The “Teacher spread”


After a busy day finishing 6 magnificent Prayer feathers I am taking “time out” to sit in the Mosquito Tent and study the words of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama in order to learn a little bit about Buddhism.


Soon I am scribbling notes and discuss certain passages with my husband Peter…


Later, I get out the Roots of Asia Tarot and lay out cards according to my personal”teacher spread”




6 of coins

The verdant jungle itself makes up the Ancestor teacher for the 3 Elephants below. They are well protected and eagerly look ahead at what is to come.

Moving forward among an abundance of fruit ripe for the picking.

Prudent is, to share these pickings with others.

= Write things down- and put it on the blog! 🙂


Card 1:The Teacher:

Knight of coins:

A very serene and composed knowledgeable and compassionate teacher (the world is suspended above his head)Sits astride an Elephant riding through the jungle of new(to me!) knowledge. May pragmatism and a slow, methodical progress lad me forward.

Drawbacks: It will be a bit “one sided” from the viewpoint of just one of the schools of Buddhism, but the wisdom will come from its highest = most prominent member.

Sadly I can not ask him questions or have a discussion……

Just imagine!! 😉


Card 2: The student and what she knows:

9 of Staffs. It will be an uphill struggle wrapping my oooold brain around the Dharma and truly comprehend it. After reading extensively about the Buddhist teachings of suffering and the world and life essentially being made up out of suffering, I look at the Tiger peacefully resting on a bed of pink lotus flowers – and the poky staffs that make up this precarious resting place. It can easily topple!

It is a pretty brainy construct! The shamanic ancestral Tigress in me looks at suffering completely differently! For example: Iffff I devote my life to the teachings that are there to escape suffering and where and how and why all Beings suffer and why we suffer from birth through illness to old age and to death…. I am actually focusing about suffering!!!

However, I will GET what I focus my attention on!!!

So I will get suffering = I will suffer!

This makes me very aware, how very different my ancestral and experiential shamanic truth is compared with Buddhist Dharma and where I find it interesting to learn about these teachings, but where all the “deal-breakers” are raising their heads and stare me in the face.

3 pages of scribbled thoughts full of fundamental differences in world view are on the table before me…… and these are the very beginnings…..

A beautiful but lofty and uneasy day bed for my Tigress…..

I can see the murk lurking beneath…..


Card 3: The teachings:

3 of Staffs:

Out of the primordial fire arise 3 stiff staffs, one supporting the bud of a lotus, one a blossoming Lotus and the one in the middle a lotus in full bloom. This one is held in position by the sharp-toothed maw of a Fire Tiger!

How long can he hold that one still and in position? When will it fall over?

The 3 staffs immediately make me think of the 3 Jewels of Buddhism:

The Buddha (and his life and example)

The Dharma = the teachings he gave and that other learned and respected scholars passed on

The Sangha = the community of Buddhist followers who “sought refuge” within these 3 Jewels

So which one is the bud, still closed? I think, that for me is the Dharma – I am just in the very beginning stages of learning anything –

The budding opening Lotus seems to be the Sangha – there, but remote – for me not readily accessible – and as of now a rather abstract concept. And the Lotus?

The Buddha?!High above everything, a lake of serenity within its wisdom pedals…..

But in the fangs of the Tiger below.

Reminds me of the Chinese ready to topple the thing of Beauty that is/ was traditional Tibet…..


Am I looking of drops of blood?

Am I looking of flames of the Fire of passion?

Am I looking at the red feathers of the Khyung Bird?


Will I learn the answers to these questions?


Card 4: The process:

10 of Coins:

OK: Just be the baby Elephant being led by the wise mother and LEARN!!there is much wisdom above in the Trees and Mother carries a wealth of it in the cradle of her trunk. Just go along for the journey. It will be a nourishing experience.


Card 5: The Outcome:

The Empress:

Mother living cosmos!

She immediately reminds me of Gran Ulali! ♥

Draped in the very Earth as a cloak her ample bosoms nurture 2 very different creatures: The Fawn , a none violent docile elegant herbivore, that would not even harm a fly and the Tiger cup, a young fierce predator. That will never take shittttt from anybody!

To me the Fawn represents Buddhism, vegetarian, none violent and elegant.

The Tiger cub to me represents my own heritage of shamanism. It can pack a punch or 2 and was never afraid to do so- – apart from maybe all these “new age “shamans bread in weekend courses….

In Nepal these 2 co-exist peacefully and even nourish each other.

That is why I am interested to learn more!Empress

It will be nourishing for me too!

For now I will type this here reading and then go over my notes from today’s studies…..

They may end up as post on my Shamanic Drum blog… 😉




3 thoughts on “The “Teacher spread”

  1. How lovely to see His Holiness’s face beaming out from your photos. Every time I see his radiant face, I smile… Until you mentioned the tiger that is China ready to devour all that is Sacred of Tibet…

    It is lovely to hear your recent experience of Asia shining through in your thoughts, and I enjoy how you search for meaning/intuited answers in these decks. The artwork in this one is lovely… I am working in reverse, though, and have just relinquished the vast majority of my decks to a friend who is raising funds for her Peace, Remembering and Healing Old Wounds, group. I think His Holiness would smile at the thought… (((((((hugs)))))))

  2. These cards are indeed beautiful, so many allegories abide within, I think you are lucky to have them to study. From what I know of Buddhism, which is not that much, I have thought about it a bit since one of your other writings on this deck &…. maybe, that “dealbreaker” that turned up before, is what needs to be broken, by me at least, to have a clearer understanding.

    We have a Buddhist run retreat here in Australia in the mountains not far from where we live.
    Myself & the Lady I am lucky enough to share my marriage with have been there a number of times.
    These people are monks, they are not unhappy, or at least they do not seem to be, They are friendly & humble & seem to tolerate all beliefs, i.e. they never try to convert you, they just invite you to share the sacred space/grounds they have made & the healthy food they mostly grow & also listen/ participate in talks that are organised from time to time if you want to. They only ask that you do not smoke or drink alcohol while being there & appreciate a coin ~if~ you can afford it, towards their work… if not they do not care.
    I can’t remember if I have mentioned to you that Louise is also registered nurse practitioner, & we have on occasions taken some very lost or suffering younger people of our friends here to see/ experience a different point of view (all over 18 yrs of age with their full informed consent)

    They just do not seem to in any way mention that the humans are superior to the other creatures/life forms on this planet. Rather they seem to honour all life.

    It is most interesting to see you tackle this head on. I look forward to hearing any further knowledge you glean that will assist everyone who reads your blogs to move forward in development of our spiritual awareness as a species.

  3. Thank you, L. and Jim for your kind words.
    I am just at the very beginning of learning about Buddhism and also have only encountered the kind of sweet, mellow, sincere practitioners. I will at some point, when I have more time investigate this “thing” with the Animals deeper and then quote the places, where have learned about it, other than our shaman teacher Bhola in Nepal and the notes on Buddhism he gave us. The Dalai Lama in his book also mentions these 6 realms into which someone can and will be re- incarnated and that Animals stand a step below humans, according to him, because they do not practice the Dharma and are ignorant…. Tell that to my Miahanits and you get “something nasty” to hear about it. Much worse are the teachings about emptiness and the tenent, that nothing realllly exist…. So we do not realllly exist either and but maybe although – cough… and not even his holiness makes much sense when trying to explain that…..
    Ifffff I could explain it – but then – I exist and am ignorant – like all none Buddhists… so we will all have to see, iffff I will be able to make sense of it in some way good enough to write it out in words…..
    And then for sure right now I am not the right person to ask I wish I would have someone here, that I could ask….
    Blessings to You all!
    – still in existence and as confused as ever……

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