Our friend Enya came over recently, as she often does when she needs refuge and space from her busy life in music school. When we were catching up, we spoke about a wide variety of topics, including what was in hold for her future. I explained to her how I saw futures as merely potential paths or timelines. Sometimes, people abruptly leave one timeline and embark on another. In the process, they also become completely different people as their hearts are shaped by a new purpose.
I had seen Enya as such a case: somewhere in her early 20s, she had ‘switched lifelines’ onto her present musical career. Enya was telling me when we were catching up that she was worried that after finishing school, she would just be set by the next milestone to overcome: achieving financial stability. Every time she thought she would have time to slow down and rest, she’d just be as busy as before and more.
The theme of Enya’s visit had been taking space and refuge: to remember to breathe. She fell sick shortly after coming in and instead of exploring the city as we had thought to do, we stayed home and cooked nourishing pork rib’s tea soup and worked on our creative things, all the while goofing off and being in general very silly. She had also brought in the wedding gift we had given her the summer before; a gift we had told her to open only when we met again. The wedding gift itself was based on a ritual we had created involving an ema prayer block. The receiver was to make a wish or ask a question and then uncover the Tarot card hidden on the back of it.
The question Enya asked, she told us later, was “Will life be kind to me?” and the card she received was 4 of swords. I explained to her that swords was the suite of the mind (I was just a few hours earlier drawing the ‘swords’ portion of my drawing encompassing a cosmology of consciousness manifesting in the four Tarot suites and was a bit stumped by the Swords bit. But that’s a digression). I had the intuition that the card was about taking rest and space to take stock of where she was rather than rushing ahead mentally. After all, the question she had asked was what I called “an anxiety question”. In other words, it wasn’t really a direct question to her guides, but rather a question revealing a deep inner insecurity. In this case, the fear of the future and being continually occupied: a theme we had discussed just earlier.
When we looked this card up for confirmation, the first sentence I saw was “taking it easy”, “avoiding overexertion”, “listening for your Inner Voice” and “reviewing where you are” into order to “get ready for the future”. This particular bit really stood out:
The Swords cards all stand for trials of some kind, but the Four suggests feelings of peace and stillness. Why is this card different? Because it represents the challenge to be quiet! Sometimes resting and doing nothing is the ultimate challenge.
Activity can be a habit that is very difficult to break. There is always so much to do, and modern society beguiles us with its attractions and distractions. The result is we forget to stop and be still. In readings, the Four of Swords is often a sign that you need to slow down and get some rest. If you are recovering from an illness, allow yourself quiet time to heal. Even if you feel completely healthy, you are risking getting sick if you don’t take a break.
I thought this was really interesting, because just an hour before, too, I was reading a blog entry and its theme was learning to breathe and meditate on where you are.
I have also been drawing a “Daily Tarot” reading for daily advice. The cards, had consistently, given me the same card repeatedly till I tried to actually incorporate its lesson into my life. The card I had been getting for straight up a week were the Two of Pentacles (balancing, adapting, juggling material concerns and finding joy in it) which I drew about four times and Two of Wands (personal power brought down onto an earthy realm) which I drew twice. In short, the cards were telling me to relax and adapt, especially since my husband had lately returned to work after a two months break and I wasn’t dealing especially well with adapting and rolling with the tide. Even during dinner, I had a little fit of not being able to find a third bowl for Enya’s soup and panicked before my husband asked me to calm down, because he could use a glass pot (we later referred to this as the “third bowl story”). Another incident reminding me about juggling material concerns.
All this to say that the message of recent has been to remember to breathe. I have been getting little nudges to meditate. By meditate, I mean spending time to calm down from the frenzy of my own internal rhythm and listen to my breath. To let it wash over me and just tune into the present. This was the way, Spirit said, that I would be able to receive more messages and grow intuitively (a theme of the future: Queen of Cups). I noticed that as long as I was always in a state of tension, the messages I was receiving would always be at the edge, just beyond my consciousness. It was almost as if my spirit guides were in the next room shouting at me through a wall. I could hear and feel them, but their voices were muffled and their presences strong but distant because of the flurry of thoughts in my mind. But if I stopped and just tuned into my body and my breath- forced myself to curb the turmoil- I could feel my guides next to me as strong as always. This I call (in the yogic fashion) the making of space.
This is probably the theme that is coming up for me for the next chapter of this month: finding space in everything I do. If I get agitated or frenzied or wanted to resort to some obsessive-type behaviour (of which I have many), I have to find a way to hit the stop button. To slow down, to find my body in space: