I use tarot and oracle cards as a tool for self-inventory. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Patterns and Changes

From the Osho Zen Tarot, Change (Wheel of Fortune); from the A'HA Oracle, "Caduceus:"
In the cosmos, a wheel spins; the lightning bolts that crackle around the center represent change. But the Taoist symbol in the middle suggests these revolutions are what keep things in balance: the seasons, sunrise and sunset, the cycles of the moon, life and death. Padma's commentary in her companion book states that if I am alert, I will see patterns that repeat over and over in my life as this wheel turns. Are these habits beneficial or detrimental? If I am mindful and aware, I can discern which are not constructive and choose to change them.
The caduceus was a staff carried by Mercury/Hermes, the god of transitions and boundaries. He was a messenger of the gods and a guide of the dead. Here in North America, his staff is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius, and thus it is sometimes considered a symbol of healing. These two cards combined seem to imply a change in the way I communicate with people. If I want that modification to be a healing, healthy one, I will need to pay attention to how I listen and speak to others.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I Might Need a Shave...

This week I'll be using the Osho Zen Tarot, a deck and book set created by Deva Padma and published by St. Martins Press. I'll also be using the A'HA Oracle, created and self-published by Linnie Lambrechtsen. Linnie gave this deck to me as a part of her "pay it forward" philosophy, and it will always remind me of what loving-kindness in action looks like. Today's draws are the Three of Water (Cups) and the "Heart Urchin:"
These ladies are like a champagne bottle that's been uncorked. Their ebullience and joy can no longer be contained as they dance and laugh. The rain has no effect on their celebration; they splash in the puddles, unconcerned about their hair-dos and dresses. "Come join the party!" they shout at me. "You don't have to wait until everything in your life is perfect - revel in what is here in this present moment!"
Heart urchins are covered in flowing spines when they are alive and look much like hairy potatoes. The spines fall away when they die, leaving behind a fragile skeleton with a petal design. I am reminded by this unusual creature that there are appropriate people with whom I can shed the shield that covers and protects my heart. And when I do, I will be free to share a jubilant life without suffocating boundaries.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Rest Rather than React

From the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, the Moon; from the Heart of Faerie Oracle, the "Blessing:"
Down on all fours with antlers sprouting from her head, this fairy has morphed into her untamed animal side. She's in survival mode, so she's relying purely on instincts to guide her. This place in her head feels one step shy of insanity. Nothing is clear, yet the emotional surge she's feeling makes everything seem dangerously important. The compass-like symbol she's drawn in the earth to get her bearings only makes her swirling thoughts more confusing. She needs a safe haven to wait out the dark night, a quiet corner where she can rest instead of react.
The Blessing card is an encouragement to start the day with gratitude. Though there might be many things going on that are overwhelming and look dire, there are small shafts of light shining in the cracks. Focusing on what is right rather than all that is wrong will be more conducive to producing solutions.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Offering Up a Slice of Pie

From the Tarot of Hidden Realm, the Ace of Cups; from the Heart of Faerie Oracle, the "Queen of the Day:"
The otter is for me the perfect choice for the Ace of Cups - a fur-wrapped embodiment of joy. Though these animals must find food and safety, mate and raise children, they still make it all appear as merry playfulness. "Life is too wonderful and delicious not to appreciate," they tell me. "Love is about finding the beauty and delight in everything and everyone around you." The interesting thing about the Ace of Cups is that the more it is shared, the bigger it becomes. The slices of pie don't become smaller for each person, the pie just gets larger.
The Frouds describe this fairy as the queen of blessings, breathing her grace on all who cross her path. Yesterday a friend and I were discussing the Golden Botticelli's Eight of Cups card. Instead of the traditional version of walking away from the cups, there is a priest blessing the cups. Rather than cursing those who've wreaked havoc or caused harm, he asks that grace be given to them. Lately, I've had a few of those kind of people in my life, and I'm reminded by this queen to bless them. I prefer to use a loving-kindness meditation as I picture them in my mind:
May you be filled with loving-kindness;
May you be well;
May you be peaceful and at ease;
May you be happy.
When I feel resistance to offering this cup, I'll try to remember blessing them will only make my cup grow rather than shrink.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jabbing Myself

From the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, the Three of Swords; from the Heart of Faerie Oracle, the "Heartless Love:"
The Swords card shows a woman somewhere other than the present. She is so unaware of what is going on around her, she has no idea the thorns on the rose stems are making her hand bleed. Many times I have replayed the actions and words of someone who hurt me over and over in my head. I've told and retold my story of anguish to anyone who would listen. And my heart never healed, it only relived the pain. While I don't believe I'm responsible for another person's behavior, I am responsible for my reactions to it. Yes, there does need to be a time for grief, but at some point I need to step out of the past and back into the present.
The Frouds point out that while fairies may be fascinated by humans, they don't have the same kind of emotional connection as can develop between humans. I've been in friendships and had lovers who were looking for fun and excitement, but who could care less about commitment and loyalty. These people either were incapable of long-term relationships or just didn't want to deal with any bumps and potholes that came with such bonds. Both these cards point out (in not so subtle ways) that having false expectations about other people can lead to heartache. And if I want the pain to stop, I'm going to have to be the one to change. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Full Attention

From the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, the Ten of Pentacles; from the Heart of Faerie Oracle, the "Juggler:"
This older fellow looks quite happy and content sitting among the standing stones. These stones are a symbol of the stability and security he has built for his family over the years. The companion book suggests these are also grave markers of his ancestors, implying that we inherit much more than tangible items from our kin. I will always be indebted to my Great-grandfather Sutherland, who felt it was important to work hard with your mind (learning) as well as your hands. One of the few treasures he felt necessary to bring with him to the U.S. was his small book collection (what I would give to know what happened to it!). I am encouraged to be grateful for what I've received but also mindful of the legacy I will leave behind.
The Juggler looks like he has little seeds popping off his head. The Frouds explain them as being "unfinished thoughts." He attempts to multitask, and though he may look successful, he leaves much undone. If I'm going to be a good steward of what I have, then I must set priorities. I need to narrow my focus and give my full attention to the issue or task at hand. Otherwise I can expend a lot of energy without accomplishing much. It would be a shame to lose what has been so carefully cultivated.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Don't Fish for Worries

From the Tarot of Hidden Realm, Temperance; from the Heart of Faery Oracle, the "Lady of the Forest:"
Usually when I draw my cards in the morning, I pause and think, "What is the most important thing for me to attend to today?" But after a drama-filled week and an emotional drenching last night, I just had one thought, "Help." It wasn't too surprising that I got Temperance; her two cups are full of symbolism for me. One represents all the good things I wish for those that I love and care about. The other represents all those painful, overwhelming situations I would prefer they would never have to deal with. But this fairy shows me quite plainly that life is a mix of the good and the bad - no one gets one cup without the other. Yet even as the water rushes by, advice is implied by her firmly planted feet on the stones. Stay grounded in what is real, deal with what is happening now, and don't fish for worries in the future.
The Lady of the Forest represents the Feminine; she doesn't run from emotions, she embraces them. She suggests that I stop using up all my energy to try to make things disappear that I don't want to deal with. Instead, in that quiet, still place of acceptance, I may find an intuitive answer in dealing with what is.