Mostly based on whim, but also because I have a birthday coming up and I thought I’d I’ll draw a single tarot card each day for the next week. Everything through Thursday this week as past/present readings and the weekend (including Friday) for the shape of things to come.
Caveats: See my 29 March post for full caveat language. I don’t see use as a divination tool, but as a tool for self-reflection. Interpretations are paraphrased or quoted from biddytarot.com unless I note otherwise. This is not an endorsement of the site or their definitions. Images are Rider Waite for copyright reasons, but I use the Crow Tarot deck in person.
Today is V | The Hierophant (reversed):
You are your own teacher, the wisdom sought is from within — you are being encouraged to follow your own path and break from tradition. External approval is no longer needed — you are ready to go at it alone and in your own way.
“The Hierophant reversed is also about challenging the status quo. You see alternative ways of viewing the world and are ready to test the very ideas and concepts you were taught were the ‘truth’. You no longer accept the rigid structures, tradition and dogma surrounding you; instead, you seek out opportunities to rebel and reclaim your personal power… Taken further, the Hierophant reversed is like a rebellious teenager who begins to question society and take part in anti-institutional activities.” [Biddy Tarot]
What is it with me and reversed cards? Or Major Arcana for that matter? I swear, I do shuffle each time, cut the deck at various intervals (not always approximating half a deck) and I checked and it seems like an equal distribution of right-side-up and inverted… Anyway…
Again, this card seems to align with the recent past and present (we are closer to the mental pivot between past and present in my week-long tarot reading plans, so “present” seems reasonable). I’ve been my own teacher for quite some time in terms of spiritual matters, roughly 25 years, although I’ve consulted respected people during that period. Just never anything long-term. I’ve been a “solitary” seeker since my return from Seattle to the Minneapolis area in ’95.
I’ve been very quiet about my reflections and practices since then, even around immediate family (for example, my kids have no clue what I practice/believe, although the eldest suspects she knows at least some of it). This is quite contrary to how I approached things in the late 80s and early 90s, where I was quite vocal about my stance on a number of issues, and quite involved in the community at large, trying to shake things up and get people to stand up and be recognized.
While I had some private conversations with several people on how to push things to the next level for (at least) us, I didn’t have enough “time in” to push things too hard, so I largely followed what was then the common practices at the time. I’m sure I would have stay involved and built up “cred” to start suggesting some of the things our little group discussed amongst ourselves if I hadn’t left the area to live on the West Coast. But I did and, even then, I might have returned to something when I came back if I hadn’t be so utterly devastated by the divorce that took place while I was away from the area. In retrospect, I should have jumped back in to the community and I might have benefitted quite a bit from doing so, but I was an emotional ruin of the person I had been after feeling utterly betrayed by everything I valued and loved.
So I dug into other things and kept to myself, embracing the shadows. Going more philosophical than ecstatic spiritualism (shorthand for shamanic).
Recently, however, I’ve been drawn back to some of these investigations over the past few years, as I discovered I am not really suited for Zen (I’m too rebellious, much like Ikkyu). I find value in just sitting (zazen, meditation), but I reject the idea that it is the only way, or even the best way, to practice. Plus, I’ve never been able to reconcile some of my more mystic experiences with those I’ve had practicing Zen and Tao. So, in the past year or two, I’ve picked up my backpack and started another spiritual journey, except that it is back to where I began, informed in a way that was different before and with hopefully more wisdom than I had 25 years ago.
As always, however, I am suspicious of rules and rote rites, so I’m not sure I’d find a collective who would have me — as I would be that over-aged teenager questioning things that were established as tradition if I felt it needed to be questioned. Instead, I should probably continue to blaze my own trail, as I can “feel” I am at the edge of grasping something that exists without dogma or rigidity — or maybe even “form”, if that makes any sense. Plus, it might only be useful for me, so I see no point in foisting it on others.
Once again, the draw is eerily applicable and would not have been so much if I had drawn the same card upright. Webs and intrigues…