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The 4 of Pentacles – Consider letting go a little.

Minor Arcana - Major Thoughts, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

The 4 of Pentacles is a card in the deck that can mean so many different things depending on position and context. Four is a stable number, prompting the idea of structure, solid foundations, security, focus, and even balance. One just needs to briefly consider the 4 points of a compass, the 4 seasons, even the basic 4 legs of a chair or 4 walls of a house. We as humans are even blessed with 4 limbs to assist us in moving and doing.
To me 4 is the representative of safety in a way. This safety can be detrimental to flourishing and growing. A friend and peer quite a while back spoke of the fortress like design of the 4 of Disks image in the Thoth deck and how the figure in the Waite-Smith deck could easily fit right at home in the middle of that fortress. That comment struck me deeply and I had to see it, and it truly gave me further insight into the aspects of the 4 of Pentacles that opened my perception wider.  

Traditional meanings aside, the 4 of Pentacles can at times show us we are holding on far too tightly to what we have, and not necessarily possessions and money – perhaps our physical situation. The idea that we need to address this grip we have on staying in this position, staying ‘safe’ because it’s ours, and we have toiled to get here is ludicrous when the reality is that what is protecting us will become our prison and our isolator if we allow it. 
Holding on hard to what we have logically means that we are not able to reach out for anything new and healthy – our hands and our minds and our hearts are too focused on guarding what, in the end we will have to let go of as we exit this realm anyway. 
I cannot see much joy in this image. I cannot see that it is comfortable to remain in this position for a long long time – and yet many of us spend our lives like this. Too frightened to let go of the edge and float.
Some delude themselves into believing those golden coins are the most precious thing in existence. Others delude themselves that the fortress will protect them from the world. Then there are those who have been shattered and now guard everything so closely.
Nothing is permanent, and we can only remain in the same position for so long before we begin to ache. Is it truly worth it out of fear and the need for security, which is an illusion anyway? 
It might get quite lonely guarding what we think is at risk constantly. Is it truly that dodgy out there that we forsake so much else? How can something that means so much to us that we are willing to sit so tight, to never let go a little, bring us peace and love and light? 

Get out there and live it authentically and beautifully. In a flash it will be over and the only thing that will matter is how well you loved. 

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Judgment – Cause & Effect

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

Cause and effect. The story of our life. A morning layout of cards synchronised with a book I’ve started reading in the rather roundabout but usual way that these things occur. 
It was a connection between where I was and where I am and why, and how I can get past the repercussions of this cause and effect in a way. 
Judgment was the final card in the layout, one of those big impact cards that can really shift our mindset and perspective in many ways. It is the card that reminds me to always take stock of things and be truly honest with myself for the highest good of all concerned. 

We can fool ourselves and our egos, easy peasy, but our inner self, the real us – never! 
There is often an inner conflict or turmoil prior to self cleansing and purifying. A battle between how we feel we got here and how things came about, and the honest side of knowing that our own choices led us to where we are and what resulted. The consequences can affect us for an extraordinarily long time. This is assessing the cause and effect. 
It’s come to light in pondering and spending a while with Judgment that healing and rising cannot take full flight until we have come to terms with, and accepted this actuality for what it is, beyond the details and intricacies. Perhaps acceptance of what and where and how and why is the final key to moving forward into resurrection? 
The petty conflict that rages within ourselves wastes hours and days. The battling eats up our joy and sparkle. It has no purpose but to feed our ravenous egos and fuel our bitterness. 
Perhaps, in reality, we are where we are because we decided to do such and such, followed by such and such. Before we could blink those choices led us to make more choices and more choices. Every action has its reaction. This is judgment. Facing up to what is and looking it in the eye. 
We cannot hide from what is. We can fool ourselves and pretend. That is where we get stuck in the cycle of never healing and growing. Until we accept cause and effect, for whatever is eating away at our spirit, we will not rise and be reborn. Our purpose will remain hidden, our path blocked, our spirit heavy. Nothing will heal and nothing will grow. 

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Normal – a chaotic reflection 

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

​Normal. What a funny old concept. A weird subject for a tarot blog no doubt, but one I am pulled to muse after a chance comment I read directed at a person who suffers Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

This led me to wonder about the validity of being normal. What is normal? Is it something I myself strive for? Where does it fit in the journey and why is it so precious? Is it something that the tarot incorporates and is it even beneficial? How can being ‘normal’ help us heal and grow and most importantly, does normal align with our own authenticity? 

My first stop was of course the dictionary. The Oxford dictionary states: -Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected. The Cambridge dictionary – ordinary or usual; the same as would be expected. Straight away those definitions bring forward in my mind a couple of tarot cards, and if you are a tarot person, probably for you also. So normal, in the context of the comment in the opening paragraph implied that this person should be just like everyone else! 

Conforming, expected, standard, same, ordinary, usual, typical – these are the keywords for ‘normal’. ‘Normal’ is definitely not something that I would ever encourage my own children to strive for, as it seems to involve denying ourselves the right to be undividual, to express our emotion,difficulties or even joy in a way that we see fit from our own truth. 

Naturally  I ponder while I write, and I can slowly see why the Hierophant jumped out at me while mulling over the subject of normal, and why I haven’t always been fond of him.

Normal is pretty ugly when we observe it for what it truly is. So much of what is ‘normal’ as a society and accepted by the majority as standard defies belief. Chasing wealth, debt beyond our means, worshipping other humans as gods, trying to shape ourselves to be a cardboard cut out of what society deems as ideal. 

We elect and follow leaders who do not align with our core values. We ridicule, ostracize and persecute those who look different, believe different things, or live in their own authenticity, those who are not the same as us.  This is ‘normal’ – to judge and punish. 

We push ourselves beyond our capabilities or compromise our morals to be the same or to fit in, to make money or get ahead. We Minimise our quirks, we lie, and then we allow ourselves to feel inadequate,  because we don’t fit in to what someone decided was the suitable space for each of us. 

We are ashamed of gentleness and emotion, for feeling and existing. The list goes on and all of this is normal. 

Organized religion, politics, sects, gangs, all for us to conform. We all at some stage want to belong and want to fit in to something,  to be part of the group standard. Even when we rebel we fall into a typical classification. 

The Hierophant card has often been shown to be the card of conforming and following the masses. Just to look at some of the art on some decks it’s instantly visible.

Conforming to a certain degree is a part of our development in becoming well rounded, civilised, educated humans. Without the standards and institutions he represents we would live in a dystopia. Even my idealistic mind knows that in context there is a need for the Hierophant’s order in this world. But layers, those tarot card layers… 

If we dig further beneath the layers we can find something much more beautiful.

 

Just as the High Priestess is the silent voice, the Hierophant speaks aloud, translating to us what we may not understand. It is our decision whether or not we choose to conform to what the masses deem ‘normal’. Often we accept it without even thinking. He offers us the gift of knowledge. 

Knowledge and understanding are the most precious gifts our intellects and imaginations can receive. It provides us with a platform to become informed, guides us to seek out further insight and find the right answers for ourselves. 

The more we open our minds to knowledge, the more we are able to choose what is right for us and not simply take what is accepted as normal or the standard. It’s like a bit of a double edge. On one hand we can accept what is standard and ‘normal’, or use the Hierophant as a source of learning – which in essence is partly what he should be. 

The more we understand on an exoteric level, the more we can decide all by ourselves whether or not we believe that normal is what we truly desire. 

For years, I wanted normal. I tried and tried for it and never quite made it. I don’t know when or why I decided that ‘normal’ was not really that great. I even question deep down if anyone truly in their heart is ‘normal’. 

Maybe it was when I began to observe the fatigue it bought. Perhaps it was when I realised that it felt empty, false and unnatural and quite frankly unachievable.

The journey of healing does not have room for being ‘normal’. How can we all fit in to the same little box? How can we all be standard and conform to a mold when we are each unique? 

The disharmony I feel as I pause at card 5, trying to reconcile this concept of just being normal, having tried so hard for so long to only realise that the normal of the world appears so abnormal to me…. 

Normal is something that I want to create for myself. If I want to dance in the moonlight once a month butt naked with a crown of flowers on my head – I shall! That is normal. For me!

I will listen to what is presented to me on my life journey. I will consider all that I am taught and shown. Yet I will not go with it because I’m ‘expected to’. I have my own mind, and there is so much more to learn. Not everyone will agree with me or appreciate my ideas, and that is exactly as it should be! 

The Emperor & the mighty oak tree

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts

The Emperor of the Tarot, an archetypal figure of authority and power. The masculine energy that brings order and stability. The stability represented by the Emperor is a facet I have been fixated on when I see him in my own readings. This is the trap of reading for oneself. Seeing only what we want to see, missing the bigger picture. 
Just as the qualities that make each individual human are multi layered, so too are those of each card in the tarot. Any reader knows this. Sometimes it takes looking at an entirely different depiction, to find out how it affects us and our experience and perception. 
The Tarot of Trees, a very unorthodox yet beautiful deck, gave me a deeper look at the Emperor and how he can be something more than that stability and order I so deeply desired in my life. 
The image depicts a massive oak tree, ancient and proud dominating the scene. The beauty and strength of the oak undeniable. The thick trunk held securely in the ground by what I imagine would be deep, long roots. The foliage dense. A most imposing awe inspiring sight. There is no chance of this oak tree swaying and bending in the wind.
Before this huge and imposing tree are hundreds of smaller trees. These trees are beautiful also, yet they appear almost insignificant in the shadow of this great oak. 
Studying and becoming lost in this artwork, it occurred to me that perhaps, stability and power aside, there is something so beautiful about this Emperor. 
Too much of one aspect can be a negative. It can cross the line into becoming dominated or dominating. Unconsciously, we might even run from the slightest possibility of this even occurring. 
How can we accept the Emperor into our lives with grace and balance? Setting boundaries for ourselves by adopting some of his qualities is probably useful. Especially in interpersonal relationships. This I think is at the heart of the fear many of us have with the Emperors energy, due to whatever experiences we may have had with people in this role.
Recognising that we ourselves have our own power and authority,  but also accepting that there are certain things in life we must submit to as a society, for the good of all. (Laws, civility, courtesy etc).
Without order there is chaos. Without personal boundaries we are vulnerable. It’s all about balance. This card image is just beautiful. We can each be a mighty oak, without lording it over another. I think some forget that! 

The Lovers! Sigh….. February Tarot Rebels Blog Hop. 

Tarot Thoughts

http://www.inlinkz.com/new/view.php?id=695821 please follow this link to enjoy more views and insights on The Lovers card from my beautiful and insightful fellow Rebels ❤

This month our Tarot Rebels blog hop focuses on the Lovers card. I re-entered the dating world late last year after being single for over 2 years and found this card turn up for myself in my own readings frequently. It gave me reason to look at it in a different way, and see how much it centred on choices and consequences. 

When I was young, falling in love was so easy and natural. It seemed to be beyond my understanding and control. There was person a and b, they met and sparks flew and boom… in love! 
As I get older, and I’ve had my share of heartbreak and bad choices I have become much more curious and cautious about this age old phenomenon that is the subject of stories, myths, songs, fairy tales and sorrow and joy. 
I’ve discovered that love and lust are so very close, a fine line and a hard one to see. I realise now that truly to love someone is in fact a big decision! One that can be clouded by the intoxicating fumes of pheromones and sexual desire.
The Lovers card, such a romantic depiction in some tarot decks can be very deceiving to say the least! Layers of meaning and symbolic representation can sometimes get lost behind the scene of bliss. It represents love in all it’s forms, but  this pondering focuses on romantic love.
Even where the Lovers sit numerically in the order of the Tarot can guide us.The number six in numerology indicates harmony, union, love, linking above and below, reconciliation, intellectual creativity, discrimination, imagination, perfection, combining intellect and imagination, relatedness, and  taking responsibility for choices. These insights show us that the Lovers card is so much more than what meets the eye.

Often we get so swept away with the idea of being in love, or so smitten with the apple of our eye we don’t think of the practicalities and realities. The Lovers card tells us how beautiful love is, but it also reminds us, ever so subtly that our journey will go on after we make our decision.

Once the lust and passion fades a little, reality sets in and this is where the make or break comes in. To have looked at the bigger picture through the fuzzy rosy glasses, (or even before it gets to that point) is always a good way to use that intellect and imagination to see if this person clashes with our core values, if their path is heading a similar way to ours or if it’s just a lovely moment of passion and fun. Is this union truly blessed, or are we seeing what we want to see because it feels good? 

The consequences of our choices are huge. “Love” is the most precious part of our existence. It comes in so many forms, and is expressed in varying degrees. It is joy that can ultimately bring pain, yet we still love despite this.
When we reflect on the core essence of the card, it comes down to a major life moment and one where it’s not easy – reality and anything worthy never is! 

To love another is beautiful. To share life with another is one of the treasures of being human. At the end of the day though we are still unique and our journey still belongs to us alone, just as each human has their own authenticity and journey. 

Some are blessed to make the right choice only once and live and love and share with that partner until death. Others have had to learn that fairytales are not real and the frog doesn’t magically change even though we wish it and try and hope! 🙂 The choice we make has a huge impact as we continue on our journey, and that is something we never think about!

The Lovers card can remind us that we must choose carefully to love another, but we must also love ourselves and stay true to our purpose. We have the gift of choice, of freedom and of liberty. If we are smart enough to use all our gifts wisely then our love will truly be blessed.

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A Seed of Possibility 

Major Arcana, Tarot Thoughts, The Pondering Chair

One of the hardest challenges in our lives is trusting in the journey. We design these neat little compartments that we will fit into… and when we don’t actually fit we panic.  

I recently had 2 very powerful dreams that spoke to me deeply. They seemed to connect to each other in a bizarre manner. Both resonating strongly with Trump 0, the Fool. 
We each are in essence a seed of force and potential in our own little world. A tiny little world that through our own eyes is infinite. We limit ourselves so very much by how we pressure ourselves to achieve a certain normality in our goals to fit in to our preconceived ideals. 
I recall in my second dream in which I was a male, trying to enter a lift that would take me down to another level of a building how I couldn’t fit into the compartment.. and kept pulling out the little white dividers that neatly separated the spaces in the elevator- almost frantically! So desperate to fit. 
Why in our efforts to conform do we allow ourselves to shrink? What is so important that we struggle to fit in? If our destination is different to what we had planned is that such a horrible prospect?

Pondering the truth that we cannot control much at all, let alone where we are going, perhaps embracing the magic of possibility and the unknown is not such a bad thing.

Of course we will have trips and falls and scrapes and even broken bones and hearts at times. I say it so flippantly but mean it with great passion and truth. Fear is what keeps us so determined to fit in our little space so doggedly I think. And ego too. 
There is no failure in the things life throws at us. There is no failure in learning and growing and changing course. I think the failure lies in trying to fit into something that isn’t right for us anymore.  
When my dreams told me that I was just a little seed of possibility, I felt quite disappointed at first. But as I pondered and reflected on just what that meant I suddenly realised that after all these years of trying to be the person I’d always planned, living the life I’d always dreamed – normality and average- and never quite making it there – it hit me that I’m far more blessed being a seed of possibility. 
So wherever the journey takes me I will embrace the twists and turns with self love, love for others and gratitude. Not everyone  realises that they hsve received this gift that has been offered to me.. or to you.. for we are ALL seeds of possibility!  So as we journey together let’s make it a beautiful adventure in growth, learning, loving and living. 
Much love,

Tess x

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The 5 of Cups Lingers

Tarot Thoughts

When a woman has experienced brutal trauma from the person who loves her, I think her future outlook on relationships can go in a couple of directions.  

Generally, we all desire to have a compatible mate to share the joys and sorrows of existing with. We all want that connection and touch that comes from being in a physical and emotional relationship. We all want and should be allowed to have the security, trust and bond that was designed for us to enjoy as humans.  

It fascinates me how others feel they have a right to dictate how and when and who a single person, particularly a female mother, should conduct and choose and who with. Those of you that say it will come are usually in a relationship or are ignorant of the severity of issues that an ex-victim of narcissistic abuse faces when they are wanting what most people take for granted – normality, safety, trust! 

Interestingly over the past couple of years there has been several opportunities for me to establish relationships with seemingly decent people. Yet the paralysis of fear and what ifs and flash backs of the monster who loved me to almost death intrude and I become terrified. 

This pattern repeats over and over. The 5 of Cups looms over me like a shadow.. offering me a way out yet keeping me in the grip of grief. 

I was pondering the division of the cups in the image.  3 strewn on the ground..the life blood trickling out on to the earth. The three of creativity, nurturing, already manifesting. The stream rushing past in front. So much gone already in that three. I glance over to the 2 standing. Only 2, duality and not yet created. What if I lose those 2 also. What will I be left with then? 

Life is so full of risk and grief and frozen moments of fear. How do you finally once and for all walk away from that which has shattered and let it be. How do you balance out the extremes? That’s what the 2 is isn’t it? Learning to balance our reactions and actions. 

Perhaps I’m not as ready to move forward as I thought I was. Perhaps it’s not yet time. I feel the clock ticking as I get older and less desirable. I feel the scars stretch and ache too much. Maybe he really did destroy my capacity for trusting in what might come.  Maybe there is no one left who will have the strength and compassion to show me what I need.  

I’m sick to death of looking at these spilled cups.  So tired of trying to mop up the mess. Maybe that’s what my purpose is, to walk alone and carefully make sure these other 2 are safe always. 

I don’t know. The 5 of Cups has followed me for so long it’s time I got rid of it somehow. I can see the little boat and 6 Swords in the distance.  I can’t quite make out who’s at the helm. It’s slowly sailing closer. I shall be patient and continue to reflect on how far I’ve come as I take one last look at the 3 cups on the earth, but this time I will make sure I am holding the 2 clean full ones delicately in my hands.