Seven of Swords with Two of Cups

Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

A close friend of mine told me a story involving her and one of her close friends in college. Her friend was seeing a guy at the time, but she suspected my friend and this guy might have had a latent attraction to each other. In order to validate the existence of the attraction she had arranged for the boyfriend and my friend to be alone together sans her. Of course the girl’s suspicions were confirmed and she confronted my friend after the betrayal and admitted to deliberately “testing” her. My friend replied, “If you’re pretty sure I’m going to fail your test and you don’t like the results, then don’t give me the test.”

This whole business of trust in any burgeoning relationship is a tricky one; be it lovers, friends, associates, coworkers, any relationship that is unfolding. I can make you roll your eyes and nod rhetorically if I tell you that trust has to be earned. It is the theme of every banal teenage drama on television. Yes, yes… we know that, David… captain of clichés. Clearly David starts with the letter Duh.

I’ll spare you the wisdom of the banal and venture into the more exotic take on trust. In order for trust to be earned, it has to be broken. It must be tested and strained. The paper grocery bag we carry our trust in has to get wet in the rain and threaten to tear, releasing our grapefruit and eggs and flank steak and box of baking powder and our Crunchy-O’s to the wet pavement just before we reach the car door.

Think about this. Trust has to at some point be challenged. One doesn’t say “I know she doesn’t read my private journal” without it crossing one’s mind when it’s left on one’s nightstand when her roommate is home alone. At some point the opportunity for the breach is realized, and we sit staring at the crack waiting to see if our partner will chip away at it enough to be able to reach through the wall.

But here’s the tricky part, the smoke and mirrors, the David Copperfield’s flair and dazzle, the Penn and Teller’s humorous play-off-the-other-partnership, the David Blaine’s disarming deadpan, the Criss Angel’s saying “close your eyes and don’t peek”. The misdirection is the other person in whom our trust is tested. The real trust issue lies in the self. The need to constantly keep one eye open is a symptom of a lack of trust in our ability to align ourselves with people above board. Even when we find the limits to which we can trust another, we still insist on testing them to validate their untrustworthiness beyond the point of the validation we already received. Are we really testing ourselves to see if we can trust ourselves to not trust the untrustworthy?

This is not to say that it is simply our fault if another person betrays us our shatters our faith in them that should be there by default. It is to say that if we to continue to risk a betrayal from our partner when past examples show it to be inevitable, we are clearly demonstrating a lack of trust in ourselves. Perhaps it is an inability to trust ourselves to make sound decisions in love or in business. Perhaps we mistrust our strength in functioning independently. In any event a constant mistrust of a person with whom we are entering some form of partnership is an opportunity for us to examine where we need to strengthen our sense of self trust. When we find that and we secure that we will see that the partnership will naturally resolve itself to our personal benefit.

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The Star with Knight of Pentacles

Quantum Tarot v2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Quantum Tarot v2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

Have you ever seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross? In the scene where Alec Baldwin’s character delivers the monologue regarding the coveted Glen Ross accounts (which was not in the original play), he mentions the ABCs of sales: Always Be Closing. This is a common tagline to the approach to sales, albeit kind of an old school approach. Might as well say “Always Be Selling”, or ABS. Notice the apropos BS at the end of that given acronym…

Enough about that movie. I’m not a fan of the film, the play, or of David Mamet’s work in general. I bring it up, however, because I think of it often when I write posts to this blog. I ask myself, “Self? Can there possibly be an ABM acronym I could use, as in Always Be Manifesting?” The thing of that is, it’s not much different than the above cited example of Always Be Selling. In sales you’re always selling anyway, it’s not something you’re really turning on or off. It’s a matter of how focused you are on what you are selling. One has to be mindful they aren’t inadvertently selling the wrong idea about whatever it is they’re selling.

We are always manifesting. It’s really a matter of our focus. If our focus or our presence is askew or misdirected we can find ourselves manifesting something other than what we think we desire. What makes it even trickier is manifestation does not play by the rules of the stage magician, where a dove is produced from the lifted lid of a saucepan ablaze.

The process of bringing our intentions to reality is more like a smoldering ember. The temperature has to hold for a long enough period to keep the glow present until the environment is prime for transforming it into a small flame. In our own manifestation process what controls the temperature is our belief, our hope, our trust in ourselves and what is best for us. While we are exercising our patience as best we can we sometimes lose faith over time, believing that what we want will never come, that it got lost in the mail of the Universe.

Yes, we are always manifesting, but often at an imperceptible pace. Think of it as writing your intentions on the back of a tortoise and letting it go. That tortoise will get there, but unless being an audience of the tortoise march serves as cheap entertainment for us, we will merely suffer the watched-pot syndrome. Our distrust in the process only serves to force us to pick up the creature and constantly change its direction as if that would help to get it there any faster.

The adage that faith can move mountains is true. Just ask Dasrath Manjhi, the man who literally did just that over the course of 53 years. Perhaps he didn’t have the luxury of microwaves and McDonald’s to sully the idea that often time is required to manifest one’s intentions. What he did have is the unyielding belief that it was to be.

The Magician

The Magician
A robed figure stands near a table upon which lie the elements, the hands indicating the lilies and roses above and below

Manifesting our desired outcomes consists of two primary components: setting an intention, and acting on the intention. Both of these components are required to manifest what we desire, and both need to be applied equally to ensure success.

If we set an intention on an outcome yet we take no action toward our goals, our intention is nothing more than simply making a wish, crossing our fingers, and hoping it comes true. In all actuality if we look at the actions we are taking to preserve our personal status quo, these actions will show what it is we truly want, what is our actual intention. Inaction toward accomplishing our goals is really action toward an opposing goal, one which we will see realized. Continue reading The Magician

The Star

The Star
A nude woman pours out two pitchers, one into land and the other into water, as a great star and many other stars shine in the sky

One of the quintessential components of manifestation is belief. It is absolutely essential for us to believe we can attain that which we have envisioned for ourselves, for if we do not believe we can achieve, we most certainly will fall short of our goals.

To take it a step further, we have to have faith in the manifestation process. This may seem redundant to say, as belief and faith are often seen as synonymous. While they are closely related and often interdependent on one another, the distinction is that belief is a function of the mind, where faith is a function of the heart.

Relying on belief in and of itself can be tenuous; with belief being a mental function, we can be easily derailed if, while in pursuit of our goals, the results of our efforts prove to be counter to that which we desire. We may see failure as evidence of being incapable or undeserving of our intended outcomes. On the other hand, faith sustains our belief in spite of disappointments we may face along the way.

It is far more accurate to say faith is synonymous to trust. Not only is it about trusting that we will attain our goals despite our missteps, obstacles, and failures; it is also about acknowledging that those failures are part of the design of the manifestation process, that our unsuccessful attempts at reaching our goals are actually designed to help us do just that.

We will always do well to remember; what lies between our belief and our faith is hope.

Strength – 8

A woman restrains and tames a lion with ease, grace, and a gentle touch

Manifestation is all about making things happen, making our life into one we envision. As we come to understand how to create the life we want, we learn that it is important for us to take action. We create the life we desire when we do more than wish and hope, sitting still and waiting for all we want to come to us, to fall into our lap. Manifestation happens constantly for us, but specifically attracting a positive outcome takes effort on our part.

What we need to understand, however, is that effort does not equal brute force. When we try to force an outcome, we are working too hard to determine the results. We often work harder than we need to when we do not have the faith that the efforts we take are enough to affect the outcome. We may try to force our way through an obstacle and cause more strain to ourselves that we need to when another solution may be readily available.

Using our own strengths to overcome our adversities is the most affective approach to influencing a positive outcome. When we work from our strength we work from a most advantageous position with the least effort. We place ourselves in a position of faith in our own abilities to get through a challenge. This show of faith signals the universe to work on our behalf to create for us what we want. When we try to force an outcome we are telling the universe that we are uncertain of our ability to bring the desired outcome into our reality and the universe hesitates accordingly. The force we exert actually contributes to creating the resistance that is causing us to force the outcome. The result is a vicious circle with no forward progress.

Strength is the opposite of force. Strength is exhibited through ease and confidence. Strength is built completely on faith. We can crumble a mountain with the gentlest touch if we believe we can. The requirement is the belief, the faith, that our efforts will bring the outcome we want. So we put forth our efforts then we release our trust to the universe that we will receive what is in our best interest.