By taking time to get to know each part of this journey intimately and experience it for ones self directly we need to be taken out of our comfort zone of what we think we know as we are awakened from within to a world of new experiences that bring change in to our lives. Meditating with each of these images is not something that can be done quickly and will require time, effort and diligence on the part of the seeker and the act of meditating properly is a skill like any other which doesn’t happen overnight but with persistence and determination it is an invaluable tool that will yield phenomenal results if applied consistently and effectively.
I learned to use the fourfold method of breathing very early on in my studies and it has been the best way of quieting the mind of distractions. Focus on your breathing and breathe in to the count of four, then breathe out to the count of four. Bringing your attention and awareness into your body and let the distractions of the outside world fade in to the background. Take a few minutes to do this. You can use music or relax into the peace and quiet. Either way the focus is upon regulating your breathing by counting. In 2,3,4 and our 2,3,4.
This is the guided Meditation for the Fool. The beginning of your journey into enlightenment. Make sure that you will not be disturbed for at least half an hour and you should have a pen and paper ready to record your experience. Before you begin adjust the lighting, light a candle perhaps, and make sure the temperature in the room is warm enough, and if you need a blanket have this to hand. Its a good idea to have a glass of water ready too for when you have finished.
For a long time I knew that the path I was walking was a different one even though I didn’t understand or know why, but just knew that I had to follow it. Tried unsuccessfully to fit so many moulds that were presented to me but couldn’t. Time has proven to me that we all have our unique way of being and that try as we might we cannot escape from the true nature of ourselves.
The Initiates Way began initially in 2006 when I created a set of images to help me understand the Tarot on a personal level and discover what it meant to me. Dipping the toe into the sea of Magical images not knowing where it was going to carry me. I was at the beginning of a very long journey and I had no idea where I would end up. Using the Tarot as a tool for Spiritual Development since then has been priceless in terms of helping me find my place in the world. Without it I would never have begun the exploration of the inner worlds and initiated experiences in my life that have given me a foundation upon which to live and breath. Part of the journey has been to fully embrace the Goddess in all of her glory and celebrate the divine feminine and masculine equally within my spiritual practices.
Creation of the Soulscapes Tarot was the first part of that journey. Using the ideas and concepts of each of the Major Arcana of the Tarot to produce my own spiritual enlightenment journey in pictures, while living it in the physical world. The Initiates Way is the path that I have chosen to walk and last year in January I started to paint another set of images at the outset of another rite of passage beginning with The High Priestess who came to me in a dreamlike vision and told me that I would ‘serve’ at her High Altar. During the creation of the images for the Initiates Way I wrote, participated in and led workshops road testing 22 Meditations that were created with the intent of taking the practitioner of Tarot into uncharted spaces so that they could experience these worlds for themselves.
As we enter into February 2018 the Initiates Way has taken on a life of its own and the remaining images have been coming to fruition when they are ready to be birthed. The completion of the set of images and producing the second deck will be the pinnacle of this awesome journey. The foundations are laid now for anyone who would like to test the water and see if they are ready to facilitate their own seeking for enlightenment and wisdom.
The Guided meditations will be available on Youtube and on the Blogpage.
January is always an interesting month in terms of creating. This year I seem to have spent more time tying up loose ends and plotting long term projects than actually sitting down and creating. The stillness of days where there is hardly a breath of air allows for peaceful reflection and the days of glorious sunshine, cold but clear, when the rain temporarily ceases.
The creation of the Court images for the Pentacles / Discs took a lot more time than I had envisaged. Seems they were not quite ready to be birthed properly until we were fully into January.
The Prince of Discs who made his appearance in November is at the top and the Queen, King and princess came to fruition in quick succession over the last week. As one cycle closes and another begins the flame of creation will be turned towards the pip card images for the Wands. The Ace of Wands / Staffs was a collaboration wais a collaboration between me and the twins. They painted an awesome background for me and the ‘rod that budded’ is in the foreground.
This second journey through creating a Tarot deck has been a completely different experience in terms of my own spiritual development and understanding. I set out with the intention of letting the images arise from within and I used the meditations that I wrote for each major arcana for our spiritual development group as my starting point. So in this sense they are truly Esoteric and have come from within. The tarot for me has become a living breathing entity in its own right in my life and in my work. Looking back at the humble beginnings of being given my own set of Tarot at the age of 18, and then using it as a tool for enlightenment for serious study has given me a foundation upon which to rest my Art, writing and songs and for them to grow upon that platform.
I have learned that reading Tarot and using it for its true purpose are two very different things. My entry into the world of Tarot changed my life completely and I can’t imagine a life without it. The learning process of helping people I have met over the years of reading has given me such an insight into human nature which is priceless, and when it comes to creating something for others to use as a tool I hope that this wisdom is carried on through those who use the decks in the future. The Soulscapes deck appears to have been the beginning of a very long journey for me and the creation of the Initiates way has been the closing or ending of that cycle of learning. Who know what the future will hold once the new deck is complete and sent out into the world to find its new students.
May your year be filled with joy and love and i’m looking forward to meeting lots of new friends and catching up with old friends at the events that are coming up.
Don’t forget to check out the events page for upcoming workshops and MBS tables for th next year !
As we are approaching the Winter Solstice in the UK we had our first taste of snow and ice last week. Picturesque postcard scenes of white landscapes with crisp azure blue skies. The paintings for the Discs that are part of the new Initiates Way Tarot series have unearthed themselves in a slow and steady fashion and there is only the 10 of Discs left to create now for that particular set. The Princess, king and Queen I expect to arrive over the next week or so during the holidays.
The choice of Discs to name the suit this time around during the creation process has been an intuitive choice. In the Soulscapes Deck I used the traditional Pentacles to represent the realm of Earth. This time I have used golden spinning wheels or Discs. Some of them have the appearance of coins but there is always a subtle movement in them which was the deciding factor on choosing Discs.
In some decks like Chesca Potter’s Wildwood Tarot this suit is attributed to stones thereby representing the actual Earth but I wanted to present the more fluid idea of currency and the idea of spiritual wealth being that of the movement of energy in and out of ones sphere of existence. Energetic output and return for ones creativity or the work that we do is only one of the aspects of the suit of discs or pentacles. The flow of wealth in and out of our lives, the idea of gifting and giving without thought of what you are going to get in return, and what something is really worth and why. These are the sort of things that I have been considering while creating the images for the Discs.
I was watching a lecture by John Anthony West about the temples and the function that they serve as places to get in touch with the divine presences and something he said in it about Architecture being frozen Music really got me thinking about the effect that our surroundings have upon us. Especially our homes. I remember very well the feelings and sensations that I had the first time I walked into Chartres Cathedral and the emotions that it evoked, overwhelming me with love and a sense of awe and humility. And in contrast the feelings and sensations that were present when I walked into the man made Cathedral Cavern at Langdale in Cumbria with its window that illuminates the darkness below. Both very different structures but that produce a distinct feeling or emotion, that of standing in a ‘great hall’.
So the general ambience of this last month has been a retreat into solitude within the walls of my home, my sanctuary and lots of quiet contemplation and introspection, journeying within to seek out the known and unknown places within the darkness as well as in the light.
There have been so many changes since I wrote last month’s blog I hardly know where to begin. I started off this month by beginning to paint the Pentacles / Discs pip cards for the new Initiates Way Tarot and gained more understanding about my own relationship between work, finances, energy and grounding of ideas into the physical world.
I don’t know if it’s an Artist thing or a projected state of mind that we have drummed into us about Art being a hobby, or something else that you do away from your real job, but I have had a fraught relationship with being an Artist for most of my adult life.
A friend posted on Social Media about the need for having an identity as an Artist and what that means in terms of what people expect from you and one of the issues I have battled with for a long time is putting a fee on the work that I create. It is a job like any other and sometimes it can take a lot more effort to make money doing it than it does to go and work for someone else as an employee and take home a regular wage. Self confidence and self esteem almost certainly come into play when it comes to selling Art.
Can you talk to others about about it?
What makes one piece of art worth more than another, other than whether the Artist is dead or alive?
During this process I plunged headlong into the shadows of the underworld and by submitting to introspection and dealing with whatever that threw up in terms of learning and life lessons, I journeyed through the creation of the remaining images and find that i’m standing once again on the high vista of the plateau of the Fool / Jester.
Ready to jump into the abyss and begin anew.
The images for Justice, the Hanged / Drowned Man and Death literally fell out of the ether and on to the canvas in a week after having an unbelievably stressful lead up to the release of these images.
As of today there is only one of the Major Arcana left for me to paint. It is the 22nd tomorrow so I intend to focus on painting that and then the entire Major sequence for this deck will be finished. The three remaining court images for the Pentacles and Discs are on the menu after that while plotting and scheming for the festive period.
There will be a Calendar available which will include all of the new Initiates Way Tarot images for anyone who would like to order one. Please Email and register your interest and I will contact you directly about the order process.
Seasonal change is upon us once again. The tides are shifting and fluctuating as we head into Autumn here in the UK. Change is in the air and winter is coming! The wind has been buffeting the coast for two days now. Creativity has sparked again with the change in the season allowing me to create all of the cups images for the minor arcana of the Initiates Way and make a start on the Wheel of Fortune Major Arcana. Cycles close and energy is drawn into the earth. Grounding and keeping feet firmly on the ground during the turbulent storms is a balancing act in itself.
I’m ready now to begin earthing the discs / pentacles with the assistance of my eldest wizard in training who is going to help me paint the backgrounds for the minor arcana.
During the Autumn Equinox I painted the Hermit for the new Initiates Way Tarot and it felt like there was a closing cycle almost, coming to an end of a significant part of the inner journey of the fool and as I was painting him he informed me that his title was ‘Son of the Mother”.
The Hermit is one of my favourite Archetypes in the Tarot. Retreating within to listen to ones inner teacher, learning, studying, and spending time in quite contemplation, in stillness and peace.
The Guided Meditations that have been recorded for each of the Major Arcana are now in edit. If you would like to know when these audio meditations will be ready for publication please Email me and I will add you to the subscription list.
The images are coming thick and fast for the new Deck. Coincidentally finished the image for the Chariot just before travelling to France for the Summer.
As usual there have been lots of things happening during the stay. I have been editing the Tarot workbook and have finally finished writing all of the guided Meditations for each of the Major Arcana and have begun recording them for publication as an Audio series that will be suitable for solo development work or for groups.
The biggest thing that has happened since arriving in France was my Ordination as a Priestess in the Fellowship of Isis. Just before I embark upon creating the image for Strength / Fortitude I had a vision of the Lioness who radiated the most amazing healing power that I was in complete awe.
Even though it is still August I have been inspired to paint the Ace of Cups Also. It was my intention to paint the Cups Court Cards on my return but they have also begun to emerge. In between writing and painting the new images for the deck I created my gift of dedication to the Goddess Athena. I have not painted with watercolours before so it was a completely new medium to work in and has given me inspiration to try lots of different styles!
There have been intense healing moments, connections with the Fae in the Forest and precious moments of baby deer skipping across my path. Magical moments that will be treasured forever and imbued into the journey of the creation of the Initiates Way Tarot.
Humbled and honoured to be alive at this time and filled with inspiration for the future.
On the 9th of April Sacred Circle held their second annual Health, Healing and Awareness day at the Carnegie Theatre in Workington. There was a fabulous turnout of exhibitors for the day who brought with them not only fantastic wares but added to a collective energy that shone like a beacon for the entire day.
This was the first time any of the Initiates Way Tarot paintings had left the safety of my Sanctuary and they are now re-installed back in their homes since. During the Inner Goddess workshop we visited the healing pool and Sacred Sanctuary of the High Priestess which was a joy to facilitate. The High Priestess and the Magician presided over the sacred space and everyone had a taste of the stillness and peace within their own Healing Sanctuary during the guided meditation.
There are only two more of the Guided Meditations for the Tarot that i’m currently writing, that of the Judgement / Aeon and the Universe / World, and upon their completion I will begin the editing and recording process for each of them with Meditation Music so that you can experience all of the Archetypes for yourself. This will be available as downloadable .mp3 format or as a full collection on CD as soon as they have gone through the production process. If you would like to be notified when this project is finished please get in touch and I will add you to the subscription list.
Nowadays I find that unfortunately I struggle for time to read as much as I used to. I was very fortunate to receive a review copy of this fabulous book. Sometimes it takes me months to read a book in between busy schedules and I read the The Druid Code in parts in the quiet spaces I create amid the chaos.
Having had a keen interest in Archeology for a couple of years now and more than a passing interest in all matters Mystical this is one of those books that has pulled together a lot of the things that I have been thinking about and researching myself over the years after visiting Sacred Sites, especially the “official” stories and explanations that are given for the functions and use of sites such as New Grange in Ireland.
I don’t think anybody can have the definitive answers but this text is an absolute gem that offers much needed clarity on megalithic sites and how we can approach understanding them from our cultural point of view. Understanding where we come from and connecting with our ancestors and the land is in itself a journey that everyone should take whether from a Spiritual point of view or simply to better understand our place in the world. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in humanity, culture, and especially those who are searching the past for clues as to how we arrived at some of the systems that are functioning in our society today. The Authors passion about the subject comes across in the writing style, it is a very engaging title and I sincerely hope that Thomas writes more in this genre and isn’t put off by some of the reactions to it. Change will create resistance in those who have built a concrete way of seeing especially if you are offering alternatives to accepted points of view!
The Druid Code sets out to examine the wider concept of magic and mythology being utilised as an early form of social psychoanalysis by the druids, and how magic theory developed from this. How this evolution of ritual magic, eventually made its way into Folklore, Witchcraft and Freemasonry. From the proto-shamanic world of the megalith builders, to lost civilisations of the Atlantic fringe, along with the continual changes and challenges to the human experience in the face of traumatic cultural upheaval, the druids, along with their legacy, have played a far more influential role than has been previously acknowledged. The Druid Code utilises mythology connected to sacred sites. Developing a bidirectional conduit back through time, to reveal what took place in 2500BC. A shift in human consciousness that was to make humans what we are today. From Atlantis to Alchemy, you will never see history in the same way ever again. Thomas Sheridan
The Autumn Equinox is always a strange and uneven ride through the ether, eventually landing at a place of balance and inner harmony through lots of shadow work and juggling. This year more than ever it seems there has been a lot of rectifying of inner attitudes towards certain things, becoming more open and receptive to new ideas and methods and certainly the opportunity for learning completely new Magic!
I have been writing a companion book for the Soulscapes Tarot for quite some time now. These things can’t be rushed and appear when they are ready. Sometimes little pieces for it fuse together little by little and at other times large amounts of the material that has been written begins to make perfect sense and the rest flows out naturally. As part of the process of writing the material for the Soulscapes Companion I have been revisiting paths that opened for me when I painted the images initially, by creating and recording meditations or path workings that focus on specific imagery attributed to each of the Major Arcana Archetypes of the Tarot and it is shaping into a structure or skeleton on to which the flesh of experience is beginning to grow. In our Spiritual Development group we have travelled these paths together with some startling results. In tandem with this process I have begun training in Hypnotherapy in the hope that I can use some time honoured methods to create the remaining journeys so that when the full book is written and ready for publication there will be workable paths laid out for seekers who want to experience some of the mysteries of the Tarot for themselves in text and audio format.
The experiences and revelations that have come with the recent study and journey into the world of the Hermit have shed so much light for me on a common misconception that definitely needs to be addressed. Many people feel a kindred spirit in the image of the Hermit yet misunderstand that it suggests that they should cut themselves off from Society and retreat permanently away from people, culture and everything that our world contains. It is quite the contrary, interaction gives us the chance to learn more. Inner space and retreat is only a temporary place to be visited in times when one needs to hear ones own counsel and guidance away from the distractions of the world, but the real work of the Hermit or wise one is to come back out of that place and bring their knowledge and wisdom to those who need it. Anyone who is a healer or reader or consultant of any kind will understand what I mean by this. If you have the urge to help others and guide when it is appropriate and you are given the opportunity can you really do that from a distanced vantage point with no real close connections around you?
Points to consider during the Equinox.
Are you living a life of your own choosing?
Are there things that you wish that you could change and if so what is stopping you from instigating those changes?
Are you spending equal amounts of your time and attention on work/rest/play and engaging with those around you who need your support?
This is the perfect opportunity to give yourself a chance to let go of anything that is holding you back whether that is your own self limiting beliefs or simply clearing out the things in your life that you no longer need to make room for new things / experiences / friendships that are currently not able to be in your life due to unnecessary clutter!