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.

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 is my biggest challenge right now? – Ace of Cups + Magician (Crone)

Tarot of the Crone Ace of Cups Tarot of the Crone Magician

Oh my goodness – this ties in beautifully with the message I received yesterday.  It seems that the biggest challenge I need to face is loving myself.  In order to manifest the things I want in life I have to believe I deserve them.  In order to believe that I need to love myself.

The woman’s face on the Ace of Cups seems joyful, strong and serene as it is washed by the rain.  I love that feeling of lifting my face up to the sky and letting the rain just wash down over me.  On a gorgeous Spring day it leaves me feeling refreshed and renewed.  That is the energy I need to tap into now.  I need to refresh and renew my caring for myself.  It’s so easy to put self-care on the back burner when you are caring for others but I have to remember to make myself a priority too.  I’ve said it before but never managed to achieve that goal.  It’s time to stop the bullshit.

The Magician is an awesome figure; somewhat scary and overwhelming but reassuring too.  It looks like a big maw just waiting to devour whatever lies in its path.  It hangs above a cave or opening and I must pass through to claim my power.  I must face what frightens me and enter the darkness to find what I seek.  I’m not sure what scares me more – failing or succeeding.

The bottom line is that if I don’t try I’ll be forever haunted by “what ifs”.  I’ve always appreciated the saying “the only regrets I have are for things I haven’t done” and the idea that it’s better to regret things you’ve done than things you didn’t do.  I have enough “what ifs” in my life and I want to reduce the number I add to my life moving forward.  It’s time to let love for myself refresh me and strengthen me as I enter that dark cave and find the treasure hidden within.  I know I can do this.

How can I take a more active role in my own life? – 5 of Swords R + 2 of Cups R (Crone)

Tarot of the Crone 5 of Swords Tarot of the Crone 2 of Cups

The pile of crystal point on the 5 of Swords reminds me of a kids’ TV game show that used to feature 3 adolescents competing in various physical activities.  The final event was scaling something called the Agrocrag (or Megacrag depending on which variation).  This image reminds me of that Agrocrag – a pile of geometric shapes that needed to be approached with caution.  The tip of this pile of crystals point directly at me.  It suggests I need to be pierced or have something punctured.  It reminds me of a spear point.

I think what needs to be pierced is my retreat into a world of the mind.  I don’t actually live here most of the time but it is a well-honed and well-used defense mechanism.  Intellectualization and rationalization are two of my most effective mechanism for avoiding actually doing stuff.  I can think of loads of reasons why something shouldn’t work or why I shouldn’t bother to try something new.  It’s a brilliant method of staying stuck in a rut.  If I want to take a more active role in my life then I need to get the hell out of that rut and puncture that fear of failure, ego-driven approach to life.

The reversed 2 of Cups seems to be a heart cracked open and pouring love down on me.  I am surrounded by it and awash in it.  I get such a gentle, warm and nurturing energy from this card (I think the coloring of Ellen’s Cups in this deck makes it one of my favorite versions of the suit).  It reminds me of a prayer I learned in Catholic elementary school about the “most sacred heart of Jesus”.  It included the line “take it and place it in your open, broken heart” (or at least that’s how I heard it).  At the time the imagery creeped me out (it was right up there with the line “if I should die before I wake” in another prayer), but looking at this image I feel as though that open broken heart is not damaged at all simply loving and giving.  It is healing me and allowing me to grow stronger as a result.

I have always considered myself an extrovert but today I took an online Myers-Briggs Personality test and the results were ISFP.  To say I was surprised to see that I scored higher (although not by much) on the introvert scale was something of a surprise.  Then I read the description and it did click.  Especially this paragraph “This personality trait is connected with ISFPs’ love of freedom – ISFPs are very independent and fiercely resist all forms of control. People with this personality type are the ultimate “free souls”, seeing nearly all rules, guidelines and traditions as self-imposed limitations that make life dull and boring. ISFPs live completely in the present, refusing to dwell on the past or prepare extensive plans for the future – they take things as they come, experimenting and adapting their behavior as necessary.”

I love this description so of course I’ll embrace and accept it (I have the same reaction to any and all descriptions I’ve ever read of my Leo sun sign).  Reality is that depending upon my mood when I take these tests and how I chose to interpret the questions I have received different answers in the past.  I’ve always viewed myself as an extroverted introvert.  I do believe I’m more introverted but I have a well developed extroverted side.  As a result I tend to avoid “touchy-feely” stuff, at least I used to be this way.  Recent developments in my life have forced me to become more fully acquainted with my nurturing, caregiver side – my inner Queens of Cups and Pentacles if you will.  I fully embrace and embody my Queens of Wands and Swords but those Cups – ewwww!!!  The Queen of Pentacles and I have always been on a cordial, friendly footing even if we’re not always on a first name basis.  The Queen of Cups – oh please I’d rather have root canal than enter her realm.

Even as a child reading Greek mythology I was more drawn to Persephone, Athena and Artemis.  I avoided Aphrodite and Demeter – mothering and sexuality, NOOOOO!!!  I wanted to be a Valkyrie not a mermaid.  Now I’m a Work At-Home Caregiver (a WAHC if you will) and have learned that patience, kindness and nurturing are the order of the day.  Becoming overly excited or trying to be logical and intellectual in this situation is a waste of time and effort and a surefire path to frustration.  So now that I’m learning to be less judgmental and harsh with others maybe I can learn to be less judgmental and harsh with myself.  By Freya’s necklace!!  Is is possible I’m a deep diver pretending to be a noisy, shallow stream?  Or maybe I’m both depending on day, mood and situation.  What a conundrum!!  I am complex!

If I want to take a more active role in my own life I need to stop hiding behind crystalline walls of logic and intellect.  I need to topple that pile of crystal points and allow the love, tenderness and caring pouring from the 2 of Cups rain down on me and gently wash away those fears and doubts.  It’s time to turn things inside out and stop seeking the answers in books.  I need to trust my heart, find other loving, caring people to help support me and accept support from me.  I need to love those that come to me for answers and offer them compassion and kindness blended with some logic and reality.  It’s about balance – both aspects have their benefits and it’s time to allow them to blend into a marvelous, beautiful and healing whole.

What is my next step? Shatter those crystal walls and allow myself to wallow in every experience – Beast of Disks + Shadow of Swords (Crone)

Crone Beast of Disks Crone Shadow of Swords

The first thought that struck me looking at the black pig on the Beast of Disks I heard the phrase “the Cutty Black Sow” in my head.  I wasn’t sure what that meant so I looked it up.  The primary reference is to an old Tales from the Darkside episode.  There are also some indications that it was a mythical creature used to scare children in Wales on Halloween.  I’m sure it has its roots in older legends of wild boars and dangerous pigs but the majority of references using this specific term refer back to the old TV show.  And how appropriate to draw this image on the night of a full moon.  I seems symbolic – as though I’m giving birth to new dreams.

Looking at the Shadow of Swords the phrase “shattered self” drifted through my mind.  This was a concept I learned about in psychology class.  It occurs when someone who has experienced a traumatic experience manages to cope for many years but the psyche eventually shatters because the trauma was never healed.  I also get a sense of someone who has become crystallized in an effort to separate from the pain and isolate the emotions.  That is one way to survive and make it through traumatic experiences but eventually it can cause a split from one’s emotional nature that results in deeper trauma.  It reminds me a bit of what Voldemort must do to his soul in the creation of Horcruxes.  Eventually what is left is barely human.

So with these two rather bleak images in my head, what do I think these cards are telling me?  That I need to allow myself to devour and destroy those areas in my life that are unhealthy and no longer useful so that I can give birth to new possibilities.  Yes, the Cutty Black Sow devours what she catches but sows are also quite prolific breeders.  Sows may eat almost anything including their young but they also produce litters larger than most mammals.  The potential to manifest something amazing is unlimited.  The Shadow of Swords is reminding me that I have to stop living in my head.  I need to interact with people and start picking away at those shards of crystal forming on my skin.

It’s ironic that as I was reading The Dark Goddess:  Dancing with the Shadow by Marcia Starck and Gynne Stern I connected with something Gynne wrote about her experience meeting Inanna.  She describes how she felt more of a connection to Erishkigel because she always saw herself as an outsider.  She writes about avoiding participating in group activities and then regretting it because she ends up creating the very situation she dreads.

How many times have I done this very thing?  I talk myself out of participating in group activities unless I know all the participants.  Then I have regrets because it sounds like everyone had a wonderful time.  That is the Shadow of Swords manifesting itself.  It keeps me isolated and safe behind crystal walls.  I need to shatter those crystal walls and allow myself to wallow in every experience like the black sow.  Sounds a little gross but maybe I’ll learn more that way than by thinking everything through to the point that I’m mentally paralyzed.

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.

Even with limited options, it’s important to nurture and care for yourself – Page of Cups + 7 of Cups R (Housewives Tarot)

Housewives Page of Cups Housewives 7 of Cups

 

I started using the Housewives Tarot yesterday (the Full Moon was Sunday and I decided it was time to swap decks).  I thought the Housewives would be appropriate because we’re nearing Thanksgiving and it seems to fit the feel of tradition and home that permeates the air.

Today I drew the Page of Cups which shows a small boy with a big grin watering flowers that bear the faces of older people.  The book talks about tending our emotional relationships and nurturing them.  In this case I think the Page of Cups is reminding me that if I don’t tend to such matters – nourishing and watering the relationships I value in my life, then I’ll find myself much poorer for the experience.

The 7 of Cups reversed shows a well dressed woman pondering seven cocktail glasses that are arrayed before her.  She seems to be considering her decision – which drink will she choose?  This card reminds me that I don’t have a lot of choices right now.  And the ones I do have are not as tempting as which cocktail I’d like to try.  I think it’s showing me that I need to think before making a choice, especially because the options are very limited.

Together I see a bigger message from these two cards.  The Page of Cups is letting me know that even if my choices are limited, I still do have  some options.  Or perhaps what the 7 of Cups reversed is telling me is that I FEEL as though I have no options but that may not be the case.  Perhaps what the message of these combined cards is that I have some choices (no matter how I feel right now) and I need to cultivate, tend and nurture them so that they will expand and provide even more options.  Even little seeds can grow into big trees if the conditions are right.

It’s also just as important for me to tend to my own emotional needs.  As I’m sure it is for many caregivers, I’m finding it gets easier and easier to put my desires and needs aside to care for someone else.  Part of me hates doing that (I have a well-developed selfish streak) but with things as they are right now it’s unavoidable.  So even if I don’t have a lot of options available to nourish and nurture my emotional side (all those lovely cocktail glasses) that doesn’t mean I should ignore it altogether.  I need to do what I can to sustain and tend to my needs too.  A challenge but one I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out.

Of porcupine quills and glowing embers (Page of Discs R & King of Wands R)

All Hallows Page of Discs All Hallows King of Wands

 

I don’t know, I just don’t know. These two court cards are throwing me for a loop. My initial reaction/interpretation is that my inner student is being blocked by my need to be in control and master my life. On a superficial level there is nothing wrong with this interpretation but somehow I get the sense there is more to it than that.

Looking at the Page of Discs my eye is drawn to the item she holds in her hand. At first glance I thought it was a huge eyeball. It made me think that I need to “eyeball” myself from a new perspective; turn my previous perceptions on their heads. When I looked more closely at the card I realized she’s actually holding a DVD or CD. However I don’t think that changes my initial interpretation of this card.

This Page of Disks also had an edgy energy to it. The figure on the image had short, choppy dark hair, eyes rimmed with black liner and dark clothing – rather Goth in appearance. This is very different look than I have or have ever donned. There is something about this figure that tells me she has a tough outside, very much an “I don’t take crap” persona, covering a very sensitive and possibly wounded interior. That could certainly describe me, especially when I was a teen. I was one of the walking wounded who donned a suit of porcupine quills for protection and camouflage.

The King of Wands seems almost weary and pensive as he sits with his head resting on his fisted hand and a skull beneath his chin. Is he pondering all the actions he has needed to take to achieve his present position? Does his flame still burn bright or has it died down to glowing embers? Right now I’m certainly feeling more glowing embers than roaring flames in my life. He still carries the banner of his achievements but perhaps he has learned more effective and efficient ways to use his energies. Instead of always blazing forth at full blast he has master tempering his fiery energy with sense and logic.

For additional insight and clarity I drew one more card and got the Queen of Wands – me. Or at least she is who I have the potential to be.  Perhaps she reminding me that before I can fully manifest her energies in my life I need to reconnect with the Page of Discs and King of Wands energy; getting from one to the next. Maybe once I can embrace my Porcupine Girl I’ll have a better understanding of how to channel my energies and stop scattering them in a wasteful fashion.

How can I find new creative & financial outlets? 7 of Cups + The World R (All Hallows)

All Hallows 7 of Cups All Hallows World

So many choices! Such a variety of delectable delights to experience and enjoy! The 7 of Cups offers all this and more but the reality is that some of these choices are imaginary or illusory. They seem sweet and tempting but a long-term diet of them would prove disastrous. So the first step I can take is to weed out the choices that might look appealing but are truly not. I need to be cautious about getting tempted by unhealthy options or non-beneficial possibilities. I don’t need to explore options that will ultimately only make the situation worse.

The World card reminds me of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic “Tiny Dancer”. Like the ballerina dancing in the sand, this woman stands amid a profusion of light candles hovering around her and dances to her own music. She doesn’t worry about being burned by the candles because she is sure of herself and confident in her moves and rhythm. She doesn’t worry that her movements aren’t perfect or pleasing to the eyes of others. She dances to please herself. She is the cosmic dancer whose movements dance the world into being.

Her reversed nature is letting me know that I need to find my own inner dance. I need to learn what movements and rhythms please me. In fact looking at this card brings Gabrielle Roth’s concept of dancing meditation or using dance to enter an ecstatic trance-like state. Maybe that is a tool I can use for both spiritual and practical purposes. Meditation, dance and other physical activities might be a way to break free of this funk in which I find myself. I sometimes find it too easy to get stuck in my head and I think this card is a reminder that if I never trust myself enough to dance the steps, how can I expect to create the reality I desire?

All Hallows Queen of Cups

For additional insights I drew one more card – the Queen of Cups. This a card with whom I’ve had a long-term love/hate relationship. It took me many years to becomes comfortable with her energies because growing up she often negatively manifested in my life. Instead of love and support she displayed emotional manipulation and dangerous weakness. Over the years, especially since I have begun caring for my mother-in-law, I have grown to appreciate the Queen of Cups’ strengths and gifts. In this sense I have a feeling she is reminding me to seek counseling and guidance from those I trust; friends and relatives whose continued support and love have helped me endure this situation. She’s a reminder that I don’t have to drink tea alone. I can share it with loved ones and have a more joyous experience that might help me find the answers I seek. I don’t need to stumble through this by myself when I have friends who can help me see the patterns or suggest options I might not see.

Stealing time for myself isn’t selfish, it’s essential (4 of Wands & King of Swords R – Fairy Lights Tarot)

Fairy Lights 4 of Wands Fairy Lights King of Swords

 

{-QOTD – What guidance can you offer me today?-} 4 of Wands (Fairy Lights Tarot)
{-QOTD – What might enhance or modify this guidance?-} King of Swords R (Fairy Lights Tarot)

The 4 of Wands in this deck is a rather odd interpretation of this card. It shows someone who appears to be wearing a bird mask standing by a bird nest holding a large egg. A large bird is flying away from him. Is he giving the egg to the bird or stealing it from her? I’m not sure. Considering that the bird cannot see him, I’d have to guess that the masked person is stealing the egg. Although I must give him credit for having courage – the bird could easily swoop back and catch him in the act.

Maybe the masked person is trying to build a nest egg; using the giant egg as the foundation for a happier life. Of course it raises the question of what is the true price of a nest or home built upon theft and/or deception? The partner to this card is The Emperor (who showed up for me 2 days ago). Again I get the sense of creating a solid foundation upon which to build a future. I suppose it’s possible that the person with the egg worked out some sort of arrangement with the bird. If so then at least her actions are not unethical or deceptive.

I think this card’s message to me is that it’s okay to steal time for myself. It’s alright to keep some things for me and to focus on my needs. The current situation is one that exhausts the body and spirit. If I don’t find ways to recharge my batteries and enjoy myself then I’ll become bitter and resentful (moreso).

The King of Swords reversed is my intellectual super-critic sniping at me. What a bad girl I am for wanting time to myself! How could I be so selfish and self-centered? The fact that his partner card is the Queen of Pentacles reinforces this – I should give until it hurts, put the needs of others far above my own. This is just not natural for me and I’m having a difficult time dealing with being a full-time caregiver. I need to find a way to shut this critic up and do what I need to do.