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, July 19, 2018

Gathering and Releasing

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Four of Pentacles; from Brownie Wisdom, 'Deeds of love:'
          The small booklet that came with this deck gave an interesting phrase for this card: gathering power. Since this is the Pentacles suit that deals with the material, this power could include money, physical energy or time. All three can be spent unwisely, leaving us with no reserve that might be needed later. Yet the Brownie Wisdom card suggests our resources can be used selfishly or unselfishly as well. Deeds of love come from an open heart, not an open wallet. And that heart won't be concerned with making an impression but with making a difference.
Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.     
~Thomas Carlyle

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Prep Work

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Five of Swords; from Brownie Wisdom, 'The knowing:'
          What caused a dissolution of friendships because of a simple argument? My guess is that rigid, black-or-white thinking was at the root, a my-way-or-the-highway approach. Humans get so caught up in their opinions and beliefs that we forget that things are contextual - they always depend on the circumstances that formed the setting or created the situation. An immigrant has a different intention than a refugee. A child getting a free school breakfast has a motivation that is distinct from the guy who hangs out at shopping centers and hands out a sob story for money. Brownie Wisdom suggests that preparation in advance is a key for handling these disagreements. Rather than adding fuel to the fire, how can I respectfully present my ideas while listening to those of another with an open mind?

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Metacognition

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the King of Swords; from Brownie Wisdom, 'Time:'
          In this wintry landscape, I can imagine the King of Swords saying, "Just the facts, ma'am." Does this mean he cares more about justice and less about kindness? I don't think so. I'm currently taking a class taught by Joan Halifax called 'Compassion at the Edge.' She speaks often about metacognition - the awareness and ability to understand one's mental processes. Instead of riding the roller coaster of the mind, we step off and watch its twists and turns, high points and low points. We come to recognize our particular preferences and prejudices as well as how emotions and memories can bias us. From this vantage point, we can make rational choices rather than reactive ones. However, the Brownie Wisdom card reminds us that time won't stand still, so we can't sit and watch our mental gymnastics forever. We have to use the information we have to make the wisest decision we can at the moment.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Trumpisms

From the Tarot of Pagan Cats, the Empress; from Brownie Wisdom, 'They assemble:'
          The Emperor may be about setting rules for structure and security, but the Empress will likely bend a few if it gets in the way of creating or nurturing what she is trying to grow. Brownie Wisdom implores us to not believe everything we hear. How can we tell what is fake news designed to sway and influence us? The Empress would tell us to look for what they nurture and create. Do their words inspire divisiveness and hatred or cooperation and kindness? Are they building walls and exploiting resources or sustaining the life of all beings? Is their love or approval conditional? Is everything they do first filtered through "How will this affect me?"
Trumpisms:
I have tremendous respect for women.

I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.

I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.

I think I am actually humble. I think I’m much more humble than you would understand.

Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault.

I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it's literally going to cease to exist.

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Long Game

This week I'll be using Lo Scarabeo's Tarot of Pagan Cats (mini) with booklet by Barbara Moore and art by Lola Airaghi. Paired with it will be Brownie Wisdom, the smaller deck included with The Brownies Oracle created and self-published by Doug Thornsjo. Today's draws are Emperor and 'Brightest hours:'
           Seeing this fluffy cat sitting on his dais made me think of the 'Big shot' panel from the Baby Blues comic strip back in 2001. But a closer look at this cat's face makes him look a little tired (although still serious). The logic of the Emperor motivates him to create a world that is stable, secure, efficient and prosperous. Moore writes that his "decisions are made for the greater good, intending to benefit as many as possible." Of course, there are always a few who won't benefit, and they're usually the ones who will be shouting the loudest for him to be dethroned. The best leaders focus on serving the well-being of the whole and aren't moved by a few opinionated or influential individuals. It is a heavy responsibility that will age him in a hurry. The Brownie card implies that everyone has dark nights and bad luck, but this won't last forever. Good decisions will eventually bring good results in the long run.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Prudent Approach

From the Via Tarot, the Princess (Page) of Disks; from the Nature's Pharmacy deck, 'Chicory:'
          The Princess of Disks, elementally the Earth of Earth, could be represented by the word embodiment - a tangible form of an idea, quality, or feeling. Her staff points downward because she is like an electrical grounding rod. She believes in what can be proven through material evidence. Ideals and plans aren't worth much to her unless they are manifested in the real world. Chicory's root has a history of being roasted and ground to be used as a coffee substitute, especially during hard economic times. Coffee made with chicory tends to have a more bitter taste, while the more expensive Arabica coffee has caffeine, a pleasant aroma, and a smoother flavor. Together with the Princess of Disks, these cards imply a prudent approach. Instead of wants, focusing on needs would be more appropriate.
When I was young, people lived from paycheck to paycheck. Today, it seems like they live from credit card payment to credit card payment. ~Robert Kiyosaki


Friday, July 13, 2018

Invalid Truth

From the Via Tarot, the Devil; from the Nature's Pharmacy deck, 'Myrrh:'
          When I first pulled this card (without my glasses on) I thought it was the Sun. Only when I could see clearly did I notice the skull and bones. I think everyone has an addiction of some sort if it is defined as a behavior pattern that produces unhealthy or negative results. But most of us focus on the 'sun' and deny the 'bones.' If someone points out our habit, we point a blaming finger at other people and situations. We fail to see the Devil is not outside us, but the impulsive reactions we depend on to deal with life when it becomes stressful. Myrrh was used in ancient Egypt to embalm the dead, and its woodsy, spicy scent is used in fragrances today. In one case it is used to cover the stink of decay, in another to add to the scent of the living. Its meaning suggests that we consider whether our habits (both thought and action) are an attempt to cover up reality or navigate it.
No denial of the truth will ever invalidate it.     
~Nikki Rosen