I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ready to Serve

From the Prairie Tarot, the Emperor; from the Medicine Cards, Raccoon:
          This fellow looks like he's seen a few seasons come and go (and appears to have outlived his totem, the ram). But does age make him a wise ruler? Dr. Ursula M. Staudinger (who has done extensive research on aging) suggests several qualities are associated with wisdom: self-insight; the ability to demonstrate personal growth; self-awareness in terms of your historical era and your family history; understanding that priorities and values, including your own, are not absolute; and an awareness of life’s ambiguities. It takes more than a long life to be a good leader. Raccoon was often called 'little bandit' among the southern tribes and was seen as a protector and generous provider. Raccoon medicine assists without enabling and doesn't need recognition or praise for help offered. The Prairie's Emperor shows his feet on steps, as if he paused between coming and going. His posture reminds me of the Bodhisattva Green Tara, who is often depicted with one foot extended as a symbol of readiness to come to the aid of those who suffer.
Those who believe in the importance of serving others should lead the way by fighting against the temptation we all have, and maybe especially as we age, to close in upon ourselves. ~ Marvin Olasky

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hitch Up the Wagon

From the Prairie Tarot, the Eight of Cups; from the Medicine Cards, the Hawk:
          I appreciate Ator's inclusion of the covered wagon in her illustration of the Eight of Cups. This leaving didn't occur because someone got their nose out of joint and stomped off into the night. There was time to think things through, because all of this person's belongings had to be packed and the horses harnessed. It is interesting that the cups line up as if the relationship had been balanced, but that may be because of common interests - hobbies, politics, culture, religion, etc. On the outside it may have seemed like a stable and equal partnership, but emotionally something was off-kilter. Hawk's keyword is message; the companion book states to "observe the obvious." Rarely does a day go by that I don't see or hear a hawk on my walks. I found a primary feather of a red-shouldered hawk last week (This is a large feather responsible for thrust, direction and lift in flight.) These feathers are shed in pairs, one from each wing, which keeps the bird balanced. Both these cards suggest that in relationships of any kind, it isn't healthy to have one giver and one taker, one who fills the other's cup while their own remains empty. Yet until we clearly see and understand the part we played, our wagon will likely take us to another relationship that looks much the same.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Face-plant

This week I'll be using the Prairie Tarot, created and self-published by Robin Ator. Paired with it will be the Medicine Cards, a deck and book set published by St. Martin's Press and created by David Carson and Jamie Sams. Today's cards are the Six of Cups and Hummingbird:
          Anyone who's spent time outdoors with preschool children has probably received the gift of a dandelion or other weedy flower. On the outside it might not look like much (especially if wilted and bent from being tucked into a pocket). But this humble gift of beauty is a child's way of honoring someone they care about. In the same way, the cup of flowers represents the gift of memory. We have memory cups of all kinds - some filled with briers, others with sweet-smelling blooms, and those with a cloying fragrance. They all reside in the mind, and I can choose which one to dwell on. Hummingbird represents joy; it's hard not to smile when watching these small wonders zip around the garden. Though they take nectar, they also help pollinate the plants. The companion book suggests "Drop your judgmental attitude and relax." Face-planting in bouquets that relive pain and resentment aren't beneficial to anyone. Joy is everywhere - past, present and future - but I will need to open my senses and mind to see it.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Feminine Control

From the Tarot of the Master, the Empress; from the Paracelsus Oracle, Fortuna Major:
          In the tarot decks of old, L'Imperatrice was more of a ruler than a fertile, emotional earth mother. Her keyword for this card is 'control,' suggesting she does more than sit on a throne. Yet she is a balance to her husband's rigid rule. She believes in communicating with rather than to those she leads; maintaining relationships are important. She prefers peacemaking and diplomacy rather than ultimatums and aggression. Quality of life is of utmost importance, and she won't hesitate to morph into protective mode if the situation calls for it. Greater Fortune shows up again from the Paracelsus Oracle, but this version has to do with health. However this has nothing to do with winning the gene lottery, but represents a natural flow of events and circumstances like water running downhill. As the Empress would agree, when you compassionately care for all the parts (whether a kingdom or a body), things tend to run a bit smoother.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Knowledge of True Importance

From the Tarot of the Master, the High Priestess; from the Paracelsus Oracle,
          The keyword for this tarot card is 'knowledge' and is symbolized by the open book. In Reading the Marseille Tarot, Jean-Michel David suggests a connection between La Papessa and Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), a practice of scriptural reading, reflection and prayer. This type of meditative reading requires receptiveness, patience and trust that insight will unfold. The purpose was not just a divine connection through a word or an idea but for a revelation that opened the heart. In my wheelhouse, this would relate to bodhicitta, an awakened heart and mind. Acquisitio means 'beneficial gain;' it is given the additional meaning of 'ties or bond.' Would you rather have more money than you know what to do with, or genuine friends to share your life with? When I can sink below the rush of daily activities and all my plans, I find that some things are more important than others.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Research and Discussion

From the Tarot of the Master, the Hermit; from the Paracelsus Oracle, Laetitia:
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. Carl Jung 
          The Hermit's keyword in this particular deck is 'research.' What does he study? The Delphi Oracle would reply, "Know thyself." Socrates thought it was ridiculous that people would try to figure out obscure things before they even knew themselves.
The ground of practice is you or me or whoever we are right now, just as we are. That’s the ground, that’s what we study, that’s what we come to know with tremendous curiosity and interest....If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing. 
 ― Pema Chödrön
Laetitia means 'joy,' and this card adds the meaning of 'discussion.' The two cards together made me think of the Tibetan form of debate. The goal was not to win, but to discover the truth based on reason and reality, not dogma or opinion. We must learn to hold on to our truth loosely in order to consider other viewpoints. Research shows that we develop 25% of our understanding from listening to teachings, 25% from reading by ourselves and 50% through debating different points of view. So behind the playful aspect of debate (rather than a combative competition) lies a very powerful method of gaining wisdom.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pause, Preen then Proceed with Wisdom

From the Tarot of the Master, the World; from the Paracelsus Oracle, Via:
          The World always feels like a long-held breath is finally released, and there is both a mix of ease and elation. With completion there is closure (like Death), but with the World it is because choice and effort have brought about this conclusion. The fixed signs of the Leo and Taurus bear banners with the seasons on them, while Aquarius and Scorpio hold a wreath of fruiting and flowering plants. It is harvest time, but like all seasons, it won't last forever. Via literally means 'way,' as in a path toward a destination. It seems appropriate since the lovely lady in the wreath can't stand on that stage forever. The deck also adds the keyword 'wisdom' to this card, suggesting that it would be wise to be guided by prudence and the experiences of others before taking off down that new road.
Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won't have time to make them all yourself. 
~Alfred Sheinwold

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Fresh Cup of Water

From the Tarot of the Master, the Star; from the Paracelsus Oracle, Caput Draconis:
         There is something about the fire of pain (emotional and physical) that burns away all that is unnecessary and unimportant. Barbara Brown Taylor writes:
Because it is so real, pain is an available antidote to unreality—not the medicine you would have chosen, perhaps, but an effective one all the same. The next time you are in real pain, see how you feel about television shows, new appliances, a clean house, or your resumé.
Yet it is such pain that often precedes spiritual growth. It empties our cup of strategies and plans, and allows it to be filled with guidance we may not have taken otherwise. That cup contains hope for change and a new regard for the beauty around us never noticed before. Caput Draconis literally means 'head of the dragon' and is a symbol for a doorway leading inward or a new opportunity.  This deck offers the additional keywords of 'restraint' and 'moderation.' When we have been freshly baptized by suffering and gain insights from it, we can become zealous in wanting to spread the good news. But each person has their own star to follow and their own cup to be refilled.
For those willing to stay awake, pain remains a reliable altar in the world, a place to discover that a life can be as full of meaning as it is of hurt. ~ B.B. Taylor

Monday, July 17, 2017

Don't Look for a Diploma

From the Tarot of the Master, the Eight of Coins; from the Paracelus Oracle, Albus:
          Ask any of the leaders whose head is engraved on those coins how they came to power, and I bet they would say through careful management and cultivation. People who get things handed to them on a silver platter generally lose it all because they haven't developed the skills or knowledge needed to maintain and operate what they're trying to run. Prudence and patience are the watchwords when trying to turn potential into opportunity. Albus in geomancy literally means 'white,' and refers to purity, clarity and wisdom. The Parcelsus deck adds the additional keyword of justice to this card, something impossible to attain without clear, unbiased thinking. Looking at the dead horse in the illustration, I might jump to the conclusion that the animal was neglected or worked to death. But it could also be a case of old age; the owner may have laid the animal to rest above ground to burn the carcass. As the saying goes, we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. Justice in such a situation clearly has the scales weighted on one side. Both these cards remind me that there will always be skills and knowledge I need to acquire; life never hands out diplomas.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Functioning Unit

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Master, created by Giovanni Vacchetta and published by Lo Scarabeo. Along with it I'll be drawing from the Paracelsus Oracle, published by Lo Scarabeo with instructions written by Gina di Roberto. The cards drawn for today are the Six of Batons and Fortuna Major:
          Wands/batons are about doing, and if you've got a group, it helps to be on the same page before you take action. The drum sticks, bugle and reed pipe symbolize the soldiers who were musicians; their responsibilities included keeping up the soldiers' spirits while marching and playing during ceremonies. But by far their most important job was communication during the noise of battle to make sure everyone functioned as a unit. This is the kind of harmonious flow that brings success of a challenge met. The Paracelsus cards include two sets of geomantic figures, with two slightly different meanings for each symbol. Fortuna Major is 'greater fortune' and includes power, protection and inner strength. For this particular card, it also represents help given or received (as seen by the eagle coming to the aid of the drowning man). No victory or accomplishment comes all on one's own. At some point support (knowledge or material) or encouragement were provided. It may shrink the ego to admit it, but we all need a little help now and then from our friends.
Five guys on the court working together can achieve more than five talented
individuals who come and go as individuals. ~Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Keep a Door Open

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Nine of Coins; from the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk, the Internet:
          The tree on this Nine of Coins is shaped in the form of the Hebrew letter Beit/Bet, which literally means 'house.' It is both a dwelling place and sanctuary. Shanahan writes about this card:
I am the fulfillment of my
desire— having sown
I reap command— command!
Her persistent effort has led to her financial independence, allowing her freedom in other areas of her life. But with such success comes additional responsibilities. Falkov describes the Internet as a worldwide electronic network that provides communication, a marketplace, a library of knowledge, and a stage for entertainment. Yet it also sustains hackers, trolls, and misinformation disguised as fact. It's enough to make a person want to hide in her house; thankfully one side is open as a reminder to (as the Goo Goo Dolls put it) 'let love in.' The obligations we accumulate and the dark side of humanity we must deal with doesn't discount the wonder and potential that is also there. When, as Wordsworth writes, "the world is too much with us," we need to seek out some of that beauty and joy to remind us that life isn't all bad.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Some Laws are Higher than Others

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Emperor; from the Post-psychedelic Cypberpunk, the Wizard:
           Oh ho, this Emperor looks as if he will not stand any foolishness with his stern face, pointy finger and big boots. I can almost feel that boot on the back of my neck as I imagine him saying, "If you cross this line, you will be sorry!" I understand that leaders set boundaries and make laws for a reason (a world run on emotion alone would soon be chaos), but it helps to know what underlies those rules to make me want to stick to them. "Because I said so," is not going to be motivation enough. The bright-eyed wizard is a quite a contrast to the no-nonsense Emperor. Falkov says that the Wizard is skillful at using resources to shape reality, but soon finds that the world pushes back. Even the earth has natural laws to keep things in balance.
We have all grown up, one might say, thinking of nature as an
adorable, helpless bunny that some people want to protect and
others, motivated by the will to power... want to stomp into
a bloody pulp just to show that they can. Both sides are mistaken,
for what they have misidentified as a bunny is one paw of a sleep-
ing grizzly bear who, if roused, is quite capable of tearing both sides
limb from limb and feasting on their carcasses. The bear, it must be
remembered, is bigger than we are, and stronger. We forget this at
our desperate peril. ― John Michael Greer

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Widening the Mind

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Page of Blades; from the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk, the Shaman:
A mind sharp with wisdom is often honed on the strop of curiosity.
~ Jessica Shanahan
          Like all the Pages, the Page of Blades/Swords is an avid learner. Since she learns best by listening, her preferred teaching style is oral. Her mind is full of ideas and questions that she likes to discuss and debate. She doesn't mind reading (as the bookshelf indicates), and she dreams of writing her own books and sharing her truth with the world. But before that happens, she will have to learn tact and the gentle art of persuasion (rather than relying on the blunt force of her tongue). Her logical mind might have trouble understanding the mystical world of the Shaman. A shaman is concerned with the health of the community - the earth and all its inhabitants. Using ritual and altered states of consciousness, he or she moves into the spiritual realm to access information that will be beneficial. Shamans believe all problems have spiritual imbalance at their root and so work to restore balance. Hopefully the curiosity of the Page will override her rational, linear mind, allowing her to be open to another viewpoint that is alien to hers. While the method might not make much sense, the Page might learn something she could use. Sometimes the key is a spiritual solution.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ecosystems

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Devil; from the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk, the Forest:
          I might think this Devil was trying out a yoga pose if it weren't for the chains he wears. What ties me up in a pretzel knot? Fear, anger, and grief mostly. But truly any extreme circumstance can turn my compassionate, rational side into a person who thinks only of herself and her situation. That self-absorption can then transform into a search for something to numb the intensity of it all, and I wind up on the doorstep of the Devil (my selfish side who always has plenty of suggestions). The Forest card reminded me of a book I read about a biologist who studied a small section of an old-growth forest for a year. He describes all the activity there, from tiny organisms to the trees, and talks about the web of interconnection that makes up the ecosystem. I am reminded that ringing the Devil's doorbell (not simply for a party but for oblivion) generally happens not because of one triggering event but a multitude. I've previously made unwise choices and allowed unquestioned thoughts to fill my head. The mind and body are ecosystems in their own right; without attention and care, even small disturbances can cause great impacts.
Self-harm - the world will come at you with knives anyway. You do not need to beat them to it.
― Caitlin Moran

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Plodding Forward

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Eight of Sticks; from the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk, Matrioshka:
          I must be honest and say that when I saw the sprinters in this card, I groaned. I'm exhausted this morning due to several emotional situations I'm trying to keep delicately balanced. Yet these women aren't blindly running through the woods - they are headed toward a goal line. They have kept a steady pace through the long miles, but now that the end is near, they are digging deep and focusing all the energy they have left to cross the finish line. Me? I'm the tortoise crawling along outside the frame of this card (steady but slow as molasses in the winter). The Matrioshka, or Russian nesting dolls, show about a dozen of a set with the tops taken off. These dolls remind me that there are layers beneath everything. A book is more than its cover, a person is more than his or her labels, and a situation is more than my initial reaction to it. Perhaps as I plod along, I can consider what I might not be seeing...
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 
~ Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Living from the Heart

From the Tarot of the Absurd, the Ten of Cups; from the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk, the Tower:
          A happy little family spends time together inside the sacred space of their home. The five cups on each side symbolize the balance of partnership between the man and woman. There are two practices that keep those cups stacked up neatly rather mindlessly tossed about: generosity of the heart and gratitude. Without them, relationships quickly begin to crumble. The Tower in this deck has more to do with ego than a lightning bolt moment. Just look on any social media platform, and it's easy to see the emphasis on accumulating 'friends' or 'followers' has absolutely nothing to do with actual relationships. In partnerships, such self-centeredness will convince one person that their needs and wants are more important than anyone else. Self-absorption will eventually place a person high above everyone else in the top of that tower, yet the price paid will be alienation and loneliness.
Living from the ego is painful and exhausting. It’s like feeding a hungry monster that’s never satisfied. In contrast, generosity requires that we open our hearts to the world and each other. We accept that in life there are challenges, and we meet these challenges with humility, patience, and compassion. This is the work of the spiritual warrior, to open our hearts and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. ~ Cindy Ricardo


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Rationally Consider the Irrational

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Absurd, created and self-published by Jessica Rose Shanahan. I'll also be using another self-published deck, the Post-psychedelic Cyberpunk by Masha Falkov. The draws for today are The Moon and 'The Virus:'
          A mother eating her child is a disturbing image, although in the world of animals it happens frequently. Often the baby is sick and won't live, or the mother is undernourished and can't nurse it. Yet this isn't real life, but the unconscious sending up a signal through symbolism. The Moon's message is never literal because that is not the language it speaks. The Cyberpunk card shows a virus - a tiny bit of genetic material inside an encapsulating shell. It just sits there until it finds a suitable host, and then they infect and take over cells like pirates raiding a ship. There are similar 'viruses of the mind,' thoughts just waiting for a person to invite them in (like opening an infected link in a computer). Instead of inviting in paranoia, I need to rationally consider the irrational. Whatever is playing out in my dreams likely has an emotional base that my unconscious has written a story around. The story isn't true, but the feelings are valid.
The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes, in a subtle way, the total psychic equilibrium.
~ Carl Jung

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Conflict, Change and Reason

From the PetraK Tarot, the Five of Wands; from the Astrodice, Uranus-Capricorn-7th House:
          This painting doesn't have the combative feeling of most Five of Wand cards. The gentle undulations of the water between the posts seem more like a calm discussion between folks who care about each other. Instead of being argumentative, there is more brainstorming and sharing the pros and cons of the situation. From the glowing center pole, it appears a solution or strategy has been reached. In the Astrodice, the radical change of Uranus meets with the orderly progression of Capricorn in the House of Relationships. I got a phone call last night, one that took the breath right out of me. It is definitely a Five of Wands situation with an ending that left my heart aching for everyone involved. Hopefully I can be a calming (orderly rather than impulsive) influence on the parties involved.
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins. — Benjamin Franklin
~~~
Resolving conflict is rarely about who is right. It is about acknowledgment
and appreciation of differences. — Thomas Crum

Friday, July 7, 2017

Conscious Change

From the PetraK Tarot, the Six of Wands; from the Astrodice, North Node-Gemini-10th House:
          In my pre-coffee imagination, this painting was a peeled orange in sections. I remember as a kid pulling off parts of this juicy fruit and sharing them with friends. Victory is just as sweet and should be shared among those who helped create the favorable outcome. Each wand has a different top, suggesting the various skills each person brought to the endeavor. The Astrodice bring together the spiritual development of the North Node with the footloose versatility of Gemini in the House of Reputation. The North Node can calm some of the restlessness of Gemini while using their need for variety; the combination can offer a wise, fresh perspective on a situation. The conscious action of the 10th House will make sure the success that comes is not a Pyrrhic victory. What a shame it would be if the slices we shared were tart and bitter rather than delectable.
Every action in this world, every word, every thought, has an effect. But the actor is also
acted upon by his action. The condition on which you are allowed to make a change in the
world is that the world changes you as well. Yael Shahar

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Going Out on a Limb

From the PetraK Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the Astrodice, Jupiter-Aries-1st House:
          Does one cup seem to stand out from the other six in this set? I think deep down, we are aware of what will bring us emotional fulfillment. Yet we often have a fear of the unknown or a headful of 'shoulds' that keep us from following our heart. On the other hand are plenty of false promises that we would like to pin our hopes on, even though on some level we know them for the delusions that they are. The center cup will require persistent, long-term effort, which may send those with commitment issues running for the hills. In the Astrodice roll, the expansive joy of Jupiter combines with the impulsive energy of Aries in the House of Personal Character. The mix of optimism with the courage to reach out and include others in my joy ride can result in a life-changing outcome. Looking back, I can see that being willing to take that risk has helped me meet and establish bonds and friendships that are ongoing even today.
Go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. ~ Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Light in the Darkness

From the PetraK Tarot, the Ace of Wands; from the Astrodice, Moon-Aquarius-1st House:
          This intricately decorated wand provides a light in the darkness. It is that moment of insight or inspiration when a person says, "Now I know how I'm going to do this!" Notice that the wand does not burn down like a candle; the potential and creativity held within never gets used up (though an opportunity for putting it to use might come and go). The Astrodice pairs the receptive intuition of the Moon with the humanitarian logic of Aquarius. These meet in the House of Personal Character - how one meets and moves with what life presents. The wand can be seen as a scepter for ruling my own life. Being receptive and open can help me be more creative and solve more problems, while objective altruism can help me apply it to benefit many rather than just myself. This is not supposed to be an ego thing, but simply a means to help others find their way out of life's dark tunnels.
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative
altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Be a Bridge Builder

From the PetraK Tarot, the Knight of Swords; from the Astrodice, Saturn-Sagittarius-7th House:
          There is no doubt the Knight of Swords is intelligent and eloquent. The swords on his head and throat suggest he focuses on and speaks the truth - or a least what he thinks is the truth. Because he is still a young man, he tends to use binary thinking; everything fits simply in one category or the other. Yet life is rarely black or white with no shades of gray in between. Such a division can be seen in today's roll: the restrictive and responsible Saturn meets up with freedom-loving and freewheeling Sagittarius in the House of Personal Relationships. Most everyone can relate to being on either the side of practicality and duty or the side of spontaneous fun and having their partner or friend on the other. If the binary thinking of this knight holds sway, fireworks are likely to ensue. But a true relationship requires that we relate to each other, not only talking but deeply listening to find any hint of similarity to build a bridge upon.

Monday, July 3, 2017

What would Gandhi do?

From the PetraK Tarot, the Seven of Swords; from the Astrodice, 'North Node-Aries-9th House:'
          Petra explains the sword in the center is the desired goal, but the other swords hem it in (and one even has cut through its hilt). The great idea we were so enthusiastic about not only has opposing ideas, but all of them appear to be bottled up inside a glass container. No wonder the Thoth version of this card is called 'Futility.' That feeling of having no options and no voice makes me think of a quote by Parker Palmer: "Violence is what happens when we don’t know what else to do with our suffering." The North Node (representing the soul's mission and spiritual progress) pairs up with the headstrong assertiveness of Aries. These two land in the House of Quests (for travel, learning or spiritual development). With the dice roll's strong spiritual emphasis, a question is asked: "What would Gandhi do?"
Violence breeds violence … Pure goals can never justify impure or violent action.
~~~
If the means employed are impure, the change will not be in the direction of 
progress but very likely in the opposite.
~~~
Tolerance gives us spiritual insight...
~~~
Truth alone will endure, all the rest will be swept away before the tide of time.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Library is Burning

This week I'll be using the PetraK Tarot, created by Petra Reiter-Köck and published by Piatnik. The oracle I'll be using this week is the AstroDice, created by Wessex Astrologer Ltd. It consists of three dice: one for Planets (the 'What'), one for Signs (the 'How') and one for Houses (the 'Where'). From the PetraK Tarot, the Nine of Discs; from the Astrodice, 'Pluto-Taurus-5th House:'
          Petra assigns this card the Thoth keyword of 'Gain;' looking at that solid trunk and sturdy roots, its easy to see the positive results grew from a foundation of hard work, perseverance and discipline. The dark, transforming energy of Pluto meets with the reliable steadiness of Taurus in the House of Creativity (hobbies, self-expression, entertainment). There is great change afoot in an area of enjoyment, but hopefully the dependability of the bull will keep thoughts and emotions from spinning into dire predictions and paranoia. I can't help but tie this card and dice roll with the news I just received about the coming shutdown of the Aeclectic Tarot forum on July 14th. While not every encounter I've made there has been pleasurable, I've learned much from the AT site. I've made several deep friendships on the forum, discovered some gorgeous decks there, and started this blog as a result of encouragement received from a member. One forum member (Elven) said she felt as if the Library of Alexandria was burning, and I have to agree. I will miss those purple pages and the friends I've made there.
To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. 
~ Pema Chodron

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Deep-seated Wisdom

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Two of Cups; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'Higher Knowledge:'
           A couple listen intently to each other as they take a country walk decked out in fashionable clothes (thank goodness for hiking boots, jeans and t-shirts today). They are obviously bonding, but it appears the attraction is about more than just sex. The Ball canning jars above their heads have the word 'Ideal' on them, suggesting a relationship that is based on a balance of give and take rather than inequality. I imagine that has a lot to do with developing a friendship in which honesty and communication take priority over a roll in the hay. 'Higher knowledge' has nothing to do with a PhD, instead it is a deep-seated wisdom that doesn't revolve around "I, me and mine." This wisdom sees with clarity and compassion without getting caught up in a world of make-believe. I'm lucky to be married to my best friend; the ups and downs of our relationship have taught me:
  • Compromise and flexibility don't mean I've lost a battle.
  • Resentment isn't necessary when agreeing to disagree.
  • Honesty and kindness are much more important than looks.
  • My happiness doesn't depend on another person's mood.
  • Empathy is not the same thing as emotional entanglement.
  • I am responsible for the choices I make; no one else is to blame.
  • Self-care sometimes requires solitude.
  • When I extend my circle of friends and interests, I'm more fulfilled.
What has the clarity and compassion of wisdom taught you about relationships?