Monday, August 25, 2008

on breakthroughs & connections, part 2

Shortly after my posting the 6 of Pentacles card from the Sorcerers Tarot deck, I received news via SMS that I could finally claim my reimbursement check for my medication from last month due to flu & tonsilitis (that started from acute pharyngitis the month before that LOL). Even if it isn’t much as I’ve expected, that’s still something, right? I still have to take antihistamines, though, for my condition. My immune system isn’t as stable as it’s supposed to be, because it’s the proverbial time of the month again & I feel like crap. But I’m still happy about a few things, so yeah, I’m still feeling all the magical love from this baby:

Gotta go find that frog prince to kiss soon, though, haha, whee.

So I’ve been meaning to write about this gratitude journal habit via SMS from my dear culture vulture pal that I got into last summer. We’d forward each other’s lists as often as possible & it does feel awesome to be sharing the good stuff that’s made our day or week. I’m not really too text-happy, though, but it’s worth it sometimes. Here’s a list of what I’m thankful for on a very regular, if not daily, basis. Talk about simplicity glorified:

1. My one & only kid brother, who’s celebrating his birthday on September 12th (mine follows 13 days later, yay).
2. My four-post bed & airconditioning unit.
3. Our DSL connection & router.
4. Being assigned to a different split at work everytime.
5. Getting enough sleep.
6. Getting massages & manicures.
7. National Geographic’s Food Lover’s Guide To The Planet.
8. Watching movies at my favorite cinema.
9. Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection & Tekken 6.
10. Scented candles.
11. My pups Snow & Blake.
12. Insightful, considerate, amicable customers to deal with everytime.
13. Tarot, of course! Especially new decks!
15. My iPod to help me endure my regular commute to & fro work.
16. Awesome coworkers like Runey & Rache.
17. Dark chocolate & Vitwater to keep me awake, as I’m steering clear of coffee as much as I can, so all I ever drink is hot chocolate or vanilla or my favorite tea (chamomile) in cafes.
18. This esoteric book club that my friend & I are starting next week or so.
19. My birthday posse (Zhy, Rissa, Lynne).
20. Lovely weather.
21. Good, even if bordering on emo, conversation.
22. Comfort food, especially yogurt with coconut & Godiva truffles & fudgy chocolate cake. :D
23. Clean, neatly-pressed clothes (& God knows how much I hate ironing)
24. Long, relaxing, scented baths.
25. Great music (rock, electronica).
26. Awesome books & magazines.
27. The household help being cooperative generally.
28. Running into the crush du jour.
29. Commendations & referrals.
30. Nivea Lip Care.
31. Smooth commutes.
32. Feng shui.
33. Slow flow yoga.
34. Tai chi.
35. Making out (which I haven’t done in quite a long while LOL)

I still whine a lot, however, especially that I got a horrible haircut a few days ago. It’s true that a girl should never get her hair done while PMSing. I should’ve known better, but I really couldn’t help it. To think I’ve been so desperately trying to grow my hair past my shoulders for the past 3 years, no thanks to my boyishness. I vowed not to have my hair cut until my birthday this year, but I guess I forgot this month, haha. What the hell.

But anyway, maybe instead of moping, like what my coworker Runey reminded me last weekend, I could just go change my perspective about things. Instead of mourning for my hair loss, I could think of it as starting over. Gone with my locks are my hangups from the past, among other worries cluttering my head. Instead of worrying about creepy guys staring at me like crazy for no apparent reason, I should actually laud them for their great taste in women AHAHA. Instead of getting upset with other people’s “concerned” albeit bordering on tacky comments, I should be thankful that at least I’ve got “friends” looking after me. Instead of getting upset with a whole bunch of other things, like traffic jams & annoying customers & weird scorecards, at least I can thank my lucky stars I’m still employed, for the most part. Easier said than done, seriously, but I think I can hack it. I better make sure I’ve got this smile plastered on my face, too, while I’m at it. To quote Liz Tuccillo, “my only job is to be as happy as I can be about my life, & feel as good as I can about myself, & to lead as full & eventful a life as I can…” Like the catchphrase of the year, courtesy of the late Heath Ledger who played The Joker in The Dark Knight, Runey’s like, “why so serious?!” Haha, happy birthday, Motherrrr. You never fail to crack me up. I am such a fag hag.

Now I can’t wait for this year’s Book Fair so I could hoard books & decks again. Speaking of which, my soul sister Sunshine has proposed to launch a New Age book club in the metropolis wherein enthusiasts of the esoteric can all gather round & discuss, if not swap, resources while merrily sipping coffee or tea or so in peace. Sounds fun. Will let you guys know about it next week. I’ll be blogging for that as well, so yikes.

Sunshine never fails to amuse me, btw, with really zany quips.
Shiney: since libra ka and si venus ang deity ng sign mo, isipin mo na lang yung birth nya
Shiney: birth of venus on your birthday
Shiney: i-party natin
Shiney: hahahaha
Shiney: rebirth ito
Shiney: pag pasok mo new [ayame]
Shiney: may excuse ka na ng make-over
Ayame: birth of venus, oh god
Shiney: pag balik mo sa office & they’d go ‘what happened!??!’
Shiney: simply reply “10 days” then smirk
Shiney: ang sexy nyan
LOL! Which reminds me, it really should be a month-long celebration, so I don’t get depressed too much on the actual day, which will fall on a Thursday. I really should consider myself lucky because I have practically a lot of girls rooting for my, uh, metamorphosis, haha, for some reason, to the point of drastic assistance. I seriously fear whatever catch there is in that idea.

On a different note, I’ve been thinking about what Sunshine said about tarot readers being reduced to stereotypical laughable fortune-telling figures bordering on quackery. That’s what I’ve been trying to avoid for the past 6 years, & yet I really don’t mind when people see me differently everytime they’d find out how I’m so into New Age. This is who & what I am, but there’s more to me, of course, even if my current lifestyle is a tad too limiting. I’ve never felt more alive celebrating that, & I’m all the more excited to dabble in my chosen pursuits, which are actually more sophisticated than what the common horde would give them credit for.

Now please excuse me as I try to grow my hair back, among other things.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

on FAQs & then some

I’ve been spending some time back in this old forum where locals could discuss everything about tarot. It’s funny how I came up with a tarot 101 online community for foreigners a few years but I grew tired of it, because maybe I’ve evolved from a novice to an intermediate reader/enthusiast more quickly than the others. However, I’m always happy to give tips to beginners, & one good thing anyone can tell me (aside from praises for giving quality readings) is that I’ve inspired them to actually learn the craft & read for themselves. One girl I know online whom I’ve met up with once a couple of months ago told me she just got The Sorcerers’ Tarot recently. I told her outright that personally the deck does not appeal to me, but if it works for her, then great! That’s what people should realize — whatever you choose should be something you’re drawn to, not because everybody else has it, or likes it. Anyway, there is this special card that got my attention while reading a review of The Sorcerers’ Tarot online:

Isn’t that just the cutest thing? Too bad I really wouldn’t want to own the rest of the pack, but this should be one of the most striking renditions of the 6 of Pentacles, which reminds me of the Housewives’ Tarot take on the card. Now that I think about it, that card is most fitting for this post! I’m publishing some of the frequently asked questions from the aforementioned forum for locals along with my own humble answers.

The most popular newbie question so far would have to be, “How do I store my tarot cards? Should I keep them in a black silk pouch like what I’ve been reading in guidebooks & online resources? What if I can’t find any black silk to wrap them up with?”
★ You don’t have to get a silk pouch. You can get one in velvet. Or satin. You can also keep the cards in a wooden box. You can also just wrap them up in a nice scarf. You can definitely improvise. There are no hard nor fast rules in storing them. Your personal preference should prevail, really. So it wouldn’t really matter what colors you choose or material for your cards, as long you like what you’re working with.
I still have my cards in their original boxes even if those are already frayed! But I know I should get new scarves for them soon. Hehe, honestly, I’ve realized don’t like wooden boxes, especially that I’m always on the go & I bring more than one deck at a time! Scarves & pouches are better. I’m thinking of getting a good solid bag to keep them in one place, but I don’t have any ideas yet.

As for crystals to use for readings, a clear quartz would be nice, & an amethyst, & some hematite, for starters. Yeah, candles are also awesome to use before or after reading, but too bad there’s hardly any chance of doing so in public LOL for obvious reasons. Scented candles are love. Which reminds me, I should get new stuff.

Now on with the rest of them Frequently Asked Questions…
Q: So basically, these readings are information about myself that I should already know?

★ Obviously.

But you’re not expected to actually soak it all up in one sitting.

That’s why you have to spend time contemplating on the results if you really want answers for a very serious dilemma that you’ve requested a reading for. But that could be easier said than done. Nevertheless, we should always try. Helping ourselves is still the key. Other people & measures can only do so much.

Q: I don’t know if I want to tell my friend to give me a deck as a gift (just so I could say it was given to me as per tradition)… or I should personally buy my own deck…

★ That actually works both ways. If your friend would be willing to give you a deck without qualms, then by all means accept it, graciously, at that. But if you can get it for yourself because you can’t take it any longer without owning it, then go right ahead.

Don’t worry, it’s OK to purchase your own deck, provided you’d spend a lot of time with it after & consecrate it wholly to be yours.

Q: Most of the time I make my own interpretations… even if I’ve already read the meanings from the guide books I feel that the results are rather way off or irrelevant to my questions, thus I’d come up with my own, whatever I’d understand & pick up from the cards’ imagery…

★ That’s what’s actually fun about reading tarot — whatever you see first regardless of what the guidebook + traditional meanings would say, they hold great meaning. So you really have to pay attention to the images & the feelings they evoke in you. It’s your intuition already at work, actually. So relax, have fun. Try writing down the associations that you get when you draw a certain card from the pile, as they can help in your future readings.

Q: No matter how many times I’d shuffle the deck, I still end up getting the same cards… weird, huh?

★ Actually, NO. That actually makes a whole lot of sense. Again, pay attention to what cards & suits are repeating themselves, as those have very urgent messages to impart. According to traditional meaning, Major Arcana cards denote life-changing events, Court cards depict a lot of other people involved in one’s dilemma, & the rest of the Minor Arcana cards illustrate daily activities, among other things.

Q: Which is more ideal, the original Rider-Waite or Universal deck?

★ Personally, I would want the Universal or Universal Waite Tarot. The Universal deck, which I already have, has crisper detail & more balanced colors, but its Suit of Swords & other ominous-looking cards such as The Tower & The Devil are foreboding. The Universal Waite is a much gentler rendition, & I kinda regret selling the first one I’ve ever had a few years ago.

Q: If you read for other people, to whom should the cards face?

★ Of course, the cards should face you first so that you could take a good look at them, then you can show them to your querent so that they’d understand what you’re saying, even if the cards aren’t really that pictorial or anything. Their associations with their cards as opposed to yours can enrich the reading experience & thus help them arrive at a much clearer conclusion, so don’t worry with whatever they have to say that may not jive with your interpretations at first.

Q: Do we really need a Significator when reading? Because if I take one card out of the deck, I feel that would mean I wouldn’t be able to use it altogether in my reading? Or is it really up to me if I wanna use a Signifactor? I read in some websites that using one is up to the reader.

★ Yes, it does make a difference, at least in my perspective & experience. Your reading can be amplified with one Significator or so. But yes, it’s also up to you to use one or not. Personally, I take one card or so while shuffling that I feel like I have to flip up before the actual reading starts, & then use that as my Significator. It’s very interesting how that can be very relevant in the actual reading, especially when it has a lot to do with the querent per se.

Q: How true is it that by telling someone else’s fortune, you endanger your own?

★ Seriously, reading for other people is tricky… a reader should be centered, grounded, & protected. I have a tendency to feel sick & suicidal a day or two after a long session.

Q: My friend’s sister says that reading the tarot can actually slow one’s life down. What does she mean?

★ Maybe because whoever is reading them tends to be more focused on other people & the card meanings & the whole waxing philosophical deal before, during, & most especially AFTER a reading. So the reader must detach himself or herself quickly from a session or a marathon as soon as it’s over. But that’s just my 2 cents.

Q: I’ve read somewhere that a Tarot Deck can end up being a BURDEN to its owner? What does that mean? How can the cards be a burden? Anyway, if ever a deck does become a burden — can we just throw it away into a trash bin or some lonely highway?

★ Some people who get rid of their cards that I’ve met at random tell me they burn those decks to smithereens. I guess the “burden” pertains to the repercussions that practitioners can acquire from readings… it can be very draining indeed to read & use them sometimes. Again, a reader should be centered + grounded + shielded, & people should take the ritual/practice seriously. I actually hate it when people are skeptical to the point of jeering but ask to have their cards read anyway.

Oh, & I’d rather not think about the bad vibes. :P

Plus, the cards aren't ever a burden at all. They're such wonderful gifts + tools once you learn how to properly use them, & I can't imagine living my life anymore without my decks!

I will then revamp my old online community because of this post, & for my birthday next month I hope to score the Tarot Bible as ANOTHER present to myself, hehe. It’s been a while since I’ve bought reading material related to the subject anyway, & I’m seriously cutting down on buying books for a while, because gadzooks, I have more books & magazines than clothes & accessories, for crying out loud! Yeah, I'm not that vain, even though I should be.

In case anyone is wondering, btw, some songs I enjoy listening to while “meditating” or spending time with my tarot cards in peace (which happens every Sunday morning) are: Amazing Life by Jem, Destiny by Zero 7, Protection by Massive Attack, & Remember Me by Elak. If you happen to know more songs like those, please let me know. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

fluffy bunny all the way

I have to thank my esoteric buddy Francis for visiting me again & letting me check out his new Manga Tarot deck by Selena Lin. I know my friend at work Jan-kun wanted to snag this since last year, but never got a chance again to do so. Well, I hope I’d get my own copy too this weekend. The cards & guidebook were such a treat, & I ended up laughing my guts out at the readings we were trying to do with it. As would put it, this is indeed such a fun, sparkly, light-hearted deck to get for teenagers & overgrown idiotic me who still go giddy over crushes like crazy.

I think I’m like the girl in the Strength card a lot when I’m happy & silly & smitten, then more like the girl in the Justice card when I’m sober, concentrating, moody, solitary, or maybe even sleeping, hehe. Then the Lovers card decided to leave me with so much to think about when we finished. I wonder if I’ll ever truly see myself as this girl in the card. Well… maybe… even sooner than you think. ;)

The box is cute, really pink, & the cards had a really accommodating vibe. The Minor Arcana (with the exception of the court cards, of course) still leaves a lot to be desired, but the cards are pretty nevertheless, & the Ace of Wands was the most striking as what I can remember. The cards are pretty easy to shuffle & the book is very insightful! I can’t wait until Friday!

I let Francis help himself to my other decks. So far, he’s already handled my Golden, Mythic, Haindl, & Universal Tarot packs. Even he already has the miniature Universal Tarot version, he still thinks the deck is rather too much for him. I agree, confirming that my own deck is my reality checker, as it cuts to chase, even if a bit too grimly, a la the Ace of Swords. We didn’t get to finish using all the cards, as we had to wrap things up to have sushi & tempura for lunch for the day’s further events (he still had work to deal with). Thanks, dear, for the reading swap & the laughs. Good luck with work, too! May this card truly help us with our goals, haha:

I find myself gravitating towards red a lot lately, & even the cards are suggesting that I should give it a go & sport it more often. Hmm. Not really my style, especially that I’m still mourning for my father, & the most drastic that I can do is wear red nail polish to work. Which reminds me, must get my nails redone this week.

Anyway, the King of Wands is more often than not an attractive figure, & I like him best in my Mythic deck. Usually corresponds to Aries, Leo, & Sagittarius — or magnetic, pushy guys in general. Ahem. Reminds me of my crush, btw, hehe. He hardly wears red, though!

Since my birthday’s coming up, I also have the Tarot of the Magical Forest by Leo Tang (no, I do not want the Lo Scarabeo edition, thank you) & Tarot d’Eltynne in my wishlist.

I would’ve posted the actual card that got my attention (card 41) but I guess I’ll save that for my personal blog. Oooh, anyway, this Phoenix card just summed up my Jean Grey vs Phoenix dilemma, haha.

I’m also interested in getting the Intuitive Tarot which is so haunting these past few days, with very powerful takes on the Pages of Cups & Swords, as well as the Queen of Wands & the High Priestess (all cards correspond to me so far, btw).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

may peace be with us all

Author Unknown
Aug 9 2008

  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.

  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

  • A loss of interest in judging other people.

  • A loss of interest in judging self.

  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

  • A loss of interest in conflict.

  • A loss of ability to worry (this is a very serious symptom).

  • Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.

  • Frequent attacks of smiling.

  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

  • An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

on breakthroughs & connections, part 1

Dear Ayame,
Here is your horoscope for Saturday, August 2:

Ah, what a perfect day! The day of the Dog combined with the impact of the elements makes this day the best day of the year for you. Take advantage of this in as many ways as you can, keeping in mind that focusing on your strengths will indeed create optimal results. Do not cower from new challenges today, as others will notice your energy.

Sat - 2 Aug, 2008

Life is not always about what you can get, it’s often about what you can give. If you get the chance to be charitable this weekend, put your hand up and say “yes”.

Haha, totally accurate. Horoscope readings are so much more fun to read when the day is actually over. & the Tarot Fest in Eastwood City was indeed awesome, even if I was late for an hour. Work got the best of me, as I had to schmooze with coworkers & re-rearrange my decks. I didn’t even get enough sleep since Thursday. I didn’t even have enough time to fix myself up for the gig but I think I survived. So far, I’m happy, even if I got my phone broken & my clear quartz crystal missing. Again, I would like to thank RF Rubin for letting me be a part of it. I like his aspirations of getting a new occult movement locally on the rise, especially with young, hip participants surfacing, plus a newsletter for modern-day practitioners while they’re at it, but I wonder how it will fare out. Hopefully by next year everything will be in full force. I’m so happy to have met the rest of the gang, & I knew I should’ve met up with them earlier. Everybody’s so easy to warm up to — Fenrir, Juno, Nona, & Tristan. I really should be meeting up more often with like-minded people. & I can’t thank my own esoteric friends Sunshine & Francis enough for checking us out & sending out much love & light amidst that rainy Saturday night. It was perfect timing, just right after Lugnasadh (Lammastide).

I also would like to thank my friends Ram & Rachelle at work for being so supportive at the last minute on my way out. I am intensely grateful, & I would miss you guys if you’d go away.

Of course, I would also like to thank my clients for bearing with me. I would like to read longer for them soon, if they remember to keep in touch, that is, hehe.

The predominant theme in my readings that fateful Saturday night was about love, as usual. Personally I’m having issues with that as well right now, so it’s rather hard for me, but I find it perfectly understandable. I should go ahead & follow my own advice — will go to church real soon & ask for my forever loving Mother Mary’s guidance & intercession. Anyway, it’s funny how friends who come in for a reading actually go through the same thing. Then I’d end up saying the same thing that I already mentioned to the first person who had a reading to the point of it sounding like canned speech. That’s what you call synchronicity, actually. I hate spiels like no other, even if they do prevent me from rambling, but going verbatim isn’t something I really enjoy, seriously, even if I do like quotes, so I hope people don’t think I’m just pulling a fast one on them. I like descriptive decks very much, but I also use them for my clients’ benefit & sanity.

Now it drives me crazy when things get a little bit too vivid during readings. But you gotta admit, it actually turns out to be very useful for understanding my clients’ situation & thus coming up with solutions to help them go along with their lives. But it really does bother me sometimes, & here’s what one client had to say about it:
Chel: alam mo ang striking sa reading mo
Chel: ikaw lang ang nagreread ng may sex
Ayame: meh sex talaga ever since 2005
Ayame: hahaha
Akane: tangina
Chel: oo haha
Chel: pero totoo
Chel kasi di ba nagpapa read naman din ako
Ayame: hahahaha
Ayame: ampucha yan
Ayame: i’m so much of a prude
Pardon me for my profanity, but I’m into cusswords that way sometimes, heh. Yeah, I know, I’m a walking contradiction like that. & to translate, my client thinks that what makes me stand out from all of her other readers is that I can talk about sex (OMG WTF LOL LOL LOL what is the world coming down to?!) & conception openly, at least during a reading session. I have no idea how it came to be, either, but it’s always been like that, & I even read about STDs once. Crappy, I know. While I myself have yet to come to terms with my own sexuality (what sexuality?!) I find myself helping other people resolve theirs! This is crazy. & it doesn’t help that I have to look at these cards last night, no thanks to Sunshine! OMG, the Empress card from the Manara deck is most fascinating, indeed, LOL. >:D

But my card for the night after all the fuss was Temperance. Rubin did say I was such a paradox, but that’s just being my usual torn Libran self, I suppose. It’s hard trying to bridge the gap, so to speak, & by going into this full-time, I wonder how bigger the gap will get. But I don’t mind, having the best of both worlds (& living a rather double life while I’m at it) is actually getting to be so much fun. Life’s getting too short for any more hangups. Now all I have to do is learn how to integrate both worlds more smoothly. So far, I always thought of this card as female, thanks to my Tarot of the Witches & Mythic decks.

The angel in the Spiral deck looks pretty much female to me, too.

I will be working on past-life readings more closely from now on, but I have yet to unravel my own supposed past life, which I think already manifested itself in a dream a few years ago.