Two Steps to Enlightenment?

Yesterday, after dinner with my Austin family, we sat down and started pulling cards.  This has become a bit of a routine for us.  We started with the Osho Zen Tarot, and if you’ve ever used them, you’ll probably relate to what I’m about to say. These cards are so intense, anything more than a 3-card reading gets to be too much.  In fact, after doing a few of those, I needed to pull out one of my trusted Tarot decks to go further.

The question we asked at this point was: What’s September going to be like (for us)? We had already asked about August, and since we were using the Osho Zen and I was overwhelmed by that point, I don’t have a clear picture at all.  So, you’re all on your own for August!  LOL

But I do have a very clear picture for September, and as a result, I think I can “back into” August and know what it is all about too.

Okay – here is a re-creation of the spread (using a different deck than I did last night).

Tarot Reading - 7/25/2010
Tarot Reading - 7/25/2010

It was clear to me that this spread was about us, my Austin family, specifically.  But there are bits and pieces that can be of use to everyone.

The card on the left is the past, position #3, the creation of the current situation.  The 10 of Cups, for us, highlights our family dynamic.  It is the “come from” vibration for us.

The next card, position #1, is the current situation as seen on the surface, and is the Ace of Cups.  So it appears that we will be “opening up to love”.  Boy do I hope this is true.  Not just a love of a particular person, as some of us desire, but a love for some thing would also be nice.  We can be opening up to let in a new job, new music, new hobbies, new forms of exercise, new social activity or handsome new loves to wrap our arms around.

The card below the Ace of Cups is The Moon, is in position #2, and is the underlying aspect of the current situation (namely the current view of the future).

Did you happen to get out at all last night?  Did you see that magnificent full moon?  Did you notice the blue light nearly bright enough to read by?  What more appropriate day to pull The Moon than the night of the full moon.

The Moon is about that mystical aura of a moonlit night.  It can be beautiful, romantic, and comforting, but it could also be scary, bizarre and just plain crazy.  The full moon makes us weird for sure.  The moonlight is deceiving.  We cannot see as clearly as during the day, but we can see just enough to venture out.  So we take chances, but our fears get the best of us.  And misunderstandings abound.

This is where I got the strongest intuitive hit about August.  To me, being within the moon is likely a result of months of craziness.  This Cardinal Climax has been hell, quite frankly.  I see it all around. And there is still more to come.  By the time our dance with the Rugby players is over, we’ll be dizzy, sore and bruised.  We’ll have a hard time knowing which way is up for a little while, and that’s The Moon.

The next two cards, positions #4 and 5, are our greatest strength and challenge respectively in dealing with the current situation (September).  The Wheel of Fortune in this position suggests a change in luck for the better after the Cardinal Climax is through.  That means some things will actually work out to our advantage.  Thank you Jesus! I’m not a pessimist, but my realist side has been taking a beating and is slipping too far in that direction.  It’ll be nice to see some good luck for a change – anywhere!

Of course the challenge is The Hanged Man, and he says there will be sacrifices.  The good news is that the Hanged Man never asks us to give up something that we need.  Oh, we may THINK we need it, but he shows up to assure us that we don’t.  He’ll gladly yet gently pull that pacifier out of your mouth, or remove that blanket from your clutch. Those training wheels?  Sorry, they have to go now.  And don’t even look at the crutch. No ma’am. That is strictly off limits from here on out.

So it may be hard to let go of some of our coping mechanisms in September, but the energy will be encouraging us to.  That’s the time to push yourself into dropping a habit you’ve been wanting to rid yourself of.

And the initial outcome?  Position #6, being a six, is the initial solution to what is before us, and the cards are telling us that we’ll be in a happy home.  The 4 of Wands reflects the 10 of Cups.  It is about family once again, and by family, I mean it in the most general way.  Your family could be your pets, your friends, your blood family, or simply being surrounded by the things you love like your home, your music, and your books and movies.

So that’s the comfort for us to move towards as we sacrifice those coping mechanism.  See coping is about tolerance, but this type of family as depicted by the 10 of Cups/4 of Wands combination is about comfort.  It is time for us to stop tolerating what we don’t like, and start moving towards situations that are comfortable for us.

That in and of itself is a fantastic reading and something to look forward to.  I see how it fits in with all that I have been working on and towards and I welcome it – all of it, including the sacrifices.

But there’s more!

One of the things I love about this spread is that it doesn’t just tell you what things look like, it also gives added guidance and incentive.  Position #7 is designated as the Guide card and is for the one who seeks added growth. And position #8 is the “carrot”, so to speak, where we can get to if we are up for the extra-credit work.

Now, when I first started using this spread, I was challenged by negative cards in either of these positions, but I got that all worked out now.  And in this case, BOTH positions contain very challenging cards.

The 10 of Swords is all about disillusionment and the pain associated with it.  It is like that day you discover that your husband/wife has been cheating on you, which you never even suspected.  Go ahead and take a close look at that card.  Not pretty, eh?

And what follows, The Tower, is no less traumatic.  If we are not betrayed by the unveiling of a lie, we are betrayed by seeming random circumstances like a hurricane that renders our home uninhabitable.  Ouch.  “What am I going to do now?” will likely come from your lips after that one.

But thank God there is always a higher meaning to all of these archetypes.  And through awareness, these do not need to be painful experiences. In fact, they could be two steps to enlightenment!

“What-what what?!?!?” said in the voice of Kyle’s mother from South Park.

Yes, you heard me.  Well, truth be told, I heard them!  They’re the one’s that told me.

Let’s see if I can reproduce the claircognizant experience.  It is always a bit challenging to put that kind of enlightenment into words because it is not experienced as such, but here goes.

What is “enlightenment” with a little e (as opposed to Enlightenment with a big E)?  Little e enlightenment is the aha moment of sorts.  It is when we reach true understanding within a specific subject in our life.  It is when we finally see the light.  It is the light that sets us free because it is the light that illuminates what is: the truth of the matter.

But what precedes enlightenment?  Disillusionment.  That is because the process of illumination sheds light on all of it.  We get to see what is and come to realize where we were wrong and where we were right.

Allow me some examples.

Let’s say you are in a relationship with a man and you desire a deeper level of intimacy than you have currently.  So you ask for it (in prayer and/or voiced to your partner).  Maybe you push for it, or try and pry it out of him. “I want to know what is going on inside of you,” you might ask.

But then illumination comes and the truth is revealed.  You get to see inside and, oh, you didn’t know that was in there?  “I’m not sure I like that so much,” you might say.  You are disillusioned because your prince is not that knight on a white horse you thought he was.

Or maybe the disillusionment is at a higher level, direct and less reflected.  Maybe you realize that you are the one who has been afraid of intimacy the whole time.  Maybe you are the one who has a skeleton in the closet you have been hiding even from yourself.

Another example.  Let’s say that back in the late 90’s, you bought into that low fat diet craze and gave up fatty foods… for a decade.  Than came the 2000’s and in coming to god, you realized that carbohydrates are the true evil… and so you gave up pasta and cereal and bread ever more…  It is now a new decade and the new evil is gluten, so you remove the bastard from your diet and you are sure you are going to finally lose those 30 pounds that are doing you no good.  [You see, it was only 10 back in the 90’s, but has grown.]

And then the day of enlightenment takes place.  That’s the day you realize that the food you ate had nothing to do with it, or worse yet, that the fad diets were actually what put the extra 20 pounds on in the mean time! Not only were you depriving yourself of foods you liked, you fell pray to the PTB, because they are the ones who got rich off of all of the chemical substitutes that you’ve been eating for 30 years, like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup.

Oh, now you’re angry.  You’ve been fooled by the system, the same system that tries to sell fluoride as something good.  More and more they move us away from what we can grow in our gardens or raise in our own yards.  Are you depressed?  Take this drug.  Can’t sleep? Take that one.  Oh, now you’re having irregular bowl movements, too many or too little? We have a drug for that too!  Can’t afford all of those pills?  Well if you sell yourself into corporate slavery; we’ll pay for it all cause we’ll get the money from everyone else!

So illumination comes at a price, and the price is learning how we’ve been wrong (or wronged) all these years. Illumination and disillusionment are really the same thing.  But so is enlightenment! The root of all of those words is the same.

So, step one is turning on the light and facing all of the lies, whether they are lies we’ve adopted from the outside, or lies we created in response to experiences we didn’t understand.  They are lies nonetheless and we cannot move into a higher existence without facing them and then letting them go; laying them on the altar to be sacrificed.

The next step is the hard left.  So these chemicals are not your saviors.  What now? Your partner who you love dearly is not a knight on a white horse, and in fact, he is exactly like you are, imperfect in perfect ways.  So what now?  Or maybe you’ve come to realize that no one is going to save you, heal you, take care of you, or be your guru – you’re just going to have to do it on your own. What now?

For me personally, the 10 of Swords started a long time ago.  I have become disillusioned, but didn’t quite take step two.  So I passed the 10 of Swords and moved into The Moon.  I have been wandering around in the semi-light, seeing primarily the lies and although noticing the truths, not really heeding them.  Oh, I’m a good messenger for sure. I hear the messages and pass them on, and then return to the gray-blue fog of a full moon night waiting for the Knight of Wands to save me.  “Manifestation is supposed to bring to me everything I desire,” I say to myself and so I sit and wait for it.  The tree trunk landed across the road and so I stopped walking forward.  I get it that I’m not supposed to go that way, but what now?

Wallowing.  In some ways, the 4 of Wands allows that, especially if the 10 of Cups is missing.  I’ve been using my comfortable home as a coping mechanism.  My pleasant evening life has made my day life tolerable.  How many of you out there feel that way?

But I have seen the light.  I now know, as of this year that no matter how handsome and strong a knight may be, he cannot save me.  He may make my nights a thousand times more fun than they are now, but what about my days? He’ll go off to pursue his dreams and then I’ll be left with mine.  See, I don’t desire a dog, I desire a mate, a person who is whole in and of himself, and so he’ll have a life outside of me even as our life together entwines.  So I’ll be left to take care of my own pieces and parts.

So September is coming to help us open up to new loves, but August, just like the how many months before it, will be helping us clean out some of these closets.  Oh, and the Rugby players aren’t even the slightest bit winded yet. They can run up and down the field for a lot longer, so our days as a football are not quite over yet.

Two steps to enlightenment.  That’s the name of the dance!

And here’s another disillusionment for you.  Enlightenment with a big E is not going to happen.  I don’t know this, but I’m not counting on it either. I just don’t see it happening that way.  Enlightenment with a big E is a process, it is a journey, it is ever going.  I don’t see it as a date on the calendar.  Maybe the death process is a Transition with a capital T, but Enlightenment?  In death, I think we’ll understand a bunch of stuff we don’t remember right now, and then we’ll immediately realize we didn’t get all of those other answers.  From what I’ve gathered, you can go up about 50 layers and still not know who God really is or what the true meaning of life is.  You’ll see life quite differently, but I don’t think THE ONE TRUE MEANING of it will be revealed.

But you know what IS enlightening?  Realizing that we can have our cake and eat it too.  We can eat foods we love and be lean and healthy.  We can have skeletons that need healing and be in love with a handsome, affectionate man who’s not that different than we are.  We can be our own guru.  Knowing that there is no knight in shining armor, no dream drug, no miracle cure means we don’t need them! There is no savior out there.

And that’s what sets us free!

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