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, December 4, 2023


From the Albano-Waite Tarot, the Devil; from the Rumi Cards, He's Here:

Bedevil: continually cause confusion or great difficulty

When I drew this card, I heard Flip Wilson's voice saying "the devil made me do it." More likely, it was a lack of self-awareness and an inability to regulate distressing emotions. We believe what we feel and impulsiveness follows. Justin Baristo writes: "Emotions have power. Emotional intelligence is the ability to harness that power - to understand and manage emotions, so that you can make decisions that are in harmony with your core values and principles." Emotions are simply a reaction to what we witness or think about; they deserve compassion but not necessarily a platform. He's Here suggests something greater than ourselves, a power that moves through and enlivens the universe. However we define the sacred, it can help us find our center point when we are bedeviled. The outer world may not change, but it can allow us to change our relationship to it.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Sitting with Awareness

This week I'll be using the Albano-Waite Tarot, recolored by Frankie Albano and published by U.S. Games. The oracle deck I'll use is the Rumi Cards, created by Eryk Hanut, illustrated by Michele Wetherbee and published by Tuttle. The cards drawn for today are the Knight of Wands and Awareness:

Two there are, who are never satisfied; The lover of the world and the lover of Knowledge.
― Jalaluddin Rumi

The energetic Knight of Wands is always eager to put his ideas into action. But he tends not to stick around for too long once they're in motion. He prefers to explore different worlds and gather more cutting-edge ideas. Satisfaction comes in the seeking and finding more than the long follow through. His motto is "What's next?" Rumi's quote reads: "If you read nothing and wisdom sees your fervor, Awareness will sit in your hand like a tamed dove." Rumi recognized wisdom as more than an accumulation of knowledge; it is relational, an understanding of how something correlates and interweaves in our lives. In the Knight's case, he doesn't fully experience what is happening because his mind is racing to his next adventure. Awareness would allow him to observe things as they unfolded: otherwise, his restlessness might overlook important details that would become lost pieces of the puzzle.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Worthy Summit

From the Tarot of Durer, the Six of Coins; from the Philosopher's Stone deck, Apogee:

Rather than being about sharing resources, the Durer booklet suggests this cards is about wasting resources. Here the falcon we saw on the Ten of Coins now drops money over the countryside. Yes, we all spend money impulsively at times, but there is another side to that coin. I am reminded of two quotes, the first by Bertrand Russell: "The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time;" the second by Aesop: "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." Apogee signifies a high point of our life or a masterpiece. Genuine kindness and fun are never wasted and can make a difference in me. I can develop compassion for the suffering of others and realize that life is more than a daily trudge. An open heart is truly a summit to achieve.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Laying Down the Load

From the Tarot of Durer, the Ten of Wands; from Philosopher's Stone, Light:

You can’t make radical changes in the pattern of your life until you see yourself exactly as you are now. As soon as you do that changes will flow naturally.
―Henepola Gunaratana

Look closely and you will see that what is being burned is not a real house but a painting of one. Sometimes we have to continue doing the same thing in the same way until it becomes a colossal failure. We often have to experience suffering to see beyond our blinders and find our way to relief. Light suggests clarity and the willingness to see reality as it is. Because of that vulnerable openness, we see what is clearly; truths are discovered and understanding is found. What a relief to lay down that load.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Financial Education

From the Tarot of Durer, the Ten of Coins; from the Philosopher's Stone, Abundance:

The habit of saving is itself an education; it fosters every virtue, teaches self-denial, cultivates the sense of order, trains to forethought, and so broadens the mind. 
– T.T. Munger

This guy is enjoying his retirement, but he might want to take a peek at his savings rather than just letting the hawk keep an eye on things. The problem with living on a fixed income is that the prices of things keep going up but not always our investments. My bank insisted on going paperless, which means I have to check my monthly statement online. I have not been very diligent lately, and last night I was shocked to see that I forgot to record not one but several purchases in my account register - my balance was much lower than I thought. Thankfully, I ponder before purchasing, so I don't generally spend extravagantly unless it is for health or repairs. But it was a good lesson in keeping a closer eye on things. Abundance might suggest financial prosperity for some, but for me it reflects well-being in mental and emotional ways as well. Which makes me think of the advice of Martha Beck: "Stop fixating on stuff you can touch and start caring about stuff that touches you."

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

A Privilege

From the Tarot of Durer, the Wheel of Fortune; from the Philosopher's Stone deck, Depth:

When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
―Marcus Aurelius

The Wheel of life is constantly in motion, creating ongoing change. No amount of wishing or begging will make it otherwise. The phrase "seize the day" on this card reminds us to take each day as it comes, making the most of it. We might have a boring day and feel restless followed by a day of dealing with a crisis. We might have a pleasant, lazy day followed by a day of friendship and laughter. Things change. The Depth card reminds us to look deeper, especially when life doesn't roll along according to our preferences. We can get fixated on the one thing that we desire or want to be different and forget the other good around us. 

Whatever we fixate upon limits us because fixation makes us dependent upon something other than ourselves. Each time we let go of something, we experience another level of freedom.
―Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche

Monday, November 27, 2023

Everyday Reality

From the Tarot of Durer, the Three of Swords; from the Philosopher's Stone, Skill:

Trust takes time to develop but can be destroyed in a moment. Our connections to others make us feel secure and accepted, but when severed can create a mental or emotional crisis. We tend to be sensitive about our ideas, opinions and sense of self; a joke at our expense, a dig at our viewpoints or a snarky comment about about anything we identify with can feel like a betrayal. Yet Skill hints at the ability to use our mind to cultivate clarity and wisdom, seeing what's beneath our reactions (rather than focusing on what someone else said). We may realize that we all want similar things (joy, companionship, etc.), but we all have different ways of getting there. Rather than accepting any abuse heaped on us, we can simply choose not to hate the other or be swamped by self-pity.

Happiness is not simply the abundance of pleasure in the absence of pain. Rather, it is to remain confident and optimistic in the face of everyday reality.
Tricycle editors