The shadow side of The Hermit’s Journey – madness at the fringes of the mind

Greenwood Hermit

 

For some reason today I’ve found myself pondering the energy of The Hermit. I can certainly see the challenge of forging ahead and searching through the unknown to find a path. However recently I’ve begun to see a shadow aspect of The Hermit – the madness of solitude. I’ve come to realize that solitude can provide one with an opportunity for deep insight and self-discovery, or it can push you past the breaking point. It can produce a situation where madness licks at the edges of your mind because the solitude has become unbearable. There have been times recently where that kind of madness has brushed against my mind.

Secret Forest Hermit

It has made me appreciate the sense of isolation and aloneness felt by caregivers of various stripes from stay-at-home parents to those caring for ailing family members. When the circumstances are such that socializing or time alone are just not in the cards, that’s when the wings of madness flutter close. Social networking can help relieve some of this sense of isolation and aloneness but it really is not substitute for human interaction.

Thoth Hermit

Of course I speak from personal experience. My life over the past few years has been a long example of the madness of isolation. In caring for my in-laws, a situation has been created in which I am usually alone with no adult interaction (as much as I may love my in-laws they are not capable of adult conversation at this point). I rely on phone calls and instant messaging to keep in touch with friends but sometimes it’s just not enough. Even when I’m talking or texting with friends I’m still in the same crazy-making environment.

Wildwood Hermit

Perhaps madness caused by isolation is also initiates creativity. I have certainly had moments when I become very creative trying to find ways to alleviate the solitude. History is littered with tales of creative geniuses who isolated themselves in pursuit of their goals. There can clearly be times when isolation and solitude produce a positive result but when it is the result of external forces I have a feeling that is when madness comes to call. The relentless, oppressiveness of forced isolation can push us over the edge. We might indeed be exploring uncharted territory and forging a new path but eventually all our efforts at distracting ourselves and alleviating the aloneness fail and we’re left lost in the woods with no recourse. Howling at the moon may be fun with a pack but when you’re alone in those woods you can feel a prickle of fear as worries of impending madness assail you.

Tsonokwa’s lesson – when is it better to receive than to give?

Tsonokwa

 

Somehow, like a lot of people, I behave as though receiving help from others is a sign of weakness or failure. The current circumstances in my life have forced me to become better at accepting and asking for assistance from others. It’s still a struggle but one I think I’m starting to win. That isn’t my focus today. What has struck me when pondering this card and her message is that the one person I am lousy at giving to is myself. Oh don’t get me wrong – I can indulge myself with things like books, music and other possessions as fast as anyone else in our consumerist society. What I’m not good at giving to myself are the things I really need – time to myself, time to focus on my spirituality and health, and time to relax. It’s as though taking time off from my responsibilities is slacking. How the hell did this happen?

I used to be one of the more selfish people I knew. I had no responsibilities other than those to myself, my hubby and family, and maybe to my job. Not having kids left me a lot more free time than most to do whatever the hell I wanted. Of course I usually filled that free time with brain-draining TV binges and frequent nights out after work with co-workers. Mindless, enjoyable and ultimately unsatisfying pursuits to be sure. I was busy, sometimes frantic and stressed but I would have told you I was having fun. In retrospect I think I was trying to numb myself. What I needed wasn’t more things it was a sense of meaning and fulfillment in my life. That is what I was not giving to myself.

I have drawn Tsonokwa several times since working with the Dark Goddess Tarot. Clearly she is trying to give me a message which I haven’t been hearing – at least not clearly. Then yesterday I finally realized why she kept pushing me. Thanks to a wonderful mother who agreed to elder-sit for the in-laws, I was able to get away for a while and spend some time socializing with a friend. We didn’t do anything special – had lunch, chatted, shopped a bit, but I came home feeling rejuvenated and relaxed for the first time in a long time. It was wonderfully refreshing. Of course my mother was exhausted but she can head home and relax.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been free of this vise that squeezes me on a daily basis that I didn’t really how much pressure it was putting on me. I thought I was doing okay but in reality I was draining the battery almost beyond repair. It took Tsonokwa appearing to me several times before the message finally sank in. Next tie I won’t wait so long before finding activities to help relieve the pressure and help me revive and rejuvenate myself. It’s not taking anything away from my in-law’s and it’s giving me the break I need to let me come back with a more positive attitude. Otherwise we’re all miserable.

This made me wonder why we do this to ourselves. I am under no illusions that I am the only person who deprives herself this way. Nor am I a saint or martyr. I am a cranky, stressed out, caring, occasionally deranged person who wants to do what’s right for my in-laws. Somehow what is right for me never came into the equation. It’s as though I just don’t matter and that’s certainly not the way I have ever seen myself. Clearly this is an issue that requires more than a blog post to resolve. I just wanted to put it out there for others who find themselves in a similar boat. It’s important for all of us, but especially for caretakers, to realize that caring for ourselvs is just as important as caring for loved ones. Otherwise we wake up one day and realize our head is in a vice and about to pop like a pimple. Let’s have no more of that!  We deserve better for ourselves.

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.

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.

How can I best embrace clarity? King of Swords R + 3 of Wands (BoS So Below)

BoS So Below King of Swords BoS So Below 3 of Wands

Interesting that embracing clarity does not involve an overabundance of intellect, wits or communication skills.  Instead it would appear that those needs to be become something of a non-priority for me.  I don’t need to be in charge.  I don’t need to be leading the class.  I don’t need to be goal oriented and focused right now.

Instead, like the relaxed woman on the 3 of Wands, I need to take time for tea and self-care.  Even if I can only dedicate 10 minutes to myself every day that’s better than nothing.  I need to stop and enjoy those little moments I can steal for myself.  It’s not about becoming king of the world, it’s about being happy in mine.

This past few readings have pointed out that even in my current situation I tend to be very achievement oriented.  I’m so busy looking at the map and plotting out the destination that I never look up and see the passing scenery.  These cards are telling me that it’s time to knock it off and enjoy the scenery.

There is  season for everything.  I know that in my heart but sometimes mine mind shouts it out.  It thinks it can control things if only it can figure out the pattern.  I may be intelligent and quick witted about certain things but those skills aren’t very useful to me right now.  Now it’s times for me to start fully embracing and exploring my more heart-centered, emotional and nurturing side.  Even after several years caring for the in-laws I’m not comfortable with that side of myself.  I’ve tried distancing myself from it and using my intellect to build barriers.  I guess it’s time for the barriers to come down and face some truths.  That’s the only way I’ll truly be clear and not confused.

How can I more fully embrace who I am meant to become? The Wheel of the Year + Ostara R (BoS As Above)

Book of Shadows As Above Wheel Book of Shadows As Above Ostara

I was blown away to see these two cards appear in response to my question.  I have the feeling that this particular line of inquiry is going to yield life altering results (assuming I actually implement the recommendations).  Right now I’m up to my armpits in snow so the only exploring I can do is within myself.  Sometimes that’s not the most exciting terrain to hike alone but I must say it does often produce surprising results.

Both these cards speak to me on two levels, one is the external “real world” level and the other is my internal landscape.  The Wheel of the Year serves as a reminder that life is change.  This cold, snowy weather will eventually give way to the warmer, rainy days of Spring.  My life will eventually turn and I will find myself in a different place with different responsibilities.  Right now I feel as though I’m at the lowest point I’ve been since childhood – broke and not really sure what to do next.  The difference is that this situation is my responsibility.  In childhood I had very little control over much of what occurred in my life.  That isn’t the case right now.  If I want to feel in control of things then I need to take responsibility for those things I can change.  I think the Wheel is reminding me that sometimes things just aren’t meant to be changed – at least not at this time.

That is one of the challenges I’m facing with the hubby.  He is a fix-it kind of guy.  He truly believes that if we can figure out the right formula or actions we can change this situation.  I know that isn’t the case.  We’ve done what we can to make the mom-in-law and brother-in-law comfortable.  I’m exploring external resources the might be available.  We can’t change the physical realities of this situation.  My brother-in-law is deaf and developmentally disabled.  My mother-in-law is either suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s or something that looks so similar as to make no difference.  She will not recover from this.  The only release is death.  I know that’s extremely difficult for the hubby to accept (hell, it’s not so easy for me to accept either).  What makes it more difficult is that on a deep level we both realize that the most likely change to this situation will be mom-in-law dying.  Not a pleasant truth to face.  The Wheel of the Year is a reminder that “to everything there is a season”.

The Wheel of the Year also reminds me that if I want to fully embrace who I am meant to become I need to learn to embrace and work with change.  I’ve been focusing on time management lately because my skills (never the greatest) have slipped so much they are nonexistent.  Procrastination has always seemed so much easier to me because there were little consequences to letting go until the last minute.  Even in school my grades were good with the amount of effort I put into it.  What would be the point of spending more time on assignments when I was already getting great grades?  I’m sure there reality is that I would have gained even more insight from the lessons had I done the work but sometimes my reasons for pursuing advanced degrees were convoluted and didn’t always involve acquiring insight.  Sometimes I did it just to prove that I could.  Not the most enlightened reason for doing things but often at the core of my motivation.

In my career I often  had the same experience.  With some minor bursts of effort and energy just prior to the deadline I was able to complete assignments that proved more than satisfactory to my supervisors.  Spreading that energy and effort out over a longer period of time just seemed silly to me.  Now I’m finding those patterns are holding me back.  With no external pressure to force me to finish, I just keep procrastinating.  I think The Wheel is telling me this behavior needs to change too.

Ostara (Temperance) is connected to the Pagan Sabbat celebrating the Spring Equinox; the time when light and dark are in perfect balance.  Light will soon emerge triumphant, increasing slightly more each day after the Equinox but for this moment they are perfectly balanced.  However this balance is hard won.  The cold and darkness of the winter months does not give up without a fight.  There will still be times when the cold is numbing and the darkness seems never-ending.  However the light and warmth just keeps taking baby steps until the tide has turned.

I’ve read that Spring is not for the weak and that is true.  Thinking of the rains and upheaval that precedes the shoots of new life bursting forth, it’s rather amazing that we survive it.  This creates a crucible when all life is weighed and the necrotic parts are sloughed off.  Having Ostara show up reversed for me makes me realize I need to take a hard look at where I’m resisting sloughing off necrotic cells.  One example is my doll collection.  For years I was an avid collector of Barbie and Fashion Royalty dolls.  I found relaxation in redressing them, taking photos, making up backstories.  Over the last few years I have found myself less enthralled with them.  There are still many I will keep but I know it’s time to release some and yet I resist.  I’m convinced that once I let them go I’ll rediscover my love for them.  This indecisiveness paralyzes   me.  I need to stick with my decision and take the steps necessary to make it happen.

I have the sense that this ability to clear away the dead wood – old records, dolls, books, etc. is essential.  Before I can embrace the light and welcome it back into my life I need to let go of these things so that I can actually see the light.  Right now I’m so block in and weighed down by things that I can’t see anything else.

On an inner, spiritual level, I think Ostara is telling me that I’m not taking time for myself.  Yes, my life is hectic and chaotic and much of my decisions are based on how my in-laws are behaving at the moment but I’m completely ignoring that I might need time alone.  How can I weed through all these things I need to sort out if I never make the time?  It won’t magically happen.  I’m not Samantha from Bewitched; twitching my nose won’t organize and weed things out.  This ties in with my need to get better at time management.

I think these cards are telling me that before I can embrace the person I am meant to become, first I need to make some room for that person in my life.  I need to eliminate the old versions of me that are no longer necessary.  New growth can’t happen until the underbrush is cleared away.  Right now I need to focus on clearing out the underbrush, the overgrown weeds that are choking the vitality out of my life.  Once I can take steps towards accomplishing this, I believe I’ll find a new life blooming forth for me.  Right now my life is a badly cluttered room – there are lots of things lying around but I can’t see what I have anymore.  It’s time to change that.  Before I can pour magical rainbow energy on the eggs in my basket I need to be able to find the eggs.

What experience or feeling do I yearn for today? Queen of Swords R + 4 of Pentacles R (Hidden Realm)

Hidden Realms Queen of Swords

Protection and solitude seem to be my keywords today.  The Queen of Swords reversed suggests that its time for me to sheath the sword a bit.  Intellect and objectivity are useful tools to a point but they aren’t helpful right now.  I think the weather. the situation and the sense of isolation are all wearing down on me.  I just don’t have the ability to take a walk and get away for a bit.  The snow has become a huge blanket coating the world and wrapping me in white oppression.  I feel as isolated as the Queen of Swords is often portrayed.

Looking at Mama Badger on the 4 of Pentacles I get the sense of being sheltered, protected and secure.  In many ways I’ve been playing Mama Badger and now I think I want someone to embody that energy for me.  Her young are hidden beneath the earth’s protective layer.  She guards them and tends to their needs because they are too defensive to care for themselves yet.  If I have to be isolated and alone I’d love to be babied too (for a little while at least).

This reading also reminded me that I’ve never really been mothered in that way.  It’s not my mother’s fault – she was hoping to find simple, unconditional love from her children.  Instead she had me with my angles, attitude and vague air of judgment.  I think my mother always felt that I found her wanting in some way; that she disappointed me.  As a child this was likely true.  The younger I was, the more certain I was of my correctness and more judgmental I was.

I’m sure I was something of a trail for my mother.  I have often said that I have always known she loves me but sometimes she doesn’t like me very much and she doesn’t truly understand me.  So there were often times I wanted to be nurtured but didn’t know how to ask and she didn’t know how to offer.  The Mama Badger on the 4 of Pentacles brings this back to mind.  I may yearn for nurturing, but like  a badger I can be dangerous and off-putting if approached.  So even if I wanted to feel protected and nurtured, I often resented the restrictions that came along with that.

What will help scratch my creative itch? Fortune Faery + King of Swords R (Hidden Realms)

Hidden Realms Fortune Faery Hidden Realms King of Swords

Whatever the actual meaning of this card my immediate response to the image is that I need to reconnect  with that innocent, child-like energy we all have.  That inner part of ourselves that still believes in blowing on “wish flowers” and that spirits live in the plants around us.  That part that knows there are faeries in the world and if we are very still, quiet and lucky maybe we’ll actually see one.

On another level I think this card is reminding me that there is a cycle to everything and my life will eventually change for the better.  I need to focus on what my wishes are.  It’s been so long since I’ve really focused on what I want to do as opposed to what I can do or what I need to that I can’t remember anymore.  What were my wishes when I was younger?  Where did I see myself when I grew up?  I’m not sure but lately I’ve been feeling an urge to tap into some unused creative energy, at least in a simple way – personalizing my Franklin Covey planner.

The King of Swords reversed is reminding me that now is not the time to be hypercritical of myself.  I need to do some exploration and find the patterns of my youth.  Logic is a very useful tool but right now it isn’t going to help me scratch that itch to feel more creative.  I need to trust in the process and not let my left-brained side take control.

These two cards show me that I need to focus more in silliness, lightheartedness and simple joys.  I’ve taken to decorating my personal calendar and organizer with rubber stamps, colored jelly roll pens and Post-Its of various size and color.  Now I’m toying with the idea of getting an inexpensive organizer/planner that I can recover and personalize even more.  I realize this is not a new idea but it’s something relative simple I can do that will help me scratch that itch.  Once I’ve done that I might even explores some other creative endeavors – who knows?

How can I maintain my momentum? – 9 of Disks + 5 of Wands (Crone)

Crone 9 of Disks Crone 5 of Wands

When I read Ellen’s interpretations for these two cards in her companion book, two sentences jumped out at me.  For the 9 of Disks Ellen speaks of community and sharing.  She points out the the antidote to isolation is sharing and that struck me.  I’ve been feeling so isolated and detached lately and I’ve also been avoiding friends and group activity.  How can I expect to feel like part of a community and overcome this sense of isolation if I withdraw?  It’s counter-intuitive.  For so long I’ve felt like the outsider watching through a window as others embrace and share experiences.  Part of that is due to my childhood – my branch of the family was something of an embarrassment to the rest so we often weren’t invited to family events.  This gave me the sense that every other branch of the family was close.  With age sometimes comes wisdom and enlightenment.  In the last few years I’ve had some conversations with cousins that made me realize my belief was an illusion.  Some of them might have been closer to others but that was due to being of a similar age with similar interests.  Unfortunately that sense of otherness and outsider status is still in my bones.

The 5 of Wands has that bright, fiery, dancing star at it’s center.  Ellen’s descriptive phrase for this card shouts “Look at me.  I’ve got something to say!”  Oh brother do I feel like that right now.  For Simpsons fans, I feel like Lisa when the teachers go on strike.  She stands in the kitchen near Marge begging “Rate me, evaluate and rank me.  I’m ever so smart.”  That’s how I feel now that I’m no longer in the workforce or attending classes.  I feel as though I have no external validation or recognition.  One way to lessen that sense is by participating in group activities and becoming part of a community of folks with similar interests.

Okay so I get it – the way to maintain my momentum is to find support groups or special interest groups that will nourish my spirit and provide me with folks of a like mind with whom to share ideas and trade experiences.  If I don’t have some sort of support group I’ll eventually run out of steam and become distracted.  so for my own benefit and healing, I need to stop trying to do things alone.  This message has been coming through loud and clear over the past few weeks.  Now I need to actually listen and do something about it.

I need to be open to receiving and allow myself to plant some new seeds – 6 of Earth + Ace of Earth (Dark Goddess)

Dark Goddess 6 of Earth Dark Goddess Ace of Earth

Generosity, giving, abundance and prosperity as well as the opportunity to give and be generous with others are the gifts that appear to be offered by Tsonokwa.  I have always loved the idea of potlach practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.  I don’t remember when I first heard of it but it appealed to me.  There is something very liberating about being able to distribute all of one’s wealth and possessions to others.  It is also a bit scary because giving up those things can also symbolize giving up who you are as a person right at this moment.  In American culture we often are our things.  The joke “he who has the most toys wins” has much more truth to it than we admit.  How many of us in this consumer society consider ourselves a success when we can buy whatever we want and can afford to discard items that are out of date?  We become greedy and hoard our possessions.  We want more.  As soon as the newest iPhone is released people flock to grab up a new one even if their current iPhone is working fine.  How many people fight and claw their way into stores on “Black Friday” to purchase items for themselves?  Tsonokwa reminds us that giving to others is often more satisfying than giving to ourselves.  Something I think we often lose sight of in our current world.

Gaia the Earth mother reminds me that I don’t near to fear that giving will leave me drained.  I can recharge and find new and abundant ways to recharge my batteries.  Looking at Gaia surrounded by the beauty and bounty of the earth, the idea struck me that spending some time each day just quietly sitting in nature might help me relax and recharge.  Even on the coldest day I can take a few moments outside to just seek the quiet and stillness.

The thing I find most frustrating about much of what I’m dealing with right now is that I know what I should or could do but I don’t do it.  I’m incredibly unmotivated.  I need to nurture and tend to myself and not lose sight of the fact that it’s not selfish to make sure I’m not exhausting all my resources.  They key to a successful potlach or the 6 of Earth is that there is reciprocity.  You may give a lot but you can expect others to give to you when you need it.  Perhaps I’m not being clear enough that I could use help.  Sometimes I make light of the situation rather than making clear statements.  If I want to manifest these changes then I need to change how I approach the situation too.  Otherwise I’ll find myself left in an empty, barren garden with nothing left to give.