Tag Archives: mind

Body and Soul

In many religions, the physical and the spiritual are seen as distinctly different things. Many of the approaches to the spiritual life are about transcending the flesh and the physical in order to reach more elevated planes of existence. Some perceive pleasures of the body as traps, distracting us from enlightenment, or as providing trials to be overcome on the way to enlightenment.

Part of the logic underpinning this comes from the idea that things can be divided up. Mind and body are seen as separate. Male and female are two clearly defined states of being. Adult and child. Night and day. Reason and emotion. Spirit and matter. Sacred and profane. And so forth. We set up science and religion as polar opposites, even though the processes of philosophy ought to give them common ground. We draw straight arbitrary lines through hazy grey patches and create opposites where we might be better off thinking of spectrums. In terms of our own natures, we separate people into introverts and extroverts, stable and neurotic, thinking and feeling. Most people are both, the attributes emerging dependant on circumstances.

By hiving things off from each other like this, we create the idea of separate, incompatible states. Somewhere along the way, the ideas of spiritual and material things were defined as existing in opposition to each other. Eschewing worldly goods and pleasures thus becomes a way of expressing a spiritual life. Monks and nuns of various faiths will give up family and not have children. Some become beggars, depending on charity to survive. Fasting, sexual abstinence, and temperance, are often considered part of a spiritual life. To be spiritual is to reject the pleasures of the flesh as distractions, sins or otherwise unhelpful.

Christianity has tended to hold that suffering is good for the soul. Sacrifice, doing without, wearing the hair shirt and whatnot is supposed to improve you. “Blessed be the meek for they will inherit the earth.” “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” As I see it, for most people there is little need to seek out suffering. It will find you. Through death, loss, ill health, accident and heartbreak, if you have any capacity to feel at all, then pain will be an inevitable part of your life. We don’t need to court it. Hard times and challenges give some folk the opportunity they need the shine and grow, but other people are just ground down by misfortune.

People have basic needs in terms of food, water, shelter and rest. If those aren’t met, then most people will not have the energy or inclination to divert attention towards matters of the spirit. Most of us will sort out the survival issues first. Having a way of relating to the world that includes a sense of spiritual reason for hard times may be helpful, but in practice most people do not want to suffer, no matter how spiritually good it is supposed to be. My concern has long been that a doctrine of ‘it’s good to suffer’ makes it easier to maintain the status quo, keeps the poor from complaining about their poverty, allows the rich to feel justified in doing nothing.

What happens if you cast aside the ideas of difference? If the spiritual is present in the physical, then life seems very different. Let go of the distinctions (mundane and sacred, magical and not magical) and life opens up in some startling ways. If everything is meaningful, everything is sacred, and spiritual, then what makes the difference is how we approach it and whether we can see the sacred in what we do. Is cooking drudgery, or is it an act of love and creativity? Relating to it the second way enriches life. The idea of opposites is so much a human construct, and it limits us. It’s all cut up into ‘us and them’; human and animal, important and not important. If we let that go, everything changes. My beloved Tom says, “There is no them, it’s all us.” If we see the world inclusively, with no separation, no dividing lines, no ‘them’ and we embrace spirit is something that is here and now, not distant and other, then radical, wonderful change seems inevitable.

Dear Spirit, Friday, July 2, 2010-New job, same company; Mixtures of Suits in a Reading

“I’ve been working for a good company for a few months now, they offer decent benefits, including reimbursing you for any college or vocational school you go for.  There is much potential for growth. I’m interested in applying for a new position within the company, which I believe will be a good move in the right direction for me. What do the cards say? Thank you for your advice.” CWB, St. Louis, MO

In this recovering economy, it is always a positive message to hear that someone actually has opportunity open to them for something new, something more that allows for growth and possibility. As I shuffled the cards, the thought came to me that the company you are with has much potential, but I feel that isn’t as important in this instance as you developing your potential. My reaction is it is time to work smarter, not harder, and I think you are realizing this, too. With that stated, the cards pulled as follows: ‘9’ card-Illusion (The Moon), reversed; Six of Pentacles, reversed; Ace of Cauldrons, upright; and King of Pentacles, upright.

The reversed Illusion card tells me much. There is a lot going on inside you. You are feeling a rise in consciousness, a spiritual awakening. Karma is calling to you, it is time to sow a new path, one that no longer limits life for you. You’ve been receiving a lot of messages in your dreams, as the Illusion card is all about the subconscious and psychic abilities beginning to surface. My feeling is your intuition is on target and you should see where it leads you to as you have been dealing with emotional highs and lows trying to figure out who you are becoming. This is definitely a time when you need to follow your “gut”, not your reason because something is calling to you to open up yourself to the unlimited possibilities of the universe in your pursuit of a new and improved you. The reversed Six of Pentacles tells me the obvious urge, the surface urge for your desire for change is that money is tight right now and you are looking for more stability in terms of your finances, hence an allegedly better paying position. That’s fine, but the energy surrounding you is insisting there is more for you on many other levels ON TOP OF better money and that is the “voice” you should be listening to in the long run. If your company offers, as a benefit to you, tuition reimbursement, you should definitely pursue whatever training and/or education you can in order to better yourself on all levels. The upright Ace of Cauldrons tells me new beginnings are definitely on the horizon, odds are you will get the job you’re interested in because all aces are about new beginnings, and the number ‘1’ is the number of creative power and potential. The trick is to see what you can do with all this power coming at you and how you can utilize it to make the most of your possibilities. The King of Pentacles, upright, tells me you are going to work with an individual who will more than likely be in a supervisory position over you who has a lot of good old fashioned common sense. This individual has made a lot of money through hard work and patience, realizing if one plays the “game” right, money will flow. The upright King of Pentacles is telling me if you continue to apply yourself, you can reach great heights in your quest for success, but have patience, be methodical and plan well for better and much longer lasting results.  Good fortune to you, CWB!


When you perform a tarot reading, don’t limit your interpretations to the face value depicted on the cards. One of the first things I do when pulling a spread is gather them in, psychically, mentally, emotionally and physically. Let’s say your client asks a question about his love life. Just because he asks about that area, does not mean all cups will appear. As a general rule, the tarot always tells the querent what they need to hear, not what they desire to hear. In fact, if too many of one suit appears in a spread, it is generally indicative of imbalance. Too many cups, for this particular querent, may indicate entirely too much emotional energy, while a predominance of Pentacles could mean the querent is too materialistic with regard to his approach to the relationship.

CUPS: Cups are linked to matters of the heart. They relate how we FEEL about people, situations, and things. The Cups are also connected to the imagination, psychic activity, dreams , visualization, inner processes, relationships, receptivity and reflection, fantasy and fertility. Cups symbolize the heart, the emotional center and the womb which nurtures and creates new growth. The element water represents feelings. A full cup that runneth over can represent emotional abundance while a closed or upside down cup, can be indicative of a lack of emotional expression or creativity. When Cups appear in a spread they are telling the reader how the querent feels emotionally about their question. When Cups appear with Wands it is telling us how we feel emotionally about our relationships, ideals, goals, aspirations and dreams. It can also reveal how you apply energy (Wands) toward manifesting or creating your dreams. When Cups appear with Swords we are now applying codes of morality and ethics, the right and wrong of our approach to our relationships, ideals, goals, aspirations or dreams. When Cups appear with Pentacles, this appearance can indicate how we feel about the physical aspects of our lives (for example, career, property, finances, etc.)

WANDS: Ideals aspirations, dreams, energy, growth, enterprise, animation, glory, self-growth, inspiration, spirit, initiation, enthusiasm, desire, passion, perception, action, movement, optimism, sexuality…the Wands respond to questions having to do with job, school, career or a creative venture or project. Wands are the life-force energy to make you want to work to obtain your desires. If Wands appear with Cups it is how you apply your ideals and energy toward your emotional state of mind and how you feel emotionally about your methods used to manifest your dreams. If Wands appear with Swords it means that you are now questioning how moral your ideals, aspirations and dreams are, but as much as you want to do something, when Swords come into the picture, the morality about your wish or desire comes into play. You really are weighing the pros and cons of your approach to achieving your dreams. If Wands appear with Pentacles it is HOW you apply your ideals, dreams and aspirations in ways that actually physically create your destiny. When these two suits combine, they deal with the physical manifestation of your goals.

SWORDS: this suit is all about morality, ethics, the right and/or wrong. The Swords are associated with those areas of life which must be taken very seriously such as trouble, strife, courage, authority, health, laws and so forth. Swords will always indicate a mental level of consciousness. Any time that you pull a Sword, it will indicate the quality of mind that is present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs at that time. If Swords appears with Cups, questions arise about the morality of your question, and concerns your morals and ethics in relationship to your emotional state of being regarding your question. For example, if you ask about the success of your adulterous love affair, the Sword is a serious indicator of the internal battle between your idea of right and wrong about the issue. If Swords appear with Wands you are now applying your morals to your actions used to create your ideal situation, aspirations and dreams. If Swords appear with Pentacles, there are questions concerning the moral issues resulting from the physical manifestations of the pursuit of your dreams, i.e., absolute power corrupts absolutely, if you become greedy in your success, that imbalance could lead to a painful loss of that you have worked so hard to acquire.

PENTACLES: this suit is all about physical things and manifestation on the material plane. The Pentacles are the results of what we do with our lives in order to manifest physicality and is associated with money, goods, services, work, our status in relationship to property and possessions. When the Pentacles and Cups appear in a reading, this combination deals with how we feel emotionally about the physical things in our life. When Pentacles and Wands show, it is what we do with our creative energy (Wands) which will decide the quality of Pentacles produced. We can have positive achievements or negative, we can produce loss or abundance. When Pentacles and Swords appear, it means that it is time to deal with the moral and ethical issues of our physical acquisitions we gain throughout our life.

When I read a spread, I allow the energy exchange between myself and the querent, the marvelous imagery of a tarot deck, the numerological, astrological, psychological aspects of the cards to guide me in assisting a querent. I respect the tarot for what it is, a powerful tool that can provide the answer one seeks, provided the reading is approached with respect and an open mind.

Until next month, everyone, enjoy your Independence Day in a way most suited to you and yours. Above all be safe and have fun!


Erin Sinclair, “For love that’s out of this world!” (www.erinsinclairauthor.com)

39 Days of Prayer – Day 38

Day 38 – Freeing the Heart and Mind

You know the desires of my heart better than I, Goddess/God/Spirit

Help me to recognize and separate the things I want from the things I need.

I pray now to be aware and accepting of the things I need

to make my life one lived in happiness, charity and peace.

I pray for the faith and strength to release the things I want

if they do not serve the divine path you have laid for me.

May the wisdom of Goddess/God/Spirit guide me and comfort me.

Blessed be.