Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Nine of Pentacles - Giving and Receiving

From The Housewives Tarot Cards, by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Holidays are upon us. This season exposes the entire gamut of human emotions, expectations and miracles. The media is on a non-stop barrage of shopping frenzy. Family dynamics come to the forefront sometimes as a blessing and sometimes as a dreaded cross to bear. Somehow we are transported from our usual daily lives into some other world of memories, anxieties, dreams, unending To Do Lists, and unexpected joys.  But what is all of this really about? We can look at it all from Pilgrims to the New Star in the East and everything in between but I think it is about generosity.
Not the lavish, extravagant, over-extended hemorrhaging of the bank account, not late night marathons of wrapping packages, not frenzied competition of who can have the gaudiest decorations to disrupt the neighbors’ peace. I am thinking of that basic, innate and mysterious gift that is bestowed within each of us - the generosity of Spirit.  In some great mysterious event, the Universe gives of itself and somehow transforms from the void into the unlimited, wildly creative and fantastically awe inspiring existence we call LIFE and bestows it all upon us to do with as we will.  We only have to breathe and look around us at any moment to be astounded by it - the generosity of flowers in bloom, the purr of a cat curled in your lap or the adoration of your dog when you walk in the door, the sun rising and setting each day, moonlight, starlight, the laughter of a loved one, mountains, water, trees, plants, music, art, it is indeed an endless list.

There is only one little catch - we have to give back to keep life giving to us. Receiving and giving are the two sides of the coin of manifestation. Everything depends on this law. We all know when we hoard a resource or do not properly care for one, that it diminishes.  Hoarded food is never consumed and so it rots and is wasted.  Relationships not fed and sustained with our attention and exchange of energy will fade and fall away. Our spiritual lives suffer when we no longer check in to honor our practices that connect us with God/Goddess/Great Spirit/All-That-Is.  The gifts of our talents and creativity expand in use and fall into dormancy when not used.  A simple smile or kind word, being patient and listening, helping someone in need, offering prayers, growing a garden, sharing our love, are all acts of generosity. 

We receive as we give. We give as we receive. I once read a simple statement, “it is not just that we are nice to the people we like - we like the people we are nice to.” I had occasion to try this out and found a conflicting relationship turned into one of more mutual respect. All I did was be nice to that person that I really did not like.  I encourage you to try this exercise.  Maybe it is a co-worker, a family member or maybe even - GASP - it is yourself.  I don’t know about you but I could certainly spend more time being nice to myself and less critical. 

And that brings me to a final thought - maybe generosity is really about forgiveness: “for-gving-away.” Can we give away a smile to a harried waitress working overtime who just messed up our order? Can we give away our patience when we are challenged in a relationship conflict and just want to insert our ego and control? Can we give away the need to know all the answers? And can we receive all that Life gives to us and give away those gifts with the loving grace of knowing there is always more to come back to us?  
The truth of the Universe is abundance. May this Holiday Season find you all looking at your abundance, your blessings, and may we all keep the cosmic recycling loop of giving and receiving in an open and glorious flow.

...with love and joy, Kathryn Ravenwood, 11-30-13

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