Waking up from a terrifying dream #TarotReading #HauntedHouseTarot

So, since my husband died I find myself trying to speak with him every night before I fall asleep. I ask him to give me some kind of sign that he’s still with me in some way and I’ve never gotten one. It frustrated me because I believe in the afterlife and in the soul traveling to the Otherworld after death; and I felt like I was being cheated. I was rather angry about it. It was bad enough that he died on me but now I had no connection, no sense that he was still there at all. Until the other night.

I dreamed I was in my house, not a house I have ever actually owned but I knew it was my house. I also knew that my husband was there. I’m not sure how I knew this because I couldn’t see or hear him, but I was sure he was there. I was getting ready for something but I don’t know what. Then I heard footsteps walking through the house and knew that it was John coming my way. He finally stood in the doorway where I could see him. I took one look at him and turned away towards the wall screaming in horror. I was so terrified that I woke myself up and began sobbing. The figure I saw standing in the doorway bore almost no resemblance to my husband and in fact reminded me more of a Frankenstein type monster. I was shaken by this dream for days afterwards.

So, I processed this dream the way I process anything that bothers me – I did a tarot reading. Using Sasha Graham’s Haunted House Tarot, I pulled 3 cards:

  1. What is the dream telling me? Knight of Wands Rx
  2. Why did my husband appear that way? The Wheel of Fortune Rx
  3. What terrified me? Justice

After looking at these cards, this is my interpretation of this reading. The first sentence that popped in my head upon seeing the reversed Knight of Wands is from the original Planet of the Apes movie. Dr. Zaius warns Taylor to be careful what he looks for because he might not like what he finds. I think that’s what this card is showing me. I’m trying to reach out beyond the veil for some type of reassurance from my husband but now might not be the time for that. What I discover might be more disturbing than I’m ready to handle. I have no idea how time flows in the afterlife or how a human soul processes transitioning to that level. Perhaps the living aren’t supposed to know these things or at least I’m not supposed to at this time.

The reversed Wheel of Fortune tells me that John appeared the way he did because he’s not finished transitioning yet. He hasn’t fully adapted to his new reality and so he looks like an unfinished science experiment. At the same time I can’t help but feel touched and reassured that despite this he still reached out to reassure me because he always tried to do that.

Justice was a little trickier for me to interpret. It wasn’t until I looked at the actual image on the card that a connection was made. The dream terrified me because if I had been able to fully connect to my deceased husband I think it would have thrown me off balance; so off balance that there would have been psychological and physical health repercussions. The female figure in the forefront of the Justice card looks like an old fashioned nurse. This makes me think that as things are right now my health would be endangered and that’s what terrified me. My soul was protecting itself.

When I first woke up from the stream I was so upset and disturbed. It really shook me. However, upon further reflection it has calmed me and helped me move forward in my grieving process. I realize now it’s not that my husband doesn’t want to connect with me; it’s just not advisable right now. Just knowing that he was willing to make the attempt, even if it wasn’t ultimately in either of our best interests, is reassuring and reminds me how much he loved me. I know now that I will reconnect with him someday; if not in this life then in the next. That makes me feel lighter.

Samhain 2021 – A New Year

This is something I’ve been putting off for a while now. Partly because I’m a fairly private person and don’t like exposing parts of myself to the general public but somehow this felt important to address here. On April 8th I lost my husband of 35 years. He died of a massive heart attack and went the way he would have wanted to go quickly and probably painlessly. And while I’m happy that he didn’t suffer, I’m also angry that he left me. I realize that to some degree this was out of his hands but I’m convinced that his smoking along with stress contributed to this. Maybe if he had stopped smoking a few years back it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m trying to adapt to this new status in my life. For the first time in 38 years I am not part of John and Debbie; I’m just Debbie, and I’m not sure how to be just Debbie anymore. So I’m learning.

I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends and families helping me with this and I’ve been doing a lot of Tarot work. In fact I think the only reason I might avoid grief counseling is because of the Tarot. It’s reminded me that one gift from my husband that I need to carry forward is a belief in myself. He was always my biggest supporter and convinced that I could do anything if I focused on it. So now I need to focus on being a solo individual. It is both an exhilarating and terrifying concept.

In honor of Samhain I decided to do the Fruits of Wisdom spread from Christine Jette’s Tarot for All Seasons. I used the Trick or Treat Tarot and pulled the following cards:

Fruits of Wisdom Spread using Trick or Treat Tarot

Death reverse carries a fairly simple to understand message for me right now – I’m still processing my John’s death and it’s ramifications. I’ve accepted and continue processing his loss but what is more challenging to get a handle on is who I am in the wake of his death. I think that’s where the Ace of Wands comes into play. It’s reminding me that no matter how much I sometimes feel the desire to join John, the reality is that I’m not the tight to just lie down and die. It’s not who I am and it’s not what John would want me to do. The Fool reversed is pointing out that I need to release and let go of the pattern of stasis I’ve been in lately. I lost my faith in myself and it’s paralyzing me so it’s time to let it go; time to make those leaps of faith and believe things will work out; to explore the uncharted territory that is Debbie Alone. I need to protect and nurture all the skills I’ve acquired up to this point, embrace the lessons John taught and the knowledge I gained simply by watching and listening to him. The Knight of Pentacles has always been the court card I most associate with John. Showing up reversed here reinforces that while he might be gone from the physical realm he’s still alive in my heart and soul. The Page of Cups reminds me that at the end of the day I need to look within myself and reconnect with things that gave ME joy and make ME happy. For 38 years I’ve taken into consideration what kinds of things John liked to do and where my interests and his overlapped. He did as well; that’s what being in a relationship should be. Now that John is gone I have an opportunity to explore my interests and my joys. I don’t know where this will take me but I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be an interesting journey.

Who Would I Be if I Was Not Me? (#Tarot #LightSeer’s)

I was recently reading a work of fan fiction in which the protagonist developed amnesia. The story focuses on learning who you are all over again, both the good aspects and the bad.  This made me wonder how I would feel about myself if I woke up with all my skills and knowledge but no memories of my past, of who I was.  As I slowly learned about myself, what would I think about that person?  Would I be disappointed by things I had done?  Would I be proud of what I achieved?  So, I decided to work with my tried & true standby, my Tarot deck, to find an answer.

  • What positive aspects of the old me would I like?  10 of Swords Rx
  • What negative aspect of the old me would be disappointing?  3 of Wands Rx
  • How can I change that which should be changed?  – 6 of Swords
  • What part of me would be changed the most if I had amnesia?  Knight of Cups
  • So, who would I be?  Page of Swords

The 10 of Swords Rx speaks to me of being a survivor; someone who is able to take a beating and keep on going, endure being stabbed in the back.  There is strength, stubbornness and beauty in this image.  She is not easily defeated and will continue on her journey despite any and all objections.  I do think this is a quality I embody and it’s one of which I’m very proud.  I think I’ve taken a lot of knocks in life; triumphed over a number of disadvantages and keep moving forward.
The 3 of Wands Rx suggest that one of my less admirable qualities is that I’m not a self-starter; I will often let self doubt and insecurity undermine pursuing my goals, my dreams.  I often became enthusiastically involved in projects other people have begun but rarely initiate them myself.  This means I’m pretty good at helping other people achieve their dreams, but lousy at pursuing my own.
The 6 of Swords reminds me that what I need to change is my focus and my willingness to pursue my own ideas.  When I look at this image the woman in the boat has harnessed crows and has them pulling her across the water. She is alone, doing this by herself.  The birds off in the distance are distraction, not part of her journey.  This card reminds me that I can do it by myself, I just need to be focused and trust in my own ideas, my own thoughts.  I can’t allow myself to get distracted by self-doubt, inner critics or other people’s input.
The Knight of Cups shows me that without the life history I have had, I would be more open on an emotional level and more willing to pursue my hopes and dreams.  I wouldn’t be so suspicious and emotionally closed off.  Even looking at the image on this card I want to mock him and feel contempt for him.  My initial reaction to this image is that he’s a poser, that this is an act to seduce someone into trusting him.  Of course that tells you more about my state of mind and frame of reference than about this card.
The Page of Swords as a reminder that if I were able to let go of my defense mechanisms and protective weapons developed to prevent and protect me from harm, I would be a perpetual student.  I would maintain a youthful enthusiasm for learning new ideas and experiencing new things.
I think if nothing else, the take away from this reading is that if I can let my defenses down a bit and listen to my inner self, I’ll find more joy and fulfillment in my life.  Being a bit more trusting and open might bring untold benefits and satisfaction.

Verbal diarrhea and its uncomfortably awkward consequences

So, those who know me can testify that I have an advanced case of verbal diarrhea; an unregulated need to share my opinion whether or not it’s been requested. I believe that it’s often tolerated because my victims are friends who presumably like me and tolerate my less pleasant aspects. I will also presume that those who don’t like this quality avoid me (and I understand, truly, I consider myself an acquired taste). I think one of the most annoying features of this syndrome is my almost pathological need to inform anyone within listening range when I don’t like someone. I will claim, if asked or taken to task, that I’m just being honest (although my mother swears I use “truth” as a weapon) but I have realized there is more too it than that.

I have a complete and utter intolerance for phony personas or fake friends; I cannot stand hypocrites or people who say one thing and do another. In my convoluted mind, blurting out my dislike of someone is an effort to prevent being a phony. If I say upfront that I don’t like them, then it’s a preemptive strike if I say something negative later in the conversation (“I told you I did like him/her/it”). It’s also a defense mechanism. In my adolescence and teen years I often found myself in situations where I was accused of saying nasty things about people when I hadn’t. So I decided if I’m going to be accused of it I’ll simply take a proactive approach. This may be honest and upfront but I have a feeling it can be exhausting and grating to listen to me rant about it. So I decided to do a reading on it.

Using the Darkness of Light Tarot I pulled these cards to answer the following

What is the root of this behavior? 4 of Cups Rx

What benefits does it bring? Knight of Blades

What challenges does it cause? Queen of Wands

How can it best be handled? 10 of Wands

I see the reversed 4 of Cups as reflecting the defensiveness I mentioned earlier. I got tired of being emotionally hurt and vulnerable, felt depressed about these false accusations, so I hunkered down and hid behind a more assertive, aggressive persona. A persona reflected by the Knight of Blades.

He is a benefit because who would fuck with him? Who can hurt him? He looks impervious and ready to battle if necessary. Unfortunately, he’s also closed off and shielded from interpersonal interactions and human contact which can create a cold, lonely person.

The Queen of Wands points out that one of the challenges caused by this behavior is that I can’t truly be myself. I identify strongly with the Queen of Wands and although she can be opinionated and strong willed, she’s also warm and welcoming. She’s friendly and loyal (traits I might actually possess if one can get passed the prickliness and verbal diarrhea). If I’m so busy shielding and defending myself I can’t act very welcoming and friendly.

The 10 of Wands shows that it can best be handled by considering whether I still want to carry this weight. When it feels too heavy and burdensome, then I’ll put it down or shift it but as things stand I’ll stubbornly keep moving forward because “I can handle it”. At the end of the day I need to be more discerning about when I unleash my Knight of Blades and when I express my Queen of Wands.

At least I’m starting to consider this behavior and I hope that will help me make beneficial changes.

Election Effluvia (#HauntedHouseTarot) #Tarot

So, I actually did this reading on Thursday night, October 1st, and decided to postpone uploading it after Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. In retrospect, I regret that decision for a variety of reasons. In many ways Trump’s behavior is exactly what we can expect from him based on past behaviors. And, according to what I was taught in psychology classes, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Now on with the show.

After watching the Trump/Biden debate with the sort of stunned horror one usually reserves for realizing you just witnessed a live human sacrifice and are now splattered with blood, I decided to pull three cards to get an idea of what 4 more years of Trump would look like and what 4 years of a Biden presidency might look. These are the cards I drew.

The top row (Tower Rx, High Priestess and The Moon) reflects 4 more years of Trump. The bottom row (The Magician Rx, 4 of Pentacles and The Hermit) are for a Biden presidency.

Believe it or not, I’m focusing on this part of the reading for two reasons:

  1. Existing biases will influence how one interprets these cards. For example, I have never liked Donald Trump. I’ve considered him a pompous, bullying, self-important egomaniac for years. Living in NYC and working at a non-profit for which Trump was a (very uninvolved) board member, I’ve been familiar with his shenanigans for years. Luckily, he wasn’t President of the United States so he was easily ignored or avoided. Watching the debate last Tuesday cemented my opinion so I’m inclined to apply the most negative interpretation to this reading.
  2. The messages aren’t surprising or unexpected. I don’t think there are any big reveals here.

Quick & dirty interpretation – 4 more years of Trump would mean more business as usual – ignoring standard protocols and courtesies, more secretiveness and hidden agendas. Of course some folks appreciate Trump’s no-holds-barred approach and consider him a refreshing iconoclast who is willing to ruffle feathers in order to stuck it to the elites. You mileage may vary. A Biden presidency would offer 4 years of transparency, no trickery and an “anti-Trump” approach. It would require hard work, conservation and consolidation to rebuild the economy and relations between the US and other nations as well as among ourselves. It would also mean being a voice in the wilderness, perhaps even a return to serving as something of a guiding light to others. Clearly, I’m biased.

For me, the more interesting part of this reading can be found in the two additional cards I pulled reflecting who these two men really are in their cores. For Trump I drew the Knight of Swords and for Biden The World

I was blown away by these cards. They felt so “right” to me. The image on the Knight of Swords shows a smirking demon aiming energy at the model house in front of her. I think this reflects Trump’s attitude in general. It seems like it’s all a game to him; a mental exercise. I don’t think he truly dislikes all the people he bullies and insults, nor do I think he likes those with whom he aligns himself. They are a means to an end; players in Trump’s game to move as he will. Consider his response when questioned about his taxes – he simply took advantage of the tax code Biden helped create. He implied that he would be a fool not to do so. There was no consideration of rightness or fairness, simply what he was eligible to do. Of course, he’s no different from any many in this regard.

The World suggests Biden is a more inclusive person; wanting to invite everyone to the party. Is he perfect? Of course not but he doesn’t seem to feel the same need to project an image of solo ruler. He acknowledges the input of others in his policies and achievements as well as accepting and embracing the need for collaboration and compromise.

I don’t know what’s going to happen or what the outcome of this election will be, but I think I can comfortably say we won’t be surprised by how either of these men will lead if he wins but only time will tell.

Finding Clarity in a Hopeless Place (#Tarot #HauntedHouseTarot)

So, I have been in a funk lately. My head is screwed on wrong; I’m stressed, frustrated and discontented. The world seems headed to Hell in a handbasket and focusing on coloring or reading Tarot feels self-indulgent and shallow to me. At the same time, these are the things helping me maintain my sanity and destress and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So I decided to pulls some cards for clarification. I used the Haunted House Tarot by Sasha Graham and asked: What can help me deal with the current situation and my mental state?

  1. What’s at the roof of my mental state? Knight of Cups Rx
  2. What will help improve it? Knight of Pentacles Rx
  3. What will help me fight off future incidents? Strength Rx

The discontent and dissatisfaction stems from feeling disconnected from divine inspiration; being blocked from achieving my personal grail quest.

The way for me to improve it is to actually manifest things and not get stuck wishing and dreaming. This is the time to move to the next level; move beyond learning into applying what’s been learned.

Preventing future incidences is as simple and as complex as accepting that I have the strength to overcome obstacles; that I didn’t need the feather because I had the ability to fly all the time. I also have to be strong enough to face myself in the mirror and be honest about how I sabotage myself. Sometimes I equate fortitude and inner strength with being stoic and long suffering, a habit I need to break.

So the key focus for me is to explore what brings me joy; quest after my personal grail and accept that things are screwed up right now and there is only so much I can do about it. I also need to prioritize caring for myself. Otherwise I’ll crack up and be if use to no one, especially myself.

#MessageoftheDay – 3 of Swords Rx, Knight of Wands + Judgement (Haunted Mansion Tarot)

“Past betrayal leaves us feeling unable to determine which way is up. It makes us want to charge into the battle and seek vengeance upon those that have hurt us. However, it is important to remember that judgement needs to be given in a fair, impartial way in order to truly matter. If it is not thoughtful and considered, the judgement feels false. Charging into battle without a plan to punish those we deem wrong serves no useful purpose. Remember that Judgement works both ways.”

#ChattingwithTarot – 10 of Pentacles, Ace of Cups Rx + Knight of Cups Rx (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

Today I enjoyed a cuppa Harney & Sons Malachi McCormick blend while chatting with my ancestors. We had quite the chat.

Their message, “Nitwit! You’re missing the point! Instead of looking at the whole picture you’re focusing on details. Open your eyes, look inside your heart. What you seek can’t be found without but only within.”. This was followed by a metaphorical smack upside the head.

So, clearly, I was misinterpreting my ancestors’ message as far as the 10 of Pentacles is concerned because it kept coming up. So I did something I rarely do, looked in the companion book. The first sentence was “Honor the endowment of your roots.” D’oh! 🤦 The author then goes on to discuss how we need to connect with our roots so that we can then move forward and express that energy in our lives; ground ourselves so we can soar.

That makes do much sense because one of the motivating factors that influenced my taking on a caregiver role for both my mother-in-law and brother-in-law is that’s how my mother’s family did it. That’s what I saw growing up. In her later years, my great-grandmother suffered from some type of dementia and I watched my mother’s aunts and uncles rally round and take care of her so she could stay at home. My great-grandmother wasn’t relegated to the sidelines either. Despite her inability to fully comprehend what was going on, she sat at the dinner table with us, she was there when we sang Happy Birthday, she was there for holiday celebrations. So my experience growing up was that when family members were in bad shape those that could picked up the slack. That is how I continue to live my life.

My ancestors are reminding me that this is my inheritance but it doesn’t have to be my jail cell. I can still find ways to enjoy my life; find things that bring me joy and make my spirit soar. Right now, I’m restricted to things that I can do within the house and with limited flexibility and freedom but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. The key is looking within myself and changing my perceptions. I understand that focusing on the negative just enhances it, but sometimes I forget. So, what I need to do is focus on the positive; retrain myself to fully embrace the little things in my life that make me happy. I can also be a little more patient with myself when I lose sight of this.

#ChattingwithTarot – Knight of Pentacles, King of Wands + Ace of Wands Rx (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

While having a lovely cuppa Harney & Sons Citrus Blend,

I asked my ancestors for guidance, insight and wisdom. This was their response.

“You are the perpetual student, the eternal learner. You are always seeking new knowledge and pursuing new areas of exploration. Even when you master one thing, you eagerly seek to start over again in a different arena. The challenge for you is relaxing and enjoying what you’ve acquired before charging off into your next Quest.”

This message is very true. One of the challenges I regularly deal with is that I am a bit like a dog chasing a squirrel; haring off down a new path without completing the original journey. I do this with many of my hobbies and creative outlets. My ancestors are telling me to “stop and smell the roses”. They’re reminding me that I need to actually embrace what I’ve learned, to implement and put it to use in my life before seeking a new challenge.

#ChattingwithTarot – 7 of Swords, Knight of Wands+ 10 of Cup (#Dreamkeepers #Tarot)

I think the ancestors are reinforcing their message from yesterday; reminding me that finding ways to sharpen my creative saw will come from my heart and spirit, not my mind.  My default mode tends to be overanalyzing and trying to be logical about things but in this situation that would probably prove more obstacle than beneficial.  If I try to be rational and logical I risk missing what will make me happy and fall into what makes sense.  

The mask on the woman in the 7 of Swords reinforces the idea that I hide behind my intellect.  I logic myself into and out of situations and that won’t serve me well here. She even holds the swords against her body as though her intellect can be armor against potential dangers.  Instead of trying to cover myself in armor, I need to find my quest, follow my heart (or my bliss, to invoke an overused cliche).   I need to open myself up to new possibilities and risk being vulnerable.  This is further reinforced by the positions of the cards.  The woman in the 7 of Swords is looking away from the other two cards while the Knight of Wands faces the woman on the 10 of Cups and offers her a rose.  It’s interesting that the woman on the 7 of Swords wears a dress and shoes that remind me of a dancehall costume and the Knight seems to be using the armor as a shield to hide his more traditional suit.  The woman on the 10 of Cups is draped in a diaphanous scarf that barely covers anything.  She is exposed, vulnerable and open as well as confident and content.  She looks down at the cups with fondness as though the memory of the joy they brought her was worth any sacrifice.  She is exposed and vulnerable but doesn’t seem weak or frightened.

Of course, I mistrust being vulnerable and unprotected.  In the past, it has proven to be dangerous and detrimental to my well-being.  However, I am no longer that person.  I think I can face the world without my protective coating and manage to survive, and even thrive upon, whatever is aimed my way.