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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Insight

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, Templar Vision ~ Preceptor of Vessels

At his center, the Preceptor stands as mediator, a position I know well.

I'm reminded by this card that when working as a go-between it is supremely important not to put my own spin on things. That takes it out of the realm of facilitator and into the land of busybody, of use to no one.

"The mediator of the inexpressible is the work of art." ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1749-1832

Friday, January 30, 2009

Not All High Men Are Low Men

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, A Templar Vision ~ Master of Vessels

The royal kings and potential kings of the world are an accident of birth, then groomed for leadership, unsuited or not. This Master of Vessels has come to his position of his own right by dedicating himself to his goals with honor, sincerity, and intelligence.

I'm reminded by this card that daily the news holds up for example leaders who have gotten where they are by ignoring honor entirely. I know in my heart that not all high men are low men. And I pray that these are the leaders and kings who will rise to the top when this turmoil is history.

"One of the common failings among honorable people is a failure to appreciate how thoroughly dishonorable some other people can be, and how dangerous it is to trust them." ~ Thomas Sowell 1930-

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Open or Shuttered?

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, A Templar Vision ~ 2 of Vessels

In this 2 of Vessels the Seeker and willing Templars proceed in building a house for the Grail where anyone wishing to can see it.

Much of spiritual quests can be hidden from us, both by the religious poobahs and the shutters of our own minds. A peculiar example is a young man, devout Christian, who came in for a haircut one December. He was aghast that someone had gifted him a CD of holiday music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He said when he'd realized who was doing the singing he'd picked it up by the wrappings and taken it outside to the garbage bin. There was a gentleman fully shuttered.

"The fact that astronomies change while the stars abide is a true analogy of every realm of human life and thought, religion not least of all. No existent theology can be a final formulation of spiritual truth." ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick 1878-1969 (Link included to Mr. Fosdick's life as an excellent example of willing and loving diversity)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Egg Lady

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, a Templar Vision ~ Lady of Vessels

This card features the tale of Mary's Assumption into heaven by a host of angels. Various records indicate that having been touched by God, her years after the crucification of Christ were filled with miracles based in love and kindness.

I'm reminded by this card that when someone is drowning, the sight of anyone's hand is a miracle. Each day I hear bad news from friends in which the root of the problem is the failing economy. I have little to offer but a loving ear, and to freely share my many dozens of farm fresh eggs. Not a miracle, but if hungry you can certainly make a meal from eggs. It doesn't make me Mother Theresa, but I do feel my chickens came into my life for a reason and this is it.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~ Philo 20BC - 50AD

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Honesty In Relationships

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, A Templar Vision ~ Shekinah

Inner wisdom, the feminine side in each of us, and honesty in relationships.

I've often wondered, when something is finally exposed to the light of day, how the other partner in a relationship can say they didn't know anything about it. In hindsight there is always a trail of crumbs a mile wide. Honesty has been avoided and foresight has been blinded.

"Honest hearts produce honest actions." ~ Brigham Young 1801-1877

Monday, January 26, 2009

Leave The Shore

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot, Templar Vision ~ 3 of Lances

This card carries on from my Seeker draw yesterday, encourages me to cut the ties that drag me backward and seek new shores to explore.

I'm reminded by this card that confidence and initiative are great life strengths as long as they don't morph into stubbornness and foolhardiness. Life is made up of one step at a time, the journey is what we make it.

"The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore." ~ Dale Carnegie 1888-1955

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seeking, Purposeful or Random

Daily Draw: Grail Tarot - Templar Vision ~ The Seeker

The Seeker...I like that so much better than the Fool. I know people who are perfectly content to be what they are, where they are, who they are today; more power to them, but that isn't for me. As we can see in the image the road literally puddles before the Seeker offering a myriad of choices, up, down, forward, backward. If he is willing to cross the chasm. And when have we ever seen a fool provided a cup for thoughtful planning and a sword for purposeful action?

I'm reminded by this card that each arising offers a choice. Relax back into yesterdays or lean forward to the futures.

The deck this week is The Grail Tarot, A Templar Vision. Illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, conceived and written by John Matthews. I have two other decks based on Arthurian legend by Mr. Matthews, this one is by far the most ambitious and/or different. When the borderless cards are laid out in order you can see they are all connected together to form a panorama. St. Martin's Press 2007

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shouldering The Load

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ 2 of Coins

In the figure's effort to balance it's load the lemniscate is pushing the head away from the shoulders; the whole stance appears to be uncomfortable and unsustainable.

I'm reminded by this card that often in our efforts to care for our loved ones, we forget the linchpin, ourself. If we don't take time to find succor and refill our own well, we will fail in our goal of being the best we can be to and for the ones we care most about. Easy words to slough off but critical in the long term.

"But you now, you wear your soul on your sleeve, exhausting your energy, propping yourself up on a tree, mumbling, or bent over your desk, asleep. Heaven gives you a form and you wear it out." ~ Chuang Tzu c.360 BC - c. 275 BC

Many thanks to the talents of Robin Ator in designing and publishing the International Icon Tarot. In conversation this week I discovered he has another deck in addition to his Ator Tarot and International Icon Tarot, but says it is a personal deck...we need to work on him about this. Anyone raised or living in the west will identify with The Prairie Tarot. Here are a couple of cards, you can see a few more over at Archer's blog

I'm not getting any of Robin's GlowInTheDarkPictures.com site pages to come up today so I'll also include an interview with him here. Robin's take on art is "anyone who has the motor skills to write their name can draw". If only... In this interview he calls this deck Tarot of the American West, but this week he called it Prairie Tarot. Either way, I'd love to own this deck.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Unquenchable Irreproachable

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ King of Wands

With his Wand and salamander, representing the unquenchable irreproachable fire of his office. Many of us have openly wept for joy and the new guard new day sweeping our national office, and here in the NW we weep for yet another dishonest jerk taking office under false pretenses and then getting blown out of the water.

I'm reminded by this card speaking for myself, I expect our sitting officials to be better than average while in office. Part of the job they've asked for is to lead and that leadership includes the physical, mental, and moral actions, who by their example alone will encourage me to be a better person. And our youth, who sorely need good examples from both sexes.

"We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us". ~ John Locke 1632-1704

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ever Evolving

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ Wheel of Fortune

The Wheel is easy to take at face value in a reading and get on with the day. We all know what goes up must come down, we have good times and bad times, yadayada... This is an iconized rendering of the 1909 Rider-Waite Wheel; the various medieval French and Italian deck Wheels are absolutely loaded with symbology to draw on. An entire thesis could be based on this card.

I'm reminded by this card that we get out of life what we put into it. We can drift on the surface, we can deliberately bury ourselves in the mire, or we can daily make an effort to evolve. There is no starting or stopping place, no demarcation lines, only our own path to follow to the end.

"Not all those who wander are lost" ~ J.R.R.
Tolkien, Lord of the Rings 1892-1973

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No Strings?

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ 6 of Coins

Now this is an interesting take on the 6 of Coins. One hand is pouring coins freely, the other hand holds a scales and below it the figure seems to be holding or presenting two candles.

I'm reminded by this card how often we feel we are generous and give freely and often, no strings attached. But really...do we? Do we give to the good child because they are gooder, or do we give to the bad child because we feel guilty? Is our pet charity fully to the point of overfunded, when needy charities go begging and we pass them by. Much food for honest thought here.

The hopes of the Republic cannot forever tolerate either undeserved poverty or self-serving wealth. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt 1882-1945

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye-Bye

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ 5 of Cups

Working through grief is one thing, but this is a 5. This figure always ticks me off, it is so busy crying for what it doesn't have and completely ignores what it does have.

I'm reminded by this card of Cindy Sheehan who in her grief and hate has for years ignored her remaining son and husband. Did they not suffer the same loss? Has anyone ever interviewed them in depth? They lost Cindy as surely as they lost a son and brother. At least today she can see the back of the shrub going bye-bye and a real beginning of her core mission.

"President Bush says we're safer fighting them there than over here. Why are we safer because 120,000 civilians are dead? What makes their babies less precious than ours?" ~ Cindy Sheehan, one of her more lucid statements. 1957-

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's Roll

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ Page of Pents

Did you know ash and diamond are identical, both being carbon? This card asks us to learn and use our talents, to be productive rather than fallow.

I'm reminded by this card of all the things I could do each day and don't. Bill Gates and I share a birthday, just 3 years apart. When I think of the difference he has made in the world and people's lives, not just with computers but in where he has donated his money I could weep. Have I made or done nothing that would make the world a better place? As the Page shows me, it is never too late until we die.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." ~ Calvin Coolidge 1872-1933

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What If?

Daily Draw: International Icon Tarot ~ 6 of Swords

What if gender and race and tradition were erased from the world? Would we still fight and hate? What if we could live in a state of Nirvana? Could we maintain that inner stillness and joy? Or would we still fight and hate, seeking ways to disengage from Nirvana?

I'm reminded by this card that those are questions with no answers, but we are always capable of seeking peace, in our own day to day life. It has to start somewhere. Turn off the TV, burn the paper unread, walk across the way and talk to the neighbors.

"Nirvana or lasting enlightenment or true spiritual growth can be achieved only through persistent exercise of real love." ~ M. Scott Peck 1936-2005

The workhorse deck this week is the International Icon Tarot, designed and published by Robin Ator, Portland Oregon, 2003. This clever deck is based on the same idea as international signage.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

What Were You Thinking?

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ 2 of Wands

Imprudence is the title of this card which is a lack of caution in practical affairs. Who amongst us can say we've never made a dumb mistake, often based in stubbornness or pride.

I'm reminded by this card that if I'm still making mistakes, I'm still alive. We only quit learning when we drop dead. I'll take alive any day. Preferably alive and mostly prudent.

"Every one goes astray, but the least imprudent are they who repent the soonest." ~ Voltaire 1694-1778

I have enjoyed working with the Samurai Tarot this week, learning about this special league of men, their lifestyles, training, home life, and occupation. The deck is well rendered and the little white book accompanying the cards does a good job of getting the authors ideas across, given he only had 14 tiny pages to do it in. I did note the 2 of cups thoughts are for a different card.

The book is necessary to begin with the cards as the meanings and images are unlike the general Rider-Waite guidelines; a good deck to use intuitively if you don't like books. Or conversly spend some real time with the deck and study the Samurai in depth. Either way will bring new insight.

The little book also includes two excellent spreads, the 2 card Duel and 5 card Clash at the Crossroads, plus a list of recommended books and movies for further study of the Samurai. The Samurai Tarot, published by Lo Scarabeo in 2006. Artwork by Giancarlo Caracuzzo, small accompanying book by Massimiliano Filadoro

Friday, January 16, 2009

Illusion and Truth

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ Ace of Wands

In the Samurai deck the suit of Wands represents what we call our inner work. This Ace is about mining for and exposing both our greatest treasures and fears.

Zen from the accompanying book is "it's all an illusion". I'm reminded that most of the things we worry about and obsess over only gain importance because we allow them to. Bad hair days? Truly, no one thinks so but the vain. The best at volleyball or bridge? Only in our small pool... when we let go of the need to compare ourselves and rather work simply for our own good and enrichment, we really are on the way to being a better person.

My daily activities are not unusual,
I'm just naturally in harmony with them.
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing...
Supernatural power and marvelous activity -
Drawing water and carrying firewood. ~ Layman Pang-yun (740-808)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stop Thinking It To Death

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ The Monk

Rather than the introspection and reclusiviness we often see in this card, we are advised to live for the day, to let go and get on with some real life.

I'm reminded by this card that most adults basically lose this ability unless under the influence. We have been taught get your work done first, do it right, go back and do it again, and here is the next job. Do it right, go back and do it again, and here is the next job. No wonder our spirit dims. I propose we all spend some time really playing today. Put your best smile on and I'll race you to the swings.

"When making your choices in life, do not neglect to live." ~ Samuel Johnson 1709-1784

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Shidoken, Tonight Show Host Prototype

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ King of Wands

In this deck the King of Wands refers to the monk Shidoken. Fukai Shidoken (ca. 1680-1765), the notorious penis-priest of Asakusa, was a salacious street-corner raconteur who owed his nickname to his one-time priestly status and to the large phallic stick he flourished as he harangued his audience. In 1763, over 80 years of age, Shidoken's friends published a book to pay for his sake. Times were tough, and entertainers often performed 12 hours a day to keep body and soul together.

There is never anything new under the sun is there? We haven't had cable or dish TV programing for years, we got fed up with the cost and the quality...bad taste under the banner of comedy for one. I'm reminded by this card that sex and love are often difficult subjects to broach directly but everyone loves a good laugh, often at our own expense, better yet at someone else's. A shame really as sex and love should be among our most sacred acts.

"Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it." ~ Buddha c.563 BCE to 483 BCE

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Raw Materials

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ 8 of Pents

The eights of this suit usually show a master craftsman, journeyman, or artisan working their craft. In this case the Cooper applies the last stave to an enormous barrel.

I'm reminded by the mountain and the Cooper that skills do not remain sharp without constant polishing, even the very best need to keep their talents honed with use. And without the right circle of materials and tools there can be no skill at all. And without willing apprentices many skills have been lost in time.
Which brings to mind the people pushing paper every day for hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. At the end of the day they have nothing to show for their work but another pile of papers to push. Shudder...our country is populated by automatons.

"When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman." ~ Jean de la Bruyere 1645-1696

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dump The Pedestal

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ 2 of Chalices

This couple, rather than working on their own union, seem to have each placed someone else on a high pedestal as the benchmark of expectations.

I'm reminded by this card that no one is really a paragon of virtue and it is impossible to measure up to someone who isn't there to show their human frailties. Comparisons are unfair and set the relationship up for failure from the start.

A pedestal is as much a prison as any small, confined space." ~ Gloria Steinem 1935-

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wheat or Chaff?

Daily Draw: Samurai Tarot ~ Ace of Swords

I'll preface my posts this week by saying I know virtually nothing about Samurai history and traditions...but that is the point of my enjoyment of tarot. It opens the door to new knowledge and as an info-junkie new knowledge is my life blood. Appropriately drawn as the card of the day is the Ace of Swords, representing the ability to review the situation and separate the important from what is not.

I'm reminded by this card of the horrific floods we've had here this past week. We were at our farm in Chehalis, right in the middle of it, risking life and limb to save what was important, requiring instant decisions on value and needs. It brings into sharp relief how critical Ace of Swords thinking is in our lives. We need this wake up call ever so often; is it wheat or is it chaff?

"As you get older, you find that often the wheat, disentangling itself from the chaff, comes out to meet you." ~ Gwendolyn Brooks 1917-2000

The Samurai Tarot is my choice for the week, published by Lo Scarabeo in 2006. Artwork by Giancarlo Caracuzzo, small accompanying book by Massimiliano Filadoro.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Action Dragon

Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle ~ Fire Dragon

The four dragons of the elements in this oracle correspond with the four kings in a Tarot deck, only on a much grander scale. The Fire Dragon is the dragon of action and has the enthusiasm and courage to get the job done. He also has a skill I much covet, the ability to see the results or ramifications of an action.

I'm reminded by this card just how differently I work. I take an action, view the results, make adjustments, view the results...It takes me a long time to get from point A to point B. This year I've given myself the gift or burden of doing things other people's way. My goal is to learn to incorporate some of that forward vision into my own bag of tricks.

"Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth... Tame the dragon and the gift is yours." ~ Noela N. Evans

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fear and Strength

Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle ~ Horse

Representing land and travel...we are going to our farm for a few days and behind us the woman has about 15 horses, and I understand our new neighbor beyond us just brought in 8 horses this week. 2 horses live next door to me here at home.

I'm reminded by this card each time I travel to the farm I'm able to do my special calling, my purpose in life; something many people live their entire life not knowing. The stature, strength, and spirit of the Horse inspire me to do it well. My deep fear of horses does not prevent me from admiring them.

"The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire. ~Sharon Ralls Lemon, editor Horse Illustrated Magazine

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Renewed Life Energy

Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle ~ Adder

Another great card to draw in the new year! The snake represents transformation, healing, and life energy. I always feel like a new woman this time of year. I clean up a lot of lose ends in December which refreshes my spirit and leaves me ready to tackle the world or big project anew.

I'm reminded by this card that while I can't shed my skin and grow a beautiful new one, it is inside that matters, and it is the inside I have to live with. Starting fresh each January is my own form of 'having work done' as the stars say, and the weight of years seems to roll away.

"Age is like a strong tree whose beauty is derived from the continuous renewal of its leaves, but whose strength comes from the old trunk, with solid roots in the ground." ~ Giovanni Montini 1897-1978

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blessings

Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle ~ Wren

The Wren recognizes humility and faith, noting that in God's eyes all things are beautiful. One of the greatest and most appreciated changes came about in my life when I began noting three things I had counted as blessings. For the first couple of weeks I counted my husband, home, family, health, pets, maybe the weather if it was exceptional...and then like a ton of bricks it finally sank in that life is crammed with blessings, they run out our ears, and most of them never make a blip on our brains we are so blind and self-centered. I kept a written blessings journal for about 3 years and still do it mentally.

I'm reminded by this card of
the nickle in the parking lot
good windshield wipers
brooms and dustpans
candle light
smiles from strangers
coupons
purring cats
being able to read and write
electricity
sand
the knowledge of the world at our fingertips
childhood memories
water
sand dollars
paperback books
ink pens in many colors
ditto paper
sticky notes and 3M
good tires
Tire companies that still in this day and age do free services
Waving flag
The vehicle T-bone that almost happened...but didn't
I could go on for days. All the everyday small things that in God's eyes are beautiful. And that I in my blindness never acknowledged as miracles, never said a whisper of thanks for, happening around me and to me. It made someone one who was far too negative and sullen into someone who is grateful to be alive, and filled with joy. Anyone can be happy for a few minutes, joy fills your soul and stays for the duration. And yes, I now say thanks for the bad stuff too, there is always a lesson to be learned.

"The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." ~ Eric Hoffer 1902-1983

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I Can Do This

Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle ~ Eagle

A wonderful card to pull for today, so early in the new year. The eagle represents intelligence, renewal, and courage. Look at the height of the lake behind the hills. It looks like a lake behind a dam, which is what projects and obligations can sometimes feel like. A whole lot of whatever, backed up and putting incredible pressure on the person supporting.

I'm reminded by this card that anything can be accomplished 15 minutes at a time, that I can carry any load if I am balanced, and I do have the courage to face what comes.

"The world would have you agree with its dismal dream of limitation. But the light would have you soar like the eagle of your sacred visions." ~ Alan Cohen

This week's deck is The Druid Animal Oracle, written by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm with Bill Worthington doing the card art. I love this deck, one because I have feel such an affinity with animals and Mr. Worthington's art is beautifully rendered giving much food for thought. The second reason is funny. I came to tarot in my annual search for something new to learn. I happened to see a listing for a tarot course in Barnes and Nobel free class listings. I thought Wow, the history and symbology of tarot could keep a research and info junkie like me occupied for a long time.

Well, I was right. I've enjoyed delving deeper and deeper into the history and symbology of the cards, and even learning to use them for personal growth and think pieces. But being new to the subject I didn't know there is a world of difference between a tarot deck and a Oracle and the Druid Animal Oracle was my very first deck. I've learned to love working with oracles and I'll always keep this Ebay prize because it was my very first deck.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Shake Things Up

Daily Draw: Scarab Oracle ~ Sisturm of Hathor

This scarab speaks of love and romance and is a positive omen in both health and romantic readings. I had to look up the word sistrum, it is an Egyptian musical instrument which must be shaken to be used.

I'm reminded by this Sistrum of Hathor scarab that taking love for granted is a dangerous road to follow, and that shaking things up with some romance is always a good thing whether married for 38 minutes or 38 years.

"I want women to be liberated and still be able to have a nice hinny and shake it". ~ Shirley MacLaine 1934-