Saturday, 15 January 2011

Creating Peace

I love Donnaleigh Delarose's speed tarot blog.  Every day she suggests questions or spreads to look at a particular aspect of life.  A few days ago she suggested drawing a card to answer: "What is one thing I can do to create peace?"  I was struck by the question.

Deciding to draw a card from the Gaian Tarot, by Joanna Powell Colbert, I received 7 - The Canoe.  This is Joanna's re-visioning of the Chariot in traditional decks, and was last month's card on the Gaian Tarot Circle forum.  It was also one of the only cards so far that I haven't done any of the exercises for!

Although I don't normally have any negative associations with this Major, the particular card has never appealed to me.  I think that's because of his expression (he looks kind of grumpy and determined to me), his location (heading away from land, towards the middle of nowhere, I'd feel lost and scared), and the fact that there are all these lovely creatures around him, but he only has eyes for what's ahead of him.  The whales seem to be playing alongside him, while he remains grimly determined to get where he's going.

Following the idea of determination and focus, of heading somewhere and knowing where you are going, my first response was to wonder what finding peace would actually look like to me.   

One part of it, I think, would be about feeling acceptance of a situation that the universe has thrown at me, that I cannot change and will not try to escape.  That last sentence took me a while to compose, because I originally thought "cannot change or escape" but the truth is there are ways I could escape it, but none of them are acceptable to me.  If I took any of those escape routes, I would be dead or else could never face myself again.  This situation is my burden to bear, and perhaps my challenge to find joy and acceptance in.  So, yes, making my peace with it is definitely part of what I'd include in Donnaleigh's question and thinking about it has made it clear that I do know where I want to be with it - right where I am, just a bit more accepting of it!

Another part is that I currently have three big plans/dreams for the year, or even the next 10-20 years of my life.  And I'm not sure if they are mutually compatible, if I can do and have them all.  Or perhaps, more honestly, I'm afraid of how much grit and determination it may take to achieve them all - I'm not sure I have the energy and the strength.  But because they are all long term plans, I can't do one now and another later.  If I'm to do them at all, I have to start now.  So maybe I need some of the Canoe paddler's focus.  To create peace in myself I need to work on my dreams to make them reality, even if that does require hard work over the coming months, maybe years.

However, when I see his expression of grim determination, I feel it's just that: grim.  The paddler seems to ignore the eagle above him, the salmon by the side of his canoe, and the whales swimming alongside him.  A second message, then, is not to make the same mistakes as he makes.  Focus is important, but without joy, what is the point of life?  So, I won't leave all fun behind just because I need to put in some hard work.  After all, all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, right? 

Hopefully this reading will serve as a reminder that I can achieve my destination if I keep it clearly in sight and put effort into it.  And that I should keep an eye open for fun along the way.  Doing both things will bring me peace and joy in the long run.

Image from the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.


  1. This is so eloquently put. Thank you for this.

    Your blog got my own mind thinking, and the imagery of that card moves within me, too. So many of us have situations that seem unchangeable, chaotic, distracting, or what we don't want. But what we need to remember is that we *need* to drive through them; they will only slow us down and cause nonproductive worry. He seems so focused on his goal, with no attention to the killer whales circling him and birds of prey following close behind. Like we do during an exercise work-out, he is looking steadfast ahead, knowing he will get to his goal because of that focus. Like you said, he has accepted it, and is moving on. He pays no mind to the unnecessary side-distractions.

    I can learn from this blog you wrote. We also spoke about it on Psychic Friends Live yesterday, about how the world is what it is. People may try to create a utopian dream, but not everyone has the dream or will follow our utopia, so all we can really focus on is what we ourselves do and how we react. We can change our own little corner.

    And self-perception is everything when it comes to quality of life. I like how this man focuses on what's in front of his boat, keeps his eyes on his destination, and doesn't let the unnecessary slow him down. Such a "moving" definition of peace, when most are so still. I like how we can move and still find an inner light. Wonderful card from a wonderful deck, and a blog that really made me think.

    Thank you for this beautiful blog.

    ~ Donnaleigh

  2. That's great Chloe. Lovely piece of writing - as ever. Sending you a massive hug (((hug)))

    Ali x

  3. I love this post. And it's cool to see the Gaian tarot in action. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. "A situation I cannot change and will not try to escape . . ." beautifully put. It takes courage to stay and not escape . . . and perhaps a bit of the intense determination you see in the paddler.

    Beautiful post. Thanks Chloe.

  5. Hi Donnaleigh,

    I loved your comment about the card representing 'a "moving" definition of peace, when most are so still.' I shall definitely have to mull that and what you said about "driving through" chaotic situations over for a while. Thank you!

    Hi Ali,

    Thanks for the (((hug))), it helps :-)

    Hi Theresa,

    I adore the Gaian Tarot - it's so practical and intuitive. Glad you enjoyed the post.

    Hi Joanna,

    Yes, intense determination is a more positive way of seeing him, I like it. As for courage, I sometimes think it's more about finding other things to focus on - hence the importance of still having fun... Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and for your kind comments.