Category Archives: Conversational Oracle

Ripples on the Ocean

So, I was unable to get a post out last week which means that you get two posts this week!

First off, let’s talk about staying flexible in the middle of your practice!  After all this talk of “staying in the present” and no future/no past in your oracle readings, a very interesting video came across my “virtual desk.”  As these things often happen the minute you try to solidify an approach, this video, from Eckhart Tolle, talks about the mindset needed when you engage planning and looking to the Future.  Not only that, further along at the 4:35 mark, he talks about the importance of reviewing your Past.  In all of this he talks about the mindset necessary to NOT get off track of where you are in the Present.

All in all, a very helpful teaching.  It was if the Universe, as a beneficial instructor, was adding a bit of commentary to everything I had said previously.  As if to say, “Well, you’ve ALMOST got it right.  Now, add this into your recipe…”

Take the things I have said previously and give yourself the gift of thirteen minutes to watch the video.  Go get a coffee, or a tea and a snack.  He says it all a lot better than I ever could!

So, then, how do we apply this into readings?  I could jokingly say, “very carefully.”  However, in review, the key concept is not to fall out of balance with your Mind and your thoughts (which is what I was saying originally.)

What I have to correct is my early feelings that the Future and the Past are dangerous tools of the Ego.  Well, they are BUT I believe it could be better said that they are dangerous tools if you let them stay in the power of the Ego.  Otherwise, they are simply tools.  A hammer is a dangerous weapon if placed in the wrong hands but an amazing and effective tool if used properly and then placed back in the toolbox.  So, yes, I am correcting things from my previous statements.

We CAN use the Past and Future in our readings.  See, flexibility in practice.  The key, after watching the video, is not making them overly important!

Now, again, this gets tricky if you draw a card that is overly dire for the Future spot!  The wisdom we can apply here comes in at the 6:20 mark where he talks about how projected outcomes no longer effect who you are in the Now.  He goes on to offer some very powerful wisdom over the next minute or so and I’ll simply let you listen to it, gain what you need from it.  After the 9:00 minute mark it tends to get off the mark but watch it till the end for the absolute joy of watching him come THIS close to to dropping the F-bomb.

So, where does that leave me?  Well, to be honest, it leaves me at a point of being happily derailed.  Perhaps this is why I did not post last week because I’ve been processing the information?  I still feel very strongly about the Past and Future placements being illusionary but I feel that with this new information they can now be used sparingly and with caution.

More to come later this week as I try to put together a spread that captures this new information.

 

 

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The Then, There and Now of Divination

As it should be obvious by now, I’ve been interested in  oracles and divination systems for a long time.  I’ve worked with them for so long they have become a central part of my daily life.  One of the first concepts anyone who studies divination learns to work with is the basic, 3 card Past, Present and Future spread.  Matter of fact, it becomes a foundation of any reading from there on out.  It takes different forms.

“What I need to know from the past?”
“What experience from the past is influencing the issue now?”
“What can I expect of the issue in the future?”
“What should I know a month from now?”

It is, after all, what oracles are for, right?  They are there so you can learn about things in advance, so you can prepare for them, right?  Right?

You take those three ideas, Past, Present and Future and, as you become skilled, you build a reading around them with other questions or ideas in order to get a clearer “image” of the issue.  Those three questions became a tripod of support for nearly all the work I’ve done with divination in all it’s myriad forms.  I’ve done it this way since I picked up my first rune stones.

You can imagine the upset to things in my sandbox when Eckhart Tolle came along with new wisdom and kicked over the Past and the Present and informed me they carried no weight! No matter what the cards might say those sections of past and future simply did not exist.  The cards and the moments of Past and Future were simply illusions, curtains of the Ego.

I might have dismissed his information simply out of habit or out of a deep set sense of Ego, of not wanting to, in effect, “start over” or “be wrong.”  Matter of fact, I know I would have done all of this if not for the fact that almost immediately it was proven to me he was right.  The Present is all we have AND all we will EVER have.  It is hard, simple, elegant, and sacred Truth.

So, what is someone like me to do when they’ve built up a skill set with tools based around the principles of Past and, more importantly, Future?  The cards still exist.  I still have a connection to them.  I cannot ignore the experiences I have had with them, the deep conversations and insights gained.  Yet, if one is going to stay in the Present what is the point of divination?  Trust me, I came around to the answer but first, an example.

10swordsHow many times has the following occurred to you as a reader or as someone who has had a reading?  Let’s say it’s the weekend and you are doing a reading to see ahead to an upcoming week.  You are using the Tarot.  The deck you are using is very good or perhaps the reader you’ve been consulting is very accurate.  You feel connected and in sync and you shuffle.  You draw a card for the past and it seems very spot on.  Your card for the Present is something pleasant like, say, 4 of Wands.  You’re starting to get psyched up for the week, right?  Then, for the future card, you draw the Tower or, perhaps, the 10 of Swords.  Uh-Oh!

Quick, damage control!  red Alert!  Maybe you draw a card or two to get a better angle on what might happen?  What will help me?  How can I alleviate things?  How can I avoid the lightning blast of the Tower?  Oh, sure, the first of the week looks good with that 4 of Wands but what is going to happen at the end of the week?  As the week progresses you walk on eggshells. You’re constantly on guard and alert for the results of that card.

In the meantime, what has happened to being connected and, more importantly, the faith of that connection?  The minute you see the negative card in relationship to the Future what happens to your energy? To being in a receptive state?

Maybe you get to the end of the week and nothing happens or if something does it’s minor like an argument with a co-worker that makes you rethink your job?  Well, that wasn’t too bad, was it?  Or, maybe, the Tower does happen.  Now what?  Did it help to know in advance? Possibly.  Did it help to waste all that energy looking for it to happen?  Did it help prove anything?  Were you REALLY any better off to handle the situation while worked up to a fever pitch of anxiety?  Perhaps you over-reacted to the situation because you were on edge in the first place?

A similar scenario can be played out when looking at a Past card to a present issue.  Does a Past card bring up those memories of being hurt?  Of betrayal?  Does it trigger an emotional response that perhaps give you focus but more often than not brings up anxiety and possibly even a sense of pain or vengeance?  Not necessarily healthy, right?

With this example I’m pointing out the crux of the problem I have been working on.  As I said previously, the Past and the Future are illusions and, honestly, they have a way of causing trouble.  Is it possible to even continue working with an oracle if one removes the Past and the Future from the equation?

The short answer is, of course, “Yes.”

The idea of this is new to me (and I’m still proceeding slowly through it) but it comes down to this for me.   Prognostication needs to be cautioned against, observed and, if possible, removed from any layout.   The other curveball?  Oracles should be used as a conversation on the present issue in the present tense.  Everything else needs to be carefully watched for too much connection to either past or future issues.

DocBrownTime

Due to the numerous habits I’ve built while working with oracles, this is both easy and difficult to do.  For instance, my Questing Path Spread breaks down as it relies heavily on what is going to transpire as you move forward in time.  On the other hand, my Triskelion spread does not use any sense of time and, instead, talks about and interconnects three related subjects with no sense of past or present. (A spread I think I will be going back and revisiting soon.)

Needless to say, this has been a large turning point for my work with oracles.  One of the reasons why I was not posting here is because I was trying to work through this very issue over the past month or so.  As I did, I worked on using the cards from the single vantage point of the Present.  The oracles were used as conversations but with no sense of “how will things work out” or “What thing from the past is causing problems now.”  All of that has been removed.  The result?  A reduction in stress when a negative card pops up and an amazing amount of clarity in the readings.

There are two components to this style of reading.  The obvious one is no placements in the spread for Past or Future.  The less obvious one is the question being asked!  I no longer ask, “What do I need to know about Issue X in a month?”, “How will the project idea work out?” or “What does my upcoming Summer look like.”  I avoid those questions all together.

The Future, I am finding, will take care of itself.

The idea is to have a conversation with the cards while, at the same time, being very aware and careful of the trickiness of your Ego who, by the way, absolutely adores the Past and the Future and essentially cannot function without it.  They are, in effect, the Ego’s playground.

In my next post, I’ll be going through a full reading with these new ideas fully in play and hopefully illustrate what I am talking about further.  In the meantime, I would like to hear your thoughts on the ideas presented. Can oracles function without using any sort of time stamp?  Also, give it a go yourself.  Do a reading with no placement for Past or Future, just what “is” and let me know your results!


Conversational Tarot

These days I have a particular style when I work with most oracles, mainly tarot cards.  I will, on occasion, use a prepared spread but even when I do it’s typically a spread I have designed with my own questions and my own thoughts on the central subject.  I call this style – conversational tarot.

The whole idea is to engage the cards in a conversation, as if there is someone sitting right there with you and the cards are the only form of communication.  On occasion this might only be one card, oftentimes it is more like three to 10.  It depends on the subject and your time limit in doing the reading.  I do not claim to have invented this.  I know it’s not new.  It goes by other terms as well.  (One of them being Intuitional Reading, I believe.)

The only difference between doing this and a standard card layout is there is no structure.  Whereas a standard layout provides a nice flight plan for you and the reading, conversational mode is much like jumping in your plane and going for a spin with no destination in mind.   All you know is that you’re looking for an answer to a question.  Both ways can be fun and both have innate strengths and weaknesses.

Note – Conversational mode can also be a bit difficult for a beginner.  It could cause frustration until you become well versed with the system you’re using.  The best way to become acquainted with conversational readings is to practice doing them.  Here are some very basic steps on how to get started.   Then, see my example below.

1.) Have a question in mind, imagine someone sitting with you and then ask/write down a question.

2.) Once done with the question, draw a card.  What does it tell you?  What does it suggest to you?  Let your intuition roam free and go with the first things or inputs that come to you.

3.) This card will sometimes cause another question to come to the surface.  Alternatively, you may need some clarity to the card given.  Ask, “Can you make that last statement a bit more clear for me?”  Then, draw another card.  Make sure to make notes along the way or, even better, record the session with a digital recorder so you can make notes later.

4.) What often happens at this point is that a “conversation” begins and you can begin to dig into the information you need to answer the question for yourself.  You will usually know when you are finished.

5.) When finished, give a heartfelt “thank you,” and gather the deck.  Close down the reading and make any further notes.

Here is a quick example that I did right after writing this post.  Here I’m using the Llewellyn tarot.

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