Thursday, March 27, 2008

I wonder what the odds are?

Every night, as part of my evening ritual I draw a tarot card. I use the whole deck, not just the major arcana. Sometimes I get the idea that the card closely relates to my day or issues that I am dealing with, sometimes it an opportunity to learn a little more about the card.

Two nights ago, I drew key 2, The High Priestess. Last night, I drew The High Priestess. (yes, the deck was well shuffled, in fact, in was used during the day). Today, for the hel of it, I went to the Tarot of Color website ( and drew a card-The High Priestess. And, I received an offer (as I do, nearly daily) from for a reading (tarology, in this case), and the card? The High Priestess.

Clearly the odds are against this sort of thing. The question is: is the message the obvious one, or hidden? The card stands alone, do I take into account meanings reversed or ill dignified?

(from Tarot of Color )
The High Priestess
Number: 2Card Title: The High Priestess Esoteric Title: The Princess of the Silver Star Astrological Attribution: Moon Elemental Attribution: Water (cold, wet)Dates & Timing: 28 Days Hebrew Letter: Gimel Camel 3Color: Blue Intelligence: Uniting Intelligence Esoteric Function: Peace & War Qabalistic Path: Path 13: 1 Kether to 6 Tipareth Translation of Path: The Crown of Beauty
Keywords: Intuitive, Deep, Secretive, keeper for hidden sacred knowledge. Related to the Moon. Keep your own council.
Ill-Dignified: Shallow, Superficial, Manipulative, Moody, Unapproachable, selfish, secretive, seduction, Controlling, Conceit, Ruthless, Jealousy, Hostile, Ignorance, Shortsightedness, Acceptance of Superficial Knowledge, Improper judgment.Categories: ( Uncategorized )

Tarot of Color is copyrighted 2005-2007 to Leisa ReFalo.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

late, late, late.

I meant to post these pictures about two weeks ago, they were taken the day after the new moon. That is my new knife, with the white handle. It was cleansed and dedicated the night of the new moon. Alas, you really can't see my other knife in the picture (it is below the white handled knife and above the white cat, between the black and amber cats. That knife has an amber handle). Right above the new knife are my wands, the rose wand being the unfinished one, and the ebony wand above that. The wood for the rose wand was harvested (appropriately) last year. It took a while to get a good feel for how it should be finished. And, it is taking almost as long to gather the rest of the materials. You will be subjected to photos as that project finally happens.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Suns Day

And so, having ritually assured fertility and fecundity for the year, (see previous post-that's all the details available on the web!) the dirty work of assuring the same, began today. Dirty, as in dirt and soil. And the yearly race between necessary garden chores and the onset of spring allergies begins. The day was sunny and warm, and a couple of hours, mid afternoon resulted in one garden bed ready for planting, and one asparagus bed, cleaned weeded and composted. Weather permitting, I will plant the peas on Tuesday. They should have gotten planted during the waxing moon, but I wasn't able to get the garden prep done in time. So they will get planted before the solar noon hour on Tuesday, instead. I still need to get the spinach and lettuce seeds for that garden, but they won't get planted for another month, so there isn't that much rush. But the peas like it cold.

The tomato plants are ordered, but they won't arrive until May, so I have some time for the second garden bed. In the meantime, I will clean, weed and compost the second asparagus bed, and the rubarb bed, and thin the raspberry and blackberry canes. At some point, I will also plant cucumbers and carrots and winter squash. And, then, come fall, I will plant another crop of peas and spinach. I am always enthusiastic about the gardens at this time of year. But, after doing the grocery shopping last week, and reading the business section of todays NY Times, I think that I am even more "business-like" in my enthusiasm. And, I haven't even started on the herb beds...

I also placed another few feet of rocks along the outside edge of the circle. I will have to get DH to take another photogragh of it. Because of his height (compared to mine) he can get much better pictures of the whole thing from our bedroom window.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Purim and Hamentashen

(apologies to those with delicate sensibilities...)

The word "hamentashen," which refers to the cookes eaten at Purim, is commonly translated into English as "Hamen's Hats." Which is strange, because "taschen" means pocket, not hat. I found this blog post
that attempts to explain this, but wearing my more rad-fem mythologist hat (or pocket) I don't think that it goes far enough. The blog post:

The etymology of hamentaschen is fairly well known. They did not originally refer to Haman (and therefore the Hebrew אוזני המן oznei haman - came much later.) These pastries were originally called "mahn-taschen". Mohn means "poppy" in German, and tasch is a pocket. When you add the Hebrew definitive article ha, they become ha-mahn-taschen, which is easy to associate with Haman. Of course there are many "midrashim" (really Purim torah), that expound on the connection: that Haman had three-cornered ears like the pastry, or had a three cornered hat, or a new one for me, that it refers to המן תש - "Haman became weak." Posted by DLC at Sunday, March 12, 2006 7:47 AM

OK, but why pockets. Or hats? Or ears (another name for the cookie)? What do all of these things have in common, besides not usually being triangular (the shape of the cookie)? Answer: they are all receptacles-something to put something in.

Purim is the least "Jewish" of modern Jewish holiday observances. A holiday of the full moon of the spring Equinox, the main player is a woman celebrated for her beauty, rather than piety, or observance, or obedience. Esther (think Aster, Ishtar, Innana) has the power of life and death, renewal; regeneration in her hands. Power she exercises by touching the "scepter" of the king. The man that Queen Esther chooses gets to rule the people. (does this sound familiar to you, Tammuz?)

But, back to the cookies. Look at them. Really look at them. Dark triangles (traditional fillings being poppy seed or prune), bounded by a paler, finer textured border. We already have the kings scepter, held out. So what exactly are these little pastry triangles, given the names of various receptacles? What do we celebrate so joyously, each spring?

My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my heart was moved for him.
I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with flowing myrrh,
My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand.
His head is as the most fine gold, his locks are curled, and black as a raven.
His eyes are like doves beside the water-brooks; washed with milk, and fitly set.
His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as banks of sweet herbs; his lips are as lilies, dropping with flowing myrrh.
His hands are as rods of gold set with beryl; his body is as polished ivory overlaid with sapphires.
His legs are as pillars of marble, set upon sockets of fine gold; his aspect is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend

Embarrassing, but true

I had to do a google search and look up "how to use a protractor." It's been so long since I have used one, that just looking at it did not tell me anything. And, I need a pattern to embroider a 7 pointed start for an amulet/poppet (I really have no idea what to call it) project that I am working on.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Door

and its almost enough to make me turn to mysticism.

Last night, mid evening ritual, I settled down to meditate. The subject I chose was the Equinox and the turning from one year to the next, since the sun would change signs late at night (or early this morning). I desired to see something of my path. Almost before I was comfortably in position, I saw a huge pillared doorway.

The pillars were white, with details picked out in gold, with a very simple lintel at the top. They were huge, as was the space between them, but at the same time, the door felt intimate, familiar. The space was huge, reaching up nearly forever, and yet, at the same time, I didn't feel belittled, or engulfed by it. I was as large as it was, or standing small, in wonder. Through, and beyond the pillars was the most beautiful azure blue, with gold light, streaming through the blue, and reaching through the pillars. I knew that I had stood at these pillars, before, but as I stepped between them, I also knew that I had never gone through them before. There was no doorstep. As I passed through the opening, I was swept up in a great sense of joy and elation , although now, I have no idea what was on the other side.

Later on, I tried to see more, more of that place beyond the pillars, more of the path that is at my feet. There was nothing more to see. But I did feel a voice (or a Voice?) tell me that the time to dance had come again. And, if anything a feeling of giddiness was added to the joy and elation that I was still (and the next day still) feeling.

Afterwards, I drew my evening tarot card-The High Priestess. Although the pillars in the card are black and white, and the ones that I walked through, both white, were they otherwise the same? The mystic in me, says "yes." The sceptic, who is also mage, says "possibly." Either way, I have come through a year of darkness of soul, of death of beliefs and positions, and have come to a time to dance. Joy.

Monday, March 10, 2008


I’ve been thinking about names, lately. Names that were given to me by my parents, names I’ve chosen to go by, names given to me by others, I’ve been thinking about how I refer to myself, in my head, or in the third person. All of these ways of identification, so many different facets, add up to one human being.

I was given 2 sets of names by my parents. The first set, the ones that appear on my birth certificate, is my regular name, the name I identifywith, most often. The other set, my Hebrew name has been used, primarily in a religious setting. Many of my cousins were given biblical names, their regular and their Hebrew names are the same, perhaps with a different syllabic accent. My sister, and the rest of my cousins (on both sides of the family) were named for deceased family members, given either the actual name or given a name that starts with the same first letter as the relative.

Neither situation is the case with either set of my names. In fact, my religiously observant mother wanted to call me “Mary” (or actually a Russian variation, thereon). My father convinced her that I would not be easily accepted into the community with a name like that, and so I was given the name of one of the Spring Months.

It is my Hebrew name that I’ve been thinking about, lately. I don’t know why I never did before.

I am:
Chai Chanah Malkah

Chai, meaning “Life”
Chanah, meaning “Grace”, or “Favor” (also a prophetess who was the mother of Samuel)
Malkah, meaning “Queen”

Does that make me Graceful Queen of Life?
Or Living Queen of Favor?
Living Queen of Grace?

This is a “me” that I haven’t really thought of being, before now. It’s quite a name to live up to. It is a name that one must grow into, which may be why I never thought about its meaning, before. And, it certainly is giving me food for thought.

Should I be brushing up on my prophecy skills?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Have I mentioned that of all the work involved in the JM Greer Ritual Magic book, this may be my favorite part? I am a very tactile or kinesthetic learner. I need to DO something with information to "get" it. (I just wish I could photograph it a little better). Chokmah is grey, with black lettering. Binah was a little more difficult (as you might expect). White pencil over black pencil just didn't show up. A silver paint marker worked better, although I wish the point were finer. I did find that coloring the black pencil over the silver paint, which had been put on over the first layer of black pencil, did let the lettering show up better.

I am having a bit of trouble with the Tarot 3's. My text book wants me to take each card, one at a time, and meditate on the card, the sephira, the kabbalistic world, the element, direction and season, and just write down everything that comes to me. And, from that list, come up with my own key word for the card. The Aces-no problem, nor was there an issue with the twos. Today's 3 of Cups wasn't much of a problem. But Pentacles and Swords? Very hard.

The other interesting thing about where I am in my studying, is that the subject of Binah has been prevalent (without my input) on one of my discussion groups. Here is a link to another blog with a very useful post on Binah: