Monthly Archives: November 2012

Review: Earth Magic Oracle Cards

I have to admit that I love using the Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D. Farmer! I typically use this deck for readings when something is bothering me, but I can’t quite put a finger on what is causing my angst. This oracle helps me to dig deeper into my psyche and draw out the base issues that are blocking me.

Physically, the deck is not as polished as others that I have reviewed recently. The cards are lightweight with a gloss similar to a deck of regular playing cards. I’ve noticed that they cards tend to stick together and can be a real pain to shuffle. They do not have gilded edges.

I love the card’s back artwork. It is a tree and its mirror image in a pond. It appears to be the tree at dawn and at dusk all at the same time. There is a meadow around the pond, and a bird (possibly a crane?) is standing in the water. The artwork on the back matches the card called “Tree – Grounding”, which is described in the guidebook as representing the work of bringing yourself back into balance with the earth’s energies.

The artwork on the cards themselves is a compilation of many types of art work from different artists. The small guidebook that comes with the deck does give all the artists’ information, just in case you want to find out more about these talented people! In general, the artwork is just gorgeous and inspiring! The images are titled with words describing earthly features (ie: ‘Clouds’), but also natural cycles (ie: “Summer Solstice”), nature spirits (i.e.: “Green Man”), and a few larger concepts (ie: “Love”). Beneath each of the titles of the cards is a subtitle that gives you more direction about what  the meaning of the card is. You can use the guidebook to look up a description of the card to help interpret the reading.

The spread I typically use with this deck really isn’t a spread at all. I just shuffle and then lay out three cards. These three cards go right to the source of my issue, even if I don’t understand what my issue really is! I read the three cards together, so it doesn’t matter what order the three cards land in. I have found this oracle to be very accurate with identifying my concerns just under the surface on my conscious mind and offering me excellent insight on how I can begin untangling my emotions and resolving the issue.

Have you used this oracle? What do you think? Please comment and let us know!

Oracle Author’s Website, Steven D. Farmer: http://www.earthmagic.net

 

 

Goddess, Education, Magick and Spirituality

When you hear someone say anything about the Feminine Divine, what do you think of? What does it mean to our contemporary society in all the various stages and aspects of life?

The Feminine Divine is about returning to nature, about harmony in both the masculine and feminine, yin and yang re-united in balance, about moving forward in our community together.

The Temple of the Feminine Divine is a church located in Bangor, Maine that was founded with the belief that only when the feminine divine is revered equally with the masculine divine there can be balance and equality in human relations, in nature, and upon Mother Earth.

In 1998 Kay Gardner (1942 -2002) and Ruth Barrett co-led 26 women on the Magic, Music and Mystery Tour to England and Ireland. One of their stops was the Fellowship of Isis at Clonegal Castle in Eniscorthy, Ireland. After returning home, Kay decided to start a formal priestess/priest training program in Bangor.  The Temple of the Feminine Divine was officially established and recognized as a church by the State of Maine on November 1, 2001. It was Kay’s dream for the Goddess to once again be worshiped equally with the God. Today, the Temple of the Feminine Divine continues to be a source of support, worship, balance, learning, growing and support to our community.

On November 9th, 7:00 PM at the Next Generation Theater in Brewer, the Temple of the Feminine Divine’s Iseum Musicum class of 2013 is proud to bring you, “G.E.M.S-Goddess, Education, Magick and Spirituality,” an evening of talks, song and drama illuminating the aspects of the feminine divine. G.E.M.S. will be featuring: Reverand Anu Dudley, Ph.D.; Hugh Curran, Ph.D; Women With Wings; Cynthia Swan, M.Ed., LMT, Storyteller; and Veronica Moonstream WolfEagle, RSW, MSW, BFNAC. The night of entertainment will be: “Defining ‘Feminine’ in the Feminine Divine”, “Feminine Divinities in Celtic Tradition”, “Feminine Tradition in the Modern Context”, Songs and Chants of the Goddess, and a dramatic reading featuring some of the members of the current Iseum Class.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10, more if you have it, less if you don’t. Pre-sale tickets are available by calling the Temple at 207-941-0261 or by speaking to an Iseum Musicum class member. There will be refreshments and a cash bar available.

The Temple of the Feminine Divine is a legally recognized church with ordained clergy and offers public ritual for the eight Pagan seasonal celebrations, as well as a library, meditation space, and religious counseling. They also host the Iseum Musicum, a three-year program culminating in legally recognized ordination. Trained clergy are available to do hand-fastings, welcoming newborns, funerals, and all other rites of passage.

Public rituals on the eight Pagan seasonal celebrations are held at the U.U. Church in Bangor, Maine. Rituals follow the Wheel of the Year, and are generally held on the day of the festival at 7 p.m. All genders, faiths, and ages are welcome. For more information, www.templeofthefemininedivine.org; or on Facebook; email webgoddessess@templeofthefemininedivine.org or call TOFD 207-941-0261.

 

 

Ethical Consuming

I have been meditating on the ethics of consuming. We as living beings have to consume to live. It is in our nature to use tools, to feed, to create art, to procreate, to preserve and pass on knowledge to the next generation. We are part of the cycle of life. We consume. It is natural.

That said, as a species, our consuming is creating massive environmental disaster. Currently, the rate of species extinction is 100 – 1000 times higher than what we see in the fossil records. There is no place on Earth where the effect of humans isn’t felt. The human population just keeps growing. In my short life of almost 46 years, the population has doubled! Three and a half billion is now seven billion! And everyone keeps consuming. As I said, it is in our nature to live – and living requires consuming.

So where do we draw the line, ethically speaking, when it comes to consuming? Obviously we can’t continue as we have. Within a few decades we will reach the limits of Mother Earth, and then will come the inevitable collapse (and it will be ugly). So how to live now? What is okay and what is not okay? What is the ethical question we need to ask when we consume? My mentor posed this question: “Would it be okay if everyone was did what I am about to do?”

Think on this in all aspects of your life. What if everyone bought what I am about to buy? What if everyone took out of the environment what I am about to take? One quickly realizes that almost everything we consume is unethical.

So how do we live? That I can’t answer for you. Sometimes I wonder if we should live at all. Obviously Nature cannot support the current population; much less the geometric growth we are achieving. But to me, while I have something to offer, while I can make a difference, living is the ethical choice. When I don’t have these things anymore, it is time to stop living and give my body back to the Earth.

We as a species need to fight our own nature when it comes to consuming and procreation. We can do this. We do this all the time. The sex drive is huge. Do we sleep with anyone who says yes? No, we don’t. We negotiate relationship. Most everyone is monogamous. We control the instinct. So I know we can control the urge to consume. We need to separate need from desire. And the most important place we need to do this is in the desire to have children. There is no need to breed. Giving the current state of our beloved Earth, we have to stop procreating. We can do this consciously or we can let Nature do this cataclysmically. Either way, we will have to lower the population. All ethics aside, we have no choice.

These are heavy truths that most people just do not want to think about. We do everything in this country to avoid talking about it. We still have fertility clinics for people to whom Nature has said, “don’t breed.” And we interfere. We add more people when all over the globe there are millions and millions of children who need a home. We have a cult of life in this country. People spend endless resources to prolong life. This time is paid for by the environment. We fear death so much, we sell off our children’s future to avoid it. It is time for this culture to stop making death the enemy. Death is a friend that allows the cycle of life to continue. I forget who said this but it is so wise: “Life shouldn’t be measured by the length but rather by the breadth.”

Why I am writing this depressing stuff? What does this have to do with Druidry? For me it has everything to do with my spiritual life. Learning to live in sacred relationship to the Earth is what this is all about. And the Earth is telling me something. I think we as Pagans can lead the culture in establishing a new paradigm where we walk within the bounds of Nature; considering our actions; considering the future generations; working to restore the ecosystems; ending consumerism; and honoring all aspects of Nature as sacred (especially the importance of death which is currently the enemy of the cult of life). We can do this. We as people whose entire religion is based in Nature, should lead the way forward. If we don’t, who will?

Blessings of peace and simplicity,
Snowhawke /|\

Review: The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards

The Enchanted Map Oracle Cards by author Colette Baron-Reid and artist Jena DellaGrottaglia is a fairly new deck with a strong presence. It was released in 2011 and is distributed all over the world, and it is easy to see why! The cards represent concept words/phrases with vivid, dream-like images. These image and word pairings invite you travel to a different world and delve deeply into your psyche to guide you.

This deck contains 54 cards and a small guidebook. The cards are gilded and laminated with a silky finish. The art on the back of the cards is a drawing of a compass with astrological symbols etched around it and bursting with light from its center.

Truthfully, this deck is worth owning for the artwork alone. The images are so captivating that I highly suggest that you read through the guidebook once, and then just put it away. I have found that the magick of this oracle is that the artist’s fantastical landscapes will draw you in and show you possibilities and pathways.

I recommend that you shuffle the cards well and then spread them all face-down on a table. Run your “receiving” (non-dominant) hand across the cards slowly until you come to a card that makes the tips of your fingers tingle. Select that card, because it has a message for you right now.  Read the card’s guiding words or phrase to ponder as you relax into a comfortable seated position and close your eyes.

In your mind’s-eye, imagine the card slowly expanding into a portal or doorway in front of you. You can step into the card’s realm through the portal and journey to its far-away land. Spend some time here, looking at all the creatures, plants, people, and the landscape itself. What messages do you receive from them?  How does what you see relate to the words on the card itself? What are the connections to your life?

When you are ready, imagine the card’s portal opening once more. Step across the threshold, and you will be returned safely to your own sacred space, carrying with you the new insight and personal revelations your card has shared with you. Allow these images and ideas to settle into your mind for a few minutes, and then write them down in a journal. You may not fully understand them at first, but with time, their meaning may become more apparent.

Of course, you can look up the card’s “meaning” in the guidebook that comes with the deck, but I guarantee you that your journey experience within the card is going to be far more relevant than what any booklet can tell you. Not to say that the “meanings” that the author has attributed are wrong or not thoughtful, but that your mind is the best interpreter with an oracle reading of this nature.

Feel free to share your journey with us here at EarthTides! We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s some links for more information about this oracle:

Author’s website: http://www.colettebaronreid.com/en/