The Paradox of Faith
The paradox of faith is this. When you need faith the most, faith is hardest to have.
This is true of faith in oneself, faith in humanity, faith in a higher power – all kinds of faith.
Perhaps this paradox is simply the result of human weakness, or perhaps it is part of a grand design to help us grow and learn.
It’s important to remember, especially during difficult times, that we all believe in things we cannot see, but trust their existence anyway.
How can you find your faith, hear your inner guidance and ground yourself in your strength when things get tough?
One way is to use tools of divination to connect with your Higher Self and your Higher Power. Another is to force yourself to remember all the times that things miraculously went your way.
Sometimes, when something difficulties happens, we need to remember that, of all the possible things that could happen to serve your soul’s growth, and the development of the souls around you, it might be that what happened was the best-case scenario, no matter how horrible the situation is.
Sometimes we can use tragedy and difficulty as a way to find our faith. Yet, when we are burdened by the loss and sorrow that screams within us, it can be hard to hear the quiet voices of our ancestors, angels and guides.
No matter how difficult something is, we must make room in our hearts and minds to hear those comforting assurances that inform our faith and help us to heal.
Faith and Expectation
Often, we lose faith because something doesn’t meet our expectations.
When this happens, it’s generally because our expectations were inappropriate from the start.
We may lose our faith in tarot because of a faulty interpretation.
We may lose our faith in a trustworthy person because of one difficult moment.
We may lose our faith in humanity when we focus only on what’s wrong with the world.
We may lose our faith in a Higher Power when we assign an agenda to that Higher Power that meets our own needs, rather than accepting the wisdom of a greater plan.
We may lose faith in ourselves when we make a mistake, because we expect ourselves to be perfect.
When we detach from expectation, and surrender to the process of growth and healing, it becomes easier to ground ourselves in faith once more.
It is important to set intentions, and to visualize the things we want and need. At the same time, we cannot expect perfection on planet Earth. We must always recognize that, whatever our plans, hopes and dreams may be, the Universe might have a different plan for us. We must have faith in the larger picture, even when we can’t see the purpose or understand the reason.
Faith doesn’t require proof or explanation. Faith is the source of our strength when we feel we can no longer be strong.
Once in a while, a loss of faith in necessary, and important.
Sometimes we put our faith into things, people and doctrines that truly disappoint us. These may be people and belief systems that we eventually come to understand as untrue. When this happens, it is important to understand that the bitter sense of disillusionment is followed by a greater comfort in finding faith in something more real.
From My Desk to Yours
This week we had a new contributor to our Community Blog! Heather shared a wonderful poem inspired by the four elements.
On my Dark Forest Blog, I shared a piece about the way imagery and imagination informs our spiritual work.
From Around the Web
Here’s a post of a serious nature, of interest to tarot writers and bloggers. The Tarot Association has posted a detailed account of the correct way to use tarot images in your writings, without violating copyright or ethics.
From Daily Om, here’s a piece called “Shifting from Fear to Love”.
Many of you know my friend, Marcy Currier. Here are some videos of her doing readings on The Wolf in Hudson Valley.
Song of the Week
Here’s “Faith of the Heart” from Russel Watson. It’s an earlier version than the one actually used for the “Enterprise” TV show. Russel introduces it by its earlier name, “Where my Heart will Take Me”.
with Michael Bridge-Dickson
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at how our day-to-day language is bolstered by references to the Four Elements. This week, we’ll take a more experiential approach to connecting with the Elements.
First, let’s look at the effect of observing linguistic connections to the Elements. Through this exercise, you may have started to categorize words as they relate to each Element:
• When describing things that are lightweight, uplifting, deflating, changeable, subtle, and intangible, we are relating to Air. Words like float, fly, soar, breezy, gusts, wind, sail, swift, puffy, wispy, breath, heady, variable, weightless, vague, and elusive.
• When we describe things that are hot, burning, bright, consuming, transformative, wild, and explosive, Fire is involved. We use words that refer to illumination, clarity, inspiration, will, desire, heat, passion, volatility, destruction, and brilliance.
• When we are describing things that are fluid, cooling, absorptive, flowing, we are in touch with Water. Watery expressions tend to be more sentimental: stormy seas, moody lakes, still waters that run deep, raging rapids, and calm streams.
• When we want our words to carry weight, we use Earthy descriptions of things that are solid, enduring, stable, slow, heavy, and robust. Words like grounded, rooted, weighted, foundation, contained, protected, guarded, and anchored refer to Earth’s density.
You may have also noticed that some Elements have qualities that are intrinsic and unique to each, while other qualities are shared by or merge at least two Elements:
• Lightness, speed, and variability are qualities that Air and Fire share and enhance in each other. They are also the more subtle of the Four Elements, and compensate with a sharper, more incisive nature.
• By contrast, heaviness, softness, receptivity, constancy, and slowness are shared by Water and Earth. Their softness balances their increased substantialness. Their receptivity allows things to grow and develop.
• Air and Water are fluid and adaptable. They mold themselves to circumstance, and together can be extremely powerful. When meeting obstruction, they will retreat and return, wearing down resistance between periods of ease.
• Fire and Earth are less forgiving than the more fluid Elements of Air and Water, and share a more primal, penetrative nature. Where Air and Water will both lap at resistance, Fire and Earth resist against it or push right through.
• Fire and Water have an emotional tone, sharing anger and passion — whether we get steamed or steamy, Fire and Water together produce an intensity that neither alone possesses... and that force can either simmer or boil over!
• Refinement, timelessness, and elegance are shared by Air and Earth. They are both dry and gradual, but constant. Ancient history and things that have stood the test of time are the merging of Air and Earth.
As you can see, the Elements and their interactions are not just evocative linguistic metaphors, they are entwined with our experiences — our life is the life of the Elements themselves.
Let’s move, then, from metaphorical descriptions to direct experience.
We only need to soak in a hot bath to know the nourishing and cleansing properties of water, or feel the heat of summer to stir up our passions and desires. We feel the peaceful qualities of a light breeze, and the oppressive nature of a harsh wind; and we get in touch with ourselves — our very being — when walking barefoot through grass or sand, feeling the Earth under our feet.
The same Water that cleanses and nourishes us also makes us feel moody, withdrawn, cold, and/or overwhelmed during a heavy rain shower; and the same heat that inspires passion and desire transforms our food into delicious, digestible morsels... Which in turn feed and ground us, providing the substance for our bodies to thrive. This same grounding can make us feel heavy and slow, when not balanced with movement and the intangibility of intellectual stimulation — stimulation that is fed by the very Air we breathe.
Over the next week, bring attention to each of the Four Elements and how you interact with them daily: feel the sweeping nature of the wind, how the Air dries and cools your skin, or how your breath and mental state are codependent; feel the sun’s warmth, how your own interior heat rises or falls with each activity, and observe how pressure lights a Fire and affects your focus; feel how Water washes over you as you shower, and how fluid you are from one situation to the next, take a refreshing drink and reflect by a pool; and finally, feel the solidity and structure of your home, the ground, and things you find security in.
While it’s useful to study each Element in isolation, truly understanding the Elements lies in becoming involved with their interplay and interaction: how does the depressive effect of a gloomy and rainy overcast day contribute to the irritation and frustration sparked by the next day’s humid heat? And the reverse, how does a torrential downpour soothe and calm overheated anger? How is that overheated anger aggravated by gossip, intellectualizing, and the dryness of dust and allergies?
What about the inner warmth sought and generated by earthy, home-cooked foods during winter hibernation? How does the heavy, damp cold of winter alter what we do with our time, how we move, how we speak with and treat each other?
Or, how does too much talk and travel contribute to feeling unstable, of not having solidity (or a craving to simply rest and remain still to recover that lost steadiness)? How does a seaside retreat or cabin on the lake facilitate calm reflection, where analytical processes give way to deeper explorations and intuitive connections?
Observe how each Element affects your thought processes and mindset, how they each affect your activities, how they make you feel both physically and emotionally, and how each one affects your sense of self, your physical existence. Notice how each of these layers of your being interact with each other within, and how they affect and are affected by the interaction of all For Elements within your environment.
Next week, we’ll start looking at each Element individually to understand them in more isolated depth.
I'm grateful to have Michael Bridge-Dickson as a guest contributor to Tarot Topics. Check out the Orbifold Tarot and Michael's work!
Eight Tarot Cards that Discuss Faith
We can find images of faith in every tarot card. Here are some cards that, to me, really speak of the essence of faith. When they appear in a reading, it might be to encourage you to have more faith, or to deal with your issues around faith. When you need faith, you can meditate with a few cards of these cards to help find the faith you need.
Faith in yourself:
The Nine of Pentacles suggests your ability to be safe, comfortable and happy, even when you are alone.
The Two of Pentacles offers faith in your ability to make ends meet and get stuff done, even when time and money are in short supply.
Faith in your Journey:
The Fool reminds you to take a leap of faith with confidence.
Justice reminds you that everything will balance out it the end.
Faith in Humanity:
The Six of Cups describes charity, and people helping each other.
Strength describes the triumph of love over anger.
Sometimes when issues of faith are reflected in readings, it’s because a problem exists.
A Crisis of Faith:
The Moon can reflect a crisis of faith, or a questioning of ones’ belief system.
Faith without Question:
The Hierophant can reflect dogma, and faith in doctrine beyond reason.
Image from Celtic Dragon Tarot by Lisa Hunt.
Your One-Card Weekly Reading
Four of Pentacles
This week, your one-card reading is the Four of Pentacles.
Often, the Four of Pentacles speaks of selfishness. Are you feeling unwilling to share, or do you feel the need to protect yourself? Is there someone around you who is behaving selfishly?
Sometimes, this card indicates a need for self-care and self-protection.
This week, think about the ways in which you care for yourself and protect yourself. To what extent do you need to do a better job with this?
If you do find evidence of selfishness in your own behavior, or in the behavior of others, consider where this impulse is inspired, and make a decision about how you want to handle it.
Is it time to become more trusting, and more giving? Or, is it time to remove a self-centered person from your life? Or perhaps it may be time to become more self-full in your life!
Saturday, June 11, 2:30 pm
Summer Psychic Gallery with Christiana Gaudet
Pearl Rauberts' Room, Unity in the Pines, West Palm Beach
There are only a couple of spaces left! If you would like to participate in this event, or get on the waiting list, visit the meetup site.
I will also be giving private readings by appointment in the same space the following day. These readings are sold out, and there is a waiting list. Pearl is taking no more reservations at this time.
Monday, June 13, 5:30
An Evening with the Tarot
Thnontosassa Branch Library
10715 Main Street, Thonotosassa, FL, 33592
Please join us for this free presentation about tarot at the library! Visit the event listing on my website for more details!
Tuesday, June 14, 5:30 PM
An Evening with the Tarot
Seffner-Mango Branch Library
410 N Kingsway Rd, Seffner, FL 33584
I’ll be at the library for another tarot presentation. Join us, it’s fun, free and informative! Visit the event listing on my site for more details.
I will be in Connecticut August 3 - August 17. Book your house parties and private readings now!
October 7, Professional Development Day at TarotCon (Follow the link below).
October 8 & 9, TarotCon (Florida) 2016 in Palm Beach Gardens.
Origins Spa and Wellness Center
1537 N Dale Mabry Highway #102
Lutz, FL 33548
Private telephone, Skype and in person readings and instruction are available by appointment.
Tarot parties at your home or office are available throughout Florida.
Call 813-948-4488, toll free 866-99TAROT,
or text or call 561-655-1160 for more information or to schedule your event.
Agent inquiries are welcome.