Saturday, May 30, 2015

Seven of Pentacles - Seven Directions - Every Thing Is Connected

Pentacles concern our physical selves-all things connected to the earth element.

In this scenario we see an offering of the Seventh Golden Pentacle from Queen Pasiphae to Daedalus. He can choose to either accept or decline this generous gift. Daedalus looks like he is suspiciously contemplating whether or not to accept, as he is wondering what Queen Pasiphae's intention is, in offering him this Seventh Golden Pentacle.

In our Western culture we are more concerned with getting as opposed to giving, generousity is seen as suspect and not perceived as an essential virtue. Generousity involves risk for the giver and for the receiver, or both. But does this mean we should never accept generousity or be generous ourselves? We can either fail or be rewarded by generousity, depending on our attitude toward this virtue. The Seven of Pentacles warns against having a flawed character, that exhibits jealousy, greed, selfishness, and betrayal,

I love learning about the Lakota traditions. I see ancient cultures, such as the Lakota, as being very easy to identify with, and are aligned with my own spirituality. When I saw today's card that I drew this morning, it made me think about the sacred number seven, and about the meaning of Seven Directions within the spiritual tradition of the Lakota/ Souix. This card also brings to my mind the number four which is also of very especial significance to the Lakota. relating to the Four Directions.

I have always been very deeply drawn to circles of every kind.
From our formative years, through ages four to seven, artwork in the pre-schematic stage refers to children having a proclivity to draw representational images resembling symbols, often are in the form of a circle, these images may only be understood by the child, and often reflect elements in nature.

In light of this innate ability, and desire for humans to draw the circle, it makes sense that the circle would represent an ancient sacred symbol, inherently found throughout the universe, and within the world.

The Medicine Wheel is the most commonly found sacred symbol used by the Lakota to act as an important spiritual guide, and directly reflects the interconnectedness and interdependency of all living things. According to the Lakota tradition, the natural law of generousity states, that energy we use to communicate, returns to us fourfold. If we reflect the seven virtues, of prayer, respect, compassion, honesty, generousity, humility, and wisdom when communicating, this will in turn effectively help us to communicate, and make decisions that will benefit everyone. The Seventh Direction is centered around taking care of our mind, body, heart and soul. We are all part of a greater whole, and everything is connected. I believe knowing this, is a very much needed thing, in a world that is increasingly more disconnected an many ways, in spite of the "internet of things" being the way of the world.

" Nature projects the state of being in our inner world around us to the world around us. "
                                                                      -  David Little Elk

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hermit - My Default Setting

The Hermit is a great example of how, and where to find a resource for serenity, peace of mind, and inner strength. I had a sleep deprived past four days, late nights with very early mornings and was having some real anxiety about a few things. This is not a good combination and makes me think of the old acronym and tool for self-care, and are often indicators of what is bothering us and why. I heard it many years ago. H.A.L.T. stands for being too hungry, angry, lonely and tired. I could describe myself as being three out of these four states this past week up until today.

I've always had an aversion toward dentists and considering the expense, I just could not afford to go and get my teeth looked after. It was easy to procrastinate, which only complicates matters.. This caused me a lot of negative feelings surrounding my self-esteem and sometimes a low level depression.  I would even have frequent dreams about loosing my teeth, and so it weighed heavily on my mind.

This month I had to finally give in and find the courage within myself to address some serious dental problems and go for an appointment. This circumstance all added to my anxiety and stress. Before my appointment I practiced breathing, positive self-talk, prayer, and talking to a close friend about my dentist aversion, and phobia. I had to draw upon what I'll call my "Inner Hermit" for strength. It paid off, and I got through the ordeal. I admit my nerves were a little frayed afterward, due to the combination of being hungry, lonely, tired and just to top it off, to make my condition complete, I met up with someone I don't much like, who insulted me, and filled that angry space, left in the acronym, by making a tactless comment about my "buck teeth". I laugh about it now, but I could have easily lashed back with a remark reflecting resentment. Resentment is not a luxury I can afford., and what would be the point. I prefer to draw on my inner hermit, which I think has mostly become my default setting.

Tonight I'm 100 % improved. I had a good supper, I reached out to talk to a good friend, and plan on having a restful sleep. Oh, and I'll be flossing and brushing!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Two of Pentacles - Persistance

Two of Pentacles is always an interesting card. It presents a dichotomy of sorts, indicting balance or the need for juggling all the situations presented in life, like work and home, and making a harmonious change. Not an easy undertaking these days when so many of us spend our waking hours at work, or we even bring our work home, and we are always "on', available 24/7 with all our emails, technical gadgets and  gizmos. We are living in a age of distraction, which isn't a healthy circumstance that allows for a balance life, or mindfulness. This kind of busyness makes it more difficult to get things done effectively.

Living a pretty quiet environment here in the country, and semi-retired, I still can find myself unfocused,  having a somewhat unmanageable life,  especially when I take on too many things, which results in getting overwhelmed, leading to the frustration of being consumed by my feelings, that produce more stress and anxiety.

It is then I know I must do something about my condition, which is not beyond my power to accomplish and overcome. However, I cannot do it on my own, and I must ask my Higher Power for persistence and perseverance.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Magician - A Little Bird Told Me So...

After such a labouriously long Winter, the Spring is finally embracing us, albeit slowly. Some parts of the Maritimes had snow on the ground just this morning. Spring is a magical time when all seems right with the earth.

There are so many Hummingbirds this year, and I am absolutely enamored and enchanted by them, as they truly are magical creatures to me. If Hummingbirds could talk, what stories they would tell and teach us. Perhaps they would enlighten us about the inner guide they have to survive the journey, incredibly traveling thousands of miles, and what they went through to get here. Their tiny, almost miniscule body is remarkably strong, and these birds seem to have all the tools needed, with some assistance from the nectar of flowers, and from those of us that will provide sugar water in feeders, in order to help sustain their lives. Knowing inherently that she will need the flowers, and perhaps hoping and depending on the sugar water supplied by humans to keep her going, although she has no way of being certain. She simply trusts.

Having all the tools needed to support life is vital and important, but knowing also, that we are interdependent upon one another, upon on all of nature is essential to basic human survival. We also need a strong will and determination to survive and to thrive. It is a known fact if babies are not provided with their basic needs physically, and emotionally, they suffer and die from failure to thrive.

The Magician has all the tools set before him to use for himself, and to offer the Fool. The Magician although he is the inner guide, he is also the Trickster, and isn't always what he seems to be. He doesn't always provide for us, or for himself, all the right answers to our questions. Like us, he is born of light and darkness, in that he has both positive and negative attributes, and we have something to learn from both. Although the Magician urges us to decide, using discernment is where wisdom lies. This is the magic.

The Magician chooses what tools he will offer, just as the Fool has a choice to accept the tools offered. Things are not always as they appear. Like the Hummingbird, if we didn't know about the ability of this little bird, we would never have imagined something so small, would ever be capable of having such a strong will and determination.

We are all little birds in a big sky, not big birds in little sky. There is magic there to be found within ourselves, but not to be found independent from our environment and others that will help us to find that inner wisdom. It is up to us to accept what the inner guide offers, and we need to have the same will and determination found in that tiny magical Hummingbird.

Hummingbird - Catherine Meyers Photo

The video I have posted is of a rescued baby Hummingbird that this very kind fellow eventually released back into the wild, after nurturing the baby to health. That magical inner instinct kicked in upon release, and the bird came back to visit. It is a beautiful remarkable testament to the bonds between humans and  natures creatures that can happen based on trust and love. The sweetest thing ever, pure magic.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Page of Wands - The Prodigal Daughter

I really identify with the Page of Wands and this Court card of the Minor Arcana in the Mythic Tarot is one of my very favourites, symbolizing creative energy and a kind of rebel without a cause, that eventually finds the right road along the journey.Many of us in life feel like this prodigal daughter or son.

 Having a vocation as a Youth Care Worker for 20 plus years was not a coincidence. I remember vividly what it was like being a troubled youth at risk and having a mother who trusted me so much when I was undeserving.. When I finally got into recovery it all started to make sense to me, the idea of the prodigal son or daughter. I was that person, and so I strongly identified with the kids I worked with, and I think it made me a good Youth Care Worker. My mother was the example to me. She forgave me and helped me to understand the importance of forgiveness toward others, and toward myself especially.

Everyone has made big and small mistakes, they may or may not be sorry for or remorseful. but we all need to forgive, and to be forgiven for something. We forgive another not for them, but we do it ourselves, so we don't become resentful which comes from the kind of bitter root that grows and chokes out every aspect of our lives, robbing us of our serenity and happiness..

When I think about forgiving I immediately think of someone else forgiving me, especially my family members. I always hope and pray that my family forgives me for the hurt I have caused them. I know I don't give it a second thought about forgiving them. It isn't always the easiest thing to do for some of us, but perhaps more difficult is the struggle in forgiving those we don't love, who have committed unspeakable atrocities. I know it is sometimes hard enough to forgive and to have mercy  for those we love, let alone those we don't love.

Children and animals seem to be full of the same spirit of loving others who have hurt them, even in the face of undeserved loyalty and forgiveness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Hierophant - The Hermit - The Way To Wisdom

In many decks the Hierophant is interpreted as the old order of traditional religious institutions often based on dogma and doctrine. This is not how the Hierophant is seen in the Mythic Tarot.
I relate this mythic figure to ancient wisdom and applying the spiritual teachings of those that can share these teachings with others, who are also searching for guidance.

The Hierophant and The Hermit I see in combination, as they both point the way to wisdom, that of the elder and to the cycle of life, passing on spiritual knowledge and inner wisdom, found through endurance, patience, grace and humility.

Having mentors, both philosophical and spiritual advisors, whether official or not, is so vital to us, especially in our world today where the family unit has been scaled down so much, it is practically non-existent. We have more people single, than married  in addition to an aging population.

Those coupled are having fewer and fewer children, if any at all. Baby Boomers, myself included, are single and childless. They are now endangered of becoming what has been referred to as, "Orphaned Elders" meaning, that, there is no one to advocate or look out for them when they are in need of help or care because they are living longer, without family, and alone. We all need to help one another regardless of our age and need to be prepared for this circumstance and situation.

Our western culture has lost it's sense of continuity, that once was basic to family life, that affirmed values, reflected in the care, concern and respect for our children and for our elders. Many ancient cultures understood this inherently. Unfortunately western society seems to have lost touch with these values. The young, elders and those marginalized, are  to often not regarded as valuable, or seem to be just another part of our  'disposable society.' perception and mentality

 I believe if this situation is not addressed individually or within our society, our culture is in serious jeopardy of losing it's identity, history and even humanity. However all is not hopeless. I believe in the power of the individual to make a difference by reaching out to one another in compassion, if not through immediate family, then through extended family. As human beings we are social creatures and we all have an interdependent relationship with one another and with all living things. We have so much to learn from history, and from those who have gone before, especially from our elders.

Elder - Graphite Pencil - Catherine Meyers

Friday, May 15, 2015

Transformation - The Death Card

It doesn't seem to matter how many times I draw the Death card from my Mythic Tarot deck, it still startles me even though I know full well this is a positive card about transformation. It is a personal kind of transformation that it speaks of a dying to old behaviours, becoming someone new, evolved and changed in some way for the better. It certainly isn't a negative, nor is it a indication of physical death. Regardless, I still have that initial visceral reaction every time it comes up for me.

I suspect the reason for this, has to do with having experiencing a lot of death in my own life, and I do think about it, which I believe is a good thing, because we live in a society that is preoccupied with keeping death at a distance, and having a negative outlook.  However, I am in need to get out of my head and get prepared for a good death. There I said it. So I have to ask myself, how to prepare for this and figure out just what this means to me, and then makes plans to ensure that this is implemented, when ever that time comes.

We have in our society the big business of funeral homes, an obsession with youth, ageism, and a resistance to openly broach the subject, causing us and resulting in our having a fearful attitude toward death, and an existing denial of the natural life-death-life cycle.

Over the years I have become more and more interested in how death has the most to teach me about life. It is good to know that I am not alone in having this perspective, and organizations like The Order of The Good Death, can help people to transform their perceptions about death and dying.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

King of Wands - The Heroes Journey

Heroes always never think of themselves as heroes. Like the King of Wands, possesses  the courage of a lion, with such a soft heart. This rather dual character can create serious dilemmas, and can be difficult to overcome, especially when having to do things that may not feel right, and go against the grain, creating conflict within. Emotion and feelings are placed on the back burner in order to do what must be done. This can sometimes cause guilt, shame and sadness or even post traumatic stress in extreme circumstances.

There is so much to admire about the King of Wands, especially his leadership strength, abilities and creative, energetic spirit that he embodies. The character defects, of impatience and his quick temper can get him into trouble. Combine this with the desire to control and manage is problematic. It's one thing to have leadership abilities, but if these are not tempered with patience, calm, and humility, leadership can quickly be interpreted as being overbearingly bossy, only resulting in alienating the very people one is trying to help.

I have know several men and women in my life that I consider heroes and heroines. Ultimately we all have to learn how to be our own hero or heroine and rescue ourselves  from our character defects and strive to have the courage of the lion, while still keeping that soft heart intact, full of compassion for others and for ourselves. We cannot give away what we do not have for ourselves.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Emperor - Re-Parenting Yourself

To draw the Emperor, the Major Arcana card, is a sign of re-affirming strength for me today, in spite of feeling rather weak. Physical strength and power, are not always necessary or even wanted. I'd rather have inward strength of the a spiritual kind.

The Emperor ruled by Aries the Ram, provides a foundation from which to build upon, and though he can be as stubborn as a bull which can be his downfall, simultaneously, it can be his strength. When times get difficult it is this stubbornness that manifests in the form of the determination, perseverance and the endurance needed to overcome. He is a mentor, an example , and a strength to others who are struggling, and who need guidance. The Emperor can be counted on to help us, like an earthly father.

I have heard it said if you are finding it hard to have faith, then borrow someone else's. I've always loved this saying, and what it means to me is to lean on the strength of another, to help get you through whatever it is you are struggling with in life. This is what the Emperor archetype can do for us, as a symbol of inner strength, stability, guidance, and having a soft place to fall.

Many individuals grow up without the love and guidance of a father that is present, for one reason or another. This does not mean we cannot find others who can, and will provide guidance to us, especially in a spiritual sense.

I remember being told in a 12 Step program that I needed to learn to re-parent myself. I thought they were all crazy as bat crap, and I was mad as hell. I had this reaction because I had long felt I was always having to take care of others needs. I felt I'd always had to put my own needs on the back burner. Now, I was being told, no one was going to meet my needs but me. I didn't have a clue how to do this, and I felt very lost.

Growing up as a child I had unmet needs, and this is why I had such an adverse reaction to being told now I was responsible for meeting my own needs, and my own happiness.

Gradually, little by slowly, I learned what it meant to re-parent myself, and how to do this. There was nothing too easy about it, nor was I comfortable doing so, because deep down, I really didn't believe I deserved to get my needs met. I felt unworthy, and was lacking in self-worth. This is what happens to children who don't get there needs met. They grow up feeling unloved, unworthy, and undeserving of love. This mindset, full of negative inner messages of self-talk, often results in a cycle of abusive relationships and self-neglect, only to reinforce an already existing low self-esteem, and inability to care, and love oneself.