Hanging Out With The Cards

A new day dawns. Time to rise and shine! Though there is not so much shining as flickering. Age takes its toll upon my ability to reach the shining point any faster than perhaps a turtle, these days. Like the saying goes, “everything happens at the pace at which it happens, no faster, no slower.”  The house is quiet. I am the first one up. I love this time of day. It’s new, with no mistakes in it yet. I know that is not the actual quote, but I don’t care. Poetic license, and all that.

The way through, to where my books and cards are, is the soft carpeting beneath my feet. It is late Spring, the time when I prowl the house barefoot, loving the sense of freedom. I pad down the stairs, and press the button on the Win7, then return to the main floor.

My work station is quiet. A new adventure begins. Opening the laptop, I start it. I want it ready.  Looking around, I spy them. “Ah, there you are. Good morning Your Majesty, Builder of my Soul. And to you, La Curandera, my great role model. And to you, little girl lost.” I take each card as I greet them, and slip them into the book which holds meanings; old traditional meanings. I call them ‘memory’s little helpers.’  The lined notebook, along with the velvet bundle, are the last items I pick up before I head back toward my reading room.

Mmmmmmm, the lovely scent of the unlit candles, not too strong, just a pleasant smell. Oh, the sun is shining in. Sam can eat, but I don’t want to wake my sleeping husband. I shrug and place my books and bundle upon the table.

Setting up is part of my ritual. I find a moving meditation in my actions, and focus on each movement. The drum, I lift off the table to a side desk. I look at the stones, a circle, with the largest surrounded by the smaller ones. Carefully, I pick each up and place them into the abalone shell, sitting at the northeastern corner. I move the small double pronged wand to it’s place by the Southeast edge.  The books are placed upon a second computer I have in here, after retrieving the cards, which I set next to the velvet pouch, center table. Unfolding the pouch feels like unwrapping a gift, and it is. Lastly, I retrieve the fireplace lighter from its holder, and flick it to life, a little blow torch whooshing out, which I touch to the wick of my current candle just beyond my reading cloth, among a collection of personal artifacts. The stage is set!

The cards are nicely organized, no reversals here, my three sentinels slipped, each into a random spot, within. I don’t read reversals. There are enough shadow cards within the deck itself, that reversals are not necessary. The stack is face down, now, to my left. My hand sits atop, and I fan the cards out, so they arc across the tabletop, 78 cards in all.

Taking up my spirit stick, double pronged wand, I sit, both hands holding the wooden tool, feeling the ribbons and feather with my thumbs, as I close my eyes. Breathing in deeply, I feel the energy begin to flow down, grounding me, letting everything seep into the earth. My shoulders follow suit, and I take a second breath, my mind concentrating only upon my inhale, and exhale.

After the third breath, I  welcome my Guides to walk with me on this daily reflection, through divination with the Gaian Tarot. I seek wisdom, to see with greater insight the message which the cards bring me today.

The words fade and I open my eyes, gathering the cards in my hands, holding them momentarily, feeling the possibilities therein. What I call my long shuffle commences. The first three cards I lay down across the top, then three across the bottom, and two in the middle. The rest of the deck is placed randomly in piles. I repeat the question, “What do I need to know today?” as I keep pulling cards off the top, dropping them onto the table.

The last card falls onto a pile, and I choose one, and then a second and holding them so each hand has the top facing right, and the bottom facing left, weave them together. Choose, choose, shuffle, shuffle, as I repeat the traditional dealer’s technique until there are just two piles, and then there is one single pile. I am habitual, as I hold them and do a flip, flop, drop, drop motion, back and forth. Finally, I place the deck on the cloth, and use my left hand to cut the cards, once, right to left, placing the right pile on top of the left. The cards are ready.

I grab the lined notebook and open to the next blank page, where I write the date, and note the deck “GT” with the words, “Daily Reflection,” between, on the top line. I finish by finish by jotting down my question, “What do I need to know today?”

They say, ‘Position is everything in life, and so it is in Tarot. My daily reflection has four of them.  THEME is the first card over, left to right.

“The theme for my day is The Ace of Air.” I smile as I write the name of the card next to the word THEME, and turn my attention back to the image. I see a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, upon the branch of a tree, flowers surrounding it. I study the image for a moment, and write, “Clear my thoughts to receive new ideas, and have an  orderly mind. Think before speaking, and listen to the whispers of the wind. The teachings can be transformative if I let them be, if I am open to new and different ways.”

I skip a line, and print the next position. “GUIDE,” drawing the card from the top of the deck. “My Guide is Six of Fire!” I write this and let the thoughts about this card flow out through my pen. “Community is important. Continue to search for a Red Tent Temple within the Realm of this day; follow the wildness and energy of the day. Use music and dance as my connection to Spirit, and keep in tune with this week of celebration!

The next position, MEDITATION,  I print on the suceeding line and pull from the deck  “THE WHEEL.” As I write it down, I include the number 10 in parentheses, to indicate this is a Major Arcana card. I continue, within a second set of parentheses to reduce this number “(1+0=1) – The Magician is the foundation.” *Happy dancing in my heart* “Feel the turning of the Wheel, and find the same energy within. Contemplate what this transition from Spring to Summer can teach me. In this phase two days past the New Moon, what is emerging? This season can bring me great wisdom for my own inner Summer. My Solstice draws near.”

In the fourth position, which is my special addition to the typical three card reading, I print, “HIDDEN KNOWLEDGE:” and pull the fourth card from the bottom of the deck. “Ten of Earth.”  I gaze at the placid scene, feel the serenity in the image, and write. “A cycle in the Earth’s flow is in flux. Pay close attention to the changes and ready myself for the turning – the transition – from one season to the next.”

Each card, now face up, rides the upper edge of my reading cloth, a straight line. Looking at the group, studying the placement, I begin to write again.

“The Flow. As the new time is upon us, prepare for the next turning. Transition. The Wheel, and The Hidden Factor strengthen this.”

My attention is drawn back to the pictures. Three of these four cards are founded in The Magician. I write, “NUMBERS, and then “Ace and Tens, the realm of moving forward, the realm of action dwells in movement.” I am happy. I love The Magician, the drummer who brings the rhythm of motion. Six is a connection to The Lovers, and is a final aspect of the second triad, the psychological aspect.”

Another scan of the cards and I see where the Elements play their part. “Fire, Air, Earth and ?” Majors are a bit of a conundrum. So many different thoughts about the influences on an elemental level. Still I see The Magician as Fire. My call.

Not for nothing, I write, “Remember, two hawks flew from North to South.” Just saying. I sit drinking in the sense of the reading, the direction it indicates. It feels good to me. The Wheel is change. Change is ever present. I nod, as if in agreement.

Sliding the cards together, I slip them between the pages of the book, placing it upon the written pages of my journal. I put my deck back into the velvet sheath, and rest it, as well, upon the books.

Taking up my wand, I close my eyes, draw in three deep breaths, focusing on only the inhale and exhale, and I thank my Guides for walking with me on this daily reflection through divination with the Gaian Tarot. “May we walk in peace and power through this day, and through this night, to the place betwix and between, where today meets tomorrow. Blessed Be!”

Blowing out the flame, I take my books and cards back to the living room and greet my husband who sits in his chair drinking his coca cola with lemon.

Another successful reading!