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 Combination for Sept. 14-20: Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords

Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords - Radiant tarot deck

Knight of Wands and 9 of Swords – Radiant tarot deck

There’s a viral posting somewhere on Tumblr that says something like, “Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes.” That is my immediate reaction upon seeing this combination.

I see this combo and think, “uh oh, that dreaded self-expression issue is UP!” As someone who would rather float and observe, these cards are a call to participate in life, with gusto.  More than that, the Knight of Wands is about bold self-inquiry and self-expression.

There are people who think they know things, and indeed, they probably do. People in authority who are didactic and claim to have all the answers. and while that is great, ultimately, we are on our own path. The Knight of Wands coupled with the 9 of swords is asking you to explore ways in which we give our power away to people, to authority, to the world. While I agree it is wise to consider and explore the ways people have made their way through life, I am also asking you to consider your own inner wisdom and knowing and ask questions; consider inquiry. Be curious. Be bold. Be boldly curious. I’m being didactic as I write this, and urge you to consider and un-consider my words in the face of your own truth, your own path, your own expressive drive in this world.

I won’t bother you with notions of what “truth” is, but perhaps it’s the idea of trusting your gut, your intuition, with this knight I would even say those knee-jerk instincts, possibly coupled with the wisdom of experience (he looks like he’s come back from battle – look at those clothes), instead of the loud voice of the mind indicated by those nightmares that keep you up at night.

Speaking of nightmares, the 9 of swords makes another appearance. The mind may react to your bold inquiry with doubt. My suggestion is to watch your thoughts and consider valium. Just kidding. Maybe. Anyway, The ego (that dreaded thing new agers condemn, another topic) wants to react, the lizard brain might think it unsafe to express yourself, you could, you know, lose your job, or lose your sense of safety or a girlfriend/boyfriend, or your reputation. The mind can be a bottomless barrel of doubt. YAY.

There’s always this idea that something is at stake when we’re being authentic, that we have something to lose. At least that’s been my experience. But at the end of the day, what do we have if we don’t have ourselves?

It’s probably important to ask questions during this new moon eclipse. Virgo energies can sometimes get mired in details, stuck in neuroses, lacking in self-confidence. As a person with this new moon eclipse in the 12th house (the house of the unconscious, how we undo ourselves, psychological issues), I can tell you I’ve sought to ask again and again what is true, and what isn’t true for me. I’ve asked myself the deeper underlying issues of specific triggers that brought me down a rabbit hole of weird feels. I’ve had to ask questions about seemingly progressive institutions’ ideas of what’s right (12th house also rules institutions) and be like, “well, no, actually, that doesn’t work for me,” (Tinder anyone?) and re-consider what some would consider antiquated, out-of-style or just plain weird. No judgments to others who would disagree or have arguably more informed opinions, but considering and validating what is true for me and honoring it with expression, knight of wands style.

So, with that, god-speed, my friend. Be yourself (unless you’re Ann Coulter or something), be scared, it beats the numb feeling of living your life asleep, merely a passenger of others’ ideas of what is right and true for you.

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

Ace of Swords and 2 of Pentacles: Get your Tinder game on.

Ace of Swords and 2 of Pentacles, Giant Rider Waite deck

Ace of Swords and 2 of Pentacles from the giant Rider-Waite deck

By Carrie Sanders

I just recently was out for drinks with an old friend that was known as quite the Lothario 10 years ago in his single days.  When talk turned to the modern dating world he turned a bit wistful.  “I wish tinder had been invented back then” he sighed, “it just all seems so….efficient.”

Yes, old friend, it can be a wildly efficient way to filter out the undesirables from the pool of potentials.  Love it or hate it, it’s a quick yes or no based on your initial reaction to an image.  You like?  No like?  Swipe accordingly.

In the tarot the combination of cards for a tight tinder game is the 2 of Coins and Ace of Swords.  The 2 of Coins imagery is a young man happily juggling two coins in a casual and  lighthearted way.  In the distance there are ships on rough seas that represent unknown opportunities on the horizon.  This is a card of managing several propositions at once.  It’s skillful manipulation and constant change.  This guy is happily keeping his balls in the air, so to speak.

The Ace of Swords is a card of will and swift decision making.  Nothing is left to chance.  It’s definitive at the most binary level- you are in or you are out.  No bullshit, no hand wringing, no second guessing.  You probably haven’t paid extra for the service to go back and review the people you already swiped.  It’s all about mental power, strength and being in the present.

As for what happens next, those cards have not been dealt yet.
Picture taken in Rome, Italy

Picture taken in Rome, Italy

Tarot Combination for the week of August 31st-September 6, 2015

the 9 of swords and 8 of pentacles, RIder-Waite tarot deck

The 9 of swords and 8 of pentacles – an indication of work anxieties, Rider-Waite tarot deck

Contemplating my next tarot writing journey while eating a bowl of popcorn on my fainting couch, I decided I would pull some cards for next week to write about. In honor of the ingress of Virgo, I have concluded that it’s time to keep a tarot ritual – to apply my talents into a more tangible form (writing), to provide a service to the public, in the spirit of the sign. Jupiter has joined the Sun, adding bounty and magnifying the virtues/vices of what Virgo is about.

My first draw for this week is the 9 of swords and the 8 of pentacles (coincidentally ruled by the Sun in Virgo). These cards are both minor arcana, so they have direct links to our personal lives, just as the personal planets in astrology have a direct link to our day-to-day life.

At first glance, this combination seems easy: nervousness and anxiety around work. In the first card, a woman looks like she’s woken up from a nightmare, unable to sleep. She is plagued by troubling thoughts, symbolized by the swords and the intense facepalm game she has going on. Underneath her bed, two people engaged in a sword fight -perhaps she is struggling with others’ notions of how things should be which run counter to her own ideas. Hence the duel. I take it she’s the loser in this case (in her own mind); maybe she’s the winner, some people freak out over successes. Either way, anxiety afoot!

How does this nervous energy find an outlet? The cards seem to suggest an outlet by working on a craft indicated by the picture in the 8 of pentacles (again, a card ruled by the Sun in Virgo – the harvest, the fruits of ones labor). The very thing you’re worried about is the thing that needs to be faced. It need not be perfect, but when we fiddle with details, developing a routine/ritual in true Virgo fashion, you will find a space to tangibly explore or at least allay your fears. I always thought the red tights on the guy was a symbol for grounding our craft through the root chakra (which is red) – it is responsible for safety and security in the world. I don’t know, maybe they wore red tights back in the day in provincial towns. Probably a more entertaining thought.

Anyway….

The very ritual act of doing something, slowly working at something, is in and of itself a magical act. It will create a space for the universe to come in and enact a kind of divine grace, for when the time comes, your preparation will meet cosmic opportunity enabling you to carry forward with your dreams in tow.

As I write this, I am nervous. I just moved (AGAIN) from Rome to Brooklyn, and I worry that my work won’t be enough, that I won’t be valued, that I’ll never be good enough, etc etc, the endless thoughts that cycle around the mind when one is ready to make changes. Also, the current full moon has a way of pulling up energy just as the tides swell.

I’ve always thought of any labor of love I do as an endless opportunity for enrichment, probably because I spent more than half of my life as a classical musician, which spend their entire lives learning from private teachers – a sort of apprenticeship, 8 of pentacles style.

Tarot is one medium in which I never stop learning. I guess you could call me the consummate student, always willing and open to deepening my knowledge….because of this tendency, I always think my work is not enough, that I can always be better, do better. I often struggle to push through these insecurities, the eight of pentacles offering solace – just keep on keepin’ on, develop a ritual, start a hobby,

Detailed paper art by Carlos N. Molina

Detailed paper art by Carlos N. Molina

move the energy.

Anxiety, like any other feeling, is usually a passing thing. That’s been my experience anyway. I’m sure there’s a whole host of issues with anxiety I’m not addressing, however, the one that’s expressed in the cards deals with the fear and anxiety of not-being-able-to, of insurmountable opposition (that duel under the bed!). I’d be worried if the 9 of swords was paired with a Major Arcana card….oof!

I have a lot of friends who have a Virgo Moon.  I typically find that most Virgo moon folk exercise (as in, go to the gym) ritualistically to burn off nervous energy.  I’m not sure why I attract the whole lot of Virgo Moons…they have a way of moving energy with their physicality that I always marvel at.  One of my old mentors had a Virgo Moon – she could never stay in one place with one job, she was prolific.  She had several jobs, worked freelance, traveled frequently, the jobs somehow always flowing in as if by magic.  Going to the gym for her was a daily practice akin to prayer.

Devotion - taken in Rome, Italy

Devotion – taken in Rome, Italy

So here I am doing SOMETHING in likeness to my Virgo moon friends. It’s not perfect, but nothing is (maybe Virgos would argue), so we might as well soldier on, slowly chiseling away with quiet or nervous faith that something beautiful will emerge. I’m reminded of a quote by Michelangelo that seems fitting, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set it free.”

May the ritual devotion to your own craft set YOU free.