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HallowQuest Lesson One: Meditation and Diary Keeping

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Aerin  Aerin is offline
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Post HallowQuest Lesson One: Meditation and Diary Keeping


A bit of background (from Part I The Arthurian Tarot, of Hallowquest by Caitlin and John Matthews) first:

The Hallowquest pack is based on the early Celtic legends about Arthur (as against the romanticised later versions). If he existed, it was c. AD490 - AD 535. We have Greater Powers instead of the Major Arcana, numbered in the same way as for the Rider Waite deck but with some name changes. The pip cards are known as the Lesser Powers.

The Court Cards correspond with the four great houses of the Arthurian cycle (Pellinore (Grail), Benwick (Stone), Pendragon (Sword), and Lothian and Orkney (Spear). They guard the four sacred objects which are each associated with a suit (pictured on the Hallow cards (Aces)):

The Sword of Nuadu (Air, East) - Function is dispeller of illusions, the Sword suit
The Spear of Lugh (Fire, South) - Function is challenger, the Spear suit
The Cauldron of the Dagda (Water, West) - Function is healing and plenty, the Grail suit
The Lia Fail (Earth, North) - Function is preserver of knowledge and guardian of tradition, the Stone suit

We will be going on a quest for each of these objects, travelling through the landscapes of the Lesser Powers. There are deliberately no people on them so we can enter as ourselves....

Lesson One:

Meditation - we will be required to enter the card we are studying through the black doorway on the card. Once we step within, the scene is not static but rather filled with other scenes, animals, characters etc which the doorway is hiding. We need to be alert and receptive, our clear perception and remembrance of subtle reality is important. Use the first images which come on entering a card. If interacting with a character, it may be silent verbal or symbolic. Accept the first gift you are given even if it seems extremely odd and unlikely/ silly and ask the giver for its significance and qualities. Be flexible and adaptable, go with what seems right rather than following the instructions to the letter.

Breathing - From the diaphragm, very deeply, so your stomach rises. Spend 2-3 mins before each meditation breathing in and out at least five times. Visualise your system being oxegenated on the in breath and worries and problems leaving you on the out breath.

Earthing and grounding - Make sure that you ground yourself after the meditation e.g. by reciting some ritual words (we get to do this in a later lesson), eating and drinking, making sure we perform mundane tasks with full attention and commitment.

Diary record - we need one. Ideas for entries:
date
time
moon phase
weather
meditation subject
report
card chosen today, and how it resonates with the day's events
reading
important events today

Tasks:

1. Look through the book. What preparations do you need to make? What changes to your routine? Take out the cards and shuffle, asking 'What is the most important factor in the course for me? Take 3 cards at random and note them in your diary along with expectations/ doubts/ questions on the course

2. Practise breathing and note how you feel

3. Choose one image to meditate on, or one of the speeches that preface each card description. Meditate for 10 mins. Record findings

4. Begin your diary record. Do Daily Companions Reading (either for today or tomorrow). NB: The deck does not use reversed meanings, so use cards upright. First sort the deck into 3 piles, Greater Powers, Court Cards and Lesser Powers:

Shuffle Lesser Powers: What experience will I learn from tomorrow/ today?

Shuffle Court Cards: Who will be my guide tomorrow/ today?

Shuffle Greater Powers: Who will be my teacher tomorrow/ today?

Pick one card from each pack to be your Tarot Companions, to find hidden life patrterns and understand them better.


And that's it for this week. (Phew!)


Aerin
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Kaz  Kaz is offline
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1)
what preparations do you need to make?
for starters i need to get hold of the book and the deck, i am working on that.
further, to do the exercises i have to make time to do it each day.
and, i need to get myself in the right state of mind when doing them.

what changes to your routine?
not much, i just have to make sure i won't be disturbed, so late night will be best time for me.

What is the most important factor in the course for me?
i draw 3 cards:

swords seven - washer at the ford - the sleeping lord

i don't have the book, i don't have the deck, only the downloaded scans on my hd here.
so i go with the pictures and the symbols i find in them to do the interpretation. i would really like feedback on this from someone that has deck and book.

this course will be a spiritual travel if i just go with the flow, there will be (re)discoveries of new and old stuff, and the promiss of a fertile expedition is there (swords 7).
it also shows transformation, the life of the body turns into the life of the spirit, washing blood in the water.
finding inner knowledge and using intuition will bring victory over old, rusted habits/ideas (washer of the ford).
like the sleeping lord, i have to send out my spirit like an eagle, to find inspiration and freedom, ever higher and higher, as the only limit herein is me, myself..........(sleeping lord)

2)
i do my own way of getting relaxed and in the mood.

3)
the image i choose was "the washer at the ford"

It’s night and the moon lights the ford, the clouds are being blown away by the strong wind that’s coming up. As I approach I realize there is an old woman there, staring at me very intense, her face is like a mask and her gaze goes right through me. She sits there on her knees, holding up a sheet, where she is busy washing the bloodstains out, what a weird time to do laundry. The blood is coloring the water red. I stop right there, I don’t feel invited here and it gives me the feeling I am at the wrong place at the wrong time. At the same time I can’t move and go back to where I came from. Behind her, at some distance there are a couple of dogs, they look like lurchers, and they start howling to the moon. The eagle on the stone pillar just watches this scene.
We keep looking at each other, not moving….
Finally I ask her “who got killed?”
“That’s of no importance to you, what is of importance is the reason why”.
This situation is getting less and less comfortable. I feel she expects something from me here and I don’t feel like interacting with this old woman radiating a power that feels threatening.
“Why did he get killed?”
She rips of a piece of the sheet, still full of bloodstains and hands it to me, “take this with you, and in time you will find out why it’s so important”.
I thank her for this gift, and tuck it away in my pocket. I can move again, and I continue my path after saying goodbye.

kaz
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Aerin  Aerin is offline
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Kaz, I don't have time this morning and when I do I'll look some stufff up from the book.

In case you are interested for your meditation subject here is the Washer at the Ford's statement:

"You fear me and rightly, for I wait at the crossing places of your life and know everything about you. I wash your seemingly white linen and reveal the map of your life. I can cut you off the loom of life, yet I can also change you. Whoever needs the empowerment of renewal must first kiss me - if they dare!"


Aerin
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that's ok aerin, i just edited my message, i did it yesterday already, so no problem.

kaz
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Ok, here is mine.

Preparation: I have found a nice journal to write in, I have the book and cards, so the main thing is to find time. I will do a daily reading and write up in my diary first thing in the morning. Meditations and posts will tend to happen around the weekends.

I shuffle the Greater Powers, the Courts, and the Lesser powers separately and ask 'what is the most important factor in the course for me in terms of my:

experience (Spear 7), guidance (Grail King), teaching (Washer at the Ford).

I will need to stand fast to my true beliefs and self for which I will use the guidance of the Grail King, the keeper of hidden mysteries, who will also assist me in identifying which outworn ideas I can use the strength of the Washer at the Ford to wash away as I renew myself. Identifying what to 'keep' and what to 'let go of' will be important for me in following this course: I must trust my inner wisdom and be honest with myself if I am not to hang on to outdated ways or cast away my core self.

My meditation subject is Spear Two. I enter the lanscape which is filled with the shouts of boys laughing and playing nearby. I go up to the bird of prey and untie her, as I undo her hood she flies away across the hills and suddenly I am her. I swoop and dive and keep and eye out for prey on the vast lansdcape opening before me. The patchwork quilt of the fields rushes up to meet me as I dive for a mouse. I catch it with claws and with powerful wingstrokes rise once again above the landscape. Then I am in my body again, the bird a speck in the distance. I worry : what if I can't get her back? I seize the spear and it suddenly glows brighter and brighter like a flame, a beacon shining more brightly than the sun. Now I am the bird again as I swoop down to the human's arms, she takes my offering and gives it back to me to eat. The she hoods me again ..... all is black and I wait. Then I am in my own body, blinking in the sunlight. I put the spear back and in doing so notice a ring with a rounded red stone. I take the ring, I cannot interpret the writing on it and there is no-one to ask. The boys are long gone and the bird asleep after her meal. In my head I hear 'not yet' and I step out of the card and back to this reality.


Aerin
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for Kaz, I looked up the other two cards you had in the Hallowquest book:

Sword Seven: 'I flow, I flood, I fail. Draw forth the sword that the quest may be achieved' There is a need to grasp the sword and draw it forth, this may not be immediately recognised. Refocussing is hard after the holiday euphoria of Sword Six

Sleeping Lord: 'I have waited long, turning in my sleep whenever the dangers threaten the land. Yet, though I sleep, my spirit soars above to bring the message to the people: 'I am ever watchful, for I feed on star-fire and wait to the end of the ages. Mine is the voice of the deep earth. I watch with patience and endurance. Speak and act for me, the Once and Furture King'. He is the Arthur that inhabits our imaginations, and also our potent selves. Mabon, standing on the thigh of the land, wakes the Sleeping Lord with his horn of joy. The voice of youth, joy, enthusiasm and engaged energies is the one who comes. Renewal and recapitulation, lost things found, great prophetic promises fulfilled.

Aerin

ps I just picked up a collection of stories today by Louise Cooper 'The Spiral Garden', and one of the stories turns out to be about the Washer at the Ford ......
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kai  kai is offline
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So, what preparations do I need to make ?

I've got the book, cards and a diary, along with enthusiasm. All I need now is time and peace to do any meditation and reading. I work twelve hour shifts, three one week, four the next (does that make sense?). I plan to do a daily reading each day and devote any mediation and longer work to my days off. I am hoping that I keep up.

I did a three card spread, asking, 'What is the most important factor in this course for me?'. I got Sword Six (experience), Sword Knight (guide), The Star (teacher).

The sword of six indicates that this quest will be a journey (where, I do not know) which will enable me to see things, myself in a new light. Through this journey I will gain fresh perspectives and greater harmony with myself and others.

My guide, the Sword Knight is 'fearless'. According to the Hallowquest book he reminds us to be wakeful in the journey and of our gifts and duty. Fearlessness and confidence in facing challenges and myself are attributes I can learn from him. I must also take notice to remain alert and 'awake' to signs and messages whilst travelling, without resorting to any illusions.

The Star (of Phrophecy) promises me hope and inspiration from this journey. New ways of being and thinking will emerge and old, forgotten things remembered. It also teaches me to look out for signs, to remain watchful for these signs and to seek out their meaning and fulfillment.

I chose to meditate on 'The Star of Phrophecy'.

Immediately on entering the card I feel extremely cold. My body is shivering and I have put my arms inside my jumper for warmth. All around me is darkness. My only concern is finding some heat to warm myself with and light so that I can see.

Looking ahead I notice a fire. I walk towards it. As I get nearer I can the voice of a man shouting. Closer I begin to feel the heat from the fire and can hear another voice, somebody talking very quitely, almost mumbling.

I approach the fire and feel as though I have stepped into an enclosed circle of light and warmth, sepearte from the darkness and cold outside. The man shouting notices I'm there and asks me to look up to the sky. I do and see a star falling to the ground. He asks me if I know what it means to which I reply, 'No'.

I go up to the fire, sit down in front of it and hold my hands up to feel the warmth from the fire. The man who is shouting points to a smaller man, sitting beside me and asks him to look up at the star in the sky. He does, but returns his gaze to the ground. Intrigued I lean closer to see what is interesting him so much. I see that he is carving a wooden flute. Suddenly I feel the need to play his flute, when I ask him if I can he silently hands me the flute. I start to play it but feel that I can't remember how and don't have the time to practise, so I hand it back to him.

I sit for a while longer, enjoying the fire. After a while I feel that I should go. I thank the man for letting me play his flute. He looks up and with a smile winks at me and puts his 'thumbs up'. Happy, I leave the fireside and walk across the darkness to the light coming from the empty doorframe I can see in the distance. This time I do not feel cold. I feel leaves crunching beneath my feet as I go home.
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thanks aerin !

welcome kai, glad you could join :-)

are we gonna post all our spreads and meditations here aerin?
what's your idea on that? i recorded all mine in a .doc, so c/p-ing is easy.

kaz
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Hi Kai!

Hmmm. Good question Kaz. We will all meditate on all the cards somewhere as part of the Quest and the lessons, some of the meditations are quite structured.

I have all my 3 card spreads to date, and I was planning to post any which I was confused about or which were particularly significant (the 'wow' ones) and to just post the meditations from the tasks. What would be the most helpful to the group and to us as individuals do you all think?

I am going to post the next Lesson today or tomorrow.

Aerin
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i think, as we will go through all of them anyway along the quest, it's better to post the meditations then.
as for daily 3 cards, i will post them if i have trouble reading them or relating it.

kaz
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