My ancestors’ message today, “The best way to break free of that ill-fitting outfit you’re wearing is to look at it from a different perspective. Allow yourself to rise up above what you see as the barreness and emptiness of your life and look up, look forward. Let yourself be open to and aware of other possibilities. Trust your dreams and your inner wisdom and they will guide you to where you are meant to be.”
The 10 of Pentacles has appeared several times for me this week. I know it is often interpreted to indicate a happy family life; having it all. However, in my reality it’s about being forced into a situation I never desired; fitting into a role that was never meant to be mine. As a result it feels like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. I feel like I’m playing it being someone else. I think my ancestors are reminding me that although I have made choices that resulted in limited options in terms of flexibility and personal freedom, that doesn’t mean I’m trapped. If focus on the things that I enjoy and still can do, I will find the freedom I desire. I don’t need to lose sight of my dreams even if there’s no way to manifest them right now.
In fact, this is probably a perfect time to explore those dreams, to reconnect with my inner wisdom, my unconscious, and see if there have been changes. Sometimes it’s easy to get trapped in dreams that have become echoes of the past. This is an opportunity to make sure they’re visions of the future.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you desperately need the companionship and support of friends but can’t bring yourself to ask or even tell them that you’re in a bad place? This is one pattern of behavior I’ve honed to an art form. Rather than admit how I feel, I joke. It’s so much easier to make light of things than admit how dark they’ve gotten.
This is a pattern I developed in childhood. I was the oldest child of four born to two 16 year old parents. To say that the folks in our neighborhood were waiting with clucking tongues to see what failures we’d turn out to be would be an understatement. We often needed help – to pay rent, to cover school expenses, to replace clothes and other items lost in a fire. As a result I developed a deep aversion to seeking help because when I needed it in the past, there was a price to pay.
I can clearly remember receiving donations after my family had a serious fire. The nuns who ran my elementary school and the local church had taken up a collection. Rather than let my family determine what we needed, one of the nuns took me and my sister clothes shopping. It was a disaster. She refused to accept that I did not fit into girls’ sized clothing. As a result I ended up with a wardrobe of pants that split the first time I sat down in them. When I tried to explain things to the nun her response was that I should be grateful for the opportunity to get new clothes at all.
I remember when my maternal grandmother died and my mother asked her uncle (her mother’s brother) for a loan to cover the costs of opening the grave site. He refused and Mom borrowed the money from her boss. However her uncle proceeded to tell the rest of the family that he loaned her the money and she never paid him back.
I remember attending events for my father’s side of the family and realizing that we were the poor relations. There were always subtle little comments and attitudes that I sensed. Ways in which we were made to feel inferior. My father’s two sisters both had lovely homes in the suburbs with cars and other “white picket fence” accoutrements. We were often invited to their homes for a weekend but when we invited the cousins to visit us there was a subtle air of horror on my aunts’ expressions as thought we’d suggested some type of ritual sacrifice. The implication was that somehow where we lived and how we lived was beneath their children.
As a result of these experiences, as well as a possible genetic predisposition towards stubbornness and hard-headedness (what my mother likes to call “thickness”), asking for help was not high on our list of family skills. Unfortunately this is not something I’ve felt a need to change. Any “favor” that makes me feel looked down upon tends to raise my hackles.
Why am I bringing all this up? Because I have to assume I’m not the only person suffering from this malady. I seem to have a reduced 6 of Pentacles energy. I don’t mind giving but I hate receiving. I’m starting to realize that being able to ask for help and support is actually a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that I’m confident enough in who I am to understand accepting aid is a powerful sign of self-confidence. It shows that I can accept assistance because doing so doesn’t make me inferior or weak. It makes me practical with a well-developed, healthy ego. Right now I can’t say that but it’s definitely a work in progress.
The 5 of Wands once again. I drew this at least twice while working with my previous deck (Book of Shadows As Below). In fact I’m pretty sure I drew the 4 of Cauldrons at least once with that deck too. Obviously these two cards have a message for me that I either haven’t acknowledged or haven’t acted upon.
On level the 5 of Wands speaks to me of wasting energy in a pointless battle. It’s about scuffles that aren’t important and don’t really matter. It just siphons off energy that can be used more productively and more beneficially. The 4 of Cauldrons shows me two people drowning their unhappiness in a surplus of liquid forgetfulness. Their unhappiness and dissatisfaction with their lives is almost palpable although it’s also clear they intend to take no action that might change this.
Both these cards are reversed in this reading which suggests I’m not addressing these issues myself. I believe they connect to the current situation I’m living as caregiver to my in-laws. On some level I am so angry about this that I cannot accurately describe how I feel. My life has been put on hold and I feel as though they are vampires siphoning off my energy and essence. I am nothing, no one. I am merely the one who cleans them, feeds them and makes sure they’re safe. This does not even have the benefits rearing a child might because there is no growth, no improvement. It’s simply a slow, numbing march towards death.
Well-meaning friends and family compliment me on how selfless I am to do this. I don’t feel selfless, I feel resentful and pissed off. I am doing this because I feel it is the moral, ethical, “right” thing to do. It might not be the case for everyone but it is for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t hate it sometimes. I feel trapped and suffocated. I think this is reflected by the 5 of Wands reversed. I am struggling against a situation I cannot change (granted it is my decision but that doesn’t make it easy or fun). It also reinforces the fact that I need to find a creative outlet for this energy before it becomes toxic.
The 4 of Cauldrons reversed shows the inevitable progression if I don’t make some changes. I’ll become increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied; drowning my sorrows in junk food or other unhealthy behaviors. I think I’m also tired of pretending I okay with this situation. I’m no martyr or saint. I’m just a poor shlub doing what I think is right, even if I hate it.