Saturday, May 25, 2019

Deliberate Draw: Three of Cups

First Impressions:  Openness, honesty, heart to heart, fun

Book:  Triple aspect of the Goddess:  maiden
, mother, and crone, mutual respect, enduring bonds, and social pleasures, loyalty, and shared ideas, creating sacred space

Guidance:  Enjoy the company of a few good friends, have a feast, indulge yourself, act from the heart to build relationships


Most three of cups cards have a sense of frivolity and fun as we see three women dancing and toasting.  This one has a deeper meaning as the women sitting topless indicating a willingness to be open and honest with one another and to be truthful about all things.  It is about letting go of our masks and getting real with the people we call friends.   It's about being able to share the uncomfortable things with people, the things we'd be embarrassed to tell anyone else, it's being able to cry without worrying about the snot coming out of your nose, and being able to laugh until you snort without being embarrassed.  And it's about being honest with people and knowing they won't give you advice unless you ask for it.

I grew up believing that friendship meant having people stick their nose in their business and give you unsolicited advice.  And unfortunately, that is all too often the way that friendship is portrayed today.  However, I learned about real friendship in Al-Anon where I learned that real friendship meant being able to just listen and witness someone's pain without rushing in to fix things.  One of the things I realized in being forced (as there are rules against unsolicited advice in Al-Anon) to keep my mouth shut when people poured their hearts out was that giving advice was more for me than for the people on the receiving end.  It is hard to sit and listen to someone who has a problem that you are convinced you have the solution for and keep quiet.  It is uncomfortable to silently witness people's pain.  However, I also learned from being the one pouring out my heart that there was something empowering about people not giving me unsolicited advice.  It meant that I was free to ask for advice, if I chose to, or figure it out myself.  The more I experienced this true unconditional love, the more I found myself wanting advice from people who had it together.  I also realized that unwelcome advice creates a power differential as the person giving the advice inevitably acts superior to the person on the receiving end.

As I discovered that type of relationship, I realized that the relationships of my childhood were unequal relationships where I was made to feel less than for not having all the answers or for not taking unsolicited advice.  My ex-husband was great at making me feel less than for not taking his advice.  What he didn't realize that even if I didn't take his advice, I often listened and considered it as I developed a plan of my own.  I don't have a lot of friends now as I'm still a hermit at heart, but I do have a few friends that I trust with my soul and it feels amazing to have people who love you and accept you for who you are.


Think about the people in your life, who do you love because they trust and empower you?

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Tarot Blog Hop: Continuing Education

Welcome to the Beltane Blog Hop.  The topic for this Hop as provided by our intrepid wrangler Joy Vernon is Continuing Education.  She invited us to talk about classes we're taking or recommending or what we're doing to further our Tarot Education.  Unlike some of the topics where it takes me a while to get inspired to write, this one is easy as I further my knowledge of tarot by buying and using multiple tarot decks.  What I've found is that every deck's creator puts their own spin on the cards and working with multiple decks helps me to learn more about the nuances of meanings in each of the cards. 

Once I realized that every deck spoke to me in different ways, I started to look for different ways to incorporate different decks into my practice.  I typically work with one deck for spreads and another for my daily draws.  I also work with different decks in different locations as I've found that some decks respond better in different geographical locations.  For instance, The Gaian Tarot  by Joanna Powell Colbert always talks to me when I visit California so I always take it along and make it a practice to pull a few cards at the beach or in the redwood forest. I didn't realize when I first started taking the deck to California that Joanna had lived in the Santa Cruz area and many of the images are drawn from that area....but I digress and will need to write a separate blog post on that topic.

I'd like to share with you a couple of my experiences with a couple of different cards and how working with various decks helped me to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of the cards.  I've also found that as I broaden my understanding of those cards, that deeper understanding applies no matter which deck I am working with.

Six of Pentacles

DruidCraft Tarot
The very first tarot deck I worked with was the DruidCraft Tarot by Phillip Carr-Grom and I hated the six of pentacles.  At the time, I was going through a messy divorce and this card made me feel as if the poor druid sitting in the tree was being asked to give more than he could truly afford.  The meaning of the card in the guidebook is similar to that of cards from other decks as Carr-Grom wrote the card was about receiving and giving.  It could mean being the benefactor of someone else's generosity or sharing what was had with others.  He said that there was a sense of balance and fairness in this card.  However, the image did not portray fairness to me at all and I learned to dread what was next every time the six of pentacles came up as it felt I would be asked to give more than I could afford either physically or emotionally.

The next deck I started working with was a more traditional RWS Clone and the person doing the giving was depicted as a wealthy merchant who was carefully balancing who he gave the coins to.  He did not have to enough to give to everyone, so he had to carefully mete them out to make sure that only people who were worthy received his largess.  Although I liked this image better than the image of the poor druid on the mountain, this one still made me uncomfortable as it felt like I was either judging people or being judged.  The traditional meaning of this card, according to the RWS guidebook is all about charity with justice, fair distribution of wealth, and generosity.

Gaian Tarot
It wasn't until I started working with the Gaian Tarot that I began to see this card as being part of a cycle of giving and receiving.  In this card, there is an abundance of produce and some people are selling it and some people are receiving it, but this image tells me that everyone is equal and no one is being made to feel as if they have to convince someone of their worthiness to receive assistance.  The guidebook says, "You are part of the cycle of giving and receiving."  She adds, "Your generosity and support of others circles back to you and increases your own prosperity and health."  This was a meaning that resonated with me and made me look forward to having a "Six of Pentacles Day" instead of dreading it.

Four of Pentacles

While I disliked the Six of Pentacles from the DruidCraft on site, I didn't have a strong reaction one way or another to the Four of Pentacles.  To me the image and the meaning spoke of building wealth and being responsible.  I saw the person in the image taking care to safeguard what he had.  The guidebook said the card could refer to building wealth and using money wisely.  There was a caution about not becoming preoccupied with wealth and using hoarding to protect yourself from inner loss, but the image did not give me a visceral reaction of hoarding.  Interestingly enough, I equated this card with hoarding my emotional resources and not physical resources.  When I pulled this card, it felt as if I was being reminded to guard my emotional resources closely.

The visceral reaction to hoarding came when I saw the Four of Pentacles from the Everyday Witch Tarot where a man is sitting on a trunk and looking around suspiciously as if someone is going to come in and take his wealth from him at any moment.  The guidebook said, "Fear of not having enough may be more harmful than the lack itself."  This meaning resonated with me as I have seen in my own life how fear is so much more destructive than negative situations.  What was interesting to me was that both the image from the DruidCraft and the Everyday Witch show a man with a trunk, the way they are portrayed conveys vastly different messages.

Dark Goddess Tarot
Interesting enough when I went looking for a third deck to round out my trio of meanings for the Four of Pentacles, I chose the Dark Goddess Tarot and the Spinx adorns Ellen Lorenzi-Prince's version of the Four of Earth and the guidebook said, "Definitions work two ways, helping you understand reality and separating your perception from reality."  It went on to say, "Find your own reality, the only position you must defend, and find the center of your power."  In typical tarot fashion, the cards basically told me to look within my heart for the meaning of the cards.

If you'd like to get some more continuing tarot education, hop back to Arwen's Blog, hop ahead to visit Katalin's Blog, or click on Master to visit the Master List.

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