Rabid Righteousness or Why I Don’t Want to Be Like Ben or Harry #Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot #NightoftheLivingDead

So, rather strange title but it’s drawn from a rather strange epiphany. The other night I watched the 1990 remake of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. It’s similar to the original in many ways – same cast of characters, same basic scenario, but it has some clear differences too. The point of this post isn’t to critique or compare the movies, it’s to share an odd revelation I had while watching it.

Ben and Harry, referred to in the title, are two of the characters hiding in a farmhouse. Ben is black and Harry is white; neither are locals. We know little about their backstories but judging books by covers, I’m guessing Harry is a middle class suburbanite while Ben might come from a more urban area (but I could be completely wrong). Regardless of their origins, both men share a trait – the need to be right and in charge. As I watched their battles for dominance; their inability to compromise and work together to defend themselves from zombies, it hit me that this is what American politics has become.

Both sides, whether it’s Republican/Democrat or Conservative/Liberal, have gotten to a point where there is no longer any true discussion of issues or compromise. It’s merely the dominant party forcing their will on the other. Everything seems to fall along party lines. Even at the street level, how many of us have stopped talking to or following friends because we disagree with their political views and we can’t discuss it calmly or rationally or simply agree to disagree? In the meantime the zombies are coming and we’ll get annihilated.

Well, I’ve decided I want to try NOT being part of the problem. I want to listen to others’ opinions even if I disagree with them (as long as they’re not trying to proselytize 🤪). How can I understand where they’re coming from if I don’t listen to what they believe and why. To get some guidance on this I pulled out my handy dandy Haunted House Tarot and asked “How can I be more open to the opinions of others and to compromise?”

I drew the 4 of Pentacles Rx, The World and the 2 of Pentacles

The 4 of Pentacles reversed seems to show with voodoo doll holding a pentacle. I think it’s reminding me that I don’t have all the answers and I can’t bend others to my will. I can’t force people to believe the way I believe. So, I need to accept other people’s opinions, viewpoints and perspectives. I don’t have to agree with them, or even listen to them in some cases, but I do need to acknowledge their right to have to have differing opinions from mine. In fact, it’s not my place to grant them that right – the Constitution does that. Maybe if I stop trying to be deaf, dumb and blindly stubborn about it, I can actually engage in a conversation rather than an argument.

The World holds the key; controls the house. In politics this refers to a very specific form of power. What it reminds me is that even if you hold the keys you still need the support and aid of others to maintain it. The woman stands in the doorway, holding the key – clearly in charge, but visible behind her is a group of people who helped her achieve control of the house. None of us exists in a vacuum; no one is an island. We can’t maintain a house without some help. Maybe it’s time we remembered that.

The 2 of Pentacles might be my favorite card in this reading. It reminds me there are two sides to a coin and at least two sides to every story. If we only focus on our differences and perceived wrongs, we will never find common ground. Without common ground how can our house maintain integrity? As Abraham Lincoln once stated “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. If we keep going at this rate it feels like we’ll shake apart from the pressure. We’ll become so busy battling for dominance and proving we were right that we lose sight of the zombies, the real problems and threats. I’d like to stop contributing to that trend.

So, hopefully I can learn from Ben’s and Harry’s mistakes and stop fighting so furiously to be “right” that I lose sight of what is actually important and in the best interests of all involved.

Learning to become A Woman in Love with Herself (#Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot)

I recently started reading Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself by Patricia Lynn Reilly (or maybe re-reading it, I’m not sure) and I decided I wanted to focus on some of the ideas I came across in the first chapter (or maybe it’s the first stanza) of the book and do a Tarot reading for myself  So, using my creepily lovely Haunted House Tarot by the amazing Sasha Graham, I asked:
  1. How can I best love myself?  Death
  2. How can I release the impact sins of others have left upon my psyche?  6 of Wands Rx
  3. How can I walk through my past to heal my present?  3 of Cups Rx

Of course, being the snarky soul I am, my first response to Death was “Right, of course I’d have to die in order to learn to love myself.”   Sassy snark aside, I think what Death is truly trying to let me know is that in order to love myself I have to defeat those self-denigrating habits that prevent it.  I need to slay those inner demons who whisper poison in my soul (“you’re not good enough”, “no one really likes you”, “so & so does that much better than you do”), you know the drill.  I’m sure we all have moments when we’re pits of self-loathing with self-esteem and self-worth in the sub, sub-basement.  With the ways things are going lately it’s easy to allows these feelings to become overwhelming, because, as I mentioned in a previous post, being concerned about this kind of inner growth when the world around us seems to be going to shit feels self-indulgent and frivolous.  Well fuck that!  I have made a new resolution that the only way to make things better on a national or global scale is to make things better on a personal scale – as below, so above.  What needs to die are all those self-defeating behaviors and crippling self-doubts.  If I want to transform the world, first I need to transform myself!

The 6 of Wands is interesting because the image shows a woman on horseback freeing herself from the grasps of a crowd of hooded figures.  The LWB mentions that the woman is “breaking free of the brood”.  I think it’s showing me that the potential for feeling victorious & accomplished; the way to appreciate and embrace my achievements is to free myself from those self doubts and inner demons; these psychic scars left upon my soul by others.  The way to victory is to slay those damn fuckers, defeat those who thought they’d permanently damaged me, and let myself emerge transformed and starting to heal.

In the LWB the listing for the 3 of Cups mentions intoxication and drowning in pleasure.  Reversed, I feel as though I’m drowning my sorrows in distractions.  Instead of celebrating I’m self-medicating.  Granted, I’m not pouring booze down my throat but I do indulge in bouts of retail therapy or gorging on unhealthy food choices.  Once again I think the message of the reversal is that the only thing preventing my from celebrating my joy and happiness, exploring my dreams with friends and loved ones is that I need to free myself from those negative beliefs and inner demons (fucking inner demons are such a pain in my ass!).  The way forward is through and I need to charge through them and keep going even as they try to pull me back (I keep envisioning this struggle as Milo trying to free himself from The Doldrums in The Phantom Tollbooth)

I’m feeling rather inspired lately (which is a nice change) and I’m determined to keep moving forward even if my momentum is more like one step forward, two steps back.  At least it’s some progress.  It’s too easy to fall into despair and hopelessness but then they win – the demons both inner and outer, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let that happen.  I’m a fighter and all I need to do now is focus on the win so I can win!

Finding Clarity in a Hopeless Place (#Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot)

So, I have been in a funk lately. My head is screwed on wrong; I’m stressed, frustrated and discontented. The world seems headed to Hell in a handbasket and focusing on coloring or reading Tarot feels self-indulgent and shallow to me. At the same time, these are the things helping me maintain my sanity and destress and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So I decided to pulls some cards for clarification. I used the Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham and asked: What can help me deal with the current situation and my mental state?

  1. What’s at the roof of my mental state? Knight of Cups Rx
  2. What will help improve it? Knight of Pentacles Rx
  3. What will help me fight off future incidents? Strength Rx

The discontent and dissatisfaction stems from feeling disconnected from divine inspiration; being blocked from achieving my personal grail quest.

The way for me to improve it is to actually manifest things and not get stuck wishing and dreaming. This is the time to move to the next level; move beyond learning into applying what’s been learned.

Preventing future incidences is as simple and as complex as accepting that I have the strength to overcome obstacles; that I didn’t need the feather because I had the ability to fly all the time. I also have to be strong enough to face myself in the mirror and be honest about how I sabotage myself. Sometimes I equate fortitude and inner strength with being stoic and long suffering, a habit I need to break.

So the key focus for me is to explore what brings me joy; quest after my personal grail and accept that things are screwed up right now and there is only so much I can do about it. I also need to prioritize caring for myself. Otherwise I’ll crack up and be if use to no one, especially myself.

A blogging introvert – is that an oxymoron?

So, I am an introvert. This must be understood or nothing that follows will make sense. 🤔😉. I know I’m an introvert because unreliable, potentially invalid online testing told me so. 🤯 Actually, it’s not a surprise. My entire childhood was spent with my nose in a book and my body in the NY Public Library. I may be the only kid I know who had a fake library card. Several library books had been lost in a fire in our apartment and, rather than explain the circumstances to a librarian, I got a library card using my grandmother’s last name.

Now if you’ve met me you might think I’m extroverted because I can be quite opinionated and rarely have a problem expressing it. However, I am only comfortable doing so in a familiar environment. For example, at school (once I became comfortable), with friends and at events like Readers Studio. The shared element here is that I already have a built in support network of friends and co-conspirators who know and love, or at least tolerate, me. I tend not to do well among strangers or in unfamiliar environments. So, after completing several online versions of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and being assessed as INFP by all of these different “tests”, I suppose that makes it official – I’m definitely introverted.

I am also a very private person. I tend not to like my personal business being shared hither and yon. Social media interactions often send me running while screaming “Ah, people!!!!” – like Gossamer, the hairy orange monster from Bugs Bunny. However, I obviously maintain a blog in which I share some very personal information with complete strangers. What the f*ck is wrong with me?!! Well, as it turns out, lots of things but not because of blogging. 😜 So, to further explores this matter I did what I often do – a Tarot reading.

I used the Lo Scarabeo Secret Tarot deck and asked:

  • What are the benefits of blogging for me?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What should I focus on with my blog?

I drew The Hanged Man Rx, The Sun Rx, and the 6 of Wands Rx. I know, look at all those reversals!

So my immediate response to these reversals is that this is truly all about me; about my internal processes and how I work through my own swampland of the soul. I don’t blog for others, I do it as a form of journaling; a way to explore the labyrinth within me. It helps me see things from a different perspective and in an objective manner. It also works for me because it doesn’t put me in the spotlight. I’ve never been comfortable being the center of attention or standing out in a crowd, unless it’s a familiar crowd. I do love if someone has gotten something useful from my meandering and tangents and let’s me know but I certainly would be uncomfortable being called out for it in public. Private”atta broads” work just fine for me.

I think I need to focus on the fact that this blog is a record of my struggles, victories and losses. I’m not trying to portray myself as a superhero, far from it. Sometimes I’m a little cuckoo and need to rant. Other times I’m thoughtful and pondering. Other times I’m outrage and frustrated. What ties all this together is that regardless if mindset, I find my Tarot deck a useful tool to help me process it all. And, if any of my processes help anyone else going through similar experiences then I’ll count that as a triumph!