|Posted on February 4, 2012 at 8:15 AM|
"It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses."
SADNESS Through The Eyes of Tarot
I have experienced some profound grief this past year, so I decided to heal and learn a bit by trying James Wells's spread, called "From Grief to Hospitality," which can be found HERE. Lisa Frideborg Lloyd also includes a wonderful spread idea, "The 5 Stages of Grief" HERE.
I expected my spread to talk about the upcoming loss of my mother, but the spread took it much further and beyond that, and I found there were parallels in other life situations I have experienced that can be tied to the same symbolic meanings.
I used one of my favorite decks, The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black.
Card 1) What is my deepest heartbreak?
3 of Cups reversed
The core of heartbreak for me is the loss of a joyful relationship. When three becomes two, when joy becomes loss, when friendships end, when relationships diffuse, when love dies. "The party's over."
Mary Greer suggests this card reversed can also mean "a theft by someone you know," which also has happened, initiating the end of what I thought was once joyful. In mom's case, I feel her joy of life is being stolen from her before she is ready.
But in this card I see my dad, my sister and me slowly letting go of what was, as we face the sadness of what is. She can no longer dance with us. But in general, this card is the separating of myself from what gave me joy, when I still wish we all could dance together. Some dances are just meant to last until the end of a song.
Deepak Chopra taught us, "All great changes are preceded by chaos.”
Card 2) To whom or to what does this open my heart?
3 of Pentacles reversed
I can open my heart by pulling in other people who were on the outskirts in my busy physical life that may not embody this experience. It ties me closer with those with whom I sit, as I appreciate more where I am and who I will still have after having lost. We are a partnership, and we depend on each other more greatly, my father and I, as we hold onto each other during this building of the temple we call life.
This card also makes me realize that things do diffuse, nothing lasts forever, and that endings are as natural as beginnings. The moment we are born, we are destined to pass. Knowing this pushes me to practice the necessary but difficult Buddhist practice of nonattachment. It brings me to the appreciation of those who remain after the team is broken. Each of us leans heavily on the other, and so we depend on more than just ourselves. In the process, though, we learn what we are made of and learn to trust that we will survive and be okay, thanks to our team.
Yet despite the team, it really comes down to each of us as an individual part. This card asks me, "how can I demonstrate love and strength as things break down, as the temple crumbles? Who are the people beside me as another departs?"
This card also asks how I tend to my own mind/body needs, the physical temple that is my body, so that I can continue to be a strong part of the team. How am I neglecting my own physical needs? How can attending to this better further allow me to open my heart with strength?
3 of Pents reversed can also be the absence of a team and learning through that. Others may be afraid to approach, as visiting the dying is a hard task, and yet I must stay in the boat with mom and take the journey.
Maya Angelo taught us, “Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.”
And an anonymous person said, “Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”
Card 3) How can I most hospitably receive him/her/it/them into my opened heart?
6 of Swords
I can receive hospitality by allowing movement. Change is constant. Change is inevitable, ride with it and realize it can still take you to safe places. Recognize what continues to embrace and protect you. Notice those around you who have gone through (and are going through) a similar experience: you are not alone (notice the boat in the back). Embrace them and empathize, and help them on their journey when necessary. Know when it is time to move on. Do not stay in one place and wallow, but rather express love and protection, but continue with the movement of life. With my mother, it is loving her in the place we are in regardless of how dark it feels. Like the mother embracing the baby in the boat, I have become the mother figure and she the child figure.
I cannot stay on the shore while she departs, I must hop in and take the ride. I will lovingly embrace where I am and appreciate the protection and support that exists both in my boat and with others that circle around me, also fishing in the same sea. I am learning to identify with others' pain and loss when I experience my own. The 6 of Swords card here is not a joyful card, it appears to be a card of mourning. So it is natural to be sad in order to receive. The sadness is part of the journey in the boat. It is part of the process of how I must hospitably receive her. Mourning with others will allow me to grow even further. It's okay to cry and feel pain. I am not alone.
Mark Twain noted that, “20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
I will ride in the boat right with you, mom. Together we'll sail on the journey. We'll dance with what remains. I love you.
To learn more about using Tarot to guide through depression,
Learn more about the secrets of reading tarot at our award-winning educational tarot podcast. See a listing of all show topics HERE.