Posted on April 25, 2013
Well, here it is, the single most scary card in the tarot deck: XIII Death.
XIII Death is that place of transition where one chapter of life has come to an end but we haven’t yet turned the page to the new one. Only rarely does XIII Death have anything to do with the end of a life. And I mean really rarely. Like “win the 8-figure lottery” rarely.
XIII Death is the teacher who shows us how to move forward into the new chapter and the gatekeeper who doesn’t let us through until we pass the test for what we’ve learnt.
Let’s look at a concrete example of a transition: a graduating student finishing school and about to embark on a career. A natural and expected transition, right? Maybe even a desired transition. One that we celebrate with caps and gowns and silly greeting cards.
But a little scary, too, eh? And a little sad. Scary to face the big unknown world and the realities that our student hopes will meet out there. Sad to leave our best school friends and the freedoms that school offers.
XIII Death requires that we face our fears to move into our new chapter. You know that, if we run from our fears, we wind up in some chapter other than the one that our student years prepared us for.
And XIII Death requires that we grieve for what’s done, what’s finished and ready to be left behind. If we don’t grieve, we keep trying to re-create the old, rather than moving forward into the new chapter.
Got that? Face the fears, grieve for what’s done with, and successfully move forward into your next chapter. Use the counsel from XIII Death this week when you find yourself in transition. And congratulate me on winning the lottery.
Posted on April 22, 2013
You might as well get over it . . . your dog will always be able to out-do you at yoga.
Posted on April 18, 2013
Since XI/VIII Justice has made another appearance, lets take the opportunity to look at the slightly different slant that can come from using different decks. Aside from what you’re learning about each card in the deck, your biggest assets for interpretation are your eyes. Very literally, what do you see in each depiction of XI/VIII Justice?
In the Dreaming Way tarot, we see the sword of accountability, the scales of fairness, the blindfold that holds everyone to the same impartial standards. We’ve got a figure dressed in white, the colour of purity. The scales are gold . . .the gold standard? There’s silver and gold, black and white . . . the divine balance. Our long-haired Justice is clearly female; why is XI/VIII Justice female, and not male?
The Tarot of the New Vision literally looks behind the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot: we see the scenes from that deck from behind the featured figures. The sword and scales of inevitability are still visible. Here, XI/VIII Justice is shielding those who are vulnerable: a woman, an infant, and a figure from the working class. The mantle of the Justice figure sits heavy on her shoulders, though we can’t tell that the figure is, again, a woman, except by looking at the RWS card. What do you make of the crown, with its turrets? Or of the design on the back of the chair?
In the fun novelty decks, there is still plenty of symbolism for a pithy reading. In the Housewives Tarot, XI/VIII Justice is taking us back to the days when misbehaviour earned us a swift paddle. But notice the lollipop down there at the bottom right: Justice is also about the reward for going the extra mile. This is Justice as the nurturing mother, who shapes her children’s behaviour. It’s just desserts here: either the sweet lollipop or the spoon that mixes the cake batter.
You can find plenty of images at the Aeclectic site to explore the many forms of XI/VIII Justice as it moves from deck to deck.
Remember to connect the card — and the subtle differences in each deck — to experiences in your life, especially the experiences you live through this week.
Posted on April 15, 2013
When did we decide that yoga was such serious business? Yes, you can laugh in yoga class. No, you don’t have to wear the silly outfit.
Posted on April 11, 2013
The Tarot of the Spirit offers our first example of a deck that uses elements rather than the usual suits. Here, Fire is the equivalent to Wands, Wind (Air) corresponds to Swords, Water is the same as Cups, and Earth matches Pentacles. So 9 of Fire in this deck holds the position of 9 of Wands.
9 of Wands guards the status quo. All the details are in order, all the hard-won battles have been fought (notice the bandages?), and now it’s time to protect what’s been gained. 9 of Wands is dedicated to a world view.
9 of Fire from Tarot of the Spirit illustrates the connection between Wands and spirituality. The Eye of Fire protected by the wands (rods and cones of vision, anyone?) bears the 6-pointed star of earthly experience meeting the divine, and looks over mountain peaks. There’s been a peak experience — or will be one coming up — that offers a new approach to daily life. Allow your enthusiasm to scale mountains, bringing you to a new vision. Integrate the peak experiences, the spiritual passions, into the mundane. Allow the Vision (think “Vision Quest”) to be your inspiration, regardless of the opposition.
Of course, there can be a down side to all that standing ground in 9 of Wands. The danger is in becoming someone who is looking for the next fight instead of enjoying the passions of his or her life. He or she — but certainly not you or I :-} — can become so argumentatively stuck in his or her beliefs that all opposition is shut out. Passion without compassion can lead to the strong arm approach. The call of the 9 of Wands is for understanding of the connection to all that is.
So, questions to ask when 9 of Wands shows up include, “Is it necessary to fight in order to follow the Vision?” “What are ways to meet opposition with enthusiasm?” “How do your passions colour your world view?”
Would you prefer the experiences of 9 of Wands guarding an 8 of Swords status quo or a XIX Sun status quo? And what story might you tell if you follow XI or VIII Justice with 9 of Wands?
Enjoy your dedication to your deepest enthusiasm (en-theos or the divine within) this week!
Posted on April 4, 2013
Oh, that critical 8 of Swords!
You know those times when every single thought seems to be an accusation? When every decision you make seems to keep you from everything you’ve been working toward, everything that’s of value to you?
Lucky you, if you don’t!
What’s going on in your day-to-day life — remember this is a Minor card, so it’s all about circumstances — that the nit-picking 8 of Swords might apply to? Listen to your self-talk this week to see where you’ve gotten so critical of yourself that you’re absolutely stuck and can think of no way out.
8 of Swords offers us the chance to re-direct toward our intuition for guidance. How can you go within to feel your way forward? Use your emotions to help you find the road to take.
If 8 of Swords is putting you right in touch with some of the trickier spots in your life, remember that Minors are circumstantial: this, too, shall pass. Unlike with Major cards, Minors indicate that there’s a lot you can do to influence your situation (all that stuff we just talked about).
So, the circumstances you can expect to see when 8 of Swords show up involve criticism and being stuck. Pet projects might come under fire and go absolutely nowhere. There could be sniping in relationships. If you’re studying, you could find yourself completely lost in a sea of details.
Again, ask yourself how you can change the way you think. How can you connect with your intuition to move forward? As you can see by the bindings around the arms and the blindfolds, you’ll need to look for something other than manipulation or clear-sightedness to help you when 8 of Swords shows up.
How does last week’s card, XI or VIII Justice, combine with 8 of Swords? Has something moved back into balance, leaving you unable to think your way out of the new situation? Or, possibly, has your self-criticism brought things out of balance and you’ll find yourself released by external circumstances that get you in touch with your intuition?
And how does XIX Sun connect with 8 of Swords? What if you make a 3-card reading of XIX Sun, XI or VIII Justice, and 8 of Swords? Notice the events in your life this week, with an eye toward discovering correspondences with any singular card or combination of these 3 cards.
And make sure you spend some time reminding yourself just how adorably wonderful you are!
Posted on March 28, 2013
So it’s another Major, is it? Our 2nd weekly card turns out to be XI or VIII Justice. Justice implies imbalances and disputes. Even the numbering for Justice is disputed: some decks and systems assign XI, others, VIII. I’ll stay out of that discussion because I can see the merits of the arguments on both sides.
You’ll remember that Majors indicate that we’re working at levels deep in the psyche, with spiritual lessons that require adjustment to our basic values and beliefs. Lots of things will be out of our control.
Justice is all about adjustment. Karma. Balancing. Finding the centre point between 2 opposites.
In most decks you’ll see symbols like scales — nothing like the obvious, eh? — and a sword, along with some indicator of rules or laws. There’s also usually a female figure, often blindfolded. Taken together, these illustrate Justice as enforcing the rule of law, as basing its decisions in rationality, while taking the intuitive into consideration, and as being unaffected by external trappings like social or economic status — treating all equally. All the figures and tools are acting in service to Justice. Personal considerations are laid aside while in service.
There’s an interesting implication of maturity in Justice. When it shows up, it indicates that karmic debts are being — or about to be — paid. Why the delay in requiring payment? We’re not subject to the same kinds of responsibilities when we’re young as when we’re adults. So Justice implies that we’ve “come of age”, we’ve reached another level of responsibility for ourselves and our choices. If the choices in our past have created imbalance, we’re given circumstances that offer us the opportunity to restore the balance, from a mature point of view.
Justice is unrelenting, untiring, never off duty. You can run, but you cannot hide. When Justice shows up, it’s time to learn the lesson, and you’ll get circumstance after circumstance after circumstance that requires attention until you’ve made choices that indicate you understand where the imbalance lies and what caused it.
So, the questions to ask when XI or VIII Justice is before you are things like . . . Are all sides being heard in this matter? Am I trying to have my own way at someone else’s expense or vice versa? Where’s the garbage in my attitude that I need to toss away because it’s becoming toxic? Is there something I need to take action on in service of Justice? And when challenging circumstances that are beyond your control are happening with a Justice indicator, the big question is always, what is this situation trying to bring back into balance?
Now, what happens if we look at XIX Sun with XI or VIII Justice together? 2 Majors together indicate Big Things Afoot. A few of the possibilities are that . . . Something hidden is being brought to light and will require actions or realisations in the name of Justice. Things are being brought into balance so that you’ll be able to be more authentically yourself, more able to self-actualize. If you’re literally facing legal matters, they will affect how the public sees you. Would you say that XIX Sun in connection with XI Justice as applied to pending lawsuits indicate a positive or a negative outcome?
As you consider your life this week, notice when you feel XI or VIII Justice illustrates your circumstances. And take any opportunity to bring balance to the world around you this week.
Posted on March 21, 2013
How fitting that our weekly look at a tarot card begins with XIX The Sun, since the sun has passed the halfway mark and moved into the majority of the day up in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, you can take the symbolism for the Sun internally, into your conversations between you and yourself, as the sun crosses the border into the less-than world.
As a Major card, the Sun indicates an impact deep in the psyche, bringing lasting effects to fundamental values and beliefs. It brings circumstances that are largely out of your control in the realm of regeneration and self-actualisation. Even though events may be out of your control, your responsive attitude is completely yours. Think literally: sunny disposition, shining on all unconditionally, making choices with respect to your natural cycles.
The symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith Sun, amoung others, refers to the 21 Majors (excepting the Fool), to the 4 elements and to the 3 kingdoms, along with the development of human consciousness. The young child brings truth — remember the Emperor with no clothes? — and a comfort with the natural self. There is victory and public acclaim for lessons learned out of experience. The true self is uncovered, so to speak, after being buried beneath imposed expectations.
When XIX The Sun turns up, expect events that expand your horizons and your visibility, and that allow you to feel more truly yourself. Actions that fit the Sun include stepping out boldly into the public realm with optimism and generosity. The Sun allows you to see yourself more clearly and to celebrate what you see.
Questions to ask yourself when the Sun appears . . . . How do you present yourself to others? To yourself? Do you allow yourself to be seen? . . . . for who you truly are? How generous are you with others? With yourself?
One of the practices in the tarot tradition is to “protect” the energies of the resting deck by placing XIX The Sun and XXI The World on either end of the deck. That gives you an idea of the power and positivism of XIX The Sun.
Posted on March 10, 2013
Have you ever wondered about that? That Mars attitude that comes with March? All blustery and driving?
Well, that works just fine when we’re on a straight line. But how often has your path been a straight line?
What’s that? Did I hear you say “never”?
Yeah, me, either.
Life just doesn’t work that way. Life’s all about the scenic route. You know, the one with about a million S-curves and switchbacks. The rough road with plenty of stones to stumble over and gullies to leap. The bush-covered path with brambles to dodge and low-hanging branches to duck. (Anyone else with the forehead dents to prove they forgot to duck?)
We can fight against the zigzags and prat — er — pitfalls, or we can learn to incorporate them in our own personal dance.
I know we’re usually focused on the destination, but . . . do you remember those reaaalllly loooonnnng car trips and — say it with me — “are we there yet?
And do you remember the kinds of answers we got — or gave? Usually something like “forward, March!”
If “there” is any interesting place along the journey, then the answer is always “yes”. And we’re always “there” right here.
So let that blustery drive of March contribute to exuberant exploration all along your twisting, winding travel, as you really, truly, madly, deeply get to know your own life.
There’s a lot coming up in March, so here goes . . . .
I’m still happy as can be at Harmony Healing Arts Center and with the Berkeley County Adult Ed program for yoga classes (they’ll both have to kick me out to get rid of me). And what’s new is that Extreme Family Fitness is re-building its yoga program starting this month. The calendar isn’t up on the web as of this writing, but you can find me there Tuesdays at 10am, Wednesdays at 5pm, and Thursdays at 8am beginning 5th March.
On Friday 15th March, from 7:15-8:15pm at Harmony, I’ll introduce you to — or refresh your memory about — the series of Edgar Cayce-based exercises that Peter van Daam has developed from the Cayce readings. In 10 to 15 minutes of simple exercises that you can do anywhere, you can contribute mightily to your personal spring cleaning. All the info you need is here on Facebook.
For tarot enthusiasts, there’s plenty of excitement. On Saturday, 16th March, there are limited spaces available to learn a bit of tarot for yourself. We’ll gather at Harmony Healing Arts from 3pm to 5pm to play The Tarot Game, created by Jude Alexander as a fun way to learn tarot basics while creating a meaningful reading for yourself. Tarot . . . It’s Easier Than You Think! All the info is on Facebook.
I’ll be available for readings at Laura’s beautiful and healing shop, On the Wings of Dreams twice this month (and I couldn’t be more excited to be expanding!), on Saturday, 9th March, from 10:30am to 5:30pm, and on Sunday, 17th March, from 11:30am to 4:30 pm. Stop by to put your dreams into spring and find your own bit ‘o’ Irish luck! On Facebook: March 9th Event and March 17th Event
Although Brooke’s closed the Acorn Cafe to keep up with the deserved demand at Triple Oak Bakery (and if you haven’t experienced the deliciousness yet, your tastebuds may never forgive you!), Berni and Dan at Ginger Hill Antiques have asked me to stay on at their fun shop for readings. I’ll be there on Saturday, 23rd March, from 11am to 3pm to help you find that spicy Spring in your step. On Facebook: March 23rd Event
I’ll look forward to all those inspirational shares on social media about how you’re creating a life that “blows you away”!