Hopping with the Mental Rat

Daily Draw March 14th, 2012

I am doing very well and have lost seven pounds, but last night the right leg decided to have muscle spasms and it’s been torqueing for hours. So, no surprise, I am up at 2 a.m. and it is now 3:45 a.m. Now, you know what to do at this time of the morning, right? That’s right, stumble around walking into chairs in the dark to get to the room with the card decks.


The Aeon card in the Thoth deck is one of my favourites so I am bound to like it here. In other decks, this is the Judgement card. She painted all kinds of symbolism in this but I latched onto her words about the figures representing Anger and Fear. Fear in particular is with me today as I battle my leg problems and try to get an appointment for my dog at the vet. The mental focus of the seated figure in the middle will discipline his energy.

I also like her idea of having the courage to put your head into the panther’s mouth, which might not be as fierce as you imagine.

That’s the aspect of this card for today: the realization that fear is just something in the mind like the mental rat in the picture hopping about, needing to be caged and calmed down.


The Bear Walked Over the Cellar, But I Forgave Him

Daily Draw August 15th, 2011

It’s a Wildwood kind of day I think.


Here is the bear coming to fix our yawning cold cellar door. I hope it goes well.

There is something disconcerting about having people in to do work on the house. You tiptoe around whispering, trying not to get in the way, or be seen.

However, as the bear says, it is the gateway to renewal and healing. You proceed through the passage. I get a tinge of forgiveness with this, both for myself and toward others—something to keep in mind. You can see from the image it’s having trouble coming out, but this old bear is going to hold me to it.

Here is a wonderful snippet from the book:

The only thing in life that is assured is that, if you wait long enough, it will change. How you survive that change and who you are after it is up to you.

Pigs Can Paint Angels

Daily Draw May 7th, 2010

This is from the Javanne Tarot. I love this deck and the artwork. Each side of the card has a slightly different write-up so depending on which way it is turned when you shuffle it out, you choose one of the four interpretations. I never do that, I just read through all four and pick the stuff that resonates with me for that particular day.


This has come up a bit for me this last year. Think rebirth, resurrection, moving upward. In this image there is a tree (I love my trees!) and an umbilical cord reaching to the ground and the ouroboros. Cycles, also reflected in the phoenix at the top, circles, infinity, wholeness.

Funny, this business of wholeness came up for me yesterday in thinking about sewing and making nice things for myself as a way of taking care of myself in different ways than eating junk food or whatever ephemeral doodad I use to satisfy my moods with. I often think of people smoking, which is a supreme thief of vitality, when they could be creating or treating themselves with things that engender wholeness. My mother used to say “Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we may die,” and twenty years later she did die, gasping all alone and partly paralyzed in a hospital bed, in wretched pain, eyes open and staring in death, killed by cigarettes.

We all have our emotional triggers and treats. Is it a treat if it kills you???? Humans are so odd in their perceptions.

So Judgment gives us clarity and pulls us back to the reality of life and death.

Of course, it’s time for the pig eraser photo holder I made, he’s been living with Kwan Yin in Poetry Corner for a time, but came out to play with the wolves of Ragnorak that eat the sun and moon. Pigs have odd ideas about treats.

Guardian angel in the top left. I’m not an angel person, but my friend got me to draw an angel once and a couple of weeks ago I took the drawing into my bedroom to keep beside my bed. So you never know, this card says “The angel will save you, maybe even without you knowing you were in danger.”

Hold on to hope because if you lose it, you lose your ability to find joy in your life. A challenge could lead to a new life. My particular challenge is chronic pain and dealing with that is leading to a new life. “The sound of the angel’s trumpet awakens an inner desire in you and causes you to fight for your own peace of mind.” Getting over the barrier is now an option. See the planet on the upper right–it means a belief in a better world.

XX – St. Gabriel – Judgement

I got a bit confused about archangels being Saints with this card. Strange, but it was never something I questioned with St. Michael. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints explains it this way:

From the beginning of Christian history, veneration of Michael took place, and the Jews also venerated him. He does a lot in the bible and so his commanding strength was appreciated in tradition for intercession. There have been numerous legends of visions and sightings of him. There are differences about Saints in general and certainly the archangels, in local churches and also in the Eastern Orthodox and Western Churches. In the traditions of the East, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael were always honoured liturgically, but Gabriel and Raphael only started to gain popularity in the West in the 20th century.

Okay, that makes more sense to me now, since I already know of several Saints from the Eastern Church that people don’t hear of in the West. As far as these three archangels being Saints, it seems to be a matter of their great power and historic communication with people, and people wanting to commemorate and symbolize that. There are very close to God, they sit beside him, so our veneration of them brings us closer to God by association.

Gabriel is the angel that appeared to Mary during the Annunciation, he is also associated with blowing the trumpet at the Last Judgement as depicted in this picture from the deck. He tended the infant Abraham and spoke to Daniel, foretold the birth of Samson, announced the birth of John the Baptist, and I didn’t realize this, but in Islamic tradition, he dictated the Koran to Muhammed. I like Place’s notation that because Gabriel was involved in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, he demonstrates that they are all branches of the same trunk.

That fits in well with the idea of Gabriel calling us to a higher state of being. Not only resurrected from death on Judgement Day, but for me this concept of having the same religious roots. Triumph over death, and triumph over our peculiar need to fight each other to the death over supposedly disparate religious beliefs.

I remember the line from Charles Dickens in A Christmas Carol during the episode of Christmas Yet To Come. Scrooge had died and the charwoman says something about him gasping his last, all alone with no one to look after him. Scrooge’s housekeeper Mrs. Dilbur says “It’s a judgment on him.” Gabriel can remind us of the way we are supposed to care for each other too.

I like the idea of this archangel being the chief messenger of God. He was involved in many more events than I remember. Gabriel did announce his name on several occasions, but there are examples of unnamed angels where Gabriel is given credit, including holding the trumpet for Judgement as described in Thessalonians 4:16. In that it is described “…with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet call of God…” (NIV Bible) Gabriel being God’s messenger archangel, it seems natural to associate this event with him as the herald with the trumpet.

Michael is the warrior archangel, Gabriel the messenger in Christian tradition, and as such Gabriel seems to have a gentler presence, perhaps mindful of frightening people, and mindful of remaining calm to get the message across. Another facet of a meditation on Gabriel that can benefit us: sometimes a lower key works better.

Gabriel is often depicted with a spear or sceptre as well as a trumpet, and a shield with a lily on it or a lily in some other configuration. The lily is associated with the purity of Mary and the Annunciation, and is often in Annunciation images, so became part of Gabriel’s symbolism as well. I have seen shields with Gabriel that have suns on them or other objects, but the shield itself along with the spear or sceptre symbolizes the power of God. Archangels are often depicted with armour in any case, armour being something understandable in earlier times as a connotation of power, although not favoured today in angelic imagery.

I have a favourite picture of the Annunciation which can be seen in this discussion of the Four of Cups from this deck. Click on the image to enlarge it.