What traps me in cycles of self-destruction? King of Cups (Celtic & Northern Shadows)

 

 

As soon as I saw this card appear I knew that the answer is “my father” or rather the part of me that behaves as my father did.  His alcoholism, emotionally scarred and scarring behaviors, his wounded inner psyche, all combined to make him someone who caused damage because of his need to be loved and his fear that no one really did love him.  He had a wounded heart that never healed so he medicated it with alcohol and drugs.

I have a wounded heart that I medicate with food and sweets.  Initially these behaviors might not seem as damaging and destructive as my father’s but when one adds in the fact that I have Type II diabetes, these behaviors become very self-destructive indeed.  I have often wondered if I have a death wish.  Not something conscious which would drive me to commit suicide but a quiet, deeply ingrained sense of worthlessness that makes me feel my death would end my suffering and cause no major ripples in the world.  I don’t to believe this is true but I guess on some level it is human nature to feel this way.

This situation is also complicated by the relationship I had with my father and the fact that many of the emotional scars I bear are the result of his behavior towards him.  The sexual molestation and physical abuse left me feeling worthless but defiant.  I might bend to his will because he was bigger and stronger than me but I would never give in and become my mother.  I refused to subsume my personality to his in order to avoid beatings.  That is not who I am nor is it who I want to be.  Beatings only tend to make me more determined, defiant and angry.

And yet, by continuing to behave in ways that damage my health and may ultimately threaten my life, I am subsuming myself to him.  I’ve given him mastery and control over my emotions and self-worth.  I’m accepting and embracing his self-destructive behaviors as though they are my own.  They are not.  I want to live (no matter how much of a struggle that might be).  I want to have healthy, loving and supportive relationships in my life and I won’t compromise or sell myself short in order to get them.  I am not a coward nor am I weak.  I can overcome this.  I cam beat this emotional inner demon just like I overcame many of the other challenges in my life.  In fact if my life were a movie right now Helen Reddy’s classic 70s feminist anthem “I Am Woman” would begin swelling up right about now.  As she sang, “Oh yes I am wise, but it’s wisdom born of pain.  Yes, I’ve paid the price but look how much I gained.  If I have to, I can do anything.”  That pretty much says it all.

What do I need to focus on today? The Hermit (Transformational & Gaian)

 

Hmm, The Hermit.  This is a card with which I am not very well acquainted.  As I’ve often joked, introspection is not one of my better skills and that certainly seems to be one of the meanings of this card.  In fact it is called Introspection in the Transformational Tarot.  This is one of those cards that I have a relatively neutral attitude towards.  I appreciate the benefits of solitude and introspection.  I can also understand that the Hermit is also able to bring back these gifts to help others find their way through the darkness.  Who knows, maybe whatever insights I gain from my introspection might help others as well.

This card really ties in beautifully with some other messages I’ve received from the Tarot lately.  My first epiphany was when I realized that at the core of some of my issues is not self-esteem (I’m sure I have some self-esteem issues, but then again who doesn’t).  My issues stem from trust.  I didn’t realize this until I was reviewing some of the questions Sasha Graham asks in her 10 of Swords exercise in Tarot Diva.  The questions revolved around negative images we developed based on things people have said to us over the years (“you’re too fat”, “too ugly”, etc.).  As I was reading the questions I realized that I can’t point to a specific incidence of that type of insult that stuck in my psyche.  It wasn’t resonating with me.

As I pondered this a bit further I realized that most of the experiences in my life that caused damage to my psyche were the result of people praising me with an ulterior motive, their own agenda.  I could often sense the resentment or envy underlying the compliment and it bothered me.  I began to mistrust any positive feedback I got from people because I began to assume that there was something mean-spirited or negative underlying it.  For example I had a friend in school who would always ask what score I had gotten on a test or on my report card.  If my grades were better than hers, she would be envious.  In various ways I experienced situations where older men would flatter me, calling me beautiful or sexy or whatever and then hit on me.  At the time I was about 15 and although I found such attentions flattering I was in o way emotionally able to handle them.

I think The Hermit is going to be my guide to look within myself and help me decide how to process this new insight and where to go with it.  It’s interesting that I haven’t realize this before.  Something just clicked in my brain when I realized this fact.  It also explains why I have a low tolerance for hypocrisy or lying.  Honesty is a huge issue for me.  In fact sometimes it’s a real problem because even marketing (which smacks a bit of lying to me) can become a problem for me.  It makes so much sense why I’ve always felt an affinity for the Queen of Swords and Swords suit in general.  To me they have always represented cutting through the bullshit; getting to the truth of the matter.  My aversion to Cups is the result of the fact that people claimed to love me while abusing me in some way.  I’m a bit of a slow learner (possibly because I’ve avoided introspection) but not that I realize it, I know myself well enough to know I will continue poking at this sore spot until I let all the pus and gore out.  Then the healing can begin and ultimately I think that’s what this is about for me – healing.

What do I need to consider today? 7 of Wands (Vision & Touchstone)

 

I am feeling a bit restless and antsy lately.  My energies have been extremely under-utilized and it’s starting to show.  I’m feeling defensive, as though I need to explain myself to people and I’m not sure why.  Well okay, full disclosure – I do know why.  When one has two masters degrees and is not actively seeking employment in a traditional job, one feels the need to justify this decision.  Of course this says more about me than about the people who might dare to ask me that kind of question.  Added to this is the fact that I’ve been avoiding taking any steps to advance the field in which I’d like to make a living.  Most of that is due to my own insecurities and feelings of inadequacy.

This past weekend at the Goshen Psychic Fair, I was chatting with fellow Tarot readers and the brilliant Sasha Graham, the Tarot Diva, said something so simple an so profound that it blew me away.  She said (and I’m paraphrasing) that  you can’t give a bad Tarot reading as long as you keep the focus on the querent.  Everyone loves to hear about themselves.  In my 7 of Wands defensiveness, I’ve often felt the need to show my knowledge and skills so that they’ll understand I know what I’m talking about.  In reality, especially for many people coming to a psychic fair or getting their first reading, they can’t be sure whether I know anything or not.  And quite a number of them probably don’t care.  They want to feel that I’ve given them some insight into themselves or helped them find an answer.  That can be done without a lot of the explanatory stuff I have tended to include.  I think I was boring them with bullshit instead of dazzling them with my brilliance.  Realizing that was a very freeing moment for me.  And I think this card is a reminder that I don’t need to feel so defensive about my skills.  I’m good and the key for me is accepting that within myself.

 

 

What is my message for today? The World (Vision & Touchstone)

 

How can I not loved drawing this card?  After all who doesn’t really believe (deep down inside of course) they he or she is not the center of the known Universe?  I admit this about myself.  Even when things seem bleak and overwhelming, it’s still all about me.  The world revolves around me and what I do and feel and think affects everyone in it.  Now if I truly lived my life as though everyone in the world is impacted by my choices and beliefs and decisions, I’d probably be diagnosed with a case of narcissistic personality disorder at best.  However, if we consider the Butterfly Effect theory then isn’t it just as likely that our actions and attitudes create ripple effects that do indeed influence the lives of others.  That’s a bit frightening on some level.  That means my temper tantrum today might create some sort of negative repercussion for someone else further down the road.  Yikes!

On the other hand, the reality is that all of us are the center of our own universes.  How can we not be?  On the Vision Tarot World card, Dirk Gillabel uses The Star Gate to represent this Arcana.  What a fabulous concept!  And quite eye-opening too!  I saw the original Stargate movie (Kurt Russell was in it, how could I not see it) and thought it raised an interesting premise – what if there was a portal that allowed us access to other worlds and other civilizations?  The series certainly fleshed out this concept in much more depth, offering both the positive and negative results from such access.  On a personal level it points out that even if we cannot actually leave the world in which we were born via a time/space portal, we do have the ability to manipulate and control certain aspects of our lives.

Some of the things I can control – how I react to various situations, how I treat others, how I spend my resources, how it use my energies and an infinite number of other choices.  I think sometimes, especially in this chaotic and economically charged environment, we become overwhelmed by what is being done and begin to feel helpless and out of control.  However, if we refuse to give up that control to others and take charge, be responsible for out lives and our choices (both good and bad), it will empower us and allow us to feel that we can control our small portion of the world.  Don’t allow anyone, especially yourself, to take this power away from you.

COTD – Prince of Pentacles/Knight of Stones (DruidCraft & Wildwood)

 

Interesting that the Wildwood Tarot chose to use the horse to represent the Knight of Stones.  In the Greenwood Tarot, this decks precursor/inspiration, the horse is the King of Stones.  However I can see the horse easily fitting into the paradigm of the Knight of Pentacles.  This is the wild mustang or perhaps the warhorse of old,  not the cart or plow horse.  There is an element of untamed energy moving forward and charging ahead.  However this energy  is also focused and solid.  This knight know how to use his resources wisely, with no wasted effort.  I’ve often considered the Knight of Pentacles to be the steady, reliable, hard-working, almost plodding, knight.  He may lack the romanticism, charm or wit of the other knight but he is loyal to a fault, focused and will achieve his goals.  This is the knight who will stand by you through thick and thin and always be there for you when you need him.

So how does this tie in to my life right now?  In one sense this card refers to my hubby.  I’ve always seen him as a Knight of Pentacles – solid, reliable, loyal and determined as well as stubborn.  He is methodical, practical and careful and as a result he gets things done.  The challenge arises when he realizes he cannot control all factors in the equation, causing frustration.   Many of these traits would stand me in good stead as I work on manifesting my desires into reality.  I get excited about projects but then my enthusiasm peters out and I lose interest and momentum.  This card takes the energy and persistence suggested in the 8 of Pentacles yesterday and moves it to the next level  It is time to be practical and focused, harness that initial energy and enthusiasm and figure out ways to manifest it into reality.

It’s one thing to have skills.  It’s another thing to have enthusiasm, drive and energy.  Putting them together in a way that works is yet another thing.  Having the skills and the energy is useless unless you can create a plan, a strategy that helps you work with both in a way that is beneficial and concrete.  I have been and can become enthusiastic about a number of things, some of which I am unable to actually do.  There are skills and talents I possess which I have no interest in pursuing as a source of income.  I need to find the area where these overlap and focus my attention there.  Otherwise I’m basically spinning my wheel sin quicksand – it may make a lot of noise and waste a lot of fuel but it’s not getting me anywhere.

COTD – King of Wands/Bows (DruidCraft & Wildwood)

 

Adders?  Okay, I don’t get why one would chose to use adders to represent the King of Bows but I can roll with it.  I am very unfamiliar with adders but looking at the slithering mass of them on this card I was not immediately given a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I don’t dislike snakes by any means but I would prefer not to wander on a nest of them either.  Apparently adders are venomous and found almost all over the world.  One fact I found fascinating is that adders can decide how much venom to release into a victim.  That could certainly be seen as a King of Wands quality.  According to the Wildwood book, adders engage in a battle for supremacy that can appear to be a mating ritual.  Snakes have often been associated with goddess worship, hidden knowledge, and cyclical changes.  Many (if not all) snakes shed their skin.  I can see that quality being connected with fiery energy.  Fire has a tendency to flare up and die down, bursting forth again just when we think it’s ready to go out.  Perhaps the adder is a reminder not to underestimate the power of the King of Wands.  He may be mature and experienced but he’s not worn out yet.  He still has some fight left in him and he has learned when it is appropriate to expend his energies in a cause.

I get that same sense of confidence and contained energy from the DruidCraft King of Wands.  He is poised to move into the fray when necessary but right now he is fine just where he is.  There is no need for him to exert himself just yet.  He may watch the youngsters struggle and waste their energy in unnecessary posturing and struggles but he is above all that.  He no longer needs to prove himself to anyone.  He is confident, powerful and strong and perfectly capable and willing to unleash that power and strength on enemies when the need arises.  He may occasionally flare up and lose his temper but over time he has learned to master his anger and channel it in ways that are more productive and beneficial to him and his people.

For myself, the King of Wands offers qualities to aspire to in myself.  His mastery and control over his temper and his ability to channel his energies into more productive routes are one I would do well to learn.  He knows how to pick his battles whereas I often find myself in a scattered energy phase – spewing random flashes of energy all over the place.  I need to learn to be prepared for battle without being quite so eager or courting it.  It might be to my benefit to master my anger and energy and passion instead of letting them master me.  I don’t need to lead the charge into the fray anymore.  Maybe I’d be more useful as an advisor and supervisor rather than a direct participant.  Something to consider at any rate.

COTD – 6 of Wands/Bricks R (Fenestra & Dante)

 

Sixes symbolize the union of opposites, finding equilibrium, harmony in the face of constant change.  Wands are associated with inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”, and the element of fire.

“You’ve met the challenge to your identity and come through it.  Now, the self you’re presenting to the world is more confident and stable.  You feel more secure with your identity and sense of purpose or personal direction.  You’re settling into the groove of being this self.” – Gail Fairfield

Somehow this card seems to tie in with my epiphany of yesterday.  The triumphant procession shown on the Fenestra card suggests that I can triumph over this fear of success and inner demons who enjoy enhancing my self-doubts.  The image on this card shows another figure walking beside the rider but I think because it’s reversed, the card is letting me know that before I can accept or expect accolades from others, I have to be willing to praise myself.  That can be easier said than done.

The Dante 6 of Bricks shows two figures (one male and one female) standing beside a tree with an open book on a podium.  They appear to be plighting their troth to each other or perhaps even getting married.  They are focused on each other and the rest of the world’s distraction are clearing in the background and not intruding.  Perhaps each functions as the inspiration for and ignites the passions of the other.  They create a balance and harmony by combining their two energies that allows them to triumph over the temptations and distractions in the world.

The combination of these two cards suggests that I have to learn to love myself; to find a way to energize my own inspiration and passion before I can move forward.  If I don’t allow myself to appreciate the victories I’ve achieved that how can I expect anyone else to honor them?  That has often been a problem for me.  Anything I do well or that comes easily to me is quickly discounted.  I tend to do well in school and get good grades so that achieving two masters degrees was not a big deal for me.  When others praise these accomplishments, I tend to downplay them.  Doing that send the message to my inner self and to others that I’m not worth praising.  And if I keep that energy surrounding me then I’ll never feel truly victorious at anything.

I have to learn to appreciate the things I am able to do well and accept praise for them. I am worthy of praise and accolades.  Receiving recognition from others will not cause my friends to be jealous or alienate them.  True friends will appreciate my victories too.  That is a childhood fear based on childhood experiences that I have to move passed.  It will trip me up and hold me back until I can release its negative influence on my life.

So in order for me to be more triumphant and victorious on the out plane, I have to learn to be more comfortable with praise and acknowledgement on the inner plane.  To paraphrase Stewie Gilligan Griffin – “Victory shall be mine!”