Tag Archives: connection

Tarot Blessing

One of my spiritual groups, Becoming, is undergoing a time of transitions. I am stepping down as the Presiding Celebrant after eight and a half years of service, and handing the responsibility over to my dear spirit sister Ketzirah and her vision. We have also been struggling with the continual search for a permanent home and the ongoing dance of delegation and decentralization through a new leadership framework. We have also lost some long-term, dearly loved members over the last couple years, while gaining a few new ones. It has been bumpy, but we each have faith that we will move through it and out the other side stronger.

With the upcoming transition of Celebrants on my mind, I offered a working experiment at our monthly Circle of Connection yesterday. It was an experiment that was quite elegant in my head, but I wanted to see how it would play out. The Becoming folks are nothing if not adventurous when it comes to such experiments. Some of our members are familiar with tarot; others not so much. We used the Gaian Tarot (the fan-girl edition as I call it) because they are nature based (like our group) and work well with people who are unfamiliar with tradition tarot meanings but willing to be open to the images.

Our intent was to use the cards as a way to ask and listen for a blessing from the Heart of the Universe, the core energy of Becoming, and our individual Divine Sparks.

I shuffled the cards and explained the steps in the working. Each person in the circle drew a card and held it face down until all cards were drawn. We then looked at our cards to examine the visual image. What drew the eye? What colors, shapes, animals, plants, people were present? What were they doing? How did the card feel?

We then closed our eyes and recreated the image of the card around ourselves. What did we notice now? What sounds, tastes, textures, smells? What was hooked our attention? What were people, plants, animals doing or saying? Where were we in the scene?

Opening our eyes and looking at the card again, we noticed what was absent in our imagination that was present in the card. And what was absent in the card but present in our imagination? What message was the card telling us? What blessings was the card giving us?

I asked everyone to use the phrase “May we…” to begin the blessing from their card. I said a short intro to the prayer and then we went around the circle, showing our card, and giving the blessing.  Here’s what came up for Becoming this day.

We call to the Heart of the Universe, the core of Becoming, and the divine spark within each of us to give us a blessing.

[Canoe] May we have the vision to see our destination clearly and the discipline and strength to get there.

[Elder of Fire] May we honor the diverse paths and perspectives that we all bring to Becoming and that contribute to the spirit of Becoming.

[Explorer of Water] May we fearlessly meet the challenges and adventures along our path.

[Elder of Earth] May we continue to spin the threads of connection between us and other people, between us and Nature, between us and the Divine.

[Bindweed] May the ears of Becoming never be closed to the song.

[Ace of Air] May we receive the blessing of the root of the powers of air, the mediator of fire and water, the balance which cannot exist without both. As the butterfly’s life depends on the flowers, the flowers are sustained by the butterfly—so Becoming is blessed by its members and its members are blessed by Becoming.

[Child of Air] May we be filled with grace and peace. Although we have our own paths, may we remember that we all fly together.

[Ten of Fire] May we be able to burn away the things we no longer need so that new growth may arise in their place.

[Elder of Air] May we always hear the simple music in the melody of the wind. Even if the birthplace of Becoming is beyond the horizon, together we will always have a home.

[Four of Air]May we bring all the needed pieces together to create a home to nurture us in growth.

[Five of Air] May Becoming be blessed with leadership that inspires us to connect with one another and the outside world.

[Child of Water] May we be like children before the universe, willing to wade into it and explore it, willing to stand in it and experience it.

[Guardian of Earth] may we all be good stewards of the earth. May we have the serenity to recognize the small thing that helps us achieve that task. May we also recognize those whose loyalty we have engendered to help us along this path.

Heart of the Universe, hear our prayers.
Core of Becoming, hear our prayers.
Divine Spark with Us, hear our prayers.
Blessed be. So Mote It Be.

I noticed a few things about the cards we pulled. Five out of thirteen were Air, which is the element we started studying on Sunday for the next three months. We pulled three Elder cards and two Child cards. All our numbered cards speak to beginnings and transitions. And the two Major Arcana cards speak to freedom of movement and displine, and the lack thereof.

Once again, I am in awe of the inspiration and beauty that Becoming members find in themselves when we connect to that rich source of divinity in circle together.

Blessings be to the journeyer; blessings on the journey.

Living the Life

In many ways, I am living the life I want. In some ways, not so much.

When I turned 18 and graduated from high school, I moved away from most of my family and every other person I knew to start fresh in a more liberal, open environment. Oklahoma is a great place to live and grow up, if you are like everyone else there or willing to pretend to be. I was not either of those things.

(I’m sure the last two statements will rile my friends and family still living there, and yet not be surprising.)

Luckily, I knew that there had to be a better place for me. Luckily, I knew that I was not the sinful outcast that I often felt like during my teen years. Luckily, I was not bullied as much as some were, and still are. Luckily, I was resilient and knew that I just had to bide my time to get out. Not everyone is lucky.

But still, that shit fucks with you. Yes, I knew I was a good and smart woman. But I also believed that I was ugly. There was and, frankly, still is a part of me that wonders if I deserve joy, security, and dare I say, love. I struggle with that everyday.

And I still choose to keep opening my heart. Every day, I have to choose between the bitterness or sweetness of life, between trusting and suspicion, between rushing headlong into experience or keeping myself safe. And I don’t always choose “correctly” or for my best interest. But I choose.

Other people’s disapproval is the price you pay for living the life you want, and it’s worth every penny.~Plumcake at Manolo for the Big Girl

 And if there was one thing that I could tell Contance McMillan now, or could have told Phoebe Prince or Tempest  Smith before they died, it would be “Fuck them. Lean on me now so that you can stand later. Prove them wrong by succeeding in this world. You will be stronger than they can ever hope to be.”

But we can’t say that, or be there for them, without first choosing to be open ourselves, without doing the work of healing our own wounds. My friend Ketzirah is counting the omer right now — this week is an exploration of Gevurah, or Strength. Her post today talks about Loving Kindness in Strength, which I take to mean the compassion and the strength to say “NO,” to draw the boundary between what is acceptable and what is not.

Here is my line in the sand.

Yes, there’s a conference for that.

Tonight I am heading over to Ballston to attend the National Capital Region’s Pagan Leadership Conference. Every year someone asks me why I continue to go. Sometimes the agenda is not something I am interested in. Sometimes the town hall session becomes unbearable.  Sometimes there is someone that I really don’t want to interact with who I know will be there. And yet if I don’t have a previous commitment on the calendar, I continue to go.

I find that I actually am looking forward to spending time with other pagans who lead groups and/or are very active in the local community. Swapping stories with people who share the same community organizer disease as I do (or “mad vision and masochism”) is fulfulling to me. Many of these folks are friends I see rarely because we live across the metropolitan area from each other (and we all know that pagans can’t cross running water like the Potomac River…or is that vampires?) and have calendars loaded with the day-to-day activities of coordinating an event or group of people. Other folks will have good ideas about how to handle the challenges we all face. I learn about new groups in the area and new events. I hear about how established groups and events are doing. And I get to meet new leaders, starry-eyed people who are just stepping out on the journey that I remember starting a decade ago. It helps with encroaching cynicism.

This year the official agenda is about financial responsibility, fundraising, and branding. Not personally my cup of tea, although I recognize how important these things are for the functioning of a group, and I believe we all can stand to learn more about them. But for me, as it has always been, it’s the people and the connections I establish and strengthen with my own kind.

Photo by KK+: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kk/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Disclaimer: This is a random photo I found on Flickr. I have no idea what their religious beliefs, if they have any, are.)