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, November 14, 2017

Hold on to Your Brain

From the Jolanda Tarot, the Hierophant; from the Bird Signs deck, the Pelican:
          The woman attached to the bull with a sword down her center is a bit disturbing in this version of the Hierophant. My first thought was that both she and the bull were to become a sacrifice. But what is being sacrificed is not her body but her mind. In order to join any group, no matter whether it is of the religious, political or intellectual variety, we are generally required to adopt a new way of thinking. In a few cases this may be beneficial, but often it includes staying between narrow lines without using straying outside of them. The parrot makes me think of 'parroting' the group's dogma. I believe people are drawn to such groups because it makes them feel safe; there's a rule and specified action for nearly everything. But what if one's experience doesn't line up with what is being sold as truth? And is it a good thing to have to leave your brain at the door to be spoon fed doctrine? Being open-minded doesn't mean we have to give up our common sense too. The Brown Pelican is a spontaneous, in-the-moment kind of bird. They feed by plunge-diving from high up, using the force of impact to stun small fish before scooping them up in their pouch-like bills. They observe then act, and would suggest I do the same. As the Kalama Sutta encourages:
When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted and carried out, lead to welfare and to happiness’ — then you should enter and remain in them.

8 comments:

  1. groups. so much good so much bad.
    I just remembered a childhood incident. The little girls in the neighborhood were invited over to talk about girl scouts...to be met by door to door religion salespeople. Mother was SO mad :) I was probably wondering when the cookies would come out..

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    1. It is nice to have that feeling of belonging, but not so nice to have to sacrifice one's integrity for it.

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  2. Another naked woman in a religious setting. Here with the Hierophant the other day with Angels. Reminiscent of the the Church demoralizing women to justify the superiority of men.

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    1. In some cases I think the nakedness means truth without anything covering it; in others, it seems to represent vulnerability.

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  3. When I think about dogma ,I always end up realizing how much fear there is still lurking deep down inside of me to be entirely wrong about my beliefs and end up in hell..

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    1. The religion of our youth can have deep roots...

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  4. At the beginning of my PG studies a senior academic asked me to consider carefully who I wanted to be in conversation with. It was good question. It's really difficult to have productive dialogue with people operating in completely different, dogmatic research paradigms.

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    1. Dogmatic would seem to be the exact opposite attribute that I would think a researcher should have!

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