Shadowscapes Tarot – The Fool

Ah! the Fool! First card of the deck. And full of symbols. I feel this deck has more symbols than others, and some cards too are ‘heavier’ in meaning than others.

We see a young girl almost throwing herself off of a beautifully decorated column [or is it a column?] A fox looks at her, almost wondering is she’s going to go through with it or not. Some birds fly around her and a few hold onto some red ribbons, as if trying to stop her.

Looking close at her face, I almost feel as if she thinks “whatever happens surely will be better than my current state.” I wonder if she really considered all the dangers, or if she really is prepared to face all the consequences?

Some insight from the official page:

It begins with a whispered voice. Serpentine, the song threads through her days and her thoughts, beckoning. Come…come…come…. “Where?” she asks, curious, but there is no response.

She ignores the summons, until one day that siren song unexpectedly explodes and fills her to the brim. Its pulse is undeniable. “Where?” she asks again, and this time the steady beat of her heart is the response.

[…]

Meaning: The Fool is a symbol for new beginnings and adventures, pleasure, passion, thoughtless and rash. Like the Fool, you may stand upon the precipice gazing out into the unknown; and there is either an oblivious foolishness to the terrible plunge you may experience, or else a wild spirit of adventure and great faith and knowledge in that which can and will bear you up and guide through the times to come. There are unlimited possibilities opening up for the seeker.

Some insight from the now closed tarotforum forum:

By silvercrow: “she knows she will be protected. The birds will carry her, the hands will catch her. The fox, her guide, will guide her in the right direction. Below her is love, butterflies, flowers and light, but there’s also bees which can sting and sharp rocks which can hurt as well as darkness and shadows.

By r0sered1ster:the stone monkeys she stands upon, one with a heart, one with a rose and one with a butterfly. Signifying the courage, beauty and transformation she will encounter on her way

By snyc: “So the red ribbons held by the birds that surround and hold The Fool make me think of the sensory ties that hold The Fool back, which are so easily broken if only The Fool has the courage. (These ribbons are also shown in The World, but in The World they have been broken and are wrapped around her arms.) Finally, I view the statue that The Fool stands on as representing memories of the past, visions of the future, feelings, and desires.”

I view The Sun as embodying purpose, and since the right foot is often the foot that takes the first step, now I think that it means the call of purpose is what drives The Fool to take the leap, to take the first step off the cliff…

By kloeyy: “It really gives me a new perspective on the blind faith and the stirred emotion to feel compelled to step forward or leap into the unknown.”

Some more ideas from psychic-revelation.com:

In terms of finances, the Fool is an extremely positive card. You can expect increase, and furthermore, you will find it in yourself to know that no matter what happens financially, that you will be all right and will “come out on top.” Trust yourself, work hard, and you will do better than you expect.

Some ideas from destinysspiritualjourney blog:

The first thing to be noted about The Fool, is that it is the ‘zero’ card of the major arcana. The Major Arcana, represents important major life influences and is also sometimes seen by readers as a journey, through each and every card in this arcana. I always imagine The Fool as the first card in the tarot deck, some view The Fool as neither first nor last, but as the character wondering through the major arcana. The Fool is the one who experiences the trials of all the cards.

Why is the Fool the one experiencing the trials of the cards? Because humans are Fools without no life experience. Humans are designed to make mistakes in order to become wiser or better people.

On this blog, I am the Fool, sharing my experiences through life – more or less. I was born a fool and I will die a Fool, and there is no shame in that.


© 2013 – present The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved. The green texts belong to their respective creators, reproduced here for learning purposes.

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.

how to become your cat’s favorite human

You might already know I own 2 cats, but I will talk about the younger one for he likes me a little more than the older one. You want to know a secret? You can also make your cat like you more than the rest of the family [if you have a cat, that is].

DISCLAIMER: this method is not 100% foolproof, and is more successful on kittens. It is still worth giving a try – hopefully your cat is not a the spawn of the devil and can be [gently] handled. i credit expert cat owners with the discovery of the method.

I hope everyone planning on getting a new cat or kitten will find this short entry a bit useful. If you dislike cats, I hope you will change your mind about them a bit.

So this is Mikey, the younger cat – he turns 6 years old on July 4th. I cannot tell you how attached to me he is.

To put it into perspective, he knows when I arrive home, he doesn’t let his older brother come to me, he makes sure to leave his scent on me whenever he can [even when I’m in the bathroom], and he cried a lot last year when I would be gone to my 9-5 jobs. That’s not all, he also gained a lot of weight last weight: it seems he ate his feelings [and i feel bad for it].

One of the ways he showed his affection was by ‘cleaning’ me while i slept – my face, hands, arms, hair, whatever he could. His older brother never did it. He also loves sleeping next to or on top of me.

i dont think it’s healthy to sleep so close to the cat.. but what can i do?

So, how come he prefers me?

You must know I got him when he was a kitten, and I basically stole him from his family and mother. I don’t think he was fully weaned, but he was eating cat food.

So, when I got him, i had to act like cat-mom, and make him relieve himself. This is easily done by holding the cat over the litter and gently rub her behind with a damp towel – it should have the same texture as a cat’s tongue. Your cat will believe it’s her mother taking care of stuff, and in a way will think you’re said mother – your scent is all around after all, and her mother’s scent is not. It’s almost natural that you’ll be replacing her mom at this point.

There is one more important step you should not ignore, when going through this process: “burying the gifts” AKA the cat pee and poop. Gently grab one of the cat’s front paws [or hands if you prefer] and move it from the front towards the back, while touching the sand [or litter bed. we use a special type of sand.. bentonite, clay? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I recommend silica type because it disappears, so you throw away less stuff.] The movement should imitate the one the cat does when she covers her waste.

This paw movement should be done right after wiping her behind with the damp towel, even if she doesn’t relieve herself. This is one of the best methods to teach a cat where ‘the toilet’ is, no matter the age. It is especially useful when changing houses and getting a new cat.

If for some reason you consider changing the type of litter, make sure to do it gradually, so that the cat will get used to the new type slowly – or better said so she won’t realize. if you change it all of a sudden [because you couldn’t find the one you usually get] try this method I described above.

Cats can be and are just as loving as dogs, perhaps even more so. This is why an older cat will take some time to get used to new humans, if re-homed. She might act distant with her first humans, but maybe she’s generally more distant. Remember that not all cats are the same, just like not all dogs are the same.

I hope you found this article a little helpful.


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

Online shopping haul

Not long ago I promised I would show you guys the stuff I bought online, from a Chinese website called wish.com.

DISCLAIMER: this is not a sponsored post, I bought everything with my own money, and the opinions are my own!

Online shopping is good, as long as you don’t buy clothes, shoes, or expensive electronics. You must pay attention to what others have to say about the seller too, to see if you can trust  – but even then, you can get cheated.

This site wish is easy to use, you can sign up using your gmail account or even your facebook account. I paid with paypal, but I think credit/debit cards are also accepted.

This is what i ordered – a tote, 3 watches (!),  a deck of regular playing cards, and a tarot deck. I also ordered a bra for my friend – it fits her, but i will not show the actual product, and a whetstone to sharpen knives – it never arrived 😦

This is the Shadowscapes Tarot deck, translated into simplified Chinese, i believe. The English card names are at the top of the cards. There is one typing error on one of the cards “nice of cups” instead of “nine of cups, ” which i find quite funny, especially since this is a good card to get in a reading. The typo is barely noticeable, so it doesn’t bother me.

There are 2 extra blank cards included – I guess I can use them in case I lose one. As you can see the cards are quite long, so normal hand shuffling is a bit difficult. Maybe my palms are too short?

My other card deck is a playing one. But the images are with Vampire Knight, as you can see. Vampire Knight is a manga [Japanese comics] by Hino Matsuri. The cards are quite small compared to the tarot. Shuffling them is so easy!

I must admit, when i got them, i thought they’re bigger – before opening them up. I was quite impressed that they were sealed in plastic – the tarot wasn’t. Once i took them in my hand, i thought they’re really cute because of how small they appeared.

I didn’t use them, but I assume in dim light, it will be difficult to tell which card is which, so probably if you ever get your hands on a similar deck, play your games in stronger light.

So these are the watches I got. Why 3? well, i have a small obsession for watches. I have 4 of them in total. One – the first I ever got, is a Michael Kors. [I can’t really remember where it is] I’m not wearing it because it needs a battery and it had a small accident, and lost a decorative plate. I’m pissed about it – I still have it, but I have trouble putting it back with glue it doesn’t stay.

These watches didn’t arrive all at once, though the green ones have been ordered at the same time. The lighter green one was supposed to be more blueish. but the green one looks amazing! The first one to arrive was the one with a black bracelet. It is a mechanical one – the reason I got it. The other 2 cost me $1 each, and $1 shipping for each. I really liked the design, even though they require a battery.

The seller was nice enough to send them with a battery in AND with the hour set for Romania! how cool is that?

The tote is not as big as I thought it would be. I can fit a 15″ laptop in it, if i put it with the narrow side in. And it doesn’t go in all the way – but I rarely take my laptop with me, so that’s fine. It seems well done, though the sewing could have been more straight – in places where it is noticeable.

I like that it has a small inner pocket. The front is purple, and the other side is gray, like the handles and the bottom. The handles are long enough to allow you to wear the bag on the shoulder.

SHIPPING

The mechanical watch was the first to arrive, after some 3 weeks.  I thought i will never get to see my tarot deck nor my playing cards – they arrived quite late. The bag also arrived quite fast, but i forgot how fast. I also forgot how fast the other items came, but the 2 green watches arrived 1 week apart – shipped separately, though the seller was the same.

Speaking of sellers, there are many sellers on wish, just like on ebay or etsy. The prices can change from one day to the other, but they’re generally low. If you know me, you’ll know these items were cheap – since I hate spending money on expensive stuff.

site pictures VS real item pictures

There are slight color differences between the real life items and the image you see provided by the seller. The light green watch was the biggest offender, but since i like green, I’m not complaining. My light, though natural, wasn’t the best to take pictures. The tarot deck is less intense, much more pastel. As for the mechanical watch – just like with the others, several colors were available, that’s why mine is not golden.

Sadly, if you have a problem with your item, the customer support is from wish, and it is not the seller. you might also have the “luck” of talking to someone who doesn’t speak English well. You have 30 days for returns or refunds. This means i lost whatever I paid for my whetstone.

This is all for now. See you again next week!


©2013-2017 TheOwnerTravelsTo. All rights reserved.

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.