I use tarot and oracle cards as a tool 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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let Down Your Load

This week I'll be using the Wheel of Change Tarot, a deck and book set created by Alexandra Genetti and published by Inner Traditions. The second deck I'll be drawing from is the Oracle of the Dreamtime, a compilation of Australian Aboriginal art and Dreamings by Donni Hakanson; this deck and book set was published by Journey Editions. Today's cards are the Queen of Cups and "Rainbow Serpent:"
          Genetti describes this Inuit queen as a woman "certain of her emotional strength and solid in her love." Like the ice, she is supportive; like the water, she nurtures all those she touches. I'm sure that bowl she holds has fed many people, but I do hope she remembers to feed herself as well. It's impossible to sustain others emotionally if you aren't nourishing yourself.
          The Rainbow Serpent is an ancestral deity in Aboriginal culture. It was said to have awakened from the earth, then set about creating lakes, rivers and oceans. Once water was available, the plants, animals and mankind could survive. The Rainbow Serpent's message is to focus on one's source of strength in the midst of change and movement. I would add that as an "emotional mule" who carries both the burdens and joys of her people, the Queen needs to have a conscious connection to her source of strength. People who carry such heavy loads need to be able to rest them occasionally.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hope Floats

From the Fey Tarot, the Nine of Pentacles; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Hope:"
          Now I've heard that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but what does a bird on the head mean?  I'm guessing it means her prudence and hard work have paid off, judging by that huge, golden coin hanging over her head. The fey looks happy yet expectant, which leads into the next card, Hope. One of the first things I noticed in this card is the anchor on the bank. There's no need to go sailing the seven seas looking for anything, because it's already been found. But there seems to be a Part 2 coming, something not yet in hand. The fishing woman with her cork bobbing in the water suggests waiting patiently. Staying focused while allowing things to play out on their own timetable is crucial.
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.
― Tom Bodett

Friday, August 28, 2015

Just the Weather

From the Fey Tarot, the Sun; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Fortune:"
You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.
~ Pema Chödrön
          I love this version of the Sun; I can almost feel the sun's warmth on the fey's face and chest. The open sky and field remind me of just how spacious my mind and heart can be, if I let go of my labels and categories as well as my assumptions and opinions. There is a vast and limitless place I can experience that is calm and gentle - no matter what kind of "weather" is going on around me. Here I don't feel trapped by my own or other's expectations, and there's no need for emotional reactions. I can instead respond from a place of peace. And look who is watching over the fey - Lady Fortune. She seems to be appreciating his joy as much as he is. I'm sure she's not going to lounge around under that shady tree forever; eventually she'll move that wheel and his blue sky will darken as an impending storm rolls in. But all he has to do is find that field within, relax there and be patient until it passes. 
The absence of grasping and fixation is like flying in an airplane. When we rise above the clouds, we begin to realize that upstairs there is a blue sky all the time. We realize that the sun is always shining, even when it is cloudy and rainy down below. There is blue sky all the time, and that blue sky is free from clouds.
 Chögyam Trungpa

Thursday, August 27, 2015

That Rare Coin

From the Fey Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Money:"
          Look at the intense focus of this fey on what she's creating. You don't often see that kind of concentration unless someone is checking their iphone. Oblivious to the paint on her body and clothes, she's completely in the creative "zone." When I get in that mindset where I've lost all track of time and the only thing I'm aware of is what I'm doing, I know I've found something that I enjoy. It may be a hobby, a job or some type of service work. The Money card represents more than just gold coins, it also implies gain of any kind. Doing what I love provides me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, even if it doesn't top off my bank account.
 We are the custodians of life's meaning. ~ Carl Sagan

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Different Perspective

From the Fey Tarot, the Wheel of Fortune; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Doctor:"
          Two fey women play with animal figures among a spiral made of blocks. The younger one concentrates more on the inner core of the spiral, while the older woman stays on the outer rim. The use of a spiral instead of a circle suggests that as we follow the course of life, we can learn through our mistakes and successes. Coming back full circle seems more like repeating the same pattern over and over again. But on the spiral, even though it too cycles around, its arc is further out. This use of this figure implies having a different perspective (created from a wider experience) than the first time around.
          The Doctor in Sibilla decks represents a professional. When we run into a brick wall and have no answers, we want a problem solver or person whose knowledge is more complete than our own. Paired with the Wheel above, I can see how the older woman could help the younger through the wisdom of her maturity. I know I have wasted time and energy doggedly trying to work something out for myself. Pride stubbornly kept me from taking advantage of one of the greatest resources I have available - the insights of others.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weighing Feathers

From the Fey Tarot, Justice; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Servant:"
          Justice may be blind, but she's still got a method for weighing that feather to determine guilt or innocence. Instead of scales, she taps into her intuition. Her sword of truth isn't based only on cold, hard facts, because she's willing  to consider all extenuating circumstances before making a decision. I can easily forget that justice is about setting things right, not merely doling out consequences. Fear or anger can make me more concerned with punishment than restoring balance. However the Servant suggests something entirely different. Rather than demanding a pound of flesh, I could make an offering. Oh, I can just feel my ego bowing up with that idea. Yet when ego is out of the equation, things have a chance to change for the better. Fred Rogers (formerly of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) one related: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'." Sounds like that kind of role would be a great way to be a part of a solution instead of part of the problem.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Purple Kool-aid Dragons

From the Fey Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Married Woman:"
          Whoa, what kind of drug did someone put in this fellow's drink? He's hallucinating a purple kool-aid dragon; the beast has appeared like Aladdin's genie from the lamp. What will the fey ask for? The dragon gives him a warning before he responds: "Remember who you are" (spoken in a James Earl Jones voice, of course). Who the fey thinks he is will invariably influence what he thinks will fulfill him. With the Married Woman card showing up right behind the Seven of Cups, I am prompted to consider how I would reply. Am I just a wife, mother and daughter? Should I view myself through my spiritual affiliation, economic class, skin color or country in which I live? I believe it is much deeper than any of those simple explanations. I am a small part of a much larger whole, something beyond limits and boundaries. If I choose my cup from that open, spacious place, I think it will make both me and the dragon happy (even after the drugs wear off).