Saturday, July 30, 2016

Death - "Luke I Am Your Father"

Death is the counterpart of life. It's certainly just as important as life, if not more so. A life well lived helps us to we learn how to die. Life and death are not in opposition but walk closely in relationship, hand in hand transforming one another if we are open to understanding and accept this powerful relationship.

This Major Arcana card is not about physical death. It represents transformation and rebirth. We are all transforming in different ways, at varying times of our life.

Here we see Hades. Interestingly he is the brother of Zeus, who rescued Hades from certain death and also gave him the kingdom of the Underworld. Hades or Pluto the name he was also called, means 'riches', because his realm was full of hidden riches. He was the one responsible for kidnapping Persephone, Demeter's daughter.

I always have a bit of a giggle when I look at this card because the the helmet makes the dude look like Darth Vader from Star Wars, and of course then I hear, "Luke, I am Your Father".
This helmet that Hades in wearing made him invisible and no mortal could see him.

The Death card doesn't symbolize a 'bad' ending. It represents the in-between state,where we face the reality of loss, before the beginning of a new sense of growth and transformation.

Hades presides over endings and new beginnings. The ending is just as important as the beginning and must be recognized and felt. Death is our invisible companion throughout our life, and this card is symbolic of an opportunity for a new life, if we can let go of the old one.

Woman With The Golden Hair

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Hanged Man - Foresight

I vividly remember seeing this card after having my first reading, given to me by a good friend.  My impression of this image of a man hanging upside down was very disconcerting. He looked like he was suffering. I was certain this couldn't be good at all, but I was very wrong in spite of my visceral reaction.

Being a Major Arcana card the Hanged Man has a positive spiritual message and urges us to take a time out, and symbolizes sacrifice for a greater good, acceptance and trust.

I was hangin' with the Hummingbirds this morning sitting outside on my front porch. As I watched them buzzing, darting around, they reminded me of that hyper state we can all find ourselves in when we are waiting in the fear and anxiety, that often is a result of not putting our trust in the unseen workings of the unconscious, while waiting in hope of a new and better life.  

We are spinning our wheels or like the Hummingbirds are rapidly flapping our wings, or hanging in mid-air, and seemingly not going anywhere. Some times we have to just have to stop and have a rest.

The Hanged Man is the natural outgrowth from the Wheel of Fortune. Here's Prometheus, who's name means 'foresight'. He was a Titan, who had the gift of prophecy and he had great sympathy for mankind and made a voluntarily sacrifice for a greater good. He doesn't look disturbed, worried or even uncomfortable in spite of his very precarious position.

We too can find ourselves in the same situation where we must have a real faith, which can only be gained through risking ourselves in life and we must be willing to trust in that Other, which knows better than our ego, what is right, and necessary for our development and growth.

We decide whether we move forward or back or just stay still. We are never completely standing still  in life. We are either going ahead  or backwards. It's up to us to decide. Taking time to withdraw, rest and reassess is an excellent way to find discernment.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ace of Cups - What's Love Got To Do With It?

When I see the Ace of Cups that I drew this morning I always get excited, because it means there is a raw
emotional energy abounding some where within the context of my life, depending on what I choose to do with it, and how it is directed and channeled.

We see here Aphrodite, the goddess of Love that is embodies the potential for compassion and intimacy.

This card is a representation that urges me to be compassionate toward myself and have an intimate knowledge of who I am, both the positive and negative aspects of my personality. It's really about accepting and loving myself as I am. This isn't an easy undertaking and often takes years of work and maybe therapy for many of us.

 I remember over 20 years ago before my own personal recovery, I was rightly told that, I had to learn how to re-parent and love myself. I was as mad a hell. I'd been care-taking most of my life, making sure others were happy, putting my own needs and wants on the back burner, letting people use and abuse me.

I felt like once again I was expected to, and was going to have to be the one to do this 'taking care' of myself, when what I really wanted and needed I thought, was for someone else to take care of me for a change. I figured this was only fair. This in fact was due to having grown up with unmet needs when I was a kid, and it carried over into my adult life, and I acted this out through my co-dependent relationships, until I finally understood how to really re-parent and love myself. It meant changing myself and changing my relationships.
Many of us, if not all human beings are a work in progress.

When it comes to love and intimate relationships, what's love got to do with it? If I don't have a healthy relationship with myself, being really happy and content with my life as it is, I can't expect someone else to either fix me or to make me happy. That's my responsibility.

 It's really a simple kind of equation and formula, but many of us get wrong, time and time again. We just have to look at the statistics and observe the high incidence of divorce.

Taking an inventory of how we define our relationships with ourselves and with others, is a very important factor to consider as we more forward in our lives, regardless of our status and whether we are single. married or other. Tina Turner figured this out. She is someone I greatly admire.

Friday, July 22, 2016

King of Swords - Primed For Action

Like the King of Swords, I certainly was  primed for action today, to fight the great Burdock Beasts again, this time in my front garden. They are now gone! Unlike the King, I am not exactly an authority, particularly when it comes to burdock, but I was determined in my attack strategy to rid my garden of this invading interloper. I dug out the roots and got them by the kahunas! I may not of succeeded in completely conquering them as there are others around that I can't get at, who will not doubt spread their seed, but these ones will not return! I know burdock do have great medicinal qualities, but I couldn't care less, because they have become my nemesis this week!

 I replaced them with transplanted sunflowers, nasturtiums and some wildflowers. Come Fall I will plant Foxglove, bulbs, and transplant a few perennials from my larger garden that is burdock free.
It's very hard work fighting the Burdock Beast, but so worthwhile to have my flower garden back again!

The King of Swords exists within us all, embodied in the mythic figure of the hero Odysseus. He fought terrifying sea-monsters and escaped the call of the sea Sirens who sang men to their deaths. He was driven by determination, foresight, cleverness, with the most impressive strategic skills of the human mind.

However the character defects found in the King of Swords is his lack of empathy for others and the  disassociation from his feeling. Paradoxically this is an individual of high principle in spite of his lack of empathy for others and is a contradiction of terms.
We may not be authorities but with determination, clear thinking, and by using our intellect we can find strategies to overcome our inner monsters.

The Burdock Beast

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Page of Wands - Full Speed Ahead With Enthusiasm and Discovery

Well this is a good news card for me, after having an action packed day yesterday and haven't felt to physically energetic today.

 I've been working diligently in the garden for the last two days, mowed my a large lawn with my gas mower, not a lawn tractor and decided to wrassle giant burdocks that were taking over a spot close to my house. This wasn't an easy task, but I enthusiastically tackled the beast, and discovered the best way to attack the thick stocks was with a pitch fork and hand saw!

The message here found in the energy of the Page of Wands urges me to use my creative energy today instead of my physical effort and that's my good news for the day!

It's tea time!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Three of Pentacles - Open Your Heart and Pray For Peace

In light of yesterday's tragedy in Nice France it's impossible to imagine the horror and grief that the citizens of Nice are experiencing. It's left me feeling a deep desire to pray for peace, because it's all I feel that I can do to make any difference in this heart breaking situation. We all need to pray for peace in this world, more now than ever. We only combat hate with love.

The Three of Pentacles is about openness, having the ability to effectively communicate and work together for peace with others in unity. This only comes about in the spirit of love and compassion.

We all have a basic need for recognition, and perhaps we might think we'll be rewarded in some way for a job well done, but we can't necessarily expect it. Individuals don't always get rewarded for good behaviour, and many times they're punished for it, and on the other hand people are often rewarded for bad behaviour. This of course can't be seen as being fair at all, but it is the way the world is, more often than not. This is the reason why people need to work together in collaboration through effective communication that comes with having an open heart and mind.

It all might sound easy enough, but it takes commitment and great effort to achieve peace, love and unity. This commitment and effort when it comes from a empathy and love for others, not out of obligation or through force is the way to understanding in a very troubled world. Pray For Peace.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Strength - Learning to Dance in the Rain

When I woke this morning I was draggin' my sorry wilted butt at 5:30 am after a very humid, mostly sleepless night. I was relieved to find out I didn't have to work, and maybe would be able to catch a much needed nap this afternoon. I am normally an early riser, but was up way too early this morning, and greatly lacking sleep.

 That old familiar feeling of lacking sleep brought me back to when I once was working 12 hours shifts, traveling four hours a day pretty much living in my vehicle. Or when I had to get up at 4 a.m. in the morning to get a lift with a neighbour at 5:30 a.m. so I could get to University in Sackville New Brunswick. I had to hitch hike for what seemed like an eternity and after having a few emotional meltdowns along the side of the road, feeling overwhelmed, depressed and despairing, until the day it finally came when graduated at the age of 59, four years ago.

 All the crap I went through, looking back, was all worth the struggle because it made my accomplishments so much sweeter and I felt proud  I'd actually overcome those 'bad times'. Everything was put into clear perspective.

I drew the Strength card today, and then I saw this photo a friend posted. I thought it went right along with this Major Arcana card.

This photo reminded me to be grateful for the good, and the bad times. Most importantly, I'm reminded to have a sense of humour and play, which always helps to keep a lid on that inner  wild animal that the Strength card embodies, in the image of the ferocious and monstrous Nemean Lion.

I know it's an understatement to say, some times it's really a challenge to find the silver lining behind the dark clouds. Nonetheless, there will always be good and bad days. Once I learned to accept that, many if not most of my bad days became good days, in spite of, or even because of my perception of those bad days at the time.

I stopped wishing life was different or that I was someone, somewhere or something else. I learned to embrace life on life's terms and I really did learn to dance in the rain, instead of waiting for the storm to pass. It's good to be alive!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Four of Pentacles - A Living Prayer

Here in the Four of Pentacles, we see Daedalus tightly gripping his golden pentacles. He doesn't want to relinquish them, and is being consumed with fear of financial insecurity, and the ongoing stability of his life as he knows it. Daedalus is afraid he's going to be replaced by his young apprenticing upstart nephew. Daedalus defines his self-value and confidence materialistically, and by his worldly position.

 One of the most significant lessons in my life was learning how to let go. Instead of chasing happiness or believing that it was somehow elusive to me, and was something for everyone else but me; stability and security didn't seem to exist within the confines of structured religion or in financial wealth or position. These were never my pursuits in life. I was on a spiritual quest, as far back as I can remember.

It took experiencing many years of instability and insecurity to finally discover what would make me feel stable and secure. I now know it was eventually found, after realizing my spiritual quest, and when I began to understand the Divine. This is what I had longed for and when life really started to make sense, and it's what would nurture my creativity and nourish my spirit.

 Living in a very rural area enables me to feel and understand on a deep spiritual level, a real sense of belonging, independence, mastery and generosity.

It was only when I learned how to let go, that stability and security became more often than not, my reality.
Today, learning to let go, is what I would define as being my living prayer.