Week 16 Memorial for a Dead Swan Spread (#TarotReading #CrookedWayTarot #52WeekProject)

On Monday I discovered a dead swan on the side of the road near my property. I don’t know how it got there and it didn’t seem to have been hit by a car but it made me so sad to see it. The water next to my mother-in-law’s property has always hosted ducks, geese, swans and herons. While not especially friendly, they are beautiful and it was always amazing to see them gliding along the water. Realizing that one of them is now gone made me feel as though a magical creature died. So in honor of this poor dead swan I decided to see if it left a message for me.

So I asked the universe the following three questions: 1. What does the dead swan symbolize? 4 of Sticks (Wands) 2. What is its message for me? Page of Pins (Swords) 3. How can I embody a manifest this message? Page of Sticks Rx

4 of Sticks, Page of Pins Rx & Page of Sticks Rx from The Crooked Way Tarot

Looking at these cards, my first thought at seeing the 4 of Sticks is that the death of the swan symbolizes the death of my husband and the huge change it made in my life. It’s letting me know that it’s okay to move on and learn how to interact and be with people; to discover new things that I might enjoy. It’s time make new friends and celebrate some of the new things I will be exploring going forward. The 4 of Sticks speaks to me of celebrating my marriage and honoring what we had, not just mourning my husband’s death.

The little Page of Pins Rx reminds me that, in many ways, I am at a child’s level of experience in dealing with certain things in my life. For example, most of the responsibilities associated with maintaining our cars were handled by my husband. I’m now learning how to deal with insurance issues, registration issues, inspection. Even filling the car with gas was not something I ever had to really handle. Just looking at that sword in the hand of the little Page tells me I need to stop poking myself and being too harsh with myself because I’m still learning how to be alone. I’m still discovering who I am without my hubby. He was such an integral part of my life, I was frightened that I wouldn’t be able to live without him. I have since learned that I can, and somehow that makes me very sad. However, it also means I have an opportunity to explore things that wouldn’t have been possible were he still here. There’s nothing wrong with being excited about the possibilities.

The Page of Sticks Rx reinforces the message of being in a child like, exploratory phase right now. One of the ways I can make it a little easier to adjust to my newly solo state is by re-exploring passions and interests I had when I was younger. It’s time to reconnect with things I might have put aside because I became distracted by interests I shared with my husband. I’m still learning who Debbie is without my husband.

This message reinforces ones I’ve gotten in previous readings. It reminds me not to be impatient with myself because I’m still taking baby steps. I was married for 35 years, it’s going to take me some time to adjust to being single. Trying to rush it or being judgmental with myself about it doesn’t help. So I think the swan was letting me know it’s okay to mourn something magical that passed away but it doesn’t mean that I need to remain frozen in time. It’s okay to change and become someone different, as scary as that might seem.

Week 15 Sesame Street’s Inner Child Spread (#TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot #52WeekProject)

1. What would you like to tell me? 10 of Zephyrs Rx
2. What is your favorite game? 2 of Brine Rx
3. What is your favorite thing to do? 9 of Oak Rx
4. What can I do for you? Queen of Brine Rx
5. Do you feel ignored or left out? Ace of Oak
6. What do you desire but aren’t getting? Temperance
7. How can I provide this for you now? Justice Rx
8. What do you fear most? 6 of Zephyrs
9. How can I give you what you need? 5 of Oak Rx

Stolen Child Tarot

I found this spread in Sasha Graham’s 365 Tarot Spreads book and decided it looked interesting, so I gave it a try. Sasha suggests picking a specific age when doing the reading. I decided to roll a die and came up with 15. So this is current me talking with 15-year-old me. One interesting thing about that time in my life is it’s before I met my hubby. As is true for many 15 year olds, this was a very chaotic and turbulent time in my life.

Some of the interesting insights offered by this reading include the fact that I never really felt safe and often preferred to hide to avoid being hurt. I wasn’t good with relationships and often tried to convince myself and others that I didn’t need emotional connections, despite the fact that I desperately craved them. I always felt that I didn’t fit in; that I was an oddball, so I often hide away in books. Many of the traits and behaviors I developed over the years were an effort to protect myself. They were the armor that helped me hold loneliness, pain and fear at bay. I still remain resistant to change simply because even if things are currently miserable, change always brings the potential for things to get worse. The best way that current me can help teenage me is by embracing her with all her sharp edges and flaws and showing her that it’s okay to be imperfect and that she is loved.

One of the major takeaways for this reading is that the majority of the cards are reversed which tells me that a lot of the issues brought up in this reading require me to forgive myself; to love myself. As has been said, I’m often my harshest critic. I think this reading shows that it’s time to let go of that critical perspective. It’s also interesting that there is not one Fire card in this entire reading. I find that interesting because fire is the element to which I feel most drawn and with which I’m most comfortable. So, clearly, I need to go outside my comfort zone in order to work on these issues. I think the message is that I have to stretch my boundaries and force myself to look at my past behaviors and attitudes and see them from a clearer perspective. To have a clearer idea what motivated them and stop castigating myself. It’s time to release past hurts and resentments so that I can move forward with a more healthy mindset and spirit.

Week 14 Election Spread (#TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot #52WeekProject)

As tomorrow is Election Day and I think the outcome of the election is going to have significant long term consequences, I decided to do a reading about it. Using my trusty Haunted House Tarot, I asked the following three questions: 1 – What do we need to know about this election? 2 – What is the likely outcome of this election? 3 – what will help us heal and move forward after this election? Below are the answers I received.

Queen of Cups Rx, Queen of Pentacles Rx, and 8 of Cups Rx from The Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham and Micro Pierfederici

I think one would have to be living in a cave to not realize that this election may prove to be a highly contentious one in America whose outcome is likely to be challenged at various levels. The campaigning has been aggressive, filled with falsehoods and exaggerations on both sides, and haunted by the lingering specter of the former president’s claims of election fraud. If I have learned one thing watching people’s responses to the politicians running and their campaigns’ agendas, it’s that the majority of people are not being influenced by the facts but rather are motivated by their party affiliation and personal interests. How this may or may not impact the outcome of the election has yet to be seen. I find it rather frustrating that many of us are falling into the pattern of seeking out facts that reaffirm our existing belief system instead of trying to get to the truth. I don’t necessarily think this is different from the way we have all decided who to vote for in the past but it seems to have more impactful consequences this election.

I’ve decided I’m not going to offer any interpretation of these cards at this point because I’m honestly not clear on the message, except the final card. I think the 8 of Cups Rx is suggesting that the only way we can move forward as a nation is to leave the hurts and negative emotions behind us; let them stay in the past and try to work together in the future.

Addendum November 9, 2022: So, the election is over and some results are still being tabulated. As things stand right now, it looks like the Democrats lost both houses of Congress. That may change after every vote is counted, but I’m not very hopeful. I think the reversed Queens in this reading were telling me that emotions and financial considerations played a major role in how people voted (d’uh 🤦‍♀️) but that they weren’t operating from a nurturing, heart-centered mindset. Instead, fear and “mine, me, mine” won the day. How that will impact this country going forward will depend on how petty and vengeful those now in power become.

Week 13 Speak to the Dead Spread (#TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot #52WeekProject)

3 of Swords Rx, 8 of Cups & 7 of Cups from The Haunted House Tarot

Who is here with me?  3 of Swords Rx – This is my brother Tom coming through. His death was violent and this image shares certain similarities.

What message do you want to convey?  8 of Cups – He’s telling me it’s okay to walk away; to move on to a new phase. I believe this is in relation to the resolution of my brother-in-law’s future residence. Even though I know it’s for the best it’s going to be an emotionally wrenching experience to see him relocated. I think my brother is trying to reassure me that it’s okay to feel bad about that while also being excited about what awaits.

What do I need to know?  7 of Cups – The 7 of Cups continues the message of the 8 of Cups. It’s reinforcing the hope that there will be many opportunities and possibilities awaiting me once the situation with my brother-in-law is resolved and I move on to the next phase in my life. It’s a card of magic and potential because it will give me an opportunity to explore different possibilities that will bring joy and happiness into my life

Once again this reading points out things I already understand on an intellectual level but haven’t fully absorbed in my heart. It’s going to be very difficult to watch my brother-in-law leave. At the same time I’m convinced it’s the best thing for him and the best thing for me. It’s not selfish to accept that I can’t do this alone, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept.

Week 12 Major Influences Spread (#TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot #52WeekProject)

10 of Pentacles, 5 of Swords & 6 of Wands Rx from The Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham

I felt rather overwhelmed and befuddled this past week.  I’m still trying to get things resolved with regard to a housing situation for my brother-in-law or, rather, I’m waiting for the Department of Social Services to do so.  I realized they are a bureaucracy, and as such move at a glacial pace, however I have reached the end of my rope and can no longer sustain the current situation.  I am in the process of selling my mother-in-law’s house and once that is accomplished my brother-in-law needs to be gone.  I’m trying not to be harsh about the situation but I’ve been doing this for a year and a half with absolutely no relief and have reached the end of my internal resources.  It came to a head earlier this week when my brother-in-law’s caseworker asked me to postpone the sale.  To say you could have knocked me over with a feather would have been an understatement.  This has resulted in a bit of spiraling on my part so I decided I needed to get some clarity. 

I decided to try this Major Influences Spread by Nancy Antenucci that I found in 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters (Volume 1).  I like three card spreads because they’re simple enough to not be overwhelming and one can always pull additional cards for further clarification.  As you can see in the image above I drew the 10 of Pentacles, 5 of Swords and 6 of Wands reversed from The Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham.  I do so love when the Tarot gives me such a clear message.

So, in answer to what are the apparent known influences in this situation I drew the 10 of Pentacles.  The image in this card so perfectly fits my current situation that it’s unnerving.  One of my primary goals or motivations in this entire thing is getting moved back into my house before winter starts.  I had originally hoped to be there by Halloween but that is clearly not happening.  I’m tentatively hopeful that I will be there by Thanksgiving, but I think it might be more realistic to hope that I can celebrate Thanksgiving in the house, even if I’m not fully moved in yet.  So this image of a snow covered house with a happy family card in the foreground exactly expresses my motivations, desires and goals.

This 5 of Swords card is a bit unnerving because the figure in the foreground holding the knife looks like a man dressed in an old-fashioned nurse outfit.  He seems to be holding the knife and staring at the heroine of the piece, but it’s difficult to tell his intent.  I think this is to remind me that, while I am frustrated with DSS’s seeming lack of action up to this point, I’m not really sure what’s going on behind the scenes.  All might not be as it appears to me.  I’m sure there is a lot of behind the scenes negotiating and planning, to which I’m not privy, attempting to resolve this situation.  And, as a dear friend reminded me during this week, this is nothing personal against me.  As far as DSS is concerned, I’m actually rather irrelevant to this process.  I’m the caregiver that provides direct services, but how it impacts me is really not their priority.  I don’t have to like it but I also should be careful not to take it as a personal attack because then my responses create negative situations that don’t need to occur.

The 6 of Wands reversed reminds me that this isn’t a personal battle or a personal attack.  As I mentioned in the previous card, this is more about bureaucracies that are underfunded and understaffed trying to do the best with the resources available to them and make sure it is in the best interest of their clients.  I’m not their client so I’m just not their priority. If my need and interests intersect with theirs that’s great. If not, they’re not as cooperative. It isn’t an attack on me.  If I can take the sense of personal attack out of it, I might be able to handle things in a calmer and more rational manner.  At the same time, I think this card is reminding me not to abandon my needs either.  I don’t have to go gently into that good night, and it’s important that I advocate for myself and my needs. I also need to be cautious about acting like Bam Bam Rubble, smashing anything in my way to emerge victorious. Remembering that these representatives of government agencies are not trying to prevent me from achieving my goals and desires, they’re merely trying to ensure my brother in law’s needs are being met as well. No one actually triumphs in this situation; it’s more a case of the best possible outcome.

Overall this reading help me clarify some of the issues that have been bedeviling me this past week.  Ultimately I will get moved into my home and this house will be sold. My brother-in-law will be placed in a safe facility that can meet his needs.  Both our lives will go forward. I need to be cautious not to let incorrect interpretations and misunderstandings create a hostile and negative relationship with these government agencies because that will not help this process.  At the same time it’s perfectly fair for me to say that my needs matter too and I am not a doormat.  I have every right to say enough is enough, and they need to do whatever is necessary to ensure that my brother-in-law is placed somewhere once this house is sold.  That’s not me being selfish, that’s me looking out for my own health and well-being and survival.

Week 11 Caring for Myself (#TarotReading #DarkWoodTarot #52WeekProject)

Last week’s left me wondering how I could follow the message of the Page of Cups – taking better care of myself listening to my inner self. So I decided this week that would be the focus of my question. I kind of loosely envisioned the positions as Body, Mind and Spirit, but I wasn’t focused on those positions when I pulled the cards. Of course, as is so often the case in my relationship with Tarot and this deck in particular, I didn’t need to focus on positions to get the message I needed to hear.

The World, The Sun and 10 of Swords from Sasha Graham’s Dark Wood Tarot

The first thing that struck me about all three of these cards that they’re female, which I love. It makes it that much more personal for me. Two of these women are entirely nude, which reminds me that the best way to actually make myself a priority is to be completely honest with myself; to bare my soul, no matter how frightening that might seem. The figure in the final card wears a very revealing dress which suggests she is in the process of baring herself in order to move on to the next level.

The World reminds me that it’s time to make my physical health a priority; to make it the center of my focus. For many years my own health and physical needs have been put on a back burner and I’ve suffered the consequences of that choice. If I want to move forward from a place of health and wellness, I need to focus on eating well and being more physically active. I want to get to a place where I’m as proud of my physical self as the woman on this card.

The Sun, a card for which my Leo Sun has a strong affinity, shows me that my mindset also needs a shift so that once again I understand that it’s okay to make myself a priority. To move forward with a healthy mindset, and let go of the guilt and responsibility that have been holding me down for the last few years, I need to accept that it’s my time to shine; my time to be in the Sun. It’s okay to shine and not hide my light because I might be worried about other people will think. The Sun also reminds me that it’s okay to be warmed by the recognition and praise of others. I’m often very resistant to compliments. The Sun reminds me that there’s nothing wrong with having one’s achievements recognized.

The 10 of Swords suggest that this might be the most challenging part of my journey, the one I struggle with the hardest. At the same time, it may be the most achievable because it’s the one requiring the most practical steps. This will require me to face all those inner demons and slay them; to make my own journey into the darkness of my soul like Inanna. I have a feeling it’s going to be like lancing a boil or removing a splinter – initially painful, but ultimately necessary to allow healing.

Overall I find this reading very positive and a reminder that many of the things I’m struggling with right now can be changed by a shifting of mindset and being more positive and gentle with myself. Pounding myself into submission isn’t the answer to this situation. It requires a more subtle, sharp, Swords approach rather than my usual blunt, Wands approach. If I can follow the advice of this reading I think it will produce a hugely positive outcome which will produce long term, life changing benefits.

Week 10 Get a Clue Spread (#TarotReading #DarkWoodTarot #52WeekProject)

Get a Clue Spread by Nancy Antenucci from 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters (Volume 1) + The Hermit, 6 of Pentacles Rx and Page of Cups from The Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham

The Hermit is telling me that what I truly know is how to be alone; how to handle things by myself. I know how to explore new territory in a search for answers and knowledge. I truly know how to rely on no one but myself. I know how to shoulder a burden and continue moving forward despite the cost. It’s a very short trip from self-reliance and solitude to isolation and loneliness.

The 6 of Pentacles Rx shows that I’m clueless about asking for or accepting help. As The Hermit shows, I’m comfortable, maybe too comfortable, going it alone. Asking for help has often seemed like a devil’s bargain to me. Often this is because when I have asked for help in the past it is either reluctantly or begrudgingly given or, after promising to help, people don’t follow through. At his often left me feeling like a character in Oliver Twist with my hand out asking “please may I have some more”. I’m clueless about accepting that people will be honest when I ask for help, and if they’re unable to do so will let me know. I’m clueless about accepting did people really do want to help when they offer. This is definitely a learning process for me.

The Page of Cups is showing me that what will help me transform my cluelessness into awareness is listening to my heart, my inner voice; being kinder and gentler with myself. It also shows me that I need to relearn how to be more heart centered, and focused. I need to reconnect with my emotionally vulnerable inner core, which is something I’ve never been comfortable doing.

Overall, this reading reminds me that while self-reliance and independence can be positive traits, they can also become negative traits when it makes one unable to ask for or accept help. It also reminds me that sometimes you have to be willing to be emotionally vulnerable in order to establish positive, healthy, reciprocal relationships. Reality is that always giving or always being the one who helps creates an imbalance in relationships. Denying people the opportunity to provide support and assistance can create resentment and strain, and may even eventually damage the relationship. If I want to avoid this I need to work at establishing a more balanced give and take in my relationships.

Week 8 The (Un)Stuck Spread (#TarotReading #DarkWoodTarot #52WeekProject)

I’ve been feeling spectacularly stupid lately. I’m second-guessing myself and questioning every decision I make. Much of this is the result of a bad judgment call I made a few weeks ago, prepaying someone for a job that hadn’t been completed yet. That person is now demanding more money to complete the work that should have been covered by the original payment. This is made me feel I’m on shaky ground, and caused me to feel like the first class fool. So I decided to do what I always do when I feel this way – work with my Tarot deck. I found the spread below in Sheilaa Hite Presents 101 Tarot Spreads by 20 Modern Tarot Masters Vol 1. I don’t necessarily need to explore why I feel foolish but how I can get rid of that sensation.

The Knight of Wands Rx reveals the I need to let go of the idea that I can handle things the way I could when I was younger or when I had John. I just don’t have the same energy level that I had when I was in my 30s or even 40s. The book offers this tidbit “Small issues steal focus from productive energy”. I think this is another way of saying that my energy is so scattered that I can’t focus on anything right now. I need to focus my energies on what’s really important and break free of the distractedness that is sapping my resolve. The truth is I’m not a good multitasker. So, instead of fighting against myself I need to start handling things one issue at a time and then move on to the next one.

The tower is a reminder that I’ve experienced three dramatic life-altering stressful issues all at once. That’s not an easy thing to process, and I need to allow myself to take the time necessary to process it. I haven’t fully processed John’s death. Trying to arrange for Edward to be settled somewhere, and selling this house on top of that is probably much too ambitious right now. Dealing with any one of these issues right now would be a challenge; trying to handle all three at once is insanity.

The Star is telling me that there is always hope. It always seems darkest before the dawn, but eventually there will be healing and a Star to guide me on my way. It’s something that can sustain me when things feel overwhelming.

The 4 of Pentacles Rx is reminding me that I need to work on not holding so tightly to things; not to be pennywise and pound foolish. I also think it’s a reminder not to ignore my own health and physical needs, which has been easy to do with what’s been going on.

It’s ironic, this reading told me exactly what I needed to hear right now to kickstart me and help me feel unstuck. It’s always fun when the Tarot gives me a smack upside the head and reality check.

Week 6 Tarot Spread for Autumn: The Hanged Man Season (#TarotReading #LePsychoTarot #52WeekProject)

My friend Diane sent me a link to this reading from the Llewellyn website.  I thought it looked interesting and decided to use it as my spread for this week.  I find the message the cards have given me to be fascinating (of course I would, it’s about my life 😉)

Pile One:
Top Card: The Hanged Man Question: What do I currently need to let go of and release in my life?  8 of Cups
Bottom Card: An additional message from The Hanged Man. 7 of Swords Rx

Pile Two:
Top Card: The Chariot Question: Where should I put my focus for moving forward?  3 of Cups
Bottom Card: An additional message from The Chariot.  9 of Cups

Pile Three:
Top Card: Ancestors Question: Advice from the Ancestors.  Ace of Cups
Bottom Card: More advice from the ancestors.  King of Coins/Earth.

The 8 of Cups is showing me that what I need to release is my emotional connection to things which meant something in my past but no longer resonate for me. One of the first things that comes to mind is my doll collection. I have a rather large collection of Barbie and other fashion dolls and they haven’t sparked Joy in quite some time. It’s time for me to let them go so I can make room in my life for something new. I also think this refers releasing any lingering guilt about the situation with my brother-in-law. Intellectually, I understand that what I’m doing is not only the right thing, it’s the best thing. However that doesn’t mean I’m not occasionally hit with twinges of regret and frustration that I have to make this decision; that I was left to clean up this mess. The addition of the seven of Swords reversed suggests to me that the guilt I’m taking on isn’t mine to bear. What I need to release is feeling responsible for other people’s burdens. It’s time to start reclaiming my own life, and the only way I can do this is to stop carrying guilt, sorrow, and emotional entanglements that hamper me from moving forward.

The 3 of Cups shows me that my focus should be on finding what sparks joy in my life; finding new friends and social connections that help me enjoy and celebrate what awaits me down this road. Instead of saying no to things, I need to start saying yes and open myself up to the fun and happiness that can bring. This seems to be even more reinforced by the 9 of Cups, which certainly suggests feeling emotionally fulfilled and having your wishes come true. It’s time for me to take control and steer my path along the road that will bring fun, joy, happiness, and emotional fulfillment.

My ancestors seem to be reinforcing the message abov by giving me the Ace of Cups. Once again, I get a sense of reconnecting with my heart; rediscovering things that bring me joy and a sense of contentment and happiness. It is enhanced by the King of Coins, which tells me that once I find my emotional core and reconnect with my inner dreams, live a more heart centered life, I will finally realize my own worth and feel better able to deal with the practical day-to-day realities. I will become the ruler of my life; become more grounded, practical, and learn to appreciate and care for my body as well as my heart, mind and soul.

This reading has been illuminating in many ways; reinforcing some things I already knew. It’s helped me fine tune where I need to channel my energies as well as come closer to accepting other things which I’ve known for some time but resisted.

Week 5 – Judgment & Control (#TarotReading #LePsychoTarot #52WeekProject)

This week I decided to focus on something that’s been bothering me lately. I’ve always been a rather judgmental person. Part of that is due to the fact that I’m convinced that I know better than absolutely anybody else in the world. The other part is due to a desire to help other people fix the messes in their own lives because it’s a hell of a lot easier than fixing the messes in my own. So this week I decided to focus on being judgmental and trying to control other people’s lives. This is the reading I devised.

  • What need does being judgmental fill?
  • What drives people to want to control others’ lives?
  • How can I change these tendencies in myself?

As you can see in the image above, the cards I pulled are Temperance Rx, 10 of Circles Rx, and The Emperor. I found this to be an interesting answer in response to my query. The overall take I got from these three cards is that a lot of this is due to imbalances in our own lives and an unwillingness to take control and be responsible for ourselves. Although that might quite possibly sound pretty judgmental on my part. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

So I think Temperance Rx is suggesting that we become judgmental in an effort to avoid dealing with imbalances in our own lives. Instead of forging ourselves into healthy, heartier, more holistic versions of ourselves, we project our unpleasant parts onto others. I know I often judge others poorly and see them as less because it helps me feel better about myself. So instead of building myself up, I try to accomplish the same goal by tearing others down. Instead of doing the hard work to embrace all my parts and merge them into a stronger unit; I slough it off, denying it and weakening myself. I think this is where Shadow work comes into play and can prove to be a very useful tool and fixing this particular flaw in myself.

The 10 of Circles Rx tells me that at the root of the desire to control others might be a need to maintain the status quo. I think a desire to protect our families, ourselves, our possessions, our stuff often feeds the desire to control others. I know I am often resistant to and fearful of change. It makes me feel very threatened and frightened. One way to address this fear is to try to control others to make sure that I protect my position, to keep my stuff. It took me awhile to remember that the point of this life is not accumulating stuff, it’s accumulating knowledge and experience. I lost the thread and lost sight of the fact that, in my opinion, my purpose for existing is to learn about myself, about the world, about other people. I can’t do that if I’m operating from a place of fear. As the saying goes it’s about the journey not the destination.

Seeing The Emperor in this position made me smile. It’s rather an obvious answer. The best way to change these tendencies mentioned above is to take control of my own life; to become the master of my own destiny. Instead of allowing myself to operate from a place of fear and reaction, I need to create my own game plan and move forward in order to achieve those goals and desires. Controlling others will never fix the core problem only I can do that by recognizing acknowledging and working on them myself. Other people have the right to live their lives however they choose to. It is not for me to say that their way is wrong. All I can say is that it’s the wrong way for me.

I want to focus on a more live and let live approach. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone I think people should be free to live their lives the way that they choose, and I would hope they grant me the same courtesy. Unfortunately, there seems to be an increasing tendency towards trying to force one’s personal beliefs onto the rest of society. I have no desire to play that game. I think a lot of what we’re seeing going on these days is rooted in fear. There’s we’re always concerned about the status quo shifting, but the reality is nothing is fair about people enriching themselves at the expense and the oppression of others. {Soapbox rant ended}