The heart stone

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I have an elderly relative who is feeling very lonely, especially since my mother died. They were roughly the same age and she was her only friend. We don’t live in the same country but now she has a smartphone and uses every opportunity to contact me; I find her extremely irritating because whenever I decide to respond, the conversations I have with her are meaningless and mundane: how are you? Fine, thanks, and you? I’m fine, thanks for asking.

Not every conversation has to be deep and touching obviously, but in this case it seems completely unidirectional: she is happy because she gets to the human contact she craves and I feel used, like I have wasted my time. When I was a child or later a teenager, she never showed the slightest interest in me or had a kind word but now that she is old and lonely, I have suddenly become interesting. When I decide to respond, weakened by this war of attrition of constant messages, I am polite and ask her about her day, her health, the sort of sundry words you have with someone you are not really interested in knowing better.

And yet, I guess I am unkind with her because I never stop and listen to whatever she has to say. I know that she has had a very sad and difficult life, she used to come over to my parents’ house every week to eat and to tell the same stories over and over and over again.

One of my sisters wanted to get pregnant and part of her inner work was to create the family tree. She spoke with this relative and found out very interesting things. In a novel, this would have been no more than one scene, but real life is not as well written.

I’m not a very family-orientated person, I would be just happy if I have a yearly contact with her or other members of the family. Once a year, thank you very much; twice if I’m feeling particularly happy (which doesn’t happen very often) but every day, every week…

I end up reeling with frustration because I don’t have the heart to tell her to leave me alone. It’s no use to tell her that I am not my mother, with her infinite patience, that I will never be a substitute of her. We never speak about her, yet she looms in the back of these conversations that, had she still been alive, we would not be having. In her eyes, my mother could do no wrong, I got tired of listening to her hagiography. A monolith of virtues. A beacon of hope and love in this hard world. Oh, how I wish she was my mother! As her daughter, however, I have a more nuanced vision of her: a person with as many virtues as flaws but I have to keep that narrative to myself because no one wants to listen. I’m disrespectful. I have a heart of stone.

Something broke in her heart, even in her mind, many years ago, that has made her impervious to anything that it’s not her pain. That has also given her a power that she doesn’t know she has: after all she’s been through, after having any possible road closed, she is immune to any kind of curse. And she really only asks for so little.

I asked the cards: Why do I find her so irritating?

IVSTICE – LEIVGEMENT – LE PENDV

You want things on the same level: you give something and you want to receive the same. You think this relationship is more of a punishment and only do so because of what it’s expected of you as a younger member of the family: their call cannot be ignored, even if it makes you feel trapped.

If I try to give this reading a positive spin: give her respect because it’s the right thing to do, you are family because there is a spiritual connection, a karmic lesson.

After looking at these cards, I do feel that I asked the wrong question. The message here is not about generosity or kindness, but of doing the right thing. It’s given me food for thought, and after I replied to one of her messages, I don’t feel as much resentment for doing it than before.

Whom do you serve?

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Borderless Deviant Moon.

I used to have the previous version of this deck and I loved it so much that I wanted to share its beauty and I gave it away. But I had to buy another one. Because one can never have enough decks; I also bought it directly from the artist so I was promoting art, even if it was in a selfish way.

Anyway, in my recent tarot course, I saw some of the students ask a question to their new decks to start building rapport with them and also to know them more, to find out what the deck is good for: spiritual, mundane, love questions… What is your purpose? What are you good for? Whom do you serve?

It may seem a bit of overkill having several decks for different purposes and most people would be perfectly fine with a single deck that can be used for all sorts. Most traditional decks (Marseille, WS…) are like this, a blank canvas of pure symbols that can adapt to whichever question is put before them because they speak directly to our conscience, but I’ve found that more modern or novelty decks that, albeit interesting, solid and trustworthy), are lacking in potency and sharpness and are, therefore, more useful if used for one thing only.

So I was shuffling the cards, thinking about the random patterns that connect us all and about what my boss wanted to talk about next week and whether I should do a divination before cursing someone and that I wished I was under that thick blanket of rain that was falling there and then, basically doing it all wrong and not focusing in a particular question. Those two cards, The Hermit and The Moon, kept popping out the deck (at least twice each) breaking my daydreaming.

This is their message: Pay attention and I will show you people’s secret driving forces.

If you can read Spanish, you can read my take on these cards in my other blog. I use the same cards but I don’t usually talk about the same things. It’s a bit of an experiment, to find out whether I think of different things in different languages and also to practice writing. Spanish is my mother tongue, however I am a bit rusty on the writing department after so many years in the UK.

 

I crossed the river

Yesterday was a momentous occasion for me, I finished off the last step to get a degree. I started studying with the Open University back in 2009 and I have been toddling along with courses until this academic year when I completed all the points I needed to get the degree: 360. I have trained to master number, but anyone with open eyes can appreciate this beautiful symmetry.

It’s a nice circle, is it not?; however I am not the same person I was when I started, I am Heraclitus’ river. 7 years have passed, nobody is the same, regardless of whether one decides to do something or stop doing another thing.

This fact, this slow burning, hasn’t sunk down yet.

So I have asked the cards, What now?

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The Wild Wood Tarot, a deck whose artwork I adore but that doesn’t get used much because the stock is wee bit flimsy so it doesn’t shuffle particularly well.

Take time to relax and celebrate your accomplishment. O well, I suppose that spending all that time on delayed gratification mode does something to your brain.

Remember that you have gained something that was rightfully yours: you have reclaimed your weapons (note how the circle is now part of them) and can face whatever it’s coming.

You have crossed that river, so go and explore the land. You are a free spirit.

 

The nerves on edge

examen02162106I’m at the very last moments of completing my undergraduate degree. One more exam and I’ll have the degree in the bag!

This afternoon I’ve done my second-to-last exam: Mathematical Estadistics, a subject as full of fun and games as its name suggests. I have been studying hard, but none of that have prevented the pre-exam panick I had this morning.

I want to keep calm, to remember that very few things in life are worth worrying for, that it’s all an illusion that one can pop with the pin of wisdom. I’ll get there one day.

Anyway, I decided to draw 3 cards; to force myself to break from the vicious circle of anxiety and focus in the here and now. The cards at hand were the superlovely Trionfi Della Luna, a Marseille version made by Patrick Valenza, the artist behind the not enough praised Deviant Moon Tarot.

Before going into the reading, let us stop for a minute and notice the movement of the characters in the three cards: half-buried, on her knees and standing up.

First, we have three characters gone crazy by fear. Far enough, the grating sound of the horn is enough to get on the nerves of the most  collected and zen among us, but these three have gone a step further and can’t think clearly. The Star is still being gnawed by her anxieties: on her foor, her back, her head… but she remembers the main goal, up in the sky. Then, The Force gets up and gets on with it.

Arise and walk.