Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Eight of Swords

First Impressions:  Decisions, bound by my own indecision, making choices

Book:  Paralysis, paralyzing indecision, caught between choices, unable to move forward or back, inability to act rooted in your mind, fear is your captor, self-criticism and self doubt are ties that bind

Guidance:  Shrug off your victim status and invest yourself in the outcome of your situation, trust yourself and start putting one foot in front of the other

Journaling

I picked this card because I feel like I'm facing some really big choices and I'm not sure what I want to do.  There is a Director of OCM position open in Cleveland and there is a big part of me that wants to apply because it would mean being home and getting to sleep in  my own bed every night.  However, there is another part of me that feels tremendous loyalty to this project and to my current employer.  They've given me a tremendous opportunity and supported me as I worked to start this practice.  I'm also feeling secure in my current role as I'm working on three projects and am fully billable.  I also know that this project will go at least through 2020 so it would be easy to stay here and feel secure.  Starting a new job is hard and I have no way of judging how insane it is.  At least I know how insane my current position is.

I know that I'm not in this for the long term as I want to pursue my PhD, I want to write articles, I want to write a book, I want to do a lot of things that I need time for and while I can't do those things full time right now, this job does give me the bandwidth in the evenings to write, to work on classwork, and to do the things that are important to me.  That is a huge plus.  The other job would require a 30 minute commute each way and I have no way of knowing how crazy they are.  I could end up working a lot longer hours and having less time at home than I do now. 

I don't know what the answer is so I'm going to seek guidance and continue to work on finding my way Cairn by Cairn.  I know that if I keep taking the next right step, the path will reveal itself to me.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ace of Cups

First Impressions:  Overflowing with emotion, being emotionally whole

Book:  Beginning of journey through the suit of water, symbolizing love, the emotions, intuition, realm of the heart,

Guidance:  Remember that the law of the universe is Love, spread Joy, drink from the fountain and be inspired by the beauty and harmony of the Ace of Cups

Journaling:  

I've awakened the last few mornings with Wendy snuggled up against me and
she smiles when she seems I'm there.  I love that baby doggy so much.  She is so loving and kind and I love to see her smile.  She has become so much more outgoing since we had her and she is smiling more and more.  She's also learning that cuddling doesn't mean having to be on top of me and that it can mean just laying beside me while I pet her.  That is huge for her.  She is also the one being in my life who loves with a truly open heart.  She loves me unconditionally and I matter so much to her that just being around her fills me with love.

Being around Wendy and seeing her unconditional love for our family is really helping me to open my heart to love unconditionally.  If she can choose to love and be kind when she was neglected and abused, who am i to choose not to love when I have people in my life that love me.  Every time I snuggle with her I am reminded of the power of love to change lives.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Sibyl of Swords


First Impressions:  Truth, clarity, relying on logic

Book:  Flies in on the winds of change, ready to cut away untruths, mind is clear, sharp, and penetrating, symbolizes some whose life has been marked by great loss

Guidance:  Face pain and sorrow with dignity, listen to yourself

Journaling

I chose this card today because we saw Andean Condors at the National Aviary and they spoke to me.  I felt called to meditate on them and to see the world from their point of view.  One of the things I sometimes hate about being psychic is that I'm called to journey when I'm in a public place and it is not possible to just let go and let myself go to other places.  I felt the condors calling to me and wanting to take me to another place and time, but it wasn't possible to go.  I'm going to let myself go tonight and to see what messages they have for me.  Seeing them up close and personal was amazing as they are beautiful creatures and their wings are amazing. I could feel myself being wrapped in their embrace and it was an interesting feeling.

As I think about condors flying free above the earth, I think about the ability to be unconstrained and free of the minutia of day to day life.  The message that I'm being given is to soar as a condor to see the end destination, but follow the path of the Cairn to take the next step.  Being a condor will allow me to see the steps and see what needs to be done, but the plan is always changing and by asking for guidance to the next cairn, I can take the next step with surety. 


Dark Goddess Calleach Spread

Note:  This spread came from Ellen Lorenzi Prince who is the creator of the Dark Goddess Tarot.  All images in this reading are from the Dark Goddess Tarot and are copyright Ellen Lorenzi Prince.

Dearest Cailleach, Goddess of Winter, Creator of Mountains,

I ask you to give me the gift of site, to see the bigger picture, and not get mired down in the details.  I ask that you help me to see where I am being led and how to use my talents to better the lives of those around me.  I ask that you help me see and manifest my destiny.

Blessings,
Raine


Tell Me of Resources--Ace of Earth (Gaia)
The DGT always comes up with the perfect answer and Gaia tells me that I need to honor the resources that I have and not squander them.  The resources I am gifted with our my intelligence, the opportunity to go to school, my creativity, and the job that funds my opportunities.  I sometimes get frustrated about work, but it is a resource that it has and I am also paid a lot of money to do something that challenges me and teaches me a lot.  I sometimes take work for granted or dismiss it, but it is a resource and it is important that I honor it and value it.  Gaia also tells me that I need to connect with nature on a regular basis, which means taking time to sit in the sun, to connect with my rocks and to generally make time to just be with the world around me and let all of my senses take in the wisdom of the earth.  I always like to think that my brain is my only source of knowledge, but that isn't true, my heart and connection to nature is also a way to connect with the greater world around me.

Tell Me of Progress--Five of Air (Harianago)
Hariango is not a Goddess that I have worked with, but interestingly enough the Five of Swords is a card that caught my eye and called to me in another deck and served as a reminder to let go of my need to compete with my ex husband.  Hariango is telling me that I need to trust my instincts around people and not believe everything that I am told.  If I believe everything that I am told, I risk setting back my own efforts.  I also need to focus on my path forward and not focus on revenge or playing petty games.  This is amazingly good advice because I sometimes get focused on things that I should have let go of.  The image that I am getting is of running a race and instead of looking straight ahead, I am focused on the runner who is five steps behind me and this means I end up tripping over my own feet.  If I keep my eyes straight ahead and focus on my prize instead of competing with someone else, I will win my own race and be the best me that I can be.

Tell me of Endurance--Sovereignty (The Morrigan)
The Morrigan is reminding me that I am my own Queen.  I do not need to get my power from anyone else and that by being my own queen and maintaining my own Sovereignty, I will move power.   There is also a teasingly interesting note in this reading that says, "Do not ignore an opportunity for your power to grow and your power to solidify."  That is telling me that what I want to do is right and true and that I am the person to do it.  I need to take all of these lessons that I am learning from so many other people and move forward with them to create my own destiny.  I should not rely on others for my destiny, but should create it myself.

This was an incredible reading that reminded me to marshal my

Friday, June 14, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seven of Swords

First Impressions:  Taking back what is yours

Book:  Dishonesty can easily backfire

Guidance:  Use mental strategy, wit, and tact to achieve your goal, compromising your values will make the plan less valuable

Journaling:

This is the card that is about planning and about developing a plan that is in line with my values.  As the cards I've pulled recently have clearly shown, I need passion, grit, and a plan.  This is the card for sitting down and coming up with a plan that lets me navigate potentially rough waters and achieve my goal.  The problem for me is that right now my goal is not very clear.  I know I'm being lead to obtain my MA, but the road is a little hazier after that.  I think I'm to get a PhD that ties my spirituality, culture, and health degree together with an OCM twist, but beyond that I don't know what the guidance is. 

This card also is telling me that I need to gather together my strength as I will need it to wade into the cold and icy river.  There are forces working against me and trying to wash away what I'm holding on to.  I need to make sure that what I am holding on to is worth holding on to and it is really what I want.  I will be changed forever if I wade into the cold and icy river to retrieve the swords of truth.  I'm also being told that my heart will need to seek my brain in order for this to work.




Thursday, June 13, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Seeker of CUps

First Impressions:  Searching for the grail

Book:  Worshiping all that is beautiful, a dreamer, an idealist, more comfortable with love from afar than day to day challenges, gallant, kindhearted

Guidance:  Do not only ponder your dreams, pursue them as well

Journaling

I'm feeling called to do something big and bold and it feels as if I'm being led. However, my guides are testing my patience because I want to see the entire path at once, but they're reminding me that I have committed to living Cairn by Cairn and that means that I need to let go of my need to know the whole path and that I need to trust that I am being guided in the directly that I need to go in.  That is so hard for me, but I know it is the right thing for me to do.

The one thing I struggle with on this card is the fact that he is more comfortable with love from afar than the day to day challenges of a day to day relationship.  I have to admit that that is really true for me because I like the idea of romantic love and being in a relationship on a day to day basis, but I also know that that can feel like I'm being suffocated.  I don't know what the solution is, but I'm also comfortable with not knowing where that's going right now. 

Wow!  As I was sitting here looking at the card one more time, I realized that the cup represents the dreams and the seeker is the gumption to go after what you want.  This card is a reminder that I need to have the passion and the grit to make my dreams come true.  As I write this I realize that passion and grit can drive the organization and the steps that need to take place.  I sometimes separate my passion, my grit, and my organizational skills, but this card is telling me that I need all three.  Right now my passion is in the lead, but my grit is also important as it is F*ing hard to work a full time job that I'm not thrilled with and work on my MA.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Five of Cups

First Impressions:  Not appreciating what you have

Book:  Keen disappointment and regret when we realizing something is slipping away

Guidance:  Let go of things that are not working out, be gentle with yourself, beyond this place lies new hope

Journaling

I was feeling really unappreciative of what I have today.  I have plenty of work to keep me busy and I know that I need to proceed slowly and not get in over my head, but I'm busy thinking about all the projects we have that don't have OCM on them.  I was focusing on what I don't have and how our organization doesn't really support what I do.  I feel as if it is me continuing to fight uphill and that's a really frustrating place to be in.  However, what I should focus on is that I get the opportunity to go in and do something that is mostly fun everyday and I get paid a whole lot of money to do it.

A lot of the problem is that I'm not happy with doing the same thing over and over and over and I don't really feel as if what I do makes a difference in the world.  I want to make a difference and I want to change people's lives and I don't do that now.  All I do is help company's make more money and that's not a lot of fun.  However, the job that I have is teaching me skills that I will need to move into a role I want which is in culture and diversity.  I have to work to change my mindset from focusing on what I don't have to focusing on what I do have.  Sometimes that's hard to do and I get caught up in loss and forget to feel gratitude for what I have.

At the heart of it, this card is about being grateful for the blessings in our lives.  There is always loss in our lives, but if we are able to open our hearts and be grateful for what we have, life will flow much better and we will be much more able to appreciate the good stuff that we have.

I love the line "beyond this place lies new hope."  That is such a wonderful reminder to let go of what we can no longer have and be ready to embrace the new.  I've learned that to embrace the new, I have to mourn what I'm letting go of.  Sometimes we think we can just let go of things, but it is important to have the mourning period that helps us to let go.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Sibyl of Cups

First Impressions:  Peace, calm, awareness

Book:  Draws from the deepest love, love to give, offering love unconditionally, offers sound guidance without judgement, learned to blend imagination with action

Guidance:  Enter your own landscape and enter the deep and paradoxical landscape of feeling

Journaling

My loving kindness meditations have helped me to feel deeply and to let go of the anger.  They've also helped me to learn to love unconditionally and without expecting anything in return.  I feel at such peace when I am in that place of unconditional love.  However, I'm struggling to live int he real world and to live in that place of unconditional love.  It seems that the world just pulls me into a world that I don't want to live in.  I don't want to live in a place where I have to leave the ones I love to make a living.  I also don't want to live in a life where it is about money and not about living my best self.

I don't know how to get to that place where I can live from my heart and not my head.  I generally make decisions based on financial reasons and then I end up feeling trapped.  What my heart wants is not financially lucrative, but I don't know how to get from here to there.  I want to make a difference in individual's lives, but i want to be well compensated for it and unfortunately jobs working with people often do not make a lot of money.

I think I just have to continue putting it out there that I want to live form my heart, but I need to make sure my needs are met.


Monday, June 10, 2019

Deliberate Draw; Chariot

First Impressions:  Staying on an even keel, maintaining emotional control

Book:  Journey of personal growth, challenge of self mastery, intense confidence and determination

Guidance:  Balance your inner and outer realities and maintain equilibrium

Journaling

The chariot has always been about emotional control for me since I first start reading the tarot.  It always felt as if my mind was one of the horses and it wanted to go straight ahead down the path of logic and the other horse was my wild emotional horse that threatened to derail me.  It has only been recently that I've learned to have some emotional control and not break down at the slightest little thing.  Being a consultant has been really good for me in that arena because when you are standing in front of a room and people are throwing hard questions at you, you need to be able to play it cool and not break down. 

The other thing I'm realizing is that it is much easier to have emotional control when you are in an emotionally stable environment.  Living in the emotional tinderbox that was my marriage meant that every spare ounce of energy I had went to just surviving and to catering to John's emotional needs to try to keep him on an even keel.  There was no energy to tend to my own emotional needs or the emotional needs of the kids.  His temper and his victim mentality were a big black cloud over every house we lived in and that made it so hard.

Emotional control still is not easy for me and there are days I really have to think my way out of situations and remind myself that whatever is happening isn't permanent and that I do not have to react to every little thing that happens.  I'm learning to be much better at responding instead of reacting and that has helped me so much in maintaining emotional stability.  A lot of times by the time I have calmed down and really thought things through, I don't even feel the need to respond because the emotional storm has passed.

In a lot of ways, emotions really are like storms because they can come out of no where with the least little thing setting them off and they generally pass.  Sometimes I need to look at my emotions and work to take care of them, but other times I just need to take a deep breath and remind myself that this too shall pass.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Five of Swords

First Impressions:  Vanquishing the enemy, pounding someone into the cement, victory at all costs

Book:  Hopes have been shattered, ambitions crushed, vulnerabilities exploited by others, pain can be a catalyst for growth,

Guidance:  Ask yourself how you got here, search for the lessons

Journaling

My guides called me to commit to my job, to the World Spirit Tarot, and to myself.  They can be harsh taskmasters as they are reminding me that this commitment does not only mean sharing the good things I learn about myself, it also means committing to sharing the things that put me in a negative light.  The things that reveal my pettiness and my imperfections.  The things I would rather hide than let see the light of day.  However, I have been on this journey long enough to know that the only way to move forward is to be unflinchingly honest with myself and with others so that others might learn and grow from my foibles and mistakes.

I asked my son about his father last night and he told me that I was obsessed.  Needless to say I took umbrage with that, but I realized today that there is a kernel of truth in that statement as I am obsessed with seeing him fail.  He hurt me so badly that I want to crush him under a stiletto heel until he begs for mercy.  In short, I want to be the victor in the Five of Swords.  Although the World Spirit Five of Swords does not show the victor as smug as some other versions do, there is the same sense there of vanquishing the enemy and leaving no room for compromise.  It is showing no mercy, it is crushing his bones and sucking out the marrow.  And deep in my heart of hearts, that's what I want to do.  I have no mercy for him because he showed me none.  I know all about his hard childhood, but I don't care.  He hurt me and I want to destroy him.

Today I realized that I feel like he out "bad assed" me and I don't like it one bit.  I picked up and moved with my kids, but I had a steady job, the kids helped me move, I had a driver's license, etc.  He picked up and moved by himself to a place he'd never been before and with no driver's license.  We thought he was crazy, but he managed to buy a house and get his license and he seems to be making a go of it.  And when I am truly honest with myself, that bugs the hell out of me.  I'm supposed to be the most bad ass one around and he did something way harder and it bugs me.  I know that there is enough good stuff to go around, but my petty little mind does think there is enough badassery to go around it bugs me that he got a piece of it.

One of the best lessons I learned in Al Anon was the "3 A's" which are awareness, acceptance, and action.  I've become aware of my tendency to want to crush John and I'm working toward accepting and owning this behavior.  The next step will be determining what action to take.  I will continue doing my loving kindness meditation for John, but I don't know what other actions I'll take and that's okay as sometimes you just need to sit with something until the next cairn appears.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Two of Cups

First Impressions: Love, openness, trust

Book:  Beginning of a new relationship or a new phase in an existing one, promise is made, friendship pledged, trust begins to grow

Guidance:  Learn to love yourself to truly love another

Journaling

I deliberately picked this card today because it made me think of dancing and the song "Dance with Someone Who Loves me."  Cam and I were at Macy's today and that song came on and I danced with her and it was an amazing and joyous moment and it was such an affirmation to me that I don't have to be in a relationship to have people who love me in my life.  I am surrounded by love and all I need to do is open my heart to receive it.  I've spent the last 10 years closing my heart off because I am so afraid of being hurt and of making bad choices, but all closing my heart off does is hurt me.  It means I am probably missing out on having amazing friends because I'm so afraid of being hurt.

Cam's assault also rattled my ability to trust, but I have to remind myself that there are bad people in this world and that trusting does not mean totally turning off my discernment.  I have good instincts and have a good feel for people with good intentions and bad intentions.  And when I am truly honest with myself, I knew that John was a bad proposition within a few weeks of getting married because he became mean and controlling and expected me to go out with his friends and do everything he wanted to do.  However, Charlene had instilled in me the thought that I had to be with someone so I overrode my instincts to satisfy that desire.  I'm a lot stronger now and I won't overrule my instincts for someone else again.

I'm also at a point in my life where I am truly starting to like who I am and accept that even though I'm not perfect, I'm pretty awesome just the way I am.  That's a pretty cool feeling and is really helping me to love who I am instead of who I want to be.  Like last night, I ordered too much food way too late and I'm feeling the effects of it, but instead of telling myself that I'm stupid, I'm just saying i shouldn't have done that and those are two very different messages.  I'm done making value judgments on everything I do.  I may do some stupid things, but that does not make me stupid.

A big part of the change in me I can attribute directly to the loving kindness meditation that I do every day.  It helps remind myself to love myself and sends out love to the people in my life that I love and the people that are difficult.  The most difficult part of the meditation is sending love out to the difficult people in my life.  I'm not at the point yet where those meditations flow off my tongue and there are days I really stumble over doing them, especially for Charlene, but I just keep saying it one day at a time and I'm getting there.

Exercise:
Begin practicing a loving kindness meditation every day

Friday, June 7, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Sage of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Wisdom, at peace with the world, power

Book: Rules with steady hand and kind heart, no need to prove himself to anyone

Guidance:  Find your own stable center

Journaling

Interesting card for me to pull as I've been feeling very centered lately.  My loving kindness practice has really helped me to be more self possessed and in control of my emotions.  It has really helped me let go of the need to be loved and admired.  I think the root of it is that I've realized that I can love and admire myself and that's okay.  I don't need anyone else's approval but my own and realizing that has helped me let go of clinging and needing to be with someone.  I've realized that I am the master of my own universe and that I am responsible for my actions and there is no one else to blame or to look for for approval. 

Knowing that I can make my own decisions without having to pander to anyone else's thoughts or concerns is amazingly liberating.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Moon

First Impressions:  Mystery, darkness, trail into the night

Book:  Guardian of night, soul, unconscious mind, foreign and bewildering

Guidance:  Peer into your shadows and look into your fears

Journaling

I became comfortable with the moon and with the darkness in the first few years after my divorce.  The moon and the darkness gave me comfort and let me nurture my soul without being exposed to the harsh rays of the sun.  The moon softens the rough edges and wraps us in her mystery.  I found so much comfort in the darkness as I felt that I could examine my soul without the judgement of other people.  One of the biggest lessons I learned in going into the darkness was how much the harsh scrutiny and judgement of other people really heart me.  I found that I was living my life for other people instead of myself.  However, when I went into the darkness, the goddess took care of me and she nurtured me and loved me.  

I think many people are afraid of the moon and the darkness because it is a time of introspection and sometimes it is really hard to look at our flaws and the sunlight lets us avoid the dark places in our souls.  There are so many shiny distractions in the sun and the world seems wide open and as if we can go anywhere, but when we are surrounded by darkness it is hard to avoid ourselves.

The other lesson I learned from going into the darkness is that I also need the light.  I need the sun to warm up my soul and make me realize I am loved.  I've been spending time alternating between the sun and the moon lately and I find that really helps me to stay in balance.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Four of Wands

First Impressions:  Celebration, Frivolity, working with others

Book:  Joyful passage from one phase to the next,

Guidance:  Delight has a vital place in creating lasting success, relax and enjoy, take price in what you've accomplished

Journaling

One of the most important lessons I've learned lately is that when I let joy into my life, my life is much happier and oddly enough it also means I get more done.  Letting fun into my life is often difficult as I make these huge to do lists and feel like I just have to do, do, do.  However, I've gotten a lot better at reminding myself that life is not all about work and that joy really does matter.  We had a team event tonight and I actually let myself enjoy it.  I mingled with people, I socialized, and I enjoyed myself.  I'm not always good at that, but I'm making a conscious effort to let people in.

I do believe the loving kindness meditation is helping a lot as I'm starting to remind myself daily to love myself and to be kind and compassionate to myself.  Having that reminder on a daily basis means that it is starting to work its way into my DNA.  I always used to think that being an adult meant being serious all the time and not making time to be silly and to have fun.  However, I've learned that being an adult isn't about being serious all the time.  I can meet my obligations and do what I need to do without being serious all the time.  I've also realized that being open and fun draws people to me and that helps me meet people and to have more joy in my life.


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Two of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Thelma from Scooby Doo, Juggling, maintaining one's balances, life coming fast and furious

Book:  Balance, search for equilibrium during a busy time, balancing act between worldly challenges and inner affairs,

Guidance:  Maintain grace and adaptability in the midst of change, see the sacredness of every day tasks

Journaling:

This card truly represented where I was at today as I flew from Chicago to Dallas last night, gave a two hour presentation, then flew back to Chicago.  I was juggling multiple clients along with my already insane light.  What I learned from today is that it is very possible to juggle, as long as I take care of myself and make sure I get enough sleep, eat the right food, etc.  I arrived late last night and my rental car was a huge 4x4 that was really too big for me to drive.  However, by the time I had realized I'd been given this mondo  beast, I was already at the car and exhausted.  The thing is that I was so exhausted that I actually did get a good night's sleep and made it through my presentation.  I also made sure I went to bed early when I got back to Chicago.

I love the guidance to see the sacredness of every day tasks.  One of the things I realize that I am being called to do is to bring my whole self to everything I do.  When I am at the front of the room talking about how to treat people, I am talking about my spiritual beliefs because I am coming to realize that it is critical to be kind to everyone we meet because we don't know what they are going through that is leading them to behave badly.  It is also critical that we are generous when we think about other people's behavior because we don't know what they're going through. 

However, the flip side of that is that we need to demand that we be treated with respect and not let our kindness for others demean ourselves.  I spent 22 years allowing myself to be treated with disrespect until I came to believe that I had no place in this world and that the only way I deserved respect was to subjugate myself to others.  I've learned that isn't true and that's a pretty amazing feeling.


Monday, June 3, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ace of Pentacles

First Impressions:  Sunny, fulfillment

Book:  Material realm, hearth, home, body, nature, seeds planted will grow into lasting achievements

Guidance:  Ground your ambitions into practical matters, remember that what is most sacred can be found within yourself

Journaling

One of the most important lessons that I am learning lately is about the importance of being kind to myself and that means eating healthy food, making sure I get enough sleep, exercising, and basically taking good care of me.  It also means not berating myself and beating myself up.  I'm also realizing that how we treat our selves is truly reflected in how we treat others and the planet.  Even people who think they are being kind to themselves or are taking care of themselves are not because they push themselves too hard, they don't get enough sleep, they eat junk, or they drink too much caffeine.  Truly honoring ourselves means being cognizant of what we put into our bodies.  If we don't honor and take care of ourselves, how can we take care of the world?

One of the biggest changes I've made lately is being kind to myself.  I always used to berate myself for my weight, for how I looked, and for every mistake I've made.  As I've come to love and appreciate myself more, I've started to be kinder to myself.  I've started to accept who I am and work to be the best person I can be instead of beating myself for things I can't change overnight.  I've realized that I was punishing myself for my weight by not sleeping and by not taking care of myself.  However, I've started realizing that I need to make sure I get enough sleep, I need to exercise even if it is just a little bit every day, and I've started working to let go of the stress in my life.  What I've found is that as I let go of the stress, I'm not so hungry.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ten of Pentacles

First Impressions:   Peace, contentment, magic

Book:  Satisfaction of having all our needs met, celebrate abundance with friends and loved ones, everyday life contains magic

Guidance:  Think about your legacy, honor the everyday magic

Journaling

I love the reminder to honor the everyday magic in the world.  I think so often we get caught up in thinking about special occasions and about big trips, that we forget about the magic in perfect strawberries, or laughing with our families.  For me, learning to appreciate the magic in everyday has come from learning to live an inward focused life instead of an outward focused life.  My life is about me and I'm good enough just the way that I am.  I don't need to live in a perfect house, have a perfect job, or have a perfect mate to be worthy of good stuff (love, money, etc,).  I am truly perfect just the way I am and I deserve to be happy.  Getting to that point has taken a hell of a lot of work, but now that I'm here I can really appreciate MY life without comparing it to anyone else's.

Cam and I went to Macy's yesterday as I was looking for a new phone wallet and the song "Dance with Somebody who loves me" came on and I was dancing with Cam.  That was a huge moment for me because instead of the song making me sad and reminding me that I don't have that one someone in my life, it made me happy because I do have people in my life who love me and are there for me.  That was huge for me in just accepting that love that is in my life.  And today, we went to Lakewood and went to the Beach Cliffs park and we just sat and watched the waves, it wasn't a huge big event, but it made us both happy.

I'm realizing that the true point of life is about being happy and being comfortable in your own skin.  I'm also incredibly happy that I'm finally at that point in my life where I am able to be comfortable in my own skin.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ace of Wands

First Impressions:  Breakthroughs, warmth, happiness, sun

Book:  Magnificent potential, strength, power, inspiration, potential

Guidance:  Nurture the seed within, ally yourself with the power

Journaling:

I love this card because it feels like the fire in my soul is being lit by all the fires of the universe.  For me it is a reminder to take inspiration from wherever I can find it.  Some days that inspiration will come from within my soul and other days it will come from those around me.  As I think about that spark of inspiration, I'm reminded of the importance of being vulnerable and being open to sharing with others.  When we are open with others and admit our weaknesses and strengths, we can feed off of one another and propel ourselves to greater things that any of us could become alone.

One of the things that I've found to be true in life is that drama really kills the creative spirit because it takes all of the inspiration and instead of feeding creativity, it feeds the drama and that is all that everyone thinks about and notices.  I've been working so hard lately to live a drama free life and to not let myself get all caught up in who said what and about who thinks what.  I used to be such a drama llama and I'm realizing that it was because I thought I was nothing unless everyone was noticing me so I would create or embrace drama because I got validation and people were paying attention to me.  However, since I've let go of the need to be the center of attention, my life is so much more peaceful.

Letting go of drama has also helped me to find time to be creative and to learn more about myself and the more I let go of the drama, the more time and energy that I have to feed my soul and to feed my creativity.  I have to really honest and say that John fed my drama queen attitudes because it was difficult to get attention from him unless we were fighting.  Drama became an addiction and when there was no drama, life felt drab and meaningless.  I've learned since that life without drama is really good because it lets me relax and have peace in my soul.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Justice

First impressions:  Fairness, sense of honesty

Book:  Seeing all sides clearly, taking responsibility for our actions

Guidance:  Be honest with yourself and others

Journaling

I don't like this reading today.  I picked this card because the bastard that raped my daughter was arrested this week and I want him to get justice.  Okay, that's not truly accurate as I want vengeance.  I want him to suffer the worst that life has to offer.  I want his body, mind, and soul to be destroyed.  However, I don't trust the justice system to deliver anything anywhere near justice.  He has pleaded guilty and has a public defender, which means the odds are more in our favor than if he could afford a private attorney, but I still don't trust the justice system.

Lady Justice,

Please let him pay for his crimes.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Six of Wands

First Impressions:  Triumphant, accolades

Book:  Arrival of good news, mark a moment of glory, self confidence forged the path for victory, achievements honored by others

Guidance:  Enjoy your time in the limelight for what its worth, but know that glory fades

Journaling

This is another card that I've had a love and hate relationship as on the one hand it strikes me as self promotion and ego, but what I have come to realize over the years is that there is a difference between self confidence and ego.  Self confidence says that I am good at what I know and I know it and ego says I am better than you and I know it.  Self confidence leaves room for others to be good at what they do as well, while ego means that there is only enough room for one person to get the glory.  John (my ex) always used to say I was constantly in competition with him and had to be the best.  I always denied it, but looking back I realize that it was true.  I did have to be the best with him because he was always trying to bring me down a notch.  He even admitted as such in the horrible days after he'd announced he wanted a divorce but before he moved out.  I've thought about that a lot and I've realized that in his mind there was only good and bad, there was no room for both of us to be good at something.  He always had to compete with me and if I wanted to write, he wanted to write as well and be better than me.

I've realized in the days since my divorce that there is room at the top for everyone and that there doesn't always have to be a best.  Sometimes one person is good at one thing and someone else is good at something else and they compliment each other.  I've also finally come to realize that I do have something to offer the world and that I don't have to sacrifice myself to be good at what I do.  There are a lot of people who think I've done the impossible at itelligence by actually starting an OCM practice that is starting to be successful.  I don't know if I'm the only person who could have been successful at starting an OCM practice at this very stubborn and hard to change company, but I do know that it required grit and tenancity and those are things I've always had in spades.

Another thing that I've realized from reflecting on the six of wands, is that it is okay to let other people build you up.  I've always thought that the only way to get self worth was to have innate self worth, but I've realized that sometimes hearing the praise of others can help you build your own self confidence.  Looking back and reflecting on my life, that makes sense because I let other people (namely John and Charlene (the person who gave birth to me)) erode my self confidence, so why wouldn't it make sense that other people could help build me up and help me have self confidence?

Exercise

Take some time to reflect upon your awesomeness.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Hanged Man

First Impressions:  New perspective, looking at things from someone else's point of view

Book:  Suspended between the worlds, linking heaven and earth, some element of your life is on hold, being vulnerable and questioning

Guidance:  Be willing to give up some belief that no longer serves you

Journaling

I've learned that when I am stressed out and nothing seems to be going my way, I "other" people.  I take exception with the way that other people choose to live, how they choose to behave, and generally who they are.  I've learned that when the words "they should..." or "they shouldn't..." go through my mind, I need to top and take a pause to figure out what's bothering me.  This is especially true when the things that are bothering me are really benign such as someone talking to loudly in the nature center or someone sitting where I want to sit.  Granted, it is kind of rude to talk at the top of your lungs in a nature center, but it is also not the worst offense in the world.  And the person who sat in the chair that I wanted to sit in was just as entitled to sit in the chair as I was.  Once I pull myself back and remember that the world does not revolve around me, I quit "othering."

My personality runs to extremes and if I am not "othering" other people, I am looking at things from everyone else's perspective and ignoring my own needs.  I was raised by a mother who put everyone else's needs above hers and who expected me to do the same.  My maternal grandmother had an undiagnosed mental illness and she was someone who could never be satisfied.  She looked the other way when my mother's brother abused her, she gave away my mother's wedding gifts to the same brother, and she treated my brother and I like second class citizens.  However, despite all of this, my mother was at her beck and call and would drop everything to take care of her.  My father enabled my mother's acceptance of my grandmother's bad behavior as he preached respect your elders so I learned that your elders were to be respected at all costs.

I vowed to myself that I would never let people mistreat me because they were elders to be respected and with people outside of my family, I did a good job of standing up for myself and demanding respect.  However, I let my mother mistreat me without calling her on it and I married a man who began mistreating me from shortly after we said I do.  Since I had been raised to believe that unconditional love meant accepting whatever behavior someone dished out, I twisted myself into knots trying to make him happy even though at my heart I knew that someone else's happiness was not my responsibility.  As the years wore on, I became angry and bitter and ultimately he ended up leaving me.  At first I was devastated, but I've come to realize that his leaving was the best thing that ever happened to me and I'm happier than I've ever been.

As I reflect upon the hanged man, I realize that I need to give up my black or white thinking.  Most likely I am not always right, but the other person is not always right either.  The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Magician

First Impressions:  Making things happen, conduit

Book:  Channeling spiritual energy, accessing immense power, directing energy, creating and transforming situations

Guidance:  Take an active approach to life

Journaling:

I like to call this card the "get shit done" card and it is a card about being connected to the divine and seeing the next step laid out before you.  This is a card that bypasses intuition and just lets the energy of spirit happen.  When Magician energy comes into my life, I feel as if the future just happens. It is as if I think something and it happens. However, to become a Magician takes a lot of thought and training in order to get to the point when muscle memory takes over and the signal goes from holy spirit to hand without thought.

It's odd to think about where I'm at in life right now and to realize that I am at a magician phase in my life and I'm able to do things quickly and make them happen without a lot of thought.  That's because I have so much experience that I know instinctively when to zig and when to zag.  Even if I have not happened upon the exact same circumstances, I've had enough experiences to be able to draw on those experiences and be successful.  What's truly interesting about where I'm at right now is that I've never let myself get to this stage of something before.  I've always walked away before I've become an expert because I got bored and wanted to learn new things.  However, what I'm realizing is that being a Magician is about being able to take what you know and quickly apply it to new situations.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Deliberate Draw: High Priestess

First Impressions:  Self contained, power onto oneself, in touch with the universe

Book:  Standing in solitude and silence, guarding the mysterious realm, speaking through dreams

Guidance:  Come into a place of stillness, receptivity, and self awareness

Journaling

This is an image that it is easy for me to lose myself in.  I can imagine myself stepping into the body of the high priestess and standing naked and unafraid under the crescent moon while I draw down the goddess herself.  I love the way she is standing in a stone circle and her shadow is before her as the moon lights the path.  The more and more I clear out the mental clutter in my life, the more I realize that we are connected to the goddess and our intuition at all times, but sometimes we let life get in the way and we feel disconnected.

One of the biggest changes I've noticed in my life as I have moved from randomly choosing tarot cards (although we know there is nothing random about it), is that I've felt more connected to my intuition.  I've felt more attuned to the world around me and to my inner world.  It has also helped me to let go of things in the past that I didn't even realize I was fiercely holding on to.  I've also come to see that when I obsess over things, that means I'm holding on to some pain surrounding them and that obsessing about them is my way of trying to work out the pain.  It isn't an effective way, but it is a way that my psyche attempts to work things out.

One of the things I realized over the weekend when I was reflecting on the Virgin of Guadalupe who is my goddess of the week is that I was angry at myself over my mother calling me a drunken slut when I told her I was going to AA.  At that point in my life I was so beaten and broken and afraid that I did not tell her to fuck off and that I deserved to be treated with respect.  Instead, I absorbed her ugly words and became even more broken.  I think there is a part of me that has thought for thirty years that I was a sell out because I needed her and dad to support me through college.  However, when I look at myself with loving kindness, I realize that I was too broken and hurt to do anything else.  I had also been raised to be very sheltered and to respect my elders at all costs.  I saw how my  mother continued taking care of her mother despite the abuse my grandmother heaped upon her.  In reality, there is nothing else I could have done.

As I reflect upon this card, I realize that this is also a card of standing tall and being whole within yourself.  It is a card of knowing that I am worthy and knowing that I am enough, just as I am.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Empress

First Impressions:  Sensuality, freedom, creativity, mothering

Book:  Great provider, all things related to motherhood

Guidance:  Love and care for yourself and your own body, listen to your instincts

Journaling:

The message to love and care for my body is one I have been working to take to heart lately.  One of my goals for 2019 was to do something physical every day.  Some days that is taking a long walk with the dog, some days it is swimming, some days it is working out and laughing on the WII fit.  I just have to do something.  This is so different than the kamikaze goals I would have made 15 years ago where I would have set a target weight and beat myself up if I didn't meet it by my totally unrealistic deadline.  I've learned that I actually have very little control over whether or not I lose weight.  I realize that this statement may set off a chorus of judgement from those who believe that weight loss is as simple as calories in and calories out, but I've learned that it really is not that simple.  For me, weight loss is complicated and I've given up on setting a weight goal for myself.  However, that doesn't mean that I've given up on myself.  It means that instead of setting an arbitrary goal, I'm paying attention to what I eat, giving up soda, and getting some exercises every day.   It also means refusing to beat myself up if my body doesn't respond as quickly as I think it should.

Recognizing Empress energy also means celebrating the motherly instinct in all creatures and today I got a first hand glimpse of Empress energy in my dog Wendy.  Wendy is a mom at heart and she loves and nurtures all creatures great and small.  I knew that from the moment I met her at the pound.  We had taken Clark with us to meet potential playmates and the first thing she did was kiss him.  It may have been because she'd had puppies several weeks before (and no, we don't know what happened to them) or it may just be because she is a mother at heart.  She also mothers us by scolding us when we break one of "Wendy's Rules," which include prohibitions against working on the computer on the dining room table, going to bed too late, moving chairs around, and other random things that she thinks are improper.  The problem is that there is no list of Wendy's Rules and we don't know that we've broken them until she comes, sits in front of us, and barks at us.  Humans are not the only creatures she wants to mother.  We took her to the dog park today and she fell in love with the puppies who had come to play. 

The Empress in another form was in the news today as I read a story in the Washington Post about Auntie Networks that are forming to help women who live in patriarchal states that believe that clumps of cells have more rights that fully formed women.  These Auntie Networks are offering assistance to women who need abortions including funding, places to stay if they need to travel, and other assistance.  I realize there are some who would question why the Empress who rules over motherhood would be embodied in women helping those who need abortions.  I believe that as someone who embody's motherhood, the Empress is also about supporting women who choose not to have children for any and all reasons.  That includes women who are choosing abortion so they can provide for the children they already have.  One of the lessons I've learned over the last few years is that even grown women need to be nurtured, cared for, and supported and the Auntie Networks do that.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Three of Cups

First Impressions:  Openness, honesty, heart to heart, fun

Book:  Triple aspect of the Goddess:  maiden
, mother, and crone, mutual respect, enduring bonds, and social pleasures, loyalty, and shared ideas, creating sacred space

Guidance:  Enjoy the company of a few good friends, have a feast, indulge yourself, act from the heart to build relationships

Journaling:

Most three of cups cards have a sense of frivolity and fun as we see three women dancing and toasting.  This one has a deeper meaning as the women sitting topless indicating a willingness to be open and honest with one another and to be truthful about all things.  It is about letting go of our masks and getting real with the people we call friends.   It's about being able to share the uncomfortable things with people, the things we'd be embarrassed to tell anyone else, it's being able to cry without worrying about the snot coming out of your nose, and being able to laugh until you snort without being embarrassed.  And it's about being honest with people and knowing they won't give you advice unless you ask for it.

I grew up believing that friendship meant having people stick their nose in their business and give you unsolicited advice.  And unfortunately, that is all too often the way that friendship is portrayed today.  However, I learned about real friendship in Al-Anon where I learned that real friendship meant being able to just listen and witness someone's pain without rushing in to fix things.  One of the things I realized in being forced (as there are rules against unsolicited advice in Al-Anon) to keep my mouth shut when people poured their hearts out was that giving advice was more for me than for the people on the receiving end.  It is hard to sit and listen to someone who has a problem that you are convinced you have the solution for and keep quiet.  It is uncomfortable to silently witness people's pain.  However, I also learned from being the one pouring out my heart that there was something empowering about people not giving me unsolicited advice.  It meant that I was free to ask for advice, if I chose to, or figure it out myself.  The more I experienced this true unconditional love, the more I found myself wanting advice from people who had it together.  I also realized that unwelcome advice creates a power differential as the person giving the advice inevitably acts superior to the person on the receiving end.

As I discovered that type of relationship, I realized that the relationships of my childhood were unequal relationships where I was made to feel less than for not having all the answers or for not taking unsolicited advice.  My ex-husband was great at making me feel less than for not taking his advice.  What he didn't realize that even if I didn't take his advice, I often listened and considered it as I developed a plan of my own.  I don't have a lot of friends now as I'm still a hermit at heart, but I do have a few friends that I trust with my soul and it feels amazing to have people who love you and accept you for who you are.

Exercise:  

Think about the people in your life, who do you love because they trust and empower you?

Friday, May 24, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Hermit

First Impressions:  Finding your own path, walking toward your future

Book:  Seeking true understanding, Listening for the voice of God

Guidance:  Make room in your life for spiritual matters, take time alone to reflect and look within, stay open as you walk

Journaling:

This card reflects the Cairn by Cairn philosophy I've been working to live by as I work to find my own path in life.  What I am finding is that we all do walk alone and although there are people in our lives who can bring us joy and help us, at the end of the day we are responsible for what happens to us.  What is interesting for me right now is that I am able to claim the power of this card.  John derided me for so long by calling me a hermit and making fun of the fact that I didn't like to go out and meet people.  I was content to stay in and read and reflect.  He made being a hermit into something ugly, but I'm realizing there is true beauty in being willing to sit with yourself in silence.  I think part of the reason he worked to make the hermit an ugly thing is that he was unable and unwilling to sit with his own demons.  He could not face the ugliness in his own soul and he worked to drown it out with the TV, with alcohol, and with other people.

I've always been content to be on my own and to read, to reflect, and to just spend time in my own company.  That is where I find my strength.  It is difficult for me to be around large groups of people who are expecting something from me.  That saps my strength and takes my power away.  That seems very ironic in that my job is to coach and train large groups of people.  However, there is a boundary there in that I have information I am imparting to them.  It is a two way communication in that I listen and adjust, but it is not a personal conversation about getting to know people.  It is not feeling like a million people are tapping at my soul and wanting to get to know me.  However, it does sap my soul and I do need time to recover, which is why I guard my personal time viciously and am very choosy about who I choose to go out with.  John had loud drunk and druggie friends and it was very difficult for me to spend time with them.

The period immediately after my divorce was very difficult for me as I had become so accustomed to the chaos that John preferred that I felt uncomfortable sitting alone with my thoughts.  Living alone on Hermitage was so difficult for me because all I could do was beat myself up and belittle myself for ending up divorced.  However, it was also the best thing for me as I started to rediscover who I was.  Finding Al-Anon helped me so much because I learned to create boundaries and I learned the importance of letting go of people who do not support me. It has also helped me to find my way back to spirit and to begin listening again.   I've found that listening is hard when you are scared and anxious, but that when you can start to let go of the fear, you can connect with deity.

Exercise:

Take some time to be by yourself today and listen for guidance from the spirits

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Tower

First Impressions:  Change forced up on us, dramatic change

Book:  Having our self delusion torn away, release from a stagnant condition,

Guidance:  If you haven't learned the hard way, chances are that something major needs to shift, be prepared for guidance from unexpected sources

Journaling

Sometimes when we do not have the courage to take a leap of faith out of a bad situation as the Fool asks us to do, the world crumbles around us and we are left in a pile of rubble that has us questioning the meaning of our life.  For me this happened when my now ex-husband announced four months after a life altering heart attack that he was moving out.  I was devastated because I had spent 22 years twisting myself into knots to be the person he wanted me to be.  I felt as if my security was ripped of its foundations and I was left floundering.  I was no longer a wife and it felt as if all of my worth had been taken from me.

Fast forward nine years and I'm truly happier than I've every been in my life as I own my own beautiful home, my two kids live with me, I have an interesting and challenging dog, I have two pit bulls playing and bringing me joy, and I'm comfortable in my own skin.  I'm not trying to fit myself into someone else's idea of who I should be.  As I look back on my marriage, I realize that it was an angry and hateful place to be and not a place of love and support.  My ex-husband's undiagnosed mental health issues meant that he was incapable of being loving and supporting.  I didn't realize exactly how on edge and stressed I was for most of my marriage and the first few years after my divorce, it felt uncomfortable to be peaceful and not have that stress in my world.  However, I've become acclimated and I've learned that peace is a wonderful place to be.

As I reflected on this card yesterday, the twin towers came up over and over and over.  I'd catch snippets on the tv about the twin towers, two of my assignments for class talked about the twin towers, and those images played over and over on the tv and in my head.  It made me think about whether there was a greater cosmic meaning to the towers than a single act of hate.  I've realized they were about shaking us out of our complacency and forcing us to confront the ugliness and hate in our world. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Deliberate Draw: The Fool

First Impressions:  Taking Flight, Trusting, leap of faith

Book:  Fool lives perfectly in the present, innocent and open to surprises

Guidance: take a leap of faith and trust the universe will provide, recognize risks, and carry on with confidence

Journaling:

The Fool is one of my favorite cards because it is a reminder that we need to let go of our worries and inhibitions, take action, and trust that it will all work out.  One of the thoughts that just struck me is that the fool is often thought of as a simpleton who doesn't have deep thoughts.  Most of us view that as a bad thing, but if we look at it through a different lens we can see that not having deep thoughts means we are acting from intuition and not overthinking things.  Sometimes our gut tells us what the right thing to do is, but we think ourselves out of it.  Don't get me wrong, I appreciate brains and logic as much as the next person, but I also know that all too often we ignore our gut instincts and we think ourselves out of something that might be the next right thing for us or we talk ourselves into something that's wrong for us.

I got a wake up call on this today because I'm close to being ready to hire people and build my OCM practice, but I want to give them very narrow lanes.  Someone I consider a mentor reminded me that we need to give people latitude so they have passion.  I pointed out that I have worked so hard that I don't want someone else screwing that up.  I was told that sometimes we have to face failure in order to grow.  That was a fool moment as I was reminded that sometimes even though we're afraid, we have to take that leap of faith.  We have to trust that even if we fail, we won't totally crash and burn.

As I think about taking leaps of faith, I think about the possible outcomes:  I could tumble all the way to the ground and be injured, I could fall almost to the ground and be caught and brought safely to earth, or I could find my wings and soar.  Unfortunately, I will never know which of these scenarios will be reality unless I find my courage to step off that roof and soar.

Exercise

What are you afraid of?  Do it.




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Six of Swords

First Impressions: Fleeing, walking away, courage

Book:  Journeys of all kinds, taking a trip, change of consciousness, exploring realms on the other side

Guidance:  The time has come to leave old pain, places, and patterns behind, choose to take the next steps

Journaling:

This is such a card of courage and commitment and that's where I'm at right now as I am choosing to commit to my new life and to leave my hold life behind.  It's funny, buying a house with John in 2007 was a bigger commitment than marriage because it involved my financial security and he came close to destroying me financially when he walked out because he chose not to help and he chose to just walk away.   The funny thing is that at the time that I signed the paperwork I knew it would end poorly, but I chose to take the commitment because I believed that it was a commitment that would save my marriage.  It did not.

Buying a house in 2015 and choosing to move to Cleveland was my physical moving on and leaving behind Chicago and all that it entailed.  What I just found out from two close friends from Chicago as they both viewed it as a spiritual graduation of sorts as I was taking charge of my own life and making deliberate choices versus drifting.  It was a huge step in my growth, but I'm still working on moving forward and finding my way.  What I have found is that, as the text from the World Spirit, book says, "...the hardest part may be getting over your fear of moving into unknown territory."  For me, unknown territory means choosing to claim my life as my own and choosing to move forward alone instead of waiting for someone to share my life with.  

It is a little scary to accept that I may always be alone, but it is also very liberating as well as it means that I don't have to subjugate myself to anyone.  I can paint my bathroom pink if I want to, I can buy a little red sports car, I can live my life according to my own wishes and not have to take someone else's opinions into consideration.  It's liberating and scary all at the same time, but I'm finally ready.


Exercise:

Pull the six of swords from your favorite deck, climb into the boat, and sail toward your destiny.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Six of Cups

First Impressions:  Nostalgia, partnership

Book:  Sanctuary, loving sanctuary of family and friends and family, kindness and compassion, relaxing fully into who we truly are

Guidance:  Leave the worries of the world behind, live fully in the present, draw insight from the past to enrich the present

Journaling:

The six of cups is a card I have historically disliked because my childhood memories were not all happy and I equated this card with an imbalance of power that occurs in childhood.  As a child, we have little power and we are at risk of being exploited or taken advantage of by those older than ourselves.  Even though the meanings from most decks are all about nostalgia, I never warmed to this card, but the cards from the World Spirit deck and the Druidcraft deck are different representations of the six of cups.  The six of cups from the World Spirit deck allows me to see two friends who are hanging out and having fun and there isn't the power differential that there is in the traditional RWS version of this card.

The six of cups from the Druidcraft deck shows an older boy and younger girl being supervised by a parent, which gives me a feeling of safety that the traditional RWS card doesn't give me.  Additionally, the reflection for the DruidCraft deck by Philip Carr-Gomm provided exactly the insight I needed as I contemplate letting go of the anger and pain my relationship with my mother causes.  Carr-Gomm said, "Receiving this card in a reading may mean that you are working on integrating the gifts and experiences of your past--your childhood, or even past lives--with your consciousness in the present."  This reading captured where I am at as it was an acknowledgement that I cannot totally sever my past and I need to figure out how to start from where I am.  It also means that I need to take a step back and look at the past as a whole and not focus on all the negativity and anger.  I need to remember the 26 mile bike ride we took with my mom and how much fun that was, I need to remember baking cookies, and the fact that she drove me to college.  What I've finally realized is that by acknowledging the good doesn't negate the bad, it just means that I am choosing to love myself and make room in my life for good memories instead of just hoarding the bad memories. 

As a demonstration of the synchronicity of the world, I'm reading Beyond Forgiveness:  Reflections on Atonement by Phil Cousineau and the passage I read tonight, an essay by Michael Bernard Beckwith, included a reflection on the biblical story of Jesus telling people to turn the other cheek.  Beckwith said, "Many people interpret this as saying that if someone hits you, you should turn the other cheek and let them hit you again.  I don't think he meant that.  I think he meant that you are supposed to give back a different form of energy.  If you are given hate or indifference, you are to give back love, patience, and compassion."  Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read this because I realized it was exactly what I needed to hear.  I've started doing a metta, or loving kindness meditation every night.  First I remind myself that I love myself and I am loved, then I expand the circle outward to include my children, my friends, and eventually the world.  As I expand the circle of meditation, I envision each person/group receiving peace and love.  Part of the meditation is specifically giving loving kindness to people who are difficult.  I realized as I read Beckwith's words that I had not been including my mother in my loving kindness meditation.  I took a pause, breathed deeply, then recited my version of the loving kindness meditation for my mother:

Mom, you love yourself
You are surrounded by love
You are kind and compassionate to yourself
You are surrounded by kindness and compassion
You are strong
You are fierce
You are vulnerable
You love with an open heart
You are enough
You have enough

As I visualized her and said these words, I felt peace within my heart.


Exercise

Begin your own metta meditation practice to begin blessing those who you find difficult.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Ace of Swords

First Impressions:  Discerning, cutting away what no longer serves

Book:  Truth, Yoni as gateway to powers of the sword, Inspiration, insight, and keen intellect, double edged sword

Guidance:  Rationally analyze situations to make good decisions, commit yourself to the truth

Journaling:

I chose to write about the Ace of Swords today because for me this card symbolizes cutting away what is no longer needed.  I view it as a giant pair of scissors that cut away attachments that tangle us up and serve no purpose.  As summer is here, this card could also be viewed as a big pair of pruning sheers cutting away dead wood so that what is left behind can grow and find the sunlight.  Unfortunately, pruning the dead wood out of our lives is not as easy as pruning dead branches, because all too often the dead wood is relationships that have outlived their usefulness or that are strangling us.

My separation (2010) and divorce (2011) not only cleared away the dead wood of a marriage that was strangling me and causing me to become an angry and bitter person, they also illuminated the root of the problem which was an unhealthy relationship with my mother.  I realized that she had raised me to be a doormat and put everyone else's needs above mine.  When I wanted to go to a writer's conference and my now ex was going to watch the kids, she asked me if he was okay with that.  When I was chosen to go to a class at work, she said he should go because he worked in IT and I didn't.  And what caused the final rift was when I told her John and I had separated and she asked how everyone else was, except me. She never once asked how I was feeling or if I was okay.  It was all about everyone else.  Then she had the audacity to say, "There's not going to be a divorce, is there?"  It did not matter to her that I was crushed and devastated, all she cared about was everyone else's feelings and about social standing.  That was a moment of truth for me and at that moment it felt as if a flashlight was illuminating my entire relationship with my mother and I realized how she had hurt me.

Cutting your mother out of my life was difficult because there was a part of me that felt guilty and as if maybe I was overreacting, but when she guilt tripped me on my 50th birthday and refused to even consider that my feelings might be valid, I realized I had made the right choice.  However, knowing intellectually you've made the right choice and knowing in your heart you've made the right choice are two different things.  There are so many moments in my life where I want a mom to be there for me and to listen to me and to help me figure things out, but I don't have that mother in my life.  It hurts sometimes and there are times I Google estranged parents online to see if there is anything else I can do to heal the rift, but there's nothing.  At the end of the day, if she refuses to acknowledge her part in the rift there is nothing I can do.   I've also pondered if I could have a more superficial relationship with my mother, but I also know that that wouldn't work because anytime I told her she that a topic was off limits, she would pout.  It still hurts, but I also know that I'm in a healthier place because she is not in my life.

I'm also working to apply the sword of truth to other people in my life and over the past week I've realized that I need to cut a friend out of my life who was my rock during my divorce.  As I sat and listened to him complain about how people had teased him, I realized he was being a hypocrite and the teasing he'd endured was no worse than what he had dished out to me.  The worst was when I fell and got a serious concussion.  He told a coworker that I was drunk and wearing high heels when it happened.  And when I protested, he said I was being too sensitive.  As I look back at the incident, I realize I was in no way being too sensitive.  It would have been one thing to say that to me in a teasing manner, but to say that to someone else was out of line.  I reminded him of that and he chuckled as if it was no big deal.  I realized that our friendship wasn't going to work any longer because I've grown and changed and I no longer accept disrespect in my life.

Exercise:

Visualize the toxic people who are holding you back and see the ribbons of energy that are attaching you to those people.  Pull out your great big sword of truth or a big pair of shiny pruning sheers and virtually cut those energetic ties.  Once you've got the times, take a moment to thank them for whatever lessons they've brought to your life and let them go.  For some relationships, you may have to do this exercise multiple times, but eventually you will know that the cords have been cut.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Four of Swords

First Impressions:  Rest, Recuperation, taking care of ourselves first

Book:  Retreat, seclusion guarded by three swords, need for rest

Guidance:  Now is the time to heal through solitude and reflection.  Learn how to better balance your ideas with reality.  An honest evaluation of your part in the drama is key to your growth

Journaling

What I love about this image is that she is laying on her side and appears very much at peace and very restful.  You can also see her horse grazing in the background while she sleeps.  This card tells me that it is time for me to put myself first and to take time for solitude and reflection.  It is time for me to let go of the outside world and to let myself reflect on what is going on in my life and where I'm going.  What's interesting for me is that I have been doing a lot of that lately, especially reflecting on my part in the drama and what I could have done differently.  One of the key messages that I've been receiving lately is that I need to commit.  I need to commit to jobs, I need to commit to the World Spirit Tarot deck, and I need to commit to myself.

I was let go from a job nine years ago right after my husband decided to leave me because I had totally flaked out and was unable to function.  I felt lost and abandoned and ever since that time I've had a problem committing to jobs.  I've always found something wrong with a position around the two year point and started looking.  As I reflect on that situation, I realize that I was afraid.  My husband left me after 22 years and it had become really difficult for me to trust people, especially people who held my financial future in their hands.  I never let myself get comfortable in jobs and I also believe that's part of the reason that I'm a consultant as it means I am jumping from project to project all the time.  However, my guides have been very clear that I need to commit.  I need to quit analyzing and finding fault and commit to my job.  The funny thing is that the job I'm in right now was CREATED FOR ME.  No one else has ever held this job and it was created because the company believed that I had skills they needed.  When I take a step back, I realize they have committed to me and it's me who is having commitment issues.  I've decided to commit to my job and when I start to get antsy, I take a step back and recommit.  The interesting thing is that when I allow myself to do that, I am able to see all the good things at work and to see how valued I am.

My guides have also told me I need to commit to one tarot deck for a while instead of dating a whole bunch of different decks.  One of my key spiritual practices for the past four years has been pulling a card a day from a tarot deck.  I've done one deck for a month, then switched to a different deck.  It has really helped me to learn tarot and learn the nuances of the deck.  However, my guides have said that the time for dating is over and it's time for me to commit.  The question they asked me is how I could expect a person to commit to me if I wasn't able to commit?  It's a fair question and my first defensive response was to say that I am committed to my family and my dogs.  They're telling me that that is not enough so I will be working with the World Spirit Tarot for the foreseeable future.

Committing to my job and to the World Spirit Tarot are part of the bigger commitment to myself.  I need to take myself seriously and learn to open my heart and follow my dreams.  That's tough as I've spent most of my life being committed to other people and now I'm realizing that in committing to other people I let go of myself.  I need to find my way back to balance and the ability to commit to myself and other people instead of taking care of others at the expense of myself.  That's hard because I have a tendency to say yes to everyone, but I'm learning that it is okay to say no and that it is also okay to ask for help.  I'm also learning to put my own hopes and dreams first and that's hard sometimes.  I enrolled in a Masters program in January and there are times when I am tempted to not do my homework because someone else needs me, but when I feel tempted I remind myself of how much I'm paying for the class and that helps.

Committing to my health and taking time to rest and recuperate is also a big part of my new found commitment to myself.  I was raised, like I'm sure a lot of you were, with the mandate that sleeping in meant you were lazy, that relaxing instead of doing something was lazy, etc, etc.  However, I've learned that there is serious value in being "lazy" because it allows us to recharge our batteries.  One of the best decisions I ever made was to buy a personal laptop and stop using my work laptop for everything.  I even travel with my personal laptop and that means when I turn off the work laptop, I'm done with work.  No more watching TV and checking email.  When I'm done with work, the work laptop goes off and I'm done.  I'm also committing to going to bed at a reasonable hour and not working all night.


Popular Posts