Tag Archives: mental health

Women of Age and Wisdom

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“Women get more beautiful as they grow older. Not less.
Female youth is only prized in modern culture because it doesn’t represent as much of a threat spiritually to anyone who is frightened of divine feminine power.
As women grow and mature, they call in stronger forces of sacred feminine wisdom. They vibrate with the creative power of their stories.
They are more of a force to be reckoned with.
They see more, know more, feel more. They put up with a lot less bullshit.
When women are trained into thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with getting older, and are coerced into spending money, energy and power investing in ‘slowing the signs of ageing’, an enormous vault of divine love is lost.
Just think what would happen if all the women in the world started loving themselves even more with every year that passed.
Perhaps a total revolution would occur.~”
~Yogesh Kumar

5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark Teaches about surviving trauma

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Arya Stark from the series “Game of Thrones” has fascinated me from the beginning. Now that we are at the end, I’m going to miss this character and the show itself. There is a rich, diverse, cast of characters in GoT, but I’ve loved watching Arya’s growth from the horrifying trauma she survived as a young girl, to the incredible woman she has become. This article addresses that very issue, and I found it to be full of insights for everyone. There are definitely spoilers here, so watch Season 8 first!

Here are the main five:

1. Her heightened instincts and ability to sense danger with alarming precision

As a child, Arya is trained by Syrio Forel (Miltos Yerolemou) to be as “swift as a deer, quiet as a shadow, calm as still water.” She also learns that fear cuts deeper than swords. These are all lessons that will inevitably help her to defeat the Night King. Arya’s training with Syrio lays the crucial foundation for her sword-fighting abilities, but it is actually the dangerous incidents she is forced to confront head-on in everyday life that challenge and hone her ability to identify and navigate danger skillfully. It is in her life experiences after her initial training that give her the platform to utilize these lessons. From living on the streets of King’s Landing to fighting a trained assassin from Braavos while temporarily blind, Arya learns to defend herself against a variety of perpetrators even when she is just a child on the cusp of womanhood.
Many of us are familiar with the term “hypervigilance,” a state of hyper-attunement we can develop to our surroundings due to trauma. Arya develops it in spades as she learns to evade danger in every corner. Often, hypervigilance is seen as a negative symptom of trauma, but actually, there are times our heightened attentiveness can be useful for our discernment of someone else’s true motives and character. According to researcher Willem Frankenhuis, people who have been abused in childhood can develop what Dr. Michael Ungar calls “an uncanny ability to detect threats in their environment, an enhanced capacity to learn new things, and even improved memories when it comes to paying attention to parts of their environment that are the most relevant.”

As therapist Athena Phillips writes in a 2012 article for GoodTherapy:
“Survivors of trauma regularly inform me of what they experience as something akin to having superpowers. The capacity to feel things other people can’t, to identify either the goodness or inherent evil in someone just by looking at them, or to ‘predict’ interpersonal outcomes are some of the new-found abilities people have described. People who have experienced trauma often indicate that they are able to pick up on covert human behaviors, and there is a great deal of trust in their capacity to intuit. Oftentimes, these powers really do exist; survivors have developed a discriminating aptitude for picking up on environmental cues that may have significance to them.”

2. Her fragmented sense of identity and search for her true identity and wholeness.

Trauma creates fragments: It shatters the connection among memories, thoughts, emotions, and the self. Complex trauma survivors often find themselves confronting disparate inner parts that developed as a result of the traumas they endured; according to trauma experts, they must find ways to identify and integrate these parts in healthy ways in order to reach their true core calm and compassionate self. Much like any complex trauma survivor, Arya tries to escape the terrors of her childhood by taking on other identities and dissociating from her past except for her justified rage at those who murdered her family members. Arya’s need for vengeance ultimately creates a “protector self” that keeps her focused on a list of people she must kill rather than her true self and her grief.
Arya’s search for her own identity is also astutely represented by her brutal experiences at Braavos where she learns to become “no one” in her training to become a Faceless Man and assassin. There, she is beaten, terrorized, and challenged to fight back. Ironically, it is her journey to becoming no one that eventually leads her to own the fact that she is indeed someone. As she tells Jaqen H’ghar bravely and with conviction, “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I am going home.” It is only when she integrates her darkness within her true self, recognizes her true power and strength from the traumas she has emerged from, that she decides she is going home. She goes home not just to her family but to herself.

3. Her post-traumatic growth and psychological self-mastery

As therapist Andrea Schneider notes shrewdly in her Game of Thrones blog series, characters who have endured trauma on this show can exhibit promising signs of post-traumatic growth, the positive psychological changes we benefit from after enduring adversity. While regaining a pre-trauma identity is next to impossible for characters like Arya, her post-traumatic growth is tremendous.
Not only does Arya learn to incorporate the life lessons of her trauma into her sword fighting and archery skills, she learns psychological mastery. She learns the art of resourcefulness even when she has nothing. She learns how to stealthily collect information (like when she does when acting as cupbearer to Tywin Lannister) to further her journey. She learns a great deal about patience, self-control, confidence, observing rather than reacting, and how to put herself in the mindset of her attackers and predators around her so she can anticipate what they will do—and can preemptively strike. As a result of her traumas, she gains wisdom and skill sets beyond her years, which many adults in the show are still struggling to obtain.
Arya has no explicit desire to be a leader or queen, but her ability to lead due to her experiences make her more fit for the throne than many others who seek it for personal power. It is her desire for justice, rather than power, that makes her unstoppable. Complex trauma survivors experience many of these same psychological benefits as they process, heal, and grow from their traumas. They can learn to navigate life with an increased sense of gratitude, fortitude, and develop a habit for making the best of their circumstances to create success and joy at an even more intense level than someone who has never been traumatized. As they heal, they have an incentive, drive, and determination that can far surpass that of the average person, as well as a greater sense of meaning.
It is only when Arya Stark integrates her darkness within her true self and recognizes her true power that she decides she is going home.

4. Her darkness has to be integrated in order to fully own her light.

Arya is a curious character in that she is not encouraged to forgive those who have wronged her or took the lives of her loved ones. That is what makes her one of the most phenomenal female characters on television: her darkness is not minimized or sugarcoated. It is recognized, along with her authentic outrage, in all of its unflinching glory. And skilled trauma therapists agree: forced, premature forgiveness can actually hinder a survivor’s journey because it invalidates how we really feel and does not give us the time or space to actually process our traumas.

Trauma therapist Anastasia Pollock puts it this way:
“The people I work with in the therapy room are resilient and courageous. They are able to work through their traumas, but many get caught up on one point: They believe they are supposed to forgive the perpetrator but can’t seem to get there. This is what I tell them: You don’t have to forgive in order to move on. Emotions are important and automatic. When we can acknowledge and appreciate even the darkest, most negative-feeling emotions, they often soften and release. As soon as I say, ‘You don’t have to forgive,’ the person usually breathes a sigh of relief.”

Unlike a woman who turns the other cheek and goes immediately into love and light without any kind of transformation beforehand, Arya turns to her sword, Needle, to deliver a much-needed message to perpetrators like Walder Frey (David Bradley). The North remembers, and so does she. She avenges her loved ones one by one, and when she does, we can’t help but cheer from the sidelines.
Although in real life this form of vigilante justice is unrealistic, not recommended and quite gory (none of us should be baking our enemies into pies—we’d have a more productive time processing our traumas in therapy), we learn an important lesson about trauma: it cannot be spiritually bypassed. Our so-called “dark” emotions must be acknowledged in order to fully own our true light. The outrage and rage we feel must be seen, heard, experienced, confronted and (while perhaps not shown on this show) healthily expressed in order to be healed. Whether Arya’s quest for revenge is misplaced is up for debate, but one thing is for sure: this young woman is not your typical depiction of a trauma survivor who forgives and forgets her way into healing. Yet her intense emotions are an all too real part of this journey.

5. Her resilience and strength would not be the same without her experiences.

While none of us would ever volunteer for the traumas we experienced, we can’t help but admit that we would not be who we are without them. We can still validate and honor the injustice of our traumas while acknowledging the internal resources and coping skills they granted us. Trauma can give us the strength and resilience of a sumo wrestler, and Arya is no exception. As whole families are killed, legacies wiped out, and kingdoms come under siege, Arya remains—one of the few survivors of her family. A weary traveler and warrior, she is forced to confront what no child should have to endure. But she does endure, and she is better for it.
At the end, it is this little girl who grows up to be the warrior woman—who ultimately conquers the darkness. No one expected her or saw her coming. Everyone underestimated her. And therein lies her greatest power. It was the traumas of her past that gave her the ability to defeat the Night King, to avenge her loved ones, and to protect her community. Complex trauma survivors, too, are capable of this same kind of resilience—and the ability to give back what they never received.
Arya is every little girl who grew up in terror and trauma. Who survives impossible situations through her resilience, grit, talent, and determination. Whose identity is previously in fragments, only to become whole as she comes into the woman she was always meant to be. And yes, she is truly ruthless when it comes to her enemies. Yet it is perhaps her ability to own her demons that make her even more powerful when she’s avenging her loved ones, enacting some sweet justice and saving the world. We can all learn life lessons about trauma from this brilliant, multifaceted and truly one of a kind character. She is all of us who have survived—and thrived.
This article originally appeared on Psych Central as “5 Powerful Lessons Arya Stark from Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Complex Trauma Survivors” 🔥

by Shahida Arabi: a bestselling author of three books on emotional abuse and trauma.

Aries New Moon Horoscopes

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New Moon in Aries TODAY at 1:50am. Aries is the first sign and rules the head. We are starting a brand new astrological year today; courage, creative inspiration, leadership and persistence are all highlighted in April. Let the spark of your soul expand and express itself.

Several planets are in a great position until April 19th! All of us can make real progress on important projects and plans. Take steady action on your dreams. Things will be getting tense at the end of April with Jupiter and Saturn going retrograde until August, so use today to spur you to action. Also, in June there will be a BIG, tense standoff between Mars in Cancer opposing Saturn and Pluto. NOW is the time.

The horoscopes below are written from the perspective of rising signs, but there are threads of meaning if you read for your Sun sign too. If you don’t know your rising sign, or ascendant, you can plug in your birth information here to find it.

Aries rising – New Moon in Aries today! Your ruler, Mars, is traveling through Gemini right now, making you strategic in your ambitions. Your dreams are achieved through communication with your social circle, so get out and network in your community. With Mars in Gemini, your brain is super-charged with passion and drive, so express it for all to see.

Taurus rising – You have an EXCELLENT Spring ahead of you! Your ruling planet, Venus, has moved into Pisces, which is her natural home. Venus expresses herself easily though Pisces (exalted), and this makes Taurus’s life flow smoothly. In fact, every sign is feeling this enhancement in matters of relationships, art, beauty, love and socializing.
Projects or jobs started now will make  good money down the road. Most important is for Taurus to live in reality and the truth.

Gemini rising – In a word, ACTION. With Mars in your sign it’s time for you to be self-propelled and decisive – which is challenging for a Gemini. It’s no longer enough to spin around in your head about things you want to do, you need to make a plan and stick to it. If you can do this, and stay in your truth, your life will positively expand. The universe is helping you do that for the next couple of months.

Cancer Rising – You are benefitted by the North Node (good luck and destiny) in Cancer for the next year or so. Fertility, creativity and vulnerability are all qualities that each sign can aspire to this year. The New Moon in Aries today is giving you a kick start towards fully expressing yourself without limits or judgement.

Leo Rising – The New Moon in Aries, Jupiter in Sagittarius, and your ruler the Sun (exalted in Aries) are all sending you some lovely, fresh energy to get your passions rolling out to the public. You are probably feeling some sparkly energy and excitement this month. Aries is asking you to get started on the dreams you’ve been sitting on all winter.

Virgo rising – Ugh. OK well things aren’t too bad, but you’re feeling a little untethered to the Earth. Your ruler, Mercury is still slogging through Pisces (detriment). Mercury doesn’t really dig being there, it’s too dreamy and unfocused. I advise to work on embracing your visions for the future, and network your future potential with other people. Mercury will be in Aries soon (in two weeks), and you will be ready to start taking real action.

Libra rising – The New Moon in Aries is supercharging your partnership sector – which includes lovers AND biz associates. It’s a difficult time to pin them down on anything because there’s so much energy in the air, but Mars in Gemini is a good mediator. Progress can be made by having a plan and talking it out.

Scorpio rising – Your svengali-type characteristics are currently super-charged with your ruler, Mars, abiding in Gemini. You are the great mastermind behind everything in your arena. That New Moon in Aries is motivating you to take action on things near and dear to your soul. It’s all about focusing that razor-sharp mind of yours towards daily goals.

Sagittarius rising – You value truth, honor and integrity, and Jupiter in it’s natural home in Sagittarius (exalted) is inspiring you with new philosophies about your identity. You’re feeling at home and centered with the new expansion of your world that started last December. The only issue right now is that things might come TOO easily. Remember to challenge yourself with things that you want but are not firmly in your grasp. Also, try not to gain too much weight. Jupiter in Sag increases everything, even your waistline.

Capricorn rising — You are currently expunging and purifying your past with Saturn, Pluto, and the North Node traveling together in Capricorn. At least Saturn (your ruler) is giving you tremendous stability and support! Saturn in Capricorn is in it’s rulership, and it’s energies of discipline, concentration, responsibility, ambition and focus are easily accessed. There might be some big challenges you’re facing; the only way forward is to evolve. The universe is asking you to release any unhealthy motivations around power and control, and to move towards vulnerability.

Are you standing up for yourself? Who has power over you? Who do you let have power over you? Saturn and Pluto this year are also revealing what we’re still holding onto that we can’t hold onto anymore.

Aquarius rising – Mars in Gemini is sending you some wonderful, fresh energy in your Creativity sector. Aim high and take action on bringing your Aquarius visions down to the earth plane. Your Spring is about socializing and networking your creativity ideas to your peers. If you’re able to do this you will experience positive movement.

Pisces Rising – Neptune (your ruler) in Pisces has you floating like a cloud while using your intuition to gain movement. Meanwhile, Jupiter squaring Pisces is keeping you grounded by offering up new philosophies about your identity. The Aries New Moon is keeping you focused on your spiritual beliefs – this is the way to illuminate the steps you must take to stay on your path.

 

Tarot artist, Pamela Coleman Smith

 

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“The Blue Cat” by Pamela Colman Smith, 1907, courtesy of Mary Greer

The Ryder-Waite-Smith deck was the deck I used to learn how to read tarot cards, and I think it remains as one of the clearest oracles available. The woman who initially painted the beautiful images on these cards, was Pamela Coleman Smith. She was a true free spirit, and highly talented artist. Here’s a fantastic new article about her life:

Pamela Colman “Pixie” Smith circa 1912
Iconic image from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot that dates to 1909I never knew much about Pixie except that she was British and had died in obscurity; she never realized any financial security or status from illustrating one of the most popular items of printed ephemera in the world. This is largely due to the fact that the RWS Tarot was not widely distributed until circa 1970 when it was acquired by Stuart Kaplan of U.S. Games Systems, twenty years after Pixie’s death in 1951. In my news-feed last fall, I saw Tarot maven Mary Greer mention that she had collaborated on an in-depth biography of Pixie with Kaplan and some other writers. “Why not?” I thought. “Why not learn about one of the most influential artists in the Tarot tradition?”

Love it or hate it, the RWS Tarot defines what most people think of whenever the subject of Tarot cards comes up. Non-specialists may not be aware that the RWS had many historical predecessors and some noble competitors in its day. For the reason of its mass popularity alone, the RWS Tarot merits our interest and respect. When I was picking out an artist for The American Renaissance Tarot, I had Pixie’s straightforward illustrations strongly in mind. The modern trend in Tarot seems to be heavily embroidered fantasy-scapes, and yet Pixie’s bold outlines of figures in theatrical poses, set against two-dimensional backdrops, conveys the Tarot’s archetypes in a decidedly pure and direct manner. ”

Full article here

Week of January 7th

cap1New Moon in Capricorn last Saturday.
Mercury in Capricorn (weakened).
Venus in Sagittarius (neutral).
Mars in Aries (strong).
Jupiter in Sagittarius (strong).
Saturn in Capricorn until March 2020 (rulership).
Uranus now Direct in Aries (strong).

The New Moon Eclipse last Saturday activated the South Node (the past). This represents personal gifts in our lives that we have already mastered. The North Node is our nature, or obvious personality, and where we have natural talent. With this New Moon, the corner of your chart containing Capricorn will be going through a change. A new door will open, influenced by the house placement and any aspects.

Saturn (reality) and Pluto (the soul’s evolution) in Capricorn are going to effect the South Node (the past) during the eclipses this year. Saturn, and Capricorn, are about mastery and responsibility. With the South Node there, we will be tested to see if we have truly mastered the lessons of our pasts, or we will be tested with the same old situations until we are done.
Where do you want to be by the time Saturn leaves Capricorn?

Mercury isn’t thrilled with being in Capricorn. Mercury wants to be zing-y, but Capricorn is cautious and sure-footed. Communication is slowing down for a few weeks.

Mars has gone into his rulership in Aries (finally!! Yay!!), after months of going backwards and slogging through Pisces. Our plans are now in direct, confident motion. This happened on New Year’s Day too, so the fresh, new Mars energy is invigorating 2019 in general 🙂

MONDAY, January 7th: Moon in Aquarius. Focus is on groups, humanitarian ideals and teamwork. Uranus is still stationing (standing still) in Aries, so there could be unexpected events or revelations coming from left field. Listen for new ideas and revelations from your inner voice.
Uranus stationary direct in late Aries can bring unexpected shocks, liberating surprises, fresh vision and new ways to utilize technology. Independence, spontaneity and a break from routine are common themes. Where can you bring more freedom into your life? Do something different.
Venus enters Sagittarius during Monday’s pre-dawn hours, bringing faith, luck, truth and exploration to the arena of Love. We immediately feel more optimistic, sociable and generous in the areas of art and romance.

TUESDAY, January 8th: Moon in Aquarius. Mercury squares Mars at 2:00am, but influences the day. Stay away from confronting, debating or negotiating with anyone today. It’s a good day for writing or getting organized though.

WEDNESDAY, January 9th: Pisces Moon. Daydream and fantasize today. Facts will slip through your fingers. Today we survive using our intuition. Seek solitude, quiet, healing and music.

THURSDAY, Jan. 10th: Pisces Moon. Quiet day. Meditate, daydream, create visions and art.

FRIDAY, Jan. 11th: Moon void-of-course in Pisces all day. Don’t commit to or sign anything. A day of relaxation. Sun conjunct Pluto helps you update your life vision. The will to power or to defend against it can quickly turn violent. Avoid arguments. Sexual preoccupation and obsession is possible, as is suspicion and paranoia. Fun can be had by exploring the psyche sexually and otherwise for catharsis. What stands in your way right now? What outdated attitudes and perspectives can you release?

SATURDAY, Jan. 12th: Moon in Aries (meeting up with Mars). You’ll probably feel a lot of energy, drive and excitement today! Make good use of it, but avoid headstrong behavior.

 

New Year’s Tarot Ritual

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Here’s a wonderful ritual you can try tonight, that will give you insight on what will happen to you in 2019! Just pull out the Major Arcana and the Aces, shuffle three times, cut three times, and use your intuition to choose a card!

From Lon Duquette:

“NEW YEARS EVE TAROT
At stroke of Midnight close thine eyes,
And Dream and Wish and Fantasize,
What thou wouldst most sincerely prize
This coming year…Then visualize.
Now pick a Card and thou shalt see
A catalyst that is the Key
To things that will transformeth thee,
If thou wouldst heed its wise decree.
0
The Fool
A pure buffoon skips towards his doom,
An abyss of profound uncertainties.
It takes a Fool to seed that womb
With all possible possibilities.
Innocence is the catalyst
The Fool’s decree is clear.
By purity of heart you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
I
The Magician
The Magician is a crafty boy,
He’ll cause your mind to boggle.
He can’t create, he can’t destroy,
But boy! Can that guy juggle.
Dexterity is the catalyst.
The Magician’s decree is clear.
By craft and skill you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
II
The High Priestess
Twixt dark and light a maid serene
Weaves spells of fascination.
Spinning moonlight veils from strands of dream
To conceal your initiation.
The female is the catalyst.
The High Priestess’ decree is clear.
By virginity’s power you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
III
The Empress
The Empress sits before the door
Of a garden in full bloom,
At once a chaste wife, and a whore,
All life within her womb.
Beauty is the catalyst.
The Empress’ decree is clear.
By sweet romance you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
IV
The Emperor
A warrior king the Emperor he,
His empire firm established.
Dictating all within his see,
His enemies killed or banished.
Domination is the catalyst.
The Emperor’s decree is clear.
By Ambition you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
V
The Hierophant
A Holy Man who hears and heeds
The voice of God within him.
Sweet mystery’s Priest who dares to lead
The souls of men and women.
The voice of your soul is the catalyst
The Hierophant’s decree is clear.
Through inspiration you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
VI
The Lovers
Upon the woman man looks with lust,
But the Angel is her true lover.
The man imagines what he must,
But it’s a God who makes love to her.
A marriage is the catalyst
The Lover’s decree is clear.
By a union you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
VII
The Chariot
The Holy Grail, a Victorious Knight,
Serving neither Evil nor Good,
His chariot is the mystic Shrine
Of the cup of Holy Blood.
Victory is the catalyst.
Charioteer’s decree is clear.
In triumph you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
VIII
Strength
To hold the lion’s jaws apart
Great bravado is must.
But stronger still than strength of heart
Is good old-fashioned lust.
Courage is the catalyst.
Strength’s decree is clear.
By passion you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
IX
The Hermit
The Hermit shuns the world of wealth
On mountain top he stands.
He hides himself within himself
But gives his light to Man.
Solitude is the catalyst.
The Hermit’s decree is clear.
In silence you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
X
The Wheel of Fortune
Upon the rim fight creatures three
And fortune’s wheel keeps spinning.
Feeling, Thought and Ecstasy
Eternal loss and winning.
Amusement is the catalyst.
Fortune’s decree is clear.
By having fun you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XI
Justice
Goddess Justice sits with poise
And wields the scales and sword.
Avoid extremes, don’t rock the boat
Balance is its own reward.
Equilibrium’s the catalyst
Justice’s decree is clear.
At gravity’s point you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XII
The Hanged Man
A martyred man suspended tight,
Crucified or drowned.
Truth mirrors Truth and Light mirrors Light
Even when you’re upside down.
Reversal is the catalyst.
The Hanged Man’s decree is clear.
Through sacrifice you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XIII
Death
Sometimes the Death card really means death,
Sometimes…. but very seldom.
It brings the end of unbearable stress
When any change is welcome.
A grand finale is the catalyst.
Death’s decree is clear.
Through inevitable change you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XIV
Temperance
The Angel Temperance evokes a mist
Of steam from magick born,
Of water and fire most subtly mixed
With light the rainbow forms.
Union of opposites is the catalyst.
Temperance’s decree is clear.
By alchemy you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XV
The Devil
Bad sees bad, good sees good.
Ignorance is the greatest evil.
The ignorant just look at God
And see nothing but the Devil.
Temptation is the catalyst.
The Devil’s decree is clear.
Transmute a vice — you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XVI
The Tower
The House of God, a Tower high
By God’s own hand is blasted.
But the world would stop, all life would die
If forever had it lasted.
Destruction is the catalyst.
The Tower’s decree is clear.
By war and danger you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XVII
The Star
Every man and woman is a star
Most glorious and resplendent.
Would each of us know who we are
Self radiant and Independent.
Hope is the catalyst
The Star’s decree is clear.
By your inner light you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XVIII
The Moon
She’s constant inconstancy,
Her glamour ever changing.
The Moon’s allure is never sure,
Eternal wax and waning.
Illusion is the catalyst.
The Moon’s decree is clear.
By seeing through it you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
IX
The Sun
Lord of all terrestrial life
Your rays we daily cherish.
Source of liberty, source of light
Without whom all would perish.
Self-image is the catalyst.
The Sun’s decree is clear.
By shamelessness you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XX
Judgement
Apocalypse comes regularly
We may as well learn to face it.
The world breaks down periodically
It’s just easier to replace it.
Resolution is the catalyst.
Judgment’s decree is clear.
Make a decision and you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
XXI
The World
Amidst the stars a dancer whirls
To the music of creation.
Each turn transforms a World fulfilled,
Into a World of expectation.
Patience is the catalyst.
The World’s decree is clear.
With year and time you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
Legend for blank card:
[Card with your own face on it]
XXIII
The Screw-up
The Screw-up stands where he shouldn’t stand,
Says things he shouldn’t say.
Lets opportunities slip through his hands,
And screws up every day.
Incompetence is the catalyst.
The Screw-up’s decree is clear.
By blundering you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
ACE OF WANDS
The Ace of Wands, the Soul’s True Will,
The purpose for your existence.
Discover your Will and you shall kill
The source of all resistance.
Your True Will is the catalyst.
Ace of Wands’ decree is clear.
By self-control you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
ACE OF CUPS
The Ace of Cups is love for sure.
Perhaps a wound from Cupid,
Or Platonic Love that’s for more pure,
But you’ll still act just as stupid.
Love is the catalyst.
Ace of Cups’ decree is clear.
With loving heart you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
ACE OF SWORDS
The Ace of Swords is power invoked,
Authority and discrimination.
A deadly tool when you’re provoked,
Dread source of consternation.
Contention is the catalyst.
Ace of Swords’ decree is clear.
Through altercation you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.
ACE OF DISKS
Ace of Disks, the Physical Plane,
It’s what you think is real.
It’s real like rocks, it’s real like pain,
What you see, hear, taste and feel.
Property is the catalyst.
Ace of Disks’ decree is clear.
By money you’ll be transformed
To greet the coming year.

 

Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock Pen an Open Letter to the Next Generation of Artists

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Here’s some inspiration for us all from some truly brilliant musicians. ❤

“To the Next Generation of Artists: we find ourselves in turbulent and unpredictable times.
From the horror at the Bataclan, to the upheaval in Syria and the senseless bloodshed in San Bernardino, we live in a time of great confusion and pain. As an artist, creator and dreamer of this world, we ask you not to be discouraged by what you see but to use your own lives, and by extension your art, as vehicles for the construction of peace.
While it’s true that the issues facing the world are complex, the answer to peace is simple; it begins with you. You don’t have to be living in a third world country or working for an NGO to make a difference. Each of us has a unique mission. We are all pieces in a giant, fluid puzzle, where the smallest of actions by one puzzle piece profoundly affects each of the others. You matter, your actions matter, your art matters.
We’d like to be clear that while this letter is written with an artistic audience in mind, these thoughts transcend professional boundaries and apply to all people, regardless of profession.
FIRST, AWAKEN TO YOUR HUMANITY
We are not alone. We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. What this world needs is a humanistic awakening of the desire to raise one’s life condition to a place where our actions are rooted in altruism and compassion. You cannot hide behind a profession or instrument; you have to be human. Focus your energy on becoming the best human you can be. Focus on developing empathy and compassion. Through the process you’ll tap into a wealth of inspiration rooted in the complexity and curiosity of what it means to simply exist on this planet. Music is but a drop in the ocean of life.
EMBRACE AND CONQUER THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED
The world needs new pathways. Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by common rhetoric, or false beliefs and illusions about how life should be lived. It’s up to you to be the pioneers. Whether through the exploration of new sounds, rhythms, and harmonies or unexpected collaborations, processes and experiences, we encourage you to dispel repetition in all of its negative forms and consequences. Strive to create new actions both musically and with the pathway of your life. Never conform.
WELCOME THE UNKNOWN
The unknown necessitates a moment-to-moment improvisation or creative process that is unparalleled in potential and fulfillment. There is no dress rehearsal for life because life, itself, is the real rehearsal. Every relationship, obstacle, interaction, etc. is a rehearsal for the next adventure in life. Everything is connected. Everything builds. Nothing is ever wasted. This type of thinking requires courage. Be courageous and do not lose your sense of exhilaration and reverence for this wonderful world around you.
UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF OBSTACLES
We have this idea of failure, but it’s not real; it’s an illusion. There is no such thing as failure. What you perceive as failure is really a new opportunity, a new hand of cards, or a new canvas to create upon. In life there are unlimited opportunities. The words, “success” and “failure”, themselves, are nothing more than labels. Every moment is an opportunity. You, as a human being, have no limits; therefore infinite possibilities exist in any circumstance.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO INTERACT WITH THOSE WHO ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU
The world needs more one-on-one interaction among people of diverse origins with a greater emphasis on art, culture and education. Our differences are what we have in common. We can work to create an open and continuous plane where all types of people can exchange ideas, resources, thoughtfulness and kindness. We need to be connecting with one another, learning about one another, and experiencing life with one another. We can never have peace if we cannot understand the pain in each other’s hearts. The more we interact, the more we will come to realize that our humanity transcends all differences.
STRIVE TO CREATE AGENDA-FREE DIALOGUE
Art in any form is a medium for dialogue, which is a powerful tool. It is time for the music world to produce sound stories that ignite dialogue about the mystery of us. When we say the mystery of us, we’re talking about reflecting and challenging the fears, which prevent us from discovering our unlimited access to the courage inherent in us all. Yes, you are enough. Yes, you matter. Yes, you should keep going.
BE WARY OF EGO
Arrogance can develop within artists, either from artists who believe that their status makes them more important, or those whose association with a creative field entitles them to some sort of superiority. Beware of ego; creativity cannot flow when only the ego is served.
WORK TOWARDS A BUSINESS WITHOUT BORDERS
The medical field has an organization called Doctors Without Borders. This lofty effort can serve as a model for transcending the limitations and strategies of old business formulas which are designed to perpetuate old systems in the guise of new ones. We’re speaking directly to a system that’s in place, a system that conditions consumers to purchase only the products that are dictated to be deemed marketable, a system where money is only the means to an end. The music business is a fraction of the business of life. Living with creative integrity can bring forth benefits never imagined.
APPRECIATE THE GENERATION THAT WALKED BEFORE YOU
Your elders can help you. They are a source of wealth in the form of wisdom. They have weathered storms and endured the same heartbreaks; let their struggles be the light that shines the way in the darkness. Don’t waste time repeating their mistakes. Instead, take what they’ve done and catapult you towards building a progressively better world for the progeny to come.
LASTLY, WE HOPE THAT YOU LIVE IN A STATE OF CONSTANT WONDER
As we accumulate years, parts of our imagination tend to dull. Whether from sadness, prolonged struggle, or social conditioning, somewhere along the way people forget how to tap into the inherent magic that exists within our minds. Don’t let that part of your imagination fade away. Look up at the stars and imagine what it would be like to be an astronaut or a pilot. Imagine exploring the pyramids or Machu Picchu. Imagine flying like a bird or crashing through a wall like Superman. Imagine running with dinosaurs or swimming like mer-creatures. All that exists is a product of someone’s imagination; treasure and nurture yours and you’ll always find yourself on the precipice of discovery.
How does any of this lend to the creation of a peaceful society you ask? It begins with a cause. Your causes create the effects that shape your future and the future of all those around you. Be the leaders in the movie of your life. You are the director, producer, and actor. Be bold and tirelessly compassionate as you dance through the voyage that is this lifetime.”