Tarot Cards: A Fun Way to Look Inward

Despite how you may feel about tarot cards, they are a fun source for self-reflection. Here is why I believe that.

Tarot cards have been around quite a long time. During the mid-15th century they were regular playing cards, but eventually the decks were used to divine the past, present, and future. I myself am not sold on the mystical nature of tarot cards; however, I do find them to be a valuable way to analyze oneself. Carl Jung, one of Freud’s students for a time, firmly believed that introspection was important in finding happiness, but he drew mandalas instead of tarot cards. It’s my belief that people should not look inward all the time, but keeping an eye on how your own actions and behaviors affect you and others can help immensely when it comes to maintaining mental health.

Surprisingly, it’s easy to use tarot cards. A lot of decks come with booklets that tell you what each card means. They’re usually separated into the major and minor arcana and the minor ones are further split into four different groups. I discovered these beautiful cat tarot cards that make me so happy, which includes fire, sea, earth, and wind for the minor arcana. Each of the smaller groups have a specific vibe, like fire is more concerned with disruptions and fighting;whereas, earth is focused on harmony and nature. Each set is different though and I have my eye on those critical role cards when the artist finishes.

Once you have your deck you choose a spread that you want, and each spread can have different meanings. The internet is chock full of tarot card spreads if your booklet does not have any that interest you. My personal favorite is the classic Celtic Cross, which allows you to look at a specific situation instead of a generalized look at the future. At times the cards get spooky and are perfect for the situation in question, but that is due to the vagueness of the cards. Even though the divinity of tarot cards are questioned, you can take the vague meanings of the cards and use them to think about what is bothering you, why, and how you can fix it. I feel that it is easier for me to analyze myself if I have some prompts given to me, which makes tarot cards perfect. Tarot cards also give me an excuse to just sit and think, which can sometimes be difficult if you have a million things to do that week…or month.

Even if you don’t use tarot cards, I encourage you to find your own way of looking inward. Inside yourself is where that tangle of emotions lies and it’s helpful to take a breather and begin to undo those knots and understand what is and is not working for you right now. Let me know how you self-analyze down in the comments below!

My New Findings on the Intricacies of Cats

My roommate recently received a kitten. Here are some new things I have learned about cats.

A few weeks ago my roommates and I welcomed a new addition to our household: Sid Vicious the kitten. I admit there is a special place in my heart for cats. This is a love that began when I was born after I came home to a house belonging to two cats. When I have lost cats in my life then very soon a new one would show up, so I’m pretty much hooked on cats. You can imagine my surprise when I am still learning about new behaviors and attitudes that cats possess. Soon after owning a pet you realize that each animal has their own personality and mannerisms. My first cats, Boppy and Noodle, were pretty lethargic and loving. Luke and Leia-nardo (we found out she was a he after we named him) were independent and adventurous always exploring the forest in my Dad’s back yard; however, Leia-nardo acted more distant. Kit-tea is sneaky and thinks he’s the king of the castle. Like I said, I’m not a rookie when it comes to owning cats.

Even so, I find myself asking friends and searching online when I’m confronted with yet another cat behavior I’m not familiar with. Little Sid is about three months old. Already he’s made new noises and acted in funny ways. I’ve heard cats make all sorts of weird noises before, like the classic meow, purr, trill, and that territorial hissing/yowl that sounds like the cat is dying. Sid has been making small clicking sounds from the back of his throat that I can only compare to a baby velociraptor. Scouring the inter-web I learned that this clicking happens when the cat is either very excited about prey or frustrated that it is unattainable. It happens pretty often too, but this could be happening because he’s a kitten.

Another behavior that has been quite frequent is the chewing of mostly plastic, paper, and cardboard. His favorite toy right now is a small green bucket that he likes to chew and roll around in. In the past my cats have been more interested in soft materials, so I found this to be very different. My research came up with kitten teething! Sid Vicious is right in the middle of the time that kitten teeth, and that means he loves to chew on things he can really sink his teeth into. He won’t get all of his permanent teeth in until he’s about six months old. Perhaps this is Cat 101 and I’m only noticing all of this because he’s the first kitten I’ve been around most of the day. Can we be real though? This darn kitten loves being picked up in the bucket. What kind of cat does that? I love having animals around precisely because it’s so fun. What do your animals do that strange? Let me know in the comments!

-Sabrina (iwouldliketonerd)

What I Want to See From Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release is fast approaching. Here’s what I want to see.

For those of you who know and love Mass Effect, you probably already know that Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to come out Spring 2017. Many speculate that the newest installment of the series will be released on March 23 because that is the date the Mass Effect: Andromeda book is set to be sold. Mass Effect: Andromeda is set in a future where humans and aliens have already been introduced. The game involves your character being cryogenically frozen and sent to find a new home in a different galaxy, Andromeda. I am a huge fan of Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and I have played both series many times over. I’ll admit right from the start that I am biased. This post isn’t about whether or not the game will be good because I believe it will be, but it is about what I want to see from this game.

BioWare’s most recent game, Dragon Age Inquisition, used the new Frostbite 3 engine, which will be used again for Andromeda. That means beautiful graphics and dynamic worlds. Of course, the conversation wheel will be utilized again. The newest gameplay trailer shows the return of trigger actions during certain conversations; however, the game will be moving away from the paragon and renegade designation. I’m hoping that the decisions the player makes really effects the outcome of the game more so than it did in the rest of the series. The trailer speaks of being able to make enemies and allies when exploring planets in the Andromeda galaxy, and I’d like these choices to come into play in a big way throughout the game. Biotics are another aspect of the game that I’m really looking forward to. Basically, some people have the ability to use force-like powers due to nodules implanted in them that contain element zero (a resource in the game). Gameplay shows a biotic shield, which I’m stoked about. I’d like the overall gameplay to continue to improve and since I’m a horrible shot some aiming help from the game is appreciated. Jetpacks have also been placed in Andromeda, so hopefully that means the world environment has some deviation from walking or driving everywhere.

By the time the game is released I’d like to hear a bit more about the actual plot of the game other than exploring. BioWare has said that they want to move away from Captain Shepard’s storyline and that might include the reapers as well. I want a new story that has nothing to do with the reapers, but many people suspect that we might meet the group that built the reapers. It’s an interesting idea, but it would be insane if that group had survived over the unfathomable amount of years the reapers seem to have been around. No, I believe this fourth installment will bring about a fresh story and a whole new set of villains.

What do you guys want to see in Mass Effect: Andromeda? Leave a comment below.

-Sabrina (iwouldliketonerd)

 

Thinking About Playing D&D?

I started a Dungeons and Dragons group with friends and this is what I learned.

Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 1974 and usually brings with it the idea of solitary nerds playing in their mother’s basement. During this past year a group of my friends and I decided to get together and try it out. What baffled me was the game had no board. After the Dungeon Master (the person who creates the campaign and upholds the rules) tells you of your surroundings then it’s up to you. Declare what you’d like to do then a roll of the dice will decide whether or not it works. It’s not very difficult to start playing, but it helps to have someone in your group who knows what they’re doing. The most surprising part is you can do anything you want. Thinking about creating a school for magic users? Go for it. Is your character not strong enough to take on a giant? Coerce the giant into thinking you’re it’s long lost cousin, Vinny. Did you come across a village that needs help? You could just walk away and do nothing for them. You get to play how you want.

D&D may be a game for nerds, but is that such a bad thing? You can use your creativity to develop worlds and characters while making memories with friends. Enjoy playing strategy games? Love to role-play? Dungeons and Dragons has many different aspects that cater to varying types of people. Personally, I love coming up with backgrounds for all of my characters and painting objects for the battle map. Plus each group can tailor the game to fit how they want to play. My group is focused on fighting, but we’re beginning to throw in more story. My current character is a male mountain dwarf named Pyso Alnoch. Each race has unique characteristics and advantages, for example dwarves are resistant to poison. The Dungeon Master has decided that we can use Pathfinder to create parts of our characters, so Pyso is a Lore Oracle instead of one of the 5th edition classes, like sorcerer or fighter. Critical Role and other D&D groups online are a good source to see what a game looks like. If none of your friends want to start a game with you then search out your local board game store to find a group.

All in all D&D has been an amazing experience for me. It allows for friendship, creativity, and strategy.

If you have any questions or want to let me know about your favorite D&D moment then feel free to comment or contact me.

-Sabrina (iwouldliketonerd)