Archive for June, 2009

A great three days leading up to today.  Saturday was a “me day” — long walks, tea on the balcony, and finished reading The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich.  I rarely read fiction, but her work is magickal.  Sunday was a day of doing The Work That Reconnects with Jeannette McCullough and other friends and new acquaintances.  This Joanna Macy-inspired process really does take me to a place of insight and action.  Yesterday, I worked with three tarot clients, one on the ‘phone and two in person.  Fulfilling to share personal story over the cards and to see/hear where that led each readee.  I got a chance to be with three decks — Illuminated Tarot, Motherpeace Tarot, and the Tarot of the Spirit — all beautiful.  Also lunch with Kirk and dinner with Renato.  Thank you, Life.  I’m grateful.

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Brian Swimme — Wow!

Last night, I attended Brian Swimme’s presentation at OISE.  “Wow!” barely expresses it.  He’s a mathematical cosmologist who’s totally in love with the universe.  Swimme is vibrant, intelligent, witty, and engaging.  “Inspiring” barely expresses it. 

The opening chant — “Come, come, come, unity” — was simple and set the tone for the evening.  Brian Swimme said that one of the reasons we humans exist is to fall in love with the universe, then he asked, “What does it take to fall in love?”, and proposed a two-step process (we chuckled):

  1. Identify and remove the obstacles, all of which are human-created.  The biggest of these is thinking of the world as resource or as “stuff”.
  2. Spend time with your beloved, in this case Gaia in all her manifestations.  Learn about that One which gave birth to us, spawned us.  Move from resource to source, or from resource to relative.

He says that we’re not just in the Milky Way galaxy, but rather we have been invoked into life by it.  This is creativity without hands.  Powerful!  The miracles of earth far outshine the miracles in any religious text.  Lava becoming red monkey is far more miraculous than walking on water.  The sun is always transforming itself into light.  It’s on a course of irreversible giveaway, a cosmic generosity that inspires our own generosity.  The role of the human is to have care and compassion beyond our own species.  We are the universe in awe of itself.

Brian enhanced his talk with delicious images projected large onto the wall behind him.  One of the most beautiful sights from my front-row vantage point was of Brian on stage, arms outstretched, haloed by an immense spiral galaxy.  Wow!

The whole event awoke a sense of wonder in me.  In the words of poet Drew Dellinger, “I want to write a love letter to the Milky Way”.  As Carol Kilby of the Gaia Centre said, “Brian is an awe-freer.”  Blessed be, sister! 

Here’s a short tarot reading inspired by the evening:

  1. What obstacle prevents me from falling fully in love with the universe?     STAR, reversed.     My greed.  My desire to be the recipient of good things no matter what.  My inner belief that “it’s all mine”.
  2. How can I remove that obstacle?     PAGE OF PENTACLES, upright.     Dare to be out on the earth more often.  Recommit to the body and to the soil and all its inhabitants.  Dive into what’s physical and real.
  3. How can I best spend time with our beloved universe?     4 OF CUPS, reversed.     Act as if it’s a deep, intimate love relationship.  Act on dreams and intuitive promptings that the universe floats to me.  Be Spirit made manifest on earth.

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On the Air with Norma Cowie

On Wednesday, June 24, metaphysician and fellow tarotist Norma Cowie interviewed me on her radio show.  We chatted about my own tarot journey before focusing on thoughts about the Devil card, Trump 15.  To hear our chat, go to the appropriate date on this website:



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Fabulous Weekend with Mary Greer

Such a rich weekend!  Mary Greer’s Saturday workshop on The Magic of Tarot was amazing!  Filled with Golden Dawn-style work, earth-based ritual, divination, and card scrying, all with that portable pack of friends called the tarot.  A delicious journey of clarifying and manifesting our goals.  Sunday’s session on the Rosson Process/Game was beautiful.  In a circle, we went through several rounds of using the tarot to respond to questions in various forms.  Creative!  We worked both left and right hemispheres of the brain and in the process wove a sense of connection.  And Mary knit me one of her famous tarot bags — thank you!  She’s still here, currently doing a reading with someone.  This afternoon and tomorrow morning we’ll walk, shop, and take in the lovely weather.  Thank you, Life!

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A Chariot-like Week

This week feels and looks like the Chariot card, Trump # 7 in the tarot.  Much activity, yet able to steer it all. 

Today’s mastermind group session had the energy of a group getting into a sleek, efficient vehicle, then seeing where it would take us.  Sometimes one of us would be the driving force, sometimes another.  By the end, it certainly felt as though we were moving forward on the right track.

Mary Greer will arrive on Friday evening by plane (another moving vehicle) to offer her workshops.  They’ll be the means by which we’ll learn to employ the tarot to be more in control of our lives and goals, to consciously steer ourselves in a forward-moving direction.  Some of you will have private sessions with Mary while she’s in Toronto, witnessing her capacity to gently guide you through the many symbols to your own knowing.

I feel really on track with my work and life at this time, as though I’m skilfully facilitating this journey.

How about you?  What card are YOU this week?  Why?  What are its many manifestations?

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B-day Fun!

Yesterday, after the shamanic healing circle, a birthday party in honour of both me and my friend Jane G. was held in a hall south of the Danforth.  It was a treat to see people from various parts of my life meet, mingle, and create conversations that matter.  Lots of food, two cakes (!), and real appreciation made the afternoon worthwhile.  Thank you to Monika and Susan for helping me cart things home.  My daily card yesterday was Death.  I hope someone was deeply transformed by being at the celebration!

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How big/small is your spread?

In spite of the potentially rude title, this entry IS about tarot.

Today, a wonderful new client visited me over the cards about two issues that had a long-time underlying theme.  We decided to use Art Rosengarten’s five-card layout for both.  You can find this layout in his book, Tarot and Psychology: Spectrums of Possibility.  I figured that would take us most of the way through an hour.

Topic Number One was covered in about 20 minutes.  Client seems to be on track with that one.

Topic Number Two filled the rest of our time together and could probably have taken us through another hour.  The tarot’s images and concepts REALLY spoke clearly to the topic and revealed fascinating underground streams of insight.

In both cases, a five-card layout was involved.  It wasn’t a teeny-tiny two-card job or a massive 45-card spread.  But we interacted with it differently each time.  This told me that the second arena of exploration was the doorway to the larger theme that underpinned both.  We found tunnels of connection from one card to another, ways of behaving that influenced not only the topic at hand, but also many other parts of life, and profound gifts waiting patiently for the person to remember that they’re there.  It reminds me of a time years ago when I spent an hour and a half with someone over a four-card spread.  The dialogue was so rich that we needed no more cards.

All of this to say that depending on HOW we interact with the tarot, the size of the layout doesn’t matter.  A twelve-card spread might take only ten minutes if we speak leanly about each pasteboard.  A three-card map of the reading might take us two and a half hours if we really engage with the cards, each other, and Wisdom.

I prefer to choose or create a spread after the client and I have discussed the purpose of the session.  Then it will truly be THEIR session, no matter how big the spread.

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Try this. 

Divide your tarot deck into five sections — majors, wands, cups, swords, and pentacles (or their equivalents in your pack).

Think about a topic or area of life about which you’re curious.  Write it down.  Depending on your topic, pick a card from the appropriate face-down card pile.  E.g. if it’s about BIG life lessons, choose from the Majors.  If about self-discovery, self-expression, independence, etc., choose from the Wands stack.  If your inquiry is about feelings, relating, intuition, etc., pick a card from the Cups.  If you’re curious about ideas, communication, networking, education, etc., pick a Sword.  And if you want to know about something tangible, physical, or material, pluck a Pentacle.

Look at your card.  What symbols, colours, characters, shapes, activities, and so forth grab your attention?  Let each one suggest an open-ended question about your topic of inquiry.  Write down these questions.  Number them in an order that makes sense to you.

Draw a diagram, using little rectangles or circles (depending on the shape of your deck), creating a shape that’s pleasing to you or appropriate to your topic.  Number each little rectangle or circle according to your numbered questions.  Ta-da!  You’ve just created a spread/layout to explore what you’re curious about.

This gets better!  Imagine that your self-created layout is superimposed on the single card you chose.  Notice what symbol is at the place where the first question position would be on your card.  What response to your first question does it offer?  Do the same with each of your questions, imagining each spread position in its correponding region of the card image.  Let the symbol(s) in each answer your questions.  How great is THAT?! 

Terrific if you really want to learn about a specific card.  Also good if you have a small surface on which to lay out your tarot reading. 

I’d love for all of you to try this and to give me some feedback about it.  Thanks in advance!

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Masks of Tarot

Yesterday, my copy of Scott Grossberg’s The Masks of Tarot  arrived in the mail, a birthday gift from Steven.  It’s a fascinating book, valuable to those who prefer to use tarot in a way that promotes insight rather than prediction.  Employing only the Major Arcana, Grossberg offers a way of thinking about each card that opens the doors to four parts of one’s personality — Mask, Beast, Light, and Shadow.  I’ve only just started, but can see applications already.  I  like that Grossberg has the readee select cards from the face-up Majors — choice-centredness incarnate!  The author offers his own ideas about each Trump AND encourages the reader to employ hir own interpretations and what might emerge from them as one applies them to the four parts of the personality.  There’s a dandy layout near the back of the text that would be helpful for self-exploration.  Many charts and explanations make life easier for the reader.  Do get a copy!

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Entering Strength

Today is my 42nd birthday.  Happy birthday to me!  The year I’m entering (as of 10:25 tonight) corresponds to the Strength card.  Indeed I feel strong, loved, loving, and in tune with natural forces today.  The Hebrew letter connected with this card is Teth, meaning snake/serpent.  The snake is a powerful healing image for me.  The astrological correspondence is Leo.  My creativity, sense of fun, and ability to be centre stage is more present.  I call upon all good forces, people, and beings in the cosmos to support my year of Strength.  It is so!

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