Thoughtful Thor’s Day: Stagnation and Change – what can I do if I can’t move?

I’m sure I’ve posted before about the current situation in my life – I am a stay at home caregiver for an elderly, ailing mother-in-law and a disabled brother-in-law. Had anyone told me 5 years ago this is what I’d be doing I would have insisted they were certifiable. I was determined that I would never, ever become a mother or caregiver to anything more needy and dependent than my dog. Fate had an ironic way of proving me wrong. After getting fired from my job and realizing that the in-laws couldn’t really live without a caregiver, I ended up stepping into that role. Hubby helps out when he can (which is often a lot) but he also has to take care of things like shopping and fixing things around the house so he is often not here. That means the care and feeding of the inmates falls to me. If I say I detest it with every fiber of my being that still wouldn’t be strong enough.

Don’t misunderstand – I chose to do this because I was unwilling to see them institutionalized. However I did not expect my mother-in-law to still be hanging in there after 6 years. It wearing me out body and soul. I am losing interesting in everything but junk food. I feel like the real me has left the building and what is left behind is someone I don’t know. It’s worse than any horror movie I can imagine.

So what can I do? Well one obvious solution is to throw in the towel, admit defeat and have them institutionalized. This would not be my first choice for a variety of reasons. Once I take that stand then I limit my other options. That means my ability to leave the house is severely limited. So I need to find other ways to express myself creatively, spiritually and emotionally. Having conversations with either in-law is not happening. Inviting friends or relatives over is another pointless endeavor. It’s impossible to give them any undivided attention and sitting here all day sucks.

So what can I do about this stagnation and stuckness? I don’t know. I’m trying several approaches to the problem and I’m not sure what will work yet. One path is journaling. Sometimes just writing all the anger, frustration, confusion and sadness on paper helps purge it from my system. Another option is to keep connection with my social network. This is a bit trickier now that I’m not on Facebook but I can still use emails, AIM and (believe it or not) the telephone. Sometimes just the sound of another human voice and the ability to have sensible conversations can be quite a relief. Another tool that I’ve woefully neglected is spirituality. I know I feel better when I do a daily devotional and yet I keep procrastinating. It’s time to kick my ass in gear and take a few minutes every day to sharpen this saw.

So far I’ve just taken some baby steps towards pulling myself out of this stagnating pool that is my life. I still need to motivate myself to keep taking these steps otherwise I’ll be in over my head. The last thing I need is to drown in my own misery. I’m tired of being miserable (of course I do say that a lot). If I want to change things then I need to take action. I know this. I know it very well. Now I have to do something about it.

Supernatural Thrall – on the road in a ’67 Impala

Okay, I admit it. I came late to the game but I have become a full-fledged Supernatural freak. I watched the show when it first came on but it was scheduled on Thursday nights and I had classes so I usually missed it, then I just fell out of the habit. A friend was recently enthusing about the show and I decided to try again. I can’t believe I waited this long. It has everything I love in a show – great chemistry between the brothers, interesting plots and a kickass car! I was a huge fan of The Night Stalker TV show in the ’70s and this series picks up where it left off and takes it to a whole new level.

To be honest, I have also become obsessed with Dean Winchester the older brother. The actor, Jensen Ackles, is a good-looking piece of eye-candy but he also makes Dean likeable and sympathetic despite his jackass, bossy tendencies. I connect with Dean for a variety of reasons. As an older sibling I understand the desire to protect the younger ones. I get that smug superiority that the eldest can sometimes exude. At the same time Dean is filled with self-doubt, low self-esteem and a desire for his father’s approval. I identify with all of those things. I know I can project an air of confidence and disdain for the approval of others but deep inside I’m often craving that very thing.

I understand Dean’s “good son” persona. I don’t know if this is something all eldest children feel but as a child I felt a desperate need to live up to my parents’ expectations of me. I often felt like I was held to a different, higher standard than my siblings. It wasn’t until I was older that I was able to break this pattern.

I am also drawn to Dean’s dark side. That ability to enter Hell or Purgatory and survive. When in these situations Dean can seem amoral, willing to do whatever it takes to survive. I sometimes sense that if I didn’t keep a hold on myself I could easily slip into amorality. In fact when I was younger my mother used to tell me I was unmoralistic – I knew what morals were but felt no need to apply them to myself or convinced myself that I was but that my standards were different.

Watching Dean go through his trials and lessons has opened my eyes to certain character traits in my own personality that might benefit from some tweaking. It’s also convinced me that deep down inside I want desperately to be a badass! So here’s to yet another journey down the road in the ’67 Impala. Who knows what other lessons I might learn?

The Winchester Brothers and Baby

Tarot Truths Tyr’s Day: The Magus (Transformational Tarot)

Transformational Tarot Magus

The Magus
Transformation Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

This Magus is true magic man.  He reminds me of a DJ spinning a spell with each record he plays.  He weaves a tapestry of truth and fiction, of reality and fantasy with a deft hand sweeping his listeners along for the ride.  He uses the songs available introduce us to all the amazing possibilities of human experience.

This Magus doesn’t play the music for anyone else; she does it for herself.  Her primary goal is creating the musical magic that is an expression of her heart and soul.  She is also a trickster who breaks down walls that divide us through the songs she plays.  She channels her powers through the music and out into the world helping to create the reality she desires.

How can I embody this Magus’ energy?  Surrounding myself with sights and sounds that express who I am and who I want to be,  Music is one powerful tool to do this.  So is drawing, writing and dancing.  I can use them to channel my energies in ways that will help me manifest my desired reality.  What magic is more powerful than that?

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.