Monday Meditation

A meditation for the week ahead: April 11 – April 17

10 - Monday Meditation
Animal Totem Tarot

May I understand that change can be difficult, but that it is inevitable.

May I recognize that sometimes the hardest thing about work is patience.

May I appreciate the fruits of my labor and milestones along the way.

May I step up to the challenges ahead of me with a positive attitude and an appreciation for the opportunities they bring.

May I both keep in mind my family of choice and my own needs and desires as I move through these changing times.

Wow! These cards seem particularly personal to my life right now. It is a time of incredible change. Death and two Tens speak to the end of an era and the birthing of a brand new beginning. Beautiful 🙂

Gray Day, Open Reading

This morning I was particularly sad. I’m taking a break in communicating or spending time with someone, which is something I need to do while I figure out what I want or what to do. But that doesn’t make it easy. I’m sad! I miss them! This ache was, for some reason, rather acute this morning.

I wanted to do a reading but wasn’t sure what to ask, so I decided to do a four card open reading. Then I couldn’t decide on just one deck, so I decided to consult two of my tarot “friends.”

Reading 2016, Jan 25
Top row: Ostara Tarot, Bottom row: Gypsy Palace Tarot

Ostara Tarot’s Message

Ace of Coins, The Hierophant, Four of Wands, Seven of Coins

The Ace of Coins says to me that there is an opportunity for a new beginning. In this scenario, I’ll consider that beginning as encompassing most of my world: work, family, relationships, home. While this can be a good thing or lead to a sense of stability and joy (Four of Wands), it is not an easy thing. I am having to question many of my currently held beliefs (The Hierophant), and it’s not quick work (Seven of Coins). The colors in this spread seem very mellow. This feels like it emphasizes the slow nature of the work I’m doing right now and reminds me that many wonderful things grow out of slow processes. This wait is part of what makes the end result so valuable or special.

The Ostara description of the Ace of Coins mentions the garden as growing “organically” — things will happen as they unfold. I can tend my proverbial garden, but I can’t make a rose a watermelon or make a sprout flower overnight.

The Hierophant represents not only belief systems, but larger systemic structures. I can search for outside wisdom and inspiration during this time. For example, I’m reading my new book The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren and it is already giving me so much to think about as I process my emotions in this situation. The Ostara depiction is my favorite Hierophant because there’s a book and pages. A plant grows out of the Hierophant’s head here — another hint at organic unfolding.

The carrots in the Four of Wands offer a similar hint.

The Ostara depiction of the Seven of Coins with the little raccoons snuggled in their tree reflects the need to patiently cultivate the world around me. The coins seem to magically grow out of the tree, representing where true treasure lies.

Here, the Ostara Tarot is reaffirming the slowness of this transition in my life. It is what it is. I should use this time well.

Gypsy Palace Tarot’s Message

Two of Wands, Nine of Wands, The Empress, Ten of Pentacles

I’m feeling trapped in a “stay or go” cycle of questions in my mind. Huszka’s depiction of the Two of Wands warns us that if we wonder for too long, stagnation and decay will set in. While I wait for the things that need to unfold organically, I can throw some fire energy into other things, like planning for my tarot business and being a good partner to my sweetheart.

I think in this situation, the Nine of Wands can represent not only my current sense of defensiveness but also my questioning and restructuring of personal boundaries. Particularly emotionally. This is one of the things that I feel will unfold as a combination of organic, subconscious happening and concerted, conscious work. Right now I feel like the grumpy woman guarding her fenced-in property!

The Empress reminds me to be nurturing and compassionate, which I think I’m doing a pretty good job of lately with myself. With others it feels tricky because of my unsureness about where and how to set boundaries. Before, I’ve always put others before myself, so it feels strange to put myself first and to leave others be on their own. I look forward to striking some kind of balance between the the Nine of Wands defensiveness and the Empress’s outward love and nurturance.

Where the Ostara Tarot gave me the Ace of Coins, The Gypsy Palace Tarot shows me the Ten of Pentacles. In fact, the Ace is the first card in my spread, and the Ten is the last! Perhaps here the Ten may indicate the end of an old cycle of being and thinking. One that worked for a while but isn’t functioning in a healthy way anymore. It can also represent a hopeful peek into the future: a joyous Ten of Pentacles representing success and fulfillment.

Broader Observations

Each deck gave me one major card and a combination of coins/pentacles and wands. No swords, no cups. Much of what is happening feels like emotion and thought, but perhaps this spread indicates these are actions that are unfolding organically around and within me. The two major cards symbolize, broadly, love (The Empress) and beliefs (The Hierophant). I feel that these two things are really at the core of what is happening in and around me right now. I am full of love, but I just have to figure out what I really believe is the best way to share that and to protect my heart.

Reading: The Fortress

As I’ve talked about many times before, I identify strongly with the Nine of Wands and its defensive meaning. Tonight I decided to draw nine cards to represent the nine wands of my little defensive fortress. I don’t have any particular question in mind. I just thought I’d practice trying to see the spread as a whole. Baby steps. And I’m not in the mood tonight to look on the bright side or to think of how I can respond positively in this current situation. I’m holed up in my fortress, and that’s the way it is right now. Maybe these nine card can give me some insight or validation about my little fortress or how I end up here.

Reading 2016, Jan 13
Dreaming Way Tarot

Well, the first thing I noticed is the three fives. Struggle, conflict, and pain. The Two of Swords speaks to a difficult choice. The Eight of Cups is leaving something behind, while the Devil is being trapped. The Page of Swords is rational and assertive, but may be too quick to judge. The Knight of Cups is dreamy and romantic, and the Ten of Pentacles is about abundance and family. So, putting these all together …

Three of the cards that jump out as part of the same narrative to me are the Devil, the Two of Swords, and the Eight of Cups. A difficult decision is being pondered behind these fortress walls: Do I abandon something I’ve worked very hard at? And am I at risk for some kind of imprisonment either way? If I walk away, am I trapped by my own inability to stick it out, resulting in a Five of Pentacles (hurt) and/or Five of Swords (hollow “victory”) situation? Or if I stay, am I trapped by my emotional intensity (Knight of Cups) in being too invested in something I don’t get emotional returns on?

Part of me wants to Five of Wands the situation. Open up my gates and come out swinging. Sharing some characteristics with the Page of Swords, I could be effective at that particular approach, but is that the approach I want to take? And will that lead me to the abundance of life of the Ten of Pentacles?

The cards certainly reflect the conflict waging within myself and in my outer world. Not only conflict, though, but intense confusion and mixed emotions. The Knight of Cups and the Page of Swords don’t seem to see eye to eye about how to do things, and they’re both certainly fighting within me. I also, against my better judgment, hold out a wee bit of hope for wholeness and happiness (Ten of Pentacles). Do I stay, do I go? Do I love, do I fight? I do recognize that these things are not necessarily either/or. They’re still very uncomfortable to mix and balance. Too much of one and I damage myself. Too much of another, and I do unnecessary harm to someone else. What a mess!

I’m not sure how “well” I did at interpreting this, but this seems to have helped me to articulate some of my conflicting emotions about this situation. So I’ll call it a success! These cards all did really hit home, and when I put them in direct conversation with each other the conflict and confusion really seemed apparent to me.

And I’m certainly open to any help or suggestions as I awkwardly wiggle into the stage of trying to see the spread as a whole 🙂

Reading: True Magic

Still feeling all ruffled and weird inside. Better than before, yes, but scared and vulnerable too. So I decided to try another spread from Barbara Moore’s Tarot Spreads. I settled on the “True Magic” spread to help reframe this issue in a way that can make me think outside the box. Think “magically,” if you will! I’m feeling at a loss for quite what to do and, like I said, feeling quite vulnerable. So as has become my norm, I am seeking some perspective from tarot 🙂

Reading 2016, Jan 8
Ostara Tarot

Position One: The magic I have, whether I realize it or not

Page of Swords

An enthusiastic curiosity and willingness to tackle any obstacle I find worthwhile. And I find this current obstacle incredibly worthwhile. I think that is part of what makes it so painful. It is so important to me, but the path is made of quicksand. I have to tread carefully. In some situations I’m totally at peace with taking things slowly. In this situation I am so eager to reach a better place I feel antsy and confused and unsure of myself. If I reframe this feeling as enthusiasm and dedication it may make the process easier.

Position Two: The magic I need and should try to acquire

The Emperor

Trust in stability. Trust in the stability of family. I need the magic of a supportive safety net that I know and believe will catch me if and when I fall. I need the magic of believing in the stability of other people’s love. I am fiercely loyal to those I love, but I don’t trust that most people who love me will return the favor. I need the magic of having people in my corner.

When I first began learning about this card, I didn’t really care for it. It felt rigid and bossy and constraining. I am beginning love this card because I pine for what it can represent: safe stability.

Position Three: Who will help

Ten of Coins

Well … family! Those I look up to and long to be family with. They can help, but we come from such different backgrounds that it is tricky ground to cover together. We each have such different ideologies about how to handle these things and how to even communicate about handling these things.

And perhaps my grandmother can help too. She is still with me in spirit, so even though I can’t call her anymore, I can feel her and know what her advice would be. She and I are soul mates, and I know she would want me to see this though. She would be firm that I stick around and not run away.

Position Four: What to do

Two of Cups

Practice active loving — and that includes for myself. This is trickier than it seems in this situation. Loving myself feels like standing up for myself (which I’ve done), and loving this other person feels like forgiving and allowing for another try at this. I want to do both, and that’s where I’m a bit conflicted. Where and how do I hop back and forth between to the two? To both protect myself and to participate in the rebuilding of this relationship? I’m not sure what the answer is, but those are indeed both things I deeply desire to do.

Position Five: What not to do

Five of Swords

Do not be so prideful and stubborn that I hurt myself and those around me. On principle it is tempting to throw in the towel and say, “Look, I’m done. I can’t do this anymore.” It would be one thing if that was the healthiest and best path for myself. But I would be devastated. Being vulnerable and working together is scary and will be hard work, but it’s better than the long-term regret and sorrow that would come from removing myself entirely from the relationship. That would be a mistake.

Position Six: Outcome

The Tower

I was startled when I turned this card over at first, but then I immediately thought, “Oh! A fresh start!” There has certainly been a proverbial fire, and an old way of functioning in a relationship is crumbling. So the outcome is the destruction of a damaged and unsafe way of being. I certainly hope that is utterly destroyed. I’m happy to burn that to the ground. I would love this outcome! This is best case scenario. I don’t want anything to do with the old way of things. I want positive and loving communication and respect. Not indifference and anger. Burn, baby, burn!

Overall Impression

I feel like this reading was loud an clear about family, love, and trust. I really feel like I’m settling into a comfortable groove with tarot where my intuition can kick in, and I can really connect the cards to my life. It’s a very cool feeling, and it’s such a support! I feel more physically at ease after a reading. It gets my thoughts more settled and allows me to find very productive ways of viewing the world and approaching the things that come up in my life. Ah, I love it!

Reading: Judgement

Reading 2015, Dec 5
Animism Tarot, A Reading for Judgement from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What calls me to rise up and become something new?

Knight of Swords

While this poor knight has a lot of negative connotations, in this position I’ll go with a positive one: passion for action in what I believe in. An inner voice within me calls for me to rise up and become something new. Stagnation is not a natural state for me, though depression can make it seem like it at times. If there is change to me made, I’m blazing the trail fueled by my own strong beliefs. Right now, this call is to set long-term plans to set up a tarot business.

Position Two: What can I become?

Ten of Pentacles

This card has really grown on me and become one of my favorites. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Between the Ten of Cups and the Ten of Pentacles, it is the “family” card I can relate to and appreciate the most. I can become stable and comfortable in my own skin, in the world around me. This transformation into someone new with focused purpose is a strongly positive force that can bring me the structured support and warmth of the Ten of Pentacles.

Position Three: How will my life change?

The Hanged Man

I will be able to surrender more often. I’m not always sure what battles are mine to fight and when I need to surrender. By having this inner focus and direction, my life will be more peaceful since I won’t always feel like I’m searching for something I’m missing.

Position Four: How will my change affect others?

Three of Swords

Hopefully I will be able to help people who are experiencing or have experienced some Three of Swords pain and help them find the power within themselves to grow and move beyond this pain. This would be a great privilege to be able to help people.

Position Five: How am I called to answer?

King of Swords

Master the cards (of course, learning will always continue) and be very logical in the setup of my business. Of course, I shouldn’t go overboard and forget about intuition or emotion, but in the initial process of setting everything up, logic and knowledge will be absolutely key to success.

Overall Reflection

Lots of swords indicate that logic and knowledge are important for this transformation, the Ten of Pentacles speaks to possible success, and the Hanged Man indicates that the transformation may bring inner peace.

Reading: The Sun

Reading 2015, Dec 4
Animism Tarot, A Reading for the Sun from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

This reading seems to call for a particular situation, so I’ll just keep in mind my general life transition right now for this reading.

Position One: What is clear about an issue or a situation?

Ten of Pentacles

I have security, my worldly needs are met. This security is a major reason I am able to make this transition. I’ve been able to stop working (mostly, I still teach online) and can dedicate a lot of time to my mental health, which includes practicing tarot.

This card can also symbolize family. I am feeling much more like a “real” member of my chosen family. A greater sense of solidarity helps to support me.

Position Two: What is clouded over?

Ten of Swords

I acknowledge that my fears of betrayal are exaggerated. However, they do indeed still exist. I haven’t been able to banish them. These fears cloud over my ability to truly relax into the feeling of familial solidarity suggested in the Ten of Pentacles.

Position Three: What helps me see clearly?

Ace of Cups

Consciously fostering a new emotional outlook. Joanna says, “This is the potential of creating something magical.” I sure hope so! The more I can grow this Ace of Cups seed, the smaller I hope my Ten of Swords fears will become.

Position Four: What confuses me?

Ten of Cups

This card symbolizes happiness and love and connection and family. Where the Ten of Pentacles represents perhaps a more structured sense of family, the Ten of Cups is more about joy in only each other’s company. Which is a lovely idea! And one I don’t totally understand. Since I am by far the latest joiner to this chosen family of mine, it seems very Ten of Cups and I don’t know what the rules are. They aren’t clear to me. And I do well with structure and rules. Everyone is accepted for who they are, but I don’t understand how respect is enforced, and respect is a big issue for me. (I’ve been in this family for literally years, but it’s just so different than my understanding of the world it is taking a long time to really settle in.)

Position Five: How can I simplify this issue or situation?

Knight of Wands

Conviction, passion, courage, and focus. Adventure! Perhaps I can simplify this transition by framing it as an adventure. There are unknowns and there may be bumps, but all adventures have each of those. So I should approach this adventure with excitement and deal with the bumps along the way rather than focusing all of my the time on what might go wrong or what I’m not sure of.

The Animal Wisdom Tarot says that this card teaches both pacing and stamina, both of which are good to keep in mind on this adventure.

Overall Reflection

Holy tens, Batman! Plus the Ace makes for a big message about beginnings and endings. This is indeed a major transition, and I feel like I’m on the cusp. I can look behind me and see someone totally different. I can look ahead and know that big things are coming, even if I’m not sure what they look like. And the Knight says, “You’ve got this! Stay brave and excited!”

Reading: The Hierophant

Reading 2015, Nov 11
Animal Wisdom Tarot, A Reading for the Hierophant in Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: How has tradition affected my life?

Beaver, Eight of Fossils (Pentacles)

The tradition of “family” has affected my life in multiple, conflicting ways. For the majority of my life, family was a obligation and a system where I had to be obedient. This was a joyless tradition since it was all work and no spiritual fulfillment. I had no concept of family as a positive, safe place for spiritual and emotional support.

I have finally begun to assimilate with my family of choice, and this took a lot of learning and unlearning (the Hierophant as education in a tradition). It has been a healing process and, as I am becoming more confident, an enjoyable kind of “work” as portrayed in the Eight of Pentacles. In fact, I’m bringing some of my own “traditions” to the family, particularly holiday traditions. Before I became an active member of the family, they didn’t celebrate a lot of holidays even though they recognized them. This has been a really enjoyable experience, bringing these holidays to life and making them our own.

Each eight card in the Animal Wisdom Tarot contains a lemniscate, representing cycles and patterns. Traditions are shared patterns of actions and beliefs.

Position Two: What have I learned?

Dog, Ten of Fossils (Pentacles)

This new way of experiencing tradition has taught me how to play and be happy, to feel fulfilled. Now, of course it’s a learning curve and I still experience fear and inhibition a good bit of the time as well. But that doesn’t diminish this incredible lesson which I continue to grow with.

While the traditional RWS depiction of the Ten of Cups shows a family joyful in only needing each other’s company, the traditional Ten of Pentacles can be said to be more structured and rule-based. In this context, the Ten of Pentacles can represent family tradition. And that doesn’t mean less loving or more strict. Tradition, when done “right,” can be a warm and beautiful shared experience. That is what I am learning to be a part of.

This card appeared in my reading for the High Priestess regarding what is deep within me. So maybe I’m just learning to let it out 🙂

Position Three: How have I broken with tradition?

Scarab Beetle, Ten of Branches (Wands)

This card in the Animal Wisdom Tarot can can represent “conscious transformation.” In the traditional RWS depiction, it can represent excess and burden — the person in the card carrying the ten wands has their arms full and can’t see the road in front of them. I can relate to both sides of this card. The old “tradition” of family life for me was very much like the person weighed down with so many branches she can’t see anything else. But like the Animal Wisdom Tarot’s interpretation, I have made a conscious choice to do something else with those branches, and the road ahead is clear, even if I’m not sure exactly where it leads.

Position Four: What do I have to teach others?

Bat, Master of Suspension (The Hanged Man)

The Hanged Man shows us that a drastic change in perspective and/or a pause can bring great transformation or enlightenment. Not only do bats hang upside down, but they can “see” with echolocation. While I am by no means a “master of suspension,” I have made huge strides in my life from being utterly trapped with no sense of my own power to embracing my power, making choices that are far outside my comfort zone, and creating a new life for myself, starting with my inner world. I can teach and encourage that in others.

Position Five: How can I fulfill this role?

Salamander, Two of Branches (Wands)

Twos represent duality and balance, as symbolized by the yin-yang symbols on the twos in the Animal Wisdom Tarot deck. And while the salamander is a symbol of fire, she also lives on both the earth and in the water. A fiery spark with a balance of emotion and reality. Paul Quinn in Tarot for Life says that this card “illustrates the tension between stability and mobility” (148). So perhaps I can fulfill this role by carefully choosing when to remain still (like the Hanged Man) and when to move forward. A balance between the creative action of the Magician and the quiet contemplation of the High Priestess.

Reading: The High Priestess

Reading 2015, Nov 8
Gypsy Palace Tarot, A Reading for the High Priestess from Rachel Pollack’s The New Tarot Handbook

Position One: What is deep within me?

Ten of Pentacles

The Ten of Pentacles can represent excess, financial security, and social standing and responsibilities. I don’t think these are the meanings intended for me in this position. I think the magic of the world around us, rules, and loyalty are at the root of this card for me. The word loyalty was used in many of the texts I referenced, but never as the central or core meaning of the card. However, since the word appears in multiple places, it must have some sort of central role in the Ten of Pentacles.

I am deeply loyal to those I choose to love. In return, I do expect a certain kind of rule-oriented loyalty in return: take my feelings into consideration as I do yours is my main “rule.” Many sources contrasted the Ten of Pentacles with the Ten of Cups. In the Ten of Cups, the family only needed each other to feel great happiness. In the Ten of Pentacles, there is more structure to the family. This is a fair assessment of my inner expectations and approach to relationships. Togetherness is important, but so is mutual respect.

The little fenced off house in Huszka’s depiction of the Ten of Pentacles may signify this more structured approach to family and love. In this same depiction, I find the affection between the two characters shown as very clear. They do not seem stand-offish or aloof. They wrap their arms around each other and press their faces together. A very intimate expression of love and togetherness.

Additionally, I deeply value the magic of the world around me, even if (as implied by the Ten of Pentacles) I often take it for granted because it seems so “ordinary.”

So deep within me is intense loyalty, a need for respect, and a love of ordinary “magic.”

Position Two: How can I know it?

Knight of Pentacles

This card can represent dedication and persistence to the task at hand. Undistracted focus. Knights are air, and pentacles are earth. At times, the knight loses focus of the earth around him by being overly focused on air-centered practicalities. Huszka’s knight is surrounded by clouds/air and looks up toward the sky, blindfolded. His feet don’t quite seem to touch the ground, illustrating this disconnect between his knightly qualities and his suit’s qualities — he can forget the source of his strength: the earth.

Perhaps I can know my inner depths by not rushing to action as the other three knights would, but by taking contemplative action. However, I need to remember to stay grounded in the source of my power, the magic of the world around me, which the Knight of Pentacles struggles with.

Position Three: How can I be true to it?

The Sun

This card can represent clarity, simplicity, and happiness. When unconscious knowledge is brought to the surface or to the world around us, it becomes physical, simple, and joyous. The inner and outer, spiritual and earthly are joined together in harmony.

Huszka’s Sun is a woman surrounded by radiant light (enlightenment) as well as green branches (symbol of physical, earthly joy). The holy light that lives within each of us will remain trapped there unless we seek it out and free it.

I can be true to my inner truth by letting it out and not keeping it locked up inside. Find the goodness of my inner self and free it so I can live its simple, joyous truth.

Position Four: What do I need to give to others?

Justice

This card may imply that I need to look honestly at myself, take responsibility for myself, free myself from the baggage of my traumatic past, and give my best and most free self to others.

This is also a card of decisions, and once made many decisions/actions cannot be revoked. The beads on the necklace around Huszka’s Justice’s neck may represent the physicality of decisions. This is also a warning to be thoughtful and make sure I understand the choices at hand before making a decision.

Position Five: What do I need to keep within?

The High Priestess

What an interesting card for this position! I think I’ll keep it short and sweet: I need to determine and understand that which is sacred within myself and protect it. Huszka’s depiction of The High Priestess looks so comfortable wrapped in a blanket sitting in what looks like a comfortable bed propped up by fluffy pillows. This cozy representation speaks to the good of keeping that which is sacred private.

Overall Reflection

This reading wasn’t what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it. It provided some excellent insight into my inner self and how to live my inner truth in a meaningful way. The spread contained only pentacles and majors, which can represent the importance of a union between the larger spiritual and experiential realm (the majors) and the “mundane” physical world around me (pentacles).

I recently read an article for class called “The Mundanity of Excellence” by Daniel Chambliss. While he spends much of the article discussing Olympic swimmers, his underlying point is powerful: that which creates excellence isn’t some large abstract concept such as “talent.” It is the mundane things we do every day that lead to success and excellence. It is practice, dedication, precision, and mindset. So that which is deep inside of me can reach excellence in the world through the mundane ways that I bring its truth to the world.

Two Card Spread for Self Empowerment

Tomorrow is the big fall party! (Actually today, I suppose it is already after midnight!) We have a full day planned, which should be fun. At the same time, I can also easily be overwhelmed. Because of this, I wanted to do a two card spread tonight to ground myself and to remind myself that I have power over my thought patterns and reactions.

Reading 2015, Oct 30
Gypsy Palace Tarot

Since I’m visiting family, I wasn’t able to bring my books with me. Just two decks and their little white books. So we’ll see what I can figure out! 🙂

Position One: What should I keep in mind tomorrow?

Page of Swords

Pages are earth and swords are air. So physical world and thoughts. The two little white books take almost opposite views of this card, but that could be the light and shadow. The shadow is prideful, overly cool in communications, and has a disregard for the thoughts of others. The light is of an intelligent woman who speaks her mind but uses her intelligence to be kind and playful in her honesty.

So perhaps I should keep in mind: “Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but do remember to temper your sharp tongue and to be more playful in your interactions.”

Position Two: What can I learn tomorrow?

The World

The World represents integration, wholeness, happiness, and celebration. An integration in one’s inner world and between oneself and the universe. Home.

So perhaps I can learn to not only accept but to celebrate the feeling of home with the people I love. Give over to that delightful wholeness.

10 of Pentacles
Gypsy Palace Tarot

On a whim, I decided to draw one more card and ask, “What might I expect tomorrow?” Tarot’s answer was the Ten of Pentacles. One of the little white books focuses on the success of a project. The other defines wealth in being surrounded by loving people. So perhaps I can expect a successful party and the warmth of unconditional love.

Sounds great! Let’s get this party started 🙂