Saturday, June 25, 2011

6/25/11-6/26/11—Taking the High Road

Weekend Reading: Angel of Music from the William Blake Tarot. Choose to take the higher ground this weekend. And by that, I mean see how high you can raise the vibration of your emotions. Raise love to passion. Drudgery to service. Boredom to curiosity. Disappointment to gratitude. Judgment to compassion. So much of what we feel and think is subject to choice. You can choose to see the negative side of something or you can look harder and uncover its gift. It's just a matter of changing your habits and retraining your reflex reactions. So for the next couple of days, if you're on the low end of the spectrum—feeling angry, short changed or looking at others critically—find another, more gracious way of seeing things. If you're on the high end, see how much higher you can raise your attitude. Guaranteed, you'll have a better weekend if you do.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

6/24/11—Leaving Room for Miracles

Today's Draw: Six of Swords from the Rohrig Tarot. What are you trying to create in your life right now? Do you have it all plotted out to the very last detail? Or are you leaving room for miracles?

Today's card is about using analytical thinking and strategy to bring yourself to into a new way of being. Traditionally this card card talks about passage or smooth sailing after difficulty. But with the word "Science" Rohrig clearly had something different in mind.

These two strands of potential emanate from different places, taking different paths, and end up in the same place, creating something beautiful. It didn't just happen by chance. Some sort of intelligence or thinking was required for each strand to work through the maze. And there's a reaction between these two things, each made more beautiful for having come together. It's like love. Or a work partnership. Or a friendship...this third thing that is made from the independent two. 

But this card is about science. And analytical thinking. And what I guess Rohrig is trying to say to us is that things don't happen in a vacuum. Things don't just magically appear for us. We have to make things happen, make them work. But at the same time, we can't just plow our way through willy nilly, there's a path to follow. Actually more than one path we can follow.

We hear a lot about just lifting something up to God or the universe and having our prayers answered or intentions fulfilled. And that does happen, but we also have to put forth effort. And go where guided. Knowing where we're being guided is sometimes difficult. We might hit a dead end, but if we keep trying, we'll see our way through. And something cooler than we may have imagined might be waiting there for us when we get there. It doesn't seem as the yellow strand knew the red strand had the same end point and visa versa. Neither knew they'd be in partnership in the end. So for all the analysis and thinking, there was something that threw them for a loop in the end. 

We can't always know where life is leading us. We can set an intention and weave our way toward fulfilling it, but, in my experience, the universe always has a better dream for us than we could have dreamed for ourselves. So I always leave room for miracles in any wish or intention I set. 

I usually ask for a feeling, instead of a thing or event. Because, really, we just want to feel happy in the end. Or fulfilled. It's not the thing we want, it's the feeling the thing gives us. And because I hope for a feeling, I leave the door for all sorts of things to enter. And when I feel I'm being guided, I move in that direction, even if it's not something I know I want. As I've said before, I feel that way now. Guided. Toward something I don't know I want. But nothing feels wrong about it. So I continue to move through the maze to the endpoint, making conscious, strategic moves along the way.

So what about you? What do you see in this card? Because I was having a hard time with this, primarily because I do prefer to feel or intuit my towards goals. I do go where guided. And I do put strategy in. But I'm not a proponent of analyzing or commanding my way towards stuff. And that's what I'm getting out of this card and the words like cognition, do, differentiation, science and analytical thinking that appear on the card and in the lwb.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

6/23/11—Feeling and Healing

Today's Draw: Eight of Swords from the Law of Attraction Tarot. What's the difference between healthy emotion and unhealthy emotion? Do you think you work through issues "correctly"? What do you think you could do better in the realm of emotion?

Here we see someone caught up in their emotions, possibly overindulging their emotions to the point of depression or numbness. And there's the rub. Sometimes it's hard to tell where the line is drawn between a healthy course of emotion and wallowing in self pity. The same flow of feelings that can lead to our salvation, can also lead to paralyzation.

There are two tapes from my childhood that damaged my ability to feel (parents take note). One was my father saying "don't cry, because you look so ugly when you cry." And the other was my mother saying "stop feeling sorry for yourself". Now I don't think they were trying to harm me with those words, but they did. Because as I grew up, for many many years, it was very hard for me to cry. I could cry if there was someone to cry to, but I couldn't just sit in my room and sob. And I remember how truly satisfying a good cry was as a child. You know, like those cries that leave you feeling weak and spent. And I longed to "get it all out". But every time I would start, in my mind I would hear either my mother or father stomp on my tear-filled buzz. It's still hard for me to manage to cry about anything. 
When I think about how I respond to sad things, I usually err on the under-emotional side. I sometimes wonder if I ever really learned to respond appropriately to very emotional things. On one hand, I'm usually pretty balanced about things (outside of the random menopausal mood swing). On the other hand, sometimes imbalance is called for, don't you think? It's just so hard for us to know if we're navigating this aspect of being human "correctly" and in a healthy manner.

Anyway, the woman in this card is wallowing. She feels inside the way it looks outside. And unlike all the other people on the street, she walks without an umbrella. Without protection against the falling skies around her. We always hear that you've got to work through your feelings. And I believe in that. But again, when have we over-worked our feelings? I don't know if there's an answer for that. 

I do know that, if you're someone who isolates themselves when they're feeling low, like me, you eventually have to force yourself out into society. You have to connect with others again. And when you get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, you have to buck up and move back into the world with an open mind, a fresh attitude and the willingness to try again.

So what do you think about all this? When was the last time you had a really good cry? And how do you know you've "felt" enough?

6/22/11—Accepting the Gift of Pain

Today's Draw: The Mirror from the Wildwood Tarot. Have you experienced a "dark night of the soul"? What did you learn from it? Are you grateful for this experience or still traumatized by it?

Today's card is silvery. Mystical. Elusive. One of the techniques of reading tarot is to project yourself into the card as an observer to assess the action. But with this card, if you projected yourself inside, you'd get the definite sense that something sacred and mysterious and deeply personal was taking place. And you shouldn't be there. You might then be forever paranoid that THEY saw YOU...or at least that darned crane did. And one day you might have to pay for that. At least that's what I walk away with. :)

To continue along those lines, if I put myself in the place of the serpent woman, I feel powerful and psychic...the wise mistress of the ceremony. In the place of the person laying in the boat, I feel as though I'm in the world of the unconscious, waiting for some sort of transition. And in the place of the crane, I feel ornery, watchful and twitchy, as though I'm the one who would have to defend this scene if outsiders interrupted. 

This is a card of initiation. It's the soul's unconscious journey toward deeper awareness and wisdom. It requires an honest look within and illumination into the darker reaches of our shadow side. But you can't go there at will. The path is only open those who have been deeply wounded and, instead of pushing their feelings aside, are ready to surrender to the waters of deconstruct before rebuilding and healing. It requires giving yourself over to the wounding and sitting with it until it's understood. Then you can cross over to the land where healing occurs. 

This is the dark night of the soul. It's time to see ourselves as we truly are. It's time to change from one state of being to another. I think everyone experiences at least one change like this in their lifetime. Off the top of my head, I can think of three pivotal moment in my lifetime. The stories are larger than I can communicate here, but a loved one's murder led me to a spiritual enlightenment, the end of an abusive relationship led to new strengths and fortifications, and a jaunt into what I can only describe as depressed and addictive behavior somehow made me a more compassionate and accepting person. More of a healer. 

These weren't merely "bad phases" in my life. All three brought me to my knees at one time or another. Not so much the pray-to-god kind of "brought me to my knees". But the kind of emotions so dark and concussive that my body and spirit collapsed under their weight. I had reached the outer edges of what I could take. Another aspect of these moments is that they didn't come as the result of me *trying* to transform myself. The transformation was the by-product of pain and wounding. And not just any pain and mother's death from cancer deeply affected my life and still does to this day. But it was not a dark night of the soul for me in the ways these other experiences were. 

Some who will read this today are going through a dark phase like this now. You may be on the downswing of this cycle. Or just beginning the upswing. It may last for years or it may be over as quickly as it began. Regardless, know there is a blessing in it so profound as to rival the depth of your loss. My own life has been touched by murder, abuse, addiction/addictive behaviors and deep depression...and look at me now! I'm not perfect, but I'm stronger and wiser and more balanced because of these things I've been through. 

And each "survival"—and by survival, I mean coming out the other side not more broken, but more fixed—puts us deeper and deeper into an exclusive club of wisewomen and wisemen who can no longer look at the world and others so superficially. It's as if we become that serpent woman in the equally at home grounded by the earth, as lost in waters of emotion...a creature that commands both lands and can guide the newly initiated to their own attainments. I truly believe I came here to live the experiences I've lived to aid my own evolution. These incidents didn't happen by chance, rather I was careening toward them my entire life, as were all the other players in these dramas, for the benefit of their own ascension.

Before I close out this entry, I have to mention this card is Major Arcana 12, which equates to the Hanged Man in traditional decks. The Hanged Man sees the world through a different perspective, which is what these trials do for us. He also makes a voluntary sacrifice for his higher good, which is what we do when we surrender ourselves to the darkness. That said, in the Wildwood, they don't necessarily intend this to be the Hanged Man, as they cover that in another card. It's a card all its own, which feels a lot to me like a cross between the Moon and the High Priestess. Just putting that out there for the tarot readers in the group. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

6/21/11—Seeing the Divine

Today's Draw: Ten of Cups from the Tarot of the Sephiroth. Are you seeking happiness? Do you know where to find it? Is there any sort of practice or thought or activity that you can always count on to bring you joy?

The Ten of Cups is always a welcome card, because it means joy, happiness and attainment. Usually the Ten of Cups shows some sort of happy couple or family. In a love reading, this card usually indicates a happy partnership.

While Cups is primarily considered the "love suit" in a tarot deck, it is also indicative of emotions, intuition and spirituality. In the Tarot of the Sephiroth, the cups are placed in the pattern of the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a foundational symbol of Kabbalah, or Jewish Mysticism, and illustrates the pathways we take to know or understand God and universal law.

The deck creator goes further to talk about how each of us is a tiny drop of water in the greater sea that is God. As such, we are all one. And we are all God. This is, for many, the essence of Christ Consciousness—that we are all interconnected with each other and the divine. And that the consciousness itself is the Holy Grail—the divine vessel. Universal love. Universal divinity. And it is self replenishing. We feed it and it feeds us in a never-ending stream of joy and happiness. 

I have examined a lot of beliefs throughout my journey. I've adopted certain Buddhist practices and beliefs. Judeo-Christian. Pagan. Native American. Polytheism. All have something of value to offer the "spiritual, but not religious" traveler. And what I keep returning to is that the God energy is the same in every religion. That's what works for ME. That there is one God and that everyone is right in their beliefs. For THEM. 

And the one thread in all of it that brings me the most joy is this concept of all of us being one. That when I look at you, I look at myself. But beyond that, when I look at you, I also see God. If you are open to this notion, try it for a day or two. Look into the eyes of others...the checker at the Safeway, the beggar on the corner, your child...and see them and experience them as though they were God. Regardless of what they say or do. Look into their eyes and past their actions and see God. And look at yourself in a mirror, past all your perceived flaws, and see God there, too. 

Whether it's real or true or not, it is a practice that will change the way you walk through life. And it truly is a practice, in that you have to work at it. Certainly I'm not able to do this 100% of the time. I'm probably weighing in between 20% and 40% in any given week. I don't pretend to be a saint. But when you relax all judgments and look past the outer shell of a person to see the divine essence within, you feel the grace of Christ within yourself....whether you believe he was who they say he was or not. That's the idea of Christ Consciousness. 

You don't even have to believe in Christ. You don't have to believe in God or a higher power, either. Just look in another's eyes and see the beauty and light within and know you are the same...see the beauty and light within yourself. Try it for a day or two and see if it doesn't soften your edges and make you happier. 

This thing that we seek—happiness—is that simple to attain. It happens when we drop the costume of humanity we carry around...that cloak of materialism and the facade of our appearances...and gaze into the bare soul of another through the eyes of love and see ourselves and the divine beauty within.

Monday, June 20, 2011

6/20/11—Rocking Your World

Today's Draw: The Tower from the Witches Tarot. Is something good—or bad—shaking up your world these days? Have you recently had a flash of inspiration or an aha moment you feel like sharing? Is there something in your world you could benefit from experiencing in a different, more positive way?

I have to apologize to The Tower. For years I was only able to one side of it. The scary side. And now I'm finally giving myself permission to experience it a different way. 

But first with the meaning. If the card I'm showing here seems intense, it is. But it is actually a very tame Tower card. Most of the time you see people flying out of the Tower, screaming for their lives amidst flying, flaming debris. No wonder the card gets a bad rap. It's meant to symbolize dramatic change...a drastic upheaval in your life. Something that shakes you up, smacks you awake and engages you from 0 to 60. 

Often you'll hear that the Tower is collapsing because the foundation upon you which you've built a certain part of your life is unstable. And through the collapse, it gives you a chance to rebuild on a solid foundation. So the way I've always seen is that "the Tower moment", the moment the card is reading right now, is utter destruction. And in the aftermath, hope takes hold once again and you regain your strength, more solidly than ever before. 

All of that is true. But the last time I drew this card someone reminded me that Tower moments don't always have to be unpleasant. And, after opening my eyes to that, I was able to see how that applies. The birth of a child, for example, drastically changes you. A move or a new job. Even a new relationship, if you're used to being alone, can really shake you up. It can come as a flash of inspiration. It can feel like an initiation or attunement to a higher level. Or it can be a sudden realization that leads to enlightenment.

I've written a few times about how I'm working on a project for publication...and how I'm reading tarot professionally again and am going to start to teach. But the dramatic change I'm going through reaches beyond tarot and seems to be seeping into all parts of my life. In one sense it's a letting go and releasing of barriers I've had up for years...barriers against the discomfort of change. I feel like I'm letting go and letting a larger hand guide me. 

Instead of all of this coming as a dramatic explosion, however, it's coming more like a lovely that's strong enough to make the wind chimes tinkle, but not so strong it's screwing with my hair. It's change. It has the potential to turn my life around 180 degrees. And certainly not all of it is pleasant or easy—last Friday brought a couple of bits of bad news. But overall, it's really not so bad and I'm doing my best to just sit back and enjoy the scenery. Because this phase of my life is, in many ways, the culmination of years of preparation and work. And right now, all I can do is go on the ride. It's a little like one of those massive domino displays. You take forever planning it and setting it up. But once that first domino is pushed, all you can really do is watch the show...reap what you've sown. 

You know, these things we say...going through a dramatic change, learning a lesson, reaping what you sow...they all seem to connote that something bad has happened. And we end up placing emphasis and added value, even, on lessons and changes that are hard won. And we write off the lessons and changes that come happily as serendipity and good fortune, rather than advances that can be just as dramatic as the things hard won. So today, think about some of the things that have brought you to a higher level via the wings of angels, rather than through pain and struggle. Think of the good things you've reaped as a result of the good things you've sown. And open your mind and heart to the possibility that, from this moment on, your lessons and changes can take a more pleasant route and still end up on the same higher ground.