Transcending Tarot

I find symbolism fascinating. Perhaps that’s the reason I became interested in the subject of metaphor and maybe that’s why I like the tarot too.

Not that I believeDeck of Tarot Cards for Fortune Telling I can tell the future or anything, but I love the way the symbols can mean so many different things to different people.

There’s really no end to the many ways the pictures can be interpreted and I’m intrigued by the mystery that surrounds the cards.

No one knows for sure where or when or why they originated but they can be traced back at least as far as the mid 15th century and seem to have found their way to Europe via Egypt and Italy. It’s believed they started as a set of playing cards but over the centuries they’ve become many different things to different people.

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Is time really money?

Time is money concept with red alarm clockPeople often say that ‘time is money’.

On the surface it might seem like nothing more than a saying that we use use to let others know how busy we are, but when you think about it, it actually goes much deeper than that.

For many of us it seems quite normal to treat time as a precious commodity that mustn’t be wasted. For some there’s a sense of guilt if every day isn’t filled with useful enterprise. We’re very aware that our time is limited and there’s much that needs to be done. There’s just not enough hours in the day at times.

But is this actually the case?

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If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll.

wooden signpost in forest

Have you ever felt that your life was off track or felt stuck in a rut? Do you find that you frequently get side-tracked?

Or maybe you feel that life happens to you instead of being lived by you? Have you ever felt swept along on a tide of inevitability? Do you often feel as if circumstances are outside of your control?

The reason for this might be the metaphor you’re living.

Continue reading “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll.”

Life is a Journey

traveling bagSome people love to travel.

It’s in their blood, they’ll often say. They love to discover new places and meet new people. They find that travel broadens their mind and makes them feel alive. Their feet begin to itch when they’ve been in one place for too long, however long is too long for them.

Some are content to stay put. They feel no need to go beyond their own horizon and be it ever so humble, there’s no place quite like home for them.

Others are somewhere in between the two extremes. They like to go places and have a break from routine. Before too very long though, they like to return to familiarity and be king or queen of their own castle once more, however humble or palatial it may be.

But whoever we are and whether we like it or not, there comes a time for all of us to set off on a journey of one kind or other

We may be travelling for some time and for some distance and the journey might have a definite purpose, maybe to attend to business, or take a well-earned break, or to pay a visit to loved ones abroad.

For some that’s what it’s all about – to get from here to where they need to be, but there are also those who seek no particular destination, because the goal for them is the journey itself.

It’s said that life is a journey, so maybe we’re all travellers at heart and it’s just that for some the journey takes us inside instead of afar. And sometimes that’s even more of an adventure.

Is metaphor who we are?

Love thinkingMetaphor isn’t just a poetic way to make language more interesting. It’s also a vital mechanism for abstract thought and an efficient method for communicating abstract concepts.

It’s also claimed that it plays a major part in the way we understand ourselves and the world we live in.

But why do we think metaphorically? What’s the point of abstract thought?

What happened to create this symbolic way of thinking, and what purpose does it serve in evolutionary terms?

We’re not the only creatures who think, reason and understand. In many ways we use our brains in the same way as other species do. We still have the reptilian and earlier mammalian parts of our brain that function on an unconscious level and govern a large part of our existence and survival.

But at some point the human brain evolved further; it began to think of one thing in terms of another i.e. symbolically – and so developed the ability to think in terms of the abstract.   Continue reading “Is metaphor who we are?”

The protaganist

Books - vector illustration

In any library or book shop the books are divided into sections.The main division is between fiction and non-fiction, although really when you think about it, there’s no hard and fast difference between the two.

Because if it’s true that writers mostly write about what they know, then it follows that there’ll be a fair amount of subjective fact to be found in any fictional book. And non-fictional work, being open to individual interpretation is also often a matter of context, opinion and personal experience.

Even the most precise of scientific theories can only be classified as fact until such time as the next paradigm shift rears it’s revolutionary head.

This makes it easy for us to head towards our preferred reading matter and most people do have a preference for one or more type of book. Those of us who prefer to watch a movie are also usually drawn to some genres more than others, be it action or period drama, romance or thriller, fantasy or science fiction.

And you might think it’s just a matter of taste and there’s no real significance to the types of stories we gravitate towards. However research suggests there’s much more to it than that.

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Why I believe in Metaphor Therapy

The Little Match Girl...A Personal Fear...4[2]Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved to read. The glorious escape of it. Escaping from a somewhat lonely childhood into the world of imagination, where anything is possible and everything can and does happen.

Finding answers to those questions that we don’t even know we’re asking, between the pages of a book, can be a dangerous pastime however.

If you’ve ever felt the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end when confronted with an uncomfortable truth about yourself, then you’ll be able to relate to the way I felt, when, half way through my training as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I was confronted with the enlightening yet disturbing possibility that several suicide attempts throughout my teenage years may have been partly the result of a long-forgotten illustration in a book of fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson.

I shuddered at the thought that I may have ended my life because of a beautiful but sad drawing of a little girl holding her hand skyward towards an angelic looking older lady in a flowing white gown, who reached down to the child with a look of pure tenderness and love.

That, I believe, is the power of metaphor. I also believe we can use metaphor to change our life story. This site is all about how.