Fire: In Relationship with Others and Ourselves

Fire, or the Wands suit of the tarot, represents energy and ambition. The raw force to get things done and make change happen. It is visceral, powerful, and forms often an uneasy and delicate balancing act with the other elements of our personalities.

FullSizeRender.jpg

5 (Gevurah)¬† is “the essence of judgment…and limitation, and corresponds to awe and the element of fire“. In the Tree of Life it is found on the left Pillar of Severity in the Triangle of Intention–how we determine we will act toward others, and how this determination colors our actions to come next.

So, the 5 of Wands is known as “Strife.”

Here’s the thing about your fire in relation to others and the way you direct your fire toward them: They will respond in kind.

You send fire their way and they will defend themselves with fire. This is why 6 of Fire, or the balance of intentions toward others, is called VICTORY– it is Victory over others.

It’s the way to achieve a Balance of Intention with the Wands.

By contrast, the 6 of Earth (Pentacles) is known as SUCCESS– it is a celebration of the fruit of your own work; the personal victories over FullSizeRender 2.jpgyour own self.

And, in every situation, we find a need to embrace one or the other. The Tree of Life is a picture of us all in entirety, at all times.

But it helps to be aware of the effects of our Fire upon others, so we are prepared to stand and continue to flame if we must.

Sharing the Heart of Tarot

I figured it was high-time I officially post my offerings to you as a tarot interpreter. ūüôā


The tarot deck has long fascinated me, but it wasn’t until the Spring of 2015 that I finally got up the courage (or perhaps was finally hungry enough for its Gnosis) to purchase my first deck and begin studying. These initial studies and personal readings helped me get through an intense period of spiritual transition and self-discovery, not to mention clinical therapy. ūüėČ

What I discovered is that the tarot deck represents the potential of all that a person is. We are all things at various times, in the physical, mental, emotional, and ambitious aspects of our lives. Evolutionarily and habitually, we each tend toward certain responses (knee-jerk reactions) when faced with obstacles. But when we can see clearly what aspect of ourselves is ruling at a given time and why, we are better able to decide whether to allow our initial instincts full reign, or perhaps to seek out “better angels”.

This is what a “psychological” tarot interpretation offers — a glimpse into the depths of our subconscious and motivations, and the chance to ask ourselves if there is not perhaps a better response to what we face.

  • What can I expect from a tarot reading with you?
    I can offer a range of spreads (number of cards), depending on the depth of your questions. I will gladly read as few as a “Daily Oracle,” 3- or 6-card spread with you, or anything beyond the scope of a basic 6-card spread. We can also do a Sabbat Spread together, illuminating your present journey during one of the 8 important phases of the Earth throughout the year and offering suggestions on how you might better prepare as the year unfolds toward the next Sabbat.

    I will provide your personalized interpretation as a detailed pdf with a photo of your spread, emailed to the address you specify. Get your reading today!

  • What about fortune-telling, or love and career advice?
    You are in charge of your own destiny, and there is nothing “mysterious” or “metaphysical” about a card spread save for whatever meaning you give to that spread. All a tarot reading does is to point you in the direction of where your innermost thoughts and tendencies are currently leading you with respect to a given circumstance.A tarot reading will offer insight and clarity into your own patterns of thinking as well as suggest alternate ways of thinking you might choose to explore. Armed with this knowledge, you are free to chart your own future and enrich your own relationships.
    In this manner, I only serve as a knowledgeable interpreter of the in-depth symbolism the cards hold as they are laid out in front of you, and I can act as a guide to your application of this knowledge in your own personal situation.
  • What Tradition do you base your interpretations on?
    I rely on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life as a map of understanding the journey from a spark of Inspiration, filtered through Intention, and resulting in Action. The cards form both the Sephirot (Minor Arcana) and the branches (Major Arcana) of the Tree, offering a picture of where your current mind and heart currently lie — according to what your own subconscious says about the matter.When I do a reading, I am not at all “psychic” and much more “logical” or “studious” in my approach (what can I say? I’m a Sun and Moon Aquarius with Virgo Rising!) :p¬† So don’t expect magic and goosebumps, but do expect detailed accuracy and careful thoughtfulness. ūüôā

Have any more questions? Drop me a line!

Be well.

A Revised Study on the 3 Triangles

I’ve been really enjoying the process of studying the Tree of Life and gaining further understanding of the roles and attitudes of the 10 Sephirot. I’m telling you, nothing has helped me understand myself and the nature of Life and humanity like the Tales Tarot Tell¬†and the rich gnosis found in¬†the Kabbalistic Tree of Life!

So here is a rundown of the deeper understanding I’ve been gaining lately. Hope it might be of some help to you in your journey! ūüôā

The Triangles:

SupernalFile Mar 16, 11 26 19 AM

  • 1 is the Pureness of the Element or Knowledge.
    • Since it is the Source, it is the reverse and opposite of the funnels found in 6 and 9.
  • 2 has 2 Faces= receiving the purity of the Element (from beyond the conscious/unconscious mind) and sharing that purity with the rest of the Sephirot… Without any further thought or deductive reasoning on the matter! It is the furtherance of an idea that is inspired or taught; Nothing extra added.
  • 3:

    Binah is ‘intuitive understanding’, or ‘contemplation’…On a psychological level, Binah is ‚Äúprocessed wisdom,‚ÄĚ also known as deductive reasoning. It is davar mitoch davar‚ÄĒunderstanding one idea from another idea. While Chockmah is intellect that does not emanate from the rational process (it is either inspired or taught), Binah is the rational process that is innate in the person which works to develop an idea fully. (Source)

EthicalFile Mar 16, 11 26 35 AM

  • 4 & 5:

    Chesed and Gevurah act together to create an inner balance in the soul’s approach to the outside world. While the ‚Äúright arm‚ÄĚ of Chesed operates to draw others near [think, Mercy and Lovingkindness], the ‚Äúleft arm‚ÄĚ of Gevurah reserves the option of repelling those deemed undeserving [think Judgment]. (Source)

  • The Ethical Triangle is the triangle of Intention.

AstralFile Mar 16, 11 26 43 AM

Hod (8) is explained as an analogy – that instead of ‚Äúconquering‚ÄĚ an obstacle in one’s way, (which is the idea of Netzach [7]), subduing oneself to that ‚Äúobstacle‚ÄĚ is related to the quality of Hod. (Source)

 

  • Hod is considered “prayer”; Netzach is considered “fortitude,” “long suffering,” or “endurance”…
  • The Astral Triangle is the triangle of Action.

The Funnels
File Mar 16, 12 05 09 PM

6 and 9 are both filters and balancers for their respective triangles…

6 receives all from the prior journey and passes it down to 9…

9 then receives all from prior journey and filters and passes it on to the Physical Form of Reality (10), creating the RESULT

 

Skepticism & Spirituality

I am, day by day, more a practical realist. (Being raised in unfounded, literalist belief systems that have damaging real-world and bodily consequences will do that to you.)

But, at the same time, I consider myself deeply, psychologically spiritual. We must remember that our opinions, observations, and views of the world around us will be colored by our own mental predispositions. Perhaps that is a part of what human “spirituality” ultimately is: constantly reminding our own selves that our mind is the influencer of everything we consider after we first take it in, and that, afterwards, our mind will use its penchant for patternsimage to instantly categorize similar future in-takes without further thought.

It is this wisdom, I think, to slow down and recall our psychological place and tendencies within our universe that is a major part of the Path to Understanding.

The Tales Tarot Tell

It’s been an amazing journey, these past several months!

I had long been intrigued by the symbolism of the Tarot, and, based on my love of Jungian analytical psychology, I knew I’d enjoy delving deeper into the cards’ history and symbolism. So, I finally got myself a deck!

I’ve been faithfully researching and studying the cards: I’ve come to understand the importance of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the numerology, and the symbolism entrenched in the tarot, and it’s helped me understand myself and others in a wholly unprecedented way.

I don’t use the tarot in a shallow fortune-telling fashion. Instead, I use each reading as a way to shed light on my unconscious, to see what Story¬†it is trying to Tell me for a particular situation, whether general or specific. I’ve been told that it is not uncommon for professional therapists to use a tarot deck in this manner to help patients understand themselves better. So, in these ways and for these reasons, I have fallen in love with the Tarot. I am able to combine my love of all the Esoteric practices that have meaning for me (Buddhism, Gnosticism, meditation, Kundalini, karmic influences, symbolic mysticism…) and use them together to form a clearer picture of my personal state of mind. The cards grant me a picture of what past influences are moving me at a given moment and what elemental course of action my Higher Self is recommending I take, based on these considerations.

It’s extremely difficult to describe it all, in all its glorious depth of meaning and value, in one post. There are plenty of excellent websites out there that have already detailed courses of study to further understand the Tarot. So, what I’d like to do here, under the Tales Tarot Tell sidebar menu, is share what Stories my favorite tarot readings are telling me, and how I’ve derived the meanings from the cards. I want to share my joy of being able to decipher the cards in my pursuit of understanding the vast collective unconscious and how it affects me today, how it¬†could potentially affect my future if things remain unchanged and how best to effect those changes — what strengths I can rely on and what inner¬†obstacles I should watch out for.

Perhaps you’ll be inspired to seek wisdom from this deep pool of timeless wisdom yourself, if it speaks to you.

And, if ever you’d like me to do a personalized reading for you, I am happy to oblige and share what I know! Just drop me a line! ūüôā

In Need of Compassion and Common Sense

Lately, I’ve enjoyed following the knowledgable posts of Dr. Coyne over at his website, Why Evolution Is True. While here at Mother Prontennoia, I’ve intended to keep this site clean of strident opinions and politics,¬†this particular story of Lebanon High School and the state of its surrounding community presents an impactful and insightful look into the sociological problems I see and have dealt with growing up, and it saddens me greatly to see otherwise well-meaning and reasonable people act in such blindly atrocious ways…

Long-story-short, the principal of this high school gave a highly religious, one-sided presentation of the mainstream Christian faith during his graduation speech. Many have since called him out on it, while¬†others have heatedly defended him. You can find Dr. Coyne’s thoroughly written¬†articles on all of the developments of this kerfuffle here.¬†Most recently, a student who attended their own graduation ceremony at Lebanon had some intense and intelligent things to say about their experience. I don’t think Society listens to the needs of the religious minority enough, and it is shameful. Please take time to read this student’s beautiful and heart-wrenching letter in its fullness here, though I’ll share some of the highlights from it for you below:

…What bothers me is the school‚Äôs [tendency] to dissolve other groups that promote tolerance of differences…¬†Christian students often dismissed my opinions in class discussions about whether non-Christian sources were credible.¬† Political discussions in Social Studies classes were quite one-sided…¬†What Mr. Lowery did at the 2014 graduation ceremony is hardly the first time that he danced around the Separation of Church and State for prayer…¬†The students felt safe to bully me and my non-Christian peers, as they were the majority.¬† And the principal seemed inclined to protect them…¬†At my graduation, I was prepared for him to say a prayer.¬† I did not expect a speech about America essentially being a Christian nation.¬† It was arrogant, aggressive.¬† I felt shamed for being a non-believer.¬† It was not a simple prayer.¬† It was an outcry of how he didn‚Äôt care about the minority.¬† I had already felt as though he had a personal distaste for me as he knew I was not religious…¬†I graduated as an honor student, received generous scholarships for college, and participated in a plethora of extra-curricular activities.¬† I attended classes, made good grades, and treated my classmates with respect… …as my peers around me clapped and cheered for his prayer, I realized.¬† This is not for me.¬† I am not welcome here.¬† I have never been.¬† Lowery is not proud of me or for my various accomplishments, no matter what my class ranking was…¬†No one cares if I leave the community or not, because my opinions are not welcome.¬† And Lowery further illustrates that they never will be…¬†Several teachers have voiced their displeasure with Lowery‚Äôs statements, but have admitted to being afraid for their jobs to do anything that was anti-Christian…

Why, you may ask, do otherwise well-meaning Christians persist so adamantly and with such outward cruelty toward others? Isn’t the Gospel one of love and hope for others? Aren’t we the bearers of Good News for the nations? WTH then?

Now, it would be impossible – not to mention wrong – to lump all Christians into one finite reasoning for their actions, of course. Every person and their beliefs are different and highly personal, entrenched in our own experiences and environments as we navigate this life. Again, there are so many various slants (or flavors, as I’ve called them) to the Christian faith, and every person is unique even within a certain denomination or creed. But, having been raised in the Word of Faith style Christian home that I was, I can tell you the changes I’ve seen since my upbringing that are running throughout mainstream Christianity in this country, and it bothers me something fierce.

Take a look at one of the community responses to this Lebanon HS drama that Dr. Coyne has provided at his website:

Mr. Coyne¬†as¬†we remove God from all aspects of our lives the lower a nation sinks‚Ķit is God that kept the USA strong.¬† If ever we needed God it is¬†NOW‚Ķ.we need Jesus He is our only hope.¬† As you remove God, satan steps in to fill in the gap‚Ķthat is exactly what is happening today.¬† You don‚Äôt want God you will get the devil‚Ķ.thats who is ruling the roost today…¬†Mr Coyne this is just a little bit of the evil that is being inflicted on us today, thanks to satan who rules today…¬†Your agenda kills, it is destroying life on planet earth‚Ķif God bothers you so much¬†get a pair of ear plugs‚Ķ..stop taking our rights away from us‚Ķmind your¬†own business‚Ķ¬†Look around¬†, take a look at what is happening to our world, our country‚Ķand how bad things are really getting‚Ķ.¬†What gives you the right to take my right to believe in Him away?¬† What gives [you] the right to remove the only stabilizing force we have, our salvation, our anchor, our shield?… [My own emphasis in bold.]

Essentially, we who were raised Christian in these “latter days,” and those who still are Christian in these latter days, were/are trained to see the world around us in a constant state of decline – that Satan himself is in charge of destroying us, and the only hope for everyone’s survival is to bow the knee to Christ. Here’s the important point: The Christians who perceive the world through this lens cannot for the life of them figure out why those who don’t believe or agree with them, well, don’t agree with them. After all, can’t you see the destruction?, one might ask. Can’t you see that if everyone were just united in the love of Christ, who gave all for us, then we would in turn see a miraculous wave of joy¬†and restoration to our land?¬†So, of course, there is a war on Christianity, and this “war” is a spiritual one, with the fate of humanity resting on none other than the prayerful shoulders of mainstream Christianity. You just don’t see it, because you are blinded by the Devil and refuse to acknowledge God.

Now, whether you believe this to be true or not is completely beside the point, with¬†respect to the point I’m making. What these Christians are failing to realize is that they are, quite simply, imposing their views on others without regard or simple respect.¬†It’s the folly of whole-heartedly believing, with all sincerity and passion, that YOU alone have the answer to the world’s ills, and all anyone has to do is agree with you. There is, therefore, no longer room for respect toward¬†any religious or philosophical viewpoints other than the mainstream Christian viewpoint — because, if all is controlled by Satan and all is therefore a deception, then it would certainly be foolhardy to allow any dissenting voice to be heard in the public arena.

These comments are given in an extreme light, to be sure, but for the community in which I grew up, this is an all-too accurate portrayal of everyone in the outside –¬†those who did not believe the Bible the way in which my family did; ironically enough, that even included fellow Christians. Therefore, my life was full of harsh judgement and criticism directed toward¬†others, giving way to a highly toxic environment. As I began to realize that I did not hold to the style of thought my family required of me, I too began to feel like an oppressed alien in my own home. I utterly hated it; I felt helpless and alone, and to be truthful, in some arenas in which I work and have my being, I still do. So I can imagine and empathize with what these students at Lebanon have felt, growing up in such a community, being in the minority of an increasingly vocal and oppressive society¬†of well-meaning, mainstream Christians. It is truly unfortunate that, as it stands, society will not have improved as they enter adulthood, and they may be forced to continue to make uncomfortable decisions as a religious and philosophical minority that is regularly alienated and emotionally attacked by the majority.

For me, the hardest part of it all is feeling like my opinion somehow doesn’t matter, that it is somehow not truthful, or is even dangerous to our society, all because I don’t believe in a physical Satan and that my philosophies concerning¬†all religions is that of admiring the constructs of the evolving human consciousness, and, too, that most¬†religions have some element of use for us even today on a subconscious and metaphorical level — as long as we keep an open mind, rooted stably in scientific reality, and are willing to learn and bend and yield.

That’s just not good enough for the mainstream Christian of today, however. And I harshly blame the leaders of those passionate, holy-crusade style movements that have cropped up since the ’70s ad ’80s and gained such a violent foothold in our politics and society as of late.

It all comes down to this: that when anyone, regardless of religion or viewpoint, is afraid and attached to their life in such a manner, they are prone to purposefully hurt those who disagree with them, out of their own fear of losing that to which they hold so dear. Let us not fear change, let us be patient with each other and open to all possibilities and voices.

May we someday learn to embrace each other in true brotherly love and peace.

It’s All in Your Perspective…

Are you a Supplicant —

one who Receives from the Father of the All and from Mother Wisdom,

one who sits with open palms and is grateful for all that is given,

that which will suffice for Today alone,

One day at a time, without Attachment…

Or are you a Taker —

a Go-Getter, one who sees all as your oyster,

the field ready for the Harvest,

you are the Cause, and all Effect is your own doing…

Both are the same; though in one, at its root, there is Peace and Graciousness, and in the other there is great Energy and Force. The Universe does not change its method according to our own perceptions of it. In Perspective, however, lies our re-actions (how we act in response) to this Life and all that is around us. May we be attuned to our personal perspectives each day, and be willing to adjust as necessary, in order that we may be kinder to ourselves and to others.

Seeking Redemption

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

–James 4:17

“Sin” is in the eye of the beholder. It is merely our own ‚Äúknowledge‚ÄĚ (or,¬†perception) of what is wrong‚ÄĒand then doing that which we “know” to be wrong‚ÄĒ that will most surely condemn us.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom….Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

–Psalm 51:4, 6-7

God is me; I am in God and He in me.

Against thee only have I sinned‚Ķ When sinning against your own self, it is only your own self that can cleanse you and turn you away from your sins. Seek not redemption from the outside heavens or historical figures or idols, but rather seek redemption from your own Unconscious which is condemning you. Your Divine Beloved loves you and will quickly cleanse you and release you from your guilt and shame. Align your Universes; let not your own conscious harbor anger and regret, but release it to your “Higher Self” (if you will), who knows better.

Today, be free.

be-free

Conformity and Renewal

…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…

–Romans 12:2, KJV

If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

–Jesus, Luje 17:33, NLT

What does being “conformed to this world” mean exactly? From what, does Paul suggest, should we be renewing our mind? Many have read the above passage from Romans and interpreted it to mean something along the lines of:¬†“If it isn’t like me or the traditions of my church and family, or follow the precepts as proclaimed by my pastor, then it is of the world and I am to reject it.”

This is too easy, however; this is living the Inner Life: the “framework we build and with which we shelter our Egos and Perceptions…It is protective, offers guidance, and seems reliable in an apparently unreliable world. It gives meaning and explanation to the uncertain. And, when it is attacked by other emerging viewpoints, it is defended violently.” Recall, “The Shadow¬†is who/what we believe we are not…For every aspect of behavior and personality the Ego has chosen for itself, all else is thrown off onto the Shadow. The Shadow is everything the Ego denies‚Ķ.”

But, consider: What is “the world” of which the Bible speaks so often and, most often, in a most odious fashion, that we should reject it wholly? Again, too often, pastors and their flocks have taken it to mean “everything in the world that is not like us and what we perceive in the Scriptures — that which is not of our familiar culture or our personal Inner Experience.”

What if we break it down a bit? One might say the World is:world

  • sin
  • destruction
  • loneliness
  • arrogance
  • dog-eat-dog
  • unloving
  • dark
  • hateful
  • proud
  • disobedient
  • ungrateful
  • cruel

The list could easily go on and on, but I think we can all agree that this is the most typical view of The World — it is right and good that we should abstain from such things, to be sure. But, the interpersonal problems may arise when we, again, view the list above¬†purely from our own personal¬†reference¬†points of what these evils are.

What does cruelty look like? What is pride? What is sin, exactly? Does the male in my community who enjoys expressing himself through the use of eyeliner embody sin and lostness? Is the woman next-door who refuses to wear a dress and “dresses like a man” proud and disobedient? Is homosexuality equivalent to destruction?

This is where the purity of Jesus’ words may shine through —¬†Do not cling to your life.

The renewing of our minds ought to be a renewing of our thoughts to the Outer Experience: “…the realm in which Understanding and most perfect, unconditional Love dwell. It is the place from which we can come to understand our Egos and its decisions and perceptions, and the place we can come to embrace our¬†Shadow¬†and realize that we are One‚Ķ”

Perhaps The World is most aptly translated to mean: the thoughts and practices and ways of those who live their life locked in their own personal framework of Ego; going through the motions of life without really seeing.

May we continually renew our Minds, to let go of our lives and our narrow perceptions daily, to see All as it truly is and embrace genuine Love and Harmony, as Jesus did.

In Harmony and Silence

What is love?
Love is the driving force of the universe; God is Love, Love is God.
But what is It, this force that binds the particles into matter around us, making up our very substance?

It is Harmony, and not chaos.
The Universe is in constant flux, moving and changing and adjusting and adapting…
An “additive principle” is what is at work, building abstract block upon abstract block, creating and tearing down to make way for the next evolution.

Therefore, we may say, Love is Harmony.

Love flows, Love bends, Love adapts. Love is Harmony.
To struggle against, or to cling, is not Harmony. It is not Love.

Un-love is a fighting against the very primeval forces of creation, the forces of our own inner being.
And, as boisterous and proud as it is, it is ultimately useless; one cannot struggle against the nature of our own self and accomplish a single thing.

What of willful change? What of inspiration? What of the pursuit of answers to the hurdles that plague our journeys?

The answers are already around us and within us. Love — Harmony — permeates the fabric of our existence.

But through struggle and chaos, we blind ourselves to All that already Is. Through narrowly seeking that which we think we must struggle to have or produce, we close our eyes to all that is presently around us and ignore all possibilities that do not line up with our narrow criteria.

The answer to all, then, is Silence. To sit and silence the mind, and its perpetual whirlwind of thought, to sit in utter stillness and simply take in, without prejudice, All That Is.

In Stillness, in Love, in Harmony, and these within ourselves, we find God, we find Inspiration and Hope. It is not to be sought in some far-off place. It is always within us; we need only look.