The Alembic

Summer and the full Lughnasa Moon

Saturday gratefuls: A wonderful dinner with Tom at the Bistro last night. Tom’s help in pruning Kate’s clothing and sewing stuff. Friendship. Judgement card. Rain and cooler weather at night.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: A close friend

Tarot card: Judgement, 20th card of the Major Arcana



Tarot? So far, remarkable. I apologize if this particular journey of mine doesn’t resonate with yours. I understand. But when, after weeks and months of mourning, grieving I pull a card that one interpreter says: “…represents the results of the fruits of your spiritual work. In an upright position, it’s relief from a difficult journey.”, it jumps out at me.

Or, this: “To see this card can…indicate that you are in a period of awakening, brought on by the act of self-reflection.”

Grief, in its most profound sense, is a period of forced self-reflection, a mental and emotional (lev) upheaval that begins with a hurricane of pain and tears, mourning, that gradually dissipates in intensity. As the shock and horror of mourning fades, grieving can begin.

What pronouns do I use now? Is it still our house? Our car? Her clothes? Our life? How do I react when I see the toothbrush, the hair brush, the favorite t-shirt? The picture? When someone speaks kindly of her, of me, what emotions surface?

What does it mean, in other words, that I’m alive and she is dead? That’s a first and critical theme of grief. Another, equally critical theme is, who will I be? And, how will I be?

Kate, Glenwood Springs

Tom helped me with pruning Kate’s belongings. I know I’m making changes. Necessary changes. Some hard, some less hard. My life now continues without Kate’s physical presence.

A remodeling of the kitchen, the upstairs bathroom, perhaps a few smaller projects, feels like a right expression of this new life. Yesterday I contacted two remodelers for bids. We’ll see where all this goes. Changing the outer to affect the inner. A mussar principle. Not the only way of affecting the inner, of course, but a valid one.

Working out, I hope, will let me get some hiking in. Right now I’m under-oxygenated and sore hipped when I walk outside. If that continues, I’ll have to reexamine my assumptions, especially about staying here.

Studying, learning, writing. All within the next month or so. I can feel it. Is this is a new person? No. Is it a person I want to be? Yes.

Reading more would insert an older, longed for avatar back into the present day. I’ve been a caregiver, with my first and last energy, and that guy fell by the way. More TV, less reading.

Is Hawai’i off the table? How about Korea? Or, Taipei. What about travel, a cruise maybe when it seems safe? More Jewishness? More Kabbalah? More Tarot?

Matthias Grunewald

“It’s a card of resurrection, conclusions, renewal, and evolution.” This makes sense to me. Resurrecting dormant avatars, renewing my life given drastically changed circumstances, evolving into the third phase widower guy.

The streak of cards I’ve had since a week ago Wednesday have challenged my flat-earth humanist skeptic heart. And, mind. Keep on rollin’. I’ll learn about spreads at some point, too. Maybe more information.



“To see this card can also indicate that you are in a period of awakening, brought on by the act of self-reflection. You now have a clearer idea of what you need to change and how you need to be true yourself and your needs.

Judgement is the twentieth card of the Major Arcana. Its order is significant: it’s the last card before the completion of the Major Arcana’s numerical cycle. It’s a card of resurrection, conclusions, renewal, and evolution.” Labyrinthos


“The Judgement card is a powerful harbinger of spiritual metamorphosis. Like the Justice card, it’s a card of karma —although of the spiritual variety. It represents the results of the fruits of your spiritual work. In an upright position, it’s relief from a difficult journey.

When the Judgement card shows up in a reading it can signal a spiritual awakening or time of profound insight. You’ll find yourself having powerful epiphanies regarding parts of your life that are holding you back from growth. It’s an affirmation: that know, you aren’t crazy, you aren’t alone, and it was all worth the effort.

Arthur Waite in the Key to the Tarot connects this card to personal evolution. It can certainly usher in a period of transformation and rebirth in your life.”  tarotluv


This entry was posted in Family, Feelings, Hawai'i, Mussar, Tarot, Third Phase, Woolly Mammoths. Bookmark the permalink.

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