Eight of Pentacles with Five of Swords

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans

Right now the US Open is being held in my backyard. Just a mere nine miles from my house four golfers are about to have a ball smacking showdown over a purse of $1.8 million.

For all of you golf non-aficionados, let me explain a bit about what makes this course and this Open noteworthy: Chambers Bay Golf Course is the youngest course to host a US Open. It is modeled after the Scottish styled links, with less of that lush baby pampering pristine magazine cover golf courses that are standard to our American sensibilities. It’s comprised of fine fescue grass, a grass that does well here in the perpetual blanket of gray and dampness indicative of Pacific Northwest Puget Sound weather. It’s a grass with super thin tight blades that you’ll find in many lawns around here, preferred by type-A landscapers who like their lawns to resemble an active Marine colonel’s haircut. The result in golf is a tight, frictionless, unforgiving turf that offers more bounce and less spin for golfers.

Bear with me… there will be a little more golf talk before going into the Tarot meat…

So here is what we’ve had to contend with from the golf pros competing in this year’s US Open. There have been grouses and complaints about how this course is not up to par for hosting an Open. Yep, I took liberties with that joke. I can hear the eyes rolling like an overshot putt on a double-cut green. Anyway, the pros have remarked on how awful and unreasonable and inelegant and nonsensical this course is for this level of play. With some slight exceptions, the coincidental correlation has been in the scores. The degree of grievance from each pro seems to be directly proportional to the number of strokes they ended up with in each round. Read: the worse they did, the more vocal their criticism of the links.

So here’s the point in all this golf talk and how it correlates rather interestingly to the two cards I drew at random: In order to master any endeavor, one has to practice. One has to apply themselves to a task with so much repetition that it becomes second nature. Think of Mr. Miyagi employing the car waxing technique when training young Danny Laruso in The Karate Kid. Increasing a skill is all about developing technique into an automated response, about making what was once intensely challenging into a fluid and natural exercise.

Once we’ve reached that state of expertise, at what point do we say we cannot possibly get any better? For the best of the best, there is no such thing and there should be no such thing. They know the state of perfection is perpetually out of reach, it’s a brass ring that is really the proverbial carrot-on-a-string. Yet it must be pursued. Once the expert finds themselves on autopilot in employing their demonstrable skillset, they should yearn to find out what can snap them out of their zen of expertise. What better to do that than to face a challenge that rattles them profoundly, that throws the caltrops of the unexpected in their path?

If we find ourselves complaining about not being able to set our cruise control and effortlessly glide through a new challenge of which we believe ourselves to be excellently excellent in meeting, we should instead be thankful. We should have tremendous gratitude to receive the opportunity to challenge ourselves beyond our rote masterdom. We should recognize that if we are being offered a glorious reward for our achievement, we ought to demonstrate that we are able to figure out how to traverse the unanticipated field of barbwire and broken lightbulbs beyond our lauded masterful talents and skills. If we are the best, we have to prove it by meeting the dragon we’ve never met face-to-face.

So to the pros at Chambers Bay (as well as each of us) that are blaming a challenging course for their poor results, I remind them in my best John Houseman mid-Atlantic accent; whoever wins today will have made their money the old fashion way… they will have earned it.


Five of Cups

Five of Cups
A cloaked figure gazes with hanging head at three chalices spilt at the feet, not acknowledging the two still upright behind

The process of manifestation is not foolproof by any means. Not only do we encounter obstacles, setbacks, and losses on our path to attaining our desired outcomes, these are often part of the design in enabling us to achieve our goals.

It is not uncommon for us to become discouraged at the losses we experience along the way. We may feel that the universe is telling us that we are not deserving of what we desire, or that the intended outcome is not part of our life path. After all, if we are truly deserving of and entitled to what we want, why is it we cannot seem to attain it?

In all actuality, the frequent setbacks we face are not necessarily messages to ourselves that we are not worthy of our desires. It is possible that we need to examine what it is we truly want. The losses are often of our own making, due to our unconscious act of preventing ourselves from acquiring what we don’t want in the process of trying to accomplish what we may believe we actually want.

Continue reading Five of Cups

The Moon

The Moon
The moon hangs in the sky between tow pillars, raining moonlight down on a howling dog and wolf, as a crustacean crawls up from the depths

So we have determined what we want to manifest in our lives, we have set our intention, we have applied the prerequisite visualization, and we have taken action to create our desired outcome. Yet time and time again we keep encountering roadblocks. We find obstacles in our path. Or efforts seem to unravel before us, no matter how diligent, and we experience one setback after another.

Why, if we understand the concepts of manifestation, do we find ourselves stalling out in attracting what we desire? We often forget that what is drawn into our lives is what we are attracting. We are perpetually manifesting. So if we are encountering obstacles and insurmountable challenges, it is not for lack of applying the right steps in manifesting. Continue reading The Moon

Eight of Swords

Eight of Swords
A woman is bound and blindfolded with several swords staked in the ground beside her

There are times when, despite our greatest efforts to manifest the lives we envision, we are besieged by circumstances, obstacles, and tremendous challenges that prevent us from moving closer to our desired outcome.

It may seem we have fallen victim to the forces and whims of outside factors of other people, of nature, of bad luck, or of the Universe. We feel we are doing everything in our power to move forward, yet events outside of our control undermine us at every turn.

That feeling of powerlessness is very deceptive. When we find ourselves bound and restricted by external factors, we interpret this as having few to no options. However, it is the feeling of helplessness that is creating the perceived restrictions. In most circumstances we have more options that we realize, but we are blinding ourselves to those additional choices we have. Our mere belief and acceptance of powerlessness creates that powerlessness.

Because we are not able to see any other options does not mean they are not there. Imagine being surrounded by several doors, with each door representing a choice or an option. Too often under difficult circumstances we will try only a few doors to find they will not open, then we assume the rest of the doors cannot be opened. We are afraid of experiencing disappointment with each attempt, thus we abandon any notion of trying to open any of the other doors.

External forces that seem to block the path to our desired outcome is not the Universe or other people conspiring against us. They are our own impediments that serve to push us toward choosing the best option that will enable us to reach our goals, an option we would not otherwise take without having these challenges placed before us.