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, November 17, 2018

Growing Season

From the Mandala Astrological Tarot, the Eight of Wands; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Gemini 25:'
          The abundance of Jupiter meets with the expansion of Sagittarius, creating sudden growth and development. The two squares of the octagram represent integration; rather than chaos, this advancement is stable and balanced. This is not some random occurrence, but a goal that has been planned and worked toward. The Sabian Symbol describes a gardener pruning old, dead palm fronds, allowing nothing to detract from the beauty of the tree. The combination of this card draw and roll suggest cleaning out in order to make room for this growth, much like discarding outdated food in one's pantry. There are some things not worth holding on to.
Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something's time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings. ~Henry Cloud


Friday, November 16, 2018

Anchor System

From the Mandala Astrological Tarot, the Three of Cups; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Taurus 9:'
          The transforming power of Pluto taps into the loving side of Cancer, creating an emotional balance that no longer feels like walking tightrope. I've lost count of how many times the kindness and sensitivity of friends have brought me back from the brink of despair or helped pry me from my warm mudhole of self-pity. It required an effort on their part, and it reminds me of what a difference a few close friends can make in someone's life. The Sabian Symbol describes a decorated Christmas tree glowing in the darkness. Its light is a symbol of guidance and hope. Allen Berger, in his book 12 Smart Things, encourages his readers to examine their 'network of support' - relationships that can anchor us in times of stress. We all have people in our lives who enjoy drama and chaos, but we also need folks (our anchors) who can stay sane and maintain common sense when life gets bumpy.
So, friends, let us stand next to one another, shoulder to shoulder, mirroring the good and the beautiful. Shine a light on the good. Applaud the good. Become an advocate of the good and the beautiful. Let us hang on to the faith that ultimately light overcomes darkness, and love conquers hate. It is the only thing that ever has, ever will, and does today. ~ Omid Safi

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Six of One

From the Mandela Astrological Tarot, the Two of Swords; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Scorpio 7:'
          Six of one, half a dozen of the other; between a rock and a hard place. These phrases describe the perfectly balanced opposition of ideas of the Two of Swords. Venus is the planet of love and relationships while Libra is a sign of peacemaking and a refusal to rock the boat. No wonder a decision can't be reached with all that people-pleasing hovering in the background. The Sabian Symbol describes deep-sea divers using special equipment to explore the depths of the ocean. It implies that a fresh, innovative mind needs to be employed in order to see reality objectively. Emily P. Freeman states, "We may call it 'people pleasing,' but it is entirely self-serving because it is really all about keeping myself comfortable." Discomfort is what it will cost to bring some creative thinking to the table.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

More To It

From the Mandala Astrological Tarot, the Lovers; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Gemini 30:'

          Being a mutable sign, Gemini likes to shake things up and enjoys change. But it also is an air sign, which means that change will likely come through collecting and dispersing knowledge. Add in Mercury, associated with expression and communication, and that seems like a match made in heaven. The Lovers card is not so much about romance as it is making a connection with something or someone, like two puzzle pieces that fit together. The heart might come along for the ride, but it's only because the mind has found a match. The Sabian Symbol describes a parade of bathing beauties walking in front of a beach crowd. It warns against judging someone by outward appearances only. While there's nothing wrong with using appearance to catch someone's attention, there needs to be more to the cake than just frosting. As Lord Chesterfield expressed, "You must look into people as well as at them."

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Is It Worth It?

From the Mandala Astrological Tarot, the Princess (Page) of Pentacles; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Leo 29:'
The invitation to open to our experience—whatever it is from moment to moment—is always there, no matter how many times we need to rediscover it.
—Aura Glaser 
          Mann assigns this Princess/Page the alchemical symbol and a mandala of the earth. Hers is a pure experience of physicality. She is an excellent student because she doesn't muddle up what she is experiencing through her senses - there is no like/dislike, only what is here now. She doesn't get stuck in mental calisthenics and miss what is happening, she is there to explore and learn. The Sabian Symbol describes a mermaid climbing atop a rocky shore where she waits for a prince to bring her immortality. How many times have smart, practical young women suddenly ditched everything they worked hard for and hitched their star to a male? Suddenly their integrity and self-worth become dependent on an outside source, not on their own inherent worth. That mermaid needs to get her tail back in that ocean and swim in the opposite direction.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Structural Maintenance

From the Mandala Astrological Tarot, the Three of Pentacles; from the Sabian Symbols, 'Taurus 18:'
          Mann states that the triangle formed by these pentacles represents equilibrium and balance. Venus (love and beauty) in Capricorn (climbing), suggests hard work aimed at what one is passionate about. This ongoing effort has had a steadying effect on things in the material/physical world. The Sabian Symbol describes a woman airing out an old bag (perhaps like a cloth shopping bag, traveling bag or purse). Rather than throw it out and buy something new, she simply takes care of it in a mindful way. Together, this card and dice imply that while things are pretty secure right now, there is a need to continue to pay attention to what has been built in order to maintain it.
A living cell requires energy not only for all its functions, but also for the maintenance of its structure. ~Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Sunday, November 11, 2018


This week I'll be using the Mandala Astrological Tarot set, created by A.T. Mann and published by HarperCollins. I'll also be exploring the Sabian Symbols with the help of Lynda Hill's book 360 Degrees of Wisdom, published by Plume. I've got a 30 sided die and an astrological die that I'll be rolling to choose the symbol. Today's draw and roll are the Six of Cups and 'Capricorn 24:'
          Six cups are arranged in a hexagram, a figure Mann describes as an integration of spirit and matter. Neptune represents hope and healing (though often unsubstantiated); Scorpio implies a deepening of perception. Adults, looking to overcome personal emotional handicaps, often point the finger at their childhood. Yet simply pointing to the past, whether remembered clearly or through a haze of hurt, won't change a thing. Our perception must move into the present if we want to heal. The Sabian Symbol describes a woman entering a convent, suggesting a time of inner reflection. When we acknowledge and own our behavior, then change and healing become possible.
We need to construct a personal crucible of self-confrontation. In this crucible, we stop avoiding ourselves and stop focusing on the faults of others. We confront our own personal issues and identify the ways we are contributing to our own unhappiness.
~ Allen Berger