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?
Being Aware… Bringing yourself into the present moment…
What is biofeedback?
Biofeedback is just the idea that your brain is always sensing what is happening in your body and it reviews that information to decide how it should feel about the world.
…Since most stimuli that we experience is ambiguous, if you start to push the probability in the positive direction then that’s going to have a really beneficial effect. (Source)
When I sit and meditate on my breath I am choosing to direct my focus on how my physical body feels. When I’m sitting in the calm of this present moment, I recognize that my body feels relaxed.
True, my thoughts will often wander, especially when I’m in a chaotic season of my career (as I often am). But by letting those thoughts simply float away and by redirecting my focus onto the calm in my body, I am actively choosing to create a biofeedback loop based on the relaxation I presently feel. And in this manner, my thoughts are better able to fall in line.
Then, though my mind may be stirring, it holds no direct power over my mindset; indeed I am better able to direct my thoughts in the directions I choose them to go.
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 haven’t really used the 7-card Horseshoe Spread often, but I decided to use it today and I’ve suddenly become a lot more fond of this spread!! Let me show you what I found…
The key observation that suddenly “lit the bulb” in my mind was that of horizontal connections between the cards. (Cards are numbered in order, from left to right.)
Cards 3 & 5: Influences, Inner and Outer respectively
In this case, inside my emotions are ruling and influencing my emotions further; outside, others’ thoughts are affecting me. Water and Air are both fluid elements and easily affect each other. Thus, my current state is like a permeable membrane, where the inner forces of Emotion and the outer forces of Thought easily influence one another.
The Obstacles (Card 4, at the top) are a result of Thought influencing my Action– So, the recommendation here is that I should allow the fluid elements to rage as they will, inside and outside, BUT not be too hasty to let the Thoughts of Others influence my Actions!!!
Cards 2 & 6: my Present Self meets the Action I should take
We often forget– Action can only physically occur in the Present!! Past and Future have no direct bearing on the Action itself, though they do create influences for an Action’s trajectory…
I am currently in a place of withdrawing from the Constructive sense of Community to find Balance in my interactions with others. But the presence of Justice implies that I tend to overcompensate and jump to a complete, Deconstructive sense of rejection of others (which I do). Instead, Justice reminds me that I need to reign that tendency in and come back to Balance.
Cards 1 & 7: the Past meets Future Opportunities or Outcomes.
The elemental forces that led me here are a striving of the Earth (Reality) to find grounding in the midst of Emotion. The presence of the ten of pentacles across from the Page suggests that, of the Page’s two influences, I should lean toward those opportunities that bring a fulfillment of the Earth part.
So, in general, let Thoughts and Emotions fluctuate as they do, but don’t let others’ thoughts rashly influence my actions. Seek the Mildness of balance in my interactions with others. And when facing the future, lean toward that which promotes a fulfillment of Material Wealth, not to be influenced by the ever-present sea of Emotion that brought me here.
Enjoy exploring the deeper relationships in the cards of your favorite spreads! I’ve found that the extra time and effort is well-spent! 😉
I got a very interesting and intense spread this morning, that I was eager to share…
Immediately I was struck by the presence of so many inter-related and conflicting Court Cards!
Here’s a breakdown:
Higher Power (that which guides and supports me today): King of Fire or, Fire influencing further Fire
Where I am right now: Ace of Cups– Emotional beginnings, without judgement, expectation, or fear, etc
Situation that crosses me today: King of Cups or, Fire surrounded by Water (an uneasy alliance, where Fire moves to influence Water, but Water reacts in its own way)
Note: Add Fire to the Current Situation and you get the Fire Queen
Past Influences: Air guiding Water
Opportunities: Create Mental Peace
Note the relationship between 2 of Air and the Knight of Water!! Both share Air (Thought) in common… Thought is what guides and shapes the Knight’s Emotions.
In short, I am in a place of new Emotion today, but the burning energy of my ambitions is strong in my influences. Therefore, that Fire turns my Ace of Cups nature into a King of Cups (Fire influencing Emotion) Situation. Ergo, my near future consists of the furthering of that situation into the Queen (Water and Emotion) of (surrounded/influenced by) Fire.
Apparently my Thoughts carried my Emotions to this place not too long ago (Knight of Cups, who, by the way, tends to be like a “patron saint” of artists and creative types). So the Opportunity I have in this situation (or, what I can/should focus on controlling) is the mental Peace in my own mind (2 of Swords), by way of simply reflecting the original inspiration of Thought that comes from my Source at this time– in other words, I can generate peace in my mind by not overthinking things and just acknowledging inspiration as it comes….
I recently finished a 15-minute long meditation track for someone in the community, and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this track — all thanks to the gorgeous Native American flute work of Alissa Skorik which I just couldn’t resist infusing into this meditative texture (definitely check out her debut album Eluna!).
Anyway, this particular single, Spirit Walk, is just a little something I assembled for meditation purposes, for creating a feeling of calming love and bliss. I’ve been using it (with various other meditation tracks, of course) when executing my new daily routine of Taichi Quigong Shibachi… more on that later… 😉
Hope you enjoy this lovely, soothing track as well! 🙂
I love exploring the power and wisdom of the tarot’s court cards!
To begin understanding their complexity and potential guidance, let’s break down each element and its corresponding suit…
Fire (Wands): Energy, Ambition, Passion
Air (Swords): Thought, Mental Activity
Water (Cups): Emotion, Feelings
Earth (Pentacles, Disks, Coins): The Material World (including career, or any other physical surroundings)
It helps one to recall that “We can’t know anything outside our mind. Everything we see is contained within our mind. Thus, I am not in the world. The world is in me.” (— Haemin Sunim [@haeminsunim] March 8, 2017)
Thus, 3 out of the 4 elements are found originating within ourselves, and the material world is the recipient of whatever way we act out in response to these inner elements.
I figured it was high-time I officially post my offerings to you as a tarot interpreter. 🙂
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. 😉
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.
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. 🙂
How easy it is for us to slip into our emotional skin and become utterly entrenched in the passions of our current opinions and viewpoints, angered with those who disagree with us. A Culture War may be more dangerous than any other in the way it consumes the inside of its very host.
May we call to mind Big Brother Mountain and Father Sky, who simply look on from beyond, observing, unattached, the goings-on below. If we can slip into the mentality of the Observer we can see more clearly the reality of the things around us and will be capable of extending the respect to others that All deserve.
…Till recently scientists believed in an indivisible and indestructible atom. “For sufficient reasons physicists have reduced this atom to a series of events. For equally good reasons psychologists find that mind has not the identity of a single continuing thing but is a series of occurrences bound together by certain intimate relations. The question of immortality, therefore, has become the question whether these intimate relations exist between occurrences connected with a living body and other occurrence which take place after that body is dead.”…
“There are some philosophers,” he says, “who imagine we are every moment conscious of what we call ‘ourself,’ that we feel its existence and its continuance in existence and so we are certain, both of its perfect identity and simplicity. For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call ‘myself’ I always stumble on some particular perception or other — of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never catch myself… and never can observe anything but the perception… nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect non-entity.” Bergson says, “All consciousness is time existence; and a conscious state is not a state that endures without changing. It is a change without ceasing, when change ceases it ceases; it is itself nothing but change.” …
When life ceases the kammic energy re-materializes itself in another form. As Bhikkhu Silacara says: “Unseen it passes whithersoever the conditions appropriate to its visible manifestation are present. Here showing itself as a tiny gnat or worm, there making its presence known in the dazzling magnificence of a Deva or an Archangel’s existence. When one mode of its manifestation ceases it merely passes on, and where suitable circumstances offer, reveals itself afresh in another name or form.”…
Buddhism does not totally deny the existence of a personality in an empirical sense. It only attempts to show that it does not exist in an ultimate sense. The Buddhist philosophical term for an individual is santana, i.e., a flux or a continuity. It includes the mental and physical elements as well. The kammic force of each individual binds the elements together. This uninterrupted flux or continuity of psycho-physical phenomenon, which is conditioned by kamma, and not limited only to the present life, but having its source in the beginningless past and its continuation in the future — is the Buddhist substitute for the permanent ego or the immortal soul of other religions.
Highlights from a lovely passage on the fluidity and freedom of anatta… By Narada Thera. Enjoy the entire article here!