Sunday, December 1, 2013

12/2/13—Questioning Tradition

Today's Draw: Hierophant in the Question position from Carol Herzer's Illuminated Tarot and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are you a creature of habit? Are you a fan of tradition? How long has it been since you've taken a good, critical look at your habits and traditions to assess whether or not they're still appropriate to your life?

With the holidays coming up, I thought I would feature the Illuminated Tarot. If there's such a thing as an "insider's tarot deck", then this is the Cadillac of the insider decks. I imagine everyone who owns one as "having arrived" in the tarot world, not just because of the deck, but because of the wizened knowledge that the owner bears. I know that's silly. Anyone can own one of these homemade decks (though the more glitter and glitz you get on them, the more expensive they are.) But there's just an air about Carol's decks that makes them special. And that makes you feel a little special, too. I mean, you get one with glitter on it and that means she applied it all herself with a little brush, putting individual thought into each card in your deck, fercryinoutloud. And if you're someone who loves handcrafted things because of the energy put into them, then it's a very cool thing. 

So the whole point of these two paragraphs is that if you're looking for something special to buy yourself for the holidays, check this deck out. And if you're looking to buy a tarot lover something very special, then one of Carol's glitter or iridescent (or both) decks will make a tarotista's day.

That said, the Hierophant is all about tradition and dogma and even spiritual guidance. So the way I'm going to read today's pair is "Question tradition." In fact, question everything. 

Years ago I read a story about a woman who'd had a dinner party. The guest said, "your roast was amazing. How did you cook it?" And the hostess replied that she'd used her great grandmother's recipe—a family favorite. As she began to read the recipe aloud, she said "first cut the roast into two evenly sized pieces, putting half into each of two pans." Then she went on to talk about the seasoning and oven temperature. Finally the guest asked, "why two pans?" And the hostess said, "I don't know. That's just how it was always done."

Well as it turns out, the reason it said to put the roast in two pans is because, back in great grandma's day, ovens weren't as large and/or pans weren't as large. So the only way to get the whole roast in the oven was to cut it in half. But since nobody ever questioned it—it was a beloved recipe, after all—they just kept doing it that way for years. 

Right now we're in the midst of a season of traditions. We'll do a lot of things the way we've done them since we were children. But does it really make sense for you do it that way today? Or have you just never really thought of it? 

And that can go for anything from the route you take to work to the order you put your clothes on in the morning. We tend to be creatures of habit and once we find something that works, then why change? But there may be a better way. Or there may be a way you just enjoy more.  But you'll never know if you just continue to run on auto-pilot, never stopping to think, "hey why do I do X, Y, Z this way and when did it become habit? And does this way still serve me?" 

I'll bet if you just started noticing, you'd find a mazillion things you do each day just because that's the way you've always done it. You decided a long time ago that this would be your way and you never revisited the decision. And there's nothing wrong with that. But if you start questioning, you might just find something like the two roasts and decide to change it. 

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