Tarot 8 of Pentacles Guidance for Loss and Grief of Change

8 of Pentacles A while ago I happened to be searching for information for someone from the archives of my own blog and came across a post that I wrote when I lived back in the mountains.  A pang of intense emotion accompanied the read remembering my life then as it contrasts to today’s challenges since I moved.  I’m sure this has to be a universal sentiment—as most feelings are!  What do we do when we want to go back to the past but simply cannot?  How do we handle it when our present situation falls so short of a past that we feel so fondly about?  This could apply to just about any kind of loss—this question.  I want something right now—an insight, some guidance, or wisdom to help me with this feeling.

There are many tools to use—Lord knows!  I have a huge toolbox too!  But for now my tarot cards are handy, so I did a shuffle and up came the EIGHT OF PENTACLES.  What message or insight does this card bring?

First, I’m taken by the fact that the man on the card is secluded in his work with the town or humanity in the distance.  That sure describes the situation—civilization was in the distance back then.  Today I am literally in the middle of other people’s lives—bumping into them in my own apartment even though I live alone!  [Long story – you don’t want to know!]

So first thing is that the card, in this case, describes the dilemma or situation that is being asked about.  That is so true of how it is when I work with the cards—it lets me know I’m on track; it’s validating.

This card is about developing skills and talents.  I suppose that is what grief, loss and change do—we develop new skills and talents because of that.  We want to go back and can’t (for whatever the reason) and here we are—it’s new, different and we just would rather not participate in the new reality!  Yet, here we are.

Well, that’s one insight to help with this feeling… this pang of wishing things could be like they used to be!  We have to remember that we developed skill and talents in that old situation and our life now is about developing new skills.

Yes, I hear ya’.  I don’t want to either and don’t like it one bit.  I want to love my life like I used to! 

The 8 of Pentacles is about broadening the horizon on an earthly level.  The Hermit card is most it’s opposite… the Hermit is how I used to be—alone, solitude.  Hermit is about inner knowledge and 8 of Pentacles is about outer, earthly knowledge.  Well, I’ll say this much.  I’ve learned a lot about the smells of Indian cooking, and hookah smoking and the vocalizations of Indians too!  More than I ever wanted to know but then again I’d never have known any of that if I’d stayed in the mountains.

This card also is about preparing, being prepared for something—well, whatever it is, I hope it’s going to be joyful because I’ve had enough of the opposite to last me a while!   I guess anyone who’s suffered a loss will understand that firsthand and say the very same thing.

Discipline is another aspect of this card or this part of our life journey represented ‘by’ this card.  But we are not supposed to look for an end result with these types of situations –these experiences that have us wanting to go back to how it used to be—we’re not supposed to look for an outcome.  We’re supposed to just get through them knowing we are being prepared for something in future somehow and that we are developing some type of discipline and training.  And we must try to elevate our sorrow or feelings of loss and use the depth of feeling to reach out and help others.  I’d like to think that writing this blog post may be doing that in some way.

In our life we are guided, led and sometimes shoved in directions the help us “push the envelope” so-to-speak so that we don’t become complacent.  Or perhaps we have perfected our skill and the universe had more confidence that we could handle it that we ourselves do at the present moment!

Maybe we are to become more fully conscious of our work, our true work. And to do that we cannot go back, only forward—whether we like the current pangs of desire to return or not.   If nothing else we will become experts on dealing with wanting to go back and dealing with the feelings of not being able to!

This card is encouraging us to have confidence in our skills and talents and to understand that we are learning something new that we will use to bring to our life to benefit ourselves and others—we are being prepared to elevate our skills.

THE HIEROPHANT

The Hierophant AKA The High Priest
The Hierophant AKA The High Priest

I wanted more not being fully satisfied with the information from the 8 of Pentacles.

I put all the major arcana cards together, wanting more of  MAJOR insight so-to-speak.  Whats the bigger picture?  ask the Major Aracana.

In the Hero’s Journey, the Hierophant points to “education of the hero”.

In that sense, our education–yours and mine reader.

Hierophant is the name given to the High Priest.  One task of the Hero faces is the search for meaning–that’s certainly what I’m doing.

It’s also about conforming and adapting to “the system”—wow.   Learning by living with others—well, I’m certainly doing THAT in this apartment situation in which when the neighbors talk, they talk to me too since their voices are in my room as well as their own.  They speak Hindi and i have no idea what they are saying though.

Alright, i agree that I need to mediate on this a bit more.  Maybe that ALONE will keep me from being melancholy about my past!

I may come back to this post to add more as I reflect upon this.

ADDENDUM:  this is me coming back to this post after 5 days.  Around the time of the original post, it was the anniversary of my mother’s death, three years ago.  I don’t know if this was subconsciously affecting me or the stress of living with the Indian couple below me which felt that day like a mini-breakdown of some kind–on my last nerve with their constant noise.  However, shortly after that post I went into a meditation period which lasted 10 hours with only short breaks for bathroom and a bowl of soup–otherwise I sat in a semi-lotus pose on my bed chanting and turning to my old ritual of praying the rosary and periods of complete silence and breath work.  In that 10 hour period the messages of the 10 of Pentacles and Hierophant were much clearer.  I was actually taking the advice of the cards—doing my spiritual work away from the human community (my meditation music gave me the space) and turning to the old religious-type traditions of prayer, chanting which merged catholocism, hinduism and tibetan buddhism.  I knew then that i was doing the Hierophant “thing” without knowing it until that moment.  In the midst of the 10 hours i asked for one message or insight not wanting to clutter up the energy but to rather simplify it and clear it instead.  The one message was given at my request.  CENTER is the word that I heard and then I heard BETWEEN THE TWO PILLARS and then I knew that it was the Hierophant card meaning that I was being given and i was doing that very thing so it was as if it all came together.  The next day i remained in that quiet centered state also.  I am blessed to be able to schedule my own work and life and living alone I was able to devote myself to 10 hours of meditation as therapy doing my spiritual work. 

Old Soul, New Soul or Simply Generational, Meditation-al Or Present Moment Living? Difference between Lonely and Serene

Lonely or Serene?
Is the person in this picture? Lonely or Serene? Your answer reveals a lot about you

Is there a difference between lonely and serene?  It depends on where you, yourself are coming from.  Here are a few thoughts about the different views of life that we could call ‘glamour’ versus simply attending to the moment.   Do we age to a point of wisdom or simply age?  What about ‘old soul’s’ and where do they fit in to this topic recognizing what serenity is versus loneliness.

Can meditation create a wise old soul within us even if we are chronologically born of a younger generation? Are old souls those who have learned to live in the present moment?  Like I said, here are a few thoughts.

Personally, I live from sun-up  to  sun-down  and  focus wholeheartedly on whatever is before me within that period.  That’s it.  And I’m happy this way but I would not expect everyone to understand that or be able to relate to it–and the fact is, most don’t.  And that’s okay.

I’ve noticed something about people who call another person an old soul.  What they notice about those that they label old soul  is a wisdom that comes from being grounded in the moment, a lack of angst or anxiety that comes from grasping, struggling, overwhelming desire for what is outside of self.   I’ve noticed when people tend to say that someone, usually of a younger generation, is an old soul it is because there is a serenity, calmness and lack of grasping or clinging to attachments that is visibly present.

The graspers (those who grasp at) and seekers of ‘outer-world-validations’ and materialization-s look at the one they’ve labeled an old soul and misinterpret their persona as loneliness or depression.  Really?  Seriously?   Lonely and Depressed?  Not on your life!

Generally speaking, many of the younger generation (younger souls?) don’t seem to be able to relate much to those of my generation (is this age related or some other category?).  That is unless the younger individual carries with them the energy of what people refer to as old soul energy.

Those who carry that energy seem to emanate wisdom that perhaps comes because they do not crave anything from the outer world–fame, fortune, glamour or any grass greener scenario.  A parent of someone like this who is of a younger generation but yet has ‘old soul’ energy many times become concerned because the child or young adult seems to have no huge external motivation or desires.  They believe the child lacks passion or drive and the young soul type parent worries in that way about the old soul type child.

Adults who misinterpret serenity for loneliness perhaps may not have yet reached the golden point in life when  one feels as if they have arrived.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with ambition and passion and drive if that is what that person needs to experience at whatever age he/she is experiencing it, so be it.  But just don’t think that others who do not relate to your ambitions are confused, lazy, lonely or anything else that you may like to project upon them.

Getting back to my generation… some of us have, as a result living life itself, reached a place of  simple living.  Simply living out our day while wholeheartedly focusing on attending to the life in the moment. They/we seem comfortable with some type of  inner-knowing that our behind-the-scene-efforts will be appreciated when The Light shines upon them and no longer seek any limelight (stage light) from the outer world.

While younger generations are looking to the outer world for validation and experience, many of my generation are re-aligning once again with the inner spaciousness within the self returning in a way to how it was when we were born into this world.

Either way we look at it… whether an old soul or simply ageing, keeping awareness in the present moment ends the struggles with the outer world and allows moment-to-moment creative awareness. ‘Responsible happens’ meaning ‘able to respond’ because we are not distracted by outer world burning desires.

Your own level of awareness — whether it is centered in inner awareness or whether it is grasping at outer world desires will affect how you answered the question at the bottom of the photo.  If you are still grasping and full of overwhelming desires, you may decide the person on the bench on the photo is lonely.  Otherwise, you may have seen the person as being serene. 

Meditation will help anyone, no matter what the age, to achieve that inner spaciousness which makes one able to respond well (creatively and wisely) to anything that comes into their awareness.

And it  is living life in this way in which one is being most true-to-self and  most sincere-to-self.  

If you agree or disagree,  no matter–so are the thoughts that come before me today.  May they be worthy and somehow helpful to someone.

Getting REAL about Valentine’s Day

Always and in all ways we give when it is not Christmas and love when it is not a valentine day, feel reborn when it is not Easter or spring … every day is a good day to give gifts, to express love, to celebrate spring and new beginnings!

Why does society have to designate a particular day for it?

Bottom Line: “The I AM” in us is Giving and Expressing Love and Celebrating Hope Always in all ways! That’s 365, 24-7.

I have one daughter who says she wears black on Valentine ’s Day and a sister who said she heard dialogue on the radio on the way to work about valentine’s day that brought a tear to her eye because what she heard made her feel alone and sad. I heard someone talk about how in some recent church service some members of the congregation were renewing their wedding vows for the Valentine Day and some members cried because they lost their husbands in the war.

And then I reviewed some generalized astrological teachings recently which emphasized that we all carry within us somewhere the wound or trauma that has to do with being alone and not having our needs met, not receiving comfort. Supposedly, according to that particular teacher’s theory, this wound of separation from “god” (or from the heavens if you prefer that terminology or separation from wholeness if that’s better for your eyes and ears) is carried within us all and becomes re-triggered again sometime in our early years. I’m not certain about all that but if there is an unresolved wound of separation that exists within us, it would make sense that Valentine’s Day would cause us to feel the pain of the wound which still needs healing.

I love what Byron Katie posted on Facebook recently. She wrote, “No two people have ever loved each other.” You know, if you think about it, it’s true. Love is within us and we send it out but it comes back to us—actually, where else would anything go that we send out but back to us?

I see people searching for the mythological twin soul or soul mate without realizing that it is they themselves that they are seeking. Or we could say it this way—they are looking outside of their selves to find the love that is within. We are born alone, we will die alone too—that’s what some would say. Only we can make our own passage to and from one destination to the next, why do we spend so much time confused seeking outside what has always been within—LOVE.

May you find IT this Valentine’s Day or any day—we don’t need society to tell us when to realize Love. Or do we? I’ve got to add what comes to my mind next and that is:

You are never alone if you love the person you are alone with.

PS – Valentine’s Day is the day for people who are trying to fix what they think is broken. And it’s for the bank accounts and balance sheets of greeting card companies, florists, boxed candy makers and anybody else that makes and sells Valentine paraphernalia which will all be reduced for sale tomorrow.  If you don’t get a valentine and box of candy today maybe its life’s way of helping you to remember the Source of Love; but if you aren’t counting calories, love chocolate and you simply must, then I suggest that you pick your self up valentine candy tomorrow–that and everything else valentine-ish will be 50% off then.

I thought twice before I hit the publish this post’ button.  Will readers think I’m sour grapes on love relationships?  I thought about it a second and then turned to the I-CHING for guidance.  Just for the record, I’ve experienced two long-lasting relationships in my life.  In one there were a lot of cards, candy and valentines and in the other, nothing of the sort.  So, I’ve had it both ways you could say.

But let’s see what the I-CHING gives us as wisdom for today and regarding my concern about hitting the publish button on my anti-valentine message.  Its Kua 49 called “REVOLUTION”… well, that’s no surprise– and the first thought I had is that the universe has a sense of humor!  Haven’t I just been writing here about revolting against valentine’s day?

The oracle’s wisdom is about being flexible and having non-attachment.  We could also say, releasing expectations for having those can lead to the suffering of disappointment.

I think that the oracle is telling me not to be attached to whether I should publish this or not — and also to be non-attached to what people may or may not think of me personally.  And looking deeper for valentine’s day guidance, I am recalling my relationships of the past as they correlate with valentine days of the past.

One relationship partner was alway bringing the flowers and cards and candy and the other one not but I did not have much of a care either way, no expectations.  Neither gifts or non-gifts  defined the relationships for me.  Was that because I was carrying the confidence of love within myself?  I don’t know that I’d go as far as to say that, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?   Maybe it was just that we had ‘bigger fish to fry’ in those days if you know what I mean–that’s probably more the truth of it.

Should the goal of a relationship be to carry the confidence of love which comes from within one’s own self?

If we’re looking for something good about valentine’s day, maybe we could see it as an okay day to pause, take inventory of our beliefs about relationships and use the insights gained as an opportunity to grow and evolve.

It may help to recall that we live life without any guarantees.  And since life itself doesn’t offer any guarantee’s anyway, why should we expect those from relationship partners?   Those expectations lead to suffering.

Times change, seasons change and our demands change too.  We are with others but always ultimately alone; and everything we seek exists within us.

That is the revolution and the transformation that a consideration of valentine’s day can offer us–if we’re willing to look.

 By the way… the GET REAL planet, SATURN, is currently RETROGRADE (narrowly focused inward and looking back as well) in the sign of LIBRA which is the relationship sign itself, plus it is at the 29th degree of culminating energy.  No wonder there’s all this get real talk about valentine’s day–look at Saturn@!  I rest my case.