Going beyond duality: Looking at ‘good’ and ‘bad’ using the Tarot
On the outer level of form, we will continually experience both gain and loss because we cannot have one without the other in a dualistic universe. Winning and losing are two sides of the same coin – the wise man, or woman, knows this.
When I lay out the cards, the client will obviously hope to see ‘good’ cards, the ones that are positive and encouraging. He or she wants to know if their situation looks ‘good’, or not. Favourable, or unfavourable. (To understand exactly how this process works, read my article here).
The client might recoil in disappointment if a ‘nasty’ card appears, or if the reading gives a potentially negative outcome. It is difficult, for example, to look at the imagery of ‘The Tower’ (people tumbling to their death) or ‘The Devil’ (a strong mythological symbol/character representing the ultimate in human bondage and suffering) with poise and calm. Overtly or covertly, your ego will reject it, because we all want to avoid what’s painful, difficult or downright scary.
Yet, truth be told, the good and the bad are so mixed in life that these terms finally become meaningless.
If you lost your money, or inheritance, and struggled to ‘make it’ but then later set up your own successful company because of that failure and the immense challenges you had to navigate, would you honestly call the totality of your experience ‘bad’? Perhaps, at the time you didn’t know what the future held, yes, you might have been cursing out loud, feeling sorry for yourself and so on. However, with time, and that broader awareness of success and seeing things in context, you would learn to see that initial experience of loss and failure very differently, and perhaps even be grateful for it.
The cards in the Tarot are not good or bad in and of themselves, they only describe (archetypal) energies or influences that are present in your mind, and in your life.
It is up to you, the Soul, to use this information to make conscious choices about your life, and how to proceed.
Although, for example, the Tower can show a shattering breakup or downfall of some kind, in business or in a personal relationship, you don’t have to view this as an overtly negative thing. Perhaps you’ve been looking for change? Perhaps you’ve known all along this was coming? Perhaps you couldn’t find a way out? Sometimes the explosion of feeling, or the dramatic shake-up, provides you with welcome relief, clearing the air as it were. It frees up your mental and emotional energy.
Death becomes (new) life.
Our society teaches us early on to avoid the so-called bad, to push it away from us, and even condemn it, and thus we never learn what life is trying to teach us. The irony is that you cannot be truly successful if you can’t stand failure, because they are inextricably linked. One precedes the other — and even informs it. So, the next time someone unkindly calls you a ‘loser’ (it could be your own chattering mind!), say to yourself, ‘losing is a temporary state’ and nothing to do with who I really am.
Learn today how to live in harmony with the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ cycles of your life. This means being friendly with the Eternal moment of Now, with whatever IS happening. This isn’t a passive, victimless state but the most powerful state you will ever know.
Remember that any unwanted circumstance, event or even outcome in your life is teaching you as much about life as the wanted ones, and probably more so. Let’s face it, most of us become lazy when we are not challenged. It is through challenge that we grow.
As well, any so-called ‘loss’ reminds us of who we really are at the deepest level of our Being, that which is beyond winning and losing.
The losses are there to remind us that this life is an illusion. It is one we must honour but it is illusory nonetheless.
The more fearlessly you can face a situation, the more you will see ways to move through it, and to change it. And to help others do the same, should you wish to be a catalyst for change.
Indeed, by understanding the energy patterns in and around you, you can play with them as you see fit.
“If you were a sculptor on your first day of sculpting, you would not take your big clump of clay and throw it down on the table and say, “Oh, it didn’t turn out right.” You would mold it. You would get better at it. You would get more clay. You would get different-colored colored clay. You would find a way to continue to evolve in your creative endeavor.” Abraham Hicks, Ask and It Is Given
If you identify the core energies or forces at work, in your own psyche, as well as in your situation, then you can seek to alter or change them – particularly your own energies. The future is never fixed. Each moment gives us 360 degrees of perception and choice, so a new decision point within you will allow you another perception, and choice.
The outcome of your unfolding story is not a certainty, but a possibility. Even when the outcome is positive, you are still free to change it, add to it, recreate it as you wish. And this is how it should be.
At the deepest level you know what your situation is all about.
The Tarot simply acts as a mirror, to allow you to recognise what you know, so you can act c consciously. As you learn in life, and having a gifted seer read the Tarot for you, that mirror becomes clearer, and you perceive at ever deeper levels.
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