Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: The Wheel of Fortune 
From the Osho Zen Tarot

The Cycles of Change are eternally on the move. Fall turns to Winter, Youth to Old Age, periods of hardship turn into times of joy and realization. As the song reminds us, “sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” It is always and ever changing. In 2017 we are given the guidance of card #10 in the Tarot - the Wheel of Fortune. How very appropriate.

The Wheel of Fortune is the impartial and powerful force of life itself. Nothing can stay the same and is always on the move, a constant play of cycles - sunrise to sunset, the four seasons, the moon progressing from dark to full and dark again, the progression of the astrological calendar through Aires to Capricorn. The great Precession of the Equinoxes takes about 24,000 to 26,000 years. Along with that is the grand cycle of the Yugas, marking the Ages of Man’s Consciousness from the peak of Satya Yuga through the depths of Kali Yuga. (We are currently in the Ascending Dwapara Yuga cycle which lasts another 2,083 years or so.) We live on a planet spinning through space at about 1,040 miles an hour as we speed drive down a freeway, talking on a cell phone that is instantly connecting us with someone across the country or the world via a satellite orbiting the Earth.  It really is mind boggling.

2016 was a Hermit year, a time of introspection and self awareness. I truly hope the Hermit brought each of you some peaceful solitude and  understanding of your own inner light. That insight will be most beneficial as the great Wheel now makes her very public turn across the Cosmic Dance Floor. This year the Dance includes a change in political power which, no matter your opinion, is causing a lot of reaction. Some people are happy with the outcome, some angry, some ambivalent. Many are taking action to become more involved through causes they want to lend their energy to. Change leads to more change and eventually to a stasis and then change again. 

The Wheel of Fortune - Fate - is touted in so many songs and sayings - “get it while you can,” “c’mon baby let the good times roll,” “the wheel in the sky keeps on turning - don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow,”“Luck, be a lady tonight.”  The Wheel is no stranger to us. Things happen and our reaction is very often a knee-jerk or gut response. Our emotions ride on the very edge of that spinning wheel. We can feel it is all going too fast and get caught up in the chaos. Change can also find us basking in everything going our way, something we are not always equipped to react to well, perhaps because we have not learned to receive or appreciate our own worth. Or there is the “Gloomy Gus” response of “gee - what’s the use?” where we simply are overwhelmed by the Wheel and let it run over us.

With all this spinning around, there is a much larger lesson available.  At the center of every wheel is the hub, the place where the spokes radiate out providing structure for the forces that cause the wheel to turn. Think of it as a center of energy potential. Potential cannot be still; it must expand and move and that is the Wheel, the basis of life - of experience, growth, evolution, and change. When it seems too much, when the activity and speed of it all overwhelms you making you dizzy, or when you realize your reactions are making you crazy, know there is a place of stability always available - and it is not in trying to hold on for dear life to the edge of that spinning wheel! That place is Center, the place of Awareness of the Now, understanding that this, too, shall pass. This place of the Center helps us to step back out of the chaos and recognize the patterns in our life. Once we can see the patterns we are better able to understand them  - or at least accept them -  and then are more able to make conscious decisions about them rather that repeatedly reacting in the same way. 

Perhaps we discover that we continually choose relationships that do not provide us with healthy support and are able to change that pattern. Or, we understand that periods of down time are to be embraced for rest and renewal rather than berate ourselves for not being productive. Death shows itself to us in the loss of loved ones or satisfying situations and we must face the passage of a cycle and step into an unknown future. We can accept that we indeed do not have control of these cycles but that we can choose how we respond within them. 

When my sister died in 2006, I had been up all night grieving her unexpected passing. Exhausted and depleted, I decided to go into work to finish up some things in preparation for going out of town for her funeral. I stopped in a grocery store to get a little food. Everyone in that store looked so drained, the energy of the store itself stagnant and un-inviting. Then I heard my sister’s voice saying, “be kind to everyone - you don’t know what they are going through.”  And with that voice was change. I looked at each person choosing an apple or standing in the check-out line and, for just a moment, experienced the one-ness of us all as humans living our lives on Earth, each experiencing our own journey, challenges, joys, failures, and dreams. In that moment, I truly felt like I loved everyone. I wanted to hug them all and hold on to that feeling.  In that moment of awareness I had stepped off the spinning Wheel and moved into the Center of calmness and awareness and knew that I would indeed survive the loss of my beloved sister.

None of us know what the next moments or days or year will bring but as it unfolds, remember that you have the power of awareness to keep you from spinning off into space, to keep you centered, awake, and present. 

Blessings on the journey.       …Kathryn Ravenwood, 01-01-2017

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