Saturday, August 5, 2017

August Challenge: Stop Start Continue (Day 5)

Today's challenge is a 3-card spread rather than a single card pull, and damn was it on the nose. Today's spread assigns the meanings of stop, start, and continue to each of the positions. Sometimes when I pull a card or do a spread for myself, I have to spend some time contemplating the message, but today's challenge was immediately apparent to me.

Images from the Llewellyn Tarot. Published by Llewellyn.

Stop: Page of Swords; The page of swords is an avid and aggressive knowledge seeker. He overturns lies and finds truths, bringing them to light. Though this can be a positive trait, he tends to work himself into a bit of a conspiracy frenzy. Much like a private investigator, because he's always seeking hidden truths, he finds them and doesn't always like what he sees. When you're constantly exposed to the seedy underbelly of human nature, it's hard to keep a positive attitude.

I discovered a long time ago that I'm unfortunately good at getting to the truth of matters. When you pair my empathic nature with my constantly processing brain, I end up either being exposed to truths or sorting through the constant flows of information to uncover it somewhere between the lines. Being a truth-seeker of sorts is an integral part of my personality, not to mention a powerful tool of self-preservation. I don't believe that this card is asking me to stop seeking when needed. I believe it is telling me that sometimes, I do need to turn it off. Drop the fear of exploit and suspicion. Inquiring minds find lies, and so I should inquire a bit less. Save the effort for when it is truly needed. It's not needed right now.
"The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and must therefore be treated with great caution." - J.K. Rowling
Start: Strength; There are many versions of Strength throughout the zillions of tarot decks in the world, and many portray a tamed lion... but not my Llewellyn! I feel it's especially important to note the Welsh mythology which accompanies each of the cards of the major arcana in this deck. For Strength, it is the story of Twrch Trwyth. Essentially, to win the love of Olwen, Kilhwch must complete a series of tasks given to him Olwen's giant (and quite dangerous) father. He enlists the aid of Arthur and his knights whose assistance ultimately helps him attain the prizes hidden within the boar's hair.

The story is one of stubbornness and persistence. In fact, the boar (Twrch Trwyth) causes many deaths, injuries, and destroyed properties along the way. Yet they never quit. It would be the easy answer to say this card wants me to start modelling myself after Kilhwch, but the card didn't name itself after him. Nor did they name the card after Arthur or his helpful hound. It's named after the stubborn-ass boar who dies in the end. He could have just given his gifts to Kilhwch when he was asked nicely. (The linked article says the bird tries to steal it, but in other versions, they attempt to parlay.) So what's the lesson? Difficult and painful obstacles won't stay an obstacle forever with enough persistence. If you attempt to be the obstacle, you will be overcome.

There is also a strong element of physical strength apparent in this version of Strength, and the relation I make of this to myself is my attempts to lose weight. Once upon a time, I was extremely athletic until one day I was cursed with a horrible ailment. (Twrch Trwyth is a cursed king, btw.) And since then, I have not been myself. Attempts I've made to be healthier are always blocked by visions of old me and what I could do and how strong I was. The mountain I'd have to climb to be there again is daunting. I believe the lesson for me here is to take my progress one step at a time (much like the many tasks assigned to Kilhwch), and suffer through the pain of each attempt to improve. How fitting since I recently uncovered an old workout that was for starters!

Continue: Four of Swords; This is a card of voluntary retreat, self-care, and rest. Something I failed to do in previous attempts to improve my health was take things slow. I used those previously mentioned "visions" of old me to mark where "new" me should be. All it led to was distress and failure. It took some time, but eventually I had to place a veil over that aspect of myself and simply accept where I am now. This card connects strongly with my Strength card pull in that I have begun making steps toward slow and steady progress rather than attempt to go full boar (har, har) in achieving my physical goals. It's great to have such a firm confirmation that I'm taking the right approach!

If you enjoyed this reading, and would like to have a similar reading done for yourself, I offer three card readings in my Etsy shop. Starting on August 8, 2017, all readings will be 15% until September 7.

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