As soon as I drew this card the phrase “stop being so defensive” hit me. Of course that is relatively par for the course for me. I can be hyper-sensitive to certain things and become overly defensive. Especially if I feel unfairly attacked – for example for being brutally honest. The Druidcraft 7 of Wands shows a young male leaning over a stone wall ready to engage in combat whoever possesses the 7 spears poking up towards him. Of course they’re not actually aimed at him or in any sort of battle-ready positions but the young man’s enthusiasm for his task and readiness to engage is palpable. And that can certainly describe me when I have a tasty morsel in my sites. There are days when I love nothing more than a good battle – not necessarily a physical confrontation but a battle of wills or even an excited and well-argued debate.
The 7 of Bows from the Wildwood Tarot offers a different take on this card. In this image 6 staves lean against a tree trunk, a bow lays on the ground nearby and an ax is resting against a log. In the distance we see a campfire burning, it’s smoke spiraling up into the air. No humans are visible in this card and its keyword is clearance. Maybe the battle is over and I’ve cleared all the potential invaders away. Or maybe what I’ve done is cleared away those that might prove to be friends and helpful in the future. That’s the risk one takes when one is perpetually ready for battle and consistently defensive. And of course at the basis of this battle-ready status is fear – fear of being hurt, fear of looking foolish, fear of not being perfect. Letting people get close to you means you have to let them see your flaws. And if they see you with all your strengths and flaws, they might not like you any more. At least that was my experience. Of course I also have a talent for making strengths into flaws. Who wants to be friends with a know-it-all who does well in school. ACK!
Another aspect of this card for me right now is the understanding that I am engage in helping my hubby stave off the inevitable. We both know that his mother and brother are reaching a point where we will no longer be able to care for them at home. The idea of being forced to institutionalize them is breaking his heart and his spirit. He is worn down from caring for them but can’t give up that struggle. His desire is to allow his mother to stay at home for as long as she’s got left. Separating her and his brother is probably not in either’s best interests but I don’t know if there is any alternative. I doubt there is a place that could accommodate both of them.
Many years ago I remember reading a comic book in which a caped figure with a top hat (I can’t remember the character anymore), showed somewhat the memories his mother was using to fight off death a little longer. The mother was on life support and the son had to make the decision to pull the plug. I remember as a child thinking that wasn’t fair because there was no way to know what the mother was thinking and that she was going to die eventually anyway. I also thought it was a dose of guilt that the grieving son did not need. I detest guilt trips, even when they’re in comic book form. I still feel that way. This card reminds me of that story. If this were my decision I don’t know if this would be my choice. But it is my hubby’s mother and I respect and honor his decision. It’s heart wrenching. And as long as I can help him fight off that eventual day, I’ll do my best.
Several years back during a Rachel Pollack workshop, I drew this card in response to the question “What is my relationship style” and it was so true I had to laugh out loud. Anyone who was ever interested in a romantic relationship with me had quite a fight on their hands. I wasn’t letting them get passed my defenses without being sure they were worthy. I also know myself well enough to know that if I think I’ve got the bull on someone or can dominate them, I will. I have often described my family as a pack of wolves looking for the soft underbelly to rend. We’re not really that bad (although we have our moments), but we definitely can be rough to deal with. For a variety of reasons, we learned not to show weakness or softness. Those could prove very, very dangerous. So we became fighters. The problem is that even when it’s safe to lay down our arms, we are very slow to do so. That doesn’t make us very easy to deal with on an emotional level.
As for “clearance” – that can mean so many things. Right now one of the things I’ve been working on is clearing out those inner demons that taunt and haunt me for a variety of reasons. I recently finished James Wells’ marvelous Tarot for Manifestation and I’ve been inspired to start being more active in pursuing my desires. Instead of staking a claim and defending it even passed it’s expiration date, I need to start being more daring and explore new territory. I had an epiphany on Saturday while doing Tarot readings at a fair – I’m a good reader. My reading style might not be to everyone’s taste but that is just the nature of the world. Not everyone likes chocolate (although that is genuinely beyond my comprehension) and not everyone will like how I interpret Tarot cards and convey the message to them. That doesn’t make me bad or wrong, simply different. That was a liberating feeling to have. And I need to do more liberating. I need to liberate myself from all these feelings of defensiveness. That’s what needs to be cleared away. I’m feeling pretty energized and inspired right now.