I decided to try out my Four of Swords spread to continue processing this grief journey and how it shows up in my world. It was the middle of the night, and it felt good to exist in that space and access this work.
A quick sum up of the card positions is below:
- Bottom: What is my sleeping path?
- Left: Nightmare (relationship to fear)
- Right: Dream (relationship to hope)
- Top: What is my waking path?
The terms sleeping and waking path, I discovered in the Black Angel Cards. I thought it was a wonderful way to describe who we are when we are out of alignment and undernourished as well as who we are when we are fulfilling our highest good and suitably cared for.
I knew this deck would be swift to tell me the truth directly but it still took my breath away. It was my first reading with the Gorgon's Tarot and she did not hold back, though she told the story with the compassion of that one femme you know is going to put honey in your tea before they tell you all about yourself.
Perhaps my sleeping river, rather than my sleeping path. I sit at the edge of the bank as in the Four of Cups which bleeds out sadness, depression, stagnancy. The figure has dipped their feet in the pool of emotional depth but are still sitting on the edge with no engagement or intention to dive in and do some work. They look away from their gifts, even the message coming from above. Waiting on a miracle- and not even noticing it when it comes.
"She wants something new... but she is not sure where it is to come from; she cannot light her own fire." (Gorgon's LWB)
"Think more wholeheartedly about what you need, and where to find it." (She is Sitting in the Night)
This is the place of brackish water and flow must be created. On my bad days, this is what I look like. I don't cry often, even when I feel I should. Instead I'm idle, my mind wanders to nowhere in particular and my few moments of awareness feel desolate and without recourse. It's a whole bunch of doing nothing and feeling nothing. My work is to acknowledge that yes there will be days like this and also admit that there is help to be found. Instead of hanging out in this grey space for all time, it is okay to ask for some help to pull me either further onto the bank or into the water. Either will offer some kind of opportunity to wake.
She cannot light her own fire-
-and so the Knight of Wands haunts the shadows lighting strange fires that are quickly snuffed out.
I am so contrary right now to the Knight of Wands who is free, sunny, moving swift with passion, chasing dreams, creative, proud, and always looking forward. In very practical terms, I am having a hard time getting shit done. And GOD, there's so much shit to do. Settling affairs means mucking through state and local bureaucracy, packing up her things, cleaning house, moving house, settling my sister, settling me, preparing for work, and so much much more. Oh yes, and gotta take care of my heart in there somewhere.
There is a blockage when trying to access this fire energy lately. When I do I experience the Knight's shadow, a "squandering of energies," as the Gorgon's Tarot LWB puts it, is the result. A lack of strategy, magpie mind fleeting to and from the unnecessary. Here is the inner fire the four of cups is looking for trapped in a nightmare state.
I dream of home when I do manage to sleep well (rare). The Five of Pentacles has been haunting a lot of my daily readings and it doesn't seem like it will leave until I feel safe again. I've been waking up from my dreams lately full of fear and insecurity. Not nightmares per say- in fact they tend to be perfectly pleasant at first but towards the end uncertainty creeps in and is the aftertaste that remains when my eyes open. It is unsettling and does nothing positive for my insomnia. The dream- hope of what home could be- is hidden from me from by a shroud of my own making. Both the creepy figure and the woman look down- they share the same eyes I think- paying attention to sand and ashes slipping through their fingers, dreams turned to dust.
Their familiar calls their attention to the resources around them but they do not hear, cannot turn away from loss. You don't have to go it alone, says the familiar- you have a right to receive care. Look around you and notice what or who is there. I am noticing a lot of time is being spent looking down by the figures in this reading- only the Knight I am unable to reach looks up. It would be helpful to unstick- from stagnant earth and water. Find movement that propels me towards the knight.
"Fight when we must, rest when we can..." (Gorgon's LWB)
I am learning what it feels like to be in the light of The Star, of pouring myself back into the world. I'm at my best doing this work- for myself and for others. It helps to empty out some of that excess water into the universe's ocean, surrender it all to Yemaya, so that I can reach into my fire.
The herb wanderer in me won't let me go on without noticing the cattail plants in both the Four of Cups and The Star. I know medicine when I see it.
Cattail is wound medicine, reducing pain and moving healing along gently. Which in the context of these cards makes absolute sense. In the muck of the swamp they provide food as well as medicine. A lot of the womb healing formulas my TCM practitioner prepares includes Pu Huang for its pain relieving and blood stasis moving abilities.
After the effects of The Tower, here comes starlight, beautiful, healing, and gentle. In the stars we find our way, navigate back to ourselves again. This is no flighty hope, it is hardwon. The dim but brightening inner flame beginning to glow.
Starlight is not so bright, but in this moment, it is just enough.
"This is a post-disaster hope, one not sought through conscious direction but by the full and heavy surrender of grief and loss." (She is Sitting in the Night)
What does this mean to me right now?
This grief is a cleansing ritual.
It is an offering to Her who knows this unkindness well- to the world's ocean, Yemaya- all the shit, trauma, grief, and pain all of it and releasing that to fill up my pitcher with something fresher.
It looks like getting back into the work- sharing this journey, this process and processing of grief with others because it is a world ocean- so many others recognize what we pour out. That recognition heals, affirms: vulnerability, and the bravery to lay it all out.
That deep honesty allows the starlight to kiss my skin and hold me together.
asaliprayerspelloffering 'I make space as I pour out, to myself, to you, to community.'
Yemayareceivedsresponse 'You are not lost/You are finding yourself.'