Posts tagged ‘relationships’

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 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.

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.

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.

9 Cups and Dagger Hakea

From the Robin Wood Tarot

My wise companions, Dagger Hakea and the reversed 9 Cups, say the answer is to turn inwards for a moment.

The 9 Cups is a difficult one to get a handle on and perhaps it’s that my deck doesn’t depict it very well for me. The Robin Wood Tarot shows a jolly looking overweight man surrounded by cups.

Dagger Hakea is for bitterness and resentments in close relationships. These are often unexpressed which is why family disputes are the most difficult to resolve.

The Nines are ruled by the Hermit and the Cups cover the emotional component of his journey, so perhaps the man on the card is filling an emotional hole with the pleasures of the Cups.

There is an ambivalent feeling to this card – it’s about entertaining, enjoyment and celebration and yet, and yet… At the same time, all the commentaries speak of something missing from the celebration and warn against over-indulgence.

Reversed, the 9 Cups suggests that something which has been hidden or suppressed may be revealed.

With that in mind I took some Dagger Hakea and asked my sub-conscious to present me with someone I hold resentment against.

I have consequently spent the week dealing with feelings, long suppressed, surrounding the various times my father let me down.

I finally know, after all these years, how the little girl I was felt when my dad said he’d give me up because his girlfriend didn’t like me, when he forgot my birthday, hadn’t noticed I was left-handed, and so many other carelessly inflicted wounds.

I had always thought it was strange that I seemed to feel no hurt or bitterness over these things. I only realised they were hurtful when I saw how people reacted when I told these stories as if they were funny.

Well, I never told the one about the girlfriend. There was no joking about that one and it has sat a long time on my heart, unexpressed.

It was a great relief to have a good cry.

An important part of the process of releasing that bitterness was also to forgive him and that has been a very beautiful and healing experience.

Going through this process at this time has also had an integral role in my decision over Jason’s visit.

Of course my low expectations of men in later relationships were inevitably formed in that primary one with my dad. Without realising it, I seemed to have married a man with similar tendencies.

Unlike my father and my ex-husband, Jason has never told me one thing and done another, nor has he ever placated me with empty promises or wooed away my hurts and disappointments with his charm.

Jason has always been utterly honest and cautionary about the limits of what he can offer me and I value that about him above all else.

Let him come. Let my dear friend come and enjoy the delights of summer with me, for even a Hermit craves company at times and what better company than a fellow traveller, taking a brief detour from his own lonely road?

Temperance and Boab

From the Robin Wood Tarot

I drew Temperance in its reversed aspect so the lesson is about balance. And what have I learned?

There is a tension in it, an ongoing tension which requires patience, practice and vigilance to master.

Balance is not a blessed state of relaxation after the struggle to get there, it is the struggle.

Temperance is depicted as an angel standing apparently completely at ease but he has one foot on land and one in the water and he is juggling three glass spheres. He must be freezing too, because it’s sunrise on a morning in early spring.

None of this shows in his demeanour and I imagined myself in his place, trying not to wobble with only one foot on solid ground – I never even got to the juggling.

So that is the challenge. The hormone imbalance and the struggle to find my place in the world, these are not temporary difficulties to overcome and move on from.

They are in fact the challenge of the game itself.

Boab is the essence that I feel a great respect for. It clears negative family and karmic patterns – the ones that are so ingrained in us that they can be hard to recognise for what they are.

But without an awareness of their place in our psyches, Temperance remains reversed.

To stretch the metaphor – comfortably, I think – they could be represented by those glass balls.

In relation to my week just gone – and at the heart of last week’s indignant letter to John’s mum – I believe my struggle for balance may stem from the warring attitudes of my own parents, deep in the heart of Boab territory.

My father trusted in fate and ended his life in peace. My mother, on the other hand, has lived her life in fear and has the future she always dreaded.

And I am struggling to find my balance between the two.