TarotHunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • You’re haunted by past experiences; looking behind you and harshly judging yourself. Remember, despite the axiom, hind sight in not truly 20/20. When we revisit our past we often do so through the lens of our current narrative, which can alter our recollections.
  • You are not valuing your accomplishments the way you should. Instead of appreciating them, you are lessening their weight; lightening how important they were. If you’re going to judge what you’ve achieved then do so with clear sight and logical mind. Don’t let self-doubt or the criticisms of others undermine you.

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • Opportunities for a stable, balanced & blended creative partnership or endeavor are open to you. Don’t let inner demons and self doubts stop you from going through that door.
  • A marriage or creative partnership could help you find sources of additional inspiration, insight and support. Open your eyes to the possibilities instead on focusing on what could go wrong.
  • Nightmares frighten us because they play into our deepest fears and worries. Try sharing those fears & worries with someone who can support you and help you find ways to dispel them.

TarotHunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • Hold on to hope, sometimes it’s the only thing that helps you survive the dark times.
  • Whatever fears and self-doubts you’re hiding, remember that you can slay them if you learn to believe in yourself.
  • True healing starts from within. Open up to the possibilities and potential in yourself and it can put those inner demons to rest.

Have you ever hated, I mean seriously hated a fictional character? I have. Recently I’ve been watching past seasons of The Walking Dead and I realized that I really detest the Andrea character. I find her arrogant, completely lacking in insight or intuition, and gullible. She refuses to participate in anything resembling “women’s work” (which I completely understand) but overestimates her skills in other areas. She wants to be a protector but when we first meet Andrea, she greatly overestimates her shooting skills. She routinely resists any authority figure whose priorities are not her own. Hmm, she sounds like me.

When that thought struck me I realized that it really isn’t Andrea I hate, it’s those trait I see in her that I share. It might be comical if it wasn’t so true. Like Andrea, I often think I can do things on my own without assistance. I hate being limited in any way (whether it’s being expected to do “women’s work” or being treated as though I’m incapable of understanding a concept). I also see myself as a protector although to be fair I have minimal self-defense skills. I have a lot of moxie but very little actual training to back it up. The one area we are a bit different is that I am not as gullible or lacking in insight or intuition as the character is but that’s only because I’ve spent a lot of time working on it. And yes, I’m arrogant. Fairly self-righteous on occasion too.

Another character I’ve realized irritates me for some reason (although not to the same degree) is Buffy Summers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I couldn’t put my finger on why, I simply found her rather ditzy and annoying. But the more I watched the show the more I realized I resented and was jealous of Buffy. I would have given anything to have special powers like her (then again what teen wouldn’t?). Her blonde cheerleader persona, that was basically destroyed when she learned she is the Slayer, was one that I envied a bit on some deep unconscious level. Once again, who hasn’t wanted to be in the popular clique at some point in their lives. Of course even as a teen I wouldn’t have lasted in that clique because, also like Buffy, there were things in my life that made me an oddball, an outcast. Now I embrace those things but at the time they seems embarrassing and painful.

It’s become a fun hobby for me to take note of which characters I like and identify with (Dean & Sam Winchester on Supernatural) versus which ones annoy me. I see them as keys to character traits I want to possess or ones I possess that I don’t really like. It gives me an opportunity for insight and challenges me to make an effort to change those traits I don’t like and cultivate the ones I do. Needless to say, this works beautifully with fictional novels too.  Try it sometime, you might be surprised at yourself. And you thought TV was just mindless junk food!

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.

 

 

Wildwood 7 of Arrows

It’s such a gorgeous day outside that I changed my focus a bit.  Instead of focusing on the Shadow I decided to look at soulwork issues.

Looking at the image on this card and its keyword (insecurity), what strikes me is the arrows piercing the woman’s body.  Are these the arrows of self-doubt?  Of inner demons and critics?  Despite the arrows embedded in her body, the woman’s expression seems melodramatic.  It’s almost as though she isn’t truly wounded but is acting as though she’s wounded.

That made me wonder about the nature of insecurity – at least in my case.  There are times when I claim to be insecure or self-effacing about something but in reality I’m just fishing for praise.  Have you ever found yourself doing that – seeking reassurance and reaffirmation that you are good at something (or at least not as bad as you fear)?  That’s the message I’m getting from this card today.  Her pose is so contrived and her expression so overly dramatic that I want to say “just get over yourself!”  And there are many times when I want to say that to myself too.

In relation to this question, I think she is telling me that I need to stop letting myself get held back by self-doubts and insecurities.  They can only hold me back if I allow them to do so.  They can only hurt me if I make them reality.  They are phantasms; illusory weapons that can only wound if I give them the power.

I often see this card as representing the reclaiming of one’s own power.  That can certainly apply here.  By not allowing the slings and arrows of self-doubts, negative opinions and inner critics to wound me and hold me back, I am reclaiming my power.  I am standing up and saying I can achieve anything as long as I believe in myself.  What a great message for such a beautiful day.

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