Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chariot Insights and Keywords

My first impression of The Chariot is that it is a 'Feel Good' card. It's very welcoming, as if I've arrived at an oasis. It's very balanced, and quite symetrical, and at the same time it has a dreaminess and other worldly sense to it; there isn't specifically a landscape behind or around the main aspect of the card.

The insights I got from the visuals are that this card speaks of balance, freedom, forward movement, and progress. There is purity and goodness here, and a connection to the magical, and that which is Cosmic. It speaks of gentle control, harmonious opposites and endless possibilities.

Other keywords I'd add to the above (insights) which I'd use for this card would be: purpose, journey, victory, triumph, clear sailing/clear road ahead, all of which comes from completion of the first level (reading Rachel Pollack's book, "Tarot Wisdom" and she splits the majors up into 3 levels. The first is comprised of cards 1 thru 7, the fool being the journeyman so is not included).

Feeling the need to go back and see what I did learn from the first seven (remembering only The Hierophant which pointed out my intolerance to certain things).


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ride Captain Ride Upon Your Mystery Ship

"Ride Captain Ride, upon your mystery ship,
Be amazed at the friends you have here on your trip.
Ride captain ride upon your mystery ship,
On your way to a world that others might have missed."*

I awaken, as if from a dream... or perhaps I have now just entered the dream time. I see a young man before me. He has longish blond hair, and his smile is joyous as he strums a harp and sings a beautiful tune. He is standing within a carriage, beneath a canopy filled with stars upon a many blue hued background. The out side of this drape is a lush purple. It must be a dream; it's so other worldly, multi-dimensional.

This man is dressed in a blue and gold royal robe, with armor covering his upper body, of alternating gold and silver panels, with a badge of the Sun emblazoned upon it, over his heart. He wears a silver single ringed crown, with a green gem set so it rests against his forehead; perhaps at the 3rd eye level.

It all beckons me to climb aboard and soar through the Cosmos, with this young man as my guide. As I approach, it does not escape my attention that the two magical creatures which are harnessed to the golden chariot are Unicorns; one a black beauty, with a silver horn and a billiant green eye. The halter around her neck, a silver etched with crescent moons and symbols of Venus, speak of the feminine aspect, mated to her partner, a pure white Unicorn with a golden horn, and golden halter, only the etchings depict his masculine aspect, showing suns and the symbol of Mars. He gazes at me through equally green eyes. They, like the Yin/Yang symbol which can be seen between them, set into the carriage, convey perfect balance. Above the black and white ornament on the front of the Chariot, is a pair of white wings, with a blue (perhaps star sapphire?) stone.

I step up into the Chariot and settle into place, waiting for this 'star ship of the imagination' to lift off and bring me to the endless possibilities which lay ahead.

*Song for The Chariot: Ride Captain Ride

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Lovers Insights

While the previous couples within the first 6 cards showed how they made life possible, The Lovers show that in the physical world their union will make each other possible. They are two halves of a whole; Unifying energies; balance. Together, they are nurturing, strong, sweet, and within their sharing, creation is possible. Their love is transformational and manifests a ripeness and ready state which leads to quickening.

The keywords for our Lovers would be: Unity, balance, harmony, perfection, transformation, enlightenment, belonging, involvement, caring, sharing, growth, nurturing, strength, freedom and combining.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This One's For All The Lovers Out There

Running, slipping and sliding, panting and finally dropping down onto a soft carpet of grass. I'd escaped the 5th House on the block! I almost wished for a pool into which I could jump and cleanse myself.

Letting the sun fill me up, I finally looked around. It was beautiful here. And there was laughter. Turning toward the sound, I saw them; a couple standing arm in arm, not at all conscious of anything but each other. I might have felt like a voyeur, except I was transfixed by the depth of feeling that radiated from them and from this whole place.

The young lovers were standing in front of a tree, one which seemed to have two very separate halves, melded together. Her side was an apple tree, abundant with bright red fruit, and his side was a tall, sturdy Oak, leaves fully formed, and magnficient. She was radiant, her beautiful dark tresses cascading down over her body; and he, attentive to her, a tenderness that spoke of adoration, and devotion.

On her side of the tree, I noticed, far off, a small cabin, and beyond, just above the peaks, two hawks (eagles? ravens?). Her right hand was held aloft, palm face up, and a full moon, rising in the sky, seeming to hover just above her hand. Likewise, on his side, the setting sun, still brilliant, appeared to be poised just above his palm. Where the trees were fused together, a bright light shone through, showering the world with warmth. I noticed two butterflies danced beside him and surrouinding them was a sacred circle only for Lovers. It was as if they were in their own world where only love existed, and nothing from the outside touched them.

There was a pathway which lead down the hill into a valley beyond, where a river meandered away toward the mountains.

I considered the contrast between where I'd just come from, and into the realm where I now lounged upon the lush lawn. I thought about this journey I'd begun, and realized that this was the essential foundation from which all learning had to commence; that to reach higher levels of knowledge, love must be the guide, and that each of us is one half of a whole, where dwelling within the land of love, each partner learned about the other. The fullness of life cannot be attained with the missing piece that is love; both physical and emotional. For the Lovers, their time together will be transforming, merging the energies of both genders, to form a perfect whole.

Song for The Lovers: The Power Of Love

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not Done Yet

From outside the box of patriarchal tradition

Mind blowing revelations! And seeing the bright side of another, otherwise less than pleasing image/representative of this patriarchal-specific, traditional Tarot card.

As mentioned above, I'd been given a link to a blog in which a month-long study of the Hierophant had been discussed. I'd read many of the entries, but had not actually gotten down the whole list. So here's the KICKER.

Today, I finished up (see previous entry) my information about Robin's Hierophant, with some quite astounding revelations at the end. But the insights and revelations never DO end. I actually remember while looking through some of the other images from decks at the link I'd been given, one deck creator had tried to put a new, more reasonable spin on the older traditional graphics, and even renamed it 'Faith.' Still, I did not find solace in the new image, though I was not at all repulsed the way I had been when first setting my eyes on Robin's Hierophant. So I had not seen the light yet and wondered if I ever would, even while I could admit that the Robin Wood Hierophant actually did teach me something... more than any other at this early stage in my journey.

At some point, probably during my time spent with The High Priestess, I'd included some information about a reading I'd asked for at the site for the Gaian Tarot. Of importance is the fact that not all the cards carry the same names of the traditional Tarot decks. Plus, it was long enough ago that I couldn't remember, off the top of my head, what the 3rd card in the Gaian reading had been, though I remember that it did talk about that my teacher (for whom I'd been searching decades worth of time) would appear, but in disguise, more than likely.

In the end, my road led me here, where I discovered my Teacher; which I like to think of as the 78 Insights Into My Soul. And the lessons seem to be coming not only (seemingly) fast and furious, but are of the 'mallet/head' kind - meaning there are more times than not, I have to be hit over the head with a mallet to get something that is right in front of me.

Okay, okay... getting to my point here... After I'd posted the above this morning, I had some stuff to do and when I came back, I spent some time over at the blog where the monthly study of The Hierophant had taken place. I was scolling down, almost scanning when I spied The Gaian Tarot version of this card. Mallet/Head!!!! THIS was the card that I couldn't remember! GOOD LORD GISBURNE! I feel like I'm falling down the rabbit hole! But, but, but, but.... wait... how could there be such a vast difference? That is what is SO outstanding about Tarot.

I THINK (because I do not yet know) that I have found a way to accept, and put The Hierophant into words that make sense to me, to know why this card is in the Tarot deck, and to have a completely diffent perspective... Now I can't say with any sense of validation, yet, but I THINK, that I've seen something else I've never considered as an absolute beginner... the reversal of this card is what Robin presented. The upright is what the Gaian Tarot presents.

For now I'm on Robin's journey and I'm happy to be here; happier than I've been in forever.... okay, maybe in about 10 years (on the inner work front at least). I want to learn to not turn away from things that have been major issues for me. I want to find a way to transform previously held intolerant feelings that reside within, and I may have just seen a doorway to that...

Many thanks to BlueDragonfly for directing me to that month long study, and being fabulously supportive of my efforts here as I tread the waters of this new journey, and to Shadowdancer who brought up the idea about making that perfect Tarot Deck. Thanks also to everyone who previously posted in the Robin Wood group on The Hierophant and to the awesome insight from those who responded to my own query, back before I even got my deck, about 'Cards That Bother You.'

Song for The Hierophant: Tradition - Fiddler On The Roof
I think NOW it's time to move on down the road.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hierophant Insights and Keywords

Insights and Keywords

I had to wonder what the reason for this card was, after seeing it. I have an inkling, now, from a personal inner work pov.

What this card shows me is someone who is controlling, manipulative, hiding behind a powerful institution. It is about conformity, rigidity of thought, being removed from others, self righteous piety, as well as oppressive and repressive actions and attitudes and to the extreme, corruption and deception.

Having had such a negative reaction to this card, after posting my initial blog, and then reading Robin's thoughts on The Hierophant, I went over to post this in the Robin Wood study group thread. I found that the majority of those who participated in the group, stated a similar feeling, as well as similar insights.

While it seemed to me there was a sense of validation for my own thoughts, something else also occurred to me. First and foremost, the reason I am even here is about inner work; growth, and learning from all 'teachers.'

That being said, I posted this after considering, not only what I came across here but also some other information regarding the card (thanks to a wonderful and very helpful ATer) as seen by other Deck creators:

I have since read Robin's own interpretation for the card she has created, and find it interesting that her own feeling about it parallels what I actually saw. I expected she would explain it in a way I could not see.

Of note, but not actually put into my blog (though is in my work journal) is that I wanted to get as far away from the card as fast as I can, and have actually left it in my work journal as a bookmark for those pages, instead of keeping it out where I can see it. Whatever this card has as a 'teaching' for me it shows me there is some major issue I've been ignoring in myself... okay not ignoring, but allowing to manifest, and it's as ugly as Robin's depiction of The Hierophant is. It is intolerance!
MUCH work to be done here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Unpleasant Meetings

Sometimes life is filled with unpleasantries, but in a Fool's Paradise, well, we have the tendancy to look the other way. To cross the street when we see an unfriendly pack a dogs heading straight for us. What is more, having just recently met four very lovely people, I was quite taken aback when a very displeasing image met me as I stepped into the realm of The Hierophant.

This is an elder man, who gives the impression of self-righteous piousness. He appears stern, and distant. The stark contrast between him and the chamber in which he stands, gives the impression that he feels all else pales in comparison to him. He is large and imposing, dressed in ornate robes with the front panels golden with a flower and leaf filled runner, yet there is something off about that part.

This cloak is hiding all but his hands; the left grasping a scepter and the right held up as if to hush a crowd. They appear bloodless, or are sheathed in white gloves. His hat is that of a pope, large and studded with rubies. The color of the cloak below the runner panels is not quite red, and not quite purple, giving the sense of muted colors. Above his robes is a white collar, all of which (cloak/robes/gloves and collar) seems to hide him, as if he is presenting a false reality to the world, and the drabbness of the pillars between which he stands, may be more indicative of who he is: one dimensional, unyielding. His eyes are dark slits, and his expression is close to a scowl.

There is no friendliness here.

Two young boys kneel in prayer before him, almost as if he hopes their innocence will hide his cold heart.

The pillars present the male aspect on his left, with hoards of common folk behind, laden down like slaves trudging through their day. Likewise, the right side presents the feminine aspect, with sheep and he stands between these, as a seperatist, ruling the flocks as he sees fit.

The feeling of this card is immediate distaste. It is very off-putting and manifests that which is untouchable; higher than all else, like a puppeteer, controlling everything in his domain. There is a rigidity about it. This is not someone I'd care to sit and speak with, even if I thought he'd bother to give his time to the little folk.

I find it interesting that he represents the number 5, which in part, represents on the contrary side, perversion (as if he is perverting the old Ways), and corruption. The presence of the young innocent boys, cannot erase the potential wicked use of his power.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Emperor Insights and Keywords

My first impression is that of a powerful warrior and leader; someone of traditions, worldly, and still remains fairminded.

The Card Imagery: an elder man, regal, but fair (kind eyes). Sits on a throne, and wears the clothing of Royalty, with a connection to the natural world. Traditional, powerful (sceptor), rugged warrior, pure of heart, courageous and balanced.

My insights are that this is a traditional ruler, who has experienced much in life and is worldly. He manifests balance, fairness, even in his powerful position: he is respectful of other's ways. He is rugged and yet orderly.

Thus I would attach the keywords:

royalty (leader),
masculine energy,
Pure of heart,
Fair minded.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Don Quixote This


The terrain became rugged, and I marveled at the change in surroundings. This was a man's domain, here, wild, a frontier. I did not expect to see anyone out here, so far from civilization, until I saw, in the distance, a man, who, from his clothing and countenance was of great stature.

He sat upon a throne, carved of stone, seemingly out of place, and at the same time, giving the sense that he was, in fact, completely at home. This, or any other place could be his castle. He must be a great and powerful leader of men. His appearance spoke volumes of this fact. Full bearded, showing the gray of an Elder, he was clothed in a white tunic, trimmed in gold etched with a black print that ran down the front and side. His leggings were bright red and on his feet, which rested upon a globe of the world, were brown leather boots, with a gold inner lining. Draped over his shoulders was a deep purple cloak, also with gold trim embedded with what looked like bright red squares and smaller green rounds of gems, which ran across the chest, and the clasp which held the cloak in place was a large round gold and black medallion with a ruby set in the center.

His crown was made of leaves (possibly laurel?), and in his right hand he held the scepter of royalty. His left arm, visible beneath the cloak, was encased in armor and there was an armor plated belt with a ram's head buckle, to match, perhaps, the arm of his throne, also that of a ram's head. Crows were etched into the back board of the throne, seeming to hug either side of his head. Slung over the left upper part of the throne was a hunter's horn with a brown leather strap. Behind him were treeless peaks of red-rock or brownstone mountains.

I could see the tinge of color from the setting sun, and watched a hawk soar across the sky.

I had the sense that he knew exactly who he was, without assailing others with false bravado. He was formal and at the same time was not off-putting. There was wisdom and power radiating from him, and I knew he was an honest man, with a pure heart, which was courageous when times called for it. He is a fair minded leader, and holds all within his charge with honor and respect, albeit a firm hand. While he is a man of Faith, he respects that others may hold different views and is learned within all schools of knowledge. This shows great balance and fortitude.

Song Of The Emperor: Like A Rock by Bob Seger

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Empress Insights and Keywords

My crash course in symbolism has helped me a great deal. Though I believe that The Empress is a very easy card to 'read' in so far as imagry, and the insights which can be gained from what is seen.

It wasn't until after I'd written down my original entry and I looked back over the card, yet again, that I saw that she was pregnant. It was less obvious to me than a lot of the other aspects of the card. But, of course, it makes sense, since Robin's main keyword is MOTHER. And in fact, it is also what I picked up, even if I hadn't seen that she was pregnant; there is such a motherly aspect to her.

The insights I listed on my worksheet were:

A worldly woman; head of household activities (aka the Mama); caring; teacher; faithful (as in spiritual faith); orderly; following societal protocols. I also felt that she represented transformation on a material level: turning a house into a home. Her life is lived by the Wheel of the Year, which comes from her faith and gives her a connection to the natural world.

My keywords for her would be: Maternal, Feminine energy, Caring, Worldly, Knowledgeable, Transformative, Regal, Couragous, Purity, Connected to both the natural and material worlds (balanced?), Faithful. ETA: passion.

I did have another insight this morning which came to me while I was reading and then posting over in the Robin Wood thread at AT:

Regarding the scarf... and something I didn't include in my original blog post. I felt there was something about the scarf which was not in keeping with the rest of the image but couldn't actually put my finger on in what way it was/felt different. So I had to wonder what it was all about. Now this is before I read what Robin wrote about the card. But I thought, since The Empress actually represented motherhood, and also that I felt she had a great connection to family life, that the scarf represented a connection to all mothers - even the peasantry... thus, a connection between that which is higher with that which is lower; that which perhaps is spiritual, with that which is mundane... even possibly showing a way to bring the spiritual into our everyday lives.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Lady Of The House

Another beautiful day dawns, carrying me on my way further down the road. I dance along, listening to the music my flute gives to the Universe. My mind drifts over the two meetings I've had the past 24 hours, and it has me wondering who I shall meet this fine day? As the sun traverses the heavens, and noon draws near, I begin to feel ready for a meal. Wandering into a meadow, I look for wild berries to pick. Beyond the surrounding forest, I can see cultivated land and further still, snow capped mountains. The civilized world is close.

I am thinking about the luscious meals which can be made from the harvest beyond, my attention is drawn by a woman's lovely voice, humming a delightful tune. I look around and not far from where I am I see a magnificent tree, under which sits a lady; one of regal bearing, clad in a long gold robe, with a border of lush green brocade. Around her shoulders is a cloak of deep purple, with gold symbols embroidered into it. She wears a beautiful sparkling tiara which holds the phases of the moon across the crown. A blue silky scarf is draped over her head. She is tending a handsome spinning wheel, etched with the signs of the zodiac. I watch as the fluffy white cotton tufts transforms into useful threads.

Looking up, she smiles, beckoning for me to approach. When I do, she offers me refreshment from a basket of fruits and vegetables set near her, and while I eat, we talk. I note behind her placed upon the trunk of the tree, a beautiful heart shaped pillow fashioned out of a bright red yearn with a gold patterned frill, and can see the white sign of the female emblem, stitched upon the front.

One is reminded of homes and dinners, and yards with chickens clucking about, and cows waiting to be milked. I notice that the symbols upon her cloak speak of worldly things, and love and all that is maternal. I see a wisdom, that comes with many years of experience in her eyes. While she is clothed in elegant robes, she also works. Her's is the realm of worldy and material knowledge. She is wise in areas of orderly, domestic ways and follows Societal protocols. Her work is transformative regards making a house a home. The basics of domestic life are her wares (making clothing and preparing foods), working according to the cycles of the Moon and the harvest; the Wheel of the Year. I can see she is contented in her role as mother and is very caring. I could not feel more welcome.

Song for The Empress: This Is Your Song by Ronan Keating

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Insights and Keywords

I wrote on my worksheet these insights for The High Priestess:

She is about intution, which is the feminine aspect of knowledge. Her knowledge encompasses the three levels of learning which is inclusive of the three phases of the feminine side of life: the Maiden where the basics of spirituality are born, incarnate, where the first degree initiation takes place; The Mother, giving birth to the ability to find patterns in the world around, through the experience of living, where what came before is transformed into 2nd degree upon the ladder of human evotution; and Cronehood, the highest degree of spirituality, incarnate, and applying what life lessons have shown on the road to living life beautifully.

The Keywords I'd use for this card:

quiet knowing
purity of heart,
deeper learning,
harmony with the Universe
intuitive living
direct connection with Nature
potential for growth

Monday, April 12, 2010

Epiphany City!

So I'm over at AT and I'm reading one thread I've subscribed to, and decide to actually answer it because one person has posted the reason why they feel Tarot is useful, from the thread of the same name. The gist of the post is about the trials and tribulations of finding a wise one in our life. This is exactly what got me to take the step to learn how to read. For more years than not, I have hoped to find a Teacher. So often seeing others finding one frustrated me. All I seemed to find was the information (from various sources) that all of the answers were inside, already there and I needed to learn to tap into the place within where they dwelt.

Back in '09 I started visiting a tarot site, though was put off by certain aspects of the site itself. On twitter, I'd come across someone who was a reader, and I started following his tweets. One day in February, he posted a link to AT and I came here and signed up and started reading in the 'learn' section. The initial list of what ways in which Tarot can be used included many inner work options. That I'd been considering over the past year or so to begin a study program of some sort, I realize, is what brought me to each place I visited; to each link which opened the next door, was that part of me which has always surfaced looking for that teacher.

On Imbolc (Feb 2), I began to work with ideas of what I should study and do to get back to inner work. After signing up for AT, I noticed that I was suddenly spending more and more time here. While I was looking at the various decks, I came across three to which I felt VERY drawn. My birthday was coming up so I decided that I would gift myself with a deck, and a couple of books. Shortly after I'd done that, I made my way over to the Gaian Tarot site, and decided to ask a question of the Oracle link there. It was a three card reading, and each card stunned me more and more.

The first card was in the 'Opportunity' spot: The High Priestess, and it was like this BIG arrow pointing back at all those moments in my past when I'd been hoping to find that teacher! It literally said "It is time to go within," and it said I should watch for "Omens" in my everyday life. Well, my everyday life included spending time here! And then again "Study divination - reading cards..." By this time I was bouncing up and down in my chair. How wonderful it was to have found a door that had a big WELCOME sign on it.

But the 2nd card had me applying breaks to my exuberance. It was in what they called the 'Challenge position,' and it was The Tower. I now see that the challenge really was for me to NOT do my disaster thinking ritual, when faced with words such as: "Get ready! Life as you have always known it is about to change. It is sudden and it is radical." I skipped right over the encouraging possibilities of having an epiphany, or a flash of insight, and headed straight to the upheaval, and saying that it was up to me how to respond to crisis. It asked me if I'd let it crush me (I thought, you bet!) but I also came here and created a thread to ask others about how they deal with cards that bother then, and got such wonderful answers and encouragement. The thread itself felt like an epiphany!

And then I looked at the 3rd card - The Resolution. This card was called: The Teacher! I nearly fell off my chair! OMB! It actually said that " a spiritual teacher will soon appear in your life..." and then it seemed to be saying what I'd always found in answer to this life-long quest: "It may be that this teacher will appear in disguise," and all of a sudden I had one of those V8 moments! The Cards! 78 Insights Into My Soul!

Needless to say, I've received my cards and have actually begun my journey, knowing and choosing exactly what to do with the time that is given to me.

And oh! oh! oh! now that I'm relating this story here, I want to add that the Epiphany continues, because my choice to begin my own 'Fool's' Journey by starting off spending time with each card, in order, and journaling, and then reading what the meaning of the card is according to the author of the deck I'm using, has brought me to this amazing moment. The card I am just now working with is The High Priestess!

NOW I'm seeing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

She Came To Me One Morning

No, actually, it was me going to Her and it is evening. But the point of the title is all about the first line from a song by Uriah Heep, which reminded of the card while I was first studying it:

"She came to me one morning,
One lonely sunday morning,
Her long hair blowing
In the mid-winter wind"

More about why this card brought that song to mind later.

Now, sit and listen to this tale:

The learning had begun, though I might not yet have become aware of that fact. But, how could I NOT? I'd have to be 'foolhardy' (pun intended) to miss the commencement of this new phase.

While I was not in the Land of the Sandman, I, none-the-less had visions dancing in my head. I wandered out into the cool night air, letting the evening embrace me as I followed the trail away from the cabin. My mind was churning with thoughts and ideas about becoming the captain of my own ship.

Yet, it was quite a bit more than I could take in and the main desire within my heart was to find peace and quiet to make sense of it all.

"I know not how she found me..." but it was I who stumbled into her realm.

At first, I didn't feel anything, looking at the image, so I sat for a long time staring at the card. The High Priestess. I let my eyes drink in all the nuances of each part. What I thought might be not getting anything from this card, turned out to be a contrast between the previous stop and this one. In a strange way it was akin to how deaf a person feels after leaving a rock concert. Nothing seems to penetrate the daze of a highly charged experience. So, I listened more intently and just let whatever wanted to come to me, drift, as if a feather floating down to earth. I found a gentle peace about this card. Standing central in the graphic, a beautiful woman - the essence of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone, all held within her countenance. It feels good to be outside, the air is fresh and fragrant with earthy scents and alive with night sounds.

She is warm, welcoming, and quietly waiting. She is tall and striking. Her hair is long, billowing out behind her, a crescent moon headband, set mid-brow. Around her neck is a pentacle on a thin silver chain. She is holding a book (of shadows?) open in her left hand and a crystal ball in her right hand. She is clothed in a flowing gown; white at the shoulders, green, fading into teal, draping over her upper body, fading into light blue and then a deeper blue further down.

She stands between two trees; possibly a birch tree on her left (the white bark) and a black barked tree on her right. The full Moon is a 'ghostly galleon, tossed upon cloudy seas' casting light and shadow as it slips behind and then slides out of the white clouds. The night sky is purple.

There is a silence, a stillness about her, as if her knowledge is imparted thru demonstration, showing the way of simply being. There is a sense of relief, standing in her presence, a feeling of safety.

The crystal ball sparkles, and as I gaze at it, it seems I can see the cosmos held within giving the sense that she is saying the universe is within all of us.

Stillness; gentle strength, wisdom and balance are her teachings.

I suspect there is tons more, but right now it's not getting through?

ETA: I just re-read this and saw: Yet, it was quite a bit more than I could take in and the main desire within my heart was to find peace and quiet to make sense of it all. Another of those DUH moments. Sometimes, we do get what we want...

Song for The High Priestess: Lady In Black by Uriah Heep

Friday, April 9, 2010

Impressions, Imagery, Insights and Keywords

From the worksheet:

My first impression when coming face to face with The Magician was that he was imposing, and commanding. The energy was quite palpable. The sense of control was also quite outstanding. After sitting with those feelings for a while, getting used to the comparative heaviness here after spending time with the Seeker (Fool/Hero), I allowed the other aspects to come into view. Here was a very balanced individual, someone who walked in this world as One Who Knows. The reason I suggested a person of 'unknown' age is about a being who is eternal, possibly similar to one who returns to incarnation knowingly, willingly, with purpose and in this it could be said that he is consciously infinte.

The card imagery created an experience of being no other place but in the moment; nothing else existed, in fact, other than the seeker and the Magician. The implication of connetions to the essential (natural world) through his headress, and the more superficial realm wherein dwelt the creature of man (dressed in robes), and all the trappings, brings the sense of transcendance to the forefront. The idea of Balance is seen in all things here: dark and light, tame and wild; life and death, masculine and feminine. The accoutrements (pentagram, sword, wand, cup) speak to All Knowing. He represents things known and seen, and things unknown and unseen, with one hand visible, and the other hidden.

The insights of the card, for me, are that his realm is a window to all lessons; that he manifests balance, courage, strength, wisdom, love, freedom, perfection, darkness and light, and infinity.

With these, the keywords for the card would be balance, teaching, freedom in the ability to control destiny and eternity.

* * *

The nice part about how I'm approaching this is that I get to work in parts, the way a person might work with a recipe for a hoped for good meal: preparation, cooking, eating.

I've since read Robin's own interpretation of The Magician. Happily, I was paying attention to her pre-requisite chapter about symbolism. I saw so much more, and brought what I'd learned into how I perceived the card.

Oddly, and I'm not sure why, I did not put 'Creativity' as a keyword. What was I missing? Creativity is so elemental to all inner work. In fact, imo, it grows greater within us as we work. Perhaps, at the beginning of a journey, there is just so much coming at a person that those parts which are the foundation upon which we stand, seem to be almost taken for granted.

Other aspects used in the book's interpretation which I'd include as keywords would be: Skill, Self-reliance and definitely Mastery. Also, purity of purpose, and clarity of thought.

I like quiet confidence though the card doesn't feel quiet for me. It's not chaotically blaring, but there is a 'speaks loudly' sense to the whole composition.

There is a great deal more that I didn't even see. Perhaps the smaller details will begin to materialize when I meet The Magician again.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Stranger On The Road

Day turns to night as the trail at cliff's bottom becomes lost in shadow. Clouds move in and I sit to rest my suddenly weary feet. I can see birds are heading into nests and the first sounds of evening echo through the surrounding trees. The land takes on the chill of sundown. Food would be nice and as I think of it, I see a light sparkling between the dancing leaves as the breeze frisks them.

My own flute, nestled now within my pack, I follow a path, smelling a most delicious scent of cooking food. As I near a cabin, lights flickering through a window, I hear the deeper, more resonant notes of what sounds like an indian flute.

The door is open, and I step toward the threshold, peeking around the doorjam. "Come in," I hear a man say and suddenly I am inside, the moments of my day floating away, as if a dream, barely remembered.

"I've been waiting for you," the man says.

Everything about this card has an upclose and personal feel. There is a sense of tunnel vision, so that my focus is directed only to the central figure. He is a man of unknown age, graced with an aspect which shows one in his prime. He is fully bearded with piercing eyes. He fills the space of the realm with a commanding presence. He is clothed in robes of red, with a white inner lining, and where the seams of his robe come together, on either side and of equal width, running the length of the robes are panels filled with white roses, white lillies, entwined with leaves, upon a golden background. Upon his head rests the headress of a buck with a full set of antlers. The eyes of the deer peer out, above his own, deeper, dark, two wells of eternity within. Deer Medicine resides here.

He sits at a table, upon which are a pentagram on the right side, a wand, and a sword, crossed (the sword, pointing left to right, the hilt closest to his body, on top of the wand which lies right to left, with a crystal resting near his body). There is a chalice sitting to his left opposite the pentagram. On the edge furthest from him are what appears to be a red and a white rose, both on the right side in front of the pentagram.

Behind him are two pillar-like candles; a black one on the right side and a white one on his left side. The light of these candles fills the room with a brilliance of what seems to be a million suns.

Floating above his right hand, held in front of him, is a glowing sign of infinity. His left hand is conceiled.

He commands the world around him, while he maintains balance between the dark and the light. There is a sense that he is All Knowing and his teachings would lead a student to find both aspects within themselves and they would learn to stand in balance as well. Transmutation and alchemy of the self would be included in some of his lessons. There is great strength, courage, and wisdom in this man.

Standing before him all else recedes.

The Magician's Song: Magic Man by Heart

The Seeker aka The Fool aka The Hero

From my own exploration of this card, these are the things which I would keep in mind when the card shows up in a reading:

Beginnings, carefree, openness, innocence and purity, imminant transformation.

Still, there are some things within the book's interpretation, I'd add to mine. While I feel 'peril' is too strong a word, I would definitely include pay attention to the list of things this card might be telling someone in a spread.

Lack of experience, is good because when we are beginning things, we do lack the experience of those who have been working at it for years.

With lack of discipline, The way I see it, if something interested this Seeker, to attend this desire there would be discipline. In fact, to learn to play a flute, one must have been disciplined.

I am fully aware that I am striving to keep the more negative aspects out of this, while allowing for the fact that those things I would emphasize would convey a need for caution at most.

If difficulties lie in the seeker's mind, it would be part and parcel of learning, and by making mistakes, that is truly the only way to learn. This is a thought that comes from a book I'd read many years ago, which speaks of how the educational system's proclivity to not allow mistakes, to make them seem bad only places obstacles TO learning.

Much of the symbology regarding the colors, design and style of dress, was something I did not know. However I do appreciate that is her way of showing that he is a lover. Interestingly, she claims, as well, that he has sharp wits which is really contrary to the whole idea of being thoughtless, and falling pray to folly.

Might he be hurt in the end? Might not we all? Isn't it a matter of how we handle the hurts in life?. When one is carefree, and this is not a child in this picture, even as he may be young; this is a man, who has had experiences which led him to be upon this path. It would seem, unless we make his story one of having been sheltered (boy in a bubble) up to the point where he left the safety of home, then it's not likely he has not met with some bad experiences. I feel he is one of those people who picks themself up, dusts themself off and keeps on going. That fits more with one who chooses a carefree life. Being carefree implies choice.

The more subtle of the sybmols, like the color of his vest, representing the light and dark sides of him, and that his moods may be "mercurial, and could change at the drop of a hat." Maybe he's more in touch with his feminine side, as the switch in sides of his leggings might actually show. Being a rebel myself, I prefer the disdain of forms to not understanding them.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who's The Fool?

I've just finished reading the meaning of the 0, THE FOOL card as Robin sees it. The description of what everything means is obviously greater than I was able to see. I realize, of course, that I must not have been in school when they taught about symbolism. OR, let's face it, my life has given me many experiences which tend to simply change the perspective.

As I've implied (inferred?) right from the start, I am this seeker and I do not have the knowledge of what these truths can hold. I can see, and I must not judge myself for this, that I have quite limited sight. Like the seeker at this point, I know little more than I want to merrily roll along and care not for the problems the next step could bring into my life. This is very much chaos. OH..... duh... chaos. Does this fool not actually represent chaos and the journey then would be finding the patterns in the chaos....

Still, I think I would like to try to take a first detour into the land of symbols and try my hand at expressing my own ideas about the so called easy to figure out symbolism of such simple objects as an apple and etc.

Hmmm... I DO like the non-linear thought of this... oh oh oh recall the Gaian Tarot??? The past talked directly about non-linear thinking... and I am standing upon the threshold (are not we all?) of the past/present/future every moment?

SO much to learn, and YET, intuitively speaking, it suggests that we follow our OWN, and do not have to give a fig what anyone else thinks...

About the masculine/feminine aspects being switched... might I suggest the Marriage of Spirit?

Hmmm... there's that old permission demon.

SO, who IS the fool?

*raises hand*

Sunday, April 4, 2010

PDR: The Fool Part Two

As I began to study the card, one of the things I brought into my room was a work sheet. It has spaces for things like the Name of the Card, Section, Suit, Element. I filled in the name of the card and the number assigned to it. Then there was a section for First Impression. From the handwritten journal I'd used during my first meeting and introduction to this card, I jotted down, in brief:

The beauty and happiness of innocence; The Journey begins (the seeker is facing west from my perspective) and my last impression noted was Open to adventure.

Before I go further, I'd like to say that while I read that the card is traditionally called The Fool, or for some The Hero, I felt the depiction of the subject of the card was neither that of a fool, nor a hero but simply a seeker. So that is how I've chosen to refer to this card. I don't feel innocence or even being carefree makes anyone a fool. At the same time, they have not yet achieved hero status, though I figure the word hero simply refers to the individual poised within the card. The potential for both fool and hero lies within all of us, and perhaps resides very happily there, two sides of the same coin.

To continue, there was a section on the worksheet which was about the card imagery. What I noted here was:

The edge of the cliff is the threshold to learning; the mountain peaks in the distance are the destination, and being white, describe the North direction. The North when reached holds the Enlightenment which the one who journies through the deck attains through the trials and tribulations of lessons on the way. I noted right away the presence of the butterflies which in The Medicine Way refers to metamorphosis and transformation on a general level, and the intricacies of it are specific to the stage of metamorphosis or transformation in which a person stands. Since The Fool is the beginning (0 = a blank canvas) it would be the egg stage. There is only one way to go and that is UP, even as the character in the card stands near the edge of a cliff. Every journey has rises and falls. The Seeker can tumble head first off the cliff, or can deliberately make their way down the cliff, having heeded the companion guide and continue from where ever those steps have taken them.

The insights section, I filled in with the words: Beginning a journey with an open mind and purity of heart. Not knowing what lies ahead, but moving forward without trepidation.

Of course this would make the keywords: Beginnings, Openness and Innocence.

I did not fill in any further information.

However, one thing which occurred to me as I ended my work is that the imagery included music which gave me the idea that the cards whether character or events, or places, could have a song which defined the atmosphere of the card.

For The Fool the song which immediately sprang to mind was Sweet Surrender by John Denver.

The last part which I will write about is the meaning from the book which I bought for this deck.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

PDR: The Fool

It has taken many long years to arrive at this moment. But then Inner Work has no time table. Everything happens at the rate at which it happens; no faster. no slower. And so the seeker (like The Fool in the Major Arcana of a traditional Tarot deck) sets out once more upon a journey of self exploration.

There is a plan this time, however, which, in itself, is quite unusual. Life as the aimless wanderer ceases because purpose is no longer simply a glimpse of promise. No, it has taken the shape of an unexpected teacher: The '78 Ways Of Wisdom.' Thus the day becomes a launched ship, sailing the Seas of Self.

To be honest, the exact how-to at the time of the starting shot became known in that moment when I beheld the tool of the Path. Would it be a meandering stroll through the images, stopping at each for a moment or an hour, depending on the card? Or would it manifest in a face to face, one on one depthful excursion into the realm of numero zero? How could it be anything other than the latter?

Sitting, gently cradling the picture, I hoped I would meet the moment with no expectation. Happily, because I had not seen very much of the deck before arranging for its passage into my world, I managed just that.

My eyes took in the rich color of the image: a beautiful clear day. Our 'seeker,' dressed in colorful clothing is a joyous being: filled with the light of innocence. As the explorer sets forth, music fills the air, tunes from within played upon a flute, pressed to a smiling mouth. This is a giveaway from the heart. Beyond are snow covered peaks, where the Land of the North (Color White)is the destination - The Place Of Knowledge. In closer proximity are the green hills, lush with a harvest, ripe with lessons for our wandering minstrel. Having left the material world behind, traveling light, with the barest necessities, our adventurer stands at the farthest edge of the East Realm - The Place of Beginnings - upon the threshold of the kingdom of higher learning to the West - a Wonderland of Transformation.

The pathfinder has a faithful, yet watchful companion pup - akin, in this moment, to a seeing eye dog. While carefree, it appears there is every intention to go forth like 'a leaf driven by the wind,' still lighthearted enough to go with the flow (like the stream which meanders across the land below) and face what lies ahead, eager to meet all who live and travel upon the road. It is a momentous occasion, given greater weight by the presence of Butterfly Medicine, an indication that a metamorphosis is quite inherent.

Thus the odyssey begins.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Primary Deck Reflection Journal

This will be the online blog for my work in Aeclectic Tarot Forum for the Primary Deck Reflection. It begins on April 3, 2010. The deck I will use for this study program is The Robin Wood Tarot Deck.

So much to learn.