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Independently licensed psychotherapist offering traditional psychotherapy and psychospiritual counseling.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Does Justice exist?

Welcome back to The Alchemy of Tarot! The Northern hemisphere continues its journey towards the winter season, and enters into the darkest time of the year, when the days are at their shortest, and the sun's light and warmth are months away. We are reminded of the need for inner light and love, emotional maturity, wisdom, and balance. In our journey following The Fool, we now enter a realm ruled by Libra in the archetype of Justice.

Rider-Waite (Smith) Tarot
I must admit that I am finding some irony in this card, with many news stories about our questionable legal system affirming that for many, justice can be difficult to find. How does the archetype of Justice navigate through the complexities of the human condition?

Reflecting on the card, (numbered 11 in the Rider Waite Smith deck, although retaining the number 8 in some other decks) we see a red-robed figure wearing a crown (representing a connection to the upper planes), sitting upon a throne between two pillars. The countenance of the face is stoic and resolved.  These sartorial and symbolic elements are all reminiscent of The High Priestess and Hierophant cards. Another similarity is the fabric of a curtain or veil behind the throned figure. Here we understand that these cards represent some mastery over the spiritual mysteries, and moving between the worlds. As the keepers of the Mysteries, these figures hold onto symbols representing their strengths. The High Priestess holds a scroll, The Hierophant a scepter. Justice rules with a sword in one hand, and scales in the other, possibly representing physical and emotional stability. Those of you who may never have held a sword may not realize... a sword is a pretty heavy instrument, and it takes great physical strength to wield one (especially with only one arm). Likewise, there is great emotional strength needed to properly maintain the scales of Justice. One must manage emotions and develop a sense of equanimity, or mental calmness and composure. We also see (although admittedly somewhat difficult here) that the figure's right foot emerges from the many yards of fabric. This may represent a sense of movement towards resolving either internal or external issues.

When the Justice card comes up in a reading, it may be time for us to develop a sense of detachment or acceptance to our issues or environment. It can also mean that we need to listen to our intuition, and explore our personal insights and wisdom. 

As for the larger socio-economic issues that exist, the archetype of Justice can remind us of our own sense of values. The annals of history are replete with millions of individuals who have encountered oppression of one kind or another.  How do we respond when we feel that a situation is unjust? Have we had experiences where we felt we were treated unjustly? How do we choose to express ourselves during these occasions?

"Delay of Justice is injustice." - Walter Savage Landor

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB and Twitter or visit my website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Wheel of Fortune: Spirals of Destiny

Welcome back to The Alchemy of Tarot!. In our most recent blog, we explored the Fool's spiritual path as he encountered the introspective and wise Hermit, whose archetype encourages quiet reflection of life's mysteries. This week we explore the 10th card of the deck, ruled by Jupiter, offering transformation and opportunity. Here the Fool discovers the chaos and random chance we find within the mysteries....ah yes, a card of destiny!

Rider Waite Tarot
The Wheel of Fortune is an incredibly complex and powerful card heavily laden with occult symbology representing the four elements and ceremonial magick. The wheel sits atop the red figure of Anubis, the god of the afterlife.  The sky is filled with clouds and winged figures, each holding a book representing the four elements and astrological symbols  (Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus, Leo). Atop the wheel is a grey/ blue Sphinx holding a sword of truth. The Wheel also has the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton interspersed with the letters spelling out TAROT.

When we encounter the Wheel in a reading, it can be auspicious, and usually means that good things are heading our way! However, we are also reminded of the fickleness of luck, and how it can quickly change. During these times of change, we can learn to manage our emotions, our responses, our equanimity by imagining ourselves at the center of the wheel. As life, and lessons, and luck passes us spinning round, we maintain focus and calm at the center. We appreciate the seasons and cycles of the mysteries, but do not become attached to any one aspect. In a sense, the Wheel can teach us some qualities of detachment, and letting go.

Tarot of Transformation
Willow Arlenea & Jasmin Lee Cori caption
In the Tarot of Transformation, we discover more about how to flow with the cycles of life as we see an image depicting two female figures of different generations, enveloped within the spiraling cycles of life. There is a vibrant energy to this card, as a dynamic cyclone of brightly hued counter clockwise (widdershins) spirals fills the landscape with the energy of life.

The Wheel of Life also reminds us to find grace and stability in our internal centers. The stronger and more confident we are in ourselves, the less we are affected by the spinning of the Wheel.

"You have power over your mind-not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength." ~Marcus Aurelius

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB and Twitter or visit my website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Hermit: Power in the Inner Mysteries

Welcome back to The Alchemy of Tarot! This week we explore the 9th card of the deck, ruled by Virgo, and representing the Mysteries, spiritual leadership, and introspection. In our journey through the major arcana, we began with the innocent enthusiasm of The Fool, traveled through The Magician and High Priestess representing creativity and creation, to the mother and father archetypes of the Empress and Emporer, through The Hierophant's powerful knowledge and  structured authority, to relationships from The Lovers, and most recently the will power, resilience, and fortitude of Strength.

Rider-Waite Tarot
Our innocent Fool has now encountered The Hermit, a quiet, humble and reclusive figure representing the spiritual mysteries. Interestingly, up until this point in the deck we had only seen one figure (The Fool)  not centrally facing the viewer. All other figures were looking directly towards us, showcasing their personal attributes and abilities. The Hermit however is in profile, and the viewer's gaze is directed towards the starry light emanating from his lantern. His countenance is not easily seen, with eyes closed, face focused down, as he holds onto his staff with one hand, and lantern with the other. There is a quiet simplicity with this card, as the stoic figure stands surrounded by a cloudless sky.

When we encounter this card in a reading, it might suggest that we focus our attention inwards, and be a bit more reclusive in our habits. The humble Hermit's power and attention is introspective. Unlike the highly ceremonial and symbolic bravado encountered in some of the other cards representing the Mysteries, the Hermit stands in quiet and serious reflection. He does not boast, he does not proselytize, he does not look for external validation. His archetype reflects the wisdom that can only be realized by the Self.

Tarot of Transformation
Willow Arlenea & Jasmin Lee Cori

In the Tarot of Transformation, we see this archetype realized as The Crone. In this image, The Crone is depicted as an enveloping goddess like being, holding two silhouetted female figures within her expansive aura. Instead of holding a lantern, the light from The Crone's wisdom emanates and radiates from within and travels up to her crown chakra surrounding her like a halo. This card illuminates the process of mystery unfolding, as we turn inward and become more aware of the Self.

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB and Twitter or visit my website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Strength: Power of the Feminine

Welcome back to The Alchemy of Tarot! This week we explore a card of balance in both physical and spiritual energies. In certain decks, the Strength card is 11th in the series, coming after the Wheel of Fortune. In my Rider Waite deck, and in the majority of other contemporary decks, we find Strength in the 8th card position. In exploring the micro and macrocosmic life journeys of the major arcana, we can appreciate and recognize the significance of the Strength archetype wherever it might fall in our lives or tarot decks :-)

Rider Waite Tarot
In the Rider Waite version we see a young female dressed in a long white gown and garlands, crowned with a lemniscate halo, and accompanied by a lion. The two are placed in a landscape of rolling green meadows, and a distant mountain range. In viewing this card, my attention is immediately drawn to the interaction between the female figure and the lion. There is a reciprocity of gaze, a relationship, a sense of love and trust between the two. When we compare Strength to past cards explored in the Alchemy of Tarot series that illustrate relationality, we find an intimacy and relational urgency not previously seen (The Lovers or The Chariot). In those archetypes, two or more figures were placed within the same space, but there was little to no interaction between them. There was no sense of closeness or bonding, but rather a separateness. In Strength we see two figures who have no distractions in their shared environment. Their gazes are locked with one another, her hand rests lightly on the lion's head, as the lion looks up at her, tongue out, ears back, in a pose of trust, comfort, security.

How does this represent strength? Is strength in our ability to relate to others? Is strength in the balance of seemingly antithetical energies? The fierce, masculine, Leonine energy of the lion shares an intimate gaze with the feminine, gentle beauty of the girl. As the mom of several cats, I can see in this card the sign of a relaxed and trusting cat. His back is arched, tail between his legs, ears back and down, as they share not only the spiritual connection of the gaze, but the physical connection of touch. She is caressing his head, while he gently licks her other hand. They trust one another and together find a respite from any outside influences.

Here we encounter strength in gentleness, strength in relationality, strength in patience and trust, strength in a balance of the antithetical. We see strength as a sense of inner calm, and composure rather than a display of physical bravado. If we find this card appearing in a reading it might be time to gather our inner resources, appreciate our resilience, and demonstrate more control in our emotions, while finding respite from outside distractions.

Tarot of Transformation
Willow Arlenea & Jasmin Lee Cori 
In the Tarot of Transformation deck, the archetype of strength is illustrated through the beauty of a winged belly dancer performing before a blazing sun. As a dancer, I can attest to the challenges of this genre of dance. While we display the outer beauty of feminine power and grace, we must also have a mastery of control in movement and energy. Again we encounter this element of self- control (energetic, emotional, and physical) and balance. While illustrated very differently than in the Rider Waite deck, here we still see the yin and yang, a balance of energies in complementary and dynamic elements that inhabit this beautiful, fiery dancer.

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB and Twitter or visit my website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Chariot: Beauty in Paradox

Welcome back to The Alchemy of Tarot! I hope you had a wonderful, safe, and healing Samhain tide. In the Northern hemisphere, we have entered into the darkest time of the year, and can better explore our internal wisdom, find balance, and appreciate the messages of shadow. These messages are best received in the quiet spaces of meditation, ritual, and introspection.

Rider-Waite Tarot
 In our journey through the tarot we have explored the first 6 cards of the deck, allowing us to enter the archetypes of The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, The Empress and Emperor, The Hierophant, and The Lovers. We now approach the 7th card of The Chariot. Ironic that in my most recent tarot reading for myself, I pulled this card as my querent!

  The Chariot, associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer illustrates the archetype of finding our direction in life, while acknowledging internal and external conflicts that may sometimes threaten to serve as an obstacle along our path. Looking at the Rider Waite illustration, the charioteer is clearly well prepared for battle. He is covered by the finest armor, wearing a laurel wreath, with a star on his crown...even his lower arms are shielded! He is protected from the elements by his elaborate Chariot with stars overhead and an insignia beneath. While he is sheltered from the elements, he has clear view of his path. On his shoulders are two crescent moons, both waxing and waning.The black and white sphinxes lay in front of the chariot, in a seemingly paradoxical state of active rest. These mythical creatures, like the charioteer, are prepared to move at a moment's notice.  Throughout the card we see these antithetical elements representing challenge and friction, yet needing to work in harmony in order to be successful in battle or other pursuits.

How do we negotiate our own internal battles? How do we navigate through disparate voices, disparate desires pulling us in separate ways? The Chariot archetype reminds us that we are complex individuals and often must work through internal strife along our paths. If we maintain focus we can utilize the energy of this struggle in a constructive way. This archetype reminds us that part of being human is struggle, and that as well prepared as we are to progress along any given path, we will still encounter obstacles....often internal, that threaten to block our way. It also allows us to honor the beauty of paradox, of the uncertain, the unknown. So often we look to find control and certainty in every situation. The tenets put forth in Terror Management Theory underline this desire to prescribe order and control in order to assuage feelings of uncertainty and chaos inside us, or within our environment. But guess what? We don't control everything, don't know everything and that's ok. There is infinite beauty in mystery and shadow, as well as infinite possibility! The Chariot demonstrates that even though we may live with uncertainty, we can still stride confidently towards our goals and dreams.

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB, Twitter, and my new website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Lovers in Samhain tide: Chiaroscuro and connection

Happy almost November! Due to my travel schedule, The Alchemy of Tarot went on a short hiatus, but now we are back and ready for the Samhain season! In this time of introspection and shadow, Tarot readings allow us to gain insight and purpose as we journey inward.

Rider-Waite Tarot
We are well on our way through the 4th card of the Major Arcana, and this week we encounter The Lovers card.  At first glance, this card appears to represent romantic or sexual union. This element can sometimes exist within a given reading, however depending on the querent, this card can also highlight different kinds of love, different relationships, different connections. The Lovers can represent the union between two people,  a spiritual union with the Divine, or a chance to deepen our relationship with our higher self. How can we deepen our connection to the world around us? How do we better explore the idea of "love" in its many guises? Some possible ways might be through meditation, prayer, or spending more time in nature... maybe we can give our animal companions a big hug!

Some readers also interpret The Lovers as a card calling for choice. Perhaps this interpretation is best served when focusing on the figures illustrated in the card. We see two nude figures, palms facing upwards, one male, looking forward, one female looking upwards towards the heavens, standing in a grassy meadow surrounded by a range of mountains, as a figure of an angel (perhaps Archangel Raphael) appears overhead. The figures stand close to one another, but still appear separate. There is not much dynamic interaction between them, and it appears that they are more focused on their individual experiences rather than a shared experience.  We also see an upwards position of the palms, and this  may represent an opening to spirit, a welcoming of the Divine. This also allows for the figures illustrated to better receive the blessings that appear to be conferred upon them by the open palm gesture of the angel above.

In the Tarot of Transformation deck, The Lovers appear to lay together in a state of bliss surrounded 
by a swirling vortex of universal energy. The angelic figure here appears as a large bird soaring upwards, and either enveloped by, or creating, a bright prismatic light that radiates throughout the upper half of the card. Enclosed within this larger bird figure are the silhouettes of two smaller birds, repeating the motif of soaring towards the heavens. Viewing the card, we can see juxtapositions of light against dark in the lower half of the card, and then the just described upper half. This chiaroscuro allows us to reflect on the dynamic of our own natures, and the nature of relationships. We are, and exist in, an interplay between light and dark. There is no creation without our shadow sides, and we require the light to see our creation manifest. 

And in the spirit of this Samhain tide, we honor our individual chiaroscuro, our shadow, our connection with this world and the worlds beyond. Have a Blessed Samhain!

If you would like to book a Tarot reading, Reiki or intuitive session, please email me: abraxasintuitivearts@icloud.com and make sure to visit me on FB, Twitter, and my new website www.abraxasintuitivearts.com!