The Bridge Between the Lovers and The Devil

The six week class with Biddy Tarot is drawing to a close as we wrap up our final exercises. I keep thinking back to the homework assignment for Week 5 and how it’s brought a lot of things to light that I feel will help me grow during my journey to Bali.

For the exercise, we were told to pick the card that appeals the most to us (our ego), the card that appeals the least to us (our shadow self) and a card to bridge the two (how to integrate your ego and shadow self).  I chose to work with my 3D deck again since they work best when focusing on the Marjor Arcana. It was a tough decision but I finally settled on The Lovers.  The radiant Raphael presiding over Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden seemed to glow golden as the holographic image popped off the card. There’s also a special place in my heart for Archangel Raphael so that also influenced my choice of card.

For the card that appealed the least to me, I chose the Devil.  I hate that card. I know that a truly professional Tarot reader doesn’t hate any card but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Devil reminds me of an ex that really played with my heart and strung me along. His indirectness held me captive because he was too much of a coward to tell me he didn’t love me.  The Devil card came to represent him and whenever the Devil comes up, I still think of that painful time . I’m settled down in a solid relationship now  but that unsettling, binding, suffocating, obsessive, anxious, addicted feeling of my old relationship still comes to the surface when I see the Devil.

I was stumped on a card to bridge the two though. My wonderful boyfriend, who also reads Tarot, came home from work and I told him that I was stumped about a card that builds a bridge between The Lovers and The Devil. He took one look at my cards and said, “That’s easy, it’s Temperance. It’s all about balance.”  I had been thinking about Temperance but I was trying not to pick another angel card.  But who is better to take on the Devil than Archangel Michael?

The message: I need to find balance between my ego and shadow self.  There are shadowy aspects of my personality that I’ve repressed and they’re coming to light now. I’m preparing to go half way across the globe to work at a  meditation and hula hooping retreat and just like the Fool, parts of me will die and be reborn on my journey.

I’ve sent my intention to let things go that physically, spiritually and emotionally bind me. But as I move to let things go, it comes to the surface and I feel the Devil rearing it’s ugly head because I’m attached to so many of these things that have held me back. But letting go is a natural process that also involves a good amount o f balance.  The more I try to push to let go, the harder I hang on to the things that bind me.

This came to light in a dream I had last night.  This dream is purely fiction but he symbolism is spot on with things going on in my subconscious.  I dreamed that I was in high school and the doctor told me I was nine months pregnant. I didn’t believe it because I didn’t have a pregnant belly, in fact, I was very thin (I haven’t looked that good in years. lol).  I was really stressed out from the pregnancy and I was trying to keep it a secret while I wraped up my senior year.  I hoped that I would have the baby after graduation because I didn’t want anything to interfere with graduation. I was in photography class one day, and my photography teacher (who was always insulting my character in real life high school), blurted out in front of everyone, “If you don’t finish this project and turn it in on time, you’re going to fail and you won’t graduate. Guess you wouldn’t be having such a hard time if you didn’t get pregnant. OH! Whoops! I shouldn’t have told the whole class!” I was so embarrassed and everyone surrounded me and asked me if I was pregnant. I quit school and went to wait tables at a seedy bar, giving up on my dream of graduation. In  reality, I had no problem finishing high school, but it was a metaphor for the success that I have tried to find since I graduated 12 years ago.

Buddha Under Construction

I think the pregnancy symbolizes my potential but I don’t believe in myself. I always go so far and then something makes me question myself and I shrink back. I want to shine but then when I shine too brightly and attract negative attention (like I did when I was traveling and performing), I hide my light and recoil back into darkness. My same old self doubts are returning and I need to let go and believe in myself. I need to believe that I AM worthy of everything that I’ve achieved and more and F* the haters.  I need the balance that Temperance brings to slay the Devil of self doubt inside me.

As an exercise in letting go, I’m going to try to fit everything for Bali into a small knapsack. I want to go ultra light backpacking style. I was forced to do this when my big, backpacking bag with all my fancy, expensive gear got stolen in South America and I had to buy all my gear again. It turned out to be a blessing though, and I felt liberated from losing everything that was weighing me down. I want that same feeling of weightlessness on this trip. And hopefully, by letting go of material things, I will be able to let go of more abstract things that I’m attached to.

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