Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Devil Card: Conditioning/Fear
The Osho Zen Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

In the above image we see a lion wrapped in a sheep’s skin. Raised as part of the flock he  became conditioned to act, think, and behave like a sheep. Too big now, and very much looking like a lion, the false identity no longer fits him. What will happen as he becomes aware of his lion-ness? Will he turn on the sheep who innocently flock around him? Will he continue to be accepted by them once they recognize him as a traditional and potential enemy?

Our fears are like the lion. Over the years we have become conditioned to hide them beneath layers of disguise. We have allowed the “wool to be pulled over our eyes” and have taken shelter in a flock behavior of conforming, adapting personalities to cope or fit in. We have succumbed to addictions, destructive habits, living with illusions and immersing ourselves in denial. We can go along like this for years until something forces us to wake up. A crisis happens; we experience a terrible betrayal; a severe health or financial challenge forces us to deal with present time and reality. Then our fears come raging through like a wild beast and we feel like the slaughtered lamb.

What happens when our sheep-skin defenses fall away and reveal us as a lion? Will we turn on ourselves or others in savage attack? Do we cower amongst the sheep and pretend nothing has changed? Or could the mighty courage of the lion/lioness we are in our heart rise above the conditioning and become a leader and champion of our fearful self or those around us? 

From early on in life we are programmed to conform, to not ask questions, to hide uncomfortable and disturbing parts of life under fluffy layers of denial that keep us from facing fears as well as the strength we have to deal with them.We have become conditioned to a way of life, a way of believing, a way of acceptance. We get tired of fighting for the cause. We give up on relationships because they are too painful, expensive, and depleting. We endure old patterns of abuse from family and friends who cannot see us as any differently than we were defined by them at childhood or at the time we formed a friendship. Past failures have stifled our creativity and confidence and we have just come to accept less. All these factors become lingering fears covered with layers of disguise.

Once our lion awakens and that power is realized we have the opportunity to face our fears, to look at ourselves in this new form.  The behaviors and patterns that served the sheep no longer fit the lion and must be cast off.  We can take responsibility for our life and our dreams. Hopefully we are also filled with compassion for our old sheep-self. After all, that sheep skin did offer vital protection when it was needed.

Fear is not going away and is a great ally to us. Fear tells us, “Hey! Wake up and look out!” as it alerts us to danger. Fear will trip us up and knock us down to be sure we pay attention to something right under our noses rather than turn the other way and ignore the warning. Fear calls us to gather information and knowledge. The worst thing to do is to attack ourself or someone else who is afraid. True power comes with compassion as well as sometimes having to make tough choices. We can listen to fear, heed its warning, and then make decisions based on love. Self love. Love of the planet. Love of our family and friends, Love of our communities. And we can use knowledge and strength to implement change.

The Devil card calls us to face our fears, to embrace the shadow parts of our selves that have not yet been able to come to the Light. It is about freeing ourselves from the chains of unconscious programming that keeps us locked into patterns of deception and self destruction. Remember the DEVIL is LIVED spelled backwards. When we are wrapped in layers of fear we are not really living. 

Awaken your lion! Embrace your courage, your compassion, and love your life. 

...Kathryn Ravenwood     3/22/2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Star - Hope
Llewellyn Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

The Tarot is an ancient source of wisdom that provides guidance for us in every phase of life. We are currently experiencing a Tower of Destruction event with the Corona virus putting us into a world-wide pandemic. People are sick and dying. The financial repercussion is enormous and will take years to fully understand and recover from. Our very way of life has changed and may never be the same. We are all feeling the enormous effects of this Tower event and must figure out what we will do and how we will cope. Much will be said about it astrologically, socially, financially, and medically.  Governments, communities, families will all have to take action. The old structures have either fallen or taken a big hit. Many people are fearful and in panic mode. Most of us are stunned.

The Star card reminds us that no matter how bad it gets, there is always hope. This card is the Tarot’s promise of guidance and direction. It is sometimes hard to see our way through a Tower event. We can feel hopeless watching our world fall into ruins. And yet, when everything settles down, there is the Star shining in the darkness, the hope of better things to come. 

The Tower is the removal of obstacles and barriers and the Star is the reward that follows. This is a time of reflection and soul searching, a time to refill what has been depleted and to honor the space where restoration can happen. The Tower has fallen and taken us with it but we come to understand that we were not destroyed; the destruction was of that which was blocking us from seeing a higher vision, from the Guidance that is always there to help us to know ourselves as both physical and spiritual beings, to feel the alignment with our mortal and divine natures. 

The Star is the new vision that leads us to transformation, to use conscious awareness and intention to reform our lives. The Tarot reminds us we have the tools we need - the  Swords of Clear Thinking, the Wands of Right Action, the Cups of Intuitive Emotions, and the Pentacles of our Manifestations in the physical world. While we cannot control the actions of government, the supply chain, or a panicked population, we can make choices and take our own actions. 

We can re-evaluate the way we have been living and how we have been consuming. We can be more in touch with our local communities and find ways to create new connections and mutual support. We will have to make changes in ways we don’t even see yet. But we can do this. We have the promise of the Star that we will get through it with new clarity and enlightened vision.

In the image above we see a woman looking up to the night sky at the North Star - the star used for centuries to align our position, to be a constant light for us. The ancient stones behind her remind us that ages of human experience have passed on the Earth - civilizations thrived and then transformed into something else. In this moment the woman is experiencing grace and peace by drawing strength from the natural world and from Spirit, a reminder that the Star shines light through the darkness and is always present - even when we cannot see it. 

I encourage you to connect with your own hope, your own visions of living in the Light. While we are hunkered down in our homes, away from events and crowds, we can make this an opportunity to call for inspiration, enlightenment, and listen to Spirit for direction. Ask for help if you need it; offer help where you can. Navigate by the Star to align with your Higher Self.

Shine On.

.....Kathryn Ravenwood     


Thursday, March 5, 2020

From The Mother Peace Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

The Fours of the Tarot are ruled by the Emperor. They represent structure and form. Pentacles are about the physical realm, including our money, homes, health, goals, and habits. The forms we perpetuate ideally hold us in structured, yet creative, patterns. We need order in our lives, and schedules do tend to keep us moving toward our goals, but we also need room for creative flow. When our physical world is boxed in or buried with details, we may have become a slave to our habits and might not be living with intention. What used to give us security now has a choke hold on us. 

In the image above we see a woman taking time to withdraw from the usual routine by entering a sacred space in which she can reconnect to her true power - not the power of her possessions or routines, but the power of her soul wisdom. She creates a ritual to clear out what is no longer valid, connect with her true nature, and bring new visions into the physical realm.  The very fact that this space is available to her reminds us that we are the creators of our lives. We have established a foundation of security in the physical world that affords us the life we manifested and live. We indeed can afford to spend the time and energy to occupy the sanctuary of our inner security and wisdom.

Many factors have contributed to our security. We have exercised discipline, routines, established boundaries, set and accomplished goals. It is this stable foundation that now allows us the opportunity to re-evaluate our current state of being and truly identify where we are within the framework of our own world. Are we holding on to attachments such as possessions for the sake of the security they represent? What about our various identities? A persona we created in the past to protect us or to serve in the accomplishment of our goals or social position may no longer be the person we are now and might actually be holding us back from growth. We may have disconnected from the “real me” in allowing these personalities to run our lives. Boundaries we created years ago might now be too restrictive, limiting our ability to interact as the evolved being we have become.

Here are some signs that a retreat and re-look at the box of our lives might be appropriate: boredom; loss of focus on the big picture of our life; blocked creativity and excitement; a feeling of miserliness indicating we have lost touch with the creative abundance of the universe and our ability to connect with it.  An unreasonable fear of losing what we have; feeling isolated. If any of this sounds familiar, then welcome to the world of the Four of Pentacles!  Help is already here - within yourself.

It is time to honor what we have created through our hard work and to recognize that WE DID THAT and we can continue do so in the future. However, the forms we created need some reshaping from time to time. We create these structures to hold our creative visions but when our visions no longer serve us, when we have passed into a realm of habit, these same structures begin to restrict and block us. 

The wisdom gained from the past is still within us to guide us and be part of the bigger structure of our self. We are not abandoning the wisdom but might need to release the identity, personality, structure, or habit of it so new visions and versions can enter. When we step outside the box we can see how big the world really is and value our ability to thrive in it. 

Our true security lies in our ability to connect and re-connect with our visions, our creativity, and to remember we are always part of a dynamic flow of energy that is available to us at an moment to access, use, and then release; to perpetually be in a state of creation, established form, and then death/release and rebirth into new expanded editions of our own self.  

The power is always within us.  

....Kathryn Ravenwood, March 5, 2020