finding

Seeing the Signs

July, 2018

The Appearance of the Jack of Clubs

I have been living in this current apartment for over a year now. I am a neat freak – not because I really want to be – but I have three cats and I am allergic to their fur so I am always dusting and sweeping up so that I am not sneezing all the time. And cleaning the house is a way to get up and moving when I am writing – I don’t want to sit all day – so doing a few chores around the house takes care of that. Plus, I just like to have a neat and tidy home.

My son just moved back in with me so I had to move a bunch of things around and of course that meant another bout of cleaning. Not that I mind – a lot of stuff went out to the curb just in time for the “big” garbage pick-up that the City of Buffalo has twice a year. I had to make room for my son’s furniture and housewares that he had collected in the two years that he had lived on his own. So I spent at least two weeks rearranging and cleaning my entire apartment. I even put up new curtains and repotted and hung more plants in the windows.

My point is that given all these facts, I am thoroughly acquainted with every inch of my home.

So I was really surprised to see this sticking out of the molding the other day:

(I added the red arrow so you would see it easily)

I was like – where did that come from? And – how long had it been there? And – what made it move so that it stuck out – just enough – to get my attention? The recent movement of boxes and furniture in and out of the apartment? Or something more esoteric and spiritual? And then I wondered – was it a note? A love letter, perhaps? Or a poem someone stuck into the wall? Or maybe it was something more mundane, like a list of items for the grocery store. I decided to pull it out of the crevice between the moldings and see what it was.

I almost pushed it back into the space between the molding and the door trying to get it out but I did get it. It was a playing card! I set it on my desk and looked at it. It was the Jack of Clubs. A rather ordinary Jack of Clubs. The kind you’d see at any poker table. Its backing said “Stardust”.

I have to say that this has never happened to me before. I have moved as many times as the years of my life and I have found all kinds of things in the places I have lived – strange and mundane both – but never has a playing card appeared from the cracks in the wall. I have to say that I was glad that I was sober when I noticed it!

Even though I am not a gambler, I recognized the Stardust name on the back of the card immediately. The Stardust was a legendary casino in Las Vegas – it opened in 1958 and was renovated in 1964, 1977 and 1991 before being closed in 2006. It was imploded in 2007. But during the 1960’s and 1970’s, it rocked. It was a favorite hangout of the Rat Pack. Siegfried and Roy got their start there. The casino and the events that happened there were the subject of the movie “Casino” starring Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. Although I never gamble and my shadow never darkens the door of any casino, I am fascinated by the history of this now-defunct party palace.

I have never – and I mean never – wanted to go to Las Vegas but in the past few years I have acquired a few very good friends that now live in the Sin City and I think I am going to have to take a visit to that sparkling town. I am told that there are many things to do and to see that have nothing to do with gambling or seeing shows and I could have the time of my life without ever setting foot in a casino. So maybe this card – with the name of a casino that was blown up eleven years ago – is telling me to take a trip. Maybe not today – but soon.

Now – the Jack of Clubs. I have always like the suit of Clubs. I don’t know why. When I was a little girl, it was my “favorite” suit – in that irrational way that children have of picking favorites. I think I thought a particular Queen of Clubs of a particular deck was especially pretty – or her dress was pleasing in some way – I remember that my grandfather had a deck of cards which depicted the court cards of the Clubs in glowing green costumes – the Spades were dressed in blue and the Hearts were dressed in red – I do not remember the color of the Diamond court card’s costumes. Perhaps orange or maybe white? I really can’t remember.

Even when playing any silly card game as kid – Rummy or Go Fish – I thought of the Court Cards as people and they often had conversations in my hand. The numbered cards had personalities too but not as vivid as the Court Cards with their pictured faces. But still – a 3 of Hearts had a different voice than a 7 of Spades, for instance. I always thought that all cards should have pictures on them. I was really happy when I discovered the Tarot and all the pictured cards.

The Fortune Teller’s Workbook: A Practical Introduction to the World of divination by Sasha Fenton has a wonderful chapter on playing cards. It is my go-to reference – the first place I look – when I am using playing cards, at least. Her definitions of the cards are short and to the point. I almost always find them applicable to my uses. Although she links the suits of the cards to the suits of the Tarot and to their corresponding elements, the definitions of the cards read more like definitions of Lenormand cards. With that in mind, I have started using the various reading techniques that I have been learning in Caitlín Matthew’s The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards – “The Line of Five” spread most often but also “The Ladder Layout”. Learning how to read the Lenormand Oracle has enriched all my divinatory skills.

For the Jack of Clubs, Fenton writes, “Traditionally, a dark-haired young man. A reliable friend who will help the Questioner.” (Fenton, page 182).

This could be my son who just moved in. He is – as the saying goes – tall, dark and handsome. He is also young – only twenty-five – but of course he thinks he’s all grown up. He’s a Jack – not a King.

Clubs correspond to Wands and Jacks are equivalent to Knights. If I found the Knight of Wands floating free in my house, I would immediately think that I was going to move soon – or that someone was going to move in or out of my house. Of course – my son recently moved back into the house – so that covers that. But – this is just temporary. He has a plan. He wants to go to Colorado when he finishes college. There’s more movement here – this is a busy Jack.

The Stardust was out west and that’s where this Jack wants to go. Not to some stupid casino – but to a place where there’s a million stars in a desert sky. Somewhere far away from this rust-belt city.

Meanwhile, we’re staying here for a while. I put the card on my wall by my desk to remind me that things are going to change. That change has already come, honestly. The appearance of the card says that.

Until next month, Brightest Blessings.

References

Fenton, Sasha. The Fortune Teller’s Workbook: A Practical Introduction to the World of divination. Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press, 1988.

Matthews, Caitlín. The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook: Reading the Language and Symbols of the Cards. Rochester, VT: Destiny , 2014.

Wikipedia. “Stardust Resort and Casino”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stardust_Resort_and_Casino.

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About the Author:

Polly MacDavid lives in Buffalo, New York at the moment but that could easily change, since she is a gypsy at heart. Like a gypsy, she is attracted to the divinatory arts, as well as camp fires and dancing barefoot. She has three cats who all help her with her magic.

Her philosophy about religion and magic is that it must be thoroughly based in science and logic. She is Dianic Wiccan and she is solitary.

She blogs at silverapplequeen.wordpress.com. She writes about general life, politics and poetry. She is writing a novel about sex, drugs and recovery.

Review – Council of Light: How to Develop Your Psychic Abilities Online Workshop

July, 2018

https://lifeshare.thinkific.com/courses/increase-your-psychic-ability

I was intrigued by the title of this course. What, exactly, did it mean by developing psychic abilities? We all think of different things when people say ‘psychic’. Some of us might think of ‘readers’; those who do tarot and other divination methods to help read a person’s needs and desires and so help them sort out what they need to do in their lives. Others may think of telepathy and mind reading. The term ‘Psychic’ is even conflated with mediums and those who connect with our beloved dead. I wondered which, if any, of these definitions this course would focus on, so decided to dive right in and find out!

The introductory video outlines 10 simple ways to increase psychic awareness. These include meditation, finding what our psychic strengths are and exercising them, just as we would physical muscles that we want to keep strong. I’m intrigued to know that there are many different types of psychic awareness, so already I am learning something! The instructor then introduces herself, and the difficult journey she has been on which has been aided by developing her mind and reinforcing positive beliefs. This intro is really invigorating and motivating.

Climb mountains of emotions and claw through fields of memories so you can find what is stopping you and blocking you in your life right now.

There follows a short video about meditation, which I am particularly fond of because it tells us that there’s no one, single prescribed way to meditate. It’s all about relaxing the mind, body and spirit. To further assist those who may not have experience of meditation, there’s a document with seven steps to help ease you in to good meditation practice. So far, I’m finding this course very accessible, and even though I’m experienced at meditating, I can see that these sections would be really easy to understand even for a complete novice. For me, I find them reassuring, helpful and a great reminder of the positive benefits of meditation. The physical exercises for neck and head it suggests are also really useful.

The optional prayers given in this section do veer towards the Christian, however, the course makes it clear that meditation is not religion specific, so you could easily replace these with your own Pagan prayers or affirmations. There are some notes on diet which I would take with a pinch of salt (pun intended!) because of course, we all have our own individual nutritional requirements and it may not be good for you to change your diet at this time. I do agree with the overall ethos though: plenty of fresh fruit and veg and water! However, it also suggests all fried foods are bad which I find a bit of an oversimplification.

There follows a guided meditation to help you discover and develop your psychic gifts. Her voice is incredibly relaxing, and I feel the ‘liquid relaxation’ flowing gently through my body, rejuvenating and refreshing me. Indeed, as I relax my shoulders and arms, I let go of tension I didn’t even know I was holding.

The next unit is all about the different ‘clairs’; clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairsentience and claircognizance. The audio lesson gives a fantastic description of not just what these all mean, but how each gift may manifest itself in your life. Each of them held some familiarity for me, but I most resonated with the claircognizant; the person who just knows things without knowing how they know.

After this section we explored chakras, something I have only just begun to explore in any detail, so this was of particular interest to me.

The layout of the course is simple and easy to follow. The combination of videos and written texts works well, and though there’s no guidance to do this, I found that making notes as I went along and referring back to them was the best way for the knowledge to sink in, as well as taking time to do the practical tasks such as the guided meditations.

I know some Pagans came to their path after being disappointed by Christianity, and as such they may be dismayed with the references to the bible and to ‘God’, however I didn’t find this distracting at all, as I took ‘God’ to mean divinity or the universe, and the biblical references were relevant and useful, rather than being ‘preachy’ in any way. The introductory video clearly states that there is no religion specifically connected to psychic development, so as long as you bear that in mind, you should gain a great deal from the content in this course. Recommended.

*Disclaimer: I was provided this course free of charge in return for an honest review.

 

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About the Author:

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author, poet and musician, as well as a freelance journalist.

She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals – Celtic Witchcraft: Modern Witchcraft Meets Celtic Ways.