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Below are the photos and descriptions of the cards that popped out when I asked God what messages we should keep in mind as move into our new year and close out the previous cycle. I hope this resonates with you and you get something that you need out of the messages.
***Note: This reading was done using Pamela Steele's Eternal Seeker Oracle Deck. I am not affiliated with her and take no ownership over her intellectual property.
The Elder Gods' primal male energies bring discipline and order to the unknown wilds. With principles and doctrine as hard as granite, these Gods command the primeval forest, tempestuous seas, and vast landscapes. But unlike granite, the Elder Gods can and will retaliate against those who seek to destroy their domain. For untold millennia, their stories and deeds have been passed down through the generations. Tales of heroes long buried and epic songs of glory capture our imaginings and our souls that cry out for honor, justice, and freedom.
Only by honoring all with whom we share our planet can we survive and prosper. We are not all born to lead. Soldiers, citizens, and families are also essential to the delicate ecosystem of our societies within our vast and varied civilizations. It's vital that we stay connected to our roots. Only through history can we see where our paths diverge and meet. Only by studying the past can we remember and learn from our transgressions and victories. We cannot survive by focusing on our differences. Our strength, our future depends on our common humanity. The World Tree's roots run deep and touch each and every part of existence. To deny or ignore the existence of the ancient teachings would not be unlike chopping down the World Tree for firewood. By looking only at the needs and agenda of today, the destruction would be the equivalent of building one's own funeral pyre from all that is sacred. To be given "dominion" over the earth and its inhabitants does not give one license to dominate and destroy. After all, it is unsanitary to defecate in your own backyard. Plus, you will eventually step in it... which is disgusting.
Before time, before history, the Elder Gods came to be in our forests, waters, and mountains. They brought order to chaos and charmed beasts with their music, words, and presence. These gods were a part of, rather than apart from, those wild passions we are taught to fear and deny. Here is the Grand Father, the one whose body is the trunk, branches, and roots of the ancient trees, and his bones the granite of the earth. His hair is wild winter snow, and stone becomes his skin. The tattoo on his arm honors the dragon, which symbolizes courage and great power. Since dragons protect the Earth and all living things, they are considered the most powerful of all the Celtic symbols. The golden armband denotes the masculine attributes of protection, growth, and knowledge. His leather vest is adorned with golden symbols of eternal divinity. From his belt hangs a hunting horn. Since horns are an animal's weapon, it follows that they serve as a symbol representing strength and aggression. They also symbolize the power divinity, as his horned headdress declares him the Lord of Animals. His staff of yew denotes his dominion over all that is primal and raw. The Stag signals that the time has come for a quest, and announces the God's arrival in the misty forest. First, the Elder God masters himself. For what is true mastery without first being whole? He leads by example in the old ways, walking the old path.
Guidelines: Strength and honor are the foundations of peace and freedom. To be strong and fierce in the face of adversity, to gain victory against overwhelming odds, these are the fires that feed the soul's forge. To protect those who are vulnerable is the highest calling for those who seek to be of service. Solid and steady, the forces that wilderness must first master their own inner beast.
A fundamental aspect of choice is between what is sacred and what is profane. If you have to ask, "Is this ethical?," the answer is probably "No." The choice is also Free Will. We are always free to choose. If someone cries, "I had no choice!" they are sadly mistaken. There is always a choice. You may not like the choices, but they're still valid. If the decision is the choice between bodily harm, dire circumstances, or even death, then what must be examined are the millions, or more, moment-to-moment decisions that brought about these do-or-die circumstances. It's rarely one monumental choice that backs a person into a corner. Do you choose your lovers, friends, and companions on the basis of clear sight and compatibility? Or are you terrified of being alone and choose from desperation? Do you see a potential mate and think, "There's a real fixer-upper!"? Do you find yourself repeating patterns of destructive relationships where each time you believe this is the one? Eye colors may differ, as do hair colors and other unimportant attributes, but the core personality and consequential outcome continue to remain constant in every relationship. To word it differently, what compels you to make the choices you make? By objectively examining our choices we will reveal the patterns that have become ingrained in our psyches. When we learn to identify and opt out of destructive patterns, our choices will naturally become more productive and beneficial.
When choosing friends, companions, or mates, too often we seek someone we believe will complete us. The irony here lies in the truth that we are already whole and complete unto ourselves. There may be parts that have been injured or damaged during our lives, which we have carefully wrapped in cotton batting and tucked away in a safe place with the promise of "I'll be back for you later." The problem is that every time you reexamine that injury, all the emotional trauma associated with the event strikes with the subtlety of a tsunami. We are immediately overwhelmed and naturally run away once again, leaving the broken pieces of ourselves behind. However, what if you talk to yourself then as you are now? Why not approach the wounded inner child as the parent, teacher, or mentor you have become? First, know that the choices the other you made were done with all the intelligence, experience, and wisdom you possessed at that time. Even if you did nothing, that was a choice. But now, as an older, wiser you, you can counsel the younger you with compassion. You can become your own Spirit Guide and recover the missing parts with gentle strength and love, thus moving forward toward wholeness.
Her golden cup overflows with both purity of spirit and carnal desire. The Serpent of Wisdom that twines around her body is echoed in the stem of the illuminated chalice. White, translucent orbs surround the Cup Bearer, providing protection and undesignated energies that ensure the purity of intent. Dual forces emanate from the cup to flow and surround those seeking her affections and attention. Those who cling to her offer either temptation and unbridled passion or security and steadfast devotion. One offers order, safety, and complete comfort. The other promises chaos, uncertainty, and sensual passion. It is up to you to choose.
Guidelines: The more closely we choose to align with Spirit, the closer we get to achieving wholeness. The choice here is between what is sacred to you and what you believe to be profane. Listen closely to what your heart is saying. Ask the person you will be tomorrow how this decision tastes the morning after. Where does this choice lead you in three days, months, or years? Gather your knowledge, experience, and wisdom to make the best choice possible for you and you alone.
Reversed: A relationship is in danger of being lost or broken. Trust is being destroyed by an ill-considered decision. There is the possibility of indiscretion and infidelity. There is no honor in being indecisive. The answer is not in the guise of others. The flimsy excuse "The Devil made me do it' doesn't let you off the hook for the choices made. Ignoring the situation will not make it go away. Remember that your most important relationship is with yourself. A choice must be made.
How can we stand in the light and not cast a shadow? The challenge here is to realize that the darkness serves us well on our paths. Each of us has said, has thought, and has acted in ways that we sooner or later regret. At the time, our words and actions may have felt and seemed justified, but upon reflection we realize that that is not who we are. In order to divert attention from what we believe was a despicable action, we may hide the facts or place blame outside ourselves by making excuses. During this period we may adopt a control drama to elicit sympathy or support from others. There is the ever-popular victim card, where someone or something outside ourselves forced us to behave in an unacceptable manner. This encourages the gathered crowd to feel sympathy. Other perpetrators may employ interrogation methods and ask ever-more-redundant questions, seeking answers that support bad behavior or suggest innocence. We might defend our actions with aggression, trying to force others to our way of thinking, thus making it acceptable to be stupid or wrong. Still, others become aloof or mysterious and pretend it never happened. But we all watched the cat miss the back of the sofa and disappear behind it with a thump. Nonchalantly strolling out and then stopping to groom your fur isn't fooling anyone. We all make poor choices. We all make mistakes. What happens next is what is most important.
People do not learn valuable lessons by always getting things right. Be it social norms, religious doctrine, or traditionally accepted codes of conduct, on occasion every person screws up. We may strive for perfection, thus ensuring tribal acceptance, but since we are being human we will not always succeed. The first step in growth is to admit and own what happened or what was said. The next step is to begin to correct the mistake. Be it a sincere apology or reconsidering offending comments, it needs to be acknowledged. If nothing else, you can begin with "Oops, my bad" and proceed from there. This is vital because once you've owned it, you have the power to change it. Begin with small steps and continue until your course is corrected. When you have achieved redemption, you can reflect upon the events and shake your head in wonder while you think, "That wasn't me." And you're right. That wasn't you. But now you know Who You Are Not and can get on with the business of being Who You Are.
Endless shadows form dark and twisting shapes in the eternal nothingness. From the deepest dark, a shape emerges and takes form. Eerily, an ebony dragon with eyes the colors of fire manifests behind the lone human adrift in the smoky gloom. Sensing a presence, the person's first thoughts dredge up primal fear from the depths of remorse. Panic freezes all movement, and the human is held hostage by terror. Slowly, breath by breath, gathering courage, the mortal being turns to face the demon from within. At once, human eyes behold the fragile beauty of the dragon with its flame-bright eyes, raven-black scales, and luminous silver horns. Recognition comes slowly as the veil lifts to reveal one's soul reflected in the eyes of the darkness. Gathering the night-black shadows into loving arms, power is reclaimed and wholeness takes root.
Guidelines: When we deny any part of ourselves, we deny wholeness. Become your own hero, mentor, and protector. Embrace your inner darkness and reclaim your power. You would not eternally punish a child for a mistake they made in the past. Do you not realize you also deserve forgiveness? If we are to truly become Warriors of Light, we must be strong enough to embrace the shadows we cast.
Reversed: When ego interferes with growth, you deny a part of yourself. How can one side of the coin cast disparity on its other half? Avoiding confrontation may serve you well unless it involves confronting your shadows. True courage is recognizing and acknowledging the fear and moving forward in spite of that fear. Become your own hero. Embrace your shadows.
We, as divine beings experiencing humanity, will find it is not entirely possible to fully know and understand infinity. We chose this existence of finite boundaries and limitations to better understand and express the illusion of individuality because this cannot be done as pure spirit, which is, by definition, infinite. Yet, during our human adventures there is still what might be termed "a ghost of an idea" that there is far more to our sagas than what we can see, hear, smell, taste, and touch. It sits quietly at the center, patiently waiting for you to give it a nod or a wink. For those who are destined to follow a certain path, sooner or later you will be drawn to your calling. Something will happen that grabs you by the ears and forces you to look closely with both eyes. Some of you may even experience a near-death experience (NDE) and even leave the body for a brief tour of the beyond. During these times of intensity, everything can seem to be condensed into the expanded moment you are experiencing. Time seems to slow, and your surroundings are crisp, clear, and in 3-D. Every detail is etched into your memories, and as the events unfold, you may become aware of the feeling that you are being watched. At this moment, Spirit has entered and you are forever changed, because as of now you remember.
For the past couple of thousand years plus, philosophy and mathematics have striven to explain the unexplainable to our limited brains. In some cases, they would have better luck trying to get an octopus to play the bagpipes. But regardless, some of us have tripped and gone down that rabbit hole at some time in our lives. For example, my teen years were spent largely on horseback while avoiding school. This gave me precious time alone and afforded loads of time to think. I remember clearly contemplating division and wondering how far anything could be divided repeatedly, even beyond what the human eye could see. The answer I came up with was "infinity." Of course, after arriving at that conclusion I decided to go the other way and wondered how many times something could be multiplied before it was too large for humans to contemplate. Again, I arrived at the same answer. This leads to the question "Just what is infinity?"
Beyond the known universe the cosmos dances and spins in perfect synchronicity. Using the ebb and flow of stars, planets, moons, and galaxies, the Creator of All That Is weaves the Tapestry of Life with no beginning and no end. The subtle elegance of Divine Creation captures the music of the spheres in the chorus of all life, thus giving Voice to the Infinite. Infinity may be difficult to explain or describe, perhaps because it is meant to be experienced. To reach beyond our senses into the Void, we must first incorporate our essence into our daily lives. Only by Spirit breathing its essence into our bodies do we live. Only by allowing Spirit a Voice can we find our way out of the darkness. Only by Spirit's grace can we exist.
Guidelines: The expanded moment of awareness where we accept, acknowledge, and embrace our place in the Universe. The infinite "now" brings our thoughts, actions, and voices into harmony with the Grand Design. There is only this moment. Where there was a restriction, there is now endlessness.
Reversed: Time is a creation of the mind whereby we experience the fullness of the material plane. It is a coming to be and passing away, not that which abides. Where before there was nothing, there is now fulfillment. It is in the doing that you find creation. Do not let past moments define you in your entirety. Expand and express your truth as it is now. It is in "being" that you find yourself.
The law applies to the highest and the lowest. It is for all, and there are none above or outside the law. The Law is unbiased, balanced, and impersonal. It cares not for beauty or riches but is founded on giving. As the proverb "A gift demands a gift" reads, so does the law determine your worth. Yet, this law cannot be bought or sold. It is unbreakable, secure, and immutable. It is the Law of Spirit and supersedes the laws of man, religions, ideologies, and governments. There is no escape from Spiritual Law. It is handed down by Divine Providence to each and every being. There is no bartering with this law. Knowing that this fundamental, core truth is at the center of humanity's soul should be binding us together as opposed to driving wedges between us. It has been spoken or written in all languages known to man, and a few others we are still trying to decipher. It is what constitutes each person's moral fiber.
To clarify, throughout history each culture has voiced the law and passed it along to others. The biblical law reads "You reap as you sow" and is repeated in the Law of Karma to name two instances. But what about times of war, when it is imperative that each side believes in their divine right to dominate and rule? How are we to fathom who is right and who is not, since the victors write the histories? Luckily, we don't have to decide anything. This decision is between the individual, their personal deity, and their beliefs. At this juncture of life passing into death, many cultures believe in an afterlife where they are judged by their Creator for their worth. At the end of the current life, each being will then be granted the grand prize of a glorious afterlife or condemned to the pits of damnation for eternity... unless they have a "Get out of jail free" card that may be used at this time. This is otherwise known as moral-justice "points," which can be acquired through good deeds and acts of kindness.
A snow-covered mountain dominates the background. Golden twin pillars and a silver ceiling grace the shining domain of justice and mediation. This court is known by all who come before the arbiter as a place of justice and reconciliation. His ax represents the power of destruction and creation and can often be found in the hands of a Gnostic warrior. It is both a weapon and a tool, portraying the duality and balanced purpose of the law. His robe, fashioned from a grizzly bear's discarded form, denotes strength and inner wisdom. Wearing a kilt made from gray wolf fur symbolizes neutrality in social issues. He sits upon a marble chair. The back of his seat is inlaid with sacred cedar, which forms the Celtic symbol for Justice. His gold armband and breastplate signify the right to pass judgment. He listens without bias or prejudice. He sees with clarity and knows the truth of the petitioner's heart. The Universe has heard and reviewed your petition. Your choices have brought you here and now.
Guidelines: You are receiving the proportion of equal amounts, that which you have put into a project, an investment, or your life. The rewards and accolades awarded you are the proper payment for the efforts you have extended. The decision is just and has been made in fairness. You have been granted what is your due, and now it is up to you to gather your resources and achieve your goals.
Reversed: "There ain't any free lunch. More effort is needed from you or on your behalf in order to gain what you believe is rightfully yours. Lack of accountability has led to dishonesty, flaws, and legal complications. It is in your best interest to find where the system has failed, and then take steps to correct the errors. No one can do this for you. The next step is entirely up to you.