The Hanged Man

Or, All Shook Up.

Hsnged Man

So I helped out a friend yesterday by playing the part of “subject” for a couple of students learning how to do Reiki. In fifteen words or less, it’s the practice of moving energy around in the body to keep things in balance. (If you want to know more, please look it up.) I was  supine on the table, my eyes covered, and these two women were being instructed in how to approach a client, whether to touch or not, etc. There was hand-waving, occasionally someone would touch my arm or shoulder, and it was fine.

Then someone slipped her hands under my rib cage and the trouble began. I have been trying to get rid of a bad cough for over a month now, and the pain on my left side has gotten worse, not better, in the past few weeks. I don’t have pneumonia or pleurisy, but the pain in my chest persists. So, good for the newbie to pick up the bad energy there!

But bad for me that she had no idea how to smack it down and fix it. So, everything got worse last night: there was no sleeping, just coughing. Grrr.

As I got up from the table, that student told me that I had to let everything go; just release it and I’d feel much better. Okay, I thought. I’ve spent a month trying to cough up a lung, maybe I could try harder?

This morning, when I pulled a Tarot card for this blog it was the Hanged Man. All right. He’s an interesting character. Lots of ways to read him, hard to do it without some other cards to put him in a proper context. Hmmm. I looked in my Tarot Bible to see what it has to say about the guy: “The Hanged Man says that it’s time to let go of any emotional baggage…” Bingo!

He’s the card of contradiction – if you feel like taking a leap of faith, stay firmly on the ground and wait; Think you’ve met your love match? think again…Want to try a new job or a new city? Now’s not the time.

But in this instance – when you are actually ready to move into the future by letting go of the past – he turns up at exactly the right time. If you’ve been reading along with my latest adventures with my ex-whatever Yurgos and his mother Merina, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. And now my own family seems to have had a part in the betrayal! It’s just much!!

So that “diagnosis” of trouble and prescription of release was pretty much on the money,. Of course, like most everything else in life, following through is easier said than done. It may well be that it’s not the lungs or the ribs that need attention, but the heart that’s breaking inside.

[Check out Cassie’s newest tale in “Capturing the High Priestess,” available from leforapublishing.com and amazon.com]

Welcome 2019 with Wands

A little late getting to this; sorry to all my avid followers! I am not one for resolutions or joining gyms to get a fresh start in January. Bah! Humbug! (Just kidding.)

seven of wandsI did pull some cards on New Year’s Day, and an interesting one popped up that really does shed some light on why I’m not skipping down the street these days. The Seven of Wands is depicting one man’s battle against many, which can seem overwhelming, or even pointless. Symbolically, it represents an ongoing struggle to decide whether to stand and fight for something – against seemingly overwhelming odds – or wait for another, better opportunity to fight and win. It’s hard to know when you’re tangled up in the daily struggle if you’re making the right choices.

Is NYU the right place for me? Do I even have a chance to get tenure there, and what will I have to compromise to get it? On the other hand, will my novel ever get published, or will I have to alter it so much that it won’t be my story any longer? Should I scrap it and start something else, or should I take it to another publisher? And what about Yurgos – why did he show up here? Never mind how he’s messed things up with Ty… which I hope I can salvage. If that’s the right thing. My nice quiet life has just exploded, and I’ve got some things to sort out.

Maybe I should join a gym. Kick-boxing sounds like good therapy.

Is it really me?

The Fool

I used to joke about this being my card: hahaha. I was naive enough to think that I could move to a new city and start over. Be a new “me” and leave all my baggage behind. I managed it for about a year, and then the cracks started to appear – or should I say crackpots. People, things from your past, stuff, it turns out you can’t keep it under your bed or in a storage unit for very long. It grows like a fungus, it ticks like a bomb, it breeds like a bunny…well, you get what I mean. Your baggage can never be left behind, especially when you really want to lose it.

My mother taught me Tarot when I was small, and since this is Card 0, it’s the first one in the deck. I always thought that it would be great to be the Fool – he looks like he’s going on an adventure with his dog, he’s got his lunch tied up on a stick, and he’s got those cute yellow boots. But of course Mother always had to point out that the Fool had his eyes shut and was about to step off a cliff.

How do you know that? I’d argue. Maybe he was going to stop there for lunch. She would shake her head and say that maybe I was going to be a fool, after all. She may have been a little bit right. The second year of my “New Life” in the city has turned into a fool’s paradise. If I’m not jumping off a mountain, I’m stepping in a pile of something warm and squishy.

But, you know, I’m having much more fun now. So it’s worth uncorking the genie’s bottle, opening Miss Pandora’s box, or just paying attention to what’s under the bed. Give it a whirl. (You can read all about my ‘coming out’ year in “Embracing the Fool,” click on the title to see the book.)

 

New Cards, New Perspective?

Two of Cups

Someone recently gave me a new set of Tarot Cards. Now, I’m pretty adamant about using the standard Rider-Waite deck that has existed for most of the 20th century. However, I decided to pull today’s card from the new deck, which is called The Golden Tarot, with illustrations by Melissa Launay. I included a shot of the back of the card here, which is also very striking.

The card of the day is the Two of Cups. In the Golden Tarot, the image is very straightforward (as it is for all the Cups): there are two elaborate cups on a simple blue background. If I had drawn from my older deck, the man and woman toasting each other with the large cups would instantly clue you in to the romantic message expressed by this card.  Whether it’s about an existing love or one soon to occur, or a business partnership, this card is an affirmation that all is well in that relationship. There is and will continue to be mutual harmony in this relationship, so make a toast and drink up!

Showing the Cat’s Claws

Cats claw

This is an easy and quick reading that I usually do if I want the answer to a specific question. So, today I thought, what’s going to happen with my job? I know I’ve been taking a lot of time off, but I also know that my students really enjoy my classes and I will be very productive once my life settles down a little (famous last words, eh?).

1. “What am I holding onto?” The first card is The Star, which is a really excellent card no matter where it appears in a spread. Because of all the stars in the sky, the card is considered a celestial or navigation card. It’s not going to give direction, merely point out that I already know what I want and how to get it…so follow the stars! It’s possible that this card is telling me that I have too many stars in my eyes and I need to come down to earth a little, but let’s see what the other cards have to say.

2. The next card, the Queen of Wands, is here to answer “What can I do to let it go?” The Queen of Wands is a very confident woman, sure of her powers and attractiveness, and confident about all aspects of her life. There may be someone who is trying to stop me from using my powers, and that individual is the one I must let go – or else she will hold me back for the rest of my life. Boy, do I know who that is…my so-called mother-in-law (you can learn scads of stuff about her in “Freeing the Magician”).

3. So obviously, the next question asks, “How can I take control again?” Who wouldn’t want to get back on track after messages that are tantalizingly good, except for one teensy-weensy thing. The 8 of Pentacles shows a hard working man finishing up a job. The message is straightforward: work hard, be your best self, and everything will be alright.

4. “What do I Need to Do to Move Forward?” The 9 of Pentacles is a wonderful card, and the woman in the card is advising me to take care and enjoy life, now that my work is done. Completing a job, doing it well, is the best way to gain satisfaction and stability. Or at least I hope so.

5. The final card: “How can I use this to help me?” It’s interesting to have three cards of the same suit in a five card reading; it’s also significant that they are Pentacles, which represent money and material success. So the focus on work is appropriate, and the message I’m getting is pretty simple, too. Just work hard, don’t do anything fancy, and maybe I’ll be able to keep my job. The 3 demonstrates that teamwork can be a helpful way to add more accomplishments, and I have to admit that’s something I have not done. (I’m not good at teams, don’t tell anyone.)

So, there you have it. Short (kinda) and sweet. We’ll do a longer one soon, I promise.

New Leaf with Another Ace

Ace of Pentacles

While Pentacles are associated with money and career, the Ace focuses on the opportunity to start something new…and find success. So, if your inclination is to change jobs or embark on a new business venture, and you draw this card in a spread, then your message is clear: go for it. All the resources you need will become available, and if you work hard, you will find success. But as with all the cards, you cannot sit back and wait for lightning to strike: you must do the work in order to garner the success. Trust your instincts, use your talents, and you can have everything you desire.

Next week, I’ll lay out a Celtic Cross spread and we’ll see what cards turn up!

All Tied Up?

8 of Swords

This week’s Tarot card is the Eight of Swords, and I chose it to go along with Frida’s state of bondage. If you observe the woman in this card, she is blindfolded, tied up, and surrounded by swords: a pretty dire situation. But your reader asks you to take a closer look: the woman is not tied to anything, such as a tree or a chair, and with a little wiggle, she can probably get out of those bindings; then, the blindfold can easily come off. And as for the swords, whose are they? By themselves, they can do no harm. So in reality, the woman is guarded by no one, and impeded by her own fear. She can get away, and perhaps even grab a sword for her own protection. Many of us find ourselves in situations from which we feel there is no escape, and yet, with a change in perspective, we may discover that we are not really stuck where we thought we were.

Feeling like you’re at a dead end in your job or relationship? Wiggle around a little, change your stance, and you may find that you are able to release whatever has been holding you back. If you get this card in a reading, know that it’s time to take off the blindfold and look in a new direction. Don’t wait for someone else to “rescue” you…Time to grow up and rescue yourself from whatever mess you have gotten into. Frida was stuck in her body, tormented by physical ailments, and she became a victim of the time in which she lived, unable to change her marriage or Mexican traditions. She poured her anguish into her art, and created works that are unique and expressive. One can only wonder what she would have been able to do as a healthy, free woman.

Believe me when I tell you that the bindings, the blindfold, even the swords are all representations of your own fears. Once you realize that, you can step away from them, and start to really live your life. Go on, take the first step.