Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seven of Pentacles - Difficult Decisions

Set backs in life happen, that never changes, but what does hopefully is our attitude. Once we are recovering from them, we are now getting to the point, are being rewarded, and are feeling fulfilled for our efforts. It would be easy to become complacent, to simply enjoy our success and recognition. But now, we have difficult decisions to make about our future, as like Daedalus, we are offered a proposition, which can manifest our creative energy, and it may be better than our present situation.We might want to make the safe choice, however this can lead to a stagnation, limiting, or hobbling our creative growth.

Having a mid-life crisis happens to all of as at some point, and it can place us in the crossroads. When we arrive at this point, and we do want to make a decision, but it seems like we are damned if we do, or damned if we don't. We are bound to disappointment, infuriate, or hurt someone, what ever we decide. And so, we must decide who we are going to piss off. We certainly can't please everyone ,  as Ricky Nelson said in his song, " You can't please everybody, so' you've got to please yourself ", and accept, if not be comfortable with our decision, live with the consequences, whether they be positive or negative, and will more than likely will be tinged with both, more or less.
But don't get caught up in the drama, allowing yourself to be a victim, and a casualty, on the front lines of someone else's war. You will not be thanked, and you will be wounded.

I have experienced several of these mid-life crisis, or had to make serious decisions relating to my happiness, and peace of mind. I do not regret the decisions I have made. I am very grateful for them. Oh yes, if I had to do things over, I would have chosen to act on certain things differently, but I can't, and don't regret the past. What I can do is be decisive, act on opportunity, and do the right thing. It's not always easy, but I do not want to allow myself to be hampered by fear, and guilt. I do not want to be a guilty bystander, watching life go by from the sidelines.

 I know I will be confronted again with difficult decisions. But now, with age and experience, has come knowledge, understanding and wisdom. These are the tools I have at my disposal, to use when these crisis arise again, and I know they will, but I feel more prepared, than when I didn't know better, to do better. I try to apply these skills on a daily basis as a kind of insurance, or bank account, to build up resources in strength, so I can get through the life's crisis, big and small, whenever they land on my doorstep.

Be patient with yourself, with others, and with life. You have tools at your disposal. Use care and forethought. Don't wear yourself out with worry and regret. Save your strength there is more work ahead,  Life may be tiresome, and hard but it is still very beautiful.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Four of Swords - Introspection

Omphaloskepsis or contemplating my belly button isn't something I feel I " should " be doing today. I frankly often feel overwhelmed by things, that need doing. I know it is pressure that I bring on myself, most times. At an early age I grew up in a state of hyper-vigilance and I attribute this pressure I feel to this circumstance. I think it's a kind of adrenaline addiction and anxiety attacks.

The  Four of Swords urges that we take a break for rest and repose. Introspection and recuperation are good for mind, body, and soul. When feeling overwhelmed like I do occasionally, I have to ask myself why, and what can I do about it. Once I figure that out, and it doesn't take much figuring, as I know why and what I need to do. It's simply a matter of doing it.

I have been busy over the past while, and am now withdrawing from a few things to stay home, and do the chores that need attending to. I'm trying to regain some balance. Putting first things first, and setting our priorities can be a challenge to get straight, because we can get caught up in busyness, and this can be a diversion and distraction, in order to avoid what we need to do. Once we can prioritize and get these things done, it helps to alleviate stress and bring us back to where we can feel an inner peace within our soul, in order to listen.
I got affirmation today before writing this post from my friend and fellow Tarot reader and blogger Ellen, who posted about silence and awareness

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Six of Cups - Nostaligia

The Six of Cups may look like a card of unhappiness but it is not, it is a card of nostalgia. Psyche, sitting on the rock mid the calm sea, has learned much about herself, and not simply in spite of loss, but perhaps because of it and there is harmony.

Feeling nostalgia is very different than feeling regret, and living in the past, which is pointless, regardless of how wonderful or painful it once was, or how we perceive it to have been. We cannot change the past, unless we have done some thing to hurt another, including ourselves, we can make amends and try to make things right. Forgiving ourselves for the part we have played in our loss and hurt, is often the most difficult part, especially if we do not kindly care about ourselves, the way we might be toward others.

I have learned the hard lesson, that there is nothing that will drive us more crazy, than trying to get something from someone who cannot, or will not give us what we want, or need, including ourselves. Acceptance is the key. This does not mean accepting unacceptable behaviour, or being a doormat, allowing ourselves to be stepped on, or used.
 Once when we grasp and come to the point of acceptance, will we find peace and serenity. Only then will we be able to move on and achieve our goals, no matter how big or small.

Our memory makes up a big part of what defines who we are, and so, we don't want to forget. As we age, we often reminisce, and can get lost in nostalgic thought about those good old days, that perhaps weren't as good as we recall, but not necessarily all being negative either. Our perception and perspective is all relative and important. I find it fascinating how in families, sibling's recollection of the same experience can be entirely different, and occasionally can lead to argument and even divisiveness. One sibling will see great hurt and loss in the family, another will see the exact opposite, as if they'd grown up in different households and families.

This day is what makes up the good old days, and like Psyche where she first encountered Eros, we contemplate that cup of emotion we hold, connected to relationship, friendship and romance, and we long for days and loves gone by. We are more likely to learn and find happiness in looking back, if we do not stare, regret, nor shut the door on the past.

If we embrace, appreciate and are grateful for our present, we can move forward with hope, for a future that will be easier, and happier. We can weather the rough seas of life and loss, finding calm in the eye of the storm, and know tranquility, peace, serenity and freedom.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Knight of Swords - Constantly In Motion

The Knight of Swords, the court card of the identical Warrior Twins, Dioscuri who were, Castor the mortal, and Polydeuces the divine. 

Representing the astrological sign of Gemini, and the Mercurial energy of this card is embodied in the Knight of Swords and Mercury is represented by Pegasus, the flying horse, my favourite!. Inspiration, adventure, flexibility, eternally youthful with a quicksilver intelligence, and creating a broader vision of life. Oh it all sounds great until someone gets their heart broken, their eye poked out, or breaks their neck!
 Seriously though, there is both positive and negative to be found here in this card, as in the whole Tarot deck. I'd much rather focus on the positive, as I have had years of attuning myself to work on overcoming the negatives, and am still a work in progress, which I think we all are, in one way or another. Progress, not perfection is my daily mantra.

Being a pretty typical Gemini myself, and having had my  astrological chart read, I understand this duality in personality, sometimes all too well. I have had to wrestle, and fight with myself much like Castor the horse tamer and Polydeuces the boxer. I certainly identify with Castor being a horse nut myself, and I am a fighter. However, really horses tamed me in many ways, and I have learned to pick my fights these days.

Like the Knight of Swords we are all constantly in motion, some of us more so than others. We are either moving forward, or backward. We never stay the same. Change is inevitable. Here's to positive changes ahead!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Page of Swords - Intellectual Beginnings & Authentic Self

The Solstice has come and gone. It's a time for new beginnings, and the Suit of Swords represents the element of air, and astrological signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Being a Gemini, I strongly identify with this Court card, the Page of Swords that I drew randomly out from the Mythic Tarot Deck,  this morning.

This card for me, presents a synchronicity, and an affirmation directly related to my art blog post today, about being more than ready.

The Page of Swords contains the impetus of new intellectual beginnings, perceptive thinking, communication, and being ready for action, not simply sitting on the ideas about what to do, but engaging in the creative and disciplined process of actualizing them.

 It may be tempting, and easy to get caught up in the petty concerns, and opinions of others, or loosing our focus on unrealistic, and unfulfilled pipe dreams, and projected ideas of the next big thing.  The problem with this is, it's superficial, and never seems to be enough, because it is rooted in an image, which does not exist.

If we allow our behaviour to be dictated by others, because we do what we think they want us to do, or because we are jealous, and compare ourselves to others, it only results in unhappiness, and is a very negative energy.

The Page of Swords for me, communicates the message to resolve to be our authentic self.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Solstise

 This quote from my Mythic Tarot sums up my thoughts regarding the Solstice. The Sun in this deck portrays Apollo the sun-god or ' Apollo Long sight ', representing that part of ourselves " which can see the purpose and reason for experiences long before we have emotionally processed them, and left them behind. "
He plays his lyre of love symbolizing the transforming power of music, having divine harmony, and being in tune with the self.

 The Sun dissipates the dark, and provides a clarity of vision, with positive energy and growth. Especially, the Sun brings love, joy, and happiness after peril. The bondage of darkness, the fear and the imperfection will give way to light, hope, faith, eventual perfection and freedom. We will triumph over tragedy, and loss will be no more.

I must express that today, June 21st was my wedding day in 1981 when I married my best friend, and soul mate. Leading up to this year's Summer Solstice I was thinking a lot about Bill.  We were only married for, four short months, when he died.

 I haven't thought so much about this day like I have today. Perhaps because Summer Solstice comes the same time as National Aboriginal People's Day. My later husband was Metis, and I feel a very close bond with First Nations. I experienced conflicting emotions today, a comforting sadness, and more than any of the past years, when Summer Solstice came round. I am certain I was having that  ' Long sight '.

When we experience these times of darkness, just before, and as the sun comes pouring in, the brightness of The Sun can be overwhelming emotionally, and even painful. But speaking for myself, I have learned the important lesson, not to run from these emotions. Tears heal. We love, and love always means loss; we can't have one without the other, we can't have the sun without the rain. But if I embrace the rain the sun is sure to shine again.

Blessings to you this Summer Solstice and National Aboriginal People's Day.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Why The Mythic Tarot?

I love using The Mythic Tarot deck, for readings, by Juliet-Sharman-Burke, Liz Greene, and illustrated by the very talented artist and illustrator Tricia Newell.  Liz Greene is professional astrologer and a Jungian analyst. Juliet-Sharman-Burke is a qualified analytic psychotherapist.

This deck is generally based on Greek mythology, Jungian psychology, story, ancient images, and archetypal design. I have been using this deck and reference book, for approximately three and a half years. Prior to this, I was using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, which is the most commonly and very popular deck used among Tarot readers.

There are numerous decks to choose from, and I have to say I still have more decks to find, that are on my wish list. Right now I am very attached and drawn to the Mythic Tarot for several reasons. Firstly, I have always been very fascinated and intrigued with Greek myths from the time I was a child.

Secondly, as a person in recovery  for 20 years and a member of a 12 step program, this deck fits who I am, and with the 12 Step program. As well, Dr. Carl Jung, his psychology and spiritual beliefs, greatly influenced the early beginnings of Alcoholic Anonymous, and directly relate to the philosophy of the 12 Step program. I am passionate about anything related to Jungian psychology.

Thirdly, the archetypes in Greek mythology exist within the human psyche, and are connected to Jung's ideas and beliefs. My study of The Mythic Tarot has resulted in a deeper understanding, and appreciation of the wisdom and meaning of the Tarot, Greek mythology, and archetypes within the psyche. I have a great passion for The Mythic Tarot and highly recommend it for anyone interested in Greek mythology, and Jungian psychology.
La Larona/The Weeping Woman Egg Tempera On Panel 2012 Catherine Meyers

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Seven of Swords - Honey Moon & Friday The 13th

The Seven of Swords is an very affirming and timely card for me this Friday the 13th and the rising of the of the Honey Moon. It is also the final card in my study of the Minor Arcana of the Mythic Tarot. It is the strongest card out of the suit of Swords. Representing brains over brawn.

 Honesty may not always seem to be the best policy in life, we do need to be diplomatic and tactful in our dealings with others. We may think we must resort to guile, subterfuge and unethical behaviour, and sometimes we feel the need to do what is expedient for self-preservation.
However crystallizing our goals and making a concrete plan to achieve what it is that we want, will point us in the right direction, if we use diplomacy, and are tactful in our approach when interacting with others. I don't believe we must be or need to be deceitful.

We have successfully solidified our ideas, and have clarified long and short term goals and objectives in order to actualize our vision.
Be forewarned however, do not over-analyze, over-plan, least you get lost in the details and loose your focus.

Trust in your own ability, and capacity to solve your problems logically, this is paramount. It's time to execute your plan and move on to the new stage, which leads to success and accomplishment. The time for theory is over. Make a plan, turning your ideas into reality, this is what is needed now.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Five of Pentacles - Loss

Daedalus is skulking away from his hideout. He has done a terrible thing. Symbolizing the inability to accept the loss of material wealth, social position, and the loss of faith in oneself. This card represents the need to come out of the dark and to not continue to hide from others or from ourselves.

Being so focused on our own problems, can cause us to not be able to see the forest for the trees.  Our sight is obscured, even blinded. We walk alone out of the darkness, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The brightness of the moon lights the way.
Material things and a sense of self may be lost, but there are spiritual riches to be gained along the road. There is always hope, and many gifts of the spirit.

 I have heard it said, that the Five of Pentacles is the worst card in the deck, but I don't think there is any particular card that is the worst, nor necessarily the best. The cards are the cards. What is important is that we pay attention, and what we decide to do when presented with the message they give us.

 Yes, this card could indicate mistakes made, and opportunities missed. But we can not focus on the negative, or we will not be able to move forward. Regretting the past, and projecting into the future is a useless endevour. We need to focus on the present, forgive ourselves, improve our attitude and circumstance. We can not allow false pride to stop us from asking for help either. These proactive behaviours will free us from the burden of our loss.

Often the person who is the most difficult to forgive, is ourselves.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ace of Wands - Creative Vision

The Ace of Wands is a wonderful card, great affirming news. It challenges us to get out of our comfort zone, in order to pursue what is at present, an undirected goal or what I like to call a kind of creativive vision quest. This can be daunting, because we don't know what the outcome will be, but it is exciting at the same time. We have to decide that we want to commit, to be ready, and up for the challenge. We need to believe we can achieve our creative goals.

Inspiration and new beginnings. It could be the beginning of a new enterprise.
In the Mythic Tarot we meet the King of the Gods Zeus, who Jason must obtain the sacred Golden Fleece, the symbol of creative vision. This creative vision inspires, and motivates us to move away from the confines of convention and explore new paths that open our imaginations.

Zeus is the embodiment of what all our creative vision can be, the sky is the limit, and this creative energy is a force of nature within us. Trust this creative power and energy. There is adventure ahead in the pursuit of a vision. Be brave!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Page of Swords - Curiousity & Communication

The youthful and elemental nature of the Page of Swords signifies emerging new ideas, the beginnings of independent thinking, a love of learning and the innate natural curiousity of a child.

Being an ambivalent card, two states of behaviour and mind set can co-exist simultaneously. Love and hate can be apparent. Especially when it comes to the negative aspects of this card, embodying a querulous and mischievous attitude, impart due to the childlike playful nature of the the Page of Swords.

 Unfortunately, as an adult, this playful nature can translate into gossip, which often has it's roots in jealousy, pride, envy and spite. This bitter root that can poison and suffocate relationships, affecting any, and all aspects of one's life. Gossip is to be guarded against.

 How we communicate and what we communicate, especially in present day, hardly allows us to think before we speak, especially because so many of us are preoccupied with instant online communication instead of face to face, or though slow communication via the seemingly dying art of letter writing.

The creative ideas and mental powers of the Page of Swords needs to be nurtured, channeled and directed in  positive ways and encouraged in a supportive manner.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Four of Cups- Discontent

The Four of Cups is the card of discontent and stagnation.

Discontentment can lead to having a jaded attitude, but it can also lead to progress.

 Like our inner critic and like Psyche's ugly sisters portrayed in the Mythic Four of Cups, the voices of doubt, apathy and negativity live within our psyche, because we have found ourselves in a unhappy situation. There is a choice to be made, whether to listen to these negative voices, or choose to listen and trust our inner voice, our intuition, that speaks truth. We have come to realize that we are not happy in our circumstance, whatever it is. It may be that our present relationship is no longer satisfying, we have been let down and are feeling cheated. However the person we may be letting down the most, may very well be ourselves.

The thrill is gone, as B.B. King says in his song. We are board and depressed. There is a need for growth in order to move forward. Unrealistic expectations will always let us down, and we must take responsibility for our own happiness, based on reality, not illusion. Life is too short to spend our life in misery and  unhappiness.

There's is nothing that will make us more miserable and drive us more crazy than expecting or trying to get something from another, who either can not, or will not give you. We are often our own worst enemy.

" We have met the enemy and they are ours. "  - O.H. Perry

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Six of Wands - Recognition & Humility

    " Success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. "
    Everyone wants to feel they are responsible for success, but not for failure.

    " Success is never final ".
    After success you can't afford to become complacent and sit on your laurels. Hard work is still ahead, and is just as important as it ever was.

    Proverbs provide words of wisdom and insight, acting as guideposts, giving direction along the spiritual path.

    The Six of Wands is a very good reminder to always remain humble regardless of one's success and recognition, though it is a very satisfying card in the Minor Arcana, as it heralds public recognition.
    There are always many others that we can attribute to our success, and to be grateful for their help in so many ways. The old adage of what goes around comes around comes to mind, and when we can, we  pay it forward.

    Jason has been victorious after his battle with the dragon and retrieved the Golden Fleece with the Argonauts by his side, cheering and showering him with accolades. However Jason must remember, he cannot take credit alone and needs to accept his success with humility and grace. His hero-companions supported him completely, providing him with support and contributed their individual strengths and efforts. Jason could not have done it without them.

    I have always loved and deeply appreciated what Thomas Merton wrote about humility in his book New Seeds of Contemplation.

    "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real."
    - Thomas Merton

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    Five of Wands - Struggle

    Here in the Five of Wands we see Jason having to face and fight the formidable dragon, who guards the Golden Fleece. The card represents struggle.

     As an artist who wants to make good art , I am no different than any body else in that, I always need to be prepared for the unexpected  struggles in life, especially when aspiring and striving to accomplish goals. Often times, the closer we are to actualizing our dreams, the unexpected happens from out of no where, and we have to be prepared to fight that Jabberwocky dragon. We then find out just what we are made of, and how bad we want to achieve that goal. Nothing we want comes without hard work, commitment, persistence, and fighting for our creative visions. These visions can be limited by our own regressive inertia, fear of failure, or apathy, all of which represent our own inner dragon, that we need to do battle with, and cannot be avoided.. We need to rely on our gut instincts, be willing to make compromises, without sacrificing personal integrity.

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    Queen of Cups - Intuition

    The first and favourite book I read as a child, was Lewis Carroll's, Alice In Wonderland.
    Yesterday with two of my favourite little friends I watched Tim Burton's 2010 film, that depicts Alice as an adult. It was very well done, and once again I was enchanted by the story.

     In the Lewis Carroll book, one of the most vivid characters I remember that I was disturbed by and fascinated with, was the Red Queen of Hearts. Her personality was mean, cruel, audacious and ridiculous. She was a nasty piece of work; full of resentment, jealousy, a megalomaniac and really has a predatory  nature. The mean Red Queen is like a  " natural predator of the psyche. "

    There is a quote from the Red Queen when she said. " It is better to be feared than loved.” She was the exact opposite of the Queen of Cups of the Tarot, who is benevolent, intuitive and loving.  Her depth of feeling and imagination  is really unparallelled in many ways, to any other card, in that she drinks deeply from the cup of life, relying on her emotion before her intellect. Her emotion and sexuality are intense having water and the Zodiac sign of Scorpio, being the major influence. The Queen of Cups follows her gut instincts and intuition and her imagination is vivid, resulting in the expression of her strong creative spirit.

    Bluebeard - Egg Tempera on Wood Panel - 12"x12", Catherine Meyers, 2011

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

    Five of Swords - Acceptance

    I write and think about acceptance a lot. I expect because it is one of the aspects of life that I have to face, some times on a daily basis and generally speaking. Life is difficult but acceptance makes it much easier. Along with this having a grateful attitude direct output of this increased happiness.

     As of late my thoughts have been about family, as I have recently and over the past years been in touch with many relatives I never knew existed, due to family estrangements, distance and even secrets. I know this is a common issue in most families due to past events, many that are above and beyond our control. There is no such thing as a perfect family and life is far from perfect.

    In the Mythic Tarot, the Five of Swords portrays Oretes facing the God Apollo, who has informed Oretes  he is obliged to accept his fate in having to avenge his father's death, at the hands of his mother. He is faced with having to accept overwhelming limitations of his family inheritance.

    We cannot change our family history, and it can seem almost impossible for some of us to resign  ourselves to what has happened to our families, and how it has affected us, whether it be physically, emotionally or psychologically. Granted, it is not easy, and much of the time there is no resolution. We simply must accept that the only resolution is to accept that there is not going to be a resolution that we want.

    We can not change anyone but ourselves. Acceptance of ourselves and circumstances is directly proportional to our happiness and peace of mind. However, we do have a choice to accept, not out of obligation, but because we want to and are willing. Even a willingness to be willing, makes all the difference.

    Our burdens are much lighter and easier to bare, if we embrace them, but are heavy and overwhelming if we drag them; wearing the weight of the world, instead of wearing the world as a loose garment.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    Page of Cups - The Artist

    A great card for me today, because it is finally the day of my reception for my art exhibition which I am very excited about!

     I am fond of Pages from the Court Cards, as they represent hopeful new beginnings, self-discovery and transformation. It makes me think that I can't start my day over any time!
    Pages always have a message to give, and represent the young, single inexperienced individual, and novice.

    The Page of Cups augers unexpected news, likely of a spiritual nature, and is associated with my favourite element of water. This Page is sensitive, benevolent in nature, and loyal. It is also the card of the artist, they are motivated by a desire to express and communicate the workings of their internal world of imagination, intuition and emotion. However there may be lots of daydreaming and sometimes not a whole lot of practical every day application, which needs to be attended to, on a daily basis. A good reminder indeed!

      The world of creativity, art, mysticism and alternative medicine of the patient or therapist, all areas of great interest, which can certainly nurture the self, on the road to discovery, and self-actualization.