All posts for the month March, 2014

Strength (8)

Published March 12, 2014 by michelleembree


Strength is your Acceptance.

The Chariot moves into the social and economic world-as-it-is, to enact an inner vision on the landscape. Chances are good that what is immediately discovered is a forbidding and corrupt set of systems, beliefs, organizations, and institutions that inform the behavior and conformity of all the people you will meet.

Revolt is utterly necessary.

Revolt will rise automatically, how we handle it, how we regard our own natural revolt is what will make the difference between falling into Collective Individualism (an expected conformity based on natural revolt) or standing in who and what we really are in the form of True Individuation (the revolutionary act of life).

{NOTE: See The Magus for more on True Individuation.}

When we decide that the world must change in order for us to live in it, we miss the point of life and spend our time controlling other people and situations in petty and ill-dignified modes of manipulation.

The systemized propaganda of our culture induces and caters to this maladaptation to reality/identity. As long as we feel trapped and isolated in continuous moment into moment obsessions with slights and vague, but overwhelming, feelings of inability and repression, we just spin our wheels in place. We stop the motion of The Chariot at the very place it was to begin. Our culture induces and caters to this stoppage, this block against The Self.

Every life is a revolution on several levels all at once.

Strength offers us the key to our revolution: Acceptance. We accept that the world-as-it-is has been creating itself for a very long time. We accept that we have stepped into The Quest to embolden, discipline, and further expand into mastery the part of us that does not die and cannot be born. In the process of this mission the world changes. It must. It cannot be otherwise.

Strength offers a true master the ultimate key of permanent and perhaps broad upheavals in the world-as-it-is. Strength acknowledges that what is simply is. If it needs serious changing, then change it. Accept your mission. If what is must be different in order for you to engage, if what is must change in order for you to change it, well, that is a perfect standstill that recreates control grids on every breath we take, on every thought we harbor, on every word we speak.

Strength is gentle. It is acceptance and it is revolution on several levels at one time.

Accept what is, look it in the eyes, get to know it. Then take it apart tiny wire by tiny wire. Accept what is and dismantle it.

Be Strong. Be Wise. Be in Revolution.

Ritual: Strength (8)

Published March 12, 2014 by michelleembree
Artist: Emmbr

Artist: Emmbr

Strength is your Acceptance.

Acceptance is Strength, because it is difficult.

Accepting ourselves in truth is the most difficult act of Strength that one can engage.

The ritual here is difficult and forever. Over the course of The Quest, keep this key in your palm. Don’t bother putting it away.

{The following ritual is adapted from one of the thousands of brilliant realizations made by Caroline Myss}

Our natural state is immediate revolt. This is as it should and must be. The problem we have is a lack of cultural wisdom on how to utilize this particular grace, in combination with the exploitation of precisely this truth within our animal. Natural revolt is exploited for profit and control. As long as we are mad at this and that and the other, we will always need control grids to tell other people what to do. We will always look to nation states and corporations and religious orders and war machines to parent us.

It might be easier to start by thinking about witnessing the revolt in those around you. Think of someone who disagrees with you no matter what you say. This person may even disagree when you say something they have said in the past. Think of someone you know who argues and debates on subjects they have no knowledge about or have never heard before or don’t care about or are not even remotely effected by or didn’t even take two seconds to think about. Think of a person who argues with your general preferences. Revolt. Revolt. Revolt.

Feeling anxious? Well, forget those people. Let’s focus on ourselves.

Do this all the time:

1. Notice your own immediate Revolt to other people and to situations.

2.  Ask yourself: What do I really want?

3. Answer yourself: I want __________. *

4. Evolve yourself through what this tells you about yourself.

5. Look for the meaning in it.

Take your higher guidance despite the formidable challenge it presents. Strength is Acceptance and we cannot accept what we do not notice and we cannot change what we do not accept.

*HINT: More often than not the answer is: Control.

The Chariot (7)

Published March 10, 2014 by michelleembree

Artist: Pamela Coleman-Smith /Rider-Waite-Smith Deck

This is your Motivation.

The Chariot is the final card on the first level of The Quest (there are three archetypal levels to The Quest). The Great Fool has come into The Self and now embarks on the adventures and lessons inherent in the larger, social world, and necessary to the fulfillment of maturity both personal and spiritual.

This is the key that moves us to discover our reflection in the larger world and, maybe more importantly, to challenge ourselves to see that whole mirrored within our own consciousness as parts of ourselves. What is in the One is in the whole.

The Chariot knows that power comes from an internal vision; the challenge is to direct that energy into the life and unique expression that manifests the vision. The Chariot is focused outward from the power within.

The first series of initiations are complete and The Chariot moves into the next phases with a primary wisdom: Paradox is whole.

The Chariot drives internal vision without the need to attempt to resolve contradiction. Contradiction, the point of paradox, is the road beneath us. The Chariot is aware that life can be wasted in attempts to resolve what cannot be resolved, or this fact may be used, may be embraced as The Empress taught.

Wisdom is the perception of paradox as whole. The Chariot knows this and now moves into the world to manifest a unique vision using this knowledge as fuel.

Ritual: The Chariot (7)

Published March 10, 2014 by michelleembree

bottlesThe Chariot includes the knowledge, holds the keys, from the first seven cards (includes The Great Fool) of The Major Arcana.

This is the portion of The Quest where solidifying or accessing inner vision is crucial.

A review of where you have been and what you have learned is a good place to begin or refine this vision.

Use these questions from Rachel Pollack to tell yourself stories in your journal or use your deck to create a spread.

0    (The Great Fool)  What am I leaping into at this time in my life?

1      (The Magus)  Where is the energy, the magic?

2      (The Seer)   What is secret or hidden or unspoken?

3      (The Empress)  What is my passion?

4      (The Emperor)  What are the rules I follow (possibly unconsciously)?

5      (The Keeper)  What is the path laid out for me?

6      (The Lovers)  How do I express my passion?

7      (The Chariot)  Where is it all heading?

We make passage through all the archetypes several times throughout our lives and in smaller ways everyday that we live.

Visit The Chariot often and ask these questions again and again. If The Chariot may be understood as a kind of rudder, then knowing how to handle it moment by moment is of vast importance. It can take a great deal of time to get back on track when we veer off our course.

Have fun!  Be well. Be wise. Be free.  xxo

Ritual: The Lovers (6)

Published March 6, 2014 by michelleembree

The Lovers is your Self.

Artist: Salvidor Dali / Salvidor Dali Tarot Deck

Artist: Salvidor Dali / Salvidor Dali Tarot Deck

Most of us look at what we consider our available options to be, rather than going deeply and asking ourselves what we actually want, need, could do or be if we decided upon it and made our way toward it.

If we manage to get an idea about what we want and need we tend to immediately recriminate ourselves: That’s not possible. I can’t do that. I can’t have that. It’s not available. I have to do this. I have to focus on this. I have to acquire that.

We believe in the rules and morals and requirements of society, family, and ‘tribe’. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact, there is a survival necessity to instilling us with these beliefs and limits. But, innovation is impossible without breaking these rules/beliefs down.

In our contemporary culture and family structures, we are inundated with deeply negative beliefs about ourselves, with destructive rules and limits. We are delivered sermon upon sermon about our inadequacy in the face of all these lovely products and lifestyles we should buy. Buy with money or buy with fear and self-hatred, either way.

Even those of us who tend to follow along with the great mysteries of the ‘numinous’, even those of us who chase down our dreams and actualize our passions, we still do the above recriminating on some level or even constantly in our dwelling and doubting. So . . . this exercise is for everyone.

Listen to how often you tell yourself that your options or access is limited. Listen to how often you tell yourself you are not this or that thing that you would like to be or think you should be. At first, just notice. After you realize how much you do this, how much you are limiting yourself, apply these questions to any limit:

  1. Is it true?
  2. How Do I know it is true?
  3. Who am I if it is not true?

More than we realize, believing in negative or limiting self-concepts prevents us from responsibility for our own freedom. We get some safety out of it even if it causes us pain.

And this pain may cause us to not care how we get what we want. We belittle ourselves when we hurt and manipulate others to get to an end we don’t believe we can or should access. We degrade ourselves when we steal from each other. And, more often than not, end up with much less than our deepest and most profound dreams would have delivered to us if only we had engaged The Self in the choices we made.

Spirit and Desire, Rational and Emotional. In union these make The Self in truth.

Continued Good Luck on The Quest! xxo

The Lovers (6)

Published March 6, 2014 by michelleembree

The Lovers is your Self.

Artist: Emmbr /The Book of Keys Deck

Artist: Emmbr /The Book of Keys Deck

If we consider The Great Fool as a newborn, as the innocence of childhood, the blank slate of The Forgetting, then The Lovers is adolescence in all its terrible angst and glorious possibility.

NOTE: {Considering in this way, The Magus may also be understood as the toddler learning to say: NO.  Favorite of all toddler words as it is the first realization of The Will as separate from others}.

The Lovers is the part of The Quest when we separate emotionally, intellectually, and possibly morally from the family, from our ‘tribe’. We have become  The Self through the union of our spirit and our desire.

We have learned our preferences and imagined ourselves in a variety of potentials, imagined a love relationship we would like to find, an occupation we would enjoy, a series of adventures we wish to engage. These images, these possibilities are the mark of our unique spirit and as it fuses with desire, we find ourselves in need of individual expanse.

This will happen over and over on the quest. We will arrive again and again to The Self. We will change again and again. And always The Self is a new unity.

And from that unity we make choices. All choice is made by The Lovers in quiet conversation with one another. All relevant and important choices are made from a unity of rational and emotional intelligences. One without the other is not a choice; it is compulsion or addiction, it is fear given to the automations of the social orders to dictate its actions, but it is not a choice. Insist and bluster or flail neurotically as one might, action taken without conscious engagement from The Self, from the union of spirit and desire, the union of rational and emotional, is not a choice it is simply following orders.

The Lovers is The Self. To make any action in freedom is to make an action in choice. To make any choice one must consult The Self; engage quiet, respectful and joyous conversations between the preferences and proclivities of spirit and  what is wanted. Think through the various routes to get the desired thing and acknowledge the way each route will dictate what it feels like to obtain it.

The Lovers is The Self in its highest integrity.


Published March 5, 2014 by michelleembree

Artist; Godfrey Dowson /Hermetic Tarot

(a.k.a The Hierophant)

The Keeper is your Archivist.

The Great Fool steps upon the Terrace with images of the keys painting dreams and desires, insisting that The Quest be engaged. It is The Keeper, however, who holds these keys and their power.

The Keeper maintains the archives of longstanding traditions that can induce sacred visions. Or produce words in an order proper to essential movements of spirit within the body.

The Keeper can take thousands of bodies into ecstatic states simultaneously. The Keeper is a master speaker who always knows which secrets to give and which to hold back, when to speak with voice and when to speak with silence.

This character is one of strong moral constitution and someone upon whom all may depend. This is the character that makes sure emergency services are available during dark winter storms. This is the character that is always there to make the coffee at an AA meeting whether anyone shows up or not. This is the character that makes sure the weary have a warm place they may count upon.

The Keeper stays close to the knowledge contained in the many books, and locked boxes, and magical objects that are archived meticulously and await your deepest questions.

So, what would you like to know?  Ask the right question and The Keeper will unleash great secrets of power and illumination upon your life. What would you like to know? Ask the right question, and The Kingdom is yours.

Ritual: The Keeper (5)

Published March 5, 2014 by michelleembree

heirooldpicThe Keeper is your Archivist.

Gather the books that have informed who you are; the stories and theories that mean something to you everyday. Make a special shelf for these and add objects with magical significance to you. Keep your magical notes, your Spell Books here.

Let this grow. Organize ideas and artworks, notes and gifts, heirlooms from your family story. Tell the story of yourself in visual space. Add a box or two that contain more private or gentle memories. Protect objects from the eyes of others to signify their specialness and the protection we exact over our deepest selves.

If you have been thinking of making a family tree or tracing your ancestry, The Keeper nods softly at this motivation. Make the tree; put it on paper so you may look at it. Objects are magical. Our digital time is convenient, but objects are still magical. When we are surrounded by the objects and images that resonate with who we are, we are clearer in our thinking. Our general memory is better and so is our physical health.

Hopefully all this will lead you to forms of Altar Magic. The Keeper knows power emanates from these in remembrance and intention.

For those of you doing healing work:

Write down or otherwise symbolize the images and narratives of those events that cause you grief. Put these in a box. Or use a series of boxes to separate, to index, as The Keeper would say, specific experiences or persons or events.

A series of boxes can help to separate this event from that event when emotions overlap. This matters because it helps us keep each event in its own perspective and not allow it to encompass the full brunt of several experiences as if they were one. Put these on an altar or a special shelf, someplace where you can see them. Fill them up if you like, if you need to do so. Whatever you need is all that matters.

Allow yourself, over three weeks, or six weeks, or nine, as long as you need, but I recommend setting a time frame that can be divided by three. Take the time you need and grieve. Just grieve. It is just fine. And necessary.

Use a flash pot or fire pit to burn the contents of the boxes and maybe the boxes themselves, if you like. Bury the ashes ***Important***. Fire can cleanse OR return. To cleanse, bury the ashes.

Afterward, fill the boxes with images or stories about what you have learned, what you have accepted, what you intend to contribute back to others now that you can. Or use objects to symbolize these intentions.

The Keeper will archive these in case you forget or for anytime you need. And The Keeper will always remember the precise actions taken to transform grief into contribution. The Keeper always knows exactly where secrets come from, and where they go when they die.

I Love You. And how you get where you need to go matters very much to me and to The Keeper who needs the map of your intentional change to give to others as they make their way through The Quest.  xxo

“To have the be…

Published March 3, 2014 by michelleembree

“To have the benefit of this wonderful invention, the Keys must be inside you. This means that you must be able to call up the images of any Key by a simple act of will. When you can do this, the Tarot will be part of your very flesh and blood, and it will begin to effect far reaching transformations in your thinking and thus in your living.”
-Paul Foster Case

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