I’ve been taking part in a 22-day on-line intuitive art course which follows the 22 archetypal images of The Major Arcana of The Tarot.
It’s been an interesting process because my art has involved not only painting, but creating an altar for The Empress, photography and, now, a dream and a Tarot spread in relation to The Emperor and The Hierophant. I decided with The Emperor that it was time to assert my authority so created this digital image of myself. I felt the need for a power necklace so used one I’d bought recently at a market here in North Cyprus, played with Photoshop and Picasa, and really enjoyed stamping “Emperor” on the final photo.
However, this image seemed to open the floodgates and yesterday morning, just before I work, I had a dream which left me feeling emotionally drained all day. In the dream I was driving along a freeway when I stopped for a break but drove away leaving my driving licence behind. I realised what had happened but a couple had found it and took it to a very cluttered office where they dropped it and lost it. I hunted around in the office, feeling desperate and asking people for help as my grandmother was dying that night and I had to get back to see her. No-one helped, they all ignored me, and eventually, to my relief, I found the driving licence pinned neatly on a clip with other papers.
I had a bit of an idea what this dream meant but felt I needed deeper insight, so did a Tarot spread. As I’ve said before, you can break a dream down into sections, then draw a card for each section. So this is the result and here’s how the breakdown works:
The Essence of the Dream: 8 of Cups. Leaving something behind, time to move on, healing from past issues and feelings of abandonment.
Driving on Freeway & Forgetting Licence: King of Wands. Feeling confident in present position, but looking for new experience and frustrated with current role.
Couple stopping to pick up licence: 3 of Pentacles. Intervention to raise awareness of need for practical knowledge and spiritual awareness, to produce work of highest level.
Looking for licence and getting no help: 3 of Swords. Pain from family and conflict in past relationships, understanding the past and letting go.
Finding Licence: The Chariot. Success through strong Will and Determination. Sorting out path to follow.
Grandmother Dying – 2 of Cups. Healing old wounds from past relationships. Stop over-caring for others and nurturing myself to come into balance. New flow of emotional, satisfying energy.
Outcome: Knight of Pentacles. Hard-working, diligent, confident of direction and work.
So to sum up, the dream is telling me that I need to move in a new direction but before doing that, I need to heal past issues. I’ve been rather fixed about what I want to do but I need to be more flexible. The current upheaval with the art course is to raise awareness of my need to combine my practical kn owledge and spiritual awareness, to focus on new directions: art and teaching through my writing. Before I can move forward, however, I need to release pain from family and relationship conflict, to get an understanding of the past and why I’ve reacted the way I have, and to let go. I can find success through strong will and determination, but also by sorting out my direction and getting focused instead of trying to work on lots of issues. By sorting out the past I can stop over-caring for others, look after myself better and then a new flow of emotional, satisfying energy will open up. And in so doing, it will lead to hard work, which I’ll enjoy, and feeling focused instead of flailing around in all directions.
So having had this dream, I realised I had to address something which has dogged my life – an incident which happened when I was 4.5 involving my parents and being left with feelings of uncertainty, non-acceptance, not being okay, always on the outer, needing approval, over-caring for others to make sure I’m not deserted. I’m not going into the details of what I can see now what a huge over-reaction by my parents to a minor transgression on my part. But my parents held it over my head until I got to the age of 14, when my father threatened to give me a hiding again – one of his control methods – and I told him that if he touched me, I’d leave the house and never return. He knew I meant it and never raised that threat to me again.
Stuff from childhood can really hang around and it doesn’t matter if it’s minor, if it’s left you with issues, then it’s major for you. Don’t compare your lot with others who may well be worse off, but it still means you have to deal with what causes you pain because it affects you.
So today I finally shoved my nice, good girl outside on the verandah while, inside in my study, I finally felt it was okay to feel rage towards my father at his treatment of me – the bullying, the verbal assaults which left me feeling like I’d been flattened by a bulldozer, the undermining of my self-confidence, the baiting of me, the casual malice, never being told I was loved and never being hugged. For years I’ve made excuses for my father but today I admitted that I feel RAGE at my treatment over the years and that I hate my father for the way he treated me. I feel quite awkward using the word “hate” because I’ve always been so nice, but admitting it is honest, particularly in acknowledging his selfishness, manipulation and appalling behaviour as he sank into full-scale, destructive alcoholism.
So what’s happened as a result of all this clear-out? I decided to be realistic about what I can and can’t do. I have mobility problems which have got worse since I’ve had several falls in the past few months, so I’ve decided that I can’t be as active as I’d like in social justice issues. I’ve also been concerned that I sounded like I was whingeing too much of the time. And I’m also aware that able-bodied people can do a lot more than I can. So I’ll continue to support social justice causes via donations, signing petitions and posting comments. But now I’m focusing on what feeds my own heart – which is art and teaching through my writing, workshops and courses.
I feel very good about this, as if I’ve finally whacked my way with a machete through the undergrowth and finally cleared a path for myself which makes me feel very happy when I contemplate the way ahead.