Seeking Spirit (The Hierophant)

This week, with the merciless death of George Floyd, and this year, with failed governance leading to over 100,000 deaths from Covid, reveal how much has been lost, how far we the people have strayed from our better selves.

I’ve never been a fan of religious hierarchy, although I certainly participated in it for decades. The Smith-Waite Hierophant …

recalled my own experience of a man who, when asked back in the 70s why women couldn’t be priests, self-righteously declared that God would never call a woman to the priesthood as he had been.

“How do you know?” I asked. When no good answer was forthcoming, “How could he know?” stayed with me forever after. And in time women were ordained and the church was often the better for their presence.

So, I hung with organized religion, because I do believe in spirit and often found it in music, in service, and in the Cursillo community. But in the end, it was self-righteous clergy (some, certainly not all), who drove me to look for answers elsewhere.

  • 78 Degrees: The Hierophant [can be] the spirit that runs through all our lives
  • Kitchen Table Tarot: an archivist and a librarian … using old knowledge … [to create] a pathway to our most authentic lives
  • The Creative Tarot: we need to step up … be of service … come together as a group to create something larger … to unearth our higher selves

For me, now, spirit is best found in the land and expressed symbolically. Opening the box of bookcovers, these images flew out …

Buffalo, sacred to Native Americans, representing spirit … the church representing the structure of Christianity imposed on the Native American belief system … beneath it all, a tangled web … and light, always there is light …

if only we can find our way to it.

Taking a stand (Seven of Wands)

There is no more iconic image in Texas than the Alamo, a surprisingly small structure dwarfed by its modern surroundings …

Though the Alamo was the scene of total defeat, it was the rallying cry, “Remember the Alamo!” that supposedly inspired the victory which led to the defeat of the Mexican army and the formation of the Republic of Texas.

Taking a stand …


  • 78 Degrees: the Seven of Wands is a card of conflict … [about] the battle itself … [and being] committed to fighting through an earlier experience
  • Kitchen Table Tarot: this isn’t just a challenge to ideals, this is someone actively interfering with your life … people forget that we have a fierce nature … that we can say “You may not …”
  • The Creative Tarot: take the high ground

So, here an image of the Alamo without its faux façade, accompanied by a stand of Indian Paintbrush, photographed on a sojourn to the Pedernales Falls many years ago, and a lone Paintbrush, photographed somewhat more recently at the Wildflower Center

as I hum to myself, “where have all the flowers gone?”

Earth mother (Queen of Pentacles)

Look! Quick … can you see it?


That was my reaction upon first seeing a Texas jackrabbit … ears so large that I could actually believe how the legend of the Jackalope came to be …


And yes, that’s probably just a garden variety cottontail in the lower right corner of the Smith-Waite Queen of Pentacles, but for the Texas Tarot, only a jackrabbit would do …

jackrabbit 2

  • 78 Degrees: this card is about a love for and unity with the world … she knows and believes in herself … and a yellow sky shines behind her
  • Kitchen Table Tarot: she does what she can with what she has … she is the quintessential earth mother … sitting in the grass … nurturing, kind, and a little bit strict … she is all about home, memories, and family
  • The Creative Tarot: just remember to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of everyone else … turn that nurturing energy inward every once in a while

The Smith-Waite yellow sky really drew me in. So, I cut around the outline of the jackrabbit to let the background color show through, and yes, to let those amazing ears show themselves …

smiling all the while at the memory of the jackrabbits at Summer Mountain Ranch.