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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taking Justice out of my Hands

   The Hoi Polloi brings forth another sword wielding character today, Justice:
I often pull this card when something is out of balance in my life.  Not the physical things, such as health, money, or time management, but things that have to do with relationships - honesty, fairness, and respect.  In this image, the woman wears a purple tunic and has a purple jewel on her crown.  Purple is the color of wisdom, but it is also a mixture of a warm color and a cool color (red and blue), indicating that no favoritism will be shown.  The white cloak and robe represent her purity (no dishonesty or prejudice), but the red stole around her neck and the red mat under her feet tell me that action will be taken to bring things back into balance.

     The card from Clark and Gill's I Ching deck today is "Wind over Dragon:"
The rice paddy workers remind me of a saying my father-in-law had: "Keep your head down and your tail up."  In the food business, it served us well on busy days when we needed to pay attention to the customer in front of us rather than focusing on all the people waiting to be served.  The key phrase associated with this trigram combination is "exercise restraint."  I often want to fix a situation or wrap things up on my on timetable, but there are times when it is in my best interest to do the task in front of me instead of forcing an outcome to happen.  As Gill states, "A gentle approach brings progress and success in the end."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Following the Truth

The card drawn today from the Hoi Polloi is one I've seen a lot lately, the Queen of Swords:
The butterflies on this queen's crown and throne symbolize that she is connected to the element of air, involving thought, truth, and justice.  The clouds below her head mean that she thinks clearly and objectively, without attachment to emotions or others' expectations.  The cherub on her throne is a more modern representation of these creatures.  Originally they were depicted with four faces - that of a lion, a man, an ox, and an eagle.  Such an image reminds me that it is important to see a situation from all sides, instead of just the perspective to which I'm attached.

     The card for today from the I Ching deck reminds me of a different view from yesterday's card.  It is made up of the trigrams "Lake over Thunder:"
The keywords associated with the image are "following a lead;" Gill says of its meaning, "do not be led astray: you must take only that path you know to be right and follow it to the end."  My judgment can be skewed by my emotions or by the opinions of others.  The truth can be found within me; it will allow me to hold on to my integrity (being true to myself) and act with honesty in the outer world.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What's on Your Mind?

The card chosen today from the Hoi Polloi Tarot is the Magician:
With his wand pointing upward, this magician uses his other hand to not only point downward, but to the pentacle on the table.  Both the pentacle and his green robe represent the material world; his upward hand and his headband are associated with the realm of thought and the role it plays in what manifests in my life.  I may find it hard to see the connection between what I focus on and my reality in my own life, but when I look at friends and family it seems clear.  Those who are full of gratitude and have an optimistic bent seem to have more to be thankful for, while those who see the bad in everyone and every situation seem to find that as well.  Today I will attempt to be more mindful of my thoughts - the one thing I know I have the power to change.

     The card pulled from the I Ching deck today is the combined trigrams of "Earth over Thunder:"
A man who started on a journey looks back at his home, rethinking his decision because of the inclement weather.  The keywords associated with this image are "turning back."  Underlying all cycles and developments is a consistent rhythm.  I can't rush the sunrise or the change in seasons.  Sometimes I must relax and wait.  My rush to action may be based on a negative point of view - my attitude will be responsible for the problems created.  Someone once told me I could always start my day over with a fresh outlook, no matter what time it was.  I can choose to turn back, reposition my thoughts, and make a new start.  Only then will my journey yield positive results.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Restraining the Tongue

This morning's card from the Hoi Polloi is the Three of Swords:
Not many people have trouble understanding the heartache and sadness represented by this card.  The swords may symbolize thoughts that cause these feelings, or they might have to do with hurtful words spoken.  I will again be among a group of family members today, and this card reminds me to mind my tongue.  Members of the family always seem to know how to push my buttons - I find it harder to detach from their words and actions more than anyone else.  Frank Tyger once said, "There is no evidence the tongue is connected to the brain."  Reflecting on the many times I have spoken without thinking first, I'm inclined to agree with him.

     From the I Ching deck this morning comes the pair of trigrams known as "Mountain over Wind:"
With the sea and a skeleton of a boat in the background, a fisherman mends his nets.  The key phrases for this image are "repairing the damage" and "sweeping clean."  With the tarot card above, it seems amends are required for the actions or words that caused pain.  I may be in the shoes of the one giving or receiving; if I am the one who has been hurt, I can sweep clean my thoughts through forgiveness.  But if I am the one with a vendetta, I need to show restraint.  If I am careful not to tear the net to begin with, there will be nothing to repair.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Slow but Steady

The tarot deck I'll be using this week is the Hoi Polloi, a vibrantly-colored, simplified RWS clone, published by Hoi Polloi Inc.  Today's card is the Knight of Pentacle:
This knight wears oak leaves on his helmet and has adorned his horse's brow with them as well.  It takes an oak tree two to three decades from the time it is planted to grow large enough to provide significant shade.  Likewise, this fellow knows that to create strong foundations or reach one's goal requires patience.  He's not in a hurry, because he's a detail-oriented type of guy who is going to make sure he's laid the necessary groundwork before he proceeds.  Like Aesop's tortoise, he believes slow and steady is the best way to accomplish things without making mistakes.

     The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the I-Ching Pack, illustrated by Anthony Clark and written by Richard Gill.  Today's card is the trigram combination "Fire over Lake:"
As someone who grew up with four step-siblings, I instantly connect with this image.  Two birds sit on a branch, one chirping away to its mother.  A third bird sits apart, apparently the one who has caused a problem.  The meanings associated with this card are estrangement, disagreement, separation, opposition, and isolation.  Gill gives the basic meaning as: "Estrangement is serious: while it lasts there can be success only in small matters.  Take small steps, therefore, towards the warmth and joy of reconciliation."  Like the knight above, sometimes I have to move slowly when making amends or reconnecting with someone.  Over time, my actions will speak much louder than the "I'm sorry" that is so easy to say.  It takes dedication to mend a relationship; there are no quick fixes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

911 on Speed-dial

  From the Hezicos Tarot this morning comes one of the court cards, the Queen of Swords:
There is nothing soft and cuddly about this queen - even the brushes on her hair piece appear stiff and unyielding.  I'm guessing that those little brushes sweep away anything that might cloud her thinking.  She wears pendulum-shaped earrings, but since they are attached to her head, everything she judges will be based on logic, not divination.  Those indigo eyes see more than most, and the sword on her choker is a warning that she will not hesitate to say what she thinks.  This woman is not worried about tact, just the truth.

     The card pulled from the Way of the Horse deck today is "Bonfire:"
Look closely, and you'll see not one, but several horses emerging from these flames.  The gift of this card is the energy needed to burn through any blocks; the challenge of it is in being able to face areas of resistance that have become a volatile fuel source.  With the Queen of Swords above and this image, I'm thinking I may need to put my household on high alert.  Here in the States, today is known as Black Friday, and I'm hoping I'll have enough control over my words and actions that I don't burn anything or anyone to cinders.  Yet in her companion book Kohanov explains that it is important to stay fully present to whatever is happening:  "Feeling an experience completely doesn't mean melodramatically acting out the emotions or taking them out on others to relieve the pressure.  It means letting an experience move you to the core rather than dissociating from it, perhaps leaving you raw and vulnerable for a time, yet ultimately strengthening your ability to embrace life fully and consciously..."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

The card drawn from the Hezicos Tarot this morning is the Two of Swords:
A rather sad-looking elf stands at a divide in the road, not knowing which one to travel.  I do hate "either/or" choices, and it looks like this fellow eventually has to make one.  One road leads to a mountain that has unusual tree houses on it, while the other seems more solitary.  The elf holds the swords crossed over his heart, hoping to keep his emotions out of this decision.  I can't help but think of Robert Frost's last stanza in "The Road Not Taken:"
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
     The card chosen from the Way of the Horse deck this morning is "Intuition:"
From the shadow of one horse emerges another.  The gift of this card is the wisdom available from our intuition; the challenge is in discriminating between what is actually inner wisdom and what is ego.  For me personally, I have not found it difficult to tell the difference.  My ego always wants what will benefit me - the easier, softer way.  My intuition comes as a spiritual gift, and is other-centered rather than self-centered.  But there are times when I need to place my needs first, yet even this decision results in my ability to serve others better because I keep myself healthy and sane.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Know the Yang

From the Hezicos Tarot today comes the Magician:
This handsome young man's eyes stare straight ahead, as if nothing could break his concentration.  He holds a huge citrine point, a stone associated with success and abundance, as well as mental clarity and will power.  He has quite a pile of objects in front of him, the majority of which are books, telling me he has done his research.  Whatever this magician is trying to manifest, he has gotten specific directions and has fine-tuned his goal.  Even his cat seems to be standing still, as if completely absorbed in whatever has its attention.  The body of this man radiates with energy, indicating his intense drive and power.  The bivalve shells are all turned so that they protect what is underneath.  There are so many things I want to do or accomplish, that I tend to neglect most of them.  This card encourages me to sift through my own mound of desires and focus on bringing one of them into reality.  

     From the Way of the Horse this morning comes "Lionheart:"
Even the most timid among us have a lion hiding within.  The gift of this card is the ability to be assertive and take action.  The challenge is in not letting our "inner lion" run amok, causing us to act aggressively.  By balancing the wisdom of prey and predator, I become neither victim nor tyrant.  I can develop goal-oriented thinking that incorporates compassion, instead of trampling on others to get my way.
"Know the yang, but keep to the yin" ~ Lao Tzu

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Protecting and Acting on Inspirations

Pulled from the Hezicos Tarot this morning is the Seven of Rods:
This elf holds his rod across his body in a defensive maneuver, rather than upright in an offensive move.  This card reminds me that standing up for myself doesn't mean I need to attack someone in the process.  I can state my case without belittling someone else or their ideas.  The elf's cap is an acorn's cupule, designed to hold and protect the seed during its maturation and growth.  I too need to protect the creative ideas or goals I hold until they have fully matured.

     The Way of the Horse card drawn this morning is "Lightning Horse:"
As lightning streaks across the night sky, it traces the outline of a horse.  The gift of this card is a flash of inspiration; its challenge is the dedication and effort needed to manifest this idea.  Like lightning, inspiration can leave as quickly as it comes.  If I am going to see its potential become reality, I must take action.  Putting it on the back burner is like putting a pot of water on the stove to boil while I take care of other tasks.  When I finally think about it, all the water has evaporated.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Honesty: the First Step in Healing

The card drawn today from the Hezicos Tarot is the Seven of Swords:
The pink trees bending in the wind and the dark storm clouds emphasize the ominous warning of this card.  This elf seems to be sneaking away with a few swords, which tells me there is some sort of manipulation or deceit going on here.  His right foot steps on to a piece of earth that seems to be breaking away from the main land, implying that this action will cause a breaking between himself and another, whether a person or a group.  Sevens deal with making a choice, and this time the decision looks like there will be some consequences that could be irreparable.  I've had the feeling for the past few days that a friend of mine has not been honest with me, that she is putting on a show to hide what is going on in her life.  She has complained for years about being in abusive relationships, but continues to go back to them.  I have told her that's the definition of insanity - repeating the same thing and expecting different results, but she continues to repeat the pattern.  In my opinion, something is not always better than nothing...

        The oracle card pulled from the Way of the Horse this morning is "Keeper of the Mysteries:"
A dove and a dolphin rise from the hands of a horse-headed goddess; behind her, water flows into a canyon.  The gift of this card is peace and healing; its challenge is in reclaiming the power that was taken from us.  In working with women over the past years, as well as in my own personal life, I have seen how trauma can affect us and keep us trapped.  Behavior that was used to survive in the past often becomes set in concrete as an adult.  We repeat these harmful patterns, refusing to see the chaos they cause in our lives.  But even when I understand what underlies my actions, I must make a conscious effort to make different choices and take different actions.  Only then will the healing begin...

Sunday, November 20, 2011


  From the Hezicos Tarot comes another major arcana card, the Lovers:
A couple, surrounded by the prolific growth of Virginia creeper, gaze into each others eyes.  In the South, this woody vine grows up everything - trees, fences, houses and telephone poles.  Wherever there is a support, it will thrive.  I am reminded by this particular card of how opposites can not only attract, but can complement each other.  My husband and I are an example; he's a procrastinator, and I'm the one who wants things finished by yesterday.  He's more of a spontaneous, "go with the flow" type guy, and I'm the one known as "the organizer."  Like the yin and yang, we balance each other by being respectful of the others opinion, thus allowing our relationship to flourish.

     The card drawn from the Way of the Horse deck today is "Language of the Breath:"
The warm breath of a horse makes a mist in the cold morning air.  The gift of this card is the ability to use one's entire body to perceive; the challenge is in learning to see with the heart.  Watch a group of horses when one picks up something is "off" - the whole herd suddenly becomes alert.  Most animals use their whole bodies as sensing and perceiving devices, not just their eyesight or their minds.  When I notice my breath coming faster, my heart rate accelerating, and my gut twisting in a knot, my body is trying to tell me to pay attention.  This response can come in other ways, such as an ache in my chest when I am around someone who is hurting.  If I try to logically sort out these "vibes," I'll probably just ignore them.  But they are my antennae into another realm of awareness if I will use them... 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Cycles and Satisfaction

The deck I'll be using this week was created by Mary Griffin and is called the Hezicos Tarot.  This morning's draw is the Moon:
A silver full moon shines against the black of the night.  Two gibbous moons adorn its cheeks, and a crescent moon rests on its chin.  This image reminds me of the cycles I am constantly moving through.  As Thanksgiving arrives next week, with Christmas close behind, I'm gearing up to do some cooking, traveling, and wrapping a few presents.  This time of year is hectic and stressful, but like the phases of the moon, I know this busyness won't last forever.  If you look carefully at the bottom left side of the moon's face, there is a faint outline of a key.  What does it represent?  For me, it is about keeping tabs on my fluctuating emotions as I move through the holidays.  They will signal when my body and spirit need my attention and care.

     The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the Way of the Horse, with text written by Linda Kohanov and artwork by Kim McElroy.  Today's card is "Point of View:"
Two horses stand on a hill viewing the area around them.  The gift of this card is discernment, the ability to judge with understanding and insight.  The challenge is in developing the skill to uncover my false assumptions and my true motives.  Positive thinking will do me no good if I don't dig down and uncover the truth.  Aspirations based on external gratification (pleasing others, a need to be the best, material things) will inevitably lead to disappointment.  Yet if my actions are based on what is innately satisfying to me, then the joy that results will be lasting rather than fleeting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Look at Leadership

This morning the card drawn from the Granny Jones Tarot is the King of Wands:
With Uluru (Northwest Territory, Australia) in the background, this king balances on one foot.  Perhaps the short stick in his left hand is used for friction in making fires.  The red sun behind him burns as hot as his passion for accomplishing his goals.  His drive is legendary, and he knows how to build a fire under others to get them to cooperate in his efforts.  His personality looms as large as Uluru; his charisma makes him a natural leader.  His advice to me today is to stay focused on my objectives (just as he maintains his balance) and get moving.  There's no time for whining and excuses, only progress toward what I want to accomplish.

     From the button collection this morning was drawn the "Merrill Lynch bull - risk:"
"Because if you have a strong foundation like we have, then you can build or rebuild anything on it.  But if you've got a weak foundation you can't build anything." ~ Jack Scalia
In 2008, Merrill Lynch was purchased by Bank of America to keep it from going bankrupt.  Though its leaders had lived large, they blindly ignored the depth of their financial problems.  Whether I am in a position of leadership or the one being led, I need to know that I am standing on a firm foundation.  Charisma and intellectual blather should not keep me from checking the facts and learning all I can before I commit myself to anything.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pros and Cons of Groups

The card from the Granny Jones Tarot this morning is the Hierophant:
Multiple tree trunks and a man all seem to spring from the same common root.  The man leans into one of the trunks, seeming to draw strength and joy from it.  This card is about a sense of belonging that comes from joining with others because of a common bond.  The group generally has specific goals, beliefs and ideals, and there is usually a teacher or leaders from whom one can learn.  This may be a religion, but it could also be other types, such as a group of quilters or a group involved in animal rescues.  The man holds a triquetra in his hand, symbolizing this union or connection he has with others.  I can find much joy and stability in being with other like-minded individuals, but there is one drawback.  Like the trunks in the card above, the root that keeps the group secure also prevents it from moving in other directions - deviations from expectations are not looked on favorably.

     The button chosen from the collection today is "Fawn - gentleness:"

"Gentleness can only be expected from the strong." ~ Leo Buscaglia
In my youth, I never considered patience, kindness and tolerance to be connected with strength.  But now I understand that it is much easier to lash out at another than to be quiet, calm, and compassionate.  These are inner spiritual muscles I'm working to develop, and I get a chance to "work out" every day in my daily encounters with others.  As the holidays approach, I realize that being in a group, such as a family, will test my strength in this area.  Though we have a blood bond, we often differ widely in regard to religion, politics or life philosophy.  I will try to remember that although I have a right to my opinion, I also have the right to keep it to myself. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Loss and Freedom

  The card drawn today from the Granny Jones Tarot is the Five of Buttons (Pentacles):
Poor potato-head fellow...  He's got a "Dear John" letter in one hand and a bill notice in the other.  Even with a bum leg and tattered clothes, it appears he's being robbed of what little he has left (burglar in the background).  The fives in tarot deal with the challenges of being human - what we gain, we can lose.  I've pared my life down to simple things, but I would be upset if I lost these, particularly my health.  But on some level, I know I am more than what I own or my body.  The one ray of hope (quite literally) that Granny gives in this card is the sun emerging from behind the cloud, shining on what appears to be a doorway on a hill.  Perhaps there are people waiting there to help him - a doctor, a job, friends, or a new relationship.  But he's got to stop crying long enough to make his way up that hill...

     From the button collection today was drawn "Horses - freedom:"

"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." ~ Nelson Mandela
I was lucky enough to camp on Cumberland Island, GA for a week, where there are herds of feral horses.  I will never forget, as I was cooking breakfast one morning, seeing them come thundering by on the way to  the seashore.  Their power and freedom was almost tangible.  This button reminds me that there are things I have and hold on to that seem important, yet when I lose them, I realize what freedom that loss has given me.  "More" often brings more things to worry about and more obligations.  Letting them go is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Learning Lessons in the Real World

  From the Granny Jones this morning comes the Page of Buttons (Pentacles):
This little lady, with her stack of books, is often known as "the student."   But just learning about something is not enough; for her, knowledge is only worthwhile when it is useful.  Whatever she reads about, she is going to test to see if it it can be beneficial in the real world.  The "success" flower and the basket of fruit underscore her opinion that theories and strategies are only helpful when they can produce results.  This page asks me to check my actions and attitudes and see if doing or having them are making a difference in my life or the lives of others.  If not, it might be time to prune these dead branches from the tree.

     From the button collection this morning was drawn "Clock - moment:"
"You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future."
~ Anonymous
I've made plenty of bad choices in my life, but I can't turn back the clock to change them.  The best I can do is see them as learning explorations to show me what doesn't work well, and then choose not to repeat them.  I'm sure I'll still stumble and slide in the future, but worrying about "what if" will only paralyze me.  Life is meant to be lived, not over-analyzed, and staying in the moment as much as possible is the only way I know to do it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rash Decisions or Words

The card drawn from the Granny Jones Tarot this morning is the Moon:
This Moon card is obviously a reference to Edward Lear's story-poem of "The Owl and the Pussycat."  In Lear's version, the owl woos the cat, and they end up marrying.  In Granny's version, there's a bit of lip-smacking going on that probably doesn't have much to do with the jar of honey in the boat.  This card reminds me that there will be times when clarity of thought becomes fuzzy.  When I am dealing with a lot of emotions or inner turmoil, this is not the time to make big changes or rash decisions.  I need to wait until the confusion clears, or else I might find myself in the same boat as the owl and the pussycat.

     The button chosen from the collection today is the "Zipper - containment:"

"The one who cannot restrain their anger will wish undone, what their temper and irritation prompted them to do." ~ Horace
There are times when the best thing to say or do is nothing, especially when I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired (HALT).  The saying in law that you can't "unring the bell" is an apt one; even apologies can't make up for some words or actions.  Today I will try to contain myself by zipping my lip instead of unloading on others. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Enjoying and Keeping the Peace

The card drawn from the Granny Jones Tarot this morning is one of my favorites - the Ten of Cups:
Granny and her husband (I can't help but think of Mr. Greenjeans from the Capt. Kangaroo show when he shows up) sit in front of a roaring fire.  Cats, dogs, and people all seem to be enjoying a blissful moment.  This card reminds me how the simplest things can bring much joy.  I spent yesterday  with my daughter and husband, dragging the decorations out of the attic and decorating our tree.  My daughter is like her father, a bit of a dry wit, and she had me laughing so hard I was doubled over.  It was a wonderful slice of time, and just remembering it makes me smile.

     The button drawn from the oracle today is the "Okay Gesture - misunderstanding:"

"In the whole round of human affairs little is so fatal to peace as misunderstanding."
~ Margaret E. Sangster
While the "a-okay" hand signal in America is a positive one, in some countries it can mean "you are a zero" or "you are an a$$ho!e."  This button encourages me to state things clearly and to make sure what I communicate to another is understood by them.  I've experienced (and I'm sure been the cause of) mix-ups in emails or posts on forums where I didn't realize the person was joking.  After being offended or angry, I discovered what I perceived as a slight wasn't intended as one.  Communication is a tricky thing; before I make assumptions, I need to ask questions. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Skillful Manifestation or Manipulation?

This week I'll be using a primitive art deck, created by Rebecca Jones, called the Granny Jones Tarot.  Today's card is the Magician:
In this card we see a man who looks like a used car salesman trying to make a sale.  Is he honest?  The pockets on his blazer are turned out, as if he says, "See?  Nothing to hide!"  But I do notice there is a bill hanging out the side of his pants pocket.  The Magician skillfully uses all of his tools - the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual - to manifest what he desires.  He has a focus like a laser that keeps him on track.  But because of his proficiency, there is a temptation to use these talents only for self-benefit, regardless of how it may affect others.  Before I use what's in my toolbox, I need to check my motives. The end doesn't necessarily justify the means.

     The oracle I'll be using this week is a homemade one, composed of metal buttons with various pictures and designs on them.  Some I've bought and some have been generously given to me as a gift.  Each one has a quote and a keyword associated with it.  Today's draw is the "Dragon - Protection:"
You protect your being when you love yourself better. ~ Isabelle Adjani
Unlike Western dragons, Eastern dragons are portrayed as good, kind, and intelligent.  This image reminds me that no one can look out for my welfare better than me.  While I try to see the good in everyone, I know that some folks have ulterior motives and will manipulate me to get what they want.  I must guard my "treasure" from these people, whether it is my finances, my time and energy, or my peace of mind. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Seeking or Running from Truth?

  The card drawn from the Tarot of the Crone this morning is the Priestess:

I speak only Truth.  I speak only Silence.  I speak in a language few understand.
Among a group of standing stones a figure rests, looking much like a stone herself.  Yet the glowing eyes reveal the life within.  As the moon above her wanes, she tells me it is time to be still, to be receptive, and to look within.  The truth is hidden with my Higher Self, and waits patiently for me to put down my demands and my opinions, and just listen.

     From the Transforming Dragons deck today comes the card "Cerbeu:"
This dragon represents ignorance, because she firmly refuses to open her heart or mind to anything new.  Lessons that come her way are ignored; she continues to suffer while blaming her problems on other people.  Sticking my head in the sand (or keeping myself "busy"), may keep me from dealing with situations, but it comes with a high price.  Like Cerbeu in the image above, I miss out on all that is good and beautiful around me.   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Tool or a Trap?

From the Tarot of the Crone this morning comes the Eight of Swords:
A cloaked figure, standing in front of two pillars,  holds a book that is outlined by eight swords.  The question is, do these swords (thoughts, ideas) allow passage between the pillars, or prevent it?  I read a book recently that stated the church didn't want to have anything to do with mysticism because it couldn't be mass marketed and therefore controlled.  There is some knowledge that can become a tool of wisdom for me, but there is also knowledge that can become a trap for me, closing my mind to other views and possibilities.  If I'm in a cage, bound by dogma or negative thinking, I'm going nowhere.  And I'd really like to know what is behind those pillars...

     "Urubango" is the dragon drawn today from the Transforming Dragons deck:
In this dragon's case, two heads aren't better than one, as it has caused nothing but indecision.  Some choices are a piece of cake for me to make, but others can be rather hard, especially when they affect other people.  I often don't want to choose, because then I will feel responsible for the outcome.  Yet I can create more chaos by going back and forth instead of taking a stand one way or the other.  I need to trust my inner Self, whose guidance is much more reliable than my ego's.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tangible Offerings

The draw from the Tarot of the Crone today is the Grandmother of Disks:

This older woman holding the chocolate cake reminds me of the grandmother I grew up with.  She was not overly affectionate; I didn't receive many hugs or kisses from her.  But my grandmother did kind and thoughtful things (like cutting the crust off my sandwiches which I refused to eat as a child) and spent time with me (which is how I became an avid bird watcher).  Having lived through the depression, she was very resourceful - nothing was wasted, including those crusts which she fed to the birds.  There are many ways to nurture others, and she did it in tangible ways.  The verse for this card says: I build love into this world with gifts from my hands.  Sums up my grandmother rather nicely.

     The dragon card chosen from the Transforming Dragons deck this morning is "Sontigo:"
The traps of this dragon are preoccupation and worry.  It encourages me to learn that caring for another person doesn't mean I must be obsessed with finding a solution to all his or her problems.  That is a shortcut to becoming an emotional wreck.  Like the grandmother above, I can give gifts out of love, but trying to "fix" another person or their situation is an impossibility.  Yes, everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, but it doesn't mean I need to carry them around on my back.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coming to Ground

The card pulled from the Tarot of the Crone this morning is the Eight of Wands:
Again this deck is much different from the RWS - there are no staffs flying through the air here.  Instead, eight figures stand in bright red robes, with the front person holding a sunflower.  The verse for this card is: I must return what has been given.  These words mean that each of us has been given specific abilities - creative inspiration and wisdom that can encourage others.  These gifts must "come to ground," or be manifested by us so they can be of service.  It is both a responsibility and a privilege to share what we have.  In some cases it might be revealed as leadership, in others it might be beauty created by an artist or words used by a wordsmith.  What flower are you offering today?

     Today the card from the Transforming Dragons deck is "Luling:"
Luling is a dragon of the East who reminds us of the wisdom and knowledge within us.  Loving guidance is available if I will only tap into the source - my Higher Self.  There's nothing wrong with getting opinions from others, reading books, or attending seminars, but sometimes the best advice is as close as my next breath...

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wisdom of Age

The Ten of Disks (Pentacles) drawn this morning from the Tarot of the Crone is quite different that most RWS versions of this card:
A elderly woman sits in a throne-like chair, with her boney knees and shoulders protruding.  Her body has seen and experienced many things in this life, and she holds that wisdom within her.  The verse that is associated with this card says: My world may be smaller.  My soul is not.  I spent about three hours with my mother-in-law yesterday; she'll be 91 at the end of this month.  Like this woman, she can't get around like she used to, but that aging body contains a world of wisdom.  Her life occurs mostly on the inside now, but that is no less of an adventure.  She teaches me to value the lessons my body has learned through experience, as well as the wisdom it still has to teach me.

     The card pulled from the Transforming Dragons deck today is "Antalgo:"
This dragon's head is so hard it is frequently mistaken for a rock.  He'll never be accused of being flexible, spontaneous, or open-minded.  His lesson is to remind me that I don't know everything, that my perception is only a view from one point, and that being a rebel sometimes means just being obstinate.  There are older and wiser people in my life, who have already traveled the rivers I'm about to go down; if I can open my ears and listen, I might miss some of the boulders and find the paddling much easier.