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.

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!

How can America heal it’s spirit? 4 of Wands Rx, The Hermit Rx & 7 of Pentacles (#MoonGarden #Tarot #TarotReading)

I’m reading Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth by Robert Johnson and he discusses what can happen when we loose our connection to spirit. He wrote “If we don’t go to the spirit, the spirit comes to us as neurosis.” This made me wonder if that explains some of the craziness going on in America – we’ve become disconnected from our spirit.

In this scenario, I don’t believe spirit equates to religion ( because, quite frankly, I believe most organized religions are just as disconnected from spirit). Instead, I believe it refers to that part of our nature that connects in a caring, symbiotic way with the world around us. It’s that instinct we feel to provide aid and succor when we see people struggling or in need. It’s that inner voice that encourages us to do good; to make the world a better place. That generous, caring side more concerned with ensuring others are treated fairly than with profits and economic theory.

I have to wonder if capitalism and the push towards a global economy has undermined these traits and reinforced our greedy, gluttonous nature. We seem more focused on want and fear of scarcity without understanding that much of this is artificially created, like planned obsolescence. We focus more on squandering our money on ridiculous frivolities like dog weddings rather than putting our resources to use helping those less fortunate. We convince ourselves that impoverished people are in that situation because they didn’t try hard enough rather than understanding that the deck was stacked against them from the start.

We accept the theory that “job creators” will trickle down prosperity on the masses as long as the government doesn’t try to restrict them but ignore the reality that once they’ve been given an inch these corporations take the mile. We accept the claims that many things are manufactured in China because it’s more cost effective but ignore China’s history of human & civil right violations and the oppressive nature of it’s policies. We ignore that US corporations that set up shop overseas often create sweatshops so we can buy more affordable gadgets. How do these behaviors reflect a country that claims to represent democracy, freedom and equality?

So, I decided to ask my guides his we can heal this disconnect from America’s spirit. I drew

My take (and naturally your mileage may vary) is that we’ve divorced ourselves from our spirit. The reversed 4 of Wands shows our success was based on a belief in ourselves married with the desire to work hard towards that goal. There have always been flaws inherent in the system but I like to think we did strive to be and do better. In the last 40+ years we’ve grown cynical and jaded, taking a more selfish approach. We’ve gone from believing in supporting our communities and helping out neighbors to suspicious isolationists who believe everyone is out for themselves and we should get ours first. It’s all about the money, finding the cheapest price and getting “mine”. I think we lost sight of the true path and let ourselves get seduced by all the shiny things. We view everything as disposable and frugality is a joke.

The Hermit reversed suggests two things to me. The first is that because we’ve lost our way we’re no longer a light for others; no longer a shining beacon of democracy leading through example. It also reminds us that we cannot and do not exist in isolation. Despite America’s belief in “rugged individualism”, the truth is that it’s almost impossible for industrialized nations to do this on an international level. And, despite my earlier rants about globalization, I don’t think it’s healthy. Perhaps instead of preying on third world nations we should work towards truly improving their social and economic status.

The 7 of Pentacles offers a possible solution. Perhaps we can use the current situation in the US to take some time and ponder what we’re sowing right now and consider if it’s what we want to continue sowing. Do we wish to truly be a leader in freedom and democracy or become part of the crowd? Are we sowing good will or ill? Are we truly improving the lives of workers in third world nations of are we helping to line the pockets of the ruling class, corporate CEOs, and politicians?

I realize this oversimplifies many of the issues and factors involved in this situation. I don’t think it’s a magic bullet. What I hope is that anyone reading this will consider how they can make changes in their own lives to reconnect with their spirit. Maybe if enough of us put that energy out in the world it will become a movement that produces permanent change.

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 – 7 of Cups Rx, 2 of Wands & 8 of Cups (#MoonGarden #Tarot)

Today I focused on how to deal with the crazy because, to be perfectly honest, each new day convinces me even more that everyone is going cuckoo bananas. I’m not even trying to engage in debates with people any more because it seems like we’ve all picked a side and rabidly defend it, including me.

Anyway, between daily stress, COVID stress and political stress, I’m feeling like a piece of taffy bring stretched beyond reason. So I asked my handy dandy, wibbly wobbly Tarot deck for some insight on how to handle this. The response I received:

These cards show me that it’s all smoke and mirrors; the promises and rewards being offered are illusions. I can’t see the truth because it’s obfuscated by spin, rhetoric & implicit biases. I can’t find my way to that castle on the hill because the path is clouded and impossible to navigate.

If I want to create something for myself; to start a new project or partnership then I need to focus on myself. I need to start putting together the foundation that will help me get there. I need to unleash the energy and magic that will reveal the right path for me.

And finally, I need to know when it’s time to walk away. At certain points I need to release my emotional attachments to things which no longer serve me or help me progress forward. Whether these attachments are possessions, memories or views of myself and those around me, it’s time to let go. A reality check is needed and rose colored glasses contribute to the cloudy, obscured path I’m trying to move passed.

#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 – Ace of Cup Rx, 9 of Wands Rx + Strength Rx (#FairyLights #Tarot)

Today I focused on what will help me keep my sanity during this quarantine. I drew

All three cards being reversed suggests the answers can only be found within me. Looking for external solutions is merely a distraction.

The reversed Ace of Cups shows I need to find new ways to embrace joy. What will bring joy into my life? Good question. Things that make my heart sing include reading, coloring, crafting and my hubby. All of these things are relatively unimpacted by the current situation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped me from seeking solace in retail therapy. Instead of crafting from my stash, I keep scouring online sites for things I simply “must have”. It’s pointless and wasteful. I really don’t need more stuff; instead I need to play with the stuff I already have.

I’m also learning to appreciate and enjoy the wildlife around me. In addition to the heron that still sporadically visits, the property around me has chipmunks, squirrels, sparrows, a pair of cardinals and a band of blue jays that regularly visit. I offer them peanuts in the shell and bird food and they seem to appreciate it. The band of blue jays is a riot to watch. The squirrels have learned to show off for me and the cardinals are rather shy but all make me smile and make my heart happy.

The reversed 9 of Wands tells me I need to find ways of being comfortable doing it alone. I’ve never really been a social butterfly but even I am craving human interaction. Online social connections are always an option but not a favorite. More than that, I think this card reflects missing the fun of working in a group; of spending time around fellow hobbyists. That’s impossible as things stand but I gave seen YouTubers streaming live craft sessions which allows one to watch and interact as much or as little as desired. That’s certainly one option to create a “working alone together” ambiance.

Strength reversed reminds me this situation isn’t just about internal fortitude, it’s about physical condition too. Now is not the time to play through the pain. As much as I hate admitting it, I am in an at-risk group. Ignoring public health warnings would be foolhardy and potentially put others at risk. So, as frustrating as it is, now isn’t the time to show how big & brave and fearless I might be. It’s the time to step back and let the worst if it pass. This isn’t weakness, it’s common sense.

So, overall this reading is reinforcing what I already know and reminding me, nagging me, to remember that staying the course is the smart move right now. Not my preferred path, I’ll admit, but definitely the wiser one.