When most people think of tarot cards, they often think of some woo-woo fortuneteller soaked in patchouli and velvet, or movies with dramatic music and..."da da DAH...the DEATH card!"...and demons, and maybe Sam or Dean, or Sam AND Dean, and wait a minute -- I digress.
Sorry folks, but it's just me and a cup of coffee and all the crap on my desk. And I may be wearing patchouli, but definitely no velvet. At worst I'm in a tiger-print onesie and furry leopard print slippers. I call it "Postmodern Shamanic." Which is rather ironic, considering that I'm about to talk about exercise, which I am so not about to do.
But my point is to explain to you what all this stuff is about and how it can help you in your daily life. Any tool, whether a hammer or a gorgeous deck of hand-printed cards from Italy, is only useful if you USE it. And that's were we start--in our daily lives, very few of us have actual tools for self-improvement or accountability. We just go on, typing in our pajamas, thinking we're all that. I jest, but I'm as guilty as you, and authenticity is everything.
Divination, in it's woo-woo definition is the art of foretelling future events with the aid of supernatural help. In its totally secular definition it is just the art of intuitive perception. I argue that it's really a mixture of both, but we don't need to get at all weird about it. However you choose to think about divinity or ideas of god or things bigger than us, it's easy to envision ourselves as having two sides; one, our ordinary self who can be small and petty and make the same mistakes it always does, and our higher self, who just plainly knows better and wishes we would just LISTEN.
Divination is the process of making an end run around our lower self to access the wisdom of our higher self. Our lower self is really busy doing the stuff it always does, running on autopilot and insisting it's the boss. A good tarot reading, or just playing around will let you distract and quiet your inner critic and your monkey mind enough to listen to the wisdom that you have in your own soul. It's about going within, not above and beyond.
So here's a practical example of how this works. At the moment, I'm feeling like a lazy tub of lard. I earned my black belt in karate last May, but since then, I've been focusing on other things and I've kind of lost my edge. I think it's buried beneath some fat, somewhere. So what I want to ask is "How can I regain my vitality and fitness?" Here are my answers:
Ordinary Self: "It's hopeless, fat-ass. If you really wanted to be fit you'd have done it, and you know you'd rather sit on the couch and read." (Gets chips).
Higher Self: Pulls out set of stone runes (stones engraved with symbols of the Elder Futhark, an alphabet of the early germanic and european peoples, and pulls Gebo (gift), Othala (homestead), and Tiwaz (discipline). "Gebo means you need to view exercise as an exchange, not just something you have to do. Focus on what you get out of it, and make sure it's something you enjoy doing. Othala means you need to be really intelligent about how exercise will fit into your schedule and daily life, and make sure your plan will really work. You also need to treat your body as a homestead, and make sure you slow down and give it what it needs and wants. Don't force it to do things it can't, or shouldn't. Go slow, and pay attention to your body. Tiwaz doesn't need much interpretation. Just do it. Keep the goal in mind. When you go to the dojo, you're training, not just working out. Be clear about what you want, how you want to feel, and what you're committing to in order to get there, and hold yourself accountable."
Big difference, huh?