Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Ghetto Tarot - Alice Smeets - Atiz Rezistans

The Ghetto Tarot - Alice Smeets - Atiz Rezistans

'Cubby Buddy' is what I very affectionately call my sweet friend, because we were in art school together, and shared a studio space that was about an 12x12 foot cubby hole, while we were in second year. Today she sent me this, about a photographer, Alice Smeets who collaborated with a group of Haitian artists,  “Atiz Rezistans” to  produce a series of inspiring and empowering photographs called The Ghetto Tarot.

One of the many things I love about the Tarot is seeing how many artists are directly involved with creating their own cards, producing art work through various creative, innovative and imaginative expressions.

Granted it is a labour intensive endeavour, but so rewarding. I am in the beginning stages myself of creating paintings to the 78 Tarot cards based on the Mythic Tarot Deck, that I use for my own readings.

Tarot is about the The Fool (us) on the creative journey of life. To witness artists that create, who are bringing the Tarot to life is an inspiring, wondrous, and beautiful thing!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Two of Pentacles - The Adventure of Little By Slowly

Daedalus stands at his table working on his skills and using the tools of his trade. Decisions are to be made and decisions made in the past have lead to his present circumstances that have benefited him.

Having the tools in hand, to get the job done, we can continue to build a good foundation, one the skill at a time. The challeges ahead will be accomplished if we use discernment in choosing the right tools, and apply ourselves to achieve our goals.

 Sometimes it is easy to get impatient, and ahead of ourselves. We want everything yesterday or immediately, and may even want to give up, especially when we are closest to our goal. Slow and steady wins the race. Little by slowly we can reach our destination. Perseverance, trust and a little prayer goes a long way.

There is always a risk involved if we want to grow.  Adventure in growth is often scary. We can't control the outcome, and the unknown can cause us to be fearful, especially when there are road blocks and hurdles along the road.

Regardless if we succeed or fail life lessons will be learned and confidence will be gained. True it can be a balancing act, in that we should weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes we have to throw caution to the wind, have faith, we need to trust and believe in ourselves.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Three of Swords - Lighten Up!

Upon seeing this card initially, of course I have a kind of visceral reaction to it, because well lets face it, the poor dude that has being impaled, is dead in the water, has come to his demise and end of life in a very undignified and gruesome way.

The Three of Swords is the culmination of what went wrong in the Two of Swords, a  kind of paralysis or standstill, dictated by fear, when it comes to making a decision, and moving forward.

This Minor Arcana numbered card, has come to be one of my very favourites, because it isn't about death, it is about life and recovery. It represents the end of a solitary journey of the soul, like Persephone, embodied in the mythic figure of Psyche to descends to the underworld, who has come out the other side transformed, and the healing can now begin. Now the stream of goodness, a new path can be taken, that leads to infinite light, that the individual tries to find a way to share through one's experience, strength, and hope with others.

Though this card may appear dark, and the journey taken may be very daunting, there is an abundance of light to be found at the end of the tunnel.
Humour is the great gift waiting, that we are also given in this transformation. We learn to laugh at ourselves, after having feelings of self-pity, and ego-feeding deceptions. We learn to lighten up, not take ourselves so seriously, and we begin focus on our recovery, and healing.

   “When love is lost, do not bow your head in sadness. Instead, keep your head up high and gaze to heaven for that is where your broken heart has been sent to heal.” ~ Author Unknown.

 Cat Reading Tarot Cards -  B.Kliban

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Ace of Wands - Work Vs Drudgery

 I'm in the thick of what I call my painting project adventure. It would be easy to feel overwhelmed, that I'm about to go doolally thinking about what this involves, but my approach is, one painting at a time, one brush stroke at a time. It is the the same outlook I have about life. It's an adventure, one day at a time. It's not all fun and games til someone gets their eye poked out. It's about fun, discipline, work, balance and living life to the fullest. the good, bad and the ugly.

So, drawing the Ace of Wands embodied in the mythic figure of Zeus, is certainly an affirming card for me today. It speaks of having abounding energy for a new project, enterprise or course of study. I certainly can use all the creative energy I can get right now!

I often hear it said, when you have a job that you love you, you'll never work again. Well I don't agree with that statement. There is work, then there is drudgery. Whatever your vocation or chosen career,  I believe it is vital to one's happiness and health, that you have a passion for your work or at least feel it gives you a rewarding kind of satisfaction, and is not drudgery. But doing what you love does not mean it is not work. There are always going to be days when you'd rather being doing something else, or nothing at all, regardless if you are very happy with what your work is.

Even having the worst jobs in the world, you can always find something positive about it I think, but who wants to be spending all their energy doing work you don't love or enjoy or you can't stand. I've had a few jobs that were pretty rotten, like repairing stinky, maggot filled milk stainless steel tanks. We've all had a crappy job, because we have to work to sustain ourselves one way or another. These jobs always build character and you learn what you're made of. They also make a person very appreciative and grateful when you do find employment that not only suits you, but is very meaningful in some way, especially if it is a vocation.

Work should not be your life nor should life be about work. I have heard it said, that workaholic-ism is worse than alcoholism because you are never home at all. If you are sloshed at home, well you are home, and maybe not sloshed all the time. I know that might sound crazy. It sure as heck is not the ideal home life and both of these behaviours are extreme. I speak from personal experience.
Having a good balance between life and work, makes all the difference to your well being.

My work is my art that I create. As an artist, creativity is my lifestyle, the way of thinking that gives me a sense of freedom and purpose. Being creative is really what makes me happy. If I choose not to create art, I still don't have to be an artist to be creative, because it is a way of thinking, a lifestyle and as the Ace of Wands represents, a force of nature.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Eight of Cups - Freedom From Death - Freedom To Live

Cups representing the emotional life, here in the Eight of Cups we see the descent of Persephone (Psyche) which is dreaded and dark, but one that is taken by many of us at some point in our lives. Persephone is descending down the stairwell of the underworld. Despairing in the knowledge she may never return, as it is the last task Aphrodite has given her, which is death. She has voluntarily given up hope in achieving her goal of relationship. She must let go, as she can do nothing else, but submit to the will of the divine, the great goddess of love Aphrodite. Persephone goes empty handed into the unknown.
This is The Heroine's Journey.

The descent to the underworld or the unconscious, is a time when everything is about to change whether we know it or not.

We don't like the change and want to refuse or deny the changes, being fearful, insecure, and perhaps feeling a sense of obligation, or any range of reasons why we cannot let go of our current circumstances.

Once circumstances are accepted, suddenly help or spiritual guidance appears and is then provided.

 Finally crossing the first threshold to the new adventure, filled with unknown dangers, limits and rules, it is at this time there is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, and this the lowest point in the journey, despairing as there is no one to help us.

 It is like being in the belly of the whale, separated from ourselves and the world as we know it. But it is now where we begin to embark on the metamorphosis, dying to the old self, and are transforming into the new self, with a willingness to transform.

At this point, there are an initiation of sorts including many tests, trials and ordeals to undergo, in order for the transformation to begin.

After facing these challenges, we can return transformed, experienced, with a deeper understanding of unconditional love, the balance between the material and spiritual world, comfortable and competent with the inner and outer world. Being unified within ourselves, we need to integrate the wisdom imparted to us through our journey, and figure out how to share our experience strength and hope with others.

The mastery that is achieved from this journey leads to freedom of death, and in turn, gives us the freedom to live.

Friday, April 17, 2015

King of Cups - No One Loves The Man Whom He Fears - Aristotle

Having an affinity with the King of Cups and is for me about loving men who are not afraid of relationships or of their own emotion or emotions expressed by others. I also admire women who have the same capacity. That said, I also identify very much with the King of Cups, with being fearful of his emotion and of relationships. I have experienced both kinds states of mind and perceptions, living life accordingly.

When I see this King, I think of the Queen of Cups, who feels and drinks deeply from the cup of life, but unlike her, this King feels deeply, and may want desperately to partake in his feelings, but he holds back in fear of fully participating in relationship with himself, with others, and even with the God of his understanding. He is disconnected from life when it comes to his relationships. He can feel very much alone, in a crowd.

His fear of intimacy is the avoidance pain, however in reality he actually creates for himself, the pain he is trying to avoid at all costs. But the price he pays is great. He has a kind of living problem, or what I call a hole in the soul. Loving another is just to risky.

Until the King of Cups can find a way of uniting and his male and female nature within, he is not a man fully alive. There is still a apart of himself that does he is unable to accept that does not allow room for love. The result is a constant underlining unhappiness, unacknowledged, misunderstood, and unchanged. He lives in a kind of lonely, dark underworld psychologically, that can culminate in mental health problems, such as deep depression , break downs, or even suicide.

He can immerse himself into to his rich creative life for comfort and escape, but for whatever reason he is without the ability to share openly through an intimate relationship, with someone he is willing to trust as a confidant. There is now a fertile environment laid and the antecedent for addictive behaviours that can threaten his very life, mind, body, and soul.

 Addiction is a disease of the emotion, and a living problem. Life is full of hurt and disappointment. Life is also very full of love and joy. If we cannot accept and find a way to cope and accept life on life's terms it is impossible to find happiness within.We cannot experience the love and joy without feeling the weakness of disappointment and pain. This is what gives us our strength and power.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Celtic Cross

I didn't draw a daily card today. Instead I did that personal reading I have been wanting and needing to do for myself. I have been really wanting clarification on a particular concern and situation.

I thought it might give readers of my blog some insight, as to how I approach Tarot and readings. The way I do a reading for myself is basically the same way I read for my clients.

As a Tarot reader you are continually learning through study, but with each reading comes more insight, and you are constantly honing your skills and intuition, developing a relationship with the cards. This is the reason  why I do a daily card draw, in order to deepen my relationship and understanding of the meanings of each card. Learning to read Tarot involves intuition, study, and skill. Intuition gets better with trusting it and practice, skill you are shown how, you try it, then you practice, and you are always studying and learning.

Memorizing the card meanings is pointless I believe, although this does not mean you don't end up remembering the meanings. But this comes from doing regular readings, more than from memorization. It's a good thing too, because my memorizing ability is like what I think Gerald Ford once said, 'I forgot what it was supposed to remember!' 78 cards to memorize? Forgetaboutit!

Before I do my readings, I say a prayer or invocation. Maybe light a candle. Everyone has their own personal routine or ritual in order to get focused and into a present mindfulness. Here is I think, a beautiful invocation I often say, called The Invocation of The Orchard. I know it is from the Cabala but I have no idea who wrote. it.

Invocation of The Orchard
 "I pass through this orchard remembering that what I may learn, and what may pass before my 
eyes will be for the purpose of healing the world, and bringing Unity into this dimension, into the plane of human awareness. This orchard is the transition point between the transcendant and the imminent - the abstract and the concrete.
My personal path can adapt and absorb this forest slowly, and as it sees fit. My basic personhood remains intact, while sampling the myriad forms and concepts in the grove. Drinking from the river of delights of the Creator's house, my own specific root into the infinite is a path of emanation along which I can safely and respectfully traverse.
"All the world is a very narrow bridge - but the point is to be fearless."
Sepher Malchus is the grounding point, where I am centered, and where I will return after contemplating the trees, springs, fragrances, and many-faceted gems in the enclosure. Sepher Malchus is the point of connection and return to my personal concrete reality and viewpoint, to my ideal stability."

*  Sepher Malchhus relates to the Earth.

When I am ready, I ask an open ended question, as opposed to a closed question, which would result in a simple answer, yes or no. I avoid starting the question with Will… When… and Should.

An example of asking an open ended question instead, this starts with What…, How… and Why.

i.e. 1. What has been blocking me in finding a new job and how can I release these blockages?
     2. What can I do to create the love life I truly desire?

And so, I had a general idea of what I wanted to ask, but I needed to get clear, and specific about my question. The more specific the question the more specific the reading.  I turned off the radio, sat down at my kitchen table, created a space,  I got relaxed and quiet. I tried to clarify my question as best I could, and shuffled the cards.

When I drew my 10 cards, and laid them out in the ancient Celtic Cross layout, I did a quick scan. My first thought was, oh frig, this isn't going to give me much information, and I felt a little down. This inner critic pops up every now and again. I ignored my negative inner critic and refocused. I began to further clarify and deconstruct the question. I got down to bare bones of what I was really asking, and I wrote the question  down in my Tarot journal.

The spread I use, the Celtic Cross, I find, enables me to tell the story of what the cards are saying, in depth.  Scanning the overall layout, I made note of the number of Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles, Aces, Pages, Major and Minor Arcana, and made some initial connections between the cards. After looking at the meanings of each card in my mind, figuratively I could past or connect the cards together, like pairing or grouping the cards, i.e.  4 Swords , 3 Pentacles, 2 Pages etc., and relate each one in accordance to the meanings of the position within the Celtic Cross layout, as I've listed below

Position One - Signifcator
Position Two - What Crosses You
Position Three - What Crowns You
Position Four - The Base of the Matter
Position Five - Past Influences
Position  Six - Future Influences
Position Seven - Where You Find Yourself Presently
Position Eight - How Others View You
Position Nine - Hopes and Fears
Position Ten - Final Outcome

 I then began to carefully decipher, interpret, and connect the meaning of each card, one card to another, and as a whole, to tell the story of my reading. Oooo it was an interesting story too! But I dare not tell!

Without going into the details of my reading, because I don't think it is of any interest to any one but me, well  maybe one other person who shall remain nameless. However, I will share these two particular quotes I found, that really resonated with me, and I directly relate them to my reading. I think they will give you a feeling for my overall reading. and I think and hope you will be able to identify with, and relate to each one.

" Until we can receive with an open heart we are never really giving with an an open heart . "
                                                                                - Brene Brown

" What's difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says some thing that tempts us to close our hearts, because their heart is closed. That is hard. But that is also how we grow, We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold on to out loving center no matter what the world throws at us. 
                                                                              - Marianne Williamson

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Magician - Let The Adventure Begin!

The powerful energy of the mercurial messenger of the gods, the master of all elements, the Magician is embodied in mythical figure of Hermes, son of Zeus, who directly follows and offers inner guidance, and wisdom to The Fool, through the journey in the Major Arcana. The Fool is about to naively embark upon the journey of life, not knowing what lies ahead, he without the tools needed to help him along, but is neither concerned or fearful.

The Magician has all the tools at his disposal, and his life force energy connected to heaven and the earth which gives him great courage, strength, power, and insight. He is the harbinger of good news, in that he offers and advises The Fool to take hold of these tools, so he will be prepared for life.

However The Fool is innocent, without the experience to know how to make wise choices, and so he continues on his way, not listening to the Magician. The Fool sees the world through rose coloured glasses and magical thinking so to speak, and functions on an instinctual level through his impulsive behaviour, a wild thing really. The Fool is blind, and lacks any tangible insight.

When we are young we can't help but have a naive perception of life, and we are not in control of the future. We need to be prepared by having the right tools, this however comes only through experience. Upon meeting the Magician at the precipice, after leaving the safety of the cave, The Fool clearly knows the journey is possible, and there are many capacities to be explored and developed. The Magician will provide wisdom in all the spheres of life - intellectually, creatively, emotionally and physically. Let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Four of Swords - Living Alone

Yesterday was a busy day for me, today is not, and I am glad of that. It's a good feeling, and  a gift to me, to know I don't have anywhere I have to be, and I can choose to do nothing if I want.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about living alone, as opposed to living with a partner. After many years of single life, I seriously wonder if I'd ever be able to live with anyone, or even if I want to. I love my solitude, my own space, and my own home, are some of the many advantages I enjoy of being single, and living alone. Of course there are pros and cons to living alone, or having to live with another.

Women seem to fair better being on their own then men, and I found an interesting article about it in the Huffington Post called, Women Living Alone. 

The Four of Swords speaks of taking a break, being at peace, reflecting and withdrawing from the business of life, and the noisy chatter inside the mind. Being retired I spend a lot of days to do just this, which feeds my creativity, and inner spiritual life. If I wasn't comfortable in my own skin, didn't enjoy my own company, I'd never be able to do this. Mind you, it can get noisy in my head. Not that I hear voices, just my inner critic.

The way I feel today, I am enjoying solitude, and withdrawal, with rainy weather, though the sun has come out again, regardless, I am taking the time to withdraw and accept the solitude, because today it feels good for my soul.. Heck I might even have a nap! Probably not, because, I don't do naps these days, but if I did I could! Instead I'll get outside and enjoy the beautiful Spring weather, because the geese have arrived and they mate for life. Wished I was a goose.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Seven of Pentacles - Generousity

 It's a beautiful thing when someone generously gives the gift to another from their heart, without expectation of return. I'm fond of the saying it is not the gift of the giver that is important, but the giver of the gift. In other words, it is in the giving where the value lies, not in what is given materially.

Generousity is one of the seven gifts given, that are the teachings of Indigenous peoples, along with Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect and Love.

The Seven of Pentacles portrays Daedalus being offered the seventh golden pentacle by Queen Pasiphae, who is King Minos wife, and for whom Daedalus has a position of royal favour, that he has worked hard to obtain.

Pasipae, out of desperation is making Daedalus an offer that is tempting, and difficult to refuse. However there is a risk in the decision to be made, and may result in a dangerous, possibly 'immoral' outcome, as it means that he will have to betray the King Minos and risk all that he has gained. On the other hand this offer could result in personal growth, and hoped for success. Daedalus has a difficult decision before him and needs some discernment in this situation.

When we're made an offer of generousity, perhaps the intention of the giver is not pure intended generousity, but there's a hidden agenda, in that the giver is looking unscrupulously to get something in return. This is not using the gift of generousity with honesty, courage, wisdom, respect or love.

 In the words of a Lakota Elder, "You should be able to give away your most cherished possession without your heart beating faster."

I believe when we're offered something, we have to take into consideration the intention and motive of the giver, as we must consider our own intentions when we give, and our hearts will not beat faster..

Circle of Courage - Martin Broken Leg

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Two of Cups - Better Take Off Those Rose Coloured Glasses

Eros and Psyche are seen here meeting one another for the first time in the Two of Cups. Psyche is bound and abandoned, left to a certain death in the jaws of a sea monster. She's isolated on that rock in the middle of the ocean and completely unaware of Eros approaching behind her. He is there to kill Psyche, but has inadvertently pricked his finger on one of his arrows, and now has fallen in love with Psyche. So she is assured of both rescue and love. These two are possibly soul mates.

The beginning of a relationship is what's indicated here, or the reconciliation of an already existing relationship, that has undergone difficulty or separation. Blind love could also be the warning here. It is easy to see things through rose coloured glasses in the beginnings of romance.

Sometimes, more often than not in my the daily draw, and/or with individual readings for others, things will be revealed that perhaps we'd rather not address or even hear. We might not want to face what the cards are urging or telling us, because we have to make a decision, take a certain course of action that we'd rather avoid.

Ultimately we are the only ones that can decide what we do with the information that is presented in the cards. I think it might be time for me to do another full reading for myself, because the Two of Cups has thrown me for a bit of a loop emotionally!

Some Tarot readers find it difficult to do their own personal readings, but I usually don't. I find them helpful, and I manage to mostly remain objective. Objectivity is essential when doing your own reading. What is in my mind and thoughts aren't always reality. I like to stick with the facts, based on the studied meanings, my intuition, and correlate each card in relation to one another in the spread, in order to get a complete and comprehensive reading, tying them altogether.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Empress - "That's What Makes You Strong"

That's What Makes You Strong

If you love somebody then that means you need somebody

If you need somebody that's what make you weak

If you know your weak then you know need you someone

Oh it's a funny thing but

That's what make you strong

That's what make you strong

That's what gives you power

That's what lets the meek come sit beside the king

That's what let's us smile in our final hour

That's what moves our souls and

That's what makes us sing

And to trust somebody is to be disappointed

It's never what you wanted

And it happens every time

But if your the trusting kind

This don't even cross your mind

Oh it's a funny thing but

That's what make you strong

That's what make you strong

That's what gives you power

That's what lets the meek come sit beside the king

That's what let's us smile in our final hour

That's what moves our souls and

That's what makes us sing

  - Jesse Winchester

   I've posted this song by the late gentleman of leisure Jesse Winchester because I think it relates to the Major Arcana card I drew today, The Empress. Someone posted Jesse singing this beautiful, touching and truthful song today that I've listened to so many times, and today I made connection between the Empress and Jesse's song. He performed this song, not long before he died, which makes the words even more meaningful and poignant.

The Empress, my favourite card, speaks of having an open, trusting heart, of vulnerability and weakness because she loves deeply, opening herself to being disappointed. It truly is what makes her weak but like Jesse says, it is a funny thing but it is what makes her strong, and what gives her power.

She is very connected to feelings of safety and trust. The Empress (Demeter) is both the Good Mother, and the Mourning Mother, who knows she is weak, and grieves for her missing child, that she loves and needs, her beloved daughter Persephone.

Spring does comes again, and Persephone returns once more, so to do the flowers, as there is new life, in the cycle of nature and life. Souls smile, are moved, and she sings and so do we all.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Temperance Vs Adventure

When I saw that I'd drawn the Major Arcana card of Temperance today, it immediately felt like a right connection, and the perfect card for me today. Upon further reflection I see why. You might not think temperance and adventure are related, but they are.

When people hear the word Temperance, some folks may relate to it negatively, as they envision a bunch of purple rinse haired old ladies, who strictly adhere to a whack of rules, like complete abstinence in every area of their lives; sitting in stern judgment of others, to whom they are certain, are hell bound due to their indulgences of the demon drink, smokes and any kind of sexin' or other impure thoughts! Much the way some of my relatives lived life under tyrannical control and conditions. There was no dancing, no school, no woman wearing pants, playing cards, especially on Sunday, . It was like, everything was evil and a rule, and as if life itself was either immoral, unsafe, or illegal. Guidelines were non-existent.

Believe it or not, I once lived in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, however I was never temperate to say the least. I just needed an affordable place to live, as a poor student in Toronto!

In the Temperance card we meet the beautiful mythic figure of Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, symbolizing the renewal of relationship and Iris representing feeling. Her opposite counterpart is Justice (Athene), the rational one.

 In the way Temperance and Justice need each other, temperance and adventure need one another as well. Although Iris and Athene may be enemies in myth or the enemies within ourselves, we must integrate these two, as they will and can offer different solutions to the same problem.

 Having temperance in life is not about living life literally by the words like no, and don't, should or and shouldn't, in the sense that rigidly produces bad guilt and shame, in a puritanical,  judgmental, and merciless way. Temperance is about harmony, balance of the heart with kindness and mercy.

If we don't have adventure we can't transform ourselves. We stay stuck, bored, safe and it's not much fun!
The momentum to move forward comes when we grow and develop confidence. With confidence and adventure we are relieved of our boredom, and then the excitement begins! Growth and adventure are conduits for transformation.


I refuse to believe I'll ever be too old for adventure and and hope. If I thought no adventures would ever come again. I'd shrivel up, to age and die too soon.

Adventure scoops me up out of lethargy and rescues me from dull security.

Adventure requires leaving the safety of the known. I affirm: I am willing to
take the risks adventures entail.

Adventure requires the willingness to conquer. I affirm: I will be a victor in my adventures.

Adventures requires the willingness to have fun. I affirm:
I'll experience challenges as exercises in joy.
I'll be an explorer of life's mazes, instead of feeling trapped by them.
I'll view obstacles as delirously delicious lessons.
I'll recognize and revel in the beauty of strange new lands.
I'll participate in the laughing game of stubborn stick-to-itiveness.
So be it! 
              - Francis De Grandis

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Six of Swords - Open Up - Letting Go - Acceptance

The Six of Swords portrays Orestes, who is determined in reaching his goal. He's impervious to the fact that the waters below are turbulent and rough, with storm clouds on the horizon, making for a difficult passage to his destination.

He stands strong and steadfast upright in his vessel. Of course we all know how dangerous is can be to stand in a boat. I've learned that lesson the last time, while in Newfoundland, as a young student art teacher. I had one foot on a wharf and one foot in the dory. What was I thinking.  Either my art supplies were going in, or I was. I didn't kiss the cod but definitely got a Newfoundland baptism of sorts, as I clung to the slimey wharf in my gumboots, waiting for someone to fetch me out, but the art supplies were dry!

Regardless of the danger Orestes defies the odds. He almost seems to tempt fate with his calm and serene composure. His eyes are fixed, his thought and focus is completely on the island before him, where he knows there are even more challenges that lie ahead, but he is resolute to meet them full on. He appears fearless and bold. Orestes has learned that acceptance of his past, present, and future is what gives real peace of mind and serenity.

The clarity of thought that comes when an individual makes up their mind to seize the day and set their sights on achieving the goal is quiet amazing, when you see the accomplishments made. In spite of the challenges and difficulties that can become obstacles, the determined individual overcomes these, with the right kind of attitude.

This attitude is one of being positive, having the right stuff to endure with resilience and flexibility.
It makes me think of what a wise man once said about embracing our difficulties, struggles and challenges instead of resisting ,and dragging them around. It is when we accept and let go with trust and faith, that our burdens are lessened, and our load is much lighter. We then find an inner strength, resolution, and determination, not in spite of, but because of these challenges, we overcome when we let go. Having a tranquil mind can give us insight and understanding, allowing us to move into the future.

You must open up like a flower to this divine force, loosen your hold on earth, its cares, its worries. “ - Look To This Day, Twenty-Four Hours a Day for Everyone

Wild Flowers - Catherine Meyers

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ace of Pentacles - I Vant To Be Alone

There is a report on a scientific study done, which was published in Science Magazine, that has found that there are people who would prefer giving themselves electrical shock over sitting alone in a room doing nothing!

Here's a quote from the article.

" In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative. "

That sounds pretty crazy. But I am not really so surprised, knowing we are presently living in a busy society of human doings rather than human beings, in pursuit of stuff and things.

Many of us are not comfortable in our own skins, constantly trying to find peace, happiness, and contentment outside ourselves or on accumulating things. We don't believe that a withdrawal from the busyness, sitting quietly with our thoughts doing nothing, could ever be beneficial, especially because it feels so foreign and uncomfortable.  We often are defined by what we do, rather than by who we are as individuals

During Lent and leading up to Easter, is a time I naturally withdraw into myself in reflection, taking a kind of self-inventory. Easter seems to have gotten absorbed into more of a consumer holiday, filled with chocolate bunnies, candy, eggs, consuming copious amounts of food,  and even gift giving.

The Ace of Pentacles in the Mythic Tarot is embodied by Poseidon, who points the way. He is the father of all the waters, the god of the sea, and of the earth's surface, lord of all the universe rising out of the ocean, where we all come from, and he symbolizes the inner most representation of our creative selves. 'Husband of the earth' is the meaning of his name, the fertility god, who's creative energy is turned downward into our world.

The Ace of Pentacles is husband of the great Earth Mother, Demeter or The Empress. Pentacles, symbolic of the receptive Earth, which is the element of patience, stability, commitment, discipline, permanence and strength. These are all qualities needed that enable us to find our meaning, purpose and happiness, and we can find them, when we take time to be alone with our thoughts, with the right energy we can create the fertile ground, for the promise of good things to come.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Knight of Pentacles - Guardian of The Flocks

The Knight of Pentacles who is embodied in the mythic figure Aristaeus, and is called 'Guardian of the Flocks' is on a mission of sorts, in that he is in practical pursuit of knowledge regarding the natural world as he appreciates and loves the earth with all it's creatures big, and small, even the lowly zombie snot worm!

He champions any causes that protect and advance the care and concern for the whole environment, and is committed to having perseverance in following through on anything he starts. This Knight is not a hero but very much the salt of the earth. He embodies so many admirable strengths that we all can aspire to, such as determination, diligence, kindness, gentleness and practical wisdom.

Those who are passionate about the good earth, will relate to this Knight of Pentacles, who trusts in the Earth Mother to bring a bountiful harvest through hard work, and by putting his hands to the plow. His humble, calm attitude allows him to take on situations with wisdom, and to perform the menial tasks of life.

In today's world of the celebrity, many of us think we have to perform or achieve great things in our lives, and we might even long for fame, but there is greatness to be found in the simple menial every day tasks of life, without fanfare, like simply showing up,  manifesting the kind of humble attitude and inner strength, that the Knight of Pentacles exhibits.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The High Priestess

Easter and the days leading up to it, in conjunction with Spring, have always been important to me, and it's the time of year I love the most. I have joyful sweet memories of going to yearly Easter Sunday service with my mother when I was little. I affectionately remember our usual special bonding ritual of searching for the right Easter bonnet , and then being all decked out in our outfits on Easter Sunday, where my mother would play the organ in Church.
Although my religious practices have changed and evolved, I still feel a very strong attachment, with great love for this time of year.

Drawing the High Priestess today reflects many of aspects of my spiritual beliefs today. I do not see these as being in contradiction to how I once celebrated Christian holidays. The liturgical seasons have simply been absorbed into part of my own spiritual journey.

There is something so beautiful to me about Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, because it speaks of humility, and service to others. The symbolic ritual of the washing of one another's feet reminds us to love one another as we are loved by the Creator.

The High Priestess symbolizes this spirituality, our spiritual mother, where I find the womb of the unconscious, the inner workings of perception, the pattern, and the purpose of life. The High Priestess stands between two pillars, one black, one white representing the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Knowledge or Death.

She wears her gown of personal growth and the crown of truth. The Narcissus is symbolic of death and resurrection. The pomegranate she holds represents the fruit of the dead, undeveloped creative capacity, and immortality. Passing between the pillars heralds entering a new life, or another world.

I don't get an Easter bonnet any more, but if I did, it would be this one.