Reading for Tuesday, October 20, 2015 is from The Halloween Tarot by Karin Lee, illustrated by Kipling West. U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 1996
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
Life is unpredictable. That’s pretty much it in a nut shell, right? How boring it would be though, if it wasn’t. If every decision we ever make is the right one. If every step or turn we take are the right ones, how ideal would that seem? It sounds good, but if this were the case it would get old really, really fast. The Fool is unpredictability with no preconceived burdens to weigh him down. How scary is that? On the other hand, how liberating is it? The Fool is simplicity in it’s purest form. It’s the base where we all begin as children -lighthearted and trusting, happily unburdened, innocent- our jumping off spot where you “jump off a cliff and you build your wings on the way down” (Ray Bradbury) or you fall and tumble eventually going splat at the bottom. I, for one, want to build my wings on the way down.
As difficult as it is to let go, to release and trust in the unknown, clinging to the illusion of safety and the familiar, is far more terrifying to me. I want to live out, to tackle challenges, to experience new and exciting people, places, and things. I want to re-invent myself over and over always transforming, and growing. The Death card is about allowing this to happen. “All endings make way for new beginnings. Destruction followed by new growth. Release from old patterns. New ideas and opportunities.” Death assures us the cycles in life, death, and rebirth, continue. There is a comfort in knowing that anytime something or someones dies a metaphorical (or physical) death, we are left with new choices to make and fresh possibilities to explore. The cycle continues in one form or another and if we are willing, we can accept that life is change, go with the flow, and anticipate the next new adventure.
Fear is either a motivator or it is crippling. Fear is built into each of us, some more than others, and serves to keep us safe most of the time. But, if we allow our fears to control every aspect of our lives and every choice we make, we become crippled. How is fear a motivator? If we don’t allow our fears to control us, if we determine to overcome and face them, this motivates us to find ways to deal with them. There are some fears we will never completely let go of and this is where Strength plays a staring role. The Strength card represents an inner strength, strength of character, determination, using persuasion over force, quiet determination. John Milton said, “He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires, and fears is more than a king.” This is to say that by accepting ourselves fully, including and especially the parts we don’t like, by knowing ourselves our endless possibilities, abilities, and our limitations, by accepting all we have the inner strength and courage to face anything.
What do you fear most?