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, January 31, 2014

Quality Control

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Queen of Swords:
This helmeted queen is linked to Minerva, goddess of wisdom and war. She stands above the clouds, suggesting she is able to think clearly, objectively and logically. Place states her red wing indicates maturity and ripeness while her green wing represents what is immature and undeveloped. Notice the green sword is thrust downward, as if stating, "Your thoughts are fanciful and need to be grounded in the practical, real world."

From the Oracle of the Radiant World comes "Submission - Venus in Pisces:"
The love of Venus combines with the sacrifice of Pisces to bring about the not-so-healthy characteristic of submission. What false beliefs and manipulative lies holds that bird in a cage that has the door wide open? The cards selected today seem to say that not only am I gathering unripe fruit, but I've got some rotten ones too. Guess I need the queen's sword to cut through the BS and clear my mental pantry.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Equilibrium and Equanimity

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Six of Vessels:
What I noticed about the clay jugs (besides the variation in shape) was that some had wide openings and some had narrow ones. The wide mouths would be easy to pour water into, but the narrow openings would be better for pouring liquid out into another jar. It is similar to my being more open to receive love in times past (wide) yet being more willing to give than receive during other periods. Yet the jug the woman holds has two openings - a small one for pouring and a large one for filling. It reminds me that I need this kind of emotional balance in my life to maintain an equilibrium.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Protection - Moon in Aries:"
The combination of Moon (security) and Aries (self-will) leads to a powerful need to respond emotionally and immediately to a situation. The mother figure with the tiger below indicates this display will be with claws extended and teeth sharpened. I do have emotional triggers when it comes to the people or pets I love, and I can be a little over-the-top when I react. This card reminds me that it is possible to show my strength without leaving mangled body parts behind.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Socratic Solutions

From the Alchemical Renewed, the Two of Swords:
Athena's owl, representing both war and wisdom, appears over two crossed swords (one with the sun on its hilt, the other with the moon). Here is a situation that seems to lack any sort of compromise and requires an "either/or" choice. Place encourages the use of Socratic method for finding the truth by asking continual questions until a contradiction is exposed (thus proving the fallacy of the initial assumption). Such critical thinking offers me the wisdom of the owl instead of being beset by warring feelings and ideas. The Two of Swords requires a pause to get to this place of understanding and decision though. I had to laugh when I drew this card this morning because late last night we got sleet and a dusting of snow, which brought our southern city to a complete standstill (having no equipment to deal with icy roads in such weather), and most schools and businesses have closed. Here's a few pictures of my backyard just before dawn (click to enlarge):

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun this morning comes "Revenge - Mars in Scorpio:"
The hot-headed Mars combines with Scorpio, who loves challenges, to come up with an "off with their heads!" solution. Yet the sexual bliss of the moon and sun in the top right hand corner suggests there may be a more satisfying way to handle the situation. At this stage in my life, I try to live by the saying that the best revenge is a well-lived, happy life. Who wants to miss out on all the good stuff while you're busy plotting the downfall of another?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Leading and Guiding within the Labyrinth

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Three of Vessels (Cups):
My first thought when I saw this card was, "Don't party so much that you can't keep something balanced on your head." These women carry vessels with the alchemical emblems of earth, air and fire on them. Where's the water symbol? I assume that would be their hearts, which are full of compassion and why this group is together. Place suggests this is a support group of sorts made of friends and/or family. Definitely a group that can help me stay in balance when life is full of the unexpected, whether good or bad.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Inheritance - Saturn in Scorpio:"
The ambition of Saturn meets the responsibility and self-control of Scorpio. I immediately made a connection with this card to my mother-in-law. Life has become confusing for her as early stage dementia now has a firm grip. She gets lost in the labyrinth, and her guides (me, my husband and sister-in-law) must help lead her out. We make sure ready-to-eat food is in the cupboard and refrigerator, and remind her to eat. We help her distinguish between the cordless phone and the TV remote control. We help manage her finances and must constantly reassure her that no one has stolen all her money. We have become her support group when she is afraid and bewildered.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Plastic People

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Empress:
The Empress represents the continuing, alchemical process of dissolution, the stage of dissolving ashes (earth) in water. Though she is creativity and the fabric of the material world, the Empress is also pure emotion. Her process works on buried emotions that conceal our true nature, those feelings that society has taught us were not appropriate. "Good girls don't get angry. Don't be such a cry baby. Toughen up you big scaredy cat." Do any of these ring a bell? Creativity (no matter what avenue) can help me uncover and deal with those emotions, so I don't have to be a plastic person made from a mold.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes "Isolation - Saturn in Virgo:"
The ambition of Saturn combines with the perfectionism of Virgo in this card. Such a person can find themselves taking on heavy responsibilities until they are overloaded. Perfection was one of those characteristics that was drilled into me at an early age. It was stressed that I shouldn't settle for doing my best, but I should always strive to be the best at whatever I do. Sometimes it takes being alone so I can detach myself from all the "shoulds" that overwhelm me. I can look from an objective viewpoint at where the real "me" and the not real "me" part ways. Then perhaps my walls will crumble and I will act from a place of authenticity.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Elvis Has Left the Building

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, Death:
In alchemy, the image of Death was used to represent the process of putrefaction. Though it has no modern counterpart, it was originally believed that chemicals were alive. This stage ground and dissolved the material in a humid oven, separating the material from its essence. Place gives his Death figure an arrow rather than a scythe, suggesting a connection to Cupid. Both attraction and separation (beginning and ending) are a natural cycle, such as the harvested corn that is ground and in turn feeds and gives life. But while I understand it from a logical point of view, I still find generally find those endings an unwelcome surprise.

From the Oracle of the Radiant Sun comes the card "Defense - Mars in Taurus:"
Take the aggressive, impulsive Mars and add the stubborn, earthiness of Taurus, and you have defensive team to be reckoned with. Come hell or high water, they're not going to budge. Which is great if you have something worth protecting, but what if "Elvis has left the building?" The human heart may want to protest and fight, but logic tells me it will only be wasted energy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Commitment + Motivation + Effort

This week I'll be using the Alchemical Tarot: Renewed with the book Alchemy and the Tarot. Both have been created by Robert M. Place and published by Hermes Publications. Today's draw is the Four of Staffs:
Place explains that in the early Middle Ages, all that was required for a man and woman to be married was that they pledged their loyalty to each other. (This was before the Church declared a marriage would only be recognized if performed by a priest.) For any partnership, business or venture to succeed, there needs to be a foundation of trust. Without that sense of security and commitment to tenacity even when things get tough, nothing will ever get completed. I am reminded to honor my word and the promises I make, for this will determine the strength of whatever I am trying to build.

The other deck I'll be using this week is the Oracle of the Radiant Sun deck and book set, created by Caroline Smith and John Astrop and published by St. Martin's Press. This morning's card is "Riches - Saturn in Capricorn:"
Fortuna is shown carrying the symbols of health, wealth and the arts. To the side is a five-pointed star, the symbol of humanity. Saturn represents ambition, the driving force of our passions. Yet this alone will not bring success. Capricorn brings with it organizational skills, a sense of responsibility and perseverance. Wishing for something to be rarely makes it materialize out of thin air; it is the energy and effort we expend that will bring results.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Enlarging the Future

From the Wheel of Change, the Six of Cups:
Six broken and cracked pottery vessels have been left out in the desert; they are no longer useful and will eventually disintegrate into the earth. The Six of Cups often deals with integrating the past with the present, and I feel I know why they have come up today. I was discussing my evolving spiritual ideas with a friend yesterday, and she suggested I do a timeline of who or what my spiritual thoughts were focused on and what was going on in my life at the time. This exercise brought up some uncomfortable memories of the past, yet I could clearly see how each circumstance helped shape the person I am today. But while I can learn from the cracked bowls of regret and pain, I don't have to keep them in my house like some sort of sick trophy collection.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Frilled-neck Lizard:"
The aboriginal story of the frilled-neck lizard is one of frustration and anger. This animal tried to talk with the other animals who were fighting because of a drought that had led to a lack of food and water. The lizard was a rainmaker, and the attitude of the animals made him so angry, he unleashed a storm that caused flooding and resulted in many deaths. Anger is such a powerful emotion, and it can be channeled in ways that create positive change or destructive retaliation. Memories, even those in the past, can trigger the feeling of anger as if the situation were happening all over again. I must be very careful with this emotion and find a way to defuse it. It helps to remember a quote from Paul Boese who said, “Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Detour Ahead

From the Wheel of Change, the Queen of Swords:
This woman uses the art of origami as a form of meditation. She folds paper cranes, a symbol of peace, and hangs them on an evergreen tree. The Queen of Swords is well aware that distracting thoughts and emotions are like a whiteout in a blizzard. Intelligence isn't worth much without the structure of clarity and reason. As she folds and creases the paper, she sharpens her focus, allowing all that is unimportant and unnecessary to fall away. She might seem as cold as the snow drifts outside, but if you're looking for solutions or strategies, this is the queen you want to go see.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Lightning Man:"
This cloud rider with bolts in his hands and clubs on his knees (for thunder) comes as a warning to find another way other than the one I'm intent on. I've witnessed a few strikes hitting large trees, peeling off long strips of bark and leaving the tree smoking. It's one of those moments when your legs start moving without consciously thinking about it first. I think the Queen above would get along fine with this guy. While she has the brains, he's the one that holds the signpost that says "detour ahead."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Outside the Mental Box

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Two of Swords:
I used to love making paper snowflakes when I was a child, especially since snow is as rare as hen's teeth here. First a circle was carefully cut out, then it was folded in half and again in fourths. From the sides and ends, snips of shapes were trimmed. The exciting part was unfolding the circle, because you never knew exactly what it was going to look like. Such is the dilemma of making choices - no one can ever foresee what the consequences will be. The snow theme of this card reminds me to pause long enough to put my emotions on ice in order to make a more sound decision.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Barramundi:"
This wisdom story is the aboriginal equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Instead of following the established order of doing things, a young couple rebelled and followed their own ideas. In adding this meaning to the tarot card above, I am reminded the traditional way of handling situations is not always the best. A good decision today may depend on me being able to think outside the box.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Keeping Connected

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Three of Cups:
A large cup floats on a river with a lotus flower inside; two more lotus blooms rise from the water. Usually the Three of Cups shows a bunch of women in party mode, celebrating one thing or another. But here the cups are replaced by lotuses, plants that grow from the muck and mud until they tower over the top of the water. I have women in my life who've gotten me through turbulent and grief-stricken times; they have helped me rise out of the darkness and into the light. My "tribe" of women are much more than just people to party with.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes "Sturt's Desert Pea:"
The tragic tale of this aboriginal story describes a family who fails to heed their intuition and ends up paying with their lives (and the lives of their tribe). From the ground where the people were slain, beautiful flowers emerged. Like these red blooms that suddenly appear in the barren desert, sometimes I have small flashes of insight or thoughts that nudge me in a certain direction. Lately, I have had a friend on my mind whom I've not heard from in quite a while. I feel I should to try to contact her, and this card seems to encourage me not to shelve that idea but act on it now.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Lighten a Load

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Ten of Wands:
The usual RWS version of the Ten of Wands shows a man hunched over with a heavy load as he walks uphill. Yet Genetti has a group of national flags with one of the earth standing above all of them. Like the man with his burden, the earth does support, nurture and sustain us, often at a heavy cost. Yet do we feel concern and appreciation or a sense of entitlement? Normally I would interpret this card as me having taking on more obligations and responsibilities than I should. But this image reverses that and makes me ask if I am allowing someone else to carry what I should be carrying myself.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes "Koala:"
The story of the Koala tells of how this tree-climbing marsupial lost his tail because he secretly hoarded water for himself during a drought. This wisdom story emphasizes that if we all share, there will be enough to go around. In adding this meaning to the card above, I am encouraged to do what I can to help ease another's burden. Perhaps I cannot take the whole load myself, but if I take some of it, the other person's load will be considerably lightened.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Tool Shed

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Ten of Swords:
This card has to be the best ever Ten of Swords for me (and not just because there is no dead body lying around). The little shed represents my life, and the tools symbolize the human gifts of rational thought and communication. I chuckled when I noticed the cobwebs in some of the corners - yep, that looks like my mind for sure! But look at the view beyond the door with its stars and planets. It is a reminder that my viewpoints and perceptions come from the tiny shed I live in - my personal experiences, the place I live, the books I read and the people I associate with. Though I might like to think I am intellectually well-rounded, there is so much more in the universe than my little brain will ever know.

From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Sydney Harbor Bridge:"
The painting above comes from a story about a giant kangaroo who tried to move beyond his natural boundaries. His skeleton eventually became a bridge connecting two areas. Lately the idea of bridges has come up a lot in conversation - not the physical kind, but the mental kind. I am invited by this card to make a mental leap across my comfortable belief system into the unknown. I don't necessarily have to sign off on anything I learn there, but I've no doubt I'll get a chance to see from a new perspective.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do It Anyway

This week I'll be using the Wheel of Change Tarot, created by Alexandra Genetti and published by Destiny Books. The card drawn for this morning is the Hierophant:
Genetti describes this image as "a golden idol receives the oblations of his worshipers." I understand the need to create pictures, statues and mythologies around our ideas of the Divine. We humans find it hard to have a relationship with something without limits and boundaries, but isn't it ironic that we give it parameters anyway? Yet I liken it to using a phone to call a friend; I would never assume the phone is my friend, it is just a tool to contact her. But what happens when I think my ideas and boundaries are the right one? Genetti asks, "What are you putting your faith in? Am I using dogma to justify my behavior?" I have no identifiable religion, yet I constantly struggle to find a spirituality that fits. Maybe I should make sure that "fit" isn't there to be exclusive but inclusive. I think whatever the Divine is, it would want us to try to build bridges rather than burn them.

The other deck I'll be using this week is the Oracle of the Dreamtime, with text written by Donni Hakanson and artwork by a variety of aboriginal artists. The publisher is Journey Editions. Today's card is the "Gymea Lily:"
The legend around this image involves a warrior who made a continuous effort to save his people, even though he realized his sacrifice and hard work would probably be in vain. I have to admit, even though I wrote about "building bridges" above, I thought about how some people will stubbornly cling to their beliefs and shun those stretch out the hand of peace. Some folks will gladly debate with you, but they don't care to have a respectful dialogue. Yet like the warrior in the story, I am prodded to make the effort anyway.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Leash Training

From the Fey Tarot, Strength:
The first thing I notice about this card is how young and small the Fey is compared to the multiple-headed dragon. Her youth represents innocence - her intentions are pure with no hidden agendas. She's not out to win accolades or prove anything. The second observation is that there are no bloody, dripping dragon heads impaled on a spear. Though she has a huge sword at her side, she has chosen to tie down and subdue the beast instead of kill it. She reminds me that my inner "dragons" (emotions and other instincts that make me want to react impulsively) can be useful if used with forethought and moderation. My job is to keep them trained on a leash, not running loose.

From the I Misteri della Sibilla comes the card "Enemy:"
If you're in a store and someone walks into it with a mask on, you have a pretty good idea that trouble is afoot. But in life, most people are a little less obvious and a little more cunning when they're doing something. Have you ever had a funny feeling about someone, as if they were pretending to play a role? My intuitive antenna has been picking up signals about someone lately, but I have no firm evidence that he is doing anything wrong. The Strength card above would caution me not to be overly paranoid or reactive, yet still trust my gut and not let my guard down. I have a feeling his true colors will show through soon enough.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sacred Containers

From the Fey Tarot, the Queen of Chalices:
This queen is so at home with her emotions, she lives in the depths of the sea. She is an empathetic listener, and her attention is like a healing balm (symbolized by the liquid she releases from her jug). The Queen of Cups always makes me nervous, because I have a hard time showing my emotions. However I do think I have learned to be patient and attentive when someone needs to talk. Perhaps by becoming comfortable with the emotions they share, I will eventually become more at ease with expressing my own.

From the I Misteri della Sibilla comes the card "Joy / Nine of Clubs:"
 I can almost hear the conversation as these fellows talk and joke with each other. There is something about relaxing at a table with food and drink that invites a person to open up. I have a local coffee shop that I'm fond of, where I tend to meet my friends. There is a Swedish proverb that states, “Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow,” and I tend to agree with it. The Queen and the Nine of Clubs suggest that joy will be found in this type of communication; we all need someone we can pour out our hearts to, who will be a sacred container for us.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Which Side of the Window?

From the Fey Tarot, the Five of Pentacles:
The Fey's rendition of the Five of Pentacles is most interesting. It offers two perspectives: one of simple abundance and the other of perceived scarcity. On which side of the window do I see myself? I've been without a job now for a couple of years; our area is severely, economically depressed, with a higher than average unemployment rate (no jobs available). It's easy to look at how other people live and wish for more. Yet at the same time, we do have a modest income from the sale of our business. By living very simply, we're paying our bills with a tiny bit left for fun. Today I choose to be grateful and warm myself by the fire of simple abundance.

This morning's draw from the I Misteri della Sibilla is "Loyalty / Nine of Hearts:"
The hunter's faithful dog stands by his side ready to assist him in whatever way he can. They are actually a team that supports each other. The dog holds a downed bird gently in his mouth, knowing his master will share food with him later. There is a sense of protection felt in this card as well. The Nine of Hearts suggests I remember the network of friends and family I am a part of; the love we have for each other means we maintain a balance of giving and receiving. Together we make a firm foundation.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Dream, Design, Build

From the Fey Tarot, the Queen of Wands:
The Queen of Wands for the Fey Tarot has a saucy, fun-loving and mischievous personality. Part of that fun looks like it has produced a new life growing in her. She may not wear her emotions on her sleeve, but she has her creative spirit tattooed on her body. Though my child-bearing days are long since past, the drive to dream, design and build is still quite strong. I think it is an urge that will bring us joy if we follow it passionately. Yet while I may take my craft seriously, it doesn't have to be all work and no play. As this queen would advise, if you want drudgery, you might as well clean house.

From the I Misteri della Sibilla deck comes the card "Surprise / Six of Clubs:"
While this man was digging a hole to plant some seeds, he unearthed a bag of gold. Now that's what I call a nice surprise! He wasn't running around looking for treasure, he was just doing his job. It is the "doing" that often brings unexpected rewards, not happenstance. A woman who is a professional photographer usually asks me to do a reading for her each new year. Yesterday I got an email from her with such a request. She is a friend, so I don't charge her, but she has offered to give me one of her photographs of a full moon with rings of rainbow-colored light around it. Sometimes what is unanticipated can be a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Folded Feathers

From the Fey Tarot, the Knave (Page) of Swords:
With his sword hanging in midair and his arms in motion, this fey reminded me of someone doing t'ai chi ch'uan (tai chi). Though his body performs gentle, flowing movements, his mind is calm, still and focused. He has become a finely honed antenna, perceptive and attuned to his environment. Let's hope he is just as mindful with the information he receives. He might take a lesson from the tai chi master who responds to outside forces but does not try to meet them in an aggressive manner.

From the I Misteri della Sibilla comes the card "Pride / Two of Clubs:"
With his brightly colored, showy tail feathers, it's easy to see how the peacock came to be associated with pride and vanity. In combining this card with the one above, it reminds me that knowledge can be used to impress and intimidate or to help and heal. Just because I have information doesn't mean I have to share it, especially if it may cause harm. Sometimes those tail feathers need to stay in the folded position.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Half Empty or Half Full?

From the Fey Tarot, the Ace of Cups:
This young fey reminds me of the volunteers at 5K and marathon races who stand on the sidelines handing out bottles of water to the runners as they go by. The water is freely given, but the runner must pause long enough to grab it. I've noticed lately that the first thing I think of in the morning upon awakening is the list of obligations and duties I need to accomplish. There isn't anything fun or exciting on that list most days. Now I could gripe that I'm so busy taking care of other people and things that I don't have time, but that is only a half truth. I can pause like the runner and grab that water; it will refresh and renew my spirit so the work I do is performed with a more loving attitude.

From the I Misteri della Sibilla comes the card "Doctor / King of Clubs:"
Not knowing Italian, my first thought upon seeing this image was it was the Death card. But no, it represents a mature, kind person who gives advice on how to make things better (like a doctor). I fussed at a friend the other day who had broken a wrist but never finished her physical therapy after the cast was off. (She had been complaining that the wrist wasn't 100% and still bothered her.) Yet in many ways, I am no different. I want to take the shortest distance to the goal as possible, without taking care of my own needs along the way. It's like going on a trip and not wanting to stop at the interesting sites on the journey. That is a life that is half empty, not half full.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Where the Heart Is

This week I'll be using the Fey Tarot, created by Riccardo Minetti and Mara Aghem and published by Lo Scarabeo. This morning's draw is the "Chariot:"
To accomplish a purpose or reach a goal, we need two things: movement and direction. I can dream a thousand dreams, but unless I do something (move), I'll be no closer to my objective. I can also get moving but have so many distractions that I move in circles or chaotically and make no progress. The little frog-like fey has a whip to keep the mouse and lizard in motion, but no reins. However the lady fey sits in a trance state, with her focus solely on the place she expects to arrive. Her senses, emotions and unhelpful thoughts are all in submission to her directive. Her will gives boundaries and structure, so the effort made is not in vain. She pointedly asks me, "What do you need to put in motion? What is moving that needs the framework of self-discipline?"

The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the I Misteri della Sibilla (The Mysteries of the Sibyl), created by E. Maiotti and published by Dal Negro. Today's card is "Money / Six of Hearts:"
A man sits deep in thought at a table covered in gold coins. If not for the suit of hearts, I might think this card was only about financial matters. But it refers to what is meaningful and important to me in the physical world. A doctor may tell me I need to take better care of myself, or a relative might tell me to go back to school, but if my heart is not in it, I will surely fail. Before I hop on that Chariot and gallop off into the sunset, I need to make sure the effort is one I am not only willing to make but passionate about as well.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Finding Your Inner Explorer

From the Vision Quest, the Princess (Page) of Wands:
This Princess has a passionate enthusiasm for life. The challenge of the unknown or obstacles on her path of adventure won't deter her a bit. She knows that I too have an eager, trail-blazing explorer inside, though she is hidden under old habits and fears from the past. The woman in the image burns sage as a way to purify herself, and she invites me to cleanse myself from those old tapes that play nonstop messages in my head. The lightning in the background represents those inner fears, constantly rumbling to remind me of a thousand "what ifs." But it is a new day, and I would be foolish to let those thoughts keep me from enjoying it. Like the wisps of smoke, they may rise up but they will eventually disappear because there is nothing solid to hold them.

From the Bird Cards comes the "Crow:"
I enjoy the crows we have here; whenever I hear a group cawing, I know they have spotted something. They don't have Facebook, but they can sure get the message out that there is a cat, hawk or human in the area. It makes sense that the creator of this deck assigns it the label of messenger. I am encouraged to pay attention to what I hear today - it is a message to help not harm me. Yes, I may have to step out of my comfort zone to take advantage of the information I receive, but it is meant to be beneficial.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Adapt and Dive In

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Two of Earth (Pentacles):
While the RWS traditional meaning of this card is juggling obligations and finding a balance, the Vision Quest interprets it as change. It's emphasis is that change is natural and normal; the sun is replaced by the moon, and then the moon by the sun. The vine produces flowers that are pollinated, which in turn become gourds. Eventually the vine dies, but within the gourds are seeds for a new generation of vines. I welcome change when I am uncomfortable and dread it when I am complacent. The lesson here is to adapt to changes in my health, finances and energy, whether they are increasing or decreasing. Otherwise I just waste energy fighting the change (and still get the same results).

The feathered friend from the Bird Cards this morning is the "Gannet:"
I wasn't familiar with this seabird, so I did a bit of research and found this amazing picture of one in a dive. Doesn't he look like a javelin? These birds seek out fish as they fly above the water, then make high-speed dives into the ocean to catch their meals. Because they often hit the water at over 60 mph, they must streamline their bodies and make them rigid to endure such an impact. The Gannet encourages me not to be afraid to make the adjustments I need to make. Such adaptations will help me find both balance and the goal I seek.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Unraveling Hems

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Four of Air (Swords):
Though the Thoth Tarot's subtitle for this card is "truce," the creator of the Vision Quest assigns "contemplation" to it. The booklet however, describes it as detachment. For me, contemplation means looking thoughtfully at something over a period of time, while detachment is a process of disengaging and separating (and not mulling over anything). The peaceful image implies a breathing space, an interval of rest without worrying and trying to solve all the world's problems. It reminds me situations often work themselves out successfully without my interference. That pot of water on the stove is going to eventually boil whether I stir it or not.

From the Bird Cards this morning comes the "Nightjar:"
Nightjars are interesting birds that are only active during twilight or night. During the light of day they rest, camouflaged by their plumage which is colored to look like bark or leaves. It's quite easy to see why this bird is associated with fear; when we don't have our busyness to distract us in the evening, those anxious thoughts come out to play. With my magnifying mind, those thoughts become like a loose thread. I keep pulling and pulling until the whole hem unravels, solving nothing but leaving me with a bigger problem. My best bet with the thread is to cut it off with scissors. Likewise, I can stop my fear from spinning out of control by realizing those thoughts are projections into the future, they are not reality.