Sunday, July 29, 2012

TIKTAALIK (Fish with legs): Answering Opportunity’s Knock

In 2006, an amazing discovery was made in Nunavut, Northern Canada – an ancient fossil of a fish with limbs.  Called “the fish that made humans possible”, Tiktaalik demonstrated how Fish transformed Themselves to live on the land.  The Nunavut Elders Council named this remarkable animal, “Tiktaalik” which their language means “large shallow-water fish”. 
            The world of Tiktaalik was one of rapid change.  During the Devonian Period of 375 million years ago, plants began to colonize the land.  As the plants expanded their territory, they stabilized the soil, and thereby created new habitats such as marshes and swamps.  Fish now had new places to raise their young and to obtain food.  In addition, the shallow waters also enticed Them to venture onto the shore in search for more food.
            Called a “fishapod”, Tiktaalik was a transitional animal between Fish and Tetrapods (early land animals).  When She went on the land, She used her limbs to prop Herself up and her “proto-lungs” to breathe the air.  Other non-Fish characteristics that Tiktaalik possessed were a defined skull and a neck.  Scientists believe that Tiktaalik hunted like a crocodile, lurking in the reeds, and then ambushing her prey.
            Once the plants created new environments on the land, Tiktaalik bravely ventured out to explore these new places.  Opportunity knocked and She answered.  Tiktaalik dared to go out into the unknown, and was changed for the better.  She had taken the beginning steps to becoming a land-dwelling animal.
            When you are hesitant about an opportunity, follow Tiktaalik’s example, and “go for it”.  Answer that knock at your door, and take the chance.  Since She went on land for a better life, let Tiktaalik be your guide for going into the unknown.  But remember that like Tiktaalik, you will be changed in ways that you may not have foreseen.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tarot and Dragons: Imperial Dragon Oracle (3 of 3)

Since “Destiny (10)” seems vague to me, the additional card of “The Seeker (0)” made more sense.  Once I follow the progression of the first three cards from “power” to “mercy” and finally “love”, I will be on my way to a new beginning.  With the creativity of the Magus, I can appropriately honor my Dead.  After doing all of this, I will have a future of my own choosing.

In this reading, I also noticed how “power” is balanced by “love”.  My Guide switched the positions of “Power (4)” and “Love (6)” to have the three card progression answer my question.  A different pairing in the cards is “Mercy (5)” and “The Magus (1)”.  In this case, the mystic joins with the hierophant to become an integrated spiritual person. 

Adding to the energies in this spread are the astrological influences of each card. “Power (4)”, which is influenced by the Fire Sign Aries, is in the position of Earth.  “Love (6)”, is influenced by the Air Sign Gemini, is in the position of Fire.  The two Fire elements are tempered by Earth and Air.  Meanwhile, “Mercy (5)”, influenced by the Earth Sign Taurus, is in the position of Air.  “The Magus (1)”, governed by the planet Mercury, is in the position of Water.  In this case, the element of Air (from Mercury and Gemini) is complemented by Water and Earth.  Finally “Destiny (10)”, which is governed by Jupiter, leads to “The Seeker (0)”, governed by Uranus.  The answer to my question is that my Spirit will experience expansive change and be liberated, once I follow the steps laid in the spread.

This reading was on target in regards to my question.  It gave me insight to my dilemma of what I needed to do for my difficult Ancestors.  Moreover, I was looking for a way to disentangle myself from their past, and yet have a future of my own.  The “Cardinal Spread” showed me how to accept Them for what They were.  With the creativity of the Magus, I now see my Ancestors more favorably since without Them, I would not be here.

Works Used:
Baggott, Andy and Peter Pracownik, “Imperial Dragon Oracle”, U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford (CT), 2009.

Bartlett, Sarah, “Tarot Bible”, Sterling: New York, 2006.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tarot and Dragons: Imperial Dragon Oracle (2 of 3)

“The Cardinal Spread”
Card 1: North (the power of earth): “Where the root of the issue lies?”
The card drawn for North is “Power (4) (which is “The Emperor (IV)”).  According to Baggott, this card means “strength, determination, and authority.”  The author further stresses that the energy of “Power (4)” is for maintaining and restoring the balance of things.  My answer to the root of the issue is that I need the determination to restore the balance between my Wanted and Unwanted Dead.

Card 2: East (the power of air): “Your guide in this issue.”
The card drawn for the second position is “Mercy (5)” (which is “The Hierophant (V)”).  According to Baggott, this card means “compassion”.  “Mercy (5)” is the lesson that we learn when we see how our conduct acts as a mirror, which reflects our attitudes onto others.  Therefore in working with the Difficult Dead, any determination must be tempered by mercy.  “Mercy (5)” is my guide to accomplish this.

Card 3: South (the power of fire): “What you need to learn from this issue.”
The card for this position is “Love (6)” (which is “The Lovers (VI)”).  “Love (6)” presents a choice for me: to either embrace a new way of looking at my Ancestors or continue on in the old way of resenting Them.  The keyword of this card is “acceptance”.  For me, that means I need to understand my Ancestors and why They made their choices.  Like the element of Fire, love will burn away my resentment of the past. The fruit of my mercy will be the acceptance of my Ancestors. 

Card 4: West (the power of water): “Obstacles or challengers you need to be aware of.”
The card drawn for this position is “The Magus (1)” (which is “The Magician (I)”).  “The Magus (1)” is like the element of Water since He creates and changes forms at will.  Baggott alludes to the energy of this card as “drawing down spiritual energy”.  I interpret this challenge to use my energy to accept my Difficult Dead.  Their choices may have been right for Them but not for me.  Like “The Magus (1)”, I can use my creativity to find a way to honor Them and still keep my integrity intact.

Card 5: Center (the power of spirit): “The potential future if lessons are learned and obstacles are overcome.”
The final card is “Destiny (10)” (which is “The Wheel of Fortune (X)”).  This card means accepting the past in order to have a better future.  I view life as a Sacred Round where we return back to where we started, having gained new wisdom.  I can honor my Ancestors for being a part of my Family Line.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tarot and Dragons: Imperial Dragon Oracle (1 of 3)

Cardinal Spread Reading

Since I own the “Imperial Dragon Oracle” by Andy Baggott and Peter Pracownik, I decided to use the five card spread featured in the oracle’s booklet.  According to Baggott, the “Cardinal Spread” ties “the energies of the four directions and their elements” to answer the querent’s question.  Therefore, the answer, which is the center card, is rooted in the fifth element which is the Spirit.

Setting Up
For starters, I had a difficult time laying out the spread, since the cards of this deck were hard to shuffle.  When I finally laid the cards out, My Dragon Guide did not think that they answered my question.  So then, I spread the cards out on the table, and picked out five at random.  After laying them out according to the “Cardinal Spread”, My Guide decided to switch two of the cards.  We did this because our efforts were focused on finding the appropriate cards for the answer.  Finally, a sixth card, “The Seeker (0)” (which is “The Fool (0)” in the Tarot) kept showing up to “finish” the spread.

My question for the “Cardinal Spread” was “How do I connect with my difficult Ancestors?”  I felt the need to honor all my Ancestors, not just the acceptable ones.  I wanted to find an appropriate way to include the more unsavory ones.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Immature Mountain "Beaver", USGS
 Unlike many other prehistoric Animals, Mountain “Beaver” (Aplodontia rufa) is still with us.  She is neither a Beaver nor an inhabitant of the mountains; instead Mountain “Beaver” is the most primitive Rodent alive today.  In the Eocene epoch (about 44 million years ago), Her Family had split off from the Squirrel Family.  Since then, She lived in regions of North America that were moist with cool winters.
            Now found only the Pacific Northwest (where She has lived for nearly two million years), Mountain “Beaver” comes into conflict with people, since She eats their ornamental trees.  With her long claws, Mountain “Beaver” digs an extensive system of burrows for sleeping during the day.  Then at night, She ventures out to eat sword and bracken ferns, and to gnaw at the bark of trees for the green layer underneath.  Much of the time, people do not know that Mountain “Beaver” is there until She chews on their shrubs.
            What is remarkable about Mountain “Beaver” is that She has been on the earth for longer than forty million years.  (Most species only exist for one to ten million years.)  She has even survived the Eocene-Oligocene extinction event (Grande Coupure), which happened 33 million years ago. Nobody knows how or why Mountain “Beaver” survived for so long.  She has primitive kidneys and teeth, and does not do anything particularly well.  Therefore, many people believe that her continued survival is because of her good luck.
            The longevity of Mountain “Beaver” highlights the different kinds of luck.  Some luck is “dumb luck” that happens at random.  Other luck comes with the family or inherited by the individual.  The best sort of luck comes when we help others and they help us.  The kind of luck that Mountain “Beaver” has is the luck of persistence.  As long as She perseveres, Mountain “Beaver” will continue to be lucky.
            We can learn how luck occurs through Mountain “Beaver”.  Though She does bring bad luck to the unfortunate homeowner, many people do not even know that She lives on their property.  Usually, her burrowing helps to keep the soil healthy, so that homeowners can grow more beautiful plants.  Watch Mountain “Beaver” carefully, and She may show you her secret for being lucky.  Mountain “Beaver” creates her luck, and we can also by being proactive in our lives.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

MANTA RAY: Agility

Looking like a giant bat, Manta Ray is the largest of the Rays. She prowls the surface of the seas, unlike other Rays. When She swims, Manta will leap out of the sea from time to time. Somersaulting and cartwheeling on the sea's surface, the Manta inspires awe.

Called by some "devilfish", Manta Ray will circle small boats, scaring people, but never hurting them. This graceful creature glides through the ocean eating plankton. Alone, Manta Ray sails through the seas. Manta Ray shows you how to navigate rough seas, but, remember, unlike the Manta Ray, you do not have to do it alone.
Manta Ray's Wisdom Includes:
Ebb and Flow
Love and Happiness
Living Large