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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Finding Shelter

From the Granny Jones Australian Tarot, the Five of Wands; from the Button Oracle, Oasis:
          Since there's no bus, boat or airplane service, this poor fellow is having to walk. The journey is all uphill, and it's raining. He's had to leave behind his fun (music and art) just to make it up that steep incline. I've had days and weeks like this card. I don't dare ask what's on the other side of the hill because I'm afraid I will discover it's a mine field. When life is filled with struggles and challenges, it's easy to give up hope and develop an Eeyore state of mind. Wading in the muck, I forget that things will eventually change (even when there's no obvious sign of it). The Oasis Button represents a sanctuary in the midst of a desert, and so its keywords are refuge and safe haven. The quote with it is from Christopher Forrest McDowell: "Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul." When I am focused on getting over the hill in front of me, on getting past the difficult situation, I can completely forget to take care of myself. Yet even when there is no outward refuge, I can create one in my mind. When life gets crazy, where do you find shelter?
photo by Alina Kurbiel

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Low Key for Me

From the Granny Jones Australian Tarot, the Three of Cups; from the Button Oracle, Horse:
          I'm not fond of big parties, as I prefer more intimate, laid-back gatherings. So the contented company Granny keeps while cheerfully knitting in this card seems just about perfect to me. I'm obviously not the only one who feels this way. Abraham Heschel wrote: "People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation." Sounds a little different than getting drunk and being rowdy. But the Horse button reminds me to hold my horses when it comes to my opinion. This button's keywords - independence and nonconformity - were based on the spirit of the mustang. In the words of Nelson Mandela, "To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." That reminds me that some people may express their reverence and appreciation in much different ways than I do, and as long as no one gets hurt, that is perfectly fine.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Granny's Got Her Groove On

From the Granny Jones Australian Tarot, the Two of Buttons (Pentacles); from the Button Oracle, Mask:
          Dang, Granny has got a groove going! Not only is she tossing and catching buttons, but she's got a hula-hoop in play too. I recently spotted a box of these at a local store, so I stopped and gave one a try. It takes a lot of hip swiveling with flexibility to keep those hoops going - much more than I remembered! But it's that same kind of flexibility (especially on a mental level) that I'm going to need when my perfectly constructed daily schedule begins to fall apart with the arrival of the unexpected. Yet the Mask Button implies that I don't need to plaster a smile on my face when things go wonky. In the words of Jim Morrison: "You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask." What happens when I pretend to be okay when I'm not? No one will offer assistance, because they think I'm handling everything just fine. It would be much better to be honest, admit that I'm struggling and take any help I'm offered.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Completion with a Caveat

From the Granny Jones Australian Tarot, the World; from the Button Oracle, Dragon:
          Granny's card reminds me of the many television shows here in America that focus on remodeling someone's home. Usually they hide the family from the rebuilding activity, then when it is finished, they bring them back. The builders have something blocking the family's view at first (like a large truck); when it is moved, the family gasps in gleeful surprise. When I have shouldered the responsibility and done the work to bring about my own achievement, I often feel fiercely protective of the result. The Dragon Button represents that reaction but with a caveat. In the words of Carl Jung, "protection and security are only valuable when not excessively cramping to our existence." Just as that new house will get dinged, scuffed and dusty, I can't keep my life and what I accomplish under a bell jar. But I can enjoy what is here now, without clinging to the hope that it will never change.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Stalemates and Possibilities

This week I'll be using the Granny Jones Australian Tarot, created by Granny Jones and published by Kangaroo Press. Along with it, I'll be drawing from the Button Oracle, a set I made myself from a collection of buttons. Today's draws are the Two of Swords and Lizard:
          Uh oh... Instead of having a nice afternoon over tea, it looks like these two friends ended up butting heads over some issue. Each obviously held a firm opinion which led to the discussion going nowhere, because neither was willing to consider another perspective. It's a hard day when a friendship is tossed because of a point of view. The Lizard Button represents communication, because these reptiles rely heavily on body language and color to define territory, resolve disputes, and entice mates. The quote that goes with this button is by George Bernard Shaw:
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. 
Trying to convince another person to accept your viewpoint is debate, not discussion. Discussion seems to be a form of communication that is no longer in style (especially judging by what gets put on Facebook). Both the card and button reminded me of something I read by Krista Tippett in her book Becoming Wise:
I can disagree with your opinion, it turns out, but I can’t disagree with your experience. And once I have a sense of your experience, you and I are in relationship, acknowledging the complexity in each other’s position, listening less guardedly. The difference in our opinions will probably remain intact, but it no longer defines what is possible between us.
When we share our stories (instead of just opinions), we begin to see how life has shaped each of us. And once we see each other as simply human (not good/bad, right/wrong), it is possible to relate openly with each other.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Three Es

From the Dark Goddess Tarot, the Wheel of Fortune; from the Tattwa Cards, Water: Seed of Earth:
          Fortuna, the European goddess of fate and fortune, is a lot like La Santa Muerte; neither goddess cares about labels like good/evil, rich/poor, or famous/unknown. They deal the same cards of change and death to everyone. How are humans supposed to find contentment in such a world? Surely not externally, where all the impermanence is happening. So that leaves the mind, where three things can trip me up: emotional labels, expectations and entitlement. When I start sorting situations by label (awful, fantastic), it becomes easy to self-identify with the emotion attached to them. I can find myself chin-deep in a bog of feelings from which it seems I'll never climb out. Along with labeling, I can set myself up for disappointment when I assume that a certain action will lead to a specific result. Life doesn't work like math, and unfulfilled expectations can leave me disappointed and looking for someone to blame. The third 'E' could learn from today's Tattwa card, which is often given the keyword 'alliances.' Entitlement comes from self-cherishing, when I think my circumstances are more important above all else. I notice this when there is a major event that affects me - it always feels like the world should stop turning and pay attention. But what actually helps me is to realize that everyone without exception goes through similar experiences. I agree with Andrew Weil; instead of chasing pleasure and happiness, I should be working for contentment: "an inner sense of fulfillment that's relatively independent of external circumstances."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Taking What is Not Given

From the Dark Goddess Tarot, the Seven of Air (Swords); from the Tattwa Cards, Air: Seed of Earth:
          Laverna is the Roman goddess of thieves, con men, and rascals - basically anyone who succeeds through deceit. She delights in upsetting balances and creating confusion. I could see how such a goddess would be a good partner in battle, but not so much when trying to live peaceably. She would think that was way too boring. There are times when the status quo needs to be disrupted, such as when life has become unfair and oppressive for certain groups. But there are also folks who like to be rebels, yet they have no worthy cause. The bottom line is, 'Who benefits?' Is the result helpful to the whole or self-serving only? Air with a Seed of Earth suggests seeing the humane side of things and being able to perceive how one's ideas would play out realistically. It is easy to assume this pair of cards deals with taking things that are valuable to others. However, the second precept of Buddhism reminds me it involves more than just stuff: 'I vow not to take what is not given, but to practice generosity.' Do I selfishly take time away from others by always dumping my problems on them? Do I take over conversations because I think I have better knowledge to share? When I sit among others, so I use chairs for my personal belongings instead of allowing someone else to sit there? Time, energy and space can also be used with generosity or without.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Join the Dance

From the Dark Goddess Tarot, Death; from the Tattwa Cards, Air: Seed of Ether:
 Impermanence is a principle of harmony. When we don’t struggle
against it, we are in harmony with reality. – Pema Chodron
          La Santa Muerte (Our Lady of the Holy Death) is the patron saint of death in Mexican folk religion. Although the Church condemns the devotion of her followers as a “celebration of devastation and of hell,” her devotees say they are drawn to her by her non-judgmental nature (everyone has the same destiny).  Many who feel excluded by the Catholic Church welcome this Lady who accepts everyone just as they are. By embracing death (seeing it as natural as the change in seasons), Santa Muerte believers say they are free to live their lives without fear or anxiety. Air: Seed of Ether represents transformation that occurs because of a fresh perspective. It's like being shut up inside a tiny office with no windows all day, then suddenly finding yourself at the beach with a sea breeze blowing. We see things differently because we are able to understand them in a new way. La Santa Muerte isn't a demon, but an honest representation of life. She might not always symbolize what pleases us, but she's as real as it gets.
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Alan W. Watts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Shifting Patterns

From the Dark Goddess Tarot, the Ten of Water; from the Tattwa Cards, Air: Seed of Air:
          Ixchel appears at times of great change - when a cycle begins and when it is completed. The water pot she pours from represents the rainy season of tropical climates when air quality improves, fresh water is available, and vegetation grows substantially. However it is also the period of floods, erosion and malaria. What is poured out is some both, just as it is in relationships. Though we may enjoy the bonds of love and friendship, these connections also engender times of anger, hurt and grief. There's no way to have one without dealing with the other. Air is one of the most invigorating of the elements. Yet we can become loopy with too much oxygen and faint with not enough. Air with a seed of Air represents the potential for great change. It must be monitored closely so as not to be caught off guard (like tracking a storm on the Weather Channel). The combination of these cards suggest pausing to pay attention to shifting emotional patterns in relationships. Someone might need a shoulder to lean on or a hand to guide them.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Growth Stimulation

This week I'll be using the Dark Goddess Tarot, a deck created by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince and published by Arnell's Art. Along with it, I'll be using a digital set of Tattwas Cards. Today's draws are Witch (Queen) of Earth and Ether: Seed of Fire :
           Inanna is the Sumerian goddess of war as well as the arts and love. It sounds a bit contradictory, but the common denominator is stimulation. A seed kept in a glass vial will never sprout; it needs to be provoked and invigorated by the soil, sun and rain. I once had a boyfriend who was probably the nicest man I ever dated - he never argued with me or questioned anything I believed or wanted to do. But having him as a partner was similar to being protected like that seed; I would never grow beyond my own assumptions and opinions. Many people are content to carry their preferences and prejudices around in a little thimble. But what happens when this Fire is placed in the expansiveness of Ether? It can grow, but it must have fuel to burn just as the seed needs its own stimulation. Circular reasoning -  providing evidence for the validity of an assertion, which assumes the validity of the assertion - will only burn itself out. We all need to have our ideas challenged, so we can grow and develop beyond them.

Irma Update: Kudos to the city I live in for being prepared! Our city leaders had a fleet of utility trucks ready to roll as soon as the storm passed. Since the tornado (in January of this year), they've had trucks following every utility line in every neighborhood and radically cutting back any branches that overhung the lines. By the time Irma arrived, shelters were in place, emergency numbers and websites were given out, and all non-emergency businesses were closed. Today, almost everyone has had their power restored, except where huge trees fell on homes or transformer poles. We've got lots of debris (some I will need to use a chainsaw on), but everything else is okay at my little abode. Thanks for all the good thoughts sent this way!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Step to It!

From the Buckland Romani, the King of Koshes (Staves); from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, Mahpia (Cloud):
          The koshes/staves in this deck are all whips which seem to have a 'step to it' message. The King of Koshes is seen sitting on the back of a vardo carving a branch. I'm sure he has plenty of people who could carve them and turn them into a whip, yet he likes to keep his skills sharp that he learned as a young man. Many managers today know only how to supervise and have forgotten or don't know how to do what their employees do every day. Often they rely on others to keep up with new information and skills that develop. I think this king would call them arrogant idiots. Mahpi, or Cloud Spirit, implies that there are obsessions, addictions and habits that are casting a dark shadow and clouding the purpose or obligations of one's life. My latest obsession is reading novels, which I tell myself is a good stress buster (and it is). But often I neglect the things I need to be doing while telling myself I'm just taking care of me. I think if the King of Koshes heard such a rationalization, he would crack his whip and yell, "Step to it!"

Friday, September 8, 2017

Mistaken for Misconduct

From the Buckland Romani Tarot, the Five of Koshes (Staves); from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, Ksa (Goddess of Water):
          Morris dancers perform in a field, while Romani vardos move on to another area. Their sticks suggest the bedlam form, which is loud and energetic. I read where many modern groups have had unexpected dances in public areas (like the flash mobs), only to have the police break it up because they were disturbing others. What seems fun and exciting to one group may feel like an invasion to another. Ksa, the spirit of water, symbolizes uncovering and transforming emotions. When I have a feeling of intense dislike, a sense that I want to push back at another's way of doing things, I need to take a deeper look. Perhaps it is simply that we do things differently; one way is not better or more proper than the other. If there's no harm done, what's the harm?
...equipped with righteous indignation and warmed by moral certitude. She threw great logs of 'I'm right, you're an unfeeling bastard' onto the fire and felt secure and comforted. 
Louise Penny, Still Life

Thursday, September 7, 2017

No Filter

From the Buckland Romani Tarot, the Moon; from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, Wi (Sun):
           If you spend any time caring for someone in the beginning stages of dementia, you notice one thing right away: no thoughts or feelings are filtered from their behavior. The frontal lobe of the brain, responsible for helping us making good judgments, is what usually prevents people from doing and saying socially unacceptable things. As dementia progresses, this lobe loses its filtering ability. In a similar way, my more primitive urges and instincts (represented by the Moon) can appear from the unconscious when my rational side has its guard down - usually brought on by hormones, stress or exhaustion. It may give me a peek at the feelings and motives (created by past experiences and memories) that lay hidden beneath my 'socially approved' side. Yet care needs to be taken that I don't allow the 'wild one' to cause irreparable harm on some unsuspecting person. The Sun represents clarity and awareness, but also the personal power that comes as a result. I may begin to understand why I have certain patterns of behavior, but the power comes in making different choices once I've found the causal root.
Connections slowly emerge. Like distant landmarks you are approaching, cause and effect begin to align themselves, draw closer together. Experiences too indefinite of outline in themselves to be recognized for themselves connect and are identified as a larger shape. ~ Eudora Welty

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Preparation and Acceptance

From the Buckland Romani, the Nine of Koshes (Staves); from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, Cha Wakan (Tree of Life):
          This fellow has quite a few branches from which he is making koshes (whips). It's not like he doesn't have some already, but he knows he could probably sell a few and have some for back-ups in case the one he uses breaks. The Nine of Staves is about being alert and prepared. Here is wisdom that has come from experience; while there's no need to panic, it does help to have a plan that is ready to be put into action. My eye is on Irma today, as it appears to be making its way to our side of the street. Tropical Storm Alberto was a wake-up call in 1994 for us; our river rose 24 feet over flood stage and covered an area the size of Massachusetts and Rhode Island combined. Coffins were unearthed, homes submerged, 450,000 acres of farmland were destroyed, and the lives of animals and people were lost. I won't worry, but I will get some things done just in case. The Tree of Life represents acceptance: circumstances beyond my control will happen (that I need to accept). But it also helps to recognize that I am connected to every living being (no matter how different we look on the outside). When I acknowledge that connection, it is much easier to reach out or in turn grab the hand that is extended when the there are hardships.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Don't Look Away

From the Buckland Romani Tarot, the Five of Bolers (Wheels/Coins); from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, Yum (Whirlwind):
          Even the pronunciation of the word 'destitute sounds hard and abrasive. The unemployed, the disabled (mental or physical) and the addicted seem to be found everywhere these days, holding signs that ask for food or money. Most I can easily ignore - except when they have kids with them. Sure, maybe it is just a con to rake in more money, but it's hard to overlook those little faces. It reminds me there are lots of reasons to be desperate that don't always have to do with money. Whirlwind represents that rush of tenderness and love we can suddenly feel for others, like when watching the news and seeing the losses caused by floods or tornadoes. It can be overwhelming to observe, whether that devastation appears on a street corner holding a sign or standing in front of what used to be their home. I am reminded by these cards that ignoring the problem does not make the problem go away. I can't solve these issues, but I can do small acts of kindness such as give a donation to the Red Cross, buy someone a meal or support legislation that will provide better mental health services for veterans, addicts and those with mental illnesses. Above all, simply acknowledging their existence goes a long way.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Walk Forward

From the Buckland Romani Tarot, the Fool; from the Lakota Sweatlodge Cards, Inyan (Stone):
          Walk forward into uncertainty. There is no reason to cower in fear of life's challenges or rage at life when change or loss occur. You're here to embrace it all with an open mind and heart, and when you do, compassion and wisdom will come. Open all of your senses and stay curious even with what seems unpleasant; when you do, you will learn. Listen to the small voice that whispers inside: "This is why you are here." There will be periods when you want to shutter your heart and mind against the pain and problems, but try to keep them open. Inyan, the stones of the earth, can show you how to support and ground yourself during these trying times. Move slowly, with great patience. Stability is found in the present moment, not in the memories of the past or the fantasies of the future. 
Each day presents a new confrontation with reality. I want to run; instead, I breathe. One breath—the freedom to choose my response in that moment. Marilyn Buck   

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. I asked her, "What would your life look like it if wasn't weighed down with stress and worry?" I then suggested she try to live as if this were already true. Seems like it is good advice for me as well!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

It Isn't "Them"

This week I'll be using the Buckland Romani Tarot, created by Lissanne Lake and Raymond Buckland; this book and deck set was published by Galde Press. Along with it, I'll be using the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards, created by Chief Archie Fire Lame Deer and Helene Sarkis; this deck and book set was published by Inner Traditions. Today's draws are Strength and Hanwi (Moon):
Facing the monster. And recognizing it. Knowing that it was not a vile few.
It wasn't "them." It was us. ~ Louise Penny, Glass Houses

          Rage, greed, jealousy, grief, fear - the beast within wears many faces. It's easy for me to see this face on others, to point it out with self-righteous satisfaction and pretend it doesn't live within me. But it does (and it has large teeth and massive claws). If I pretend long enough that it isn't there, it's easy for it to escape and do irreparable harm. Everyone has a tipping point, when the iron door to the beast's cage opens. I may try to deny that these instincts are alive and well in me, but what happens when I reach that point? I have no way to calm the beast and no way to close the door. Hanwi, or "night sun," represents cycles. The companion book states that "We cannot sustain one mood, one way of perceiving, one action only, throughout our lives or even throughout our day." For better of for worse, humans are emotional beings. I must befriend the beast inside me, and learn how to ground and center myself when it roars and wants unlimited independence.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Responsible Thinking

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Six of Swords; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Lilac:
          A woman, twisting off her wedding band, is shuttled by boat to another shore. What's amazing about this particular Six of Swords is the swords have all been left behind. In cases of infidelity, the hurt seems to bring out obsessive behavior in the unsuspecting spouse. They will secretly follow the other, Google them or their new partner, and ask mutual friends for information about the situation. But that kind of thinking and behavior is like constantly sticking your hand into a pot of boiling water. The hand never gets a chance to heal. So I'm happy to see the beliefs and ideas that caused this woman pain aren't coming with her in the boat. Lilac symbolizes news or a message. People in turmoil tend to have tunnel vision and can't really pay attention to anything but the chaos within themselves. Now that the waters around this woman are becoming calmer, perhaps this woman can hear what she's been missing.
You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. Marianne Williamson

Friday, September 1, 2017

Making Sacrifices to Fulfill Intentions

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Three of Wands; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Scabious and Marigold:
          Three men haggle over the price of a ram; the man who is selling it needs a part for his tractor. There are always hard choices to be made when trying to reach a goal. The ram was once a lamb that this man raised himself, and I don't imagine it is easy for him to let it go. But fields won't get plowed and planted on time without the tractor running. Scabious is also known as pin cushion flower; its Latin root means 'the itch' as it was once thought to soothe skin conditions. Marigold is a flower often seen during Dia de los Muertos celebrations. People use the blooms to decorate the ofrenda ('offering' -a ritual altar) in the home, honoring deceased family members. Both these flowers symbolize sympathy and compassion for a loss. I'd rather take a money loss and have the ram go to a farmer who would care for it rather than see it as a 'thing.' Where there is a history of pleasant memories, it's often hard to let go of whatever is associated with them.
I have to say goodbye to things in order to take on bigger things that I've always wanted to do. ~ Mahershala Ali

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Timing is Essential

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Ace of Coins; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Honeysuckle:
          Planning a garden - looking through catalogs, choosing seeds or plants and imagining the end result - can be much more fun than planting it. But at some point if we want more than a fantasy garden, we're going to have to get our hands dirty. The coin's imprint is unusual, showing  a cupid-like figure with bow and arrows set aside while gearwheels turn over his head. Obviously there is an emphasis on doing rather than feeling (I may not want to be out in the hot sun plowing and planting, but I need to do it anyway). The sundial behind him symbolizes a limited time frame for getting things done. Honeysuckle's message is 'fun and games,' which seems in conflict with the 'get moving' nudge of the Ace. Yet bodies need rest and minds need to unwind when work is hard, or it's likely the work won't every get completed. However honeysuckle (especially the invasive Japanese species) can easily take over an area if left on its on. Better set a timer so work doesn't get completely pushed aside in favor of play, if whatever project I'm working on is to get off the ground.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Do you like tacos?

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Eight of Coins; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Tuberose and Daffodil:
          All these students seem to be studying different things in this classroom. Though I'm sure they all have to learn a basic core curriculum, they also branch out and follow an in depth course of study in what interests them. Thank goodness for that; I wouldn't want my electrician to give me a flu shot. Tuberose and Daffodil represent love or warm friendship, though they are very different flowers. Tuberose is considered a night-blooming plant that flowers in the summer while Daffodil is a spring flower that can be seen all day. However both flowers are bulbs. Though we all have our differences, it can help us get along if we look for at least one similarity or common interest, even if it is as simple as liking tacos.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Trimming the Overgrowth

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Five of Wands; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Hawthorn:
          All she wanted was an estimate for an irrigation system for her garden. Now these knuckleheads are getting nothing accomplished because they are too busy arguing (likely trying to impress her) about the best way to do it. From that 'hands on the hips' posture, she will likely be knocking some heads together soon. I can't stand to be in a group argument that simply revolves around beliefs; I much prefer discussions that center on facts and logic. We don't have Hawthorns in my area, but we do have pyracantheas (aka 'firethorn'). Unless you want an impenetrable thorny wall, at some point they must be cut back to be kept in bounds (thus the keyword, 'necessary evil'). These two cards don't bode well for my trip to 'cousin camp' hosted by my mom every summer. She believes in keeping family together whether we like it or not. I do love my cousins, but our ideas about all of the touchy subjects (politics, religion, etc.) are miles apart. I would prefer not to talk about them at all, but one of the group has big opinions that she enjoys sharing. Normally I sit in mute silence (inwardly churning) in order to keep the peace. But the second card suggests I might respectfully speak my truth, not to debate, but in an effort to cut off the never-ending flow. Or at the very least I could simply say, "I don't see it that way," and leave it at that.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Work in Progress

From the Deirdre of Sorrows Tarot, the Four of Wands; from the Victorian Flower Oracle, Pansy:
          A young couple have just been married, and are now about to enter the house that will become their home. It is a celebratory moment, but the courtship and wedding ceremony were simply the foundation of a building still under construction. Now this couple have to live together and figure out how to share the television and the bills, how to deal with each other's in-laws and annoying habits, and how to meet the challenges and changes that will come. Forget the three-tiered frosted cake; real life is not always so fluffy and sweet. Now if Pansy's advice is followed (Wishful Thinking), that couple is going to crash from their pink cloud of excitement into a brick wall. Reliving the past or fantasizing about the future is not going to help anyone deal with reality in the present. Sure things may not be perfect, but with awareness and curiosity there will be plenty of good to experience and be grateful for right now.

We are all capable of becoming fundamentalists because we get 
addicted to other people’s wrongness.
We can learn to rejoice in even the smallest blessings our life holds. It is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don’t even notice.
Pema Chodron

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Generosity, Backward and Forward

This week I'll be using the Deirdre of the Sorrows Tarot, a self-published set created by Deirdre O'Donoghue and illustrated by Wayne McGuire. Along with it, I'll be drawing from the Victorian Flower Oracle, created by Alex Ukolov, Karen Mahony and Sheila Hamilton; it was published by Magic Realist Press. Today's draws are the King of Coins and Daisy:
Obviously, you would give your life for your children, or give them the last biscuit on the plate.
But to me, the trick in life is to take that sense of generosity between kin, make it apply to the extended family and to your neighbour, your village and beyond. ~ Tom Stoppard

          I find it interesting that the people who don't spend a whole lot of money on themselves (other than occasional indulgences) often have no problem with generosity. Not that they are foolish enough to indiscriminately give away their wealth, but like this king, they tend to be benevolent and kind. He seems to be dropping gold coins from his pocket, while holding on to a larger one. Whoever shares his picnic will be going home with a full belly and heavier pockets. Daisy represents hearth, home and family. Seeing these two cards remind me how often my time and energy is spent on other people, leaving little for my loved ones. Even when I am home, I can be unavailable if I am staring at my phone, the computer or the television. Today I will attempt to practice generosity backward - beginning with my family and working outward.