What is the antidote to despair? 8 of Pentacles R + Faery Stallion R (Hidden Realm)

Hidden Realm 8 of Pentacles Hidden Realm Faery Stallion

It took me some pondering but eventually I decided the 8 of Pentacles R shows me that instead of focusing on external products and stuff (toys), focusing on what I’m manifesting internally is one antidote.  It can help me get out of the mindset that I don’t have enough money.  I am what I’m minting right now.  I am the golden coin that will be produced at the end of my labors.  Instead of losing sight of that getting distracted by things, I need to stay focused and keep my eyes on the end goal.

The Faery Stallion reversed is a reminder that I have little control over what goes on in the outside world.  If I want to steer the course of my life then I need to worry about how I interact with the outside world; how I play that game.  If I decide not to play it that’s fine as long as it’s a conscious decision and not apathy.  Looking at it I was reminded of the old 70s song Wildfire.  If I want to ride off into the unknown on my stallion I can do that.  I just need to set my mind towards that goal.

To ward off despair, I think these cards are telling me I don’t need to play the money game or be part of the system.  I can find my own path that might be less traveled but no less successful for me..  They both tell me that the antidote to despair is not becoming distracted by other people’s definitions of success, achievement, etc.  I need to work on myself and plot my own course regardless of what “the world” thinks.

It is my choice if I give in to despair.  I may not have control over various situations in my environment but that doesn’t mean I need to let them beat my spirit.  In reality the only thing that can defeat me is me.  Despair can only claim me if I allow it to do so.  If I want to live a happy, joyous and fulfilled life then it’s a matter of priorities and focus.  I can choose to focus on what I don’t have and what isn’t there or I can celebrate and embrace what is.  I may occasionally give in to bouts of bleak despair but I think my nature is such that I refused to let it defeat me for long.

Soul restoring sleep will help me create the destiny I desire – 4 of Air R + 3 of Earth R (Dark Goddess Tarot)

Dark Goddess 4 of Air Dark Goddess 3 of Earth

Looking at the reversed figure of Nut on the 4 of Air I get the sense of being consumed; entering through the red circle she holds in her hands and emerging through the one at her loins.  It’s almost as though she is diving towards me, ready to subsume me whether I’m ready for it or not.  She does not seem fearsome, her blue, star-filled body and calm expression preclude that.  However she does seem determined, almost like a mother who is determined to give you medicine whether you like it or not.  She knows what is best.

How tempting that seems – to rest myself in the body of the night sky and allow her to heal and succor my spirit.  Just writing that makes me tear up.  It’s seems as though it’s been so long since I’ve had a true rest; a healing, soul-restoring rest.  My life is filled with cat naps and exhausted sleep.  I awake feeling as tired as I was when I fell asleep.  In many respects caring for my in-laws is similar to having toddlers – you have to sleep with one ear open because you just don’t know when one might awake and what they might decide to do.  Even when I’m not sleeping at their house I find it difficult to relax and fall into a restorative sleep.

This card reminds me to the ancient healing temples that used sleep and dreams as part of the treatment.  It’s a reminder that sleep is necessary to maintain physical, mental and spiritual health.  I’ve read several books on dreaming and one of the concepts that grabbed me is that when humans do not have enough deep sleep, dream sleep, they suffer mental breakdowns and other health issues.  I think Nut is reminding me that I must make time to drop my defenses and responsibilities and get that deep, dream sleep.  The repercussions of not doing this may be more devastating than I realize.

The 3 of  Earth shows the Norns sitting at the roots of the world tree, Yggdrassil, weaving fates.  One of the things that has always appealed to me about the Norse concept of fate (or at least my limited understanding of it) is that rather than Past, Present and Future it is viewed as “That Which Was”, “That Which Is” and “That Which is Becoming”.  On the surface they are the same but in practice the Norse saw time as circular.  Actions today can not only change “that will is becoming” but can also changed “that which was”.  Certain aspects of our wyrd were predetermined but others could be changed by our current actions.  That seems more hopeful to me than a predetermined fate which cannot be changed or modified.

On a personal level, The Norns remind me that I do have the ability to change my future.  I’m not the plaything of an indifferent Universe but a full participant in my own life.  That is something I occasionally forget.  Perhaps the lack of true rest is also distracting me from focusing on creating the destiny I desire.  It’s time to carve out some time and space for myself and focus my energies on manifesting the future I deserve.

It’s time to break free of those inner demons and burn them to ashes – The Devil R + 9 of Wands (Spirit World)

Spirit World Devil Spirit World 9 of Wands

Another interesting duo of cards.  These images are powerful and full of fiery red color and flames.  The woman in The Devil card is calmly kneeling before a hand mirror; a chain hangs loosely around her neck connecting her to a framed mirror reflecting a red horned figure.  Is this how she sees herself?  Is her self-image so damaged that she is now chained to this perception of herself as evil or tainted?

The 9 of Wands shows a man setting fire to a stand of wands.  Behind he barricade of flaming wands hovers a demonic looking figure that appears to be watching the man.  Is the man making offerings to the demon or trying to erect a fence to keep the demon out?

Soooo looking at these cards I created a story for myself that gave me some useful insight.  The woman on The Devil is me.  The chains are the unhealthy behaviors in which I engage.  I know they’re unhealthy but my view of myself is that I am not worthy of care and love.  I don’t deserve to be healthy because I’m a bad, evil person.  My inner demons have overwhelmed my sense of self leaving a distorted and inaccurate image that causes me to beat myself up and mistreat myself.

I can free myself at any time (and I’m the only one who can) but this can’t happen until I am able to shatter that image in the mirror; until I feel worthy and deserving (or at least accept that I’m taking steps towards viewing myself that way).  Instead of focusing on who I really am, I’m focusing on some negative choices I’ve made.  Those choices are not the whole me and shouldn’t be the primary way I view myself.

The figure on the 9 of Wands is also me.  This is the me that has decided it’s time to remove those chains and destroy those inner demons.  It’s time to let go of that burden and burn it to ashes.  It’s time to let my true spirit flame forth and incinerate those self-doubts and negative perceptions that hold me prisoner.  That demon can’t hurt me or reach me unless I let him.

The flames are the steps I can take to be and feel healthier and better about myself.  It’s not about beating myself up and judging myself badly for poor choices.  It’s about unleashing all my potential and finally accepting that I deserve better.  It’s a process and one that I shouldn’t expect to accomplish this all at once.  That only becomes another trap that stops me from reaching my goals and full potential.

TarotBroad in search of self (The Moon crossed by The Hermit – Fairy Lights Tarot)

Fairy Lights Moon Fairy Lights Hermit

Okay, now this is getting interesting and serious. Once again (this would be the 4th day in a row except I didn’t do a reading on Sunday) I’ve drawn two Majors for my daily reading. The Moon and The Hermit. The first thing that struck me is the numerical synchronicity. The Hermit is the 9th Arcana and The Moon is the 18th Arcana (1+8=9). It’s as though The Moon is the base and The Hermit is that energy reduced to its purest essence.

The Moon card shows a woman swinging on stars (at least I think they’re stars) beneath a crescent moon. Her face is partially obscured by a mask, in fact upon second look it’s actually two masks. One mask is a full facial mask and the second covers the eye area. Sitting on a hillside watching the swinger are two black cats, their necks stretched upwards as though trying to touch the moon with their faces or reach the woman’s hand for pets. Visible under the water beneath the swinger is a large crustacean moving towards the end of the pool.

The Hermit card shows a hooded figure walking off into the darkness, alone and with minimal supplies. The only visible source of illumination is a light at the end of the staff her carries before him. He too is beneath a star-strewn night sky. His face is not visible to us; he is walking away and shows no interest in what lays behind him.

These two cards seem to reinforce a message of hidden mysteries and unseen motivations; secrets within mysteries. Or, to paraphrase Churchill, a riddle wrapped inside an enigma. I have never consider myself especially mysterious or even deep. My running joke is that I’m as deep as a shallow, babbling brook. I’m pretty much a WYSIWYG kinda gal.

Or am I? Maybe what these cards are trying to tell me is that I’m hiding the truth from myself. I’ve been hiding behind masks for so long that I have no idea who I am anymore or what I wand to do with my life. The truth is I’ve been a bit adrift since getting fired and haven’t quite found a new harbor. Somehow I get the sense this two cards are telling me it’s time to stop fooling myself and go off in search of the real me; the me I disconnected from several years ago in order to survive. These cards also tie in with yesterday’s cards. I think the untapped potential I saw symbolized in The World is awaiting the end of my journey in search of myself. This could be a loooong trip.

Honoring what I do and changing how I think about it (8 of Pentacles & Ace of Swords R)

Secret Forest 8 of Pentacles Illuminati Ace of Swords

 

Okay, so some of the hard work is over and now is time to take a bit of a breather and consider what I’ve gained and learned. Over the past 3 weeks we’ve been running ourselves ragged dealing with family responsibilities. Sleep deprivation had become the norm. Luckily that has finally ended (at least we hope it has).

Something about the heifer with her horns adorned with flowers suggests an offering to a sacred cow at a temple or the Biblical golden calf. It brings to mind the concept of enshrining actions or perhaps honoring actions. She might be reminding me that it’s important to honor and respect what I’ve done for the family. Caring for ailing family members may not win any recognition from the outside world but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be appreciated. It needs to be viewed as sacred. What is more sacred than caring for loved ones.

The reversed Ace of Swords suggests that part of what often prevents me from viewing my behaviors and actions in a sacred light is that I need to find a new paradigm. I need to start thinking about these things in a new light and not only viewing them as obstacles to living my life. I know there is a lesson to be learned from this experience but I also have a feeling that I won’t be able to fully grasp all the nuances until I’ve gained some distance from it.

The last few years have truly forced my brain to consider things from different perspectives and gain a new language for describing my life. I also need to think about how I can make this knowledge and experience I’m acquiring benefit others as well.

I know it has given me a much deeper, more empathetic appreciation for the experiences of women who stay at home to care for children or other family members. The sense of isolation, obligation, and lack of intellectual challenge can sometimes make me feel as though my brain cells are dying at a rapid pace. There is also the relentlessness of it all – there are no sick days, no vacations. It’s no wonder so many mothers experience post-partum depression and other psychological illnesses.

This experience has also made me appreciate my social networks and supports – family and friends who are willing to listen to my rants or allow me to vent and cry have been invaluable. I cannot stress how much they have helped me keep my sanity. It helps me realize I’m not alone. There are people out there who are willing to help in whatever way they can. They are also the ones who remind me that there is value in what I am doing and that it should be honored, appreciated and respected rather than see as a waste of time or a blockage to doing “real work”.

In my secret garden I am the one in charge

Dance of Life PatriarchTarot of the Secret Forest Queen of Wands

Two reversed cards today – I’m taking that to mean the issues they address require me to focus within myself and to unblock some areas of my life.

The Patriarch (aka The Emperor) is a card of authority, stability, structure; a builder of empire.  I have always had my issues with authority, some of which have proven detrimental to my former career.  I think they stem from my conflicted, convoluted relationship with my father.  I loved him but we clashed, fought and had periods of estrangement.  There were times when I genuinely hated him.  He loved me but he was one of the most immature, abusive, insecure and manipulative man who left a lot to be desired as a father.  However my goal is not to go off on a tangent about authority figures and father issues.  I merely point it out as a reference point for my challenges when dealing with the energies of The Patriarch.

For many years I viewed The Patriarch through a very specific lens and (very much a feminist, anti-patriarchal one).  However I have come to appreciate the gifts and strengths he offers and realize that acknowledging the benefits of The Patriarch in no way implies he is better or stronger than the Dancer of Life (Empress).  It’s about balance and using the right tool for the right job.  In this case I think he’s reminding m e that I am the one in control of my life; I’m the authority who determines what I do and how.

The Queen of Wands projects an aura of strength, confidence and ease with herself.  She seems at home in her own skin and doesn’t seek anyone else’s approval.  She is her own woman but is not off-putting or arrogant.  Her solitude is a matter of choice not because she has been isolated by others.  At the same time I get the sense that this solitude is not necessarily one she appreciates.  She wants to be a social butterfly but that’s just not possible at this time.  Of course I’m projecting.  What I’m really describing is how I feel right now.  I’ve always felt an affinity for the Queen of Wands.  She is probably my favorite court card and definitely my favorite Queen.

The Queen of Wands always struck me as fiercely independent, almost feral.  She may have a mate but that is through her own choice and determination.  She is not easily wooed or trapped but once she finds her partner she is loyal and faithful.  Naturally I feel that this describes me too.  And right now I’m feeling the urgent need to be a social butterfly.  I miss being able to socialize at will.  I miss having the time to hang in a bar and chat with friends.  I miss being able to just go off by myself and have time to think deep thoughts (or even shallow ones).

These cards actually do reinforce yesterday’s message.  The Patriarch reiterates that although I may not being able to control things in my life now, I am the master of my life.  Instead of running free, I have chosen to become the stable and solid foundation for someone else.  I am the rock upon which their days now revolve.  The reversed Queen of Wands reminds me that even though I can’t spread my wings and be the social butterfly right now, her energy is still in my life.  I can still find ways to be creative, spread my wings and soar in new arenas and explore new ways to fulfill my need for solitude to recharge the batteries.  She is the light of hope in what can be a relentlessly gloomy experience.  Of course whether I choose to focus on the gloom or the fiery glow is up to me.  I’ll take the glow every time.

Where does my wisdom lie? The Devil R (Bohemian Gothic & Vampire)

 

It’s interesting that I drew this after pulling The Lovers and Death yesterday; somehow it seems appropriate. The image on the Bohemian Gothic Devil sends shivers down my spine. I’ve always had a fear of needles and being drugged against my will so this image pulls up those fears. There is also a sense of passively giving up control over your life to the demon offering sedation and altered consciousness. The woman on this card is embracing the demon with the needle – she is seeking this forgetfulness; courting oblivion. That trait is fairly absent from my personality. I may occasionally wish for forgetfulness, and in my youth I actively courted the seeming bliss offered by a bottle of booze, but at the end of the day I couldn’t completely give up control of myself.

The red demon on the Vampire Tarot Devil card is a reminder that even if vampires seems to immortal and invincible, they also dance to the tune of a greater power. Despite their seductive allure, The Devil reminds us that vampires are bound by their own nature. They might live forever but they are essentially soulless. They have traded that valuable commodity to The Devil in exchange for physical immortality. A vampire’s powers may be mighty and amazing, but essentially they are carrion; the vultures of the metaphysical world. They can only exist as long as humans live to provide their sustenance.

So what does this have to do with me and my question? Not sure. My initial response, after a snort of disbelief, is that maybe my wisdom lies in knowing my own addictive tendencies and behaviors. From a hypothetical standpoint, I can appreciate that. From a realistic perspective, I’m not so sure. I have a pronounced proclivity towards impatience and abruptness when dealing with other people’s addictive behaviors. Sometimes it depends on what the addiction is – for example I sympathize with anyone who is a biblioholic. However junkies, drunks and other assorted drug users and abusers – not so much.

Then again maybe that’s not what this card is trying to tell me. Maybe the reality is that I can’t access and tap into my wisdom until I address my own addictions and behaviors (sweets being high on the list). Perhaps the key to wisdom for me lies in needing to walk the walk before I can talk the talk (Sheesh! I hate that expression). The bottom line is that I’m not going to figure out this puzzle sitting here today but it will require some additional readings and insights to fully appreciate. I think I’ve just tapped the tip of the iceberg on this topic.

Of course there is also the option that my addiction is that I keep believing I have some wisdom. Of course that’s snarky even for me.

 

A Lovers moment illustrated

 

I was browsing television channels today and saw a scene in a movie the perfectly illustrated the energy of The Lovers card (at least for me).  In a movie called Into the Blue (which I’ve never seen and probably never will watch in full).  In this scene, Jessica Alba is speaking to her boyfriend (Paul Walker) who has just agreed to deep sea dive to retrieve cocaine for some drug lord.  Scott Caan and another character are on the boat waiting for him while Jessica Alba is chastising him, saying that a few days before he had too much integrity to work for another scuba company and now he’s working for a drug lord.  She walks away.

He rushes after her and tries to convince her that it’s one time and then they’ll be able to do what they want.  She looks at him sadly and tells him it’s already too late before walking away.  Paul Walker stands on the pier watching Jessica Alba walk away, clearly torn between following her (and thus his higher self) or returning to the boat with his friends and following his lower self.

That moment encapsulated the energy of The Lovers card for me – a choice between lover and friends, between our noblest, highest self and our lowest self, between a connection with the Divine or the mundane.

COTD – The Magician R (Fey & Gendron)

 

Ironically enough as soon as I saw The Magician turn up reversed, my initial response was that I can’t situations and people bend to my will.  I can’t make them obey my commands.  It just doesn’t work that way.  After yesterday’s arguments with the hubby, I realized that sometimes my approach to those type situations does not yield the desired results.  I may be able to control certain factors in my life but other people do not tend to be one of them.

On the other hand, I can certainly control how I react and my approach to dealing with such situations.  Looking at The Magus from the Gendron Tarot I was struck by how radiant and brilliant she appears.  She calls to me in a way the High Priestess never has because she seems active and assertive; taking control of the situation and manipulating it to her desires.  Of course here she has appeared reversed which suggests that either she cannot control or manipulate this situation or that what needs to be controlled or manipulated is an internal process or attitude.  Considering how things have been going for me lately, I’m going for the later option.

So then what internal processes or attitudes do I need to control?  There are a few selections that immediately come to mind.  The first is my self-defeating attitude, the second is my aggressive approach to interpersonal relationships and the third (although by not means the last) is how I react first and think later.  The self-defeating attitude is the one that I’m most concerned with right now simply because it is negatively impacting my ability to get started on my professional pursuits.  If I had a magic wand, I’d wave it over myself to just whisk it all away.  Of course reality is never quite that simple or easy.  So I have to do the work.  The first step would be to actually listen to all these damn marketing and business related podcasts I have.  I seem to be collecting them at a rapid pace but not actually using them.  Of course I also have to be careful not to fall into my usual pattern of paralyzing myself through over-intellectualizing the process.  Some things I can learn from tapes or books or the advice of others but much of it has to be learned by simply doing it.  Experience is the best teacher and it’s a teacher I’ve been avoiding like the plague.

The other two things are basically two halves of one whole.  Instead of being so aggressive and assertive all the time, it might benefit me to learn how to temper my responses to things.  What I need to control and manipulate is my own responses to aggravating situations.  Sometimes I think that I can argue things back to normal but all that accomplishes is fanning the flames of the fire.  In reality it’s a nonsensical approach but the truth is that a rational response to ridiculous circumstances is sometimes beyond me.  I often think that logic will win the day when in many cases it’s the persuasiveness of the parties involved that does.  When it comes to personal arguments and disagreements, it’s easy to forget that the triggering issue is often masking a deeper problem and trying to rationally and calmly discuss it in the middle of an argument rarely works – at least not for me.  So these are some issues on which I need to work.  Obviously we are talking about a long term project but I think I can handle it.