The Star β€” The Shakespeare Oracle

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Artist: Cynthia von Buhler
Author: A. Bronwyn Llewellyn


The first time I passed through Oaxaca, Mexico, I had one of the most amazing dreams of my life.


I dreamed I was a woman living in a small village in the mountains. I was newly in love and newly married when my new husband went off to war. He said to me before he left, β€œWhile I’m gone, make me a weaving.” So I made weavings. Every day I made weavings, weaving to no end until one day I said, β€œI can’t do this anymore. I have to stop. I have to do something else.”


I wanted to join the army. I bypassed all the armed forces where women are accepted. I walked until I came to a cement house where it was cold. I went inside. The house overlooked a canyonβ€” a canyon familiar to my dreams, into which I often dove on wings of faith in search of freedom. The men inside wore black: black clothing, black hoods over their faces. This sector of the army was kept secret from women. No woman knew of it; none had ever been here.


I picked up a gun. β€œI wanted to fight,” I said.


The men looked at me askance. β€œYou are a woman,” said one of them.


I saw into their hearts and knew then it was not a sexist remark. The men were aware that I could fight as well as they could, but they cared too much about me. Each one of them loved me and would not let me do this to myself. This squadron meant death.


In came the man in charge. He said I could not join. I was furious. One man after another of higher rank came in until at last in came the Zen Master. I paced in small circles as we talked.


I said, β€œI thought I knew this. I used to know what I was doing. I used to know detachment. I thought I knew what Zen was.”


He said, β€œWe are all just learning.” He said, β€œShow me your weavings.”


I brought them out. He lifted up each of the weavings one by one and held each one in admiration. Each weaving depicted a different woman, sitting, weaving. There were piles of them, dozens and dozens of weavings, large, and in bright colors. The man nodded at each one. He knew the names and villages of all the women. He spoke highly of their weaving and spoke highly of mine.


At the bottom of the pile was a small weaving of a young child holding an empty spoon before her with two hands, as if in offering. The Zen Master could not place this image; he had never seen such a child. He asked, β€œWhat is this?”


I turned my head and looked at the floor. My eyes blurred with tears. I said, β€œOh. That one doesn’t belong.”


He said, β€œThen get rid of it.”


β€œI can’t,” I said, and began to sob helplessly. β€œIt’s my hope.”


β€œWell then,” the Zen Master said to me, β€œget rid of all the others.”


And I woke, sobbing.


*Β Β  *Β Β  *


The woman in the next bunk in the hostel noticed when I woke. She said she heard me crying but didn’t want to wake me in the middle of a dream. She sat at the head of my bed and listened as I told her my dream, crying. She said she never had dreams like that. I thanked her for listening. I am so thankful for her, so thankful for this unknown woman from Israel, for without her waiting for me to awaken and without her listening, I may never have remembered the most beautiful dream of my life: the dream of what hope is.


Hope is The Star. Get rid of all else.

Two of Quills & The Magician β€” The Shakespeare Oracle

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

to be or not to beArtist: Cynthia von Buhler
Author: A. Bronwyn Llewellyn


Interpretation: “This card signifies vacillation between opposing points, weighing seemingly equal possibilities, procrastination, or struggling with a dilemma.”


Doing something one is used to doing is not so difficult. Being in a difficult situation and changing one’s habits is very hard for most of us mortals. It becomes easier as the situation becomes dire. The sort of yoga I do daily is no longer good for me. Most everything hurts. Thus, I no longer do yoga. Not doing yoga is not good for me. My request of this deck was, “Tell me to do yoga.” The deck tells me, “Find something good for your body and do that.” I need to learn something new. But where do I look? How do I begin?

shakespeare tarot


[I draw a second card.]


Interpretation: “The Magician is the communicator, creator, achiever, and shape-shifter. Drawing upon his wisdom and determination, he commands the forces of the universe and shapes them into a new reality. Originality and sheer willpower fuel his conjurations. […]”


The bard hath spoke!

Get off your arse and get to work.

Be not some dumb puppetβ€”

be your own puppet’s puppeteer.


11. Strength β€” The Shakespeare Oracle

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

[One well versed in Shakespeare could use this deck to learn tarot and never need to look up a meaning in the book.]

Artist: Cynthia von Buhler
Author: A. Bronwyn Llewellyn


Interpretation: “This card suggests fortitude, confidence, and command. This isn’t the raw courage and endurance needed to leap into battle, but the inner strength to do what has to be done, no matter how difficult or long it takes.” Etc.


I keep forgetting to ask a question. I have no idea what this card answers other than the eternal question “Who am I?” This is not a bad thing. Ramana Maharshi tells us:


“Who am I” is not a mantra. It means that you must find out where in you arises the “I”-thought which is the source of all other thoughts. [AND] Self-enquiry is certainly not and empty formula and it is more than the repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry “Who am I” were a mere mental Questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one “I” searching for another “I.” Much less is self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness.


Unfortunately, the simplicity of meditation is more complex than the complexity of reading tarot:


To enquire “Who am I?” really means trying to find out the source of the ego or the “I”-thought. You are not to think of other thoughts, such as “I am not this body.” Seeking the source of “I” serves as a means of getting rid of all other thoughts. We should not give scope to other thoughts… but must keep the attention fixed on finding out the source of the “I”-thought by asking, as each thought arises, to whom the thought arises. If the answer is “I get the thought,” continue the enquiry by asking “Who is this ‘I’ and what is its source?”


Each tarot card answers “Who am I” in a different way. Each card shows something different in myself. At any moment, I embody every card. When I pull a card with no question in mind but “Who am I?” the answer is always, “You are this.” Then I find the part of me that the card speaks of and how I currently embody that aspect.


I pulled the Strength card and thus ask, “How am I Strength?” I see that I embody many aspects of strength in its positive attitude. Although often I am uncertain of what I am doing, confidence in my self and my world-view gives me strength. I admit I pulled the card upside-down, and seek meaning there. It tells me to watch for self-doubt and lack of faith. These are things that weaken me.

you are strong: be strong be strong