Ganesha Cards 3 Card Spread: #43 Innocence, #47 Joy, #36 Healing

From Angela Hartfield’s “Whispers of Lord Ganesha”

The Past

The simplest gestures of love and respect can prevail over even the toughest of hearts.

The Past is represented in the card “Innocence”. It shows Ganesha against a lavender sky wearing purple. Ganesha is seated in stillness.”By being soft and still, you give the universe the opportunity to assist you in creating your desires.” This card asks you to release any cynicism. If you’ve noticed yourself becoming increasingly critical recognize that a part of you is losing touch with your innocence. We become wrought with expectations as we have more experiences in life and tend to protect ourselves in ways that may not allow for softness.

This is an opportunity to renew a sense of peace within yourself. If you are making any changes in your life, to those important parts of our lives that we categorize, you have the choice to explore and be curious like a child. In this process there is no need to attach yourself to preconceived ideas. Even those ideas built from traumas that we are working to heal.

The innocence card asks you to approach every day with fresh thinking and a new mind. You can even pray for freedom from the things that are holding you down or holding you back. Freedom from fears, freedom from worries, freedom from unhealthy obsession that control thoughts and do great harm to our souls. Absolutely take accountability and allow yourself the freedom to be new.

The Present

Joy is the state of the heart and soul.

The present is represented in the card “Joy”. It shows Ganesha walking along a path wearing red in the company of a friend. “Joy can create in you a sense of contentment, acceptance, and serenity.” Even when our lives feel chaotic, we can have a deep knowing that the turbulence does not dictate the outcome. There is true happiness despite the highs and lows we experience and that even through difficult circumstances we can live in this truth.

This card represents Ganesha acknowledgment of our stresses and exhaustion as we work to adapt to new patterns of behavior. It asks us to release our old stories. The stories that we tell ourselves over and over about who we are and how we came to be. The stories others tell about us that may be worn and outdated. Realize that this life is truly about learning lessons and our lives have specific lessons we individually must learn.

Allow yourself the feelings and emotions required to process these changes in order to experience Joy. This might mean sharing your thoughts and feelings with others. It is important that you share these emotions with people who can honor them and the changes you are going through. Because this is a time of honesty. Being honest with ourselves and with others. The rawness of authenticity.

The Future

The true essence of your soul is one of complete health.

The future is represented in the card “Healing”. Ganesha is pictured sitting on a peacock with an array of greens and deep blues and gold. The presence of the peacock symbolizes balance and healing. The challenges we experience in our daily lives can cause imbalance with who we know ourselves to be. It is easy to allow are external lives to causes feelings of lack. “True healing is only possible when you take responsibility for your own well-being on this earth and your self empowerment.” This card is asking you to see yourself as complete, healthy, and whole. Now in a silly way this reminds me of the saying “fake it till you make it”, but I never liked that idiom. Perhaps it was the fake that confused me. Maybe I understood that there had to be truth to seeing myself as complete, healthy, and whole. Not merely the want of those things. Not merely the suggestion. I do not suggest that the sun shines down on us every day. That is the truth. Even when the sky above us, between us… is gray.

Ganesha Cards #15: Revelation

From Angela Hartfield’s Whispers of Lord Ganesha Cards

Get ready for key changes in your external and internal worlds.

This card is a deep royal purple. This color purple is associated with royalty, dignity and luxury. It can also represent balance between the physical and spiritual self. Ganesha can be seen looking down upon the sparkling universe, reveling in its multitude of lights. Ganesha wears a gold crown and beautiful purple robe caught in the movement of the atmosphere.

The revelation card represents coming to the end of a cycle making it time for you to create something new. It is time to break down some of the structures that you have created in your world. This has the potential to feel painful and challenging as you go through the process.

A new perspective will emerge from this deep reflection. You may come to a better understanding about the role of your ego in shaping your decisions and the continued investment in the idea that we are separate from others. This wisdom will help you grow stronger and more composed. Without a doubt there will be some challenges and obstacles that will arise to distract you from this new path of spiritual growth and enlightenment. Remain as honest as you can to foster these positive changes even when anxiety arises.

According to Angela, “when you begin to reach for your goal you will come to realize that your true security and strengths lie within yourself and your relationship with the universe, and not in some false belief system or artificially created world. Be willing to reveal your truth to those around you.”

Esho Funi is a phrase that refers to the oneness of life and environment. In SGI Buddhist discussion groups this concept is tapped into quite often and it’s no surprise. Everyone, no matter their belief system, struggles with evaluating the internal and external influences on our lives. We often make decisions to work on our internal development, believing that what occurs in the external is separate from our true selves. While external happenings are viewed at experiences we have a choice to participate in, they are really external reflections of the internal workings of us all. So, that which is outside of us is also inside of us. As all the elements in the Universe are held in each human body and living thing, there is no space between us save for every other molecule. Therefore, a positive revelation for one can cause a ripple effect in the lives of others, interconnected and begging for expansion.

Happines Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good by Tina Turner

Published in 2020, Tina Turner has given us one more memoir, of her more than eight decades on this earth. She is able to weave in the influence of her spiritual practice with her tales of growing up in Nutbush, Tennessee and becoming an international superstar.

She sang out loud and chanted in secret. This is what Anna Mae did when her then-husband wasn’t around, she chanted for her life. Unlike what was commonly believed, through the depiction in the stellar film “What’s Love Got to do with It?”, she was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism through a white woman who Ike brought to the home. His house. His rules. How interesting his karma to have delivered absolute happiness to someone he was abusing. Her relative happiness could be identified in her ability to get out of his house, out of the contracts and keep her stage-name. Her absolute happiness could be identified in her ability to forgive him and pray for his happiness and healing.

Tina Turner touches on common topics in any person’s life: difficult family relationships, societal pressures, and impasses that prevent someone from doing and being what they desire. Anna Mae cannot deny the racist structures that ruled around her, the seasons picking cotton, and becoming a mother in her teen years. There is common magic here, in her words, her stories that reveal how vulnerable people still have limitless potential and can make what they perceive as impossible, possible.

Tina discusses how the 10 Worlds function in her life (from her buddhist practice). The 10 worlds are the ten states of life: hell, hunger, animality, anger, humanity, heaven, learning, realization, bodhisattva and Buddhahood. The Buddhist terminology would label the 10 worlds as follows: the realms of hell, hungry spirits, animals, asuras, human beings, heavenly beings, voice-hearers, cause-awakened ones, bodhisattva and Buddhas. The mutual possession of the 10 worlds means that each of the 10 worlds has all of the 10 worlds inherent within it. Subsequently within the 10 worlds are the 10 factors. The 10 factors of life are 10 aspects shared by all living beings of the 10 worlds. These include appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, internal cause, relational, latent affect, manifest affect, and their consistency from beginning to end.

From “The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace: Selections from the works of Daisaku Ikeda” the 10 worlds are broken down into habit patterns. “just as a spring returns to its original shape after being stretched, people tend to revert to their own basic tendency. But even if one’s basic life tendency is the world of hell, it doesn’t mean that one will remain in that state 24 hours a day. That person will still move from one life state to another — for instance, sometimes manifesting the world of humanity, sometimes the world of anger, and so on… Even if they momentarily manifest the world of bodhisattva, however, they will quickly revert to their basic life tendency of the world of anger.”

This is to say that things are always going on. That roller coaster people often talk about, that’s what we’re all on, all the time. For some, the roller coaster is just creeping up to the highest height about to breach over the top. For others the roller coaster is taking the turns, which are exciting and also unnerving. This type of awareness is not for coaches and gurus and meditative practitioners. This type of awareness is for everyone to grasp, whatever their capacity. Wisdom is truly the notion of considering the same ideas with more depth, precision and relatability for all people.

Tina Turner is an example of a life of gratitude. Not one of perfection and protection from pain or public scrutiny. She faced each phase of her life as a rebirth. To be born a human is rare. To be reborn in the same lifetime into enlightenment through the wisdom of one’s suffering is the ultimate expression of Buddha-nature.