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, September 20, 2021

Savoring not Consuming

From the Hidden Realm Tarot, the Empress; from the Heart of Faerie, the Shadow of the Past:

What a tender look this Empress gives to all creation, whether the apples she cradles in her lap or the butterfly that lights on her sleeve. I think Americans have become excellent consumers, but rarely do we savor and take time to appreciate what we have. We don't worry about using up, only about satisfying our next desire. What if we began to savor our moments as a wine connoisseur does each sip of wine? Could we not build a gratitude practice in this way? The Shadow of the Past refers to relationships that haunt us like a bad case of acid reflux. If the past is foremost in our mind, there is no way we can attend fully to what surrounds us now. In a sense, we are consuming rotten food while the fresh goes unnoticed. Instead, we could train the mind to stay in the present by catching ourselves when we ruminate and tenderly turning our focus to what is beautiful or good right where we are, no matter how small or simple. The Empress would remind us that since we create our mental pathways, and we can always change them too.
 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dot of Light

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, created by Julia Jeffrey with Barbara Moore, and published by Llewellyn. I'll also be drawing from the Heart of Faerie Oracle created by Brian and Wendy Froud and published by Abrams. Today's cards are the Seven of Swords and Bright Spark:


A young warrior pauses to look to the stars for guidance before deciding to engage in battle. Who will his actions benefit ― himself, a select few, or all? What might the long-term consequences be? Is he being driven by his own passionate views or led by the frenzy of the group? The choice he makes can alter his future. Bright Spark symbolizes those small moments of inspiration or illumination that we may miss because our minds are so busy trying to out-think and out-maneuver what lies before us. Yet in the stillness and quiet, spiritual nudges may come from the luminous mind (the non-egoic wisdom within). Follow that inner light. 

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Do You Hear What I Hear?

From the Victorian Fairy Oracle, the Herald of Winter (Page of Swords); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Man/Mannaz:


As I drew this Page/Herald this morning, the carol "Do You Hear What I Hear?" came to mind. In this song, what is seen, heard and known is passed along, beginning with the night wind and ending with the king. While obviously a carol, Noël Regney wrote this song as an appeal for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The last stanza has the king proclaiming, "Pray for peace, people everywhere!" The rune Mannaz is generally translated as 'Man' (humankind); the poems suggest its meaning includes both the joy and connection humans feel as well as separation and death. Both of these cards suggest I pay attention beyond my self-absorbed box of desires, worries and resentments. There is joy, warmth and beauty around me, if I would only open my eyes and ears (and mind) to them. Though changeable and impermanent, it would be a shame to miss out on these gifts and wonders. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Get Moving

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Chariot; from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Rit/Raidho (Riding):


All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. ―Benjamin Franklin

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. ―Dale Carnegie

I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants. ―Zig Ziglar

It's not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities. ―Kristin Armstrong


Thursday, September 16, 2021

Nighttime Movies

From the Victorian Fairy Oracle, the Moon; from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Tyr/Tiwaz:

A fairy sleeps deeply in a bed of thyme surrounded by moonflowers and luna moths. Weatherstone suggests this card represents dreaming, when we must understand things on a more primal rather than rational level. Neuroscientists believe that dreams serve as a data dump — a clearing of the day’s useless memories (from the hippocampus) and a caching of the valuable ones (to the cerebral cortex). But as memories get compared and sorted, our dreams help the brain do other things:
  • We experience 'fire drills,' or imaginary dangers to keep us sharp and rehearse for possible emergencies in the future.
  • As emotional memories are stored, dreams help us modulate trauma and fear as well as regulate our moods.
  • Dreams can help us have creative breakthroughs or solve problems that require vivid visualization.
The rune Tiwaz is connected to the story of Tyr and the Norse gods. The gods knew the wolf Fenir would cause great ruin and decided to trick him into being tied up with a small cord, then he could show off his power by breaking it. The cord was magical, and though Fenir didn't know this, he was no dummy and agreed to by tied up if one of the gods would put his hand in his mouth. The cord held but Tyr lost his hand. Tiwaz thus implies success that will require a sacrifice. Dreams can be terrifying and bizarre at times (the sacrifice), but they are there to help not harm us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Melting Snow

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Seven of Winter/Swords; from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Eoh/Eihwaz:

A fairy and his rat henchman have broken into a family's store of food for the winter. The Seven of Swords brings up the question of ethics: Can a wrong ever be considered right if it is done to correct an unfair imbalance? We all have a moral code that influences our conduct, but we often judge others by it as well. Stealing is never okay in my code, but neither is hoarding or a lack of generosity. Yet still I harbor a subtle "Is he or she deserving?" in my mind. The rune Eoh/Eihwaz relates to the yew tree, a plant that is evergreen and also poisonous. Its symbolism of both death and life points to an initiation that brings transformation and illumination. Such an initiation is not for the faint of heart; it requires that we "die before we die," a process of stripping ourselves of our pet concepts and opinions as well as our preferences and prejudices. It is only when our ego relinquishes control that we can see the world with clear vision.

Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
~Rumi

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Shared Blessings

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Ten of Summer (Cups); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Feo/Fehu:


The fairies look like they are having what some neighborhoods call a block party. Weatherstone describes this Ten of Cups as representing heartfelt love of all kinds. What could be more fulfilling than knowing you have someone to love and care for and that you in turn are surrounded by love? The rune Feo/Fehu is generally translated as 'livestock' or 'gold.' While it might seem an auspicious rune, it comes with a warning:
Money is the strife among kinsmen
and the fire of the flood-tide
and the path of the serpent.
(Old Icelandic Rune Poem)

Both wealth and the power it brings can be as intoxicating as an unlimited supply of alcohol. But we all know what it's like to deal with a drunk person, regardless of what's got them intoxicated. There's a reason clubs hire bouncers. Blessings of any kind are meant to be appreciated and shared, not flaunted and held in a vise grip.