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Monday, 29 August 2011

Album Review: Utopian Folk, Beneath the Oak

Beneath the Oak have nailed it with their album Utopian Folk. An album that perfectly suits it's name. They have taken the atmosphere and intimacy found in all good folk and used sweet vocals and harmonies to give it a modern chilled out feel. Although the album works fantastically as a whole, this doesn’t take away from the individual atmosphere and story-telling qualities of each song as an individual piece. Although not specifically a “Pagan Band” tracks like Winter and the Moon – (a personal favourite) – conjure imagery that will definitely please this audience. I can't recommend this album enough... I would also take up every opportunity to see the guys live!

To find out more about Beneath the Oak check out their Myspace and Facebook pages.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

How to Read Tea Leaves

The art of Tasseography is a form of divination via looking for symbols in tea leaves, coffee grounds, or more historically wine sediment. The practice really gained popularity in the UK during the Victorian era, and was often used as a type of parlour game.

Although there are many variations on the “ceremony” of drinking the tea and draining the cup, they all share a few similarities. After drinking the tea, the person wishing to gain answers from the reading will swirl the leaves, along with a small amount of the remaining tea 3 times. They will then up-end the cup onto a saucer. The person doing the reading will then meditate on the leaves left in the cup, looking for certain symbols. It is generally said that the nearer the rim the symbol is, the sooner it will happen.

Below I have listed some of the more common symbols, so why not have a go yourself.

Acorn - means material success, and growth. Can mean good health.

Anchor - stability, constancy, loyalty. If clouded can mean inconstancy or instability.

Apple - achievement, particularly work related. Can also indicate a long life or good health.

Arch - a journey. Or a desire growing and manifesting.

Axe - overcoming of difficulties, can indicate separation or division.

Baby - small worries, trouble cause by those close to you.

Ball - variable fortunes, things still undecided.

Bell - unexpected news, lots of bells can indicate a wedding.

Birds - good news, a message.

Boat - visit from a friend, protection or success in a new venture.

Book - if open means success and new information, if closed further information is needed and possible delays.

Butterfly - admiration, pleasure and joy. Can also mean fickleness and frivolity.

Candle - help from others, can indicate troubles and ill health.

Cat - deceit, trickery or treachery.

Chain - an engagement or wedding, if broken chain can indicate relationship troubles.

Chair - a guest or addition to the family.

Circle - success, a gift. With dots can mean a baby.

Cross – trouble or sacrifice.

Cup - rewarded for efforts, or a new opportunity.

Dagger - danger from others or yourself, can also indicate the need to take action.

Dish - disagreements and trouble at home.

Dog - faithful friend, may indicate a friend needs help, especially on bottom of cup.

Door - odd occurrence, can also indicate a new opportunity.

Egg - prosperity, new beginnings, can indicate a birth.

Eye - overcoming difficulties, insight. May mean the need for caution.

Face - a change, possibly setback. Many faces may indicate a gathering.

Fan - flirtation, attraction, indiscretion.

Feather - lack of concentration, inconsistency. Can also indicate finding courage.

Fence - limitations, barrier to success.

Fire - achievement and transformation, on bottom my mean acting in haste.

Fish - good fortune.

Flag - danger, a warning.

Forked Line - a decision or dilemma.

Gate - an opportunity, success in the future.

Goat - be mindful of enemies, (historically ill fortune at sea).

Grapes - happiness, fulfilment and abundance.

Hammer - hard work, overcoming obstacles.

Hand - if closed means an argument, if open means friendship, may mean an agreement or meeting, should be associated with symbols near it.

Harp - love, marriage, harmony.

Hat - good luck or improvement at work or a change in career.

Hawk - jealousy, an enemy is present.

Heart - love, trust, happiness.

Horseshoe - good luck or a happy marriage.

Hourglass - need to make decision quickly, delay in plans.

House - security, success or a new home.

Insect - minor issues that you can overcome quickly.

Jewels - gifts or wealth.

Kettles - illness, if on base may mean domestic troubles.

Kite - wishes coming true, can also warn of scandal and rumours.

Ladder - promotion and progress.

Leaf - new life or friends. Prosperity.

Lines - straight lines mean progress or a good journey,wavy lines mean uncertainty.

Lock - obstacles or loss of something you value.

Mountains - ambition, obstacles on the way to success.

Mouse - theft or trickery.

Mushroom - lovers quarrel or having to take a risk.

Nail - injustice or spite.

Oak - good luck, health, wealth.

Owl - ill fortune, financial hardship, a warning to exercise caution.

Pig - mixed blessings.

Pistol - danger & disaster.

Rabbit - a need to be brave.

Raven - bad news, disappointment.

Ring - marriage or a long term commitment, if broken can mean an engagement ending.

Rose - good luck, popularity and joy.

Scales - legal issues, if balanced means justice, if unbalanced injustice.

Scissors - arguments or separation.

Sheep - success, growth, an offer of help.

Shell - good news.

Ship - successful/fulfilling journey.

Shoe - a change of arrangements that will be very beneficial.

Snake - an enemy, be cautious.

Spider - reward for work, receiving money.

Spoon - generosity.

Star - good luck, happiness, hope.

Sun - happiness, success, growth and power.

Sword - arguments and rumours, if broken can mean the defeat of an enemy.

Table - social gatherings, meetings.

Tent - travel.

Thimble - changes in the home.

Tortoise - criticism or to try something new to you.

Tower - an opportunity or disappointment.

Tree - prosperity, happiness and situations improving.

Triangle - good fortune that is often unexpected.

Urn - happiness and wealth.

Vase - good health or a friend in need of help.

Volcano - emotional outbursts and strong emotional states.

Wasp - gossip and trouble.

Waterfall - prosperity.

Wheel - good fortune, particularly financial.

Wings - messages.

Wolf - jealousy or selfishness.