of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
I hope everyone is doing well. I know I say this every day but I am so appreciative of each of your comments. We are growing an amazing community here & everybody's voice & presence matters. Y'all done made me cry, crack the hell up, nod & say me too, wanna slap folx I don't even know, & cry some more, & wanna come through the screen & give all the hugs. Whew. I am really proud of us for showing up because I know this work is hard & triggering af. I have felt called out every single day. It can be disorienting to face your own bullshit & blockages (every day?!) especially since they're in the shadows so you feel them but you don't really see them. & don't want to see them either. A couple of times I've felt like maybe we should slow down & because it's too hard to do this in 40 days, but I realized we have to soldier through & Imma tell you why: shadows aren't real. They can't stop us. The issues we talk about here are not who we really are (light), they are the things that get in the way & keep us from being who we really are (darkness). (The spaces where we need to be more clearly defined.) We are not our bullshit, we're simply calling it out. I know alot of us have these perfectionist ideals (me too!) that keeps us from showing up however we are & just getting the job done. I don't want any of you to feel like, just because you fell behind on reading / commenting, that it's too hard to pick it back up. Just check in where you are, when you can, & go from there. Forward movement only. The ONLY thing that matters is that we show up & don't give up. Looking good doing it is not required.
The World card (right) is the energy of the pressure, structure & lessons that force us to grow up & step into our mastery. The Temperance card (left) is the personification of experience & acceptance that leads to wisdom in all areas, whether mental, physical, emotional & spiritual. When you put these two together, you can see the Ten of Wands is about accepting the fact that the road from who we are to who we want to be is hard, period, & there's no way around it.
Let's look at the Ten of Wands literally: Can you see this card is about relief? The man is holding a bundle of reed-leaves (relief). Not only that (I had to Google this!) , but this type of painting is literally called "relief." According to Google: A relief is a wall-mounted sculpture in which the three-dimensional elements are raised from a flat base. If we look at the bottom of the picture, we can see that this man appears to be stepping into the frame (stepping into fame), therefore he is the sculpture that is being raised from a flat base. To emphasize the fact that the man is a sculpture, we can look at his legs / calf muscles; they are beautifully sculpted with strength & power. The definition in his sculpted legs came from walking a long way, a.k.a. the persistence of moving forward step by step, putting one foot in front of the other foot. But first, before he can step into the frame (fame), he must toe-the-line (see how his left toe touches the line?). According to Google: Toe the Line means to accept the authority, principles, or policies of a particular group, especially under pressure. In this case, since we know the man is a sculpture being placed into the frame, we can say that he is the Creation, & therefore must accept the authority & direction of his Creator. In other words, he has to toe-the-line & go do what he was made to do, no matter how uncomfortable that makes him.
& Ooh this man is super uncomfortable! He's hot, tired, stressed & over dressed for this dry season he's going through. He just needs a break, you know? Some freaking RELIEF. He is shouldering a heavy load, a bushel (load of bullshit), If you look at his right foot pushing into the corner of the picture, you can see he's pushing back into it (put your back into it). He may have slid backwards (back sliding) but now he leans in, getting up & moving on. He knows he has to gather an unknown strength; therefore his face is lowered (faces the Lord), which results in hiding his face (highest praise). This helps him shoulder through (soldier through) & surrender to the load (surrender to the Lord) & give it all he's got (give it all to God). Suddenly his grip tightens & he's borne-his-ten (born again). Without even noticing it (because his head is down), he's about to enter a scene of relief (season of relief).
Relief or not, hidden danger lurks. As this man steps into the frame (steps into fame), he's finna be hot stuff. His outfit is fire red, or red-heat. Dude is ready. He's had to be very disciplined too; he's had to tighten his belt. He would love some release (relief). Here's the danger though; the place where he's going is even hotter than him! He's about to enter a blaze of heat (be lazy). You see that house in the distance with the red roof? Once dude looks up from facing the Lord & giving the highest praise, the first thing he's going to see is that house! He's going to think it's a divine blessing placed in his path, to give him rest, relief, maybe some cold lemonade & a colder shower after stripping off those hot af clothes. He'll be so ready to get into that relief that he won't even notice he'll have to cross the line set there by his Creator. This relief will require crossing a serious boundary. (But no matter how many times he crosses that line, he can always be bordered again (born again).
What he won't understand at first is that, since this house is in the desert, nothing really grows here. He's the most lively thing around. He is the life (light) & they will be relieved to see him coming because it's dead af around here. They're going to want his light to be on all time (issa lot of rooms in that house) & pretty soon he'll burn out. He'll need relief from his relief, & he'll have to get up & re-leave, push his back into it, get back up, stop backsliding, toe the line, get his (bull) shit back together & face the Lord AGAIN. Therefore, hot & tired & ready as he is, it might be best if he just avoided that house altogether, & remained on his side of the divide line/ divine line. Sometimes it's best to keep struggling, than to experience a little bit of relief & fall there (fail there). He might think it stressful that his wands-are-full but when he considers the alternative, he'll see his struggle is actually wonderful & protects him from temptation.
We don't really see this man's face, we see "mostly hair." If you're learning tarot-speak, you should hear "almost there." But he's not there yet. (Keep it moving, turn the corner)
The light of this card rests in persistently remaining very close to God/ higher self/ ancestors through expressing gratitude for your struggle (& the opportunity to handle your bullshit!), because you understand that you are a Creation being sculpted by your Creator. You must accept that your struggle isn't torture, its the opportunity to get your (bull) shit (bushel) together. Your problems (& your obsession with their solutions) is actually loving attention that separates what you ARE from what you are NOT (bringing you into relief).
The shadow energy is being so stressed & thus ready to relax a bit that you put your burdens down at the wrong time & place, get lazy & lose precious time & energy having to get back in your groove when you shouldn't have gotten out in the first place. Which can seem hella contradictory because just yesterday the Eight of Pentacles lectured us about knowing when to take breaks, so I think the Most High wants to emphasize the difference between taking breaks & being lazy. (Because the devil is in the details) We can't have it both ways either. We can't toe the line & cross the line at the same time. It's a small step, but a HUGE choice. We can't keep our toe out but just put the head in (that never works lol).
I'll give y'all an example of my Ten of Wands:
Imma give y'all a recent story too, so you understand this is something I am currently dealing with. I am explaining these lessons but I'm not removed from them at all. We are in this together, frfr.
For those of you who don't know, I've been living with my children in hotels all year. (Issa long story) From the beginning of spring until the end of summer, we lived at a hotel that was perfect for us. It was in a great neighborhood, with parks & restaurants nearby & a strip of independently owned grocery stores that carried organic fresh fruit & vegetables. In other words, a (transient) mother's dream. At the time, my laptop needed to be repaired so one of the best parts for me was the computer & printer in the lobby. I was super tired of working from my phone because it makes updating my website such a hassle. The manager of the hotel knew I made money online so he was cool with me using the computer anytime, all the time, as long as I wanted. It was there that I came up with the schedule I explained to y'all yesterday, where I put the kids to bed & then work all night long. I was really getting into a groove; I was focused, my work was consistent, sales were going up & I was coming up with new ideas all the time. As many of you know, being a mom & working from home is SO HARD without blocks of quiet time. At night the lobby was so peaceful & I felt truly blessed with such an ideal situation. I wasn't the only person / family living in the hotel either, so I felt at home. (Read: Got comfortable)
[Disclaimer: Ok Imma tell y'all now, most if not all my stories are going to involve boys. I judge myself for this, because I've always felt boy crazy. I cannot deal with dudes & keep my life together at the same time. I can rub my belly & pat my head, & I can walk and chew gum but for some reason I cannot get good dick & succeed. Frfr, it's in my birth chart. I have my Venus in Cancer (2 of cups) in my 10th house of Career & Public Recognition. So the only way I can deal with dudes & work at the same time is to get money in regards to loving them. Since I ain't a hoe (allegedly), I have to talk about them & get paid.
I'm saying all that to say, please don't be put off that most if not all of my examples are going to involve relationships or sex. Please don't feel pressured to make your examples similar, because for you they might relate to family or friends or business or whatever. Its not my intention that this be a salacious space, but for me to give authentic shares, they will most likely be salacious.]
Ok, so there were a couple of guys I saw in passing at the hotel. Both of them worked late / overnight, so I saw them coming & going to work. I was trying to practice being more open because I'm going through a divorce rn but I've been with my husband since 2006 & I realized I didn't even know how to talk to men & just...be normal. Not necessarily flirting but not being all I'M MARRIED either. Just... talking to them like people. Both of the texting situations with the dudes fizzled pretty quickly but regardless I was just... open. I also noticed that the dudes were cool but I wasn't that attracted to either of them & the way I knew I wasn't was because I wasn't willing to kick it if it took me away from my work. I was very clear about only meeting up or texting outside my work schedule. & I was really proud of myself about that because that's not like me.
So I was proud of myself, feeling myself, working consistently, scheduled, ordered, disciplined, feeling pretty cute- & then one day this boy just walked off the elevator. (I told y'all I was boy crazy) Everything about him was different than what I was used to, but he was hella familiar at the same time. Idk how to explain it. He 's bi-racial, average height, skinny, long blonde locks, grey eyes &... open. I could just tell he was open. Looking back, he reminded me of me, just friendly & willing to see what's up. Typing that it sounds very sexual but it didn't feel sexual it felt... natural.
Ok so he got off the elevator & did a double take at me, spoke to me. I spoke back, he asked the dude behind the desk for fresh towels, & then went back on the elevator. Then the elevator doors opened again & he got back off, walked up to me & asked me could he call me. I started to say no because I could tell he was so much younger than me (he's 26, I'm 40) but I figured what the hell, I'm open, so I said yeah. He texted me from the elevator on the way back upstairs, & we've been texting ever since. He's sporadic af though; I haven't seen him since August & I don't know if I'll ever actually see him again... but at the same time I feel like he will text me 'Morning love,' or 'wyd' for the next 100 years unless I change my number. He's loyal & invisible LOL. It's distracting. (Oh shit DIS-TRACT-ED, as in gets you off track, like the track in the Ten of Wands, wow).
So he ended up staying at the hotel for a few days, & I went to his room two of those three nights instead of finishing my work those nights. It was just so... easy (read: blaze of heat / lazy) to be with him. It was definitely a panties pushed aside, girl-you-know-you-want-this situation. It was so easy to forget about keeping my shit together & take that half-a-step over the line. I felt like I deserved him. I thought the Most High was rewarding me lol (don't judge me, yes I prayed for dick). I literally told him, "I work hard & I need to have a little fun." I meant smoking & watching Netflix (which we did) but we did some other stuff too that I really, really, really, really enjoyed & couldn't stop thinking about even after he left the hotel. In fact it was all I thought about. After that, when I was working, my mind was on him. I wasn't in the zone anymore. I fell off. I started sleeping at night & lost my groove, & my business stopped flourishing. It's taken me a good four months to recover my mojo, which I'm just now getting back. That one night of relief caused a whole season of drought for me.
(It ain't worth it Ms. Celie )
What's y'alls Ten of Wands?
all of us.