Which Way Home?

‘The hunger for meaning and purpose is nothing less than the human homing instinct — the Fourth Instinct — at work.  But in the tangled maze of history, we have been sidetracked; in the long journey home, we forgot our destination. Indeed, we were told that it does not exist.’ Arianna Huffington.

The Tarot‘s Cards correlating to the Four Major Points Of The Compass are:

Ace of Pentacles = North

Ace of Cups =West

Ace of Wands =South

Ace of Swords= East

But where is ‘home’, beyond it being the people in your life?

‘There’s that feeling I get, when I look to the west’.’ Led Zeppelin.

‘My sun shall rise in the East, then shall my soul be at peace, ‘ Vangelis.

‘From all points of the compass flock’d birds of all feather.’ Source: Gutenberg. Org

From the beginning, we have been a migratory animal, in some parts of the world, more than others. Several cards in Tarot talk of home, rightly so, as it is a key ingredient of human experience, and a ruling perception.  The Ace of Pentacles, Ten of Pentacles, Four of Wands, and Six of Cups all tell stories of a person’s home in a reading.

The Tarot’s Ace of Pentacles, which sometimes talks about food, money, or books, or bricks and mortar says, Earth itself is the nest, the Soul of Man is in the roots of the species. Below is The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, publisher Llewellyn, by kind permission of Ciro Marchetti.

Practical Tarot:The Chariot

I find a 4 card spread is a neat but comprehensive way of quickly opening a reading, I think of it as ‘taking someone’s temperature’ Tarot-style…

North card. Material Affairs, home, work, health etc

West Card: Relationships, spiritual matters, mood.

South Card: Career, ambitions, passions, energy levels

East Card: Thoughts, intellectual preoccupations, planning.

A central card or simply an extra card placed alongside may be used to identify the question or concern that is the motivation for coming to the reading.

This may or may not be logged in the forefront of the client’s conscious thinking at the reading’s outset and may emerge later. Don’t be put off too much if you’re new to reading, share the meaning of a card and a client refutes it. Don’t argue, accept the rebuttal and wait…very often it will emerge during the reading that the Tarot was right, and the client just needed a little more thinking time or to settle into the conversation first.

In the North I drew The Chariot Reversed. A card of Travel, Transport, Ambition, Partnership, Cohesion, Teamwork, Success achieved through focus and determination.  Being drawn Reversed…was he currently experiencing trouble with transport or a sense of dissatisfaction with his job?

Not with transport he said, looking baffled. Yes, to the dissatisfaction at work question.   He was a building labourer, a skilled one, and that was OK, he liked the work, but he had a hunger for learning, and a taste in reading and curiosity in metaphysical matters that he found was not readily understood by his work mates.

This formed the greater part of the discussion that followed.

But for now that did not seem to be all of ‘it’…what about his car or van, I asked? This was probably not a serious problem, positive surrounding cards indicated it as a passing concern, but it was lodged in the material and financial department of this small spread. 

The MOT was due on it the following week, he said, and he was not looking forward to the bill one bit.

Aha. The Tarot was picking up on basics. And so it should.

The Chariot from the Swiss IJJ Tarot.



A Devil Of A Tarot Tantrum!

Me sunshine black jumper shrunk

Jung coined a phrase to describe how he thought tarot worked: ‘synchronicity.’  Something in the reader connects with something in the cards. The cards are shuffled blind and drawn at random. However, synchronicity proposes that actually the selection isn’t random;

”[In synchronistic experiences] the perception of wholeness derives not from our ego, our conscious sense of self, but instead from the way in which the meaning unites all of who we are, parts of experience we were unaware of, potentials we have that have lain dormant or underdeveloped, elements of our personality that we didn’t know existed”

One evening a client left after an intense reading, and that day I had been very, very tired. I went upstairs with a cup of tea to lounge with a book. My teenage daughter came in asking me to take  a look in the cards for her.

I said, ‘not right now, sweetie, I’m too tired. Give me half an hour’.

She persisted, and as I knew the question, and knew it wasn’t serious, and could wait I became annoyed.

‘If you keep on asking when I’ve said I’m too tired,’ I said. ‘I’ll show you the Devil card! Now then.’

She asked again. Oh, dear.

‘Right!’ I said and whipped the cards out from their cloth and shuffled them furiously.

‘Now see THIS!’ I hissed, pulled a card and brandished it at her, and  knock me down with a very small chick feather,  it was, it really was  THE DEVIL CARD. Look atta ugly mug. thedevil

Ooh-er. A Devilish Tarot Tantrum to match my own.

She was I might say, suitably impressed. In fact she ran from the room howling for her dad, who was watching the footie and wasn’t remotely interested in this psychodrama, while I sniggered,  feeling better now, peacefully drinking my tea.

Hey, you old Devil… you said it for me, heh heh! Now go away again, thank you.

Devil's Backbone
Devil’s Backbone (Photo credit: pietroizzo)

 

How about that for synchronicity?

Tarot Bites…

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Except, flying home from Spain on Sunday over the Bay of Biscay , it was clear to see the cradle of our summer weather problems….you could look down and see what the jet stream was brewing there, and  the head on the beer  just went on and on. The account below was written in 2010 and spoke of events in 2009. Our summers have been odd since at least 2008, with the last scorcher in 2006. Implications for the UK Tourist Industry, offset against the effects of recession?

‘The weather was odd at home last year in 2010, and even in N Italy where we went in August 2009…it was very changeable, cool at times, and there were  cracking thunderstorms nearly every day. Forked lightening like you could scarcely believe.  Now, you can’t see the bites in this photo, taken near Florence that summer, but the Italian for ‘mosquito,’ I can inform you, is zanzara. And the word for a bite is puntura. These are helpful words to know when you need to go to la farmacia.

I had received a warning about the mosquito campaign from the Tarot, fat lot of good it did me. The warning was presented as follows.

The Page of Swords (A Page card in Tarot can mean something small, swords can mean air and something that is sword-like and sharp – like a needle or in this case, a bite or sting)

The Page of Pentacles Reversed (ie in Tarot’s language ‘debased earth’, prefiguring the infection of said bites, round and swollen and red, the opposite of the green associated with pentacles cards, the suit of earth. )

The Page of Cups Reversed. Ahem. Not looking one’s best going round impersonating a human giant measle. The suit of Cups relates to healing, happiness, well-being and beauty. It corresponds with the element of water, and therefore also indicated a need to ensure maintenance of adequate hydration.

I had upon reading this duly armed myself with repellent ( ask for controlgio d’insetti, folks) after our first night there. Did it work? Did it heck. But don’t let that put you off. It might for you.

Then – and perhaps I reacted unusually badly because my immune system was depressed, I tried anti-histamines, hydrocortisone, lavender, tea tree, TCP and finally, a course of antibiotics from a gentle Italian GP who came out 40 minutes after being called. This allowed us the guilty thrill of using that little plastic E111 card for the first time. The service was brilliant though it did cost 25 euros for the call-out, but hey, it was 7.30 on a Saturday evening. We were grateful. Would we have received such a prompt response at home?

We need the Jet Stream to move north. I think we’ll have some better pockets dotted fairly regularly throughout August. Better than June and July, I mean.  Another fairly crummy summer so far…but we will never surrender.  We will fight it in the garden, and in front of the telly, and in good company, and with a cup of cocoa and….

One of the hottest summers I remember, was two weeks spent on the Appin Peninsula in NW Scotland. And it was sublime. It was glorious, and there were white sands and blue waters to rival the Med any day. The only problem (- there is always a serpent in paradise) was the darn, pesking clouds of mozzies.

I think that’s where I came in…

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