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, July 7, 2020

Don't Forget...

From the Restored Order Tarot, the Queen of Cups; from the Oracle of Kabbalah, Tav:
          The Queen of Cups is often portrayed as a counselor because her intuition and empathy help her understand others in a meaningful, beneficial way. This particular woman looks exhausted; there's a reason good therapists have a therapist of their own. Tav means a seal or impression, such as a fossil found in limestone. The Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation) states, "Their end is embedded in their beginning and their beginning in their end." As Tav is the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it signifies culmination but also a passage to something else. The Queen holds the answer in her own cup - she needs to drink from it too, rather than just filling other cups.

Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. ~Parker Palmer

Monday, July 6, 2020

Spending Patterns

From the Tarot in Restored Order, the Ace of Pentacles; from the Oracle of Kabbalah, Samech:
 
Samech painting by Dani Antman
          There is a reason for the path leading beyond the archway in this Ace. How I choose to spend my resources now (including time) will determine what I find later on down the lane. The letter Samech means 'support;' Ginsburgh gives it the title of 'Endless Cycle.' What kind of cyclic foundation have I built with my habitual behaviors? When I repeat an action, it becomes easier to fall into a pattern that occurs over and over, for better or worse. It can sometimes be a shock to read the words in the photo by my bed at night:
This night your days are diminished by one.
Do not squander your life.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fair Shake

This week I'll be using the Tarot in de Herstelde Orde (Tarot in Restored Order), created by Rob Docters van Leeuwen and Onno Docters van Leeuwen; it was published by Servire. The second deck I'll be drawing from is the Oracle of Kabbalah, a deck and book set created by Richard Seidman and published by Thomas Dunne Books. As an added resource, I'll be using The Hebrew Letters by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. Today's draws are the Knight of Swords and Dalet:
 Dalet painting by Dani Antman

In our world, there are people who act as philosophers (who like to investigate and discuss the truth), judges (who slice away deception so that truth is clearly seen), and knights (who defend and uphold the truth). Knights of the Sword are moved to action, especially where righting wrongs are concerned. These are the folks who risk bodily harm, loss of freedom, and insults to their character to protest and work for change. Thank goodness for their courage; their actions are often what wake others from their complacent cocoons. Dalet means 'door,' and Ginsburgh suggests it represents a sense of selflessness that comes from recognizing that none of us permanently possesses anything. The door of Dalet is the gateway to humility. Through it, we find kinship with others rather than focusing on the things that separate us. The selfless courage of this Knight, idealistic and impulsive as he might be, is based in the belief that everyone deserves a fair shake at life.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Humble Packaging

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the High Priestess; from the Druid Animal Oracle, the Wren:
 People often hope that meditation will be the answer to their problems. They look to it as a kind of home improvement project, as a way of fixing a broken aspect of themselves.
~Mark Epstein

The High Priestess encourages us to open to the depths and stillness within to find wisdom and strength. But our inner landscape is what may prevent us from finding those treasures. As Mark Epstein explains, "we have to carefully pick our way through our own wilderness. If we can put our minds into a place of surrender, we will have an easier time feeling the contours of the land. We do not have to break our way through as much as we have to find our way around the major obstacles. We do not have to cure every neurosis, we just have to learn how not to be caught by them." Over time, we learn to experience reality rather than react to it; such clarity is what brings strength and wisdom. The Wren brings to mind a quote from A Midsummer Night's Dream: "Though she be but little she is fierce." Meditation may seem passive and ineffectual, but like this bird, its payoff can be mighty.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Wide Context

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Two of Cups; from the Druid Animal Oracle, Eagle:

The Two of Cups symbolizes a commitment born of the heart. Whether between spouses, partners, friends, or family members (including pets), such a vow is rooted in love and kindness rather than obligation. Yet life can act as a spade or hoe, disrupting those connections with hardships and pain. The Eagle offers us the spaciousness to see situations in a wider context, providing clarity and objectivity. Rather than being stuck in a mindset of how things should or shouldn't be (based on our particular conditioning and experiences), such a perspective allows us to step into other people's shoes and see through their lens. As Tim Burton put it, "One person's craziness is another person's reality."

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Inspiration and Revivification

From the Druidcraft Tarot, the Magician; from the Druid Animal Oracle, Hare:
Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.
~Michael Jordan 

It can feel like rolling Sisyphus' boulder when we try to move from inspiration to manifestation. But the worst obstacle is often a fear of failure, so we easily convince ourselves our idea is not worth the effort. But the Magician suggests we gather our resources, make a plan, and do it anyway. If we don't get the results we want, we haven't lost anything, and we might discover a flaw that we can correct and try again. The Hare represents renewal, a good practice when one is involved in a challenging project. The revival of one's spirits might come from a good night's sleep, a long walk, or laughing with a friend. If those eggs are going to hatch, the hare tells us, we need to make time to revivify ourselves.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Flaws and All

This week I'll be using three decks, all created by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and illustrated by Will Worthington. The Druidcraft Tarot and the Druid Plant Oracle were published by Connections; the Druid Animal Oracle was published by St. Martin's Press. I've combined the two oracles and will be using them as one deck. Today's draws are the Three of Cups and Poppy:

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
~ Lt. Col. John McCrae

The Three of Cups is a card celebrating friendship, connection, and camaraderie. Every summer my cousins and I gather at my mom's house to relax, have fun, and enjoy each other's company. We weren't sure what to do this year, but after getting tested for Covid-19 in advance, we felt it would be safe to gather. The isolation we'd endured beforehand only seemed to make our get-together a gift to be treasured more than usual. The Poppy became a symbol of remembrance as a result of Canadian surgeon John McCrae's poem. Serving the Allies in World War I, McCrae was struck by the bright poppy blooms on the broken ground where so many soldiers had fallen and penned "In Flander's Field." The poppy flower is a reminder of the transience of life and encourages me to love and appreciate those around me while I have the opportunity.