Judgment – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

 

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

 

Traditional meaning: Experiencing the natural process of growth and maturation, principle of cosmic understanding, spiritual truth, change and transformation; a push, a call from within to make some important change; the final settlement of a matter; accepting the results of your decisions.

TarotBroad’s Theories: This card brings to mind the image of a loving parent who may be disappointed in a child’s behavior but who still loves the child and will continue to help offering guidance. Both the Virgin Mary and the Buddha are also well known figures of forgiveness and guidance. When we feel the need to be cleansed and purified, we pray to one of these beings for forgiveness. The Virgin Mary is often perceived as a gentle, nurturing figure who prays for sinners. And there are many stories of Jesus forgiving the past actions of others. But the key is that we must want to change, we must be willing to take the steps necessary to stop the behavior.

This card reminds me of a recovering substance abuser who finally cleans up his act and looks at the devastation his behavior has created in his life. Once this has been faced he has two choices – to run away from this knowledge by burying himself in his abusive behavior or to face the truth, forgive himself and move on trying to make amends where possible. We have this choice in our own lives. We can leave behind the self-defeating, critical inner voice that often holds us back and move forward with a sense of wholeness and newness. We are cleansed and purified. And the loving guidance these beings offer will be there, as long as we remain faithful and continue to follow the new path. We can move on to a new level, begin our lives on a new path, as long as we learn from the lessons of the past and don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. We can let it go, start anew and allow ourselves to forgive ourselves and release ourselves from our own negative energy. And once we can forgive ourselves, we open ourselves up to a new world of possibilities.

Judgment – Wheel of Change Tarot

 

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

The Book says: When Judgement is part of your reading, it serves to remind you to let go of your negative judgements and criticisms of yourself and others. These opinions are based on your preconceived ideas of how the world should be, and they trap you into a narrow vision of the world. Judgement is a reminder that only you are responsible for your actions. It is a symbol of a new awakening and awareness that allows you to begin again with freedom in every moment. It is the representation of a new sunrise and a new light being born from the creative darkness of the inner life. Judgement symbolizes the birth of something original and the recognition of the newness and special qualities of each moment. Judgement is the symbol of the constant birth of the present out of the past, and the awareness of these changes and the constant creative movement of the world.

TarotHunter’s Theories: This card gives an impression of rebirth, of coming back into the light after swimming through the darkness of space and time. His arms are stretched out above his read, drinking in the warm and light of the beam framing him. The growth and abundance surrounding him are a refreshing change from the darkness and coldness of space. He has been reborn, passed through the darkness and aloneness to return to the warmth and light.

The surrounding landscape, resembling a woman’s body, brings to mind the sense that the Earth is our mother and that we are all born from her. And the man’s nakedness also reminds us that we are offered this chance to start again and to renew ourselves. We are cleansed and given a new start. We can leave all that darkness, sadness, aloneness behind us and embrace the world which surrounds us. We can decide to become part of that world and celebrate its gifts.

This Judgment card is about releasing the past, the negative energy and the wasted regrets. It is about forgiving ourselves and allowing ourselves to emerge cleansed and whole on the other side. We have been there and done that and now it is time to start anew. We can be bathed in the radiance of the light, or perhaps our beam of radiance is finally ready to join the radiance of the cosmos. We can free ourselves of the self-critical judgments that have held us back and allow ourselves to rejoice in the light and joy of a new beginning.

Blue Rose Tower

16

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The creator says: The struggle within the Fool has triggered all three of those “laws that we have just discussed”. In that tiny flicker of a moment, the Fool has opened a space within himself. A space ready for change and open for filling. He has appealed to the Universe for help. That tiny flicker of internal light radiating outward like a beacon in this absolute darkness, is immediately detected by the Universe. And lastly, the indecision within himself and his own inability to decide his fate creates an imbalance . . . And still the Fool soars upward. Frightened yes, but there is a strange exhilaration, a reckless abandon which now pervades his senses. He sees something – an opening – a gateway that wasn’t there before. The opening that was created by the Universe to gain access to the Fool and snatch him away. As he speedily makes his way to that gateway, its aperture crackling with the same electrical energy that encases him, he sees something else. Something so beautiful, miraculous and magical that he is overcome with emotion and gladness – the tears springing from his eyes and rolling down his flushed face. And as our Fool explodes like a lightning bolt through that sizzling gateway, leaving the womb behind him, he weeps with joy and whispers a thank you to the Great Creator of the Universe who has interceded for him and allowed him to see what his eyes now behold.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is one of the more intense and frightening Tower cards I’ve seen. Is the head exploding out of the top of the building? Is the hand opening it for him?  Or is trying to trap the man forever?  Either way it is a disturbing image but it reminds me that Tower experiences are painful and traumatic even if they are ultimately liberating.  We have climbed to the top of the building and now we have to make a choice – do we quietly walk back down the stairs, stay stuck at the top forever or break free and start over again?

The expression on the man’s face reminds me of that painful moment of self-awareness we sometimes experience; that flash of insight that makes us realize just how beneficial or pointless our life has been. It reminds me of the addict who, when sober, realizes just how much of a mess has been made of his/her life. Once we accept this realization, then we are faced with a challenging choice. We can either accept this self awareness, learn from the experience and make our lives better. Or we can try to avoid the truth, remain in the dark and subsume our pain and knowledge under something else – alcohol and drugs, work, false illusions.

This is an intense card but the Tower is an intense experience. What we get out of it and how we use this knowledge is entirely our choice.

Because I could not stop for Death

Jodorowsky Death

 

Today for my AM Tarot tweet I drew Death reversed from the Tarot de Marseilles. The image is quite stark and dramatic. The only figure is the scythe-wielding skeleton. Various body parts are scattered at the skeleton’s feet, like something out of an episode of Dexter. There is a relentlessness and implacability to this image. Death no longer human, if it ever was. There is no reasoning, no pleading to be spared. Death does not make deals and no one is spared. As The Doors sang “no one here gets out alive”.

Modern society seems to do everything it can to stave off death or avoid facing its reality. Much of the medical treatment I’ve seen for the elderly seems to focus on maintaining life regardless of quality. They have the ability to stabilize the body but not actually improve the situation. So if a patient is suffering from liver disease or some form of Alzheimer’s or dementia, the doctors can keep the body going but not actually heal it. I’ve watched both my in-law’s go through this process. My father-in-law’s health would deteriorate to the point that he had to be hospitalized. We would be told he had a 10% chance of improvement. Then 2 days later he had been stabilized enough so he could return home only to have the cycle repeated a few months later.

I’m not trying to promote euthanasia (although the longer I see similar scenarios played out, the more of a proponent I become) and I don’t blame the medical profession for this situation. They are simply doing what society and the law demands they do. As a society we seem to have developed an imperative that death must be postponed as long as possible regardless of consequences. If a family decided to just let an elderly parent die at home by not taking her/him to the hospital, could the family be brought up on legal charges? After watching what my husband’s family went through with his father, I often questioned why we kept returning him to the hospital when his health deteriorated. We knew he would not get better. All the hospital could do was stabilize him enough so that he could return home. It was a relentless cycle that eventually broke my mother-in-law and led to the situation I now face.

I have come to appreciate that there truly are worse fates than death. Lingering on in a state of limbo is one of them. In fact it’s made me question why anyone would want to be immortal – assuming it was possible. Watching everything one knows and loves die or change has to case psychological damage. I become melancholic just thinking about the changes I’ve seen in my life. What would my mental state be after centuries of change?

In the original Star Trek they dealt with such scenarios in two episodes that I recall. In one, Capt. Kirk finds himself on an empty Enterprise with a female he doesn’t know. We eventually learn she is the daughter of the ruler of a planet The Enterprise has recently visited. The planet knew no death or illness and as a result had become so overpopulated that it could no longer support itself. At various points throughout the episode Kirk hears heartbeats and we eventually learn this is the sound of the hearts of the populace of the planet that surrounds the fake Enterprise. It is overwhelming to hear. The woman eventually becomes ill and is happy. That was her goal – to become infected with a disease which Kirk carried but was immune to so that she could bring it back to her people. Many had volunteered to become infected in order to ease the pressure on their planet and because they no longer wanted to live. In another episode, (Requiem for Methuselah) Kirk and Spock meet Flint, a man who has lived for centuries. He had been Leonardo da Vinci, Brahms, Alexander the Great among others. In an effort to ameliorate his loneliness he had created a android companion. The crew eventually learn that Flint is slowly dying and it seems it will be a relief for him.

Dark Goddess Death

Humans seem to crave immortality (some moreso than others). Many see their children as a way of achieving that goal. Others pursue public works or donate money so that hospital wings or even buildings will be named for them. The sad truth is that nothing lasts forever, not even the greatest works of humanity. The Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza and Stonehenge are slowing eroding. “Civilizations” great achievements – towering skyscrapers, enormous damns and glittering arenas can be washed away in an instant. Today’s celebrities are tomorrow’s “whatever happened to?” fodder. Today’s heroes become little more than entries in a history book to the next generation. The truth is that everything changes, everything dies. We do not need to court death but I think if we can manage to appreciate the blessings it offers we might find a sense of peace within ourselves about its inevitability.

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.

Here comes the Sun – Sekhmet!

Dark Goddess Sekhmet

Starting today I am beginning my Dark Goddess labyrinth work with The Sun aka Sekmet. I have to admit to an enduring fondness for The Sun’s energy. Even from my earliest childhood I felt a much stronger connection to the Sun and daylight than I did to the Moon and nighttime. This is ironic considering I am a confirmed night owl but what can I say, I’m nothing if not inconsistent about some things. I have also long felt an affinity for Sekhmet’s energy. She is assertive, aggressive and energetic; roaring out her anger and affection with equal measure. This confident lioness could only be stopped in her destruction by blood colored beer. I gotta love a goddess who can only be slowed down by an alcoholic beverage.

Dark Goddess 3 of Air

To start off our relationship, I asked Sekhmet for a message and she sent me Blue Dakini/3 of Air. This goddess reminds me that in order for something new to bloom, I must excise what is dead and outworn. This is often a difficult process because there are times when what is apparently outdated and work out can carry great sentimental value. Although as I am learning, clinging to the past can often blind us to what promise lies ahead.

The appearance of the Blue Dakini also reminded me of another aspect of The Sun’s energy can be overlooked – the sun’s light is a purifier. It bleaches away stains and destroys bacteria. It’s a powerful source of energy, light and warmth. It is what allows life to exist on Earth. All of these are amazing gifts but they can also have harsher aspects. Too much light or heat can blind or dehydrate. Too much energy can be exhausting. If we destroy all bacteria then we risk killing off the good ones too. So it is clearly a question of balance. The destructive aspects of the Sun are essential and necessary but they certainly should not overshadowing its more beneficent ones. During the journey ahead I’m sure I will find harsh light shed on areas of my life I’ve preferred to avoid and at the same time once I clear away those hidden, shadowy areas I’ll be making room for more creative projects and radiant energy.

I am a magical manifesting machine!

I was having a pity party kind of day today. You know, one of those “would you like some cheese with that whine?” type of day. Between the weather, family obligations and other annoying crap I was in a lousy mood. I hate being in a lousy mood because I really can’t indulge myself. I can’t sink into a real pity party kind of day because I have things to do that can’t be put off or avoided (believe me, I’ve tried).

So while washing away my crappy mood in a nice, hot shower I had a bit of revelation – my life is not that bad. Granted, right now it’s stressful and restrictive but I am fully aware that this is a temporary (albeit long-term) situation. I’ve also been feeling old I’m 48 and will be 49 in a few months. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me but every so often (such as when I realize the stars of my favorite TV show weren’t born until after I started high school), I feel a bit ancient. I don’t feel old and when I look in the mirror I don’t see myself as “old”. I don’t look the way I did at 18 but then again, who does? Well I suppose it’s possible but it usually seems to involve a lot of plastic surgery and/or other cosmetic procedures. I’m too lazy to dye my hair. I know I’ll never put in the effort needed to maintain it. I should eat better and exercise more but overall I feel good. Realizing that triggered some other minor epiphanies.

I realized that I am a magically masterful manifestor. When I focus on what I’ve achieved in my life I have to say I’ve done well (even if I am being modest about it). One of my dreams was to become the director of the recreation center I attended as a child. I achieved that goal several years ago. I have always known I wanted to attend college. I not only attended college but I have completed two masters degree programs. When I was working towards my degree in forensic psychology, my grades were good enough that I was eligible to participate in an accelerated program that allowed me to complete my BA and MA in the same amount of time. I was able to complete a Master in Public Administration while at my last job so that it was paid for by the agency. I have been happily married for 29 years this April. I have wonderful and supportive friends and family who are always offering to help when I need them.

All of these facts made me realize that when I focus my energies on something I usually manage to achieve my goals. Sometimes I get lost in feeling frustrated and trapped but in reality I have been able to manifest a reality where I can take care of my in-laws. It’s not perfect but that’s not surprising. I want to start generating income offering Tarot readings via email. Once I am ready to do this, I have no doubt that I will find the way to manifest this goal too.

What’s wonderful is that I don’t think I’m more gifted or special than anyone else. I think the reality is that we get so caught up in what we perceive is lacking in our lives that we lost sight of what we have. We spend so much energy feeding that mindset, we lose the power to make it so. We get lost in our own personal 5 of Cups moments – unable to move forward because we can’t let go of what we believe we’ve lost. Let’s all stop doing that. Instead let’s take a page from SARK’s book and act as thought what we desire has already happened. Maybe if we fake it until we make it or “don’t dream it, be it”, we’ll find it easier to manifest our dreams. Maybe if we stop focusing on our failures, losses and frustrations, we’ll free up our energies to make our dreams come true. Let’s all turn into magically manifesting miracles (I was going to say “mofos” but that just sounded stupid to me).

So now the pity party is over and I’m revving up my engines to start manifesting some magic, miracles and major mojo! Watch out world, here I come!

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.

Have you ever wished for someone to die? I don’t mean that quick thought that flashes across our mind towards someone we hate or who has hurt us; that “I wish you were dead” moment. I mean hoping for the death of someone you love; someone who is suffering? I’m in that position right now.

Someone I care for deeply is nearing the end and there is no making her better or improving her condition; merely a slow, steady deterioration. On a daily basis I find myself hoping that that she just won’t wake up one day. The reality is that her death is inevitable (aren’t all our deaths actually inevitable?) and probably much closer than I realize. Unfortunately the lingering slowness of her departure is draining me and my hubby and can’t be fun for her either.

Every time this thought crosses my mind I feel awful. I’m starting to consider myself a horrible, heartless person but the reality is that I completely understand why some people believe in euthanasia. People babble about quality of life and how we don’t have the right to take someone’s life. Why? If someone is going to die anyway (and once again, death is inevitable for us all) then why not limit the suffering and misery such a lingering process brings?

Modern medical technology can extend the body’s life span but it can do very little for the mind. Alzheimer’s and dementia seem to be even more prevalent now because people live longer but not necessarily healthier. Perhaps this is the end result of our relentless pursuit for longevity. We refuse to accept that we are meant to die, ignoring the fact that very often the extension of our lives often results in lingering, miserable existences in our old age. As a result of this tendency, I am left in a position of hoping that someone I love will go to sleep and not wake up.

This makes me feel awful, hateful and horrible. What kind of person must I be to hope for such a thing? My opinion of myself is not exactly very high right now. It’s not that I want her to die, it’s simply that I realize she’s going to die eventually and if the remainder of her life is in this miserable, dependent state I’m sure even she would prefer it end. This is not who she was when she was 5 years ago and that woman would not want to linger like this. I realize I may not have this choice but if I do, I will gladly accept a shorter life span in exchange for being in control of my mental faculties. Is that too much to ask from life?

Hidden Realm 4 of SwordsHidden Realm Queen of Pentacles

The 4 of Swords shows me in lovely detail that I need to stop overthinking these things.  It’s time to relax a little, rest my weary mind and just spend some times enjoying butterflies.  Reality is that no matter how much I worry or try to think of ways to improve this situation there is only so much I can do.  Worrying and becoming stressed over this situation is not going to improve it.  It’s okay to give myself periodic breaks from the worrying.

The Queen of Pentacles reversed puzzled me at first but while discussing it with a friend I realized she’s telling me that I need to re-define how I see prosperity and abundance.  I don’t need to use the typical, consumerist definition (“he who has the most toys wins”).  If I have learned anything from this experience it’s that I can be happy with much less money than I realized.  She embodies the concept of abundance and prosperity; of having enough resources to care for ourselves and others.  That may or may not mean having a wealth of financial resources.

Not having as much excess cash has forced me to become more selective about what I purchase.  I’m not as willing to engage in a bout of retail therapy so the things I acquire are things I really want or need.  I am reducing the amount of “toys” I already have as well as resisting the need to purchase new ones.  I finally realized that all I was doing was using “toys” to distract myself from things that left me unhappy and unfulfilled.  In truth I had been unhappy at my job for a few years before I was finally terminated.  The joy had gone out of it for me.  These two cards remind me that rather than just seeking a way to generate income I need to find something that fulfills me on other levels too.

I’m not going to be happy simply earning a paycheck.  I want to feel that I am contributed to the greater good in some way.  Of course it is also possible that I could find a way to earn money that won’t fulfill this desire but will give me enough free time to achieve that goal in other ways.  In the past I have been able to perform well at jobs that are not very challenging but don’t require much in the way of mental resources, energy or overtime.  Regardless of how this plays out, it’s time to embrace a new standard of abundance in my life and stop worrying about what was lost.

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