Earlier this week, my heart had a big, old footprint in it…an ashy one. Wednesday, I cried all morning, looking at the flames eating up the Gorge and at Multnomah Falls. I tried to write a blog for Huffington Post, but it turned into me just being sad and having nothing conclusive to say about it. Thank you to all who reached out and loved up on me and my pics on FB. I’m feeling much better today. One, those old-growth trees are holding on and reports say that while the flames are strong, they don’t see evidence of devastation or major land scarring. Also, I settled back into the lessons I learned at Outdoor School: periodic fires are good for the forest. If it hadn’t been an idiot kid throwing a firecracker in a ravine this year, it could have been lightening or a campfire next year igniting another year’s worth of growth and causing even more destruction. That’s what I try to tell myself.
Of course, I also recognize that this may be the new normal. Fires in the west and hurricane after hurricane in the east (as I type this, the twins you may have read about in Brigid are evacuating their Miami home). Praying for safety, praying we can figure out how to live in balance, praying I remember to look up solar panels for the house this week.
Asking the right question of Tarot
This is something I’ve been wanting to write for a while, but I often struggle with how to start! Sometimes, blogging is the best way through a strange block.
We focus so much on deciphering answers, we don’t always place the same value on shaping the question. Sometimes, the answers Tarot provides stem from convoluted questions. Some of the examples I’ve seen include:
He’s not going to come back, is he?
Tarot struggles to offer clear answers on double negatives. It might give you an affirmative card (maybe the Sun), but it would likely leave you wondering, “Does this ‘yes’ mean he’s going to come back? Or does it mean that I’m correct in assuming that he’s not coming back?”
For a situation like this, it’s important to ask what it is that you truly want to know. Are you trying to verify your gut instincts or do you want to know whether this person will return?
Better questions might be: Will he come back? Is he gone for good? Will we ever reunite?
What does (name) think of me?
Does it really matter what others think of us? The meme-worthy answer is “NO! OF COURSE NOT!” But we all know that it’s actually a yes–to a point. Our employers’ opinions of us do matter. We do want our friends and loved ones to hold us in regard. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what the critical Great Aunt you only see at Christmas thinks, but for those we need to cooperate with and who we want to keep close to us, their thoughts about us do actually matter.
However, this is a tricky Tarot question. I touched on this a bit in Tarot for One. Others’ thoughts and feelings fluctuate. Sometimes they’re not thinking of us at all. At the moment, my husband is on a long bike ride. If I were to ask the Tarot what he thinks of me, I might get a reversed Ace of Pentacles, a card that I take to mean ‘nothing.’ This doesn’t mean that my husband never thinks of me. He surely does! But he’s probably not thinking of anything but the road and the ride at this moment. If I’d pulled a card on this question this morning while I was sitting in his favorite chair, I might have gotten a card representing animosity such as the Page of Swords. But if I pulled one last night while we were having a cozy dinner out, I might have gotten the Knight or King of Cups.
A better question: What does this person generally think of me? Or even better, what role do I hold in this person’s heart/mind/both?
What will be going on with me ## of years from now?
To be overtly blunt, I just hate getting this question. It always scares the querent. For some of my querents, I won’t even answer it. Here’s why: If at 16 I had asked a Tarot reader what I would be doing at age 36, if she said I’d be living where I am and writing what I write, I would have been devastated. I wanted to be a Broadway performer at that age…not living in “hicksville!!!” The reading likely wouldn’t be able to cover my journey to NYC, discovering I didn’t love acting as much as I loved the applause, and it certainly wouldn’t have covered the moment I fell in love with writing and the way I began craving the wine country of Oregon far more than the glare of the Lower East Side. Even when querents ask for only 3-5 years out, the answer usually unnerve more than help.
Better questions: Will the goal I am working on now have manifested ## of years from now? What blessings will I be enjoying ## years from now?
Friends in Florida–be safe. We are thinking of you.