With the weight of all that is occuring around me at this time, I’ve done a Celtic Spread tarot card reading for myself. I do not perform full card spreads often, I usually draw three cards at the end of the day during my habitual lighting of candles in thanks for the day and as contemplation in the dream world, or perhaps a three card spread, or sometimes a single card factor in the day to come as I arise and give thanks for the day.
My spread prior to my move from Houston were all the same, I saw the same types of cards over and over again. When I would perform a reading for others the success of which was dependant, oddily enough, on my own feeling of balance at the time, I would get varying results. But when I approached my own readings, I was generally of a state where I was more receptive in the spiritual plane. For my ability in tarot readings this necessity cannot be over-stated.
I was hiking in Mt Jefferson Wilderness with a friend and fellow witch. It was good to walk with one of the craft and to be able to discuss freely that which was in our hearts and yet while this comfort was there for me, we did not exercise it, instead walking in an easy silence most of the time. However, we did discuss at some point the notion of “energies” within items. To this I expressed a disbelief in the popular notion and with this the idea of “magickal tools”. The question posed to me at this relevation was “what then of tarot cards”? I knew what she was asking me by this simple sentence. If I did not believe in latent energies within things, then how would I explain the workings of tarot cards, which I most certainly did believe in.
To put it as simply and a briefly as I can, I shall say that deeper than our conscious awareness is a larger world of our “Self”. This larger portion, the iceberg beneath the waves, is the trueer identity though it is hidden from our direct observation. I refer now to the ideas of depth pscychology which express a belief in an unconscious. I make no hesitation in my acceptance of much of Jung’s notions as to the architecture of this realm. My own experiences have validated what I’ve read. And on this matter I might say that when I had fallen aback upon a philosophy of life due to an emotional/spiritual/physically traumatic experience where I could not discern anything more than a conscious self, it was through experience and introspection that I began to notice (again) the influence and expression of projections (symbols) from something deeper than my state of awareness. This deeper world of the unconscious itself moves into even greater depths of which we cannot begin to fathom. It is no small coincidence that when a person is depressed that that person says that he/she is feeling “down” and awareness of things around him/her begin to blur. He/she loses, gradually, consciousness and becomes more and more influenced by the unconscious levels and that during this time it is an amazing time of creativity, of depth of expression, of feeling and emotion. Music holds more power, the painted landscape around becomes much more meaningful. Meaning itself is not merely a weight of emotion, but also an attachment of implications. This well spring does not flow from us as source much like the source of a mountian spring is not the rocks which mark the edges, nor is it the mountain which the spring begins its babbling life within. The source of the spring is even deeper than the place at which the source is physically found. The source is located in the clouds and they in the wind and they in the rising/falling heat patterns of the area and they in the rays of the sun and there is then the influence of the sea and within it the cycle of hydrogen and… this is the source of the brook. To view a mountain stream’s source, holy as it is to our conventional human minds, it is the broader picture that we look to when we pay it homage. This is the breakdown in understanding when foaming fundamentalists of the Christian right (which are neither I might add) accuse us of the pagan community of worshipping a tree. This deeper source continues to move deeper still until it become the All. This All is, in the Spinozistic sense God and as such is the source of everything as everything is an expression of some facet of this Source.
When one looks around for meaning, meaning is found for everything is of the All and one simply has to both look and to open to the meanings. Everyone has different symbologies which imply meaning upon them. My walks in woods in the south had much meaning for me and I was given many lessons to ponder over. Different trees and wildlife had their associations within my mind and as such the walk itself became a divination into the lower levels. Of all the levels of mythology (example, Olympus and Hades) none are as important as the level of the Cthonic world.
Meaning is around us everywhere. The more symbols we look to incorporate into our conscious minds, the more meaning we can see around us. This is similiar to the Freudian “rubber-band” criticism and yet as obviously simple as this notion is, it holds some truth in it. It is within the mechanics of this that arise the validity behind many differing religions. To the person who understand a deeper truth than one mere religion can articulate this is easily grasped. To the mind which steadfastedely refuses there to be any truth at all save from their own small world, this idea is offensive and is to be shunned and attacked.
Now as to the cards expressing something other than pure chance it itself an oddity. For if one were to be completely logical about it there is nothing but chance and by chance alone we begin to evolve. I am a fan of the astrophysicist’s tale of our existence. The big bang and so on are, I believe, great insights into our existence. But the question exists for me at least, why is there a universe at all? Why is such a intensely huge area spring into existence? Why is there this notion of a “reality”? Of this I cannot answer though this question does follow me as a will-o-the-wisp (or perhaps it is I who chases it).
One of the things which strike me as amazing are the images of fractals. Fractals being the output images of functions in chaos theory. They are readily identifiable by their appearance and the scale of which are interchangeable. One could magnifiy a specific point and find a similar layout as the larger image. What chaos theory says, among several things, is the amazingly complex possible courses of action within a given point. Given that we had a weather measuring device upon every square inch of this planet, in the atmosphere, on the surface, in the ocean, so that it would be quite impossible to move at all blocked as we were in all directions by a device, it would still be impossible to completely predict the weather. For in between the inches is a space and in that space is change. Even on such a scale of perforation of measuring devices, the amount of open space woudl still be greater than that taken up by the measuring devices. But it takes but one small spot, one small change, and within that change can occur a multitude of events. This is the butterfly and the hurricane theory.
But what impresses upon me, by viewing images of fractals and images of nature through the lense of Chaos Theory, is not the absolute randomness and inevitable chaos of all things (and hence our being alive a product of mere chance alone) is the similarity in patterns. I do not wish to use the word “direction” because that implies goal and we often attribute too much pride and implication in this for our own good. But I do mean to imply a sense of purpose. That purpose isn’t as mundane as “I must be the ruler of Egypt” or “I must liberate my people from the clutches of the evil king” but that purpose is itself creation, creation in the active and present sense. There was no creation, there is not going to be a creation, but there is only creation. As humans we tend to think in terms of linear time, past, present, and future. But as we we begin to more deeply understand time we see its cyclical nature around us and within us. To see the cyclical aspect of time is to see that time is not time at all.
I see that I’ve failed to be brief. No bother for I did not want to completely ignore potential for misunderstanding.
Prior to my move from Houston I performed a few tarot spreads and they were bad. I was now anxious to say the least. My spreads were always, before, of a certain theme. Now I was confronted with a different theme, over and over again, and it was not pretty. There was to be hardship and trouble ahead. To be sure, all these came to pass when I moved and was caught up in the struggle to find a job as well as a place to live. Several times I had begun to doubt myself completely and this doubt spread well into other areas of my life. The cards, as usual, had shown me to be quite accurate. But to answer a question that may be on the wind… I do in fact believe in self-fulfilling prophesy. Where the lines of the two are drawn is not so easy a matter to distinguish, nor am I convinced that they are different at all for afterall the i importance of developing and cultivating an image, a dream of a desired future in the present tense cannot be understated.
Today I have drawn my cards once more and again they are uncanny in their ability to relay my hopes/fears and directions within my life. Undoubtedly the greatest factor in my life at this moment is that of material well being. But beneath this concern there is itself the concern for my balance of self and integrity to this. This is reaffirmed to me by the Lone Man (or Hanged Man) in the #1 position and the card of Strength crossing it. The cards around the Celtic Cross and the Staff reaffirm my fears from the past hardships, the sense of distrust that I have for the future (I am still uncertain of the blessings that are coming to me… in other words… I am not wanting to count my chickens before they hatch). The cards tell me that others percieve me as having my act together and being in control of my own destiny, but it also points out that I view myself as not this at all… but instead unable and lacking. This is not surprising as I am having to own up to my inability to meet certain demands placed upon me This is evidenced by the card of Mastery (or the Chariot) in position 8 on the Staff and an reversed 5 of Swords in position 7. I am encouraged by the Empress in position 5 (top of cross) and the 6 of Rods in position 10 of the staff. But I am reminded indeed of one of my flaws (if such can be said) by the card in position 9 of the staff and that is a reversed 3 of Cauldrons. It reminds me that I am one prone to sometimes lose myself in the pursuit of pleasure and hedonistic impulses. This is very true indeed. I will spend my last dollar on pen and piece of paper only to write what is on my mind currently, or will neglect the benefits of working out at the gym to instead take a bike ride through a stand of trees, or perhaps my last $5 on a cup of coffee in a coffee house window.
And so I am given another reading today and it speaks well for me. A time of hardship is at an end and there is a change for the better coming. I am keeping a sense of balance with me currently (it has a prominent place in my thoughts lately) but I see my distaste for my current ineptness and wariness about the future as healthy. These keep me balanced in the here and now and the positions of 3 and 5 in the Celtic Cross show that my head is in the clouds while my feet are on the ground… and in the middle lies the Lone Man and Strength, two cards of great power, balance, and fortune. The cards in the 4th and 6th position show me as remembering the loss and pain of the past and being distrustful of the future (or not ready to fully accept it until it arrives).
This was a good reading for me today. I have, perhaps, a busy few days ahead of me. I have two days to start and complete a food handler’s license class among other things. Wednesday I go into the bar that I will begin working at and begin paperwork and what else needs done.