Sunday, November 25, 2012

11/26/12—Perpetuating Your Story

Today's Draw: The Six of Cups from the Book of Azathoth Tarot. What's the story you tell yourself about what keeps you stuck in life? Is this story true...or is it based on something that happened years ago? What purpose does it serve for you to perpetuate it in your life?

This is a new deck that seems to combine the word assignations of Thoth with the imagery of Rider Waite...well, maybe not the same imagery as RWS, but similar in many cases. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Rider Waite and Thoth are two different "systems" of deck creation and meaning. 

I'm not really sure this deck makes sense to me. The companion book isn't published yet, so I have no idea how they're interpreting the cards...Thoth-like or RWS-like or some sort of hybrid. I read something online about the Six of Cups being about the High Priest presenting his offerings in the Thoth tradition. I also read that, coming off the five, the six is about how much more appreciated pleasures are after coming out of the fear and pain of the five. (The word at the top of the card is "Pleasure") I'm really not a student of the Thoth, but this last bit seems to line up nicely with what I got out of the illustration...leaving the past behind. 

In the RWS, this card is about nostalgia and maybe meeting up with an old friend. But these creatures from the black lagoon (which I really dig in this deck, btw)...something about them says "making peace with the past" to me. That's the offering. And that's the chance at freedom and pleasure that you get when you move through fear and pain and are ready to move on. 

Leaving the past behind is one of those things that's easier said than done. Logically, you know there's no reason to hang on. But emotionally, you feel tied to it...more so in some cases than others. After all, the past is part of our story...the Story of Tierney is all about the past. It can only guess about the future. 

But many times the past can figure into "our story" in unhealthy and/or outdated ways. One of my ex boyfriends was a professional soccer player for a year or two. Over 20 years later, he was still tied to the story of "I had the chance and I blew it...what if I hadn't?" It was a whole "glory days" thing. He even looked and dressed like he did back then. He was caught in that story of the past. 

Now, 20 years later he had a good, secure job...he had a daughter who needed a father to present in his life...he had another chance at being a success. But he was blowing it because he couldn't get over the chance he blew 20 years earlier! His self loathing led him to alcoholism and anyone and anything who entered his, his daughter, friends, work...had to get in line behind the alcohol for his attention. Being drunk was the only way to numb the chance he blew back then. And it was causing him to perpetually blow every other chance that came his way. 

That's what our stories do. They keep us stuck, hold us back. They give us excuses for why we can't be everything we want to be today. And what we often fail to recognize is that they were a moment in time that no longer exists. Any "failure" we had in the past is just as likely to fuel success in our future, as it is further failure. And in that sense, it only has the power you're willing to give it in regard to what you're able to do today. It can keep you stuck. Or it can set you free. 

Iyanla VanSant has a good way to rephrase these things in our brain. Put "until today" in front of the story. "Until today, I was a bad cook. Now I'm going to try again." "Until today, I've always been attracted to the absolute wrong man for me." "Until today, I needed that drink to let go of my day." "Until today, I always seemed to attract users." "Until today, I hated to work out." See how it works?

The stories we tell ourselves and the words we choose have more power over who we are and who we're becoming than any force of will. Our inner thoughts can poison us or inspire us. We are constantly changing and have the opportunity to change every moment we're alive. Even if the "big mistake" you made was just yesterday, it's something that happened in the past and those conditions are no longer relevant. In fact, look even further back, because chances are you've made similar mistakes in the past...chances are, the mistake you made yesterday was made in order to make the story you tell yourself true. 

So ponder this and see what stories you tell yourself. Are they really, really true? What purpose are they serving in your life...what excuse do they give you? And are you ready to move on? Like the creatures in this card, maybe it's time to move beyond the fears and pains of the past and let them live where they belongs...not in your present, but in your past. 


  1. Brings to mind a women's group I attended in the mid-90's. We'd do a circle mid-meeting and talk about what was bothering each of us. There was a woman in her 60's who, each circle, would talk about the coat her sister had stolen from her. She was pretty mad about it. But by the 4th time I'd heard the same story I approached her and asked if it would help if I went with her and we asked for it back.

    "Oh she's been dead for 23 years". Now there is an example of someone who can't let go :)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts,

  2. Wow. Thanks for that story. I wonder if what was really bothering her was the loss of her sister.

  3. Tierney,
    You give a very beautiful interpretation to the card.
    I'm very honored that you chose to use my deck.
    Thank you,