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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Depths and Do-overs

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Seer (Page) of Cups:
I was pleasantly surprised to see the creators, O'Leary and Godino, dedicated this card to Pamela Colman Smith.  This Page is intuitive and emotionally sensitive; she might not be as intellectual as someone from the swords suit or a go-getter like those in the wands clan, but she knows how to connect on a deep level with others.  For me to connect my head with my heart often takes more than just reading words on a page.  Colman tapped into this ability through her artwork and storytelling.  Nate Summers, of WildernessAwareness.org, wrote in a recent newsletter: "If information is delivered in the form of a story, we tend to retain 70 percent of the information shared. If the information is just presented as statistics or dry facts, we only retain 10 percent of what is shared." Today's message encourages me to go beyond the surface of intellect to find the heart of wisdom.

From the Mystic Glyphs comes the card "Morning:"
Anyone who has ever spent time with a young child knows about the "do-over" when playing a game (especially when not playing well).  This morning is my do-over after a night with a migraine.  What a relief to realize the pain is gone.  Not only that, but after a long spell with no rain and hot, dry days, we finally had a good shower last night.  As the tarot card above reminds me to look below the surface, I see this as a new start.  If I don't like how my life is going, now is my chance to do something different.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reaching Out with No Agenda

For the new week, I'll be using the World Spirit Tarot, illustrated by Lauren O'Leary with text by O'Leary and Jessica Godino.  Today's draw is the Five of Swords:
This is an unusual take on the RWS version of this card, as the injured person is in the foreground, front and center, rather than the "winner."  In the battle of intellect and words, there is rarely a win-win situation.  I've been where this guy is now, hurt by what's been said and the way it was said.  But I must look at the part I played in the clash too.  It's easy to get caught up in the beliefs that "my opinions are based on fact" and "I have the right to be heard."  However, it is doubtful a debate will persuade either of us, especially if the only goal we have is not to listen to each other but to change the other person's point of view.  In the big scheme of things, sometimes the argument is just not that important (though I'm sure my ego will argue otherwise). 

The new oracle deck I'll be using this week is the Mystic Glyphs created by Barb Rogers.  This morning's card is the "Creator:"
This card is not about some Higher Power as I first thought, but the connections I have in the world I live in.  What am I creating in my relationships with others?  Do I realize the need to reach out to others, both to give and to receive?  What is my purpose here anyway?  It is easy to let life slip away while I pursue my selfish agendas; now is the time to wake up, do some soul-searching, and nurture those connections before they're gone.

Friday, September 28, 2012


From the Thoth Tarot, Aeon (Judgment):
Crowley uses two images of the sky god Horus, a young boy in the foreground and a mature Horus in the background.  Arching over both figures is Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the sky and heavens.  This card represents an awakening to new perceptions and understandings that were previously unknown.  It is a transformation of how I see the world and my place in it.  The two versions of Horus represent retaining the wonder and openness of a child, while adding the knowledge and experience that age brings.  It is not a deliverance from the hard stuff in life, just a new way to see that can bring insights.

From the Vertical Oracle comes the card "Awake:"
This woman may be having a brain freeze now (see the ice crystals around her head?), but she will soon have a thaw.  Alli's phrase for this card is a disconcerting revelation; he writes, "The truth will set you free but first it may make you miserable."  Sometimes the hardest person to be compassionate with is myself.  When I get a wake-up call, my first reaction is, "How could I have been so stupid?"  But the good news is I'm finally awake...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Just Sit Without Speaking

From the Thoth Tarot, the Prince of Swords:
This fellow has an intellect as sharp as his sword, but unfortunately he doesn't have the wisdom of experience behind him.  He knows something about everything it seems, though he has neither tact nor emotional maturity to deliver the knowledge.  In one hand is his sword, and in the other is a sickle, indicating those "pat" answers he loves to offer but not much else.  He reminds me of some religious folks who love to say things like, "It was God's will" or "You just need to pray harder and have faith."  Sometimes it is not words people need, but someone to sit beside them as they work through their pain and problems.

From the Vertical Oracle comes "Divine Intervention:"
No, this is not some angel that comes floating down on a sunbeam, but a "benevolent interruption" as Alli describes it.  It refers to those moments when my racing thoughts or my swirling emotions pause, such as when I catch sight of a heron flying overhead or seeing the individual rays of sunlight come through a cloud.  Those brief moments of beauty and wonder are what can help slow me down long enough to see I'm on a dead-end road, so I can turn around and head in a new direction.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cruelty and Magical Thinking

From the Thoth Tarot, the Nine of Swords:
“There are always two people involved in cruelty, aren't there? One to be vicious and someone to suffer! And what's the use of getting rid of - of wickedness, say - in the outside world if you let it creep back into things from inside you?”  ~ Margaret Mahy
Poison rains down on nine swords that drip with blood; behind the scene, broken shards of glass are scattered.  The poison words of another may hurt, but the resentment and thoughts of revenge I have in return can cause much more damage.  It is like having an evil monster within that slowly devours all that is good and beautiful inside me.  Even with countries, this reaction has become an almost expected, accepted reflex - an eye for an eye (or worse).  Unfortunately, these fairy tales never have a happy ending...

From the Vertical Oracle comes "Magic:"
When imagination informs intellect
Imagination can be a wonderful tool for solving problems or expressing oneself creatively.  Unfortunately my thoughts can also be shaped by fear that causes me to make assumptions or connections that aren't real.  And while most superstitions are harmless, they can be used to manipulate others (for instance the palm reader who sells someone a $100 candle to remove a curse).  It's a thin line between magical thinking and meaningful coincidences.  I prefer to think of the latter as something that will help rather than scare or hurt me.   

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Standing Up Without Shoving

From the Thoth Tarot, the Five of Wands:
Ah, the card of Strife.  Anyone who has ever sat on a jury, been part of a committee, or even part of a family knows well what happens when you try to get people to agree on one way to do things.  It's human nature to believe that I have the "right" way, yet these kind of conflicts are what can open my mind to see other options if I'll let them.  I must question if what I know is fact or only opinion, and look at other ideas just as objectively.  The large, winged staff of the phoenix represents the good that can come from such discussions, in the same way impurities are removed from gold in the refinement process.

From the Vertical Oracle comes the card titled "Fragile:"
New buds on a branch, a pearl, and an assortment of berries and fruit represent what is tender and can be easily damaged by what is hard and sharp (the diamond).  The doe reminds me that I can stand up for myself and my ideas with respect and gentleness instead of contempt and forcefulness.  I need to consider what is fragile, such as my relationships with others, when I find myself wanting to push and shove to get my way.

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Just a Movie...

From the Thoth Tarot, the Priestess:
This priestess hides behind her web with a bow across her lap, reminding me of the goddess Artemis.  However what she hunts is not in the outer world but an inner one.  Like a hunter, she knows she must be still and let her "self" melt away, beyond the boundaries of the ego.  She is receptive and lets what she seeks come to her, rather than chasing after it.  As the Hanged Man from yesterday also taught, patience is needed to find the knowledge offered.

From the Vertical Oracle comes "Fear:"
This bionic hand reaching through the fire reminds me of a horror flick   Alli, in his companion booklet, writes: "Not all fears are reality-based.  Imposter fears may actually do more harm than real fears if they close your mind and immobilize your will."  Usually what I fear is just an emotion based on an experience from my past that I project into the future.  It just feels real, and by the time those physiological responses kick in, my brain is yelling, "Don't just sit there, DO something!"  If there really is no immediate danger, I must take the time to sit quietly with my fear, looking to see if what is behind it is real or just a movie in my head.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Starting at Zero

From the Thoth Tarot, the Hanged Man:
Unlike the RWS Hanged Man, this fellow has his hands and one foot nailed into place - not much wiggle room there.  His enforced immobility reminds me of holidays at the lake or ocean when I was much younger.  Back then, parents believed you shouldn't swim right after eating, so we were required to sit still while our pimento cheese or bologna sandwiches digested (as we sadly watched the water lap the shore in the 100 degree heat) .  This fellow has something to digest too, except it is in his head rather than his stomach.  The upside down number 4 that he makes with his crossed leg indicates the material world has been put on hold; there is a sacrifice of "getting things done" in order to allow new ideas the space and stillness needed to seep into his brain.  Only then will he get to splash around in the water.

From the Vertical Oracle comes "Zero point:"
The zero point is the place where there is nothing - no dogma, opinions, labels or judgments.  It brings to mind the wooden, uncarved block of the Taoist or the empty cup of the Zen master.  There is only potential and possibilities from this place, with no past to regret or future to fear.  With the Hanged Man above, it encourages me to be still, let go of my baggage, and see from a completely new perspective.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Power and Integrity

This week I'll be using the Thoth Tarot, created by Aleister Crowley and painted by Lady Frieda Harris.  Today's draw is the Devil:
It doesn't take much imagination to see this as a phallic image, leading me to believe its message is about power and control, most often associated with the masculine.  The Devil has always represented fear and a feeling of powerlessness, thus encouraging behaviors that make me feel strong and formidable - behaviors that often are hurtful to me and others.  There's nothing wrong with power as long as it's used wisely; Gandhi changed a nation through compassion and nonviolence.  But the dark side of it can be seductive too.  The oppressed can turn out to be the worst oppressors when the table is turned.

This week I'll also be using the Vertical Oracle, created by Antero Alli with images by Sylvie Pickering.  The creator explains the name of the deck came from the idea that we live in a material/horizontal world as well as a spiritual/vertical one.  One world is not better than the other - balance is needed between the two.  The card I drew today is "Adventure:"
In the jungle, welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees
~ Guns -n- Roses
Above the urban jungle are a white tiger and an antique compass.  The tiger symbolizes a marriage of intellect and instinct, while the compass represents the old way of finding my direction or path.  The world can challenge my vertical integrity unless I look to new methods (tiger) to live in this world.  It is going to take relying both on my brains and listening to my gut to make it intact.

Friday, September 21, 2012

World-weary or Excited?

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Mother of Water (Queen of Cups):
For the past few days, I've been dragging myself around feeling like I'm in a fog.  I told my husband that I wasn't feeling apathetic because I still cared about things, but I was just tired of caring.  I feel worn out from it.  So I was not too surprised to read in the LWB one of the key phrases for this card (besides the usual "compassion and empathy") was world-weariness.  That describes my current mindset to a "T."  But as I look at this image I see the woman is holding two cups instead of just one.  She keeps one full for herself so that she can offer the other cup to other people.  It would be easy to blame people, places, and things from preventing me in keeping my own cup full, but that would not be the truth.  Sometimes I just need to make "me" a priority.

From the Bird Cards comes the "Rooster:"
I am a morning person who loves to be up before the daylight.  But I'm not the perky, bouncing-on-my-toes kind of morning person; I prefer a quiet peacefulness to start my day.  But here is Rooster, encouraging me to be excited about the day ahead.  Instead of making a list of things I have to do, I look with pleasure at the things I get to do.  This will take some practice...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dealing with the Dismal

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Three of Swords:
Against the background of a stormy sky, three broken feathers that will never soar above mountains or ride the thermals again are placed.  I remember walking past one of the ponds near my house one day and seeing a group of several raggedy, large feathers.  My gut twisted a bit, imagining a Canada goose being attacked by a loose dog.  But later, as I was journaling about my day, I realized it was June - the time for Canada geese to be molting.  None of the feathers I had seen were downy, leading me to suspect the feather loss was natural rather than predatory.  This card teaches me that what might appear as a loss or disappointment might not be as devastating and extreme as my thoughts lead me to believe.

From the Bird Cards come the "Sunbird:"
This bird is much like the hummingbird; it eats nectar with its long bill (though it will also eat spiders and insects at times too).  Its bright colors and love of what is sweet reminds me to look for what is beautiful and good in my life, especially on those days when my outlook is dismal and jaded.  I doubt I would have to look very hard or far, if I were to sincerely give it a try...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tied to the Whipping Post

From the Vision Quest, Torment (the Devil):
Sometimes I feel
Like I've been tied
To the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Tied to the whipping post
Good lord I feel like I'm dyin'

~ Gregg Allman
Allman's song and this image remind me that my need to escape fear and find security can sometimes bind me to something or someone even worse.  I can just hear this fellow's rationalization now: "No, I don't have much range of motion, but this post feels very secure and grounded."  I've hidden in dark holes before where no light comes, conning myself into believing I was "safe."  But I missed out on all the joys and laughter in that dark place too; now I don't want to trade all that away for the illusion ever again.

From the Bird Cards this morning comes the "Phoenix:"
The puzzle pieces of one landscape fall away to reveal a new scene underneath, just as the mythical phoenix rises from the ashes.  My life often has subtle shifts, so imperceptible I rarely notice them.  Then there are those moments of change that feel like a major earthquake.  What I counted on for support and stability is destroyed in the process; I can choose to transform myself like this bird, or curl into the fetal position and play the part of the victim.  Going through change sucks, but at least this option will keep me from being stuck in a place of eternal despair.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hidden in Plain Sight

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Sun:
With arms outstretched, a woman greets the sun.  The hummingbirds flying around in this image remind me of a place I pass in my daily morning walks.  One elderly woman's backyard is filled with native plants - trees, shrubs and flowers.  She doesn't have a single hummingbird feeder anywhere, yet I've seen dozens of hummers in her yard, all attracted to the blooms of the native flowers and shrubs.  This card reminds me that the freedom and joy I search for is right here (native), around me and within me.  The illumination comes when I realize I don't need to buy or search for it - it's hidden in plain sight.

From the Bird Cards this morning comes the "Pelican:"
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican!
~ Dixon Lanier Merritt
Pelican comes to teach me that it is fine to enjoy the "toys" I've collected, but not to get attached to them.  As the authors state, "It is not fundamentally wrong to acquire material possessions.  [But] the only thing one truly possesses is one's Self...possessions come and go, to be enjoyed, but not hung on to."  If I believe all the advertising I will see, I will succumb to the belief that "stuff" is what will bring me happiness and enlightenment.  But after years of collecting such treasures, I've discovered there's no magic in them at all.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Change by Choice or Necessity

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Tower:
With the intense heat from the flames and the acrid smoke filling his lungs, I can only imagine the sheer terror of this horse.  He's been pushed to the edge of a cliff, and with the wildfire fast approaching, the only way of escape is to jump into the river far below.  Yet when I look at this card, it reminds me of the Fool gleefully stepping over the edge into the unknown.  Life is about change, sometimes drastically and unexpectedly so.  If I can have the trust of the Fool rather than the fear, I will adjust much more readily. 

From the Bird Cards comes the "Swan:"
Above this swan's head is a set of scales, implying that balance is an issue.  The Hindus saw the swan as a symbol of non-attachment (it's feather does not get wet in water) and of discernment.  There is a woman in my neighborhood who has worn a leg brace for years.  She had knee surgery a few months ago, but continued to wear the brace.   The doctors finally told her it would only recreate the same issue she had before if she continued to use it.  I can use "crutches" of my own that lead to unhealthy choices instead of dealing with life head on.  Then it will often require a "Tower" moment to wake me up and change my behavior or ideas.  The fear I may feel in dealing with life won't be nearly as harsh as that knock upside the head to put things back in balance. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not Your Mainstream Mosquito

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Ace of Earth (Pentacles):
Here is an ear of flint corn (also known as "Indian corn").  With Halloween and Thanksgiving around the corner, I'm sure I'll be seeing some soon in the grocery store.  Flint corn got its name because of the hardness of the outside of its kernels; it protects the tender inner part of the corn from early freezes.  Both the color and hardness distinguish this particular type from others.  It reminds me that what I create in my life may look very odd compared to the mainstream, but it too will have its purpose.

From the Bird Cards today comes the "Wren:"
We have Carolina wrens here in my neck of the woods; they are among the first birds to greet each morning.  Wrens amaze me with the loudness of their songs and warnings - hard to believe such a blast of sound can come from such a tiny bird.  They teach me that I have the inspiration and raw material to conceive and create, but now what I need is to have the confidence to put my abilities to work.  I don't have to be "important" in the eyes of society to make an impact.  As the Dalai Lama said, "If you think your are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Negative Mindloops

This week I'll be using the Vision Quest Tarot, created by Gayan Silvie Winter and Jo Dose.  This morning's draw is the Ten of Air (Swords):
These birds remind me of the turkey vultures we have here in the South.  Flocks of them are often seen around road kill or circling over a field where there is a dead livestock animal.  Being scavengers, they eat carrion as their primary food source.  Looking at this card, I kept hearing the phrase "dead is dead."  Whatever ideas or beliefs about something I've held on to, there is no life in them.  Nothing will ever grow from them.  Best to let them disintegrate and allow something living and beneficial to take their place.

The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the Bird Cards by Jane Toerien and Joyce Van Dobben.  Today's draw is "Duck:"
The creators of this set describe how a group of ducks will often squabble and peck each other.  In this card, a second uncolored duck is seen, gazing malevolently toward the mallard on the pond.  It represents that inner critic that unceasingly badgers us with our faults and shortcomings.  Duck reminds me to be aware of the inner dialogue and avoid being so hard on myself.  If I could step outside myself and objectively look at my life (as if it were someone else), I'm sure I could find plenty of good there too.

Friday, September 14, 2012

From the Victorian Romantic, the Wheel of Fortune:
This image is based on an engraving of a painting done by Hermann Vogel, entitled "Heinrich the Fowler."  It shows Heinrich out mending bird nets when he is informed he had inherited the German crown.  Life is full of surprises, some good and some not so good.  If I want to serenely ride the Ferris wheel of life with all its changes, I must learn to loosen my hold on attachments and expectations, and be flexible and fearless enough to embrace the opportunities that come my way.  I wonder if King Heinrich ever wished for the simple life back in the forests...

From the Flowers' Messages comes "Chrysanthemums - Brotherhood:"
This week began with the suicide and funeral of a fellow I was acquainted with, and will end with a baby shower for another person expecting twins.  From pain and grief to joy and celebration, the hurt seems more bearable and the celebrations even happier when there are friends to offer support.   

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Restless Joy

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Two of Wands:
A young woman stands on the shore, looking dreamily out to sea.  The two palm leaves she holds symbolize the accomplishments she's made, but now she's feeling a bit restless.  I know when I finish a project, I feel both a sense of relief and joy mixed with regret.  The problem is that I am wired to feel my best when I'm knee-deep in the middle of a challenge.  Not the emotional drama kind, but the creative, think-outside-the-box type.  So even though I may appreciate and feel proud of what I have done, I crave something else to do.  I'm sure this lady's muse already is making plans...

From the Flowers' Messages comes "Bellflower - Inner Joy:"
The bell shape of this flower's bloom has given it its common name; bellflower reminds me to pay attention and wake up to what brings me inner joy.  This is not the type of happiness that lasts briefly, such as what comes when I purchase something new.  It doesn't come from the "pats on the head" that I get from bending to the wishes of others either.  It is what results from following a path and purpose within - one most likely off the main thoroughfare.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sharing Talents

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Three of Cups:
These women - the scholar/writer, the artist, and the musician - are friends who have gathered to have fun and share their talents with each other.  This card reminds me of my great-grandmother who, with her sisters, left husbands and children to tour Europe in the early 1900's.  Each sister had a task depending on her skills, such as journal keeper, money manager, or excursion planner.  Now, almost 100 years later, I can read all about their adventures abroad in the daily notes that were kept.  I don't have a stadium full of friends, but those I do have are very diverse in their beliefs, knowledge, and skills.  These differences are of no consequence because of our love and respect for each other, and they make our get-togethers even more enjoyable and exciting.  

From the Flowers' Messages, the "Begonia - Self Acceptance:"
Like the card above, my friends have amazing talents, whether as an artist, quilt-maker, nurse, mother, academic, or spiritual trailblazer.  It is sometimes hard not to compare myself to them and find my talents in many areas sorely lacking.  Yet if I am honest with myself, I know that I have gifts as well.  What a dull world this would be if we all shared the same talents!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Way to Freedom

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Sun:
A woman rides on a white horse, without bothering to use the reins, in a wild area with blooms all around.  She holds a branch over her head bent in the shape of an arch, implying she has made a transition of some kind.  She has found happiness through freedom; she realizes she doesn't need to control people or situations (no reins), and she understands that most of what she thought were restraints and obstacles were only created by her imagination.  Now that is true liberation.

From the Flowers' Messages comes "White Rose - Pure Love:"
Last night I was returning home from a Yoga Nidra session (feeling very serene), when I discovered one of the coaches from the ballpark next door had parked his truck diagonally in the alley.  I narrowly missed hitting the truck as I carefully made my way past to get to my driveway.  Of course as I went by, I let out a string of curse words and laid on my horn.  All that serenity went right out the window.  There are so many people I can choose to hate or be angry with.  It seems easier to hold a resentment than to allow people to be who they are, but for every person I carry a revenge-seeking hatred for, I might as well have an iron ball and chain around my ankles.  I know I can't do anything about those flashes of anger I have - that's just part of being human - but I can choose whether I want to be burdened with a resentment.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Staying on Track

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Chariot:
"Know the Self as lord of the chariot,
The body as the chariot itself,
The discriminating intellect as
The charioteer, and the mind as the reins.
The senses, say the wise, are the horses;
Selfish desires are the roads they travel.
When the Self is confused with the body,
Mind, and senses, they point out, he seems
To enjoy pleasure and suffer sorrow.
When a person lacks discrimination
And his mind is undisciplined, his senses
Run hither and thither like wild horses.
But they obey the rein like trained horses
When a person has discrimination
And the mind is one-pointed."

(Katha Upanishad translation by Eknath Easwaran)
As I look at this image, I realize that not only are there a myriad of outer distractions in my life (like the "backseat drivers" in this card), but there are plenty of inner diversions and disturbances as well.  Only through self-discipline and one-pointed focus can I stay on track, as the Katha Upanishad so eloquently reminds me.

From the Flowers' Messages comes "Daylily - Cooperation:"
With the cooler temperatures (as opposed to the "hotter than 10,000 hells" my husband uses to describe our summers), the daylilies have started blooming again.  They remind me of my grandmother and are some of my favorite flowers, even though their blooms only last one day.  The brevity of each flower's bloom reminds me how quickly special moments or opportunities can slip away, particularly if I am distracted by other things.  Groups too can have so many special interests that they never accomplish anything.  Cooperation and working toward a common goal, whether as a group or individual (with my mind, body and spirit on the same page) will accomplish what needs to be done before the chance wanes then disappears.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

She Satisfies Like No Other

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Empress:
As I went out for my morning walk, I noticed the temperature was noticeably cooler today - it was finally beginning to feel like autumn was on its way.  Many late summer flowers were blooming, including blue, purple and red morning glories that seemed to climb up every fence and post I passed.  I greeted a flock of Canada geese, two hummingbirds, a great blue heron, a family of redheaded woodpeckers, a crow, and a red-shouldered hawk along the way.  It seemed quite appropriate to draw the Empress card upon my return - Mother Nature herself.  The Empress represents the earthy, sensual aspects of creation that require no college degrees or fancy job titles to appreciate.  Nature satisfies me like few things can.  Whether I'm looking for comfort or delight, She is always ready to offer all She has.

From the Flowers' Messages deck comes "Morning Glory - Telepathy:"
I've never experienced or seen telepathy in action, but I have to admit I do silently greet the trees, plants and birds on my daily walks.  It makes me feel like I am acknowledging their wonder and beauty, and it allows me to show my appreciation.  Interesting that the morning glory is trumpet shaped, as it reminds me both of a musical instrument and an ear horn (like were used before hearing aids became available).  They encourage me to believe that I can communicate with the natural world, if only to be open to Nature's daily miracles and send out a heartfelt "thank you" to them in return.

My previous posts can be found here:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Noticing Subtle Changes

This week the deck I'll be using is the Victorian Romantic Tarot, created by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov.  Today's draw is the King of Pentacles:
Here is a king who is out and about to check on the state of the land and his people.  Other kings may rely on men who report back to them about the affairs of the kingdom, but this king is so in tune with his surroundings that he will pick up on seemingly insignificant observations that others miss.  Is the water level down from where it normally is this time of year?  Are the animals showing signs of a particularly cold winter ahead?  Some people may find him dull, but all would agree his interests lie in what is beneficial for all the land and its people, not just a select few.  He reminds me that there is a time to be sensible and practical rather than impulsive and unconcerned.

     The second deck I'll be using this week is the Flowers' Messages, created by Annie Marquier and Veronique Dumont.  This morning's draw is "Daffodil - Groundedness:"
In the early spring, daffodils are the first flowers to make an appearance here.  It's almost if they pay such close attention to the subtle changes in their environment, they know when the seasons are changing.  Here in my area, the dogwood berries all have a blush of red, and many of the deciduous trees are slowly beginning to turn colors.  If I spend all my time rushing from one appointment to the next, hurrying through one task to another, I'll have no clue what is going on in my environment.  This flower encourages me to stay in the present moment, aware of what is around me and what is happening now.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Offerings and Misjudgments

  From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Seven of Cups:
Genetti offers a different take on the Seven of Cups; instead of a person dreaming about what will make them happy, this image shows offerings to a volcanic god on the Indonesian island of Flores.  It made me reflect on the many ways I try to appease and please the people in my life.  There's nothing wrong with being unselfish or doing good deeds, because those actions do fulfill me.  But every now and then, I need to dish up a bowlful of nourishment for myself too.

     From the Oracle of Dreamtime comes the "Sydney Harbor Bridge:"
This aboriginal legend tells of a giant kangaroo that decided the grass was greener on the other side of the harbor.  Instead of going the long way around, he thought it would be quicker to jump across the wide expanse of water.  He discovered too late that he had misjudged the distance, and his legs became bogged down in the mud.  His bones became the bridge for Sydney Harbor.  This myth reminds me that the "quick" way is not always better, and just because something seems like a good idea doesn't mean it always is. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Apples and a Serpent

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Four of Disks:
Four apple halves are surrounded by blossoms and honey bees.  Most RWS based cards depict a miser, clutching his hoard of money to his chest.  Although I do believe abundance is portrayed by this card, to me the apples emphasize the wealth of good health.  Even though I have been faithful for months now in my daily exercise and diet, I must not slack off or become complacent.  The pleasure of feeling good far outweighs the rigors of self-discipline.

     From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Rainbow Serpent:"

This aboriginal story tells how the Rainbow Serpent woke up from her sleep inside the earth and came to its surface.  As she moved along the land, she created rivers, plants and animals.  Before she returned, the Rainbow Serpent created humans and gave the them the role of caretakers of the earth. She warned them not to take more than they need, or she would come back out of hiding and punish them.  For me, this story deals with energy and resources, and my responsibility to be a good steward of them.  Taking more than I need of anything will only hurt rather than help me in the long run.