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Friday, December 31, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Offering

The shell image stands for setting ego aside and devoting time and thought to self. Again, rather a mixed message until you see it as the author puts it, "in consideration of one's path, faith in one's journey, and reverence toward one's Self".

I'm reminded by this card, on this last day of 2010, how difficult this is to do. Unless we've booked a stay at a silent monastery the idea of a retreat simply means a vacation...the same us with a different view and still lots of things to occupy our mind. In other words, everywhere we go there We are...the meaning of the Shell and our spiritual progress should get better shrift than a few minutes a week.

"I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." ~ Isaac Newton 1642-1727

Just for the end of the year record, the tarot cards that have come up most in 2010 are World card 9 times, and Justice and Three of Coins 8 times. The Fool only appeared 4 times this year, but still holds the all time overall record, now at 28 blog appearances. And they all always have something new to say. How many other 78 page books can we say that of?

I write this daily blog as part of my own pilgrimage of spirit, but I do thank those of you that drop by and share your thoughts too. It is nice to know there are fellow travelers trying to set aside ego and look to the light. All the very best to you and yours in the coming year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cloaked Genius

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Indigo

The companion book uses this term to draw our attention to people who are so different from ourselves as to be nearly impossible to understand. We are asked to listen and learn rather than close off, judge, and neutralize.

I'm not a follower of the Indigo Child theory, but I'm reminded by this card the world is chock full of things I don't understand, that truth is stranger than fiction, and to keep my mind, eyes, and options open.

"The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers." ~ Arthur Koestler 1905-1938

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

An Active Part

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Action Follows Faith

Neatly following on to yesterday's card of positive thinking is the truism Action Follows Faith. Winning the lottery isn't likely, but we have to buy a ticket to even be in the running. The crippled may walk but it only follows taking that excruciating first step, it won't happen lying in bed hoping or praying. We must add action to our goals.

I'm reminded by this card though...of how much faith this info-junkie has in her computer's brainbox. Taking action, I researched 'Lord helps those who help themselves'. I did not know it is the most often misquoted bible verse...because it isn't in the bible. The bible says repeatedly the Lord helps those who are helpless. The computer says:
Ben Franklin said it in Poor Richard's Almanac in 1757
In 1698 Algernon Sydney said it in an article titled Discourses Concerning Government.
Aesop (620-564 BC) said, “The gods help them that help themselves"
Greek philosopher Euripides, (480-406 BC) said, “Try first thyself, and after, call on God.
Rockman probably said something along the same lines to Caveman. Because it is good advice indeed; we have to take the active part in forward movement.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Subscription Required

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Gentleness

Life's lessons are hard enough. This image encourages us to look for the best in ourselves and others, avoid the negative thoughts and actions that bring us down.

I'm reminded by this card what teaching myself to see the positive and trying to be the positive has brought to and blessed my life. Absolutely amazing, the power of thought. And all free, no fees required.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." ~ W. Clement Stone 1902-2002

Monday, December 27, 2010

Cocoon

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Patience

The companion book speaks of this cocoon being passive development time. At first blush this seems contradictory terms but is probably equal to what I call leaving something on the 'working wall' of my mind.

A working wall is where we quilters place our components of a quilt as they are made. How we begin is very seldom how we end because it gives us the opportunity to see them when we aren't actively looking at them. The misplaced colors shout, the backward assembly waves, something we hadn't even considered whispers to be tried out. I'm reminded by this card to let things simmer a bit always begets more fully formed conclusions.

"Yes, you can fly; but that cocoon has got to go" ~ 1970's poster, credited as Polish Proverb

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mercury's Caduceus

Daily Draw: A'HA Oracle ~ Caduceus

The companion book suggests disquiet in our life may be of our own making. That the staff of Mercury guides us toward positive thinking and positive action, and wise counsel.

I'm reminded by this card how often I give advice unasked, and how seldom I seek outside advice beyond my cards. This reverse viewpoint has given much food for thought.

"People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within." ~ Ramona L. Anderson 1887-1949

My deck this week is the A'HA Oracle beautifully self-published by Linnie Lambrechtsen of New South Wales Australia. 77 cards with both color and black and white art and well written 104 page guidebook.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Knowledge

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ Hierophant

This deck is titled in six languages, in three of them the Hierophant is listed as PaPa. My father has been gone 21 years now, I wonder how much I know or think is based on something he taught or told me?

Dad, I'll always miss you, thanks for the memories.

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." ~ Confucius 551-479 BC

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cooperation

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ 3 of Coins

I drew this card last Saturday, this image gives me more of an impression of teamwork and less of desperate effort. What a pleasure it is to work with someone or a team that functions like clock work.

I'm reminded by this card of the year our friend Elle lived with us. We told her new husband bluntly...if he didn't treat her well we were coming to get her back, she was such a special part of our team.

"Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust." ~ Albert Einstein 1879-1955

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fish Or Cut Bait

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ Knight of Cups

This Knight of Cups has been mulling an idea for some time. We can do that forever and not change one iota. But when we finally make a move it is truly amazing what occurs.

I'm reminded by this card of some of the small steps I've taken over the last decade and what exciting and far reaching effects they have had on my life. Get off the dime, get moving, take that first step.

"Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free." ~ Paul Tillich 1886-1965

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Overdue Payment

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ Justice

This card always raises my blood pressure; how will I ever account for my sins? When will the bill come due? How will I know if the scales are ever balanced? Is that even possible? Good works can't balance sin...it's all well and good to confess and beg forgiveness, but that's just a scale with no balance at all, how can that atone?

I'm reminded by this card sin and payment are much like the electric meter. It is paid in full yet the meter spins and before the stamp is on the envelope I owe again. I wonder if I could make even one day sinless. I sincerely doubt it.

"All anger is not sinful, because some degree of it, and on some occasions, is inevitable. But it becomes sinful when it is conceived upon slight and inadequate provocation, and when it continues long." ~ Wilson Mizner 1876-1933

edited to add, this evening: It took me under two hours to lose my temper and swear this morning. Depending on who you ask, that could be either the longest record or the shortest record. And I was trying so hard...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why Me?

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ 5 of Cups

I'm watching a disaster series in which nearly everyone dies, reanimates, and dies again and the survivors are saying "Why me?" "Why am I being singled out for this torment and pain?"

The 5 of Cups reminds us it isn't me that was singled out...I'm still here. It's they who got deaded. Something to keep in mind when I stub my toe or get a ding on my car. Perspective is everything.

"If I were to say, God, why me? about the bad things, then I should have said, God, why me? about the good things that happened in my life." ~ Arthur Ashe 1943-1993

Monday, December 20, 2010

Debtliness

Daily Draw: Golden Tarot of the Renaissance ~ 1 of Coins

He is so busy worrying about the whole he doesn't realize all he has to lift is the one to get started.

I'm reminded by this card about consumer debt, how it happens, and how to get out of it. The small stuff that builds to a seemingly unliftable burden. An awareness and then a reversal of habits will put this image right.

"Shopping sales doesn't save any money at all unless you put what you've saved into your savings account on the way home. Otherwise all you've done is spend money." ~ Mary Hunt, Debt Proof Living I'll be forever grateful to her.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Obeisance

Daily Draw: Golden Estensi Tarot ~ Queen of Cups

There are many times in our lives we must dance to someone else's tune. Pity this poor knight; it looks like he is paying tribute to his queen...but then we see the heavy duty chain which gives him no other option, and where he is kneeling, it isn't a step but what appears to be a ledge.

I'm reminded by this card life is a wheel, and when we are in the queen position to save the posturing for the bedroom mirror, and behave with grace and a conscience.

"Never take a person's dignity; it is worth everything to them, and nothing to you." ~ Frank Barron 1922-2002

The deck this week is the sumptuously gilded Golden Tarot of the Renaissance Estensi, another double named deck. Lo Scarabeo has done a wonderful job over the years in re-issuing ancient tarots and I thank them. Only seventeen cards remain of the original circa 1470 deck. Published 2004, Giordano Berti and Jo Dworkin worked together to achieve the deck we see today.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Occupied

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ 3 of Coins

Think shipbuilding is their trade, or are they working on a mode of escape?

Job, employment, profession...whatever you call it, here they are at it. If I were to make a personal list I expect there would be around fifteen different occupations on it. A few I loved, one or two I hated. I'm reminded by this card and this economy to be grateful for the employment we do have.

"Even a boring occupation can be interesting when your goal is to do it better." ~ Robert Half

Friday, December 17, 2010

Singular

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ 3 of Cups

Two heads sometimes are better than one. The combined power and knowledge and speed of a group is extraordinary.

I'm reminded by this card in a very timely manner, I don't have to reinvent the wheel every year. There are undoubtedly seminars and workshops I could take to push me past a snail's pace. Imagine the concept...but just suppose, instead of another wheel I create a clutch or a motor?

"So I've seen life as one long learning process." ~ Richard Branson 1950-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Uneasy Coexistence

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ 4 of Swords

Does man ever have true dominion over another living creature? I think the closest that can be achieved is an uneasy compromise between the two.

I'm reminded by this card whether by force, coercion, training, none of us controls anyone or anything and only barely ourselves.

"Coercion may prevent many transgressions; but it robs actions of a part of their beauty." ~ Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt 1767-1835

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stability

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ 10 of Coins

I wonder how often in our lives we can say 'this is stability'? Because true stability encompasses physical, spiritual, environment, mental, emotional...

I'm reminded by this card mostly life is like a shell game. Both sorrow and joy are found in the effort to achieve the apex of stability and so often we miss the fact we've arrived at one because we are focused on another. And if we think we've truly arrived, all parts accounted for and in place wouldn't that become the worst sort of anchor?

"A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope." ~ Epictetus AD 55-c.135

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Act

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ Knight of Wands

The action in this image took me by surprise. I guess that is the good side of losing your mind, each day the old is new again. I googled Knight of Wands images and the verdict is about evenly divided. Some wands knights appear as static, other active. So with that solved...

I'm reminded by this card how easy it is to jump before knowing where you are going to land. This is a particularly irritating personal fault because I hate landing on my face. But it has also led me to new interests and new places. So I'm evenly divided in life, as in the cards today.

"If we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory." ~ Howard Zinn 1922-2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Point Of View

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ World

A fortune-teller would say this is one of the best cards in the deck to get, placed and surrounded right. Me, this image shows a woman oblivious to her environment and that purple thing doesn't look like a protector, but real life about to grab her by the throat and reinsert some reality.

This card reminds me that I call myself an optimist and really believe I can see the blessing in whatever happens...eventually. But in my daily draw I so often see the warning in the cards and not the blessing. Am I foolish? Frightened? Don't know.

"There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint." ~ Denis Diderot 1713-1784

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Creative Make Do

Daily Draw: Marco Polo Tarot ~ Queen of Wands

Our Queen of Wands is holding her wand as if using it for a musical instrument, quite indicative of this character. If she wants to do or learn something and doesn't have the tools she will make do until the real thing may or may not come along. Her experience is not bound by her wallet.

I'm reminded by this card sometimes make-do is more fun than something we've thrown a lot of money at. It feels good to be creative, it either satisfies or increases the itch which has value in itself, and sometimes we even like the make do enough to continue to use it as is.

"I am challenged to be creative by what I buy
Not on how much I spend" ~ Arthur Tugman 1938-


Back to tarot this week with a dual named deck, Tarot of the Journey To The Orient or Marco Polo Tarot. Published by Lo Scarabeo 2002. Marco Polo traveled the world that was unknown to his Venetian countrymen for twenty-four years. The artist Severino Baraldi created another duality, the twenty-two majors all have two scenes portrayed.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting Past The ME

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Ivy

How many times when we need support do we reject it? Or don't even think to ask? I could fill a book with all the times I've been guilty of this. Yes, guilty.

I'm reminded by the strength of Ivy that thinking we can do it all, handle it all, when perfectly good help is right there for the asking; it becomes all about ego and nothing about giving, unintentional or not.

"My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding, and the baby at every christening." ~ Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Longworth 1884-1980

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flip Sides

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Ash

Roots. Deep roots. Of knowledge, spirituality, place. The companion book gives great value to those roots. As do I.

But...I'm reminded by this Ash the strength and feeling of self drawn from those roots are also the cause of much discord on a personal level, and war with it's attendants of narrow-minded blind hate on a global level. At what point does something so good for us become a poisonous form of insanity?

What kind of times are they, when a talk about trees is almost a crime because it implies silence about so many horrors?" ~ Bertolt Brecht 1898-1956

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Have A Dream

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Apple

I woke up with Martin Luther King's words ringing in my mind. The Apple tree means forward vision or depth of vision. I like to think I live my life by the adage "Plan like you will live forever, live like today is your last". Because I was paralytically shy as a kid my embarrassed mother would say "Still waters run deep". I put all that together and I see...nothing.

I'm reminded by the Apple sometimes a rose is just a rose, and often my cards will show me a sly sense of humor. Everything in life doesn't need to be deep and purposeful. I had to come to that interpretation before I could see the Green Man in this card...for whatever it's worth.

"What a splendid head, yet no brain." ~ Aesop 620 BC - 560 BC

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Real Magic

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Blackthorn

Blackthorn has been associated with magic since time out of mind. I'm thinking this morning of the things I know as magic. My sewing machine has a thread cutter mechanism. I used it for the first time this week and it's magic. Added bonus it sounds like the start of a favorite 60's song. It's still hard for me to get past the idea that the people on radio and tv are not in the radio or tv. It is modern magic how they get down that small cord. There is magic that enormous airplanes fly and battleships float.

I'm reminded by the Blackthorn tree I don't want to know how some things work...that they are magic is enough for me.

"I lost the privilege to even discuss the topic, I did it so bad." ~ Jay-Z Shawn Corey Carter 1969-

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hidden Knowledge Found Knowledge Street Smarts

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Hazel

Wise, smart, educated. Sometimes, maybe most of the time the three can and do come together. We've had plenty of opportunity to see what happens when well educated and no common sense meets hard times and how they manage life in the real world. Not so well.

I"m reminded by this Hazel being uneducated has always been a thorn in my side, a deep regret. Like the trout's fin, the knowledge we need is always there for the looking, and recognizing. It's up to us to eke out what we need to cope with in the world in which we live.

"The greatest barrier to consciousness is the belief that one is already conscious." ~ P. D. Ouspensky 1878-1947

Monday, December 6, 2010

Personal Units Of Energy

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Holly

From the companion book: Energy fuels every action.

I'm reminded by this tree funneling energy in beneficial directions is key to a worthwhile life. If all we have the energy to do is drag ourselves to the kitchen for a bag of chips, we could better serve ourselves by using that unit of energy to take out the trash. Just saying...I'm guilty too. But energy breeds energy and I'm a true believer in that.

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you." ~ William James 1842-1910

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Comfort In Numbers

Daily Draw: Green Man Tree Oracle ~ Aspen

In Latin, Populus tremula. One of the most beautiful sights I've ever beheld was an October mountainside covered in Aspen trees in Colorado, their individual yellow gold leaves trembling without aid of a breeze.

I'm reminded by this card, wherever trees gather I can find peace. I am surrounded by the strength and beauty of my bark covered companions as I sit and type this morning...Oak, alder, cedar, yew, holly, fir, cherry, birch; gathered together, offering comfort in numbers as the Aspen promises. If that makes me a tree hugger I'm proud to wear the title.

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them." ~ Bill Vaughn

The deck in use this week is The Green Man Tree Oracle, published by Barnes and Noble Books 2003. Card art by Will Worthington, 128 page book by John Matthews. 25 cards depicting each of the trees that make up the ancient Celtic Ogam alphabet. The Green Man is present in every image, sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wish In One Hand, Hope In The Other

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Primrose and Snowdrop, Hope

I had to look Hope up in the dictionary because when I started a list of Hopes I found much of it were wishes. Are they the same?
Hope: cherish a desire with anticipation
Wish: desire, longing, or strong inclination for a specific thing
Donno, sounds the same to me dictionarily.

I'm reminded by this card, to me, hope is something we can do something about; lose weight, quit smoking, get the promotion. Wish is something we do when we have no control at all; end war, end cancer, safe healthy adult children. I grew up hearing "wish in one hand spit in the other, and see which one gets full first". Here's to honest hopes and wishes coming true, as long as we are willing to do our bit...and recognize reality.

"Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them." ~ Vincent McNabb 1868-1943

Friday, December 3, 2010

Revenge

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Verbena, Revenge

I'm crummy at revenge. My hair trigger temper goes straight from zero to furious and rules me until I can get it under control. Then common sense takes over and I seldom give the situation another thought. Life is too darn short.

I'm reminded by this card that revenge is a cold meal, served in the dark. I refuse to partake of this particular feast.

"Therein lies the defect of revenge: it's all in the anticipation; the thing itself is a pain, not a pleasure." ~ Mark Twain 1835-1910

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Difference Between

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Scabious and Marigold, Sympathy

Not to be confused with empathy I suppose? These are two lovely flowers, one an annual and one a perennial. More akin to the deep difference between joy and happy. Or fear and anger.

I'm reminded by these flowers there are similarities between most everything we generally file in a lump. It's important to know the difference when experiencing our feelings.

"In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams." ~ Abram L. Urban

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Real Thing

Daily Draw: Victorian Flower Oracle ~ Tea and Coffee, Friendship

Sanka and Coffea Arabica.
Herbal tisane and Camellia sinensis.

I'm reminded by this card we all know and can taste the difference between the above choices. No matter how lovingly and carefully prepared you have the real thing and you have something else. Friendships are much like that. I call people who post on my blogs blogging friends. They are not the same thing as the friend who sits beside me at the funeral home or Thanksgiving dinner. Both are valuable parts of our lives...same thing only different...

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee." ~ Flash Rosenberg