Mother of Cups in the Dark

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There have been numerous words given to the Mother of Cups, full of praise and light, justly deserved. But there needs to be time given to the dark mother, the one in the corner, carrying wounds and weapons that haven’t been seen.

There are many reasons why it is important to go into the dark side of the tarot:

1.) There is no card in the deck that is strictly good or bad. They all carry the cosmos of light and trouble.

2.) There is no one way to “define” good or bad. Is a good card good because it makes us feel positive? Is a “bad” card the good one because it challenges us to grow and learn so we can honor our highest potential?

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The Mother of Cups promotes self-love, self-discovery, the need for boundaries, and a self-actualized encouragement to go deeper into what we love and cherish in this moment. However, despite these nuisances of deeper love and celebration, the Mother of Cups (just like any other card) has a dark side that reveals obstacles, troubles, or a need for change.

The Mother of Cups shows the beauty of self-love and love to others, but that doesn’t mean that everyone we are around is someone who will bring us joy. We are often required to be around others who we do not hold the best feelings for. This is not a shadow element, but how we deal with this can become a shadow element if we are unchecked in certain behaviors.

One behavior is shit-talking. This behavior does nothing but breed hostility. We are vocalizing our negative feelings,  but not in a way that reaches any conclusion or solution for growth. I want to be clear that shit-talking is not the same as venting. When we vent to someone, we are also not looking for any conclusion to be met, nor are we trying to make a point. We are simply letting out our emotions to someone we trust, or venting in a journal. When someone is trash-talking someone else, we are not trying to reach a solution, but we ARE trying to make a point of how bad this other person is.

When someone trash-talks another it is often because they would never express their feelings in a constructive way to the person involved. Obviously, this is problematic behavior. The Mother of Cup teaches self-love. If we are hurt or upset with someone that is okay, but it becomes problematic when we refuse to address the issue, and resort to bad-mouthing someone behind their back.

 

Another dark side to the Mother of Cups is the need for validation from others. If there is a need to be validated or approved by others, it can often be because of deep-rooted insecurities. The problem here is that the gratification for validation never promotes self-love because it didn’t through us or for us. It came out of a need to be enriched by the words of others, to be seen or in the spotlight. When we practice self-love, we are validating our own vulnerable nature, complete with gifts and flaws.

The urge to be validated can be seen in many ways. It can be seen in jealousy, that we want more validation that someone else. It can be seen in toxic comparisons, or in the need to be competitive with another person, to outdo them and shine brighter. Obviously, all of these are problematic because it fosters a negative outlook. It preaches that we don’t have enough, but it never encourages a healthy way to express our emotions.

Finally, the Mother of Cups is highly intuitive and nurturing. Because of these qualities, she is also prone to burn-out, creative dismantling, or emotionally worn. If the Mother of Cups does not take time to spend alone or with others who fuel her creative or emotional passions, if she is constantly fulfilling the needs of others while neglecting herself, she will burn out. Boundaries and the Sacred No are incredibly important for the Mother of Cups. She needs to be able to take care of herself so that she can serve others.

**Please note that I am not saying that these traits equal a bad person. We all hold and often can act on this dark elements at times. What is important to be mindful, and work to foster an environment where we are self-loving, and promoting love and honesty to others.**

Let me know your thoughts!

Much love Wolflings,

Ashlie

Celebrating Rituals and Other Mothers

Dear Wolflings,

In my studies, I have had the privilege of learning and working with many people on many topics. One that rings out to me is Aromatherapy in particular. I love using this oils in all ways that I can, and I have found that many oils in working with the tarot has heightened and intensified my practice.

I am particularly into Basil right now because it is the oil that reminds me of the Mother of Cups. I will be doing a blog soon about the different ways I have been using Basil oil. But I want to talk about an event that I want to celebrate and share with you all.

Michele and Loretta are two women I know, and they are hosting a beginner’s class all about essentials oils, the uses, benefits, and knowledge of where to get good oils, and it ends with everyone making their own dream pillow.

This class is only $17.00, and you are getting some great knowledge about the topic. I want to share and celebrate others in this world who are helping to promote these topics that promote our higher well-being.

Check out the picture below for all the details. Stay Wild Wolflings!

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November cards: Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups

Dearest Wolflings,

We have passed through a harsh month, full of dichotomies and conflicting energies. I am happy to say that November is going to be a time of reflection, tapping into mindful directions, and listening to the rolling waves of our hearts. We move into the month of the Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups. Both cards tap into ancient wisdom of mindful intentions and actions. These cards harness a need to go deeper into the psyche, to heal wounds and learn more about our power.

Dragonfly and the Mother of Cups

Starting with the Dragonfly, this spirit animal has been seen in symbols across almost every culture. They have been around in some form for millions of years. They have seen the changes of the Earth, the rivers, the mountains, and the seasons through eyes that make the bulk of their head. They must keep moving, and they can move in all directions. These ancient ones call on us to see, to be still, and to move with direction. They call on us to quiet the mind and listen to the wisdom that come from being a part of this world. Acting with direction is key. Thinking before speaking is key. Creating powerful intentions and visualizations are key. The first step is to come into rhythm of silence by quieting the mind. Sit alone and meditate. Journal your thoughts and feelings. Create something for the simple sake of creation. The mind is able to move with purpose when we create buffers to safeguard the positive thoughts we are starting to manifest with this animal energy.

Free stock photo of nature, blue, eyes, grass

All the mothers are the Healers. They are the Keepers of knowledge, lineage, and ritual. They safeguard the treasures of history and heritage. The Mother of Cups is double-water. Everything about her flows from the well of creation and intuition. In some ways she is like the Empress, endless in her capacities of love for the sake of love. They both radiate the light of inner acceptance, inner bloom. Where they depart is the Empress is the bridge between the High Priestess and the Emperor. She understands the messages of this world, but she is creative and channels her gifts towards the dawn of new possibilities which the Emperor enforces.

Swan on Body of Water

The Mother of Cups is more internal, spending more time in ritual and in sacred space. She is highly intuitive and spiritual, but she is less public, less out in the open. Her gifts are born and brought from a place that she cannot share with others. Because she is a Swan, she is of two worlds. One of the land, and one of dark water. Because she is of two worlds she is also a bridge, a bridge between the tangible manifestation and the deep, pulsating quiet of the heart. She is a Keeper of the heart, of relationships, and selfless love, and a Healer to the world when she comes to the surface.

If there is one line I could write to describe what messages I am receiving from these cards, it would be: Quiet the mind. Channel the heart. Going deeper into the subconscious, into wishes and dreams, and manifesting positivity, ritual, heritage, our inner lineage is a tall order. How can we keep things out of our minds when so much is happening that is trying to force its way in? By creating boundaries. Like the Mother, we need to be of almost two worlds. The visible one on land where we bond and love and speak about how that love is never going to go away. But we also must go deeper to heal and learn and channel that love into ourselves for manifestation. Last month saw intense energy, now we must quiet the mind, and channel the heart for change.

**Thank you for reading. Please let me know your thoughts on these cards for November. Much love. Stay wild, wolfling!**

How to Work with Justice When We Feel it isn’t Serving Us

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We knew the Justice card would be hard. We knew this wouldn’t be an easy month. Justice is something that when it doesn’t come, can hit you across the palpitating heart. This month, I am not going to lie, it seemed to keep coming. At first, my instincts were to dig in harder, to learn more and know more so I could more in the search for Justice, and being an ally for those who need it most. I thought that through my good intentions of constantly seeking the truth of what was going, I could be better prepared.

That is not what happened……

I became overwhelmed by everything that was going on. The news was enough to make turn my good intentions into stone. I couldn’t carry all the emotions that I felt around these injustices. So I pulled back. I set boundaries. I created timelines of when I would have the TV on, and when I would enjoy a stupid funny movie. I needed this boundary because for a few days I was so inundated with horrific headlines that I forgot to laugh.

Justice is something that will push us to the limits. We need to act and search for the things in this world that will balance the corruption, the hatred, the violence. We need to use our words to say clearly where we wish to see Justice manifest. With the midterms coming up, this is another way to actively seek what we see is fair settlement for ourselves and others.

There are a lot of things to be positive about. I do not want to say that tumultuous times purge all the beauty in this world. There is still much to be grateful for, and much to love. But Justice is a balancing act, and I am not going to lie, today was a hard one. The new shooting in Pittsburgh, the bombs sent in the mail, it all felt like “Here we go again.” And then I read the news that two wolves were killed in Washington State.

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Wolves are killed everywhere. I know this. I can’t always read it because it hurts, but I know it happens. Today I just spilled over in emotion. I cried hard. Harder than I have in probably a year. It was just too much. I kept thinking this is unfair for everyone. This is unfair. The shadow of Justice was coming in, and I didn’t know how to handle it. So I sat with it. I kept sitting with the pain of everything going on. I finally realized that no matter how bad the news gets, no matter how much I want to give in, I need to keep speaking about the causes I am invested in.

So if you are working with Justice, and you feel the way I do, here are some things to do to work with Justice when it doesn’t feel it is working with us. These are things that have worked for me. If something else works for you great! Share it. I would love to know how others work with this card when it feels it isn’t working with us:

1.) Create boundaries. No one can hold all of their pain and rage all the time. Be informed. Learn. But take time to laugh, to find happiness. Take breaks. It is okay to do so.

2.) Sit with the emotions. What do they have to say. If we suppress our pain when something bad happens, when something is unjust happens, we also suppress our empathy and desire to see things done right for all.

3.) Use what resources or words you can, when you can. We are all in this together, and I hope that we can all share the load towards love and inclusion.

4.) Keep believing. Empathy and love are not always going to win the battle, but I believe in my bones that it will win the war. Fighting for Justice is not always an act of love. Sometimes, it is an act of pain and heartbreak to still be fighting for equality in many topics. But, if no one fights for Justice, it won’t happen.

**Thank you for reading. I hope this small blog helps in creating ways to work with Justice, even when it feels like a mountain. It is a hard month, but I would rather feel the pain and the love than apathy and detachment any day of the week. Much love to you. Stay wild wolflings!!** #alwayshowling

Duality Cards: Justice and The Empress

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There are some cards in the tarot that seem to foster a good kinship with each other, however unlikely they may seem to fit. Others are antagonists of each other, representing energies that conflict the core essence of either card as an individual message. Both are important, and both need to be expanded upon. It should also be stated, that one card can have multiple benefactor cards.

One such alliance I see in relation to the Justice card is the Empress. I think that the message of the Empress can help show the sweetness of the fruit born from Justice. Justice, as we have mentioned, is a card about mental clarity to follow the truth. The Justice card seen here (from the Ostara Tarot) shows Justice as blind, unaided in the potential distractions and biases that naturally exist in this world.

However, what starts out as a quest for Justice, for the fair and right course of punishment or action, can quickly become a search for vengeance. When one person or creature is wronged, there are those who are quick to say that the same should be done to the offender. I am not here to argue that this point in and of itself is meaningless, but I do think that it should stated that vengeance is not justice. Vengeance attaches an emotion of revenge or rage to an action. This does not apply to self-defense. Self-defense is in a whole other category. These messages are bigger picture and do not apply to immediate physical or bodily threats of harm. 

Justice is not always an easy fight. Read any history book to see how justice came to many groups of people way to late. I was recently watching the movie 42. This movie is about Jackie Robinson, and the racism he faced as he became the first black man to play in professional baseball. This movie is a beautiful story, but one scene spoke to me in particular. One white player went to Branch Rickie, nervous and concerned from a death threat he had received by small-minded bigots. Branch, unconcerned with this player’s fear, showed him a whole file of death threats sent for Robinson. He said that all this hatred was actually promoting empathy for Robinson.

Obviously, segregation in itself is unjust, but the unintended consequence from many peoples’ hatred was an ability to see how wrong it was. Empathy goes a long way. That is why I chose the Empress today. There are other cards that could be paired with Justice, and have great messages to give. But empathy, led by an unconditional duty to promote understanding and truth, can keep justice away from vengeance. Vengeance and revenge do not promote a higher integrity even though they are natural feelings. It is natural to be angry at the wrong-doings of others. It is natural to wish at times that others felt the pain we feel. But empathy opens a door that revenge cannot close.

We do not have to agree with others to show them compassion or empathy. We do not have to believe all the same things in order to break bread with another person. We can be empathetic towards people who are different. But if that other person promotes violence, speaks with racist or misogynistic words, or condemns others as inferior we can use justice to fight for correct actions to remove these people from power, the podium, or our communities. It goes both ways. We do not have to listen to someone spewing hate, but we do not have to respond with hate either.

Card Comparison: Justice

Wolflings,

We now look at the two Justice cards from the two decks I own: The Wild Unknown and the Ostara Tarot. These two decks are very different in style and use of symbolism. In these comparisons, I look to what each image is representing, and how they speak to me in terms of applicable use during a reading. I aim to see the similarities and differences they carry, and how both have a lesson to teach us.

There are some images that will speak to me, or perhaps to you, more. There may even be a favorite. That is okay. They are both still valuable in terms of understanding the deeper connections to be had in applying these cards in real-life scenarios. Let’s jump in. Please remember that these are my interpretations. You may see things differently, which is perfectly fine.

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Going from left to right, we have Justice from the Wild Unknown. There are two cats, one black and one white, facing forward with their tails intertwined. Between them is a diamond cut down the middle, representing the color of the other. Above them, a sword points downward, almost touching the diamond. The background has straight lines that come from every corner to the middle.

The two cats represent opposing contrasts, the same outlines, physical being, or metaphor can carry both the light and the dark. There is also an interpretation of how beliefs can be made from simple variations. White is purity. Black is bad luck. These beliefs are not based in anything other than superstition, and superstition does a disservice to actual reality.

The diamond further emphasizes this point. If the color of these cats was so accurate in representation, why does the diamond reflect the color of the other? I believe that this shows that there is no such thing as absolute balance. We carry both the light and the dark within us. We have the options of inflicting either love or fear in all actions and choices. What is important is how we make those choices. How can we, as imbalanced beings, create balance and change? How can we achieve the greater good when we carry the weight of baggage of both energies?

I think this answer lies in the sword. A sword is mute unless wielded. We can stay silent to the things that we find unsettling, disturbing even. We can refuse to create action, hoping instead that the divinity and supreme karma of nature will even the score, but as we all have seen, that is not always the case. We must pick up our sword, and be a warrior for truth, including our own. We must recognize that Justice is not a prophecy. It is a fight for greater understanding and possibility of being in service to all.

Moving to the right card, we have a woman blindfolded. This is a traditional representation of Justice, as it should be blind. She is human in every way, except for the long wing on her right arm. She carries the scales, weighing both a heart and a feather. She stands in an exotic land with trees and mountains behind her. This interpretation is both more on the nose, and more obscure.

First thing that is noticeable is her one wing. This in no way can a representation of balance. She cannot fly with one wing, and she has lost the use of her other arm. I think that this further drives the point home that Justice is not so simply to attain. She could be representing the balance between the human form and wild nature, but in this circumstance it seems to be more crippling. Which I think is the point. We have the need of both our modern human form, and a need for the wild drive in us. We are messy creatures, seeking the authenticity of our wild selves, but we also need the rule of law to guide us.

The scales and her blindfold are seen often. The scales are meant to represent how we weigh cause and consequence, right and wrong. Here we have a heart and a feather, and they seem to be the same weight. How so? Is the heart light because of a choice to be unburdened by judgement and ridicule, or is it so because it has never experienced the weight of the world? The feather is going to light, so how do feathers carry the biggest birds? This may show that what is right for one is not for another, but Justice supposed to indiscriminate, able to fit all? Not necessarily. Justice for one may be seen as a loss for another. Justice is not so easy to identify. Just take a look around to see how much discourse is being spent on what is truth.

What is true is that actions have consequences. The land she is surrounded by is beautiful, lush, full of resources. If we wanted to claim and harness this land for profit or self-service, we would harm and hinder growth. But if we work with the land, if we work with what is provided, we can use what we need without stripping or depleting the needs of communal enterprise.

Based on both cards, I would say that the Wild Unknown Justice speaks more directly to me. It makes a more lasting impression on how I work with the card meaning. That is not to say that the Ostara Tarot Justice is one I don’t like. I actually really like this card, and it presents a lot of things to go deeper on. I personally do not like analogy of Justice as a blindfolded woman. I understand the reference, but I think in order to engage and make decisions about this world, for this world, we need to have our eyes open to highlights and the horrors. We need to see how things are to decide how we want them to be.

**I hope you will comment and let me know what you think of these, or your own cards. This card is a hard one, but it so applicable right now. Much love Wolflings!

The Bear: New Spiritual Awakening

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The Bear is the first animal in the Earth element. The Bear represents awakening from a deep slumber, arising from a deep chasm into the light. Once the Bear walks out of the depths of darkness and into the fragrant air, a new spiritual opportunity awaits. There is for us, if we dare to think and belief so, a chance for new breath, new nourishment, new cleansing from the streams, new sounds of the trees to vibrate within us. When the Bear walks out into the warm light of Spring, everything can begin again.

The energy of the Bear is slow. They are shaking off months of darkness and spiritual repression. They have cut themselves off from experiencing winter, and instead tuck themselves into the wombs of the Earth to drift into the polarizing world of the subconscious and creature comforts. In this space there is no higher calling. There is no call to action, or need of something to be done. In this space, there is only the immediate needs.

If you feel that you are worn out, unable to follow through on your spiritual path, perhaps seek the energy of the Bear. Remember that it is okay to step into spiritual darkness for a time to rebirth your divine center in time. We are always spiritual beings, but we do not always have to be acting through spirit or engaging with spirit to be wholesome. It is okay to place a dark distance between the future and the spirit. It is okay to step into the body and fulfill creature comforts. It is okay to not produce anything of spiritual substance for a time.

The key is to be mindful of when these changes occur. The Bear does not need to be told when to awaken for spring. The Bear does not need to be told to hibernate through the Winter. The Bear does so through the ancient line of instinctual knowing. We have the same blood in us. Know when to start and begin with Bear energy. When the presence of new growth and spiritual highs are invigorating you to the bone, it is time to step into the light, and begin again.

Be mindful that the body and the spirit are intertwined, but can move at different paces. The divine center in you may be rushing to reach the drinking water, to taste the sweetness of berries again, or to see the sparkle of fish. Do not overwhelm yourself, or place a burden on your spirit. Come back into the body and into your space through movement and intention. Intentionally push yourself a little more each day. Intentionally write down your goals and validate why you can absolutely achieve them. Intentionally move things out that do not serve you. Breathe. Begin again and again.

 

Much love to you wolfling! Stay wild.

 

August Tarot Card: 2 of Swords

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One of the things that I love most about tarot cards is the layers of relativity. There is so much to unpack with each picture and message that it is no wonder that those who learn tarot are often lifelong students. I am always looking for ways to go deeper into the cards, because that is how the meaning of each card manifests. When it takes the physical form of numerous situations in our lives is when it becomes more than just one interpretation.

To be honest, I am not sure how I want to tackle each month. There is so much that I want to discuss with each card. Scents, flowers, people, fictional characters, actions, cause and consequence, light and shadow. All of these could come forth in Tarot card of the month. There could be relevant articles, pictures, art, movies, or unknown connections that I have yet to see. What I do know is that this is the exciting part of tarot. I have always loved to see how tarot cards reveal themselves each day.

For the month of August, the 2 of Swords will be a major focus card. Others will be pulled, discussed, and shared, but I am being called by my guides to really dig deep right now. Maybe it is just a backlash from such an exhausting summer school semester that I feel detached in my own way from the cards. Maybe it is just a new revelation that came in the subconscious river up the cord and into the mind. Whatever the source, I am being called to go deeper into the cards, to really unpack them, and to go slow.

I hope you will join me, and let me know how the 2 of Swords surfaces for you over the next month. My hope is to post something everyday on at least one of my platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or here. My hope for this is to keep the flow of the card moving and growing, so that every day reveals another breadcrumb on this trail. Also, please understand that this is not the only way to learn the cards. In fact, this is not how I initially learned. I pulled all the cards that I could all the time. I was so intensely invested in learning and discovering each card that I may have missed some messages that were coming from an individual archetype.

This isn’t a huge project, but it is a endeavor that I am finally realizing in manifestation. I would love to hear how the 2 of Swords comes around in your life. Stay wild wolflings!

The first book I learned to read tarot with, and how a glossy page can make all the difference.

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Do you ever stand in a bookstore, your eyes darting back and forth between the titles, unsure of which one is the right keeper of knowledge? When I first started to read tarot, it was out of necessity. I needed to put a pulse back in my chest, and a roar back in my throat if I was to brave another year. I went to the bookstore, knowing that I wanted a book worthy of this step. But all the titles professed the same action. They all held promise of expansion and depth, spirit making strides.

I finally settled on this book: The Key to Tarot: From Suits to Symbolism; Advice and Exercises to Unlock your Mystical Potential by Sarah Bartlett. Why did I settle on this book, because it felt beautiful in my hands. The hard, chocolate brown cover felt appropriate. The pages were colored. The pages were glossy. There was something about the shine, the texture, the lift of reds and blues from the page that made me settle on this one.

This book is a great beginner’s book because it goes into each card well for a beginner level. It includes exercises and meditations to connect more deeply into yourself and the craft. It also has some good spreads that I still use today. I must admit that I no longer reach for this book that much, but as my very first tarot book, it was a star-find. Other books that I have purchased since then have not fully compared to this book. Perhaps it is my nostalgia. Perhaps it is glossy pages and way the spine creases into the skin of my folded legs. I don’t know, but I love this little book.

I had placed this book on a shelf after I read it, and moved on to other titles. I came across some journal posts from when I first started reading, and I realized how much writing I did when I was travelling through this book. I wrote in my journal constantly. Everything was somehow related to the meanings of the cards that I was slowly absorbing with this book. I din’t think too much of it. I read the journal posts, smiled at how far I have come, and went about my day.

That was about a week ago. Since then I have gone through many books on my shelves, packing the one that I know I want to keep, but will not read for some time. Others, given away as donations. I pulled this book down off the shelf I was going through and again felt that tinge of nostalgia, like looking at an old picture of myself. I really wanted to go through some of the meditations and exercises again to really see how my tarot interpretations have become layered.

If you are new to tarot, document everything! Write it down, film it, take pictures, draw it. However you do it, just do it. Document your travels because it will become a map. It will show you how to rejoin an old part of yourself that perhaps has slithered deep into the dusky layer of the subconscious. Document so you can look back and see what your gut thoughts were. Don’t take the interpretations in the pages (no matter how glossy) as gospel. Make your own choices and see what is right for you. For example, the book mentioned here reads Court Cards as other people. I have never found Court Cards to be representative messages of other people. Never. Do what feels right, and keep it documented so you can come back with a seasoned heart later for reconnection.

You can find Sarah’s book here, along with many other books that she has written. This is not an affiliate code. I think this is a great little book if you are a tarot novice, or looking for your first book. I would love to hear the books that guided your path, tarot or otherwise. Much love wolflings!