Owl on the head:

 

Roots of Asia Tarot:

8 of Swords

8 of Swords

The next 3 Swords cards, the 8, 9 and 10 look “very RWSy” to me.

RWSy!?? Is that a word?

Well, it is now – and you read it here first – maybe……;)

The 8 of Swords shows us a person, sitting in full lotus shielding his/ her eyes so as not to see. The person is surrounded by swords. An Owl is perched on his/ her head.

In the LWB we are confronted with 8 of the vices and pitfalls that every practitioner of Buddhism has to struggle, guard against and ultimately overcome: When I translate my German copy, I have:

1 -Being caught in the body – meaning being caught in everything ordinary, mundane, including sexuality, lust, needs of all kind and creature comfort.

2 – Being in company of negative influences – that includes about everything we with our “Western sensibilities” would assume it does, but ultimately also the problem of being away from the Shanga, the community of Buddhist practitioners on the same path…..

3 -Wasting of time and energy – includes following any and all notions and needs of the body and the ego and anything, that keeps us from following the Dharma, from meditating and concentrating on our spiritual advancement.

4 – It also means indulging in things like gossip, or idle talk, kind words that are not necessary to be spoken, kind words, that make oneself feel good when saying them, kind advice that was not asked for and or is not in line with advance in the Dharma,

Simple silly fun is also frowned upon: just as frowned upon are games and games of chance …..There is no such thing as chance, all is grounded in cause and effect…..!!

So, basically, what I am doing here is also frowned upon, (- but I will not let that bother me…)

5 – Further one should not have or cultivate unsuitable friends = ones that are NOT members of the Shanga

6 – nor should one ever be lazy!!!!

7 – …or excessively sexual!

8 – But lastly one also should not become an obsessive ascetic! One should follow the golden middle.

One should not strive to be the most devout or most knowledgeable in the Shanga – community of Buddhist disciples or meditate to excess…..

 

So, as I see it, all these “DO NOT orders” have the practitioner here in this image badly frazzzzeled!

I feel for him/ her.

But Of course, you all know me and so know, that I am immediately focusing on the Owl on his/ her head.

Buddhism like Siberian shamanism sees the Owl as a bringer of esoteric wisdom. Help in “seeing through things,” through the darkness and fear and confusion.

So, to me she says, calm down, do not give up, even ifff it all is a bit much!

The 8 swords in the background I see as forming a protective half circle around the person. They have his/ her back so nothing can come from there!Seeking refuge in meditation here is a safe place. One also will learn quite a bit – also quite a few hard lessons…..

This image feels very familiar to me:

I can not tell you how often I went on a trance journey and felt Lira, my Miahanit, sitting right on top of my head, digging her claws into my scalp and so somehow steadying me and helping me stay “on point”.

Then, when I come out of trance, I often put my hands in front of my eyes just like this, still seeing the flimmering Otherworld, but already hearing and feeling my tonal surroundings.

Then, rubbing my eyes helps me to re-focus them and see through the receding visions back into the every day World around me…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Practitioner on the path

 Roots of Asia Tarot:

7 of Swords - Copy2

7 of Swords:

The simple sandals of the Buddhist practitioner and pierced or otherwise hampered by swords. Impeded progress on the path.

A certain proficiency has been achieved, the scene is high within the realm of the clouds.

But as in other decks this card often indicates the spy, the enemy coming from within, in this card we see, what happens if the practitioner fell prey to false teachings, to shortcuts on the path or to the pride filled ego.The LWB talks about surmounting (the image shows the sandals above the cloud shrouded mountains with a man made wall in the background)

Surmounting all worldly and emotional attachment – yet again on the way towards “cesation”

The light – of enlightenment is already on the horizon, but is now obscured by dark clouds.

Any moment the sandals – and their wearer may tumble through these clouds and land -quite unceremoniously – on their ass!

 

 

Seek refuge from the vices:

Roots of Asia Tarot

5 of Swords:

Here the mighty Peacock – or Garuda if you will, himself is attacked + threatened and assuaged by a variety of other Birds. These Birds may very well denote thoughts, teachings other than Buddhism, busy pecking holes into the Dharma – the body of Buddhist teaching.

Doubts!

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Everyone on a spiritual path HAS TO HAVE DOUBTS! Without them there is just blind following – not born in faith, but mere imitation – maybe even cleverly disguised by the ego as the “real thing” beyond reproach! Oh soooo steadfast….. Defended by the very same swords that prop it all up. What if these swords fail – will the showy dashing bird collapse into itself?

Beware also of false pride in personal spiritual accomplishments!

They are the very traps that trap the soul and halt all true flight.

The Peacock here is well aware of that danger. Looking back he remembers the warnings of his teachers and has gathered all the fragile chicks into the protection of his ample feather gown where they may grow in safety.

Heed the teachings of Yamantaka!

Be aware of the pitfalls of illusions, laziness and being scatter-brained.

The Sangha, the community of Buddhist disciples will help to combat these vices and like the small chicks seeking refuge in the Peacock’s plumage, you/ we  are supposed to take refuge in the Dharma and the Buddha and the Sangha….

 

 

 

Time to dream and…..

 

Roots of Asia Tarot:  amnart_klanprachar46

4 of Swords:

While the mighty Kyung Bird, ancestor of Garudas and Phoenixes alike, soars through the air high over the land, a woman rests sleeping in the cradle of his right wing.

She is naked, meaning vulnerable and open, hiding nothing. She is either asleep or deep in meditation, most likely unaware of this, her soul flight.

3 swords, bend by the velocity of the flight have their tips pointing in opposing directions. The first and uppermost points back – to the past, the next forward to the future, the third again to the back and things gone and floating away like the lone feather of the mighty Bird.

The 4th sword is straight and suspended between the Bird Spirit and the land below.

To me it resembles the facts of the matter, the here and now.

Time out

Time to meditate

Time to dream

Time to contemplate life in all its intricacies.

Time to trust the soul to soar.

For the Buddhist practitioner:

Time to distance oneself from one’s self and the selfish ego

Time to detach from all the worldly worries and see them, for what they are: transitory…..

insignificant……

 

 

Well, as you can see, my take on this card is quite different from “Sloth” and I am glad about that…..

 

Headless Pain?

 

Roots of Asia Tarot 3 of Swords:

 

 

3 of Swords

 

 

What IS this thing on the card????

A headless monstrosity made up out of feet planted on the ground, arms,that connect to a winding Bird and Snake monster with giant wings.
Wings made out of storm clouds in the sky…. Ominous of trouble…….

There is no head – that I can see…
THAT should tell me something!
This Being is all instinct, gut, past experiences and hurt – coming from the 3 piercing swords. His/ her/ its feet are still grounded on this Earth, so not all is lost, but according to Buddhist teachings, earthly life is made up out of dissatisfaction and suffering……..

Not good – and not right, I can not agree with that notion! That is, why I could not become a Buddhist…..

But, for practitioners, especially the ones new to the path, how much heartache and pain do teachings like this cause?

I think, in Buddhist teachings one then meditates upon this heartache / suffering being a sign of attachment that needs to be overcome and sees the suffering itself as prove of the doctrines / Dharma as being right…..

Here, on this card however, I see the suffering:
Convoluted feelings bending over backwards birthing thought forms from the gut – uncensored by the mind.
? Or is it mind gone to mush by pain?
Will the powerful wings bear this Being away from the swords or is any form of flight pinned by the swords of pain?

Buddhist teachings lead away from gut piercing situations like this. Are supposed to lead the disciple to compassionate detachment. One is called to strive towards, what is called “cesation” – of all feelings and passions…. towards equanimity and none-attachment…..

Feeling nothing instead of pain?
In psychology that is not considered healthy…..

Looking at this image, the Being is far away from that goal.
Or has the Being succeeded in removing his/ her mind and thoughts from this suffering and now only the poor body goes through it?

Strugggggeling to escape samsara………..

 

 

Bird headed:

 

2 of Swords:

@ of Swords

A head in blue and gold = Truth and value.

The elaborate arrangement of Birds makes me feel like I am looking at a female = intuition and introspection

One sword rises up from the nose into the centre of the Bird headed world of mind and thoughts. The different Birds are different thoughts and bits of information, maybe also represent personal experiences. Each one forming the personality and her actions and reactions.

What are these birds squabbling about, looking in opposite direction tipping me of to opposing viewpoints of the situation at hand.

Which one of the Birds will dominate and so direct her response?

The other sword goes at a right angle across between the nose and the mouth. The dividing line between thoughts and words born by the thoughts and feelings born in the midst of all these Bird personalities.

Will she censor the thoughts swooping forth?

Is she fully aware of the power of the thought spoken out loud?

Will she filter the thoughts through the Dharma, the Buddhist teaching she received?

Is she sooo deeply immersed into Buddhist studies and life ways, that she can only react according to its teachings?

Will she hold in her words?

Or will she speak with detached kindness and let her words birth calm, wisdom and so foster growth and inner strengths in those, who listen.

When she listens to herself – what will she hear?

When she listens to her thoughts, what will she hear?

 

3 Cards for the Day:

 

The last few days before the Summer Solstice I was quite busy with the School’s Native studies program, teaching and explaining about the different local Native cultures – Mohawk and Anishinaabe – in preparation of National Aboriginal Day celebrations held here in the community on the day of the Summer Solstice.

 

So yesterday, when picking my cards for the day I did not much feel like using my study deck of this summer, the Roots of Asia, but rather felt I needed images, that support my current focus a bit closer. Sitting at my reading table my eyes fell onto the beautiful pouch that house my Shamanic Oracle and I pulled it out.

Shaman Oracle poch

I decided to draw 3 cards:

One card for me, for the day

The 2nd card was for L. She is a member of the local drum circle who, I have reason to suspect, has urgent and rather nasty health problems to overcome 

The 3. card I drew was for the community at large.

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The first card for me, turned out to be The Medicine Wheel!

How very appropriate for my activities that day!

There is still a lot of un-ease between the First Nations communities and the mainly Caucasian / Western immigrant population here. Most of it stems from not knowing each other’s cultures, and the horrible atrocities committed against the First Nations People – some back in history, others quite recently. There also is a lot of guilt – riding the necks of third and fourth generation immigrant families and there is the ongoing problem with the multitude of christian churches undermining the re- upsurge of Native culture, traditions and the re-introduction of Native spiritual practices into daily life.

Recent “New Age “ practices talking of “all Indians have a medicine wheel and it looks like this and that” – – all being totally false have not helped either……

What however helps, is bringing the REAL Teachings to the children in schools and into the community. Sorting the whole mess apart and explaining what is what, what is a tradition teaching from which tribe, what are overarching pan Indian Movement teachings and what is plain and pure New Age crapppp…….

Starting with teaching the teachers…… That and giving the kids a basic idea was, what my day was all about.

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The next card, the card for L.

I drew the warrior!

That is a good card for her!

The other day while drumming at the “Grandmother drum I had gone into trance and all of a sudden saw L. Right across from me -But on her shoulders, riding her sat a humongous horrrrid Albi = illness spirit!

It was all white bloodless skin over skeletal bones, blood-red and black eyes and a mouth dripping black gue onto her while loooooong skeletal fingers with looooong, claw-like red and black nails, dripping red life blood with which this beast clawed at L’s chest.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then something happened – I do not know, what – someone tried to walk by me and somehow touched me and, shaking like an epileptic having a seizure, I fell right over onto the floor, while that nasty spirit still clutched L and grinned at me…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????

It took me 10 minutes to get myself together again……

In retrospect, I KNOW, I saw the spirit of breast cancer gripping her and was – and am still shaken.

Tell her???? Not tell her?????

I sensed, she felt “down and worried” – so I think / sense, she just got the news – or suspects – or….. I will see… L. was not approachable then and there and I first had to “sort out myself” and make sense of just what I had seen. This was not “asked for”, like, when I drum over a client and am supposed to “see” something…..

These situations are tough……

The Warrior and his strengths is, what she will need in the days to come……

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The card for the community was “Deer Dance”

I felt, it is pointing towards celebration and getting together to honour the First Nations cultures and also giving thanks to the Animals, Deer being the “Leader of the Animals” for the Mohawk People….

Other First Nations see Deer as a sensual being and also as a sign to achieve goals in a none aggressive manner.

Deer Dances are held during many First Nations celebrations. I felt, that this card is a good symbol expressing the deeper meaning and intentions behind the upcoming National aboriginal Day Celebrations on the Summer Solstice.

Shaman oracle book