It may sound crazy, but I have only just managed to unbox the Spirit Within Tarot (Schiffer, 2017). I got it on pre-order in December, but I’ve been struggling to find time to make videos. Having added in a ‘to-camera’ section, it means I not only have to have some time, energy and some quiet in the house, but okay hair, too 😉 That’s happened surprisingly rarely, recently 🙁
Anyhow, I’m delighted that I finally managed it, only about 8 weeks after the fact *palm to head* Though I can also honestly say this deck is worth the wait 😀
One of the things that has been draining my energy is feeling terribly unhealthy. Not that I am terribly unhealthy (just a bit) but I’ve been feeling it. And that’s an important distinction.
I watched this great TEDx Talk the other day, where a woman in the Netherlands talks about the Recipe to losing weight. As she points out, weightloss is complex. In part, that’s because what works for each individual is different. And it’s also because we humans are not just chemistry laboratories (though we are more a chem lab than a bank account).
Take the fact that eating while standing up affects us differently than if we’re sat down. Or that eating in a stressful environment affects us differently to eating while enjoying a pleasant conversation. What about the fact that eating zero calorie sweeteners still affects your insulin levels and sugar cravings? Or the evidence that if you feel you’ve been ‘good’ by eating healthily all day or exercising, you will misjudge how much you eat, and eat more.
Human psychology complicates everything!
Drawing on the Spirit Within, I decided to explore this feeling of being unhealthy with a quick Situation-Don’t-Do Spread.
Situation: Four of Wands
While the Four of Wands is sometimes seen as a card of celebration, for me it is more often about creating strong foundations. For example, we see a couple at a wedding bower here. They are getting married, laying down a foundation for a future life together that might involve buying a house and creating a family, as well as careers and all the little habits and joys that make up co-operation and cohabitation.
What I see here, then, is a question about what I’m married to in terms of my health. And another about how I can create structures that will be more nurturing and fulfilling for me, and more productive.
Don’t: Five of Swords
Oh my, the Five of Swords. I’ve definitely been feeling defeated, beaten down by life and all my ideas around what good health should look like. I’ve been listening to others going on about how wonderfully healthy they are doing things that I just don’t seem capable of (thanks, YouTube).
I need to stop feeling hopeless, and stop listening to others. Time to get back in tune with my own inner voice, my own way of doing things.
Do: Five of Wands
These guys seem more embattled than some Five of Wands. As a positive, I think perhaps more of the playful competition meaning… Looking in Steven’s LWB (which isn’t that small or white), he says that this is a time for working as an individual and that ‘the competitive side of this card can help you to grow and realize your full potential.’
A bit of playful competition, and a willingness to hold a different opinion to others, then, are what I should strive for. Doing things my way, finding ways that work for me while staying playful, I like the sound of that!
Recipe for Health: a simple, playful spell
In psychology, there is something called a starting ritual. This is a way to jumpstart yourself when things feel difficult or confusing. In particular, it can be something you do or say to stop yourself falling into a bad habit, and start creating a new, better habit.
The Four of Wands, being a four, has echoes of the Emperor. I feel a need for some clear structures (something I’ve been working on a lot with my Little One, too). However, just rigid structure doesn’t feel right, and I notice again the couple silhouetted in the background. Hmm, the Lord and Lady coming together…
If you like traditional-style decks, I’d recommend using the Emperor and Empress. Here, from the DruidCraft Tarot (Connections, 2004) they are called the Lord and Lady. And if you don’t like gender stereotypes, you could go for something a bit different, within the same concept. I chose the Emperor and Empress from the Idiosyncradeck Tarot (sadly OOP) to represent this quite beautifully.
Whenever you notice yourself being tempted to listen to others, to doubt yourself, to feel defeated or hopeless, call on the Lord and Lady, or on Structure and Creativity, or however you understand these two archetypes.
Make it playful
Try different wording, depending on your situation:
I call on Structure to support me and Creativity to guide me.
I call on the Lord and Lady to give me the strength to listen to my own needs.
I create structures to help me stop listening to other people’s BS.
I’m my own boss in creating my ideal life.
Keep it simple
Once you’ve found something you like, stick with it. And remember, you want something you can say in five seconds or less: ‘I call on the Lord and Lady/Structure and Creativity to help me now.’
Visualise your chosen cards as you say this, and connect with the ability to creatively build nurturing structures for yourself.
As you want to be able to do this any time a challenging situation presents itself, it may be a good idea to cement this within a longer meditation at a non-challenging time.
Settle yourself comfortably, create sacred space if you so choose, and get yourself into a light trance through chanting, drumming, meditation or tapping (see my free download on the Elements of Magical Meditation if you need some help with this). Picture your cards, and your words. And remember times in your life that you have created nurturing structures for yourself. Remind yourself that you deserve a happy life, and that you can create the foundations for that, right here and right now. And that you can use this image and these words to help you create positive new ways of being from now on.
Bring yourself back out of trance, and close the sacred space. You’re good to go!