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

Monday, January 16, 2017

But Did You Die?

From the Nature Spirit Tarot, the Eight of Swords; from the Australian Wildflower Cards, Royal Bluebell:
          Our mind can be the wellspring of wonderful ideas, but it also has the power to immobilize us, just as the black widow spider's web seems to be doing to the anemones (aka windflowers). The fears and insecurities that grow there can develop into a feeling of vulnerability and indecision. According to Greek mythology, the anemone flower grew from Aphrodite's tears when her beloved Adonis was killed by a boar. I was listening to a talk by Vidyamala Burch, and she said we often deal with great loss or drastic change in two ways: blocking or drowning. We may try to block (deny) it through busyness or a myriad of addictive behavior patterns (shopping, alcohol, etc.). On the other hand, we may decide the pain we feel is all that there is and choose to drown in it. We withdraw and lose all sense of perspective. The generosity of the Royal Bluebell suggests we not be so frugal with the possibilities of our mind. There is room to accept our loss with room for joy too. When we expand our mind, we also find alternatives and resources to help us adapt and accept reality. A friend who works at a wildlife park told me a phrase the employees often say to each other: "But did you die?" It isn't meant to invalidate a terrible experience, but to remind the other that they are still alive and thus have the freedom to choose how they respond from this point on.

11 comments:

  1. frugal with the possibilities of our mind. I think I seldom give my mind any slack at all. Pruney it is...

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    1. My ego has certain ransom demands that can make my world of possibilities very small. I try to remember to tell it every now and then that I don't negotiate with terrorists. :)

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  2. That spider does remind me in this card the web of fear the ego spins within us. I love bluebells. Such happy flowers

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    1. Ego does have a way of tangling us up, making us think there is no relief in sight.

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  3. Expanding our range of responds to difficult situations. It sounds so simple and yet it will make our life so profoundly different.
    Thanks!

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    1. Here are some ways Burch gives (in my words) to change blocking or drowning behavior:

      1. Maintain awareness - Keep calmly recognizing change in all its forms (change is not abnormal, it is natural).
      2. Accept the difficult with compassion - Rather than resisting reality, lean in and investigate it with discernment (clarity and objectivity).
      3. Expand your awareness beyond what is unpleasant - Look around you for anything beautiful or some small joy.
      4. Recognize you are not alone - Everyone wants to be happy, yet everyone also suffers.
      5. Choose to respond rather than react to the difficult situation – We can choose how we relate to challenging people or circumstances.
      # 5 was big for me; I could develop a compassionate relationship with the situation.

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    2. Copied them right into my (digital) journal!

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  4. this really is a beautiful tarot...I'm leanin' :)

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    1. I am VERY happy with it. But be warned: the cards are huge (4x7"). I've learned to shuffle them width-wise. :)

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