Five of Swords

The Five of Swords Take on Achieving Goals

Today, I did a new moon tarot spread ritual. Being an Aries ♈︎ new moon, the first zodiac in the cycle with a new beginning theme attached to it, I did the spread focusing on the goals I set for myself this year. The last card on the spread was the “message from the Universe“, and I got the Five of Swords.

Five of Swords is about:

conflict resulting in winning but not really (winning at all costs) or being defeated.

Neither is a message I expected to get when asking about achieving my goals.

The card I pulled was from the Tarot of The Divine deck by Yoshi Yoshitani (yep, I finally got the deck after waiting for more than six months). Here, the card shows Anubis, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, holding five scythes while the fertility Goddess Isis is mourning near his feet.

Btw, I feel like it’s worth mentioning that looking at the card only and associating it with The Five of Swords‘ traditional meaning, one might interpret it as Anubis has defeated Iris in the duel. That’s not the case. In the Egyptian mythology, Anubis restored Iris’s husband, Orisis’s, chopped dead body parts, turning him into the first mummy. Therefore, Anubis is more of an ally instead of an opponent. It flipped Five of Swords’ classic deception, which is traditionally drawn as two opposing sides, one side winning and causing a grievance to the other side. Because of this and many other distorted links between the image on the cards and the mythologies behind each of them, I am not sure whether I want to celebrate this deck as the culture-themed tarot deck that I have been waiting for all my tarot-practicing life.

Five of Swords Tarot

Anyway, back to the Five of Swords and my achievement-focused Aries ♈︎ new moon tarot spread. After some mulling-over, I remembered a story from the mega-inspiring book that I read years ago: Happier by Tal Ben Shahar. He started the book with a story of being disappointed after winning a race he put so much effort into because he thought it would make him happy (the classic: I will be happy when *insert future achievements here*), but it didn’t, because achieving goals doesn’t equal being happy/happier.

I guess the Universe is trying to tell me the same thing:

Achieving all my 2021 goals won’t bring me happiness.

Both might work parallelly and possibly interlinked, but I’d be a fool to see them as the same things. This, though I don’t like to admit, is a good reminder for a goal-hungry Virgo like myself.

Now, how do I cultivate happiness, which is the ultimate goal?

The Chariot Moon Void Tarot The Spacious Tarot

Flights, Chariot, Action!

I pulled the Eight of Wands and The Chariot (Cancer) as the cards of the day. It wasn’t a surprise. It has been a tradition of mine to travel on the 26 January; even before I moved to Australia, which has it as the first public holiday of the year.

This time though, what caught my attention was The Chariot card.

Along with The Magician, The Chariot was one of the first few tarot cards that I liked and understood. Or so I thought.

When I first started learning tarot based on the images, I associated The Chariot with travelling. Obviously, as the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is riding a chariot. He is on the move or about to move. So is the witch who is riding the bike on the Everyday Witch Tarot deck.

But the Chariot on the deck I used for the reading today, the Moon Void Tarot, shows pages and pages of papers. Each one dated by month. July 2016, August 2016 and so on. There is a hand holding a pen writing on one of those pages. As if the person is scheduling and making plans. I don’t see anything that resembles travelling, which ironically fitted my situation of being unable to travel this time.

Alas, it got me curious about the artist’s interpretation of the card, and I dug through my piles of to-read books and found the guide book for the deck which I bought separately (one of the best tarot related decision I made so far: When in doubt, get the guide book). It says:

“…connect with our momentum, as we develop a clear vision, we begin to take action. …daily practice becomes the structure that takes us from one phase of life to the next. Small steps in physical reality will be met by large leaps from the Universe, but first, (you) must begin.”

I then went through The Spacious Tarot deck wondering how The Chariot is depicted there as I don’t think I have ever pulled this card from that deck. The image on the card itself reminded me of the Milford Sound in New Zealand South Island. Again travel related. But the mini-guide book offered an explanation closer to one given by the Moon Void above:

“…define exactly what is it that you want to do. What hard things do you need to do at this time? Affirm that you are capable and go do what you need to do.”

Wow. Reading it was like peeling another layer of The Chariot card.

The one that I didn’t even know existed.

The one about taking inspired actions.

I love it when that happens. That is also why I am love learning about tarot. The more I understand, the more interesting it becomes.

🛒 ❥K

Rustic Bedroom Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 6

Hello from the last day of the unprecedented year.

Today I woke up from yes, another great night sleep. After slathering my face with the pure luxe face oil I got as a free sample, I started reading The New Parisienne by Lindsey Tramuta in bed.

I was in the middle of writing the annual post of “The Year I..” when Fafa called me for brekkie. Today he only made egg on toast anticipating the delicious lunch date in the town.

I published the above post, pulled a card representation for the year-end (King of Cups), went running, clocked 150km for the year, and sat to do one of my new year rituals; writing my new year intentions and goals, resolutions, and sharing the process with Jik.

2021 Intentions, Goals and Resolutions

By then, it was almost lunchtime. We got ready and drove half-hour in the scorching heat. We had lunch at the Monkey Coo & Asian Kitchen. My order wasn’t as good this time, but the crab spring rolls appetiser was yummy!

Before leaving Echuca town centre, we made a short stop at Candle Scents as I wanted to give a small thank you token to the farmhouse owner who has been so courteous throughout our stay, even when we broke the bathtub yesterday.

It was past 3 PM when we were back in the farmhouse. Since it was too hot to do anything and it’s a liminal space day anyway, after feeding the chickens, I changed into Pjs, opened a new bottle of wine and started journaling.

I wrote my last gratitude list for the year, tarot related goals for the next year and any random things I can think of in between, with the pink-sky backdrop which can be seen from the dinning room where I am writing this from. It’s absolutely gorgeous.

After this as my previous days’ routine, I am going to shower, watch Come Dine With Me on SBS Food, have steak dinner (Fafa’s new year’s eve speciality), drink more wine in the name of festivity, write a bit more, greet the cows, wish my parents an early Happy New Year, read, eat 12 grapes as another new year tradition, drink tea, watch Dexter, pray and go to bed early-ish so I can greet the new year in peace and gratitude.

Happy New Year’s Eve ━ hope you are celebrating it the way you want.

Film Camera MjuII Kodak Colorplus 400 Mirror Selfie 2020 Meletos

2020 The Year I…

…Rang in the new year in Japan for the third time in a row. We had sushi and sake as the first meal of the year.

…Went to Bali for a weekend getaway. Now reflecting back, I am grateful we had the chance to travel outside of Australia this year.

…Started a new job in a new company.

…Practice with Miko, the first (second-hand) film camera I scored on eBay at the end of last year.

…Celebrated my friend’s, Liz, 30th birthday with a stay-cation in Mornington Peninsula.

…Self-isolated.

…Joined a witch coven.

…Bought my first ever indie tarot deck created by a female artist, then the second, then the third.

…Studied for CPA.

…Started liking black-coffee which no doubt is heavily influenced by Fafa.

…Finally enjoyed a good sandwich. It’s from Tivoli bakery on Toorak road which was introduced to me by Liz.

…Lived in lock-down for the most part of the year.

…Had a lengthy period of sadness from the combination of Covid and seasonal depression.

…Which made me pick up running.

…and cooking.

…and journal-ed as if my life depends on it.

…Got a tarot deck and oracle deck for birthday gifts from Fafa and Jik respectively.

…Had plenty of tarot readings.

…Deepen my tarot practice.

…Started a tarot blog then stopped because I thought I didn’t have that much to talk about in relation to tarot.

…Facetimed with my parents every single day from March onwards.

…Started this blog, a personal blog, but proceed to discuss mostly about tarot.

…Paid for a Google Photos account.

…Found out that Chiron has entered my chart since March and will stay there until the beginning of next year. Eek!!

…Finally read The Alchemist and generally read more books than last year.

…Stayed in a Mornington Peninsula airbnb.

…and in a Meletos winery in Yarra Valley.

…and in the farmhouse in Echuca where I took a boat trip along the famous Murray River.

…Went to an art gallery in Bendigo to celebrate our date-anniversary.

Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 5

Another good night sleep (Fafa complained that I started all my recent entries with the status of my sleep ━ it’s a diary, Fa, That’s how I write my diary) and stayed in bed for some time while Fafa cooked us Farmer’s breakfast. I so can get adjusted to this morning routine!

Chicken Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

After breakfast and doing my daily tarot-card draw (Four of Wands), we went out to feed Korona and Kovid ━ the chickens, and I continued walking around the compound for some morning bird-watching session. It’s one of the self-care activities that nourish the old-soul in me.

After an hour in the blazing sun and failing to see any bird from close-proximity, I gave up. More than this, Amma for sure would complain of me being tanner than usual.

Since it’s our anniversary (we met in a bar in Singapore 11 years ago) we thought we would do something different instead of lazing around the farmhouse. We ended up driving to Bendigo town and roamed around the unexpectedly pleasant art-gallery there.

Aboriginal Painting Bendigo Art Gallery Moon

My favourite pieces include the dot paintings, the 1800s European paintings with strong oriental influenced and a wood-block painting of Asakusa temple. There were also beautiful indigenous pattern silk scarf and moon inspired jewellery made by local indigenous artist. In the end, I got the paper towel for our home and a zipper case for Jik, both in a same aboriginal print.

Art-upped, we walked around the town centre for some late lunch, forgetting for a moment that we were in a small town in Australia and nothing opens past 3 PM except for some chain restaurants.

Grill’d is a famous burger chain in Australia that claimed that they make healthy burgers. Since I’m not fond of burgers at all, I have never tried them, until today. It was okay, but not something I would go for again if there is any other choice.

Despite the lunch blunder, I like Bendigo, dare I say, more than Echuca. On the drive back home I told Fafa, I could retire there. He pretended not to hear me.

One-hour later, we were back in the Echuca farm. Just in time for me to shower, write the anniversary card I got for Fafa and watch an hour of Come Dine With Me together. After this, I am going do the Cold full-moon in Cancer (The Chariot) tarot spread, call my parents and read. Later tonight, if the wind storm is not so bad, Fafa and I are going to do some star-gazing.

Not a bad way to celebrate anniversary, eh?

Murray River Paddlesteamers Echuca

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 4

I woke up from another day of excellent sleep and a bit later than usual, but why not eh? After all, it’s my vacation days. I pulled the card of the day ━ Page of Wands ━ journaled a bit about it while updating my to-do list for the next two days and next year.

After breakfast, we went to the Echuca town centre, which is best to be avoided during the holiday season as it’s crowded from assortments of tourist.

We had to go there because it’s also where the Murray River Echuca Paddlestreamer docks. We boarded the 2-hour cruise before noon and sat on the top-deck so we could enjoy the uninterrupted view of the river while enjoying some drinks and reminiscing the old times.

After the recommendation of a colleague, I booked the paddle streamer, but I came with low expectations. I mean, I have seen the Murray River before, it’s brown. How fun could it be cruising through at brown coloured water, I thought. It turned out to be a scenic journey where we got to see the other side of Echuca, including the camping site, private-boat families, kayaking couples, inns by the river and a gorgeous glasshouse.

By the time they put us back on the land, we were hungry and decided to try our luck to find a decentish food in the very crowded town centre. After being turned down by a couple of places, we went inside Monkee & Co Asian Kitchen. Again, I kept my expectation low because I couldn’t see any Asian running the restaurant. I was proven wrong the second time today. The coconut lime seafood curry I ordered was sublime! So was Fafa’s Rendang Bao, so much so that suggested we go there again tomorrow.

Back at the farmhouse, I fed the chickens (which I named Kovid and Korona), lit the Christmas candle I got on a hefty discount from the lovely people at The Candle Scent and put the flowers we got from Coles into a vase and settled for a nap. But I was too restless (maybe too well-rested?), so I went to the beautifully-lit kitchen to try a new summer salad recipe.

This time it included avocado, watermelon and feta cheese. Once it was ready, we sat for a simple dinner of the said salad and spicy Indo instant noodle.

I took a shower before writing this. The plan was to write today’s happenings and cross-off a few things of my to-do list today, but all I want to do is sit in the living room with the TV on, read a book lazily and drink a chilled glass of wine.

You know what, I might do just that. After all, I am already half-way through my holiday (acutely aware and dreading this), I shall enjoy as much as I can by doing all the things I want and not the things I need/must/should do.

Cancer Full Moon Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 3

I might have jinxed it when I wrote about the most peaceful sleep I had in months on my first night here — because neither of us got much sleep yesterday, no thanks to the severe wind storm. It had started yesterday afternoon, but by midnight it was a full-blown storm. The whole house kept rattling and the trees swooshing hard that it kept us awake, tossing and turning all night. On top of that, I was so worried that the strong ass wind would blow the chickens away.

When I saw the sunrise, I called defeat and jumped into the shower to freshen up. After pulling the card of the day (Six of Wands again) checking the chickens were still there and alive, Fafa and I sat for a proper breakfast.

We also met the farm owner, a photographer who lives in the bigger house nearby with her farmer husband and their three young kids. She filled us in with the history of the farmhouse. It was locked for 15 years before they bought and turned it into Airbnb earlier this year.

By mid-morning I couldn’t keep my eyes open and strangely felt cold in the 35-degree weather, so I turned on the heater in the bedroom and started reading the latest book Fafa got me (The New Parisienne: The Women & Ideas Shaping Paris Book by Lindsey Tramuta) before snoozing off.

It was past 1 PM when Fafa woke me up. He offered to drive us to a neighbouring town, Kyabram, for some Thai lunch, which I quickly welcomed since Asian food means rice and I haven’t had rice since the day before yesterday. After a 20 minutes drive, we were greeted by an empty town. There goes my rice dream for the day. We then tried our luck in another town, Rochester and were enticed by the menu board that offered both Thai beef salad and sriracha burger. Unfortunately, once we were inside, they told us they were only serving the display counter food. All were sad looking, but I was already hungry by then. I settled with the savoury scones thinking how bad could a scone be. It was bland bad.

So far, the day wasn’t going as I envisioned it to be. On the way home, Fafa, God bless his heart, offered to cook us some steak tonight, which of course I replied with a “yes please!“.

When we came home, I took another shower to wash the dust and heat off and settled in on the dining table with some grapes, spicy chips and a big glass of wine. With that, I could slowly feel I am back on track with the vacation vibes.

Since the weather was not too crazy and the sky was pretty blue-ish, I went out to greet the cattle that were walking back to the parlour for their second and last milking of the day.

By the time I came back, Fafa had started preparing the steak. With an addition of the quick-n-easy Aunty Jen’s summer salad (this time I added the zucchini freshly plucked from the farm) , a glass of wine and a bottle of Furphy we sat for a delicious meal.

After dinner, I prepared a bath for myself using one of the three Lush bath bombs I treated myself for Diwali. Who knew, soaking in the bathtub with a glass of wine while listening to the Wildly Tarot podcast was exactly what my soul, body and mind needed to heal and rejuvenate.

I feel so relaxed. Tonight I have a back to back Come Dine With Me starting from 10 PM, Gone Surfing tea from T2Tea to keep me warm and Home Body by Rupi Kaur downloaded on my kindle. Oh, also some stargazing in between ━ it’s almost full moon (CancerThe Chariot) tonight and it looks so beautiful.

Echuca Farm Stay Melbourne VIctoria Australia

Echuca Farm Stay Diary: Day 1

Hello from Echuca!

I just got done with the night shower and poured myself another glass of red, while waiting for my green-tea paste face-mask to dry so I can wash it off.

Let me tell you about our first day of the farm stay

After a 3-hour drive from Melbourne, going around almost four empty towns that reminded me of Timaru in New Zealand and after a short pit stop for double patty burgers in the summer heat peak, we reached the farm we will be staying at for a week.

The farmhouse looked rundown from the outside, but it had a rustic-charm in the inside. The house, as to how Fafa and I agreed on, has a soul. It is precisely the kind of home we love – complete with the wooden floorboards with a creaking sound, huge rustic windows adorned with french curtains, vintage-tiled bathroom floor and a clawfoot tub, rattan bed frame and plenty of mazes to give us the illusion of extra space.

So far, we have gone out to play in the backyard (frontyard?), fed the chickens, cooked dinner (instant noodles with buttered eggs) — accompanied by a delicious locally-sourced glass of red wine.

While Fafa watched the boxing day test match between Australia and India, I finished reading The Alchemist. What a book! I am so going to re-read it again, but not immediately since I have brought another five books to read during the trip. Right now though, I am going to wash my face, pour myself another glass of red, turn the TV on and binge-watch my favourite local SBS Food channel until we both fall asleep on the big and super cozy sofa.

My Christmas To-do List

Merry Christmas ‘errbody!

I have a feeling that most of you are having at least a wee bit different kind of Christmas this year, as am I. Usually, I will be either on the plane on Christmas day or celebrating the festivities at my cousin’s house, eating my aunty’s delicious cooking, and taking multiple selfies with all my cousins in front of the Christmas tree.

Today though we went to St. Ali for a boozy brekkie and came home to a long list of a to-do list that I need to tick off before we leave to the farm tomorrow.

My Christmas day to-do list includes:

Organizing my perpetually messy closet and witchy drawers, major packing, update my bu-jo diary, research cocktail recipes, watering the eight houseplants, recover formatted pictures from the USB, update my goodreads (I have six more books to read this year to reach my 36 books goal), get a straw hat from Cotton-On (if they are open), upload Meletos staycation trip photos, wish people on my contact list a very merry Christmas, clean the house, research about Echuca (bookstores, cafe, Indian restaurant, bar, new-age store, winery and hiking trails) where we will be spending our new year holidays at and the trip tarot spread before we leave; which means I gotta start early (like immediately!), to tick off as many items as I can from the list before our “official” holiday tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I wish you a lovely to-do-list-less Christmas and happy new-normal-ish holidays!