Friday, August 16, 2019

The Ten of Wands 
From the Tarot of Trees by Dana O’Driscoll
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees.  We have focused so long and diligently on whatever it is we want to accomplish, whether it is our career, the “to do” list, or following a routine of goals that we lose sight of the changed conditions all the focus and work has brought about. We wonder why we feel stuck, why things are not moving forward anymore or why we seem to be met with resistance rather than success. What was rewarding and challenging has become hard, and now feels like a burden. We start saying things like, “I can’t” or “why is this so hard?” or “things will never get done.” We are on overwhelm, burned-out.
It is not that we are no longer accomplishing what we want; it is more that we have achieved so much that it is now time to let go of some of the older ways we don’t need anymore. The above picture shows a little seedling sprouting up from the forest floor trying to get to the light, struggling to make a place for itself through the forest canopy. Will it find room to grow or will it become stunted and held back by the massive growth above it?
Our very fast paced way of living encourages - no expects - us to achieve in a measurable way. Many of us work hard just to “make ends meet” or are so engrained in survival mode that we don’t take a breath long enough to evaluate just why we are working so hard. The burdens we carry might have been with us so long we don’t remember why we took them on in the first place. The burdens become our identity. We define ourselves by them.
Our accomplishments are more than the businesses we launched and made successful, the books we wrote and published, or the people we pleased along the way.  Releasing burdens also includes things like recognizing and changing a destructive habit into productive, positive action. It is seeing that we have some kind of prejudice and change our mind and heart set. A huge burden to let go of is finding a way to forgive the hurts and resentments we carry with us and go on. What if we could clear away the need to be validated by others and instead recognize and  deeply cherish our own self? 
What are you hauling around with you that is wearing you out? Is your mindset so deeply rutted in a certain routine that you are missing new opportunities? What new sprout of creativity or opportunity is being held back by the burdens of your heart, your mind, your actions? Maybe it is time to clear out some dead wood - to trim back the overgrowth. Not only to make space for new growth but to just give yourself a break and let in a little more light. Take a leap of faith. Lay  down some burdens - even one. Remember to rest and check in with your higher wisdom to help you discern the value of what you carry - the talents and the baggage! Keep what is good and send the rest off to cosmic recycling. Welcome the new adventures, embrace change. Growth is good - even when in might seem easier to stay in the darkness. Rise up to the light. 

…Kathryn Ravenwood  8/16/19

Friday, August 2, 2019

               Nurse Logs in the Hoh Rain Forest, The Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

The Ten of Pentacles, Emily Lubanko

This beautiful image of nurse logs in the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State has layers on layers of meanings and inspiration. I love the Hoh. Some very old and large members of the Standing People - the Trees live there. Visiting them is like stepping back in time away from cities and people. It is a sacred place and offers great sanctuary to those who are fortunate enough to visit.

Nurse logs are easily found at the Hoh and in other forests left to function on their own time. They offer a unique perspective on life. At the end of its magnificent time standing between the Earth and Sky, for whatever reason, be it old age, disease, wind fall or some other damage, a tree falls and lies on the forest floor. It is not dead. Life continues to thrive for a very long time. Insects live in its bark, animals burrow under and in it for a home, mushrooms, ferns, and lichens are all happy to move in to this available habitat. Tiny seedlings of the forest trees land on its back by being dropped by other trees. They piggy back on the strength of this great fallen being. Nourished by the wealth of nutrients in the fallen tree, protected by the tall trees around them, they take root and grow. Trees get water from their roots. As the baby trees are too short to reach the ground they can access water collected in the crevices of the bark provided by the drippings of the large trees around them who collect the rains and fogs and filter them down to the forest below. Gradually, they grow stronger and bigger, always attached to their nurse log, their home. Some of these baby trees get very large indeed, their roots entwined around the nurse log and even each other, forming an inseparable bond while the nurse log continues to support them. After a long time, the nurse log might decay enough to leave visible spaces where the now very large tree’s roots, firmly anchored in the ground, are still holding the space of the fallen tree.

Trees carry recordings - memories - of their surroundings in their tree rings like a library of information. They record growth patterns, when fire threatened their existence, wet or dry years, and whatever memory the water they absorb carried with it. We don’t even know what else is locked in those precious rings of memory. All this is all held within their bodies, even after they have “died” and fallen. I wonder if the baby trees on the nurse logs receive those memories from their fallen host even as they begin to record their own rings of information. We know the root system of the forest is connected. We know the Standing People communicate as one giant organism. Why not share their memories as well?

I like to think of our ancestors as the nurse logs. We are dependent on them for our home, nourishment, and safety. We carry their memories in our shared stories and culture. As we grow we continue to express not just our own individuality but traits from the ancestors as well. Even after they are gone, there is still a space within us that holds their memory. The human family is like the forest family; we are all interconnected in the great Web of Life. There really is no separation. Not every tree in the forest reproduces itself but they all interconnect to make the forest and support each other. Family, friends, neighbors. We are all one.

Perhaps this is a good time to honor the “nurse logs” of your life and give thanks for all the shared memories. And, be sure to share your precious memories with others. We each hold a unique story that is meant to be told.
...Kathryn Ravenwood 8.2.19

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Judgment June 30,2019


By Everyday Tarot 
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Have you been hearing a sound lately? A special sound, like a calling? A sound that resonates into the deepest parts of your soul? Listen carefully…this is the sound of your own highest self, your own divinity, speaking to you. We are all here on Planet Earth expressing our choices, living our lives, helping others, making mistakes, learning, loving, growing.  Sometimes it seems very hard, even meaningless; we can feel lost or overwhelmed with life itself. We experience the illusions and misunderstandings of the world, the misdirected energies of radical thought groups and their focus. It can feel contrary to who we know we are, to what know we could be. The beauty and divinity of life can fade from view leaving us feeling alone and defeated,  as if buried alive.
Not to worry! Our highest self - that Divine spark of the Creator embodied and living - is always with us – because that is who we really are. We are only separated from that awareness by being in the physical realm and by our own immersion in mental and physical distractions.  But, every once in awhile, we hear that call…. We are awakened and rise out of the coffin of density and respond to it.  What an awakening we have then! We feel re-connected to our purpose, our process, our true self.  
The Judgement card reminds us of this awakening – this resurrection – that we experience. It can come as a great epiphany or a small inner knowing that fills us with peace, understanding, and clarity.  We see the higher plan, we feel that higher vibration of who we are and we align to it. We can learn to cultivate our relationship with our own divinity so we can have more direct contact with that vibration. No one else has the same vibratory signature - each of us is unique – and together we create a great opus.  Whether our note is clear or in dissonance all contributes to the sound of the Whole.  The more we are on key, the higher the vibration we emit, then the Whole also benefits by resounding more clearly. 
This card also connotes a harsher human quality - that of actual judgment- the qualifying by comparison of people, traits, action, sexuality, beliefs. You name it and someone is going to judge it based on their own ego and whim. This form of authoritarian opinion is more like passing a sentence of condemnation than the desire to bring discernment and understanding of a situation so we can formulate a fair evaluation and make the best decisions regarding that situation.
All actions have a re-action; cause is followed by effect. Karma is a real cosmic law that applies to everyone. We are all entangled in it. We carry it with us though lifetimes providing a base of soul wealth to draw upon as well as lessons to be learned and rectified in this life. Since we are not even aware of the extent of our Karma, Judgment, in its finest sense, brings us moments when we can feel the shift, feel the re-alignment to our higher truth and go forward with peace and a lot more love. 
This is a process. We have lifetimes to experience and explore. Forgive yourself, raise up, and embrace your highest vibration.

…Kathryn Ravenwood 6.30.19

Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Tower of Destruction
From Rachel Pollack’s Shining Woman Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Oh, the times we are living in. Animals, plants, and habitats going extinct. Politics tearing apart the very core of what we have deemed to be decency and human rights. A tidal wave of migration sweeping across the world seeking asylum and the basics of living.  Financial upheaval.  Climate change renounced by fat-cat corporate moguls. Renewed attacks on women. It looks like our society and world are rapidly degrading.
Today the above image came to mind as if calling to me. I clearly saw this Tower card looming in my mind.  In it we see a female figure standing atop the Tower between three pillars, their tops aflame. Lightning strikes the Tower. On the verge of destruction, the forms so carefully built are imminently going down. This image can evoke fear of impending loss and doom or it can be a harbinger of better things to come.  But, either way, you can be sure that things are not going to stay the same. I always promote the Tower card as a great ally for us. Yes, it is very hard to go through the destruction and fall of what has previously been supporting us and unnerving to feel the solid ground beneath us quaking and buckling. Yet, without the fall of the old forms, the new cannot arise. 
 I find this Tower card one of the most positive and exciting of them all.  As one lightning bolt strikes the Tower another strikes the woman in her third eye - or is she perhaps emitting the bolt herself? There is an exchange of energy going on here; the Universe is blasting away the outmoded form while the woman is standing her ground, matching that force from within. This is powerful stuff!  I get the feeling she is going to ride that Tower all the way down; emerging from the shattered form with her will intact, her vision tuned to the creative forces of the Universe,  ready to hit the ground running, as the saying goes.  All she knows may have been shattered and torn asunder but she is the progressed and learned form of the Magician from Card I in the Tarot, ready and able to use her powers of manifestation to call forth a new beginning. 
After the destruction, after the fall, the new can come forth. In this card, deep beneath the doomed Tower we see the form of a new, Shining Woman-Child waiting to emerge. The blue triangle is the Delta of Venus, the feminine pathway of life. The three sides of the triangle as well as the three circular forms above point to the three of the Empress card – the card of birth, the Mother, abundance, creation and creativity.  
We all have Tower events in our lives that can challenge or release us, but I am looking at the global destruction that is so rampant today.  We can easily be overwhelmed with emotion, grief, anger, and even inertia to the events. Yet, we are living in it. We have to do whatever we can wherever we are called to help. And, I think we have to recognize the big picture. The old ways are going down. 
What lightning bolts can you pull out of your Medicine Bag to, not just survive, but thrive in these perilous times? What power within you is waiting to blast forth; what creative gifts are within your reach? This is no time to doubt yourself!  The Tower is clearing away obstacles and barriers. As the external forms fall away, we have the chance to let go of the internal blocks  that might be holding us back from fully participating in the creation process.  
I invite you to turn and face the storm. Howl back at it and hurl your own bolts of fire. Stand your ground in truth, integrity, and love. Hold your vision and your courage. Take care of yourselves and each other. Remember who you are: you are that emerging Shining Woman-Child of Magic.  Bring it on!

…Kathryn Ravenwood May 23, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019


Lisa St. Croix Tarot Deck
Original writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

It seems like only yesterday there was a clear plan in mind. Inspiration and great ideas were fresh; enthusiasm was running high. Confidant and clear, unstoppable, sure to succeed we charged ahead to bring our vision into reality. But what are these gloomy clouds blocking the view? Where did the clarity go? Why is it all so confusing again? No worries! The Knight of Swords comes to the rescue, parts the darkness with his brilliant sword and reveals the light.

We all experience stimulation overload with the massive amounts of information and opinions we are exposed to minute by minute. It is so easy to become overwhelmed. Like a great rushing river we can easily fall in and get swept away. It is vital that we set and revisit our intentions on which to focus. The training and discipline of our minds is essential.

And yet, we can fall into “mind ruts.”  Those same thought pattens we created in focus and discipline can trap us into stilted thinking and responses as to how we move forward in our lives. We experience discouragement, inertia. We get bogged down. We lose our acumen.

In the Tarot, Knights, traditionally shown on horseback, represent movement. Swords represent, among other aspects, the mind, our thoughts, our truth, and THE truth. The Knight of Swords rushes in, brandishing the Sword of Truth, not sure of the outcome, but absolutely committed to the process. Sometimes reckless, always thinking “outside the box” our Knight assures disruption of the complacent mind.

In the card featured above, this Knight is not on horseback but has still reached the top of a mesa where she has a clear perspective of a wide vista of the land. She was able to think herself to this place. Being here, she channels focus and truth through her sword to cleave the confusion, clear the ruts. She gains enlightenment.

The Knight of Swords reminds us that change is a necessary part of growth. We can be at a great place where everything is aligned, works just right, obstacles fall away. And that is great - fantastic! But even from such a seemingly perfect state change comes calling. There is more to learn. More to understand. More to master. Of course, we can choose to not ride with the Knight of Swords, not to take up that sword and just stay in a place of what is known and comfortable. Be assured that Truth will always be there to prod us forward, to challenge - even dare us - to leave the safe confines of our routine thinking and ride into the wild unknown with this daring Knight. 

What new discoveries might you make as the Knight of Swords? What is ready to be revealed in your life that might be obscured by complacency? Are you ready to “saddle up” and ride the winds of change? Wherever you may be in your process, be assured Truth will guide you. Whether your Knight charges into wide open spaces or must carefully pick his way over narrow rocky roads, the result is the same. Movement. New visions, new horizons. Truth will lead you on your journey as you ride the winds of change.

….4.13.19  Kathryn Ravenwood

Friday, March 22, 2019

The Page of Pentacles
New Babylonia Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Richly dressed and standing on the path of a lush and abundant garden, the Page of Pentacles focuses on one coin, which represents a new idea, plan, or goal. We can assume he is already a master of manifestation based on the clues shown in the card, yet, he is giving this new focus both his attention and intention. 

A garden of this magnitude took time and patience to bring about.  Many skills had to be mastered, much trial and error endured. Through it all the Page of Pentacles watched, tended, learned and gained mastery of the art of the garden. Now he has become an adept gardener and his land beautiful and abundant.   

Our process of learning, creating and mastery is never at an end. Sometimes it seems like we have made no progress or we can only see failures. It is essential to remember to honor the cycles of our mastery and get a perspective on where we are. It is easy to forget how many steps we did take to lead us where we are now. Things planted years ago may only now be coming to fruition. We all weather the storms of life and experience both loss and growth.  The Page of Pentacles reminds us to learn something new, take on new projects, and to set new goals.  We are eternal beings so the road never really ends. Sometimes it is hard to break out of our mold, our safe and defined world, especially after all the hard work required to achieve a place of mastery.  It is vital to our growth to respond to our curiosity, to listen to Spirit’s call, to not stagnate. 

I chose this card as an illustration because it clearly shows the rich accomplishments of the past in the garden, the present moment with the focus on the coin in hand, and the path itself. We do not see where the path leads from the present moment. This reminds us to stay in the present, focus on the new goal, subject of learning, or plan – we don’t know where it will actually lead us. If we focus too much on the future we won’t see the steps in front of us. Remember that once we make a commitment the Universe will conspire to lead and help us along the path – usually to a destination far better than we had originally imagined. 

The Page of Pentacles is very much about those steps. Start the journey. Begin the process. Up your game. Trust yourself. Whatever it is you want to learn and pursue, you have to start at the beginning but you have all the experience and wisdom from your past, which came from small steps along the way, to support you. 

Enjoy the journey. Keep your perspective. Never discount any set-backs or perceived failures as they are all teaching us and leading us to where we are now.  The road is never perfect. But, one step at a time, it takes us ever onward. 

…Kathryn Ravenwood 3/21/19

Wednesday, January 2, 2019



From The Star Tarot Deck
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Suspended within the great Cosmic Egg of all Creation the Hanged One meditates, releases, realizes and dissolves the old consciousness so new realization can emerge. Like a cocoon hanging from a limb, wrapped in silent layers of silk, the promise of the butterfly yet to emerge is far from actualized. No activity is apparent;  the larvae inside is immersed in the process of dissolution. It is a surrender of its core essence to Divine Timing.

In the Tarot card we see a beautiful Being hanging in peaceful repose.  Her foot is held by the infinity sign; her legs crossed in an inverted four, suggesting a refiguring of attachments or previous foundations. Hands pressed together are non-doing hands; no action is being taken.  A snake-like coiling wraps around her leg and pelvis, suggesting rebirth.  Her hair forms the infinity sign as she suspends over the triangle with the Hebrew word “Mem” - the Cosmic Waters, the eternal womb, the place of being held, suspended, born and nurtured. Her third eye is fully illuminated and, with a great aura of light around her, she hangs in sanctuary and waits.

In the world of duality in which we live, we spend a lot of energy in the activities of physical and mental busy-ness with various degrees of success in balancing those two realms. It can be consuming, leaving no awareness, time, or inclination to search for the balance of the rest of our life - our consciousness, our soul essence. No matter how grand our enterprises may be or how much we know, we all need to allow for voluntary time to meditate, be quiet, rest, and allow for the evolution of our very being.  It is not about making change or deciding a new course of action; it is non-doing, non-thinking surrender to the silence. In that surrender we are free to allow what is “out” to go “in” and what is “in” to come out - an inversion, an immersion into the source of love, light, and eternal creation.

Each Tarot card is an archetype of our spiritual becoming through human form. Think of them as doorways into and through lessons we all must experience and re-experience throughout our lives. Could you imagine a beautiful doorway with XII carved into it with radiant light? See how the number glows throughout the face of the door, as if a guiding light to beckon you forward.  Approaching the door you sense a shift somewhere deep within you, your breath deepens, your heartbeat slows. As you stand in front of this doorway you begin to remember being called to a higher purpose for your life; a feeling of hope emerges. Now, the door opens. As you step across its radiant threshold, you feel a gentle presence holding on to your foot; a silent voice says, “I got you.”  Slowly you exhale and lean into that support, trusting, letting go, as you simply fall forward and find yourself suspended, held, into a peaceful no-doing and no-thinking. In this place of inversion and stillness, you just hang out for awhile. And, held by ultimate cosmic truth and love, you are filled with peace. You are the Hanged One.

May the coming year find you in allowance to release your self into the sacred waters of Cosmic creation.

….Kathryn Ravenwood  12.28.18