This entry from my journal is dated 1/30/03
I used Mary K Greer’s book, Tarot For Your Self a lot when I first began exploring Tarot and recommend it to anyone that wants to learn how to use Tarot to it’s fullest potential. I encourage you to check out Mary Greer’s Blog as well as use her book for a better understanding of how Tarot can enrich our lives. You can purchase her book here.
This was a great exercise for reviewing my life. Mary starts the exercise off by stating, “In order to take control of your life, you need to see it in broad perspective.” I couldn’t agree more. I will add that honesty is essential in this exercise even if the truth about yourself makes you cringe.
Here is a summary of the exercise from her book:
•List 12 major events that brought you where you are today. Mary emphasizes that it is important to list the 12 major steps that brought you to where you are today.
•Correlate each event with a Minor Arcana card – The What. This should be the card that best illustrates the event.
•Select a court card to represent the aspect of yourself that desired or instigated each turning point – The Who
•Choose a Major Arcana card for each of the 12 turning points to indicate why you made the choice you did – The Why. I used more then one for my turning points.
Event 1 – Daddy’s Death – Out of my control
5 of Pentacles – I felt alone and poor in the sense that I had lost something so important to me. Locked away from him forever. Even those around me were crippled with loss. It also shows my fear of being alone and feelings of insecurity.
I chose The Tower and The Wheel of Fortune. I chose the Wheel of Fortune because it was a part of my life that I had no control over. I chose the Tower because it turned my life upside down and completely uprooted my entire feeling of security. I was only 11! The bolt going through the heart represents my pain.
The Seer of Pentacles – because it was my Father always taught us to cherish life. Here is where I made the vow to embrace life.
Event 2 – Mom marrying Pa (I call my Step Father ‘Pa’) – Happy times
3 of Wands – The man is jumping for joy! The sun is shinning. This guy looks as happy as I felt when Mom married Pa. The bag at his waist is full of coins which represents how I felt secure again once Mom remarried. The river is in the background and we spent so much happy and fun times at the Hudson River!
The Fool and Temperance – The Fool was chosen because at this point in my life I started seeing things in a whole new way! A more carefree and happy time then all the years Dad was sick. We had fun! It was also a time of healing. After all those years being in a home full of sickness and dying we finally had our time to heal as a family.
The Who –
Again I chose the Page of Discs. When Pa came into our lives it defined a whole new world that was outside of the four walls of our home. We got out more and explored. I was for the first time (My Dad had been very ill since I was 7) in my life I found a whole new world to explore! Pa had us outside all the time. He was a science teacher as well so there was lots of learning and exploring!
Event 3 – Becoming a born again Christian – I have mixed feelings about this time in my life
The What – 2 of Wands
This was the first step in my spiritual journey. A truly magical time for me. A part of me cherishes this time and a part of me is a little embarrassed too. Becoming close to God (the star) and deciding what I was going to believe. The ocean representing the journey. However, the person in the card (me) is only paying attention to the one star. He is still not seeing the whole picture.
The Why – The Hermit and the Sun.
I chose the Hermit because I was exploring deep inside myself and looking for answers. I was also removed from reality. I was in my own world and “spreading the light”. Although, I did make a connection to God during this time, I lost everything else. I forgot about the ‘real world’. I also chose the Sun for this time. This was a very happy time for me. I really felt like I had found what I was looking for. I was a beautiful Child of God!
The Who – Seeker of Wands
I was obsessed with spreading the light!!! So much so I was not looking where I was going! All I wanted was to be close to God. Nothing else mattered to me. No one could tell me different!
Event 4 – Deciding not to give Joey up for adoption – Wasn’t a very hard decision to make. I knew deep down that this was meant to be.
The What – 7 of Cups
I was under the delusion that this was going to be easy because God was on my side and as long as I had Jesus in my life, everything would be ok. I had no idea all the responsibility and work that lay ahead of me. I was in a dream world. But this misconception is what made me decide to keep my son. I was only 19 at the time and his Dad took off like a bandit so I was alone too. I truly believed that having Jesus in my life would magically make everything work out.
The Why – High Priestess, The Empress and the Moon
A force greater then me told me to keep him. It was a voice I could not ignore. I knew it was meant to be. The motherly love for him was already there. The bond was so strong already that Wild Horses couldn’t drag him from me! He was MY CHILD! My love for him and my protectiveness for him CONSUMED me. It was an intuitive decision as well. It was karma. I knew Joey would play in important role in my life.
The Who- The Seer of Cups
I was not listing to what others told me anymore. I was totally listening to my heart and paying attention to what it told me. My love over flowed for him!
Event 5 – Marrying Phil – the beginning of dark times…..
The What- 5 of Cups
All the things I believed in with my heart and soul knocked over. Destroyed. The feeling of no hope at all. All was lost. Misery. I had such high hopes (the Unicorn on the hill) but the day after I married him, I felt like all my cups of joy had been knocked over.
The Why – Justice and the Devil
I felt it was the right (or should I say Christian) thing to do. I wasn’t listening to that inner voice that screamed, “DON”T DO IT!!!!!” My eyes were covered when I should have been looking. I was led by the opinions of others (the Church) and not by my own feelings (RUN!!!!). I let their opinions of my ‘situation’ make my decision.
The Who – Seeker of Wands
Oh, he thinks he is the bomb, but the dumb ass isn’t even looking where he’s going!!!! He is letting a donkey lead the way!!!
Event 6 – Going back to finish College
The What – 2 of Pentacles
Why this card??? Because she is juggling too much stuff, of course! The glasses, the lighthouse, as the goal of graduation. It’s the perfect card.
The Why – Hierophant, Emperor, Justice
Again, a thirst for knowledge. A ‘mini’ journey if you will. I love to learn new things. It makes me feel empowered like the Hierophant is. I felt that having knowledge in the form of a degree would earn me respect. I wanted to live better. I was tired of waitressing only to barely get by! I wanted to build my life into something meaningful. Besides, my husband made me go back to school. It is the one good thing he did during our marriage! I knew it was the right thing to do for both myself and my child.
The Who – Seeker of Pentacles
Now this seeker is going in the right direction! He is looking where he is going and has his eye on his goal. Work, work, work, for 6 more years…. work, work, work…..
Event 7 – Divorcing Phil – The only thing left to do…
The What – 5 of Swords
He broke my spirit. He made me believe I was the problem. He controlled me. I felt like the beat up looser by the time I got to the point of divorce. I can almost hear Phil’s malicious laughter coming from the person in the background.
The Why – Death, World, Justice
Quite simply, death of the old Amy and birth of a new woman. An Amy on fire at that! Free!!! Free!!! Free!!! Saw things in a whole new light. Only answering to myself and realizing that I was not the cause of all the problems! Quite simply was the only thing left for me to do. There was no balance in my life unless I did this. It was not fair for me to have to live that way.
The Who – Sibyl of Swords
Don’t mess with me. I will chew you up and spit you out! You made me! I can see beyond your deceitful ways now. I know the truth and the truth has set me free. I will do whatever it takes to protect my children.
Event 8 – Letting Joey live with Phil – One of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
The What – 8 of Swords
As painful as it was I felt I had no other choice. I had no idea what to do and I felt scared and I was getting so many opinion. I couldn’t see what was the truth (Owl) or deceitful (Snake).
The Why – Temperance, Wheel of Fortune
Joey was out of control and I could not keep him safe from himself any longer. I also needed a safe and sane environment for my daughter. Phil loved Joey and Joey listened to his Dad. It was what Joey and Rachael needed at the time. Again, I feel like this decision was out of my hands. It was the hardest decision to make, but once I blocked out all the emotional advise from others and asked myself honestly what was best for my kids, there was only one answer. I also feel, looking back, that Phil and Joey had their own Karma to work out.
The Who – Sage of Cups
I had to listen to my heart. To pay attention to what mine and my children’s hearts were crying out for. Very emotional time.
Event 9 – Not marrying Glenn
The What – 7 of Wands
I was standing up for what I believed in and what I had worked hard to achieve. Glenn would have sapped me dry. Important to note it was myself I was standing up to, because the old Amy would have reasoned it away and just done it for the sake of not being alone, but the new Amy said, no! I will have my Soul Mate or I would rather be alone!
The Why – Star, Hanged Man
With Glenn, my spiritual side would have never blossomed. I would have been stifled. Glenn was not a bad man, but he wasn’t the right man. I also knew deep down that in this huge world we live in was the perfect person for me. If I found him great, if not, well, perhaps in another lifetime. I needed time alone. He was suffocating me. Needed to self-asses and re-evaluate. Not the typical thing to do after you become engaged.
The Who – Sibyl of Wands
Taking control of my life. Knowing what I want and not settling for less. Not needing someone else to feel complete. Take charge and own my life.
Event 10 – Forgiving Phil – the most healing and magical thing that ever happened to me. One doesn’t truly understand the power of forgiveness until one experiences it. Not forced forgiveness, but true heartfelt forgiveness.
The What – 3 of Cups
This was a tough one to pick because this was not just one act or process that led to the forgiveness, which is why I picked this card. The way they are looking at each other, One woman is touching the other gently. The circle in the background showing how Phil and I have come full circle. The Crone in the back is my subconscious saying, “see? that wasn’t so hard, was it?” The bird is singing in joy.
The Why – Sun, World
Truly the best thing I have ever done. For every one involved. You don’t realize how much hatred and bitterness eat you up inside until you let it go. You are then free to start again. I am free to dance again! Forgiving Phil was a major accomplishment for my soul’s journey, hence the card that represents the end of a cycle. Karma, karma! I also felt quite literally like a weight was lifted off me when I let it go.
The Who – Sibyl of Cups
Now I can give back to those I love. The bad feelings I felt toward Phil were holding me back. Now I am free to give and love freely. I can reach out to others that I love now because I am not consumed with negative feelings.
Event 11 – Dealing with Joey’s addiction
The What – 9 of Swords
Pain, pain, pain! Staying up at night wondering where my son is. Is he alive? Torment, pain, no sleep, heartache, pain. There is nothing else. Just my child in danger and there is me feeling helpless.
The Why – Strength
This is a tough one. This event in my life ties so many things. If it weren’t for this event, I would have never forgiven Phil. It’s amazing how stupid your gripes appear when your child’s life is on the line. My decision to keep Joey was based on the belief that he was going to play a big role in my life and other people’s lives. Strength, through all this, I have learned to tame the lion in me. Am I still on fire, yes, but it doesn’t consume me anymore. Like the tree in the background giving me strength and calmness. Despite all this chaos and pain I have made the decision to be happy, to not let the pain and despair over run me. I believe that happiness is a decision and I choose to be happy. I believe that life can still be beautiful. I will not let my despair take my happiness from me.
The Who – Seeker of Swords
Nothing can stop me, not even the rain. I will get through this.
Added 2/12/12 – This was written years ago. Since then my son has been drug free for 8 yrs and has graduated college. I have also married my Soul Mate, Marc, who was well worth the wait and more than I could ever have hoped for in a husband!
The deck, World Spirit Tarot is available through Llewellyn Worldwide.
Illustrations from The World Spirit Tarot used by permission of Llewellyn Publications, P.O. Box 64383, Dept. 1-56718-500-9, St. Paul, MN 55164-0383, USA. Artwork ©2001 Lauren O’Leary. Text ©2001 Lauren O’Leary and Jessica Godino. All rights reserved. Further reproduction prohibited.