Monday, April 9, 2012

4/10/12—Getting Intimate With Ourselves and Others

Today's Draw: The Magician from the Victorian Romantic tarot. How often do you talk about your most private and personal thoughts? Who do you feel comfortable discussing embarrassing biological crap with? Are you ready to get intimate right here, right now?

The traditional Magician in the tarot shows a young, powerful man with shiny tools representing all four elements. He has his "as above, so below" stance and a lemniscate (infinity sign) over his head, representing his infinite powers, connection to the heavens, unending energy resources and his ability to get things done. 

Fast forward 50 years and you've got the Victorian Romantic Magician. His tools of the four elements have become innate. He has mysterious supplies. He consults a book with a lifetime full of knowledge he's amassed. And he no longer has to call the heavens to earth, because the glow of spirit energy shines all around him. You get the sense that the magic the other Magician needed a whole case full of tools to perform, can be completed by this guy with just a thought. 

We don't talk too openly about the benefits and drawbacks of aging. Men don't get together and discuss erectile dysfunction, sleep disorders and difficulty with urination. Women don't talk openly about their menopause symptoms, bladder control issues or hair cropping up in unattractive places. We can iron out wrinkles and appear as youthful as ever, but that's only cosmetic. It does nothing for the uncomfortable, depressing, aching, misfiring and slowing down of the machine we've been operating throughout our lives.

Remember when you were a kid and nose pickers were shameful losers? Then, when you were sure no one was watching, you'd dig in and pull out a big ol' booger of your own? We face the same thing when we get older. 

We laugh at Depends when we're with our friends, then find ourselves doing the walk of shame to register to try them out. Or we mock erectile dysfunction commercials as though they have nothing to do with us when, in fact, arranging a "date night" requires precise planning and could still result in embarrassment, whether the evening works out well or not. Our bodies and our minds are no longer in adequate control and, worse, we can't talk about it because of the same shame that came from the surreptitious booger picking of our youth. 

I think about stuff like this all the time and it's part of why I try to be a little more candid than is comfortable for me in some of these posts. Because these things we hold secret, whether in shame or embarrassment, add to the weight and depression and toxicity of life and getting older. I think we do ourselves a disservice with some of our "there are things we just don't talk about in public" attitude. It makes dealing with the indelicacies of being a human even harder. And we end up feeling alone in our issues when, in fact, people around us are all experiencing the same thing.

This wasn't where I was originally going to go with this post...haha. I was going to talk about the power and wisdom of getting older. About how we don't need all the trappings of youth and how freeing and efficient that can be. When you look at the two Magicians (which you can see at if you're on Facebook) the young guy begins to look like a total poser compared to the older guy, who is so authentic and comfortable in his power.

Consider all the issues that fester and languish inside of us because of our discomfort of talking about anything that's not politically correct. Honest dialogues about race, sexuality, needs in relationships, innermost fears—the list goes on and on—rarely ever happen. And so each of us is left to feel alone, marginalized, unaccepted, misunderstood, etc. in this world. 

How much time in any given week do spend talking about things that really matter to you? Things that heal you and make you feel more normal? Things that bring you closer to those around you? The word "intimacy" has come to connote sexual matters when it's really about sharing our most private and personal selves. In fact, many times sex is actually used to keep real intimacy at bay. Intimacy is one of the biggest fears mankind holds, and yet it's also the magical elixir that can set us free.

In my older years (haha, I'm only 49) I find that kind of intimacy harder to come by and, honestly, I long for it in my life. I don't have a life partner to explore these things with and I hate to say it, but most of my friends are more guarded than I. I think the search for intimacy is at least as powerful an instinct in humans as our need to protect that which makes us most vulnerable. But the scales are far more weighted in the direction of protection and our ultimate self imprisonment.

When I look at how tired the Magician is in his older years, I think it's because the weight he's had to bear all alone—the weight of a solitary life, of his role as a healer and manifester and of not having some dude to drink absinthe with and discuss the things that really matter. With all the wisdom he's amassed and the amazing things he's been able to manifest in his life, why he can't just manifest someone simpatico to share it with? Of course, I wonder the same thing about myself. It's not a role you can just volunteer for in someone's life. And it's not even something you can marry into. It's an alchemy of its own, something that grows organically and rises from mutual respect and trust. 

As I think of it, I realize it's something I share with you from time to time...the people who read and reveal that they share the same struggles as me, or who reveal other hopes and fears they have. I have no idea how many or who reads these posts on a daily basis, but it is a blessed miracle that I have never felt unsafe or been given reason to think people don't take these topics seriously. Working alone and living alone, sometimes you guys are the only ones I *really* talk to in a day, and some of you have said these posts help you build your own intimate relationship with yourselves. Thank you for that...and for this place safe... and for having the courage to put yourself out there when you do. :)

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