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

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Herding Cats

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Chariot; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, 'Squaring the Circle:'
Herding Cats: an extremely difficult activity because of unpredictable forces at play

          Cats are not herd animals and always have their own agenda. They will never willingly do anything that hints at cooperation if it doesn't fit their preferences. This Chariot driver has his hands full. Likewise, when our emotions and instincts don't line up with our rational thought, the fur will fly when forward movement is forced by one side on the other. But there may be a way to gently coax one side into making some progress.
          'Squaring the Circle' is the attempt to construct, using only a straightedge and compass, a square with an area equal to the area of a given circle. With such simple tools, it can only come close to being done perfectly. Its message is to work toward an accord (which is attainable) but not toward perfection, which is unattainable. As Jennice Vilhauer explains, "Discomfort feels more good than bad, you may feel uncomfortable but you are still really looking forward to where you are going; distress, on the other hand, feels more bad than good - the negative feelings are overwhelming you and you can’t even focus on where you are trying to go."

Thursday, March 21, 2019

In Training

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Page of Swords; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, Alternation:
          Notice that the cat's eyes aren't on some threat on the horizon but on the sword the young man is swinging. The booklet calls him a 'novice warrior,' and indeed that is what he is. His biggest problem is that his mouth moves faster than his mind does. He may say something he thinks is witty only to discover others find it cruel or disrespectful. He often tells of conversations overheard instead of considering that what was said should remain private. He desperately needs a Yield sign between his thoughts and actions.
           Greer explains that alternation is a way of using ordinary numbers to deal with numerically inexpressible factors (such as the square root of 2). In geometric design, it is important to be able to approximate these factors in whole numbers. It is a dance of adjustment and restructuring to get to the final form. I imagine it to be like a stud finder that uses a magnet to find nails (and thus studs) hidden behind walls. Greer's words apply to this Page: "patience, persistence and the ability to learn from mistakes are all highlighted here."

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Making and Managing

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the King of Pentacles; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the Tetrahedron:
 Making money is hard enough, but managing money is infinitely more difficult. The skills and instincts necessary for one can actually hinder the other. ~J.E. Wilson Advisors

Kuykendall's King of Pentacles has whisker-like protrusions from his crown. In the same way that a cat's whiskers are a well-honed sensory tool, this King has his senses feeling out all parts of his kingdom - what is getting created, what is being sustained, and what is being used. The Tetrahedron is associated with the element of Fire and thus energy. Every fire needs fuel to sustain it, but the wise fire keeper knows that green wood won't burn well and cutting down all the trees will eventually deplete resources if others aren't planted. This King asks us to take a look at how we are managing, using and replacing our physical resources, whether that might be our time, health or finances. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Seeds of a New Problem

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Devil; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the Golden Proportion:
          The cloaked Devil represents the shadowy parts of the mind, the parts that whisper to us when we are exhausted, overwhelmed and under severe stress. But rather than a self-compassionate solution, it offers a short-term, self-indulgent fix. Such indulgence can easily turn into a familiar pattern of behavior that adds to the weight of our suffering rather than reduces it. As Tommy Rosen explained, "The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken."
          The Golden Proportion can be found when we divide a line into two parts so that: the whole length divided by the long part is also equal to the long part divided by the short part. This mathematical ratio (approximately equal to 1.618) is commonly found in nature, and when used in design, it fosters organic and natural looking compositions that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. The spiral of seeds in the head of a sunflower, the curves of a nautilus shell, and the lengths of the bones in our fingers are based on this ratio. The message of this card is "do the right thing at the right time in the right situation" in order to restore harmony. In the long haul, a walk in nature beats a pill or an unnecessary order from Amazon. As Wayne Muller reminds us, "In the soil of the quick fix is the seed of a new problem, because our quiet wisdom is unavailable."

Monday, March 18, 2019

Redrawing the Shape of Things

From the Tarot of the Cat People, Rejuvenation (Judgment); from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the Point:
A woman breaks free from a cocoon while her cat begins its ninth life. We all have traumas, trials, and challenges that burn away everything extraneous; our life seems to become a crucible to refine what is important and beneficial. Such an experience can radically change our views and attitude, as Rabbi Harold Kushner explains: "We may not ever understand why we suffer or be able to control the forces that cause our suffering, but we can have a lot to say about what the suffering does to us, and what sort of people we become because of it. Pain makes some people bitter and envious. It makes others sensitive and compassionate." Here is where we begin again (the Point); we have the power to draw what our lives will look like. We choose the shape of our lives will take, not outwardly but inwardly. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cuddling and Communicating

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Cat People, created by Karen Kuykendall and published by U.S. Games. I'll also be drawing from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, a deck and book set created by John Michael Greer and published by Llewellyn. Today's cards are the Lovers and the Dodecagram:
These two lovers are wrapped together in a warm covering; it is a symbol for what holds them together even as they are independent of each other. The Lovers are associated with Gemini (Twins), an Air sign. While passion might bring them together, it is not enough to make them stay that way. They need communication - intellectual foreplay and dynamic dialogue. The meeting of the minds is the comforting blanket that makes their relationship a fulfilling one. The Dodecagram is a twelve-pointed star that can be said to represent the twelve astrology signs. It suggests that things are approaching completion and wholeness. On a personal note, my husband and I have been tag-teaming as we support my daughter who is dealing with a kidney stone. It is hard to sit with the excruciating pain of someone you love while being powerless to fix it. My husband and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary on the 19th, and this is one of the many challenges we have faced over the years. I'm grateful for the cuddling and the communicating.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Adjustment

From the Vision Quest, Justice; from the Bird Cards, the Finch:
Thoth-based decks refer to Justice as Adjustment; it emphasizes the need for assessment and then, based on what was found, action. It involves focusing on our actions and attitudes rather than blaming others. We shape our present and future based on our current actions and thoughts. We might not be able to control other people or situations, but we can choose how we react or respond. There is never one finch at a feeder; they move in groups (or during the nesting season in pairs). Finch reminds us that we are a precious part of the greater whole. What we do or fail to do can have ramifications that ripple out to other precious parts of the whole. Perhaps the adjustment needed is to catch ourselves in self-orbit, realize our effect on that whole, and then change our focus.