Life, Tarot

Tarot Readings

I haven’t been good about keeping this blog up-to-date with what I’ve been doing in my life, so I decided to share my daily tarot readings as a way to encourage myself to post.

I’ve been doing a tarot reading every morning for the past week. If you’re unfamiliar with what tarot cards are, I suggest looking up this article by Biddy Tarot. I’ll also probably do another post in the future that further describes what tarot is, along with resources to research it. Look for an upcoming post about that!

A lot of people are skeptical about what tarot cards are and how they work. I see it as a way to analyze my own thoughts, giving me more insight and introspectiveness that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I don’t know if I’m 100% convinced that tarot readings work to divinate the future, but coming from my perspective, they’re a great pseudo-science/pseudo-philosophy tool to help with addressing one’s subconscious thoughts. I’ve found that in all my time using and being exposed to tarot cards (introduced to it through pagan friends who have done readings for me), the readings have been “accurate” in terms of making me think deeper about things that were already on my mind.

I know a lot of my friends who are pagan would caution use of tarot cards. I want to give a disclaimer to any readers out there who would like to use tarot for their own life – do research and respect the tools being used. Know that many people around the world are heavily invested in tarot readings and consider it a big part of their spirituality or beliefs, and treat any tarot deck or reading you may come across with respect. Whether or not you believe in the results/qualities that tarot readings give you, you should at minimum give respect and consideration to it.

image1 2The tarot deck I’ve been using was gifted to me by one of my friends, Lexie. She was given this tarot deck as a gift and didn’t feel like she connected to it. She then gave it to me, and I’ve been connected to this deck ever since. The deck is called “Mystic Dreamer Tarot”, made by Barbara Moore and Heidi Darras. The illustrations are very beautiful. It came with an instruction and tarot card description booklet and a black mesh bag for holding the cards. There are many tarot decks out there that you can buy for yourself if you’re interested in it. Artists all over the world have made beautiful decks, and they’re usually all really well-illustrated. You can find a tarot deck (depending on where you live) at your local bookstore, spiritual store, or sometimes at your local crystal shop. If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend checking out The Sacred Well on Lake Merrit in Oakland, California. They’re a great shop that has loads of spiritual items, including tarot decks, that you can check out.

The spread I’ve been doing every morning is a “three-card spread”, which I’ll describe from the booklet written by Barbara Moore:
“The basic three-card spread is very popular, and has many variations. It’s often a favorite of beginners, as there are enough cards to practice reading them together, but it is not overwhelming. More experienced readers like it, too, because it provides a quick but reliable reading. Sometimes you need advice, but don’t have time for a longer spread.”

I usually start with cutting and shuffling the deck at least three times. I then spread the deck out, cards faced down. I randomly pick three cards from the deck, thinking about my day and what I have planned, and lay them out in order. The first card is my “morning”, the second card is my “afternoon”, and the third card is my “evening”.

I will post once a day about the drawings I do, along with descriptions for each card as written in the booklet I was given. I’ll try to give a little commentary about my day and how accurate or inaccurate the reading was. Look under the “Tarot” tab for the readings.

Thanks for stopping by and joining me on this journey!

Disclaimer: I was not paid by any of the people/products/stores mentioned in the article. I only review and post things that I have personally used, visited or recommended.

Life, Thoughts

Countdown to the Philippines!

My mom and I are very excited for our upcoming trip. It’s less than two days until we fly out from Portland to begin our adventure to the Philippines! We’ve been packing and getting our travel necessities together this past week. I will try my best in the upcoming month to keep this blog updated with our adventures. My dad was kind enough to let me bring his iPad with me on the trip, and we will have internet connection on and off during our stay.

In preparation for our trip, I’ve gathered some helpful tips and tricks from travel blogs across the internet:

https://www.travelzoo.com/blog/20-tips-before-traveling-internationally/
https://www.travelandleisure.com/blogs/12-tips-to-make-international-travel-easier

Book Reviews, Life, Movie Reviews, Review

The Southern Reach Trilogy + Cartopia

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Image from: wired.com

I was blessed to be able to receive the Southern Reach trilogy from my friend, Thom. We caught up yesterday at Cartopia in Portland and had a great time eating delicious crepes and Mexican foods.

The Southern Reach trilogy, written by Jeff VanderMeer, is a great mystery, sci-fi, action, and thriller series. Recently the first book, Annihilation, came out as a movie featuring Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Jennifer Leigh (all-star, all-female cast). Thom and I went to see the movie when it first came out in order to compare it to the books. The movie by itself was pretty good, but deviated away from a lot of what the books reveal. I highly recommend reading the series before tackling the movie, just so you can have a full appreciation for the context of the books.

I don’t want to give any spoilers out for those interested in reading the books, but I will say that the trilogy is one of my favorites I’ve read. VanderMeer is a compelling writer and leads you through an intense exploration of an imaginative world. I cried, got goosebumps, and had sleepless nights because of this series. It features wilderness, spies, relatable characters, extraterrestrial life, and mystery. The series will leave you with more questions than it does answers, and make you think about Area X for a long time after you put the books down. Here is a description of the book from Wikipedia:

“The book describes a team of four women (a biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, and a surveyor) who set out into an area known as Area X. The area is abandoned and cut off from the rest of civilization.[1] They are the 12th expedition. The other expeditions have been fraught with disappearances, suicides, aggressive cancers, and mental trauma. The novel won the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel[2] and the 2014 Shirley Jackson Award for best novel.”

Check it out!

Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Anthony Bourdain R.I.P.

I was on Facebook today and saw this picture posted by one of my friends. As I near the ripe age of 22 and prepare for my trip next Monday, this quote connected to me a lot:

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Source: Facebook – The Chef’s Circle

Anthony Bourdain was highly admired, a star chef, and a lover of life. He showed us the importance of traveling and adventuring and experiencing another person’s lifestyle. In witnessing his exploration of the world I was taught empathy and passion and a love for food.

Growing up, my mom and I spent little time together as she worked the majority of the day and wouldn’t get home until late at night. Most of the week I was either in school or with my grandparents, where we spent our television time watching game shows or sports. During moments where my mom and I would be able to spend time together at home, we took pleasure in watching Anthony Bourdain’s: No Reservations on the Travel Channel. My mom and I loved his poetic and raw outlook on life, and it was always interesting to see what adventures he experienced. I have many fond memories of us watching his trips together, reacting to the dishes he would eat (how we would want to try this or that someday), laughing at his (sometimes crude, but always real) comments, and wishing to one day go where he has gone.

Anthony Bourdain suffered from heroin addiction when he was younger, the same difficult struggle my late brother battled with. While they were both alive, Anthony Bourdain’s triumphs and long life gave me hope that my brother would beat his addiction and life an equally full life.

He also suffered from depression, but didn’t let that prevent him from experiencing the world as much as he could. I also suffer from depression and other mental health issues, but Anthony gave me hope that the world could be better, that I could accomplish and experience things that I’ve only dreamed of. It saddens me that his battle with depression ended this way.  I was told that he never sought treatment, dealt with it by himself without trying to seek help. I am grateful for the community I grew up in and the information I was given about mental health and depression, to be able to seek and receive treatment. No one should ever be pushed to this point in life, where they feel like there is nowhere to turn to.

For anyone reading this: If you feel like you are alone and have nowhere to turn to, know that there are always options to get the help you need and that there are people out there who will care and support you. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

Anthony Bourdain, you fought your demons for as long as you could and inspired so many people to live their best life. My condolences and best wishes to your family and friends. Thank you for all that you’ve done to bring the world together.

Life, Thoughts

Hot Yoga

In preparation for our trip to the Philippines next week, my mom and I have been taking classes at Flow Hot Yoga in Vancouver. We wanted to acclimate our bodies to heat before our trip while increasing our stamina. While it’s not our first time taking hot yoga classes, it’s still a pretty difficult and new experience.

Over the past ten days I’ve gone eight times, and it’s crazy how much progress I feel in my flexibility. Every other day they have a different class and different instructors, so there is a wide range of poses to do each week. I’ve noticed in my own body that I have underdeveloped upper body strength and a lot of tightness in my hips. The yoga classes have helped me identify these areas to work on and have given me a chance to appreciate the beauty and strength in my own body.

Hot yoga is different than regular yoga in that we do each session in a hot room. This makes the experience feel a lot more difficult than regular yoga. According to their website, hot yoga allows the body to detoxify, lengthens and strengthens muscles, increases lung capacity and circulation throughout the body, boosts metabolism, and burns 600-1200 calories per hour.

Each time I’ve gone I’ve definitely felt a lot better coming out of the studio. It’s a workout for sure, and lets me push myself and my limits to the max. This week I’m aiming to go every day before we leave next Monday. Hopefully when we come back from our trip I’ll be able to continue the yoga practice as much as possible before school starts up again in August.

Happy Sunday!

Life, Thoughts

Nostalgic Dreams

During the school year I didn’t have any dreams at all. Ever since moving back home for the summer, I’ve been having really strange dreams.

Last night I woke up twice in the middle of two different dreams, both dealing with things I’ve been working through in my personal life. One of the dreams I don’t remember as clearly, but I’ll share the content of the other.

I had a dream that we were throwing a graduation party in my grandparents’ house, and two of my ex-childhood best friends were there. I haven’t talked to them in a very long time but know that they have graduated from their colleges through pictures on social media.

In the dream, I remember them sitting at a table with me. I was so happy they were back in my life. I remembered one of them was very skeptical about being there, and didn’t want to be celebrating with me. I told them that I had no expectations for our friendship and didn’t care what would result from their visit, just that I was happy to see them and have them in my life again. Then a different person, an old classmate from middle school, came into the room and tried to pick a fight with me. They ended up grabbing a keyboard that was sitting on a table and tried to hit me over the head with it, which is about the time I woke up.

I miss my old childhood friends a lot, but understand that they no longer want me in their lives. I was surprised that when I woke up, I didn’t feel sad. I felt like my dream was trying to tell me something – to cherish the memories that I had made with them, but to move on. The things I said in my dream about just being happy that they were in my life resonated with me. It doesn’t matter how long they were there, it’s the fact that the memories were made in the first place. I should have no expectations about how long people will be in my life. I should just be happy that they were there in the first place and remember that people will come and go.

I think I’ll make a habit of writing down my dreams again in a dream journal. My brother had asked me yesterday about lucid dreaming and whether or not I had ever had one. I have, but it was only once or twice and it was after religiously writing down my dreams every night and working towards the goal of having a lucid dream. I think it would be an interesting goal to have again, at least while I’m on vacation and have the time and ability to do it.

Life, Thoughts

We’re Going to the Philippines!

I’m very excited to announce that my mom and I are going to the Philippines in less than a couple of weeks! We are leaving on the 18th and I couldn’t be more excited to go.

My mom, who grew up in the Philippines, hasn’t seen any of her immediate family members for over 12 years. She doesn’t have a lot of family here in the United States, so it will be a wonderful family reunion for the both of us. I have asked my mom every single year since I our last trip when we are going to go back, and now we finally have the opportunity to do so. The last time I went I was ten years old, so it’ll be a completely different experience to travel there as an adult.

During the school semesters I’m in Oakland and my mom works during weekdays so I don’t see her a lot during breaks. It’ll be a great way for us to spend some quality time together and explore where she grew up.

We will be leaving Portland for Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Singapore where there will be an 8 hour layover in Singapore (the Singapore International Airport is supposedly HUGE and is a place where people go for day trips), and then we’ll be in Davao. There is limited internet access over there, but I’ll try my best to keep this blog updated in while we’re traveling.