It’s time to let go of past expectations and realize strength isn’t the same as “rugged individual” 4 of Earth R + Strength (Dark Goddess Tarot)

Dark Goddess 4 of Earth Dark Goddess Strength

So today I started working with my new and fabulous Dark Goddess Tarot.  I decided to focus on what I need to release from last year.  Using Ellen’s Substance and Shadow spread from the LWB, I drew the 4 of Earth reversed (The Sphinx) as the Substance of the matter and Strength (Somavila) as the Shadow.

According to the reversed 4 of Earth, the action required is to take a look at how I define my life, how I’m limiting myself.  This card also makes me recall the Greek legend of Oedipus and The Sphinx.  That tale has always fascinated me because it encapsulates the concept of self-fulfilling prophecy and the futility of trying to avoid our fate.  Of course I don’t subscribe to the idea that fate is our entire lives written out at the moment we’re born.  I prefer to view fate or destiny as a series of stops we must make in life but how we get there is left entirely up to our choices.  The Oedipus legend has always made me wonder if these events would have played out the way they did if his father hadn’t tried to prevent the prophecy.

In my case I think the 4 of Earth reversed is a reminder that what is currently going on in my life was not pre-ordained and does not need to limit me or become set in stone.  I think my focus needs to be on breaking free of those expectations and patterns.  I’ve rarely found it useful to follow someone else’s path.  My innate knee jerk reaction makes me resistant to learning from someone else’s mistakes.  In fact this was probably the bane of my mother’s existence when she was trying to teach me life lessons.  So simply because one (or many) people in a similar situation handle it in one way, that doesn’t mean I need to do so.  Looking at the image of the Sphinx on the 4 of Earth I was struck by the idea that instead of sitting and brooding over the current state of things in my life, I need to spread my wings and look at things from a different angle.  It’s time to break out of the expected and try the unexpected.

Strength’s hidden influence is that I often find myself falling into the mindset that I’m too strong to need help.  My own arrogance is one of my biggest stumbling blocks.  I have really imbibed the “rugged individualist” doctrine to the point that I see it as weakness if I need help.  Or at least I used to feel that way.  These last few years have taught me that it’s not weak to need and seek help, it’s smart.  In a situation like this, not seeking help means you burn out and your life becomes a prison.  That tends to make me lash out – at my hubby, my mother-in-law, pretty much any one who stands around too long.  It’s not pleasant to experience or to manifest.

In this reading, the cards have pointed out to me that I don’t need to stick with whatever script might have been written by and for others who experienced this situation or by the expectations of others in my life.  It’s my life and I’m the one who decides how to live it.  At the same time, I’m being foolish trying to do it all alone.  That doesn’t mean I’ll change overnight but at least I might become more open to the prospect.

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