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Tarot and the MRI

Tarot and MRIs not related? I beg to differ.

On Friday, I had one. It was to further explore the recurrence of old shoulder injury. The doctor’s office and the hospital had given me a little overview of the process. When I arrived, I waited 90 minutes – they didn’t explain that part – and, upon registration, they informed that I would need to be injected with an X-Ray dye prior to the MRI. The fluid would be inserted directly into my shoulder joint, guided by an X-Ray and a 2 1/2 inch needle. They didn’t explain that part, either.  Understand that, although I am not claustrophobic, my greatest fear is being buried alive so I was already less-than-comfortable with the upcoming MRI experience. The X-Ray preparation did not help the situation.

I knew I’d need to remain still. That was explained ahead of time. No one mentioned just how still. My doctor knows that ‘idle’ is not a speed at which my engine typically runs. When the technician informed me that I’d need to remain perfectly still for 25 minutes, I smiled.  This could be a long afternoon. After the first few minutes, I could sense my muscles twitching. My need to take deep breaths increased. My shoulder began to throb. I became aware of my restricted mobility and wanted to do something about it.  “Stop moving, please!” is barely audible through the sound-blocking headphones she had placed on my head. Although I couldn’t feel myself move, I knew I was struggling and was strongly considering pressing the ‘panic button’ resting in my closed fist. Then I started to picture the four of Swords in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The image came to me out of nowhere. It has been an image I’d conjure up if I was having a hard time relaxing but, as the length of time since my last post will attest, I haven’t made much time for the Tarot lately. I immediately entered the card in the same way I’d enter the home of a close but long-ignored friend. I looked around and took in my surroundings. I’ve been here before. My movement ceased almost instantly. A sense of calm came over me. Even the technician noticed and I heard a muffled “Thank you”. The rest of the procedure took place without difficulty.

I had forgotten the impact of those 78 little images I know so well. They have a place in even the most insignificant or unexpected situations; even after what seems like a significant amount of time away. On my way through Erin I stopped by Treehaven and bought the Llewellyn edition of the Gaian Tarot deck to complement my limited edition.

Welcome back, old friend. I’ve missed you.

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Blues, Jazz and the Tarot

I’ve finally done it. After humming and hawing, the Ontario government made the decision for me. The last installment of my HST rebate cheque gave me the push I needed to sign up for the Gaian Tarot Retreat in Ancaster this coming October.  I’m excited about meeting new Gaian Tarot fans as well as ‘workshoping’ with some of my favorite Tarot leaders: Joanna Powell Colbert, James Wells and Bev Haskins.  

For more information, check out the following link: http://www.gaiantarot.com/retreat/index.html

This weekend, Orangeville hosts the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. Although I didn’t grow up as a fan of either genre, I have developed a soft spot for this festival. I always make it a point to check out several of the dozens of acts that find their way to my neck of the woods at this time of the year and am always impressed by the talent. This morning, before I head out to catch local Blues artist Heather Katz (with my son’s piano/organ/improve teacher playing the keys), and kindly ask the weather gods to bless us with sunshine, I thought about how the Tarot might represent blues and jazz.

I was drawn to two cards from my Gaian Tarot deck: the Elder of Air and the Six of Fire. This card combination seemed to stir passion for those who bend the rules and dance the beat of their own drummer (Six of Fire) but also highlight the level of mastery required to share one’s message with the rest of the world (Elder of Air). The combination of the these two genres links the passionate element of fire with the cerebral element of air. It is a musical genre that touches both the brain and the belly.  I would think musicians who can play both of these genres would have to be exceptionally skilled but also be able to play with abandon.  I compare this to the more reserved energy of a classical musician. (A genre I might represent using the Hierophant from the RWS: doctrine, discipline, rigorous learning).

As I head out a little later this morning, and as 10,000+ people descend on our little town and as I enjoy the musical menu of the day, I just might also look to see if I can find these characters 🙂 . Just food for thought this morning.

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Full Moon in Aries – Priestess + Emperor = Empress

At almost the same moment I began creating this post (and wondering WTH I’m doing up at this hour), the Moon became full. This occured only moments after it transitioned from Pisces to Aries. This Full Moon occurs only hours after the autumnal equinox (a term I used yesterday in my school-wide writing prompt and which sent most young writers scrambling for a reference of some kind). My previous post explored the Sun’s movement into Libra from a ‘Tarot perspective’.

My favourite astrologer Kelly Surtees  stated that the Moon moving into Aries was a prime time to fight for fairness for the underdog.  This seems also to apply when we look at this through our Tarot lens. Very few cards better represent the underdog then our Priestess, the Tarot card associated with the Moon. Champion of feminine strength and wisdom, intuitive healer, mysterious master of the dark, her worth is often unjustly underrated by patriarchal structure. She  frequently lives in the shadows. With her full Moon in Aries, she dons the garments of the emperor, which the Sun wore just six months ago.  If the Sun represents our ‘best-self’, the Moon best represents our shadow self, the part of us Jung would associate with our instincts and our perceived flaws.

When cloaked in the Emperor’s robes, the Sun in Aries allowed us to focus on our ability to lead, increased our confidence and our level of assertiveness. Our Priestess, when  the Moon is in Aries, benefits from this imperial influence. This is indeed a time for us to stand up and be counted in whatever area of our life we feel disadvantaged. It is a time to shine the bright light of the Full Moon onto our shadow and celebrate our shortcomings.

The RWS Empress

What will you do to celebrate your imperfections? How will you recognize you’re ‘perfectly you’ just the way you are?

Interesting that when we delve a little deeper into the Full Moon (Priestess) in Aries (Emperor) we seem to find the Empress, card sometimes associated with the full phase of the Moon 🙂

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World Tarot Day – May 25th

I am now in Sydney, Australia and available for in-person consultations from Tuesday, May 25th until Friday, June 4th, 2010. Contact me at whitesagetarot@gmail.com for  more information.

As I wrote this post on the morning of Monday, May 24th (and realize it is still Sunday, the 23rd at home), I did so in honour of World Tarot Day. I was also visited by a cockatoo as I woke to greet the day. That doesn’t happen in Canada:) 

World Tarot Day is on May 25th and was created almost 10 years ago, in a means of promoting the Tarot and its uses worldwide. As I do most m0rnings, I drew a card. The two decks I brought with me were the DruidCraft deck and the RWS commemorative Pamela Coleman Smith deck. This morning, I used the former (since I think I’ll save the latter for my upcoming client work). I didn’t ask a particular question but hoped that the one-card draw would bring forth a question or two.

Today’s draw was the six of pentacles. It shows an older man, staff in hand, with alms for the outstretched hands below. His surroundings are both vibrant, as in the image of a majestic green tree, and sparse, as in the image of the hibernating branch.

The questions this brings to mind are: What can the Tarot offer in times of abundance and vibrancy? What can the Tarot offer up in times of scarcity and hibernation? How can the Tarot demonstrate it generosity? How can we help share it with others?

If your curious, google World Tarot Day. You’re bound to find all sorts of interesting articles, blogs and musings.