Insight with tarot
Inscribed on top of the Oracle of Delphi’s temple are two sayings. The first the most well known and most quoted, γνῶθι σεαυτόν, translated as “Know thy self”. Know thy self? What does this mean? The saying has taken a life of its own through incorrect interpretations because the context of the saying is taken away. Most people think the saying implies self introspection and reflection into ones self, identity and coming to an understanding of who we are. I call this the new age view of “know thy self”.
To understand the orignal Greek meaning we need to examine the next phrase because there is more than the “know thy self”. The second part, μηδέν άγαν translates as “nothing in excess”. So what does “know thy self’ & “nothing in excess” mean? What do they both mean together?
Know thy self and nothing excess is not spiritual advice to make you a better person it is a lesson or warning to people to not be hubris. In other words, don’t be arrogant and overestimate yourself. It was to remind people that you are mortal and that you have a certain place in the order of things. Know thy self means know that you are human, know your limitations and know your place. Nothing in excess simply reminds people not to indulge yourself, because if you indulge yourself with too much of anything it can lead to hubris.
With Tarot we can make sure we “stay in line” as not to offend the gods. Take your deck and ask
1) How do I boast/overestimate myself?
2) In what do I indulge in the most?
I have said it many times over and over, tarot is an amazing tool for insight into your own psyche. Tarot allows you to step outside of your head to explore your life or a particular issue by allowing you to ask questions and receive answers through the cards via a introspective processess. This is a wonderful because it makes you really take the time to think and reflect on issues, feelings, thoughts and all sorts of things running in your mind.
It has been my observation that most people (not all but a large majority) seem to be unaware of the reasons why they act the way they do or feel the way they feel to situations. People seem to just react to events in life without any real deep thinking. What I am specifically talking about is the ability to actively think about our thoughts as they happen. To catch ourselves in the act of thinking. It is what many say that makes us different from animals, we can think about our thoughts. However it seems like many people are not thinking about their thoughts through introspection.
Many of us tarot readers think of introspection as something we do on special times of the day, possibly during meditation, during a tarot reading or some time we think we should just sit and think. However what I have noticed within myself because of reading tarot is I am introspecting more often through out the day during situations or dilemmas. Why caused this change? Tarot readings work off of questions asked, reading tarot for 10 years as I have it shifts your mind into a state of constant question asking. If I were to become angry I step back and ask myself why am I angry? What is causing this anger? I did a lot of this introspection when I was working full-time because of all the emotions and drama occurring I needed to reflect a lot on what was the cause so I could understand and not simply react.
I feel that if more people where able to introspect more often we would have a better world lol Seriously, it kind of feels like people are running around without any rhyme or reason to the actions they do and the feelings they are feelings. They think they know the why but they don’t, their is so much denial and self-justification for their actions. Now I am not perfect, I still do and say things that I may not want to. But I am now able to catch myself in the act of that thought or feeling and able to figure out where it is coming from and why I had that thought or feeling and say to myself no that thought is not really mine it was either learned (conditioned into me) from family/society ect. Which is a step in the right direction.
Looking at Tarot, The Hermit the one card that comes to mind when I think of introspection. Someone would say The High Priestess is also introspection but I disagree, The HP is intuition and instinct, finding inner knowledge to situations and having a connection and grasp to your emotions. The Hermit goes beyond and using logic and reasoning and applies it to the intuition. The Hermit is able to think about his thoughts and ask the questions ‘Why am I thinking this” “Where does this feeling come from” “What is making me react like this”? The Hermit looks for answers and understanding and as Tarot readers we all are like The Hermit, we are on a quest to find answers to questions. Over time this state of consciousness becomes natural to us to ask questions, to seek answers, to probe our psyches with or without the cards. Has anyone else noticed this? Does anyone else feel tarot has had the same affect on yourself?
Who are we? What is our identity? How do you view yourself to be and does it match with reality? What about how others view us? Do people view us as we view ourselves? Our persona or social mask can be different from who we actually are.
Lets explore these three aspects to our identity.
1) Who do I think I am?
2) Myself as I really am.
3) What others think/view me as
My Cards are The High Priestess, 9 of Cups and 7 of Swords. I see myself as an introvert. The High Priestess is passive and withdrawn. She is also sensitive to emotion which I am. 9 of Cups shows that I am in reality someone more social and outgoing. The man in the 9 of Cups is a social person. He is also a wishful and hopeful. He likes instant gratification and I sure do to. Others see me as 7 of Swords, maybe they see me as sneaky, a lone wolf someone who likes to be on their own and do things their way.
What cards did you get?
The Ideas of March is famous because it is the day the Julius Caesar was murdered, stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators. It is said that Caesar saw a seer who had foretold that harm would come to him not later than the Ides of March. Caesar joked, “Well, the Ides of March have come”, to which the seer replied “Ay, they have come, but they are not gone.
Question for reflection
Caesar was killed because the senate feared he was gaining too much power. We can take this event and ask the question of “What inside me causes my own demise“.
Using my Golden Tarot, I pulled the 5 of Swords. This is clear, that firstly that fighting and arguing with others hurts me. Gossip does not help at all and comes back to me. I try not to gossip but alas I am human. These are some things I see in this card about what I may be doing that actually harm me in the long run.
What card did you get?
What is keeping you up at night? What worries you when you lay in bed? Many people are unable to fall asleep because of some worry or anxiety. This is pictured in the 9 of Swords, a woman troubled by nightmares, worries and anxiety.
Get your deck out and ask. “What is preventing me from sleeping?” then ask “How do I resolve this issue?”
Here is wishing you a wonderful good night sleep.
Ever wanted to win the lottery? I am sure you have, everyone does. The dreams start in your mind, all the wonderful things you could do with the money. Get that house you wanted, go on vacation, never have to work again, live happy and so on.
Get your tarot deck out and ask,
1) What would I do with a million dollars?
2) What should I do with a million dollars?
Sometimes what we should do is vastly different than what we would want to do. What does your deck say?
Valentine’s Day, the day of love…… and overpriced chocolates and flowers. Love gets a lot of PR. We sing about love, the effects it does to us, how it makes us feel, how we want to be in love, love someone and to have someone love us. There is a problem notice with people and their dealings with cupid’s arrows.
I have noticed a trend while reading for others regarding love. Either one person or both persons in the relationship do not truly love the other. They are in love with some other aspect. Either they are in love with the idea of having a relationship while not being active in it or just love the superficial aspects of love. One specific reading I did the cards told me that the woman’s boyfriend liked the idea of having her in his life, but did not want anything more. The relationship was all mental and in the mind, not in the physical world. For others relationships are only physical without any mental or emotional connection.
Most people also truly do not know what true love is and are confused about it is. This is because there are different kinds of love. We are going to talk about two specific kinds of love. The first is Eros and the second is Agapi. Eros and Agapi are two Greek words for specific forms of love that are used in religious and philosophical theories about love.
Eros is love that is passionate, desiring, and sensual; often dealing with physical attraction this is the normal romantic kind of love. Falling into love and love at first sight, these sorts of things is linked to the concept of Eros. The word erotic comes from Eros. This is often thought to be “real” love but it is not. In the Greek language they use words rooted in Eros to express this idea. “Erotevmeni” means falling into love, being in love in a typical romantic image.
Agapi on the other hand is the higher form of all the loves, it is selfless love. It is unconditional love, like the kind a parent has for a child but also the love someone has for another that is truly “real love”. It is a love that is deeper than Eros. Apapi is rooted in loyalty, trust, honoring the sacredness of the union between the two who are in love. In the Greek language when Agapi is used it refers to this concept of true love or real love deeply connected between two people.
In the New Testament when speaking about love the word Agapi is used to express what love is. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, love is described as,
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
These are the greatest words even written in the bible in my opinion.
In the Tarot when looking for a card or cards that represent love we will automatically go to The Lovers. However after learning what we have about Eros and Agapi, we see that the Lovers are
associated with the Eros concept of love. In older decks Cupid (Roman version of Eros) is depicted. The Lovers indicate more of a desire and sexual form of love. So which tarot card shows Agapi? I look at the 2 of Cups and see Agapi depicted. If you look at the 2 of Cups you see a man and a woman of equal height, facing once another embracing each other with the union of their cups. This shows that are receiving and giving to one another, unconditional love.
Speaking of tarot, what does tarot have to say about the business of love? Well I asked tarot five questions (using my Osho Zen Tarot) about love and the answers are very interesting.
What is Love? Receptivity
Giving is often thought to be what love is (in the Kabbalah mind set) seeing the Receptivity card throws a wrench into that theory. Receptivity is about being open to receiving, in this case receiving love. In the context of the Kabbalah view giving is what love is, as much as this may be a contradiction when you think about it, it is not. This card is reminding us that we also need to receive love. If we cannot receive love than how will other be able to give? You need both and I feel this is just a reminder. Receptivity at the core is openness, not closing yourself off or blocking anything.
What is Love not? Maturity
The Maturity card represents a moment where everything has come to a point of perfection almost of a completion. Love is not this? Hmm odd but kind of makes sense of you think that love is not something that you complete or becomes “perfect”, life is complicated and love is very complicated. So saying that it is not “Maturity” reflects this notion that love is always developing and everlasting with no “maturity date”. When I see the word maturity I see the image of growing up, love is not that. Like Cupid, love is young.
What do we mistake for love? The Dream
Oh how poetic for this card to appear, it is times like this that make me believe in tarot even more, this is too perfect! The Dream card is associated with the fairytale fantasy of love. We mistake our personal dreams of what love is to us, than what it really is. I also look at this card and see the desire to fulfill your own needs, love is not about you and your desires. This card concerns itself with the wanting and depending on others. Wanting is not love. On a deeper level this card is about, needing to love ourselves, cliché I know but it is true.
What keeps us from loving others? The Outsider
This is a profound card, The Outsider card reflects a cycle of feeling left out or excluded. That loving others is something that we cannot achieve or obtain. In the card the gate is chained but the lock is unlocked. To open the gate all you have to do is remove the chains, this can represent that loving other is a difficulty that is illusionary; it is our mindset that hinders us. We may be waiting for someone to come to us first and open the door for us.
What keeps others from loving us? Experiencing
The “Experiencing” card reflects the idea of truly being able to experience, communicate and be as one. The woman in this card is on with the tree, experiencing the tree and communicating with it. It seems difficult for people to truly love another because the actual process of loving truly is really deep and meaningful. It is being at one with each other and experiencing each other. This may too much for some to handle who only want more superficial love. This is why you see so many relationships based off of sex and physical aspects. People don’t want such a deep experience.
Ask your tarot or oracle deck
1) How do I perceive love/what does love mean to me?
The Fool is a very interesting card. I loved writing about it in my book. Like all the cards it is rich in mythology, symbolism and meaning. When working on The Fool for my book I wrote about how The Fool being number zero it is everything and nothing, it is full of unformed potential. It represents the Chaos before creation, out of which life is made. I feel that all the cards have something to teach us. We can form questions based on the cards and the ask the deck as a whole what the answer is.
Let us reflect on The Fool, get your deck out and ask “What is my unused potential”. Meaning what about me do I have the potential to experience that I am not.
What card did you get?
On January 8th 2011 at a little passed 10 am in Tuscan, Arizona there was an attempted assassination of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Twenty people were shot during the incident, six of whom have died. Mrs. Giffords survived the gun shot to her head, she was taken to a hospital and operated on. Doctors are optimistic about her condition. Jared Lee Loughner is the current suspect in the shooting.
This event has taken the media by storm and will be a major topic that will be covered. I wanted to pull some cards on this to see what the cards have to say. As things play out in the media we will be able to see how the cards relate over time.
First I asked, “What promoted this shooting?” and pulled the Ace of Swords.
I ask this question to see why Loughner did what he did. Some keywords to the Ace of Swords are, authority, intellect, obsession bravery. I do feel that this Ace of Swords is ill-dignified giving us key words, injustice, tyranny and instability. The news reports that Lounger held radical views on politics & religion. On his YouTube page he is reported as saying “don’t have to accept the federalist laws”, and causing the government of brain-washing and mind controlling the American people. So far we can see the Ace of Swords in all of this, especially when ill-dignified. He possibly views the government as tyrannical and unjust. Loughner was suspended from College due to complaints from classmates. They told Loughner if he wanted to come back to the College he would need to undergo mental evaluation, this correlates to the instability of the Ace of Swords ill-dignified. Loughner did what he did because he believed what he was doing was a act of bravery (ace of swords) in the face of a government he saw as unjust. His actions may have been an act of rebellion against authority. It may also be an act of him trying to exert his personal authority onto others. Obsession is a keyword to the Ace of Swords, I feel that Lounger may have been obsessed with Gabrielle Giffords. It is reported that at an event three years ago Loughner asked a question to Gabrielle Giffords, according to two of his high school friends the question was essentially this: “What is government if words have no meaning?” Loughner was angry about her response, she read the question and had nothing to say. According to these high school friends “the question was classic Jared: confrontational, nonlinear and obsessed with how words create reality.” We see how the Ace of Swords relates to his obsession with words (an aspect of Swords) created reality.
Next I asked, “What will happen to Gabrielle Giffords?” and pulled the 3 of Cups.
I am very optimistic that she will be fine. The 3 of Cups is a card of celebration. She should get better which will be cause for joy and celebration.
The media is talking about how this incident will impact politics. I asked “How will this effect politics” and got the Three of Wands.
There was a website created by Sarah Palin with an image of the USA and cross-hair icons to denote “targeted” congressional seats. Gabrielle Giffords was one of those targeted seats.
In 2010, after her office had been vandalized, Giffords had said:
“We’re in Sarah Palin’s ‘targeted’ list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted, we’re in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there are consequences to that action.”
The Three of Wands deals with what we have put out into action, waiting on the results to see if what we put out will bring a return. Certainly this brings into the idea of cause and effect. What politicians say and do have cause and effects and I feel they do not really take into consideration the consequences that may result from the things they say or post on a website. I am not blaming Sarah Palin for what happened, but people need to be consciousness of what they are doing. Posting that image online can put the wrong idea into people like Loungher. The rhetoric has been very heated in politics, both parties have called for a cooling of political rhetoric.
My prayers go out to Gabrielle Giffords,to her family and to the famiies that lost loved ones in this shooting.
Tarot Insight – Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shooting
I hate stress don’t you? You gain weight, feel sick, hair goes grey or lose it. Stress sucks big time, nothing good comes from stress. If you saw my resolution video you will know that not getting stressed as much is one of my goals for 2011. It seems that I get stressed out quickly (normally regarding work), thankfully this week has been stress free so far. But what will I do when things become stressful, it is bound to happen. What I am trying to do is not get stressed over things I have no control over, since I can’t control it I should not stress over it. I should only stress on the things I have control over.
I wanted to ask tarot a few questions about stress to see what insight it can provide me.
First I asked “What causes me to stress?” and pulled The Chariot.
The Chariot is a very fast moving card, what I like about The Chariot in the Legacy of the Divine tarot is that it shows a fast moving chariot, as opposed to the Rider Waite which does not move. At work I work quickly, I don’t want to spend five hours on a task that can take two hours. I am probably the quickest worker in the department. Coming from an environment that required you to work quickly to an office where everyone works like a snail, I still work fast. This is one thing that makes me stressed at work, my wanting to finish my work quickly. If I am working to long on something it stresses me out. I have been trying to take more time and pace myself with my work so I do not get stressed. It is working.
I asked next “What can I do to reduce stress?” and got the Knight of Cups
I feel this says that I should not over react emotional to stress. Play it calm and cool.
Finally, “what things are ok to be stressed over?” 10 of Swords
Oh how blunt of you tarot! Ok here is a card that screams stress! Only the most serious things that affect me, when fears become a reality and start affecting me then I can stress.
Ask yourself these three questions and see what you get.