Apr
2
2022

Moonthly Musings and Reading: The Power of Vision

For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

The new moon—arrived overnight Thursday into Friday (exact at 2:24am for me in ET)—brings us our annual invitation to walk the Path of Power. 

The power theme is suggested by the astrological sign of Aries’ association with the Tarot’s Emperor, but I’m tired of Emperors. 

The emperors of our times are a hot mess. They’ve become caricatures of their archetype’s shadows. They would be funny like villains in B movies if they weren’t so destructive in the real world. Their own corruption is hollowing out what they wish to rule. Collapse—in some form, at some time—is coming. Maybe the Wheel that once lifted them to on top will roll over them as they slide to the bottom.

How much attention should we give to these malevolent power players? Since they currently control the structures of society, we can’t ignore them entirely. We must watch them and take action to limit their negative and violent impact.

But let’s not give them all of ourselves. Instead we can hold on to—even expand—the space for our minds to seek, our hearts to lead, our imaginations to grow. The correspondences of the moonth counsel us not to let them limit our vision of what can be.

The 3 of Wands, our new moon passage card, marks these new moon days and this lunar cycle as time for renewing our vision.

Inspired by this verse from the Tao Te Ching (Stephen Mitchell, translator), I find 3 to be the quintessential signifier of manifestation:

The Tao gives birth to One.
One gives birth to Two.
Two gives birth to Three.
Three gives birth to all things. 

The manifesting power of the three within the energy of fire-associated Wands could especially support visions for expansive growth of: 

  • the passions we expressed in relationship or pet projects;
  • deeper connection to the activating spirit within our cells, not only us humans but also trees and plants, animals and stars;
  • collaborations that are energizing and can move us towards achieving shared goals;
  • sparks of creative expression taking form.

And this trilogy of wands fires up our commitment to action for making these visions real.

This moonth’s model for us to emulate in doing our visioning is the Queen of Wands. In the Dark Goddess Tarot, Cerridwen, the Welsh Goddess of Transformation, stands in the place of this fiery Queen. Deck creator Ellen Lorenzi-Prince gives Cerridwen’s advice to us as: Craft anew with the bones of the old. Cerridwen directs our attention into the wisdom of the past to make something new.

I’ve been contemplating crafting anew with the bones of the old since attending a beautiful poetry event this past weekend. Kimberly Blaeser, an Anishinaabe writer and former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin, shared her work and the evening ended with a conversation between her and  Santee Frazier, Poet in Residence at UMass and member of the Cherokee nation.

One of the many quotes I wrote down from Ms. Blaeser was: “We never only see what we see.” And throughout her talk she was offering different layers of meaning for these wise words.

She spoke first of how the place out of which we come shapes our vision and our language. There are different vocabularies for desert, sea, and mountain. I thought also of the different awareness that comes from growing up in a city, suburb, or rural area. These  earliest vocabularies shape our awareness and so direct our vision and expression.

A vital part of these vocabularies is the relationships that they foster. In Native cultures from ancient times to the present, kinship exists with all of creation. Ms. Blaeser spoke of how her people’s language, Anishinaabemowin, makes all things active, water and rocks along with people and animals. All act together in this world we share. These “kinship relationships demand reciprocity,” a giving and receiving of gifts that makes life possible. This contrasts to the taking and extracting, buying and selling of inanimate things.

“We are not going to survive if we continue with the ownership model,” she continued. We can’t keep treating all others beyond the humans as things to be used. Instead she offered that we could make “a return to reciprocity” and recognize the responsibilities that come with recognizing our connections. Being raised in the ownership model, I know it shapes the possibilities I can see, but just listening to her words and soaking in her invitation to return to reciprocity reminds me that in the past of my people—of all people—there is a tradition of reciprocity. Even though it might be far in the past, this tradition is still there waiting to be recovered. 

Toward the end of the talk someone asked about what gives her hope and Ms. Blaeser replied that we humans “are not the most important thing, but I do think we can be salvaged.” In response to this question of hope, Mr. Frazier spoke of how “continuance is part of the tradition.” He knows that there is someone tending the fire in the long house in his home community and it is these actions that make a difference for the continuance of Native lifeways.

I was grateful for and inspired by their sharing from their Native traditions that are rich in wisdom about kinship, reciprocity, and continuance of indigenous ways. I want to find my way toward supporting these values. I want to be part of the “return to reciprocity.”

Writing about the event for you and seeing “return to reciprocity” here in my musings, I am seeing anew what a gift these words are. I am seeing that they are a reminder to and invitation for all people to find in their traditions the places where reciprocity—along with kinship and connection to the earth and all its beings—still lives. These values may not be tended in a way that keeps them in the center of the culture—our current emperors control the center instead—but they still exist, can still be returned to.

We can find our way back by turning toward and practicing our into the remnants of values of reciprocity within all traditions. These remnants are often hidden in plain sight or thriving at the edges of society. 

I’ve found the Goddess hidden in plain sight. Statues of the Virgin Mary are in front of churches, in grottos, placed alongside highways. I once walked into a Medieval gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC—a place where the emperors hold great sway—and surrounded by statues of the Virgin a feeling of presence washed over me: the Goddess is here. And in her presence the values of ancient cultures based on values such as reciprocity are activated. Those of Crete or the Celts, for example, where the integration of human and more-than-human can be perceived in what we know of their spiritual life. The Celts worshiped in groves while in Crete sacred places were aligned to mountains, included caves, and evoked the shape of the feminine body.

The animal world is at the edge of our “civilized” world, but that edge is all around us. City skies are filled with birds of prey and deer move through the suburbs. No matter where we live we can take an animal as a teacher by visiting, observing, and opening ourselves to their lessons. Imagine what it might be like to take the beaver as a teacher of what it is like to be an emperor. Like so many emperors they are great builders, but they also are adaptable, shifting to work with the changes in their atmosphere including a changing climate.  In gratitude for their teachings, we can offer something back. Work to protect their habitats for example.

The Dead, too, are at the edge. Our recent beloveds are still connected to us with strong strands of memory. They can be a bridge to the further back ancestors. And we can keep reaching all the way back to the ancient ancestors who lived themselves in cultures where reciprocity, kinship, connection to nature were the way. When we come into relationship with them, first our inner eyes open to a new way of seeing. And then we can take that vision into looking at our current world.

When we look in these places a renewed vision that connects us back in time and moves us forward into the future is possible. The renewed vision can then become our power 

READING OF THE MOONTH

SOURCE: What to turn toward to expand what I can see? 

VISION: What vision can emerge—or be reaffirmed—from this new seeing?

RENEWAL: How can the world be renewed as I work to bring the vision to life? 

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with PayPal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.

Mar
23
2022

Encounter with the Beloved Dead

For Grievers

I had an encounter with my friend Chris while out walking on Monday morning. What makes this unusual is that Chris has been dead for nearly two years now.

It is not the first visitation that I’ve had from Chris. In August 2021, she appeared to me in a dream that I recorded and wrote about on the Soul Path Sanctuary blog

Here’s the dream: “I am sitting in a VW Bug, one of the classic 1960s models with two doors. Outside I see a rather gray landscape. Not an immediate storm, but maybe its aftermath. There is a shadowy figure off in the distance that I am suspicious of. I want to take a nap, and so to protect myself I have to lock the doors. I depress the lock button on the first door and then test to make sure it has taken hold. It hasn’t. I have to try again. This time I secured the door. I am able to lock the other door, too, and start to drift off to sleep. Still in the dream, I wake up to find one door opening, but it is not anyone to be afraid of. It is my beloved friend Chris who died in June of 2020. She smiles and I smile.”

And from my reflections in 2021: “I was delighted to have this first dream visitation from Chris. I immediately thought of how I had locked the doors, but that didn’t stop her from entering. Fortunately, our beloved dead are persistent in contacting us even when we put up barriers.

As I wrote the post and was thinking of Chris, I remembered that she was a healer, a nurse. She worked in the maternity ward ushering new life into the world. An idea washed over me: the dead want to help us birth new life out of all the death we are experiencing at this time. Having traveled from Life into Death, they know how to make a great transition, how to surrender familiar forms like the body, how to shape shift into something new. I imagine they see us struggling with the changes we must make to confront the climate crisis, bring an end to war, organize our institutions around empathy instead of power and greed. So they break through the barriers we have set up against them to be with us”

On Monday, I wasn’t asleep when I became aware of Chris. I was walking. I took my usual route for a morning walk out of my house over the bike path, and through the Brookside Cemetery. At the far end of the cemetery, there is a path that runs along a pond’s steep edge through pine trees and, further out, alongside marsh. 

There is one spot at a dip by the shore across from the marsh where I always think of Chris. In the days after her death I walked there frequently remembering her and offering a prayer for her on the journey out of Life into Death. Mountain laurel sits on the shore and a few cattails grow out of the water. Although Chris and I didn’t visit this place together, I find myself feeling her presence whenever I pause in this spot. 

A windstorm brought down an oak tree at some point last autumn and the decaying branches are falling over Chris’ spot. The laurel still stands but the site is disturbed. I’ve been dismayed to have the peace of the place broken, but also appreciated how the upheaval mirrored the world we find ourselves in right now.

I turned to go back and a friend approached—one very much alive. We chatted about feeling the hopeful energy of spring stirring within us even as we remained aware of the horrors of war, pandemic death, divisions, and challenges. 

My friend talked about how wonderful the marsh is. She told me that she once kayaked right through this marsh and encountered 2 huge snapping turtles coupling in the water. She said it was quite the sight to see, “like 2 VW Bugs mating.” She also shared that female snapping turtles can store sperm for up to 3 years until they find the right place to lay their eggs. 

We said our goodbyes and I walked away with the vivid image of the VW Bugs. How synchronistic to have it appear right in the spot where I connect with Chris. I was thinking of the VW Bug not only of the dream from last year, but also the VW Bug that Chris drove when we were in college together.  She loved that Bug despite its lack of heat—she got frostbite at least once driving around in Vermont winters—and everyone associated it with her. I don’t think Chris possessed my friend nor was there causal logic to the communication, But too many details aligned in a beautiful pattern to not honor this as a waking visitation from Chris.  Once again, she has persisted in reaching out to me.

Was she bringing a message? I can’t say the dead speak in the same kind of language as we living—their alphabet now springs from the vastness of the Beyond—but the story of the turtles issues me a call: serve life, create the new. That this call comes from a disturbed area encourages me to believe that it is not too late to offer this service to life and creation. It’s a springtime message of active hope. If we do the hard work of birthing—that snapping turtles do, that Chris did in her work as nurse—then we can bring forth renewal. It’s never too late to serve life. 

Chris didn’t give me a three-point plan of what to do. Probably because there is no one “solution”,” maybe even nothing to do that we are not already doing. The message coming through Chris could instead be a cheering on of those things we are already doing to serve life. Maybe a nudge to do them in a little bigger way or to share a little more widely. There could be an admonishment to keep going despite our fears, uncertainties, or belief that we are not doing enough. Individually we can never do enough so no need to evaluate our individual actions with the criteria of enoughness. It is only when we join together that we can do the enough and the more and what is needed.  

Joining with the living to serve life and create anew is so important, but Chris’ visitation sparks in me the belief that we would do well to join with our beloved dead. To open to their energy. To seek their support for the great changes we need to make. My experiences have shown me that they are willing to be called upon. They would love to be part of the possible impossible of bringing life out of the so much death of the now.

As I walked out of the cemetery, birds were flocking. I thought robins, but a bright blue flash caught my eye. It was bluebirds that were perched in the branches and alighting on the gravestones. Bluebirds are symbolic of joy and all birds serve as messengers between the worlds. As I walked home I felt joy in my heart and gratitude for the persistence of Chirs and all my beloved dead in my life. 

FYI, I am offering a four-part virtual series, Listening for the Beloved Dead, on Saturdays in April focused on prompts for practice for tuning into the presence of our beloved dead in our lives. 

Mar
18
2022

Full Moon Revelations: Offerings of the Inner Light

For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

The height of this moonth’s cycle comes with the full moon arriving overnight March 17th to 18th (exact at 3:17am ET on the 18th), and offers a revelation about how the lunar energies initiated on the March 2nd new moon are developing. The new moon, guided by its association with The Tarot’s Moon card, invited us to make our way between the forces of certainty and uncertainty in our lives. Out of the full moon revelation about this developing energy, we are issued an invitation to return a gift to the world in the final weeks of the lunar cycle.  

The astro-Tarot correspondences align this full moon with The Hermit, the archetype of those who withdraw from the human world to commune in silence and solitude with the beyond-the-human world. Doing so they come to know their own inner world and wisdom.

Hermits are very much at home in the lunar realm, that path we’ve been walking since March 2nd. They’d be happy to continually commune with the moon, but there is a final step for them to fully live out their calling. Hermits must light their lantern and let it shine for others to see. 

At the new moon, we centered ourselves in our core values and visions to help us walk the Moon’s path of shifting light. In the new moon post, I called these our “guiding light,” and connected it to the creation myth found in the Kabbalah in which the light from the beginning of the universe that God placed in vessels to be contained shatters them. Each one of us humans then comes to hold a piece of the shattered light.

For this Hermit-guided, full moon, I am thinking about the inner light of the Quaker tradition. The founder of Quakerism, George Fox, preached in the 17th century that silence and stillness help worshipers to perceive “that of God in everyone.” In the 20th century Quaker teacher and activist Rufus Jones spoke of an inner light, “something of God” that could be found within every human soul. While Quaker tradition and organizations are guided by shared values such as simplicity, integrity, equality, community, and peace, each Quaker’s action is guided by their direct encounter with the Divine. At Quaker meetings, those gathered sit in silence until moved to speak. It is not unheard of to have a service in which there is no speaking at all. The silence is the ministry of those gathered given each to the other

Quakers are famously pacifists, but they are not passive. Though most Quakers did not serve in the military during World II, for example, they were active in rescue efforts, working in French internment camps, hiding Jewish children, and assisting thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees with immigration and resettlement. Today Quakers decry the war in Ukraine, but call for diplomatic not military solutions.

Quaker positions are often counter to popular opinion, especially on matters of social justice where they have been “early adapters” of the abolition of slavery, sufferege for women, civil rights, and the use of non-violent direct action to bring about change. The inner light that they have attuned to through silence and stillness compels them to act in the outer world on what they have learned from their inner encounter with the Divine.

We began this lunar cycle tuning into our inner light. In this full moon time, we now are invited to find in that light the inspiration for actions to take or gifts to offer that are uniquely ours to do or make. These actions and gifts that we manifest will be our Hermit’s lantern shining out into the world.

The action or gift may or may not be large. The Hermit is associated with the astrological sign of Virgo who is all about the details. The action or gift may or may not not align with popular opinion. Innovation and early stages of change are often controversial or at first rejected. The action or gift doesn’t even have to be counted as successful.

Size, popular opinion, and success are the measurements of the outer world made at a particular time. But times change. Collective understanding shifts. Sometimes seeds are dormant until the right conditions emerge for growth.

Appraise your offering instead from the soul level, look with the eyes of the Hermit. Consider how closely the offering aligned with your core values and vision. Look for if the offering brought joy to you and/or others. Ponder how the offering served the ancestors. Perhaps wait to make an appraisal at all until 10 years from now when you will see from a longer perspective. Or leave the appraisal to those descendants coming in 100 years and just offer to the best of your ability now, trusting the guidance of the inner light.

To encourage a revelation on these themes as we journey through this moonthly cycle, you are invited to one, some, or all of these practices:

~ Moon bathe by sitting or lying under a window or outside on the ground. Let go of your thoughts and soak in the light. To draw upon the power of the connection between The Moon and the Hermit, you may want to use your imaginal senses to breathe the light of the moon into your body and let it find and feed the place in your body that holds your inner light. Imagine your inner light growing in size and/or strength until it floats just a few feet out from your body. Perhaps this light is like shifting clouds that you watch in delight for a while. You could invite the shifting to come into a form, perhaps it is a symbol or animal or a wisdom figure. Let yourself be with what emerges. Finally breathe the form back into your body. Be open to a message coming to you about what action or gift to take in the weeks to come.

~ Take out any reading or your reflections from the new moon and look at them in a new light. How does your understanding of the cards shift now that time has passed and light has shifted? (If you haven’t done a reading yet, no problem, just do it now under the light of the full moon. You can try the one from the new moon.)

~ Bring out your Moon and Hermit cards from your Tarot deck and connect them to your new moon reading / reflections. You could place/imagine these cards on either side of your reading or above and below, and then look at how they add meaning into the story your original cards offered you.

~ Reflect on questions such as: How can I make space for solitude in my life? What light is uniquely mine to bring into the world? What gift can I bring out of this light? How am I being called to act? What vision can I make real? What is the next step to take to make that vision real? You could, of course, pull cards as responses to any of these questions. You may want to engage in Visio Divina to find the layers of wisdom within the cards.

When you are done, remember to offer gratitude for what you have received. Consider what gift you now want to return to the world. Pulling a card for guidance on the gift is always a fine thing to do. In the coming weeks and before the moon returns to dark during the last days of March. offer your gift to the world.

Mar
2
2022

Moonthly Musings and Reading: To walk the path between certainty and uncertainty

For Seekers – Moonthly Renewal – Practices for Soul & Spirit – Sanctuary

Who is this self-satisfied guy sitting before his big table of goblets?

a 1909 card scanned by Holly Voley and retrieved from Sacred Texts. Deck available from US Games

Could it be the Vladimir Putin of last week imagining a quick takeover of Ukraine before resistance could build?

Or, if we cast our minds further back, we might be reminded of Vice President Dick Cheney right before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq saying, “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.” And the war would be short.

These were their wishes—but not our reality.

The current phase of this war between Ukraine and Russia is just beginning. The horror of that war can still be conveyed and perceived at human scale: with footage of an obliterated building from which a body is carried; in the heart-wrenching story of a child’s death; through the blurred image of a Russian soldier’s body abandoned on a bridge.

The Iraq war death count is so great in number that we might be numbed to its reality. We know 4,491 U.S. service members were killed. The number of civilian deaths is disputed, but  the Iraq Body Count project documented 185,000–208,000 violent civilian deaths through February 2020.

The origin of this misery is the smug certainty of leaders so intent on grabbing all the “goblets” for themselves that they ignore perspectives that would challenge their plans and surround themselves with people who share their views. 

The violent pursuit of their certainty unleashes tidal waves of uncertainty in which the world is tossed.

This is what I saw when I pulled this moonth’s passage card for the new moon arriving today/Wednesday, March 2 at 12:35pm ET.

Tarot practitioners often say that there are no good cards or bad cards, but with some cards we, too, fall into seeing only the challenge or the gift. The Nine of Cups is one of those seeing-the-gift cards. Who doesn’t want to celebrate having all your cups filled?

But Pamela Coleman Smith, the artist responsible for the images,complicates the card’s surface meaning with the strange table, the rather defensive posture, and ambiguous expression on the figure’s face. She opens the door for a more complex reality to exist so that when we are thrust into such a reality we can recognize it, find ways to move within it, and even continue to grow our souls.

When I began to meditate on the Nine of Cups on Monday, I focused on the danger of certainty, on how it limits our thinking and strangles creativity. I was excited to name uncertainty as a gift of these times to be cultivated. I was ready to quote the Belgian-Russian scientist Ilya Prigogine: “The future is uncertain—but its uncertainty is at the very heart of creativity.”

Then I took a break and turned on the news. A reporter at the Polish border was asking a Ukrainian teenager wearing glasses and pink hat with what seemed like rabbit ears when she would go home. She shrugged and said she didn’t know: “When the war is over.” Her life was uncertain.This uncertainty was in no way a gift. 

I also was reminded of the cost of the uncertainties created by other wars. The uncertainty of life in Syria experiencing a civil war driving families to step into the uncertainty of tiny rubber boats to seek refuge in Europe. The uncertainty of the doctors at Baghdad’s Children’s Welfare Teaching Hospital as to whether they will have the supplies and medical equipment to treat the children under their care even today after the war has “ended.” The uncertainty of Afghan women left to face life under the Taliban.

My own Nine of Cups certainty about uncertainty as THE way faded. 

Then I began to truly feel my way onto the path of this moonth: The Moon card itself. 

The moon’s light invites us to a different kind of sight. Less distinct than the sun’s illumination, what is revealed in moonlight lacks clear edges. What is in the distance is indistinct. And what we think we see on a full moon fades when the dark moon comes. We are called to constantly adjust as we walk the path of the Moon.

Our adjustment happens between the two pillars of the Moon card. These could be the pillars of Certainty and Uncertainty. When we think we know for certain that we are right or know what is coming, it would be beneficial to test our assumptions. To gather different perspectives. Think about the repercussions of our actions. When we are confronted with uncertainty, we can meet the worry and fear that arises. Acknowledging the difficult emotions, we can use their energy to move forward but not be controlled by their flow. We can dare to be brave in the face of uncertainty.

Certainty and Uncertainty may be the forces pushing us forward in the lunar landscape, but they are not the “inner light” that keeps us true to our own soul’s path. That inner light comes from our core values flowing from a connection to the Greater Than Ourselves that we have forged through practice and commitment.

Our guide for tending that inner light on the Moon’s winding path this lunar cycle is The Knight of Cups. All knights are devoted to a cause that is greater than themselves. The Tarot’s knights serve and seek to expand the gifts of their element. The suit of Cups associated with the element of water offers us emotional range, creative connection, intuitive wisdom, and Love.

Yes, these knights are dreamers, but they also take the action necessary to make the dream real through creating art in the form of poems or dance or song; they offer healing practices to those in the stress of uncertainty; or facilitate meetings where all ideas and emotions are expressed, for example. Yes, they are lovers with a romantic streak, but their love is not limited to a romantic partner. Their watery, expansive selves feel the connection to even those they do not know. They do know that to love is to act for the good of the Whole—and they invite us to follow.

Where is the Knight leading us? If we are traveling through Major Arcana’s progression, we find the Knight leading us from the pillars of the Moon to the sunflowers of the Sun.

From The Gaian Tarot

As so many of us are learning this week, sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine. In a video that has gone viral on social media and also carried in traditional media, an older woman confronts a Russian soldier in the street (quotes are from a transcript of the exchange);

“What the f*ck are you doing here?” You’re occupants, you’re fascists! What the f*ck are you doing on our land with all these guns?”

She then takes seeds from her pocket and says, “Take these seeds and put them in your pockets, so at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.”

The soldier replies: “Right now, our discussion will lead nowhere. Let’s not escalate this situation. Please.

She has the last word with: “You f***ing came here uninvited. Pieces of sh*t.”

I’m in awe of this powerful crone. Her weapons are seeds, her voice, and her commitment to her country. Her certainty here inspires. Looking with symbolic eyes she is calling for life to come from the death that is exploding her country. This is a fierce kind of Love, one possible to see only under the strange and mysterious light of the moon.

But along with my admiration from this woman, I also feel sorry for the soldier. He can’t answer why they are there. He seems not even to understand the enormity of the situation. In this exchange, he is bureaucratic more than brutal. I have read that so many of these Russian soldiers are 19 or 20 years old and barely know where they are and have no understanding of why. They have no vision or values to guide them. They are uncertain.

The shifting light of the Moon allows me to hold both of these figures and all of my complicated reactions at the same time. The solar yellow of the sunflowers calls me to imagine a future where flowers bloom.

Really… flowers? War rages in Ukraine, the window for addressing climate change is closing rapidly, and transgender youth are under attack from politicians trying to score political points  by playing with their lives. Is this really time to imagine flowers blooming? To imagine peace? To imagine what a world independant on Russia’s fossil fuels would look like? To imagine young people experiencing gender euphoria?

Yes, we must imagine these futures now or they will never come to be. 

I may have shared Poem by Muriel Rukeyser with you before. It is a touchstone poem for me ing times of great challenge so I’ll share it again. Remove the first and last lines and this is a poem written for this century.

I lived in the first century of world wars.

Most mornings I would be more or less insane,

The newspapers would arrive with their careless stories,

The news would pour out of various devices

Interrupted by attempts to sell products to the unseen.

I would call my friends on other devices;

They would be more or less mad for similar reasons.

Slowly I would get to pen and paper,

Make my poems for others unseen and unborn.

In the day I would be reminded of those men and women,

Brave, setting up signals across vast distances,

Considering a nameless way of living, of almost unimagined values.

As the lights darkened, as the lights of night brightened,

We would try to imagine them, try to find each other,

To construct peace, to make love, to reconcile

Waking with sleeping, ourselves with each other,

Ourselves with ourselves. We would try by any means

To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves,

To let go the means, to wake.

I lived in the first century of these wars.

Muriel Rukeyser’s writing of this poem did not stop wars—she wrote it in the 1960s and the wars have kept coming—but it serves as a constant call for the renewal of our visions of peace, of love, and of reconciliation. The call still echoes today.

Today’s moon-washed day is the day in which the next vision is born.  We have no time to waste in imagining the next wave of renewal because waves begin far out in the ocean’s unseen depths. Once formed the wave travels below the surface for a long way before it breaks on the shore.

That the world we are in now seems far from what our Knight of Cups selves can imagine calls for a larger, not smaller, vision. This vision held within us of a better world can guide on the path between Certainty and Uncertainty. This vision challenges the narratives offered that we are certain to fail and shakes off the paralysis of uncertain times. Echoing Rukeyser, the vision calls to reach beyond ourselves and our limitations. To wake into the circle of our next becoming as individuals, communities, and a planet.

And when we wake, this is when the work begins. We won’t just make wishes like the Nine of Cups figure. We will work for what we want  to make real. 

And now we come full circle and return to the Nine of Cups where we began to look finally at the gift aspect of image through the Nine of Rivers, the Shining Tribe Tarot’s version of this card.

The meaning and message of the card derives from a creation myth found in the Kabbalah in which the light from the beginning of the universe that God placed in vessels to be contained shatters them. Each one of us humans then comes to hold a piece of the shattered light. When we shine forth this light what is known as “tikkun olam,” restoration of the world, occurs. Of this work deck creator Rachel Pollack writes:

Restoration requires that we help others by sharing our truth and action. For many contemporary Jews, Tikkun Olam has become a symbol for commitment to social change. The water is dark because we do not yet know what will come of it. We cannot predict the results of healing, either our own or the world around us. We need to act for the sake of a redemption that will be a mystery until it unfolds before us. 

READING OF THE MOONTH

CERTAINTY: What am I certain of that it would be beneficial to question to support my soul’s growth?

UNCERTAINTY: What can support me to navigate the uncertain times in which we live?

GUIDING LIGHT: What core value/vision can I center myself in to move through these times and contribute to the renewal of the world? 

I do offer this as an e-reading in my collaborative initiative format for $23.  Sign up with PayPal or email me about sending a check. When I receive notification, I’ll be in touch to let you know about when to expect to receive your reading by email. I generally have openings to do these readings on Mondays and Saturdays.

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Just as I was posting this I received an email from White Awake, an anti-racism organization working with white people to dismantle white supremacy—I’ve done a few of their trainings—with resources for widening perspectives on the narratives being offered on the war on Ukraine. This video by commentator Krystal Ball of Breaking Points examines how and posits why the war in Ukraine is being covered differently form the ones in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. I’ll post our resources as I take a look at them.

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