Friday, March 22, 2019


The Page of Pentacles
New Babylonia Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Richly dressed and standing on the path of a lush and abundant garden, the Page of Pentacles focuses on one coin, which represents a new idea, plan, or goal. We can assume he is already a master of manifestation based on the clues shown in the card, yet, he is giving this new focus both his attention and intention. 

A garden of this magnitude took time and patience to bring about.  Many skills had to be mastered, much trial and error endured. Through it all the Page of Pentacles watched, tended, learned and gained mastery of the art of the garden. Now he has become an adept gardener and his land beautiful and abundant.   

Our process of learning, creating and mastery is never at an end. Sometimes it seems like we have made no progress or we can only see failures. It is essential to remember to honor the cycles of our mastery and get a perspective on where we are. It is easy to forget how many steps we did take to lead us where we are now. Things planted years ago may only now be coming to fruition. We all weather the storms of life and experience both loss and growth.  The Page of Pentacles reminds us to learn something new, take on new projects, and to set new goals.  We are eternal beings so the road never really ends. Sometimes it is hard to break out of our mold, our safe and defined world, especially after all the hard work required to achieve a place of mastery.  It is vital to our growth to respond to our curiosity, to listen to Spirit’s call, to not stagnate. 

I chose this card as an illustration because it clearly shows the rich accomplishments of the past in the garden, the present moment with the focus on the coin in hand, and the path itself. We do not see where the path leads from the present moment. This reminds us to stay in the present, focus on the new goal, subject of learning, or plan – we don’t know where it will actually lead us. If we focus too much on the future we won’t see the steps in front of us. Remember that once we make a commitment the Universe will conspire to lead and help us along the path – usually to a destination far better than we had originally imagined. 

The Page of Pentacles is very much about those steps. Start the journey. Begin the process. Up your game. Trust yourself. Whatever it is you want to learn and pursue, you have to start at the beginning but you have all the experience and wisdom from your past, which came from small steps along the way, to support you. 

Enjoy the journey. Keep your perspective. Never discount any set-backs or perceived failures as they are all teaching us and leading us to where we are now.  The road is never perfect. But, one step at a time, it takes us ever onward. 


…Kathryn Ravenwood 3/21/19

Wednesday, January 2, 2019







2019

YEAR OF THE HANGED ONE

From The Star Tarot Deck
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Suspended within the great Cosmic Egg of all Creation the Hanged One meditates, releases, realizes and dissolves the old consciousness so new realization can emerge. Like a cocoon hanging from a limb, wrapped in silent layers of silk, the promise of the butterfly yet to emerge is far from actualized. No activity is apparent;  the larvae inside is immersed in the process of dissolution. It is a surrender of its core essence to Divine Timing.

In the Tarot card we see a beautiful Being hanging in peaceful repose.  Her foot is held by the infinity sign; her legs crossed in an inverted four, suggesting a refiguring of attachments or previous foundations. Hands pressed together are non-doing hands; no action is being taken.  A snake-like coiling wraps around her leg and pelvis, suggesting rebirth.  Her hair forms the infinity sign as she suspends over the triangle with the Hebrew word “Mem” - the Cosmic Waters, the eternal womb, the place of being held, suspended, born and nurtured. Her third eye is fully illuminated and, with a great aura of light around her, she hangs in sanctuary and waits.

In the world of duality in which we live, we spend a lot of energy in the activities of physical and mental busy-ness with various degrees of success in balancing those two realms. It can be consuming, leaving no awareness, time, or inclination to search for the balance of the rest of our life - our consciousness, our soul essence. No matter how grand our enterprises may be or how much we know, we all need to allow for voluntary time to meditate, be quiet, rest, and allow for the evolution of our very being.  It is not about making change or deciding a new course of action; it is non-doing, non-thinking surrender to the silence. In that surrender we are free to allow what is “out” to go “in” and what is “in” to come out - an inversion, an immersion into the source of love, light, and eternal creation.

Each Tarot card is an archetype of our spiritual becoming through human form. Think of them as doorways into and through lessons we all must experience and re-experience throughout our lives. Could you imagine a beautiful doorway with XII carved into it with radiant light? See how the number glows throughout the face of the door, as if a guiding light to beckon you forward.  Approaching the door you sense a shift somewhere deep within you, your breath deepens, your heartbeat slows. As you stand in front of this doorway you begin to remember being called to a higher purpose for your life; a feeling of hope emerges. Now, the door opens. As you step across its radiant threshold, you feel a gentle presence holding on to your foot; a silent voice says, “I got you.”  Slowly you exhale and lean into that support, trusting, letting go, as you simply fall forward and find yourself suspended, held, into a peaceful no-doing and no-thinking. In this place of inversion and stillness, you just hang out for awhile. And, held by ultimate cosmic truth and love, you are filled with peace. You are the Hanged One.

May the coming year find you in allowance to release your self into the sacred waters of Cosmic creation.

….Kathryn Ravenwood  12.28.18




Thursday, September 6, 2018


The Rider Waite Deck

Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

 

The Magician is an exciting card - a symbol of the Divine Conduit, of Prime Manifester, empowered with the ability to draw down the energy of Above and bring in into being on Earth.

The alchemists wrote of the magnum opus – the Great Work – the process of using the prima materia – the first matter – to create the philosopher’s stone – the famous symbol of perfection, enlightenment, and spiritual transformation.  This is the first card of the Major Arcana of the Tarot. We can think of The Fool, Tarot Card Zero, as the prima materia, first emerging into the physical realm. The Magician, the Alchemist, wields control of that energy. This IS our journey: as an eternal being we come in and out of the physical realm to learn to perfect the craft of being human so our spiritual enlightenment can expand through eternity. It is important to note that the Magician is not something we attain with gaining layers of perfected learning – it is who we are when we arrive.  We ARE the magic!


The Tarot is a powerful guide filled with ancient symbols and wisdom not only of its own particular teaching, but of astrology, Kaballah, and the alchemists’ troves. The Magician stands before the altar of this wisdom represented by the symbols of the Tarot suits – the Pentacle, the Sword, the Cup, and the Wand. These symbols also represent the physical elements of the Earth, the aspects of the human being (body, mind, emotion and energy) as well as the Spiritual Directions (North, East, West, and South). Each Tarot card is layered with symbols, clues, a roadmap, so to speak of our physical and spiritual journey. And the Magician calls it all in, standing erect, aligning with the meridian of the physical world connecting the Below to the Above through the magic of the spinal column ( an actual electrical conduit) – and good feet!

 
We are each an Altar of Spirit – our very essence is Spirit and we incarnate Spirit with every breath, every action, every thought. These manifestations of our lives create the Altar of the Magician even as we are the Magician creating the altar.

 
As we progress in life, we find that our journey towards the Great Opus is impossible without learning through “the other” or through our relationships with people, the choices we make, the paths we choose and those we leave behind. This process of discernment mirrors back to the Magician, standing with one arm raised to drawn in the power and the other pointing to manifest. Somewhere in this process the Magician’s awareness is directed at taking the power or directing the power. 

 
We can certainly use our magic to only take what we want for ourselves, to amass personal wealth, power, prestige, ownership of things and  to take from others their love, friendship, possessions, trust; we all do this to an extent. We also can use our magic to give back to the world, to the relationships of our family, friends, and community and in so doing discover that making a positive contribution (sharing our magic) helps to enhance the magic. It brings us closer to the Source whereof all matter emerges. At this point we discover the great magic of keeping the symbol of infinity shown above the Magician’s head as an active and real way to walk through life as the Altar, the Magic, the Responsible Power and leave some of that behind as we go forward. We always have a choice.  The Magic is given to us outright. How we learn and choose to use it is up to us.

 

…Kathryn Ravenwood 9.6.18

 

 

 

 

Monday, June 25, 2018




 
 
ACE OF SWORDS
Featured deck: DruidCraft Tarot
and Tattoo on Ravenwood's Arm
 
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood
 
I got a new tattoo. Normally I would not post this on my newsletter, but it is important to me.  It is in honor of the Lady of the Lake. She has been coming to me lately, and calling me to truth - the truth of who I am.  She has been calling me to wield Her Sword of Truth. We know the Lady as she who delivered Excalibur to Arthur. To me, this is the rise of the  Divine Feminine bringing truth to the world, to be wielded by the Divine Masculine that Arthur represents. Unfortunately, he could not maintain the balance of this divine union and ended up returning the Sword back to the Lady. I think she is rising again to hand off this great Sword to all of us who will take it on and use it to defend  Truth - our personal Truth - the Divine Truth. We cannot know the full meaning of Truth but, if we take up the Lady's Sword, she will guide us on the Journey. 
In my tattoo, the red cross on the sword's hilt is in honor of the High Priestess card in the Tarot - in the Ryder deck she has this cross on her gown. The High Priestess is also about Truth - she sits between the pillars of the great Tree of Life in the place of neutrality, not being swayed by duality of the black and while pillars. (More on this another time.)
 Below I have reposted an article on the Ace of Swords from 2014.  I hope if the Sword or the Lady is calling to you that this will bring you support. Blessings on the journey...
The Ace of Swords
 
The lake is the element of water.  Water is the primeval, unmanifested, and formless element from which creation began. It is the Nun of ancient Egypt, the waters of chaos, which came before the land and from which arose the god Amun when he created himself. It is the subconscious, the unseen and unknown potential of all that is possible.
In Tarot the suit of Swords represents the mind, thought, ideas. The Ace is that place where we receive a conscious thought from the unconscious realm; when an idea rises from the depths and has its first chance to become a reality. From the chaos and unseen depths of our unconscious we give birth to an idea, an inspiration, a thought. It rises up and grabs us. Many times if we don't write it down or take action we can forget that brilliant moment; the sword sinks back into the lake. But if we grab on to the sword, as Arthur did with Excalibur, we can wield it to create or destroy. 
Swords have a hilt, two sides to the blade, and a point. The blade may be sharp or dull. When we learn to master the sword we learn to use it precisely and carefully. We can defend with it, kill or maim with it, use it to threaten or even to plunge it into the dirt and "draw a line in the sand" of marking a boundary. It is the same with our words and thoughts. There are two sides to a conversation. We try to make our point when we have a discussion.  We deliberate ideas to sort out confusion, coming to that, hopefully brilliant, conclusion. 
All the Aces of Tarot indicate a new beginning of some kind. The Ace of Swords is that great idea that leads to writing a book, making a movie, starting a new course of study, or what just precedes inserting foot into mouth!  We can take that Sword and heft it, measuring its weight and setting an intention for a good outcome or we can drop it and lose the opportunity. 
Intention is the arm that controls the Sword. 
 
The Ace of Swords is also pure cosmic truth. In the Tarot the figures of the Sword Court Cards all wield swords, showing the progressive mastery of and fealty to truth. The Justice figure also holds the Sword reminding us that Justice hears both sides of the story but sticks to the point of truth. 
The Ace of Swords is not in its sheath. It is out, exposed, vulnerable to attack. It can be seen as a show of strength, a challenge, or an act of defense. It is grasped in the hand, at the ready. How do you wield your Sword? Do you parry about with words? Do you miss the point; enjoy the double entrendre, like to make a show of your swordplay?  Do you use your intention and words to control others? Are you constantly jabbing your sword into people causing harm? Or are you a Sword Master, honing your mind into precise and well executed thoughts and articulate skill, speaking and defending the truth? 
The next time that Ace of Swords rises up from the lake of your subconscious, grasp onto it, hold it, wield it.  Use it wisely to start the sequence of thoughts, intentions, and actions to manifest your Camelot.
...Kathryn Ravenwood:  June 25, 2018
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018



Three of Wands


From The Everyday Witch Tarot

At the Crossroads


Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

 

The journey never seems to go from Point A to Point B, does it?  We make plans only to discover that situations, people, even ourselves have changed along the way so we no longer are able or feel comfortable going forward from the direction we started. We reach a crossroads.  We know there is no turning back yet we don’t really know which new road to choose. (We could turn back, that is always a choice, but in this card we are reminded that back is really not a positive option.) The Three of Wands is often shown with a person standing on a hilltop, looking out over water, maybe with ships sailing by. The person stands and simply looks out at the world, paused and perspective.
 
This card is always positive to me. Wands are the element of fire, which represent our will power, energy, and vitality. The threes are ruled by the Empress and represent creativity, abundance, and the bringing forth of new things. Many times we face a point where it seems like we have no options at all; there is no clear, defined path with signs pointing the way. But, unlike the Fool card where we take a leap of faith and step out with no agenda, the Three of Wands is a place where we use our own assets to create what we want.  No one is in pursuit behind us forcing us to make an untimely decision based on raw courage (such as the Seven of Wands) nor are we finally facing an emotional loss from which we must painfully move through (as in the Eight of Cups).
 

In the card above, the witch and her familiar have reached a point of decision.  We get a sense that she has taken her time to contemplate throughout the day by the setting sun in the West, the place of sorting through the experiences of life. The witch’s  hat and staff rest on the ground, another clue that she has been taking some time to ponder and consider.   But now, using her wand (energy, will power) she sends her magic out into the unknown to make her intention a reality. She is just in the act of this – the outcome is not yet shown. It is this act of creative intention that opens the new part of her journey to her. That little salamander on her staff represents the fire of transformation.  All the elements are there and the witch knows how to use them.
 
If you are at a crossroads in your journey, be it physical or spiritual, it may be time to stop and look ahead at your options.  Don’t wait for a major fork in the road to use your magic. Every day is an opportunity to create more of what you want, to hone your direction, to choose a path that is more fun, more wise, more directed towards your true desires.  “And as we wind on the down the road,” our perspective changes. We get a different view, learn something new, set new intentions and make new choices. Life is a fluid process. We may sometimes feel like we are sunk in cement but really we are only an intention away from a different choice and a different outcome.  We have multi-directional vision available to us… looking ahead, behind, peripherally, inwardly, energetically, and even hypothetically. But look we must.  If we sit with blinders on, with eyes and minds closed to possibility, a new path is hard to fathom. As we learn to be creative with the smaller crossroads in life, when we find ourselves standing at a big one, or if we are “caught between a rock and a hard spot,” we can handle the challenge with more grace, ease, and wisdom.
 
What viewpoint does your current crossroads offer you? What is your vision?  Where might following your desires lead you? Take a deep breath and move forward. Cast your spell!  Use your magic and go for it!

 

…June 19, 2018  Kathryn Ravenwood

 

 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Hanged Man - Letting Go


The Hanged Man – From The Star Tarot



“I sit before flowers, hoping they will train me in the art of opening up. I stand on mountain tops believing that avalanches will teach me to let go.”…Shane Koyczan

I recently read this quote in my Free Will Horoscope (the brilliant Rob Brezny). It has been pressing upon my consciousness for several weeks now. While it immediately made me think of the Hanged Man in the Tarot, the card of Surrender, to me it seemed to be more about what happens when we are able to allow the art of opening up and believe we can learn to let go.

We have all been there; dealing with a life event of pain, suffering, guilt, loss, anger, shame, or whatever it is that has bound us, trapped us, left us hanging out to dry. We try to process it, work it out, understand what happened and “what next.” Friends, who may be tired of listening to the story repeated to them say, “just let it go.”  I always felt that if I only COULD let it go – if I only COULD move on. I wanted to. I tried to.  I could not.

The Hanged Man tells us there are other realms, other ways, other opportunities if we can but trust. It is not an overnight process. I like to think of this card as when we are up all night pacing the floor back and forth, filled with angst. While we pace, we run the same old story over and over through our head but no inspiration or answer is found in that rut of linear thinking. Then something just trips us up, pushes us over the edge and we experience a sort of fall; we just can no longer hold that unresolved pattern any longer. And as we fall, we find we are supported, held by an unseen force or power. We drop out of that linear realm where we are trapped and find ourselves suspended into a new dimension – a void – where we have room to just fall apart and come loose. In that place of hanging we drop into silence, into a place of non-action, of suspended animation. Our resistance is futile. We are held, we are hung out, and we finally let go. 

And out of that other dimension we start to hear the answers, feel the hope return, find ourselves again in space, realigned to our higher self rather than trapped in our limited mind set. It is not a matter of degree or why or judgment; whatever has brought us to the Hanged Man did so because it was time to accept, time to fall, time to let go. Time to receive grace.

There are many levels of the Hanged Man. Sometimes we are launched over the edge without any warning by a disaster. Sometimes, fed up with what is going on, we run yelling and screaming and jump over the edge. Anything is better than this! But the quote about the flowers and avalanches felt to me more like an unraveling rather than a surrender; a graceful coming apart inspired by beauty, wisdom, and the magic of life itself, opening up to an expanded awareness.

The featured card shows a person held by the tendrils of a lotus blossom hanging down through an egg shaped enclosure filled with the night stars – the field of unlimited possibility. In the surrender the aura expands and the chakras open revealing a pendulum of balance. There is a sense of true power here, of discovery and even freedom. In this suspended time and space we come to know that anything is possible; even to be able to let go.

May flowers and avalanches guide you.

…Kathryn Ravenwood  3/23/16


The 8 of Cups - Leaving it Behind



The Eight of Cups – Moving On 




         The Buckland Romani Tarot                                                                                                      The Rider Waite Tarot












I







I love seeing trends when I do readings for people.  Lately the 8 of Cups has been showing up so I decided to take a closer look at it.

I confess that, being a Cancer and easily overwhelmed by my emotions (duh), this card carries a lot of sorrow and regret for me.  Oh gosh, how did I get into this situation?  I was so stupid, bad, thoughtless, vulnerable, gullible, fill in the blank….  But here I am and I am miserable.  

I have been shortchanging this card.  Yes, it is a very emotional place and yes, we have hit an emotional bottom.  But this card is really about hope and movement forward.  It is a place where we come to grips with reality and cut our losses so we can move on.  The past is just that – the past, over, done, never to return.  We can’t change what happened and we can only remain frozen in the pain so long.  There comes a time we just need to get to a better place.  I am never amused when people say, “oh just get over it.”  You know – we might not really ever get over it but we can certainly go on.  This takes not only will power and courage but a sense of surrender.  We just can’t do any more about it.  We come to realize what is done is done and we must cut our losses, turn our backs on that low place and move on.

I am showing two examples of the 8 of Cups – the traditional Rider Waite based image and the Buckland Romani Tarot.  Both express the meaning of the card but in entirely different ways.  The Buckland Romani card spoke to me as I think no other Tarot card ever has.  It absolutely sent a gasp of n ew understanding through my entire being.  I will tell you why.  My father’s side of the family came to this country from Sweden, landed in New York, and continued their journey west as Mormon Hand-Cart pioneers.  I cannot even imagine how hard that must be – HAND CARTS.  No horses or oxen or mules pulling their belongings – they walked and pushed, pulled and wrangled those carts across mountains and rivers and miles of open prairie in all kinds of weather.  I am sure they started out with those carts loaded with every treasure they owned, thinking they could transport their past into their future.  Then along the way they were forced to leave things behind.  I grew up in Wyoming and heard stories about how in the old days people still found remnants of the pioneers’ leavings as they had to lighten the load – dishes, musical instruments, furniture, all left on the prairie along old wagon ruts carved into the earth like the indelible ink of forgotten stories.

I have thought a lot about this – the road became so hard and going forward must have seemed impossible.  Imagine the conversations  “why did we ever leave Sweden? What were we thinking?  I miss the people back home. I want a real meal. I want to sleep in a real bed. How much farther do we have to do this?  We will never get there.  I am too tired. We will never get this cart out of that mud.  It is too hot, too cold, too far…..” In despair, bitterness, fear, overwhelmed to the max, these people had to face reality.  They are here – now – in this predicament.  They have to lighten the load or they cannot go forward.  That means something has got to go and it is going to have to be the heaviest part of the burden.  So out goes the rocking chair where all the babies were rocked,  or mother’s tea set, or the chest of family treasures.  Dump it.  Leave it.  Cry and wring your hands but it has got to go.  And then, yes, the cart wheels finally move, with one last heroic effort it is pushed out of the mud and headed west.  West.  The place of transitions, where the trees, feeling the coming winter, drop their leaves to preserve their strength and lessen the burden to support and keep alive the core of the tree during the cold months.  Where the Shadows lurk and we go between a place of light and dark – into the unknown.

What are the heaviest and oldest burdens you carry?  Are you ready to finally sacrifice them to lighten your load so you can go forward?  I offer this question to you with great love and understanding and encourage you to leave behind that which is so hard for you to bear.  You are moving forward into an unknown future.  My pioneer ancestors did indeed make it and settled in beautiful lands, raised families and created a new heritage.  They built new furniture, acquired new dishes and looked forward more than behind.  They had to.

I hope the 8 of Cups helps you to take the time to evaluate your emotional distress and feel what you are ready to leave behind.  Our lives are indeed vast landscapes filled with mountains and valleys, oceans and rivers to cross.  And we have wide open spaces where we can leave behind what we must let go of.  We move into a new day with each morning and we begin again with each breath. 

Here’s to a lighter load, the cutting of losses, the grieving and the moving on. And may peace be with you on your journey.

…Kathryn Ravenwood   www.kathrynravenwood.com