Friday, July 19, 2013

7/20/13-7/21/13—Strutting Through The Weekend

Weekend Reading: Knight of Pentacles from the Gypsy Palace Tarot. Go forth and conquer this weekend. The Knight is strutting out in style and taking care of business. More importantly, he's keeping the gloom at his back. Pentacles cover everything from work and money to home and health—all the practical matters that keep our lives running. For many of us, the weekend means "time off", but we usually end up spending the bulk of it attending to practical matters around the home anyway. But hey, why not embrace it with enthusiasm? Nobody said you had to trudge solemnly through things like errands and chores. Put on some music and dance your way through. Make a game of it where you earn points toward evening cocktails or sweets. Or speak to everyone you meet using a funny accent...just for fun. All work and no play makes life miserable. So take your time off and make feel more like fun than just a less painful extension of the work week. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/19/13—Letting Things Pass On Their Own

Today's Draw: The Wheel from the Gypsy Palace Tarot by Nora Huzska in the Attitudes and Thoughts position from the Deck of 1000 Spreads. Are things not going so great right now? Are you caught up in some sort of drama that feels like it will never pass? Or are you riding high on life and feeling untouchable?

So I'm finally "back" after a few days of classic draws. I was traveling on business and too busy and/or tired to do the full blogging thang. I had been awaiting this deck for sometime now and was glad to have it greet me upon my return to my normal routine. It's a very colorful deck. This photo does not do it justice. 

Anyway, the Wheel card is all about cycles and continual change. Many times I read this card as a change for the better. But today it has a bit of a different meaning for me landing in the Attitudes and Thoughts position. Today it seems to be talking about how fleeting and changeable things are in our lives. 

I'm a person who tends to get caught up in the moment, letting it color my world. Say, for example, I get a cup of coffee and then drop it, splashing java all over my outfit. I'm likely to decide, based on that one bit of input alone, that I'm going to have to muddle through "one of those days". Or say I get some excellent news about something. I'll walk through life like my feet were feathers and I'm surrounded by an impenetrable dome of luck. Stuff like that. I define my life by the moment I'm living now. 

It's not really the same as living IN the moment. For example, when I'm all sad sacked over the coffee incident I'm so preoccupied by my bad fortune that I miss a whole lot of good and neutral stuff that I could have used to color a better attitude. 

Truth is that our "luck", whether good or bad, is constantly changing. In fact, it's not luck at all, it's just the course of life. All "realities", good and bad, tend to change, so becoming attached to any way of being—wallowing in your depression or hanging on to your happiness—is just a waste of energy. We don't have control over all the factors that impact our attitudes. But if you don't like where you're at right now, just wait. The tide will eventually wash in a new hue to brighten your blue. 

Right now my house must have a dozen flies in it. This happens every year about this time. I don't know what it's all about, but it's an annual event. I don't think they come in through the door, otherwise they'd always be in here. It's just a phenomenon that lasts about a week. I remember it really bothered me the first year. I went around killing them, but could never get them all. What I know now about this situation is a) it gets worse before it gets better and b) flies die on their own in a couple of days. My dog Mystic is trying to hunt them down one by one. But me and Magick and Kizzie? We're just waiting them out. 

The same is true about life. Things get worse. Then things get better. So if you're stuck in the "worse", it's a whole lot less stressful to wait it out than to go around trying to exert control over it. Control is an illusion. Things happen with or without you. Best to just let them pass on their own. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7/18/13—Dying to Know

Today's Draw Classic*: Death from the Darkana Tarot by Janden Hale. Does the thought of death scare you? Is the fear of making change greater than the fear of dying without making those changes? What do you think happens when you die?

Way back on New Year's Eve, someone made a suggestion of some questions to ask that would be perfect for the Death card and only now is it coming around to ask them. I think it may have come up earlier, but something else was top of mind at the time. I've been anxiously awaiting it to come for other reasons, too. So here's hoping we get lots of Death in the next month or two. :D

To begin with, Death is represented by a butterfly in the Darkana deck because the meaning of the Death card is transformation, not physical death. Just as the butterfly changes from caterpillar to butterfly, we go through transformations and makeovers and do-overs in our lives. But the topic suggested to me DID have to do with physical death. And it's about what we would do if we only had months to live. 

One of the things that happens when someone important dies in our lives is that we tend to ask ourselves questions like....What if this were the last year of my life? What would I change? And why would I wait until I'm dying to make those changes? 

I have to admit that, thinking I was dying, I would quit work, rack up lots of debt, sleep a lot, spend a lot of time in nature and arrange for my dogs. If I were physically able, I would go to the Grand Canyon. That's if we're talking months. 

Faced with the fear, but not inevitability of death, I would probably make some of the changes I want to make...take some of the risks I don't feel comfortable with now. I think I would probably turn off the TV and use my time more wisely. That's a change I can make now...without fear. But a lot of the changes I want to make in my life would be LESS practical if I were would I move to another state and leave my support peeps behind? I don't think so.

In my head, I would think the threat of dying would change a lot for me, but now I've thought of it, I'm not so sure. Just as money keeps me a little tethered at this time, the illness and practicalities of disease would keep me tethered if I were sick. When it comes down to it, the things I most want to change are my career and my home and those things probably wouldn't change if I were sick. I already spend enough time with the critters I love most. I'd probably write more for myself. I'd certainly take better care of my health, which would probably be the biggest—and most ironic— change I would make. I don't know...that's all I got. What about you? What would you eliminate or add to your life if you knew it was limited?

To answer the other questions, I think if I were honest, I'd have to say I'm afraid of the process of death..the unknown. But I'm also afraid of dying short of delivering on whatever promise I made coming down here. I suppose that's either impossible or easily forgiven in the afterlife. I guess I want to find that I've been an overachiever down here, you know? All that said, while the human in me fears the act of death, I do believe that part of me is immortal and will actually be set free like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon upon death. So I shouldn't be afraid. How about you?

*From 10/19/12

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/17/13—Seeking Your Personal Holy Grail

Today's Draw Classic*: Ace of Water from the Gaian Tarot. What is your holy grail in life? If your soul came to this earth to seek one thing, what would it be? Have you found it? Do you think you CAN find it?

The Aces in the tarot are all about new beginnings and new opportunities. The Ace of Water or Cups is about new opportunities in matters of the heart. Or it could be about following your heart's desire. Joanna Powell Colbert brought up an interesting thought in the book that accompanies this deck—the thought of pursuing your personal holy grail. 

So what is that one thing you came here to seek? Love? Understanding? Learning? Money? Power? Success? What? Or maybe it's something quite specific. I have a brother whose answer might that his personal holy grail is to solve/discover the unified field theory—a physics thing.

Maybe we can't boil it down to having just one thing to seek. So what would be the biggest thing? The main thing? The umbrella thing? 

My first instinct was to say "understanding". That covers spiritual understanding and other types of knowledge. It's about understanding how the universe works and how people work. I'm fascinated by that. And the more of it I understand, the more I'm able to help others understand. 

I think one of the things I like most about reading people professionally is hearing their stories and offering them some sort of insight or guidance. With each new situation or question I explore with the tarot, the more I learn about what goes on underneath the surface of people and the more I see of how humanity works. Amongst the "strangers" that people let into that layer are maybe therapists, priests, hair dressers, bartenders and tarot readers. It's a privileged position and, of those professionals, tarot readers are up there with therapists as to the kind of information that's revealed. Getting a peek inside so many different people is a privilege. It aids with understanding tremendously. And the understanding gained helps with other people down the road.

So that's my story. Understanding. And I think it's a lifelong quest that I'll never fully attain. What's the grail you seek?

*From 9/5/11

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/16/13—Revering the Whispers of God

Today's Draw Classic*: Reverence from Mystic Art Medicine by Cher Lyn. Have you had an experience recently that you consider reverent? What sacred messages have your life experiences been bringing you? Is there a special ritual or practice you have to honor your most reverent moments?

Mystic Art Medicine is a beautiful deck of Oracle cards that I found on my own "reverent" journey this past weekend. For deck hounds like myself, I'll say the stock is flimsy. I don't like flimsy stock if I can avoid it, but I'm not sorry I got these cards because everything else about them is top quality. The art is very spiritual and symbolic, the printing quality is good and the cards are well oversized, making them harder to shuffle, but easier to see and read. They really are beautiful cards. 

Reverence is about honoring the god in you and honoring life by showing deep respect for what comes. It's about seeing and acknowledging the sacred within you and your life. It's about both the special moments and the mundane. There is nothing within us or without us that is not sacred.

Today I happened upon a young neighbor boy that was in his daddy's arms getting his bottle. As I rubbed my finger on his tiny, new feet, there was a connection. He gave me a smile as his formula dribbled down his cheek and suddenly his bottle became less important. He stared into my eyes, let go of his bottle and basked in whatever he saw in me. That, of course, was a blessed experience and gave me a smile. I softened my voice further when I spoke to him and the sound of it delighted him further, which delighted me. 

I like to think of babies as special beings that can see and register things that adults can't. So it makes me feel good that, up until about the age of three or so, children are transfixed by me. Because they're seeing something in me that's more beautiful than the way I see myself.  I would think I would get the opposite reaction from the tiny ones, because I'm a big person with a big voice. I'm also not really a kid person. I only like them when they're not crying or making noise. But toddlers and below seem to see past all of that to something more basic and they can see the light of a person's connection to spirit or something like that. 

Once kids get past three, all bets are off in regard to me. The neighbor kid on the other side is around 7 or 8 years old and he is intimidated by me, as is his younger sister. The poor kids occasionally have to come over to ask a question or deliver a message from the mother. You can tell it's a horror show for them. They've heard their parents talk about the weird lady next door, along with whatever misconceptions they might have about me. Since most people assume I'm a witch, that's probably what they think. And, traditionally, children's stories that feature witches don't necessarily go get baked into pies or turned into lizards or suffer an outbreak of warts.

Anyway, the poor neighbor boy comes over the other day to retrieve a lacrosse ball that has sailed over the fence and you can see the worry in his eyes. Will this be the day Hansel gets captured by the witch and locked in a cage, fattened up and made into stew? He thrusts a jar of strawberry jam into my hands, hoping this will grease the wheels and secure his future. The worst part of it is that it was a wasted trip. I had actually seen the ball earlier in the day and thrown it back into his yard. I could tell he didn't quite believe my story. The anxiety was palpable.

Two different neighbor boys from two different neighbors, bringing two different energies to the table. But each was pretty precious in its own way. Each brought a lesson—a message from God. Each revealed the truth of a side of me that I don't often get to see from the outside. There's that ability within me to be a magical being like the infant saw, one wrapped in an aura of light. Then there's the byproducts of what happens when you believe and practice outside of the realm of Judeo-Christian religion in this country. Things are assumed, misunderstood and wrapped in fear. And if I'm going to be who I am, I have to take responsibility for both sides. 

Reverence is not only taking responsibility for who we are and what happens in our worlds, but it's also in seeing, acknowledging and taking action on the divine wisdom of short, giving life's experiences the respect they deserve. Even the worst situations come to show you who you are, where you've grown, how you've changed, where you need to change, where to find your responsibility and how deep the layers of your onion go. The same is true of your best moments. Though it's sometimes hard to remember and realize, both hold the whispers of God and should be equally revered.

*From 5/21/12

Sunday, July 14, 2013

7/15/13—Accepting the Way Things Are

Today's Draw Classic*: The Five of Swords from the Mythic Tarot. Is there something going on in your life that's really got your goat? Is something coming to an end before you're ready...or not coming to an end fast enough? Are you tired of trying to make something change that just doesn't seem to want to change?

Nothing blocks life's zing like refusing to accept "what is". And that's what this card has come to tell us about today...acceptance. It doesn't matter if something's unfair or if wasn't supposed to be this way. It's tough beans if you don't like it or if others get to do it and you can't. None of that matters.

It is what it is.

And you can accept it and find a way to work with it. Or you can fight against it and just create more pain for yourself. I'm not talking about things you can change, here. This isn't a social commentary about becoming a sheep and letting the tide take you. This is about things you can't change. Being fired from a job. The end of a relationship. Getting sick. Having physical, mental or emotional limitations. Pushing up against another person's will. The situation may be end up being different in the future, but right now it is what it is and no amount of begging, fighting, manipulation, displaced anger or vengeance is going change it.

It is what it is.

Sure, you can do all that stuff. But ultimately you're hurting yourself. And keeping zing at arm's length. And wallowing in bad energy. And creating bad karma for yourself. And changing nothing. Of course there's going to be pain and mourning on the road to acceptance, but holding on to anger/revenge/a grudge is, as they say, like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

I have a theory that most pain is caused by pushing up against what is. I find myself doing it from time to time. I know my particular situation *can* change. I'm just limited in how much it can change right now. And in the meantime, I'm not doing myself any good or getting any closer to change by not accepting where I am and what conditions are. And, for my situation, trying to change it while I'm limited in my ability to change is just defeating me. But I'm proud to say I have learned to bypass most non-acceptance. And to stop all the histrionics and arm flailing and drama that go along with it. And, for that, I'm grateful.

These things—like drama and non-acceptance and the kind of competition we talked about yesterday—are all things that put distance between us and our happiness. We involve ourselves in things that don't serve. And sure, it's not conscious. We don't WANT to be miserable. But sooner or later we need to question what purpose it serves.

Usually it this behavior keeps us involved in the stories we tell ourselves—"I never get what I want." "Everyone's always screwing me." "There's so much drama in my life." "I'm not lovable." "Everyone around me is an idiot." "There are no good men out there." "I should be able to do this." "Life isn't fair." etc. and so on. And as long as we're caught up these stories, all the power is outside of ourselves and, powerless, we conveniently never have to do anything to change our lives. The problem is, change and forward movement are what keeps our lives fresh and exciting and full of zing.

Orestes, the guy on the ground in today's card, is being told by Apollo that he has to avenge his father's death. He doesn't want to do this, but Apollo is a god and this is how things are. Not doing it is just going to make his life worse. And fighting up against "what it" isn't going to change anything. He's still going to have avenge the death. 

Is there something familiar in that situation in your life? Something where you're just prolonging your pain? Look at all the stuff that you want to change in your life and see which things may just need to be accepted for the time being. If you took away that frustration and replaced it with acceptance, you may not only open yourself up for more joy in your life, but you may just stumble upon a new solution for your problem. 

*From 8/2/12