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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Caught in the Flow

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Magician; from the Universe Cards, "Comet:"
          This guy makes me think of a professor giving a lecture. I've had teachers who do nothing more than grind out facts and figures, all "telling" and no "showing." Their classes were tedious and exhausting, and though I memorized much, I retained little. I left every day feeling much like one of the Magician's dried out bugs pinned to a board. No matter what the profession or hobby, you can always tell when a person's passion is in it. If so, what they create or do fills them with an intense fervor; they find themselves in the "zone," and what flows from them seems effortless and magical.
          Comets are a mix of ice and dust, "leftovers" from the formation of our Solar System. They only becomes visible when they pass close to the sun and heat up, causing them them to emit a stream of gas and dust. Stopforth assigns this card the keyword "transition," because this celestial body has a period of being unseen until it is captured by the sun's gravity. I can see a parallel between this period and the time the Magician spends practicing. At first what he does seems forced and awkward, but eventually his performance smooths out. Like the comet caught in the sun's gravitational field, he eventually finds himself "in the zone." No use trying to rush the process.  

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Refueling Station

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Four of Swords; from the Universe Cards, "Red Giant:"
          In 1859, Florence Nightingale wrote Notes on Nursing, a book for nonprofessionals who were responsible for taking care of another in the home. One chapter emphasized the need to let the sick rest by restricting the visits of well-meaning friends and family. Ovenall suggests similar advice should be heeded with this card - allow my mind to rest. No matter whether I'm trying to come up with a creative concept or a solution to a problem, sometimes I have to set the challenge aside. Fresh eyes and a rejuvenated mind will be more beneficial than pounding my head against a brick wall.
          A Red Giant is a star that is dying. Once the hydrogen that fuels its fusion process is used up, it drops in temperature (giving off a red color) and swells up to many times its normal size. Eventually the star's core will collapse. The Red Giant reminds me of the birds that come to my feeders. When feeling threatened by another bird, many of them fluff their feathers and spread their tails to appear much larger. When my body and brain are exhausted, small problems can mushroom into mountains. It feels overwhelming, although in reality it's not. When I'm in this head-space, rash and irrational choices are easy to make. Sleep or relaxation won't make my challenges disappear, but they can refuel my energy and mind so I can better cope.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Tick Tock

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Two of Coins; from the Universe Cards, "Galaxy Formation:"
          Ovenall describes the fascination the Victorians had with the new while trying to be respectful of tradition - a delicate balance. The fellow in the card has one clock firmly in hand but seems to be losing his grip on the other. Studies of multi-taskers found people aren't able to attend to multiple tasks as competently as they think they can. In my case, there's been a lack of sleep for the past several weeks, setting up a disaster waiting to happen. Just last night I realized I let my cat's antibiotic run out (he has FIP). Thankfully the vet is open today, and I can get a refill. I hate feeling so scattered and spaced out - which leads into the next card. Galaxy Formation has to do with organization, but not the kind of structure imposed from the outside. It suggests examining myself, looking at patterns that need changing and areas that need tending and nurturing. Perhaps delegating some duties and setting aside those that aren't really important might be the sanest strategy for now.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Turbulent Times

This week I'll be using the Victoria Regina Tarot, a deck and book set created by Sarah Ovenall with text assistance from Georg Patterson. This tarot set was published by Llewellyn. I'll be pairing the VR with the Universe Cards, created by Kay Stopforth and published by Thorsons. Today's draws are the Seven of Swords and "Active Galaxy:"
          Ovenall and Patterson describe several types of criminals active during the Victorian era in their companion book. There were those who considered their livelihood an art, such as the safe crackers. Then there were the well-dressed con men often preyed on the rich. And finally there were the poor, those who had fallen through the society's cracks, who turned to crime to survive. The authors suggest that the Seven of Swords is a card of ambiguity; actions as well as intentions need to be carefully examined. Does a good motive outweigh an action that will cause harm to another?
          In normal galaxies, most of the light comes from the stars and is evenly distributed. But an active galaxy emits up to thousands of times more energy. Most of this energy is released not in visible light but in other wavelengths, from radio waves to gamma rays. This activity is driven by a massive black hole in the galaxy’s nucleus. Stopforth explains this card as "turbulence," an unsettled time due to changes occurring. She advises to take the long view, which would tie in with the dubious actions of the Seven of Swords. Is this an emotional reaction, or a rational response? Who will benefit and who will be harmed? Will any lasting change be a result?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Runs with Scissors

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Seer (Page) of Swords; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Hawk:"
           A young woman balances a small sword on the tips of her fingers. Though she has gobs of talent, she's not too skillful in the common sense department. There's a reason that fox hasn't taken its eye off that sword - he might need to move quickly to avoid that sharp blade. This Page/Seer has a vocabulary that rivals Webster's dictionary and radar-like ears to pick up all kinds of information. Yet she hasn't a clue how to use her skills diplomatically or tactfully, and her intellectual arrogance rubs people the wrong way. She fits in perfectly with Hawk, whose beak and talons are made for tearing and ripping its prey apart. This bird is quick and efficient at dispatching its meals. While such an assault might be useful in the world of animal predators, it generally doesn't lead to positive results in the human arena.
You are master of what you say until you utter it, once you deliver it, you are its captive.  
― Ali Ibn Abu-Talib

Friday, September 25, 2015

Giving From the Heart

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Six of Pentacles; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Spirit of Ancestor:"
          The young homeless fellow made me smile when I saw the dog cuddled in his lap. Although he has very little, what he has is obviously shared with his canine companion. That kind of generosity makes a much more powerful statement than the richly dressed man who's about to hand over a coin. I wonder if the wealthy fellow ever heard the quote attributed to Luke the Apostle: "For of those to whom much is given, much is required." I've got a feeling Luke wasn't talking about building a bigger empire.
          Spirit of the Ancestor makes me think of several older family members who have passed on. Remembering them, I've got some big shoes to fill when it comes to giving of my time, energy and money. They were great role models for me; they constantly lived the lesson that stuff wasn't important but people were. Like the scales in the Six of Pentacles card, I need to make sure my priorities are balanced when it comes to giving from the heart.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

What a Ride

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Fool; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Work Unity:"
          I might have woken up thinking it was just another Thursday, but the Fool assures me it is not. This is a day filled with wonder and potential, but only if I'm living in the present moment. Life is the Big Unknown. Do I choose to view it as scary and threatening or as exciting and full of possibilities? Here's the rub: there's no safe arrival for anyone. I would like to cultivate an attitude of enthusiastic adventure, much like this quote (attributed to a variety of people):
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body. But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming .... WOW what a ride. 
I don't want to be a reckless thrill-seeker, but it would be nice to look for the joy and awe right here and now instead of expecting them to find me.
          Even the Fool has her dog and birds, and likewise the Mystic Glyph card suggests a team of horses is better than one stubborn mule working alone. There is the saying that "if you want something done right, then do it yourself." Yet if I have the Fool's attitude of openness, I can be flexible in what "right" looks like, which means I'm going to work well with others. Is a particular detail that important? If not, why get my knickers in a knot over it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Watch Your Step

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Seven of Swords; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Full Moon:"
          There's nothing wrong with being clever, but when using unethical means to reach an end, it's time for a wake up call. This card can be interpreted as an attempt to gain an advantage over another person. I also see it as an effort to silence those who may have something important to say. And with the Seven of Swords, that could indicate mean-spirited manipulation and passive-aggressive behavior. What the fellow stealing the swords doesn't realize is he's about to step on the sword he's dropped; in those icy waters his feet are so numb, he won't know what's happened until it's too late. Added to the tarot draw is the meaning behind the Full Moon, which Rogers describes as, "the illumination to see clearly so that you do not fall." Time to uncover any rationalization and dig under my self-righteous indignation before I take a misstep that might be hard to correct.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Open-minded Conflict

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Five of Wands; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Turkey:"
          Even when we like a group of people, we'll eventually disagree about how and when (or even if) something should be done. Our experiences and perceptions are too varied to always be on the same page. The rooster at the bottom of the card is a concern, as it reminds me of cockfighting - a blood sport that ends in the death of one of the birds. Yet the Turkey card, which Rogers associates with a gift, suggests that the conflict can be beneficial instead of harmful. If I don't have my opinions set in concrete, I might just learn something from this dust-up. It might give me a chance to look more deeply at an issue that I only saw the surface of before. The disagreement may help me finely tune my own ideas and solutions, as I see the situation more clearly from a broader view. No need for bloodshed or yelling.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Bypass the Baseless Suspicions

From the World Spirit Tarot, the Nine of Wands; from the Mystic Glyphs, "Deer:"
          When I pulled this Nine of Wands, I heard the Bee Gees singing "Staying Alive" in my head. Being cautious is a good thing, but living constantly in fear is not. America has been at war for so long, our soldiers are paying a heavy toll - not just with physical injuries but emotional ones too. Even the average citizen has become paranoid, seeing a terrorist behind every tree (thank you Fox News). A perfect example is what happened to the young boy who built a clock for a school project. Be alert but stay composed this card suggests; actions should be based on facts, not assumptions.
          The Deer, with its huge swiveling ears always checking for danger, indicates being too easily influenced by others or the past. Stay in the present and don't assume others always know what's best. Situations where I've been hurt or been taken advantage of in the past don't necessarily reflect what's happening now. People who give advice may just be pot stirrers. Today's checklist: prudence yes, baseless suspicions no.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Finding the Center of the Wheel

This week I'll be using the World Spirit Tarot, published by Llewellyn and created by Jessica Godino and Lauren O'Leary. The oracle deck I'll be pairing with it is the Mystic Glyphs; it was published by Red Wheel and created by Barb Rogers. Today's draws are the Wheel of Fortune and "Right Path:"
          The baby, young woman and older woman represent the natural cycles of life. Whether I complain about these changes or pull on my big girl panties and deal with them, it won't stop them from occurring. But an accepting, patient attitude with a dash of humor thrown in will help me maintain equanimity. The center of the wheel indicates my focus within can help me weather the external changes that come. For me, that means a spiritual practice of some sort. Looking at the card Right Path, I am reminded of the search I have been on for several decades. I've dabbled and studied in various philosophies, but never completely invested myself in any of them. Over the past few years, I've found a practice that does feel right, one that provides an anchor while riding that spinning wheel. Yet my ego chafes under the discipline that such a practice requires; it prefers to be entertained with variety. Narayan Helen Liebenson cautions: "Moving from tradition to tradition without being at home in any one of them is said to be like digging many small holes instead of one deep hole." And Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche explains why: "it is important to narrow down the number of practices you engage in, because practice requires long and deep commitment in order to bear fruit." The results will testify as to whether a practice is worthwhile, not my chattering ego. Looking at all the spokes in the wheel reminds me of all the paths I've taken to get where I am now. Maybe commitment isn't such a bad thing after all...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dancing on Nails

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Five of Swords; from the Meditation Cards, "Hungry Ghost:"
          Words and knowledge are powerful tools that can sometimes be twisted into dark and terrible weapons. There is no building up, only tearing down; intimidation and threats keep people in their places. These folks are intellectual bullies and people who intentionally use words to wound deeply. Their self-worth demands that other people be proved inferior in ways as humiliating as possible.

To never have enough be enough get enough
Dancing on coals
In a state of mind, bewitched, unsettled over what he thinks or she thinks, what they think
What the “I” thinks: hieroglyph for the hungry ghost
Unsatisfied—dancing on nails! 
~ Anne Waldman

          In the Buddhist tradition, Hungry Ghosts are described as having tiny mouths and throats but an enormous belly. They can never fill their inner hunger and are always dissatisfied. They look outward to find ways to soothe their inner discontent, thinking that those desires will somehow bring lasting happiness. Looking at the threatening fellow with the sword, it appears he's taken on the robes of the ghost. When did being right become more important in this world than compassion? Though part of our brains are wired to be self-serving, I think other parts are equipped for caring and kindness. It's up to me to decide which part is worth developing.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Just One Box of Pieces

From the Anna K. Tarot, the World; from the Meditation Cards, "Firebreak:"
          The World card for me means viewing the whole instead of just one small part of it. It's a moment when I see the big picture and wake up to a more complete understanding. Suddenly all the pieces fit together, even those I was sure were mixed in from a different puzzle. When I have those moments, I don't try to segregate certain places, experiences or people and put them in a separate box. Like the full, crescent and new phases of the moon, I realize they are all facets of the same thing.
          Firebreak is a gap in vegetation that acts as a barrier to slow down a wildfire. From a human point of view, it's that pause in the middle of turbulent emotions:
By slowing things down, you can interrupt the tossing of the match into the pile of leaves. You can say, “I don’t need to go there. I see what’s coming.” 
~ Acharya Judy Lief
When I am consumed by anger or fear, I can react in ways that aren't beneficial to me or anyone else. It makes me think of the fire marshal's advice when I was in elementary school. If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll. That pause can help me rein in my emotion. With the World added to this card, I am reminded that all of my encounters are part of my life; I need to make room for all of them. Their purpose may simply be to wake me up in order to see beyond my own self.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Wide Perspective with an Ounce of Discernment

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Star; from the Meditations Cards, "Money Mind:"
          Instead of standing with one foot on land (as in the RWS version), this lass is hip deep in the sea where she pours out her pitcher. Out come all her opinions and judgments, her limited knowledge and experience. When she scoops up another pitcher full of water, it will contain a much vaster wisdom. When I am looking for hope, healing and guidance, it is easy to get stuck in my definition of what peace and satisfaction will look like. The Star reminds me to broaden my view. 
          Money Mind makes me think of the "prosperity gospel" many of the televangelists are spouting these days. Wikipedia describes this movement as a belief that "financial blessing is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to certain Christian ministries will increase one's material wealth." The poor, sick, downtrodden and elderly are the most eager to lap up these promises. Unfortunately, it seems the preachers are the only ones making money from it. While money can help me live comfortably, it certainly won't solve all my problems. And accumulating more stuff is just a distraction from the inner work that needs to be done. As Marcus Aurelius points out: Remember that very little indeed is necessary to live a happy life. I may need to widen my perspective to find guidance and wisdom I seek, but I still need to be discerning and use some common sense along the way.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sitting Among the Rubble

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Five of Cups; from the Meditation Cards, "Karma Cloud:"
          In what's left of a bombed house, a man sits among the rubble weeping. He focuses on the broken vessel by his feet and fails to notice the archway with four other golden cups around it. His whole life has crumbled before his eyes; his sorrow is so deep that he can't bear to leave the ruins of his home. Add an addict/alcoholic to a family of three little boys and an overwhelmed, young wife, and this is exactly what the results look like. Except there are many people whose hearts are hurting and broken, not just one.
          I don't particularly like the helpless feeling that I get when such sadness washes over me. It has been a pattern for me in the past to replace it with anger, which feels more powerful. Yet Karma Cloud reminds me what this can produce:
When a cloud is no longer a cloud, it is something else, like rain or snow or hail. So when you don’t see a cloud in the sky, you don’t say that it’s no longer there. It is still there in other forms. That is also true with a human being. When you are no longer in this form of body, then your action—your karma, what you produce in terms of thinking and speech and action—is your continuation. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The continuity of the energy is what’s important. What do you want to pass on—suffering or happiness? ~ Jan Chozen Bays
Brooding anger has never produced anything close to happiness, nor has it ever truly removed or relieved my suffering. Neither has it been beneficial to those around me. Better to embrace rather than run from sadness; it will eventually pass if I don't push it away or get hooked by the story around it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mental Leaps

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Magician; from the Meditation Cards, "Dissolve into Now:"
          Instead of the black and white pillars often seen with the High Priestess, this Magician has only one. His purpose is to turn what is in his mind into matter using the resources available. He prefers taking fate into his own hand, rather than sitting back and leaving it to chance. His knowledge is going to be put to practical use to change his life in beneficial ways. Hopefully he's not going to try to manipulate others in his pursuit.
          The dissolving figure in the Meditation Card resembles the swirl above the Magician's hand. It represents staying fully present, no matter what is going on in my life. Thich Nhat Hanh uses drinking a cup of tea as an example:
Tea is an act complete in its simplicity.
When I drink tea, there is only me and the tea.
The rest of the world dissolves.
There are no worries about the future.
No dwelling on past mistakes. 
In the Now there is no regretting or rehashing of the past nor expectations or assumptions about the future. Just as the Magician concentrates on his swirl, I need to be fully aware of what's right under my nose. This message from this pair of cards is to focus on what is happening here if I want to accomplish anything rather than taking a mental leap to another time frame.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Melt or Mint

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Six of Wands; from the Meditation Cards, "Energy Use:"
          I have to admit that I get excited about planning things. I like to compile data and organize resources. But when it comes to actually doing it, I tend to lose my enthusiasm. My fireworks start to fizzle. I am reminded by this athletic champion half the battle of overcoming challenges and meeting goals is just showing up and taking the first step. And having supporters who continue to encourage you along the way is a huge help in persistently taking other steps until the finish line is crossed.
          Energy Use shows a figure with a tiny flame at the top of its head. Rumi has this to say:
You have the energy of the sun in you, 
but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. 
You're some weird kind of gold
 that wants to stay melted in the furnace,
so you won't have to become coins.
I can expend an enormous amount of energy complaining and whining about what I don't want to deal with or do. It's akin to turning my oven on without cooking anything in it. All that wasted energy gets sucked down an emotional drain of resentment, anxiety or self-pity. But I can make a different choice - use it to mint those coins instead.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bodacious and Boundless

This week I'll be using the Anna K. Tarot, created and self-published by Anna Klaffinger (though now published by Llewellyn). Along with it, I'll be drawing from the Meditation Cards, a deck created and self-published by Asha Greer. All the keywords and quotes for these cards have been added by me. Today's draws are the Empress and "Window Cleaner:"
          I remember when this deck first came out; several people thought this bodacious beauty wasn't lovely enough to be considered the Empress. She has a wildness about her, not the perfected looks of a magazine model. Her roundness symbolizes her abundant love and unlimited benevolence expressed in creative ways. She has no interest in fitting into someone's overly structured beliefs or following strict guidelines. Her nurturing aspect is boundless and reaches out in all directions.
          The Window Cleaner figure looks as if it sits behind a pane of glass. It reminds me of specialized collections kept under lock and key that people can look at but not touch. These things are no longer beneficial in a practical way, but used only in displays. One of the quotes I chose for this card is by Rumi: Every holy person seems to have a different doctrine and practice, but there's really only one work. The work he speaks of is love, not some dogma or ritual mandated by those in charge. We all have different ways of showing our tenderness and affection to others. All the Queens of each of the suits in tarot have their own method of nurturing and caring. I tend to be a two-sided coin, with the Queen of Pentacles on one side and the Queen of Swords on the other. How about you?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dealing with Difficulties

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Five of Vessels; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, "Drama:"
          I can't think of two more perfect cards for me this morning. There is a lot going on in my life - emotionally charged balls I'm trying to juggle. My MIL's dementia has produced a lot of agitation, anger and allegations lately. One family member is in jail for alcohol and addiction issues, while another is struggling with mental health problems. Like the earthquake shaking things up in the Five of Vessels, my orderly life is being turned upside-down. With these events, it's tempting to whine and think I have more to deal with than other people. So Drama steps in (the change of Mercury combined with Leo's dramatic expression) and tries to impress upon me that life happens to everyone. There's still plenty that's good to be grateful for, which I'll see if I pull myself out of my self orbit.
The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves. 
― Pema Chödrön

Friday, September 11, 2015

Needed: One Bucket of Water

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Five of Staffs; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, "Friendship:"
          This hand has so much creative energy and enthusiasm running through it, all the fingers are on fire. Just as King Midas had the golden touch, this fellow has a fiery one. Without the moderating influence of the water in the background though, he's going to burn everything and everyone with whom he comes in contact. Simple decisions about how and when to do things will become contentious issues. A bucket of water is needed pronto to prevent conflict from taking center stage.
          In the Radiant Sun card, two young people appear to have made a secret hiding place to talk. I can remember making numerous forts as a kid - some outside with scrap pieces of wood and some inside with sheets and blankets thrown over a table. There's just something special about having a cozy retreat for hanging out with a friend. The Moon in Cancer suggests the need for security connecting with a natural sense of nurturing. The two cards paired together suggest an anam cara, or soul friend, who cares deeply enough about the other to tell him when he's gone off the deep end. I'm sure she'll have a bucket handy.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Laser-like Mind

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the King of Swords; from the Radiant Sun Oracle, "Concentration:"
          The Master of Air and Intellect speaks truthfully, thinks objectively and acts deliberately. With his sword (and sharp beak and talons), he shreds fantasy, assumptions and falsehoods. This King distills fact from fiction and operates solely on the evidence uncovered. Paired with this no-nonsense card is Concentration (Saturn in Gemini), showing an imp riding a pair of lips. While the imp is thrilled with all sorts of mindless chatter, the King would prefer not to have to deal with any more opinions that have nothing to do with reality. Those tiny swords are probably from the king's minions trying to get rid of this bothersome distraction. With all the media sources available, there are plenty of ways to divert my attention. But focus and patience (like the spider in its web) will allow me to uncover useful facts instead floating adrift in a fantasy world.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rusty Armor

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, the Knight of Vessels; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, "Adaptability:"
          This Knight strikes a pose as if walking down a fashion runway instead of in a stream. I have a feeling he combs his hair before going to bed (wearing his Tommy Hilfiger pajamas). Place explains that his entrance into the water symbolizes a desire to make sense of the emotions seeping up from his unconscious. I untangle my emotions with art, poetry, music and journaling; what looks like a sticky knot often loosens up under the waters of these activities.
          The card Adaptability parallels the last two I have drawn from this deck (Innovation and Versatility). Though obviously male, the figure reminds me of the Hindu goddess Kali standing on Shiva. The agile mind of Gemini meets the Moon's emotional need for security. I'm experiencing this with a person close to me - her mind and emotions are all over the place as she struggles to find solid ground and deal with reality. Sometimes what has worked before in such cases no longer provides any relief, and we must search for other alternatives. Continuing to stand in familiar streams will just rust our armor.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tame the Lion to do the Task

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot, Strength; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, "Versatility:"
          According to Place, "Strength represents self-denial performed for the sake of others." Indeed, the courage, tolerance and patience this woman represents is born of love and selflessness. It contains both feminine characteristics such as receptivity (moon) as well as masculine characteristics such as action (sun). The green lion in alchemy symbolizes Mercury, a deadly poison that will be transmuted into a healing elixir. I can't think of a more appropriate metaphor for taming my inner beast through self mastery.
          When I hear the word "versatile," I think of a jack (or jane) or all trades - someone capable of moving easily from one project to different one. This Radiant Sun card illustrates the Sun in Gemini, or success meets with an agile mind. It is interesting that Gemini is often described as having "mercurial" moods, which ties in nicely with the green lion of Strength. Looking from oracle to tarot (which is how I drew them this morning), the cards suggest much can be accomplished if I concentrate just as hard on taming the lion as I do the task at hand. And as the cards indicate, Strength needs to lead the way.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Just Because It Works...

From the Alchemical Renewed Tarot comes the Three of Swords; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, "Innovation:"
          Three swords inserted into a heart-shaped vessel have damaged it, causing it to leak. But the liquid appears to be nourishing a rose below. I am always reminded of how words can cause pain when I see this card. I try to be careful with what I say and how I say it, but there are times when I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. My impatience can make my communication sharp and cutting. Yet sometimes the pain can cut through the facade; it can be the start of an open and honest conversation. In the Radiant Sun card, a woman is using a bullwhip in an innovative way (a cat toy?). Jupiter in Aquarius combines gain with principles, such as taking a humanitarian approach in looking for a solution to a problem. Combined with the Three of Swords, it encourages me to take the sting out of my words. That radish-shaped chair she sits on makes me think of humor and playfulness; that approach might be the ticket.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Take Nike's Advice

This week I'll be using the Alchemical Tarot Renewed along with the book Alchemy and the Tarot, both created by Robert M. Place and published by Hermes Publications. Paired with it will be the Oracle of the Radiant Sun deck and book set, created by Caroline Smith and John Astrop and published through Eddison-Sadd Editions. The draws for today are the Ace of Staffs and "Indecision:"
          I can just imagine Nike, the Winged Goddess of Victory, running down the streets of Greece with this torch in her hand yelling, "Just do it!" She would be sporting her swoop embellished shoes and would have a salamander by her side. Pliny the Roman naturalist thought these amphibians needed fire to breed, so they became symbols of passion and motivation. But what lurks beside all this fiery ambition? Indecision (Venus in Libra). Beauty and Love meet Harmony and Justice; what could possibly go wrong with this combination? A love of harmony taken to the extreme can mean trying to please everyone and doing everything possible not to ruffle feathers. No wonder the hourglass shows time is running out, as this position is like walking on hot coals. Rarely do most decisions come down to life or death matters. I'd do better to make a choice with the evidence I have than do nothing and disappoint everyone.