Weekly Reading July 25, 2021

Loyalty is a Double Edged Sword

One of my favorite things to do is to use multiple decks to evolve the threads of intuition. This week I started with my newly procured Angels and Ancestors Oracle Deck, and the image of the Shield Maiden. I haven’t looked up the meaning in the guidebook yet. I’m going to listen to her first. She is telling me to focus and plan carefully. Keep my sword at the ready but also my shield.

Next I pulled three cards from my Animal Totems and I Ching deck. The Card of Loyalty (Dog). Dedication, Enthusiasm Support. The corresponding I Ching Hexagram to this is 16 – Enthusiasm and talks about obedience and devotion obtained from forming an enthusiastic army.

The overall theme from this reading is the responsibility of loyalty once you have been given it from your team, and what you have a duty to do with that loyalty to make sure you are acting in the best interest of the community/team/family/yourself.

The other two cards from the Animal Totem deck were #56 (The wanderer – Distraction – Opossum – Theatrics). And #57 (The Gentle – Pursuit – Moth – Intuition/Insight). I felt that these two cards represented two different ways to treat loyalty – a healthy option and an unhealthy option. I also drew two cards from the Osho Zen tarot to augment these two choices – Sharing (Queen of Fire) and Clinging to Past (5 of water).

One way to treat loyalty is to take it for granted and continue to tie it to past events. This is a distraction and amounts to posturing. It does not respect the loyalty you have earned. It also traps yourself and your team/community/family in a box from the past instead of seeing what choices need to be made in the future. Focus on the past will not result in a positive outcome. While we should celebrate and reflect on the reasons we have formed a team or community we also have a responsibility to move forward with focus and determination. We can then put into place ideas and actions that move the team forward. Especially if we are the leader of that team or community.

Staying in and clinging to a box from the past is not loyalty – its unhealthy attachement. And there is no greater distraction from connecting with the present moment.

Instead we can share our gifts of intuition, and use insight to decide how to move the team/community/relationship forward. Loyalty is a gift, not a shackle. You can be a strong leader and still be gentle, transparent with your reasoning behind decisions, and share the rewards of any accomplishments. This is the message of the Queen of Fire – to give back freely.

And this stoking of the creative fires of the team through generosity is likely to result in even greater enthusiasm and loyalty, and a better result using the encouragement of the creative collective energy of the team.

Weekly Reading – July 18, 2021

The Page of Swords – A Key to Innovation

This week in one of my personal readings I drew the Page of Swords using the Tarot of the Divine. This card can be the harbinger of new ideas coming from a place of wit and optimism. The story behind the card in the Tarot of the Divine is that of Princess Parizade – an Arabic folktale.

A quick summary of the story is that Princess Parizade and her two brothers were set adrift on the river by their mother’s jealous sisters. A royal gardener raised them, but one day passed away and they weren’t sure who would care for them. One day Parizade was kind to an old woman who let her know about three magical objects at the top of a mountain. In order to reach the top of the mountain they would have to ignore the taunts of spirits, for if they didn’t they would be turned to stone and never reach the top. The two brothers insisted on going on the journey without Parizade, but they were unable to ignore the taunts and turned to stone. Parizade tried next. Using all of her courage and her own “Medicine”, or ideas, she decide to stick wax in her ears so she could not hear the taunts – she climbed the mountain and as the taunts came she laughed at them. She reached the top of the mountain and received the three magic objects that allowed her to heal her brothers, heal the Gardner’s garden, and discover their true lineage and return them to the home of the Sultan. It was then that they were reunited with their mother.

I decided to pull some cards from one of my favorite Oracles – the Literary Witches Oracle – to understand the page of swords further, and what I needed to unlock it. I pulled Maria Sabina who knew a thing or two about healing medicine. She was a powerful shamanic healer who used psilocybin as part of her medicine, as well as the power of her poetry. She lived in the mountains of southern Mexico.

I find it interesting that I pulled an “old woman” from a mountain with a magical story to help understand this since that’s exactly what happened in the story. Even more interesting that it emphasizes non-traditional medicine and healing a key to unlocking your own innovation.

This week I encourage you to use your own non-traditional medicine, what ever that may be, to find keys to innovation. Maybe its innovation in your own healing process, maybe its innovation in how to help others heal. Maybe its storytelling and poetry as medicine that unlocks new ideas for you.

Whatever that is trust that medicine, and you will find your own magic objects at the top of your own mountain.

The Point

Slogging across dewy fields of tall grass she faltered 
searching through mossy swamps
she got lost in the depths
of her own thoughts

She pierced herself on her own pointed arrow
that she spent a good amount of her life staring at and sharpening
with her mind

And she perished this way

And the world kept turning
and the grass continued to grow high
and confuse those who wandered through it

This angered her
how could she not be the key to the grass and the swamp and the arrow
how could she spend her life dedicated to slogging through these fields
and sharpening this arrow
when its point only directed her own path in the end

She was not the solution, she was only her solution
and this sorrowed her

She was missing something big
she had searched for that something big
until she perished and never found it
all the while not seeing that
all she had to do was……

look up.

The grass isn’t meant to be sorted through…its meant to grow
There is no secret in the swamp
The arrow is not the way.

You are part of the path only if you look up
and see that you are not the only one walking it

look to the stars to see this
look to link souls with other beings to learn this
until you learn this
stop sharpening your arrow
and look up.

echo 1

Thin sticks walk through moonlight
a leaf rolls forward and backwards
trying to sooth the wind
but the breeze is not yet ready for calm slumber

A motor rumbles into earshot in the distance
it resonates and hums against the canyon walls

The girl hidden in the den
punctuates this with her stammered silent echoes
her hollow sobs ask a question that nothing can answer

not the sticks or leaf
not the breeze
not the moon

Weekly Reading, July 5, 2021

Fireworks, Darkness, and Everything in Between

The Fourth of July. Fireworks. But what are we celebrating? Colonialism? Do we have to? No we don’t. We can choose to take make our own fireworks display and illuminate injustice, and also illuminate our own paths to healing. And we can call on the help of two literary witches to do so.

Audra Lorde – whom I’ve used to represent Justice in the past, used her influence as a literary force to illuminate the truth. We have seen the truth brought to light in the most graphic and traumatic resurfacings lately through the literal unearthing of mass graves. Two near past “residential schools” for first nations children in Canada, and the mass grave near Tulsa Oklahoma as long awaited evidence of the gruesome Tulsa massacre.

It is important to use our fireworks, our light to illuminate the truth. Until we do so we cannot see who we really are as a people. Until we do so we cannot even see the wounds that we all need to work together to heal.

So then what? We rip off the bandaid, and see the gruesome wounds underneath. How do we heal, and with what medicine?

Lets ask Sylvia Plath who knew a thing or two about the dark. Sylvia used the dark to create, and while her creative process may not have created light for her, it did create light for others. The wounds she endured gave her a perspective that not too many others are capable of. We should use that perspective and persevere in our own healing processes, both as a society and personally. The veins from which we bleed also unite us. They form roots from which we are all connected.

Rumi said “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Let the light from the fireworks illuminate that which you could not yet bring to your awareness in the past.

And finally, there is no light without the contrast of darkness. Use the light as a way to understand the outlines of darkness, and the darkness as a way to understand the boundaries of the light.

Fireworks indeed!

Weekly Reading, June 27, 2021

Grace

What is Grace? This week I consulted a new tome. It’s called Animal Totems and the I Ching by Brynja Magnusson. It also coveres correlations between the I Ching and the concepts of Human Design and Gene keys, but to be honest with you I wasn’t ready for that yet, so I stuck to the I Ching and animal totems. And for good measure I chose a card from the Tarot of the Divine to contrast with.

I Ching: I threw the pennies 6 times and ended up with the hexagram for Grace and Beauty – #22 with no changing lines. I looked up this meaning in both the book referenced above and the Visionary I Ching by Paul O’Brien.

To the I Ching, at least the translations I’ve consulted, grace and beauty are superficial. They make our quality of life better, but are best used in small matters, whereas more “important” matters required more “careful consideration”. Subsequently some references are made to the dancer wearing the choreography, or the musician taking on the the composition. For the record I wholeheartedly disagree. I think if you are making art on the surface you already have a lot more depth underneath.

The animal totem associated with Grace is the Swan, easily traversing the surface of the water. But instead of leaving the depths of the water below to others, or more important matters, the grace of the swan allows it to be elegant, kind, and open to divine influence. In many ways Grace can be seen as the ability to free yourself to allow the spirit of the divine to work through you. And that’s not superficial.

It’s not about having all of the knowledge or being the Hierophant, its about having grace, and dare I say humility enough to to connect yourself and others to the divine.

Lastly, I draw on the story behind the Two of Swords in the Tarot of the Divine which tells the story of Sita through the Hindu Epic Ramayana. Sita was found to be unmatched in beauty and grace, and attracted many suitors. Her father found a worthy suitor in Rama, but a demon king named Ravana kidnapped her because Rama had defeated many demons. Rama was eventually able to defeat Ravana, but there were many rumors about Sita and what went on while she was with Ravana.

Sita, in order to prove her own innocence volunteered to go through a trial of fire. Because she showed grace literally under fire, the god Agni protected her, and her innocence was proven. In this case Grace can be strength, not just a superficial expression of beauty, and not only a tool to be used in small matters.

But as always I leave you to your own thoughts, and the ability to open yourself, through grace, to the answer you were already ready to receive.

Hallelujah

spit-song slit-sided journal entries
the word freedom but
half past the bravery it takes to spell it
and no where near the bravery it takes
to say it

courage is a mad man’s practice
he drives right off the cliff
because he isn’t afraid to fly

hallelujah is for the spiritually privileged
if you can spell it you are spirit rich
if you can’t your evolved

if you can’t even see the word
you have achieved enlightenment

a full stop breath with no words or writing

no sound
a breath with no sound…..

now that’s courage
and that’s freedom

hallelujah.