Thursday, January 24, 2013

Asking about Life

I thought this month would be a good time to ask about self-love. I find it such an important topic, and this being February and the month of Valentine's Day felt like the perfect time to ask. It all starts with the self-love as they say,  It affects so much of what goes on in our lives and in our relationships.

This is The Heart Tarot, by Maria Distefano. Its shape did have something to do with why I chose it for this edition of the newsletter and for this question. But is also is a deck that I am quite fond of. I love the artwork of this deck and the way it reads. I find it a good deck in and of itself and one I am happy to have in my collection.

I asked 3 questions for you here about self-love. They were:

Question 1: What is self-love?

Card 1: Queen of Pentacles (reversed)

I found this part of the answer very interesting,. Pentacles for me are about our goals and also the work we need to do to bring those goals into reality. And a reversed Queen is about something we are being guided to do. A reversed Queen here says that this (having self-love, loving ourselves) is something that our lives are guiding us to do. This cards says that it is part of our life goals=purpose to feel that way about ourselves. It affects how we carry out our other life goals. And that if we do not feel it yet strongly enough, our lives will continue to guide/lead us to that place where we do. It is that important to where we are meant to go and what we are meant to be in our lives.

The card image show the woman (representing each of us here) looking towards the left, the past. And this says that this issue is something that has always been important to us, since forever. The bird she is holding represents the/her soul. So this adds in that self-love is important to us on a soul level.

On her back is a blue heart. Blue is about communication and well the heart is about love/self-love. This says taht having that self=love there behind us improves the way we communicate with others,. The mauve hair says that ultimately it makes us stronger and is healing to that which does not make us feel strong. And lastly, the image of the world in her hair says that it also gives us a stronger connection to the world around us and it removes a lot of the petty concerns that make it harder to see the big picture. Without those worries, we can see more clearly.
Card 2: King of Pentacles (reversed)

Yep, this is another card from the suit of Pentacles, all about our goals and how to best achieve them. But this time we have the King, reversed. A reversed King for me is about Destiny. It is about those things that are fated to happen and will happen no matter what.  My beleif is that these don't come up often and for the most part we are free to create whatever we want in our lives. But there are also those times when something is meant to happen and can't be undone. And when this happens it is always in our best interests. And these things that are destined to happen come up as reversed Kings, the way I read.

And well, the image is perfect here. It shows the king looking in the mirror. And really that is what it all boils down too: how we see ourselves.  It's about what we see when we look in the mirror yes, but also about what we think and feel inside when we think of ourselves, our past actions, who we are as opposed to who we think we should be.
And there you have the little king looking in his mirror. He's not perfect, as none of us are. And  as no human being ever can be. He's a bit of a short stout little fellow. Could use a bit of a shave and a hair combing. And has a tail growing where many would think humans are not supposed to grow a tail. But its not about what others see of think, it's about what he feels and thinks when he sees himself. Others may be wrong, he needs to be able to look and see clearly what is there for himself.
And he is shown in a state of self-love here. He is wearing purple, the colour of healing. And that heart at the top of his heard shows loving thoughts about himself. Maybe in the end it's about what you expect to see in yourself versus what you do see. Holding unrealistic expectations that no one could meet may well not be conducive to the growth of self-love.

Question 2: What does it lead to in our lives?

Card 1: 3 of Cups

This is a card from the suit of Cups, about our feelings. And the 3's for me are all about being caring, nuturing, giving, open, and loving. And i think this card is kind of interesting coming up here.

This card is saying that if you treat yourself well and love and respect yourself and take good care of yourself..., doing these things will lead you to have more to give to others. It will engender the kinds of feelings inside you that make you want to hold your your loved ones close, to be there for them, to be that giving and loving person who you really are inside.  And it will make it easier for you to do so.

The image shows a woman holding a basket with her loved one in it. And also behind her are two empty baskets, which to me represent the extra positive energy she has stored up in reserve should anyone she care about need her help. She is not overtired and overworked because she saw to her own needs,. And so has this energy in reserve should it be needed.

The leaves and flowers she wears also say that because of the care she takes of herself, she is growing into a more beautiful person and so the quality of what she has to give is also higher

Card 2: Knave of Pentalces (reversed)
This is again about our goals and how to achieve them, a Pentacles card. A reversed Knave for is about optimism and faith in life. It's about believing our lives will work wtih us to help us create what we most want. I am finding teh combination of these two different ideas quite interesting.

As the image shows, someone whose needs are not met (because they do not make them a priority) is likely to feel like he is carrying a heavy load. The snow underfoot says that their lives may feel a bit cold to them. The burden this person carries has the form of a maze, and that says that they may feel they have gotten themselves into some things or situations that they do not quite know how to get out of. If you can't find a way to get what you want out of life, it can be hard to stay optimistic about life in general and about all that is happening in your life.  But of course we all choose our priorities.

This card says that how much optimism we have in life, how stongly we feel that things will always work out for the best for us....affects how likely we are to take certain actions or chances. And that affects the goals that we set. If we feel something is too hard to achieve, we will likely not try. If we feel that we have nothing to lose and we already feel fulfilled inside and feel sure that life is on our side, we're more likely to  take more chances and win at things we may never otherwise have tried,.
This card says that all this is connected together.
flipped The Lovers (reversed)

This is an important card here,. The most important card in this entire reading. It is  flipped card, (a card that flipped out of the deck durinig shuffling) which means that there is somethiing in this message that is a bit deep and it will be easier to see it if you stop and really think abour the message. This is also a Major Arcana card, which tells you that the message of this card is related to a very important life lesson that your life is working to teach you now.

The question again was what will self-love lead to in your life. And the answer here is about love. The Lovers IS a card about love. it's about what it means to love, how we express love, and all that related to love.

And what you have here is an image showing to opposite forces embracing in a loving way, connecting thruogh love. The image is divided into two parts, two opposites:  day and night,  light and  dark, our thoughts and logic (represented by Air and the wings on the first being) and our feelings and emotions (represented by Water and the mermaid tail on the second  being). The two looking at each other in love.
What this says is that, in short, is that if we truly love ourselves then we will truly know how to love another. if we can accept all the sides of ourselves, all the dark and the light, and if our logical side is at peace wtih our emotional side... If  we can freely see ALL that we are, accept it all and love all the sides of ourselves equally and unconditionally, then it will be that much easier to love others unconditionally. if we can accept within ourselves all that we are and that we don't need to be perfect, then we won't need others to be perfect either,. Of course self-love means that you won't let anyone mistread you. But it can also make us less judgmental in that way. And that is the message of this card,
Question 3: What are the best ways to treat ourselves in truly loving ways?

Card 1: Ace of Swords

This is the Ace of Swords, about having pure, optimistic, open, warm love-based thoughts. Since the question here was about how we treat ourselves, this would be talking about how we think about ourselves, about having those kinds of thoughts about ourselves.  It's about expecting the best of ourselves, knowing we can handle whatever comes, that we always have handled it in the past  and that we are continually learning and growing and getting even better at it over time. This part of the answer says that to treat ourselves in loving ways means to have the kinds of thoughts about ourselves that make us feel good inside. And to think of ourselves as we would tthnk of a good friend.

As for the image here, is of  a knight protecting a woman from a threatening looking monster, This [part of the answer is talking about standing up for ourselves and about assertiveness. It says that if we really care about ourselves this is a good way to look after ourselves. It's about facing up to something that bothers us, faciing and solving any problems in our path so that we can get back to our sense of inner peace n the best ways. Not, of course being aggresive, but being assertive when needed. Just as we would not just aside if a loved one needed us, the same would hold true of ourselves.

Card 2: 6 of Pentacles

Here is one last card from the suit of Pentacles, once again about your life goals and how to go about achieving them. And it's the 6, all about love. And the woman here with the long grey hair is talking about long-term goals, about your goals on how to live your life.

As for what this card image says are some the best ways to treat ourselves in loving ways..., all the plants growing tall and healthy around the woman (who repreesnts us) say that one way is to think of ourselves as continueally evolving and growing beings. We are not who we were yesterday anymore, and tomorrow we will grow into even more than we are today. Every day brings us new experiences, and each new experiences teaches us new things that help us learn and grow and evolve

It's not about feeling apprehensive about trying something again that did not go as planned that last time, It's about realizing that you have grown and learnt since them, since we are not static beings frozen in time, and all that you have learnt has given you new talents. And expecting that either you will handle it well this time OR that you will learn a new and valuable lesson that will teach you how to handle it better in the future. And seeing it as a win/win situatiion. And turning your back on any thoughts or feelings that tell you othewise,.

The woman holding out the apples (frruit) before here and looking at it with eyes half closed, is saying here to me that its about looking at the fruit of our labors. What have we accomplished in the past that we can allow ourselves to feel proud of? And allowing ourselves to feel that, And what have we learnt from the experineces in the past that helped us grow and made us better people? If nothing comes to mind in certain situations, it's never too late to stop and think about them now and learn something truly useful.
The long hair in this image says that tts about really seeing our inner strength (which may be more than we even realize) and giving ourselves credit for it.  Not ever of course to think that we are stronger or better than others, but it's about realizing that we are human beings (all of us) with an amazing inner sterngth that can be tapped into an amazing ability to keep growing and improving all of our lives. We are exactly where we are meant to be at any given stage in our lives. it's about accepting that and letting go of what is not acceptance of that.
And then to do what follows naturally, to pass some of that love we feel inside on to the others in the world around us and to life itself.,

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