Monday, August 30, 2010

Cord Meditation

To do this meditation, I first had to make a small “rosary” of twenty-seven large quartz beads. Stringing these beads was a meditation in itself. Because of my brain injury, I could only use one hand at a time. The knotting took me a long time, which made the “rosary” more precious to me. (When I did do the meditation, I had to pass the beads from one hand to the other to keep it flowing.)

Choosing the affirmation to chant took time and care as well. I wanted to say something positive that would encompass all of my life. After much thought, I came up with “I embrace grace and beauty in areas of my life.”

I did the meditation when I went to bed, during the night, and when I got up in the morning. Because it helped to calm me down, this meditation was helpful when I went to bed. Usually when I got up at night, I would remain awake since the light would set my brain to racing. This meditation helped me to calm it and settle quickly back to sleep. Getting up and chanting set the tone for the day, and relaxed me as well.

What happened next was odd even by my standards. At first, I kept dreaming of spinning wheels. They were circles of colours spinning forming mandalas which flowed into flowers. Strangely enough, I did not get motion sickness during my dreaming.

Then I had a series of dreams that consisted of roads and railroad tracks. These lines were filled with coloured lights winking on and off. These twinkling lights moved up, down, and about on the roads and tracks. When I viewed these dancing colours, I felt more relaxed whilst I basked in their glow.

Again I believed that this helped to heal my brain. I assumed that the lights were healing the neural pathways of my brain. Also during the day, I became less reactive and more thoughtful. I had a sense of mindfulness throughout the day.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Pentagram Symbol

The Pentagram has a long history as a magical talisman. First found in Sumer (Mesopotamia), the people often referred to it as “The Star of Ishtar”. For them, the points of the Pentagram corresponded to the directions of forward, backward, left, right, and above.

The Pentacle used by Neo-Pagans is the Star Pentagon of Pythagoras. This polygon is constructed by connecting the alternative vertices of a pentagon. (A pentacle within a pentagon represents power, regeneration, and transcendence.) The lines bisect each other according to the ratios of the Golden Mean. Each point is an isosceles triangle, which represents “trinity”. At the heart of the polygon is the pentagon, which imbues strength.

The Pythagoreans labeled the corners of their Pentagon (starting with the upper left arm, and going clockwise) “water, earth, form, heat, and air” respectively. For them, it embodied their Physical Order of the Elements. Going counter-clockwise (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Spirit in the modern Pentacle) created the Metaphysical Order of the Cosmos. (To the Pythagoreans, repetitions of the number five imbued the physical with sacred energy.)

Until recently, Christians wore the Pentacle for protection. The five points represented the Five Wounds of Christ. Also, the Five Joys of Mary (the Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, and Assumption) were depicted by the Pentacle. In addition, the 14th Century poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” alluded to other Christian correspondences of the Pentacle such as the Five Virtues of Knighthood, Noble Generosity, Fellowship, Purity, Courtesy, and Compassion.

It was the use by European occultists that gave the Pentacle its unsavory reputation for the general public in modern times. In addition, the Magician Eliphas Levi further urged the wearing of the Pentacle with the single point upwards. According to him, this represented spirit over matter. The reverse, he believed attracted sinister forces since it overturns the proper order of things. Upside down, it represented Baphoment, the goat of Black Magic.

From Sumer to today, the Pentacle has been a symbol of protection. Rooted in Greco-Roman Paganism, the Pentacle became associated with goodness and health. Wear it to express the ideal forms of the sacred and profane united into a cosmic whole.

Note: According to various dictionaries, “pentacle” and “pentagram” are synonymous. However, many Wiccans and other Pagans refer to a “pentacle” as a pentagram enclosed in a circle.

Works Used:

Hart, Francene, Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck, Bear and Company, Rochester Vermont, 2001

Mamn, Nicholas, “The Sacred Pentagram of Sedona”, Spirit of Ma’at, Volume 4, January 2004

Skinner, Stephen, “Sacred Geometry”, Sterling Publishing, London, 2006.

Sophistes, Apollonias, “The Pythagorean Pentacle”, Biblioteca Arcana, 1999

Zell-Ravenheart, Oberon, Grimore for the Apprentice Wizard, New Page Books, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, 2004


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rook: Competition

This sociable bird is readily found in farming areas, feeding on insects and grubs as well as sown grain and peas. Believing that rooks were pests, farmers for centuries killed them. In fact, James I of Scotland introduced a law in 1424 to eliminate all rooks from his kingdom. However, the rook has managed to survive through it all.

This glossy black bird with a white beak is a part of European folklore. “As the crow flies” originally referred to the steady flight of the rook. An English legend says the Tower of London will fall and the Monarchy will be in danger if less than six rooks live there. In addition, many people believed that the desertion of a rookery to be a bad omen. Local English folklore says that someone in the area will die, and that no heir will be born to the family of the Manor.

A gregarious bird, the rook is very colonial, preferring to live in a large flock (called a Parliament). In belonging to her Parliament, the rook follows certain rules. There is a ‘pecking order’ in which the oldest bird lives at the center of the rookery, where he is sheltered from the wind. When the Parliament is feeding, rook sentries are posted to warn the other rooks when danger threatens. Their loud echoing “caws” can be heard throughout the countryside.

Loyal to her mate and to her rookery, the rook returns to the same nest site every year, with her Parliament. During the fall, her mate finds a high and solitary spot and sings to her. When the female rook responds, he offers food to her. After the male rook feeds her, he bows and calls to the female from a branch. High in the trees, they build an untidy nest of twigs. (Local folklore says if the rook’s nest “be high in the treetops, be a fine summer; if be low, then summer be wet and cold”.)

However, there are times when the rook is fiercely competitive. During nesting time, Mother Rook stands guard for many days over her nesting spot, fighting off other rooks. She quarrels with her friends over the best sticks to build her nest. Later, Mother and Father Rook will compete for food with other rook parents to feed their chicks. Unfortunately, with many birds trying to grab as much food as they can, many rook chicks fail to survive.

The rook teaches proper ways to compete. When she looks for food, she does it for her chicks. In being the most competitive, the rook gets the most food for them. However, do not be so fiercely competitive that you cause others to fail to thrive.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Raven: Duality

Often mistaken for crow, the raven is not just a big crow. A complex bird in nature and mythology, the raven is noted for her innovative solutions to problems that she encounters. For example, the raven uses stones to crack her nuts. With her diverse language of calls, the raven often engages in wordplay with her friends. Not only that, but she also incorporates the calls of other birds in her “speech”.

When the territories of the crow and the raven overlap, a distinction can be made between the two. Unlike her brother crow, the raven prefers woods to cities. She has a greater tolerance for cold than the crow, and can even withstand the Arctic winter. To identify the raven, look at the bird’s tail. The crow has a fantail, the raven a wedge tail. Also, when the raven is cold, she puffs herself up, looking a bit raggedy with a ruff around her neck.

In the areas where only the crow lives, people have attributed him with the raven’s magical qualities. In the areas where only the raven lives, people added the crow’s attributes to the raven. However, the raven is known for shape shifting, which the crow cannot do. More secretive than the crow, the raven is also associated with the night and dark magic. Since she is bigger and stronger than the crow, the raven’s magic is more profound.

The raven’s main food is carrion. Several ravens will flock around a large carcass and pick the bones clean. Because she fed on corpses hanging from gallows, people took the raven to be an evil omen with supernatural powers. In Europe, they believed her to be so evil that they killed the raven before she could do any more harm.

The Norse revered the raven since Odin, their chief God, had two ravens – Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) who told him about everything happening on earth. Among early Christians, the raven was a messenger sent by God to feed the saints in the wilderness. Among the Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest, the raven was the Great Trickster. She created human beings, and brought fire to them.

People hold opposing views of the raven. She is either a creator of human beings or a harbinger of death. When she is not feeding on corpses, the raven is a messenger to Christian saints. The raven teaches life’s duality. From the light comes the shadow. With joy comes sadness. The raven helps people to embrace life in all of its complexity.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Magpie: Communication

The magpie’s large size, distinctive coloring, and long tail make her unmistakable. A clever bird, she can survive in a variety of habitats. As a member of the crow family, this striking bird shares their sharp intelligence.

The name “magpie” comes from the Old English: mag, which means “chatterbox”, and pie, which means “both black and white.” Extremely gregarious, the magpie travels and nests in colonies. Her raucous “chaw-chaw-chaw-chaw” inundates the woods when she fights with other magpies over food and nesting sites.

An omnivorous eater, the magpie will consume anything she finds on the ground. Many people dislike the magpie because she steals grain, seeds, and berries. In addition, she scavenges dead animals and steals other birds’ eggs. Like her brother crow, the magpie digs holes to hide her food.

The magpie demonstrates the mixed blessing of being a noted communicator. Talk is welcomed in most places, while gossip is not. Be careful what you say to others. Be quiet, and listen once in a while.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crow: Sanity

Crows drive some people crazy, while amusing others with their antics. Most people are familiar with these medium-size black birds. They see crows everywhere, roosting in trees, eating road kill, swooping down to grab someone’s lunch, or mobbing the unfortunate owl. Whoever they are, everyone has an opinion about crows.

What people do agree on are the crow’s intelligence, adaptability, and versatility. A member of the songbird family, this sooty black bird uses his voice for other things than singing, such as chattering and calling to his friends. One of the most highly evolved of all birds; the crow’s intelligence is on the level with primates and dolphins.

The crow uses his intelligence to good effect. To open mussels, the carrion crow will drop them on docks. Many crows use tools to crack open eggs. Other crows watch people to determine when the best time is to steal their food. Faced with a problem, the crow will think it through, and then work it out. The crow does not continue to try things that obviously do not work.

The crow may drive people with insane with his activities. But unlike people, he does not keep doing the same thing over, expecting different results. The crow does not indulge in that type of behavior. Learn how to be sane from the crow.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chough: Learn to Impress

The most elegant member of the crow family, the chough has a bright red bill and feet, which provides a striking contrast to his glossy black plumage. According to Cornish lore, the chough’s character is as white as his plumage is black. From early times, the chough has been associated with Cornwall (U.K.). In fact, the Welsh called the chough “Bran Gernyw” (Crow of Cornwall).

Unlike the crow and the rook, the chough does not nest in large groups. Instead, he nests near his friends, on rugged mountain slopes, rocky valleys, or sea cliffs. This friendly bird has a buoyant flight that attracts attention. He uses updrafts and wind currents to swoop and dive past rock faces. Performing aerobatic displays, the chough dives with his wings drawn in or turns on his back in midair.

The chough has rituals for many things. When an interloper comes to a feeding site, the chough will stand upright with his bill pointed down and feathers smooth, indicating that he is ready to fight. When the chough wants to court, he struts towards the female with his tail turned upward, feathers ruffled, wings and head down. When pairing, the two birds will preen each other.

The chough is the national emblem for Cornwall. To the Cornish, the chough is the guardian of the Spirit of King Arthur, who will one day return to free his people. In Cornwall, King Arthur’s spirit entered the chough after his death, with the bird’s red beak and feet signifying the blood of Arthur’s battles. However, the chough disappeared from Cornwall in the 1950s. Much to everyone surprise, the chough came back to Cornwall in 2000, when three wild choughs nested in West Cornwall.

The chough teaches being impressive. This black bird, with his red beak and legs, is famous for his acrobatic flight. In his tumbling display flights, the chough makes a truly impressive sight as an astonishingly accomplished and graceful flyer. Learn to impress as the chough does.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blue Jay: Contradictions

Widespread over eastern North America, the blue jay is a familiar bird of parks and backyards. Unlike other perching birds, the blue jay is both aggressive and curious. An intelligent bird, he collects brightly colored objects and carry them around. The blue jay will examine the object, play with it, and then when he is bored, discards it. His antics amuse all those who watch him. The other side of the blue jay is his aggressiveness. He will mob all predators that come to threaten any of his group – cats, owls, and hawks. Many people can also attest to being dive bombed by a blue jay during nesting season.

What draws people’s attention to the blue jay is his bright color and raucous call. Bright blue on top with a blue crested head, he is white underneath. In winter, he stands out in his bright blueness. As an expert imitator, the blue jay possesses a wide variety of calls, including sounding like a hawk. However, what everyone usually hears is “jay-jay-jay” rasping through the bushes.

What is surprising about noisy blue jay is his secrecy about his family. Mother Blue Jay will pick a nesting site in thick bushes. To prevent someone from finding the nest, both Mother and Father Blue Jay will take circuitous routes to their nest. Moreover, around the nest, they whisper quietly to each other.

Blue jay is full of contradictions. Just when you think you know him, the blue jay surprises you with another mystery. He is quiet and raucous, aggressive but sensitive. Learn how to live with contradictions from the blue jay.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crow Family: Saving Resources

The crow family (Corvidae) includes a large group of birds besides crows and their brother ravens. Also belonging to the crow family are the choughs, jays, magpies, and nutcrackers. What do all these birds have in common? They are curious, intelligent, noisy, outrageous, and social.

Throughout the ages, people have either loved or hated Corvids, but they have never ignored them. People gave distinctive names for groups of these birds: a murder of crows, an unkindness of ravens, a tiding of magpies, a chattering of choughs, and a scold of jays. Having a property with a Parliament of rooks living there is considered to be good fortune. Raven lore ranges from North American beliefs of Raven as the Trickster to the Norse raven companions of Odin. Furthermore, many people believe as long as ravens (or rooks) live at the Tower of London, the Crown of England shall be safe. Beliefs involving other members are: magpies steal, crows foretell death, and jays bring bad luck.

What are these birds that grab people’s attention? The most familiar group is crows and ravens, who are also the most widespread of the Corvids. These sooty black birds are noted for their quick-wittedness. Crows and ravens use their intelligence to good use in finding food.

In their glossy all-black plumage, the choughs resemble crows. You find them living on cliffs or in mountains of Eurasia. Unlike the black-beaked crow, the chough has either a yellow or scarlet bill.

Meanwhile, jays are considered to be the most primitive of the Corvids. As the oldest of Corvids, They originated in Eurasia and spread throughout the New World. Jays are noted for their colorfulness, with many having blue or green plumage.

Magpies and treepies are highly social birds. These black and white birds are well known for their chatter. One part of the magpie’s name comes from mag, which is Old English for “chatterer”. Regarded as thieves, magpies like bright shiny things, which they take and hide.

Nutcrackers, which live in pine forests, are remarkable for the extent of their dependence on cached stores of seeds. Permanent residents of forests, they do not migrate but live through hard winters on their saved food. Called nutcrackers, they eat mainly hazel nuts and pine seeds.

Members of the crow family save for the future. They store food to help them through hard times. Before beginning to eat, Corvids will take the trouble to hide a large quantity of food. They carry the food in their throats until they find a hole to hide the food in. Corvids memorize where they hid their food and return to their stores when they need to.

We can learn from the crow family how to refrain from consuming everything in sight. Learn the discipline to save some for the future when lean times arrive. If we have discipline and fortitude like the crow family, our hidden stores will be there for us during hard times.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Synchronicities and Coincidences

By tracking synchronicities for one week, I became more aware of how much they do happen in my life. When I am working on a crossword puzzle, the word will be featured on a television commercial. Or I will be writing about a bird, and one would appear on a program. In fact as I wrote this paragraph, a commercial for “Pecola, the Penguin” came on.

As a Roman Pagan, I usually look for signs to see that my offerings have been accepted. The Gods usually send me little signs to tell me that They have heard me. For example, one of the emissaries of Mars, the God of War, is the woodpecker. These birds usually do not gather at my feeding table. However, this week I saw various species of them eating the peanut bars that I had put out. Mars has been letting me know that He will help me in my endeavors.

The God Mercury, who oversees money and commerce, prefers offerings of dimes. Often I find dimes in odd places to offer to Him. When I find a dime, I wonder is this a stray dime or an answer from Mercury? Am I setting up a matrix to see the dime in a certain way? Is Mercury really communicating with me? Would I have found the dime, if I was not looking for a sign from Mercury? Did I place a particular meaning on this dime?

To answer this dilemma, I consider Friday the 13th, which seems to be a day that everyone associates with bad luck. They pay attention to the awful things that happen on that day. Then they add to the idea that Friday the 13th is a day of bad luck. But is it? Would these awful things carry as much weight on Saturday the 13th or Friday the 11th? Would they have the same import? It does not seem to. Only on Friday the 13th do a lot of people focus on the happenings of bad luck.

As for the found dime, I choose to think that my ritual set something in motion. For me, it is a call and response. I pay attention to the dime, and see it as Mercury’s answer. We are having a conversation. I make offerings, and Mercury answers with dimes. Perhaps bad luck on Friday the 13th is another call and response. People set “bad luck” into motion and it appears.

I think what is happening is called “riding the synchronicity wave”. Being a good surfer is having the skill to understand the language of the Cosmos. For me, synchronicity is how the Cosmos speaks to us. (At least it is for me.) Finding coincidences and seeing them as promptings from the Cosmos enables us to understand it better.

Since doing this, I have become more open to the Cosmos speaking to me. Whenever, I am aimlessly thinking about something, it would pop up soon thereafter. Because I do pay attention now, we are having better conversations – the Cosmos and I. Synchronicity and my response to it have become sharpened and more focused.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Song Sparrow: Interdependence

Song Sparrow lives nearly everywhere except in the deep woods. But She much prefers brushy areas and marshes to nest in. As a habitat generalist, Song Sparrow eats mostly Insects and seeds, any place that She finds Herself. Since She can be elusive at times, most people do not know that Song Sparrow is probably living near them. They will probably see Song Sparrow hopping across their lawns from time to time.

“Song Sparrow” actually refers to a species complex from twenty-four to fifty-two sub-species. These sub-species are grouped according to their location – Eastern North America, Northwest North America, Cismontane California, Southwestern United States, and Mexican Plateau. They differ by the streaks on their bodies, and their shades of brown.

This small streaked brownish Bird can easily be overlooked by people, since Song Sparrow blends in easily into the background. For example, fond of water, She bathes using the drops of water found on people’s lawns. First, She strikes a grass blade with her wings, and then throws the water on her feathers. Inconspicuous in what She does, Song Sparrow is often missed being seen by people as She bathes.

Learning various songs from her Neighbors, Song Sparrow uses their “dialect” to communicate with Them. In her songs She tells her Neighbors what She is doing. Her complex songs of trills and clear notes inform the others about what is going on. With songs in common, Song Sparrow and her Neighbors build a community.

Looking out for her Friends, Song Sparrow will inform Them when a predator is near. She will point and call at Cat. Sounding her alarm call, Song Sparrow continues to follow Cat, calling and pointing. Her Friends appreciate her efforts, and will call and point at Cat as well.

In her flock, Song Sparrow looks out for her Friends. They do the same for Her as well. She and They are both dependent and dependable. Learn the art of interdependence from Song Sparrow. Watch out for your friends, as they do for you.

Science Notes:

1. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) of the Emberizidae is not a relative of Old World Sparrows, who are the Passeridae.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

YELLOWHAMMER: Communication

Called “Yellow Bunting” in some areas of Europe, Yellowhammer is usually found hopping about in croplands. After a harvest, He and his flock will eat the grain remaining in the fields. Preferring farm fields surrounded by shrubs, Yellowhammer is rarely found in gardens or woods.

When He is not breeding, Yellowhammer joins a mixed flock that includes Finches and Buntings. Within this flock, Yellowhammer and his Friends have a communal roosting spot inside the thick hedges. This robust Bird does not seem to mind the cold, and sometimes will roost on the bushes under the snow.

Wary but not shy, Yellowhammer will choose a high perch on a bush near people to sing his tunes. He usually sings “a little bit of bread and no cheese”. However, in Scotland, Yellowhammer calls, “may the Devil take you!”

Another name for Yellowhammer is “Scribble Lark” because of the squiggly lines on his eggs. Since these lines resemble cursive writing, He is also called the “Writing Lark”. The squiggles are Yellowhammer’s messages to the world.

Yellowhammer communicates in various ways. Not content with “cheep cheep”, He sings whole sentences to get people’s attention. If that does not work, Yellowhammer scribbles on his eggs, which are covered with writing. However, make sure that you are clear in your statements or people will not understand you. Like the squiggles on Yellowhammer’s eggs, you can be as confusing.
Science Notes:

1. Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) of Europe is a member of the Old World Bunting Family. In some areas, Flicker (Colaptes auratus) is referred to as “Yellowhammer”. However, Flickers are woodpeckers.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

SNOW BUNTING: Love of Life

Snow Bunting is remarkable for She lives the farthest north of any Bird save Common Raven. She comfortably makes her home in the Nearctic and Palearctic regions. Snow Bunting will often nest in the outcroppings of glaciers, although She much prefers rocky crevices. To cope with her harsh Polar environment, Snow Bunting has feathered tarsi. In her northern home, Snow Bunting enjoys bathing in the snow. When it gets very cold, She will burrow deep in the snow.

A social Bird, Snow Bunting likes to live in large flocks when She migrates. Watching these flocks is to see Birds in constant motion. They “leapfrog” over each other, changing who is in the front and center of the flock. Because of her snow-white plumage, Snow Bunting is also called “Snowflake”. What seems to be a flying snow flurry is her flock passing by.

Snow Bunting teaches us to love life. Enjoying the snow, She plays in it. Nesting as far north as She does, Snow Bunting ably demonstrates tenacity of life. Living even in the most inhospitable of regions, She still enjoys Herself.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010



The Emberizidae or Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows are a diverse and complicated Family of Birds. At present, what this Family is in flux. What is under discussion is which Birds belong to the Family of Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows.

However some things can apply to all of the Emberizidae. In Europe, these Birds are called “Buntings”. Meanwhile in North America, They are known as “American Sparrows” and include Juncos. Adding to the confusion is that Buntings in the Americas usually belong to the Cardinal-Grosbeak (Cardinalidae) Family. Also, Sparrows of the Old World belong to the Passeridae Family. (American Sparrows were named that because of their resemblance to these Old World Passeridae.)

Emberizidae feed on fruit, Insects, and seeds. They have stout bills which are adapted for crushing seeds. As important members of the ecosystem, these Birds disperse seeds and eat pests.

Old World Buntings and New World Sparrows are usually not very colorful or flashy. Often known as “Little Brown Jobs”, Emberizidae are generally not welcomed at Bird feeders since people prefer more colorful and charismatic Birds. Victims of mistaken identity, Emberizidae go about their business. We may be confused about Them but these Birds know who they are.

Appearances can be deceiving, which leads to confusion, but the Emberizidae rise above it all. They teach people not to jump to conclusions, since these Birds are not really what people once thought they were. Now many people are confused over what a “Sparrow” or a “Bunting” really is. Instead of jumping to conclusions, employ careful thought. Remember that when you see a “Sparrow” in North America.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sleep Meditation: Pillow Pets (TM)

To do the sleep meditation, I formulated a mental slide show of various “Pillow Pets”™. As their commercial states “Pillow Pets ™ is a sweet soft lovable pet that is also a pillow!” As I centered myself, images of cute animals like "Buzzy Bumble Bee", "Squeaky Dolphin", "Ms Lady Bug", and so forth would move slowly across my mind. As they paraded through my conscious, I would chant “Sleep is calling. Sleep is calling.” As the slide show continued, I would drift off to sleep.

As I softened off to sleep, my mind would become quiet. While I chanted, I would become safe and warm. Now relaxed, I moved out of space and time, and floated away in my bed. The more I practiced, the more I was able to fall asleep almost at once.

What happened next was surprising to me. I could remember what went on in my brain whilst asleep. Usually when I went to bed I would blackout as if in a coma, and wake up the next day, with no memory of the day before. After doing the meditation, I instead would have the same dream every night. It was of lights blinking and moving along in several lines. These coloured lights would glow in the dark as they moved in their rows. I believe that the neuro-pathways of my brain were clearing themselves. When I woke up, I would feel as if that part of the brain was being healed. This sleep meditation seemed to help my brain to recover.

The Official TV Site of the Original Pillow Pets ™!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Numbers in Tarot

Learning about numbers and their correspondences has helped me to learn why different spreads have particular objectives. Since finding out that the number five represents conflict, I now know why I like five card spreads. I like to problem solve, and these spreads suit my needs nicely.

“The Diamond Spread”
2       1     3

For example, the Diamond Spread (a five card spread) corresponds with positions that carry the meanings of each number. One, the beginning, is the central card of this spread. It is the core issue from which the reading flows. Two, which means balance, is in this spread “what is hidden”. Once you know what is hidden, you can achieve balance. Three, which means synthesis, in the Diamond Spread is “what is revealed”. The three cards together show what you need to do to resolve your problem.

However, two more cards make up this spread. The fourth card is “what is needed for resolution”. This makes the solution, both solid and stable, much like the number four. The fifth card, which is the last one, is the resolution. Since five means conflict, the spread provides an answer in the fifth card.

The number of the card (such as Seven of Wands or High Priestess (II)) would also add meaning to its position in the spread. If a “five card” lands in the first position, then the problem is really what that card indicates. If it is in the fifth position, then the problem is deeper than what you had thought. If it is a “four card”, the problem involves stability in your life. A “two card” would indicate where or if you need balance. In the fourth position, it would of course point to the area in which you need to rectify before you can resolve your problem.