Monday, January 1, 2018

Welcome 2018

A 'year ahead' forecast with one of my new decks The Ostara Tarot:

At first I was very excited by this deck. It is named after one of the Goddesses of Norse Mythology, the Goddess of spring. I ordered it a few weeks ago along with The Wild Unknown and the Mary El.

Today's reading with The Ostara Tarot Deck revealed a 'mixing' of cultural and/or spiritual influences in the imagery of the cards which is generally frowned upon in my heathen worldview. For example, that card up there in the far top right corner is number 20 in the major arcana, or Judgement, and is generally represented by an angel with spread wings and two people rising from coffins. In the Ostara deck, a Valkyrie descends (hovers?) above two warriors. Both the Valkyrie and the warriors are Norse mythological icons and could be good representations of the Judgement card as a liberating force, but The Ostara Tarot muffles the clarity of the card's meaning by sandwiching two mythologies together; a crown of Anubis sits atop her head, Anubis being the gatekeeper of the underworld in Egyptian mythology. In Norse mythology, Valkyries do visit dying warriors and are often glorified by those warriors. The Valkyries however represent a specific type of afterlife, that found in Odin's Hall in Asgard, Valhalla. It is specifically for warriors who die in glorious battle. Having a Valkyrie represented by Anubis is disturbing.

I still like the deck. The tarot has been transiting the globe for many years now and there is bound to be some 'crossing over' of influences. As for my 'year ahead' it looks to be without the struggle, and hence the glory, of other years. Last year was fabulous in that I started many new things. I finished renovating the first home I've ever owned. I got a fence put up around my new 1.6 acre property. I got a barn built. I started a new business with a partner. I made a best friend. I met many new people in the new village I now dwell in. I made changes and more changes.

The coming year looks like it will be about making decisions on a more permanent scale. Strength, Temperance, and The World are representing my foundations. There will be changes but there is also a sense of letting go and a sharper focus on what is good. There may still be much anxiety though. Much is still new.

After seeing this spread, I asked 'What will I keep and what will I let go of?' This is also a question that is in keeping with my new year's resolution to reduce the number of 'interests' I have been pursuing this past year. I got sheep, I started carding and spinning their fibres, I started growing microgreens and vegetables and herbs for market, I knitted hats and sold them, sewed bags and sold them, made quilts, took up the tarot again (bought new decks), I've been considering reading professionally for the public, I painted a little and drew a little, but ran out of time and I already had a mead making enterprise on the go, two websites in the process of being built, a tarot deck design started and two more in the works. I have yet to hand a picture in my house (although I have many scattered around) or finish unpacking my office and bedroom. My garage / workshop is in a state of chaos. And I also took up an exercise regime that involves riding my 'indoor' bike 30 minutes 3 times a week! This was the answer:
I see balance at the top. This is good. I very desperately need that. Working down from the top I see some juggling, so I will keep more than one focus. The Emperor suggests that my mini empire is steadfast. I'm liking that. Jumping down to the base of the pyramid I see the 8 of swords and the Hermit, along with some competition and conflict and some great balance of energy. Temperance makes another appearance and is between 7 coins and The Heirophant. I recall recently thinking that I needed intellectual stimulation. I think The Heirophant is telling me to take some free online university courses! I know this is not letting go exactly, but it is providing balance, so it stays. Conflict and struggle I had with family (hadn't even mentioned that) I can let go of that. The Hermit, I can likely let him go to. I have less need for privacy perhaps. I see the 7 coins as the 'farm', the planting of seeds, literally and the cultivation of the farm which doesn't show huge results. It is just something necessary and needed. The Queen of Wands is quite likely my artistic career. A keeper. There is still some emotional adjusting needed before I really 'get' this new life and the 3 of wands tells me that I am to keep at the planning of it. The Page of Coins suggests great physical and spiritual effort will be exerted. Still, perhaps I'll have to meditate on the rest. Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Dark Mountain Project

It's been so long yeah... I know. But I finally have something to say here. Deal with it.

My anxieties have always led me to believe there is something very wrong with everything we humans have been doing. My first memories of this anxiety were regarding religion. Why were we sinners? How could we be bad right from the start? At ten years of age, I couldn't make sense of this. So I set it aside. Later, in my teens, I did not understand why we were so separated from the rest of the world. We were animals too, or so I was taught in high school. What was so wrong with nature that we had to 'master' it? Why were we so separate from it? Why was 'dirt' so dirty? Why were weeds bad? They were just plants weren't they? In some circles they were just plants; not bad. Wasn't killing off all the buffalo a bad idea? There were no more carrier pigeons anywhere in the world. They were gone forever.
Then in my twenties while I was in college and beginning to have great philosophical conversations with my peers I wondered how society could believe that the 'economy' was more important than vanishing buffalo or the havoc we were wreaking on the environment.

So yeah, I was naive. Sure. I'm all grown up now. I have been for a while. I stepped back and let it go. But go it never has. It has always been there. This question; if we are part of nature, how come it doesn't feel like we are part of nature? Why do I feel that humans are going down the wrong path, that we are going to destroy ourselves and the planet along with us?

Deep. I decided to go organic. I decided to do my part. It's taken me years to acheive just a little bit of feeling like I'm doing the right thing.

I also chose to devote myself to dark art as a way to provide some balance. I think darkness is something to embrace, not avoid. What aren't we looking at? Why are those anxieties telling me? Where are they pointing? I really don't believe we (humans) are flawed, sinners out of the start gate. How does half the population of America vote for a man that represents the very anti-social qualities causing our mass anxiety? You see I know I'm not alone. I hear the murmurs, the restlessness, the shouts of women and scientists and suppressed peoples around the world. Yeah. So this preamble to rambling on a bit.

What I wanted to say here is that I think this Dark Mountain Project might be pointing a finger at the place I couldn't quite put a finger on for so many years. It's worth a look... The Manifesto

Monday, March 24, 2014

The New Website

Although it is not fully complete, the new website titled The Crow's Fjord is now up and running! The 'design' and 'mythology' sections are not yet complete but you can order a t-shirt or poster from me there! I also have a blog element to accompany the website The Crow's Fjord Blog which will have topics of interest to Norse/Anglo-Saxon design and mythology.

The Crow's Fjord website

I would be glad to hear any feedback regarding the look or functionality of the website, the blog or anything else for the matter. The project is ongoing and I will update the website when I have new material!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Coming Soon...

I sell my designs on Red Bubble as well as directly through me. Some lovely staff member at Red Bubble saw my shirt rolling off the dryer in their Colorado office and snatched a photo for me.

Oh yes! and I have a new website called The Crow's Fjord coming March 01, 2014. Watch for it! I will post the link.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Toronto on the Downward Spiral

I'm practically speechless about this buffoon of a mayor that insists on embarrassing those of us in Toronto proper (as opposed to his supporters from the suburban fringes) ad nauseam. An article from the New York Times sums it up nicely (the Toronto papers are too exasperated to be coherent):
TORONTO — JUST the other day, a definitive Toronto image was making the rounds on Twitter. One of the turnstiles in the subway system had broken and no guards were around, so passengers had left their tickets and change in a small pile on the side. I live in an absurdly law-abiding, rule-following city. There’s one major exception: the mayor. He smokes crack. He said so on Tuesday. Twice. (read more here)
I hang my head in shame...