Saturday, April 30, 2011

4/30/11-5/1/11—Claiming Your Birthright

Weekend Reading: The Emperor from Beth Seilonen's Awareness Cards. Walk assuredly along your own path this weekend and take command of your world. As you set aside any fears and anxieties of fully inhabiting your true nature, both your intellect and instinct will rise up to guide you forward. This is your time to step into your personal power. You are the creator of your world, the commander of your soul. Claim your birthright as one of God's blessed beings and move into your future with confidence, compassion and dignity.

Friday, April 29, 2011

4/29/11—Doing What It Takes

Today's Draw: Seven of Wands from the Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot. What stands between you and your goals? And what are you going to do about it? Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to getting what you want?

People often perceive that whimsical decks like the Phantasmagoric Theater are pure novelty and are not "real" tarot decks. Nonsense! Tarot is tarot. And this adorable deck is full of wisdom. 

In today's card, the bridge to the ringmaster's tent has disappeared! But that can't stop these three circus performers. They must confront the obstacle head on and find a way to get up there. As you can see, their obstacle even has an obstacle, because of one of them has no arms and legs. Still, they can't let that stand in their way (unintentional pun). They  must formulate a strategy and follow it to get to where they need to be. If they wait for fate or some other outside force to intervene, they may never get up there. They must take responsibility for their own mission. 

At various times in my career as a freelance advertising copywriter, I've come up against people who are somewhat bitter that I have all this freedom and earn a good hourly wage, while they're shackled to a desk at some agency working for "the man". After all, I'm not THAT talented. I'm not THAT well connected. I'm not THAT special. I'm really not. But what they don't understand is that it has NOTHING to do with how talented or hooked up I am. It also has nothing to do with how lucky I am, vs how lucky they are. Or how I must have wanted it more than them. Or anything like that. Those are all excuses they use to remain stuck. 

Although I probably do possess some personality traits that help me along, what it all really comes down to is this—I was willing to take risks that they were not. That's what it always comes down to. Now that may be a bit bold and in your face, but it's the straightforward truth. The people who have what you want, have it because they were willing to take the risks, expend the effort and put forth the discipline that you were not. 

One of my friends, over the past year or two, has lost a significant amount of weight while I remain stuck in my efforts. Simple truth...she was willing to do what I have not yet been willing to do. Instead of indulging her every craving, she finds another way to calm the voices within. And instead of sitting on her butt watching TV, she exercises. She even makes a game out of it, taking a picture from her daily walk and posting it on Facebook. She looks frickin' amazing. And I could use that as a "woe is me" story. Or I could be really happy for her. I choose the latter. Because how can I be bitter when she quite simply manned up to a challenge I haven't had the fortitude to man up to yet?

Here's the deal. And I'm going to tell it to you straight and not hold back. You can go through life as a victim of circumstance and your own bad choices. Or you can take personal responsibility for where you are in life and change everything. You'd think the victim thing would be easier, but it's not. It takes a lot of energy to be a victim. Not only that, it takes a lot of energy out of everyone around you. Whenever you say, "well that won't work for me because...." chances are you're playing the victim. Anytime you make excuses for what you don't have, that's probably what you're doing. Unless of course your excuse is "I can't do that because I'm not willing to." Then you're just being honest.

To be fair, I do think sometimes the forces of the universe try to steer you in another direction. So if you're really putting forth an effort and doing all that needs to be done, then it may be because you're being called in another direction. Or perhaps you need to take a gut check and determine if this is what you really want. Not everyone can work for themselves, for example. You have to be comfortable not seeing other humans for days or weeks on end...or you need to make a plan to find group diversions. You have to be self motivated. Whether I have work or not, I'm available to clients every morning. And I have never watched TV in the daytime. (I watch Oprah every day, but almost always on DVR.) And you really need to be able to emotionally and financially handle the ups and downs of a freelancer's workflow. Even after 15 years, that can be a challenge. 

So that brings us back to the original questions...are you willing to do what it takes to achieve your goals? And if not, are you willing to drop the goal happily knowing that you're not? Because any other way, you're being your own worst enemy and the energy it takes to regret and envy and mope can be better put toward something you ARE willing to tackle. So what does all this bring up in you?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4/28/11—Claiming Your Universal Power

Today's Draw: Moon on Water from the Wildwood. Are you feeling a bit muddy headed—as if too little and too much is going on within at the same time? What is waiting to be birthed within your consciousness? And how do you see yourself in the context of all that is?

Pretty deep questions for a Thursday morning. But such is the character of the moon, probing into the subconscious, casting a dull glow on the recesses of our soul, yet still leaving much in the shadows. Interesting that yesterday we got the Sun and now the Moon. While the sun places our being in full, hot light, the moon casts a cool, illusive glow on us. It is a kinder light for many of us, but also makes thoughts and feelings difficult to grasp. While the sun is the joy and freedom of birth, the moon captures us still in gestation, preparing for rebirth. It is the period of winter into spring, the gathering up of earth's energies for the explosion of birth and creation just around the bend.

In the moon's light, we touch base with our primordial, eternal self. If you can see it, there is an egg in the waters in the foreground, preparing for its moment to hatch. What will arise from this egg? The moon shows us the answers are still not clear. They're locked within. But one thing is for certain—it will be as much a part of this timeless landscape as the ox and heron in the background.

Deep off at the horizon of my path, I see golden shimmers moving toward me, like the illusive play of the moon's light on water. I can't quite capture what they are, but I know they are the sum total of my dreams and efforts coming to greet me. I've had many opportunities present themselves to me lately, yet I still have to make something of solidify them. I have to stand in the integrity of what I've asked for and confirm it's what I really want. This is the beginning of an exciting time for me. I can feel it. But, like the egg in the foreground, it's still not hatched. And it still hasn't proven its fitness for life. So the Moon signals a time of great potential. 

What may that translate to for you? How it all takes form and unfolds may hinge upon how you see yourself in the universe. The Wildwood book issues a compelling question—Is consciousness within you or are you within the consciousness of the universe? Does everyone and everything have its own consciousness within its own closed system? Or do we all share the same consciousness? Are we ultimately alone and separate? Or as one? It's au courant to say we're one. But is that how you really feel and act or is it just an automatic, politically correct reply?

Ultimately, this question *is* the egg in the water. I think the way we answer it has enormous impact on the survival of mankind moving forward. In the Moon's soft light, it's much easier to see ourselves as an inextricable part of the primordial path of the universe, but much more difficult to do so in the harsh and fully exposed light of the sun. The Moon allows us to keep our secrets, but the sun does not. Can we stay in the moonlight forever? No. Not if you're on the path of growth an enlightenment. If we stay in the Moon forever, then nothing can grow. The Moon cannot sustain us forever. Similarly, we cannot stay in the Sun forever, because its harsh light eventually burns and singes everything it touches. So there is a subtle play between the tides of Moon and Sun, a cycle of gestation and rebirth that is duplicated within.

Get in touch with that cycle today and see how you are moving with the tides of the universe. For those of us on the East coast, that includes wind and rain, both destructive and life giving. The more you practice being part of the consciousness of the universe, the more you can slip into its rhythms, command its power and see your role in the bigger story. Your body can either contain you and put up a boundary between yourself and everything else, or it can be the antennae through which you send and receive energies as part of the whole.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27/11—Practicing Love and Light

Today's Draw: The Sun from Margarete Petersen. What parts of yourself do you hide away in the dark? What aspects of yourself do you place boundaries around? What needs to be transformed in your world today?

The Sun card is welcome in any reading, because it traditionally signifies energy, illumination, breaking through and overall happiness. Margarete Petersen goes further to point out the sun illuminates the "boundary of day and night" and transforms everything it touches. Which is to say that everything you bring out into the light transforms. This is a significant lesson, worthy of its place in the major arcana of the tarot. The Sun appears two cards before "completion" in the 22-card journey of life lessons. And its bright yellow glow aligns with the third chakra, which is the energy center in your body having to do with personal power and self esteem. 

Put it all together and it's telling us this: in order for our dark sides to be transformed, we have to illuminate them, bring them out into the light, and embrace them as we embrace the other aspects of our lives. In the poem that accompanies this card, she writes: 

"Illuminating the dark and light parts of the world, none more attractive than the other."

Until we see that all that we are is made of light—that the dark parts are gifts to guide us on our path and challenge our self acceptance and love—we can only move so far along our evolutionary path. Do you see the couple in the tantric pose beneath the sun? Tantra is all about liberation and rebirth, the coming together of Shakti and Shiva...the masculine and feminine parts of our nature. The way I see the two in this instance is the coming together of our dark and light sides, illuminating them both and fusing them together. 

For many years I pursued a path of illuminating my light side and trying to drown my dark side in the light. To be honest, I'm still doing that to a degree. But over the years, I have illuminated different sides of my personality and transformed them. I used to be much quicker to anger. I was far more confrontational. Well, I still am, but now in a more loving way. And for many years the casual observer probably wouldn't have known about my lifelong struggle with depression. I mean, c'mon, I'm such a bright and cheery sort...haha. But it's true. I do believe that much of my life has been lived beneath that veil. 

In the past six months or so, the gift of dramatic mood swings spurred on by menopause has caused me to address this issue medically. To bring it out into the light. The situation became so painful, destructive and disturbing that I had to seek help. I had to admit to myself that I could no longer handle this situation on my own. So now I take a tiny little pill every day and I am, honestly, transformed. Things that used to send me spinning into darkness no longer affect me that way. This is who I am without the disease of depression. But I never would have arrived here without bringing my issue out into the light. My pride kept it in the dark for many years. "This is something I can manage on my own." And to be fair, I kind of did. I never had suicidal depression. Just persistent low grade depression. But low grade or high test, pretending it didn't exist was denying the "me" of who I am. 

Yeah, so this is personal stuff that people don't talk about in "polite society". But that's exactly the point. In our efforts to be accepted and liked, we resort to NOT accepting and liking ourselves. Which means that we put up a boundary between who we really are and the public facade. Which means no one can ever really like and accept us as we are. Which keeps us caught in a cycle of self rejection and self hate! The Sun comes to us today to illuminate those areas, so we can truly walk in love and light. 

For those of you on "the path", consider this today. Walking in love and light can only occur if we turn the entirety of our being toward the sun. The moon, the card before this in the major arcana, always has a dark side and a light side. We never see its dark side. But as we travel around the sun, it shows us all sides. There is no dark side. Just light. And the same is true for us as well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

4/26/11—Creating Space for Your Creating Space

Today's Draw: Ace of Wands from the Tea Tarot by Marcia McCord. What are you waiting for? How could the conditions possibly be more right? Or is it possible it's not a matter of timing at all?

The Ace of Wand signifies an uprush of energy, passion and motivation to get the job done. In Marcia McCord's card, however, the mood is a bit more subdued. But way more my speed. I'm not a fiery energy kind of gal. With this card, it's the end of the day. All is quiet in the house. All the chores are done...or at least as many as will be done today. And there is just nothing else to do but enjoy a cup of tea while doing something we enjoy. 

Well, we could stare at the ceiling. And therein lies the rub. How many of us choose to do something inane instead? Or choose to do the enjoyable thing, but treat it like a task? There is an art, celebration and ceremony to approaching those things that bring us pleasure. The lady in the card has put on her best peignoir. She has the lighting just right. She has a throw handy in case she gets cold. And as she adds cream to her cup, she is mentally preparing for her letter writing or embroidery or whatever it is that she has on tap for the evening. She leaves nothing to chance to create the perfect moment for her art. 

I've often asked myself why I put these moments off and prioritize them lower than, say, Dancing With The Stars. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching TV. But it doesn't engage my mind the way something like writing or crafting would. To be fair, I write for a living. And when I'm not doing that, I write in hopes of finding a new way to make a living from writing. And, to be honest, the hour or so that I spend doing this each day is one of my favorite hours of the day. I usually sit outside on my deck with my coffee and dogs close by, enjoying the drama that is our back yard...dogs chasing squirrels, birds calling out to each other, the sound of the fountain trying to be heard over the cacophony of nature. 

But I am a creative organism. I love to craft. I have countless writing projects I could be working on. There are sunrises and sunsets that go unwatched. So much of life going unlived. Yet do I ever miss a day of work or a deadline?

So today's card comes to remind me, at least, that while I'm prioritizing things, I should also prioritize those things that make life more blissful. What about you? What are you waiting for? What is it time for you to create?

Monday, April 25, 2011

4/25/11—Understanding Truth

Today's Draw: Justice (Major Arcana VIII) from Tarot of the Sidhe. Do you know what is true? Can you attest to anything with absolute and universal certainty? What does it annoy you that people are always getting wrong?

Justice is a card of balance...of weighing options and finding that sweet spot in the center that is the sum of all things good and bad. Emily Carding, the creator of this deck, sees it as the all-seeing karmic law that none can escape. It is cosmic law and universal truth, balancing on the all-seeing, dispassionate eye of God.

As ego-driven humans we are certain we hold that truth. We know when someone is wrong. We see injustice. We're certain we know the truth. But do we? Do we ever?

We're constantly making judgments of right and wrong, as though our keen eye knows all. When we're with our partner, we know we love them. But after the relationship dissolves, we wonder if we ever really did. Was that love? 

When someone zooms into our spot in a parking lot, we know the bitch saw us and willfully stole our space. But how do we know she was even paying attention? How do we know she wasn't on automatic or in that zone we all go into where the outside world doesn't exist?

When our pastor preaches scripture, we know Jesus will save us. This is the absolute truth. But is it? Or is it really a faith-based belief that we hold as truth? And what will he save us from? The free will God gave us?

We say the sky is blue. To a color blind man, who knows? We say it's 4pm. Someone else's watch says 3:58. We're certain it's 2011, but what does that even mean? Tell a Buddhist it's 2011 years after Christ and it means nothing. We say our arm hurts and someone comes along and tells us we don't know pain. Pain is having your eyes gouged out by a crow...haha. So where is the truth in all that?

Emily Carding wrote a certain truth about this card she created. And I have my own...haha. That is the way of tarot. It can be perfectly spelled out by the creator of the deck, but each reader will always see what they want to want to see. And when I see this card tomorrow, I will see something different. The dancer balances perfectly between her conscious (the sun) and her subconscious (the moon). But she must constantly adjust that balance. And when we're talking the conscious, we can count on more stable "truths". But when the unconscious comes into play, all bets are off. So the truth is constantly shifting and is very unique to the individual...and may even be comprised of things the individual isn't aware of.

What I see in this card that wasn't intended, according to the artist's notes, is that the eyes of sun and moon and the sharpness of the entire balancing image in the center, form the face of an owl. The face of wisdom. And wisdom is knowing that the "truth" is an individual and constantly shifting thing. It exists not in black and white, but in shades of gray. The only thing I can think of that defies this dynamic nature is unconditional love...truly unconditional love. 

It is the ego mind that thinks it knows the truth. But the only seer of the truth is the higher power. That's the only "one" with the omniscience to get the entire picture. For every truth you have, there is an individual who thinks and sees otherwise. And every time we press our truth with insistence, or vengeance or some other form of "certainty", we bear the karma of that false belief. So consider this as you go through your day and make your arguments and take your stands. Truth is one of the great illusions of life...a fleeting snapshot of the human inside us and not representative of the god within.