Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wheee *glomps StitchwitchCottage*

Recently I won  a tarot deck from Stitchwitch Cottage which was very very exciting as it is the lovely Waking the Wild Tarot by Poppy Paylin, and I was just reading the some reviews on line, when I remembered that I had told a friend I would review the tarot cards I currently have as a practice run for reviewing her oracle card deck when it comes out some time in 2013ish, and I must say that from what I have seen so far  of my friends cards and book are going be an excellent oracle deck with a strong New Zealand focus whee.

However today I will review the Wildwood Tarot as I have been working with them exclusively over the last little while.

A Review of the Wildwood Tarot.

I was always going to love the artwork of these cards as they are by one of my now favourite artists Will Worthington.  He is the artist for the DruidCraft Tarot, Druid Animal Oracle, Druid Plant Oracle (with Philip & Stephanie Carr-Gomm) and the Green Man Tree Oracle (with John Matthews).

The Wildwood Tarot has been done in collaboration with Mark Ryan and John Mathews.  Now, the Wildwood Tarot has a bit of a history despite being only being published last year.  They are the remake of a very popular deck called the Greenwood, by Chesca Potter and Mark Ryan in 1996.  What made the Greenwood deck different from other decks was the replacement of all of the greekoroman/christen imagery with Pre-celtic symbolism from around Europe and Britain, heavily based in the Robin Hood myth.  You see Mark Ryan played Nasir in the Robin of Sherwood Series which screened when I was a teenager and what’s more Nasir  was always my favourite character.. I so wanted to be him when I grew up, there may have been some fangirl squeeing when I found this out! *coughs*..

I so wanted to be Nasir with two swords!

The other thing that I am really enjoying about working with these cards is that they are blunt, honest and at times brutal, it is not a deck for telling fortunes, rather it is a deck to gain perspective and sight at a deep magical level.  I have always had difficulty reading for myself as I have a tendency to shy away from the hard stuff that  or decided that I don’t like what I see therefore don’t see it.  With the Wildwood Tarot this is very hard to do, especially as I read out the passages from the book for each card.  I don’t do this when I read for others but do when I read for myself.  It’s a thing *grins*  Also when I brought the this deck I was told, so to speak that this deck was to be for my personal use only, which is very odd for me as I have always been comfortable with sharing my various oracle and tarot decks with others, but not so for this deck.  They are deeply personal and offer some very personal insights into what is happeneing or how I am feeling.  I have been doing a one card draw every day for a few weeks now, with the intent to get to know the cards more while also getting to understand myself as well.  It has been very very interesting.. remember the aforementioned blunt?  Well they are.

On a more physical level these cards are not huge, like the Druidcraft Tarot so are more easily shuffled, the card stock seems ok, but like most tarot cards will wear with use, they spread nicely and the backs of them are pretty much indistinguishable from each other.  Which is excellent for card reading. And the artwork is done in wonderful bright colours

I have both the Wildwood and Druidcraft which are by the same artists, but different authors, and I have to say that I have noticed a difference, not just in the physical art work which are both lovely, but also with the feel of each deck.  The Druidcraft seem to be lighter in a way that is difficult to explain, especially as the cards themselves are HUGE!, however there is a depth and heaviness to the Greenwood tarot that seems to draw out the secrets out of the dark.  It is in my opinion a very powerful deck.  Every deck of cards I have had over the years has felt different, and I am not just talking about what they are made from and how heavy they are but each deck, despite being bits of inanimate cardboard, have always ended up having different energy about them.  I figure this is to do with the person who owns them and how they use them, and connects with them.  Anyhoo, that may well be a topic for another post.

The artwork of the Wildwood Tarot has been drawn as opposed to painted as with Mr Worthingtons other decks but this does not detract from the beauty of the artwork on the cards themselves.  For the Wildwood Tarot Mr Worthington has stayed with initial theme of the original Greenwood Tarot painted by Chesca Potter, while managing, I believe to enhance the images and meaningful add detail.  So there while there are differences in the art work between the Greenwood and Wildwood they are still very similar.  Those that are more familiar with the Greenwood may not like what Mr Worthington has done but I find it beautiful and evocative.

Over all I would recommend this deck for people, especially if they are looking for a deck for personal work and use, are not looking for fortune telling, and they want to it to be honest.  With one caveat, if these cards and their artwork do not speak to you, do not appeal then these are not the tarot cards you are looking for.  When choosing tarot, it is important to go with a deck where there artwork speaks to you. Mmk.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Magic on Cuba

One man with a guitar, a violin and a loop pedal gadget played a concert in Cuba Mall Wellington today, which is Thursday.  It was like magic, maybe it was magic.  It was magic as he wove the base beat into his loop pedal gadget creating a repeating pattern of tunes like the casting of a circle, calling in the energy of the city to come and join him in his creative endeavour.  On top of this he wove further magic with his electric violin playing a happy folk style jig which invited the city fey to come and gather with the city folk to create an atmosphere of happiness and generosity at his playing.

The energy around where he was playing, creating and casting his magic was palatable with the intent of imparting the gift of music, the gift of happiness on this somewhat gloomy autumn day in Wellington.   And when he had finished playing, this magic dissipated slowing, leaving people reluctant to leave and wonder on.  I wonder if he knew what magic he was weaving.

It turns out that this magical man’s name was Graeme James Crehan and you can experience some of this magic here.  And he is Christian, which for me says that it does not matter what frame work you use, just so long as it sings to you, you can create magic. !

Monday, April 9, 2012

As i have put my back out and am unable to move to much have a  photo instead of words

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Murmer of Starlings

They gather on the tops of buildings in the cities, on aerials and wires, just as the sun falls behind the hills and the sky lights up with dusky pink tones.  They herald the between times, when the sun has set but the sky is not yet night.  It is the first night of the full moon and magic hangs heavy in the air, spirits are gathering for the veil is thin, and Samhain is not far off.  The Starlings are heralding in the night time as the black birds herald the dawn.  Starlings’ keepers of the gates between the worlds.

For me this evening the Starlings that were gathering on the roof tops around Wellington all making their way to the trees in the city where they roost for a moment before they all take of in a murmuration, spoke of the coming season, of the coming Samhain, the beginning of Winter, here in New Zealand.

one of my favourite videos, I love the expression of the girls faces at the end of the video!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

View from my Balcony

Currently I am languishing in an inner city pad in one of my favourite areas of Wellington.  I have often said this is where the freaks, geeks and weirdoes hangout, my type of people really. And given that this inner city pad is owned by a fellow Witch, I figure a post about Spirits that inhabit this house would be appropriate for this week’s post, namely House Spirits.  This inner city apartment has them, I can feel them quite strongly and yesterday was about getting used to each other.  It helps that I have set up an oil burner, as I suspect that incense may well set of the fire alarms off, so instead I am using the afore mentioned oil burner. I have brought with me lavender, sage, basil and Frankincense, essential oils to use, and luckily for me the house spirits have been enjoying this.  I figured a good way of making friends with other witches house spirits would be to give them an offering of some sort, not that I realised this to begin with.
The Teapot of Awsome
When I first arrived and after making a nice cup of tea in the awesome teapot of awesome, I set up my laptop and duly put in the password to connect to the network but alas, not working,pages did not want to come up, you are connected to the internet it said but no pages for you.  EEEEK!  For this Urban Witch having no internet is like a Hedgewitch without her Hedge, so to speak.  But after a bit of fiddling, resetting and imploring that the internet work, it was up and running.. *phew* There may have been a few cups of tea and some chocolate to recover.  So internet done, time to set up the sewing machine.. oh wait why is the light not working.. *frowns*  I have a Janome sewing machine and I have noticed the light on it often stops working after it has travelled from one place to another, well bugger.  Again after imploring that the light magically turned itself on, it did.  It was about then that I noticed the presents of the House Spirits that abided here.  And what’s more these house sprits were helping.

At my house where I usually live there are also house spirits, and given that the flat I am staying in is a was build last year, most of the house spirits that now inhabit this flat came with me, and given that I flat and don’t own the house I live in they pretty much move with me from place to place.  But having said that, they are not something that I always notice because they have been around for what seems like forever.  In other places where I have flatted there have already been some resident house spirits, and given that I was now moving in,  I have always made a point to lay down the rules, ‘My house My rules’ they are pretty basic rules that I would and do expect, not just house spirits to follow but also my friends.  Don’t be a dick or you will be asked to leave.  It has been this way for at least as long as I have been a Witch.  Let’s leave out the current bit where I have hawthorn berries drying in my room cause that would just invite the fey.. *coughstoolateoopscoughs* but that is a different spirit.  Here we are talking about House spirits.

This is the first time I have been house sitting and in a fellow Witches house, so the rules are somewhat different.  It is not my house thus not my rules.  But there are rules and these rules need to be followed, so I spent yesterday making friends with these house spirits.  Given that this is not my house and not my rules, it would do me no good to come in like an elephant on roller skates and roll over all the current rules, in fact it would be downright rude of me to state my house, my rules as it is where I usually lived.  So instead, after getting my computer connected to the internet, with the help of the House Spirits, and setting up my sewing machine, with the help of the House Spirits, and once I had figured out that they were helping, I set about creating an offering.

I set up my Oil burner on a window sill with a coaster, and offered these house spirits the scent and magic of Frankincense and some of my personal energy with the intent to get to know each other, to make friends, rather than make rules.   This has worked well, and my computer and sewing machine is working nicely and it feels very welcoming.  Today we had sage basil and lavender which was ok, but not as accepted as the Frankincense. But hey, dems the breaks.
House spirits in my experience are generally a combination of energy left over from previous tenants and people who used to inhabit the building as well as your own personal energy.  In a way that I don’t as yet understand this energy combines and creates what I call House Spirits.  I generally find these spirits to be helpful, as they are in this inner city apartment, and am figuring out that they need regular attendance, offerings, if you will, which for this inner city pad comes in the form of regular cleaning and tidying.

This inner city pad was built about 10-15 years ago in a building that is well over 100 years old, which is quite old for New Zealand.   These House Spirits are a mixture of the buildings spirits that have been created over the last 100 years ,  a certain amount of spirit of place and several of my fellow witch’s ancestors from her blood family as family is very important as well as I suspect a personal spirit or two . Keeping an eye on the placed.  It is a curious but I suspect somewhat common mix.

For me House Spirits are often the combination of emotional energy, and an action with a dash of spirit of place, as in the land that the building is built on.   You know when you go into a room where two people have been arguing, you can feel the energy in room quite strongly.  You could cut the air with a knife, that is and can create spirit forms, especially if an action and emotion is something that is repeated.  I can remember seeing a glimpse of a woman walking through a gate that was no longer there carrying a basket and dressed in clothing from the early 1900’s while visiting at a friend’s house, I found out that where I had seen that woman had walk was where the original gate was.  It looked like she was carrying the days shopping home in a basket. I suspect that women who have lived in that house have carried shopping home through that gate quite a few times, thus an energy or house spirit has been created.  I have no idea what the mechanics of such a thing is I just know that is how it is created.

It will certainly make me pay closer attention to the house spirits when I go back home in two weeks.  I suspect that my cat will tell me off quiet loudly, but I am also wondering if I will look differently at my usual house spirits, that I have lived with for so long, perhaps I am now taking them for granted.  I will have to make a point of paying them more attention, it is only fair.!

Of course I could just be making this all up with a truck load of wishful thinking.. but I do not believe so.

and finally for you who follow me on blogger, i now have a mirror Blog on Wordpress, which you can find here       I have imported all my posts to over there which included the comments, yay.. so if you would like to follow me there and not here that would be good.  but for the next little while I will be posting the same post to both blogs.  What you will not see here are the Extra two pages I have created on my Wordpress site, to showcase the sewing and Wall Hangings that I am and have been making, but you can see them on the Wordpress site and there will be links here when I have updated.