78 Notes to Self: A Tarot Journal

We are all wanderers on this earth. Our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unashamed Intution

The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. ~Eden Phillpotts

One of the appeals of going to a fortune teller, a psychic, or a medium is the magic of being told things a stranger shouldn't know.  I think that's a legitimate bit of entertainment.    When people talk about their experiences with getting readings, the tone is often so casual and like, "Whatever."  Even when recounting accurate, spot on readings where the reader did indeed tell the client private things and predictions that came true, the one telling the story usually ends it with, "Yeah, but who knows?"  There are always a good mix of good psychic and bad psychic stories which only partly accounts for the cautionary attitudes.  Of course we need to be wary of people who deliver bullshit and take your money for it.  But I find it fascinating when people who have experienced a genuine psychic reading still appear to shrug it off.  So few are confident enough to say, "I know there are a bunch of sham readers out there, but the one I saw was legit."  Why is that?

I think it stems from embarrassment or an unwillingness to be seen as someone who believes in "that stuff." It's like we're so scared to admit there's more to this life, our experience of it, than what we can see.  We feel nudges, hunches, and odd feelings all the time.  We make synchronistic associations all the time.  We see signs and we dream and make connections.  But we feel awkward admitting it and accepting this other input as valid.  Even as a tarot reader, I still experience the same feelings.  There are some days when I am sure I am spewing nonsense, just pulling random things out of my underwear. (Funny how, on those days, my readings are better.)

We are grounded to this earth in these physical bodies, so we like to be able to touch, see, and measure things.  We want to know for sure and hold it in our hands before we believe.  That is entirely valid and I don't think we should dismiss the need for substantive validation.  Science has it's place and yet I don't think science should be the only thing we rely on.  Look at how scientific discoveries change our realities, not always for the better.  The USDA nutrition guidelines are a good example.  For years we've been told our diet should look like this:

And then we got fat.  And heart disease.  And diabetes. 

Now the USDA's latest recommended diet looks like this:
Half our diet should be fruits and veggies, more veggies than fruit.  The other half grains (and at least half of those should be whole grains), and protein.  A little bit of dairy.  We learned certain oils can be good for us, dark chocolate is healthy, and maybe eating all that white flour and rice wasn't working so well.

So why did we believe the USDA back in the pyramid days?  Well, when it was created, there is some speculation that it was not scientifically designed but politically designed with certain industries lobbying for a better place on the pyramid.  So we can't always depend on "scientific research" so we must conduct our own.  Eat like the food pyramid for a while and see what happens. For some people who live very active lives and burn off all those carbs, it's probably fine. Our bodies will respond differently depending on who we are, our genetic predisposition, our current health, our activity level, our income (healthier food choices tend to cost more), etc.

And that is my point: we must validate what we experience in our own lives. If you went to a psychic and you were amazed because the information was deeply personal, exactly what you needed to hear, connected to your life and your immediate concerns, then it is as valid as anything else real in your experience.

As my colleague, James Wells, recently blogged in his post "Tarot and Thinking are Friends" --
Intuition is simply one more sense in the panoply of human perceptions.  It is neither less nor more important than sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing, thinking, or proprioception.  Too many people mistake impulse for intuition, thereby making less-then-helpful decisions.  Impulse carries emotional attachment whereas intuition simply provides information.
I also wrote about that in my post Intuition Needs Your Input only James gets right to the point.  Intuition, yours or someone else's, should be used in tandem with other discoveries and information.  In fact, our balanced life should look a lot like the USDA's "My Plate."  Rational logic, Swords could be one section.  Emotional experience and feelings, Cups, should be another section.  The third section would be Pentacles, our physical experience and knowledge.   And another section should be our motivation, energy, and passion, Wands.  That circle off to the side?  Psychic knowing.  It's all part of the information we need to live and make decisions.  That rational, logical stuff that our society seems to think is the only information we should need, over and above anything we feel emotionally or experience physically or intuitively, is like the bottom-heavy grains in the old food pyramid.  It just doesn't work for most of us.

I'd like us to be less ashamed of speaking about what works for us if it's not of the socially approved norm.  I'd like us to go ahead and be awed and amazed when a stranger tells you something they shouldn't know. The more we accept these sources of information for what they are, we will become much better at utilizing them and know their place in our lives.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Reading Without Spreads: One Card Readings

Thanks to the volunteers for these one-card readings. I'm hoping to demonstrate how to gather information from the cards without a spread. We're starting with one card and then add more. The one card is obviously easiest, and it will show how much information is in one card without any position meaning from a spread.

Jen said she is feeling stuck and wanted some advice.
By Susan Hudes Published by US Games 2002
 The 4 of Cups, Hudes deck. The deck is important because different decks present the image in different ways. This image sure speaks to Jen's situation. This guy looks pretty "stuck." The cups suit is about emotions and the four is a number of stasis and stability. The image shows a man in a thoughtful position with three cups in front of him and one hanging on a branch off to the side. The Hudes deck uses patterns in an interesting way. The artist, Susan Hudes, chose book end paper patterns to represent each of the four suits. In this card, the pattern can be seen on the figure's arms. He is otherwise clothed in black. This may suggest a kind of emotional depression as well. The arms are in a position of relaxation and minimal support. His legs are crossed and his body language conveys a rather closed off, withdrawn demeanor. Traditionally, the card means a weariness of life and not being very interested in much. Disillusionment with one's situation also applies. To me, the guy looks bored. As advice, this card might be suggesting that this is a time to think about something you've left off to the side, something that has the ability to bring joy too your life but which you may not have had time for or set aside with the intention of picking up again at a later time. At the time that you set it aside, you may have lost the joy in it temporarily or you may have simply lost interest. But that cup that's hanging on the branch is key to getting you out of the slump. It tends to be something that's not in your scope of vision just now because those cups in front of you demand your attention. In your current state of malaise, that other cup may not even interest you much, but it is the one that will help you to get "unstuck."

Trisha asked, "What action(s) can I take to bring more money into my life?"
By Susan Hudes Published by US Games 2002
 The Ace of Wands, Hudes deck. The wands in the Hudes deck are staffs and the symbol on the top resembles the symbol of Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of the royal family, the sun, dancing, the arts, music and the sky. Each of the Aces in this deck feature flowers in addition to their suit end paper pattern. The yellow flowers on this Ace symbolize purity, clarity truth and intellect. Mayans viewed the color yellow to be associated with corn, thus it symbolizes provision, sustenance, and all things that are wholesome. The entire background of this card is the end paper pattern associated with Wands in this deck and as such implies the Ace has incredible energy and potential. Traditionally, this card means the creative force, invention, enterprise, and the powers behind them. When I see this card in relation to this question, I see a new project begun with passion or simply a new inspirational idea. While you may have considered taking on a part time job, you probably don't want to do something that you aren't passionate about. The key to bringing more money into your life is to ignite a new sense of passion either about what you are currently doing for income or for a new source of it. Desire is crucial to attracting anything. Pay attention to seemingly random ideas that pop into your head because these seeds of ideas could very well be the avenues that bring you money. Whatever it ends up to be, it can't be a drag for you as that will just drain your resources, your energy, and won't be very productive for you in the end. Also, the image is very "front and center" so it appears that this is a very present concern and one that you want to give immediate attention to and act on your inspirations and impulses, not putting things off for another time.

Nina asked, "How does the future look for this relationship?"
By Susan Hudes Published by US Games 2002
 The King of Cups, Hudes deck. The Kings and Queens in the Hudes deck all feature a map behind them which symbolize their domain. Behind this King we see a map with very little land mass, the earth's pole, and lots of water. Kings represent the mastery of the suit, and since this question has to do with an emotional issue, a relationship, then this card bodes well for a mature, emotionally deep relationship. The only issue with this card and relationships is that, while they may be very deeply satisfying, they tend to lack in the practical matters. The day-to-day fleshing out of a life together can be difficult with King of Cups types as they don't tend to pay much attention to the nitty-gritty details or just let someone else figure them out. They're not the best when it comes to finances and planning. They're likely to just do whatever feels best in the moment. Luckily, this King also has a strong element of air, as all Kings do, so at least he's intelligent and self-reflective enough to know his own flaws. All in all, the future of this relationship looks emotionally satisfying as long as you don't expect too much in terms of practical matters or are fine with taking care of them yourself.

 Deitre asked, "Should I be working or staying at home? I'm on the fence."
By Susan Hudes Published by US Games 2002

 The Ace of Pentacles, Hudes deck. This Ace, like all the Aces in the deck, has the end paper pattern of Pentacles as its background and purple flowers around it. Purple flowers symbolize dignity, pride and success. I had to laugh when I saw this card come up for your "either/or" question. Tarot is so funny to me. Aces often represent to me that answer "Yes." So, should you be working or staying at home? Yes. The Ace of Pentacles would suggest that it doesn't really matter whether you stay at home or not, but that you would probably feel best if you invest yourself into something that will reward you tangibly. It might be work you can do from home, but whatever it is, it's not only about the income. The Ace of Pentacles represents a seed of creation, something you plant, water, nurture and grow to fruition. It is a beginning. Start something that will satisfy you in a real and practical way, and something that will earn an income, yes.

Thanks so much to my volunteers. I also appreciate your patience with the delay in getting these up. As you may know, our area experienced some wicked storms that cut off power to many. I was not one of them, but my kids and their father were. So I brought my kids to my place for the better part of the week and all tarot stuff had to take a back seat. I know you understand. Next, we'll add some more cards and look at how to interpret the interaction of cards with no spread.