Monday, 11 September 2017

trustliness


Self Trust Spread using The Wild Unknown Tarot, (C) Kim Krans, Harper Elixir




I think I mentioned a while back that I won an instagram competition for a place on Pull Pen Paint, an online course using the cards as prompts for journaling and art making. I've taken a break from daily draws and am using the PPP prompts instead. This is the self trust spread. 

It was interesting to get two perceiving cards. The King of Swords, my illuminated self, perceives analytically and is fair. The High Priestess perceives intuitively and can be ambiguous. She represents the shadows so it is intriguing to find her in the position of where I can cultivate my light. Focus on inner illumination perhaps? 

The High Priestess is the archetype of the refusal of the call, refusal of ordinary world obligations. Perhaps why this is why the six of pentacles appears as my shadow card. I am afraid that if I embrace the Priestess' mysteries I will become ungrounded and materially unproductive. 

The ten of cups signals how to cultivate and trust both light and shadow. Completing things already started will give energy and create new space for intuitive or creative practices. 

Overall the energy of the spread is water - creativity and emotions. The High Priestess dominates as a major arcana card. According to elemental dignities (I have been reading Mary K Greer) her water together with that of the ten is strong and receptive prevailing over the air and the earth. 

Rather than yielding to the pressure to be like my male counterparts (here the king of swords, proving points and defending arguments) maybe the message is to learn to trust myself to channel a more feminine energy. 


Friday, 1 September 2017

always learning

Daily Draw: Anna K Tarot, Three of Pentacles


I enjoy learning new skills and seeing work in progress. Both the three of pentacles and the eight are favourite cards. Although sometimes the distinctions between the two become a bit blurry. The three is I believe often associated with mastery. This seems to be emphasised here as different from the traditional RWS image the craftsperson works unobserved, unattended. This suggests he or she has achieved a degree of autonomy and can be trusted to do a job well for its own sake. 

I have often wondered why the master appears before the apprentice in the eight. Or why the apprentice appears so late in the suit. Perhaps this speaks to the fact that life is not always a straightforward upward trajectory. We master one set of skills and then later in life we need to learn something new. 

Or (the more I mull this) actually we really want to learn something new. Isn't it wonderful that life continues to present those opportunities? 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

happy to see the hermit

Daily Draw, Anna K Tarot, The Hermit.  

I took a photo of a lantern yesterday and here he is the lantern carrier although depicted here with a candle. Being a double hermit (this is my life and birth card) it is always a sigh moment when this card shows up. This version I find especially beautiful. Those wonderful wonderful blue tones...

The rain is lashing down outdoors with the odd crack of thunder. This together with the appearance of this card reminds me I am fortunate to have a place of stillness, a mini retreat from the world. Today I am tucked up with mug of tea reading Sepulchre by Kate Mosse - a novel which features a mysterious deck of tarot cards. There is a difference between solitude and loneliness. 

Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is richness of self.

May Sarton, 1912-1995

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Centering

Daily Draw, The Wheel of Fortune.

Ups and downs, light and shade. All part of the tapestry of life. The wheel of life turns slowly at times. Sometimes it needs to turn more quickly. If you've ever tried to slowly fill a bobbin on a sewing machine you will know the need to regulate the speed. Too slow and the result is a knotty, loopy mess, too fast and the bobbin spins out of control altogether. 

This wheel is not simply turning but being spun. The Crone's kindly face suggests the change is for the best. As she spins she places her right hand on the wheel perhaps to steady it. Or maybe this is a clue for the woman trying to ride the wheel? The closer we are to the centre the smoother the ride. 


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Queenly self care

Daily Draw, Anna K Tarot: Queen of Pentacles. 

This lady is a down to earth queen. She offers practical advice for all manner of collywobbles. Eat well, take some exercise outdoors, get an early night. A natural nurturer she knows the importance of fresh linen on the bed, a candlelit bathroom, clothes laid out for the morning. Such things are easily overlooked when we are overworked, tired or stressed but that is exactly the time to practice little acts of self care. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Cycles

Daily Draw: Anna K Tarot, The High Priestess

Like the moons in the card everything occurs in cycles. Difficult times will pass and better times come around again, and on and on...Blessed with this wisdom the High Priestess can sit in stillness observing change with compassion. Time to reach deep into the well within rather than trying to alter change from without. 

even if you are a small forest surviving off of
moon alone
your light is extraordinary

- reminder 

Nayyirah Waheed. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

Frozen

Daily Draw, Anna K Tarot: Three of Swords. 

In the bitter cold he's walked a mile to offer her his heart and now it breaks. For her more than himself. His face is full of concern as she trudges through the snow away from the home he wanted to share with with her. He can't see but her heart is breaking too. She loves him but fears her wounded self will become a burden to him. She would rather carry those heavy swords alone. What is the hardest thing? When you want so much to love someone back to life and they won't let you? Or when you walk away from a loving soul for their own good? 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

medicinal

Daily Draw, The Green Witch Tarot, The Sidhe/Temperance

This potion maker has all the ingredients, tools and resources she needs to create something magical. Her work being subtle alchemy she's fully focused on the task, paying attention to infinitesimal interactions of each addition to the pot. To an observer she appears patient yet being immersed a state of flow time does not weigh heavy on her. The moon is high and still she continues. 

Traditionally this is a card of balance and healing. For me this means applying the imagery of this rendition quite literally. To light more candles, read books and learn about medicinal herbs and essential oils.  




Tuesday, 22 August 2017

burn softly

Daily Draw: Green Witch Tarot, The Sun

After the lord of shadows here comes the sun...I'm a little concerned about the eagle in this card who looks to be repeating the error of Icarus...
 

The cosy cottage symbolises contentment, harmony and comfort. The stones and the cart suggest that the residence is the outcome of hard work. A fair amount of material success is needed to purchase a home in such an idyllic location. Yet the card also speaks of the importance of physical wellbeing which is easily forgotten in and amongst out daily commitments. Allowing ourselves to burn out is irresponsible to ourselves and those who rely on us. The card reminds me of the need to make a haven, right where we are now, however small and attend to self-care. There may be peace and even joy to be found in small things like the soft light of a candle and an oil in the burner. 

Monday, 21 August 2017

dark to light

Daily Draw, The Green Witch Tarot, The Lord of Shadows.

The moth in this card is moving from darkness to light. I suppose quite apt for an eclipse day. Or should it be the other way around - moving from light into shadow? 

This card sometimes speaks of abrupt endings - which it is human to fear. I tend to prefer a gentler fade in fade out approach to life's changes. This Lord is patient but where there is stagnation or lack of growth he arrives with his besom to make a clean sweep. Through cleansing new optimism arises. Negative influences are removed enabling positive ones to enter. As the guidebook states 'old situations give way to new ones, and the past is left behind as a person moves on, released from prior commitments'. The yew tree in the image represents renewal, the lunar moth symbolises transition. This card is growing on me...

Saturday, 19 August 2017

She's back again

Daily Draw, The Green Witch Tarot, Nine of Chalices

I drew this card earlier in the week and now she's back. My earlier guidebook inspired thoughts were of intuition, intention, aligned energy and hope. I wonder if there is something else I'm missing? Or if is she asking me to reflect more deeply on those attributes. She is quite a glamorous lady, perhaps she just wants me to put some make up on and do my hair? 

Another funny ting looking back over the blog the last four cards are in the numerical sequence 6, 7, 8, 9. Maybe something in that? 


Friday, 18 August 2017

tarot tomfoolery

Daily Draw: Green Witch Tarot, Eight of Wands 

According to the guidebook this is a card of good career news coming swiftly. So that got a loud harrumph this morning. And then...

I got home to find I have won a place on an art, journaling and oracle class on Instagram with proper tuition from practicing artists. Woohoo! Looked again at the book - good news from a distance - tick! Good news about a creative venture - tick number two! I'll take that. 

Pootling around on the web I found a quiz - what kind of tarot reader are you. It was fun. The profile I got included a five card spread which includes your personal tarot journey, strengths, opportunities for growth, blocks and guidance needed. I wanted to post but then I will use up all my cards of the week...anyway if interested the link is here: http://ethony.com/tarottutorials/

I am glad I have this tarot tomfoolery hobby. Wishing all a happy weekend. 



Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Fidget brain

Daily Draw: Green Witch Tarot, Seven of Pentacles

This card indicates that progress is being made on a long term project but there is still a fair bit to do. As a project nears completion there might be an impulse to rush or even to quit altogether. Cutting corners might undo to the labour already invested. Patience is needed to see the work through. Although there are limits. How much polish does a pentacle need?  I'm reminded of my reading in Whitby earlier this year in which the reader was insistent - 'finish what you've started so you can move onto something new'. 

Apparently the skullcap plant is for focus. Researching that led me to find this list of the top herbs for anxiety and depression organic facts  Which I can't take as they would probably interact with my current prescription...Oh my poor fidget brain. The focus fact was enough. 


Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pink petals

Daily Draw: Green Witch Tarot, Six of Wands


Hmm what's going on here? A moral victory over a military one? Not all those faces look wholeheartedly happy for this guy (even his own smile looks a bit fixed) and we can't see the soldiers' expression at all. Are they there of their own volition or were they ordered to be. I wonder if the rider chose his fancy costume which contrasts so with the plain dress of the observers or if he was told to wear it. 

For now I am going to focus on the sparrow and the pink petals. Time to get out in the garden among the birds with my paints. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Water dancer

Daily draw: Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Ace of Cups.

The water dancer. Connecting with the water and her family members brings her great joy. Like all the aces this card is a gift,  this one signifying time to refresh the soul and heal the heart. It holds out the promise of emotional renewal and a fresh start. Off to channel otter's playful and joyful energy...

Friday, 11 August 2017

History

Daily Draw: The Hierophant. 

There is history here both embodied in the person of the teacher and objectified in the amber around his neck - a substance filled with all the knowledge of the past. He teaches ancient knowledge in understandable bites and leads his students to weave that knowledge into their own experiences, histories, beliefs so they create their own wisdom. This history lesson got me thinking that higher education was not always what it is now, it was once different and it could be different again. I miss my old professors, every teacher needs a teacher.






Thursday, 10 August 2017

Pause and breathe

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Two of Pentacles, Knight of Pentacles

I rejected the two at first assuming it was about juggling which I don't feel able to do at the moment. Then drew the Knight went back to the book and the text revealed the cards similar energies. This knight doesn't believe in taking action for the sake of taking action. He balances intense inner drive with great patience. It is easy to mistake his steadiness for indifference or laziness. Yet actually lack of drama does not mean a lack of dedication. When the time is right he can be relied upon to do exactly the right thing using the resources and energy to hand. 

Similarly the two advocates a slow, balanced approach. Breathe, slow down, pay attention. Where there are conflicting demands it is better (although undoubtedly hard) to choose to do one thing well rather than attempt too many things and fail at everything. Maintaining awareness and responding rather than reacting is the message of these cards. Perhaps if I had paused to breathe this morning I'd have noticed there is no juggling here.  









Sunday, 6 August 2017

Plenty to go around

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Six of Pentacles

I was going to photograph this with an apple from the tree except there are none. The birds ate them. To be fair they have been very well behaved up to now. For years we have allowed the apples to grow large and fall without harvesting them. I can understand why this year the birds thought 'well what the hey' and gobbled them up. I don't mind. This card lets us know there is plenty to go around. If we have something to spare it is good to share. Whether giver or receiver or both (as is often the case) all involved get to feel good.  

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Nurture through nature

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Ten of Cups

Spirals of steam carry the essences of lavender, rose and frankincense filling the air with peace and promise. She harvested these plants with her own hands and blended them with water from her sacred spring. She invites the healing properties of these plants into her life and as she sings they begin to release their magic. With skilful motions she moves her hands to summon blessings for her loved ones. 

As the guidebook says life is full of moments of love and connection - some fleeting, some enduring for a lifetime. Some are effervescent, others deep and still. Commingled in a life they create a wholesome existence. This is the promise of the ten of cups. If we no longer have an elder in our lives bestowing such familial blessings perhaps it is time to become more like the lady in this card - nurturing relationships in our lives and the lives of those around us. 

After a week of anxiety fuelled rumination doing myself and those around me no good at all I got a wake up call in the form of an oracle reading on insta. Healing was the message so today as a family/pack K, Roger, Barney and I went for a long woodland walk. It felt good. What can you do today to nurture yourself and those around you? 



Monday, 31 July 2017

Better this than a tower moment

Daily Draw: Tarot of the Hidden Realm, Seven of Wands

She has been wandering in dense fog for a long time. Her mind is a whirl of arguments and counter arguments. She once knew with clarity what she wanted or needed to do but when she hesitated uncertainty insinuated itself. The clarity she had was weakened and the energy of the original decision now has no outlet. A storm is brewing both within her and in the swelling clouds above. A bolt of lightening rips through the clouds and the ensuing thunder shakes her. The encrusted fear based confusion falls away as dust. She knows what she must do. She always did. 

Better a bolt of lightening than a Tower moment...

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tens

Daily Draw: The Llewellyn Tarot, The Universe/The World.



I believe this card can mean culmination. The guidebook also mentions graduation as a key word. Something I have been thinking about a lot these past two weeks. It is hard to see but it appears there is a woman frozen in a mountain or iceberg in this rendition. This speaks to my feeling of being trapped between two conflicting commitments. One in which I have often felt oppressed, repressed and depressed. The other is challenging although not impossible if I apply myself and does give me a sense of accomplishment. The dilemma is the first yields an income whereas the second is crucial for my career (and my sense of self).  

To make sense of what I need to do I tried the horseshoe spread set out in the Llewellyn guide (photo of layout below). 

I chose the Page of Pentacles as significator as in this deck he is known as the student or scholar. Here is what I drew

Card 1: Past conditions - Strength - makes sense I have been trying so hard to make both things work

Card 2: Present situation - Six of Wands - odd as I feel anything but victorious

Card 3: Future outlook - Ten of Cups - interesting as it is a preoccupation with security which places me in this dilemma. 

Card 4: Best approach to the situation - Ten of Swords

Card 5: Attributes of others surrounding me - Four of Swords -???

Card 6: Challenges to be faced: Six of Cups - time to grow up and make decisions as a mature adult? 

Card 7: The final outcome - Ten of Pentacles - Guidebook says enjoying the fruits of your labour, freedom from financial concerns that would be nice!

The card that I am most drawn to is the 10 of Swords as the best approach to the situation. If this means the best thing to do is put an end to situation 1 then I've never been so relieved to see this card. Perhaps the income sacrifice is worth it? 

The other thing that strikes me is there are three tens in the spread. Again speaking of endings? 





Saturday, 15 July 2017

Occultation

Daily Draw: The Llewellyn Tarot, The Moon

Occultation - when one celestial body obscures another as a result of moving between the observer and the object being observed. The star is no longer visible and here we have the moon representing the night and the amethyst sky the gift of intuition that gets us through it. 

Could the owl symbolising magic, mystery and wisdom be the high priestess in animal form returned to fool in a dream? When all cannot be seen it is not any imaginings but fretful imaginings that we should seek to avoid. I'm reminded of a quote I read this week 'when you are tired sleep'

the night was busy making the moon
so
i gathered my quilt
and softly
told my heart
we'd come back 
tomorrow. 

Nayyirah Waheed








Sunday, 9 July 2017

Calm focus

Daily Draw: The Llewellyn Tarot: Two of Wands

This two of wands is quite different from the Llewellyn Classic version I draw a little while back. The woman's posture (seated and eyes on the orb) here appears less expansionist and more calm and meditative. Her beautiful bodice in Gaugiunesque colours suggests to me she is a creative type. 

Perhaps she can use her artistic skills together with intuition to search out new possibilities and hidden options. The gold and rose sky hint that she will experience enrichment beyond monetary gain if she can remain centred and focused while continuing her practice. 

if the ocean 
can calm itself
so can you
we 
are both
salt water
mixed
with 
air

Nayyirah Waheed

Sunday, 25 June 2017

wholehearted

Daily Draw: The Llewellyn Tarot, The Lovers

This card can mean being made brave with love. Indeed the word courage derives from the Latin 'cor' meaning 'heart'. Most people would recognise the experience of being made brave for one's nearest and dearest. But bravery on behalf of strangers perhaps less so? 

I like to look past the obvious connotations of romantic love in this card which is a bit of a challenge given the central image this particular rendition. So focusing on the colours instead...

The red drapes symbolise courage, action and initiative. It is no coincidence that red is often the colour of revolutionary social movements. Active mind is signalled by the orange hues, progressive change is well thought out. 

The yellow (and the candle) also picks up this theme of intellect and brightness although this colour also harbours the less desirable attributes of bitterness, deceit and cowardice. 

A good reminder that when we embark on any course of action we examine our motives for doing so. Back to love...

As Birdie MacDonald (foster carer of over 800 children) puts it so well: 

'Love is wholesome, love is power' 





Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hands

Daily Draw: The Llewellyn Tarot, Queen of Swords

Eschewing small talk and the niceties she sees as conversational 'fluff', Queen may not instantly connect with others. Here we see her up on a mountain with the air above providing the headspace that she so needs. Yet she is not cold as in some interpretations. Actually she is the only queen who reaches out with her hand. It takes lot for her to do this and that hand may not be offered twice. 

She is not the kind of friend who will call umpteen times a day or want to spend every weekend together. Respecting your privacy she won't turn up at your home uninvited and hopes you will respect her privacy too. Months may pass but when you do get together she will pick up exactly where you left off. She will listen quietly when you pour out your heart but she won't mirror those emotions. If she comments at all it will be to offer a logical solution. When someone is in a ditch don't jump in there and cry with them offer them a way out she says. 

I think she is more interested in ideas and theories than in understanding what makes people tick. Perhaps my similar tendencies explain why it has taken me so long to get to know the courts. I do find it a struggle but she has reached out her hand to me and I'd be a fool to turn down the offer of friendship from a kindred spirit. 




Friday, 23 June 2017

Personal shopper

Daily Draw: Llewellyn's Classic Tarot, Page of Cups

I was reading today that this page is sartorially the most stylish. Whereas the Page of Pentacles wears expensive but practical clothes in fine fabrics his style is too safe and predictable for the Page of Cups who likes to be more creative.  

When he appears it can be a reminder to treat yourself to a new item of clothing. As a shopping companion he would say cheap throwaway fashion is a false economy for you and not good for the environment. Far better to spend a little more on something really lovely, that is comfortable, suits you and which you will wear often. 'Think cost per wear' he whispers in your ear. 

He would also encourage you to 'shop your wardrobe'. I can imagine him yanking out bright slacks, sequin tops, sparkly knits, rhinestone boots, handbags in their dustbags, all that stuff being saved for a special occasion and saying 'what are you waiting for?' Scraggy old leggings get 'the look' not because he's a snob but because he thinks you deserve better. Comfortable clothes don't have to be drab (back to the investment buys again). 

Of course this page may appear simply to acknowledge your love of fashion and dressing up. I might have more in common with the cups courts than I thought...








Thursday, 22 June 2017

Exceeding the brief

Daily Draw: Llewellyn's Classic Tarot, Three of Pentacles 

This is usually a favourite card however my immediate response to this version is that the sculpture is an unnecessary addition and the beautiful stone work at the top is enough. Why exceed the brief? Is he showing off or did he overshoot? Perhaps a lack of confidence that the stone work wasn't sufficient? 

Mused a little bit and maybe this is a metaphor for my PhD (or four PhDs as the case may be). It reminds me of what we were told at induction that the task was not to pursue a nobel prize and probably only two people would read the work...

A friend put it to me that writing a monograph on Mr Bourdieu is a life times work not a doctoral thesis the purpose of which is to demonstrate I can carry out a research project independently. On the other hand if you're going to be late be great... 

Future wise the two figures to the left hint at the importance of gaining feedback. I have just had some on a research paper which is that it is good enough to publish. If I hadn't forced myself to share the work I'd still be writing it now...

Deep breath, time to unveil the thesis for some feedback...

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

directions

Daily Draw: Llewellyn Classic Tarot: Two of Wands

Whenever I draw this card I think of the song 'he's got the whole world in his hands...'. Second response irritation that it's a man owning the globe. Then again wands are traditionally thought of as masculine energy - sigh. If I was feeling political today I might write about climate change but having news binged for a week I'm a bit politicked out. 


The figure faces the opposite direction to the figure in the RWS who holds the free wand in left hand. This reminds me that the left has often been associated with evil. Our English word sinister derives from Old French 'sinistre' meaning left. 
Dexter is the opposite of sinister from Latin 'on the right'. Synonym of dexterity, adroit (skillful) comes from the French 'a droit' meaning according to the right'. These popular associations right/good left/evil were promoted by the church and the monarchy. 

Here the wand on the left is secured with a bolt symbolising a safer choice or opportunity. (I hadn't noticed there is also a bolted wand in the original RWS). The wand on the right is a riskier venture. So back to pondering politics again. This being a wands card passion and courage are foregrounded. When this combines wth the cool logic of the swords, the compassion of the cups and a pentacles concern for all living things the outcome could be tremendous. 








bolt and boots...

Sunday, 18 June 2017

and sprint

Daily Draw: Ace of Wands

An Ace of Wands in my Magician month offering a double dose of drive. I have been feeling a renewed sense of energy and purpose these past few weeks. 

The clouds remind me to use this energy wisely as eventually like all things it will dissipate. The wand as baton tells me I don't have to do this alone. If I work with others in a kind of relay race each of us doing a wild sprint the outcome will be faster and better. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Harmless moon

Daily Draw: Llewellyn Classic Tarot, The Moon

I was reading on Tarotwikipedia that The Moon can show up when there are a lot of creative energies storing up inside the seeker. A good question to ask is what would you learn if learning was only to nurture your soul rather than to get a job or a pay rise. 

Someone asked me a similar thing today. I came up with a formula: What do I really want to do? Can I do it? Will the outcome be beneficial? I was talking about research but my partner in dialogue reminded me these are existential questions about life. 

My first response to the sketch of the man's face in the moon was irritation. Design wise it jars the overall style of the card. Made me think just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. On reflection things can look good and be injurious. This moon may be ugly but in practical terms it is innocuous. I can live with that. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Virtue of necessity

Daily Draw: Llewellyn's Classic Tarot

The theoretical love of my life Pierre Bourdieu in a chapter entitled 'Sorcerer's Apprentices' (can you see why I like this guy) describes how in order to make it in academia the student's first and only task is to make himself disappear as a student. Which means to see and make his studentness as temporary a state as possible. 

As career routes are less certain for females (the blindfold) they are more likely to embrace the experience and identity of being a student and less likely to fake to make an academic identity. Thus they condemn themselves to being everlasting students. 

This work was written in the 70s and things have changed. Although I wonder if there are still echoes. 

One of the meanings of this card is 'insufficient data'. Story of my life. I could read and make theory for ever but have less than zero interest in doing empirical research. I am reminded by the card that equates to zero interest in my career. The two swords indicate choice and truth. Make a virtue of theoretical richness, make data out of it and allow the work to be what it wants to be. 








Sunday, 11 June 2017

Be fast or be faff

Daily Draw: Llewellyn's Classic Tarot, Knight of Wands

This knight has something very specific he wants to achieve. I could learn. 

I've spent the morning faffing around online. Discovered Bloglovin. Signed up and claimed my blog. Hence the weird preceding post which did not add bloglovin button here as promised. Anyhow sorted feed which should be good for following others but hardly life changing. 

What I've actually been meaning to do for months is sort out my Instagram but now I'm bored of passwords and instructions that don't work... 

So off to learn a few tarot lessons which was my plan for today. This is a new deck for me which uses traditional RWS imagery so should be good for connecting with the core meanings of the cards. Some online reviews of the book have critiqued it for being too basic. I actually like it especially as it provides a key to the main symbols. The introduction to the court cards (with which I struggle like many new readers) I've found useful also. Although I still don't know which queen is most like me. Probably the one that faffs around...





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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Saturday Magic

So inspired by Carolyn's post I went in search of a wand today. No luck yet. But I did find these beauties. Thanks to Carolyn for the reminder that we all deserve a little magic in our lives. 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sun, moon, truth

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards, Sun, Moon, Truth

With eyes downcast this struck me as a sombre face but perhaps I am wrong. Reflexive philosophy alerts us that we view the world through lenses and filters which are the product of position and experiences within it. Putting reflexivity into action means both unsettling those assumptions including by considering alternative perspectives. 

With that in mind other interpretations of the card and verse are very welcome today.  

Three things cannot be
long hidden:
the sun, the moon, 
and the truth. 

- attrib Guatama Buddha


Saturday, 3 June 2017

Just be

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards, Just Be 

With right hand raised to shoulder height, arm bent, palm of right hand facing outwards with fingers upright and closed this is figure adopts the Abhaya Mudra hand posture. The pose symbolises protection, peace and the dispelling of fear. A couple of weeks ago  I may have overlooked this as 'just nice words'...

The verse on the back reads:

Do not dwell in the past,
do not dream 
of the future,
concentrate the mind 
on the present moment.
- Gautama Buddha 

A good philosophy for the weekend. The orange robes, green splashes and twinkling white lights suggest joy, hope and simplicity may be found by just being in the moment. 

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Learn to forget

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards, Learn and Forget.

Another beautiful card in one of my favourite colour combinations of aqua, blue and gold. There is more to this than delighting my visual senses though. 

Scallop shells (seen at the base) were one of the earliest and most iconic badges worn by medieval pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. More than just a physical journey this bivalve suggests something deeper. Scallops are filter feeders who clarify water thus they are sometimes referred to ecosystem engineers. As Greer writes they symbolise digesting psychological rubbish from the unconscious in a process of evolutionary growth. This fits with the amethyst tones (spirituality) and the verse on the back which reads: 

To learn the Buddha Way
is to learn one's self.
To learn one's self
is to forget one's self.
-Dogen

This figure appears to be in that process. The shadow self (dark blue contours) is known and a radiant self has come to the fore with strobes of light emanating outwards. Still the figure continues to shed not shards of gold but soft flecks of gold leaf. 

The sea is where I go to forget myself. Where is it for you? 


Monday, 29 May 2017

Heart

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards: Heart. 

I am so pleased to have drawn this card today which says to me 'heart'. The verse on the back reads: 

I'd like to divide
myself in order to see,
among these mountains,
each and every flower 
of every cherry tree

-Saigyo

Fifty maybe sixty years ago someone took the decision to plant cherries all over the communal green space in this neighbourhood. Their stunning blossom canopies are one of the first joyful heralds of spring. When they fall they form the most beautiful pink carpet - always a 'sigh' moment for me. 

I've tried to find out who it was and no luck but what a heartfelt legacy. 

Sunday, 28 May 2017

spiral

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards, Spiral. 

I see the three figures in this card as one emerging, forming and firming spiritual being. 

The first, somewhat effaced and abject, is flesh toned symbolising the vulnerable human condition. The next is mostly blue meaning truth, spirituality, calmness and peace but perhaps also depression and melancholy. 

The third formation retains some of this but also in amongst the murky tones there is a small quantity of gold or wisdom. 

The increasing turquoise in the upper right suggests an opening of communication between the heart and the spoken word which heals. 

The reverse of the card affirms:

'We are not going
in circles,
we are going upwards.
The path is a spiral
we have already climbed
many steps.'

- Hermann Hesse

The logic of the spiral which encompasses, includes, develops, and yes-ands, of far greater use to us than the rock logic of 'I am right and you are wrong'. 

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Outside words

Daily Draw: Spiritual Buddhist Cards 

Visually this is one of the more complex cards in the deck with an array of colours and patterns in contrasting shades of darkness and light. The quote on the reverse confirms that:

'The truth is
not always beautiful,
nor beautiful words
the truth. 

- Laotse

How to avoid writing something beautiful yet false? The tree on the left, whose energy appears to infuse the heart side of the seated figure, provides a clue. Perhaps a time to find beauty outside of words. 

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King, 1929 -1968