Understanding Tarot: Seeing Beyond the MythsWritten by Christin Snyder
There are many misconceptions surrounding Tarot that have caused much debate. For past 15 years I have used Tarot as an instrument to gain understanding and insight. In this time I have had to grow into this tool also, learning through experience what it can and cannot do. Tarot is not a fortune telling device as often depicted. It is not a magic wand that lays out an easy future by providing all answers in advance. The future is not set in stone, our use of free will determines what directions we take and if we believe otherwise, we give our power away to circumstance.
Simply put, Tarot is an instrument used to gain deeper insight & understanding through symbology and exploration. It is a tool for personal transformation through combined usage of psychology and spirituality. It enhances awareness, and in process expands horizons by highlighting choices and scenarios by laying it all out before us. Living an empowered life means understanding that future is not entirely predestined. I believe we come here knowing and allowing ourselves to have certain experiences, but we also shape those experiences through integration of what we have learned. Just like a grade in school, you have certain objectives and lessons that are part of goal plan. Some students will succeed, others will not make goal, but each student shapes his/her own learning experience through effort and application. Tarot, when used properly, was never intended to be “magic”, just a tool for insight to help querrent make more empowered decisions. It acts as a sort of study guide, enhancing learning process through displaying repeating behavior patterns, potential consequences/rewards for ones actions, and possible choices. The Tarot through its series of images tells a story, each card represents different personality traits, attitudes, actions etc, and through these pictures a story begins to emerge. The ultimate outcome is entirely in hands of one seeking guidance.
As with anything else misunderstood, it is human nature to fear and label things which can be viewed as a potential threat. Things that are different are frightening and often labeled as evil outright, rather than explored. Remember, we live in a society that burned people alive only a few hundred years ago because of fears of evil. I am reminded of famous quote ”The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Human nature in a fear state is a peculiar phenomenon that causes those in its grip to say, do, and believe some rather absurd things. The whole propaganda about Tarot being associated with Satanism and Devil is flat out nonsense. No, Tarot was not written about or condemned in Bible or any other holy book for that matter, as Tarot did not even come into existence until somewhere between 14th and 15th century AD. We must remember to keep our holy books in context, as they are meant to be taken symbolically and not literally. If we were to actually take some of these books literally we would still be stoning women, sacrificing animals, and smiting our neighbors. As with anything else, Golden Rule applies: “Do unto others”.
The vast majority of us who use Tarot in our daily lives are no more evil than anyone else. We work jobs, raise families, and socialize with rest of community and do otherwise perfectly “normal” things. We don't all have big head dresses and speak in funny accents telling others we have mystical magical powers and can change lives, bring people lovers, or dole out winning lotto numbers. The charlatans who practice this kind of thing, and propagate these misconceptions aren't evil either, they are just plain greedy and eager to capitalize on pain and misunderstanding of others. I have seen just as much greed in many churches & temples, so i would advise people to not jump to conclusions, but to research and try to gain understanding into how this tool works before labeling it as anything.
The Chi of New Homes ... Feng Shui-ness and DestinyWritten by Edward B. Toupin
When my wife and I were searching for a new Las Vegas home in 2002, we wanted it to have a solid foundation based on Feng Shui principles. My wife researched essentials and we decided to build a home that met our needs and supported good Chi. The internal layout of furniture was a slow process because we want to ensure that everything "was energy (Chi) efficient". We even went so far as to pick a plot of land that had a curvy street in front and located on a hill with a view of a "city of money". With all of work we did in building structure and embellishing interior, house feels fantastic and energy feeds us and moves us forward!
This positive experience tickled my curiosity and I decided to assemble some of our observations, based on our initial house hunting and, later, my interest and research. In Las Vegas area, I focused on Feng Shui "compatibility" based on empty new-builds. All of homes were built within last five years and were unoccupied. I acquired a few pictures and compared structures and placement of built-in components (i.e., doors, windows, and potential placement of furniture as necessitated by structure) to several books and resources I have available on Feng Shui. In end, I noticed some consistencies with regard to class of individual for which homes were built.
Since we are newbies to Feng Shui, I submitted research to a few Feng Shui experts to see if we were "in ballpark". Some of conclusions I came up with and discussed with these experts were:
* For homes within Upper class of society, structures were built to support power and money. * For homes within Upper-Middle class of society, structures were built to support employment and consumption. * For homes within Lower to Middle class of society, structures were built to support production. * For homes within Retirement class of society, structures were built to support endings and isolation from society (e.g., foot of bed facing an external door).