A garden or forest as a metaphor for our internal world is one that makes a lot of sense to me. If you’ve ever purchased one of my guided meditations, you’ll recall they almost exclusively take place in nature settings. That is because the natural world is the literal body of Goddess/Source/Divine and has infinite wisdom to impart if we are willing to learn.
In my internal work, I have become a student of thorny plants lately. I’ve learned that they are a vital part of any garden, but require meticulous skill that takes a lot of practice to hone. When tended well, they deter opportunistic entry and dissuade the undetermined. The sting of their scratch is an echo of their tutelage, ensuring that their lessons aren’t quickly forgotten. But overgrown, they shred and tear indiscriminately instead of allowing skilled passage.
The sharper parts of us are necessary for setting boundaries and self protection, but when they grow unchecked we might notice our internal voice becomes a little harsher, we might start to self criticize or set impossible standards for ourselves.
Pruning back these thorns has been the work for me lately. I have been learning about all the ways I make things harder than they have to be by letting sharpness become unruly.
The Winter’s Gate Spread was inspired by my practice at being a better thorn tender this season. We see all around us the evidence of the Otherworld, the land of the dead, reflected here in three dimensional reality. As the world dies back here in our hemisphere, so the time is ripe to prune back overgrown thorns of your own. Please continue to receive our collective tarot reading.
What is ready to die back that we might still be holding onto?
Seven of Cups (rx)
How can we ease its passage?
Daughter of Stones (rx)
What does the Otherworld want to tell us?
Six of Wands (rx)
If there is any doubt we are harboring around our value and worth, this month’s reading is a call to take a long look at that doubt’s origin in order to dispel its limiting power. A clue for where to begin is to mentally trace back to what motivates our actions. For instance, lately I’ve been confronted by my habit of seeking approval/wanting to be chosen. I become aware of this tendency beginning to play out by asking myself a simple question: why am I doing this? If my answer has anything to do with someone/something else, then I take a pause before continuing so I can reorient to my own values, intentions, and purpose, and make changes when I discover that I am not already aligned with them.
When we are tuned into the frequency of others more routinely than we are with our own, we’re being invited to balance atop the slippery slope of comparison, fueling a cycle of mindless consumption to cultivate a certain appearance. In other words, we change ourselves so we fit in, or at least appear to fit in, but the feeling is hollow. We end up walking around as pale, watered down copies of what we originally intended, without the substance we naturally come by when we draw from our own rich, abundant wells.
We are invited instead to focus internally rather than off to the side. Daughter of Stones is a court card, and so carries the energy of both the suit’s and the collective’s element. Because of the double earth element (stones/pentacles=earth and daughters/pages=earth again), we can take this as a strong cue to make a practice of getting real with ourselves. Doubting our worth and value as we naturally are, without any shaping to conform to expectation, is never a product of being in touch with reality. This is always the result of having been led to believe that some sort of fixing is necessary before we are suitable. While the exact experience will vary greatly from person to person, what it all boils down to is isolation. Like I touched on earlier, fitting in leads to bland uniformity, not dynamic, robust interplay.
Fitting in is what is often packaged and sold to us these days as community. Our deeply human need to belong is easily exploited, because humans thrive in healthy community. The trouble lies in discerning the ones which spring from collective efforts to meet individual needs. We are reminded with these cards to do our due diligence. A terrific metric we have for whether our worth/value is being honored or manipulated is keen emotional intelligence. Are our actions/interactions leaving us feeling proud, motivated, and expansive? Or are they leaving us feeling dissatisfied, not good enough, drained, and fearful?
We are encouraged to take up with actions and folks that promote the former set which has no need to foster feelings of lack. Rather, they naturally destroy the entire premise as a reverent acknowledgement of our oneness in the web of life.
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