So this was one down side. There are two editions of the Medicine Cards. The first is the set my mother had, which is what I used when I started working in divination as a kid. The cards were great - sturdy, durable, easy to shuffle. My mom had them bound with a rubber band, having discarded the original box. Then they came out with a more recent second edition, which admittedly is the one I wanted (and the one I currently have). I wanted it because they expanded the deck to include more animals than the first had had. Unfortunately, it seems that they decided to cut corners in printing by choosing some nice tissue paper for the card stock, and then laminating it. It really is worthy of my tears. If I were to bind these with a rubber band, they'd buckle and fold and bend and be destroyed by it. Not cool, St. Martin's Press, not cool….
So I'm still really happy to have them - it feels "right," if you know what I mean. And I'll just have to be extra gentle and careful with them so they last a long time!
So last night I spread the cards out and chose two, and I selected Bat and Swan:
Jamie Sams, David Carson, Angele Werneke
St. Martin's Press
It's been a LONG time since I used these cards, so I consulted the guide book (which I have to say is still absolutely excellent - hard cover, and full of wonderful stories and information).
Bat is not unlike the Death card. It's about making a transition in life and in your path, and the importance of not resisting it, but instead embracing it. So the lines from the book go: "The Universe is always asking you to grow and become your future. To do so you must die the shaman's death (page 206)."
This is so precise for what I've been going through in the past year or so, and what I feel is still unfolding. I got the Death/Journey card a lot last year, and it really encapsulates a profound shift in my path, and in a way a return to my own center. But it's definitely been a time of great change, from internal toward external, and in a way has felt like traveling through a great birth canal (for the second time ;-).
Swan is about a time of deeper intuitive development and awareness, and calls on me to honor the intuitive abilities that I have. At its core, the message of Swan is about acceptance of those "feelings" and flashes of insight, as opposed to doubting, rejecting, or avoiding them. And this is actually just the encouragement I needed. I have to say that the last couple of months have been pretty rough. I realized that I'm sometimes almost frightened of my intuition, and feel quite timid in terms of following through with what I'm seeing or feeling, especially in terms of readings. I've been starting to combat that by simply closing my eyes, saying (or typing) exactly what I'm getting about a situation, and then trying to avoid a heart attack while I wait to hear feedback.
And the feedback has been good! And I can't help but feel slightly surprised by that! I wrote a post recently about one of those experiences, but another happened this past week. It was one of those terrifying moments where I was full to the brim with self-doubt when preparing to send off the reading… and yet the feedback was glowing, and it was so deeply rewarding and affirming for me.
So yes, Swan, I am learning, very slowly, to trust more in what my intuition is telling me. It's quite a bit like learning to ride a bike without training wheels.
In the end, despite the depressing card stock, I am thoroughly warmed over to be in possession of this wonderful deck once again, and to receive the beautiful insights it has to offer. It's amazing how important it can be simply to receive acknowledgement and confirmation about what you already sense is happening in your life. That alone can be extremely empowering.