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.