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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cat Naps

From the Tarot of the Pagan Cats, the Four of Swords; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Reflection:"
          Humans guzzle tea, coffee and energy drinks to stay awake and alert. But the stress of being "on" and at full throttle can work against us.  Cats on the other hand spend 15 to 20 hours sleeping each day. They've learned how to curl up in a corner and switch off. Last night at the meditation group, I handed out markers, clipboards and pages from Lucy Mucklow's book Color Me Calm. We each quietly colored for the first half of the meeting. Everyone was amazed at how enjoyable it was, and the peaceful feeling it created. Time-outs, whether a cat nap, meditation or a relaxing hobby, can refill my "tank." Then I'll be more likely to come up with innovative ideas or creative solutions.
          While the Cat Wisdom deck is full of adorable kittens, too many of the cards rely on the simple image of one gazing sweetly at the camera. I if were to choose an idea for "reflection," I would have a kitten looking down at a book of photographs. Which then made me connect the dots between the tarot card and this one. After I take time to rest and renew myself, I can look back on what I've done. What worked well and what didn't? Do I need to tweak something to make it work better, or should I start fresh? I may be curious about what I haven't tried yet, something completely opposite of my normal choices. Then I must take action; as Soren Kierkegaard put it, "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Dreaming of Plush Pillows

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Fool; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Don't Worry:"
          I was slightly confused about the dream cloud hanging over the cat's head. The lwb states: "You may have an idea about where you want to end up, but you have no idea how to get there." Resting on a plush pillow does sound nice after dealing with two very sick moms, one out-of-sorts daughter, and the unexpected death of a friend this past week. But I don't have a magic wand to get me to that peaceful place right now. Life feels like I'm on the "learn as you go" plan. The Fool would probably say that plan is perfectly fine and suggest I stay in the moment and chase some butterflies. Added to his philosophy is the kitten who says "Don't worry" (and automatically makes the Bob Marley song play in my head). My anxiety will only exacerbate the problems, not help solve them. My duty is to help where I can, offer compassionate support and let go of what I have no control over (which is a lot).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Eyes Wide Open

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Hierophant; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Take a  Closer Look:"
          When I first saw the older cat surrounded by the coin, cup, knife and wand, I thought I had drawn the Magician this morning. But I suppose it makes sense to have this teacher or mentor surrounded by these items. Any group leader will make sure relationships are developed to maintain a cohesive unit through a feeling of belonging (Cups). He will teach certain ideas and beliefs the group upholds (Swords). He inspires and motivates his students to act in certain ways (Wands). And the group is generally funded by the individuals that make it up (Pentacles). Yet the Cat Wisdom card suggests that what looks shiny on the outside may only be a veneer hiding something rotten underneath. Leaders often allow their egos to trample on the trust their followers give them. Maybe not intentionally at first, but power does have a way of twisting minds and hearts. I am reminded that being part of a group doesn't mean I have to swallow whole everything on their menu.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Inadequate Materials

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Two of Pentacles; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Surprise:"
This cat has his paws full, as he tries to keep the rat pinned down while not spilling the goldfish bowl. Having watched my two felines perform amazing acts of balance - on narrow window sills or from atop a rocking chair - my money is on the cat. They are some of the most graceful and flexible creatures I've ever seen. Which nicely segues into the next card: surprise. There's nothing like being overwhelmed with obligations, then finding the unexpected has been delivered to your door. But this kitten doesn't look fearful or angry, reminding me that my attitude has a lot to do with how I manage things. There is a line in Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath that says, "it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials." Finding humor in my humanness and the dilemmas of this physical life can help me maintain my equilibrium throughout those ups and downs. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Excitement of Experimentation

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Knave (Page) of Pentacles; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Cheekiness:"
          On her wonderful blog 78 Notes to Self, Ginny Hunt describes the Page of Pentacles with a quote attributed to Will Rogers: "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." This knave might initially get a grasp of new things through books or a teacher, but to truly understand he's going to have to try it himself. I'm quite like this too; if I'm playing a new board game, the instructions may help but attempting to play will teach me much more. I'm guessing this fuzzy fellow is out testing different grass and flower fields during allergy season.
          There is a lot of freedom to be found in being bold, in the excitement of experimentation. My daughter grew up surrounded by technology, but my mother was introduced to computers late in life. As she was watching my five-year-old maneuver through an educational game years ago, she commented how the young didn't worry about making messes or mistakes as they tried new things. "That's how I need to approach the computer, without a fear that I'm going to damage it somehow." Today she's quite at home with technology (she just bought herself a mini ipad). I guess that electric fence stuff runs in the family.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Heaviness of the Iron Fist

From the Tarot of the Pagan Cats, Justice; from the oracle Cat Wisdom, "Embracing Differences:"
          This cat seems to be channeling Ma'at, the ancient Egyptian principle of truth, order, morality and justice. Watch the television or read the newspapers, and there's always someone there demanding that the iron fist of justice crush their adversaries. But take a closer look at the media and it becomes clear that due process isn't always meted out fairly. Which is where the "embracing differences" card comes into play. Is the law truly balanced (on a personal or national basis) if a person who looks, acts or thinks like me gets a pass, while those who don't get the iron fist? Sometimes its not so much about punishment, but about correcting imbalances that caused the problem in the first place. As Cornel West explained, "Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Get Going

This week I'll be using the mini Tarot of Pagan Cats, created by Lola Airaghi (artist) and Barbara Moore (lwb); it was published by Lo Scarabeo. The oracle deck I'll be using is Cat Wisdom with photographs by Jane Burton/Warren Photographic, booklet by Tanya Graham and concept by Toni C. Salerno; it was published by Blue Angel. Today's draws are the Hermit and "Wake Up and Get Started:"
          "The need to retreat from distractions and withdraw from the opinion of others in order to determine your truth and ideas about something," is how Moore describes the Hermit card. The interpretation and the cat's climb up the mountain suggest a solitary pilgrimage of sorts. I've been reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and I couldn't help but see the similarities between this card and his pilgrimage to Mecca. Having been disillusioned by the religious leader he held in the highest regard as well as made a target for death, Malcolm went to the Middle East to find the truth of Islam.  In this foreign place (quite different from the culture he knew), he was overwhelmed by the brotherhood of love and acceptance he encountered. It would radically change his heart.
          The oracle card made me chuckle, not just because it was cute, but because I could relate so well to the message. I can't count how many times I have gotten enthused about something, then spent weeks researching it. I would purchase books or surf the internet for information; I would buy special clothes, tools or other paraphernalia that I "needed" to accomplish my goal. And though I poured time and money into the idea of doing something, I never actually did it. So if I'm going to make my pilgrimage (whether internal or external), I had better get moving.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Trippy Diversions

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Page of Pentacles; from the Tao Oracle, "Inner Truth:"
            I think someone put the wrong kind of mushrooms in this monk's stew, and now he is taking a trip without leaving his chair. But being the Page of Pentacles, he is a practical sort. Sure he wants to know the how's and why's of things, though he prefers "hands-on" experiences to complement his studies. But what would he make of this hallucinogenic episode, or any other out-of-body adventure like journeying? It would feel real without actually being in the physical world. I think it would depend on the information he got from it. It would be important if it were useful and could be applied for beneficial purposes. Otherwise, it would be just a trippy diversion.
          What my mind perceives and how it interprets those perceptions is not necessarily "truth." My ego has a tendency to want to look important and be seen as special, so things can get a bit twisted. Padma writes, "Truth is not found by adopting certain beliefs or by social conditioning. It is the silent voice of the heart that responds to what is with detached clarity, untainted by emotionalism." Inner truth will probably be the exact opposite of what my ego would choose; it would require a humble transformation rather than a swaggering strut.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Staying On Your Toes

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Two of Pentacles; from the Tao Oracle, "Abundance:"
          Ballet seems such an appropriate subject for the Two of Pentacles with its requirement of grace, strength, flexibility and technique. Being aware of one's body, of how weight needs to be balanced and muscles engaged, reflects the mindfulness needed to manage my time, energy, money and health. Distraction can tip me too far, causing missteps and stumbles. Today will be a busy one; though the sun hasn't even risen, I feel that familiar anxiety of not having enough time to get everything done. Yet the Tao card of Abundance shows up to remind me I don't have less than anyone else. But how I use it can make it appear otherwise. The bitter cold tempts me to drag my feet and whispers how nice it would be to stay snug in my bathrobe. I would like to just putter about, surf the internet and not do much of anything that requires effort. But those distractions will waste the abundance of time I have today, a day when I need to stay in the flow of movement.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

An Untroubled, Quiet Retreat

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Hermit; from the Tao Oracle, "Duration:"
          On a craggy outcrop, a young man sits with his gaze directed over the horizon of the ocean. He enjoys an open and spacious view; nothing clutters his mind. With both his rifle and dog at rest, he feels no need to protect himself. The only sounds are the rhythmic crash of the waves below. Solitude allows him to reflect without the intrusions or distractions of other people. He searches his deepest self to uncover what motivates him and consider his next course of action. Will this reflection lead to self-absorption or a desire to reach out?
          The young man's rocky resting place is reflected in image of the four seasons of the mountain. This oracle card represents duration, a sense of stability and perseverance. Can goals be achieved and challenges met if I don't take time to see what makes me tick? Without that self inventory, I imagine I would become like a wind-up toy - acting on whatever emotion has me wound up.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Leaving Behind the Labels

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Hierophant; from the Tao Oracle, "Progress:"
          The constant debates over dogma and scriptural interpretations were a prime motivation for me leaving the labels of religion. I could care less if a mythology is supposed to be historically accurate or only a metaphor. And I refuse to believe I must sit in a particular church, temple, mosque or ashram to be saved or find enlightenment. What I do find relevant (as Roosevelt alludes to in the quote above) are the spiritual principles found in the writings of all of them. If I want to know if I'm merely complacent or making progress, all I have to do is look back over my day and see how well I've interwoven them in my thoughts and actions:
  •  honesty and integrity
  • love and compassion
  • generosity and gratitude
  • service for the benefit of others
  • courage and perseverance
  • tolerance and forgiveness
  • open-mindedness
  • acceptance of "what is" (reality)
  • fairness and objectivity
  • mindfulness
  • patience
  • optimism
  • humility
Of course I never even get close to practicing them 100%, but it's the sincere effort that counts. As they say in 12 Step groups, "we seek progress, not perfection." What are some of your spiritual principles?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sovereign's Orb

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Emperor; from the Tao Oracle, "Decrease:"
          Emperors make rules to keep their realms running smoothly and safe from harm. But what happens if the Emperor makes rules for everyone else but refuses to have any for himself? Then you wind up with Henry VIII, King of England (1491-1547). He had six marriages and treated his wives like breeding cattle, having two executed. Henry made himself Supreme Head of the Church of England after separating from the Roman Catholic Church (because the Pope wouldn't annul his marriage). He was constantly on the verge of financial collapse due to his personal extravagances and costly wars. Becoming severely obese as he aged, his lifestyle was a key component in his death. Henry VIII as Emperor is like the self-centered father who prefers to let his children starve rather than provide support, protection and guidance. It's no surprise then that Decrease showed up from the Tao Oracle, with the image of a deciduous tree in front of an evergreen. It encourages a period of frugality; a time to watch one's resources carefully and use them wisely. All the power and resources in the world won't bring security or joy if they're not used rightly.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Don't Saddle Up Just Yet

From the Art of Life Tarot, the Knight of Swords; from the Tao Oracle, "Retreat:"
          I thought this Knight of Swords was a pitiful representation of the firebrand I'm used to seeing, but then I realized this was a depiction of Don Quixote. The novel of this character tells of a Spanish noble who reads so many romantic books about knights, he decides become one. He wants to revive chivalry and be the arm of justice, but unfortunately he is quite insane. Thankfully he has a "squire" (a peasant farmer) who actually has some common sense tagging along. This version of the Knight reminds me that just because I think I know something doesn't mean I actually know anything. Just because I read something or see it on television doesn't necessarily make it real.
          The geese on the Retreat card are migrating for the winter. The book emphasizes this is not an emotional response - fight or flight - but a rational one. The migration suggests I forget my ego and my opinionated stances. If I don't have all the facts, I can admit I don't know. This is not about winning or subduing another, but doing what is right, honest and just. If I am going "to dare" as Kierkegaard puts it in the quote above, it would be much better to be prepared with accurate information beforehand. No need to saddle up until then.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Creative Connections

This week I'll be using the Art of Life Tarot created by Charlene Livingstone and published by U.S. Games. I'll also be using the Tao Oracle, created by Ma Deva Padma and published by St. Martin's Press. Today's draws are the Two of Cups and "Turning Point:"
          Funny that I should get the Two of Cups the day after Valentine's Day, one of the biggest holiday money-makers besides Christmas. My daughter asked my husband how we were going to celebrate, and he said, "Go grocery shopping." It's not that we don't like romance, but lately we just have to be content with spending time with each other however we can find it. His mom (in the early stages of dementia) is requiring more care and time, leaving us with less. But that is part of love too, even more so than one day filled with chocolates and roses.
          Turning Point (hexagram 24) is described as that slight pause in the natural cycle of life. Even though we're still dealing with freezing temperatures at night, robins are covering the ball field next door and my neighbors magnolia tulip tree is in full bloom. They are reminders that the cold won't last forever, and spring's warm temperatures are just around the corner. My husband and I can maintain our relationship through all the twists and turns of life. It may not be a candle-lit dinner, but even a conversation on the way to Publix can keep us connected.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Crossing Into New Territory

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Five of Wands; from the Druid Animal Oracle, "Wolf:"
          These young boys look like they're having a bit of competitive fun, even if a few knuckles get rapped. But no one is carrying a knife, spear or bow - they're all playing by the same rules. The companion book calls this "creative conflict." Though they might not agree on how to so something, they all have the same objective. The chicken scratching the ground reminded me of the dust baths they take. They loosen up the dirt then throw it all over themselves, getting as dirty as possible. But once covered, they shake it off. Which is good advice if my idea doesn't get chosen; no need to cop a resentment if we're all working toward the same goal.
          The wolf, like other wild, large mammals, has had humans encroaching on its territory for many years. Forests mean nothing if there is a dollar to be made and a Walmart to be erected. Perhaps that is why the booklet suggests the wolf represents going beyond normal limits in order to learn and grow. There is always fear in crossing lines that have never been crossed. But such a risk might help get that creative project off the ground.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Changing Hats

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Lady (Empress); from the Druid Animal Oracle, "Adder:"
          The Empress/Lady is the sovereign of the natural world as well as emotional experience (note that toe dipping into the stream). She lives her life through feelings, sensuality and creative expression rather than her intellect. She is a supreme nurturer, but she does have a problem with boundaries. In her world, there is no such thing as "too much" when she's in giving mode.
          Snakes evoke a strong reaction in me. Living on a farm for many years, we constantly ran into 6 foot long rattlesnakes and often saw the result of their bites. Yet the booklet assures me this card is about transformation. Is it time for me to shed my skin too? Am I moving from that nurturing mother role to something else? A birthday next week reminds me that time will change my life, whether I'm ready or not. I can no more stand still than a snake can stay in its too-tight skin.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sacrifice and Longing

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Ten of Wands; from the Druid Animal Oracle, "Seal:"
          The Druidcraft companion book describes this card as demands that result from initiatives set into motion without a great deal of thought first. All those things that originally sounded like a great idea have evolved into a heavy load. As the fellow in the card struggles up that rocky path, I wonder if he ever pauses and peers at the flowers blooming in the nooks among the rocks. I wonder if he takes time to stop and look at the green, lush vista below him. I can maintain my enthusiasm and drive if I can have some fun and enjoyment along the way. Otherwise my attitude is going to make me feel as if I'm wearing lead boots.
          The seal reminds me of the legend of the selkie woman. She shed her seal skin to become human and dance on the beach, but a fisherman who had witnessed her transformation stole it. She was then in his power and was forced to become his wife. Though she was a good wife, he frequently caught her gazing with longing at the sea. One day he forgot to take the key with him that kept her seal skin locked away. When he returned, she had reclaimed her skin and returned to the ocean. These two cards remind me to be discerning before I obligate myself. Is it worth sacrificing my passion and joy of life?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hugging the Ground

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Nine of Wands; from the Druid Plant Oracle, "Plantain:"
          This older fellow looks like he's seen many a battle, and he manages to look tough even with his arm in a sling. Judging by those sharpened spears he's collected, he's been pretty successful at defending his territory. But now he waits, alert and ready, for the last push of his adversaries. Plantain is a tenacious plant. We have the narrow-leaved variety growing all around the ball field next door. It withstands foot traffic and frequent mowing by hugging the ground. Medicinally, it contains tannin (which can help stop bleeding) and allantoin (which promotes healing). As a result, it's been used for many years on stings, rashes, blisters, cuts and burns. Its growth habit reminds me to lay low and not go looking for trouble. This is not the time to poke and prod, but to heal before the final stand.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wild vs. Civilized

From the Druidcraft Tarot, Strength; from the Druid Animal, "Cow:"
          The book for the Druidcraft describes the Strength card as "the meeting between the wild and civilized selves." Looking at both draws today, that's exactly what I see - the wild boar and the domesticated cow. The woman's sword is lying in the grass; she obviously knows her inner beast well enough not to have it in hand when it makes an appearance. Though the boar is behind her, her hand rests on its back. Awareness of its presence is half the battle in not allowing it to take control. Instead, she channels its energy into the shape of the cow - who doesn't exactly look meek either. The purpose of civilizing my beast is not to take away my power and courage, but to channel it in beneficial ways. I can keep my horns as long as I don't use them to gore anyone.

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's Long, But It's Right

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Three of Wands; from the Druid Plant Oracle, "Vervain:"
          If these three saplings were peach or pecan trees planted by a farmer, he would be very happy to see healthy, green shoots appearing at the tips. But this fellow doesn't seem to be paying much attention to them; he's staring off into the distance at the road. Is he wondering how long this road to success may be? Maybe he's waiting for supplies to help the trees grow, or even more saplings to plant. But things are in such an early stage, I would suggest he pay more attention to those growing trees than what the future holds.
          Vervain (Verbena officinalis) isn't a native plant here in North America, but it has been introduced. The Pawnee have embraced it as an enhancer for entheogens - substances used in a religious, shamanic or spiritual context. That bit of information made me think of an item on a list that David Cain of Raptitude sent out: "Learn the difference between something that makes you feel bad, and something that’s wrong. A thing can feel bad and be right, and it can feel good and be wrong." It is easy to get excited about progress and want to take short-cuts to get there. Buddhism however suggests we should focus on "Right Action," meaning to act with mindfulness and kindness rather than self-centeredness. That road might be longer, but at least it won't be full of regrets later.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Wonder-working Medicine

This week I'll be using three decks, all created by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and illustrated by Will Worthington. The Druidcraft Tarot and the Druid Plant Oracle were published by Connections; the Druid Animal Oracle was published by St. Martin's Press. I've combined the two oracles and will be using them as one deck. Today's draws are the Six of Cups and "Chamomile:"
          If I sit and watch kids, from tots to teens, I almost always end up reflecting on some memory. The Druidcraft book makes an important point: "At the level of the heart, linear time ceases to exist. The mind uses linear time to break up experience into past and present, but in the heart there is pure feeling which is not bounded by time." Over the past couple of decades, there has been a push for people to dig through their dysfunctional family histories. Now I agree that shining the light in those dark corners is more helpful than trying to hide them. But there is more than just pain and trauma in the past; good experiences can be found too.
          I've had a busy weekend filled with friends and family. I've relied on my herbal Yogi tea (with chamomile) to relax, not necessarily because I'm stressed, but to help me unwind from all the energy and excitement. This herb represents a break taken to rest and renew oneself. Body, mind and spirit will all be stronger if I squeeze in some time to pause and relax. I can't help thinking that reflecting back on good memories would be therapeutic as well. Gratitude is one medicine that always works wonders.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lopping Off Relationships

From the Deck of the Bastard, the Four of Pentacles; from the Marseille Oracle, "Troubles:"
          Like the fellow in the RWS Four of Swords, this king has found a place of solitude, away from people. But in the Four of Pentacles, the king seeks stability and security of his resources: time, energy, health and finances. Yet he seems to be over-protective almost to the point of paranoia. Time to get practical and look at the facts (reality) rather than assumptions or fears.
          The Marseille Oracle image shows a framed bow saw; the frame allowed the use of thinner blades often needed to make curved cuts. The keyword "troubles" is given with the explanation that a relationship is being severed. Is this a situation where there is an unhealthy dependence, or where there is manipulative control? If so, then it is time to put the saw to use. But perhaps it is that one person is stingy when it comes to making time to spend with others. If that's the case, then someone else is liable to be lopping off a one-sided relationship.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Freedoms of Friendship

From the Deck of the Bastard, the Two of Cups; from the Marseille Oracle, "Fantasy:"
          My mom is coming into town today; I always look forward to her visits and our time together. My relationship with her has changed dramatically from what it was. Growing up, I had to share her with a stepfather and four step brothers and sisters. Between family and a full time teaching job, there wasn't any time left to spend with me. Our interactions were more along the line of "Clean your room and wash your clothes today." I was full of resentment toward her and felt cheated by our lack of relationship. Yet now that I am the mother and the wife, juggling roles and obligations, I understand. She was doing the best she could with what she had. And so the caduceus hovering over the couple in the Two of Cups feels like a relationship that may have scars but is definitely healing. The Fantasy card suggests allowing the imagination to float free. For me, it represents cutting loose the ropes of resentment from the past that held tight my relationship with my mom. It is a visual of the freedom of the friendship that is developing between us.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Who's Zoomin' Who?

From the Deck of the Bastard, the Hermit; from the Marseille Oracle, "Deceit:"
          The Hermit is almost always an older person. Like the knight, he too is on a quest. But what he searches for is a spiritual life, which is why he prefers solitude. He's made plenty of trips around the sun by now, and he's got lots of experience in dealing with the ups and downs of life. What he's discovered is that joy radiates from the inside out. If his life doesn't reflect such happiness, it's an ego problem needing the diagnosis of a self-inventory. Assuming that he's veered off the spiritual path, blaming other people won't help him find his way back.
          The Deceit card shows an old-fashioned straight razor used for shaving. Without the safety of modern shavers, it was often referred to as a "cut-throat razor." The keyword for the card made me think of Aretha Franklin's song "Who's Zoomin' Who," or in other words, "Who is fooling who?" I can imagine myself in a hermit hut listing all the people who've made my life miserable. Yet to clearly see the patterns in my life that put me in those situations or my habitual responses that caused my problems is going to require an exacting honesty. Better make sure that lantern is burning extra bright.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Seeing Behind Closed Eyes

From the Deck of the Bastard, the Fool; from the Marseille Oracle, "Inspiration:"
          The Ettellia image of the Fool is connected with folly, which is not hard to comprehend since he's walking around with his eyes closed. He's also associated with eccentricity, yet I wonder if there is a method to his madness. I'm very practical - what I see and experience, I believe in. But that kind of thinking relies a lot on the files already in my mental file cabinet. Everything gets compared to and labeled under something that has come before. Now this is not a bad thing, because it helps me stay organized and prevents me from being overwhelmed with too much information. But it's hard to squeeze in an unlabeled file that one can do something creative with. Which brings me to the Inspiration card: the image of a candle waiting to be lit. The door to the lantern is open, suggesting an open mind like that of the Fool. But the booklet suggests that I "listen to advice from those who love you." I suppose if I'm going to walk around seeing the unseen rather than reality, it could be very helpful to have folks who can act as a cane for the visually impaired.