Saturday, October 31, 2009

Carpe Diem

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ Fate

Birth Life Death
Clotho Lachesis Atropos

I'm reminded by this beautiful card
Daylight is burning, seize the day, life is short. Then we die.
I don't want to be dead saying "I wish I had...". Way too late then.

"While we speak, time is envious and is running away from us." ~ Quintus Horatius Flaccus 65BC-8BC

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Hot Button

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ Queen of Stakes/Wands

Bram Stoker's mother was many things, but of interest to me is her active work for women's rights. I'm filled with admiration for the women of her day and the uphill battle they faced at home and in public for their convictions of equality. A true example of a Queen of Wands, strong community involvement.

Mrs. Stoker's contributions remind me that the "I'm only one person" cop-out doesn't hold water. If we feel strongly about something we should speak out and act on our principles. Without individual thought and action we would still be basically beasts of burden. Think times have changed? The Equal Rights Amendment was shot down as recently as 20 years ago, not enough states would ratify it. Do women have full decision rights over their own body? Equal pay is a pipe dream still. Daughters are still passed over and in many cases killed in favor of sons. Speak up, it is your life we are talking about.

Interesting that in doing some review/research this morning on Suffrage and women's rights, of four sites three had Viagra ads on the side bar. That pretty well sums up the state of equality in America. Viagra is covered by insurance, birth control is not.

"One person can make a difference and every person should try." ~ John F. Kennedy 1917-1963

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Said My Pajamas And Put On My Prayers

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ The Count

Robert Place, author and artist of this deck, presents Count Dracula as the Emperor, "a man, who as a count, has chosen to remain tied to his physical body at the expense of his soul". Chilling words.

Something to ponder today, if actually offered the option, who among us would take the offer of eternal physical life with all kinds of unique powers and wealth, over the unknown of eternal death with a soul. If the news is anything to go by, I'm guessing there would be lots of mini-me Dracula's slinking around. Another 'which door' question from this deck.

"In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself." ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti 1895-1986

I couldn't find the author to the following rhyme, but it made me laugh, because it is probably what we'd do if Dracula really did offer to kiss our neck.
"I ran up the door, closed the stairs,
said my pajamas and put on my prayers,
turned off the bed and hopped in the light,
all because you kissed me goodnight."

I gave this deck a borderectomy last, what eye popping difference, all for the better.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

As I Intend To Go On

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ Ace of Stakes/Wands

This week has been full of messages in choosing wisely, second chances, positive thinking, giving and taking mentorship, and today at root, intention.

I'm reminded by this card to start each day, each month, each year, as I intend to go on. Today this Ace of Action nods to another auspicious time for reviewing the past and working on concrete actions for my future, whether that future be this afternoon or 2012. To that purpose I've set in place three big changes these last few day;
adding a member to our team here at Casa Dementia,
registering for a week long course in November,
began building a circle of support and mentorship here that I hope will last long after I'm gone.
Gotta love the power of Ace's.

"No matter how often I tell people I'm thirty-nine some of them refuse to believe I'm that old." ~ Jack Benny 1894-1974

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Role Models

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ King of Wands/Stakes

Bram Stoker knew and admired Franz Liszt and it is believed that Dracula's basic features were based on Liszt's.

I'm reminded by this card in many cases we are what we see, almost accidentally; our parents, teachers, early friends. But there are the other parts of us that admire some trait in who we see and actively seek to emulate it. I'd like to grow up and be much like my friend Theresa. Outgoing, full of fun, uninhibited, snappy dresser, world traveler, thin and my dreams.

"As you get older it is harder to have heroes." ~ Ernest Hemingway 1899-1961

Monday, October 26, 2009

Take Me There

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ Knave of Swords/Knives

This card nods to the use of vampire-like characters of a Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1797 poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner where long term negative thoughts and actions resulted in the most negative of outcomes.

I'm reminded by this card just how powerful our own thoughts and intent are in the shape of our days and life. If our days are are unhappy what is the first thing that needs to change?

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." ~ James Allen 1864-1912

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Power Play

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ 7 of Stakes/Wands

Poor Renfield, he never had a chance. We meet him first in the insane asylum where he is preparing for the arrival of Dracula in London. He starts by catching flies, then spiders, then asks for a small cat please. He eats the flies, and the spiders, and is hopeful about getting the cat. He displays a ray of remaining humanity when he realizes Dracula is working on Mina, who was very kind to him. By trying to warn Mina and the doctor he draws Dracula's wrath and meets his end with a broken skull and back.

I'm reminded by this card of the many times this story of bad man makes it right in the end is written. The reassurance of potential redemption for all gives me a small spark of hope for mankind. Our crimes against each other and earth seem black indeed.

"He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." ~ Hebrews 9:12

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Let's Make A Deal

Daily Draw: Vampire Tarot ~ 7 of Cups/Holy Water

Remember Monty Hall and his game show? And the oooo's of agony when the contestant chose the door with 4 cans of cat food and not the one with the new car? We make those kind of decisions daily. Honest.

I'm reminded by this card that our choices may not seem to involve cat food or cars, but the ramifications of each and every door we choose in the course of a day can affect the rest of our life. And we oh so carelessly decide, thinking down the road we will always have time to rectify the deal we just make with our existence. The doors are seldom closed, we haven't the weak excuse of "I didn't know".

"There is nothing of which men are so fond, and withal so careless, as life." ~ Jean de la Bruyere 1645-1696

The deck to carry us through to the Spooktacular 31st of October is the beautifully cased recently published The Vampire Tarot, Robert Place artist and author, St. Martin's Press, 2009. The accompanying 227 page book is marvelous, covering the myth and facts of the ancient legend, plus new ways of looking at the meaning behind the images of tarot.

In preparation for cracking this deck, I've been re-reading Bram Stoker's Dracula, the annotated version by Leonard Wolf. I'm finding much I'd totally forgotten or never registered at all, just as when I reread the Alice books before I used my Wonderland deck. Good fun all around.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Redemption, Better Late Than Never

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Emperor

This Emperor is a product of his environment and other people's personalities. Like all of us, he didn't have any say in his birth, and like many of us he is a reflection of his makers.

I'm reminded by this card there is both good and bad in all of us. As I prepare to go back to the farm today my thoughts are on my FIL; an Emperor who in the throes of dementia is now kind and thoughtful, remembers to say thank you, and makes little jokes. All traits that were buried for 90 years. This card promises redemption for all of us, it is up to us to start the wheel turning. We should have looked harder for FIL's wheel.

"I think the secret to the guy was that he was very simple, not stupid, but not a genius, and he ended up being something like an elaborately clothed emperor in a kingdom full of people with no clothes." ~ Ken Stringfellow 1968-

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 9 of Cups

There is no crime in being happy. Accepting our place in life and making the most of it is common sense. I'm never going to be president or CEO or pope. In my 30's it bothered me that people my age were so far ahead of me on the scale of whatever we measure success by. In my 50's what is important is far different.

I'm reminded by this card of how much I have to be thankful for, of all the things that make me smile. Want is a rather foreign word I refuse to learn, gratitude is impressed into my heart and mind.

"Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy..." ~ Bobby McFerrin 1950-

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hurry. Hurry! HURRY!!

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 8 of Wands

I'm running short of time at home, only two sleeps to go. There is so much I wanted to get done. That isn't going to get done.

I'm reminded by this card to slow down and breathe. In 100 years no one will care or remember. Even in 100 hours. So I'm dressed to my shoes, have lipstick on, and am NOT going to run around like a chicken without it's head. And I'll still get some of my bucket list crossed off. Who needs home baked cookies anyway? Not me! I'm down 35 pounds, I did it slow and easy, I can do one day the same way.

"I am a slow walker, but I never walk backward." ~ Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Looking Forward

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ 6 of Swords

The first time I saw the 6 of Swords it saddened and frightened me, but over the years I've come to love it. It makes me think now of hopefulness, fresh starts, and learning to look forward rather than backward.

I'm reminded by this card that waiting for things to change for the better is a fool's game. At some point we need to make the moves possible that will create the life changes we need and deserve.

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power." ~ Alan Cohen 1954-

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hollow Victory

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Chariot

Victory is a multi-layered concept. If I lay the majors out in rows of seven the Chariot represents a shallow victory, with fourteen more cards or stages to go yet. This card seems to be in the same vein as yesterday's Knight.

I'm reminded by this card that by setting ego aside and placing value on resolutions rather that victory, most long term problems will come to a satisfactory pass for all sides.

"In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves. Self-discipline with all of them came first." ~ Harry S. Truman 1884-1972

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Love Me For What I Am

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Knight of Swords

Brash, quick to leap into action for a cause, but no stamina for the long term. A great person to have over for a party or help gather signatures, but don't depend on him to pet sit if you are on vacation or help finish painting your house if you break your leg falling off a ladder.

I'm reminded by this card that I've been the page, knight, queen, and king in the course of my life. Sometimes bailing is the only honest course for the Knight, sometimes we should have known better than to ask. Love the Knight for his strengths, they are many.

"Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him." ~ Cicero 106 BC - 43 BC

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hand Of Destiny

Daily Draw: Halloween Tarot ~ Hanged Man

I even dreamed of the Hanged Man last night. Before I slept I was reading about Chinese astrology and the San Ming of the Sung dynasty or Three Fates: The fate which follows one's behavior (justice/retribution/consequences), the fate which occurs despite one's behavior (natural calamities) and the fate of destiny or heaven.

I'm reminded by this card where I am this year could certainly be termed a Hanged Man position in both the 1st and 3rd position. I made a specific choice and commitment, but destiny perhaps plays a part as I had no choice to play in birth, birthplace, and the genes that made up the base of whom I've become that caused me to place myself here. It isn't a bad position to be in, it gives me plenty of time to think and whittle out the useless: physical, mental, and environmental.

"The willing, Destiny guides them; the unwilling, Destiny drags them." ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca 4 BC-65 AD

My third year of blogging with the Halloween Tarot, book by Karin Lee and artwork by Kipling West. Published by U.S. Games Systems 1997. In this deck Bats=Swords, Ghosts=Cups, Imps=Wands, Pumpkins=Coins.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wish-Driven Impostor

Daily Draw: Egorov Tarot ~ Chariot

At what point in our lives do we ever overcome ego enough to recognize what is as opposed to what we think should be?

I'm reminded by this card that much time is spent doing a drive by of our life. While we are impostors living in that pseudo fantasy world our real life is ticking away. We make wishes rather than goals and wonder why dissatisfaction fuels our days.

"If you are a dreamer,come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hoper, a prayer, a magic-bean-buyer. If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire, for we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" ~ Shel Silverstein 1930-1999

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Get Off The Cross

Daily Draw: Egorov Tarot ~ 10 of Wands

Egorov sees this as a burden of choice rather than necessity. If we were honest with ourselves we'd admit this is often the case. We are too busy because we make bad choices about how we spend the free time we do have. We say yes I'll do it when it would be just as easy to say no, we just don't have any backbone.

I'm reminded by this card that my short time home is ticking rapidly away and yesterday I just fooled around. I made bad food choices, loafed, laid about, and just thought about doing the things I looked forward to doing this week. Today I will stand up straight, use my time wisely, and use the burden for firewood.

"Self-sacrifice which denies common sense is not a virtue. It's a spiritual dissipation." ~ Margaret Deland 1857-1945

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Daily Draw: Egorov Tarot ~ Queen of Cups

This looks like a lady who appreciates history and good taste and the traditional way of doing her own lights. Because after all my personal history is only 1/2 a century long and much has come and gone in the millenniums.

I'm reminded by this card and the rant I just erased that my card of the day exercise each morning is about personal growth. My personal growth. Period. Like this Queen of Cups I can follow my own path and appreciate our differences. What a load off my shoulders...guess what, I'm not in charge of the world~

"The ability to relate and to connect, sometimes in odd and yet striking fashion, lies at the very heart of any creative use of the mind, no matter in what field or discipline." ~ George J. Seidel

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Misplaced Anger

Daily Draw: Egorov Tarot ~ 5 of Wands

Definitely a conflict of some sort going on here. Funny the things that stir our ire enough to raise a hand to hit. I noticed something last night that is worth pondering, and probably not news to anyone else.

Long story short, I can't find something I've spent hours looking for that I need in less than an hour. I'm furious I can't remember where I put them. So I yelled at the goodest good dogs there ever were. Did letting my hair-trigger temper escape help? Hardly. Do I feel bad about my tantrum? Absolutely. Am I still angry? Yes.

"Temper is a weapon that we hold by the blade." ~ James Matthew Barrie 1860-1937

Monday, October 12, 2009

Job Well Done

Daily Draw: Egorov Gold Tarot ~ 6 of Wands

I logged 2.4 miles on my pedometer yesterday. All inside my own home.

I'm reminded by this card that all celebrations don't have to be for big events, doing the mundane well is also success in itself.

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." ~Oprah Winfrey 1954-
Note to self: Miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Depth Perception

Daily Draw: Egorov Tarot ~ Science

Perception and intuition of both the seen and unseen. Sounds pretty straight forward but this is a card many readers have trouble with for the very reason of hidden knowledge. We run up against the pillars, bounce back, and say "Whaaat?".

I'm reminded by this card of the things I learned and did yesterday and today, that I'd never known or done before. And I'd like to think I've done that each day of my existence on this blue marble. All those things have mostly been mundane but each adds to who I am and reflects in what I learn and do the next day. Neat how life works, when we seek knowledge and experience.

"The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery." ~ Anais Nin 1903-1977

The Egorov Tarot Gold Edition by Alexander Egrov, published by Piatnik Wien, Austria 1992 is my deck this week. According to Mr. Egrov's book the main purpose of his tarot deck is to find what is within us, blocking us from peace and happiness.

Nine of the Majors have been renamed, the four suits are Swords, Cups, Wands, Coins.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Little, RIP

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 9 of Stones

She has disciplined her nature, embodied the stars, found her spirit.

I'm surprised to find this card coming up for me, I'm frayed to the breaking point but perhaps it is a promise. I'm going home to stay for a few days, the first time since spring. I need to unravel and then knit myself back up stronger to paraphrase Jean Cocteau. Yes, it is a promise, I will be the 9 of Stones lady again shortly.

"I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
when his wing is bruised and his bosom sore;
when he beats his bars and he would be free,
it is not a carol of joy or glee,
but a prayer that he sends from his heart's deep core."
Paul Laurence Dunbar 1872-1906

Friday, October 9, 2009

Finding Sanctuary

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ Place of Trees

Do you have a sanctuary, both mentally and physically? A place where you can go in your mind where there is nothing but peace and harmony? A place in your world where you can stand sit lie and your burden is lightened just by being there?

Fun to draw this card today because I was just thinking about this yesterday. Had I not responsibilities here I would whisk myself off to Ruby Beach or Ecola for some recharging. I'm also blessed with a small pond and dock about 30 steps from my current front door where I can be alone in the world, except two days ago a morganser ate every single one of my 160 seven inch goldfish pretend koi, so my heart is too heavy to use that spot right now.

I took my FIL for our daily drive yesterday, but instead of putzing locally we took a mini-vacation north and east around Mt. Rainier. At one point he asked if we were still in the United States; we were passing a Wal-Mart with a dutch windmill in the corner. That was exciting for several reasons, a coherent sentence, a specific thought linked to words, and recognition of something unusual. To celebrate we stopped here for pumpkin and peanut butter cookies. The point is we can find sanctuary anywhere; if we slow will find us.

"Sanctuary, on a personal level, is where we perform the job of taking care of our soul." ~ Christopher Forrest McDowell

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Leaving Limitations

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 4 of Rivers

My first glance showed me a figure raising her arms in anguish because pounding her dress on the rocks has beaten holes in it and to top it off the current was washing it away. Close... This card shows all four elements which should have been an immediate key to it's importance. The dress is washing away but with deliberate ceremony and meaning. The figure has discarded her old persona with it's trials and troubles, pettiness and prejudices, and enrobed herself as reborn.

I'm reminded by this card and many of my daily draws of how easy it is to cling to the familiar, even if it no longer fits and in fact constrains. If I met myself on the street would I recognize the me I feel I am, or would I only see the ragged ill-fitting parts because I've refused to let them go? This is a powerful card to draw, on many levels.

"There is no palindrome of palindrome." ~ John Burnham

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Person Within

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 2 of Stones

Someone took umbrage yesterday, said I wasn't spiritual because when asked what powers my cards I said Briggs and Stratton. Spirituality is different things to different people for sure, I hold many things in reverence, but not pieces of paper and ink.

I'm reminded by this tribute to the I Ching yin/yang, that we are all on the same earthly path which starts at birth and ends with death. Where we divide and go between those two markers is the most interesting story ever being written. I'm blessed to be on this journey.

"Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity." ~ Lao Tsu 604 BC - 531 BC

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Nurturing Chakras

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 7 of Stones

Everything about this card is preparing for the birth of something. We aid or create little mini-births all day long, often blissfully unaware of the importance of what we are doing. Purchasing a loaf of bread or a box of crayolas, chucking some money in savings, planting a tree...

I would like this card to help me be aware of each thing I'm birthing today, what I'm nurturing and what I'm neglecting.

"Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers." ~ Mignon McLaughlin 1913-1983

As a side issue, the weaving above the toad contains the seven Chakra. I don't know where I stand on chakras, but ever the explorer monkey I looked them up and took this test. My results were:

Root: under-active (-6%)
Sacral: open (25%)
Navel: open (50%)
Heart: open (56%)
Throat: open (56%)
Third Eye: under-active (13%)
Crown: open (44%)

What does it mean? I don't know but I would think at my age any test like this would show me a lot more open...I feel open. I must nurture the birth of more openness today! And look here, quotations for all the chakras. The internet is amazing, and still in it's infancy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Inspired Desire?

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ 8 of Stones

Take any industrialized nation, put their peoples in a pile, and then tell me why some work and some won't. Shining Tribe's answer is the winged horse, the unchained sun. We work because we have inspired vision...of the results of gainful employment.

I'm reminded by this card whether we push metal, paper, or people, we go to work and do our best because we have a reason, a goal, a desire beyond the task at hand. And the reality of our showing up every day is a credit to our character.

"Hell begins on the day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts which we have wasted, of all that we might have done which we did not do." ~ Gian Carlo Menotti 1911-2007

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Center Of Self, Reality Of Life

Daily Draw: Shining Tribe Tarot ~ Gift of Stones

This high card in the suit of Stones or realities of life feels like a gift, to draw it as the first in my use of this deck. If I had to describe myself in one word it might be Gifter.

I'm reminded by this fascinating deck and card that at our core we are each one word, a word which then fractures into a thousand different facets. To know someone's core is nearly magic because it gains us entrance into their deepest motivations. To know your own is magic.

"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God." ~ Eleanor Powell 1912-1982

The deck choice this week is The Shining Tribe, published 2001, Llewellyn Publications. This is the deck's second incarnation, it was originally published as Shining Woman with a more singular focus. 332 page book and deck art are all by Rachel Pollack.

The Shining Tribe has four renamed Majors, and the Minors have no court cards, those markers have been replaced with:
Place=Entering the suit
Knower=Understanding the suit
Gift=Able to use the suit
Speaker=Share the suit
Those suits in this deck are: Tree/Fire, River/Water, Bird/Air, Stone/Disks.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Regrets, I've Had A Few

Daily Draw: Tarot of Druids ~ 6 of Chalices

I wouldn't change a day of my life because the good has been great, and bad one way or another is enriching in the end, an opportunity for growth experience. Not much chance of altering my behavior at this late date, but I do wish I'd made more of an effort to have friends over for dinner or parties. I know why it is though, I haven't a clue what to feed stresses me out to even think about it right now.

I'm reminded by this card that I've missed the pleasure of a lot of people's company and I have no ones (Y) to kick but my own.

"There are more things to alarm us than to harm us, and we suffer more often in apprehension than reality." ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca 4 BC-65 AD

Friday, October 2, 2009


Daily Draw: Tarot of Druids ~ King of Swords

To get to this point in our lives we have had to be a survivor. I can think of a number of people my age, who in no way could be termed survivor but rather flotsam jetsam strewn on the battlefield of life.

I'm reminded by the sword approaching the pondering King's back that it would be false pride to believe because I've survived this far as a winner doesn't mean I'll be able to hack what comes tomorrow. Our psyche could be viewed as either the camel's back...or the straw that broke it.

"I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world..." ~ Annie Dillard 1945-

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Healing Begins

Daily Draw: Tarot of Druids ~ Ace of Wands

The Elder holds up a fresh branch of mistletoe signifying the time of healing has arrived.
I've been thinking about this for the last hour, reviewing the different ways we can be injured and injure ourselves - physically, mentally, emotionally. And the different ways in which healing can take place.

I'm reminded by this card for healing of any kind to occur, the injured must be willing. To ignore the doctor, to dwell on insults and slights, to nurture dark thoughts only increases the hurt and why would we do that to ourselves? Yet many times, there we are, moaning about our lot in life, tolerating being less than we deserve, when the answer and magic lies within our own power. Reject the negative, embrace the positive, choose a new path.

"When I stand before thee at the day's end, thou shalt see my scars and know that I had my wounds and also my healing." ~ Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941