Friday, October 21, 2016

Justice - The Art of Taming Horses

Justice, a very fitting card to draw today as I've been thinking about the qualities reflected in this Major Arcana card. Athene who taught the art of taming horses is a warrior of the highest kind, unlike Ares the war-god for whom the arts of war were based solely on conflict. Not Athene, her arts of war sprang from high principles that uphold and preserve truth.
Athene, the goddess of Justice embodies reflective judgement and rational thought, qualities that the Greeks considered divine, because it's what differentiated human beings from the beasts. Her teaching of the civilized arts symbolizes the capacity of the mind to hold untamed nature in check and transform it through clarity and to plan objectively.

The first of the four cards in the Major Arcana traditional referred to as the Four Moral Lessons which are Justice, Temperance, Strength and the Hermit, all necessary for us to function effectively in life. The lesson Justice purports, is how we must learn to think clearly and to have a balanced mind, weighing one thing against the other. If we do not respect fairness and truth as being important ethical principles, there is not Justice to be found.

Today I found this wonderful article about a beautiful 96 year old women who I think must have the courageous, and youthful adventurous heart of Athene. There is much to be said for those who are understand the art of taming horses.

As Dinnie Greenway states, she understands some people are afraid of horses but says the trick is to treat them like people.
"If they step on you, it will hurt but if you are sensible and you are kind, they'll be kind to you."
Dinnie speaks of truth and fairness based on clear thinking and having a balanced mind.

Riding horses all of her life has kept her going and keeps her young, with the true heart of Athene.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Knight of Swords - Synchronicity of Earth and Astral Planes

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” – Rumi

 I know I'm being affected but this Supermoon, Blood Moon, Hunter's Moon that is on it's way after midnight. I am feeling full of synchronicity, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I'm listening to what I need in the way if sustaining my soul, taking time to find clarity and for this I am very grateful..

Over the past few months I've been completely preoccupied. My focus has been very methodically working on completing a government application for a grant relating to my art business. Some days I'm both simultaneously energized and mentally exhausted. I can almost feel like it's taken over my life, because I'm taken over by a new idea and am inspired to move with changes, even if some are uncomfortable and even turbulent. I am positive this will result in a broader vision of life.

 I am reminded of my past behavioural tendencies to take things to extremes or react in haste or being conflicted by opposing principles within myself. I've been all or nothing kind of gal most of my life. I've learned some hard lessons, and have come to understand the meaning of slow and steady wins the race, and that balance is better than extremes.

As a Gemini I identify with the Knight of Swords, as it typifies my personality in just about every way. Today I can say I experience more the positive aspects of this card embodying the Mythic imagery of the Dioscuri, who were never separated, the twin brothers, Castor and Polydeuces. Of course both Mythic figures demonstrate positive and negative characteristics, like we all exhibit a duality within our personalities. If we can bring this duality into synchronicity it can bring balance.

We all make big and small  life choices everyday. Some times the smallest and seemingly most insignificant of decisions made, can have the greatest consequences, in both positive and negative ways. Regardless, we're either moving forward or back, but always in motion. I don't think there is such a thing as staying still. I guess I'd describe being stagnant as being in denial, or doing something over and over again expecting a different result. In 12 Step Recovery programs we call that insanity.

The Mother's Prayers Are Carried to The Grand Mother - Coloured Pencil & Oil Pastel - Catherine Meyers

Friday, October 7, 2016

The High Priestess- The Dark Night of the Soul

With every sunny day must come the dark clouds and the rain. The High Priestess, embodied in the Mythic figure of Persephone represents the many facets of this in our lives, such a loss, grief, tragedy, love, spirituality, peace, severity and transformation. Persephone symbolizes for me the dark night of the soul.

I remember sitting in the living room of an elder woman whom I admired greatly. My spiritual mentor and friend Joan was a very faithful and deeply spiritual person, who'd been through so much difficulty and suffering through her life. She reminds me of the High Priestess, in that she was in the state of grace and balance that comes from patience and intuition. My friend always had a joyful, kind, grateful and very compassionate heart.

As we sat talking over cups of tea, I asked her why it seemed that some folks went through so much tragedy and grief, yet others seemed unscathed and dodged all the hurtful bullets of life. She replied yes, this did seem to be true, but pointed out that those who do experience more than their share of heartache, come away with a deeper understanding of life, and are offered, if they accept, the gift of compassion toward others, because they know what it means to not only survive but thrive because of what has happened to them, not simply in spite of what has happened to them.

Within my heart I knew this to be true, but somehow when she verbalized this truth it became even more real to me. Perhaps because she inspired me with her grace, inner strength, courage, faith and gratitude.
When we share with another what we've been through we impart a strength to the other who had walked a similar road and who also come to understand what that dark night of the soul really means.

It's pointless to compare ourselves to others and ask ourselves why them and not me. What's more important is to identify with the feelings of another. Helping each other this way brings great rewards, instead of being resentful and envious of someone who has a seemingly perfect life. We never really know what another is going through and we can't assume or judge, but we can empathize, show compassion and open ourselves to transformation.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Fool - The Hopeful Free Spirit

I rarely draw the Fool card, but it is a Major Arcana that represents hope, and the free spirit within and one of my favourites. A person can never have too much hope and having a free spirit may frighten those who rather play it safe and can't embrace that side of themselves. But life means risk if we want to grow in faith, trust and in hope.

And so it's always a much welcomed card and to see today, this first day of October. As I write, I can hear the duck hunters. I can't say I hope they get some ducks. But I do wish them safety, as I do the ducks.

When I think about hunting I reflect on my grandfather, who was an expert marksman. He was never really so interested in hunting. He he did get the odd duck I know, but had no passion for in big game hunting. I remember a family photo of him sitting on the back of a moose that had been sick and he'd nursed him back to health. Granddad simply loved living with nature,  he loved animals, the country life and was a creative, gentle, sensitive and kind soul.

As a teenager I loved nothing more than wearing his old canvas jacket with a rap around inside pocket at the bottom of the coat, for gathering up ducks. It always made me feel close to him when I wore that coat. Summer days spending time with him out in his garden is a special memory. He didn't talk much because he was hard of hearing and wouldn't wear a hearing aid. But it didn't matter so much because I always knew he loved me and wanted to spend time with me whether it be in the garden or just spending hours playing checkers.

My grandfather Roy Winslow Milner's heart and mind were open and faithful. His love of music and reading was also very evident, as he was always reading and played a number of instruments. I know his life was difficult, living through the Depression and working all of his life in the Foundry where he was a molder, working in such an awful very unhealthy place, in order to earn a living to support his family.

In spite of my grandfather's hardships, he was a man that instilled hope in me as his granddaughter, because I inherited his love of music, reading and nature. Like the Fool, embodied in the mythic figure of Dionysus, my grandfather in spite of what happened to him in life, his right brained, intuitive, and creative nature allowed him to connect to his hopeful and free spirit. I'm blessed so grateful to have known him as my kind and loving grandfather.

Roy Winslow Milner

Grandfather and my mother, Sarah Helen Milner

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Emperor - The Father Principle

When I drew this card I admit, I wished I'd drawn the Empress instead. However this card challenges me to dig a little deeper into the meaning of the father principle, and come to terms with it's negative and positive forms.

Zeus mirrors the image of the experience of fathering that embodies our spiritual ideals, ethical codes and points to our capacity and ability to be self-sufficient in the world.

The masculine principle present in all human beings fosters self-respect to meet all of life's challenges. We can't have the masculine without the feminine principle, also present within every human being. There are both positive and negative attributes to both principles.

The Emperor can be tyrannical, rigid and self-righteous, but also ethical, without blind instinct and urges us to not blame our problems on others, because we can't find the inner experience of strength that is embodied by the father.

We all bring our own issues and concerns surrounding our relationship with  our mothers and our fathers. They shape us regardless if they were present or not, in our lives growing up. That said, we are our own individual.

I believe that our inner man and inner woman have been at war and divided for too long, each one wounded, tired and in need of care. We all need to reconnect with the inner feminine with strength and find that inner man with heart.

The Emperor - Egg Tempera on Porcelain 6"x 6" 2016 - Catherine Meyers

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Six of Swords - The Peaceful Passage

This is not what you'd call a happy card but harmony is very much indicated and we are coming to terms with existing limitations. The Six of Swords represents personal growth, transition and rite of passage.

Orestes is focused on his goal, he stands dignified and alone. He is steadfast, confident and solidly grounded within himself, signifying a tranquil mind, and body. This individual has an acceptance and insightful comprehension of how the pattern of life works. He understands how he got to where he is now.

The body, mind, and soul work together in order to have the capacity to understand difficulties and help reduce anxiety-provoking events to move us toward a peaceful passage retaining our dignity and self-respect.

As a 63 year old woman I have been involved with personal growth, experienced many turbulent and challenging transitions, and many rites of passage throughout my life. The experiences of my youth, and during middle age have been quite different then from now, as a crone. It is a right of passage not unlike the other stages in the cycle of life, but there is much less anxiety-provoking turbulence that stemmed from my yearning to reconnect with the Divine Feminine.

Finding my way through that peaceful passage along the journey, I attribute this peaceful passage to learning how to reconnect with the sacred, which is described this way in The Heroine's Journey.

"The sacred dimension is embodied, and the soul of a human being as well as in our culture cannot evolve if the body is not reclaimed and honoured. Many men and women are dreaming about the Goddess; She is a projection of the feminine principle that needs restoration in our culture. She takes many forms embodied in the rich symbols of a person's heritage."
                                                    -The Heroine's Journey, Maureen Murdock

Minudie - Photo - Alan Shepard

Monday, September 19, 2016

Knight of Swords - "Shit Happens"

Change can be scary. I'm not sure it can be anything else. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
When change comes it can feel like our life is in total chaos, and it probably is, but I can't plan for how I am going to deal with it all, because life happens in unpredictable sometimes messy ways, but I can do things to prepare myself. One thing that is predictable is that change happens. As my old friend Charlie once said to me, at a time in my life of deep sorrow, "shit happens". He was right, that never changes".

The Knight of Swords is all about how we adapt and accept turbulent change. This card represents motion, and mercurial energy, based on the element of air, signifying a duplicity in the realm of the mind, and our ability to move with changes, that lead to a broader vision of life.

If we aren't open to change in life, we get stuck. We base our decisions on opinions that are reactionary and often hasty, because we are fearful of change and want to maintain some semblance of control.We just want to escape the mess.

The three mainstays in life that continue to enable me to accept disruptive and fluctuating change, are prayer, persistence and simple trust.

I have come to understand that tribulation gives me the opportunity to increase my patience, with patience comes experience, and with experience comes hope.

The Knight of Swords represents Gemini the identical Warrior twins and mythic figures of the quarrelsome Dioscuri, Polydeuces and Castor. Being a Gemini myself I understand this card all too well. I am grateful to have taken the road less traveled that has given me a broader vision of life.