My upbringing was pretty conventional — no witches or wizards (except at the door at Halloween looking for candy), no visits to spiritualists or palm readers. I don’t think I even knew about these, except for genies at the movies. Probably in my 30s or 40s I bought a deck of Tarot cards because the pictures were beautiful. Then, maybe in my 50s I bought the Medicine Spirit Cards (all about animal totems). Again, the cards were neat. I never put much stock in these cards. But I think I was looking. My spiritual education was lacking, I think. I went to Sunday School at our Methodist or Presbyterian church, but they really did not talk about spirituality. I learned about the history of the church and the stories of the Bible. Believing in God and Jesus was actually quite easy for me. The wonder of the world was all around me and, for me, that was proof of God. The idea that God sent someone to us to teach us also made sense.
But none of what I learned helped me with what to do when I had a problem or needed some insight. I think that may be why I got the cards. The Tarot deck didn’t help me because I didn’t understand what the cards meant. The animal cards were easier to understand because it was much less symbolic. I found it interesting to have a question in my mind and pull a card and think about whether or not there was anything new for me to think about.
I think the basic point is that I did not have a sense of how to connect with the Sacred.
Then I learned of the Baha’i Faith and it and I just clicked. I knew that was the spiritual home for me. And I still did not have a good sense of how to connect to the Sacred. This is my limitation, not the Baha’i Faith’s.
Then I met some folks who practiced the Nature Religions. I always had a great sense of awe for nature, so much of what they talked about felt comfortable and some did not. We had some interesting conversations.
And then Bob died and after the initial rigmarole slowed down, I had all kinds of spiritual questions. The Baha’i beliefs were a solid rock that supported me with knowledge about the progress of the soul and all of those big questions. What I had more trouble with was the little questions. Like is Qigong something I should actually pursue, or am I really supposed to become a writer, or are these tears ever going to stop! I would pray and find some comfort, but I was always concerned that I was just “making it up.”
Somewhere in this process I was wondering about what I should do about something and I decided to pull a card (just shuffle the cards and pull one that seemed to be wanting to pop out of the deck). Then I read what the card said. It never said, “Yes, Jan, become a Qigong instructor.” But it might say something like, “New ideas may becoming into your life and it might be interesting to see what they are.” I found them to be thought provoking and fun.
And then I asked a friend who uses the cards with a great deal of respect what she thought of the card that I drew. The conversation that we had was fascinating. We played off of each other with ideas and thoughts and I saw the cards in a whole different light. For me, they were not “fortune telling,” they were thought triggers. Since then I have used the cards several times and have had some helpful insights. For me, they are a wonderful way to get a different view point or to raise some different ideas for a problem that I am facing.
With that foray into “witchy” stuff behind me, around the time of the supermoon and lunar eclipse in September I was really frustrated and confused about why I was crying all of the time. So, just for the heck of it I Googled the effects of the supermoon. That was downright eerie! Among the things it said were this particular super moon and eclipse (October, 2015) were all about relationships (I am still dealing with Bob’s death and a lack of friends), the start of all of this was March 2014 (the month Bob died), with another significant event in December 2014 (when I signed up for the Qigong instructor course), and is working toward a conclusion in June 2016. I may need to reassess my negative view of astrology! And I am really curious about next June!
Where does all of this leave me? I tend to look toward the cards for some different ideas to consider when some event or emotion seems to be sticking around more than it should or when I am trying to make a decision. And I may look at some astrology information with a more curious eye. Does that diminish the importance of God, Baha’i beliefs, or prayer for me? No. Those are my bedrock, my foundation. The others give me valuable information that helps me consider another viewpoint or opens up some new consideration. Do I believe that the cards are Divinely guided? If I approach the cards and information with a pure and sincere heart, yes, I think they have Divine guidance. If I approach them as play, I think they are a diversion.
Interesting how this pretty traditional upbringing is embracing some fairly nontraditional tools. I like it!