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, June 30, 2017

Look Above Your Shoelaces

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Three of Swords; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'Flying High:'
          There appears to be a dead body beneath this cringing woman's divan. Her body language suggests grief that includes the weight of shame - the idea that she could have somehow prevented what happened. I've had a few people close to me commit suicide, so I know how ferocious and persistent such thoughts can be. There is a constant replaying of scenes where words and actions are analyzed to see just where I might have been able to re-balance the tipping point. Yet this kind of thinking doesn't help, but only deepens the thrust of the swords in the heart. No amount of analysis or guilt will rewrite history. The High Flying card suggests it is the quality of our thoughts that determine whether we continue in our misery or rise above it. It takes awareness and persistent effort to rewire our thinking and divert our energy elsewhere. With this effort will come the realization that sometimes all the love in the world just isn't enough to change the way the wheel of life turns.
Shame isn't a quiet grey cloud, shame is a drowning man who claws his way on top of
you, scratching and tearing your skin, pushing you under the surface. ~ Kirsty Eager

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Compassionate Self-Control

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Chariot; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'You are exactly where you need to be:'
          A woman on a trike-bike moves with purpose through a busy city street. I'm sure there are plenty of distractions going on around her - a sale at the dry goods store, a fight at the pub, etc. - but she keeps on pedaling forward. She is learning to master her desires and control her impulses in order to reach her destination. Of course she might make a brief stop to say hello to a friend or offer directions to someone new to the city, but she continues on her way soon thereafter. She doesn't exist on a 'pepper diet,' but neither will she indulge her every whim; self-discipline helps her put off instant gratification that will only slow her down. To be honest, I abhor the New Age platitude endorsed by the Alchemist Oracle card: "You are exactly where you need to be." Is this what you would tell a woman who just miscarried? How about a young boy who just experienced a beating from his drunk father? I think a less punishing and more helpful view would be to say, "Yes, this is reality. How can you tenderly accept it and deal with it rather than closing your heart to life?"

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rooted Commitments

From the Victoria Regina, the Queen of Coins; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'Sun's Rays:'
          This banner featuring Queen Victoria was displayed during the 1887 Jubilee, a celebration that honored and marked the fiftieth year of her reign. Her reign would eventually last for 63 and a half years, during which the British Empire experienced expansion and many changes - industrial, cultural, political and scientific. Though she officially held little political power, she privately attempted to influence policy and would become known for her strict standards of personal morality. Though she did not mother her own children very well, she became quite enamored with her grandchildren. I've always seen the Queen of Pentacles as a southern live oak tree, with arms extending outward but with roots firmly planted in the earth. The Sun's Rays card reminds me of beams of light coming through clouds after an intense thunderstorm. Yet the animal skull suggests something has died. I would assume it is the ego's influence, as Aletta writes that spiritual commitment has seen one through stormy times. I imagine the queen's roots tap into some sort of spiritual connection too.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Get Your Bearings

From the Victoria Regina, the Six of Wands; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'Standstill:'
          This card shows the Prince of Wales parading in front of Queen Victoria upon his triumphant return from India (one of the few times he pleased her). When it comes to public recognition, I tend to be like the horse who looks ready to buck and run to the stable. It is nice to be appreciated for one's efforts (feedback can be helpful), but too much pomp and circumstance can leave us feeling like our next accomplishment should be even grander than the last. To circumvent this worry, the focus can be turned to the people whose shoulders we stood on to meet this challenge. I read the Standstill card as two separate words (pre-coffee): stand still. After being acknowledged for our efforts, a lot of energy may be coursing through our veins. It can make us eager for the next mountain to climb, the next pleasure to chase or the next mystery to unravel. Yet adrenaline tends to pump us up while leaving logic in the corner with no dance partner. Finding time to be grounded and breathe might give us a chance to get our bearings before jumping on our horse again.

Monday, June 26, 2017

And Now, Begin Again

From the Victoria Regina Tarot, the Nine of Coins; from the Alchemist Oracle, 'Birth:'
          Maybe it is the arc of pocket-watches or simply the woman feeding the birds, but my first thought about this card was 'retirement.' In this illustration there is a sense of being unhurried and relaxed, rather than being 'on the clock.' There is a calm, confident self-reliance about this woman who obviously had done well for herself financially. But what she doesn't have around her is a few solid friends to enjoy this time with. The Birth card suggests that it is time to grow something new in her life, to expand in other areas that may have taken a back seat due to work or simply the duties of daily life. In the words of Anais Nin: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Perhaps it's time to courageously seek out and explore some of those new worlds.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Spiritual Inventory

This week I'll be using the Victoria Regina Tarot, a deck and book set created by Sarah Ovenall with text assistance from Georg Patterson. This tarot set was published by Llewellyn. I'll be pairing it with the Alchemist Oracle (aka Connected and Free), a deck and booklet set self-published by Lauren Aletta. Today's draws are the Hermit and 'Healing':
          Holding a lantern and a pen, the Hermit isolates himself for the purpose of a spiritual evaluation. The withdrawal will provide distance from the daily, external distractions, allowing him to do a written inventory of his path so far. What does he believe and why? Has he tested his philosophy or faith against reality, or is he comfortable with only an intellectual version? Has this path made him more or less selfish and self-centered? If he can answer these questions honestly, he'll find some insights that might change the path he's been walking. The Healing card shows a hot cup of tea, a drink meant to be savored slowly. Sounds like the perfect way to mull over those insights, renew his intentions and heal (forgive) himself for any mistakes.
Every Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition requires a strict spiritual inventory. You aren't supposed
to just sit around feeling guilty, but to take action in the real world to set things right.
~ Naomi Wolf

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Heart Light

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Five of Pentacles; from the Meditation Cards, Heart Centered:
          What struck me about this Five of Pentacles card is the tenderness of the two older people under the makeshift shelter. I'm sure they are cold, tired and hungry, but they are not making their difficulties more difficult by taking them out on each other. Why don't they ask the church for help? Perhaps they are of a different faith and did not want to trade it for a hot meal. The Heart Centered card is paired with a quote by Jack Kornfield:
We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover
what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow our hearts to open. 
Put people in dire circumstances and they will either act from a 'survival of the fittest' viewpoint or from compassion and kindness. It is an incredibly demanding choice to be selfless instead of selfish during such periods. But these are just times for which our heart was made, and when it can shine the brightest.

Friday, June 23, 2017


From the Anna K. Tarot, the Queen of Pentacles; from the Meditation Cards, Anam Cara:
          I lived with my grandparents until I was six, and my grandmother was very much a Queen of Pents woman. She didn't do much hugging or kissing, but she nurtured every living thing around her with her time, energy and resources. Having raised a family through the Depression, she was a practical yet resourceful person. She enjoyed growing flowers and watching birds, and she also loved having all of her family come for holidays (always cooking a huge meal for everyone). In her younger years, she rode horses, played tennis, and went to college to study art. If there was a need or cause that was valid, she gave generously. Now that I think about it, she was an Anam Cara (spiritual adviser and friend) to me as well. She taught and advised through her actions more than her words. I've had many of these spiritual friends over the years - from yoga teachers to retired priests. Their wisdom is carried inside of me and will not be forgotten.
 Understanding nourishes belonging. 
― John O'Donohue

Thursday, June 22, 2017

At the Root of Things

From the Anna K. Tarot, the High Priestess; from the Meditation Cards, Root System:
          When the night is dark, the moon shines brightly in the sky. Likewise, the High Priestess knows that it is within our own darkness that we find insight and illumination. Anna describes the priestess as being able to "sit still and watch changes with compassion and serenity," and I would add with wisdom as well. From observing the mind, she knows that thoughts and emotions are just as transient as everything in the material world. The Root System card has quotes from Bodhidharma and Pema Chodron:
The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you 
can understand the mind, everything else is included.
May they be free of suffering and the root of suffering;
may they enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
What is currently growing from your mind? Just how solid do we think our thoughts and beliefs are? The root of suffering for me is trying to cling to what I love and enjoy while trying to avoid everything I find unpleasant. The root of happiness is to accept rather than fight reality, having the wisdom to know what can be changed and what can't, and being courageous to make changes in myself when needed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


From the Anna K. Tarot, the Page of Wands; from the Meditation Cards, Energy Use:
          Have you seen the t-shirt that says "Runs with scissors?" It was made for this Page. He's an extreme risk-taker, boundary-breaker and adventure-seeker. He simply can't leave things alone without investigating and poking at them a bit. Already he's scouting out an escape route from the castle so he can go explore the countryside. The Page of Wands would immediately understand the thoughts of  Ursula K. Le Guin, "I am tired of safe places, and roofs, and walls around me." He will never be a boring child, and he definitely wears out any guardian that tries to keep up with him. The card Energy Use is paired with a poem from Rumi:
You have the energy of the sun in you, 
but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine. 
You're some weird kind of gold
 that wants to stay melted in the furnace,
so you won't have to become coins.
What is it that makes that Page never want to grow up? Does he fear responsibility will take all the thrills and fun out of life? What might help is for him to discover a passionate interest to channel his energy in so that it isn't wasted as restlessness. But that would be a whole, separate post...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Artificial Urgency

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Two of Pentacles; from the Meditation Cards, Pity Party:
At least part of the pleasure of saying yes is knowing that someone wants you - wants to be with you, wants you to do something that you do well, wants to do it with you. — Barbara B. Taylor
          As Taylor points out, so much of our self-worth is tied to what we do. It can almost be a rush when we're asked if we'll be responsible for something, but it's rush that can be addictive. This young juggler has one ring in the air without a pentacle in it, and it made me think of free time in a busy schedule. I was reading through Wayne Mueller's book Sabbath last night, and he suggested a Sabbath day could be a marker when we felt lost and overwhelmed; it could be a path back to our center. He explains that it "dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished." When we don't create space to rest our bodies and minds, we can end up like the lady on the card Pity Party:
A personal belief of this kind -“ I am a victim”- is like a dark closet. If we want to sit in this closet with the door shut tightly, nothing can get in. Unfortunately, so long as we insist upon sitting in this closet (and we all do, sometimes), we find that no one really wants to come in and sit with us. Frankly, nobody is particularly interested in someone else’s drama. What we’re interested in is our own. I may want to shut myself in my own closet, but I’m certainly not going to sit in yours. — Charlotte Joko Beck
When I start thinking of myself as a martyr who is being sacrificed for someone else's needs, I need to dig down and take a closer look at the root of my suffering. What I'm likely to find is a seed that I've planted myself; I can choose to continue nourishing it or neglect it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wake Up and Die

From the Anna K. Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the Meditation Cards, Die Before You Die:
          Anna suggests that instead of  making a choice, this card illustrates self-delusion and a loss of reality. My first reaction is to give this woman a head slap and try to knock some sense into her. But I've been to la-la land myself when I was overwhelmed with great pain or fear. I understand why people want to believe in angels and unicorns; I know why they bury their head in the sand and pretend nothing is wrong. I get why people buy prayer cloths from a televangelists. When life is filled with uncertainties, anything we can pin our hope on - no matter how outlandish - may seem better than nothing. Yet Pema Chodron's words keep playing in my head: “Do I prefer to grow up and relate to life directly, or do I choose to live and die in fear?” 'Die Before You Die' is a Sufi teaching about using the hard experiences of life to strip away what is unimportant (what protects the ego) in exchange for wisdom. This wisdom won't keep us from having to climb other daunting mountains, but it will make us much better mountain climbers. (And we probably won't need that prayer cloth on the hike.)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Petals and Thorns

This week I'll be using the Anna K. Tarot, created and self-published by Anna Klaffinger (though now published by Llewellyn). Along with it, I'll be drawing from the Meditation Cards, a deck created and self-published by Asha Greer. All the keywords and quotes for these cards have been added by me. Today's draws are the Knight of Cups and The Warrior's Heart:
          This young knight is not alert and watchful, but sniffing a rose and dreaming of a lady's love. Let's hope someone doesn't sneak up behind him and knock the stuffing out of him while he's in fantasy land. Each knight has a motivation for becoming a warrior: the Knight of Pentacles fights for land and home; the Knight of Wands fights for thrill and power; the Knight of Swords for truth and justice; and the Knight of Cups fights to keep the peace and protect the people he loves. This Knight also has a Warrior's Heart:
To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous
courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit. ~ Jack Kornfield
Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world 
tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up,
without resistance  or shyness, and face the world. ~ Chögyam Trungpa
Life is full of suffering, and hearts get easily bruised or broken. Do we harden or close off our heart in an attempt not to feel pain? The spiritual warrior encourages us to keep our heart open no matter what comes. It is our pain that allows us to connect with compassion to others who also suffer, especially those who seem to have nothing in common with us.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rationalizing the Irrational

From the Alchemical Tarot Removed, the Seven of Swords; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Extremism:
          Place suggests the willy-nilly pattern of swords this fox has stashed away represent communication designed to be obscure the truth. Words that mislead or confuse can be used to hide motives, 'prove' a theory (circular reasoning) or cover up dishonesty. Yet where there is miscommunication, there will be fear; where there is fear, there will be people who react poorly instead of responding logically. The Extremism card (Mercury in Scorpio) shows the result. Americans currently have a leader who is adept at misleading the people he is supposed to serve. He kicks the hornets' nest then blames someone else when people get stung. The recent shooting of congressional members at a baseball game is the perfect example. (However, I do not think the shooter was justified in what he did.) Misinformation and rationalizing the irrational will push people to the edges of extreme views. In the words of Voltaire:
Certainly any one who has the power to make you believe 
absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Variety is Life

From the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the Three of Vessels; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Harmony:
          These three ladies carry their personality on their head - earth, air and fire. Where is water? It is formed by their relationship together. The Harmony card (Sun in Libra) explains how this diverse group got together. The Sun's clarity shines brightly on what they have in common (Libra), even though they may think and do things in very different ways. Whether the bond comes from a common cause, a shared hobby or a mutual support group, there is unity among diversity. In twelve step groups around the world, the first of the 12 Traditions reminds its members that "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon unity." It is a reminder to remember the purpose of the group. Yet no group would be worth a lick of salt if everyone's perspective was exactly the same. Unity holds us together, but diversity is what help us see possibilities that 'purity of thought and action' would have passed right by.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pipe Cleaning

From the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the Three of Coins; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Enthusiasm:
          An illustrator sits at a table with the symbols of mercury, sulfur and salt over a window. In alchemy, Sulfur represents the soul (our unique expression of the life force), Mercury symbolizes the spirit (which inspires and animates us), and Salt is seen as the body (the vehicle through which our expressions are manifested). Place suggests this card signifies creativity with stability and security. In other words, this artist is talented, recognized and paid well for his services. It is interesting (just when things seem so perfect) that Enthusiasm shows up - the masculine energy of the Sun in the arena of the fun and adventure-loving Sagittarius. It is difficult to be creative when you feel obligated to crank out a certain output within a certain time frame. It can easily feel like a factory position rather than inspired work. Now is the time for him to put down the pen and move his body through play, exercise or sightseeing (as with Cameron's Artist Date). It's the Drano that will make his creativity flow more freely.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Waiting for the Tsunami

From the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the Five of Coins; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Indecision:
          This beggar walks with hand outstretched and eyes closed. Place suggests the four coins at his feet represent the four elements - resources - that the man walks past. He states "he will not accumulate anything because the Quinta Essentia is missing (the fifth element - essence)." His poverty is a result of a decayed spirit. Before he lost his wealth and health, his principles of humility, kindness, and generosity became scarce . Like Scrooge, he is missing out on what is needed for joy. The Indecision card represents Venus in Libra, a mix of love with a desire for harmony. Libra can sometimes be so terrified of rocking the boat, he just sits there waiting for the wave that will wash him overboard. Sure other people may be shocked by our situation, but exposed vulnerability can often ignite compassionate action.
You are different now. Is the person who did that action five years ago the same person you are now? If she were exactly the same person, you would still be doing the same action. The present "you" exists in a continuum from that person, but is not exactly the same as her. Look back at the person you were with compassion. You can understand the suffering and confusion she was experiencing that made her act in that way. ~  Thubten Chodron

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dry Well?

From the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the Six of Staffs; from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Decision:
          Instead of a warrior returning victorious from battle, Place shows a craftsman (notice the work apron) who is being honored for his skills and the progress he's made. He holds his own torch (no shame in being proud of one's own accomplishments), but I'm curious about the serious look on his face. The Decision card shows the action of Mars in the mental awareness of Gemini. The timer clock is ticking in the chess game as everyone waits to see what the craftsman will do next. After impressing others with our innovation or talents, the ebb time can be stressful. We may worry that our creative well has run dry, and nothing we do from this point on will match what's already been done. I don't think creativity gets permanently used up, but we can block ourselves from it. If we isolate ourselves from the wisdom of others, additional knowledge and simple curiosity, we cover our well. It would be more beneficial to ride around on that solar wheel than hide in that dark building while our well refills.
The unfed mind devours itself. ~ Gore Vidal

Monday, June 12, 2017

Entangled or Empathetic?

From the Alchemical Tarot Renewed, the Lady of Vessels (Page of Cups); from the Oracle of the Radiant Sun, Convention:
          The Lady/Page of Vessels frames her world through her feelings, as seen by the vessel she balances on her head. She is sensitive, intuitive and empathetic, but like trying to walk on water, she almost always gets soaked. Without a way to ground herself, her empathy can easily slide into codependency and her intuition into neurosis. A woman in a meeting I attended a few weeks ago said, "My higher power was whatever the expression was on your face." Her words perfectly express the emotional submersion in which this Page/Lady can find herself if she's not alert. The Convention card represents Venus in Capricorn, a person who often needs a relationship to feel successful and secure. But what happens if that relationship changes, or if that person develops in a different direction from our own? If we base our worth, stability and purpose solely on another, we demand they keep us from drowning. Yet no one should ever feel like they have to be our foot bridge.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sound of Trumpets

This week I'll be using the Alchemical Tarot Renewed along with the book Alchemy and the Tarot, both created by Robert M. Place and published by Hermes Publications. Paired with it will be the Oracle of the Radiant Sun deck and book set, created by Caroline Smith and John Astrop and published through Eddison-Sadd Editions. The draws for today are Judgment and Choice:
          The skull with barley sprouting from it is a nod to the Egyptians who put buried grains with the dead; when it grew, the person was said to have risen. From an alchemical standpoint, the two people who've risen from the grave represent base metals that have been turned to gold. Looking through a spiritual lens, those folks heard the call but first had to remove their impurities (dirt, stone slabs) to be reborn. The Choice card represents Mars in Libra, a combination that produces a person who likes to follow the rules but expects everyone else to do the same (and is not very diplomatic about it). These two draws reminded me of how righteous indignation can keep me deeply buried. My first stepfather was very gifted and creative when it came to physical and emotional abuse. I had valid reasons to back up my hatred; the only way I would forgive would be a full confession and apology (which I knew would never happen). But at the beginning of this year I found out he was terminally ill and would likely not live to see another year. I wondered what I would do if I were in his place. Suddenly I realized that the suffocating dirt on top of me was shoveled by my own hand. My rage has since dissolved and now the heavy slab has been removed from my heart.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Insiders and Outsiders

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Nine of Wands; from the Oracle of Dreamtime, Platypus:
          The Nine of Wands shows a group of Aboriginal didgeridoos and a carved petroglyph. I can't think of a better illustration for being alert and ready to defend than an indigenous people who have been overrun by outsiders. Take away a person's culture and land, and you rob them of their spirit. All over the world today, people are appropriating native culture for their own purpose (usually to line their pockets) without a thought as to how it might dishonor or hurt those from whom it was taken. The story of Platypus tells of the three tribes of animals - the mammals, the birds and water creatures - that asked platypus to join their tribe. Platypus told each of them he recognized a part of himself in each tribe, but decided not to join one of the groups but all of them. The wisdom this story imparts is that of diplomacy, tolerance and unity. It's message is important today as the media constantly reminds us of "the threat of terror" and attempts to convince us we have a terrorist living next door. A conspiracy is knowledge with large gaps of missing information that is filled in with fear and opinionated beliefs. While there is a need to be watchful and cautious, we could stamp out paranoia by getting to know our neighbors (locally and globally); we might discover we have more in common than we thought.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Smashing Pumpkins

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Two of Swords; from the Oracle of the Dreamtime, Seal:
          If you've ever made a paper snowflake, you realize it's impossible to know exactly what it's going to look like until you unfold the paper. Decisions are the same way. We can try to pare away the emotions that might be coloring our perception. But even then, there is no way to be 100% sure of what consequences a choice will have, especially in the long run. The Dreamtime story of Seal recounts how these creatures played, rested and multiplied on Seal Rock until the humans found them. Instead of taking only what was needed, the humans killed them all, leaving the island empty. The people did not think about the future, of how their exploitation would shift the natural balance. They only thought of themselves and refused to acknowledge what might follow their actions. The story has implications for the Two of Swords; we can easily compartmentalize in our mind what we don't want to see, if we've already created an idealized outcome of what we want. Though we may ignore evidence to keep our fairy tale alive, glass slippers and pumpkin chariots won't likely be in our future.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Airing Out the Shed

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Ten of Swords; from the Oracle of the Dreamtime, Waratah:
          An old potting shed is filled with tools, pots, soil and a few herbs hanging to dry. But a peek out the door will prove that we're not in Kansas anymore. The landscape has changed from an earthy environment to a cosmic one. All those implements that were once so helpful aren't very useful now. The law of impermanence would suggest that the thinking that originally solved problems and created solutions may need to be tweaked or completely tossed out. Just try to talk to a grown son or daughter like you did when they were two years old ("Go sit in the time-out chair!"), and you'll understand what I mean. I don't necessarily have to toss my values and ethics, but my ideas need some major renovations. The Dreamtime story of the Waratah tells of how this flower became red. A wonga pigeon risked flying above the protection of the tree canopy in search of her mate and was killed by an eagle. Had the pigeon not given in to her fear (which made her act unwisely), she could have searched the whole forest for her partner who was still there. When I am afraid, it is easy to want to double-down on what has worked before. Yet it may be wiser to try new logic than to continue to use what no longer works.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Guest and Host

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Seven of Cups; from the Oracle of the Dreamtime, Lightning Man:
          On an Indonesian island, an offering has been set out for a fire god. Which bowl will be pleasing to him? We too must choose a focus of effort for what we think will bring us emotional fulfillment. Do we want the passion of the volcano (that includes the fire and chaos when it erupts)? Perhaps we would prefer a peaceful lake (that may at times be boring) or the green valley (that will require the work of cultivation)? The Lightning Man lives in the sky with bolts in his hands and clubs (for thunder) on his knees. When he strikes the earth, it is a warning to humans that change or another approach is needed. With the Seven of Cups, the choice we make shouldn't just be decided on what we get, but also what we can give. Uneven exchanges rarely bring emotional satisfaction in the long run.
The nature of living and loving is the act of reciprocity... To be the guest and the host 
simultaneously is to imagine a mutual exchange of gifts predicated on respect and joy. 
~ Terry Tempest Williams

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rot in the Cross-section or Heartwood?

From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Nine of Disks; from the Oracle of the Dreamtime, Kangaroo:
          The Nine of Disks generally means hard work has been rewarded with security and abundance. So what does the cross-section of our planet have to do with this? When we are at the top of the heap, it's easy to become self-satisfied. The gravity of our success may create strong self-absorption (consider our current President); we may become obsessed with more personal gain and forget about everyone and everything else ("Hey Trump, you're supposed to be a servant of the American people."). Like the intricate balance of the soil, air, water, plants and animals on this planet, we are interdependent ("Yes Donald, there is such a thing as climate change."). When it comes to resources, self-centeredness and greed will eventually crumble that tower of prosperity. The indigenous story of Kangaroo explains that she originally didn't have a pouch and had to constantly return to check on her joey hidden in the grass. One day, she came across a doddering old wombat who was trying to find water. In between checking on her joey, she took the time to guide him to water and later to grass. She even protected him by distracting a hunter who was going to shoot him. For her kindness, the Great Spirit provided her with a pouch so her baby could travel with her. Kindness may not always be repaid in full, but you can bet hatred and intolerance will be. Please America, let's choose the kinder (although not easier) way.
Instead of being caught in self-righteousness and blame, we can begin to face and
understand our own contribution to this problem and what we might do about it. ~ Judy Lief