Monday, August 17, 2015

shadow work with the Obscure Sorrows Tarot Challenge

During the month of July, @deelahunt over at La Reine de L'Air started a tarot challenge based on questions she created from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. If you haven't heard of this (I hadn't) and you're a lover of words, race over there now to check it out.

I thought I'd share some of my favorite Instagram posts from the challenge with you here.

KLEXOS: The art of dwelling on the past. 
What piece of your past do you need to let go of?

I think these cards are speaking to my strong introversion and spending too much time in my head. Also, my need to overly plan and prepare instead of just taking action.

JOUSKA: A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head.
How can you stop the cycle of anxiety caused by living in the future?

I chose the Empress to represent the compulsive anxiety-based conversation. In this deck she comes up for health concerns. As I get closer to 50 it seems that even tiny changes in diet, sleep and stress levels produce major shifts in my health and general balance. So I'm always asking how will {fill in the blank} affect how I feel tomorrow? The Hermit shows up again but this time I think to say stop focusing on tomorrow (he's facing the left or past) but search my inner knowing about finding the right balance.

LACHESISM: The desire to be struck by disaster – to survive a plane crash, or to lose everything in a fire. What is your secret disaster fantasy? (What urge does this satisfy?)

This was both frightening and revelatory. And I mean that in a good way. Since I took the disaster in a literal way and though it could point to some past life debris I used The Simple Lenormand deck to get a more literal visual. I was stunned by the outcome. It took only a few seconds to see the shipwreck disaster in these cards. The Anchor card next to Start. In this case, instead of reaching up to grab a star, I see people reaching up from the water for help. I do have a strong fear of drowning even though I swim well and I was one of the few people on the planet who did NOT want to see the Titanic movie lol!

Strength shows this fantasy satisfies an urge to summon courage I don't know I have. Later I read the Obscure Sorrows Dictionary that the desire for disaster is really a desire to "put a kink in the smooth arc of your life and forge it into something hardened and flexible and sharp." This is a good way to describe the Strength card in the Shadow Spirits Tarot.

OPIA: The ambigious intensity of eye contact, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable. What are you afraid of revealing to others?

This is very funny. Two sixes that show opposing energy. It's true I don't want anyone to see the extremes of either side of my personality: (1) I'm kind, helpful and a big softy (6 of Cups) because I'm afraid ppl will take advantage of me. (2) I'm anti-social and prefer to just ignore you plus secretly I think I'm smarter than you (6 of Swords) because that might be too real for folks.

RIGOR SAMSA: A kind of psychological exoskeleton that can protect you from pain and contain your anxieties, but always ends up cracking under pressure. What false armour have you constructed for yourself?
I did this one with three cards. The 3 of Swords shows that my false armor is sharp and pointy. Underneath that armor is another layer, the Knight of Cups, showing that the sharp and pointyness is there to protect my sentimental, romantic side. And that kind, helpful, lovingness covers up my true be alone. Damn Hermit again!

MIMEOMIA: The frustration of knowing how easily you fit into a stereotype, even if you never intended to. What stereotype do you unwillingly fit?

BITCH! I guess it makes sense. After all I'm on the cusp of Virgo/Libra, a perfectionist, critical and judging (wait I'm describing my Mom) and waiting for you to make a mistake so I can prove my superiority (insert diabolical laughter here)

NIGHTHAWK: A recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night, pecking at the back of your mind when you try to sleep. What nighthawk do you need to tame and tether?

This combination brings up my fear that time is running out and having limited time to accomplish what I'd like to accomplish. I see the 6 of Cups as experiencing contentment with the past or at least trying to. This card signifies me looking back at what I've accomplished so far and asking is it enough? Do I have any regrets? Is it too late to change/fix anything?

OCCHIOLISM: The awareness of the smallness of your perspective. Where do you need to broaden your perspective?

I knew exactly what this was about as soon as I saw the Magician. It appears in this deck related to work and busyness. Next to the cluttered, narrow aisles of the 4 of Pentacles bookstore, the message is I've got tunnel vision with my "work." In this case work is my blogging, Instagramming, and creating oracle decks. Unfortunately that work isn't paying the bills and I have several projects I really need to focus on.

DAGUERROLOGUE: An imaginary interview with an old photo of yourself, the enigmatic person who became who you are now, without knowing who they would become. What one question would you like your past self to answer? What would they say?
This is another question that the cards decided to answer in a slightly different way. I used three decks for this one. When I saw the last two cards I knew exactly what the interview was about. Years ago I kept getting stirrings to do work in the physical healing professions but I was definitely not interested. I liked all my mental pursuits just fine. When a friend took a massage therapy course and asked if I would like to join I replied, What if they're sweaty or God forbid hairy? Um no

Long story short after maturing a bit I did eventually go to massage school and then reflexology school and now work as a professional reflexologist. I'm sure my past self would say I would NEVER do bodywork. But I had to grow out of my fears (Knight of Swords) of working with the body to grow into a healing (Healing) professional (8 of Pentacles)

FITZCARRALDO: An image that somehow becomes lodged deep in your brain, which then grows into a wild vision that keeps scrambling back and forth in your head, itching for a chance to be realized. What unexpressed vision keeps you up at night?

To be a powerful (and profitable) High Priestess. Yeah to do all this woo woo stuff in a way that feels empowering to others and to me financially.

Join the fun on Instagram!

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