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:
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.
How are you thinking about your future? How are you preparing for your future?
The Fool reminds me that my future is unknown and filled with potential; endless possibilities. It’s a chance to explore unfamiliar territory, chart a new course for myself. Nothing has yet been written so believing in myself and having faith that things will work out offers the promise of fulfillment and joy.
I’m preparing for this potential future by remembering that even if I don’t like the choices before me, I do have a choice. We create our future based upon today’s choices and actions. Even if we take no action or decide not to vote or engage with others, we have made a choice. This gives us more control over our lives and forces us to take responsibility for our decisions or lack thereof. That means we do have the power in our lives. The 4 of Cups reinforces this message.
What I should be asking is what new opportunities await out there for me; how should I begin again? I do have faith in my abilities to accomplish things once I fully commit to them. In odd ways, I’m rather fearless (I may have self-esteem issues but as long as I don’t focus on them much, I can hold them at bay).
The reversed 5 of Cups reminds me that I’ve finish mourning what has been left behind. Yes, I’m sorry that my career ended the way it did, but there were aspects of it that were beyond my control so continuing to cry and gnash my teeth about it serves no useful purpose. Instead of obsessing about what has been lost, I need to focus on what I can still explore, still explore and discover about myself.
This question ties in beautifully with yesterday’s. Now that I realize I need to stop undervaluing myself I can consider what I need to celebrate about myself.
Clearly I’m not afraid to look foolish, to take a leap of faith. This was not always the case. It took me a long time to learn to laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously. On the positive side, if I am interested in pursuing something I rarely let fear or self-doubt hold me back. For example, I had no problem returning to college for a master’s in public administration when I was in my forties. I wanted to get the degree so I did it. Having said that, I’m also very comfortable with my skills and knowledge as it pertains to the academic realm. Which brings us to the reversed Ace of Swords.
The reversed Ace of Swords reminds me that I can be too cerebral and get lost in my own head. I have a proclivity towards researching something to death before actively pursuing it. This allows me to bog myself down in so much detail and research that I never actually start anything. I’m very good at studying and a little weak on application.
So, I think these cards are reminding me that I can take a leap of faith; I’m not afraid to start something new. I just have to be careful not to get so lost in my own head researching that I don’t take actual steps to pursuing these new interests.
How connected are you to your personal power? What gets in the way? How can you best manifest the power that lays within you?
I find this reading fascinating (of course it’s about me so that might be just a tad self-centered). The Queen of Cups suggests that I see my personal power more as potential, a dream than as a reality. I know it’s there but I don’t tap into it or even believe in it. My power is really more wishful thinking.
What prevents it from manifesting is that I don’t believe it can manifest. My realistic, practical side battles with my intuitive, dreamy side. I remember readings a short story many years ago about children who exhibit psychic abilities. To test how reliable they are a government official forces the teacher to tell a levitating child that his skills are impossible; he cannot really be doing this. The child loses faith in his abilities and his desk crashes to the ground never to rise again. I feel like that child. I sense that I have untapped psychic abilities but because I don’t have faith in myself I find it impossible to tap into them.
The Fool is the key. Its message is that I can tap into these powers by believing in myself; having faith in myself. Doing the complete opposite of the child in the story referenced above. Can I do that? I have no idea. What I do know is that I can try. After all, if I don’t have faith in myself how can I expect others to have faith in me?
Which of your creative gifts are lying dormant? How might you awaken them?
All of my creative gifts are dormant right now because I don’t have faith in them; I’m afraid to express them. One of my biggest challenges has always been to recognize my gifts and accomplishments. I fell into the mindset of believing that if I am good at something, gifted with a skill, then it mustn’t be that difficult. I also resist exploring unfamiliar territory. If I don’t think I can do something well the first time, I avoid trying it. This has limited me in a variety of ways and us something I’d like to move beyond.
I think one I’ve the ways I can awaken these dormant, unexplored creative gifts is to take breaks for myself. I recently decided to spend 15-30 minutes everyday in a mini-retreat. I will spend the time journaling or crafting, listening to music and meditating. This will enable me to shake myself loose from current, stifling patterns. I think this will help me reconnect to existing creative gifts and discover new ones.
Well, I guess the best way to connect with one’s inner child is to focus inward and not let the world’s crazy or personal daily obligations weigh you down. Focusing on the darkness in the world or personal responsibilities that weigh us down only serves to suck the joy out of life. Sometimes it’s necessary, vitally important, even life saving to take a break and focus on yourself.
Now, of course, the same advice I would give to someone else applies just as much to me but I ignore it all the time. It’s starting to show – the wear & tear; the fraying around the edges. So I have to make a commitment to take small blocks of time for myself everyday. I need to re-acquaint myself with me. I need to reread all those wonderful SARK books I own. I need to browse Jennifer Louden’s Woman’s Comfort Book and Woman’s Retreat Book. I know I can do it if I focus. I’ve done it before. Sometimes being stubborn has it’s advantages.
You are hoping for a new beginning, a new opportunity to change things but you don’t yet have the mastery, knowledge and experience to bring this to fruition. Patience is the key.
Believing in yourself; having faith in your abilities is a wondrous and important component of success but more is usually required for long term success. Learning to harness and focus your creative energies, your divine fire, is necessary too. That’s something only time and experience can offer. So have faith in yourself but do the work needed to acquire the knowledge and experience.
Sometimes mastery and experience can blind us to new paths, ideas and challenges. Every so often we need to jump in with both eyes open and take a risk; to take a deep breath and shout “What the f**k!”.
You’re being deceived, following a fool who has you confused about which end is up. Be cautious and try to regain your footing by finding facts and taking a rational, logical approach. Think to yourself “What would Mr. Spock do?”
You claim you want to forge ahead on your own; try something new and daring. Unfortunately you’re not putting in the effort needed to learn new skills and acquire beneficial training. Sounds like a good recipe for failure.
Although some people are prodigies and learn new things with no training or experience, most are not. To believe that no experience is necessary for most tasks is irresponsible and foolish. Consider this – would you trust a doctor who didn’t attend medical school or at least possessed some experience as a healer? Putting a Fool in charge may lead to some interesting results but whether they’ll prove positive and beneficial is debatable.
Are you being The Fool or just a fool in your life right now? Be careful and think about the answer because what goes around, comes around. If what you are sending out is self-serving drivel, then expect the payback to be equally pointless.
You may be afraid to take that leap, start along that path to the unknown, but look at the Dharma Wheel. It looks the same whether upright or reversal. So what may seem like a low point in your life may prove, in hindsight, to be just the opposite. Trust in the journey and your life path.
You may feel as though you have nothing; that everything has been stripped from you. That may be true at this time but it can also mean that you carry less of a burden and can start down a new path unencumbered. You don’t have to drag the weight of past disappointments, others’ expectations or perceived obligations with you. Life is full of cycles and we can’t prevent them only learn how to bend and shift with them.