New Blog Address
beaver
thesycamoretree
Due to the ongoing problems at LiveJournal, I've decided to give another blog a try for a while.  You can find my new posts here:
http://www.bythesycamoretree.blogspot.com/


Noticing Subtle Changes
beaver
thesycamoretree
     This week the deck I'll be using is the Victorian Romantic Tarot, created by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov.  Today's draw is the King of Pentacles:
Here is a king who is out and about to check on the state of the land and his people.  Other kings may rely on men who report back to them about the affairs of the kingdom, but this king is so in tune with his surroundings that he will pick up on seemingly insignificant observations that others miss.  Is the water level down from where it normally is this time of year?  Are the animals showing signs of a particularly cold winter ahead?  Some people may find him dull, but all would agree his interests lie in what is beneficial for all the land and its people, not just a select few.  He reminds me that there is a time to be sensible and practical rather than impulsive and unconcerned.

     The second deck I'll be using this week is the Flowers' Messages, created by Annie Marquier and Veronique Dumont.  This morning's draw is "Daffodil - Groundedness:"
In the early spring, daffodils are the first flowers to make an appearance here.  It's almost if they pay such close attention to the subtle changes in their environment, they know when the seasons are changing.  Here in my area, the dogwood berries all have a blush of red, and many of the deciduous trees are slowly beginning to turn colors.  If I spend all my time rushing from one appointment to the next, hurrying through one task to another, I'll have no clue what is going on in my environment.  This flower encourages me to stay in the present moment, aware of what is around me and what is happening now.

Offerings and Misjudgments
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Seven of Cups:
Genetti offers a different take on the Seven of Cups; instead of a person dreaming about what will make them happy, this image shows offerings to a volcanic god on the Indonesian island of Flores.  It made me reflect on the many ways I try to appease and please the people in my life.  There's nothing wrong with being unselfish or doing good deeds, because those actions do fulfill me.  But every now and then, I need to dish up a bowlful of nourishment for myself too.

     From the Oracle of Dreamtime comes the "Sydney Harbor Bridge:"
This aboriginal legend tells of a giant kangaroo that decided the grass was greener on the other side of the harbor.  Instead of going the long way around, he thought it would be quicker to jump across the wide expanse of water.  He discovered too late that he had misjudged the distance, and his legs became bogged down in the mud.  His bones became the bridge for Sydney Harbor.  This myth reminds me that the "quick" way is not always better, and just because something seems like a good idea doesn't mean it always is. 

Apples and a Serpent
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Four of Disks:
Four apple halves are surrounded by blossoms and honey bees.  Most RWS based cards depict a miser, clutching his hoard of money to his chest.  Although I do believe abundance is portrayed by this card, to me the apples emphasize the wealth of good health.  Even though I have been faithful for months now in my daily exercise and diet, I must not slack off or become complacent.  The pleasure of feeling good far outweighs the rigors of self-discipline.

     From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Rainbow Serpent:"

This aboriginal story tells how the Rainbow Serpent woke up from her sleep inside the earth and came to its surface.  As she moved along the land, she created rivers, plants and animals.  Before she returned, the Rainbow Serpent created humans and gave the them the role of caretakers of the earth. She warned them not to take more than they need, or she would come back out of hiding and punish them.  For me, this story deals with energy and resources, and my responsibility to be a good steward of them.  Taking more than I need of anything will only hurt rather than help me in the long run.

Personal Preference or Cooperation and Compassion
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Three of Disks:
Funny that on my walk this morning, I noticed many new ant beds, and now I've drawn a card full of ants.  The number three generally involves a coming together to produce something new.  Ants are all about teamwork and cooperation.  I doubt you'd find one on top of the hill protesting because he has to be the grain carrier instead of a scout.  They all know their jobs, and they do them.  This card reminds me that there will be times when I need to be flexible in my roles, which will help me to join in as vital part of a creative group.  Collaboration allows us to pool our talents and resources and reach our goal quicker; fussing about who gets to do what will only stall our efforts until the group loses steam altogether.  EGO = Enemy of Groups and Organizations.

     From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes a myth about "Wombat:"
This aboriginal legend tells about a friendship between two very different animals - Wombat and Kangaroo.  Wombat liked to live in the little hut he had built, but Kangaroo preferred to be in the open, and often teased Wombat for needing a shelter.  One icy winter, Kangaroo decided to ask Wombat to let him inside his hut.  Wombat at first refused, but then told Kangaroo he could come in, but had to stay in the corner because he was wet.  An argument soon started, and Kangaroo flattened Wombat's head with a stone, while Wombat hit Kangaroo with a spear (giving him his long tail).  This story reminds me that everyone has boundaries, but sometimes there must be a compromise between personal preference and compassion. 

Spiritual Responsibilities
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change, the Five of Swords:
Five sickles have been used to cut several clusters of mistletoe from the oak below.  The harvest sickle was used as a hand-held agricultural tool; its curved blade allowed grain crops to be cut in bunches.  The "five" cards deal with tests, and in this case reminds me that my communication with others can either burn bridges or build them.  I would prefer having a friendly discussion to a heated debate, but sometimes my buttons get pushed and I forget to be respectful with my words.  The sickles imply that I will reap what I sow.  If I want to be an arrogant know-it-all, that's the kind of people I'll eventually be surrounded by.  I think I'll give that a pass...

     From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the "Opal:"
 
This aboriginal myth tells about the beginning of civilization, before there were any guidelines by which to live.  Great Spirit came down on a rainbow to teach the tribes not only how to hunt and survive, but how to live respectfully among each other as well.  Before leaving, Great Spirit told the people it would continue to watch over them and would one day return when the people could live in endless peace.  The sign Great Spirit would send would be a rainbow with colors that would be more spectacular than they had ever seen.  After Creator left, the people saw rocks with flashing colors in them - the first opals.  This legend encourages me to remember my spiritual responsibilities in dealing with others - fairness, patience, and kindness.

Who Benefits?
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change Tarot, the Five of Wands:
Four candles, representing the four metaphorical elements that make up everything, surround a central candle that is white.  A primordial "soup" swirls in this circle, ready to create.  The different elements symbolize the variety of ways people go about accomplishing a goal - the driving ambition of fire, the relationship of water, the solidity of earth, and the intellect of air.  The white candle is the purity of the goal itself.  Whether I am in conflict with myself or others, the center candle should be my focus.  What will lend itself to accomplishing this objective that will be of benefit not only to me, but also the community and the planet?

     From the Oracle of the Dreamtime comes the story about "Turtle:"
This aboriginal legend tells of a well-known story-teller who visited different tribes, never staying too long with any of them.  He was invited to an island to share his stories there, but he did not know how to swim.  The islanders promised they would help him to the shore, and in return for the stories he told, they would teach him how to swim.  He agreed, but after being their guest for several days, he realized they planned to keep him there by not teaching him.  One night he slipped out to the ocean, holding onto a log, in an attempt to get back to the mainland.  The islanders began shooting arrows at him, and he had to hide beneath the log.  The Great Spirit, feeling sorry for him, turned the log into a shell, and the man became a turtle.  This story implies that I need to protect myself by doing a bit of research and finding out the facts in advance before becoming involved in something.  People don't always have my best interests at heart, and the only way I can protect my back is to uncover their motives beforehand.


Slowing Down, Fulfilling Obligations
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Wheel of Change Tarot comes the Prince of Disks (Knight of Pentacles):
My Kramer ancestors, who immigrated from Germany to Pennsylvania, were wagon makers.  They were well-known for the sturdiness of their wagons, many of them outfitted to carry oil barrels in Oil City.  This fellow is checking every detail of the wheel he has crafted, reminding me of the adage "measure twice, cut once."  He is not worried about quantity but quality, and he'll take all the time he needs to make sure what he is creating will be a product of excellence rather than a product of haste.  Today I've felt a need to rush, from one task to another.  I'm trying to mentally put the brakes on, so I will slow down and appreciate each moment of my day.

     From the Oracle of Dreamtime comes the card "Gymea Lily:"
This aboriginal myth tells of a tribe who sought shelter in a cave but became trapped by massive boulders that blocked the exit.  The stones were too heavy to move, but one strong warrior was able to climb to the top and squeeze out a small hole.  For months, he hunted and fished for his tribe, sending food down into the cave via the hole he escaped from.  His loyalty never wavered as he continued to provide for them.  Unfortunately, one day he himself fell and was killed.  A beautiful lily grew from his body, honoring his dedication to his tribe.  This card remind me that while I enjoy having time to do what I want, I also have obligations and responsibilities to take care of too.  And by fulfilling my duties, I help myself as well.

The Sisterhood
beaver
thesycamoretree
     The tarot deck I'll be using this week is the Wheel of Change, created by Alexandra Genetti.  This morning's draw is the Queen of Wands:
I remember reading a study a few years back that showed how music affected a person physically and emotionally.  Music is obviously this queen's passion, and her love of it comes through in the way she plays, affecting those who listen to it.  And though she appears alone in this card, she is actually part of an orchestra that requires cooperation among all its members.  Everyone plays different instruments, but they all work together to produce something beautiful.  This queen teaches me that I can "follow my bliss" and find harmony with others, if I'm willing to be flexible enough to work with them.

     The other deck I'll be using this week is the Oracle of the Dreamtime, created by Donni Hakanson and illustrated by several different aboriginal artists.  Today's card is the "Seven Sisters:"
This aboriginal myth tells of seven young girls who wanted to prove they were just as worthy as the young men, and requested an initiation by the elders.  The elders agreed, and tested them physically and mentally with both hunger and pain.  The young women showed courage, endurance, strength and discipline, and the tribe held a celebration in their honor.  They were taken up into the night sky as the Seven Sisters constellation, always reminding women that they can shine even in darkness and times of challenge.  This story reminds me that having a group of women who support and encourage me can help me persevere during times of stress.  Thank goodness for the sisterhood.

The Power of Temptations
beaver
thesycamoretree
     From the Morgan-Greer Tarot, the Five of Swords:
I've always thought this card should be entitled "The Pyrrhic Victory."  The guy with the smug smile and the swords has won the argument, but he has destroyed something more important in the process - his relationships and the respect others have for him.  Whenever there is a difference of opinion or beliefs, it is sometimes hard to remember that perhaps my knowledge is limited.  When engaged with someone who is in the same place, there is a desire to belittle, bait, and obliterate.  But like the "winner" in the image above, I will soon find that I've lost much more than I've gained.

     From the Goddesses and Sirens Oracle comes the card "Sirens/Temptation:"
With women as beautiful as these, I can see why men might overlook the monster lurking in the background or the collection of skulls and skeletons strewn about.  And once they do see them, it's too late.  Just as the Sirens lured sailors to their death with their songs, I can get caught up in my emotions or a self-righteous attitude.  If I act from this place of imbalance (as it is tempting to think I know what is best), I invariably wind up with a mess to clean up.  Best to check for those bones lying about first...

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