20 – Judgement

20 - Judgement

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Judgement card represents a spiritual awakening and a call to action. Where cards like The High Priestess have allowed us to lean into our intuition, Judgement shakes us out of inertia and asks that we step forward with the knowledge of who we were meant to be! This will require a blend of logic and intuition but what a wonderful place to find ourselves! We know what we are meant to do and how we are meant to serve and are ready to take steps to get there. Through our journey, we have learned from past experiences, good and bad, and are ready to apply these lessons moving forward. There is often an image of the angel Gabriel blowing a trumpet suggesting that we will not be able to ignore this call.

This card also tells us that we are in a period of good and sound judgement. We might be in the middle of a large decision and when this card shows up we know that we are in a good state of mind to make a wise choice.

This card does not refer to judgement in the sense of choice and legal matters but reflects the idea of Judgement Day in Christianity. In the Druidcraft Tarot, this card is known as “Rebirth,” which might be a better fit. The truth is, we can decide when we want to reinvent ourselves. We can acknowledge ways of thinking, spiritual paths, and relationships that no longer work for us and release them. With this, we gain a new understanding of ourselves and gain freedom from things that are holding us back.

Maybe this card is urging you to take stock of how you spend your days. Are there habits or belief systems that you adopted early in life but that no longer align with your values? Are there patterns that you have fallen into that are not contributing to the healthiest version of yourself? Perhaps you can write a list of things that you would like to let go of. You may wish to destroy this list. Releasing things into fire (safely) can be incredibly satisfying! Imagine yourself as a phoenix rising from the flames. It is never too late for a fresh start!

“She remembered who she was
and the game changed.”
― Lalah Delia

“I actually plan to mess up my life and start over every seven years. That way, I’ll never get in a rut. I read somewhere that most of your cells only live about seven years anyway, so in theory you literally are a new person; I figure that’s the best time to start over.”
― Jody Gehrman

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

19 – The Sun

19 - The Sun

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

When we find ourselves steeped in darkness, our one hope is for the light to return. In tarot, nothing brings this light to us like The Sun. This beautiful, warm and reassuring energy rekindles our joy and this positivity radiates to those around us. The Sun is responsible for the light, warmth, and food necessary for our survival.

If you have ever experienced a time where you find yourself emerging from a dark mood with an overwhelming feeling of optimism and internal illumination you have experienced the power of this wonderful card. Similarly, if your health has been poor, this card often indicates a renewal of vitality and healthy energy.

The Sun asks us to share this joy with others. When we can create this infectious spirit, we create a ripple effect that can positively impact others.

There is a story shared in shamanic societies about “The Four Universal Healing Salves.” If someone came to a medicine person with depression or a lack of spirit, they would be asked four questions:

  1. When did you stop dancing?
  2. When did you stop singing?
  3. When did you stop being enchanted by stories?
  4. When did you stop finding comfort in silence?

In much of Western culture, we rarely spend time in any of these activities and it shows in our disconnection. The Sun invites you, and provides you with the energy, to participate in these vital practices. It also asks you to share this with others. Celebrate for the sake of it! Having loved ones in your life is reason enough to rejoice. The child that appears on this card in many decks reminds us of a carefree time of innocence and joy just for the sake of it.

The Sun shines light in all dark corners so occasionally truths that were hidden by The Moon are illuminated. This can sting, just as the beauty of the sun can burn if you stare at it for too long, but these truths are all there to lead you to your highest good. You will find yourself with the energy, optimism, and vitality to endure and honor these truths.

What does paradise look like for you? Is it a cabin nestled on vast, green land? Is it a massive feast surrounded by all of the people you adore? Is it late-morning snuggles with your littles? Is it hours in a lush, vibrant garden with the intoxicating smells of nectar? Perhaps it is time in solitude where you can tease out your creativity. If you like, find a guided meditation or sounds that reflect your idea of paradise, such as this one, and allow yourself to sink into these blissful surroundings. Then, perhaps you could create a list of all of the characteristics this has. How can you begin to create this in your life? What actionable steps can be taken to come closer to this ideal lifestyle? Even if you are in a tiny apartment but crave the forest, consider ways to bring that feeling in. Maybe you could invest in some air-purifying house plants. Perhaps some green furnishings and rich, natural-dyed linens and blankets could bring that feeling closer.

While enjoying the energy of The Sun, it might be fun to create a vision board with all of the things you deeply want to manifest in your life. Images have power! Pair these images with statements that reflect your desires such as: “I spend my days tending to our acreage and growing nutritious food.” It is important to phrase these statements in the present, as though they are already happening. Visit your vision board daily and continue to be open to possibilities!

Perhaps you could devote a period of time (such as a month to start) to actively participating in the Four Healing Salves as a daily practice. You could do this alone or in groups as you wish. Perhaps you could enlist friends to join in the challenge. When you practice joy, you create a vibration that invites more of these wonderful, celebratory gifts to you and others.

Note: I am deeply grateful to Jess from Red Hawk Healing for her guidance with vision boards and many other wonderful lessons.

“Even
After
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

“You owe me.”

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.”
― Hafiz

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

18 – The Moon

18 - The Moon

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The moon has been celebrated in many cultures throughout history. Song lyrics, poems, and literature have made reference to delightful events happening “by the light of the moon.” In truth, the moon does not create light, rather, it reflects it. Similarly, in the tarot, The Moon may hold less intriguing secrets than those in art.

When we encounter The Moon in tarot, we are often looking at some form of hidden truths, deception, or the place where fears, anxieties, and nightmares are conceived. This may be a time when following the landscape of your inner world has led you to an unfamiliar place and you are unsure how to return to a safer, more illuminated area. This is the secret domain where our shadows take refuge and cultivate new and unpleasant thought patterns. It is a place where unhealthy and deceptive deeds occur. Things that we are so deeply familiar with in the daylight become twisted and unrecognizable in the moon’s reflection. Although we can skillfully find our way through the dark in our own home, navigating new and unknown territory requires trust in ourselves.

The Moon also warns us that we may not have all the necessary information and may be looking at “partial-truths.” Making large decisions based on what we believe we know is unwise. This is a good time to deeply tune into your intuition and your inner knowing.

As with all things that ask us to confront shadows, the degree of the discomfort we experience from doing this will come from our perspective. We can observe the shadows that challenge us in these dark places and draw them into the light. We can honor the pain that comes from all healing.  It is wonderful and nourishing to explore the positive, loving parts of ourselves but incredible growth comes from trudging into the darker parts of ourselves that remain unacknowledged. Many of these shadows are born from imposed societal rules and norms. We may have been a child who was repeatedly told to be seen and not heard, so as adults we learn to be silent even when life requires us to scream. We may have impulses that are not shared with the majority of society so we wrestle them down into the basements of our existence. When we do this, these shadows cast themselves on our personalities, our self-identity and our interactions with others. So, when we are ready, with a courageous heart, we can begin to cast an honest light on these shadow aspects and draw them out to be healed. The more we do this, the less weight they have–even on the darkest days. Past experiences can be powerful catalysts for projections on current and future circumstances if we let them.

The moon can be a beautiful sight to behold and the more we work with the shadows, the less we have to fear in its illusory light.

Does the idea of confronting your shadows cause fear or exhilaration for you? If it causes fear, how might you describe that fear? What does this fear look like? What does it smell like? Can you recall where this fear may have been born? What about shame? Do you have secret behaviors, wishes, or desires that you hide? What are your reasons for doing this? Would these desires be harmful to others? If so, that is something that may require professional help. If it is something that feels shameful based on your upbringing or peers, perhaps you could find like-minded individuals to share this interest with. This might be a great time to learn more about the lunar cycles! Perhaps you could start a lunar journal where you track your mood and energy levels and notice patterns based on the moon phases. With this understanding of the moon, we may gain the gift of night vision.

“The moon is a loyal companion.
It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human.
Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.”
― Tahereh Mafi

“We are going to the moon that is not very far. Man has so much farther to go within himself.”
― Anaïs Nin

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

17 – The Star

17 - The Star

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Star is a beautiful card to follow the challenges in The Devil and the turmoil in The Tower. Full of optimism and hope, The Star renews our faith and reminds us that things can turn around. This card brings us gentle yet thorough healing, reinvigorates us after upheaval, and provides a positive shift in our energy. If you have found yourself dwelling in a dark place, know that the star sheds light that can be trusted to find your way out.

This card represents higher understanding and provides an opportunity to step into our authenticity. Sometimes this can involve a spiritual discovery or interest in the divine. The imagery in the card often has a female figure with one foot in the water and one foot on land which symbolizes our involvement in both the physical and spiritual world.

In contrast to the incessant negativity in the media, The Star reminds us of the good things happening all around us. This is a card for the dreamers and symbolizes those individuals in our lives who manage to bring their light to everyone despite what they are navigating in their own lives. It is the wishes made on shooting stars, the coins tossed into the fountains, and the dandelion fluff blown into the breeze. 

Do you recall any wishes you made as a child? Perhaps some of them have come true! When was the last time you laid out under the stars? We don’t often take time for that in our busy lives, but it can bring us back to ourselves in such a healing way. Do you have a favorite constellation? I invite you to take some time to tap into that child-like wonder and spend some time under the night sky. If you wish, try drawing, painting, or journaling the things that come up for you. Return to hope.

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
― Anne Frank

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

16 – The Tower

16 - The Tower

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

Have you ever experienced a sudden, abrupt change in your life that shattered your reality, or your illusion of reality? Enter, The Tower. When a Tower phase enters your life, you will likely not see it coming. It will come quickly, out of nowhere, and dismantle things. While upheaval is not always a negative experience, The Tower tends to prepare us for an unpleasant surprise.

The art in this card does not tend to vary much. We see lightning striking a tall building with a crown at the top. The structure is crumbling and there are two figures leaping presumably to their death.  Even though the tower is crumbling and things seem quite dramatic, there is a strong, stone foundation at the base which remains unshaken. The Wild Unknown, as pictured here, uses nature in its depiction, as it does throughout the deck.

The fire resulting from the lightning is symbolic. We are aware of the damage and destruction fire can bring, but fires can also be generative! In the wake of forest fires, certain species of trees germinate and thrive. This is the gift of The Tower: an opportunity to take root and flourish. In this way, The Tower can be seen as an awakening. There are symbols in this card, such as the yodh, which indicate divine guidance, a hand from a higher power. These events are not random, but an integral part of your story!

The message with The Tower is: things are about to shift in a very big way. This card brings a shattering of illusions. It may be unpleasant at the time, but it is actually a sacred gift! This rough patch informs us of the aspects of our life that did not have a sound foundation. With this, we can rebuild in a way that will support our growth. 

Consider a time in your life when things suddenly seemed to be collapsing around you. If you are currently in the midst of something like this, consider going farther back. How did you feel at that time? Which aspects of your life were affected? This might be a good time to challenge yourself with a messier, more tactile craft than you are used to. Perhaps you can use a mix of acrylic paints and collage techniques (fingerpainting as an adult can be incredibly satisfying). Grab images that remind you of a chaotic time in your life and make a mess of it! Allow yourself to sit with the feelings that come up, but also allow them to pass out of you, into the paint, and onto the paper. Once you are satisfied, take a moment to think of all of the positive things that have come into your life because of this event. Perhaps you lost a job that you were certain was a good fit, but find yourself now in a much more satisfying position. Could it be that the dissolution of a marriage ended up freeing you to follow a passion? Maybe something that you desired in your life did not manifest, which made room for something greater. Spend time with these positive outcomes. If you feel ready, thank the challenging event for the lesson it brought to you,  release it, and continue building on your solid foundation. 

“Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.”
― Ron Hall

“Many people pray to be kept out of unexpected problems.
Some people pray to be able to confront and overcome them.”
― Toba Beta

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

15 – The Devil

15 - The Devil

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. 

Culturally, The Devil is known by several names. In many traditional tarot decks, he appears as Baphomet, the Horned Goat of Mendes. The Devil is a multi-faceted card representing the lower-vibrational habits and detrimental behaviors that we can fall into. Depending on your religious upbringing, the image of The Devil may create fear and unease within yourself. In truth, Baphomet represents our baser instincts and acting on impulses, rather than being a symbol of inherent evil.

In many depictions, Baphomet perches over a man and woman who have chains around their necks. They appear to be enslaved and attached to the Devil’s perch, but the chains around their neck are loose–they have the power to remove the chain whenever they wish. This reminds us that we are capable of falling into voluntary enslavement. This is evident when we feel victimized in a situation where we have more power than we are exerting. Power imbalances are often suggested with this card.

The Devil warns us about taking hedonism to an unhealthy level. While some people can indulge in alcohol or chemical substances occasionally, these can quickly become a recurring, unhealthy habit. While these addictions are often the first that come to mind, The Devil encompasses all habits that do not serve our highest good. This could be gossip, self-defeat, dishonesty or any of the behaviors that cause us to feel shame in knowing that we can do better.

The Devil is a snapshot of the bondage we may have to the crudest, most visceral aspect of our human nature. On the positive side, the Devil acknowledges the animalistic nature we all have within and can be a wonderful shot of adrenaline to our sex life, but as with all things The Devil brings to the party, we must watch for things going too far.

The Devil drops us face-to-face with our shadow self. There is no finessing our truth here. If you have not seen the unforgettable Ted Talk Brene Brown does on shame, I highly recommend it. From a very young age, we are constantly informed of which behaviors are acceptable and because our very survival depends on these adults around us, we bury parts of ourselves that are not deemed appropriate. These rejected aspects of ourselves sneak out in our adult life to bite us, and those around us,  in unexpected and sometimes shocking ways. We are unaware of their existence and it is only through gently healing and integrating those rejected shadow aspects that we can fully evolve. Until then we continue to project and fault those with the qualities we dislike about ourselves without realizing it. Our shadows can also hold the repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, desires, perversions, and embarrassing fears that we do not show the world. 

It should be stated that shadow work should only be attempted when we are in a healthy mental state. It can be incredibly triggering. It can and will bring us back to traumas that shaped the person we have become. Ideally, this process would be facilitated by a professional., however, if you are attempting this work on your own, please check in with yourself consistently and make sure you are safe and well. Remember The Wheel of Fortune: if your mood dips and you need to take a break from this work it is okay. There will be brighter, stronger days that will allow you to resume your healing path.

Shadow work is an incredibly trying process and it is a life-long commitment, but if we want to fully realize our potential, it is vital. We all deserve to bring our entire selves–our broken, messy, wonderful selves–to the table.  We all have amazing and exceptional gifts that could be exactly what someone else needs. When we stifle these, we are doing a disservice to ourselves and to those whose lives we have the potential to change. So often we discount the value that comes with our own unique perspective.

The easiest and least invasive way to begin shadow work is by paying attention to negative responses and limiting beliefs. For example, if you meet someone who rubs you the wrong way because they seem loud, arrogant, and rude. The hardest thing to accept is that the qualities that bother us most in others are often reflections of unhealed parts of ourselves. Take some time at the end of the day to reflect, and possibly journal, reactions you had that were unpleasant. See if you start to notice a trend. These rejected parts of our inner world will continue to rear their heads until we learn the necessary lessons.

Because of the delicacy of shadow work and the intense vulnerability it requires, I invite you to explore activities and journal prompts that speak to you. The work I have done is specific to my needs and may not be helpful. I will provide some links below which may or may not resonate with you. 

This is a beautiful article on our shadow selves.

Here is a comprehensive guide to shadow work.

“Every pain, addiction, anguish, longing, depression, anger or fear
is an orphaned part of us
seeking joy,
some disowned shadow
wanting to return
to the light
and home
of ourselves.”
― Jacob Nordby

“People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil… Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”
― Anne Rice

Until our paths cross again…

 

 

 

 

 

14 – Temperance

14 - Temperance

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. I am not a mental health professional; these are my personal reflections and experiences that I hope you will find helpful.

The Temperance card appears when it is time to be patient, use moderation, and find balance. Although we rarely seek out chaos, daily life has a tendency to divert our best-laid plans to be the zen adult we aspire to. Temperance is known in other decks as The Art (Thoth), and Fferyllt (The Druidcraft Tarot) and in addition to the above properties, this card represents alchemy–the bringing together of two opposites to transmute them into something new and beneficial!

Ironically, while Temperance represents bringing unlike things together, it also asks us to remain on middle-ground in our life. While we may have strong and possibly controversial opinions, now is the time to set those aside and try to lean into a range of perspectives. We all have blind spots and it is when we allow ourselves to consider something discordant with our own view that we can gain valuable knowledge and higher learning. Adaptability, flexibility, and compromise are key here.

What might occur when we execute patience and explore the union of two opposing elements? How can we apply this to our daily life? What does the word alchemy mean to you? What images come to mind? Which two elements of your personality are the farthest apart and do they serve you best this way?

This may be a good time to evaluate the areas in your life that could use moderation. Are your “occasional drinks” becoming less occasional? Do you have a stack of books that are being ignored while your video game stats are shining? Perhaps your finances could use a remix. Reigning in areas of your life that have been drifting towards excess, opening yourself to different views and willingness to blend two seemingly opposing things offers an opportunity for healing and rejuvenation.

“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’re each of us our own chiaroscuro, our own bit of illusion fighting to emerge into something solid, something real. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. I must remember to forgive myself. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”
― Libba Bray

“This is why alchemy exists,” the boy said. “So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold.
That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”
― Paulo Coelho

Until our paths cross again…

 

13 – Death

13 - Death

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. 

Have you ever been outside after the rain and walked along the earth just drinking in all of those luscious, earthy, green and rich scents? Perhaps there are new sprouts shooting up from the earth, vibrant and resilient. Surrounding these sprouts, and responsible for the delicious aromas around you, is decay. The old slowly curls in on itself and returns to the soil, nourishing new life in necessary ways. While the brown, barely recognizable plant material may look less impressive than it’s proud, green counterparts nothing would grow without it! So it is with the Death card.

If you are familiar with retro horror films, you may have encountered a scene where someone flips over the Death card and everyone in the room gasps and looks pitifully at the seeker. Most tarot advisors approach this card in a more progressive fashion. Yes, the Death card represents natural endings, but these endings are necessary in order to move forward.

While not all of us can embrace the concept of death and finality, presumably we will agree that desperate attempts to resuscitate something that is no longer meant to live is worse. Sometimes, we need to be strong and recognize that something is over whether we are ready or not. By all means, take the time to grieve. Whatever is moving out of your life is a loss, and skipping over the possible pain, disappointment, and mourning would be cheating yourself out of the delicate thread that stitches up your life story. It all matters–especially the really challenging chapters. It is important to acknowledge this loss, but it is also imperative that you move forward. Much like in the Konmari Method, take the time to thank this area of your life for all it has taught you and wish it well (then light a match).

In tarot, the Death card often means the death of the ego, and rarely refers to physical death. However, this card often comes with challenges so it may be helpful to examine how, culturally and religiously, death is acknowledged in a multitude of ways. This is a reminder that we get to decide how we want to approach loss! Westerners tend to sterilize the process and spend their life fearing death, but around the world, death is embraced and the focus is on celebrating the life of the loved one that has passed on. There are traditions of making beads from the ashes of their departed, creating beautiful altars to honor them, and often there will be parties that look a lot less somber than the funerals many of us have attended. There is no right way to acknowledge our loss, but it is helpful to consider that it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as we make it. Although the challenge around death is understandable, death just is.

On this note, I invite you to think about, and journal if you wish, some of the losses you have experienced. This may be the loss of a personal perspective, the loss of a familiar way of life,  or anything that caused a blow to the ego. How was your life altered after this event? What sort of changes followed as a result–were some of them positive? What opportunities made themselves present after this loss? How about dedicating an art journal page to constructing a painting or collage of how you visualize your “ego?” Explore your connection with this concept and look for pain points. Through this discovery, you can begin healing another layer of your internal landscape.

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
― J.K. Rowling

“The ego is the culmination of our preferences and dislikes. Our ego represents the firm edges of how we perceive ourselves. An ego death involves a merciless destruction of the autobiographical memory system that sustains a person’s collective of bodily and mental images. In order to provoke an ego death, one might choose to pare down their sense of self to a bare skeleton divested of all flesh and blood. It might even be useful to visualize a person’s own burial and then imagine a rebirth. A person who undergoes an ego death might experience a transformation in their life that duplicates a reincarnation.”
― Kilroy J. Oldster

Until our paths cross again…

 

12 – The Hanged Man

12 - The Hanged Man

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. 

The Hanged Man asks us to surrender seeing the world through the filter of our life experiences and to try a new perspective. The image of an individual suspended upside-down by one foot can appear hopeless, but the art often depicts someone with a calm expression on their face. It is when we are able to submit to the very real possibility that the filter we apply to our daily situations is no longer the best fit for us.

Have you ever met someone with worldviews so different from yours that you wondered if they came from another planet? How did it go? Did you part ways or did you embrace your differences? Sometimes when we suspend our own reality long enough to entertain another, we crack open blind spots we didn’t know we had. Other times, despite our efforts to see things their way, we are simply incompatible. That is okay too–there is room for all of us.

The Hanged Man is not an unpleasant card to turn over. It has the potential to be one of the most freeing opportunities of the major arcana. Imagine learning that there is an area of your life that could be lived with more joy and less resistance. In many ways, this card reflects what Buddhism proposes: attachment is the root of all suffering. Sometimes the things we hold on to the tightest are the things that need releasing.

Often this card does not indicate a choice we have made to see things a different way, but a situation or individual who has turned us on our head. This has the potential to make us feel powerless. However, by practicing the ability to set aside resistance and just be still this new perspective can be transformational!

I invite you to take some time to do a “brain dump” of things that feel challenging in your life right now. Is it a friendship that no longer brings joy but instead makes you cringe? Is it a decision you have been stewing over? Could it be a parenting struggle? Is it finances? Just put the pen to paper and let it all pour out in its messy, chaotic splendor. Choose three situations that really jump out at you, and imagine how someone who may be the polar opposite of you would handle it. Have fun with this; choose a film character or celebrity and imagine their responses. If you have had trouble expressing yourself to someone and are feeling stifled, imagine a notoriously outspoken rock star in your position. What would they say and do? Perhaps you can split the difference, omit the profanity and start there.

Pay attention when you find someone who challenges what you have established as your “absolute truths.” Some of these truths are vital to our well-being, others are simply limiting the rich, exhilarating experiences life has to offer. Be open to the possibilities that await with a new perspective!

“When everything is upside down in life; Don’t worry take a deep breath. The Almighty is busy remaking the best for your life.”
―Salmiah

“It’s when I stand on my head that I see things the right way up.”
Anthony T. Hincks

Until our paths cross again…

11 – Strength

11 - Strength.jpeg

Please note that this series of interpretations is intended to assist specifically in personal healing and shadow work. There are many incredible websites that offer traditional meanings and correspondences. 

When you think of the word “strength,” what comes to mind? Is it a grandmother who fed and clothed her family through the depression? Is it a child who is overcoming unimaginable challenges? Is it someone who displays traditional physical strength? In the tarot, the Strength card reflects a deep level of emotional mastery.

In many decks, the Strength card depicts a woman gently closing a lion’s mouth. This reminds us that true strength can be gently harnessed and effectively expressed with loving care. While we often think of lions as ferocious, and they certainly are, there is quiet, deeper energy at work in these magnificent animals that is worth remembering when this card comes up. Where in the Chariot, we saw a need to outwardly take charge, Strength asks us to use the power within us in a patient, composed way. Emotional intelligence is demonstrated in the ability to feel intensely passionate while having the capacity to express ourselves in a focused and articulate way. For many of us this is no easy task but quietly influencing others is a powerful tool!

This card is a valuable lesson for those of us delving into our shadows. It may be helpful to make a list of situations where you have found your emotions getting the best of you. When was the last time you really lost it?  Does this tend to happen with certain people in your life or is it seemingly random? What are the topics that really get your blood boiling? Often the root of our outburst comes from somewhere deeper within–an emotional injury that has been left unhealed. The raw emotion that you feel can be helpful if wielded correctly. Many memorable humanitarians mastered this skill and changed history.

In shadow work, we discover that often our intense reactions to someone’s behavior or comments stems from shame we carry about our own thoughts or actions from the past. This is one of the most challenging and bitter pills to swallow but it is profoundly freeing and lends itself to lasting personal growth. It certainly takes strength to face this side of ourselves but it is integral to self-love and our own spiritual evolution. What does your lion look like?

“The lion who breaks the enemy’s ranks is a minor hero compared to the lion who overcomes himself.”
Rumi

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

Until our paths cross again…