Friday, December 21, 2012

Tarot Blog Hop--Yule 2012--Christmas Is So PRESENT!

This is the Yule version of our Tarot Blog Hop, a wonderful ongoing project of a number of regular tarotists and bloggers who take a seasonal theme and do their best to give their own take to it. If you've been following the 'Hop, you probably got here from the wonderful work of Joanna Ash, and when you're done here, you'll want to move on to Jordan Hoggard's blog. And if you get lost, or hit a broken link, there's a Master List to get you back on track.  So...let's start Hopping. I promise, Yule like it!

I was absolutely fascinated by the wordplay shared with us in this BlogHop assignment--here, I'll let you see for yourself. From this 'Hop's Wrangler, the amazing Alison Cross, here's our topic:

"‘Christmas Present’ Do I mean ‘Christmas present’ as an noun, like ‘a gift’? Do I mean ‘Christmas present’ as an adjective such as ‘Christmas past ‘ and ‘Christmas Future?’ Why not both?! Heck, if you can even work something out for ‘Christmas Present’ as a verb I say GO FOR IT!"

And of course, being a wordie myself, I did think of a lot of ways to use that concept--and somehow, I did think in terms of "present", like "being here now". And I think there was a wee bit of the idea of Dickensian ghosts in there, not to mention the idea that there is an actual "Christmas mindset", that somehow is "present" throughout the season, whether it is the season, for you, of Kwanzaa, Chalica, Diwali, Hannukah, Yule, Stellarium, or Christmas. My grandkids have often asked me "Mamo, why can't people act like they do at Christmas, all the time?" I thought that was a very good question, and I couldn't answer it. And I do believe in the concept of being "present" in the moment, of really loving and appreciating every moment of our lives and our relationships, no matter the season. Or the reason for the season. I also notice that people act differently, kinder, more patient, more real, more grateful, when Christmas/Yule/The Season of Love, is actually "present". So--how to use divination, and specifically Tarot, in order to illustrate the concept of "Christmas present", or of being truly "present" in Christmas? Well-- I do have some ideas. 

I decided to create some questions for my spread, which is going to be three cards. I am going to ask myself--"How can I be truly 'present' in Christmas?", "What does Christmas 'present' to me?", and finally, "How can I make Christmas be 'present' in my life when this season is over?" I did a random draw from several decks, and this is what I found:

1) "How can I be truly 'present' in Christmas?" The card I drew this time is from Daniel's Bootstrap Tarot, and is the Nine from the Major Arcana, the Hermit:

This card is particularly cogent to me in this instance, because Daniel's Hermit is focused on his own inner Self, walking away from the encounter with everyone and everything else, and his eyes are fixed on some unknown horizon, while he withdraws into his own Soul. And this, albeit counterintuitive, is the essence of being Present as I see it in the response to my first question, "How can I be truly 'present' in Christmas?" The fact is, most of us do not let ourselves be truly present in any aspect of our lives--we spend a lot of time "living until" and "living to do" and very little "living to be". And for this season, that quiet contemplation may be the most important kind of Presence we need to experience. Yes, it is about family, love, gifts, parties, kids, laughter, and the holiday spirit--but above all else, whether you are celebrating the birth of Jesus, the sacrifice of the Holly King, the miracle of the nine days' candle of Hannukah, or whatever your observance, this festival is about the return of the Light, whether you spell that Sun or Son. And the fact is, you can't cherish the return of the  Light, if you do not first go into the Darkness. So, silence, solitude, some kinds of contemplation in quiet, that is the preliminary mindset to the full enjoyment and experiencing of the Presence of Christmas.2) "What does Christmas 'present' to me?" Again, my random draw came from Daniel's Bootstrap Tarot (and I have four decks mixed in this folder from which I draw, so someone must be trying to tell me something--maybe that my friend Daniel makes awesome Tarot cards!)
And the card that came up on the draw this time is the Eight of Coins. The traditional meaning of this card is, "apprenticeship, learning, new endeavors" and other meanings connected with the concept of applying oneself conscientiously to something that one doesn't really do very often, and determination to make a success of it. And I can't think of anything that more exemplifies the conscious effort to make the most of the opportunities "presented" by the Season of Light. Here I am 'presented' with the opportunity to really think, as that hockey player in the card needs to be doing, about how to 'guard the goal'. How will I connect with that neighbour I don't really know? A card, or a compliment on their decorating? What do my grandkids really want for Christmas, and how can I do the very best of gifting without harming our budget? And what is the 'reason for the season', as far as I am concerned, and how can I make the most of the opportunities Christmas 'presents' to me in order to experience my own, personal, individual Return of the Light?3) "How can I make Christmas be 'present' in my life when this season is over?"
And once again, I am drawing at random, and here is the card--the Two of Coins, again  from my friend Daniel's Bootstrap Tarot. And his Two of Coins is not the traditional "Juggling Fool" but a bull, facing a bullfighter, me, as I gaze into his eyes. So--what I need to do is dodge, dance, keep my balance, and maintain my composure in the face of the vicissitudes of life after the Christmas season is over. And then I think of the traditional meaning of this card, which I can express as "prioritizing, maintaining one's consciousness, making oneself aware of distractions and keeping one's balance in the dance of Life". And this, of course, is the actual "present" I am receiving from Christmas and from answering this question. I need to simply remain in the same headset we all get to in the holiday season, and I need to remind myself that the question my grandkids asked me is, after all, the whole crux of the reading. In order to keep Christmas "present" in my life, I need to "present" to myself the "present" of living in the "present"...of conscious "presence". The only way to maintain my Christmas mindset, the present of love, and awareness, and the holiday glow, is just, simply, to DO it. And that is my intention--I will myself be my own Christmas present, and I will then be Present in the season for as long as I choose to. So--there is my wordplay, and the play of the cards, on the concept of "Christmas Present". And hopefully, you have enjoyed rambling through words and cards with me. If you are going backwards through this Hop, Joanna Ash is your next stop, and if you're moving forwards, Jordan Hoggard is the next Blog you will see. And have fun Hopping, and may Christmas in your life be--well, Present! See you next year!