Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Too Many Deaths, Not Enough Tears

Tarot of the Mystic Spiral- Devil, King of Pentacles, Star, Four of Wands

During a dreary week in mid-February my world lost two people.  The world at large lost many more, of course, and there is no way to measure the value of individual lives to those they touch, and I would not even try.  One person I did not know at all, and one I was intimately acquainted with, at least at one point in time.  One death affected me deeply, and one I did not shed a tear over.  I am puzzled by my own reactions, and am using the cards to help explore those feelings.  Two people died, both too young, both likely from their hard living ways.

Tarot of the Mystic Spiral- Death
The first card, The Devil, is the card I pulled in answer to, "Why did I have such a deep sadness over Whitney Houston's death?"  I see the horror of addiction, and I know first hand how awful it is to stand near someone and watch them descend into madness.  It seems so easy for those for us who are not addicted, myself included, to think the addict can just walk away, just choose life over the death they are surely constructing by their own means.  At hearing of the songstress' death, I just felt so unbelievably heavy and sad.  So much to offer the world, an unmatchable voice, beauty, charm, money and the talent to get more whenever, and it was still not enough.  Since I never knew her personally, I think I was relating this to people I know and love, the sadness that their gifts go unoffered, because they don't know how to let go of the temporary respite found in the arms of the substance of choice.  If you never look up, the dark wings of the Devil could certainly feel as warm as the arms of an angel, and let us not forget that he is seductive.  So much beauty, like Lucifer, the fallen angel Christian lore has come to associate with the devil, so corrupted.

The next two cards, the King of Pentacles combined with The Star, answer my question, "Why do I not have any tears to shed for Vern's (my sisters' father, I guess stepfather to me) death?"   I pulled two because I could not make head nor tail of the King of Pentacles on his own.  The King is what I understand as a quintessential father and provider, and while I have no wish to decry this man, he was far from that, for me.  And there The Star makes perfect sense- I have no wish to defame his character.  I have healed from the wounds of my childhood, and I am no longer emotionally bound to him.  The King of Pentacles most often appears in my personal readings as my husband, and in this marriage I have healed a great many of my hurts.  He is the kind of father I would have wished to have, and he loves me the way children should see their mother being loved.  This is so important in the lives of children, because girls learn how they should be treated by observing the way their mother is, and boys who will become men learn how to express love by seeing the way the important men in their lives treat their mothers.

I see the way The Devil and The Star reflect each other, in the way the figures carry themselves, in the way one represents ultimate sickness and one deep healing.  The beauty of The Star is what The Devil presents to us while we are being seduced, but that facade cannot be maintained for long.  I see the desperation and terror in The Devil, but the eternal hope of The Star can never be extinguished, and I have the hope that everyone I love can release themselves from the chains of The Devil and immerse themselves in the healing waters of The Star.  I have that same hope for myself.  In my case, the King of Pentacles, who is my husband in my readings, stands between these two Trumps, as well as remembering that developing the qualities of this Court Card- solidity, good work ethic, being a person of integrity is the way I can step away from my own wounds and heal myself.  Just living a good life, that is powerful.

The Four of Wands is my lesson in this mess.  This card has special significance for me at this time in my life, as I am feeling the return of Venus in my natal Aries in some interesting ways, and the Four of Wands is assigned to Venus in Aries according to the Golden Dawn tradition most tarot decks are based on.  Fours are stable, Wands are passion and inspiration, so this card represents marriage perfectly as passion that has been stabilized.  My lesson is to stabilize all the passion I feel, which has at times manifested as hurt to be drowned out with substances, and at times living life on the edge.  I don't have to live that way anymore, and I am not doomed to repeat the mistakes of my parents.  I can and do live in a happy marriage, the cradle of a happy family life.  My children have parents who adore them, who put their needs first and who make sure they know it.  One of the beautiful things about having kids is the chance to redo your own childhood, if you are aware enough to rewrite those patterns.
Tarot of the Mystic Spiral- Five of Wands

The Shadow card of this reading, some extra bit of information I am avoiding or don't really want to see is the Five of Wands.  This rendition shows the tangled webs we weave, and I often see the Five of Wands as internal conflict.  In my own world, I know that I can have a tendency to blame the utter crapfest that was my childhood for everything that happens now.  My teeth are garbage because my mother never saw fit to take us to the Medicaid dentist.  I have trust issues because my parents broke it over and over.  I could go on and on, but there is no point.  The past can't be fixed, and to dwell there only tangles myself up in negativity.  I am the lady in this picture, and I am too big now, spiritually and emotionally, to be caught in the spiders' web.  It's gossamer, to float away on the wind.

I wish Whitney and Vern, both souls who liked to live fast and had innumerable gifts to offer to the world, the kind of peace I don't think either of them ever knew in life.  I offer up the affection I had for her music, and the way I wanted to be able love him, in honor and trust that the Hereafter offers more chances to be exactly who we are meant to be, and the hope that they both find that.

These cards are from Tarot of the Mystic Spiral by Giovanni Pelosini and Giuseppe Palumbo, published by Lo Scarabeo.


  1. lots of wisdom in this reading :]

    and mystic spiral looks like an interesting deck.

  2. Manda, I am very sorry for you loss!

    I think this reading was filled with wisdom, and the cards are VERY good to help us to understand our own emotions. Understanding and acceptance are the only ways to overcome the difficult times in life, and gain wisdom. I wish you good luck in this journey!

  3. Thank you both for your kind words. I am using cards the best way I know how in this situation. I like the Mystic Spiral deck, in use, when I was not so sure about it when I was just leafing through it. If it goes into the regular reading rotation, it is sure to lose the borders, if I can think of how to cut around that curly part.

  4. how do the card backs look manda? i know that in my own trimming adventures, some decks where the fronts didn't have clear lines for trimming, the backs did...

  5. The backs have the same trellis-y border, but that is something I will keep in mind for future decks, so thank you! I'll make sure there is a picture of the backs when I post the review.

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