ILLUMINATING WITH GRAY MATTER, reading by Roswila using a layout by Craig Conley
I used my long time favorite deck, The Tarot of the Cat People. The question for the reading done this evening, May 9, 2009: What do I most need to be aware of in myself as I go through this painful and necessary end to an intimate relationship? The cards I got, in 1, 2, 3 order, were: Rejuvenation (Judgment); Ace of Pentacles; Two of Swords. When I saw these cards I was immediately struck by a sense of positivity, change, and choice. And given the situation precipitating the question this felt good indeed. (Although as I say in the question this is a necessary parting of the ways, I am still overwhelmed with waves of mourning at times, as well as having to deal with self-blame and anger.)
CARD ONE/EGO: "relating to issues of self esteem, judgment, tolerance."
XX Rejuvenation (Judgment in most decks) -- I find this astounding and encouraging, given my self-esteem has been rather low for some time now. Though I must say now that I've finally made the break from my ex, I seem to be more able to be kind to myself as I untangle and regroup. I am also struck with a basic meaning of this card: the call to a new life. Yes, I do feel this in those moments when mourning loosens its grip and I'm engaged in some challenging project. This "new life" includes learning to become less and less judgmental, and more and more tolerant of both myself and others. I know for myself that nothing stops my joyous response to the world faster or more completely than negative judgment and intolerance. I keep going back to the actual image on this card. I'm going to try that posture, literally let my own waist length hair loose, and affirm that I'm opening to my new life.
CARD 2/SUPER-EGO: "illuminating one's ideals, spiritual goals, guilt"
ACE OF PENTACLES -- Immediate thoughts on seeing the card: it often heralds a birth (that new life referenced above); beginnings; solid foundation upon which to build. Then I recall my long-time association of this card with food and nourishment issues. Whole grains are on this card in The Herbal Tarot, and I should not eat grains as they aggravate my mild IBS. I am only now beginning to cut them out of my diet again, along with excess sugar. Although I tend to crave these foods for comfort when I'm emotionally hurting, I've long known there are deeper impelling issues beneath that craving, such as guilt. As now, when I have been responding to my super-ego's criticalness and punishing myself by eating in what is essentially a self-destructive way. (There are many more levels to this, but what I've said here suffices for the purpose of this reading.) So here I have the double sided sword of my super-ego to deal with: a new life to be birthed and criticalness to defuse. (This two-sidedness sort of foreshadows the two of swords below.)
CARD THREE/ID: "revealing primitive ideas, selfishness, instant gratification"
TWO OF SWORDS -- Well, I'm not surprised that this card position was a hard one to read. :-) My immediate response was to be delighted to see this card, especially after the first two. It makes for a nice trio. But to go with the position meanings, I could see this character as holding on to everything, or at least wanting to; being rather greedy. "Wanting his cake, and eating it, too." LOL! given how I cannot eat wheat if I want good health, that expression is even more appropros. And if I take "cake" metaphorically, I can see there's a deep physical drive to hold on to my ex. That (as I have suspected) the physical bonding may be the strongest attachment and most difficult to release. It has roots that reach as deep as infant levels of bonding and affection. To anyone familiar with the Two of Swords this all may seem a very odd way to read this card, but it is what occurs to me. Ah, I can bring what I see in it now a bit toward the Two of Sword's more usual interpretation in a reversed aspect (if I read with reverses, which I don't): at a very basic, even immature level, I'm refusing to choose between my ex and a new life, I want them both. It is exactly this struggle and the pain it's generating that I've been coping with directly for a long time now. I left my ex several times before only to go right back. Now I see what I've been doing was shuttling between these choices, and committing to neither one because I want them both. This last time I left him, however, it became abundantly clear I must unbond or part of me would almost literally die. So now I mourn the death of our relationship and continue to comfort that infant in me who still craves it all, and does not really comprehend the need for letting go of anything. Oh my, I just thought of myself as a baby, crying endlessly for what she wants and recalled that a dear friend just today emailed me a picture of her 6 month old son in his Easter outfit. A baby, wearing a symbol of rebirth! That last sentence could be a seven word version of this reading.
To close I'll say that I'm already finding this reading tremendously comforting. Having the image of a baby needing comfort and care feels like a good one to recall when the waves of pain hit again. I can remind myself I cannot have both him and my new life, while I also acknowledge the craving and do what I can that is healthy to give myself comfort.
There is a further level to this layout that Craig forwarded. (It has to do with the relationship of the above three card positions to conscious, preconscious, and unconscious material.) I may share this additional level in some future reading here.
BTW, here's a link to my review of Craig's Portmeirion Tarot and I highly recommend that you vist his website (link at top of this post).
‘til next time, keep exploring with and enjoying The Tarot,
[aka: Patricia Kelly]
****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for Tarot poetry; Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka); and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems.****