Monday, July 4, 2011

7/4/11—Giving Thought to Freedom

Today's Draw: The Empress from Tarot of the Animal Lords. How do you define freedom? Do you have to have certain circumstances or a certain lifestyle to feel free? Is there any one thing that brings people freedom?

Today I did something a little different. I asked the cards to give us some insight on freedom in honor of July 4th. And The Empress has some powerful messages for us. 

The Empress is the feminine aspect of power. She rules with a soft touch, not an iron fist. She gives  all the critters in her queendom—the butterflies, birds, four leggeds and plants—freedom to wander. She keeps her eye out, but she also lets her own cubs explore, fight and even encounter danger. She knows to hold on loosely and to set her loved ones free, because she understands to restrict them is not only to risk losing them, but also to cheat them out of valuable lessons they'll need when she is no longer there to watch. Her job is to nurture, not control. And her own freedom comes from understanding that the only thing she *can* control, is how she responds to things. She teaches this to her cubs, too, so they won't spend their lives locked in the anxiety that comes from trying to control things, events and the other unforeseen aspects of a chaotic world. 

She also faces toward the past in homage to the generations before her that learned things harder ways so that she could have her freedom of thought. She also reflects on her own efforts...the transformations she's been through in her own life that has allowed her to let go of ego and worry. She sits strong in the person she is today and would not give up the years of angst that led to her freedom. Nor is she chained to that past. She knows that every moment of life gives us a fresh opportunity to change and transform. You don't even have to wait for the dawn of a new day. You can start right this instant.

Finally, as the Earth Mother and symbol of abundance, she knows that true freedom also comes from knowing you have enough and are enough. That doesn't mean having a cushion in your bank account and lots of friends. It means being free from want. It means believing that whatever you have right now is enough. The body you have is enough. The bank account you have is enough. The car you have is enough. Now you may be thinking "but I have debt" or "but I have huge hips". And if you're thinking that, you don't have gratitude. And you are imprisoned by those things. When you know that, in this moment, what you have and who you are is enough...and when you can be grateful for will have freedom. 

So the Empress says these freedoms are the ones that release our spirits from chains—freedom from control or the need to control others, freedom from ego, freedom from the past and freedom from the mindset of lack. What others can you think of on this day of freedom? What are you free of today?

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