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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Spark Sisters

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, the Ace of Wands; from the Flowers' Messages, "Hosta:"
You have to find what sparks a light in you so that you in your own way can illuminate the world. 
― Oprah Winfrey
          I never have too much problem finding those inspirational sparks, things that motivate me to create or act. But my little spark can easily get extinguished by those who stomp on it or even the constant winds of change. This image of two women working together, each helping to make something larger than themselves happen, is delightful. The companion book says the original work was by Henuse Marketa and depicted the rays of the rising sun. I feel very lucky to have friends, both locally and internationally, who will fan my inspiration and feed it the oxygen it needs to turn into a flame. They offer me the Hosta flower, which is said to represent hope. This is not an expectation-filled optimism that promises riches and fame. Rather it is encouragement that reminds me of my skills and talents; it is the belief that I have something unique to offer the world. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Plug the Holes

From the Victorian Romantic Tarot, Temperance; from the Flowers' Wisdom Oracle, "Ginger:"
          Unlike the usual Temperance angel, this one is guiding a boat. Boats such as this one are easily tipped over. I have felt neither grounded or well for the past couple of days, because I'm fighting off a virus (likely picked up at the grandson's birthday party). But me being me, I'm finding it hard to rest, even though I feel like I've been run over by a truck. Mahony offers a Scottish saying for this card that I would do well to heed: "He that winna [won't] be ruled by the rudder will be ruled by the rock." The fiery ginger flower seems to be in direct conflict with the cool waters of Temperance, especially since it was given the keyword "initiative." In America, taking the initiative usually means to enthusiastically go after the education, contacts and clients that will make a career successful. But what about taking that same energetic drive to look after my spiritual, physical and emotional health? Why wait until the boat is rapidly sinking before I get motivated in these areas?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mental Transition

This week I'll be using the Victorian Romantic Tarot, a deck and book set published by Magic Realist Press and created by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov. Along with it, I'll be using the Flowers' Messages Oracle, published by Éditions Universelles du Verseau and created by Annie Marquier and Véronique Dumont. Today's draws are the Six of Swords and "Begonia:"
          The companion book speaks of a mental transition occurring in the Six of Swords. Judging by the muscle behind the rowing, I would assume this shift in perception is requiring some effort. On this Sunday in churches across America, I imagine the congregants will be trying to adapt to the Supreme Court's recent decision. Personally, it makes me happy; one more civil right enforced for any minority is a good thing in my book. As Lin Jensen stated, " I cannot keep love alive in my own heart if I would deny the same to someone else. Love is not selective in that way but is rather an affectionate generosity that wishes the same for all." Such a decision helps in other ways, which Begonia represents - self-acceptance. All that spewing of hatred and shame because a person is different makes it difficult for him or her to love themselves. Life is hard enough as it is; I'd prefer not to add to anyone's heavy load.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Devoid of Stars

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Eight of Cups; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "Lamia:"
          This young man has a rather resolute look on his face. What has been apparent to others (full moon) has now become obvious and accepted by him (reflection). His vision of an emotionally fulfilling relationship did not manifest as he thought. I am sure he gave it his all, but now he realizes it will never be more than a dream. He has decided to leave in order to find something more real. The story around Waterhouse's painting Lamia is an example how some people react instead of just walking away. Lamia was a queen who attracted the eye of Zeus and became his mistress. Hera his wife found out, killed their children and turned Lamia into a half-woman, half-snake form. Lamia, grieving for her children, began preying upon the children of others. This myth perfectly illustrates the insane idea that one bad turn deserves another. I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. yesterday, and I think it sums up where this kind of response leads: "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars." Please, just keep walking in the other direction.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Open Ears, Closed Mouth

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Queen of Coins; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "Thisbe:"

          I am so much like this Queen of Coins, with her table full of offerings. Having a bad day? Here are some fresh-baked muffins and coffee. Are you sad? Let me give you some flowers for my garden. Stressed and anxious? Let's go for a walk. When I was younger, it was an attempt to "fix" people - an external solution for an internal problem. As I got older and realized those solutions didn't work, it became a way to distract folks from what was bothering them. At this stage in life, I'm taking my cues from Thisbe. This lass was forbidden by her parents to marry the man she loved, Pyramus. The two lovers instead exchanged vows through a crack in the wall that separated their houses. The painting shows Thisbe listening intently to Pyramus' declaration of love. Being a good listener, fully present for another person, is perhaps the better way to validate someone's worth.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jump In

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Fool; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "Mariana in the South:"
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.
― Henry David Thoreau 
          This Fool hears his own tune and follows it (thankfully he has a service dog as a companion). It's not easy to live outside the beliefs and norms of society, unless your eccentric behavior makes money. Then people think you're the new brand of awesome innovation. But can we ever be happy if we are constantly following everyone's wishes and ignore our own head and heart? For sure the Fool's way is filled with bumps and bruises, but on his path there is adventure and a sense of carefree contentment as well. Speaking of potholes on the path, Mariana embodies one. A character in Shakespeare's play Measure for Measure and a subject of Tennyson's poem, she represents a jilted lover. Her woeful self-pity is heard in the verse: "to be all alone, to live forgotten, and love forlorn." But the Fool walks in, tears off a piece of his cloak, and tells her to wipe her eyes. He's heard of a website called eHarmony, and he declares they should make a profile for her immediately. Go ahead and jump Mariana, the service dog is still nearby. Otherwise you're going to need a boat for all those tears you're shedding.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Practical Side of Practice

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "Narcissus:"
           Surrounded by his tools, this fellow has a book marked at a page he can refer to as he works. Congratulations buddy, you have done what most people don't - apply what they learn. I can't count how many workshops I've been to or books I've bought in an attempt to learn something new. The fun part was accumulating the knowledge and studying something exciting. I was always highly motivated then. But when it came to practicing the skills I often gave up before I mastered anything. Which leads directly to Narcissus at the water's edge. He was so in love with his own beauty, he finally passed away staring at his own reflection. What a waste! I'm sure with his good looks he could have been a great politician, preacher or chariot salesman. These two cards suggest I shouldn't recklessly spend my time, money and energy on learning something if I'm not willing to go through the training phase as well. Even natural talent must be polished.
Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation.
― Ann Voskamp

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

It's All Good?

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Empress; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "The Nymphs:"
          The Empress is a symbol of matriarchal authority; her nurturing rule covers the realms of creativity and emotions. She keeps things growing instead of stagnating. There is always both change and beauty in her kingdom. It might be Eden there if not for her lack of boundaries (think kudzu and codependency). She's of the mindset that if one is good then a boatload is even better. Waterhouse's "Nymphs" fit nicely into the Empress mentality. This card is an excerpt from Hylas and the Nymphs, a painting of how Hylas of Argo's crew was captured by female water spirits who were enamored of his beauty. Once kissed, he was never seen again. These two cards together remind me that while my intentions might be good, my actions may create detrimental results. I need to try to stand in the shoes of all involved and see things from their viewpoint. Just because I think something is beneficial doesn't mean everyone else will too.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A Bowl of Cherries (and Pits)

From the Touchstone Tarot, the Nine of Cups; from the John Waterhouse Oracle, "The Unwelcome Guest:"
          The bowl of cherries next to this richly dressed man implies his nine cups are full at the moment. What he has wished for has been found, and he's content. This Nine as well as the Nine of Coins make me think of personal goals reached, because the subject is alone. Whatever is bringing him satisfaction is the result of individual progress made rather than the result of a relationship. But who's knocking at the door? Waterhouse's "unwelcome guest" waits right outside, threatening to disrupt his serenity. Perhaps she is the neighborhood cynic and sourpuss, who's come to rain on his sunny day. Or maybe she's the "one-upper" - the person who always has a story to top his own (squishing his joy like grapes under her feet). Regardless, it would be smart to refuse to answer her knock. Even though he can't bind the joy he feels, he can savor the sweet juiciness of those cherries while they last.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Special Few

This week I'll be using the Touchstone Tarot, created and self-published by Kat Black. Along with it I'll be using the John Waterhouse Oracle, created and self-published by Elaine Wilkinson (aka Seven Stars). Today's draws are the Ace of Cups and "Emperor Honorius:"
          This angel offers a cup of joy and peace with the only catch being I have to accept it. But here's the thing - it means letting go of my gripes and filling myself with gratitude. There's no likes or dislikes because this kind of love is unconditional. Which leads to the next card, a part of a Waterhouse painting called The Favourites of the Emperor Honorius. What can be seen in the card is the Emperor feeding the pigeons, but off to the side in the painting are men of his council waiting to speak with him. Now I completely understand this guy; there are animals I'd rather hang out with than some people I know. But the Ace of Cups reminds me that the waters of kindness and patience should flow out to everyone, not just a special few.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Independent Thinking

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Page of Pentacles; from the Goddesses and Sirens Oracle, "Amatarasu:"
          The Page of Pentacles is often called "the student," but he's not your average bookworm. Ginny Hunt, in a wonderful post on 78 Notes to Self, used a quote attributed to Will Rogers to describe him: "There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." He reads, observes and then tests things out. Yet even the Buddha advocated this approach: "Do not believe anything just because I said it, because a great elder has said it, because you’ve read it in a sacred text. Put it into practice – see for yourself what is true." Sounds like a solid plan to me (except for the electric fence part).
          Amaterasu, a sun goddess of the Shinto faith, has been assigned the keyword "self-esteem." That word makes me think of conversations like this: "Where do you want to go eat?" "I don't know, where do you want to go?" "What movie would you like to see?" "I don't know, what movie do you want to see?" I think at some point most people doubt themselves to the point where they look to others to tell them what to do. They become like the moon depending on the sun for its light. It feels too risky to make a mistake, be wrong, or disagree with another person's opinion. But self-confidence isn't about being superior and knowing it all; it's about independent thinking. As Chogyam Trungpa explained, "We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it."

Friday, June 19, 2015

Volcanic Activity

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Moon; from the Gods and Titans Oracle, "Typhon:"
           Isn't it strange how a smell can trigger a memory, or a discussion with a friend can produce a restless night full of dreams? Our minds are huge storage cabinets full of every experience we've ever had, but most are filed way back in the dusty corners to make room for what's applicable at the moment. Back in my drinking days, my friends were always amazed at how I transformed from an easy-going gal to a someone looking for a fight after a few too many. The domesticated side of me obviously let down its guard under the influence and let the wild wolf out for a run. Bev's box of stifled emotions got unlocked and opened wide.
          Typhon was the last son of Gaia, and his purpose for living was to express rage. His violence knew no bounds until Zeus locked him under the volcano Mt. Etna. The oracle guidebook suggests that this card implies a need to be aware of how I handle both my own anger and that of others. Trying to stuff it under the couch cushions won't work, but allowing it to fuel reactive, destructive behavior isn't a good idea either. The catch-22 of rage is that it can make me feel powerful in a powerless situation. Yet using its energy in damaging ways is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline; it will not relieve me of the pain and fear that lies underneath. But if I can give it space and quietly observe its physical sensations instead of feeding it, it will eventually burn itself out.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Full Cup

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Knight of Cups; from the Goddesses and Sirens Oracle, "Hathor:"
          This knight with his cup of kindness moves toward Hathor, the Egyptian mother goddess. These two cards reflect my intentions today: to take a road trip to visit my mother. I was reading through James Ricklef's collected phrases (in Pithy Tarot) for this knight and came across one that gave me a head-slap. It reads, "Let love guide you instead of the other way around." I tend to want to manage my relationships rather than just let them flourish on their own. Now I do think that there is some common sense to my way of thinking. I've got to make time for and devote energy to the relationships I want to nurture. But I can over-plan and regulate until I squeezed every last drop of fun and spontaneity out of them. Hathor encourages me to relax my need for control and be content with what is. There is a full cup to be found in the moment if I'll be present for it.
You don’t have to wait until you get to the top of a mountain, to enjoy the view.
― Eleanor Brownn

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Seize the Stick!

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Ace of Wands; from the Goddesses and Sirens, "Brigid:"
          Whenever I see the Ace of Wands, I think of a giant exclamation point. Seize the stick! Take a whack at something! Start a fire! Here's all this enthusiasm and excitement in one leafy branch, yet this morning I have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Hmmm... I'll just move on to the next card, Brigid. This Irish goddess was associated with healing, poetry and smithcraft. The Catholic church would later fuse her identity with St. Brigid, who is said to have created a school of art at Kildare. Her feast day is on the eve of spring (Feb. 1), which fits in well with the Ace. The booklet states: "Be inspired to create - this in itself is healing." Creating for such a reason isn't for practical purposes like having something to sell. It is purely for allowing the sun to shine on that hollow place in your soul, filling it with peace.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Take a Break from the Battle

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Four of Pentacles; from the Goddesses and Sirens Oracle, "Sekhmet:"
          Normally I would read this card as possessiveness, but because I spent nine hours cleaning out yesterday, I don't think this applies. I filled up two and a half large trash bags to put out with the garbage, and filled up the back of my card with stuff for Goodwill. None of it was clothes (I don't have much of those). So besides material things, the Four of Pentacles can represent time, energy and health. As I am sore from head to toe, I'm guessing this fellow would encourage me to stop my cleaning insanity and take a break.
          Sekhmet was a protector, and she fueled her energy for battle by tapping into the nature of the lioness. After one hard-won battle, her bloodlust was still high. The people were shaking in their shoes, waiting for her to pounce on them. To placate her, Ra turned the Nile into blood and told her to drink from it. The water wasn't blood but beer, which took the fight and fury out of Sekhmet and kept the people safe. I can get highly motivated when I start clearing out (my family will groan and say, "Uh oh, mom's in cleaning mode again."). And though I'll bypass the beer, I think I will relax and enjoy some iced chamomile and citrus tea today. That other stuff I want to get rid of isn't going anywhere.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Juggling with an Ax

From the Morgan Greer Tarot, the Two of Pentacles; from the Gods and Titans Oracle, "Ganesha:"
          The boat in the background has its sails filled to capacity as it races along the horizon. I've got a trip planned out of town on Thursday, then we'll have family from New York visiting this weekend. In the middle of this I've been in spring cleaning mode; its been 96F for the past several days, making it too hot for yard work. No wonder this fellow has shown up. I notice his hat feathers are blowing the same way as the boat is moving. No need to fight the headwind when I can use it to propel me instead. I've got to be practical about what needs to be done now, and what can wait for later.
          The Hindu God shows up with an ax in his hand to remove obstacles. I'm wondering if he can help me move the large bags of trash I've accumulated from cleaning. But the booklet says the ax is for destroying pride, inertia and vanity; inertia definitely isn't the problem. It also declares I should "invite in a drama-free life." Ah... now we're getting somewhere. It's easy to let my old friend perfectionism slip in unnoticed when I'm making plans and preparations. He's the one thing that will cause me to lose my balance, my sense of humor and drop the balls I'm juggling. Swing that ax, Ganesha!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Make Merry

This week I'll be using the Morgan Greer Tarot, created by Bill Greer and Lloyd Morgan and published by U.S. Games. I'll also be using an oracle made of a combination of two decks - the Gods and Titans along with the Goddesses and Sirens. Both of these were created by Stacey Demarco and Jimmy Manton and published by Blue Angel. Today's card draws are the Four of Wands and "Green Man:"
           My first thought when I saw the MG version of this card was, "Where are all the people?" But then I realized the decorated wands were situated to form a gateway to the castle. I would surmise by the barren landscape that the climate has forced the celebrants to party indoors. Nothing like a scorpion bite or heatstroke to ruin the festive mood. Have humans always set apart sacred space for joyful celebration? Probably. It's a way to share our jubilance, yet it also keeps enthusiasm high so we can continue moving forward.
          Here in South Georgia, we are in the middle of our longest season - summer. Everything is growing profusely and in abundance, which the Green Man represents. "Plant the seeds," he tells me, "and they will sprout and flourish." This god loves expansion and the lush sensuousness of the natural world. But there is some small print on the package: "Warning - can lead to unstoppable exuberance with results like kudzu." I'll celebrate the good today, but won't forget there is still work to do tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

First and Last Tag

I first saw this tag on Greylady's Hearth, and she in turn found it at Kelly's The Truth in Story. Basically you list your first and last tarot decks, oracle decks and other non-card divination tools. My first tarot deck was the Hanson-Roberts, which I have long since given away. At the time, the soft colors and gentle illustrations were pretty friendly for someone new to tarot. I laughed when I realized my newest tarot was also by Mary Hanson-Roberts (and Dorothy Morrison) - the Whimsical Tarot. I bought it to go with my newest oracle deck, the Over the Moon. Since I combine tarot and oracle when I do readings, I thought the child-like illustrations would work well together. My oldest oracle (and the first deck of any kind I ever bought) is the Medicine Cards. Decks with animals, plants or any form of nature have always been a favorite for me. As you can see, I trimmed the cards so they wouldn't be so tall. It helped tremendously that this deck came with a great companion book.
I love using other forms of divination besides cards (and I tend to pair them with tarot too). My oldest divination tool would be my Button Oracle. I lived with my grandmother as a young child, and I can remember going through her sewing drawer and pulling out her button collection. For my oracle, I looked for buttons with images that I could use to base the meaning for each on. I put together quotes and keywords for each one. I even found a wooden box on Ebay that was exactly like the one my grandmother had. The latest non-card item would be the Greek Alphabet "runes" I made; the Greek letters have been used in a large variety of ways - in math and science to everyday phrases. I asked Etsy's AlaskaLaserMaid to burn these into wood tiles for me. She had previously done the images of my Pictish Oracle for me on tiles, and she did a fantastic job on both sets for a very reasonable price.

To Guard or to Share

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Sun; from the Rune Cards, "Thurisaz/Thorn:"
           The sun with the raven is a nod to the Haida myth of "Raven Steals the Sun." Ever the trickster, the bird discovers a man keeping the sun for himself and steals it so all beings may enjoy its light. This myth and the vitality, warmth and joy of the Sun remind me of a poem by Hafiz of Persia:
Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
'You owe me.'
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.
But right behind all that sunshiny happiness comes the rune Thurisaz or Thorn; the Anglo-Saxon poem reads:
The thorn is exceedingly sharp,
an evil thing for any knight to touch,
uncommonly severe on all who sit among them.
I've spent the last two days weeding and cutting brush, and the thorny brambles have been a challenge. But while I don't want them growing unbounded in my yard, I do realize they offer protection in other areas for wildlife. Thurisaz is a two-sided coin that can be used in a good way as a safeguard or in a selfish way to jealously guard what I want for myself. So the questions for today are: What do I need to keep safe, and what do I need to share?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Waiting for a Thaw

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Six of Pentacles; from the Rune Cards, "Is/Isa:"
          Two people meet to exchange materials native to their area - antler for abalone shells. Vey writes, "Life is an endless exchange of resources, knowledge, nurture and skill." Sometimes I may give more than I receive, while other times I feel like I've been handed a lap full of abundance I don't deserve. It all seems to balance out eventually. But these friendly trades collapse when I refuse to part with anything, particularly if I judge someone as unsuitable. Now in some cases this might be a fair assessment. We were going to ask a fellow to pressure wash our house, but when we saw all the political and religious fundamental bumper stickers that literally covered his truck, we declined. We didn't want to be associated with such opinions. Yet there are other times when I judge a person as being unworthy, based purely on a personality clash. Here is where I struggle not only to open my hand, but also my heart.
          Is/Isa literally means "ice;" the Anglo-Saxon poem reads:
Ice is very cold and immeasurably slippery;
it glistens as clear as glass and most like to gems;
it is a floor wrought by the frost, fair to look upon.
Isa perfectly describes my biased judgment. My ego makes my opinion "glisten" and "fair to look upon" (meaning I can easily rationalize my thoughts and actions). Yet my evaluation is "cold and immeasurably slippery;" with a closed heart, I'm sliding down a slippery slope (probably heading toward a big tree trunk). This rune suggests I shouldn't do or say anything until my heart has a chance to thaw out. Until then, I can put my attitude and ideas out in the sun. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Night Turns to Day

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Four of Pentacles; from the Rune Cards, "Dagaz/Daeg:"
           When my mother first remarried, I went from being an only child to having four step-siblings. It wasn't so much that I hated sharing my games and toys (it was actually nice to have someone to play with), but I hated sharing my space. I had spent the first six years of my life having plenty of time alone, and I had gotten quite comfortable with it. At one point my two stepsisters and I had to share one room, and I remember us drawing imaginary lines dividing our area into three zones. No matter what I think I have, it's just an illusion of control. That step family is gone as a result of infidelity and a nasty divorce. The old farmhouse we lived in was bulldozed long ago. No sense in getting possessive of people and things; I might as well enjoy them with a spirit of generosity while they're around.
          Daeg/Dagaz literally means "day;" its verse of the Anglo-Saxon poem reads:
Day, the glorious light of the Creator, is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, a source of hope and happiness to rich and poor,
and of service to all.
The fire on the hill has bones strewn among the flames. It may be a farm animal that died, or it could be the bones of a human. Yet Dagaz is about hope and change for the better. It is a reminder that losses are a natural cycle that will be followed by gains. My mother married a third time after I was grown. She got to find out what is was like to be truly loved by a husband, and I got to discover what it was like to be respected and cared for by a father-figure. Night turns to day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Many Beads, One Thread

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Lovers; from the Rune Cards, "Tir/Tiwaz:"
          Rather than simply an urge for union, Vey seems to imply a sort of cosmic connection with her Lovers card. Though appearing to be opposites (like the sun and moon), there is a spiritual link that runs through everything, like a silk strand that holds together a string of various shaped and colored beads. What I think of as an individual "self" is actually just an idea with a bunch of labels attached. As Thich Nhat Hanh explains, "There’s no separation between self and other, and everything is interconnected. [This understanding] brings you insight. You know that your happiness and suffering depend on the happiness and suffering of others."
          The verse for Tir/Tiwaz in the Anglo-Saxon rune poem reads:
Tiw is a guiding star; well does it keep faith with princes;
it is ever on its course over the mists of night and never fails.
Tiw (or Tyr) is the one-handed Norse god of courage, sacrifice and regulation. The rune of Tir/Tiwaz therefore represents law and order. But rather than a type of justice doled out differently (depending on who you are), it is applied fairly to all. The moral guidance provided has an even, ethical foundation; it doesn't benefit one group but all. Both these cards together encourage me to remember my interconnection with others. Instead of judging them by what I see and hear on the outside, I should attempt to focus on the inner thread that unites us.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Careful Focus

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Six of Cups; from the Rune Cards, "Yr:"
          I'm guessing these two people watching the sunset are siblings. Vey writes that this card can represent "simple pleasures that will be remembered in your fondest memories." I'm glad she didn't specify childhood memories (not much joy to be found there for me). Yet I have a storehouse full of fond memories with friends - talks, meals, laughter, and adventures shared. These remembered pleasures can be a soothing salve for a troubled mind.
          The Yr poem reads:
Yr is a source of joy and honor to every prince and knight; 
it looks well on a horse 
and is a reliable 
equipment for a journey.
While some folks believe this rune indicates a bow, others interpret it as an ax hammer. Regardless, it is a tool that could be used in a variety of ways - for sport, protection or provisions. Such a tool, whether a weapon or some other implement, needs to be used with careful focus. Which brings me back to the tarot card for today. How do I use my memories? Do I focus only on the stories of cruelty or do I include the ones of kindness too? My past does include joyful times, but I have to consciously turn my mind from those other stories in order to recollect them.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Cost of Freedom

From the Tarot of Timeless Truth, the Tower; from the Rune Cards, "Ur/Uruz:"
          Of the message from Tower Vey writes, "that which I destroy is most often oppressive, for people become trapped in the reality they create and slowly die inside as they mechanically go through the motions of surviving." When life gives me plenty of whacks, one right after the other, I want to be like the butterfly cocooned in its chrysalis or the chick enclosed in its egg shell. And there's nothing wrong with needing that rest and reprieve, as long as I understand it's only temporary. But my fear can strangle the part of me that loves freedom. Even the butterfly and chick break out once they've gotten stronger, when they are able to survive on the outside. When I refuse to come out of hiding and continue to cling to my delusions, the Tower can be the result.
          The Anglo-Saxon rune poem for Uruz reads:
The aurochs is proud and has great horns;
it is a very savage beast and fights with its horns;
a great ranger of the moors, it is a creature of mettle. 
As a child I was taught to fight with my fists (and rewarded with praise for winning my battles). And though this wild ox can represent strength in this sense, Uruz for me symbolizes the power of a spiritual warrior. Chögyam Trungpa writes, "The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything." He explains: "Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world." We all have this fearless warrior inside, not one who attacks but one who allows. 

Just a heads-up: Tarot Pink has 15 days left and is 62% funded. The collaborators have said this deck will be published regardless of whether it is fully funded or not. However, the deck will cost more for those who buy it later.