If Doomsday Comes

I just finished reading a book where all technology, including power grids, were knocked out by a coronal mass ejection from the sun. Checking on the possibility of such a catastrophe, I learned that “scientists,” whatever that means, are concerned about such a possibility, and are trying to create systems that can withstand such powerful ejections from the sun.

Oddly, humans are not affected by any of these CME’s. Supposedly, if we are standing on Earth, within Earth’s atmosphere, we are protected. So if we were to be subjected to CMEs powerful enough to destroy technology, we would be safe. Safe from the sun’s emissions, that is. Not safe from each other.

You’d think that in a worldwide crisis, people would come together with a one-for-all and all-for-one attitude, but I don’t see it. In any emergency, there will be people who look for ways to help, and those who look for ways to capitalize on the mess.

Because of The Bob, and the resulting shortages, and because of the arctic blast we were subjected to, and various other emergencies, you’d think I’d be more concerned about stocking up, but I just don’t seem to see the point. If there were something that would knock out the power grids, the media, transportation, availability of food, gas, and supplies, there’s no amount of things I could stockpile that would get me through months, even a year, of deprivation. It’s a physical impossibility.

Mostly, I don’t care. I’ve lived through a lot of crises that didn’t actually happen. Too often, news folk and politicians titillated us with possible doomsday scenarios that went nowhere. Even with The Bob, even considering as many problems as there were, the end result was nothing like the original projection of 80% of people on earth dying from the disease. (It’s this projection that panicked the various politicians and made them close down cities and towns. I’m not sure what they would have done if they had been given a truthful scenario. Probably shrugged their shoulders and continued as usual. Unless, of course, their reelection was at stake; then we’d hear from them.)

I suppose if I really believed in a massive doomsday rather than a personal one (after all, each of us does have a personal doomsday in our future), I might be more concerned, but even then, I’m not sure what I could do. I am set up for a week, maybe two. I have camping equipment, including a solar cell phone charger, that would help make things easier, but beyond that? I’m not sure it’s worth it. Do I really want to survive in a society that basically has to start over? That’s assuming I could survive. If I had stocked up on anything, chances are, someone with guns and a driving need for survival at all costs would have taken them from me.

I’m sure I’ve talked about this same subject — survival — too many times, but it’s one that seems to come up again and again, either in books, on the news, or even in conversations with people.

If I were young, perhaps I would feel differently, but from what I remember back in cold war years, nuclear threats, Asian flu and swine flu seasons, terrorist attacks, and all the rest of it, I didn’t feel any differently.

Then again, who knows. None of us truly knows how we will act when doomsday comes. Perhaps I will be the one with a shotgun, desperately running around stealing people’s carefully hoarded stocks.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Becoming the Matriarch

Getting old is a weird thing. When you’re very young, the old seem to be a fixture; after all, you never saw them when they were young. As far as you know, they were always old. Oh, you do see photos, perhaps, but those photos seem to have little to do with the old folks in your life. All you really know is that you are young and they are old.

In fact, it often seems as if they were born old, as if old is what they were supposed to be, when the truth is, you were born young. Still, despite what we learn of history, whether our personal history or world history, it seems as if the world begins when we are born.

As time goes on, we do get a sense of the progression of life. We grow older, learn to walk and talk, and eventually we go to school. Sometimes we get younger brothers and sisters, and we are puffed up with our oldness. We try so hard to grow up, especially if we have an older sibling, because we want to be as old as they are. We want their privileges, such as they are. And then, the big birthday comes, and even though we are a year older, so is the sibling.

And so the years pass.

Then one day you wake to the realization that you are the old generation. In the back of your mind there’s still the image of the world you were born into, where you were young and the old were old. So how is it possible that the world has suddenly become inverted?

After Jeff died, I was afraid of growing old alone, but now I’ve gotten used to the idea, and although the thought of being old doesn’t worry me, being old and feeble does. Luckily, I have been able to bypass the feebleness for now (though with my wonky knees, sometimes I sense a less than active future).

I am confused, though. How can I be the matriarch of my family — the oldest living female? There are cousins somewhere who are older than I am, but for the most part, everyone who is older than me — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, older brother — are all gone now.

And I am now that old woman who so mystified me when I was young.

To be honest, many of my youthful years seem to have disappeared, not just out of sight but out of mind, so perhaps the truth is what I once sensed about other elders — that I am a fixture; that I did in fact appear on this earth as an old woman. And there’s no one who was alive when I was born to tell me otherwise.

With any luck, I will continue to grow older, and if enough years pass, I will look back to this time as a relatively youthful one. The ninety-year old woman I sit with says I am just a kid, so perhaps I really am still relatively youthful.

But none of that mitigates the very real fact that I am not only the oldest living female in my family, I’m also the oldest of anyone, male or female.

Does this blog post have a purpose? None that I can see. It’s just that once I was so young that everyone in my family (and the world, too!) was older than I was. And now?

Maybe it’s best if I stop thinking about this.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Feels Like Home

Someone asked me today if it were a cultural shock for me living here in this rural corner of the state after growing up in Denver. I told her that it felt the same, that it felt like home. If I had moved here directly from Denver, it might be a different matter, but I left Denver when too many people from out of the state moved in and immediately tried to change the slow-moving town to a great city. When I was growing up, Denver was a cowtown without a skyline, and fabulous views of the mountains from wherever I stood. Each neighborhood was a town in itself, with churches, schools, stores, a library, all within walking distance. The political bent was . . . well, there was no bend; beliefs seemed to hover right about in the middle. People tended to vote their beliefs rather than follow the party, and overall, it seemed to be centrist. There was some crime and some poorer neighborhoods, but there were no gangs or gang-related activities.

Then came the California invasions. Now Denver is indistinguishable from other major cities, with gangs galore, horrendous social problems, outrageous real estate prices, an agenda the rest of the state has a hard time dealing with, and no autonomous neighborhoods.

I am grateful to be out of that mess, grateful to have found a place that feels like home, that feels like the neighborhood “town” I came from.

The conversation, however, made me wonder why people leave an area they are dissatisfied with and immediately try to change their new location to mimic the old one. Although this is the current problem with a lot of immigrants — people want to change the laws in this country to make it more like the place they came from — it’s also a problem when large numbers of people move from one state to another.

I blame Californians for the change, but New Yorkers cause just as many problems in some areas. In fact, someone from New York recently moved here and is trying to steer this town toward being more of an artist’s colony like Taos rather than accepting it for what it is — a quiet, rather impoverished though congenial town with a lot to offer as it stands today.

I know people prefer what they are familiar with, but migrators — either internal or international — generally leave to go to a new place in search of a better life, so why try to make the new way like the old?

This isn’t simply a problem from state to state, but also from one area to another within a state. I spent some years in the high desert of California, across the mountains from the Los Angeles sprawl. At one time, it was a quiet place, but the state tried to break up the big-city gangs by getting families to relocate to the desert. Now, the place is rife with gang-related troubles, including drugs and crime.

It’s as if they (whoever “they” are) want to turn the whole world into a cesspool. Migrators seem to go along with this agenda because they believe in the rightness of their cause and the wrongness of people who want to live their lives by their own religious beliefs rather than the political beliefs of others. It’s not a surprise there are problems; there always are when the rights of the few are given precedence over the rights of the many.

But I’m migrating away from the topic of this blog. Mostly I’m trying to understand the mentality of those who leave one horrible area and immediately try to change their new environment into an equal horror rather than trying to fit in with the local culture. Though I suppose the truth is they don’t think of the change as horror. Nor do they see anything wrong with what they are doing. Many such immigrants I’ve met have a touch of arrogance about them, as if they thought they were bringing light to a dark area, and never realize they could be a dark bringer instead.

Luckily, this place is small enough and rural enough and independently-minded enough that it will be years before it’s changed all out of recognition. Luckily too, if it’s changed faster than I think it will be, I have my own place — my own personal gated place — and within this enclosure, I can still be at home no matter what goes on outside the fence.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Documents Lie

During my youth, my father smoked an occasional cigar, probably when somebody gave him one. That was back when a lot of babies were being born, and the new father celebrated by passing out cigars. Later, after we children were grown and he had a bit of discretionary income, he smoked more often, but always when he was out walking. The walk probably offset any effects of the smoke. In his middle nineties, he did start using oxygen, though it was more because of his heart than his lungs.

My mother never smoked. And because of my father’s tendency to enjoy a cigar while he walked rather than at home, she wasn’t subjected to second hand smoke. Still, she did have lung problems, and in fact, died of lung cancer.

Whoever filled out her death certificate, probably someone from hospice, never bothered to find out the truth of her disease. They took the easy way out and under the cause of death, wrote that she died of lung cancer due to being a lifelong smoker.

One of my siblings wanted to get the certificate changed, but not until after my father was gone because she didn’t want to upset him further, though, to be honest, I don’t know why he didn’t review the certificate when it was handed to him. After I got Jeff’s death certificate, I read every word, though in my case, in might be more that I couldn’t believe he was actually gone, and I was trying to make it more real to me. That, and because I always review documents.

After my father died, the sibling didn’t have time to fight the bureaucracy, so the years passed, and my mother’s death certificate still documents a lie.

I don’t really mind what her death certificate says. Changing it wouldn’t make her any less dead, and as another sibling commented, “It makes a good story.” Not only that, the certificate is proof that documents lie. If there was ever a need to show that she didn’t cause her death through life-long neglect (though I doubt that would happen since she’s been gone for fourteen years), then there would be no way to do so now. The document, even with the falsehood, is considered to be the truth. A legal truth, that is. It is in no way the “real” truth.

Sometimes it’s important to remember that even if a document is signed, witnessed, notarized, and filed with the proper authorities, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the truth.

Documents, like people, do lie.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

The Tarot of the Stars

The tarot deck I am using this month is a collector’s item: La Porta Celeste — I Tarocchi delle Stelle. The Tarot of the Stars. It was one of the first in my deceased brother’s collection that caught my eye. It’s a beautiful deck, and large — 6″ X 3.5″, and seems as if it’s the sort of deck one would use to do readings. It also seems more mystical than some, since this deck supposedly has its own cabalistic and alchemical system which is unique when compared to western tarot decks. The artist, Giorgio Tavaglione, integrated copious symbolism into his designs, particularly the astronomical information illustrated above each image. The problem with this deck (and the reason I never used it before) is that the book that comes with the deck is written in an archaic Italian dialect, very difficult to translate because it is loaded with magical and alchemical double entendres.

This is from the introduction:

“Tra le piu antiche immagine-peniero, la Spirale e una delle piu profonde e misterose. Nella Spirale vi e il concetto del Lairinto, con la sua entrata e la sua uscita. Nel Labirinto, con la sua entrata e la sua uscita. Nel Labirinto vi e l’idea/senso della Vita, del”evoluzione individual e di tutta la Societa Umna. Dalle inciscioni megalitiche dei Celti a quelle dell’Africa Nera, dalle decorazioni Mayaa e Azteche a quelle Indu, Deva e Asura, sino all doppia spirale Cinese dello Yin-Yang, la Spirale ha expresso ed esprime l’esensione, lEmanazione, la sviluppo nella continuita, ciclica in una Rotazion Creativa. Qesta meravigliosa immagine Cosmica e simbolo del E’quilibrio nello squlibrio dell Ordine all ‘interno del Cambiamento, della Mutaione. Nella Spirale logritmica si ha la permanenza della forma nonsante la crescita assimetrica.”

The following is more or less a translation, via Google and Word:

“The Spiral is one of the most profound and mysterious images. In the Spiral there is the concept of the Labyrinth, with its entry and exit. In the Labyrinth there is the idea / meaning of Life, of the individual evolution and of the whole Human Society. From the megalithic incisions of the Celts to those of Black Africa, from the Mayan and Aztec decorations to the Hindu, Deva and Asura ones, up to the double Chinese spiral of Yin-Yang, the Spiral has expressed and expresses the extension, the Emanation, the development of a continuous cycle of a creative rotation. This is a wonderful cosmic image and symbol of balance within change. The spiral stays formed, notwithstanding its asymmetric growth.”

It would take me forever for me to retype the book and try to translate it, though I might do a bit here and there. This deck is supposed to be similar to Papus, Wirth, and Cagliostro, all of which conform with the scholarship of Eliphas Levi, whoever he is. I do have both a Papus deck and a Cagliostro, which might help. I imagine, if I continue my tarot studies, I’ll eventually be able to figure out some of the symbolism on my own. If not, I can simply use it like I do any tarot deck, referencing my own collected meanings for each card. (I’ve been keeping a notebook where I keep note the meanings of the cards from various sources, sort of a personal key to the tarot.)

Beyond the ludicrousness of including an instructional book that purportedly even modern Italians can’t read, there is another problem: the large cards make them difficult to shuffle, and the matte finish makes it hard to fan out the cards on a table to choose each day’s offering.

It’s still one of my favorite decks, despite all this, mostly because it seems like a quintessential tarot deck. Too bad it’s not going to be one I use frequently, because I have a duplicate deck in case I damaged the cards. Or perhaps I can sell the duplicate; after all, it is a collector’s item.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

The Cycle of the Seasons

Despite all the snow that fell here this winter, we’re still in a drought situation. The snow was the light, airy kind that couldn’t hold together to make a snowball. Not that I wanted to make snowballs, but a couple of people in snowless country wanted me to make a snowman or snowwoman or some kind of snow creature. Apparently, the sort of snow we got didn’t hold much moisture, hence the lack of snowballs.

I don’t imagine the lack of winter moisture will make much difference to me and my garden. When the ground dried between storms, I made sure to water my greengage plums and a few other prized plants. I’m hoping that will be enough to give them a good start this spring.

Spring? Wow, that’s not so far away — only nineteen days! We generally have late snow storms and late frosts, so planting time isn’t until May, but maybe I should start thinking about what I want to plant when the weather becomes optimal. Or not. Since I don’t want to drive a long way, and don’t really have much luck with mail order plants, I’ll be at the mercy of the local hardware store. I suppose I could buy the plants early and keep them inside to give them a better start, but that decision is still many weeks away.

Meantime, I am enjoying the sun and the warmer weather. And I certainly will appreciate the lower heating bills!

One of the odd things about having lived so many years, is that time moves faster in relation to one’s time here on Earth, and so it’s easier to feel the seasons cycling from one to another. Which, of course, is a good reason to enjoy whatever the day brings because before you know it, arctic temperatures will return. But perhaps, with a bit of luck, not until next year.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God

Celebrating My 3,000th Blog Post

As the title of this blog post indicates, this is my 3,000th blog post. It seems amazing to me that I’ve managed to find so much to write about. It seems even more amazing that after writing all those words, as well having written nine books (all published!), that I don’t feel wiser. But then, becoming wiser was never the goal. The goal was simply to write, and that I have done.

When I was a kid, I often used to get diaries for Christmas. I loved those books with the little key that could lock one’s thoughts away. I always started out disciplined, writing a bit every day, but gradually, perhaps after the first week or so, the entries became fewer and fewer. And always, most of the pages remained blank.

It’s not surprising, really. When one is so young, there’s not really much to say. “I went to school.” “I went to church.” “I did my homework.”

I hadn’t yet learned to try to work out my feelings on paper. In fact, I hadn’t yet learned my feelings were valid. Life just is, when one is so young. You don’t know that life can be different. You don’t know that you can be different. Each day seems so much the same, with the same drudgeries being replayed and replayed again. School. Homework. Chores.

I suppose I could have written about the books I was reading, but I had not yet learned to be critical. I read in the same way I breathed: inhaling without thinking about it.

When I grew up and left town for a while, I used to write letters to good friends, telling about my trials and tribulations, but after a friend found some of my old letters and read them back to me, as if expecting me to share her hilarity at my naivete, I stopped writing my thoughts and feelings to anyone, not even myself. I still talked about such things, but I never again wanted a record for anyone to laugh at. (She thought I would like to know how much I had grown after the letters had been written, but I didn’t see that at all; I only saw that the younger me with all that angst had become a figure of fun.)

And yet here I am, telling the world my every thought, my every pain, even my triumphs.

Although this blog — this weblog — was not supposed to be anything more than a platform for my author-ity (authorness?), it became so much more after Jeff died — a scream of pain, a way of finding sanity in the chaos of grief, a place to tell the truth about what I was feeling. Later, as the pain abated, it became a way of tracking my growing will to live, to become someone who could survive — and thrive — alone.

Even later, it became something of a travelogue, as I wrote about my various road trips, and later still, it became the chronical of first-time homeowner.

What I have ended up with, after all these years, is that diary I never had the discipline to keep when I was younger. I seldom go back and read older articles, but they are here if I ever need to remember all I have done in the years after Jeff’s death.

Mostly, though, I just write for the day. It has become a way of standing tall, and saying to the world — and myself — “This is who I am right now.”

And who I am right now is someone who is celebrating her 3,000th blog post.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

A Better Mood

I was very discouraged yesterday, not just because of the fiasco on facebook (not a typo, it doesn’t deserve the respect of being capitalized) and being banned for unfairly and untruthfully being labeled abusive, but because of several other issues too, the main one being my car.

I had a tune-up toward the end of last year, including replacing the spark plugs, and the venerable 49-year-old VW bug sailed along as if it were a youngster again. Within a month or two, I started having problems with the car bucking. At first I thought perhaps the choke wasn’t working due to the frigid winter weather, because everything seemed to work better once I’d been driving a few miles, but when the weather cleared, the bucking got worse the more I drove.

So I took it back to the mechanic, and he discovered that those new spark plugs had already burned out. At the same time, he found that a part in the carburetor wasn’t working properly, and it was letting too much air into the engine. I’m going to have him replace the carburetor, but those spark plugs burning out so fast sure worried me! After a bit of checking on the internet, I discovered it was due to the engine running hot, which was due to a lean fuel mixture (too much air in the fuel), which was due to the carburetor not working right. Who knew? Well, any mechanic or mechanically inclined person would know, just not me. Now that I know that the spark plugs won’t always be burning out every month or so and that the car can be fixed, it makes me feel a lot better.

At least about that.

I still feel discomfited about the whole FB thing: that people would on purpose sabotage me and that there is no recourse, but I’m gradually finding my way back to a better mood, especially since there’s nothing I can do about the ban. In the long run, I suppose, it doesn’t really matter. With as much as FB is changing, and with as many “friends” who are voluntarily leaving, I have a hunch the site wouldn’t do book sales much good anyway. (I tell myself that because if I really thought it was hurting me as an author, I’d be furious, and I don’t want to be angry.)

I’d considered signing up for Instagram now that I have a phone that is powerful enough and big enough to edit photos and to handle the site, but Instagram is owned by FB, and I don’t see any point in rewarding anyone who treats me badly.

The one good thing that happened yesterday, besides finding out that my car can be fixed, is that while I was outside town test driving my car after I picked it up last evening, I was able to see the sun setting and also the moon rising. By the time I could stop to take a photo, though, the moon had shrunk somewhat. Still beautiful, though!

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Abusive?

When Facebook first banned this blog from their site, the reason given was that this blog is spam. Yesterday when I tried sharing the post from the FB share button (which is now removed) at the bottom of the post I’d just written, I got a different explanation. They said: Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.

Abusive? Me? Really? I have posted a handful articles (out of a total of 2,997) that might be considered controversial, though I do try to steer a middle ground. Even so, those articles were in no way abusive, weren’t even very controversial since I wasn’t taking a stand so much as trying to sort out what I felt about the political turmoil. Sometimes when I think I’m being the most helpful or logical or innocuous or agreeable, it surprises me that not everyone agrees with what I say. To be honest, I don’t always agree with what I say. As with those few controversial posts, so often by writing for this blog, I am trying to work through a problem, an idea, a spot of confusion, and sometimes, after I’ve posted the article, I realize that because of the writing, I came to a different conclusion.

But abusive? I cannot think of a single time I said anything that anyone could say was abusive. I always try to be nice, even when people aren’t nice to me. It’s what I do. It’s who I am.

Although I did not appreciate this blog being blocked because of spam, I thought maybe their bots had picked up on the repetitious bio at the end of the article, or perhaps all the links I used in the bio. Even though it did no good, I removed the links and am alternating bios to make sure other sites don’t have the same issue, but as it turns out, that wasn’t the case at all.

Abusive?

That upsets me because it is so unjust and pejorative. What’s even worse is the current system, where anyone can say anything about any person for any reason, and no matter what harm is done, there is no recourse, at least not with Facebook. I have messaged them via FB. I have emailed them. I have sent letters to their headquarters. But apparently a few grouches (that’s the only thing I can think of — that people were grouchy and ticked off that somehow a post of mine got added to their feed) can determine someone’s fate.

FB was my primary means of promotion. I spent a lot of money with them over the years. It’s probably people who saw those posts who labeled them abusive, rather than any of my FB “friends,” but that’s not my fault. I’m not the one that posted the links on those feeds; FB did.

Ironically — and cruelly — whenever I do happen to stop by FB to see if someone left a comment on my page (which I will be doing less in the future, so if you want me to see a comment, please comment here on the blog rather than on FB), I find copious messages from FB telling me I’m not posting enough and I find even more messages telling me how important it is for me to pay them to promote my posts.

If it was me personally they had a problem with, I could simply set up a new account like so many others have had to do, but they have no problem with me personally. Just my oh, so non-abusive and very personal blog.

I have found a way around their ban for now — I reblog my posts to another blog, and then post the link to the second blog on FB. I wouldn’t even be doing that much, but several people said they missed too many of my posts. They could, of course, just sign up for my blog, but these are people who spend time on FB, and so that’s where they like getting their notifications.

I know FB is a huge site, but Google is even bigger, and when I had a problem with Google for banning my blog, they responded to my query, and WordPress helped me fix it. (It was a bit of stray code — innocuous code — that somehow got attached to one photo in one post.) But FB? Nope. Once you’ve been branded as abusive, that’s it for you . . . forever.

No one has to prove their accusation. No one checks the truth of it. To me, acting on unfounded allegations is abusive. My posts are not. If you disagree and can point out any abuse, please let me know so I can change it. Just be gentle. My feelings are hurt enough right now.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Tarot Update

I’m glad this is a short month, but not for any reason you’d expect. It’s not that I’m especially looking forward to spring; I certainly won’t mind warmer temperatures (though I do dread the wind). And I’m definitely not looking forward to March and the anniversary of Jeff’s death, though I must admit that after all these years, the day doesn’t carry the pain it once did.

The real problem this month is with the tarot deck I’ve been using. Each month for the past nine months, I’ve chosen a different tarot deck from the collection my deceased brother left me, trying to see if any of them resonate with me. I don’t do readings, just ask a question like “what do I need to know today” and then pick a card to study. So far, there hasn’t been any special connection to any deck, though I have liked some more than others.

The one I am using this February is the one I like least of the decks I’ve sampled. There are others I dislike so much I won’t use them, such as the witch’s tarot and a renaissance tarot that feature anatomically correct figures, something I don’t particularly need at the start my day. But this one — The Jungian Tarot — seemed interesting in that the cards were supposed to be tied to Jung’s archetypes, but only some of them were archetypal (the Major Arcana and the court cards). Most of the cards I dealt myself were the numbered cards, and they did nothing for me, especially since I kept getting the same card — the ten of wands.

The ten of wands certainly seems to illustrate its meaning — oppression — because it is a particularly oppressive card.

I could, of course, changed decks in the middle of the month, but then I wouldn’t get as good a feel for the cards.

In another three days, I’ll be picking a different deck. I hope that one will be more to my liking.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator