Archive for September, 2012

Ilbe the Retriever

Office of Unclaimed Property, Hopes, and Wishes. Loyalty.

While writing this, I was having a little trouble with Ilbe – not for the first time. I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. He thinks it would be greatly to my benefit to be more organized and tidy, so he smears not-quite-visible juice on things that are out of place. Or he encourages the resident cats to hide things. (Cats seem remarkably willing to cooperate with these little bits of faery helpfulness.) Then I have to hunt and hunt for them, and Ilbe hopes I shall be more organized the next time. You may have encountered him in this guise. When he has done something like this, my son observes, he just looks at us with that “Who? Me?” look. My son also advises, “Keep your eye on him and whatever isn’t nailed down. And if you scold or contradict him, he just gets huffy and insists on having his own way.”

This sort of busybody helpfulness is just one of Ilbe’s tasks, however. He also has more important things to do.

Ilbe is a protector. He retrieves and safeguards our lost hopes, forgotten dreams, and mislaid keys. (My keys were under a stack of papers, stuck to the floor with peach juice – not a place that I’d put them myself, but certainly safe from most key thieves.) He holds these seeds of our potential futures carefully and delicately until we are ready for their return. Sometimes we don’t think we are ready for them or we have given up hope altogether, and then he may arrange reminders for us – events or people in our lives that bring back memories of our past hopes and dreams. When that happens, we need to look at them again and consider how we might manifest them in reality.

Ilbe is trying to remind you of something you’ve lost – a hope, perhaps, or a dream. You may have thought it gone forever, but he is holding it out to you for reconsideration. He thinks you can do something with it now. The way may not be obvious, but his clever nose has scented a path, a potential opening for bringing this into your life. Sometimes, Ilbe may be saying that a long-awaited dream is at last arriving on the scene and there is nothing we need to do but open our hearts and minds to it. However, we usually have to work for it.

Another attribute of Ilbe is loyalty.

REVERSE

Is it time to stop saying “I can’t” and take a look at “I can” instead? Perhaps something important in your life is being held back by negative attitudes, but we have choices about our attitudes and can change them when they are not helping us.

Alternatively, Ilbe may be saying that this is not yet the time for the germination of this seed. It may be that other things need to be dealt with first. What might you need to clear out or finish up before being able to properly plant and nurture this seed? Are the things in the way weeds, which should simply be pulled, or valued growing things that we would wish to care for before planting something new in that space in our lives?

The Singer of Healing

Healing of body, mind, and spirit.

The song of this Singer has the power of healing deep wounds of the spirit – wounds that can destroy mortals or immortals alike. Faith betrayed, love dishonored, trust abandoned, and other injuries of the spirit all inflict serious wounds, which are reflected in the body’s illnesses and injuries. Through the song of healing, we may be restored and renewed, but only if the wounded one is prepared to forgive and let go, returning to love and compassion. As always with all the gifts of spirit, healing is offered, not forced, and requires active participation on our part.

True healing must take place on all levels at once – body, mind, and spirit. These levels are inextricably linked, all one piece, and we cannot expect to change one without changing the others. Our bodies do not do things all on their own. The links between different aspects of being are many, complex, and often obscure. And yet, the principle of healing them is simplicity itself. We need only to let go of the things that are hurting us and nurture ourselves with the things that benefit us. So simple! So difficult!

The song of Healing is present everywhere, and like the other aspects of the great song of Ekstasis, it is without limit. Healing can seem so complex as we dig our way through all our blocks and resistances and old stuff, but in the end it is simply letting go and opening up. Learn everything you can from others; there is a lot of good information out there. Just keep the essential simplicity of the process in mind and you won’t go far wrong.

This is the healer’s card, and it’s presence in a reading may speak of healing to be given or of healing to be received. The circumstances and processes of reaching well-being may seem easy or they may bring great challenges. In either case, we are asked to participate in our own healing as we are strengthened by this Singer.

More usually this Singer speaks of both giving and receiving because we cannot truly and freely give without receiving as well. Healing is something that flows through us, not from us, and as such, we are inevitably affected by its passage. Drawing this card tells us of both a need and an opportunity for healing ourselves and perhaps others as well. As Warren, one of my teachers, said, “Healing is not something you do – it’s something you are.”

REVERSED

When illness of body, mind, or spirit prevails and we feel disconnected from the great song of healing, the question we need to ask ourselves is “What feelings or ideas or beliefs am I holding on to that keep my wounds open and unhealed?” And, “What can I do to nurture myself and open to the song of Healing?”

The Maiden

Auspicious beginnings. Birth. Growth. Joy. Hope.

From her crown of light to her star-jeweled toes, the Maiden is pure joy. She is the face of the force that generates growth throughout all the worlds.

When she smiles, troubles melt. Where she dances, flowers spring from the ground and burst into bloom. It is from the Maiden that the pixies learned the dance that keeps the otherworld turning – and probably our world, too, for that matter. She is newly born every morn, and she carols her plangent song of growth for all beings in all the worlds. She sees the magick and the light in everything and takes endless delight in it.

Yet even though the Maiden is so wonderful and powerful, she is a child and she needs to be cared for, nurtured, and cherished. When she takes the form of a flower, someone must see that she gets enough water and sun. Whenever we look after something new or young, we are caring for the Maiden, whether she is in the form of a blossom, a sapling, a baby, or a new idea. She, in turn, is likely to switch between joyfully and gratefully receiving such nurturing and insisting on an independence that she really isn’t ready for yet. She knows, deep within herself, what she needs to do and become, and become, and she moves toward this with the directness of a child.

The Maiden also has the simplicity and curiosity of a child, seeing with unclouded eyes. She has an openness to life, love, new things, and new experiences. Every moment with her is an adventure, filled with playfulness and hope. Innocent, she is awakening to and learning about the world. Much of her learning comes with laughter and silly jokes, and she trusts what life gives her.

Every time we allow ourselves to be filled with joy, we become more like the Maiden.

The Maiden signifies new beginnings and growth. You couldn’t ask for a more auspicious card than this if you are beginning something new. Spontaneity, joy, growth, exhilaration, and promise for the future are signified here. We must note also that, in the early stages of any process, there is vulnerability and a need for protection, shelter, and guidance, but there is also a magickal impetus toward burgeoning growth. Trust the process – but take care of the details as well.

The Maiden is also the inner child who needs to be under the supervision of a competent inner adult in order for her to feel secure and loved. She is not happy when we spoil her.

Consider what is growing in your life. Make a list of your hopes, dreams, and plans. Look for the growth within you, and think about how you can cherish and nurture that. Bless the growth you see around you.

REVERSE

In the Maiden reversed, we find her virtues turned into flaws. When her energy is blocked, we don’t allow ourselves to dream, to hope, even to plan a future that is anything but minimal and mundane. We live a cold, sterile, joyless life.

When we twist her energy we become impulsive, unthinking, gullible, lost in dreams that never get translated into reality. There is a tendency to live in fantasy and deny reality, and there is definitely a lack of grounding. Life in a floating soap bubble is perilous – and that is where she is. When living in a dream world has become habitual, the addiction to fantasy is hard to break. It cannot be changed from the outside by others, and even from the inside, there is usually no desire to break through into an unhappy reality until the fantasy world itself becomes too painful to live in any longer.

When the Maiden’s energy is seriously reversed, this card can indicate crippling pessimism – an attitude that when possessed means the possessor sees the worst in everything, expects the worst from life, and gets it. Such an attitude creates its own misery and denies one the possibility of joy.

When such a powerful energy as the thrust toward joyful growth is inverted or twisted this way, it is still a powerful energy – and usually requires an equally powerful experience to break free of it. But there is always hope, and those outside the fantasy need to remember that, even while being realistic about the difficulties of changing this state. Someone needs to be an adult here.