Weekly Tarot Reading for October 20-27th 2015: King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck - King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

Centennial Waite deck – King of Cups, 4 of Cups, and Queen of Swords

This week’s reading is a continuation of last week’s reading, you can view it here.

This week seems to be all about discernment discernment discernment.

With the King of Cups, we attained this new level of emotional maturity, the culmination of the virtues of love – forgiveness, compassion, mindfulness, tolerance. He is able to see the multitude of humanity’s complexity and hold no judgement. Which is great!

But then on the other side we have the sword of judgement with the Queen of Swords. She’s all about deciding what takes precedence in her life, she realizes that we live in a world filled with imperfect people, and decides, with her head and heart aligned ,what she allows in her sphere of influence. She is all about boundaries.

Flanked in between these two mature figures is the four of cups – the focal point of the reading. The card of “divine discontent.” I am immediately drawn to the 3 cups in the forefront – the thing the figure is preoccupied with, kept at a distance (he is not engaged with those 3 cups – although he is staring at them intently – a sign that the cups/relationship/emotional situation do not currently offer what he truly wants/needs, and/or are otherwise unavailable, or perhaps he’s reflecting on those cups and has distanced himself to take time for this reflection).

I see these cups as the precursor to the 3 spilled cups in the 5 of cups. Something about those three cups left something to be desired – perhaps they’re people or situations that have caused the man in the figure to be cynical. I always refer to a cynic as someone who had high ideals that were dashed. So perhaps these cups are the cause of strife and longing, or fall below his expectations, so that he is wary of the cup currently offered to him, with the notion that the 4th cup will be just as disappointing as the other cups.

And, you know, who can fault him. I know we’re taught to have gratitude for the things we DO have, and that’s great, but when do things in our lives become too limited for our new outlooks in life indicated by the King of Cups? Perhaps you’ve learned to love yourself and others more, and with that, relationships and situations may actually need to be reviewed, perhaps you need to discern and allocate your time accordingly, you know the container’s too small kind of stuff. You will have to use the Queen of Swords cold blade of discernment. In one sense, yes, accept people and situations as is, love, forgive, etc. But, use your head. You don’t want to find yourself repeating the same patterns with people and situations that ultimately do not fulfill your needs.

There’s an element of meditation involved in the 4 of cups. He’s looking within. He’s sitting under a tree…there’s a sense of grounded stability in this card. Sometimes I think that people magically wish to wish away negative emotions if we simply meditate….and while that is true to an extent the momentary bliss high etc, sometimes the work of moving past blocks is to simply feel those negative emotions – are they petulant like the male figure in question? feel it. Is it anger? be with it. Meditation has a way of bringing up euphoric feelings, as well as the not so desirable feelings. I think the man in the four of cups is somewhat aware that this is taking place, even though intently staring at those out-of-touch three cups.

As well, that 4th cup being offered – I dunno, I my sense is that there is something positive there. How do we react to the cup offered? The two court cards are clues. The past does not have to be repeated if you can skillfully trust yourself, and know that you don’t have to take what’s on offer if it doesn’t suit you. However, be open enough to receive opportunity with an open heart…….there are still 2 cups standing in the 5 of cups. Perhaps one of them is the cup that was offered from out of blue in the four, still standing, waiting for you to engage with it.

In threes...an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

In threes…an Abbey in Rome, Italy.

Graffiti from God: Your Wednesday Word of the Week

"Pack Sober" - Seen in Krakow, Poland

“Pack Sober” – Seen in Krakow, Poland

At first glance this just seems to be a bit of sensible advice. I speak from experience- you don’t want to spend frantic late night hours on a layover in Hanoi looking for an open optician that stocks your hard to find -7.5 prescription because you have forgotten to pack glasses or back up lenses for a week long island vacation (which you spend in dirty gym clothes- the only thing you did bring).

Sure, you could end up expanding your horizons like I did with a nice new pair of Halloween green contact lenses and Hello Kitty flip flops, but for the most part, “Pack Sober” is a sound approach to trip preparation.

I am reminded of the 2 of Wands tarot card. The image is of a man on a castle between two wands, symbolizing what he has already achieved. He holds a globe in his hand and seems to be considering his future. The card denotes a desire for travel, a new outlook and high ideals. He is planning his next moves with intent. He is mentally packing sober- this is a card of preparing to step outside the comfort zone and head out to the big unknown to materialize dreams and ambitions. At times no amount of foresight and preparation will guarantee that those plans will come to fruition.

I packed with a clear head when I left my home town of Portland, Oregon for a 2 year contract in Abu Dhabi. Life took twists and turns I did not anticipate in the 9 weeks I was there, and now I find myself in Krakow with a closet full of clothes for the desert and the earliest recorded snowfall on record in Poland. As the Robert Burns quote says, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.”

Pack Sober, friends, and when your life is redirected adapt, reorganize, and plan again.

Weekly Tarot Reading for Oct. 13-20th 2015: The Tower, Knight of Cups, and King of Cups

The Tower, Knight of Cups and King of Cups from the Radiant tarot deck

The Tower, Knight of Cups and King of Cups from the Radiant tarot deck

I’m not sure why I’ve been pulling 3-cards lately…the knight of cups sort of made me curious about where he was taking that cup….

Sometimes, shit happens, you know? Sometimes the universe comes along and gives us a jolt. A jolt that shocks us into the heart, as indicated by the two cups cards that come right after. The Tower gets rid of all that is unnecessary so that it clears a path for what you do want. I’m wary of using the terms ‘fate,’ but there are some events that happen from without that show us where we need to be headed for long term happiness, although always a choice to take up such opportunity. The tower can also show up as sudden insights, and flashes of genius. It makes sense- the new moon in Libra is making an aspect to Uranus – planet of genius, innovation, the shock factor, the iconoclast. In which case I would encourage you to follow up on those inspired ideas.

The cups that follow the Tower show us where the flashes of insight are directed at – the heart, relationships, those things you lovingly devote yourself to. The knight of cups is in service to a the King of Cups, the knight being the messenger of loving, inspired, divine insight to the King. Perhaps the King has something to ponder, adding to a more mature, loving mindset, filled with more depth and beauty, deepening his relationship to himself and others. So that we become an authority of our own emotional/intuitive faculties. Of our own artistic pursuits.

Let the universe shock you onto a more soulful path. Let old egoic structures fall away allowing you to move forward with a more vulnerable open heart. Such shocks may not always be easy, but almost always worth the initial chaos.

Seen on a T-shirt in Shanghai, courtesy of Carrie Sanders.

Seen on a T-shirt in Shanghai, courtesy of Carrie Sanders.

Tarot Reading for the week of Oct. 6-13th: 10 of swords, 5 of Wands and Ace of Cups.

3-card reading, Radiant Tarot deck

3-card reading, Radiant Tarot deck

I think we can all agree that there is a lot of violence and suffering in this world. In the wake of the 7465638282756563th shooting in America, this idea is being reinforced. Humanity is rife with pain and separation. Our beliefs divide. We are forgetting function in favor of form when we separate from Other with our own self-righteous causes.
What good does being ‘right’ serve -spiritually, intellectually, intuitively – if all it does is serve to divide…permanently?

We need people. We live in a world where people are being stretched, emotionally, financially, ….so stretched, so fearful that we hoard our “piece of the pie,” work work work, noise, noise, better, stronger (out of fear of not being ‘enough’), etc. that we forget to connect; enabling a system of forgetfulness, fear, and separation.

The system we live in is corrupt (lezbereal here). The people in power want to keep this division/polarization in place to distract us from mobilizing. Media manipulates, people manipulate to keep this power dynamic in place, distracting us from the real issues, like the fact that we’re systematically being robbed of livelihoods. But the issue is much deeper than that. We are divided in ourselves, we all experience separation and pain from divine love. our own love. We all carry that wound in our own unique way.

I’ve always been daunted by the notion of “forgiveness.” I’ve even had a hard time grasping the concept of it intellectually….”you mean, love your enemy?! HOW!” I’m of the ilk of holding people accountable for their ‘wrongs.’ Hating hating hating….it’s a lot of energy holding people accountable when you don’t get what you want, when you feel slighted and rejected, when they withhold love, betray you, poke at your wounds ad nauseum. HOW DARE YOU! AFTER ALL I DID FOR YOU! Yeah, forgiveness is a hard one. It’s especially hard/confusing when you realize you have to forgive YOURSELF for their reflection of the very thing you DON’T see about yourself. The projection game is pervasive and mostly unavoidable.

Hence, love anyone, and heart break is inevitable.

Enter my dog. My dog, my best friend, died on Saturday. She died the day before St. Francis’ feast day, the patron saint of animals. I like to think he’s looking out for her. Her death hit me hard. UNUSUALLY hard. How can these creatures…these perfect manifestations of unconditional love, die, or suffer? So rough. You give a dog a little bit and it will love you times ten. You could be homeless, you could be Oprah, and it will still love you.

Dogs are humanity’s reminder that we’re all worthy of love. Dogs connect us to joy and presence. They remind us to enjoy the TIME you have with them. They remind us to take time and be present. My dog’s untimely death has deepened my notion of the idea of ‘time’ itself – taking time, giving yourself time, giving people time, PLAYING with time, and the saddest/sweetest/damndest – having limited time. It’s the only currency that matters if you ask me.

I’m certain the universe works in the way dogs love – You put forth a little effort, you meet the world with love, and it will LOVE you right back. Maybe not in the way you expect or in the time you might expect, but surely in the ways you need it (my dog chewing on my Ferragamo shoes was a lesson in letting go) .

The universe creates and destroys, separates and unites, all with breathtaking beauty. There are times when humanity argues and bickers and things breakdown, all in service to breakTHROUGH. All the pain and sadness, serving to break us open and just love. Dogs are that reminder to humanity. They love, they die. It’s a pain that serves to teach us.

We project a lot of shit onto perfect love (look at all the people who abuse dogs and abandon them). In the Christian tradition, Jesus Christ (yeah, that guy), for all intents and purposes was a perfect manifestation of love, and humanity fucked that up – even some of his own brethren turned against him. But in the end, it all didn’t matter. He sacrificed himself, and resurrected, to show humanity that we could be redeemed through love. That we were not separate from the divine. That we could be broken and completely fucked up, left for dead but still love and be loved. It’s a radical concept.

What if we could have our differences, even argue, and still hold space for people, for ourselves, in love. what if we could stare our enemies in the face and say, ‘I love you. Thank you for being my teacher.’ It may sound difficult when we’re identifying with ego and pride (he left me for another woman, etc), the pain of rejection so deep, betrayal so painful, senseless violence so ‘unforgivable,’ but we must believe it all serves a purpose – deeper, greater union with the divine, with ourselves and others, with community. a timeless, simple, yet complex truth – life/death/life. Destruction occurs to the extent that humanity can no longer destroy, a baby cries until it can no longer cry. The pain washes over, and we can start anew.

It all sounds cheesy, you know, these new age concepts, ‘thou art that,’ ‘be love,’ but there is truth to it, and when you truly connect with them they can be powerful and life changing. There’s so much burden (emotionally, physically) we carry around with hating when we could simply drop it and open our hearts; grace always with us. We’re all human, we’re all in pain. My rightness is not better than your rightness. People go forward in consciousness, they go backward in consciousness, and it’s ALL OK.

I’m not saying we should forget, or be BFFs with those that harm us, boundaries are important, God knows there’s a place for holy anger in the service of change, but I’m saying we should just acknowledge people’s pain, know that they had a past that caused it, think of all the good times, and release it, in love. In other words, forgive.

Ever notice that collectively, there has always been a fascination with nefarious characters and serial killers? It’s not morbid fascination (ok,maybe a little), it’s a reflection of how deep down the rabbit hole of separation we can go. Of how far off the rails we can move away from source. of how distorted our thinking can become when we identify with our past, our stories. ‘thou art that.’

The cards I pulled are minor arcana cards. A reminder that all the bickering and ego identication DON’T MATTER in the grand scheme of things. What matters is that it serves the purpose of opening yourself up to radical love of self and other, as seen in the ace of cups. Let our perceived ‘differences’ and pain, our division against ourselves serve to fill us with Divine grace.

These cards are about giving up certain outmoded ideas/ thought forms/moral agendas (the swords, the realm of thought) that no longer serve you. The thought forms only serve to deplete you, they divide, they kill. This thought form seems grievous to give up, and indeed it has caused you to have mixed ideas about your path (5 of wands), your own creativity, but will eventually be replaced with deeper, more radical love of self and other.

I’m drinking one of those yogi teas right now, the one where the little flag tag is a fortune. it says, “Where there is love, there is no question.”

Love to my perceived ‘enemies.’ I identify with that which is in myself (with some resistance I admit), forgive myself (imperfectly), and release you (GOD I hope only this ONE time).

and with that, over and out.

My new spirit animal. Love to you.

My new spirit animal. Love to you.

Weekly Tarot Combo for Sept. 29-Oct.6: 4 of Wands and 8 of Pentacles

4 of Wands and 8 of Pentacles, Rider-Waite deck

4 of Wands and 8 of Pentacles, Rider-Waite deck

Wow. Tarot doesn’t PLAY Y’ALL. The 8 of pentacles has made yet another comeback. but this time with GOOD NEWS. Whatever you started has entered a completion phase with the 4 of wands (the magical order of the Golden Dawn calls this card “The Lord of Perfected Work.” — not subtle!). Celebrate yourself. Celebrate work well done; you’re invited to the party. Whatever it is you started, the universe is bearing witness and has a surprise in store for you.

The 8 of Pentacles has shown up for the 3rd time since I’ve devoted myself to the weekly readings, about a month ago.  You can check out those articles here and here.

What is it that you’ve wanted to manifest in the material plane? Ever have those things in life that just have NOT come easy? That thing that might be easy for one person – a relationship, for example, might be the thing you needed to slowly chisel away at to make manifest in the material realm, another person a money issue. What is it that you’ve been working at that seems like it needs neverending upkeep? Well, the universe notices and has noticed. You’ve graduated.

Movin’ on up dudes!

Maybe this is what those new age people were talking about when they said something along the vein of “ascension 2015!”  I dunno, maybe a boon from the heavens. Perhaps not x-ray vision, or the ability to dissolve into the 5th dimension, but you know, a little something.  I guess it all makes sense, since we just finished a lunar eclipse on the Aries (Mars – self)/Libra (Venus – other) axis.  I’m wary of talking about the whole thing…it’s conjunct my sun/mars and well, I’m a little frazzled and the dust hasn’t settled.  Something ended, something begins, that’s as far as I’ll go.  The 4 of wands rules Venus in Aries (ruler of Mars), there’s a clue that this opportunity is eclipse/equinox related.  Something about balance (masculine (aries)/feminine (venus) , and a stable foundation from which to create.  Check out the Thoth deck for more clues about the 4 of wands.

The 8 of pentacles is driving the point home (again and again and again), what are you devoted to? What are you tending?  The astrology is mirroring this – the moon was conjunct Vesta during this eclipse – asteroid of tending the hearth, the sacred flame.  What is alchemizing with every new pentacle lovingly made? Keep on keepin’ on.  Opportunity awaits, you’ve co-created it.  It doesn’t stop here however, remember, we have a 4, a minor arcana, we’ve created a stable foundation and opportunity, but it is only a joyful pit stop before we continue on with our work.

Weekly Tarot Reading for Sept 22-29: The Hanged Man and 5 of Cups

Hanged Man and 5 of Cups - Rider Waite tarot deck

Hanged Man and 5 of Cups – Rider Waite tarot deck

This week’s weekly reading made me take pause, in much the same way The Hanged Man functions – stillness and reflection.  While this combination seems straightforward – let go and feel your loss – with the Hanged Man, we have something a bit more….complicated.

As an aside, this combination produced a divine earworm, a cheesy one hehe.  It was Steve Winwood’s hit song “Higher Love.”

I could light the night up with my soul on fire
I could make the sun shine from pure desire
Let me feel that love come over me
Let me feel how strong it could be

Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Bring me a higher love
Where’s that higher love I keep thinking of?

Ah, the Hanged Man is all about surrendering to that divine, ecstatic love.  Thanks intuition!

We live in a world of duality, as indicated in the bible’s notion of “the heavens” and “the earth,” the “flesh” and the “spirit.”  This seems simplistic enough.  Sometimes we are attracted and follow paths of the spirit, and something we gravitate to the path of the flesh, and sometimes what is corporeal is sacred, and sometimes those invisible things are less than holy.

The Hanged Man calls for shifting your perspective on an overarching energy in your life that causes disappointment / no longer works (indicated by the 5 of cups).  The Hanged Man is about being irresistibly drawn to things that are otherworldly.  That are holy, if you will.  It calls for you to sacrifice something for the greater good – for your own life, and for those of others, so that divine order can flow once more.  There are times in life where we have to shift our center of gravity, what was good yesterday, no longer seems good today.  Our perceptions, if one is aware enough, usually evolve over time, and with that, we must let go of ideas and patterns that no longer serve us.  We can know what needs shifting by noticing where you find TENSION in your life (that man is deep in tension, and enlightened my friend) .  Card 12 suggests that what you’re searching for is something of a higher, more spiritual view of your life.  The idea that each tension is actually a gift to draw us closer to that which is divine.  Not bad!

Astrologically, The Hanged Man is ruled by Neptune – a planet all about the unseen, higher planes of reality, faith, dissolution (it likes to dissolve), spirituality.  It is currently squaring Saturn in Sagittarius, planet of structure, in the sign of philosophy, wisdom, optimism and truth.  My take is that there are certain dogmas, ways of seeing things that are in need of dissolution.  A truth you held in your life may no longer stand the test of time, and may need to dissolve, and vice versa, maybe a new idea will change your view on life where there was only fog.  With the square, we have a place of tension between concrete/crystallized ideas, and Neptune’s spiritual watery woo woo stuff.  I guess we’ll have time to resolve this tension because this applying square will be with us for awhile.

So let’s look at the 5 of Cups.  The 5 of cups is asking us to mourn what no longer works for us.  It is ruled by Mars in Scorpio.  Mars is an active principle in astrology.  It is yang energy, it is a personal planet.  The 5 of cups is asking you to plumb the depths and feel your loss.  It’s essential and healthy.  Mourn it.  Put on a bunch of black and go to town with your mourning – cry, get it OUT, Mars says, I’m thinking those Sicilian ladies with veils.

Use the lessons that Saturn in Scorpio taught you…chances are Saturn in Scorpio revealed the thing you needed to let go of to begin with.

8 of Pentacles and 4 of Swords: Tarot Combination for Sept. 7 – Sept. 13

8 of Pentacles and 4 of swords - Radiant tarot deck

8 of Pentacles and 4 of swords – Radiant tarot deck

This week’s tarot reading is a continuation of last week’s message which implores you to consider your relationship to your work.

When I pulled these two cards, my immediate reaction was “oh! Labor Day cards!” Hence, this combination, if this were a timing issue might refer to an event that occurs on or near Labor Day, or perhaps a vacation or respite during Virgo season.

Truth be told, I had trouble summoning the creative juices to write this blog post. That’s when I knew I needed to heed the advice of the 8 of Pentacles. Last week I wrote about how this card is a call to remind us to soldier on with the faith that something beautiful might occur through unwavering dedication. This week I am actually summoning that energy as I write this.

The 8 of pentacles makes a comeback, and not by coincidence, as I pulled from another deck. The powers that be are reiterating the concept of what Virgo is all about and asking you, instead of freaking out about your craft 9-of-swords style ,to instead reflect on your work and more than that, develop a strategy that supports your daily practice. Out of your ritual, it is a reminder to rest and regroup from the work you’ve put out, thereby replenishing your mental focus.

When we’re talking about pentacles, we’re in the arena of MANIFESTATION in the material world, except, with the 8 of pentacles, we can see that this is through one’s own efforts: repetition and practice, of meticulous effort, of slow building to manifest something larger. Through his lone (lot’s of solitude in these cards) efforts, he will eventually rejoin the town in the background of the photo with something tangible to offer.

The eights in the tarot are almost always an indication of movement, even with the 8 of swords, we’ve brought our awareness of stuckness, so that we’re able to move. So with the eights, we have the promise that something is taking place, your work not in vain.

The swords (the realm of restless mental thought in the 9 of swords) led us to a place of creating, of developing a craft, and the work we’ve done is now leading us to rest and contemplate all that we’ve accomplished.

In the 4 of swords, we see a man in a church, in repose, a state of grace. As a minor arcana, probably temporary. Again we see figures in a scene just as in the 9 of swords, and it looks like, in the 4 of swords, one lady bowing before the other receiving a blessing , the window located ABOVE the figure, rather than two figures engaged in battle place BELOW the figure as we saw in last week’s figure in the nine of swords.

An interesting correlation. My take is that allowing ourselves the space to create something generative and tangible, we free up our minds and organize our thoughts accordingly, which allows a space to see the blessing bestowed upon us through this state of grace; repose.

What skills have you acquired? The cards suggest you’re on the right track, now, with the mental strategy implied in the 4 of swords, how can you create something plentiful from your skills? How do you apply your skills into practical application? Again, this might require some strategy as indicated in the 4 of swords, and while the 9 of swords literally woke you up to the notion that something was amiss, that you needed to face the issue of applying your gifts practically, the 4 of swords is letting you know that you can rest and figure out the details as you relax. Instead of allowing your thoughts overtake you, you organize your thoughts with a sense of purpose, with renewed faith and the promise of blessings.

An apple - a common love-gift in ancient Greece; a bestowal of blessings from the gods

An apple – a common love-gift in ancient Greece; a bestowal of blessings from the gods