Temperance. Easy to say. Easier to flit from projects rather than finish one. Easier to eat the whole pack rather than pour a serving. Easier to drive faster rather than leave earlier. Easier to walk by the dryer than open the door and fold the clothes. Easier to spend rather than save. Easier to complain rather than correct.
I'm reminded by this card we are none of us perfect, but if we stop to think or focus...we can reverse non-temperance anytime. I raked our long driveway yesterday, nearly killed my back doing it and as I think about it that particular frenzy was probably so I didn't have to think about the mudding sheet-rock job I've been ignoring. I don't know if I was born an idiot but I've certainly worked hard to become one over the years.
"Living never wore one out so much as the effort not to live." ~ Anais Nin 1903-1977
I have a friend who dresses like this, a bit because she likes showboating, but mostly because she enjoys dressing up. I've seen her go to dinner in anything from Mickey Mouse ears to tiara with outfits to match. I admire her pizazz and confidence.
I'm reminded by this card confidence is a multi-sided word. I wouldn't say "I'm not going because I don't know anyone" because I like to meet new people. I wouldn't think twice about standing up in front of a crowd and teaching or giving a speech. But I seldom even have the nerve to wear a dress to town anymore, in this uber-casual Pacific Northwest where people wear their pajamas to the bank and the grocery store and a color coordinated sweat suit works for eating out, dressing well creates a mild sensation, heads turn. I wish I had the confidence to dress up, there are a lot of beautiful clothes and jewelry going lonely here.
"If I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of confidence. Either that or a scented candle." ~ David Nicholls 1966-
What strikes me first is the repeating patterns in the coins, the table edge, bottom of the picture, bottom of the frame, the rug, the stack by his hand. I said a few months ago I didn't like ritual, that I avoid it. A reader commented my blog post each day is a ritual. A good poke I've thought about often since.
I'm reminded by this card I do have rituals in my life that give me comfort, stability, foundation to work from and come back to. These have been gifts to myself. On the other side of the six coins are the patterns and rituals I've broken myself from, the ones that seemed to arrive fully fledged because I was inattentive with my time and habits or let someone or something else dictate to me.
"Life forms illogical patterns. It is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?" ~ Margot Fonteyn 1919-1991
One of my favorite decks this week, from US Games Systems, 1989, art by Jui Guoliang.
From the book, know thyself is the essential core of the Sun in astrology. This reverses what has been ingrained by well meaning parents; we need to think with a capital I often enough to make a warm and lasting difference in our lives.
I'm reminded by this card we often think in terms of we because we are units in a tribe of some kind. You can see the problem in this by observing widows, widowers, empty next moms, new retirees. Some haven't got a clue how to think on their own, or how to fill their days with meaning and/or joy, or what they even think or know standing on their own.
"If you have a skeleton in your closet, take it out and dance with it." ~ Carolyn MacKenzie
The Greek's mythic patron of marriage and family, Hera honored the loyalty and assistance of the crab by placing it in the sky above, recognized each night forever. In ancient Egyptian myth the constellation was called Scarab for the manner in which the scarab beetle nurtures its larva and was part of the summer solstice celebration.
I'm reminded by this card of our own complex and fractured family relationships. The concept of a gathering which would include Rob and I has become foreign and fraught with pain. The one place it should always be safe to go is no refuge at all. I'm like the ghostly ship in the background of this beautiful image, adrift and simply following the moon which each day puts me right back where I started.
"When did it come to Davy Land that exile is a country of shifting borders, hard to quit yet hard to endure, no matter your wide shoulders, no matter your toughened heart?" ~ Leif Enger 1961- Peace Like a River
Long story short, Chiron was accidently wounded by the poison arrow of his friend Hercules. A corrosive poison with no antidote, Chiron was unable to find release from the pain, yet unable to die from it as an immortal; it eventually transformed him into a healer and wisdom giver.
This brings to mind Nietzshe's famous quote, What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Walking hand in hand with cancer makes me wonder about that. There is more to the quote we seldom hear, When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you. We are but mortals and things do weaken us mentally or physically which no amount of denial will overcome. Fortunately we really do have miraculous minds and bodies and like a freeway interchange we find routes around a corrosive wound, and do, live on, wiser if not better.
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey 1927-1989
It has been a week of unrelenting grey and rain here; to see our Leo standing rampant with his fiery light and heat is most welcome. Can we even begin to imagine a world before the energy of fire was harnessed to our needs?
I'm reminded this morning of what are now such common place blessings, heat for my home, a range to cook on, hot water, the radiation machine, and this week particularly as I take part in Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery, the electricity to run my iron and sewing machine. All forms of fire unknown as little as 250 years ago and still absent in some areas for the world.
"I sometimes left a good fire when I went to take a walk in a winter afternoon, and when I returned, three or four hours afterward, it would be still alive and glowing. My house was not empty though I was gone." ~ Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
Winter solstice, the seasonal turn to Capricorn is nearly upon us. Like the ground around us our mental and emotional capacity comes to a more fallow time when we need to conserve and rebuild our personal reservoir. And what does much of the world do? Gear up and go full tilt in December, taxing our patience, finances, and strength.
I'm reminded by this beautiful goat and his background of worlds passed away and nature returning that human beings are the funniest creatures on earth.
"For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison." ~ C.S. Lewis 1898-1963
I've often found sun signs a bit like tarot courts, one dimensional in order to have enough personalities to spread over all the signs. That said I admire Aries penchant to fight. If there isn't anyone to fight with they will make something up and fight with themselves.
I'm reminded by this card and my circumstances of all the people I've known over the course of my life who've had cancer and how they fought it. Take an aspirin and think about it some other time. Quality of life over second or third chemo. Trips to third world nations for miracle cures. Never mentioning it outside home. Bringing it up with everyone. Second and third opinions. Suicide. Continue their work routine until the day they died. Quit work and play for a couple of years. Hiding it from family. Most choose to pick up their crutch and walk so to speak, rather than lie there and get eaten alive. I think the key with Aries attitude is to have something to fight for, rather than someone to fight with.
"I quarrel not with far off foes." ~ Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862
By myth Jupiter is the law and dispenser of justice and the top dog of the top dogs. Also known as Bel, ruler of hurricanes; Odin, ruler of the gods; Zeus, father of gods and men and ruler of lightening and thunderbolts. A lot of heavy capes for one person to bear.
Yet if you look closely at the image he is surrounded by hands and arms offering support and succor. I'm reminded by this card I am not required to be terrified alone. I've surrounded myself with good people all my life but they are not mind readers. All I have to do is ask and I know they will be there, physically or virtually.
"Do you know the terror of he who falls asleep? To the very toes he is terrified, because the ground gives way under him, and the dream begins." ! Friedrich Nietzche 1844-1900
I'll be using the Mythic Astrology oracle, 49 cards illustrated by Anthea Toorchen, 224 page companion book by Liz Greene. This set is designed as a introduction to the world of astrology.
This type of 5 came up in the Xultan Tarot also, same type of civilization, you did your part or you perished, no social welfare support system. I think this may be an olive tree? Food of course, but also pressed oil for light and cooking and beauty emollients, and as trade fodder. Olives from the same tree can be processed at the green stage, black stage, and over-ripe or damaged, but the fruit is too bitter to be eaten unprocessed. There is even an anti-cancer agent from the tree wood now.
I'm reminded by this card life is much like the olive, nothing without some input/pressing from us, but it is everything when we put thought, effort, and labor into it. I'm pressing a few olives of my own today.
"Except the vine, there is no plant which bears a fruit of as great importance as the olive." ~ Pliny 23-79AD
It is only a skiff so far, I can still see the grass, but today is one of my ultra special snow days. I've no have-to business on the schedule, just a day for me. I'm looking forward to getting a double batch of sugar cookie dough in the fridge (Rob and I will bake and decorate Sunday), getting a good start on my yule cards, (blue and lime!) and hopefully the materials list is up for the annual Thanksgiving mystery quilt at Bonnie Hunter's. (I made two last year, won't do that again, billions of pieces!)
I'm reminded by this card, that I don't have to wear my newest good news/bad news terror like a hair shirt. I have a life to get on with and a snow day all my very own. 10 of Coins day indeed.
"I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow." ~ Scarlett O'Hara, Gone With The Wind 1936, Margaret Mitchell 1900-1949
As a entrepreneur from an early age, when we travel I keep an eye out for what the locals are doing to turn a buck. This card reminds me of the leis and frond hats at roadside stands on Maui. The bowl makes me think of all the gorgeous myrtlewood items in southern Oregon. The coins remind of of the slate tiles of northern Wales and the colorful clay trivets of Mexico.
The bounty of nature, of its cycles of renewal, and of the endless inventiveness of my world companions to find beauty and usefulness in found things is a marvelous gift of living.
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." ~ Charles Mingus 1922-1979
Ever hunted for game or fished? Awful lot of silent waiting goes on. Being cold is usually required. It also involves a three-digit+ gun or rod. Three-digit+ outerwear. Four-six digit+ vehicle combo. Minus time off work income. No showers because you don't want to give yourself away by human scent. That wisdom usually comes from the chain smoker in the group. 'Free meat' is the draw. And that quiet commune with nature...
I'm reminded by this card zen can be found in the wait. Which isn't balanced by the cost and outcome, but still...draw your down time where you can in this cacophonous world.
"The whole wood seemed running now, running hard, hunting, chasing, closing in round something or - somebody? In panic, he began to run too, aimlessly, he knew not whither." ~ Kenneth Grahame 1859-1932
Sometimes it's hard to measure success isn't it? I'm seeing this card today as my radiation doctor and me. I am mentally actually whipping myself to force me to keep the appointment.
I'm reminded by this card it is hard to measure success, because sometimes success in the adult sense of the word often means doing the last thing we want to or think we need to. And doing something that goes against my grain doesn't feel like winning to me. It feels like a failure. They insist it will prolong my life. But at what cost to my body? Yet off I'll go, pushing my sorry breast full of radiation tattoos before me. And I promise I'm done being a crybaby.
"Let the other guys do the crybaby stuff. Go for the laughs." ~ Rip Torn 1931-
Funny how such a sparse image can bring such a flood of memories. The one off the top is the story my father-in-law told me many times through the months when his past memory sharpened and his present memory failed. Or of Rob when he was fostered out as a child and ended up milking 87 cows morning and night for a couple of months. Even with two farms we do Not have any milk cows and that memory is why. Of the spring calves on my own childhood farm, nothing much sweeter than a newborn calf. Of the calf I found floating in the river dead, tangled up in a downed tree, the mother bawling her heart out on the bank.
I'm reminded by this card that memory is a funny thing, funny odd not funny haha, and to be honest I wish I didn't remember a lot of the things I do. We spend our days trying to herd our unruly mind, a rogue juggernaut if there ever was one, which always takes it's own path.
"A Memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." ~ Edward de Bono 1933-
This week it is the 2006 tarot from Lo Scarabeo based on ancient Etruscan art. The Etruscan civilization predated the Romans and the art for this deck was inspired by or came from tombs and necropoleis in what is now Tuscany. Art by Silvana Alasia, booklet by Riccardo Minetti.
Did Renfield's fear of death drive him mad or did his madness feed his fear of death and the steps he took via flies, spiders, birds, and Dracula to cheat the Grim Reaper make perfect sense?
I'm reminded by this card focusing on the ends and justifying the means we took once we get there sounds almost sane to our ears. Madness indeed...focusing on death, Renfield missed life entirely. Which begs the question, was Van Hesling also mad?
I didn't miss the rat race, but I kinda missed the rats.
Jerry Nachman 1946-2004
This has been a long year of burning away for me. I know I'm moving forward but only by hindsight will I know what actions truly helped and what hindered, what I probably should have done, and which move was dumber than a doorknob.
I'm reminded by this card even when we know we are moving forward which necessitates leaving things behind, life, like gods and congress grinds slow but fine. It would probably help if I had a fixed goal, but it's all internal...and engulfed in flames am I.
"This left me alone to solve the coffee problem - a sort of catch-22, as in order to think straight I need caffeine, and in order to make that happen I need to think straight." ~ David Sedaris 1956- When you are engulfed in flames
A companion card to yesterday's Count, this particular 5 speaks of the power to influence people and events.
I'm reminded by this card to be influenced willingly...I've done my background research and I agree/disagree... is far removed from drinking grape Kool-aid, being herded into cattle cars, buying a mini-cooper based on a movie, or believing in someone's god not because you want to go to heaven but you are afraid of going to hell. Being taken in by that kind of influence has no place in a thinking persons life.
ignorance does mislead us. O! Wretched mortals, open your eyes." ~ Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519
I wonder what first wisenhimer altered Stoker's repulsive Dracula into the tingle-your-lions cool dude we see in today's media? Because it wasn't necessary. People are enchanted by power regardless of it's looks.
I'm reminded by this card of all the powerful baddies that ever lived, and the fawning people who surround them and carry out their every vile wish in return for the potential of a moments notice. Talk about weirdoddities.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~ John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (Lord Acton) 1834-1902
We are living in cynically fascinating times. When children of 18-20 are already getting botox injections and implants. When beautiful adults of 30-35 are already getting stretched, pulled, pumped, re-haired, sanded, sucked and bleached into strangers. I find it deeply sad, but my inner imp also finds it far more entertaining than commercial entertainment.
I'm reminded by this card death comes to us all, but how we journey there speaks volumes about our values and inner character. I fear death not , I fear not knowing the real values of being alive.
"One popular new plastic surgery technique is called lip grafting, or 'fat recycling,' wherein fat cells are removed from one part of your body that is too large, such as your buttocks, and injected into your lips." ~ Dave Barry 1947-
Nowadays we don't much bother as the Chinese knock-offers will beat us to market anyway. But things moved slower in the 1800's and in a small country like England it was probably common to know many of the people who were successful in your own area of interest or expertise.
I'm reminded by this card it would be rare indeed if someone today had a new thought. Everything we do is built on what has gone before, and we all shuffle along nibbling a big universal coin together.
"I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow." ~ Woodrow T. Wilson 1856-1924
In the 4 of Cups the innkeeper tries to talk Jonathan Harker out of continuing on or conducting any business with the Count.
I'm reminded by this card of motivations. How sometimes we soldier forward based on pure intuition, occasionally we allow superstition or peer pressure to dissuade us, and sometimes we cower under our virtual beds out of fear of life and change and making decisions.
"The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn." ~ David Russell 1958-
From Robert M. Place comes The Vampire Tarot and 128 page companion book, published by St. Martin's Press, 2009. The four-color cards are based on Bram Stoker's Dracula and part of the fun of using this deck is rereading my annotated copy of that 1897 classic. The renamed suits are: Holy Water/Cups, Knives/Swords, Wands/Stakes, Coins/Coins.
You know those people in life, both personally known and those you 'know of'? The ones who are perhaps fairly normal (whatever that is) in most respects but who knock your socks off in some particular way? An odd list yanked off the top of my brain this morning...which will probably seem ridiculous on review, but what is a sunny day for, if not for fun?
Jerry Lee Lewis: I took piano lessons for three years, can't play a note. Am unimpressed with concert pianists. Oh, but if I could play like Jerry Lee...
Cathy Ditton: I went to school with Cathy for 12 years. Never once did I know her to be presented with a word she couldn't spell. Without spellchecker, you wouldn't see me here at all.
Mae Maupin: She could...and I've seen her do it, with grace and style...make a meal for three adults and 4 children out of two slices of bologna. My house is always full of food and I freak out at providing a meal for company.
Warren Buffet: He puts his money and his family to work. I own 5.3722 shares of BRK.B and am proud to be a grain of sand on his financial beach.
A weird mixed lot, but then so am I.
"Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on thee,
and I'll forgive thy great big one on me." ~ Cluster of Faith, Robert Frost 1874-1973
The cycle or journey of the Fool now being accomplished, guess what. Time to start all over again.
I'm reminded by this card I've said in the course of my life, 'I'd like to start over, but only if I know what I know now'. I guess we're more inclined to pay attention if we are banging our heads against a wall; it wouldn't hurt us to appreciate how smoothly we do tasks and handle trials at which we have become accomplished.
yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the
greatest accomplishment." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882
Daily Draw: Deirdre of the Sorrows Tarot ~ 6 of Cups
In this image we have two women, crone and maid, lost in thought. The crone appears to be both warming and cooking by her fire and a jack-o-lantern sits on her mantle. She also has a big jar full of coins. The maid relaxes with her lantern, apple of potential life, big home and a mystery box.
Is the crone remembering trouble and sorrow and too much work and no play? Is the maid frittering away her life without purpose or direction, too much play and no work? I'm reminded by this card both the work and play phases of our life are important and a good balance between gives joy to youth and age. I don't intend to have a tombstone that says "I wish I had of..."
Stretching across my path,
I got thirteen months of bad luck
Bound to be some pain.." Creedence Clearwater Revival/Green River John Fogarty 1945-
Daily Draw: Deirdre of the Sorrows Tarot ~ Magician
Setting aside my personal terror and stepping sideways into my info-junkie persona, having cancer is a kick. So much information, so much to learn, so many choices, and so many specialists. Yesterday I met my radiology doctor and staff and found a new place of magic and power.
I'm reminded by this card everywhere in the mundane world magic swirls around me, magic that can be captured and used. The main key is to get my head out of my arse and combine my own power with all that comes my way.
"I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark,
branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to
realize that the real magician was light itself." ~ Edward
Daily Draw: Deirdre of the Sorrows Tarot ~ 5 of Swords
Why do siblings fight? I'm sure the experts yap on and on about competition and jealously but I'm not buying it for a minute. Where does all that meanness and hate come from in children who've never been exposed to it themselves? And I've often thought religious fanatics and rampaging soldiers have nothing on the cruelty seen in the schoolyard.
I'm reminded by this card we may unconsciously pick up parental prejudices but much of that meaner than a junkyard dog blackness must be born into us. Does it make us better persons to spend our adult life recognizing and fighting back from that wasteful malice? Is that some venomous God's idea of entertainment? And why do we find it acceptable to say or do something to one we love when we wouldn't even consider that conduct with a stranger? No answers today, just more sorrow.
is remarkable by how much a pinch of malice enhances the penetrating
power of an idea or an opinion. Our ears, it seems, are wonderfully attuned to
sneers and evil reports." ~ Eric Hoffer 1902-1983
Tarot opened previously closed doors to my own heart with it's merciless quest for the truth, nothing but the truth. They flay the soul and make me say thank you afterward. Each hour spent with my cards is a new lesson to be learned. Viva la Journey.
If I'm missing never fear, I'm next door working on my project