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."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tend the Fire

From the Transformational Tarot, the King of Wands; from the Celtic Book of the Dead, the "Dragon Stone:"
 The King of Wands is just as adventurous as the Page, passionate as the Knight, and enthusiastic as the Queen, but he has one more added trait - perseverance. He has a reputation for being a "Closer," one who finishes what he starts. The tarot card shows a man performing a ritual in front of a large fire, and I think of all the times I have started a project or made a goal with such fiery eagerness. But either life would interfere with other obligations, or I would lose my interest and put things aside (where they would inevitably gather dust). Yet this King reminds me some things are worth the extra effort, and I should nurture the passion that keeps me moving toward my objective.
The Dragon Stone represents a gift that empowers, a stubborn strength that overpowers any challenges. Its invincible quality symbolizes the courage that comes from convictions. Now I know something about being tenaciously stubborn <grin>, so here is my chance to use it for something worthwhile.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Future's so Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

From the Tranformational Tarot, Alchemy (Temperance); from the Celtic Book of the Dead, "Island of the Cats:"
Alchemy is more than just blending, it is taking two elements and making a third that is totally different from the first. This woman mixes water with earth, but more than mud will be produced. She appears to be shedding a snakeskin, further emphasizing this transformation. All around her flowers grow that need both water and earth, not just one or the other. Perhaps these blooms symbolize the beauty that can be created with receptive compromise instead of "all or nothing" demands.
In the Celtic Book of the Dead, the voyagers came upon the Island of the Cats when they were exhausted and starving. Inside a fortress there, the men found a feast laid out on a table and a cat leaping about. Maelduin, the leader, asked the cat if the feast was for them and intuited that it was, so the men ate heartily. There was also great treasure all around, and one of the men secretly slipped a necklace in his pocket (though warned by Maelduin not to take anything). As they were leaving, the cat jumped through the thief, turning him to ash. This tale emphasizes the obligation of hospitality to others, but underscores the duty of those visiting not to take advantage of what has been offered. Adding this card to Temperance/Alchemy, I am reminded that such an accord doesn't mean the scales are weighted in another person's favor. The Middle Path is not a sneaky way for one person to fleece the other; it should bring harmony, not create more distrust.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Swinging and Singing

This week I'll be using the Transformational Tarot created by Arnell Ando and published by U.S. Games. The oracle I'll be using with it is the Celtic Book of the Dead, created by Caitlin Matthews, illustrated by Danuta Mayer and published by Edison-Sadd. Today's draws are Karma (Wheel of Fortune) and "Island of the Singing Birds:"
An ancient sundial is surrounded by a snake, a symbol of regeneration; a girl swings from the bottom, oblivious to the precarious laws of change. I suppose growing older allows us to objectively witness cycles and patterns, and hopefully we will realize that we're responsible for a lot of what happens to us. Sure, life deals out some stuff that we have no control over, but still a lot of it goes back to our actions (or nonaction) and words we have spoken. Clueless at the time, we often set the ball rolling for circumstances that will affect us later. Will we wake up and be accountable or keep mindlessly swinging?
The Island of Singing Birds is part of an immram, or mystical voyage. This island was not filled with the random, raucous calls of birds, but with birds singing in harmony as a chorus. There is an important message here that can only be heard by stopping and listening closely. It is quite likely a call to stop blaming life for what's on our plate and instead change our attitude or behavior.

Friday, August 29, 2014

From the Outside, It Looks Fine

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Eight of Cups; from Rory's Story Cubes, "Helmet/Crown:"
This particular Eight of Cups looks rather balanced, unlike the the RWS version that appears to have an open space in the stack. But the two wheels make this grouping of cups feel very insular, as if no one is allowed in or out. The cube below has two clocks on the sides and two arrows on the top; I get the feeling that something will change soon to upset this static situation. When that happens, disharmony will reign, and I imagine a scramble will ensue to rebuild the relationship structure (like an ant hill that gets stepped on).
The cubes represent a warrior role (Helmet) and a monarch role (Crown). Do either of these positions seem very egalitarian for a relationship? Respect, genuine compassion and kindness seem to be missing from this equation. I doubt there will be any lasting stability until they are factored in.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pin Cushion

From the Neuzeit Tarot, Ten of Swords; from Rory's Story Cubes, "Shield/Wand:"
Surrounded by a crowd of people, a carousel turns displaying decorated swords. But these swords are useless because they are made of paper. Still the people clamor over them because they look good. I am reminded of all the opinions (stated as facts) that the news and social media constantly have on exhibit. What a colossal waste of time that only produces fear and anger instead of practical solutions.
If I don't want to become a human pin cushion for the opinions of the media, I need to protect myself (the Shield cube). Limiting the time I spend watching the news or perusing the internet will help in this endeavor. Yet the Wand cube suggests I also create something. Instead of relying on the paranoia and hate-filled information being spewed all around, I can do my own research (look for facts) and be responsible for forming my own ideas.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Camp for Wayward Women

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Empress; from Rory's Story Cubes, "Treasure chest/Monkey:"
The Empress has an ouroboros draped around her shoulders like a shawl, emphasizing her unending creative role (easily seen as the personification of Mother Nature). Things may change - baby birds grow up to be adult eagles - but she moves with the seasons. Being at my mother's house for the past few days fits perfectly with this card. For several years now, my cousins and I have come from different cities to stay with my mom, leaving behind husbands, children and pets. Which brings me to the cubes chosen for today - the treasure of free time to "monkey around" and have fun. We take long walks, play hours of cards and games, eat when we want, and visit with each other. It's my idea of a near-perfect vacation, all thanks to ma mère.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

No Finger Wagging, Please

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Page of Cups; from Rory's Story Cubes, "Finger pointing/Fire:"
The Page of Cups, besides being known for his sensitive side, is also known as an intuitive person. In this image he appears to be scrying in a large cup, which to me is more in the realm of fortune-telling than tapping into intuition. I believe that preconceived notions and ideas can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. What I imagine beforehand will color how I perceive a person or situation. If I expect to have a horrible time with arrogant, opinionated people, that's probably what I'll find. Maybe that explains the cubes chosen for today - fires of passion that produce anger and blame. But the Tibetan dorje at the bottom of the Page card suggests a different approach. In Tibetan Buddhism, the bell (feminine) represents wisdom that leads to enlightenment, while the dorje (masculine) symbolizes compassionate action. In other words, I should make charitable assumptions instead of doing any finger wagging, especially before I have all the facts. But even then, compassion should be my guide.