Tag Archives: tarot

Synchronicity and the Chariot

I started this post as a bit of a ramble regarding synchronicity.  Near the end I realized it was also about what I was being told by that synchronicity.

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I’ve had the following up on the About page since the beginning of this blog, “Synchronicity is the currency of the magical.

I had a series of interesting experiences occur to me this morning and I realized it was as excellent example of how synchronicity and the magical/mystical works.   Here is a brief play by play of how it all went down.

As a matter of course in my morning, I usually stop to check the news.  Now, these days, I do it very sparingly and usually much later in the morning.  Typically, no more than twice a day.  Just before I do I will go through a small ritual where I ground and, basically, brace myself.  I remind myself to stay focused and to let things unground me.    This time I did the above and then I said quietly to myself, “Lead me to what I should see.”

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Questing Path Redux

Blessed Summer Solstice!  As a Solstice gift to all of you I’d like to offer up something that I’ve been working on since before Beltane.

Back on Beltane, guided by intuition and, I believe, spiritual nudging, I felt the urge to look once again at my Pathway Spread. In meditation space, at the heart of my glen, I held the issues I had with the spread in the forefront of my thoughts. As I looked at it and asked for guidance I heard/felt something like, “Don’t you think it’s too focused on facing difficulty?” This was an interesting thought and as I traveled down it I realized it was correct. I set about streamlining the spread and on Beltane evening I sat down with the new spread.

Upon completion it “felt” better, more supportive. The spread was originally a 7 card spread with one mid-points of navigation between the starting point and the destination. Then, I modified it slightly to include 2 mid-points of navigation moving the number up to 8 cards total. The issue became that there were also 2 Challenges cards as part of the spread as well. If the 2 navigation points came up with difficult cards then the spread could have a total of 4 “challenging” cards against 2 allies, a beginning and a destination. No wonder it felt so heavy!

Coming out of meditation, I got to work in redesigning the spread, streamlining it and focusing on support and forward movement instead of obstacles. The card reduction came back down to 7 which I prefer and took me back to the original inspiration on the spread. Also, the supportive cards are now 4 in number instead of 2. Beltane evening, I gave the spread it’s first test run with my destination being the Summer Solstice. Over the following 2 months I was incredibly pleased with the results and the accuracy of the new spread.

I’m happy to present the “New” Questing Path Spread or, what I’m calling it, the Questing Path Redux.

QuestPathRedux

 

So you kind readers will not have to go clicking back through past posts, I’ll include the full write up below of all the positions and what they mean. You’ll note the layout order of the draws has changed slightly. Otherwise, not much of these have changed but I’d rather present it all together as one package!

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A Troubling Find

Near the end of finishing up my perimeter work, I came across my first complication in my work with the glen.  I was traveling off-path and basically beating the bushes as I did my best to follow the line from large tree to another.  I had no idea where the line would lead next though it appeared to be aiming at another large tulip poplar dead ahead.   Sure enough, the line held steady, touching the back edge of the tree, placing most of it within the perimeter.  As usual, I began to see if the line connected onward or did it turn at the tree?   It continued onward.

As I stepped forward the next few feet the rods took a very unusual turn to the right.  It was more of a twitch or a jerk, actually.   It was not something that I had seen with this type of work and I retraced my steps to be sure.  Yes, it was still there and the rods took me on an odd curving angle towards another tree and then turned a hard right 90 degrees.  They then held steady.  I retraced things to confirm and yes, it was correct.

Taking another step, I saw that I was coming up on one of the walking paths that cuts through the woods.    As I took another step I saw a flash of bright red under some brush.

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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.

 

 


The Tarot of Now

In my previous post I spoke about doing card readings with no sense of past or future, using the cards to get advice on a subject while staying as much in the present as possible.  This was inspired in me after reading Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now.”  If you are new to this, I recommend checking out that post to get my full thoughts.  This concept took me several weeks to get my brain around due to habit and good, old-fashioned stubbornness of wanting a timeline.  I simply had the hardest time letting go of concepts of Past and Future when doing a reading!

For this post I’m going to talk about a simple one card reading with no talk of “spreads” or placements.  A lot of it could be considered pretty basic, simple steps to a reading.  It’s funny how we always come back to the simple things, isn’t it?  If you’re a more advanced reader I imagine the next few paragraphs may be boring…

Let’s get started.

The first thing necessary is to quiet your mind and gain a sense of Being.  Isn’t that what is recommended before every single kind of divination and energy practice in all of existence?  Gosh, I wonder why that is?   Regardless, it is not as difficult as it sounds.  Remember what I said about returning to simple things?  We seem to think that getting connected to that sense of Being needs to be complicated.  This is simply the Ego trying to make something more complicated because by doing so it makes it more important, right?  It is, in actuality, not complicated at all.  I often use one or two of the practices offered in Tolle’s book and I’ll cover my favorites very briefly.

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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!


Questing Path Spread

As Solstice finished I began to look ahead to Lammas.  I wanted to do a reading which would help me understand what I was to work on during this time period, what was to come next?  I felt very strongly about having a “quest” or an assignment for me to pursue which would also be in conjunction with the energies of Lammas.

I looked over the internet and through a few of my tarot books.  None of the spreads I found felt right and I knew I was going to need to design my own spread.  The first thing I do when designing a spread is to get a blank piece of paper and write out aspects of what I want to cover in the reading.  Not all of them make it and many get combined into a single position.  I also like to keep the number of position totals to either 5 or 7 for manageability.

I liked what I read about the Camelot Oracle and it’s pathway cards and I decided to use it as inspiration.  I wanted a card to represent the “type” of path before me as I headed towards Lammas.  A descriptor card that would show more with it’s images and feelings evoked then the actual meaning from the book.  I also wanted to know who or what my allies would be along the way and what challenges or experiences stood before me.  I also wanted to know where the path led.  What was the destination?  Again, like the path card, I wanted it to be more of a descriptor-style of card.

I wanted a reading that felt “different” from the standard past, present, future set-up.  I fiddled with things for around an hour before I came up with the simple spread below.

QuestngPathSpread

I used the pendulum to dowse the sequencing of the card pulls.  I do believe that it will need a bit of tweaking here or there and so I fully expect a Questing Path 2.0 version soon enough.

Here is the description of each position.

1. The Path – This is a descriptor card and you should look at the overall image of the card to help describe your path.  You can also find a keyword for the card and use it to fill in the blank on the phrase “The Path of _____ .” (See below for an example of this.)

2. Mid-Point Navigation – This card points to a midway marker or event between the beginning of the path and the destination. This is not a descriptor card.  This could be a direct challenge or it could be an experience I was to look for along the way.

3. The Destination – Again, another descriptor card.  Look at the image on the card and where the scene is that is taking place.  Given that this spread is for Lammas, I’m looking for not only the feel of the card but a location where I might want to acknowledge Lammas when it arrives.

4 and 5.  Allies Along the Way – This card would point to energies and entities along the way that I could call on for clarity, support and assistance.  They would remind me of my strengths and my experience and might also be individuals, physical or non-physical, that I might encounter.

6 and 7. Challenges – These two cards would show me not only where the sticky points were going to be but also how to identify my greatest teachers on the path from here to there.

QuestingPathLlamas

Let’s take a look at what they say.

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