New Beginnings by the Cards: The Fool

IMG_1188It’s January, the beginning of a new year, new adventures and, for many of us, new resolutions. What do you want to change, embrace or explore? Whatever your goals and intentions for 2015, let the Fool guide you.

A traditional tarot deck begins with a card commonly called the Fool. It may seem a strange choice, since the tarot is all about wisdom and guidance, and yet at its very beginning is a card that often shows an individual leaping off of a cliff, full of innocence and optimism and without, perhaps, much caution.

So why is this card perfect for any new journey? Because whenever we decide to take the risk of trying something new, we are optimistically stepping into the unknown. We can’t know what obstacles we’ll face. We can’t know how or when we’ll meet our goal. But forward we go, full of daring, willing to try–and that is what makes the journey possible.

For example: if your goal is to be healthier, you’re beginning a new way of living, one that may take perseverance, trial and error and a willingness to learn from what works and what doesn’t. The greater your ability to tackle the challenges, try new things, and accept that you are not yet an expert, the greater your odds of achieving victory.

With any new beginning, it’s time to leave behind what no longer serves you and look forward to another way of living. So take the risk, follow your instincts and let the adventure begin!

Of Gods & Goddesses

What makes a god or goddess divine?  If you believe the old myths and legends, the gods were not above pain, not above sorrow.  They could be hurt, they could even be destroyed.  So what made them divine?  Simply this:  Knowledge of their own divinity, and the ability to transform themselves and others.  Nothing is beyond the reach of a goddess, when she moves from love.

A goddess is present.  Aware.  Open.  Sensitive to the heartbeat, the exquisite touch and texture and taste of the moment.  She accepts it all, welcomes it all, knows that she cannot lose herself in any of it.  She delights in the flow, the movement, the dance.  She is willing to change, to grow, to expand in life, in awareness, in love.  She cannot be found for she was never lost.  She simply is, and therefore is all.  She is in everything and everyone.  To find her within is to find her without, and to know that the two are bound, connected, the same, and eternally now.

We all live as gods and goddesses when we claim our transformative powers.  A mother, turning a child’s tears to smiles with a kiss and a warm cookie.  A boss, turning co-workers into a team.  A hostess, turning an ordinary room into a celebration.  An artist, freeing an image from clay.  A woman, creating a sanctuary out of a house.  Any one of us, smiling at a stranger, spreading light.

Know you are divine.  Know the universe as your Beloved.  Know that you can transform yourself and others.  Move from love, and watch the miracles unfold.

The Nature Of Obstacles

The Hindu god Ganesha, the god with the elephant’s head, is beloved by millions as the remover of obstacles.  His name is often invoked at the beginning of a new venture; he is thought to bring his followers good luck and fortune.

He bears the head of an elephant because one day his mother, the goddess Parvati, asked him to guard the door while she bathed.  He did so faithfully, denying even his father, Shiva, entrance.  Shiva was not pleased that Ganesha was standing between him and Shiva’s wife, and so he cut off Ganesha’s head.  Feeling contrite almost immediately, Shiva ordered his servants to find a replacement head for Ganesha–they returned with the head of an elephant, and Ganesha has been known as the Elephant God ever since.

Elephants represent wisdom, and not just any wisdom, but that of your higher self, the self that exists before and beyond what you think of as your life.  This wisdom is what counsels us to choose love, to create beauty, to forgive, to seek, to trust.  This wisdom is what teaches us that all of our obstacles exist only in our minds.

Ganesha is the Remover of Obstacles, but in this well-known story, he is himself the obstacle, standing between mother and father.  It is his head that is removed, and then transformed into a symbol of higher truth.  This is the greatest teaching of the story:  we are our obstacles.  What stands between us and the love and light we seek are our thoughts, our fears, our resentments.  To be free, we must replace the thoughts that stand between us and joy with the thoughts of our higher selves, our true wisdom.  Only then may we be transformed into all we are capable of becoming.

Only you can remove your obstacles.  Only you are the chosen hero of your story.  You have the power to transform darkness into light, because darkness is nothing but the shadows of empty thoughts.  Trust in your own wisdom, and allow your obstacles to be transformed.