I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Light of Clarity

From the Tarot de St. Croix, the Two of Wands; from the Archetype Cards, the 'Judge:'
          This priestess points one wand at the Earth and one down at the earth, representing the macrocosm and microcosm. It makes me think of things I want to accomplish out in the world (macro) as opposed to the work I need to do within myself (micro). Which is more important for me to focus on right now? Will the imbalance of one affect the other? The Judge shows up to help me make an objective decision. But actual judges who may be prejudiced in some way (such as being related to someone involved) must recuse themselves from the case. My strong opinions or emotional leanings may prevent me from making a choice with clarity. If so, perhaps considering the unbiased thoughts of someone else might be beneficial.
The thing is to supply light and not heat. ~ Woodrow Wilson  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Feel of Freedom

From the Tarot de St. Croix, the Tower; from the Archetype Cards, the 'Visionary:'
          In this particular Tower, St. Croix has placed the the Hindu deity Shiva inside. Shiva is known as the destroyer, a duty that is meant to liberate rather than punish. When life gets overwhelming or full of fear, it's easy to look for ways to protect ourselves. A behavior or attitude that proves comforting at the time can turn into a habitual pattern; it gives the illusion of safety but actually imprisons us. It's Shiva's job to break down our ignorance and denial by reminding us what freedom feels like. The Visionary is a person who can imagine themselves or a situation in a different place in the future. Most people have hopes for what is to come, but these could be fit inside a thimble because of self-imposed parameters. We want things to turn out a certain way and no other, which if we get attached to that idea will put us right back behind the Tower's walls. Life can't be forced into a small frame, because it will always be larger than our little thimble.
We are called to see each arising of our day not as a threat, but as an opportunity—a chance to open our arms, lay down our weapons, and surrender to this exact moment of our life.
Reginald Ray

Monday, October 16, 2017

Learning to Thrive

From the Tarot de St. Croix, the Nine of Pentacles; from the Archetype Cards, 'Angel:'
          St. Croix writes in her booklet, "Prosperity comes from doing the work you love." I know some folks who are wealthy, but they aren't necessarily happy in a healthy sort of way. To prosper means to thrive and flourish; it is on another level than simply having a fat wallet. Perhaps what I do for a living is separate from what I love, yet my paycheck gives me the financial freedom to nourish that side of myself. As long as I have a chance to grow my own 'sunflowers,' I can still bloom. The Angel card doesn't have anything to do with winged celestial beings, but people willing to be of service to others without expectations. Victor Hugo wrote, "It is by suffering that human beings become angels." I've experienced such kindness from those who've suffered. My friend Sharyn (who took care of two parents with dementia) sent a very helpful DVD to me as we became caretakers of my mother-in-law. Some of us harden our hearts when life deals a heavy blow, while others grow metaphorical wings and become mentors. These 'angels' can teach us how to prosper no matter what the weather brings.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Tea Cups and Companions

This week I'll be using the Tarot de St. Croix, created and self-published by Lisa de St. Croix. Along with it, I'll be drawing from the Archetype Cards, created by Caroline Myss and published by Hay House. Today's cards are the Seven of Cups and 'Companion':
          What cup of tea leaves would you choose? When trying to decide what aspiration or dream to follow, it's easy to be influenced by the outer portion of other people's lives. Yet what is not seen is the inner portion that contains their pain, loss and suffering. No life is perfect, but to find joy means we each must follow our own heart and head and not try to replicate someone else. But it's funny... sometimes we're not sure what it is we long for and desire. Life has distracted us with so many other things, that our clarity has become clouded. However a companion, a confidant with whom we've shared our intimate thoughts, may be of help. They may know the right questions to ask to prod us, pushing us to  think deeply, beyond superficial fantasies. Of course the shadow side of such a friendship is when we let them make our choices for us. Yet I am the only one responsible for choosing my own cup,  putting forth the effort to work toward it, and living with the consequences of that decision.
Don't live in the shadows of people's judgement. Make your own choices
in the light of your own wisdom. ~ Amitabh Bachchan

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spiritual Parkour

From the Urban Tarot, the Fool; from the Principles to Live By, Courage:
          This young man makes me think of the urban acrobats who make cityscapes their obstacle course, running, jumping and climbing great heights with cat-like grace. The creator of the Urban Tarot identifies with the Fool and writes, "I strive to live a life unburdened by fear, open to the possibilities before me." Indeed, the Fool lacks both hope (concrete expectations) and fear, living only in the present moment. What matters is what he does right now. The Courage tile seems a good fit for him, as it implies acting with purpose even in the face of uncertainty. Maya Angelou wrote: "One isn't necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential." The Fool represents that tiny seed of potential in everyone. We can nurture it and watch life expand or ignore it and experience how quickly the world can shrink.
 It teaches us to touch the world and interact with it, instead of being sheltered by it. 
~ Andy Tran on parkour philosophy

Friday, October 13, 2017

Speak Up

From the Urban Tarot, the Four of Cups; from the Principles to Live By, Simplicity:
          Nothing says comfortable like hanging out in your tightie whities with your loved one. This Four is called 'Luxury' in Thoth decks, because things have gotten very stable from an emotional point of view. But there is a fine line between being stable and flat, like a soda that has lost its fizz. You could have a room full of sodas like that, and not want a sip from any of them. Have things moved from comfortable to complacent, creating an underlying feeling of discontent? Creating chaos might shake things up, but it doesn't lend itself to emotional satisfaction either. The tile Simplicity suggests living a life that is straightforward and uncomplicated. Do we crave stability to the point that we don't dare do or say anything that might disturb it? Hans Hofmann said, "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." The emotional foundation that looks secure on the outside might actually have a huge inner fracture that is gradually getting larger. Saying nothing and pretending it's not there won't make it go away.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Greatest Wisdom

From the Urban Tarot, the Queen of Swords; from the Principles to Live By, Kindness:
          The Queen of Swords represents Water of Air; she has a keen intellect but also sharp perception and insight. Seeing her represented here as an artist made me think of the character Clara Morrow in Louise Penny's Armand Gamache books. In the latest book, Clara paints portraits of the people in her close-knit community. The portraits look like nothing special at first glance, until the observer notices the small details. Reflected in each person's eyes is what they love most in the world. Like the Queen of Swords, she looked beyond the faces presented to the public and saw the core inside each person. The Kindness tile implies a caring attitude that leads to benevolent action. It is not enough to know; we must also do. If my neighbor is hungry, compassion (though a good thing to have) won't feed her. In the words of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, "What wisdom is greater than kindness?"