Well this will be my last day using the Ghosts & Spirits Tarot. It’s interesting that the new year and the New Moon coincide so nicely. Starting tomorrow I will very happily begin working with the amazing Dark Goddess Tarot.
So I decided, in honor the new year, to see what I should take away from this year. The Knight of Pentacles is the Moss Maiden. According to the LWB she is a web spinner, moss maker and protector of her natural environment. She can heal or harm according to how she is approached. As with most nature spirits her loyalty and devotion is to the natural world around her. She will do what is necessary to protect that world. Her priorities are not our priorities although they may sometimes intersect.
It’s interesting that when I first saw this image my mind saw it as the Knight of Cups and wrote my interpretation accordingly. Now that I’ve looked at it again and realize it has very different symbolism I am modifying that interpretation. The Moss Maiden is a protective nature spirit. She made be methodical and the most deliberate of the knights but she is energetic and not afraid of risks. The Moss Maiden reminds me that I need to be careful not to let the moss grow too thick around me and to start spinning webs to manifest what I want to achieve in the year ahead. She speaks to me of being protective and defending my world but at the same time create a new future to move towards.
The King of Swords reversed in this instance reminds me that sometimes we need to trust our heart and now allow the head to overrule the heart and hold me back. The King of Swords is sharp, intelligent and thoughtful. He is much too controlled to take chances unless he has carefully considered all the odds. Right now I think that approach is holding me back. I spend so much time thinking and planning and not enough doing.
These cards remind me that it’s important to maintain a connection with what has been as well as continuing to move towards what will be. I can protect and value what exists in my world right now but don’t need to let it bury me so that I can’t manifest a new reality. My focus needs to be on doing and not get too bogged down and lose my head over planning and thinking. So let’s hope that 2014 will be the year of me doing.
Interesting. The first reaction I had to these cards was that I’m haunted by my lack of a social life and it causes me to wail in sorrow. Okay, that’s a bit melodramatic but not necessarily inaccurate. I have friends but with the way my life is right now I don’t have much opportunity for socializing. This does cause me to gnash my teeth in frustration. I feel so isolated and out of the loop that I’m starting to avoid people because I’m insecure and feeling as thought my social skills are atrophying.
Taking a peek at the LWB I see that Lisa Hunt interprets this card as symbolizing harmony and abundance. That also fits into some of what haunts me right now – my life is not exactly overflowing with harmony and abundance. In fact quite often I feel very much like the banshee on the Queen of Swords – shrieking and wailing in sorrow.
However I cannot focus on the darkness for very long. I know it exists and I do enjoy the occasional wallow in it but (much to my surprise) I seem to have a very strong optimistic streak in my makeup. That means I try to put the most positive spin on things I can. Looking at these cards I can see their message can also be telling me that if I want to bring abundance and harmony into my life (so that it will stop haunting me) I need to use my wits and listen to the truth. It’s time to stop hoping and dreaming and face the harsh truth.
The Banshee/Queen of Swords speak the truth and cuts through the bullshit no matter how painful that might prove. There are several areas in my life right now that I know are not going to play out the way I would like. If that’s the case then I need to make alternative plans otherwise I’ll continue to be haunted while harmony and abundance elude me.
Okay so let me see, if I want to be happy and celebrate my gifts today I need to let go and move on and not lose my head about things? That sounds about right.
Lisa Hunt illustrated the 5 of Pentacles using the story of the Unquiet Grave in which a man’s inability to stop mourning his lose love prevents her from moving on. Yesterday I addressed how the lingering ghosts of Christmases Past have often undermined my own ability to move on. I think this card is reinforcing the message that it’s time to release that negative energy and find a way to manifest new memories and new joys in my life.
The Headless Horseman shown on the King of Swords reminds me to use my brain and stop torturing myself. It’s also symbolic of the power of illusion. In Washington Irving’s original tale the Horseman’s legend used to scare off a superstitious Ichabod Crane. Brom is described as looking “exceedingly knowing’ whenever the tale is told implying he impersonated the Horseman to rid the village of Crane, his rival for Katrina’s hand. That in no way diminishes the power of the legend. Indeed it might even strengthen it because it adds the power of belief.
How often have people sabotaged themselves because they believed in something negative about themselves? We often created self-fulfilling prophecies and then point to them as proof that we didn’t deserve any better. It’s difficult enough when others see us through the lenses of their perceptions of us. How much worse is the damage we cause ourselves when we begin to believe these perceptions and manifest them in our lives?
If I want to stop making my life about the past and an ability to let go then I will be creating a scary and haunted future. If I use my head and change my mindset, then I can become the master of my own future and not allow the legends of others or my own past to hold me back.
My affirmation: I let go of the sadness of the past and what is lost, putting my mind towards created a limitless future.
What lovely cards to receive today! Upon drawing them I thought “Don’t let memories of the past get in the way of enjoying the present” This is especially appropriate for me at this time of year. Christmas has always been a rough time for me. As a child, Christmas often proved to be a stressful family holiday filled with fighting and bitterness. As an adult I carried the memories of those negative past holidays and they tainted the present. Then over the years I lost family and friends (many much too soon) and the holidays just reminded me of who was no longer with us anymore. It tends to put me in a nasty funk. Even decorating the house or putting up a tree made me cranky and tearful.
Over the years I’ve gotten a bit better about this but not much. Very often by the day after Christmas I want to tear down all the decorations and put away the tree, leaving no memories of the holiday to linger. Each yet I get more put off by the ridiculous and often dangerous antics of people seeking amazing discounts on Black Friday. The fact that so many people have no problem curtailing their Thanksgiving festivities to go shopping says a lot about our consumer culture and our familial relationships (at least that’s my opinion).
These two cards, one with an pale eerie ghost and the other with a soaring, kindly spirit, offer insight into some of my issues. The ghosts of Christmases Past lingers in the air like a stale cigar. Its vaporous influences may not be seen but they are felt. Their pale, ectoplasmic fingers wrap themselves around my heart and won’t give way. The only way to break free of these influences is to be aware of them and fight them. Instead of focusing on the sadness of missing loved ones I can focus on the fun and joy they gave when they lived. In some ways I suppose I dishonor their memories by letting them become a source of bitterness, sadness and unhappiness.
The North Wind can help me clear away all those cobwebs filled with sadness and sorrow and help me fill those spaces with light and laughter and joy. If I don’t allow myself to make newer, happier memories then how can I stave off the sadness? What happy memories will I have in the future? In truth, remembering only the sad or painful memories just deepens those wounds. If I want to heal I need to release them to time and replace them with joy-filled, laughter-filled new experiences that can be a bulwark against their ghostly pull.
The Banshee and Herne – quite a combo. Can you imagine if they dated? Okay, seriously seeing these two cards together was a bit jarring but they also fit different aspects of my personality. Sometimes I see the court cards as representing other people in my life but this time I believe their reversed natures symbolize aspects of myself.
The Queen of Swords (Banshee) is powerful and a bit frightening. She wails at the impending death of loved ones and warns us that something unpleasant is coming. She is a harbinger of truth, regardless of how harsh. I can see this representing me – I have been known to wail unpleasant truths to people. Reversed, she can also point out that I need to start listening to that voice telling me unpleasant truths in my head. There are things I “know” are in my best interests and yet I avoid them. Common sense, logic and knowledge combine to tell me I need to make changes and yet I resist. I duck the matter and continue on my unhealthy path. She is my brain shrieking to me that if I don’t get off the “drugs” (i.e. unhealthy foods), I’m going to destroy myself. Of course this sounds more melodramatic than it is but the reality is that current unhealthy decisions will have long-term impact on my health when I’m a senior and by then it will be too late to fix things.
The King of Wands reversed is showing that I’m letting myself get twisted up and held back by patterns, habits and my own over-intellectualizing. I also get the sense that I’m constraining my creative side and holding myself back. What might happen if I break free? If I finally convince myself to do the things are know are best for me? Why am I so scared to do that? I have no idea.
For most of my life I think I’ve been a re-actor. I define or model myself based on reactions to what is going on around me. Unfortunately this often means that when I’m encouraged to do something I resist with all my might. Tell me I can’t do and I have to prove you wrong. Maybe I’m an early, undiagnosed case of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I don’t have the answers right now but some interesting questions have now come up and I need to consider them.
Another interesting duo of cards. These images are powerful and full of fiery red color and flames. The woman in The Devil card is calmly kneeling before a hand mirror; a chain hangs loosely around her neck connecting her to a framed mirror reflecting a red horned figure. Is this how she sees herself? Is her self-image so damaged that she is now chained to this perception of herself as evil or tainted?
The 9 of Wands shows a man setting fire to a stand of wands. Behind he barricade of flaming wands hovers a demonic looking figure that appears to be watching the man. Is the man making offerings to the demon or trying to erect a fence to keep the demon out?
Soooo looking at these cards I created a story for myself that gave me some useful insight. The woman on The Devil is me. The chains are the unhealthy behaviors in which I engage. I know they’re unhealthy but my view of myself is that I am not worthy of care and love. I don’t deserve to be healthy because I’m a bad, evil person. My inner demons have overwhelmed my sense of self leaving a distorted and inaccurate image that causes me to beat myself up and mistreat myself.
I can free myself at any time (and I’m the only one who can) but this can’t happen until I am able to shatter that image in the mirror; until I feel worthy and deserving (or at least accept that I’m taking steps towards viewing myself that way). Instead of focusing on who I really am, I’m focusing on some negative choices I’ve made. Those choices are not the whole me and shouldn’t be the primary way I view myself.
The figure on the 9 of Wands is also me. This is the me that has decided it’s time to remove those chains and destroy those inner demons. It’s time to let go of that burden and burn it to ashes. It’s time to let my true spirit flame forth and incinerate those self-doubts and negative perceptions that hold me prisoner. That demon can’t hurt me or reach me unless I let him.
The flames are the steps I can take to be and feel healthier and better about myself. It’s not about beating myself up and judging myself badly for poor choices. It’s about unleashing all my potential and finally accepting that I deserve better. It’s a process and one that I shouldn’t expect to accomplish this all at once. That only becomes another trap that stops me from reaching my goals and full potential.
How fascinating! I’m watching Deepak Chopra’s “What Are You Hungry For” on PBS and he is talking about stopping and feeling your body, stopping eating when you are satisfied rather than full or stuffed. These concepts seem to fit beautifully with the cards I drew today.
The Knight of Cups reversed reminds me to search out the emotional issues that might be driving me to eat too much or make food choices that I know are not in my best interests. On an intellectual level I am well aware of what I should eat and what steps I should take to stay on the healthy path but on an emotional level I use food as a substitute for other things. The Knight of Cups is helping me search for the answer to that question – what am I hungry for? He can also guide me to the emotional issues that form the core of my over-eating.
The 8 of Cups reversed shows an elderly man laying in bed with his eyes closed. At his side rests the spirit of an elderly woman, perhaps his deceased wife? They serve as a reminder that sometimes we need to leave behind things, people and behaviors to which we have an emotional connection but which no longer serve us. Emotional eating may provide some initially ‘positive” sensations but they aren’t worth the long-term damage they can potentially cause.
If I want to live my life to the fullest then I need to break free of these addictive behaviors that keep me making poor food choices. I know I say that a lot and I am not going to beat myself up about it but I need to at least start taking some steps towards achieving this goal. These cards may be able to help me in the process.
Friday the 13th – one of my favorite days! Friday the 13ths always seem to be relatively calm, peaceful and even lucky days for me. I may not win the lottery but I usually find that things just go smoothly for me.
Drawing the Ace of Wands reinforces the messages I’ve been receiving that I need to get started, get moving, get my ass in gear. Call it what you will but I think the rather intimidating masked figure on this card is warning me that the time for procrastination is at an end. If I don’t want to get my head handed to me (and perhaps even put on a stick) then I need to light a fire under my lazy behind. Perhaps not the gentlest, kindest message one can receive but it certainly is appropriate. I am a world class procrastinator (perhaps I’ve mentioned this before?).
The image on the 3 of Swords is an interesting take on this card. The “betrayal” is not intentional but no less deep. The beloved one had died but still influences the living partner. The heart aches but can do nothing to change the situation and that is the message this card offers. As sad as this current situation makes me, as betrayed as I may feel, it’s not going to change. So I need to let go and move forward.
I think what is keeping me from energizing myself and getting my ass in gear, is that I haven’t fully let go of the sense of betrayal – by life, by the Universe, by fate. I’m still working on accepting that sometimes shit just happens and there is nothing I can do to change it or make it better – at least not right now. I need to work on accepting, releasing and moving forward. I have to stop focusing on what others have done and look at changing my perceptions of these situations. It’s not a great solution but it’s the only workable one I can come up with right now.
As soon as I saw these cards I realized they were telling me that I needed to take some time alone and look at things I might have been avoiding. I also needed to keep my wits about me but sheath my tongue. Lately I’ve been sniping at people and being fairly bitchy. Obviously this is not the most helpful way to handle things.
Looking at this Hermit I am struck by the sense that he is searching for his spiritual truth and is being guided by a divine figure. He is exploring new spiritual pathways that haven’t been systematized yet; finding his way through ancient pathways that haven’t been co-opted by the mainstream. The Hermit prefers living in the liminal – areas that are still somewhat untamed and unexplored. It can be lonely and isolated by it also allows him to live his truth; to be genuine to himself and his spiritual path. I often find that once any spiritual practice becomes mainstream (such as Pagan groups purchasing land and acquiring dogma), I start to walk in another direction. The road less traveled suits my soul much better.
The Queen of Swords reminds me that I can be smart, sharp, intelligent and witty but that doesn’t mean I need to be sharp-tongued or bitchy (and believe me I can be both quite successfully). This Queen is guided by the angelic figures in the mirror. They remind me that sometimes I need to take a look at myself and see if I’m being the best me I can be; am I using my smarts for good instead of evil? Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes no.
Overall this reading continues to reinforce the concept that intelligence alone is not going to help me in this situation. I may sometimes feel isolated and lonely but much of this journey is one I have to make alone because it’s about mapping my internal landscape. That is not something others can do for me. I may seek some guidance and advice but the path has to be one I choose and the journey will end up being completed alone.
Today I need to focus on the choices I’m making and how it impacts my energy and creativity. It’s interesting to use this deck for this process because the Wands suit is associated with the lemures – the spirits of the restless, vengeful or malignant dead. That doesn’t sound fun or enjoyable and at first it left me a bit stumped. Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that creative energy can seem frightening. It leaves us feeling charged and fiery but if we don’t have a sense of direction for that energy it can turn on us. It can leave us feeling burnt out and frustrated. That sounds the way I would expect a restless spirit to feel and certain could become malignant if it lingers too long.
So looking at these two cards today I see that I need to be more gentle with regards to the choices I make (the goddess hovering in the air above the lovers reminds me of Kwan Yin, a gentle, loving goddess). I think it’s also reminding me that I need to find a way to live with the choices I’ve made without losing my creative energy and becoming a malignant spirit myself.
The key is accepting that I did make this choices. I could have made other ones and my path would have taken me to a very different destination. However I don’t know if I would have been happy with the person I became once I reached that destination. I could have refused to help care for my in-laws; insisted that they be placed in facilities. I could have refused to participate in caring for them and let my husband deal with it on his own. I could have made several different decisions that would have dramatically changed this situation but would I still be me? (Well of course I would be it would be a very different me.)
I seem to keep receiving this message (in slightly different forms) because I need to be reminded of this fact. I don’t regret my decisions but I am human. Sometimes I wish things turned out differently. I wish I had more patience and different resent some of the sacrifices I’ve made. I wish I could return to the lifestyle I had before – with the ability to splurge occasionally without worrying about the finances. However at the end of the day I am happy with the choices I’ve made.
The key for me to stay healthy in body, mind & spirit is to remember that I need to find healthy outlets for my creative energy, my fiery nature and my restless spirit. That is what can trip me up and lead me to becoming malignant and vengeful (or perhaps resentful and miserable). Some days I’m better at this than others but I have to remember to keep up the fight. I can’t allow circumstances to dampen my flame (or rather allow myself to douse my creative energy because of these circumstances).