The beginning of your journey...
I went on a week long silent retreat - seven days long. No talking and only my head for company. I did some thinking. One of the things that came to me, was I realized I missed my life as a member of the prophetic team at the church I attended years ago. Only, I no longer believe in God. I no longer believe in a perfect creator, holding the world in his hand, making miracles happen and giving gifts to those who are faithful. The god as I see it now, is less present in daily life and more loving than the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A god who will let anyone into their presence and a god who is genderless. A god who will love the homosexual and the ugly, just as much as the faithful church goer.
Only, I miss stepping into intuition. I miss giving people hope and guidance when they need it most.
I had an intuitive reading at the end of the week, after the silence was over and we were no longer a part of the Convergence group. The reader suggested a number of books to study Tarot, but not a deck of cards. I bought The Wisdom Seeker's Tarot deck, and Mary K Greer's Tarot for Your Self: A workbook for personal transformation, Second Edition. I started the exercises and realized the "pip" cards I was looking at (the number cards in the cups, swords, wands, and pentacles suits) didn't have narrative images that helped me understand the meanings of the cards. To be honest, I felt lost.
I turned to the internet. (Yay! Internet!) I found BiddyTarot and I discovered that my pip cards were woefully unhelpful. Biddy recommended the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot. As I looked it up online at the purveyor site of all things, other books were recommended. One the reader at the end of my silent retreat recommended: Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack. There was another book being recommended as well, Kitchen Table Tarot, by Melissa Cynova. I picked up both. The Kitchen Table Tarot I devoured in a few days. I have to say, I wish Cynova were by best friend. Seriously. I love her relaxed style, which is exactly what she was aiming for - with the whole, sit around my kitchen table and let's talk about what this card means to you theme. Even her explanations of the cards individually feel like she's just talking to you about what she's learned.
I also picked up from Biddy Tarot, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Readings, Tarot Foundations: 31 days to read Tarot with confidence, and her Tarot Card Meanings Workbook. Walking through both Greer and Biddy Tarot's Tarot Foundations has helped me see how Tarot can truly be a light to my feet through my day.
There is this exercise called Card-A-Day. You are to pick a card at the beginning of the day and then think about it throughout the day, with a final reflection of the card at the end of the day.
Yesterday, I pulled The Major Arcana of Death. At which point, my stomach sank.
THE DEATH CARD???
Thank god for Cynova in Kitchen Table Tarot. She states, over and over, the Death card means, "Change." She says, "Death means change. Death means change. Death means change. Death. Means. Change." She makes it clear that it does not mean someone you know is going to die. Only, as I pulled the card, my stomach was already in my throat and my world was buzzing with anxiety. I had a yearly appointment with my oncologist, one that stated again, I am just fine and will continue to be fine, but I continue to go every year and it makes me feel crappy every time. My world spins and I am so scared of what could have been had the treatment not worked. So, I pulled Death.
As I reflected on it, I realized Death was saying, "Let the past go and delight in all of the changes that have come into your life as a result of Hodgkins."
Today, I pulled the 5 of Wands - an image of five young men with long sprouting sticks, fighting and wrestling with each other. Cynova states its young men in competition that can be seen as both powerful and combative. It can also be seen as as frustration, with a person in the center being hemmed in, with no way out and "No one is willing to concede an inch of ground," (164). I then found myself in a meeting where my colleagues and I looked at our boss and we said, "This is not going well for us," and she said, "There is little I can do about that. We have to wait in this time of the unknown." I also found myself in a conversation with someone who regularly treats me like shit and talks to me like I'm five. She often makes me feel stupid, and young, and like I'm the clueless one. She has a ton to teach me, I know that. She just has this tone as we talk that makes me feel small, insignificant, and beneath her time and attention. I found myself thinking about it over and over. What to say, how to react to her, how to tell her to treat me better. I found myself talking to myself, saying what I should have said to her, what I should say to her in the future. I realized there was no point in saying anything. I realized it won't matter. She will continue to treat me like shit, no matter what I say, because it's probably less about me and more about her and whatever it is that makes her miserable. I am the one in the middle of the boys with the sticks, stuck in the center of the melee and unable to see my way out.