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.

Wheel of Fortune and Grey Spider Flower

Grey Spider Flower

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

And here, as if to crown the lesson, is the upright Wheel of Fortune, ruler of the 10s, and herald of the beginning of an exciting new cycle.

Grey Spider Flower releases deep fears and terror, promoting instead calm, courage and faith.

This week, as I planted my new herb garden, I reflected on what abundance I have been blessed with after turning up, a refugee with a passport, with nothing but a pebble in my pocket to keep me in sight of home.

I have no need to fear.

10 Swords and She Oak

From the Hello Kitty Tarot

From the Hello Kitty Tarot

She OakThe 10s are about completion and, at the same time, about creation. They signify the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.

The 10 Swords in particular carries the pain so often associated with endings. In the middle of an ending it can be impossible to imagine, let alone spot through the gloom, the seeds within it of renewal and rebirth.

And yet… there they are, whether we are aware of them or not.

She Oak is the essence of rebirth. On the physical level it helps to remove the barriers to conception, balancing female – and also male – reproductive hormones and creating the optimum conditions to support new life.

Strange that She Oak and the reversed 10 Swords should turn up straight after Jason’s return to England and my new-found courage to face whatever challenges may lie ahead, with or without him.

What seemed at first a complex, almost impenetrable, combination has clarified over the week into a clear and rather beautiful message.

The upright 10 Swords suggests a state of emotional defeat so bleak as to be unbearable. Well, I’ve certainly had my 10 Swords times in this relationship but this isn’t one of them.

Does the reversed 10 Swords signify the finger-twitch of defiance that says “just give me a minute, I’ll be right.” I like to think so.

If so, She Oak points clearly to the promise of new beginnings inherent even in the 10 Swords.

That got me thinking about that awful moment when my ex-husband John left me, probably because I really did feel then that there was no glimmer of hope.

It’s incredible to look back and realise that within that moment lay the seeds of all I have become. And to then acknowledge that there was good in there, although I surely couldn’t see it at the time.

It’s taken years to get to this point and it’s been a hard slog. Never would I have expected to ever write a paragraph like that last one.

The fact that I can tells me no-one will ever bring me that low again. I have seen those tiny seeds of renewal and I have watched them grow into something wonderful.

So, this week’s (shorter) lesson is: Shit is also Fertiliser. Water it in well with a few tears and your garden will bloom again. Or something like that.

Love and Peace.

8 Pentacles and Silver Princess

Silver_Princess

From the Robin Wood Tarot

From the Robin Wood Tarot

It has taken all the weeks of Jason’s visit and now his departure to really learn the lesson of the reversed 8 Pentacles. I hope I have learned it well.

This is the student’s card, the card of steady application and the hard, slow slog of learning new skills.

Reversed, it can indicate that a period of assessment is required. A time to review the lesson so far, spot the gaps, check on progress and make sure that blockbuster essay actually answers the question.

Silver Princess, which helps us identify our life direction and purpose, is a perfect match.

So what have I learned, and how does it help me?

Needless to say, our holiday was a delight. We swam, we walked the beach and shared the beauty of our little island paradise, lazed in the sun and delighted in each other’s company.

When he left I cried, of course, but I don’t think I will keep crying this time as I did before, when I wept solidly and inconsolably every day for a whole bloody year.

Perhaps my biggest learning was to understand better the reason for those tears.

I cried because there were things I had wanted to say to him but hadn’t, for fear of scaring him off, for fear of exposing myself to ridicule or exploitation.

But as I rested and relaxed with him and took the time to think about our relationship and what it means to me I realised my silence was nothing new.

When it came to a new relationship I behaved just as I had in my last one. I kept quiet, revealing just enough to let him know he’s got me, but never enough to let him know how much.

To keep quiet about my own fears and desires, to pour my energies into making someone else happy as if that’s sufficient… isn’t that just how I behaved with John?

No wonder John was surprised at my reaction when he said he didn’t love me any more and was leaving me for someone else.

Up to that moment, my default position was always to smile and say, of course dear, if that’s what makes you happy,

And this time?

Does it help a man to know that there’s a woman on the other side of the world weeping and wailing because he can’t give her the one thing she wants, his presence in her life?

Ever since that moment when our lips first crossed the line of friendship and this whole sorry saga began, I’ve followed his lead and agreed mutely that we can control this thing and step in and out of love as we choose.

But at what cost?

To open my heart and reveal the full extent of my feelings and my desires, that’s a scary thing.

But to skim lightly over the surface and avoid the hard truths is to risk the very foundation of our relationship, the true and honest friendship which brought us together in the first place.

It doesn’t matter that my motives were good, that it didn’t seem right to share the full burden of my heartache when there was nothing he could do about it.

Turns out there was one thing he could do, and he did it. He could share it.

So what did I learn? That when I finally speak what’s in my heart all else falls into place.

Not neatly, by any means. Jason’s gone, back to his wonderful career and his dank little flat, and I’m here finishing up the unpacking and preparing myself to go back to work.

Oh yes, I’ve shed a tear or two but I’m not grieving. Instead I feel complete, content and ready for the year ahead. And closer to Jason than I ever felt to anyone before.

I already knew 10,000 miles is nothing as the heart flies. It’s even less when another heart meets it halfway.

So, nothing is changed and yet everything has.

No more dancing around that silly imaginary line that we crossed so long ago now. There ain’t no going back to simple friendship but sharing the pain with honesty and trust goes a long way to making it bearable.

I do not cry or fly alone. We’re wingtip to wingtip across the ocean and on this journey for good or ill. At some point we must join up or part ways but whatever happens, I will not be choked into silence by my own fears.

The essay answers the question, time to return to the coursework of balancing our relationship with the other areas of my life until I can manage them all with authority.

Join me on a Fool’s Journey

From the Peanuts Tarot

From the Peanuts Tarot

Paw PawI’ll be away for the next couple of weeks while Perfect Guy Jason and I head off to a lovely island retreat.

In the meantime for my Twitter followers I’ve set up a series of rolling Tweets covering the Fool’s Journey, with links to relevant posts on my blog.

Would love to know your thoughts, but I may be some time getting back to you…

Right, my holiday romance beckons. I leave you with the infinite possibilities represented by The Fool as he sets out on the Great Journey of Life.

And because my hippie philosophy comes with added flowers, here too is Paw Paw for clarity and understanding.

Love and Peace
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