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Archive for April, 2009

Ready for Readers Studio ’09

I’m at my friend Bev’s place in Beamsville, ON.  She, Valerie, and I will take a roadtrip to Newark, NJ tomorrow for the Readers Studio, a yearly tarot event that enthralls me every time.  It’s a treat to reconnect with friends and colleagues and to meet new ones.  The workshops are enlightening and keep my tarot skills fresh.  There are oodles of decks, books, and associated merchandise.  Here’s a brief self-reading using the William Blake Tarot of the Imagination:

How can I maximise my time at Readers Studio ’09, both professionally and personally?

3 of Poetry (Creativity).   The image suggests being open to learning and being generous and open with my knowledge.  Celebrate the creative accomplishments of others and of myself.  Make my mark according to my own vision.  Create my own myth and encourage others to create their own myths.  Be receptive to a completed system that is offered to me for guidance.  The quote on the card is: “I must create a system or be enslav’d by another man’s.  I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

This makes me ask the question:  What kind of system would it be helpful for me to create?

9 of Music (Happiness).  A system of being present and not attaching to past feelings, no matter how lovely they were.  A system of emotional and/or relational integration.  A personal path to happiness.  A way to improvise as I go — a bit of a paradox — i.e. a system that emerges in the moment according to current feelings, intuitions, circumstances, people, and requirements.

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Origins of Good Tarot Questions

You know me and my thing about conscious questions.  At yesterday’s tarot practice, this popped out for me.  Good questions come from a topic that emerges from a feeling or emotion.  What helps one emerge from the other is curiosity.  Graphically, it looks something like this:

FEELING > leads, through curiosity, to > TOPIC > leads, through curiosity, to > QUESTIONS

So, to know the questions behind the topic behind the feeling, simply ask yourself, or your readee, something along the lines of:

  • What about ____ are you most curious?
  • What intrigues you most about ____?
  • What do you most want to understand about ____?
  • If you/I could ask anything about ____, what would it be?

Try it.  You’ll like it.

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Surrendering to Beauty

Last night’s recital of medieval music at WonderWorks was delicious.  Works by Hildegard of Bingen, one by an anonymous trouvère, and some from the Libre Vermell.  It was all in honour of Mother Mary and of Mother Earth, a belated and heartfelt Earth Day celebration.  Congratulations to Krystina, Ann-Marie, Billy, and Michael for such a gorgeous offering.

After the performance, which felt like a sacred ritual to me, I wandered up to Bloor Street and poked around Seekers Books.  There, I ran into my friend Mike Herman.  So we went to Pauper’s Pub for a snack and to catch up in person.  What a nice surprise!

Today, the weather in Toronto is superb.  Sunny, warm, and cheerful.  My first day in shorts in sandals this year…aaahhh.  

I’m surrendering to the beauty of last night and today.  Thank you, Life.

I feel like the figure in the RWS version of the Nine of Pentacles — contented and connected with life in a way that suggests a human/humane pace, satisfied with how things are right here and now.

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Your Own Earth Day Reading

This Earth Day, I invite us all to create our own tarot layouts based on whatever version of the World/Universe card calls to us.  Which Trump 21 stands out for you?  What characters and symbols are on it?  What actions or interactions are taking place?  What’s the mood or atmosphere in the card scene?    If you were to imagine yourself as the World card and began to speak with the words, “I am one who…”, what would you continue to say? 

Use your responses to these explorations to come up with open-ended questions that related to Earth Day and eco-consciousness.  Pull tarot cards (or playing cards, or goddess stones, or runes, or whatever) for each question and see what Life has to teach you and us at this time.

Please share your creations with us.  We’re listening!

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Tonight was to be the first of six evenings of my Essentials of Tarot Reading class, a foundational programme that gives people excellent tarot skills upon which to build.  After a lot of people saying they were interested, signing up, then cancelling until only one person was left, I see no reason why I should fanny about with offering this class at all.  People are either committed to learning or not.  I sense an invitation to reformat this material.  I’ll offer Essentials of Tarot Reading as a weekend intensive in November.  If people can’t commit to once a week for six weeks, then perhaps a Friday evening, Saturday 10:00 to 7:00, and Sunday 10:00 to 4:00 would work better.  To learn the material as a class or as a weekend intensive is only $175 per person.  To learn it in a one-on-one tutorial session works out to about $960.  The choice is in the hands of those who wish to learn.

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Connecting With the Ancestors

Last night, several of us gathered at the Institute of Traditional Medicine on Queen Street for an Ancestor (Jiibay) Ceremony, led by Diane Longboat and her pipe-carriers.  It was not only a meaningful ritual, it also helped to raise money for Soul of the Mother, a cause that promotes indigenous wisdom.  The drumming and singing, the prayers offered through the pipe smoke, the dimly lit space, the presence of spiritual peers, and the gentle scent of sweetgrass all took me into a deep place of connection with the first ancestors, the ones who were entrusted with original wisdom.  They asked, “Are you committed to life?, to which I responded, “Yes.”  They then declared, “Prove it!” 

Here’s a tarot layout for you to try.  Lay them in any pattern that feels right.

  1. Who are my most ancient ancestors?
  2. What essential life-affirming truth did they believe and live?
  3. What is their principle message for me at this time?
  4. How can I best honour these ancestors?

Let me know what messages you receive when you do the reading.  It’s important for us all to know who we are, where we come from, and what we’re being asked to do.

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Last night’s tarot class, Changing Our World Through Tarot: A Conversation That Matters, went well.  We used the Major Arcana to dive into what brings grief to our world and to move closer to joy.  It feels ready to present at the Readers Studio at 9:00 p.m (really!) on Friday, May 1 in Newark, New Jersey.  Please join me there!

My friend Judy Nathan has started to make tarot bags.  They’re stunning!  She lives here in Toronto and has been attending my tarot events for a long time.  Her card bags are works of art.  I’m taking a few with me to the Readers Studio for people to buy if they choose.  And I’m certain they’ll choose!

This morning, I saw dandelions for the first time this Spring.  So beautiful against the gradual greening of the grass.  Thank you, Life, for your beauty!

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