Five of Swords--Yoga Tarot

Temperance/Five of Swords: Is It Really Necessary to Say What You Have to Say?

Temperance--Yoga TarotFive of Swords--Yoga Tarot

I don’t know when I’ve seen so much blue (throat chakra) in a pair of tarot cards. Do you have something to say today? Because I’m not sure that I do!

This is an unpopular sentiment, but even if you have something to say, is it really necessary to say it? Is it necessary for me even to write this blog entry?

This is what we have to reflect on, when we look in the mirror like the Five of Swords yogi. It’s not just the question of, do we need to share the negativity simply to get it out of us? (Though it’s true that speaking your truth IS healing. But it is just one method of healing and there are others. And sometimes it’s kinder not to share the negativity with the person who created it, even when you feel that person should be held accountable for his or her actions — but that’s another ethical debate for another day.) It’s also the question of whether we really need to share the positivity in the form of wisdom, particularly spiritual wisdom. On the one hand, this is exactly what is most worth sharing. On the other hand, spiritual wisdom is in each of us, and if it isn’t, it can’t really be given. You can only go and find it yourself. I’d be happy to share with you whatever knowledge is in me, but the irony is that I could speak an ocean of words and they will really only make sense to you if you already know and understand — at least on some level — what I have to say. Otherwise I might as well be talking to a wall. (Not that I’m against talking to walls.)

The irony of these cards today is that even though they are covered with throat chakra blue, these cards are not so much about talking but about stillness — because, like speaking your truth, being quiet and still is also healing. Maybe stillness, not speech, is what we need to heal what’s stuck in our throats. What happens when we are truly still for a while? The water of our mind and emotions becomes as still as the water on these cards — and now, we can see ourselves reflected in it. What happens then? Does what we thought we needed to say change?

Let’s hold off on saying what we have to say for a while. Try working with the energy in other ways. And let it temper. Temperance is not a bad remedy, in the end, for these Five of Swords throat problems.

Judgement--Samurai Tarot

Judgement and Courage in a Moment of Stillness

Seven of Wands--Samurai TarotJudgement--Samurai TarotThough I drew two cards from the Samurai Tarot today (the Seven of Wands and Judgement), I feel as though I drew the same card twice. Take a close look at these cards. First, the Samurai Tarot book classifies the Seven of Wands as “evaluation”: a form of judgement, and notes

“There are times when there is no demon in the demon, no man in the man. Do you understand the difference?”

By comparison, the Samurai Tarot book characterizes Judgement as “the depths” and offers us this advice:

“Look at the depths of your heart and do not conceal anything from yourself. The heart is a good judge.”

There is more to these cards, though, than judgement or self-judgement. Do you see the choice being made in each card? In the Judgement card, a woman stands at the top of a high cliff, seemingly contemplating suicide, looking down at her own self who is looking cheerfully up at her. The demon, if that is what he is, on the Seven of Wands card is considering some act of struggle, or possibly violence, as well. Yet even as he contemplates, a butterfly is drawn to him — judging him not nearly as harshly as he judges himself.

Do we have to make the hard choices that we may feel we have to make today? Do we have to be so hard on ourselves, meanwhile? Only in stillness can these questions be answered. Though I might be tempted to write here of compassion and self-compassion, what’s really called for is not compassion per se, but a true seeing. If you take the time to look and see things as they really are, what do you see? In a moment of stillness, what do you see? With a step back for perspective, what do you see? With a step forward to look more closely, what do you see? when you look inward for guidance from your heart, what do you see?

It’s not for me to tell you what you see. Look for yourself and make your best choice.

Finally, a true seeing may call for a courageous choice. Stillness is the best way to generate courage for this choice, as well.

Ace of Chalices reversed--Yoga Tarot

Take Root and Ground to Find Balance. Be a Tree Today.

Pulling from the Yoga Tarot today (it’s been a while!), I drew two reversed cards: the reversed Ace of Cups, which in this deck is full of blooming lotuses, and the reversed Emperor, standing in warrior 2 pose with a plant growing out of his hand. But reversed, these plants (both the lotuses and the plant in the Emperor’s hand) appear to be growing downward. If you view the lotuses on the Ace of Chalices card as cups, you can see that our feelings are pouring out of us today — leaving us feeling somewhat drained. Plus, the energy today feels shaky to me. Everyone seems tired and off balance. These cards point to a solution.Ace of Chalices reversed--Yoga Tarot

The Emperor reversed--Yoga TarotYesterday, we were air. A few days ago, we were rocks. Today, my advice is, be a tree, or any other plant that suits you. Be a plant and grow the tendrils of your roots down into the earth. When we are off balance, this grounding, steadying energy is exactly what’s needed.

This may mean not moving forward on your path today. Plants take root and stay in one place. They don’t race forward like chariots. We may all have to make our peace with this fact.

The Emperor represents order, balance, and control. If we want control, we must have balance, and if we want balance, we have to plant our feet firmly on the ground. Despite our longing to move forward, we must do things in the order in which they must be done — and it so happens that means feet on the ground, first. Ground. Be a tree today.

Nine of Cups--Rider-Waite

To Make a Wish Come True, You Don’t Need a Birthday Cake — You Need Faith

The Fool reversed--Rider-WaiteNine of Cups--Rider-WaiteQuick cards today: the Fool reversed and the Nine of Cups. Well, I’ve written before about the Fool reversed. I don’t know how to hang glide, but the Fool reversed makes me think of hang gliding — stepping off a cliff into thin air, just for the joy of being out there. Have you noticed how sometimes one particular element will dominate the cards for the day? Today it’s air — and the air is practically crackling with manifestation energy. It’s a day for a wish come true (Nine of Cups) or, maybe, a miracle. A day when we won’t crash like a rock (though there is a time and a place to be a rock!). Today, we’ll float like soap bubbles, I think.

What miracle have YOU been trying to manifest? A wise person once pointed out to me that to manifest a miracle, if you’re brave enough to try that, you have to have faith. Read the Bible. Read any scripture from any religion that has stories and legends of miracle workers. How do you think the miracle workers accomplished their miracles? It’s no big secret. They were happy to tell the people who asked them. Faith. The hard part is generating that faith on a deep enough level to make a miracle occur. Especially in the modern era, we always seem to have at least a sliver of doubt.

But the Fool IS reversed — so maybe the universe will take a hand in nudging our faith along just a little. Maybe a little earthquake to get things rolling. Or a tornado — doesn’t the Fool’s companion look like Dorothy’s dog Toto from The Wizard of Oz? And doesn’t the Nine of Cups fellow look, just a little bit, like that humbug wizard? Today just might be the beginning of a magnificent adventure. Even if, as in Dorothy’s case, that magnificent adventure turns out to be a dream generated by our own minds — like everything else.

I invite you to have faith today in your ability to make things happen. Notice one more thing–there is sunshine, the yellow of a healthy solar plexus chakra, all  OVER these cards. A day to use your own will, and your own personal control, talents, abilities, resources, your own personal power, to make things happen. Go ahead and make your wish come true. :-)

Three of Swords

Cards for Gaza.

Upset by Israel’s bombing of Gaza today, I started pulling cards. I don’t know whether it’s a good idea to share them. But here they are.

What do we need to know about Israel’s air strikes today?
reversed Ace of Wands

Two of PentaclesReversed Ace of Wands plus Two of Pentacles. Bad timing. No one needed this right now. This is not the beginning nor is it the end (well, we already knew that). Logistical juggling. Juggling of resources on the ground. I interpret this as related to medical resources. Very sad.

Outcome for Israel? Wheel of Fortune. Luck. Spinning the wheel. But also, karma — for good or bad. Wheel of Fortune

Outcome for Palestine? Three of Swords. Heartbreak. Three of Swords

Advice for those of us in the West? The Moon reversed. The Moon reversedA hard card to interpret but what I see here is a path between two towers (two sides). An end to madness. Night. Maybe a coalition formed during the night, aimed at bringing this to a stop.

The Hanged Man--Rider-Waite

Sometimes We Can’t See the Future Until We Are Turned Upside-Down (Two of Wands, Hanged Man)

Two of Wands--Rider-WaiteHere’s the thing about looking ahead to the future: sometimes we aren’t good at seeing what lies ahead — or what should lie ahead — when we are calm and peaceful — although the Two of Wands that I’ve pulled for today looks relatively calm and peaceful. But often what happens is that the universe has to give us a little nudge before we see our true path. Okay, more than a nudge — the universe sometimes has to hang us upside down for a while (The Hanged Man). It may feel like a sacrifice (and may actually be one), it may feel as though our whole world has fallen apart, but actually, it hasn’t. The Hanged Man is not The Tower. It’s not even Death. In fact, I’d say the Hanged Man is getting off relatively easy compared to some of what we sometimes have to go through. We may resist being hung upside down, we may hate it bitterly, we may fight it for all we’re worth, but the bottom line is that nothing bad has really happened — we just have a very, very major change in perspective to adjust to. It happens — and not only does it happen, but sometimes it is the only way forward.

The Hanged Man--Rider-WaiteSo, if you are currently hanging upside down, take time to be the Two of Wands, and look ahead. Make your choices. What is your world going to be? Consider.

Sacred Mountain--Universal Wisdom deck

To Ground Anxious Energy and Fear, Don’t Be Water — Instead, Be Stone

“In difficult times, it is only bodhicitta that heals.”Pema Chödrön

Yesterday I wrote about one way of dealing with anxiety. But drawing from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck today, I’m finding more. Today I drew Sacred Mountain and Lilac Mist. Sacred Mountain is possibly my favorite card in this whole deck. If you have spent time around mountains, you know that mountains radiate beautiful, positive, healing energy. To me, this card calls us to be like a crystal, radiating positive energy outward to all nearby beings and maybe, to all sentient beings everywhere. If we are feeling anxious ourselves, becoming like a crystal is one of the best things we can do. If you do not have mountains close by to inspire you, you can hold a crystal, or even an ordinary rock, in  your hand. Be the crystal, be the rock, be the mountain, and radiate energy for the benefit of others. Breathe in healing energy, breathe out healing energy. Be a stone.Sacred Mountain--Universal Wisdom deck

I love this practice. First, we neglect stones. If you have spent much time thinking about alternative medicine, or ways of dealing with feelings, or working with energy, you may have spent a lot of time thinking about being more like water. And yes, the energy of water is tremendously healing. But. In times of stress, we can also be stone. We can be sacred mountains. If we need grounding, if we are feeling vulnerable and anxious, being stone will not only help the sentient beings who we choose to radiate our positive energy toward, but it will help us too. We can connect with the earth. We can be solid and safe — and protected from the negative energy of others. Water doesn’t really help us so much with fear, in my opinion. In fact, water absorbs negative energy, so if there is a lot of negative energy around, or negative energy being directed at us, I’m not certain that water is our best role model. We can use water for cleansing purposes, to wash away negative energy, but I’m not certain that we want to “be” water in a time of fear. But rocks and stones, crystals and mountains — these are good medicine for fear. Not only does stone make us feel safe, but it helps us to pull ourselves together so we can do what we need to do (water is good for getting energy flowing, which is very important — but it can also make us prone to weepiness — which is not so helpful when you need to get something done).

Second, there is always stone that we can connect with. We are connected to a massive stone, this planet, at all times, through gravity. Even if we live in a prison, we can connect with stone walls and floors. We can feel the energy of the earth holding us up. Giving us energy when we need it most. At times when the only other thing we have is air, we should remember that actually, we also have stone. Lilac Mist--Universal Wisdom deck

Second card: Lilac Mist. This card speaks of a setback or difficulty. Something we might be anxious or worried about. But at times like these — actually at all times — we are not as alone as we think. We are surrounded by angels, by spirit guides, by bodhisattvas, by whatever you want to call them. These guides are reminding us that in addition to the resources we have on a physical level for dealing with stress (and again, whatever else we do or don’t have, we have stone and air, at a minimum), we also have spiritual resources. We have prayer, we have meditation, we have help from beings who are trying to help us whether we notice them or not. On some deep level of the soul, there is no such thing as poverty, there is no such thing as solitude, there is no sense lying behind emotions such as fear. On some deep level of the soul, miracles are possible. But to make miracles happen, you need certain ingredients, and these ingredients alone will carry you a long way: Faith. Love. And the patience and calm of a stone.