Re-balancing the Scales

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.

Solitaire as a Life Lesson

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?

  • When Awareness Leads to Revelation

    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?

    Featured Arcana: Knight of Coins

    The Knight is of the Air Element (Thought); the Coins are of the Earth (Material Reality). Earth will be reshaped by Air, but only very slowly… The simple message of this Knight is:

    Trust the Journey

    …even if it’s a slow, arduous climb. The Journey is sometimes worth more than the Destination.

    Featured Sephirot: Binah

    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!!!

    *✲゚*。✧٩(・ิᴗ・ิ๑)۶*✲゚*。✧=””

    (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”

    Featured Arcana: The Hierophant (V)

    The Hierophant (or sometimes known as The Pope, or Shaman) lies along the branch connecting 2 and 4, on the Pillar of Creativity or Assertiveness. He crosses the Great Abyss:

    The Abyss marks the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent — how we decide to use this knowledge in regard to our dealings with others.

    So we can think of this Major Arcana as representing an establishment or codification of our own values — these are based upon a simple reflection of received inspiration from the Source (without any extra reasoning), that can then be passed onward to others in order to bring a community together.

    But remember, the Hierophant can only reach as far as the Intentional and Interactive Plane. What each individual does with that shared Intent (bringing it to the Triangle of Action) is up to them.

    Connections in the Horseshoe Spread

    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…
      • In this case, my cards were fascinating in the sense that the Hermit and Justice are direct mirror images of each other in the Triangle of Interpersonal Intent!!
      • 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! 😉

    When Things Are Not As They Seem

    I love the Tales that Tarot Cards can Tell!

    “Yes, the cards are random. Yes, my mind by nature seeks out it’s own meaning from the cards I see before me. And, yes, that’s the point of it all. I look at what meaning my mind draws currently from the randomly drawn cards, and I am able to gain insight into my current state of mind. I am able to decide how I might chose to address my current state of mind; to encourage parts of it, or change other parts to better face my day ahead.”

    One of the more intriguing aspects of tarot interpretation comes when the supposedly “bad” cards are found in “good” places, and vice-versa.

    I’ve had a series of really powerful spreads to reflect upon since I did my Yuletide Sabbat Reading in December. It’s been a steady reminder to sometimes embrace my disappointments or mental defeats…

    The above photo is the “quickey” Daily Oracle I drew for today. Side note: it impressed me doubly that the first card at the left was the same card I drew a couple days ago, as my “first step” toward resolving my inner issues; and, likewise, the third card, at the right, was the card in that same prior reading as one of my sources of inner strength I could draw from.

    So, let me explain these cards and their basic meanings:

    • On the left, we have the 7 of Water (Emotion), or Debauchery.
    • On the right, we have the 5 of Water (Emotion), or Disappointment.
    • And in the center is the 7 of Fire (Energy/Action), or Valor.
    • The placement of these cards is as follows: Left = Where I am right now; Center = the Root of my obstacles today; Right = the recommended response to learning from or overcoming that obstacle.

    So, we might say, then, that Valor is my problem and Disappointment is my answer. Say what?

    This is where a deeper look into ourselves comes in handy. A Buddhist ideal is that “bad” and “good” have no intrinsic values on their own. They are simply labels that we humans attach to any given thing or event, depending on how we see it at the moment.

    So, taking Debauchery (7 Cups): in this setting, it means I’m on the right track. I’ve taken the first step recommended in the prior spread; I’m in a good place. A deeper look at the concept of this card reveals that this state of Emotion doesn’t have to be “bad.”

    Debauchery is defined as “excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures.” So, there is a word of caution that comes with it: one shouldn’t wallow in stagnate emotions for too long, or the waters will rot. But, sometimes, it may be necessary to lie still in your Emotions and enjoy their sensual pleasures for a spell–just be aware that you will have to move on at some point.

    Valor (7 Wands): it is a card of fiery Action! A pushing forward past obstacles using the sheer energy of your passion! And, weirdly enough, for today that is what is the Root of my difficulties I either face now or will face today. Valor is an honorable trait, to be sure. But often, our Fires of Passion can run over others and get us into trouble, burning up our surroundings that we have built with those same energies. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Lastly, Disappointment (5 Cups): How can this possibly work as a “good” card–an answer to the “problem” of Valor??

    One of the traits of water is to cool fire. Our Emotions can at times be the vehicle by which our passionate energies are cooled, allowing us to step back and think on things a little more. Deeper still, the principle of Emotional Disappointment is a state of non-equilibrium. We are, of course, not content to stay in Disappointment for long. The Waters of Disappointment seek to flow to calmer or more stable grounds.

    When Disappointment is meant as a suggested response, it is wise to look straight into the face of your emotional upset and allow it to carry you along to a better emotional place.

    Many times, we must not shrink from unpleasant emotions but embrace them and let them carry us forward.

    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.

    A Dramatic Realization

    I suddenly had the most intriguing revelation this morning upon waking. This is perhaps a bit off-topic, yet this blog is, of course, an online journal of discovery, so perhaps it’s not so much a derailment of thought… 🙂

    Social Networking: Appropriate-Social-Network-Behaviour-300x299

    I love Facebook! It has connected me with friends and relatives and fans of my work like I could only have imagined before there was the internet (and, yes, I do remember those days, though I was only a child, haha)!

    I always strive to be real; I never want to present myself as something other than myself. And, out of respect for others, I have never ever made it a practice to “unfriend” those in the digital-social arena whose political or religious or cultural values differ from mine. Unfortunately, however, there are a couple people my Unconscious — my Higher Self — brought to my mind very strongly this morning; people  who I know and with whom I have interacted personally in real life — who I did end up de-friending after a long, long time of frustration.

    Naturally, the frustration was over political differences, stark differences. The odd thing about my situation was that, with both of these people, I only engaged very rarely with them in heated discussions (online, in the comment sections); I wound up unfriending them only after being constantly reminded of their staunch positions through the memes and comments they shared with me via my feed. I had decided, I don’t need to be reminded of our stark differences by seeing this in my feed every day.

    What struck me as interesting and unique this morning, was that there are plenty of other diverse things that are shared with me constantly via that Facebook feed every day. Why should I be so bothered by these few? I think perhaps it is because in real, face-to-face life, I would never have engaged in such heated commentary with them, and indeed I would probably never have even seen this side of their views so vividly, knowing them and their in-person, quiet natures. And, even if I had, knowing myself well enough, I realized I would simply have nodded my head in respect of their opinions and loved them anyway, rather than engaging their ire further with my dissenting viewpoints.

    So, my Unconscious asked my Conscious this morning, what would I “share” verbally in face-to-face communication with my friends, if I were to speak with this collection of diverse individuals in person? I know myself well enough to know that I would not be so quick to blurt out to everyone any such heat-worthy news bites or strident memes that catch my fancy at any given point, without instigation. I tend to be the person, in real life, who normally listens more than speaks when it comes to hot-button issues of the day, unless I am asked for my opinion. Thus, when I am invited to share in the discussion, the discussion is instantly understood to be on more friendly terms, and not an opportunity for scathing commentary back and forth.

    I realized, too, that on my personal Facebook wall, I only share with “Friends” and not the “Public.” Which begs the question, again, if I were personally, physically, surrounded by these friends today, what would I actually share with them? Would I bare my soul so destructively and without discernment? Or would I more likely nod my head in enthusiastic agreement with those things said with which I concur, and smile with patient understanding and polite silence when faced with opinions I don’t agree with? Yes, having done so confidently in the past, and knowing this is who I am, that is what I would do. Therefore, I have committed to a grand personal experiment on social media: Rather than sharing blatantly anything and everything that strikes my fancy (and, understand, I already tend to be judicious in what I choose to share; I share those things that seem highly important to me — but it’s important only to me, without concern for others at the time; that’s the point), I have decided: I will only “share” that which I would personally say to anyone in my circle face-to-face. 

    • I will freely “Like” those things that strike my fancy, however. It’s my enthusiastic “nod of the head” of agreement.
    • I will “Share” those things that I personally would only say in public, in physical actuality, face-to-face.
    • I will not engage in heated back-and-forth commentary in the manner to which I have become accustomed in this faceless internet age. And if I do participate in discussions, I will only do so as I would if I were standing there with this person face-to-face: with love, patience, silence, and understanding.

    To the internet’s credit, I have become much bolder in expressing myself, and for that I am grateful. But I have realized that I — and perhaps, we all, dare I say? — have gotten too comfortable in engaging each other’s ire from the comfort of hiding behind our smiling profile photos, from behind the safety of our own monitors in our own homes. I, for one, will aim to be more “realistic” in my engagement with others online. At the very least, I will be truer to myself, and in doing so, there is great Peace.

    And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    –Jesus, Luke 6:31

    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

    –Proverbs 15:1

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