Please use the links at the top or bottom of this post to hop around the other sites taking part in this round of the Tarot Blog Hop.
Our wrangler this Samhain, Louise of Priestess Tarot, asked us to use the opportunity provided by this time of year to commune with someone from across the veils. My first thought was to take the chance to talk with my grandmother who died eighteen years ago, just two days before Samhain. She was an amazing, feisty woman, who trained as a doctor and taught sex ed classes after she retired. She never let her husband see her without her dentures, and she was a wonderful cook and biscuit maker. I loved her dearly.
What, I thought, could I ask her? What might a spread look like to speak with someone on the other side? Here's what I came up with:
1) What are you most proud of?
2) What do you most regret?
3) What couldn't you see from this side of the veils?
4) What are you most proud of in me?
5) What do you most regret about the choices I have made?
6) What can you see from that side that you want to share with me?
Once again, I decided to use the Tarot de St. Croix (Lisa De St Croix, 2014) to explore these questions.
"The family I created, the warmth, the happy memories."
It's funny, see that flame-haired funny doll at the top centre of the dollies tea party? In German, there's a figure called Pumuckl, a red-haired Kobold. You can see the credits for the TV show here. My grandma used to record these to VHS videos and send them to me. Mostly because I loved this show, and also to help me improve my German. Her lessons, then, were always fun and loving - that was how she dealt with family and friends alike!
2) What do you most regret? Page of Swords
"I regret not having had the opportunity to exercise my mind as much as I would have liked, not having explored and studied all that I might have."
My grandmother trained as a doctor, and always had an inquisitive mind. Yet, she never had the opportunity to complete a Ph.D, nor to study many other things she might have enjoyed. Family (four kids by two different husbands - she was a forerunner in the divorce stakes), home and the responsibilities those bring stopped her studying more. I don't think she would have changed her choices, but everyone is allowed to have a "what-if" thought every now and again.
3) What couldn't you see from this side of the veils? Eight of Swords
"The thoughts that trapped me, my own assumptions about how life had to be."
German society was (and to an extent still is) quite narrow-minded. At one point, my grandma ran a clothes shop. Not because she was especially interested in fashion, but because that was seen as an appropriate career for a married woman, rather than messing around with sick people and working strange shifts. I wonder what her life would have been like had she not felt that need to conform...
4) What are you most proud of in me? Three of Wands
"I'm so glad you've let yourself go out and explore the world. Trying things, taking up projects and ideas, taking a chance with things that enthuse you."
Certainly, most of my family have little knowledge or comprehension of the choices I have made in my life. Reading tarot, designing a Lenormand deck, practising yoga, training as a psychotherapist: none of these fit with my family's ideas about life. Yet, I believe my grandma might approve. She would see the aspect of service in these things, the focus on health of body, mind and spirit.
5) What do you most regret about the choices I have made? Seven of Swords
"I regret you didn't gather all the ideas you could, didn't take the opportunities you had to do research."
My grandma regretted not doing a Ph.D, and it's true I won a research grant including tuition and living expenses to do a Ph.D back in 1996, following on from my Masters in Social Anthroplogy. Instead, I moved to Spain with the man I was living with then.
And just last month, I was awarded my Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy. However, this acknowledges my decision not to do my Masters dissertation given my current circumstances (a severely disabled child of nearly seven, a baby of seven months, and various esoteric projects in the works). I am exploring, learning and creating, but I am not following traditional patterns in the process.
6) What can you see from that side that you want to share with me? Eight of Cups
"Follow you bliss!"
Despite my not getting a Ph.D., the final message from my grandma is one of loving acceptance. She tells me she can see that the path I'm following brings me joy, and that I seek emotional and spiritual understandings. The source of life is love, ever flowing, constantly renewed. Divine love, romantic love, mundane love, love of tarot cards. Be it connecting to higher truths or to our nearest and dearest, bliss comes through opening to the flow of life as it is, letting regrets wash away, and reaching for that source.
Previous Blog/ Master List/ Next Blog