Friday, December 28, 2012

12/29/12-12/30/12—Letting Go of the Old

Weekend Reading: Death from the Morgan Greer. Could there be any more appropriate card for the year end? The Death card comes to speak of endings and new beginnings. Anytime you want to bring something new into your life, as you may do with your New Year's resolutions, you have to let go of the old way of being. That's the message Death brings...that's it's time to shed your old ways to make room for fresh new growth. So as you consider what you might want bring into being in the New Year, consider also what you need to let go of in order to make that happen. And honor the letting go. Whatever it is, it's something that once served you and it deserves respect. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

12/28/12—Manifesting for the New Year

Today's Draw Classic*: Five of Pentacles from the Druidcraft Tarot. Do you suspect your thoughts may be defeating you? Do you generally come from a place of gratitude or lack? And would you rather have more money...or a greater feeling of wealth?

Tonight I'm putting together a New Year's manifestation ceremony that will take place during tomorrow's full moon. So when I stopped to pull a card for tonight's draw, I got the Five of Pentacles. Realizing the message I would give was the same as in this post from last February, I'm reprinting it with some revisions. In this week's theme, it's something to consider as we move forward into the New Year. 

The Five of Pentacles is usually a card of poverty or material loss of some sort...loss of a job, a poorly planned shopping spree or the effects of divorce. More often than not, however, when this card comes up in a reading it indicates a "poverty mindset." This woman wears beautiful, clean robes. She sports a richly bejeweled sash. Her hair is well kept, her skin pristine. She stands at the base of a budding tree. The sun shines brightly on rich, green hillside. In the background a hound is in hot pursuit of a hare. There is no poverty or material loss in this picture...except in her mind.

Poverty mindsets can happen to anyone. It doesn't matter how much you earn or how much you have saved. A poverty mindset is more about focusing on what you don't have than what you do have. And once it has you in its grips, it can literally limit any possibility you have of having more—more money, more love, more anything. Given the time and opportunity, one loss, perceived or otherwise, can act like a cancer in your life, penetrating every corner. You literally think your way into depression. And the more you focus on loss, the more you lose.

In metaphysics, it's called the Law of Attraction. It's a theory based on the belief that like attracts like. The spiritual piece to this belief is that, whatever you focus on, God or the universe will give you more of. So whatever energies you send out, will be returned to you. Therefore, if you think "I have more than everything I need," the universe will send you MORE "more than everything you need". If you think, "I don't have enough money", the universe will send you MORE "not enough money". After all, if it's what you're focusing on, it must be what you want.

Of course, much of it can be attributed to simple psychology. If you practice gratitude, you'll feel more abundant because you'll be focusing on what you have, instead of what you don't have. Conversely, if you focus on what you don't have, you'll feel more lack. Then whatever state you focus on is the one you'll carry out into the world and the one the world will respond to. Would you rather hire someone who feels like a loser or a winner? So even if you don't believe in the spiritual piece, the theory works regardless.

If you want to start putting this to work in your life, 1) begin by watching your thoughts and replacing the "negative" thoughts with positive ones. If you're not sure you're wording things correctly, put "I want more" in front of the thought. So if you want to exercise more and think "I need to exercise more", the universe will give you more reason to need to exercise. So a better way of saying it would be, at the very least, "I am exercising more" and, optimally, "I exercise the right amount for optimal physical and mental health." The important thing is to choose the statement you can most buy into and believe in.

Personally, I like to choose a thought that includes the word "feel"..."I feel healthy and fit", for example. Because, for me, it's not usually the "thing" that I want, but the feeling that comes along with it. And if you feel healthy and fit, you will protect that feeling by eating and doing the right things. As another example, having a million dollars in and of itself won't make you feel flush. If you win the money, it comes with tax issues and long-lost-cousins-finding-you issues. So asking for a million dollars when you really want to feel like you have more than enough money could actually work against you. Chances are, you want the feeling more than the money. So ask for the feeling and let the universe decide how to give it to you.

Then the next piece of this is 2) trust that it's going to happen. Don't obsess over your thought. State it once or twice a day, and then just trust that it will come to you. Then, 3) have gratitude for whatever comes. Sometimes interim steps have to happen before you can get what you want, so trust that whatever comes is in divine order and be grateful for it, even if it doesn't look like you thought it would. Finally, 4) move toward your goal, even if it means just planning at first. But set a plan, send out those resumes, go for that walk, whatever.

Like I said, it's a discipline, so if you try it for three days, then fall back into old habits, it's not the principles that didn't work. It's you. If you really want change, you'll take the steps necessary to make it happen. And if you take the steps necessary, you'll be showing the universe you're serious about this and you'll begin to see results.

*Adapted from a post made on 2/27/12.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

12/27/12—Preparing For The New Cycle

Today's Draw: The Silverware Drawer (Judgment) from the Kitchen Tarot. How do you use the energies of year end and year beginning to re-create yourself? Or do you see December 31 and January 1 as no more significant than other dates when it comes to that? Do you review the previous year and set intentions for the new year?

I got this fabulous majors-only deck for a steal on the Hay House site recently and I'm glad I got it. I love decks with writing on them and this deck is created with visible and too-small-to-be-visible writing all over it. In fact, the artwork is made out of lines of writing. 

I feel like this week's entries are all about things we should consider as we head into the new year. Today's card is, in many ways, another iteration of the one we had on Christmas Day. It asks us to sort out the old year and make a fresh start in the new. It asks to look at the criticisms we've received as a conduit for our own growth. To step away from petty thoughts and make choices based on the greater good. To look through all aspects of our lives and raise our game. 

The Silverware Drawer is a tool box full of items to help us cut things out of our lives, move them around some, spoon things carefully and whisk toward our desires. We all have these tools, but are we using them effectively?

This card is asking us to really take a good, honest look at ourselves. Not to be righteous. Not to insist the problem belongs to anyone else. But to really take sober stock of where we are and what our intentions are. To acknowledge what we have control over. In essence, to grow up and stop playing games, stop living in denial and take responsibility for who, what and where we are in our lives. 

It's a process that really never ends. It seems like each "self correction" shows you where you're out of alignment elsewhere. 

Years ago I tried folding some origami and the lesson I got from it was pretty profound...each new fold depends on the precise execution of the previous fold. If you're off just a hair, the next fold will be off and the next until you're left with a hinky swan with one wing shorter and a different color than the other. 

So sometimes we have to go back and fix our folds. Which means we have to find the first hinky fold and re-work our swan from there. Some will prefer to float along with mis-matched, poorly operational wings because it's easier than accepting that something's broken. It takes a lot of courage and humility to fess up to our lazy, rushed or misinformed handiwork. And sometimes it's really hard to make a new fold right alongside the old one. But in the end you'll have something that's better equipped to swim surely to wherever it wants to go. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12/26/12—Aligning Your Vision With Your Desires

Today's Draw: The Seer, The Whip and The Stars from the Tattered Nomad Oracle by Shaheen Miro. What is it that you really want? Are the messages you're putting out to the universe in your words and deeds in conflict with that? How do you interpret this threesome using the meanings below?

The Tattered Nomad Oracle is a Lenormand deck and I'm working on reading Lenormand better. One of the things I'm learning is that, even though each card has a set meaning, eight different readers will interpret a reading eight different ways. 

Lenormand reading is different from tarot reading in many ways. One is that you don't read Lenormand intuitively in the way you read tarot. There's still some intuition in it, because there's a voice inside your head that tells you how to parse the Lenormand "sentence". But you don't look at the card and use the image intuitively. The card's meaning is the card's meaning. 

Another difference comes in that "sentence" I mentioned above. Although different readers do it differently, the first card is a noun or subject of the sentence and the second two cards are adjectives or the rest of the sentence. While tarot tells a big picture story, Lenormand gives you bytes of granular information. The three-card reading I would give with tarot would be significantly longer than the one I would give with Lenormand. 

So here are the meanings for these cards: 

-----The Seer is an extra card in this deck and it corresponds to vision, prophesy and clear insight. 
-----The Whip is an interesting card because it has some broader meanings...conflict and arguments, as well as sex and physicality. 
-----The Stars relates to possibilities, wishes and dreams. 

So here's how I'm reading this:

There is a conflict between what you're visualizing/manifesting and what you really want. 

Now, this could be read a number of different ways. It could actually be saying that you have conflicting visions of what you want...maybe your heart and mind want different things. Or it could say you'll be getting insight into a conflict with achieving your dreams. Or it could even mean that you'll be experiencing the kinky sex of your dreams in your future. So, as with any divination method, you just really have to trust the idea that comes to you first. 

And the idea that came to me first—and this is an excellent thing to consider as one year comes to a close and a new one begins—is that we need to think about whether or not we're acting or manifesting in alignment with what we really want. Or are we somehow subverting the manifestation of our dreams? 

An example of this would be if you wanted to meet a loyal, new partner, for example. And you're visualizing a charming, handsome man that all the women want, but he only has eyes for you. And let's say you're a little on the insecure and jealous side. Well, you might be able to see how this a conflict between what you visualize and what you really want. If you really want a guy you can feel secure with, then you might not want to choose a guy that all the women want. Because, regardless of how loyal he may be, your insecurities may keep you from experiencing him that way.  

I know I'm frequently caught up in this kind of conflict. I *want* to lose weight, but I visualize being able to do it on a diet of unlimited chocolate, fried chicken and ice cream. What I should be visualizing is a more disciplined and active approach to the rest of my life when it comes to food. I *want* to make more progress in my book writing career, but I indulge every vision of a nap or TV marathon that enters my head. In these areas, I need to visualize some reality that's in alignment with my desires. 

The hardest thing about going for what we want is to give up the habits and expectations of what we've had. If we could get what we want doing all the same stuff we're doing now, we'd have our dreams by now. So to get what we really want, we have to visualize—and act on—a different reality than the one we have now. Does this ring true to you? How can you visualize your way to something more in alignment with what you truly want?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12/24/12-12/25/12—Shining Brighter

Today's Draw: Nativity (Death) from the Christmas Tarot by Corrine Kenner. Whether you believe in it from a religious standpoint or not, what does the story of Christ/Christmas mean to you? What does it inspire in you? How will the power of grace move through your life this week and in the coming year?

Today's Draw is more like "Two Days Draw" today, in that it covers Christmas Eve and Christmas. This card is traditionally called Death, but in this deck is used to commemorate the nativity. Spiritually speaking, every death or ending represents the beginning of something new, just as the birth of a child represents a new way of life for both the child and the parents. 

Another aspect of Jesus and the notion of physical death is that he was eluding death from the day he was born. Mary and Joseph kept him safe as a baby, fleeing from King Herod's soldiers who were out to kill him. But, as an adult, he eventually met death on the cross. This is really the story of all of us—we are all ultimately on an unavoidable collision course with death.

That being the case, one of the morals of the story of Jesus could be: "Life is limited. Do the most good." If you are judged at the end of your days here on earth, you won't be judged by how much money you earned, how young you look or what label is on your clothes. Ego concerns are part of the old way of life that ends when you "pass back over into the light" or go to heaven or whatever your beliefs hold. 

In fact, I personally don't even think you will be judged in the afterlife. I think you'll be met with the grace, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and overflowing love of the God energy that sent you here just so you *could* make all those mistakes and learn from them. 

But if you ARE judged, it will be on the good you do. The love you give. The compassion you offer. None of those things require money or any special tools. They're things you can give right here, right now, just by accessing the light within you...the light that never dims or dies, but is constantly being reborn brighter. Even the eternal within us has its own death and rebirth. 

The beautiful thing about this gift we're given—the gift of life—is that we get to create it and recreate it infinitely...throughout eternity, really. But we also get to do that even just in the short time we're here on earth. Where today we have a sharp edge, tomorrow we can smooth it into a gentle curve. Some would call that grace or the power of God moving through us. And some might also agree that's the gift of this season. 

There are many who read my blog to whom the story of Jesus is just a story, albeit one that, to one degree or another, is based on real-life events. I remember that I loved the idea of Santa Claus as a child so much that, at a fairly young age, I decided that what was real about him was the spirit he embodied and spread in the hearts of man. From that point on, I knew Santa existed, simply because his spirit existed in my heart. 

If you, like me, are not a Christian, Jesus can be the same way. Whether he was divine or just a man really doesn't matter. It's the essence of what he represents and brings to this season that's important. We'd be remiss to allow our personal beliefs to cloud what this season is all about...the eternal light within all of us that can be born, reborn, brightened and whitened to inspire others and do more good in this world. 

For many of us, the coming week or so will offer many opportunities for reflection. Consider using some of that time to ask yourself what aspects of your current life are ready to meet the end of their cycle and what new things can be born in their place. How can you smooth the sharp edges to do the most good in your life? And how can that light within you be reborn brighter?