Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Soul Essence

I was having a 6 of Cups moment…. remembering back to how I experienced life as a kid, how I experienced myself.  I was thinking about how we change as we grow older, as we experience life in all its pain and ecstasy, and how still, at our very center, there's a critical element that never changes, our soul essence. 

For many years I struggled with who and what I would be when I grew up. I studied Anthropology during my first stint at university because it was the only major that appealed to me… the culture, language, humanity, spirituality. I'm glad for my degree but even Anthropology wasn't entirely "it." I went to graduate school for linguistics…super interesting, and yet I still felt lost. I remember walking with Jorge (my husband) one afternoon a few years ago, talking about this frustration, this sense that I still (after two college degrees and the development of a fine teaching career) felt like I couldn't pin my finger on what I was really supposed to be doing. So many people dive head first into their lives and seem to know just what to do. I envied those people who found an educational and career path that deeply fulfilled them. 

As a kid I always lived with one foot in the spirit world, and the other on the earth. What do you do with that? I told Jorge, "You know, what I really feel is that if we lived hundreds of years ago, we'd be those people serving as herbalists or shamanic practitioners. But we don't live in that world. We live in a different place where we have to choose from other paths that don't fit us quite right." This was a time when I had no idea that people read Tarot for a living, or even practiced shamanism as part of their life's work. I really understood it to be a closed door. That didn't stop me from dabbling in divination, dream interpretation, or from being keenly aware of the beauty of intuitive messages, but I certainly didn't have a focus for any of that exploration.

I read Siddhartha (Herman Hesse) in college and felt so deeply connected to his story, in terms of the way in which he sort of strayed from his path (I'm not sure "stray" is the right word) and delved deeply into the material world for long years before stumbling back toward his purpose. I always hoped that I, too, would figure out what the hell I was supposed to really be doing. I set my deep connection to spirituality aside for years as I pursued my Master's degree, expanded my family, developed my career. Only within the last year have I been pulled back, through an interesting series of events, and I've been feeling grateful for that. I've felt happier than I have in years, and I feel I'm much more closely aligned to my true path now than I ever have before… at least since I was very young. I don't regret anything - working in the material world helps us grow roots, get our hands dirty, and I think being grounded is essential - a prerequisite of sorts - to making spiritual progress. Nothing is more grounding than having kids! I had to "leave the path" for a while in order to end up where I am now. And I'm grateful for that, too.

So I was sitting and playing with my cards the other day, pondering all of this, and I decided to lay out some cards around "my soul essence." I pulled the King of Cups, the 4 of Cups reversed, and the King of Wands reversed, with the Knight of Cups as the "shadow" card (from the bottom of the deck). Wow, a lot of court cards!! 

Golden Tarot - Kat Black
US Games

The Knight felt to me like spiritual pursuit, and I suppose that at my core that is the path I've always been walking. Learning, growing, expanding, falling off the horse a few times, getting back on, making mistakes, struggling, developing.

The King of Cups is master of emotions, a healer, wise, patient, calm and gentle, sensitive but grounded. A couple of months ago my mom bought me a clay tile with a heron on it in honor of the King of Vessels from the Wildwood Tarot, to whom she seems to feel I'm connected. I was really happy about the gift, and I love the Heron and its symbolism, but I remember wondering why she thought I was particularly connected to that energy. Then I thought back and remembered a friend reading for me back in the autumn, and pulling the King of Cups for me, which at the time I was intrigued by, because I don't automatically associate that card with myself. So seeing this King, all of that came flooding into my mind. I'd love to think of myself this way, though usually I think of myself as the Hermit - less outwardly engaged than a King tends to be. But healing has always been a deep passion of mine, and I do feel I'm pretty even-keeled emotionally. I love to support everyone's endeavors, hear all opinions and perspectives, though I also am clear when I feel something is off-balance and needs to be addressed. And in some way I'm not quite as nurturing as a Queen (I've always felt like this was a bad thing, like a weak point, but maybe it's just how I function??). 

The King of Wands was interesting to see, and this King has also come up for me before (what's with all the King energy??). It's reversed and that makes sense to me, because fire is not my cup of tea. In fact I'm currently working on exploring this energy, developing my leadership abilities, my inner fire, my self-confidence, and the ability to be outspokenly "me."  I'm not outspoken, usually. I'm pretty quiet in general, and I'm probably over-sensitive to stepping on toes, or not being liked. I'm learning that in order to develop inner balance I need to be okay with not pleasing everyone. It's an impossible task anyway! 

The combination of these two kings is interesting in that in a sense it's uniting polar opposites, water and fire. For the past year I've received a lot of 2 Cups/Lovers....uniting the two within me, balancing passive energy with active. Passivity is my comfort zone. The King of Wands is also about career and spirituality, which is interesting because I'm in the process of shifting my career from teaching to divination, and it's very much underdeveloped, raw energy at this point. The reversal is very appropriate.

So then the 4 of Cups serves a bridge from passive energy to active energy. When I saw this card I thought "late bloomer." It touches on my tendency to be emotionally separate/quiet/withdrawn in terms of expressiveness, and starting to learn to reach out. One of Mary Greer's meanings for the 4 of Cups reversed is "the practice of divination." How fitting!  I'm moving from passive Cups energy to active Wands energy, engaging the world through the practice of divination. It's a way of tapping into my core nature and allowing it to become the focus of my life rather than settling for it always being on the back burner. 

Personal readings like this can be deeply healing and affirming. This reading will be tucked away somewhere easily accessible so that when I'm having moments of frustration or self-doubt I can pull it out and remind myself that I'm doing the right thing.

So what's your soul essence? How are you utilizing it in your active, daily life? Do you feel you are paying enough attention to who you truly are? How can you honor yourself more intentionally? If you choose to read on the topic of your soul essence, I'd love to hear what you get, and how it touches you!

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  1. Someone told me we never leave our path. It may look that way but in every period of our life: How spiritual, grounding, devastating it may be you are still walking your path. I think we have to keep searching for our soul essence. The search is what really matters in the end because that is in my opinion your life's destiny : to search. You can discover a lot of wisdom but always there will rise another question which will drive you forth

    1. I believe that's very right on - that's why I say "stray" isn't really the right word - wherever we go, that is where we're meant to be. And I would not be capable of being the reader I am today if I hadn't have lived what I've lived thus far. We never stop learning, growing and expanding! Nevertheless, coming back into more conscious "spiritual space" felt very much like coming full circle, returning to my roots, and that was a really good feeling, like puzzle pieces slowly knitting together :)

    2. Perhaps after coming full circle you will spiral upwards into a new circle more matured and evolved :)

    3. Hah! I hope so! I have a lot of livin to do yet!