TarotHunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • Celebrate what gives you joy and find ways to share it with the world.
  • Start a new journey that will help you find creative partnerships and new methods of creative expression.
  • Shout it to the world – you are free and foolish! Let the message reach those too afraid to take risks. Help them start their own journey.

TarotHunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • Focus your creative energies and consider what you’ve already achieved in your life before moving onto a new path.
  • Revisit past passions to find new inspiration. Let who you were guide who you may become.
  • Are your accomplishments becoming more of a burden than a reward? Maybe it’s time to strip back to your bare bones and explore who you were and how these achievements serve you now.

Passions – what makes life worth living

Passion, excitement, enthusiasm, joy.  The other day I realized how absent these emotions have been in my life lately.  While chatting with a friend about hobbies it hit me that I haven’t lost myself in any of my hobbies for quite some time.  I collect and play with Barbies and similar fashion dolls but I haven’t redressed a doll in over a year.  I collect and use Tarot decks but I haven’t really played with my decks the way I once did.  I have more books in my TBR pile than I can possibly finish in this lifetime.  I have a list of recipes I want to try but instead, default to the same 10  What the hell is wrong with me?  I’m not sure but I do have a few ideas.
During the conversation with my friend, I realized that I’ve suppressed my excitement and passion because it became painful.  Seeing others who shared my passions being able to explore and enjoy theirs while I was stuck in caregiver mode sucked.  It made me envious and bitter so I must have decided on some level that if I didn’t want to become a bitter, bitchy (okay, more bitchy) person then I needed to distance myself from online groups and boards or else my envy would chew me up and spit me out.
Unfortunately, that also meant that I dampened my affect across the board.  I stayed in a middle position to avoid letting the negative stuff overwhelm me but it meant I didn’t really enjoy the positive stuff either.  I think in clinical terms it might be considered depression.  Luckily I realized that it’s a situation depression and not due to anything major.  That means I could treat it on my own – because gods forbid I should see help for anything.  I’m kinda stubborn that way.  I like to blame it on my Capricorn Moon.
So what is my solution?  Nothing especially groundbreaking.  I made myself a promise that I would consciously choose to engage in some of my hobbies.  For example – I re-committed myself to posting my daily Tarot card pulls at least 4 times each week.  I promised myself I would post something to my blog once a week.  I am determined to journal at least once a week (but preferably more).  There are small, simple and doable steps that I know I can achieve.  Once I’ve consistently done these for a few weeks I’ll add more or change them.  I also want to start reading books on journaling and finding your life purpose but I’m not making that part of this commitment.  I have also promised myself that I won’t spend money on hobbies/crafts for which I already have a wide range of materials that I have not used yet (such as my coloring books and composition notebooks). 
None of this is especially innovative or mind-blowing.  It might not be amazing, impactful or especially transformative for anyone else.  For me, this was quite an epiphany.  Sometimes it the small wake up calls in life that have the most long-lasting and beneficial results.

Blue Rose Star

Blue Rose Star

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The book says: For now, each star in that vast dark canopy is also sending out threads of light, connecting with each other until there becomes a limitless glittering web extended over the entire stretch of sky. And the Fool comes to understand that these are souls that are in other stages of their journey. They represent souls that have traveled these earthly paths before and moved on, or they are waiting their turn to once again play the Great Game. And in the meantime, they look down over the souls traveling along the paths…and they send their love down to them.

And then, another vision, for now the threads from the sky above and the waters below extend towards each other…glittering sky web to shimmering watery web…until they are joined, as one. And gradually, for the first time in this new place, the Fool hears something. At first he cannot identify it, but then, almost overcome with weeping again, he realizes what he is hearing.

Millions upon millions of soft voices chanting as one. Chanting a great song of life, of existence, of love.

The miracle of the Universe lies in our infinite diversity. The blessing of the Universe lies in our infinite unity.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: To me this card symbolizes grace, beauty and hope. There is a mystery and magic about it bringing to mind a child dancing among the snowflakes of the first snowfall – happy, gleeful and awed. The dancer seems oblivious to her surroundings and is solely focused on her dance. She reminds me that even in the darkest night there is a gleam of hope and beauty to be found. She represents the wonder and amazement we feel when we stare up at the night sky and see it is dappled with glorious white stars. She is there when we wonder if there is life on other planets and when we wish and hope for something better in our lives.

The star dancer doesn’t grant these wishes for us, she glides and dances teaching us the moves we need to manifest them on our own. She is a light in the darkness, a guide light which we can follow but she cannot offer guarantees. The truth is that while we can follow the Star’s light only our own perseverance and determination can ensure whether it guides us to the place we want to go.

There is also something pure and innocent about the star dancer. She is a young child putting on a performance in their room completely unaware that grown ups are watching. Perhaps we must be careful not to startle her. Her magic may lay in the fact that she is so self-absorbed that our expectations and needs don’t impinge on her consciousness. She is able to create her magic because no one has ever told her than she cannot. She is full of potential and wonder, sure she can be or do anything she desires because of this purity and single-mindedness. Once faced with the outside world she may begin to doubt herself too but right now she is our shining beacon calling us to regain that child-like innocence and wonder. She helps us reconnect with our ability to believe in ourselves with such purity and focus. She shows us how to be shining stars in our own lives once again.

Blankness and Joy

Have you ever felt completely blank; uninspired, uninteresting and unintelligible? I feel that way today. I want to write an amazing blog post that will explode minds, expand horizons and elevate consciousness. Instead I’m drawing a blank. This is one of the rare moments in my life when I have nothing to say, or at least nothing I’m willing to write on a public blog. So in desperation, I am going to turn to the Tarot and pull a card to inspire me. I drew the Page of Cups reversed!

Legacy of the Divine Page of Cups

My first reaction was “Oh great, a freakin’ court card!” Court cards can be something of a pain in the butt to interpret on occasion. Then I thought about it a bit more and laughed. I got the sense the Tarot was telling me to stop being such a crybaby and grow up! Of course you have things to write about, just look into your heart! So I did.

At first I was still drawing a blank. Then I realized there are a few things lurking around in there that I can share. I’ve been doing some work lately about determining my heart’s desire, my deepest, truest heart’s desire. Like a lot of folks, I’ve been acculturated to think that my heart’s desire rests in possessions, wealth or status. It doesn’t. For years I rode that horse and it finally died of exhaustion. My life experiences over the past six years have shown me that money may help relieve some stresses in life but it genuinely does not bring happiness.

Instead of yearning for things I cannot possess (especially right now), I’m looking deep within to learn more about myself and what truly makes me happy. For too long I allowed myself to be distracted or convinced myself that I wasn’t really interested in things that truly nurtured my soul. What the hell happened to me? The same thing that happens to so many of us – we think that growing up means giving up all the things we loved as children. Well I say to hell with that! It’s time for me to revisit those childhood things that brought me joy like coloring, writing poetry and talking with gods! I want to find new things that fill my heart with joy too like learning a new skill or refining an old one. I can do it! So can you! So what if people tell you to grow up, nothing says we have to listen. Let’s embrace that inner child everyone talks about so much. Let’s find ways to reconnect with that child-like sense of wonder and whimsy we had when we were young. Let’s play Kick the Can (for those of you who don’t get the connection, this was the title of a classic Twilight Zone episode)! Who knows what benefits we’ll uncover!

I am not the cynic I believe myself to be

Wildwood Pole Star

Tonight, while sitting on the porch staring up at a deep blue canopy of stars, I found myself thinking about H.P. Lovecraft and his view of the Universe as a cold, distant, uncaring and even hostile place. I realized that while I may enjoy reading his eerily eldritch stories, I do not subscribe to this viewpoint. As I sipped tea and stared at the stars I felt as though all of my ancestors were looking down and watching over me. I had a sense of connection and belonging. It was as though the Universe cared, even if it couldn’t do much to show me right now. It filled me with a sense of hope and wonder.

Mythic Tarot Star

The more I thought about it the more I felt like Pandora in Greek legend. Despite being surrounded by a world filled with personal and global ills, I do have a sense of hope. I harbor and nourish that little seedling even through the darkest times. I have layered this spark in a thick, protective hedge of sharp thorns and snarky barbs but it glows within me and refuses to allow itself to be diminished or extinguished. She dances within, occasionally surprising me with her exuberance and strength.

As imperfect as my life might be right now, there are moments of transcendent joy and beauty. They are usually such simple things as enjoying a cup of tea or seeing the heron that has taken to hanging out nearby. They are easy to miss and dismiss but recently Joanna Powell Colbert shared a practice of honoring Happiest Moment of the Day (#HMOTD). I have decided to participate in this practice. It’s so easy to focus on the misery, unhappiness and chaos that swirls around us. It’s more challenging to find the joy and happiness in small things; brief moments.

Pearls of Wisdom Star

I must admit, my surprise at realizing that I am an optimist.  For so long I viewed my self as a pessimist. Now I need to readjust that and say I’m a practically cautious optimist – I brace myself for the worst but hope for the best. It’s also a relief to finally embrace this side of myself. Sometimes it’s exhausting keeping up the charade of being a pessimist. Of course that doesn’t mean I’m not a cranky optimist prone to rants and bouts of snarkiness, but that just add more dimensions and layers to my personality.

Over the last few days I’ve reconnected to a creative outlet that I had allowed to become dormant – coloring! As a child and adolescent I adored coloring. If I wasn’t nose deep in a book then I was energetically putting my box of 64 Crayolas to good use. One of my strongest sense memories is the smell of a box of Crayola crayons. No other crayons have that same aroma. I would recognize it anywhere. I still remember picking up two Dover coloring books from the gift shop at the Museum of the City of New York during a class trip. One was Geometric Designs and the other was Visual Illusions. The optical illusions were mind-blowing and it was a fabulous change from my usual Barbie coloring books (although I still have several of them too). There is something so engaging, relaxing and just plain fun about coloring. Over the years I might not have used those coloring books but I always made sure to have a big box of Crayola crayons – first a 64 count, then a 96 count and now a 200 count!

Why am I talking about coloring? Because for many, many years I believed I was not a creative person. I cannot draw much beyond stick figures. I may enjoy singing but I doubt anyone will ever pay to hear me or even volunteer to listen. I love to dance but will be the first to admit my skills are amateurish at best. The most creative thing I do is write – and even that I tend to blow off as not especially creative as much as it is technically skilled. Beginning to color again has changed my attitude about all of that. Perhaps I don’t have the eye or hand for painting but that doesn’t make me non-creative. Watching a line drawing fill in with colors I’ve selected, creating patterns within the pattern, has proven fulfilling and satisfying. It has also helped me to see other ways in which I am creative.

I see patterns and connections between disparate elements. I’ve noticed that when I read the Tarot I often find connections between the cards that are not obvious. The better I know the querent, the more effective and interesting the connections I make. I’m like a conspiracy theorist – seeing connections that aren’t immediately apparent to the casual observer. I love writing – not just blog posts but Tarot card haiku. I love making up stories using the images on Tarot cards as a starting point. I may not be a technically proficient dancer but I put my heart and soul into it. I can shake my moneymaker like nobodies business!

Dark Goddess Witch of Water

Today I asked Sekhmet for some insight into continuing to explore my creative side. She sent me Haya-Akitsu-Hime/Witch of Water, the Shinto goddess of the sea. Her salt waters purify and transform. As I’m writing this I had an insight – Haya-Akitsu-Hime is telling me that my emotional connection to coloring is also a path to purity and transformation for me. It will allow me to purge the impurities and emotional baggage that often distracts me from what makes me happy and what I love in life.

Pearls of Wisdom 2 of Wands Pearls of Wisdom 4 of Swords

For additional insight I pulled two cards from the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. In response to my query about blending my creative energies in a way that will bring radiance and healing in my life I drew the 2 of Wands reversed and 4 of Swords. With a little help from the companion book, I took this to mean that I’m on the right path; I’m moving in the right direction. Combining meditation and modified mini-retreats for myself will allow me to move forward, explore new horizons and continue on this path of wellness and wholeness I’ve begun. Coloring is one method of meditation and creativity that can aid me in my quest.

So my advice to anyone out there who sees themselves as uncreative is to keep looking; find the right avenue for you. We are all creative in different ways. The key to healing and wellness is to find the path that fits you. Perhaps you are a mathematical genius and see connections between equations and real life applications. Maybe you look at the stars and see a panoply of amazing bodies of celestial beauty that connect to Greek myths and life on Earth. Maybe you’re a history buff and love seeing the connections between past actions and current events. Perhaps dancing is a balm to your soul or singing at the top of your voice brings joy to your heart. As Karen Carpenter once sang “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.”

45

I am blessed! One week ago today I was eagerly sitting in a Tarot & Psychology workshop at the 2015 Readers Studio. I was reveling in the connection I felt to my tribe and wallowing in the good feelings and wonderful bonds created with my Tarot tribe. I cannot begin to describe how rejuvenating, restoring and re-hydrating this weekend was for me. When it was done I felt juicy and alive!!

Readers Studio (for those not in the know) is a wonderful annual 3 day event coordinated by the Tarot School that focuses on providing professional Tarot readers with workshops to improve or hone their skills and techniques. Ruth Ann & Wald Amberstones have also added a Tarot & Psychology pre-conference event for those interested in expanding their knowledge base along that path. It is also a wild and fabulous opportunity for various members of the Tarot tribe to reconnect, hang out and have fun.

The Tarot and psychology pre-conference was very informative and interesting with a variety of exercises and techniques that might be useful for yourself or a long term client who is open to exploring that road. Art Rosengarten’s, Rick Brouchard’s and Andy Matzner’s workshops were engaging and beneficial for anyone seeking to combine these two modalities.

The three amazing wild women presenters for the main event were Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, Theresa Reed and Carrie Paris. Each offered something unique and insightful and all built upon the knowledge presented before her. It was a spiral of wondrous, gentle and spiritual energy that kept flowing through the entire event. It was truly amazing and something you had to experience to full appreciate it. There were also study groups, breakfast roundtables and Tarot incubator conversations to keep the experience going and allow folks to expand their skills and knowledge even further.

The social aspects were also fully embraced. There was a lunch provided one day, a banquet with a show on another as well as a fabulous disco at the end of the night. In between one could catch clusters of Tarot folk talking, comparing notes and brainstorming. There were various celebrity and non-celebrity Tarot readings were given and lots of laughter and love in the restaurant and the bar after hours. By the end of the weekend I felt as though I was on a high that would never end.

It’s taken me almost a week to fully process this wondrous experience and I’m looking forward to next year when the presenters will be Sasha Graham, Barbara Moore and Heatherleigh Navarre – another trio of amazingly wild women. It even inspired me to rejoin FaceBook so I can keep the tribal joy flowing all year long!

A case of the “mean reds”

I always remember that in Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holly Golightly refers to her bouts of anxiety as the “mean reds”. I like that expression although for me it tends to refer more to bouts of self-doubt, jealousy, anger and anxiety triggered by realizing I’m not where I’d thought I would be at this point in my life (such realizations usually occurring when I learn of something wonderful happening to a friend and feeling happy for them and jealous of their good fortune). I suffered a bout of my own mean reds the other day. They were triggered by the realization that I am no longer the new kid on the block, the new generation of anything or the young turk. I’m not a prodigy anymore. I’m going to be 50 soon and while that doesn’t preclude new and interesting experiences, it does pretty much ensure that opportunities to feel like a young turk will be as rare as hen’s teeth.

I don’t like feeling this way. It makes me uncomfortable with myself and resentful of friends’ successes, which really sucks. So I have decided to take the mean reds by the horns and try to develop a strategy so that I don’t get lost in them. I pulled out my Tarot of the Hidden Realm and asked how to handle bouts of the “mean reds”. I drew the 9 of Cups crossed by the 8 of Cups. My first reaction at seeing the 9 of Cups is that I need to look inside my own heart and see what resides there. What do I truly wish for and desire in my life? Many times I realize that although I’m happy for a friend’s success, I don’t wish to so what she does. That changes the dynamic and shifts my perspective. I’m don’t wish for their success to become my own. I don’t wish I had their lives. I just wish I felt more like a success in my own life. The first step to achieving that would be to look inside my heart and see what I find. Instead of a vague “I wish that was me” type wish, I really wish for success on my terms.

Tarot of the Hidden Realm Nine of CupsHidden Realms 8 of Cups

I believe the 8 of Cups is telling me that before I can manifest any wishes or desires in my life, first I need to go on a bit of a quest to see what that would look like for me. There are things I need to let go of, things that I used to enjoy but have now become a distraction. Once I can release those items along with their emotional charge I hope to feel less burdened and freed up to find new joys and new satisfaction with my life. I’m realizing that carrying around all those unfulfilled hopes and dreams is burying me. The only way to free myself from these negative emotions is to simply let life wash them away; let them stay in the past.

At the same time I also believe the past holds some of the keys to finding a fulfilling and enjoyable life for myself. I need to reconnect with young me, hopefully a truer me who remembers what I enjoyed doing before working and the expectations of supervisors and coworkers mutated what I love do into what I’m good at doing. This part of the answer isn’t especially new to me but it is something I haven’t focused on much lately. Obviously I need to change that. I’m sure I’ll develop other techniques for dealing with the “mean reds” but I think this is a good start.

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.

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