So I pulled a Tarot card today. This one, for us, in preparation for our virtual convening, The Grove. Honestly, I was hoping for something inspirational, something like The Star to indicate rebirth and a new beginning. I know – and I say it all the time – that there are no “good” cards, or “bad” cards, especially in the Shining Tribe deck, but in times like these, times when I feel like I am long past being able to process or accept one more curve ball from the news or my community, I will forgive myself for wanting a little bit of reprieve.
But the Tarot knows what it needs to say. Today’s card is the Nine of Birds.
Like the Star, this figure emerges from the realm of the dead – in this case, a burial mound. She stands at the entrance, accompanied by the wisdom of the owl, and equipped with a weapon which both and urn and a scythe. It’s a barren image, of grief and death and sorrow.
BUT. Isn’t that where we are now? Haven’t we been literally been surrounded by it for longer than we can fathom? One of the key messages of this card is that we are in the doorway, and we have our protections and defenses. But to move forward we have to process and acknowledge all our feelings. We have to accept our losses, and empathize with others’ suffering.
This is a card that calls for rituals of mourning and release.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of shouldering all the burdens, fighting all the battles, and feeling so stuck in the process.
So the Nine of Birds, of course, is the Star’s shadow self, and a great plug for our intensive, creative, restorative gathering coming up on October 24-25th: The Grove. Four teachers and ten hours of rituals and techniques to clear away, reach for, and gather what you need.
And for those who aren’t coming, I encourage you to find a ritual for release. Clear a space where you can feel safe and let out something you have been holding. For me, these feelings immediately start my creativity swirling. If you need a more specific exercise for your creative project, imagine (possibly for your character if you have one, and if not, just embody a watcher/voice) the moment when “you” have risen out of the land of the dead, when the effort has been expended and all the emotions have surfaced – the moment that is too full to hold back anymore. Don’t forget, if you are writing a story, that quite often our characters don’t actually know what they want – they often fight against what they need only to arrive at the place they thought they didn’t want to be in. So this is a great moment for a narrative. It’s unstable; it needs to be embraced or emptied or it needs to explode. This might be the emotion right before or right after a major climax. On the other side is the new world, a new epiphany, a new possibility. We can’t see it yet, but it’s coming.