Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Snake Princess

There are 45 cards in the Oracle of the Shapeshifters (Blue Angel, 2011), which are numbered as well as having a name and key phrase.  I've added a blur effect to all of the images I'll be blogging with this week, to help fight pirating :)  I really like this deck, with soulful artwork by Jasmine Becket-Griffith and a companion book by Lucy Cavendish, though I'll admit that it is woman-centric, and rather youth and beauty focused.

The image on this card makes me think of the biblical story of Adam and Eve.  Yet the key phrase has a quite different feel to it.  In the Bible, the serpent didn't lead Eve to power, but rather to shame and exile.  And yet, some people ask whether that wasn't as it should be, given that living in a utopia doesn't allow for personal will and growth.  It was only by learning about sex and by being exiled that we humans could become a part of the natural world, reproducing, living, loving, hurting, changing.  Which, I guess, fits the deck's message of learning to deal with life's changes and challenges pretty well.

What I see here is the suggestion that a time of innocence is coming to an end, that we need to learn some hard lessons in order to transform ourselves.  Perhaps we need to learn to judge people by their actions, rather than by what they say.  Or to recognise the things in our lives which are harmful to us, even if they seem enjoyable.  And then we need to learn to say no to what isn't right for us, even when it's hard, and even if that upsets other people.

This puts me in mind of the fact that today I have to talk to someone about a mistake they made at work yesterday.  I hate this kind of conversation, it's one of the worst parts of any managerial role as far as I'm concerned.  Some people are really touchy, while others are brazen and belligerent.  I always try to bring these issues as queries rather than attacks.  I know that the sometimes angry diatribe in my mind at the moment doesn't help me deal well with these situations.  Still, clear boundaries and communication are good skills to learn and practise.

I am grateful for the reminder that life's lessons aren't always easy, but do lead to growth.

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