I hear tell, and it feels like it too, how many folks are saying we're (humanity) right up to a grand denouement. Doesn't matter the context or perspective, they all are saying the same thing. The piper's gotta be paid, he's been playing for a really long time and he's not cheap. In other words, big changes afoot now. I have my sets of changes in my little personal circle; who doesn't? Perhaps my own cautionary tale can illuminate yours. Word to the wise: take illumination where you find it!
You may have noticed I'm doing a lot with Tarot lately. Even though I must have first picked it up about 50 years ago, it's just this year my engagement with it has deepened significantly as I understand the power is not within the cards themselves but they serve to bring up our deeper stories (and please include Jung's Collective Unconscious and Joseph Campbell's reminder of mythic and cultural ancient tales). To borrow and adapt astrologer Steve Judd's phrase, the cards don't compel, they impel. Here's how I impelled myself this morning after waking to the remarkable rainbow above. Here's the cards I drew.
Here's the set up, a two-card spread from Sheilaa Hite called I AM.
Left-hand card is "Who I Think I Am," right-hand card is "Who I Really Am."
I'm using the Waite Smith Rider deck as I can freely put the images here. I also have a fondness for it.
My question is "how can I reframe my self-narrative to be my truest self as I evolve through age?
Following is how I tell the story the cards bring up for me.
I think I am “done for.” Old narrative, in place for many years: the world becomes real for me through my hands. Many years. Truth is, my hands no longer function in the ways I'd become so accustomed to and certainly relied on (meaning took for granted). That “truth” increasingly an irritant provoking anger at my poor hands as the problem wasn't me. Of course.
So now what, is it all finished and over? Of course not. The rest of me says it's too late to stop as “we're just getting started!” Clearly, whoever the person was, in this 10 of Swords image, is done, finished and quite over. If you don't catch that from the main image itself (swords along the spine from stem to stern), the number 10 and the primordial black cloud under which nothing moves give big hints. Swords bring the energy of discernment and judgement, understanding what is and what isn't true. Clearly this is the mindset I'd been using, Who I Think I Am.
But guess, what, here's the answer to the question in the 2 of Wands and Who I Really Am. A person (ok, me) stands in between two poles of living wood. Isn't this the very nature of transition, to move from one pole to another? I stand on the precipice, gazing out over what's to come, holding on with one hand to the past. And what's in the other hand? Oh, simply the Whole World! And look, ready to be grabbed is another pole of “arbor vitae,1” ready to lend support in the future. Numerology reminds us 2 is the beginning of movement as we start to move beyond the self. Wands evoke new ideas and growth, initiating change. Gazing out over a grand vista, where land and sea meet with the world in hand, well, there's a lot of potential!
You may ask why the sky here in the 2 of Wands is not a pleasant uplifting blue if this is such a nice scene evoking hope? I think that's because it's still early days here and nothing's decided. Grey is the middle ground, neither light nor dark. It's up to the individual to carry on and discover how the sky lights up over time. I personally find a sense of comfort and security in the warm brown of the poles and the clothing. That's where I see hope in this card in this moment. Remember, not compelling but impelling, we all have a big say in what and how we do our lives.
So the answer is, it's literally and figuratively in my hands how I move into what's to come. It will be different, that's for sure. One of the nice things about the “A-word” (Ageing) is the wealth of wisdom won through experience (no matter where you are on your trajectory). Once we've figured out some things about how life works for us, we put that knowledge in place as guiding navigation. And if we're somewhat smart and a bit lucky, this program holds us in good stead for many miles, recalibrating as we learn. And isn't that a trap we can easily fall into? We're so invested in that original program script we lose suppleness of response to sudden plot twists. Eventually a big enough storm comes along to seriously challenge our equipment and operating systems. How easily can you bend, crouch and stretch mind and body to compose that new story?
I'm working on mine!
1 Clearly not species Thuja, I'm using the phrase for its “tree of life” meaning.
Linda S Davis
Sometimes I have fun pushing thoughts and words around.