Saturday, May 28, 2016

Seven of Pentacles - The Highest Virtue & Mummenshanz

I have been teaching an art program at our local school called PAINTS with an impressive group of little artists in grades 3 to 5. They never seize to just amaze me. They are full of insightful vision and absorb and they retain so much, like little sponges. Yesterday we had lots of fun making art and talking about masks, generousity and empathy. 

The Seven of Pentacles brings generosity and to mind. When we offer generousity to one another we ultimately decide how to respond to it and understand what motive is intended. If our response and intentions are pure I don't think we need to concern ourselves with this. We simply accept the gifts offered and say thank you, our we give without any thought of getting any thing in return. We give, simply to give.

Generousity in and of itself is the highest virtue. This of course does not always mean that the gifts given or received are material ones. These gifts can be in the form of kindness, listening to another with our hearts, showing understanding, compassion and empathy.
This is a card of faith, profit, vision and of investment.

When we have faith and vision, it enables us to invest in the highest virtues of generousity, and empathy.

Many years ago in the 80s in Toronto, I studied Commedia dell'Arte. This involved Mime and mask making  for a year, I found out about this incredible Mime and Mask Theatre group from Switzerland called, Mummennshanz. I shared this video with the kids yesterday. They wanted to watch it twice they enjoyed it so much.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tarot and Quantum Entanglement

I'm sure no physicist or a new-ager, but I am an old-ager! ;)
I believe in the power of our often untapped ancient traditional mysteries of intuition and science.

Being that the Universe is made of high energy particles, and after reading a great explanation today about how online Tarot readings work, and learning the meaning of what quantum physics calls 'entanglement,' this made a whole lot of sense to me.

I always knew this to be true on an intuitive and rational level, but never heard it explained scientifically. It's a kind of cause and affect, where when one bit of energy moves, affecting another or what Troi describes it best in her own words; "where a disturbance or change in particles in one place affects particles in another." It's all about your electrons and photons mixing it up and gettin' jiggy with it! Or entangled if you prefer.

The notion that two entangled particles can instantly affect and communicate with one another, regardless of their distance, has been scientifically proven to work by quantum physics.

The Tarot reader and blogger Troi, compared people to being broadcasters and receivers with our own unique individual energy frequency which constantly is emanating to and from one another. When we hone our focus on some one, we are then connected regardless of our geographical distances. That's the simple lay explanation.

I would probably quantify this by saying it presupposes that we have a faith either in a power greater than ourselves or a belief in science, or a belief in both. I am not of the opinion that they are contrary to one another, but complimentary.

I like this simple short video explanation of quantum physics and the entanglement connection.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Five of Cups - The Golden Rule

The Five of Cups brings to mind the emotional regret I feel about something that I did or didn't do. It is such waste of energy, especially if I allow guilt to keep me stuck in regret. But as human nature as it is, we'll always have something we regret. The trick is not to dwell on regret and guilt. We can't change the past, but I can learn from the mistake, and move forward with the resolve and a hope to do better.

There is guilt, and then there is shame. Guilt is about making a mistake, shame implies that you are a mistake. Good guilt serves a purpose in that in acts as our conscience. Shame can perhaps serve a purpose in a similar way, but shame becomes bad guilt, if we can't forgive ourselves or others.

In the Five of Cups we see Eros fleeing from Psyche, who has betrayed her promise not to look at him in the dark. She desperately pursues him knowing that seeing him as he is, she has jeopardized their relationship. Psyche is fearful that she have lost Eros forever, and is full of regret, but seemingly to no avail, as Eros is running in the opposite direction and abandoning her. But there is one cup out of the five left standing, which is hope in knowing, that all is not lost.

We are the ones who decide what our boundaries are, the behaviours that we can and can't accept. Some things are real deal breakers in relationships, like abuse. We all have faults, and we all need forgiveness for mistakes made. And so, if we can forgive ourselves, we are more likely to forgive others for their short comings and mistakes, just as we would want to be forgiven. It's simply The Golden Rule. It's really so simple, but many of us find it so difficult.

 Light and love need to be shone on our darkness and character defects, as much as our positive assets.  Perfection is an illusion. No one is perfect, and no one is a mistake.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Queen of Swords - You Don't See Her Tears

This Queen of Swords is classy, perceptive and a person of influence. She maintains her composure and grace under pressure during times of duress. She has an inner strength that I greatly admire, and I identify with her in many ways. Embodying the mythic figure of Atalanta, she relates to life from a rational, seemingly detached outlook and an untouchability of the mind. In spite of this, her deep emotion can not be underestimated. She has a strong sense of justice and compassion for others, that is of a result of her own life experiences.

It is often thought that men are the ones who bare up under difficult circumstances, showing that proverbial stiff upper lip, giving the impression they're the strong ones, however this is not always true. I saw this with my own parents who suppressed emotions, and this imparted onto me.

I have known and do know many women who are great examples of strength and have coped with such tragic circumstances. They are wonderful examples of what it means to be a strong compassionate human being. That said, I don't want to confuse suppression of emotion with strength.

 Men and women can both suppress emotion for long periods of time and even in to years so that it has become their way of interacting with the world. This isn't a positive modes-operand because eventually this suppression is transmuted into repression and often the effects our health can be very detrimental.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Judgement - Eeek Mummy!

Whoa! After seeing all those wrapped up mummies the first time I saw this card, this was my reaction. My first impression was to think about extreme thinking about a final judgement, hell and damnation that much of our western religions have been inundated with historically. This kind of extremism is full of judgement, guilt and shame, which does nothing to foster real change in a positive way.

The meaning found in this Major Arcana Judgment is not in reference to extremes but simply to remember that there are natural consequences to the behaviour and choices we make in life.  As well transformation and renewal of life is also symbolized in this card, indicating the hope for new beginnings, that emerges out of the past, where we can be true to ourselves after taking a kind of personal inventory.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Lovers - Trust in Action

In this Major Arcana card The Lovers, we see a potentially very stressful situation were three women are pitted against one another in a kind of competition. Love, Rejection, jealousy, self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence, guilt and even shame would all come into play in this stressful scenario, because Paris the Trojan prince, has been commanded by Zeus to judge a beauty contest between Hera, Aphrodite and Athene who had been quarreling about who was the loveliest. Paris has had a very a stressed life to begin with, because his own father King Priam had sentenced him to death, but fortunately he was rescued by a kind shepherd. The three goddesses and Paris all find themselves in a stress filled circumstance and they all have a choice as to how they are going to respond.

Many of us, myself included I've noticed, can get ourselves feeling stressed when it's really unnecessary, or can be avoided. I believe this is rooted in worry and lack of trust in the midst of chaos and trouble. It can be our default mode, particularly if we have had trauma or difficult home lives growing up. We are used to living in our bodies in state of hyper-vigilance, and are perhaps always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Most of my life and I have had to fight against this, because it robs me of my happiness. That said, I also know reality and life are stressful for everyone in one way or another, and I am no different. I also know a certain amount of stress is normal and the fight or flight instinct in very strong within us.

 I can physiologically feel when my stress level increases, and most times it never feels good. I have to make a conscious concerted effort to change my reaction to that reality, doing whatever it takes in order to remain calm and to prevent stress..

Today I read this statement for a book of daily readings, which  really stood out for me to today. "Calmness is trust in action." I think this statement speaks for itself, and it is a good reminder to try to live this way, everyday.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Six of Pentacles - Let The Mothers Step Up


Being Mother's Day, the Six of Pentacles is a very appropriate card to draw today. This card symbolizes generousity, harmony, and renewal of faith.

These ideals and qualities are imparted to us by the models and mentors in our lives, in particular our mothers, if they step up to the challenge. They can be powerfully influential, helping us to grow personally and in turn we generously pass this on through our own example in kindness and compassion toward others.We learn to give unconditionally and are rewarded with a deep sense of harmony and peace within ourselves, and hopefully within our world.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Star - Don't Let The Bastards Grind You Down

The quote that I often hear repeated "Don't let the bastards grind you down" is a good way to describe this Major Arcana card, The Star. Here we see hope and inspiration embodied in the image of Pandora who in myth opened the chest which Zeus maliciously gave to mankind and now Pandora has released all the Spites.

This card embodies the experience of hope, meaning and faith giving this promise in the midst of difficulties.

 I thought the above quote was attributed to Viktor Frankl, who survived the Nazi concentration camp and wrote Man's Search For Meaning. I think he would have certainly identified with this outlook when he said " “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

These quotes I believe describe what it means to let go.

Saint Francis of Assisi described letting go well.

"Wear the world as a loose garment, which touches us in a few places and there lightly” – St. Francis of Assisi

This is what I have found I've had to do throughout so many times throughout my life and it has become my own personal philosophy and perspective towards life in general. I've learned to wear the world as a loose garment and I've had to change myself and my attitude toward the situations I couldn't change.

 It sounds simple enough, but it isn't. It's an attitude and skill I've had to practice and continue to make it a life long habit. For me it's about learning to detach with love. Before recovery I was attached to just about everything; my hyper-vigilance and waiting for the other shoe to drop, attached to the past and the future, and attached to my misery and all that it entailed.

I'm so very grateful  every day, that I was introduced to the philosophy of letting go and that star of Hope.