Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017: Challenges and Hidden Treasures

The instructions given by Mr. Lionharts were rather simple: intentionally select three cards to represent your central challenges of 2017. Then, let the cards suggest advice for each one.

The first part was, unfortunately, a quick task for me; this past year has been one of the hardest in the last decade or so. All three of these cards have come up for me on so many occasions throughout the year that I’ve entirely lost count.
Ancient Italian Tarot - Lo Scarabeo
Temperance was my “card of the year,” drawn last December as the theme for 2017. Finding balance, healing, losing equilibrium, tearing open wounds, throwing a stick in the alchemical spokes, regaining balance, learning how to live with disharmony, learning that disharmony is a powerful tool, learning how to seek balance once again. The 8 of Swords has had me identifying and attempting to destroy extremely outdated paradigms that were restricting my growth. The Tower - ah the Tower - has made a deep and potent friend out of fire and destruction. Watch it all burn, and see what is left when the ashes are carried away by the wind. Catharsis. It’s not over yet, but I do think that I’ve crested the summit and am heading down the other side of the mountain.

On to part two: advice for each challenge.
Pagan Otherworlds Tarot - Uusi.us
The Queen of Fire speaks to Temperance. She has been a regular feature of my 2017, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see her here. She matches the heat of Temperance’s alchemy, hot and cold, a conflagration, a waning intensity. When I am her, reversed, it’s not much use talking to me; I am a ball of fire ready to reduce my interlocutor to ashes. But it is part of the birthing of her dynamic and deeply powerful essence within me. When I am her, upright, I enjoy engaging new people like never before - the hermit out of the cave - I hunger for connection, I laugh, I consume the beauty around me like a starving animal. This isn’t so much advice as a recognition that provides helpful perspective. I know this about myself, now. Some days balance is easier to achieve than others. I am learning to integrate this Queen into my soul, and that’s a process.

The Knight of Pentacles speaks to the 8 of Swords. Releasing those old and restrictive paradigms requires steady progress, one foot ahead of the other. I can measure it in small but tangible differences in my everyday life. It feels like I’ve been walking forever and the landscape has changed little. But one day I look up and can see the plains stretching out below me; little changes make all the difference in how I perceive the world around me, and remind me that I am indeed moving.

The 6 of Cups speaks to the Tower. I call this my “re-membering” card; through it I pull back the parts of myself that I’ve lost along the way. The Tower built of concessions, limitations, “buts,” “oughts,” “can’ts,” hard histories, and the stories I tell myself.... it falls. And in its destruction I find myself again.

Here's to closing out a thoroughly transformative year and inviting in 2018!