Friday, 29 January 2010

I know you're dying to find out

what I'm eating today, so here you go:

6.45--my standard breakfast--2 slices seeded wholemeal toast, coconut oil, marmite, peanut butter and all-fruit strawberry jam, black decaf, water

10.30--coco loco nakd bar, water, 1 Cadbury rose (a bite-size choc)

13.00--sandwich--2 slices wholemeal bread, squirt each of mustard and 'burger sauce', a salad topping made of beetroot, tomato and roasted red pepper chopped up together, 4 slices of Cheatin' Meats coldcuts; carrot sticks, water, 3/4 a banana, 1 Cadbury rose

3.30--1/2 punnet blueberries and 1 pot soy yogurt, water, 2 cadbury roses

6.30--about a tsp peanut butter and a lick of jam

7.30--1.5 vegetarian schnitzel, roasted egglant and zucchini, about 2 cups of oven chips

No workout today.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Let's all play food diary for a week. Who wants to join me?


My astrological year has officially begun and my year card for 2010 is Death--the card of transformation. The Death card is an archetypal energy concerned with transition from one state to another. Something ends, something begins. It is a time to embrace change rather than fear it. This might mean a change of consciousness, entrance into a new state, giving up your sense of self to a feeling of merging with the cosmos, cutting through the superficial to understand what is at the core...or it could be as simple as a new job. Maybe for me, it's as simple as putting down the Doritos.

I'm posting my food from Thursday to Thursday here, but just so you'll get an idea of what I'm transforming from, let's have a look at a randomly chosen day from January.

18th January
6.45--2 slices seeded wholemeal toast, 1 tsp coconut oil, squirt of marmite, heaping tsp peanut butter, heaping Tbs jam, black decaf, zinc and multi-vitamin supplements

8.05--2 squares dark chocolate

8.55--1 chocolate bon bon

10.30--a small banana and a glass of water

12.00--2 veggie 'meat' balls, about a cup of wholemeal pasta with roasted mixed mediterranean veg and pasta sauce, green beans--followed by 3 Quality Street chocolates

3.30--1 Quality Street chocolate

5.00--1 bite of a chocolate cornflake thing (it was gross so I binned the rest)

5.40--1 slice of chocolate cake

7.30--1/4 lb breaded veggie pattie, steamed broccoli, oven roasted potatoes, 1 slice of chocolate cake

9.30--2 squares dark chocolate, 1 cup black decaf

Exercise: Chalean Dynamic Flow Yoga

I have written down everything I've eaten since 30th December. I'm not kidding, it has been that bad for a while now. I'm very lucky not to have gained more weight than I have. (I weighed 139.8 day before yesterday).

BUT...it's time to transform. So here's what I ate today.

28th January
6.50--2 slices seeded wholemeal toast with coconut oil, marmite and jam, black decaf, water

10.30--banana and water

12.00--sweet potato topped cottage pie, water

3.30--soy yogurt with a punnet of blueberries

5.30--a heaping tsp of peanut butter and a tsp of jam, eaten off the spoon

6.45--1 cup brown basmati rice, chickpea and cauliflower jalfrezi

7.30--large bowl Special K with unsweetened homemade soy milk

Exercise: The Firm Calorie Killer

Right then, that's Day One done. Not too bad! See how telling you about it makes me do better?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Rainbow of Prosperity Spread

This spread comes from Aeclectic Tarot forum.

-------------------3---- 4---- 5------------------------

--------------2---------------------6---------------------

--------1--------------------------------7----------------

--------------------------8----------------------------

1. What I want
2. What I need
3. What I already have
4. What I need to give up
5. What step to take next
6. What resources are out there?
7. Who can/will help me?
8. End result/pot of gold at end of rainbow

1. 7 of Coins--I want to watch a full harvest coming to fruition. True! I want to make investments that I can watch grow as I move toward retirement.

2. Queen of Coins--I need to develop my ability to visualise (and thereby manifest) abundance. This is true. I tend to spend a lot of time visualising lack--worrying about having to choose betweeen rent and food. Worrying about who will take care of us when we're old, as we have no children or family nearby and are quite insular. I can visualise all sorts of disaster and loss. But I hardly ever allow myself to visualise abundance.

3. Queen of Swords--I already have a tendency to research and gather lots of information. I use my logical mind quite a bit. I love to write things down, put them in order, color-code them, cross-reference them...so those skills are in place.

4. The Tower--I really need to give up the notion that making decisions about a retirement plan is going to be the difference between a rosy future and certain disaster. I need to let go of the notion that making an investment will prevent bad things from happening. Or that there is any investment that is going to be 100% safe.

5. 2 Swords--No easy solution exists to what step to take next, and all possibilities seem like compromises. A new approach may be called for. (Direct quote from the book that accompanies the Legacy of the Divine Tarot book). This is definitely true. Everything I read about savings & investment shows that no matter which way you go, you may feel like you're being shortchanged or taking too big a chance. This is what has caused me to be frozen on the whole issue for so long. A new approach may be called for. But what?

6. Page of Cups--The question asks about outside resources, but the Page of Cups points to the inner. It is earth of water. The fertile soil of emotion. This seems very touchy-feely for an outside resource about finances. Ciro's book suggests that his Page of Cups has some street smarts, a bit of the Artful Dodger about him. Kafka's Ghost suggests that this is 'more creative and less risk-averse' ways to save and invest. Yikes! Doesn't Tarot know how risk-averse I am! :)

7. 7 Wands--Who will help me? Apparently no one. The 7 of Wands is all about standing up for myself. I guess this card is telling me that I can't expect any financial adviser (or anyone else for that matter) to be able to give me the magic formula for a comfortable retirement. I have to look out for myself. Also, Kafka's Ghost suggests that this means once I have made an investment plan, I should 'stay the course' regardless of market activity. Yep, okay.

8. 2 Wands--My 'pot of gold at the end of the rainbow' is that I get a big decision to make. 'A window of opportunity is presented,' says Ciro's book, 'but in order to take that opportunity it will take leadership, vision, and decision making. Start making plans and setting them in motion. Keep your intentions clear.' Harrumph. I was really hoping for 9 or 10 of Cups here, but the cards suggest what I need is fortitude. Right then.

Mercury is out of retrograde now. I guess it's time to start making some decisions.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Make way for the knights

Following on from my Meet the Pages post, here are the knights. Knights carry the message of the nature of their suit into the world. They've gone from the potential they showed as little kids, to feeling the stirrings of action as teenagers.

Knight of Pentacles
So, when Wally Cleaver/Kyle (my Page of Pentacles) grows to be a teen, what character from movies, literature or TV would he become? There won't be a lot of movies or TV shows revolving around a Knight of Pentacles, because he's not a really exciting guy. He wants to work hard, keep a low profile, meet his own goals. He doesn't necessarily have the best grades or the most talent. He compares himself to other kids and wants to have what they have. He doesn't want to be unique! He wants to organise his album collection, make sure he has properly valued his Star Wars collectibles, and shine up his car. He values his home life and family and his few good friends. I think the Knight of Pentacles is Kevin Arnold from 'The Wonder Years'.

Knight of Wands
Who does Bart Simpson morph into as a teenager? He's still Mr. Popularity amongst the other kids. He wants to be top of the heap, so he'll either be captain of the football team or the class clown who decides to be the only male member of the cheerleading squad. He is likely to be involved in the school clubs and might even play the lead in the high school musical. Prom king, top junior salesman at the local Sears department store, the most important thing to him is not necessarily to be the best, but to be numero uno. He can have a tendency to think he's a hotty and is likely to put himself before all others, again not because he's mean-spirited but because he finds himself just so darn irresistible. From mainstream TV, I'm thinking Cordelia from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' Lesser known, a character called Nazim Iqbal, the PR guy for the local university in 'Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About,' one of my favourite books. (Hey, it means something to me. :) )

Knight of Cups
A moody and dreamy teen--that's who Butters, my Page of Cups, would grow into. A poet or writer of song lyrics, an artist who has taught himself to play 'Dust in the Wind' on his guitar, he can fall prey to a series of earthshatteringly significant crushes. Not the least of which might be on himself and his own deepness. Nobody understands him, no one has ever felt the way he feels, nor felt as deeply and agonisingly as he feels, and so he retreats into his room to grow his hair long enough to flop down over his soulful eyes, or he strikes out from home at a young age in search of meaning and of himself and of 'love'. The true Emo, he better be careful or he could fall into a black depression and then all sorts of bad stuff could happen. This is Ricky, the kid who liked to film floaty carrier bags in 'American Beauty'.

Knight of Swords
Lisa Simpson was our Page of Swords. As a teen, she would continue her quest to be the righter of wrongs and the knower of more than you. The Knight of Swords would be the kid who loves to try to trip up the teacher in class discussions, gets a charge out of playing devil's advocate and considers himself victorious if he can get you to lose your temper in a debate. This just has to be Alex P Keaton from 'Family Ties'. (What would we do, baby, without us? Sha la la la)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Today's draw












Today's draw was 4 of cups, The Star and Page of Wands. Boredom and apathy, hope of renewal, and the restless desire for something new to happen. Well, if that doesn't just sum up my winter blahs. The cards seem to hint that something may happen, some message or idea may come my way to kickstart my enthusiasm. I will keep my eyes open for it! (If I don't fall asleep from the boredom first!) Seriously, I'm so ready for some sort of change. I am in a rut! I have no idea what I want to happen, though.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Meet the Pages

[most of the content of this post has been inspired by 'Meaning of the Pages' at Aeclectic Tarot]

I've been trying to get my head around the court cards. I decided the best way to do it would be to relate the qualities of each card to a character from a TV show or literature or a movie or something.

First things first. You have to digest the spirit of each suit, and how each member of court characterises the quality of that suit. So here's some information drawn from a wide range of sources I've read online and in books, which has all amalgamated in my head and come out like this...

Pentacles are about security and physical/material realm--earth

Wands are about action and achievement, creativity, moving forward, being a 'go-getter' -- fire

Cups are about emotion, the world of feeling, relationships, how we relate to the external world --water

Swords are about mental strengths and how we use (and misuse) them --air

___________________________________

The KING of each suit is like its sun, the source of its life--fire

The QUEEN of each suit embodies the spirit of the suit in the real world, like rain watering the earth -- water

The KNIGHT of each suit moves its spirit around, like the wind blowing seeds --air

The PAGE of each suit is the actual soil where the spirit of suit takes hold and begins to grow; he's like a little Fool--earth

The Page of Pentacles -- Wally Cleaver 'Leave it to Beaver' & Kyle 'South Park'
The Page of Pentacles is a youngster who is in touch with the practical matters of life and is close to the earth. His version of play is to build things from dirt, like making fortresses for his cars and trucks. He will build a treehouse. Even his games are work, in that way. He enjoys earning his own money, will do extra chores, take a paper route, work in a soda shop (in Wally's case), shovel snow from the neighbours' pavement (in Kyle's case), and likes knowing how much money he's got. He can be seen as overly serious because he lacks imagination and is more interested in practical matters. He is very earnest and values his family and security and has a strong sense of right and wrong.









The Page of Cups--Butters 'South Park'
The Page of Cups is a sensitive little kid who gets caught up in his own daydreams and doesn't pay as much attention to the real world as he should. He loves listening to stories and telling stories and he has a vivid imagination. He likes to play make-believe. He enjoys reading and being read to, because it lets him live out the stories in his head. He is extremely loving, loveable, kind and sweet, very tender-hearted. As Thirteen on Aeclectic Tarot describes, he is the kind of kid who will bring you a flower, try to rescue wounded birds, and who takes very seriously the death of a goldfish. He can get very caught up in his emotions, going from the quiveringest, quakingest fear to the most hilarious of hilarity, from the depths of despair to the heights of bliss, over things that other people might not think are quite that earth-shattering.









The Page of Wands--Bart Simpson 'The Simpsons'
A popular kid and a leader, the Page of Wands never stands still. He runs around everywhere, climbs on everything, never slows down. He's a thrill-seeker, always up a tree or plotting mischief. He is always late to dinner, always wandering beyond his boundaries, a natural born explorer. He's the type of kid who will slip away from you in the supermarket to run karooming into the frozen foods. He loves being the centre of attention, and if you're not careful he can be a bully to other children, not because he's mean spirited, but because he's just so forceful and dominant.








The Page of Swords--Lisa Simpson 'The Simpsons'
This kid loves to talk, talk, talk. She questions everything. She loves facts and is full of arcane knowledge. She thinks she knows more than you and she usually does. She is extremely brainy, loves challenges of logic and takes pride in her smarts. She can be too forthright and honest and in what she says and how she confronts what she sees as flawed logic or injustice. These qualities can turn her into a tattletale or a know-it-all if she doesn't watch out. She loves to argue, or as she would see it, enter into debate!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

My Christmas money has all been spent.

Today the beautiful Buddha Tarot arrived from America. I managed to buy this deck for £4.72 on Amazon! I took it out of the box and shuffled it, did a quick 3-card draw and found the reading almost intuitive. I don't think it will take long for me to get into this deck. The major arcana are based on the young Siddhartha Gautama from birth to becoming the Buddha, giving his first sermon at Deer Park, then his death at age 80. The pip cards are true pip cards,with only a token symbol or depiction of what the card means. The suits are vajras (swords), double vajras (cups), lotuses (wands), jewels (pentacles). It is based very closely on RWS, so is a pretty quick study.




I decided that I wanted a digital RWS clone, and settled on Ciro's Legacy of the Divine Tarot. This one is so gorgeous, and I got word earlier this week that it has shipped. Maybe it will be in on Monday--gives me a reason to go to work, to collect my parcels!




I am most excited of this last acquisition. It's a self-published tarot by an Austrian artist called Anna Kleffinger. I am very, very happy that I managed to get a deck, because she only had 500 printed and they are now sold out! I love this deck because all the cards are very earthy and, to me, they are instantly readable. I think the characters look like hobbits.



This is the card that won me to the Anna K tarot. I interpret the 8 of swords to represent that the woman tied up and surrounded by swords is a victim of her own perception of her situation. That in reality, she is free. I had no basis for that, really, other than my gut feeling. Lo and behold Anna depicts it perfectly:



Also, the Lovers card. Most decks depict the lovers as nude young people, surrounded by arcane symbolism and references to the Biblical Adam and Eve. Not Anna:



The Lovers are an older couple. They made the commitment to be together, and they have been. They are life companions, trust one another implicitly, have enjoyed each day together and will stay together. Anna K says this card represents the 'unconditional yes'--yes to life, yes to love, yes to taking responsibility, yes to your chosen path. That's just so fantastic. So I ordered the deck. She sold out within the next 24 hours! Serendipity.