Saturday, February 27, 2016

King of Cups - The Caring Heart of the Artist

I realize this card it is truly my favourite Court Card. The King of Cups is full of compassion and counseling for others, with the sensitive, wise and caring heart of an artist who was both poet and musician, represented by the Mythic figure Orpheus.

These qualities are so admirable and highly regarded and can be seen as being very positive. The negative aspect is that the King is unable to help himself and is known as the wounded healer. Many in the helping professions tend to crash and burn, because they extend themselves beyond their limits, in order to help others without addressing their own personal issues. I had once experienced this myself years ago as a counselor.

I heard it said that the best way to get your focus off of your own problems is to help someone else. This is often true especially if you are feeling sorry for yourself our full of worry and anxiety about your life. However if your motivation is to do this in order to avoid your own problems, this is not going to work for long and isn't healthy.

Certainly, those who are helpers do have insight into other peoples problems and are initially very good at assisting them in many compassionate ways. However this cannot happen consistently over a long period of time, because the individual will eventually come up against their own struggles and eventually will be unable to ignore them.

The message found within the King of Cups is that taking care of ourselves is an absolute must. If we can't take care of ourselves first, we can't really be there to effectively help others.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Seven of Pentacles - Do you Know What Your Answer Is?

This has been a month of decision making for me and the cards I have been drawing daily, have definitely reflected this.

I see this decision making theme once again in the Seven of Pentacles, upon seeing today's card where Oueen Pasiphae is wanting to make an offer to Daedalus he can't refuse. Daedalus already has lots of golden coins, (Pentacles). However she's got another one in her hand to freely give him, none the less for a price he may not be prepared to pay.

When someone offers you something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 I have  generally found this to be one of those truisms in life.
This past week I was offered one of those kinds of deals and honestly, I was tempted initially until I gave it careful thought. I concluded in my heart that is wasn't a good decision for me realistically, because I'd be in a worse case scenario financially, then what I am in presently.

That said this is the kind of society we live in today. There are various modern day snake charmers offering big things, with a big price that is often hidden or we rather not think about because we are reacting emotionally.

When it comes to money, and consumerism, we live in an economy that is credit rich and cash poor.
Taking a page from my grandparents book of debt, thinking about how they lived, and remembering what my mother once said. "If you don't have the cash to get a bargain, it isn't a bargain."
In those days, there were no credit cards, which I think now are mostly misused and are the scourge of our economy, affecting people and our world on so many levels.

This card has the message not to react impulsively. Care and forethought are necessary in order to make the right decision.

Every situation and person is different and so perhaps the question to ask is, am I going to be further ahead if I put my energy into a new project or should I continue to develop what I have already worked hard at in achieving.
I know what my answer is. Do you know what your answer is?


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Five of Pentacles - Letting Go

The Five of Pentacles always reminds me of Persephone descending the staircase to the underworld, certainly not a fun journey, but it's not all bad either.

Daedalus isn't going to the underworld. He's however in a very dark place in his mind and spirit, wrestling with forces somewhat beyond his control, and let his ego get in the way making some really bad decisions, that has lead him here.

Things may look dismal, and foreboding but the moon is lighting his path and all is not lost. It's in his power to change his attitude and to look inward for guidance to provide him with discernment, in order to make the right decision. Indecision and is also a decision, and often waiting is the best choice until the way becomes clear.

Pentacles indicates a financial loss that presents a very difficult situation, possibly causing us to have a loss of faith in ourselves. Letting go, forgiving ourselves, and preparing to start over is the best way to get our bearings again.

What is necessary is to take inventory of how we contributed and exacerbated the problem. Then we can re-orientate ourselves on an financial level and on an inner one.    

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eight of Swords - What is Your Value and Worth?

Orestes is once again being taunted and tormented by the Furies on one side and Apollo looks none to happy either. Orestes feels frozen, but he knows all too well what the consequences of his actions will be. He needs to make a decision, ask himself what he really wants, and needs to act once and for all.

Oh boy, some times there are certain cards, you will draw over and over in a short space of time. You could almost feel like your are being really bugged or stalked by a particular card that you keep drawing. Truth is, there is an important message needing to be heard. Much like in life, we will often keep making the same mistakes over and over, and we can't figure out why. It's because we haven't learned the lesson yet.

I really gave this card some thought today. Then it came to me, and I figured this one out. I know it directly relates to my own attitude and the part I play in shaping others attitudes toward me personally and professionally. Of course I acknowledge that there are some rotten tomatoes posing as well intended folks out there, but they also have to take responsibility for their own behaviours. I try hard to avoid those folks completely.

At the same time I also have to take responsibility for my own behaviour, happiness and success. If people don't like that, well I say tough tat-tats! I don't have to live life as a victim, nor allow myself to be taken advantage of personally or professionally.

This is often a hard and long lesson learned, especially for many women because we don't want to, God forbid, piss any one off, and we don't want to be seen as being not a 'nice' person. Too much of the time women are willing to settle for less, which is a big price just not worth paying for in the long run. We devalue ourselves and are left feeling less than, undeserving and unworthy. This is absolute BULL CRAP! We are more than, deserving and very worthy. It's been said, and I believe it to be true, that our value and worth is our sacred capital.

I always remember something Dr. Phil said many years ago when he first came on TV. " You teach people how to treat you. " This is not a blaming the victim kind of statement. I am not talking about the cycle of violence that is present in abusive situations. I am simply talking about talking responsibility for our own behaviour. It 's about taking charge of our own selves in order to elicit and enable real positive change. We don't have to take the path of least resistance. This is not the way to happiness.

We don't need to fear confrontation, we don't need to avoid, nor to be duplicitous or blind. What we need is to be honest with ourselves and with others, to take responsibility for our actions and get proactive.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Knight of Cups - The Hopeful Romantic

One of my favourite cards, is the Knight of Cups. Emotion is represented by the suit of cups and being a person who relates in an intuitive manner, on an emotional level, I strongly identify with this card.

The aftermath of Valentine's Day usually lives me feeling rather deflated as a result of all the hype around this very commercialized day, that has generally lost it's meaning in that it is now geared toward couples, who gush about their undying love toward one another. The unspoken message is a presumption that most of us the population is coupled. Reality certainly does not bare this out, but I don't want to get off on a tangent about this.

What I want to talk about is the nature of this Knight of Cups. I ask myself what kind of quest is he on? Firstly he is the mythic hero Perseus who is on a kind of spiritual vision quest and is greatly favoured by goddesses, The Graeae, the three Crones, who knew the secrets of the future.

Perseus is a real romantic and comes to the aid of the damsel in distress. He love's love, worships women, beauty and truth. He defends high ideals and searches always for that perfect love. Kindness, gentleness and idealistic in nature and personality, does not mean he is weak in character. Without the Knight of Cups, it would leave us in a cynical, bleak and a colourless world.

Our world has lost much of this romantic spirit found in the Knight of Cups. I see him as a hopeful romantic, and world needs more of them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

King of Swords - 'The Wily One'

This has been a week full of swords. My fourth day of drawing this suit. Yesterday I drew the Eight of Swords but didn't get around to posting, which is a card of bondage through fear.

Today brings me the King of Swords and the mythic figure of the the hero Odysseus who's intellectual authority and principles remind us to use reason over emotion and to not allow ourselves to be dictated by emotion and irrational thought. He urges us to act with foresight, cleverness, strategy, guile and determination to reach our goal.

The King of Swords may be cunning, artful, crafty and smart, but not necessarily wise. Wiliness needs to be tempered with intuited emotion, and wisdom, because the King of Swords in sometimes lacking in depth of feeling and can have a tendency to be dissociated with emotion necessary to be empathetic. In other words, trust your gut and be wise.

As a creative person it is essential for me to always be willing to question authority and to really listen to my own inner voice of authority. This may not be immediately apparent, but I need to be patient and trust that insight and discernment will be given.

Overcoming  fear means to be able to look fear in the face and traverse that road less traveled, and to be our own hero or heroine.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Two of Swords - La La La La I Can't Hear You!

Orestes in the Two of Swords is caught between a rock and a hard place, with his mother, Queen Clytemnestra  on one side and his father King Agamemnon on the other side.

Orestes isn't happy, nor is he unhappy. He can't move or grow, appearing calm enough but just beneath the surface is great tension and anxiety. Orestes has taken the path of least resistance, thinking if he does nothing he won't risk conflict. But the chaos is really between his ears, and is the loudest noise he hears, regardless of what is going on around him. It is the chaos that comes when we refuse to face an impending consequence that calls for us to find a more creative way of handling this situation, instead of deciding to avoid the inevitable.

Listening to our own quiet still voice can be challenging. So how do we do it?
I think the answer varies individually, but the first part of this answer for me comes when there is an acknowledgment and acceptance of the chaos. This chaos can be external or internal, our chaos or someone else's, and we decide to make it ours or not.

There is a saying I love, " not my circus, not my monkeys." In other words this isn't my problem, and it isn't my business.

Learning to detach with love from  people, places and things has been one of the most important life lessons I have learned. It isn't as easy as it might sound and it really does take practice, especially if we've have a pattern of avoiding reality and keeping up with appearances to keep everyone else happy but ourselves. Making a decision to make the first step is the most important. It is so very worth the effort, because it can spare you from a lot of grief and stress.
Ultimately others will benefit from our honesty and so will we. If I have to choose between serenity and storm, I'll choose serenity every time

Friday, February 12, 2016

Ten of Swords - Blood and Earth

Here we see Oretes in the blood and the earth.When I study the Ten of Swords I see this card as a symbol of today's world. We can feel beaten down, overwhelmed and even enslaved by the furies, by what happens to us personally and or by the events going on throughout the world.

On the other hand people can impart hope to us and we in turn can impart that same hope to others. That said we can't hide our heads in the sand. Nor do we have to be slaves of disillusionment and disappointment to take into the future.

Like most people, I am concerned about the future and I want to remain informed and hopeful. Sometimes I think I listen to the radio too much, but on second thought, it's what the media reports that often leaves me feeling overwhelmed and a little despondent about the events in the world. Then I ask myself, what is it that gives me hope in a seemingly hopeless world.

Much of our hope is found in our very own nature that we have been born with. My mother always said you can tell a child's nature by the way they respond to and interact with the world around them as a baby, always smiling and happy makes for a happy adult. I believe this to a certain extent, but to say we are not affected by the way others treat us especially at a young age would be naive. Even as an adult we can be affected by the behaviour of others. We need to find a way to respond that provides a positive solution.

Last night while listening to the radio I heard Kevin Bales, a social scientist, activist and journalist talk about the deadly link between modern slavery and environmental destruction. Many of us might believe the days of slavery happened a hundred years ago and perhaps think it doesn't exist like it once did. We can't imagine that the comforts we have in the western world are made by someone who is controlled by subjected to slavery, and contributes to the destruction of the environment.

Although Kevin Bales' work is very serious, and difficult being a leading expert in modern day slavery, it makes you really wonder how he remains hopeful, seeing so many world wide desperate situations. In spite of this, he impressed me as a realistic and a very positive individual as he discussed his book Blood and Earth . He left me feeling hopeful, because he sees a solution to stop slavery and to save the earth.

If circumstances are dire, I am left having to decide what I can and can't change.  Looking to others who instill and impart hope is also where I can find serenity and hope.

Like Athene, Kevin Bales is a warrior and calls on us recognize the harm we have done to one another, to put end to it, and to recommit to repairing our world.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Seven of Pentacles - Feminine Creativity Vs Masculine Creativity

I've been re-reading my book The Heroine's Journey, thinking and learning whole lot more about my creative purpose and about business.

Daedalus, who is no doubt full of masculine creativity and seen here being propositioned by Queen Pasiphae in the Seven of Pentacles.

When we are offered an opportunity, be it in love or business there are always hard decisions to make that will enable us to either earn and keep our autonomy, or result in us compromising our beliefs, disregarding our dreams and maybe even our soul. We have to decide if we will take the safe path, or the one that takes risk and inspires.

Taking the safe path, so as to not put our financial security at risk or to not threaten some other kind of status-qou can initially appear to be advantageous, but in the long run we will live life feeling unsatisfied,  unfulfilled, unhappy and lost. Whatever we decide to do, monetary gain, ego gratification or power should not be the sole motivation.

Finding our creative purpose will not be revealed on the safe path, but will be found in the creative feminine that allows things to happen naturally.

It is said that "where masculine creativity tends to move forward, feminine creativity tends to turn round on itself, not circularly so much as spirally."

My creative purpose in life, like the heroine's journey is not something that's forced, and I must trust the mystery of this manifestation.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Six of Cups - Is The Darkness Home?

The Six of Cups is a card of nostalgia and reflection. We see Psyche in deep contemplation, reflecting on her life and the past, in solitude.

Our North American culture seems to have a narrative of nostalgia, were everything old is new again, and we are often busy longing for the 'good ole days'. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with nostalgia, unless we  focus on what we think of as being the best of times, but conveniently have a tendency to forget or deny the negative aspects of days gone by. Often during the past we didn't truly appreciate our circumstance or situation, and we we're still wishing for some other day, instead of living in the present. We might say to ourselves, I was happy then or I'll be happy when...

It's human nature to avoid the negative or darker events in life, but this isn't reality, and it's often these difficult experiences that most shape who we are, and more often than not are real life lessons.

However we choose to respond, to whatever circumstance we find ourselves, it's up to us to either become bitter, cloaked in denial, or choose to grow as an empathetic, compassionate human being, that accepts life on life terms, instead of trying to escape reality in some way.

Once I came to accept the darkness, I learned how to save myself from myself and I began to really appreciate the light. My load became much lighter once I embraced the darkness, and then I was much happier.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ace of Pentacles - Don't Piss Off Poseidon

According to Greek mythology Poseidon was a god to be feared, though he did have his positive side in spite of his changeable and unpredictable moody nature. He could calm the rough waters and then create turbulent storms and earthquakes. You didn't want to get on his bad side. He loved the ladies and his horses. 

Regardless of the fact that the Ace of Pentacles is a Minor Arcana card, it is a force to be reckoned with. This card epitomizes a raw and powerful energy at it's best I think, but could be the exact opposite at it's worst. I relate to Poseidon mainly because of the water he inhabited, sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
His paternal heritage was that of being the overseer of the all the waters and controlled the surface of the earth. He makes things happen in a powerful way. He is the fertility god and husband of the great Earth Mother and lord of the physical universe.

Today, drawing this card I am thinking about my late mother, being her Birthday, February 4th. She was a air sign and and very much an Aquarius. As a Gemini, also an air sign we were very close. We shared many of the same qualities I think, independence, indecisive, stubbornness, a good communicator, a deep thinker, intelligent and liked to help others.

Like the Ace of Pentacles, my mother made things happen in her life and in the life of others. I think when I was younger I was rather unaware of just how much energy and strength of character she actually had to accomplish what she did, in spite of all the struggles and obstacles in her path. She stepped over them and never let this impede her. She very much embodied many of the strong, positive traits and characteristics of Poseidon. Like Poseidon she was fiercely protective and cared so much for her children. I know I'd never be in the position I am in, if it wasn't for her loving care and strength of character. My mother made me a better person, brought me happiness and taught me so many invaluable lessons that I am so grateful for everyday.

Not that she was perfect, I know she could be moody, temperamental, and even a little prone to jealousy, but I couldn't have asked for a better mother, as a friend and as a wise confidante that I could depend on. I miss her greatly.

Sarah Helen Milner - Meyers

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Lovers - What Do I Want?

This card typifies a kind of stereotypical beauty contest between the three goddesses, Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite, who were fighting among themselves. Zeus has appointed the reluctant Trojan prince Paris to be the judge of this contest.The Lovers card is symbolic of the problem of making a choice in love that reflects our values and the kind of person we want to become. There is a choice to be made between  free will and instinctual compulsions.

Seems to me I draw this card The Lovers frequently. I expect the reason being, it is something I struggle with at times, as I believe many women do. My immediate reaction is usually the same. I get a little excited initially, as it makes me think about love relationships because I am a hopeful romantic. I then immediately get a reality check focusing on my life, as a single woman.

 Oh I certainly don't see this as being a negative thing, although there are negative things about the single life that I mostly have come to see them as challenges, just as there are challenges found in a partnership. There are for me simultaneously more positive things about the solo lifestyle.

For me the most positive aspect about being a single woman is having a peace of mind and contentment within myself, and being comfortable in my own skin. It's been a long time since I felt I needed someone else to "complete" me, the way many of us were brought up to falsely believe, as if somehow if you are not committed to a significant other we fall short of happiness. Most women today don't need a man. but I think many might want one, but on their terms, not on anyone else's.

We no longer need to feel the validation of a man or anyone to give us a belief in ourselves. Nor do we need to turn ourselves inside out trying to be the person someone else wants or expects us to be. We are perfect in our own imperfections and don't need approval to be exactly who we are..

It's a different world today, but in other ways there are still so many things that need changing, and seem to be moving backwards instead of forward, in a still predominantly misogynistic society.

I think generally women want to be our own person, to live our own lives in peace, and taking responsibility only for our own happiness.

And so when I ask myself what is it that I really want? I have to say I want peace, regardless if this involves a life partner or not, and if I am happy within myself this is what matters most.