Category Archives: divination

Winter Solstice 2020 Special: “Horsing Around”

Originally written on….

Monday 21st December 2020

1st Quarter

Conjunction with Jupiter and Saturn.

Well. What a year! When I was writing about unstoppable forces, a world-wide pandemic wasn’t exactly what I had in mind….

And with that, let’s skip to the card and what 2020 brought to it.

Remember, the card was reversed, which although this isn’t necessarily “bad”, it just means there’ll be more work to do. Yes, when a card is drawn, we have to take it’s upright associations in mind as well: Leadership, Warrior Spirit, Direction. But let’s look at the main themes:

Madness: I think that pretty much summed up 2020 as a whole. I do find it interesting where the book says: “Sometimes we must go through a period of ‘breakdown’ in order to allow something to enter our lives.”

I originally took this card to mean that perhaps my hernia operation would meet with some difficulty. Little did I know that a disease would sweep the nations of our world and create a very different madness.

My recovery, allowed me to make some headway into my Ovate journey, showing me how to look at the world anew. I’m not only exploring the forest, I’m learning to read it!

During the first Lockdown, I made the step of streaming the ceremonies and lessons of the Robin Hood Moot online. I also took this time to learn how to video edit on my phone, started recording and creating my online storytelling (thinking of doing a podcast version, next), and finally started voice acting!

Strangely enough, Devi always referred to us getting married as “madness” and some would consider us mad for attempting to getting married during the Pandemic….. But we pulled it off, had our immediate family with us and enjoyed a thoroughly good time! Until I met Devi, I never saw myself getting married again and we did it!

And I survived turning 40. I mean, is there a membership card? Do we get cigars and a glass of port- how does this work?

And to cap off the ending of this year, I really jumped off the sanity wagon and applied for the Deputy Manager position at my day job.

The Druid Animal Oracle writes of the Boar reversed being the card of the Terrible Mother aka The Initiator. And if it’s one thing I learned from Boar, is that it also means an unstoppable force: something that’s so strong and brings destruction in its way that the only way you can limit it is to drive it else where: this was the method employed by Arthur himself when facing the dreaded King of the Otherworld Boars: Twrch Trwyth.

Recovery from my operation was inevitable, the situation with Covid-19 was unstoppable. What I took from this was to not give in to neither despair or panic. I accessed my warrior spirit to turn my situation into an advantage with creative, spiritual and even gardening endeavours. I stood up in leadership with listening to the members of my moot and made our physical meetings into virtual ones. I also took the opportunity to apply for a promotion. Something I would never have done a few years ago. And the focus of my wedding, with the lessons of the Ovate Grade and being at home for longer than anticipated had all lead to direction in my life.

2021: Each: Horse

It was with some surprise, I drew not only an upright card, but one of such adventurous possibility.

Horse tells of Travel, of the Land and The Goddess. Of connecting with the seasons and natural rhythms in life. How Horse will appear, I shall of course share…. I find it very cool that the card has the image of the Uffington Horse and we had taken the picture of it down from our dining table to allow for a wedding gift to be viewed….

Outside, it has been raining and the Winds of Change are already here, as though the previous year is being washed and blown away…. very well, Each, let’s see what journeys await!

2020 will boar into you!

It’s 2020! Not just a new year but a new decade!

Breaking my usual tradition of drawing my annual Druid Animal Oracle Card for the New Year, I felt the pull to draw out the card for my focus in 2020 on the Midwinter Solstice instead.

For 2019, I had drawn the card of the Fire Dragon where it focused on the points of:

Transmutation :

Definitely a big one this year as I have both transmuted and transformed in more than a few ways! I had come back to working in Nottingham after the opening of our new store there. As much as I enjoyed working in Derby, it was finally a relief to not get up at the crack of dawn for two bus journeys then be home for 8pm. This also enabled me to go off my own knowledge and gain full confidence in my working self, especially after helping develop a new team.

More importantly, I moved in with Devi and so we are living our lives together, cats and all. Living in a forever house is very different than living in rented home, and I’ve had some growing up to do. This has taught me a lot about priorities in the difference of what must be done and what is desired.

My acting has changed too, it’s not a priority in my life at the moment, although I have plans to take on storytelling again. I haven’t stopped acting because 2019 had it’s projects, its just I’m not actively hunting with it.

My divorce came through this year too. That chapter in my life is now officially closed.

Mastery:

As well as learning about prioritising, I had more get-up-and-go with my Ovate course. Still in the single digits of the Gwers, I have already learned much about myself and have become more settled in who I am. By exploring the forest, I have become more grounded; I’d say my Devi has had a hand in that too.

I don’t think I have mastered anything this past year, but I have taken my Druidry a lot more seriously in:

Creating the Robin Hood Moot here in Nottingham. Nothing to do with seeing Robin as a woodland deity, more named after his statue next to the castle which is where we hold our open public ceremonies.

And I even performed my first hand-fasting!

In short, I have become a lot more responsible and have even learned something about myself: I am the cause of my own anger a lot of the time.

Energy:

As mentioned before in previous posts, I am an impatient being and am true to being a fire sign. There are many who know me as being kind and patient, there are a few who have even described me as wise. But I will fly off the handle at the slightest provocation of my patience being tested. The second a machine doesn’t perform as it should, my inner petulant child comes out yelling in full Anglo-Saxon (in other words, effing and blinding). And I get defensive when people ask why I’m doing something a certain, unnecessarily complicated way. This past week, I realised this comes from anger at my own self. That customer who said that passive-aggressive comment? I probably should have made it clear I was walking away to show them something. That computer program which doesn’t work as fast as I want it to? Did I press the wrong buttons again. My boss and my girlfriend asking why I’m doing something a certain way and I snap at them? It’s because I put myself under pressure to get it right the first time. Then there’s the imaginary arguments with people I have in my head…. why am I doing this to myself? Stop, chill and let go….

…..which is exactly what my hernia has taught me. Yep, I presently have a hernia. An Inguinal Hernia to be precise. It’s a weakening in the abdominal wall that causes my intestines to slip into my groin. On a good day, it’s manageable as long as I don’t walk fast (I used to power walk everywhere, taking pride in getting to places by foot quicker than the predicted time) and avoid lifting (I used to enjoy carrying heavy loads, probably how I got it in the first place). On a bad day, it’s like having a constant stomach ache and the strange sensation of my guts being both heavy and feeling “pulled” down. I have to sit until I feel right again.

It’s ok, I got word recently that my operation will be at the end of January.

And it’s taught me the value of stopping. Which is a big step for one who, such as I, is used to doing a million things all at once until I burn myself out. Remember my friend, Artemis? When we were housemates, she always said it would take being hospital ridden for me to stop. And she was right.

The hernia has taught me to slow down in my life, to know when to stop, to delegate and to ask for help. It has also taught me to find being useful in other ways just because I can’t get physically stuck in.

Really, I have learned to master my energies as well as transmute into something better.

2020: Boar (Reversed)

As soon as I flipped the card over after the sun had gone down on the Midwinter Solstice, I knew he was there. He made himself apparent when Devi and I spent a few days in Scotland and we tried out Kintyre gin from Beinn an Tuirc (Hill of the Wild Boar- the pic for the distillery is on my beanie!). I felt I’d see the Boar and there was apprehension at it being reversed.

The description of the card speaks of entering a breakdown, of allowing something deeper to enter my life after the storm has hit, I’m paraphrasing of course. It also speaks of the fool and that what might seem like madness actually denotes wisdom.

Whatever comes, I intend to meet it dead on with learning from the positive lessons of the card: Leadership, Warrior Spirit and Direction.

In Celtic Mythology, the Boar is a destructive force that must be faced and leaves destruction in its wake. For those who manage to stop it, kill it or even direct it (for if you can’t prevent an unstoppable force, I guess you either direct it or ride it out) they take it’s symbol denoting great strength.

At the Winter Solstice of 2020, I’ll let you know how it went.

Beinn an Tuirc for 2020, doesn't look that scary, tbh
Beinn an Tuirc for 2020, doesn’t look that scary, tbh

“Fire and Blood”

So, 2019, we meet at last. A new year, a new card drawn for myself at the very beginning of the New Year. And fortunately, the title of this blog isn’t really what the year has in store….. I just used the Targaryen family motto because I thought it was cool! And, y’know, Fire Dragon and all…… I’ll get my coat!

2018 had the card of Owl-reversed (Cailleach Oidhche) the card of Detachment, Change and Wisdom. Although, being reversed, it warns of not seeking detachment as escape, the potential death of something and beginning of another…. And that even though night is here, to look for the approaching dawn.

Detachment: Watching out for not escaping or withdrawing into myself, I made sure I kept in contact with friends, visiting family when possible. I was even approached by the Pagan Community for doing talks for them and rediscovered not only could I do this, but that I also had a respect and welcome within the community I hadn’t realised I had…. I figured my pursuit of acting had estranged me from them. I’m glad to say it hasn’t and that I have a good friend base within the community and have even been asked to perform a handfasting for at least one couple this year! In Nottingham’s acting scene, I got to work with some lovely people and good friends. I proved to myself that I am good enough to come joint second in a monologue competition and that people want to work with me. So no, no shrinking away for me.

Death of one thing….. actually there was quite a few. Artemis and I are no longer housemates, as she went to Lincoln. We atill meet up to play D&D and bug each other on whatsapp now and then. The Grove of the Corieltauvi lost our fellow Druid, Luch Dorcha this year. We lost our friend, but his memory remains and we shall honour him. However, the Grove of the Corieltauvi no longer exists. At least not as it once did….. I have also pushed for the death of my marriage. I applied for divorce at the end of November, my spouse had received, signed and sent off the paperwork. All I’m waiting on now is the Court to get back to work and do their thing. And Artemis lost her father as well, a kind and humorous man. So yes, 2018 was a year of things and people dying…. “Light is born, light dies, in dying there is rebirth, in birth there is dying, so it is, so it always is”……

The Approaching Dawn….. Devi and I celebrated our first year together, we stayed in a Hobbit House at the beginning of the year in North Yorkshire. We don’t get to see each other every day, so we spend as much time together as possible and most importantly, we make each other happy and are looking forward to more years and adventures to come. In my working world, at the end of 2018, I was informed that I’ll be moving to a brand new store in Nottingham, rather than bussing it to Derby and back everyday. This means I get at least one hour back into my day instead of using two to get there and back again. I came into my own at work this year. I know who I am, what my strengths and weaknesses are and I am proud of my current team. I m looking forward to my new adventure with Mr S, who will be my new boss. And I’ll be looking forward to that extra hour for myself too. It will make all the difference….. not to mention more sleep!

2019 – Fire Dragon

Transmutation, Energy, Mastery are the keywords to the Fire Dragon (Draig Teine) card. This card speaks of connecting with the inner flame (something I’m very big on), finding the courage and drive to face life’s challenges as well as focussing one’s energies to overcome obstacles and gain objectives. This is a card less to do with gaining power or going into anything with all guns blazing; and more to do with the lesson I learned: the element is actually about combining will with responsibility. For how can you work with fire if you have no sense of control?

Times of change in 2018 #1

For those of you who have read my post on the drawn card for the year, you’ll know that this year heralded a time of change. Well, nothing says change more like moving home!

The end of March saw me move into my very own flat, here in Nottingham.

This is a first for me, because I have never lived alone before. I doubt having my own room in the University accommodation hall’s back in my youth as a student counts.

My former housemate, Artemis, has gone off to live in the city she now works in; and I sincerely wish her the best. I suppose I could have advertised for another lodger, but I really felt the need to live alone for a while.

My new place is a basement flat in a reconverted Victorian house, when I told this to my Dad, he thought the worst, thinking I had some squalid setting devoid of sunlight. I can happily say I have windows. It’s not luxurious, neither is it state of the art (Remember those dial timers for your heater? Where you had to position the red and blue tags as the on and off for when your boiler could start and stop at different times? Yeah, it’s got one of those!) But it’s sufficient for my needs and plans for the moment.

There are plenty of birds in this area, as I startled a robin pirched on my gate and the morning chorus is becoming louder. There is a tree just outside, I think it’s a Sycamore, I’m not quite sure.

I was given the link to it by Devi, who had found it on Rightmove. I gave it a chance and it was the one place I looked at that actually felt homely.

So….. Because my new pad is a basement flat, Devi dubbed it “Project Potter”. To help me with my organising, she got me this note book and this wand pen. Her Chinese symbol is Snake, so she got me the Slytherin book. It feel this is very appropriate, for in Druidry, part of Snake’s energy is about being able to shed ones old life and growing into the new…..

The Sorting Hat had spoken…… damn, I was surprised!

Two-wit Two-woo (or how I drew the same card as last year!)

Well that’s a first! During the annual fortelling of my focus for the year ahead I’ve, so far, drawn a different animal card from my DAO deck, and some have even been reversed. I have never drawn the same card twice, however. Even if the meaning is slightly different.

The Cailleach hasn’t finished with me it seems…..

2017

Was a year of mixed blessings, so the whole given meaning of ‘Turning a disadvantage into an advantage….‘ was very true:

I auditioned for The Last Revolution under the impression of not singing…. but I did! It totally pushed my boundaries and was a brilliant experience!

I was moved stores (again!) But have learned much about my working self and have even been inspired by my team. I also learned hard truths about myself, so that worked out well. Bizarrely enough, I have whole heartedly adopted the ‘Viking Mentality’ work wanted us to take for our busiest season. Mainly because this resonates with my beliefs anyway: be courageous, never give up, seek wisdom, seek challenges, respect others and yourself, seek opportunities, value loyalty, let your actions speak for you, live the life you want, and above all else…. turn disadvantages into advantages!

I’ve spent most of the year fighting with Impetigo. An infection that can most definitely go fuck itself off. However, it has shown me how to be cleaner than I already am…. ok, I’m struggling to find a positive on this one…. all I’ll say is I’m now a member of the ‘Wash Your Hands After Going Anywhere in Public’ club.

The card also speaks of being drawn to the study of esoteric lore or even Clairvoyancy…. I don’t know about that, but I have:

  • Learned about looking after myself after burning out.
  • Helped my Pagan group with spirit problems. The Prayer for Peace is awesome for this.
  • Developed my ‘Five Senses Meditation’.
  • Followed my inspiration to lead the Samhuinn ceremony for my Druid Grove.
  • Followed my gut……

Not only did my gut dare me to go for the audition, it also dared me to ask Devi out for a drink. ‘Go on….’ it said. ‘Ask her if she fancies meeting up with you for a drink. You’ve only met her the once, a few years back, and briefly spoke to her last Samhain…. Go on, you won’t regret it….

…..and I haven’t regretted it one bit! Devi is the love of my life and she’s amazing. We met for our first date back at the end of April, we found we really got on. In time we discovered we connected on so many levels and haven’t looked back since.

2018- Owl, Reversed.

Yeah, I think I laughed out loud after I put the card back in the deck, turned all the cards the right way round, shuffled them, split the deck, turned one half upside down and shuffled them again until one refused to go back in….. I wasn’t expecting Owl again.

Owl reversed still contains elements of the upright, so turning a disadvantage into something positive, as well as development of one’s intuition still applies. It mainly speaks of a warning against seeking detachment as an escape and to seek the bright side as changes happen….. and with the Owl card being the harbinger of change, changes will indeed come.