Eight of Arrows: Struggle

Eight of Arrows - Struggle

Struggle is not always a bad thing.

When we struggle, we are continuing. We are moving forward. We are grappling with the challenges in front of us (and all around us) and we are persisting.

Struggle has its opposite in ease, and when we can find ease, that’s delicious. When we can let go of struggle and find comfort – ahh. Yes.

But struggle also has its opposite in defeat, and when we let go of that struggle, that’s bitter.

I am reminded of Sara Ahmed’s writing about hope, and how hope animates a struggle. How hope gives us the strength to struggle, to advocate for change, to persist, to resist, to carry on.

The Wildwood Tarot guidebook says, about this card:

In the darkness of failure, the burning torch of hope remains lit in the human soul and encourages struggle. Courage is needed to survive the storm…

The choices can be painful and stark. The path may appear fraught with unfamiliar obstacles and pitfalls, and with no obvious rememdy… Such profound struggles require calm, decisive and resolute action. Reach down into the very core of your being and summon all the reserves of your courage and wisdom. See honestly what the issue will require for you to resolve it…

I don’t believe that every issue has a resolution, at least not one that is accessible by individuals or within our lifetimes. However, I do believe that finding hope, intentionally inviting hope into the frame, can fuel the struggle and allow movement forward.

One of my personal (and professional) mottos is from G. Willow Wilson, who said, “There is not always a way out, but there is always a way forward.”

This card reminds me to keep moving forward.

This card also validates my current struggle. This morning was hard. This week has been hard. This year has been hard. Last year was hard! I don’t know when this struggle will ease. But I do know that what I’m feeling is real and valid. And I do know that I will continue to struggle – to struggle in the sense of not giving up. And I will try to balance that (ah, there’s that card) with allowing myself to stop struggling when ease is available.

I love the way the light turned my amethyst into a glowing beacon of hope and protection this morning. It seemed appropriate and comforting.

In today’s meditation on Balance, first I felt foolish for my “insight” yesterday – over the course of the day my fibro pain escalated and escalated, until by the afternoon my ankles were in so much pain that the idea of standing on my Bosu was laughable. So, I did not do that. But this morning I noticed how the two serpents look a lot like the Caduceus symbol of medical care. Today I am feeling the invitation within the Balance card to prioritize (or at least acknowledge the importance of) my physical health. I’m going to look for opportunities to be gentle with my body and to treat my ankles as wounded allies rather than vicious traitors. That shift in perspective is always a hard one for me, but it seems necessary here.

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Gloom Fairy

I'm a genderqueer, queer, poly, kinky, sex-positive, sex-radical feminist and activist and student.

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