Owning Emotions

1508 Owning Emotions

What makes a grown-up? Or a spiritually evolved, enlightened person?

Is it someone who never swears in traffic or gets overwhelmed with big life challenges or sends out invites to the pity party of the century?

It’s easy to tell someone “you shouldn’t feel that way” when you’re outside the situation. Perhaps one measure of a grown up is allowing others to feel their feelings, and staying with them while they do.

My sister-in-law has a wonderful measure for her kids (now grown and having kids of their own): it’s okay to feel what you feel, it’s not okay to dump it all over everyone else.

So what happens when you dump your feelings all over everyone else?

Maybe it’s a measure of how much you’re trying to carry. Maybe it’s a measure of how uncomfortable your feelings are.

How about you give yourself a big bundle of credit for being emotionally honest? And then find the grown-ups in your life who will let you experience your feelings in the safety and support of their non-judgemental presence, until you’ve finished the process.

Perhaps spiritual evolution and enlightenment includes the knowledge that sometimes life really truly sucks – or, as a beloved friend, long gone, used to say: this pounds sand! Or is incomprehensible. Or hurts like hell. Another acquaintance wisely advises that we keep on going straight through hell, rather than taking the scenic route. Sometimes even the direct route seems endless.

Sometimes spiritually evolved, enlightened beings are drowning in their severe challenges. At the very same time that they’re looking and acting like a drowning rat, they are spinning off brilliant responses to those challenges, creating their new selves, blinding us with the beauty of that creativity.

Grown-ups, spiritually evolved and enlightened people, can contain the paradox.

Weekly Card Two of Wands

Another first!   Finally, a look at the inspiring 2 of Wands.

At the Ace, we get an inkling of a calling. Now that the 2 shows up, we’re getting a sense of where in the world we’re going to express that inkling.

Our inner enthusiasm, our inner drive, is seeking its outer counterpart.

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Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Notice, in the Shadowscapes image, that our persona, accompanied by a whole tribe of fanciful fur family – the instinctual selves – is very removed from the rest of the world. In the Rider Waite Smith image, it’s the same situation: looking out at the world, holding fast to our Wand – our growing sense of purpose – considering possibilities from a distance.

So, where in your life are you feeling the call to express an inner ambition? Shadowscapes says we don’t have to be realistic at this point – let all of your inner voices have a say.

Now’s the time to look around to see where the possibilities are. Get a sense of how you and the outer world match – or don’t. If there’s tweaking to be done for a good match, do some brainstorming and planning.

Settle in with the match and the meaning that bring you the most enthusiasm. You don’t need to roll with anything yet; just get used to the possibilities.

And keep your big picture eye out for opportunities!

Yoga Thoughts

I know I’ve been lax about posting regularly on Mondays.

We can pretend it’s so that you can review old posts with your expanded experience.

Really, it’s partly because I’ve been thinking about things that are hard to illustrate and, you might have noticed, I like to include pictures.

150727 Awareness

And, if you’ll admit it, you like to have pictures, too.

How often do your questions boil down to, “Am I doing anything that looks like what this asana is ‘supposed’ to look like?”

What if I told you that the asanas are all just a smoke screen – kind of like photo shop in a fashion magazine?

The real magic is about your awareness.

Weekly Card Rerun: The Approach

It’s summer re-run time.  Mostly this is being re-posted because I love the photo.

tarot poker cat

What?  This doesn’t look like any Tarot card you’ve seen?  Me, neither.  But I’ll bet it might call to mind a Tarot card or 2 (and feel free to let us know which ones in the comments section).

I love this!  I’m a big fan of Tarot humour, even on the dark side.

So let’s take a break from looking at specific cards this week, to look at your approach to Tarot.

Is Tarot a Very Serious Undertaking for you?  I like the respectfulness inherent in that.  And you can look at possibilities for being respectful while keeping a big, questioning sense of humour.  Partly because a lot of life is funny, strange and just plain peculiar.  Partly because laughter helps free the mind to make the kinds of intuitive connections you’re making when you read Tarot.  And partly just because it’s fun!

I love that our kitty is taking Tarot into unexpected places.  Really, poker?!  Can’t you just see the faces of the other players when that deck came out?  “WTF” probably didn’t begin to cover it.

Find some unexpected places you can bring Tarot.   Start with where, when and for what you usually read.  Move into some totally outlandish ideas.  Make yourself laugh.

What if your deck came with you to the salon and you only did hairstyles that were pictured on the cards you drew?  What if your deck came grocery shopping with you and you only bought what it told you to?  What if you took a drive with your cards, letting them telling you where to turn?  Or if your side of any conversation was based solely on your deck?

Then dial it back to possibilities you could actually live with (although your craziness could lead to some outrageous adventures or, at least, a very weird diet plan!).   Your energy level has dropped for no particular reason and you want to know why.  You’re bored with yourself and need ideas for sprucing up.  You need a new design for your garden.  Rock and roll with your own ideas!

Kitty brings up another, sobering aspect to Tarot: actual peoples’ lives were affected by this episode.  Okay, responsible Tarot use isn’t likely to kill you.  But you are using Tarot to involve yourself more fully in your daily life.  And that’s why you were right to have that Very Respectful Approach to Tarot: because real people with real lives are involved.

So find that personal balance between the lightness of humour and the responsibility of any of the intuitive arts.  Enjoy the laughter and be humble about the privilege.

Now, excuse me, I’ve got to go laugh hysterically at the next good Tarot joke.

We can thank my fellow Kitchen Witch, Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery  and Tinsmith , for the good laugh today.

Weekly Card The Queen of Cups

We’re meeting another regal presence from the Court Cards for the first time: the Queen of Cups.

As a person, this is the one who’s first foot forward is the emotional one. S/he’s involved and connected with those around her, directly from the heart. S/he’s the one you can go to for nurturing and comfort, for someone to understand how you’re feeling.

Most people are a mix of energies, and if we’re one of the lucky healthy ones, we can draw on all the Court Card energies when appropriate. So, this week, when you look at who might be influential in your life, you don’t need to find someone who’s all emotion and creativity with no rationality. Just look to the individual who’s most able to get into the emotional flow and stay there with you.

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Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Elementally, we’ve got Queen as water in the watery suit, Cups. This is the level in the Court that’s most at home in the Cups environment. The image from the Mystical Cat Tarot has our Sea Queen in a flowing fountain. The Rider Waite Smith image has the Queen on a shell-topped throne at the edge of the sea, completely focused on her ornate Cup. This is a flowing, mutable, changeable, responsive energy. And it’s not to be underestimated: remember the long-term impact of water as waterfalls or rivers. Yes, the Queen of Cups will carve through stone, if need be.

Looking to your own character, where are you being asked to be emotionally connected this week? Do you have a creative project under way that needs the infusion of humanity that crosses time and space to reach its audience? How can you bring emotional response, especially with a feeling of nurturing, to as many areas of your life as possible this week?

Water your personal garden!

Weekly Card 10 of Cups

Aah, the big rainbow of 10 of Cups . . . .

We know rainbows from the biblical promise of “never again”. We’ve learnt what we needed from the deluge and don’t need that experience again as a species. Within Tarot, we know it from a reference in XIV Temperance, which we haven’t yet looked at. Iris, the messenger of the gods, brings heaven to earth with her rainbow.

Here, we’ve got the rainbow in the arena of connectedness: our emotions, our relationships, our creativity. We’ve come through a cycle, successfully integrated the emotional experience, successfully built a solid relationship, successfully carried our creation to completion. And now there’s time for celebration and appreciation of the cycle that’s just past.

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Rider Waite Smith Tarot

Importantly, we become someone new at 10 of Cups. In the Rider Waite Smith image, we see gratitude, welcoming the future with open arms, dancing with others (like there’s no one watching). In the Inner Child image, we’ve got the 10th heart (corresponding to cups in this deck) on the forehead of the mermaid, native to this suit. She’s become the healer of the winged heart, able to touch the sky.

Along with preparing to jump off into our new cycle of connection, we’re charged to share what we’ve gained with others, to expand our community, to demonstrate our deepened capacity for connection.

So . . . where will you share this week? And where will you go next?

Weekly Card 10 of Wands Revisited

You know those times when something you really believe in suddenly seems like a lot of work? Welcome to the world of 10 of Wands.

Sometimes our values, passions and beliefs are a heavy encumbrance. We’ve looked at that energy before. In the Crystal Tarot, we have shapes and structures to consider in relation to the 10 of Wands.

As always, there are many layers and many points along the “good-bad” spectrum.

We’ve got 4 of the 10 wands in the Crystal Tarot image making a pathway from rocky earth to a light-domed sky. Building on the belief structure we already have, we can find our way to a life with meaning. Or is the pathway narrow and restrictive, with the reflected triangles obstacles on our way?

Those triangles add up to a diamond, one of our western cultural symbols for precious value. Has mundane ambition supplanted values based in spiritual truth? Or does the diamond indicate pure values that have been tested under pressure?

They’re also alchemical symbols for fire above water. If we place our values above our emotions, we live true to our more lasting self. But we need to work through our transitory emotions to discover our values.

Do the structures on the image lead you forward to the re-evaluation of the weight of 10 of Wands to find the higher Ace that will encompass the entire group?  Is the wand structure a gate to pass through to a higher level or a barrier to keep you out?

What would be the response of the Page of Wands, were she to find herself encumbered by the 10 of Wands? How does her fiery, youthful energy help her to move forward to the Ace? Does it hold her back in any way?

What if you, personally, found yourself embodying the 4 of Cups, with 10 of Wands demands being made on you? With more fire than water, how do you keep from turning to steam?

How would the three 0 The Fools we met recently respond to 10 of Wands? Does 0 The Fool naturally follow or lead into the 10 of Wands? Or neither?

Back to your life this week, how can you use the 10 of Wands to support you or move forward?

Finding Meaning

Every now and then I’m asked, “but what does that mean?” (and it’s got nothing to do with a tarot or numerology symbol). More often the question is indirect, part of the process to make the best use of circumstances.

Really, any time we’re attempting to make “sense” of what we’re in the midst of, we’re assigning meaning.

Meaning is (almost) totally subjective. A divorce, for example, can mean freedom for one ex-spouse, heartache and disillusion for the other, and confusion and upheaval for the kids.

But the story doesn’t end there. Our feelings are not the meaning of the experience; they are part of the experience itself.

That’s the beauty of subjective meaning: we get to assign meaning to our lives. And we can use meaning to support ourselves in moving forward from difficulties.

We can do that at several levels. What does the experience bring us on a personal level? What does it allow us to bring into our community? How can it support our mission in life or help us discover a new one?

And, since we’re making up meaning for ourselves, we can tweak our stories to help us be more effective, whenever we want.

So, what meaning have you given to various aspects of your life? Is that meaning helping you? If not, what meaning can you find that will help?

Weekly Card The Inspiring 4 of Cups

We’re back at the 4 of Cups. Take a look at the earlier post to refresh your memory or deepen your understanding.

And then put yourself inside the New Vision image.

Imagine that you’re sitting comfortably against a tree, looking out over a fairly barren landscape. You’ve got 3 emotional cups before you.   How do you respond so far?

That empty landscape allows our imagination and creativity to take over.

Is that where Pegasus is coming from?

And what would you do if you saw Pegasus coming at you? Would you still be sitting under the tree? Would you run toward or away from it?

Once you’d had whatever interaction with Pegasus you needed, would you go back to your tree?  Or would you choose to move on?

And would you take the 4th cup that’s being offered by the divine hand?

This week, consider where you look for inspiration. There’s always plenty out there. How receptive are you?  And where in your life will you apply it?

The Tarot of the New Vision is an interesting deck, isn’t it?, giving us a behind the scenes look at the images of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. There’s a further behind the scenes look in an exciting new book by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin, Secrets of the Waite Smith Tarot.

Weekly Card the Fiery Princess of Wands

Wow! Who’s this fire chick?! Definitely a warrior princess.

We’ve actually seen other versions of her before, as the Page of Wands.

But this Princess of Wands doesn’t look playful or sedate. She’s got her club of fire, so she means business. She’s wielding passionate belief as a tool or weapon. And did you check out her other hand? She’s actually got it in the fire! This one’s a super hero.

What’s with the strange armour? There’s no breastplate. Her heart isn’t guarded or protected here. She doesn’t have to worry about skinning her knees, and she won’t be bashing her shins on the furniture, like the rest of us, but her normally vulnerable heart is stronger without guards and barriers.

The tiger-skin cape is another indicator that we’ve got a force to be reckoned with. This is not a humble Page or ineffectual Princess. This is youth unleashed. (And am I the only one thinking Calvin and Hobbes?)

When do we want to see this Princess?

How about those days when you’re dragging your sorry butt out of bed, wondering how you’re going to make it through yet another 14 hour day? It’d be great to have Marvel or DC on your side.

Or what about the times when you need to make a presentation to the boss or to potential clients? Passion and belief with unguarded sincerity is a powerful tool.

Robert Wang and Israel Regardie’s Golden Dawn Tarot is just one of several based on the traditions of the mystical organization, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn grew out of the flowering of Freemasonry traditions in the mid-to-late 19th Century. Tarot figured strongly in the Order, based on the Kabbalah. It’s an earlier tradition than the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, but just barely. A.E. Waite was a member of the Golden Dawn.

Bring the Princess of Wands into your own life this week: Where have you already passed trials by fire, where does your passion serve you to get things done?

Light it up!