Osho Transformation Tarot — 43. Wishful Thinking

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Illustrations: Pujan

Commentary: Osho


Like I said on Tuesday, generally, I don’t ask questions about the future. The future is what I make of it; it will unfold one way or another. Nonetheless, I requested of this deck, “Tell me something about my upcoming week in Quebec.”


Osho tells me: “The thinker is creative with his thoughts— this is one of the most fundamental truths to be understood. All that you experience is your creation. First you create it, then you experience it, and then you are caught in the experience— because you don’t know that the source of all exists in you.” Then he tells the parable of the wish-fulfilling tree.*


The wish-fulfilling tree is the mind. Sooner or later, whatever we think is fulfilled. Unlike in heaven, there is a gap in time between the two— sometimes years. The original thought is generally forgotten. If we observe our thoughts and actions with great care, we will see this connection. Once this is understood, we can change our hell into heaven by consciously changing our mind. This takes great effort. We are responsible for our own world, but there is no need to create. We creators can learn to relax, to let go, to retire from our godhood. “That retirement of the mind is meditation.”


I am not accomplished at meditation. I try to be aware enough of my actions to see the effects they have on others. When things go wrong it is because, instead of paying attention to my actions, I get caught up in a mood I am having.


Whatever happens this coming week is my creation. It is the creation of years upon years of being me, up to the very last minute. There are many things I have done, many things I thought that could have been better. I cannot be in control. I need to let go.


•   •   •


*Osho relates: Once a man was traveling, accidentally he entered paradise. In the Indian concept of paradise there are wishfulfilling trees, kalpatarus. You just sit underneath them, desire anything, and immediately it is fulfilled— there is no gap between the desire and its fulfillment. You think, and immediately it becomes a thing… These kalpatarus are nothing but symbolic for the mind. Mind is creative, creative with thoughts.


The man was tired, so he fell asleep under a wishfulfilling tree. When he woke up he was feeling very hungry, so he said, “I wish I could get some food from somewhere.” And immediately food appeared out of nowhere— just floating in the air, delicious food.  He immediately started eating, and when he was feeling very satisfied, another thought arose in him: “If only I could get something to drink…” …immediately, precious wine appeared.


Drinking wine, relaxed in the cool breeze of paradise under the shade of the tree, he started wondering, “What is happening? Have I fallen into a dream, or are some ghosts around and playing tricks with me?” And ghosts appeared! They were ferocious, horrible, nauseating. He started trembling, and thought arose in him: “Now I am sure to be killed…”


And he was killed.



The Faeries’ Oracle — 44. Lys of the Shadows

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Brian FroudArtist: Brian Froud

Author: Jessica MacBeth


Interpretation: Healing the shadows. Addictions. Bondage. Self-esteem.


I have now been keeping this blog for a (mere) two and a half months. Done with illustrating cards, the next step is to write about card interpretation and illustrative thought-process. I need to reveal those things which remain occulted in my mind. Today I am using Brian Froud’s Faeries’ Oracle. I had some issues with the deck last time. With that in mind, I ask this pack of fey, “If the goals of this blog are to create a daily entry about a one-card tarot reading in order to facilitate the writing of a book, what is the purpose of reading from non-tarot decks, decks that do not inspire creative writing, and decks that I simply do not enjoy looking at?”


“Good question,” says Lys of the Shadows. I like her.


Lys deals with addicts. She tries to help people develop true self-respect and self-esteem by inspiring practical help for those who need it most. “Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Go out side into the sunlight,” she says. Taking care of one’s self is the most basic sign of self respect. This may be obvious to most of us, but for those living in the shadows of society, they are not easy actions. The best time to deal with addiction is before it happens, when action is merely habit. Lys is brisk with me. “Look at your habits,” she says.


I have this habit that I generally do what I say I am going to do— in general a very good trait. I also have a habit of trying to distribute my attentions fairly— again, not a bad thing. Lest you think I am a conceited self-righteous snot, I acquiesce to having a slew of bad habits not relevant to this discussion.


From the start I have wanted to write a book to go with this deck. Each of my major arcana cards began as a terse aphorism of my own divination. The book will not be the kind that retells the same-same tale of what each card means. I want the book to be one of poetry and short story— an amusement in and of itself. I want to show how my world-view is portrayed each image. I never wanted to change the tarot deck. Its mythological history is too amusing for that. I merely wanted to give old cards new, vibrant personality.


Thus, I have illustrated the Tarot of the Mythology of Me. Mythology becomes absurd when one takes it too literally, too seriously, or too fundamentally. I have spent my life admiring and amused by the mythologies of others, slave to none, faithless to anything outside my own imagination. Endless and beginningless a thing as mythology is, it is liable to take on each aspect of everything around it. Wading through ancient mythology requires hip boots, mental stamina, and a sharp machete.


In asking my question of Lys, I ask for permission to streamline the writing of the Book of the Mythology of Me. She says: “Eliminate what you don’t need. When something has ceased to serve its function— when action no longer brings you closer to your goal— move on.” Thus, with her blessing, I drop this deck from my lineup. I will do likewise with others that cease to serve me in the future. My goal is to write a cohesive, amusing book. These entries are my notes.

Little Czech Oracle Deck — five-card story

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

[I love this little deck. It has no pretenses of grandiose history and no controversial past. There is no right or wrong about it.]


Illustrator: Ivy Hüttnerové


I told Martin, “Draw five cards to make a story. If you don’t like it, draw five more until you do.” This deck has a large portion of cards that can be interpreted somewhat (or entirely) negatively. After a number of random sequences, he settled on Lover-Trouble-Wedding-Journey-Love.


In the first image, a fine-dressed, mustaschioed man holds a bouquet in one hand, a gentleman’s cane in the other, and waits by a clock for his Lover. It is seven past eight in the evening. His nerves buzz with excitement. The woman he waits for is beautiful. Waiting for her, he feels like a child waiting for Christmas. She arrives, late.


The second image follows soon after: Trouble. It is evening. A black cat fixes its yellow eyes upon us in a concentrated stare.Ivy Hüttnerové The path to his Lover’s heart is a labyrinth of convoluted passageways between close facades of the ancient city. Each house invites the man in with its illuminated windows, its warm, arched doorways. He does not know the many paths that take him to his Lover’s heart; he thinks there may be only one. But finding this path is not the only Trouble. Trouble is also what happens almost every time two hearts attempt to join. Two hearts meander alleyways, seek silhouettes across the glass, wonder at the scents of food and family life that seep from homes as people come and go. Windows— doors— open— close— each movement a brief glimpse into the secrets of the Lover’s heart. And then there is the day, that day they end up in the same room, dining at the same table, warmed by the same hearth. It is not the end to Trouble as one might suppose, but they have found each other’s hearts, and this alone makes wandering the strange dark streets of Trouble that much easier.


Ivy HüttnerovéThe third image shows a well-dressed couple together on a bicycle. The man wears a suit and bowler hat; the woman, a white, flowing dress, heels and a veil. Wedding. In the background is the church. Wedding itself is a simple thing: a moment in time: a ceremony: a declaration of intent towards future dedication. Wedding says: “These two hearts have met, now they are one.” Wedding shows pride in one’s Lover. Wedding is a ceremony for all to see. Here, there is no hiding of the heart.Ivy Hüttnerové



The fourth image shows a suitcase, umbrella, and a woman’s hat laid down by a path near a milestone. Journey. The path meanders past trees, through between high hills and under a bridge, off to the mountains of the horizon, off to the sun. There is no telling where the path goes unless one Journeys on it. There are two ways of traveling. One may look at one’s feet landing on the path and wonder where the path goes and when one may arrive. This makes the path a long one. Alternatively, one may look at each tree and hill as the final destination. This makes the Journey short and the destination always near, no matter how long the path winds on and on.


Ivy HüttnerovéThe fifth image is Love, both Lovers in bed, heads together and Cupid above ready to reload his bow with arrows. They are Lovers because they found each other in the Troubled pathways of the dark city, and they are Lovers because they Journey together towards the horizon of life’s winding path, admiring each tree and hill and milestone they pass, and they are Wed by life.




I am sorry this is such a boring story—

Martin wanted a happy ending.

I was ready to settle for House-Baby-Thief-Letter-Thoughts—

obviously a depressing, unsolved kidnapping mystery.

Osho Transformation Tarot — 45. Living Totally

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Illustrations: Pujan

Commentary: Osho


I was rather bitter at being given The Tower yesterday. Today I am using the Osho Transformation Tarot— which is actually an oracle deck— because it always speaks to me in a kind voice. I said, “Give me some good advice.”


Osho replied with the tale of Alexander the Great meeting the sage Diogenes in India. It is a good story: Diogenes has nothing. Alexander admires him so completely that he wishes to be him in his next life. When asked what is preventing him from being Diogenes now, Alexander replies that he has to conquer the world, then he will rest. Diogenes replies that he himself is resting without having conquered the world; that something will always remain unconquered and Alexander will die in the middle of his journey. Which is exactly what happened. Then Osho said to me:


Those who say, “We are waiting for an opportunity,” are being deceptive, and they are not deceiving anybody but themselves. The opportunity is not going to come tomorrow. It has already arrived, it has always been here. It was here even when you were not here. Existence is an opportunity; to be is the opportunity.


Don’t say, “Tomorrow I will meditate, tomorrow I will love, tomorrow I will have a dancing relationship with existence.” Why tomorrow? Tomorrow never comes. Why not now? Why postpone? Postponement is a trick of the mind; it keeps you hoping, and meanwhile the opportunity is slipping by. And in the end you will come to the cul-de-sac— death— and there will be nothing left. And this has happened many times in the past. You are not new here, you have been born and you have died many, many times. And each time the mind has played the same trick, and you have not yet learned anything.


The saying “Never not put off until tomorrow what you can do today” may not mean “Go conquer the world— start now” but rather “Live the life you love.” The advice is not “do more, accomplish more, make more money,” but rather “be in love with your life; be happy.”


The hard part is taking the time to stop, stand back and ask, “What do I truly love? What is happiness?” The answer to this question will not come when the brain is full of thought and seeking. It will come as a revelation when the brain is relieved of the hindrance of thought.


Perhaps that is what The Tower was trying to tell me, yesterday. Perhaps I was too annoyed with it to listen.

Death — Little Czech Oracle Deck

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Illustrator: Ivy Hüttnerové


I don’t want to know anything about anything today. I shuffled the deck and said, “Tell me something funny.” I promptly drew the Death card and was relieved I hadn’t asked any of the questions that had flitted through my head. The little booklet that comes with this 32-card deck is all in Czech, so I get to practice my skills at oracle reading.


This card has many traditional symbols— skeleton, scythe, cross, barren tree, black ribbon— which, especially when taken together, have come to symbolize death in western culture. To me they symbolize the very hollow aspects of death: death as viewed by the bereaved. The image of death seems lonely, like a dog howling at the moon.  Dogs howl for communication. They howl at other dogs or lack of other dogs— and at sirens— which are sort-of like dogs. On nights without a moon, dogs are more likely to be sleeping; on nights with a moon, dogs are more likely to stay up all night talking on the phone: howling. Their voices travel better in the relative silence of night. They can hear a dog howling five blocks away instead of only two blocks away. More dogs on the dog phone means more howling. Of course, anyone with a dog yard knows dogs howl at any time, for no particular reason at all.


If dogs had their freedom, they’d all get together for midnight romps on moonlit nights, cruising for chicks, chickens, and general trouble. I think this death card is the newly dead, baying for her compatriot dead souls, ready to rush off and join the dead army— or perhaps the dead knitting group.


How is death funny? Death catches us unawares, like the punchline to a good joke. Death like shitting: everybody does it; few people like to talk about it in good company. The difference is, we only die once, and no one ever reports back to say, “Oh, that was such a good death. I feel so much better now.” Maybe we need more death jokes.


*    *    *


I wanted to play with the deck more, so I said, “Tell me a story in five cards,” and drew the following sequence: Letter, Illness, Hope, Thief, Misery. The sixth card would have been death. A letter tells of illness. We hope for the best, but disease is a thief that steals dreams and happiness and leaves misery in its wake.



The Faeries’ Oracle — 41. Ilbe the Retriever

Thursday, December 29th, 2011
Artist: Brian Froud

Author: Jessica MacBeth


“Office of Unclaimed Property, Hopes, and Wishes. Loyalty.”


Oracle decks are different from tarot decks in a number of manners. Mainly, there is no predetermined pattern to the deck,  there is no history behind the cards, and the cards are not used for games.


Oracle decks are similar to a ‘book with all answers,’ where opening a page answers your preset question. In this case, drawing a card tells you which page to open to.


Oracle decks often originate from the author’s passionate belief in one particular area. Some decks, as this one, marry existing imagery to suitable meanings. In general, these cards spring from a desire to tap into the spiritual world to find “insight, wisdom, and joy,” as this deck states.


The author says, Don’t read someone else’s definitions of the cards until you already have some idea of what they mean to you. This is good advice for any work of art, literature, poetry, graffiti, kitsch, tarot card, or ancient spiritual text. Don’t let someone tell you what it means. Figure it out yourself, then listen to others’ opinions. You will gain no insight if you do not allow your inner eye to open. You will gain no wisdom if you always only listen to the words of others— perhaps knowledge, but not wisdom. And joy? What truly gives you joy?


To me, this card looks like an old-man-puppy begging at the table. I used to love Froud’s dreamy images when I was a little girl. As an adult, that which I see in reality is more fantastic than any faerie he could ever dream. I want to tell the card “grow up” and will not let the deck “speak” to me. A few things may be happening: self-censorship, lack of interest in oracle decks, and refusal to assimilate anyone else’s vision of faerie.


Nonetheless, I admit Jessica MacBeth gives good instructions on how to get to know a card. In part, she asks a series of questions which I answer here*:


The creature seems selfishly immature. It is wanting something, whining, trying to make me feel guilty if I do not give what it wishes. This beast has a certain slowness about it. It looks spiritually incomplete, grasping to the leadership of others. I find its wings appealing, because I like wings. I find the tilt of its head unappealing. It makes me want to wring its long neck, but the neck seems rubbery and I get the feeling that if I tried to choke it, the creature would laugh. I find myself fixated on wringing its un-wringable neck and hypnotized by its maniacal laughter into continuing on and on into insanity. It is frustrating. I come across as cruel and crazy—


but this is how we sometimes seem
in both reality and dream.


*Question summary:
1) What is the emotional atmosphere of the card?
2) What might the physical manifestation of this card’s symbols be in someone’s life? What aspect of life does this card symbolize to you?
3) What do you see in the card’s symbols that might represent the card’s mental characteristics?
4) What are the spiritual characteristics of the card’s symbols?
5) What do you find most appealing or comforting about this card?
6) What do you find most unappealing or uncomfortable about this card?
7) What other ideas or impressions do you have of this card?
And she says: if you fail to answer any of these questions, take a break until you can.


The following terms must be defined by YOU: symbol, spiritual & mental characteristics, comforting & uncomfortable, appealing & unappealing. These are opinions and reflections of experience.