Category Archives: peace, environment, social justice et al

tarot for beauty

page of swords

the princess or page of swords from the zerner-farber deck

tarot cards have interested me for quite a few years. i started playing around with using them for getting insight into situations back in 2005 but could never really get into it. i got some books and a few decks, but just like arthur rosengarten says in his fabulous book about tarot and psychology, like so many others in my profession, i was turned off by the idea of fortune telling, which has never interested me. methinks that part of the future is completely unknowable, and much of the rest if what you create for yourself, so what’s the point in fortune telling?

and then in february of this year, it all changed.  i found the right deck. i’m still not interested in predicting the future but it is as if suddenly a door opened and i have been given the gift of seeing how tarot cards can be used. they are these beautiful pictures that can help us look deeper into an issue that interests or troubles us and see a much wider “spectrum of possibilities”, as arthur rosengarten says. (i have to say i’m comforted by the fact that dr. rosengarten is a well-respected psychologist who has spent many years studying the applicability of tarot to the helping profession. makes me feel a little less weird.)

for the last 9 months then i have spent an inordinate amount of time with tarot cards. one of the things that i find particularly interesting is having what i call “tarot conversations”. it is one (or maybe two) of those tarot conversations that i am donating to the beauty for a cause fundraiser this week, a fundraiser for beauty night, a very, very worthwhile charity that builds self esteem and changes the lives of women and youth living in poverty through three streams of programming: wellness, life skills development and makeovers.

in tarot conversations, the other person (the “sitter”) and i discuss the sitter’s issue in light of tarot cards that the sitter chooses – usually at random, sometimes on purpose. i listen carefully to the impressions and ideas that the cards evoke in the sitter and then add my own observations. we may choose additional cards, remove some cards, or rearrange them. in the end, we will probably come up with one action idea to pursue.

lately, i’ve also done quite a few online “readings”. here is a real life example. (i have gotten permission from the person to blog about this.)

question:
i would like to know how i should approach my next significant relationship. what should i do and not do to get along well and avoid misunderstandings and hurt, which have been a problem in the past.

answer:
i’m a counsellor first and foremost and would feel remiss if i didn’t share with you same basic information about this topic. john gottman is the expert on relationships – nobody that i know of has studied the topic as deeply as he. i have been following him off and on for the last 12+ years, and have yet to see something where i disagree with him. and i’m saying this not only as a counsellor but also as someone who after several failed attempts has been in a happy relationship for 20 years now. anyway, gottman’s principles are here http://www.gottman.com/54756/about-gottman-method-couples-therapy.html.

so … let’s get to your questions …

i used the zerner-farber deck.

what you could do to get along well
king of swords
a strong warrior decked out in full roman garb. his helmet has wings. his right hand rests on an immense shield. he is girded with a big, broad sword. his left holds a lance; a white dove flies across the top. the king looks like he might be standing in the clouds. the top of the card shows two identical coats-of-arms.

my immediate impression is that this guy has no interest in war but by jove, if you threaten his peace, he will protect his people and fight to the last drop. it feels like a card of strength of the best kind – exactly the kind of king a country would want to have.

the implication is easy to read: be in peace with your new mate, but make it clear to him in the way you carry yourself that you are strong and know how to protect yourself. then you can “fly” with him 🙂 (the suit of swords is usually associated with the element of air, which usually points to matters of the mind; maybe you’ll find companionship particularly in the area of intellectual pursuits.)

what you could do to avoid misunderstandings
princess of swords
a very well-dressed lady intently reading a letter – of good news, apparently because she looks happy and excited. she appears to be standing in a park. a big lacy white butterfly is flying in the blue sky.

a very obvious card: pay attention to what is communicated to you, and there will be butterflies and blue skies 🙂 that sounds a bit corny but in my experience it is very true. paying attention to what is said to you, to body language and what is written to you (and not reading into it what’s not there) is an absolute must for the success of any relationship, not just a romantic one.

what you could do to avoid getting hurt
chariot
a man wearing a bedouin-type headdress and a long blue cloth around his waist is riding to the right atop a mythical creature that looks like a cross between a horse and a stag. he is looking back and riding very fast. we can see a butterfly directly above him.

what can you do to avoid getting hurt? when you see the signs (because you’ve paid attention like the princess of swords), get on your horse and run! there is absolutely no reason to stay. and because you gave signals yourself (in the king of swords) that you are not a victim, you probably won’t attract people who are out to hurt you. since this is a major arcana (one of the 22 powerful “trump” cards that tarot decks have in addition to the normal playing cards) i think this message is particularly strong.

general ideas for your next relationship
three of hearts reversed
three teenaged girls prancing about in light dancing clothes, each carrying a heart high over her head.

since this card is reversed, i think this card may be saying not to forget that relationships with men are different from relationships with our girlfriends. i myself sometimes fall into the trap of wanting my husband to be like my best friends – and darn, he isn’t! he’s not a woman, he doesn’t think like a woman, and i married him for who he is and not for who he isn’t.

this card may be going even further to advise that we need to be careful with high-flying ideas about romance. there’s a fine line between being romantic, which is lovely, and going off into la-la-land, which can be unrealistic and hurtful to an otherwise good relationship. i’m going back to the princess of swords: if you pay attention to the particular nature of this new relationship, you will get a sense for what’s possible and what comes straight out of a disney fantasy world.

when i do an online reading like that, i always add something like this:

i hope this helps! let me know what you think – any feedback, “positive” or “negative” alike, is appreciated. if you need clarification, please let me know, too!

psychology dailies

a few months ago, some people in switzerland came up with paper.li, a program that organizes links shared on twitter into an easy to read newspaper-style format. newspapers can be created for any twitter user, list or #tag. (there is a fun little wordplay to the name: the “li” at the end, a sort of diminuitive, is a hallmark of switzerdeutsch, the swiss version of german.)

i think this is a neat idea. here are some examples:

the psychology daily
the mental health bloggers daily
and one i put together: the world changers daily

purple wednesday, with a story

Rainbow of colors
okay, so here’s my purple story.

many years ago, i bought myself a nice, comfy, fleecy track suit. i came home with it and proudly paraded it in front of my husband. he gave me one look and didn’t talk to me for two days.

at the end of the two days, i finally found out. you see, the track suit was purple. and purple was the colour of the very outspoken lesbians and feminists in berlin, where we had just moved from. it turns out that, clad all in purple, i was aligning myself with those man-haters and therefore man-hating my husband.  (logical, huh?)

reason #359 why, a few years later, i got rid of him and traded him in for a much better model.

and what’s all this purple about?

blog action day: water poem #15

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is the last one:

moon is slender
and sober is
my meal.
grey cloth
and scrubbed wood.
silence.
afterwards
water runs quietly
over the plate.

by isabella mori

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blog action day: water poem #14

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 14:

Blue mists at Snoqualmie Falls

by your waterfall these birds,
at dusk, sigh, fluff their
feathers, nestle their
beaks close to their chest.
early spring: moon guides
blossom dust into their dreams.

by isabella mori

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blog action day: water poem #13

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 13:

only this apple knows
why it is necessary to snicker
with the cold falling rain:

cold falling rain, could it be
that i’m your sister?

cold falling rain, brimming over
with goose pimples that the clouds
ordered you to show
shiver
shiver
cold falling rain, i know
how it is to brim over with goose pimples

and only this apples knows, as it diminishes,
as it hastens towards its transcendence on the compost heap,
only this apple knows i’m talking to you,
cold falling rain

cold falling rain,
it’s dark outside, dark and novemberish
cold falling rain,
there’s a part of me that’s out there with you,
i don’t know which part
and really, i kinda don’t wanna know,
cold falling rain,
and i don’t want anyone, no soul, to know
that i could be your sister
out there
in late fall, with squishy wet leaves on the road that
nobody wants to walk tonight

cold falling rain,
this apple is almost eaten
and there is a leftover core.
soon
it will land in that corner of my backyard,
forgotten,
and keep you company.

i will not be out there with you,
cold falling rain in november night,
i still have to eat lots of apples and gain
lots of fat
to be able to stand
standing out there in late fall
among squishy wet leaves
that no-one else chooses to tread.

by isabella mori

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours. this is number 13:

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blog action day: water poem #11

Unsafe drinking water 01

i drink wine. your water is heavy.
i feel light with merlot in my veins.
you feel light with nothing in your stomach.
my limbs grow heavy; a thick blanket waits for me.
your water is heavy. your mother waits for you
to cook and fetch and carry and mend.
you live there. i live here.
water runs through our bodies,
the same crystals, the same elements,
heavy and light, harsh and warm,
the same and the same, different and different.

have some wine. let me carry your water.

by isabella mori

for blog action today, october 15, 2010, i am posting 15 water poems in 15 hours.

Change.org|Start Petition