I don’t feel quite so much like a butterfly pinned in a display this week

Witches 5 of Swords Dance of Life 5 of Health

 

My card for today is the 5 of Swords R (from Ellen Dugan’s Witches’ Tarot) and the 5 of Health R from the Dance of Life.

I have to say, feeling like a butterfly being pinned by 5 swords (a la the Witches’ Tarot) has certainly been a familiar experience in the past. Luckily things are improving somewhat so that sense is not as immediate as it once was. There has been a reduction of craziness in the day-to-day responsibilities. I’m feeling like I can breathe just a bit easier.

The keyword on the Dance of Life Tarot for this card is Stress and I can certainly identify with that. My life has been one big stress ball for the past 4 years or so. I have made some changes to my own attitude to help me deal with it – the reality is there is nothing that will fix this situation but how I approach it can make all the difference in how my day goes. And for the past 2 or 3 weeks I’ve seen some improvements on the home front. Perhaps my new approach is helping.

I’ve also found that keeping myself busy, even if it’s only browsing through interior decorating magazines, helps reduce some of my stress. There have been days when I’ve felt as though my guts were as twisted up in knots as the scarf on the Dance of Life 5 of Health. It’s not a fun place to be or an enjoyable experience. Lately the knots have come undone a bit. There are still days when it’s a challenge not to run screaming into the night like a Banshee but so far I’m holding it together. The bottom line is that I do love my in-laws and want to do what I can to help them and the hubby out right now. However I am human and feel resentful, angry, frustrated and a bunch of other emotions that make me less than pleasant. Hopefully I’m getting better at finding ways to siphon those unpleasant energies into more constructive channels.

I think these cards are reflecting the stress reduction and reminding me that I have made changes that proved beneficial and I can continue to do so. It’s not easy (then again there are days when nothing is easy so that’s no surprise). I think the fact that these cards are connected with air (ideas, thoughts, etc.) in one deck and health in the other is significant too. I’ve come to realize that my current lifestyle specifically as it pertains to eating, is slowly killing me. The fact that I have Type II diabetes and eat cookies and other sweets like they’ll disappear tomorrow is so ridiculous that I cannot fathom why I do it. In some ways I’m like a junkie in need of a fix. I know some of this is driven by a need to make myself feel better when the shit hits the fan. It’s also partly due to a lifelong sweet tooth. However if I can reduce the stress then I can also find healthier and more positive methods of dealing with this issue. It won’t get fixed tomorrow but as long as I start taking those damn baby steps, I’ll reach my destination.

Take a load off

Witches' 10 of Wands Steampunk 10 of Engines

My card of the day is the 10 of Engines/Wands reversed.  As soon as I saw this card the song ‘The Weight” popped into my head, especially the line “take a load of Annie”. That’s how I feel right now – as though I’m taking off a load. It’s not so much that things have changed in my life as that I’m trying to handle them in ways that won’t create more of a burden for me. I do feel rather like the survivors portrayed on the Steampunk 10 of Engines – the wreckage is all around me and I can’t do anything to change that. What I can change is how I deal with that wreckage. I can spend all my time focusing on what has been lost and mourning what will never be, or I can move forward and rebuild. I can rise up from the wreckage and create something new from the remains.

I think I’ve done all the mourning and gnashing of teeth I care to do. Enough is enough! I can feel sorry for myself and rage against the gods that this is my life. In fact I’ve done quite a bit of that. I can cry and become depressed because this isn’t how I saw my life turning out but I’ve done enough of that too. In fact I’m tired of doing both these things because they are ceasing to have any benefit (or maybe they never did and I’m finally accepting that fact). I want to pick up the pieces and move ahead. I want to focus on positive things and let go of the negative.

There are so many things in my life that I want to do – things relating to creating a career as a professional Tarot reader, my spiritual beliefs, my health and even reading some books I’ve had on the pile for some time. Instead I’ve been sulking, throwing tantrums and feeling sorry for myself. All of those things were fine as long as they were part of the process. Now they’re becoming the burden that is retarding the process. It’s causing me to become stunted and distorts my new reality. I’ve born this weight for a long time. Although I can’t release all of it right now, I can certainly release the parts that aren’t helping me and that I can release. I’m not walking away from my responsibilities. What I’m doing is shouldering them more comfortably and figuring out how to make them a bit less burdensome.  It’s not about dropping the burden as much as it is about changing how I handle it.

When things aren’t Transparently obvious

Okay, so today i pulled my COTD from the gorgeous Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery deck by Bob Place and drew the matching card from Caitlin & John Matthews’ Steampunk Tarot.  My card was the Lady of Coins (or Messenger of Leviathans).  Quite honestly, looking at these cards left me a bit stumped.  It’s not that I couldn’t come up with some meaning for them, it was simply that none of them felt right.  So as I was standing the feeling puzzled, I decided to try something I used at a past Readers Studio – I drew the matching card from the Transparent Tarot and laid it over my card of the day.

It’s an interesting tool.  The simplicity of the images in the Transparent Tarot allows the card to focus your attention to one specific area.  For example on the Lady of Coins you can see the small figure of the Princess of Pentacles from the Transparent Tarot is right over the coin itself.

Sevenfold Lady of Coins w Transparent

 

For me, this suggests that perhaps this lady is bringing me a message about focusing on issues of prosperity or physical matters.  In fact the more I looked at her, the more I was convinced that the simple line drawing was offering an apple to the Lady.  This made me thing of health issues and I ended up realizing that perhaps this Lady of Coins was reminding me that I haven’t been paying the attention I should to my general health and well-being.

When I used this same technique on the Messenger of Leviathans, it appears that the Transparent Princess of Pentacles is hovering over the chopsticks and the scroll they hold.  In this instance I get the sense that she is offering me a secret formula to success in this area.  Her message is that I can find the answers to address my health concerns as long as I know where to look.

Messenger of Leviathans w Transparent

In reality, I might have come to these realizations without using the Transparent Tarot.  However one of my new goals is to play with my Tarot decks in new ways and to find new techniques to add some life to my card of the days draws.  I think this fits the bill on both counts.

What traps me in cycles of self-destruction? King of Cups (Celtic & Northern Shadows)

 

 

As soon as I saw this card appear I knew that the answer is “my father” or rather the part of me that behaves as my father did.  His alcoholism, emotionally scarred and scarring behaviors, his wounded inner psyche, all combined to make him someone who caused damage because of his need to be loved and his fear that no one really did love him.  He had a wounded heart that never healed so he medicated it with alcohol and drugs.

I have a wounded heart that I medicate with food and sweets.  Initially these behaviors might not seem as damaging and destructive as my father’s but when one adds in the fact that I have Type II diabetes, these behaviors become very self-destructive indeed.  I have often wondered if I have a death wish.  Not something conscious which would drive me to commit suicide but a quiet, deeply ingrained sense of worthlessness that makes me feel my death would end my suffering and cause no major ripples in the world.  I don’t to believe this is true but I guess on some level it is human nature to feel this way.

This situation is also complicated by the relationship I had with my father and the fact that many of the emotional scars I bear are the result of his behavior towards him.  The sexual molestation and physical abuse left me feeling worthless but defiant.  I might bend to his will because he was bigger and stronger than me but I would never give in and become my mother.  I refused to subsume my personality to his in order to avoid beatings.  That is not who I am nor is it who I want to be.  Beatings only tend to make me more determined, defiant and angry.

And yet, by continuing to behave in ways that damage my health and may ultimately threaten my life, I am subsuming myself to him.  I’ve given him mastery and control over my emotions and self-worth.  I’m accepting and embracing his self-destructive behaviors as though they are my own.  They are not.  I want to live (no matter how much of a struggle that might be).  I want to have healthy, loving and supportive relationships in my life and I won’t compromise or sell myself short in order to get them.  I am not a coward nor am I weak.  I can overcome this.  I cam beat this emotional inner demon just like I overcame many of the other challenges in my life.  In fact if my life were a movie right now Helen Reddy’s classic 70s feminist anthem “I Am Woman” would begin swelling up right about now.  As she sang, “Oh yes I am wise, but it’s wisdom born of pain.  Yes, I’ve paid the price but look how much I gained.  If I have to, I can do anything.”  That pretty much says it all.

What the hell was I thinking?

 

This card combined with the Knight of Cups earlier this week forced me to reassess and reconsider the way I’ve been living lately.  The first thought that struck me when I saw this card is that I need to remember who I am!  I’ve always identified with the Queen of Wands.  I have a lot of fiery energy in my personality and my birth chart, sometimes to a fault.  Lately, as a result of various family obligations and lifestyle issues, I have been tamping down all that fiery energy.  When one is caring for an elderly relative, that aggressive, assertive energy is overwhelming and misplaced.  It called for a gentler more nurturing approach.  On the one hand that is wonderful because it has provided me with an opportunity to more fully explore my inner Queen of Cups and we have come to a cordial detente.  She and I  will probably never be bosom buddies but at least I can allow her energy in my life without the negative reactions I’ve experienced in the past.  Unfortunately my inner Queens of Wands and Swords have been virtually neglected and unappreciated.  Seeing the Queen of Wands come up for me today brought all of this into my consciousness.

Seeing the Knight of Cups on Wednesday reminded me that I’ve been searching for something that will allow me to unleash some of my energy and fulfill me on an emotional level.  My first reaction when looking at the Wormweird Knight of Cups was that I should be careful not to drown my sorrows in a bottle, which is certainly a family tendency.  I have been rather cautious about drinking simple because if something goes wrong I want to be able to handle it without the added burden of being hung over.  Unfortunately that has also caused me to avoid friends and situations that might involve drinking – oh hell I’ve avoided most socializing in general.  I’m isolating myself and that’s not healthy.  I think the Knight of Cups is reminding me that I need to seek out my own emotional supports.  I need to find friends that can help me deal with my own frustrations during this time.

Like many stay-at-home mothers, I’ve lost sight of myself – my needs, my interests and my desires, because I put the needs of someone else ahead of my own.  It is certainly a noble sentiment but what happens when the person for whom you are caring no longer needs your care?  You are left feeling hollow and empty with no idea of who you are anymore.  I think there is a serious risk in wrapping your whole life around someone else’s needs or to your profession because if the situation changes and that focus is gone, we risk becoming lost and drifting.  We forget what our goals were and what we dreamed of achieving in our lives.  I don’t want to let that happen to me.  In order to avoid it, I need to take more concrete steps to take back my life – even if it’s only for 2 days a week.  I am entitled to it and I deserve it.  There is nothing wrong in occasionally being a bit selfish and claiming time to attend to your own needs.  I lost sight of this fact for a while but now I’m changing that pattern.

COTD – Ace of Pentacles/Clouds (Fenestra & Dante)

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You are planting seeds for a new home, job, career, or form of security.  You may be getting a new sense of how to work with money , and finances.  You may be getting some urges to begin a new physical regime or a new direction in your health.” – Gail Fairfield

Dante LWB:  “The Celestial Pilot.  Change of environment.  Modernization of space and ideas.”

When I drew this card the first thing that popped into my head is “new income” and “manifesting new things in my life”.  In the words of the Laverne & Shirley theme song, I’d be “making my dreams comes true”.  The Ace of Pentacles is often about new opportunities to make money, improve one’s wealth and prosperity or to manifest new things in one’s life.  It may also symbolize a new time for practicality and being realistic.  Sometimes when we want to manifest our dreams into reality we don’t have a realistic viewpoint about what is achievable.  The reality is that there are some things in life that are beyond our control or our ability to make true.  And I an accept that, even while it frustrates me.

I  love the image on the Dante Ace of Clouds.  That figure standing on the prow of the boat seems to be actively seeking his future and is prepared to chart his course in the direction he wants it to go.  He is prepared and capable of creating his future; manifesting his desired reality.  The image reminds me a bit of the famous scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet standing on the prow (or is it bow) of the ship.  They give the viewer the sense that the future is theirs to create and a lifetime of potential and possibilities lie ahead.  The Ace of Pentacles is a symbol of hope, potential and limitless possibilities just waiting to be manifested in our lives.

Perhaps it is also a reminder that it might be a good idea to establish a new connection or renew my commitment to healing my physical self.  I have been working on developing a healthier, more sensible eating plan.  I was doing good for several weeks but I’ve been back-sliding a bit lately.  I think it’s time to refresh my brain cells on why this change is important and beneficial to me.  I realize that it’s like anything else – I need to occasionally sharpen the saw so that it’s fresh and easily accessible.

So this card offers a new opportunity to start anew; to refresh some things that I’ve lost contact with and to manifest these blessings and concepts in my life.  It’s about being sensible and grounded – not losing myself in a cloud of optimistic daydreams.  It’s good to be hopeful and have faith but it’s also important to maintain touch with reality.