Lemniscate

lemniscate

 

A few years ago I started to seeing a new symbol on jewelry, along side the usual hearts and crosses were infinity symbols. The infinity sign had been around a long time but now I started to see it on bracelets, necklaces, made in pink or blue stones symbolizing everlasting love and friendship. I was gifted one of these bracelets with the infinity sign outlined in pink next to a few other bangles about love and friendship. It is the one bracelet I wear often and for me it is a reminder of a couple of my favorite Tarot cards.

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There are four Tarot cards that have the infinity sign, also known as the lemniscate. I’ve already written about the Two of Pentacles. On this card the man with a tall hat is balancing two opposing pentacles, ideas or demands. In this case, he doesn’t have to choose. The lemniscate is helping him balance the seemingly unbalanceable. He is able to juggle these two directions by holding them lightly and allowing the flow of life to keep it all going. He demonstrates that, with a little skill, you can balance the yin and yang of life.

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The next card to have the lemniscate is The Magician, card number 2. Our magician has all the tools of the trade laid out for him to use to create his world. But, more importantly, he has the connection to the universe symbolized by the lemniscate over his head. He is connected and will use the power of the divine, the infinite, to create his world for growth and wisdom, not manipulation. He has this never ending loop to connect the physical world with the unseen spiritual world. He is in balance and is ready to start the journey through the lessons of all the cards.

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Our beautiful and gentle Strength, card number 8, has the lemniscate over her head as she tames the wild beast of our animal nature. When you turn the 8 on its side it becomes the infinite connection with her higher self that connects her to the spiritual strength she needs. Now she has the right force at the right time and the right place to balance her world. She is controlling the lion with gentleness and compassion. She is using her inner strength to demonstrate bravery, endurance and steadfastness, important skills for the trials ahead on the path of life.

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The lemniscate makes a fourth and final appearance in the grand finale of the journey. The World, card 21, has red ribbons on top and bottom of the laurel wreath surrounding the dancer of life. These red ribbons are lemniscates meaning that the connection to infinite wisdom is part of the whole being. The dancer is victorious after the long journey and is no longer separate from the eternal state represented by infinity. This is the state of oneness, always in the moment, beyond time.

As you can see the meaning of the lemniscate grows and becomes richer the further down the path of life’s journey. The cards use this elegant symbol to represent the never ending loop of love and spiritual power to our higher self and source if you choose. You are always connected. It is just about remembering that connection. Maybe a bracelet will help.

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The Scary Cards: The Tower

 

The Tower

I thought I had it covered. Everything was safe and sound but it only took a few words from someone I didn’t know to make me feel like I had been struck by lightening. I spent the next week panicked and rushing to fix my mistake. I called lawyers and banks and signed papers and lost sleep. In the end I got my problem fixed but what if lightening hadn’t struck my “secure” tower and sent me tumbling and scrambling. I could have had so much more trouble and would have fallen out of a bigger tower.   It would have hurt so much more.

Our two friends are having a rough time in this card. They have build a big beautiful tower on a hill to protect themselves. They think they are safe in their special world. Look at their fancy clothes and one even has a crown. The tower has a crown because they make their ideas, status, theology, philosophy, politics king and they don’t need to see anyone elses’ point of view or experience. As Dr. Phil would say “How’s that working for you?” From the looks of it not so good.

If you look closely the tower is built on a tall hill that is eroding, There is no door to exit or escape ladder. The only way they have to leave is to fall out the window. When you put yourself or someone else on a pedestal and are sure of your position or block yourself from other possibilities then a correction is coming. You have a ways to go on the path to enlightenment and you can’t go any further stuck in an ivory tower, with your monumental ego. So the universe gives you a swift kick in the pants with a bolt of lightening to straighten you out.

But if you look around our falling heroes you see the little pieces of flame all around. Those are yods, the tiniest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In the Tarot they represent blessings, God’s omnipresence. And in this card there are 22 little blessings, one for each of the major cards. Even in the terrifying moments of life there are blessings all around and the blessings will be there when we pick up the pieces of our humiliation.

The three scary cards have three different messages we need to heed and three hard lessons we have to learn on our hero’s journey through life. Death says it is time to transform and leave behind what is no longer serving you. The Devil is about facing your shadow, unlovable side and breaking free from unconscious bondage. The Tower is about a correction to bring our lives into alignment with our true self.

Every morning this week I’ve been reading a chapter from Thomas Moore’s book A Religion of One’s Own. In it, he reveals the true purpose of the tower experience: “Breakdown becomes breakthrough. The ego structures fall part and divinity once more comes into view.”

The Scary Cards: The Devil

The Devil

Every Christmas my family likes to see a wonderful production of Dickens’ Christmas Carol at the University of Tennessee theater. It doesn’t feel like Christmas with out some ”bah-humbug” from our favorite curmudgeon Ebeneezer Scrooge. Early in the play is the scariest part when his dead business partner Jacob Marley comes to visit Ebeneezer with a dire warning. Jacob is gray, dirty and exhausted for he is caring a huge chain around his neck that trails after him, making loud clanging noises. Jacob delivers the memorable line “I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.” Jacob goes on to tell Ebeneezer ”the weight and length of the strong coil you bear yourself? It was full and heavy and long as this, seven Christmas Eves ago. You have labored on it since. It is a ponderous chain.”

Ebeneezer and Jacob

On the Devil card the man and woman are wearing ponderous chains attached the devil’s perch. Like Ebeneezer they have forged these chains with their own poor choices, selfishness, addictions and ignorance. We saw this couple as the Lovers in card 6 where they were happy and ready for adventures together but by card 15, The Devil, they are in big trouble and have work to do to get back on the path of enlightenment.

When we first encounter this card the Devil is the overwhelming scary creature we have been taught to fear. We were told that he controls us and tempts us to be cruel and self-absorbed, vindictive and manipulative. But the poor guy, he is just a personification of illusion and we have made him ugly so we can forget he is ourselves. He is our shadow, the part of ourselves we don’t want to see or own. It is time to stop making him the scapegoat for our misdeeds. How many children have been scared by threats of the devil when he is a caricature of adult’s control issues.

So let’s put this scary beast in his place by first kicking him off his tiny platform and get these poor lovers to take off their chains which are loose around their necks. But you can see by their tails they have given into their animal nature. They must face their fears—fears of losing money, status, relationships. They must face their shadow—power, bigotry, manipulation, shaming, vindictiveness, domination, stubbornness, greed, jealousy. They must face their addictions—-control, substance abuse, materialism, gluttony.

When we cling to these self-defeating desires and patterns we feel we are owned by the Devil but it is our lower self running the show. This bondage to the dark side or our nature doesn’t bring us happiness or contentment. It just brings sorrow and pain to ourselves, our loved ones and the world. So much of the suffering in this world we have brought on ourselves by allowing “the Devil” in our nature allow us to lead unconscious lives.

So take time and ponder your ponderous chains, look at your shadow and see what you can bring into the light of your consciousness and leave behind. Fortunately Jacob Marley gave Ebeneezer the antidote for his misery and fate:

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,” faltered Scrooge… “Business!” cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. “Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence were all my business. The deals of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

So take Marley’s sage advice and get down to the business of mankind and begin to heal yourself so that you can get on with the business of being kind to man. And I don’t know about you but I’m terribly afraid of ghosts and I’d prefer none visit me in the middle of the night to get me to straighten out my life.

Resources on the Shadow

Owning Your Own Shadow    Robert A. Johnson

Romancing The Shadow    Connie Zweig and Steve Wolf

Meeting The Shadow–The hidden power of the dark side of human nature

Connie Zweig and Jeremiah Abrams

The Scary Cards: Death

My in-laws never threw anything away. It was all in the basement, 50 years of their life preserved in an underground crypt, all covered with a fine layer of mouse droppings with an aura of mold. I spent several years, on and off, untangling their past to find the essentials. One summer I made a big push to finish the process, it was a monumental task and I started to say to myself “I’ve found everything but the body, I’ve found everything but the body.” As summer turned to fall I was helping my father-in-law clean up his home office when I looked in a drawer and had to stifled a scream. There it was, THE BODY. My father-in-law happily picked up a real skeleton of a human hand, squeezed it several times and told me he used it to teach Radiology residents. I calmly requested that it be put in a box and set in a corner where I wouldn’t accidentally come across it again. The first week I lived in the house I asked one of the movers to take the hand away.  I could just imagine it coming to life and scurrying around the house like “Thing” on the Addams Family. Totally creepy.

When I first look at the Death card in the Tarot, I have the same reaction, “take it away now, I want nothing to do with skeletons or death.” But the great wisdom of Tarot says that death is a necessary part of life and we must face this scary card. When Tarot is used as a tool for wisdom, Death is never about our physical death so lets look at why we need Death as part of our enlightenment journey.

Death is a skeleton, the physical part of our bodies that is buried deep in our skin. We can’t touch our bones. The skeleton is the part of the body that survives, our essential self. Death is wearing armor, he is invincible, no one has triumphed over death. He rides the white horse of purity. Death is the ultimate purifier, carrying the banner of the white rose which is the desire for Truth. If we want the Truth of the universe the we must die to our lower nature, our immature beliefs, old worn-out stories and insecurities.

Death takes no prisoners. All the good intentions, positive thoughts, bargaining and good luck charms won’t stop his march across the land when your life needs to change. The woman won’t look at Death. She is in denial. The Bishop is praying to be spared but death is the great equalizer and money, fame, power and prestige can’t keep us away from our appointment, Death has a job to do and a schedule to keep. Only the innocent child is unafraid and looks at death as a part of life.

The river Styx, the gateway to the Underworld, is flowing to the ocean, from our individual experience back to the great mysterious universe. Charon, the wounded healer, serves as our ferryman across the river to help us understand that our loses and wounds are part of our journey in life. The sun rises between the twin towers of knowledge of universal law, and reminds us of daily rebirth and the soul’s eternal life.

As scary as this card seems, it signifies a moment of transformation. The old has outlived its usefulness and must fall away and make room for new insights, experiences and people. Death is an instrument of progress. What part of your life is finished? We can’t keep progressing on the path to Enlightenment clinging to what no longer serves us. We are moving along our journey and we need to see the bigger picture of life and accept it as it unfolds. If we don’t do this willingly and consciously, Death will help us along for we won’t be able to ignore him as he sweeps through our life.

Sometimes Death takes us by surprise and we are shattered into pieces. Take your time and mourn the loss, gather the pieces and re-member what you experienced and learned. This is an initiation, a time of expansion and emotional growth. These experiences are never easy. Change never is, but resistance just brings more sorrow to the process. This is a new beginning, a new era, time to plant new seeds.

As I was in the crypt of the house discarding the old, I was cleansing the house and the family on many levels of life. I made room for air and light to fill the dark spaces of our lives. I let go of the sad memories and worn-out experiences and remembered the happy times and uncovered the meaningful objects. We now can find what is truly important, Alexandra is enjoying a wonderful old typewriter, Caroline loves the vintage cameras. Hamilton has his grandfather’s workbench and I have order. The mice and the skeletons have found new homes.

The Sun

The Sun

It has been a busy summer, too busy. My mother is now moved into her lovely apartment in a retirement community. Alexandra is settled in her micro apartment (175 sq. ft) in California and Caroline’s home is ready for a new roommate. Whewww, I’m tired so I’m devoting this month to what I consider to be a very important task, worshiping the Sun. I will see the sunrise as I have my first cup of coffee, I will enjoy the morning sun on my walk, I will spend time with the noonday sun at the pool and see the evening sun as I water my flowers and trees. I’m even going to Minnesota to see the sun have extra long time to shine in the north. I’m going to drink in the sun and store it for the coming winter.

The Sun is life, without it there would be no world. It is light, living energy, abundance. The Sun Card in the Tarot reminds us to soak in the light and enjoy life. The Sun is new beginnings, a new phase and new options.

This sun has a gentle face, just like children instinctively draw in their own versions of the sun. The rays are both wavy and straight showing the wave and particle aspects of energy. The young child is naked, riding a white horse and holding a waving orange banner signifying action and vibration.

The Sun card comes after many trials and tribulations. We have walked a long path to get to card number 19 and just have two more cards before starting our journey over on the next level of the spiral.

These final three cards hold the keys to an enlightened life. The Sun show us that when we are at higher levels of consciousness we become like a child again. Not childish but childlike with an open heart and simple joy of living. Naked—without judgment, letting life be just as it is.

The wall shows that we have built good boundaries and accumulated great wisdom, a solid and firm foundation. The sunflowers are growing in the right directions and show the fruitfulness of this phase of wisdom. The child rides the white horse without a saddle indicating inner strength and control of the animal nature. The white horse is purity of purpose for the highest good.

When you become the Sun you become the source of light, love and wisdom. You have move through the trials and lessons of life to accept your total and true self. Now shine your light in support of others for you no longer need to be in the artificial limelight. Bask in the good experiences and happy times.

When your heart is open you glow like the sun, you radiate your true self into everyday life. The wise mystic Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov said “If you worship the Sun, it is enough”. So join me in an August devoted to our true and radiant selves worshipping our glorious Sun.

Two of Pentacles

two of penticles

One thing I’ve noticed about humans is that we like things black and white.  Most everyone is uncomfortable with the many shades of gray in between.    Why is that?   Why do we have to make a decision or form an opinion on so many things when really  we can just  keep our minds open to many possibilities?  I don’t usually care what team wins the game, which church has all the correct answers, which diet is the healthiest, which political party is correct.   Almost everything has its pros and cons.  Fence sitting is just not allowed in our culture.   But what’s wrong with fences?   When you sit on the fence you can see and enjoy both sides and have a much better view.

The Two of Pentacles says it is time to give up “either/or” thinking and try “both /and”. Our guy is doing a little dance with two opposing values.  He is going back and forth, back and forth like a game.   Even the ships behind are joining in by going up and down, up and down.  But wait, the values are in a lemniscate, the infinitely loop.     This loop is helping to keep the opposites in balance and continuingly moving without strain.  The loop crosses at the level of his heart which shows that he is keeping his heart open to possibilities.

There are times life is a bit of a balancing act but he is managing to hold on, the ships are navigating fine. No one is drowning and he seems to be having fun keeping his values flowing in life.  He is handling his possibilities and his tall hat indicates that he is using his intuition and getting guidance from a higher source.  He is standing on level ground and his lovely leather jacket indicates that he values lasting qualities in his life.

So when this card show up you know it is ok to just keep your options open and hold two opposing views.   It is not time to choose.   Do a bit more fence sitting and realize that you can just enjoy the game of life.

Blog Updates:   This week is the second anniversary of this blog.   Here is a link back to the very first article and my first step.    It was hard to push the publish button the first time but I’m glad I did.  I enjoy sharing my life and experiences and appreciate all my readers.   My whole life I avoided writing and I’ve never had a Facebook so stepping out in the blog world was big for me and defiantly a life expanding adventure.   We have a whole universe to explore so I’m not stopping anytime soon.

Last week I wrote the prophetic line:   “Caroline will do something none of us have ever thought of”.  Two days later she proved me right when her desire to make some money went viral on the internet.   You can read about her 15 minutes of fame here.

Scotland

Glen Lyon

Glen Lyon,  Perthshire Scotland

Scotland has been in the world news the last couple of weeks and it has also been in my personal news too.   I followed the vote for independence not because I hold an opinion, I don’t have enough information to form one, but because I have a personal reason for knowing the outcome, I own land in Scotland.   Yes, that’s right; I have my own piece of heaven, the Motherland, as Hamilton and I think of it.  Alexandra’s middle name is the family clan, McKay.  We love to go to the local highland games to see our people.

Last month a friend gifted me my own personal picnic spot near Oban.   I hope to go visit and enjoy my tiny spot.  But more importantly the land comes with a title.  I’m now legally able to be referred to as Lady Evans.    Thank goodness my status in the world is finally recognized.   I’ve put up signs to remind my staff of the changes in my social standing.

In 2009 Hamilton and I went to Scotland for the first time as part of a whirlwind tour around the UK.   We each had a list of sacred sites we wanted to visit.   Rosslyn Chapel was on the top of my list.   That enigmatic site didn’t disappoint.   I sat quietly soaking in the magic while William, the chapel’s cat, lay on my lap peacefully napping.

We visited Edinburgh Castle, the memorial to Sir Walter Scott and the art museum before heading toward Inverness and Loch Ness.   On the way to Inverness we spent the day in Perthshire to see the sacred sites of Glen Lyon.   I had contacted Barry Dunsford to take us to some of the hidden gems in this magical world.

We saw an ancient yew tree, Roman bridges, hermit caves, stone circles, crystal Fairy Mountains, Druid sites and mysterious chapels.   Hamilton enjoyed being able to just gawk at the scenery instead of driving the narrow roads. My favorite was the St. Mary’s Grail Chapel which has a beautiful painted ceiling with the lineage of Christ and mysterious Grail Knights.  In the center of the ceiling was a large painting of “The Judgment” tarot card.    It was unmistakable and a clear indication of a sacred place of esoteric knowledge.

Judgement Panel

Judgment

grail knight

Grail Knight

Later in the week we went to the stone circle of Kilmartin and took the ferry over to the island of Islay.   Here we visited Hamilton’s sacred site the Lagavulin distillery.  On Islay we also visited a tiny church with a special Celtic cross.  In the grave yard the headstone of a little girl caught my eye.  She was born September 26 and died ten years later on September 26.  The day we were there was September 26.  I said a special prayer for her.

Celtic Cross   Islay Scotland

Islay

Kilmartin

Kilmartin

Scotland calls me, I have so much to discover and learn there. We just got a taste of Scotland and it is top of the list to revisit especially now that we have societal and financial interests at stake.  I want to go to the holy island of Iona and the stones of Callenish.   One mystery at a time, I want to become part of the wind and the land of my little plot of ground and soak up this sacred land.

 

Barry Dunsford and the Sacred Land of Scotland   www.sacredconnections.co.uk

Land and titles in Scotland   www.highlandtitlesVIP.com

mugs

A gentle reminder for my staff