Friday, September 27, 2013

Ready for the "Wochenende"

Hi Everyone!

Wow, the morning is really slipping away.  I keep getting sidetracked!  I'm pretty scatter-brained anyway, so that's a common occurrence.

Need to spend a little time at the sewing machine this weekend -- put most of the covering for the portable Tarot booth together earlier, but need to do some trim and trimming to finish it up.  Will post a picture when I do.  I'll be using it at both Middlefaire (with the yellow and blue topping) and Dickens-on-the-Strand (with a Christmas-appropriate red and green topping).

I have a computerized machine, but I'm kind of geeky/nerdy and really like old mechanical machines.  Something about gears gets my blood flowing.  I like old cars, old sewing machines, old clocks, old electro-mechanical organs, etc.  I have a number of old mechanical Bernina machines -- I mostly use a 930 (got it for a great deal).  I have an 830 as a backup -- actually have two 830's ... scored one with the original Bernina cabinet locally a few months back.  I don't need it (or even have a place to put it), but couldn't pass it up.

Uh-Oh -- I'm getting sidetracked again!  Looks like it's going to be that sort of day!

Let's get to the reading before I tangent off again!

We're pulling two cards -- the first offers a starting point, the second offers things to help us understand how to best use our starting point.

Our first card is ... The Page of Wands.

Sorry -- my son just called.  He's going to take Nala back (remember the dog who chews up everything?)   She's moved on from eating TV remotes and books to eating shoes, newly planted blueberry bushes, our other two small dogs (Skippy and Diego), and my grand-daughter.  Plus she ate the replacement TV remote.  The doggie chew-toys we get don't last more than a few minutes.  She ate her food bowl last night -- not the food in the bowl, but the bowl itself!

See ... it happened again ... got sidetracked!  I've got a call scheduled in 10 minutes, so I'll probably get side-tracked again!

Anyway -- Page of Wands.  Pages suggest the excitement we feel when we become enamored of the idea of a new project.  It excites us, fills us with energy, we spend gobs of time thinking about it.  Wands in particular suggest excitement, so a Page of Wands work themselves into a frenzy while thinking about the possibilities of a new project or task.

It's a fun place to be -- but there's a downside.  Pages are great at thinking about new things -- but aren't so great about actually getting to work implementing their project.  They're too busy thinking about it.

The danger here is becoming discouraged -- you've got a great idea ... but the longer you think about it, the more you risk finding objections or obstacles.  You may even come to doubt your concept.  A great idea is like a flame -- you have to add fuel to it or it'll eventually burn itself out.

So -- how should we consider this?  Let's take a look at our next card -- The Four of Pentacles.

I was doing a reading a couple of years ago for a young couple.  The young lady part of the couple made me promise to call this card "Mr. Grumpyhead" whenever it was drawn!

So -- we've pulled Mr. Grumpyhead!

This card suggests pulling back and erecting fences as a response to things that are in doubt.  If he builds a wall, he can keep the risk out.

The problem with this is that he'll never move beyond this wall.  The world will pass him by outside his walls -- and he'll be left behind.  Instead of ensuring his success, he's guaranteed his failure.

The answer -- consider that moving forward takes some risk.  If you try to resolve all objections before you move ... well, then, you'll never move!

If you find yourself doubting your capabilities ... or your concepts ... be wary of the trap of lowering your expectations in order to build a "safety" wall.

Whew!  Made it through without getting too sidetracked (only two phone calls, one instant message, and three texts!)  Kept coming back on course, though!

Hoping you and yours have a great weekend!  By the way "Weekend" was my Romanian word in my language discussion group today.  "Weekend" in Romanian is "Wochenende" -- the "ch" is hard, so I think it sounds a little like "weekend" when pronounced out loud.

Ack -- sidetracked again!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Play the Middle

Hi All!

Hope you had a fine weekend -- I had a pretty busy one. 

Spent a few hours at the Celtic Music Fest at Sherwood Forest; wish I could have spent more time. 

I was listening to a bagpipe group when they stopped to "tune" their bagpipes.  One of the pipers explained that there were many moving organic parts to a bagpipe and that it was very difficult to keep it in tune.  "In fact", he said, "pipers like it when pipes randomly slip out of tune since it adds interest to the tone!"

Don't know how true that is -- but don't think I've ever heard pipes that stayed in tune either.  Maybe there's something to it?

Sent off my vendor registration to Middlefaire this morning.  Will be attending Middlefaire near Hillsboro, Texas over the weekend of November 2nd and 3rd doing tarot readings.  If you're in the area (Hillsboro is between Waco and Fort Worth), stop by and say hello!

Let's jump into this week's reading --

We begin with ... Temperance!

Temperance is an interesting card -- it suggests being "temperate".  Don't sway too much to one side -- nor too much to the other.  The simple (but plain, boring, normal) straight and narrow path may be the path that works best for you.

Sometimes you need to go out on a limb -- but if you do that all the time, you're likely asking for trouble.  We need to be able to recognize when it's best to play it safe and secure.

Of course, we don't want to do that all the time, either!  Going after the risky play works sometimes -- and even when it doesn't work, we still learn from the experience.  The trick is to learn how to balance the two options.

Let's see what our second card has to say about this ... the King of Cups.

King's are pretty swuft.  I think I explained a while back that "swuft" is a Southern term that means "pretty smart and experienced".  Well, Kings are that way for that exact reason -- they've been around the block -- they know what's worked, what hasn't, and why (maybe the most important part!)

This king is kind and caring; like the Queen of Cups, he's also very patient and tolerant.  He wants to help people -- because he cares about their well-being.  When he gives advise, it's a good idea to pay attention to it!

So -- this King is calm, he's patient, he's very tolerant and balanced.  Sounds like "Temperance" personified!

Put the two cards together and we get something suggesting that we may be tempted to over-react to a situation -- but that we might be better served by being patient and remaining calm.  If we can do so, we may find that reacting in a calm and measured manner may keep us from digging ourselves into a deep hole!  Play the diplomat -- try to understand the positions of all sides --  maybe we'll find ourselves being the peacemaker rather than the war leader!

Hope you have a great week -- I'll be back later with more!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Consider that Change!

Happy Friday!

Ready for this week to be over and to relax over a weekend.  Am heading off to a Celtic music festival at Sherwood Forest (near Austin); I really enjoy Celtic music so am really looking forward to it.

I get a daily "This day in Texas history" newsletter -- today's was very interesting.

Turns out that on this day in 1865, Jacob Friedrich Brodbeck -- a German immigrant living in Luckenbach, Texas -- is reported to have successfully flown his "airship" for about 100 feet at a height of 12 feet.  He used a spring-powered motor!  Once the spring was exhausted, the airship crashed.  Frustrated, Brodbeck burned the pieces.

Also, in 1902 -- one year before the Wright brothers -- Texan Reverend Burrel Cannon is said to have flown his airship (the Ezekiel Airship).  Actually, Cannon was too big to pilot the craft, so a smallish employee (Gus Stamps) piloted the craft.  The flight covered 167 feet at a height of 10 feet.  Powered by an 80 horsepower engine, Stamps grew wary of the vibration and shut the engine down.  The craft then glided to a successful landing.

Cannon then crated the machine and brought it to a railroad yard; he intended to ship it to Saint Louis for the 1903 World's Fair (where there was a $100,000 prize for a flying machine!)  Unfortunatly, a strong windstorm swept through the area and overturned the railcar carrying the flying craft -- destroying the craft.

Cannon was unable to secure funding for repairs.

So, if you're a Texan, you can claim a Texan was the first in flight.  If you're not a Texan, you can say "Those darned Texans and their tall tales!"

-- or, you can say "Maybe they were the first to fly ... but they were the first to crash, too!"

On to the weekend reading!  We'll draw two cards -- the first will suggest some topic to consider, the second helps us understand the implications of that topic.

Our first card is ... the Six of Swords.
We actually saw this card in yesterday's post -- I used the Rider-Waite-Smith Six of Swords as one of the images.

If you've ever watched an old black-and-white movie where a gypsy fortune teller turned over a card and said "You will be taking a trip over water" ... this is the card she turned over.

Doesn't mean you'll be taking a trip over water though!

The Six of Swords suggests some sort of change -- especially a change from a known and familiar condition to a new and unknown one.  Perhaps a physical move from one dwelling to another -- or a job change -- or maybe hanging out with a new group of friends.  Things like that.

The interesting thing about this card is this -- let's say you have a job that you really hate.  You find a new job that excites you and turn in your notice.  What happens now is really interesting.

You're about to leave this job you hate -- when you start having second thoughts.  You may not enjoy the position -- but you're familiar with it and start becoming uncomfortable about moving to a new and unknown situation.  I call it the "Job Changing Blues".  Everyone has it.

Some people have it to the point where they won't ever consider making a change!  Even if they dislike their current situation (and this doesn't have to be a job), the thought of changing is so daunting that they won't consider the possibility.

Well, you can't do much about the unknown part -- but you can make decisions based on the known.  If you're unhappy with your situation, then you know that you're unhappy with your situation.  If you change, you may not like your new place -- but you may love it -- so don't worry about it!  Keep in mind your current feelings about your current situation.

Let's see what our second card offers -- the Knight of Cups.

This card suggests what is happening when we just can't get around to making a change.  The Knight of Cups can get hung up over thinking about a situation.  He can become completely stymied because he just can't convince himself to do anything.  If we look at the picture, we see his horse is standing still while the Knight contemplates his cup.  He doesn't know what to do -- so he does nothing -- which is doing something!  Except -- it's likely doing something that he already doesn't like to do!

If you find yourself hesitant to make a Six of Swords sort of change -- because you're stuck being a Knight of Cups -- at least recognize what's going on.  If you feel it's necessary to make a decision, then make the decision.  All a choice does is set you on a path.  Stumbling blocks may arise along the way, but those are things you deal with as you go.

And that's it for today -- hope you have a great weekend!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tarot Decks Come in Three Flavors

Interested in learning how to read Tarot cards? If so, one of your first decisions will be "What style of deck should I use".

Although there are now hundreds of varieties of Tarot decks, most fall into one of three general styles -- Marseilles, Rider-Waite-Smith (also called Rider-Waite, or just RWS), and Thoth.

There are typically 78 cards in a Tarot deck -- 14 cards in each of four different suits, plus an extra 22 cards called the "Trump" cards. These 22 trump cards are known as the Major Arcana; the remaining 56 cards are called the Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana -- the 22 Trump cards -- are handled very much the same in all of the three different flavors of Tarot decks.  It's the treatement of the Minor Arcana cards that determines which general style your deck follows.

Marseilles - Nine of Cups

The first style -- Marseilles -- follows the traditional, old-school style found in early Tarot decks -- and also in standard playing card decks. The artwork on the Major Arcana tends to be simple and limited to only a few colors. The Minor Arcana looks much like ordinary playing cards -- there are four face cards (King, Queen, Knight, Page) and 10 "pip" cards (Ace through Ten). Again, the artwork on the face cards tends to be simple. The pip cards don't have artwork other than a "pip" count. For instance, a Five of Swords will have five swords depicted on the card.

The Marseilles style looks so much like playing cards because Tarot decks were originally used to play a card game! It wasn't until later that mystics began to use these decks for divinatory purposes.

The second style of deck -- RWS (After Rider, the publisher, Waite, the designer, and Smith, the artist) -- was published in the early 1900's. It was designed from the very beginning for magickal use.

Because of this, the artwork is much more complex and symbolic. The Major Arcana and the face cards are more colorful, lifelike, and detailed. It's the Minor Arcana, though, where you'll find the main difference.

Six of Swords - RWS

Rather than using pip simple counts, the artist (Pamela Coleman Smith -- who also illustrated childrens adventure stories) decided to draw vignettes of people engaged in some phase of everyday life. Because of this, the pip card images touch your subjective mind and yield many thoughtful perspectives -- what are the people in the images thinking, what are their motivations, what are their fears, etc -- to enrich Tarot readings.  (Note:  I use a RWS clone -- the Robin Wood deck -- when I do readings.  However, the images on the blog are from the RWS deck.)

Thoth - Two of Swords

The final deck style is the Thoth style -- named after a deck designed by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Freida Harris. The Thoth deck was intended for magickal use from the very beginning. The paintings are surrealistic and highly symbolic. Thoth adds a new technique to the mix, though. Each non-face card of the Minor Arcana has a subheading describing some motivation or aspect -- things like Happiness, Luxury, Virtue, Oppression, etc. Because of this, some readers find it easy to read with Thoth decks. Thoth decks also make it easy to draw from other esoteric disciplines -- like astrology or Kabbalah -- in order to create inspired Tarot readings.

Most decks you'll find in a bookstore will follow one of these three basic styles. Marseilles styles will use pip counts, RWS styles will use pip scenes, and Thoth styles tend to be surrealistic but label the Minor Arcana with additional descriptions.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hopeful Expectations!


Hope your weekend went swell -- had a busy one over here.  Thought I had my Tarot Booth done -- then decided to do tarot readings at Dickens-on-the-Strand in early December in Galveston.  Have to alter the booth for requirements at Dickens.  Will make it wider, plus will have to change my "yellow/blue" colors to "red/green" since Dickens requires booths to be "Christmasy".  I'm really looking forward to it.

Dickens-on-the-Strand is a weekend street fair in downtown Galveston near Christmas time.  Everyone dresses up in Victoria garb -- good food, good drinks, good music, parades, etc.  Plus, you've got the beach as well! 

We were going to be there anyway (went first time last year and loved it) and already had our hotel reserved (on the beach!), so it was an easy decision about doing readings.  Sent my application off today!

Between working on the booth Saturday morning, football Saturday afternoon and evening (Alabama/Texas A&M and the LSU game), plus helping a friend move Sunday (although didn't get much done) combined with total collapse Sunday evening, I had a pretty busy weekend.  The good news is that allergies haven't affected me much this weekend -- maybe the season's closing up?  Or maybe the echinecea is finally kicking in!

Echinecea is magic for me -- totally blocks out allergy problems.  Only downside is that I have to start taking it about two months before the allergy season -- and I'm VERY forgetful.

Enough about my weekend -- again, hope yours went fine!  Let's jump into a reading to start the week.  Again, the first card sets the table, the second card brings it home.

Our first card -- the Knight of Wands.
This is a very energetic and busy card.  It's always ready to take on new challenges and is very confident about succeeding.  This Knight doesn't shy away from tough challenges!

That's the good news -- the bad news is that this knight (like all knights) isn't always successful.  The main issue is lack of focus -- knight's have great intentions, but tend to be a little scatter brained.  Planning isn't their strong point -- they'd rather jump right into a project and figure it out as they go.

This will work sometimes -- but won't othertimes.  With a little advanced planning, we can greatly improve this Knight's success rate.

So what should we consider if we find ourselves in this Knight's shoes?  How about our next card -- The Star.
This Major Arcana (or Trump) card suggests being hopeful.  When faced with difficulties, the Star  doesn't get discouraged.  It keeps it's eye on the end goal, not on the stumbling blocks that may arise along the way.  It's always confident that things will work out -- even when times seem dire.

If we think how these two cards might fit, we can see where the Knight of Wands might get discouraged at times.  It's always jumping into a challenge -- and sometimes hasn't prepared properly.  This oftentimes leads to failure.  Although this Knight is confident, repeated failures can lead to discouragement.

And that's where the Star comes in -- don't get discouraged, remain hopeful about eventual success.  The Star offers focus -- if things fail, then examine them to determine what you can do to correct problems ... then correct them.  Rather than quitting after failure, the Star takes the necessary time to honestly analyze issues and find (and correct) problems blocking your success.

If you join "energy and expectations of success" with "realistic and hopeful", you get a very powerful combination.  Think of ways you can use these energies to help you along this week!

Hope you have a good one -- will talk to you later!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Look For The Best, not the Worst

Hi All!

Hope your week's been going well.  It's been kind of quiet over here -- well, kind of.

We're dogsitting for my son.  "Nala" is a medium size lab/shepherd mix; she's a real sweety ... but is pretty young, wild, and untrained.

She ate a couple of dozen of my grand-daughter's toys her first day with us.  Next, she ate some books the second day -- pulled them off the shelf and chewed them up.  Next day, she ate the TV remote conrol thingy.  Yesterday, she ate a stack of catalogs.

She has plenty of dog toys available -- but doesn't seem to care for them.  Am dreading what I'll find when I get home!   Am anxious for the dogsitting to end!

Let's get an early start on this weekend's reading -- we'll again pull two cards.  The first suggests some positive attribute; the second offers tips on how to best realize or utilize this attribute.

Our first card is ... the Six of Cups.
We began with this card just a couple of reading ago!  Prior to that, I think it had been many months since we had seen this Six.  Pulling it twice in near-adjacent readings suggests that we may want to dig deeper into how we might realize the positive aspect of this card.

I said in that earlier reading:

"The Six of Cups suggests the feelings and wants we had as a child.  When you're a kid, you don't worry about jobs, or taxes, or crime, or foreign affairs -- you just want to be loved, to be comfortable, to feel secure.  The yearning for that sort of security is what the Six of Cups is about.

We all want it -- but most of us have to work to get it.  I have friends with really lousy jobs -- they'll complain constantly about them.  Whenever I suggest "Why don't you look for a new job?", they're full of excuses about why they don't do so.  I figure if you have a problem -- but choose not to try and solve it -- then you've accepted the situation and shouldn't complain about it. 

You ALWAYS have options -- you just have to decided to make the effort to look for them and implement them.

Want security?  Want to feel safe and comfortable?  Then determine what you need to do in order to gain that security -- then do it!"

 Hasn't changed -- this card strongly suggests that the need to feel comfortable and secure is something special we want to realize.

Let's look at our second card -- perhaps it'll help us a little more this time -- the Queen of Cups.
This card suggests patience, caring, and empathy.  This card tends to see the good in people -- rather than trying to assign blame to them.  I usually say this card will always believe you when you say "The dog ate my homework" (or book -- or remote control -- or toys -- or catalogs -- or whatever I'll find when I get home!) ... even when she knows it's not the truth.  She believes it because she wants to believe in you --- she cares about you. 

That's the strength of this card -- and also the weakness.  Because she is so caring, ill-meaning folks can easily take advantage of her.  But -- she doesn't take exception when they do!  She'll give them the benefit of the doubt and will expect that they'll learn from their mistake and become better individuals.

Bottom line -- this person doesn't get upset when people don't perform as they should.  She doesn't take it personal.

So let's put these together -- we want to feel safe and secure.  Perhaps if we expect the best from people -- rather than expecting the worst from them -- we'll feel more secure.  We won't worry about getting abused or mistreated -- because we'll always interpret people's actions in a good light.  Instead of assuming people have bad motivations -- we might look for less sinister interpretations.  This could help us see that folks really aren't "trying to get us" -- they're just being people with the same innocent and honest faults and weaknesses we all have.

Wish me luck with Nala today!  (I'm really dreading what she'll have eaten this time around!)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Expect to Succeed or Fail -- and You Will


Rough start to the week for me.  Spent at least half of the weekend finishing up my Tarot Booth frame (it's done!  Finally!) outside in the back yard.
Needs a little paint and the top/back fabric

 Unforuntately, this is prime Grade-A allergy season in South Texas and it slammed me hard yesterday.  Had a rough night Sunday, spent Monday recovering.  Back in the saddle again today, though.  Ready to get to it, but am a day behind everything!

Planning to do some sewing this week for the top and back of the Tarot Booth.  I'm going to add some thin PVC pipes on the top to make a "bow" -- hoping that will direct rain off to the sides rather than pooling on the top fabric.  Will see how that works out!  (I really don't know what I'm doing; am just making it up as I go along!)

Ready for a reading to start this week?  We'll again draw two cards -- the first offers a suggestion for us to think about, the second offers ways we can best realize the positive message of that first card.

Our first card is -- the Eight of Pentacles.
This is a fun card; it's message is very similar to that of the Three of Pentacles.  Have you ever become so involved in a project that time seems to fly by?  Maybe you look up and realize you've missed lunch time -- or the school bus!  This can especially happen when you're involved in learning something new in a subject that fascinates you.

That's pretty much what this card suggests -- I call it the "Joy of Learning".  Sometimes we resist learning new skills or subjects -- it's going to take an effort, we don't have the time, we're worried we won't "get it", so on, so on.  For those times when we do take the plunge, we may be pleasingly surprised with an interesting subject and the mental or physical exercise.

Learning something new can be fun -- even if we're not that good at the subject (like me an my Jazz Guitar class!)  It's the gained knowledge we find absorbing.

Interestingly enough, this sort of effort can be envigorating.  Even though we spend energy in the learning process, it somehow gives back way more energy than we spend.

This is a good spot to be in -- so what's stopping us from going there?  Oh yes, I forgot.  "It's going to take an effort, I don't have the time, I'll probably not be any good at it, so on, so on".  It can be a pretty long list -- how do we get past it?

Well, let's look at our second card for tips -- the Seven of Swords.
Some folks think of this as a negative card -- but I always see it as extremely positive.  This Seven suggests taking on a challenge when everyone expects you to fail -- but you find a way to succeed in spite of that.  You don't worry about failure -- you go into the challenge expecting to be successful ... and then spend your efforts ensuring that you are successful.

How can this card benefit us?  Let's rewind a bit -- "It's going to take an effort, I don't have the time, I'll likely not be any good, so on, so on".  Translation is "I'm probably going to fail, so why try!"

If you go in expecting to fail, you probably will.  The trick is -- don't expect to fail.  I saw a roadside sign once, that said "Whether you expect to fail or expect to succeed, you probably will!"  It's your mindset at the beginning that dictates your end results.

The Seven of Swords doesn't recognize all the "reasons" ( ie, EXCUSES ) for failure -- he only sees the expectations for success.  This positive outlook makes challenges look like opportunities rather than roadblocks. 

That's how you want to go into challenges -- expect to be successful from the start.  It may be kind of hokey -- but it works!

That's it for now -- will catch you again before the weekend.


Friday, September 06, 2013

Don't Wait -- Fix It Yourself


Even though this was a short week, it still felt like a long one to me for some reason.  I hope your week went well.

Hoping to get the frame for my "portable" Tarot booth finished this weekend.  Have most of the pieces put together and painted -- just a little bit of fitting and hole-drilling left.  Still trying to figure out how to put the fabric on -- I'll post pictures later, but if you think of an upside-down "L", you'll have the basic shape.  I'll put fabric on the top and back, but am wondering if it'll tip over in a strong wind.  I'll probably leave slits in the fabric -- maybe even not attach the bottoms?  Will play with it once the frame is complete.

Then it's on to finishing the roulotte!

Let's jump into a weekend reading!

We'll start with -- the Six of Cups.
I helped a group design a set of tarot cards once -- one of my cards was the Six of Cups.  I painted a picture of a child's lemonade stand for the image.

The Six of Cups suggests the feelings and wants we had as a child.  When you're a kid, you don't worry about jobs, or taxes, or crime, or foreign affairs -- you just want to be loved, to be comfortable, to feel secure.  The yearning for that sort of security is what the Six of Cups is about.

We all want it -- but most of us have to work to get it.  I have friends with really lousy jobs -- they'll complain constantly about them.  Whenever I suggest "Why don't you look for a new job?", they're full of excuses about why they don't do so.  I figure if you have a problem -- but choose not to try and solve it -- then you've accepted the situation and shouldn't complain about it. 

You ALWAYS have options -- you just have to decided to make the effort to look for them and implement them.

Want security?  Want to feel safe and comfortable?  Then determine what you need to do in order to gain that security -- then do it.

So what does our second card say about this?  The Ace of Pentacles ...
Well, that pretty much affirms what we've already suggested.  The Ace of Pentacles is about beginning new projects, new ventures -- especially commercial or professional ones.  Are there actions you can take to help make your life more comforable and secure?  Maybe it's a new job -- but maybe it's making a better effort in your existing position.  Maybe it's re-evaluating the things that make you uncomfortable -- perhaps you're misrepresenting the situation?  Maybe it's new hobbies that make you feel more capable and competent?  Maybe it's spiffing up your living quarters -- or fixing up an unreliable vehicle?

Whatever it may be, if it's something that's keeping you from feeling safe and comfortable, look for ways you can remedy the situation.  No need to wait for things to fix themselves; take an active hand and fix them yourself!

That's it for now -- hope you have a great weekend!


Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Get Rolling (Part Two)!

Hi All,

Hope you had a great weekend -- yesterday was a holiday in the US, so we had a long weekend.

I had a busy one -- my son in Chicago got out of the Navy!  Flew up there Friday morning and drove his moving truck back to Houston (well, actually, to about 2 hours south of Houston).  Took us three days -- I've done it in a day before, but we wanted to stop Friday night, then wanted to stop again Saturday night to watch the LSU-TCU game.

Not the most scenic drive in the world -- the Illinois portion is pretty plain -- as is the Missouri and half of the Arkansas part.  Once you turn west at West Memphis, you start getting into some hilly terrain and it's kinda pretty.

Driving the truck wasn't so bad -- Penske seems to have the best deals on trucks.  Got 10% off for reserving online and another 10% off for AAA membership.  Top speed was about 65 MPH, so I rarely had to worry about passing anyone.  Finding diesel got a little squirrely at times -- don't understand why a station would put the only diesel pump right next to their building so that a long truck could not manuever there.

Anyway, made the trip with no trouble; trying to get back into the weekday mix again!  Not ready for it!

But am ready for a new reading for this week!  Let's start ...

Our first card is -- the Page of Wands.
Pages are interesting creatures.  They tend to get really excited about things -- that's both their strength and their weakness!

Strength -- because that initial excitment really powers you and fills you with energy and confidence and fuels you to tackle the challenges you may face.  Wands in particular provide the energy and excitment -- but don't really point to the nature of the challenge.  This is kind of good -- because it's like a "wild card" that applies to any sort of challenge you may approach.

But -- the weakness!  Pages tend to be so excited about projects that they have a hard time actually getting started!  Thinking about the potential is exciting and invigorating -- actually knuckling down, getting to work, and getting their hands dirty isn't so exciting.

Still -- it's a good starting point for a new challenge.  If you don't begin being excited about the project, it's hard to make yourself get busy.  It's like being able to see the end before you even start -- it makes the trip seem much more attainable.

So how can we kickstart our Page of Wands?  Let's look at our next card -- the Nine of Wands.
I like this guy -- I always picture someone who's just completed a difficult task.  He's tired and spent -- but feels a great sense of accomplishment after powering through his challenge.  It was tough -- but he saw it through.

When we put these two together, they really fit well.  The Page offers the energy we'll need to face a challenge; the Nine suggests how great we'll feel once we complete the challenge.  This might be the incentive we need to stop thinking and start doing!

That's it for now -- hope the rest of your week goes well!  Talk to you later for a weekend reading!