Archive for July, 2015

Death – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Death

 

Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: In the Blue Rose Tarot, the symbolism of the Death card mirrors the continuing, unfolding journey of the Fool. In the foreground stands the very gateway, here represented by a human skull. It is the Threshold leading from one existence into another. The skull is flanked by two roses – one red and one white. They symbolize the dual aspects of the Fool. The red rose symbolizes human existence in the material, physical world. The white rose symbolizes the spiritual being. Within the empty sockets of the skull are two dice. Snake eyes. When playing dice, rolling snake eyes means finality — the game is over. And for the Fool, this particular stage of the Game is over. But look further past the forbidding gateway, for in the distance, we see the Fool, symbolized by the lavender butterfly winging his way across the dark terrain, following the beaming rays of light leading him onward towards a horizon that we cannot interpret or see beyond. What is beyond that mercurial sky? That sky filled with light, electricity, color and movement? It is not for us to know. We will find out when the time comes. When it is our turn to follow the rays of light and continue our own Great Journey.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card reminds us that sometimes we need to stare what we fear the most in the face and learn to see beyond it. The crystal skull, with its burning red eyes, represents our fragility and a state of being that we ultimately cannot avoid. As the saying goes “nothing in life is certain except death and taxes”. Well ladies and gentlemen, this is death; this is what we are when we are stripped of our flesh, our hair, our personalities. Stripped to the bone we all become amazingly similar, all those external factors that allow us to create barriers in life are gone and we are all truly equal now.

Even as we face this image of our greatest fears we see the beauty and wonder in life too. The two roses, the butterfly and even the color of the sky and clouds overhead are wondrous and beautiful. And the crystal skull has a pink tinge to it, a reminder that once we pass the skull, once we open that door and pass through this fearsome gateway, we will find a new beauty. It represents the potential and transformative energies that await us. Those black cliffs might look fearsome and overwhelming, but once we cross them we will find ourselves embraced by the beautiful sky above. We too can be like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon. We can spread our wings and enchant those around us with our grace, beauty and joy. But we can only experience this transformation is we dare to open that door.

Always an outlier, never a trend

The older I grow the more I realize that I cultivate and revel in my self-perceived status as an outlier, a misfit, a weirdo, an oddball. One of the earliest caveats I can remember my parents instilling in me is not to do something simply because everyone else is doing it. The phrase “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” was tossed about a lot. As a result I developed a knee jerk reaction against being what I perceive as a follower. The more popular an opinion is the more likely I am to find reason to disagree with it. The more popular a book or television show, the less likely I am to watch it (at least while it’s still popular anyway). Even the activities and hobbies I do enjoy, I tend to share with only a small group of friends. For example I am almost rabid about the TV show Supernatural. If you’re my friend you know that because I have made your ears bleed with analyses of the characters and plots as well as bitched about what irritated me. However I only recently joined a FaceBook fan group because I am well aware that there are fans out there whose opinions of the show and various character relationships will irritate me. So why subject myself to them or vice versa.

Dark Goddess 6 of Air

Being an outlier can sometimes be lonely. I often find that not only do I avoid following the trend, I don’t understand the mindset of those who do. For example, not only have I never desired to become a mother I cannot understand why anyone else would want to either. I have no desire to impose my attitudes on others but I cling to them fairly fiercely nonetheless.

Being an outlier means that you are often misunderstood. My sense of humor is quirky at best. Comments I intend to be humorous can often come off as dark, sarcastic or bewildering to someone who doesn’t know me or doesn’t get it. I know this about myself. I’m the first to admit that I’m an acquired taste. I have a feeling I have often unintentionally alienated people I would have liked as friends because I don’t realize until it’s too late that maybe that comment wasn’t appropriate. A bit of moderation on my part right result in fewer hurt feelings and more social connections. I have to admit that I can be quite oblivious to how my pronouncements sound to others until it’s too late.

One thing I know about myself is that I hate it when something I enjoy becomes popular. For example I have always colored. It is one of my few creative outlets. From the time I can remember happiness was a new box of 64 Crayola crayons. The smell of a new box affects me the way “new car” aroma affects car guys. I still have Barbie coloring books that I bought in the early 80s. Now coloring for adults has become a trend and while I enjoy the new adult oriented coloring books out there, I detest feeling as though I’ve joined the popular kids’ table. I have the same issue with Tarot. As long as it’s a fringe profession and interest I’ll be happy. Recently it’s become a popular party game with folks who have never used a Tarot deck before (rather like Ouija boards were in the 70s). I would never try to limit anyone’s access to Tarot knowledge but using it in such a silly manner irritates me. Once again, not trying to make any rules to stop folks from doing it this way but I’ll be glad when this trend passes.

Dark Goddess Wheel

Why am I mentioning all of this? Because I have decided to abandon that bastion of trendiness and popularity – Facebook. I only recently re-joined because I wanted to connect with my Tarot friends but I quickly realized that Facebook gives me hives. It’s pimping of my information offends me. If my ass is going to be sold then I deserve a piece of the profits. So I’ve decided to reclaim my outlier status and once again depart Facebook. It wasn’t until I made this decision that I realized how much Facebook irritates me. Yes, I love the fact that I can easily keep in touch with friends. However the truth is if I can’t bother writing an email or calling them on the phone I have to wonder how close our relationship is. I am staying on Twitter and Pinterest and I’ve joined MeWe. So if you’re on any of these platforms and want to keep in touch – please do. As for me, after July 31st Facebook will be a memory in my rearview mirror.

Death – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Death

 

Transformation Tarot
Created by by Arnell Ando
Published by US Games ISBN:1572815396

The Book says: Transformation and spiritual evolution. The stripping away of outgrown feelings or beliefs. The end of the old and the birth of a new cycle. The need to surrender to the inevitability of change. An ending that is illusory when viewed from a higher perspective. The natural conclusion of a stagnated relationship or familiar situation that stifled individual growth and change.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: In this card Death is portrayed as having not only a recognizably human face, but a heart too. This Death is not an unapproachable figure, but one who seems to offer welcome and solace. Yes, she wields a scythe which can separate us from the physical world. At the same time her love and compassion allow us to move closer to the spiritual. A snake winds around her legs and she stands on a rattlesnake skin, reminding us of the snake’s ability to shed it’s old skin and grow a new one. The is the blessing this Death offers us. She allows us to shed our worldly skin and grow in spirit. She guides us along the way, refusing to abandon us while we are at this delicate and defenseless stage in our growth.

This is the Goddess as Crone, she who destroys and releases so that the new growth has room to shoot through. She may be surrounded by skeletons and death but she is not forbidding or unapproachable. We can see her love for us and understand that she is helping to release us from the bonds of the past so that we can move into the future unburdened and ready to learn and grow more. Death may still seem frightening because it is so unknown, but at least with this Death card we won’t be walking towards it alone.

Do you know what I am?
I am the darkness that lives inside you.
I am that black hole in your soul you fear will consume you.
I am the midnight sky that offers no relief and no hint of light.
You fear me and run from me; you avoid me and deny me
But in truth you cannot survive without me.

I always remember a favorite classic Star Trek episode when Captain Kirk is split into two by a transporter malfunction. One Captain Kirk is thoughtful, considerate, civilized, all those qualities we associate with being good. His alternate self was aggressive, violent and even dangerous, all the qualities we associate with being bad. During the course of the episode it becomes apparent that without his “bad” side, Capt. Kirk was ineffective, paralyzed and unable to make command decisions. He needed his “bad” side in order to function as captain of the ship. It was an interesting lesson in human nature, one which I think is still very applicable today.

Lately it seems to me that “civilized” society is trying to sanitize and deny our darkness – both personal and societal. We have created a world where all but the most stubborn, determined or ignorant know that there are PC viewpoints to which they must adhere or at least pay lip service. Pundits and the oblivious claim we are a “post-racial” society when clearly this is untrue. Some do not believe that we need feminism anymore because the playing field has been leveled.  Other stubbornly cling to the belief that economic inequality is not at the root of many societal problems.   I believe people have just grown better at hiding their politically incorrect beliefs from others. We try to suppress and repress that inner darkness and believe that means we’ve healed it. In reality all we’ve done is crush it down and bury it, hoping it won’t erupt some day. Of course that is exactly what happens. We cannot avoid our personal and inner darkness; we cannot suppress it and hope it will go away. We need to face it, embrace it and see what it brings to the table so we can remove its more destructive aspects.

I have no intention of trying to fix society’s ills today. That is beyond my pay grade. What I”m hoping to do is explore my avoidance of my own darkness and hope that it offers a take-away that might be beneficial to others.

Like many people, for years I never truly embraced or even understood my dark side. I might have joked about it and claimed I understood it. Sure I could be nasty, vicious, snarky, and mean but that wasn’t really me. I wasn’t a mean person; I was just joking. However, even I didn’t buy the “I was just joking” defense. The reality is that there was a very dark, somewhat vicious and uncontrolled part of me that would often rear its ugly head when I least expected. For years I acknowledge that I had this darkness inside me but never did anything about it. I fooled myself into believing that acknowledging was the same as embracing. Boy, was I mistaken!

Dark Goddess Siren of Air

It’s only through a recent inner labyrinth journey using the Dark Goddess Tarot that I began to understand this darkness. It is not evil or wicked. It is born of fear. When I looked at incidences that triggered these responses from me I began to realize they occurred when I felt afraid, powerless or disenfranchised. I reacted from this darkness when an incident triggered a memory of a negative past experience. This darkness became a defense mechanism like a porcupine’s quills; a way to keep others that made me feel threatened at a distance. Unfortunately it tended to have the effect of alienating people who had no malicious intent.

Dark Goddess 7 of Earth

Walking the labyrinth to the deepest, darkest, most hidden depths of my soul has enabled me to truly understand this side of myself. It has allowed me to truly embrace this dark side and appreciate what she brings to the table. She is the part of me that is a survivor. She has experienced trauma and horrific situations and emerged unbroken. She protects and defends me with a fierceness and determination that I can only admire. What I have also accepted is that she does not need to be deployed mindlessly or aimlessly. She is much more effective when responding in a more targeted, specific way.

So my advice to anyone else whose dark side might be running amok – learn what triggers her. Listen to her and get to learn what makes her lash out. In my experience befriending and embracing your dark side can only happen when you understand her. Facing your fears and defensive triggers can be a first step in that process.

Over the last few days I’ve reconnected to a creative outlet that I had allowed to become dormant – coloring! As a child and adolescent I adored coloring. If I wasn’t nose deep in a book then I was energetically putting my box of 64 Crayolas to good use. One of my strongest sense memories is the smell of a box of Crayola crayons. No other crayons have that same aroma. I would recognize it anywhere. I still remember picking up two Dover coloring books from the gift shop at the Museum of the City of New York during a class trip. One was Geometric Designs and the other was Visual Illusions. The optical illusions were mind-blowing and it was a fabulous change from my usual Barbie coloring books (although I still have several of them too). There is something so engaging, relaxing and just plain fun about coloring. Over the years I might not have used those coloring books but I always made sure to have a big box of Crayola crayons – first a 64 count, then a 96 count and now a 200 count!

Why am I talking about coloring? Because for many, many years I believed I was not a creative person. I cannot draw much beyond stick figures. I may enjoy singing but I doubt anyone will ever pay to hear me or even volunteer to listen. I love to dance but will be the first to admit my skills are amateurish at best. The most creative thing I do is write – and even that I tend to blow off as not especially creative as much as it is technically skilled. Beginning to color again has changed my attitude about all of that. Perhaps I don’t have the eye or hand for painting but that doesn’t make me non-creative. Watching a line drawing fill in with colors I’ve selected, creating patterns within the pattern, has proven fulfilling and satisfying. It has also helped me to see other ways in which I am creative.

I see patterns and connections between disparate elements. I’ve noticed that when I read the Tarot I often find connections between the cards that are not obvious. The better I know the querent, the more effective and interesting the connections I make. I’m like a conspiracy theorist – seeing connections that aren’t immediately apparent to the casual observer. I love writing – not just blog posts but Tarot card haiku. I love making up stories using the images on Tarot cards as a starting point. I may not be a technically proficient dancer but I put my heart and soul into it. I can shake my moneymaker like nobodies business!

Dark Goddess Witch of Water

Today I asked Sekhmet for some insight into continuing to explore my creative side. She sent me Haya-Akitsu-Hime/Witch of Water, the Shinto goddess of the sea. Her salt waters purify and transform. As I’m writing this I had an insight – Haya-Akitsu-Hime is telling me that my emotional connection to coloring is also a path to purity and transformation for me. It will allow me to purge the impurities and emotional baggage that often distracts me from what makes me happy and what I love in life.

Pearls of Wisdom 2 of Wands Pearls of Wisdom 4 of Swords

For additional insight I pulled two cards from the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot. In response to my query about blending my creative energies in a way that will bring radiance and healing in my life I drew the 2 of Wands reversed and 4 of Swords. With a little help from the companion book, I took this to mean that I’m on the right path; I’m moving in the right direction. Combining meditation and modified mini-retreats for myself will allow me to move forward, explore new horizons and continue on this path of wellness and wholeness I’ve begun. Coloring is one method of meditation and creativity that can aid me in my quest.

So my advice to anyone out there who sees themselves as uncreative is to keep looking; find the right avenue for you. We are all creative in different ways. The key to healing and wellness is to find the path that fits you. Perhaps you are a mathematical genius and see connections between equations and real life applications. Maybe you look at the stars and see a panoply of amazing bodies of celestial beauty that connect to Greek myths and life on Earth. Maybe you’re a history buff and love seeing the connections between past actions and current events. Perhaps dancing is a balm to your soul or singing at the top of your voice brings joy to your heart. As Karen Carpenter once sang “Don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing, sing a song.”

Mansions of the Moon Azazel, Angel of Death

 

Mansions of the Moon Tarot
ZADOK (dahogue@nctc.net)
Self-Published

The LWP says: Traditional meaning – pale horse of revelation, Biblical imagery.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card shows a fairly dark, somewhat gloomy image of death. The skulls, black candles and horse’s head all give it the appearance of some type of dark mass or dark ceremony. The hooded figure, with it’s small gray head is ominous and eerie. The wings may be the wings of an angel or may be a cape of feathers. Either way this figure does not inspire hope and faith but rather fear and awe.

Maybe because it is so full of Biblical imagery, I don’t find much comfort or relief in this vision of Death. It reminds me of smoky, incense filled churches with voices intoning hymns for the dead. It brings to mind warnings of damnation and the need to ask for forgiveness and repent before it is too late. Once the bowl is broken it can no longer be fixed – once you have died you cannot make amends for your faults.

This card is about transformation, releasing and letting go. But it also visually and symbolically shows the fearful aspects of death – the pale horse upon which Death rides, the skulls, etc. But when we are finally able to peer into the cowl and face death head on – we see the humanity hidden there. And suddenly maybe, just maybe, Azrael, the Angel of Death is not quite so fearful and terrifying anymore.

Dark Goddess Sekhmet Deark Goddess Tarot Hag of Air

 

Yesterday, while working on my Dark Goddess labyrinth journey, I drew the Hag of Air/Dhumavati in response to my request to Sekhmet for a message. Looking at these two cards together, I asked: “How can I transform the ugliness of my childhood into something healing and radiant?” Using the Pearls of Wisdom tarot, I drew The Star reversed and The Hierophant reversed. Despite their reversal, the vibrancy and the positive energy I sensed from these cards made it impossible to interpret them in a negative way. So I spent some time with the cards and read their entries in Roxi Sim’s companion book. Looking at the entry for The Star the phrase “unconditional love” jumped out at me. This was it! This was the message of this spread!

Pearls of Wisdom Star Pearls of Wisdom Hierophant

When I look back over some of the blog entries I’ve written, it occurs to me that I still carry a lot of damaged baggage from my dysfunctional childhood. Don’t we all? My family’s dysfunction might have been different than what others experienced, but to a child does it really matter?  What’s more important is how it leaves you feeling –  vulnerable, hurt, damaged, weak and ashamed (among other things). I’ve met many adults who find it difficult to accept that the childhood chaos and dysfunction was out of their control; that it wasn’t their fault and there was nothing they could do to stop or change it. As a result they sometimes convince themselves that they wanted the situation to play out the way it did or they resort to various methods of self-abuse such as addiction or bulimia because it gave them the illusion of control. I remember how awful and terrifying it was as a child to be awash in the craziness and unpredictability of my family’s dysfunction. I couldn’t see it coming and could do nothing to change the events that unfolded. At least if I was drinking too much that was my choice (or so I tried to convince myself).

The one thing that I took away from this dysfunctional and damaging childhood was that I was somehow not good enough. If I were good enough and met expectations then I would not have been punished. Those outer punishments took the form of some viciously malevolent inner demons whose talons still pierce my soul. Seeing The Star shining brightly like a beacon from this card made me realize that the one thing I’ve never received in my childhood, and so found difficult to give to others, was unconditional love. Love with no strings attached; no expectations. Just a pure, healing balm that soothes the shredded soul. The Hierophant reversed is letting me know that I still have some learning to do before I can begin trying to teach others. It’s funny, I resist my Hierophantic nature all the time and yet I consistently get messages that part of my journey is to teach. Perhaps this will ultimately be what guides me down that path.

Rebel

I thought about the unconditional love I’ve experienced in my life. It’s most pure and joyful expression was from my German shepherd Rebel. No matter how angry I might have been with him for some petty reason or other, his excitement and happiness when I got home every day was bliss. He greeted me, jumping and wagging his tail so much his whole body wriggled with it. He was unconditional love personified. Even the cats I’ve owned have been generous with their affection. If they did withhold it for some reason, it was clearly due to their feline nature rather than do to any emotional manipulation towards me. I’m sure anyone sharing their lives with animals has experienced numerous expressions of unconditional love. They model it for us all the time and we are able to return it to them because we trust they will never hurt us. We can be vulnerable and exposed with them because they won’t betray us.

So I have decided that my next experiment/project will be to emulate my German shepherd Rebel and just allow myself to feel the joy at a friend’s return; to offer unconditional love to myself and those around me. I know this won’t be easy – I am by nature a judgmental, occasionally vindictive bitch. However I know I can do this. I have experienced moments of transcendent bliss when I am able to love everything and everyone around me. I just have to try to create or recognize more of those moments in my life.

At the same time, I realize that not everyone out there is deserving of our love, conditional or otherwise. There are many predators who view this kind of attitude as naive, gullible and ripe for targeting. I am not gullible or naive. I’m not interested in embracing the world and teaching it to sing in perfect harmony (although if that every happens I’ll join my voice in too). What I”m talking about is loving those in my life unconditionally, without judgment or restriction. I’m not seeking a plethora of new friends, I simply want to be more loving, understanding and supportive of the ones I’ve got. My love is valuable and should not be wasted on those seeking to take advantage.

So TarotBroad fans, if I am able to give you nothing else today, let me offer you the healing balm of unconditional love and acceptance.  You are perfect.  You are worthy of love.  Your love has value.  You are an amazing being and have a lot to offer this world.  You just need to find that place within yourself where you can embrace and embody these truths.  For that matter so do I.  I have no doubts this journey will prove long, challenging, and very interesting but every journey starts somewhere.

Spiraling into the dark pit that is shame

 

The other day I had a dark and demoralizing battle with shame. I was surprised at how deeply and quickly I sank into the much and mire that is shame. The journey began innocently enough – browsing Facebook and chatting with a friend. By it’s end I was a babbling mess who was convinced she had irreparably damaged several valued relationships.

Without going into too many extraneous details, while not in full control of my faculties I managed to carry on a number of Facebook chats as well as one phone conversation with little memory of any of them. When I logged onto Facebook the next day and realized what I had done, I was horrified. I felt my soul shrivel up inside because I was afraid I had said something that might offend or insult one of my friends. Upon reviewing the messages I will say there were some that were completely nonsensical, a few that were moronic and some that were perfectly fine I didn’t notice any of the victims of my idiocy unfriending me. I received no infuriated messages insisting that I never bother the or darken their doorway again. Unfortunately this knowledge did nothing to alleviate my shame. Instead I spent the next three days in solitude and isolation, avoiding Facebook on the off chance that my appearance might remind one of my victims that they preferred a life without exposure to me and my immature shenanigans.

Coincidentally I had a stomach problem over the weekend. I felt nauseous, dizzy and an awful pain in my stomach. I couldn’t figure out the cause. My hubby insisted it was some shrimp I had eaten. I thought maybe it was the lingering effects of what had caused my obnoxious behavior the night before. I’ve experienced lingering after-effects of both these things before but they usually clear up in a few hours and after a dose or two of antacids. This time it lasted for days. In fact as I’m writing this I can feel the knot starting up in my stomach again. It’s a physical pain but I’ve finally realized it’s cause is not.

It wasn’t until I compared the pain to the knots I used to get in my stomach as a child awaiting punishment for some misdeed. My father was a harsh, unyielding disciplinarian so even the most minor infraction usually resulted in corporal punishment. So there is an element of fear twined through this pain as well as shame. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop; for the punishment to be delivered. I broke a rule, violated an implied contract and I felt I deserved to be punished. As no one was taking me to task (my friends were either ignoring my faux pas, understanding of my flaws or tolerant of my screw-ups – or perhaps a combination), I was doing it to myself.

I have never experienced such a powerful, clear connection between my inner critic and physical ramifications. In fact had someone told me about something like this, I would have dismissed it as New Age claptrap. Feeling those inner demons roiling around in my stomach has been quite a wake-up call. I never would have believed that I could internalize shame, fear and criticism in such a visceral way. It’s eye-opening and infuriating. I like to see myself as invincible; not permanently scarred by the dysfunction that was my childhood. Clearly I’ve been fooling myself.

Dark Goddess 2 of Air

To help me move forward, I asked Sekhmet for some assistance in being less harsh and unforgiving of myself. She sent me Athena – the goddess of wisdom and strategy, clear-sightedness and rational thought. Her advice to me (as channeled through the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot) is 7 of Swords Rx and 7 of Cups. At first their message was confusing to me. Upon further reflection and exploring the images more, I began to see a clearer message.

Pearls of Wisdom 7 of Swords Pearls of Wisdom 7 of Cups

The 7 of Swords was reminding me that I’m out on a bridge fighting an internal battle against attackers that are not real – they are inner demons; ephemera that are no less deadly despite their incorporeal nature. The face in the clouds blows wind against the figures back suggesting the winds of fate are pushing him against his will. Two green, feminine faces occupy opposite corners of the card. Their eyes may be closed or may be crystalline – either way they seem somewhat inhuman and unsympathetic. They have no interest in the fate of the man on the bridge. Being reversed, this card suggests that this is all being done within my on psyche; by me and to me. The truth is that people do care but many are probably unaware of this internal battle to defeat these devastating inner demons.

The 7 of Cups is showing me that I can choose; I can let the healing energy of love and inner joy pour over me and wash away all those inner demons. There is a centeredness and sense of peace and calm about the figure in the center of the 7 Cups. Her eyes are closed and she is undistracted by the cups surrounding her. The Sun swirling brightly above her head suggests that she is blessed by its radiance and warming rays. The rainbow above the sun connects the energies of this card to Temperance and suggests that the powerful energies of the Sun and Temperance can be tapped to aid in the healing process. All of these options are available to me, all I have to do is reach out and accept their help.

I might not be the complete cure but it’s certainly a good start. The best option is to reduce the opportunities for situations in which I am not in control of my faculties. If such a situation does occur, then I need to be more diligent about avoiding making phone calls or browsing Facebook. The most important thing for me to do is accept that I will screw up. With or without external aids, I will manage to say and do things that will offend. These actions are rarely intentional but that doesn’t make them any less embarrassing. From now on if I realize I’ve insulted or offended a friend, I will apologize for my behavior and move forward. If that person chooses to disassociate with me, I will respect that decision.

So here’s the truth folks – we all screw up. We all have times when we offend and insult friends and loved ones. We can only hope that they care for us and are tolerant of our quirks and embarrassing moments. We can take steps to reduce the amount of times such incidences occur. The most important facet of getting through these types of situations, as I have learned from painful experience, is to slay those damned inner demons that keep beating you up about your mistakes. Mistakes are learning opportunities and approaching them that way can help alleviate the anxiety, shame and fear. Of course, one should probably try to avoid making a recurring habit of such mistakes but I would hope that our friends can forgive our foibles and not hold them against us.

 

 

Last night I was watching an episode of Bewitched in which Darren Stevens once again demands Samantha stop using witchcraft. Most of the time I don’t pay much attention to his tantrums because you know somehow they’re going to be ignored anyway, but last night it really hit me. Perhaps it was because of a conversation with a friend during which we discussed deliberately dimming one’s light for a spouse, or parent or other loved one. It made me realize what has annoyed me about Bewitched (and to a lesser degree I Dream of Jeannie) for many years.

As a child I simply thought Darren Stevens and Major Nelson were silly not to enjoy the benefits their partners’ magical abilities could bring. I always though it would be wonderful to have such powers! As an adult woman facing impending cronehood I see it from a very different perspective. What I see now is a woman whose special gifts are being deliberately denigrated by a loved one. In both these examples it’s a husband/partner who does the damage but in reality I suppose it could be anyone we care about – a friend, a spouse, a sibling or even a parent. How many time in your own life have you deliberately downplayed a talent so as not to hurt the feelings of someone else?

On one level I find it outrageous that Darren Stevens feels he has the right to tell Samantha anything. She’s a grown woman and his partner not his child, but of course these shows were made at a different time with different attitudes and expectations about such things. Even if Darren or Major Nelson didn’t demand their magical partners not use their gifts, they could just as easily convey the same message by subtle emotional blackmail. Have you ever found yourself restraining your gifts so that you don’t insult a friend? I remember times when I would play trivia games with friends and I would deliberately miss answers because I was afraid they’d be insulted if I won again. Of course the implication is that if I keep defeating a friend at a game they won’t be my friend anymore. As an adult I don’t believe this has happened to me (or at least not very often) but I clearly remember times as a child when someone wouldn’t play with me anymore for similar reasons.

To be perfectly fair, I suppose there have been times when I had a similar effect on someone else – friends and family who were reluctant to share their good fortune with me because I might feel envious. I think incidences such as these are part of all relationships. I suppose the key to them become too much of a problem is to simply be aware of and address them. However these relatively minor incidences aren’t really what I mean. Samantha Stevens Syndrome is a persistent, consistent effort by a loved one to restrain, destroy or limit one’s gifts; an external force exerting pressure for us to conform.

I think that’s the part I find most offensive – the implication or outright statement that we must conform and confine ourselves to do so. I see it most frequently in women but that might be a generational thing – perhaps it has become a more equal opportunity offense now. How many assertive, outgoing, aggressive women have I seen tone themselves down in order to be more accepted and viewed as more traditionally feminine? I was very lucky in that my spouse has no problem with my pugnacious, aggressive side – in fact he enjoys it. However I can’t say that other men I’ve met in my life felt the same way. I’ve noticed that I have an especial problem with male authority figures – the Emperors of the world. I tend to lock horns with them, perhaps because I challenge their assumptions and they push my buttons. It’s a no-win scenario all around. Of course realizing it and changing the behavior are two very different things. I accept that my attitude limits me in ways that conforming would not but I’ve accepted that.

Pearls of Wisdom Sun

So I guess the takeaway from this post is simply to put it out there – have there been times in your life you’ve had to dim your own radiance, downplay your gifts for someone else? IF so , maybe now is a chance for you to reclaim and celebrate those gifts.  Let’s stop hiding our talents, our gifts, our beauty and our brains because of the tyranny of others!

The Liberator – Celtic Wisdom Tarot

Celtic Wisdom The Liberator

 

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: Change, transformation, renewal of blockages, clearing the way for liberating change, letting go of old habits, regeneration, change of consciousness.
Reversed: Fear of change, stagnation, illness, impasse, stuck in old habits, clinging to outworn ideas, enforced removal.
Soul-Wisdom: The Liberator of Devotion releases the Soul to unconditional love and liberation if we can humbly face and befriend death. What do you need to let go of?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Something about this image reminds me about the lady on the Land O’ Lakes box. She holds a Land O’ Lakes box bearing her image, which holds a Land O’ Lakes box bearing her image, etc. Only in this image we see the Sheila na Gig, symbol of rebirth and regeneration, bearing the image of the Cailleach Beare, symbol of release and clearing away. And within the Cailleach is the seed of the Sheila, bringing new birth, new hopes and change into our lives.

The Sheila seems so welcoming, as though she understands our weariness and our need for change. She offsets the cold and somewhat forbidding image of Cailleach Beare. The Cailleach’s fearsome visage may be frightening and unwelcoming but if we can face the changes she brings and accept her gift, we may find ourselves transformed and liberated in unexpected ways.

There are always two sides to any tale – light has darkness, spring has winter and death has life. Accepting this and working with it, instead of trying to go against the tide, can be liberating and allow us to release what no longer serves us and move on to a new phase in our lives.

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