Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Root Tarot


For someone so happy to indulge in different forms of worship/being, I have come lately to the tarot. My first introduction to it was through Robertson Davies' Rebel Angel trilogy and then more directly Italo Calvino's Castle of Crossed Destinies, both of which I loved. I loved that these tarot cards were used in an open, creative way that yielded a multiplicity of stories. This is still how I see the tarot, less as a direct answer to a question, and more as a language of symbols that might break through our analytic overly sure minds.

My root tarot card, as you saw above is the high priestess. I've been learning a lot about her, and myself in the process. These days, this learning process is about opening and listening, rather than deciding that something is True.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Diamond in the Mind

First Butterfly, by Sulamith Wolfing

What better amulet can you carry than one that is always present in your mind?

Here is the "amulet" I was recently taught:

"All conditioned dharmas
Are like dreams, illusions, bubbles, or shadows;
Like drops of dew, or flashes of lightning;
Thusly should they be contemplated."
    —excerpt from Diamond Sutra

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Yoga Practice: Migration

Bird migration at Eddystone Lighthouse, by Charles Samuel Keene

Watching birds fly south as the seasons change, I've been noticing my own movements as life around me changes and unfolds. I'm not sure where I'm headed, but like the birds, I seem to have some internal homing sense that leads me and pulls me along to the next destination.

Here are some things that have been meaningful to my yoga practice of late:

  • Sun salutations with a pause to move back and forth between extended side-angle pose and reverse warrior pose. It feels a little bit like I'm stretching my wings and getting ready to fly.
  • Finding eagle pose, then shifting my non-standing leg forward and then back to warrior three feels a little bit like I'm taking account of my situation and then letting go to soar.
  • Taking time to do some some scissor jumping jacks with arms outstretched makes me feel little like I'm getting somewhere fast.
  • Stretching out with heron and pigeon. These poses remind me that even birds need to take a rest from traveling now and then. 





Thursday, November 1, 2012

Postmodern Hymn: No Line on the Horizon

Benten, by Warwick Goble

I could make a whole hymnal out of U2 songs, and I know they would be totally happy with that. It's common knowledge that they make use of Christian imagery in their lyrics and promote what they would say are Christian values, although their brand of Christianity is definitely not mainstream.

But before we get too concerned with labeling anyone "Christian" or "not-Christian" though, I'd like to look at one powerful image that continually resurfaces in their songs: the divine feminine. It's an image that blurs the line between Christianity and non-Christianity. Listen to songs such as "No Line on the Horizon," "She Moves in Mysterious Ways," "Grace," "Lemon," "Gloria," and you'll hear a collection of recurring motifs: the mysterious female, grace, ocean, moon.

What do these motifs have in common? For one thing, the lyrics point to a lack of control, either in the creative process or in the search for absolution. Creativity and grace come unexpectedly, as Bono says in an interview with Rolling Stone: "This kind of spirit blows through every now and then. It’s a very strange feeling. We’re waiting for God to walk into the room – and God, it turns out, is very unreliable."

If you're interested in this topic, here are some fun reads on the interwebs:


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