Saturday, March 26, 2011

3/26/11—Thinking Consciously

Weekend Reading: Justice from Tarot of the Sidhe. Be aware of your thoughts and actions this weekend and make a conscious effort to keep them balanced and moderate. With conscious awareness you can make small adjustments when you notice things going askew, rather than diving off the deep end and eating the entire cake, losing your temper or smoking that extra rock of crack and wondering "how did this happen?"

Friday, March 25, 2011

3/25/11—Finding a Guru

Today's Draw: Spiritual Leaders (V) from the Tarot of Transformation—Taking The Hierophant Off The Pedestal. Do you know a spiritual leader who has fallen off their pedestal? Do you honor your own inner teachings? Do you know who the best guru is for you?
Today's card is the Hierophant or Pope in most decks. It talks about tradition and dogma and spiritual leadership. But in the Tarot of Transformation, it comes with a twist. It speaks of how integrated the ideal modern spiritual leader shou...ld be. And how flawed many of them are.

The card talks about integration in the sense that an ideal spiritual leader would integrate teachings from all religions. But would also be integrated in the sense that they would not only be wise to those teachings, but also wise to successful ways of navigating in the real world.

Off the top of my head, I might think of Dr. Wayne Dyer as he is now in 60s. He's overcome addictions. He's faced death. And he's come to peace with who he is. No real dramas in his life anymore. And he is also very well educated in all the different spiritual teachings in the world. I don't really follow this stuff, so I could be wrong about him. But this is how I perceive him. He's integrated on all fronts, including social, emotional and spiritual. Very few measure up to this standard and even he could easily fall off that pedestal. But this is the kind of integration the card speaks of.

The card also speaks to honoring the spiritual teacher within through meditation, intuition development or other practices that might yield insights that have meaning to you. So the question about who is your best guru above is actually a trick question, because the answer is "you".

OK, so here's why today's card is relevant to me. I've been working on a book for quite some times that addresses some of the stuff in this card. And while I totally see the "integration" thing, my take is that it's so rare. So if Dr. Dyer fits the mold, for example, how many others can say the same? Either they're short in the integration of teachings from around the world department. Or they're short in the knowing how to successfully navigate the human world department. Or both.

So my take is that you should totally seek spiritual teachers, whether they're Joel Osteen or Marianne Williamson or Oprah…haha. But see them as who they are. Human. Don't raise them above yourself, but see them as teachers. Because they don't know everything. And anyone you put on a pedestal will fall eventually. And any disappointment you have over that is of your own making if you see them as superior to you. Because YOU are your best guru. And being a good guru means exposing YOURSELF to different things and demanding high standards of YOURSELF.

So,,all that said, I will say that the people I feel I've learned the most from in MY journey are Gary Zukav and Deepak Chopra. Both are men who are imperfect. Even though Gary's life seems spotless now, he's basically a hermit. And there's nothing wrong with that, he still teaches. But it also shows that there are teachings about interacting with the world at large that he could learn. Which is my point. None are perfect. And we'd all learn a lot more and appreciate the teachings a lot more if we stopped seeing our gurus as exalted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3/24/11—Holding the Vision

Today's Draw: Five of Swords from the Tarot of Transformation—Holding The Vision. At your core, do you believe you are a brilliant, blessed child of God? Do you believe you're just as worthy as the next guy? And do you feel that way TODAY?
The Tarot of Transformation has a different take on the Five of Swords. Traditionally a card of defeat, the ToT's version is, instead labeled "Holding the Vision". It speaks of the dragons of negativity, doubt and defeat that can hold us p...risoner and make us forget who we are at our core—blessed beings of light and love.

In essence, the Five speaks to the mind defeating the spirit or soul. We all do it. Some of us get over it by refocusing again on the truth of the beauty and grace that is our birthright. And some of us get cornered by the dragons for a long time. "Holding the Vision" reminds us to focus on our light and use that to dispel the darkness within.

For the past few days I've been feeling kind of depressed. Now and again menopause really kicks my ass and no changes in diet and no pills can hold the crazies at bay. Pardon me, gentlemen, but ladies…this month is one of those months I missed my period and those months really do a number on me. It's like all the hormones that are supposed to be released instead get doubled up inside me and make me paranoid, sad, anxious, angry….you name it.

Anywho, I have a yoga class every Wednesday. And a couple of weeks ago I skipped it because sometimes yoga makes me angrier…haha. Some of you may have discussed this with me on another thread so I know I'm not alone. But another thing yoga does is blow out blockages of energy. So last night I forced myself to go, even though I was depressed. And I feel SO much better today. I feel more able to see that blessed child of the universe within in. And instead of feeling like the world is against me, I feel like part of the universe again.

In my way, forcing myself to do that class was part of holding the vision. Just as taking long walks is. And meditation. And chanting affirmations. And holding my doggies. Sometimes when the dragon has us by the tail, it's hard to remember what brings us back to center. So it helps to make a list and force ourselves to do stuff on it. What is on your list?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3/23/11—Following Your Truth

Today's Draw: Energy from William Blake. Are you honoring your instincts? Do you have the courage of your convictions? Are you in touch with the animal inside you? Are you honoring your truth?
The Energy card is Major Arcana XI, but it's more like Strength than Justice, though it really is neither. A naked man sits under a tree surrounded by all sorts of animals. He is just another of those animals.

What animals do is true. They d...on't have ulterior motives. They don't worry about hurting someone's feelings. They just follow their truth.

This card comes to me at an interesting time because I'm thinking of ending a professional relationship that is costing me a lot of money and not producing proportional results. I started it when I was earning more and now it's becoming a source of stress. My neurotic human doesn't want to end it because I want peace and I know the other party feels I need to continue. But my instinctual animal tells me it's time to move on.

Is there a debate stirring within you between the anxiety-filled human and the instinctual animal? How else may this apply to you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

3/22/11—Being Open

Today's Draw: Four of Air from the Vision Tarot—Openness. Are you open to the entirety of life or do you close yourself off to certain things? How "free" do you feel on any given day?
This card equates to the four of swords, but it's not about rest. And while many fours are about boundaries, this seems to be one of loosening boundaries. This shows a woman in a forest dappled with light, just going through a beautiful, so...aring stone archway. Her diaphanous dress blows in the breeze and her arms are open to receive.

Often our fears and habitual tapes cause us to create boundaries to keep us from getting hurt or having to think of or experience painful or unpleasant things. But each time our walls move in closer and closer, we close ourselves off to other opportunities as well. And before we know it, we're in a moderately safe and highly restricted box…one that filters out a lot of pain and a lot of everything else, too.

Today's card comes to remind us to open to both the good and bad of life. The more open we are to the entirety of life's experiences, the more joy we feel and the less pain gets trapped in our restrictive box.

I have a tendency to fall into this mold of being trapped in the box. It's not because I don’t think I can handle what comes to me. Anyone who knows my story knows that the most difficult things that have come into my life have been handled quite gracefully. But I do have a tendency to pull in my boundaries at the first sign of trouble. In some cases, I see it as a "healthy" move…not going down roads that I know will be bad for me. But at the same time, I close myself off to experiences I need to grow. As a result, I often feel closed off and "separate". Interestingly, I know I'm not alone in this. In fact, I think everyone has some sort of armor or shield at the ready.

What about you? What tools or lessons have come your way to help you open up more?

Monday, March 21, 2011

3/21/11—Bringing Beauty to the World

Today's Draw: Man of Music from the William Blake. How do you bring beauty into this world? How do you inspire others? What do you create that is eternal?
The William Blake is a non-traditional deck whose suits don't really correspond with traditional tarot suits. The suit of Music is the celebration of life source. The path of beauty and love. You can think of it as cups, but it goes beyond ...that. And trying to fit the Man of Music into the King of Cups mold doesn't quite work.

The poem that comes with this card is:
Music, as it exists in old tunes or melodies
Is inspiration
And cannot be surpassed
It is perfect and eternal

The ways in which we bring beauty in this world…the ways in which we inspire others…are eternal. If we lift another up just slightly, each successive generation will be the beneficiary of that.

There are a number of little ways in which I think I lift others up, especially among my real life friends. But this is actually a good place to talk about these threads. I do these threads so people can look within themselves and question themselves deeper. I often reveal things about myself that make me a little uncomfortable. I do it so others can see they're not alone…or to encourage people to share. Through various means, I'm aware the readership of these threads is higher than the comments reveal. I don't expect people to respond if they don't want to, but am grateful to have the company. Those who frequently respond here help a lot of people with their honesty. And, of course, we also help ourselves. Knowing you are reading this is a gift, as well.

We can sometimes trivialize our contributions to the world, but like the beating of a butterfly's wings, even little gestures can have enormous impact down the line. So what is your song to the world? How do you create inspiration?

If you feel uncomfortable singing your praises, don't. Part of the path of personal growth is knowing who you are, good and bad. We so often focus on the bad. And today's card is asking us to look within and see where we shine.