Create Alternative Options

“How could I endure to be a man, if man were not also poet and reader of riddles… a way to new dawns.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Combining creativity and critical thinking with the tarot can provide additional perspectives and ways of resolving problems. In other words, by comparing tarot cards with one another in view to a complication, both criticality and creative thinking can be interactively blended to discover alternative approaches to the issue at hand. Allow me to demonstrate in this manner:

In the picture below we have the Two of Swords on the left. It depicts a robed woman crossing her heart and closing her eyes. We sense she needs to make a difficult choice. The shallow waters in the background suggest a lack of emotional and/or experiential depth. Her feet and the eclipsed moon are painted the same colour. There’s something hidden from sight that needs to be considered but what in the world can that be. Continue reading

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O’ What Colourful Splendour

My grandmother Gladys Young – God rest her soul – passed away during my childhood. Some days prior to her departure my beady eyes noticed her fingers had turned blue. She said it was due to removing the twigs and leaves from a large bowl of blueberries, but a part of me knew that such were the symptoms of a dying person, so after pressing her further for the truth she told me that she was changing into a blue-jay in order to keep a closer eye on me. This meant that she wanted to keep me safe and sound wherever the wind might lead me. It also revealed her affinity with our Mi’kmaq culture and our unique way of keeping our ancestors alive. To this day a burst of joy enters my heart whenever a blue-jay enters my sight.

Even though these kinds of beliefs are often rendered nonsensical in the modern brain-vain of men, they continue to hold truth in mine. Just because we can’t categorize supernatural encounters into a neat scientific box, doesn’t make these sorts of myths irrelevant, impractical or non-existent. On the contrary they bring much colour to our lives and can help us to process and understand change (e.g., death) in a way that doesn’t remove the joy of being one with nature. Continue reading

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Blackfoot Becomes Whitefeather

An Aboriginal Story by Jason Youngman
Dreamt into existence during the Blood Moon of 2021
In honor of Gaia (Mother Earth) and the preservation of her forest.

Blackfoot gazed upon the North Star at night. It gladdened him to know that it stayed in the northern hemisphere, and remained still as a lake under a calm wind. He knew in his heart of hearts that the northern light was there to guide the people back into the arms of Nature should they ever lose their way.

For Blackfoot, every step into the future was like walking into the depth of the woods during the pitch black of night. Thus Blackfoot remained true to his name, for every step forward was unknown to him. He could not even tell what would happen from one day to the next.

Fortunately he had a companion who would fly ahead of him to make sure the path was clear. Blackfoot was very thankful to the creature and the Raven was most happy to be Blackfoot’s guide. “You are my eye in the sky, and my reason for asking why,” Blackfoot would often sing aloud to his friend. Then the Raven would sing back, “You are my feet on the ground, and my reason for flying around.” 

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Philosophy Begins in Wonder

“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth.” – Albert Einstein

At the heart of a good education remains wonder. No matter how you turn the principles of learning, as long as they cohere and remain as one, they reveal the wellspring of wisdom, which means genuine fun for everyone. Lovers of Sophia are naturally drawn towards these ideals as though they are intrinsic elements of our very being, the gems by which cognition can come into play, by which others may participate in a colourful, meaningful and creative way.

By way of analogy we can represent goodness, beauty and truth with the three primary colours of the light spectrum. As long as these colours line up in the right way (as depicted in the image above) they will provide a unique pattern that consists of three additional or secondary colours, as well as a form void of colour at its pith. Continue reading

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Give Colour to Virtues

“My people will sleep for one hundred years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back.” – Louis Riel

Another way to conceptualize the four pivotal virtues of civilization is to contemplate how they each shine in their own way without detracting from their synergistic interplay. So let us begin with the primary of the other three by which there can be no integrality.

Prudence may be rendered here as practical reason. Like the Chief in command it possesses the intellect to act appropriately under particular circumstances, and to instruct and/or command the governing body so as to work in cohesion. It possesses the foresight to avoid unnecessary barriers and to create pathways that keep us mindfully aware, thus my reason for associating it with the element of air. Continue reading

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Love Knows No Bounds

Virtues and the fruit thereof.

“Store up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys or theft extorts and breaks; for where your treasure resides, there your heart partakes.”

Behold the diamantine flower depicted in the image above, the chord by which we are restored through love. Placed along the edges of this cardinal rose are virtues that blend together ever so gracefully. Their union feels as natural as the sun and sky, water and earth; the very elementary forces that sustain the world thro’ endless rebirth.

Even though we may immediately recognize the drawing as 2 dimensional in form, in potential it can open up into a multiform. For example, the four pointed star in the foreground can be the base or root of a tree that reaches up into heaven. In other words, imagine yourself directly underneath this tree looking up; from this lower vantage point it will be impossible to see with the naked eye the tree’s trunk reaching up into the sky. Continue reading

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To Everything Turn…

“Inconstancy is my very essence; it is the game I never cease to play as I turn my wheel in its ever changing circle, filled with joy as I bring the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top.” – Fortuna, The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius.

What goes around comes around, and what goes up must come down. These two proverbs are one and the same, if you consider them in view of the Wheel of Fortune; a mythical representation of the natural ebb and flow of mankind’s journey through time. The first statement implies ‘as you sow, so shall you reap’, and the second statement refers to the recurring rise and fall in power and/or civilizations. Continue reading

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Speaking Words of Wisdom

“Who is she who looks out as the morning, beautiful as the moon, clear as the sun, and awesome as an army with banners?” – The Song of Songs 6:10

Philosophy has been my greatest consolation, friend and teacher in life. In the beginning she spoke to me through kindness. As a child thro’ reproof, a constant reminder to be good and kindly toward others, and during my emergence into adulthood, a natural blending of confidence & competence, courage & consideration, compassion & composure.

Now that my eyes have beheld her moon, she has become gentler still, graceful and rejuvenating. From the yoke of slavery she has pardoned me, allowing simplicity, moderation and self-control as the means to keep my will and intellect in check. Continue reading

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Digging for Philosopher’s Gold

“Men dig tons of earth to find a measly piece of gold.” – Heraclitus

An ounce of pure gold will land you about 2 thousand dollars here in Canada. Should you hire a private contractor to dig up your backyard for a swimming pool, then expect to pay a lot more than that; neither are you guaranteed to see a profit on your investment.

What the sage seems to be implying in his maxim above can be reduced to one word; namely, redundancy. That is to say people have a tendency to waste time and resources on things that provide nothing more than a splash, or rendered in the words of Socrates, ‘he attaches little importance to the most important things and greater importance to inferior things.’

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Mind the Heart it falls Apart

“The character of those things you often think about will be the character of your understanding, for the mind is dyed by its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

My photo above reveals an aspect of a naturally occurring form or what others might render as organic art. It is a piece of ice similar in size to the human brain. In it we see air pockets that appear to have been trying to reach the surface during solidification. This image happens to be an ideal analogy for the nature of thinking. Take this line of thought as demonstration:

Before the mind becomes frozen in time, our thoughts are potential in every paradigm. Dynamism allows for all kinds of life to form, yet when the heart no longer remains warm, by nature the element loses its norm. So this similitude perpetually sings, no matter the lens by which we make sense of things; in spite of science or how we come to cohere, we gradually lose our ability to remain fluid and clear. Continue reading

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