Friday, April 13, 2012

4/14/12-4/15/12—Living Your Truth

Weekend Reading: The Tower from Tarot of the Sidhe. Strip away illusion this weekend and see things as they really are—not just in others, but in yourself as well. We all wear masks. We all suppress certain aspects of ourselves. We all say yes when we want to say no. Somewhere, in some aspect of yourself, you're not being true to yourself. We do it to protect our ego or to keep our fears from becoming reality. But by being false with others or untrue to ourselves, we also weigh ourselves down and limit the freedom and joy we can experience. So step back and observe yourself with others this weekend, as well in your own private thoughts. Identify those areas of untruth and really measure the service they perform against the way they hold you back. This is the weekend to break through to your truth and take flight!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

4/13/12—Canceling the Pity Party

Today's Draw: The Five of Pearls (Pentacles) from the Fishy Tarot by Beth Seilonen. Is there something—love, money, appreciation, etc.—you seem to be in short supply of these days? Do you feel cheated by life because of it? Where is the flow of abundance being blocked in your life?

You all probably know Beth Seilonen as the big-time, fancy tarot artist that released Tarot Leaves a few months back and is now in great demand to produce ever more elaborate and complex decks. But it wasn't that long ago that she was chained up in a New England basement, slaving over her color printer, laminater and corner rounder, producing small-run, limited-edition, "boutique" decks to feed the insatiable tarot-making beast inside her. She's incredibly prolific. She never runs out of ideas for new decks. I have no idea how many decks (mostly majors-only) she has created over the years. I wouldn't be surprised if it were 100. It's gotta be at least 50. All of them are sold in limited edition releases of maybe 10 to 150 decks, so if you have one of her decks, you're one of the very few in the world that does.

The Fishy Tarot is one of those decks, offered in a limited run of 125. It's one of just a few 78-card decks she's made. It comes wrapped in silk in a hand-illustrated box. I remember the first time I looked at the deck I thought the cards were pretty simple. But it isn't until you sit down and really look at what she's done that you see how deceptive that thought is. This Five of Pearls is the perfect illustration of that.

Just look at this pathetic little fish. There he is all glum at the bottom of the ocean, hanging out all by himself, while above him there's practically a conga line of joy and action, not to mention a fresh stash of pearls. But he's convinced himself that the high life upon the rock is not for him. For some reason, he doesn't deserve...isn't worthy of...or has somehow been cast aside by....the world of happiness and plenty. While everyone else is dining on plentiful seaweed tonight, he's doomed to eat sand. And like it. 

This is the card of what I like to call "the poverty mentality". It's a mindset that, at its core, is based on the belief that there is a limited amount of resources in the universe. The resources in question might be money, love, friendship, ideas...anything of personal or social value. It's a sort of mini story that runs through the Pentacles in the tarot. Basically you work hard to build something in the Ace through Three of Pentacles. Then in the Four, you start thinking, "what if I lose it?" So you hold on too tight. 

Then the fear overtakes you in the Five. Whether real or imagined, you feel left out of the abundance of the universe. And, quite frankly, you're no fun to be around. So you and society become separated, deepening your doldrums. At this point, you no longer believe the universe holds infinite abundance and there is plenty for everyone to be taken care of. You are one of the "have nots". And, because you believe this, you pinch off the outflow of resources, thereby disconnecting the flow of abundance in your life. The universe, seeing you've closed off the flow of abundance, tries its best to supply you with what you need, but it's like a clogged artery...the flow can't go through. You feel even less abundant. You become less abundant. And even though you might still have everything you need, you certainly don't see it that way. All you see is that you've been handed the short end of the stick. And it smells like butt. 

This is the poverty mentality. It has nothing to do with reality. And it's not even about money. The fish in this card looks like he feels like he has no friends. But they're up there, happy to welcome him in. In fact, it seems to me like one fish is looking for him and the other two fish are talking about how they haven't seen him around lately. The poverty mentality is all in the mind. And the longer it stays in the mind, the more you focus on lack. And the more you focus on lack, the more the universe thinks you're into receiving lack. And the more lack you get. 

The way out is in the Six of Pentacles. It's to re-open the flow of abundance by allowing resources to flow out of you. To give to others the very thing you think you lack. When you realize you have enough to give to others, you see you're not really lacking like you thought. Then you begin to see how infinitely the universe funds infinitely the universe funds everyone. When you have that mindset, the flow increases in your life. You begin to see how rich you are. And by the time you reach the 10 of Pentacles, lack is a distant memory and you have the stability and security you've always wanted. 

It really is all in your head. There is no lack of resources in the universe. Did Beth Seilonen say, after creating her 37th deck, "I've run out of ideas and ways to interpret the tarot?" No! She keeps creating and finding layer after layer of nuance, because THERE IS NO LACK. The only lack is in your ability to believe you're worthy of receiving what you want or need. The only lack is in your connection to the cosmic flow of abundance—a connection entirely within your power to create. The universe doesn't even ask you to work hard to get what you want. It just asks that you stop believing and acting as if there's a lack. Regardless of what you're lacking. And we're all lacking something. 

So take a look at where the flow is working in your life and see if it isn't have what you need because you give and are open to receiving and have healthy beliefs around the cycle of abundance in that particular area. Now take a look at where abundance isn't flowing and see where the flow of abundance is breaking down. Then fix it, fercryinoutloud! Yeesh!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

4/12/12—Figuring Out Who the Bad Guy Is

Today's Draw: Seven of Wands from the Bohemian Gothic Tarot by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov. Do you know someone who enjoys raising a big stink? When this happens, do you tune them out or do you put them in their place? And if you put them in their place, what payoff do you get from engaging in the drama?

Sometimes I'm not sure if I make the card I draw each day fit something relevant in my life, or if the tarot is really as magic as it seems. But the last couple of days it seems the card I've chosen has mirrored a conversation I've JUST had with someone. And today, I'm pulling the meaning right out of the book, so I don't know how it could be anything other than magic! :)

This is the Seven of Wands from the Bohemian Gothic, one of the most treasured decks in all the land. And, though it's not pictured that way here, I drew it from my silver deck, which puts a metallic sheen everywhere the light hits, drawing you deeper into the shadowy depths of each card. The silver ink makes it seem like the only two colors in the card are silver and a blackish blueish black. You have to look really closely to see the slight red inside the monster's mouth. I go on about this because, even though this is a "dark" deck meant to explore the shadow side, it is probably one of the most breathtaking and hauntingly beautiful decks you'll ever see in its silver incarnation—a true testament to the artistry of Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov.

Anyway, now that I'm done salivating over these cards, the Seven of Wands is about those battles that you take on knowing you'll win. So if you get this card, you're likely to have a favorable outcome in a fight. But because this is a shadow deck, there's something darker lurking behind the eyes of the monster in the window—he's fighting for sport. For fun. Because he gets a kick out of stirring the pot. Because he enjoys seeing everyone get their panties in a wad. That's why he knows he'll win. The battle's not about principle or anything that really matters to him. It's about creating chaos and luring others into the dark.

This wins my vote for the most brilliant 
card ever created. The addict collapses
into the Devil's arms while the Devil shoots
 her up with morphine. It captures both the
essence of addiction and the Devil card meaning.
We all know people like that, right? Maybe they don't even do it consciously. But they're so married to conflict and drama that it follows them wherever they go. Many times they're the cause of it, making issues where there are none. But while their "victims" like to stand around and point and call them out on it, they don't usually see that, by doing so, they're becoming equal partners in the game. It's easy to blame it all on the troublemaker, but the fact is, it takes two parties to have a fight. 

Anytime there is a conflict between two sides, one side always entrains to the vibration of the other. The "attacked" could take the high road and act with love and peace, causing the belligerent one to limp away wondering what went wrong. But what usually happens is that the "attacked" side engages in the fight, eventually ending up as the very monster they're fighting. 

In one area of my life, I am gratefully on the sidelines of such a battle. As we discussed earlier this week with the universe testing you to define your boundaries, I have fought these battles enough in my life to know what happens and the role I play in perpetuating them. And staying out of this is one of the tests I've passed to show the universe how serious I am about disengaging from this kind of drama. And, being an observer this time around, the dynamic is so clear. 

There's one side that, whether consciously or not, enjoys stirring the pot. And there's another side that, while claiming to be morally superior, has dived in, fangs drawn. They feel justified in this behavior and I don't don't think they realize how they have now become the one stirring the pot...the attacker...the monster...the very thing they are fighting against. Nobody's morally superior anymore. Everybody's the bad guy. No doubt you've seen this kind of thing before in your life and, if you're like me, you've also been the "morally superior" one who has eventually embarrassed yourself by how low you've stooped.

One side always entrains to the other side's vibration. And when we participate in battles such as this, no matter how justified we are, we only succeed in devolving. There is no evolution in places where you allow yourself to be pulled down into a lower energy. Even if you have every right to be bitchy right back to the other person. The only evolution—the only way to actually BE the better person you claim to be—lies in compassion, forgiveness and rising above. It's not easy, especially when the other side is so good at pushing your buttons. But until you rise above, you're nothing more than their puppet. 

So if you're currently being drained by and drawn into this type of thing, stop. Just stop. You're not fighting the battle you think you're fighting. You're just being toxic right alongside your attacker and you're better than this. So not another word or action about it, whether in public or behind the scenes. Lead the charge of love, instead of revenge. Open your heart to others and use this as an opportunity to evolve.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4/11/12—Preparing for Takeoff

Today's Draw: The Fool from the Rohrig Tarot. Are you working your arse off on some goal right now? Do you feel like you're in a critical place where you need to keep your eye on every little thing, lest something go wrong? Has it ever occurred to you that you may actually be undermining your goals by putting forth so much effort?

You probably don't spend a lot of time considering the physical force of "lift". Normally, neither do I, but that has changed lately. 

Lift is the force that opposes the weight of an airplane so that, instead of succumbing to gravity, the plane stays in the air. The velocity and aerodynamics of the lifted object also play key roles in making lift happen. (Hopefully I got that right, because I have an oddly high concentration of pilot friends and I will hear about it if I'm wrong.)  ;)

Anyway, the idea of lift has come to me a few times over the last couple of days. In the abstract sense, lift is what happens when you "let go and let God". It's what happens when you're the "wind beneath my wings." Or when "Jesus takes the wheel." And it's also what happens when The Fool leaps into the unknown and trusts the universe to guide him safely to his destination. 

Lift is a universal force in physics. So, when you've got all the right elements working for you, it's always going to work. Anywhere in the universe. Anytime you start talking spiritually, however, there is a leap that needs to be taken to cover the chasm between fact and belief. Metaphysics or New Age thought posits that there are laws of the universe that also dictate the way the higher power's energy moves through our lives. Physicists often take issue with the way physical laws are applied to spirituality. They are scientists and they deal with fact and not faith. The leap between the two means nothing to them, because it can't be proven.

Traditional fool image   
In addition, as much as I am a metaphysical believer, I acknowledge that we make things sound like fact that are often just belief, in the same way any religion does. For example, the Law of Attraction (like attracts like) isn't a scientific law. It's not a proven fact. There is no "Law of Attraction" in physics. You can google it all you want and find page upon page of entries of people saying it's a physical law. But none of those pages will be hosted by MIT or Cal Berkely or NASA or any other group that deals with actual physics. Because it's not a law of physics. If there was a scientific LAW that like attracted like, then magnets wouldn't repel each other, we wouldn't have the saying "opposites attract" and a positively charged ion wouldn't attract a negatively charged ion. It's not an absolute that like attracts like. Therefore it cannot be a law in the scientific sense. 

I say this, because a lot of what people call "quantum physics proving spiritual belief" is a misunderstanding or bending of quantum physics. I believe in metaphysical theory and have been studying/practicing for over 20 years. But it's not proven scientific fact as it's presented and I believe it's dangerous that people believe so. It's just as theoretical as Moses walking on water—something many will swear actually happened, yet it can't be proven. All we have is hearsay. So it's not a fact. It's a belief. I just want to get this out because I feel that if people are going to believe in this way, they should at least know the difference between physics and metaphysics...between scientifically proven laws and theory. Metaphysics is not science. It's a theoretical belief that tries to explain the unexplainable using information (often naively) extrapolated from scientific fact. It is not scientific fact itself. Which doesn't mean it's not true or real. It just means it hasn't yet been proven.

That said, I'm all about the "like attracts like". I've seen it happen a million times in my life. It absolutely works for me. I also feel energy working around me that can't be captured by scientific devices. I've spoken to people who are dead and people who may have never walked the earth and exist only in the spirit realm. We can attribute something like spirit energy to scientific laws of thermodynamics that say that energy (and EVERYTHING is energy) can neither be created, nor destroyed. It can only change forms. That is scientific fact. But it doesn't mean the energy of a human becomes a ghost when it changes forms. As much as I believe it to be true, it's not a fact. 

So I think it's clear now what I mean that there is a leap between fact and spirituality. At least as things exist today. And so I'm making a leap with this whole physical force of lift that I began talking about. And the leap I'm making is this—in tarot, the Fool jumps off the side of a mountain on a journey of self-knowledge, in complete faith that he is protected by the universe. And somehow he lands softly in exactly the place he needs to land to learn his next lesson. 

This whole idea of lift...of leaping and letting the universe cradle me to where I want to showing up everywhere for me lately in messages like, "let spirit steer your vessel", "trust that the universe has got your back", and "the more you align with your purpose, the higher you'll soar." All beautiful messages, and ones that make you want to melt into the arms of your higher power. But seeing as how we're all control freaks, so hard to do. 

Like with the airplane, we need to symbolically loosen our grip enough to lay prostrate before the higher power—this is the aerodynamic form we need to take advantage of lift. Next we need to put forth enough effort to take off and achieve altitude. Then we just need to allow gravity to support us from below and lift to keep us soaring, putting forth effort now and then as needed to keep momentum/velocity going. Just like with the plane, most of your energy will be used taking your first steps toward your goal. From there forward, the universe has got your back. Though, again, not a scientific law, this is what Deepak Chopra calls the Law of Least Effort. If you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off, it's a sign you're not allowing the universe to do its job.

Mike Dooley says it another way. He says our job is defining the "what" and God's job is defining the "how". I love that, because it's not only saying it's as simple as placing an order, but there's a hidden gem in there. When you're running around trying to figure out HOW to make things happen—or trying to dictate how things will happen—you're not letting the universe do its job (does the plane micromanage the universe on how to create lift? Or does it just trust and utilize the natural force?) And when you're not grateful for the WAY the universe is delivering on your order—because it's not the way you imagined it happening or because things are looking worse before they looks better—then you're basically telling the all powerful that you know better than they do. You're effectively canceling your order. 

So that's what I've been thinking about lift lately. Lord, these entries get long! I just feel I have so much to share sometimes. I had an amazing session with an energy healer today and the whole idea of lift was driven home to me in ways that spoke directly to the core of what is going on in my life, why I'm feeling so restless and what I need to do to continue forth on my journey. Maybe that story will come out another day. But what does the spiritual concept of "lift" mean to you? Do you feel like you're soaring higher lately? Or does "lift" make you realize you're working too hard and not letting the universe work for you?

If you're on Facebook, you can go to for links to information on some of the the metaphysical theories and scientific laws discussed in this essay.

Monday, April 9, 2012

4/10/12—Getting Intimate With Ourselves and Others

Today's Draw: The Magician from the Victorian Romantic tarot. How often do you talk about your most private and personal thoughts? Who do you feel comfortable discussing embarrassing biological crap with? Are you ready to get intimate right here, right now?

The traditional Magician in the tarot shows a young, powerful man with shiny tools representing all four elements. He has his "as above, so below" stance and a lemniscate (infinity sign) over his head, representing his infinite powers, connection to the heavens, unending energy resources and his ability to get things done. 

Fast forward 50 years and you've got the Victorian Romantic Magician. His tools of the four elements have become innate. He has mysterious supplies. He consults a book with a lifetime full of knowledge he's amassed. And he no longer has to call the heavens to earth, because the glow of spirit energy shines all around him. You get the sense that the magic the other Magician needed a whole case full of tools to perform, can be completed by this guy with just a thought. 

We don't talk too openly about the benefits and drawbacks of aging. Men don't get together and discuss erectile dysfunction, sleep disorders and difficulty with urination. Women don't talk openly about their menopause symptoms, bladder control issues or hair cropping up in unattractive places. We can iron out wrinkles and appear as youthful as ever, but that's only cosmetic. It does nothing for the uncomfortable, depressing, aching, misfiring and slowing down of the machine we've been operating throughout our lives.

Remember when you were a kid and nose pickers were shameful losers? Then, when you were sure no one was watching, you'd dig in and pull out a big ol' booger of your own? We face the same thing when we get older. 

We laugh at Depends when we're with our friends, then find ourselves doing the walk of shame to register to try them out. Or we mock erectile dysfunction commercials as though they have nothing to do with us when, in fact, arranging a "date night" requires precise planning and could still result in embarrassment, whether the evening works out well or not. Our bodies and our minds are no longer in adequate control and, worse, we can't talk about it because of the same shame that came from the surreptitious booger picking of our youth. 

I think about stuff like this all the time and it's part of why I try to be a little more candid than is comfortable for me in some of these posts. Because these things we hold secret, whether in shame or embarrassment, add to the weight and depression and toxicity of life and getting older. I think we do ourselves a disservice with some of our "there are things we just don't talk about in public" attitude. It makes dealing with the indelicacies of being a human even harder. And we end up feeling alone in our issues when, in fact, people around us are all experiencing the same thing.

This wasn't where I was originally going to go with this post...haha. I was going to talk about the power and wisdom of getting older. About how we don't need all the trappings of youth and how freeing and efficient that can be. When you look at the two Magicians (which you can see at if you're on Facebook) the young guy begins to look like a total poser compared to the older guy, who is so authentic and comfortable in his power.

Consider all the issues that fester and languish inside of us because of our discomfort of talking about anything that's not politically correct. Honest dialogues about race, sexuality, needs in relationships, innermost fears—the list goes on and on—rarely ever happen. And so each of us is left to feel alone, marginalized, unaccepted, misunderstood, etc. in this world. 

How much time in any given week do spend talking about things that really matter to you? Things that heal you and make you feel more normal? Things that bring you closer to those around you? The word "intimacy" has come to connote sexual matters when it's really about sharing our most private and personal selves. In fact, many times sex is actually used to keep real intimacy at bay. Intimacy is one of the biggest fears mankind holds, and yet it's also the magical elixir that can set us free.

In my older years (haha, I'm only 49) I find that kind of intimacy harder to come by and, honestly, I long for it in my life. I don't have a life partner to explore these things with and I hate to say it, but most of my friends are more guarded than I. I think the search for intimacy is at least as powerful an instinct in humans as our need to protect that which makes us most vulnerable. But the scales are far more weighted in the direction of protection and our ultimate self imprisonment.

When I look at how tired the Magician is in his older years, I think it's because the weight he's had to bear all alone—the weight of a solitary life, of his role as a healer and manifester and of not having some dude to drink absinthe with and discuss the things that really matter. With all the wisdom he's amassed and the amazing things he's been able to manifest in his life, why he can't just manifest someone simpatico to share it with? Of course, I wonder the same thing about myself. It's not a role you can just volunteer for in someone's life. And it's not even something you can marry into. It's an alchemy of its own, something that grows organically and rises from mutual respect and trust. 

As I think of it, I realize it's something I share with you from time to time...the people who read and reveal that they share the same struggles as me, or who reveal other hopes and fears they have. I have no idea how many or who reads these posts on a daily basis, but it is a blessed miracle that I have never felt unsafe or been given reason to think people don't take these topics seriously. Working alone and living alone, sometimes you guys are the only ones I *really* talk to in a day, and some of you have said these posts help you build your own intimate relationship with yourselves. Thank you for that...and for this place safe... and for having the courage to put yourself out there when you do. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

4/9/12—Ordering Fries With That

Today's Draw: Six of Wands from the Black Fantasy Tarot. Are you trying to make a change in your life, but it seems like situations are conspiring against you? Has this kind of thing kept you from making some of the changes you've wanted to make in the past? Are you ready to give up?

This is an interesting little tarot deck I came across recently. All the cards are simple like this and the artist tells us to use the interpretations from And their interpretation is that this card means victory. And while I'm happy to agree with that, I'm also seeing something else today—focus and determination...the things you need to achieve the victory you seek. 

Imagine you're at McDonald's and you order a large chocolate shake in the drive thru. Here's how the conversation is likely to go:

DRIVE THRU:  "Welcome to McDonald's. Would you like to try one of our extra value meals?"

YOU:  "No, thank you. I'd like a large chocolate shake."

DRIVE THRU:  "A large chocolate shake?"

YOU:  "Yes, a large chocolate shake."

DRIVE THRU:  "Would you like anything else today? How about some fries with that?"

YOU:  "No thank you. Just the shake."

DRIVE THRU:  "OK, that's one large chocolate shake. That will $3.89. Drive to the first window, please."

Sound pretty familiar? Well, the same thing happens when you decide to make a change or ask for something from the universe. 

Say, for example, you're determined to say "no" more often to the people who are always asking you for your time or resources. So you decide you're not going to be suckered in any longer. Next thing you know, Marcie calls you. She is running late, as usual, has a whole dramatic story and needs you to drive her kids to school. You say you're really busy and can't possibly fit it in. Situation handled. You're a naysaying machine!

But then a few days later, Karla calls you and ups the ante. Her husband has surprised her with an anniversary getaway weekend and it's going to be SOOOO romantic! He found a babysitter and everything. But the thing is, it's Karla's turn to bake five dozen cupcakes for tomorrow's PTA meeting. And she has to get her hair and nails done before she leaves town. And she'd also like to surprise her husband with a little something something from Victoria's Secret. And you're the best baker she knows. The best in the whole PTA. And she'll owe you one. It's her ANNIVERSARY and her husband is FINALLY being romantic!!!!

But here's the thing, Karla already owes you at least two or three, if not more. And the reason is because every time you need Karla, you can't seem to get her on the phone. She calls back when her help is no longer needed. But she feels REALLY bad about not being there for you. On top of that, Karla's one of the reasons you realized you needed to say no in the first place. She's there for you when it's convenient for her to be, but she's not there for you in clutch situations.

It's Karla's anniversary. You don't want to disappoint her. And, now that she mentions it, you DO make the best cupcakes in the PTA. What do you do?

Think of this as the equivalent of your "do you want fries with that?" moment. 

See, you've been chugging away like this for years. You TAUGHT people to take from you because you've always offered yourself up so readily in the past. And, while normal people would insist upon doing something nice for you for all the nice things you've done, you're not surrounded by normal people. You're surrounded by people who will take until you stop giving. Because that's the dynamic you've always accepted.

So, all of a sudden, the universe is supposed to think you're serious about changing? You said you were serious about losing weight last week, but you've just ordered a chocolate shake from McDonald's! No, the universe needs to be sure you're serious, so it sends tests. And once you pass those tests, it sends tougher ones to determine your boundaries around what you've said you want. You proved you could say no, but what if it's a truly special occasion? What then?

We make a mistake when we ask for change and expect the people or situations that bother us are just going to disappear from our lives like "poof!" Yet, often that's why we give up. Because it's hopeless. The takers are NOT happy. And, clearly, the universe is working against us.

But, in fact, the universe is in the process of giving us exactly what we need. It just wants to make sure we really want it know........the chocolate shake. And it also needs to know what the new parameters will be, because you've always been a sucker for a good sob story in the past. 

So think about where this may apply to your life right now. Maybe it's not around saying "no". Maybe it's about speaking your mind to others. Maybe it's about trying to leave a bad relationship. Or maybe it's about always leaving work so late you never get your workout in. You're going to be tested. Your boundaries are going to be pushed.

Are you going to say "I give up! I'm doomed to my miserable life!"?

Or are you going to defiantly sip your chocolate shake and say "bring it on, universe. Bring. It. On!"?