This Week at Gatewood: June 21-27, 2015

readerncatdrawing

Artwork via Pixabay.

by Frasier MacKenzie

Hello, and thanks for stopping in! We’ve changed our background this week to something a bit lighter, and increased the font size a tiny bit more. Small changes, but I think it makes things a bit easier on the eyes – and that’s important to us, since the latest numbers indicate that many of our visitors stay here reading for an hour or more. Let us know what you think by emailing us at info(at)gatewoodjournal.org or tweeting to @docnicholas.

Here are our features for the week of June 21-28:

Monday:Seaver,” artwork by Zengael

Tuesday:The Photographs of Photographers,” poetry by F.X. MacKenzie

Wednesday:Intro & Preparatory Notes for The Tarot Compendium” from D.V. Gray, Hunter MacKenzie, and “Queen Z”

Friday:Letting Go,” photography by P.L. Miller with wise words from the Tao Te Ching

Remember, the Friday photo can be downloaded for free as a meditation card for your phone, tablet or computer. Share, print, ponder… enjoy!

Here’s a bit of humor from our Special Assistant Dr Nicholas:

IN A WORLD...

Be sure to follow @docnicholas on Twitter for daily updates on Journal posts as well as book love, animal humor & rescues, and other items of interest.

That’s it for the Gatewood Weekend Wrap-Up for the week of June 21-27. Enjoy your weekend, and visit us again soon!

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Intro & Preparatory Notes for The Tarot Compendium

tarot

Photo via Morguefile.

by D.V. Gray, Hunter MacKenzie, and “Queen Z”

Our Tarot Compendium now has its own page here:
http://www.gatewoodjournal.org/mind/hermetic-perspectives/the-tarot-compendium/

Below are some notes and recommendations for best utilizing the Compendium and the Tarot in general.


 

Although there are some general meanings which tend to hold true for divination with the Tarot, it is highly individualized and needs a great deal of work, study, observation and interpretation on the part of the reader. The more experience you gain, the more accurate your insights will be. The meanings suggested here are intended to give some basis from which to start – not to be a comprehensive or dogmatic list of rules. It is to be expected that as one gains experience in reading the cards, one will expand upon the suggested interpretations, developing a deeper and more individual sense of meaning from each card.

Some suggest that reading more than two or three times a week is excessive, but we have not found this to necessarily be the case. For matters in which you wish to assess probabilities, it is essential that you learn what sort of time frame the cards tend to form for you. To this end, reading once a day (or every other day) at approximately the same time each day may prove useful. Once the habit has been established, insight and understanding becomes far more fluent than it tends to be in a situation where the cards are read haphazardly or only on occasions where the querist feels in desperate need of “answers.”

As far as layout, several have become common in general usage, and it cannot really be said that one is inherently better than another. The Celtic Cross tends to give just about the right amount of information, in our opinion, and makes establishing the time frame of events relatively simple. (Note: we do not use the method described in the booklet accompanying the Waite deck, where the querist chooses a “significator” card. If that method resonates with you and works for you, however, then by all means use it.) Other layouts may provide a more “condensed” view if information is needed quickly or if a narrower focus is desirable, while some layouts on the opposite extreme tend to yield a great deal of information based on the relationships of the cards to one another in the layout. It is not necessary to be familiar with all layouts to be proficient; it is more important to master a layout that gives you the right amount of information – then if you find it necessary to expand or narrow it, you may wish to explore other layouts.

Regarding reversals (upside-down cards) – there are various opinions on whether this should be incorporated or not, but we feel that the cards yield much more detail and intricacy in the interpretation if reversals are allowed.

Regarding gender – many sources contend that the “court cards” (Page, Knight, Queen and King) will always represent persons of certain genders (i.e., Queens will always represent an older woman, Knights will stand for a young man, etc.). This depends mainly on one’s own orientation and beliefs about the matter. We tend to get more accurate insights from the cards when the court cards are not assigned one gender – but again, this is a matter for individual interpretation, and your own experience is the best guide to how you should interpret these for yourself.

It is recommended that you keep your cards in a safe place, out of general view, and that you not let others handle them indiscriminately. The more “bonded” they become to you, the more accurate the insights will be for your life. With a new deck, it is not a bad idea to sleep with them under your pillow for some nights at first (although this may be more psychological than anything else).

It is advisable to bear in mind that events are probabilities and are not “set in stone.” The very act of looking ahead to gauge the possibilities available to you changes the range of those probabilities and the likelihood of what will happen. Therefore, it is a good idea to phrase your questions in a way such as, “What is likely to be the result if I…?” or “I would like insight into…” rather than expecting the cards to display a specific outline of future events. It is not uncommon for the process of reading to function as a tool to extend awareness and clarify what you already know but aren’t aware that you know.

Divination by the Tarot is a practice based largely on interpretation. While the cards themselves may have designated rudimentary meanings, what you get from your reading is necessarily highly personal and subjective. The better you know yourself and the further reaches of your own mind, the more accurate your readings are likely to be.

© Copyright 1993 by D.V. Gray, Queen Z & Hunter MacKenzie. Updated and republished 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015

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This Week at Gatewood: Weekend Wrap-Up for March 2-7

polar bears

Photo via Pixabay.com.

by Rob Colfax

Hello, and welcome to the weekend! It’s been a crazy weather week here; we’ve had temperatures in the mid-60s, resulting in a lot of snow-melt and flooding, and acres of slush and mud – and temperatures in the low teens, which froze everything solid again.

It’s enough to make a person decide to roll over and hibernate a bit longer. But as Mazie reminds me (several times a day!) there are dogs to be walked and mail to be sorted, and writers to be edited and fed and watered – wait, what?!

I’ll go sort this. Make yourself comfortable, browse around, and see what we did this week.

Monday:Ballet of the Trees,” photography from Katz Bleu

Tuesday:Revolutions,” poetry from Faze with artwork by Delawer-Omar

Wednesday:Opportunity Knocks!“, humor from Hunter MacKenzie, Xavier, and “Queen Z”

Thursday:Three Things Thursday,” our weekly exercise in appreciation; this week’s post is from Frasier MacKenzie

Friday:Landscapes of Consciousness,” photography by P.L. Miller with quote from Terence McKenna

Don’t forget, the Friday photo is a free download for your phone or tablet; share it, print it, ponder and enjoy.

Our best Special Assistant @docnicholas brought us some fun this week:

 

Be sure to follow him on Twitter to catch the latest updates. And speaking of Twitter, we managed to give his profile page there a bit of renovation this week. Drop by and check it out.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and thanks for spending time with us. See you again soon!

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Opportunity Knocks!

door knocker

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.com.

by Hunter MacKenzie, Xavier, and “Queen Z”

It’s early Saturday morning. You hear a knock at the door and take a peek outside before opening it. Oh, look: a couple of people all dressed up. Is that a handful of religious literature? There are a lot of different styles among church canvassers, so you don’t know right away whether the ones on your porch right now are the type who can respect your own beliefs (or lack thereof) – or whether they’re the evangelical guerilla variety: the kind who won’t leave until they’ve argued with you over every point of biblical trivia, condemned you to eternal damnation if you don’t hand over a donation, or badgered you to attend services until you’re ready to bludgeon yourself to death with a copy of the Watchtower just to make the insanity stop.

When they’re on your doorstep uninvited, they’re fair game to play with. Following is a collection of some of our favorite ways to deal with it. (Keep in mind that this is presented in the spirit of good humor. We’re not going to be held responsible if you think something you read here is a grand idea and somehow get yourself incarcerated, sued, or cast into a fiery pit of hell as a result.)

Open the door with a look of relief. Call back over your shoulder, “Honey, round up the kids – the exorcist is here!”

Quiz them on biblical trivia, such as whether it was salt water or fresh water that Jesus walked on. Ask how all the fish died in the Great Flood, and whether that was before or after the dinosaurs.

Open the door and glance around to make sure the neighbors aren’t watching. Say, “OK, hurry up, get inside. I’ll pay you for the full hour, but you’ve got to be out of here before Mother gets home!”

Tell them you support their cause and would like to make a donation. Ask how much you’d need to give in order to have just a fair-to-middling house in Heaven – not on one of the gold-paved streets or anything, just upwind from Hell so that you don’t get that charred smell soaking into the furniture.

Open the door excitedly. Say, “Oh, good! We were really in desperate need of a couple of human sacrifices for services tonight – and here you are!”

Ask if they have an express lane drive-thru window at their church. Explain that you’re very busy and just don’t have time to sit around for hours every week waiting to get saved. If they indicate that they don’t have a drive-thru, ask if they have an app for your phone.

Yell through the door, “I’ve had just about enough of you FBI guys wanting to ‘investigate’ the porn on my computer!”

Let them know that if you have to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb,” you’re going to expect someone to pay for your dry-cleaning.

Inquire about their communion services. Express regret that you cannot attend because you’re a recovering alcoholic. (This only works if they actually have wine at their communion services. Many churches use grape juice as a substitute, which will allow you to annoy them by taking a purist stance; it states very plainly in the bible that Jesus turned water into wine, not Welch’s grape drink.)

Open the door and yell over your shoulder, “Throw another rattlesnake in the oven and set an extra plate, honey, we’ve got company!”

Listen with evident concern for a few seconds, then politely interrupt and inquire as to whether they’re satisfied with their present level of life insurance coverage.

If you’ve just gotten out of bed, muss up your hair some more and put on your most haggard face before you open the door. Say, “Oh, you’re here about the weasels! I finally got all six of them corralled in the bathroom, but good luck getting the little buggers into pet taxis!”

After listening politely for a bit, say, “I’m confused… are you talking about Zeus or Odin or Allah or who? It’s so unclear when you just keep saying God this and God that. Could you be more specific?”

Ask them if they know any good spells for protection against vampires or werewolves.

Don’t open the door. Just yell, “Hey, I’m clean, I don’t deal with that stuff anymore! Go push your evil, mind-rotting drugs on somebody else!”

Fling open the door and charge right out at them. Say, “Do you know that the Anti-Christ is in the Kremlin? What are you doing about that?! The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming and you’re trotting around in your nice little suits ringing doorbells?!

Open the door, jump up and down, and scream, “I knew it – you’re the Prize Patrol, aren’t you?! How much did I win???”

 

 

© 1999 by Hunter MacKenzie, Xavier & “Queen Z.” Updated and republished 2015.

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This Week at Gatewood: Weekend Wrap-Up for February 9-14

file0001431213452

Photo courtesy of MorgueFile.com.

by K.C. Collins

Here’s your Weekend Wrap-Up for the week of February 9-14, 2015:

Monday: “9 States of Consciousness” by Eduardo Rodriguez Calzado

Tuesday: “The Monkey-Man’s Dilemma” by Geoff Hauser

Wednesday: “Some Thoughts on Love, Sex, and Relationships” by “Queen Z”

Thursday: “Three Things Thursday” by Rob Colfax

Friday: “Solitude” by P.L. Miller

Saturday: Saturday Concert Series #14: Randy Newman

Throughout the week, our Special Assistant @docnicholas posted a number of memes to his Twitter timeline. Here are our favorites:

We made a slight change in coding this week in an effort to make the links more visible in each piece. We’re also trying out a new puzzle feature (below); you should have the option to work them onsite or print out as you like.

As always, we invite you to follow @docnicholas on Twitter to be updated on our daily posts. That’s it for the Weekend Wrap-Up for the week of February 9-14. Have a great week!

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Some Thoughts on Love, Sex, and Relationships

By Candlelight

by “Queen Z”

Some people think a good relationship is one where two people stay together until they die. Preferably without one of them killing the other.

* * *

“‘Til death do you part”… When I was younger, I used to think that was really very sweet and romantic – and totally beyond my ability. But I think we get stronger as we grow older and wiser. Now, I think “’til death do you part” is for underachievers. I’m in it for the long run.

* * *

The secret is to find someone you truly love, someone who brings out all your best qualities, and, for godsake, somebody you can laugh with… and commit yourself to them. Making a commitment means more than saying “I do” or signing papers or sharing your closet space. It means NO ONE LEAVES. No matter what. It means if you piss me off, I might tell you about it in a not-so-nice way and we might yell and throw a few things, but we work it out. It means YOU DON’T LET LOVE DIE.

* * *

And sometimes it’s not so much a matter of finding someone to love. A lot of people have long-term love relationships going on already that they just don’t acknowledge to themselves or each other. Maybe they think it’s a big deal that the person’s the same sex or a different color or twenty years older or whatever. But if it’s love, none of that really has to be a big deal. Love does not recognize such restrictions. It’s just there. That’s all.

* * *

Sex is a sacrament. You know what a sacrament is? It’s something that gets you “closer to God,” just like the song says. You should treat sex with your beloved with the same reverence as people in church have when they’re taking communion. (More, actually, because a lot of them are just going through the motions.) But that’s what it should be like: communion.

* * *

Can you love more than one person? Probably. More than one at the same time? Sure, why not? Monogamy is just social conditioning. It’s not really a natural thing for most people. But aside from all that, it’s just plain unrealistic to expect one person to meet all your emotional needs. That’s too much of a burden for anyone.

* * *

A friend of mine is fond of saying that there are a thousand and one ways to make love to someone. I say he underestimates me.

* * *

Why are people expected to date several partners and then choose one to be with, excluding all others? That’s like saying, “Try all of Baskin Robbins’ 31 flavors, then pick one,” and for the rest of your life you only get to eat pistachio. What if you don’t care all that much for most of them but you really like pistachio, vanilla fudge, and double Dutch chocolate equally? I’d like to think my emotional state’s a little more important than dessert, so if you don’t care how many flavors of ice cream are in my freezer, then don’t criticize me for being in love with more than one person at a time.

* * *

How do you know when you’re in love? Sometimes it hits you over the head like a hammer when you suddenly see the person you know is your other half walking across the street toward you and your eyes meet and you feel like you’re looking at… yourself. And sometimes it’s not like that at all; sometimes it sort of sneaks up on you when you wake up one morning with someone you’ve slept with a hundred times without ever even thinking the word “love” and you smell the sun on his shoulder when you kiss him and you realize… you can’t imagine waking up without him anymore.

* * *

You have to remember that not everyone moves at the same pace. You might know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you’re in love, while the other person’s still sorting through their feelings. Be patient. Be consistent. Help them if they want help.

* * *

Don’t be embarrassed or depressed if you said, “I love you,” and they responded with that deer-in-headlights look. Love is never something to be ashamed of.

* * *

NEVER SAY YOU LOVE SOMEONE IF YOU DON’T. It’s better to be honest and not automatically respond to “I love you” with “I love you too.” If you do and you’re sure, then by all means, say it, show it, shout it from the rooftops! If you aren’t quite sure how you feel, do your lover the favor of not saying something you don’t mean. (It’ll mean much more when you are finally certain enough of your feelings to say it.)

* * *

Some people are afraid of sex. Maybe it’s fear of catching some horrible disease, or fear of an unwanted pregnancy, or fear of losing control, or fear of letting someone see the real you – it could be anything. It doesn’t matter why, really. But don’t let fear of sex shut you off from the possibility of love.

* * *

It is far better to have love without sex than sex without love.

* * *

Don’t try to compete with someone’s other lovers. Unless you’re all in the same bed, and then it can be quite entertaining.

* * *

Sexual intercourse is not the only way to express love. It isn’t even the only way to express lust.

* * *

Don’t think that if you’ve been in love once you’ll recognize it right away if you feel it again. Love changes its face with every lover.

* * *

Some people think that because they’re madly in love with A now, they couldn’t possibly have been in love with B a few years ago, because it didn’t feel like this. The truth is that A has nothing to do with B. It’s as ludicrous as saying, “I like this orange I’m eating, so I couldn’t possibly have really enjoyed the apple I ate yesterday, since it tasted different.” Don’t be an idiot. Don’t let the taste of oranges deprive you of your enjoyment of apples.

* * *

Love means caring more about keeping that love alive than about keeping your ego intact. If you’re really in love, expect your ego to get a little bruised occasionally. If you’re really in love, it won’t matter.

* * *

I knew a young man once who could’ve been the poster boy for promiscuity. Yet he’d been madly in love with the same woman for fifteen years. His explanation: “I am rarely faithful but I am always loyal.”

* * *

True love is offered without any thought of what you might receive from the beloved. True love expects nothing.

* * *

You can defy logic and refuse to do what your head tells you to do. And you can defy your urges and refuse to do what your crotch tells you to do. But you cannot refuse to follow your heart. It will not be denied, and one way or another, it will lead you where it wants to go.

* * *

If you refuse to allow your love to flow out in the direction it naturally takes, it will still go where it wants to go. But it will very likely take some embarrassing detours. Better to just go along with it in the first place.

* * *

© Copyright 1998 by “Queen Z.” Republished 2004, 2011, 2015.

[This article previously appeared in SKOPOS Vol. I No. 4, and is archived here in an updated format by permission of the author.]

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21 (Other) Uses for a Box of Condoms

21uses

by Patrick Redding & “Queen Z”

Well, you just bought an economy-size box of condoms with your sweetie last week and guess what? This week your sweetie’s found someone else and wants to “just be friends.” So until the next good thing comes along, what are you supposed to do with 4 dozen Trojans? How about a few ideas to get you through these hard times…

1. Fill them with helium and have mini-balloon races in the parking lot.

2. Unroll, add starch, and use as bookmarks. Or fly-swatters.

3. Take a dozen or so to the grocery store and amuse yourself by strategically placing them on various fruits and vegetables.

4. Slip them over the ends of all your shovels, brooms, hammers, etc., as “no-slip grip” devices. (This is only for the textured ones, not the lubricated ones).

5. Lubricated ones can be slipped over your hand and used as a grooming aid for pets!

6. Colored condoms make much more interesting hand-puppets than plain old socks do.

7. Practice the art of self-defense, learning to fling those little packets around like Chinese throwing-stars (those sharp corners could cause a nasty scratch if you caught someone in the eye with it!).

8. Snip off the end and go ask the pet store if they can tell you what kind of snake this skin belonged to.

9. String the packets like popcorn and use as garland on your Christmas tree (seasonal use only). Hang the gold foil packets as ornaments, or glue them to a wreath if you’re coping with a particularly intense state of Martha Stewart syndrome.

10. Or, for another seasonal idea, they make great stocking stuffers for nieces and nephews. (You know they’re doing it anyway – probably swiping the things out of your dresser drawer when they come to visit, the little thieves.)

11. If it’s closer to Halloween, include a few in your goodie-bags for the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

12. Stand outside the vasectomy clinic and hand them to people as they come out, reminding them that it’s always good to have a backup plan.

13. Put address labels on the packets and leave one with your tip in the restaurant if you have a really hot server.

14. Give a few to the parents of that obnoxious little brat next door. Better late than never.

15. 4 dozen unopened condom packets laced together make a much more comfortable seat cover than those wooden beaded things.

16. Hang them from the branches of trees in your local park. Ask the park ranger what kind of tree it is and if it bears fruit like that year ’round.

17. Add sticks to the packets and drop them into the lollipop basket at the bank teller’s window.

18. Did you know that latex smells really, really bad when it’s set on fire, but burns with a very nice greenish-blue flame?

19. Fill with pellets and form into cute little animals. Go to the flea market and set up a booth to sell your handcrafted limited-edition “Weenie Babies.”

20. Carry a few opened ones with you when driving; randomly stop other drivers and ask them if they’d mind stepping out of their car and taking a breathalyzer test for you.

21. Don’t forget to be generous. Mail them anonymously to your ex’s new “thang” with a note enclosed saying that you’re sure that the nasty infection has cleared up by now, but just in case…

© Copyright 2003 by Patrick Redding & “Queen Z.” Republished 2007, 2011, 2015.

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