Friday, December 30, 2016

Justice - Daughter of Wisdom

Reflecting on this past year of 2016, the state of the world and on the hope of a better year to come, the Major Arcana card of Justice is the perfect Mythic image of Athene to start off 2017. My hope and prayer is that justice and peace will prevail.

 Justice being the first of the moral lessons in the Tarot my prayer is that humanity learns and upholds the remaining lessons that follow, Temperance, Strength and the Hermit.

The late great peace maker Ursula Franklin may not have been known to many, as she wasn't a super star or a celebrity, but was one of the many who died this year. She reminds me of Athene in many ways. Ursula  Franklin was a kind of warrior like Athene, battling for the convictions of her deep principles, striving to protect and promote a peaceful civilization.

Athene was a Guardian of Heroes and Heroines and the wisdom she conveyed about justice and peace were a reflection of her integrity, clarity of vision, and selflessness.

Here's to balanced thought and impartial decision making, and to those who strive with wisdom, toward peaceful minds and spirits, respecting fairness and truth, bringing lasting justice and peace to the world in the New Year and beyond.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Seven of Swords - A New Plan of Faith

I think the image embodied in the Seven of Swords is my least favourite to look at in the Mythic Tarot. When I ask myself why, I find the dark, oppressive, atmospheric sight of Orestes skulking into the palace, who is about to do something that he himself is conflicted over, there is nothing pleasant to see here, and seemingly no positive message to find, that is helpful. There's an overwhelming feeling of foreboding about this card upon first impression. But, I need to dig deeper in order to glean what is really beneath the surface appearance and at first glance in the Seven of Swords.

The weight of those heavy swords on his shoulder is apparent and are a metaphor for the moral burdens he  struggles with in life. Orestes really needs to make a new plan for himself.

Like Orestes, it's easy to betray and deceive ourselves with interfering fantasies. The only way I can apply a new plan is through a strong and realistic faith, and if I don't have one, then I can borrow someone else's, or look to another who can act as a mentor, someone who is an example to me. Eventually, little by slowly, I can set my feet on the right path and build upon my own faith, or rekindle the faith I already have.

I've never been a person to make New Year's resolutions. I do believe in the old adage like there's no time like the present to make a change and that doesn't require a New Year's resolution.

The New Year of 2017 will soon be here, just three days from now, and so I'm glad to see this card today. It's a reminder to make a new plan if I'm not happy with my present circumstance. But I do need to suit up and show up and take concrete action in living a good life with faith and purpose, and pointed in the right direction.

In spite of the Seven of Swords being my least favourite to look at, I believe it to be one of the most important cards for me to study and to look beneath the surface, because is holds many of the key learnings that I need to continue to rekindle and apply to my life, now, in the coming New Year and into the future.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Queen of Pentacles - The Queen of Hygge


The perfect card to draw today, the Queen of Pentacles. She is very down to earth, loving the abundance of the simple pleasures of life, and she loves to share with others.

I've learned a new word that describes the kind of happiness that can come from the enjoying and sharing those simple pleasures in life and sharing them with others. It's something the Danes call Hygge, pronounced Hoo-gah. 

Demark is reportedly the happiest country in the world, according to the UN report on happiness. Not surprizingly because of their attitude toward what constitutes happiness, they seem to have done a lot of things right and hygge, which is defined as meaning cosy, well being and enjoying the simple pleasures in life I sure certainly helps I'm sure.

 Hygge is a word that has it's origins in Scandinavia and Denmark, dating back to the 18th Century and it's something that is cultivated in a serious way by the Danes.

Meik Wiking in his book The Little Book of Hygge, is a beautiful illustrated study of why hygge brings the Danes so much happiness.

Meik Wiking, the CEO at the Happiness Research Institute and studies happiness. His TED talk explores the dark side of happiness which is very insightful.

Like the influential Queen of Pentacles, I believe Denmark is an example of how to cultivate happiness through the simple pleasures of Hygge.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Magician - To Drive The Cold Winter Away

The Magician - Egg Tempera on Porcelain - Catherine Meyers 2015

The Magician has all the tools he needs at his disposal. There are Cups for his emotional health, Swords representing the intellect, Wands symbolizing creativity and Pentacles serving the physical needs on the earthly plane. He points to the Heavens and to the Earth reminding us of their direct interconnection.

 During Christmas and in the dead of Winter, it's wise to have all our tools at our disposal as well, in order to make the most of a difficult time for many of us. Of course not everything about Christmas is difficult, there is beauty, kindness and love extended toward many that often goes unnoticed. There are those who selflessly give of themselves time and time again throughout the year, every year.

The spontaneous generousity of giving is part of the magic of Christmas but more importantly it is also a basic human need that builds and maintains positive interpersonal relationships, and is vital to our own health and happiness everyday.

I have a number of things that help to give me comfort and joy during this time of year. Here's my list of seven that I use from my personal tool box. There are no doubt, lots of other tools that I'll continue to add and please feel free to add to this list as I would love to know what's on your list.

1. I always choose to have some special Christmas ornaments that I keep up all year round as a reminder to  keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart always.
2. Music soothes my soul and gives me strength, so I play certain songs during the season. I love to play Loreena Mckinnet's  To Drive The Cold Winter Away .
3. The smell of fresh growing herbs reminds me of Spring and my connection to the earth, and growth. This year I have a combination of Italian herbs and a close friend gave my a smudging bundle of sacred sage.
4.The Magician's tools I compare to the Circle of Courage which I pray for that I'll always strive to keep in mind that I need to maintain balance in order to maintain a happy and healthy life.
5. Keeping some of the special traditional activities alive and creating new traditions are affirming and heart warming, providing a sense of belonging.
6. I've found the best prevention for the "poor mes" is to focus on trying to help someone else.
7. Last but not least find ways to have a good laugh, whether it's watching some good comedy, stand-up comedian, or attending a party with some friends who love to laugh will get those feel good hormones working.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Wheel of Fortune - The Shortest Day

I was kind of hoping I might draw the Sun or maybe the Moon today, but the Wheel of Fortune is the most suitable card on this approaching Solstice, which arrives here in Nova Scotia at 6:44 am December 21st 2016.

Winter Solstice is the time of year I always look so forward to, more so than Christmas because my head is full of thoughts of Spring and light. Winter has never been my favourite time of year, perhaps because I was born in June, but I'll certainly celebrate the return of the light.

 I'll plant some garlic inside the house for my Solstice celebration and light some special bees wax candles in my Candelabras.

The Wheel of Fortune is a fitting card being the Major Arcana card that reminds me of the balance and the seemingly imbalances, our ups and downs and the ying and yang of our lives. Winter Solstice is paired for me with the Summer Solstice on June 21st, the day my late husband and I were married.

And so I'll say prayers for those of us who are thinking of loved ones we deeply miss, no longer with us on this mortal coil, but forever live in the light, close to our heart our hearts.

Samian Night - Loreena Mckennitt

When the moon on a cloud cast night
Hung above the tree tops' height
You sang me of some distant past
That made my heart beat strong and fast
Now I know I'm home at last

You offered me an eagle's wing
That to the sun I might soar and sing
And if I heard the owl's cry
Into the forest I would fly
And in its darkness find you by.

And so our love's not a simple thing
Nor our truths unwavering
But like the moon's pull on the tide
Our fingers touch, our hearts collide
I'll be a moons breath by your side.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nine of Pentacles - The Success of Wrongs and Truths

The Nine of Pentacles portrays Daedalus who is pleased with himself and what he has been able to achieve He has a sense of self-sufficiency and accomplishment in his own eyes. But this card is more than a card of worldly achievement through material success.

With wisdom, knowledge and understanding comes the fruition of success, in the sense that I finally come to a place of self-acceptance. I know the wrongs, but there are also the truths. I'm grateful to find the luxury of spiritual treasures that accompany self-acceptance.

 When ever I find myself in judgment of another I have to remind myself I'm neither superior to anyone or less than. I must also remember there but for the grace of God go I when I find myself annoyed.

Choosing the right path means choosing a life of hope and faith, making something good and beautiful out of the clay of my life, like a good artisan who molds something beautiful.

Hope In A Hopeless World -
Published on 23 Jul 2014 - Eric Bibb

Baby born in New York City
wrapped in a blanket that's tattered an' worn
mother doin' the best she can
teachin' hope in a hopeless world

eldest son, he stayed in school
listened to his mother, didn't drink or use
yet, every job he wants he gets refused
it takes hope in a hopeless world

lookin' for hope in a hopeless world
searchin' for love in such hateful times
tryin' to stay strong when my mind gets weak
looking for hope in a hopeless world

on the corner stands a young girl
the home she left was from a better part of town
her daddy did things she couldn't talk about
is there hope in a hopeless world?

ya got a quarter for the homeless man?
spare some change for the soldiers
who fought the war
put some money in their hats an' in their tins
give them hope in a hopeless world

lookin' for hope in a hopeless world
searchin' for love in such hateful times
tryin' to stay strong when my mind gets weak
looking for hope in a hopeless world
lookin' for hope in a hopeless world...
tryin' to ease my mind...

we got to listen to the voice inside
that speaks of love - don't compromise
realise time is passin' by
there are mountains to climb,
we can't be standing still

churches are full, but the prayers are not heard
Saturday's child don't wanna go to Sunday School
whatever happened to the Golden Rule
teach them hope in a hopeless world

somebody out there's got to listen
somebody out there's got to know
what I'm talkin' 'bout
raise your hand, raise your hand if you're with me
there's hope in a hopeless world

lookin' for hope in a hopeless world
searchin' for love in such hateful times
tryin' to stay strong when my mind gets weak
looking for hope in a hopeless world
lookin' for hope in a hopeless world...
gotta find love in a hopeless world...

Friday, December 16, 2016

Page of Cups - The Holy Living Grail

Pages always represent a message and youthful innocence. This Page of Cups of synchronicity and creativity embodies the mythic image of Narcissus, often seen as the representation of vanity, of someone who's in love with themselves, or having emotional immaturity. In fact the story of this ambiguous figure symbolizes the gentle beginnings and feelings of self-love and knowing our self-worth.

Anyone could be excused for being enamoured by this youth, known for his beauty, but Narcissus was unaware of his own identity. As a creative young Thespian, the son of a river god Cephisus and his mother the nymph Liriope, she was advised by Tiresias the blind seer, never to be allowed to see his own reflection. However when he does see his reflection, upon coming to a river he sits by, he falls in love with the image he sees thinking it is someone else, not himself. Once realizing this is his own reflection, sadly Narcissus kills himself because this was an unobtainable love, that he could not bare to live without. In Greek Mythology it is also thought that he was so completely overwhelmed with sorrow over the death of his twin sister, it led him to take his own life. The very beautiful Narcissus flower grew and bloomed in the exact place where he'd died.

The tragic and sad ending to this story can also be interpreted as getting past self-preoccupation to the awareness and concern for others. Narcissus is transformed into the Knight of Cups who is on a spiritual vision quest, much like Galahad, one of the legendary Knights from King Arthur's Round Table and who were in search of the Holy Grail.

The Cup that Narcissus is seen here gazing into, reminds me of the Holy Grail, the Living Grail, which reflects the transformation of the unconscious psyche or our soul, where we can find the love we all seek in serving one another.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Ace of Swords - Clarity and The Cynical Elf

Yesterday I drew the Ace of Pentacles but didn't write a blog post. I simply thought about how it I related to this card right now, because I'vebeen in a bit of a pre-Christmas funk that I think many people get. It's not an easy time for many people for a myriad of reasons.

When I saw this card I didn't come up with much significant meaning other than seeing the Ace of Pentacles and being a positive and powerful card, full of potential for energy and growth. I did feel this was a good indication that my muddled and dark thoughts are lifting, which they did. I don't mean lifting in the way folks make fun of how those of us who are like Pollyanna, you know everything is groovy doodles, but being more positive than negative in my thinking, otherwise my negative thoughts can spiral down into a dark place, that I don't go any more.

Today's second Ace that I drew, the Ace of Swords bolsters me even more, as this is really an affirming card of clarity that cuts through those muddled thoughts.

To be grateful for those little moments of happiness that come with gratitude for little things or for the small kindnesses from others and to the ones that we've shown kindness toward, reminds me that no one is an island, we need one another. This I know today, is where my spiritual strength and wellness lies, and where power, victory and clarity comes from through faith and trust, one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time.

So if you find yourself in a Christmas funk, show a little kindness toward yourself and toward someone else, or you can try some cynicism chased with a little humour, added to your nog this year. Always works for me. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Moon - The Feminine Principle

One of the most archaic figures in Greek mythology is Hecate the moon-goddess. She presides over childbirth, magic, death, the underworld, fate and the depth of the unconscious imagination. She has been called The Invincible Queen.

The High Priestess, the Wheel of Fortune and The Moon, all three Major Arcana cards are directly linked.

Hecate embodies the feminine principle of life itself and the three lunar phases reflect her power over heaven, earth and the underworld. It's a card that represents confusion, fluctuation and uncertainty, a trans-personal journey, where a sense of direction and ego are lost and individual boundaries are dissolved.

This scenario describes where I am at right now. at this stage in life as a crone. I'm being tossed along the ocean waves of the unconscious, in what feels like a rather precarious boat. I'm not privy to knowing anything other than I must trust my intuition, to have faith and hope that I'll come safely to shore.

I'm not worried about the destination and have decided to enjoy the journey, come what may.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Four of Cups - Divine Discontent

In the Four of Cups we see Psyche with her jealous sisters on either side of her who are filling her head with all kinds of negative ideas about her future husband Eros. They're telling her Eros must be some sort of monster if he's made her promise not to look at him when he visit her in the dark of night, regardless of how loving he is. Her sister's ramblings do bring to the surface some of the doubt that Psyche herself is having and is left to contemplate on what to do in order to restore her own sense of stability. She could react with apathy but her love for Eros is too deep to ignore, in spite of her doubt.

If I say to I don't give a rats butt about what others think, that isn't the whole truth. I think we all care what others think to some degree, if we didn't we might be running around naked around the house and even answering the door that way, because  there are of course social norms that we adhere to within reason. 

We like being well thought of and respected, but as the old adage goes, you can't please all the people, all of the time. Inevitably we are not going to be liked by everyone, regardless of who we are, what we do, or how we behave.
Yesterday I went to town with a good friend and the topic of gossip came up. Living in a very rural small community you can be certain there is going to be lots of gossip and talk, some good, some negative. I compare gossip to a silent fart. It might seem innocuous at first. It wasn't actually heard and so no once notices, but then the stagnating effects become apparent, which can be deadly. Something seemingly insignificant at first, can cause some very significant far reaching affects.

I ask myself, why do people gossip or repeat things that may or may not have any portion of truth? I expect there are numerous reasons. We've all gossiped at some time or another and I don't think it's all necessarily  always a hurtful activity, but a very human one, and is a pretty strong indication we are bored with our own lives, and is often referred to as divine discontent. Generally speaking though, I think it's safe to say gossip usually involves the devaluing of another.

My wise mother once told me something that I never forgot. She said when people repeat negative things that other people have said about you, there are three implicit reasons. They are jealous., or get some kind of pleasure in seeing how you react, or they are very insecure within themselves, and in someway it makes them feel better to know someone else is being made to feel less than. This made a lot of sense to me, and I keep it in mind when ever I'm tempted to say something negative about another person. 

If I find myself around those who engage in negative gossip I have to first be very aware that I'm not part and parcel to the same, and as a wise elder once told me, the best response is to say , " Well that's your opinion" and simply walk away. I think this is a good suggestion. However I do think about what was said and why, and whether or not there is an element of truth in the comment. I also ask myself if there is anything constructive I can do about it. Sometimes there is, but if not I'll choose to walk away and try not to get too upset.

My friend that I spent the day with yesterday, concluded that many folks gossip in negative hurtful ways because at some point in their lives they were very hurt, and they carry that with them, and project it onto other people. They're left with that remaining feeling of not belonging, and being an outsider. This makes sense to me, because belonging is the greatest basic need that all human beings share. When this need is left unmet it leads to our divine discontent.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Seven of Swords - Faith

I think this card is one of the darkest in the Mythic Tarot Deck, an always give me a feeling of foreboding. Faith, betrayal, and deception are represented in the Seven of Swords as Orestes scaulks away under the hooded veil of darkness, by the light of the crescent moon. He is unsure and ambivalent about what he is doing.

In life we all come to some kind of a cross roads. Lacking faith and what Orestes is contemplating doing, as a means to an end, is a highly questionable goal, and amorality is not the best choice, because it's really like sitting on the fence, which reminds me of this quote.

 “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”― Edmund Burke

Knowing what Orestes is about to do, makes me wish someone would step in and stop him from making the worst mistake of his life. It is good to know that eventually Athene will come to his defense, later in the Ten of Swords, in spite of what he does, and that there is someone who cares enough to know that even Orestes needs forgiveness.

Having faith in myself, in others and in the God of my understanding is paramount if I'm to avoid betrayal and deception, something we are all capable of doing. It's especially easy to betray and deceive myself with dishonesty and not caring for myself. If I'm honest and loyal to myself, in all likelihood, I will be the same toward others.

Lack of faith is what I see as a cause of so many problems within the world, between human beings, and our relationship to all living things. Our earth is suffering because of our lack of faith, and this is reflected all around us, leaving us very short sighted.

 I am only one person, but my own, personal, individual power through faith should not be underestimated as a way to change myself and my world.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Eight of Swords - What Do I Fear?

A card well chosen for me  today, because I've been feeling a little fearful and a little stuck.

The Eight of Swords shows Orestes who is between a rock and a hard place. He feels like he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. In a state of paralysis, with Apollo on his left, who's giving Orestes the evil eyeball and to the left are the three Furies, with their ugly on a ape faces, their bat wings and snake hair. I think we all can  identify with this feeling like we can't move, change our mind or our situation. It's not good.

Fear is something that is present in life, for all of us and manifests itself in so many ways and when we can't make a decision we can feel paralyzed, knowing that whatever we do is going to be problematic for us and might even be perceived as being life threatening us in one way or another. If nothing else it's stressful and anxiety producing.

 At times our fears are natural, realistic, warranted and understandable. Others fears emerge as phobias that we might carry into our adult life from childhood, like fear of the dark, or like me, I had a choking phobia when eating cheese or ice cream, and had a fear of bees when I was a kid. I still have my phobias but have learned to control them.

We can get treatment for phobia and we can choose to avoid situations where they present themselves, or they may lessen with time when we learn strategies to cope. But some problems are more difficult to overcome with out making a decision to do something about it, in spite of our fears. If we choose not to take any action we remain stuck in the quagmire, hobbled by our fear and the situation worsens, effecting almost every aspect of our lives.

 Some of us experience a learned helplessness because we've become dependent or co-dependent on someone else to solve our problems, but this is ineffective in the long term. It's pretty difficult for any one else to help us if we can't help ourselves.

Ultimately we have to make the decision to change what we can for ourselves, face our fears and learn new skills that will help us to cope and hold those fears in check, without letting them control us. Otherwise we are simply spinning our wheels, going nowhere fast.

My experience has been that I had to make friends with my fear. Not to say fear's my new best bud, on no, definitely not but I've learned to make fear work for me. Sometimes this doesn't work, but I know fear is a necessary normal feeling, that will pass and that I need to work with it, instead of against it. I can then hopefully, make a good decision with some discernment in order to make a necessary change. Asking for help from others who have perhaps been through similar circumstance is important because I don't need to solve all my problems in isolation. I've always believed that when I can share a problem with someone else, it lessens my problem by half.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Emperor - The Father Principle

A father figure, The Emperor embodies the mythic All-Father Zeus, the creator of the world. He offers us counsel, guidance, the strength and wisdom of experience. Zeus urges us to rise above the bondage of body and limitations of nature. Both the positive and negative father principle needs to be considered. No one needs a tyrannical father, or mother for that matter. Zeus can be a miserable dude, so safe to say he's not one of my favourite mythic figures.

This Major Arcana card I think is a good reminder to not put all our faith in emperor's new clothes or in any emperor, politicians or human beings. Inspiration comes from truth and creative vision. Creative vision is embodied in the Journey of the Heroine and in our search for wholeness and in re-defining our preconceived  ideas and the principles of both what masculine and feminine means.

The kind of All-Father that I'm drawn to is really an All-Mother but specifically I think of the Sumerian Goddess of the Grape Vine Geshtinanna, who is described by Maureen Murdock author of The Heroine's Journey as being the "new feminine". An ancient mythological story and figure that's so very relevant to the contemporary meaning to our world and our identity as human beings.


Monday, November 21, 2016

The Chariot - Metanoia

I love languages and words. Today I read a great post by a special Rabbi, Brian Meyer, from whom I always learn so much, reading his very insightful and thoughtful blog Religion Outside of The Box. In today's post he explained the meaning of the word Metanoia. There are a number of varying interpretations of the meaning, which is Greek in origin. The meaning I find most appealing is, "a trans-formative change of heart" or "change of mind".

In life we are always facing some kind of decision and but often do need to have a change of mind and heart, asking ourselves questions like, do we go this way or that, is this too much or too little, and sometimes, if not most times it's a real struggle to find our balance.

 I spent the first part of my life out of balance, without enough direction until I came to a crossroads and juncture in the road, where I had to decide which way to go, and to learn how to find balance. The only way I could do this was to make a decision, as a result of a trans-formative change of heart and mind. It didn't happen over night. It was a long process, that wasn't easy.

Driving the chariot is Ares the god of war, embodied in this Major Arcana card. He's, trying to contain the two horses pulling in opposite directions. Ironically Aphrodite, the goddess of love and Ares are very
drawn to one another like ying and yang.

The white and black horses representing the two ends of the spectrum of positive and negative, of good and bad that we all grapple with, and have to find balance in some way, because one cannot exist without the other.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Five of Cups - Attention - The One Cup Left Standing

"Attention, taken to its highest degree, is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love.
Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.
If we turn our mind toward the good, it is impossible that little by little the whole soul will not be attracted thereto in spite of itself."

                                                         -Simone Weil
We see here Psyche who is in desperate pursuit of Eros. Their relationship seems to have completely gone off the rails. Psyche has shone the lamp on Eros to reveal what he looked like, after he forbid her to ever do so. However all is not lost. Yes there are four cups knocked over, spilling the contents. However one still remains standing, symbolizing what is left will strengthen and sustain their love for one another, not based on will, but based on attention.

Cups representing emotion, and the Five of Cups being about adversity, loss, regret and bereavement makes this card very poignant in meaning for me today. It's been said , if you don't deal with your emotions, they will deal with you.  But how do we do this?

I've come to an important realization over the past week regarding death, loss and how it's fraught with deep emotion, it effects and how continues to affect me, and knowing what I can and need do about it.

Recently our small rural coastal community lost one of our young people to suicide. It's affected all of us in various ways, and degrees, especially affecting the immediate family and friends.

Our culture doesn't cope well with death, and we keep it at arms length. Most of us have grown up with out the skills of knowing what to do or say to those who are grieving. When we're directly affected by the loss of our loved ones, we're often at a complete loss as to how to cope, experiencing overwhelming fear and trauma resulting in Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, especially if we have had more than our share of tragedy and loss in our lives.

After doing some research on line, I've come to the conclusion my responses to death, are a direct result of my own symptoms of PTSD, having experienced so much loss in my life due to the tragic deaths of loved ones mostly caused by disease. I was really mostly unaware of this, until the past week. I knew my reactions were troubling, disconcerting and probably not normal, but I never consciously attributed them to PTSD. I was mostly left with anxiety, fear and guilt.

I'm relieved to know this, as I can now begin to process and really understand my reactions and feelings that I've been experiencing over the years, and do something about it.

Yesterday I went to see the grandparents of this beautiful young person we lost to suicide. They're both my friends and neighbours. I walked to their house. On the way I became acutely aware of the visceral feelings I was having. Panic, anxiety, pounding heart, all underlined by overall feelings of depression. Regardless and in spite of my feelings, I'd paid close attention to what it was I wanted and needed to do to express my deep sorrow for their loss. Though I was wanting to run away and not go, I continued up the road to see them. I'd made muffins, had a poem in hand and a prayer in my heart, for them, and for myself.
  I felt so much better after our visit and my feelings had dispelled. We cried, talked, laughed and shelled beans from their garden. I know we all felt better.

In 1980 I lost my newly wed young husband at the age of 26 to Brittle Diabetes and drug induced Paranoid Schizophrenia. Bill was two years older than this young person who recently died in our community.

 People might think, that was over thirty years ago when I'd lost my husband, maybe I should be "over" it. It doesn't matter how long it's been. What does matter is how you cope and what other losses happen adding to the complexity of grief and coping skills. My own self-medicating behaviour through the use and abuse of alcohol, only created more confusion and grief. I was lost until I reached out for help and got clean and sober 22 years ago. But just because you've put the cork in the bottle, doesn't mean everything is all better now.

 I remember what a very spiritual man said to me about prayer when Bill died. He talked to me about how prayer is carrying someone in your heart. It's paying attention with faith and love.

 Today I live without the use of alcohol, but cannot live without prayer in my life, both for others and for myself. It's the one cup, left standing, that I paid attention to.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Six of Wands - Creative Growth and Self-Confidence

Six of Wands symbolizes creative growth, self-confidence, progress and some kind of public acclaim. It is seen as the most satisfying of the Minor Arcana cards, because focused action yields results and results yield self-confidence . When we are recognized for our accomplishments it can often come with it's own dilemmas and further challenges, like envy and jealousy from others.

Achieving a creative vision can be a heady moment, and it can be a celebratory occasion, justifiably so, however it's important to remember, this too shall pass and we can look forward to taking on the next challenge.

I can't allow myself to be caught up in what others are thinking, whether it be positive of negative. Growth is progress and process, not a destination of perfection. I know will never graduate from life, but I strive to keep on learning and growing, I learned how to survive my painful and joyful experiences and now am learning how to thrive, through the mystery of creative growth.This is the real journey of life for me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five of Wands - The Beast

A card about struggle, the Five of Wands reminds us that we can overcome the struggle that exists, but we don't have to, nor do we need to, struggle alone. Everyone needs some kind of help at some point in our lives and it's important we ask for help but there's nothing easy about asking. It's a humbling experience.

Letting false pride get in the way, only results in our egos becoming the beast, and the struggle with depression  and confusion that Leonard Cohen speaks about plagues and overpowers us. It's the dragon we need to fight against and we're not likely to win that battle if we have a lack of trust in our intuition and instinct, causing us further depression and apathy. At this point we loose our way in confusion, we loose sight of our vision and courage.

The Five of Wands is a hopeful, empowering card if we heed the message it conveys.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ace of Pentacles - Super Moon

This dude Poseidon has shown up twice in a week and a half this month. Here he is again, and it's a good time for the Ace of Pentacles to appear with the Super Moon tonight revealing itself. I'd heard today on the radio it hasn't been this big in 68 years. I did manage to get a photograph.

A very emotional day for me today and goes along with what seems to be a water theme right now. But I feel very blessed and even lucky, though I don't believe in such a thing really. Prayer is what works for me and what I mean is, I don't always get what I want when I pray, but I really do get what I need, even though I might not like the answer, or seemingly lack of an answer.

I've be in great need of water and yesterday I finally got it back completely. Today I had a glorious bath in my bathtub and even finally got completely caught up with my big accumulating pile of laundry and hung it all out to dry in the sunshine on the clothes line. Awww the smell, it was truly divine!

Whew! To say it's a relief to have water again, would be an understatement. It's the miracle of water, the very miracle and prosperity of life it's self, and my answered prayer for water.

The Super Moon November 13th 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Justice - Hillary Rodham Clinton

 Yesterday I went walking for an hour and a half with my smart and socially conscious neighbour. We some good laughs and especially when she proudly stated that she too was a "nasty woman" that Trump called Hillary Clinton, during one of the last debates.

 My good friend became a Canadian citizen many years ago. I asked her if she was feeling upset about the US election. Her immediate answer was " No, not at all, I'm Canadian". I understand why she'd say this, because as Canadians we feel happy and proud to live in our country, though we are far from perfect, but we are grateful.

 We commiserated together about how we felt about the whole campaign and the implications of today's election results, concluding  this was a very disconcerting situation to say the list, when considering someone like Trump could actually come out ahead and become President, not because he's the better candidate but  because of voter apathy among those who choose not to vote. 

When I drew the Justice card this morning I took note. It's the second time I've seen this Major Arcana card in the last seventeen days and wondered why it's come up again. Then it dawned on me. There could be no better card to see on this election day. It'll truly be a great historic moment if we do in fact see the first American President, a woman, who has long committed herself to social justice all of her life, a champion for woman, families and children.

 Hillary's very first run at being president was when she was about 14. She'd offered her name for school president. She was told by one of her male class mates, women can't be president because they're stupid. WRONG!

It will be a grand celebration for women everywhere, if she does become US President, as she follows in the footsteps with the spirit of Athene, the Suffragette Susan B. Anthony , all those who have blazed the trail before and those to come.

Susan B. Anthony - 1820- 1906

"Peace is not the absence of war—peace is the absence of fear, and the presence of justice." – Ursula Franklin in The Ursula Franklin Reader.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ace of Pentacles - Water On It's Way!

I was happy to see the Ace of Pentacles earlier today that I drew from my deck. It felt like is was a hopeful affirmation to me because my water woes were and are not over yet.

Poseidon being the God of the seas and the one who sustains all of the water ways and the earth itself. The Ace of Pentacles represents the earth and the material plane. Here we the symbolism of potential, manifestation and prosperity.

Although Poseidon might look like a merman, he is definitely not. He was able to live in the water, but also lived very easily on the earth and actually craved land, which caused him to be in conflict with the other gods, as he was always appropriating islands and pieces of the mainland of Greece. Poseidon was a bit of a land hog.

So after having drawn this card I found my water back to full pressure again, after not having water for another day and I'd left the house the other night only to return to hearing a running pump. The stopper on the toilet tank was dislodged and therefore was draining what water was being pumped, once again, hardly present from my spring.

I'm so grateful to live along side of a river, because I am able to access water.
And I am well aware that in spite of getting water pressure back again, it is still low because we've just not had near enough rain, but I am very hopeful the rain will come again before the Winter.
If the Ace of Pentacles is any indication, well there's water on it's way! Weatherman is calling for rain!

Cape Chignecto - Oil Pastel on Canvas - Catherine Meyers

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Nine of Cups -- I Make Prayers My Cup Is Full

The great synchronicity in this card the Nine of Cups, The Wish Card that I've drawn today is truly a beautiful thing. Representing fruition, comfort and satisfaction are just a few adjectives I'd use to describe my feelings. Mostly though, I am so very grateful.

 I went back in my journal to see how long it's been since I haven't had water running from my gravity fed Spring into my taps. It's been since October 21st, ten days.

This morning I plugged in my water pump not expecting any water. I have an open hole in my basement  and  when it rains the water table comes up and I'm able to gather up some water for washing, but only if it's rained. It had been raining over the past week and so as I was getting what water I could. I took quick notice that the sound of my pump was different. I immediately went over to look at the gauge and there I could see the needle gauge that had moved, increasing exponentially! Oh my goodness I was overjoyed and could hardly believe it! I flung my hands  and arms up in the air in praise and thanks!

Prior to this grand event I was beginning to let thoughts of worry creep in, wondering how much longer this drought was going to last, as Winter and freeze up is not far away. I was feeling like I was at the end of my rope and at a complete loss in knowing how this was going to be resolved and conclude.

I haven't seen this kind of drought in the 22 years I've lived here, except twice. The second situation was due to 50 below weather that caused an old underground pipe to freeze and bust. Thankfully I won't have that problem again, having the pipes replaced deep in the ground and won't freeze.

It's common for human beings to take what we have for granted. It's only when we're suddenly without or it's gone, that our attitudes change.

Psyche and Eros have come to the same realization, in that they'd almost lost their deep love for one another. Having now established a firm spiritual foundation, they've made the commitment to build upon their relationship, based on this spiritual foundation. Without this awareness that all life is sacred we will not survive.

Water is sacred. Water represents life itself and without it we will not survive.

Make prayers for the life of the rivers
Make prayers for the creeks and the streams
make prayers to the Holy Myst’ry
Make prayers for Earth Mother’s dreams.
Fall down on your knees by the water
Fall down on the muck, sand or slate
Fall down in humility, hope and love
And pray that it’s not too late.

            - Water Walker, Grandmother Josephine Mandamin

The Red Road - Coloured Pencil, Catherine Meyers

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Sun and Leonard Cohen

Synchronicity lifts my spirits today drawing the Major Arcana card, The Sun and listening to Leonard Cohen's Travelin' Light, from his new release You Want It Darker. I've followed Leonard from his early beginnings and I think this is the quintessential epic work ever, reflecting the kind of insight that is much like what is called "Apollo Longsight", seeing the purpose and reason for his life experiences through hope, faith and with far reaching vision.

 Apollo is a lord of prophecy, music and knowledge, the son of Zeus and Leto, the goddess of Night. Apollo is the image of the power of consciousness to dispel darkness and fear. He is the image of hope and faith.

The radiant sun-god is embodied in this mythic image of Apollo, with his classic, handsome looks, his golden wings, and cradling his lyre.

Music being the expression of the sun-god, it transforms darkness into light and meaning. The laurel wreath that crowns Apollo's head, symbolizes his artistic and athletic achievements, although Leonard aches in the places he used to play, because alas he is not the sun-god  but I sure do idolize him.

 Clarity, optimism and renewed trust, all enable our understanding of the pattern of life and arms us with  foresight, purpose, hope and faith in the striving human spirit,'travelin' light' toward the goal.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Tower of Pickled Eggs

I don't ever recall drawing this Major Arcana card, The Tower. I know I haven't seen it before in my daily draw. But I do know it's a very relevant card for me today, having learned from a recent experience, after completing a lot of diligent hard work and then easily concluding that circumstances aren't always as they appear to be. The reason I say that was easy to conclude, is a result of having continued to trust my intuition and have the discernment to understand and accept what has happened and was meant to be, and to know  there are better things to come.

I'm actually further ahead than I was before and I'm now relieved of the stress that I was feeling. I think my increased cortisol level was simply a message from my intuition doing it's job, leaving me with that nagging pull or sinking feeling in the pit of my gut. I wasn't exactly sure why, what it meant and how it was going to all turn out, but I kept trusting that all will be revealed, and happily, it was.

When we experience periods of confusion, it can be very stressful and can be compared to going through that Labyrinth of King Minos, and we wonder when that scary, horrible, and gross creature, the Minotaur is going to show up and do his dirty work.

What has all this got to do with pickled eggs you ask? I'll tell you.
 I just finished making a batch of pickled eggs. I carefully placed them in the refrigerator, after making them, where they have to stay for two days before they're ready. Oh I've made them before, but I was usually in a big hurry to make them, skipping steps and certainly not following any recipe and I sure as heck didn't wait for two days for them to be ready!

This batch of pickled eggs I've made today, are going to be like none other I've ever made. I'm absolutely confident they are going to be delicious after paying very careful attention to detail. I took my time and followed the instructions in the recipe, right down to how to properly boil and even peel the eggs.

Discernment, intuition, having trust in that still quiet voice within my psyche, and practicing acceptance is rather like making pickled eggs. You really need to have the perfect combination of ingredients. You also need to follow the recipe if you don't already have one that you know that works because you know it like the back of your hand. It needs to be a recipe that's been trusted, tried and true, so you can be confident in knowing, you'll have the perfect pickled eggs.

Having patience, taking the time to pay attention to detail is essential in order to get the kind of result you want, or perhaps even something better than you expected, and you'll be a better person for it.

The collapse of the Tower, representing the collapse of old forms, outgrown ideas, and attitudes that don't emerge from the whole self, but are "put on" like a costume to impress an audience, need to fall away, to make room for a better attitude that's no longer confined to that Labyrinth and you can say to yourself, bring on those pickled eggs! They're ready and so am I! If you want the recipe, just ask, I'll be happy to share it with you!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Justice - The Art of Taming Horses

Justice, a very fitting card to draw today as I've been thinking about the qualities reflected in this Major Arcana card. Athene who taught the art of taming horses is a warrior of the highest kind, unlike Ares the war-god for whom the arts of war were based solely on conflict. Not Athene, her arts of war sprang from high principles that uphold and preserve truth.
Athene, the goddess of Justice embodies reflective judgement and rational thought, qualities that the Greeks considered divine, because it's what differentiated human beings from the beasts. Her teaching of the civilized arts symbolizes the capacity of the mind to hold untamed nature in check and transform it through clarity and to plan objectively.

The first of the four cards in the Major Arcana traditional referred to as the Four Moral Lessons which are Justice, Temperance, Strength and the Hermit, all necessary for us to function effectively in life. The lesson Justice purports, is how we must learn to think clearly and to have a balanced mind, weighing one thing against the other. If we do not respect fairness and truth as being important ethical principles, there is not Justice to be found.

Today I found this wonderful article about a beautiful 96 year old women who I think must have the courageous, and youthful adventurous heart of Athene. There is much to be said for those who are understand the art of taming horses.

As Dinnie Greenway states, she understands some people are afraid of horses but says the trick is to treat them like people.
"If they step on you, it will hurt but if you are sensible and you are kind, they'll be kind to you."
Dinnie speaks of truth and fairness based on clear thinking and having a balanced mind.

Riding horses all of her life has kept her going and keeps her young, with the true heart of Athene.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Knight of Swords - Synchronicity of Earth and Astral Planes

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

 I know I'm being affected but this Supermoon, Blood Moon, Hunter's Moon that is on it's way after midnight. I am feeling full of synchronicity, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I'm listening to what I need in the way if sustaining my soul, taking time to find clarity and for this I am very grateful..

Over the past few months I've been completely preoccupied. My focus has been very methodically working on completing a government application for a grant relating to my art business. Some days I'm both simultaneously energized and mentally exhausted. I can almost feel like it's taken over my life, because I'm taken over by a new idea and am inspired to move with changes, even if some are uncomfortable and even turbulent. I am positive this will result in a broader vision of life.

 I am reminded of my past behavioural tendencies to take things to extremes or react in haste or being conflicted by opposing principles within myself. I've been all or nothing kind of gal most of my life. I've learned some hard lessons, and have come to understand the meaning of slow and steady wins the race, and that balance is better than extremes.

As a Gemini I identify with the Knight of Swords, as it typifies my personality in just about every way. Today I can say I experience more the positive aspects of this card embodying the Mythic imagery of the Dioscuri, who were never separated, the twin brothers, Castor and Polydeuces. Of course both Mythic figures demonstrate positive and negative characteristics, like we all exhibit a duality within our personalities. If we can bring this duality into synchronicity it can bring balance.

We all make big and small  life choices everyday. Some times the smallest and seemingly most insignificant of decisions made, can have the greatest consequences, in both positive and negative ways. Regardless, we're either moving forward or back, but always in motion. I don't think there is such a thing as staying still. I guess I'd describe being stagnant as being in denial, or doing something over and over again expecting a different result. In 12 Step Recovery programs we call that insanity.

The Mother's Prayers Are Carried to The Grand Mother - Coloured Pencil & Oil Pastel - Catherine Meyers

Friday, October 7, 2016

The High Priestess- The Dark Night of the Soul

With every sunny day must come the dark clouds and the rain. The High Priestess, embodied in the Mythic figure of Persephone represents the many facets of this in our lives, such a loss, grief, tragedy, love, spirituality, peace, severity and transformation. Persephone symbolizes for me the dark night of the soul.

I remember sitting in the living room of an elder woman whom I admired greatly. My spiritual mentor and friend Joan was a very faithful and deeply spiritual person, who'd been through so much difficulty and suffering through her life. She reminds me of the High Priestess, in that she was in the state of grace and balance that comes from patience and intuition. My friend always had a joyful, kind, grateful and very compassionate heart.

As we sat talking over cups of tea, I asked her why it seemed that some folks went through so much tragedy and grief, yet others seemed unscathed and dodged all the hurtful bullets of life. She replied yes, this did seem to be true, but pointed out that those who do experience more than their share of heartache, come away with a deeper understanding of life, and are offered, if they accept, the gift of compassion toward others, because they know what it means to not only survive but thrive because of what has happened to them, not simply in spite of what has happened to them.

Within my heart I knew this to be true, but somehow when she verbalized this truth it became even more real to me. Perhaps because she inspired me with her grace, inner strength, courage, faith and gratitude.
When we share with another what we've been through we impart a strength to the other who had walked a similar road and who also come to understand what that dark night of the soul really means.

It's pointless to compare ourselves to others and ask ourselves why them and not me. What's more important is to identify with the feelings of another. Helping each other this way brings great rewards, instead of being resentful and envious of someone who has a seemingly perfect life. We never really know what another is going through and we can't assume or judge, but we can empathize, show compassion and open ourselves to transformation.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Fool - The Hopeful Free Spirit

I rarely draw the Fool card, but it is a Major Arcana that represents hope, and the free spirit within and one of my favourites. A person can never have too much hope and having a free spirit may frighten those who rather play it safe and can't embrace that side of themselves. But life means risk if we want to grow in faith, trust and in hope.

And so it's always a much welcomed card and to see today, this first day of October. As I write, I can hear the duck hunters. I can't say I hope they get some ducks. But I do wish them safety, as I do the ducks.

When I think about hunting I reflect on my grandfather, who was an expert marksman. He was never really so interested in hunting. He he did get the odd duck I know, but had no passion for in big game hunting. I remember a family photo of him sitting on the back of a moose that had been sick and he'd nursed him back to health. Granddad simply loved living with nature,  he loved animals, the country life and was a creative, gentle, sensitive and kind soul.

As a teenager I loved nothing more than wearing his old canvas jacket with a rap around inside pocket at the bottom of the coat, for gathering up ducks. It always made me feel close to him when I wore that coat. Summer days spending time with him out in his garden is a special memory. He didn't talk much because he was hard of hearing and wouldn't wear a hearing aid. But it didn't matter so much because I always knew he loved me and wanted to spend time with me whether it be in the garden or just spending hours playing checkers.

My grandfather Roy Winslow Milner's heart and mind were open and faithful. His love of music and reading was also very evident, as he was always reading and played a number of instruments. I know his life was difficult, living through the Depression and working all of his life in the Foundry where he was a molder, working in such an awful very unhealthy place, in order to earn a living to support his family.

In spite of my grandfather's hardships, he was a man that instilled hope in me as his granddaughter, because I inherited his love of music, reading and nature. Like the Fool, embodied in the mythic figure of Dionysus, my grandfather in spite of what happened to him in life, his right brained, intuitive, and creative nature allowed him to connect to his hopeful and free spirit. I'm blessed so grateful to have known him as my kind and loving grandfather.

Roy Winslow Milner

Grandfather and my mother, Sarah Helen Milner