The Barrier in the Mind

Posted May 27, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Ha, good one today!

VIII OF CATS ( 8 of Swords)


If you’ve ever had a cat you will recognize the way they spook at things or do pretend battle with the shadows as depicted in this card, all uptight about nothing.

What I loved about this today is the analogy James Ricklef uses with a story he read about a man who placed his fish in the bathtub while he was cleaning their small tank. Even though the bathtub held more water and they could have swum throughout a much greater area, they were conditioned to swim in a small area so they kept to swimming in a small area within the bathtub. Their conditioning restricted their movement, not reality.

It reminded me so much of all the trouble we went to move across the country and start a new life, yet I am still restricted, afraid to go places or meet people, and have not changed my unhealthy eating habits, so that my world is as narrow as it was in the town we escaped from.

Kind of shocking. Although realizing that my own choices and fear are restricting me, it’s a jolt of awareness to realize that I’m conditioned like a fish, even with my big old supposedly rational brain.

Apathy Versus Non-attachment

Posted May 25, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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I drew this card last night from the Spiral Tarot so I could ruminate on it while sleeping. I smiled when I saw it this morning: she is slumped and favouring her right arm, her left arm propping her listless head up. Just so! I hurt my right shoulder again trying to comb my Newfoundland dog three days ago. It set up the cycle of hopelessness, the slump. I can’t write in my journal, I can barely type this.

I am reading quietly through James Ricklef’s book The Soul’s Journey, and finding it like eating a piece of cold fruit when thirsty. He has many observations and quotes, the book has some depth and a fresh way of considering cards. My old copy of The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations is about 35 years-old and split in two and torn at the spine because I have used it so much, and I like people who gather quotes and bits of philosophy and tie it all together. As well, he focuses on awareness, mindfulness and meditation in this book, also a good vibration.

Turning to him then for a consideration of the Four of Cups, I find this passage regarding the difference between apathy and non-attachment:

“Another difference arises from the fact that apathy is associated with a retreat from our problems out of a sense of hopelessness or a fear of failure. Non-attachment, however, comes from a sense of trust in the Divine as we release our need to control how things turn out. In addition, non-attachment can help us overcome apathy since our anxiety, indifference, and dissatisfaction will dissolve when we are not attached to the results of our endeavors out of a sense of fear or need.”

It’s a fine line between the two but seems a good thought for the day. My extra sewing machine foot came in yesterday and I missed the phone call, but I can go and pick it up this morning. I feel discouraged because my arm hurts, and pondering how I’m going to sew, I reflect on this passage, especially after feeling very anxious yesterday.

This feeling that I must do something, I must quilt 14 unfinished tops this year, I must sew when I can hardly lift my arm, gets a bit fraught. So what if I ice my shoulder, read quietly, do what my body feels like, and then not be attached to results?

I can feel my release of the need to control, to perform, overcoming apathy. I feel it in my mind.



Thank You James Ricklef

Posted May 24, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Aha, I just discovered that James Ricklef is offering his tarot books in Kindle format. I tried a couple of years ago to get The Soul’s Journey but it was so expensive and hard to get in paperback form. I’ve also enjoyed his Pithy Tarot sayings on his blog and he offers them collected in a book for $6.55 CAD for the Kindle.

I really appreciate that he offers them in this format, readily available and with instant download. I have been awake all night with pain and insomnia, but I will have something positive to look forward to tomorrow. I like a good spiritual tie-in to tarot and James has some depth in his writing and passion for tarot.


Feeling discouraged by life in general, I knocked a deck off the wish list that I’ve wanted for months, and ordered the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot. With the shipping, it costs a lot for international orders but the creativity and artwork of this deck has always impressed me.

Here’s to feeling better!




Contemplating Walden and Foxes

Posted May 14, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Tarot - General

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Okanagan Oracle Colour Study 8: Transformation

Posted May 4, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Okanagan Oracle Colour Studies

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I love cemeteries and cemetery history, so I really enjoyed pulling out this card. It is such a missed opportunity for the locations in the deck not to be identified. I love to explore and look things up in a deck, but this hunt and peck sort of thing for basic information is maddening.

In looking this up at Find a Grave, the stone is in the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery, one of two cemeteries in Kelowna and the stone is for Clarissa Graves 1878-1912. Only 34 years-old, perhaps she died in childbirth; we see you still Clarissa, that’s the nice thing about cemeteries.

TRANSFORMATION – Okanagan Oracle
VEINTE-QUATRO ANT – Paraponera clavata – Bugs Knowledge Cards
BORON – Photographic Card Deck of the Elements
A STREET MUSICIAN – Platinum print by J. Furley Lewis – Pomegranate Postcard
29 GRAVE – FUTHARK RUNE EA (ear, grave) – Rune Cards by Linsell/Partridge
THE LAKE WITHIN – High Priestess – Fragments of an Illusion Tarot by Steven Bright (1st edition)


Gosh, aren’t these interesting together? I was looking for grey tones as well, rather than strictly black and white. The ant is among tens of thousands of species of ants, but the sting of this giant species can incapacitate you. So can death and transformation.

Boron is found in the more common borax but is rarely seen in its pure form, these brittle, impractical lumps. Yeah, you lumps out there with your brittle attachment to life, it’s impractical, accept that death is coming, the atomic weight of the grave will roll over you eventually.

I chose the postcard with the violinist because it reminds me of the mournful music played in cemeteries, and yet look at the bright, captivated face of the child, young and old, music binds the spheres and makes life better, transforms fear.

There is literally the grave in the rune card. Again, stop wrestling with the idea of death or the grave that awaits you, but think about sunlight on stone, a life of contemplation in gardens with birds, the end, the transformation is part of the companionship of death.

Lastly, The Lake Within, what a beautiful name for the High Priestess. I think of dark and light, death and life, opposites, and the way you know things deep inside, the progression and transformation of life is a lake within.



#33 – The 72 Names of God

Posted April 30, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Miscellaneous Cards

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33 – Yod-Chet-Vav
Illuminating the dark corners
(Revealing the Dark Side – Berg)


The first thing that struck me about this image was the open drawer on the tower.

When you find yourself saying “What did I do? or “Why is this happening to me?” then this card will help. Negative traits or shadows can emerge and express themselves, particularly when spiritual light enters your life. Darn those nasty dust motes that show up in sunlight!

Those ropes or lemniscates are so flexible, they can lasso the moon or bind you or help you pull out the crumbs in that drawer so you can clean it and put a new liner down. Old patterns, shoved in drawers pop out to bite you. Let them see the light and release them and yourself.

Easier said, but be aware that these old patterns can be let go of. It’s possible to clear them out and the light will fill the spaces left.

All Kinds of Boundaries

Posted April 30, 2017 by JJ
Categories: Oracles - General

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I drew this card last week and just wanted to ruminate on it before posting. I have often lacked the will to enforce boundaries with people but I am getting better at it.

BOUNDARIES – YARROW (Achillea millefolium)


While on a reading group and being either ignored or browbeaten despite putting some effort into reading books with the group and contributing thoughtful write-ups, I decided that these people were not wanting to challenge themselves or admit anyone with different ideas. It seemed to be more about statistics and who had read the most books than actual discussion. I left once but was persuaded to come back; the second time I simply left without a fuss.

Part of boundaries is deciding to hang around people who are positive, creative and have imagination and want to learn different things and explore. If it means reading on my own than that’s what it means. I’ve got my reading nook exactly as I like it now.


During a visit by a family member whom I rarely enforce boundaries with, I decided to be more careful of what I said and it went well. I shall continue my awareness of such things.

An important card and visually one of my favourites in this deck. I had yarrow in one of our gardens years ago and there’s a bit of the feeling of coming back to myself and my own interests with this card.