Friday, October 31, 2008

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Empress

Elsa Lanchester wore the quintessential Halloween hairdo in the Bride of Frankenstein and would take the best of everything if I were running an all time Halloween costume contest.

Because I'm 50-something I can remember a lot of hair styles coming and going, some classic (French twist) some horrible (mall bangs) but all in some way define the wearer at the time. I like to think of myself in the classic mode...I've worn the same short style all my adult life. With simple changes for the times like no more prickly rollers, hello blow-dryers, my style has softened over the years just like I have. I'm reminded by this card that part of being the Empress is knowing who I am and being comfortable with it. I'm long past wondering and questing. I'm happy with who I am today, and all I can ask for is to be a little better me tomorrow.

"Self-discipline is crucial to a simpler, more contented life." ~ Tenzin Gyatso 1935-

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Swee'Pea, Louie, Huey, and Dewey

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 8 of Ghosts/Cups

 Ever wonder where Popeye's Little Swee'pea came from? July 28, 1933, Popeye received a foundling baby in the mail, whom he adopted and named "Swee'Pea". Popeye referred to him as "my adoptid infink". Of himself he always said "There's no ifs or maybes I'll never has babies! I'm Popeye The Sailor Man!" 

What about Huey Dewy and Louie? October 17, 1937 the boys arrived with a letter. "Dear Donald, I am sending your angel nephews Louie, Huey and Dewey, to stay with you while their father is in the hospital. A giant firecracker exploded under his chair. The little darlings are so playful. I hope you enjoy them. Your cousin, Della." No one ever came to get them. 

 What does this have to do with my 8 of Ghosts? Some questions we will never know the whole story about, time to put some more ghosts of the past behind us and move on. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 6 of Pumpkins/Coins  

Charitable giving has been in the news in the US lately in relation to $150,000.00 in clothing expenditures. I don't know anyone who needs charitable donations that has a good use for a $300.00 pair of high heel shoes. 
I have worked for organizations that accept clothing donations and they all say the same thing. They don't need evening dresses and high heels, they need jeans and flannel shirts, hard wearing work shoes and warm serviceable coats. 

I'm reminded by this card of how quickly we get out of touch with the real day to day lives of those in need. My husband has been out of work for 2 months now; we've pared back considerably, but we were pretty frugal to begin with thanks to Mary Hunt's Debt Proof Living and Simple Living. I've drafted a list for 'if or when the real financial depression comes'. I'm also thankful to FlyLady for teaching me what I should have known all along...the difference between want and need, and between taking charity and being my own helping hand. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Temperance

Ever wonder where all the eye of newt, tooth of wolf, boiling black caldron got started? William Shakespeare's Macbeth has pretty much single-handedly given all the Halloween B-movies the base for their props, all the ever so serious covens their starting point for a shopping list for charms and spells...

I'm reminded by this card of Snopes and other myth-buster websites who try to break the cycle of misinformation the gullible prefer to believe and continue to spread. Next time you get an email that wants you to resend it to everyone you know, check Snopes, Think Temperance in all things.

"Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble"
William Shakespeare 1564-1616 Macbeth

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pure Raw Potential

Halloween Tarot ~ Page of Ghosts/Cups  

This Page is often shown contemplating a goblet holding a fish. This indicates the figure has only skimmed the surface, there is still much depth to be plumbed. I'm reminded by this card that each of us are lifelong students of life itself. When the final page is written on the day of our death, will our life have been a Reader's Digest Condensed Book, 10 for a dollar at any library sale, or will it be encyclopedic in it's depth and breadth with value beyond calculation? 

I went to a funeral last month and the only subject mentioned by every single person who spoke, including the pastor, was Fran's appetite for food. This was a woman who spent her life teaching others, including 11 years in South America, who had traveled the world at every opportunity...yet all she left in people minds was her appetite and her resulting weight. 
What interesting incredible worthwhile beginnings and completions will my life book say? The only time it is too late to learn something new is when they drop the lid on the casket.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Over The River

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 6 of Bats/Swords
A different mood for this 6 of Swords, a family out for some fun trick-or-treating or perhaps a Halloween party. Taking a short break from the mundane which refreshes and often helps us see more clearly the things which have been worrying. 

I'm reminded by this card of the identical little trip we took yesterday. People were glad to see us, had things saved up to show and ask us. All was as well as we could hope for and a lovely time was had by all including the equivalent of the boat's cat, our two little formerly unsocialized dogs. Plus we scored 2 giant bags of apples much like the two pumpkins in the bottom of the boat. 
"Too much work, and no vacation, Deserves at least a small libation. So hail! my friends, and raise your glasses, Work's the curse of the drinking classes." ~ Oscar Wilde 1854-1900 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Contentious Disharmony

Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ Betony

As a kid did you get along with your siblings? I love my brothers and sister deeply but I don't remember getting along very often, on reflection it seems like we were mostly fighting in a hateful manner. I don't think it is uncommon but it makes me wonder why people have children.

Betony was used in ancient days for both disinfecting and soothing, would that we could drop a little in the water occassionally. Perhaps the peoples of the world could talk to and learn from each other rather that go straight for the throat without regard for viewpoint or circumstances.

I'm reminded by this card that life is tough and then we die, but some of that tough is self-inflicted. I think I'll do an experiment today of only partaking in conversation when spoken to and to listen with both ears rather than half a mind.

"All discord is harmony not understood". ~ Alexander Pope 1688-1744

Good Oracles like this one always make me think and work outside the box, bringing me new insight and outsight regarding myself and the world. I have a friend who seems to have cut off contact and I've been puzzling this week not so much what I said, but what I didn't hear; which of us chose or caused disharmony?

I thank Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm and Will Worthington for once again opening my eyes in a new and refreshing way using the Ancient Druids to do it.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Daily Draw: Druid Animal Oracle: Plantain

You probably have Plantain in your yard as we speak unless you are living in a high-rise, it is everywhere and has survived three ice ages according to the book authors. The interesting thing about this plant is how it adapts to it's environment. If it is in grazing area it grows flat to the ground, on the other side of the fence in tall grasses it will grow a foot high.

I'm reminded by this card of the different faces we put on according to where we are and in whose company. We have our I'm the boss or called into the bosses office faces. Our in a place of worship or having a brewski after work faces, our I'll carry a grudge to my dying day or I'll love you until the day I die faces. It is all the same person of course, we just behave like the lowly Plantain, adjusted for the circumstance at hand.

"His face bespoke his soul". ~ Voltaire 1694-1778

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Staff of Life

Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ Wheat

In the hard times that surely face us I'm reminded by this card of life basics. Somewhere over the last 70 years we've forgotten how little it really takes to make life good. Three squares, a roof, someone to love who loves you back, and faith. Plus willingness to bend the back to a hard job. Wheat will pull most of us through as it has for 1000's of years.

"Powdermilk biscuits: Heavens, they're tasty and expeditious! They're made from whole wheat, to give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done." ~ Garrison Keillor 1942-

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ Mugwart

As a weed Mugwart is a plague upon the earth, growing nearly everywhere up to 4 foot tall, not an unobtrusive plant. It has also been known and used for many medicinal purposes since the middle ages and is said to be of aid in clairvoyance.

I'm reminded by this card of friends and strangers who would condemn me for using and enjoying my cards, would consider them the work of the devil, would condemn me without ever talking to me about it, or asking how I use them. Like mugwart might do, the cards bring a lot of clarity to my days, they make me open my eyes, both inner and outer, to see things I might otherwise miss or never ever think about at all. For this I call them a blessing and I sorrow for the closed minds and eyes of the world, whatever the subject. And admit I was once of that herd.

"Clairvoyant, n.: A person, commonly a woman, who has the power of seeing that which is invisible to her patron - namely, that he is a blockhead." ~ Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just A Little Daub Will Do Ya

Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ The Banes

Wolfbane henbane and hemlock are all deadly yet offer the blessings of relief when used correctly in small portions. Just like modern medicines and much else we encounter as we go about our days.

I'm reminded by this card of one of my Grandma Pearl's cautions, "All things in moderation". It is a tough line to walk some days when stress or disappointment or pain can make us uncautious or uncaring about the long term consequences of our actions. I've done plenty of things from which I should have woken up dead. Funny how careful we get as we get older...perhaps we do get smarter. It would be nice to hold that thought.

"Moderation is the center wherein all philosophies, both human and divine, meet". ~ Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881

Monday, October 20, 2008


Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ Lady's Mantle

Yesterday I took my first yoga retreat...who knew you could exercise all day and feel great at the same time? I love yoga! We had a beautiful lunch and good conversation and then we took a 'guided meditation walk'. She asked us to choose a mantra, perhaps thank you, to observe, and to kiss the ground with each step. To be honest I felt a bit daft in the beginning but it was a lovely afternoon, and I thought I'd do my insomnia mantra, let it go. But a little ways into the stroll I realized let it go was the opposite of what I was reaching for this day, and changed to thank you for everything I laid eyes on.

I'm reminded by this card that river rock, bird house, fern, black-top, and water all have something in common and I am very thankful for it. We see and take them for granted each day, never giving a thought to beauty or utility because they are constant parts of our landscape. It was nice to be reminded that without the common things we'd have an uncommonly difficult and ugly life.

"One does a whole painting for one peach and people see just the opposite -- that particular peach is but a detail in the whole painting". ~ Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Beginnings

Daily Draw: Druid Plant Oracle ~ Juniper

Juniper indicates it is time to wash away the old and start fresh, to 'begin as we intend to go on'. I heard that phrase for the first time this year and was struck by it's simple message. July 30th we said goodbye to Windsor and we've been working through our grief since. We knew one day we'd want another dog but we weren't ready right away...too big of paw tracks for another dog to follow.

This card speaks volumes about our past week. Two dapple Daschunds were dumped up here in the back of beyond October 10. Other than to dash up behind you and bite they wouldn't allow any human contact, they had no socialization skills at all, they were simply wild beasts, the product of a local puppy mill going out of business.

Our original intent was to trap them in the garage so we could call the shelter to come and get them. Then we decided they had big hearts and plenty of moxie to be able to survive up here on their own, so we thought we'd teach them some social skills that might get them by long enough to be adopted out of the shelter.

Once they calmed down and we were finally able to lay hands of comfort on them the change has been nothing short of miraculous. In 8 days they have gone from frightened and vicious to two young gentleman who can walk into my office, get in their basket, and then wiggle for the sheer joy of getting a hug or tummy rub. They are well on their way to being upstanding representatives of their breed in any company they choose to keep.

Well, you can probably guess the outcome. Yes we were very careful not to name them while we were doing basic training. Give a name, take responsibility... But the Shelter truck was up here Friday, someone who got bit filed a police report. An animal that has bit has to be quarantined for 10 days, and if in Shelter care is then euthanized, no second chance whatsoever, it's the law. The officer was very kind, allowed as how I was willing to sign a affidavit that I would be responsible for their behavior she would consider that they were already in my quarantine which would expire in 3 days. Some of that kindness may have been triggered by the dogs coming up to her with a huge carrot and dropping it at her feet...where is the camera when you need it?

Neither one of us will say they are staying, but they now have names, will get their first bath today, and a lesson in auto travel. I'm fairly certain Xing-xing (Twin Stars) and Xaviar (bright new home) will pass with flying colors.

And that is what Juniper means to me today.
"A dachshund is a half-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long." ~ H. L. Mencken 1880-1956

This beautiful Druid Plant Oracle deck is the fourth collaboration of Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm on the book and Will Worthington as the card illustrator. They also did the Druid Craft Tarot, Greenman Tree Oracle, and Druid Animal Oracle. Mr. Carr-Gomm said this on his blog which says so well how I feel about my own blogs: "Just as the spiritual path can be characterized as the ongoing attempt to both remember yourself and forget yourself, so blogging can be seen as a challenge to both be more personal, more open, more sharing of the riches of a life and at the same time to take yourself less seriously, to let go of the concern about what other people might think about you, and to reveal rather than conceal your curiosity and amazement at the often crazy world you find yourself in".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leave It Be

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ The Hermit

Tom Bombadil, ancient earth spirit is careful not to get involved. I've never ever looked at the Hermit card from that point of view. I've always thought of the Hermit as withdrawing for a higher purpose as opposed to simply minding his own business.

I'm reminded by this card that not getting involved can save a whole lot of grief and bother and sometimes money. But more often the heart leads when it comes to getting involved and once committed being the Hermit is out of the question. We choose to take responsibility last Sunday. It would have been super easy to ignore the situation, literally turn our head so we didn't have to see. It isn't in our very Hermit-like nature to do that though. I can only hope it all works out without heartbreak all around.

"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed." ~ Martina Navratilova 1956-

I have been really impressed with this deck. It has been around for 11 years and I didn't even bother looking at it because I assumed it was just one more bad deck based on a theme and jumping on the Lord of the Rings money-making express. Instead the 268 page book is very well researched and written, the cards, while abiding within general Tarot guidelines offer many new ways to see a situation or solution with the help of Middle Earth's viewpoint. And best of all I got to reacquaint myself with the Ents, the true Hermits of the world. Two thumbs up U.S. Games Systems, thank you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bound and Tied

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ 5 of Swords

Pippin and Merry are captured by the Orcs. I've not been in the service and have to fight for my life, but I've been furious enough in the past to raise my hands in anger against someone, and I've also been in the position of being so angry that someone felt it was necessary to hold me down.

I'm reminded by this card of what terrible feelings were coursing though me. The astonishment of discovery, the adrenaline, the sheer madness if you will... but being held against my will was the worst, much worse than the anger or potential consequences. That day was the first step in anger control for me, I never again have placed myself in a position were someone else had control of my physical movements.

"There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom". ~ J. Michael Straczynski 1954-

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Unblinking Red Eye

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ 2 of Wands

Gandalf unites the Free Peoples, yet Sauron overshadows. This part of the story brings to mind our own soon to be over U.S. presidential election. Both of the final candidates are good and honorable men who I think would make every effort to lead us forward rather than let us sink further in the mire. I think the surprise has come to the voting public. I know people who would have swore to their dying breath that they didn't have a drop of prejudice in them finding they do and it has made them uncomfortable in their own skin.

I'm reminded by this card that while we sincerely think we know ourselves, we never do until put to the test. Would we really lay down our life for a spouse or child? Would we really return a bag stuffed with money? Would we lie if it meant we could get what we wanted? Who knows...but I know who I'm voting for and I'm looking forward to the next four years and the changes that must come, difficult or not.

"Be good; do good. Be kind; be compassionate. Inquire, know Thyself.” ~ Swami Sivananda 1887-1963

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ghosts of Dead Marshes

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ 8 of Cups

Gollum warned Frodo and Sam not to look in the reflecting pools because they would see ghosts that would lead them astray.

I'm reminded by this card of the ghost voices and tapes that can lead me astray. I'm older and wiser but still sometimes old hurts and habits float to the top and try to overcome better instincts. The only time that battle will stop is the day I die.

"If a man harbors fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost." ~ Lloyd C. Douglas 1877-1951

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Unexpected Help

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ Page of Coins

When we most need aid it usually shows up. Seldom as a Knight in shining armor, but a willing Page is often better...they just get in and help. They don't need to run the show, they have no desire for the heavy responsibilities of being the boss. They just seem to arrive out of nowhere and then just as quickly they are gone.

I'm reminded today of the Home Depot parking lot. We've done a lot of building in the last 4 or 5 years. Anytime we've headed for the pickup with something like 18' 6X6's or a giant stack of Hardiboard some nice man just appears and offers to help. The first time we were basically speechless with surprise, now we just know it will happen. And now we also do it. All part of that secret society of unknown Page of Coins people.

"In life there is nothing more unexpected and surprising than the arrivals and departures of pleasure. If we find it in one place to-day, it is vain to seek it there to-morrow. You can not lay a trap for it." ~ Alexander Smith 1830-1867

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Solemnity of Ents

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ King of Coins

The Ents and Treebeard are the part of the trilogy that stand out most clearly in my mind, even 30 years after having read the books. Their complete sureness of their place and duty, their lack of need to interact with the flim-flammers and movers, their timeless patience.

I'm reminded by this card that a real King of Coins has no need or desire to glad-hand and network and can therefore seem distant and aloof. That appearance belies their true heart. Come to them with a real concern and you will see an Ent move.

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen." ~ Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bilbo's Library

Daily Draw: Lord of the Rings Tarot ~ 3 of Coins

I'm always surprised when someone I know doesn't want to do something because they don't want to be bothered with learning something new.

I'm reminded by this view of Biblo's library, that learning something new is why I love to get up in the morning...whatever happens will add to my fund of knowledge and skills and it is always exciting to see what the day brings, preparing me all the better for the tomorrows.

"All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners... Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing... not moving toward excellence." ~ Denis Waitley 1933-

Some fun for this week's deck, The Lord of the Rings Tarot and book, Artwork by Peter Pracownik, book by Terry Donaldson. Published by U.S. Games Systems 1997. A special thank you to U.S. Games Systems founder and owner Stewart Kaplan for 'making my deck whole' again.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Daily Draw: Tarot of Dürer ~ 10 of Swords

This entire week's draws have been pointedly saying it is time to let something go, to bury it, to move on. Sometimes it is a fruitless quest, it can be a person, or an action that impinges on our integrity...even pride.

I'm reminded by this card, once again, that what we want is often not what we need. But comfort and routine obscures that from us. Time to pull up my socks, gird my loins and move forward to the future rather than hang on to faded dream, nebulous hope, or misplaced ego.

"If a hermit lives in a state of ecstasy, his lack of comfort becomes the height of comfort. He must relinquish it." ~ Jean Cocteau 1889-1963

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Can't Take It With You

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Dürer ~ Death

Subtitled Mutatis mutandis which translates to: The necessary changes have been made, everything else being equal. Anyone with more than two coins to rub together has been following closely the economics of the world recently. We have seen the very rich get richer, the very smart being blindsided, the very poor getting ground down deeper.

I'm reminded by a close look at this card that Death comes to us all, the hyena will pick the bones, and our sparkling riches will lie there for the next crow or relative to pick off. And no lessons will be learned by anyone. The reason the rich laugh in our faces is because humankind has a very short memory and apparently an even shorter attention span.

What, me worry?" ~ Alfred E. Newman, December 1956

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taking Aim

Daily Draw: Tarot of Dürer ~ 8 of Wands

Looks like someone was playing darts on the out-house door. Since this is the only card in the deck with a date I'm going to take a guess that 2001 is the year the artist finished it and that figure looking over the top is a self-portrait. Or I could be way out in left field... I see the aim is right on target though and think about having goals.

I'm reminded by this card that defined goals is one of the many good habits I've learned from my husband. He sets his sights on something and then goes quietly about accomplishing it. It took me some years to figure out why he was getting what or where he wanted while I was just hanging about waiting for what I wanted. Makes all the difference in our quality of life.

"To know what has to be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life." ~ Sir William Osler 1849-1919

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

From or Toward

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Dürer ~ 6 of Swords

The 6 of Swords and the 8 of Cups both allude to turning away and moving on. I always feel the 8 of Cups is moving to something, the 6 of Swords is moving away from something, it often seems such a sad card. Yet this figure stands comfortably in the small craft, fox tucked securely around the shoulders and hat plume waves proudly. The 6th sword is embedded in the tree limb as if that were the final statement..."screw you and the horse you rode in on, I'm out of here".

I'm reminded by this card that much of daily misery is self-imposed. Worrying about things that will probably never happen, moaning about things that won't change, fussing over some imagined slight...Get a life, move past it, there is so much more to living. I don't want to die with a scowl on my face or a grudge in my heart or a complaint on my lips about something I should have put behind me long ago.

"Our dilemma is that we avoid change; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better." ~ Sydney J. Harris 1917-1986

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What the heart wears

Daily Draw: Tarot of Dürer ~ 3 of Swords

Mourning takes so many different forms according to the individual's pain. It wasn't terribly long ago black was worn for a full year and dove grey for the next year. I have lost a lot of family and friends in the last 30 years and only once or twice did I ever see anyone dressed in black. Which is fine, what the heart wears is the thing that matters. I wore black to a December funeral, but wore a fire-engine red sweater under my jacket because Auntie Edie loved red above all colors. Yesterday I wore purple with a red hat in honor of my long-time friend Fran.

I'm reminded by this figure that grief and honor take many forms and I should judge no other because I can't know the story in their heart.

"Tearless grief bleeds inwardly." ~ Christian Nevell Bovee 1820-1904

Monday, October 6, 2008

An Innie or an Outie?

Daily Draw: Tarot of Dürer ~ Queen of Wands

Do you suppose she is trying to go incognito? Or has she been cast out with nothing but the cloak on her back? Does she hold the wand thus to hide behind or is she getting ready to backhand the viewer? The lion is at rest, so has she just been hunkering beside this small ridge for protection or is she playing a romantic hide and seek game with a lover?

I'm reminded that we never know what is really in the heart of anyone but ourselves. Because appearances mean little except what we read into them. Beware snap decisions, there is much ego in the phrase "I'm a good judge of character".

"For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearance, as though they were realities and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are." ~ Niccolo Machiavelli 1469-1527

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Want vs. Need, Who Decides?

Daily Draw: Tarot of Dürer ~ King of Swords

It is fitting to start the new week with the King accompanied by the allegorical fox, who represents this suit. Cunning intuitiveness and known as a shape-shifter in mythology.

As we watch world events unfold we often see leaders who shape-shift according to that day's requirements and how brightly the light of media exposure shines. I think it cannot have been much different 600 or 4000 years ago. Kings and Pharaohs may have been crowned for life but intrigue and dissatisfaction will have always been with us.

I'm reminded by this card that if enough people want something badly enough, eventually it will come to pass. Problem being it isn't always what we need.

"I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands..."
~ Mick Jagger Keith Richards November 16/17, 1968

Another beautiful deck from Lo Scarabeo, 2002. Giacinto Gaudenzi created the illustrations for this tarot deck inspired by Albrecht Dürer's style. Albrecth Dürer (1471-1528), from Nuremberg Germany is often considered the greatest engraver of all time and one of the best ProtoRenaissance painters. The use of spiritual allegory is one of the hallmarks of his work. In this deck Chalices are represented by the Dove, Pentacles by the Eagle, Wands by the Lion, and Swords by the Fox.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Daily Draw: Da Vinci Enigma Tarot ~ 5 of Fire

Subtitled Struggle, the question is 'What strategies are necessary to settle this conflict?".

I'm reminded once again of the conflict of a strike we are involved in. Neither the company nor the employees wanted a strike, yet here we are going into the third week. The people walking the picket line are drawing less than 10% of their normal income from the strike fund. The company is obviously handling about 90% less than their normal payloads. I wonder what the breaking point will be? This is the result of zero conversation, zero negotiation.

"Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving." ~ John Dewey 1859-1952

I've enjoyed working with the Da Vinci Enigma deck and learning more about this incredible man and his life. In the margins of the notebooks we are so fortunate to have, Leonardo uses the phrase dimmi which translates to tell me each time he tries a new pen nib. What skill and information will that nib have added to Leonardo's life by the time it is worn out? Dimmi is the perfect explanation for this blog: what will my deck of the week and card of the day teach me? May I always be open to new knowledge.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Life is Short

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Enigma Tarot ~ 3 of Water

When we are responsible for something big and the real event goes smooth as silk? That is Conjunction, when people and events come together seamlessly as one. Doesn't happen that way in real life too often but often enough it can give us goose bumps on reflection.

This card seems like one of those movie war maps with flags stuck all over it. To the soldier on the ground nothing makes sense, the person in front of the map can see the progress and problem points clearly. In this life we are usually that ground soldier and we seldom see the big picture. Never the less our actions are important and do have impact on many people over a long time. I'm reminded by this 3 of Water to be mindful of my actions and determine to do no harm.

Life is short, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult” ~ Hippocrates 460-370 BC

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Daily Draw: Da Vinci Enigma Tarot ~ Fool

This Fool was actually a costume designed for one of Ludovico Sforza's parties. I'm not surprised to see it come up today nor am I surprised it would be in tatters...Leonardo spent most of his life broke and spent his talents dancing to the whims of church, state, and mentor.

I'm reminded of the similar situations facing us both on a personal level and on the national level. I've voted in every single election large and small since I was 18 years old. But until this week I have never contacted a Senator or Representative. This week I've written them all, twice. And it is probably a fool's errand. Once elected they never again listen to their constituents, they listen to the sound of money. But even a Fool can't take a journey without making that first step.

"Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear, but around in awareness." ~ James Thurber 1894-1961

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

As I turn the pages of my mind

Daily Draw: Da Vinci Enigma Tarot ~ 6 of Water

Subtitled memory, Leonardo cautioned his students to draw studies wherever they were so they would have a visual reminder to fall back on, he didn't trust the brain to remember the details.

I'm reminded by this card of one of my quirks. Keeping in mind that my stick people aren't even recognizable as such, I carry a small sketchbook in my purse and if waiting somewhere I make a quick sketch of the area. I have parking lots, waiting room decor (written tongue in cheek), traffic jams, restaurant tables, post office and oh so much more. They are goofy and terribly done, but fun to look back through. Memory of waits? Who'd want to? But I have something I can hold in my hand and say it wasn't wasted time, it was productive time. An extension of that...I was there I must be real.

"Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us." ~ Oscar Wilde 1854-1900