ineptitude that we lose a sense of objectivity. But this card tells us that our fears are a child of our own anxiety, are not founded in the reality of actionable worry, that we are only a prisoner to our self-doubt, and these are chains we can break.
"If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu
The power we have, that we all inherently possess, is one of self-discovery. By recognizing there is a journey in which we are eternally a part, we can begin to assess our fears through the lens of discovery. We can see each fear in the light of a new perspective... that of traveling through a phase, and embrace the lessons which result.
Once we pluck from our hearts the false reality our fears create, we can use that energy to strengthen our own resolve, to build up our confidence, self-worth, and rejoice in change and evolution. Fear breeds shadows. But where there are shadows, there is also light. And light, my friends, breeds hope.
The Cosmos Tarot: Light Grey Labs
Isn't it strange (and rude) when decks tell us exactly what we'd rather not hear?
The Devil card, in any tarot incarnation, has a habit of pointing out to us our own misplaced obsessions and how deeply they transform our worlds, irrevocably even, if we aren't careful and observant enough to break free from their pull.
Today, this card reminds us to be mindful of habits, thoughts or actions that tie us to unhealthy situations. In this card, expressed by the story of Andromeda, we see she is pulling free from the chains, pushing herself from the rocks to which she was bound, and reaching out to the leaping fish, plunging freely in and out of the water. She is working towards releasing herself from her own captivity. Captivity enforced as a result of the prideful boasting of her mother. Pride is, after all, a hobby of the Devil.
And, though it breaks from traditional imagery and interpretation, this card is positive in that it encourages our forward momentum by the very assurance that we are capable of that momentum. That we are no more bound to the Devil than a wish is bound to reality. It is an unforgiving reminder to get off the hamster wheel of bad habits into the freedom this implies.
So how do we know when we are obsessed? I read a beautiful quote a while back (the originator escapes me) that was something along the lines of this: Don't think too much or you'll create new problems. And when you have an obsessive tendency, thoughts are often our own worst enemy. We think about the money we don't have, the money we do have, the money we'd like to have, the perfect lover, the perfect body. We think about all the things we want and how to get them. And not getting these things can have devastating effects on those whose thoughts are filled with them.
This devil is giving us permission to free ourselves from the meaningless habit of thinking ourselves into sadness, greed, need or self-pity. Free ourselves to move towards a better, healthier version of ourselves. Just, you know... don't think about that version too much!
This card felt particularly useful today, and resonated with my mood, which was rather deprecating and self-defeating. Its message came to in a moment of self-doubt and I thought I should share it with you.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha
This card reminds us we are worthy of love, of our own love. That we have to love ourselves before we can expect others to love us. That it doesn't even matter if others love us, because their love neither defines us nor justifies our own confidence. This message is a gentle push towards a self-kindness and an understanding that we can love our own imperfections, not to spite them, but because of them and the person in us they help to manifest.
Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take a moment and appreciate your own worth.
I have to admit, I didn't resonate with much of the description of this card in the Animal Kin Oracle Guidebook, when I pulled this card today. It's a stunning image in its simplicity, and the provided interpretation is uplifting. But, for me, it seemed to only graze the meat of the message.
Dragonflies are a beautiful, but predatory creature, feeding almost exclusively on mosquitoes, moths and other small dragonflies. They are delicate but agile, capable of spanning oceans and tolerating sudden changes to their environment. They are territorial but adaptable and can even camouflage their flights patterns to confuse an enemy. Resourceful would be an apt word to describe this amazing creature.
So how does this translate to our daily draw and the concept of imagination, manifesting and living our dreams? I believe it's a beautiful narration on the power of predatory wishful thinking, and on losing ourselves in a bubble of fantasy. Probably not at all what the artist had intended but I find myself, of late, focusing on the shadows of each card I pull.
life we have. The dragonfly warns us not to fall into the confusing flight of our dreams but to formulate real, tangible plans around which to build our own successes. This beautiful creature implores us to unravel the mystery of our own adaptable natures. To build lives, not wishes. To span oceans if we must, but to fight for our goals.
And though I may not agree entirely with the interpretation supplied by the Animal Kin Oracle, I will leave you with this:
"Combining our powerful mind's eye and emotional intelligence, we can dream up the wildest most mystical ideas and then dig deeper from the surface and find innovative ways to bring it into reality"
Animal Kin Oracle Guidebook
Wooden Tarot www.skullgarden.net
Of all the cards in all the decks in all the world, I had to draw the one card that would trigger my Trypophobia. Don't know what that is? I didn't either until I once spied a similar image, looked it up and realized I
And I don't want it. It's horrible.
But I will say this... the Wooden Tarot, created by Andrew Liam Swartz is truly an amazing, beautiful and evocative deck and, despite the shivers of revulsion I get from this card in particular, its message (and even my fear of its imagery) is also incredibly relevant for me right now.
Technically, it's not a recognized fear, and the definition of this fear (that of holes) is not actually what causes the sense of revulsion in those who experience it... it's the idea of disease and the danger associated with disease. All those little holes filled with unmentionables (yes, I totally just used the word "unmentionables" and it's totally appropriate) can carry with it a sense of unease, dread, even real, tangible fear and anxiety.
Anyway, how does this relate to the daily draw? Because the fear of what fills those holes fits perfectly with the theme of the card, which happens to be a re-imagined representation of the Seven of Cups in a standard Raider-Waite system.
The Seven of Cups is all about choices, about the real danger and perceived danger of choices, and that sometimes there is only one perfect choice for us and the rest are all manifestations of our own selfishness, our own desire to protect ourselves from an inevitable future. Some may see this as a card of promise. And in some scenarios, that may be an apt interpretation. But even the perfect choice may not be a pleasant one. Sometimes the less appealing option is the one our souls need for progression or growth.
So what, exactly, is the message of this card? It's one of acceptance. And I don't mean the resigned acceptance of those who have given up, but the acceptance of self... that we are capable of making the difficult choices, that we can push back against the temptation to protect ourselves to spite our own spiritual progress, that we chose to embrace a life of meaning, even if not an easy life to live.
And yes, this is also a card of hope and strength. It's a card that shows us that fulfillment is not always about what we want, but what we need, and to trust in a process we sometimes might not understand. This card warns us that options and desires might work against our progress, might be the pebble in our shoe, and we have only to kick off our shoes before we continue the walk. Sometimes, it's about letting go of the pipe dream, the bigger picture that pulls you away from the reality of the now.
It's messages are plentiful. And it's purpose is clear. Do not be afraid of the difficult choice. Do not be blinded by the promise of every desire distracting you from the worthy now. Do what is good and right for you, even if that road seems less bright. And please, for the love of light, recognize the peril of the intoxicating fantasy of perfection.
And as always, be kind to yourselves. Be bold and bright and move forward with confidence and clarity.
So, how does the person who has no relationship with the divine Masculine embrace the relationship? By jumping into it with both feet. I've placed this card on my altar and meditated on its message. The monarch is a beautiful animal, free of spirit, despite the painfully and sadly short cycle of its metamorphosis. It embraces its life in whatever capacity it can, by whatever means it can, and brings beauty to the world in the process. Can there be a brighter divine light inside any creature? I'm not so sure.
This card encourages us to dance in the light of the sun. To walk outside, hold our arms wide to the heavens and feel the heat of it on our face. Because time is fleeting. Energy comes and goes. Our own creativity, ideas and enthusiasm experiences its own ebb and flow to which we are eternally tied. We have to embrace this energy at its height and let it fall away when required and this card reminds us that Litha is a perfect opportunity to understand and accept this cycle, and to boldly take life by the horns. While we can. Always while we can.
Moving forward, the strength of the sun will wane. And the gods will rely on us to carry the light onward. Carry the spark of it in your heart. Call on it when life is its darkest and let it fill you up.
Responsibilities are a necessity, but we should endeavor to find a way to schedule our responsibilities alongside our responsibilities to self and Spirit. It's in this balance we find ourselves, our purpose and our way forward.
"In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth." - Patti Smith
So how do we restore balance where balance is lost? First, take time. Stop what you are doing and take an hour to have a conversation with yourself about the way in which your balance is lacking.
And, as un-sexy as it might sound, schedule in time for those areas in need of attention. You deserve it. Your body and spirit and loved ones deserve the attention you'll give to the areas which need it most. Achieving balance is not easy. It's a long road for many. But it's a necessary journey towards completion. And even if completion is never truly attainable, and we should always strive for balance between body and Spirit, the ethereal and earth, the journey is where it's at.
I hope you enjoy your journey and give yourself some love!
Cosmos Oracle Deck: 13 Binary System
"Inside a binary system exists two stars locked
in a perpetual, dependent relationship"
-Light Grey Art Lab
Dependency is both a beautiful and dangerous foundation upon which relationships are sometimes built. On one hand, it is a stunning opening up, where relationships are born and grow and prosper. It is the yin and yang, the passing of elemental energies from one being to another, it is the fundamental sharing of passion, security and hardship. Perhaps especially hardship. And it is with an understanding of this relationship that two parties can move forward together in harmony, both benefiting and protecting the other.
It is also, I think, about a relationship with self. It is time for self-love, to express kindness towards self, to treat the body to which we are (sometimes inconveniently) attached with a little reverence. If we are imbalanced internally, working towards the balance in our external relationships becomes exponentially more difficult. This card suggests a need to look on our relationship with self, with Spirit, with those closest to us externally, in serious consideration of their balance. It is time to assess these relationships and identify areas of imbalance, in which one party is benefiting at the expense of another.
When dependency becomes a cycle of negativity, a lack of reciprocity, it becomes a toxic leech. This card can indicate a need to free ourselves from the leeches in life and regain our own balance, on our own terms. This card can remind us to drag ourselves from beneath the weight of unhealthy relationships, and discover balance within ourselves, or to re-discover the balance in healthier relationships. To find the center of gravity, and allow ourselves to orbit it... with or without a partner. Sometimes our greatest relationships are the ones within.
This card can also remind us to appreciate the pillars of support in our life, upon which we depend, to whom we gravitate for understanding and love or compassion. To show our loved ones that their place in our lives are not arbitrary, and their affect on our own center of gravity has propelled us into a positive forward momentum.
Recognize imbalance, and remove yourself from the negative pull of others, or appreciate the symmetrical movement of healthy relationships. Either way, this card is a wonderful reminder to take time this weekend to be honest with ourselves about the nature of our relationships and take steps towards restoring balance.
Shax: 37 Danger of Loss (Fallen Angel Oracle)
This is the gem I pulled today while contemplating my tarot and oracle deck wish list. I have 45 decks sitting in my Amazon wish list, and 25 more in my Etsy shopping cart. It may seem a small thing, the desire for material possession, but almost clicking "Buy Now" on those 45 decks was a frightening moment of clarity for me and this card was a wonderful stumble towards the eternal hovering shadow of desire, the shadow of wants at the expense of needs, even, or the shadow of materialism for the sake of it.
"That feeling of freedom, open highways of possibilities, has kind of been lost to materialism and marketing."
Now, this isn't to pass judgment on those who have money, who choose to spend that money on decks or art or anything at all, really. It's more an introspection into my own experience with desire and materialism and how that relates to my spiritual journey.
I should even say I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I believe materialism can live harmoniously, or as harmonious as anything else, with a spiritual or religious life. But there is such a thing, despite all the differences of opinions we might have on the matter, as dangerous consumerism. Though at what point, exactly, it becomes dangerous is likely a matter of personal experience and circumstance.
When materialism or consumerism replaces our needs, when it becomes a risk to purchase, a risk to our livelihood and general well-being, we have entered the domain of Shax, the dark angel of theft. He hoards treasures, can remove the understanding of others and blind you to the light of truth. He can, however, also reveal things that are hidden. I think this is his real purpose in the draw: to reveal the motivation behind the materialism, to allow us the freedom to look into ourselves and assess the nature of our desires. To look into our shadow and see the light of some truth, even if that truth is an uncomfortable realization about our consumerist nature.
And this discovery does not have to be a judgment on our lives, on our self-worth, or our ability to find fulfillment. It can be a portal towards fulfillment, if we allow it. If we push past the fear of discovery and walk into the shadow of self.