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

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.


  1. the whole idea of karma kind of goes over my head, but I do a lot of eye rolling when (generalized example) someone's kid dies in a bus wreck or a house fire and someone says "well the (dad or mom) got karma didn't they! Hey. Who got punished here? The kid did, the folks pick up and go on, perhaps changed but well and alive. I'll never understand how C's misfortune can be understood to be A or B's karma. If any of that makes sense. It just comes up so often at AT

    1. Hindus and Buddhists have very different views of karma. Hindus believe each person has a permanent, unchanging soul that is reborn into a new body after death. Past actions influence the present, and present actions influence the future.
      For Buddhists, there is no soul that is reborn, no "me-ness" that gets transferred to a new life. Present actions influence the present and the future. During a lifetime, the motivation/intention behind actions produce "karmic seeds" that have the potential to "sprout." I can easily see the environmental damage we do in this explanation. For Buddhists, the seeds we produce can be nurtured or ignored; thus we have a choice about what we "grow."

    2. Beautifully said, Bev. And I like to think present actions influence the past as well as the present and the future ;)

    3. I don't think we can change history, but I do agree we can heal some suffering from it! :)