Hype, Reality + Responsibility

Today is about hyperbole vs reality. Who’s responsible?

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Tarot of the Zirkus Magi Governor of Rings
Tarot of the Zirkus Magi

Today’s #affirmation is brought to us by a man who thought he could take down P.T. Barnum. He was so huge that they called him the father of the modern circus. He single-handedly brought Jumbo the elephant to America.

Okay, so a lot of that is hyperbole…or to use the more common shortened version–hype.

This Governor of Rings is James Anthony Bailey who was born as a McGuiness. His career as a circus owner/ringmaster was legendary. He had his own show then joined with P.T. Barnum. They eventually joined with the Ringling Brothers to form what is a still active circus troupe.

Many of us dislike circuses now for the treatment of animals. I’m going to put that aside for now. Instead, I want to shine a light on this card. The traditional name is the King of Pentacles. He is often seen as a bit of a stick-in-the-mud Mr. Banks type by me.

His role in the Tarot is often that of taskmaster, banker, rule enforcer. Here he’s been given a different hat (top hat, even) to wear. This man is now a ringmaster of a circus. He must do more than point out the amazing acts and beautiful girls. He also is responsible for the overall financial success of his endeavors.

And more than that? He is the ultimate yes-or-no in many people’s lives. Their livelihood depends on this man. It cannot be an easy thing to have that much responsibility. I imagine he understood “heavy is the head that wears the crown” on a very personal level.

Responsibility happens.

I am responsible for making sure my bills get paid, my animals get the food and medical attention they need and so on. Some days I’d like to chuck it all to go live in a cave. But the reality is, responsibility exists.

So that brings us to today’s affirmation:

Today I am responsible for my own happiness. Today I remember to choose to be in a good mood. Today I remember to celebrate my ability to be responsible. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

P. to the S. Are you going to do #NaNoWriMo this year? It’s my first year as a participant. Usually I’m instead. I finally made the workshop an So if you are doing it, come find me! I’m TarotByArwen there.

Governor of Rings, Tarot of the Zirkus Magi, Douglas Thornsjo 2014

Respond Or Stay Seated?

When is it time to respond and when is it time to stay seated?

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Fenestra Tarot Queen of Pentacles
Fenestra Tarot

#affirmation Today’s card reminds me to look forward. It reminds me to keep my seat for just a bit longer. Even when prodded and poked, I need to hold my position.

The Fenestra Tarot’s Queen of Pentacles looks out from her throne. She has a soft look on her face but a determined one. This lady has learned that to keep her home and family safe, she must make sacrifices.

Sometimes those are sacrifices of money, of time, but sometimes they are sacrifices of self.

However, she’s also learned not to make those decisions impetuously. Her vision must remain on the goals she has set for her family and for herself.

I think that we all have made sacrifices of self. I think that many of us could look back and say that some of those sacrifices might have been done for the wrong reasons.

Now I try to remain seated. I try not to leap up offering soul, heart and self until I am sure it is what is truly needed from me. It wasn’t an easy lesson–and it isn’t one I always succeed at either.

What about you?

Today’s affirmation:

I am confident. I do the right thing by considering before responding. I hold my peace to learn the truth of a thing. I am a beautiful, strong, honorable human. Loved and loving, I love each of you.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Queen of Pentacles, Fenestra Tarot, U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Tarot+Food: King of Wands Spicy Jumbled Unstuffed Cabbage Stuff

Mary-El_14WandsSo today’s card is a discussion on why I think the King of Wands likes spicy food. He’s the king of the fire suit for one but he’s also the passionate man who would be willing to wing it when he had to. Not the steady King of Pentacles or the dreamy King of Cups or even the logical King of Swords.

No, this is our guy who is into innovation and isn’t upset when things don’t go as planned. And that’s pretty much what happened with my dinner the other night.

Let me set the stage. I saw this recipe on Facebook that sounded divine. It had everything I liked in it–meat, tomatoes and cabbage. As I’ve pointed out before, I’ve got enough German in me to consider cabbage one of the four food groups. In fact, my Queen of Swords recipe is my mother’s cabbage Au Gratin.

So I read the recipe, write down what I need. I go to the grocery store. The HEB I go to is GINORMOUS, y’all. As in freaking huge. And my back was already hurting when I go there.

So now you have some clues as to what happens next. I get everything I need then realize I didn’t get the tomato sauce that was in the orginal recipe. I decide that I probably had tomato sauce. Yes, I firmly nodded in the aisle. I was certain to have sauce.

Cut to my kitchen where I basically UNLOAD an entire cabinet to discover I have tomato paste but no sauce. My stepson valiantly restocked and looked again. No sauce. SAD FACE?

NO! Not for the intrepid cook that I am. Most recipes end up being bones that I build on anyway. So I winged it. Along the way I also added some Siracha, more garlic, a completely different kind of tomato and extra water.

Oh, I also switched up the meat to a slightly healthier version that used half beef and half turkey. It turned out delicious! I had plenty to put away for leftovers too.

So here is my version of this Facebook recipe. I’ve renamed it in honor of the King of Wands who would have been right there beside me–improvising.


The King of Swords Spicy Jumbled Unstuffed Cabbage Stuff


1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound lean ground turkey
2 T oil (I used a pepper flavored olive oil)
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T siracha sauce
1 small cabbage, chopped
3 cans (10.5 oz) tomatoes with green chiles
1 can (8 ounces) tomato paste
2.5 cans water (tomato cans)
1 T ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt


In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and turkey and onion and cook, stirring, until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the siracha and cook one more minute

Add the chopped cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

I hope you try this out. If you aren’t a spicy fan, you can leave out the siracha, cut back on the garlic and use 2 14.5 cans of tomatoes. 😀

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

King of Swords, Mary El Tarot, Schiffer Books

Food pic by Arwen. 😀

Who Challenges You The Most?

ArrowQueen1Today’s card reminds me that I learn a lot of stuff on a daily basis. Sometimes I worry that I forget it just about as fast. And it is a piece of the Queen of Swords or the Arrow Queen as depicted in the Incidental Tarot. I’ll tell you a story about an amazing, if annoying, woman who was a major factor in my life.

My grandmother, Lucile aka Grannilu, scared the bejesus out of me. She was a high school English teacher who graded (and returned) letters from her grandchildren. If you did well, you got money (five buck for an A). If you did not do well, you were guaranteed red pen and comments.

And don’t think you could get away with not writing to her. That indiscretion garnered a letter to your parent that detailed her displeasure.

Now don’t get me wrong. Grannilu was no despot. She loved us all very very much. She was, I suppose, a Texas version of a Tiger mom. Her love was fierce and unyielding but so were her expectations.

When I think of her, I am reminded of the battle between Snow White and her stepmother. Did you know that it wasn’t her heart the Queen wanted in the original story? It was her lung. They couldn’t share the same air. Classic battle between mother and daughter–one for the room to grow, the other for the refusal to grow old. You can see my spread on this battle in my

I remember her testing me once. I didn’t know what it was for but I remember her handing me a Reader’s Digest. I was told to read a certain page. The instructions were to read and start over should I finish before she called time. I did as she asked but remember wondering why my mother looked a bit funny.

When Grannilu finally called time, she asked me how I had done. I told her how many times I’d read it (eight and a half if I remember correctly). She told me that was impossible. I vehemently told her I had. When she told me I had to be lying, I recited nearly word for word the information I’d just read.

My grandmother, never one to apologize, looked at my mother and said, “Well apparently she doesn’t need the Evelyn Wood course.” Then she looked at me knowingly.

“We will expect more from you.”

The Queen of Swords never had a better example than Lucile. She did expect more of me. Another conversation revolved around the correct usage of forte`. Did you know it is pronounced “for tay” only when you are using it in reference to music? According to Grannilu, “fort” is how you pronounce “forte`” when speaking of anything else.

Yes, I looked it up. I was about sixteen at the time. She was, of course, right.

She taught herself Esperanto just to keep her mind active.

When she became lost to us to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, I cried harder than when she actually died. It was hard for me to acknowledge that the fearsome woman was gone. In her place was a lost little woman.

Now that I am hitting that age where my grandmother first became real in my life (my mother was a late-in-life surprise), I begin to understand why Grannilu was so adamant about her word games and languages. It kept her mind active.

Every time I forget a word, I wonder if I am going to wander down that road like she did. That, more than just about anything else in this world, terrifies me.

So, because it scares me, I have begun to do the NY Times crossword puzzles–like my Grannilu. I have a language series from Rosetta so I can learn a new language–like my Grannilu. I do WordsWithFriends obsessively–I’m sure Grannilu would have loved having that app if there had been smartphones when she was alive.

Lucile, born in 1905, wouldn’t have been a technophobe. I know she would have dived into technology like any self-respecting Queen of Swords.

So your challenge is to think of a challenging family member. Someone who causes your back to go up when they speak your name.

Now think of three positive things about them–either ways you have grown stronger or ways they have caused you to improve.

Share it here if you like. I’d love to hear about it.

I’d like to also ask you a favor. Go to check this project out. If you love it as much as I do, pledge to support it. The way this works is you pledge a certain level. You pay IF the project gets funded. This is a small funding request (under 4K) for someone who is precious to me. I trust him to deliver. You just pick the level you are comfortable with then register. You will have to put in payment information. Personally, I use my Amazon account so my payment information is already there. I’ve done several Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects.

And, if you can’t contribute, would you please share that link? Tweet it. G+ it. Facebook it. Tumblr it. Whatever. Help get the word out, please. He needs a kiln to bring his art to life. Help me help Holden. Thank you so much.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

The Arrow Queen, Incidental Tarot, Holly DeFount, 2012

Hope, Joy & Need

Today’s card is a reminder to pray. I used to shy away from the word. I mean the word “pray.” In my narrow, Christian-phobic brain, it meant something it didn’t. I’ve evolved since that time. Now I see it as an action verb meant to convey hope and joy and need. Those three don’t seem to be connected, do they?

Here our daughter of fire from the Vision Quest Tarot lifts up her sage bundle. She is praying to her Gods. The smoke carries her hopes upward. Her needs will be heard by the winds who will then move them up to the heavens.

Why does she pray? That’s always the question, isn’t it. Is she asking for herself? Is she asking for someone else? Is she simply giving thanks for the day and being alive?

Here on Facebook, a friend (insert name) has started a daily Gratitude Project. Each day we all post something we are grateful for. They have ranged from another day free of Cancer to sex and anything you can imagine. There is joy there as well as sorrow.

Do you pray every day? Do you offer up gratitude for being here? Do you celebrate at least one thing? You should. It’s healthy. It’s blessed. It’s necessary.

Do you pray for others? Some would say that’s invasive. I say that when I pray for others, I am sending it to their Higher Selves.

Prayer as a gift not a weapon is what I’m talking about. Prayer as a way of reminding yourself that you are connected somehow. And if prayer is a “hard limit” for you, then call it giving gratitude. Call it honoring your self. Call it whatever you will, but please call it.

Call it for hope.
Call it for joy.
Call it because you need it.

Give thanks. Give gratitude. Give prayers.

I’m here to help you if you can’t find your joy. Let’s seek it together. I’ll show you how to hang on to it.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on.

Daughter of Fire, Vision Quest Tarot,U.S. Games Systems Inc (1999)

Butterflies, Books & Pistols

Today’s card is one that makes me laugh but also makes me a bit sad. Here is the Princess of Swords from the Victoria Regina Tarot. It’s so me right now. The laughter part comes in from all her many interests–a weapon, a butterfly, a book.

The sad part comes Continue reading “Butterflies, Books & Pistols”

Tarot&Food: King of Swords’ Balls

I’m green. No, really. Cut me and I bleed green just like a Vulcan. Or more correctly, just like a Girl Scout. We turned 100 this year. Happy birthday, us! The Girl Scouts have been fundamental in my life. They gave me extra time with my mama (she was my leader for years). They gave me my best friend forever AND ever (we met at a Girl Scout canoe clinic in 1977). They gave me two unbeatable life experiences (riding in a wagon train across North Dakota was one of those. Move Em’ Out 76). They gave me confidence and helped me feel more comfortable in my own skin.

In a word, they gave me balls.

Well, sort of.

They gave me porcupine balls to be exact. When we would go camping, we always looked for yummy things we could cook over the fire. Did you know I am an excellent cook even over a stone pit and an open flame? The things I can do! I can even bury a dutch oven and serve you apple pie later. Oh yes I can. But we aren’t at dessert yet. First we need to discuss the King of Swords’ balls.

I paired this with the King of Swords because he is a man of many swords. Like this recipe, he can be a bit prickly at times. This is a yummy (and super easy) entree. You can have your kids help you. They will enjoy the results.

King of Swords, Victorian Romantic Tarot

King of Swords’ Balls

1 Lb ground beef, lean (you can also use ground turkey)
1/3 C uncooked long-grain rice
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 C water
1 tsp Tabasco, optional

Combine the ground beef, rice, onion, 1/4 cup of the water, salt, and pepper. Now for the fun part. Roll this up into walnut-sized balls. You can get 12-15 for a lb of meat. Set them aside for a bit.

Combine the soup, chili powder, and water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Add meatballs; reduce heat, cover, and simmer over very low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally and be careful. You don’t want to beat the poor King’s balls to hard.

Serves 4 and just has to have some good bread and a salad to balance it all out.

Let me know if you try the King’s balls. I’d love to know what you think.

For the record? I really wanted to name this “Vulcans, Balls & Girl Scouts.”

Focus, Butterflies and MP3’s

It’s been a busy May for me. I’ve been running and gunning more than sitting and knitting. (Yes, I like rhymes.) I was mentioned on Theresa Reed aka the Tarot Lady’s blog as one of her top 10 Tarot blogs. It was a lovely thing from a Tarotist that I greatly admire. If you don’t read her blog regularly, you really must.

I realized I needed to get back to this a bit more. I am going to continue with my study of the Gaian Tarot as that is still pulling me strongly. And today’s card really targets my energy today. 🙂 It’s one of the Continue reading “Focus, Butterflies and MP3’s”

Musings on Elder of Air (Gaian Tarot)

Last night I did my first reading for a client with the Gaian Tarot. The spread I used as my Chakra spread which tends to be a “low-blow, dirty deeds” kind of spread. By that I mean it doesn’t hold back from what it thinks you need to know. The Universe tends to send really clear messages. Last night’s reading kept hammering one particularly Continue reading “Musings on Elder of Air (Gaian Tarot)”

Ostara & The Court of Cups

In the Wiccan religion, many of us associate directions and elements and even tarot suits with certain times of the year. Ostara is a holiday of spring and life and joy. Its direction is East. Its element is Air. There is a sense of youth and fun and birth happening at Ostara.

In Tarot the suit of Cups points to the West. It’s about water. The time of year is Autumn. Here we have a season associated with aging and quiet introspection and death. It is the polar opposite of the rites of Spring. So what do the two have in common? Continue reading “Ostara & The Court of Cups”