Scratch offs? I was exiting a gas station convenience store around noon today just as a man outside was throwing down a handful of those mysterious (to me) 'scratch off' lottery tickets in disgust. Suddenly he noticed that he had caught my attention so he glared at me for a deep moment then exclaimed "Worthless...just like me!" and stomped away.
Wow. This encounter took me by surprise and shook me. This man was gone from my presence before I could say or do any subtly shamanic blessings, healings, or transformations on his troubles. His suffering resonated several places deep within me. Then those words of his - "worthless...just like me" - and the sight of the scratch off tickets blowing away from me through the parking spaces and between the gas pumps began flashing nightmare scenarios before my imagination.
But wait...One of the discarded tickets seemed stuck on the asphalt at my feet and I bent down and grabbed it just before another wind gust hit. I tucked it into a pocket and brought it home. Asking for assistance from Spirit I sat and stared at this losing lottery ticket and the desparate dispairing pictures still flickering before my mind's eyes. After a little while I began a project. I gathered some glue and magazines and ripped and pasted a hasty mini-collage (a little like a rough soul collage) together, covering both sides of this now celebrated, lost and saved lottery ticket.
Meanings? One side might represent 'good and better' and the other 'wonderful and best' - composed of bits of smiles and trees and dogs and homes. I placed this tiny piece of contemporary visionary art carefully onto the mini- cosmic shamanic circle 'shrine' in my 'secret place' of prayer after breathing blessings into it. Then I began to ask and consider what original impulses towards delighting in life's games had gone awry in this man's world - and my world - and why. I am still waiting for further understanding. But I have thanked this stranger for bringing gambling up as a new journeying topic for our mutual life traveling entertainment.
Synchronicity! Another circle companion is attending a two-day workshop learning more about standard problem gambling interventions and treatments and getting CEUs for keeping a professional credential. Until this unhappy gambling man crossed my path today I dismissed gambling as too simple subject to dwell upon for more than a few minutes.
Now I am beginning to get a gist of how probably gambling is linked deeply to Life's original compulsion to take all the risky thrills that come and go with incarnating upon this earth for adventure after adventure...and how so many of today's gambling experiences may be palest shadows gone astray of ancient profound vital wise foolish ways to meet the challenges of expanding one's fate to fulfill one's destiny and proving one's competence in the wild gusting roaring face of 'Life on LIFE's terms'.