The Sun and Billy Goat Plum

From the Peanuts Tarot

From the Peanuts Tarot

Billy Goat PlumWhat a perfect pair of cards for the Official Engagement Tour.

The Sun for illumination, freedom and joy. Billy Goat Plum for shameless physical behaviour. Nuff said.

He’s here.

Before he left England he visited my daughters, Anne and Kate, asked for their blessing and showed them the engagement ring.

My only criteria were that it should be a ruby, not a diamond, and look as though it was crafted by Elves.

I don’t know what he was panicking about. It’s perfect.

8 Wands and Flannel Flower

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

Flannel FlowerThe last week before Jason arrives, not as my friend or lover, but as my intended husband, my soul partner.

Is it any wonder that the stalled energy of the reversed 8 Wands should dominate?

The minutes are crawling toward the appointed hour but thankfully we have the spirit of playfulness and intimacy of Flannel Flower to see us through.

But the phone bills are going to be truly frightening.

The Empress and Sydney Rose

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

Sydney RoseAs my baby girl headed off alone to the other side of the world I needed the comfort of Sydney Rose like never before.

For how better could my state be mirrored than by the reversed card of the Lady in her maternal aspect?

My agitation wasn’t helped when she called me, as promised, on arrival and told me she’d been bothered in the transit lounge by a man who, after failing to get her phone number off her, had followed her around the airport. Finally she sought refuge in the toilets until they called her flight.

She’s 15.

I shouldn’t have been so shocked. I was 11 and walking home from school the first time a strange man confronted me on the path holding his penis and Anne, my eldest daughter, was 14 when she was stopped by a middle-aged man in the street who sidled up to her in the middle of the afternoon and asked her to show him a good nightclub. I just happened to be a few paces behind her and in a position to tell him in no uncertain terms where to get off.

But it is shocking. The hardest part of parenting is remembering that not everyone’s a potential rapist or murderer. We do our daughters no favours by trying to wrap them in cotton wool and keep them safe from our nightmares but if you think letting them walk alone to the shops is hard, try putting one of them on a plane and sending her off to the other side of the world.

But she was safe by then in her father’s house and, while I couldn’t quell the panic entirely, I had to be satisfied with that. Oh but I miss her and will miss her until she’s back home. The walk down the hall past her empty bedroom is long and lonely and dark and the house is quiet as the grave, but nowhere near as peaceful.

Sydney Rose is the reminder that the cords between us can bear any distance. Its intense, purest pink symbolises the healing power of love and reminds us that there is no separation between us because we are, ultimately, all one.

Ian White, Father of the Australian Bush Flower Essences, calls Sydney Rose the crowning glory of the Bush Essences. While we may understand our connection to each other on an intellectual level, Sydney Rose opens our hearts to a deeper understanding of that principle.

Does it help? A little. But the corridor is still dark and the house is still silent. The Empress is reversed and will remain so until her return.

Jason will be here to put a ring on my finger before I see my Kate again but even the joy of knowing that cannot quell the aching in my heart.

Page of Pentacles and Dagger Hakea

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

Dagger HakeaThis is the last week before Kate’s trip to England, so the spotlight shifts from the Romantic Fool (me) to my beautiful daughter.

She has had a gruelling week of exams, the realm of the studious Pentacles Page, which I drew in its reversed aspect.

As well as the stress of her studies, I know she has misgivings about the trip and how she will be received in her father’s house. Alas, I fear she has good reason to be concerned.

At least she will have her sister Anne to fall back on if necessary.

Dagger Hakea is the remedy for the bitterness and resentment, usually unspoken, that can build up between loved ones. Its positive outcome is forgiveness and love.

I have long felt that the dreadful inability of John and his daughters to talk to each other about the marriage break-up is a long-running festering sore on their relationship.

It will be painful but I am sure they all need to get on and deal with it.

But I have no role to play in that drama. My job is to sit on the sidelines, ready to offer what comfort I can when it is called for, trusting that my children are capable of managing this one without me.

And if they choose to let it lie another year, then so be it.

The Emperor and Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

Hope that one day – some undefined day yet to come – Jason would come over and have some kind of closer relationship with me, that was enough. Or so I thought.

And then he did the one thing I never dared to dream he’d do. The thing that, by its sheer impossibility, kept those tears coming over all this time.

He asked me to marry him.

Not only that, but it means everything to him that my heart tells me it should.

The man who has spent his life preferring to be alone, with no claim upon his heart, now talks easily of being my protector and provider. He speaks of my daughters without hesitation as an integral part of ‘our family.’

He took a long time to make the decision but, once made, is just as steadfast on his new path as he ever was on his old.

And all the while I know that he is giving up all that’s secure and familiar to make a life with me. A girl doesn’t get to feel this special too often in her life.

The Emperor sits on his throne, the symbol of masculine power and protection used in service to his people, but his kingdom is barren and empty without his lady.

I would have been wooed enough by his willingness to come to the other side of the world for me, but an Empress I’m to be and as an Empress I am wooed. He is coming next month to put a ring on my finger.

Was ever lady loved so well?

Black Eyed Susan is for inner peace, patience and slowing down, a timely reminder in a hectic week filled with such excitement. Naturally it led to the inevitable flare-up of my ankylosing spondylitis.

But by Saturday night I was sitting under the stars with a glass of wine and basking in a golden glow of pure happiness.

The Lord of my Heart is on his way and I have no more need to fear.

Ace of Swords and Jacaranda

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

JacarandaWhat a momentous, marvellous dream-come-true of a week.

Although it did not start that way, so let me tell it in order.

The sense of struggle and imbalance continued and reached its climax with another conversation with Jason that left me feeling bereft and isolated.

In the first weeks after his return to England we talked often and openly and honestly about our feelings. But you can’t do that endlessly without resolution.

The situation was unchanged. Two long-standing friends separated by thousands of miles, not to mention profoundly differing ideas on what we want from life, who stupidly fell in love.

Lately when we’ve spoken we’ve skirted around the feelings part, neither of us wishing to pick over that particular scab, but it looms so large it had turned into a barrier between us.

He’d ask me how I’d been and I’d say fine, when I was aching with loneliness. Back to the same-old, same-old. Our conversations went from deep sharing to shallow banalities, punctuated by awkward silence on both sides.

I kept getting the feeling he wanted to say something, but didn’t know how. Or perhaps that was just me feeling that way. I could no longer tell.

No wonder then, at the reversed Ace of Swords to mirror all this miscommunication and confusion.

Finally, it seemed to me the only possible answer was to call it a day and I sent him an email saying basically if it was a choice of mates or nothing I’d prefer the nothing.

Jacaranda is for clear-mindedness and decisiveness – an antidote for the state of the reversed Ace of Swords, but it is also the tree Jason fell in love with the first time he came over, so it’s always in my heart linked to him.

How sad then, how heart breaking, to see my cards on their shelf and realise how closely they matched the dreadful circumstances.

And then… and then, he emailed and then he called and gave me the one thing I lacked, the one thing the human heart cannot thrive without. He gave me hope.

I don’t know how long it will take or how exactly it will be achieved, but I do know that the man who always said he wanted to spend his life alone has changed his mind.

He wants to be with me, and that is enough – more than enough. The rest is detail. And he’s looking into the options and coming back to me. We will be together.

Reading Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, who developed the Druidcraft Tarot, I see this morning they have this to say about the reversed Ace of Swords:

“Too much separation (of polarities) creates imbalance and the Sword of the Mind separated from the Chalice of the Heart for too long can cause suffering.

You may have cut yourself off from someone or something with insufficient attention to your emotions, or you may feel cut off in this way by someone else.”

Bingo.

But my solution was to walk away. Thank all that’s holy that Jason’s was to run after me, run after me and give me his heart.

Yippee!

Queen of Wands and Sydney Rose

Sydney RoseFor a few weeks now I have been a reversed Queen of Wands, struggling to recover that sense of balance I enjoyed for such a short time after Jason’s visit.

There are several reasons for the tip into the negative and all come under the heading of lack.

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

Not least among them, Kate is going back to England soon to visit her dad. And it will be the first time she’s travelled alone.

Intellectually, I know that both she and I will be fine. I can even acknowledge that we will probably both ultimately enjoy the break from each other’s company.

But it’s hard not to focus on the sense of loss and stack it up next to the ongoing lack of Jason, and then to notice more and more little of pebbles of want lying in my path and then to stack them one by one on top of these two big rocks of sadness.

The Sydney Rose essence has been described by Ian White as the crowning glory of the Bush Flowers. Its serene message is the realisation that there is no separation between us, that we are all one.

Intellectually, this Queen knows this to be true. But in my reversed state of imbalance I suffer the melancholy and sense of isolation that must inevitably precede the full realisation of that crowning glory.

I am only human, with a yearning human heart.

I pray for strength to accept these physical separations which are my lot and the wisdom to put them in perspective.

The High Priestess and Billy Goat Plum

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

The female mysteries have ever been fascinating and frightening, to both men and women. While the male principle seems obvious and easy to understand, the feminine is veiled.But the High Priestess and Billy Goat Plum together show us the way to accessing the divine feminine, which of course resides within us all, both men and women.

Be still.

The mind and its constant running commentary on all our actions and emotions is an unruly and usually critical master.

Still the mind and let the High Priestess guide you to the sacred within.

Billy Goat Plum addresses shame, particularly sexual shame, and shame arises within the mind.

Billy Goat PlumThis lesson applies to all aspects of our lives but is easily and plainly demonstrated in the sexual arena.

In our most intimate moments with the ones we love, too often we can find ourselves sitting apart, anxiously observing how we look, what effect we are creating, or else we are far away in a fantasy we have no intention of sharing.

The High Priestess challenges us to be still, to know ourselves and to honour the sacred within. Only then can we find the courage to be truly intimate.

Still the mind, soothe its chatter. The High Priestess holds the crystal of intuition and the book of intellect. Both must be honoured if balance is to be achieved.

Blessed be.

6 Wands and Wisteria

Wisteria

From the Druidcraft Tarot

From the Druidcraft Tarot

When I can see no obvious connection between the week’s cards I feel uncertain and uncomfortable, as if I must be missing something.

Isn’t it interesting how my mind is so determined to find links and meanings in two random choices that I’ve become so easily convinced they exist.

I drew the 6 Wands in its reversed aspect in a week which has been dominated by difficulties with my new assistant at work. He is much older than I am and we’re not settling in well together.

The reversed 6 Wands can indeed indicate conflict at work as well as a reluctance or dificulty in taking on a leadership role.

Wisteria, on the other hand, is an essence for female sexuality. Yah, I know! But none of those connections there, I hastily assure you.

When the obvious doesn’t do it, go deeper, I always say.

If we think of the interplay between male and female as it exists beyond the physical plane we can see it expressed in gender roles and that includes in the workplace.

So, I’m the office manager and he’s my assistant. The only other person in our workplace is the boss, who isn’t often on the premises which leaves us mostly on our own.

Sounds almost like a couple relationship, doesn’t it. And some of the difficulties are pretty much the same.

I’m sure they’re compounded because, as an older man, he’s probably finding it difficult to cede the leadership role to me.

If this isn’t a pretty primal struggle for balance between male and female gendered roles, I don’t know what is.

I also don’t quite know how to deal with it, but a bit of Wisterian self assurance on my part would no doubt help.

The Star and Red Grevillea

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

The other night, in my new spirit of emotional honesty, I told Jason that I feel lonely and miserable without him and he said he felt the same.Well no, I said, again in the spirit of honesty. It is not at all the same.

Jason has always been content to be alone. In all the years I’ve known him he has been happiest when he isn’t sharing his life with someone.

Whereas I have always been clear that I want someone with whom to share my life. I do not want to walk alone, although I hope that never drives me into a relationship for its own sake.

And then… and then he said something which he has never said before. He said he was thinking about the future and where he wants to spend it. Yes, an option he’s considering is here with me.

This is big. I may be not in despair and I might not be afraid but I am lonely.

So when he said he was thinking of doing the one thing that would fulfil my heart’s desire, I am proud to say that I responded, not as a needy lover, but as an honest, dispassionate friend.

To leave behind family and friends, everything he knows, there’s a pain in that as I know all too well. I would not think less of him for finding it a pain too great.

As Jason weighs up his options and wrestles with the biggest decision of his life, he does not need me weeping down the phone. And I do not need to be soaring around on the wings of false hope.

So why the Star, the card of hope and bright prospects just when I must be on my guard against it?

Red_GrevilleaNumerologically, the Star (17) is linked to Strength (8). Perhaps that’s why its message to me this week seems to be:

What will be, will be. However things may appear, the only challenge is ever to live this moment well, because the future is unknowable. Where there is life, and the beautiful Star, there is always hope.

Red Grevillea offers the strength to leave stuck situations and is a perfect companion. Because we are stuck, Jason and I. One of us must move or this sweetest of romances will wither into something bitter in the end.

And, as Jason contemplates his move I note an interesting aspect of Red Grevillea’s energy.

Ian White says that if you give someone else Red Grevillea to help them out of their situation, don’t be too attached to your expectations of how they will respond.

So that is my very clear lesson this week. I must be strong and compassionate, trusting that whatever Jason decides to do it will be in his best interest and in mine.

And if it is to stay in England, which it very well may be, then so be it. We must press on through the loneliness, confident in the knowledge that we’re living the moment well, with honesty and love.

The Star this time is not for me to follow, but to emulate.