Three of Earth and Hockley Valley

I found the Three of Earth here 🙂

On Saturday morning, I did what I so often do;  I drew a card from one of my decks. It was the Three of Earth from the Gaian Tarot deck. And, on Saturday morning, I did what I sometimes do; I forgot all about it.

I was hiking alone late that afternoon; halfway through a 6-kilometre hike through Hockley Valley. And I was struck by the beauty that surrounded me. It was as if I couldn’t take it all in. My head turned frantically, trying to look in ten places at once.  So I took out my X10 and started snapping.  I had a strong need to capture everything around me.  The trees were connected to the earth and sky.  The landscape was a never ending expanse of white. The Sun was just about to touch the western horizon. I was struck by the interconnectedness of everything around me. But more than that, I felt I was in the presence of true creation. A community of spirit had gathered together and had made something for me to enjoy. The labour of those who conceived this space had truly created something lasting.  At that moment, I thought of the morning card and smiled.

Here you are, Three of Earth.

Death and the Child of Water

Last weekend, I decided to stray slightly from my usual practice of drawing a single card and drew two. I had no real intention or focus. I took three breaths. I kept my mind as blank as possible. And, in order of their appearance, I turned over the following two cards:

Death and the Child of Water from The Gaian Tarot. This two card combo left me somewhat perplexed. These two cards stayed, face up, on our home altar.

I have to say that, despite my knowledge of the Tarot, I was unnerved at having the Death card stare me in the face. I can’t think of the last time I drew ‘Death’. Clients often take a little breath inward when they see this card during a session.  I now have a better sense of why that might be.  I have always said that the Death card is amongst my personal faves.  Kelly might say that might be directly related to the propensity of Scorpio in my birth chart :).  But I believe it is because the Death card begs action. We can stare at the end of anything forever and come to the same realization; it’s over. But if we look at death closely, it allows us to grieve but then forces us to move.  The death of a relationship must  transition into a new phase of life. The death of a loved one must transition from one existence to the next – the first that included their earthly presence; the second that does not. The death of a season must transition into the next.   Death signals an end but it also signals a transition.

So, with ‘Death’ figured out :), I focused on card number two: the Child of Water.

You must realize one thing about me. Drawing a Tarot card is often a simple act; like drawing air. Although, at times, I often study the Tarot in depth, this simple act of drawing allows me a brief moment of groundedness. I draw, I examine, I pause and I reflect.  But these two cards intrigued me. It might have been the Tarot’s way of shaking me from my position of complacency and saying: “Hey, student, you still have lots to learn from me.” With the cards propped on the altar, each time I passed this sacred space, I thought briefly about this combination. Then, as Archimedes did as he stepped his foot into the bath, I found my ‘Eureka’ moment.

According to Joanna Powell Colbert, creator of the Gaian Tarot, the children cards can refer to “the quality of being child-like and having a ‘beginner’s mind’.” What a way to explore this transition but with the wondrous eyes of a child! The Child of Water explores instinctually. Her imagination is newly developed. There are no limits to the possibilities this child sees before her.

The Child of Water stands ankle-deep on the shore and looks around. She points at a starfish. She watches a hermit crab. She’s not worried that one day, both will die, perhaps someday soon.  She might instead be amazed that the crab’s home is carried on its back or that the starfish has an odd yet beautifully symmetrical shape.  She is living in the moment and will cheerfully move on to the next one.

Imagine if we approached each transition, regardless of how difficult, with childish wonder. Instead of staying in the moment of grief, we would move into the marvelous moment that the unknown will bring. I imagine my upcoming ‘deaths’: the death of my vacation time; the purchase of our new home that signals the death of my transitory existence;  the soon-to-be arrival of the divorce certificate that signals the official ‘death’ of my previous marriage and the burial of my father’s remaining ashes and thus the final ‘death’ of his earthly remains. Tarot’s Death ‘permits’ the grieving that is the natural process for all of these losses. But the Child of Water reminds us that what comes after needs to be explored and enjoyed with wonder, innocence and awe. Imagine the difference if we looked at death from the perspective of the Child of Water.

There is a quote by Richard Bach, from his novel Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah that sums up the juxtaposition of these two cards beautifully,  “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”

Take pleasure in the breaking cocoon.

Turning in

Four of Water - Osho Zen
Four of Water - Osho Zen

Today’s brief post is a quote from the LWB (Little White Book – a term that often refers to the small ‘manual’ that accompanies most Tarot decks – although, in this case, it is neither little nor white) of the Osho Zen Tarot.

This morning, I drew my ‘daily’ card. Funny that I drew the Four of Waters. This card invites us to stop and listen to the antics of our mind. I have felt so busy the past few days that I have even skipped my daily morning practice of drawing a Tarot card, a practice that I treasure as sacred.

“All journeys are outward journeys, there is no inward journey. How can you journey inwards? You are already there, there is no point in going.” I just needed a reminder. My new mantra for today: “Hey mind, you’re not the boss of me!”

Happy journeys.  🙂

Thanksgiving and the Seven of Pentacles

Seven of Pentacles - RWS
Seven of Pentacles - RWS

I often find myself reflecting on times of the year and looking for links to the Tarot. Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving this past weekend.

By reaping the fruits of the harvest, we are entering the realm of the seven of Pentacles. It is a card full of connections to personal harvest and cultivation. It is where we reap and sow what we plant. Many Canadians took to the table with family and friends this past weekend. Our neighbours to the south will do so at the end of November. And still others will use this time to give thanks. When you do, remember to ask yourself:

Am I truly thankful for those seeds that I planted?

Do I recognize the bounty that they have brought to me and to others?

The blogs are slowing down again as I move into the domain of the Chariot and ‘move’ residences. Once Kelly, the kids and I have settled into our new home – I will note here the Cancerian link to the Chariot card for all of the astro peeps :), I expect to get back to a more regular blog-writing cycle. I will also be looking at running a beginner’s Tarot workshop in Orangeville in November.

‘Cool’ and the King of Swords

He exudes 'coolness'.
He exudes 'coolness'.

 

 

 

 

 

My own children often provide the inspiration for my writing.  I always find it interesting to sit with my teenage son or daughter and discuss what they see in the cards.  Their observations are often insightful and poignant.  This morning, as my girlfriend and I drew our morning card, I invited my son, as happens on occasion,  to do the same.  He draws the King of Swords.  “Cool,” he says, in his detached 14-year-old demeanor, and puts the card down without another word.

I go on for a brief moment to talk about what the card means from my own experience. But upon further reflection, I think his one-word answer might have been a more accurate definition.  I think I know what he meant or, perhaps even more relevant, I know what his one-word response meant to me.  It may have had nothing to do with the coolness that does indeed surround the King of Swords.  However, the word “cool” has been added to my own list of key words, phrases, affirmations and insights about the king. 

Our king is emotionally “in check”, intelligent, well-spoken and well-groomed, and, as my son so confidently exclaimed, his detached nature might in fact make him ‘cool’, à la Paul Newman in ‘Cool Hand Luke’  And of course, the cold steel of his sabre could again highlight how ‘cool’ fits here.  Having spent almost 20 years working in education, I know that some of the most poignant lessons about life come from youth. I firmly believe that Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby were dead on when they quipped, “Kids say the darndest things.”