Think Tarot is a crock? Note to the Woo-Woo Haters

dogs fightingWhat follows is a rant, directed to no one in particular.

So you think Tarot–or astrology, or runes, chakras, Reiki, magic spells, whatever–is utter bullshit? Okay. That’s nice.

Whaddya want, a cookie?

You find it obviously silly? Fair enough. I used to think the same thing. Most people do.

Of course, “most people” used to think the sun obviously revolved around an obviously flat Earth. “Most people” have drawn a lot of obvious conclusions over the centuries–conclusions where “most people” were eventually found to be fabulously wrong.

I believe in the mystical worlds not because I’m immune to reason, but because reasoning tells me I do not know everything! So I must experiment to determine truth, as best as I can understand it. Maybe my understanding of the mechanics are undoubtedly incomplete and faulty, my conceptual framework at times lacking. But my observations are unequivocal.

I believe for one reason and one reason only: I’ve seen it work.

Idiocy to me is accepting mainstream merely because it is mainstream. Idiocy is denying my experience of reality because “most people” haven’t actually taken a look. I’m very grateful I was humble enough to seek truth instead of continuing to be “right” according to most people.

I don’t want to argue with anyone. Hell, I don’t even need faith in what I do to help you, if you’re interested in considering the advice such tools can help me access. The wisdom itself is the real gift, not how one gets it. To me, it’s asinine to set aside useful truth because you’re not a fan of the process used to ascertain the truth.

But regardless, fighting with haters over what’s real is a waste of energy that could be used for something productive and I’m not interested in wasting my energy. It’s damn precious.

I don’t seek the world’s approval. I’ve got enough Aquarius, I don’t need it! Thank the Gods.

What I do seek, though, is respect…just enough respect that if someone finds what I do distasteful, they’ll be polite enough to keep it to themselves. And I’ll keep most of my opinions of those opinions to myself. That’s my end of the bargain, and some days I can promise you, I’m not getting the best end of that deal.

What do you do with people who want to argue?

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07/29/13: Answers or Questions? / Hierophant

In a modern literature class years ago, we were discussing The Razor’s Edge. Why did Isabel love the tortured seeker Larry, even after rejecting him in favor of the wealthy and highly conventional Gray? The class was quiet so I cautiously answered, even though I didn’t have the requisite example from the text to support my view.

“With Gray, she knows exactly what her life will be. Everything is laid out. There is nothing to discover. Larry was nothing but questions; Gray was nothing but answers.”

The teacher lit up and started bouncing around the room. “In all my years of teaching this book, nobody has ever said that! I’ve been teaching this book for years. No one has pointed that out before. This is why I teach!”

I was as glad as dumbfounded he was so pleased but for the rest of the semester, I remained self-consciously unable able to reproduce my moment of accidental brilliance; I still got an A, though.

hierophant

As I note it’s the Hierophant for today’s forecast, I have to chuckle. I’ve been wading neck-deep in darn near every esoteric text I can hope to (mostly) comprehend for a spell, from the old-school classics to the modern interpretations–thank God for those! I know I’m barely scratching the surface, and wonder if I could do much more even if I had a lifetime with which to pursue it.

When it comes to the cards, I was always drawn more to the pragmatic and utilitarian than the esoteric. Not that I have no respect, but that only goes so far. It’s got to be useful and it’s got to fit into my own head. With so much in abstract and spiritual concepts, “musts” and “truths” get passed out like candy to hyperactive children, little more than pat explanations wrapped up with pats on the head. What kind of “truth” is that? Dogma packaged in shiny paper has no nutritive value to the soul.

However, there is a reason the old ways have been repeated and rewritten and rediscovered through the ages. The trick is in discernment. No truth can transform you unless it’s YOUR truth. You can get the ingredients from anywhere, but you have to mix it up into treats yourself.

The Hierophant nudges us to consider conventional wisdom, timeless teaching and static knowledge, although we may not necessarily accept it. He is without a doubt a master teacher. Just remember: the best teachers lead students to make their own discoveries. They hand out questions designed to elicit thinking and growth. They provide tests, not answer keys.

What do you see in this Hierophant today?

07/29/13: Answers or Questions? / Hierophant 1
Tarot: The Complete Kit
by Dennis Fairchild

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Getting Started with Ganesha

If you’ve considered expanding your spiritual practice to deity but don’t know where to start, Ganesha would be a great choice. He’s very kind and mild-mannered. Even if you think of deity as nothing more than fancy energetic thought forms, because he’s worshiped by millions of people world wide, he’s got some magical juice for sure! You don’t have to be Hindu to dig the elephant-headed lord, man.

He’s known as remover of obstacles. He holds an axe to release attachments, and a rope to help pull us nearer to our highest goal. His big belly allows him to peacefully digest both the good and bad of life. He’s sometimes shown with the mouse of desire, which he keeps small and tame so that he can ride it instead of being ruled by it. He’s the God of luck, prosperity and abundance. Who could not use more of that?

You can print out an image or buy a small statue of him. Leave him offerings of food or milk. (Oranges or chocolate are popular.) After he’s had time to extract the essence of your offering, you can also eat the food, now blessed to share in his blessings. People sometimes write out petitions to him and leave them under his statue or behind his picture.

Here’s an explanation of one his mantras, which is an especially good way to connect with him. It’s traditionally recited 108 times. (And  here, it’s presented 108 times by one HAPPY yoga teacher.)

 Are you a fan of Ganesh?

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05/17/13: Careful Spellcasting / rev Knight Swords

rev-prince-swords

The reversed Knight of Swords often strikes me—strikes/swords! Har!—as cautionary, to watch your mouth. Words definitely carry weight, and I’m not just talking about inadvertently cutting speech, either.

For example, if you’ve got that Virgo worry gene, how often do you fret aloud? Are you actually expecting calamity, and repeatedly verbalizing that expectation, with the accompanying emotional charge? From an energetic standpoint, that’s the equivalent of casting a spell.

Be judicious and measured with your words. That’s not to say one worry spoken aloud or an isolated incident of thoughtless speech is the equivalent of screwing yourself over. Just know what you say carries even more weight than what you think. And what you say repeatedly and with emotion carries even more weight. If you’re thinking, saying, and visualizing with emotion, you’re an energetic magnet to that particular set of circumstances.

Eliminate the preoccupation with what you don’t want to keep room for what you do!

Are you careful with your words?

05/17/13: Careful Spellcasting / rev Knight Swords 2 Cosmic Tarot Deck
by Norbert Losche

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Aspirin & Spell

aspirin

I take workshops at my local witch store. Something said in a healing class really struck me.

“Take the aspirin and do the spell.” -The Teacher [Quoting her Teacher]

Action is one way to make things happen. We must actually apply for positions, make the appointments, do the legwork to reach desired goals.  This is taking the aspirin.

A fairy princess probably won’t show up at our door with dreams, gift-wrapped and sprinkled in glittering gold dust. Especially if desires are extraordinary, lack of follow-through will leave wannabes as wannabes. Action is required!

But without belief, without faith (in ourselves or the divine or both), without some forces at work to orchestrate the occasional minor miracle on our behalf, dreams go flat and lifeless. There’s no momentum, no spirit without focused will and belief.

What do you working magic is comprised of, anyway?

The magic–be it executed in the form of prayers, spells, affirmations, visualizing success or what have you–is a method of directing will, shifting energy. But it’s not a promise. It’s a way to shift circumstances in your favor, tapping the flow of natural energies. If you want to go all Quantum physics, working magic is collapsing potentialities towards a desired outcome. It’s a sort of observation that changes reality. But it doesn’t replace reality. More like a reality-enhancer.

You could do but one or the other, to demonstrate the superior efficacy of your choice. But that strikes me as counterproductive. Why not stack the odds in your favor by taking the aspirin AND doing the spell?

Do you rely on both Aspirin and spell?

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12/22/12: Magic and Crazy | The Moon

moon-tarot-meaning

There is something both magical and terrifying about the dead of night. It’s that time when anything is possible—your wildest dreams and your greatest fears. It’s when ghosts come out to go bump, and the divinding line between spirit and physical seems oh-so-thin. It’s the domain of the Moon.

The Moon is one of “those cards.” People can’t seem to decide whether or not to like it. Is it mystery or madness? Magic or lies? Hidden truth or traitorous fiction?

My answer: yes!

There is magic in not being bound by conventional reality. (I should know!) There’s also danger. I sometimes wonder aloud if I’m gifted or crazy. No need to answer that. I’m going to pick the answer I like best anyway.

As far as a forecast goes, I say be aware both of illusion and magic. They’re both real and they can be difficult to distinguish. Trust your inner voice to help you tell the difference, and be assured, no matter which it is, there’s a lesson hiding in there somewhere for you!

What’s that tricky moon say to you today?

12/22/12:  Magic and Crazy | The Moon 3

Legacy of the Divine Tarot
by Ciro Marchetti

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