Why am I afraid of becoming this? 10 of Air + Ace of Water R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above 10 of Air BoS As Above Ace of Water\

The image on the 10 of Air is wonderful – what a fabulously different interpretation of this card.  The Tarot reader sits with her cards arrayed before her as sylphs dance around her.  I can just hear them whispering in her ears; offering divine wisdom based on the cards drawn.  She seems quite calm and confident; not the least bit unsettled by these helpful winged creatures.  She has long grown use to receiving messages from the Universe and feeling the breath of divine messengers in her ears.

The Ace of Cups is an active, vigorous card.  Barbara Moore describes it as depicting the symbolic Wiccan Great Rite; the union of the athame and chalice, of male and female.  It shows the source of all life; the activation of potential, the divine spark combining with the primordial waters.  It offers the promise of a new psychic bond; a deeper intuitive connection to the life energies that surround us all.

So what’s to fear?  Oh please, that’s easy.  I’m afraid of becoming that woman; of representing that connection to the Universe for other people.  I’ve seen how some people can react when given a Tarot reading.  It becomes a prophecy written in stone.  No amount of explaining or warning can rid them of this conviction.  That is a huge responsibility.  I don’t take Tarot readings lightly, despite the sometimes fun, light-hearted approach I sometimes take.  I would not want to frighten a client with a negative reading.  Of course I’d like to hope that I’m a skilled and sensitive enough reader to avoid this.  I think it’s time to activate my Wonder Twin powers.

What lies hidden beneath the ice? – 2 of Pentacles R + Queen of Cups (Hidden Realms)

Hidden Realms 2 of Pentacles Hidden Realms Queen of Cups

I was inspired to ask this question after looking out my window and seeing the ice sheet covering the nearby water.  It’s a reminder that we are still in winter and its frigid grasp is not yet ready to let go of the land.  It made me wonder what seeds might be germinating in my own life just waiting for the thaw to sprout forth.

The 2 of Pentacles is the perfect successor to yesterday’s Ace.  This card shows a fae creature resting on the grass next to a flower.  She is connected to the heartbeat of the earth and listening to its slow and throbbing pulse.  She is in no rush and her full attention is focused on this one flower.  This card reminds me that there is life throbbing beneath the outer shell in which I’ve encased myself.  It also speaks to me about working with the energies of the season not against them.  Now is the time for germination, planting and encouraging the little seeds to begin sprouting.  It’s time for planning, for dreaming and for preparing the ground for the new seedlings.

The Queen of Cups is the manifestation of who I can become if I am able to trust my more intuitive, receptive side (as shown in yesterday’s 2 of Swords).  For much of my life I’ve avoided this serene, mystical lady’s offering.  Her chalice might as well have been filled with poison.  I was a child of Athena, a creature of logic, intellect and the Sun.  I was the father’s daughter and the receptive, intuitive, dreamy gifts of the Queen of Cups were anathema to me.  I was a warrior, not a dreamer!

Of course now I realize that they are not mutually exclusive and that working with the energies of the Queen of Cups and not losing yourself in the process requires more courage and strength than facing a charging knight on horseback.  She is at home in the dark places in our psyche.  She can guide us into those depths we so often avoid and fear.  As Barbara Moore writes in the companion book, a drink from her chalice forces you to scry your soul and is not for cowards.  Her chalice can bring healing but true healing is not for the faint of heart.  Soul healing requires us to look at those dark places in our soul and embrace them.  I see the Queen of Cups healing as a process of soul retrieval and it can be risky for the untrained or unprepared.

Combined these cards remind me that this process takes time and must be nurtured and carefully tended to be successful.  It’s a gift that must be earned and worked towards (at least for me) and in the process my soul may be scoured.  I love a good challenge but the reality is that the harder I intentionally try to achieve this goal, the quicker it slips from my grasp.  It’s not something I can gain by active and assertive methods.  I have to be still and listen, allow myself to open to the message from the Queen of Cups and finally be willing to drink the draught when it and if it is finally offered.

How can I take a more active role in my own life? – 5 of Swords R + 2 of Cups R (Crone)

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords Tarot of the Crone 2 of Cups

The pile of crystal point on the 5 of Swords reminds me of a kids’ TV game show that used to feature 3 adolescents competing in various physical activities.  The final event was scaling something called the Agrocrag (or Megacrag depending on which variation).  This image reminds me of that Agrocrag – a pile of geometric shapes that needed to be approached with caution.  The tip of this pile of crystals point directly at me.  It suggests I need to be pierced or have something punctured.  It reminds me of a spear point.

I think what needs to be pierced is my retreat into a world of the mind.  I don’t actually live here most of the time but it is a well-honed and well-used defense mechanism.  Intellectualization and rationalization are two of my most effective mechanism for avoiding actually doing stuff.  I can think of loads of reasons why something shouldn’t work or why I shouldn’t bother to try something new.  It’s a brilliant method of staying stuck in a rut.  If I want to take a more active role in my life then I need to get the hell out of that rut and puncture that fear of failure, ego-driven approach to life.

The reversed 2 of Cups seems to be a heart cracked open and pouring love down on me.  I am surrounded by it and awash in it.  I get such a gentle, warm and nurturing energy from this card (I think the coloring of Ellen’s Cups in this deck makes it one of my favorite versions of the suit).  It reminds me of a prayer I learned in Catholic elementary school about the “most sacred heart of Jesus”.  It included the line “take it and place it in your open, broken heart” (or at least that’s how I heard it).  At the time the imagery creeped me out (it was right up there with the line “if I should die before I wake” in another prayer), but looking at this image I feel as though that open broken heart is not damaged at all simply loving and giving.  It is healing me and allowing me to grow stronger as a result.

I have always considered myself an extrovert but today I took an online Myers-Briggs Personality test and the results were ISFP.  To say I was surprised to see that I scored higher (although not by much) on the introvert scale was something of a surprise.  Then I read the description and it did click.  Especially this paragraph “This personality trait is connected with ISFPs’ love of freedom – ISFPs are very independent and fiercely resist all forms of control. People with this personality type are the ultimate “free souls”, seeing nearly all rules, guidelines and traditions as self-imposed limitations that make life dull and boring. ISFPs live completely in the present, refusing to dwell on the past or prepare extensive plans for the future – they take things as they come, experimenting and adapting their behavior as necessary.”

I love this description so of course I’ll embrace and accept it (I have the same reaction to any and all descriptions I’ve ever read of my Leo sun sign).  Reality is that depending upon my mood when I take these tests and how I chose to interpret the questions I have received different answers in the past.  I’ve always viewed myself as an extroverted introvert.  I do believe I’m more introverted but I have a well developed extroverted side.  As a result I tend to avoid “touchy-feely” stuff, at least I used to be this way.  Recent developments in my life have forced me to become more fully acquainted with my nurturing, caregiver side – my inner Queens of Cups and Pentacles if you will.  I fully embrace and embody my Queens of Wands and Swords but those Cups – ewwww!!!  The Queen of Pentacles and I have always been on a cordial, friendly footing even if we’re not always on a first name basis.  The Queen of Cups – oh please I’d rather have root canal than enter her realm.

Even as a child reading Greek mythology I was more drawn to Persephone, Athena and Artemis.  I avoided Aphrodite and Demeter – mothering and sexuality, NOOOOO!!!  I wanted to be a Valkyrie not a mermaid.  Now I’m a Work At-Home Caregiver (a WAHC if you will) and have learned that patience, kindness and nurturing are the order of the day.  Becoming overly excited or trying to be logical and intellectual in this situation is a waste of time and effort and a surefire path to frustration.  So now that I’m learning to be less judgmental and harsh with others maybe I can learn to be less judgmental and harsh with myself.  By Freya’s necklace!!  Is is possible I’m a deep diver pretending to be a noisy, shallow stream?  Or maybe I’m both depending on day, mood and situation.  What a conundrum!!  I am complex!

If I want to take a more active role in my own life I need to stop hiding behind crystalline walls of logic and intellect.  I need to topple that pile of crystal points and allow the love, tenderness and caring pouring from the 2 of Cups rain down on me and gently wash away those fears and doubts.  It’s time to turn things inside out and stop seeking the answers in books.  I need to trust my heart, find other loving, caring people to help support me and accept support from me.  I need to love those that come to me for answers and offer them compassion and kindness blended with some logic and reality.  It’s about balance – both aspects have their benefits and it’s time to allow them to blend into a marvelous, beautiful and healing whole.

How can I find the most joy in the day? – The Moon + Witch of Disks R (Crone)

Crone Moon Crone Witch of Disks

Hmm, this is a bit of a puzzler.  The Moon, especially in this deck, seems to reinforce a sense of isolation, separation and solitude.  She is surrounded by a dark, bleak lunar-looking landscape, wrapped in a full length blue cloak.  Her round face bears with its large eyes and huge grin almost appears ghastly (it reminds me of the grimace the Joker worse in Batman comics).  I get the sense she is the only read thing in this landscape.  Everything around her is the result of her own inner vision and imagination – for better or worse.  If I ask her a question I might get an answer but whether it will be the one I seek is open to debate.

The Siren of Disks shows a serene dark-skinned woman with white hair.  She is adorned with a large green pendant and earrings.  She seems wise, serene and approachable.  This is a woman who will welcome me into her home and offer me a hot cup of tea, nourishing food and a supportive ear.  She gives practical, wise counsel and reminds me that the best response to situations is probably the simplest.  At the same time she doesn’t sugar-coat things.  I get the sense that this wise elder will call me on my bullshit quicker than she’ll refill my teacup.

This is a rather odd combination, especially in response to my query today.  My question was prompted by a beautiful afternoon outside – the sun was shining and it was rather warm.  I felt joy and happiness well up inside when I walked outdoors.  I wanted to wrap myself in that feeling for the of the day.  Looking at The Moon I realize that one way to achieve this is to listen to my inner voice and trust my instincts.  I need to trust in my dreams and allow myself to connect with parts of myself that have “never been born” because I didn’t have the faith in myself.  I think this connects with the work I’ve been doing with the dark feminine.

This is balance by the practical, grounded energy of the Siren of Earth.  She is reversed because I think she is letting me know this is energy I already possess; it’s inside me.  I just need to make sure I balance my quest on the inner planes and with the dark feminine with an equal amount of common sense and reality checking.  I need to be careful not to get so caught up in my dream world that I lose my connection to reality.

On another level this card reminds me of the current situation with my mother-in-law.  She is stuck in an isolated, barren and stark landscape with no idea how she got there or how to get out.  Her reality seems very dream-like or perhaps nightmarish is the more correct term.  Perhaps I am the Lady, the Witch of Disks, who keeps her tethered to reality in some small way.  Maybe I need to look for whatever joy can be found in this kind of situation.  It doesn’t need to be completely stark.

Even with limited options, it’s important to nurture and care for yourself – Page of Cups + 7 of Cups R (Housewives Tarot)

Housewives Page of Cups Housewives 7 of Cups

 

I started using the Housewives Tarot yesterday (the Full Moon was Sunday and I decided it was time to swap decks).  I thought the Housewives would be appropriate because we’re nearing Thanksgiving and it seems to fit the feel of tradition and home that permeates the air.

Today I drew the Page of Cups which shows a small boy with a big grin watering flowers that bear the faces of older people.  The book talks about tending our emotional relationships and nurturing them.  In this case I think the Page of Cups is reminding me that if I don’t tend to such matters – nourishing and watering the relationships I value in my life, then I’ll find myself much poorer for the experience.

The 7 of Cups reversed shows a well dressed woman pondering seven cocktail glasses that are arrayed before her.  She seems to be considering her decision – which drink will she choose?  This card reminds me that I don’t have a lot of choices right now.  And the ones I do have are not as tempting as which cocktail I’d like to try.  I think it’s showing me that I need to think before making a choice, especially because the options are very limited.

Together I see a bigger message from these two cards.  The Page of Cups is letting me know that even if my choices are limited, I still do have  some options.  Or perhaps what the 7 of Cups reversed is telling me is that I FEEL as though I have no options but that may not be the case.  Perhaps what the message of these combined cards is that I have some choices (no matter how I feel right now) and I need to cultivate, tend and nurture them so that they will expand and provide even more options.  Even little seeds can grow into big trees if the conditions are right.

It’s also just as important for me to tend to my own emotional needs.  As I’m sure it is for many caregivers, I’m finding it gets easier and easier to put my desires and needs aside to care for someone else.  Part of me hates doing that (I have a well-developed selfish streak) but with things as they are right now it’s unavoidable.  So even if I don’t have a lot of options available to nourish and nurture my emotional side (all those lovely cocktail glasses) that doesn’t mean I should ignore it altogether.  I need to do what I can to sustain and tend to my needs too.  A challenge but one I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out.

No earth-shattering kaboom! but lots of small tremors (Queen of Pentacles R + The Tower R – Deviant Moon)

Deviant Moon Queen of Pentacles Deviant Moon Tower

 

On some level I have been paying more attention to my own well-being. I’m trying to focus more on my health, appearance and need to “me” time. It’s almost impossible to focus on anything while I’m caring for the relatives. They demand too much of my time and attention. By the time I get home I’m exhausted and just want to get to bed. So I need to figure out something that works for me. This has been an ongoing battle for me and I’m still trying to figure out a practical strategy.

The Tower reversed can indicate a few things. It can be trying to warn me that some crucial insight that will help me work through some of this stuff is being ignored or missed. It might be telling me that a dramatic, earth-shattering internal change is coming and I might want to get ready for it. Or it maybe be reminding me that despite all the dramatic, earth-shattering changes I’ve already experienced in my life no one else shares these experiences (well except the hubby).

It’s one of the toughest things to accept about this situation – no one else is impacted by it the way we are. No one else really cares (well that’s a bit harsh and an overstatement but I think you get my point). Others care because they care about me or because we always care when another human is suffering but it’s a different level of concern and involvement. The other people who should be as impacted by this (other children, grandchildren, etc.) are not here. They don’t even check on things. That is a bitter pill to swallow. It’s also caused a dramatic shift in how I perceive those family members. It might not cause an “earth-shattering kaboom” (as Marvin the Martian might say) but it’s definitely created a shift if my view of them and of how our society handles aging and disabilities too.

Who knows, maybe somewhere down the road I’ll find these become priorities that cause me to become involved in ways that just aren’t possible right now. Maybe instead of one major Tower moment, this card is showing the many minor Tower moments I’ve experienced and reminding me not to minimize their impact on my life, my perceptions and even my health.

Even the Earth Mother has limited resources (Queen of Pentacles & Wheel of Fortune – Deviant Moon)

Deviant Moon Queen of Pentacles Deviant Moon Wheel

 

The Queen of Pentacles and I have become old friends in the last few years. Although I often considered her the quintessential Earth Mother and Lady Bountiful, I am beginning to see her as much more than that. She takes a practical no-nonsense approach to life. Yes, she will care for others – bring cookies to the fund-raiser, soup to the sick, etc, but she also will call folks on their mishegas. She won’t continue to care for someone long after they should have been able to care for themselves. She will draw the line when she feels enough is enough.

I’m getting the sense that the Queen of Pentacles is telling me I need to be clear about my limitations. Right now I can provide the nurturance and caring necessary for those I love. At some point in time I may reach permanent burn out. I may need to admit that I cannot handle it anymore and it’s time to let go. That doesn’t mean I don’t still care and love them, simply that I can’t provide them with the services they need – at least not on my own.

The Wheel of Fortune shows that eventually all things change. How does the saying go – the only thing constant in life is change? Whether the change will be to my benefit or detriment I cannot know yet. I think this card is reminding me that resistance is futile – and everyone who knows me knows I resist change as though it’s the most horrible thing in the world. As my friend Diane likes to say “your such a fixed Leo”. I can list loads of reasons for this resistance but the reality is that it truly is pointless. All I accomplish is staving off the inevitable for brief time.

So I suppose my lesson today is to remember that even the Queen of Pentacles can reach the limit of her resources and that will bring about changes. I can’t stop those changes but perhaps by approaching them in a more positive manner I can make sure they’re as beneficial as possible for all concerned.

Be sharp witted rather than sharp tongued (Queen of Swords R & Ace of Swords)

62 Illuminati Ace of Swords

 

So my need to be nurturing, supportive and clear-headed is challenged by my sharp tongue – ah the joy!

Okay so I’m being facetious. In reality I am well aware that my wicked tongue, sharp wits and occasional tendency to (as my mother once said) use the truth as a weapon can undermine my desire to be helpful and nurturing. If nothing else, I am usually honest with myself about my traits. Sometimes I make light of them but I’m always aware that sometimes I unintentionally hurt others with them.

I think the reversed aspect of the Queen of Swords is a reminder that I not only have to be clear-headed and calm with others but I need to be that way with myself too. It’s been a rough few weeks (with a lot of sleep deprivation) and on occasion I’ve been very critical and harsh with myself. Reality is that I’m doing the best I can. That doesn’t mean I can’t be a bit more empathetic and calm but I don’t need to be overly critical of myself either.

The Ace of Swords is also suggesting that I look from some new ideas, new ways of dealing with this situation. That would be a more beneficial use of my sharp wits than being vicious and nasty because I’m frustrated. I need to communicate with those that can help and try to improve matters. I suppose it’s time to use my powers for good instead of bitching.

Leaving the past behind and focusing on healing

Secret Forest 5 of Cups Illuminati 2 of Swords

 

The 5 of Cups reversed suggests that now is not the time to focus on what was. My mother-in-law is home and it will take at least a few days before she’ll be back to the condition she was in pre-hospitalization. Right now she is having moments of being almost catatonic, bathroom issues and a few other challenges. I’m hoping she’ll bounce back after she’s home, in a familiar environment for a few days but it’s frustrating. Most of these issues are a direct result of how she was treated in the hospital. I hope that the staff felt they were acting in her best interests but the result is that she’s almost in a state of shock.

My hubby is ranting about the neglect and mistreatment he felt she experienced at the hands of the hospital staff. I understand how he feels and even agree with his assessment. However finger-pointing serves no useful purpose right now. Instead of why she’s acting this way we need to focus on getting her better. I realize that she’ll never be 100% again but I’d like her to get back to how she was before going into the hospital.

The 2 of Swords reversed is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how clearly I can see this situation, at this time, that’s not going to help improve things. Looking back at the causes and effects of her hospitalization might prove an excellent exercise in mental masturbation but won’t help her heal. I know that but sometimes I still get caught up in the blame game.

What I can see and what I need to focus on is moving forward and getting the mom-in-law better. She has to be the focus not what they did to her. The bottom line is that she probably doesn’t consciously remember the experience but it’s that doesn’t lessen the impact. It does seem to be a sad commentary on health and aging in this country.

I will be nurturing and supportive of my efforts to heal

Witches' Queen of PentaclesDance of Life Lover of Money & the Material World

Looking at these cads today I realized that her message is twofold – one is that I need to be more nurturing of myself on a physical level. I need to take care of my body and treat it with love and respect. She’s also reminding me that I have friends who can function as a support network for me in this endeavor. The young turbaned man on the Dance of Life Lover of Money and the Material World holds a scale – a reminder that this is not an all or nothing prospect. It’s about balance and moderation.

I have a tendency to plunge head first into failure. If I slip from the path, eat something I know that I shouldn’t, I just give up and spend the day rolling around in poor food choices. I need to accept that just because I stray from the healthy eating path, doesn’t mean I can’t get right back on track. Instead of wallowing in the slippage, I need to pick myself up and get back on track. Of course I already know this but actually doing it is another matter.

I had a great conversation with a friend today about this issue. She pointed out that one way she stays on track with her eating is finding “cheats” that aren’t really cheats. She finds foods that are allowable under her dietary restrictions but are close enough to whatever she’s craving that she stays on track. It may not be the best choice but it’s better than the usual choice.

I also have to get over the fact that I need to plan ahead. If I’m going to make better and healthier food choices then I need to make sure I have the right ingredients in the house to make this happen. I need to get over my resistance to meal planning and strategic grocery shopping. As the old saying goes – one doesn’t plan to fail, one fails to plan. If I continue to fail to plan I’ll find it impossible to make these dietary changes and modifications.

I think the key for me is learning to love myself and believe that I am worth feeding healthy food, even if it is more expensive. I want to be more particular in the food I select and not focus so much on cost. I know money is an issue but reality is that if I don’t start investing in my health now, I’ll pay for it later with more long-term health issues and visits to doctors and hospitals. I hope to avoid having to have body parts removed or replaced because I didn’t care for them properly. And I need to remember that any change in life starts with that first step.