Friday, September 9, 2011

9/10/11-9/11/11—Contemplating Anniversaries

Weekend Reading: Queen of Chalices from the Native American Tarot. This weekend gives us all a good chance to go inside, into the quiet and contemplate. Much like the bear hibernates in silence each year, we're privileged to walk through our lives safe and secure with our minds blissfully unaware of the sadness and pains of life. But this weekend's anniversary reminds us of both the sorrows and the love that the world has to offer. Ghandi said "be the change you want to see in the world." That's not always an easy path. It sometimes means breaking that habit inside us that calls us to "strike back" and, therefore, perpetuate a cycle. Now that we have some distance from 9/11, this weekend gives us a good opportunity to go within and consider who we are, what we think is right and who we want to be as Americans. The answers will be as varied as the rainbow, I know. But take the time this weekend to consider all the people who have died in the past 10 years—not just the 3,000 that died that died that day, but the more than 10,000 that have died defending ourselves from those attacks. What do you imagine they and their families hope will come from their passing? And also consider the way the world's heart wept for us on that day 10 years ago and see how we can return that kind of compassion to the universe and those in need.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/9/11—Pursuing Your Passion

Today's Draw: The Queen of Pentacles from the Spiral Tarot. Are you pursuing your passion professionally? Would you like to? What is holding you back?

Holy crap! The last three cards I've drawn this week were all drawn just days before...6 of Wands, Ace of Cups and now the Queen of Pentacles, which was our weekend card last weekend. Now I'd be less surprised if I were using the same deck each time, but these six draws in the past week were from six different decks. The only card that wasn't a duplicate was The Fool. Let's see if he shows up again tomorrow. ;)

OK, if I were going to read the three cards together...6 of Wands, Ace of Cups and Queen of Pentacles...I might say we're in for a new beginning that would engage our love and passion, would be very successful along those lines and would also bring us money. That's one way of looking at it. Or some victory regarding a new love that makes you feel more secure than you had in the past. That's another way of reading it. But here's the dealio, no matter HOW you read it, it's really good stuff!

Look how relaxed and chill this Queen of Pentacles is. She's like a barefoot hippie queen who probably made a fortune in some sort of organic something and now she's so far along on her path that she has some time to enjoy the nature she loves so much. 

One of the Catch 22s of pursuing your passion is that it, at some time or another, ends up feeling like a job. I'm happy to say that I have the career I dreamed of in high school. Other interests have come and gone in my life, but being a writer never loses its sheen in my eyes. But let's not pretend. It's also my job. And I have to answer to clients and all the other stuff that comes along with a job. Still, I think it's better putting in your 40 hours doing something you love, but I don't really write for enjoyment like I used to anymore.

Also, in the past few months I've started making a second career out of tarot, another enduring passion in my life. And I'm even combining that with writing. So I know a lot about pursuing my passion. In fact, I've always wanted to write a book about THAT, called Spiritual Self Employment, a sort of spiritual path to being self employed and protecting your passion from the lure of money (which can put you off track) and the evils of the business world. Which is not to say you can't make a mint following your passion. I think money always follows passion. It's just that the lure of money can sometimes cause you to compromise your vision (unless your passion and vision is to make a lot of money...haha), which will eventually turn sour on you. I know from my own experience that the universe has never allowed me to feel lacking in anyway for the path I've chosen. 

Anyway, what I suppose I'm summing up to in a way is this—pursue your passion. You will never lose doing so. And by "never lose", I mean there are gifts beyond money in it for you, one of which is not dying with regrets...haha. If it turns out you can't survive, you can always go back to the old thing, whatever that was. But if you really want to leap and have stood on the precipice wishing you could jump, this week's cards are totally behind you. 

Since I'm not likely to write Spiritual Self Employment anytime soon, here are a few highlights:
  • Create a vision or business plan with your intention for the business, such as "I want to heal others and bring them to a higher level of enlightenment, while fueling my passion for teaching." Once you've written what you want to get out of the venture, keep your vision plan near you at all times. I have, on more than one occasion, "fired" my biggest client because they were making my life miserable. The only reason to keep working with them was money, but money wasn't in my vision plan and happiness was. Having a vision plan you can reference makes decision making easier down the road and keeps you in line with your integrity.
  • Never compare yourself to others or look on the other side of the fence. That just plays with your confidence. The universe is infinitely funded with opportunities and if you believe there's more than your share out there, there is. 
  • The people who have what you want, have it because they were willing to do what you're not willing to do. Take risks. Trust yourself. And let go of wanting to micromanage the universe in the fulfillment of your wishes. Trust me, the universe has a better plan for you than you have for yourself.
  • Along the lines of the universe having a bigger plan, I always like to reference the case of Al Gore. He loses the presidency...painfully. Which made him open to pursue his passion for the environment. The work he's done for the environment globally goes far beyond anything he could have accomplished in that realm as a president, imo. In my dramatic way, I like to think that he lost the presidency and saved the world....a much bigger dream than he had for himself when he was running for president.
  • Be careful who you share your dreams with. Other people will project their fears on you and drag down your confidence. What people say and think is ALWAYS about them and has little to do with you. Protect your dreams from dreamcrushers. And most people are dreamcrushers. 

These are just snippets of all the good stuff that would be in Spiritual Self Employment if I weren't too busy working on a tarot book, professional reading and my advertising copywriting business. I've been self employed for 15 years, through two recessions and I'm still here. I'd love to write this book some day, only because I'm proud of the emotional balance I've attained as a self employed person. I think emotional balance and spiritual trust are the hardest parts of being self employed and there's just nothing out there to guide you through in a spiritual way. But it will have to wait because my passions are standing room only at this moment. :D

And we can't forget to enjoy our passions along the way, like the queen in the picture. Like once a month I get together with tarot friends. And once a month I get together with marketing friends. Just for fun. I think that keeps the fuel flowing. And surrounding yourself with others who feel the same way you do about something is energizing. 

Like the Fool earlier this week, I highly recommend taking a leap. I know some have practical reasons that haunt them, but really, what is the worst case scenario? That six months from now you have to pack it in and go back to doing what you're doing today? If doing what you're doing today is the worst case scenario, then why not start thinking more in terms of best case scenarios?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

9/8/11—Noticing Emotional Growth

Today's Draw: The Ace of Chalices from the Wheel of the Year tarot. Have you noticed lately that you've grown emotionally in some area of your life? Did you consciously pursue that growth? Or did it just kind of happen?

Yesterday's card was a repeat from a couple of days before and so is today's. On Monday we got the Ace of Water, which is the same as Chalices or Cups in the tarot. That day we spoke of finding your personal holy grail. The Ace of Cups is usually about a new love, harmony or an uprush of emotion. But it can also signify a time of emotional growth. 

Technically, every moment we're alive is a time of emotional growth. But sometimes you suddenly realize you're no longer the same person in a certain way as how you used to be. It seems like it happened overnight, but it's really a process. And it can happen whether you consciously intend it or not. 

Recently I've noticed, for example, that I'm not as anxious about certain types of confrontation. I always try to be careful of other peoples' feelings regardless, but I'm no longer so nervous about how they'll respond. I was watching a show on TV last night and saw a woman police officer be all tough and sure of herself in a confrontation with another officer and I thought to myself "how come people on TV are comfortable and collected during confrontation? That doesn't happen in real life." 

Then it occurred to me about my recent thing and how I was calm and straight and non-judgmental and loving in the way I delivered the message (at least in my mind I was). Now I'll admit I didn't manage to say everything I wanted to say because I was a little nervous...I could have lost a client. But I did pretty good. And I haven't second-guessed myself. And I'm not concerned about losing the client. It was a victory of sorts. Still a ways to go in that regard, but doing well. 

Anyway, emotional growth is always part of my plan, but I never thought to myself "got to work on my confrontation style." It just happened and, for that, I'm grateful. What kind of growth have you noticed in your life lately?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

9/7/11—Controlling Outside Forces

Today's Draw: The Six of Stakes from the Kalevala Tarot. Do you seek to control the outside forces in your life? Do you know someone who tries so hard to make things "perfect" that they push others away? How do you deal with situations outside of your control?

We got the Six of Stakes or Wands just last Friday. It is usually a card of attainment or achievement. The man in the card has clearly worked up some blood in his quest and stands firm in victory. He's captured any weapons that have been cast at him. And he has even tamed the horse and the moose at his sides. Clearly, he has single-handedly dominated in whatever conflict has arisen.

So this card is all about gaining control over the enemy. Hooray! But I can only talk about the victorious aspects of the Six of Wands so many times....haha. So instead, today, I'll talk about those who try to control everything in their sphere. 

I'm a member of a group that gets together now and again. The emails go out that we're meeting and we need to RSVP. Then there's emails reminding you to RSVP. Then there's the email saying they're no longer accepting RSVPs. Then there are emails telling you that the deadline to change your RSVP is on the horizon. Then once that deadline hits, there's a reminder that you're no longer allowed to change your RSVP. Then there's an appeal to please not change your RSVP because the deadline has passed. Then we finally get to meet. 

There's an artificial "need" with this group to hit a certain number of attendees each month, so you might be able to justify the manic concern about RSVPs. But the number of attendees just has to be an even number. And since there are always a couple of attendees willing to take turns sitting out, there really is nowhere near the pressure that is put on getting a specific number of attendees. If the number is odd, people will take turns sitting out. If the number is even, we're golden. No sweat.

Meanwhile, though, while all these emails are going out, a few things happen. All the drama around the pre-meeting pressure puts off a manic and annoying energy in the inbox (though it offers much fodder for those of us who love to mock.) While the leader is great in most other aspects of the meeting, this pre-meeting panic and a few controlling bits during the meeting take attention away from the things that they actually do quite well. And, while I have no idea of what this person goes through on the inside in the weeks leading up to the meeting, it would appear that they work themselves into a froth every time...over nothing! It lends a bitter fore-taste to what is otherwise a sweet experience. 

I've planned a number of things, some dependent on having a certain number of attendees, so I know how it goes. Rather than drive myself and my guests crazy, though, I just have a contingency plan in place, such as, if an odd number of people show up, then I just lead and not participate. If an even number show up, then I have fun with everyone else. That easily, I solve all the issues that may arise if someone doesn't show. It's a real weight off the shoulders. I never have to think of it again. And I don't have to put undue pressure on the guests. Of course, I learned this through experience and from doing some wrong things in the past, but when I recognize that something is eating at me I tend to try to think of other solutions. And I'm not sure this person recognizes how much this RSVP thing is eating at them, to tell the truth.

Anyway, the guy in this card is in total control over his outer environment. For the time being. And that's a great feeling when it happens. No reason not to welcome that in your life. But as is more often is the case, our "control" over outside forces is really just a fleeting illusion. In our attempt to control outside forces, the outside forces usually end up controlling us, as is the case with the meeting leader. And instead of demonstrating our power, we end up losing it. Whatever is eating at us...whatever pet peeve we have...becomes self-inflicted salt in the wound that we blame on others when we try to solve an issue by exerting more control over it. In the end, what will be will be. And there's nothing we can do about it, but waste our energy trying. 

So consider this today and see how you might be trying to control a situation in your life or trying to solve an issue by exerting more control over it. See if you can come up with a contingency plan to ease your mind. And then just let go and let whatever will be, be.

Monday, September 5, 2011

9/6/11—Rushing in Where Angels Fear to Tread

Today's Draw: The Fool from the Quantum Tarot. Do you feel like you're at the beginning or end of a life cycle? Is something new calling to you, but you're afraid to dive in? Have you ever just taken a leap without considering the consequences? How did it work out for you?

A tarot deck is made up of 78 cards—22 "major arcana" cards and 56 cards in the "minor arcana" that are numbered like a pack of playing cards, except there is one more "court card" or royal card in each suit. The 56 minor arcana cards represent our day-to-day life triumphs and losses. The 22 major arcana cards are the over-arching life lessons that we come here to learn on earth. 

Those cards begin with the Fool and end with The World. The Fool is the guy who leaps into the unknown with complete trust because he doesn't know enough not to. He is pure potential. And instead of him being numbered "1", he is numbered "0". Part of the reason he is number 0 is because of this pure potential. But another part of the reason, for some, is because he resides neither at the end nor the beginning of the tarot, but in a place between. 

The major arcana of the tarot is often called The Fool's Journey, because he starts as a blank slate and acquires strengths and weaknesses and lessons as he moves through life. The final card, The World, is often thought of as completion because, upon reaching this phase, the Fool has come full circle and reached a place of totality and attainment. Then the cycle starts back over again at the Fool. Knowing this, you can see why he occupies such an unusual place in the the beginning and end of every cycle. We've spoken before of life being more like a spiral than a circle...the Fool is that state of moving to a higher level on the spiral.

The Quantum Tarot relates the Fool to the Big Bang and the creation of an ever-expanding universe. It also speaks of the moment a butterfly emerges from its pupa, changed in form and greeting the universe in its new body for the first time...flapping its wings for the first time. It is the page yet unwritten. It is devoid of ego or motive. 

Somewhere around the beginning of summer I lept into the unknown a couple of times, with the professional tarot reading and the book I'm writing. I really hadn't intended either of those things in the form in which I found them. None of it was thought through, really. It was more like these things had presented themselves to me time and again and then, finally, something kicked me in the rear and I just kept moving forward in innocence without thinking of any risks or consequences. Now a few months into those processes, I'm glad I lept. 

Now the universe is calling on you...or me...or both of take another leap forward. No fear. No forethought. Just do it. Is there an opportunity presenting itself to you? Is there some sort of life change that keeps showing itself to you over and over again? Have you received your engraved invitation and still haven't taken it? What will it take to throw caution to the wind?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

9/5/11—Seeking Your Personal Holy Grail

Today's Draw: Ace of Water from the Gaian Tarot. What is your holy grail in life? If your soul came to this earth to seek one thing, what would it be? Have you found it? Do you think you CAN find it?

The Aces in the tarot are all about new beginnings and new opportunities. The Ace of Water or Cups is about new opportunities in matters of the heart. Or it could be about following your heart's desire. Joanna Powell Colbert brought up an interesting thought in the book that accompanies this deck—the thought of pursuing your personal holy grail. 

So what is that one thing you came here to seek? Love? Understanding? Learning? Money? Power? Success? What? Or maybe it's something quite specific. I have a brother whose answer might that his personal holy grail is to solve/discover the unified field theory—a physics thing.

Maybe we can't boil it down to having just one thing to seek. So what would be the biggest thing? The main thing? The umbrella thing? 

My first instinct was to say "understanding". That covers spiritual understanding and other types of knowledge. It's about understanding how the universe works and how people work. I'm fascinated by that. And the more of it I understand, the more I'm able to help others understand. 

I think one of the things I like most about reading people professionally is hearing their stories and offering them some sort of insight or guidance. With each new situation or question I explore with the tarot, the more I learn about what goes on underneath the surface of people and the more I see of how humanity works. Amongst the "strangers" that people let into that layer are maybe therapists, priests, hair dressers, bartenders and tarot readers. It's a privileged position and, of those professionals, tarot readers are up there with therapists as to the kind of information that's revealed. Getting a peek inside so many different people is a privilege. It aids with understanding tremendously. And the understanding gained helps with other people down the road.

So that's my story. Understanding. And I think it's a lifelong quest that I'll never fully attain. What's the grail you seek?