It’s funny how life mirrors the inner landscape- its been happening a lot recently.
I spent a weekend totally giving more than I had, or wanted to. Went to leave- and my car battery was flat. My husband is compulsive about maintaining our cars. In 17 years of marriage that has never happened.
Last night I was catching up on the Handmaid’s Tale (no spoilers!) after a brutal episode of June praying in the hospital room she finds her sanity again and says “I think I got a little lost”. That is exactly how I feel about the last few months.
I work full time as a tarot reader, teacher and shaman. I love, love, love my work but it had started to become “overflowing”. By which I mean work spilt into every moment.
I was answering emails, or checking social media when I was with my family. I was reading business or healing books when I thought I was relaxing. When I wasn’t with my family I was planning, writing, exploring different ideas I wanted to expand in the business and my own spiritual development.
Part if the problem lies in running a busy home with 4 home educated children- there is no pause from work to on the go Mum. I step out of work space into “Mum……” (add want ever demand, question, or problem you want) and my life was a whirl of work/mum/mum/work with never a moment to pause.
I was very much in a 5 of wands kind of place. Addicted to the high energy of always doing, creating, building- but often creating problems and dramas to ensure I was on “full alert”. The adrenalin rush (and caffeine) kept me going. I was in constant “on” position- and if anything threatened that high energy drive then I created problems, or accepted things into my life that I knew would be challenging, to keep that adrenalin high.
I often felt that if I allowed my self to really switch off I would never find the energy to switch back on again.
And then came the mental break I was craving which allowed me to appreciate just how lost I had got. It came in the form of Loxwood Joust. The 4 of swords moment…..
There are two things that really stand out to me about the 4 of swords.
#1 it is in a church. Most people find it really hard to switch of at home. There’s always something that needs doing. Old habits can catch us out- and before long we are just carrying on with regular life. I think true mental rest often happens best when we are away from home.
#2 The position of the swords- the pain of the three swords is felt, understood. Allowing the new way of thinking (the ace of swords lying separate) to come through.
I see this as being able to feel, understand your pain- but perhaps slightly separate from your everyday life. Processing what has caused you pain so you can learn from it, accept it and let it go.
I think I had understood why I was always on “hyper drive” I just had never had the space to step aside form my life and process the issues.
I get no respite from being a Mum, we have no extended family to offer support and allow me that mental space to process.
And so to Loxwood- the festival that feels more like a family gathering. Over the years certain crafts people, entertainers and trades people have developed a relationship with our children. Which means it is one of the few places where I feel as if I get a genuine break from parenting. There are always a few things I need to deal with- I am still their parent. But my job is more just floating around, enjoying the entertainment, and keeping a general eye on them.
Perhaps most importantly I prepared to take full advantage of this break from the children. I found a great series of fiction books I wanted to read. I did not take any tarot decks (I always get asked “do you have your cards”) I didn’t take notebooks or pens (!)
I had two choices- enjoy the entertainment, or dive into my fiction book- and I did both with great joy.
Perhaps as well as the 4 of swords this is a 4 of wands kind of feeling. A coming together of people, a community, a celebration. That beautiful feeling of the wider community sharing the load of the children for me.
I always link the 4 of wands with the 5 of cups- I see the same bridge in both cards. In this case I needed the support of the community to really lift my eyes from the problems in my life, and appreciate the genuine joy and potential.
Coming home I realise how utterly exhausted I really am. But I feel I have found a bit more of myself. I am creating far better boundaries to ensure there is a structure to my work and family life to allow true rest in-between.
In case you are curious- here are my four kids in full "medieval mode" (3 sons and a daughter....before you ask.)