Jack Be Nimble: Card of the Week 26th August, 2013

 

“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candle-stick.”

 

card 8.26.2013

 

 

 

This image, from one of my very favourite  decks, the Jack of Hearts, very much reminds me of SOUL PUPPY.  For those of you unfamiliar with my  Soul Puppy cartoons, soul-puppy is that part of us who is innocent and excited.  Jack Russell terriers have to be the cutest things around.   But boy, sometimes they get into mischief or wear themselves out bouncing off the walls.  The innocent and enthusiasm is pure uninhibited energy.     Our mind is sometimes a puppy off-leash, wandering here and there… over hill and dale and sometimes lacking direction.         What we truly seek, most of the time, is that sense of being seated in our real power, our authentic real self.    Not feeling pressured by others, not feeling fearful, not feeling the pressure to manipulate ourselves or others to get what we think we need, – just feeling at peace as ourselves.   If this feeling were a place, it would be an eternal summer day, with long rolling grass lawns dotted with Frisbee games and barbeques.  Our innocence and spirit wants to be that happy puppy, to stretch out in the grass there, in the endless illumination that comes from knowing that we’re connected to center and not pulled this way and that!  When we do things, or love from THIS place, we can’t help keep our true place of power, we can’t help but not get lost.

Much of life, though, is not always like that summer day – sometimes it’s like a tunnel into night where we can’t always feel close to our truth or where we just don’t really see the big picture when it comes to where we’re going or what other people feel about us.  We put a lot of emphasis on other people, other things.   How we feel, and how well life goes seems to often depend on the conclusions we’re leaping to.     Ego lights endless flickering candles for us in that tunnel that are designed not to illuminate the whole world… they only shine a little bit of light at a time on the information around us…  and can lead us to grossly inaccurate representations about what is really going on within and without.    (Either something really negative that you’re imagining, or a fantasy that causes you to disconnect from reality)      This card reminds you that to keep yourself from getting burned, to protect your innocence and enthusiasm, send it in the right direction.    And remember, those flickering ego conclusions in the hallway of darkness are NOT showing you the whole picture…. they are designed to keep  you safe, out of the full illumination, to keep yourself in fear.    This is especially true when you have an opportunity to really be yourself and to tap into your REAL creative power.

Ask yourself,     Am I feeling uncomfortable?  Do I really know that what I’m thinking is true? Do I feel afraid? Do I feel fake or forced?  Do I go from being hopeful to being disappointed in a heart-beat?        The discomfort is a clue that  really inaccurate illusions (and their inherent disappointments) might burn you because you have lost your power and are only reacting (or “play acting”) to an inaccurate project of the world around you.   In that half illumination, everything seems to be riding on what you think you know, or on a situation outside of yourself.  It’s exhausting.

Instead – Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…. jump over those candle sticks!!    This week, think about what you’re enthusiastic about.   You wouldn’t want to just let your puppy chew on ANYTHING in the house or race out into the street off leash, so be mindful of what you’re pouring your energy into.    Don’t be enthusiastic and all- in for the stuff you THINK YOU KNOW, be all- in and enthusiastic about the one thing you DEFINITELY know:  YOU.     You actually DO know how to just be yourself, without worrying how everyone else is doing their job.    The “real you”   is your default setting, and the beast that is always stirring – pulling on the leash, wanting to run in the lawn.    If you focus on living, speaking and acting your TRUTH, as best you can, (without worrying about how others will or should react or who you have to win over)  then you’re back in your own power – everything isn’t riding on another person or on those conclusions anymore.

The truth and the light will come out when you let yourself be who YOU are.    Put your enthusiasm and energy into expressing yourself from an honest space.   If you can do this, everything falls into place much more easily; people will truly gravitate to the real you (those that matter!)  and more and more gets illuminated.   Your inner puppy wants to sail over the small candles and get to that huge sunny field, with the rolling grass and Frisbees!  Do your best, be yourself!

 

About this deck:

This gorgeous deck,   The Key to the Kingdom is by the amazing artist and illustrator Tony Meeuwissen  (published by Running Press Books)    it’s my very favorite playing card deck (of my many!) – it’s  a regular 52 card (and jokers)  deck which is called a “transformation” style deck, which means the pips all become elements of an artistic illustration.    These marvelous illustrations which draw on traditional nursery rhymes and riddles, are perfect for regular play, imagination, and intuitive thinking

The Gambler: Card of the Week 19th August, 2013

Card 8.19.2013 1

 

This week’s card came with a hopper (a hopper is a bonus card or two that falls or “leaps” out of the deck somehow).     And what a great hopper it was, because it gives us an intuitive clue as to what these cards from the Sibila  Oracle are on about.    “The Gamblers”  and  “Love” appear to give us guidance for the week and it’s all about risking our heart.

Take a closer look at the image on the two of spades:

Card 8.19.2013 2

 

Obviously, these fine gentlemen have spent more time coiffing those prodigious mutton chop side-burns than brushing up on their poker skills.   Mr. Blue Coat seems to be winning – and it’s no wonder! He’s getting getting clues from Mr. Green Coat standing behind the table about what cards Mr. Red Coat has in his hand.   “Two queens, you say?”  Unfortunately for him though, he’s not the brightest oil lamp, and because his brain is so busy trying to gain insight, he’s not aware that his grip has loosened and his own cards have flopped forwards.   Mr. Red Coat is scrutinizing whatever he can see.     One or the other may win a hand or two, but with all this protecting, hiding, sneaking and competing, neither of them will get ahead for long. It’s going to be a long night.  These two buffoons are so busy trying to one- up one another and figure each other out that they’re not enjoying (or really winning)  the game.

Sound familiar?  There are a lot of parallels to this scene when it comes to our eternal project: learning to get along with (and love) each other.  No matter what kind of relationship it is (brother, boss, jerk-roommate, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister-in-law, husband or wife) chances are at one point or another you’ve been so busy trying to figure them out and what their motive is and get an “edge” that you’ve totally lost perspective on what your own personal responsibilities and powers are.  You’ve become a helpless victim with all the mental figuring, adding-up and determining you’ve been doing without the benefit of actual communication.

This card asks:  is it more important to “win” or is it more important to really authentically play the game and do your best?     If you’re trying to make someone jealous, make them lonesome, make them figure out how much they screwed up, or trying to figure out what they’re thinking or feeling  (without actually TALKING to them) then you’re losing steam in your effort to be on top and protect yourself from being hurt.   Loving someone else is not about winning, not about gaining an advantage over them and not about “figuring them out”  from the vantage point of your fears (and your wild imagination when fear gets going).  Won’t that always let you see the WORST?   “He’s a jerk. He’ disrespecting me.”  — all of those thoughts are excuses that your ego can use to get you to play a dirty game of poker that you will never ever win.

Instead of trying to figure everyone in the situation out,  get back in the game.  Use your kindness and compassion to see the situation more accurately and use your mouth to speak up  and to learn about your loved-one.     Since there are only two intentions (to protect/close or learn/open up)  you know what you have to do.  Be willing to involve yourself  and be willing to be vulnerable again.          Letting go of all the card-peeking also means that you’re not spending 24 hours a day thinking about this problem!  Are you so busy trying to figure everyone out that you’re not living your own life?    You have things to do for yourself and the focus must go back to you so that you are in touch with your personal responsibility, empowerment and flow. Without those important ingredients of self-connection and self-love  the stakes of the game are too high:  “I must win this… and if I don’t win. I’m lost. There is no me.”

Why is this all so important?   Because this little guy is on the scene this week:

Card 8.19.2013 3

 

That’s right.  Cupid is on the scene and he’s trying to shoot an arrow into your fist-like core and open your heart.   Love is trying to come in here, if only you take a risk and make the gamble to be open and to let others in.   He’s a naked baby wearing a ribbon so he knows all about “exposed” and he’s saying it’s OK to let it all hang out a little bit even though that sometimes feels like the most terrifying thing in the world.     The only weapon in his arsenal is a quiver of love, kindness and acceptance and that is, ironically, the best kind of protection for YOU because the truth needs no other defense and your integrity requires this like sunflowers require the light.    At his feet lie the shackles of bondage and the gilded-lily of ego.   Cupid has his arrow fixed on our inner foolish Mr. Red Coat and Mr.  Blue Coats.    They’ll play a round, they’ll play fair, they’ll have a lovely conversation about mustache wax and carriage taxes and then they’ll hug-it-up and buy each other a pint at the pub with the money from the pot.

Ahh… love is in the air Smile

 

*About this deck:    Before and around the time of  Madame Le Normand, in the 18th and 19th centuries there were “Sibilla” oracle decks:  illustrated cartomantic decks based on traditional European playing cards.  The usual suits and pips appear, but with scenes from daily life. These practical and obvious symbols make for a fun deck that is easy to read and the illustrations in this pack, Sibilla Oracle published by Lo Scarabeo , features a 52 card traditional deck with beautiful  original 19th century water-colour renderings of card images.  A good deck to use with your intuitive imagination about the meaning of cards, this deck has a combination of negative and positive events and therefore is not a “cutesy” or fluffy deck.    — if you’re reading this post on a date other than the week for which it was intended…. these symbols and or topics relate to you in some way!  Have fun. 

The Flowers: Card of the Week 12 August 2013

 

card 8.12.2013

 

I generally dislike  pat, predictive, sun-shiny  oracular messages that say things like “you just landed on a pot-of Gold” or  “this is going to be a great day where you will find a rainbow puppy that poops ice-cream sandwiches”   still, this week’s card has a decidedly happy flair for us!   The short description from the accompanying book  indicates The Flower says,

“Moving on from the past towards a better future. Happiness is coming, and success in all you do. You will now benefit from past efforts and good fortune and romantic relationships thrive.”

Certainly a little bit of hyperbole – but this week’s card brings us a positive message!  Whether or not you find that rainbow puppy, things ARE looking up.   One of the great experiences of gardening is when a flower you planted as a seed and fussed over, seemingly for a long time, finally breaks the ground with its little seed leaves spread like two little wings, or when the second year of a hollyhock’s life finally bears flowers with which to make little toothpick dolls.     Watering a bare patch of Earth and checking for signs of life may not be fun but when that beautiful sunflower finally stands a foot or two taller than your head and smiles down on you with yellow and red petals curling around its face;  it’s an awesome feeling.    (Those of you keeping track of the changing images on my blog will note that all the background photographs feature flowers and plants from my garden)

Likewise, this week you may find some of your OWN blooms blossoming.   Enjoy the flowers and happy things that you find in the garden of your life this week.  And if you don’t quite see that special flower yet – remember that things are often brewing, growing, unfurling and greening out of sight. Under the moonlight, through the rains of late summer – things are still growing even if you don’t see the reassurance of your toiling just now.     Better still, go out and find some flowers in bloom !    Find some gardens to delight in and some activities that make you feel as though you’re in fertile soil and not just playing a waiting game.  Enjoy friends, enjoy the “fruits” of the season and have fun!

 

About the deck:  This week’s card comes from a Lenormand type deck I was given called the “FAIRY TALE FORTUNE CARDS”  by Liz Dean and illustrated in mixed media by Bev Speight  and published by CICO books.      Now, “fairy” things are often a little to twee for me but this deck has some amazing mixed media artwork  and a light, bright  aesthetic to it right out of the 1960’s.  The connections to fairy-tales for each card and the addition of a short bit of prose is endearing.  The Lenormand is an altogether different card system from the Tarot, with  36 traditional images usually read in combinations of cards  (from 3 to the full 36 though you can certainly use them for single card draws).    Lenormand decks decks often give direct, concrete information (contrasting from the broad strokes and variable, esoteric meanings of Tarot).    The cards were invented by Marie Anne  Adelaide LeNormand (1772 – 1843)  who was  the most famous cartomancer  in 18th century France and card reader of Josephine, Napoleon Bonaparte’s Empress consort as well as many of leaders of the French Revolution.