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.
How are the ghosts of your past still influencing your life?
The ghosts of my past, or as I like to call them – my ancestors, left me a legacy of family obligation and responsibility as well as strength and fortitude.
The women in my direct line did not domesticate well. We aren’t the best at cooking or cleaning but we’re great at taking on a lot of responsibility; at getting things done. At the same they helped me learn how to forge my own path in life; how to be strong and endure. I’ve learned to trust my own mind, even if I don’t always follow through. I realize that compromising who I am to satisfy others sucks! It’s not worth it to me and if it results in a limited social circle I’m fine with that.
So, I may need to get better at the whole finding balance thing but I have learned not to try to fit in and be like everyone else; not to do things because others expect me to do them. I may be chained by what I believe are my obligations to family but I’ve accepted that. Is it easy, hell no! However in my heart I know that this is right for me and I feel good about it.
What emotional baggage from your past lingers? It’s preventing you from a fresh start and manifesting the fulfilling, prosperous life you desire.
You keep repeating the same mistakes in your relationships. You spiral in and out but learn little and don’t progress to the next level. If you think your perfect partner is going to sweep you off your feet and take care of you, think again. You need to take a more mature, responsible approach to relationships before you’ll be ready for that type of long term commitment.
Your mindset about relationships is upside down. You aren’t viewing things clearly. Instead you’re taking a fairy tale, “happily ever after” approach. Remember, for a relationship to endure and be successful (whether romantic or platonic) takes a lot of hard work and commitment. So get your head out of the clouds and put your grown up panties on!
No matter how heavy the burden you bear, how great the responsibility, keep hope alive in your heart.
The heavier your burdens get, the more important healing yourself becomes. Don’t let caring for your own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs fall by the wayside.
Believe in yourself even if you believe in nothing else. Even in the darkest times our beliefs are what sustain us. If you believe you can achieve your goals then you will, no matter how burdensome the challenge.
Today as part of my personal rune studies I was considering the rune Gebo/Gyfu. This rune represents gifts given and obligations incurred. Among other things, it can symbolize the reciprocal nature of gifts. It seems the Norse believed that a gift calls for a gift. So if one is given a gift or done a favor then you are expected to gift something of similar value or return the favor in some way (similar to the Northwest Native peoples tradition of potlatch). Thinking about the nature of reciprocity and gifts made me wonder about past gifts and how they obligate me as an adult.
I’m not referring exclusively to presents given for special occasions such as birthdays. I’m talking about other, sometimes more intangible, gifts. For example I had a teacher for third and fourth grade, Sister Esther, who made a huge impact on me. She forced to try harder as a student. I was (and still am) a lazy student. I do what I need to in order to pass the course. I regularly wait until the last minute to complete assignments (unless I’m working with partners). Luckily for me this behavior had little impact on my grades. Even when I half-assed it I received good grades. However Sister Esther refused to accept any half-assing from me. She would push me and prod me to dig deeper for answers. It’s as if she knew the I had a lazy streak and would be satisfied with doing just enough work to get by. As a result of Sister Esther’s prodding, I developed skills that allowed me to half-half-ass it. I developed note taking techniques and study techniques that allowed me to remember facts and information so that I didn’t have to study very hard in order to pass tests. I learned how to read reference papers with an eye towards ignoring extraneous and non-essential (to me anyway) data. As a results I am still able to wait until the last minute to complete assignments but they’re still well done.
Another teacher who influenced me was a religion teacher I had in high school. His name was Mr. McCommiskey and I truly believe I made his life miserable. I had his religion in my freshman year and it was right after lunch. I was often sleepy and would nod off. To avoid nodding off I took to reading during class. This frustrated the poor man and he would regularly confiscate my books. He finally asked me why I continued to read during his class and I explained that reading kept me awake. If I wasn’t reading then I would fall asleep. As long as I wasn’t disrupting and participated in class discussions, he never bothered me about this again. I mention Mr. McCommiskey because despite our rocky moments, he taught me so much about spirituality and not accepting the “official” version of events. He was a liberation theologist (this was the early 1980s and as I look back I am truly amazed at how blessed I was by my Catholic high school education). He often pointed out facts left out of the official version of events such as that women used to officiate at early Christian masses. He once led us in replicating what an early Christian mass might have included, along with making unleavened honey oat cakes for us to try. He tried to enlighten our remarkably uninterested teenage minds to the hypocrisy and inequality in the world (he had spend a few years in El Salvador). I truly believe this man is one of the reasons my spiritual path has explored so many areas. When I met him again at a recent high school reunion I made a point to seek him out and than him. I think he might have been touched by my appreciation (even though I admitted I was no long Catholic).
On a deeper and different level I thought about my parents and the gifts they gave me. Despite their dysfunction, my parents did give me the gift of life and as a result dramatically changed their own lives. They taught me to think for myself (which I’m sure they had many occasions to regret) and to fight for what I believed. They taught me that family is important (something I did not appreciate during my teen years) and should be defended. They taught me that no matter how difficult and challenging things become we shouldn’t give up. From my mother’s side of the family I learned that family doesn’t walk away when things get bad. I watched as my grandmother, her eldest brother and visiting siblings cared for their mother (my great-grandmother) who was senile and unable to care for herself. They all worked together to keep her home and cared for until she passed away. My maternal grandmother survived burying two husbands (the first when she was only about 18), her 6 month old son (also when she was 18) and raising her only daughter by herself. She refused to break. She might have bent under the weight of her responsibilities on occasion but she didn’t give up. She was stubborn and strong-willed and I adored her.
So how can I honor and reciprocate such intangible gifts? The best way I can see is paying it forward. I now tend my ailing mother-in-law because of the gift my grandmother and her family gave me about understanding family obligations and responsibilities. Did they struggle? Of course they did, but they didn’t give up. Even though I was able to thank both the teachers I mentioned that doesn’t mean I can’t pay those gifts forward too. I have nieces and nephews. By teaching them to question and seek answers I hope that I am gifting them with a lifelong curiosity that will pay back the teachers who gifted it to me. There are many more instances I could mention but I think the point has been made. In so many ways we are all blessed in our lives; we are given many tangible and intangible gifts. We should be sure not to take them for granted and to reciprocate in kind in whatever way possible, or at least that what I’m going to try.
Mansions of the Moon Tarot ZADOK (firstname.lastname@example.org) Self-Published
Traditional Meaning: Sudden, disruptive and potential devastating change. A shattering, eye-opening experience that changes one’s perspective forever. A dramatic, sudden and unexpected clearing away of obstacles so that the path ahead becomes clearer. Disaster and upheaval.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: The image is very traditional in nature but the addition of the figure in the sky shooting a bolt of fire at the tower changes it slightly. This gives the impression that the destruction of the tower is not an “act of God” or a natural phenomenon, adding another layer to the card.
This image suggests that there may be times when we experience Tower episodes which are the direct result of someone else’s impact on our lives. This may be in the form of a divorce, or other marital shake-ups, or the boss from hell, or perhaps from some government official or politician. Certainly one of the most dramatic examples was seen on Sept 11th. The destruction of the Twin Towers was the direct result of one man’s decision and his followers’ agreement. Destiny or fate was not the dominant factor in that event (at least not obviously so).
This card is a clear reminder that we can also create Tower moments in someone’s life. Perhaps it occurred as a result of a thoughtless comment that preyed on the recipient. Or perhaps you found yourself in a situation where you were the third wheel in a relationship or having to terminate the employment of someone in a difficult life situation. The fact of the matter is that none of us live in a vacuum so we may very well have had a Tower impact on someone else’s life of felt someone else’s impact in our own. This has always been one of my issues with the Wiccan Rede “As it harm none, do what thou wilt” (or whatever variant you prefer). The reality is that it is almost impossible not to cause harm to others through our own actions – no matter how unintentional. If I win something that means someone else had to lose. If I am hired then others were not. We can try to ameliorate the harm we cause but causing some form of harm would seem to be inevitable for most of us. I must admit there have been times when I feel like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo because I seem to hurt everyone with whom I interact.
Maybe in order to free ourselves from the Devil’s chains we had to create a Tower moment in our own life. Consider situations where a woman leaves an abusive relationship or a person decides to face the truth about their own sexuality. These may be moments where we deliberately shatter our own lives in order to be more true to ourselves. Addicts trying to clean up their lives create Tower experiences in order to overcome their habit. All this and more is what this card brings to mind. Yes, there is the destruction and devastation, but once all the shaking is done we finally have a chance to start picking up and rebuilding our lives. It might not be easy but it can certainly bring a sense of liberation in the long run.