I have started meditating in the mornings before work instead of, or in addition to, at night. I’m not doing daily spreads daily necessarily, but when something intuitive moves me to do so. I left the last spread out on my altar for days, enjoying the energy of the pictures.

This spread is interesting for showing two pages, both with blue sky backgrounds and reds in the foreground, reds consuming their feminine forms.

Image of the spread is here: http://jhanajenny.com/post/142316260317/tarot-page-swords-five

Inner State: Page of Swords

This card features the brashness of youth, a girl no less, wearing the red dragon of power and strength normally the purview of a man’s world. It bespeaks potency and auspicious power born of her not yet having hardened and contracted around a set of old beliefs. It is of imagination and inventiveness.

Outer World: Page of Wands

This page, like the first, holds a sword. This is the Joan of Arc painting I love so much. The strength of this warrior princess is of faith, bearing the banner (message) of faith and perseverance. This card is in the position of the outer world. Court cards usually represent actual people. Traditionally, this card warns of strange news or a message from family. Last night my sister left me a strange message that she is involved in a second lawsuit. Hmm, I better call her back to find out what is up. She, my son, and I have all been embroiled in legal issues at the same time. It has been a strange time.

Warning: Five of Swords

In the tarot, the fives usually involve the Dark Night of the spiritual journey, being halfway from the Fool to perfection of enlightenment (nine of swords). They involve suffering and challenges. In this rendition, Marie White has painted Athena, another feminine warrior, goddess of reason and intelligence as strategy in resolving disputes. 

Well, here she is in reverse. Traditionally, this card in upright or reverse is ambiguous, tricky to read, with regard to whether a dispute is about to resolve or escalate, whether a hatchet is about to be buried or thrown between the eyes. 

There is a sense of planning retreat from battle. Five involves change and upheaval; swords means it will likely be extreme and involve tough negotiations, difficult communications, and battle weariness. 

The card, in this position, warns of a detached, cold, person who will try to get his way at all costs. The traditional versions of this card indicate that this person sees himself as all-powerful and will stop at no amount of bilateral destruction to get his way. 

This card indicates a serious, even dangerous conflict. In this reverse position, the card indicates either slow resolution of recent hostilities, or a brutal escalation on the horizon. Either way, there will be no reconciliation, and no one will “win.” It remains a volatile situation for the time being, one that could go either way. The traditional versions of this card indicate that the courts may soon be involved. Here, the fact that Athena is goddess of law and justice, not to mention battle strategy, seems to echo that meaning.

Losses and destruction all around will be spectacular.


I’m most intrigued that all three cards are emphatically female warriors–those of traditionally weak and submissive mien who persevere with faith and reason on their side. I recently asked my teacher what all the legal stuff was about in my family currently. He stated, “Well, poor personal boundaries.” He often mentions that issues are intergenerational, ancestral. My family tree is full of two types: drunks and religious fanatics. Enough said.

I threw these cards right after the weekend retreat of March 27 and 28, which emphasized nonduality through work with the body. I was ecstatic after sitting with my teacher again after so many months. Something at this brief but sweet retreat happened–not a new shift, but a certainty that crystallized and sank down into me that the door on Ingram, MCTB2, all Buddhist forums, and high-maintenance people of all sorts, but especially former dharma friends, is now shut. 

Or, more properly, I’ve walked through this gate: http://jhanajenny.com/post/141579935947/gate-crucifixion-tarot

I’m precisely where I’m supposed to be, with the teacher  best for my development, and with the very few private dharma relationships that can fuel me rather than drain me energetically. My focus is wholesomely on simplifying my life, putting all the busy-ness I can aside, and nurturing my own life and practice. This is not the time to start a community, write a book, or chase after anything or anyone. Those impulses were my attempt to escape the reality of all that has passed and is passing.

Image of spread is here: http://jhanajenny.com/post/142258612762/enlightenment-arrogance-shapeshifter

Inner State: Nine of Swords

Ah, yes! The Nine of Swords follows the Eight of Swords, which is the gateless gate I mentioned, the one I felt I had passed through during this weekend.

The painting by Marie White is of the Temple of Eternity, so emptiness of time. It contains the four elements, a water veil, a sun above and beyond the invisible but functional line of the horizon, and a “this side” where we live. This card represents enlightenment, the highest state of a human being with intent. 

White’s painting shows the dark and light pillars in reversed positions, indicating that the other side of the view may be this side, here on earth, in time, in the relative. The air represents the pressure of challenge, and this leads us to evolution.

The card represents spiritual realization and the end of a long separation. It is the most appropriate card in the deck to represent my inner state after sitting this retreat.

Outer World: King of Wands Reversed

This card has come up often during the whole legal dispute. This time is it in the position of outer world, other person. In reverse it is a card of righteous indignation, arrogance, and inability to embody the power behind those energies skillfully. 

Advice: Queen of Wands

This card is of me in my current situation. It is a full-bodied feminine power. It is a nagual, a shapeshifter, a shaman, a witch. A complement to the King of Wands, the sun god, which marks my outer world, she is the dark, the inner, the flame in the temple of my own body. She is the dark forest and the dark night I must traverse alone. She wears a shard of obsidian near her third eye. It is both a weapon and a mirror. It is myself that she is showing me. This is a card advising me to re-create myself though the imagination and embodied power.