#7philosophicalreadings (non) VR to Benebell Wen

Recently, Benebell Wen did a video on YouTube that involved a challenge of doing 7 card readings for 7 classical philosophical questions.  I really liked this idea, and so I decided to give it a go.   Most of these questions I already have definitive opinions concerning, but the purpose of this exercise is to set the intention that the cards will know how you would respond deep down on a soul deep level, and thus communicate this in the readings.

I decided to do single card pulls for each question, but as you will see, I ended up with a few jumpers along the way.

The Seven Philosophical Questions:

1. The Trolley Dilemma: (I have linked the title to an outline of what this is if you are not familiar.)  Do you divert the course of nature and kill one to save five, or let nature take its course and let the five die.

IMG_9364The bell indicates I would try to warn all of them involved.  Although this is not something I could do verbally, I would definitely give my all to get the warning out there.  In the end, though, a difficult choice would have to be made.

This is where the spikes on the inside of the bell come in.  Either way, one or many will die.  I would choose the one, and my insides would be torn apart by this choice, probably forever after, just as those spikes are sure to scratch and score the inside of the bell.

I am that son-of-a-bitch that would kill five for someone I care about, though.  Just sayin’.

2. What difficult truth(s) about the human condition are you ignoring?

IMG_9365Sometimes I forget just how vulnerable people can feel.  Like so many, I go through life distracted by my own thoughts and issues and forget that others are dragging their own anchors behind them.  Some people’s anchors are heavier than others, but everyone thinks their own anchor is the heaviest.

In other words?  Everyone has burdens, and those burdens are entirely subjective.  That subjectivity makes it difficult to acknowledge other’s burdens, and impossible to see them in the same light as the one carrying them does.

3. What does it mean to live a good life?

IMG_9366Defeating your demons and protecting the security of your home, friends, and family (or your village of towers) from those demons hidden in the dark.

This boils down to valuing your personal “village”, and working on your shadows and demons so that they do not  crawl out of the dark and destroy everything you hold dear.  We all have deep dark shadows where monsters lie in wait, emotional demons and the creeping shadows of our darker selves linger there.

Unchecked and unacknowledged, these dark entities within ourselves surface and wreak havoc.  To protect what you hold dear, it is important to deal with these demons rather than trying to bury them into a hole they will then try to climb back out of again and again.

4. Where does your self-worth come from?

IMG_9367This card came with a twofold answer for me.   From within… and from the earth.  This is very fitting.

a) From within… I have never really been able to explain where my conviction of self comes from.  My father tried throughout my entire childhood to break me down and build me up into something different.  And yet it never worked.  No matter how hard he tried, I knew who I was and what I wanted, I knew what felt right and where my values resided.  From within, while not really speaking of “why”, does speak of where quite eloquently.

b) From the earth… I have always had a very strong reaction to the earth.  An instant communion with soil and sand, with trees and the green.  It is the balm of my soul in the way water is the balm of my emotions.  Being in nature among the trees and the soil, especially here in the rainforests where things are dark and moist and filled with green, has always been extremely restorative to me.  It lifts me up and centers me into myself. My self worth greatly ties into this, as it is a part of how I identify with my inner self (and the world at large, for that matter) on a very base level.

5. What had existed before our universe was created?

IMG_9368Okay, so this one totally made me laugh, and I think that was the entire point.

No, I don’t think that the card is saying that before the universe was created, angels resided on high.  But, I believe that before our universe was created there was still something greater at work.  An energy of creation, evolution, and balance that in the end gave birth to what we have today, much in the same way that melody is created by the creation, evolution, and balance of notes blending on the air.

6. Are you ethically obligated to improve yourself?


OOph… man.  The short answer?  Yes.  Look at those cards tho.  Wow.   They are so self explanatory, at least to me.

What I see here is the unpacking of one’s inner self (as life tends to do whether we want it to or not) develops into the discovery of one’s inner demons, and those demons being set loose out into the world.  And, when they are set loose, the world feels dark, and all those carefully erected pieces of your life that you value so much start to topple.

So yes. We are.  Because without self improvement, you are not just at risk of screwing over your own life, but the lives of everyone and everything around you (alllll those dominoes).

7. What is Divinity?


Divinity is the unlikely vessel that lifts you up and carries you when you are feeling vulnerable and small.  It is the light in the darkness that we must choose to accept or turn away from, and yet even when you turn away from it, it still glows to light the way.  It is the duality of right and wrong, good and bad, man and beast, feminine and masculine, yin and yang… always together, always in motion, always side by side.

Deck Used:  Dixit Expansion Pack #2 Quest


Let Go

Today’s meditation was ten minutes long, and focused on a recurring theme in these guided meditations, which is the ‘pause’ or ‘the gap’.

Essentially, it encouraged taking a moment in your day from time to time to “mind the gap”, which is to say to find that moment of stillness and quiet between bouts of chaos and cacophony.  These small gaps are moments of peace that can be used as a balm on one’s nerves and soothe the soul.

I like this recurring theme in my guided meditations, because they work as a reminder to something that I don’t always remember to do on my own.

Today’s draw is the Three of Swords (the Dove), and I will speak to the traditional meanings of this card after I provide my intuitive take.    When I saw the imagery on this card, the immediate response was “Let Go”.

The card’s appearance has to do with my hesitations in stepping forward with the new project that I’ve been working on.  I’ve had everything ready to begin for some time, but I’ve been hesitating to take that last step forward and begin.

Today’s card is telling me to let go of my doubts and fears and hesitancy, and step forward into  what I have been working toward.  To that end, I have done just that with a portion of my morning, and officially put the wheels into motion.

Traditionally, the Three of Swords is a representation of negative self talk, lack of optimism, sorrow or grief, inner pains, and (of course) heartbreak. Numerologically speaking, the Three of Swords indicates growing pains and small gains, communication among the group, and the “third wheel” mentality within the area of thoughts, logic, communication, instinct, and education.

In the guidebook for this deck, the is associated with the keywords of communication, sacrifice, truth, hope, release, and renewal.

Deck Used: The Animism Tarot