The Magic of the Tarot

The Magic of the Tarot

As the amazing Doreen Virtue put it, "Cards are a no-brainer way to talk to Heaven." I see them as a shortcut to the chase for enlightenment -- we ask for guidance via a specific set of 78 images rather that waiting to complete our catalog of coincidences, found objects, dreams and other signs. The are an instrument of our intuition, and an open vessel for the symbols and synchronicities that we receive as messages from our Divine Source.

They can offer guidance and comfort about:

Your Path and Purpose in this Incarnation

Where You Are Blocked

The Meaning of Dreams

Guides and Loved Ones in Spirit

People in Your Life

Where to Find Joy

...and more (read on at the bottom of the page.)

Love and Light,

Linda


Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Big Un-Want


Davidji, meditation master extraordinaire and aka “the velvet voice of stillness,” often reminds us to release that which does not serve us. This is not simply a place to start a spiritual practice of forgiveness or moving from the past into the moment, it has become a constant ritual for me. Knowing when to open the barn door is a key life skill.


Why? Because we LOVE what does not serve us. What presses us to be set free today may be a memory we associate with our identity, a family tie from which you still want emotional or other support -- even though that drags you back into old patterns, an activity that is important on a larger scale but draining needed resources here and now…. It can also, if being needed makes you feel special, be anyone who wants to make these decisions for you because it serves their needs to have you behave a certain way.


They can also be our cosmic teachers. I just caught a pattern of negative thinking about my own potential, hammered into me as a child, leading me to explore some avenues to solve a problem. I was horrified but uncovered some real dirt on social issues dragging our community down. Now I have an article to write with some teeth, but what I need to do so is positivity, so...


“Hey Old Attitude! Thanks a million, this is awesome. I’ve got work to do. See ya!”


We can still love, but there are patterns, partners, and lessons that need to be loved in a different way, kind of like that beautiful forever soulmate we remember wistfully even though we are not with them because they were also the housemate from hell… They made you what you are, which, in this moment, is perfect. You can be grateful without them hanging around to undo the benefits of what they taught you. Undoing some of these knots can be between you and the Universe, others may call for separations on this plane and/or resolution on the spirit level.


Finally, DO resist the impulse to replace. When you get rid of the whip you were using on yourself, the next step is not searching for a cattle prod to continue to “improve” yourself. Breathe into the space and allow it to be filled with something new and uplifting. If you have had a pattern that kept you at home and/or alone, what a great time to get out and get social!

Namaste,
Linda
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

For Real Stars Only...


Carol Scavotto - "Where Did You Put My Coat?"
We live in traumatic times. Using the metaphor of a movie, we can either watch in horror, or realize we are in the movie, see the problems, and behave heroically anyway. Social injustice and environmental destruction will not disappear overnight. But if we don't each heal ourselves where it has broken us, we cannot heal the world.


Prejudice is learned at an early age. We are offered a quick fix to feelings of fear, insecurity, inadequacy in the form of a name, an attitude, even an act of violence, towards someone -- physically, socially, spiritually, economically --  different from us. Under stress the temptation is stronger give in, but that is the time to look forward, not back. Grow the world you want by taking a breath and remembering that this separation is an illusion  - an outdated, toxic construct created by humans to control you. Break free!


Economic suffering is an entwined issue. Turn on a television, or even read about some of these programs, and it's stunning to realize how many people must buy into the celebrity cult in order to make this junk profitable. Ironically, the entire base of the "reality" business relies on real people giving up their time and money to participate in the staged lives of a few neurotic losers -- whom they are actually financing -- as their own lives a pass by unappreciated.


It is not humility to say one person deserves a better life than another, or even you. It's blasphemy, surrendering what the Universe has given you to fit into a system that does not function. Invest time and money in what expands YOU!


There is no ceiling on what we can do to make a better world placed upon us at birth or graduation. We are asked to build and maintain that barrier ourselves, with the consequences of not doing so being the withholding of acceptance, money, peace... No one who loves you and cares about how they leave the world would ask that of you, but we can’t expect those that do to change or go away so we can grow.


But we also can’t expect the world to change unless we do… It’s your move. TAKE IT!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Looking...


This morning, I finally looked…


It must have been before my eyes a thousand times, until in every instance I gently averted them.


Today I looked straight at One World Trade Center, standing tall in the space on the horizon over Seventh Avenue so long occupied by the Twin Towers. I always remembered to look for them there, a futuristic eminence brushing up against heaven as I emerged from the stifling grasp of the subway... Just down the street yet a world apart, now distant in time as well.


It’s really about the people now, the lost, the hurt, the bereaved. And being me, I heard them too. They told me not to be afraid, or, more precisely, not to be afraid to look anymore. And there is still something I have been trying not to see. It’s why I have written so little of late.


It is the waking nightmare that is now. It is the state of our society since this last election (and before, but this has intensified the suffering and potential destruction worldwide), and the real dangers we all face at the whim of human human greed and aggression. It is the truth about what people are willing to do to one another. Even if it destroys them as well.


We need to look because we need to understand how to counteract this without resorting to the methods of the opposition, even though seeing what is happening could move even the most sentient soul to want to remove the problem by any means possible. We need to listen and say “NO”  until everyone starts saying it too. And in most cases, they will.


As difficult as it has become, we must remain fearless as we face the danger. Today the appointed Attorney General of the United States announced an initiative that could result in the government seizing all the property of basically anyone that displeases it.




Happy belated Bastille Day -- we may be facing an economic Reign of Terror and yes, the Senate confirmed this individual knowing of such proclivities. Tonight I looked, really looked, at the people sleeping in Central Park, unbelieving that America can’t do better, yet wondering if they are not the lucky ones, because so little can be stolen from them. What will happen if trolls get their hands on people’s art?


We can move along the line of speculation, but the fact is we are here, in one moment in time, and we can see it all by looking. It is in the seeing that we will find the courage to lean into creating and nurturing the world as we know it should be.

Robert Plant said it well in these Led Zeppelin lyrics:


I don't know what to say about it,
When all you ears have turned away,
But now's the time to look and look again at what you see,
Is that the way it ought to stay?*


*Complete lyrics and song here

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Lesson of the Ragged Man


As one who preaches that we need to find peace and joy wherever we find ourselves, I still have to admit commuting by subway in NYC can be a huge challenge in that department. But once in a while, there is an amazing reward for my efforts.


The tail end of the evening rush hour is always a bit more rushed - 7 something means we’ve had a long day and can’t wait to alight someplace restful, or fun. Amidst the river of humans heading both up and down a staircase, a man with a cane was trying to make his way down the "up" lane. Wonderfully, without grumble or pause, we all shifted and cleared his way, which required a few “slow dance moves” between people moving in opposite directions.


Now, one of the bad habits I battle in public is the impulse to prejudge people by what I see in a second. Add this to the fact that I am particularly sensitive to smells, you an imagine my concern in the moment when I found myself, in that moment, in a fleeting pas-de-deux with someone who could only be described as -- echoing Amy Pond’s description of The Doctor --  “a raggedy man.” With no time to hold my breath and no inclination to be the buzzkill of this lovely interlude, I performed my part with grace and approached the top step expecting endure an olfactory assault.


And smell something I did, but nothing unpleasant. Scents are amazing at evoking time and place, and this one took me back to age 3. It’s a kind of herbal fragrance that permeated a special toy store I loved for its plush wildlife, and lingered in a couple of the stuffed animals I was lucky enough to have been given. It reconstituted a feeling that later evolved to become my deep affinity for animals, which is still a large part of my life.


I turned and caught a glimpse of this fellow before the descending passengers encircled him, his clothes were well worn, a clean and cozy mix of plaids and solids, his hair was a cloud of auburn curls. I wished I had seen his face…


Your world has been magic all along. The real miracle is seeing it differently.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

All You Need Is...

photo by Mark Wiener
Seeing lots of inspirational messages for anyone “looking for love” today, so throwing my own into the mix…

Think of a movie, or any story, where the characters inspire you, and how it makes you feel. Then think about dating. Then get in touch with what is your idea right now of a “relationship.” Chances are they are not at all alike.

Take those ideas that are not magical and release them to the past, because Love IS the only Magic…

Then ask yourself:

Who will my heart tell me I am on my next great adventure with?

And fall in love with LOVE!

Happy Valentines Day,

Linda

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Magic, magical thinking, and the Story About the Hat...

Magic. It’s really my word for connection because it’s the one we learn in fairy tales. It’s that tingle when you know you are tune in to more than the manifest universe. And that so often, if you allow the alchemy, that expresses its presence as pure joy.


The trick, if you will continue the metaphor … making it real.

As much as the media right now are pushing to make you believe that people like me are all about selfishness and denial of reality, no one serious is suggesting you get happy by pretending to be happy or that what makes you sad really does not exist. That’s called crazy, not happy.  Joy is  about acknowledging the world around you for what is is, as well as how you feel about it, but also finding the place in yourself where you can get perspective to decide and act positively, kindly, and constructively. Reset by meditating, walking in the park, going to church, visiting a museum - you will know you are connected when it feels right, and exactly what to do.

I am also seeing mockery of New Thought as Magical Thinking, and because I wanted to address that and the Universe gives us what we ask for, I now have a true story that demonstrates the difference:

Last week, right around the solstice, I felt chilly outside, but realized I had donated my old hats last year and would be cold when not wearing a hood. So I said to myself, “I want and need a hat!” Then I just waited for the perfect hat to arrive -- NOT!

Busy on other errands, I stopped at  a nearby shop and found nothing I liked at all. But it was SUPPOSED to be there, wasn’t it? No, that’s magical thinking, Magic is letting it happen, not waiting for it. Walking along the Park, I realized I had some extra time and was near a crosstown bus.  I changed direction and went to my favorite store, where I tried on several berets - the style I really wanted  - but none were cool. It was getting colder outside, so I did select a reasonably priced fleecy black bucket that would do.

The End (NOT!! Here comes the Magic!)

At this point I realized I was near a dear friend’s home and we were trying to catch up because she had a gift for me, but when I called her she was still at work. Could I meet her an hour or more later? So I headed pretty far downtown on another errand.

On the way back to the train what do I find lying in the middle of the street? MY HAT! (not exactly) But a perfectly nice hat, with a snowflake pattern... which, since I no longer was in great need, I set up on a street fixture to be retrieved by its owner or adopted by someone who really needed one. In that moment, I remembered a young man who recently offered me a pair of gloves he found because I was not wearing any. I thanked him and told him the truth, I was just being too lazy to dig out my gloves at the moment, but please give them to someone who needs them. Real Christmas spirit, and I carried that energy with me back uptown.

My friend was at a local cafe having supper, it’s one of those places where “everybody knows your name.” She handed me a gift from her vacation - a HAT? No, an absolutely enchanting piece of art (shown above). As we hung out chatting I met one of the regulars for the first time. Not sure how the conversation got here, but suddenly he presents us each with  - yes, a hat. And of course mine was the perfect black beret!

Magical thinking would have had me just wait for the hat to arrive, but that was not the way this was going to happen. By looking for the hat rather than wishing for it, even acquiring one, I engaged an energy called Law of Attraction, which basically says, what you focus on, the universe brings you more of. I chose to act to acquire a hat and attracted 3 - one a gift to myself, one re-gifted to someone, and one a gift from a brand-new friend. None of this happens if I am not open to seeing the opportunity --  in the form of 30 minutes, a bus, and an unlimited Metrocard --  to alter my plans and lean in unexpected directions.

Personal and spiritual growth are hard work, and a leap of faith. And of course there are people who, whatever their reasons (profit, prestige, or just that misery loves company), would rather have you do something else - cringe at the news all day, medicate/self-medicate, shop --  and will try to discredit anyone offering you community and support in a different direction. But it’s really your life, your choice.

And I have a feeling we will be leaping into the New Year with some amazing New Choices!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Dream About The Bag...

Sometimes a dream stays with you…

It’s likely many of us have versions of dreams like this, and that’s how this one started out - I left my purse, the one with the ID, phones, money, etc. - on a bus. But that’s about where it diverges from the usual, where I find it immediately or wake up to make sure I have the “real’ one.

This time, it was not the regular pocketbook or tote, it looked more like a large cylindrical pencil-case, aqua blue with embroidered scenes scattered, and a short looped strap. And although I went about my business on some kind of creative project pretending nothing was wrong, I kept seeing it hanging off the armrest in my mind and feeling, rather than panic, a deep sense of grief. Mainly, I kept telling myself all my efforts would be for naught because  “I don’t have my ID any more.”

Stop shouting at the screen, I hear you. Yesterday was a day of receiving spiritual and practical guidance and I was left with the realization that, for large chunks of my life, I abandoned my true self as the only way I saw available to stay connected with others. And also of how magical it was to meet Mark and have that kind of spiritual and creative growth in the context of a relationship. And that, regardless of the past and present circumstances and challenges, I am ever so happy to be alive.

Waking to a half-dream state as light filtered in, I realized I had the bag in my hands, maybe the whole time, and my heart was filled with love, awe, and gratitude. So I got up and started writing (well, after starting to make coffee then dashing to the store with the coat over my pj’s because I was out of cream for my coffee and then making the coffee) and here we are… and my dream was about writing!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines certain usage of the word “bag” as follows:

“A preoccupation, mode of behaviour or experience; a distinctive style or category…”

In my late teens writing, along with reading and discussing books, was definitely “my bag.” The typewriter was always at the ready, the journal followed me everywhere, and I scrawled and tapped much as we consume electronic media today - wherever, whenever, whatever struck my mind…most of it ended up making no sense the next week, but it was great exercise as well and a constant reminder of my creativity and connection with “something more.” It is no coincidence that this was the time I also began to read Tarot cards.

Sadly life became more “involved” for me, socializing became about relationships “going somewhere,” money and jobs became more of a thing and less of an adventure, parents said, “Very nice, now go to law school or you are nobody.” Fiction and poetry took a back seat to the business of living, and it felt permanent. I wrote my papers, my correspondence, maybe one poem per year. I did manage to graduate with an Arts Major, but a huge chunk of me was still buying into the successful business career and power marriage ego trip, and by the time I was 30 I still called myself an artist but was ready to call myself anything else, and try to prove it, when threatened with the withholding of acceptance.

Thankfully, as they say, rejection is protection, I can’t swallow Kool-Aid so I was a dismal failure at my revisionist goals. Through my thirties I fed myself a rich and steady diet of proto-new-age authors like Barbara DeAngelis, Wayne Dyer, and M. Scott Peck, and psychology via Nancy Friday, Eric Berne, Claude Steiner and more. This was a journey back in, but not via writing. Career again became jobs du jour and a learning experience, I kept active in the arts, and at least I knew something was missing beyond the right guy, salary, title, approval…

A guy was a big part of a major shift for me, so was technology, and they arrived at the same time -- a writer and his computer! My latest job had transformed me from digital virgin to software wizard, he came along with the hardware, the romance, and an active collaboration on professional projects. And while little endured from that platform, memories are golden, I got to practice swimming with the sharks… and I was WRITING!

The next amazing encounter was finding Francis Ford Coppola’s labor of love for writers, Zoetrope Virtual Studio. At the complex social media and online workshopping network for member writers of all forms and levels, I started with screenplays to test what I had been doing. Loving the folks I was meeting,  I ventured over to the short fiction/novella side to write stuff someone might actually read and, dare I say it, publish! I learned so much from the other writers there  --  it is a gift every day that many of us hang still together on Facebook  --  I started to take writing seriously, and also got to host a bunch of these partners in crime on my roof at an in-person get-together, Labor Day Weekend… 2001.

It was because of some serious writing and a little money set aside that I was able to give myself a small gift of time, taking a break from work the latter half of that summer to focus on my writing and learning how to get it out there. After the holiday weekend I felt I was not done, and kept telling myself “a few more days…” even though I felt totally irresponsible doing so, as I rarely blow off deadlines, even my own.

Which is why I was not temping somewhere in Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001.


The days and weeks that followed are kind of a blur, not because my memories are not razor sharp, but because I need to defocus most of the time. Much of what I wrote then was non-fiction, reporting what was going on, inside and outside myself, on the Zoetrope site boards. The love and concern and support and plain reading I was given were truly a lifeline at a time I felt half-dead, I hope I was helpful to others as well, it was just pouring out of me.

I literally walked everywhere for months, something about being in a bus or subway terrified me. Luckily I was invited to a holiday party just across the street because I had “helped” the hostess find her kittens (I told her they were somewhere in the apartment, she finally realized they were living under the cabinets). And that was where I first met Mark, after 6 years of living on the same intersection and frequenting the same coffee shops.

Our 10 years together is another story, full of change, growth, and magical synchronicities. In our collaborations and on my own, I never stopped writing.

It’s my bag.

© 2016

Acknowledgements: Nancy Levin, whose Jump Coaching Call yesterday planted many seeds that sprouted here; Marianne Williamson, whose live “A Course In Miracles” talk on the topic of relationships filled my heart to cracking and my soul with hope; Ron Brawer for the etymological research. Namaste.