Queen of Swords with Nine of Pentacles

Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche
Cosmic Tarot by Norbert Lösche

I truly enjoy being a man. I can’t put my finger on what it is I enjoy about being a member of the member gender, but I like it.

Having said that, my hat goes off to women. As a gender, I find women endlessly fascinating and amazing and captivating and intriguing.

Reality tv would have us believe that women have a propensity to be undercutting and cutthroat with each other. However, when women team together around a common cause they form an impenetrable and effective force that operates like a singular mind. It makes male bonding look like Red Rover played against a wall of wet toilet paper.

As much as I enjoy being part of the clunky blocky gender, I know we are the utilitarian half of the species. At the risk of genderalizing (see what I did there?) we are built to build. We are the beasts of burden. We pull the cart and the plow of daily living. Don’t misunderstand me; that’s not to say that women aren’t capable of being builders and workhorses. Not only are they capable, they can do it while juggling a myriad of tasks and responsibilities and projects and duties. If we men tried to do so, we would collapse under task #3, whining and complaining about how overloaded we are while instantly coming down with a debilitating head cold.

Am I saying that women are all around better than men? Many women would say yes. Many men would be afraid to say no. I am not at all saying that one gender is inferior to another or any of that. What I will say, is where women excel and men fall short to genderalize once again, is in balancing the archetypes of gender within themselves. Women do it so seamlessly and effortlessly they often aren’t even aware they are doing it.

Let’s briefly look at the archetypes of masculinity and femininity so I can more easily drop my point on your big toe: the masculine principle is about outward expression, drive, strength, hardness, aggressiveness, left-brain analytical. The feminine principle is about nurturing, compassion, empathy, softness, right-brain creativity. Women will easily embody their masculine side through being driven, aggressive, determined, tenacious, and strong while not feeling like their femininity has been compromised. Meanwhile, men still have trouble embracing their feminine archetype comfortably, and those that do are looked at sideways by other men. The manly man’s man’s man will still refer to other men as girls in an attempt to demean them, implying that it is negative to be soft or sensitive or to express one’s emotions.

The concept of fortitude seems to be implicitly tied to our gonads as well, as we declare that someone lacking toughness needs to “grow a pair”. I don’t know about you, but to me it seems that a vagina can withstand far more than our hacky sacks. Those things can withstand the force of our derricks then turn around and do the equivalent of passing a melon through a garden hose during childbirth, while a single soccer ball bounce into the male fun zone induces a temporary state of malaria like symptoms, at which point we are no longer afraid to cry.

So to all you men out there reading this post: True strength is showing your vulnerability. We all have within us the feminine side that is begging to be acknowledged. We have an X chromosome just like the “fairer” sex so we have no excuse. Our little dangling Y is not going to shrivel up and be devoured by the big X if we show some compassion, if we exhibit some tenderness. The world will be better off. The overwhelming number of men in political positions would stop being afraid of the beautiful power that women hold and cease with continually trying to suppress it. If we stop and embrace our feminine principles we will find we are capable of so much more than we currently are, much the way women have when they stop believing the bullshit about them being less than any man.

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The Hanged Man with Nine of Cups

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan

I love this time of year. Autumn is indubitably my favorite season. I love the transition between the frenetic energy of summer playtime into the ubiquitous static of the winter months. My senses dance with delight as the cool days make their way in, carrying the earthen scents of crisp shed foliage in their rusts and oranges, coppers and browns. There’s an ambivalence in the temperatures that keeps me alert and refreshed on an hour by hour basis.

Sitting smack-dab in the middle of this season is one of my favorite holidays. When Halloween shakes its bony rattle for the last time to remind us that all things slide into entropy, giving way to Christmas music and bloated newspaper ads on November 1st, I sit patiently waiting for the epitome of the season to come sauntering my way. That is Thanksgiving, the holiday often drowned out by the din of Western culture’s obsession with rampant consumerism.

Thanksgiving represents to me the ultimate in what the season is all about. In a nod to our agrarian ancestors we acknowledge that the last harvest has passed and we need to ensure that our food reserves will hold throughout the dead winter months. Rather than hedging our bets and hiding our food away from the inspections of Old Man Winter, we shrug and say, “I’m not sure if I have enough food to last me through winter for myself but I do have enough food to share with my family, friends and loved ones”.

The idea expressed in this holiday brings me so much delight because it is selfless. It is displaying such a deep level of gratitude for our family and community that we are willing to surrender our potential sustenance a few months out to ensure that we can all partake of our bounty today. It is also a nod to the Universe that the cornucopia extends beyond the symbolic, that we have a great enough trust that the great Gestalt will provide for us during the leanest times, thus we can share from our coffers without worry of any possible future deficit.

The best way to ensure anything returns to us tenfold is to give it selflessly to those without. Good fortune comes to those of us of good will. If one slice of bread is only enough to feed one person for one day, we do better to only eat have a slice and to give the other to our neighbor or eat a tenth of the slice and give the rest to nine others. We all may be less full but we are all a little less hungry. The alternative is to keep the whole slice for ourselves while the rest perish, so the next day we can gorge on that withheld bounty but to find ourselves surrounded by our own loneliness.

I saw this statement on a readerboard last week that illustrates this beautifully: Do good with what we have, or what we have will do us no good.

Nine of Pentacles

Nine of Pentacles
A woman of means stands before her fruitful vineyard, a tamed falcon upon her raised hand

To create the life we want we often benefit from the assistance of others. We find we can gain more ground in our endeavors when we are able to get help from those around us with the ability and means to do so. However, at the end of the day, we determine the clearest outcomes we have set for ourselves through our own efforts.

It is not that we should never ask for assistance when needed; rather, it is recognizing when we are becoming overly reliant on others when working toward our goals. We may seek help when we find ourselves stuck, needing an extra set of hands to assist us in pushing our cart out of the mud, but it is a sure warning sign when our knee-jerk reaction when stalling in our progress is to call out to others for help before looking for answers within.

One of the hazards of overly depending on others in lieu of self-reliance is we begin to become blind to our own source of power. The muscle that moves us toward our goal through our own efforts becomes atrophied as we allow the assistance of others to carry us along. We can easily find ourselves in a compromising position when the help we have relied upon is no longer available, which in life is an inevitability. We find we need to move ourselves forward but our legs are weak from lack of use.

Another danger of excess dependence on others to accomplish what is a personal goal is having the outcome adulterated by the agendas of our benefactors. We may find that our creations end up becoming comprised of the goals of others, goals that may not necessarily be in alignment with our own, no matter how altruistic the intentions may be of those that have helped us.

We can often find we make the most remarkable progress toward the intention we have set for ourselves when we employ a tremendous amount of self-reliance. Each time we successfully find a resolution via our own resources, efforts, and determination we validate just how powerful we are as individuals. We accept ourselves as the primary means to look to in order to accomplish what we set out for ourselves. While no person in and of oneself is an island, our visions are uniquely ours, and are most clearly manifested when we rely on ourselves as a primary source of energy, calling to others for assistance only when necessary or when it is an inherent part of our vision.

Nine of Cups

Nine of cups
A man sits before a table of numerous cups, appearing very pleased

For those of us that have studied the principles of manifestation and the Law of Attraction, we know the first step in manifesting our desires is to set the intention on what we want. In the simplest terms this equates to making a wish, to acknowledging a desired outcome. While the first step is absolutely essential in beginning the process of manifestation, it is the second step that often gets overlooked.

We are often taught to use the technique of visualizing that on which we set our intention. It has been recommended to employ as much detail in our visualization as possible. This technique in all actuality is merely a tool designed to connect us to the most effective component of manifestation. Continue reading Nine of Cups

Nine of Wands

Nine of Wands
A person appearing to be recently injured stands vigilant with a cache of wands behind him as reinforcement

Manifesting our desires is not always an instant process. In fact, the grander the vision of what we desire, the more time, effort, or energy will be required to bring it to fruition.

In between the time we set our vision and when we achieve it lie many trials and errors. With each mistake we make, with each disappointing outcome we experience in pursuing our dream, we find it takes more determination to take another shot at it. Reminding ourselves to “get back on the horse” begins to feel like an empty cliché, providing us with little to no inspiration. Continue reading Nine of Wands

Nine of Swords

A man sits up in bed overwhelmed and unable to rest as nine swords loom over him

Understanding the Law of Attraction is a very powerful way to create the life we want. However, just understanding the dynamics of manifestation does not guarantee a smooth and easy life free of all problems, issues, and challenges.

We can control the direction our life takes, the direction we wish to go, but we cannot always control every circumstance that comes into our life. Sometimes we experience circumstances that are simply beyond our control. There may be little to nothing we can do to influence the outcome of a situation. We may just have to hunker down and wait out a passing storm. As we can do nothing to change the weather, we can only ensure we remain safe until the maelstrom moves past.

When we find ourselves in the midst of challenging obstacles it can be difficult to remain still in the chaos. We may feel that if we do not take action we are not dealing with the problem. The illusion of taking action often comes in the form of expending great amounts of mental energy, dwelling on the problems, turning over the circumstances in our heads in an attempt to find an illusive solution to our challenge. Unfortunately this is energy that has been diverted from dealing with the very moment we are in, energy that requires our attention in the present rather than in a future outcome. As a result, we worry instead of sleeping, we ponder our stressful situation rather than enjoying a nice meal or appreciating the time we have with our loved ones.

Worrying and dwelling on problems we cannot act on at that moment in time not only is an exercise in futility, it moves us toward more challenges. The stress we accumulate can lead to health issues, poor communications and fractured relationships, further compounding our anxieties on top of what we are already facing. As the Law of Attraction states that like attracts like, keeping ourselves in a state of stress attracts further stresses into our life. We can do well to take a step back from the situation, sort the elements into what we can influence and what is out of our reach, take action on what we can affect and wait for the remaining storm to pass. When we remind ourselves that we have experienced challenges in the past and have moved through them eventually, we will recognize that this too shall pass.