Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Lovers - What's Love Got To Do With It?

Most of us when we see this card our initial reaction might be to have thoughts of romance and all that gooey gushy stuff. I think of it as a card of choice in love and/or chance.

I've have friends say they envy my single life. I can say the same of them sometimes. There are positives and negatives to both lifestyles. Generally speaking I am happy and content on my own. I met my soul mate, my partner, and companion 30 years ago whom I lost to death. If am to never meet another I accept that, because I know he watches over me, until he will stand by me again.

Romantic love is highly idealized in our culture. The media is full of it, and is mostly based on falsehoods and fantasy. Many can't live alone, and don't much like their own company I suspect. The couples that truly understand what it means to be in a loving relationship are few and far between I believe.

It was once explained to me by a spiritual man who was my spiritual mentor, that two individuals come into relationship together as two whole circles, where the creator is central. They intersect, and instead of the circle getting smaller excluding others, it gets bigger expanding to include others in community. It's called our compassion circle.

Compassion Circle

Here's my abstract interpretation of the compassion circle

My last dance with Bill was to Ben E. King's Stand By Me, while he was in hospital. I love this official video of John Lennon's better, and I'm sure Bill would too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Nine of Cups - A Desire In My Heart

As my favourite song writer Bruce Cockburn said in his song about good and bad days, "Some days I walk on diamonds, some days I walk stones. "
It made me feel good today to draw this Wish Card, the Nine of Cups, after spending a few days of anxiety and frustration. It's a good reminder to stay calm, and stop projecting or what I call awfulizing, which is such a waste of energy, and makes things worse.

Being grateful, even when if I feel a dryness or poverty in spirit, and simply having a desire in my heart, or a wish to pray, is a prayer.The desire in your heart is what matters, regardless of what you, or someone else are going through. For me praying is hope actualized

It's easy to get myopic, not seeing the forest for the trees, and getting all caught up in our own problems. We all need to help each other in whatever ways we can.When I can pray for others whether I realize it or not, I can often receive more that what I could ever give. I believe prayer is a very powerful too, no matter how you do it, no matter how you define it. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself or for others is pray, and sometimes it's all you can do.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nine of Pentacles - My Mouse Is Alive!

I drew this card a few days ago, but didn't write a blog post about it, I thought about quite a bit about it's meaning, and just put it back in the deck. Sometimes the relevance of a card doesn't become clear until later. That's what happened here.

We had a planned power outage this morning, which lasted less than half an hour. I had forgotten about it until it went off.

So, I then began to write in my long hand journal with my cup of coffee, while sitting at my computer with no power. I was grateful I'd got my breakfast and coffee before the outage. The next thing I knew I'd knocked over my coffee onto my computer desk. I never impress myself when I do this. Shortly after cleaning that big mess up, the power came back on, only to find I could no longer use my mouse to orient my way around the computer. Argh!

I spent the next following hours booting ( not literally ) as much as I felt like it, and rebooting, reading manuals, etc., when it dawned on me, perhaps I'd drowned my poor mouse in coffee?

I was determined to take my mouse apart, if I could only find a small enough screw driver to loosen the screw that held it together, in attempt to hopefully dry out my mouse. More argh. I couldn't find a small enough tool to get the thing apart. I went into the bibs and bobs drawer to see what I could find. Nothing that would fit, but finally discovered one screw driver. It was perfect! A really handy one my friend had given me a while ago, I'd completely forgotten I had. My friend is a real technological wizard.

 I went from much frustration to hopeful elation. I got it open, cleaned and dried the guts of that mouse. It was pretty gross. Finally I got it snapped back together. and twisted that screw back in where it belonged.

This whole process took me four friggin hours.  But I have to tell you I felt exactly like Daedalus in the Nine of Pentacles. My hard work and determination paid off and I'd resurrected my mouse! I really felt that self-satisfaction that comes with hard work and determination, in spite of my frustration. There's nothing wrong with celebrating your small accomplishments, and to feel proud of yourself. If I can overcome and achieve the small, seemingly incidental things it helps me to believe, and to know I can accomplish more than what I think I am capable of achieving.

 I'm sure I would've  felt differently if my mouse had truly bit the dust. I'd have to accept that, and try to find the best resolution to my problematic dilemma. But in the mean time, I am overjoyed that my mouse is alive, and like Daedalus, I am justifiably pleased with myself with what I was able to achieve, and I appreciate my skill!
I've learned to approach life as an adventure , it's not about the success or failure. It's more often than not been my experience, that I learn more from mistakes.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Four of Wands - Blind Trust Project

Jason could never have met the challenges, dangers, and struggles that were overcome during the perilous sea voyage on the Argo, in pursuit of the Golden Fleece, without his fellow friends the Argonauts. They trusted, supported and believed in him, in spite of having no idea what they were going to have to face, or what lie ahead and in many ways they were going on blind trust. Jason also had to trust them.

The Four of Wands indicates a deeper significant lesson to learn. No one is an island and we have a responsibility to love our fellow humans, be they friends, family, those we don't like, and even our enemies. We can tolerate, without having compassion or love in our heart toward others. To me there is nothing virtuous about tolerating another.

It is much easier to offer help and support to those we love. Where the real virtue lies, is often in helping those we don't understand or reject in some way.  It is very easy to sit in judgement of those we fear, based on status, race, colour, gender, or religion, because we don't understand.

Today I heard about an amazing project, a youtube video that went viral with over a million views, which I have posted below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The High Priestess - My Higher Self

I'm happy to have those days when I am my higher self, and so it was a affirming card to draw today, The High Priestess. My higher-self doesn't just happen on it's own much of the time, I have to work at it, pray, meditate, and have a willingness, even a willingness to be willing, when I can't seem to get out of my own way. I am learning that, that inner goddess is there within me at all times, and I am learning to be kind toward myself.

 For me it takes resolve and some persistence to face and walk through the change of seasons from Fall to Winter.
This week I've finally had more time to myself and honestly have been trying to stave off thoughts of the Winter. And so I just made up my mind today to live in the present moment. I chose to do those things that help me to enjoy the Fall, enjoying the air, the sunsets and sunrises, making bread, and salsa with the tomatoes from my garden.

Today I got my hands into the good earth one more time, and dug up my crop of potatoes and earlier I pickled beets. These activities though they can feel physically taxing, nonetheless help me to feel connected with the elements, and spiritually I magnify these experiences, and am inspired by them. They give me an inner peace and strength.

I will say I miss my dog especially in the Fall, because we used to go for long walks into the woods. So now I walk alone, but not so much in the woods. Fortunately I have enough property to walk through the fields and down to the river, sit on a rock and listen to The High Priestess.


Fall In Apple River
Blue Seamus My Coonhound

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Temperance - The Blessing of a Balanced Heart

The Temperance card has a special and very personal meaning to me, and I will tell you why. This is the card of having the blessing of balanced heart with love, forgiveness, harmony and having cooperative relationships with all especially with ourselves.

I spent my early years as a little girl with my family, living in a real diverse neighbourhood of East End Toronto, until I was nine years old.
Later on when I was 27, I returned in 1979, to study Mime, the basis of theatre.

I found a place to live, The Women's Christian Temperance Union on Gerard and Young, close to the school I was attending. Our "school" was made up of nine students. We had our classes everyday in one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Toronto in the basement. 
Ironically as it might be, during this time I didn't understand temperance nor sobriety. I drank, smoked, did drugs and wasn't a  good " Christian ", although I wanted to be, but didn't really have a clue how to really live a sober, spiritual life.

Before I knew it, I was to meet my future husband Bill, just around the corner at Toronto at the Young Street Mission, one evening after praying to God to bring me a Christian man to love. Bill and I met in December '79, he was clean, and sober. This caused me to refrain from drinking. I didn't want to drink. We began dating in January 1980, married in June 21st, after moving back to Nova Scotia that Summer. By September he was dead at 26, of complications from brittle diabetes, and drug induced paranoid schizophrenia he developed at the age of 16. Upon his death I hit the bottle hard, and it took me fifteen years by the Grace of God to finally learn how to live a spiritual life, and got myself clean and sober, when I admitted to myself, I was powerless over alcohol, and that my life had become unmanageable. I got myself to the rooms of the A.A.12 Step fellowship in 1994 and have never looked back.

In 2005 I returned to Toronto. This time round, it was for the International  A.A. Convention, where there were 75,000 recovering alcoholics. who we gathered in the city of Toronto for incredible meetings and fellowship.

While I was wandering around the main area of the convention centre, I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman, an A.A. long timer passing out flyers for a special meeting about the A.A. archives which wasn't listed in the booklet that had all of the meetings taking place and where. This was going to be special meeting. I made up my mind to go.

 It wasn't until I arrived at the meeting I realized exactly where I was. I was back at the very same Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church where I had attended classes, studying Mime. The meeting was  profoundly meaningful to me, listening to the history of A.A., some of these long time members knew Bill W, the co-founder of A.A. During this once in a life time opportunity during the Convention I experienced a deep healing, resolution, and a sense of closure. I felt I'd come full circle.

Previously arriving in Toronto for the Convention, I'd miraculously re-connected on line with Bill's best friend, and best man who I had lost touch with. This was not a coincidence.

I had been on a Catholic dating site, and found Don's profile. It had been so many years since I'd last seen him at our wedding, I didn't recognize who he was, but was oddly drawn to him. As we began to communicate with one another, a feeling came over me that is difficult to explain, but I was coming to the unbelievable realization that this might be Don. I began to shake like never before, and hyperventilate. I went downstairs, brought up a picture I'd had of him from my wedding photo album, and compared it to his profile picture on the dating site.

I'd told him previously in our conversation online I was coming to Toronto.  We then found out we were both recovering members of A.A. and I confirmed it was Don, after asking questions about things that only I would know, if it was in fact him.

When I arrived in Toronto for the AA Convention and got settled in, I called Don immediately, and we arranged to meet at the Centre were there would be a huge meeting. I found out where he was sitting, and sat down beside him, after we hugged.

 Don had become a serious addict, and was very ill. It was heartbreaking to see him in such a fragile state. He wasn't the same person I once knew. He had once been studying for the priesthood and was from such a loving family from Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Bill loved his family like his own, and they dearly loved him.

Don and I now had a chance to talk about Bill, and what had happened, as Don was one of the last people to have seen him alive, before he'd died in Toronto, while I was in Nova Scotia.

What I learned from seeing Don was that this was not a chance meeting. It was meant to be, and I felt there had been a higher purpose, in that my hope and prayer was, that Don be enabled to hopefully find sobriety and a restoration in his health. God had brought us together under these circumstances in a mysterious and I think a miraculous way in order to find the temperance we both were so badly in need of, and had long been searching for. We both found this in the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous after all these years. We were now two alcoholics helping one another.This is the miracle of A.A.

 "Whenever, wherever, one alcoholic meets another alcoholic and sees in that person first and foremost not that he or she is male or female, or black or white, or Christian, Buddhist, Jew, or Atheist, or gay or straight, or whatever, but sees... that he or she is alcoholic and that therefore both of them need each other - there will be not only an Alcoholics Anonymous, but there will be the Alcoholics Anonymous that you and I love so much and respect so deeply."

                                                  - Ernie Kurtz

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seven of Swords - Changing Our Minds

This isn't my favourite card here that I've drawn this morning. Regardless, I look always for the positive in each card, and take into account the realities of it's meaning, because there is a lesson to be learned, whether I like the card or not.

Most of our thoughts are generated in our mind based on our experience. First comes the thought, and then the action. Fortunately we can decide to change our thoughts and actions, before doing something we might regret.

Orestes has decided to commit a violent crime that is both hurtful to others, and to himself that will be life changing. Life will never be the same after his actions. Resentment, anger, and hurt have long filled his thoughts, and it looks like he is about to choose to act upon these, allowing himself to be over come, and consumed by feelings and not the discernment of his intution.

He has been spending years filling up his gunnysack with negative thoughts and resentments, which has gotten heavier and heavier, as he drags it around, and increasingly weighs him down. If he finally lets this burden get the best of him, it will result in dire consequences.

The lesson and the warning here is to not allow our behaviour to be dictated by what some else had done or not done or by what has happened in our lives. Resentment is a poison that can not be afforded. There are many other tools can be used to deal with the wrongs that have been done.

The fear we might feel surrounding our guilt about past actions, needs to be examined and addressed, so we aren't enslaved or held captive in negative ways into our future, otherwise we are liable to repeat past behaviours.

Acceptance is key, and forgiveness is powerful  and both are personally trans-formative skills, that will help us to change our thinking, and enable us to be open to transformation and to changing our minds.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Justice - The Three Edged Sword - Your Side - Their Side - The Truth

The first of the four cards in the Minor Arcana which are called the first of the Four Moral Lessons, which are Justice, Temperance, Strength and the Hermit.

I  am of the belief, based on my own spiritual values and intuition that human beings have an innate sense of justice that we are born with, that gives us a balanced mind and spirit to allow for our understanding.

Charles Darwin believed that mammals and animals in the wild, under certain circumstances, could be moral  just as do many other scientists believe, like primatologist Jane Goodell . The tide is changing and we are not the only species that experience  and have a sense of wrong and right.

I see Justice as the balance between the two perspectives of classical  and romantic thought, between the intellect and the emotions, the Ying and the Yang of life. These perspectives may appear to be opposites, but they share an essential interdependence. Justice represents the integration and balance between these two necessary perspectives.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Nine of Cups - Wishes - Dreams - Prayers

The Wish  Card is what the Nine of Cups is often called.

We all make wishes and it's something that we learn about as soon as we find ourselves in front of a Birthday cake, or scrambling to be the first one to find that wish bone from the turkey, to dry that wish bone, and make  our wish with someoner, holding on with our pinky fingers.

We wish on that star light, star bright, the first star we see tonight, in the sky patiently waiting for us to wish upon that star. It a magical time, of magical thinking. This is our creative imagination and what dreams are made of.

I remember a certain very imaginative little girl, who was so excited to show me the dew on the lawn, where she'd said she found the Faerie houses one early morning. It's a beautiful thing to live in this magical childlike, world when we believe  that wishes come true. When I was little , I so wanted to go to that land where Peter Pan went, and to fall into the looking glass of Alice's.

I'd never want to take this magic away from children or from anyone, ever, because this is where hope lies.
As we age, or even when we are much too young the harsh realities of life come crashing in. We can however, still hold tight to those wishes and even some magical thinking, and balance these with reality. Wishes for me have become prayers, though I'm certain in my heart of hearts, where that little inner child lives, I still make wishes, and believe they can come true.

Lately I've been thinking  and reading about Tiny Houses, and imagining what it would be like designing, building and living in one. I'm not sure I could do this full time, but I would dearly love to have a wagon to pull around in the summer, with my vehicle or maybe with a team of horses, Canadian beauties, custom made, to look like mobile Tarot Vardo Wagon. That's my wish, my dream, my prayer..

As a kid I'd always longed, dreamed and wished for a horse. Then as I got older I wished , dreamed and prayed for a horse, because I loved everything about being around them. I did fulfill that wish, and dream of being around horses. It came true, and my prayer was answered. The dream had to be adapted for financial reasons, but I worked hard to make it reality. I worked with and rode horses for a two years. It was really hard work, but something I never regretted for a minute. It was one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences of my life and I cherish the memory.

It's important to have wishes, that become dreams, that become prayers, and that's were the magic happens and where magic becomes reality.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Star - Waiting On The Promise of the Dawn

There are so many cards that I want to say are my favourites, and I feel a special connection with, but I realize it's rather like trying to decide your favourite child, and well that would be impossible and not fair at all. The Star is a beautiful card with the promise of hope and joy regardless of what has happened or going on around us. John Lennon's song Imagine comes to my mind. "You might call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.

  Here Pandora has opened the chest, and unleashed all the pestilence upon the earth. She looks upward to the heavens with her eyes focused firmly on the light.

She may appear idealistic, and even rather Pollyanna like, but she is full of faith, hope, optimism and courage, to face what ever lies ahead, no matter how fearful she might be. She trusts her intuition, instinct, and imagination to find the truth regardless of the consequences, or how unrealistic she appears to others. Pandora is waiting on the promise of the dawn, however there is a warning against blind hope.

I read something yesterday that really made me think. It gave me strength when I really needed it, because I was feeling down and overwhelmed with needless anxiety. I had made a mountain out of a mole hill which wasn't based on reality. This quote gave me strength to do what I need to do and I immediately felt so much better. I felt free.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ten of Swords - Released and Redeemed

 Visually this card is not a pleasant one to look at, and always gives me a visceral reaction in my gut. Upon further reflection, I am always reminded things may look bleak here, because Orestes is seemingly lifeless and left for dead after being painfully defeated by the three menacing Furies. However this card has a strong message of hope.

This scenario represents the conclusion of a very difficult, and painful time. The fact is, this is the beginning of a new future that lies ahead, now that the truth has been faced. Athene has disarmed the Furies. She has clarity of vision, and impartial judgment. She symbolizes the mind's integration of dark and light, being the goddess of Justice, representing our human capacity to have reflective judgement and rational thought.

This imagery makes me think of the biblical principle about the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children. In other words these inner conflicts are passed down from generation to generation because grandparents and parents cannot honestly face these problems and their children inevitably suffer until insight can be gained. The good news is that once the crisis is over, life can change, and the sun can then rise again.

Athene represents having an impartial reflection, where those involved are not judged. There is always the hopeful possibility of being released and redeemed from our past mistakes and conflicts.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Knight of Pentacles -The Good Steward

 Here is an individual who has a strong curiosity about the natural world, who loves to work and walk the good earth through forest, field and stream. He honours the earth, his home, and he feels a natural bond and kinship with the environment. He believes humans have a moral obligation to be good stewards of the earth. Understanding the interconnection between all living things, this gives him an insightful, steadfast wisdom, and an ability to live his life in a self-sustaining, self-sufficient manner.

 He would be your contemporary horse whispering farmer, that has immersed himself in learning about the principles of permaculture or organic farming, while loving all creatures big or small, be they wild or domesticated..

 The Knight of Pentacles being a very benevolent soul, loves nothing more than protecting and providing for others, and believes in sharing whatever he has to give, without any expectation in return..

 He has a deep sense of loyalty, faithfulness, and persistence to live life with the courage of his convictions, showing kindness toward everyone, which endears him to all who encounter him. This Knight is greatly respected, and loved for everything and all that he does, and for the honourable man that he is.

Hounouring  The Trees - Catherine Meyers