Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 21, 2014


Hello friends. I think I’m fighting off a bug. This week is too interesting to get sick, so I won’t. But turning energy inward, not feeling creative right now. I’m posting this because it’s beautiful, and both my Atheist and religious friends can enjoy it. Happy Tuesday.

Cool astronomy pix from GuysFromAndromeda.com

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 20,2014


Today’s Tarot is from the Major Arcana, V The Hierophant. I dedicate it to the Catholic bishops who this week rejected an opportunity to widen the embrace of the Church to include ‘unconventional relationships’–gay couples, divorced people, couples living together. No one says the Pope ain’t Catholic, but he’s moved to just a few steps behind the arc of history and that puts him too far ahead of his hierarchy for their comfort.

While the internet focuses on issues like denial of cupcakes to gay wedding parties, there are much worse consequences of discrimination in the US. Child custody battles and unfair firings from work are two legal battles being fought in states that have no anti-discrimination laws. In countries like Uganda, gays are being scapegoated in the way that Jews were in Nazi Germany before the Holocaust began. That is never a comparison to be used lightly, but the similarities are there. Religion is complicit, or compliant, just as it was then.

The Hierophant is strongest when he is facing direct opposition. He faces forward, preaching to the converted who kneel at his feet.

He is prepared for blasphemy, indeed he thrives on it.

What he lacks is lovingkindness, flexibility, practical answers to problems that arrive in shades of grey.

The challenge for Pagans is to reach out to his followers with humanity, respect, humor and confidence.

In the end, the Hierophant will need to come down off his throne and get a job. We’ll hasten that day by doing our own.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 18, 2014

queen of wands

Today’s Tarot is the Queen of Wands. She’s the personage for a sweet day in mid-Autumn on the cusp of change. The temperature could drop like a stone by evening, but for now- enjoy.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 17, 2014

c everett koop

Mercury Retrograde. That explains why I was late for a meeting, got caught in a traffic jam, got home to no supper and am sitting in my underwear typing when I should be getting ready for work. I’m not into astrology. I first heard about Mercury Retrograde when I took an AiKiDo class in the 70′s. It happens randomly and provides a perfect excuse for the screw-ups we create or just endure. Thank you, universe.

I’m glad that people are recalling the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, and his effective though belated leadership in the AIDS epidemic. Ronald Reagan appointed him for his conservative views, which Koop maintained all his life. But Koop was a doctor, and he spoke the truth about what was needed for public health, even though it was not politically correct to put out the facts instead of inciting panic.

Right now, we could really use a Surgeon General, but Dr. Vivek Murthy’s nomination has been blocked by the tobacco industry NRA, for pointing out that cigarettes cause lung cancer cheap, poorly-regulated guns are a public health threat. Reagan never had to deal with a Congress that made it a goal to keep the nation in gridlock until things got so bad that they could get elected on an anti-government platform.

I could hope that Mercury Retrograde will foul up evildoers and stall out the engines of destruction. So mote it be.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 16, 2014

statehouse dawn

Coming down the home stretch to the elections. I think that for the first time since Claudine Schneider I may vote for a Republican. In the Lt. Governor’s race Catherine Terry Taylor says she will support HealthSource RI, and Daniel McKee said on WRNI he thought we couldn’t afford it. We can’t afford to lose a chance to engage all Rhode Islanders in consistent health care. Going to the Emergency Room when you are at death’s door is no substitute for having a regular doctor to keep you healthy.

I’m going to Seven Stars today to meet Marcus Mitchell, the write-in candidate for City Council 3rd ward. Kevin Jackson has lost my confidence after his endorsement of Buddy (Vincent) Cianci and his non-answer when I asked him why.

I’d rather live in un-interesting times, but what can you do?

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 15, 2014

Welcoming a Refugee

Welcoming a Refugee

What Cheer, Providence? Today’s random image is Roger Williams finding help after his banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for being the wrong kind of Christian.

After leaving Massachusetts, Williams, with the assistance of the Narragansett tribe, established a settlement at the junction of two rivers near Narragansett Bay, located in present-day Rhode Island. He declared the settlement open to all those seeking freedom of conscience and the removal of the church from civil matters, and many dissatisfied Puritans came. Taking the success of the venture as a sign from God, Williams named the community “Providence.”

Keep Providence dissident, Netop.

Historic illustration from Chicago State University.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 13, 2014

Pronk monsters

Just back from Vermont, where there are a lot of leaves. I took the RIPTA #1 downtown early today and the city was glowing in the rising sunlight. I know that 111 Westminster, called the ‘Superman Building’, is a challenge, but without it our skyline would just be a bunch of buildings.

Anyway, the PRONK festival is happening today, brass bands, monsters and dancing. That’s where I’ll be.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 10, 2014

5 of Cups

Waking up with a headache today. I watched the mayoral debate last night at Rochambeau Library, then went home and ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Politics is bad for your health.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 9, 2014

women's suffrage color

Taking a day off in the middle of the week. Sweet. I have my coffee and all the time in the world to write.

To start- wise words from an writer, witch and activist, Starhawk.

…it’s a magical law that you don’t gain more power by disdaining the power you have. If we want to call in the great powers of creation, compassion and justice to transform our world, we must use whatever avenues are open to us, even if they seem weaker than we’d like. The trickle carves a path for the stream to flow, and the stream makes the way for the river.

Read this whole improving sermon on the smart strategy of using your vote to greatest effect.

Social media and the power of the dollar can shake things up as well. The Susan G. Komen Foundation took a hit a few years ago when its director decided to cancel grants to Planned Parenthood. That sparked a reaction that the organization has still not recovered from. Most women have sought health care, or have friends who did, from Planned Parenthood. PP remains one of the most accessible providers of contraception, especially for young women who may not have a regular doctor or a lot of money.

So Komen has teamed up with the Baker Hughes drilling corporation to spread awareness with pink drill bits. I can foresee a future nuclear power dome painted pink. Put two of them together. I have long suspected that Komen sidetracked its mission from funding research to ‘raising awareness’ to raise money, to buy more advertising, to ‘raise awareness’…
I, for one, am not only aware, I’m scared. Bad enough to deal with the suspense of the yearly mammogram, to see so many friends and acquaintances fighting breast cancer, and other cancers as well. At this point I’m even scared of the color pink. I’m going to wear grey- for anxiety awareness.
Anyway, Komen is down to the fracking sponsors. Meanwhile, there’s Gloria Gemma and countless other charities with good records that did not try to play politics with women’s health. Be wise in your support, check how much of your donation goes to the cause with sites like Charity Navigator.

Finally, a word about Providence sidewalks. I seen on Facebook that our sidewalks have cracks, and it’s Mayor Taveras’ fault. Buddy will fix this. Buddy is counting on our short memories. Here’s a clip from the Providence Journal, 6/22/88-

“Washington Park residents have been the victims of ‘bum sidewalks’ installed during his predecessor’s administration, Mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr. told the Washington Park Citizen’s Association last night.
“It was all done in the Cianci administration, Paolino said, referring to former mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. “The quality of work today is much better.”
John Palmieri, deputy director of the Department of Planning and Development, said his office surveyed the problem areas and has negotiated with the bonding company that guaranteed the work. He said the city has agreed to a settlement of $109,000, a sum that he said will cover the cost of repairs.
During Cianci’s decade in office, it became traditional for the city to install and repair sidewalks in the months immediately before municipal elections.”

Note that the Cianci administration hired a firm that stiffed Providence, and the city had to go to court to get the job done right. That is CORRUPTION. With our TAX DOLLARS.

Sadly, Buddy has a lot of supporters who think this is the way things should be done- for favoritism. They want to get on the good side of Good Buddy. Bad Buddy is ancient history, the Teacher’s Union says.

There is information easily available in the Journal Archives at the Providence Public Library that will make your hair stand on end. 21st Century. Use it or be used by it.

Historic Women’s Suffrage poster from Meiklejohn Graphics.

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Tarot Daily Dot Decoder, October 8, 2014

9 of swords

Life is not all rainbows and unicorns, and neither is Tarot. The IX of Swords illustrates all that wakes us up at 3am. The fears may be founded and imminent, or just ghosts and nightmares, but how can you sort it out in the dark?

Gearhart and Rennie’s ‘A Feminist Tarot’
offers a path out of fear-

“Opening one’s eyes to face danger, perhaps to claim it. Feeling the fear, yielding to it. Patient analysis or slow deliberate action to remove each individual sword. Careful dealing with each threat without causing harm. Slow recovery from near madness.”

Fear as entertainment is so universal that it’s a challenge to even identify our own personal demons. TV is a deluge of violent fantasy, the ‘news’ grabs our attention with apocalyptic threats that are almost a relief in the face of day to day anxiety. If a meteor strikes I won’t have to go to work today.

Facing the 3am is best done in daylight. It’s a solitary task, but patiently sorting the real threats from the imaginary, and addressing what must be changed in the real world will affect our relationships. Less panic, less irrational anger, less over-reaction. More calm, more constructive action. You can’t solve anything until you know what the problems are.

I’m reminded of a doctor who was treating patients in a hospital flooded by the levee failures after Hurricane Katrina. He said, “I refuse to comply with misdirection.” It’s worse than useless to run after imagined hazards in a real crisis. Here is a good post about the Fox News Ebola Fest. I wish people could see what I see every day, they would be panicking about diabetes. But that is here, now and needs action and sacrifice. Not as easy as freaking about a disease that has infected a handful of Americans out of 300 million. Ignorance kills even more than disease, but the cure is somewhat painful and reality is so dull and difficult. Coffee at 3am is not the worst thing.

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