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Issue #22                                   October 4, 2002

              Numerology / Astrology
           Alternatives for a New World

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       T A B L E    O F   C O N T E N T S
  ==> Culture Poll - Halloween Traditions 
  ==> Nature Article - Nature Spirits All Around Us (part 4)
  ==> Spirituality Article - Tarot and the 22 Paths (part 1)
  ==> Useful Resources For You

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              N A T U R E 
Nature Spirits All Around Us (pt. 4)   by Brett Simpson

Finding self-expression and peaceful contemplation is one of 
the best things about practicing shamanic work. Attuning your 
thoughts to the mind of Mother Earth will help you in many 
ways.  I'll discuss some of the more interesting ones in this 

Right now I'm sitting watching a squirrel bury it's winter 
stockpile, as a white sulfur butterfly helps itself to the 
pollen from the Russian sage growing in my sun garden.  It's a 
beautiful fall day, and one which lends itself to quite 
contemplation about how our own energy as humans interacts 
with the energy of wildlife.

In past issues of this newsletter I've offered methods for 
achieving an awareness that is beyond day-to-day thinking, 
while learning to tune in to the surroundings of nature.   If 
you have practiced some of those by now you should have a  
journal full of sounds, visions, feelings and emotional 
awareness as it relates to your surroundings.

Each part of our surroundings breathes with a life all it's 
own.  The sound of wind through tall grass, sunlight dancing 
on leaves, and the smell of lilacs or roses.  All of these 
sensorial methods can help to keep us conscious of what 
matters most in our daily lives, and remind us when our habits 
may need some adjusting.

As you sit in nature, try to take time for solitude and peace.  
Let each sound of the earth be heard and note if it leads to 
any reactions in your physical body.  Are there sensations in 
your third chakra* area when you feel the sun on your face?  
Do your eyelids twitch at the vision of a chipmunk as it 
scurries past?   note: *the third chakra is one of the more 
powerfully felt and is located over the stomach and spreading 
out from there.

Now is the time to begin placing the feelings and sensations 
that you experience from each aspect of Mother Earth into your 
emotional and physical awareness.  As you do, trust yourself 
to the messages that they bring.  If the sight of deep snow is 
refreshing to you, then gradually learn that an image of deep 
snow can be used to refresh you again, even on a cloudy summer 

Clip out pictures that express the elements of nature, the 
feelings, or sensations best.  You may want to go through old 
magazines such as Sierra, Smithsonian, National Geographic, 
Arizona Highways or other similar ones which feature the 
pictures you feel most for.  If you have a knack for 
photography consider buying a fairly good camera and taking 
your own pictures as you make notes in your journal of the 
elements which affect you.

Sound is also very important, and you may want to think about 
buying an inexpensive portable tape recorder that you can use 
from time to time to record sound bits that leave traces of 
emotions and feelings within you.  As you hear them again see 
if the same feelings arise, you may need to view a photo of 
the environment at the same time.

Gradually you are building up a library of sensations and 
feelings that affect you in some way.  You could refer your 
journal entries to the pictures and sounds that correspond.   
You may also want to catalog the feelings or emotions 
expressed for later playback and feeling sessions when you 
need it most.   Or keep it carefree and know that you can go 
to your file folder, or notebook journal any time you like to 
remember the ways which nature creates an emotional impact on 
your life. 

Now that you've  learned how nature affects you, another 
interesting exercise is to take on the feelings or actions of 
a nature element yourself to see if you can tune yourself to 
the feelings of each creature, plant or element of nature.   
For example you may want to act out the movements of the 
squirrel hiding it's winter bounty, and notice any thoughts, 
feelings or impressions which arise as you do.  
Of course you probably want to do this in your own home, 
rather than in the yard, to keep the neighbors from talking, 
but if you can get out into the country far enough try this 
free play in the natural settings that you normally experience 

Eventually you'll come to feel a deeper and deeper experience 
and sharing with our Mother Earth, which will bring an 
awareness of the spirit world all around us.

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             S P I R I T U A L I T Y
Tarot and the 22 Paths (Part 1)        by Brett Simpson

This is the first in a series of articles in which we will 
explore the 22 paths of the tarot and how they can be used for 
pathworking journeys to help assist you in achieving and 
discovering more about your inner self, desires, thoughts and 
emotions.  Refer back to the last issue of this newsletter for 
definitions which we will use throughout the rest of the 
articles.  I'm sure I'll be adding more to that list as we go 

To begin with it's important to understand that the basis of a 
Tarot deck (which dates from 1200AD or before) is the symbolic 
journey from manhood/womanhood to spiritual ascension and 
growth based on several symbolic concepts.   I'll further 
discuss the concepts below, and then I'll help you build up a 
basic understanding of how those concepts create the 22 paths 
(in the tree of life).

Briefly the symbolic concepts include the four suits of the 
Tarot deck (wands, cups, swords, pentacles) symbolizing fire, 
water, air and earth.  Within each suit are 4 court cards, 
king (spiritual), queen (soul or emotional), knight (selfhood 
or mental) and page or esquire (body or physical).  The four 
court cards also correspond to the four letters of God 
(Jehovah) or 'Yod He Vau He' in Hebrew.  This represents the 
trinity plus one final aspect marking the transition from the 
spiritual (mystical) world back to the material world as 
follows: 'Yod' (wands) the origin of things, 'He' (cups) 
substance, 'Vau' (knights) affinity and the completion of the 
trinity, and the final 'He' (pentacles or coins) symbolizing 
the transition back to the material world.
Separate and unconnected from the suits are the  22 trump 
cards, or Major Arcana (see definition in earlier article).   
Each of these cards represent a journey through the tree of 
life, mystical paths through the astral underworld that 
correspond to the Hebrew alphabet and the tree of life.  By 
following your own  path through these 22 major steps it is 
possible to find an awareness of a mystical awakening to your 
unique soul.

The 22 cards of the Major Arcana are defined as follows:  0 - 
the Fool, the holy or innocent one represents matters of 
spiritual direction, 1 - the Magician, the lesser Sun, matters 
of action and will power, 2 - the High Priestess, the feminine 
aspect and the reflections of God, the Isis of nature whose 
veil must not be raised by the profane, represents reflection 
and introspection, 3 - the Empress signifies mother and 
matters of fertility, 4 - the Emperor, the active form of the 
Empress and represents matters of organization and structure, 
5 - the Hierophant, the opposite of the High Priestess who 
gives knowledge in practical form represents religion and 
religious symbolism, 6 - the Lovers representing mans dual 
nature and symbolizing the most powerful of emotions; love 
expressed and unity with the beloved, represents issues with 
relationships, 7 - the Chariot the final card of the first of 
three sets of seven cards, signifies victory and matters of 
achievement and success.

The second set of seven cards is as follows: 8 - Strength, 
virility and a spiritual life, representing trials and 
personal tests,  9 - the Hermit, silence and inner knowledge 
representing solitary endeavors, 10 - the Wheel of Fortune 
(or Wheel of Life) a symbol of eternal time representing 
cycles and change,  11 - Justice, equilibrium in all worlds 
and all forms, representing matters of balance, 12 - Hanged 
Man stands for equilibriated power, and the occult aspects of 
water (change of consciousness) represents personal sacrifice, 
13 - Death, the passing from one stage to another and the link 
between the material and spiritual represents transformation, 
14 - Temperance, the waters of life in man and individualized 
power to accept herself/himself represents balanced self-

The final set of seven cards and path aspects is as follows: 
15 - the Devil, misused power and a symbol of destruction 
represents temptation, 16 - the Tower, the fall of man from 
materialism represents matters of downfall,  17 - the Star, 
the word in action, the spirit surviving the fall represents 
grace, 18 - the Moon, reflections from the material world 
represents the unconscious, 19 -the Sun, the first of the 
elemental kingdoms with Spirit renewed in a different form 
represents joy, 20 - Judgment, evolutionary development 
represents matters of choice, and finally 21 - the Universe, 
the macrocosm meets the microcosm, Earth matter in the four 
Worlds  represents significance in mundane existence.

In the next article in this series we will look closer at how 
each of the 22 Major Arcana are tied together to represent the 
tree of life, and how the paths are connected, stay tuned.

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"All metaphysical paths that have withstood the test of time 
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Coming Soon in future issues:
-> Halloween Myths
-> Chinese Astrology
-> Tarot and the 22 paths (part 2)

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Numerology / Astrology - Alternatives for a New World