Phriday Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately.  Forgiveness of self and of others.  Maybe it’s my Scorpio or maybe it’s the Italian in me, but for some reason, I have often equated “forgiving” with “weak.”  In some ways, forgiving feels like quitting or giving up.  I realize it’s not my best quality.

Not forgiving self or others can really put a crimp in your ability to move forward, though.  So how to shift my perspective on forgiveness?

Now, I am not qualified in tarot cards (check out Through the Peacock’s Eyes for great insights on tarot).  But sometimes I do use mine to help me clear my head.  One of the Minor Arcana, The Five of Swords card, can be interpreted to mean “the current course of action is a fruitless fight, and it is wiser to admit defeat than to continue to punish yourself.”

Hmmm. . . .

So, for today’s Friday Fun creative writing prompt, think about forgiveness.  How do you forgive self?  Others?  Does forgiveness ever feel like defeat?  Write a letter of forgiveness to yourself or to another.

Happy Writing!

The Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups tarot card

The Ace of Cups tarot card represents love, compassion, and emotion.  The symbols incorporated into this card provide the keys to understanding it.

  • The Dove represents peace and is associated with Aphrodite/Venus (and therefore with love).
  • The Water symbolizes emotions and feminine energies.
  • The Lotus Flowers floating on the water stand for an awakening or rebirth.
  • The Hand with its radiating light reminds us to trust our intuition.

Since we are in a Mercury Retrograde in Cancer (also a symbol of emotions and the feminine), why not ponder the Ace of Cups to see if you are approaching things in your life from a place of love and compassion?

The Number 14

Mankind has long been fascinated by numbers.  Numbers and mathmatetical concepts allowed us to understand our world better and to share ideas across cultures, even if the spoken languages were different.  Our ancient ancestors also gave symbolic meanings to numbers, giving rise to concepts like numerology and sacred geometry.

Since it’s January 14th, the number fourteen appealed to me today.  In most numerological philosophies, the number 14 would be reduced to five (1 + 4 = 5).  Only “master numbers” like 11 and 22 are allowed to stay in double digits.

The number five can represent new directions, adventure, and curiosity.  It’s associated with the lotus flower, the pentagram, and the five senses.  When I created the aim4wisdom logo, I purposely chose a five-petaled flower in order to convey these meanings.


In the deck of tarot cards, the XIV card is Temperance, which signifies growth, reconciliation, and compromise.  The picture on the card is a female figure near a body of water; she is also known as the Angel of Time.  She is often shown with her toe dipped into the water, symbolizing her connection with the unconscious.


Tarot Card XIV Temperance


What number speaks to you today?


Of Mulligans and Mayans

In reading the news, seeing my friends’ posts on Facebook, and in looking at my own life, it seems to me that we’ve all got quite a bit on our plates right now.  Not that anyone else at any other time in history couldn’t say that as well . . . but right now it certainly feels like all of us are experiencing a couple of extra turns of the rack.

Now, the Mayan calendar, which has been in the news a lot this year, predicted an “end” in December.  Of course, the “end” doesn’t mean the end of the world; it just means the end of a cycle.  So, to me, it only makes sense that things would be heating up now, as we head into the transition.  I mean, haven’t you noticed how things always seem to get worse before they get better?

It’s human nature, I suppose, to want a steady, smooth, linear path to perfection.  None of us really likes mistakes or failure, do we?  And many of us carry around those mistakes as Regret for years and years.

But adopting the concept of the circle, with Renewal built right in, is very freeing in many ways.  Think of the Japanese expression “Ichi nichi, issho.”  This means “one day, one lifetime.”  Each day is a microcosm of one’s whole life.  In essence, each day is a fresh start.  So if we can learn to let go of Regret and look at every morning as a chance to “take a mulligan,” think how much happier, lighter, and wiser we’d be.

Circle of Life.  The tarot Wheel of Fortune.  The Mayan calendar.  You gotta love a philosophy which includes do-overs.


Wheel of Fortune tarot card

Rhymes with Plateau, not Carrot

I woke up this morning thinking about tarot cards.  That tells me that my unconscious mind has my back.

You see, I’ve recently been struggling with understanding some things about myself and about my current personal life.  In my typical Virgo Rising, over-analyzey way, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to sort these things out.  Sometimes I feel like some kind of mental ninja, attacking every thought and idea in my own head, tearing them apart to see what makes them tick.  But this time, I wasn’t having much success at getting to the heart of them.

Enter the tarot.

A standard tarot deck contains 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana.  The major cards deal with the larger turning points in life; the minor ones, then, are about the everyday events.  Each card has a symbolic meaning, and the cards can be arranged in several ways to help us understand particular dilemmas or answer general questions.

Now, please don’t think that I am suggesting that tarot cards are for fortune-telling or magic in the Harry Potter sense.  While I would absolutely love to have my own elder wand, I do not believe in fate or anything that would make fortune-telling possible.  Predictions imply that I have no say in my own destiny.

Rather, I think tarot (and astrology and other similar sorts of magic) is for helping us to see what is in our own unconscious mind.  The unconscious mind contains so much information, but much of it is too scary or heavy to deal with.  That’s why we wrestle with stuff for so long sometimes.  We might not yet be ready to hear the information the unconscious has to offer.  So it gets parceled out in manageable bits.

By looking at a spread of tarot cards, we get information that we ourselves have chosen, and it’s in a symbolic language that forces us to slow down and think and uncover meanings for ourselves.  In other words, we declared ourselves a willing student, we chose our own curriculum, and we went to work voluntarily.  I don’t think that lessons that are handed to us really stick, at least not the same way that experienced lessons do.  It’s the difference between being told not to touch the hot stove and actually touching the stove so you know for yourself that it’s hot.

For me, then, thinking about tarot cards this morning tells me that I am ready for more information and that I am ready for some new insights.  My unconscious mind gave me a little nudge, suggesting a new route for my train of thought.  Who am I to ignore that?  So, if you will excuse me now, I am going to drink my coffee and ponder the Moon card.