I woke up sad today, discouraged, hopeless. And not the quiet sadness of “this is hard” but the frantic sadness of “this is pinning me to the bottom of the ocean and I cannot breathe.” Frantic I-can’t-do-this hopelessness. Can’t-breathe-through-this-heartbreak grief. Can’t-move-under-the-weight-of-this-pain. Can’t-see-past-this. Can’t-move.
But I am not drowning, not pinned to the bottom of any ocean. And even if I was, one of my best friends says I’m a nixie, made for water.
And I can breathe. Is the thing. I can. Deep breath in, long breath out. I can breathe.
And I can move.
So I got up, and I pet one of the cats I’m looking after and she put her two front paws on my chest and rumbled life into me, and rubbed her soft black face against my chin and it was good. And then I did my card of the day.
The Empress. She’s new to me. She didn’t resonate for me at all, at first. All openness, balanced on that wooden branch, looking upward hopefully. There’s the heart, dangling from her belt. And there’s the red thread tied around her wreath, but beyond that… this isn’t me, I thought. This isn’t my day. This isn’t what I have right now. None of this energy is present in me. I felt more discouraged. (Then I noticed all the butterflies, and thought about the metaphors I’ve been using for myself to try and get through this time of compression.)
My Shadowscapes companion book says that The Empress is “creativity, generosity, patience, love.” That she is about “abundance, experiencing the senses, and embracing the natural.”
I sort of wanted to throw my book, at that point. I don’t want to settle into my patience, the patience that this deck (and my self) keeps cautioning me is needed. I don’t want to “experience the senses” or “embrace the natural.” I want a fucking message and some fucking hope.
I am starting to notice when my readings (or other things) call up such anger in me, and recognizing how this anger is often tied to a feeling of hopelessness/helplessness, and I think I am beginning to take tiny, frustratingly slow steps towards recognizing that the anger points to where I am feeling helpless/powerless but where I am not actually helpless or hopeless or powerless. I’ve had the phrase “feeling or fearing a thing doesn’t make it real” on my wall of self-care for years, but it’s a hard one to actually turn into action. Right now I feel hopeless and helpless and powerless because I feel rejected, abandoned, hurt. But even though those feelings are totally valid and real, they’re about what’s coming in at me and although I can’t control that, I can control what I do about it. I can choose to take up the power that is within me, and act within my sphere, within my own little world, within my own life. It’s not that other people’s choices stop impacting me, it’s just that they don’t have to immobilize me. I think, maybe. After sitting with the card and with the anger it pulled up in me, that’s where I might be landing.
I read through the Little Red Tarot Empress tag and, as always, I found Beth’s interpretations encouraging and warm.
From this post about how The Empress and manatees are connected:
A manatee is an Empress!
They know what they need, and how to get it. They’re sociable. They know how to commit and I bet they are super loving. They’re big and earthy and beautiful and gentle and are queens of their world. They’re relatives of elephants – an animal I also associate with The Empress.
I like that. I am going to take today to figure out what I need, and how to get it. I’m going to turn off my social media for the day – shut off notifications on my phone and ipad, close the tabs on my computer, move my apps off my main page on my phone and ipad (so if you want to get me, text me!). I’m going to embrace my inner manatee today, or try anyway, and see how it goes.
I’m going to try to approach this day of reflection and inwardness like this, from this post:
It starts with an open-mindedness, an ability to see different possibilities, different sides of something, to see opportunities, to see the details and nuances. And then it’s not so much about actively pushing an idea, so much as providing the conditions for it to grow and develop, as a good parent does.
Actually, I think the parenting thing is a good metaphor for understanding the meaning of this card. It’s about nurturing that idea, and nurturing yourself, and going easy on yourself and letting things come. It’s about acting with love, it’s about being in touch with yourself. It’s about learning from your creations and letting them be what they need to be, about letting them guide you as much as you guide them. Not that I’m an artist, but I imagine that when a creative idea grabs you, the better response is not to grab it and try to mould it and make it into whatever you want, but to follow it, understand it, feed it and let it take you where it will. Acting with your instincts, with respect and love, and seeing what comes out. That sounds like nurturing to me.
I like that. I can see how that is a good way to approach a day like today, where it feels like I’m only seeing one aspect of my life and I want to open myself up to others.
So I’m going to post this, put a link up on my facebook and twitter, and then do this little mini-retreat. I might hula hoop a bit. Definitely do a lot of cleaning at the petsitting place and my own. Make tea. Write. Think. Sit outside in my lovely back yard and watch all the birds.
And then after dinner I’ll turn my social media back on because you better believe I’m going to tweet the hell out of the Nicki Minaj concert tonight. Oh yes!