my heavy heart
is swift of foot
but somehow lies dormant
under red sands
and marbled skies
for many many sunsets
it’s hard to recognize
after they bake
in the sun
for years and years
one scar bleeds
into the next
until they form
if you examine
at different angles
it’s both a secret symbol
in the sand
A Story of the Two Cups
One of the most romantic cards in the deck, the two of cups represents two hearts meeting. I would like to dedicate this post to my brother and his new wife as this is the card I pulled for them on their wedding day, and it couldn’t be more fitting. The manner of meeting and how they become joined together can happen in all manner of ways, but the result is always a happy one. Here are some examples of the two of cups and their meanings. This first is the exact card for the newlyweds.
The Two of Cups in the Way Home Tarot shows two jellyfish that have met in a vast ocean, and are now effortlessly swimming peacefully and gracefully together. Everyday and every hour may not be able to feel this effortless, but that fact that you have found this in each other is miraculous. The Cups are about emotional connection which is not often effortless for a lot of us, which makes this message even more beautiful.
In the Santa Muerte Tarot the Two of Cups card shows two people who are able to be open enough with each other that they can refill each others cup and in a effortless way where this does not feel like a sacrifice. This is a joyous union created when we can find joy and solace in each other.
In the Brady Tarot cups are represented by horns and the 2 of Horns shows two Albatross and is called Union. Albatross mate for life, but only show this joyous dance at the start of the relationship. Maybe a reminder to keep dancing. They are also combining the water from their horns to form new medicine.
In the Tarot of the Divine the Two of Cups is represented by the story of Enkidu and Gilgamesh. Enkidu was created to defeat Gilgamesh, but instead Gilgamesh finally found his equal in strength. The two grappled for days, and instead of ending in one overpowering the other, it resulted in the two becoming inseparable and never wishing for the company of another. Finding someone who compliments or matches your strengths is a great thing indeed.
the skylark sings of safety
where did it wander
how can it find this lost feeling
the armadillo sings of joy
how can it feel this thing
it cannot uncurl its heart to see
the starfish sings of sadness
a foreign place it’s never known
a frown it can’t physically achieve
the bee sings of laziness
because it cannot fathom
having the time to stop and think
A Study of Shields
A dear friend of mine recently explained the difference between blocking and shielding. A block is an attempt to stop one move at a time and is focused only on the direction of that strike. A shield is different. It is intended to block many strikes from any direction. This made me want to explore different kinds of shields, and more importantly not just physical shields, but mental, emotional and spiritual shields. Today I’m doing this using the Way Home Tarot and the Enchanted Map Oracle.
Shields can be barriers and these barriers can be both helpful and hinder us. Sometimes we need to hibernate like the Hermit above. In this case we are shielding ourselves from the world in order to heal, but if we stay there too long we are just hiding from life, and that’s not protection, that’s stagnation.
Some barriers are helpful tools in order to allow us to complete a task. The frog in the four of pentacles is using the lily pads as a barrier to the water. The structure of the lilypad shield allows the frog to walk on water.
In many ways shields are a show of collective strength. A community is a type of shield, like the ant colony in the Three of Pentacles above. By working together we are able to protect ourselves by building one bigger stronger shield rather than each of us holding our own.
A shield can also be used as a weapon, although if that’s what you are doing, you should know that you are going back more to blocking than using the shield as its truly intended. The minute you aim a shield at something it becomes a block. But it could be a very effective block at the right time – two swords crossed together can be a shield.
I know what you are thinking – how the hell is this thing a shield. In my study of shields this week I have decided that the most powerful shield we can have is the ability to connect with the present moment. We cannot live in the future, it doesn’t exit yet – if we live there we are living in the ghostlands where no sheild is possible. Yes we should plan for the future and have goals, but we can’t live there. We also cannot live with the ghosts of the past, in a place that we have frozen in time and are trying to use as a shield to keep us from joining the present. That place no longer exists as well, and staying there is only harming yourself and not anyone else.
When we can truly connect with our present we are able to send energy out in all directions, farther than the heart or soul can see. Its the biggest shield of all, and maybe the hardest one to build in a strong way.
I wish you peace in whatever shield you need this week, and I wish all of us progress in staying in the present and out of the ghostlands.
The ingredients for a feast
This week just a fun light three card story from the Way Home Tarot. The 6 of pentacles shows some harvested herbs and garlic. Some painstakingly prepared ingredients for sure which required the passage of time in order both grow and dry some of the herbs.
On the left, the 9 of pentacles – a harvest from another well tended garden, this one has most likely taken several seasons to develop.
In the center, the 2 of wands, the conflict of the sticks is necessary to create the spark for the cooking fire.
Its a good example of three thigns that are important, but don’t work as well if they are not combined, in this case into a tasty feast?
What three ingredients would you focus on in order to create your long awaited feast?
Why so judgmental?
Judgement is the name given most often the next to last card of the major arcana in the Tarot. It has the number 20 and is has been one of the hardest ones for me to connect with so I thought I would study it a bit more and write an article.
The general idea of this card is that its time to make a decision, and not just any decision, a life changing decision. For this reason I have stopped thinking of the card so literally and renamed it the Huge Decision card in my head which has helped immensely. Here are some examples and some of the nuances that come with them. If you want more info on the decks that the cards come from please go to the page of this blog on tools of the locksmith.
Whoa! Am I right? This card from the Afro-Brazilian Tarot says huge decision with high drama for sure. Its literally asking you if you are ready to grab the lighting in the storm within and transform. Well…..are you? Maybe you would like some time to think about that.
Sometimes this refers to a huge decision that we made in the past depending on the location of the card. It might have been a decision you had to make to survive. If that’s the case you should look at how that decision is currently impacting your life, and understand why it was necessary, but if at all possible do so without…..wait for it….judgement.
Well this seems a bit more low key…almost, I mean its a monkey how bad could it be? Beware, this is from the Tarot of the Divine where legends, myths and fairy tales abound. This is Sun Wukong, the monkey king born from stone who acquired supernatural powers through Taoist practices. The story of Sun Wukong is a long and winding one where he made some very bad and downright evil choices, and then later on proves himself by accompanying and protecting a pilgrim on a journey of 81 tribulations.
In this case this judgement might be more about redemption, and being able to look at what led up to this moment as a whole story instead of only seeing either mistakes or victories. Its more than the “simple” balancing act of the card called Justice, its the ability to look with detachment at the whole picture to inform the choice for redemption.
In the Voyager Tarot the card with the number 20 is called Time-Space. Its the ability to see all things as one and how they are connected. This is less of a judgement or decision, and more of the ability to have this kind of perspective and awareness.
In many ways this is harder than making a big decision, because we often blind ourselves to important bits and pieces if our judgement is clouded by the past, or if we are projecting something that is not really there into the future.
Lastly I offer this simple vision of transformation from the Way Home Tarot. Is the now transformed cicada looking back on its shell from the past, or is the shell from the past looking forward to the future transformation. Trick question, there is no time or space at this point in the archetypes because we are about to come to the final realization that they are all the same thing.
In this case the transformation is inevitable, even if the cicada will have to wait 17 years to experience it. So then what? I think the message then is to prepare and study for this big impending moment.
The story of the Two of Swords – the positive transformation of conflict into partnerships
Sometimes we get to a point in a project or a partnership where things don’t seem to be working like they used to. Everything feels like work , and two parts that at one point seemed to be executing in harmony are now working against each other. This is not a sign that the project, idea, or partnership is over or can no longer work. It is sign to stop and examine things, and figure out a new way to communicate, work or understand each other. If we do this, we can create something even stronger than what we had before.
Lets look at a couple of examples of this card.
First the two of swords from the Santa Muerte tarot is a scissors. If we look closer at the scissors we can see that the sharp part of the blades are facing outwards. With this configuration the scissors may not be very effective. If we stop trying to use these scissors for a second and take a look we might decide to re-orient the blades so they can work more effectively together. If we don’t stop and thing about why things aren’t working though, we might keep trying to use the scissors as they are, and eventually decide they are broken and can no longer be used. If we make the change the top of the scissors starts to represent a butterfly instead of a broken skull. The end result of any of the twos is to transform into a better version of itself.
In the second card from the Brady tarot we have the two of arrows which in this deck is called Armistice. What is an armistice specifically? Its a mutual agreement between two parties to stop fighting, but not an agreement that the war is actually over. The two parties see that they must work together in order to get through a rough part of the path, or to achieve a mutual goal. In this card a wolf and a mountain lion are working together. They are wearing blindfolds that bind them together which can mean they agree to turn a blind eye to their usual differences and work together.
The amazing thing that could happen if the two parties see how well they were able to work together is that it could turn into an actual partnership instead of the two going back to war. What a transformation if people can only see the power in that.
Lastly we have the two of swords from the Afro Brazilian Tarot. Again we have two leaders putting aside their swords to talk and understand one another. What could be the possibilities of this?
I don’t mean to make it sound easy. Putting away swords when one of the swords has always been pointed at you, your family, your project, your way of life is a very difficult thing to do. And that’s only the first step. Next you have to learn how to talk to each other without drawing swords again. But once this is achieved common ground can usually be found, and upon this common ground new things can be built.
Where is this manifesting in your life today? Do you have a “broken” pair of scissors that just needs a tune up or reconfiguration to become a new tool? Have you been in an uneasy armistice, and can you see yourself maintaining the partnership once the challenge is over? Or are you in a place where you can lay down swords and make powerful change for more than just yourself?
With so much love!