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.  

 

CoVid-19 Pandemic Lifts the Veil

How are you doing?  One moment your heart (like mine) may crack open and the next your fear for society and your family may overcome you.  Then there is a settling down and recovery—so many of us have been here before.  Maybe not the same exact pandemic peril but instability at watching a version of reality that we believed so true and to which we had so many thoughts attached become shattered.  Only to find in just a little while (days/weeks/months—maybe longer) but eventually experiencing life lifting us up as if on the wings of a merciful angel and once attain we’re recovered.  But each time we hold less intensely to what we perceive to be and label ‘reality’—our version of it anyway.  The veil thins and our illusions and delusions are exposed to ourselves.

We’ve been unstable before and found our comfort in the role of the observer having to let go of what we once believed kept us sane.  With that last line comes to mind the Jimmy buffet song lyrics, It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes; Nothing remains quite the same; With all of our running and all of our cunning; If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”  When nothing remains the same, and when the veil thins and (sometimes painfully) our illusions are exposed humor does help.  (Last night our family gathered in a webcam platform and created belly laughs which were quite healing and fun.)

More lyrics:  If it suddenly ended tomorrow
I could somehow adjust to the fall
Good times and riches and son-of-a-bitches
I’ve seen more than I can recall

Yeah, on that last part sons and daughters of people who ignore social distancing!  Ah, but there it is again – fear and projections overcome me again.

We’re living through dramatic change these days and rapidly. When I contemplate and meditate that whole process is about observing the mind and studying and learning from the way the mind itself is continually changing.  Now we see that change on the outside as well as the inside. The nature of life ‘is’ change and we experience this in our meditation and contemplation but our human side, the personality that attaches to all that it believes is un-changing is now waking up due to the potentiality of this virus for which there is no cure and no vaccine.  Yet, today, with my facemask securely in place and list in hand while walking through the produce section of one of our local grocery stores, two older gentlemen, one who is the produce worker and the other a customer were rather loudly defending their old realities (poo-pooing COVID-19).

Later at home in equal form, the woman across the parking lot had 6 children closely playing together in front of her apartment (only one was her own child) while she watched from her porch.  A young mother with a toddler was amongst the group as well – no social distancing at all mind you!  Apparently, the gig was up and they were back to the old reality.

In meditation, we begin to realize directly ‘how things are’ and we begin to see the very deep truth of impermanence and uncertainty.  We see that form is impermanent and subject to continual change.

Turn on the news and you will see it how impermanence and uncertainty is televised in abundance.   The amount of change, insecurity, destabilization, and vulnerability is quite visible.

People create an identity and then attach to that persona an idea of how they believe things are supposed to be.

Yet how things ‘are’ actually ‘is’ how it’s supposed to be – because this is how ‘it is’. To defend a different reality or to try to live an old illusion will only potentially cause more disappointment and suffering.  And as I type those last words the images of people who are not socially distancing flashes before me.

The way things ‘are’ is always changing and that change really isn’t up to us.  I can’t make people observe social distancing and they can’t stop the virus spreading by going back to a reality in which they closely gather and ignore the risks.

To ignore the feelings of fear and panic that may arise by indulging in risky behavior not only for one own self but for others (isn’t that the huge lesson associated with this virus?) is not wise or skillful.  Those feelings of anxiety that arise are normal; and so to, first of all, best accept that and realize that those feelings are not to be identified with.

They are feelings and those who are very sensitive to energy are feeling those feelings, processing them right along with the world in which they are arising.  It’s okay – it’s just what’s happening like in our meditation when we observe the thoughts and feelings, we don’t over-identify with those either.  We realize that it’s just what’s arising and then dissolving again.  We are not thoughts and we are not feelings.

Yet, again, like those ignoring social distancing right now and those refusing to wear a face mask, it’s the lower human nature to want to shove away a reality that one doesn’t want.

There was anger in the voices of the produce man and his customer in the grocery store.  That certainly comes from loss – loss of the old reality and the resistance to change.

Can we learn from this all these changes rather than running from it (like those who refuse the mask and ignore social distancing) and becoming angry with it (like the men in the grocery store)?

This pandemic lifts the veil and shows us the true nature of reality.  Pardon the pun but now can we take some of this veil and put it over our nose and mouth?

Attachments to rituals and thoughts on the pandemic

 

Attachments to rituals.  I’m looking at that right now.  Grabbing my cards at 2 am on a Saturday night to help with a decision.  That’s going to help me to get to sleep.  Wait.  What am I writing about?  This coronavirus scare has my energy off a bit.  Should I buy more toilet paper?  (just kidding). No that’s not the problem, although my gosh one does begin to wonder if the stores don’t restock what a mess it could make of things.  Yeah, let’s not go there.  It’s the gym, you know?  That’s what’s got me out of bed so my mind will shush up about it.  As the fear began to loom about the virus and with a strong desire to do my part for my fellows, I skipped my gym time on Friday.  Yet, today I dashed in after notices on the gym’s website that they are taking all these precautions with cleaning and providing extra wipes and sanitizers.  I felt guilty doing it but I was craving cardio and did a vigorous hour on the spin bike.  The crowd at the gym might have been a bit smaller than usual today, but not that much.  YET, now the governor of our state has closed all the schools for 2-weeks.  The gym did shut down certain gatherings and is limiting the number of members allowed in classes and our library has canceled all group type meetings and activities for 2 months!  I’m taking my temperature each day.  I felt like my luck was being pushed by getting a few more groceries the other day.  I’m rationing the stray cat’s food (there are 5 of them!) and find myself holding back from eating what’s in the freezer and cupboards.  Hey, and that’s a good thing.  I’ve gained near to 5 pounds over the winter.

Yeah and now I’m looking at giving up my gym time and cringe when envisioning . . . well, let’s say that its likely to be another damn test in letting go and non-attachment.  Contrast that with the PBS Evening News weekend edition report from Italy where some people are dying in their homes and they are being left there due to fears of collecting the bodies and spreading the virus further.  Many older adults are being triaged and not treated due to not enough respirator equipment to keep them alive.  The entire country is being told to stay at home unless an emergency and the police are enforcing by violators being jailed or fined.  Imagine being given a citation for being out of your home.  Intense and really scary!  And then there’s me boohooing about missing my workouts!  I feel ashamed.  Like many people are doing, however, there’s that part of the mind that says, nawh, that’s not going to happen here; everywhere else maybe, but not here, not us, not me.  

I’m certainly not alone with this struggle right? Now I want to delete this blog feeling ashamed to even be writing it!  But, full disclosure.  I just completed a 40-minute vow meditation — vowing to sit in complete stillness without moving at all.  In this deep metta-meditation,  the concentrated focus involved in not moving a muscle, and the tonglen (exchanging self for others) were all offered (the merit and energy) for any and all who may be in fear or in any way suffering especially in relation to this coronavirus.  Point being just had the thought that maybe tonight’s earlier meditation will balance things out with my selfish gym concerns.  Who knows.

Lifting weights 3 times a week in a group choreographed releases is addictive!  But if I spread a virus as a carrier without knowing (they say you can have it and not know it), then oh no!  I better not go. Right?  I take my temperature every day and feel fine, but still . . . right?

Anyway, do you get the feeling that the authorities know more than they are telling us about the virus?  I watch the news but still feel there’s something missing there.  Here’s a gross report.  One TV reporter said that the virus came from bats and then tonight I read about it originating from snakes.  Ugh. Let’s let those thoughts go; shouldn’t have mentioned it.

Stress is not good for anybody, right?  Therefore, I must stop stressing about this question and my attachment to the spin bike and the weight lifting classes must be handled.

Right; well then.  A quickie. Turning to my cards.  Yes or No spread.  Is it in everyone’s best interest, including my own, if I avoid the gym until they sound the all-clear?  Yikes; That could be months!  There go my mental withdrawal symptom alarms at the very thought of that!

Such an oxymoron, right?  Going to a gym and working out is supposed to be a healthy thing to do!

Right.  Anyway. The cards.  Okay. Here we go . . . No, let me add timing to this question.  I will ask for one week and then decide weekly thereafter.  Here we go . . .

The revised question is this:  Is it in everyone’s best interest, including my own if I do NOT go to the gym for one week? Yes or No? 

Alright.  It’s a YES.  Ace of Swords, Three of Cups, Ace of Cups.

(Ace in the 3rd pile of 13 cards is the strongest indicator of YES and the Ace of Swords in the 1st pile of 13 adds to it.

The middle pile of 13 cards displays the Three of Cups which adds to the meaning.

The first impression in seeing that card was about how being with the other women (oops, guys in the class too) lifting weights to music week after week is group power and fun.  And there’s the community and bonding stuff going on.  I see this card as a validation of the question that is being asked… women lifting cups, bonding.  Me lifting weights and doing the same at the gym.  Get it?  It’s like the cards are telling me that they hear the question, loud and clear.

But with this decision, the Three of Cups card also indicates that there are joyous possibilities that can come from my withdrawal. I will find a way to do cardio and increase at-home yoga to not lose my fitness level.  THAT will be a challenge but what can I say?  I may actually really enjoy that — yeah, well, keeping an open mind, I will re-asses in one week.

Done and done!  Right now I’m going to say that I’m going to bed.  My mind will shut up now.  The decision’s been made.

My heart extends to all who are suffering from the effects of this pandemic.   May you, reader, be safe and protected.

PS —  image at the top of this post was a random photo but that looks like one of our group power moves, actually chest press is my favorite and my bar is loaded with 3 plates too and we lay on the bench just as the people in the photo; probably my 3 plates are not the same weight as the people in the photo but looks the same anyway… yeah, it’s late and I’m not making sense now.  Goodnight; didn’t intend to go on and on so long.