The Ant and The Grasshopper

IMG_4015Today’s meditation was fifteen minutes long and was attached to the end of my yoga practice.   I had read the quote pictured in this blog post prior to going into my yoga practice, and it stuck with me through the practice and into the meditation.

It had me considering some of those people I have met in life that have appeared cold to me, and how I often come off to others as cold and distant.  You have told me in the past that these people just haven’t had the chance to get to know me, but the fact is?  Should they need to get to know me to know that I’m not cold and distant? Should they need to get to know me in order to realize I, too, have feelings?

And yet, that impression?  Is mine.   That distance is created by me, whether it’s to protect myself or to protect them from the depression and vicious negativity I direct toward myself… or both.

Just the meandering path of my mind during that time… something to share.

Nine of Oak - Nine of Pentacles - Stolen Child TarotToday’s draw is is the Nine of Oak (Nine of Pentacles) which is traditionally a representation of solitary accomplishment.  That is to say, it represents that time at the end of a journey where you have accomplished your goal and find yourself in a place of abundance.   During this time, there is a moment when you enjoy that abundance on your own before moving on to sharing it with others.   The Nine of Pentacles is that moment of enjoyment and wealth that comes prior to the “sharing the wealth”.

What I actually see today in the imagery of this card, though, isn’t that moment… but the moment that comes just before it.   In the imagery of this card I see the moment when you are counting your resources and tucking things away, storing up and preparing.  The squirrel and the squirrel child here are not wallowing in their wealth and reflecting on how well they’ve done.  They are not in a moment of contentment and satiation.  But they are headed in that direction.

The message here is one of encouragement.  A reminder that I am doing well and the preparations I have made over time to create a sense of stability and security are going to pay off when I need them to.


#TarotForGrowthApril Challenge Prompt
: What can I do to remind myself of the hand my spirit guides play in my life? (built off yesterday’s cards)

Isidore Tarot

Reading Summary: Listen to and trust your intuition (The Priestess) instead of allowing the brain to overcome (Five of Swords) and steal away (Seven of Swords) the surety and comfort (King of Cups) that being in touch with that inner voice creates.

Take Away:  Like most people, my brain loves.. loves to cast doubt.  And in finding that connection to my spirit guides that I’ve been seeking?  That is the biggest hurdle to traverse. As connected as I am to my intuition, it’s still extremely hard to keep my brain from stepping in to cast doubts on what doesn’t feel quite fully manifested as yet.


#DiscordTarotholicsApr2020 Challenge Prompt
: What is my superpower?

Maruco Animal TarotReading Summary: Having a clear head (Queen of Swords) and an open mind (Page of Swords) while taking control (The Emperor) of any situation that requires flexibility and adaptation (Wheel of Fortune).

Take Away:  Perhaps this skill is because I have spent so much of my life suppressing my emotions, but when situations require a clear head, this is not something I usually struggle with.   The emotions turn off, and my brain kicks it up a notch. 

This is actually something I’ve been a bit worried about, when considering the new level of emotions and openness to my emotions that I’ve been slowly exploring and developing over time.  There is always that bit of worry that that objective, clearheaded intellect will become clouded by emotion and damage my ability to step back and see multiple perspectives without the pollution of bias getting in the way.


#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
: How can I become more self loving?

Fairy Lights Tarot

Reading Summary: Work on taking more chances (Left Card) and entertain less self recrimination (Middle Card) and self doubt (Right Card).

The imagery in the left card gives me the impression of swinging from a branch over a cliff, and it reminds me of those swings kids use to swing out over swimming holes and jump.  Sometimes? Taking chances leads to adventure and joyous moments that you can’t find any other way.

In the middle card, the posture of the figures in the center speaks to me of shame and a feeling of defense from attack.   This impression is strengthened by the darkness of the shadows of their robes.

The moon in the right card frowns down upon the figures along the path.  While some bound forward toward that judging visage, others hold back, unsure and fearful.  The red and orange colors in this card also blend into that of the center card, indicating  a connection… a similarity of emotion between the two.

Take Away:  If I want to be more self loving, I need to let go of my self recriminations, my hesitations, and my self doubt.  Instead of allowing these moments to fill my life, I need to leap at the chance to grab hold of the opportunities for joy and revel in the fun that comes with new adventures.


It’s Going To Be Okay

Today’s meditation was yet again non-existent.  I kinda sorta might have fallen asleep instead. Not on purpose, mind you, but apparently I was more in need of sleep than I was of meditation because I managed to fall asleep in my pirifomris stretch. As you might imagine, it was not easy to get out of after having slept in that position for about an hour.

Ten of Zephyrs - Ten of Swords - Stolen Child TarotToday’s draw is the Ten of Zephyrs (Ten of Swords) which is traditionally interpreted as coming to the end of a rough and arduous journey and can often indicate that that ending is fraught with experiences of pain, loss, or betrayal.

With the imagery on today’s card, what I see here is definitely the end of a road, but I also see a message of safety and care.   The resting child and the vulture that looks over it, a bird of pray and a scavenger… and yet also a watchful protector.

What I see here is a message of reassurance, and after the triggering event last night… a message that I needed to hear.   That message says that I am looked over and protected, even when I am at weakest and most vulnerable.


#TarotForGrowthApril Challenge Prompt
: How can I embrace that power? (built off yesterday’s cards)

The Good Tarot

Intuitive Interpretation: Remain open and receptive to love and nurturing.

Take Away:  The power that was referenced yesterday had to do with the touch of guidance from my spirit guides within my choices and my moral compass.  Today’s cards indicate that in order to embrace that touch within my life I need to stop ignoring their presence and pushing away the possibility of them being a hand in things, and open myself up to being more receptive to their presence, guidance, and love.


#DiscordTarotholicsApr2020 Challenge Prompt
: Where do I need to direct more gratitude?

Fantastical Creatures TarotReading Summary:  Instead of spending so much time trying to spread myself thin pushing forward (Seven of Cups) I need to look within and find the fortitude (Strength) that will allow me to accept that things are good (Nine of Pentacles) and enjoy that things are good. (Ten of Pentacles).

Take Away:  I spend a lot of time planning for the future and freaking out about if I’m doing enough and how I can do more.  The cards here speak of the need to let up on those habits and appreciate the here and now.  Yes, there’s a lot going on now to worry about, but the truth is that we are okay.  We have the ability to get food and medications that are needed.  We aren’t on the street or struggling with homelessness.   We are very, very fortunate in all that we have and I need to set aside that diligence and hyper-vigilance a bit to allow myself time to appreciate that.


#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
: What motivates me?

Lili White Tarot

Reading Summary:  The need for spirituality and balance in my life (Temperance), my moral compass (Judgement), and my need for stability and security (King of Pentacles).

Take Away:  One of the core tenants and foundations of my faith is balance.  It is one of the energies that I revere, even in my daily devotional and, even beyond spirituality… or perhaps it is because it is such an integral part of it, balance is an important part of how I view life and the world as a whole.  

My moral compass rules my life.   Sometimes I slip, just like everyone does.  But it is finding balance and holding strong to my moral compass that allow me to move forward with certainty.

The last card is a representation of my need for stability and security.  This need is rooted in fear, yes… but it is also rooted in my connection with the earth.  The core need within me to be grounded is an overpowering drive, and absolute need for me, and that need is not about fear but about what feels right to me and how I connect to the world around me.  Without that grounding force…. there is no sure footing beneath my feet to walk upon my path.


#MidnightTarotChallenge Prompt
Question: How can I be more forgiving?

New Liminal Tarot

Reading Summary: Make the choice (Two of Swords) to accept that sometimes shit just falls apart (Ten of Swords) and make a conscious decision to rise above those moments and focus on recovery efforts (Queen of Discs).

Take Away:  This speaks of stepping away from thoughts of blame and instead stepping forward to offer support.   In doing this, you allow yourself to see things from the other person’s perspective rather than just your own, which fosters the ability to forgive more easily those that trespass upon us.



Weekly Creativity Prompt – The Walk

Pull (at least) three cards and use them to… describe a walk outside.

Akira Uno's Spiritual Tarot

The Hike – 3500 Feet in 3.2 Miles

Strength – Exiting the car is the easiest part of the day.  The little gray Prius is parked in the small lot hidden among the trees and he exits the car to pull out his pack.   Turning off his phone it is slipped into one of the pockets of the pack before the small daypack is slid onto his back and the trunk is closed.

Moving to the trailhead, he pauses at a post with a wooden box upon it.  Lifting the lid, as expected, what is found inside is a notebook and a tethered pencil.  The pencil is picked up and his name is written down along with the date and the time, as well as the anticipated time he would be on the trail.   The box is then closed and left behind as he moves to take the first steps upon the spongy soft ground of the trail.

Following the path to a small bridge that crosses a busily babbling stream, booted feet find the other side and he looks up the sheer face before him.  Breathing deeply the damp, musty air filled with the scents of evergreens and decay, his gaze follows the zigzag of the trail going up the mountain as far as the trees will allow.

The hike to the top is just over three miles, with an elevation change of 3500 feet in that short distance.  Nearly 1200 feet of elevation per mile of trail making it one of the most difficult trails accessible to the general pubic.

Hanged Man – As he makes his way along the switchback trail, following the long stretches of straight that zigzag up the mountain and sharp turns at the end of each, muscles stretch and blood pumps.  His body protests as his body demands more oxygen to fuel the effort put fort as each step along the path is the same as taking a double step on a staircase… without the staircase.

Using roots and rocks as footholds, each breath becomes an agony and a pleasure at once, the fresh air filling his lungs even as his lungs ache greedily for more and more.  A sheen of sweat coating flesh blending a hint of clean sweat and personal scent into the damp crispness of the air.

But over time, the body adjusts and breathing evens out.  Refusing to stop, refusing to pause and catch his breath or rest, the agony increases and increases… and then finally begins to fade.  To shift as the fire in muscles turns into a warm, wobbly burn.

Judgement – Each quarter mile is marked, but it is not those markers he seeks but rather the green sign with white letters high up upon a tree where the trail finally splits.  The words “Summit Loop” a blessing.   It is the holy grail that does not truly mean the end… but rather a shining light of hope that tells him that he’s done good and is getting there.

When he comes upon that split in the trail and the beautiful sign, he finally takes a moment to pause in the bliss of being over half way there.  A hand lifting to press against the stitch that quickly develops in his side as his body’s adjustment to the extreme exertion now tries to settle and relax.

Pulling off his pack, he pauses to down half a bottle of water, and finish off a couple of protein bars, his back resting against one of the trees off-path as he looks up at the gray sky and lets the crisp bite in the air at this new elevation cool him down and dry the sweat on his skin.

Justice – Eventually he has to get up and continue upon his climb, and his body screams in protest as muscles that had tightened up now object to rising and joints that are stiffened try to move.

Familiar with the trail, he takes the left side of the split, choosing to take the steepest part of the loop first so that he climbs it rather than giving his knees the agony of trying to going down that incline.   Muscles screaming and lungs aching once more, he pays for his break upon the spit in the trail with a steep decrease in the stamina he’d gained over the nearly two miles he’d hiked thus far.

As he continues to climb upon the trail, trees become more scarce and the spongy earth beneath his feet turns harder, jutting rocks breaking through the soil become footholds on the incline as he pushes on, forcing his body to keep moving through the pain and promising that it will be worth it once he reaches the peak.

The Hermit – As he climbs this steepest part of the trail, the treeline opens up.  Jagged silvery spikes of an old forest fire open up the view on one side of the trail, the other side filled with sparse woodland that slopes down and away the way he had come.

Here and there remnants of snow linger on the ground, tucked into the crevices of rocks and grooves between tree roots.  Scenic views of the valley beyond, the peak of another climb not far off, and the large shimmering lake far below greet him and soothe the pain even as he continues on, fresh air now crisp and cold chills the tip of his nose and his cheeks.

Soon he arrives at at a small outcropping of rocks, and a sign that indicates that he has reached the peak of 4301 feet.  Here he stops and removes his pack, setting his ass upon the rock and tilting his head back to catch his breath.

Here he will linger.  He will sit and enjoy the view and the chill in the air. He will eat lunch and he will hydrate.  He will meditate, and he will enjoy this time alone, savoring the feel of muscles well worked and lungs washed clean of the pollution of the city so that they can be filled instead with fresh, crisp air.

Soon he will have to take the trip back down… but for now?  He will savor the fact that he is the only human for miles and soak in the peace and solitude.



The Buffet… and Moderation

IMG_3968Today’s meditation was just under eleven minutes long and focused on the distraction of intruding thoughts and experiences in the middle of a meditation practice.  That is to say, it focused upon how to deal with these distractions and not allow them to frustrate you or pull you away from your practice.

Instead, the guided meditation encouraged approaching these distractions in a disconnected sort of way.  Choosing to take a moment to identify what it is that has distracted you, acknowledging it by naming it, and then letting it go and returning to your center focus (usually the breath).  That is to say, for example, that if you get distracted thinking about what you need to do for the day you pause to recognize you’ve become distracted.  You then label that distraction as “thinking” and accept that it happened, and then set it aside and return to your meditation focus.

This actually seems to work really well for me.  Everyone becomes distracted during meditation, even those that practice daily for years and years.  It’s a part of the process, and that pulling yourself back from distraction to return to your meditation is just as important a part of the process.

Seven of Brine - Seven of Cups - Stolen Child TarotToday’s draw is the Seven of Brine (Seven of Cups) which is traditionally a representation of feelings of overwhelm (or feelings of vast opportunities) created by having an abundance of choices open and available to you.

So many yum-yums… a veritable smorgasbord… so little time.

Laughing.   Okay, so that was my above thought when I first saw this card.  A raccoon presented with so many different delicious options that he’s left unable to decide what he wants to eat.

The message here has to do with having too much of a good thing.  I’m not really sure where this fits into my life today, but I will definitely be keeping an eye open for where this message might apply.   I do see it as a good reminder, though.  And a good message because of the value of its reminder.

It’s a reminder that moderation is a good thing, yeah?  And although I’m not especially good at moderation? I do understand it’s value.


#TarotForGrowthApril Challenge Prompt
: What is the root of my power?

Fairy Lights Tarot

Reading Summary: spirit guides (left card), reaching for and embracing change (center cards), moral compass (right card)

Take Away:  The root of my power is threefold and resides in the guidance of my spirit guides, my adaptability and willingness to adjust to change, and the moral compass within me that guides my actions.

There is a blending of colors from the spirit guides card into the change card that speaks of the changes I am often guided through the changes that come by my spirit guides in order to help me embrace those changes.

There is also a color flow between the spirit guides card, the “reaching for” card and the moral compass card that speaks of my spirit guides having a hand in my openness to adapt as well as the moral compass that guides me.


#DiscordTarotholicsApr2020 Challenge Prompt
: What piece of advice will help me achieve my dreams?

Forager's Daughter TarotReading Summary:  Beware the last sword (Ten of Swords) that will be coming for you just as you begin to feel a sense of pride in your accomplishments (Nine of Cups) and a feeling of having finally found stability and completion (Ten of Pentacles).

Take Away:  This is a warning about becoming overconfident.  In order to achieve my dreams, the cards indicate that I need to take care not to let my progress and accomplishments go to my head.  There are going to be setbacks and struggles… even when I feel I’m past all that and think that I have found higher ground.



Creation, Evolution, and Balance

Today’s meditation was disrupted by the fact that I had to run Z to the hospital.   I did do a good deal of 2 minute pauses and deep breathing while at the hospital in order to keep myself calm and clear headed.   But I didn’t really get an actual, official meditation as the emergency happened just after I had lain down to try and get the meditation practice in.

Z is fine, and back with us, btw.  She just had to stay overnight to make sure that her allergy reaction didn’t return as the medication used to suppress it wore off.

Ace of Oak - Ace of Pentacles - Stolen Child TarotToday’s draw is the Ace of Oak (Ace of Pentacles) which is a representation of the seeds of new beginnings in the area of one’s resources, finances, health, and the physical plane.

Aside from the Five of Flame, this is one of my absolutely favorite cards in the Stolen Child deck.  The imagery in this card speaks to me of the aspects of nature and energy that I revere in my practice.   That is, that it speaks to me of the energies of creation, evolution, and balance.  It speaks to me of cycles and balance.

The appearance of this card today and the message it brings has very little to do with traditional meanings, and everything to do with my perception of those energies represented within the imagery.   This card is a reminder that my morning devotional where I call upon those energies and the energies of the elements is an important part of my day and finding balance in my life… and calling me out on skipping it.


#TarotForGrowthApril Challenge Prompt
: How can I honor that lesson? (built off yesterday’s cards)

Mibramig Magical Tarot

Reading Summary:   Accept that I’m doing a good job (Ten of Pentacles) and that this lesson is one that is needed (The Tower) in order to become stronger and more assertive in life and a better provider (King of Wands).

Take Away:  I have definitely felt a shift happening as I’ve lead my family (sister, childhood mentor, mother and her nurse) through the crisis that this pandemic has created.  I feel less and less like a kid fumbling in the dark and working at “playing house”, and more and more the responsible and dependable rock that they need.


#DiscordTarotholicsApr2020 Challenge Prompt
: What gifts does the new season bring with it?

Considerate Cat TarotReading Summary:  The opportunity for a little more independence (Nine of Pentacles) that I should grab hold of and use to nurture myself and care for my needs (The Empress) rather than ignoring or rejecting for not being enough (Four of Cups).

Take Away:  Alone time is a really scarce commodity these days and that’s something that I’ve really struggled with.  The cards here indicate that I’m going to have an opportunity for a bit more autonomy with this new season, and instead of squandering that opportunity because it doesn’t feel like I’m getting enough… I need to cherish that opportunity and use it to help take care of myself and my needs.  This feels like an encouragement to jump at opportunities to get outside and enjoy time in nature, no matter how small, short, or limited those opportunities may be.


#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
: What energy am I attracting in my life?

Forager's Daughter Tarot

Reading Summary: Seeing the world (The World) from a new perspective (Hanged Man) that will allow for a closer connection with others (Two of Cups) through self expression and exploring new ways of communication (Page of Swords).

Take Away:  That openness to new perspectives is something that I always welcome, but the blend of that with a connection to others is something that is very new.   I usually have a really difficult time connecting to people and the message here is that at this time it is important to seek out and be open to finding new ways of communicating with others that help foster those connections that I’m usually not very strong at developing.



Developing Understanding

IMG_3944Today’s meditation was just over ten minutes long and focused upon connecting with your inner voice and emotions, and allowing meditation to take you to a place of stillness that allows us to better hear that inner voice that can sometimes be so very quiet.

By stilling our mind and bodies, sometimes we are able to better connect with that voice.  And by using meditation regularly, we become more adept at finding that quiet stillness and sinking into it.   It allows that stillness to become a part of you.  A part of you that grows and develops over time until that inner voice is able to open up and become much louder, and speak to you more often.

Ace of Zephyrs - Ace of Swords - Stolen Child TarotToday’s draw is the Ace of Zephyrs (Ace of Swords) which is traditionally a card that indicates the seed of new beginnings concerning thoughts, intellect, and communication.

What really stands out to me in the imagery of this card today is the combination of vertical and horizontal eyes.  This speaks to me of multiple perspectives, where the green that leaks from the eyes and into the brain then speaks to me of absorption.

The message in today’s card is about learning.  It’s about allowing yourself to be open to new perspectives. Not just open to them but allowing them but allowing yourself to absorb and understand these perspectives, seeking new knowledge and new understanding in the process.

This is something that I seek out regularly.  Even if I can’t relate to the perspectives that I sometimes collect, I am always open to hearing them and they give me the knowledge to know what others feel and think and believe.   I think it’s important to be open to at the very least hearing other’s perspectives.   I think that you need to be confident enough in yourself and your own path that every perspective you hear does not end up adopted as your own, though, as well.


#TarotForGrowthApril Challenge Prompt
: What lesson am I being taught at this time?

White Sage Tarot

Reading Summary:  How to provide a sense of stability (Four of Pentacles) and emotional security (Ten of Cups) while plotting a course forward (Two of Wands) that leads my loved ones through difficult times (The Emperor).

Take Away:  With everything that has been going on in the world lately, and the fact that we are in lock down together (my sister and I and our childhood mentor), there is a lot of uncertainty going on.  The lesson that the cards indicate I am learning at this time is how to create and provide that sense of security and stability for others, and lead them through times of uncertainty and struggle.


#DiscordTarotholicsApr2020 Challenge Prompt
: What is Divinity?

Marshmallow Marseille TarotReading Summary:  Guidance (Hierophant) towards living a better life (Judgement). Connection (Two of Cups) and stability (Four of Pentacles).

Take Away:  Divinity is the guiding light in the darkness that helps us learn to be better.  Better people. Better at the things that we do.  Better at making good choices.  It gives us the capacity to create connections both with others and with divinity itself, and creates within us a sense of stability that fosters our strength and moral compass.