Recently I was surprised (when I suddenly realized) that I had never stopped to think about or define what the concept of success actually means to me. What it actually means to me personally in my life--is it more about spiritual work, kindness, a job, ...?
When I really did stop to think, I realized that I had adopted (without thinking) some concepts learnt in childhood that did not seem to all that accurately reflect who I actually am and/or want to be. I was simply told what "success" meant growing up and I had never stopped to question it. In my mind, that was just what it meant. Period.
And yet when I did stop to think about what I had been told and taught it meant, those ideas of success embraced were things that were not all that important to me personally. And I could think of many things that felt much more important to me, given who I personally am. That was somewhat of a revelation to me.
So I thought I would ask about that this month. And that I would use one of my most beautiful decks to do it--my Tarot of the Hidden Realm, by Barbara Moore and Julia Jeffrey
Here is what happened:
Question 1: How does it affect our lives to have unexamined beliefs?
(3 out of the 4 cards that came up here were from the Major Arcana. And that says that this IS a huge issue. Majors are all about very important life lessons we can and are meant to learn from the life experiences asked about in the question.)
King of Cups (reversed)
This is a card about our feelings, a Cups card. Here, it's about our inner feelings, our intuition, what feels right to us. This card here says that we are meant to listen to and follow these.
This is in fact a reversed King, and in the way I read a reversed King is about fate, destiny and what is meant to be. Often about karmic lessons that we are meant to learn, as well. So that again adds in that we are meant to listen to and follow our inner feelings when setting our beliefs and values. And that there are lessons we are meant to learn by doing so.
As for the card image, the king is facing left here....towards the past. Which is very much what the question is about after all. Ideas and thoughts that we may have picked up in the past and just accepted and adopted....without stopping to think if they accurately reflect who we are or want to be.
And the image says that it is never too late to stop and have a look around inside and inner dialogue to see where things are and if where they are represents who and what you want to be. Never too late to find and follow what is natural to you. And to simplify things, if the path you are on is complicating your life
flipped Life Renewed (reversed)
The next three cards are very important cards. They are all Major Arcana cards and they are all 3 flipped cards. A flipped card (card that comes out of the deck during shuffling) tends to indicate a message that is somewhat deep and that may require some thought to fully see it in all its depth. To think about your life and how all this applies.
As for this card, Life Renewed, it also came up reversed. And that emphasizes it's meaning and tells you there is something very important here.
This card is called "Life Renewed". It's a very beautiful card as you can see, with a very beautiful message behind it. It's a beautiful springtime card, showing just where we are right now in the cycle of nature. And all the joy of springtime when all starts to spring back to life again.
This card is about being given the chance to erase the past and to start again from scratch. With a renewed sense of purpose. The acorn the young faery holds says that you hold in the palm of your hand the opportunity to embrace and be the best you in the world that you could ever be. And the ability to plant that vision in the world and let it grow in healthy beautiful ways.
In short, the message here is that it is never too late to hold the dreams of exactly who and what you most want to be in the palm of your hand, to have faith in them and feel the joy they would bring, and then to plant them put in the world around you. And to watch them grow in the warm and sunlight of life.
flipped The Magician (reversed)
This is another VERY important card here. It is a Majors card, and a flipped card and a reversed card. And its message has all the power of the last card for exactly the same reasons.
The Magician is a very interesting card and I believe a very interesting part of the answer here. The Magician card means that YOU have all the power to be and create anything you want in your life. It says that you have all the power that you ever need to do that inside you right now. Here is it says that you have it right now and you always will.
The card shows the Magician (who of course represents you) baring his chest and showing the parts of himself that few people ever see. All the deep and hidden parts--the real him. And the tattoo that represents the true patterns and movement of who he really is inside.
Naturally this says that when we follow the patterns other people set out for us without seeing if they are really our best path, we are not showing the world who we really are inside. We are hiding who we really are inside from the world (and often enough even from our own selves).
When to openly show others who we really are, to openly follow the patterns inside us, to follow what feels right deep inside, what is our personal truth of who we are, to follow our true heart and soul .....this card is saying that that is where our true Magician power comes from. Following the ideas and patterns laid out by others if they are not our intended path is not strengthening.
This card says that ultimately our true strength comes from openly sharing and being our true selves. It may take some courage at times. The image shows that the Magician is ultimately making himself vulnerable here. It's never about imposing your ideas on others, but about being true to your real self in your thoughts, words, feelings and actions. And this card says that that is very much where your true strength can come from.
flipped The Hierophant
This is again a flipped card and a Major Arcana card. But it did not come up reversed here. Still quite an important card here. And one that could not be more pertinent to the question asked.
The Hierophant, for me, is all about the lessons that we learn growing up. About how we are taught through our parents, schools, friends, peer pressure, books we've read, society in general...Basically about what we pick up and learn from outside ourselves as opposed to what we learn from our own hearts and souls.
This is really what the question I asked here is all about. Naturally there are a lot of things we all learn externally as well their should be. We need to learn as children that a red light means do not cross the street. Those kinds of things need to be learnt from outside ourselves.
But this question is more about our beliefs, values and judgments (including if we make them at all). The Hierophant is the cards that gently asks us to stop and think about what we have learnt from outside of ourselves and to see if it really is serving our best interests and accurately representing who we are and want to be.
It often is. And that is good to know. But this card asks you to see if you can see any areas where things you have been taught are not serving your best interest. Where they are not leading you in the direction you want to do in the future. And if you see any of those, see what you can do to replace them with something better for you. This card says that reaching out to the future gently, lovingly and seeing the awe that is life is a good place to start. And to remember you are a powerful being underneath it all. That is who you are. You ARE the Magician.
10 of Swords
The gist of this card is really nothing worrisome. It just says that by stopping to think about all this beforehand we can save ourselves a lot of pain.
This is the 10 of Swords.10's for me are about the most of the element of the suit it is possible to have. Swords are about our thoughts. Together, they are talking about something that is always on your mind, that you can't stop thinking about. pretty much about thinking obsessively about something.
The answer this card is giving is that if we try to follow beliefs or values that are not true to who we really are inside, we are not in a state of inner peace inside, to say the least. It (as you can see in the image) sets us at war with ourselves. Who we truly are inside does not go away and it will try to reassert itself. The more we try to be what we are not, the more it will do so. As well it should , it it is our true source of strength.
If we try to ignore it and tell ourselves we are or should be something we are not, it does not stop us from being who we are. No matter how many times or how hard a dog thinks it should become a cat it won't become one, and trying to meow is not going to go well for him. Although he could send out into the universe a completely awesome bark. Maybe better to just accept and embrace and love that wonderful thing that is being a dog.
So the first part of what can be gained by taking the time to see if our beliefs match who we are inside is more inner peace.
Page of Wands (reversed)
This is the Page of Wands, and Wands are about what we wants to create in our lives and what we can create or our lives. And the Pages, for me, are about having faith in life, expecting to be lucky and for things to go our way, believing in happily ever after. And all those kinds of things that we usually have in childhood but that sometimes get lost in the shuffle of growing up.
The short answer here is that the more we believe in life and that life is on our side (and that things will work out for the best in the end), the better life we can create for ourselves.
The question I asked was about what can be gained by (stopping and) making sure that our beliefs and values that we follow are a true reflection of who we actually are. And the answer from this card is that the more closely aligned the two are the happier we will feel inside and the more likely we are to see what we try to create work out for us.
And if and when we see most of what we try to create repeatedly working well for us, that increases our faith in life and that it is on our side. This card is saying that it all works together in one big circle. And that the whole process is meant to be a joyful and natural one.
flipped Faery Stallion
This last card in the reading is a Major Arcana card, talking about an important life lesson. And a reversed card (the reversal strengthens that and says that this is a VERY important life lesson.
The meaning of this card is about independence, being a free thinker, originality. being able to think outside the box and what all these can lead to in your life. It's about your inner power and confidence which this card says are elevated by embracing and being at one with who you really are as you move into the future in each moment of your life. Life glides by more effortlessly in this way. Needless to say trying to meet someone else's expectations over your own or embracing ideas that are not true to you takes a lot more effort.
So what can be gained is an easier life, where things are looking up for you. Where you feel more yourself and accepting of exactly all that that means. And where you feel more optimistic and connected to life and the world. What you are is what you were created in this world to be. There is harmony and purpose in that. It was not accidental. To take another path can make things harder than they need be.