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.

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.

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

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

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

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

#MessageoftheDay – 6 of Swords Rx, 7 of Wands Rx + 10 of Wands (#SecretForest #Tarot)

The river wends its way through a landscape that is either thickly forested or practically barren. In the distance a small body of water is visible. Reversed it gives the impression that the river is moving towards the pond. Rather than traveling away, we are moving inward. We can’t get away from ourselves. Whether this proves negative or beneficial is up to us.

Once again the 7 of Wands appears. It’s reversed again; reinforcing the sense of restriction and cabin fever many have expressed. How can we deal with this? Distractions – online social interactions, hobbies & crafts. We have to force ourselves to engage because it’s too easy to get lost in frustration, fears and paranoia.

To me, the growth coming out of the turtles back suggests that although this is a heavy weight right now and things are going slow, an end is in sight. As even Bugs Bunny learned, slow & steady sometimes wins the race. As soon as I saw this card I heard The Beatles’ “Carry That Weight”. Things feel so heavy and ponderous right now it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. We have to remind ourselves that we’re strong enough to make it. We will adapt, thrive and flourish but it will need to be a slow, steady and cautious process so the improvement is sustainable.

So there is hope but we need to be willing to endure the necessary struggle to get there. Let’s see how that works out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#ChattingwithTarot – 10 of Pentacles, Ace of Cups Rx + Knight of Cups Rx (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

Today I enjoyed a cuppa Harney & Sons Malachi McCormick blend while chatting with my ancestors. We had quite the chat.

Their message, “Nitwit! You’re missing the point! Instead of looking at the whole picture you’re focusing on details. Open your eyes, look inside your heart. What you seek can’t be found without but only within.”. This was followed by a metaphorical smack upside the head.

So, clearly, I was misinterpreting my ancestors’ message as far as the 10 of Pentacles is concerned because it kept coming up. So I did something I rarely do, looked in the companion book. The first sentence was “Honor the endowment of your roots.” D’oh! 🤦 The author then goes on to discuss how we need to connect with our roots so that we can then move forward and express that energy in our lives; ground ourselves so we can soar.

That makes do much sense because one of the motivating factors that influenced my taking on a caregiver role for both my mother-in-law and brother-in-law is that’s how my mother’s family did it. That’s what I saw growing up. In her later years, my great-grandmother suffered from some type of dementia and I watched my mother’s aunts and uncles rally round and take care of her so she could stay at home. My great-grandmother wasn’t relegated to the sidelines either. Despite her inability to fully comprehend what was going on, she sat at the dinner table with us, she was there when we sang Happy Birthday, she was there for holiday celebrations. So my experience growing up was that when family members were in bad shape those that could picked up the slack. That is how I continue to live my life.

My ancestors are reminding me that this is my inheritance but it doesn’t have to be my jail cell. I can still find ways to enjoy my life; find things that bring me joy and make my spirit soar. Right now, I’m restricted to things that I can do within the house and with limited flexibility and freedom but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. The key is looking within myself and changing my perceptions. I understand that focusing on the negative just enhances it, but sometimes I forget. So, what I need to do is focus on the positive; retrain myself to fully embrace the little things in my life that make me happy. I can also be a little more patient with myself when I lose sight of this.