Is it possible to have too much integrity?
Everyone’s moral compass points in a slightly, or widely, different direction. For some people, ethics are largely a gray area. For others, the difference between right and wrong is starkly black and white.
Sometimes our moral differences are a matter of culture and background. Sometimes they are point of view.
If you are a person of extremely high integrity, there are some hard-to-avoid pitfalls that may be familiar to you. Here are five of them.
1. You are constantly disappointed in human nature.
Because you will always make decisions for the greater good, you will be hurt and mystified by war, greed and injustice.
2. You naively see the best in everyone.
Everyone, even the worst of us, has a positive side. You’ll see that positive side, and it will cause you to sometimes be a poor judge of character.
3. It’s hard to find your peers.
In business, in love and in friendship, you will constantly be disappointed by the best others are able to do.
4. Your need to do the right thing, and avoid the wrong thing, will sometimes cost you money.
Honest people shoot themselves in the foot all the time. It’s unavoidable.
5. You may become judgmental of others.
The spiritual lesson in being a person of high integrity is to be forgiving of those who do not share your values. Sometimes that’s difficult.
Integrity is the subject of poetry, myth and legend. Shakespeare’s Polonius reminds us, “To thine own self be truth.” The Egyptian Goddess Ma ’at greets you after your death, and weighs your heart against a feather. If your heart is not heavy with wrong-doings, she will allow you passage into the Underworld.
If you are a person with a strong moral compass, you can work to avoid the pitfalls associated with your virtuous nature, but you can’t avoid being who you are. Learn to appreciate your high standards, and enjoy being an example to those around you.
Three Tarot Cards that Do the Right Thing
Sometimes the Universe can use a tarot reading to call you out for your own lack of integrity. Sometimes the cards will strongly urge you to honor your ethics.
Typically, the suit of Swords, related to the element of Air, will strongly speak of honesty, ethics and integrity. Many swords cards contain darker images that tell the brutal truth, or express the damage done when trust is broken.
Here are three tarot cards who clearly tell you to play fair.
Justice can indicate matters of law and fairness, but it can also be a commandment to do the right thing.
2. Ace of Swords
The Ace of Swords may remind you that you know the truth, and you know the right thing to do or to say.
3. The Knight of Swords
The Knight of Swords communicates a responsibility to the truth, to swift action, and to just action.
The next time these cards appear in a reading, consider that their message may be urging you to your highest ideals and values.
The Week in Review
Upon returning home to Tampa from my trip northeast, I wrote about a poignant experience I had during my trip, doing readings and then leading a healing ceremony. Read this true story on my 78 Magickal Tools blog on PaganSquare.
From Around the Web
From Speak of Secrets, here is a great myth-busting post called “Tarot and the Rules of Engagement”.
For my many empath friends, here are “5 Ways for Empaths to Shield from Negativity”.
From Oprah.com, it’s time to Speak your Truth!
Song of the Week
Here’s a song about speaking your truth. Enjoy Brave, by Sara Bareilles.
Gratitude, and Great Events Ahead!
My August Trip Northeast
Thanks to everyone who made my trip northeast so special, and so successful!
Please remember that I am available to travel at any time for your special events, just call or text 561-655-1160.
I’ll be back in Connecticut from March 23-April 4, so you can book your party now!
Professional Development Day (Pre-Conference Intensive)
If you are a professional tarot reader, or want to be, you should make plans to attend our Professional Development Day. The class schedule is now available on my events page.
TarotCon (Florida) 2016
The speaker line-up for TarotCon is growing! This will be the most exciting tarot convention ever! Tickets are still available. Visit the TarotCon website to reserve yours!
Parties, Classes and Private Readings in West Palm Beach!
I’ll be in West Palm Beach from October 14 - October 23. Private readings will be available by appointment at Pearl’s Room at Unity Church in the Pines, and by appointment at my suite at Homewood Suites.
I will also be teaching a few classes at Pearl’s, so check her Meetup to attend.
I have a few dates available to do house calls, psychic parties and gatherings in your South Florida home or office. Simply call or text 561-655-1160 to reserve your time.
with Michael Bridge-Dickson
Breaking Town Tarot's Elements Part 7 - Earth
After exploring and reflecting on our intuitive, sensual, emotional inner realms through Water, we settle in Earth, whose unique quality is solidity. Earth condenses the other three Elements, anchoring us in the here-and-now concerns of reality. This tangibility is sometimes seen as being “less spiritual” than the other Elements, but as a condensation of Air, Fire, and Water, Earth contains the potential of all Four Elements — through it, we gain access to our physical experience of all Elements by linking, consolidating, and expressing the virtues of all levels of being.
Where Water accumulates memories of the past, Fire projects its actions into the future, and Air moves the mind into any direction, in any world; Earth is built on the eternal present. More and more, with the influence of Eastern spiritual traditions, being present is seen as the epitome of spiritual practice, and for good reason: being present keeps us rooted in our experiences — and indeed, in ourselves. It has even become a somewhat cliche tenet of modern spirituality: to “be in the present moment” is the dictum of many contemporary seekers, from the experientially seasoned to those flirting with the path toward self-knowledge, and all of us who are our individual stages along this path.
As common as this concept is, many of us have difficulty finding and staying “in the present moment.” We remain ungrounded, our experiences tainted by memories of the past and projections into the future, or even a sheer disconnect into what never was, isn’t, and may never be. It’s not that these ruminations are not helpful, they are: we learn from and are formed by our past, we must always carry ourselves into the future, and imagination and rationale on every plane creates the possibility for anything — even the seemingly impossible — to come true.
Without Air, Fire, and Water, Earth would eternally sit, unchanged and unmoving. It’s this timeless nature of Earth that is the key to understanding it, and indeed to unlocking the secret of “being in the present.” That is, this elusive “present moment” doesn’t exist. Time is a continuum, a process, that cannot be pinned down: each moment becomes instantly the past, and the future cannot be caught as it passes us into the past… and yet, there is no denying that we are in life, as it is happening.
So what is this “present moment” stuff, and what does it have to do with Earth?
While the present moment may be intangible, and we may even waste a great deal of time and effort chasing it, presence is eternal. Presence is like Earth, in that if unacted upon by the other elements, it will remain unchanged. This means that we disturb our ability to be present throguh the necessary effects of Air, Fire, and Water. Since these Elements are crucial to our existence within time, our necessary participation in the flow of life, we must somehow find a way to carry the Earth Element along with us. This is what is being indicated by the idea of being “in the present moment,” but I propose that to make the Earth Element more real for us, that we drop the “moment” part of this tenet:
Eternity is a word we often use to describe the Divine, by whichever name we choose to call it: Spirit, Goddess, God, Source, Universe, The Light, Energy, Love, The Great Being, or the term I prefer, Consciousness. Consciousness, with a capital “C,” can be accessed in many ways, each of them having presence as the common denominator. Of course, each Element has its own form of consciousness, and each brings us into presence in different ways. Nonetheless, if presence is indeed the essence of Earth, Earth then is the nearest to Spirit, Consciousness, as we can get while in this physical plane.
In fact, in Vedic cosmology, the whole reason for a physical plane at all, is for Divinity to experience itself. It is through the manifestation of the physical universe that consciousness becomes real, and hence, achieves self-realization — the goal of spiritual practice. In other words, we become God through our own self-realization, and we do so in the same way that God realized itself by becoming us. Seen in this way, our Earthly existence, our day-to-day lives, simply being — but remaining consciously present — is Divine. This life, at all of its levels, through trials and tribulations, failures and victories, pains, pleasures and ecstasies, is all spiritual. It is all God experiencing itself, and us, in turn, experiencing God through ourselves, and through our relationships with others and our environments; which, if this universe is Consciousness experiencing itself, are all reflections of us as reflections of the Divine.
In this sense, presence grounds us. It grounds us in our being, in our essence as Divinity, our essence as Consciousness. No wonder then, when we are not grounded, our spiritual search can feel empty and disconnected. At the same time, Earth’s density can obscure our ability to interact with the other Elements and experience their effects, thereby anchoring us so deeply that we are dragged out of continual presence into a fixed and stagnant state.
When we read Earth cards in tarot, we are being given the opportunity to experience this presence, this consciousness, through our everyday lives. Looking at the Earth cards alone, the lower-numbered cards may indicate simpler experiences, and a reminder to find the joy in those simpler things, especially if we have lost touch with the Earth Element and our ability to be present. Lower numbers may also indicate that we are already well in touch with our presence, that we needn’t a drastic reminder to stay present and grounded precisely because we do so in life’s simple things.
Higher numbers may indicate the fullness of recognizing the divine in the everyday, the fulfillment of self-realization within the presence of being. However, those same higher numbers can also remind us that we may be so bogged down in practical matters that we have lost touch with our eternal essence within — Earth’s density obscuring Consciousness. The middle numbers, then, indicate challenges and developments along the way.
Consciousness reflects itself in us through Earth through relationship, through differentiation, and since Earth is both the condensation and container of all Elements, our understanding of ourselves and recognition of our Divinity hinges upon not just Earth, but the relationship of all Elements. If we lose our ability to be present directly through Earth, the same Elements that can unground us can also bring us back, through experience, to our being. It is, after all, this interaction of Elements that ensures life’s timeless and continual flow. And by the same token, if Earth’s density anchors us too heavily, our recourse is to reconnect with other Elements. Earth in balance holds all Elements both in potential and fulfillment.
Because of Earth’s relationship with the other three Elements, we will not read using only Earth cards the way we did with Air, Fire, and Water. Instead, let’s explore a way of using all Elements to bring us deeper into presence, and deeper into our being.
Separate your Ace to Ten Minors from the rest of the deck, and then separate the Earth cards and set the other 30 aside. You’ll first draw an Earth card to represent your current connection with Earth. This can be chosen at random, or better yet, try to experience your current degree of integration with Earth on a scale from One to Ten and select a card to represent that. For instance, if you feel weighed down by the weight of the world, you might select the Ten of Earth (setting aside the standard interpretation of this card as fulfillment for the moment, recognizing the density of this card). Or, if you currently feel very ungrounded, you might choose the Ace or Two of Earth, recognizing the instability of these low numbers. Feeling stuck or challenged, yet present with your reality may be somewhere from the set of middle cards, particularly the Five (but again this would depend on the degree and your relationship with each number). If you use reversals, you may also choose to use your relationship with the reversals to indicate your current level if “earthiness.”
Next, select a card and use that as an indicator as to how to bring your current Earth state into greater balance. There are several options here: you could simply select another Earth card, and observe the development or regression of this second card as your guide to further balancing your current state.
Since this state, though, is in relationship with the other Elements, I’d suggest selecting a card from the Ace to Ten Minors of Air, Fire, and Water that you separated earlier, but shuffled together. This will give you both a direction and a degree, depending on the suit and number that you wind up drawing. Use what you explored in the one-Element exercises previously to integrate this second Element with Earth and help balance it.
A third option is to include the remaining Earth cards so that you are selecting from 39 Minors.
Lastly, if you’d like a more in-depth look at the interrelationship between the Elements and your present state of groundedness, separate each suit and select a card from each with your earlier selected Earth card as your base:
Again, we’re working in degrees first, then any accompanying significance.
So in this example, Four of Earth is the current state. It is roughly mid-way on our scale, so there’s a feeling of density, solidity, but it is neither burdensome nor fully actuated. The stability of the Four indicates a state of pause.
There is comfort in the home, some sense of stability, but that stability is close and defined, it doesn’t stretch out very far. It could be indicating that the person feels grounded and secure (and present) at home, but becomes ungrounded when outside that zone — a fairly common experience for many of us. Due to this frame, however, perhaps the person is not fully experiencing life, not honoring the Divine within through interaction, but rather holding that presence to themselves. While comfortable, they may halting their own progress by being anchored in this reality.
To bring more balance to this stage of Earth for this person, at the Air level they may want to start thinking beyond this comfort state. Interaction may begin through written or verbal communication, studying subjects adjacent, but not oppositional, to their areas of interest. It may also require an ability to have a sense of humour about their fondness for comfort and the ways in which they seek stability.
In terms of their actions, in the fire realm, they need to put forth a fair bit of effort and complete projects, see things through to their end, and ensure their efforts and actions go all the way. They are extremely passionate, and that passion will help drive this person to express their being more fully. It would also be good to wrap up any loose ends, as unfinished business (whether personal or professional) may be sustaining the Four-state of Earth.
At the sensory level, another Five, indicating again a movement out of the comfort of personal stability into a larger, communal or interactive stage.Sometimes I like to think of the Fives as the transition from being a big fish in a small pond in the Four to being a small fish in a big pond — or at least another fish equal to a number of other fishes in the Six. The Five represents the in-between, and the struggle that occurs when recognizing the advantages and disadvantages of both the Four and the Six. Some of the advantages of the Four are given up for certain disadvantages in the Six, but we do it because the disadvantages of the Four we gain advantage over at the Six. Since the Five appeared twice here (and even the Ten of Fire can be seen as Five X 2, so among the non-Earth Elements we have 4 Fives, the Four of Earth extending out into a multiple of 4 Fives).
Through this exercise, we start to see how Elements interact and affect each other with Earth as our foundation, and its potential leads us toward understanding Court Cards and Elemental Dignities.
In the meantime, Earth cards hint at the continuity of being — that no matter how heavy or light life feels, despite the density of our circumstances, presence is eternal. When working with Earth, remember to simply be:
Find Michael Bridge Dickson and the Orbifold Tarot online, and meet him in person at TarotCon Florida 2016!
Image from Crystal Vision Tarot by Jennifer Galasso
Your One-Card Weekly Reading
Five of Swords
Appropriate for our topic this week, your one-card reading is the Five of Swords.
Here we see that a battle has occurred, with a clear winner, and a clear loser.
This week, chose your battles carefully. When you are ready to take a stand, stand tall, and risk all.
If you are fighting on the side of right, your belief in your cause will give you strength to endure, and, perhaps, to triumph.
Monday, August 29, 7 pm
Global Tarot Circle
Live on Facebook
Join us for our regular monthly free tarot webinar, with a twist! We’ll do our usual questions, readings, interpretations, sharing and exercises, but this time we will do it on Facebook Live!
Simply visit my business page on Facebook and hit “like”, then, visit the page at the event time. You can watch the live feed, and chat in the comment section!
Bring your tarot cards and get ready to spend a fast-paced hour with tarot friends from around the world!
Tuesday, August 30, 5:30 pm
An Evening with the Tarot
Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library
1505 North Nebraska Avenue, Tampa, 33602
Join me at the library as I present the art, history and culture of tarot!
October 7 Professional Development Day (PreConference Intensive)
October 8-9 TarotCon (Florida) 2016
October 14-23 Christiana's Trip to West Palm Beach. Call or test 561-655-1160 to schedule your party, house call or private reading.
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.