“A whole person is one who has both walked with God and wrestled with the devil.” – Carl Jung
I went for a tarot reading at the start of the New Year. I know, I know. Had not done this before. Frankly, after the challenging year of 2013, and the place of discouragement I found myself in…. I was pretty much open to anything. I get why “readings,” (Tarot and otherwise) get a bad rap. As long as I wasn’t sitting across from a jeweled-turban reader in a room with a bright neon sign, I thought it would be ok. I went with no expectations. Also didn’t really know what “Tarot” was. I was one who didn’t put much weight on much of the metaphysical world. I now see why it is so misunderstood.
I can say with certainty that my life has not been the same since that day in January.
The Devil card was the first card drawn. Holy crap. “Um, Kevin, what does that mean???” A beast looking at me and … is he waving? High-fiving? My eyes bulged as I tried to find one positive form or shape in this hideous image. Anything, please.
Me: “Might this be something past from two decades ago and the next positive card be my current situation?”
Reader: “Um, no. Nina, he represents our fears and the games we play with ourselves. This master of deception creates the illusion that you are involuntarily bound to him. Time to take a good look in the mirror.” Gulp.
As the reading went on, I saw that the Tarot relies on the universal language of symbolism. The cards are mirrors – an invaluable tool for self-knowledge and examination and misleading beliefs. Just what I needed at the beginning of a new year.
Took a few days to digest everything from that hour. This first card was the most troubling for me.
Facing fears. Bondage. Feeling stuck. Powerless. Oh my.
I dove into the deep end of the self-examination pool. This card showed me many of the ways I “trick” myself into believing that I am “stuck” when , in fact, I have created my own chains of imprisonment through self-sabotaging thoughts/beliefs/talk:
I’m not ready.
I might fail.
They might reject me.
I might get hurt.
What if it doesn’t work out?
I may have to change.
I may have to move.
I don’t want to talk about it.
What will people think?
I may lose my freedom.
I don’t want anyone to know.
What if my work reads this?
I see how I have let fears establish limits in my life. Also, how I can emotionally “armor up” and dress up in my sheep’s clothing in the morning when I face the day to avoid feeling shame, fear, anxiety and uncertainty. This armor makes me feel safe and “in control” in the moment. But it ultimately does me more harm than good.
Although this wasn’t written about the Devil card, James Altucher’s recent “How to Be A Voyeur” post perfectly sums up the essence of it:
“Don’t be afraid of what comes out of you. If you blend the magic world inside of you with the “real world” outside then you will learn to live in a hybrid world where magic and real come together.
Ugliness is keeping it all bottled up. Keeping every part of
ourself hidden out of fear. Wearing the masks of shame and insecurity. Hoarding your past, present, and future so nobody will ever see the angels and demons bottled inside. My theory is that hoarding until death creates the dark matter that is 99% of the universe.”
I don’t want to be that dark matter. I chose to let people see my light, share my gifts and let my life be fireworks and explosions.
Here I am.
And such was my introduction to Tarot.