Friday, April 5, 2013

4/6/13-4/7/13—Letting Things Come in Their Own Time

Weekend Reading: The Empress from the Kitty Kahane Tarot in the What is Hidden position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. With the Empress card in this position, surely someone is going to find out they're pregnant this weekend. But beyond that possibility, the Empress is also giving her little top-hatted duck man (that she usually keeps safe beneath her skirt) some space and time to develop on his own. So if the bun in your oven is something other than a human (or duck)—perhaps it's a project you're working on, your self development goals or something else you're anxious to see come into fruition—just give it its space this weekend and be ok with it coming about in its own time. The Empress is wise in three ways. She knows when to nurture. She knows when to let go. And she knows that everything comes about in its own time. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/5/13—Telling the Truth

Today's Draw Classic*: Queen of Swords from the Infinite Visions Tarot. What's your policy when it comes to honesty? Do you have a policy or do you just wing it? Do you believe absolute truth exists?

The Queen of Swords cuts to the heart of issues. She tells it like it is. But her sword cuts two ways. Her truths can sometimes lack temperance and heart, as she speaks mostly from her mind. 

Some people are like the Queen of Swords—honest to a fault. Some are pathological liars. Some will say whatever is needed to avoid conflict. And most of us fall somewhere in between.

I've walked my own path with this. I consider myself a pretty honest person. But I do believe there are times for honesty. I didn't used to. But I do now. You can call it "times for" honesty...or you can think of it as "degrees of" honesty. 

Over the years, I've learned that some people that ask for the truth, don't really want to hear it. I've also learned that volunteering the truth when not asked isn't a wise move. 

So now my policy is this—I no longer volunteer honesty to people who aren't asking for it. That's just a mistake. And, when people DO ask for honesty, I deliver it as kindly as possible...and dose it out in amounts tailored to the maturity level of the person I'm talking to. If someone asks for the truth and doesn't like it, I don't allow myself to be manipulated to feel bad about it. Most people who know me know better than to ask for the truth if they don't want to hear it. But moreover, most people who know me are people who want to hear the truth, because that's the kind of person I prefer to be around. 

Now I'm not going to say I never lie. Even with a "policy", you still have gauge a situation. But you can pretty much count on me to tell MY truth. Even with the really heavy stuff. IF you ask. And when a client comes to me for a reading, they're always going to get the truth. Sometimes they don't want to hear it. Sometimes they fight it. But that's what they're paying me for, imo. 

All that said, I think the truth is subjective. My truth about something may not be your truth. Even something as simple as "the sky is blue" can be argued by a colorblind person or a scientist who wants to discuss wavelengths and other things that affect the way we perceive the color of the sky. So I do think we need to consider the subjective nature of truth when it comes to assessing the honesty of others.

All told, I feel like I've always been a pretty honest person. But I believe honesty is a vehicle you need to learn to drive. You shouldn't drive it uncontrollably. You shouldn't use it as a weapon. Nor should you drive it into the ground. You have to treat it with the respect it deserves.

*Adapted from a post on 7/12/11

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/4/13—Being Lucky Like a Fox

Today's Draw: Eight of Swords from the Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot in the What's Crossing Positive Influences in My Life position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Have not been able to manifest what you want in life? Is it possible you've given up too soon? Or could it be that you just tried too hard?

A "crossing" card is usually a card that is placed on top of another card in a tarot spread, crossing it, like a plus sign. (This is different from a "covering" card, which is placed square on top of another card in a spread, thereby covering it.) The crossing card can either help or hinder the card it crosses, depending on the context (whereas a covering card is always hindering or getting in the way of the card beneath).

In this case, the crossing card is what's getting in the way of positive influences in our lives. And the Eight of Swords from the Phantasmagoric Theater is about not making decisions, having a lack of patience or giving up too soon. So consider if leaving things up in the air or backing out too soon might be blocking the positive influences in your life.

One of my friends calls me "lucky like a fox", because I set myself up for success without even trying. It's not like I stumble into luck or luck just happens to me. At some level it's by design, but I'm usually not conscious of it or "trying".

Here's an example. When I first joined Facebook, I decided to friend some tarot people, because it's my hobby. At this point, I had no intention of ever writing a tarot book or creating a product or anything like that. In fact, it was the furthest thing from my mind. I did know I wanted to one day write a spiritual book one day, though. But I certainly didn't think anything on Facebook would help that. 

So anyway, while chatting with the tarot people I friended on Facebook, I noticed a really friendly woman named Barbara that everyone seemed to know. She and I got along really well, so I friended her. A couple of months after friending her, I realized that the Barbara I friended was a big-time tarot author. And I thought, "oh cool I have a famous friend". Then, after time, I learned she was also mucky muck at Llewellyn, the big publisher in the space. But what did I care? I wasn't ever going to write a book. I was just happy that my friend that I liked was part of the tarot glitterati...haha.

Then a year or more passes and I get the idea for the Deck of 1000 Spreads and I need to know how to approach a publisher. So I ask my friend Barbara, figuring I'd send the proposal to her and a few others. Then, as it turned out, my friend liked my idea and Llewellyn made me an offer. Lucky like a fox.

Since then I've learned what it takes to get a spiritual book published. It's one of those Catch-22 situations. They want to know you're worth taking a risk on. So having a published work that's doing well in its space doesn't hurt. Having a following on my blog (that I started for no conscionable reason other than I felt drawn to do it) and having this now huge cache of content and spiritual thought, also doesn't hurt. Nor does the discipline it takes to do this every day. Nor does the fact that I have a loyal following. 

None of this was planned to fall into place like this. But the end result of writing a spiritual book was. Now, that part hasn't manifested yet, but after attending a seminar on publishing spiritual books not that long ago, I learned that I'm WAY better positioned than most others. I've somehow already done all the work that looks like such a huge obstacle for them to traverse. Lucky like a fox. 

Now, the reason I've told you all of this is because I think a lot of people set an intention, sprinkle some seeds, then sit and watch. And wait. And poke the ground. And stay on course. And spend their energy completely on point. Then get disappointed when nothing bears fruit....or when it bears little fruit.

"Lucky like a fox" plants seeds and goes on with their life, sprinkling seeds everywhere they go. And they get caught up in the wind like a leaf, floating here and there, doing loop-de-loops and never quite landing. Never having any concrete expectations from the seeds they plant, never making a specific planting with the intention of it growing. Just knowing their ultimate intention, then going on with their lives. In Buddhism, it's called detachment...detaching from the outcome. 

When you go after something pointedly with intention, the temptation to manipulate outcomes is huge. And this sort of desperate energy is felt all around. It's constricting. It narrows the flow of positive influences, because your definition of what is "positive" is something entirely dependent on its ability to bring an outcome. So maybe you make connections with people solely for the purpose of reaching your intention. And that is felt. Or maybe you don't "waste time" on writing a tarot book when what you really want to do is write spirituality books. So you don't get a good track record with a publisher, or a following from people who like your work, because you didn't anticipate you'd need all that.

When you detach from an outcome and just float in the wind like the leaf...always moving forward but not attached to any single action producing an float in a field of greater possibilities where pathways offer themselves to you through weird little whispers in your ear—"friend that chick Barbara", "write a tarot book", "start a blog". And you follow these voices and some bear fruit and some don't. And you may plant 1000 seeds, but you're not keeping count, because you're not outcome driven. Your intention, like everything else along the path, is a seed you've planted in the universe. And as long as you keep moving forward, you trust it's getting water and sun and food. And because you're not so constricted by having to watch the earth, positive influences have a much greater pipeline through which to reach you.

So that's what I think today's Eight of Swords is trying to say. The little guy has a turkey baster with which he's conceived his idea. But he's otherwise trapped in the dark, not knowing where to move...instead of just moving anyway. He's waiting for a red carpet to roll out and guide him through all the thoughts (swords) in his head. And he's even giving some of those ideas "the hand". He's thinking too hard...trying too hard...and making it all too hard. Some of those ideas he's refusing might be positive influences in disguise...or routes to positive influences. But he's not free wheeling and open enough to even consider that. 

People who have what you want didn't get there because they never failed, made a wrong turn or tried something that led to nowhere. They got there because they kept on moving forward despite all of that. And they probably kept on failing, too. But they were on a journey, not running errands, you know? And they probably found success in a way they never could have imagined or set up through conscious thought. 

They were lucky, yes. But they set the luck up for themselves through the seeds they planted, the perseverance they had and the wide channel they created to allow positive influences to flow in through. Lucky like a fox. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

4/3/13—Contemplating A Future Life

Today's Draw: Ten of Flames in the What to Know About a Future Life position from the Margarete Petersen deck and the Deck of 1000 Spreads. What have you cleansed yourself of and purified in this lifetime? What do you think your big lesson has been in this life? And what do you think you'll have to focus on next time around?

This is something you don't think about very often, is it? For those of us who believe in past lives and future lives, the general assumption is that you evolve over lifetimes. And so we seek to improve in this lifetime, partly for our this-life benefit, but also for a future life. 

So it's an interesting thing to noodle...what have you earned absolution from in a future life, because you dealt with it in this life? And that's not to say, "I've earned to live my next life without mean people in it because there have been a lot of mean people in this life." I don't think that's how it works. But what have you HEALED in this life that no longer needs to be revisited? And can we even know?

The Ten of Flames is about cleansing and purifying. It's about healing areas of obsession and compulsion...about redeeming ourselves. It's about welcoming situations that once vexed us...not in an "I'll show you" kind of a way, but in a way that genuinely no longer pushes your buttons. When we get to that point of enlightenment about something—a deep understanding of why it's there and gratitude for its presence—we no longer have to face it again. 

This hasn't been a lifetime for me where I learn a lot about romantic love, for example. I'll probably do that in another life. In this lifetime, I don't have the patience to deal with other peoples' crap on a one-on-one, intimate basis...haha. So I don't sustain those kinds of relationships very long. I have a great respect for that ability and came from a household where I had that kind of commitment modeled for me, but it's not what I'm focused on this life. On the other hand, this *is* a lifetime where I'm learning about the solitary path and the path of the seeker. I'm also learning a great deal about how to take things less personally and how to love and accept myself, but I think I need at least one more life for those last two things. 

So it's interesting to think about. What do we NOT have to deal with in this life? And is it because we think we've healed it in another life? Or because it's waiting for a future one to take shape? I think we all learn things in a different order. So while I may have yet to learn to pull off what my parents pulled off with their "til death do you part" kind of relationship, you might be having that lesson this time around and have no idea how to be alone. 

I think I've spent many lifetimes as a lone wolf in that regard, in fact. A reliable source once told me that I had a lifetime where I had, like, a dozen children and had to raise them alone in a cabin in the woods because my partner abandoned us...haha.  That would certainly explain my aversion to children and my desire to spend this life with just dogs and the occasional male. So maybe you have some sort of "explanation" like that in your past life as to why you're choosing something unconventional this time around. It's interesting to think about. I once did a past life regression where I saw that I starved to death...again a solitary life. And perhaps that's why I overeat in this lifetime...because of the memory of that life of lack. Who knows?

Hopefully this will open up your own thinking in this regard. If we even just consider what we came into this lifetime to heal, it can help us focus on the one or two things that matter, you know? And it can also help us forgive ourselves those areas in which we just really aren't adept....areas we're scheduled to address in a future life. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

4/2/13—Clearing The Fields

Today's Draw Classic*: Ten of Fire from the Gaian Tarot. Is there a fire raging in your life right now? What are the good things being left exposed in the ash? And what of the bad things are worth starting a whole new fire, in order to consume them once and for all?

Maybe 10 years ago or so, I drove past a farmer's field that was smoking from a recent fire. I had never seen this before, so I thought something tragic had happened. But then a few miles down the road, I saw another burned out field. And another. This was the first time I realized that farmers occasionally burn fields to kill all the old growth and weeds. Then, I suppose, they turn the soil and plant something new. It's like a clean slate. A field that used to grow soybeans can now grow corn. 

The same concept is used by nature. Forest fires, for example, are actually necessary to keeping the forest healthy. Too much vegetation can prevent seeds from germinating, stopping the growth of new trees—and thus endangering the generational growth cycle. Also, the denser the forest, the hotter it burns and the more destructive the fire becomes. So occasional fires in the forest are mother nature's form of self-care and even damage control.

Usually when we see a Ten of Wands, it's depicting someone so overwhelmed, burdened or oppressed that they can't move. They feel trapped in the fire with no way out. Whether it's work or financial matters, family or relationships, we all feel that way at one time or another. Then once the flames subside, whether we wanted it or not, we're left with a fresh slate upon which to write. 

It sometimes seems like there is a fire burning in some area of our lives at any given time....something turning to ash so new things can grow. Some of them are easy to contain, while others may rage out of control.  Sometimes fires happen to you. And sometimes you set them yourself, clearing what no longer serves to make space for new growth and more evolved life. However they manifest in your life, try to remember through all the smoke and heat, that these fires are necessary to keep us turning the soil and experiencing new things. 

*Adapted from the entry on 5/4/12

Sunday, March 31, 2013

4/1/13—Laying Down Your Swords

Today's Draw: Six of Swords from the Steele Wizard Tarot in the What to Use in the Future as You Move Toward Your Goal position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Is there some attitude or recurrent thought that you find constantly gets in the way of your goals? Are you responding to something, rather than acting from a place of genuine power? Are you ready to lay all that down and find your true source of balance and power?

In the Six of Swords, we see a woman leaving conflict and issues (swords) behind and moving on to a better place. Dolphins guide her journey, signaling more peaceful times ahead. She's not abandoning her previous situation. She's merely moving on...without looking back. 

While I believe in assessing situations to take your lessons, lessons often reveal themselves better from a distance. And the easiest way to reach our goals is to lay down our swords and move forward. In fact, it's the only way. 

This isn't just about interpersonal conflict. It's about any issue. Let's say you got fired from your job. Your goal is to get another, much better job. But that will be harder if you're suing your old place of work. It will be harder if you bring resentment and a "I'm out for myself" attitude to the next job. And, if you're paranoid that the same thing will happen to you again, it probably will. 

All of those things are reactions. They're actions and attitudes you take in response to another's actions. And as long as you're reacting to what has happened before, you're not acting on your goal. 

I've been putting a lot of thought into action vs. reaction lately. I think one of the harder—and most essential—parts of our spiritual growth is to act genuinely. By that, I mean to act the same regardless of external stimuli. If you're non-violent, be non-violent even if someone pushes you. If you're into oneness, then see yourself in your enemy, not just in your friend. In other words, act unconditionally. 

Now, there are some non-violent people who will die from being unconditionally non-violent. So the practice may be sometimes more of an ideal. But this kind of unconditional action is the only true source of power. Because each time we act in response to something, we give up our power to whatever it is that's pulling our marionette's strings. 

Usually we do this by getting caught in the drama (or the excuse) of something that happened to us...or something we did to ourselves. I had a boyfriend once that was a professional athlete at one time in his life. And he blew it. He could have worked harder, but he didn't. He drank and messed around with girls and then spent the next 20 years or more drowning his regrets in alcohol. He acted in response to a bad mistake on his part and lost all his power. In doing so, he wasted much of his life with regrets and getting revenge on himself. 

His way out might have been to unconditionally pick himself up after he falls...or unconditionally forgive himself for being human...or to move forward and unconditionally focus on his goals despite distraction. See, where I'm going? It's a way of becoming "bullet proof" that doesn't come out of defiance or trying to prove yourself to someone. It's just an agreement you make to yourself to not give your power over to something you cannot change. 

If I look back on my own life, I can see times where I've held onto something for way too long...a relationship that ended poorly and a conflict that was very hurtful to me, for example. When I realized I had a hard time letting go, I worked on letting go, not to spite the other party, but to become more unconditionally centered in my own power and take things less personally and focus on what *I* think of me, more so what others think of me. Which isn't to say I don't still struggle. But I lose much less power, balance and time on it than I used to. 

But I also noticed something else. When I moved away from losing my power to others, I found myself losing power to myself. Like the boyfriend, I found myself responding to my own "dropping of the ball" in a particular situation and fixated on that, instead of starting over fresh and just moving forward. So we do it to ourselves in many ways. And it can be something as old as childhood bullying getting in the way of adult friendships, you know? We let a bunch of noise come in to distract us from our goals, whether it's self-pitying, defiant, righteous, proud, fearful, angry, regretful or whatever. It's all reacting. And it takes us away from acting from a place of power in the pursuit of our goals. 

So think about the goals you've set for yourself in life, whether they be spiritual, career oriented, relationship centered, personal or whatever. What noise is in your head that may be slowing you down? What are you spending your energy responding to? Becoming conscious of these things is the first step toward taking your power back and developing an unconditional way of being that enables you to focus on your goals...regardless of what happens. Make decisions for yourself long before the stimulus comes along for you to react to. It's time to lay down the swords of reaction and sail on to a new phase of life where you're acting from a place of internal integrity and are far less subject to the whims of outside forces.