Dealing with a nightmare neighbor (#TarotReading #PearlsofWisdomTarot)

So, I’m having a problem with a neighbor over a small piece of property that belongs to me. She, however, feels that it is part of her property and has decided to try staking her claim by putting a chair on my property as though marking her territory. She’s never directly confronted me. Although, when I questioned her about what she was doing on the property, she did become rather verbally aggressive telling me she would not speak to me, and I should call the police. So I did. Naturally, it proved futile because she still behaves as if it’s her property.

Her property is to the left of the water, mine is to the right. The chair inside the fence, on the right side, is my neighbor’s.

I was becoming very stressed out by this. Headaches, anxiety, nervous stomach all decided to pay me a visit. One consistent trait I possess is that I’m very outwardly expressive when it comes to anger, I don’t internalize it. I sometimes joke that if depression is anger turned inward, I won’t suffer from it because I prefer to turn my anger outward. This situation, however, was getting the best of me. So I decided to do something about it because it had become intolerable and unacceptable.

When I find myself in times of trouble, Tarot always comes to me. So I did what I always do when I need clarification, I pulled cards! First I asked the Morrigan (my Matron goddess) “What is my neighbor’s problem? Then I asked my husband “How should I handle this?” And finally I asked my ancestors for additional insight or clarification. Here are my answers;

Pearls of Wisdom Tarot : King of Cups, Strength, 8 of Wands

The Morrigan showing me my neighbor’s problem as the King of Cups suggests to me that this woman would benefit from therapy. I’ve seen her in other circumstances and she becomes easily agitated and emotionally overwrought, disproportionate to the situation. She definitely gives off a vibe of an out of control neighbor who could easily cross the line into potentially harmful confrontations.

My husband sending me the Strength card as the answer to how I should handle this is just so true to who he was, and how he saw me. This is John sending me support, and letting me know that I’m strong enough to handle this. I shouldn’t let this get the best of me. I don’t need to become aggressive in this situation, I just need to stay calm, not lose my cool, and do whatever is necessary legally to make sure that this is cleared up.

The final card, additional insight from my ancestors, is the 8 of Wands. As soon as I saw this image the first thing I thought of was people plugging in to a tree or waterway (appropriate, as this property is along an arm of a lake). That made me think of restoring myself by plugging in to the nature that’s surrounds me. Letting myself just relax by watching the squirrels and the birds and the other critters coexisting on this property. When I shared this reading with two friends, they both also pointed out that it could also symbolize plugging into my support network and my community so that I know I’m not dealing with this alone.

This reading really helped me get a better handle and different perspective on this entire situation. I feel much calmer and much better able to handle it in a non-stress-inducing way. I’ve decided she can play all the games she wants and each time she puts that chair on my property I will remove it again. If she involves the police, I will just calmly explain that it’s my property and, unless she can prove otherwise, I’m going to remove anything on there that isn’t mine. In the meantime, I will figure out a way to put up a barrier or some type so she can’t access it anymore. Simple but clear steps that should prove effective.

I hope anyone reading this enjoyed the journey through my mini near breakdown. While I hope none of you need to deal with a similar situation, if you do, I hope this post will prove helpful in some small way.

ADDENDUM: I had a bit of an epiphany after posting this. 💡 I realized that although the King of Cups can indeed suggest that this neighbor would benefit from therapy; I think it’s also pointing out is that she is a master emotional manipulator. Now, that might not be the right interpretation for other people, but I have always had a problem with the suit of Cups. I would prefer to get Swords in a reading for myself over Cups any day (it’s my issue, I’m dealing with it). The point is, in my own readings, I often see the Cups Court cards as representing some type of emotional manipulation. As Mel Brooks said in History of the World, Part I “it’s good to be the king”. 👑 She enjoys the sense of power that playing these kinds of games gives her. To take away that power, I need to stop responding the way I have been. I need to remove myself from her little emotional games. I can’t believe I didn’t see that before! 🤦‍♀️

Working through my loss (#TarotReading #PearlsofWisdomTarot)

The one year anniversary of my husband’s death is next week. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been a year. On the other, hand it feels like he’s been gone far longer than that. My husband and I were together for 38 years when he died and it was very challenging learning how to deal with things on my own. I didn’t realize how many things he took care of for the both of us. I’m sure it would have been the same situation if I had died and he lived because we tended to divide up our responsibilities that way. There’s something both terrifying and reassuring about the fact that I’m able to handle a lot of this without John even if I wish I didn’t have to.

April 1, 1986 is the day John and I went down to City Hall in New York and applied for our marriage license. 36 years ago – seems like such a long time ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. In honor of this anniversary I pulled two cards from my Tarot deck while asking John for a message. This was his response

John’s message using Pearls of Wisdom Tarot

Seeing these cards I burst into tears because they are truly both such John energies, especially as they pertained to the way he cared for in about me. The Chariot suits John for many reasons: it’s his birth card; he was a car guy who loved tinkering with his vehicles; and he refused to let anyone else tell him what to do. He steered the course of his life, for better and worse. With this card John is reminding me that I need to be sure to take up the reins and guide my life going forward. I can certainly seeks advice and guidance from others, but I’m the charioteer now.

The 9 of Pentacles is John’s way of reminding me he always wanted to be sure I would be in a good financial place if anything happened to him. He has definitely done this. In fact, he could have retired but he continued to work. He wanted to be sure there would be enough in his pension to take care of me if something happened to him. Ironically that is what happened. He is visually showing me that he wants me to enjoy what I have and the time I have left. He wants me to be happy and healthy and take care of myself. I think the best way to honor John’s memory is to do that

Waking up from a terrifying dream #TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot

So, since my husband died I find myself trying to speak with him every night before I fall asleep. I ask him to give me some kind of sign that he’s still with me in some way and I’ve never gotten one. It frustrated me because I believe in the afterlife and in the soul traveling to the Otherworld after death; and I felt like I was being cheated. I was rather angry about it. It was bad enough that he died on me but now I had no connection, no sense that he was still there at all. Until the other night.

I dreamed I was in my house, not a house I have ever actually owned but I knew it was my house. I also knew that my husband was there. I’m not sure how I knew this because I couldn’t see or hear him, but I was sure he was there. I was getting ready for something but I don’t know what. Then I heard footsteps walking through the house and knew that it was John coming my way. He finally stood in the doorway where I could see him. I took one look at him and turned away towards the wall screaming in horror. I was so terrified that I woke myself up and began sobbing. The figure I saw standing in the doorway bore almost no resemblance to my husband and in fact reminded me more of a Frankenstein type monster. I was shaken by this dream for days afterwards.

So, I processed this dream the way I process anything that bothers me – I did a tarot reading. Using Sasha Graham’s Haunted House Tarot, I pulled 3 cards:

  1. What is the dream telling me? Knight of Wands Rx
  2. Why did my husband appear that way? The Wheel of Fortune Rx
  3. What terrified me? Justice

After looking at these cards, this is my interpretation of this reading. The first sentence that popped in my head upon seeing the reversed Knight of Wands is from the original Planet of the Apes movie. Dr. Zaius warns Taylor to be careful what he looks for because he might not like what he finds. I think that’s what this card is showing me. I’m trying to reach out beyond the veil for some type of reassurance from my husband but now might not be the time for that. What I discover might be more disturbing than I’m ready to handle. I have no idea how time flows in the afterlife or how a human soul processes transitioning to that level. Perhaps the living aren’t supposed to know these things or at least I’m not supposed to at this time.

The reversed Wheel of Fortune tells me that John appeared the way he did because he’s not finished transitioning yet. He hasn’t fully adapted to his new reality and so he looks like an unfinished science experiment. At the same time I can’t help but feel touched and reassured that despite this he still reached out to reassure me because he always tried to do that.

Justice was a little trickier for me to interpret. It wasn’t until I looked at the actual image on the card that a connection was made. The dream terrified me because if I had been able to fully connect to my deceased husband I think it would have thrown me off balance; so off balance that there would have been psychological and physical health repercussions. The female figure in the forefront of the Justice card looks like an old fashioned nurse. This makes me think that as things are right now my health would be endangered and that’s what terrified me. My soul was protecting itself.

When I first woke up from the stream I was so upset and disturbed. It really shook me. However, upon further reflection it has calmed me and helped me move forward in my grieving process. I realize now it’s not that my husband doesn’t want to connect with me; it’s just not advisable right now. Just knowing that he was willing to make the attempt, even if it wasn’t ultimately in either of our best interests, is reassuring and reminds me how much he loved me. I know now that I will reconnect with him someday; if not in this life then in the next. That makes me feel lighter.

Samhain 2021 – A New Year

This is something I’ve been putting off for a while now. Partly because I’m a fairly private person and don’t like exposing parts of myself to the general public but somehow this felt important to address here. On April 8th I lost my husband of 35 years. He died of a massive heart attack and went the way he would have wanted to go quickly and probably painlessly. And while I’m happy that he didn’t suffer, I’m also angry that he left me. I realize that to some degree this was out of his hands but I’m convinced that his smoking along with stress contributed to this. Maybe if he had stopped smoking a few years back it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m trying to adapt to this new status in my life. For the first time in 38 years I am not part of John and Debbie; I’m just Debbie, and I’m not sure how to be just Debbie anymore. So I’m learning.

I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends and families helping me with this and I’ve been doing a lot of Tarot work. In fact I think the only reason I might avoid grief counseling is because of the Tarot. It’s reminded me that one gift from my husband that I need to carry forward is a belief in myself. He was always my biggest supporter and convinced that I could do anything if I focused on it. So now I need to focus on being a solo individual. It is both an exhilarating and terrifying concept.

In honor of Samhain I decided to do the Fruits of Wisdom spread from Christine Jette’s Tarot for All Seasons. I used the Trick or Treat Tarot and pulled the following cards:

Fruits of Wisdom Spread using Trick or Treat Tarot

Death reverse carries a fairly simple to understand message for me right now – I’m still processing my John’s death and it’s ramifications. I’ve accepted and continue processing his loss but what is more challenging to get a handle on is who I am in the wake of his death. I think that’s where the Ace of Wands comes into play. It’s reminding me that no matter how much I sometimes feel the desire to join John, the reality is that I’m not the tight to just lie down and die. It’s not who I am and it’s not what John would want me to do. The Fool reversed is pointing out that I need to release and let go of the pattern of stasis I’ve been in lately. I lost my faith in myself and it’s paralyzing me so it’s time to let it go; time to make those leaps of faith and believe things will work out; to explore the uncharted territory that is Debbie Alone. I need to protect and nurture all the skills I’ve acquired up to this point, embrace the lessons John taught and the knowledge I gained simply by watching and listening to him. The Knight of Pentacles has always been the court card I most associate with John. Showing up reversed here reinforces that while he might be gone from the physical realm he’s still alive in my heart and soul. The Page of Cups reminds me that at the end of the day I need to look within myself and reconnect with things that gave ME joy and make ME happy. For 38 years I’ve taken into consideration what kinds of things John liked to do and where my interests and his overlapped. He did as well; that’s what being in a relationship should be. Now that John is gone I have an opportunity to explore my interests and my joys. I don’t know where this will take me but I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be an interesting journey.

Harvest Home Lughnasa Spread #Tarot #TarotReading #Lughnasa #TarotoftheHiddenRealm

  1. The root of the matter, what you need to do to keep both your feet on the ground? 5 of Swords
  2. Career, attitudes about work – are you following your heart’s desire or just surviving? Page of Swords Rx
  3. Finances, attitudes about money – Money is energy; is your energy blocked or does it flow freely? Queen of Swords Rx
  4. Connections and sharing – how do you let your guard down to share with others? The Star
  5. Health & healing; how do you nurture & care for yourself? The Sun
  6. First harvest you have planted, the garden and the seeds of your life – What are you reaping for yourself based on your attitudes and behaviors?  What are you harvesting? 8 of Pentacles
  7. Fruition achievements maturation fulfillment satisfaction success – what are you thankful for? Life Renewed (Judgement)

The figure on the Five of Swords is fierce and determined. She looks like she’s going into battle convinced of the rightness of her cause and that others will follow her. In the context of this reading, I think she reflects that fighting for our truth, fighting for what we believe in, fighting for our ideals can help keep us grounded. The world is a very scary place right now and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what’s going on. I think the Five of Swords shows that defending what we believe in gives us purpose. The unfortunate flip side to this is that those who disagree with us will be equally vehement in defending their beliefs and ideals. Sometimes, that’s the way it goes.

The reverse Page of Swords suggested right now might be a time to reassess what you’re doing on a professional level. Something isn’t sitting right for you at the moment. Perhaps you just don’t believe in the value of your job the way you once did. You’ve lost your sense of purpose. In the context of this spread it suggests that you’re letting the logical path (staying in a job you may no longer be passionate about because it’s a secure income) outweigh your desire to feel committed to your work; to feel that it has meaning and value.

The reverse Queen of Swords shows that right now your energy is blocked, especially as it pertains to finances. If we connect this to the Page of Swords reversed, perhaps this Queen is reflecting that you’re blocked because, although you’re getting paid, your current job not nurturing your inner self; it’s not allowing you to live up to your ideals and your beliefs. If that is one of your core values, then this might be an area that you address so all that blocked energy can be freed.

The Star reflects the hopefulness and trust we might need to bring to connecting with others. Let’s face it any relationship requires a certain amount of faith because we open ourselves up to others as reflected by the childlike figure on this card. That also leaves us vulnerable to being hurt and betrayed. What The Star shows us is that even if this is the case, hope will remain as a light in the darkness to guide us through it. As many public service announcements remind LGBTQ+ youth, it will get better. In this reading, I think The Star reminds us that if we close ourselves off to meeting new people, to exploring relationships with those that seem unfamiliar or have different viewpoints, we risk becoming isolated and rigid.

This was an interesting card in this position. The Sun is usually symbolic of celebrating ourselves and embracing our successes but in this case it’s reversed. I think that’s telling us that we can’t celebrate ourselves and embrace our achievements until we can value ourselves. Perhaps this ties in with the reversed Page and Queen in terms of one’s attitude towards their career and money. If someone sticks to a job they detest in order to maintain a secure income it might impact their self-esteem and sense of self; cause untold levels of stress that negatively impact one’s health. It’s hard to celebrate yourself and acknowledge achievements if these things have no value to you because they’re in a field that you no longer find fulfilling. So maybe the key to unblocking this energy is free the stuck energy reflected in positions 2 and 3.

The 8 of Pentacles is a reminder that we get out of this life what we put into it. If we continue forcing ourselves to pursue a path that no longer brings a satisfaction it’s going to impact our relationships, our health our sense of self. I love the energy reflected in this card because it seems a perfect melding of Earth and fire; of the physical and the energetic; of money and career. In order to get to this place perhaps we need to look at the other blocked areas and get them unstuck.

Life Renewed reminds us that there is a way out of the darkness. We can emerge from all this blocked energy filled with dissatisfaction and self doubt by changing our mindset. We need to reassess and reevaluate what we’re doing and see if it’s providing the benefit we desired. We don’t always have to work at a job that is our hearts desire as long as it fulfills a need and only you can decide what that need truly is. The important thing is to recognize whether you’re feeling trapped by the situation and if so what can you do to change it because only you can lead yourself out of the shadows and into the light.

The three Swords cards at the core of this reading suggest that healing this situation is going to depend upon changing our perspective and mindset. We need to communicate more effectively with ourselves and listen to our inner voice. We might also find it useful to communicate more effectively with others in our lives so they understand our thoughts about a situation and whether we are truly satisfied and fulfilled. And if not, what they can do, if anything, to help us change it. It’s useful to remember that others in our lives cannot read our minds. If we don’t tell them what we’re thinking, we can’t become upset when they don’t fulfill our needs.

Midsummer’s Dream Spread (#TarotReading #StolenChildTarot

I did this reading on the Solstice but, being the champion procrastinator that I am, I’m just getting around to posting it now. This spread is from Christine Jette’s book Tarot for All Seasons, which is filled with spreads for each Sabbat as well as the lunar cycles.

Position 1 – What will set your spirit free? – 3 of Zephyrs Rx
I see this card as a reminder that sometimes we can hold on to past betrayals or painful experiences and this holds our Spirit back. I just heard it quote attributed to Stephen King that “ghosts are real and they live inside us”. I think to some degree that’s what this card represents – the ghosts that live inside us holding us back because we can’t move forward until we’ve laid those goes to rest. So in order to set our spirits free we need to release those ghosts and the lingering memories of the pain they might have caused so that we can move forward.

Position 2: Future Trends of Freedom and Liberation. Indicates possible scenarios based on influences at this time. Do you obtain your heart’s desire or are you setting up the wrong life? – 7 of Zephyrs Rx
The image on this card shows a cuckoo laying its eggs in another bird’s nest. Considering it’s reversed, I think it’s a reminder that trying to obtain your heart’s desire at the expense of others will probably bring more harm than good. For example if you cast a love spell how could you ever be sure whether any resulting relationship is based on genuine love and attraction? Or if you pursued advancement in your career by detracting others efforts then is your success deserved? I suppose these are questions we can only answer for ourselves but it does raise interesting concepts to ponder.

Position 3: The Need for Protection. Shows your vulnerabilities or where you might block your heart’s desire. – High Priestess Rx
This High Priestess shows a Chimera – a legendary creature composed of parts from different animals. The word can also refer to an illusion or fabrication of the mind. The reverse nature of the card in this position suggests that we are vulnerable and blocking our hearts desire because we don’t have the ability to imagine anymore; to see ourselves making our dreams come true. Sometimes the only way to create magic in our lives is to believe that we have the ability to create magic. Without a magical belief in our own abilities, we undermine ourselves.

Position 4: Future Trends of the Need for Protection. Are you on the path to fulfilling your heart’s desire, or do you need to go in another direction? – Ace of Zephyrs
I think this Ace of Zephyrs shows us that we have the ability to achieve our hearts desire but we have to allow ourselves to see things clearly and align our disparate mindsets. In other words, I think this is showing we need to combine the magical thinking suggested by The High Priestess with a certain amount of reality and clearsightedness. The only way we can achieve our dreams, fulfill our heart’s desire is by both believing in ourselves and having a clear understanding of our capabilities and our skills. It’s showing us that we can always start anew, begin over again and change the path, to help guide us to our desired goal. All we have to do is change our mindset and believe in ourselves.

Position 5: Paying Attention to Intuition. Either describes how to develop the inner voice of the soul, or what may be blocking its development – Strength
The best way for us to develop our inner voice of our soul is not to hide from ourselves and to be willing to actually make the attempt. Sometimes we can act like we’re tough and capable and strong enough to handle what life throws at us on the outside, but on the inside we’re the child hiding beneath the bison’s protective body. I think what Strength reminds us is that we need to have the inner fortitude to keep trying even when we fail the first few times. We need to be willing to pick ourselves up and keep working at it. After all, practice makes perfect and very few of us are perfect at something on our first attempt. At the same time we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves because we weren’t successful on our first attempt. We need to be gentle with ourselves; nurturing and protecting our fragile inner spirit.

Position 6: Future Trends in Psychic Development. Given the influences of the cards at this time, what is a probable outcome to your psychic development? – The Chariot
I think the energy of The Chariot and the image on this card combine to remind us that our psychic development, or indeed our ability to achieve any goal, is a combination of being willing to take the opportunities offered to us as well as understanding that sometimes slow and steady wins the race. No matter how much we might wish it were different, life provides few fairy godmothers as well as rare instances of immediate success. The most successful people we know spend years honing their craft. I think this Chariot is reminding us that it’s equally appropriate when dealing with psychic development. Practice makes perfect and the longer we practice the better we will be.

Although the reading specifically addresses psychic development and achieving one’s heart’s desire I believe these cards can be applicable to any endeavor one pursues in life. We can’t let the ghosts of past failures paralyze us and hold us back. We need to be careful not to claim other people successes as our own. At the same time if we don’t believe in ourselves no one else will either. We also need to continually support and nourish our inner spark; treating it gently and with encouragement, not harsh criticism.

The best way to achieve our goals is to keep trying, be persistent even if we fail at first. We also need a clear understanding of our own skills and abilities. After all no matter how hard one might wish for it, if you’re not well coordinated and athletic the odds are you will never be a successful professional basketball player. However that doesn’t mean you can enjoy the experience of playing the sport just for the joy of it.

The Tenacity of The Star (#LightSeer’s #Tarot)

This card was actually drawn on January 23rd but it took me a couple of days to process it. I see it as the flip side to The Devil card that I drew on the 22nd and the reading I did in my previous post.

Having The Star appear so closely after The Devil shows that hope and healing are still possible even after such a harrowing experience. We can still find a light in the darkness no matter how how intense and overwhelming that Darkness might seem.

So, in exploring The Star’s message I pulled chords to answer the following questions:

  1. How can we reinforce the thread of Hope offered in The Star? 2 of Cups Rx
  2. What will heal the wounds left by The Devil? Temperance
  3. How can we shine brightly again? 6 of Cups
  4. What is the bright side to be found in this experience? The Magician Rx

What struck me about the reverse 2 of cups is that the image digests one way to re-enforce The Hope and healing shown in the store is by sharing our love and emotions, which we might usually keep between close friends and family or romantic partners, with others. We need to learn to embrace those that might be different and love them anyway. I may no longer practice Catholicism but the energy of this car reminds me very much of Jesus’s teachings to love one another as we would want to be loved; to turn the other cheek and forgive those who have hurt us. Such a simple but powerful message and one that I think will ultimately serve us all in the long run.

Temperance speaks of being forged into a stronger people. Using our differences as strength instead of a method to divide us. if we can move past the need to assign blame we can instead work to respect each other’s opinions and appreciate what we eat bring to the table two for joy nation into a place stronger, better and healthier than it has been in the past. It will not be an easy process and will require a lot of pounding out issues, smoothing disagreements and cooling tempers but if we truly wish it to be it can be done.

The 6 of Cups reminds us that we can shine brightly by growing up and accepting that the past is the past. We can’t allow nostalgic tunnel vision to blind us to the fact that things are different now and we need to adjust. The good old days were probably not as good as we remember and we can make a future that will be brighter as a result of facing that reality. We can also look at who we once were and try to become the person that our younger, more idealistic, self hoped and thought we would be. Or more simply put, be the person your dog thinks you are. Sometimes we let reality beat us down and loose sight of our better, higher selves. If this experience has taught us nothing else, it’s shown us how important it is to hold onto that side of our nature rather than wallowing in our most venal petty nature.

And finally we have The Magician Rx. I can’t think of a clearer way to show that the bright side we can find in this experience is to not submit ourselves to the will of others. Even if we agree with the beliefs and dictates of the people in power, that doesn’t mean we should unquestioningly follow their lead. The unfortunate truth is that people in positions of authority can quite easily abuse it. If we do not challenge them and hold them accountable, we might as well be cult members or living in a dictatorship. It has been said by wiser minds than mine that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” and I think that’s the message The Magician Rx offers us. We can’t rest on our laurels and trust those in positions of authority to always have our best interests at heart. We can’t let them drive things forward without demanding accountability and explanations. We can’t be mindless sheep or we risk losing everything we claim to value.

One of the visual themes that struck me in all of these cards is the transferring of energy. Whether it is energy coming from the universe to us, from us to others, or from us to the universe, each card seems to show this exchange in one form or another. To me, this represents the beauty and simplicity of “as above so below” and “as below so above”. We reap what we sow. The wolf we feed is the one that grows larger. These are warnings we have heard at various points which I think are very appropriate right now. if we want to heal as a nation then that’s where we need to focus on energy not on continuing to demonise or villainize one side over the other. This doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t be called to account for the wrongs they have perpetrated simply that we need to focus as much or more energy on moving forward and healing. I guess at it’s core, that’s what The Star offers us – the chance to move beyond The Devil’s traps and temptations towards healing and light.

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.

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.

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.