Today’s meditation was fifteen minutes long and was a guided meditation with interval timer again. The topic of today’s meditation was an introduction to the act of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), which is in its essence, a form of nature therapy.
This is something that I do quite often. In fact, the majority of the time when I say that I’m “going for a hike”? You can bet that there is a bit of shinrin-yoku going on in there at least part of the time.
Forest bathing is different than hiking, though, as instead of moving at a steady pace that exercises the body, you move at a slower, meandering pace and your focus is upon the surroundings and “smelling the roses” as you move through the forest. The Pacific rainforests where I live have always enchanted me, and I have done this sort of activity since I was a very young child.
Today’s draw is the Eight of Wands, which is traditionally a representation of movement, action, speed, and rapid changes. Many people have trouble seeing this card as a stand-alone card and feel that it is more of a support card to others, much like an adverb or adjective would be added to a sentence.
I see a lot of things in this card that indicate speed. A shooting star streaks across the sky while bamboo grows at a fast pace below, stretching upward and flourishing. But I also see constancy in the sky itself. Stars sparkle in inky darkness, moving at a much slower pace that sailors and explorers alike have used for centuries as tools of navigation and inspiration.
The message here in this card is about the whirlwind of moving fast, but it is also about the steady purity of having an anchor in the storm. Unleashing energy into the wild maelstrom of inspiration and intent is empowering and can feel wild and freeing, but make sure that you don’t follow that wild feeling so deeply into the storm that you lose your grip on the safety and security of those things that give your life stability.
DECK USED: BOTAN TAROT
Reading Summary: No matter how much you give (Six of Coins) or how hard you work and how skilled you become (Eight of Coins), you never feel like it’s enough (Seven of Swords).
Take Away: It’s that “Never Enough” shadow eh? It lives right there in my heart chakra, whispering insidiously in my ear from time to time, making sure I’m not going easy on myself or slacking off. I knew that it would probably come up eventually as we went through the chakras on this month’s challenge, and it doesn’t surprise me that it shows up in this one.
I had planned on doing shadow work this year concerning this particular shadow, but it turned out the shadow work I did instead was about allowing myself to feel my feelings and finding a new balance for my self care and work methods.
DECK USED: TAROT OF ALEXANDER DANILOFF 2012
#DiscordTarotholicsSep2020 Challenge Prompt
Philosophical Question: What are the 3 major weaknesses of humanity?
Seven of Swords – Envy / Covetousness – So many fights, battles, wars, and horrible acts stem from this weakness. Coveting what others have and giving into the envy we feel moves our inner conflict from these feelings to spill out into violence against others, whether that violence be emotional, verbal, physical, economical, or otherwise.
Herald of Pentacles – Intolerance for Differences – This is less about the “Herald of Pentacles” and more about the imagery. It’s from the clash of colors in the image as well as the expression on the herald’s face. The thing is that intolerance of differences is a huge failing for the human race. On the average, when humans are confronted with differences they react with fear, disgust, and/or morbid curiosity. Although this is an evolutionary reaction developed over centuries of survival instincts, it is also hurtful and, in today’s society, so very closed minded and wrong on so many levels. Although understandable, it is also a weakness that is time to begin overcoming.
The High Priestess – Disregarding Intuition – So many in the world consider intuition to be “a bunch of woo” instead of a real quality of humanity meant that all people possess. This quality is a skill that we all have and has been developed over millennia of evolution to help us navigate life. It is given many names from “gut feelings” to “inner compass”, but whatever we call it, the fact is that it is there to help us make good decisions. Ignoring it is misguided and self-defeating behavior that helps no one.
DECK USED: ARCHEON TAROT
Question: Am I currently in the right romantic partnership to fully flourish?
Reading Summary: When I’m a mess (Nine of Spades) he provides me what I need (Ten of Hearts) to continue on and improve (Eight of Diamonds).
Take Away: Yes. He is the counterweight that keeps me balanced. When my inner dialog turns into a slaughter house of cruelty, he is there to make sure that my emotional fulfillment with him is able to heal what my mind is trying to tear apart. He supports me and my ambitions to be the best I can at all that I do, giving me his unconditional love each and every day.
DECK USED: TAROT OF REINCARNATION
#ConnectWithYourDeckChallenge by E Roebuck-Jones
Question: How can I silence my inner critic?
Reading Summary: Focus on your growth beyond what has tried to hold you back in the past (Page of Pentacles), accept you are strong enough to overcome that voice (Strength), and be kind and accepting to yourself (Nine of Cups).
Take Away: My inner critic’s voice is one of pessimism and beratement. In order to overcome it, the cards here indicate I need to take stock of all that I have done and accomplished in growing beyond what my past tried to lay upon me, and to allow those experiences and my triumph over them to foster my feelings of strength so that I can then use that strength to fight back against my inner critic’s voice and what it whispers in my ear.