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, November 18, 2019

To Know, To Live

From the Tarot of the Hidden Realm, the Hermit; from the Heart of Faerie, the Green Woman:
 I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
~ Henry D. Thoreau

          Living in nature with only the bare essentials has a way of clearing away the cobwebs. We learn that things are born and things die, that life is always moving and in flux. Actions have consequences; what we plant will grow and produce fruit, whether it is welcomed or not. It's easy to follow an old path through the woods, but more difficult to make a new one - just as it is with behaviors we repeat or try to change. Yet the soulsearching of the Hermit is not meant to depress or shame us, but to encourage us to live more skillfully and compassionately. The gentle, creative energy of the Green Woman would recognize Thoreau's longing. She reminds us that while we are all creatures subject to the laws of nature, today is a good day to LIVE.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Making Progress

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 King of Wands and 'The Returning:'
          This King of Wands, with his windswept hair, seems to be looking over our shoulder at something happening behind us. Though he is listening, he's more interested in what is going on; he's a 'show me' kind of guy rather than a 'tell me' one. He doesn't want to just hear about something, he wants to be able to be there himself if possible. He knows that some people may underestimate a situation while others may overdramatize it. They act as alert buttons so he knows to go and check on any potential problem and correct it before it gets too big. The Returning suggests we acknowledge that things are constantly changing. If we leave, we shouldn't expect things to be exactly the same as before when we return. When we look without the weight of the past or our assumptions about the future, we can see with clarity what is. That's the first step in making any progress.

The first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.     
[Which might include ego's demands of what should or shouldn't be, instead of what is.]
~George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Drunken Monkey

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Six of Winter (Swords); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Elhaz/Algiz:
          A group of fairy refugees flees the Winter court, hopefully to a place with less quarreling and strife. But what if they are taking the problem with them? Perhaps the outer chaos is only a trigger for the inner turmoil. If that's the case, then what's needed is an inner change of attitude and thoughts, otherwise (in the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn) "Wherever you go, there you are." The Elhaz/Algiz rune can signify protection in the mundane world, and 'rising above' in spiritual-speak. Both apply in this situation. When we are constantly in conflict, it can feel necessary to protect ourselves, but often what we are protecting is simply a rigid set of beliefs and opinions. To 'rise above' would mean we stop looking for something outside of ourselves to make us happy or feed our ego. We may still need to get away from a group to maintain our sanity, but we want to make sure we are taking a healthy mindset on the journey.

In the attempt to get away from being with ourselves, we search for something or someone to make us happy; the grass constantly appears greener someplace else. But in every relationship and every situation, there we are again. Meanwhile, our mind is like a drunken monkey doing its best to distract us by jumping from thought to fear to drama to anything that will keep us trapped in an endless round of worries and concerns. ~Ed and Deb Shapiro

Friday, November 15, 2019

Prudent Course

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Herald (Page) of Autumn (Pentacles); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Dag/Dagaz:
... our aliveness depends on our ability to sustain wonder. — Mark Nepo

          The Heralds are the portals from one season to the next; they are a good analogy for the doors that knowledge and instruction can open. Perhaps none of the four Heralds/Pages is more enthusiastic about applied knowledge as this one. Dag/Dagaz represents the darkness turning to dawn and confusion being transformed into insight. But as the Herald/Page would tell us, knowing doesn't change things nearly as much as using that new knowledge.

The prudent course is to make an investment in learning, testing and understanding, determine how the new concepts compare to how you now operate and thoughtfully determine how they apply to what you want to achieve in the future. — Dee Hock

Thursday, November 14, 2019

It's Nuts

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Two of Autumn (Pentacles); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Lagu/Laguz:
          Juggling an armload of hazelnuts, this fairy is attempting to ride a bike to get somewhere quickly. He obviously can't do both well at the same time, judging by the nuts he's dropping and his posture on the bike. He could have put a basket on the bike or - since he's a fairy - flown instead. But that's what happens when we multi-task; we miss important details and ignore what should be common sense. Lagu can represent a great body of water, such as the Anglo-Saxon poem speaks of:
The ocean seems interminable to men,
if they venture on the rolling bark
and the waves of the sea terrify them
and the stallion of the deep heed not its bridle.
Just as it's not wise to try to sail the seas without knowledge and attentiveness, so we should not move through life mindlessly, in a hurry to get to the next task. Mistakes are likely, and we might miss some important intuitive information along the way.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Mature Friendships

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Three of Summer (Cups); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Dorn/Thorn:
I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.
~Charles R. Swindoll 

          I am convinced that we all need someone with whom we can be genuine, showing without fear the qualities that make us fallible humans. But such a friendship requires effort; we need to be willing to make time for them on a regular basis, as well as listen to their stories instead of just sharing our own. But Dorn/Thorn implies that things can get a little prickly if a friend has a different opinion about something than us. But, unless their actions are unethical, is this a reason to abandon them? Perhaps Thomas Jefferson's advice is wise: "I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend." Besides, a different view might help us have a wider perspective.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pausing Practice

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot, the Knight of Autumn (Pentacles); from the Haindl Rune Oracle, Wunjo/Wynn:
          I like this Knight - he knows that when you work hard, you need to pause every now and then to check your progress and see what might have been missed. Plus, the body (especially as we age), needs a chance to rest and recuperate. Wunjo is a rune that is associated with well-being in all its forms. It represents joy, as it recognizes the blessing of being well. When I am working in the yard, I take pauses to rest but also to bird watch and see how the season is changing the landscape. It restores both body, mind and spirit. The house and yard reconstruction seems to be two steps forward and one step back. Yet as I look at the earth and the way nature renews itself, it gives me hope.