Karma is more about understanding your habits and inner truth than it is fearing the consequences of every action. We catch ourselves doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, and then being disappointment. Understanding ourselves helps us ween off the subconscious need for codependency and reinforce the beneficial truth of interdependency.
For me, I have the habit of using defensiveness as a guard against being abandoned, rejected, and exploited because it has happened many times in this life and my past ones. However, that desire to guard is a codependent mechanism in itself. I defined myself by the approval and disapproval of others rather than be my true self and let those who come and go do as such. I think even as a writer, putting out my work and having to wait for approval or disapproval still gets to me, but that fear is only temporary. My karmic tarot reading echoed that today. When you’re under the rule of authoritarian guardians or an oppressive culture, questioning your own worth comes naturally, I think. So it feels very foreign to just be. It feels almost “illegal” to be who you are.
There’s a karmic pattern the oppressors need to recognize as well, but that’s not my responsibility. I need to focus on just being me, even if I express some things that will make the oppressive, authoritarian types lose their s**t. Not gonna lie, that’s certainly the motivation between “Autonomy Bleeds Black”.
A lot of the hatred, heartbreak, and loss recently may persuade some of us to hide away or run away. I woke up feeling that way, then decided to do an ancestral and karmic oracle reading. I used The Shaman’s Oracle deck to speak with my ancestors who communicated an awesome message of resilience reminding me that fear can be hurtful and paralyzing, which is all the more reason to set boundaries and take time to retreat so you can reflect on the truth of the situation, but there’s no need to forget your own strength. There are traditions in the past many tried to oppress, but they still live on. There are those who cultivated their skills in the midst of being afraid and became prolific figures in history and in modern times. Right now we have so many protests, petitions, and other forms of speaking out against injustice and unfairness. While fighting for integrity and acknowledging our fear, we shouldn’t forget our power and our right to live because that is how our freedom lives on.
It’s appalling that there are people to this day who believe some lives are less valued than others, but those same people are ignorant of the fact that they don’t have authority over another’s life. What fear teaches us when we see those same people do wicked things to others is to be cautious as we forge our own path. Sometimes a brash and outspoken rebellion isn’t as significant as a patient strategy that can abolish oppression for the long-term. Acknowledging our fear and being thoughtful of what is and isn’t in our control is what maintains freedom because then our fear doesn’t become a card the oppressor can play whenever they want.
I hope this isn’t being interpreted as a suggestion to be passive and tolerant of injustice, but rather as encouragement on the establishment of autonomy, keeping our power. There is hope, but if your heart is angry and seeking revenge, the hardest blow you can land is striving to live your best life. The people who take the oppressive route are clowns refusing to reflect on their own pain and insecurity, which is not our responsibility, but theirs. All the more reason to make sure we speak out about accountability and continue the fight for integrity without losing our will to live or abandoning our gratitude for life.
The way this message was told to me started with the dancer of fear (acknowledging fear and pain, cautious and resilient), then the ancestor of boundaries (setting boundaries, respecting yourself), then the shaman of tradition (deep memories, ancestral wisdom, remembering the past), then the ancestor of skill (utilizing skills and powers to daily life) and lastly the ancestor of hope (strength to achieve goals for the long term, even during adversity).
The stones on top of the cards are two malachite (the green ones), two Botswana agate, and in the middle is lodelite.
As I share this article with those who are interested in tarot, this would be a good reminder for myself that, “the truth as you see it is what’s going to define the impact of tarot reading for you. What you should expect from reading tarot is gaining a revelation of your own perception of reality,” (Authentikei 2019). I mean, this is exactly what happened when I was ranting about Leo Season. You can see for yourself here and here.
I wrote an article for those interested in reading tarot, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Divination through reading the cards, also known as cartomancy, attracts those who love cryptic symbolism. Don’t think “cryptic” to mean “incredibly difficult to understand” in this case. Tarot cards are metaphorical in nature, but are usually simplistic and direct in design. Divination itself, or communing with the divine (or spirit work, and communication, if you prefer), can be ambiguous when starting out, but I think tarot is a great introduction to identifying personal and universal truths. Tarot is a great psychological tool for introspection. Whatever your reason is for picking up tarot, I hope this introduction will give you a general idea of what to expect while learning to read the cards, and provide suitable references to help you explore tarot further.
…the truth as you see it is what’s going to define the impact of tarot reading for you. What you should expect from reading tarot is gaining a revelation of your own perception of reality, whether you feel connected to divination or not.
I’m inching closer and closer to meeting my creative goals and a little bit of terror creeps deeper in my psyche because I’m one of those people who fears success. I fear being excited and proud of myself because my reactions have been “too much” sometimes. I fear being happy for myself because there’s someone else who isn’t happy and I need to be there for them. I fear the pressure that comes subsequently after being in the spotlight because of a success. I fear that all the hypothetical stimuli, all the changes and events that could occur, after a success or failure will overwhelm me and cause a mental breakdown. Shame, was the best counter to my fears, so I thought. Instead, shame magnified all of that. It discouraged me from truly embracing the achievements I had made in life and simultaneously added fuel to the fire.
So let’s knock that shit off, said my spirit guides.
Today, I spoke with the spirits about shame, my biggest fear and my favorite defense mechanism. I’m going to breakdown what I was told about shame during the reading. I used the Tao Oracle Deck, the Raider-Waite Tarot, and the Psychic Tarot Deck.
The Tao Oracle Cards
Surrender: Submit to how you’re feeling. Acknowledge what you’re upset or ashamed about. – It’s so habitual for us to bury whatever we’re feeling when shame comes around because we’re introduced to it early on. Repressing your emotions brings temporary relief and long-term emotional scars. To have a more functional relationship with the part of you that feels overwhelmed by shame, you need to acknowledge your own feelings. Express in your own way how you’re feeling to yourself.
Grounding: Neutralize the situation and reassure yourself. Don’t completely blame yourself or others; just address what’s happening and what you need to do to ground or calm yourself again. – Once you know how you’re feeling, discuss it as neutrally and honestly as possible. How are you feeling? I’m sad. I’m pissed. I’m depressed. I’m worried. I’m anxious. Why? Because [insert distressing situation here] is happening. Okay. What will help you calm down right now? I need to be alone. I need to cry. I need a friend. I need to hit something (inanimate). I need to scream. Really, I think the best part about grounding is just being as real as possible in the moment, preferably alone or with someone you trust and without brining physical harm to yourself or anyone else. Grounding is dropping that emotional baggage. Let that sh*t fall.
Be Your Own Sage: Although you’ll be tempted to recall past experiences this situation reminds you of, look through those memories with compassion. Think about what you can and can’t control. – So, most of the fury has passed, but the shame is still lingering. I think this is when the brain starts thinking up ideas on how to cope. If we let shame take the lead during this brainstorm session, we won’t look at our past coping mechanisms with compassion. We may repeat self-destructive tendencies or think of something new. Compassion for the self and others, however, counters shame. The three tarot cards at the bottom, the nine of swords (the situation), the ten of swords reversed (the action), and the page of cups (the outcome), revealed that my anxiety and despair (the nine of swords) isn’t permanent. It will eventually end (the ten of swords reversed). When I look back on how I recovered, it can inspire a greater revelation about my unconscious (page of cups) and if I choose to, I can trust that experience to help me move on and prepare for the future. Thus, shame is no longer required. I felt like sh*t. I let that sh*t go. Now, I am the sh*t because I learned something new about myself. Good job, me.
Be Cautious: Shame and other emotionally exhausting situations will not heal in a day, a week, a month, etc. . Be patient with yourself as you try to apply what you’ve learned from the past to your present situation. – During the healing process, sometimes the wound will reopen unexpectedly or we relapse and rip it open ourselves. It happens. Sometimes shame appears because we’re not healing fast enough or getting over it quick enough. You may have just learned to be your own sage, but all of the best advice for your problems won’t do much if you don’t give it time to sink in. Think of it like glue. You have to give it time to dry before it can do its job. If you keep expecting it to be instant and mess with the adhesive before it dries, you’re going to end up with mess and disappointed. It’s not just impatience, but also self-sabotage. When that happens, you go back to acknowledging your emotions, grounding yourself, learn from the experience, and apply the experience to your situation. It’s a process. Let it take its course.
This isn’t easy…
Dealing with shame in this way isn’t easy. I don’t think it’s meant to be easy. So don’t expect it to be. I’m going to just keep trying. The two of swords on the left in the second picture signifies indecision in my subconscious, which is very true right now. I feel torn between addressing my shame in this new way and letting it win, but on the right, the two of pentacles, representing my conscious, is a good reminder that shame brings up a lot of things that are hard to juggle. I can find my balance eventually if I give it time. Lastly, the third picture shows four more cards that stood out to me: Balance, to recall that two of pentacles energy, the four of wands reversed, pointing out what I’m struggling with is most likely linked to what I’ve been through with those close to me, Longevity from the Tao oracle, signifying the use of this new way of processing shame, and Emotional Loss, the core to my shame, I would say.
So, yeah, just wanted to share that. Thank you if you read all the way through. This was a bit hard to write, being more transparent and all that. But whatever. I’m not ashamed 🙂 .