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Alchemy – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Alchemy

 

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by Ink Well Publishing
ISBN #0-9649386-3-4

The Book says: The blending of opposites. A conscious effort to achieve balance and harmony. In relationships, compromise and a balance of emotion and intellect is needed. Emotions that don’t flow stagnate. Creativity, transformation, alchemy: the mixture of diverse elements in order to create something new. Every part essential to the whole. For example, an engine can not operate correctly if even a small part is missing or broken, it also happens that one thing can upset all other aspects of your life.

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This image reminds me of the goddess of the land pouring her creative and fertile energies onto the land. She is at one with the land, incorporating its strength and is solidness into her being. Her dress looks like the snakeskin has become part of her body. She has incorporated the snake’s ability to shed its useless skin and emerge rejuvenated. The fluid flowing from the urn is more than water, it is the source of life itself. It is what allows the land to transform and bloom; to go from lifeless and barren to bursting with life and energy.

The lady is the source of life and the force of her energy and her love is what guides us to a place of balance and healing, of harmony and unity. She teaches us how to become whole, how to integrate our various parts into a unified being. We are light and dark, passive and aggressive, masculine and feminine, lunar and solar. If we cannot integrate and accept these various parts then we run the risk of cutting off part of ourselves. And one cannot live if one denies part of who we are.

Temperance – Wheel of Change Tarot

Wheel of Change Temperance

 

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
ISBN #0-89281-609-0

The Book says: Temperance is a symbol of the magic you experience in your life. Temperance is a card of integration; it points to the action required to actually create something new. You must be willing to stand like the goddess in the card, who physically combines the opposites, and like her you must take action. This action will place you in direct relationship with what has appeared to be separate and outside of you until now. Through the action of this important card you will find yourself involved in this dynamic part of this new relationship.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: I blend, I merge, I transform you. I am the crucible in which your different parts are heated and melded into one unit. I nurse you on blood and on milk, on fire and on water, on passion and on love. This is the message of the Goddess of Temperance. She offers us the polarities in life and teaches us how to forge it into a coherent whole. She teaches us how to integrate our different parts without diluting or losing their importance. She is not about mixing everything so that there is no distinction between them. But she does teach us how to swirl, spin and twirl those energies into a lovely design.

The goddess of Temperance reminds us that we don’t all need to believe the same things or behave in the same way. We are strengthened, enriched and enhanced by the differences. Just look at the Tarot community – we all benefit from the different and varied viewpoints we all bring to the table. On some level this card reminds me of the United States itself. We used to call ourselves the Melting Pot. But over the years we have learned the importance of honoring and celebrating our differences while we continue to work together for the greater good. The events following Sept 11th prove that we still have some work to do. But if we work with the goddess of Temperance and heed her magick and her lessons, perhaps we will ultimately be able to achieve it. We can begin to follow the Vulcan credo of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination). What a joyous moment that will be.

Tsonokwa

 

Somehow, like a lot of people, I behave as though receiving help from others is a sign of weakness or failure. The current circumstances in my life have forced me to become better at accepting and asking for assistance from others. It’s still a struggle but one I think I’m starting to win. That isn’t my focus today. What has struck me when pondering this card and her message is that the one person I am lousy at giving to is myself. Oh don’t get me wrong – I can indulge myself with things like books, music and other possessions as fast as anyone else in our consumerist society. What I’m not good at giving to myself are the things I really need – time to myself, time to focus on my spirituality and health, and time to relax. It’s as though taking time off from my responsibilities is slacking. How the hell did this happen?

I used to be one of the more selfish people I knew. I had no responsibilities other than those to myself, my hubby and family, and maybe to my job. Not having kids left me a lot more free time than most to do whatever the hell I wanted. Of course I usually filled that free time with brain-draining TV binges and frequent nights out after work with co-workers. Mindless, enjoyable and ultimately unsatisfying pursuits to be sure. I was busy, sometimes frantic and stressed but I would have told you I was having fun. In retrospect I think I was trying to numb myself. What I needed wasn’t more things it was a sense of meaning and fulfillment in my life. That is what I was not giving to myself.

I have drawn Tsonokwa several times since working with the Dark Goddess Tarot. Clearly she is trying to give me a message which I haven’t been hearing – at least not clearly. Then yesterday I finally realized why she kept pushing me. Thanks to a wonderful mother who agreed to elder-sit for the in-laws, I was able to get away for a while and spend some time socializing with a friend. We didn’t do anything special – had lunch, chatted, shopped a bit, but I came home feeling rejuvenated and relaxed for the first time in a long time. It was wonderfully refreshing. Of course my mother was exhausted but she can head home and relax.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been free of this vise that squeezes me on a daily basis that I didn’t really how much pressure it was putting on me. I thought I was doing okay but in reality I was draining the battery almost beyond repair. It took Tsonokwa appearing to me several times before the message finally sank in. Next tie I won’t wait so long before finding activities to help relieve the pressure and help me revive and rejuvenate myself. It’s not taking anything away from my in-law’s and it’s giving me the break I need to let me come back with a more positive attitude. Otherwise we’re all miserable.

This made me wonder why we do this to ourselves. I am under no illusions that I am the only person who deprives herself this way. Nor am I a saint or martyr. I am a cranky, stressed out, caring, occasionally deranged person who wants to do what’s right for my in-laws. Somehow what is right for me never came into the equation. It’s as though I just don’t matter and that’s certainly not the way I have ever seen myself. Clearly this is an issue that requires more than a blog post to resolve. I just wanted to put it out there for others who find themselves in a similar boat. It’s important for all of us, but especially for caretakers, to realize that caring for ourselvs is just as important as caring for loved ones. Otherwise we wake up one day and realize our head is in a vice and about to pop like a pimple. Let’s have no more of that!  We deserve better for ourselves.

Transformational Tarot – Justice

Transformational Tarot Justice

Transformational Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

The Book Says: The need to weigh decisions, judgments, and find rational solutions. The need for a balanced mind. In this instance, reason and thought should override emotions, although sometimes justice needs to be tempered with compassion and empathy. It can also mean standing up for one’s rights and beliefs. Poetic justice. In it’s reverse this card can denote the seeker dealing with issues of injustice, bigotry, inequality, vengeance, or intolerance.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card deliberately evokes the Statue of Liberty and all she idealistically represents. She is the hope of peace, of freedom – to be whatever one desires and believe whatever one wants. This Justice is the dream we all share of having the opportunity to be treated equally regardless of race, religion or socio-economic level. And it is an ideal. We are bombarded on a daily basis by times when justice seems to have been thwarted or perverted but Justice can never be. Justice is the ideal, the goal. She holds out the dove as a sign of hope and promise – we can reach this goal if that is our desire. And as the people behind her represent, all people are offered the same opportunity.

The brilliant white sun is almost blinding in its radiance. A reminder that it has the ability to burn away all the falseness and illusions we surround ourselves with, and get down to the core of the matter. Justice forces us to look at ourselves and see if we are as just, compassionate and empathic as we like to claim. She forces us to face our inner prejudices and bring them out into the light of day so they can be revealed and rendered powerless. I would love to send this card to politicians right now and see if they can recognize the message.

Blue Rose – Justice

Blue Rose Justice

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Author says: The Fool stands, takes a deep breath and reaches one of the items he has carried for so long. Familiar, safe. He hates the very idea of letting any of them go. He turns toward the golden scale encased in its bubble of crystal. He gazes one more time at this treasure that he has carried for so long. And then he closes his eyes. In response, he feels the soft gossamer wings of the white butterfly settle upon his lids and discovers that he can see things with a clarity and “crystality” of vision he has never before experienced. It is enough…the crystal bubble yields to the pressure of his hand as he places his treasure upon the scale.

He watches the tilting of the scale, balancing his cargo again a counterweight manufactured out of his sense of spirituality, inner purpose and his assessment of the obstacles and ultimate goals that lie ahead. He reaches behind him and clasps his hand around the heavy crystal hilt of the Great Sword of Justice. The sword of discernment and discrimination…the sword which severs the wheat from the chaff. He sees what he wants to keep…and what he wants to let go. Taking careful aim, he raises that great sword high above his head. And brings it flashing down.

So, what does the Fool decide to keep and what does he cut away? What does it matter to you, oh fellow Fool? For such determinations and assessments are different for every Fool. Each of us is a unique being. At this time, it is wise to remember a few lines from the discussion of the High Priestess; namely, that there are many paths to spiritual evolution. As many as are needed.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is the blind yet all-seeing eye of justice which looks at us, weighs our lives and uses the gold sword to cut away the dross that we need to release. She is pitiless and compassionate, harsh and loving. She knows that if we don’t impartially review our lives at this point and rid ourselves of what is useless, then we won’t be open to new growth and new opportunities. She also forces us to accept that we have now reached a point in our lives where can handle this type of process and learn from it.

The checkerboard pattern on the floor reminds me that now matter how we like to rationalize things, life is sometimes black and white, right and wrong. This is what Justice forces us to see and confront. As we get older it becomes easier to lose ourselves in shades of gray, justifying what we do and how we behave. We lose the clarity and pristineness of youth, the ability to see life in simplistic terms. Justice helps us regain connection with that simplicity but to do in more mature terms and learn how to apply it in our lives in a way that will help us move forward along our path.

Mansions of the Moon – Justice

Mansions of the Moon Justice

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

Traditional Meaning:  Balance, harmony and equilibrium; finding your path through clear-sightedness and being objective rather than relying on emotions and instinct

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The youth of the Bird Girl and her blindfold reminds me of the clearness of youth, that time when we see no gray – everything is black and white, right or wrong. There is no in-between. The scales are currently balanced but the rug with the Celtic knotwork pattern reminds us that things will get complicated soon enough. We manage to become lost in a maze where the line between right and wrong, black and white blur and become less distinct. Perhaps this is part of maturing – everything becomes less clear and simple. But the Bird Girl still watches and measures our motives and our behaviors. The sword nearby is available when she needs to cut through to the heart of the matter. The Sun and Moon in the sky are reminders that sometimes our motivations will stand up to the scrutiny of the harsh light of day and sometimes we prefer the gentler more forgiving light of the Moon.

But Justice is a reminder that either way we must face the ramifications of our choices and our decisions and that sometimes even the best of intentions do not excuse the actions we may take. And that sometimes our actions have repercussions we had not originally planned. The concept of Justice is not easy and it is not always fair. This is something we deal with daily when we watch court cases and see how the legal maneuvering of lawyers sometimes cause guilty people to go free or innocent people to go to jail. Is this just? Is it fair? If we work with someone we know is “evil” for a positive benefit is that just? If we take steps we believe are right but which have negative ramifications, is that just? There are no easy answers. And trying to figure our answers makes me yearn for the simple black and white approach of youth.

Celtic Wisdom Tarot – The Balancer

Celtic Wisdom Balancer

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Balancer shows the Goddess of the Safe Passage, Nehalania, who is often known as the “Steerswoman”. She was invoked by all travelers, especially seafarers, and by those transacting business. Here we see her in her British aspect, as Elen, the Goddess of the Ways, who is depicted as a Celtic dancer. Elen opens the ways, both roads and sea routes, as well as the dream-ways, giving free passage to those who take the trouble to map their own soul’s route.
Keywords: Equity, justice, receiving what is deserved, a fair outcome, arbitration, weighing possibilities, vindication of truth, honesty, integrity.
Reversed: Imbalance, injustice, severity, unfair treatment, inflexibility, prejudicial decisions, lies and dishonesty, abuse.
Soul Wisdom: The Balancer of Harmony opens the ways but she also guards them. A life lived in full integrity is one that submits all its motivations and action to truth first, rather than seeking to find out how truth may be bent to serve us. What keeps you in balance with the universe?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Okay, this one took a while. I didn’t initially see a connection between this image and Justice (or with it’s meaning). But the more I looked at it the more I began to see the light (as it were). The alternating rays of blue and white light suggest a balance between light and dark, positive and negative, consciousness and dreams, masculine and feminine, yin and yang. The woman at the center, Elen of the Ways, is a reminder as well as a guide to show us that we can follow either option; indeed we too can alternate between the two ways. Elen is also the balance between these states, the lynch pin between the lightness and darkness within ourselves. Elen guides us between these two states and allows us to find the balance between the two. Elen, the Balancer, dances her way among the rays and helps us find our way to our center. But as part of the process she forces us to seek the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Sometimes being forced to face the ugliness or the darkness within ourselves is the only true path to balance and harmony.

Another aspect of this card, and Justice in general, is that she seems to be unseeing – her eyes are closed. So her actions are strictly based on her feelings and instincts. She is not judging us based on what she sees. She is impartial. And the holly berries suggest that this can sometimes be a dangerous, even toxic, process. But if we don’t drain the toxins and honestly face the darkness, we risk poisoning ourselves and creating a spiritual imbalance. Elen helps us heal and regain that balance. In the words of Brian Ferry, Elen helps us “dance away the heartache, dance away the fears”

Wheel of Change Justice

11

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
ISBN #0-89281-609-0

The Book says: When this card appears in your reading, you are at a point of balance and are trying to create a sense of equality around you. You feel as though you can see clearly all sides of the issues around you, you seem to know how to take steps to put things in balance. All the elements of the Tarot are pictured in this card, and this represents the ability to balance the aspects of life that the ancient elements symbolize: body for earth, spirit for fire, emotions for water, mind for air. You have the insight to represent this balance to others in the way you choose to live your life.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card symbolizes the harmony we can find in the midst of chaos, the inner peace we can find despite the insanity that surrounds us. How appropriate at this time when we are bombarded on a daily basis with threats of war and violence and the injustice going on in the world. This card shows that if we can maintain our center and find the purity and determination within ourselves to stick to what we know is right, then we can help work towards a place where everyone can enjoy abundance and harmony in their lives.

Something about this card also speaks of being judged. Justice is judging our heart and seeing if we have lived a true life, a life with integrity and balance. She will not accept “I was just following orders” or “What could I do” as an answer. She forces us to look within ourselves and accept that there is always something we can do, always a choice facing us. We may not like the choices offered but what choice we make will impact everything that occurs in our lives after that point.

Justice is the reminder that we reap what we sow. If we make decisions that lead to imbalance in our lives, then we will need to deal with the repercussions. They may or may not be pleasant but they are our choices. Let’s hope Justice guides us to make the right ones.

Am I happy with my life?

Dark Goddess 6 of Air

Today I heard from a former elementary school teacher via email. She wrote that as long as my classmates and I are happy with out lives that was what is important. One of the reasons for this comment is that I had several classmates that were expected to accomplish “great things”. I’m not sure what that meant but somehow I doubt we reached our anticipated heights.

This is an issue I’ve been grappling with a lot lately. Part of the problem is that I have often been outwardly focused, seeking external validation for my accomplishments. I was the excellent student who got good grades as much because I sought the approval of my father and teachers as because of an internal drive. I got good grades to please the adults in my life as much as because of my competitive nature.

This comment by my former teacher made me realize that I’ve spent a lot of time over the last five years or so retraining myself not to need the external validation. My life is such that it would not be forthcoming anyway so seeking it only creates frustration and disappointment. It is also miraculously freeing. I find that the less I need external validation, the less I feel any need to live up to someone else’s expectations of me.

I can see this will be a long term journey for me. I’ve been doing an inner labyrinth journey with two friends using the Dark Goddess Tarot as a guide. One of the primary messages I keep getting is that I need to follow my heart. I need to find a path that is meaningful to me and stick with it whether it meets with anyone else’s approval or not. That can be very difficult. I think we are all so conditioned to seek the approval of others that it can be a challenge to untether ourselves from that need for approval and validation. I’m taking it one step at a time and trusting that I’ll eventually reach the goal I’m mean to achieve in this life.

So the bottom line – am I happy with my life? Sometimes I am and sometimes I’m not. I’m working on it.

Strength – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Strength

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWP says: A biblical reference to a time that the Lamb will dwell with wild beasts. Peace. Strength to get above the mundane.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card symbolizes the growth and harmony that can develop when our more intellectual nature (the winged woman) can peacefully co-exist with our wilder, more primitive, animal side. The lambs and rabbit show that there is no need to fear or run from our wilder nature. If we are able to embrace that part of ourself then we can create the oasis in the middle of the hard cruel world. We can tame out inner beast but not by chains and shock treatment, by loving it and embracing it. If we try to run, that side of ourselves it will only catch up and devour us whole. We have to face it and learn to live with and love it. If we can feel the joy and the fire in ourselves, but learn how to keep it from consuming us, we may find our lives verdant, abundant and rich with unrealized treasures.

I really love the visual image on this card. It is both exuberant and calm, wild and serene. It graphically shows the meaning of Strength – if we can embrace our wildness then we can experience the growth and tranquility of the garden. Otherwise we are forced into the barren and rocky surrounding area, alone and lost.

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