Remember, Human

I think I’ve said it elsewhere, but I find tarot and oracle decks a great tool for personal introspection AND plugging into divine guidance. The cards are beautiful and full of symbolism, and as I continue my mystical spiritual journey in this life, I have found them to anchor my mental well-being.

I also have always used journaling* in the same way. When I come to a blank piece of paper with a question—not necessarily a fully formed one; it can often be with thoughts swirling through my head—writing brings me clarity. Sometimes in the most surprising and delightful ways. I think that is what I like best with both practices. They feel magical. And, as you know by now, I am all about finding the magic.

So, as I did a morning quiet time a couple of days ago, I pulled some tarot cards along with an oracle card from a deck by Mia Toll called The Bestiary. I have one of her decks called The Herbiary, too. The first features animals, and the second plants. I love the artwork on these decks and also her writing. She has reflections, offers up little rituals, and explores some of the meanings associated with these Nature Beings.

When my reflection was over, as I put the card I drew from The Bestiary back into the deck, I saw the bottom card in the deck and it took my breath away. It turns out that this card was the card that really spoke to my spirit that morning. I hadn’t even remembered Human being a part of the deck. It was the card at the top of this page, and it said, “Remember Forgetting.”

Because we have forgotten. We have forgotten the old ways of living with the land in this industrialized society we have created. We have forgotten that we are a part of the web of life, not in control of it. Nature has power over us, whether we admit it or not. I almost wrote “whether we know it or not,” but I do believe that deep down in our bones, we know it. It may have been conditioned out of most of us, but it’s still there. And our disconnection is our downfall. Both mentally and physically.

The author had an exercise for this card that had profound meaning and insights for me, and I will come to it again, as she suggests, any time I need guidance. The exercise was this. Pick 3 animals you feel you have a relationship with. They can be from the deck. Or not. Consider these animals your council as you imagine them coming to you saying the following:

“This is ______________. While you humans are ingenious and creative, you don’t always see the big picture. Here is what you are missing.”

I knew I wanted Raven and Sea Turtle to be my animals. But what would be the third? Well, the first card I saw in the deck was the Pileated Woodpecker. Of course! The bird that welcomed me to this property on our moving day. And, the bird who appeared to me along with Crow (a Corvid, like Raven) as I was contemplating our move. A goodbye, although I hope there will be another one closer to moving day.

Come along on this journey with me as I reveal their messages. And, perhaps, you can ask your own council of animals what they want you to know. To remember.


*I’ve discovered that this practice is also called automatic writing, but I don’t think that word fits as well as journaling. I like the word journaling because it also evokes the concept of a journey, which is what I go on as I write freely.

These photos do NOT do the images (by illustrator Kate O’Hara) on the cards justice. I could spend more time trying to get them of better quality, but I suggest, instead, you buy her deck/book and experience them yourself!

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