Pomegranate Meditation (and Tea!)

pomegranates on the tree 2

Hubby and I have a pomegranate tree in our front yard, and it’s pomegranate season. We’ve got pomegranates filled with juicy, blood-red seeds, tangy but still with a touch of sweetness. I’ve been making iced tea/juice with the pomegranates (I’m not sure whether to call this a tea or juice. I’m leaning toward tea, but I don’t brew it with any tea leaves. It’s just pomegranate.) And I’m posting this because pomegranates sort of relate to tarot.

pomegranates_in_tarot

Across many cultures, East through West, pomegranates symbolize fertility and abundance, and the importance of the pomegranate is expressed in the tarot. You have the pomegranate motif in Key III: The Empress in the Rider Waite tarot, symbolizing fertility, fruition, and abundance, and also righteousness, themes also taken from Judeo-Christian mythos. The Chinese also believe that pomegranates symbolize fertility.

In Key II: The High Priestess, the pomegranates represent knowledge, learning, and wisdom. The imagery in that card also calls to mind 1 Kings 7:13-22 in the Holy Bible, describing the twin pillars in front of King Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem as being adorned with pomegranates. Some Biblical scholars speculate that the forbidden fruit was in fact the pomegranate. The manifestation of the pomegranate symbolism progresses from Key II to Key III: knowledge, learning, and wisdom begets fruition and natural abundance.

de-seeding pomegranates 2

Today, folks are into pomegranates because they’re rich in vitamins and antioxidants. They can help increase blood flow to the heart (in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, pomegranate seeds and juice are used as a healing, medicinal tonic for treating the heart and also strengthens blood flow; it’s very pitta, for fire energy) , decrease the levels of bad cholesterol, prevent and repair DNA damage, reduce the risk of prostate cancer, and, interestingly enough (since metaphysically it symbolizes fertility), great for those who are pregnant (the juice, that is). The juice in the pomegranate seeds contain many of the nutrients women need to maintain health and wellness through their pregnancy. Recent studies show that pomegranate juice can help reduce the risk of damage to the placenta.

I’ve been making pomegranate juice (but based on methodology, is probably more of a tea) with our home-grown pomegranates and turning the process into a form of meditation. It’s meditation with instant results… sweet, delicious, fabulous pomegranate juice!

Continue reading “Pomegranate Meditation (and Tea!)”

This Is Goofy: The Radio Is Talking To Me

Italiano: Radio Marea (1950) by Fabiomoie
Italiano: Radio Marea (1950) by Fabiomoie

So I’m driving to work in the morning stuck in a rush hour traffic jam. My car is effectively parked on the freeway and I’m running late for a meeting. I mutter obscenities and am freaking out about whether I’ll make it to my meeting on time. Just then my finger inadvertently pushes the change-radio-station button on my car steering wheel and it’s Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” or a snippet of it.

Chill out, whatcha yellin’ for?

That’s all I hear before I hit the change-station button again and I catch the start of my current #1 favorite song, Enrique Inglesias – “Bailando.”

I’m happy now. Super happy. Because “Bailando” makes me happy. Also it’s not easy to catch the start of a song you like off the radio. You always land on it mid-way through or near the end. This time, I got to hear “Bailando” in the entirety. A gift from the Universe.

What? . . . It is.

That wasn’t the first time stuff streaming out from the radio made sense with what was going on with me in the moment. I gave a shallow example, but it was the most recent. Other times much more serious stuff was going on when randomized snippets of songs from the radio didn’t seem so random and played just when they needed to be played.

The other day an author, psychologist, and acclaimed academic had on the signature line of his e-mail the following quote: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.” ― Albert Einstein.

Yes, I thought. Yes.

Not that I’m saying God has nothing better to do than to talk to me through the lyrics of pop music playing on radio stations. But still.

tarotspread

Anyway I did have a tarot point in all this. So often the messages we get from tarot are like those inexplicable coincidental (or synchronous) moments with the radio. I’m not claiming that those weirdly-timed snippets of pop songs are a form of divination. (Radiomancy? Hey, it’s got an Urban Dictionary entry; must be a real thing.) But it’s a synchronicity that, given the timing and given what’s going on in our lives at that moment, takes on personal significance that causes us to reevaluate what we’re doing or where we’re headed. It’s a moment of strong connection between ourselves and something bigger and greater, something that often feels divine.

Like many a tarot reader, I get that handful of clients who either want to be willfully ignorant of my ethical approach to tarot or who, in spite of knowing that I don’t do fortune-telling come to me anyway wanting me to tell them their fortunes. They are always the same clients who end up disappointed when I don’t tell them that their futures hold great riches and it will all be a beautiful fairytale ending, happily ever after with their preferred lovers. Worse yet, I feel used and my skills abused.

Yes, tarot does shine the way for us and can help illuminate our life path so we see clearer, but it doesn’t give us an easy solution. There are no easy solutions and if you’re getting a tarot reading with the hope of hearing an easy solution to your problems, then I’m afraid you don’t possess the wisdom to properly use tarot as a tool and really shouldn’t be going to readings at all.

Hearing “Bailando” on the radio didn’t solve the traffic jam. It didn’t change any of the conditions of the road I was driving on. However, it changed my mindset. And made the condition not only bearable, but pleasant. That moment of connection with the divine, that coincidence, that so-called radiomancy wasn’t about making the traffic jam go away or asking or wondering whether I would make it to my meeting on time. It was about me, and how I’d spend every moment of my time on that freeway. I could spend it cussing and wondering about the unknown, or I could roll with it and sing to “Bailando.”

Often the messages we get through tarot are synchronous, coincidental in ways that convince you it wasn’t just a coincidence, but because the message didn’t contain the answers or easy solutions we wanted to hear, we dismiss it and miss that moment of connection with God. And what a shame that would be.

Mystical Cats Tarot – Deck Review

Mystical Cats Tarot 01 Box Cover

The Mystical Cats Tarot by Lunaea Weatherstone and illustrated by Mickie Mueller is my favorite feline tarot deck to date. Aeclectic, as usual, provides close-up image files of the cards. The art is soft, has a children’s book feel to it, and most importantly, is spot on in capturing the expressiveness of cats. All cat lovers are going to love this deck.

Mystical Cats Tarot 02 Box Interior

Now one thing I did note right away is the crappiness of the box packaging. Sorry. This isn’t a box I want to keep, but also this isn’t exactly the kind of tarot deck I’d make my regular reading deck, which means such a deck is one where I’d normally keep the box, but this box is just awfully thought through. I’m assuming the cards are supposed to fit in that smaller space, but it doesn’t, and a few always slip down where the book is supposed to be. The only way this box works is if you have a tarot bag to commit to this deck. Then it’ll fit in that space without cards accidentally falling through the crevices.

Mystical Cats Tarot 03 Book and Cards

The deck doesn’t come with a little white booklet, but rather, a very nice 5.20″ x 8.00″ perfect bound book that I enjoyed reading cover to cover. There’s a ton of information in there, though nothing new for the seasoned tarot reader. Still, it’s definitely nice to have. Oh, and shouldn’t that title be Tails of the Mystical Cats instead of Tales? Kidding.

The cover of the book features the Earth King card, featuring a kitty who looks just like my little Prince (there are always photos of him on my Twitter). The book consists of tarot basics, card meanings, suggested spreads, and–my favorite– an appendix of rough sketches from the artist during the brainstorming phase for the deck.

Mystical Cats Tarot 04 Card Samples

The cards are 2.75″ x 4.60″ in dimension, borderless, with rounded corners, matte, but on somewhat flimsy cardstock. They’re very easy to shuffle, fit snugly in my hands, and are overall a very efficient deck to work with physically speaking.

Mystical Cats Tarot 05 Card Samples

It’s not exactly a clone of any of the traditional tarot systems, but it’s also very easy to read for anyone with tarot reading background. The Minors are divided into four “cat clans” (love!): the Fire Cats, Sea Cats, Sky Cats, and Earth Cats. The Fool is just The Cat. The Magician is Cat Magic. The Hanged Man is The Floating Cat. The Devil is Demon Cat. Judgment is Good Kitty. And there are other minor differences here and there, nothing difficult to follow.

The courts? Kitten, Tom, Queen, and King! Awww! I love it!

Mystical Cats Tarot 05 Book Interior

I love how they structured the book. “The Cat’s Advice.” In a deck review by Barbara Moore published in The Llewellyn Journal, it’s mentioned that Mueller, the artist, used “special herbal infusions in all her watercolors . . . based on [the herbs’] magical properties.” And all of the artwork for the card images incorporated catnip!

Mystical Cats Tarot 06 Reading

Above is a personal reading I did using the Mystical Cats Tarot. It’s the Celtic Cross, though yeah, the column of four cards is all crowded and clumped due to lack of table space. While I am not likely to pull out this deck for professional readings, I might be inclined to use it when I do fundraising events for animal shelters, animal non-profits, etc. How fun would that be!

Overall, I adore this deck, but I also know I’m biased– I love cats. Now, of all the kitty-themed tarot decks out there to date, this one is by far the best. If you can only buy one kitty tarot deck, then Mystical Cats Tarot is the one to get.