Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Read Tarot, See the World!

Just sneaking this in while I’m supposed to be packing for Readers Studio 2013, an annual gathering in New York for Tarot lovers, creators, artists, writers, accessorizers (ha-rumph! Spellcheck doesn’t believe in that word. No matter. I do), collectors and most of all READERS: It’s time!

I am looking forward to seeing all my Readers Studio friends. Several people are unable to make it this year for various personal reasons. I’m going to miss you!

This year we are going to have more Tarot, more Lenormand and I’m dragging along my Junk Oracle for fun. We will have a few days of intense learning and several nights of intense…more than learning!

It’s a fabulous time to see what is new in the realm of cartomancy and indulge in a full day of Tarot and Psychology. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I’ve created over the last few years too. And you know what? I like it. Thank you to all of you who like my work also. Your support and enthusiasm and kindness mean more than I can say.

Hope to see you there at Readers Studio this week! There may be a Twitter or two coming this week, too.

Best wishes and easy travels!


PS--The Dust Bunny Lenormand Third Printing is now available, $20 plus postage, including custom-made case. Contact me for details!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Go Boston

I don’t know enough yet about what happened at the Boston Marathon. It’s either that, or I know too much. I know a sweet little boy named Martin died. A college student died. Mrs. Campbell’s Krystle child died. I read that two brothers who attended together, just at the wrong place, both had amputation injuries. I watched the initial film clips, one over and over where one of the runners next to the blast had his legs collapse under him.

“Somebody help that man,” I murmur every time I see that video of 78-year-old  Bill Iffrig. I learned he is all right and he spoke to the news people, a little stunned that after all he just got knocked off his feet instead of the much worse injuries suffered by others who were not exactly in focus.

Some wonderful, amazing people did help those around them who were hurt. There are photos showing them and the people terribly injured. We are all stunned. I say that then realize that there is someone, somewhere out there, at least one person who is not stunned. There is someone who thought it should happen something like this. There was intent. There was intent, apparently, to do more harm than this.

I can’t help but want the good people to get more attention than the bad people. I want the hospital employees and the rescue professionals and the event organizers and the passers-by, the police and other investigative bodies who have worked since the moment of the first blast to have heroes’ welcomes and their names written in history. I can’t help but want the people who worked carefully to create cheap and deadly chaos to be erased from history, to have their own sympathizers turn on them, to be overwhelmed with the enormity of this sin that they bring themselves to justice.

Running isn’t just an individual sport although it can be solitary. Marathons aren’t solitary. There are runners, marathoners, “endurers” as Rachel Maddow calls them.

Cousin Patti’s husband Bob is a runner. Bob’s family has more than one runner. They make a family event of their marathons. They have a rhythm of practice, of attendance, of celebration, of food, of community all marathon-centered. They compete but define winning their own way, as marathoners can. Few compete for the first place title. Most compete to conquer their past timings or just the 26 miles themselves. Most run because they run. It’s what they do.

Some tarot readers define the 5 of Wands as a negative card and you might view the vigor and seeming disorganization as threatening or mean. I don’t usually. It might be part of my own orientation to competition in games. When I look at it, I see competitors trying their skills against worthy opponents in the field of sport, not battle. They share a common passion for the activity they are thoroughly engaged in. They have a tacit agreement to participate and test their skills. They may define their own “personal win” differently but they are likely to agree on an overall winner. They are likely to want to come back and try again. Are they mean? I don’t think so. They are participating to win, not half-hearted, ho-hum energy. But part of the agreement among the competitors is that the competition is not a life-and-death event.

Alternatively, the 5 of Swords is the true zero-sum game. This is the victor and the vanquished. This isn’t a friendly competition. This is the meaningful attack with the intent, not to prove one’s abilities, but to crush an enemy.

In one of my classes at Readers Studio one year, I had a chance to really spend some time with the 5 of Swords. Despite his smirk, the “winner” does not look any happier than the “losers”. Some look to the other characters in the card to say the apparent winner ends up losing in the end; the losers end up winning. Somehow I’d like to think so. The winner gathers up the swords of ideas and conflict and takes them with him, alone. He has lost friends, people, trust, love and perhaps even touch with reality, all for the gathering of swords.

The marathon is an example of the 5 of Wands, the field of play to test one’s mettle. The act of terror is an example of the 5 of Swords, somehow an idea to make a statement of violence and power.

With the 5 of Wands, we can decide we don’t want to compete anymore; the better competitors may seem too intense for those less competitive. Competition can seem unkind because it does leave some behind as competition is eliminated. But almost everyone agrees that the players can come back and try again tomorrow, if they want to.

With the 5 of Swords, however, the intent is different, not sporting, but power driven, with the intent to do harm to one’s opponents for a “permanent” victory. An idea triumphs over another. An argument is won and lost. Someone exercises violence for gain of…something. War is waged.

I checked with my friends who work in Boston today. Their offices are near the blast point. For safety, they worked from home today. I was happy to learn they were not injured.

The many professionals who track down criminals are very, very focused and motivated to find those who did this. When they find them--when, not if--it will not necessarily feel like victory, no more, perhaps, than putting out the trash on Wednesday night.

But the marathoners will be back, because the spirit of community and celebration of joy and the love for those maimed or lost cannot, will not be beaten, even by the evil done this week.

Go Boston.

Best wishes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gimme a Light

You’ve done this, right? You’ve told yourself that you could walk through your house with the lights off because you know where everything is, then stubbed your toe on a chair or stepped on one of the cats’ or kids’ toys that wasn’t supposed to be there.

Just about everyone I know wishes they could see things more clearly.

“I just want to know if I should keep going to school or quit and try to get a job.”

“I just want to know if he really, really cares about me.”

“I just want to know when this is going to happen because I am so tired of waiting.”

Yeah, me too. Seriously.

Well, in the absence of a clear choice, I worked full time AND went to school. I wasn’t getting any younger and I certainly wasn’t too old, although I had had feedback from my contemporaries that, well, I probably was.

“That’s your choice,” I told them. “I’m going to do it.”

That was thirty years ago. Now, I’m astonished that anyone would think I was too old for anything in 1983. I’d say that I have some real physical constraints now, but not many. One of my friends and team members at two companies noted that, due to my scooter accident, my pro football career was most likely down the tubes. The doctor confirmed I should not ski or play tennis; it’s a knee thing. But, the good news then and now is that I hadn’t actually had aspirations of greatness in professional or even amateur sports, especially the knee-intensive variety.

Running my hand down my silky and comfortably rounded form, I answered the doctor, “I see why you might mistake me for a tennis player or skier….”

He was a smart guy but he didn’t have much of a sense of humor. He was, after all, paid to fix my knee and not laugh at my jokes. They tell me the osteo surgeons are often grumpy. But that was more than ten years ago, too, and, heck, I can walk. That’s pretty amazing.

But that time in between, the times where I was stubbing my toes in the dark on the path of my life, between deciding to go back to college again and getting the degree, between the accident and the first confident steps I took after months of physical therapy and surgery, I could have used a light.

When we are in a place of uncertainty, we think we want a guiding light, a Star to fix upon, to shine down on us and show us the Right Thing to Do. There’s a really important hair-splitting point about that shining star to guide us. We pick the star; the star doesn’t pick us.

Oh, of course it would be easier if the star picked us. Sure, if your heart’s desire just fell into your lap, well, wow, that would clear out a lot of uncertainty. Wouldn’t it? What if you didn’t have to choose it, set your sights on it, plot a course or at least start out in some direction towards it? What if you didn’t stumble along the way or momentarily wander off course? What if you didn’t have to work so darned hard for it? What if you didn’t have sleepless nights wondering if it would happen because you want it so badly?

Would a star still be a star?

Would it just be a point on a map or an X on a calendar? Today, I got my heart’s desire without lifting a finger. Ho hum.

What would you do tomorrow? Do you go to second on your list? Do you stay home and play with your toys until you’re bored?

Can’t there be something between stumbling in the dark and finish line? What if, just what if you could see your way clearly to make sure you were taking all the right steps to get to place you want to be? Wouldn’t that be “the best”? Maybe it would.

But, maybe not. After all, what makes you think you’re so smart? You may have a goal that sounds like the right answer. But, ask yourself, have you ever been wrong about what you wanted? Remember the time you insisted that you wanted the chocolate-beer-bubblegum ice cream and would not be persuaded of anything else only to find out it was pretty awful? Have you ever been sure you could fit into those shoes that looked so good only to be an agony halfway through the Big Event? Did you ever fight with your family about going out with the Wrong Person only to find out, darn it, they were right?

I’m in the middle of one of those walking-in-the-dark things myself right now. I’m working to stay conscious of the fact that I choose the Star, the Star doesn’t choose me. I’m not a victim of my life. I’m an active participant. I have a general goal in mind, something specific and attainable but not so locked into exactness that I’m out of options or alternatives.

One of my favorite exercises, when I’m faced with a goal that seems difficult to attain or at least farther away than arm’s reach, is something I think of as the Hermit’s Lamp. The Hermit has a darkened path, an interior journey, because so often when we face these walking-in-the-dark times much of the work is individual. He’s a bit better prepared for his travel than the Fool because he has a cloak to keep out the rain and cold, a walking stick to keep him steady and maybe most importantly, the Hermit has a lamp. His lamp has a star in it. That star is a smaller version than the one up in the sky. Think of it as personal sized, trying your goal on with the clarity that it can bring to your path. Through the light of your goal, you see your next step. It’s not sunrise yet, with the whole landscape lit up. It’s not moonlight that shifts and changes like mist. The light you carry with you is the light of your goal. It’s the light you picked. It’s not even the most important part of the Hermit’s tale.

Taking that next step is.

Best wishes.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Irene and the Tower

Weep, skies! We’ve lost Irene
Of the Queen Anne tall and palace-y.
She rides out on spring’s lightning bolt
And not pathetic fallacy.

Let the winds blow.
Let the stones fall low.
Let light itself lose its glow.
The Lioness is dead.

From Irene Buck's family:


March 23, 1944 – March 30, 2013

Irene Patricia Buck, 69, passed away Saturday at her daughter’s home in Vallejo following a brief illness with an agressive cancer.

Irene was born in San Francisco to Edward and Esther Del Rosario on March 23, 1944. She held various positions throughout her life as a TV producer for KQED, an artist, a social worker and was the manager of the Cancer Society Thrift Shop. Irene was involved in politics and was a campaign manager for several local candidates. She enjoyed collecting antiques, gourmet cooking, gardening, and spending time with her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers, Edward, Jack and Louis Del Rosario.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Anthony Brennan; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Peace be to you and your family, sweet Light and Lioness.

Best wishes.