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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Focusing Fire

From the Spiral Tarot, the Ace of Wands; from the Sacred Journey Cards, Focus:
          This wand seems to be responding to the nearness of the hand in the sky. If it were actually touched, it would probably bloom into something like a red hot poker. I imagine we would be amazed if we could be aware of all the potential opportunities we have to do something. But because of various reasons and excuses, we often never strike that match. As Thomas Edison once said, "What it boils down to is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration." But once we do start that fire, we need the Focus found in the SJ card. I think a lot of creative or ambitious people have a feast or famine relationship with their muse. Once those ideas start coming, it's easy to have way too many irons in the fire and forget to keep the blaze going. The other caution that comes from this card is the kind of thoughts I entertain. If I'm in a low mood, my inner critic can keep me from accomplishing anything. But if I'm full of fire, I may not be willing to listen to any wisdom and guidance. Sometimes I need to observe from a detached point of view to see what is real and what isn't.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Expanding Spiral

From the Spiral Tarot, the Ten of Cups; from the Sacred Journey Cards, Flow:
          A water nymph guides ten cups from a large piece of pottery adorned with a double spiral. While the single spiral often symbolizes expansion, the double spiral generally means balance (and is sometimes used to represent the equinoxes or life and death). I can see how the double spiral might reflect the abundance of love (expansion) that is shared with others (balance). The booklet reads: "when you feel happy and full of love, others around you will benefit." Well those presently around me are probably feeling dry and thirsty; I have been in one of my dark holiday moods. Yet my yearly cycle through these feelings have made me aware that my unfulfilled expectations are the cause. I get hooked into thinking goodwill and generosity will abound this time of year, when it fact it nearly always does the opposite. The Flow card suggests I need to release my need to control the outcome of things and float along with how things are. That spiral begins with a single point that moves outward, and that point is me. Expanding my own compassion and kindness is all I need to focus on, not what I get back in return.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Avoid Shortcuts

From the Spiral Tarot, the Eight of Wands; from the Sacred Journey Cards, Integrity:
          The mighty wind is a blowin' and the staves are rising in the air. They seem to be following the flow of the river. There is a rush to do something that appears to be moving at top speed. However, their course implies going with the current rather than against it could make the ride less bumpy. It can be easy to lose one's inner compass when life gets rushed and things feel chaotic. The SJ card reminds me to hang on to my integrity, to act in a way that is honest and true to my values.
There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. ~ Beverly Sills

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Brain and Brawn

From the Spiral Tarot, the Nine of Wands; from the Sacred Journey Cards, Perseverance:
          This guy looks more like a ringmaster for a circus than a warrior making a last stand. It made me think of distracting the enemy, which is why I just spent half an hour reading about Patton's Ghost Army in WWII. It was a nice reminder that the brain can be as useful as brawn when defending oneself. The SJ card neatly underscores the necessity of fortitude and discipline when standing up for oneself. It helps to prepare in advance (the brainy part), yet it still comes down to the actual 'showing up and doing' part if one hopes to succeed.
We do have to use our minds as far as they will take us, yet acknowledge that they cannot take us all the way. ― Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, December 5, 2016

Speed of Sanity

From the Spiral Tarot, the Two of Pentacles; from the Sacred Journey Cards, Love:
          On one side of this jester, the lake is stirred up and a flower has wilted; on the other side, the lake is calm and and the flower fully open. There are times when life must be lived wide open, and there are times it moves at a snail's pace. But living at either extreme all the time will harm the body. Yesterday I was at Lowes with my husband, and he asked me not to walk so fast as we were shopping. I rush without thinking (even when there's no need). I get in a hurry to finish what I'm doing and move on to the next task. When someone slows me down I feel frustrated, which makes me want to go at an even faster pace. That kind of behavior is just what the Two of Pentacles warns against. I need to be just as mindful of how I spend my energy as I do my money. The Sacred Journey card reminds me what often gets sacrificed when I am moving at top speed. I can get irritated with anyone or anything I think is slowing me down and lose my compassion. But these speed bumps are a chance to pause and ask what I'm sacrificing in the name of a few extra minutes. Love reminds me that there is always time to be kind and patient, not only with others but also myself. I can make progress and move at the speed of sanity.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Workable Solutions

This week I'll be using the Spiral Tarot, a book and deck set created by Kay Steventon and published by U.S. Games. I'll also be drawing from the Sacred Journey Cards, a set created by Cheryl Thiele and published by Pomegranate. Today's draws are the Queen of Pentacles and Change:
          This Queen is known for being practical, resourceful and sensual. She feels her purpose is to be of service to others (whether offering comfort with a physical gift or teaching them how to use their resources). Yet the Queen realizes those who serve need time to recharge; she does it by relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. Her idea of comfort involves bare feet, the open sky and the lushness of the natural world around her. Change would seem to be something the Queen of Pentacles would be at ease with, because she is so tuned in to the ever-changing natural world. Yet being human, I imagine the closer that change is to her personal life, the more she might resist. For instance, what if the King told her he was passing a law that no one was allowed to go barefoot anymore? The booklet asks: what action can you take to release resistance to change? Being such a creative woman, I'm sure her answer would be to find a workable solution instead of wasting time fuming about the issue. She's probably the one who came up with the idea for flip-flops.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Clarifying Impermanence

From the Prisma Visions Tarot, Death; from the Secret Language of Color Cards, Yellow:
          As the skeletal hand around the rose implies, loss and change are inevitable. Yet humans continue to believe we are not a part of this natural cycle; we think it is abnormal when it happens to us. We cling tightly to what we like and want, to what brings us pleasure. Yet we open our hands to find only ashes anyway. And then our suffering is doubled: first because of the actual loss and secondly because we refuse to accept it. Yellow has been given the keyword 'purification' - a way to remove any elements that debase or contaminate something. Age tends to increase one's losses - the physical decline of the body, the deaths of family members (furry and human) as well as the wear and tear of material things. But if my memories are focused only on how this loss affects me (clinging to what was), I have no space left to celebrate what has been, what is and is to come. I've polluted the gift with my self-centeredness. Impermanence can bring a sharp clarity; we don't really own anything, we just have a chance to appreciate it while it's here.