Monthly Archives: February 2012

D is for Dualities (and why so many of them aren’t very useful)

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This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project. It’s the second one for the letter D. Since I noticed that I had missed talking about binaries during my earlier post about Kate Bornstein, I decided to write about dualities soon after. I actually woke up with the main idea of this post last weekend. With that background, I took it as a confirmation when the topic of “dualism” came up as a suggestion in the most recent PBP newsletter (to which I subscribed after all because I’m just too curious).

The images that accompany this post are two cards from Lorena B. Moore’s beautiful and out-of-print Ironwing Tarot, the Two of Coils and Death, respectively. The Ironwing is my current deck of the week, and I actually drew the Two of Bells yesterday during the process of choosing a new deck to use, which is why the illustrations seemed suitable.

One of the very first concepts associated with non-mainstream spirituality I encountered at around the age of 16/17 was by way of the yin-yang symbol (or, more correctly as I just learned, the tajitu symbol). You know, where two opposites make a whole and each contains a part of the other? My best friend’s boyfriend explained to me that it symbolized not only light/dark, wet/dry, hard/soft and so on, but also male/female. From that, he concluded that humans could only reach true happiness in a male/female couple. He didn’t say that gays and lesbians needed to either come around and accept the “natural” order of heterosexuality or accept their spiritual dis-ability, but I still heard it loud and clear. Back then I was hardly even bisexual, but I still noticed when someone tried to sell me their ideology as universal “nature.” So I called bullshit on him and stopped trusting that guy’s explanations of such things.

Still, there were some aspects of the concept that made sense to me, especially the one that both “sides” were needed for general balance and wholeness. That said, I didn’t believe every single one of us needed to embody exactly equal parts of the respective characteristics. I just thought that all “sides” were necessary for a whole, balanced world.

But every time I saw male/female (or even masculine/feminine) included in the list of dual opposites that were relevant for any kind of spiritual (or political) system (not just yin-yang), I winced and took a step backwards. No matter how I looked at it, that duality just didn’t make any sense to me. I couldn’t see any clear line between the two positions, and I also couldn’t get behind the idea that the world of gender was that simple (one of my G posts will definitely be about gender, which is why I’m not elaborating much on the topic here).

And the more I thought about the dualities on these lists, the more I found that I honestly couldn’t picture as two black and white paisley swirls making a circle together. Good/bad (or evil). Life/death. Healing/harming. Male/female. No, no, no. None of these fit even remotely into such a limited model.

A few days ago, it suddenly hit me. There are some dualities that make sense to me and which I use comfortably. Day/night. Light/dark. Quiet/loud. Hot/cold. Dry/wet. Soft/hard. I still don’t believe these things are binaries in any way. One doesn’t necessarily exclude the other, there are areas where the two merge. Which is why we have dusk, dawn, damp, lukewarm, and room volume. And all sorts of other states inbetween the respective extremes. Actually, I would argue that most of what we encounter in our daily lives is somewhere in the inbetween spaces. Therefore, most of our lives is actually some shade of gray instead of pure white or black. Or maybe it’s even a shade of green, red, blue, orange, purple, or yellow.

To get back to my original point: the general idea that – for example – hot is the opposite of cold makes sense to me. Us humans may not agree all around the world where hot and cold starts (which is why some of us still wear shorts and T-shirts when others already don jeans and sweaters), but we do agree that hot eventually leads to sweating (or boiling) and cold eventually leads to shivering (or freezing). We are even be able to measure the degree of hotness/coldness with a thermometer; and even if use a Celsius one and you use a Fahrenheit one, water still boils and freezes at the respective reference points every single time. This is not dependent on context. For me, such dualities are the simple ones. They focus on one single characteristic which is relatively easy to measure and to agree on across time and cultures. They are also relatively free of universally valid hierarchical value judgments (although of course everyone will find a point where something is too loud, too cold, or too soft). So I’m fine with these dualities, assuming they’re not thought of as mutually exclusive opposites without overlap. They are convenient. They are useful.

And then there are the other “dualities” which I don’t believe in. The ones that don’t make sense to me. I’ll skip male/female and feminine/masculine here, but they belong right on top of that list. Close contenders are things like good/bad, healing/harming, or life/death. To me, all of these things are way too complex to work well as examples for the (more or less) yin-yang model of dualities.

While we all agree that there are things that are alive and things that are dead, and that there’s a difference between them, we certainly don’t agree on what scale to use for measuring the amount of life and death in something. And this is not just a Celsius vs. Fahrenheit thing. Because life and death are so completely interwoven with culture and history that there is no independent scale for any kind of measurement available to us. Some argue that human life starts with conception, others say it starts with the first independent breath, yet others vote for some point inbetween the two. I’m sure that things like in-vitro fertilization have only complicated matters in that respect. And it gets even more complicated when it comes to the end of human life. Is someone dead when their personality as we knew it has disappeared completely? When their hearts stops beating on its own? When they don’t breathe anymore by themselves? When their brain stops working? When their physical body has been completely dissolved into something else (and what if some of that is new life?)? When their soul has completely passed over into whatever place we believe it passes over (and do we need to verify that or do we just assume it happened after a certain period of time?)? When the last person who remembered them is gone? When they’ve been reborn as something/someone else (assuming we believe there  it is such a thing as rebirth – and isn’t that another life, then, too?)? Sure, we have some sort-of agreed-upon signs we use to declare someone dead (or at least dead enough to be buried/burned), but even those seem to get more blurry with certain developments in Western medicine.

In other words, there is no way we can define even the extremes of these dualities in a way that is unambiguous, not culturally/historically specific, and not majorly influenced by someone’s values and beliefs (e.g. spiritual or ethical ones). Not to mention the whole big gray/pink/yellow/green mess in the middle. While this also emphasizes my earlier argument that most life (and death!) actually happens in just that middle mess, it’s still a much bigger mess when it comes to “big” dualities like female/male, life/death and evil/good than it is with the “small” dualities like cold/hot, dry/wet, and day/night.

That doesn’t mean I never call someone feminine, male, or dead. It just means that I can’t really draw a line between these things and their supposed counterparts, and that I don’t even find them particularly helpful to describe what I’m actually talking about. At best, they work as a rough orientation and a kind of guidepost for the kind of territory we may be entering. It might help to think of them as the beginning of a conversation rather than the end of one.

(Yes, I know that even my duality of big/small issues here doesn’t hold up under close philosophical scrutiny. I don’t mind. It worked well enough to make my point, I think, and that’s all I wanted from it today. If you’re sure the thing is dead, feel free to dissect it. ;-) )

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New Deck: Ironwing Tarot

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Even though I still feel I’m not quite finished with the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn, I’ll pick a new deck today. I won’t have much time for tarot this weekend, and my second D post for the Pagan Blog Project also is overdue (watch out for it tomorrow evening), so I thought I’d change decks a little earlier than usual.

This is what the random number generator suggests for my next deck of the week:

Interesting list. All of them have been suggested earlier, but I always chose a different deck then. None of them are complete strangers to me.I did about six months in 2007 where I exclusively used the RWS, and three months with the Ironwing about a year ago. I also used the Sacred Path Cards for daily draws for a short while (in 2010 or 2011).

Nevertheless, I’m having a hard time choosing any of the three right now because none of them seems really “right.” The RWS just doesn’t excite me in any way. The Sacred Path Cards seem to be from completely the wrong culture for me right now. Which leaves the Ironwing Tarot. It’s a profound deck that I love a lot but I don’t click easily with it. But it makes me think, it has a wonderful companion book, the art is great, and it’s reduced color scheme makes me feel it’s a winter deck (never mind that it was created in the Arizona desert). I’m not sure how well it will support me in my first post-holiday week back at work but I guess I’ll find out. If nothing else, it will be an interesting contrast to the very urban, modern, colorful, and playful Silicon Dawn.

Still no new deck…

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Just in case some of you have been wondering why there hasn’t been a “New Deck” post in a while:

I’m still using the Tarot of the Silicon Dawn. I figured I’m on holidays, so I get to make exceptions like that. And since I hardly even did a reading last week, and since there are one or two readings that I believe would best be delivered to myself in the voice of that deck, I’m sticking with it for a few more days.

I might change to the next deck a bit earlier than Saturday, though. At any rate, by the weekend I’ll be back to the regular schedule of one deck for one week. After all, there still are 31 tarots decks, 10 oracle decks, and 4 non-card oracles to go… Unless I buy more.

D is for Death

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This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project. It’s the first one for the letter D.

My interest in death is a relatively recent one. While I sometimes joke that I might have become a gothic if I was willing to devote more time to perfecting my appearance (clothing, make-up, hair), I could never identify with this subculture’s obsession with death. Sure, I enjoy a good vampire story every now and then (not that vampires are technically dead), and I’ve worn my share of skulls and crossbones, but that’s about it. Death just wasn’t anything that happened in my life.

And when death first did happen in my life, when my grandfather died as I was about 16, it still left me pretty cold. I hadn’t liked him in life, we never were close, so his death didn’t actually concern me much. I do remember silently (and rather cynically) telling him “do it better the next time round” at the funeral. I think I had the impression he hadn’t been a very happy man as I knew him, and he also didn’t seem to have made my mother (and her brother?) very happy. He wasn’t directly abusive, as far as I know, just not emotionally available. Still, death remained detached from my life.

When my grandmother died, I was 28. Her death was a long and slow one, and it began when her dementia got more and more pronounced. She had been a very important person during my childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, and I loved her very much. We mostly lived in the same city (except for three years when my family relocated due to my father’s job situation), but I had moved away for good at 21, so I only saw her a couple of times a year. Her world became smaller and smaller, until she stopped leaving her apartment altogether (except for rare accompanied visits to the doctor). Looking back, I wish I had known more about dementia back then so I had been able to better understand her world in those last few years. As it was, I just felt that she slowly disappeared into a loop of forgetfulness and only peeked out of that very rarely. I did what I could to make her look at me once again with that very particular twinkle in her eyes. In the very end, she had to move to a nursing home, where I visited her once. I remember pushing her outside in her wheelchair. She eventually said (as she had done several times before on different occasions) “I think the dear Lord has forgotten me,” which I took to mean she wouldn’t mind if he summoned her into the Heaven (her imagery, not mine) sometime soon. So I told her something to the effect that she could go if she wanted to because I somehow believed she needed that permission (no idea why, really).

Anyhow, eventually she did die. I expected myself to cry and be very sad because she had been so important in my life, but I found that I didn’t feel much at first. She had been very old (90+ years), she had been on her way out for years and years, so this was hardly a shock. Especially since I had the feeling she had been ready to go for quite a while. I found the funeral pretty terrible. It was held in a chapel-like room of a funeral home, by a pastor who hadn’t known her and who had written his speech after interviewing one or two of her three sons. There was only a sentence or two about her attitude towards us grandchildren, which felt completely out of balance to me – after all, she had been a grandmother for nearly half of her life, and a very active and present one at that! I was completely surprised to learn that she had loved to sing, and silently promised that I would accept the heritage of the singing (a promise which I still have to fulfill – but I’m slowly inching my way towards that, starting from a position where I’d never sing in anyone’s presence). It was a Christian funeral, and that felt very alien to me. That said, I was surprised how moved I still was and that I actually started crying in the end. I didn’t think of myself as much of a spiritual person back then, but I clearly remember “sending” a spiral to balance/counter the sign of the cross the pastor made at the end. It went right through the cross. Again, I have no idea where that impulse came from.

In the late summer of 2008, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He got chemotherapy, he got surgery, and for a while it all seemed hopeful. I still massively increased the frequency of my visits with my parents (whom I had seen maybe once or twice a year before) and ended up going there every other weekend or so. In that winter, he went back into the hospital, and I remember the whole family visiting him in there on Christmas. I sat by his bed, talking to him, and he gave my an article about “modern” ways of organizing work he thought I’d be interested in. I made him an envelope full of collages that were meant to show him what memories of our shared life I cherished and that I loved him just the way he was. I told him I was proud to be his daughter and that I loved him. I also saw him cry, for the first and only time. That moment still has a very special place in my heart.

There was talk of him moving into a hospice, and my sister and I went to check out the one in my parents’ hometown (a wonderful place that felt completely right to me). We also thought about  bringing him home again, but I don’t think that ever really was an option for my mother. I don’t remember any medical details, just that there was to be another surgery, and that I had a very bad feeling about it, fearing he wouldn’t survive the operation. I even opened a thread on a tarot forum I was a member of and asked people to pray and send good energy to him. The outpouring of love from total strangers was incredible, and I felt very blessed by it. Anyhow, for whatever reason, the surgery was postponed a few days, and I still believe that this was partly why he did survive it. So that’s how he started the year 2009: fresh out of surgery, but with the devastating result that his whole belly was full of metastases and that the surgeons hadn’t even tried to remove any of them. That was when death finally became a resident in my life.

A few days later, the whole hospital had to be evacuated so that four old war bombs in the area could be safely defused (or detonated). That didn’t add much to a peaceful recovery from that surgery for him. After the bomb action was over, he was transferred to the palliative care ward. I’m not entirely sure why he didn’t move into the hospice but I think it was considered too strenuous for him. (I’m surprised myself how little I remember of the medical facts and related issues, but since I got most of the information by phone, and my auditory memory is not the best, that might account for some of that. And then I think I was simply focused on other things, like the emotional situation of everyone.) About a week later, I went to a workshop to build a frame drum (I hadn’t even successfully journeyed back then, but for some reason I knew I needed to make a drum). The following Monday, I received a letter from my university, telling me that my Master’s thesis proposal had been accepted and that I now had four months to write its 80-100 pages. What timing.

The next day, I got a phone call from my sister that I should come to my parents’ hometown because it looked as if my father would die soon. I threw a few things into a bag, called my workplace, my Beloved called his, and off we went (my Beloved driving us). I think we were about half an hour from the hospital, still on the autobahn, when my mother called and told me that my father had just died. I said I definitely wanted to see him and that they should wait for me there. We hung up, and a few minutes later, the clouds right in front of us opened up in a peculiar shape and I saw a beam of sunlight in beautiful colors. I was certain that this had been a sign from my Dad, saying goodbye to me.

We arrived at the hospital, were greeted by my sister who took us to his room (I hadn’t been there before). He was lying in his bed, his hands on his chest, one on top of the other, his chin supported by a plastic thingie to prevent his head from falling forward. He was oddly yellow. I went over and touched his hands, looking at his dead face, which looked like him and yet not really like him. We hung around in the room for a while, eating bland cookies and drinking tea or coffee. It was a very liminal time, with him being both there and gone. Eventually, we went home to my mother’s place, taking a big plastic bag full of his clothes (not sure why I remember this detail so well).

After that, there was a flurry of activity. A funeral home had to be called, a date for the service had to be set, an obituary and funeral service invitations had to be worded and designed, clothes had to be picked, etc. My parents had decided and prepared a lot of things beforehand, so it was a comparatively organized and smooth process. I felt strange about using the same funeral home that had handled things when my grandmother died, but I didn’t argue (the experience of having someone try and sell their “prettifying dead people skills” to me/us was still pretty jarring to me). Since my father wasn’t a member of any church and didn’t believe in any god (as far as I know), we had to decide what to do about a speech. I offered to write something and read it myself. Then my sister also wanted to write and read something. And then we decided to ask a cousin of my father to add a third part of the speech and say something about their youth which we as his children of course hadn’t witnessed. My sister initially found she was overwhelmed with the task of writing a speech, despite wanting to do so, and wanted to use somebody else’s words instead. Eventually, I was able to coach her in writing in her own words and helped her edit the text to something that flowed nicely. It was very odd how easily my mother, my sister, and I were able to agree on the fundamental things, given how very different our personalities are and how often we disagree otherwise. It was a beautiful experience.

On the day of the service, I felt very official. I knew I had a role to fulfill, and a part of me felt that I had taken on parts in our family dynamic that had previously been my father’s (my mother did a similar thing in a different way when she started wearing his sweaters, his wedding band, and used the frame from his glasses when she had to get new ones for herself). I felt very much like my father’s daughter, more than ever before. I was incredibly grateful that we had had time to say the important things, that we had gotten some extra time by the postponing of the second surgery, and that he had been in my life. I smiled, I nodded to people, I checked in with the funeral home people who were in charge of starting the music and the end of the service, and I generally provided structure for everyone. My father’s cousin started the service, telling stories of their youth, stopping to cry a bit, and weaving a thread to the present. He ended by putting a tenderly wrapped potato onto the coffin, because that was something my father had mentioned to him when he asked him about something he missed. I was deeply touched by that gesture. My sister was next, and she did wonderfully, especially since public speaking isn’t something she’s used to. She also stopped to cry at some point. As the older sister, I went last. I stood behind the lectern, looked out at all these people who had known my Dad and cared enough about him to come to his funeral, even if I didn’t know at least a third of them, and started reading. I was glad I didn’t also cry, but somehow that was not the time for it. Instead, I beamed all over my face because I was so grateful and the service was so perfect. I ended with announcing the music my father had picked himself: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. After that, people lit candles or put down a rose on/near his coffin, and slowly we all went outside. I smiled some more, I shook hands, I talked to people, and we were told over and over again how beautiful and moving the service had been.

I was proud of us and how well we had done. I was surprised by how right I felt in the role of the speaker at this funeral. I was stunned how unusual our DIY service apparently had been, when it seemed the only way to do this properly to me (meaning, that a funeral speech should preferably be held by people who had known and loved the person who died, not by some random professional who had no real connection to anyone present). I was equally stunned to hear how creepy or, well, unusual many people found the idea of touching a dead person. And ever since then, I have had a strong feeling that I was supposed to do something “around death.”

I paid more attention to things one could do in relation to death. I read stuff. I started to find dead animals that I had to take care of in one way or the other. And in late January 2011, I finally went to a volunteer fair to check out the local organizations that provide hospice work. It seemed that I was supposed to work with the dying and their close ones. I found one organization that enabled me to start visiting people (all of whom had serious dementia, which taught me a whole lot of Very Important Things in itself) in a nursing home they cooperated with. I ended up visiting three people once or twice who then died. In two of the cases I also met some of the family members and talked to them in the function of a hospice volunteer. This work has always left me very fulfilled, even though (or probably because) it had not been about me at all. My job was to give my time and attention to whatever I found on any given day. My job was to stay and be there and listen. And I found that I did surprisingly well, given that I’m often more of a talker and “fixer” than a listener and someone who just accepts things/people. There are also some side effects that I didn’t plan on. I’ve become more conscious of the value of life. I’m even less willing to waste time with things I consider pointless. My priorities have shifted. I also eventually realized that I started hoping that everyone would have the chance of saying goodbye to life and loved ones instead of being ripped from life completely unexpectedly. I’m also not hoping for a sudden (read, unexpected) death for myself anymore.

The actual hospice training was meant to start in late fall last year, but I changed organizations immediately before that (I had found that while the original one was fair enough, the new one is a much better fit for me). So that’s what I’m doing right now: getting properly trained to volunteer with that new hospice service. The course will run until the end of March, but – due to my experience – I’m officially in their files as an available volunteer already, which means they could call me any day and ask me to start visiting someone again.

To this day, I am not quite sure why death suddenly became a topic I need to work with, but my gut feeling is very clear on that (there were umpteen other volunteer jobs at that fair alone that I also found interesting and worthwhile, but it was clear they weren’t meant for me). So, basically, I’m just trusting the Universe here to let me know where I need to go. Maybe a part of this has to do with death being such a taboo in most of the Western world. Maybe I can adapt my skills in creating ways for people to talk about taboo subjects that I acquired around the topic of sex. Maybe I will only find out later what this is all about. And that’s fine with me. For the time being, I just need to know that it’s the thing for me to do.

A reading with feedback (Silicon Dawn)

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Marina, who blogs over at Saturness, and I recently decided to exchange readings with each other, mostly to break up our habits of posting only readings for ourselves. That means, she will read for me and post that reading on her blog (I’ll let you know when she does so). This is my reading for her, which I did five days ago (I sent it to her privately first). I’m also including her feedback (green and indented) after every paragraph to give you an idea how the reading resonated with her. I’m posting all of this with her permission, of course.

Marina wanted to know about a recent rather dramatic event in her life that concerned her love life.

How can Marina best deal with the current situation concerning her love life and move towards healing from it?

I adapted the spread positions from a spread called “Healing Journey Spread” (created by DarkElectric on Aeclectic Tarot) but made up my own layout for them.


——4——
1–2—–5–6 + 7
——3——

Here’s my feedback. For some reason I feel your reading has shown a lot of a what I went through the last week which was… pretty much hell in earth to me.

1. The situationFour of Cups

Most of all, you just don’t know… Something isn’t right. What you thought was solid has turned out to be empty. It’s weird game and you don’t know the rules. The peace of your home has been disturbed.
There is also an opportunity for renewal but you’re in no position to even notice it just yet.

Yes, exactly. I no longer know what was true and what wasn’t. Things changed so fast, I feel cheated not simply because the other person found someone else, but because of the way they let me know of it. For them, it was a quick thing. For me, a long process of staring at my broken dreams, accepting that nothing can be done and using all my strength to continue my life.

Honestly, it’s hard to see light at the end of the tunnel right now.

2. Where you are right nowFive of Pentacles
This looks like a scene from the same party, but a different room. You feel embarrassed/ashamed and would like to hide away. There’s a conflict but you’re not facing it right now. It looks as if you’ve lost your grounding. Maybe you feel you saw something you shouldn’t have and now you’re not quite sure how to handle the situation. At any rate, you’re busy beating yourself up and avoiding the whole thing. There is a possibility that things aren’t as you think they are (the couple in the background could be dancing instead of arguing). A closer and direct look might help clarify that.

That’s how I was last week, yes. Trying to come with solution, until I had to realize… it’s out of hands right now. A relationship is made of two and one of the parties… fell in love with someone else. Nothing can be done. I am no longer part of this party and it hurts. Right now I feel ashamed for my attempts of fixing things when obviously there was nothing I could do anymore. I am really trying to stop beating myself up, trying to understand I did the best I could in the circumstances I was living.

3. Inner focus for healing (attitude, mindset)The Emperor

You need to give yourself something to stabilize you. You may have to “fake it until you make it,” that is, you may have to act like you’re self-assured, strong, and in control of your own life until you suddenly find that you truly are. Stay right where you are and let things move past you (like the train in the background).

If that kind of imagery works for you: root yourself into the ground and draw up strength from the Earth.
You need security right now, so find a spot that feels secure for you and stay there for the time being. Let the storm pass and hold on tight to that pole.

I have been trying to do that… I wasn’t very successful last week, but I hope to manage better this one. I did find comfort in my mother’s company, who has been my ‘roots’ in the moments I feel like I am about to fall into despair again. I have this huge empty space in my heart, can’t eat well nor sleep well, but… I still wake up every morning and do what I must. “Fake it until you make it” may have to become my new rule for the time being.

4. Outer focus for healing (actions, outside support)Five of Wands

Yes, you’ll have to work for your healing. The good thing is, that means you have a say in how things proceed. Yes, something disruptive happened that you didn’t choose, and it hurt, and maybe it destroyed your garden of hopes and dreams. But lava is actually a fantastic fertilizer, so you’ll be able to regrow your garden, one step at a time. This may not yet be the right time for planting new seeds, but it’s also not the time to remain paralyzed by the theoretical possibility that the volcano will erupt again. Sure, it might. But it’s also possible that it will remain dormant for a long, long time to come.

Basically, I think this is telling you that love means risking something every single time. Love is something you have to take care of, put your energy into, and choose to do so again and again and again. There are no guarantees that your heart won’t be broken again – unless you refuse to ever open it up again. Which IS a choice you have. But that choice also means that there won’t be a garden to feed and delight you. Still, YOU get to choose when and to whom you’re going to open your heart the next time.

Finally, this is also telling you that there is support for you out there. You don’t have to do this alone.

Well, I confess this doesn’t make me feel much better, lol! I was hoping I’d be able to recover quick and find myself a piece of happiness. If the person who left me can have it, why can’t I? If he can leave me without any distress, then why I must I keep suffering like this?
But I understand what you are saying, it may take a while until I am ready to open the most tender part of myself again. It has been beaten to a pulp in the last week, and I am not too keen to allowing anyone near it for the time being. This sad person is not me. I want to overcome this, I want to be myself again…. But I won’t give my heart away so easily again, I think. A piece of my youth and innocence died last week.
 

And yes, I am very thankful for the support of my closest friends during these days, who love me no matter what.

5. Turning pointNine of Swords

I’m not entirely sure what this is about. Someone is comforting you but they also try to backstab you. To me, it looks like a complicated web of human relations, where nothing really is as it seems. Maybe the seeming backstabber is actually truly comforting you, possibly in a harsh way, but still. I believe there will be a point when someone (could be yourself) will tell you some harsh truths about your own role in the situation. This could be an act of “tough love” because it gives you the final kick in the butt to get out of that dark hole.

It could represent my mother. She has been the one delivering the ‘harsh truths’, specially when I am getting close to despair. This has been both incredibly painful and very helpful…

6. The next phaseTen of Swords

Argh, what a card to end this on! It looks desperate, the sword is falling and it’s too late to change anything now. Or is it? It depends. It’s alright to suffer and grieve and wail and cry and all of that. But eventually, you need to stop that. Either by hitting rock bottom and then struggling up from there. Which might just be what it takes. Or by realizing that the situation doesn’t leave you as helpless and without options as you tell yourself. F*ck ripping up that dress and get out of there already! Throw yourself out of the way of the falling sword! But get the hell moving! At any rate, there will be an END to this eventually.

I don’t know what to say about this card. Right now, I want an end to my pain, but it hurt to think of an “end” of my connection to that person… because I still love him. Of course, eventually I’ll have to climb out of the hole, I have no idea when this will happen…

7. So, what’s the light at the end of the tunnel?Six of Pentacles

You’ll come away from the storm successfully and stronger than you were before. It will actually be an opportunity for you even though you can’t see it from where you are now.

I hope you are right. :-) Right now everything is just too bleak and painful but I am trying to become stronger and better day after day, even if just a little bit… right now it feels like an unfair suffering, but perhaps the dots will connect someday.

I very much hope this is useful to you in some way! If there is anything I can clarify for you, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Thank you for the reading! It’s a bit of a rough one, I was hoping a bunch of love and stars card would appear… but we all know this is not how it goes. No Star can show up in the state I am in right now. In any case, you reading was accurate on many points, although I hope my ending can be better than a 10 of Swords!

Thank you, Marina, for the opportunity and the permission to share this reading and your feedback on my blog!