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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.

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997

The Book says: When the Lovers card appears in a reading, it indicates recognition of what is self and what is other in the context of a relationship. The card is a symbol of partnership and collaboration, but also of the division and isolation we sometimes feel in relationships. The Lovers represents any relationship in which the parties to the action are partially or wholly defined in the context of their interaction. For example, a buyer and seller can exist only in the relationship they form by their interaction; one cannot exist without the other, and the terms of sale become meaningless.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card reminds me of a yin-yang symbol – the combined forces of light and dark, of positive and negative. Both are separate yet together.

This does describe a successful, healthy relationship. Each partner should remain an individual while at the same time both are part of this new creation called “the relationship”. We have all seen relationships where one partner’s personality becomes subsumed by the other partner’s and by the relationship. They lose all sense of themselves, of being an individual. As a result if the relationship ends the partner becomes lost and unsure how to proceed. This card symbolizes the importance of keeping your integrity while still being able to blend your energies with that of someone else.

This Lovers card reminds me of how we are changed slightly depending upon the relationship we are in. There are different facets of ourselves revealed in a work relationship versus a family relationship versus a romantic relationship. We may all be slightly different people on this list than we would be on any other list. Something about the synergy between ourselves and the other partners in the relationship creates a different whole. The Lovers in this deck also reminds us of the importance of integrating the different aspects of ourselves to create a healthy and happy whole. We all have light and dark sides but if we ignore either of these aspects we create imbalance in our lives.

I am reminded of an episode of the classic Star Trek series when a transporter malfunction splits Captain Kirk into two distinctly different personalities. One is aggressive, violent and passionate, while the other is compassionate, calm and thoughtful. Over the course of the episode Kirk and the others come to realize that if these two aspects of his personality are not reintegrated, both with die. So no matter how ugly or repulsive the more aggressive persona might have seemed, without it Captain Kirk could not function as the commander of the Enterprise. This lesson is symbolized by this Lovers card. Light without dark, positive without negative creates an unhealthy situation. Even physics reminds us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Our goal is to learn to blend and explore these energies in a healthy, loving way.

Accumulating vs. Minimizing

I have recently realized that I have hoarder tendencies. I seem to confuse the owning of things with acquiring knowledge – as long as I have the book then I will attain the information it possesses through osmosis and won’t need to actually read it. As a result I tend to hold on to book much longer than necessary. This has recently become a problem because I am running out of space. I have stacks of books piled all around the house. I have also managed to accumulate a collection of Barbie and fashion dolls in which I no longer have the interest I once did. I look at these things and wonder how the hell this happened?

The books I understand – I love reading and always have. As a child I didn’t always have the funds to purchase books (thank all the gods for libraries) so once I got a job and had some extra income it was natural that’s where a portion of my salary would go. I now have shelves overflowing with books ranging from cookbooks to herbal and alternative healing to paganism and Tarot. I have occasionally found myself releasing a book because I no longer have a strong interest in the topic only to reacquire it a few years later and I fall down yet another rabbit hole.

My accumulation tendencies are offset by bouts of minimalism. I become determined to clear out the clutter and ruthlessly weed out books I know I’ll never read/use. I set to work and donate piles of books to a local library’s used book store or list them on Paperback Swap. I become focused and driven, determined to reduce the amount of “stuff” I have. When the bloodletting is done I look around with pride at what I’ve managed to cut away. Then two weeks later I find myself looking for one of the books sacrificed in the purge and end up re-acquiring it. And the cycle continues. I’m hopeless.

Green Man Tree Oracle NGetal

“When nGétal appears in divination, it suggests that health is or should be a priority now. It may indicate the danger of injury when paired with h-Úath or other challenging feda. In positive readings, it may suggest that an injury or illness is healing, or that a course of treatment for a chronic health problem may be going well. It can be a reminder to watch your health or to get something checked on that you might otherwise consider minor. It is a very hopeful fid to draw for those who are ill, as it implies active and progressing healing and the restoration of health and wellbeing.

Linked Concepts: Wounding, death, beneficial magic, healers and doctors, good health, wellbeing, regeneration, hope.” – Ogam:  Weaving Word Wisdom by Erynn Rowan Laurie

Based on the insights offered in Erynn’s Ogam book, I asked the Tarot this question:

How can I start healing myself? Prince of Pentacles R, 7 of Wands + Justice (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft Prince of Pentacles DruidCraft 7 of Wands DruidCraft Justice

I see the reversed Prince of Pentacles as telling me that I’m going to slow; being too plodding. It’s one thing to be cautious and well-prepared; another to procrastinate. I’m procrastinating. I know what steps I need to take to improve my health but I’m putting them off. Avoidance will cure nothing. If I want to manifest good health in my life and heal my body then I need to take action. I don’t need to go from zero to 60 in 10 seconds flat but I at least need to start making a few changes.

The 7 of Wands is telling me I need to be more fierce and vigilant in guarding and defending my personal space and time. Yes, I’m in a situation where I need clearly defined alone time – no internet, no cell phone and no in-laws. So far I’ve been putting my needs in this area as very low on the priority list, something easily ignored or put off until later. I need to stop doing that for my own mental health.

Justice is reminding me that balance and fairness are important. I’ve lost sight of that. To be fair to the in-laws, I also need to figure out ways to meet their needs for physical and intellectual stimulation too. Maybe a walk outside or watching the ducks would do it. Sometimes the mom-in-law can’t focus on things like that but it’s worth a shot. Of course it would also be a good idea to make sure I’m meeting my own needs for physical and mental stimulation. Watching TV and browsing the internet are all well and good but they should be kept to a minimum.

I think I’m finally getting on the right track. If I take it slow and easy I think I’ll eventually reach my goal. I sometimes have a tendency to want immediate results and when that doesn’t happen I quit. It’s time to change those patterns because clearly they are not working for me.

Today I could not think of a topic so I asked the Norse Tarot “What should I share with others day?”  I drew The Empress aka Freya.  This tickles me because I am very drawn to the goddess Freya (I consider her one of my matron goddesses) but I’ve always been rather disconnected from The Empress.  I also don’t know if I would have selected Freya to represent The Empress’ energy.  Frigga seems more appropriate for this archetype while I see Freya as more connected to the High Priestess.  However I can also see arguments for this association too.

Norse Tarot Empress

So what have I learned about The Empress energy?  It is severely underappreciated and neglected, especially by women.  One of the aspects of The Empress that has always kept me at arm’s length is caregiving.  I have avoided being a caregiver for as long as I could.  I have never felt the desire to have children (and have never understood the urge to do so).  On some deep level, I have always known becoming a caregiver would require me to be more selfless and giving than I have ever felt capable and comfortable with being.  I have always been somewhat self-centered and narcissistic.  I had things to prove and goals to achieve.  I was going to be more than just someone’s mother and wife.  I also learned the hard way that children could chain you to an abusive husband and destructive marriage.  I was not going to repeat the mistakes of the women I’d seen around me.

I still think that was the right choice for me and that has been reinforced by my recent experiences.  I know that I was not meant to have children.  I can be quite protective of children but still feel no desire to have any of my own.  However becoming the primary caregiver for my in-laws has shown me that I do have the capacity to be a caregiver.  I’m not perfect – screaming and frustration seem to be par for the course., but I can do it.  I have the ability to put the needs of others ahead of my own.  I may not like it but I can do it.  Maybe at her core that is one of The Empress’ strengths.  She can put aside her own needs in order to care for others.

I don’t see this as a permanent condition or one that needs to be replicated ad nauseam (at least not in its healthiest expression) but when the need arises, The Empress can step up.  At the same time The Empress knows when to say “enough is enough” and put herself back in the center again.  Just as Freya knew how to get what she wanted, so is The Empress.  Freya realizes that love and death are part of the same cycle.  She may be famous for taking lovers as she chose but she was also the leader of the Valkyrie.  Half of all the chosen slain came to rest in Freya’s hall.  She might seem like the golden goddess of sex and love but she has a fully developed and well-honed dark side.  That was always my problem with The Empress – I could see her darker, selfish side.  She seemed like the perfect mother to me.  In my life experiences the perfect mother was an illusion that hid an emotionally needy, soul-sucking, weak personality.  Of course even this wasn’t necessarily true it was simply my interpretation of behaviors without knowing the causes.

I have come to appreciate The Empress’ energy, strength and gifts.  She can be selfless and giving but she can also be self-focused and hardline.  She may coddle and nurture but if she feels its becoming a long-term habit she will kick you in the behind.  I see her as having a low tolerance for bullshit.  At the same time she is caring and gentle when necessary.  For too long we have all bought into masculine definitions of power and strength.  Even women came to believe that true success could only be achieved via masculine outlets.  Now I think we are developing a more fully developed view of success.  For some women it may indeed  occur on a more masculine field of play while others may prefer pursuing creative outlets in more traditionally feminine fields.

I realize I will never be fully happy or comfortable as a caregiver and nurturer, that’s simply not in my personality.  However I have grown to deeply appreciate her gifts and strengths.  I have embraced this aspect of my personality and learned that Feminine energy and power are not weaker, they are simply different but just as important as masculine ones.

Baroque Bohemian Cats Queen of Cups

So I need to listen to my heart, nurture my inner dreams and desires and allow myself to simply feel what I feel.  That should be easy.  Actually all smart-aleckyness aside, I think the Queen of Cups is reminding me that one way to chase away gloominess is to focus on things that bring me joy and make me happy.  It sounds rather easy and in reality it should be but sometimes the easy things are the ones we lose site of the most.

So what brings me joy?  Reading, cooking, fashion (or perhaps style is the more accurate term), dancing.  I’ve been focusing on my wardrobe. I desperately need to update it and it’s also time to release certain pieces I know I’ll never wear again (such as the two suits I bought when I thought I’d be pursuing a very different life path).  I want to simplify things and find a few good pieces that will last me rather than lots of cheap crap that wears out quickly.

I’ve also realized that some of the things I love (my Tarot decks) need some pruning.  I had manage to acquire a number of decks that are lovely to look at but with which I feel no connection.  I can admire their loveliness without being touched by it.  In some cases I never really connected with the deck and I’m finally admitting that and in other cases it’s just that my tastes have changed.  Regardless of why, I get a sense of freedom and lightness when I release these decks to the universe (or someone else who will love them).  I’m just too burdened down by stuff.  It’s time to unburden myself a bit at a time.

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