Today's Draw: Eight of Swords from the Lazy Afternoon Tarot by Karen West. Where are you feeling trapped in your life right now? Is there a situation where you feel "damned if I do, and damned if I don't"? Are you waiting on someone or something else to make a move before you can be free of this situation?
Today's entry is dedicated to Amanda Donnelly, author of the 78 Whispers In My Ear blog. This week Amanda has reminded me of a couple of great decks I've forgotten or neglected. When I saw her post images of this deck, it sparked my memory. I knew I had the deck, but where was it? And why haven't I featured it more on my blog? Something has most certainly gone goofy in the universe.
Anyway, I found it. In the last place I looked. It was in the box of decks I keep in my living room because they're either favorites or decks I want to explore further in the future. It's a big box. Things get lost in there. Good things.
So today I'm finally doing right by this deck. It's a limited edition of 50 copies and there are still a few left. Buy them at etsy before they're all gone. Because it really is cute. The deck's name comes from the fact that the artist drew each card in less than 15 minutes using sharpies and crayons...a perfect process for a lazy afternoon. It's mostly RWS based and has alternate Lovers cards, depending on whether you like same sex love or opposite sex love. That's a interesting thing a few deck creators are doing these days.
Anyway, I like talking about the Eight of Swords because it usually shows a woman who is bound, but not too tightly. She could get away. But being bound is a good excuse not to get away. The post I did on 11/26 talked about the stories we tell ourselves to remain stuck in life. This is very similar to that. The blindfold and ropes that hold her back are symbolic of her fears and the excuses she makes in honor of them.
A lot of times we may think of this as a situation involving someone else...some situation between you and another that leaves you feeling trapped. But it really could just be limitations you place on yourself. The swords might suggest that you're limiting your own self expression in some matter. Or that you're not allowing your thoughts to "go there" in some situation. You feel trapped by what you're able to think, do or say, but really the only person standing in your way is yourself. And the more you stand in your own way, the deeper the hole you dig for yourself.
Consider a situation where someone is minimizing you in some way. Somewhere along the line, you made that ok by not immediately shutting them down the first time it happened. Then it happened again and you clenched your teeth, let it slide. Then it kept happening and you just grinned and bared it. Then you realized you'd trained the person to treat you that way, so you kept allowing it. And you became trapped by it. You saw it chipping away at your self esteem and you continued to let it go on.
It's not the other person that has you trapped in this dynamic. It's you. You can point to the ropes and the swords and the blindfold all you want, but nobody else holds the key to your escape but you. You may get knicked by the swords/words/ideas around you in the process of getting free. It may get a little bloody. But chances are it won't take as much out of you as has been taken the entire time you've been trapped.
As long as we place the blame on our situations and patterns on some outside force, we will forever be caught up in a trap of our own choosing. It's only when we realize that we were both our victimizer and our savior all along, that we're able to break free.