Stuff vs Spirit – a balancing act (The Emperor & The High Priestess – Fairy Lights Tarot)

Fairy Lights Tarot Emperor Fairy Lights High Priestess

 

The Emperor crossed by The High Priestess – so does this mean my inner empire building is crossed by my inner temple guardian? Nah, that’s a bit too glib (although not necessarily inaccurate). The Emperor represents the benefits of being in control, in charge, the head honcho. It also represents the responsibility and obligations that go along with such power. For a great ruler, it’s not merely about satisfying your own personal needs and goals. It’s also about caring for those who follow you, protecting those who are weaker than you and ensuring that the powerful don’t trod upon the peasants. How sad that we have so few leaders who actually embody this archetype in its most positive aspects.

The High Priestess is the guardian of the hidden mysteries. She knows the way but may choose not to give you directions. She is able to look into your soul and determine whether you’re ready to peer behind the veil. She can read you like a book. This can be a huge responsibility because if she allows somehow who is unready or unworthy to see what lies beyond, it might cause damage to that person’s psyche. It might be too much for her to assimilate or she might use the knowledge acquired in negative ways.

So The Emperor is letting me know that if I want to build something stable and solid in my life, I need to remember that it will require responsibility, determination and steadfastness. He’s also reminding me that everything comes with a price. The more concrete and grounded things gets, the more rooted you become, the less mobile and flexible you can be. As we acquire things, responsibilities and stature, we are less able to maneuver quickly and make changes.

The High Priestess reminds me that sometimes spiritual knowledge and enlightenment can be blocked by having too many things, too much stuff. When we are too stable, too set and too grounded it can be difficult to make the necessary changes to acquire knowledge and see beyond the veil. It may be a reminder that focusing too much on stuff, having things and building a stable foundation, I may also discover that my spiritual work gets sidetracked. These two areas in life may not be mutually exclusive but it requires a lot of effort to balance between the two.

Synchronicity/Serendipity – Call it what you will

I had an interesting experience this week.  While doing a reading about prosperity, I drew 3 cards that appeared for me at various points this month.  All 3 also appeared during Readers Studio – 2 in a reading for me and 1 in a reading for my foundation partner.  The next day I asked the cards what I was ignoring about prosperity and drew The World (Gaia) which also appeared for me at Readers Studio. That made me explore the deeper message these cards might have for me.

The three cards that appeared in a reading for me were the King of Wands, Knight of Cups and The World.  I drew them as part of my Whole Person Profile Reading during James Wanless’ workshop at Readers Studio.  In fact they were the only cards I drew in their respective suits.  I was using Joanna Powell Colbert’s Gaian Tarot at the time so they were portrayed as the Elder of Fire, Explorer of Water and Gaia.  This makes me think that part of who I am right now is impacting by prosperity and my relationship to it.

Like a lot of people who come from a poor family, I have a very complicated relationship with money and prosperity.  On the one hand I try to act like I’m above such mercenary, mundane concerns and that I don’t need a lot of money to be happy.  I tend to have what Richard Dreyfus’ character in Jaws referred to as “that working class hero crap”.  On the other hand, I like having some extra money.  The past few years have shown me that I don’t need as much money as I once thought I did.  However, it is obvious that some source of income is always needed.

Considering that during the Whole Person Profile Reading, these cards were connected with enlightenment, emotional nature and Yin energies I wonder if these are the pathway through which I will discover prosperity and what it means to me?  Of course this is a fairly rhetorical question because I’m the only one who can truly answer it but I often find if I put the questions out there to the Universe, I will draw the cards or find insights that provide the answers I seek.  I do think there is a connection between who I am as a Whole Person and my relationship to prosperity.  I also think these cards are guideposts along the way.  It will be fun to see where they take me next.

COTD – 5 of Pentacles R (Fey & Gendron)

 

Looking at the images on both these cards, I do not get the traditional message of financial hardship or physical want.  In fact on the Fey 5 of Pentacles I get a sense of keeping the wolf at bay.  The figures are snuggled inside a shelter with a golden, glowing orb hovering overhead while a large, dark, shadowy figure hovers outside.  On the Gendron 5 of Pentacles a nude woman and a shadowy nude woman seem to be worshipping 5 pentacles embedded in the trunk of a tree.  The pentacles seem vague and shadowy too, as though they do not truly exists.  Are these cards suggesting that the security and solidness I believe exists around me is in reality an illusion?

If I wanted to get all physical with the issue (meaning quantum physics), I suppose that could be true.  I’ve read about theories that propose that nothing is actually solid; that we are all vibrating particles that intersect at various points but do not hold concrete existence (or at least that was my understanding).  It reminds me of the puzzler about a tree falling in the woods – if no one is there to hear it does it make a sound.  My brain says ‘of course it makes a sound” but if in reality someone needs to be there to perceive the sound in order for it to manifest itself, then I’m not so sure.

So on some level this card is about manifesting the illusion or perception into reality.  If the illusion is one of poverty and want, then that is what we manifest.  If, however, the illusion is one of warmth, comfort and solidity then that is what is manifested for us.  A friend and I have been talking about scarcity mentality lately.  We both experienced childhoods that involved lots of down time on the fiscal front – lots of scrimping and saving and very little left for anything beyond the barest of essentials.  What we both have experienced is how we still react the same way now, even when that type of scarcity is unlikely.  I’ve heard the expression “shaking your security tree”, well anything that even remotely smacks of poverty or fiscal hard times sends me into a hoarding tizzy.  I feel like  squirrel storing up nuts against the hard times ahead.  It also makes it very difficult for me to share with folks.  I can sometimes experience bouts of generosity and give things away but more often I cling to them like Daffy Duck in an old Bugs Bunny cartoon shouting “mine, mine, mine”.  I love the sense I feel when I have given something to someone they will truly enjoy.  It makes me feel warm and fuzzy whereas clinging to it (when I no longer want or need it) makes me feel like a bloated tick.

Thinking about this card today I realize that although I am experiencing some fiscal challenges right now, we are not at a poverty crisis mode.  I may not be able to splurge but I can still allow myself the occasional treat.  And we are both (hubby and I) working towards improving the situation somewhat.  So how I handle this is up to me.  I can either allow myself to feel the golden glow and security that is available or I can focus all my energies on that shadowy figure in the window and worry about him getting me.  It’s my mindset that needs to change in order to improve the situation.

COTD – Queen of Pentacles/Stones (DruidCraft & Wildwood)

 

I’ve always had a lot of affection for the Queen of Pentacles.  I find her earthy and solid approach to life very appealing.  She reminds me of the practical woman who deals with crises by picking herself up, dusting herself off and doing what needs to be done.  She’s at home in her skin and her space and knows how to take the necessary steps to achieve her goals and manifest her desires.  She can also, as suggested by the Bear on the Wildwood Queen of Stones, be fiercely protective of her territory and her young.  She will leave you alone as long as you don’t both her but cross her or invade her home turf and you’ll have a fierce battle on your hands.  Bears are also known to hibernate during the colder months.  In some cases bears give birth while hibernating.  This suggests that it is possible to incubate various ideas and projects eventually manifesting them when the time is right, even if I don’t realize it at the time.

I’m interpreting the Queen of Pentacles as a positive omen today for a few reasons.  The first is that I’m meeting a friend who happens to be a Virgo and has some pretty powerful Queen of Pentacles energy (very practical, organized and no-nonsense).  She’s also treating me to lunch as a birthday gift so she’s the bountiful, beneficent one sharing her gifts.  I also happened to get my Gaian Tarot today – a very earthy, full-bodied and realistic deck showing people of all shapes, sizes and colors in setting both natural and beautiful and created by a Capricorn with very strong Queen of Pentacles energy.  I manifested the Queen of Pentacles today by shopping at a local green market and just experiencing the gorgeous, rich and earthy aromas as well as enjoying some very earthy humor with one of the vendors.  I chose two beautiful heads of lettuce, some rainbow chard and several herbs.  I’m actually quite proud of myself because I made my first batch of pesto yesterday – quite a Queen of Pentacles type of thing to do.  And tomorrow I want to make some more tasty sauces (like a spicy chimichurri) and toss some fabulous salads.  My Capricorn mother is coming up tonight, more Queen of Pentacles energy.

My friend and I also used the Vision spread from Catherine of the Tarot Elements blog to help us work towards manifesting our goals.  It was interesting to see what cards we each selected and where there was overlap.  In some respects we complement each other and in others we enable.  It did allow me to see a snapshot of some things in Tarot form that I knew but preferred to avoid addressing.  It also became clear that passion and manifestation are inextricably intertwined for me right now.  Whatever I want to manifest in my life must be something about which I am passionate.  I also need to take practical, concrete steps to manifest abundance and prosperity in my life.  These are things I know and this spread helped me clarify some of the issues that have been preventing me from moving forward.  I’ll have to make sure I revisit this reading in the future to ensure I’m moving in the right direction.

COTD – Ace of Pentacles/Stones (Wheel of Change & Greenwood)

 

As as I saw this card, the song lyric “I want money, that’s what I want” scrambled through my brain.  And in reality that is how I’m feeling right now.  While we are not destitute, we are not flush with cash either.  We are able to pay bills but things are extremely tight.  If we hadn’t been relatively careful prior to this current financial disaster, we’d be in very bad shape indeed.  Of course the question is how to generate this new cash?  How can I find ways to manifest this desire I have for income?  That’s the tricky part.

For my hubby, it’s a fairly black and white issue.  He is a union construction worker and once the industry picks up, he is likely to be back to work.  Of course that is complicated by the increasing use of non-union labor on construction jobs as well as other factors.  In my case I can probably look for a full-time job in a field similar to the one in which I was previously employed but that’s not really where my heart it anymore.  Something about being freed from the chains of a traditional 9-5 type job has made me want to avoid returning to one as much as possible.  Granted if something really excited came up I would certainly explore the possibilities but for a variety of reasons, my hubby returning to full-time employment is the preferred option right now.

Of course that doesn’t mean I can’t find other ways to generate some income.  I’ve actually found it a little scary when I realized how much less money we need to get by than we previously thought.  Although we both made a good salary when we worked, we also spent most of it.  I think we felt that we were entitled because we worked so hard at jobs that we didn’t enjoy anymore.  I think a lot of folks fall into this trap and it’s why America is such a consumerist society – we try to bury our sorrows beneath the things we buys.  However I have been feeling a need to de-clutter my life and I’m starting with some of the things I spent that money on – they just don’t hold the same appeal for me anymore.

What I need to focus my energies on is finding ways that are practical and doable that will enable me to generate income without requiring all my time and energy – especially as I don’t have a whole lot to give right now.  I have several ideas but haven’t really spent much time focusing on them.  I think now is the time.  The longer I wait, the further into this rut I’ll fall and the less likely I’ll be to do anything.  So it’s time to get my behind out of the doldrums and hit the ground running.  I can let these disks serve as wheels that will help me move in a new, more positive and more lucrative direction.

COTD – Ace of Pentacles/Coins (Dream & Ferret)

 

 

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You are planting seeds for a new home, job, career, or form of security.  You may be getting a new sense of how to work with money , and finances.  You may be getting some urges to begin a new physical regime or a new direction in your health.” – Gail Fairfield

I love how confused the Ferret on the Ace of Pentacles appears.  He is holding what appears to be a large coin but apparently doesn’t know what it’s for or what to do with it.  At the same time, the ferret seems clear about his intention of holding on to his newly acquired prize.  This is a new experience for him.  Perhaps he has never had money before.  There is certainly no reason to think that a ferret, in the normal course of its life, would have any need for coins.  Somehow this ferret found one and plans to keep it.

The Ace of Coins in the Tarot of Dreams shows a muscular man with a gold breastplate rising above the forest treeline holding aloft a golden coin with a green gemstone at its center.  A mature buck with a full rack of antlers stand before the forest.  Both men appear to be at the height of their masculine powers; able to manifest their desires into reality.   There is a sense that a change in power has taken place here.  Perhaps these two powerful masculine figures have only recently achieved their success.  Having routed all opponents, they are claiming and embracing their newly acquired powers and authority.

Both cards offer a different take on the traditional meaning of this card.  The Ferret Ace of Pentacles offers a sense of new financial opportunities and fiscal growth.  The Tarot of Dreams Ace of Coins offers a view of someone just beginning to come into their own in a physical sense.  Having reached physical maturity and the height of their prowess, these two figures are ready to start manifesting their dreams and desires into reality.  They are ready to claim the power and authority they worked so hard to achieve and are ready to move forward and run with it.  I almost get the sense of a knight who has achieved his quest and fulfilled his dreams of being crowned king only to realize that a new adventure and destiny awaits in his new position.

We often thing of “happily ever after” as the end of the story.  What it really signifies is the end of that leg of the journey.  Once the prince and princess marry and become king and queen, an entirely new set of challenges, obstacles and opportunities await them.  They may no longer need to outwit witches, slay dragons or find hidden spiritual objects, but how they have to rule wisely and ensure their people have prosperous, abundant and healthy lives.  This may be a less active, exciting and dangerous tasks, but it is no less important.  It requires a level of maturity and practicality that the younger, more idealistic and energetic prince would have possessed.

COTD – 5 of Pentacles/Clouds R (Fenestra & Dante)

 

The number 5 represents the need for adjustment, some kind of change, or that added something that brings the situation out of balance again.  It represents the struggle and challenge of inner and outer growth; adapting to feedback about your action; working out the kinks.  Coins are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane, the body, health and physical or sexual activities.  Coins can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You’re experiencing shifts and adjustments in your inner sense of security or centeredness.  You may feel that you basic groundedness is being challenged.  You’re changing the ways in which you feel connected with the earth.  You’re altering or questioning your “security blanket”. – Gail Fairfield

Looking at the image on the Fenestra 5 of Pentacles, the first thing that struck me is the resemblance of these figures to zombies.  Their pale skin and rather emaciated bodies remind me of images I’ve seen of zombies.  Not the flesh-eating ones so prevalent in horror movies today, but the original zombies found in Haitian folklore.  Wade Davis in The Serpent and The Rainbow describes them as individuals who have been cursed into believing they are now dead.  As a result they have no will of their own and mindlessly follow their master’s commands.  I must say that with the ways things have been going right now in my personal life, I can understand that feeling.  Lately, family obligations have been causing hubby and I to feel like zombies – trapped and helpless against the reality fate has offered.

The Dante 5 of Clouds shows a figure garbed in a blue gown sitting in a window or doorway.  She seems to have a golden halo over her head and is holding an instrument of some type in her hands.  A set of keys dangles from her girdle.  The view outside her window shows white clouds hovering above a green landscape.  The perspective makes it look like she is high above the land, as though in a tower.  She seems apprehensive as she or concerned as she looks over the land visible outside.  And she is not playing her instrument, as though something has stopped her.  Is there something going on outside or is it merely her fears and isolation that are interfering with her playing?  Is she seeking human contact to relieve her solitary existence?  It’s difficult to know for sure.

Both of us are feeling somewhat isolated and helpless right now.  The world outside our door seems increasingly distant and foreign.  Similar to the two figures stumbling along on the Fenestra, we feel almost naked and exposed.  Some we have asked for helped have ignored our requests and those that have been able to help have problems of their own to handle.  Money is indeed becoming more of an issue and having more financial resources might help make this situation a bit easier to bear.  One of the only things that has made this tolerable is that we have each other.  Unfortunately that also means that sometimes we bear the brunt of each other’s frustrations and anger.  This image is a reminder that without each other’s support, this situation would become unbearable and probably crush us.  We need to continue supporting and helping each other.  We also need to make sure we find ways to recharge our batteries and renew our energy levels.  There may not be a lot of freedom available in this situation right now, but we need to find ways to prevent this situation from grinding us down.

On another level, this card can also describe my mother-in-law and brother-in-law.  They are both vulnerable, alone and practically helpless if the hubby and I were not here to aid them.  Their world has grown increasingly narrower as family and friends have left or died.  They can’t take care of themselves anymore and that must be a scary position in which to find oneself.  Perhaps that is the message for me.  Although things are challenging and exhausting sometimes, things are more frightening and scary for them.  And if we can help them and offer reassurance then perhaps it will ultimately be worth it.  All I know is that walking away is not an option for either of us.  His mother supported and helped us when she could and now it’s our turn to offer the same to her.

COTD – Ace of Pentacles/Clouds (Fenestra & Dante)

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You are planting seeds for a new home, job, career, or form of security.  You may be getting a new sense of how to work with money , and finances.  You may be getting some urges to begin a new physical regime or a new direction in your health.” – Gail Fairfield

Dante LWB:  “The Celestial Pilot.  Change of environment.  Modernization of space and ideas.”

When I drew this card the first thing that popped into my head is “new income” and “manifesting new things in my life”.  In the words of the Laverne & Shirley theme song, I’d be “making my dreams comes true”.  The Ace of Pentacles is often about new opportunities to make money, improve one’s wealth and prosperity or to manifest new things in one’s life.  It may also symbolize a new time for practicality and being realistic.  Sometimes when we want to manifest our dreams into reality we don’t have a realistic viewpoint about what is achievable.  The reality is that there are some things in life that are beyond our control or our ability to make true.  And I an accept that, even while it frustrates me.

I  love the image on the Dante Ace of Clouds.  That figure standing on the prow of the boat seems to be actively seeking his future and is prepared to chart his course in the direction he wants it to go.  He is prepared and capable of creating his future; manifesting his desired reality.  The image reminds me a bit of the famous scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet standing on the prow (or is it bow) of the ship.  They give the viewer the sense that the future is theirs to create and a lifetime of potential and possibilities lie ahead.  The Ace of Pentacles is a symbol of hope, potential and limitless possibilities just waiting to be manifested in our lives.

Perhaps it is also a reminder that it might be a good idea to establish a new connection or renew my commitment to healing my physical self.  I have been working on developing a healthier, more sensible eating plan.  I was doing good for several weeks but I’ve been back-sliding a bit lately.  I think it’s time to refresh my brain cells on why this change is important and beneficial to me.  I realize that it’s like anything else – I need to occasionally sharpen the saw so that it’s fresh and easily accessible.

So this card offers a new opportunity to start anew; to refresh some things that I’ve lost contact with and to manifest these blessings and concepts in my life.  It’s about being sensible and grounded – not losing myself in a cloud of optimistic daydreams.  It’s good to be hopeful and have faith but it’s also important to maintain touch with reality.