The one year anniversary of my husband’s death is next week. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been a year. On the other, hand it feels like he’s been gone far longer than that. My husband and I were together for 38 years when he died and it was very challenging learning how to deal with things on my own. I didn’t realize how many things he took care of for the both of us. I’m sure it would have been the same situation if I had died and he lived because we tended to divide up our responsibilities that way. There’s something both terrifying and reassuring about the fact that I’m able to handle a lot of this without John even if I wish I didn’t have to.
April 1, 1986 is the day John and I went down to City Hall in New York and applied for our marriage license. 36 years ago – seems like such a long time ago and yet I remember it like it was yesterday. In honor of this anniversary I pulled two cards from my Tarot deck while asking John for a message. This was his response
Seeing these cards I burst into tears because they are truly both such John energies, especially as they pertained to the way he cared for in about me. The Chariot suits John for many reasons: it’s his birth card; he was a car guy who loved tinkering with his vehicles; and he refused to let anyone else tell him what to do. He steered the course of his life, for better and worse. With this card John is reminding me that I need to be sure to take up the reins and guide my life going forward. I can certainly seeks advice and guidance from others, but I’m the charioteer now.
The 9 of Pentacles is John’s way of reminding me he always wanted to be sure I would be in a good financial place if anything happened to him. He has definitely done this. In fact, he could have retired but he continued to work. He wanted to be sure there would be enough in his pension to take care of me if something happened to him. Ironically that is what happened. He is visually showing me that he wants me to enjoy what I have and the time I have left. He wants me to be happy and healthy and take care of myself. I think the best way to honor John’s memory is to do that
I did this reading on the Solstice but, being the champion procrastinator that I am, I’m just getting around to posting it now. This spread is from Christine Jette’s book Tarot for All Seasons, which is filled with spreads for each Sabbat as well as the lunar cycles.
Position 1 – What will set your spirit free? – 3 of Zephyrs Rx I see this card as a reminder that sometimes we can hold on to past betrayals or painful experiences and this holds our Spirit back. I just heard it quote attributed to Stephen King that “ghosts are real and they live inside us”. I think to some degree that’s what this card represents – the ghosts that live inside us holding us back because we can’t move forward until we’ve laid those goes to rest. So in order to set our spirits free we need to release those ghosts and the lingering memories of the pain they might have caused so that we can move forward.
Position 2: Future Trends of Freedom and Liberation. Indicates possible scenarios based on influences at this time. Do you obtain your heart’s desire or are you setting up the wrong life? – 7 of Zephyrs Rx The image on this card shows a cuckoo laying its eggs in another bird’s nest. Considering it’s reversed, I think it’s a reminder that trying to obtain your heart’s desire at the expense of others will probably bring more harm than good. For example if you cast a love spell how could you ever be sure whether any resulting relationship is based on genuine love and attraction? Or if you pursued advancement in your career by detracting others efforts then is your success deserved? I suppose these are questions we can only answer for ourselves but it does raise interesting concepts to ponder.
Position 3: The Need for Protection. Shows your vulnerabilities or where you might block your heart’s desire. – High Priestess Rx This High Priestess shows a Chimera – a legendary creature composed of parts from different animals. The word can also refer to an illusion or fabrication of the mind. The reverse nature of the card in this position suggests that we are vulnerable and blocking our hearts desire because we don’t have the ability to imagine anymore; to see ourselves making our dreams come true. Sometimes the only way to create magic in our lives is to believe that we have the ability to create magic. Without a magical belief in our own abilities, we undermine ourselves.
Position 4: Future Trends of the Need for Protection. Are you on the path to fulfilling your heart’s desire, or do you need to go in another direction? – Ace of Zephyrs I think this Ace of Zephyrs shows us that we have the ability to achieve our hearts desire but we have to allow ourselves to see things clearly and align our disparate mindsets. In other words, I think this is showing we need to combine the magical thinking suggested by The High Priestess with a certain amount of reality and clearsightedness. The only way we can achieve our dreams, fulfill our heart’s desire is by both believing in ourselves and having a clear understanding of our capabilities and our skills. It’s showing us that we can always start anew, begin over again and change the path, to help guide us to our desired goal. All we have to do is change our mindset and believe in ourselves.
Position 5: Paying Attention to Intuition. Either describes how to develop the inner voice of the soul, or what may be blocking its development – Strength The best way for us to develop our inner voice of our soul is not to hide from ourselves and to be willing to actually make the attempt. Sometimes we can act like we’re tough and capable and strong enough to handle what life throws at us on the outside, but on the inside we’re the child hiding beneath the bison’s protective body. I think what Strength reminds us is that we need to have the inner fortitude to keep trying even when we fail the first few times. We need to be willing to pick ourselves up and keep working at it. After all, practice makes perfect and very few of us are perfect at something on our first attempt. At the same time we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves because we weren’t successful on our first attempt. We need to be gentle with ourselves; nurturing and protecting our fragile inner spirit.
Position 6: Future Trends in Psychic Development. Given the influences of the cards at this time, what is a probable outcome to your psychic development? – The Chariot I think the energy of The Chariot and the image on this card combine to remind us that our psychic development, or indeed our ability to achieve any goal, is a combination of being willing to take the opportunities offered to us as well as understanding that sometimes slow and steady wins the race. No matter how much we might wish it were different, life provides few fairy godmothers as well as rare instances of immediate success. The most successful people we know spend years honing their craft. I think this Chariot is reminding us that it’s equally appropriate when dealing with psychic development. Practice makes perfect and the longer we practice the better we will be.
Although the reading specifically addresses psychic development and achieving one’s heart’s desire I believe these cards can be applicable to any endeavor one pursues in life. We can’t let the ghosts of past failures paralyze us and hold us back. We need to be careful not to claim other people successes as our own. At the same time if we don’t believe in ourselves no one else will either. We also need to continually support and nourish our inner spark; treating it gently and with encouragement, not harsh criticism.
The best way to achieve our goals is to keep trying, be persistent even if we fail at first. We also need a clear understanding of our own skills and abilities. After all no matter how hard one might wish for it, if you’re not well coordinated and athletic the odds are you will never be a successful professional basketball player. However that doesn’t mean you can enjoy the experience of playing the sport just for the joy of it.
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?
What’s at the roof of my mental state? Knight of Cups Rx
What will help improve it? Knight of Pentacles Rx
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.
In this scenario, I don’t believe spirit equates to religion ( because, quite frankly, I believe most organized religions are just as disconnected from spirit). Instead, I believe it refers to that part of our nature that connects in a caring, symbiotic way with the world around us. It’s that instinct we feel to provide aid and succor when we see people struggling or in need. It’s that inner voice that encourages us to do good; to make the world a better place. That generous, caring side more concerned with ensuring others are treated fairly than with profits and economic theory.
I have to wonder if capitalism and the push towards a global economy has undermined these traits and reinforced our greedy, gluttonous nature. We seem more focused on want and fear of scarcity without understanding that much of this is artificially created, like planned obsolescence. We focus more on squandering our money on ridiculous frivolities like dog weddings rather than putting our resources to use helping those less fortunate. We convince ourselves that impoverished people are in that situation because they didn’t try hard enough rather than understanding that the deck was stacked against them from the start.
We accept the theory that “job creators” will trickle down prosperity on the masses as long as the government doesn’t try to restrict them but ignore the reality that once they’ve been given an inch these corporations take the mile. We accept the claims that many things are manufactured in China because it’s more cost effective but ignore China’s history of human & civil right violations and the oppressive nature of it’s policies. We ignore that US corporations that set up shop overseas often create sweatshops so we can buy more affordable gadgets. How do these behaviors reflect a country that claims to represent democracy, freedom and equality?
So, I decided to ask my guides his we can heal this disconnect from America’s spirit. I drew
My take (and naturally your mileage may vary) is that we’ve divorced ourselves from our spirit. The reversed 4 of Wands shows our success was based on a belief in ourselves married with the desire to work hard towards that goal. There have always been flaws inherent in the system but I like to think we did strive to be and do better. In the last 40+ years we’ve grown cynical and jaded, taking a more selfish approach. We’ve gone from believing in supporting our communities and helping out neighbors to suspicious isolationists who believe everyone is out for themselves and we should get ours first. It’s all about the money, finding the cheapest price and getting “mine”. I think we lost sight of the true path and let ourselves get seduced by all the shiny things. We view everything as disposable and frugality is a joke.
The Hermit reversed suggests two things to me. The first is that because we’ve lost our way we’re no longer a light for others; no longer a shining beacon of democracy leading through example. It also reminds us that we cannot and do not exist in isolation. Despite America’s belief in “rugged individualism”, the truth is that it’s almost impossible for industrialized nations to do this on an international level. And, despite my earlier rants about globalization, I don’t think it’s healthy. Perhaps instead of preying on third world nations we should work towards truly improving their social and economic status.
The 7 of Pentacles offers a possible solution. Perhaps we can use the current situation in the US to take some time and ponder what we’re sowing right now and consider if it’s what we want to continue sowing. Do we wish to truly be a leader in freedom and democracy or become part of the crowd? Are we sowing good will or ill? Are we truly improving the lives of workers in third world nations of are we helping to line the pockets of the ruling class, corporate CEOs, and politicians?
I realize this oversimplifies many of the issues and factors involved in this situation. I don’t think it’s a magic bullet. What I hope is that anyone reading this will consider how they can make changes in their own lives to reconnect with their spirit. Maybe if enough of us put that energy out in the world it will become a movement that produces permanent change.
The river wends its way through a landscape that is either thickly forested or practically barren. In the distance a small body of water is visible. Reversed it gives the impression that the river is moving towards the pond. Rather than traveling away, we are moving inward. We can’t get away from ourselves. Whether this proves negative or beneficial is up to us.
Once again the 7 of Wands appears. It’s reversed again; reinforcing the sense of restriction and cabin fever many have expressed. How can we deal with this? Distractions – online social interactions, hobbies & crafts. We have to force ourselves to engage because it’s too easy to get lost in frustration, fears and paranoia.
To me, the growth coming out of the turtles back suggests that although this is a heavy weight right now and things are going slow, an end is in sight. As even Bugs Bunny learned, slow & steady sometimes wins the race. As soon as I saw this card I heard The Beatles’ “Carry That Weight”. Things feel so heavy and ponderous right now it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and hopeless. We have to remind ourselves that we’re strong enough to make it. We will adapt, thrive and flourish but it will need to be a slow, steady and cautious process so the improvement is sustainable.
So there is hope but we need to be willing to endure the necessary struggle to get there. Let’s see how that works out.
What threshold are you about to step over? How have you prepared for what is to come next?
The 8 of Swords reminds me that I’m finally ready to escape the cage I created with my own self-doubts and low self-esteem. I’m getting my head on straight and ready to move forward.
The 5 of Swords suggests this won’t be an easy task. My inner demons won’t give up peaceably and quietly go away. They’ll try to trip me up, undermine my confidence and slam me back into that cage. I have to alway keep fighting, never give up and never surrender (yes, I’m quoting themes from Supernatural and Galaxy Quest).
I can do it as long as I keep believing in myself.
How do you measure your self-worth? Is that something that needs to change?
Hmm, so do I measure my self-worth based upon my journey; seeking out new experiences and sensations? Am I like the voyage of the original Starship Enterprise – “seeking out new life and new civilizations; boldly going where no man has gone before”? I dunno, maybe. I remember a former mentor telling me that when she was younger her focus was on acquiring possessions, but as she got older her focus changed to acquiring experiences. I think I’m still transitioning but I feel the shift in focus occuring.
I’m definitely on a journey and I enjoy the journey. I feel I’ve learned a lot about myself but so much more remains unexplored. Clearly, I still have work to do on releasing my emotional attachment to things that need to be let go. I’m often reluctant to get rid of toys or books or other items that represent hobbies I have moved beyond. I worry that I will regain interest in the hobby and once I get rid of these items I will not be able to reacquire or replace them. Perhaps in order to continue moving forward I need to seriously look at releasing some of these things so they’re no longer weighing me down; holding me back.
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.
What is waiting within you to be realized? What is your next step?
So! I got the High Priestess again. Clearly she has a message that I’m either ignoring or not understanding. Looking at the image on that card I’m struck by the sense of hidden knowledge; wisdom being contained until I’m capable of understanding and embracing it. It’s as if the High Priestess and her Crow are speaking to me but I don’t recognize their language.
The Star Rx is pointing out that I need to look inward. In order to learn the High Priestess’ language I need to understand myself. The truth is she isn’t blocking me from finally learning what she hides; she’s protecting me from more pain. Although I present myself as though the pain and trauma of my past doesn’t hurt anymore, I’m lying to myself. If I want to heal and move forward then I need to truly release that pain and not just ignore it.
My next step is to stop trying to walk away from my emotions. I can’t run fast or far enough to escape it. I need to face it head on; stop treating my sometimes brutal past as a punchline. The reality is that I did survive but there are scars – physical, emotional and psychological. They may not be visible anymore but their energy lingers.
Despite your emotional connection to your childhood, now is not the time to lose yourself in nostalgia. You need new ways to express your creative energy and explore new creative paths. Looking behind you is not the way to accomplish this.
Or perhaps a stroll down memory lane is the perfect solution to finding new creative outlets. What arts & crafts inspired you as a child? Reconnecting with those simple, yet oh so enjoyable, activities might help you reignite the fire that seems to be dimming in your spirit.
Right right now you’re mourning the past, looking at your childhood with rose colored, nostalgic glasses. This is preventing you from living your life fully right now. You feel uninspired, as if your creative spark has been doused. Instead of moaning about the way things used to be and “the good old days”, look at what brings joy and excitement into your life right now. Focus on that and let it help you reignite that spark that seems to have gone out.