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, August 31, 2015

Principles Before Personalities

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Three of Disks; from the Oracle of the Dreamtime, "Magpies:"
          A team of ants work together to keep their hole clear of debris and to stock their larder with food. Surrounding the anthill are three ammonite fossils, which according to Genetti were used by some Native Americans as money. I've been in jobs where a few people did most of the work, and I've been in jobs where everyone pitched in to get things done. Not only was cooperation and coordinated effort more productive, it was a heck of a lot more fun. The fossilized shells indicate the kind of transformation that can occur when everyone has a task paired with their talent which is then put to use.
          The myth of the Magpies explains how the sky was so close to the earth after creation, all the animals (including mankind) had to crawl around on their bellies. All of the magpies got together and hatched a plan. They each found sticks and began pushing upward as hard as they could. The sky slowly started to move but then suddenly split apart, giving way to the earth's first sunrise. In both of these cards today there was a job or problem, and all the players got involved to complete the work or find a solution. There were no drawn-out, argumentative board meetings about what grain of sand should go where or what tree the sticks should come from. The team kept their mind on their purpose rather than their opinions. As the 12th Tradition of 12 Step groups encourages: "Principles before personalities."
Conflict cannot survive without your participation.
~ Wayne Dyer

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let Down Your Load

This week I'll be using the Wheel of Change Tarot, a deck and book set created by Alexandra Genetti and published by Inner Traditions. The second deck I'll be drawing from is the Oracle of the Dreamtime, a compilation of Australian Aboriginal art and Dreamings by Donni Hakanson; this deck and book set was published by Journey Editions. Today's cards are the Queen of Cups and "Rainbow Serpent:"
          Genetti describes this Inuit queen as a woman "certain of her emotional strength and solid in her love." Like the ice, she is supportive; like the water, she nurtures all those she touches. I'm sure that bowl she holds has fed many people, but I do hope she remembers to feed herself as well. It's impossible to sustain others emotionally if you aren't nourishing yourself.
          The Rainbow Serpent is an ancestral deity in Aboriginal culture. It was said to have awakened from the earth, then set about creating lakes, rivers and oceans. Once water was available, the plants, animals and mankind could survive. The Rainbow Serpent's message is to focus on one's source of strength in the midst of change and movement. I would add that as an "emotional mule" who carries both the burdens and joys of her people, the Queen needs to have a conscious connection to her source of strength. People who carry such heavy loads need to be able to rest them occasionally.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Hope Floats

From the Fey Tarot, the Nine of Pentacles; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Hope:"
          Now I've heard that "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," but what does a bird on the head mean?  I'm guessing it means her prudence and hard work have paid off, judging by that huge, golden coin hanging over her head. The fey looks happy yet expectant, which leads into the next card, Hope. One of the first things I noticed in this card is the anchor on the bank. There's no need to go sailing the seven seas looking for anything, because it's already been found. But there seems to be a Part 2 coming, something not yet in hand. The fishing woman with her cork bobbing in the water suggests waiting patiently. Staying focused while allowing things to play out on their own timetable is crucial.
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.
― Tom Bodett

Friday, August 28, 2015

Just the Weather

From the Fey Tarot, the Sun; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Fortune:"
You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.
~ Pema Chödrön
          I love this version of the Sun; I can almost feel the sun's warmth on the fey's face and chest. The open sky and field remind me of just how spacious my mind and heart can be, if I let go of my labels and categories as well as my assumptions and opinions. There is a vast and limitless place I can experience that is calm and gentle - no matter what kind of "weather" is going on around me. Here I don't feel trapped by my own or other's expectations, and there's no need for emotional reactions. I can instead respond from a place of peace. And look who is watching over the fey - Lady Fortune. She seems to be appreciating his joy as much as he is. I'm sure she's not going to lounge around under that shady tree forever; eventually she'll move that wheel and his blue sky will darken as an impending storm rolls in. But all he has to do is find that field within, relax there and be patient until it passes. 
The absence of grasping and fixation is like flying in an airplane. When we rise above the clouds, we begin to realize that upstairs there is a blue sky all the time. We realize that the sun is always shining, even when it is cloudy and rainy down below. There is blue sky all the time, and that blue sky is free from clouds.
 Chögyam Trungpa

Thursday, August 27, 2015

That Rare Coin

From the Fey Tarot, the Eight of Pentacles; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Money:"
          Look at the intense focus of this fey on what she's creating. You don't often see that kind of concentration unless someone is checking their iphone. Oblivious to the paint on her body and clothes, she's completely in the creative "zone." When I get in that mindset where I've lost all track of time and the only thing I'm aware of is what I'm doing, I know I've found something that I enjoy. It may be a hobby, a job or some type of service work. The Money card represents more than just gold coins, it also implies gain of any kind. Doing what I love provides me with a sense of purpose and fulfillment, even if it doesn't top off my bank account.
 We are the custodians of life's meaning. ~ Carl Sagan

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Different Perspective

From the Fey Tarot, the Wheel of Fortune; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Doctor:"
          Two fey women play with animal figures among a spiral made of blocks. The younger one concentrates more on the inner core of the spiral, while the older woman stays on the outer rim. The use of a spiral instead of a circle suggests that as we follow the course of life, we can learn through our mistakes and successes. Coming back full circle seems more like repeating the same pattern over and over again. But on the spiral, even though it too cycles around, its arc is further out. This use of this figure implies having a different perspective (created from a wider experience) than the first time around.
          The Doctor in Sibilla decks represents a professional. When we run into a brick wall and have no answers, we want a problem solver or person whose knowledge is more complete than our own. Paired with the Wheel above, I can see how the older woman could help the younger through the wisdom of her maturity. I know I have wasted time and energy doggedly trying to work something out for myself. Pride stubbornly kept me from taking advantage of one of the greatest resources I have available - the insights of others.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weighing Feathers

From the Fey Tarot, Justice; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Servant:"
          Justice may be blind, but she's still got a method for weighing that feather to determine guilt or innocence. Instead of scales, she taps into her intuition. Her sword of truth isn't based only on cold, hard facts, because she's willing  to consider all extenuating circumstances before making a decision. I can easily forget that justice is about setting things right, not merely doling out consequences. Fear or anger can make me more concerned with punishment than restoring balance. However the Servant suggests something entirely different. Rather than demanding a pound of flesh, I could make an offering. Oh, I can just feel my ego bowing up with that idea. Yet when ego is out of the equation, things have a chance to change for the better. Fred Rogers (formerly of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood) one related: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'." Sounds like that kind of role would be a great way to be a part of a solution instead of part of the problem.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Purple Kool-aid Dragons

From the Fey Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the I Misteri della Sibilla, "Married Woman:"
          Whoa, what kind of drug did someone put in this fellow's drink? He's hallucinating a purple kool-aid dragon; the beast has appeared like Aladdin's genie from the lamp. What will the fey ask for? The dragon gives him a warning before he responds: "Remember who you are" (spoken in a James Earl Jones voice, of course). Who the fey thinks he is will invariably influence what he thinks will fulfill him. With the Married Woman card showing up right behind the Seven of Cups, I am prompted to consider how I would reply. Am I just a wife, mother and daughter? Should I view myself through my spiritual affiliation, economic class, skin color or country in which I live? I believe it is much deeper than any of those simple explanations. I am a small part of a much larger whole, something beyond limits and boundaries. If I choose my cup from that open, spacious place, I think it will make both me and the dragon happy (even after the drugs wear off).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quality Control Expert

This week I'll be using the Fey Tarot, a book and deck set created by Riccardo Minetti and Mara Aghem. This set was published by Lo Scarabeo. The oracle deck I'll be using is the I Misteri della Sibilla, created by Ettore Maiotti and published by Dal Negro. Today's draws are the Seven of Pentacles and the "Room:"
          Unlike the RWS version, this Seven of Pentacles has no farmer eyeing his work. Instead, a fey is rests in the roots of a tree and smoking his pipe. It's not that he doesn't care about the results (he is parked under the tree), but he knows that patience is going to be required. This kind of thing can't be rushed, so he might as well get comfortable and settle in for the long haul. The Room card might give the impression of meeting someone for dinner. Yet there is only one chair and one glass of wine, suggesting instead a quiet evening of solitude. Combined with the Seven, I get the feeling that this evaluation should come solely from me. I can become so used to looking for the approval of others, I don't use my own good judgment. And who else is better to assess the fruits of my efforts than me?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Putting On and Taking Off Armor

From the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Five of Disks; from the Alchemist's Oracle, "Healing:"
          Meleen describes this card as the "chains of materiality that bind the mind." A padlocked chain and a huge nail through the disks (with the bottom one cracked) are efforts to prevent further loss and ease worry. I understand this impractical way of dealing with loss. Let a pet die, a job end or a major health concern happen, and humans instinctively move to shield themselves in any way possible from being vulnerable in the physical world. Yet this reaction only serves to constrict our hearts and minds while offering no protection from an impermanent world. What is the key for opening the lock, the alternative for shutting down and shutting out?
          Aletta's Healing card is welcome, and I can almost feel myself relaxing as I imagine sipping that hot cup of tea. She suggests it means that once the grief of loss begins to subside, the work of unblocking new pathways can begin. Instead of trying to fight or flee, I take off my armor, embrace it all and lean into it. I allow my heart to experience hurt, yet I continue to welcome what brings joy with open arms. For it is its impermanence that makes it so precious and beautiful.
 Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. 
~ Pema Chodron

Friday, August 21, 2015

Gas Lights and Dandelion Seeds

From the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the Alchemist's Oracle, "Responsibility:"
          The Thoth tradition describes this card as "Debauch," or excessive indulgence. It's not the celebratory kind of indulgence, but a wish to escape reality and live in a fantasy world. Choices are based on what feels good in the moment, rather than on what is the right thing to do. Meleen has drawn gas light bubbles (will 'o wisps) that float over a drying swamp. Caused by the breakdown of organic material in wet areas, these floating balls appear to follow someone who moves away from them and move away from someone who moves closer to them. Yet like the meaning of the Seven of Cups, it is only an illusion (caused by the movement of air that shifts the gas bubbles). There's no such thing as a perfect life, but I sure can make matters worse by trying to pretend I don't see what's right in front of me.
          The dandelion seeds being blown from the seed ball remind me of the Buddhist idea of karma. Karma is a natural law of cause and effect that has nothing to do with justice, reward or punishment. Actions will produce results; intentions are like seeds that have the potential to produce fruit. A Chinese Buddhist text describes these seeds: “From intention springs the deed, from the deed springs the habits. From the habits grow the character, from character develops destiny.” Each moment I have a choice about how my heart and mind will respond to my situation. My freedom lies in accepting responsibility for my decisions, not in attempting to hide from it.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blame It On the Ox

From the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Ace of Swords; from the Alchemist's Oracle, "Where You Need to Be:"
          Meleen states that this Ace is the sword of Reason; it is the intellectual tool of justice. If used correctly (combining will / thelema with love / agape), it brings clarity. I don't lend much credence to the "woo-woo" factor of tarot, but I had the thought before I got out of bed that I would draw this card this morning. So this feels like a very personal message, one that encourages me to "know myself" and acknowledge the truth of what I find. It reminds of the opening verses of the Dhammapada:
Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a corrupt mind, suffering follows, as the wheel follows the hoof of an ox pulling a cart. Mind is the forerunner of all actions. All deeds are led by mind, created by mind. If one speaks or acts with a serene mind, happiness follows, as surely as one's shadow.
I prefer not to be dragged along by that ox, going in whatever direction the wind blows. The booklet for Alchemist's Oracle suggests I acknowledge where I'm standing right now. This will require me setting aside my distractions and becoming still long enough to have a look. And if I find that I don't like what I see, I can blame it on the ox - which of course is just a part of me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Value of Electric Fences

From the Tabula Mundi, the Nine of Swords; from the Alchemist's Oracle, the "Solar Plexus Chakra:"
          Isn't this a horrifying image? It is well named as Cruelty, but it has more to do with what I do to myself than what someone does to me. Meleen describes it as the "penultimate negative state of mind" and the "conclusion that all is fruitless." The half eagle/half lion on the central sword reminds me of people or groups who circulate information that contains just enough truth to cause fear. They plant seeds of poison that they rationalize is knowledge people should be aware of and act on. If I swallow their superstition and paranoia, I'll fall down that dark hole of futility. The hard task is to pull those swords from the stones - investigate and look for evidence rather than rely on secondhand news.
          Aletta likens the Solar Plexus Chakra to a radiant sun; when balanced, it radiates "energy, confidence and healthy boundaries." Did you catch that third aspect? I have a choice about what I let into my head, whether it comes from friends and family, the television or the internet. There are plenty of pot stirrers out there who love to create drama. They'll happily kick the hornets' nest and leave me standing there to deal with things while they run off to cause chaos elsewhere. My thoughts are my responsibility. If I don't want to entertain crazy, I shouldn't open the door and welcome it into my head.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Take Only the Pearl of Wisdom

From the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Moon; from the Alchemist's Oracle, "Comparison:"
          I've been imbibing before bedtime to help with my insomnia - two gummy melatonin drops. The good news is the melatonin seems to be helping. But there are side effects: strange dreams. My nightly visions resemble this Moon card; while not nightmares, they're definitely bizarre. In this image, the waves in the water look like REM patterns of electrical brain activity during sleep. A boat with a figurehead passes through two towers, one that represents prophecy and the other falsehood. Likewise my dreams have a mix of reality with the surreal. For instance, during the day I came across the address of an old friend, only to find her riding on zebras in the wilds of Africa that night. Meleen cautions: "take heed to tell the true dreams from illusions."
          The Comparison card goes along with Meleen's advice to be discerning about what is reality and what is pure assumption. I need to look for the facts instead of letting my emotions convince me that something is real because it feels that way. I know I have a habit of comparing a person's outsides with my insides. It appears they have it all together while I struggle each day. But if I were to sit down and talk with this person, I'm sure I would discover she has her own anxiety and adversities to deal with. Her life is no more perfect than mine.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Scorched Earth

From the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Princess of Wands (Page); from the Alchemist's Oracle, the "Throat Chakra:"
          This lass must not have wanted to risk any burn holes in her new shirt while cooking on the grill. Of course that's not really practical, but neither is she. Her crest is the tiger, a symbol of "willpower, fiery sensuality and courage," according to Meleen. Prudence and its cousins aren't on her list of attributes. Being Earth of Fire, she's got plenty of tinder to burn - a typical youth. Give her a project or a purpose she feels strongly about, and she'll enthusiastically put her passion to work. But without any direction or boundaries, she's likely to inadvertently adopt a scorched earth policy. The water hose that may keep her from burning out of control appears in the Throat Chakra. When my inner fires are raging, I may lose sight of some important truths: all lives matter, life is precious, and violence (including verbal violence) won't solve anything. The solution begins with listening and communicating with tolerance and respect.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Flying or Falling?

This week I'll be using the Tabula Mundi Tarot (Nox et Lux edition) with its companion book Book M: Liber Mundi; both were self-published by M.M. Meleen. I'll pair with it the Alchemist's Oracle, a deck and booklet set self-published by Lauren Aletta. Today's draws are the Prince of Swords (Knight) and "High Flying:"
          Meleen describes this Prince as an "onrush of ideas and innovations," and suggests "the challenge is holding on to them." His ideas are personified in the form of fairies, who look like they have their own notions about what they want to do. (Having had days where concepts and plans bounce around inside my head, I can relate.) From an elemental standpoint, the Prince is Air of Air; with his remarkable intellect and knowledge, the sky is the limit. Yet air is ephemeral and provides nothing firm on which to grasp. He's going to have to land his Chariot of Winds on the ground if he wants to do something more concrete than talk.
          Aletta describes this card as being in the "creative zone." Being inspired with original designs and heady thoughts can feel similar to a drug-induced rush. There's excitement mixed with joy that overflows with enthusiasm. But a butterfly/moth has a short lifespan, much like my ideas. I may get so caught up in the feeling behind them, that I lose track of my purpose. Like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, I might suddenly find myself falling rather than flying.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Add an Empty Cup

From the Tarot of Cat People, the Ace of Wands; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Icosahedron:"
          In this Ace of Wands, a woman greets a firecat that arises from a creative flame. I imagine it to be much like a muse in animal form that is a source of inspiration. The firecat symbolizes the force that will poke and prod this woman to action. There will no longer be any dreamy afternoons ruminating in her easy chair about innovative intentions. She'd better go put on some running shoes. The Icosahedron, a Platonic solid, is made up of twenty, joined triangles. Greer associates it with receptiveness, which makes me think of a quote from the Tao te Ching: "That which is empty is used to create functionality." But this isn't just about leaving space for those creative ideas, it's also about the critiques given by those who see what is produced. Ask any artist or inventor, and I'm sure she could tell you plenty of stories about being criticized or (even worse) being completely ignored. Can I take those criticisms and suggestions, sift through them with a discerning yet open mind and accept what is useful? It might make the difference between success or endless frustration.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Taste of Sweetness

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Six of Pentacles; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, "Cross:"

          After the constricting cards from yesterday, these two are a welcome change. The miserly isolationist has become the community's cat lady, feeding all the homeless, unloved felines. She's figured out that it doesn't matter what you have or how much you have, there's no real joy unless there is someone to share it with. As Charlotte Brontë said, “Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.” There's nothing like the feeling of loosening and expanding the heart by sharing with others, even if it's only to offer a smile and kind word or lend someone a hand with a task. Variety may be the spice of life, but generosity is what makes it sweeter.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hiding from Life

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Four of Pentacles; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Point:"
          At first I thought this lady was protecting herself from the cat, but she's not even looking in his direction. It's more likely that the cat is wary of her; its animal instinct tells it that something is not quite right with this woman. She seems to be trying to shield herself from life with the pentacles. It's one of the many ways we try to fool ourselves into believing that we can find security in an ever-changing world. With the addition of the Point, I wonder where this woman crossed the line from seeing finances as a way to live, to living only to make money. What happened in her life, where was the defining incident from which her deluded thinking began? Maybe if she could find that point of origin, she could unravel her illusions and learn to live joyfully in each moment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Overalls and Three-piece Suits

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Knight of Pentacles; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Unity of Primary Roots:"
          See if you can figure out  the methodical, tenacious and hardworking man who said these quotes (a person very much like the Knight of Pentacles):
  • Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
  • The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.
  • I find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.
  • Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.
  • The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.
Thomas A. Edison was responsible for those words. I think he would agree with my 94 year old mother-in-law who is fond of saying, "Keep on, keeping on."
          Doesn't the geometric figure of Unity of Primary Roots look like a combination of two cards I've drawn previously? This pattern shows how, beginning with any of the three root relationship figures (that produce the square root of two, three and five ratios), it is possible to unfold the other figures from one of them. Put in plain-speak, this suggests a continuum rather than an either/or situation. Sometimes success is dressed in overalls and a three-piece suit; each has a part to play in constructing the whole.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Butting Heads

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the Five of Swords; from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, "Vesica Piscis:"
          What a ridiculous looking helmet this guy is wearing with bull horns attached. He's definitely ready to butt heads with anyone who doesn't agree with him. The two leopards watch him submissively; no doubt they know the cloak he wears was from one of their clan. He takes no prisoners in his clashes, as his goal is to prove himself as intellectually superior. This kind of attitude is so prevalent today with the advent of social media. People spout opinions as facts and then get in a hysterical rage when others don't agree with them. I was reading Jack Kornfield's blog yesterday and came across a quote from Buddha that fit this situation perfectly:
Seeing misery in those who cling to views, a wise person should not adopt any of them.  A wise person does not by opinions become arrogant.  How could anyone bother those who are free, who do not grasp at any views? But those who grasp after views and opinions wander about the world annoying people.
          The Vesica Piscis (the fish-like shape in between the circles) is formed when the side of one circle touches the center of the other. Instead of bouncing around like two separate bubbles, they overlap. From a Five of Swords perspective, they have taken the best of two separate views and created a third unified view. This geometric shape reminds me not to forget what is of utmost importance, the basic purpose underlying what I want to accomplish. I might not share the same opinion with someone else about how to get there, but if I keep my heart open, I can keep from skinning anyone's hide while we figure out a way to reach our common goal.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Guides Rather Than Gods

From the Tarot of the Cat People, the High Priest (Hierophant); from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, the "Double Square:"
          My first impression of this fellow (with his arm outstretched and holding his staff) was that he reminded me of a crossing guard, a person who stops traffic in order to let the school children cross the road safely. Yet isn't that what our teachers are supposed to do, whether we call them a priest, guru, professor or anam cara? They help us learn how to navigate the impermanence and chaos of life with purpose, joy and love. They are our guides rather than our gods.
          The Double Square may seem to be simply a mirror reflection of one square and diagonal attached together, but this is an illusion. As Greer explains, it represents the square root of five, or regeneration: "the transforming process by which a pattern transcends the limits of its own nature and opens up new potentials." I have not been put here on this earth to be a carbon copy of anyone. I may learn from them, but I must take the knowledge I receive and walk my own path. While the wisdom may stay much the same, I can pour it into new vessels and change its shape.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Most Important Thing

This week I'll be using the Tarot of the Cat People, created by Karen Kuykendall and published by U.S. Games. I'll also be drawing from the Sacred Geometry Oracle, a deck and book set created by John Michael Greer and published by Llewellyn. Today's cards are the Queen of Swords and "Hexagram:"
          Unlike yesterday's Queen, this one looks more mature. She doesn't have a domesticated cat, but a black panther; the stone statues in the background remind me of China's terracotta army. Her power and respect have been earned by successfully navigating her life experiences. She's seen the peaks of joy, the depths of pain and all the other subtle shades in between. Her sword tip touches the ground and suggests she expects me to practice what I preach.
          From an alchemical standpoint, the hexagram is a combination of elemental symbols - fire and water, earth and air. Greer states these opposites don't mean a choice of one over the other, but finding a way to balance and blend them. Comparing yesterday's cards to this morning's draws, I'm beginning to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Yet today, I have the lines from a James Taylor song circling through my head:
I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end.
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend, but I always thought that I'd see you again.
That verse in turn reminded me of two questions posed by Pema Chodron: "As I go into this day, what is the most important thing? What is the best use of this day?" The impermanence of life along with those questions could shape my actions through mindfulness and equanimity.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Balancing Your Birds

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Mother of Air (Queen of Swords); from the Bird Cards, "Lovebird:"
          The Mother of Air has qualities that reflect the eagle that flies behind her. Intelligent and objective, she can see the big picture of situations, including the likely consequences. She doesn't hold on to preconceived ideas or prejudices, but observes and listens as if meeting each person or circumstance for the first time. However when she speaks her truth, her words may be just as sharp as that eagle's talons and beak. Her honesty can leave you feeling like you've just been flayed.
          The lovebird is a small parrot, known for its social nature and affection. Its common name came from the strong monogamous bond it forms and the long periods it spends sitting with its mate. This card is plainly a counterbalance to the Mother/Queen's tendency to be blunt. Tough love is fine as long as I don't forget to include the compassion. As Pema Chodron says, “Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean.”

Friday, August 7, 2015

Burnt to a Crisp

From the Vision Quest Tarot, the Seven of Earth (Pentacles); from the Bird Cards, "Goose:"
          This poor plant doesn't look like it's wilted from the sun, it looks as if it's been poisoned. The Thoth deck refers to this card as "Failure," but the Vision Quest deck labels it as "Depletion." Hopes of success have been crushed; the costs were much greater than the what the results produced. But the real question is, who or what poisoned the plant? I could point the finger at others, but my guess is that I had unrealistic expectations, trusted the untrustworthy, didn't do enough research or simply did not pay close enough attention to what was happening.
          Toerien declares the Goose symbolizes wealth that materializes. Looking at that Seven of Earth card makes me think more along the lines of "your goose is cooked" (an expression that means troubling consequences). Yet the one thing I associate most with geese is their migratory habits. They fly south for the winter and then back north in the spring. Perhaps the problem is a timing issue. If so, I would do well to heed the words of the Venerable Fulton John Sheen:
Patience is not an absence of action;
rather it is "timing"
it waits on the right time to act,
for the right principles
and in the right way.