Back in class and loving it!

I am currently doing an on line course in curanderismo = the art and wisdom of Mexican and Mexican American Folk healers through the university of New Mexico.
I have things to read and study every day and write an exam every week.
It is about herbs, how to prepare tinctures and microdosis with herbs I only remember from when I lived part of the year in mexico 25 years ago….
There are Aztec songs and chants
and lots of different treatments using above mentioned herbs, clays and other agents…..

For the last few days it felt to me, that my daily draws with the Roots of Asia was not supporting my efforts very well.

Sooooo different world views, 2 different parts of our planet….

When using the Roots of Asia, I feel I can not give my card of the day the proper meditative attention because it is so different from where my attention is ….

I also have no time to sit with it or look things up or read my books bout Buddhist teachings….


So I think, I will try to add the cards of the “Songs for the Journey Home” Tarot to my regime of daily draws and see, how that goes 🙂

 

Reading, using the Songs for the Journey home Tarot:

reading Sept 5

Card 1 – How will I get along with my on line course of curanderismo = Mexican Folk healing practices from the University of New Mexico
Earth Song 7
The hands of an Elder are gently pulling apart a jumble of green plant growth to reveal a field of young plants growing in an orderly row in cultivated earth

= Out of the wild jumble of plant information I will learn to make sense and with diligent work a field of healing wisdom will grow

Card 2 -How will this new deck support my studies?
10 of Flame song:
A woman with long brown hair(me!!) is seen reading the cards of this deck for a probably young person.
In the background is a very ornate, moorish looking window beyond which a large Lotus Flower grows.

Need I say more!!
I just read, that some curandeital also read the cards for their clients – just like me…
The lotus outside may very well stand for the “Roots of Asia: Tarot and my studies about Buddhism. they are fine and will be there at a later date, while I use the opportunity at hand.

Card 3 – Will I eventually incorporate some of the things learned in the course about curanderismo into my daily shamanic practice with my patients and clients?

Earth Innocence ( Princess of Pentacles)
A very confusing and tangled image. Eventually I recognize a few arms and legs …..
A young person is climbing in a Tree that is almost swallowed up in other vegetation.


Yes, there is an abundance of information about plants and plant based treatment and I will have to surmount that and sort it all out in my head.

Many of these plants are unavailable where I live – outside of my home, but the basic concepts of curanderismo – taking time for the patients and working with what Nature provides apply everywhere on Mother Earth.

Card 4:Ultimate outcome – looking into the future = a year from now

Earth Song 9
A large pentagram is superimposed onto the image. A Mother swings her small child in the air and catches it Behind her is a field of white and pink flowers.

Somehow the Flowers immediately remind me of dense fields of Yerba Manza, although that powerful herb looks nothing like the Flowers on the image…..
This course is a “wild child”, that “flew” into my open arms and I grabbed on to it.
I am glad, that I did, I already learned LOTS.
Now is the time to seize the opportunity and the see, how this “wild child” will integrate itself into the healing garden of my established practice.

 


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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…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

amnart_klanprachar32 (1)

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?