|©Katalin E. Csikos|
In many decks, this card is renamed Materialism. That is certainly part of what I see here. However, this card emphasises additional aspects. Materialism is not just negative because it shows our attachment to the world of maya, of illusion and stuff rather than the spiritual, as hinduism and buddhism teach. And it's not just because it can lead to superficiality and prizing things over people. It is also negative because, the way consumer culture is run right now, it leads to polluting the planet and needlessly killing the beautiful creatures that live here. This image reminds us that we are driving many species to the brink of extinction, and beyond. We are filling the air we ourselves breathe with toxic chemicals!
It can feel hard not to go with the flow: consumerism is so much a part of our culture that it becomes hard to imagine a different way. Still, even small actions can make a difference.
I've just had a dramatic example of that in my own life. There's a bit of a cold going round at the moment, as the temperatures suddenly dropped. A few days ago, a friend said she'd felt one starting, and had put a little garlic up her nose. I thought, "Eew!" However, last night, I spent a couple of hours with a runny nose, feeling a cold coming on. Facing the prospect of sleeping poorly as I couldn't breathe and ending up with a fuzzy mouth, and knowing that I couldn't take any regular cold medications because I'm pregnant, I decided to give it a go. On the first go, I sneezed the lot out, which at least cleared my nose ;) After the second, I slept the whole night with an unblocked nose! I just used a tiny smear of garlic paste, and it worked brilliantly :)
Just think of all the money and resources used to research, manufacture, package and deliver pharmaceuticals which don't even work all that well. And this is just one example. For instance, with indigestion, instead of all the tablets and drinks available, you can just use half a small spoon of bicarbonate of soda in a little water.
Perhaps even more powerfully, there was a programme on English TV about a month back singing the praises of fasting for improving overall health and mental function. There is a lot of evidence that even not eating for one day a week reduces the risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer considerably! My Dear One has started fasting as a regular routine, but wasn't sure if he should this week, as he felt a cold coming on. He decided to go ahead anyway, and after 36 hours of fasting: no cold. It never happened!
Now, I'm not going to start fasting, as it's particularly contraindicated for female fertility and pregnancy, and it is harder on women, with more side effects such as insomnia and stress. Still, it really has made me think!
I am grateful for garlic.