hands but unable to do what I normally would because I've been leveled.

As someone with a history of OCD I know that time like this can be dangerous.
I've found, over time, that time such as this are when I am most likely to have any lapses in my mental health.
My idle mind does wander, not always to negative places but wander it does.
I always get big feelings of redundancy, insecurity and depression when I'm not physically well, and unfortunately this time was no different.
These feelings can lead me to fall back into my "old ways" and not always make decisions that are conducive to my good mental health. (Believe me, there's been a lot of lists written and checks made over the last few days).
This had lead to a few dark days.

Fortunately for me, I have the tools to deal with this. Thanks to the help of my therapists in the past and the skills I learned in group therapy I can handle my dark days, perhaps more retrospectively than I would choose, and get myself back on track.

Along with those things, the love and support of my family and friends has once again been invaluable and I cannot thank you all enough.