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, April 30, 2016

A Sword in the Heart

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Three of Swords; from Rory's Story Cubes, Fear:
          What first struck me about these three swords is the faces on them are smiling. But isn't that how some of us cover our sadness instead of crying? Take a look at the blades: one has a vampire-like figure, another appears to represent our nurturing/mothering side, and the last is a volcano exploding. People who "feed" on us, people/projects we nurture, and people/situations that fill us with rage - all ways we can feel overwhelmed. Yet my Buddhist training reminds me I am not the only person who suffers (note the four colors behind the swords). And I have some responsibility to take, not for the actions of others, but for the way I've been hooked. Those stories I tell myself keep me anxious (as the Fear cube shows) thinking "something bad will happen" if I don't keep all my balls in the air. And after a while that defeated, fearful feeling can begin to feel like sorrow. As Pema Chodron suggests, I need to stop narrating and pay attention to what's really important:
 If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart...  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tight Spaces

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Five of Wands; from Rory's Story Cubes, Turtle:
          It appears the Wand family have been packed into tight quarters. They look like the plants at Lowes; crammed so closely together, only the outer ones have the best room and light to grow. If in tight quarters with friends, family or co-workers, it's easy to step on each others' toes. Confined spaces make it apparent what you don't have in common, and how each person sees and does things differently from the next. It can be a chance to learn how to do things in a new way or how to see from a new perspective. But sometimes it is just suffocating. The Turtle cube looks like a photo my mom sent me of a box turtle in her yard. Every year she has them, as they travel away from their home base to lay their eggs. I get the pond sliders in my yard, traveling away from the pond. Turtle suggests - especially when we are doing something creative - we may occasionally need to find our own space to hang out in for a while.
Eastern Box Turtle
Females can produce eggs up to 4 years after mating!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Banks and Books

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the King of Pentacles; from Rory's Story Cubes, Book:
          I normally like the King of Pentacles, but this guy feels a little icky. I think it must be the microphone; it appears he's about to do an info-mericial. He reminds me of the TV preachers who sell prayer cloths or of a certain presidential candidate touting his wealth as proof he should be elected. This King might have the money, but I'm not so sure about his generous, kind nature. I'm fairly certain if this guy gives you a hand up, he's going to expect a hefty payback at a high interest rate. And even then, you may never get away from his influence. The Book cube reminded me of a woman from the book club I attend. The discussion one day turned to why most Jewish people were so intelligent and well educated. She (a Reform Jew) told us that the Jewish people have always been persecuted and run out of many countries. One of the few treasures they could always take with them was knowledge. The card and cube together illustrate a quote by Frank Baum: "No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Another Look at Balance

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Two of Pentacles; from Rory's Story Cubes, Arch:
          This is the third card I've drawn this week that relates to balance. With the Two of Pentacles, its focus is squarely in the realm of the physical. It's time to audit how I "spend" my finances, health, energy and time. The coins and lace appear to overlay a galaxy in the background, suggesting I look at the bigger picture. There will always be some sort of crisis going on, in my life or the life of someone I care about. Even in these situations, I am cautioned not to become overloaded and drain my account dry. The Arch resembles a gateway into a temple; if seems to be an invitation to cross into a different mental space. I'm currently reading a book by Ezra Bayda in which he offers a twist on the question, "How would you spend your time if you only had one day to live?" Instead he asks what would you do different - how would you change your routine and normal response to life - if you knew you would have to live this way eternally? Now that was a slap upside the head for me. I would place my health and spiritual practice higher on my priority list, and I would have more fun. As the saying goes, there's no time like the present.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Soup Ingredients

From the Neuzeit Tarot, Temperance; from Rory's Story Cubes, Cauldron:
          Taking the middle path is not an easy road. Those who are aggressive and natural leaders (wolf) might seem they have the upper hand, yet the fly agaric mushroom points to intoxication (of power) that can cause that person to become completely self-centered (making more enemies than friends). On the other end are those who are submissive followers (sheep); they prefer to let the herbal flowers relax them since someone else will take responsibility. They tell themselves they are unselfish, but their sacrifices are purely those of a martyr. But Temperance mixes both these extremes, knowing that we are often called to play different roles at different times - student or teacher, benefactor or recipient, hero or sidekick.
          The cauldron reminded me of making a pot of soup; everyone seems to have a preference for one kind over another. I detest potato soup, but I love both homemade vegetable and chicken and rice. It might seem nice if we got to structure our days like we made our preferred soups, putting in only the ingredients we liked and leaving out what we didn't. But then I would never meet anyone who didn't like my particular soup, and I would never get to try new soups. Thankfully, life isn't set up that way, and I shouldn't expect it to be. The world is a natural mix of unpleasant and pleasant, and I can better navigate both by avoiding the extremes.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Double Rainbow

From the Neuzeit Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from Rory's Story Cubes, Rainbow:
          Above these seven cups is an eye shining down upon them. Throughout various cultures and religions, the eye symbol has been seen as providence, wisdom, compassion and protection. The Hindu god Shiva was said to have a third eye in his forehead; when opened, it destroyed everything it saw. The meaning behind this mythology was that through spiritual perception, ignorance could be eliminated. Basically, though we think our senses show us what is real, our memories and emotions taint our perception. We see what we think we should see, or what we want to see. I wonder if it is even possible for humans to truly be objective? The rainbow is seen in both the card and die chosen. In the card, the light from the eye filters through the clouds to create the colors, suggesting our different perceptions. After choosing the die, I had a line from a Katy Perry song running through my head: "after the hurricane, comes the rainbow." Maybe the promise isn't so much that bad things will never happen again (they will), but that it's the hard times that can help us see more clearly what's really important. When the outer, glitzy trappings are removed, what's worth saving?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

An Unenviable Job

This week I'll be using the Neuzeit Tarot created by Walter Wegmuller and published by AG Muller. The "oracle" I'll be using is a combination of two sets of dice: Rory's Story Cubes and Rory's Story Cubes - Voyages.  These dice were created by Rory O'Connor and produced by Gamewright. Today's card and die are Justice and Cactus:
          I've always thought that Justice was a lot like Temperance, as far as keeping things in balance goes. But with Justice, her primary concern is with how someone's personal imbalance negatively affects the world or infringes on the rights of others. Wegmuller's Justice has bare feet, and I attribute that to her being grounded and practical. She's not concerned with silly tit for tat kind of stuff but with actions that can be game-changers. I couldn't help think of a couple of politicians here in the States who have openly declared that the global warming problem to be a hoax. They refuse to believe humans are affecting the climate change. Of course if they did admit it, then they would have to respond with responsible action to fix it. Ms. Justice, please take that big honking sword of yours and bop some sense in them.
          A cactus is a plant that has adapted to an extremely dry environment. Its thick, fleshy stem and modified leaves (spines) are all an attempt to conserve water. Its prickly nature shows what results when people are told to "just get over it" or "learn to deal with it." Entitled behavior means someone gains and someone loses, and that never works out well for anyone. Then it's up to people like civil rights activists and those advocating for gun restrictions to help re-balance the power and privileges. Justice, I don't envy you your job.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Preparation is not a Four Letter Word

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, the Ace of Arrows (Wands); from the Answer Deck, Clarity:
          In a barren area, an arrow has been planted in the ground. A small plant is beginning to grow around it's tip, but looking at that hot sun overhead, I wonder how it will survive. Is there an irrigation system in place? What about the nutrients it might need that aren't present in the sandy soil? The thing about being passionately motivated to act is our emotions can get ahead of our brains. Our enthusiasm overlooks the details that will require our project to stay alive. The Clarity card suggests (before going off half-cocked) we let our adrenaline rush die down just a bit, at least enough to let the mud settle. We might want to jump in immediately, but there's a good chance we're ill prepared to hang in for the long haul. Preparation might feel like it's slowing us down, but in the end it will be what keeps us going to the finish line.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Too Much or Not Enough

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, Temperance; from the Answer Deck, Truth:
          Planets and stars shine against a night sky, while fungi on the ground and a tree trunk glow (and yes, there really are bioluminescent mushrooms). Bott states, "Only when it's dark can you see the little lights glow," suggesting that an "all or nothing" attitude is not a balanced, harmonious way to live. Light and dark coexist for a reason. Both my behavior and ideology of the past were a prime example of lopsided living. Did it make my life happier, more secure or fun? Absolutely not. But the problem with such a realization is that it can be easy to slide to the other end of the continuum. Truth asks me if I am still sitting at one end of the see-saw. I'm learning in my study of Mussar that even "good" traits can become unhealthy if pushed too far beyond the midpoint. For instance, patience sounds like a spiritual principle everyone should practice, but taken to an extreme it can become indifference, complacency or procrastination. Inner strength also sounds beneficial, but lacking moderation, it can create a loner who refuses to take advantage of the support and encouragement other people may extend. As Dave Barry once wrote, "No matter what happens... somebody will find a way to take it too seriously."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Real Challenge

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, the Queen of Swords; from the Answer Deck, Challenge:
          The tiny sapling that was in the Page card has now grown into an adult-sized tree. The Queens of tarot are all nurturing givers in different ways, depending on their suit.  The star-shaped blooms on this tree are the gift of the Queen of Swords - her words shine a light in a dark corner we might prefer not to see. This woman's honesty is not meant to wound but rather to help. If we choose to take her insights to heart, we can get unstuck and move forward. Yet the Challenge card shows how the objective truth can chafe the ego. It's easy to brush off her words of wisdom and label them as ignorance or spite. Researchers have even shown that facts don't necessarily change entrenched beliefs. My task is to learn how to separate assumptions and beliefs from facts, regardless of whether it backs up my ideology or not. Now that's a real challenge.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Step Back

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, the Seven of Stones (Pentacles); from the Answer Deck, Judgment:
          Bott explains that someone has been creating a spiral of stones in the sand. But because her focus has been on the choice of stones to use and their placement, she's forgotten to step back and look at the overall design. I can relate to this when I write on topics to be presented to a group. Caught up in stories, explanations and massive amounts of information, my end result often fails to form a cohesive, easily understood whole. Thankfully I have a daughter who is willing to be my proofreader and editor. The Judgment card suggests that I have to be discerning about what to do once I realize I've not produced the outcome I wanted. The younger version of me (with an "all or nothing" attitude) would have abandoned the project all together or kept plowing ahead regardless. But the older me has figured out that with some patience and reworking, I can usually develop and create what I originally intended in the first place.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Shifts from Knowledge

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, the Page of Swords; from the Answer Deck, Change:
          This Page is smart but honest enough to know he doesn't know it all. His preferred way of learning is to ask questions and listen to the wisdom of others. The sword with its tip buried in the ground implies he's practical about who he learns from - he wants someone with some experience. The little sapling made me think of the tiny "future" bonsai tree I received at a gathering of enthusiasts a few weeks ago. At the meeting were two masters of the technique and quite a few interested participants. It wasn't hard to figure out who had the knowledge and who was there to learn, as the experts constantly had a group around them as they worked. Their intelligence was not only heard in their words but was apparent in the beautiful bonsai plants they had grown.
          Change shows an older tree losing its autumn leaves as it prepares for winter. There is a striking contrast between the young sapling as it sprouts leaves and the older tree that is almost bare. I am reminded by this card that knowledge changes us, sometimes in simple ways and other times in dramatic ones. Just look at what happened to Bill Cosby's image once people learned of his past actions. That which is learned can't be erased, as a court room phrase implies: You can't unring the bell.
"Poseidon" (a trident maple) - it looked like a stick when I got it, but now has leaves!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Light of Friendship

From the Idiosyncradeck Tarot, the Three of Cups; from the Answer Deck, Hope:
Friendship ... is born at the moment when one man says to another "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . ." ― C.S. Lewis 
          I've made friends in unusual places and situations, but the majority have been because of some common denominator. The funny thing is, once that relationship is cemented, other labels (like religious identity, political affiliation, race or sexual orientation) just don't seem to matter much. Which makes me wonder what would happen if we all looked for what we shared with other people rather than focusing on differences. Besides such relationships being a source of joy and fun, the Hope card gives another reason for keeping those friendships healthy and active. Everyone at some point will experience a dark night of despair. It's nice to have folks around who can act as a lighthouse to help you navigate your way.
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Efficiency Redefined

This week I'll be using the Idiosyncradeck Tarot created and self-published by Jessica Bott. I'll be pairing it with the Answer Deck, created by Nicky Zann and published by Running Press. Today's draws are the Hanged Man and Deception:
          When I saw this sloth as the Hanged Man, I howled with laughter. Last week I went to see Zootopia with my daughter, and in it they had sloths running the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles). As I'm sure you've experienced when visiting a government office, you better be prepared to patiently wait before being served. Waiting is not my strong suit; I want to push, pull or scream to get people to move faster and with greater efficiency. But life is full of situations I can't force to move at the rate I'd like (or even move at all). However the Deception card allows me to see this "spinning my wheels" moment in a new light. If I'm moving quickly with only my destination as a goal, I'll easily miss what is right under my nose. Important details, something beautiful, a tender exchange or words that give clarity - all of these I might overlook. Watching patiently while in a receptive mode might not only get me to my objective, it just might deliver an unexpected joy too.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Harnessing the Fire

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Ace of Wands; from the OH Cards, Box/Attractive:
          Hands and fingers on fire, an inner lion breaking free, and a fire burning in the belly are all ways White expresses in image what being possessed by creative passion feels like. She writes, "Your charge is to harness, direct and control this great energy and focus it into something good." Those great wings won't soar until this happens; if aimless and erratic, the blaze will quickly burn out. This fierce passion needs to be directed toward a purpose to create a slow and steady burn. The Box/Attractive pairing made me think of the oft used phrase, "thinking outside the box." What is more attractive to you, creating what feels familiar or what is unexplored? White includes a quote by Joseph Campbell that heads her Ace of Wands entry: "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." I appreciate that thought; I'm a strange mix of the tried and true with a bit of "what in the world?" thrown in. Whatever I create usually has a foundation in the conventional but with my peculiar spin on it. How about you?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Productive Schedules

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Queen of Disks; from the OH Cards, Schedule/Lie:
          White writes that the Greeks and Romans thought diamonds were the tears of gods. Actual tears contain a substance that our body needs to control fluid balance and keep our muscles and nerves working correctly - salt. And such a valuable substance is descriptive of this Queen, who might be known as the "salt of the earth." Reliable and resourceful, she creates environments where people and things can grow strong and be productive. Her kindness is shown in how she protects the well-being of those in her care.
          If you have a job or are responsible for people, it's impossible not to have at least a loose schedule. Appointments, meetings, gathering and dispersing resources must all be done in a timely manner. Even the simplest of things, like keeping your houseplants watered, have repercussions when ignored or forgotten. But the word card "lie" has implications for basing my life around tight, inflexible scheduling. I might be more productive this way, but probably not very kind. It's the people and other living things that are important, not the schedule itself. I need to make time for interruptions too.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Strengths and Weaknesses

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Nine of Wands; from the OH Cards, Cards/Naked:
          With teeth and claws extended, this roaring tiger makes a powerful image. Yet so does the woman, who remains focused, calm and relaxed while holding a fireball in one hand. She reminds me of a martial arts master, whose energy is never used or wasted until it is needed. This card of strength asks us to take confidence in who we are and what we stand for. Challenges that we've met successfully in the past are the keys to personal strengths that will be useful now. White shouts the encouragement: "Do not be tamed!"
          The layout of cards makes me think of a tarot spread. I do very few readings for other people these days, mostly because folks expect a fortune teller. Many people only want to know what's in the future, not so they can do something different, but so they can abdicate responsibility for their lives. "Tell me what to do. Tell me how my life will unfold." As the song says, you can't fight fate, right? Destiny then becomes an easy scapegoat for everything that goes wrong. The "naked" word card explains my view of divination cards (tarot and oracle). As a tool, they help me become aware of habitual patterns, many of which keep me stuck in an unending cycle of unhappiness and suffering. It may be beneficial to know my personal strengths, but it's even more helpful to know my weaknesses so I can work to change them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Vast Heart

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Five of Cups; from the OH Cards, Hospital/Comic:
          White writes "To love is to risk loss; they are part of the same natural cycle." It does require courage to risk opening the heart instead of shielding it. Invariably the love we feel will also bring pain - just ask a pet owner who has recently euthanized a furry member of the family. The unicorn's horn was said to purify poisoned water. But with no mythical animals to rely on, the only way we can heal a heart is to keep it open and exposed to fresh air.
With such a vast heart,
immense as the wide-open sea,
suffering cannot overpower us,
just as a small handful of salt
cannot make a great river salty.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh 
          A hospital may be where you go when you're injured or sick, but it is also a place to get well. The word card "comic" that is paired with the hospital card today reminds me not to forget how to smile or laugh when the body or spirit is in need of healing. In the words of Bob Newhart, "Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Continuum Check

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Devil; from the OH Cards, Shepherd/Intimidate:
          The contrived, over-the-top look of this Devil makes him look as if he is in agony, to be pitied rather than feared. The Thoth tradition reminds us that we are indeed animals (regardless of the "human" label) and have basic instincts for our survival. Often in trying to moderate our natural drives, we go to the other extreme and attempt to suppress them altogether. Primary emotions - felt first as a response to a situation - aren't evil but a cue for needed action. Anger may be the fuel for assaulting someone, but it can also be used as motivation to correct an injustice. The tricky part is pausing long enough to know where on that instinctual continuum I am. If I act or speak from where I stand, will I implode (hurt myself), explode (hurt others) or do something beneficial that would help the situation?
          A shepherd opens the gate to allow his sheep the freedom to graze, but the word card "intimidate" suggests there is a reason they might balk. The shepherd's crook reminds me of a crosier, the staff Catholic bishops carry. The intention of both is to pull back their "sheep" to keep them out of trouble. But have we, in trying to be nice and maintain our goodness, lost our fire? Have I become so emotionally locked down that the only thing I'm capable of is a passive-aggressive reaction? Perhaps the horns on that Devil might be useful in making some needed headway.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Creating with Chaos

From the Mary-El Tarot, the Seven of Disks; from the OH Cards, Window/Letting Go:
          As I get older, I'm finally beginning to accept a certain fact: things never get fixed and then stay that way. I can get my ducks in a row, turn around for one brief second, only to discover one or two have wandered away. White asks the question, "What will you create now with this chaos in your hands?" In her painting, the eclipse of the sun indicates this time of confusion, yet the four elements represented suggest there are still resources to work with. A pause and a deep breath may keep me from jumping into the first approach that looks good, hoping to set things aright immediately. Life is a constant cycle of settling and unsettling, stability and instability. Instead of working so hard to keep everything "just so," I'd be better off carrying around a parachute, fire extinguisher, shovel and floatation device.
          The OH Cards painting shows a person in somber colors standing in front of a window. The word card chosen to be paired with it was "letting go." White associates the keyword "memory" with the Seven of Disks rather than the traditional Thoth label of failure. I envision this person looking back into the past, longing for the way things used to be. But that view is a romanticized one that fails to see there were hardships and challenges to be overcome there too. Might as well head for the door and see what awaits with a willingness to embrace it all.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pearl of Great Price

This week I'll be using the Mary-El Tarot, created by Marie White and published by Schiffer. I'll be pairing it with the OH Cards, created by Ely Raman with Joe Schlichter and published by Eos Enterprises. Today's cards are the Queen of Cups and the painting/word combination of Guitarist/Apology:
          White describes how the pearl is built up over time, layer by layer, until it becomes a beautiful gem. And though the pearl is soft and easily damaged (like the heart), there is an undercurrent of strength in this Queen, who like water can wear down even the hardest stone. She is known for her compassionate and tender heart, yet those qualities are also the foundation of her great courage. J.N. Hollingworth wrote: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." Sure her way of doing things makes her vulnerable to hurt (which she's had plenty of experience with), but she won't close off her heart. Love to her is more important than fear, and she'd rather stay open to possibilities.
          The Guitarist/Apology combo makes me think he's the Queen's partner who royally screwed up. He's trying to woo her back with a love song, hoping that she'll forgive him. Although she's compassion personified, she's no idiot. She heals and forgives by accepting what has happened and moving on, not by repeating the same mistake over again. Love doesn't require anyone to continue to put up with any rubbish. As long as she isn't filled with hate, her heart will stay open, beating stronger than ever.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Unfamiliar Road

From the Tarot of the Crone, the Three of Disks; from Transforming Dragons, Selbern:
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
'Cause I’m going to make this place your home
Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone
'Cause I’m going to make this place your home 
~ G. Holden and A. Pearson

          Lorenzi-Prince's view of the Three of Disks is that it represents the bonds and connections that help us expand our world. I couldn't help but hear Phillip Phillips singing "Home" when I saw the image. Looking down that unfamiliar road, I'm sure the robed companions are glad to have each other along for support. We all have an area where we are more talented or knowledgeable than the average person. It makes sense that together rather than separately is how we'll make the most progress.
          The dragon Selbern has been given the keyword "loquacious," meaning talkative. But this isn't engaging, informative or thought-provoking talk, it's just annoying jabber - the kind meant to fill the space of quietness. In the Jewish practice of Mussar, the definition of humility is "limiting oneself to an appropriate space while leaving room for others." There may be times when I need to speak up and dispense information or ask questions. But there are also times when I need to listen while others speak or even just sit and think. Working together, especially in unknown terrain, we need to be aware of our appropriate space.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Mutual Benefit

From the Tarot of the Crone, the Sun; from Transforming Dragons, Levornoc:
 I am your Bright Shadow.
I am the Goodness you've denied.
          I'm bone-weary with a migraine hangover this morning and feel like I've been baptized in the charnel grounds of the dead and dying. After dragging myself out of bed, I was extremely grateful to see this sunny lady show up in my daily draw. The words of Lorenzi-Prince seem written specifically for me: "After all the suffering in the world, it's time not to add to it one ounce. When the Sun comes out, it's okay to be happy." The heavy issues of late can easily transform me into Eeyore, believing any joy and laughter are out of place. Which is where Levornoc, the Dragon of Guilt comes into play. The finger-wagging (and tail pointing) comes out when the "shoulds" aren't met. It's amazing what kind of standards our own expectations can create. But I'll do my best today to focus on the light instead of the darkness, and try to notice those small things worth smiling about. Because, as L-P points out, "When the Sun shines, everyone benefits."

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Power of a Bridge

From the Tarot of the Crone, the Two of Disks; from Transforming Dragons, Suboc:
Two to share the effort.
Two to know a bond.
The power of a bridge. 
          The usual RWS version of the Two of Pentacles shows a person trying to juggle two disks, implying that obligations are on overload and affecting one's time, health, energy and finances. It's one of those situations where what you're doing is working, but you know you can't keep the pace up forever. Enter Suboc, who is the dragon of emotional heaviness and who believes in isolation because "this is no one else's business." His mindset only makes the overload situation worse. Yet in Lorenzi-Prince's card, one hand stretches across a barrier to help. Thank goodness.
          My MIL has been back in the hospital for almost a week with excruciating pain, especially when moved. They've run every test known to man, including scans and x-rays with no results. The hospital is about to kick her out since they feel they've done all they can, but we're terrified of how to take care of her if she's sent back home in such constant pain. A social worker there (a young woman who used to work at our restaurant many years ago as a teen) has gotten involved and is trying to contact nursing homes in the area. We've been on a waiting list for all of them for over a year, yet none have had any openings. She has contacted them all, but only our least favorite is willing to make a space. Yet yesterday, the home's director came up to the hospital to meet my MIL and my husband. That meeting changed everyone's attitude. She will only have 20 days there, and then we will be juggling again. But, it's 20 days that will allow everyone to take a deep breath and relax briefly.