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Friday, July 31, 2015

Ace of Cups - Shlemiel or Shlimazel?



Hands down this card for me today is my very favourite, and it's perfect timing with the Blue Moon and because I am getting together with some life long women friends. We've been gathering for these women's weekends together for many years, and saw one another go through those pivotal life altering events like marriage, divorce, death, those soul draining things that can make you feel like a shlimazl, or shlemiel, both two hard cases. The shlimazl usually gets the worst of it. The shlemiel falls off the ladder, and the shlimazl breaks her fall. These Yiddish words accurately describe the unluckiness I am talking about. Yes, and I found out that luck has nothing to do with happiness.


Things that make you say, " Why is this happening? " or " What is wrong with me? " You may be left feeling like you are simply an unlucky sop, who has a dark cloud over your head.  I used to feel this way. I thought every one else was destined to be happy. Happiness was something that seemed to elude me, and I didn't know how to be responsible for my own happiness. I felt this way for many years, though it may not  have been apparent to anyone else other than me.

 I had been attempting to fill a spiritual void with a material reality. It really wasn't until I was about 40 years old, when I fully came to believe that happiness was to be found within myself. I learned that happiness comes from being grateful and reaching out for help. Today I focus on what I have, not on what I don't have.

In the Ace of Cups we see Aphrodite rising out of the frothy ocean in all her glory and power. She is the goddess of Love and called the Mother of All. This card is about feeling a deep love for yourself, for others and for Spirit, that fortifies and strengthens your own ability to keep that veil of unhappiness away.

When we truly are our own best friend, this enables us to really appreciate deep friendships with those who know us, love and accept us as we are. These friendships are some of the most affirming and loving blessings we can have in our lives.

If the Great Spirit loves and accepts us as we are, then why wouldn't we, or why shouldn't we love, and accept ourselves as we are? Being mindful and maintaining a daily conscious contact with Spirit, has been paramount in my own happiness.

I am grateful to my fellow sisters and brothers who have shared in the falling, and in the breaking of falls. I am grateful as well, that they taught me how to no longer be a shlemiel or a shlimazl!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Magician - Conjures Creative Ideas



Ruled by Mercury who the messenger of the gods The Magician conjures up ideas and is the inner guide pointing to our creative capacities within our, mind, imagination, body, and heart

Having an imagination and being able to express creative ideas in tangible ways is the ultimate form of communication in my opinion, a language in and of itself. Here, lying at Hermes feet are all the tools necessary to do this, and are at The Magician's disposal, and at ours as well.

We see the Cup of Fortune, as Hermes is wise in matters of the heart. The cutting edge of the sword represents the clarity and power of the mind. Pentacles signify a stroke of good luck, and relates to all things involving business matters. Finally, the wand of magic with two snakes entwined that symbolize all things opposite: male and female, dark and light.

The Magician is a card full of hope signifying that the Fool's journey is clearly possible, and there are capacities that are yet to be developed.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Knight of Pentacles - Steadfast




I've been writing a lot lately, I'm back to work after two weeks off, and trying to get ready for an art exhibit next month and so I feel a little pressed for time and could easily get my underwear in a big knot, if I let myself.

And so it's nice to see the Knight of Pentacles that stands placidly and steadfastly, seated bareback upon his loyal companion, his horse, and appears to be if in a meditative, mindful state taking in the beauty, sights, sounds and smells, all around him, that he loves so much. He takes pleasure in the simple things of life, and  has faith, trusting the Earth Mother will supply his needs. On a mission of sorts, he persists in living a full balanced life, is forward looking, focusing on his goal.

 The Pentacle he holds is confirmation and assurance to me that the physical demands of daily life are best managed and tempered in the context of that calm, mindful state. This is what helps us to get done, what we need to do, every day.

I have to remind myself, that I can't control the goings on around me. I can control myself and my attitude and perception toward them. It's a simple message but a vital one. I need to appreciate the menial everyday tasks and to persevere in getting them done. At the same time I need to do all I can to foster that connection with all of my environment, including my relationships and friendship with other living beings, in the natural world, be they creatures or human.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Five of Swords - Give Me The " Incorrigible Nonconformist"



I'm back to the busyness of life, and have to make a concerted effort to squeeze out what time I have during the day to get my posts written, which will be a challenge, but I am determined to do so. The Five of Swords  reminds me how I can get quickly haired up, and get my underwear in a knot by someone who is trying to be the boss of me. Oh no, I can hear myself say, that's just not on! Go point your finger somewhere else Apollo. Get out of my face, and out of my space. This I why I am grateful to be an artist, because I can be my own boss.

Determination for me is a form of stubbornness. I am a stubborn sort by times, or so I have been told by some that love me. I accept that. I think most times it works in my favour, Although cutting my nose off to spite my face, is a character defect I have to guard against, as this can truly be the downside of stubbornness.

This stubborn nature I expect is an inherited and a dysfunctional conditioned family trait. Combine this with having an overall issue around authority figures, especially those whom John Bradshaw refers to as being undisciplined disciplinarians. Those sorts I don't accept well. I could say I might very well be one of those incorrigible nonconformists Einstein refers to in the quote below. I could blame it on being an artist. I prefer to say it simply, it's who I am, and I like it that way.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Judgement - Gratitude-Joy-Generousity

Judgment


I rarely draw the Major Arcana card of Judgement. In the six months and seven days I have had this blog, today is the third time the Judgement card has come up. In is consistent with the theme of my recent posts and what I have been thinking about lately, transformation, forgiveness, and thriving.

Transformation is change yes, and it is also about growth, and becoming a new creature, much like the chrysalis. Transformation can be painful, and often is. It can be slow or fast. Sometimes we don't realize we have been transformed until it has happened, or we can know immediately, deep within our being when some event has happened, that we will never be the same person again.

There have been a number of trans-formative points and periods in my life. Some left me feeling so devastated and full of sorrow, I thought I'd never recovery from, and I wanted to give up. I did recover, I didn't give up, and eventually I became a stronger person.

 Other transforming situations were so challenging and scarey, they tested my limitations, that mostly existed in my mind. I found out how badly I really wanted something, and how hard I was willing to work at getting it. I also learned what I was really capable of when I applied myself, and this gave me the courage, determination, and persistence to continue.

Transformation is a powerful event. How it plays out is directly proportional to my attitude. These three things are what helped me to transform my life, and will continue to do so..
  • Gratitude, and focusing my attention on what I have, as opposed to what I do not have.
  • Altruistic joy, fixing my attention on the happiness and success of others, because inflicting unhappiness on others will never bring me happiness
  • Abundance or generousity, and sharing with others no matter how much or how little I have.


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Four of Wands - Thriving Versus Surviving



Before I drew the Four of Wands today, I felt I was being drawn in the direction of love, loving others, and loving the self. I was also reflecting on the difference between surviving and thriving. This was confirmed when I saw this card.

The Four of Wands reflects the joining of forces in order to support one another. Jason could never have achieved his quest for the Golden Fleece had his companions not supported, believed, and joined him in this bold and dangerous journey. Jason also did the same for his companions, he had their backs, and they all not only survived this journey, but they thrived.

Often we are so ready to help, forgive or recognize the beauty in another, and have difficulty accepting help, forgiving or recognizing the beauty within ourselves. Loving others, but not loving ourselves, is to survive. But when we can love ourselves, is to thrive. Thriving extends beyond to include to every aspect and every area of our lives whether is be personal and professional development.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Page of Cups - Tenderheart



When I was little, and a teenaged girl, I was very much this kind of Page of Cups, and exhibited all the page's qualities, emotional, intuitive, inquisitive, naive and innocent. I was pretty regularly getting myself into some kind of pickle from an early age, prone to getting my fingers, arms or feet stuck in some kind of contraption. When I was four I stuck a candy in my ear, and at ten shaved my eyebrow off, and at 14 climbed the Guelph water tower because I thought I was in love with the boy who climbed the tower with me. All of which was mostly out of curiosity that I did these things, and because I thought with my heart, which left me blind sighted. I had no foresight. This carried on into my own relationships, and in the matters of the heart, resulting in a lot of heart ache, because of having a too trusting and a naive nature. I continued to make bad choices and life decisions, but I did manage at least to keep both my eyebrows on my face at this point, although I did give myself some really bizarre haircuts!

As a typical Gemini with my moon in Pisces, and being a water person in every way, I certainly relate to the Page of Cups. The page's negative experiences in life can make them jaded and cynical. If we can find away to hold onto the positive personality traits of the Page of Cups, within ourselves, and learn to temper our emotion with the more prudent,  logical, and intellectual aspects of our nature, we can come into more of a balanced state of being between or head and heart. I have spent many years doing just that.

 I am thankful through the Grace of God that the hurts, difficulties, and even tragedies have enabled me to keep my heart open. This has happened only through discernment, and wisdom that has come with experience, knowledge, understanding and healing the split between love and spirit.

When you are a tender heart, like this Page of Cups, it can be a blessing and a liability, in that this can leave your open heart vulnerable to being hurt and broken. This is the major pitfall of this Page. There is an honesty here, that is not always appreciated by everyone. The Page of Cups is as ready to cry, as to laugh, and there can be those that love these very transparent qualities present in the Page's nature, but some will simply take advantage, see them as a fool, and believe they deserve what they get for being so stupid and naive.

The balance between giving others the benefit of the doubt along with magical thinking, or not seeing reality as it is, can be a precarious tight rope walk for the Page of Cups in today's world, that seems full of unscrupulous individuals, who have hidden agendas, and are only looking out selfishly for number one.

The Page of Cups is a card of love and the world is in need of the loving hopeful idealist that sees the good in people, perhaps when we can't see it in ourselves.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ace of Pentacles - Getting Down On The Pig Farm



When I was a teenager, between the age of 17 and18 I had a memory making, life changing experience, working as a volunteer on a pig farm. How the heck could that be life changing? Well I'll tell you. I learned about myself, what I loved and what I didn't. I found out how much I loved almost everything about the farming lifestyle.

The opportunity to connect with the earth and my environment, helped me to realize how much I loved to get down and dirty in the dirt. I also came to know and understand the importance of discipline that comes from hard physical work outside and how we all need to be good stewards of the earth.

Pigs are smart, sweet and funny. They should be outside with their snouts rootin' out weeds not stuck on cement floors, imprisoned in steeled cells, inside day upon day, never seeing or feeling the warmth of the sun or the earth upon their skin. Never pet a pig on the head when he's in a cell, because when he lovingly looks up at you, your hand will be wedged in between his head, and that steel bar. You might not be able to retrieve your hand again, at least not in one piece, I know this happened to me, but thankfully I was able to get my hand out.

Horses are also very smart, and somewhat unpredictable if you are not an experienced rider, just as are geese ornery, and will chase you if they sense you're intimidated, fearful, or they simply want to chase you. I learned too, if you work on a pig farm don't go to Bible Study. Trust me, you'll smell like a pig no matter how much you scrub up before hand.

Speaking of smelly, I also learned that a shit spreader is the best way to get manure onto a garden. As the operator of this machine, once sung out to me, one very fine dancin' Welshman, "That'll make'er grow!" And it did too!

The Ace of Pentacles reminds me of my strong connection with all the living and growing things of the earth,  in all of creation. It's a good feeling that makes me feel whole and I know now, the raw force of nature does nothing in vain.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

King of Wands - The Blueprint of Life



With the New Moon in Cancer, indicating emotional fulfillment. It is the astrological sign of the Great Mother, signifying intuition and emotion, brings with it on this day of the new moon, the King of Wands. It also brings to mind creative vocation and purpose, with lots of energy and growth.  It's rather like, finding  blue print of life in our life's journey.



The King of Wands is the Hero, a counterpart to the Heroine, embodied in the Queen of Cups. There is one very significant difference between Hero and Heroine. The Hero is looking back. The Heroine is looking forward.

According to Jungian, Maureen Murdoch, author of The Heroine's Journey, didn't feel that Joseph Campbell's book, The Hero's Journey addressed "the specific psycho-spiritual journey of contemporary women ."



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Page of Pentacles - Ahhh Summer...



A very affirming and validating card for mind, body and spirit. The Page of Pentacles gives such a feeling of connection with the earth and a passion for life long learning.

It is a beautiful day for working in the garden. I got myself a lovely little pop up screen tent to protect me from the bugs and the sun. I'll be sitting out there with a good book.

Today I feel the fullness in the meaning of this card with the onset of Summer arriving in all it's glory.

I'm off to the garden to enjoy the glorious Summer day.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Ask Your Dentist, Mechanic Or Plumber If They Give Free Service



There is often discussion around giving free Tarot readings, and it once again has come to my attention.


It sounds generous to offer a free reading, and it is. As an artist it is like giving a painting away. I have done both in the past, given free readings, and free paintings. Don't misunderstand, no one forced me to do this, but it can become a trap and a slippery slope, if you allow yourself to be used by those who take advantage.

One that artists, tarot readers, or women can easily and quickly slide down. Perhaps we are wanting to people please, we want them to like us, we want to be kind, or perhaps we just don’t value our own worth either.

Tarot readers are creative compassionate individuals, they love people, many are artists, and many design their own decks. The woman who designed the most popular Tarot deck, the Rider-Waite-Coleman Smith,  was artist Pamela-Colman-Smith, who sadly died penniless, in spite of her talent and education. She was paid next to nothing for the deck she created. I think more than anything, she wanted to be recognized for the creative work she produced. We all have the basic human need for recognition for the work we do, and we also need it in the form of monetary remuneration, and need to understand the business of business, like any other profession.

There is a common attitude prevailing within our culture that undervalues women, their work, or anything that others perceive, to be your “hobby." Oh people want what you have to offer, they just don’t want to pay for it, because of this attitude.

There is nothing wrong with having a hobby, I have several, but it is very different than having and wanting a life and a business that you love, as the vocation you want to thrive through professional development.

I now rarely ‘give’ away my work. If this becomes the norm, giving your services away, you are not only devaluing your worth and value, you are also contributing to this very attitude, and do a disservice to other artists, tarot readers and women. I do believe you teach people how to treat you.


Now go ask your local dentist, mechanic or plumber if he gives 'free service'. If you do, let me know how you make out with that. And perhaps you will then come to the decision whether or not you  " Should You Give Free Tarot Readings? "

Here is one of my very favourite artists Gwen Rosewater, who created this fantastic Nine of Wands.

Nine of Wands - Gwen Rosewater - Artist

Nine of Wands - Ready For Some New!



Over the past week,  I have consistently drawn all the Nines from each suit. Today I've drawn the Nine of Wands. It the Universe trying to tell me something I wonder? I am seeing the meaning as reflecting exactly where I am at present in mind, body and spirit, the three realms of experience.

I have come full circle, weathering the storms, ups and downs, through the labyrinth of life to point of a completion, attainment, and acceptance, like a spiral, but where there is closure, there is also beginning and renewal in that cycle of life..

I have met myself and made a connection, come to a place of acceptance. I have found I need to ask some important questions in regards to the number nine, in all it's elements.  Questions about how to live life to the fullest. What makes me feel whole? What particular undertaking will make me feel more complete as a person? How does change affect me, and how do I feel about moving into the next phase of my life? Am I feeling connected to myself, to others, and to the God of my understanding?

Interestingly, the Latin word for nine is novem and has the same root meaning novus, which means new.
I'm more than ready for some new!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Nine of Cups - " A Pure Thought Placed Into Your Heart



For the past two days nines of come up in my daily draw. Here the Nine of Cups, referred to as the " Wish Card. "

Children we are full of wishes and expect them to come true. Many children it seems might not have the luxury of hopeful wishes because their lives are full of suffering and heartache in one way or another.
Wishes for me translate into hope and in a world so of strife, there is always hope, we must have hope, if not for ourselves, then for our children. I believe deeply that there is always 'hope for the hopeless'

I can say that wishing for me is a kind of prayer. But many of us are for what ever reason, sometimes disconnected in someway from prayer. We feel will cannot pray, or don't understand it. There is a poverty of the spirit, and a spiritual dryness, or a misconception of what prayer is..

There was a desperate time in my life when I was unable to pray, though I very much wanted to. A spiritual mentor who was trying to comfort me, said that my desire to pray was a prayer. In so many words in his own prayer, the Trappist monk Thomas Merton says that the desire to pray is prayer itself.

Today I read a definition of prayer that I really love. " The definition of prayer is having  is a pure thought placed into your heart for God to find. "

I expect that whether you call it wishing or prayer it is the intention and what we carry in our heart of hearts that is important.
This prayer of Thomas Merton is a prayer of hope, and the desire for trust.

 "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Nine of Pentacles - The Blessing - The Gift



Today I had a lovely visit with two friends and the conversation came round to caring about ourselves and what a gift it is to be able to get to the point in life, were you truly care for yourself, and we share the creative gifts we have been given to with other women. These gifts are not necessarily monetary but are really gifts of experience, hope, and strength. These are lasting, bring great satisfaction, a sense of wholeness, and happiness.

In the Nine of Pentacles we find Daedalus with all his "gifts" that he has acquired in the form of pentacles and monetary success. The fruit of his labour has paid off in more ways than one. We see also that he has switched up his work clothes for fancier duds and has reached a point in his life were he feels a level of personal self-satisfaction and has found some success by unconventional means.

It is important to acknowledge our ability to be self-sufficient and recognize what we have accomplished. That said, we also need to keep in mind that never achieve our goals, nor fulfill our dreams without the help, encouragement and support of others, in combination with our own efforts and persistence to succeed.

This is why it is essential we surround ourselves with kindred spirits, with those who share a like mindedness, in order to keep us on track. I am not talking about privileged group of individuals who share in the motto, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back." No, I am referring to those who genuinely want the best for us. They are generous in spirit, pay it forward, because someone has helped them in the past to get, not a hand out, but a hand up. They care about their fellow human beings in a benevolent way, with empathy and compassion. These people celebrate and are happy about their own success, and are also celebrate and are happy about success of others.

As women we have the ability to share our gift of creativity and these truly are great blessings.
My mother was the blessing to me and she shared her gift of creativity, which became my blessing and gift to share.
Share a blessing, be a blessing.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ace of Cups - Pleasure-Pride-Empowerment



The Ace of Cups I've drawn, speaks to me today of the culmination of thoughts, and my ongoing exploration of how women reclaim their bodies in every way, in the realm of the sacred.

Slowly and steadily I've been making a conscious effort to address healths issues, making doctors appointments etc. I am feeling very positive about this and nervous at the same time, making visits to my dentist and my family doctor, and having routine tests. Not much fun needless to say, but necessary.

Reclaiming that sacredness of the female body has become my focus as of late. This is very different than being preoccupied  with superficial concerns about what I wear or "putting on my face" for reasons that have little to do with health or sacredness. The ancient philosophy of referring to the body as a temple immediately comes to my mind.

Historically as women we carry pain, shame, and dis-empowerment of the past and present. If we can look within ourselves, we find there exists the exact opposite, pleasure, pride and empowerment. It has been there all along. It's time we all remove the historical cultural shroud placed upon us, embrace and love our fertile, feral, sexual and creative selves, reclaiming our wild woman nature, that culture has long feared.

 “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.” - Isadora Duncan



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Nine of Swords - Antidote To Worry





I spent yesterday from early morning until late at night in town running around having various appointments. In between my numerous errands I made a conscious decision to slow down. I took a break with coffee, a doughnut and visited with a few good friends to talk.

My mind over the past week and a half had been filled with worrisome thoughts and I finally concluded that I could no longer continue on like this, as it was simply creating more anxiety and worry. I needed to get myself in gear and do something proactive to address the issues I was worrying about, and so I did. I feel so much better now. Drawing this card was full of synchronicity in meaning for me today.


The Nine of Swords sure looks like it's game over for this poor sop, with those Furies, the creatures  overhead, that pursue and threaten him with swords. It is the card of the nightmare. The initial impression one might have, would be impending death and destruction, signifying the end of life as we know it. We are likely to be inclined to react with the emotion of overwhelming anxiety and fear of what awaits us in the future.

However, Swords are the suit that represents the intellect, not emotion. Swords cut through muddled thought, in spite of our head being filled with worried thoughts, causing us to loose sleep at night, resulting in more stress, fear and anxiety that affects our mind, body and spirit. Action is the best antidote to our mental malaise. Yes life can hand out some real shit sandwiches, but the good news is we don't have to eat them!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Sun - Good Orderly Direction



I am always uplifted when I draw the Major Arcana card, The Sun, Apollo the Sun god, dispells fear, the enemy of darkness who is casting away shadow. Drawing this card, especially today for personal reasons, gives a deep sense of solace, strength,  the consciousness of a striving spirit, clarity of hope, and that all is right with the universe. The Sun card indicates growth, transformation, and the life giving force, for which all living things upon the earth depend.

Traversing through the journey of our lives with optimism, trust, purpose, and faith help us to lessen any burden, and can change our body chemistry. Thinking positively may lower our stress hormone cortisol, directly affecting our health.

I am a person who isn't so much of a worrier, but truth is, I am prone to panic and anxiety attacks on occasion. My stress levels can increase rapidly. I know this is somewhat normal for everyone, under certain circumstances.  I react like many who are experiencing stress or a crisis, whether real or imagined. I have to work at keeping worry and unhealthy stress at bay, and in check. Sometimes I am just not very good at actualizing this when the hammer comes down, but I continue .

It is a very positive activity studying the Tarot as a daily routine and habit. It reminds me to keep things in perspective, to remember to live in the present and not to project into the future or regret the past. These are the two crazy making attitudes.

The Sun urges and encourages me to not depend solely upon my own human resources and to direct my strong will in the right direction. I know I must honestly accept my own limitations, and turn to the Creator's guidance. Then my worst faults, become my greatest assets

Many things can upset us, and it is very easy to get off course. These situations are not a matter of weakness, or being weak-willed, but one of direction.

 I pray to see with a clarity of vision and discernment in order to steer a straight course, and accept good orderly direction in my life's journey, the direction that the Creator has for me.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ten of Swords - The Star of Bethlehem



I've been so busy since mid May and all through June. I've been feeling overwhelmed which gets me down. I've had little time to keep up with my blogs or for that matter, even getting the lawn mowed. So it is lovely to have three days to myself, be able get caught up some, and look forward , having more free time to come again soon.

When we reach  low points in life we need to reach within and find an inner strength to rise above. This is the message of the Ten of Swords. It looks like a dark card but we can turn things around, if we choose to do so. We can choose to lift our attention away from the problems we are so focused on, and onto the enormous things beyond which inspire, give us hope, strength to continue, and persevere. The sun is rising, amidst the darkness of the night.

The alignment of Venus and Jupiter on June 30th 2015 in combination with the full moon tomorrow makes for an interesting force of energy that I think inspires and renews the spirit.  Some scientists have conjectured that this alignment is what accounted for the The Star of Bethlehem. It occurs rarely, and this event will not be reviled again until 2023.

Venus and Aphrodite representing the goddess of love, and Jupiter the god Zeus, the inner father, embodies a sense of raw power, a force of nature, where hope, creativity and beauty are symbolized.

This celestial heavenly event in the skies is truly a thing of awesome beauty, and hasn't been seen since the time of Christ. That's a long time! One can't help but think that this rare occurrence is significant some how, and in someway. Perhaps like the Ten of Swords it represents the ending of a difficult situation to make room for a hopeful future to begin. It is up to us how that future will unfold and it is vital that we continue to be hopeful, and backing up our hope with action.