One of the most powerful meditations I’ve come across lately is simple, powerful, and enlightening. No need for guided words or music; just sit comfortably, close your eyes, and count upward with every out-breath.
As you breathe in, feel the space all around the trunk of your body opening up and spreading out—you always have all the space you need, so take it. And simply be present.
That means observing without judgment the thoughts that flit across your brain like leaves in the wind. We can learn a lot about ourselves just by seeing what sort of thoughts make their way across our consciousness. I found I tend to run ahead into the future—a lot!
Keep your yourself grounded in the presence of your breath. I’ve found that the counting helps with this. You can set a goal to get to a certain number if you like. I find myself listening to and observing the noises of the present, which is a new sensation for me.
Try it and see what you find!
I grew up in a world that could not possibly be understood, a world where the laws of Cause and Effect could not be trusted for the meddling of either God or the Devil.
I was told that I had the power (through “confession”–speaking Scripture to a problem–and Tongues-speaking, the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, etc. But it rarely worked like it was supposed to, so all I took away from the experience was that I could never be sure of anything–and that my actions never really mattered.
Being set aright today is the Reversed 6 of Discs (Success): my scales are out of balance to the point I’m not seeming to reap what I sowed. It’s good to know that it’s being worked out…
In fact we always reap what we sow; we often just don’t make the connection between what we thought and what we see.
My mindset had never really understood Earthly balance and Cause & Effect. There was always a “biblical excuse” for everything that happened in my life. And now I’m in the process of rethinking my whole relationship with Reality. That everything I do does indeed matter.
All my surroundings react to what I do or decide, and vice-versa. I’m learning this is actually really good news.
Self: Reversed Air (Thought) &Fire (Ambition)
- Thought feeds Ambition
- But when Reversed… Fire is either fed to the point of losing control, OR Air blows so hard that the Fire cannot be sustained
Situation: Virtue – a deductive understanding of your Ambitions
Advice: Reversed Strength
- (The bridge between the extremes of INTENT is broken; you cannot rely on your Intentions because they are currently at odds with each other. Patience is what is required now.)
Based on the Advice for today (placed in the Unconscious Triangle), I believe that it is my Thoughts that are blowing out my Fire. I need to be aware of that and employ Patience instead of wrestling to get my opposite Intentions to Unite at this moment.
Lately I’ve been really into playing regular old Solitaire on my phone to take a mental break here and there throughout the day. I started thinking about why I love it so much, especially lately as I’ve been practicing my own Mindful Acceptance.
Some valuable lessons solitaire can teach us include:
- There’s only so much you can control
- A large part of solitaire is dependent on Chance, the “luck of the draw”
- Another part is based on the constant decisions a player makes
- The player’s decision, of course, directly affects the game, but only in varying degrees at different times, combined with what cards they currently have available to them
- If they don’t take any “do-overs” the player must live with each choice they’ve made and continue forward to make the best of what they have now, even if it’s not exactly the result they wanted
- The player can constantly learn and improve by experimenting and making different choices in the future
- Sometimes the player must observe the playing field carefully to see if they’ve missed anything that might help them
- If the player’s not careful, they might miss a great opportunity to further the game
- The player can’t assume they already know how things will turn out, nor can they simply give up when all seems lost
- In short, they must accept the hand they’ve been dealt and navigate decisions to work best with whatever they have in front of them.
What other lessons do you take from everyday experiences around you?
Lately I’ve really been focusing on meditation (both with my tarot deck and by simply sitting down to close my eyes and meditate) as a means to tap into my Observer.
Physically I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately. But I’ve been exercising my inner Observer by simply acknowledging my feelings and the emotions I experience, hour by hour, each day. I’m practicing separating myself from the physical sensations I encounter, simply acknowledging my various parts of myself. And I had a personal revelation today when doing so…
Growing up, I was taught to believe that being physically ill and mentally troubled was a bad thing — and that it was my fault. (Thanks, Word of Faith, for that…) These things were absolutely curable and if I wasn’t cured, it was because I was either lacking in faith or in enough church donations.
And, today, when I simply acknowledged my feelings, I felt first a surge of those old thoughts– and I suddenly realized how deeply ingrained they are in me. The things we grow up with tend to be so deeply embedded within us that we don’t even realize they’re there! And, for me in this instance, that tension of feeling ill or bad only reinforced the physical sensations– and it becomes a feedback loop.
The good news is, now that I’m aware of these things, I’m better able to embrace, acknowledge, and love myself even more than before.
Simple acknowledgement and acceptance of ourselves, even those things that are hidden, is what it’s all about. What are you acknowledging about yourself today?
Set your mind on things above…
- The Star starts at the Supernal Triangle, on the Pillar of Action and Creation…
- …crosses the Great Abyss (the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent)…
- …and ends on the Pillar of Mildness in the Ethical Triangle, where we form our interpersonal intentions.
(See “Segmenting the Tree of Life“…)
Bridging from sephirots 2 to 6, the Star is the pathway that takes a spark of inspiration (some knowledge bestowed upon us directly from the Universe), and then, without any further thought or deductive reasoning (simply mirroring that spark), we use that inspiration to balance and filter our Intentions.
“Reconnecting your soul to the divine.”
Thus, this arcanum is thought of as the embodiment of Hope–when we base our balanced intentions upon the spark of inspiration we are looking to. And, in this manner, our Intentions are balanced because we are setting our sights on the “divine”, as opposed to merely reacting to our physical surroundings.
I wanted to share an inspiring Tarot Tale I received today…
At this moment in my life I’m going through a lot of mental turmoil, for various reasons, a lot of it medical… but there is a light on the horizon. 😉
My cards today reminded me of the nature of Thought and suggested an alternative approach. I used the 5-card spiritual progress spread…
- Where I am right now: Cruelty (9 of Swords)
- My central lesson: Defeat (5 of Swords)
- Influences encouraging growth: King of Earth
- Influences against growth: Truce (4 of Swords)
- What I should do: Virtue (3 of Wands)
So right now I seem to be stuck in constant self-reflection on my own Thoughts. (Which is definitely true.) :p There needs to be new inspiration (sometimes from outside myself) breathed into my mind to free me from the never-ending cycle. Thus, the need for mental Defeat.
This 5 of Swords can mean Defeat of the querent by others (or themselves), or the querent is perhaps poised to defeat others… either way it’s a mental defeat of ideas and thoughts–a loss of Ideals–and it friends on the context of the spread.
For me, it’s definitely speaking to a need to lose my own current ideals. Therefore, Truce among my own thoughts is not going to help me grow past this.
Notice what is supposed to help me grow, however: allowing my Fire of ambition to feed upon and reshape my physical Reality (King of Pentacles), being careful of course not to utterly destroy my surroundings with too much flame…
And then we come to “what I should do”: Virtue. Recall that Binah is the growth of deductive reasoning about an element to the point that we are able to construct a framework of understanding upon which we further build that element’s journey. So the recommendation here is to focus on my Ambition (my Fire) to the point that I’m able to interrupt my current state of mind with a newly built framework of values, based on my ambition. This offers a way to break my cycle of self-cruelty in thinking.
As often happens, a “bad” card isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us, but instead can clear the way for us to move forward. 🙂
The concept of the third sephirot of Binah can be expressed as “davar mitoch davar” — understanding one idea from another idea. Binah multiplies the original seed of an Element to the point that a framework of Understanding of that element is built. (Source)
Framework of Understanding is the key point I want to focus on today.
I have to admit– I LOVE researching a topic in-depth if it relates to an awesome project I’ve got going… 😉 I need that thrill of creating something amazing to drive me into researching a topic inside and out!
Here’s a fun aside for you, to give an example from my current life: I am in the middle of researching a multi-faceted look at India during the Emergency as well as studying the epic of the Ramayana… all for the purpose of creating my first opera!!! I am super stoked!!!
(PS: I highly recommend this book I stumbled on, if you’re interested in reading a complete and lyrical retelling of the epic poem…)
What occurred to me today is how research works to create a framework upon which a new Reality (of knowledge) is built.
Continue reading “Featured Sephirot: Binah”
I just finished a personally enlightening meditation (if you haven’t checked out the Pacifica app I highly recommend it!) and I wanted to share a bit of insight I got.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately on the nature of Reality, how there are several layers that constitute one’s Reality, and awareness. And in executing a very simple guided meditation of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, I was reminded that we only know our own physical reality.
Humans have an amazing intuition for “guessing” others’ similar realities. But we can only truly know our own.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? (1 Cor 2:11, KJV)
So, when I strive to relax my shoulder muscles, how do I know exactly what relaxed is? We say relax, but for each body relaxed is its own definition. The only way to know what relaxed is for ourselves is to compare it to tense.
By purposely tensing and then relaxing our own muscles — and becoming aware of what each feels like — we become acutely aware of what the relaxed and tensed states mean for us individually.
Sometimes I become aware that I have unrealistic ideas of what something means for me, even something as basic as “relaxation”. We must remember to learn for ourselves what our realities truly are, so we can live more fully in them.
I accidentally stumbled upon the Lenormand recently… by falling in love with the gorgeous artwork on this deck! 😋
So I’ve started combining my smaller tarot spreads with a small 3-card spread of Lenormand, and what I’m getting is an even better in-depth picture, where the tarot represent my Inner World, and the Lenormand the Outer World Manifestation.
And some days I find myself starting with Outer World (following with the tarot to ask, how am I responding to this?); other days I start with my Inner Focus (followed by the Lenormand to ask, how does this Focus manifest itself in my surroundings today?).
It’s really been a fascinating journey so far!! If you’re interested, check out my reading from today, after the jump…