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, February 29, 2012

Dreaming the Impractical

  From the Shining Tribe Tarot this morning was pulled the Eight of Stones (Eight of Pentacles):
A chain around the sun has been broken, allowing the light to shine through.  Beneath it, a horse with rainbow-colored wings stands on a group of stones.  My whole life, I've been told what I cannot do: "You're too short to play basketball."  "You don't have enough talent to be an artist."  "You'll never make enough money to support yourself doing that."  This card speaks to all those naysayers, and tells them with no reservations that sometimes the impossible IS possible.  Many people believed in what seemed impractical - whether it was space travel, finding a cure for polio, or learning a new skill - and turned it into reality.  I know my aspirations will only be made manifest through perseverance and hard work, but I refuse to give up and fall under the spell of the skeptics.

     The animal chosen from the wooden tiles today is the "Bumblebee:"
These big, fuzzy, black and yellow insects are important pollinators for flowers and crops.  There is a bit of urban folklore about bumblebees that tells how scientists proved they couldn't fly.  Because they weigh about a gram and their wing area is only about a square centimeter, they should not be able to generate enough lift at their typical flying speed.  It's a good thing bumblebees didn't listen to these aerodynamic geniuses!  Bee reminds me that not all educated people have common sense, and not all dreamers are ignorant...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Attitudes and Listening Skills

The card pulled today from the Shining Tribe Tarot is the Ten of Rivers (Ten of Cups):
This image reminded me of Kathy Mattea's song "Standing Knee Deep in a River Dying of Thirst," not because it illustrates those lyrics, but because it is the complete opposite of them.  These people celebrate what is in their lives - their home, each other, and all of nature that surrounds them.  They are appreciative of all they have, and don't compare themselves to others or dwell on the "what ifs" or "should haves."  I know without a doubt that when I am in a place of gratitude, I am content and happy.  Life is brighter and my challenges seem lighter.  An attitude adjustment makes all the difference.

     From the wooden animal tiles today comes the "Wolf:"
Scientists today believe most of the wolf packs are nuclear families, consisting of a mother, father, and several litters of pups.  The parents teach their offspring how to hunt and survive; then when pups reach the age of about 2, they move on to start families of their own.  Compared to hunting dogs, their sense of smell is relatively weak, yet their sense of hearing is so sharp they are able to detect the fall of a leaf in autumn.  Wolf reminds me that no matter how many books I read, there are others who have more life experience than I do.  It is in my best interest to listen to their wisdom and learn from it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Seeing with a Hawk's Vision

I seem to be on a roll as far as drawing major arcana cards lately.  Today the card drawn from the Shining Tribe was Tradition (Hierophant):
This particular card often refers to belonging to a group or knowledge gained from a spiritual path.  My first thought when I saw this image was "many paths, one mountain."  I don't think the mountain refers to a specific religion or deity, rather it implies living in a way that shows kindness and love to all.  The tools I use to get there may look completely different from what someone else uses.  But how do I know I'm moving in the right direction?  In the center of the five mounds is a set of concentric circles with a flower growing inside.  The flower represents beauty and positive growth.  If kindness, love, beauty and growth are part of my journey, I don't need to worry about how I compare to another person.

     The animal chosen today from the wooden tiles oracle is the "Hawk:"
I saw two red-tailed hawks the other day in the neighborhood; they always seem to arrive shortly after the flocks of robins come.  These hawks have incredible vision - they never think an old sock is a rat even at great distances.  The reason is that the red-tail has five times more visual sensory cells per millimeter of retina than do humans.  These birds teach me to look at the big picture rather than just my personal perspective.  Hawks remind me not to assume anything, but to make sure what I think I see is true before I take action.  There are times when Hawk's visual acuity is impaired, such as on foggy days when the light is scattered.  He'll wait patiently in a tall tree until things clear upLikewise, sometimes postponing my plans or decisions may be called for when my clarity is diminished by my emotions or other factors.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unnatural Behaviors

     From the Shining Tribe Tarot this morning comes the High Priestess:
This priestess is as much at home in the waters of the unconscious as the fish and the Rainbow Serpent (of Aboriginal lore).  She rests quietly and waits patiently.  She knows that information will come of its own accord when she doesn't demand or actively seek it.  It does not come natural for me to be still and receptive.  I become edgy, and my brain wants to plan strategies and map out routes.  But the inner knowledge within me only comes when I calm my thoughts.  Meditation has helped me train my mind and body to realize that relaxation doesn't always equal sleep.  Just as silt in muddy water eventually settles when agitation ceases, clarity will come.  Answers, solutions and information will rise to the surface.

     The animal chosen from my wooden tile oracle today is the "Rabbit:"
Here in North America, where more than half the world's rabbit population resides, these mammals are often associated with spring and creativity.  It's no wonder that this animal symbolizes fertility, as its breeding season lasts 9 months, and each month it can produce up to 12 kits.  But the rabbit has other lessons to teach besides creative expression.  Because it is a prey animal, its senses are constantly alert to threats.  And though a rabbit has sharp teeth and back legs that can deliver an incredibly powerful kick, its main defense is to run, and run fast.  Unlike the rabbit, I have a wide stubborn streak in me, and will often choose to argue and fight rather than back down.  But this animal teaches me leaving may be the wiser choice.  Sometimes pride can be more of a hindrance than a help when all is said and done.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Get Moving, But Don't Stress Over It

This week I'll be using the Shining Tribe Tarot set created by Rachel Pollack.  This morning's draw was the Eight of Trees (Eight of Wands):
A house is ablaze, and several trees and shrubs have been burnt.  But a woman, with hair flying behind her, leaps and glides effortlessly over all of it.  The Tree/Wand suit is often associated with fire, indicating the energy, enthusiasm and passion behind this group of cards.  Depending on how mindful we are, fire can be useful or destructive.  In describing this card, Pollack states, "It may indicate a time when plans or structures in our lives seem to burn up around us."  I can't think of a better statement to describe what is happening with me right now; what I've relied on in the past seems to be going up in flames.  I believe this destruction will help me move on to new places and people I can learn from.  Like this lady, I will quickly leave without feeling the need to get entangled in the confusion.

     The oracle I'll be using this week was created especially for me by a dear, multi-talented friend in Australia.  She carved a wooden turtle box then filled it with tiles of animals that have a special meaning to me.  These tiles were pyroetched by hand.  The animal tile chosen today is "Otter:"
It seems when I am under stress of any kind, Otter never fails to show up.  Here in my neck of the woods, we have river otters.  Otter teaches me to tap into my playful side and not to take life so seriously.  He prefers to go with the flow rather than fight it.  Extremely inquisitive, he encourages me to seek for knowledge but not as a goal to achieve.  Instead, my curiosity should nourish me on a daily basis.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pause and Relish

It took me a moment to realize today's draw from Waking the Wild Spirit is also a major arcana card; Palin labels it Inner Child / Spirit of Purity (known traditionally as Temperance):

The fearful things you pull along behind you are just burdens, not necessities.
Palin chooses to see Temperance as a blend between our adult world and a child's world.  Here's a few examples of the difference between the two:

Child: OOOooo!  Look at all the mud puddles to splash in!
Adult: Well I guess I wasted my money on that car wash the other day...
Child: Someone's coming to give us COOKIES!
Adult: Dang Girl Scouts are going to take my last bit of cash...

I can't put my finger on the precise moment, but somewhere along the way of becoming an adult, I began losing my ability to see the fun, magic and wonder in each moment.  Just this morning I was up before daylight, taking out the trash and feeding the animals.  I noticed the intoxicating smell of tea olives in bloom, but instead of pausing and relishing the moment, I hurried inside as I ticked off the items on my "to do" list.  Palin isn't encouraging me to be naive or irresponsible, but to remember the freedom and joy of living in the "now."  As she states, "Seize the moment with a light touch and a lighter heart."  Maybe I'll go back outside for another sniff...

     The card pulled from the Celtic Shaman's Pack today is one of the Elements group, "Water: The Well of Segais:"
In Celtic mythology, the Well of Segais was shaded by nine magical hazel trees.  The nuts of the trees fell into the water, making all who drank from it receive wisdom and inspiration.  Five streams flowed from this source, and are said to represent the five senses through which knowledge is attained.  Our senses often get a bad rap, lumped into a category of sinful pleasures.  But as long as I use my senses as a tool, instead of letting them become my master, I can find inspiration and knowledge through them.  And I know of no better way to keep myself grounded in the present than by attending to the sensual information around me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Opening New Channels

The card chosen today from Waking the Wild Spirit is Eight of Water / Pollution (Eight of Cups):
Three nature spirits focus on a polluted stream in which the fish are dying.  The trash and the lack of movement in the water represent spiritual and emotional stagnation.  There is sadness here, but not the kind that results in apathy.  Instead, it motivates a person to create new channels that will allow fresh inspiration to flow in.  After being with the group of women yesterday (who were friends in the past), I realize it is up to me to find my own emotional and spiritual fulfillment.  I'm going to have to get out of my comfortable little niche and find new sources that will stimulate and encourage me to grow.  It doesn't mean I have to ignore what I've learned, but I must begin moving onward in a different direction.

     I pulled "The Lady of the Cauldron" from the Celtic Shaman's Pack this morning:
The woman on this card represents Ceridwen, keeper of the Cauldron of Inspiration and Transformation.  The serpents she holds represent changes, and the hen and bee represent the fertilization of creativity.  Add a few drops of wisdom and passion, and the result is a makeover of major proportion.  The Lady of the Cauldron takes my labels and familiar routines and tosses them in the boiling pot.  She forces me to become fluid, to shape-shift myself into new ideas and roles.  I may run, but I can't hide - the time for my initiation and transformation has come.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Blind Spots

  It appears the major arcana is not through with me yet; this morning's draw from the Waking the Wild Spirit deck is the Hooded One / Honorable Spirit (Justice):

...there are no exemptions to this natural law
The sword of Justice slices away all delusions, excuses, and rationalizations to lay bare the truth.  Like the horizontal stones of the dolmens on the card and in the picture, Justice bridges the perceptions of others to objectively show the facts rather than opinions.  With this natural law, things can swing back in balance the easy way (I can decide to change) or the hard way (I will eventually experience the consequences of my actions or attitudes).  The major stumbling block is in being able to spot and acknowledge my prejudice and intolerance.  Palin writes, "We must know ourselves truthfully and completely to be fully aware of this distortion of emotion in the present moment."  Yesterday I felt snubbed by a group of women with whom I had previously been close.  My emotions colored the experience, altering it into a major moment which left me with a resentment.  Yet if I slice away my subjective opinions to the bare bone, what is left of this experience?  Nothing much to worry with, to tell the truth...      

     From the Celtic Shaman's Pack today I pulled the "Firmament:"

"Your noble friend will not accept pretension but will gently and very firmly confront you with your own blindness. Such friendship is creative and critical;" ~ John O'Donohue
The Firmament represents another of the Celtic realms, the upper world.  The upper world is reached by ascending the tree of life; it is where we can find spiritual teachers and mentors to help us on our earthly journey.  While my ego would like me to believe that I have all the answers, I know there are times when my judgment is clouded by misconceptions.  I need mentors and soul friends in my life to help me see my blind spots.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Kind of Vision

The card chosen from the Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot today is the Page of Water / Fortune Teller (Page of Cups):

...truths hang like smoke in the air all around...
The Page of Cups/Water is a sensitive, intuitive soul.  She picks up on the feelings of others or the vibes in a room long before anyone opens their mouth.  People think she is a sweet person because she does kind things; they don't realize her perceptive antennae have enabled her to pick up their need for a little extra care.  The problem with empathic people like her is sometimes they forget that most folks don't have her ability to pick up on others' signals.  As a result, she can have her feelings hurt because no one gives her the time of day when she's suffering.  It is important to remember that I need to tell others what's inside my head and heart, rather than expecting them to use psychic powers to figure things out.

     From the Celtic Shaman's Pack today comes the card "The Circle of Nine:"

Lead me from the unreal to the Real ~ Upanishads
The Celts believed in three realms - the upper world, the middle world, and the lower world, all connected by the great tree of life.  This image of standing stones guarding an entrance way represents the middle world - the earthly place where we live. Yet the Celts knew of "thin" places in this world, where one could part the veil and see the spiritual interwoven with the material.  There are brief times when I am saturated in the present moment, while I'm aware that there is something more than what my eyes can see and my hands can touch.  Time stands still, and I understand that there is a mystery much greater than my human brain can comprehend.     

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Flat Hand

   For the third day in a row, I have drawn another major arcana card from Waking the Wild Spirit, Soul Mates / Blessed Union (Lovers):

One must love with a flat hand.
Two lovers hold each other in the middle of a field of flowers.  A pair of snow geese fly overhead.  What does it mean to love with a "flat hand?"  An open palm allows me to give and receive.  It does not force anything on anyone, neither does it grasp with a desire to control.  The migrating snow geese fly in formation, yet they do not fly directly behind another.  Each must have a full view.  Likewise, love supports me, but allows me to make my own quest without demanding I change my beliefs.  Love gives me the courage to make this journey...

     The card chosen today from the Celtic Shaman's Pack is the "Crane:"

I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.  These three are your greatest treasures. ~ Lao Tzu
The crane never wastes its energy; every move of this wading bird is done with focus and purpose.  Watching its ability to patiently stand still for long periods of time, with its laser-like attention, encourages me to develop a serene acceptance.  Rushing, pushing, or forcing will catch nothing in my net except frustration.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

From Waking the Wild Spirit this morning comes Sky Dancer / Morning Star (Sun):

There will always be a new day to be celebrated.
Under a cheerful sun, a woman dances, a butterfly flits, and bees buzz.  Sunflowers sway in the breeze, as they gradually turn their heads to face the sun.  The sun has symbolized energy, power, and clarity, but it has also represented optimism.  The phrases "sunny disposition" and "sunny outlook" are just a few that demonstrate the upbeat nature of this symbol.  I am reminded by this card that if I look for the good in life, I will find it.  As the sunflowers follow the sun across the sky, I can focus on my blessings without becoming irrationally blind to reality.  As William James advocated, "Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."

     The card drawn from the Celtic Shaman's Pack today is the "Wildman:"

In wildness is the preservation of the world.
The Wildman appears in many myths and cultures; he represents that part of us that returns to nature to regain his bearings.  To most folks he seems insane, completely divorcing himself from the civilized world and living among the trees and wildlife.  Yet his connection to the earth is what will ultimately ground him; here he finds inspiration and rejuvenation.  And though he may return to society, he will never complete return to their way of thinking, for his vision has become very clear.  I have been noticing lately the way technology has divided us from the natural world, and even from people.  Conversations rarely happen unless they are sent by text or email.  Kids who are doing reports on the natural world rarely go out in it; instead they use the internet to find the knowledge they seek.  But I know where I will find serenity and sanity, and it has nothing to do with ipads or iphones.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another Trip Around the Sun

This week I'll be using a deck created by Poppy Palin, Waking the Wild Spirit Tarot.  While Palin originally intended it to be an oracle deck, her publishers had other ideas; though marketed as tarot, it has more of an oracle structure, and thus is a nontraditional deck.  The companion book, "Stories of the Wild Spirit," has recently been republished.  Today's draw is the Dance of Life / Web of Fate (Wheel of Fortune):

Our dance stops for no man's law and is never slowed by circumstance.
Nature spirits, each holding part of a ribbon, dance around the Tree of Life.   The tree has been planted in a cauldron, a symbol of creation and transformation - the primordial soup of life.  Here in the South, the weather has been unusually warm even though this time of year is still labeled "winter."  But birds and flowers know nothing about human labels, so they are busy - buds are opening and my feathered friends are building nests.  Regardless of what goes on in man's world, nature keeps forging ahead.  I must say I had a bit of a laugh when I drew this card, as it is my birthday today.  Whether events are happy, sad, dull or irritating, the world keeps on spinning, and so I too must keep putting one foot in front of the other.  I can enjoy the good and persevere through the bad - either way, change is inevitable.

     The oracle deck I'll be using this week is the Celtic Shaman's Pack, illustrated by Chesca Potter with text by John Matthews.  The card chosen this morning is the "Hound:"
The dog has long been considered a faithful and loyal companion.  There are dozens of stories in the Celtic tradition about dogs.  King Arthur's dog, Cafall, left his paw print on a stone; legend says that if the stone was moved in the evening, it returned backed to its original place the next day.  In this world of constant change, it is a blessing to have steadfast friends to make this journey with.  So today, I offer my gratitude to all those who've helped me celebrate my good fortunes and who've given me a shoulder to lean on when life got tough.  I hope I can be the same kind of friend to you!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Break Time

This morning, I pulled the Four of Swords from the Transformational Tarot:
A woman rests her weary head as another person lays down a bloody sword.  This is the sword that has caused so much grief and worry - those things that swirl around in my mind with no solutions that seem to grow larger the more I think about them.  The bird in the cage behind them represents controlling my thoughts through meditation, rest, or some activity.  Then I can restore my spirit, allowing new ideas to inspire me instead of obsessing about an unsolvable issue.  Today I will drive over to spend the day with my mom; it will be a busy time filled with purpose and a bit of fun.  We've both had a lot of weighing on us lately, and it will be wonderful to have a carefree day to focus our thoughts and energy in a new direction.

     The card chosen from the Fallen Angel Oracle today is "Gusion:"
A decision presents itself - a fork in the road.
When I looked closely at the statue in this image, I noticed it was missing a head, bringing to mind an image of someone who isn't thinking rationally.  Gusion has taken the form of a wolf, standing at the bottom of the monument.  I was reading a nature awareness book the other day, and it commented that the alpha wolf is not necessarily the biggest or strongest wolf - it is the wolf that knows how to make the wisest decisions.  Brawn can only get you so far, and emotions often just cause more chaos.  Logic and seeing with a wide perception may be the best tools to use when I need to make a decision.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Seeing in a New Way

I drew a major arcana card from the Transformational Tarot this morning, the World:

The World card's meaning reminds me of those Magic Eye 3D pictures that were so popular in the 90s.  Put your nose almost up to the screen as you look at the image of roses above, until your focus blurs.  Now relax for a few minutes; do you see a 3D heart appearing?  In Ando's portrayal of this card, a blissful looking woman floats among the moon and sun, with shooting stars and a dove nearby.  The woman wears an ankh, an ancient Egyptian symbol often called the key of life.  And it is this key that opens up our understanding - we suddenly see through the chaos, and life on some level makes sense.  We don't necessarily receive all the answers, but a missing piece of the puzzle has been found, allowing us to grasp and glimpse a larger perspective.  Like the shooting stars, the moment of enlightenment may be brief, but its illumination can have a lasting impact.

     The draw from the Fallen Angel Oracle is "Valac:"
The solution is there - see in a new way.
This child-like angel guides people to insights that suddenly bring life into focus.  Buried truths may be uncovered that can be liberating when brought to light.  But I must seek (with an open mind) to discover these treasures...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Wise Child

Today the draw from the Transformational Tarot is the Six of Cups:
A band of tiny tots play on a hillside as a dove flies over them.  On the horizon, a waxing crescent moon rises while the sun sets. The dove implies a sense of peace and lack a worry, a time when life is simple without complications.  The sun and moon emphasize the cycles of life and the changes that come with them.  The Seals and Crofts song "We May Never Pass this Way Again" keeps playing in my head as I study this image.  The innocence, wonder and sheer enjoyment of these children remind me just how quickly time passes, and how soon those child-like qualities are put in dusty shoe boxes and packed away in the back of a closet.  My birthday is fast approaching, and I still find it hard to believe that I've moved beyond the half-century mark.  Like most people, my experience on this earth has had plenty of hard knocks, so my innocence and trust didn't last for long.  Yet I find the older I get, the more I love the simple things in life, and the more wonder and beauty I discover in the natural world.  The "sixes" are a return to harmony; perhaps I might be unpacking a few of those boxes I placed in the closet long ago...

     From the Fallen Angel Oracle this morning comes "Valefor:"
Beware of shortcuts - they lead to disaster in the long run.
Valefor is a bit of a trickster; he tempts us to see what we want to see, and ignore the obvious.  He loves people who stick their heads in the sand, who believe that all problems will miraculously evaporate, and who live life with blinders on.  I'm convinced he invented the New Age fluff that proclaims you can manifest whatever you want in life with just your mind.  The mind of a child is great for living in the moment and appreciating the simple things in life, but it must be balanced with discernment.  I need to be able to discriminate between what is healthy and what is harmful.  I might not like what I see going on around me in the world, but being honest with myself will help me deal with it much better than pretending it doesn't exist.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Purpose vs. Complaints

On this rainy Valentines Day morning, I chose the Ten of Wands from the Transformational Tarot:
"This is the true joy in life - being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." ~ George Bernard Shaw
The symbolism of this card is pretty obvious - this lady has a lot weighing on her mind.  Her outward expression has been my inward attitude of late, grieving and feeling like my hands are tied in a number of situations.  But the good news about the meaning behind "ten" cards is that things are about to be resolved, one way or another.  My nephew, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia, is responding well to treatment.  The active addict/alcoholic in my life will probably soon wind up in jail (which is not a bad thing, considering the other alternatives).  The church is about to start paving the area they leveled, meaning when they finish, the bit of habitat not destroyed can recoup.  I hate stewing in problems, because I just wind up like the lady in this image.  And while there is not always a solution to everything, there usually are some small things I can do.  I can send cards and caps to my nephew, I can help care for the small children of the addict, and I can plant some trees in the habitat still standing.  If I am going to be worn out, I would rather it be for a purpose than a complaint.

     From the Fallen Angel Oracle today comes the card "Avnas:"
Apply calm reflection and insight to the situation.
This angel's pillar of flame is what can pierce through my understanding of circumstances, enabling me to see them in a different light.  I suppose it is human nature for our first reaction to the unexpected to be emotional, rather than logical.  But calm rationality is what can lead me from the chaos...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pomp and Circumstance

From the Transformational Tarot this morning was pulled the Sage (Hierophant):

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." - George Washington Carver
In the traditional RWS image of the Hierophant, a pope sits in a cathedral with two followers at his feet.  Ando instead uses two indigenous statues set against the backdrop of an autumn forest.  The figures blend in so well with the trees they are hard to see.  When I think of the world's great spiritual teachers - Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Gandhi, to name a few - I don't remember any of them needing any fancy clothes or buildings to spread their message.  They usually taught outside and often used nature to explain sacred principles.  When did it become necessary for religions to need so much pomp and circumstance?  Perhaps when power and control became more important than unconditional love.  I think I'd rather just sit under a tree and learn from nature - well, at least until some church decides to pave over it.

     I pulled the card "Bael" from the Fallen Angel Oracle today:

Adopt a cloak of secrecy - further plans discreetly.
Bael (possibly connected to Ba'al of the Old Testament) was considered the most powerful of the fallen angels.  His totems were the cat and the toad.  The toad, with its brown, bumpy skin, is able to camouflage itself well in a natural environment.  Likewise, a cat can blend in with its surroundings by crouching down and becoming very still.  The lesson from this angel is that while I may want to "croak" loudly about plans or opinions, at times it's best to be quiet and cautious.  Discernment is needed; reckless action may get attention but not necessarily the result I'm looking for.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's Your Perspective?

  The card pulled from the Transformation Tarot this very cold morning is the Hanged Man (which he labels "Reflection"):
Ando's version of this image shows Christ on the cross on the top half and a woman being burned to death on the bottom half, with one being labeled "saint" and the other "witch."  In the middle of the card are the words "polarized view," meaning beliefs or ideas that oppose each other with no middle ground.  It reduces everything to two sides only - something is either right or wrong, good or evil.  But as can be seen by the depiction of Christ and the witch, this kind of thinking doesn't work out well for anyone, no matter what side you're on.  I do feel like the Hanged Man as I have battled the baptist church - my hands are tied and I am powerless to stop their bulldozers and their destruction (which they would choose to call progress).  And herein is the rub - neither of us wants to give an inch because we both believe we are right and the other is wrong.  The damage is already done, and the land has paid a heavy price.  Perhaps my focus should move away from right and wrong and be directed toward opening the eyes of others as to what we should not take for granted, and our role as good stewards of our resources.  That could possibly be considered a win-win outcome.

     The card pulled from the Fallen Angel Oracle today is "Seere":

Excitement and great changes - let imagination soar.
Seere is depicted as a beautiful youth riding on a winged horse, bringing and carrying new ideas that can have transforming effects.  Paired with the card above, I understand how seeing from a new perspective (whether upside down like the traditional Hanged Man or from overhead, like Seere on his winged horse) can alter circumstances.  May I be granted the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Got Your Back

This week I'll be using a collage deck created by Arnell Ando called the Transformational Tarot.  The card drawn today was the Two of Cups:
Under a full moon, one friend/lover leans back into the shoulder of another; their intimate embrace illustrates their bond.  Irises, whose three upright petals have been said to symbolize confidence, courage and wisdom, are a prominent feature.  Whatever they are looking at, this pair appear to have their eyes focused in the same direction.  I am reminded by this card how much strength, confidence and courage I draw from someone who "has my back," whether a friend or a lover.  And when we both concentrate intently on an objective (instead of the demands of our egos), we can become an influential, powerful force.  I am encouraged by this card to realize how blessed I am with so many supportive friends in my corner.

     The other deck I'll be using this week, the Fallen Angel Oracle, was created by Nigel Suckling.  These are angels who have "fallen from grace" for various reasons, and judged too imperfect to stay in heaven.  Today's draw is "Agares:"
Gather allies for the inevitable conflicts ahead.
The cross knocked off its pedestal and the skull are obvious symbols for the turmoil represented by this card.  However, this image is not a doomsday prediction, but a reminder that I have friends who will stand by me in my fight against the challenges I face.  The angel Agares brings disruption and change, but not for the sole purpose of chaos - his intention is to further a cause.  His totems are the hawk  and the crocodile.  The hawk represents aggression and the crocodile the ability to control unconscious desires and instincts.  I've witnessed several occasions where a hawk made a dive to rip the head off its prey with lightning speed.  And while my anger at those who oppose a good cause may want me to do the same, I need to control those impulses.  As I've always heard growing up, "Two wrongs don't make a right."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Beauty and Simplicity

On this quiet Friday morning, I drew the Knight of Cups from the Millennium 2000 Tarot:

"I think people who truly can live a life in music are telling the world, 'You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don't need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it's the very best, and it's the part I give most willingly." ~ George Harrison
I think of this knight as that part of us that seeks what will fulfill us - our personal holy grail.  He is a lover of beauty, and attempts to bring it to others through the arts - whether music like the Beatles above, or some other form.  What a sad and boring place our society would be without musicians, painters, poets, or dancers.  It would be as austere as the dry land the knight has ridden through, in order to dip his cup in the river.  There are other bearers of the grail who might not recognize themselves as such - gardeners, quilters, cooks, card writers, homemakers - who inspire and comfort in a myriad of ways.  They freely offer the best part of themselves, knowing that true contentment and wholeness only comes when we share our cup with others.

     The card drawn from the Post Psychedelic Cyberpunk today is "Symbol:"
A symbol is a simple sign or figure used to represent a more complex idea.  Some symbols are internationally recognized, such as a red circle with a slash through it or a skull and crossbones.  Basically, they are a lesson in being concise and easy to understand.  I think when it comes to communicating with others, I need to heed this approach - say what needs to be said without adding useless noise to the conversation.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Excesses and Extremes

From the Millennium Tarot 2000 this morning was drawn the King of Swords:
I had a hard time reconciling Fochi's choice of Henry VIII for this tarot king, who is known for his objectivity, fairness and intellect.  When I think of Henry, I think of a self-indulgent man (his six wives and his obesity) who was more concerned with fulfilling his own desires than worrying about the rights of others.  But Henry is also well known for separating the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church.  I had always assumed he did this because he wanted to divorce his wife, but there were actually more complex reasons than this motivation.  Henry felt England was treated like a stepchild by Rome.  He and his advisers believed that the pope was acting more like an Italian prince than a church leader, and they found it intolerable that major decisions about England were being decided by the Italians.  So while other areas of his life were characterized by excesses, the reformation and religious policies of King Henry VIII might be described as a search for the middle way.  This card reminds me to avoid extremes of both actions and attitudes today by relying on my intellect rather than being guided by my emotions.

     The card chosen from the Post Psychedelic Cyberpunk deck for my daily draw is "The Forest:"
Falkov writes, "...but in truth, there is simply nothing that can compare to the beauty and complexity of real nature.  Any truth you seek can be found there, for this is where our origins lie.  This is not a matter of worshiping nature, or even studying biology (though the latter can help enormously in one's appreciation).  One simply has to stay and observe to learn much."  I have to agree with Falkov, and hope that humanity will discover the treasure we have in our forests and wild areas, before we pave over everything in the name of "progress"...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Putting It Out There

In today's card from the Millennium 2000 Tarot, Pablo Picasso was chosen to represent the Knight of Pentacles:
Though adept at many creative styles, this Spanish artist is most known for co-founding Cubism.  Like this practical knight, Picasso was able to bring his ideas into physical form.  But his artwork was at times used for more than visual enjoyment, as in the case of his painting Guernica.  Created in response to the bombing of this town during the Spanish Civil War, it portrays the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts, especially on innocent civilians.  I am reminded by this daily draw that we all have gifts - whether speaking, writing, photography, or some other talent - that can be used as a call to action or an act of compassion.  I often tell myself and others that I am a "jack of all trades and master of none," and rarely acknowledge my abilities.  I would like to say this habit is born of humility, but I think somewhere underneath is a fear that if I have a talent, I have a responsibility to use it.

     From the Post Psychedelic Cyberpunk deck today was pulled the card titled "Information Exchange:"
This image makes me think of biology class discussing osmosis (the diffusion of fluids through membranes).  The information exchange in a sense is about diffusion - the spreading of something more widely.  It encourages communication and connections with others, creating a powerful network that can become an agent of change.