standing up

it’s been a long, hard few months. after yesterday’s post got much more personal than i usually am in this space, i spent a lot of time reflecting on where i am, where i’ve been, and where i’m going. depression is a long, winding road, with no real destination or end in sight. it’s a tough path to travel. but sometimes there’s such beauty to be found in darkness, and a poignancy to pain that can reveal harsh, but essential truths. while this isn’t a journey i would choose, it’s one i must take, and all i can do is keep my eyes and ears open to the lessons i can find along the way.

after so much introspection, i’m rather delighted by today’s card: the magician.

IMG_0353a new card for me, and one of self-empowerment, stamina, strength, and spirit. the wild unknown book describes the magician as “a card of boundless, expansive energy,” and indeed, the card is vivid, almost pulsing with light. the wildcat is strong, graceful, courageous, and wields the energy of all four suits with ease. he’s aware of his surroundings, but not afraid of them. there’s beautiful potential here, an anticipatory feeling of stillness, readiness. the magician is poised, awake, aware. he knows that he has the tools needed to conquer any situation, and the fortitude to know which skill will be needed in order to succeed.

after so many weeks in the dark, knowing that i’m still probably going to be drowning for a bit longer, this is an immensely empowering card. all about action, the magician knows what to do and how to do it. there’s no self-doubt, no confusion, no hand-wringing or gnashing of teeth or hiding in a corner. there’s such bold, quiet confidence here, such beauty and power and intensity. and while i may not feel that in myself at this very moment, pushing myself to find actions that i can take to find my own beauty and power and intensity feels like good advice.

i think it’s okay to not always be okay. but remembering that action is possible even when you feel completely and utterly powerless can be a beautiful reminder of what we are all capable of. the tools are right there – i just need to find a way to grab them and wield them with grace.

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the long climb

coming to the last leg of a difficult race, the final steps of a long journey, the end of an intense battle – even after persevering, after staying strong, after pushing yourself hard, sometimes finishing something is so much more difficult than starting it.

nine-of-wands

there are many different depictions of the nine of wands, but the wild unknown’s interpretation resembles a staircase, shaped with thick, roughly-cut wands leading up to a shining moon. the branches get narrower and thornier the higher up the stairs climb, though the gentle colors and bright crescent give a sense that the struggle to reach the top will be richly rewarded.

nines are right at the tail end of the journey – we haven’t quite reached the completion (or burnout) of ten, but can see the finish line in the distance. it’s all about that final push, gathering the strength and stamina to reach your goal. it’s important to keep a small reserve of energy, to protect ourselves, to stay strong and resilient and not stumble when we’re so close to achieving our objectives. the war is almost won, the prize is within our grasp – don’t give up now, not when you’re so close!

there’s also an element of transformation present in this card that i really love. there’s something in struggles, in pain, in a long, difficult journey that has the power to alter us permanently. the passions and fire that are so present in wands are capable of wild and beautiful things, but can leave lasting impressions that change us irrevocably. that lost job, that broken heart, that big mistake can hurt so deeply, but also continue shaping us into the people that we’re meant to be. and in those final steps towards mystery and magic and completion, as we reach down deep for whatever shreds of courage we have left, we can discover truths about ourselves that aren’t as visible when things are easy.

after yesterday’s bright, positive ace of cups that seemed brimming with love and joy and possibility, today’s wands still give me hope. so many pieces of my life have been stagnant for too long, but i will persevere. i will not give up. i will reach the top and be able to look back over the journey, with all of its twists and turns and struggles, and know that it was worth the trouble to finish what i’ve started.