How To Read The Tarot

I know you were expecting a presentation of one of the cards or one of the symbols. That’s brewing for next week [hopefully].

This week, I will help you “learn how to read the tarot” cards. The process is rather long, but it can help you see other aspects of a situation, or new ways of doing the same thing.

DISCLAIMER: The links provided are the ones I use the most in my journey to ‘learn’ how read my deck. Other websites do exist, and other forums are even open and active. I just got used to this one and the site itself is 21 years old – this should count for something.

Recycled picture yay!

I will have to tell you from the start that not everyone can do it, and most definitely not with all the decks. Or perhaps they just didn’t discover the right one yet?

[boring backstory]Many years back I had an oracle deck, and the meanings of each card was pretty straight-forward: whatever you saw on the card was the meaning. I didn’t need to elaborate novels around the spread. When I first decided to have a look into the tarot, I felt lost and I didn’t understand anything, and there were many hidden messages to be discovered. I thought I could never do it.

I still wanted to own at least one deck – and I hoped for a pretty one – and then, earlier this year it happened, if you remember my online shopping haul post.

Luckily I got this deck now older, when I understand more things, when I have generally more experience. This helped me a lot with learning how to read this deck. I first went on the official website, and then I found this forum where they were discussing each card. However, if you have more decks, or if you feel like the interpretation given by others doesn’t click with you, there’s another method!

ONE OF THE STEPS

Take each card and analyze it: see what message it has for you, based on the image. It’s perfectly fine to create keywords you associate with each card. Do try to write the meanings in an easy to flip through notebook. Though, depending on how much you write, a ‘regular’ size agenda or notebook should do.

Pic used in the same shopping haul post.

ANOTHER STEP

Do simple readings with just 1 card or maximum 3 cards. These readings can be for yourself – daily or weekly- or for other people. Do try to remember the “standard” meaning of the card, and see how does it apply to the situation.

At the beginning of October I started to pull out a card in the morning, and I’d only look at it in the evening. I want to ‘test’ the accuracy of the reading by how well did the message apply in my life that day. Yesterday’s card was “the Hermit” and it applied really well – I basically was the Hermit yesterday.

ADDITIONAL STEP

Buy a tarot reading guide, or find one online. I started, but not finished this “21 ways of reading a tarot card.” Apparently this is a book by Mary K Greer [and I honestly have no idea who she is]. Her method seems very good for those cards that you have a more difficult time understanding.

I believe her method also includes a notebook, so do make sure you have one handy. Since the guide takes you through 21 stages, I can’t possibly imagine anyone going through the process 22 times [just for the Major Arcana] and even less for the whole deck. Luckily, you can apply the method to an oracle deck as well.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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How many Hanzi do I know?

I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

I don’t really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

I included only the translation I’m more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn’t translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you’re used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you’ll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn’t have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn’t dedicate it all to Chinese – you could say I’m not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites: HERE [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more], HERE [focuses on grammar and you don’t always have the translation or the reading on the page], HERE [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way. [not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them – just the tools I used and helped me the most].

See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Quotes can make you look wiser

It is highly possible to have heard your parents or grandparents citing various things to you that became like a mantra. You probably never understood them and felt almost like an idiot – I know I did. However, most people like to recite very famous quotes, and while you should know who said what, it is time you created a little booklet of quotes of your own, to sound smarter and wiser.

Today’s quotes are by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee. But this is something he didn’t really want to be remembered as. He wanted to be his own person, apart from his famous father. Sadly, somehow this is now a bit impossible to achieve, simply because he died way too soon.

“Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive your life without it? Perhaps 4 or 5 times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.”

“You only have the burdens on you that you choose to put there.”

“God knows the times I have found myself in absurd situations.”

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

“A fight can express things people might not be able to say with words.”

“Believe me, nothing is trivial.”

“If you’ve ever found yourself pushed to the limits of your tolerance… you find yourself doing some things that, from the outside, can be seen as quite insane.”


Most likely these quotes will mean something different to everyone. But all of them have something to teach us. They make us smarter and wiser. If we pay attention to some of these words, we might even avoid making some huge mistakes later on.

I’ll see you again on Sunday.

it’s OK not to stick to a workout routine

If you read my last few post, you might remember I’m trying to bullet-journal, and to also introduce some workout sessions in my life. Of course, since I’m notoriously lazy and sometimes I have projects to work on, working out daily is impossible.

And that’s OK.

And it you also want to work out more, you came to the right place, because I will try my best to encourage you on your journey. I’m not a trainer, nor a health guru – but you already know that. I’m just sharing my experiences to help others that also struggle like me.

The biggest mistake I noticed I made was to expect myself to workout daily, the way I have the impression others do. Others, in this context, are various bloggers and vloggers I either follow or sometimes stumble upon. And you know what? I’m pretty sure this is wrong,  because we sell dreams. While my intention is NOT to sell dreams, I can’t know who will come across my blog one day, reads it, and thinks “oh, I wish I was more like this author” [I secretly hope for this, to be honest]. Personally, I wish my writing style was more funny, similar to that of the guy behind My Crazy Chinese Family blog – but now I’m going off topic. Let’s return.

WHAT ARE MY RESULTS SO FAR

Last month I managed to workout during 11 days, out of 30. I’m not really impressed, but I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do it at all.

This month I only worked out 2 days so far. I want to improve the number, but we’ll see how things go.

My workout sessions lasted about 30 minutes and less. I get out of breath very fast, my heart pumps like mad, and I have to stop or else I feel like fainting. It’s OK to stop your routine when you feel like fainting! You also don’t have to work out for more than 5 or 10 minutes at a time!

Most importantly, when I was done, I would feel happy and proud of myself. Something to do with my body releasing more endorphins. Feeling more happy can motivate a person to keep at this new found routine.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK OUT?

There are many reasons for people to be interested in starting this journey: to get back in shape, to prevent weight gain, to participate in a marathon, to simply change their lifestyle, for health related reasons, and even because they think they should.

So, how about you? Me, I could subscribe to all the reasons above, except the marathon. I simply can’t run it makes me feel like veins and nerves are breaking in my brain, I can’t see well anymore, and faint. It’s really bad. [on a side note, I see many people running downstairs, back and forth. in a way I feel I should do the same, and I feel guilty because I can’t. How silly is this? it’s not like anyone knows…]

My advice to you is not to compare yourself to others, because everyone is unique. And if you feel fine without working out, nobody can tell you otherwise.

Challenges you might face

Starting and getting into it is the most difficult part. Also, having a busy schedule can make you feel like you don’t have enough time for this. These are my 2 main reasons why I only worked out for 11 days last month. I hope to change this.

Having to wear appropriate clothing that you don’t own. Sure, it’s better to work out in workout pants, but honestly, as long as your clothes allow you to make any movement you need to, then it doesn’t really matter. you could be working out naked, but please do so only in the privacy of your house.

Speaking of where to workout, many think it can only be done at the gym. Or they think a gym subscription will motivate them into visiting it. Truth is, this is unlikely. Instead, stretching a bit after you wake up right beside your bed is perfectly fine. There are countless routines that can be done at home or even outdoors.

Now, if you want to have more muscles, you’ll want a gym membership and to be strict abut visiting it. A personal trainer will be very helpful as well.

WHY DON’T I SEE RESULTS?

Results don’t appear overnight. We’re somehow programmed into thinking results appear instantly, but this is the biggest lie we could ever believe. 11 days of working out and a reduced amount of food consumed in June [mostly because the heat took away my appetite] made me lose 1kg. It’s not a lot, but slower results seem to be the ones that stick more.

So results will appear only if we’re consistent. Also it depends on why we start, on our somatic body type, and the type of routine we try. My somatic body type is the one that gains weight the easiest and has the hardest time losing it – and I forgot what’s called. oops.

CONCLUSION

Whether you decide to exercise more or not is fine! whatever you will wear to do so is fine as long as you’re free to move as you like. Not doing what others do, is also perfectly fine and OK. Don’t do something just because you think you must: you don’t.

I hope you’ll feel more inspired to live your life as you please because sometimes it takes courage to do so.


©2013-2017 the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

bullet journaling and cleaning

If you know me, you know I dislike cleaning the most. However, it’s not something I can escape. Nobody can escape it. To make myself stick to a good cleaning routine I decided to use a bullet journal. It seems like it is a good way to keep people organized and productive. I only just started it now in June simply because I just learned about it.

I tried once in the past year, but I failed at following it. I hope to be more successful this time. The main weekly tasks are cleaning on Wednesdays and Thursdays. I started with Thursday’s task, the stove: it needs a single day, because reasons, see below:

Has your stove ever been this dirty? No? How did you do it? I won’t lie, I’m envious because I never liked cleaning and on top of that, I wasn’t good at maintaining the place clean either I really have no idea how people do it. But now, thanks to my bullet journal I hope to become one of those people.

The first thing I did regarding this mess, was to grab an old knife and start scratching like a scratch card while the stove was cold and dry. The mess is some cream soup that boiled over so my approach worked really well. It was gone in less than 10 minutes and it also worked on the greasy parts – at least some of them. After 20 or 30 minutes of working on it, it looked like this:

Since I’m not as healthy as I used to be, I had to take breaks from time to time. I can’t know for sure how long it took me to clean it to this state, seen below. Maybe a grand total of 2 hours? 2 hours and a half?

Clearly, next week, my pretty stove will not be as dirty, and it will be much more easy [and fast] to clean.

Let’s see some pics – from before and after, for a better understanding:

I do want to mention the cleaning products I used as well, because the end result was not possible with just scrubbing. I used:

  • a piece of old towel,
  • Axion the grease stripper
  • Triumf for stoves and ovens [a Romanian cleaning products brand] – this think strips grease like crazy! and you need to wear gloves when using it, as well as a face mask.

 

So, what is the point of this entry?

I really don’t know. I guess, i just want to tell people that even the most difficult tasks can be taken care of, even if at a slower pace. And that if you need something to keep you motivated, bullet journaling can be quite useful.


© the owner travels to 2013-2017. All rights reserved.

SO, you rescued a baby bird. Now what?

It is early May and you might find baby birds on the ground. Fallen from their nests. (I’m not sure when wild bird eggs hatch, so this article might come in handy. )

If you do, find such a baby bird, what do you do?

  1. You could try to find its nest and put it back.
  2. Take it home/ to the vet to see if it’s OK – no broken wings or legs
  3.  Do nothing, let nature take its course. [do you have the heart for that? i don’t]
  4.  Something else this author didn’t think about. [care to share your thoughts?]

I only asked “what will you do” and not “what and why.” I like to assume that most of us would try and find the bird’s nest and try to put it back. We all know baby birds don’t belong on the ground. Many would choose to do both option 1 and 2.  And there are quite a handful who would choose the last 2 options, for various reasons.

Saying that doing one or the other is wrong or good – this is actually something we can’t be objective on. We were all raised differently and have different beliefs.

This is Ciel, a few months later after being found on the ground. He wanted a bath.

However, I will tell you what I did, and what my experience was. You can then decide if this was the right or the wrong thing to do.

About 3 years ago I found a baby grey crow on the ground, next to my building. It was a rainy spring, and the poor thing was soaked. His parents were still watching over him, but couldn’t do anything about him – there were just too many humans around for them to risk getting down on the ground and feed him or protect him from the rain.

He couldn’t protect himself from the cold pouring rain either because he was bald, only his tail and wings feathers were grown. He would have died if I didn’t decide I would take him in, feed him, and warm him up.

I took him in and decided the first thing he needs is to get warm up. I grabbed a towel and proceeded to dry him off, except it didn’t really work. The hairdryer did a better and faster job.

The bird was now dry and warmer. But weak. Because he didn’t eat in a few hours.

WARNING: Baby birds need to eat about once an hour or two. But you need to learn how to feed them because YOU are now the parent!

Learning how to feed a baby bird is rather easy, but if you worry easily, ask someone else to do it. You can find many instructions online, but I will try to explain in a future post how to feed baby crows!

Must tell you Romanian vets are not very experienced with birds, and I had 2 of them telling me he would die because they didn’t know what to do to him. Guess what? he didn’t die. I had to force some antibiotic on him the next day – he caught a cold from the rain. The worst part was that he could have died at my hands because I only had some strong antibiotic for humans [I used it for a UTI before… so go figure].

Of course I made sure to only give him a tiny bit, trying to figure out about how much based on his weight and to complicated measurements and math calculations on the pill. Fun times! I should be a chemist now, or a vet. The good news is that it worked and the next day he was walking all over the floor.

Keep an eye open for the next entry related to feeding wild birds!

5 Romanian etiquette rules

In my previous post I mentioned I would make an entry related to etiquette in Romania. So, here it is! These are stuff I either saw myself or was told.

1. Shoes – on or off?

In Romania, you take your shoes off when entering your own home, or the home of those close to you – friends and family, unless told otherwise. It helps with keeping the house clean(er).

You keep your shoes on when you go visit people you’re not very close to – say, if you meet the parents of your partner for the first time. Some of these people you don’t know very well, might ask you to take your shoes off when entering their home.

  • why should I take my shoes off? If it rained, chances are your shoes are dirty and your host doesn’t want their floors or carpets to get dirty, especially if the house looks as clean as a 5 star hotel room.

2. Bring something when you visit someone

In the past, when paying a visit, it was a sign of good manners not to go empty handed. People were usually bringing something symbolic, like flowers, something sweet, or something to drink. The “something sweet” was something home made, but bought stuff were also OK. A casserole of home cooked food also works well – remember this is something symbolic. If the younger generations do this these days, it must be because they grew up seeing their parents do it.

While this habit might seem weird for some, consider that Romania used to be a communist country and during the regime the living conditions were harsh. For some people it would have been a financial burden to receive and entertain guests, so the guests were considerate towards this effort by bringing something to the “party.”

3. Greet your neighbors when meeting them

This applies for when meeting them in the common areas of the apartment building, as many Romanians still live in apartment buildings. If you happen to meet any of your neighbors, they will say “hello” and the polite thing to do is to reply. Easy, right?

When visiting friends, you might encounter their neighbors and they might say “hello” even if they don’t know you. It costs nothing to reply back with a “hello.” Greeting random people they see waiting around their building is not that weird since many Romanians are renting out their apartments. Your friend’s neighbors might think you’re renting a place there and you’re new.

4. Greet your cashier

All cashiers I went to, would say “hello” to all their customers, me included. They would also say “bye bye” after giving them their change and receipt. The client is supposed to answer to both greetings. This gesture sure doesn’t cost nor time nor money. I generally say “thanks” before leaving. I sometimes add “have a nice day” as well.

5. Speaking of the change… Don’t expect it full

Let’ assume you’re supposed to receive 7.37 … well, let’s just say you’ll receive 7.35 instead, and demanding the extra 0.02 is nowadays considered a bit weird, if not quite rude. The cases when you’ll receive your full change is rare (I only saw it happening at one supermarket- Kaufland) The coins of the 0.01 value (1 ban) are generally disregarded by most people. I don’t think the 0.05 coins (5 bani) are too popular either.

Don’t ask me how much money I lost this way. However, you’ll be surprised to learn or see just how many Romanians simply leave all the coins in their change to the cashier. They might take the 0.5 coin (50 bani) but not the 0.1 coins (10 bani).


disclaimer: i don’t own the pictures in this post, they belong to their respective creators. i just found them online.

©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.