For those of us in the States, our Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. Because of this, I decided not to do a reading for this upcoming week, but instead, to offer a few poems that describe what it means to be thankful. Some of these poems talk explicitly about being thankful. Others are a bit more oblique in how they speak of thanks.
For those of you living outside of the United States, feel free to meditate on what you’re thankful for, despite the fact that a holiday celebrating thankfulness might not appear on your calendar. And, enjoy the poetry.
Know that I’m very thankful for all of you who take the time to read this blog, and to those of you who always comment, infinite thanks!
Spared by a car or airplane crash or
cured of malignancy, people look
around with new eyes at a newly
praiseworthy world, blinking eyes like these.
For I’ve been brought back again from the
fine silt, the mud where our atoms lie
down for long naps. And I’ve also been
pardoned miraculously for years
by the lava of chance which runs down
the world’s gullies, silting us back.
Here I am, brought back, set up, not yet
But it’s not this random
life only, throwing its sensual
astonishments upside down on
the bloody membranes behind my eyeballs,
not just me being here again, old
needer, looking for someone to need,
but you, up from the clay yourself,
as luck would have it, and inching
over the same little segment of earth-
ball, in the same little eon, to
meet in a room, alive in our skins,
and the whole galaxy gaping there
and the centuries whining like gnats—
you, to teach me to see it, to see
it with you, and to offer somebody
uncomprehending, impudent thanks.
The Queen of Swords is a quick thinker, organized, perceptive, and independent - no one can fool her. This Queen's energy is not always the warmest, but she is always willing to help. The Queen of Swords is quite adept at seeing the bigger picture without getting emotionally involved in any of its aspects. She is able to discern what is needed and what can be released while keeping emotions out of the scenario. The Queen of Swords always thinks with her mind, never her heart. She’s very honest and will tell it like it is. Never sugar coats.
I know I’ve talked in previous blogs about how it’s always positive to let go of the people and/or situations that no longer serve you. However, sometimes, when you try to discern who or what needs to go, you can get emotional about the situation. The Queen of Swords appears this week to ask you to make a decision about what you can release using only facts, no emotions. However, if you have an emotional reaction while trying to suss out your next steps, that’s okay. But, don’t act on any of this emotion. For the time being, categorize it away. Be impartial until you can form an honest and detailed opinion.
For those who are very empathetic and compassionate, this might be difficult if you’re working with a person or situation that needs help. This does not mean that you eschew your feelings. But, the Queen of Swords does ask that you first look at the person or situation from a completely rational view.
In addition to pulling a traditional Tarot card, I also pulled a card from the Archangel Power Deck, getting The Four of Gabriel, which includes this statement on the card: Time for a celebration! Abundant rewards for hard work. Release yourself from burdensome situations.
The Queen of Wands returns. She had already visited us during the reading I posted the week of September 21st. Think back to what you were doing that week and determine why the Queen of Wands is appearing again, in such a short amount of time.
The September reading talked about how The Queen of Wands represents being excited and determined, while also being gracious and warm. The reading also suggested that, while this information might pertain to you and your goals, if there is a woman prominent in your Life, perhaps the reading had to do with your relationship to her.
Perhaps this woman is a boss that you needed to find a way to work with in a more positive way. Perhaps the woman in question is someone you find yourself romantically drawn to and the reading urged you to ask her out.
The past Queen of Wands blog reminded female readers how, no matter how difficult it can be, we must all stand up and speak our minds, even if we’re considering to be “shouting” while we speak in the same tone of voice we always do. However, speaking our minds, offering an opinion, shining a light on the truth can cause others to cringe, both men and women.
To quote Hillary Clinton while speaking at the recent Jefferson-Jackson dinner, “I haven’t been shouting, but sometimes when a woman speaks out, some people think it’s shouting.”
I recently purchased the Archangel Power Tarot deck after seeing it online and being enticed and enthralled by the beauty of its cards. After opening the deck, while making it my own, shuffling the cards, talking to them, noticing how they felt in my hand, I had the thought, “Why don’t you do a serious reading and ask to be shown a card that would complement the last 9 Elephants Tarot blog, Three of Wands – Be Determined – Do Not Fear the Unknown.
So, I did just that and pulled The Magician card, which works with the energy of the Archangel Raziel, known as The Keeper or Secrets and The Angel of Mysteries. As described by Doreen Virtue on her website, Raziel is like Merlin, a wise wizard, ready to impart both knowledge and what needs to be known to heal.
The Magician includes this affirmation on the card: You can manifest the life you want. What you need will magically appear. Successful beginnings.
Adopting the attitude of Merlin, you should be able to weave your own kind of magic, working with the surrounding energy and creating from deep within your soul.
Back on August 18th, my 9 Elephant’s blog described working with The Magician energy from a standard Tarot deck, inspiring you to be creative and start something new. The blog told how you could work with The Magician’s energy, along with your mind, heart, and strengths to begin manifesting something dearly desired. Read more
The Three of Wands is a very positive and inspiring card. Its energy is all about recognizing possibilities and working with them, while not being afraid of the unknown. This card reminds you that, to be successful, you must always move forward, even if you are completely and totally unsure about what one or two steps will bring. The Three of Wands wants nothing to do with your worrying about what you don’t know or can’t intuit. Instead, the Three of Wands is here to remind you that the unknown is just the flip side of the known, and how often have you had to make a decision without knowing the outcome. That’s called Life!
Take a bit of time and figure out how Life has prepared you. If it has been difficult up until this point, that’s okay. Well, it’s probably far from okay, but guess what – you’re still here, ready to move on, no matter how dinged up you might feel. Recognize what your past has taught you and incorporate these lessons into your dance to a fascinating future. Maybe a difficult Life helped you exorcise toxic people from your existence and now you’re less encumbered – you can march forward with a lighter step. Maybe your rough Life taught you how to negotiate difficult situations or you figured out how to do more with less. Great skills that should serve you well.
And, if you’ve had a relatively supported Life, then what are you waiting for? You’re already ten steps ahead of the rest of us! Go grab that future of yours!
The Three of Wands is a sign of determination. When it appears, you should recognize that your feet are planted firmly on the ground, even if your plans might seem crazy or flighty or impossible to others. You know how strong you are. You recognize your determination. You have a plan and you’re comfortable with that plan changing, when necessary. And, even if your plan encounters an obstacle, you’re ready to fell it. You are excited. You are not standing still. Read more
it's going to be a bumpy week, to borrow a similar phrase from Bette Davis in All About Eve, as the Five of Wands has appeared for this week's reading.
For those not familiar with the classic film, All About Eve, the story revolves around a young, aspiring actress, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), who maneuvers her way into the lives of Broadway star, Margo Channing (Bette Davis), Margo’s longtime director/boyfriend, Bill Sampson (Gary Merrill), Margo’s best friend, Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), and Karen’s husband, Lloyd (Hugh Marlowe), a playwright.
Karen takes pity on Eve, finding her outside the theatre on a cold night after one of Margo’s many acclaimed performances. Having been told by Eve that she’s widowed and without much hope, Karen takes Eve to meet Margo, who then hires Eve as her assistant. Little does Margo know that Eve has a plan to get in good with her, earn her trust and then become Margo’s understudy, after which Eve would manipulate situations to destroy Margo’s career, allowing Eve to go on stage in her place, thus becoming Broadway’s new star.
The full plot summary provides more details about Eve’s machinations and manipulations and shows the true energy behind the Five of Wands. This card indicates that there is all kind of nasty talk and backstabbing and verbal arguments ensuing. Just because you’re not involved in any of the nastiness doesn’t mean that you can’t be drawn into it. Read more
The Queen of Wands is all about excitement and determination, while being gracious and warm. While this card uses the image of a woman, its meaning applies to both men and women. However, if a women is currently playing a prominent role in your Life, this reading could relate to her.
This woman could be a family member, a spouse, someone with whom you work, a boss, or someone in a group outside of family or work environments, such as a book club or a band. Maybe this woman is a teacher, to you or one of your children. Or, perhaps you are thinking about asking a certain woman out, but aren’t sure whether you should do so. The Queen of Wands is telling you to go ahead. No promises, but this is an action you need to take. Whoever this woman is playing a significant role in your world, the Queen of Wands card nudges you to determine what you need to do to ensure that you are relating to this woman in a kind way, helping her with what she needs, being determined to do right by her.
For women reading this blog, you know how it can, at times, be difficult to stand up and speak our minds, as we are often viewed very differently from men when we are strong and assertive. The Queen of Wands reminds you that, no matter what societal standards might be in place, you must always speak your truth and stand up for yourself. Just be charming and as nice. If a situation requires a tougher stance this week, you might want to step back for just a bit and see whether it can resolve itself without your intervention. This is not to say that you will never need to be tough when a situation presents itself. It’s just not the way to handle a situation this particular week. Read more
The Hierophant is considered to be an intercessor between the Divine and the rest of humanity. This card, depending upon the deck, can be called The Pope or the High Priest. Modern decks sometimes refer to this card as the Shaman. No matter its name, this card has always included a religious or spiritual image on it, be it a mainstream figure, such as a Pope, or an image of a divine interpreter from ancient times, like a Shaman, or from non-Western religions, a High Priest. The definition of a Hierophant is one who describes rites and rituals and sets them in motion or explains the mystical aspects of such rites and rituals.
Because The Hierophant has traditionally been associated with a leader of an established religion. Because most established religions are large in size, the energy of The Hierophant has also symbolized institutions of all kinds, be they churches, corporation, judicial courts, gyms, social clubs, schools, and more. Many layers of meaning comprise The Hierophant. So, while its original interpretation was for one to obtain the advice of a religious leader, a man who could intercede on your behalf with the Divine, over the years this card has taken on meanings that include working with all kinds of institutions, both traditional and non-traditional. The one aspect of The Hierophant that has remained consistent is this: when this card appears, you are being advised that now is not the time to do something drastic.
So, if you are dissatisfied with your current job, it would be unwise to voice your opinions at work, or suggest changes. Continue forward with the work assigned to you and do a good job. A few weeks or months from now, determine whether you feel safe speaking your mind. If you don’t, then you might want to think about looking for a new job. If you decide to stay with your current job, recognize that, for the foreseeable future, innovation will not be the key to being well-received. You must do what is asked of you and not question. Read more
No, we are not going to discuss Shakespeare and this blog will not be written in iambic pentameter. However, the creativity that inspired Shakespeare to write 37 plays and hundreds of sonnets and poems, along with the planning that it took to complete such a feat, meshes well with the reading this week, as we work with the Two of Wands.
Traditional Two of Wands cards show a man holding a wand in one hand (the second wand is nearby) and a globe in his other hand. The globe indicates that all possibilities are available and possible. Now, perhaps you’re not the prolific writer that Shakespeare was, but you have your own dreams to explore. Goals to accomplish. The Two of Wands takes the inspiration found with the Ace of Wands and nudges you to start planning how to complete your goals.
I usually don’t include more than one Tarot image in any of my blogs, but when I was going through images to find one for this reading, I found a non-traditional Two of Wands that might as well have had a neon sign above it, blinking: Ellen, Look at Me!
I am most partial to water and cats, and I love to open packages. So, I offer up a second Two of Wands image. Read more
For this week's reading, we will be talking about the Death card.
Now, before you freak out and think this card indicates someone reading this blog is near a physical passing, know that Death stands for transformation, not the end of breathing. You don't have to immediately start reminding yourself to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” as Dylan Thomas suggests.
This is not to say that you should not put off your own physical death for as long as possible. I think this is a natural state of being and it’s understandable why Thomas suggested we fight against death. Perhaps, on some subconscious level, he knew that he would die young at age 39. If so, I hope he was also aware that he was leaving behind work that would transform many other poets.
As stated on Thomas’ Wikipedia page, “William York Tindall, in his 1962 study, A Reader's Guide to Dylan Thomas, finds comparison between Thomas's and Joyce's wordplay, while he notes the themes of rebirth and nature are common to the works of Lawrence and Thomas.”
It’s interesting that Dylan Thomas used the theme of rebirth in his poems, as transformation is a kind of new birth. Read more
Creative new beginnings. How many of you have longed for a beginning that brings just what you need and want? This week's reading gives you The Magician, who says that now is the perfect time to either create a new beginning or revisit one that you might have started to manifest, but found yourself distracted from it, attending to the day-to-day aspects of Life.
The Magician uses otherworldly skills and thought, along with everyday action, to bring something into being either not yet thought of or with an original slant. The energy of this card is said to live between the worlds of the mundane and the spiritual and when you work with The Magician, you find what you need from both worlds. You might use affirmations to state your intentions, which is a spiritual act, yet in the mundane world, you’ll spend the time necessary to create, whether that means honing a skill or talking to the right people.
As a Magician, you use your mind, your heart, and your strengths to create. However, not only do you use your own talent, but part of working as a Magician is knowing when to marry your skills and strengths with the skills and strengths others offer. Even a Magician needs an assistant. This doesn’t mean that a Magician steals from others, but knows when to approach others for help – or to gain inspiration watching others manifest something unique and special. Read more
In 1948, at the age of 24, the African-American poet, James Baldwin moved to Paris. On the 8/1/15 episode of the Melissa Harris-Perry show, Melissa tells how Baldwin moved to the City of Lights with only $40 in his pocket, hoping that distance would better enable him to write about the not-so-pretty American society in which he had grown up.
In 1980, at the age of 20, I also fled my home, but stopped in New York City, not even imaging the possibility of fleeing to another country. Although, New York, in and of itself, was most definitely another country from what I knew. Like Baldwin, I had $40 in my pocket (and a place to stay, thanks to a college friend).
As I describe in my book, Shake That Cream, I had visions of being a female Youngblood Hawke, even though it would take me a few years to truly start writing. However, as a little girl, I’d escaped the horror of my poverty-ridden life, entangled inside a violent, sexist, racist, homophobic religious cult, by watching late-night movies on a cheap, black-and-white TV, while my parents slept away their gin and dreamed new tortures for me. Read more
Before the fabulous Shaila Abdullah created this beautiful blog site for me, I was posting a bit on Facebook. As synchronicity would have it, today I was perusing Facebook and saw that someone had liked my original post. I decided to read the post, several years after its creation, and decided that it was still relevant today, for all of us. So, I’m re-posting and also including a question posed by one of my readers, which will lead into my latest discussion, along with a Tarot reading.
“I first heard Paolo Conte's "Come Away with Me" ("Vieni Va Con Me") while watching the movie French Kiss. I couldn't understand a word of the song, but it made me smile and smile. I couldn't stop grinning, even after the song finished playing.
"Come Away with Me" teased me, making me want to get up and dance like a happy dog. However, since I was in a public theatre, I remained in my seat. Luckily, I've been able to see French Kiss on television many times since that first theatre viewing. Each subsequent listen to "Come Away with Me" found me intoxicated and delighted, and while at home, I would get up and dance when the song played, feeling like I was touching something new and unknown. Read more
Hey friends, fans, and rabble-rousers (you know who you are), I'm back!
I took what I thought was going to be a short break from this Tarot blogging, as work was eclipsing my life and everything adjacent. However, this break took me down a road longer than I imagined, finding me in the hospital this past January, having gotten so sick at work, I couldn’t move. Doctors ran every test imaginable over a three-day period, and stumped, pronounced me totally healthy, chalking up my collapse to “immense stress.” Got out of the hospital, took a short, doctor-enforced break, and then, feeling renewed and ready to go, found myself slam-stopped by breast cancer.
Yeah, me – who doesn’t smoke, who has no family history of the disease, and who spends a small fortune on organic food and supplements. Me. Thanks, bastards. Like this lifetime hadn’t been difficult enough, the Powers That Be (Badly) decided to bend me over one more time. While I was lucky enough to catch this monster in its infancy, it being the size of the dot a felt-tip pen would make on a piece of paper, my lymph nodes remaining untouched, the surgery, follow-up radiation, and the problems caused by both, all the while working, as my new prick boss was less than supportive, found me surviving several months of hell.
But, while still in pain and cursing the Universe, to quote T.I., “In a flash like. Recognize I’m back!”
And, I’m fine, just more potty-mouthed than usual. Somehow, though, through everything, I had several more poems accepted for publication and worked with another East-Coast editor, polishing my memoir, Shake That Cream, which is now really, really, ready for publication. Read more
During my morning meditation for this blog, I received a very strong message that I did not need to pull a card for this week. Instead, I was instructed to let you know that you need to keep working with The Lovers. At first, I figured that the Universe just wanted everyone to continue working on drawing to them, whatever they feel they can’t live without. If you remember, last week, I talked about how the essence of The Lovers is working to find that to which you’re truly drawn.
However, I felt like there was more to the message. I was right. As I continued meditating, I heard, “To find that which one truly loves, they have to first decide what they absolutely don’t want.”
As I thought about the message I was hearing, I realized that it fit with one of the lesser meanings of The Lovers – choice. To be able to make a meaningful choice, one that truly brings value to your Life, you have to understand not only who you are, but why you’re making the choices you are making. Read more