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Archive for March, 2009

Be present; choose consciously.

I mentioned in my previous post that, for me, the Seven Whispers could be summed up in the phrase: Be present; choose consciously.  This four-word synopsis invites us to ask questions when any situation arises:

  • What’s really happening, here and now?
  • With what choices does it present me?
  • Which choices look/feel nourishing, healthy, and in the best good of all?
  • Which choices look/feel lifeless, unhealthy, and not in the best good of all?
  • Which of these choices am I able to make and act on right now?
  • Which of these choices do I need to make that need to wait?
  • Which of these choices do I need to make that I don’t want to make?
  • What choices will I most likely never make?
  • What’s the most likely result/effect I can see growing out of each choice?
  • What new choices might each result/effect offer me?

Sounds like a lot to sort out.  If we’re simply present with what is, the right thing is right in front of us.  This is where tools and processes such as tarot, coaching, astrology, psychotherapy,circle methodology, and coffee klatches come in handy.  We have so much information that it helps to have some feedback, or at least a sounding board, to narrow it down. 

And it’s important to have options.  More options equals more personal power.  I don’t mean more options in a “let’s have more and more stuff” kind of way, rather that to realise that there’s more than one path gives me a sense of empowerment and that Life is kinder than I originally thought.  Even if I make a less “evolved” choice, at least now I’m doing it from a conscious perspective instead of by default.

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This evening was the seventh and final gathering of this particular Seven Whispers study circle.  Rather than being a sad occasion, as such moments can be, it was a real celebration.

We began with a ‘phone call to Christina Baldwin who held short conversations with each participant, one to one.  Our check-in consisted of us sharing highlights of our chats with Christina. 

Tonight’s chapter was “return to the world”, which is to say return to the real world of Nature, the senses, and the body.  For me, a good spiritual practice brings us back to the tangible world in which we live, the Earth who holds us so lovingly and who could use more care from us.  There was sheer delight as we shared favourite memories of being in Nature in childhood, told stories about places in the world that make our hearts sing, and remarked on how much we love this planet.

People shared gifts of book recommendations, helpful quotes on prosperity, hand-made hankies (mine have music on them!), poetry, mantras, and deep appreciation for one another.  Magic!

This is the second time that I’ve journeyed through The Seven Whispers in a group like this.  The wisdom that came to me this time is that these concepts and practices can be summed up in four words:

Be present; choose consciously.

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How can we restore Avalon?

I’m still in Beamsville, ON.  Today will be the final day of Level Two Reiki training for this lovely group.

Last night, Bev, Julie, and I watched The Mists of Avalon on DVD.  Whenever I see it, I feel a sense of nostalgia, some sadness, and a desire to restore the magick of Avalon and the honouring of Goddess.  Here’s a short tarot reading about that restoration.

  1. What is Avalon?  Hanged Man, upright.  Avalon is the in-between place, a state that is neither completely physical nor completely spiritual.  Avalon is the power to surrender to what is.  It’s also a way of being that is the direct opposite to what exists now on earth.  Avalon is a way of being that sacrifices (i.e. offers to the Holy) itself, attaching itself to a great cause so that Soul may be expressed.
  2. How can humanity restore Avalon?  Devil, upright.  Enter the shadow realms consciously and take responsibility for our thoughts, words, and actions.  Commit to structures that allow us to enter the “scary” places and find a spark of light therein.  Find love in the so-called unloveable.
  3. How can I personally assist in the restoration of Avalon?  Justice, reversed.  Engage in practices that keep me inwardly centred and in a state of equilibrium.  Be fair to myself and expect others to treat me fairly.  Create and foster a deep, intimate relationship with my True Centre.  Keep my beliefs moderate, not allowing them to swing to extremes.  Hold myself accountable.

I’m in awe that three out of three cards from a well-shuffled tarot deck are Major Arcana.  Bigger questions invite bigger cards, I suppose.  It’s also remarkable that the question about my own piece of this was answered by a reversed card.  For me, reversals make a card’s concept more personal, internal, private, quiet, behind-the-scenes, psychological, spiritual, or even vague.

How will YOU participate in the restoration of Avalon?

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Tolle-based Tarot Layout

At Winter Solstice time, our friend Margaret gave me an Eckhart Tolle 2009 calendar.  A powerful line on one of the pages, which can be found on page 82 of The Power of Now, reads:

…leave the situation or accept it; all else is madness.

So simple, so wise, and yet not always a choice we wish to face.  Here is a tarot layout based on this quote for us to use when we experience a stressful situation.  Feel free to lay the cards in any pattern that feels right to you at the moment.

  1. What is my habitual madness in such situations?
  2. How could I leave this situation?
  3. How could I accept this situation?
  4. What does my True Centre really want to do about it?

I look forward to hearing from people about their discoveries through this layout. 

I’m off to teach reiki for the day.  A pleasant Saturday to you all!

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In Praise of RWS

While reading Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom, I’m revisiting the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck this week.  Not the Universal version, not the Radiant publication, but the good old plain version as created by Pamela Coleman (Pixie) Smith.  There’s something beautiful about the simple colours and the elegant stage set-like drawings that’s captivating and comforting.  Smith seems to allow inner and outer human experience come through without her own hang-ups getting in the way.  So many people just starting with tarot refer to the Rider-Waite-Smith pack as the “original” tarot.  It certainly is NOT the original, as it came out in 1910 and tarot has been around since the 15th century.  But Pixie Smith’s artwork and Arthur Edward Waite’s concepts seem to carry an eternal quality that makes them feel as though this deck should be the original.  What a lot of  nonsense that some tarot teachers and practitioners consider the RWS cards to be a “beginner’s” deck, I don’t feel that way.  For me, there’s no such thing as a beginner’s or master’s deck.  One begins with a set of cards that rings with one’s philosophy, appeals to one’s taste, and fits into one’s hands, regardless of what an expert tells us to work with or not.  And one continues with it, or not, according to how one changes or not.  Also, the RWS pack has roots in the Western Hermetic tradition — qabalah, astrology, elements, alchemy, ceremony, etc. — hardly beginners’ stuff.  Here’s to Art and Pixie!

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Liberation of the Light

I’m re-reading Rachel Pollack’s latest book, Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom, a bit more closely.  Her observation that the final seven cards of the Major Arcana is about the liberation of the light is marvellous.  From the pitch dark background of the Devil, we move to a lightning bolt (Tower), starlight (Star), moonlight (Moon), and sunlight (Sun) illuminating our liberation/awakening (Judgement/Aeon) and restoring the wholeness of all of creation (World/Universe).  Get out your cards and look for yourself.  A similar idea can be found in Amber Jayanti’s Stepping Through Addictive and Codependent Behaviour, a book that focuses on spiritual unfoldment through the last seven Majors, relating them to the Twelve Steps.

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My friend Jamie Thompson recently connected me with his sister Lynn on the West Coast.  Lynn hosts a radio show called Living on Purpose.  Today, she and I had a tremendously enjoyable ‘phone chat and I’ll be appearing on her show in April to talk about Evolutionary Tarot.  Stay tuned for the link when it’s up.  I enjoy doing radio shows, podcasts, television appearances, interviews, and so forth.  There’s nothing like the personal touch to help people realise that tarot is a wonderful tool for insight and creativity.  Let’s chat!

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