Resentment – that fetid, festering fungus

Have you ever felt such resentment that it almost overwhelmed you?  Had it well up in your throat until it feels swelled like a bullfrog’s? Have you ever felt unable to say no to a situation as then gotten angry with yourself and the person who requested favor?   If you’re like me, then I’m guessing there have been moments you’ve felt this way. Times when you’ve wanted to lash out because you feel taken advantage of or unappreciated. Despite the temporary satisfaction one might feel from lashing out, it tends to make things worse. This made me wonder what would be a better strategy for dealing with resentment?  Here are a few of my theories.

First of all don’t nurse the damned thing. The worst thing I’ve ever dWildwood Sunone is hold onto resentment, fed it and nurtured it until it grew into something uncontrollable like the plant Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. It made the situation worse and blew everything out of proportion. Instead of feeding it in the darkness of our hearts and nurturing it like some malignant mushroom, I should have talked about it with someone – preferably the person I felt resentful towards. In my experience, the key to stopping or healing resentment is bringing it up into the sunlight. Sunlight purifies and removes the toxins. Perhaps sharing how I felt (without trying to shame or blame the other person) might have alleviated this feeling and avoided a lot of problems down the road.

A habit I am still working on breaking is using the resentment generated by this situation to feed other festering resentments I haven’t addressed. The end result is that instead of any possibility for a rational conversation about the issue, I drag up every single time I’ve felt resentful and dump it on that person (usually the hubby). Not the most effective method of conflict resolution or resentment reduction I must say.

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords

Another tendency I have that often proves more harmful than beneficial is bitching to friends and family about it. With the best intentions, friends and family tend to unquestionably support your grievance. Often in an effort to be supportive and claim solidarity they will reinforce your resentment. What was already an issue now begins to take on epic proportions and goes from one problem to an entire tapestry of them. Once again, feeding the beast simply makes thing worse. We hope venting will help relieve us of the anger and resentment. However, unless we’re clear about what our goal is and why we’re engaging in this process, we unintentionally strengthen its power over us.

BoS So Below King of Swords

One possible technique that has often helped me when I’m making a professional presentation and might be helpful here too is to make a bullet-point list of my grievances. Take some time to think about things in a calm, clear-headed manner before discussing it with the “offender”. I think creative a calming environment for yourself – maybe a cup of tea and some soothing music, can make this process less anxiety producing. The goal is to stay calm and focused on the specifics of the situation, not let your emotions overwhelm you. We have every right to feel angry and hurt, but sometimes expressing them when we’re trying to resolve a conflict is counter-productive.

Transformational SageI’m sure you find my ramblings fascinating and insightful (how could you not? ;D) However I thought maybe a touch of advice from the Tarot might be in order too. So I asked Arnell Ando’s brilliant Transformational Tarot “What can help us deal with resentment?” I drew The Sage/Hierophant – wonderful! It’s telling us to see wise counsel, seek advice from those who have the knowledge to provide genuine help rather than well-meaning support that merely reinforces the problem. The Sage may represent asking elders, a counselor/therapist for advice. It may be suggesting we seek the wisdom available from the plethora of authors who have written on this subject. It may even point out the support one can find in one’s spiritual tradition. The reality is the solution will be different for each of us just as what triggers resentment is different for each of us.

I hope the next time you feel overwhelmed by resentment towards a loved one you’ll find some useful guidance or insight here.

Hermit – Mansions of the Moon Tarot

MotM Hermit

 

Mansions of the Moon
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The author says: The prophet Elijah being fed by the ravens. YHWH was not in the fire, the wind or the earthquake. YHWH came in a still small voice.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This image reminds me of the very traditional versions of The Hermit – a wise old man out in the wilderness. The candles symbolize bringing the light of his wisdom and experiences to others. The raven is the messenger bringing him the voice of divine enlightenment. The simplicity and starkness of his surroundings forces him to focus inward. There are no distractions. And as a result he hopes to learn something about himself and gain illumination and spiritual growth.

This is the sacred Fool grown older and wiser. He is the Fool on the Hill of which the Beatles sing “The Fool on the Hill sees the sun going down and the eyes in his head see the world spinning round”. He has seen it all and yet still retains something of his foolish optimism and love for life. He still honors the sacred. His experiences and knowledge have not embittered him or made him cynical. They have made him understand that stuff happens, stuff that is occasionally beyond our ability to understand and accept. He is wise. yet naive; experienced yet innocent. He is a walking marvel in some respects; a man who continues to love mankind and life despite the imperfections and flaws. In fact on some level he may embrace these very things because they celebrate humanity in all it’s glory.

The Hermit has withdrawn himself from regular interaction with society but not because he dislikes it or finds it repugnant. He withdraws because it allows him to focus on it, to see the patterns woven through life, and to learn more about our connection with the divine.

 

Shadow Side Saturday – My touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have been in a black mood for the past few days, maybe even weeks. I’ve been moody, bitchy, angry and resentful. Don’t get me wrong, I can slip into moods like this for brief periods of time but they don’t tend to last longer than a day or two. I’ve explored different options to get to the bottom of these moods. None of them felt right or entirely accurate. They each show a piece of the puzzle but I still wasn’t seeing the whole picture.

Then while I was emailing a friend it hit me like a bolt of lightning – it was my old seasonal affective disorder kicking in. In reality I don’t think I have true seasonal affective disorder but what I do have is a black mood that settles over me when it’s “back to school” time and I’m not returning to school. I can sometimes alleviate it by buying myself new notebooks, pens and other school-related items but that only works when I realize that I need to do it. This year I seem to have missed a step. Instead I was blaming my mood on other factors.

Now that I have a clearer view of what is causing this mood I can create a game plan to deal with it. I need to find ways to fill the need I have for structure learning experiences I also need to work on reducing my reliance on external validation and motivation. It’s time to be more internally motivated and validated. In this current situation in my life opportunities for external validation are rarer than hen’s teeth so I need to find another way to maintain my sanity. I know what I should do, now it’s time to start actually doing it.

Thoughtful Thor’s Day: Where in my life am I frustrated? 9 of Cups, 4 of Swords + Prince of Pentacles R (DruidCraft)

Green Man Tree Oracle Quert/Apple

Today I drew the fid Ceirt.  Erynn Rowan Laurie writes this:  Ceirt, along with h-Úath, is one of the most challenging ogam feda. Its meaning of a rag or a shrub links it in my mind with the practice of tying rags to clootie trees in Ireland and Scotland as an appeal for healing (McManus uses the “shrub” or “bush” definition, while Meroney suggested that the word was translated as “a rag”. I found the connections between both of these suggested meanings useful enough that I have chosen to use both, though Meroney’s definition is probably not correct.). These trees are often found at sacred wells or on fairy mounds, and are significant for being very much associated with Otherworldly beings and energies that can be fickle and unpredictable.

The apple, on the other hand, is often associated with the Otherworld in its most positive aspects. In fact, one of the Irish Otherworlds was named Eamhain Ablach, the Realm of Apples. It is one of the favored mythological foods throughout the Celtic islands, not unlike hazelnuts. Found on magical branches and eaten in Otherworldly feasts, the apple looms large in insular Celtic myth.

The complex of meanings surrounding this fid often point to intense frustration and even self-destructive activity. When it comes up in a reading, be careful of sudden changes in fortune or capricious individuals. It’s associated with bad luck and with psychological problems, but because of its linked association with clootie trees, there can also be an element of hope to this fid that h-Úath lacks. In divination, it can point to a situation of poverty or illness that is temporary, or to setbacks in a person’s life or situation.

Misfortune, frustration, poverty, illness, and bad luck are part and parcel of Ceirt’s chthonic current. A need for caution or retreat may manifest here, reflecting difficult physical or emotional circumstances. You may be approaching a situation with timidity, damaging yourself in the process. Look to the surrounding feda for clarification of your situation. When dealing with difficult people, malice may be involved; be sure it is not your own. Be very careful that you are not acting as your own worst enemy.

Linked Concepts: Poverty, illness, fleeing, retreat, madness, insanity, ill luck without total loss, psychological issues and problems, the hope for healing from illness or madness.

So I asked Tarot:  Where in my life am I frustrated? 9 of Cups, 4 of Swords + Prince of Pentacles R (DruidCraft)

DruidCraft 9 of Cups 53 DruidCraft Prince of Pentacles

So let’s see, I’m frustrated in having my wishes granted, getting some true rest and moving forward to manifest my goals and desires. Gee, isn’t that just grand! Okay I’m being facetious but the reality is that this is a pretty accurate description.

My wishes are fairly simply right not but not very likely to happen because I want my life back. That is just not in the cards right now. How appropriate that this fid is associated with frustration, misfortune and even madness because those words are an accurate description of how I feel right now. The lordly figure on this card seems to be celebrating his good fortune, surveying his wealth and gifts. I can’t do that right now. Not that I don’t have blessings (I do and I’m grateful for them). It’s simply that I can’t focus on them. It’s hard to appreciate the good things in your life when the frustrating, exhausting ones are more assertive.

The 4 of Swords points out that I’m frustrated because I feel as though I get no rest; not time to myself just to think. Meditation, study, even simply pondering life are difficult right now. I suppose it isn’t fair to say it’s impossible but it’s extremely challenging. I wish I had time to sit in the lea of a tree and think important thoughts.

The Prince of Pentacles reversed is reminding me that I’m frustrated by my own lack of progress. It’s one thing to be cautious and practical in one’s pursuits and endeavors. It’s another to be stuck in place and never move forward. I can’t shield or protect myself from what is going on in my life but that doesn’t meed things should stay at a standstill. That might be the most frustrating aspect of all.

I can’t say these frustrations are surprising. They reinforce what I already know. Assessing these frustrations with an impartial eye might help me figure out how to change them. I realize that won’t happen all at once but taking even a baby step will help change this dynamic and perhaps lessen some of this frustration.

These cards have also reinforced something that’s been bothering me lately – my tendency to avoid. I am starting to believe I’ve raised avoidance to an art form. I’ve always been a procrastinator. In fact throughout high school and college I was notorious for waiting until the last minute to complete assignments (unless I was working as part of a team). I always received good grades so the incentive to change this behavior just wasn’t there. My hubby used to joke that if I actually applied myself I’d have a 4.0 GPA. I just wasn’t that motivated to try any harder. AT my core, I think I’m rather lazy.

This laziness is a rut, a defense mechanism. If I don’t actually try anything then I can’t actually fail at it. It’s a ridiculous response to this situation but at the same time there is a certain logic to it. The problem with is that I still end up feeling like a failure. I am a smart, accomplished, caring and loving person. I can be funny and generous and I can be harsh and judgmental (in other words I’m perfectly human like everyone else). I need to find ways to motivate and inspire myself so that I break free of this rut and manifest the changes of which I know I’m capable.

DruidCraft Prince of Swords

I asked that Tarot one last question about this issue “How can I change this pattern?” and I drew the Prince of Swords. I need to harness my energies, make a plan and stick with it. Planning and follow through are going to be the keys to changing these frustrations. At the same time I need to embrace the messages I’ve received over the past few days about healing. I still have healing work to do on myself and I need to be careful not to beat myself up if things don’t change as quickly as I think they should. It’s a fine balancing act and one that will take effort and focus to achieve.

Thoughtful Thor’s Day: Gloomy thoughts on a gloomy day

Actually today is more of a Thoughtful Thor’s Day.  It’s rather gloomy, gray and chilly outside which means I’m limited to inside stuff today.  I can’t say that really excites me much but then again I don’t do a whole lot when it’s sunny out either.  I realize that part of the problem is my own focus and initiative.  It’s difficult to become excited about anything when I feel like such a prisoner.  The situation is getting worse and I don’t know what to do about it.  Maw Maw (the mom-in-law) becomes so agitated sometimes that it’s impossible to sleep.  Very often we’re almost asleep and she wakes up.  Then one of us has to get up with her because she starts touching things like the stove or trying to open the front door.  This results in both the hubby and I being sleep deprived and exceedingly cranky.  Putting her in an institution is a last resort to both of us but I’m afraid we might be reaching that point soon.

This entire situation makes me wonder at caring for the aging in this country.  So many of the resources available are limited and/or difficult to access.  In many cases we’ve been told that because she is not on Medicaid she’s not eligible for free services and she doesn’t have enough income to afford the paid ones.  I’ve seen this time and time again with friends whose parents are in similar situations.  Nursing homes or senior facilities are costly (ranging from $1500 per month to $6000 per month in this area) and also tend to be few and far between.  this means if we want to visit her it would take an hour drive to get to most of these places.  We’re also very hesitant to place her anywhere because her mental condition means she has no ability to communicate if someone is hurting her.

I’ve never been under the illusion that life is fair.  However many recent experiences have made me question our societal obsession with staving off death as long as possible regardless of the consequences.  I’ve seen many people caring for elderly parents who take them to the doctor or hospital for a variety of reasons.  The hospital is able to stabilize the parent but not actually heal or cure them.  As a result the parent is often either back in the hospital again in a few months or given another batch of medicine to “help” whatever condition the doctor believes he or she has now.  Maw Maw would probably be taking 10 pills a day if her doctor had his way.  He means well but he doesn’t truly know what is wrong with her and seems to believe that if he keeps giving her medications she’ll eventually find one that works.  It seems to be an all to common approach to healthcare in the US.

I’ve had several friends and neighbors battling various forms of cancer over the past few years.  It amazes me how painful and ultimately unsuccessful this process appears to be.  So often they believe they caught the initial cancer only to have it spread to a new area a few years later.  It’s almost as though the treatment actually accelerates the grown of the tumors.  I know the professionals state this is not what happens but from a layman’s perspective this is how it appears.  I think some of the miscommunication stems from the fact that for a doctor prolonging the patient’s life for another 5 years is a victory.  To the patient it just seems to be a long and painful battle that they ultimately lose.  I know some people do live for over 10 years after treatment for cancer.  In fact Maw Maw was diagnosed with uterine cancer back in 1981 and beat it, remaining cancer-free for over 30 years.  I would also never try to influence someone else’s choice for treatment.  That is a personal decision and something that needs to be left to the patient and her/his doctor.  However it makes me wonder what I would do if the situation ever arises (although I hope it never, ever does).

Wow a gloomy day really seems to bring up gloomy thoughts.  Of course my current situation doesn’t help matters any either.  It’s hard to be cheerful when your life has become a relentless deathwatch with no end in sight.  It also points out to me how much I rely on external distractions to keep me from focusing on negative things in my life.  In the past, my salary allowed me to buy books, Tarot decks and dolls (among other things) to keep me from realizing how unhappy I was with my job and other aspects of my life.  I’ve been rather slow to develop other coping skills.  I’d prefer to avoid the matter entirely and just zone out in front of the television or read a book.  I can tell that’s not going to work much long either.

To gain so clarity about this situation I asked the Tarot “How can I deal with this situation in a more healthy manner?”  I used the Dark Carnival Tarot and drew The Moon.

Dark Carnival Moon

The companion book offers a very contemporary and urban interpretation of this card, referring to blood moons, treacherous paths and ready to put a garden claw in the face of a foe.  This resonates with me right now.  Things do feel bleak and desolate (although I don’t feel threatened enough to need a garden claw),  It is an unsettling landscape that lies ahead of me.  It’s unfamiliar terrain and if I can’t trust myself then who can I trust?  I think The Moon is telling me that I need to stop fooling myself and see things for what they really are.  I also need to acknowledge that while things are bleak and desolate right now, they will eventually improve.  I just have to make it through this dark and scary night.  It’s not an especially pleasant image but it does offer some hope.

How can I change the negativity surrounding me right now? 3 of Swords + 10 of Rods (Old Path)

Old Path 3 of Swords Old Path 10 of Rods

Oh brother – this is quite a positive message isn’t it?  I’m not sure what’s going on with this deck but the messages it’s been giving me are not exactly encouraging.  Of course I suppose it’s in the way that you view things too.

The 3 of Swords might refer to a sense of betrayal or feeling as though you’ve been stabbed in the back.  Or perhaps what’s it reminding me is that even when I feel that sense of betrayal and pain it is my choice to wallow in it.  It is my choice to decide to let it go and move forward with my life.  This has been a continual theme in my life and Tarot readings over the last few years.

In this instance I think it refers to the fact that I feel betrayed by my in-laws.  Hubby and I are caring for the mom-in-law and brother-in-law with no assistance from anyone else in the family.  There is another brother and two nephews/grandsons who spent their childhood with the family every summer for years (their dad died in the late 70s).  I don’t expect them to help in caring for the mom- and brother-in-law but it would be nice if they visited or even called once in a while to see that we’re all alive.  My hubby carries a deep and abiding anger towards them that will never go away.  To him what they’ve done is unforgivable.  I’m simply disgusted with them and can see no time in the future when I will want them to be part of my life.

The 10 of Rods is the burden I carry.  It’s the responsibility I feel to family and the obligation I feel to ensure they are cared for at home as long as possible.  In addition I still have a number of other burdens that need tending:  bills to pay and home repairs to make.  It’s almost impossible to work outside the home and care for the in-laws.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do.  I think the cards are trying to tell me that obsessing about these worries won’t make them go away and it won’t lighten them.  Instead I need to find other interests and activities that will help me focus on more fun and positive things.  Not easy but it’s worth a try.

Whom do extraterrestrials serve? What is their purpose? Omens/Warnings (The Tower) R + Crone of Water R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above Omens BoS As Above Crone of Water

Hmm, these cards suggest a hidden, slightly darker answer to the question than I anticipated.  Is their purpose to warn humans and gift us with omens about potential catastrophes?  Or are they the bringers of these disasters?  A claim could certainly be made that some encounters with these otherworldly beings can devastate those who experience them.  Is this due to human fear of the unknown or malevolent intent on the part of the extraterrestrial?

The Crone of Water seems like a somewhat harsh, world-weary persona.  She holds a bottle in her hands that may hold a healing draught or may hold sometimes toxic.  Based on her expression it’s hard to determine.  Perhaps the draught can be both depending upon the intent of the drinker.  Is is she whom the extraterrestrials serve?  Perhaps, like their lady, the extraterrestrials offer salvation or damnation to humanity depending upon how we interact with them and use their gifts.

I don’t fully comprehend the message of these two cards just yet and I don’t know that I’m meant to either.  I think this is going to be an interesting area to explore in other Tarot readings throughout the week.  On some level I don’t want to spoil the anticipation.  I’m curious to see what additional insights turn up about this topic.

Right now I get the sense that these extraterrestrials serve the Dark Mother, the hidden lady who energies are initially seen as negative but are eventually revealed to be a boon.  Very much like the experience portrayed on the Omens card, sometimes the damage we fear and try to prevent proves to be life enhancing, essential and revelatory.

What are extraterrestrials? Mabon (Justice) + Elements (Magician) R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above Mabon BoS As Above Elements

Okay, so I’ve been gorging myself on A&E and History Channels shows about UFOs and aliens.  I’m a fan of pretty much any conspiracy theory involving the government covering up visits by aliens.  At the same time I realize that in modern society, the prevalence of video cameras, smart phones and assorted other technology makes it unlikely these events would pass undocumented.  I’m also a huge fan of The Mothman Prophecies book and the assertions suggested by John Keel that creatures such as these may not be extraterrestrial at all but rather originate from a different dimension on Earth (at least I think that’s what he posited – it’s been a while since I’ve read the book.  Several years ago I also read Janet Bord’s book Fairies which points out that the same types of experiences that used to be connected with fairies are now associated with alien abduction.  Her suggestion is that the space age has transformed fairies into aliens but that they are essentially the same beings.

This made me wonder so I decided to ask the Tarot.  Today I simply asked “What are extraterrestrials?”  I received quite an interesting answer.  The cards I drew from the Book of Shadows As Above Tarot are Mabon (Justice in a traditional deck) crossed by Elements (The Magician) reversed.  The traditional meanings of these cards might offer some insight in this reading but what jumped out at me is the visuals.  Mabon shows Demeter sitting in the sunlit world while Persephone reaches out towards her from the darkness of the Underworld – both connected at a deep level yet unable to breach that divide in this moment.  I think this symbolizes the relationship humans have with these otherworldly beings.  We are the ones inhabiting the sunlit, above world while they exist in a hidden, shadowy underworld.  They can reach out to us and sometimes we can hear them but other times the road between the worlds cannot be traversed.

The image on Elements was even more striking because it doesn’t matter if it’s reversed, that simply changes which elemental symbols are on the top of the card.  Regardless of orientation two elements are reversed at any given time.  This struck me as a truly powerful message.  It suggested to me that extraterrestrials are not from another world but part of our own.  Their energies are simply different from human energies.  Perhaps they are elementals or have learned to use the elements in a different way to alter their reality and how we perceive them.

In my core I am convinced that these cards are telling me that what we call extraterrestrials are simply otherworldly (to us) children of the Earth.  They exist on a different plane of existence and sometimes we cross over into their realm and they into ours.  These beings are not necessarily superhuman but they possess different skills and powers to our own and can seem frighteningly inhuman to us.  Their priorities are different and sometimes we can communicate and reach an alliance.  Perhaps we are so wrapped up in the perceived reality of our above ground, sunlit world that we fail to even notice them in the dark, hidden spaces.  When we pay attention or when they feel the need, contact can be made.

I don’t necessarily think this invalidates the idea that life exists on other worlds.  In fact I think it’s arrogant of humans to assume Earth has the only life in the Universe.  However I do believe that many encounters with fairies, aliens, extraterrestrials (call it what you will) are in fact the result of encounters with these Otherworldly, Underworldly beings.  Or maybe I simply read too many fantasy, sci if and alien encounter books.

What additional insight will help me with this issue? 7 of Air + 4 of Cups R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above 7 of AirBoS As Above 4 of Cups

The 7 of Air shows the coins of the I-Ching, an ancient Chinese oracle.  I’m familiar with it although I’ve never used it.  In the companion book Barbara explains that the Yin-Yang energy of the I-Ching should be the focus when this card appears.  It suggests that the question already has the answer in it.  In other words, I already know the answer to this and just need to focus on applying it.

The 4 of Cups reversed shows Brigid once again this time in her healer aspect.  She is holding a chalice towards me with her left hand and a small flame hovers above her right.  Whether I choose to accept the chalice is up to me.  However I get the sense that if I want to move forward and heal myself in this area I need to accept the chalice.

One of the things I’ve realizing from the cards I’ve pulled this week is that the past continues to influence my behaviors.  I may think I have left that behind and found healthier ways to deal with life but that’s just not the case.  These insidious and subversive patterns and embedded in my brain cells.  They can’t be rooted out until I acknowledge they exist and begin to take those steps to change them.

I have often written of knowing what I need to do and not doing it.  I think that is the answer to this question.  I can make a bulleted list of what will get me on track and remove these hindrances but I don’t do them.  This dysfunction is familiar to me and as the saying goes “better the devil you know”.  I’m hoping this devil and I have done our last dance.  I’m sure we’ll still occasionally partner up – we’ve been engaged in this little contretemps for a long time, but it’s time to change up the dance card.  Just because this devil knew me first doesn’t mean he knows me best.  I know I can do this, I can make these changes and stop repeating these patterns but first I need a cup of tea.

How can I use these insights to help others? Imbolc (The Star) R + 9 of Fire R (BoS As Above)

BoS As Above 9 of FireBoS As Above Imbolc

Two more reversals – I’m batting 1,000 right now.  Today’s cards show two different yet powerful deities – Brigid and Pluto.  Of course it should make sense to me because both their energies are connected to the issue I’ve been exploring this week – healing old patterns and embracing healing and prosperity.

Looking at Imbolc I see Brigid kneeling at the waters edge adorned by her crown of lit candles.  Her right hand is scooping water out of a cauldron while her left is pouring water into the pool in which her leg is dipped.  A rabbit sits next to her and a sheep wanders in the field behind her.  In the distance the sky is just beginning to show the gorgeous sky blue pink hues of morning.

As a powerful goddess of inspiration, healing and snithcraft, Brigid even managed to survive Christianity destruction of Pagan gods and beliefs.  She transformed herself into St. Bridget – midwife to the Virgin Mary and foster mother to Jesus.  Imbolc is sacred to her as well as a celebration of the returning of the milk to the sheep. It’s a time to rejoice in the fact that the earth is finally begin to awaken.  There may still be snow on the ground but beneath this wintry blanket the land is slowly coming back to life.

Pluto is the Roman god of the underworld and wealth.  The companion book describes him as a surgeon that cuts away the dead tissue.  I see him as something of an initiator too.  He helps us face the darkness in ourselves so that we can move forward and bloom in new ways.  Only by cutting away the dead flesh, burning the dead wood, can we see new growth.  This card symbolizes those issues we know are looming ahead, the ones we keep trying to avoid but which eventually snare us.

In answer to my question, I think these cards are telling me that once I’ve healed myself from these past behavioral patterns and embrace abundance and prosperity, I can help others deal with similar issues.  This is a journey for me and not one I expect to finish any time soon.  It took me a long time to get this way so I anticipate it taking just as long to change those patterns.  Along the way perhaps I can share my experiences with others suffering from these issues and offer some guidance.  I don’t need to be the expert, simply the one who has gone before.