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Feng Shui: The Basics

The first thing to figure out when you are hoping to introduce feng shui into your life is which of the two schools to use. The traditional method is a little more complicated, as it uses compass points around your space to figure out where your spaces lie. The second, which I’ve chosen to use, is the more western approach. This simply works from where your front door is.

When picking which to use, I figured out both. By using the western method my front door is, effectively, acting as “north” because it is in the middle of the wall. In actuality, and if I was using the traditional method, my door is facing north-east. This means all the areas of the bagua (which is the spiritual map you use to determine which areas lie in which part of your home) are simply shifted anti-clockwise by one compass point.

I picked the western version because it suited me better when I figured out which area would be in which part of my home for both. But knowing my front door’s location and direction will come in handy later.

Next I investigated some other details that could affect my choices. I was born in the Chinese year of the Dragon, which means my Kua number is three and my element is Earth. The Kua number dictates some of my preferred directions, with everyone being split into eastern- and western-facing people. My number means I am an east person, and east is my best direction for personal growth. To attract love my best direction is south-east, for improving health it’s north, and for money and success my direction is south. I’m not too confident just yet what this means in practicality, but I’m keeping it written down.

Next the element, which works with my best colours. Being Earth I should encourage red, purple, magenta and earthy colours, but avoid blue, white and grey. I do have a blue carpet, but I think I’m mostly on par with the rest. Again, it’s more information gathering than making any particular impact on my life at this point.

Finally, for those of you who might be curious, here’s a run-down of what currently lives in each of my areas, going clockwise from my front door:

Career and Path In Life:

The entrance of my home, with a small square hallway and doors into the bathroom, living room and kitchen. My bedroom door is in the living room.

Personal Growth and Cultivation:

This would be in my bathroom, which is newly refurbished. It also counts a small area of my living room, which houses a large unit full of books and ornaments.

Health and Family:

The book case containing my computer games, as well as the floor space in front of my television where I use my Xbox’s Kinect. One of the main draws to why I chose the western layout over the traditional one – health would have been in the bathroom otherwise. Which isn’t an awful thing, but I prefer it this way.

Wealth, Prosperity and Abundance:

This is my television corner, which also has a television stand and my games consoles, a unit with some disks and some other electronics. It’s also next to the window on one side and has my fireplace on the other. The fireplace is partly in the area as well.

Fame and Reputation:

This one’s split by a wall – on one side, in the living room, is my computer desk with lots of productive filing and some more electronic stuff. On the other, the head of my bed with my bedside cabinet next to it.

Love and Marriage:

That’s the end of  my bed, with my pyjama basket and a bookshelf in it. There’s also a window along the far wall, and plenty of wall space for interesting things to go on later.

Creativity and Children:

My wardrobe and a chest of drawers, with a little bit of wall space. I might have to play around with this one, because I am quite a creative person in general.

Helpful People and Blessings:

My kitchen, with everything one would expect to find in an ordinary kitchen.

Centre, Heart and Yin Yang:

This is, basically, the middle of my flat. Which sort of contains some wall space, a door and part of my sofa. So it is possible for me to, theoretically, sit in the heart of my home. Which is kind of nice.

I will go on to explain each of these areas in more detail as I work on them.

 

Okay, so following from my Major Arcana post on keywords I’m delving into the suits next.

For those of you who don’t know, the Tarot deck is made of 78 cards:

  • 22 Major Arcana Cards
  • 40 Minor Arcana Cards numbered one to 10 and split over four suits
  • 16 Court cards split over four suits

The four suits and their keywords are as follows.

Wands: Work and Social Activities

Cups: Love and Emotions

Pentacles: Money and Health

Swords: Problems and Troubles

The keywords detailed above work with the numerical values of the keywords of the Major Arcana cards. For instance, The Magician’s keyword is “I will” and the numerical value of the card is one. This means the first card in each suite, such as the Ace of Wands, has both the keyword “I will” for being under The Magician’s number AND the keywords “work and social activities” for being in the suit of Wands. In this way the ten numbered Minor Arcana cards correspond with the Major Arcana’s I to X (or one to ten) numbered cards – The Magician through to The Wheel of Fortune.

The 16 Court cards have much more complex meanings, and refer contextually to different things depending on the question. I’m going to leave my study of the Court cards until last, and focus more on the keywords from the other cards first. I feel that this will be much easier for me to absorb, giving me a solid grounding of basic knowledge to work up from.

Tonight I am going to work on retaining everything I’ve studied so far from this new book.

Kirsty

This is a slightly different approach to what I’ve been working with so far. I received a new book, How To Read The Tarot by Sylvia Abraham, and it details a method of keywords used to better remember the meanings of the cards. I definitely want to achieve a more thorough understanding of the cards than just using keywords, but I am hoping this will help me isolate individual definitions in my head a little better.

So all day today I’ve been working on remembering the 22 Major Arcana cards, which number corresponds to them, and what their respective keywords are. I have the associated keywords down but I keep stumbling over the numbers (which appear below as roman numerals):

O – The Fool: Everyone

I – The Magician: I Will

II – The High Priestess: I Know

III – The Empress: I Make

IV – The Emperor: I Realise

V – The Hierophant: I Believe

VI – The Lovers: I Choose

VII – The Chariot: The Path

VIII – Strength: Strength

IX – The Hermit: Wisdom Through Experience

X – The Wheel of Fortune: Changes and Cycles

XI – Justice: Justice and Equilibrium

XII – The Hanged Man: Sacrifice and Reversal

XIII – Death: Transformation

XIV – Temperance: Moderation, Trials and Tests

XV – The Devil: Materialism and Deception

XVI – The Tower: Catastrophe

XVII – The Stars: Discovery and Aspiration

XVIII – The Moon: Attainment

XIX – The Sun: Renewal

XX – Judgement: Awareness

XXI – The World: Cosmic Consciousness

I’ve had a lot of fun trying to stick these terms in my head today. I hope it inspires me to work harder in my Tarot studies.

Kirsty

  • Which number from One to Ten do you identify with intuitively? Once you have selected a number read the description associated with your choice. Does this  reflect your true nature or personality?

Probably Three, and I’m not too sure – it refers to growth, expansion, ambition and development. i suppose I am seeking development of myself, and I can be ambitious, The number also seems to relate to offspring in a two-makes-three union. I do feel like a maternal person, and the energy does draw me towards the idea of a child, so in these ways the number’s meaning does seem to resonate with me a little.

  • Which of the four elements best describes your character? If this is a combination, which elements describe you best together?

As previously mentioned, this would be Fire and Water,

  • Now correlate these choices of elements with the signs of the zodiac. Does your image of yourself correspond with your sun sign or your ascendant?

While Gemini is an Air sign, as opposed to Fire or Water, it is the third in the zodiac. Still, as I was born on the cusp, I do see some Cancer traits in my own behaviour at times. Certainly more now as I am hitting my mid twenties than a few years ago. But I do think my Gemini need to communicate is what drives me to blog as much as I do.

  • If you had to analyse yourself using the symbolism of the Court cards, how would you rate yourself from Air of Air (King of Swords) to Earth of Earth (Page of Pentacles)?

The visual references would give me the Significator of the Page of Swords (or, in the case of my deck, the Infanta of Swords) but if I were to examine the symbolism more closely and identify myself I’d pick the Queen of Wands.

  • Once you have chosen the card locate it in your pack. Take a moment to visualise and meditate on this card. What feelings or impressions arise from the card when you do this?

Great feelings of peace and safety. I struggle to focus on much else, it’s just a very warm card.

  • With regard to choosing a Significator for a Tarot reading, imagine you are the seeker and that the reading is being done for you. Which card would you select as your own Significator?

As mentioned above, my Significator should be the Page of Swords, as I am still a young woman. As I move past 30 and towards 40 this would become the Queen of Swords.

      • Look at the Tarot paths on the Tree of Life and answer these questions.

1. What is the name of the Tarot card that represents the path linking Tipareth and Chesed? The Hermit.

2. What is the name of the card that unites Binah and Chokmah? The Empress.

3. Name the cards that define the “Middle Pillar” – the paths linking Malkuth, Yesod, Tipareth and Kether. The World links Malkuth and Yesod, Temperance links Yesod and Tipareth, and The High Priestess links Tipareth and Kether.

  • Take time, once again, to read through the descriptions of the Sephiroth.

1. Which sphere do you most identify with in terms of where you are now? Netzach.

2. Which sphere represents qualities you aspire to? Tiphareth and Geburah.

3. What are these qualities? Higher spiritual awareness and the courage to pursue justice.

  • Compare the attributes for each suit with the attributes for the element associated with the suit.

Fire – masculine energy, vitality, strength, willpower, violence, passion, inspiration, optimism, enthusiasm, confidence, courage, aggression, leadership, domination.

Wands – growth, energy, personal enterprise, new ideas and creativity.

Insight – The connection with Fire gives Wands a strong, powerful elemental alliance. The shared attributes of positivity and energy make the suit seem much more dynamic and active than first appearances suggest. This helps because it connects Wands with movement, change and a number of strong emotions. It reminds me, as the Reader, of passion, ambition and forceful drive towards a destination, whether that be material, physical, emotional, spiritual or abstract.

Water – feminine energy, receptivity, reflection, passivity, emotion, intuition, love, sensitivity, nourishment, sexuality, desire, psychic insight.

Cups – love, happiness, emotion, fertility, beauty, subconscious mind, natural instincts.

Insight – Connecting the influences of Water to Cups enforces the gentle emotions the suit represents. The concept of intuitive responses and time to consider actions fits with the calm yet mutable nature of Water. The strong sense of sexuality and fertility also joins the element with Cups, referring to undercurrents and subtleties below the surface.

Air – masculine energy, intellect, reason, swiftness, flexibility, logic, discrimination, discernment, exchange of ideas.

Swords – aggression, force, ambition, struggle, animosity, positive and negative actions,

Insight – A very dynamic combination which shows the strength of masculine power balanced by the patience of forethought and consideration. The element of Air gives Swords direction and support to channel the energy into the desired occupation, though this can to negative ends as well as productive and positive ones.

Earth – feminine energy, stability, fertility, physical life, work, achievement, loyalty, family, community, material world.

Pentacles – property, financial interests, fruits of labour,

Insight – The most present and physical of combinations. The substance of the Earth element works in harmony with Pentacles’ materialistic focus. Career, home and all manner of goals or achievements link strongly to this suit.

  • Now consider the elements in relation to yourself:

1. Which combination of the elements best describes who I am?
Predominantly Fire and Water with a touch of Earth and Air.

2. What aspects of the elements manifest in my personality?
Fire – passion and inspiration.
Water – intuition, emotion and sensitivity.
Air – flexibility and logic.
Earth – loyalty and hard-work.
I feel closest to Water.

Which element am I “strongest” in?
Probably Fire.

Which elements would I like to develop?
Mostly Air and Water.

When I consider the attriutes associated with the four Tarot suits which best symbolises my deepest personal interests?
I’d have to say Wands for the creative energy the suit represents.

Firstly, I’m not your typical Christian girl. I study the bible and pray to God, but I don’t go to church at the moment. In many ways my views are a little controversial, so I’m not planning on going into them on here. Only my friends get to know that side of me.

So, if I’m not going to preach to you, what AM I doing on this blog?

The answer is simple – it’s a celebration. I’m paying homage to my dearest friend and Lord, sharing my love for Him and the things that inspire me to follow His way.

I am very lucky to be in a relationship with someone who, while his faith isn’t as strong as mine, does believe in an all-loving God watching over us. This means there’s no conflict in my soul, and I am grateful for this. I reach out to God in many ways – my favourite being music. Most of my Christian friends describe their experience of the Holy Spirit being through prayer, but I’ve only ever felt that power through song. Music speaks to my heart in a way nothing else does.

I’m also trying to use my Yoga practice to connect with God in a different way. My practice yesterday described the intense heat within the body during Asanas drawing out the toxins and purifying the body. I’m feeling heat differently, and every time I’m aware of that warmth I look for His hand.

Once again, I’m not here to preach my beliefs to you. But I do hope my words, my honesty and my faith reach out to you, so that even if you don’t share in them you at least respect the core of them.

I love God with all my heart. He is in everything I do, and He is always with me. May he be watching over you too.

Kirsty

Yoga: An Introduction

A better heading would really be “My Yoga”, because this isn’t something I’m really recording to advise or encourage anyone else in their practice. I’m hoping this record serves as a motivator my my own studies and techniques.

Today I did my first practice in a very long time. I can’t even remember when the last time was, but I know it’s been over a year. Yoga hasn’t been a part of my life because so much else was going on that needed seeing to first. But now I’m beginning to draw everything into a comfortable balance I feel happy to continue with my exploration.

One thing I realised very quickly is my flexibility’s nowhere near what it was. I didn’t even practice very regularly to begin with, but when I used to do the odd session in years gone by I could do much more than I can now in the ways of bending and stretching. However my stamina’s much higher and I managed to keep up comfortably with the tutorial I was following.

I’m aiming to practice Yoga daily from now on – even if I can only do a 10-minute Sun Salutation, it’s still something. and, as I’ve discussed at length on my personal blog, doing something daily is a helpful technique that’s really been working for me so far.

I must admit, I didn’t gel particularly well with the instruction on the DVD to use the sound of Om in my practice. But I did take comfort from listening to the sound – I felt the reverberation connecting somewhere as she repeated it, and I did sink into a calm place through the exercise. I did feel differently afterwards, in a way I don’t think I ever connected with before. I have a number of Yoga books, as well as a game on the Wii and a few DVDS, so I’m keep to take this further. Maybe it’ll be a good springboard for learning meditation techniques.

For now, I’ll try to practice every day and see where it leads. Once I’ve built a basic-level sequence I’m comfortable with I may share it with you on here.

Namaste,

Kirsty

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