Wednesday, April 1, 2009

On the cards

One of my favorite games in my workshops is the Index Card Oracle. I get everyone in the circle to write something - a summary of a dream, an incident from memory, a reflection or a favorite quote - one one side of a 3x5 index card, as legibly as possible. We gather the cards into a deck. I then ask everyone to write down an intention for guidance, expressing this as simply and clearly as possible. ("I would like guidance on....") I then go around the circle, offering the deck. Everyone pulls a card at random. The game requires us to pretend that whatever is written on the card is a direct message from the universe in response to the intention for guidance. The message may be obscure or ambiguous but, hey, that's how oracles stay in business long-term.

As a divination deck, our Coincidence Cards can't be beat. We come up with a one-time deck, exclusively for us, that will never be used in this form again. Of course, some of the messages are "keepers". My journals are stuffed with index cards whose inscriptions remind me of big dreams and coincidence fugues, of wildly funny incidents and of moments of insight and epiphany when we punched a hole in the surface world and saw into a deeper order of reality.

I've been looking over my collection of Coincidence Cards and I'll share some of the messages here, without attempting to recall the specific meanings that each of them assumed in the context of the intentions. Notes from the dreamworld included:

I’m in a wedding procession. As we walk down the aisle of the church and step up to the altar, I realize we have entered a diner.
Circus elephants circle around linked trunk to tail, lovingly, caringly giving each other a way to follow. Each is a leader as much as a follower.
I’m in a large room where we each have to fly up to the ceiling every 2 or 3 minutes to breathe, as if the room is under water.
I was traveling from one space to another looking for my dad and my dog who have recently died. In what space would they now be? Are they standing in the galaxy? Are they in my dad’s house? Or in a new landscape by the sea?
I recognized myself as a spider. The spider spits white webbing around the people. I am told, “It is a unifying force”.
The Moon goddess stands in her majesty above the Sea of Tranquillity. She is flanked by her armored Moon soldiers and carried on the back of a giant crab moving gently through the sea.
The dragon sits on your shoulder. His fire breath drives back the dark.
Two men are taking me to my execution by beheading. I fight until my mother appears and tells me it will be okay. I submit myself to the execution and I am happy.
A jaguar leaps out of the forest and into the driver’s seat of a pink Firebird convertible. It morphs into a cartoon version of itself, puts on sunglasses, and drives away, waving as it says, “Hasta la vista”.
Standing near the refrigerator. The door opens, it’s packed, there is movement. Oh my, the turkeys are alive and they want to come out.

Some of the messages come from observations on the roads of everyday life:

My daughter hands me the feather of a blue heron and tells me I will need it this weekend.
A red passion flower lying in the roadway all alone.
A death’s head skull is floating in mid-air. I look for its origin and find that it is the reflection of a pattern on a woman’s purse.
A salmon pink trumpet-like flower opens before my eyes, bursting with joyful life!

Some of the cards contain insights harvested from the workshops:

You do not need to hunt your power. Your power will hunt you. Find a sacred space where your power can find you.
Throw out your net and fish in the River of Dreams.
The child does not need to grow up to be complete.

In playing the Coincidence Card game, we sometimes draw our own card, which is statistically improbable and often very interesting. It suggests, for one thing, that you already have the answer. You don't need to look outside yourself, only to go deeper within. Over the years, I've assembled quite a collection of cards that I wrote myself that spoke back to me in the game. Some of the messages are from dreams:

A woman is falling to earth from a great height. I spread my falcon wings and swoop down to save her, catching her just before she hits the rocks. We soar straight up into the air before I gently bring her down to a house on a headland overlooking the water. I leave clear instructions for her on living on earth.

Some are reflections:

Before lightning strikes, it sends down probes to find its path to earth. In a similar way, we are rehearsed for BIG events by trial events, which may be diversions, dead-ends, first sketches or caricatures of what will come later. Don’t mistake the test drive for the big journey.

Some are quotes:

Everything can be taken from a man or woman but one thing, the last of human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Viktor Frankl

At the end of my "Death" workshop in Madison, Wisconsin last weekend, I wrote a summary of a long essay I had been working on in the early morning, looking out over snowy horse pastures. My intention, in consulting the Index Card Oracle that day, was simply for "guidance on the week ahead". I drew my own card and here's what it said:

In the miasmic conditions of life on this planet, it's easy to forget the mission you came to fulfill. If you are lucky, you'll get a reminder - from a dream or another person with stars in their eyes.

That, for me, was the right message, for the week ahead and for any week.

For more on the Index Card Oracle, please read Robert's book The Three "Only" Things.


Justin Patrick Moore said...

I work at the Library in Cincinnati. Sometimes I get a visit from the Library Angel, and slips of paper will fall out of a book, most are hand written notes, to do lists, what to get at the grocery store, that the people returning the books have left in. But sometimes its something else altogether. Either way I like to look for clues to my own life, and more often than not, they relate to something currently on my mind.
Here is a recent example:

"I ask for him to be infused with conscious knowing and understanding that all is one. That we are parts of God, himself, just with the temporary visage of seperation. I ask that he act on this knowledge, treating everyone with reverence and eternal love behind all his intentions. I ask that he knows his highest self. That he follows his highest selfs path. That he be the magnetic passive storehouse of God, of the divine will, and divine manifestation. Everytime he acts on an intention not based in reverence of the highest good concerned, that he have the conscious awareness of what he is doing, creating its effects, the karma, and the option to choose the highest good instead."
The notes I find aren't always this direct or as straight in their interpretation. This time I was just given some basic instructions before leaving earth: to keep in mind how my actions effect all my relations.

Robert Moss said...

Dear Justin - I, too, have received many gifts from the Library Angel. How splendid to know that he may arrange for a set of instructions for leaving Earth to come flying out of a book, in convenient portable format.

I must confess my all-time favorite manifestation of the Library Angel (or his cousin the Bookstore Elf) came from a man who was traveling in Colorado and entered a bookshop where he was promptly assaulted by a book that flew at him and struck him in the third eye. The book was "Conscious Dreaming". Evidently he had some trust in shelf elves, because he purchased the book though he had never heard of the author. After reading it he was so excited about the content that he contacted me to invite me to lead a workshop in his home town of Madison, Wisconsin.

Nancy said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Nancy said...

Hi -- it's nice to see my cards you have chosen, with words from my dreams, reflected here. The favorite card of yours I ever chose was a true keeper:

The healing comes through the wound. And the greatest wounds may be the source of the greatest gifts.

You wrote on this same theme, as it related to Harriet Tubman, here in February. Of course I also love that you brought this entire game through to us from the Dream World. Thanks!

Robert Moss said...

Hi Nancy (1) - Welcome to this playspace!

Dear Nancy (2) - Great to hear from one of the co-creators of more than a few of our Coincidence Card decks. I am always astonished (though not always surprised) at the fabulous insights and connections that emerge.