Friday, November 2, 2012

11/3/12-11/4/12—Enjoying Your Extra Hour

Weekend Reading: Four of Cups from the Rohrig Tarot—Luxury. Despite being a really cool card with a great word, "luxury", on it, this Four of Cups actually warns about the dangers of getting too much of a good thing. What it means is that, after the high of riches and good times comes an inevitable crash. The "crashed state" may actually be nothing worse than your normal state, but after the high, it can feel pretty crappy. So we should definitely have a great time this weekend and enjoy it to its fullest. In fact, we get an extra hour of fabulosity this weekend, adding to the goodness, abundance and luxury. But remember to keep everything in perspective. Monday will come and it will suck. But no more than any other Monday...unless you let it. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

11/2/12—Demystifying Tarot Readings

Today's Draw: The Ten of Air from the Book of Shadows Tarot. Have you ever been to a tarot reader? Have you ever wondered what to expect? Want to know how much it's going to cost you?

The Book of Shadows Tarot is relatively new and, based on some of the images I saw online, I thought it might be too Wiccan themed for me in the artwork. And while it IS Wiccan themed, I found myself liking the images they don't show in the promotional stuff you see online. So if you were feeling the same way I was, you might want to give it a second consideration. I'm glad I got it.

That said, the Air suit in the Book of Shadows tarot is different than most Air suits in that it focuses on different forms of divination—runes, dream interpretation, meditation, etc.. And the Ten of Air is Tarot.

Last weekend I gave readings at a Halloween party and pretty much everyone who came in to get a reading had never had one before, nor did they know what to expect, so they didn't know what to ask. Of course there's always that fear of the Death card (which doesn't mean physical death, but the death of some idea or pattern or whatever in your life that has outlived its usefulness.) But beyond that, people were more expecting to have fun than to hear something that could change their lives.

Back in my early 20s I had a friend who was Wiccan and I remember her pulling out her cards, not knowing what they were. I asked her for a reading and, even though she was reading straight from the book, I was surprised at the insights that came. See, I've always been someone who was fascinated with what the future held. And that's what tarot seemed to offer me at that time...a peek into the future.

But it turns out I had it all wrong. Tarot can the probable future that will come if nothing changes between now and then in regard to the course your life is on. But you always have free will. Don't like your outcome in a tarot reading? Change something about what you're doing.

For me, more than predicting a probable future, however, tarot is about exploring the countless facets of issues you're going through right now, giving you insight as to how to solve your problems or make changes that can make a difference. What's going on behind your back? Tarot will tell you. What are you in denial about? Tarot knows. How can you improve your love life? Tarot has the answers. A lot of divination tools, like pendulums or muscle testing, can tell you the "yes" and "no" answers. Tarot is a tool that, in my opinion, serves "what", "why" and "how" questions best. It's even good at telling you "who".

And, sure, it can answer "yes" and "no" questions, too. In my practice, though, I don't encourage those types of questions. And the reason why is that is that "yes" or "no" questions put you at the mercy of outside forces. For example, "does he like me?" is either a yes or a no and is all contingent on "him". But "what aspects of my personality are most attractive to him?" puts the ball in your court, empowering you put your best foot forward and create your own outcome.

A lot of people feel uncomfortable around the tarot, some of whom even read this blog. The reasons may range from them not thinking it's on the up-and-up or doubting its ability to do what it does, to the concern that there are somehow dark energies involved with tarot decks. To address the first two concerns, I'd say I'm more skeptical than you would think, even though its proven itself to me thousands of times over the past 25 years. It still amazes me at how accurate it can be. If you're curious, give it a try, because it could really blow your mind. 

As to the latter point, the energy isn't in the cards, it's in the reader. I call upon my higher self/soul and spirit guides to help me out. How do I know they're not the devil in disguise, just trolling for a gullible fool like me to spread his darkness throughout mankind? The same way others know they're praying to God at night and not to a devil who will take their very soul in answer to their prayers. In 25 years, I've never delivered anything but a healing reading to another person. If their future shows difficulty, which some futures do, I provide them with a way to change that or lessen its impact. All you need to do is look over the more 500 posts I've created on this blog to determine what energy is behind it. 

I work in the light and the vast number of readers I know work in the light as well. But yes, there are readers out there that will take advantage of you, just as there are members of every profession looking for a quick buck. A good way to spot them is if they have neon signs placed in their storefront offering $10 "special readings". And if they tell you you have a curse, walk away as fast as you can. I don't know any legitimate tarot readers that advertise in neon or have storefronts on busy highways. Most operate out of their homes or metaphysical stores or understated office spaces. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I'm a fan of neon and have often considered getting a sign like that just for the kitsch of it.

So, if any of you were wondering any of this stuff, here you go. Are tarot readers always right? No. But just as often as we're wrong, we'll come across a client who's in denial and insists we're wrong when we're right. For most of us, there is a deep reverence for the art/skill. We feel called to it as a means of helping/serving others. The vast majority of us are people who consider themselves quite spiritual, if not religious, and on a path of self improvement. We have devoted significant amounts of our lives to the study of it. We take it very seriously and do not take our responsibility lightly.

Finally, I live in a big city and here we customarily charge $2 per minute or more. You can find competent tarot readers that charge less online (if you know someone who has gotten readings before, ask for a recommendation). In fact, the cost of a reader is not a reflection of the quality of the reading you'll get, as much as it's a reflection on the market they work in. Yes, phone readings work, as do email readings, so I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try. I bring up cost because people will sometimes balk at $120/hour in the same city they gladly get $100 monthly massages in and $150 coloring jobs and $80 mani/pedis, all while paying their psychotherapist $180/hour.

When you consider that you may only go to a tarot reader once or twice a year and that a good reading can change your life at least as much as a good coloring job, I say "stop your whining". The way I see it, if you're going to a tarot reader for fun or to be a skeptic, then it doesn't matter who you go to. But if you really want to dig into some aspect of your life and gain insight on how to change, a good tarot reader, while not a psychiatrist or life coach, can often have the same effect on your life for a heck of lot less of an investment in time and money.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

11/1/12—Getting Over That Final Hump

Today's Draw: Nine of Wands from the Dreaming Way Tarot. Do you have a personal, intimate relationship with yourself right now? Do you feel like all your energy is fed-by (and given to) external sources? What's the "final hump" you need to get past in order to achieve holistic success in your life?

The Nine of Wands is about gathering up that final bit of energy so you can make one last push toward your goal. The older I get, the more I feel like Nine of Wands moments come more often...haha. Exhausted and fatigued, you push through to eventual success. 

I look back, say, 15 years and think I had so much more energy. But when I look at all I do now, I'm pretty sure I do more now than I did then. I did more socializing then, sure. But I do more work now. And I continue to take more on. Recently I've heard about a couple of different groups that want me to deliver my tarot and psychic development classes, for example. And I'm interested in doing more of that because I do enjoy teaching. 

On the other hand, it takes a long time to develop these classes. So if they're interested in something I haven't taught yet, it takes a lot of time to come up with that stuff, which I usually do in the evenings. And then there's the time teaching them takes from my weekends. This year I've been teaching and developing three new classes a month on average. So I find myself working sometimes a couple/few months straight without a weekend off. 

Meanwhile, my REAL job as a freelance copywriter is moving along busily. And I do these blogs six days a week (though I posted repeats all week this week...haha...sorry). Put it all together and I can see why I feel like I'm always in a Nine of Wands moment. And the thing is, there's none of it I would willingly give up. I enjoy my job and it brings me money. I enjoy teaching. And I like the discipline and daily deep thought of writing this blog. 

I was talking to another woman earlier today and we were talking about how, at our tender, advanced ages (haha), we're also less amenable to putting up with BS along the way. Stuff I would go along with fifteen years ago—and even five years ago—is just one stone too many for this camel's back. So there are certain colleagues I won't work with, types of friends I won't hang with and situations I won't get myself into. 

Like I said, though, I socialized more 15 years ago. I exercised more 15 years ago. So I'm looking for a solution that works for me today...something to give more balance to my life. I need the exercise. There's no denying that. But I also need something to capture my spirit and that's been elusive lately. I still meditate a lot, but I think I'm looking for something more along the line of my solo trips to the river. 

The Nine of Wands can be about using your very last bit of energy, and that's usually how it's intended. But I think it can also be a Bat-signal in the sky saying, "find something other than work and dogs to fuel your life, Tierney". I hate being at this place, because I know better than to get lost in the haze. But in my enthusiasm with the tarot stuff and the book writing and blog writing over the past couple of years—and now my new little doggie—I see that I've set aside some piece of me that takes me off the hamster wheel of outwardly focused (and fed) energy. 

I don't regret taking on more, because it's all purpose-built for my present and future. I've got a great product coming out for tarotists in the spring, I teach some kick-ass classes, I have an enormous library of spiritual and personal insights from two years of doing this and I've even test-marketed my next book project to you in posts I made earlier this year. But my mistake was in doing it at the cost of my "me" time, instead of in addition to it. 

For me, I guess, that's the final, Nine of Wands hump I need to get over in order to achieve success in my life—finding that way to do all the cool things I get to do on a daily basis without losing myself in it. No matter who you are or what you do, your personal, intimate relationship with yourself is something you should never lose sight of. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10/31/11—Feeding the Demon Wolf

Today's Draw Classic*: King of Cups from the Archeon Tarot. What's your relationship with your inner demons? What are the strengths your demons have come to give you? What is your take on what our demons are about?

The King of Cups usually indicates a sensitive, charismatic leader. But the Archeon Tarot adds a compelling twist to that with this entry from the book: Upon a throne of iron, the King of Cups takes counsel with his inner demons." You can see he's deep in thought, with the hollowed skulls of his past strewn about his feet.

So how do we forge a healthy relationship with our demons? First, we all have them. These are the darker sides of our personality. Those which lead to depression, self-destruction, hedonism, greed, overblown ego and savagery, whether real or imagined, physical or verbal. At the root, the demon, imo, isn't as much these sinning actions, as it is the beliefs that lead to these actions...the inner beliefs/attitudes/opinions that tell you you are separate from the divine. Once you believe this, you perpetrate these actions and convince yourself you're even more separate. And that feeds on itself, creating more destruction, more shame, more separateness. 

Over our lifetimes, we find different ways to cope. Some deny their demons exist...that if they ignore them, they'll go away. Some revel in their demons to the detriment of the divine. Some use their demons as a fortress to protect their heart. And some drown their demons in drugs and alcohol.

But our demon attitudes and behaviors can serve positive purposes in life. My nefarious mind has helped me out-think/anticipate those who would harm me in the past. Anger has helped to define boundaries. Other less-than-attractive skills have helped me survive difficult situations, even if only in the short term, before I had time to really integrate. And if any of us were in a true survival situation, the savage within us would rise to save our arses.

Two related things I learned when I quit smoking apply here. One is that our demons aren't to be ignored or hated. They're to be acknowledged with non-judgment. One of the secrets to overcoming the pull of an addiction is not to steel yourself against the craving, but to let it flow through one ear and out the other...with non-judgment. If you hold on to it or resist it in any way, it becomes stronger and embeds itself in you. So demons just "are". We can deny them and resist them all we want...if we want to give them power. We can torture ourselves with them, but they're not a mistake. Whether parts of the human condition that we've evolved beyond the need for, character flaws or parts that are just emerging within us, they're part of who we are and why we're here. 

Which leads to the second thing...the Cherokee story of the two battling wolves inside. One wolf is evil and one wolf is good. Which will win? The one you feed. If you feed the demons they get stronger and beget more pain, more addiction, more self-hate. If you feed the good wolf, that is what will grow inside you. The evil wolf will always be there, though. Some parts you may succeed in taming. Some parts will come in handy when needed. And other parts will become too weak to make a difference. 

So the answer to the initial question of how do you have a healthy relationship with your demons? You don't deny them or fear them or ignore them or feed them. You see that they are there, understand their strengths, forgive their weaknesses, and turn toward the other wolf, knowing that, when needed, you have two wolves to fight a battle. But that the good wolf will always keep the troublemaker in check. 

Another part of the answer comes from the first thing I wrote up there...that the true demon is believing you are separate from the divine. Even when you're entertaining a demon, you're at one with the divine. You can never NOT be. And demons aren't outside of you, they're within you, part of you, part of your journey on earth. They're as much a part of what God has given you as artistic talent, a beautiful voice or flaxen hair, for example. They are the fodder of profound lessons. 

Clearly, some people will take issue with this. If you have a different idea about the demons within, feel free to comment and let others hear another side of the story. But this is what I believe. We all have things and thoughts and feelings that we're ashamed of. We've all walked down a "wrong" path. And we've all emerged with valuable lessons and information. If you choose to cast that aside and deny it, which wolf do you think you're feeding?

*Repeated from 8/11/11

Monday, October 29, 2012

10/30/12—Trusting Yourself First

Today's Draw Classic*: Page of Swords from the Otherworld Tarot. How do you know who you can trust? What have you learned from past betrayals? And can see times where the person who ultimately betrayed you was yourself?

The Page of Swords is a card that can indicate gossip or deception in someone's words. The words on the card, "Think Things Through", tells us to consider the information we're given before making a decision. To not jump to conclusions, because not everything you hear will be true. And to also be careful with your secrets, because not everyone can be trusted. 

Whenever I get cards like this, I start to feel paranoid. We've all been betrayed. In one case, the person I was confiding in—the last person I'd suspect—betrayed me repeatedly over the course of about two years, resulting in all sorts of issues in my life. In another case, betrayal cost the life of someone dear to me. In the first case, I didn't register anything odd in my gut. In the second case, I did, but couldn't put my finger on it. 

So how do we know who and when to trust? Well, of course, one thing is to honor those "odd" feelings you have about someone. If you're suspicious of someone, you may be right or you may be wrong. But honor the suspicion anyway. And another way to trust wisely is to not be so gullible. I'm a pretty smart person, but for a long stretch of my life I had a tendency to trust others' input over what I thought I knew. So if someone said 2+2=5, I might doubt my knowing that the answer is actually 4. So I suppose I would boil that down to say, "trust yourself first". 

Beyond that, consider what the intention of the person is who is giving you information or asking it of you. Everyone in every situation has an intention, imo. Most peoples' intentions are friendly or benign. But always consider where you think the person falls on the continuum between friendly and nefarious. Again, check your gut.

And finally, and this one is key, consider your own intentions. This woman who betrayed me over a couple of years was, imo, a psychopath. She left few clues. Even looking back, I can see how brilliant she was. She never pushed too hard when trying to get me to gossip. She always seemed friendly enough. And only once did she ever lose her game face in my presence. I have no idea what I ever did to her to drive her to launch such a campaign. There was never a time I didn't like her and if I ever said anything about her, it wasn't anything anyone would consider bad. But I learned at that time of my life that truly insecure people can go ballistic over the tiniest of slights. And I have to assume that's what this was. Unless it was sheer sport. 

But here's the thing, the only way she was able to take advantage of me like that was because I was vulnerable. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to fit in. I wanted to "run with a certain crowd". I was weak and needy. And people like that feed on the weak and needy. So consider your own intentions, too. *Why* are you trusting someone. And if, like in my case, you know someone is betraying you, but don't know who, ask yourself who the last person you'd expect is. And even ask who the second to last person you'd expect is...haha. The person who is in your face all the time, giving you information and pretending to be your friend, may not be friendly at all. But people like that can only get to you if you let them. I wanted her friendship. I wanted to hear her gossip. I needed someone to talk to and vent to. Looking back I feel like I was pretty pathetic. 

But before she ever betrayed me, I betrayed myself. And I have to take responsibility for that. I used to be a lot quicker to trust. I used to dive into friendships more quickly. And I used to make myself more vulnerable to people I barely knew...I used to invest too much, too soon. Still do in certain circumstances. But with each of these pains comes a gift...a clue as to how not to let it happen in the future.

So what about you? How do you know when to trust? And what have you learned along the way?

*Reprinted from 5/26/11.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

10/28/12—Remembering Moments That Changed Things Forever

Today's Draw Classic*: Page of Pentacles from the Abyssal Tarot. Have you recently had a lightbulb moment? Or have you felt blocked in meeting a goal, then experienced a sudden breakthrough? Can you think of an isolated moment in your life that changed everything forever?

The book for this deck says, "She is the bearer of transforming news. She pieces together that last bit of important information that then changes everything. The world has turned upside down. That once occluded is now obvious."

This card is talking about those lightbulb moments you have now and again. In the psychic biz (haha), moments of spontaneous insight happen all the time. That's kind of how information comes through. You're trying to figure out the split-second blurs of information that come into your head and, all of a sudden, an insight hits you and everything makes sense.

The card is also talking about those moments, good or bad, when something changes forever. Maybe you're feeling a little woozy, then you find out you're pregnant. Bam! Insight and life-changing moment all in one! 

I spent part of the summer of my 21st year in Europe, staying with my sister in Germany between trips. By that time my mom was very sick with cancer. And I remember one day Janet and I were talking and she said "you know mom's going to die, right? She's not going to get better." 

That moment changed everything for me. And Janet doesn't even remember it. So maybe something (Granny Irene?) temporarily possessed her to put that message forth, but I remember it. Because it changed everything. I didn't know she was going to die. I should have known. It was clear. But I was too idealistic to realize that she really wasn't going to get better.

In the moment, it hurt. It was such a sharp awakening that it stunned me. But from that moment forward, I approached every moment with my mother as something sacred. I got to spend a good amount of time around her between that summer and when she died at the end of December. We got to talk about things previously left unsaid. And because she knew I wasn't in denial anymore, we had an understanding. Having that relationship with her before she died goes down as one of the greatest gifts of my life, even though much of it was spent watching her wither away. Anyone who's witnessed it knows the injustice of cancer. 

I wasn't really meaning to get so heavy...haha. I just go where these entries lead me. Another life-changing moment I can think of is an unfortunate meeting I once had with a boss, where my lack of grace (coupled with my boss' lack of grace) in handling a situation got me in trouble at work and made me feel insecure in my job. Everything about that meeting completely changed the way I felt working at that agency. So I started looking for another job.  And I couldn't find a good fit. So one day, after an interview, I threw up my hands in a dramatic way and said to myself, "I should just become a freelancer." Thus, in a second life-changing moment, an idea was born. Within a week I turned in my notice and started to freelance and have been happily self employed ever since. 

What it all comes down to is this—for every darkness, there's a dawn, whether the darkness is a lack of clarity or an onslaught of depression. Just wait and, out of the blue, the light will switch on and everything will be changed. Forever. What kind of moments have you had like that?

(I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge my sister, Janet. She reads these things every day and never knows when I'm going to mention her name or blaspheme my siblings or open up emotional family wounds. And she doesn't care. She just likes reading what her little sister writes. :) )

*Updated from an entry made on 11/18/11, which was possibly, to the day, when my brother found out his really bad chest cold was lung cancer. That moment change the lives of his entire family and countless others in the community. He died five months later. This past weekend his community dedicated a charity run to his memory. 

Possible Storm Outage

As a note to readers, I live in the path of the storm that's hitting the East Coast of the US this week. If I don't post, it's because I don't have power and can't find power. It's not because my tin foil hat finally did its trick and I'm returning home with my alien friends. :D