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My friend, John Irving, is currently flying medical planes within the Navajo Nation that’s being devastated by COVID-19. I asked him to send me his story that I could post here to let people know what is actually going on. It’s just one story from the midst of this crisis. I want to add that John has been the chief pilot for heads of state as well as flying humanitarian missions around the world both professionally and personally, for instance to bring survival supplies to remote areas ravaged by floods or earthquakes. He’s one of the most caring people I know, who acts immediately to help those in need wherever they are. From this point on I’ll let John tell his story.

JOHN IRVING: I first started doing humanitarian flights in Alaska in 1976. One type of flight was taking Alaska State alcoholism counselors to native villages devastated by alcoholism. Frequently, after an emergency call-out, we would find all adults and teenagers in a village drunk and/or unconscious with children outside (exposed to the elements), kids who had not been fed for days. I also flew typical medevac flights in both helicopters (from oil platforms and fishing boats) and in airplanes.

Now I fly single-engine air ambulances for Guardian Flight, one of more than a dozen air ambulance companies owned by Global Medical Response (GMR). GMR operates ground and air ambulances in 40 states. In Gallup, New Mexico we normally have two Swiss-made single turbine-engine PC-12s, a twin engine Beech King Air 90C and one helicopter, all serving the Navajo and Zuni nations.

Now, during the corona virus pandemic about 80% of our flights are with Covid-19 patients, flying them from regional clinics and small hospitals on the reservation to larger hospitals in Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson and near El Paso.  

Covid-19 is slamming the Native reservations at a rate 3.5 times the rate of America in general.  This is a higher rate than even that suffered by America’s black and Hispanic communities.  

The reasons for this high rate of infection and death are simple.  Many American Natives suffer from diabetes, obesity, alcoholism, heart disease and respiratory problems, all of which increase the probability of getting Covid-19.  Social distancing is anathema in cultures where traditionally multiple generations live in a single dwelling, eat communally and care for each other instinctively.  Many of the homes on the reservation do not have running water.  Instead, they have an outside hand-pump.  This makes regular hand-washing difficult or impossible.  Many of these families live hours from the nearest medical facility, so often their illness is quite advanced before they go to a clinic or hospital.

We hear so little about the dire situation on the Navajo and other Native reservations because mainstream America has for centuries, paid little heed to the suffering of our poorer brown and black citizens.

Recently, many teen-age and young-adult Navajos and Zunis are collaborating in doing wellness-checks and bringing food, water, and sanitation supplies to elders who live alone.

Normally Gallup, New Mexico is the busiest air-ambulance base in the United States.  With the explosion of Covid-19, GMR has added 30 medical crew-members and seven addition air ambulances to the ‘four-corners’ region (New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado & Utah) occupied by the Navajo Nation.  This has made us much more responsive to the requests for emergency medical transport from the regional clinics and hospitals.

On a typical 12-hour shift I will fly two Covid-19 patients and one non-Covid patient from Gallop or one of the reservation airstrips, to an airport near a major hospital facility.  Typically I am in the air less than 30 minutes after being called out.  If the patient is local, I will prepare the aircraft readying it for the patient, while the clinical crew (nurse & paramedic) go to the hospital, assume the medical care of the patient, then bring the patient by ambulance to the airport.  If the patient is at a remote location, we will fly together to the nearest airport and operate from there.

With the Covid-19 patients, the pilot, nurse and paramedic are all wearing full personal-protective-equipment while loading the patient into the air ambulance, during the entire flight, unloading the patient into the ground ambulance and then to the receiving hospital.

While my clinical crew rides in the ground ambulance with the patient to the hospital, I will use spray alcohol and sterilizing wipes to thoroughly disinfect the aircraft; then I’ll drive a van to the hospital to take my crew back to the airport for our next mission.

The other night I had a singular honor.  My patient was a 100-year-old Navajo Code Talker; one of the great heroes of WW2.  He had served in the Pacific when my two uncles were there.  He was bright, funny and flirtatious with our medic who is 75 years younger than he is.  I am delighted to tell you we got him to the hospital in time and now he is well and back home with his family near Fort Defiance, Arizona.

Regularly, while flying back to base, Air Traffic Control will pass on a request from our dispatch center, asking us to divert to different airport for our next patient.  My normal shift is 12 hours, 12 off, but 16-hour days or nights are not unusual.

Best regards,
Capt. John Irving CEO, Drone Surveys & Reports, LLC

If you leave a message for John in the comments I’ll make sure he gets it.

The best way to understand the historical roots of the tarot is to visit Northern Italy and see the actual sources for the imagery. There is no way I can duplicate the wonderful job Katrina Wynne did of telling the story of our Italy Tarot Trip this October so I’m sending you to her page. Enjoy the journey and photos of our amazing journey on Katrina’s Transformative Tarot Counseling blog.

Here’s a few additional photos to wet your appetite for Katrina’s post.

Read the rest of this entry »

Perceval Wand Horse

Thursday: Tarot Webinar with Mary K. Greer – Secrets of the Rider-Waite Smith Minor Arcana, part 1

Join me as I present the most exciting work I’ve done in Tarot in the past few years. Tomorrow’s class will cover the suit of Cups and Wands – the Grail and the Lance. You’ll never see the Minors in the same way again. Bring your cards!

Class begins at 9pm EST and 6 pm PST. Or you can pre-order the recording. Sign up for it HERE.

Those interested in the Masonic influences on the Minor Arcana will definitely want to attend next week’s class, Part 2. Please pass on the information to anyone you know who might be interested. 

Join me for a two-part webinar with Global Spiritual Studies

Live: January 24 and 31, 2013 or available to view later or purchase as a DVD – info here.

ImageImage

Who actually designed the Rider-Waite Tarot cards? Did A. E. Waite unfairly take too much credit for the deck illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith? In this two-part webinar we’ll examine the evidence. It seems pretty clear that Waite had something very specific in mind for the Major Arcana, so are the Minors exclusively Smith’s?

It turns out there may have been a specific purpose behind the illustrations to the Minor cards. We’ll closely explore a couple of stories that show an uncanny resemblance to Smith’s Minor Arcana and determine where the Minor Arcana images and meanings came from. But mostly we’ll see how the stories behind the Waite-Smith Minor Arcana can inform your own readings and card interpretations.

Join me for a bit of historical detective work as we seek to make the cards richer and deeper. This pictorial journey through the cards and peek into the lives of Waite and Smith will increase your own appreciation of the deck and enhance your work as a tarot reader.

pcs-Hill of Hearts Desire

 

This PPT talk and presentation is now available as an online recording or a DVD. It’s excellent for those who are wondering what all the excitement is about regarding the Lenormand cards. Additionally, it goes into the surprising history and origins of the deck. It demonstrates several ways of reading the cards, with an exciting example of how a Grand Tableau spread saved me from a major travel disaster that would have cost thousands of dollars and no end of troubles. Purchase info at Global Spiritual Studies.

 

Here’s an interesting video on different methods of fortune-telling found today in Taiwan. The bird technique is found all over the world and is sometimes used with tarot or cartomancy decks in which case the bird picks the cards.

Come One, Come All to the

2012 Tarot Omega Tarot Conference – July 27 – 29th – the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY.

Featuring Caitlín Matthews, Robert Place, Joanna Powell-Colbert, Rachel Pollack and Mary K. Greer

This conference brings together an extraordinary group of tarot readers and tarot deck creators for a wonderful weekend of readings, art, and practical skills. This year’s conference features three tarot artists plus two deck conceptualizers. Discover what inspired them to “dream the tarot onwards,” creating new images and ideas deeply rooted in the tarot’s ancient traditions.

No matter what your level as a reader or your knowledge of tarot is, learning directly from deck creators will help you develop you own natural abilities. Discover what inspires a new deck and what goes into the making of cards that really work. Guided by this passion and knowledge, we do readings—for ourselves, friends, and complete strangers.

but don’t plan on going home after that – because Mary and Rachel continue on with five fabulous days of Tarot Magic –

Reading Tarot Cards with Magic and Wisdom – July 29, 2012 – August 03, 2012

In this tarot workshop with masters Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack, we work with the evocative images of the tarot to gain insight and wisdom for ourself and others, and to create the changes we want personally and globally. We learn how to read for others in ways that honor the natural wisdom within everyone and that turn the act of choosing a future into a magical experience.

This tarot workshop supports beginners while offering new ideas and techniques to seasoned professionals.

Click on the links for more information!

I have a webinar coming up this Thursday. Please join me. It’s for everyone who wonders what learning about Tarot history can do to improve their readings. I’ll be illustrating the changing perceptions of the Lovers card from ancient Greece to modern Wicca; it is far more complex than you might have thought. Journey with me in living color through pictures depicting the origins of cards and cartomancy and learn how to add depth to your readings.

Improve Your Tarot Readings Through Tarot History – a webinar through Global Spiritual Studies

Last minute call to enroll for the September 17-18th Tarosophy Tarot Conference in the beautiful Lake District of the UK. You can get a 1-day (Saturday) or 2-day last-minute ticket to the conference. Hear Ciro Marchetti speak on the Tarot industry, Marcus Katz reveals A. E. Waite’s SECOND Tarot – and more – and Carrie Paris from Santa Fe will arrive with a taste of Tarot. On Sunday Richard Abbot speaks on Numerology and Dan Pelletier takes Tarot out of the box. There’s also a social event on Saturday.

There’s still time to get a ticket for France to attend the September 23rd-25th Association for Tarot Studies’ Convention at a castle in St. Suzanne, France. The line-up is spectacular: Jean-Michel David, Christine Payne-Towler, Robert Mealing from forum.tarothistory.com, Marcus Katz, Joep van Loon, Yoav Ben-Dov, Russell Sturgess, Enrique Enriquez, Fern Mercier, Dan Pelletier, Major Tom Schick, Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov, Lyn Olds, Mafalda Serrano, and Roxanne Flornoy.

K. Frank Jensen just sent me fascinating information about the Oswald Wirth deck used in the movie, which I have added to my earlier post:

https://marygreer.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/oswald-wirth-meets-sherlock-holmes/

The photograph is of Wirth around the time he created his first set of cards.

Here’s a selection of uncolored Wirth cards from the Yale University Library:

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Mary K. Greer has made tarot her life work. Check here for reports of goings-on in the world of tarot and cartomancy, articles on the history and practice of tarot, and materials on other cartomancy decks. Sorry, I no longer write reviews. Contact me HERE.

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