Friday, March 1, 2013

3/2/13-3/3/13—Releasing the Chains of the Past

Weekend Reading: Judgment in the You position from The Wild Unknown and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. The judgment card is about rebirth and transformation and transcending things. So this weekend you have a chance to finally beat that nagging bad habit, overcome lingering fears or just drop the old and begin the new. Something in the ether will open up and, even if it's been hard in the past, you'll be able to start shedding that part of you that's weighing you down, whether you've been conscious of it or not. Sometimes we get these inklings that it could really be that easy to just walk away from something that's been dogging us. And we let the moments pass us by, settling back into our old routines and prisons. But now I'm giving you fair warning so you'll be prepared. This weekend brings another one of those cracks in the universe that can catapult us out of our limitations and free us at last. Be ready for the opportunity and take it. 

Thursday, February 28, 2013

3/1/13—Walking With Life In A Beautiful Way

Today's Draw Classic*: Wani/The Four Directions from the Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards. If you died today, would you be dying without regrets about where you are now? Have you ever had a close call? If so, what did it teach you about life?

In the Lakota language, "wa" means snow and "ni" means life. When snow melts into the earth, it fuels the circle of life. Wani holds one of the most precious teachings—life is beautiful and we must learn to walk with life in a beautiful way. It asks us not to halt life in any way, but to welcome its gifts in all forms. 

Each of the four directions teaches us different lessons. Some are hard to learn, some easy. Some come in loving ways, some come in ways that shake us to our core. This card asks us to sit at the point where all four directions meet and allow all the lessons—ALL of them—to lift us up. Because this is what life is. This is what we signed on for. This is the adventure. Trust that all lessons fuel your higher purpose and if you need help, whether human or divine, ask for it. 

One of my friends had a close brush with death this week. I think this person had learned or was learning to walk with life in a beautiful way. But we can all do more, can't we? This was the last person I ever would have thought would have a life-threatening health issue. It's very eye-opening and jarring. Certainly I could be healthier. And even though I've been quit for 8 years, I realize that 26 years of smoking could be a ticking time bomb within me that could go off at any time. But it goes beyond nutrition, exercise and healthy practices. Our family history plays into it. And it also depends on how we choose to respond to the input from the four directions over the course of our lives—stress, unleashed anger and other unhealthy behaviors. It's such a complicated equation. Which is to say, it could happen to any of us at any time. In fact, another friend lost a friend recently in a car accident. Totally random. We just NEVER know. 

So, on this Friday, I ask a rather depressing question, "Are you ready to die?" And by ready to die, I don't mean are you emotionally ready to meet your maker. I mean have you learned to walk with life in a beautiful way? Are you open to—and at peace with—input from all four directions? And if you're not ready, what are you willing to do about it? Where do you hope to be when that moment comes? Personally, I'd like to be at peace with myself and life, which is tantamount to walking with life in a beautiful way. What about you?

*From 8/5/11

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2/28/13—Celebrating Your Successes

Today's Draw: The World in the What to Do Next in Regards to My Goal position from the Tarot of the Sidhe and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you feel you fully celebrate your successes? Or are they just a blip on the radar of your busy life? Do you ever just stop and give yourself a good old pat on the back?

So today I used the same Deck of 1000 Spreads technique of creating custom spread positions that I used yesterday. But I also did something I'm not sure I've done intentionally in the nearly three years I've been writing my daily posts: I drew a card specifically for me to explore what to do next now that my deck is out. 

See, the Deck of 1000 Spreads wasn't a destination for me. It was never been intended to be one. The "destination", as many of you know from reading this blog, is to be a spiritual/self-help type of writer, dispensing the kind of insights I deliver here each day. While on that road I got this phenomenal idea for a product serving the tarot world and I HAD to do it. And doing it was divinely inspired, not only because it has been such a gift for me so far, what with all the positive feedback and the things people are doing with it. But also because of something that became clearer to me just the other day. 

OK. I'm going to brag. Facebook people are probably sick of hearing this...haha. But I haven't told the people who just know me from my blog. For the past week or so, the Deck of 1000 Spreads has been a best seller in the Fortune Telling category on Amazon. It's been anywhere from #1 to #7 when I've checked. It moves around a lot. At the time of this writing, I'm #1 in Fortune Telling, #4 in Tarot, #15 in Divination and I'm really nowhere near the Top 100 in the New Age category (the next level up). Yet. Haha. But I'll tell you this much—none of this was on my radar a month ago. These rankings never occurred to me. 

Now that I've seen them and the little outline that goes along with the photo here, it occurs to me that I'm already writing in the category I want to: Religion & Spirituality. I'm a few levels deep into it, but I'm already in it. And this fills me with hope that I will be able to achieve my dream of being a mainstream spiritual author and helping and healing people with my words. I think I do that now here and feel very blessed by it. 

Do you know I've been operating this site for more than two years and this summer will mark three years of daily posts I've been making and I've never once heard a negative word about what I do? I mean, there are critics everywhere in life, but I've been so blessed to hear only words of support from you. I'm getting all emotional just writing this. But this has been such a gift because I get such great feedback. AND I share some stuff that makes me uncomfortable admitting from time to time, and it's such a safe place. On my blog and on Facebook, this post has been a safe place for anyone who has ventured in. 

Anyway, to get to the actual reading we're doing today, the rest of my week is slow in my actual job. So I have a couple of days of lull before I get busy again next week. And I want to continue this momentum that seems to be building over my deck and ride it into my next project, which I'm thinking right now might be a few ebooks adapted from this blog. Over the years people have asked me to put it in ebook form, but I can't take the tarot with me in ebook form, primarily for copyright purposes...I can't print cards from all these different decks in a money-making venture without getting permission.

So anyway, that's what today's draw is all about. What should I do next to reach my goal? And The World is telling me to tie up loose ends first. To integrate the experience I've been having. My deck has been out in the world for, like, two weeks...haha. I can keep enjoying this fun for a little while longer. Like, I haven't even drunk a toast to this release or had a "me" day to celebrate. And that's so typical of me. I'll wallow for weeks in my failures...haha...but I feel bad bathing in my successes. And, when you think of it, that's just not the way to live. We should forgive our failures and celebrate our successes, instead if the other way around. So I think The World is telling me to do just do something to synthesize this moment it before I take the next step. 

And the next step is? Well the next step is The Fool. I begin the cycle again. I make the leap into the unknown and start out on another journey. But for now...for maybe another week or so...I get to stand atop the World...or atop the Fool's cliff...and enjoy the view. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2/27/13—Widening Your Options

Today's Draw: Eight of Swords in the Underlying Issues From The Past That Form The Heart Of The Situation position from the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you feel trapped? Stuck? Do you feel your options are limited?

Today's draw is different for a couple of reasons. One is that I'm drawing it in advance of meeting up with a friend, thinking this may help her. And another is that it's using an AMAZING technique developed by Lee Bursten, creator of the Gay Tarot, among others. You can read about it on, but it's basically creating a unique spread position by combining two or more spread positions into one. To my knowledge nothing like this has ever been done before and Lee was inspired by my Deck of 1000 Spreads!

OK. So my friend seems to have been having a difficult time lately. I know nothing about it. That's why we're getting together. But I thought a little tarot insight might help. So I created the Underlying Issues From The Past That Form The Heart Of The Situation position...haha.

Here's what the Eight of Swords is all about. There are times in our lives that we feel trapped and devoid of choices. It can also refer to blocked energy and negativity. Add it all up and it's a big ball of self-induced limitation. We all do it to ourselves at some point. And the biggest culprit is black and white thinking. 

What I mean by that is that there's only two choices. Stay or go. Win or lose. Succeed or fail. And when we only allow ourselves options at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum, we up the fear ante on every decision we make because the stakes are absolute. If we do the boss' dirty work as requested, we succeed. If we don't do it, we're doomed to fail. So we do it out of fear of the repercussions of not doing it. But there's a whole array of options in between, ranging from turning your boss in to changing departments to getting another job. And you haven't considered them because you've been blinded by fear. 

The Eight of Swords is why people stay in broken relationships. They only see stay or go. Some stay out of fear of not having enough money to be on their own. Some stay because they fear failing the relationship. And some leave because it never occurred to them that there were other options. Like counseling. Or having an open relationship. Or leaving the relationship, but not leaving the home. Or leaving the home, but not leaving the relationship. Or, like the best-selling book The Five Love Languages advises, learning how to speak your partner's language. Personally, I think a lot of relationships can and should be saved. But, because the minute conflict and discord sets in the first thought is "stay or go", none of the options that can save the relationship even get considered. And then it becomes too late. 

Beyond the black and white thing, I think in some cases the way we were raised leaves us with only one option. For some that translates as "failure is not an option". For some it's "gay is a disease you can be healed of". For some it's "everyone in our family is a doctor". You get the picture. You get shoehorned into something that doesn't fit and, while you might question it from time to time, you're nonetheless resigned to it. Another trap of the Eight of Swords. 

Yet another trap is depression, negative thinking or even mental illness. Depression definitely causes our focus to narrow to the point where we can't see our options. And all those shootings? Those people had convinced themselves there was only one thing they could do. 

So if you feel trapped or blocked or stuck right now, move past the fear and the black and white to the gray space in between. And ask yourself, what are REALLY my options. List them all out, including the ones you'd never even consider. And if one of the options is to ask for help, by all means do that.  When you see all the options you have, fear will dissipate and may even clear your mind enough to allow a divinely inspired solution to set in. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Letting God Steer the Justice Ship

Today's Draw: Justice in the Immediate Future from the Tarot of the Tattoo Age and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Is it about time justice is served? Can you know for certain what that looks like? How does justice get enacted in your life?

Well, well. It looks like we're going to get justice at last! And, for some of us, that will be good news. For others it will most assuredly suck. Which are you? Don't be so sure you know the answer. 

The Justice card is about fairness and truth. In a broader sense, it's about karma, too. Something from your past is going to get weighed and you will receive a sentence. Whether it's good or bad is out of your hands now. It's now up to the objective force of the universe to determine. 

I've talked before on this blog about revenge. I don't go there. And one of the reasons I don't go there is because of karma. It will come back to me. Another reason I don't go there is because the higher power I believe in is so frickin' awesome at exacting justice that it will always do a better job than me. 

A third reason I don't go there is because I don't presume to know enough about what's fair or right to be in command of the justice ship. Because I only know part of the truth. My part. And from my standpoint, I'm right and the other person is wrong. But even if everyone agrees with me, I still only know part of the story. I don't know what drives the other person. And I forget all the crap I've done in the past to deserve the way I was treated. I also don't know if the "bad" thing they did to me is ultimately could end up being a fortunate lesson that keeps me from greater pain in the future.

See, the other person could be an agent of the universe come to settle the score from that time I knocked that girl's books of her desk in the third grade and kept walking because I was embarrassed. To her, it looked like I was being a bully. Or rude. I remember she was really upset about it. And I remember everyone looked at me like I was a monster. But I was embarrassed and didn't know what to do. So I kept walking. I didn't apologize. I didn't do nuffin. Except look like an ass. 

So, seeing as how this current incident could be justice for something I've long since forgotten, I'd pretty much be screwing myself if I sought revenge for it, right? I'd just create more bad karma. Personally I think anytime you presume to do God's work for him you're creating bad karma. So that's why I won't go there. 

But this principle goes beyond revenge. For every "my side of the story out there", there are multiple aspects of the big picture you just do not know. Nor could you ever. So what looks unfair could be fair. A person who annoys you wins the lottery? I'm pretty certain it's fair. First of all, you don't know what wonderful things they may be doing when they're not annoying you. And second, you have no idea what winning that money will do to them. If you watch enough cable TV, you're informed enough to what large sums of money do to people's lives. 

What it all comes down to is that there are many lenses through which to view the truth. But in the end, only one truth matters...the objective truth of the universe. You wanna screw with that? You know better? Go ahead and do what you will. But know that no deed goes unweighed on the scales of justice. And anytime you do something to hurt another person, whether you think it's justified or not, the scales start tipping against you.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

2/25/13—Shining Your Light More Broadly

Today's Draw: Sun from the Deck of the Bastard in the Finances position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Do you feel like you don't have enough money right now? How about you have enough of that? Is it possible that neither love nor money have anything to do with the problem at all?

The Deck of the Bastard is a self-published deck by Seven Stars, aka Elaine Wilkinson. Elaine has done a couple of things here I've never seen before. She's taken vintage deck images and photo manipulated them to create new images, creating a single deck from elements of a couple or a few. The deck's name comes from her "bastardization" of those decks. And while I've heard of customized backs before, what I haven't seen is that she will customize the backs with your name, so it's a truly personalized deck. If you're viewing this on my blog, you'll see the customization I chose. 

There are other custom features, like you can choose whether or not to have the Major Arcana labeled. As you can see, I didn't. But I will say I'll probably wrongly guess what some of them are, because they're not all as easy to recognize as the Sun here. Anyway, Elaine's doing some cool things with decks, as you'll see on her Etsy page. Some of her choices are enough to make more anal tarotists reach for an oxygen mask, but I love rule breakers. And that, she is. 

So now on to the Sun in the Finances position. This is a combo that most would love to receive. It means financial success. Or it could be saying the economy is rebounding. You get the idea. Money. Good. Yay!

Every card in the tarot has a positive side and shadow side. And one of the downsides of the sun is that it shines too bright a light on things, including all the dark little corners we'd like to keep dark. So the Sun in Finances can also shine a light on places where you've been misspending. Or it could be talking about the focus we're putting on our finances during tax season. Or where you might not have the funds to do all you want to do. 

If the fear of failure is one of the biggest fears in life, the two areas in which that fear is most prevalent has to be in love and money. We fear we'll never HAVE enough in those areas. We fear we'll never BE enough in those areas. We feel we will fail at love and money. 

One of the things I've learned in life is that #1 cause of falling short in either of those areas is the belief that you don't have enough or you're not being enough. For example, I used to feel I didn't have enough love in my life...that I was falling short in that area. And as long as that's where I shined the light, that's all I was able to see. 

I not only chose the back design, but see my name up there?
But one day I challenged that belief and fear. And I started looking around family, at friends, at my dogs. Listen, ANYONE who has three dogs and tells you they're not loved is not shining their light on the right things. Turns out that I may not have romantic love in my life, but the dearth of that is more than made up for by what just one Magick Moonbeam (my middle dog) brings into my life every day. So one day I don't have nearly enough love in my life. And and another day I'm the most blessed woman on earth. Nothing changed except where I shone the sun in my life. 

The same thing works for money and resources. I'll tell you this much. If you want to live 17 years as a freelancer, you can't have the luxury of worrying about money all the time. You'll never make it past the second year. Your reality follows your thoughts. Believe you don't have enough and you will not have enough. Of course, it's inevitable fear will creep in now and again. And for those times, that's when shining a light on all you have can come in handy. 

My personal list is...I have equity in my home. I can always sell it. I have room on a credit card that I can use. I can get a loan or a home equity line of credit. I have an old car I never drive that I could sell. I have a spare room and could take a roommate. I have things I can sell. I have my tarot skill and can do readings if I need money. By the time I get through that list, my anxiety is usually gone. But there's one more thing on the list—I could always get a regular job. And none of that even considers all the discretionary spending I do that could be restrained or the bills that could be cut.

When you really take a look...really shine the light...the fears you have are just that. And the more you entertain them, the more you shape your reality. Someone very close to me went through a time a couple of years back where they were unemployed, owed more on their house than it was worth, could not find a new job and had run out of unemployment. Even then, they had choices. They could have declared bankruptcy. They could have moved in with me, into a better job market. And they had other options, too. Before they had to resort to any of that, they got a job. They don't earn as much as they did years ago. They don't own a home. And I think they would say they feel pretty free and devoid of material attachments now. Blessed for their situation. A lot of external things changed, yes. But ultimately the most important change happened within. 

Unless you're literally on the brink of homelessness with nowhere to go, chances are you have more than you're shining a light on right now. The more fear you have, the narrower your light. So if you're seeing your finances—or anything else right now—through a pinhole of light, bring in more light. You'll see you have more than you give yourself credit for. And when you see that, hold it in your vision and you'll find you're richer than a king.