Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23/11-4/24/11—Resurrecting Love

Weekend Reading: Ace of Cups and Page of Cups from the Victorian Romantic. Be ready for a new sense of love to enter your life. This could be anything...literally a new love, a message of love, puppy kisses, renewed passion for a creative project, something sweet from a child...anything that makes your heart warm and fuzzy. Better yet, don't wait for this to happen to you, make it happen for yourself and/or someone else. Really, life is too short to be stingy with your words and feelings about someone or something you love. And who, really, does it ultimately impoverish? Somewhere in your life there is a love that isn't being properly nourished. Reach out to it this weekend and let it reach back to you.

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11—Embracing Your Responsibility

Today's Draw: Ten of Bows from the Wildwood. Are you owning up to your responsibility? Do you see the value your skills provide to the whole? And do you carry your responsibility grudgingly or willingly?

Whether in your career, at home or in your relationships, the surface this card is about taking responsibility for your role. But beneath the surface, it's about cooperation, self esteem and honoring the importance of your role in "the pack". 

The man in the foreground carries a heavy load of bows up to the hunters who are camped at the top of the hill. When he gets there, he will be able to put his burden down, enjoy the fire one of the community members built and eat the food the hunters provided. Sure, he's a lowly stick hunter in the pecking order of the community, but he's essential to their mission. Without his energy and strength, the community may not get as much food, because the hunters will have to focus on finding their own bows. They may not be able to live in such a protected camp, because who else has the juice to carry all those bows to the top of the hill? And responsibilities may end up having to be split to make up for the service he provides to the community. 

Look at it one way and he's a lowly bow hunter. Look at it another and he's the linchpin of this community's survival. And that is the point of this card. The attitude you bring to your work changes everything. It changes the quality of the work you do, your self esteem about your work, your willingness to do it every day, the way you feel at the end of the day, and even how you feel about your time off. This is, at the very least, eight hours out of every day. Who are we serving if we're bitter about it? What are we achieving except our own depression and sense of worthlessness?

There are two good ways to be happy about your work. Do what you love. And if you can't do what you love, find a way to love what you do. I've had a number of such attitude adjustments in my career. I grew up in a household that thought advertising was evil and pointless. So this thing I loved didn't meet the approval of my father. And as my spirituality began to grow, I also began to have a need to "serve". I was raised to believe that advertising served no one. But here's the thing, without advertising, businesses would fail. Competition would dry up and monopolies would rule. Doing smaller business advertising and technology-related work, fuels innovation. How will you know alternatives to, say, WalMart exist, if no one is doing advertising for their upstart competitor? Since I reframed the role of the career I love, I no longer have the conflicting feelings I did when my career choice didn't meet with the approval of my father or stand up to my desire to serve.

At a another point in my career, I felt underpaid and unappreciated. So I quit the agencies and went out on my own...finding a way to love what I do yet again. Since then, appreciation is lavished up on kidding...and I earn a fair wage for my job. Now, at no point did I ever feel I was in the wrong career, but at many points I felt certain clients or situations were taking away the love I had for it. So I found ways to love it again. 

All of this about work because of the illustration on the card, but the same things can said about relationships, our roles in our personal lives and so on. The situation or other person doesn't need to change at all. You don't have the power to change all that anyway. But you do have the power to change the way you see it, which can change everything. Consider how this applies to your life. Change your outlook and you can change your world.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21/11—Entering the State of Reason

Today's Draw: Satan from Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery by Robert Place. Where may you be acting with reckless abandon? Where are the powers of temperance and will coming up short in your life? And/or what shortcomings are being revealed to you at this time?

This is one of those rare weeks when the same card has appeared twice. Place's Satan is his Devil card, and it signifies that, to the Soul of Reason (Justice), the Souls of Appetite (Temperance) and Will (Strength) are asleep. Which means that, as we enter the Soul of Reason, the desires of our ego and our flesh become dormant and begin to be replaced by balance and the edification of the mind. He illuminates these shortcomings and vices within us so we can begin to tame them. This is a different take on the card than the tradition, assuming I'm interpreting it correctly. Normally the Devil is the one that is holding us imprisoned to our vices. But here, he is merely illuminating them so we can ascend. He is still the fallen angel, but now the one that leads us on our path to redemption. This card doesn't come to us twice in a week, from different decks, for no reason at all. So there is something to consider in this. 

But first, a bit about the deck. The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery is, at this time, a majors only deck. Which for those who don't know the tarot means that it only has the first 22 cards of the 78...the cards that deal with major life lessons and our journey through the cycles of life. Those cards are numbered 0-21, with 0 being considered the "trump" card...the Fool, whose journey we're taking in the other 21. So the Sevenfold Mysteries refer to Plato's belief that we have three souls or soul levels—the Soul of Appetite, the Soul of Will and the Soul of Reason. As you move through the seven cards of each phase and balance each soul, you ascend in your social and spiritual development. 

So Satan or the Devil marks the beginning of bringing the Soul of Reason into balance. He illuminates our shortcomings and those places where we may lie to ourselves. And as these places are illuminated, we can no longer claim ignorance to them. We either wallow in them or change them so we can ascend through the last six mysteries and reach the place of completion. The very next card is the Tower, where the structures we've built on ego and pride collapse so we can rebuild them again. Then there is the Stars that light the ladder of ascent, the Moon that that marks the tipping point from unconsciousness to reason, the Sun that brings us into our true light, Judgment that resurrects us and, finally Prudence or the World that brings us our ultimate redemption and completion. 

So as you enter the Soul of Reason, what appetites and ego desires within you must be put to sleep? For me it's all about self reward and indulgence. There are areas in my life, primarily in the area of food, that I really just need to grow up and do what's necessary. I over indulge myself. And it's a self destructive pattern I've had on and off throughout my life. Thinking of it as a matter of spiritual development and practice, rather than personal development and discipline, helps re-frame it in my mind. So what does this card—and Robert Place's take on it—say to you? And how do you interpret the card above?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

4/20/11—Remembering our Divinity

Today's Draw: Magic* (Magician) from Margarete Petersen. Have you forgotten who you are? Do you ever even consider that question from a spiritual standpoint? And are you owning the magic you possess?

Traditionally the Magician shows us that we have the tools and power to consciously create our destinies. But the Margarete Petersen deck gives us a slightly different take on that. Here is the poem that accompanies this card:

Sun winds are stroking the strings of sitar,
The song of birds, the air is vibrating, pulsating,
Through the mask it sounds, I AM.
Soul glides into body—
Ever-new self-creation.
Knowing the essence of the elements.
Fire, Earth, Air, Water.
The lively dance of sounds.
Remembering oneness.
Audible breath

The way I interpret the poem is as a reminder of the source of our souls...what we were before we came to earth, what we will be when leave earth and why we are here. Whatever you believe God to be, you embody it. Personally, I believe everything that exists in the universe is what God is. So we are a little of piece of that. Before coming here, we were fully engaged in that light. And, according to how I read the poem, we came here to experience the sounds, the elements, the sensual experience of this earth. While here we have the gift of endlessly re-creating ourselves. And our mission here is to remember who we are—the light. And to experience this amazing place of beauty and lessons and love as the light. 

Which is probably why she named the card Magic, instead of The Magician. We are not the entity calling forth the magic. We are the magic itself.

My favorite astrophysicist, Neil de Grasse Tyson, has a famous speech where he says "we are not only in the universe, the universe is within us". Now, this is a SCIENTIST. And yes, he meant it in a literal sense that all the elements in the universe exist in our body. But he also meant it spiritually. This is the magic we're talking about. These are the winds, vibrations and pulsations the poem is talking about. This is who we are. The magic. 

I attend a fabulous healing session once a month. The healer guides me into my subconscious and, using music, I'm able to issue forth images from deep within. Sometimes I go into deep hypnosis and don't even remember what I say, but she writes it all down. And I consistently get the same messages, that I am divine. One such image was me ascending to the light where everyone was dressed in white. And as I, a lowly human approached these white beings, they were laughing at me. Not out of meanness, but out of teasing me because, in all my human incarnation, I had totally forgotten who I was. So they essentially gave me a tune-up and sent me on my way, playfully kicking me in the butt on my way out. I'm one of them. A precious and much loved one of them. So much a part of them that they found it funny how much I'd forgotten during my earth experience. 

And you're part of that, too. As is your asshole boss. And your nosy neighbor. And your beloved partner. You're part of that whether you're gay or straight, rich or poor, an upstanding citizen or a criminal. We all emanate from source. And we all return to source. And in between we have power to heal and grow and manifest, far beyond our conscious knowing. And our job here is to experience all of this, in this beautiful place with the sweet smells of spring, while also knowing who we are. This is the course of evolution that we're on. From experiencing life with God outside us, to experiencing it as one with God. And the cool thing is that we don't have wait 10,000 years to evolve a new body part to make this possible. We can change it right here, right now, by shifting our thoughts from how small and insignificant we are to how we are "the all" in human form. And also recognizing that everyone and everything we see is also "the all". We are all one. And we are all magic.

*The card image I posted was an image I found online from a deck in another language. So it says "Magie", but the English version says "Magic".

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

4/19/11—Greeting the New

Today's Draw: The Princess of Wands from the Whispering Tarot. How do you greet the new and/or unusual? With anxiety? Caution? Ease? And at what point do you make a solid, unchangeable decision in your philosophies? Or can your stance always be changed?

With Easter around the corner, I find the dinosaur emerging from the egg next a child carrying a basket amusing and somewhat provocative. Like an odd meeting between creationism and evolution. This isn't what was intended by the artist, but choosing it at this time of year sent my mind "there". That and the meaning that WAS intended...greeting the new through childlike eyes of excitement and ease. The butterflies surrounding her signal transformation. And on the girl's walk, she encounters a dinosaur emerging from an egg. Yet she's not frightened. She doesn't run. Because this is just another of the wonders of life. 

So, combine the two, and you start thinking about the rigidity that occurs over the years as we sort through possibilities and set our minds on certain ones. Spiritual philosophies come to mind. As do personal belief systems ranging from "nobody likes me" to "I am a successful businessperson". We seem to assume that as we whittle these possibilities down into an individual set of attitudes and beliefs, we become MORE of ourselves. We chip away at those parts that don't jibe with us and what's left is our true self. 

But consider for a moment, that our TRUE self is that curious child, open and free to explore the world, constantly learning and endlessly open to the notion that our assumptions may be wrong. Consider that that's the mindset where real individuality and freedom the dynamic, constantly shifting seas of life's energies. It's an interesting notion, isn't it?

All that said, to answer my own questions, I usually greet the new with ease. Or at least determination. Which is to be distinguished from the anticipation of change and the new, which I greet with utter fear and anxiety...haha. But once it's here, I work with it. And as far as my beliefs and opinions go, I have strong ones to be sure, but I can't think of one area in which my heart and mind are closed to the possibility that I might be wrong and that there might be other answers out there. 

Which brings us back to the idea of the dinosaur emerging from the Easter egg. My spiritual beliefs encompass a mish mash of many religions and beliefs, Judeo-Christianity included. What I believe works for me, but every once in a while I hear a notion that intrigues me, I consider it and incorporate it into my beliefs. By being open, not closed, I manage to become more of myself every day. And because that self changes every day, it requires me to remain open. How many people have you met in your life that have experience a big life change, such as divorce, who say "I don't even know who I am anymore"? It's because they defined themself and stuck to a single role and when that role was gone, so were they. 

So consider today that you are not what you think you are. That you are so much more. And that the daily experiences of life are not to be weeded through, but rather they're there to smell and feel and experience before you toss them to the side. Just because you knew yesterday that a particular weed was a weed, doesn't mean it will feel like a weed today. But you won't know that if you blind yourself to the possibilities.

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18/11—Walking with the Devil

Today's Draw: The Devil from Roots of Asia. What part of your shadow side just will not stay quiet? What path do you walk—or want to walk—that may raise a few eyebrows? And who determines the line between good and bad?

Some may feel the Devil card is best reserved for weekends and private times. But today it challenges you on a Monday. At your office. Or wherever you spend your Monday mornings. And it's interesting it makes its appearance just now because today I think it comes to challenge our notions of right and wrong, acceptable and not.

Think about it. Society created a long list of rights of wrongs eons ago that we still adhere to today. This list doesn't consider the individual, rather it considers the whole. To keep us in line. To keep chaos from issuing forth. To keep morals in check. But along the way, the collective decided what was good and bad. And then began judging us on it. Teetotaling good. Drunken debauchery bad. Sex with committed partner good. Sex with stranger bad. Adhering to social norms good. Deviating bad. And, of course, the debate that goes on and on in today's society, sex with different gender good. Sex with same gender bad. The attitudes on this last one are changing as the collective consciousness hits a tipping point, but it has been a long and hard fought battle. Why? Because people are so used to thinking as they taught, rather than thinking from their heart.

The Devil walks this line of good and bad, calling out to passersby the joys of the mind and flesh that can be experienced on the bad side. In the tarot, he represents such human states as being chained to addictions and taking scandalous risks. He represents our self-destructive nature and the ills of the ego. And that last piece, the ills of the ego, is what I'm talking about today. Who determines what's ok and what's "polite" or not? And isn't that an individual valuation? So why do we hold people to the mass consciousness when we were created as individuals? Who says good and bad are the only options? And where might you be "not thinking" and just taking your own valuations of good and bad from collective?

This last question is critical, because my guess is that we don't even know the answer for many things in our life. We just do our best to walk on the good side and fight the temptations on the bad. But in doing so, what do we cheat ourselves of? I'm not talking about going on a killing rampage or doing anything illegal. Personally I'm on board with most of society's LAWS. What I'm not on board with is many of its JUDGMENTS.

An easy example of this from my life is my tarot reading and my accompanying spirituality. Here I am, a good, kind person, full of compassion, respect and understanding for others. I have a regular spiritual practice that I largely live in line with. I have gratitude for a higher power that good and gracious. But I am not a Christian. And I'm regularly confronted by Christians who pray for my eternal soul and point out where I'm doing wrong. Despite the fact that I live my life in the light of the higher power, they say I'll be burning in hell with the Devil for the person I am here on earth. And what they mean by that is not "good and compassionate", but "non-Christian". It makes no sense whatsoever. I happen to believe Christ's ego is not so big that he would damn to hell all who don't believe in him. And if you do, that's your privilege. We can both have a drink over it and laugh about our silly human notions when we're returned to the light.

Bottom line: I don't believe we were given free will just so that we'd all believe in the same thing. And I don't believe we can be truly individual until we test our beliefs against those of the collective. And that means walking with—and accepting—the Devil within…that part of us that challenges the notion of what is good and bad. Again, traditionally he concerns himself with addictions and shadow sides. But he's also lord of that side of us that isn't afraid to be an individual. And while he's usually depicted as lording over us in the chains that bind us to our darker aspects, in the context of our individuality, he's the one that frees us from the chains of society's desire to homogenize us.

So what things can you think of in your life that either deserve questioning or have been successfully questioned by you?