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!

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 – 4 of Staffs, 8 of Pentacles & 3 of Swords (#MoonGarden # Tarot)

Today I focused on what will aid me in staying on course with my new journaling goals. I drew:


To me, this reading is a reminder to keep my creative energies focused and balanced; not to overdo things and run out of steam (a tendency of mine).  I also need to reflect along the way so I can fine tune what I’m doing.  To fully real the benefits I also need to be willing to poke at myself; apply my analytical, rational side to evaluating emotional responses to situations.  To make lasting changes in my life I’ll need to sometimes be harsh, almost cruel, in my honesty because repeating the same patterns defeats the purpose.

I’m still enthusiastic about this process but this reading reminds me it’s not all fun and games, at least not if I want lasting, impactful change.

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

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

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

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

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

#MessageoftheDay 7 of Cups, Ace of Pentacles & Wheel of Fortune (#SecretForest Tarot)

Well, two days in a row – a new record for me. Once again I decided to simply ask my guides/guardians for insight and guidance. I drew these three cards:

They suggest that there is a lot hidden beneath the surface that is being circled around but not addressed. There will be new growth and prosperity after this has moved on because that is the nature of things. The cycle will once again begin working its way upwards, however that doesn’t mean the danger is over.

As I reviewed this reading, I realized this could refer to the changes taking places in families right now.  Social media is filled with posts if parents and children building stronger relationships due to forced social distancing.  We’re mandated to slow down and some are using this opportunity to reconnect with their families; learning to appreciate the often thankless responsibilities teacher handle every day.

Maybe the growth and changes will be in how we interact with each other moving forward.  Consider all those familial issues we were able to ignore before.  We treaded water rather than diving down to find their origins.  This might be our chance to root out the weeds and allow more healthy, nurtured, nourished relationships to bloom forth.  Of course, we might also learn that in some instances things are unsalvageable.   Although that may prove painful to accept, it will also provide an opportunity to cut away what is rotted and festering and allow a healthier life and relationships in the future.

Growth and change can be scary but they can also provide opportunities for healing and growth.  Only we can decide how to handle it.

#MessageoftheDay – The Hermit, The Devil Rx + 5 of Swords (Haunted Mansion Tarot)

“You feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. You’ve discovered the truth and it freed you from the chains that shackled you to the illusions promised by those in power. Now you must be willing to defend that truth; cling to it despite the insistence of others that you are wrong or mistaken.”

#MessageoftheDay – 3 of Swords Rx, Knight of Wands + Judgement (Haunted Mansion Tarot)

“Past betrayal leaves us feeling unable to determine which way is up. It makes us want to charge into the battle and seek vengeance upon those that have hurt us. However, it is important to remember that judgement needs to be given in a fair, impartial way in order to truly matter. If it is not thoughtful and considered, the judgement feels false. Charging into battle without a plan to punish those we deem wrong serves no useful purpose. Remember that Judgement works both ways.”