Alchemy – Transformational Tarot

Transformational Alchemy

 

Transformational Tarot
Created by Arnell Ando
Published by Ink Well Publishing
ISBN #0-9649386-3-4

The Book says: The blending of opposites. A conscious effort to achieve balance and harmony. In relationships, compromise and a balance of emotion and intellect is needed. Emotions that don’t flow stagnate. Creativity, transformation, alchemy: the mixture of diverse elements in order to create something new. Every part essential to the whole. For example, an engine can not operate correctly if even a small part is missing or broken, it also happens that one thing can upset all other aspects of your life.

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This image reminds me of the goddess of the land pouring her creative and fertile energies onto the land. She is at one with the land, incorporating its strength and is solidness into her being. Her dress looks like the snakeskin has become part of her body. She has incorporated the snake’s ability to shed its useless skin and emerge rejuvenated. The fluid flowing from the urn is more than water, it is the source of life itself. It is what allows the land to transform and bloom; to go from lifeless and barren to bursting with life and energy.

The lady is the source of life and the force of her energy and her love is what guides us to a place of balance and healing, of harmony and unity. She teaches us how to become whole, how to integrate our various parts into a unified being. We are light and dark, passive and aggressive, masculine and feminine, lunar and solar. If we cannot integrate and accept these various parts then we run the risk of cutting off part of ourselves. And one cannot live if one denies part of who we are.

Okay – I want to start off with full disclosure, I received a copy of the Minoan Tarot from Ellen Lorenzi-Prince for the purposes of writing a review. I consider Ellen a friend but don’t think that will impact my review, I just want readers of this blog to be fully informed.

So, I first got a glimpse at this deck when Ellen brought its prototype to a past Readers Studio. I remember looking at the deck and feeling that it wasn’t one I might feel compelled to add to my collection. The art was lovely but I’ve never felt a real attraction to Minoan culture. In fact what I know about Minoan culture can probably be counted on one hand:

  • Minoan culture thrived on Crete and Thera before the advent of Mycenaean Greece
  • It was severely devastated by the volcanic eruption on Thera
  • It’s where the myths of the Minotaur and his labyrinth are centered
  • Among other artistic and athletic endeavors, it celebrated bull leapers (or is it bull dancers) – youths who trained to leap over bulls and display other acrobatic prowess not necessarily related to competitive endeavors.

I hope that working with this deck will give me a greater appreciation for and knowledge of  Minoan culture.

The deck is packaged in a sturdy cardboard box with an accompanying companion booklet. The booklet offers a brief introduction to Minoan art, civilization and culture as well as information about the origins of the artwork incorporated into each card. There is a lightheartedness and joyfulness to many of the images, giving me the sense that Minoan culture didn’t take themselves too seriously. I don’t get the sense of pompousness and elitism that I often feel from Greek & Roman art – as though they’re above human frailties and emotions.

According to the companion booklet, “The suits of the Minor Arcana, Earth, Sea, Sky, and Art, illustrate the great powers present in the lives of the Minoans. Earth shows children of the Mountain Mother, Sea for companions of the Ocean Father, Sky for the Lady of Heaven and Art for their own expressions of humanity. Sea and Sky are used rather than the more abstract Water and Air because these represent realms of the divine rather than elemental concepts.

The number cards for Earth, Sea, and Sky portray living creatures of those realms, as one of the hallmarks of Minoan art and religion is their exuberant embrace of the natural world around them. The number cards for the Art suit show Minoan people engaged in everyday activities.

The Minoans had no known numerology. The images are assigned to the cards by the correspondence of their energies alone. Also, they do not represent a progression of quantity , but rather stand for the selected qualities, no one of which is greater than another. The key concepts for the Ace through Ten are:

Ace – Individuality
Two – Sensitivity
Three – Creativity
Four – Practicality
Five – Adaptability
Six – Harmony
Seven – Spirituality
Eight – Power
Nine – Consciousness
Ten – Transformation

The Court Cards in the Minoan Tarot are Worker, Priestess, Master, and Mistress. The Workers relates with the energy of the suit in a physical and practical way. The Priestess expresses spiritual direction and action. The Master and Mistress are aspects of the God and Goddess as represented in the realm of Earth, Sea, Sky and Art.”

As an introduction to the deck, I asked “What will this deck teach me?” I drew Art Five, Visionary (Hermit) reversed and Earth Seven reversed. Before looking at the book, my interpretation is that working with this deck will be a struggle but it will be a fun, playful one. It will help me explore areas within myself and connect with my inner spirit but it will be an uphill climb inward. If I want to get the most from this deck I will need to be persistent and stubborn to receive the maximum benefit.

Minoan Art Five Minoan Visionary Minoan Earth Seven

For each card, Ellen offers a background on the symbolism and what it is believed to have represented to the Minoans. She also explains the origins of the artwork as well as three messages from each card. Here are the messages for the three cards I drew:

Art Five

  • Do it. Show people what you’ve got
  • Respect your rules but push your boundaries
  • Your struggle will make you stronger. Consider if it will make you wiser.

Visionary

  • Seek the thousand inner senses
  • What shines cannot be seen at noon
  • Give yourself time for wisdom to grow

Earth Seven

  • Leave the crowd behind to get a clearer look at the whole
  • Have no fear of a challenge, you are up to it.
  • Take the path a step at a time. Make each step sure, strong and agile.

I think each of these messages fits with my take on the card, which means that while these card meaning might not be standard RWS, they are somewhat intuitive.

A few other favorite cards I pulled from the deck include:

Minoan Art Eight Minoan Earth Worker Minoan Sea Ace Minoan Sky Ten

Art Eight, Earth Worker, Sea Ace, Sky Ten – these cards give you a taste of how Minoans viewed the world around them and their connection to it.  They seem to play with the bulls rather than trying to dominate and control them.  There is a lightness and playfulness to the art that vibrates off the cards.  I want to dance and play with these charming people and the creatures that inhabit their world.

Minoan Oracle Minoan Earth Priestess

I especially love the images on the Oracle and Earth Priestess because they show two different aspects of the Snake Goddess, one of my favorite goddess images. She touches my heart with her serenity and simple strength. She has no fear of the snakes and wears them as ornamentation to show her connection with them. I don’t get a sense of domination but of collaboration and cooperation.  I can almost hear them whispering secret knowledge in her ears as she nods her head in understanding.

Minoan Ecstasy

Ecstasy also makes me smile. The dancing priestess is lost in her groove. I feel a sense of ecstasy and pure joy shine through this card. It reminds me of a line from a 70s song Magnet and Steel, “You’re a woman who’s lost in your song.” She has surrendered to the rhythms coursing through her body and celebrates them. She is not truly lost forever but is in a moment of trance, of divine connection. She reminds me of a Sufi dervish, using her dance to create an ecstatic trance state that connects her with the sacred; with the Universe.

There are many lovely cards in this deck all offering glimpses into Minoan art and culture but does that make it a good Tarot deck? I’m sure we’ve all had experiences of purchasing a deck that looks lovely but doesn’t speak to us (I’m something refer to this as a dumb ditz deck). If a deck is lovely to look at but has no depth or character then I often find them useless. I don’t feel this way about this deck. In fact I’d describe it as just the opposite – I think this deck will prove to have quite a learning curve because there is so much meaning and symbolism to be unearth and teased out from each card. This deck strikes me as one that will lead its users down the path to learning more about Minoan culture so that you can acquire greater depth of understanding the symbolism and meanings of these cards. Of course I also think it’s entirely possible to work with this deck and use the imagery to develop your own intuitive meanings without any further knowledge of Minoan culture. It’s a matter of preference.

My biggest complaint about this deck is it’s size. They are the same size as the Dark Goddess Tarot which means the deck will be difficult to shuffle for someone with small hands. I consider myself to have medium-size hands and I find them a challenge. So I will give the deck a borderectomy (I have grown to dislike borders on my Tarot cards) and that should make shuffling the cards easier. Oh and I would love it if Ellen created a longer, more detailed companion book but I digress.

So, to wrap it all up – do I recommend this deck? It depends. If you find yourself drawn to ancient cultures I think you will find much in this deck to feed your interests. If you are interested in learning a bit about an ancient culture that was less aggressive and misogynistic but no less cultured and civilized than Mycenaean Greece, this deck will intrigue you. If you seek decks that challenge you to expand your horizons and explore new perspectives and meanings for the cards, this deck will enthrall you. If you want to support privately printed, small batch published decks then this will fit your bill.

I will admit that prior to actually seeing this deck I was on the fence about acquiring it. The likelihood is that I would have purchased it to support Ellen if for no other reason. Now that I’ve played with it a bit and explored it energies I am eager to give it a longer test run and see where it takes me. The artwork is lovely and calls to something within me I wasn’t even aware existed. It tantalizes me like sunlight sparkling across a still lake. It shimmers and dazzles but in a quiet, understated manner like a classic beauty who is at first overshadowed her her more showy, extroverted sisters but whose true value is soon acknowledge and honored.

So if you haven’t already done so, get your copy of the delightfully delicious Minoan Tarot here

And if you’re still up in the air about purchasing a copy, you can read additional reviews here

I’ve been working with this deck on and off for several months now and thought it was about time to write a review. In the interests of transparency I will confess that I consider Ellen a friend however I don’t believe that will impact my impression of this deck.

I was privy to the fact that Ellen was working on a Dark Goddess themed tarot a few years ago. I remember chatting with her about the project and what goddesses might fit the energies of various cards (not that I’m in any way implying I influenced the creation of this deck). I thought it was a great idea and couldn’t wait to see how Ellen manifested this concept. It was worth the wait.

The deck is a traditional Tarot deck with 22 Major Arcana cards and 56 Minor Arcana cards divided into 4 suits – Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The court cards are Amazon, Siren, Witch and Hag. Ellen tapped into goddesses from a wide range of world cultures – Irish, Norse, Aztec, Inuit, Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Indian and more. In the companion book (which I highly recommend purchasing if you get this deck), Ellen writes about each individual goddess’ mythos as well as what it might mean if she appears in your reading and some ways to connect with her energies. Ellen’s art is classically simple with a palette that uses bright and neutral colors to create engaging images that are rather unexpected in a deck devoted to dark goddesses. It’s a refreshing break from the moody, gothic-inspired dark decks that are out there.

Dark Goddess Ace of Earth Dark Goddess 4 of AirDark Goddess Siren of Earth

One of the things I find intriguing about this deck is that many of the goddesses included are not traditionally thought of as “dark”. For example Gaia, Nut and Baubo come to mind as goddesses who might not be considered dark. However when one looks at the myths and legends connected to these goddesses it becomes clearer that even the brightest goddess has her dark side. This makes sense when you consider that even the sweetest, kindest humans have their dark sides too.

I’ve been working with this deck for several weeks now as part of a personal journey. Each day that I use it I come to appreciate its energies even more. I’ve always been drawn to dark goddesses, in fact I consider The Morrigan one of my matron deities. This deck has helped me grow more familiar with these dark goddesses as well as introduced me to some with whom I was totally unfamiliar. Would I make changes to this deck? Of course I would if I had created it – then again that’s true of most decks and in no way detracts from Ellen’s accomplishment. She has managed to bring the darkness into the light and allow us to explore and connect with its energies in ways that are not frightening or threatening. She has helped introduce these powerful, awesome goddesses to an audience that might never have learned about them otherwise and can now work with their energies to heal, grow and explore their own internal darkness as well as help guide others. If you have any interest at all in working with goddess energies then I strongly recommend adding this deck to your collection.

Transformational Tarot Empress

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

The LWB says: The divine mother, anima or feminine principle. Fruitfulness, fertility, growth, universal love, passion, nurturance and happiness. A deep connection to nature. For the artist, realization of creative projects. It can also mean a level-headed, intuitive businesswoman or politicial activist for human rights and the preservation of our natural resources.
Reversed: An artistic void. The oppressive, controlling aspect of the mother persona.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: Looking at this image I am struck by its seeming portrayal of Eve eating a piece of fruit while a snake slithers along the tree trunk next to her. At first it seems to symbolize the Biblical story of man’s fall. However it can symbolize something else as well – woman’s choice to take control of her life and grasp her future with both hands. The Biblical story always makes it seem as though Eve was naive and simple, falling prey to the snake’s sibilantly seductive words. What if Eve realized that if she ever wanted to be independent and have control over her life she needed to take this step. Perhaps the snake simply reaffirmed what Eve already suspected.

For me, this card symbolizes a woman claiming her power, becoming the woman she was meant to be. Whether she is mother and wife or single, independent career woman or some combination, she is at home in her skin. She owes no one any explanations and feels no urge to explain her choices or apologize for who she is. This Empress grabbed the fruit from tree and took a bite, knowing it would change her forever but welcoming the opportunity to acquire knowledge, wisdom and self-awareness. Instead of abject fear this Eve seems serene and confident in her decision.

This Empress offers a glimpse of a different type of feminine power. She may be a wife and mother but capture in this moment in time she is alone, independent and confident. She is willing to accept the consequences of her decision and knows that sometimes in order to acquire knowledge and experience, sacrifices must be made. Instead of Adam’s obedient wife, I see a goddess. She is fiercely free and enthusiastically embraces her path in life. Maybe she has more in common with Lilith than previously suspected.

The Empress – Blue Rose Tarot

Blue Rose Tarot Empress

The Empress
Blue Rose Tarot
Created by Paula Gibby
Published by Soul Guidance

The Book says: She is the symbol of feminine power manifesting itself through love and nature. She is maternal, she is life giving.

She takes the pure, elemental energies of the universe and through her archetypal womb, creates all existence as we know it. She brings us this miracle of each brand-new day and the blessed peace that comes in the evening when, arms outstretched, she lifts her voice in song and calls us home to her.

Every single nurturing act or thought connects us with her. Of all the archetypes that we meet along the road, she is the one who follows our progress quietly and protectively.

The TarotBroad’s Buzz: There is a vibrancy and warmth to this card that calls to me. The woman at the center of the card is welcoming and embracing all her children home – human, swan, butterfly, all are welcome and loved. She is one with the land and all its creatures. She loves, nurtures and gives without reservation or judgment. She will tend your ills and care for your wounded spirit. At the same time she is a realist and practical, understanding that she must eventually push the young ones out of the nest so they can continue to grow and thrive.

This Empress is one with her environment. She knows that there are cycles to everything in life and no matter how much she might wish to stop time, it is not advisable or healthy to do so. She needs no one else to define who she is because she is confident and comfortable in her own skin. At the same time she loves caring for her children and find fulfillment in nurturing the land and the wild creatures that inhabit it.

This Empress will never stop loving her children but her identity is not contingent upon their continued presence in her home. She is confident and self-aware enough to understand that if she does not encourage them to become independent then she is crippling them. If they are forever dependent upon her she denies them the glory and sense of accomplishment that comes with independence. She gently but firmly teaches them to do for themselves. She will not always be there for them. She embraces the world but realizes that at some point she must release it and let it go its own way.  She is the mother we all desire and few actually have.

Mansion of the Moon Tarot Empress

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

The author says: Traditional fertility.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This is Eve, the archetypal mother; the first female. She offers us life and fertility, abundance and fruitfulness. She also carries the potential for growth and expansion, for sensuality and creativity.

The Empress is that part of us that enjoys feeling silk upon our skin and enjoys exploring the different textures, scents and tastes that surround us every day. She gifts us with the curiosity to explore new sensations and taste new things.

Connecting to this card was a bit challenging to me because something about her expression is a bit distant – as though she may have given us birth but doesn’t care to be involved in raising us. She also doesn’t strike me as the type that would enjoy soothing injuries and and helping with homework. She seems fruitful but not nurturing, fertile but not loving. She strikes me as being almost the stereotypical cold mother. She may have given birth to the child but doesn’t possess the skills needed to nurture, love and raise that child. This Empress has probably sent quite a few adults to therapy.

Today I could not think of a topic so I asked the Norse Tarot “What should I share with others day?”  I drew The Empress aka Freya.  This tickles me because I am very drawn to the goddess Freya (I consider her one of my matron goddesses) but I’ve always been rather disconnected from The Empress.  I also don’t know if I would have selected Freya to represent The Empress’ energy.  Frigga seems more appropriate for this archetype while I see Freya as more connected to the High Priestess.  However I can also see arguments for this association too.

Norse Tarot Empress

So what have I learned about The Empress energy?  It is severely underappreciated and neglected, especially by women.  One of the aspects of The Empress that has always kept me at arm’s length is caregiving.  I have avoided being a caregiver for as long as I could.  I have never felt the desire to have children (and have never understood the urge to do so).  On some deep level, I have always known becoming a caregiver would require me to be more selfless and giving than I have ever felt capable and comfortable with being.  I have always been somewhat self-centered and narcissistic.  I had things to prove and goals to achieve.  I was going to be more than just someone’s mother and wife.  I also learned the hard way that children could chain you to an abusive husband and destructive marriage.  I was not going to repeat the mistakes of the women I’d seen around me.

I still think that was the right choice for me and that has been reinforced by my recent experiences.  I know that I was not meant to have children.  I can be quite protective of children but still feel no desire to have any of my own.  However becoming the primary caregiver for my in-laws has shown me that I do have the capacity to be a caregiver.  I’m not perfect – screaming and frustration seem to be par for the course., but I can do it.  I have the ability to put the needs of others ahead of my own.  I may not like it but I can do it.  Maybe at her core that is one of The Empress’ strengths.  She can put aside her own needs in order to care for others.

I don’t see this as a permanent condition or one that needs to be replicated ad nauseam (at least not in its healthiest expression) but when the need arises, The Empress can step up.  At the same time The Empress knows when to say “enough is enough” and put herself back in the center again.  Just as Freya knew how to get what she wanted, so is The Empress.  Freya realizes that love and death are part of the same cycle.  She may be famous for taking lovers as she chose but she was also the leader of the Valkyrie.  Half of all the chosen slain came to rest in Freya’s hall.  She might seem like the golden goddess of sex and love but she has a fully developed and well-honed dark side.  That was always my problem with The Empress – I could see her darker, selfish side.  She seemed like the perfect mother to me.  In my life experiences the perfect mother was an illusion that hid an emotionally needy, soul-sucking, weak personality.  Of course even this wasn’t necessarily true it was simply my interpretation of behaviors without knowing the causes.

I have come to appreciate The Empress’ energy, strength and gifts.  She can be selfless and giving but she can also be self-focused and hardline.  She may coddle and nurture but if she feels its becoming a long-term habit she will kick you in the behind.  I see her as having a low tolerance for bullshit.  At the same time she is caring and gentle when necessary.  For too long we have all bought into masculine definitions of power and strength.  Even women came to believe that true success could only be achieved via masculine outlets.  Now I think we are developing a more fully developed view of success.  For some women it may indeed  occur on a more masculine field of play while others may prefer pursuing creative outlets in more traditionally feminine fields.

I realize I will never be fully happy or comfortable as a caregiver and nurturer, that’s simply not in my personality.  However I have grown to deeply appreciate her gifts and strengths.  I have embraced this aspect of my personality and learned that Feminine energy and power are not weaker, they are simply different but just as important as masculine ones.

Mansions of the Moon High Priestess

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

TarotBroad’s Buzz:  This card connects with many of the aspects of the High Priestess.  It is the less visible side of feminine nature.  She is not as obvious and noticeable as the more fertile Empress.  But her presence and power is necessary and just as fruitful.

This High Priestess is our guide through our inner landscape.  She connects us with our inner spirit, our lunar nature, our night selves, our dreamy side.  Her influence in your life may be not as obvious at first glance but has just as much impact.  She holds the keys to both hidden and revealed knowledge.  She helps us leap through the different phases and aspects of our own spiritual lives.  Whether you are male or female the High Priestess leaves her mark upon you.  She is that secret side of ourselves that just “knows” things.  She can speak the language of the birds and the beasts and she is the Moon which follows us home.  She is the older aunt or female cousin who initiates us into secrets with which mother is uncomfortable.  Her arms are wide open to welcome us into her world but she cannot hold and comfort us – that is not her function.  She has other tasks that are more important that kissing a skinned knee or soothing an aching head.

She is Vivienne in Mists of Avalon, the Fairy Godmother in fairy tales, and such mystics as Hildegard of Bingen or Theresa of Avila.  She is the archetypal lunar female – complete unto herself, distant and sometimes cold.  But also strong, independent, and fascinating.  She will guide you to places you never dreamed existed and which may demand that you stretch and expand your horizons beyond what you previously thought possible.

Dark Goddess Siren of Air

I wasn’t sure what to write about for Shadow Side Saturday.  It’s not that I can’t find lots of dark things in my life it’s that I don’t necessarily feel the desire to share them with anyone.  So I decided to ask the Dark Goddess Tarot what I can write about and I drew the Siren of Air – Lilith.  At first I wasn’t sure what she was telling me.  Then I got an email letting me know that a movie I  requested was mailed to me.  The movie is The Stepford Wives, the original version.  This movie focuses on a community of men who seek to create wives who are the antithesis of Lilith’s energy.  They are submissive and subservient, catering to their husbands’ needs and putting their own on hold.  In fact once they are transformed they don’t even acknowledge having needs.  Of course they also happen to be highly sophisticated androids.

That made me wonder if that’s what men truly want?  I think there is always a layer of this desire in men.  They can feel emasculated if their wife is more successful or accomplished.  In it’s most violent form, this attitude manifests itself as an abusive partner however it cal also subtly pervade various aspects of our lives.  How many women in the work world have been overtly or subtly told that she was behaving in an unfeminine way or is excluding by the “boys”.  Even today these kind of behaviors and attitudes exist.

While working on a paper for my psych degree I read the book Against Our Will by Susan Brownmiller.  One concept she put forth that struck me to the core is that even men who will never rape benefit from the fear of rape.  She points out that rape is sometimes an effective tool for dominating (not just women, it is quite effective with men too).  If women are afraid that certain behaviors might cause them to be raped, they will avoid those behaviors.  Even now we read stories that imply or outright state a woman brought it on herself.  Why was she out so late?  What was she dressed that way?

Things are changing – there are many more men willing to be the stay at home parent but they are still in the minority.  And while the men are praised for getting in touch with their nurturing side, the women are often castigated and view as exhibiting aberrant behavior for not being satisfied with the fulfilling life of a stay at home mother.  Attitudes towards rape of all types as well as domestic violence are being treated more seriously.

This is where Lilith comes in.  Lilith is the patroness of those women; those who are honest enough with themselves to admit they won’t be satisfied to be a stay at home parent.  Lilith understands the need to be true to yourself and claim your power.  In a world where women are still marginalized or penalized for trying to claim their independence, Lilith defiantly walks (or flies) her own path).  In a world where women are convinced they need to stay youthful looking and beautiful; where no price is to high to pay to achieve these goals, Lilith doesn’t care what you think of her appearance.

She terrifies men because they can’t control her or dominate her.  Lilith stands up for all women and shrieks “I won’t be boxed in or dominated!!”  She’s rather like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction when she declares “I won’t be ignored”.  Lilith may reproduce but she doesn’t mother.  She consorts with demons and demands to be on top.  Lilith won’t let someone else dictate her life or sexual preferences.  She may be frightening and dark but she’s also powerful and fierce.  She is free and independent and that might be considered dark but it is very appealing to me.  So let’s take a moment today to embrace this dark goddess and honor her fiercely free and frighteningly forceful approach to claiming her power.

Dark Carnival Empress

Interesting, this is the second time this week I’ve drawn The Empress.  So for two days in a row I’ve drawn a card I drew earlier in the week.  Obviously there are some messages I’m either not getting or meant to share.  My relationship with The Empress has been a relatively cantankerous one.  In the past when I’ve drawn her my response has been a groan or a rant.  Over the last few years we’ve come to terms with each other and I’ve come to appreciate her unique strengths and gifts.

Considering that much of my time is spent in the role of traditional caregiver lately, The Empress is certainly appropriate. in response to my query.  I need to learn to be more comfortable with this side of my nature; to embrace this aspect of my personality.  Like an unused muscle, that aspect of my personality has atrophied over the years but lately it’s been getting quite a workout.  This gypsy-like wild child with a smirk on her face lets us know that although she may be engaged in traditionally “women’s work”, she’s no pushover.  This ain’t Beaver’s mother.  Gazing at her I can hear the song from the old Enjoli commercial playing in my head “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, ever let you forget you’re a man ’cause I’m a woman.”  She may raise a family, nurture loved ones and be generous and caring to those she loves, but she also gives off a vibe fierce independence and strong will.  She may not try to dominate you but she won’t be dominated either.  I like that in an Empress.

On another level she’s telling me that I am still not making the effort to carve out some time for myself.  I may be engaged in caring for others but if I don’t make caring for myself a priority too I’m going to burn out and be miserable (well more miserable).  I have to find the way to nurture and care for myself or I’ll be of no use to anyone else.  Maybe I also need to become more comfortable letting others nurture me.  I tend to resist efforts at mothering, comforting or nurturing from others.  I shrug it off or make a joke.  Maybe I need to be more open to those hugs and efforts at consolation and comfort.  I don’t have to do this all on my own and it’s not week to sometimes need a shoulder to cry on.  It’s just ridiculous for me to keep trying to be a “rugged individualist” in this situation.  That way lies madness and that’s what the smirk on this Empress’ face is telling me.  I may be crazy but hopefully I’m not stupid.  I need to start heeding her message before she slaps me upside the head with that plate she’s washing.

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