Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Gifts

I'm a lucky woman.

A few days ago my mother sent me a text saying that she was sending a couple of packages for both Mother's Day (for me), and for my younger daughter's birthday. Then she quickly sent another text saying, "Do you want to know what I got you??" She was never very good at surprises - she gets so excited she can't contain herself! I didn't want her to burst from nervous tension so I replied, "Sure, if you want to tell me!" So she told me, and a couple of days later it arrived in the mail: Osho Zen Tarot. I still haven't asked her what prompted her to choose this deck for me, but I was touched. And in fact this is a deck I've admired from a distance, particularly every time I see Ellen from Grey Lady's Hearth feature it in one of her posts. So it was pretty cool.

Then this morning, the day of Mother's Day, my husband and kids surprised me with yet another card treat: Wonder of the Mother inspirational cards. This is a deck I'd never heard of before; it's not Tarot, and not really an oracle either per se, though I suppose you could use them to understand unfolding energies. I think they will be wonderful for meditation and inner awareness. There are 54 cards, each featuring a distinct image of one of the many faces of motherhood along with a key word - patience, surrender, strength, chaos, imagination, to name a very few. On the backside of each card there is a bit of writing that tells a story to give depth to the keyword. On some cards it's a poem, on others a little narrative or explanation. I adore the diversity in the images on these cards; ladies from all walks of life, all ages, cultures, colors, are featured. I also love the inclusiveness of having a card in this deck that features single fathers. So, score for Jorge and the little ones!

Wonder of the Mother card box and a lovely greeting card

So I took both decks for a test drive.

I had just seen a nice Mother's Day spread that Veronica Chamberlain had posted on a social media forum, and I thought I'd try it out with the Osho Zen Tarot. The spread itself calls the reader to meditate on the Empress card, and then shuffle and pull three cards: 1) The legacy given to you by the women of your family, 2) What new work you should begin, and 3) What advice your female ancestors have to help you on your way with this new work. You can try this spread out as is, but I riffed a bit: I left the Empress out, and changed the second question to "What am I experiencing at present."

I pulled:

Legacy: Adventure
Current experience: Clinging to the Past
Advice: New Vision

Spread with Osho Zen Tarot

I am leaving out the associations from traditional Tarot, and simply going with the energy presented by this deck, in its own context. So the legacy from my female ancestors is Adventure, and features what appears to be a young child toddling forth into a new world, full of light, color, and possibility. It's both beautiful and interesting because I do sense that many of the women in my family, at least in the most recent generations, are or have been adventurous. My mother has often called our family "nomadic" in that we've just never been the kind of family that settles in one place for long periods of time. My ancestors traveled, learned to speak new languages, learned to survive (and eventually thrive) in new landscapes and cultures. My ancestors raised families in difficult circumstances, and kept blooming. I like that the spirit and legacy of my female relatives has been summed up by Adventure.

As for what I'm working with in my present circumstance - Clinging to the Past - this reminds me a bit of the 3 of Swords I pulled the other day, the subtle sadness that floats under the surface of late. What it highlight for me is that I'm at the cusp of a personal paradigm shift, and that comes with some discomfort and grief, by virtue of the nature of change. I think that on some level deep change is scary, so this card is recognizing that fact: even positive change can be difficult to experience.

And their advice to me is New Vision. This beautiful figure appears vibrant and fluid, the back arched almost as if in communion with the universe. It's perfect really, that my adventurous ancestors would see me struggling with a transition, and urge me to embrace a new perspective, a new understanding, a new way of seeing. There's an element of trust here, as well - trust in my connection with all that is, that is always present, and wants what's best for me (which sometimes necessitates a shove out of the nest).

A wonderful, touching, meaningful first reading with this deck - thanks, Mom!

This morning I decided to do a "nurturing" spread with my new Wonder of the Mother deck. I made up a simple three card spread in the moment:

Card 1, How I nurture myself: Mirror
Card 2, How I nurture my children: Happy Happy Joy Joy
Card 3, How I nurture my spirituality: The Red Dress

Spread with Wonder of the Mother cards

The first two made sense immediately. Figuratively, I'm always looking in the mirror, asking myself questions: Am I being honest with myself? Am I embracing the right actions? What is the root of my emotion? What do I really want? And I try to be the truest form of myself that I can be, at all times. (It's a work in progress!!). I feel that being open with myself is the best way for me to be kind and loving to myself.

In terms of how I nurture my kids, "Happy Happy Joy Joy!" definitely sums up how I feel about them, and what I try to give to them. I adore my kids, they're the light and sustenance of my soul in so many ways. They're my heart, my root, and my deepest passion. I love making them happy, watching their faces light up in wonder and excitement, I love simply laughing with them. I hope that when they're all grown, they have fond memories of our crazy dancing sessions in the kitchen, listening to Mika, Joan Jett, Los Van Van, and Lykke Li.

The Red Dress caught me off guard momentarily, but after a few moments it all made complete sense. This is a card that represents the need for down time. This would be the moment when you take the baby to a sitter so you can enjoy a night out on the town with your husband or partner. It's about loving your kids enough to make time for yourself, which is a very important concept. And really it's vital for spirituality as well. Yes, it's something that is imbued in all I (and all people) do, a part of simply existing. But I need to create moments of uninterrupted time to focus on spiritual practice as well, whether that means fifteen minutes to meditate, ten minutes connecting to the vastness of the sea while standing at the shore, or an hour to do some readings. Alone time is my spiritual red dress.

So Mother's Day was a good day. My new decks are wonderful, and I'm still absorbing the layers of meaning from these two readings. It's very special that both sets of cards were gifts from my dearest family members, and I am looking forward to working more with each of them for a long time to come.


  1. When you are gifted with such beautiful presents, the energy of the love which they are given with will always keep them special. My Osho Zen was a birth day present from my two girls. The readings are both crisp and clear. My experience with the Osho Zen is that it reads very intuitive which I love about this deck. I guess your other deck reads the same way.
    You are a definitely a much loved woman and mother :D

    1. Yes! I do feel that the Wonder of the Mother deck can read intuitively, and I think it'll be an interesting set of cards to work with and get to know better. And I agree - the Osho Zen deck feels like it speaks for itself, and the images are really beautiful. Happy Mother's Day to you, Ellen!