Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is the day when we remember the men and women in uniform who have died while serving our country—the United States. Both my father and his brother, Nathan aka Nick, were in the Army during World War II. Uncle Nick was stationed in Africa and Italy (and possibly a few other places). He found himself in the kitchen when someone discovered he could cook. He was no longer on the front lines. An angel smiled down upon him and brought him safely home when the war was over. Unfortunately, many of his friends were not as fortunate as he.

My father was an actor. When he learned that Maurice Evans was coming to Honolulu to bring Shakespeare to the troops, he desperately wanted to be transferred to his unit—the one that would become the Entertainment Section—Special Services. When he first arrived, along with many other actors, musicians, artists, craftsmen, directors, etc., someone gave him the following advice: “Actors may come and go, but a good supply sergeant will stay.” Needless to say, that’s what my dad became—Rapp, the Supply Sarge! He saw many entertainers come and go. Again, several men from his unit were not as fortunate as he.

Mr. Lussenhop, my seventh grade history teacher, showed us slides of Korea from his time in the Army during the Korean War. Most of the girls thought he was quite handsome with his flashing white smile, crew cut and dazzling blue eyes. I found this picture I took of him with Mrs. Siegel from our 7th grade field trip to Hannibal Missouri.

I did not fully understand why we were fighting in Korea until nearly six years later, when the movie M.A.S.H. burst onto the scene. During the Vietnam war, I remember sending books and playing cards to soldiers, but I truly had no idea what was going on over there until a few people I knew were sent there to fight and wrote letters home.

When I look at my high school website, I see the names of men and women who have died defending our country printed in gold. I feel blessed to have known some of them and their siblings. I still find the reality of a life cut short devastating. I know there is a greater plan here, but no one bothered to tell me what it is.

To paraphrase my late astrology teacher, Jan McLevitch, “It is a privilege to be born on the planet earth. We pick the hour of our birth for the lessons, skills, talents and personality that will serve us in our lifetime. We choose our parents for the start in life we need—the education. We also choose our exit—how and when.” Jan felt that our natal charts show everything about us. Personally, that is more information than most of us can/want to handle.

To all of the soldiers who have given their lives, so we can sleep peacefully in our beds at night, I salute you. I am grateful for you having done your job well, so that our country can stay free. May the angels watch over you and your loved ones forever.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trust Issues and the Tarot

Trust is a major issue for most of us. What we trust (or believe), who we trust, and what information we are willing to entrust to someone can be a source of frustration, joy or pain. When someone betrays our trust, we experience inner turmoil. When we trust our intuition, we can always make the right decision.

We need to learn how our intuition works, and then we can learn how to trust it. Generally, experience aka 20/20 hindsight is our best teacher. We need to be gentle with ourselves and know that things take time. What I love about Tarot is that we can use it illustrate trust issues, too. There are countless cards that scream trust in varying degrees. I am going to focus on a few Minor Arcana cards—that I feel illustrate this well—the Swords: 2 of Swords, 3 of Swords, 7 of Swords, 8 of Swords and 10 of Swords. I chose these cards because they deal with trusting people and/or intuition.

The 2 of Swords is about trusting your intuition. Sometimes I see the 2 as the minor equivalent of the Priestess, but with a difference. The 2 shows that someone needs to trust his/her intuition and make a choice. Sometimes when a person is at a crossroads in life, the only way to create movement is to make a choice about direction. Dorothy had to choose a path when the “Yellow Brick Road” ended. With the help of the Scarecrow, she made a choice. That choice was an adventure that involved making friends from strangers and learning who to trust. Eventually she found her way home. No matter what choice someone makes, they will eventually end up on the right path and find their way home.

The 3 of Swords can be about stagnation, love triangles and betrayals. I often see it as a “brick wall” or a “dead end.” It is about accepting that things have changed or have not come to fruition. You can no longer have what you once had, or you cannot have what you want because it is not meant to be. If you prefer the betrayal interpretation, that’s fine with me. I seldom use it because I prefer to use the Tarot for empowerment and a brick wall works best for me.

The 7 of Swords aka the “Thief of Swords” can be about trust issues in general. It may indicate that someone has betrayed your trust or misrepresented themselves.

The 8 of Swords is about fear. Fear can often paralyze us. Sometimes we find it hard to move forward because we don’t know what the future may hold for us, and we are programmed to expect the worst. When fear overtakes us, we may have a problem trusting our intuition. I think the 8 is about using the knowledge we have and slowly trusting our intuition so we can move forward.

The 10 of Swords can literally represent “being stabbed in the back.” When I interpret this card, most of the time, I see it as the Minor Arcana equivalent of the Death card. It is about starting over--regeneration. It can also be about having learned our lessons and surrendering to a higher power. Surrendering allows us to move forward. Of course, it can also be about being betrayed by someone.

To sum things up, let your intuition be your guide and use the Tarot to guide you on your journey. Let it show you where you need to use your intuition and where you need to be careful when trusting others.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Unconditional Love and Boundaries

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I needed a day to reflect on what I wanted to say regarding this day of celebration. Today, I found my voice...

Over the years, I have met several Zen Buddhists who were able to live on what I call "the edge." They were able to completely love and trust everyone that they encountered on a day-to-day basis. They appeared to be in a state of bliss. It is unimportant whether or not they used drugs or alcohol to arrive at, or maintain their calm, Zen-like state of being. Where are they now? What are they doing? If they are still Zen-like, where has their life led them? I wonder. Because I am a practical, intuitive, creative person, I find that I cannot be Zen-like for very long. I have moments. They come and go. I cannot trust everyone, but I can love unconditionally—with boundaries.

Within the past week, I experienced several situations that have made me revisit the concept of unconditional love regarding mothers. My mother was wonderful, but she made a lot of choices that were detrimental to my well being. I believe she had good intentions. She was not externally warm and I was a hugging, kissing little girl who always wanting to learn and share what I learned. When I came home from school, I often found her cooking dinner. I sat on the footstool in the kitchen chattering away about what I learned in school, my classmates, and many of the hurts I endured from being different. She listened. Many years later when I asked her about it, she said, "I just let you talk it made you feel better. I guess she never really "heard" what I said or truly understood me, but she did know that I needed to talk—get things off my chest.

She was cut from the mold where you lied to your children to either protect them or get them to behave. I know many people who have raised their children this way. I know she wanted the best for daughters, but I was not like my sister. I have always danced to my own drummer, defied convention and fought for right and wrong--the underdog and in often cases, was the underdog. Because of this, I have always sought the life of service—providing wise guidance to help people heal their wounds. I use my intuitive abilities (often with Tarot cards) and with the guidance of spirits, angels and other helpful entities to make the best choices in my personal life. These guides are always on board to help me provide my clients, and those who I am privileged to read for, with as much information as possible. It is all about making choices. I believe if we approach any conflict or negative situation regarding our mothers with love and understanding, we will at least feel that we have done our best. It is about relating to one another, listening and trying to understand each other’s point of view. Sometime it doesn’t work.

As a daughter, I always wanted to buy a special present for my mother on Mother’s Day. When I asked her what she wanted, she always said, “I want a good girl.” The message that she gave me with that statement made me feel that I was not a good girl and I made Herculean efforts throughout my life to be honest, ethical and more than a good person. It took me a long time to understand her. She used that statement to control me and to get me to do what she wanted me to do. Needless to say, something in side of me fought her tooth and nail. Several years before she died, I asked her what she would like for a Mother’s Day present. She always said, “Save your money.” Once a bookkeeper, always a bookkeeper! When I did buy her presents, I could see how moved she was. Yes, she was raised the same way she raised me.

I learned unconditional love from my cats. No matter how they behave, I love them, forgive them, and treat them beautifully because they are unselfish and know how to give love and comfort. I also love my friends the same way—unconditionally. No matter what choices they may make, or how much we may disagree on various things, we are always there for one another and our differences help us to grow and become better people.

While I would like to love everyone in the world unconditionally, I know I live on the planet earth. It would be very foolish for anyone to love or trust strangers unconditionally. That’s where intuition and common sense come in handy. We really don’t need to love the whole world and all of the creatures on it. We just need to learn to understand and accept our differences. Boundaries help to keep relationships healthy.

Just before my mother died in 1991, I asked her, “When did you finally accept the choices I made for my career?” She replied, “When I knew no matter what I said or did you were going to do what you wanted to do.” I was 38 at the time. Yesterday was Mother's Day. I still love my mother…unconditionally.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Retrograde Mercury-Bringing the Past Forward

The "demoted" Planet Mercury goes retrograde on May 6th and lasts through May 30th. The best thing you can do for yourself is to back up your computer. There is quite a bit of information available on the Internet about Mercury retrograde, so I will just stick to the basics. Because Mercury rules communication, (emails, mail, phone calls, deliveries, etc.) things can go a bit haywire. People can lose jobs, relationships break up, packages get sent to wrong addresses, and the list goes on. (I avoid ordering anything that needs to be sent via UPS during this time period unless absolutely necessary. Why? Because I have had packages lost, stolen and misdirected.) I have lost emails and data when computers crashed and burned under Mercury retrogrades. Last year, the one I used at the office fried. Why that one and not my home computer? Because my home computer was a "new" one. My worst Mercury retrogrades tend to be the ones in January. So, I am hoping this one is a bit easier than the others.

What can you do to help yourself? Back up your computer. Make sure you are clear when you communicate with others. Being on the same page is very important. Follow up with people to make sure your faxes or emails are received. Check your calendar to make certain you don't miss appointments or deadlines. Don't start any new projects. Don't sign any legal documents unless absolutely necessary, and then make sure everything is crystal clear. Be extra careful driving. I think you have the general idea about how to work with this type of energy.

What can you do under Mercury retrograde that would be advantageous? This is a time to do your spring cleaning. Get rid of what you don't need/want. Reconnect with people from your past. I started doing that a few days ago. I found a drawer full of business cards from 1995-1996. I have been scouring the Internet trying to find if the addresses/businesses of these entrepreneurs are still valid so I can reconnect and network with them again. While some of them now have thriving businesses, others have found new careers or jobs, and some have disappeared altogether.

The gift of this time period is reconnection. I started reconnecting to people a few days ago and the rewards are unbelievable. While time has, indeed, moved foward, it also appears to stand still (Mercury stationpoint). With this retrograde, I can bring the past into the present and make a new future for myself. I hope you can do the same. The rewards are amazing. Call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time. You will make their day--or not, depending on the relationship. We all can use a bit of karma cleaning, too! Do you have a Mercury retrograde story you wish to share? I'd love to hear it.