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

Thursday, February 20, 2020


From the Ship of Fools Tarot, the King of Cups; from the Wisdom of the Four Winds, Limestone:

          The King of Cups always makes me think of emotional sobriety. When other people run around screaming that the sky is falling, he knows how to stay calm and respond skillfully. It's not that he's a naturally chill sort of guy; he's just aware of his emotions and how they can push him to respond in ways that aren't always helpful. We all have our patterns: aggressive (pushing back at what we don't want), submissive (going along while feeling resentful), and dispersive (staying busy so we can pretend ignorance). But the King would tell us none of these are particularly beneficial at solving or adapting to what is making us crazy. Limestone is a sedimentary rock that water frequently erodes over many years to form caves. Many fossils are found here as well. This stone can offer us sanctuary if we use it to see our emotional habits that condition our actions and then choose to begin the work of changing them. As the King offers his cup to the Fool, he reminds him that it's not easy but it's worth it.

The ability to self-regulate, to bring ourselves into balance, is key to emotional sobriety.
~Tian Dayton

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Penny Saved

From the Ship of Fools Tarot, the Four of Coins; from the Wisdom of the Four Winds, Sparrow:

          This card appears to show a scam artist who has shown up, looking to sell something not worth buying at an inflated price. Instead of being stingy, he could display wise money management by saying 'no' and closing the door, ignoring the hard sell. The house sparrow may not sport the bright colors of many birds, but like many people who live simply, he is resourceful. Nests might just as likely be built behind shop signs as in a bush. These birds may be found at backyard feeders or picking insects off the grills of cars in a parking lot. Both these cards advise the habit of saving (and being creative) rather than spending.

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

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Changing Our Lens

From the Ship of Fools Tarot, the World; from the Wisdom of the Four Winds, Kiore (Rat):

          The Fool appears weighted down by the World on his shoulders, but it likely comes from a new perspective that gives him a more complete understanding. When we see others through the lens of separation and exclusivity, it is easy to feel superior and judge our ways and opinions as the right ones. But when we cease to view life this way and use the lens of inclusivity, we see that we are alike in many ways (our hopes, fears, etc.) and recognize our interconnection. That is a knee-bending epiphany if ever there was one. The Kiore/Rat card parallels this idea. The Maori didn't judge the rat for how it affected them but admired it for the way it took care of its relations - laying scent markers to food sources and joining bodies to cross a stream. We can focus on what we dislike or what is admirable in most anything, but only one of these views will help us see from a wider viewpoint.

We're smarter and more innovative when we're diverse.
~Julie Sweet

Monday, February 17, 2020

It's About Me

From the Ship of Fools Tarot, Judgment; from the Wisdom of the Four Winds, Water:
 Putting out of our minds the wrongs that others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened? Fear set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn't deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? ~ AA basic text

          A plague of locusts and frogs descends on the Fool. Like most folks, he will complain that this is unfair and undeserved then immediately start pointing out the faults of others. I thought of our current President who is excellent at deflecting and distracting, but this too is simply a diversion for not looking at my own stuff. I can't change other people, but I can change my thoughts and actions and the misery they will inevitably cause. The Water card is associated with cleansing, and in relation to Judgment, it makes me think of forgiveness. As Gina Sharpe reminds me, "Forgiveness is really not about someone’s harmful behavior; it’s about our own relationship with our past. When we begin the work of forgiveness, it is primarily a practice for ourselves."

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Closer of Further

This week I'll be using the Ship of Fools Tarot created by Brian Williams and published by Llewellyn. Paired with it will be the Wisdom of the Four Winds created by Barry Brailsford, illustrated by Cecilie Okada and published by StonePrint Press. Today's draws are the Six of Cups and Pohutukawa:

          Could a Fool resist an invitation to play? No more than a fish could refuse to be in water. This Six of Cups is a reminder that having fun isn't just for children - adults need to remember how much it can help relieve stress and lighten one's outlook. The two cards in the Cups suit before the Six show burnout and sadness, and although time can help with both, a bit of play can help us remember the joy of living. The Pohutukawa, found on the windswept coasts of New Zealand, is sacred to the Maori people. On Cape Reinga, an ancient tree sits on a rocky outcrop that extends into the sea. The dead are said to move down its roots to make the journey to their ancestral home. "Begin again," the Pohutukawa might tell us when we feel we can't go on. And perhaps a little less seriousness can help us do that.

At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Common Bonds

From the Margarete Petersen Tarot, the Three of Cups; from the roll of the Elemental Dice, Tornado (Air + Darkness):
There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other. 
~J. K. Rowling

          Whether through something we've endured, a challenge met together, or a love shared, we find common bonds and develop friendships. Tribes help us honor what is lost or celebrate what has been gained; they help open our hearts and minds to multiple viewpoints. These groups can provide a sense of well-being as long as they remain inclusive, considerate and compassionate. Yet the Tornado pairing suggests that these priceless friendships can easily be destroyed. Past grievances, petty irritations, and unreasonable expectations can be just as destructive as the winds of this storm. These mindsets only destroy and never nourish or sustain.

Thoughts of “we” connect us, reminding us of our common humanity. Our individual sufferings are seen as being shared by others, and as being part of the difficulties we all have in being human. Our sufferings are not a sign of us being broken, but of us belonging to a greater whole. Our sufferings connect us with others, rather than pushing us into a sense of separateness.

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Third Option

From the Margarate Petersen Tarot, the Two of Flames (Wands); from the roll of the Elemental Dice, Lightning (Air + Fire):

          Between a Moon and a Sun, two figures embrace. The Twos are about choice; in this card, we choose the alliances and purpose that spur us to action. Will we be receptive like the Moon, or assertive like the Sun? Will we serve our own desires or consider those of others? In which direction will our drive and determination be steered? The Lightning roll implies an epiphany or inspiration - rather than either/or, it offers a third option.  In Buddhism, prajna (wisdom) is perceiving the true nature of reality. It's like looking everywhere for our glasses, then suddenly realizing they are on the top of our head. Such discernment helps eliminate the pull of emotions, opinions, and attachments in order to see what is needed.

Once we perceive, we habitually jump to thoughts and feelings about what is being perceived. These thoughts and feelings, rooted in past experiences and conditioning, then influence the mood of our mind. When perception, thoughts, and feelings are repeated or imprinted through experiences, they solidify into view or belief. Ruth King