Who Would I Be if I Was Not Me? (#Tarot #LightSeer’s)

I was recently reading a work of fan fiction in which the protagonist developed amnesia. The story focuses on learning who you are all over again, both the good aspects and the bad.  This made me wonder how I would feel about myself if I woke up with all my skills and knowledge but no memories of my past, of who I was.  As I slowly learned about myself, what would I think about that person?  Would I be disappointed by things I had done?  Would I be proud of what I achieved?  So, I decided to work with my tried & true standby, my Tarot deck, to find an answer.

  • What positive aspects of the old me would I like?  10 of Swords Rx
  • What negative aspect of the old me would be disappointing?  3 of Wands Rx
  • How can I change that which should be changed?  – 6 of Swords
  • What part of me would be changed the most if I had amnesia?  Knight of Cups
  • So, who would I be?  Page of Swords

The 10 of Swords Rx speaks to me of being a survivor; someone who is able to take a beating and keep on going, endure being stabbed in the back.  There is strength, stubbornness and beauty in this image.  She is not easily defeated and will continue on her journey despite any and all objections.  I do think this is a quality I embody and it’s one of which I’m very proud.  I think I’ve taken a lot of knocks in life; triumphed over a number of disadvantages and keep moving forward.
The 3 of Wands Rx suggest that one of my less admirable qualities is that I’m not a self-starter; I will often let self doubt and insecurity undermine pursuing my goals, my dreams.  I often became enthusiastically involved in projects other people have begun but rarely initiate them myself.  This means I’m pretty good at helping other people achieve their dreams, but lousy at pursuing my own.
The 6 of Swords reminds me that what I need to change is my focus and my willingness to pursue my own ideas.  When I look at this image the woman in the boat has harnessed crows and has them pulling her across the water. She is alone, doing this by herself.  The birds off in the distance are distraction, not part of her journey.  This card reminds me that I can do it by myself, I just need to be focused and trust in my own ideas, my own thoughts.  I can’t allow myself to get distracted by self-doubt, inner critics or other people’s input.
The Knight of Cups shows me that without the life history I have had, I would be more open on an emotional level and more willing to pursue my hopes and dreams.  I wouldn’t be so suspicious and emotionally closed off.  Even looking at the image on this card I want to mock him and feel contempt for him.  My initial reaction to this image is that he’s a poser, that this is an act to seduce someone into trusting him.  Of course that tells you more about my state of mind and frame of reference than about this card.
The Page of Swords as a reminder that if I were able to let go of my defense mechanisms and protective weapons developed to prevent and protect me from harm, I would be a perpetual student.  I would maintain a youthful enthusiasm for learning new ideas and experiencing new things.
I think if nothing else, the take away from this reading is that if I can let my defenses down a bit and listen to my inner self, I’ll find more joy and fulfillment in my life.  Being a bit more trusting and open might bring untold benefits and satisfaction.

The Seduction of the Devil (#Tarot #LightSeer’sTarot)

I use an Android app called Uni Tarot to randomly pick my card of the day. I prefer this app because it allows me to upload whatever deck I feel like using. This cycle I’m using The Light Seer’s Tarot. Recently The Devil was the card drawn. As I looked at the image on this card it struck me that this figure reminds me of a cult leader – he’s attractive, exudes a charisma and sexual energy mixed with soulful eyes that promise he’ll heal your wounded soul. All the while, attached to his fingers are the strings that hold you captive. I’ve always found myself fascinated by cult leaders and the people willing to give up their autonomy to follow him. This inspired me to do the following reading.

  • What is The Devil offering? 10 of Wands Rx
  • What will it cost? The World Rx
  • What need is he fulfilling? Queen of Pentacles
  • What’s the best way to handle this? 4 of Pentacles Rx

Looking at this reading, a few things struck me right away. The first is that three of the cards are reversed which suggests The Devil and all his temptations tap into hidden needs and the shadow side that we choose to ignore. This suggests it’s unhealthy and ultimately not in our best interest to succumb to his seduction. The second thing I noticed is that two of the cards are Pentacles and The Devil is associated with Capricorn which is an earth sign. Another hint that perhaps the false promises The Devil makes allow us to feel more secure and as though the ground beneath our feet is not going to shift unexpectedly.

Looking at the first card drawn, I was struck by how appropriate its message is. I think one of the things that attracts people to cults or fundamentalist religious paths is that you no longer have to carry the burden of free will; you don’t need to be responsible for making decisions. They tell you what rules to follow and what to think. They tell you what the consequences will be if you break these rules. To some people that may feel like a burden has been lifted from their psyche.

However the second card, The World Rx, reminds us of the dangers inherent in some admitting to the will of others. We risk losing everything in which we once believed, that we value and hold dear. It’s both that simple and that complex.

I found the Queen of Pentacles an interesting card to appear in response to this question. I suppose there is something that seems nurturing and supportive in The Devil’s promises. She persuades us to believe that she will care for us, attend to all our needs and all we have to do for her is follow. She allows us to feel as though we are now fulfilled because we have found our path, even if it is ultimately a false one. Another aspect of any cult is that they usually siphon all of your assets which may also be reflected in the Queen of Pentacles.

And finally we see the 4 of Pentacles Rx, another interesting card in response to what was asked but one which makes perfect sense. I think it’s a reminder that very often what leads people into the clutches of cults whether religious or political is that they play into our fears of scarcity and losing what we have. They convince us that there is an “other” out there that wants to take everything we own; everything we’ve worked so hard to acquire. It feeds into our fears and makes us clutch our positions even more closely like a miser. It leads us down a path of being not only financially impoverished but spiritually impoverished as well. the reverse nature of this card suggests that the way to free yourself from The Devil’s illusions and influences is by letting go of your fears and embracing the others. Welcome them and befriend them, give them the benefit of the doubt and consider what you can work together to build rather than what you’re convinced they wish to take away from you.

This reading seems so appropriate right now because I think as a nation we have gone through a time of listening to devils’ illusions and false promises and now we are left reeling and unsure how to move forward. I think what we have to do is pick ourselves up stop holding on to our fears and allow ourselves to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.

Something that occurred to me is I was reviewing this post is that in some birth card systems the shadow side of The Devil is The Lovers because 15 reduces down to six. Maybe that is ultimately the answer to the seductive false promises of The Devil – love and aspiring to connect with our higher selves, our better angels. Instead of listening to The Devil that allows us to wallow in our pettiness and venality perhaps we can connect with our higher side and aspire to be greater than the sum of our parts.

Verbal diarrhea and its uncomfortably awkward consequences

So, those who know me can testify that I have an advanced case of verbal diarrhea; an unregulated need to share my opinion whether or not it’s been requested. I believe that it’s often tolerated because my victims are friends who presumably like me and tolerate my less pleasant aspects. I will also presume that those who don’t like this quality avoid me (and I understand, truly, I consider myself an acquired taste). I think one of the most annoying features of this syndrome is my almost pathological need to inform anyone within listening range when I don’t like someone. I will claim, if asked or taken to task, that I’m just being honest (although my mother swears I use “truth” as a weapon) but I have realized there is more too it than that.

I have a complete and utter intolerance for phony personas or fake friends; I cannot stand hypocrites or people who say one thing and do another. In my convoluted mind, blurting out my dislike of someone is an effort to prevent being a phony. If I say upfront that I don’t like them, then it’s a preemptive strike if I say something negative later in the conversation (“I told you I did like him/her/it”). It’s also a defense mechanism. In my adolescence and teen years I often found myself in situations where I was accused of saying nasty things about people when I hadn’t. So I decided if I’m going to be accused of it I’ll simply take a proactive approach. This may be honest and upfront but I have a feeling it can be exhausting and grating to listen to me rant about it. So I decided to do a reading on it.

Using the Darkness of Light Tarot I pulled these cards to answer the following

What is the root of this behavior? 4 of Cups Rx

What benefits does it bring? Knight of Blades

What challenges does it cause? Queen of Wands

How can it best be handled? 10 of Wands

I see the reversed 4 of Cups as reflecting the defensiveness I mentioned earlier. I got tired of being emotionally hurt and vulnerable, felt depressed about these false accusations, so I hunkered down and hid behind a more assertive, aggressive persona. A persona reflected by the Knight of Blades.

He is a benefit because who would fuck with him? Who can hurt him? He looks impervious and ready to battle if necessary. Unfortunately, he’s also closed off and shielded from interpersonal interactions and human contact which can create a cold, lonely person.

The Queen of Wands points out that one of the challenges caused by this behavior is that I can’t truly be myself. I identify strongly with the Queen of Wands and although she can be opinionated and strong willed, she’s also warm and welcoming. She’s friendly and loyal (traits I might actually possess if one can get passed the prickliness and verbal diarrhea). If I’m so busy shielding and defending myself I can’t act very welcoming and friendly.

The 10 of Wands shows that it can best be handled by considering whether I still want to carry this weight. When it feels too heavy and burdensome, then I’ll put it down or shift it but as things stand I’ll stubbornly keep moving forward because “I can handle it”. At the end of the day I need to be more discerning about when I unleash my Knight of Blades and when I express my Queen of Wands.

At least I’m starting to consider this behavior and I hope that will help me make beneficial changes.

Election Effluvia (#HauntedHouseTarot) #Tarot

So, I actually did this reading on Thursday night, October 1st, and decided to postpone uploading it after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. In retrospect, I regret that decision for a variety of reasons. In many ways Trump’s behavior is exactly what we can expect from him based on past behaviors. And, according to what I was taught in psychology classes, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Now on with the show.

After watching the Trump/Biden debate with the sort of stunned horror one usually reserves for realizing you just witnessed a live human sacrifice and are now splattered with blood, I decided to pull three cards to get an idea of what 4 more years of Trump would look like and what 4 years of a Biden presidency might look. These are the cards I drew.

The top row (Tower Rx, High Priestess and The Moon) reflects 4 more years of Trump. The bottom row (The Magician Rx, 4 of Pentacles and The Hermit) are for a Biden presidency.

Believe it or not, I’m focusing on this part of the reading for two reasons:

  1. Existing biases will influence how one interprets these cards. For example, I have never liked Donald Trump. I’ve considered him a pompous, bullying, self-important egomaniac for years. Living in NYC and working at a non-profit for which Trump was a (very uninvolved) board member, I’ve been familiar with his shenanigans for years. Luckily, he wasn’t President of the United States so he was easily ignored or avoided. Watching the debate last Tuesday cemented my opinion so I’m inclined to apply the most negative interpretation to this reading.
  2. The messages aren’t surprising or unexpected. I don’t think there are any big reveals here.

Quick & dirty interpretation – 4 more years of Trump would mean more business as usual – ignoring standard protocols and courtesies, more secretiveness and hidden agendas. Of course some folks appreciate Trump’s no-holds-barred approach and consider him a refreshing iconoclast who is willing to ruffle feathers in order to stuck it to the elites. You mileage may vary. A Biden presidency would offer 4 years of transparency, no trickery and an “anti-Trump” approach. It would require hard work, conservation and consolidation to rebuild the economy and relations between the US and other nations as well as among ourselves. It would also mean being a voice in the wilderness, perhaps even a return to serving as something of a guiding light to others. Clearly, I’m biased.

For me, the more interesting part of this reading can be found in the two additional cards I pulled reflecting who these two men really are in their cores. For Trump I drew the Knight of Swords and for Biden The World

I was blown away by these cards. They felt so “right” to me. The image on the Knight of Swords shows a smirking demon aiming energy at the model house in front of her. I think this reflects Trump’s attitude in general. It seems like it’s all a game to him; a mental exercise. I don’t think he truly dislikes all the people he bullies and insults, nor do I think he likes those with whom he aligns himself. They are a means to an end; players in Trump’s game to move as he will. Consider his response when questioned about his taxes – he simply took advantage of the tax code Biden helped create. He implied that he would be a fool not to do so. There was no consideration of rightness or fairness, simply what he was eligible to do. Of course, he’s no different from any many in this regard.

The World suggests Biden is a more inclusive person; wanting to invite everyone to the party. Is he perfect? Of course not but he doesn’t seem to feel the same need to project an image of solo ruler. He acknowledges the input of others in his policies and achievements as well as accepting and embracing the need for collaboration and compromise.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or what the outcome of this election will be, but I think I can comfortably say we won’t be surprised by how either of these men will lead if he wins but only time will tell.

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.

Everybody look what’s going down – Strength Rx, Temperance & King of Pentacles (#Tarot #MoonGarden)

For What’s It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield

Today I got this song stuck in my head, especially the line “Stop children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.” Considering that much of the news lately makes me scratch my head and wonder if the water has been drugged, maybe this isn’t a surprise. I avoid much of what passes for news because parsing through the chaff to find the wheat is exhausting. When entertainment news about some crap having to do with Disney is given the same weight as a shooting or protest because Disney is the parent company of ABC, it makes my head hurt. When politics is so divisive, partisan and bogged down in rhetoric and spin, it’s difficult to determine fact from opinion. It’s demoralizing.

So, I decided to ask the Universe for insight. I used my sonic screwdriver aka my Tarot deck for insight and guidance. This is the message my Tarot of a Moon Garden offered:

This situation is weakening us, undermining our ability to pull together, despite our differences, and achieving our goals. Instead of us taming the beast, it seems to be running amok. If we’re not careful the beast will devour us leaving things in shreds.

Temperance reminds us that the middle path is the only way through. Moderation and merging opposing sides into a cohesive unit is the best way to rebuild and strengthen our world. There is a unicorn visible on this card and the Strength card. I think it’s a sign of hope & healing. Miracles can happen; healing can occur but we have to do our part too. Instead of focusing on our differences we need to reconnect to our commonalities. Quite a challenge in this climate.

The King of Pentacles offers two messages to me. One is a reminder that we’re a democracy and don’t need a wannabe king, benevolent or otherwise. The second, and more important, message is that we need to work towards ensuring that people have enough; that they feel secure and settled in their lives. People who feel treated fairly don’t riot. Unfortunately the income inequality has grown worse over the years and more business as usual won’t fix that. I don’t know how to fix that but it seems that with each year it grows worse.

So, considering this reading I think the most important thing I can do is support issues and movements that reflect my values and beliefs. I may not be able fix the income issue but I can try to donate food to food pantries or find ways to directly help local charities. I can speak out about what I believe (preferably without inciting anything). I hate feeling marginalized and helpless and I’m the only one who can fix that.

#MessageoftheDay – Queen of Cups, Strength Rx & The Sun (#MoonGarden #Tarot)

So, it’s been a while. Like many of you I’ve gotten lost in the crazy. Between politics, health concerns and personal losses I can honestly say 2020 has been a year of major suckage so far. So to distract myself I’m rededicating myself to journaling – art, writing and bullet.

I was inspired by seeing an example of Benjamin Franklin’s daily schedule. It’s elegant and profound in it’s simplicity.

It excited me and made me want to follow his lead. I love the idea of taking time each day to focus on what good I shall do and what good have I done this day. Such a simple question and yet I already feel challenged answering it.

Ironically, many years ago I used a Franklin Covey planner and even attended a workshop designed to aid my in getting the fullest benefit from this system. I found it too boring and time intensive to suit my needs and style. It’s a shame such a simple, effective system became bloated and bogged down (well, at least I thought so).

So, anyway, to celebrate this new focus I decided to ask the Tarot what will best help me stay on course with this new goal. I drew:

My first response is to laugh because I’m a Leo sun sign so both Strength and The Sun connect with that part of me. And, as those who have followed me for a while might remember, I’m really not a big fan of the suit of Cups (I’m working on it, I’m working on it!). Considering these three as a whole I think the key for me will be following my heart and nurturing my emotional side. That will help me take the inner beast that can be easily distracted and become resistant and unpleasant. Once I’ve embraced and bonded with that inner wildness and feralness, I’ll be able to shine and feel accomplished and victorious.

Well, that’s my take on it. Now I’ll see if I can achieve this goal.

#MessageoftheDay – 10 of Pentacles, Ace of Wands Rx + King of Swords (#FairyLights #Tarot)

The 10 of Pentacles reminds me being happy & safe at home (well safe at home anyway) is a blessing. I am among those lucky enough to be able to afford to do that. Are there challenges, of course, they are but I am truly thankful that it’s even a possibility.

The Ace of Wands reversed reminds me of all the blocked, untapped energy floating around out there. I can’t speak for anyone else, but this entire situation is making me feel fried. I can’t focus and it’s an effort to light my fire enough to begin any kind of project. It’s complicated by the fact that on beautiful days I can’t even leave the house. So I try to satisfy myself but simply observing the world around me. I pay attention to the chipmunks & squirrels, the blue jays and cardinals. I’m beginning to see things I never noticed before because I didn’t take the time.

The King of Swords points out that dealing with this situation from a place of logic and intellect is going to prove more useful and beneficial than freaking out or allowing the frustration to lead to actions that might worsen things. It also encourages me to listen to those with the knowledge and experience to handle these types of scenarios. Despite my paranoid conspiracy theorist tendencies, now is not the time to succumb to speculation.

#MessageoftheDay – Page of Pentacles Rx, The Emperor + 7 of Wands Rx (#SecretForest Tarot)

We are learning new things and discovering revelations about ourselves. We can’t engage the world in our usual way, so we are left looking inward. This is our opportunity to dig deep within our psyches and excavate who we truly are; to uncover who we want to be.

Although it seems like things are falling apart, they’re not. Unrest is being exhibited but overall people are doing their best to maintain the societal status quo; to follow the recommendations provided by authority figures. Things are still stable and orderly, not anarchical.

Of course we’re all probably suffering from a touch of cabin fever; feeling the need to get outside and go somewhere, anywhere. We’re tired of defending our territory. However, it does feel as though an end is in sight. Things seem to be slowing down but if we cease being vigilant we may endanger this improvement.

It sucks, we all probably share this sentiment right now. We’re stressed and frustrated but the only way through this is to stay the course. Part of me agrees with protestors and wants to see everything open up again but I have someone else to worry about. For myself, I’d might chance it but I won’t risk exposing him to this virus. I also don’t think it’s fair to expose others to any contagion I might carry. Just because I’m asymptomatic doesn’t mean I’m clear. I may not agree that I’m my brother’s keeper but when it comes to communicable diseases I don’t know if there’s any other way to handle things. We need to balance our needs with those of society; make decisions for the greater good without losing sight of the rights of individuals. Quite a trick.

#MessageoftheDay King of Wands, Magician Rx & 7 of Wands (#SecretForest Tarot)

So, it’s day whatever the fuck of captivity (quarantine, whatever) and, as most of you probably are, my brains are so scrambled I don’t know what day it is anymore. So I decided to do something I haven’t done in a while – seek some advice, insight, clarity from Tarot.

I asked my guides/guardians for a message and pulled these cards:

I have to say at first I was a bit stymied, it’s been a while and my Tarot muscles are flabby. Looking at the images helped me see deeper. The King of Wands in this deck seems imprisoned in a tree trunk. All that energy and wisdom and knowledge is trapped and unable to be utilized; it’s potential in suspended animation.

The Magician reversed reminds us that this situation is not subject to our will; we cannot make things suit our parameters. The very nature of a virus is to mutate & change and not to bend itself to humanity’s will.  So if we cannot control our external environment we need to work on self-control.  We need to do what we can in our lives to improve the situation.

The 7 of Wands immediately made me think of those programs that show what the Earth would look like if humanity disappeared. I’m not implying that will happen any time soon however I do think things are getting pared down to their true, essential natures. All our defenses are useless. Truly good people are showing their generous, giving natures right now. Selfish, greedy people are having their inner selves exposed as well. This will prove to be a revelatory experience for many of us. We will learn more about ourselves and our neighbors, friends and family than we ever anticipated.  As a result we may become more guarded, more protective of our homes and families; not be as open as we were before.

I don’t think it took a whole lot of insight to see this but maybe that’s the lesson in this experience for of all of us. If we’re not the generous, giving people we thought we were, then how can we change this? If we find ourselves facing realities about friends and family that forever changes our perceptions of them, how do we address them going forward? I guess time will tell.