Archive for January, 2010

Rachel, Donnaleigh, Dawn, and I had a tremendous time on last night’s radio show.  We talked about wisdom readings in general, then did a few.  Our topics included:

  • the Tao
  • interconnectedness
  • the current economic situation
  • spirituality, religion, and what links them

It was a fruitful on-air council with cards.  The various styles of reading and four different decks (Shining Tribe, Medicine Woman, Legacy of the Divine, and an angel deck) wove a lush texture and demonstrated that there are many ways to work with tarot and that’s OK.  Thank you to Rachel, Donnaleigh, and Dawn for such a delightful and content-rich hour-and-a-half that felt like only 15 minutes or so.

What wisdom is calling to you?  How will you respond?

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Wisdom Readings

Shining Tribe Ace of Birds     Renowned tarot teacher Rachel Pollack and I will be on Donnaleigh de la Rose’s show on blogtalk radio this evening to talk about wisdom readings.  What are they?  For me, a wisdom reading takes tarot (or whatever tool or process one uses) beyond ourselves.  It reminds me that there is an intelligence and organising principle in everything.  This is not, I hope, about anthropomorphising objects or the more-than-human part of the universe community.  The last couple of thousand or more years have shown how unhealthy it can be to say there’s an invisible man floating around in some invisible kingdom in the sky.  What I’m talking about here is getting out of the idea that we humans are the only intelligent creatures on Earth (or in the cosmos) and that our own annoyances and successes are the only things worth noticing.  Wisdom readings take into account that all of life matters and that all of life is wise.  Who better to ask about pine trees than a pine tree?  Who would know more about pods of orcas than orcas themselves?  Instead of taking a theologian’s word for what the nature of Divinity is, why not ask Divinity Itself?  And a chat with a supernova will educate me more about it than my high school science books.  The trick is to slow down long enough to really be present and to listen.  A wisdom reading is an exercise in council mind, the capacity to be a compassionate, curious, and attentive witness and container and to respond with intentional speech and action that contributes to the well-being of all concerned.

What in this universe makes you curious?  What are you burning to ask it?  How might a dialogue with/about it contribute to the well-being of all the beings?  Get out your chosen wisdom tool, do a reading with it, and please post it in the comments.  We all want to learn from you.

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with James Wells, founder of Circle Ways

at Grey Heron, Maple, ON

(details below)

Engaging with tarot symbols calls forth our soul wisdom. Being in circle unites ancestral council with cutting edge leadership. Deepening into our bodies connects us with all of life. Bringing these elements together (tarot, circle, and body) we weave a heart-centered container for stories and questions that catalyze personal and global healing.

Through image, movement, and conversations that matter, you will gain insight into your role in this process while sharing inspiration with your peers.

Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010; Time: 10 – 4:30 p.m. Cost: $125. Bring a bagged lunch, a tarot deck, a notebook, a curious mind, and an open heart. (Soup and snacks will be provided as well as additional divinatory materials.)

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Why Reiki Shares Matter

Today, I hosted a reiki share for people who have trained with me and one fellow who trained with another teacher.  We held council around a quote by Teresa of Ávila that speaks of being the body, hands, feet, and eyes of the Divine in the world.  We did hatsurei ho, the traditional energy-generating meditation, to keep our minds centred and our energy channels clear.  I offered reiju, often called an attunement in the West, to all participants to help support the remembering of their awakened selves and whatever blessing they needed in the moment.  Breaking into small groups, attendees offered energy treatments to one another, two practitioners on one recipient at a time.  Afterwards, we enjoyed each other’s company over a pot-luck lunch.

This reiki share was a possible world in miniature.  What if we kept asking ourselves how we can be the embodied Divine in our world?  What if we remembered our most whole or awakened Self every day?  What if we opened to offering whatever energetic and tangible blessings were needed in the moment?  What if we got to know people over food and conversation?  What if we offered the touch of healing to the people around us, whether or not they were known to us personally?

We’re invited to BE Reiki, to be the Divine life-force in the world.  Can we hear and accept the invitation?

If you’re a Reiki practitioner and if you know of a gathering or share that you can attend, please do.  Each time such a meeting takes place, the world becomes a little better.

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Strong No, Strong Yes

Yesterday, during our mastermind gathering, I became aware of how my strong “no” to some previous suggestions gave me vast clarity about what my strong “yesses” are around a particular project.  How might we transfer this idea to other tools and processes?  During a therapy session, tarot consultation, astrological appointment, conversation, or whatever, something may be said that absolutely does not ring for us or it ticks us off completely.  This moment of “No!” can be a threshold into what “Yes!” looks like for us, a revelation of the next right thing, an “Aha!”  For example, if I don’t feel as though I want to produce an instructional DVD , I feel clear that I prefer to write a book.  If I strongly object to someone else writing promo material for me, it means I’m happy to be my own printer of brochures.  Astrologically, one can look at where Mars is in one’s chart to see one’s strongest No and strongest Yes reflected.  Mars relates to the Tower card in the tarot, a card of strong catalysts and reforms.

Tarot Reading - The Tower

What is your strongest No?  To what Yes does it propel you?  How is this a catalyst for extreme reform?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

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Deeper Layers

Yesterday, I worked with a delightful client over the tarot.  We explored three aspects of hir life — career, living space location, and intimate relating.  Together, we designed layouts (maps for the session) that, when combined with whatever cards came up, would illuminate these arenas.  What I loved about this session was that in all three spreads a common theme began to develop.  Even though we began by assessing and strategising around the topics chosen, a deeper lesson or message bubbled up from each.  The client got a catch in hir throat as s/he took this in and responded to it. 

No matter what we choose to look at on the surface, if we stay still long enough and really look and listen, we’ll notice that Life is doing Its best to offer us something richer that will help us to mature and thrive.  This guidance may come as clear answers or it may be in the form of more questions to take us further along the path of self-knowledge.

What about you or your life makes you curious?  What are the questions that it invites?  If you take the time to sit with these questions, what deeper layer(s) might emerge?  What will you do with this deeper message?

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Community at Its Best

Yesterday, through two contrasting events, I witnessed circles of community weave their support for people. 

In the morning, I was at a funeral in Greenbank, ON.  My friend Cathy’s mother died on New Year’s Day.  It was beautiful to see people from this small town and its church do their bit to make sure that Cathy, her siblings, and her father were held and helped in many ways — prayers, lunch, supportive words, and presence.  To spend time at the house afterwards was like an informal council — stories, jokes, and just being with one another over a glass of wine.

In the evening, I was back here in Toronto and attended the opening of an art show in which my friend John C. has a piece hung.  The sense of celebration and the desire of each artist to help the other — showing people each other’s work, obtaining sticky tape, and stating what was good about each painting — was heartening. 

In an age of tweets, sound-bites, and instant gratification, I’m encouraged by what happened in both places yesterday.  The circle is alive and well in the hearts of humanity.

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Mailbox as Prophet

Earlier today, I walked past a mailbox on which someone had placed a sticker that read:

If the environment was a bank, we would have saved it by now.

Ouch.  But possibly true.  Quite an eye-opening message to see on a post box on a Saturday morning.  Rabbi Abraham Heschel once referred to a prophet as one who interferes in history.  It’s nothing to do with amazing and amusing the idly curious with silly predictions, but rather it is about waking people up to what needs to change.  Whoever pasted that black and white sticker onto the side of the mailbox is a prophet.  I feel more awake than before I saw it.  I sit astounded that a government can sink billions of dollars into ensuring that a bank won’t falter, but has to keep going back to the negotiating table just so the air might be less smoggy and the waters less full of plastic bottles, if it fits into the budget, of course. 

Here is a one-card tarot reading about this.

What do we most need to know in 2010 about saving the environment?      5 of Pentacles, reversed.     Our connection with Earth’s spirit is unstable and impoverished.  Behind-the-scenes infrastructures need to be reformed and reshaped.  Whatever has felt safe and secure could use some shaking up.  There may be tectonic activity that we need to be more aware of.  It’s time to challenge humanity’s unconscious death wish.

May each of us, in ways that are appropriate for us and respectful of the Earth and one another, interfere in history.

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Happy 2010 to You

Welcome to the turn of another calendar year (what a friend of mine calls Muggles New Year).  Last night, Steven and our friend Renato enjoyed dinner together, then I helped R. through a Creative Life tarot layout using the Tarot of the Crone

I marked my own entry into 2010 this morning through smudging myself and my entire living space with sage, then sweetgrass.  Out with the old and in with the sweet and happy!  I then cast the I Ching for what I most need to know or learn this year.  The essence of the hexagrams I received — 28 and 7 — were to use moments of breakdown and dismantling to come into my own leadership and individuality, to serve the common good with allies that I rally in order to overcome disruptions (and maybe cause some in service to the greater good).

How are you marking the change from one year to the next?  What rituals of letting go and welcoming are appropriate for you as you enter 2010?  What needs to go and what needs to come in?  What do you most need to know or learn about yourself and your life as you enter a fresh year? 

Feel free to explore these questions with me in a private session.

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