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Monday, 6 February 2012

Imbolc Spread: How to be a better candle

1) Purify: what I need to wash away, let go of, or make right
2) Prepare: what I can focus on and re-establish (or strengthen) in my life and that will serve me in months ahead
3) Shine: how I can gently shine in my everyday life and that will be of service or inspiration to others 

This spread is featured on Chloe's blog at Inner Whispers, and I liked it so I thought I'd try it out for myself. Apologies for a stream-of-consciousness commentary...


Hmm. The cards suggest that I need to stop seeing myself in an overly critical light and to be more objective and fair. I also need to stop looking so much at myself, and remember there are other people in the world, all just as 'important' as me. The three cards together seem to point in that same direction, even that last card, which is a whopper.

The Hanged Man speaks so much about a perspective that is skewed, the sacrifice of the self for some 'higher' purpose. I have sacrificed myself too much in my pursuit of finding the perfect me, in that I have spent years believing something is wrong that needs to be fixed in the first place. My whole perspective is completely off kilter where 'I' am concerned, and I see everything upside down. A person could make the most innocent remark, or be speaking from their own bad moment or day, but I will see it from my upside perspective and take it as a criticism and then I'll take it away with me and ruminate over it and worry it and wish I could go back and relive the moment and do it differently...while the whole incident probably made no impression on the other person at all. That's my crazy perspective on life, which I need to wash away, let go of and make right. 

So obviously what I need to focus on and re-establish in myself is Justice, both for myself and others. I'd like to make every situation a win-win? Of course, I have to be willing to face the fact that sometimes there might not be a win-win solution, and learn to be okay with that. Because to think otherwise is just to set myself up again with a skewed perspective and expectation of perfection. The Justice card suggests I can re-establish or strengthen FAIRNESS in my life, and it will serve me well, and that's what I think Justice means. The figure in Justice faces forward. She is facing reality, and she is doing so from a neutral perspective, looking neither left nor right. Her eyes are open. She is not focusing on herself alone, nor others alone. She is finding the balance, and above all she is fair. I like that Justice is not blind here. Justice shouldn't be blind. Justice should see reality, the truth and not merely her perception of events. That's the perspective I need, every day.

Finally, to be of service and inspiration in my everyday life, I should shine the 5 of Swords. You WHAT? I should shine 'The Lord of Defeat' in my daily life? At first sight, it's bad advice, but...wait. It's true 5 is the number of challenge, uncertainty, instability...but those very things can bring about versatility, flexibility and change. This card normally is seen to mean uncontrolled rage, the mind engaging in frenzied plotting for revenge or how to damage and defeat. I think the card could be pointing out that this is not a time to show to be too emotive, sympathetic or weak-looking. In any case, the card's traditional meaning is reined in sharply by the presence of the Hanged Man and the Justice card. They're adding that  I must be willing to see from different angles, I must be fair. Not pitying, not joining in any plots, not causing dissent or allowing it to be caused. Fair, but without 'pity'. With what's going on at work right now, this makes good sense. Anyway, pity implies looking upon things from a superior position. I need to avoid seeing myself as superior or inferior. I need to learn more often to see things neutrally. Justice is in the centre of the spread. The sword she holds is on the side of the Hanged Man--cut him down so he can see straight.  And the scales are on the side of the 5 of Swords. Weigh things up to achieve balance.

I'm thinking this spread is telling me to stop berating myself, stop subconsciously looking for fuel to feed my own inner funeral pyre, if that makes sense. Taking the focus off myself doesn't diminish me.  'Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened,' said the Buddha. 'Happiness never decreases by being shared.'  The 5 of Swords--maybe it's me always either looking for the chance to gloat, or for the blow that's going to cut me down. It doesn't have to be like that. Life is not an all or nothing. Something about that 5 of Swords card is saying to me that it's all in my perception, it's all in my head. And that takes me back again to The Hanged Man...while The  Justice card teaches me to find the balance between --well, for lack of a better phrase, 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.'

This draw is worth further meditation.

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