Reading the Sacred Text #1
Many people who love tarot consider it in some way sacred, depending on their definition of that word. My definition of a sacred text is very broad and I'm not the only one. The wonderful podcast, Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, has the tagline, reading something we love as if it were sacred. The podcast is so good and you should listen to it. First, just because it is deep and human and real. Second, because their practices are so easily applied to tarot or whatever you love.
The way "sacred text" is defined varies depending on who you ask. One of the characteristics I've heard that rings true for me is that a sacred text is generative. That is, it inspires and/or is directly connected to creating new material. Of course I love this idea because I believe that the Divine did not complete the creation of the universe but rather left it unfinished and invited us, all of us, to participate in its continuing co-creation. Also, if something doesn't support or inspire new life or creations, I don't see how it can be sacred.
Tarot, as a literary and art form, has proved to be very generative, offering us versions of the Rider-Waite-Smith that look at different themes through that lens and bold decks that take on completely new lenses. Wisdom can be found in all of them.
Today I wanted to stretch myself out of my comfort zone and take a look at a page from an unusual version of tarot, the Ace of Swords from the Circle of Life Tarot.
A nude pregnant woman sits on the ground, looking at her full belly in wonder, curiosity, and admiration. Near her is a large, ripe pumpkin fully of sunshine and seeds and a sword is thrust into the ground. Hovering in the air, soft underbelly toward us, a huge beetle tightly clutches a sword/spear with the tip at its head and the shaft running along the length of its body.
All the sexual symbolism makes this a unique Ace of Swords. Usually associated with new beginnings or new ideas, the ripeness of this image reminds us that beginnings lead to endings.
This card is reminder that ideas bear fruit and manifest in the physical world, particularly when we nurture them. Then from that initial idea or seed, many more will come and, if fed, will likewise bear similar fruit.
Select the sword or idea you plan to wield as you co-create this world. It will make ripples, resonances, and consequences that will affect you and all of life.
I know things are hard for lots of us right now. We're afraid and angry. We do need to remember, though, that our words and ideas are creating the future...not a million years from now but like tomorrow future. We will live with the fruits of our words and thoughts. Calling other people monsters and saying exaggerated things, demonizing others, focusing on headlines and sayings rather than actual policies only feeds and nurtures the great divide and perpetuates more of the same. I could go on, but this small wise person says it all so well:
CLICK HERE FOR HUMBLING WISDOM
My blessing for you all today:
May you find the heart center of your life.
May your mind be filled with beautiful ideas.
May the sweetness of your heart lovingly nurture them.
PS What I really wish is that everyone could just settle down. This kind of energy is how a small, inconsequential action lights off a metaphorical powder keg.
A Podcast Interview
As you know, I'm a podcast lover, so every once in a while instead of just listening, I actually talk on one.
Recently, Brigit from Biddy Tarot invited me on her show, and we had such a great conversation. As she describes it:
At a high level, this episode is about how to make Tarot easy. But at a deeper level, it’s about how to connect with Tarot in your own unique way. Barbara walks us through connecting to the Tarot to through your own personal belief system, to being part of the evolution of global consciousness, and so much more. Join me and the Tarot Shaman as we travel through mystic realms to bring you wisdom and guidance.
In this episode, you’ll learn…
You can view it on iTunes here and also on the Biddy Tarot Blog. Click here to access the blog post.
May words of wisdom drift to you on the wind
May you breathe them in deeply
May they encourage and guide you
And may your words encourage and guide
your fellow travelers as we all walk
each other home.
In my shaman training, we've been working on learning how to bless. That's been a big theme in my life since the fall, when I began training as a blesser for the Solstice ritual. Since then, I've been training for the Equinox ritual, which was this past Friday. For each ritual, we learned about and experienced (through specific journeys) the energy we wanted to summon and bestow. We learned techniques to strengthen our connection with and to enhance our ability to summon that energy.
The biggest difference between the two experiences, though, was the experience of blessing during the rituals. During the Solstice ritual, I worked hard at "blessing." My spiritual teacher did say that if you feel like you are trying too hard, you are probably getting in the way more than anything. During the Equinox ritual, I realized that I was not "working hard." I was joyfully and easily blessing the people.
What was the difference? What do I mean by "working hard"? I want to be clear on this, because make no mistake, hard work is involved. But during the ritual is not the time to work hard. The hard work is in the preparation. Through disciplined journeying, drumming, and meditation in the weeks before the ritual, we were ready to simply summon, focus, and release the energy.
The ritual was pretty wonderful. I loved walking through the people, seeing their faces, full of expectation and trust, and knowing that they were, indeed, being blessed. And by being a servant to Spirit, to them, I was also greatly blessed.