Welcome to Virgo season! In the tarot, the sign of Virgo is represented by the Hermit card, the mascot of solitude, life lessons & self-reflection. Folks say December is the end of the year but truly, its September. Virgo season is the harvest, where you take inventory of your efforts over the last 9 months & ponder what you must have sown based on what you've evidently reaped. Its the moment when the hard won fruit of knowledge ripens into wisdom.
Side effects include the fact that folks might be bothered by what we know, because wielding the Hermit's lamp means we're in the light; however the mere existence of our shine automatically places others in darkness. Just as it isn't our fault that we know some things that others don't, it also isn't our fault how we know what we know. We mustn't blame ourselves for the experiences that wrought a particular wisdom; but we are responsible for paying the lesson forward.
Stand tall, shy Hermit. There is no shame in your knowing. It's true that human hands toil the soil & plant the seed; but who magics the earth, bewitches the root from plant to shoot to sky...?
We do what we can but God gets the glory. (And the blame)
There's a bible story about a widow who owed a serious debt to a creditor. The debt wasn't even hers initially, it was her husband's, but once he died it became her responsibility. She was freaking out because the creditor told her if she didn't pay up, he would force her two sons to be his slaves. Sis was sick about the whole thing so she asked the prophet Elisha for help. Elisha asked her, "What do you have in the house?" & she told him that all she had was a jar of oil. He told her to go around & get as many empty jars as she could from her neighbors, & then go in the house with her sons, shut the door, pour her oil into the jars, & set each one aside once it became full. So she did. Once inside, her sons brought the jars one by one, & she filled them one by one. Once there were no more jars, there was no more oil. She told Elisha about it & he instructed her to sell the jars of oil to pay what she owed, & to live on the rest of the money with her sons. Issa miracle, yeah...?
People argue about whether or not the bible is literal & perhaps it is- but there is definitely a metaphor here I wanted to explain because once I figured it out, it really helped me, & maybe it might help you too.
The first thing to understand is that the widow isn't really a widow; she represents the subconscious mind. She is the part of us that knows from birth that we have a purpose to fulfill, & her sole mission is to make it happen, cap'n. The thing is, she can't do it alone- she needs her husband. The husband in this story represents the conscious mind. He is the part of us who makes the decisions & enacts the choices that determine our fate, regardless of the original plan. In a perfect world, our darkness (feminine) & light (masculine) are a perfect couple; she receives the dream & he puts in the work to make that dream a reality. But we don't live in a perfect world. Our subconscious might be holding the map in the backseat but at the end of the day our consciousness can drive wherever it wants.
The premise of the story is basically the worst case scenario between the feminine & masculine principle. The feminine principle knows there is a job to be done, but her husband- instead of working to fulfill their united purpose- somehow ends up in debt owing his energy & time toward another man's purpose. And then he dies, still owing, because what you don't use, you lose. The husband represents our ability to do what we know we are meant to do, & the fact that if we don't do it, after a time we will look up & realize we couldn't do it if we wanted to because sadly, that part of us is dead & gone. This is why the widowed subconscious mourns, because the boundless potential within her still desires to burst forth, & it wrings its hands & worries about how in the world it will live, especially without a partner, without action, without decision, without hope. Her husband has left her alone, & also quite literally, a loan. Therefore now she owes the debt too, herself, which is the bible's way of saying she owes it to herself.
We do owe it to ourselves to live up to our fullest potential, against all odds. Even if a part of us is dead & gone & time has passed & shit looks bleak, we better figure out a way, for the sake of our sons. Remember, the creditor in the story said if the widow doesn't pay up, her sons must fulfill the debt through slavery. In the tarot, the Sun card, aka the Son card, represents the light of a person who has fought through hell and back in order to know themselves as fearless, victorious, glorious, shining. The widow's sons requirement to enter a slave contract to fulfill the death debt of their father is a metaphor for believing yourself doomed to fulfill another man's purpose because of inheriting a deficit of currency. If we let currency represent time (because time IS money), then slavery is the lack of time & opportunity to realize our true potential, because we are born owing that time elsewhere. It's true that we are more often than not born into cycles of doing what has always been done, & although the decisions that created this dynamic are dead & gone, the debt, our unused potential & slave mentality remains. This is why the widow begs for instruction on how to break the chains & release the debt. This is why even when all seems lost, our subconscious mind won't let us rest, because regardless of our circumstances, it refuses to identify its glorious depths as hopeless, futile & perpetually unfulfilled. Not today, the widow says, & not tomorrow either.
What do you have in the house? Elisha asks. The widow answers, nothing except a jar of oil.
In the bible, oil represents many things but most commonly, it represents anointing, or authority from the Most High to act within our divine purpose. The house represents the body. So the widow, who, again is our subconscious mind - despite our poor, debt-filled choices & dead ends, still holds within our body the instruction from our creator to live up to our fullest potential. Period.
Go around & get empty jars from your neighbors, Elisha says. Get as many as you can.
If the oil is the anointing on our lives, then the jars are the containers for that anointing. If the oil is a purpose that must be fulfilled, then the jars represent situations through which someone else's purpose has already been fulfilled. By instructing the widow to collect as many empty jars as possible from her neighbors, the subconscious mind is told to do the only thing it CAN do- seek as many stories as possible from those have used their anointing in situations that fulfilled their divine purpose. In other words, if you don't know you finna do a thing, gather as many folks as possible who can tell you how they did that thing already. Gather you some success stories & miraculous testimonies & motivational tales. Elisha told the widow to gather these jars from her neighbors. A neighbor is someone in close proximity to you- but truthfully few of us have any one close to us who has already done the thing God has called us to do. Oh, but what a mighty friend we have in YouTube, because with only a touch of our screen, we can be surrounded by stories of those who came before us & made the impossible, possible. We can listen to Jim Carrey talk to Oprah about the million dollar check he wrote himself & kept in his wallet years before he landed his first major film role, or we can listen to Sylvester Stallone discuss being rejected from a thousand auditions & having to sell his dog to pay his light bill while we wrote the script for Rocky, because it was obvious that the only movie he'd be allowed to star in is the one he wrote himself. We can sit as Mama Iyanla tells her how she had to change the locks on her violent husband & then the stab him through the chain on the door after he got it open anyway, because she wasn't gon' let him beat her ass not one more time. Even if there is not a single person around who believes in you, respects your vision or understands that your purpose just won't leave you alone, go get your damn jars.
As many as you can. And once you gather up all the testimonies of those who have fulfilled their purpose, which you now owe it to yourself to fulfill, according to the story, you must go into the house with your sons, shut the door & fill those empty jars. If we understand that the house represents the body, & the door is the place through which the your subconscious mind (widow) & realization of your true potential (sons) go in & out, then we understand the door is our mouth. In other words, when its time to fulfill your anointing, you must go inside yourself, shut your damn mouth & just DO YOUR WORK. (Why is the bible so shady tho lol)
And what is that work, exactly...? In the story, the sons brings the widow the empty jars one by one, & she fills each jar from her one jar of oil. Following the metaphor, this means that inside your mind- in silence, you go about the task of 1) recognizing that you have a divine purpose (son), 2) using that awareness to feed your subconscious mind (widow) examples of those who have filled their purpose ( empty jars) in order to 3) pour your little bit of oil into each one of those examples, one by one. If anointing is divine authority to act, then the filling of each jar is giving yourself permission, bit by bit, to become the same as the person in each testimony, aka a freaking miracle. The very act of focusing on their divinity ignites your own. Which basically means the hardest work of fulfilling your purpose & realizing your infinite potential is having faith that you CAN through believing all them other folks already DID. Once you do that, the rest is lowkey easy.
And Elisha said, go forth and sell the oil, & pay what you owe, & you and your sons live off the rest.
So what does it mean to sell the jars of oil...? It means you go out & exchange you newfound abundance of faith in yourself for currency, which is time. It means you now have more than enough time to fulfill your purpose because you believe you do. It means that from now on, you will always have enough faith in yourself for the current moment. It means that you have sufficient faith in miracles, because you finally realize the miracle is YOU. Whereas you were worried about being indebted to the service of someone else's vision & purpose, now you know you have the means & opportunity to execute your own.
And when, in some not-too-distant future, you see someone struggling to pay what they owe themselves because their potential has been widowed by poor choices, you give them your empty jar.
Tell them, I know you CAN, because I DID.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." ~ Philippians 4:6