In my small but growing collection of Tarot decks, the Osho Zen deck is by far my favorite. I don't know a lot about Zen philosophy, but I love how calm and affirming it is, how visually beautiful, how clearly it reads. I love the re-imagining of the cards that affirm and lend new depth to their meanings.
"Completion" is a lovely keyword for the World, since it emphasizes a lot of what it's about: the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one, the feeling of contentment and fulfillment that comes with achieving what you set out to do. In the metaphor of the Fool's Journey across the Major Arcana, this is the feeling we're supposed to seek. This is the great outcome that we're looking for, the hero's quest we're on.
But what is it, exactly?
A key tool for a lot of counseling and coaching is to consider what happiness looks like:
- "If you could have anything you wanted, what would it be?"
- "What's your ideal vision for this project/relationship/outcome?"
- "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"
It's an effective tool. It gives us a sense of perspective. So much of the time, our idea of what would satisfy us is either enormous, playing to the idea that it's impossible and out of our reach, or too small in order to keep us safe and comfortable. More than once I've heard of life defined as a quest for a great, nebulous "something" that we're all never going to find. We imagine that our dreams need to be impossible in order to be worthy. We imagine that we'll never be satisfied, that we'll always be looking for more.
Asking what your dreams look like right now, allowing yourself to name them, lets you move forward without self-consciousness. And it's the moving forward that's the important thing.
The truth is that life isn't a quest for one "something". It's a journey towards a lot of little somethings. The beauty of the Fool's Journey is that the Fool can be visiting any of the Major Arcana at any time. When he achieves the World in one realm of his life, there will be others that call his attention. And all of his successes will become parts of his new journey, towards a different piece of his evolution.
Don't paralyze yourself worrying about your path - if it's the "wrong" one, if you're playing it too large or too small, if it's too grandiose or too shallow. Life itself is a journey towards a constantly expanding conclusion. The things that are calling you now, the wishes you have, will become a part of your life and make even grander things possible.
The Fool doesn't take one journey, he takes many. And they're all pieces of a grand puzzle.
Every now and then, as a coach and the owner of a heart-based business, it's important for me to look at why I'm doing this.
What I want to communicate. What my message is. Because Tarot is the way I tap into the Bigger Picture in order to tell it, and coaching is the way I want to lend my gifts to the world - but it's important to remember the why.
The one big thing I'd share with everyone if I could, and that something is this:
Remember who you are.
You may not feel you know that. Or you may think it changed a long time ago. You may think you're not allowed to be the person you'd love to be, in the best of all worlds.
Everyone has those moments, those times knowing the answer feels too painful. Maybe you're too afraid of finding the wrong answer, so you never even ask the question.
But it's there. It's deep in the core of you. When you envision yourself at your most powerful, on-fire, truth-telling, the height of your potential, that's you. That's the height of your power.
And when you're at your most afraid, when you want to give up and hide, and there's that small voice that reaches out in the frightened silence. That voice that tells you to get up, keep moving, that instinctively reaches towards the sun - that's you too. And in a way, that's also one of the most powerful things you can do.
It doesn't matter how you look or what you weigh. It doesn't matter what mistakes you've made, or what fears you have.
It doesn't matter how far you step from the 'mainstream' path, because the secret is? In some way, we all do. We just think it's only us.
You are who you are, and nobody can take that away from you. The day you start to own it is the day you choose to make it yours. It's okay. You're okay.
The Moon is a card about the things we find in the dark. It's all the irrational fears and scared secrets. It's the stuff we're afraid to dig up because we think we can't handle it. It's the fears that, sometimes, are completely irrational and made to hold us back. And it's the intuition we find when we dig deep enough, the secrets and strengths that help us finally claim our real, authentic selves.
I call my practice 'Mirror Moon' because I think by providing a glimpse into a possible future, and a look at the archetypes and ideas that can help empower us, Tarot and coaching can help us do as the moon does.
We can reflect light - our own inner light, the truest part of ourselves.
And we can illuminate our paths. Avoid the potholes and tree roots, see ahead to where we want to go...and how to get there.
What do you want to reflect to the world? And what would you like illuminated? Let me know in the comments!
Well, we're at the end of the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and I've successfully written 31 different posts relating to Tarot, history, fear, motivation, diversity, creativity, and my continued ridiculous love for Leonie Dawson
This is a huge thing for me, because while I love my blog to pieces, and I love everyone I've met through it, sometimes I slip up. I don't write a post every day, so I write extra posts and backdate a day or two. I don't always promote every post perfectly. Some of my ideas have been great, some not so great. I could write for a month or ten years, love it no less, and still have it be a learning process. So accomplishing this, having everything to show for this month, is a big deal for me.
Why would I tell you this when I'm a life coach? When I use my gifts as a Tarot reader, along with creative exercises and a guiding hand, to help others to learn, plan, expand, and grow? Because it's okay.
I have ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. That means things like schedules, repeated tasks, and details are sometimes difficult for me. I've had to learn, over a long period of time, that Getting Stuff Done and Being Organized doesn't come as easily to me as it does to other people.
That means I've done more to learn how to make it happen for me, what works and doesn't work, what fits into my personal rhythm and needs. And that means I've learned how to make mistakes: with acceptance. Understanding what happened, and how that's where I'm at. Resolving to take what I've learned, and try again tomorrow.
I've had times in the past where I'd decide that overnight, I was going to be a master of everything. I'd plan to work my tail off until my house was sparkling, my eating habits were flawless, I'd accomplished four or five different projects and still have time to read a book about spirituality or self-development at the end of the day.
That just doesn't work
. Even when I finished most of what I planned to do, I was exhausted. The things I loved felt like chores, items on the checklist of life rather than something that could genuinely benefit me and be enjoyable. And the stuff that wasn't so great? I'd punish myself over it - until I learned that not only was this biologically supposed
to be difficult, but learning it was a process
So I set a few things to do each day. I broke it down and made it simple for myself. I slowly chipped away, and I kept moving forward. No punishment, no judgement. If I had an unproductive day, I'd look at what happened, and I told myself I'd do better tomorrow.
And when I got the website made, the class finished, the story written, I'd be able to look at it and say: "I did that."
Congratulations to everyone else who completed the Ultimate Blog Challenge, and to anyone worrying about what they haven't accomplished: nothing is impossible. The only way you could ever lose your way is to stop moving completely.
There are a lot of eye-rolling cliches about how talking to yourself is a sign of some kind of instability, the first sign that you're "losing it." It means you're fragmented, freaking out, unable to "keep it together."
Personally, I think it's a great idea. And I keep on learning new ways to do it.
You know the old jokes in cartoons, when you get a look at a character's brain? There are all these little mini-selves running around, like highly specific Smurfs. 'Anger' sets his head on fire at the slightest insult. 'Love' is scattering flowers. 'Fear' is cowering in a corner, trembling at every little noise.
Of course, it's never that easy to pick specific things out. Emotions are complicated, wrapping themselves in layers and sometimes carrying two completely contradictory feelings at once. It can seem like a huge, frightening task to even sort through all your feelings, let alone pick them out and give them a face.
But maybe that's exactly what we need to do sometimes. Take a look at the complicated thought that's been hanging on to you for a while, keeping you blocked or sad or overwhelmed. Start picturing it as a person. What does it look like, and how does it dress? What's its body language? Does it have a name? Draw it, if you're artistic.
Set aside ten or fifteen minutes where you can sit quietly, undisturbed. Then turn in towards that feeling and have a conversation with it. Introduce yourself to it, and ask what it's doing there. Learn who it is, and make friends with it. Find out what it needs. See if you can transform it, and find some positive work for it to do.
Any kind of communication with yourself is just one more form of meditation. And the more we sort through and get to know ourselves, the more we're able to transform ourselves into stronger, happier people.
A Note From Kim:
With my life coaching certification complete, I'm now available for free discovery sessions, one-time deep exploration, and monthly packages! To celebrate, have a look at this great little video from Tim Brownson (adaringadventure.com)
, who gives some great pieces of advice for all of us. We're all our own coaches first and foremost!
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"The power of man has grown in every sphere, except over himself."
"If you want to test the mettle of a man, give him power."
When you're trying to grow anything of your own - confidence, creativity, self-love or self-discipline - power eventually comes up. What has power over you? What do you have power over, and what should you be able to control?
We're taught, probably for a good reason, to be afraid of having too much power over the world around us. After all, will we really know how to use it wisely? Will we wind up becoming one more person in a long line of bullies, acting only in our self-interests? Or are there institutions that have had power over us for too long, and is this the only way to make a stand?
The Tarot has a lot of cards about power, and in writing my upcoming course, I was surprised at how much crossover there was in just the first six. There's the Magician, who is a magical student, adept, or a stage magician and a shyster depending on who you ask. There's the Emperor, a ruler of men, and the Heirophant, a ruler of our traditions and institutions.
That's to say nothing of the cards that come later, such as the Chariot and Strength, who in many decks come right after each other. To me that's the story of "hard control" vs "soft control", of the times you have to take life by the reins and steer, the times you have to gently tame your inner beasts and demons. It's the Chariot I decided to put up as an illustration for just that reason. And wouldn't you know, my randomizer selected the Lunatic Tarot by Evan Yi Feng. It's one of the first decks I've ever seen where the charioteer isn't pulling horses, or a dark and light Sphinx, but instead is in command of human beings. That's scary - but the beauty of it is when you take a look at that illustration, if it's drawn in your reading, and say "am I exercising control or abuse of a situation?"
There are so many ways to use power, so many ways to define what it even is or where it belongs. That's why to me, power itself isn't a dirty word. We're afraid to call ourselves powerful, to say we have any kind of control. We think it'll make us scary, selfish, or egotistical. But if you don't have power over anything, ultimately it has power over you. You lose any kind of hold you might have over your own life, or the life you want to make for yourself.
"With great power comes great responsibility." And if you don't acknowledge your potential for power, you don't take responsibility for what's happening around you. The beauty of the Major Arcana is that we've been all its figures at one point, or will be someday. We've taken charge or been stuck in tradition, we've fought our problems with gentle grace or by reigning them in. If you don't like the role you see yourself playing, you can understand the part it's playing in your life, and make the choice to transform into another.
And that's the ultimate power over, and responsibility for, your own life. So who will you decide to be today?
There's so much more to intuitive thinking than just psychic readings and spirit guides. While that's the end goal, developing yourself and your mind so you can be more in touch with the universe, here's a few things developing your intuition can teach you along the way.(image is "Intuition" by Bente Hansen)
"And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
- Pay attention. The world has so much to say to you if you look around and see what it's telling you. You have so much to say to you, if you only tune in. If you learn to listen, you'll be open to more points of view and more possibilities.
- Slow down. We're so wrapped up in the world around us that we don't always take time to really see and feel what we're doing. Slowing down puts us in touch with our own bodies, with the things we want and need - which means we can take care of ourselves in a more profound way.
- You know more than you think you do. Gurus can point you in the right direction, and you can learn a lot from an outside perspective, but ultimately you're just as in touch with inner wisdom as everyone else. If you believe you'll see results from trusting your instincts, then you will, whether that's achieving your heart's desire or learning more about yourself to make it happen.
- The world is out to give you good things. Really. Even when everything is going horribly. There are no "bad" cards in Tarot, and there are very few 100% "bad" events in life. Our mistakes and our tragedies are tools to learning and developing into something greater than we are. Listening to your intuition means you have an internal guide all the time telling you how and why that is, and it makes the true lessons of the moment far easier to access and believe.
- You are magic. Listen to your intuition, and you'll realize all the miraculous things you've seen in movies are already part of you. As you unlock more and more of your own psychic potential, you'll realize that all the incredible things you ever wanted to do were already there to begin with, waiting for you to bring them out. Will you have natural talent to be an expert at everything? No. But you'll have access to it - to learning lessons from it, tapping into it, and growing from it. And you can make anything you want a part of the magic of your world.
For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire." - The Charge of the Goddess, Doreen Valiente
I've been rewatching a lot of Fraggle Rock lately, since my girlfriend with a decidedly HBO-deprived childhood has never seen it. Yeah, yeah, I'm a grown-up and I'm supposed to be above these things. But screw my credibility. There's a lot of simple wisdom in kids' stuff that we don't really remember to touch as adults, and it's Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street, which should say it all.
And Fraggle Rock? Has to be the most pagan show I've ever seen. A living, breathing system of caves that teach about the interconnectedness of life? A festival where you compose tributes to the full moon? And if you want to teach a newly-minted teenaged Wiccan about why she can't be initiated just yet, just show her "Mokey and the Minstrels".
Then there's Marjory the Trash Heap, the "all-knowing" oracle who pings me quite a bit for obvious reasons. She demonstrates some genuine power and insight towards the end of the series, but mainly Marjory is kind of a shyster - someone who gives you not-quite-groundbreaking sayings or junk objects in the form of talismans. She does claim to be all-knowing, but the Trash Heap doesn't really take payment for her services. She's more than happy to dispense a little bit of cryptic practicality, watch the Fraggles mistake it for deep wisdom, and then let them work out their own problems with this new bit of direction. Her ultimate goal is the goal of all great oracles: to no longer be needed.
And often, the magic works. Anxious Boober feels a surge of courage when clutching a bottlecap inscribed with the words "no deposit, no return." Red and Wembley learn the charm of spilling a bottle of milk and pointedly not crying over it, which gives them the confidence to finally stop worrying and make a plan.
What Fraggle Rock knows, and what Tarot readers know, is that objects and sayings aren't the important thing. There are literal "junk oracles", where you draw discarded odds and ends out of a bag and make observations based on what you find/the meanings you attach. And they're much the same as Tarot's lovely, inspiring, and extremely subjective art. The power is in the reader, whether that's intuition or just plain common sense. It connects us to the magic of the world, taps us into something bigger.
The insights from divination are personal insights, a little nudge in the right direction. They encourage someone to understand the situation and get moving, with the confidence that they knew a little more about themselves and their path than they did half an hour ago. There's a tremendous, often magical power in that. And the greatest power of all, of course, is that you can put a little of your focus and intention into the world - and get a great deal back out of it, no matter what tools you use.
"No deposit, no return."
The Sun is one of my favorite cards, because it's pure joy. Simple, uncomplicated. Your inner light is burning like a torch, and the whole world is ahead of you.
It's no wonder there's often children in the imagery (like here, in the fascinating 78 Doors Tarot), because rarely do we have that attitude of "I can do anything" once we've grown up.
Yes, that's partly because children think they can do anything without the planning, focus, and learning from past mistakes. But it's partly because after a certain age, we don't really get the room.
We do a lot of things because we "have to." Because that's how it's done - jobs that bore us but bring in the money, holidays with family we hate, wearing uncomfortable shoes because they give us a certain "image." We're told we need to do these things to be succesful or to have respect.
And pursuing our hobbies and loves? Taking a vacation? Actually, gasp, making money? That's selfish. It means you aren't serving other people, and what they need. You ought to be ashamed.
Somewhere along the way, our society decided that misery was a sign of responsibility. That we couldn't follow our bliss without sacrificing everyone else along the way. And we couldn't be more wrong. The bliss we pursue, and the stability of the people and things we love, are completely connected.
There's a scene in the fabulous satire "Good Omens", where the demon Crowley talks about designing an overly-complicated highway system. He says that all he needs is some backed-up traffic. Because that means a thousand people go home stressed out and angry. They take it out on their spouse or significant other. Their spouse takes it out on their kids. The kids yell at the dog.
When we're dissatisfied with our lives, an aura of stress and frustration spreads out, ripples in a pond. And those little pebbles of anxiety do more damage than one person's bad decisions ever could. It means that our whole world is the result of our collective self-love. The way you feel, the story you tell about your life, sets the stage for the whole world. Being happy is one of the most unselfish things you can do.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not shaming someone who has, say, clinical depression. But it's all the more important, when you need to make it one day at a time, to imagine something you want even a little better. Because at our highest and at our lowest, a little goes a long way.
I'm not saying to neglect everyone else's feelings. No man is an island. How happy will you be until the people you love are happy too? Make them a part of your dreams - but there needs to be room for you.
Imagine the happiest possible future for yourself. What does that look like? And more importantly: why? Even if you imagine yourself zoned out on the couch watching TV all day, what about that appeals to you?
A love of entertainment? Take that love, study it, and turn it into a part-time stint as a critic.
A lack of responsibility? That's harder. How about this: craft a world where responsibility feels that effortless.
The more you listen to your "inner light" as a possible reality, instead of a hypothetical, the more you find out about yourself. The more you can craft yourself into the best possible person you can be, with the best possible life for you. That's our real job. Our constant learning, growing, and blossoming is what we'll need when we're six, sixty, or six hundred. It's not a destination, it's a journey.
So let's get to work.