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, October 31, 2013

Kicking the Hornets' Nest

From the Tarot of the Secret Forest, the Eight of Wands:
We have a saying here that goes "Don't kick the hornets' nest," meaning don't upset the balance of things. All the bouncing around in the tree branches by this squirrel has stirred up the bees, causing them to swarm. While it's probably not a good idea to stir up trouble for trouble's sake, sometimes it is useful to shake things up a bit when stagnation or complacency have settled in. Staying in a rut just carves that trench even deeper. And though it may feel familiar and safe, we'll soon find ourselves so far down we won't be able to see all the wonderful things going on around us.

From the Faeries' Oracle comes the "Singer of Connection:"
Reach out and touch somebody's hand
Make this world a better place if you can.
~ Diana Ross
This fairy encourages us to remember the network of people and groups we are associated with (or perhaps want to be associated with). There is of a course a feeling of vulnerability when we reach out to others, but this card is a reminder that at times we need to let our defenses down. Together with the Eight of Wands above, I believe the message for me is to connect with people, both new friends and old, to shake myself out of my rut.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grab It and Go

From the Tarot of the Secret Forest, the Two of Wands:
In the grocery store this past Monday, I wandered over to the produce to pick out some apples. Unfortunately a woman who was trying to pick out a head of lettuce was blocking the aisle as she looked over each one. My impatience wanted to yell, "Just take one - they all look the same!" But honestly, I tend to be the same way. I can be so picky about making choices that I spend way too much time analyzing every facet of each option. The owl in this card would never sit in a tree wondering if the mouse he saw down below would have the perfect flavor. He would just swoop down and grab it with his talons, knowing it might skitter away if he didn't act quickly. The Two of Wands encourages me not to sit on the fence too long, or the opportunity I'm considering might just vanish into the night.

From the Faeries' Oracle comes "Lys of the Shadow:"
Lys is a fairy who shines a light in those dark places that people don't see - those wounds and tender places they'd rather not deal with. But before any healing can begin, there needs to be an awareness of the trauma first. Lys encourages me to look at why I hesitate instead of being excited about a new opportunity. Is it a fear of not being accepted? A fear that I won't have what it takes to succeed? Perhaps my self-esteem is in need of some first aid...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A View of the Night Sky

From the Tarot of the Secret Forest, the Stars:
...only when it's dark enough can you see the stars.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

The flowers in this card reminded me of the Ipomoea alba, or moonflower just before it opens. The blooms on this plant open at dusk and close shortly after dawn. Years ago, I tried to plant some seeds of this vine, but none germinated. It was only later I discovered the hard outer shell of the seed had to be nicked first, or it wouldn't be able to take up water. Being both stubborn and a strategist, I can bang my head against a brick wall for quite a long time trying to get results. Yet when I give up my attempt to force or push my agenda (feeling that all is lost), I suddenly see the solution and guidance so clearly. It's amazing what can be seen in the sky at night when there is nothing blocking the view...

From the Faeries Oracle comes "Gloominous Loom:"
What a sad sack - he reminds me of Eeyore in fairy form. Gloominous is our inner critic, the part of us that not only puts a damper on our efforts but tells us we're not worthy of any endeavor. I could blame my upbringing on this critic, but that would only add to the pity party he's eager to throw in my honor. Just because I have a thought doesn't make it real. Time to pull on my big girl panties and decide what's worth believing and what isn't.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seeing with Gray-tinted Glasses

From the Tarot of the Secret Forest, Temperance:
A fairy pours a liquid from one container to another; perhaps she is mixing a bold black with a harsh white to produce a softer gray color. We humans tend to like things cut and dried, black or white. It makes us feel more in control when there are only two sides or two choices, and we can firmly choose one or the other. But life is too full and complex to be reduced down to "this or that." When I try to fit people or situations in these categories, I end up making sweeping generalizations that don't even come close to the truth. Temperance suggests that I see life on a continuum - in shades of gray rather than black or white. Here on this sliding scale, I'm much more likely to find the serenity that comes through harmony.

From the Faeries' Oracle comes "The Pook:"
Pook is a shape-changer who loves to show us the paradox in what we think is set in stone. Have you ever watched a movie or read a book where you enjoy hating the antagonist, but then you're introduced to the "back story" that shows how he got that way? While you still may not like what he does, you find yourself developing a small soft spot for him. Or how about the protagonist who at first glance seems like Prince Charming? Later you find out he's not perfect but seriously flawed. Pook helps me see that there is some good in the worst people or situations and some bad in best. There's no black or white here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The View Before the Hunt

From the Tarot of the Secret Forest, the Three of Wands:
Before going out to hunt, a fox stops to take in a view of the night sky and valley below. I wonder if he has a vixen with kits to feed. The Three of Wands is about aspirations, passion and expansion, as well as where these motives lead me. Yet it also encourages me to step back and observe - to look at the big picture and take the long view. If I do, I'll find that crossing paths with some people will likely bring opportunities and helpful encouragement; in other cases, I'll only get derailed. What connections do I need to make and maintain to go forward? And which "shooting stars" should I avoid, knowing they may burn brightly but won't last? Let the hunt begin...

From the Faeries' Oracle comes the "Topsie Turvets:"
This image reminded me of the attempts in the fifties to see how many people could be squeezed into various places like cars or phone booths. But according to Froud and MacBeth, the purpose of this fairy group is not to make a muddle but to get me to change my perspective in order to get out of one. If I find myself confused, perhaps I have asked the wrong questions or made incorrect assumptions. Like the fox above, I need an objective viewpoint; I must question my attachments to certain ideas to see if they are valid or if they are at the root of the confusion.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Searching for Fertile Ground

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Secret Forest created by Lucia Mattioli and published by Lo Scarabeo. This morning's draw is the King of Pentacles:
Branches radiate out from this king's crown, and roots from his legs burrow down into the earth. He is a stable and secure fellow, but is he so firmly attached that he tries nothing new? The live oak trees here are busy producing hundreds of acorns now; some may roll downhill or be buried by squirrels and sprout in the spring. Other plants have underground "runners;" they send these root-like branches out to look for a patch of sun away from the parent plant to create a new plant. Though he may be (quite literally) grounded with commitments and obligations in one place, the King of Pentacles will continually send out "seeds" to test the opportunity for growth in other areas. Half the fun for him is watching a "child" of his develop and expand. He would tell me to keep my options open by dropping suggestions and ideas and see what happens. You never can tell what might sprout.

The other deck I'll be using this week is the Faeries' Oracle by Brian Froud (text by Jessica MacBeth) and published by Simon & Schuster. Today's card is "Spirit Dancer:"
This fairy represents creative expression, the kind that allows us to explore feelings, experiences and our truths. This type of expression also allows us to share ourselves with others and make a connection with them. It requires more than thinking or talking, it involves physically doing something. I tend to hesitate to share part of me in this way because it opens me up to possible criticism and put-downs. But the King of Pentacles would remind me to keep trying because eventually I'm likely to find fertile ground.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Spending Time

From the Swietlistej Drogi, the Six of Pentacles:
The children sharing and playing with the ball remind me of one resource I find difficult to be generous with - my time. Money and things are easy to give (though there's not a lot of either), but being willing to spend time with another person requires motivation on my part. The other day we had the grandsons over, and they begged my daughter and I to play Duck-Duck-Goose and Red light-Green Light with them. For those of you familiar with five and six year old kids, you know one game will never be enough. You will spend at the very least an hour playing the game of choice. Of course we all had fun once the play started, and the time went by quickly. And the best part of all was the "thank you" hugs we got when it was time for them to leave. The Six of Pentacles reminds me some of the most precious moments are those spent with others.

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes "Balance:"
That is quite a trick, to balance the three stones on one finger. But it is also a gentle prod to wisely apportion my time. There are obligations I need to fulfill, challenges to meet and people to spend time with, but I still need to find time for solitude as well.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sense of the Beautiful

From the Swietlistej Drogi, the King of Pentacles:
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This King of Cups holds a paintbrush, painting and palette, allowing the paint to drip into the stream below. The drops of paint emphasize the necessity of adding beauty in our lives (or at least appreciating the beauty around us). It doesn't mean the kind that comes from Cover Girl, but the natural, creative kind that can be found in art and nature. I used to make sure I had a simple bouquet of flowers on my kitchen table every day. It may have been only a single coneflower with a few sprigs of greenery, but it was lovely and raised my spirits when I saw it. Perhaps it is time to move off the stacks of bills and books from the table and find that vase again...

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes "Nourishment:"
Well it's plain to see that adding and appreciating beauty will nourish my life. This card encourages me to "pause for the cause." There is no grand emergency that should keep me from using all my senses to be aware of the sounds, sights, and smells of the season. It will lighten my heart and help balance my moods as the days become shorter and the nights longer.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't Miss Out on the Fun

From the Swietlistej Drogi, the Three of Cups:
Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste. 
― Charlotte BrontĂ«
At an art gallery, people gather to celebrate and share in the success a friend. When you reach a goal, meet a challenge or have luck drop into your lap, what do you do? I instantly want the people I care about to share in my happiness. It wouldn't be nearly as exciting or fun if I was the only person who knew about it - like hitting a hole-in-one at the golf course with no witness. But the road runs both ways; I need to be able to be joyful for others without jealousy interfering when they have good news too.

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes "Quiet:"
I get the distinct impression from this card that it has nothing to do with not speaking, and everything to do with quieting my mind. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone only to have your brain take an off-ramp to a list of things you need to do? Or perhaps you hear something and suddenly it gives your muse a creative idea to roll around or your strategist a new game plan to think about. I am encouraged by this card to soak in the joy of the moment and allow my logical, analytical side to take a break. Otherwise, I might miss out on all the fun.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Strange Birds

From the Swietlistej Drogi Tarot, the High Priestess:
My first impression of this card was that it looked like a combination of the Magician and Hermit, but not much like a High Priestess. However the wolf made me rethink things a bit. Wolves don't actually howl at the moon, rather they use such vocalizations for communication. And that is exactly what the High Priestess represents - guidance (communication) from an inner resource. Just as the wolf's howl starts deep within, so too is where the information she wishes to share is found. But the light shining from her hands reminds me the wisdom is not just for meditation; I need to use it out in the world. There may be others who might benefit if I were willing to share it.

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes the card "Uniqueness:"
The phrase "what a strange bird" aptly describes this card. It is definitely a one-of-a-kind animal. Yet it's hard to think of myself in the same way - as unique. As much as I would like to, I don't think I'll be the one who ends world hunger or creates peace in the Middle East. But what if we all held a special piece of the puzzle, a necessary piece that could help make such wonderful things happen? Perhaps we're each more unique and important than we realize, even if it is in small ways.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Deep Sea Diving

From the Swietlistej Drogi Tarot, the Knight of Cups:
This knight dives deep to find treasures down below. He's not afraid of the depths of the ocean, and neither is he afraid of the depths of emotion. I've always felt everyone needs an anam chara, or "soul friend." John O'Donohue suggests that all true friendship or love is "an act of recognition." When I cease to be afraid to open up to another, and he or she does the same with me, we can see our commonalities. We see the broken and painful places in each other, as well as the places suffused with joy.  The Knight of Cups encourages me not to be afraid to be vulnerable, because there are plenty of treasures to be uncovered if I do.

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes the card "Trust:"
Ah... here is where the door to my heart gets stuck. I have grown up believing (and experiencing) that emotions could be used against a person; only anger could be beneficial and powerful. But that is a very lonely way to live. Trust is like this image - you have to accept a bit of vagueness instead of certainty. I don't get a legal document signed and notarized as proof. I have learned as I've gotten older to test people with small amounts of personal information. If they handle it respectfully, I feel I can trust them with more. It's an ongoing but slow process for me.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Feeding the Fire

From the Swietlistej Drogi Tarot, the Ace of Wands:
Breathe, breathe, fill your lungs with better air.
Reach, reach, like you know it's waiting there
I've found, letting go of what you're holding
Leaves your arms and heart a little more
Wide open.
At the house party last night I was trying to keep the fire going in the chiminea as we waited for the music to start. I wandered around the pasture picking up small limbs that had fallen, but soon realized some were quite wet that hadn't been under the shelter of a tree when it had rained earlier. I had to be choosy in what I tossed on the fire, so it wouldn't go out. Likewise, I need to check-in and see what I'm using as fuel to feed my passions and goals. What kind of logs have I been putting on that fire? Are they too large or too wet? I sure as heck wouldn't toss a tangle of poison ivy in the fire (you can breathe in the toxin from the smoke), yet I can have ulterior motives that are just as toxic. Today I need to see what I've got stacked in my wood pile and do some cleaning out.

From the Mirrors of the Heart comes the card "Nighttime:"
Crickets are chirping, leaves are rustling in the breeze, stars are twinkling and a faithful companion keeps watch. What could be more peaceful? In combining this card with the one above, I am reminded just how much my drives affect my serenity. If my intentions bear fruit, will this create cracks and divisions or wholeness and beauty? I may not be able to control what impulsive thoughts pop into my head, but I do have a choice in whether I feed my desires or douse them with a bucket of sand.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Slowly Moving from Inner to Outer

This week I'll be using the Swietlistej Drogi Tarot (Tarot of the Radiant Path) created by Alla Alicja Chrzanowska and Alina Konwinska and published through  Studio Astropsychologii. Today's draw is the Moon:
What a lovely image; the lower part of this woman's body looks like a wave in the ocean being drawn towards the moon. Emotions and memories that have been sitting below the surface are now being pulled upward from the unconscious into consciousness. I will be traveling to a party of sorts tonight (one night past the full moon). It is the anniversary of the death of a friend's husband, but instead of mourning, there will be barbecue and musical entertainment. She's had a tough time dealing with her loss this past year, and she is gathering a few relatives and friends to help turn the grief into gratitude for a life shared. I am sure this gathering will trigger some of my own feelings I've hidden away, but I think (judging by the expression on the woman's face) it will be a healing process for all of us.

The oracle deck I'll be using this week is Mirrors of the Heart, created and self-published by Lily S. May. This morning's card is "Awakening:"
Like the movement upward in the Moon card, little seeds are stirring below ground. It may be months before those seeds ever push through the top of the soil, but that doesn't mean nothing is happening. Often there is a process that must take place within before anything is seen externally. I must be patient and not force the pace of progress.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Christened in a Teapot

From the Tarot of the Masters, the Lovers:
So who's it going to be - the lovely Lolita or the modest Mary? Vanilla or chocolate is an easy choice for me with ice cream, but decisions that require a long-term commitment of some sort are much more difficult. My first inclination would be toward what would offer the most pleasure (Mary does look a bit prudish), but will the fun last? And will it be dependable and loyal? On the other hand, who wants to be stuck with a partner who is all work and no play? Here's a dilemma where my heart, head and hormones need to be sorted out before I come to a decision.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the "Ace of Hearts:"
I am a butterfly, born in a bower,
christened in a teapot, died in half an hour.
Some things are made to last longer than others. All friendships and partnerships will change, some for better and some for worse. What is it that make some better? Probably it is respect, good communication and kindness on the part of both partners, not just one. If I'm looking for a commitment, I need to make sure the person I'm considering is on the same page as I am.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Give a Cheer, But Make It Clear

From the Tarot of the Masters, the Queen of Wands:
The first thing that caught my eye with this card is the strange apron this queen wears - it looks as if it has feedbags attached to the top of it. But thinking about it, I suppose this is what the Queen of Wands does. She not only encourages those who are working on a project, she promotes it to other people who might be interested in it. She is the cheerleader who keeps the excitement and enthusiasm at a high level in order to ensure its success. As I have recently unveiled my own project (with the help of the kind and talented Alaska Laser Maid), I find myself sitting in this woman's chair. I'm a bit shy about self-promotion, but I think this queen would just hand me a pom-pom, tell me to get over myself and direct me to the cheering section.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the "Nine of Diamonds:"
Behold the duck.
It does not cluck.
A cluck it lacks.
It quacks.
I've always heard, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then chances are that it's a duck." I know there are some great spin doctors who can make even a turkey sound like a duck, but close examination will quickly prove otherwise. This card reminds me to keep things truthful and simple - it will keep me from trying to untangle myself later on down the line.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


From the Tarot of the Masters, Demons (the Devil):
The other day I was listening to a woman talk about the Devil as if it were an actual being who might ring her doorbell and try to sell her some Avon products. I was completely dumbfounded and didn't even try to argue with her. The face on the stomach of the demon in the card reminds me that it is my own voracious appetite for what I desire (to get or escape from) that will cause my maladaptive behavior. If I'm shoving candy corn in my mouth or not taking responsibility for something I forgot to do, you can bet the devil isn't the cause. It's pure, egotistic self-interest running the show while it holds my brain and heart hostage.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the "Queen of Diamonds:"
Tis a privilege high
To have dinner and tea
Along with the Red Queen,
The White Queen, and me!
As I look at this game board with its variety of pieces, I get the feeling there is some emotional manipulation going on. Do you want something? Then you're going to have to do what I say to get it. Do you want me to like you? Then don't you dare even think about disagreeing with me. The problem with this kind of control is that it doesn't create allies, only enemies. Like the lesson of the Devil above, I need to find the courage to take responsibility for the life I want instead of trying to find the easy way out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Who's Responsible for this Mess?

From the Tarot of the Masters, the King of Cups:
Whether the rhythmic pounding of ocean waves or the trickling sound of a stream, listening to the movement of water has always created a feeling of calm in me. The King of Cups has found that peaceful center within himself. The rushing of emotions - anger, grief, anxiety - that drive the actions of so many people just roll off him like water on a duck's back. I was doing my best to channel him when I got a call late last night. A female acquaintance had gotten herself into all sorts of problems because of an addiction, and I got the impression she wanted me to be as upset about the situation as she was. She begged for sympathy and advice about what to do. I've dealt with her too many times before to know she won't do anything I suggest unless it will get her out of the mess she's created. I have compassion for this woman, but I refuse to follow her down the rabbit hole she's in.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the "Two of Hearts:"
The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo.
He goes about with nothing on
(A shocking thing to do).
But if he dressed respectably
And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big Baboon would be
To Mister So-and-so!
Clothes, money, heritage or group affiliation don't make a person better or more moral than anyone without those things. I am amazed at the people who feel entitled to being excused for behavior which they would never condone if done by others. In an article on Cracked.com, David Wong wrote, "It's not just that we make excuses for our behavior, it's that we make a really specific excuse: That the person who did the bad thing wasn't the 'real' us." For instance, "I would never have said those hurtful things if I wasn't drunk." I can only take responsibility for my stuff, but I also need to make sure I'm not trying to make a pile of poo smell sweeter when I do it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Come Into My Parlor

From the Tarot of the Masters, the Hierophant:
I almost feel sorry for this guy, as I imagine he would like some peace and solitude. Constantly leaders are badgered for money, drilled for answers to unsolvable questions and forced to listen to people drone on and on about their problems. Whether a leader of a country, the head of a group or organization, the manager of a business, or the head of a family, there are nonstop decisions to make and flack to deal with once a choice has been made. I would love to ask Obama how he deals with the stress of his job and where he goes to clear his head. I think to be an efficient and successful leader, it is important to access what the Buddhist's call "beginner's mind," an objective place away from emotional opinions and preconceived ideas.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the card "Joker:"
Will you walk into my parlor?
Said the Spider to the Fly
The spider in this nursery rhyme tries to tempt the fly by describing all the wonderful things he wants to show him. Of course the fly is no dummy and knows exactly what's up and declines the offer. I am reminded by this card to be discerning and investigate what someone tells me is the answer to the solution I'm seeking. There are spiders out there who have their own agenda and certainly aren't concerned with my welfare.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Who's Calling the Shots?

From the Tarot of the Masters, the High Priestess:
My first thought when I saw this image was, "Is she pulling taffy?" While I do advocate formal sitting meditation, I have found repetitive tasks can work too. Whether pulling weeds, coloring a sketch or walking, I can dive below my normal thought processes to a place of calm. This inner resource allows me to find answers or receive direction without interference of my emotions or prejudiced opinions. It moves me past the veil of the High Priestess - past the ego which runs around like Chicken Little yelling "The sky is falling." This resource enables me to intuitively know how to handle situations yet gives me the responsibility of using this knowledge in concrete ways.

From the Key to the Kingdom comes the "Six of Hearts:"
let me be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
let me be your ford cortina 
i will never rust
if you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
you call the shots
i wanna be yours
I remember these candy hearts from Valentine's Day; they were hard as rocks and tasted awful, but we loved them for the messages printed on them. The rhyme for this card, however, made me choke on my coffee. Okay, I get this fellow is probably just trying to express how much he loves someone, but does he really want someone else to call all the shots? I think not. I am reminded by this card that no matter how clear the message inside my head is, I need to make doubly sure when I say it out loud those who hear it, hear it correctly. I'm not volunteering to breathe in anyone's dust!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

That's What It's All About

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Masters created and published by James Ricklef. The card drawn for today is the Wheel of Fortune:
You do the hokey pokey and you turn it all around,
That's what it's all about!
The dancing muses reminded me of the children's song, "Hokey Pokey." The kids stand in a circle and stick a different body part (arm, foot, backside, whole self) in the center of the circle as each round of the song is sung. Can you imagine some child in the middle of the song crying out, "But I don't want to change to my left hand! I'm right-handed, and I want to keep using that one!" Of course it would seem ridiculous. But in life, change is immutable, and we often complain of the unfairness of it all. We are constantly challenged to let go of some things and embrace others. Some of these changes might be welcome (the end of an illness, for instance), but adapting to some turnarounds may be incredibly hard. Perhaps developing equanimity to deal with the ups and downs of life is what it's really all about.

The oracle I'll be using this week is a transformation deck called the Key to the Kingdom. It was created by Tony Meeuwissen and published by Running Press. This morning's card is the "King of Clubs:"
This is the key of the kingdom.
In that kingdom there is a city.
In that city there is a town.
In that town there is a street.
In that street there is a lane.
In that lane there is a yard.
In that yard there is a house.
In that house there is a room.
In that room there is a bed.
On that bed there is a basket.
In that basket there are some flowers.
Flowers in a basket,
Basket on the bed,
Bed in the room,
Room in the house,
House in the yard,
Yard in the lane,
Lane in the street,
Street in the town,
Town in the city,
City in the kingdom.
Of that kingdom this is the key.
The nursery rhyme for this card reminds me of layers of understanding. Just when I think I've grasped the key, I find more unanswered questions. The actual treasure is in the search itself. Life might hand out certificates for knowledge in certain areas, but it never gives out diplomas. I attend an endless series of classes while I'm on this earth.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Slow the Hustle in the Bustle

From the Spiral Tarot, the Three of Wands:
The choice to move away from the status quo and take a risk on something new has reaped rewards, represented by the growth of greenery beneath the woman's feet that winds up the staffs. Her desire to expand her boundaries (much like she's done to her dress with a bustle) has been successful, and the boats in the water suggest a partnership with others that is fruitful. The saying "my ship has come in" refers to mothers and wives who had to run a tab for necessities while their men were out to sea. When they came home with their pay, the women could pay off their debt and hopefully have a little extra. Though these ships suggest goals being reached, they also suggest there are still things to be settled and done before a firm foundation is reached.

From the Sacred Journey Cards comes "Joy:"
Sometimes when I am successful in acquiring something or accomplishing an objective, I rush to the next goal. Instead of taking time to enjoy the pleasure of achievement, my brain starts plotting and planning for the next one. This card reminds me that the feeling of fulfillment comes when I take time to celebrate, not when I'm in a rush. I don't want to get to the end of my life and find all I've really accomplished is in becoming a talented sprinter.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Cialis of All Enterprise

From the Spiral Tarot, the King of Wands:
This king has just as much enthusiasm as the rest of his court (check out that dragon throne), but he knows how to keep the fires burning slowly so they don't go out or burn up what he's cooking. The Page is eager for new adventures and ideas, the Knight is energized by gathering resources to make it happen and the Queen is enthused about nurturing and supporting them. But the King is the Cialis of All Enterprise. He guides around obstacles and through bumpy challenges without faltering. He's not constantly distracted by every "new and exciting" thing that comes along, because his goal is to see things through to their completion. He teaches me to stop channel surfing and finish what I started.

The card from the Spiral Journey set for today is "Nurture:"
Perhaps this is the secret behind the king's success - he knows how to nurture himself so he can keep the coals hot. I tend to get pulled away from projects and goals when other people need me. It's hard to say, "I'll get back to you soon, but right now I need to take care of something." Ellen at Greylady's Hearth and I were just talking about this the other day. She made the statement that there are times we need to put out a sign that says "Down for maintenance" - simply brilliant. If I wait until I have time to take care of my own needs and desires, there will never be any available. I'm going to have to make the time for myself.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Bit of This, A Bit of That

From the Spiral Tarot, Temperance:
After a long, exhausting night (a definite Tower moment), I was happy to see this peaceful card. The sun shines between two mountains, liquid is mixed in two cups, and a rainbow arches over everything. When struggles happen, I think it is human nature to either believe everything is doom and gloom or to try and firmly shut the door on what happened and pretend you never have to look at it again. But the sun between the peaks, the combination of colors in the rainbow and the mixture in the cups remind me it is never this nor that but something in the middle. Moderation and balance is needed not only in perceiving the situation but also in my actions that follow.

From the Sacred Journey Cards comes "Clarity:"
When I'm tired and emotional, it's easy to believe what I feel is reality. But just because I fear something doesn't mean it is going to actually happen. My thoughts and emotions often mushroom things way out of proportion to what they actually are. I need to go back to Byron Katie's advice. Do I absolutely, positively know this thought is real? How would my life be different if I didn't believe that thought?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fertile Soil Underneath the Concrete

From the Spiral Tarot, the Tower:
Did you know that intellectualization is considered a defense mechanism? It allows a person to avoid painful or uncomfortable emotions by focusing on facts and logic. It falls into the "neurotic" defense mechanism category, a group many adults use that isn't as pathological as some of the other defenses. Such a defense can have short-term advantages in coping but may cause long-term problems down the line. Avoidance can keep us from experiencing the emotion, but we also neglect to see and act on the changes needed in our lives. And here is the Tower in a nutshell - "If I don't see it or experience it, then it's not real and I don't need to deal with it." So life sends us a slap upside the head - not as a form of punishment - but to tear down the walls we've built between us and reality. Liberation may look and feel terrifying, but its long-term results are much healthier than any emotional wall.

From the Sacred Journey Cards comes "Fertilize:"
I suppose living in an area surrounded by farmland made me think of bags of fertilizer. Bags are generally labeled with three numbers. The first number is nitrogen for leafy plant growth, the second is for phosphorus for healthy root growth, and the last is for potassium which promotes flower and fruit formation. But if I take a "Tower" perspective and don't deal with anything (forget the fertilizer just buy more bricks), I might as well pour concrete over everything. I abdicate my right to choose and pretend my fantasy will work itself out on its own. Well, hell... I've never cared much for unicorns and such. I guess I better go dust off my hoe and see if I have any fish emulsion left.