This brilliant image hits me like a ton of bricks and asks me to get real with myself as I move forward and into the light.
The devil is a card of warning. It is associated with negativity or addiction. As I unmask myself and begin to really step into my true purpose in the world, I can no longer hide behind anything. I have struggled my entire life with a sugar addiction. That may sound insignificant– but I assure you it is NOT.
For the last several weeks I have been addressing this addiction, eliminating all refined sugar from my diet. This card asks me to STEP IT UP. My physical body needs to be completely free of the drug that it craves in order for me to move forward into all that I deserve to inhabit.
For years I have comforted myself by eating sugar. I have allowed sugar to fill the parts of me that feel empty, instead of connecting to what lies underneath the emptiness. I have fed my sugar monster to silence it– but have only made it stronger. I deserve to truly be nourished. I deserve to be free from the pull of this addiction.
I deserve to be motivated by my own sense of well being and power. I’m grateful to this brilliant, devilish goat for calling me out and asking me to truly STEP UP and into my full power– free from the sugar craving monster who resides within me.
Today is day 1: NO SUGAR OF ANY KIND. (that means fruit, dammit– my most favorite treat at the moment). I’ve got this.
Two days later my old friend is back again, reversed, just to keep me honest.
In connecting with this card this morning I felt an instant release of emotion– my heart and my throat chakras releasing into sobs immediately. At first, my intellect was bewildered. Aren’t I doing a good job? Am I seeking external validation? What am I doing WRONG? BINGO. That question in and of itself is my answer.
Yesterday there was some drama in the studio. I was with a client in a private movement session and another instructor was teaching a mat class in the front room. I was completely engrossed in my work with my client when one of the mat class students burst into the equipment room, distressed, and said, “Mandy, can you come in here? something is wrong.” I looked into the next room to see the instructor, my dear friend and colleague, sitting on the floor shaking uncontrollably. I moved away from my client and over to her instantly. I sat with her and helped her ground. I told her she was exactly where she needed to be and that everything was alright.
She has a condition called Addison’s disease. Her body does not produce cortisol, the stress hormone. There are so many small chemical regulations that our bodies are continuously processing that we take for granted– sugars, salts, minerals, hormones. When any one of these small things is off in her body the effects can be catastrophic– it can leave her feeling dizzy, nauseous, and unable to function like a normal human being. It can also make her feel terrified. That’s what she was yesterday. TERRIFIED.
There’s that word again.
I am the woman you want around in a crisis. I will jump to action. I will stay calm. I will remain grounded. It’s what I was made for. In that moment of crisis my entire energy field surrounded the studio and everyone in it in a big bubble of safety. What was important to me above anything else was that she and everyone else in the studio felt safe and taken care of. I may have over-extended myself a bit.
We moved through the trauma, called an ambulance to usher her to the hospital where they could give her fluids and monitor all of her levels. My brilliant assistant went with her. When they left the studio I opened up the garage door to help allow the trauma to move out of the space and immediately re-entered the private session with my client who had waited there, holding space along with everyone else. We did some triage energy work on her heart, the situation having stirred up a lot for her, giving her access to feelings and emotions that her heart had been holding. I rooted into the space and helped her move the emotions. We moved her back into her physical structure and she left the space feeling lighter and more grounded.
I cleared the studio of the trauma after she left, processed it with a couple of the practitioners who were still in the space and moved forward with my day, unaware of a certain level of shock I was operating under. When my husband arrived home I processed through the story with him. He immediately asked me when I was seeing my healer next, he said “You just took a huge impact, and I know you’re strong and you did what you needed to for everyone else, but you need to get ahead of this.”
I heard him intellectually, but couldn’t process what he was saying on any other level. I felt fine– proud even of how I had handled the situation. (uh oh, proud? sounds like ego to me). And thus my uncontrollable sobbing at the right-side-up hanged man this morning.
What The Fountain Tarot says about a reversed hanged man is “business as usual” and that hits the nail on the head. Despite the MASSIVE trauma that occurred in the space yesterday– I moved forward as if I hadn’t been affected by it– taking care of the space and everyone else. Moving forward– making everyone feel safe and protected feels like my job. And maybe it is to a certain extent– as long as I’m being honest with myself, and acknowledging my own needs.
I am grateful to the incredible community of people who held space in the studio yesterday. I am grateful for the immense wisdom of my partner, his gentle but firm loving guidance, helping me acknowledge the truth. I am also grateful to this daily meditation practice.
Yesterday was HARD. I AM someone you want around in a crisis, I WILL be calm and grounded. I WILL take care of everyone else– but I cannot do that at my own expense.
Today I will take time for myself. I will allow myself to process and release the trauma of yesterday. I will remember that I am held, even when I’m holding. I will remind myself to TAKE MY OWN ADVICE– it’s actually pretty spot-on.
So today I’m sideways as opposed to upside down. I suppose that’s progress…
Sitting in meditation today after drawing this card, my attention was drawn to my heart chakra. I felt massive pressure there, like a huge bubble welling up– wanting to be released but also needing to be felt. I sat with the bubble, connecting to my root and my crown, drawing light into my heart from both directions. I allowed emotion to move, tears streaming down my cheeks. As it flowed, the bubble began to disperse and turn into refracted light, like a sunset spreading wide across my chest, looking exactly like the image in this picture.
This image inspires hope for me. The butterfly beckons me out of my familiar and comfortable rut. In reading about this card, it being turned right is a sign of pushing an action or idea. That resonates. BIG TIME.
Yesterday in acknowledging my terror, I acknowledged also the comfort in pushing. My modus operandi throughout my entire adult life is to push forward and through. There’s something very comforting in the effort of the push. It helps me feel life I’m doing something– the struggle makes me feel alive. In this image the immense beauty is her effortlessness. She is poised and balanced and HELD from all directions, just as she emanates in all directions. The image is exactly what I felt in meditation yesterday… to hold and be held.
I did a five card spread before my daily draw today. The hanged man appeared in it as well. As I sat in meditation with this brilliant image in front of me– I saw myself much like the hanged man, my roots extending down into the center of the earth, spreading wide, and my crown lifting out into the cosmos into the vast expanse of what is beyond. Linking into the infinite I felt immediately the sense of being held from all directions. I felt fear present in my third chakra. I expanded out from my center and allowed it to disperse into the support that held me. My awareness then moved to a deep aching in my heart. In connecting to it I had flashes of my brilliant daughter as a little girl. I felt the human aching of my guilt at not being perfect and not always being present with her. I allowed myself to feel and release the immense guilt I feel as a mother for not being EVERYTHING, all the time. I continued to allow the energy of the universe to hold me.
I find myself butting up against the tiniest pieces of myself of late. I’m turning towards old patterns of fear and staying small because to be perfectly honest, I AM TERRIFIED. I am terrified of what lies ahead. I’m terrified of becoming bigger. I’m terrified of allowing my perspective to move through my voice and out into the world. I’m terrified of what this process is opening up. I want to be comforted and given assurances that everything is okay. I want to cling to what is familiar, stop dead in my tracks, and move back into my well-worn rut.
Instead, what I have is the assurance that I am HELD (in all directions and from all sides), and that it is time for me to turn my world upside down. It is time to release my small thoughts and disperse the tiny pieces of guilt and shame that keep me small and grasping for comfort. I am ready to confront the terror of what exposure and expansion present. I am quaking with fear and I’m not ashamed to tell the world:
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S COMING NEXT, and IT SCARES ME TO DEATH.
Tiger is my first love of the big cats. If you read my post a few days ago when I drew Lion, you know that from where I sit at the moment there are seven tigers in view– make that eight, nope, nine– just looked down at my phone case to my right and then a pillow just to the left of me. It’s safe to say Tiger has got me covered. And that’s exactly how Tiger makes me feel. She’s got my back. She first came to me several years ago when my healer took me on a shamanic journey and she showed up as my guide. Since then I have connected more and more with the energy of power and perception that Tiger brings.
She’s a symbol of prosperity for me, because she reminds me of my own power and the fact that I am my most potent and powerful resource. This particular painting of her feels potent in terms of perception. She is framed in an eye that is made up of eyes, illuminated by the full moon. Her power is regal and inscrutable. It is without question but enigmatic. Her appearing today is a godsend– as my brain spins out in twenty different directions. She connects me to my center and the earth. She is a welcome reminder that I am taken care of at the root of my being.
This brilliant lion greeted me for my draw bright and early this morning. As I was falling asleep last night I had the sense that today I would be drawing from this deck. Yesterday I had a session with my healer. Towards the end of my session he acknowledged all of my guides commenting “it’s like a zoo in here.” I had to smile in agreement. My connection with nature is resonant– and nature has been showing up in full force as of late to let me know its got my back.
I have always loved cats. As I began writing this my sweet girl kitty came up and sat down right next to me. A couple of years ago I did a guided journey with my healer and Tiger showed up to be with me and walk alongside me through the journey, at times taking me on her back. She presented herself to me as a powerful ally and thus began what could be called my tiger obsession.
It’s not hard to contextualize what I’m talking about when I refer to my tiger obsession if you’ve walked into my home. From the place where I’m sitting right now in my living room I can see six different tigers without moving a muscle, and I happen to know additionally there’s a tiger as well as a lion on the pillow that the small of my back is resting on. So… yeah, I’ve got a thing for big cats. Jaguars, leopards, and this beautiful powerful sunlit lion whose image sits before me.
Lions symbolize strength, power and courage. They are often associated with the sun. I love the gentle ease of this powerful protector. The presence of lion in my draw today is comforting. He helps keep me feeling grounded and taken care of. My lessons of late are very much centered around claiming and owning my power. Each step I take towards owning that in every situation I have a choice to make, helps me step more solidly into my power. Lion’s presence affirms those clear and conscious forward steps into ownership of my POWERFUL SELF.