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, November 30, 2014

Pass or Punt?

From the Norse Tarot, the Emperor; from the Wolf Pack, "Walking Away:"
       The Emperor is represented by the Norse god Tyr, one of the principal war gods along with Odin and Thor. He is perhaps most remembered for keeping his word. When the gods wanted to stop the huge wolf Fenrir from wreaking havoc, they tried to convince him to allow a cord to be placed around him. The wolf, knowing something was up, said he would only agree if one of the gods would place a hand in his mouth while they did so. Tyr was the only god brave enough to do it, and he lost his hand as a result. Thus Tyr also became associated with the law, honor and oaths.
       The Wolf Pack card is a reminder that it's a wise person who knows when he should run or pass the ball, and when he should punt. There are some words better left unsaid and some actions better left undone, because the effort would be wasted. Have you ever tried to share common sense with a person who is drunk or in a highly charged emotional state? You'd have better luck having a meaningful conversation with a brick. The Emperor knows for some people or situations only the natural repercussions of their actions will work.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Give a Sister a Hand

This week I’ll be using the Norse Tarot book and deck, created by Clive Barrett and published by Aquarian. The other deck I’ll be drawing from is the Wolf Pack, created by Robert Petro and published by Windspirit Productions. Today’s cards are the Two of Discs and “Support:”
  There’s a running joke in my family: “Don’t ask mom if you can do something to help her, because she’ll tell you!” I was terrible at delegating tasks when I was younger because of my perfectionism (“If you want it done right, do it yourself.”). But now I know that maintaining my equilibrium (health, energy, time, or finances) requires that I entrust certain responsibilities to others. The family in Barrett’s card is a perfect example – the mom cooks for everyone, the grandfather entertains the grandson, and the grandson fetches whatever the grandfather might need. Things run smoothly, because no one is expected to do everything.
  The Wolf Pack card “Support” syncs up nicely with the Two of Discs. Show me a group where everyone works only for their own self-interest, and I’ll show you a group in decline and rapidly disintegrating. Everyone has things that they excel at, regardless of whether those things fall in a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual category. Right now I’m typing this on my word processor instead of my blog because my internet connection is down. I’m hoping AT&T will offer me the support I need to get back online. (ETA: They worked their magic - yea!)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Offside Penalty

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Five of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols "Gemini 9:"
       I have a bad habit of wanting to correct information that I know is wrong, especially if someone is presenting it as the truth. It's worse if there is a group involved, because I fear other people are being misinformed. But sometimes there's a fine line between presenting facts and whacking someone over the head with them. The other person with the alternate view may respond by not wanting to discuss but debate. And if it becomes a debate, then there is only a win-lose option; one speaker is going to get hurt or be left with resentment.
       The visual for Gemini 9 is: A medieval archer stands with the ease of one wholly sure of himself, bow in hand, his quiver filled with arrows. From this symbol I get the impression one should be alert, prepared and full of confidence. But there is a subtle detail that is important - the archer stands at ready but isn't shooting any arrows yet. In American football, there is a penalty called a "false start" in which the offense tries to draw the opponent offside by making a quick movement. In the same way, I get the feeling that this Sabian Symbol is warning me not to take the bait. If a battle of wits erupts, it could quickly turn into a lose-lose situation. I also need to ask myself, "How important is this, really?"

Thursday, November 27, 2014

After the Storm

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Eight of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols, "Leo 16:"
       Not too long ago, I had a thread of truth that I began to weave a story around. The details I added weren't based on evidence or fact, but on assumptions and projections. Eventually I found myself right where this woman is - feeling overwhelmed and helpless with no available choices. I imagine the swords above her head are woven into a similar story. Yet if she can remove those ideas that are based on supposition rather than reality, she will find the one bit of information that is concrete. And both of us can use the sword of truth to make some decisions that will give us direction and purpose.
       Leo 16's visual states: Brilliant sunshine just after a storm. Storms are a perfect symbol for an emotional crisis; after the trouble passes there is relief. Even though there may be limbs and debris to clean up, there is hope because we made it through it. But if I want to get off this emotional merry-go-round (with swords hanging over my head), I need to do something different. Those in between times of peace and sanity can be used to decipher how things got this way by looking carefully at my patterns of thinking and behavior.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Praise for Brother Sun

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Sun; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aries 22:"
       After several continuous days of gray skies and rain,  I'm beginning to feel like I'm living underneath a pile of damp leaf litter. What a coincidence to hear the weatherman predict the sun will come out again today. I feel like throwing up my hands and singing praises like these two folks in the image. It's hard not to feel joyful when you draw the Sun; it represents energy, clarity, warmth and happiness. A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but a spoonful of gratitude and some sunshine can pull me out of the mulligrubs.
       The visual for Aries 22 is: The gate opens to the garden of all fulfilled desires. Wow, now this phrase sounds like winning the lottery for life. But there's a bit of a catch - the gate is open, but I still must walk through it. Should I try to sneak in? Will I be trespassing? Anyone who's ever been in an emotionally or physically abusive situation will understand this line of reasoning. We might see something good, but we expect to have it snatched away if we reach for it. Even if we're enjoying something, there's a part of us that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. But the irony is that life is full of change and marked by impermanence for everyone. So what if I only get to drink the nectar for a few days or even minutes? That moment in the sun can keep me warm until the next opportunity arises. I'll take what I can get and appreciate it while I can.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Restring the Bow

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the King of Staves; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aquarius 7:"
       In Jackson's version of the King of Staves, this ruler holds an arrow rather than a wand or staff. When I see an arrow, I automatically think of a target. Point, aim then shoot. If I miss the bulls-eye, this king would tell me not to give up. I should check my stance, adjust the tension on the bowstring, then focus and shoot again. He would agree with Edison's philosophy: not hitting the mark just means learning what won't work, it's not failure. The King of Staves encourages me to keep stringing my bow until I figure out what does.
       The visual assigned to Aquarius 7 reads: A child born out of an eggshell. The idea behind it is to do things in an unexpected, innovative way. "Tried and true" traditions won't be successful; this is going to require something unusual. I got up this morning feeling very frustrated, because some problems I've been trying to solve have not been helped by the solutions I attempted. Looks like I need to start cracking open some eggs from a brand new carton.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do I Get a Prize?

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the Empress; from the Sabian Symbols, "Leo 4:"
       Whatever the Empress creates, nurtures and sustains is done out of love. Logic doesn't inspire her, but beauty, bounty and harmony does. I wasn't too surprised to draw her card today as Thanksgiving makes its approach. Soon I'll be dusting off my Betty Crocker hat (and it has collected a lot of dust), and cooking my contribution for the feast. Does it make rational sense to drive to another city just to sit down and have lunch with relatives? The Empress would tell me to think with my heart and not my head before I answer that.
       The visual for Leo 4 is: A man formally dressed stands near trophies he brought back from a hunting expedition. Okay, I admit it. I'm not fond of stuffed animal heads or hunting for reasons other than food. I chose to use a wildlife photographer for this Sabian Symbol instead. There is something inherent in humans that makes us want to show others what we've accomplished. Even young children are frequently heard to say, "Look at me, look at me!" Now I don't think there's anything wrong with being proud of something you've done well, but we don't always receive those accolades we're looking for from others. The Empress would tell me to love what I've created for its own sake rather than look for any rewards from the people around me.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Helpful or a Hindrance

From the Nigel Jackson Tarot, the King of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols, "Aries 8:"
       Unlike the Emperor, the King of Swords is not full of fatherly compassion. And unlike Justice, you can bring all the character witnesses you like before him, but the results of your actions are all he cares about (your intentions are meaningless to him). Those fires burning on either side of this king make sure no watery emotions will influence his rule. His primary purpose is to protect his kingdom as a whole; the individuals are only important in the way they help maintain it.
       The visual associated with Aries 8 is: A woman's hat with streamers blown by the east wind. For me, air represents ideas, and the direction east symbolizes new beginnings. Have you ever had a good idea about a project or a solution to a problem, but when you began to implement it, you got bombarded by more ideas? Before long you are almost paralyzed by all the possibilities before you. Think of a strong breeze blowing a kite that has broken its string versus the tassels fluttering on this woman's knit cap. Which will be blown hither and thither, and which will stay attached and grounded? The King of Swords would tell me that all those good ideas I have aren't really good if they're not beneficial. If they don't help what I'm focused on to thrive and grow, they're just a hindrance.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Good-looking Goat

This week I'll be using the Nigel Jackson Tarot, created by Jackson and published by Llewellyn. I'll also be exploring the Sabian Symbols with the help of Lynda Hill's book 360 Degrees of Wisdom, published by Plume. I've got a 30 sided die and an astrological die that I'll be rolling to choose the symbol. Today's draw and roll are the Devil and "Cancer 21:"
       I don't think it was by accident that the Devil comes after Temperance in the order of tarot cards. What makes us move off the middle path and choose an extreme at one end of the spectrum? Overwhelming anxiety, boxed-up grief, angry frustration or smug arrogance can blind us to other avenues or perspectives. The two disciples in this image have no faces, suggesting they've lost their souls, but not in a biblical sort of way. They have abdicated their free will over to something or someone else. Yet that easier way does not have their best interests at heart. What seemed like a softer way out will eventually become an even heavier burden.
       The visual associated with Cancer 21 is: A prima donna singing. As used in opera, prima donna ("first lady" in Italian) was the lead female singer. I was treated by a friend to my first opera experience last year, and I was stunned by the vocal power and magnetism of the singers. This Sabian Symbol implies that I need to speak up and be heard. I should not allow my needs or obligations to be drowned out by other people, situations or a victim mentality. Otherwise, I might find that old goat is beginning to look mighty alluring.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Grow a Neck

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Two of Discs; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Human Canon:"
       Check out that floating head; it may become one of the objects she's juggling if she doesn't reattach it soon. Next week begins the official holiday season. Even if shopping is limited, most people will be preparing meals, getting ready to entertain, or traveling. There are lots of balls to keep in the air this time of year. Yet am I doing these things mindfully? If I am disconnected from my body, I am sure I won't heed its warnings to slow down to the speed of sanity. Those aches and pains I experience during my busyness aren't obstacles to overcome; they're speed bumps to remind me to practice some self-care.
       The Human Canon is illustrated by an image similar to Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. Greer uses this card to emphasize that sacred proportion is not just found in buildings and paintings, but in nature - including the human body. He writes this card is "a reminder that you are the most powerful force shaping the universe of your own experience..." The disconnection of the Two of Discs can make me feel like I am just part of an industrial assembly line with no choices available. But that isn't true, even if it feels that way. I can choose what is necessary and important and put on the back burner things that aren't. The world won't stop turning if I put some of those balls down.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Are You Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired?

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Queen of Cups; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Double Square:"
       The image Ceccoli has created for her Queen of Cups brings to mind two of her traits. She can be overly empathetic to the point where the boundary between her emotions and other people's feelings gets fuzzy. Yet she is a highly intuitive woman; she gets a nudge to act before there is any physical evidence to see. If she can prevent herself from being an emotional sponge, she can be very helpful by offering guidance formed from her perceptive insights.
     There are three important root relationships in sacred geometry: the square roots of 2 (generation), 3 (relation), and 5 (regeneration). The double square shows the square root of 5; symbolically it means transcending its own limits and opening to new possibilities. Transformation allows for these potential opportunities. As I get older, I've accepted that if I'm tired of dealing with the same old stuff over and over, I need to make a change. The queen's empathy and intuition can lead me to react emotionally or with deliberate purpose. I know too well where reaction instead of action will lead, so doing something different seems like a wiser choice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Expand Your Mind

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Queen of Swords; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, "Gnomonic Expansion:"
      This queen's got a knife, and she's not afraid to use it - at least metaphorically. She seems to have purposefully plucked the eye of the cupcake man, but why? I think she is trying to correct his mistaken perceptions. Perhaps he blames everyone else for his troubles and fails to see his own thoughts, words and actions set the ball rolling. Or he may believe manipulating others for his own personal gain is acceptable. Then again, he might be so entangled in other's lives that he tries to take on challenges that are not his to bear. Whatever the problem, this queen is about to apply some Windex.
       Gnomonic expansion is an ancient method of producing a larger version of the same form with the same proportions as the original (similar to an architectural model that expands to become an actual building). I suppose because I was just looking through the latest Northern Sun catalog, this card made me think of the phrase, "Think globally, act locally." It is so easy to look at the world through my constricted viewpoint, through the lens of my personal belief system. Yet the queen and the sacred geometry card suggest I need to widen my perception.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chocolate and a Box, Please

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Queen of Discs; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Cube:"
       This queen must be a Southern gal, because comfort or celebratory food is a big part of our culture. At a family reunion you might find fried chicken; at deaths or births, every kind of casserole known to man shows up on the doorstep. But for those job losses and break-ups, it's usually something sweet that gets delivered. Besides being necessary for life, food helps ground us. The Queen of Discs is quite aware that doing something for the body - exercise, food, sex, hot baths - can help us step out of emotional intensity and bring us back into the real world. Her down-to-earth tactics are generally always welcome.
       The cube is associated with the element earth, and therefore associated with stability and solidity. Though there are times when we can feel boxed in, there are times when that box might feel protective and cocoon-like. It gives us a place to rest and catch our breath. Greer suggests patience, consistency and structure are called for now.

Monday, November 17, 2014

House of Cards

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, Justice; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, "Unity of Primary Roots:"
       Ceccoli's deck booklet speaks of maintaining an ethical balance of justice. In other words, I need to look through objective eyes and act with a sense of fairness. The little queen on her house of cards definitely must be careful not to send everything crashing down with her proclamations. The heart cards that make up her "castle" suggest emotions, but I believe they are actually a nod to act with mercy. Consequences will be dealt out, but the punishment would fit the crime. For instance if a teen is caught stealing, instead of grounding them for the weekend, they could volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless. Too much leniency or too much retribution can backfire.
       I've always struggled with math, but geometry was a little easier because it had pictures. In his book, Greer shows how the square roots of 2, 3, and 5 fit together and complement each other through the construction of a geometrical diagram. His point is that what appears to be in opposition and in conflict is actually part of a greater unity. Greer's ideas remind me that too often I look for what is different instead of what I have in common with someone else. If reconciliation and balanced scales are ever going to occur, I need to seek out what is mutually shared between us. It is here in this place that dialog and healing can begin.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Keep the Fire in Bounds

From the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot, the Three of Wands; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Tetrahedron:"
       With the Ace of Wands there is inspiration, and with the Two comes a choice to act on it. By the time the Three appears, following the passion has produced some results. The beautiful spiral of roses this fairy-like girl has created implies the pursuit of her goal has generated something positive. But it has also attracted the interest of a fox in the background, whose motives are questionable. I think her vantage point in the tree is a good one; from there she can keep an eye on her progress as well as any problems that might pop up.
       The tetrahedron is the first and simplest three-dimensional figure in sacred geometry. Formed from four equilateral triangles, it is associated with the element of fire. When I have a pet project or an objective I'm aiming for, there is a lot of fiery energy involved. That slow burn can keep things moving in the right direction. But if someone or something causes things to go off track, I might be tempted to use that fire in an aggressive way that is not beneficial. "Protect and correct" is a much better use of my energy than launching an attack. I'm going to need that fire and shouldn't waste it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thundercats Ho!

This week I'll be using the Nicoletta Ceccoli Tarot created by the artist of the same name and published by Lo Scarabeo. I'll also be using the Sacred Geometry Oracle deck and book set, created by John Michael Greer and published by Llewellyn. Today's draws are the Magician and "Octahedron:"
       The booklet's description of the Magician reads: "All the power you need is within you. Seize your own magic and use your will to make changes to your world." A powerful statement for such a timid looking girl. Although she seems to have partly made her transformation (the power of the leopard), she appears to be second-guessing herself. I can just imagine her thinking, "What if I make a mistake or don't have what it takes to be successful?" Marianne Williamson explains her hesitancy: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure." Time to let the bird out of the cage and see just how far it can fly.
       The octahedron is one of the five Platonic solids, and as such, is assigned to the element of air. Greer sees this element in the mediating dynamic between the radiation of the sun and the earth's surface. No wonder this girl has doubts; she's got to be the peacekeeper and diplomat between two opposing forces. Don't let your lack of confidence keep you from acting, young one. Suit up and show up. Thundercats ho!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Scenic Drives

From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the Lovers; from the Rumi Cards, "moon kisses:"
       Instead of thinking of love when I saw this card, I thought about choice. The man looks at the woman, who focuses on the angel, who looks down on both. Most RWS interpretations speak of an equal partnership between people, but today this feels different. The partnership is in the way I balance the sacred and mundane. No matter how spiritual I'd like to be, I still have to take care of the basics in the real world. Yet the angel seems to say that both of these parts of life are holy and woven together; neither one is better than the other.
       The Rumi card reminds me that what I love is what I give my attention to and what I spend time doing. Whether dealing with the sacred or mundane, am I mindful or mindless? Churning out thoughts doesn't mean I'm consciously aware of what I'm doing. The New Yorker had a cartoon that illustrates how most of us (including myself!) go through our days:
Meditation teacher Tara Brach says that 98% of our thoughts are a repetition from the days before. Tedious indeed! If I want to connect on a deep level instead of a surface one, I need to try and choose awareness instead of thinking, "as soon as I get through this, I can go do..." Love is a verb and requires that I drive through life wide awake no matter what the scenery looks like.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

No Twerk Zone

From the Albano-Waite, the Two of Pentacles; from the Rumi Cards, "become nothing:"
       Every time I see the RWS Two of Pentacles I think of belts and pulleys used to power machines and engines. Anyone who's had to deal with a screeching fan belt knows the importance of having the belt snug instead of loose. Likewise, it's good for me to have challenges and projects to keep me from becoming bored; it's just enough stress to keep me motivated. But too much tension will make that belt break, so I don't need more than I can handle either. The fellow's red outfit suggests health and vitality could be an issue. His yellow shoes imply a mindful rather than manic approach to activities. That's obviously a little shuffle dance he's doing, not all-out twerking.
       The "become nothing" card doesn't mean I should become a doormat or totally ignore my needs. Rumi speaks here of detachment and letting go of expectations. Looking at the big waves on the Two of Pents, the image suggests emotional drama may throw me off my dance rhythm if I let it. Rumi's advice can keep me in motion, doing what needs to be done without getting tangled up in chaos that will be of benefit to no one. Slow and steady will keep things turning and accomplish much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jump in the Stream

From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the Magician; from the Rumi Cards, "life and ecstasy:"
       In the RWS versions of tarot, the color yellow implies the intellect at work and suggests "as you think, so shall it be." Yet the Magician doesn't hold a sword but a wand; he's not going to trust just any thought that passes through his head. He uses his will to mold and choose where his focus will be; ideas that are not beneficial get directed to an exit ramp. The Magician is very aware that what he attends to is what will eventually be growing in his garden.
       Rumi suggests that I stop whining about what is on my dinner plate. Instead, I should make use of what I do have (a nod to the tools on the Magician's table). If all I do is mourn over how unfulfilled I am, I'll never look for alternatives, see opportunities, or try anything new. In the verse before the one on this card Rumi says, "In the stream of your being runs the Water of Life / What does it matter to you if jar and jug are broken?" Time to go for a swim and discover just how many possibilities are out there waiting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Matter of Perspective

From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the Five of Cups; from the Rumi Cards, "how can it heal:"
       Seeing the three spilled cups reminds me of a story about a little boy in kindergarten. Shortly after arriving to school, the teacher noticed him scratching his arms. Upon closer inspection, she realized he had poison ivy and sent him to the school office for calamine lotion. At lunch, another student in line backed into his tray, covering him with spaghetti and sauce. Again he went to the office for a clean shirt. At recess he fell and skinned both knees, making yet another trip to the office for bandaids. The principal, who had seen him come in and out all day remarked, "You are just having an awfully hard day today!" The little boy looked up and said, "Oh, no ma'am. This is one of the best days ever. When I was outside on the playground, I found a quarter!" I can choose to look for what is good in my life, or I can focus on a bad moment and stretch it into a whole day or week.
       Rumi's verse suggests that sometimes it may look like things are becoming worse, when it's actually a stage of things getting better. Someone who knows nothing about sewing might watch a seamstress cut up a beautiful piece of fabric and think it's ruined. But later when the pattern pieces become a lovely dress, the need to cut up the material makes sense. Just because I can't see the big picture doesn't mean there isn't one. Like the fellow in the Five of Cups, I may have to make it to the bridge (over troubled water) before I can see with a new perspective.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What Motivates is the Key

From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the Queen of Wands; from the Rumi Cards, "healing is here:"
       My initial reaction to this queen is that I don't have much in common with her. She's charismatic, extroverted and the spark behind every project or party. She exudes self-confidence, grace and magnetism. But we do share one important belief: know yourself. Understand what motivates you and inspires you; figure out what makes you want to get out of bed every morning. My passion is found in sharing what I've learned and in my creative endeavors. While I love my family and friends, these are the things that bring me an inner joy.
       Healing is here, says Rumi, but where is the key? The Queen of Wands would laugh and tell me, "You just answered that question!" So many artists, writers and crafts-people channel their suffering into their work. I do think it helps us process the pain we feel, and the result often taps into the hearts of others as well.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Instant Answers

From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the King of Pentacles; from the Rumi Cards, "sage of Love:"
        Albano has made such a tangle of green all around the King, I am reminded of kudzu. This ruler has definitely created a solid and secure kingdom, which is likely the result of him being so grounded and practical (as symbolized by the bulls on his throne). Yet the armored foot peeking out from underneath his robe implies that he is not passive and sedentary. Part of what keeps him in that place of power is that he actively shares his "how-to" knowledge with others. His generosity is based in the belief that helping others find stability will also benefit him.
       The Rumi card points out that we humans tend to generalize one experience to all others. We like to paint with a wide brush, neatly labeling and categorizing situations and people instead of looking at each individually. I was reminded of this yesterday when a woman told me, "I don't want someone to tell me what to do, I just want someone to listen." I can be so practical that when I hear a problem, I want to offer a solution. I want to wrap things up neatly and quickly. Yet even the King of Pents knows that gifts or money are only a temporary fix. Instead of looking for an instant and easy answer, perhaps I should first understand what the deeper dilemma truly is.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wants for Needs

This week I'll be using the Albano-Waite Tarot, recolored by Frankie Albano and published by U.S. Games. The oracle deck I'll use is the Rumi Cards, created by Eryk Hanut, illustrated by Michele Wetherbee and published by Tuttle. The cards drawn for today are Moon and "Before death:"
       The Moon represents the memories and emotions locked in my unconscious that often trickle out in my dreams and reactions to certain stimuli. It can be helpful to know what is shaping my present from the past, but interpreting the information can be tricky. It is much like the domestic dog and the wolf trying to communicate; there is a definite connection, but the translation is not always perfect. Yet once unlocked, that crayfish can shuffle down the yellow brick road into the present with much more awareness.
     If anything can poke the unconscious into peeking out from under its cover, it's the subject of death. Right now I am dealing with a cat who's received an unfavorable diagnosis, a mother-in-law whose dementia and frailty increase each day, and a family member struggling with mental health issues. My natural instinct is to cling tightly to all of them, trying to control or fix every problem. But instead of clinging, perhaps what they need is a more generous spirit. An attitude of openness and compassion, releasing what I want in favor of what they need.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Weeding Time

From the Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille, the Three of Swords; from the Greek Alphabet Runes, "Phi:"
       "Defending" and "making a plan" are Bursten's labels for this card. Hadar's booklet that comes with the deck speaks of fruitful research. We often make a plan and set goals for what we want to achieve, but how often do we set boundaries for what we need to protect? The flowers/cones on this card have been cut off from the plant so they will not reproduce. They make me think of the poison oak and ivy that grow in abundance here; books have taught me how to identify these plants so I can rid my yard of them. Ideas and words can invade like these vines, casting doubt and fear where there should be none. Once planted in my mind, they can grow rampantly. Time to find my gardening gloves and do some weeding.
       Phi in mathematics represents the golden mean, a ratio that occurs in nature and has been incorporated into art and architecture. It was used in creations to make them more pleasing to the eye, such as in Da Vinci's paintings or the construction of the Parthenon. Like the Three of Swords, it symbolizes planning and acting with intention. To stay mentally and emotionally balanced, I need to investigate what I hear and read (especially on the internet). If there are no facts to back up these "truths," they need to be dumped in a spam folder.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Time to Appreciate, A Time to Plow

From the Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille, the Ten of Coins; from the Greek Alphabet Runes, "Tau:"
       Bursten's keyword and phrase for the Ten of Coins is "obtaining" and "enough already." What has been gained is more than expected and more than adequate. Instead of a single blooming rose, the center of the card shows one with a double bloom. It would be wise to enjoy and be grateful for what I have, rather than continuing to add to my pile of stuff. There's plenty to take care of and maintain already; having more might be more than I can handle.
       Tau is associated with the Tau Cross, a symbol of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony (a member of the Franciscan order). It has come to represent sacrifice and compassionate action as well as a renewed sense of purpose and hope. To misquote Ecclesiastes, there's a time to have and a time to give; a time of plenty and a time of absence. Eventually the flower on the Ten of Coins will fade, but it will leave seeds behind for sowing in the spring. At that point it's time to turn the focus to plowing and planting once again.