Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Lovers - Wayfaring Stranger

This card I drew today I relate to as a Gemini., which is the astrological sign associated with this Major Arcana card, The Lovers. What is represented here is both earthly and divine love, and all the challenges that accompany the choices in love, and the development of the individual. We all are challenged by these choices in love, both earthly and divine.

Today it's become more difficult I believe, to make these choices because we can feel overwhelmed by so many serious pressing problems that we feel pressured by, in an ever complicated world. My thoughts today on Earth Day especially turn toward Earth and Heaven and how they are directly related.

 I ask myself, how do to make Earth more like Heaven? I know I absolutely have to maintain my hope for our world, just as the Creator points to a higher love, that gives us hope.

There's a Capella song recorded by the Smithsonian Folkways in the old English-language religious music in the classic traditional, Appalachian mountain song. I Am a Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow, which I first heard in the public library, when I was living in Toronto back in 1980.

 Way Faring Stranger is no doubt another interpretation of the same song. I find the lyrics hopeful and not so desperate as the first version of I am a Poor Pilgrim of Sorrow. Regardless, this song has stayed with me all throughout my life, because it reminds me to keep focused on a higher love, that offers hope when we are home, in the place where we no longer feel like we are wayfaring strangers.

Wayfaring Stranger - Traditional - Author Unknown

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world of woe
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that fair land to which I go
I'm going there to see my father
I'm going there no more to roam
I am just going o'er Jordan
I am just going o'er home

I know dark clouds will gather o'er me
I know my way is rough and steep
But golden fields lie just before me
Where the redeemed shall ever sleep
I'm going home to see my mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is rough and steep
Yet beauteous fields lie out before me
Where God's redeemed, their vigils keep
I'm going there to see my mother
She said she'd meet me when I come
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
I'm just a-going over home

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Nine of Swords - The Stream of Goodness

We find in the Nine of Swords Orestes, who is trying hard not to listen or pay attention to the menacing and tormenting Furies, with the dark and gloomy clouds approaching in the horizon. He's trying to fight against the kind of free floating fear and anxiety we all experience from time to time, often a result of worrying about the past and projecting into the future. Both are useless to engage in, can only produce an unsatisfying and unhappy present and future, instead of the quiet satisfaction, peace, serenity and gratitude, that accompanies living a rational life.

 I spend much of time trying to fill my thoughts with what's been referred to as living in the 'stream of goodness.'
 Being an imperfect human being, with worry and anxiety like every one else, I do well to guard against all the things that come with self- pity, dishonesty and self-centeredness and eliminate them as soon as they enter my mind, so I can  find peace with my Creator, my neighbour and myself.

 I have to put the God of my understanding in charge of my thinking, in order to eliminate needless worry and the anxiety it causes me and go with the flow of the stream of goodness.

 I love this song by the very talented Canadian singer song writer Sarah Slean, I happened to hear the other day. Unfortunately the youtube version isn't available, but did find the lyrics which express my feelings about the 'stream of goodness'.

Holy Ground

God is looking in the mirror
into the fathomless depths of your eyes
whose tears are the only holy water
by which you will kneel and be baptized
there ain’t nobody sicker than the seeker
who hardens himself against love
perhaps that’s what I see in him
and I want to heal in him
because I see it in myself
song of sacred places raining down
everywhere you wander is holy ground
the streets, the streets are brimming
and the beggar is walking with the king
they’re groping in the dark for it
but never in the heart for it
where the only kingdom is
and the kingdom is…
song of sacred places raining down
everywhere you wander is holy ground

Monday, April 17, 2017

Five of Pentacles - Mercy

Daedalus is seen here having to let go, leaving his past success and acclaim behind, as he's lost all his wealth, experiencing poverty, insecurity, and he's full of worry over his adversity. More profoundly he's lost his self-respect, having confused his self-worth with material security, causing him to loose his sense of direction and faith in himself.

When we edify material success, whether it be in the form of people, places or things, there is a price paid. Ultimately we  must take responsibility for the part we've played in becoming our own worst enemy, like Daedalus has become.

However personal transformation is always possible, the kind that goes soul deep.
 Making a conscious choice to be kind toward ourselves and to forgive whatever it is that we have done, or how others have wronged us,  forgiveness can make the difference between starting over and redefining what it means to be successful and bring us to wholeness once again.

As Anne Lemott states is her new book, Hallelujah Anyway Rediscovering Mercy, " The way to feel whole is through mercy." 

 We harden ourselves in many ways to life Anne Lemott says. By practicing forgiveness and kindness we can soften that hardness. Denying others forgiveness and kindness, we deny ourselves, and visa versa.
In order for kindness and forgiveness to prevail, there will be no cruelty, but only mercy.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Page of Wands - The Creative Messenger

I see the Page of Wands as a being very much the creative messenger, reminding us to be nurturing and gentle with ourselves in order to discover, nurture and take care of, and believe in our creative gifts.

Pages is always indicative of messages and this Page of Wands embodies the mythic image of Phrixus sensitive, caring and a youthful innocent. Due to this innocence and sensitivity there exists a susceptibility to outside influences, both positive and negative.

This Page reminds us to be take our creativity seriously, to be our own advocate, our biggest champion and that we need to believe in ourselves and our abilities with enthusiasm. We need and to be open to discover our great creative gift, our true value that was also given to Phrixus from Zeus.

Often many of us grow up in families and environments where these basic values and beliefs are not instilled, which makes it difficult, but not impossible to bring and actualize into our adult life. However having mentors and extended family can help immeasurably and can make all the difference.

There is no need to stay in a state of not knowing our creative self-discoveries and capacities that reflect the powerful possibilities of our creative imagination.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Eight of Wands - Spiritual Creative Growth

Change, movement and travel are all represented in the Eight of Wands. Travel in this case relates to seeing through the conflict that stimulates the imagination, bringing spiritual creative growth.

Wands generally represent creative growth, energy and action. In this card there is now positive change after anxiety and struggle. All I can say is, what a relief!

This card that I've drawn today, is a precise reflection of the emotional roller coaster I've been traveling on, albeit a small one, relatively speaking. After two weeks of anxiety and struggle, the change that I'd hoped and prayed for has arrived, and I think I've passed this spiritual test. I know there will always be more spiritual tests to come and I'm okay with that, dare I say I welcome it. I happen to love real roller coasters but not the emotional kind. I've had enough of those in my life.

Today I was feeling like I was at my weakest and strongest point, and I let myself have a little cry. This brings to mind what Jean Vanier refers to as, " in weakness strength."  After I decided to take action, things began to fall in place, because as I've said many times, action is the antidote to worry. My doubt and fear were dispelled and the answers I sought provided clarity. I was able to find the strength to reach out, which is difficult for me, but it's made all the difference. I was shown great kindness and I am very, very grateful.

Life is full of personal conflict and struggle. It appears to be necessary if we are to experience the beauty of spiritual creative growth.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Six of Pentacles

The Six of Pentacles is a card of growth, generousity, charity and giving.

Daedalus has not been the best kind of human being. Here we see Daedalus kneeling and paying homage to King Minos, who knows the extent of Daedalus' actions, but he also knows that Daedalus has suffered, been exiled and humiliated for his crimes, and he has learned many lessons, the hard way. In spite of this the royal King doesn't judge him in a merciless and unforgiving way in which society would. He forgives Daedalus and offers him friendship and generousity in his heart and spirit.

Today is my late big brother's Ralph's Birthday who was ten years older than me. He's been gone for 15 years and I miss him so much and always will. We were very close when I was little. Once I hit adolescence and with all the serious struggles that went on in my family growing up, my relationship with my brother suffered, got complicated and difficult. After I sobered up things got much better, but I was still emotionally bankrupt in many ways and didn't know how to find my way out.

The forgiving and merciful King Minos extends a generous, giving and loving heart toward Daedalus, the way I know my brother extends toward me and I do the same for him. To love and forgive our family is something most of us can't help do, no matter what. Loving our human family is just as important. We are all wounded in some way, have done things we are not proud of because we fell very short in many ways. Perhaps we haven't been the kind of person we should have been or wanted to be. Being forgiven especially by those we love that we have hurt is one of the best gifts we can be given.
 What is more difficult, is forgiving ourselves, but we need to this in order to heal, and move forward so we can grow into the people we are meant to be and be happy.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Ace of Swords - The Double Edged Sword

 It never ceases to amaze me how accurate the cards are each day I draw from my deck. Prior to actually reading the card, I'll look at it and wonder, how does this relate to my present situation? Then upon careful examination it starts to make sense to me, regardless of how I feel about the card or my present state, which has been a very difficult over the past two weeks. The closer I come to the end the more difficult it seems.

 I see Athene's Ace of Swords as a card of power and potential. Like all swords it cuts through muddled thought and gives clarity. This Ace of Swords is even more powerful, because I'm reminded it is a doubled edged sword, cutting both ways.

 There are consequences and actions that happen from ideas and convictions, from people, places and things, which can create suffering, but in spite of, or perhaps because of, it can all result in a new and more viable principle, resolving a situation that will soon come to an end with a successful conclusion.

So, this is good news, and it gives strength enough to know, I can get through the last next four days, because I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel approaching fast. Without going into personal details suffice to know it's something I've never quite experienced before and it's been extremely taxing on my inner resources, but makes me grateful for my faith and I know I will be stronger for the experience.

Some situations in life are certainly not self-imposed, but are created from outside influences we have no power over, due to unforeseen circumstances. It might appear on the surface there is absolutely nothing else to do, but wait for it to come to an end, no matter how hard. What makes all the difference is how I approach it, and my attitude. I have been turning to and relying on a power greater than myself to give me strength to abide the time it takes for resolution and victory.

* Dedicated to my friend Heather, who showed us how to let the light shine out of the darkness.