of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Peace family! Today we're looking at The Eight of Swords, also called Jupiter in Gemini. In the tarot, Jupiter is the Wheel of Fortune & Gemini is the Lovers. Honestly, both of these cards confuse the shit out of me. The Wheel of Fortune is about being moved forward by fate into new experiences, mental paradigms & reality shifts, & it comes with hella downloads (which makes you sleepy) because the Most High has to explain things to your subconscious mind (crazy dreams) because your conscious mind wouldn’t understand. In other words, the Wheel of Fortune is an upgrade, & when we get upgrades we have to put the system to sleep.
Now, Gemini is the Lovers card & I try hard af as a reader not to pigeonhole it as the Twin Flame card. The Lovers also represents the astrological sign of Gemini (twins) + Gemini is the ruler of the Third House which has to do with siblings & friends, so the Lovers COULD be about friends & familial love, not so much romantic love, even though everybody is nekkid. Plus when you factor in the mountain that separates these two, there is no closeness here (there’s not even clothes / clothe-ness / closeness).
Speaking of family & friends across the distance- if we look at the actual Eight of Swords (downloads + friends & family), we see that the woman is bound by a tie that covers her eyes & wraps around her body. Although she can’t see it, this is the tie that binds.
Sidenote: This picture irritates me because I don’t know what the fuck is going on here & I hate being confused, I fucking HATE IT. Being confused leaves you stuck because you don’t know which way to move forward. All paths turn back in and around on themselves. Choices lead to other choices & you can’t see the outcome of any of them.
Ironically enough, just the other day I told a tarot student who was confused about a lesson, that she had to move forward with her lessons, through the confusion, & allow clarity to come. Kind of like walking in the dark; eventually the light will come & you’ll know which way you’re going. Even if you have to turn around & recalibrate, you can see the alternate route.
Willing to be confused, I stare at the card. Snatches of phrases whisper to me- Stand in place of missing knife / Stand in place missing life; Fixated on first sword / Fixated on the first word; Stuck on the sword…? No. / Stuck on the word ‘No.”
So then I realize, ok this is self talk. This is a mental prison. So how to break out of a mental prison? We must recognize that our mind is the jailer, & our mind is also the key. Notice, the woman is wedged in only space where she could turn around & be free (turn around to sea/see). Yet she herself has become the sword / word (NO!) that holds her back.
Another word for sword is katana. If she stands in place as if she is a sword, then she is katana. She katana (can’t). & Since she cannot, she fixates on the first sword/ word ‘no’. This word NO teaches us the places we cannot go & the things we cannot do (don’t even THINK about it). Therefore we get stuck in very small patterns & circles in life, squeezing ourselves into one little corner of existence because of that original voice in our mind telling us these non-choices are our only choices. The only way to free ourselves is to drag our focus from negative reinforcements (no its too late, no you’re too old, no you’re too young, no its too far, no because no one else has, no because everyone has already done it, no they don’t love you, no we don’t want you, no no no), & instead we must be willing to step in the puddle (puzzled; I think I can figure this out) in order to ground ourselves & turn back to see (sea) what we can do & where we can go. Maybe we can’t go forward but we CAN go back, ha!
If we think of our bodies as simply vehicles for consciousness (swords / words), then with any vehicle, you have to put it in reverse to get unstuck. Back it up a bit. Retreat. Retrace. Reroute (because there are SO many routes!). Remember when I said that confusion is choices leading to other choices but you can’t see the outcome of any of them? That’s actually a good thing if you hit a dead end, yes? Because there is always another way to go, or something else to try. So many options!
The question becomes, how do we become unbound (from the relationship ties that bind), so that we can stop being so fixated on the word NO (rejection), & be willing to step into the puddle (puzzled) about what held us there so long & then pivot around to sea (sea) what else life has to offer.
The ties bind… but they’re kind of loose, yes? So maybe we could just… shrug them off…? Let them go…? Shrug off any (relationship ) bonds where you cannot free (be) yourself? Turn around & move on?
If the woman in the picture does turn around & move on, she’ll find herself facing the lighthouse on the cliff. I researched lighthouse keepers for this post… did y’all know they used to go insane?! There was an extremely high rate of suicide in this particular profession due to loneliness. Often they could go for weeks (or even months) without hearing a single human voice. Kind of like solitary confinement in prison, I would imagine someone in that situation would start talking back to the voices in their head. And if the voices if your head always agree with you, then there’s no conversation- so there has to be an argument in order for there to be any communication at all. Notice the Eight -of-Swords woman’s bind doesn’t quite cover her left ear. It’s been left out for a reason, yes? There is something she’s listening for, something she needs to hear off the side of her head (outside of her head.) Something she may not necessarily recognize by the way it looks, but she will know it by the way it sounds. She will know it by the way it speaks, because it will say the opposite of the word that has kept her bound. She is listening for a YES.
Listening for a YES against all odds- even with the voices inside your head AND outside your head repeatedly say NO- well that’s…hope.
Lighthouse keepers used to be called ‘wickies,’ which is another word for the twine (the twine that binds) that keeps the candle lit. Twine sounds like ‘time,’ which makes sense because light keepers were also timekeepers, as they had to light the house during certain specific schedules for the ships. So if the woman in the Eight of Swords is a lighthouse keeper, then she is a living wick of hope, listening for a YES, yet bound to the responsibilities & restraints of time (twine).
Now remember, this card is about relationships, yes? And the wickie (witchy) woman’s true job is to turn away from the negative self-talk, & take herself back up to the cliff to watch for the (relation)ships that are scheduled to come. The (relation)ships might be late. The witchy woman might have been waiting hella long wondering wtf. She might feel like there’s no point to keeping her light on, since no one has sailed toward her in forever. But what a shame it would be if she gave up, just when the captain of her scheduled (relation)ship finally appeared. After all his work at sea (because steering a ship is HARD), it would be terrible if the journey ended with crashing in the dark, all because his witchy woman went dim.
Hone (sharpen) your thoughts.
Keep hope a-light (alive).
Your (relation)ship(s) is(are) coming.
Guide them home.
Speaking of home, I haven't been home in forever. When I was growing up, my parent's custodial agreement was that I would spend the first ten days of the month with my father, & the rest of the month with my mother. I did this rotation, every 20 to 21 days, until I was 11 years old, had a nervous breakdown & went to live exclusively with my mother. Until then, I had a parent at each house, a step parent at each house, a sister at each house, two sets of toys, two sets of clothes, two sets of books, two tones-of-voice, two sets of chores, two favorite nightgowns, two household routines to settle into, two toothbrushes, two pets, two school bus routes. Before I opened my eyes in the morning I would guess which bed I was in. I wasn't allowed to bring anything from one parent's house to the other's because I didn't buy that for you to leave it at your mama's / daddy's house. I was a double person living a double life. My only singles were my backpack & my father (because my stepmom was a 2nd mom but my stepfather was not a 2nd dad). My dad always told me that his house was my home too even though I spent more time with my mother. I used to refer to my mom's house as home & my father's house as 'my father's house.' & He would always correct me- THIS IS YOUR HOME TOO. I didn't have words to articulate then what I now understand, which is that 'home' is a singular word. If you have 'two/ TOO' homes, then you have no home. If you have to leave home & come back according to someone else's schedule, then you are not home. Imo, home is a place that you don't have to leave if you don't want & also a place you are free to leave & come back to. If you can't leave, you are a prisoner. If you must leave, you are a visitor. This is the root my "homelessness," that has remained with me my entire life. Ironically enough, even though I considered my mother's house, 'home,' my mom moved to a different apartment every year. To me, anywhere I could see her face was home. My father on the other hand, is still living in the house he bought when he was 26. Even though he was the more "stable" parent, anywhere I saw his face, I was uncomfortable & couldn't wait to leave.
I've made peace with all of that though. Time really does heal. I've never had a home that I didn't have to leave, or that I could return to whenever I wanted, or a place where I could stay that I actually wanted to stay- but I do have the hope that I can create that for my children if I keep working hard. I know that if I'm consistent, it's not a matter of if but when.
This shadow work has helped me immensely in that respect, because its allowed me to remove so much of the shame & stigma around being homeless in order to see the root, pluck it out, & plant a new story & a new narrative for my own life. Crazy thing is, just today typing this post, I got the urge to take my kids' to Chicago to visit my Dad. His house may not be my home, but he is my home. Had he not been so consistent & kept hope alive & kept a flame burning for me all these years, I wouldn't have come around. I've learned that people are flawed af (including my dad, including me), but home isn't perfect, its just love. Love covers a multitude of sins. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. It leaves the light on for you.
What does this card bring up for y'all?
all of us.