Monday, January 30, 2006

The Gift

So today pretty much sucked. In fact, it started sucking last night, when my throat started to feel scratchy and when our new moon ritual was only kinda ok, which happens sometimes, but it's so much nicer when everyone really clicks. And then, the cloture vote. Less said at the moment, the better. I'm still trying to process what to do next. At five o'clock, an absurdly early hour for me, I gave up and drove home, getting more despondent every minute.

When I opened the door, there on my floor was a package that the mailman had brought to me from one of the many dear friends I have that I've never met. For no reason at all, except to wish me a happy holy day on Imbolc, February, 2nd, was this amazingly gorgeous new tarot deck. And it's some kind of serendipity because, last night at the dark moon, we cleansed and consecrated divination tools, which for almost all the women in my group, means tarot cards. And, today, I have a beautiful and meaningful new tarot deck.

It's amazing, isn't it, how a kind act can help us to remember that we live in an enchanted world, in spite of the George Bushes and the Haliburtons, and the cold germs? Once, when I was doing chemotherapy, had just been abandoned by my lover of twenty-some years, and was about as sorry for myself as it was possible to feel, I was sitting in a restaurant trying to make myself eat something. I called for the check and the waitress said, "A man saw you sitting in the window, came in and paid for your meal. He left this." It was a tiny, dirty scrap of paper, torn off of an envelope and it said: "Believe." I still have that scrap of paper and it keeps me going sometimes when I feel like giving up.

So, while I don't have any grand strategy to save the Republic (the song I keep hearing in my head is "I need a hero!"), nor any deep philosophical explanation for what happened today, other than to say that evil, as it sometimes does, temporarily prevailed, I can say that I'm not giving up. I'm bloody, but I am not yet bowed.

And, because I've been reminded today of the power of gifts, I'll gift you with a tarot reading, if you like. Click on Lunaea's link in my Wicca section, ask a question, and pick a card from her oracle. Tell me in comments what you pulled and I'll read for you. As they said in Dr. Zhivago, "Ah, well then, it's a gift."


Anonymous said...

I'll take that reading. Came up with the Beginner Mind Child of Air card, and was asking about love. What does that mean?

Hecate said...

Dear theotherwa,

Lucky you! It means that some new ideas about love and how to love and who to love are going to be blowing through your life. Look for love in unexpected places; rethink your old notions about who is and isn't acceptable. Air (swords in the traditional Tarot decks) is all about new beginnings, thoughts, ideas, communication. Keep a journal and don't censor yourself!

Anonymous said...

Well, that sounds interesting. I'll make a point to keep my eyes and mind open to new possibilities. Thanks, Hecate.

NYMary said...

Beautiful post. I am deeply honored to know someone as wise and decent and strong as you are.

Here's my card. I was asking what to do with my exhaustion and funk:
Ace of Water

The cup of love overflows for you now, and your heart and soul take a joyful leap into the waters of bliss. Yes! says the blissful lover... I accept love, I welcome it. I am willing to take the chance and give myself wholeheartedly to love... to immerse myself in the deep waters of surrender.

Drink deeply from the cup, let the cool sweet water refresh your parched spirit. Love is your birthright, and you will never thirst.

Hecate said...


The Ace of Water (Cups in the traditional Tarot) means that you are about to begin a new emotional adventure. You are at that starting point when everything is still perfect and possible. This card literally means, "Your cup runneth over." This is a time to seize what comes your way and to move into the new emotions you're feeling. But, first steps are important! Be sure to be true to yourself!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the cloture vote. And the restaurant vignette is beautiful.

I was asking a question about the possibility of healing. My card -- Speed, 8 of fire.

Hecate said...


The 8 of Fire (wands in the traditional Tarot decks) shows up when things are about to really take off. You may have been stalled, but now you're going to really see some action. Travel may be involved, especially travel to the south. Wands are all about passion, your will, the use of your desires to accomplish your desired ends. This can be a time of great progress. But, pay attention and make sure you set off on the right track. Watch for landmarks as you move quickly down the road.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Hecate! Know that your post has been a wonderful gift to this very sad, longtime reader at Eschaton. I have never posted but I read everything and always enjoy your beautiful writing and your blog...

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for the wands interpretion.

And for your writing over the years. You help keep me hopeful. And strong.

a gardener said...

Imagine! My first visit to your blog and you offer me a gift.

I was asking about finding strength and picked the Eight of Air, Stagnation. Sounds ominous.

And we may have lost today but we can't ever give up. As your anonymous benefactor wrote - 'Believe'


Hecate said...


Glad you visited. The Eight of Air (Swords in the traditional tarot deck) tells you that you are only as limited as you think you are. The barriers you believe hold you back are all in your mind. You are, in fact, as strong as you are willing to believe you can be. What stories do you always tell yourself about your strength? Can you imagine, even if only for a minute, a new story to tell yourself? What would it feel like to be that strong? What would you do differently tomorrow if you were even half that strong?

AB said...

Beautful post, Hecate. I picked 'the hermit' . . . I hope it's better than it sounds.

geor3ge said...

Hecate, I also picked the eight of air. The impending move to a new state is on my mind fairly constantly. I think your response to anonymous applies well.


chidesterconfidant said...

i chose

4 of Air

virgotex (aka lavalamp) said...

I chose

7 of Earth

It comes at a devastatingly low point, not entirely unlike the one in your story.

Anonymous said...

The Tower. Appropriate I think, for me.

It is late, and I do not expect a reading, but your offer is a gift in itself. Thank you.

I am sure I am one of the many who reads and appreciates your writing more than you know.

Anonymous said...


I've been over at First-Draft for some time and came over today through A's excerpt of your post. Thank you for sharing the strength - it is needed and cherished. And thank you also, in advance, for the gift. I cheated a little, I'll admit. First, thinking of "my life" - but in the back of my mind, really, my significant other - I drew Patience: 7 of Earth. Then I decided, ok, I'll be honest and really concentrate on the SO. This time I drew Speed: 8 of Fire. Seems like the same message to me, each in its own way. I welcome your interpretation, and *anything* that makes sense now is most valuable. Blessed Be.

Hecate said...

I promise to get to all the readings today; I went to sleep pretty early last night. Check back later this afternoon!

Hecate said...

Dear Desi,

Well, the Hermit card is about a gift -- giving yourself the gift of time alone to hear your own thoughts and listen to what the Universe is telling you. The Hermit is a major arcana card, indicating that this is an important message for you. The Hermit goes off into the wilderness to find what cannot be found in the hustle and bustle of human society. In the traditional Rider Waite Tarot deck, the Hermit wanders through rocky mountains, carrying only a lantern to light his way -- showing that it is sometimes necessary to follow your inner light no matter where it leads you. Can you get a weekend away from everything? Just you and your journal or your paints or whatever? You might be surprised what you find out.

Hecate said...


Yep, the 8 of Air shows that things are moving -- in this case, you! Expect things to speed up soon, tasks to get accomplished, blocked passages to clear. Now is a good time for you to move.

Hecate said...


The 4 of Air (Swords) tells you to, literally, "give it a rest"! Is there something you've been trying for a long time to force to happen? Let it go; it's not going to happen any time soon, no matter what you do. Let it rest and turn your attention to other things. When it's right to come back to this project, you'll know. But now is not the time.

Hecate said...


I hope you make it through this devestating time. Sometimes, all you can do is dig your fingernails into the cliff and hang on in the hopes that something better will come along, that things will somehow shift, that natural processes will bring healing. The Seven of Earth (Pentacles) shows that you've planted a good crop and now just need to not be too hasty about harvesting it. There is a perfect moment to bring in the harvest and it takes skill, science, and art to know when that moment has arrived. You'll know. You'll know exactly the right time.

Hecate said...

Dear Kate,

Thank you so much for your kind words; they, too, are a gift.

Well, the Tower, ahem. The Tower shows that you are about to go through some very extreme changes in your life and they may be sudden and they may happen all at once. You may already know or intuit what's coming or the changes may come out of the blue. Change isn't bad and the changes that the Tower portends may turn out to be great gifts. This is a major arcana card so the changes are likely to be significant in your life. One thing you can do when you pull this card is "put your house in order." Get some money in the bank, do everything you can to strengthen your body and your immune system, start getting enough sleep, etc. That way, you'll be better able to face whatever comes.

Hecate said...


Hmm, interesting set of cards. I think your subconscious is telling you to be patient w/ your significant other who is likely very involved with something other than you at the moment -- work? school? family?

Eventually your SO will run out of speed and your patience will be rewarded. However, look at the groundhogs in the 7 of Pentacles. They don't just sit around waiting. They continue to dig -- to work on their own life and their own projects. You do the same!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Hecate. With more important things in the world than my tenuous relationship, I appreciate your time. Maybe even a little embarrassed to have the SO at the forefront of my mind. What you've said, what the cards have said, is what my heart seems to know - confirmation. The groundhogs...they are what I must keep in mind. A special thank you for pointing them out.


chidesterconfidant said...

Thank you for the gift Hecate.

scout prime said...

A wonderful, beautiful post that stands above all the ugliness of today.
Thank You Hecate

Anonymous said...

I am trying to work through a struggle with some mental disabilities to create strategies to achieve a functional life. I drew the Ace of Fire (Magic). What I read already gives me a clue and falls in line with what my intuition.

When you are feeling better, I'd appreciate your thoughts on the Ace of Fire card.

Also, Hecate, I look forward to your posts in the comments at Atrios' blog. They give me a sense of hope and empowerment.

Hecate said...

Dear Sandy,

Ace of Fire (Wands in the traditional Tarot decks)means that you are at the beginning of a new adventure; one in which you will have a chance to make real what you've always wanted. Fire/Wands are associated with South, fire, passion, will, energy, and determination.

Draw on your will to survive, your passion to live the life you want to live. Your passion will allow you to triumph if you're not afraid to use it.

Anonymous said...

Hecate, thank you.

RR Kovar said...

I drew The Wheel and instantly felt better, though I have no idea why. It doesn't usually do that to me.

I second the notion that your words do more to comfort and bolster, whether here (just discovered via my Athenae addiction) or at Eschaton. It is a good gift, and I thank you for it.

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ntodd said...


Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"Fire/Wands are associated with South, fire, passion, will, energy, and determination."


Thank you! That confirms the feeling of determination I've had that this year I'll finally be able to stay focused on the goal of creating strategies for a functional life.

I've struggled with the inability to create the energy and willingness to initiate and complete tasks (procrastination rules my life). Recently, I had a diagnosis of a disorder that PET scans have actually shown a lack of certain chemicals in the areas of the brain that have to do with problem solving, task initiation, short term memory, motivation, etc.

That has helped me realize that for this type of disability, I have to figure out strategies to help me cope with the deficiencies.

I'm finally in a supportive environment that is helping me find the coaching I need to keep me on track.

So, as usual, the oracle comes up with a synchronistic answer the confirms something I already feel.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

four legs good said...

Hecate, what a lovely post.

I drew a card- it was "Meeting the Ancestor- 2 of fire"

I was thinking about moving.

four legs good said...

Also, the oddest thing... when I was thinking and about to draw the card, I had got a very deep chill... like something very important was going to happen.

geor3ge said...

Hecate, thank you, and be well. You're beautiful.

Anonymous said...

How's the harp project coming, Hecate. I hope you have found one to start with.

Have you read that article by Benjamin Bagby from A Performers Guide to Medieval Music? I reread it and along with the Improvisation and Accompaniment before 1300 in the same book. It's where I'd start.

Best wishes EPT

four legs good said...

Also, I hope you don't mind, but I linked to your post as well.

The Gift

(also, my offer to help you with posting photos is always open. :-) )

Hecate said...

Dear 4LG,

The Wheel is a major arcana card; you are about to go through some important changes. The Wheel reminds us that life moves in cycles. What worked yesterday may no longer work today. That doesn't mean that it was wrong yesterday, just that the wheel has turned another turn and it's now time for something different. You can go with the flow, or you can fight it, but time will keep moving on, regardless.

I may take you up on your offer about posting pics, as I've been trying to take a few of Miss Thing. Although SHE DOES NOT LIKE IT!

four legs good said...

Keep trying with Miss Thing. Eventually she will become resigned.

Just like lion kitty Maxx so apparently has resolved to lay back and think of England when I get the camera out. (which is every single day.)

hee hee

four legs good said...

BTW, thanks for the reading.

I welcome change- I embrace it! I always seem to draw the major arcana cards, don't I?

watertiger said...

I am so glad I've come to know you, Hecate. Your kindness, wisdom and strength are a salve for wounded souls.

Peace to you!

watertiger said...

BTW, I picked the Queen of Water.

Hecate said...


This is a woman in your life. Could be you or could be someone you know. She's in touch with her emotions and has spent time studying the mystery of emotional IQ. She follows her heart, even when it may not be wise to do so. She has learned how to be at peace with her emotions and is surprised when others aren't at peace with theirs. She asks: What do you REALLY want? Who do you REALLY want to be?

Hecate said...

4LG! Doh! You didn't pull the wheel; you pulled the Two of Fire. This corresponds to the Two of Wands in a traditional Tarot Deck. Don't worry about the thin veil between the worlds; that simply means that you now have increased access to the wisdom of your intuition. You are at a point of personal power. Expect to find wisdom in unexpected places. Spend some time alone listening to your own thoughts. You may see that "your ship is about to come in" in a way that you haven't expected!

four legs good said...


Well, I've been waiting a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY long time for that ship.

I hope it's a big one.

virgotex (aka lavalamp) said...

Hecate - a belated thank you for the reading. Thanks for following up.

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