Lughnasa and the Michaelmas Moon
Monday gratefuls: Tara. The Ancient Ones, holding space for my eventful life. Peregrenatio. Rigel, lying down with me last night. A long night asleep. Orgovyx. Exhaustion. Hot flashes. Cousin Riley, his wife. Diane and Mary in Indiana. Bailey Patchworkers. Kitchen remodelers. House stainer. Jon, Ruth, and Gabe.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Death
Tarot: Death, #13 of the Major Arcana
So many help me. Jon, Ruth, Gabe came up Saturday. We had chicken pot pie and I sent them home with two. They also went to Upper Maxwell Falls to scatter some more of Kate’s ashes. I didn’t feel quite up to going and I wondered if it might be better anyhow. Allow them their own time, their own way of saying goodbye.
And, it was so. Here are Gabes’s (correction) words about it:
“Grandma’s metaphorical ashes. The ashes that stuck to the bottom were the parts of grandma that will stay with us forever. The cloudy ashes that eventually dispersed to go to the Atlantic Ocean were the parts of grandma that were temporary and that we don’t need to remember like pain and suffering. And, the glass was the vessel like our bodies, useful but not permanent.”
The next morning I take a walk with my Ancient friends: Paul, Mario, Bill, and Tom. We spoke to each other in our minds, through the spirit air waves as Mario suggested. We gathered afterward. They’ve allowed me a lot of time to process my ongoing, eventful life. And, I love them for it.
Afterward I went over to an organic breakfast spot, Taspen’s. Been here almost seven years and it was the first time. Meeting Tara, my friend from CBE.
We talked. Tara is a great listener and an empath. When I told her I felt I’d expressed self pity when Jon and the grandkids left on Saturday, she said it sounded like love. Ruth had said, See you, grandpop. And, I said, my voice catching, I hope so. Sounded needy and self-pitying to me at the time.
After talking with Tara, I thought. No. I was vulnerable, sadly hopeful. And I don’t experience vulnerability with them too often. Maybe that’s changing now.
Today I’m going to the meeting of the Bailey Patchworkers. Kate’s stash and other sewing accessories will be given away to her friends there. I asked for a couple of minutes to speak. I’ll tell them that Kate loved them. That they gave her friendship and motivation for sewing. And, right after we got here. She went faithfully as long as she could.
They were a very different crowd from her ordinary social circles. She spoke her political truth often, to folks who didn’t agree. As Lauri, her engineer friend said, “I should have disliked her, but I adored her.” That was Kate.
These are those who helped me just in the last three days. A lucky guy, I am. And, of course, Rigel and Kepler.
Tarot: Death, # 13 in the Major Arcana
I’ve been drawing cards in what some call a daily oracle. Pick out one card, see how it speaks to the day. Oracle is a poor choice of words in that it has a predictive connotation. I don’t find the tarot useful as prophecy. I’ve found it astonishingly useful as a mirror to my inner world. It shows me things I ignore, or overlook, or diminish, or things I didn’t know were there.
Let’s see. I’d call it, I guess, The Daily Mirror. Ha.
Anyhow my point here is that I’m doing my own thing with these daily cards and I’m not only reading the day, but the trends. I’ve had so many cards that spoke to my anima. I’ve remarked on this before. I’ve also had cards like the Hanged Man that speak to a transformation in values, in beliefs, in life way.
The Death card is the apotheosis of that trend. Yes, indeed, it refers to death. But, to death as transition, as transformation, as a severance with the ways of the past (including life, eventually. for Kate, already), an entry way to the new. If you recall the High Priestess from yesterday, she blocked the way on the path. She encouraged waiting, going down into the depths. I’d call it wu wei.
The death card opens the way, suggests I embrace the changes that the anima cards have hinted at, the inner knowledge that the High Priestess wanted me to attain before going on. It also suggests letting go.
Let go, Charlie, of the flat-earth humanism of your post-ministry years. Let go, Charlie, of the old life you had with Kate. (note: this does not mean an end to grief or a diminished view of life with her.). Open yourself to the tarot, to astrology, to kabbalah, to the other world. Open yourself again to the creative life of writing and painting. Live into it. Live with it. Live. Let go of the caregiver, let go of the inner skeptic, the inner editor, the inner cynic. Embrace the mystical, the soulful, the beautiful. Let go.
Die to the old ways and be born again into a fourth phase of life. One focused on creativity and the other world. Let go.
“Meaning: Initiation and transformation. The core structure of initiation involves an experience of death followed by an experience of rebirth…We often have to die to our old ways of thinking, feeling, or behaving before we can open to our new life.” DTB
* “After a period of pause and reflection with the Hanged Man, the Death card symbolises the end of a major phase or aspect of your life that you realise is no longer serving you, opening up the possibility of something far more valuable and essential. You must close one door to open another. You need to put the past behind you and part ways, ready to embrace new opportunities and possibilities. It may be difficult to let go of the past, but you will soon see its importance and the promise of renewal and transformation.
Similarly, Death shows a time of significant transformation, change and transition. You need to transform yourself and clear away the old to bring in the new. Any change should be welcomed as a positive, cleansing, transformational force in your life. The death and clearing away of limiting factors can open the door to a broader, more satisfying experience of life.” biddy tarot