||Do you remember that golden path winding its way through the
green fields beyond Muchkinland in the classic film of Frank L. Baum's
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" ?
It has been a part of our lives for over 66 years, and we are still enchanted with Dorothy and her friends as we watch them once again follow that yellow brick road to find the wizard to solve their problems.
That journey is the perfect expression of Intuitive Navigation. Dorothy setting out into the unknown, follows the path guided by her intuition, trusting it to bring her safely to the answers and outcomes she needs.
Dorothy is told that to get back home to Kansas from the incredible land of Oz, she should follow the yellow brick road to find the great and powerful Wizard of Oz who would surely help her. (Wizards always have the answers and know what to do.) So, Dorothy sets off to find her wizard and she meets a Scarecrow who dearly wants to have a brain, a Tin Man who yearns for a real heart, and a Cowardly Lion who desperately wants courage.
They become her friends and allies on the trip. Together they face dangerous challenges and finally accomplish the dreadful task the wizard has set them (to kill the wicked witch of the West). When they bring the wizard the witch's broom as proof, and ask him to grant their wishes as he promised, he admits he is a fraud and has no power to solve their problems.
But, their trip down the yellow brick road has not failed them. The wizard tells them that they have the power they were seeking within them. Their trip down the yellow brick road provided them with the experiences that would bring to the surface precisely what they wished for themselves. The scarecrow figured out what to do when they had a problem. The tin man was the most caring and compassionate of companions, the Lion kept on going despite his fear and conviction of his cowardice, which is true courage. And although Dorothy didn't know she could use the power of the ruby slippers to return to Kansas all along, the good witch Glinda tells her that before the trip down the yellow brick road, she would never have believed it.
When the curtain is finally drawn aside to reveal the wizard, we all learn that ultimately, the wizard we seek is not out there in the world, but inside ourselves . The Swiss psychoanalyst, Dr. Carl G. Jung wrote that our unconscious carries the keys to the highest wisdom of our kind, in the form of inborn images (Archetypes) of human potential and relationship that reveal the pattern and meaning of our human experience and guide us in making our major life decisions. He called the unconscious, the friend of the Soul.
We know those images from the unconscious very well. We interact with them in our dreams each night. We meet them in all their guises, in the scriptures, sagas, folklore, and fairytales that are at the foundation of all the cultures of our world. The Wizard is one of those archetypes–the wise old man. Dorothy and her friends are contemporary expressions of images with whom we easily identify; we are all vitally concerned with the affairs of our heads and hearts, and want to find the courage to walk our own path in life, and find the place we belong and feel loved and safe, and fulfilled.
You and I can communicate with the source of those images, that friend of the soul, who does know what is best for us and what we need to do to tend our growth, and stay on the path that leads us to wholeness and fulfillment. We have a simple, surprisingly effective tool, easily available to us, to help us do just that. We can use an ordinary deck of playing cards to carry on a dialog with our unconscious, and provide our intuition with a language to translate its images.
During my thousands of readings over the past quarter century, I've witnessed how eloquently the cards speak for the unconscious. It will unerringly direct you to select precisely those cards that can tell you what you need to know at that particular point in time. The unconscious selects the seed images that can best speak to your understanding, and sends them up toward your conscious awareness. Your intuition lights their way, quickening them to growth along the path of light to the surface of your awareness. They blossom into images that give voice to your inner knowing and provide you with the symbols that help you make sense of your experience.
Unfortunately, too often we miss that message, and we catch ourselves heaving a sigh and ruefully muttering, "I knew I shouldn't have done that!" At that moment we are fully aware of another, far wiser, intelligence inside. Oh, we heard it, or sensed it, at least enough of it to realize we didn't understand–or perhaps we didn't trust what we heard. Ahhh ! there it is. We often find it difficult to decipher the message, or to trust its wisdom.
This is where the cards are so helpful. The numbers and suits are your allies (like Dorothy's) that help you attend to these messages and guide you to translate their meaning. They help you connect with your inner wisdom, and learn to understand and trust the voice of that ancient-wizard aspect of your unconscious, and they facilitate your navigation on that yellow brick road of intuition.
You and I are like Dorothy. The Numbers of the cards are the realm of our Scarecrow– the abstract thoughts he dreams of having with his brain. The realm of the Tin Man is the Suits– our modes of perception: Clubs (Mental), Diamonds (Material), Spades (Spiritual), and Hearts (Emotional). In the best of all possible worlds, the decision of which mode of perception best serves the occasion is made from the level and understanding of the heart. Layouts are the domain of the Lion, the seeker of courage to face the dangers inherent in ruling and accepting the responsibility for maintaining order in his world. We choose a layout to to map the territory we want to bring out of confusion into order.
That ordinary deck of cards can serve as the pointer to your inner truth beyond what your ego has to say. The keywords for the numbers and suits will enable you to interpret the symbols offered by the unconscious for your understanding. The cards will stimulate your intuitive responses, clarify your situation, and help you understand what you truly feel about it all. Recognizing and honoring what you feel is a key factor in making sound decisions. The more often you use the cards, the more confirmation you will get that your intuition is right on target, and the more you will trust its voice.
However, you may still wonder what possible connection there can be between cards picked at random and what is happening in your life. It's a reasonable question, especially here in the west where we automatically think of events in terms of cause and effect, but there are other concepts of relatedness. The concept here is an ancient Eastern
a-causal principle that Carl Jung called Synchronicity. It maintains that every element in a given moment has some meaningful connection to that time. He offers us a particularly concrete example.
"Whatever happens in a given moment possesses inevitably the quality peculiar to that moment. This is not an abstract argument but a very practical one. There are certain connoisseurs who can tell you merely from
the appearance, taste, and behavior of a wine the site of its vineyard and the year of its origin."
C.G. Jung, Introduction to Richard Wilhelm's translation of the I Ching , Bollingen Press edition @1950, English translation by: Cary F. Baynes .
Cards chosen for a Reading are inextricably connected to that time. Despite all the probabilities or possibilities there may be of picking one card over another, at that precise moment, there are no other cards you could possibly have chosen. So, I offer you what I have distilled from my studies, experience, and intuition about the appearance, flavor and behavior of the symbols on the cards so you can use them to help you intelligently consider your concerns. Should you move? Find a new job? … a new partner? Change your career? Get married? … divorced ? What's the best way to cope with your boss? your job? your parents? ...kids ?... health?... partner? How can you change things? How can you manage when it all feels so overwhelming? What's really happening? Are you on the right track? Have you made the right decision?
You can trust the unconscious to direct the fall of the cards.
As you sort through the variations of interpretations to choose which best describes the quality of your situation, you are intuitively tuning-in to your unconscious. Reading the cards becomes a practical, effective exercise system for developing your tuning-in muscles. The more often you use the cards, the surer you get, and the more you will trust your own perceptions. Reading cards acts like a personal trainer for developing your tuning-in muscles.
You are not starting with a blank slate here. You already have an essential connection to numbers. Below your conscious awareness, numbers awaken a deep kinesthetic awareness of interior muscular movements, and a sense of the rhythms, processes and intrinsic relationships of the systems of your body.
You can sense the energy of the number 1 in the creative organs of the body–the generative capacity of one womb, one penis, one head. The duality of the number 2 registers in the extension and contraction of your muscles; the complementary functioning of the right and left hemispheres of the brain; and the cooperative work of two eyes, two ears, two kidneys, lungs, legs, arms, nostrils.
Your inner evocation of balance shifts in response to odd or even numbers. The number 3 is sensed as movement–as a humming, dynamic circuit that echoes in the function of your three-part brain system, and your tri-part division into head, torso, and limbs. With the even number 4 comes a sense of security and wholeness generated by the balanced functioning of the four-chambered heart supporting the body's activity.
he utility of 5-fingered hands and 5-toed feet, prepares you to risk venturing out beyond the security represented by the number 4. The five senses with which you interpret and relate to the world open a new sense of awareness with each venture into the unknown. It has often occurred to me that it may not be possible for us to even conceive of anything that doesn't have a counterpart in the structure, function, or rhythms of our bodies.
Added to these interior responses, I believe there is something in the cards themselves that helps us tune in. Even in a game (bridge, solitaire, poker, pinochle) we get drawn in, mesmerized by the changing patterns formed by the cards. I'm willing to bet when you see a hand of all black cards (especially if they are Spades) you feel just a tiny bit uneasy ...just a little apprehensive. When the big one–the Ace of Spades–comes up, do you conjure up scenes from old black-and-white movies?
... the old gypsy's eyes widen in horror at the card she has just turned over for the hero –the Ace of Spades! With a harsh intake of breath she snatches the cards up from the table, gasps out that she
can't… can't read any longer, and rushes out the door to stumble blindly into the fog-shrouded night...
Decades of movies and folklore have reinforced the tendrils of fear many of us still feel radiating from that Ace of Spades, which is indeed a powerful card. That power however, can easily be positive. As a balance to our uneasy feeling about Spades, when we get a hand with all Hearts and Diamonds we generally feel light-hearted. Somehow we feel everything is coming up roses. Why do we think that? You will explore what you know, that you don't know you know, as you learn to decipher those little red and black marks on the cards to tell you about the moment you chose them.
The cards are there for you. Their very familiarity reveals how thin the line between the ordinary and the extraordinar can be. The cards can awaken or renew a sense of wonder in your own everyday experience. You can use them lightly for fun and amusement, or more seriously when you feel caught, and don't see a way out of a web of difficulties. Try them when you wonder whether or not you are on the right track, or made the right decision. They can offer you a clue or direction to end a stalemate, or help you decide between alternatives.
They can suggest ways to cope with stressful times; alert you if a focus on material success has obscured your vision and persuaded you to ignore intuitions that could free you from entanglements. You can depend on them to caution you when you take yourself too seriously, or let you know when you are not taking yourself seriously enough.
You will soon realize a good reading is much more about discovering what you know, but haven't been able to see clearly enough to use productively in your life, than about finding out what is going to happen. Understanding can change what happens.
Readings can provide you with a fresh perspective and a more helpful way to look at your circumstance and yourself. Use them to make your intuition clear. Listen to that ancient, wiser place within you. Let your inner-wizard guide you to navigate your yellow brick road of intuition, and watch the ruts and bumps of your life experience smooth out to ease your way to wholeness and fulfillment