Light is the Mother of Life, Different Pandemic Rhythms, and Tarot Wisdom

Okay.  I just like that thought!  Light is the Mother of Life.  This thought arrived on Mother’s Day while engaged in the “Art of Just Being”.  Here I am reflecting on different rhythms.  And I’m going to do a little reading with my cards here today too.   Anyway, it seems I’m doing a lot of that ‘just being’ lately and as usual lots of self-analysis along with it.

I’m working on a painting of a shooting star while thinking about following my own star.  I may have lost track of it but it’s okay, its never far away– just a bit of attention and intention is needed and I’ll find it again.  We are all, I’m sure, with this pandemic energy living our lives in a different rhythm.

Here’s a crazy fact that I recently came upon.  We breathe 23,040 times a day.  I don’t know who figured that out or if it’s true.  I read it in some book.  If we accept this number is about right, how many breaths are we actually aware of?  We can’t be fully mindful of all of them but how about just 10 at a time now and then?  That’s do-able.  We bring inside of our body, mind, and soul (our life) what we focus upon — breath is chi (life force energy) or also written as Qi as in Qigong.  I’ve been doing some QiGong exercises since the pandemic.  Good stuff.  If you haven’t tried it, my recommendation is to give it a go.

I’ve also been cutting my own hair (just the bangs, like 3 times now–or is it 4?–since the lockdown).  Our hair salons may open on the 22nd of May but our COVID-19 escalated dramatically since the Phase 1 re-opening.  The governor in our state says people are not distancing and masking and thus cases are going up and this next phase may not happen on the 22nd.

I’ve been jogging too since the gyms closed since i have to get my cardio somehow — things are progressing with that as my knees cooperate.  The happiest moments since the pandemic is that I’ve been Zoom–ing with my 4-year-old granddaughter, reading her library books.  Yes, our library lets you put books on hold, and then they call you about when to pick them up in the storage area at a designated time.  She was asking about volcanoes and so I read some library books about that on video conferencing.

I brought out my drum and tried connecting to the heartbeat of the earth — doing a drumming meditation is special.  Haven’t used my drum in ages!

What to ask the cards today?  I’m looking for wisdom, not necessarily a prediction of any kind.  Going forward what should be the focus?  Or better said What should the focus be right now?  Where should I/we/you put your attention?  I ask this because rambling around in the mind is the thing I wrote above.  Here it is again:  We bring inside of our body, mind, and soul (our life) what we focus upon.  So I will draw 3 cards and see what wisdom can be derived from those.  For myself, I am really thinkin’ of how to find my star again which really means how to connect with my inner creativity and joy.  Yeah, so that’s the focus of these 3 cards.  This is for you, too, reader if you choose to participate and want to connect 9more deeply) with your star too.

Five of Cups; King of Pentacles; Knight of Wands: 

a bit of Divination

Well, right off we can see 5 of cups really represent that feeling of loss and maybe some depression and anxiety — any of us can have a mixture of any or all of those feelings or experiences in any combination or degree during a pandemic.  The 5 of cups is the card that typically represents a setback of some type.  Essentially, to me, this first card represents the situation that is being addressed in this question.  The loss of connection to one’s star is due to a loss or setback of some kind.  There is disappointment about some events which is would be natural but one wonders if the feelings that one experiences are due to making wrong choices of some kind.  What is lost is lost and what is gone is gone and the more we want to go back to what was, the more we suffer.  Maybe you see some of yourself in this description.  In my own situation, I gave up some things and now wonder …well, I wonder what those two cups that are still standing in that card represent for me.  I am looking for that — the new passion and creativity.  How can I find it?  I am going to look now at the other two cards for some insight.  Intuitively, first I have to accept that I did NOT make wrong choices and this will lift my spirit.  Then I can see those other cups.

The King of Pentacles is about mastering life on Earth.  Master of materiality etc. is always my first thought when I see this card. This energy is about seeing opportunity (in this case for passion, creativity, and joy) everywhere.  This card is reminding me that I just need to open my eyes and draw from what is around me and that’s how I can recognize those 2 leftover cups in the 5 of cups.  For me, however, the word opportunity doesn’t feel exactly right.  There is a steadiness and a feeling of grounded routine that comes with this card.  Mastering life on the earth at this time with a steady even temperament.    The King of Pentacles can take most any idea and can make it work.  Maybe this is something that I am denying in myself?  The phrase about the ability of the King of Pentacles to draw from what is around him really sparks in me visions of writing.  I work on a book and then abandon it.  Writers do that, you know?  They use people, places, and experiences around them as characters, settings, and events in a book. This is something that I’ve tried but so far have not really been able to embrace and utilize very well.  I think that this card has re-awakened a part of my star.  It’s about writing!  And the pandemic is giving out more than enough material for the kind of sci-fi fantasy ideas that I’ve been working with already.   I wonder how this card meaning would apply to a reader of this blog.  I hope something that I wrote above about the King of Pentacles has been helpful to you.

What else will help with seeing those other cups and finding my (and/or your) star again?  There is one more card.  The Knight of Wands.  One meaning of this card that always comes to mind relates to awkwardness — this knight is not real polished and maybe rushes into things and then falls off his horse.  Well, that describes my book writing attempts just perfectly really! He goes off half-cocked as the saying goes and either is way too overly confident and then at the first sign of a problem becomes frustrated and even angry when things don’t come together as imagined.  This, too, describes my feelings with the off and on writing that I’ve done over the years.  BALANCE is the keyword that arrives in my intuition right now.  This Knight of Wands has some trouble staying balanced with his efforts.   There needs to be daring and detail both at the same time in order to remain in balance.  If the King of Pentacles energy can combine with and help the Knight of Wands, this could help with the commitment and patience that is needed with writing a book.  I wrote above how the King of Pentacles is steady and even-tempered and that energy is within each of us and we can draw upon it to help our Knight of Wands awkwardness and impatience. We can do that if we can let go of our real or perceived setbacks and get over what hasn’t worked in the past and remember that there are 2 cups that contain joy, creativity, and passion leading to a reconnection to our star.

Well, this post is twice as long as was intended.  However, it is my hope that while I worked out this wisdom and guidance using my intuition and the tarot that it has been helpful to others in some way.

A few parting shots based on the above tarot wisdom:  Are you in a rut with me? Try something new or go back to what you’ve been wanting to do and have maybe given up on.  Are you planning every last detail? Try winging it.  Make an outline but be flexible whatever you do, stay balanced–that last part from someone with firsthand knowledge of the importance of balance . . .  Sun, Neptune, Moon stellium in Libra.  

 

Meditation Haiku Poem Present Moment Practice

I’ve been watching an HBO show that’s been on AMAZON PRIME.  I view it on my TV set using my ROKU device.  It’s called IN TREATMENT.  In the moment of a recent episode, the shrink asked the young man, “What are you thinking?”  The youth replied, “White noise”.

I had to laugh at that one.  The laughter of recognition I suppose.  My own mind registered that.  Not thinking anything really.  Yet not being mindful either.  I ‘m most aware of that white noise when the decision is made to write.  Like now.  It’s a rain filled, raw, cold day here in North Carolina.  Write, I said.

All levels of me self-agreed to write something.  A blog.  Here I am.  What have I got? White noise just like the kid on the program.

Lately, I’ve thought to try my hand at writing short little Japanese Mindfulness Poems called Haiku which are Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.  Cutting written language, relatable to anyone and maybe paradoxical in some way.

Sounds easy.  Not so much.  You’d think the white noise would help but the instant that pressure is felt to come up with even one word, the mind is suddenly filled with nonsense and resistance. No no, not always, listen . . .

I really like the idea of clipping out a moment that is a pure now moment – a reflection of whatever catches the attention of the psyche.

The other day I sat down on the sidewalk in front of my apartment to experience a moment or two of sunshine.  Looking down at the ground before me, there is one pear tree flower all by itself in the dirt–alone and separated from the tree and other flowers on the branch from which it blossomed.

What struck me is that even though it was alone there, its center filaments seemed to still be reaching up toward the sun, the light.

Spring flower in dirt

Alone, apart from its branch, tree

Looks up to the light

My Haiku poem.  Is it legit?  Well, I guess they’re not really required to rhyme to qualify.  Here are a few from one of the supposed greatest Haiku Poets, Basho:

An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

Autumn moonlight—
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus –
A lovely sunset.

The translations from Japanese to English do not follow the 5, 7, 5 syllable rule.   Anyway, none of those rhyme but they do describe the moment in time, a now.  Seems a good use of spare time to use Haiku poem writing endeavors to help a person remain aware of their now, mindfulness.  I guess you know what I mean, reader, right?

The small flower all alone there just seemed to say to me, “Look, I know that I no longer am connected to the life force upon the earth that sustained me (the tree) and I’m aware that I will soon just become the earth itself, whithering away here.  And I know my family of flowers on the branch above me–they are all looking down upon me aware of my fate, but I can still be nourished by the light, the sun.  The filaments, the anther, the stamen of me are still reaching up to the light even in my death here and in my departure, the ground here before you where I lay is bringing you some joy and beauty before I disappear completely. ” Looking at the singular flower was my meditation.

After writing those last words my head turned toward the window where I see the tree with all their beautiful white blossoms knowing that soon they will all fall upon the ground as the green leaves push them off their branches.  They too will end up in the dirt and on the sidewalk.  But they will return next spring to do it all again.  There is no death, only transition into yet another phase.

 

 

Present Moment Proof – how you know you are there

on the edge

Energy.  That’s right.  You’ll know from the energy feel.  It’s the feel of being alive, vibrating, and we may even say its a feeling of excitement.  Life is taken to a higher level and sometimes only momentarily, longer if you’re lucky.  To understand it, we have to contrast it with the times that we are ‘not’ fully present in the moment.  And that is, for most of us, the majority of the time.  Anytime we are contemplating the past or future — try it out for yourself through simple self-awareness — the energy is dead or flat.  You’ll recognize that dead feel pretty dramatically as you compare it with moments of being fully present.  You know how it goes when you’re being fully in the “now”, right?

Time stops and a surreal feeling will likely come upon you as if you have been lifted up and out and set down somewhere else all of a sudden.  Everything feels different and appears different and maybe the heart quickens and chills happen.  And then you flow with it as if nothing else or no one else exists. 

We’ve all had those feelings.

And there are after effects. I think that it’s feeling in harmony and being in the flow of life that is an indicator that we have just been fully present and the residual of that remains with us and out-pictures as flowing with life for minutes, hours or day (s).

Then, we get shifted out of that flow by something that occurs and then our mind will attach, cling, fear, become angry or experience an aversion.  Then we’re dead in the water again or not functioning effectively,  have been pulled out of the flow and our vibe becomes dead again.  We’re not fully alive anymore.

These are my (blog) thoughts about it anyway.  I was recently reminded of this during a recent visit from my little (soon to be 2-year-old) granddaughter.  The entire time we were together was a peak experience.  She was fully present and brought me with her to that place of excitement.

I’m in that peak place during intense exercise workouts in which I am very focused as well as when I’m engaged in a creative project.  Moments of awakening that shake us out of our mundane, dead, and routine thoughts or activities, if used correctly, are gifts.

Being on the edge of life is being in the present moment and it comes with that feeling of being fully alive.

Personally,  at those times my soul, my psyche goes into a state, which in Zazen, is called shikantaza, a state of heightened concentration, patience, and alertness and this state throws me into a state of flow that lasts for hours or days.  Plans change or don’t enter into mind at all and one just becomes totally spontaneous.  In describing this recently someone replied, “Oh yes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Yeah, alrighty then.  LOL

I hope this post is found to be, in some way, helpful to the reader.