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."

Thursday, November 27, 2014

After the Storm

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Eight of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols, "Leo 16:"
       Not too long ago, I had a thread of truth that I began to weave a story around. The details I added weren't based on evidence or fact, but on assumptions and projections. Eventually I found myself right where this woman is - feeling overwhelmed and helpless with no available choices. I imagine the swords above her head are woven into a similar story. Yet if she can remove those ideas that are based on supposition rather than reality, she will find the one bit of information that is concrete. And both of us can use the sword of truth to make some decisions that will give us direction and purpose.
       Leo 16's visual states: Brilliant sunshine just after a storm. Storms are a perfect symbol for an emotional crisis; after the trouble passes there is relief. Even though there may be limbs and debris to clean up, there is hope because we made it through it. But if I want to get off this emotional merry-go-round (with swords hanging over my head), I need to do something different. Those in between times of peace and sanity can be used to decipher how things got this way by looking carefully at my patterns of thinking and behavior.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Praise for Brother Sun

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Sun; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aries 22:"
       After several continuous days of gray skies and rain,  I'm beginning to feel like I'm living underneath a pile of damp leaf litter. What a coincidence to hear the weatherman predict the sun will come out again today. I feel like throwing up my hands and singing praises like these two folks in the image. It's hard not to feel joyful when you draw the Sun; it represents energy, clarity, warmth and happiness. A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but a spoonful of gratitude and some sunshine can pull me out of the mulligrubs.
       The visual for Aries 22 is: The gate opens to the garden of all fulfilled desires. Wow, now this phrase sounds like winning the lottery for life. But there's a bit of a catch - the gate is open, but I still must walk through it. Should I try to sneak in? Will I be trespassing? Anyone who's ever been in an emotionally or physically abusive situation will understand this line of reasoning. We might see something good, but we expect to have it snatched away if we reach for it. Even if we're enjoying something, there's a part of us that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. But the irony is that life is full of change and marked by impermanence for everyone. So what if I only get to drink the nectar for a few days or even minutes? That moment in the sun can keep me warm until the next opportunity arises. I'll take what I can get and appreciate it while I can.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Restring the Bow

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the King of Staves; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aquarius 7:"
       In Jackson's version of the King of Staves, this ruler holds an arrow rather than a wand or staff. When I see an arrow, I automatically think of a target. Point, aim then shoot. If I miss the bulls-eye, this king would tell me not to give up. I should check my stance, adjust the tension on the bowstring, then focus and shoot again. He would agree with Edison's philosophy: not hitting the mark just means learning what won't work, it's not failure. The King of Staves encourages me to keep stringing my bow until I figure out what does.
       The visual assigned to Aquarius 7 reads: A child born out of an eggshell. The idea behind it is to do things in an unexpected, innovative way. "Tried and true" traditions won't be successful; this is going to require something unusual. I got up this morning feeling very frustrated, because some problems I've been trying to solve have not been helped by the solutions I attempted. Looks like I need to start cracking open some eggs from a brand new carton.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do I Get a Prize?

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Empress; from the Sabian Symbols, "Leo 4:"
       Whatever the Empress creates, nurtures and sustains is done out of love. Logic doesn't inspire her, but beauty, bounty and harmony does. I wasn't too surprised to draw her card today as Thanksgiving makes its approach. Soon I'll be dusting off my Betty Crocker hat (and it has collected a lot of dust), and cooking my contribution for the feast. Does it make rational sense to drive to another city just to sit down and have lunch with relatives? The Empress would tell me to think with my heart and not my head before I answer that.
       The visual for Leo 4 is: A man formally dressed stands near trophies he brought back from a hunting expedition. Okay, I admit it. I'm not fond of stuffed animal heads or hunting for reasons other than food. I chose to use a wildlife photographer for this Sabian Symbol instead. There is something inherent in humans that makes us want to show others what we've accomplished. Even young children are frequently heard to say, "Look at me, look at me!" Now I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud of something you've done well, but we don't always receive those accolades we're looking for from others. The Empress would tell me to love what I've created for its own sake rather than look for any rewards from the people around me.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Helpful or a Hindrance

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the King of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aries 8:"
       Unlike the Emperor, the King of Swords is not full of fatherly compassion. And unlike Justice, you can bring all the character witnesses you like before him, but the results of your actions are all he cares about (your intentions are meaningless to him). Those fires burning on either side of this king make sure no watery emotions will influence his rule. His primary purpose is to protect his kingdom as a whole; the individuals are only important in the way they help maintain it.
       The visual associated with Aries 8 is: A woman's hat with streamers blown by the east wind. For me, air represents ideas, and the direction east symbolizes new beginnings. Have you ever had a good idea about a project or a solution to a problem, but when you began to implement it, you got bombarded by more ideas? Before long you are almost paralyzed by all the possibilities before you. Think of a strong breeze blowing a kite that has broken its string versus the tassels fluttering on this woman's knit cap. Which will be blown hither and thither, and which will stay attached and grounded? The King of Swords would tell me that all those good ideas I have aren't really good if they're not beneficial. If they don't help what I'm focused on to thrive and grow, they're just a hindrance.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Good-looking Goat

This week I'll be using the Nigel Jackson Tarot, created by Jackson and published by Llewellyn. I'll also be exploring the Sabian Symbols with the help of Lynda Hill's book 360 Degrees of Wisdom, published by Plume. I've got a 30 sided die and an astrological die that I'll be rolling to choose the symbol. Today's draw and roll are the Devil and "Cancer 21:"
       I don't think it was by accident that the Devil comes after Temperance in the order of tarot cards. What makes us move off the middle path and choose an extreme at one end of the spectrum? Overwhelming anxiety, boxed-up grief, angry frustration or smug arrogance can blind us to other avenues or perspectives. The two disciples in this image have no faces, suggesting they've lost their souls, but not in a biblical sort of way. They have abdicated their free will over to something or someone else. Yet that easier way does not have their best interests at heart. What seemed like a softer way out will eventually become an even heavier burden.
       The visual associated with Cancer 21 is: A prima donna singing. As used in opera, prima donna ("first lady" in Italian) was the lead female singer. I was treated by a friend to my first opera experience last year, and I was stunned by the vocal power and magnetism of the singers. This Sabian Symbol implies that I need to speak up and be heard. I should not allow my needs or obligations to be drowned out by other people, situations or a victim mentality. Otherwise, I might find that old goat is beginning to look mighty alluring.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grow a Neck

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Two of Discs; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Human Canon:"
       Check out that floating head; it may become one of the objects she's juggling if she doesn't reattach it soon. Next week begins the official holiday season. Even if shopping is limited, most people will be preparing meals, getting ready to entertain, or traveling. There are lots of balls to keep in the air this time of year. Yet am I doing these things mindfully? If I am disconnected from my body, I am sure I won't heed its warnings to slow down to the speed of sanity. Those aches and pains I experience during my busyness aren't obstacles to overcome; they're speed bumps to remind me to practice some self-care.
       The Human Canon is illustrated by an image similar to Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. Greer uses this card to emphasize that sacred proportion is not just found in buildings and paintings, but in nature - including the human body. He writes this card is "a reminder that you are the most powerful force shaping the universe of your own experience..." The disconnection of the Two of Discs can make me feel like I am just part of an industrial assembly line with no choices available. But that isn't true, even if it feels that way. I can choose what is necessary and important and put on the back burner things that aren't. The world won't stop turning if I put some of those balls down.