Tag Archives: Tarot

Chuck’s Place: Synchronistic Mirrors

What does this synchronicity mean??? - Photo by Chuck Ketchel
What does this synchronicity
– Photo by Chuck Ketchel

A wise yogi once shared his hard-earned wisdom with me: “Beware the allure of asanas. The heart of yoga is in pranayama, the breath.” My humble wife, earnest student of svaroopa yoga for many years, warned me long ago that I should approach inverted asanas with great caution and support.

Since young adulthood I have enjoyed inversions, particularly halasana, plough. Over a year ago, as I descended from that asana I strained my sacral muscles, initiating a long journey with back issues. Eventually, at my daughter’s hinting, I sought guidance from a teacher of the Alexander Technique. Most recently, particularly through the heart of the snow storms, I was amazed at the strength and resilience of my fully healed back.

The other morning, as I dressed, I was buoyant with energy, balancing on one foot as I raised the other to put on socks while standing. I quickly lifted my right leg, excitedly thinking how powerful I’d become, when suddenly a powerful pain shot through my sacrum. OW! I’d done it again!

I was thrown into immediate deflation, filled with negative judgments about my cocky stupidity. I was also in the midst of reading some lectures that Carl Jung, my intellectual nemesis, had given at the Tavistock Clinic in London in 1935. Ironically, he spoke of his own struggle with inferiority when a frequent guest at his home, Albert Einstein, would come and speak to him about his Theory of Relativity. Not being himself gifted in math, Jung said he “sank fourteen feet deep into the floor and felt quite small,” as Einstein tried desperately to communicate his thoughts. As I found myself sinking, I evoked Carlos Castaneda’s #1 dictum: “Suspend judgment!” That simple mantra is profoundly useful in allowing us to get to the deeper meaning of synchronistic events in our lives.

Of course I feel foolish for hurting my back so carelessly. But what is the significance of the event? What am I being shown? To get to the deeper meaning of events we can’t stay stuck in judgment, it too limits and clouds our view.

I am stirred to consult the I Ching to deepen my knowledge. I obtain hexagram #37, The Family. This hexagram speaks to the correct relationships within the family as the microcosm for all relationships in the world. I get a moving line in the 4th place: She is the treasure of the house… It is upon the woman of the house that the well-being of the family depends. Well-being prevails when expenditures and income are soundly balanced.

What is this telling me? Not sure yet.

We watch the documentary Cutie and the Boxer, about a married Japanese artist couple. I immediately don’t like the Boxer, he’s out of control, refuses to be limited. Cutie is held in check, keeping balance as best she can in their lives.

Time for the moon to shine a little brighter... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time for the moon to shine a little brighter…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I pull the 5 of Wands card from the Tarot deck, Strife, as well as the Moon card. Strife results from the energetic clash when Leo, the fiery energetic creative lion, is inhabited by Saturn, the planet of limitation, discipline and boundary. The lion held in check creates strife.

The Moon is the universal principle of choice-making, particularly around karmic issues, that is, work that needs to be done. The moon is also the universal feminine symbol, yin.

Back to the I Ching. I’m being shown that the yin line in the 4th place—the Moon of the Tarot—must take the ascendancy. The strife lodged in the spine is the clash between the fiery creative energy that, like the Boxer, abhors limitation. This leads to structural defeat that throws the body out of the Tao.

The Moon, the yin, the internal feminine, must come to the ascendancy. Cutie is not to be subordinated to a subservient role but must take charge of internal affairs, asserting balance and limitation, making choices in accordance with the restoration of order, allowing for return to the Tao. If this is achieved, the future of The Family is Fellowship with Men, hexagram #13, depicting the restoration of order—balance and inner harmony—strife resolved.

This series of synchronistic phenomena all mirror each other. Yang energy must be properly complemented and balanced by yin energy. Dominance of the creative over the receptive might lead to a broken back!

Acquiescing to the Moon,

A Day in a Life: Snakes Alive!

Sometimes we wake up to a different world... not by choice,  but by the power of nature... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Sometimes we wake up to a different world…
not by choice, but by the power of nature…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

During my recapitulation there came a point in the process where I literally felt like I was shedding my old self and transforming into a new self. My body did not feel right. I didn’t fit into it anymore, even my clothes didn’t fit, and nothing about what was going on inside me fit either. Simultaneously, I began having dreams about snakes. Upon awakening from a snake dream I was immediately fearful. Snakes, after all, scared me. I noticed, however, that my dreaming self wasn’t afraid of the snakes, in fact she was quite calm in their presence.

I began to experience these snake dreams as supportive of my recapitulation, as part of the natural flow of my transformative process. I began to see snakes as offering healing venom and healing energy, rather than signifying something negative. I began to see them as giving back to me what I had lost, my own energy. Snakes became an integral part of my process as I shed the old self and became a new self, as I went through a viscerally real death and rebirth.

I pulled the Death card from the Tarot deck this week. It always appears so ominous, so negative, until I remember that it signifies this same process of transformation, as I shed the old self—old ideas, old habits and behaviors—and more fully embrace my greater potential. Life is full of transformational moments. Here I am thirteen years after beginning my recapitulation, still shedding the old self, even the self who evolved out of my three-year-long recapitulation process has been shed, as over and over again, I face myself and what life presents me with. In fact, the Death card, number 13 in the major arcana, is my growth symbol this year, so I know I must pay extra attention to this card overall. Each time it appears, it reminds me that I am changing all the time, and that there is nothing to be afraid of.

The thought that I am transforming all the time permeates my existence. We are, after all, nature, and nature constantly changes, in very obvious ways. One day the weather is calm and sunny. The next day we are buried under two feet of snow! Overnight things change. One day we are calm; the next day we might be agitated or moody. This is nature inside us, as we flow from day to day, just the way Mother Nature does, just as the stars and planets constantly move, align and realign, just as the oceans rise and ebb.

According to Angeles Arrien in her Tarot Handbook, the Death/Rebirth card symbolizes “the universal principle of detachment and release. It is through letting go that we are able to give birth to new forms… The snake reminds us that in order to transform, we must let go of old identities in order to be able to express new ones, much like the snake that sheds its skin…”

In Animal Speak, Ted Andrews presents a myriad of snake symbolism, but basically he too says that the snake is a symbol of alchemy—transformation—and healing. “Before the snake sheds its skin,” he writes, “its eyes begin to cloud over, as if to indicate it is entering into a stage between life and death.” I know this stage very well too, because during the time of my recapitulation my eyes repeatedly clouded over, in fact, they stayed cloudy for days as I remained in a dreamy in-between world, not quite the old self, yet not quite the new self either. I floundered between worlds, seeking to gain clarity on what had happened to me in childhood, while also seeking to gain clarity on who my future, authentic self might possibly be. It was a crucial time in the process.

It's all about transforming  and expanding consciousness... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
It’s all about transforming and expanding consciousness…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Everyone who recapitulates goes through this same shedding and until the shedding of the old is done true clarity will not reign. But once the old skin has shed, the eyes clear and new life really begins as one enters a world that was previously blocked from view. As fear sheds with the old self a new self emerges into a world that, all of a sudden, is different. It’s not, however, the world that’s really different, it’s our perception of the world that’s changed. Our consciousness has expanded.

As I entered my own world of expanded consciousness, my vision literally changed. The blurry vision I’d experienced during my recapitulation did clear; my nearsightedness practically disappeared too. Now I see more clearly than I ever have in my entire life. And what was once so clear to me, the details of my past self—what I peered at so closely during my recapitulation—are no longer as clear; they don’t need to be. In fact, my vision has totally shifted from nearsightedness to farsightedness. My eyes are free to turn outward now and receive the world with new clarity. My snake dreams pointed all of this out to me so long ago, letting me know that one day I would navigate life without my old fears inhabiting and inhibiting me.

Snakes and death are healing and transformational aspects of nature. I see the old people in my life losing their visual clarity, and I know they are in transition, soon to be reborn. In the throes of recapitulation, as in the throes of death, there is the certainty of new life. Every day, we too have the opportunity to be reborn simply by the decisions we make and in how we choose to see and perceive the world around us.

We are all free to change, but it requires giving energy to questioning who we really have the potential to become and trusting that we will eventually receive the answer. It’s our choice to decide to commit to deeper work on the self. Are we ready to make this lifetime a meaningfully transitional lifetime? Are we ready to finally do it? Are we ready to face our fears and suffer through the shedding of who we are to become our true authentic self?

In the throes of death and rebirth we are offered opportunities to transform and expand our consciousness and enter new life!

Using snake medicine all the time,

A Day in a Life: Pathways to Change

This deer has constantly challenged itself to come closer and closer, coming by several times a day to raid the bird seed! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
This deer has constantly challenged itself
to come closer and closer,
coming by several times a day to raid the bird seed!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Living a healthy life, for as long as we are here, is all about care of the self, striving to know the self at the deepest level, learning to love and to receive, giving the inner self and the outer self equal attention and importance. It’s about valuing who we are and what we have to offer, because we all have something to offer. It’s about fully embracing the real self—the true self that we all know we are but are often afraid to express—allowing it live to the fullest.

This is not an easy task! We must struggle to maintain balance, both internally and externally, while we simultaneously must wrestle with our human desires and appetites. If we are to succeed, we must pay attention to our bodies, our minds, and our spirits, as well as all the parts of ourselves that constantly vie for our attention. We must learn to be okay with where we are. We must remain fully aware that life itself wishes us to grow and change. We must be okay with what comes to us from outside, knowing that it is there to guide and teach us. I see both negative and positive aspects of life as obstacles because whether they are harsh or difficult challenges and confrontations, diseases and physical impediments, or even if everything comes easily to us, they all challenge us to individuate and mature so that we may reach our fullest potential.

If we can begin to accept that life is more than just a mundane, sad, unfulfilled existence; if we can embrace it as an exciting experience in a most fantastic realm, we open ourselves to something far beyond the norm. In simply deciding that the life we are in is enough, in acknowledging that what we must contend with everyday is our necessary pathway to change, we begin to experience life in a new way.

I create my own reality, and so, if I constantly complain about my life then I will never experience life in a new way. I will only experience what I say and tell myself. But if I shake off the negative speak that runs through me and contaminates my experience, I offer myself the possibility for a new experience. This is what Jeanne speaks of in her messages. Each week she asks us to be open and willing to face life in a new way, not viewing it as a horrible or frightening experience, nor as a tiresome task or depressing situation, but as an exciting adventure. She asks us to be energetically available to life in a new way.

Living a healthy life, and gaining awareness of who we are and where we are really being led in our personal lives, entails constantly seeking balance, paying attention to what our bodies tell us, honing our skills of self-communication and dialogue with the inner self—all parts of that inner self. A good way to begin intending and asserting a new attitude toward life, is to pay attention to our physical bodies. In simply paying attention to our body’s messages, we might just have the first big breakthrough to new life.

Recently, I have been struggling with a lower back ache. It’s due to heavy lifting of 40 pound bags of pellets and the hauling of firewood. I have had to pay attention to it, as it will not let me do otherwise. It’s forcing me to stay in my body. I already know that this is one of my greatest challenges in this lifetime, to be present in my physical body. Through my entire recapitulation, being present in my body meant facing the pain and humiliation of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. As a child I got really good at leaving my body—it was a means of escape from the pain it carried—so good that for most of my life I was never really in it. My recapitulation taught me that my body was a good place, my vehicle through life, absolutely necessary if I was to evolve. And so I struggle constantly to remain present, to not drift off as I am naturally wont to do.

We honor our guidance from the universe... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We honor our guidance from the universe…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

To change a habit that once saved my life has been challenging. And so, I am thankful for the aches and pains of my lower spine, reminding me every day to pay attention to what my body is telling me. I am addressing it constantly in a multitude of healing practices, but my biggest healing has been to let it be present, to work with it, to let it guide me to what I should and should not be doing at this time in my life.

I have always been physically strong, able to do exactly what I wanted, and so I never limited myself in anyway. Now, I must face that I am limited and sometimes, I must admit, it has been a real pain—pun intended! I can’t just do anymore; now I have to think before I do, and that is both a challenge and a contemplative process. I must stay in my body basically all the time, in every moment of the day. If I do not, it reminds me —OUCH!— to come back! And so, I am constantly present, paying attention to what I am doing in each moment. Life has become a constant walking/sitting meditation. I am paying attention to the fact that my back, always so strong and readily available, is now saying: Don’t take on so much for others; don’t give away your energy so easily, protect it, use it for what is most important. You are not allowed to bear so much anymore. You are important—take care of you!

Each morning, Chuck and I begin the day by each pulling a card from our favorite Tarot deck. It’s a way of anchoring ourselves in our intent—the intent to remain balanced, aware, and open to life. Each day we ask the cards to supply us with what we need most to guide us. The answer, whatever it is, always reminds us to pay attention to our internal worlds as well as our external worlds, as they mirror each other perfectly. Each day we both pick the perfect response to where we are individually, and as a loving, growing partnership as well. How could it be otherwise? The universe is always in alignment with us! The challenge is for us to get in alignment with it!

My little back ache is asking me to pull back from too much experience in the outer world, to hone my skills in my inner world in a new way. And so I have been daring myself—as you know, if you’ve been listening to my weekly channeled messages—to deepen my experience as an energetic being. Yes, I must live life fully in my body, accept my strong physical self, but equally my strong spiritual self as well. And that is why I have a backache!

I see this as part of my process of growth and change, in alignment with my spirit’s intent to constantly grow. I don’t believe we are here to just grow once and then plunk down and say, “Okay, I did it, I changed.” No, the challenge is to keep growing. Likewise, if all I do is moan about my aching back, nothing will shift for me at all, all I’ll have is a painful back and a depressing life. But, if I elect to use this challenge, then I am doing something to shift myself, to change my perception of life, and hone my awareness. In fact, I create a new reality for myself.

Watch those backs! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Watch those backs!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I hope you all find out what your little or big aches, pains and challenges are trying to alert you to. Mostly, they ask us to confront something, to get to the bottom of who we are, to make amends, and move on to the next challenge. We just have to be ready to face and accept the truth of that challenge, and act upon it in a positive, healing way. Acting upon it is often the greatest challenge. Many times I have had to feel the searing pain in my lower back to remind me of just how I am being asked to act upon the messages I receive.

Good luck! And be careful out there if you are shoveling all that snow today!

A Day in a Life: Shock

I pull this card a lot... It's always deeply meaningful... From the Thoth Tarot Deck, the 2 of Disks.
I pull this card a lot… It’s always deeply meaningful… From the Thoth Tarot Deck, the 2 of Disks.

I go to the Tarot for advice and guidance. “What is the most important thing to write about in my blog today?” I ask. I shuffle the deck. Holding the stack of cards against my heart, I pull a card, the 2 of Disks: Change. I read that this card represents external change. It’s about achieving external balance by remaining always fully aware that change is constant, cyclic, unending. The number 2 is also significant, implicating that we must change now, within a matter of a few minutes, days, weeks or, at the most, months. There is no time to waste.

Change comes to aid us on our journeys, to help us evolve, to spur us out of our inertia. And so I must ponder what this card is trying to alert me to on this day especially, as I am poised to write something that others will read. I say that not in self-importance, but only in humility, for I am aware that words have power. Even my own words have power; all words do. They can inspire or they can hurt.

In the wake of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I am aware of goodness, selflessness, courage, heroism. I am also aware of evil, hatred, fear, anger. This is a sensitive time for us. We are hurt, confused, afraid. We want to blame. We want there to be a bad guy, a villain. We ask why, why would someone do such a thing? We feel the pain of others, the maimed, the lost, the grieving. We want answers and yet the answers are slow to come. We might even ask: “What would I have done?”

The 2 of Disks asks us to change ourselves, to get ourselves in balance with nature. It asks us to enact external change that will be lasting, based on what we know about human nature and the cyclicity of nature itself. It asks us to become responsible for change in our lifetime—now.

The symbol on the Tarot card is the oroborus, the snake eating its tail, the figure eight, representing infinity. It also represents the repetition of behaviors and habits internally that keep us static externally. The card suggests that it’s time to question our deeper selves as to why these things keep happening, the mass shootings and bombings as well as the other horrors: the raping of woman and girls, the starving of children, the insatiable greed. Why do we keep hurting each other? Why are our ideologies more important than our truths? Why will we not stand up for what is truly right? These are the questions from the oroborus.

From the reactions of people at the bombing scene it’s apparent that we care deeply about each other. Who knows, perhaps one of the injured was the bomber, unknowingly aided by a good samaritan, simply because it’s in our human nature to help one another. No one questioned if the injured were worthy of saving, they simply acted to help other human beings in pain. On that day there were many actively engaged in enacting the oath of humanness that we all took upon entering this life, the oath of affection.

I must look for myself reflected in this image... I know I'm there somewhere... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
I must look for myself reflected in this image… I know I’m there somewhere… – Photo by Jan Ketchel

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, the Golden Rule says. It’s good to see that it’s still alive. But why do so many of us turn our faces and run from horror, rather than look it in the eye, take in the gory details, knowing that we too will suffer and die one day? Why are so many of us afraid of truly living our lives to the fullest? Why are we so afraid to meet our fellow human beings face to face? Why are so many of us afraid to look at our own deepest fears?

I think these are some of the things we are being asked to confront today. As the Shamans of Ancient Mexico state: We are beings who are going to die. Why is this so hard for us to think about? Why do we pretend that we alone are invincible when we are shown every day, from around the world and in our own country, that death will come. We must use death this time as an advisor, this is what the 2 of Disks is saying.

We must dare ourselves to take in the grisly truth. We must look at what has happened, knowing full well that we are not immune, and let it shake us awake. The pictures of horror must burn holes in us so that we do not forget what we human beings are capable of, both the good and the evil.

Perhaps we have come so far from our true humanness that we must be shocked awake before we will change how we perceive the rest of humankind and the world we all share. If we Americans are to change, we must first recognize that we are the same as all other human beings around the world. We are no more or less than the good and evil that resides in the people of the Middle East, India, Africa. We are no more or less human than our staunchest opponents, our perceived enemies, than those who wish to destroy us. We all have some aspect of aberrant behavior that rules us. We are all in need of balance, and external change is what brings that to us. Just as the seasons change, bringing the balance that nature needs in order to regenerate, so do we need external shocks in order to change too. This, I believe, is what the 2 of Disks implies, that external change will come to rock us back into true balance.

We are all both light and dark, yin and yang, good and evil, etc. - Photo by Jan Ketchel
We are all both light and dark, yin and yang, good and evil, etc. – Photo by Jan Ketchel

As the 2 of Disks implies, we are all the oroborus, cyclic beings, endlessly eating our tails. We must accept this. We are all going to die. And so we must accept what comes from without to help us change within, so that change can happen without that is lasting and good. We must once again retake the oath of humanness and truly live as affectionate beings, without self-importance, knowing that we are all capable of the most horrific of deeds, but also the deepest affection. This is the balance of the 2 of Disks.

We must seek balance without, in all ways, now. But we must also constantly deal with the evil bombers within. The shamanic practice of recapitulation offers a method of deep self-investigation that leads to selflessness and true affection. As we constantly recapitulate, we shed our fears and lose our personal self-importance. If we do this as individuals, our nation may lose its fears and self-importance as well. If we recapitulate until we are nothing more than beings who are going to die, when it comes our turn to act externally, only the affectionate beings that we truly are will immediately respond.

Offered in humility, with thanks to the guidance from the universe, today in the form of the Tarot,

A Day in a Life: Asking for Guidance

I dreamed all night about writing this blog, achieving many aha moments as ideas and thoughts came together, as I connected with the bigger picture of who I am, where I am, and what I have to face ahead of me. All of this converged into a big interconnected web of awareness that we are all facing the same issues, the same challenges, the same inner and outer dilemmas. And so it feels right that I explore some guidance I received earlier in the week, as I turned to the Tarot with some requests.

Request for guidance number one was as follows: Please may I pick the card that is most meaningful and important for me to receive on this day as I seek balance and calm knowing in my life. Please direct me to pick the card that is in alignment with my heart’s intent.

Here is the card I picked: The Magus

The Magus

I use the Tarot as a daily guide when I feel the need for clarity, if I am swimming in inner discourse that I cannot quiet, or if I just want to center myself. On Monday, when I sought advice from the Tarot I was mostly interested in grounding myself, in beginning my week fully present. The Magus or Magician “represents the universal principles of communication. The golden figure of Mercury, the winged messenger from Greek mythology, represents communication that is inspired, resilient, and well-timed,” Angeles Arrien writes in The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols. In addition, the Magician is surrounded by ten tools, each one of them representing a means of communication, suitable for different situations and contexts; the challenge is knowing which tool to use when.

I was immediately struck by this card showing up in my hands, for personal reasons, as well as for our times; for all of us. I have been personally challenged for the past ten years with using language and my personal abilities to communicate in many different ways in the world, to use communication in all of its many forms as a means of growth. On a universal level, I immediately noted that in the time we are in now communication is so easily accessible, we all have so many tools available to us, and lately we have been using them to great advantage. Take the revolutionary situations in the Middle East, largely orchestrated and carried out through the use of modern tools of communication: cell phones and facebook. The fact that we all have these tools puts us in a unique position but also a rather precarious one as well.

We must be more thoughtful than ever, I believe. We must be careful in how we express ourselves and selective in what we say. In order to fully embrace the meaning of the Magician in all of us, we must be in proper alignment with our times, the energy of Mercury that is flowing and firing through us all, asking us to change, to revolt, to grow now beyond any stage we have previously achieved, but it also asks us to do so from a new base, from the spiritually interconnected, heart-centered place we all have within. We all feel the energy of revolution and the speed with which things are happening, but we must stay in alignment with the far greater truth that this kind of energy can destroy us as well as evolve us.

We must be in balance—our timing must be right. Our sense of purpose must be clear and well thought out, from the proper perspective, in alignment with the greater interconnectedness of all things. This is what Chuck and I have been trying to write about in our blogs, what Jeanne conveys in her messages, that we are at a crucial time in the history of the world, that we have more tools available to us for communicating now than ever before, but we must use them wisely, for the right reasons, with commitment to endeavors that evolve us now to a place of understanding, kindness, compassion and love for all human beings and the planet as well.

This is what Arrien says as well: “The Magician organizes communication patterns by picking the appropriate tools or content and combines it will well-timed delivery. Blunt communication is communication which lacks correct timing. Confused communication is communication which lacks appropriate content, yet may be well-timed in delivery but poorly organized. The wizard-like quality of the Magician is to artfully combine good timing with clear content and appropriate context.” I believe this is the challenge for all of us now. The truth must be spoken, the revolutions must be waged, the world must change, but all of this must be done properly now. We may not have another chance to get it right.

My second request was for guidance related to all of us, especially the readers of these blogs. I asked for clarity on how what I personally write is being received and what I must be aware of as I continue to express myself in this very public forum. I asked that this guidance show me where we all are now, as we take in the truths of the world and as we grasp the deeper meaning. What must we be aware of next?

Here is the card I received: The Five of Wands: Strife


Strife, as Arrien writes, “is the symbol of the state of strife, anxiety or frustration. Anxiety is an energetic experience caused by holding back… It is the state of having abundant energy but not knowing what to do with that energy, or it’s a lot of energy that’s being contained or held back, which will produce anxiety or the state of strife… The astrological aspect that’s represented on this symbol is Saturn in Leo. Saturn is the planet of discipline, of knowing what your limits and boundaries are and being able to set limits and boundaries. Saturn is the planet that reminds us to do things step-by-step. Leo is the astrological sign of creative power that does not want to be limited, restricted or restrained, and desires full expression.”

So here I see the direct correlation to the Magician card in the energy that is now present, the energy that is revolutionary, in us all, asking to be expressed, allowed to live. Yet we are also held back by old patterns of behavior and what we have yet to face about ourselves, personally, as a nation and a world. We are asked to set limits, which in one sense can offer us the sobriety of thoughtfulness, leading to proper timing, yet also adds frustration to the mix. In holding back we build up anger and tension, which may block our availability to our true knowing, to awareness that is growth-oriented for all of us.

We must be careful as we go into the next five weeks and months, as we face our truths and the world’s truths, as we release old patterns of anxiety and frustration within ourselves and in the revolutions now taking place outside of us. In addition, our energy may get stuck in the frustration of this tension, which sets up the potential for problems and we must be aware that we can easily fall back into old patterns and old complacencies. Even while we bask in this energy, it may be difficult to fully access its power properly.

As Arrien writes: “Any holding back or self limitation will move you into that state in alchemy which was known as leaded consciousness. Leaded consciousness is symbolically represented by the greyed-over areas of this symbol. The lotus blossoms are grey, which means that in states of anxiety you have difficulty in opening or unfolding.”

“In the next five weeks or in the next five months would be a good time to move towards creative endeavors where you feel that you can express yourself fully instead of binding and restricting yourself in any way… This symbol reminds you that in the next five weeks or in the next five months, you are no longer willing to be the lineage bearer of family anxiety patterns.”

This then becomes the challenge to all of us, as the weeks and months unfold, to notice our old patterns of frustration and how we handle them. Are we going to truly change now, embracing this energy in a good and heart-centered manner, or are we going to let the old status quo return and bury us in our inner tensions? Are we truly ready to embrace the power of the energy of these times and change ourselves too, while we watch the rest of the world embrace it, dealing with the strife in all of us?

My third quest for advice revolved around how to deal with people in the world outside of me. How do I apply the energy of the Magus and the power of Strife properly, so that I do not fall into old patterns of personal behavior as regards the people I meet as I elect to change, to take this journey that the energy of this time I live in guides me to take? How do I deal with what comes at me as I seek to transform myself?

Here is the card I pulled this time: Ace of Wands

Ace of Wands

Arrien states: “The Ace of Wands is a symbol of spiritual self-realization, awakening, and is associated with the principle of truth and authenticity… the torch of fire, a symbol of the uncontainable life-force that’s within. The lightning bolts are a symbol of awakening to the spiritual truth and authenticity of who you are… you’ve awakened to the unconscious and irrepressible inherent Being within.”

This card, for me, wraps up the challenges suggested by the two previous cards: we must all stand in and speak our truths. We must be honest and authentic, upholding what we have learned about ourselves as we have journeyed through our lives. We must not hold back who we have evolved into. We know who we are now, and we must fully embrace and become that person. Especially, we must embrace the energy of our times to fully mature into who we have worked so hard to become, but we must balance that energy that wants to burst forth, and declare itself, with the pragmatism and sobriety of the great communicator that resides within us, our ancient spirit self, our knowing wisdom mind, as the Buddhists call it.

As the seers of ancient Mexico will remind us always: we are beings who are going to die, so the question to ask, as we face our death is: How do I want to live?

I feel that these three cards, The Magus, Strife, and The Ace of Wands offer us the balance and guidance we need now, for the times we live in. They offer sobering and at the same time invigorating guidance, encouraging us to stay connected to the energy of life, to plowing ahead, accepting and resolving what we have buried in our pasts that so frustrates and angers us, while we fully embrace our greater potential and our inherent truths. It is time, I believe, for all of us to become more than we have ever dared to become before, but we must do it right.

The tools of communication are not in question; the means are available to all of us. But what we say is of utmost importance, how we say it, and where we elect to speak our truths. We must, I believe, stay in our heart-centered truths, but at all times be mindful of where others are, of the impact our actions, thoughts, and language have. In the media now we hear and read such vitriolic and hateful language, strife between the talking heads, but does it really have any meaning? The same thing can be asked of the language of “the experts” regarding the nuclear disaster in Japan; are they speaking the real truth, or are they “greyed-over” platitudes in an attempt to keep the energy from fully empowering us all now?

We can use these examples by questioning our own speaking tongues, both in our inner world and in the outer world. Are we caught in old patterns of inner and outer strife, in lies that no longer serve us or the energy that is boiling inside us all? It is indeed time to revolt, but it must be done right, both within and without. And you know what, it can’t be stopped. We are in it, we are all responsible for the outcome, as Jeanne mentioned in the most recent message. So the question is, are we going to get it right this time? Everything is available to us, everything is in alignment, everything is already in action.

I awoke from a dream the other morning hearing this: “Yes, good, good,” I heard a voice saying. “You get it, you understand how energy works, you know what you are talking about, but now it is time to not only embrace it and to become it, but to go beyond it.” It’s time for all of us, and the entire world, to go beyond now.

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References: The Tarot cards I use and that are pictured in this blog are Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot Deck and the book referenced is The Tarot Handbook: Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols, by Angeles Arrien. Both are available through our Store.