Ace of Swords & Five of Pents: Kaleidoscopes & My Religion

I’ve been feeling more at peace lately. Not 100% of the time naturally–I’m not freakin’ Jesus. But I’ve been gradually feeling much more centered, much more of the time. I’m really glad!

My buddy Josi likened my process to shaking a kaleidoscope until I find an image I am pleased with. It’s an incredibly apt metaphor.

We’ve got multiple interpretations of reality to choose from. Why wouldn’t I pick the one that feels best to me?

If you can only feel peace when what you observe agrees with your idea of right? You’re screwed, plain and simple. There will absolutely ALWAYS be those  who don’t believe as you. There will ALWAYS be people living in a way you don’t see as good or right. There is too much variety among us for any one perspective, any one conclusion, any one idea to be universally adopted. (I actually believe this to be a good thing, but I don’t try to convince anybody else of that.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking of the dramatically diverse viewpoints as being a form of religion. Facts are all well and good, but the interpretations, deciding what anything ultimately MEANS, is a uniquely individual and emotional process.  Conclusions are far more a function of where one’s faith lies, what an individual regards as being true and right, than any objective summary of facts and figures.

What’s more, people are inclined to loudly preach their faith. It’s easy enough to feel bothered if that faith doesn’t match ours. It doesn’t mean those preaching are deficient somehow for looking through a different stained-glass window than I am.

So lately when I run across something that doesn’t work for me, I just say to myself, “That’s not my religion.”

It feels so much better than the arguments I used to have in my head…

My religion is  pretty simple, really. It’s mostly about kindness, respect, and optimism. It’s doing the best I can personally to contribute to the greater good universally. I don’t have to work out the specifics of what “good” must look like on a grand scale. Instead, I find it enough to feel compassion for any who suffer, while trusting in the strength and spirit of each individual to find their own path.

I do me. You do you. It’s a very simple approach to live and I like it that way.

Everyone else is welcome to their own religion, of course. That’s kind of the whole point. Reminding myself of this has been super helpful in keeping my own head on straight. Maybe it will help you a little next week, too. I hope so!

Next Week in Tarot

The softly-colored cards pictured are from the Crystal Visions Tarot.

Ace of Swords, Five of Pentacles

Outlook is the Ace of Swords; advice incoming is via the Five of Pentacles.

I’m expecting people to maintain a very focused (and no doubt narrow) point of reference in the coming week. In other words, perspectives remain polarized.

I’m not seeing much in the way compromise or even passing interest in opposing views. The Ace of Swords indicates a very singular focus. For most, there will be no shades of gray. Definitions of “reality” may be centered around a single idea or story that considered universally true, completely representative of the larger whole.

To some extent, this is also giving me an “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” vibe. While my take on it seems (unfortunately) descriptive of current events, don’t be surprised to see this at the micro/individual level every bit as clearly as in bigger venues. It’s just the flavor of the week, you know? While it’s not my favorite flavor by any means, I try to remember that this sort of focus can produce some stunning shifts. I’ve got to trust in the Universe to orchestrate it all because it’s way above my pay grade to have all the answers for everybody on everything. I’m just looking to guide my own ship, damn it!

The Five of Pentacles is an especially interesting card to see as advice. I normally see this one when someone is feeling “left out in the cold,” short on resources or without adequate support. Tarot fives indicate conflict, but that doesn’t mean the conflict isn’t productive in some way. More importantly, I always get this card when help is already available, although the individual may not yet recognize it as such.

In this picture, four of the five pentacles are behind the woman and her child, with only in plain view. She has more resources and support at her disposal than she knows. (This could be said for pretty much all of us, of course.)

In the context of advice, I’m going to suggest you slow down and take stock next week. You might feel like you’re on the outside and there’s definitely potential for fear, sadness or a sense of alienation. No dramatic action is required to address this, though. Those feelings are temporary, not the last word!

If you need to isolate a little, do that. There is no harm in stepping back and it could provide some relief. Instead of jumping to conclusions, take a break from trying to figure it all out. Ground and breathe.

Comfort yourself and expect to begin to notice the resources and support you do have. Those resources are not only there, but have been all along. Wrap yourself in your own values and realize, you don’t need a congregation of agreement here. Reach for personal stability instead.

Are you finding ways to center yourself now?

If you need some help, give me a holler for a personal consult and we’ll talk.

 

Two of Wands: Finding Your Touchstones

I’ve been on the lookout for little reminders of late. Signs, if you’re inclined to call them such. Personally, though, I think of them as touchstones.

My touchstones are those little reminders of who I am, what is real and what really counts.

I see them all over when I’m attuned to them by looking. I find them in my joy at seeing a tiny kitten rescued or in watching the guy who feeds the racoons. I see them in flowers sent from a friend or the warming of my heart reading kind words about someone’s work in my crochet group. They don’t have to be big for me–only ring true.

Such small acts of kindness and love are both healing and reassuring. Connecting with these kinds of feelings and ideas makes me feel not only more like myself, but like I’m amplifying the very best in myself. I don’t need any specific set of conditions to do that.

If you spend much time noticing what you find “off,” you’re going to start feeling out of balance and out of sorts. It’s inevitable. I’m not saying unpleasant feelings cannot be justified. There is enough variety to observe, EVERY feeling could be a rational response to what you’re seeing. But where are you looking?

To me, certain feelings stray further away from my sense of inner truth. I want to live as close as I can to who I am at the soul level, which is what I consider to be the “real” me. Anger, disgust or fear give me the sense of being off-kilter. They are disruptive. I don’t think such feelings represent the best of myself. They aren’t what I want to feed.

So if you’re feeling weary or out of sorts with anything you see in the world, start looking for touchstones. It sure wouldn’t be a bad idea to practice that next week.

Next Week in Tarot

Two of Wands Reversed Page of Swords

We’ve got a forecast of the Two of Wands with a reversed Page of Swords for advice. Cards pictured are from the Crystal Visions Tarot deck.

Two of wands offers us a “confidently stand your ground” vibe. Wands speak of heartfelt commitments or passions. Tarot twos especially show us choices, bringing our attention to polarities. It’s easy to see the downside of polarities, suggesting divisions or standoffs. But I try to always remember, polarities cannot exist in isolation. Each side of a polarity holds elements of the other in it’s very definition. If you define yourself as anti-something, you actually need that “something” to exist in order to retain that definition. The energies are entwined, one feeding the other.

Swords in general speak to reasoning, thought, conflict or communication. The Air element they represent usually has some emotional distance. Pages are often messengers and specifically, I often see this page delivering contracts, either formal or informal.

With a reversed Page of Swords to guide us, I’d take it slow. Don’t overcommunicate. Don’t fight with those whose heels are already dug in because while you’ll definitely get a dose of their passion, you won’t be able to find a conversation of reason. In terms of commitments, again don’t move quickly. Let the specifics be developed gradually and expect the final version to come together in time, not right now.

Positions will most likely remain entrenched this week and there won’t be any talking anyone out of what they already believe. I’d go further as to say it’s not an especially a good time to try. Comprisable territory is coming (or that Page of Swords wouldn’t have appeared at all), but it’s not yet here. I’d hold my tongue and let the Universe continue to sort things out until the time is right for meaningful dialogue. It’s not quite there yet, though.

Are you finding touchstones to help you stay grounded?


Looking for some personal clarity? Give me a shout for a private tarot consult.

Five of Pents Rx: What’s Real?

Pretty much every week, I tell myself I’m not going to keep saying what a crazy time this is.

But Holy Hell, it’s a crazy time…

I’m really worn out by the environment right now, which strikes me as an incessant listing of all that we’re against. This wouldn’t be quite so wearing if the lists matched up, but they don’t.

If I’m being honest, thought…the most significant reason it’s wearing is that I’ve got my own list, too. I check it off regularly. just like everybody else. I just don’t advertise it. I find it insulting to be lectured on how to be a decent human, so I don’t want to perpetrate that insult upon others.

But damn, wouldn’t it be nice if they would just see the obvious on their own?!? Har!

I stumbled across a great coping strategy, though. If you can touch base with who you REALLY are for even a moment? Everything else fades into insignificance. All you need is a little reminder of who you really are. Tuning into that makes everything else easy.

Your true self, your soul, is MUCH, much bigger than a specific set of convictions about how to appropriately handle life’s quandaries. You are Universal Energy flow, at the core. Love. Kindness. Goodwill. Appreciation. These feelings are pure vibrations and will always clarify matters, no matter what the circumstances. If you can find ways to tap into those streams, it becomes easy to embody your authentic self.

I’m not saying good intentions aren’t ever part of desires to address the world’s woes. But in order to rise above the woes and see a clear path forward, you’ve really got to tap into the higher vibrations than the woes are made of. Anger, disgust, fear and self-righteousness muck everything up. We get stuck in the mud, arguing about details. Purer energy means purer inspiration and more effective action. It also means a happier life, living true to who you are in the most potent way possible.

Ready to start practicing?

Next Week in the Cards

The cards were both inverted, but I righted them to take a picture. It’s a tab blurry–old lady eyes–but still easier to see upright.

We got a forecast card of the reversed Five of Pentacles, with advice of the reversed Ace of Swords from the Crystal Visions Tarot.

Five of Pentacles in any orientation signals a feeling of being left out in the cold, overlooked or otherwise discarded. it’s a feeling of being adrift and unimportant. Reversed, this cards suggests such conclusions are most likely based on incorrect assumptions.  Like almost every version of this card, there are resources out of view of those suffering, not being seen or acknowledged.

What you perceive as being ill will aimed at you isn’t actually about you. A sense of victimhood or oppression is rooted in perception, not actual hurtful intentions. While the behaviors or outcome may not live solely in your imagination, the interpretations of what it all means probably does. They are not all out to get you!

Bearing this in mind, a reversed Ace of Swords would have us hold off confrontational “tough conversations” this week–they are best held when we’ve gained more clarity. Don’t draw your final conclusions yet because the facts are not all obvious. That’s coming…the Ace of Swords is there but reversed, so facts are surfacing but not in full focus.

For coping, especially look for those sources of support we’re not acknowledging. Look for the good that’s been overlooked and allow the rest of the facts to surface before drawing your lines in the sand or placing your bets or whatever it is that you feel the urge to do.

Yes, there is plenty ugly that’s real. Sometimes, it gets on you. But there is also a bigger, more complete picture you’re not seeing yet. Allow yourself the space to see from higher perspective by tapping into the flow of who you really are. This is where solutions come from!

If you can access feelings of hopefulness, appreciation or love, you’re on the right track. Do whatever it takes to give yourself a healthy dose of that because it’s the antidote to all forms of crazy. Seriously.

Peace out, friends. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.


Looking to find clarity for yourself? Reach out for a one-on-one session and we’ll work it out together.

Hanged Man Rx: Choose Well

Before becoming a card slinger, I used to work in mental health. I’ve done stints at crisis hotlines and women’s shelters as well as working in detox for a few years.

In other words, I’ve spent a good hunk of my professional life talking to people in crisis or supporting those who’ve had some sort of major emotional challenges. The training and experiences from this time has proven to be an unexpected blessing.

One thing I’ve noticed consistently: experiences at the more extreme ends of the spectrum will always change people. That’s a given. But HOW those experiences change people varies tremendously. For some, it shuts them down. For others, it opens their heart. That “how” part is largely a personal choice.

If you are feeling a heavy weight of the collective stress right (as many sensitive folks are), I’d encourage you to consider on how you’d like to wear the experience, longer term. Maybe the personal impact isn’t such that you consider the experience “extreme.” I hope that’s true! But no matter what, there is a collective stress right now and it seems to be impacting almost everyone in one way or another.

There aren’t right or wrong feelings–any emotional reaction can be justified–but there are certainly more or less comfortable feelings. I’m going to lean into thoughts and feelings of kindness, compassion and optimism over the coming weeks. If I’m to be changed by any of the experiences in this weird time we’re living, that’s how I want it to change me.

Next week is the perfect time to start practicing this.

Next Week in the Cards

For outlook next week, we’ve got the Hanged Man reversed. Advice is coming in as The Fool, both from the Crystal Visions Tarot.

The collective vibe next week is characterized by sometimes wavering faith–it’s tidal, comes and goes–and an environment where people feel driven to act without clear indication of what action to take. I wouldn’t need to be psychic to predict unease and restlessness, but I’m predicting it anyway.

The Fool as advice next week is ridiculously appropriate. We’re unchartered territory. It feels risky for good reason. But acknowledging risk is very different from becoming overcome by fear. It always behooves us to do the best we can with whatever we have to work with. And if we can cultivate a sense of adventure along the way? All the better!

The Fool steps into the unknown with a full heart and curious mind, understanding there will be challenges along the path. It’s all part of the process of living and growing and becoming. No one undergoes the Fool’s journey unchanged. So we’re not even looking at that question.

Instead, the question to ask is, “How will it change you?”

Look for opportunities to ground yourself, care for your fellow humans, and find something to be grateful for amidst the stress. There is plenty of both ugly and beauty in the world every single minute of every single day. We choose where to aim our attention. Choose well.

Be safe out there, friends. ♥


If you’d like a little help getting your own thoughts and feelings sorted, contact me for a personal consult.

 

Page of Cups Reversed: Homemade Peace

Our experience of reality is never the sum total of some sort of objective facts, although we certainly may be looking intently at those facts. The meaning we give, the explanations and assumptions made to draw conclusions, is central to how we feel about whatever we see. That meaning is all internally generated.

We take observations and we run them through our own filter of what we consider reasonable, how we would respond, and what makes sense to us in order to make sense out of what we see. Sometimes, the conclusions can generate compassion or understanding but a lot of the time, they just sow discord.

People talk about the “benefit of a doubt” as if it’s something you offer to others, a way of not assuming they’re evil or something. Personally, I find a generous appraisal benefits me more than the recipient. I don’t care if it’s objectively accurate or not. I just care that my own conclusions are comfortable for ME.

That doesn’t make me a doormat by any stretch. I can assume the best without further engagement. The point is to adopt the perspective that serves myself best and nothing else…Next week might be a good time to test this strategy.

Next Week in Tarot

Outlook next week is represented by the reversed Page of Cups, with advice being the Eight of Cups. These lovely cards are from the Crystal Visions Tarot.

Expect an emotionally intense week. That’s the bad news, or at least maybe bad news. Kind of depends on the emotions, you know? The good news is that periods of extra emotionality aren’t extended. The Page of Cups is pretty easily distracted or soothed, even by simple things.

The trick is going to be in the advice: Know what to step away from. I’ve got Kenny singing the Gambler in my head. “…know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

The righteously indignant may be correct about some of their assumptions, but they are not going to be happy. If your vision of happiness requires cooperation, you’re at the mercy of outside forces and even if you can line some of them up, you’ll never line them all up all the time. It’s a losing proposition.

I”m not saying don’t care about anybody else. That’s not a formula for happiness! I’m saying assume the best you can manage and direct your toward something you can positively impact. It may sound trite but this is how you become part of the solution. It’s also a much better way to live.

The only peace that’s dependable is the homemade kind.

Do you make your own peace?


Want a one-on-one to get your own strategy in place? Give me a yell.

Lovers: What’s Your Mission?

I’ve been self-employed for years now. It might surprise people who know (non-conformist) me  to hear I often use mission statements with my business ventures. The idea used to strike me as silly, but I came around once I experimented using them.

Ethical questions or practical considerations or choosing what to prioritize are all important parts of the day-to-day journey for any undertaking.  Choice is unavoidable. When you have articulated a big-picture mission, it’s much easier to make sure your day-to-day choices are aligned with that mission.

The mission is the bigger picture, the whole painting. But the individual decisions are the single brush strokes that make up the painting. Next week might be a good time to set the mission and let it guide you through the brush stokes.

Next Week in Tarot

Lovers High Priestess Revesed

Outlook for the week is courtesy The Lovers, with advice from the High Priestess reversed and clarified by the Three of Swords. These cards are from the Crystal Visions Tarot deck.

In the coming week, we’ve got a job to do: getting clear on what matters.

The High Priestess reversed would advise we ACT in concert with our choices and priorities. If not, we stand to lose here (says the Three of Swords).

This isn’t about having the whole scenario mapped out, by the way. If you wait for that, you’re going to miss your window of opportunity. This is a very in-the-moment, clarity-driven, in-touch-with-your-intentions vibe.

Know your mission. Know what’s most important. Know what you want, big picture. Then for each individual choice that comes up, you can use that big-picture perspective to determine which way to turn at the forks.

Success in this environment won’t come from over-orchestration. The idea of ends justifying the means will backfire.

Be true to yourself with each brush stroke and let the painting work itself out.


Need some help figuring it all out? Give me a holler and we’ll set up a private consult.