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Thursday, 23 September 2021

Major Arcana: The Fool's Journey (Part 1) - #TarotThursday #MyFriendAlexa

September 23, 2021 3 Comments

 


So, did you guys read my last post ‘How would you like to discover yourself in the cards?’ and did you look up your personality, soul and shadow cards? And did they truly resonate with you?

Traditional Tarot decks – like The Rider-Waite deck, have 78 cards. 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards, with 4 suits of 14 cards each. The Major Arcana represents major incidents, situations and learning curves of your life while the Minor Arcana cards deals with the everyday trials, tribulations, and situations of your everyday life.

The Major Arcana cards appear in your reading when you need to stop, take a moment, and pay attention to the theme in your life and the lesson that life is offering you. They also set the ‘scene’ for a reading and let the Minor Arcana cards add some more important details and some shades that relate to the bigger picture that the Major Arcana is painting.

Today, we will take on the Fool’s Journey to study the Major Arcana cards. The Fool’s Journey is a story that we can tell in order to help us get a glimpse into each Major Arcana making it easier to understand the set.

The first card in the Major Arcana is ‘0. The Fool’



The Fool stands for a new beginning. As you can see, he has his necessities packed and his pet with him and excited about the journey he is about to embark on. There is a sense of excitement and optimism about the new adventure.

We start the story with The Fool starting on a new journey with a blank slate, optimism, and adventure.

Keywords:
Upright – Trust, Innocence, Open Mind, Beginning.
Reverse – Foolish, Naïve, Reckless, Close Minded, Distrust

1. The Magician


The magician has the resources and potential to make things happen, but intention and action are both required.

So, the first lesson that The Fool learns is he has the power to create and manifest what he wants. He only needs to tap into his full potential.

Keywords:
Upright – Personal Power, Intention, Will, Resourcefulness
Reverse – Lacking Skills or Resources, Intention without Action, Trickery, Illusion


2. The High Priestess


The High Priestess encourages you to build up on and expand on your inner knowledge, to trust your intuition and notice synchronicity as you go through your days. Look within for the answers that you are asking.

The second lesson that The Fool learns is that he needs to reflect and learn about himself through religion, nature, meditation, and spirituality. Sometimes it becomes important to listen to your intuition over everything else. Heart over mind.

Keywords:
Upright – Inner Wisdom, Receptivity Spirituality, Meditation
Reverse – Secretive, Withdrawn, Ignoring Intuition, Gossip, Disconnected from Sexuality


3. The Empress


The Empress is the mother figure in the Major Arcana. She is the nurturer. She encourages to connect/network not only with people who can be mentors and friends and have a positive effect on your life, but also with nature and things that can help you develop yourself and grow. Connect with your sensuality.

The third lesson that The Fool learns is that it is important to take care of yourself and nurture relationships, interests, and skills in order to grow.

Keywords:
Upright – Nurturing, Creativity, Sensitivity, Mother Figure
Reverse – Smothering, Burn Out, Possessiveness, Blocked Creativity


4. The Emperor


The Emperor is the father figure in the Major Arcana. He encourages logical and rational thinking, to try and increase stability in any situation.

The fourth lesson that The Fool Learns is that it is important to think strategically and logically when pursuing his dreams.

Keywords:
Upright – Power, Structure, Stability, Authority, Father Figure
Reverse – Controlling, Egotistical, Giving Up Power, Abuse of Power, Lacking Structure


5. The Hierophant


The Hierophant wants you to pause and take a look at your own beliefs. Are they flexible or are they rigid? Do they help you in your learning curve or stops you from growing?

The lesson that The Fool Learns from the Hierophant is that wanting to follow pre-established societal norms instead of trying some new or taking an uncharted path may not always the right thing for him.

Keywords:
Upright – Teacher, Belief System, Knowledge, Conscientious, Responsibility
Reverse – Dogmatic, Fundamentalist, Iconoclast, Unethical Teacher


6. The Lovers

The Lovers card encourages you to take a look what is in both your heart and mind. And whenever you make a choice, take complete ownership and responsibility of the choices you have made.

The Lovers teaches The Fool to cherish and celebrate the love he has in his life in all forms. Whether it’s a lover, or a partner, or parents, or friends, and even self-love.

Keywords:
Upright – Love, Union, Cooperation, Choice, Sexuality
Reverse – Incompatibility, Uncooperative, Unrequited Love, Disconnection between the Heart and the Mind.



QOTD: Have we covered your Soul/Personality/Shadow Card today? If yes, what impressions do you have of your cards so far?





I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

My Seasonal Lover - #MyFriendAlexa

September 22, 2021 24 Comments



My plane landed around 5 AM on an October morning in 2018. I am in a new city and I have to call it home for the next few years. I was happy to finally leave Hyderabad, but not sure what to expect from this new city.

I got my language and came out of the airport. I knew that nobody is coming to pick me up, still hoped to see a familiar face. Mr. Anirudh Gaurav said he can’t pick me up for some reason, I forgot the reason, however, remember I was mad.

A grey, gloomy and rainy city welcomed me with not much enthusiasm. I never disliked a rainy day like this.

I booked my Uber and patiently waited outside the airport. My Uber came and I started my journey into this new city. I more I entered the city, the more I hated it. I finally reached my destination, MVP Colony. Gaurav was there to receive me, but to my surprise, what welcomed me is the Devil’s Tree, in front of the hotel.

It was like Durga Puja welcoming me outside Kolkata. I was in love.

Gaurav left for work, and I began my hunt for a new home (rented house). I roamed every lane, every street of MVP colony. And every corner there was a Devil’s Tree waiting to tempt me with its smell. I was trying to get some flowers from the tree and some lady told me not to, as it is poisonous.

And in my mind, the smell of the flower is my poison. I don’t know how dangerous this is for asthma patients, but this is definitely harmful to me. It makes my desires run wild. No kidding it’s called the seductive Casanova of smells.

The smell would arrive every year, during Durga Puja (September end to October) stay till December to wish me on my birthday. I reached this new city in October and thank God it was October. Otherwise, how would I know Devil’s Tree will be waiting for me with open arms.

The smell takes me back to my teenage years. Someone would be waiting for me and I was ignorant enough to ignore him. The smell takes me to my first love, first heartbreak, and first tears of pain.

Yet, this smell is so toxic for me that I can’t simply imagine Durga Puja or winter without it.

Then the unavoidable happens, by the time winter is over, the smell leaves me like a seasonal lover. I am heartbroken and missing my love. I try my best not to embrace the last hint of the smell, as I know it will leave me high and dry.

Yet how can I not, long for it as long it’s there, it’s like the forbidden lover. He is toxic, poisonous, going to leave me to suffer for sure, yet so passionate with his love and desires.

It’s been three winters. The air, the streets, and the people feel much familiar to me now. I have made it a home, my Vizag.  

Yet in those lonely nights in my balcony, I long for my poison. I am madly in love with this toxic flower called Chatim Ful (in Bengali) and last but not least, a poisonous someone. It’s so difficult to reason with my feelings. What I know for sure is I want him. And he can't be mine, ever. A pain I endure with all my affection. 




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


Monday, 20 September 2021

'You're a #feminist icon, Rafael.' - #MyFriendAlexa #MondayBlogs

September 20, 2021 20 Comments


I started watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit after reading Piu’s post about her favourite TV shows. And once I started watching, I was hooked!

SVU, as the name suggests, is about special victims and mostly known as the sex crimes unit. In the first season we find out that it is a unit made up of agents who join it voluntarily. Once you know that, and watch a few of the episodes, you have a certain amount of respect for the agents who work there. It is not easy to handle the cases that they handle and then go back to normal life. It is no wonder that most of the agents who work there are single. After the kind of crimes, they deal with every day – the fact that some of them still believe in decent humans is nothing but a wonder to me.

As the seasons’ progressed, I collected quite a few favourite characters. Olivia Benson, the face of the series, is an amazing character. The amount of compassion she has for each victim, the way she turns up at her job day after day with all heart is really amazing! There’s Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola who his just there, every day, doing his job and a background that he doesn’t talk much about. Then there is Dominick Carisi who enters the scenes with an attitude that has Olivia Benson asking, ‘Carisi, remind me why you're SVU, again?’

Carisi’s response was:

I worked Homicide, couple years. It's the women who get you. I mean, they're dead, but their hair's clean, they're nicely dressed, they're made up. And that means their husbands, or their boyfriends did it. It's like they knew. They knew it was coming. They don't even look surprised.


And the way he says it – it surprises you and he grows as the show progresses.



But the one character that will stay with me even after the show is over is Rafael Barba, Assistant District Attorney. Barba is introduced to the audience in Season 14 as a recurring character and then becomes a part of the main cast till Season 19.

When Barba first shows up, he is almost ruthless – with the reputation as someone who will take on the toughest cases, even the ones that no one else will touch. He slowly warms up to the SVU and develops a good friendship with Olivia Benson. He is ruthless – he pushes the members of the SVU, the suspects and sometimes even the victims to get the results that we want. At the same time, he can also be calm and composed in the courtroom. Some of my favourite scenes involves him being extremely quiet and calm when the defence attorneys are ripping the witnesses apart and using the dirtiest tricks in the book. 

I liked him from almost the beginning, but as the show progressed his character arc grew by leaps and bounds. Everyone on SVU do their best to make the world a better place by placing their faith in the victims and then fighting to put the perpetrators behind the bars. But then Barba doesn’t just do his own job but goes one step further!

In Flight Risk (Season 19, Episode 11), a flight attendant is raped by the pilot, and the company not only covers it up but forces the flight attendant to continue working with him in close quarters despite promising her otherwise. Once SVU manages to put the pilot away for rape – this is a (slightly paraphrased – as much as I can remember) discussion that Olivia Benson and Barba has shortly after:


Benson: Putting away a single pilot rapist isn’t enough?
Barba: No, it's not. The whole culture has to change. All the people who enabled Captain Carter should be in that cell with him.
Benson: Yes, they should. But unfortunately, being sexist, misogynistic pigs isn't a crime.
Barba: It should be.


Barba goes on to hold a grand jury  to charge the airline company with grand larceny. It is his way of trying to make a difference - by trying to change the law that lets people look away and pretend that nothing is wrong. He knows that it is a long shot; that he can only try and probably not be able to make such a huge change in his lifetime, yet he fights for it anyway.


So, when Olivia Benson says,
'You're a feminist icon, Rafael', I could only agree enthusiastically and applaud 'Rafa' in front of the screen.

Knowing that someone like him is a part of the judicial system would bring hope to everyone and I’d love to have someone like him in my life.

But Alas! He is just a fictional character!!






I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

How would you like to discover yourself in the cards? #TarotThursday #MyFriendAlexa

September 16, 2021 24 Comments
I hope that you found my last post, 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Reading Tarot, informative and helpful. As we move closer to discovering the secrets of Tarot, I want to tell you about one of the biggest secrets of Tarot that I did not know till a couple of months back. You can find yourself in the cards!

Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ll find your picture or name on a card. Nor does it mean that it will spill out all your deepest or darkest secrets. Or tell you your future! But what it will do is place your archetype and assign a couple of cards to you. They represent your soul, your personality, and your shadow self. It is like zodiac signs if you will. They show what are the most dominant energies when it comes to you and the character traits that you are likely to have. 

Are you a little bit curious now? All you need is your full date of birth and basic addition skills!


What is a Personality Card?

Have you heard the saying that goes like – we have all come into this world with a purpose and once we find that purpose, we can be happy and fulfilled? I know, that was a very rough version of the proverb, but I just couldn’t remember the exact words of it. Anyway, if you have heard it before, and if you are anything like me, the first thought in your mind would ‘that’s all very lovely, but how do I find my life’s purpose?’

Well, the Personality Card is tells you about the lesson you are supposed to learn in this lifetime. Whether it is resolve you past issues or whether it is to grow comfortable in your skin or whether it is to learn to be patient or forgiveness. How you get there is up to you. Good old Tarot! It is here only to nudge you – the path you take is completely up to YOU.

What is a Soul Card?

Now that you know what the personality card stands for, you can probably guess what the Soul card stands for. Whether you believe in re-incarnation or not, the soul card can tell you your soul’s purpose. And since we are always evolving and discovering more about ourselves, who would say no to a little bit of extra help?

The Soul Card represents the very core of who you are. It is why you react the way you do or do the things that you didn’t think you could or ever would.

How to find out your Personality & Soul Cards?

To determine these two cards you add together your month, day, and year of birth. For instance, 31 August 1960 is 31+08+1960 = 1999

If you know even the basic numerology, you know we need to keep adding till we get the basic number in single digit. But in this case, since the Major Arcana Cards go upto 22, we need to add our numbers down to or below 22. So, 1999 will go further down to 1+9+9+9 = 28 and further 2+8 = 10
In this case, 10 is the Personality Cards number & it corresponds to Wheel of Fortune

We need to go one step further to get the Soul Card number. So, from 10 we get – 1+0 = 1
And the Soul Card number is 1 which corresponds to The Magician.

Now some of you may be going, but hey I got down to a single digit right at the personality card… what should I do for the soul card number? Well, you can have the same card for soul & personality cards. I am one of those people in fact. My date of birth adds up to 2010 and so I am left with 3 (The Empress) as both my Personality and Soul Cards.

What is the Shadow Card?

In psychology, shadow-self is the side of your personality that you consciously / subconsciously / unconsciously do not admit to (or do not want to admit to) having, depending on how self-aware you are. So, it would probably make sense to you if I said that a shadow card is what you don’t see or fear or reject about yourself. If you really want to change your life around, this is the card (I would say) you want to really pay attention to.

How to find out your Shadow Card?

Keep your soul and personality number handy for this one as I can think of only one way to explain this one – with examples. Remember the 31 August 1960 example we handled before? The Personality & Soul Card numbers that came out of it were 10 & 1. In this case the Shadow Factor card would be 19 – The Sun. 

Another example was that my own, where my Personality & Soul cards are the same, The Empress. In my case, 12 & 21 are my Shadow Cards.

The basic number remains the same. 1 in the first case, and 3 in the second case. You'll need to find the Shadow card by find the third number that adds up to the same basic number. So, in case your personality number is 13 and 22, your Shadow Card is 4.

However, if your birthday adds up to a number between 14 to 18, then you will have no Hidden Factor Card because these numbers are called Night-time Cards. In such cases, shadow aspects are an integral part of the personality of the person.

Here’s the list of Major Arcana cards corresponding to it’s number for you:

0 or 22: The Fool
1: The Magician
2: The High Priestess
3: The Empress
4: The Emperor
5: The Hierophant
6: The Lovers
7: The Chariot
8: Strength
9: The Hermit
10: Wheel of Fortune
11: Justice
12: The Hanged Man
13: Death
14: Temperance
15: The Devil
16: The Tower
17: The Star
18: The Moon
19: The Sun
20: Judgement
21: The World

We will obviously be learning about the Major Arcana next. But let's calculate your Personality, Soul & Shadow card numbers and look them up. Check out both the positive & negative aspects of each card and let me know if they resonate with you in the comments.







Disclaimer:
Remember, Tarot Cards DO NOT control you or your life.  They are just a tool and it is up to you to decide how to use it. Your choices and luck are of your own making, using the cards as a guideline. Reflect on the cards you get, take what resonates, and discard what doesn't.


 I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.


Wednesday, 15 September 2021

I am a Man - #MyFriendAlexa

September 15, 2021 1 Comments


Recently I came across a video by an alcohol brand where actor Sanjay Dutt is promoting the right kind of Masculinity (read Toxic), urging people to consume this particular alcohol, and become a real man.

The video is so toxic and stereotypical that even the most stereotypical men will find it offensive.


Now the point is, we all talk about female stereotypes, we all fight it in our own way (I hope we all do). But face it, female stereotypes are the real issue, but we also need to address the other elephant in the room, the male stereotypes. They are so interconnected that we can’t move forwards without addressing both issues.

According to various analysts and researchers, male characters fall within a range of stereotypes. 

The most popular stereotypes of male characters are:

The Joker: The funny who no one takes seriously, he is there just for the comic relief, most importantly, no girl wants to date him.

The Jock: He is athletic, muscular, date the sexiest girl, is usually dumb, and sucks at studies.

The Strong Silent Type: He exudes strength by taking action without expressing or worrying about their emotions. He loves to deny his emotions and feelings. Denial is his poison. 

The Big Shot: These are the people who think they are mighty or they are acting like they are better than everybody else when in reality they are not.

The Action Hero: This is the one with a savior complex. It’s his job to save someone, especially a girl. We see them everywhere with their inflated muscles and egos. 

The Buffoon: Commonly described as a bungling father figure. They are usually well-intentioned and light-hearted, however completely hopeless when it comes to parenting, dealing with domestic or career issues.

However, when we dig dipper, one common theme in all the stereotypes are 
“be a man, suck it up,”


Let us see what are the most common male stereotypes:


Vulnerability: The biggest stereotyped male behaviour is showing Vulnerability. Hey are suppose to be the MAN, can’t ask for help, can’t show fear, he will not express his love, in short, a robot with muscles.

And when they actually ask for help, they have penalized for the challenge of this notion.

Emotions (Sadness): The only emotion a man is allowed to show is his anger. In various cultures, men are socialized to be stoic.

And when they show any other emotion other than anger they are showed with amazing adjectives like being pussy.

Love for Sports: Men are supposed to love sports, especially the aggressive ones, like rugby, football, basketball.

Control their woman: A man have to be in control of his home, especially his wife. If one can’t control their wife, it’s a big shame.

Modesty: Men are expected to be proud of their achievements. Research shows that men who were more modest about their qualifications were evaluated as less likable.

Now, what we can do about it…

The simplest answer here is to teach our children to be more compassionate to everyone, celebrate men who dare to express their emotions, broaden gender stereotypical roles, most importantly do not gender police.

Let’s start this discussion with the wise words of Nelson Mandela,

“We slaughter one another in our words and attitudes. We slaughter one another in the stereotypes and mistrust that linger in our heads, and the words of hate we spew from our lips.” 




I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Discover the Author Within YOU - #WritingCommunity #WritingWorkshop #AspiringAuthors @heenasodhikhera @ItsaWoWlifeMB

September 08, 2021 0 Comments

 


"I didnt know I could write poetry - and today I am the author of an anthology of a poetry book and winner of an award!" Bina Pillai.

 

Like Bina, so many of us have the closet desire to write, to express, to publish.

To use the power of our words - to heal our lives,

and amplify our voice.

And yet, sometimes we just dont know where to begin.

Or how to go about things... 

Finally, it’s here. A wonderful, customized, group class (where you also get individual email consultation) and get a chance to learn from one of the most loved authors in India - Megha Bajaj, author of several acclaimed and inspiring books including The Breakthrough, published by Rupa. 

 


Not only will this workshop come to you at a never before, never again investment - but you will also get a chance to relax, learn and gain tremendous insights from an incredible mentor and a fun, like-minded group. 

If using words as a medium of expression, self-discovery and profession has been on your agenda here is your chance to give power to your dreams. 

Since we have  limited seats - request you to sign up by clicking HERE!









Monday, 6 September 2021

#MondayBlogs - It's time to clean up

September 06, 2021 1 Comments




“Wake up, wake up…”

The mighty husband is shouting.

I hate to wake up in the morning, especially on weekends. However, no one is bothered about it.

“Wake up, wake up… we have to go to Rishikonda, we decided, and you agreed”. He continued shouting.

Really, what I agreed to when I was in a good mood, cannot still be applicable on a Sunday morning at 5.30 AM. I DON’T THINK SO.

The mighty husband tried to kiss me, like I am some sleeping witch (I don’t like to call myself a witch; however I am sure that’s what he thinks about me). All I can feel is his mustache on my lips.

I am more annoyed than I was before.

“Please Wake up”.

I finally decided to get up, not for him, but to wear my new torn-off jeans pink shorts, which fits me only in the mornings.

We rode to Rishikonda Beach.

After reaching, he asked me whether I want to jog. The answer is a very obvious NO. And he took off jogging, and I am standing on the beach at 6.20 AM in the morning.

Someone, please suggest to me how to kill my husband without getting caught.

I decided to roam around when I saw a group of people who were cleaning the beach. And the OCD in me kicked in. I am a cleanliness freak, really I am, asked the husband, friends, and they can vouch for me.

And I decided to join them. I approach a serious-looking guy (later I came to know his name is Ramesh) and asked him if I can join them. He seemed happy to get an extra pair of hands.

And my cleaning journey started.



TheBeachcleanupclub (Silent volunteers): Thebeachcleanupclub club was started by 3 friends (Ramesh, Jitesh, Satyanand Prasad).

It all started when they went to the beach a day and got really annoyed with the plastic been piled up all over. Instead of blaming the government or the people around, they thought why don't we clean up the beach whenever it is possible for each of us.

The idea eventually transformed into weekend cleanup drives. It was a great thought working for nature, for the just two hours of our weekends.



Mission:
We need to create awareness in people in terms of why the waste is been pumped up on the shore, 70% of the plastic which is been filled on the shore is from the drainage which dumps the wastewater to the beach along with the plastic waste. We need to educate people not to throw plastic waste like (Milk packets, oil packets, and other plastics) into the drainage in front of their houses, instead, they can store them and give them to GVMC people or to any recycling organizations so that they can make eco-products out of it.

We urge people around,
“We all live in this Mother Earth and we are responsible for the things we are doing around. Every single conscious initiative we take towards plastic usage would really make this world a beautiful place" 

Vision:
TheBeachcleanupclub is not an organization or an NGO, we are a bunch of friends who took this decision to do better things for this Mother Nature.

We would love to expand our wings towards different activities like planting trees, educating children on this, etc. that way we all are going to make a huge difference to our environment.

And just like that, I am part of a group which actually is making a difference in their small way.

We clean various beaches in Vizag.

I made a very good friend name Srikant, he is kind of crazy like me. While cleaning, we chat all the time.

Apart from him, there is Ananda, who is super good at cleaning. Rosy, beauty with brain and I am pulling her legs all the time.  Ramesh, he is so serious all the time. Jitesh, he is so dedicated with some crazy hair.

We have collected at least 2000 beer bottles (I had no idea people drink so much), more than a ton of plastics, and many more items.

To sum it up, all I can say is, this is the very first time in my life, I look forward to waking up early in the morning that is also on weekends. This is a big improvement for a lazy-ass person like me. I look forward to the Sundays, meeting fellow beach cleaners, and continue making a difference in my tiny way.

Happy Cleaning



Thursday, 2 September 2021

#TarotThursday - 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Reading Tarot

September 02, 2021 0 Comments

 


I researched a lot about Tarot on the internet between the day I first felt myself attracted to a Tarot Deck and the day I bought my Tarot deck. And as you know, Google can be like going down a ‘Rabbit Hole’ especially if it a subject you know very little about.

I scrounged the internet for as much info as I could and tried out most of them before deciding what really worked for me. And today I am going to share them with you with a note that do what I did – take what resonates with you, and what works for you from this.

1) Let’s bust some myths:

- Tarot cards are Magic/Evil -> Tarot Decks do not have magical powers – good or bad. They are just pretty and colourful cards that have stories in them. The cards do not control or decide anyone’s life! It is the readers who bring in their own intuition to read the cards and decide what stories to tell and how to tell them. 

- You have to be a psychic to read Tarot Cards -> You don’t have to be a Psychic. All you need is your intuition. We are all born with a healthy dose of intuition – it is only a matter of developing it.


2) Choosing a Deck:

If you are choosing to learn Tarot because a deck called to you, then you already have this covered. But if that is not the case with you, I would advice you to check out multiple decks and see which one calls to you. Most decks have a ‘wow’ factor with beautiful artwork, and you need to remember to see beyond that. You’ll know it when you feel the pull, let your intuition guide you there. If you know someone who has multiple decks, check out theirs. Otherwise, you can also check out walkthrough and review videos of various decks on Youtube. 

And in case you are still unsure, here are some good beginner decks for your consideration:

The Original Rider-Waite deck is considered to be the best deck for beginners. And, for most part I agree with it because the deck has an amazing amount of details and comes with a quite clear instruction booklet.

The Light Seer's Tarot by Chris-Anne has a beautiful design where the artwork and depiction is different from that of Rider-Waite, but the cards follow the Rider-Waite concept.

Gilded Tarot Royale by Ciro Marchetti and Barbara Moore is an amazingly illustrated tarot that is both rich in its illustrations and symbolism making it easier to connect with them.


3) Handling and Maintaining Your Tarot Deck:

You need to cleanse your deck once after buying it and before starting to use it. It is also advisable to cleanse it between readings for different people and in general. Some common ways to cleanse your deck is using incense, sage you clear the energies around your Tarot. You can also leave them out in the open on full moon nights. You can also use crystals for the same.

Please keep your Tarot stored in a non-cluttered area. You can keep them in their boxes or in velvet pouches or covered in scarves to ensure that the energies are not disturbed. Black cloth or pouches are best in order to stop the cards being disturbed by external energies.


4) Connecting with Your Deck:

Handle your deck every day. Read them every day, shuffle them and in general keep them close to you. Some even suggest sleeping with the cards under your pillow in the early days. As we have learned, Tarot cards do not have any power of their own – it is your intuitive energy that helps you read them. As such, it is important that you deal with them as much as possible – especially in the beginning.


5) Learning Tarot:

Everyone has their own way of connecting and learning Tarot. In the following days, I am going to share my learnings with you all and would absolutely love it if you join me. But it is important to remember that no two people have same personality or the same learning style. So, it very well maybe that you will discover your own method of studying the cards. But few points to keep in mind are:

- Memorising the keywords is not enough. At the beginning, memorising the keywords associated with each card may be helpful, or even the only way for you to progress in your learning. But eventually it won’t be enough. So, even if you begin by memorising the keywords, take time to connect with the cards and see how each keyword is represented in the card. Only then will you be able to tell the stories that they are capable of telling.

- Always learn from 2-3 or more sources. While each card has a set of keywords, experienced Tarot readers develop their own way of interpreting not only individual cards, but also connecting the cards to make sense of a reading. All the different perspectives can help you see things more clearly and develop your own style.


I hope that this was informative for you. Next week, I will share a secret about how to find yourself in the cards and then we will delve into learning the cards one by one.




Monday, 30 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - "I Do"

August 30, 2021 0 Comments

Photo by Asad Photo Maldives from Pexels


“We have been the best of friends for more than ten years now and have seen each other through a lot of shit that life has chosen to throw at us. Yet here we are, our friendship is stronger than ever. But, for quite some time now, for months actually… I have had much stronger feelings for you. Its much more than just friendship. I… I think I am in love with you.”

It was exactly what I had wanted to hear from him for over two years now. To actually hear him say it was so different from the thousands of ways that I had imagined of over the years. For starters, instead of feeling excited or ecstatic, I felt like somebody had just doused me with a bucketful of ice cold water. Secondly, I was sure that I had prepared different replies for him depending upon how he chose to propose me – some funny, some serious, some romantic and some downright mushy lines ready in my mind for when the time came. But at that moment I could not think of a single thing to say to him. Instead my full attention was on him. I could almost see the hundred different thoughts racing through his mind with each second that he waited for me to say something. He was definitely faking the cool and calm composure he had put up in front of me.

“Look, I know that this might seem very sudden to you. Take time to think it over. After all, I had months to process my real feelings for you, to consider the pros & cons of getting in a relationship with you. I just wanted you to know that I am totally sure about us…”

He had drifted off, fixing his gaze on something mundane outside the window. He looked so adorable when he was nervous. He was not the most patient person around and I was sure that he was just trying to be fair to me when he said that I could take some time to think over. But really, he must have been wishing that he could just ‘shake’ the answer out of me immediately. He looked back at me and a slight pucker appeared between his brows.

“You are angry! I have upset you… I am so sorry. I swear I did not mean to hurt you. Here, go ahead and slap me or hit me – whatever you feel like. I just couldn’t keep it from you any longer. You know how bad I am at not telling you stuff. Please don’t be angry.”

Strange! He was usually a hundred percent accurate at reading my moods and expressions. He had eleven years, three months and seventeen days of practice at it. But for the first time, I doubted him for a second. Why would I be angry at him for finally telling me what I had been longing to hear for a long time? Why would I be upset to hear that the person I was in love with, returned my feelings for him?

“Oh God! Brishti, just say something, will you? Don’t just sit there, looking at me like that when I have proposed you. Or do something… Wanna kill me for doing this to you? Go ahead and take a shot. If you feel like breaking something, there’s a lot of china pieces lying around. Just stop looking at me like that.”

That’s when realization hit me – he was right. I was angry. I was upset. He could read my expressions but he could not read the turmoil behind it. I finally got myself to speak, “I don’t know what to say. I wish I could say that I feel the same way about you, but I can only be your friend.” No matter how we truly felt about each other, I could only be his friend. I was upset because, I wished I could tell him how much I truly loved him. I was upset because I wanted to be the one to take care of him for the rest of his life. I wanted to be the one he would always turn to, the one he came home to and the one he would always hold in his arms. But what I wanted to be and what I could be were such extremes.

I was angry at myself, at life and at God for everything that stopped me from being who I wanted to be. If only I didn't have so much baggage. If only, I still had my family. If only, I hadn’t spent a good part of my life at a counselor’s office. I thought about the hysterics inside that office. I thought about the cold and empty flat I called home. But mostly I thought about the bottle of small white pills that sat on my bedside table and lent to the illusion of me that sat in front of him today. Did I really want him to suffer with me? No, I was doing the right thing by not telling him – I told myself. He did not deserve me. He was meant for much better and greater things in life. He deserved someone just like him --- carefree, loving, caring and most importantly, someone baggage-free, who wouldn’t clip his wings and let him fly high like he was meant to.

“I guess I sort of knew it in my subconscious that you did not feel the same way. Maybe that’s why I kept stalling. But in the end, I just had to let you know, you know? I do not want to spend the rest of my life wondering. I had to take a chance and be sure. Do you think you can forgive me for overstepping my boundaries? Please? I don’t want to loose my buddy.”

When He looked at me with those big warm brown eyes, how could I say no to him? I heard myself say in a very lighthearted tone, “Of course you fool! Didn’t I just say that I will always be your friend. I will be there till the day you need me.”

“Well then I will go with forever ‘coz I don’t think I will never not need you!”

He then gave me a heart melting smile and proceeded to return to his old comforting ways. As if this conversation had never happened. I couldn’t help but wonder if I was the only one who was putting up an act. But I promised myself that I would be there for him till he had someone else to turn to.


That was then and this was now.

Three years have passed since then. Things between us were like what it was before that day at the restaurant. In the meantime, I was still stuck at the same flat, at the same job, at the same counselor’s office and with the same bottle of white pills on my bedside. He on the other hand, had climbed the corporate ladder quite fast. He had been sent abroad for a year to work on some project. That's where he had met her. After a whirlwind affair, here we were gathered today, at a church for the wedding of Akash & Sarah. Sarah was just another kindred spirit, who was just a shade bit more responsible than him. It was clear to me and to everyone else gathered there, that they were meant to be.

As they stood at the altar, ready to exchange their wows, they looked radiant. I remembered my promise to myself and realized that Sarah would truly be his better half. It was time for me to fade away in the shadows of his past and so I did right at the moment he said, “I Do”.





Thursday, 26 August 2021

#TarotThursday - Why I Want to Continue My Tarot Journey

August 26, 2021 0 Comments


In my last post about Tarot, I have talked about my Tarot journey so far. It would be easier to give up on it right now than to start from the beginning again.

To be clear, I have to studied or practiced Tarot in over 5 years and I had left off even before I had completed studying the whole of Minor Arcana. I have lost my connection to it for most parts – if not completely and I am not sure if I remember all of what I had learned.

But I want to continue this journey and learn and discover more. And I want to start afresh.

The aspect of Tarot that attracted me the most is the fact that Tarot doesn’t claim to have any control over our lives. It is simply a tool to take a look into a person’s past, present and future. While some people claim that Tarot can predict the future, I see it as more of a tool to guide a person towards the future.

Tarot for me is a way of self-discovery and storytelling. It tells us what was, what is and what can be. It can be used to understand yourself better and take a stock of what surrounds you and how best to utilize the resources that one has. For instance, when a person is under tremendous pressure or feeling particularly vulnerable, they may not be in a state to take stock of their situation completely or pragmatically. In such situations, Tarot can guide a person to find out the blockages or the hurdles and that of the resources that are available to them but were being overlooked.

Though it is suggested that a reader should never read for themselves due to the biases that may affect the reading our personal blocks, I found it particularly enlightening to draw a card for myself each day (even if I hadn’t already studied a particular card) when I started teaching myself the art of Tarot. I would let myself look at the card and let my feelings guide to what I expected from the day. And not surprisingly, I would get different vibes from the same card on different days. It was then that I noticed that my personal moods affected how I interpreted each card. On the days I was feeling particularly positive, I would see the brighter aspects of a card and on the days, I wasn’t in the best of moods, I would align with the negative aspects of the cards.

For instance, take ‘The Fool’ card:

On a good day, I would see a person embarking on a daring adventure with a loyal companion in tow. Yet on a bad day, all I could see was a person taking a leap off an edge to the unknown.

Does the card mean one or the other? Fact is, it could be both depending the position and on the other cards in a spread. It could mean a new beginning and trust. And it could mean foolishness and naivety too.

I still do believe that a reader should not read for themselves or people they are really close to. But I did benefit from daily draws for myself while learning because paying attention to what aspects of a card I was drawn towards on a given day did give insight to my own state of mind and heart. And since I used to do it in the mornings, I could pay attention to how things were affecting me that day and how I was reacting to things. Slowly that helped me understand myself better and pay attention to my own intuition better.

It would be great to be able to become a professional reader one day. Till then I want to try I learn it better because I have never gravitated to anything more naturally before and the attraction I feel to it is not something I want to ignore any longer.


Do you have any experience with Tarot?





Monday, 23 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - Crazy, Stupid, Love

August 23, 2021 0 Comments




Photo by How Far From Home from Pexels

“But I can feel your love, as strong as mine” – Arjun B

Love, the four-letter word makes this world go around, even when we don’t like it. This is the most abused, misunderstood, misused word in the world. Yet, even the most broken, damaged souls we carve for love, some affection, a touch with desire.

In short, we all desire love in some form or other, like friendship, parents, siblings, and most desired a lover’s love.

Today let's discuss love, the romantic, heartbreaking, passionate love. 

But why do you desire someone?

It is not forever, it breaks your heart into million pieces, and it will make you cry on those lonely nights, where you feel closer to the dark sky and far from your lover.

Before we go into that, let’s see what the stages of love are...

Dilkashi (Attraction):
The first of attraction, the first sigh of longing.

Uns (Attachment):
At this stage, she is developing her interest in him and decides to woo her or just ignore him and give him the chance to woo her. 

Mohobbat (Love):
She starts feeling at top of the world, butterflies in her mind lost in thoughts of her beloved. This is the most euphoric of all stages.

Akidat (Trust):
She started trusting him more than anything and anyone. 

Ibadat (Worship):
Her love reaches the extend of worshiping him.

Junoo (Madness):
She finds her own identity incomplete without him, a stage of obsession.

Maut (Death):
The final stage of love, DEATH, where the self-identity is completely lost. 

Now back to the main question, why are we so crazy about love.....

Childhood Neglect:
The theory the psychologist propose is that people who crave love usually do this because they grew up without affection or emotional intimacy. It’s like one needs to be holding them in their arms and tell them loving words. If this is the reason for the love, it feels like a black hole consuming them from inside.

Procreate Babies:
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer maintained that love, based on sexual desire and makes babies. This is the biological theory of the crazy need for love, creating a mini us in this oblivious world. This theory also tangled sex and creating babies. We love (read Sex) because our desires lead us to believe that another person will make us happy.

According to this, men like Ovulation women as they can reproduce.

I really don’t think the theory is enough to explain the mystery of love, anyhow, who doesn’t like sex.

Escape from our Loneliness:
Well, we all relate to this. It’s like someone fills the vacuum that we are carrying. However, the type and loneliness various time to time, hence the type of lover. This quality is often seen in people with high emotional intelligence, poets, and writers.

The Best way to describe this is.....

প্রেম আসলে ছন্নছাড়া,
দৌড়ে বেড়ায় এদিক ওদিক,
শূন্য মন ভরায় যে,
সেই আমার তখন প্রেমিক।

A loose translation...

Love is aimless, roaming around all day. Whoever can fill the vacuum of my heart, is my love for the time being.

Love is Misleading affliction: Gautama Buddha said we love because we are trying to satisfy our basic desires of companionship. However, our passionate cravings are defects, and the end attachment even if it is romantic love, results in a great source of suffering.

Love lets us reach beyond ourselves:
French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir proposed that love is the desire to be one with another and it supposes to infuse our lives with meaning.

She advised to love authentically; it is more like a great friendship. Like a mutual support system, each other in discovering themselves, reaching beyond themselves, and enriching their lives as well as the world, together.

Though it is literally impossible to know why we fall in love, one thing is certain that it’ll be an emotional rollercoaster ride. 

We lose ourselves. 

We find ourselves. 

It might end in heartbreak or the best thing in life. 

Hence, the moral of the story, love is the pain and is the cure and we humans are powerless in front of it. 

“I cannot let you burn me up, nor can I resist you. No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.” A.S. Byatt


 


Thursday, 19 August 2021

#TarotThursday - My Journey With Tarot So Far...

August 19, 2021 0 Comments

 

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

For as long as I can remember, I have been curious about the different branches of Occult. I remember reading up dozens of books on Palmistry while still in middle school; and reading books on Astrology during college days. They were fun parlour tricks for a time, looking at people’s hand and telling them whether they would have a love marriage or how many kids they may have and if they should be careful about their health. The novelty wore off quickly enough for me to abandon the pretence that I believed in them completely.

It is the biggest dichotomy of my life! I do not really believe in fate. Or that the planets and stars can influence our life paths from thousands of light years away; or that the story of our lives are already set in the lines on our palms. I am a control freak and as such even trying to imagine that my life path is already set and completely out of my control send me down a rabbit hole that no one should ever have to experience. And so, I do not believe that we have no control over our own lives – that they are all predetermined by the position of planets during our birth or that they are set in the lines of our palms. Yet, when I am down and feel beaten, I cannot help but wonder if there is indeed something called fate that controls us all and fighting against it to set our own paths is just setting ourselves up for failure.

Then around 2012, I discovered Tarot. It is not that I discovered its existence then, just that I was drawn to Tarot then. I was at a bookstore where they had a section for Occult and as usual, I wandered over to it after I had my fill of the Mystery/Thriller section. I felt myself drawn right to a particular tarot deck. The store had open sample decks for people to be able to explore before buying and while I checked out quite a few of them, I kept going back to one particular deck. I do not remember what deck it was, and I have not seen it again since – but the artwork on that deck told me stories. It was expensive enough for me to leave the store without buying it that day. But it stayed with me for so long (and I still remember the artwork on it till date) that I decided to give Tarot a try. Unfortunately, when I went back to the store few months later, that deck was out of stock already. I ended up buying my first deck – an original Rider-Waite deck because of course I had researched online, and most websites recommended the Rider-Waite deck for beginners.

So, it was beginning of 2013 that I started my journey with Tarot. And I must put a disclaimer here that I fully expected it to be similar to my experience with Palmistry and Astrology. I did not take any classes on tarot and instead read up online and developed my own way to learn tarot. It was a slow process because I was no longer a student. I was married, working, and struggling in those days to even stay awake after I had done my work and household chores. I would go months in between when I wouldn’t touch my deck and then go back to revising my learning before continuing just to make sure I had not forgotten in between. This continued till 2015 and then I had to give it up completely due to my work and family commitments, I had gone back to university to study and health complications.

I may not have studied Tarot for the last 5/6 years, but I could never let go of it completely either. I would still watch videos and read up articles in between. And, now that I have a bit more time (I think I do, I am never really sure) I want to get back to it seriously.

If you are wondering if it is going to be any different from my experiences with Astrology, Palmistry and even with Tarot so far – I really hope so. For one, I like how Tarot doesn’t claim to have any control over my life. And as someone whose first passion is reading, the fact that Tarot tells me stories through the cards is also a factor that makes it different from the other Occult branches that I have studied so far. I feel a connection here that I have not felt with anything before – even when I studied Graphology for a year in between.

As I go back to studying Tarot, I would really like to start at the beginning again and brush up before advancing. And I will freely admit that I need to create content for this blog. So, I thought I could maybe kill two birds with one stone – study Tarot again and chronicle my learnings in this blog.


Now, my question to you is – will you be willing to hold me accountable so that I keep at it?
If you are knowledgeable about Tarot, would you drop by with tips and ideas for me?
Or, if you have been curious about Tarot, then come learn with me?




Monday, 9 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - Just for a Day

August 09, 2021 0 Comments

Photo by Athena from Pexels




Girl;

You help the sun to blaze
You help the moon to shine
I have seen you with fireflies, twinkling in the darkest nights.


Just for once let your hair loose,
Let the hurricane become the breeze for you
The moonlight wants to burn you from inside... out


I am about to paint a picture on your naked skin,
Under thousands of stars,
In those rain soaked paddy fields


Let me love you just for this once,
I don’t want you, except for tonight...
You know, don’t like the tangled strings


Just for once, love me like you mean it
Hold me like you will never let me go,
Kiss me like its raindrops


Tomorrow, go back to being epic
Tonight let's set the night on fire,
Let me drive you to the eternal dark.




Monday, 2 August 2021

#MondayBlogs - A Different Life

August 02, 2021 0 Comments
Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels


When I was young and hated to go to school, my mother would always tell me that one day I would find ‘education’ was the only thing that could liberate me in life. Whenever she made me sit and do my homework or study for my exams, she would keep chanting, ‘This is going to be your ticket to a different life. You don’t want one like mine. You’ll see… you will be free and then you will thank me for putting you through this.’ At first, I was too young to understand what she meant. Then I was a rebelling teenager to whom her mother was the ‘bad guy’ in real life, and I did not have a moment to understand her motivations. Soon I was too wrapped up in my own life to give a second thought to what she meant and what she wanted for me.

Today, I am turning 40. I have already lived through a big part of my life – I would like to think more than half. I have seen see a lot of places and people. I have had my share of ups and downs of life and I have gathered a lot of experience - experience of learning from my mistakes and triumphs and also from the mistakes of those around me. Today, I am turning 40. I am married to a ‘very successful’ man; I am a mother of two most beautiful children and an efficient home maker.

I had met my husband in college and have been together ever since. We had even done our Masters in Business Administration together, with same majors. We had the same ambition and the same drive. ‘We both want the same things from life,’ he had said. ‘Nobody else can understand this need better. Why wait? Let’s get married and be together to support each other.’ We had eloped and gotten married straight out of the University. I remember our initial struggle. For the first five years we had worked hard to make the ends meet and build some sort of life for ourselves. We had finally reached a stage of stability in life, but our long hours had taken us away from each other. We hardly knew the person we had become and knew even less about the other.

Things changed again when I got pregnant and found out that we were going to have twins. We started working harder and even longer hours. In the fifth month of my pregnancy, he said, “Why don’t you take a break from your job? The job, home and now the twins. It is too much stress. I am going to call your mother to come stay with us and you can quit your job. Just sit back and relax. You need to think about your health, and you must think about the health of the babies as well. All this stress cannot be good for them. You can always get back to work later.” So, I quit my job. Since then my life has changed completely.

Every mother likes to think that their child is the best and most beautiful thing on this earth.  I do so too. But I do not mean their physical appearance; they have the best from both of us and while we are both average looking, our children are beautiful. But I actually meant about their personality, their nature and their temperament. They hardly ever fuss or fight. They are very adaptable and most sensitive about their surroundings… They know the importance of a good education and excel in their classes. My son enjoys playing the guitar while my daughter loves to sing. I revel in their talents.

Personally, my life has become very monotonous and predictable.  My mornings start with the rush of school & office. The day passes on with washing & cleaning. Evenings are busy with homework and preparation of dinner. My husband usually arrives at the nick of time for dinner. After a family dinner and discussion of each person’s highlight of the day, the kitchen beckons me for one last clean down. By the time I am done cleaning, checking on the kids and a shower to wash off the day’s exhaustion, I find my husband snoring slightly on his side of the bed.

Today as I turn 40, I look back over my shoulders to the days that have gone by. I see all the forks in my life where my decisions took me towards one and away from the other. I can see all the failures and I can see all my triumphs. I can see how, when and where the priorities in my life had changed. I can see what I had wanted to be and what I had become.  I finally realized what I always wanted to be like – everything that my mother was not; a practical career-oriented woman who was totally independent. I can see what I had become – everything that she was; a sentimental and emotional housewife whose whole world revolved around her husband and children.

Today as I turn 40, I find myself looking back at the little girl whose mother kept telling her that education would bring her freedom. I finally have the time and maturity to understand her motivations. So, I ask myself, am I anymore free than she was? Do I have a ‘different life’?