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, March 29, 2015

Not a Waste of Time

This week I'll be using the Shadowscapes book and deck set published by Llewellyn. The artwork is done by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and the book is written by Barbara Moore. I'll also be drawing from a set of Cedar Runes made by AlaskaLaserMaid; The Serpent and the Eagle by Chris Travers will serve as an accompanying text. Today's draws are the Page of Pentacles and "Nauthiz:"
          My first glance at this Page landed on the owl and missed the dragon that winds around the rock on which she rests. Moore suggests the sleeping dragon represents an opportunity for growth. But before she takes flight, studies and skills are required. Knowledge should be distilled and techniques honed to successfully care for the huge beast. This meaning connected nicely with the rune Nauthiz, which is often translated as necessity or restriction. Travers' translation of the Old English Rune Poem reads:
Need is constricting on the chest
although for the children of men it often becomes
a help and salvation nevertheless
if they heed it in time.
I've yet to do my sketch prompt (Interior) for tomorrow, and I need to read and make notes for my portion of the discussion at book club on Wednesday. Part of me feels the constriction that comes when I make time for these things. Yet as soon as I sit down to study or draw, it is as though I'm sitting in meditation - a salvation indeed!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sail on Down the Line

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, the Eight of Cups; from the Celtic Lenormand, the Burial Mound (Coffin):
          I've been in the same boat with this Navigator, leaving behind friends, family or groups. In some cases, the emotional fulfillment I thought I'd find turned out to be a disappointment. With other folks, dishonesty, abuse or constant manipulation was a factor. The dark, emptiness of the burial mound suggests I take time to meditate on this ending before I release it. What part did I play in supporting this unhappy alliance? Was I expecting this group or person to give me something that was my responsibility to find? Did I miss (or ignore) red flags of warning because I wanted to ease my need to belong? I don't need to sail right back into the same emotional entanglements I left.

Friday, March 27, 2015

No Nouns, Only Verbs

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, Strength; from the Celtic Lenormand, "Cross:"
          Seeing this fearless woman surrounded by beasts, I half expected to hear the opening theme song from She-ra, Princess of Power. But her animals represent what she has tamed inside herself: the lion is the fierce, impatient rage that lashes out, the snake is the passive-aggressive anger that can slither in and constrict relationships, and the wolf is the hidden motives fueled by resentments. The booklet speaks of "resolving issues within your own personality," which makes me notice the people standing in the background with holes in their centers. At the base of all that emptiness (and the beasts that try to fill it) is fear.
          For me, the Cross symbolizes sacrifice and the spiritual principles or faith by which one chooses to live. My ego tells me to take everything other people do or say personally, but the compassion and kindness of Strength reminds me to do otherwise. I don't need to sacrifice my sense of self-worth, but my self-centered ego. Which then leads me to focus on the standards by which I live my life. But what if there were no nouns to describe any religions or philosophies? What if all I had to rely only on were verbs? The only way people would know I believed a certain way or held certain ethical principles would be for me to live that way.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Stuck in the Muck

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, the Five of Pentacles; from the Celtic Lenormand, the "Key:"
          The NMS card made me think of those wind boxes in which a contestant tries to grab money that's blowing around. But here the fellow has handicapped himself - one foot is stuck in the muck and the other resolutely holds a whip. He might want more time, energy and money as well as better health, but he's working against himself. The Key card shows up to impress upon me that there is something within that I need to unlock and take a look at. How are my assumptions and projections keeping me from seeing clearly? If I only think the correct outcome should look a certain way, then I may miss an opportunity right under my nose. Am I blaming someone for my troubles or whipping myself over past mistakes? Either way, I won't be able to find a solution until I let go of those ideas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One Day At a Time

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, the Ten of Swords; from the Celtic Lenormand, "Fish:"
A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. ~ Steven Wright
          I love this quote included in Ricklef's Pithy Tarot for the Ten of Swords. The image of the card reminds me of the phrase "fall on one's own sword," meaning to accept responsibility for a bad situation. The situation here isn't external but internal. My thoughts are like the Chariot without a driver - dragged wherever my emotions, obsessions and exhaustion take them. Which is not towards reality, but far away from it. Yesterday went reasonably well, with only a few snags and bumps. However this morning I feel like I've had a beat down, sore from head to toe. I know it is from the tension of managing and micromanaging all the players and props in my mother-in-law's 24 hour care. My mind is projecting months into the future, wondering how we can keep this up. Yet the Fish card shows up to remind me to go with the flow. I can't imagine those salmon compulsively checking the NOAA's updates on tides and currents. They just swim towards their goal, and meet challenges as they come. I would be wise to follow their example and take each day as it comes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Poetry in Motion

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, the Three of Pentacles; from the Celtic Lenormand, the Rider (Bard):
          These two cards couldn't be more perfect, since today is D-Day (my mother-in-law is being discharged from the hospital). We spent yesterday with the therapist, who showed us what she could do, couldn't do, and could do with assistance (including how to safely get her in and out of a car). The hospital equipment folks arrived and set up things at her house. We've got a plan in place, though we know it needs to be flexible and have a back-up just in case. The last thing I said to my sister-in-law last night was that I would be their "Go-girl" today. While she and my husband will be waiting to sign papers and jump through hoops at the hospital, I'll be on call for taking care of last minute details. We'll be communicating closely to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. My first two tasks this morning will be to find a wheelchair cushion and buy some groceries. Once I deliver them, I'll be waiting for any other requests or instructions. The sun is up and it's time to hop on my horse (or rather in my Honda). The bard's harp makes me hope for poetry in motion, as we move through the day.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dancing in the Moonlight

From the Navigators of the Mystic Sea Tarot, the Empress; from the Celtic Lenormand, "Holly Tree:"
          The subtitle given the Empress is "Conception." When I looked up this word, I came across this quote by Henry Adams: "Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit." Now for someone like me, who thrives on logic and structure, this quote sounds ridiculous. But then I considered when I have had my most creative ideas or come up with my best solutions. It has always been as I was puttering around, having fun or about to fall asleep - basically, when I wasn't intentionally thinking about something. The figures dancing in the moonlight are a reminder that sometimes the best answer is to quit trying so hard to find one.
          The Celtic Lenormand has two trees: an oak in summer and a holly in winter. While both have to do with health, growth and groundedness, the seasonal extreme gives an extra bit of meaning for me. The winters of life can feel harsh and daunting, as if things won't ever change. Yet the holly with its evergreen leaves and bright berries show that life can still flourish in the hardest of times. The Empress creates no matter what the season; though seeds might be resting underground, they will eventually sprout. I need to be flexible enough to realize Nature's timetable is fluid, not fixed. Until then, I can dance.