I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Making Time

From the Norse Tarot, the Eight of Wands; from the Wolf Pack, 'Guidance:'
                One can almost hear the rhythmic call of "Pull! Pull!" as the oarsmen glide across the water. The Eight of Wands symbolizes speed and movement, and this boat represents both. Yet when things are in motion, it might be tempting to sit back and watch. However, if all the rowers decided to do that, the speed and direction would be lost. Guidance suggests asking or heeding the wisdom of someone who has more knowledge and experience than we do. There was a woman who was pulled over by a policeman because she was speeding. When asked where she was going in such a hurry, she replied, "I don't know, but I'm making damn good time!" Movement is good, but only if we're progressing in the right direction. Asking for help is better than doing something without a clue about what we're doing or where we're going.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Be Accountable

From the Norse Tarot, the Four of Discs (Pentacles); from the Wolf Pack, 'Be Alert:'
          This ship's captain oversees his men raising the mast and loading the goods on his ship that will be used in trade. It's not that he doesn't trust his men, but he knows that excitement (or being hung over from a night of partying) can make people miss important details. There will always be folks who lose money or other resources and point the finger of blame at another person they trusted. But the 'Be Alert' card suggests we watch others more carefully; people might seem friendly and eager, but their actions speak louder than their words. Some managers never leave the office, completely unaware of the quality of work the employees are doing until there's a problem. There are people who don't worry about writing down expenditures because they think they can keep bank balances in their heads. Others spend money on credit that they plan to make in the future. The bottom line is we must be accountable for our own resources. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Dual Nature

From the Norse Tarot, the Sun; from the Wolf Pack, 'Cycles:'

          In Norse mythology, Sol (the sun goddess) was swallowed during Ragnorok, an end-of-the-world battle. Eventually, a new world rose, and Sunna (the daughter of Sol) outshone even her mother. Around the Summer Solstice in areas north of the Arctic Circle, the sun remains visible at midnight (Norway is often called 'Land of the Midnight Sun'). The opposite phenomenon, the polar night, occurs during winter, when the sun stays below the horizon throughout the day. Norse mythology, like other folklore, reflects the dual nature of the world. The Cycles card parallels this idea, showing a wolf that has survived a harsh winter but now will find food plentiful in the spring. Whether energy and light or other resources, we can prudently use them while available. When they disappear, we don't need to wail and wallow; we survive as best we can, knowing the light will at some point return. 
The first time you feel that sort of pain, you think it's never going to go away. Once you do survive it, you realize you can survive anything. ~ Zoe Kravitz

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Strategy of Choice

From the Norse Tarot, the Two of Swords; from the Wolf Pack, 'Home:'

          Rather than a blindfolded woman trying to make an intuitive decision, Barrett's Two of Swords shows two men playing a strategic game. Here is logic at work - looking at the pros and cons of a situation and trying to imagine what a choice might look like several moves down the line. Past mistakes and successes might be considered, but a few risks might be needed. Emotional, opinionated or wishful thinking needs to be set aside to make room for more possibilities. 'Home' suggests that there is a place of security and belonging (though it may be more about who we're with than where). It can give us a slight advantage in feeling more confident, supported and safe, which is why sports teams must play part of their games at their competitor's field. For most, home (or any personal, sacred space) can allow us to relax and think things through.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Deep or Shallow?

This week I'll be using the Norse Tarot deck and book set, created by Clive Barrett and published by Aquarian Press. I'll also be using the Wolf Pack, created and self-published by Robert Petro. Today's draws are the Ace of Cups and 'Control:'
 Loving oneself is the foundation for loving another person.
Thich Nhat Hanh

          The Ace of Cups represents the joy and love we find through our connection with others. This beautifully designed chalice has a wide, hefty base to support the cup and its contents. Does its base imply we need to be able to love ourselves before we can love another? Clinical psychologist Leon F. Seltzer questions this logic, suggesting it affects not if we can love but how: "To deepen your love and acceptance of another, first develop love and acceptance for yourself." In other words, when we accept rather than hide our quirks and faults, we keep our heart fully open and thus deepen the intimacy of the relationship. The Control card brings to mind the 'near enemy' (a trait that looks like a virtue but is destructive) of loving-kindness - attachment. Attachment in this sense is possessive and based on fear and clinging. The 'loved' person is seen as something needed, and manipulation is almost always in play to control the relationship. An examination of our attachment will show a love that is constricted and conditional. Rather than a deep cup, it's as shallow as a saucer.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Confident or Cocky?

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Seven of Staves (Wands); from the Viking Lenormand, 'Bouquet:'
          Jackson states that this card deals with valor and a successful outcome because of our efforts. But looking at this fellow on the wall with the angry, violent mob below him, he appears to be bored. Is he confident or complacent? Since he is currently at the top of things, does he believe he is out of reach? News flash: someone in that crowd has a ladder. Jack Welch would advise him, "Change before you have to." The Lenormand Bouquet card suggests a gift, pleasure or appreciation. Those at the top of their profession - skaters, actors in a play, ballerinas, etc. - are often given or showered with flowers after a success. You can bet they didn't get there by being arrogant and unconcerned about their profession.
Where overconfidence can get you in trouble is when you aren’t realizing your fallibilities, your limitations, your need to improve. ~ Deborah Faltz

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Rawness of Reality

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, Judgment; from the Viking Lenormand, the 'Letter:'
          Jackson describes the Judgment card as "awakening into a new way of life." It parallels the Buddha, a title which means "one who is awake" in the sense of having woken up to reality. Part of this waking up is realizing the self we think so highly of is simply a mental construct; we are not separate or independent from others. We come to understand that pain and impermanence is a natural part of life, but suffering/dissatisfaction (craving for things to be a certain way) is optional. Awakening in Buddhism does not mean a blissful state but being able to be with the rawness of reality without freaking out or taking anything personally. When we awaken, we find what is hidden - our basic goodness (the natural wisdom and compassion of our mind). The Letter in Lenormand decks generally means some sort of communication or message. In speaking of awakening, it seems to fit with a quote from Ven. Master Hsing Yun: "Total and complete enlightenment is not attained easily. One must develop small moments of insight and understanding each day."