Donnaleigh's Tarot



50 Lessons I Learned in 2011

Posted by Donnaleigh on December 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM

2011 was a hard year for me.

I learned many personal lessons.

Looking back, here are some of the big 'uns I learned that I did not live fully the year before. I'm sure I'll continue to learn nuances of these lessons through my life.

Did you learn any of these?

  1. Family comes first. They are the ones who will scrape you off the ground while the rest of the world is busy cavorting.
  2. Kind people are not always well-intentioned.
  3. What you think is not always the reality.
  4. Not everyone is invested in honesty. Some people are just invested in "winning" or preserving themselves by any means.
  5. Boundaries are not bad or unfriendly; they are healthy. Be a friend to yourself.
  6. Public humiliation is never good.
  7. Those who publicly humiliate...humiliate themselves.
  8. a) Warning people of seriously dangerous or fraudulent behavior and b) gossip are seen by many as one and the same. Still learning on this one. I don't think one answer fits all.
  9. People have fabulous bullsh*t detectors. Mine needs adjusting.
  10. Bullsh*t Baffles Brains. (I think I have Stacy LaRosa's grandfather to thank for condensing this wise proverb that I lived).
  11. Some people see everything as competition to some proverbial winning game. Don't participate.
  12. Everything is perception. Nothing is known or shown fully as it is.
  13. Happiness is dependent on our perception.
  14. Death is inevitable. Honor it as best you can.
  15. You can't make everyone happy, but you can support those who need help, and that brings profound healing. Never underestimate the power of reaching out.
  16. Some people are genuinely interested in your well-being. Others will use every drop of you to their benefit. Love yourself anyway. You are worthwhile in either case.
  17. Bad people will often take themselves down; sometimes they don't need any assistance.
  18. You can do what you think are "all the right things," and still end up in the wrong situation.
  19. Don't expect people to change. Change your focus from them instead.
  20. Our personal self-concept defines our behavior and who we are, and causes people to behave in ways they do.
  21. When others show you who they are, know that you are watching a pattern of behavior, not something unique to your experience with them. 
  22. People united are a strong force of love.
  23. Only you can bring yourself back to center.
  24. Friends are the most valuable gift you give to yourself.
  25. Trust can be shattered by a single lie.
  26. You cannot argue with an irrational mind.
  27. We can't assume what other people are thinking; they are living their own story line independent of what we see.
  28. Some people will try to take others down to elevate themselves. People see through this; their crowd stays small.
  29. I can't save the world.
  30. Bullies claim they are the ones who are the victim.
  31. As fun as it is, the internet is a dangerous place full of illusions.
  32. People with negative mental health usually don't  understand that they are the cause of their own problems. They project onto others. Accept this, and move on. It is their lesson to learn.
  33. While there are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle, this may not  be the case when dealing with mentally unstable people.  Sometimes a lie is a lie is a lie.
  34. Theft of intellectual property is a part of everyday experience.
  35. Your health is everything. Without it, nothing else matters.
  36. Emotional health is as important as physical health.
  37. Nonattachment is the key to happiness.
  38. People often do things not only because of their life experiences, but because of the chemistry of their brain. "It is what it is." Watching my mother's mental health deteriorate because of an aggressive dementia taught me how little control some other people have over their behavior. Even when they know what is right.
  39. People will never say "I am jealous." What they will say is "They hurt me!"
  40. The only person you can control is yourself.
  41. Karma comes full circle. It has many cycles.
  42. Fear and anxiety cause many of the personality disorders we witness.
  43. Even though it hurts to be with someone who is terminally ill -- BE there.
  44. Dogma and the need to control causes most of the world's strife.
  45. People usually have to learn through their own experience. You can't "tell" people a lesson (like this list); you have to live them to learn.
  46. That said,  knowingly learn as much as you can through others' mistakes to avoid making your own. I learned a lot by watching this year.
  47. Something as simple as drinking tea can be an experience of profound abundance.
  48. Medtation clears, calibrates, and cleanses.
  49. What/who you surround yourself with can define how you behave or view the world. Choose your surroundings carefully.
  50. Despite it all, most people are good at heart.

So, to "keep it tarot," I asked the deck to sumarize for me in 3 cards the big lessons here.

Using Beth Seilonen's Yuletide Parakeet Arcana deck, I pulled the following 3 cards randomly:

I see the World card's wreath between the other 2 cards as

"boundaries in the  world"

(the red ring framing him).

Especially where this bird is so exposed on his open branch. He becomes prey.

It is like "Friends" are on the right,

and "Foes" are on the left of this boundary card.

The Strength card on the left is a nod to it having been my "Strength Year," and that gentle assertion with foes is key. We will be tested in our strength, but boundries from the world are where the answer lies. He sees the predator, and he is eye-to-eye. When you see it, draw the proverbial line in the sand.

On the right, the Sun card shows 3 birds close together, enjoying the sun together. This has enormous significance to me both in my family life and in my life of community and friends. Stand together, and you will find joy. And it goes back to boundaries--keep the good in, the unhealthy out. Stand together. Find peace and joy with soul partners. Stand close by those who are aligned with you. Support your friends and family.

What lessons did you learn in 2011?

To learn more about Beth Seilonen's tarot decks, visit

Here's wishing you a wonderful year of light lessons.



Categories: Life Experiences as Seen through Tarot

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Reply KatrinaW
5:53 AM on January 1, 2012 
Dear Donnaleigh,

Wow...what a year. I'm learning right along with you. Thank you for sharing your list. It's quite amazing to look back at all the deep and meaning work you have done, inside as well as outside in the world.

I just got this wild notion that you are becoming the "Oprah" of the Tarot world. You wear your heart on your sleeve and have the deepest, most compassionate wish for the world to heal and be well. I share these values and truly appreciate you.

Let's hope we have more love, more fun, and a lot more peace in 2012!

Reply Donnaleigh
8:24 AM on January 1, 2012 
Hi Kartina,

Wowie! That is a big (proverbial) pair of shoes to fill, she is one of my idols! Thank you for this. It has been such a journey in the external world, but what it does to the internal world is what is most fascinating. You can be made small by it or you can polish yourself like a pearl in the rough and become stronger and wiser for it. Sometimes it seems hard to do the latter, but when we look around, there are some pretty magnificent people in our world with others' best interests at heart (like you!) and it's really mostly good.

Am honored you stopped by my little corner of the world. Thank you. And I continue to learn the art of wise gentleness through you. Thank you.