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, January 31, 2013

Uncovering Talents

From the Jolanda Tarot, the King of Pentacles:
Two things immediately strike me about this king, the first is the tree he holds and the second is the cobra that wraps around his body and makes a hood over his head.  The tree is full of fruit, indicating this king's  message is literally to "bear fruit."  The cobra in India is a symbol of protection and wisdom, but more than anything else it represents creative energy - the life force.  In other words, do something with the talents and resources I've been given.  Of course my reaction to such a challenge is that "I don't have any talent."  I think most people have untapped potential, gifts never discovered because we don't think we'll ever be "good enough."  Instead of making resolutions each new year, my friend at Quirkeries makes it a priority to learn something new; the whole year she is involved in learning, practicing skills, etc. that deal with this new area.  I can't think of a better way to uncover hidden talents and interests.

From the Bird Signs deck comes "Raven:"
The creators of this deck give Raven the keyword "Illusion," because his tricks of deception muddle up my perception of reality, creating a fantasy instead of real life.  In adding this meaning with the significance of the tarot card above, I am chastised not to dream away my life, imagining all the things I might one day do.  Now I'm not suggesting anyone can miraculously become a master of anything overnight, but I do know that if I spend time actually learning and practicing skills, I'll at least be on a road based in reality and instead of wasting time in Never-never land.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

There's Bad News and Good News...

From the Jolanda Tarot, the Eight of Swords:
The bad news is there are killer bees heading my way; the good news is I can control them with my mind.  I don't think there has ever been anyone who criticized me, doubted my abilities, or laughed at my dreams more than I did myself.  My mind can be used to creatively enhance my life or to destructively tear it into tiny bits.  But with cognitive training and techniques such as meditation, I can rein in my thoughts and turn them in the direction I wish to go.  It's a solution that has to be simmered, not microwaved, but it will keep those pesky critters at bay better than Off repellant.

From the Bird Signs deck comes "Rooster:"
This studly fowl is protector of the hen house - nothing gets past him without his say-so.  He's also the neighborhood alarm clock; he crows to show his enthusiasm about each morning, almost as if saying, "Bring it on!"  Rooster reminds me to have the same fearlessness in meeting my day.  If there are nameless fears, I should track them down, scrutinize them carefully, and see if they are real or just a figment of my "what if" mind.  If they are real, I need to contact the hen house - I've got good friends and family members who can support and encourage me through whatever challenge I face.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Clarity with Grace

From the Jolanda Tarot, the Ace of Swords:
The sphinx on the hilt of the sword is connected to the solar Egyptian deities, and it emphasizes the need for clear thinking and honesty.  To be honest with others, I must take the philosopher's challenge to "know thyself."  But this bit of advice had nothing to do with New Age navel-gazing; it means I must be fully aware of my limits and weaknesses, not just my strengths.  So instead of letting my ego speak (See how wise I am?  Don't you want me to share all my knowledge with you?), it will come from a place of shadowless truth.  The roses remind me such frankness does not need to be cruel or disrespectful - yes, it may prick, but the benefit should far outweigh the discomfort.  And then there are the mosquitoes, those folks who love to pick apart whatever doesn't rest well with their opinions.  But the truth is founded on bedrock; no matter how much they try to dig, they won't get past it.

From the Bird Signs deck comes the "Swan:"
The swan is associated with beauty and grace.  If I add the tarot card above to this one, I find I am encouraged to offer honesty with an open palm rather than a fist.  I can't force reality (or my perception of it) on anyone.  But if I present it in a tactful, loving way, they might at least take a quick glance at it.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Trust Funds

From the Jolanda Tarot, the Nine of Pentacles:
The sun releasing coins like raindrops made me think of the drought conditions we are often threatened with here.  It sounds weird, but air with moisture is lighter than dry air; dry air creates a high-pressure area which deflects storm systems.  Adding to the problem is lack of transpiration when the ground is dry - a process like evaporation where trees and other plants release water into the air (fully grown trees can release hundreds of gallons a day).  Thus no moisture is added to the air, causing an ongoing lack of rain.  I think of this cycle as I look at the Nine of Pentacles; these coins didn't magically appear from nothing - there was effort expended in order for the "rain" to come.  Self-discipline, persistence and hard work is what will allow me to make progress toward my goals.

From the Bird Signs deck comes "Quail:"
Interesting that this bird came up today, as the local plantations have been hosting a quail hunt for bigwigs and celebrities who like to shoot stuff.  In their defense, I will say they are geared toward conservation; they manage the numbers of birds and other game animals to prevent them from disappearing altogether.  Though they hunt the birds, they do so wisely, making sure there will be plenty to hunt again another time.  The creators of the deck tag this bird with the keyword "trust."  While I'm sure they meant another definition of the word, to me I think of something held back and saved, much like the plantations do with the wildlife resources we have here.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


From the Jolanda Tarot, the Star:
The Star has always represented hope and guidance to me, but in this image I see something else as well.  The night sky reminds me of cycles (especially since we had a full moon last night); there is a rhythm here that can't be rushed.  The bear woman represents the "medicine" of this animal - rest and healing.  As much as I would like to quickly put all the puzzle pieces of my life together, I am beginning to realize there is a pace to life that requires patience.  If I can hang on to hope, the healing and guidance will eventually come.

From the Bird Signs deck comes "Swallow:"
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.”  
 ~ Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
The message the creators attribute to this bird is, "Guidance gives you insight and direction in your life."  Nautical men who took long journeys often had a tattoo of a swallow, a symbol of being guided safely home.  I must remember that I too am on a journey, and unlike the airlines, there is no "Estimated Time of Arrival."  My job is not to get to a certain place by a certain time, but to listen and "attend" with intention and patience.