Lead me through darkness
Reveal what hides in shadows
Don’t let me get lost
Lead me through darkness
Reveal what hides in shadows
Don’t let me get lost
Calm gentle spirit
Guide through my soul’s barren wastes,
Its jagged edges
Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance
The book says: And the Fool understands at last what he has been seeking as he traveled these many, many pathways.
Not just the ability to know – and not just the ability to dream. But the ability to understand the difference combined with the intuition to know how, where and when the two should come together.
And the power to make it happen.
The true pearl of all existence.
Just the mental visualization of the word causes the Universe to move once again. And the great Moon overhead casts down her golden beams of luminous light upon the dark water. And slowly, rhythmically, those waters begin to move. Very slowly at first, this ebb and flow of water, until at last, the growing walls of water begin to crash against the rocks, spewing their foam into the air. Crashing violently against those enormous columns of stone. The solid reality of rock. The ever-changing ebb and tide of water. The shifting interplay of light and shadow. A rhythm of movement both ancient…And eternal.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks of darkness and mystery, of shadows and secrets. Who is this figure and what does she (he) want? Why is the figure standing at the shoreline and what does she hope to see? Is the full moon friend or foe? Guardian or watcher?
Obviously the answers to these questions will depend upon your perspective but for me I see the figure as a guide to the mysteries of the moon. She will help you examine the truths which we keep hidden even from ourselves; those deep, dark emotions we may prefer to avoid or to embrace so heartily that we lose sight of all else. She is the guardian of our shadow side, our deep inner nature. She can help us find the way back to shore after we have visited those stones in the middle of our soul, but she won’t save us if we chose to drown. She understands that the darker, more intuitive side of our nature can be frightening and overwhelming but she cannot overcome that fear, we must do it on our own. She can help us learn to accept and embrace that side of ourselves but she cannot do it for us. She is also a sentinel watching to make sure that nothing too frightening overwhelms us until we are ready to deal with it.
In some ways this card reminds me of the role Dr. Wilbur, the psychiatrist, takes in the movie Sybil about a woman with multiple personality disorder. She cannot protect Sybil from the truth of her past with all its pain and torment but she can help her take it one step at a time until she is ready to embrace all of her selves and face the truth about her childhood. It can no longer physically hurt Sybil but dredging up those hidden memories almost causes her to hurt herself. Dr. Wilbur is there to guide her past those rocky points and let Sybil learn how to integrate her many selves into a healthy whole.
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games (2006)
The Book says: A cycle of change; solutions to present questions can be found in the symbols of dreams and intuition rather than logic and reason. Trust your hunch; an important time for meditation. The moon rules the rhythms of life; of tides, menstruation, and other natural cycles. This card suggests that you acknowledge and respect your own natural biorhythms, moods and cycles and those of nature. The moon is metaphorically seen as the womb which both gives and takes life, so this card also stands for being sensitive to the inner knowing of when to bring something into your life as well as letting something go when the learning or spiritual process is complete. When one’s natural cycles and biorhythms are ignored or suppressed, a feeling of listlessness or even depression can emerge. Pay attention to your emotional state.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card sends a message of serenity and calmness as well as one of loneliness and loss. It is both peaceful and sad. The Moon’s calm, almost distant, expression brings to mind times when I felt alone and lost but looking up at the moon somehow brought a sense of peace and protection.
I hadn’t actually thought about that until now but that was my connection to the moon. I always felt as though it watched over me and protected me from harm. I love the night and revel in the darkness. It always seems so soothing and mysterious. Yet at the same time I adore the daylight hours (I just hate waking up ;-D). I was not a creature of the moon but any means. As I’ve often told friends, I do not feel the same connection to the moon which many of them experience, and yet I love the moon.
The moon is a magical, mystical protector who guides me through whatever darkness surrounds me. Maybe I see the moon as more masculine than feminine (a product of reading a lot of Norse & Irish mythology as a child). The moon cut through the blackness of the night and was a beacon of love and acceptance. This Moon’s face might be feminine but I get that same sense of guidance and protection. She seems to be watching the empty boat to ensure that it makes it safely through the rocks. I can connect with that because heaven knows there have been moments in my life when I have felt adrift and alone but that something watches over me and protects me from ever getting truly lost. It guides me back to myself and helps me to look deep within and find my true course again. Is it The Moon? Well perhaps not the celestial body in the sky, but certainly the energy we have often associated with it.
The Moon reminds me of the song “Somewhere Out There” from the animated movie An American Tale (Tail). The Moon reminds us that we are not alone, that many others stand beneath the same moon making similar wishes and experiencing similar hopes, dreams and doubts. And maybe, just maybe, the moon helps us all work through them and move on with our lives.
Mansions of the Moon Tarot
The Book says: The three-faced goddess Hecate and her associations with the Moon. The Moon stands for the collective unconscious.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: Here again is an image of a guardian and a guide, but also a sentinel and protector. Hecate is the guardian of the crossroads. She may not tell you which crossroads to take but she may be willing to help you illuminate your options. The presence of Cerberus is both ominous and reassuring. He is a frightening sight to behold and yet one of his tasks is to prevent those who are not ready from entering the Underworld. Perhaps he serves the same function here. If we are not ready to face certain truths that will be revealed during this journey, Cerberus will chase us away from them. Just as Hecate will aid us in our journey – not by being sympathetic and allowing us to turn in fear, but by forcing us to face the truths we avoid and helping us learn how to handle them. She is not a warm and fuzzy type goddess but she can be benevolent and healing.
This card reminds me that sometimes we need to work in the dark, turning over rocks and facing whatever lies beneath. Hiding from the truth doesn’t change it or make it go away, it weakens us. Hecate’s torch can help illuminate some of those shadows and make the unknown just a little less fearsome. To me this card is about looking with the dark center of our heart and facing it. It’s time to do away with self-delusions and the fantasies to which we cling. Now is our opportunity to look that darkness in the face and see what is revealed. Only by going deep within ourselves can we find the truth about who we are.
Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
The Book says: The Imaginer shows the seascape of Manannan, the Irish God of the Otherworld and of the Sea. Like Odysseus, he is courteous and cunning, a companion to our soul’s seafaring. He issues invitations to his realm to those who are worthy to seek his rich treasury. The golden-oared boat is an authentic image of the vessel used by those who made the immram or heroic voyage to the Blessed Islands of Manannan. Under the light of the moon, within the rhythm of the tides and currents, we discover our deep harmonious self.
Keywords: Imagination; latent powers; attunement to the rhythms, tides and patterns of one’s life; unconscious influences; dreams and visions; introspection; creative conception; pregnancy.
Reversed: Illusions; fear of the unfamiliar; inflexibility and impatience with natural rhythms; mental disturbance, magnification of worries and problems.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card speaks of the soul journey to the center of ourselves. Irish myths and legends offer several stories of heros’ voyages to a number of mystical islands before finally returning home, changed forever. Manannan also serves as the gatekeeper to the Otherworlds and he guides and guards these lands. We cannot visit these islands without Manannan’s approval. In his role and lord of the seas he also can help us cross the waters of emotional turmoil that arrive in our lives.
This card reminds us that even when we feel we are most alone in this voyage to the center of ourselves, we are not alone. Whatever one chooses to call one’s greater power it is there for us – guiding and guarding us on our journey. It is an opportunity for healing and growth, crossing over to a new level of emotional growth and introspection. The Imaginer reminds us that while the journey may take us to uncharted territory and unfamiliar places, we can safely make the journey and reap it benefits. But first we have to get passed our fear of the unknown and our worries about what is hidden along the journey.
Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
The Book says: When this card is a part of your reading you are experiencing a kind of foreshadowing: an intuition, suspicion, and fear of what is to come. This card signifies a time in which shadow aspects of your personality or things that are hidden in darkness are developing a life of their own. Sometimes these things are positive, creative aspects of the personality and lead to a deep appreciation of our talents and our humanity. Whatever is at work in the darkness, it is time to pay attention, as the opportunity for real growth is present. Follow the cycle of the moon and try to recognize its development from new to full and its return to full. Watch how it becomes visible in the daylight hours and use its phases to help you illuminate your own situation. The Moon card represents inner process, and these processes work well with the help of symbols; the moon’s changeability is just such a transformative process and a visual tool for growth and change.
TarotBroad’s Buzz: To me this Moon card symbolizes the mysteries of the unconscious and the hidden aspects of the human psyche – those things we only dare to address in the darkness of the night. Very often the Moon is associated with women’s mysteries and women’s cycles. I’ve never really felt that connection myself. To me the Moon is more of a psychological card; a card that forces us to face the things that scare us deep down inside. The Moon is about the unknown and our terror of things that go bump in the night.
It has always amazed me how familiar things appear so much more threatening and fearsome in the dark. This card represents the darkness present in the human soul and our ability to do horrible things to each other. At the same time The Moon symbolizes dreams and intuition, trusting our inner voice and inner wisdom but even that can seem like a scary, alien landscape. We are so often taught that there must be a rational explanation for everything. However even if mysterious things can be explained in a rational way, that doesn’t mean it’s the only possible explanation. Look at crop circles and UFO sightings. There are rational and logical explanations for both of these phenomena but that doesn’t necessarily mean these are the only possibility.
The Moon didn’t become any less magical and mystical just because humans landed there. It is still a beacon in the night; a light which guides us through the darkness and helps us find our way. The Moon may not be able to make all the darkness and scariness disappear but its presence helps reassure us that we are not alone. I remember as a child being convinced the moon followed me home. How many people wish for the moon. The moon is the keeper of our deepest dreams, our secret desires and our hidden shames. Perhaps the moon can eventually help us realize that there is a time to face and address these desires, dreams and shames otherwise we don’t allow ourselves to transform and move to the next level. It may be a messy, frightening prospect but the moon will help guide us along the path.
What do you do when you learn something about a family member that is so horrific and shocking that it shatters you? How do you pick up the pieces and move forward again? How can you repair the collateral damage it creates in your life? Can you ever again be in the presence of that family member? Do you share this information with other loved ones? I don’t know the answers to this litany of questions but I am about to start exploring my way through this thorny, nasty thicket.
The other day while talking with a childhood friend, she revealed something quite disturbing about a relative. I had often suspected that there was some shady and extremely negative in this relative’s behavior. In fact my hubby and I had even shared our suspicions with each other on several occasions. I genuinely thought I knew this relative and that nothing, no matter how vile, could surprise me. Well I have been proven wrong. My friend shared a past incident about this relative which completely shattered me. It left me feeling ragged, raw and reduced to tears. I still feel physically ill. It revealed a darkness and depravity of which I had not believed this person capable. What makes me even sadder is that my friend holds herself responsible for what occurred and I can tell it’s destroying her up inside.
Without getting into details, because in this instance they don’t really matter, I feel the need to focus on the soul sickness that results from these types of incidents and how I plan to begin the healing process. What surprises me the most about this situation is that I understand how my friend feels. When she shared the incident with me I felt shame and blame – guilt by association. Have you ever experienced something like that? You learn something about a relative, something which you could not have prevented even if you knew at the time, but feel as though you carry some of the blame? I feel as though I should have done something to protect this friend. I had an idea of the damage this relative was capable of inflicting on others, I knew my friend was in a vulnerable state at that point. Yet I did nothing to try to stop them from hanging out together. In my mind I realize that even if I had tried to prevent it, the odds are it would not have worked. My heart and my soul are finding this harder to accept.
So as an effort to start my healing process, and maybe help my friend with hers, I asked the Arianrhod (The Moon) from the Dark Goddess Tarot for guidance. I needed to know how to deal with having my illusions (or delusions) about this family member destroyed. Arianrhod sent me The Sphinx (4 of Earth). Her message to me was that it was time to face the harsh truth of this matter because trying to run from it does no one, especially me, any good. So I asked The Sphinx for some advice on facing this harsh truth. She offered me Temperance reversed and the Queen of Wands.
The message these cards had for me struck my spirit immediately. Temperance reversed is telling me not to lose sight of the fact that my inner spirit is pure and carries no taint of blame. However, it also reminds me that a purification and cleansing ritual might help me and my friend feel better. I need to look deep within myself and embrace the reflection that shines back. She has nothing to do with this family member’s actions and behaviors. She couldn’t have stopped any of it but maybe she can help my friend find some healing too. The Queen of Wands reminds me of my warrior spirit. She is fierce in defense of those she loves and merciless to those who harm her loved ones. In this instance the harmer happens to be someone that is a family member and was once loved. That betrayal makes it so much worse but she is strong. She has survived harsh and painful experiences before and she can do it now. The pain will recede and she will emerge from the fire feeling stronger and tempered. That also ties in with Temperance’s energy and reminds me that what doesn’t kill us does make us stronger. I know it’s a cliché but that doesn’t make it any less accurate – at least for me. If I let this beat me than that family member has won. The damage caused all those years ago will finally prove fatal. I refuse, defiantly and assertively, to let that happen.
I’m sharing this in the hopes that anyone else out there who has gone through a similar shattering revelation or experience can find some support and comfort. You’re not alone. Don’t take the shame, blame and stain of the offender into your own soul. We are not our brother’s, sister’s, father’s, mother’s or anyone else’s keeper. Their actions and behaviors do not reflect upon us. Don’t let it make you soul sick.
I’ve learned much to my dismay that these types of people are rather sociopathic and very manipulative. They find our weaknesses and exploit them. There is no shame in being vulnerable, we’ve all been vulnerable at some point in our lives, especially as children. Don’t let it define you or damage you for the rest of your days. Fight it, explore that darkness and let yourself come out healed and whole on the other side. Remember that their darkness is not yours to carry and believe that you are worthy of love, forgiveness and wholeness.
Actually today is more of a Thoughtful Thor’s Day. It’s rather gloomy, gray and chilly outside which means I’m limited to inside stuff today. I can’t say that really excites me much but then again I don’t do a whole lot when it’s sunny out either. I realize that part of the problem is my own focus and initiative. It’s difficult to become excited about anything when I feel like such a prisoner. The situation is getting worse and I don’t know what to do about it. Maw Maw (the mom-in-law) becomes so agitated sometimes that it’s impossible to sleep. Very often we’re almost asleep and she wakes up. Then one of us has to get up with her because she starts touching things like the stove or trying to open the front door. This results in both the hubby and I being sleep deprived and exceedingly cranky. Putting her in an institution is a last resort to both of us but I’m afraid we might be reaching that point soon.
This entire situation makes me wonder at caring for the aging in this country. So many of the resources available are limited and/or difficult to access. In many cases we’ve been told that because she is not on Medicaid she’s not eligible for free services and she doesn’t have enough income to afford the paid ones. I’ve seen this time and time again with friends whose parents are in similar situations. Nursing homes or senior facilities are costly (ranging from $1500 per month to $6000 per month in this area) and also tend to be few and far between. this means if we want to visit her it would take an hour drive to get to most of these places. We’re also very hesitant to place her anywhere because her mental condition means she has no ability to communicate if someone is hurting her.
I’ve never been under the illusion that life is fair. However many recent experiences have made me question our societal obsession with staving off death as long as possible regardless of the consequences. I’ve seen many people caring for elderly parents who take them to the doctor or hospital for a variety of reasons. The hospital is able to stabilize the parent but not actually heal or cure them. As a result the parent is often either back in the hospital again in a few months or given another batch of medicine to “help” whatever condition the doctor believes he or she has now. Maw Maw would probably be taking 10 pills a day if her doctor had his way. He means well but he doesn’t truly know what is wrong with her and seems to believe that if he keeps giving her medications she’ll eventually find one that works. It seems to be an all to common approach to healthcare in the US.
I’ve had several friends and neighbors battling various forms of cancer over the past few years. It amazes me how painful and ultimately unsuccessful this process appears to be. So often they believe they caught the initial cancer only to have it spread to a new area a few years later. It’s almost as though the treatment actually accelerates the grown of the tumors. I know the professionals state this is not what happens but from a layman’s perspective this is how it appears. I think some of the miscommunication stems from the fact that for a doctor prolonging the patient’s life for another 5 years is a victory. To the patient it just seems to be a long and painful battle that they ultimately lose. I know some people do live for over 10 years after treatment for cancer. In fact Maw Maw was diagnosed with uterine cancer back in 1981 and beat it, remaining cancer-free for over 30 years. I would also never try to influence someone else’s choice for treatment. That is a personal decision and something that needs to be left to the patient and her/his doctor. However it makes me wonder what I would do if the situation ever arises (although I hope it never, ever does).
Wow a gloomy day really seems to bring up gloomy thoughts. Of course my current situation doesn’t help matters any either. It’s hard to be cheerful when your life has become a relentless deathwatch with no end in sight. It also points out to me how much I rely on external distractions to keep me from focusing on negative things in my life. In the past, my salary allowed me to buy books, Tarot decks and dolls (among other things) to keep me from realizing how unhappy I was with my job and other aspects of my life. I’ve been rather slow to develop other coping skills. I’d prefer to avoid the matter entirely and just zone out in front of the television or read a book. I can tell that’s not going to work much long either.
To gain so clarity about this situation I asked the Tarot “How can I deal with this situation in a more healthy manner?” I used the Dark Carnival Tarot and drew The Moon.
The companion book offers a very contemporary and urban interpretation of this card, referring to blood moons, treacherous paths and ready to put a garden claw in the face of a foe. This resonates with me right now. Things do feel bleak and desolate (although I don’t feel threatened enough to need a garden claw), It is an unsettling landscape that lies ahead of me. It’s unfamiliar terrain and if I can’t trust myself then who can I trust? I think The Moon is telling me that I need to stop fooling myself and see things for what they really are. I also need to acknowledge that while things are bleak and desolate right now, they will eventually improve. I just have to make it through this dark and scary night. It’s not an especially pleasant image but it does offer some hope.