I was thinking lately about the role of play in our lives, and playfulness. In childhood it seems to be something that is so second nature and we do it spontaneously without any thought to it. We just act from our true inner selves and that's what comes up. Then somewhere along the line (maybe at a number of different places), we are told that this is appropriate, that we have to grow up and act mature and take life seriously...
Not that we don't want to take our responsibilities seriously or face them in a mature way of course. But sometimes along the way people lose touch to greater or lesser degrees with that spontaneous playful side of themselves. Some seem to lose touch with it almost completely. And in my mind it is a good and positive thing. And part of the joy that is life. And so i decided to ask about that for you this month.
The deck I used here is called the Inner Child Cards, by Isha and Mark Lerner and Christopher Guilfoil. If is a Tarot and the one I felt could best answer the question for you here. The Inner Child Cards is just a huge deck. LOL It is by far the largest I have. I love it for that. Just using it makes me feel like a child again, as the large cards in my hands remind me of what a regular deck felt like to me as a child. Love it for that. Puts me right back in childhood. Also it is a very playful deck, and one that features childhood stories, fairy tales and activities.
The questions I asked for you this month where (and I have to say that I just loved these answers) :-):
Question 1: What can we learn from the way children play that can enrich our lives as adults?
Card 1: flipped Guide of Swords (R)
All 3 cards in Question 1 were flipped cards. A flipped card is a card that flips out of the deck during shuffling. Flipped cards are important as they indicate messages that we are being asked to really stop and think over. A flipped card says that there is something in the answer that you will understand on a deeper level after you mull it over a bit.
The Guides in this deck are what would normally be the Queens. And this is the Guide of Swords, about our thoughts. This was also a reversed card, and a reversed Guide/Queen for me is related to Divine guidance, or saying that if you pay attention your life will show you the right path.
The first part of this answer is that a child at play is not over-thinking or over-analysing things. He is just following his feelings and instincts. He is open to his intuition and his imagination can run freely. There does not have to be set rules and he can make them up or change them at the spur of the moment. And that encourages creativity and it allows and encourages him to see things in new ways. Things do not have to be set or to take a specific form. It's just make believe after all. One minute they can be a movie star, and the next a teacher. And it can all change in a moment.
This is a card from the suit of Swords. So it is a card about the way we think, as adults. And as a reversed Guide it says that our lives do give us signs and hints on how to proceed in the best ways. But these often come to us as intuition. The more open and free we feel inside the more easily we can sense them. And the more regimented we are inside, if we sense the best path for us is outside of the norm we may dismiss it as something we just cannot do.
The image shows a man, with this path laid out before him. And yet there is an obstacle blocking his path. And there he is immobilized, looking backwards and thinking out what he did in the past in similar situations, what worked then and what didn't, what he was told in the past he can and cannot do and be (and has bought into)...And he's stuck there. When if he let go of the past baggage and just really imagined ALL the possibilities, really lived them out in his imagination (even the ones that sound ludicrous) somehow that spark might go off and he might recognise the perfect solution.
Cards 2 and 3: flipped Yellow Brick Road (R) and Wishing Upon A Star (R)
These two cards form a card duo. They came out of the deck together and that means that their messages are very closely connected. They are meant to be take together here.They are also both cards from the Major Arcana. And that says that there are some very important life lessons that can be learnt from their messages.
Card 2 is Card 19 of the Majors, traditionally The Sun... but here it is called The Yellow Brick Road. And here 4 friends set out arm in arm to reach a common destination. And that is also connected to the way children play at times. They sometimes all play together and work together using common rules that can be set out at the start. Eg when playing house..."You be the Mommy and I'll be the Daddy"...even as they are all free to be who they really are, and are not hiding that in the context of the game. And to just act from what comes spontaneously to them.
Or when two or more young girls play dolls together and they decide together before they start the situation that they/their dolls will be in, then pool their imaginations together.
This card is related to The Sun card, so there is that aspect to it of deep warmth, openness, healing, total acceptance. This is also shown in the friends here walking down their paths arm in arm, focusing on what they are sharing and on the similarities, not on their differences. In a situation where people are working together and each feels free to show and be their real selves, more warmth and beauty can come out. They are all heading down the path to a deeper sense of warmth and connection, closeness and feeling more and more at home together. Each being openly them and helping each other down their life and spiritual paths.
Card 3 is a card I just love. I have always loved to wish on a star, from as far back as I remember. And to tell you the truth, I still do it quite often. And in a sense, this is also a type of childhood game. Making a wish and watching to see what will happen can also be a lot of fun when you have faith that we live in a world where anything can happen. There would be no point to it, or no fun to it, without that belief.
And that is also part of what it means to be a child, having that kind of faith in life, that anything can happen and in happily ever afters, and that all that we want can happen if we wish it so. I had to stop and think for a moment on how this connects to the message of the last card, but it does in fact.
That faith in life that you can wish for something and it will come true, that life is on your side no matter what, and that you have that faith in happy endings,....all this frees you to focus on the warmth and connection with others. It allows you to focus on your similarities not on your differences. The differences become irrelevant if you believe wishes come true. And if you believe that. nothing anyone can say or do can really harm your future. In that case why not focus on what you all have in common and on what brings you closer together. With that deep faith behind you, your spirit can rise up and do some great things,. And you can become bigger than you ever thought you could be.
Question 2: What does spontaneous playfulness add to life?
This is card from the suit of Wands, which is about what we create of and from and with our lives. And it is a reversed 2. A reversed 2, they way i read is about accepting things fully, and/or seeing things in new ways.
The first part of the answer from this card is that being in that playful state of mind means you are open to new things, To be in that state of mind means not being bogged down by thoughts of what we should or shouldn't do. Or what the world or we should be or shouldn't be. We just are. We are open and free to imagine anything. And we cannot create what we cannot first imagine in our minds. So that is huge.
Also, we are fully in the present moment, when acting spontaneously.That total acceptance of things as they are and knowing that all is right and well with the world has to be there first. When we are concerned about something we don't tend to be spontaneously open and playful. So that is what is at the base of it that trust in life that is and will continue to be just as it should be and that brings its own rewards.
And yes it does allow us to see things, ourselves and the world in different ways. As for the image itself, the girl in it represents us, in relation to the question. She is looking into the water and seeing her reflection., And the butterfly wand she holds is about creating something deeper and better of her life. Butterflies are about inner evolution and growth for me. And this says to me that not only does play and playfulness lead to inner growth in children, but that is can and does in adults as well.
The reflected version of herself that she sees wears more flowers (is even more beautiful). In this free state of mind she is more fully able to see all that she can be, to see and visualize herself as the best version of herself she can be. That that too is an important step to creating and becoming all that you can be. In a spontaneously playful state of mind, there is no negative thoughts in the way or holding you back. And nothing in your way.
Card 2: flipped Guardian of Swords (R)
This was a flipped card, a card that flipped out of the deck during shuffling. And that means its asking you to stop and think over the message here and saying there is something to be gained by doing so.
And this is the Guardian of Swords, reversed. Swords are about our thoughts and our way of thinking, the ways in which we usually think of and view the world. The Guardians in this deck are what would normally be the Kings of the deck. A reversed Guardian, for me, is about destiny and fate, things that are intended or meant to be.
This part of the answer simply says that being open to life and spontaneously playful is the way we are meant to think. We are meant to see life and the world as a place where we can feel free to do that and to be our true selves openly. And to feel safe to so so. That is the message of this card.
The image itself says a few different things. The Sword and the rose at the bottom say that we are meant to think of life and the world in love-based ways. Our thoughts on that are meant to grow in that way (the ivy twined around the Sword = growth). We are meant to think of/see see life in love-based ways, through the eyes of trust and joy and optimism.