Judgment – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

 

The Book says: It means everything. It means that we exercise all the abilities we have learned. All the time. In our minds, in our hearts and in the very depths of our souls. It is called living aware.

Think back, fellow Fool. Think back upon the journey. Think of the Magician. What is the Magician?

He is everything.

Everything.

That is his magic. But magic is nothing without an audience. Without application. And so, he has much to do. He must walk that Cosmic Playground and spread that magic everywhere. Wherever it is wanted. Whenever it is needed. [He is all the players in the Major Arcana] And it is by being one, two or any and all of those things at any given time; by living with full and open awareness…evaluating, knowing when to act, when to be silent, when to listen, when to teach, when to love, when to surprise…but always making that determination, judging the moment, judging our actions with the noblest, most laudable and loving of intentions…by applying, living and sharing all of those things with everything and everyone in the Cosmic Playground who comes to him with open heart and an inquiring mind; it is then that a Hero completes his final lesson, establishes his legacy…And fulfills his destiny.

TarotHunter’s Theories: The first thing that struck me upon seeing this card is that it represents the spirit soaring high above the mundane world. It has managed to rise above the darkness and pettiness that surrounds it and find its connection to the Divine. It vividly shows that we can rise above our own selfishness and limited view and find our inner stardust. As science and song have suggested we are made of star stuff, we are one with the cosmos. And perhaps in order to find that connection again we need to allow ourselves to move beyond our own limitations. 

The human spirit is an amazing, glorious, incredible gift that we are given. And if we allow ourselves to fully explore its potential we can achieve wonders and work magic.

Bohemian Gothic DevilBohemian Gothic 6 of Cups

The other day I pulled these two cards as my cards of the day. I found myself looking at them from a different perspective because of past readings and exercises. It suddenly struck me that my antipathy for change has an almost addictive quality to it. I’m addicted to the past because of the memories (both real and rose-colored) I have. The “good old day” were never always good but time has washed them in a patina of gold and rose.

The truth is who the hell wants to sit around and remember lousy times? Who wants to dredge up unhappy, painful memories? That’s what therapy is for not reminiscing. Unfortunately reminiscing can also become problematic when it becomes a crutch, an addictive behavior that allows us to avoid facing current realities. Of course this also creates problems down the road because if I’m so focused on the past then I ignore the present and in the future will have fewer good memories from which to reminisce. It’s a vicious cycle! It’s like plowing and sowing seeds in the same field because they’ve proven fertile in the past but not giving them time to rest and regenerate. Eventually your harvest will become smaller and smaller before the field becomes barren. I don’t want my life to become barren.

So, how can I combat this? It’s not easy simply because I am in a nice rut and feel so little motivation to get out of it. However I have noticed that taking the time to consider the things I’m grateful for in my life can help. I did keep a gratitude journal at one point but it just became one more thing I had to do so I let it lapse. However that doesn’t mean I can’t take a few minutes every day and focus on areas of my life that are good. My life doesn’t suck. It may have sucky moments but overall it truly does not suck. What I need to do is find ways to keep this uppermost in my mind, especially when things really do seem pretty sucky.

Hobbies, friends, books and escapist television programming all help but at the end of the day it’s my choice, my decision to focus on the positive. I know it’s not easy because I seem to go through this cycle every few months but I like to think I’m getting closer to shortening my “life sucks” cycles. Coloring, Tarot cards and music help me de-stress too and that definitely helps elevate my spirits. I know I can do it, I just have to keep trying and not give up. I will not be defeated even by me and my inner demons and self-doubts and moments of wallowing in self-pity. I’m stronger than that. I just need to remind myself of this fact sometimes.

Discipline and the shallow stream

I have come to realize that I resist any form of discipline – even when it’s one I believe I want. When I try to keep a journal, I find I’ll stick with it for a few days and then I grow resentful and stubborn and decide that no one is going to tell me what to do (not even me) and I stop. It’s ridiculous, immature and self-defeating. I know this. Hell, I’m calling myself on it and yet I can’t stop it.

DruidCraft 4 of Cups

This has recently forced me to ask myself why? I tend to avoid being overly introspective because . . . well read the preceding paragraph. This time I forced myself to really think about why I’m so resistant to this stuff. After a few uncomfortable fits and starts it finally clicked for me. I avoid journaling, introspection and other exercises which might force me to take a deep look at myself because I’m afraid of what I might find. I may joke about being as “deep as a shallow stream” but the reality is that I like to believe I have some depth; that there is an introspective side to me. I have a feeling that I avoid exercises that might help prove this theory because I’m equally terrified that it will disprove it. What if I am truly shallow? What if the things I consider signs of depth and introspection are simply going through the motions? There are times when I am convinced that I lack the capacity for human compassion and empathy; when I don’t understand the emotional undercurrents that drive people’s behaviors. There are times when I actually believe I have sociopathic tendencies. I wonder if my preference for well-defined boundaries and strict adherence to rules (well most rules anyway) are an effort to enforce an ethical code because I’m afraid relying on my conscience won’t cut it.

Touchstone 7 of Wands

Of course I also realize that a large amount of this fear is due to my father. I loved my father but learned early on that there was a huge screw missing. He often did things he knew were “wrong” or unethical and he did them anyway. His lack of understanding and compassion were frightening to child, especially one who was so often told how much she was like him. As I grew older as realized I didn’t quite fit in with others in the sense that I just didn’t understand their reasoning and motivations for things, I panicked a bit. I thought I was defective somehow. So I learned to compensate and hide this – or at least I tried to, I can’t say I did a very good job. Even now I just don’t understand what drives people in certain areas. I will never understand what pushes women to submit to increasingly invasive procedures in order to have a child. It’s not in my psyche because I’ve never, ever wanted children. Now at least I realize there’s nothing wrong with me or them – we just differ in this area.

Tarot of the Crone Ace of Cups

Now as this post draws to a close I’ll reveal my big discovery (which readers may have figured out already), I’m not shallow. As I was reviewing this post I realized that if I was shallow I wouldn’t worry about it. If I truly had no depth or talent for introspection then this blog wouldn’t exist. Whew! I really had myself worried for a minute there.

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!

Dealing with The Dreads

Have you ever had a feeling of dread creep over you – non-specific and unfocused but powerful dread? For the last two weeks or so I’ve had this feeling. As the day goes on I feel it coalescing into a knot in my stomach. It just sits there throbbing and I have no idea why. I also had one of my zombie dreams the other night. I haven’t had one of them in a few years. The dreams are similar (I’m one of a group of zombie apocalypse survivors) with different scenarios. Usually what changes are the locales. What is the same is that we get overwhelmed by a horde of zombies and I’m the only one left. I am eventually buried under a pile of zombies and just then I wake up in a panic. I have no idea if I survive or die. It seems to be irrelevant. The terror leaves me breathless and shaky.

I pulled a few Tarot cards to get some insight into this feeling of dread. So I asked what was causing these feelings and drew (from the Gilded Tarot Royale} The Magician reversed.

Gilded Magician

I continued on asking how I can deal with them and drew the 8 of Cups and 4 of Pentacles.

Gilded 8 of CupsGilded 4 of Pentacles

Then I drew Death, The Tower reversed and 4 of Cups reversed.

Gilded DeathGilded TowerGilded 4 of Cups

The overall sense I got from these cards is that the dread comes from a feeling of powerlessness, lack of control and the fact that I can’t walk away. I’m stuck in this situation until something dramatic, earth-shaking and transformative finally happens. I don’t know if this is a personal upheaval or a more global one. I guess time will tell. In the meantime I need to figure out how to deal with these feelings.

I can feel my imagination running away with me. I keep thinking it’s a health issue. I’m convinced I have tumors or something but then my more logical, realistic side calms me down. Having a very practical friend who asked simple questions about certain things also clarified that (say it with me in an Ahnold voice now) “It’s not a tumor!” My same practical, Virgo to the nth degree friend then pointed out that I am of Irish descent and we do sometimes like to over-dramatize things. Immediately the pains subsided a bit.

So the only thing I can conclude is that perhaps it is some type of prophetic warning but it’s more likely stress related. It’s the holiday season – which even when I’m trying to be on my best behavior can be stress inducing, added to the responsibilities I’m handling making me anxious. That’s probably all it is. However, if something major & earth-shaking does go down, now I’ve documented my prophecy! (Kidding, just kidding).

Why did I share this? Not because I felt some need to unburden myself to the handful of folks who read this blog. It’s because there might be others out there who are stressed, anxious and feeling as though giant boulders have nested in their stomachs. Once you’ve eliminated any potential physical causes, consider that all you have to do to change these sensations is look at them objectively. Don’t let your fears overwhelm you. Talk to friends and loved ones or if they’re not available or helpful, try finding an online support network. I always find it fascinating when I realize that my mind can sometimes be my own worst enemy. I can easily allow my inner demons and fears and stresses to amp up into gigantic proportions and all it takes to cut them down to size is some practical words of encouragement and support. Don’t let whatever bats may reside in your belfry shift their base of operations to your stomach and nerves. It helps nothing and makes you miserable.

Temperance – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Mansions of the Moon Temperance

 

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

The LWB says: Temperance traditionally symbolizes balance, moderation, taking the middle path, spiritual healing, calm and serenity.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: There is a sense of peace, tranquility and serenity in this image. One gets the feeling of seeing a maiden conducting a purification ritual. She is seeking out the clear, cool waters of the babbling stream to help wash away whatever negativity has accumulated in her life. She is our guide and our healer. She helps us feel restored and washed clean.

She is able to accept the darker side of life and transform its energy into something healthy and beneficial. That is the key to her power. She transforms and transmutes the negative into positive, she balances the emotional and the practical, the intellectual and the spiritual. She is the nymph of Spring, whose will to bring forth life transforms the seemingly dead and lifeless earth into a fertile, green paradise.

I have spent the last six years caring for my ailing mother-in-law. In that time I have seen her deteriorate from a semi-independent woman who needed assistance such as preparing meals and handling other household tasks to someone who needs help with the most basic facets of life. It saddens me because in her prime my mother-in-law was a fiercely independent woman. Despite the fact that she has a developmentally disabled son, she never asked for help. Now she is unable to walk without assistance. What makes it both sadder and a relief is that she is unaware of how helpless she is. She is like an infant – knowing only that she needs something and relying on someone else to provide it.

Dark Goddess Death

I feel like Death’s handmaiden. I am not in any way contributing to this process (although dealing with this has given me a new appreciation for euthanasia). My task is to calm her, provide what she needs (to the best of my ability) and try to ensure she’s not alone if/when her time comes. Having said all of this, I cannot help and will not justify the resentment I feel about this situation; the rage that flares up inside me at unexpected moments. The desperate wish I have that it would all just be over and I could reclaim my life again.

I am no saint or martyr. This current situation is intolerable to me. I detest it with every fiber of my being. Sometimes I practically vibrate with it. Every effort made to find assistance from external sources (government agencies, visiting nurse services, etc.) has either proven to be a dead end or beyond our financial means. I’m not willing to put this woman, who spent much of her life caring for family members, into a nursing home where she will be strapped down and drugged until her body can take no more. I may hate the lack of control and independence I have in my life right now but I would have that situation even more. I also don’t think I could forgive myself for it.

Well-meaning friends and acquaintances have spouted various platitudes about some divine being who does not give us more than we can handle. Generally my response is either a pained grimace or a colorful rejoinder which includes various profanities (depending upon how well I know the person). I bitch and moan to anyone and everyone who will listen, including the indifferent gods whose existence I honor. I get it – this will end when it is meant to end. However I must reiterate that it sucks beyond measure.

The main take-away I’ve gotten from this experience is a fierce determination not to find myself in a similar situation. I have no one that I can count on to care for me if I end up like my mother-in-law. I’ve also seen the various nursing home facilities available for elderly people in this condition and the reality is that if a family member is not a regular visitor and if one’s health coverage doesn’t provide enough benefits, the patient/family member ends up ignored, neglected, and even abused in some circumstances. That thought gives me nightmares.

Wheel of Change Death

I don’t believe we deal well with death in our modern culture. We fight it with a desperate determination that often results in circumstances like this one. The body keeps going because medical technology can maintain the status quo but it can’t do much to stop the progress of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. So the body is kept alive and as healthy as possible while the mind continues to disintegrate.

Support services for caregivers who are tending to family members in this condition are minimal and (in my experience) woefully inadequate. It’s wonderful that there are support groups, but if I cannot leave the family members alone how exactly do I attend? Home visits from doctors? Oh sure they still happen, just not in this part of the county. Home care assistance? It’s available but not to my mother-in-law because she’s not on Medicaid. My brother-in-law (who is deaf and retarded) is eligible but services cannot be activated without a doctor’s approval. No doctors make home visits in this area and he will not leave the house without a serious fight. It’s a Catch-22 that leaves you bitter, exhausted and defeated. I hate it!!! In fact, I cannot stress how much I hate it. The only thing I would hate more is to have to institutionalize these two people that I love. I accept that. It’s the trade-off I make in my life. I’ll put things on hold to tend to them and I can still face myself in the mirror and sleep at night. It’s not a perfect situation but it’s the best I can do right now.

So if there is anyone else out there who has found themselves in similar circumstance, please know that you have my respect and admiration. It’s a thankless task that is fairly unappreciated by the wider society. Make sure you keep in touch with friends somehow or else the isolation with warp you. Take care of yourself. Even if all you can do is spend 10 minutes every day one yourself, treat that time as sacred. I’ve done the “giving my all to the relatives” trip and burnt out quick. I have found the work of Jennifer Louden and SARK to be inspirational and helpful in dealing with all of this. I still find it difficult to balance time for me with their needs but I’m stumbling along and finding ways. And if your choices are different than my own and you had to make the agonizing decision to institutionalize your loved one, please know that you have my sympathy and support. No one else can understand what you went through and how difficult it was for you to make that decision. Don’t allow anyone to shame you because of it. We are all just doing the best we can in this life and shouldn’t be held to someone else’s standards or expectations.

Confession is good for the soul

For some reason today, I’ve been pondering the benefits of confession. The other day I posted a blog entry about a shattering revelation I learned. Prior to writing the post I felt sick to my stomach and couldn’t sleep. Once I posted it I felt relieved and better. It was a cathartic experience. It also made me realize why they say confession is good for the soul.

Dark Goddess Devil Tlazolteotl

 

I was raised Roman Catholic so after a certain point confession was expected to be part of the ritual of faith. I hated it! Being forced to attend confession every month just meant I made things up. As a child (and at the time I was between the ages of 10-14) the worst things I did were smart mouth my mother, curse and other assorted venial sins. Most of the times my friends and I would exchange notes before confession so we could beef up our offenses. This entire process defeated the point of confession. We felt no relief or healing from it. It stressed us out because we felt judged and harried to find sins to confess.

Even with friends and family, I have resisted discussing matters that most bothered my spirit. Whether they were things I’ve done or things done to me, I feared that others would negatively judged me. Fear and shame held me prisoner for a long time and allowed a lot of things to fester and become toxic. It’s only in the last year or so that I’ve been able to appreciate the benefits of confession (and forgiveness too for that matter).

Part of my inner labyrinth journey through the Dark Goddess majors has helped in this process. It has allowed me to face some of my fears and acknowledge some of my strengths. This journey has dredged up some issues I’ve tried hard to avoid but which clearly needed to be addressed. Burying them failed. Nothing went away, it just leached into my soul and poisoned me. As traumatic as this latest revelation has proven to be, at least it had the benefit of helping me understand how sharing or confessing can be healing. It allows us to lance the boil; cauterize the wound so that healing can begin.

The parts of my journey where I met Tlazolteotl and Kali proved especially beneficial to this process. Tlazolteotl is the Aztec goddess of corruption and filth as well as forgiveness and purification. The image on the card sums up her energy quite nicely – you must purge before you can purify. That’s what this sharing, confessional moment has allowed me to do. I’ve purged the ugliness and horror of what I learned and as a result I was able to begin healing. Kali, the Dark Goddess Tower, helped me learn that destroying external elements in my life was freeing not terrifying. I resist change with all my might but in this case Kali helped me embrace the fact that the destruction of the image I held of this relative would ultimately prove freeing. I allowed me to release a burden I hadn’t even realized I carried and continue on my journey with a lighter, more healthy spirit.

Dark Goddess Tower Kali

 

If you have any secrets or dark memories that are festering in your life and poisoning your soul find someone to tell. Don’t keep things hidden in the darkness. Bare your soul, dig at those repressed or ignored memories and expose them to the light of day so they can be detoxified. Ironically enough it turns out the Catholics are right – confession is good for the soul. The beauty of it is that you don’t need a priest to hear it and convey Yahweh’s forgiveness in order to benefit.

Inanna Witch of Earth

When abuse transforms into self-abuse

Dance of Life 3 of Health Dance of Life 8 of Relationships

Yesterday my daily cards pulled from the Dance of life Tarot were the 3 of Health Rx and 8 of Relationships. Reading the companion book I was struck by the author’s notes about healthy sexuality (the 3 of Health) and abusive behavior (8 of Relationships). It made me stop and seriously examine my attitudes towards both these areas of my life.

As a child I was subjected to various forms of sexual and physical abuse – sometimes by strangers and sometimes by family members. Some of the sexual abuse took the form of flirtatiousness and sexual interest from adult men when I was a teen – in some cases friends of my parents. At first I found this attention flattering but it quickly became overwhelming. Whether it was strangers on the street commenting on my anatomy, male classmates snapping my bra strap, or older men making inappropriate suggestions, I quickly became unnerved and began to think something was wrong with me. I believed there was something wrong with me that drew this kind of attention to me. I was young and did not know how to handle this attention so I focused on what I thought I could control – me.

This attitude was further impacted by the abusive dynamic in my household. My approach to dealing with it was to internalize. I didn’t realize that until recently. In fact I’m only starting to understand how insidious and demoralizing its influence is. I thought I had emerged with minimal scars. Now I know that I internalized them and continued the abuse on myself. By ignoring my health and well-being I continued reinforcing the message that I deserved to be mistreated. Realizing this shocked me. It was an unexpected and life-altering revelation. My continue resistance to making healthy changes to my life has taken on a whole new meaning. Instead of healing from the abuses I experienced I continued to perpetrate them on myself.

These revelations have helped make me aware of patterns of behavior I’ve ignored until now. My next step will be to take steps to change these patterns. If I don’t want to continue this self-destructive behavior, then I need to make some dramatic changes. It’s time to truly learn to love myself and embrace who I am rather than paying lip service to those attitudes. Not easy, but something I believe I can accomplish.

Resentment – that fetid, festering fungus

Have you ever felt such resentment that it almost overwhelmed you?  Had it well up in your throat until it feels swelled like a bullfrog’s? Have you ever felt unable to say no to a situation as then gotten angry with yourself and the person who requested favor?   If you’re like me, then I’m guessing there have been moments you’ve felt this way. Times when you’ve wanted to lash out because you feel taken advantage of or unappreciated. Despite the temporary satisfaction one might feel from lashing out, it tends to make things worse. This made me wonder what would be a better strategy for dealing with resentment?  Here are a few of my theories.

First of all don’t nurse the damned thing. The worst thing I’ve ever dWildwood Sunone is hold onto resentment, fed it and nurtured it until it grew into something uncontrollable like the plant Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. It made the situation worse and blew everything out of proportion. Instead of feeding it in the darkness of our hearts and nurturing it like some malignant mushroom, I should have talked about it with someone – preferably the person I felt resentful towards. In my experience, the key to stopping or healing resentment is bringing it up into the sunlight. Sunlight purifies and removes the toxins. Perhaps sharing how I felt (without trying to shame or blame the other person) might have alleviated this feeling and avoided a lot of problems down the road.

A habit I am still working on breaking is using the resentment generated by this situation to feed other festering resentments I haven’t addressed. The end result is that instead of any possibility for a rational conversation about the issue, I drag up every single time I’ve felt resentful and dump it on that person (usually the hubby). Not the most effective method of conflict resolution or resentment reduction I must say.

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords

Another tendency I have that often proves more harmful than beneficial is bitching to friends and family about it. With the best intentions, friends and family tend to unquestionably support your grievance. Often in an effort to be supportive and claim solidarity they will reinforce your resentment. What was already an issue now begins to take on epic proportions and goes from one problem to an entire tapestry of them. Once again, feeding the beast simply makes thing worse. We hope venting will help relieve us of the anger and resentment. However, unless we’re clear about what our goal is and why we’re engaging in this process, we unintentionally strengthen its power over us.

BoS So Below King of Swords

One possible technique that has often helped me when I’m making a professional presentation and might be helpful here too is to make a bullet-point list of my grievances. Take some time to think about things in a calm, clear-headed manner before discussing it with the “offender”. I think creative a calming environment for yourself – maybe a cup of tea and some soothing music, can make this process less anxiety producing. The goal is to stay calm and focused on the specifics of the situation, not let your emotions overwhelm you. We have every right to feel angry and hurt, but sometimes expressing them when we’re trying to resolve a conflict is counter-productive.

Transformational SageI’m sure you find my ramblings fascinating and insightful (how could you not? ;D) However I thought maybe a touch of advice from the Tarot might be in order too. So I asked Arnell Ando’s brilliant Transformational Tarot “What can help us deal with resentment?” I drew The Sage/Hierophant – wonderful! It’s telling us to see wise counsel, seek advice from those who have the knowledge to provide genuine help rather than well-meaning support that merely reinforces the problem. The Sage may represent asking elders, a counselor/therapist for advice. It may be suggesting we seek the wisdom available from the plethora of authors who have written on this subject. It may even point out the support one can find in one’s spiritual tradition. The reality is the solution will be different for each of us just as what triggers resentment is different for each of us.

I hope the next time you feel overwhelmed by resentment towards a loved one you’ll find some useful guidance or insight here.

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