This next phase of our (the Fool’s) journey is about finding inner peace. Life is all about cycles and in this next adventure you might notice that some familiar themes are once again at play. This isn’t by chance, life likes you to use those new gifts/perspectives to further unfold a deeper meaning to an old lesson. The lesson you just learned is that Life (your life) isn’t aimless, you have control, choices, determination and imagination. You can achieve goals (successfully); you do have a place in this world, you do belong. You can shape your existence. You, however, made some mistakes along the way and how do you rectify that? That is what we are going to find out in our quest for inner peace…and it begins with…
# 8 -Strength (Patience, Inner Strength, Courage, Humility)
Strength in this case has very little to do with physical power, this is mental and emotional fortitude. You are aware that you have made some mistakes along your journey and now you must find a way to accept that you aren’t perfect and that you can’t change what has happened, you can only heal your past mistakes and try to make amends (and try not to repeat these mistakes in the future).
When faced with emotional pain we often decide to “grin and bear it,” this is not advisable if you truly want to grow. Suppressing negative emotions never make them go away. It just creates more inner struggle. The Strength card is there to remind us of this fact. It is time to have courage and face what you are struggling with, have patience with yourself. Yes, you may have made mistakes along the way, but you can’t change your past, you can move forward and learn from those mistakes (and therefore not repeat them). Develop humility and inner strength by facing what you have done and the consequences of your actions and then take control and move forward. The downside of this card is self-doubt and low self-esteem.
Keywords: balanced power, Strength, Endurance, courage, Passion, patience, mind over matter, soft control, Compassion, determination, Instinct, Tolerance, Resilience, Strength of Character,
Questions to ask: ” Am I confident?” Where in my life do I feel insecure?” “What cycles/patterns of insecurity, self doubt am I aware of in my life?” “How can I take back control and end this inner-struggle?” “How do I show myself compassion, patience, tolerance?” “Am I more critical of my self than I am of others? Why?” “Do I have a cycle of negative self-talk/thought patterns?” “What causes me to be trapped in them?” “What changes can I make to combat this negative thought cycle(s)?” “Am I able to lead or hold a place of leadership? Why or Why not?” ” Am I able to see different point of views?” “Am I able to balance my emotional state or do I feel my emotions are out of my control?”
What to remember about the Strength card: It is ok to be influenced by your emotions, instincts and passions but never let them be in control of you. Understand that you can control them. It is your patience and compassion that is the foundation of your inner strength.
# 9 -The Hermit (Solitude, Introspection, Example)
The Hermit card is my personal favorite and for some reason it seems to be often overlooked by the general public. The Hermit is our universal cue to take some much needed alone time and work through the inner struggles that are manifesting in our life at any particular time. It is a reminder that you, and you alone, have the solution to your problems. Stop chasing others for the answers/solutions to your life issues. By taking this alone time you connect with your own special spiritual guidance and develop wisdom (spiritual).
Taking some much needed alone time allows us to explore those neglected (and sometimes unknown) parts of our psyche that are often pushed to the side or ignored for more communal pursuits and distractions. This is a temporary withdrawal from the world…not permanent. Take time to reflect, contemplate, study, create, soul-search, master a skill, an interest, an art form or yourself and then go back out into the world and share what you discovered. The downside to this card is (self-imposed) isolation and feeling forsaken.
Keywords: Contemplation, Ascension, Solitude, Introspection, loneliness, betrayal, Guidance, Soul-Searching,
Questions to ask: “Am I being honest with myself?” “Do I trust myself/inner wisdom (voice/intuition)?” “Why do I struggle with self-doubt?” “Do I spend enough time in self reflection or do I rely on friends, family, others to resolve my life issues?” “How can I overcome this dependency on others?” “Do I have issues/cycles of betrayal/or feelings of being forsaken in my life?” “What events/triggers lead to these feelings, cycles?” “Can I detect the ways in which I betray/forsake myself?” “In what way can I alter or change this pattern/cycle in myself?” “Is there an interest (studies, creative talent, Solitary sport (running, walking, hiking, etc.), that could help me connect to my spiritual side or reach a meditative state?” “Am I utilizing this skill/interest, gift (natural talent) to its full potential?” “Where in my life can I carve out some time or space to indulge in these skills/interests, gifts?” “Do I try to hide from the world by isolating myself from the rest of the world?” “Why do I do this?” “What am I afraid of?”
Things to remember about The Hermit card: We all bring something unique to this world, something that no-one has ever brought before or will ever bring again to this world in exactly the same way or measure. Take time to discover, nurture, understand this and then develop complete trust in yourself. Rediscover your rich and vibrant inner world through reflection, meditation, serenity rituals. Your life experience is shaping you into a phenomenal force (a light to shine bright) trust the experience and the knowledge gained from it, reflect upon the lessons/struggles and use them to move forward. Don’t use them to stall out and self-sabotage.
# 10 -The Wheel (of Fortune) (External Changes, Destiny, Cycles)
The Wheel of Fortune is a reminder that there is a natural rhythm to all of life; an ebb and flow. Everything is in an inevitable state of change and we should embrace it rather than fear or resist it. Be who you are, don’t change just because circumstances change. Enjoy the high points of life because they will soon pass. Endure the low points and remember that they too shall pass, and you can always find creative solutions to ease the bothersome points in the cycle. You have choices…always! The downside sometimes you get so stuck in what is going wrong in life that you neglect to see that it has already started to change for the better (series of bad events that snowball into an unnecessary avalanche).
Keywords: Cycles, Achievement, ebb and flow, Highs and lows, rise and fall, happiness and suffering, major Karmic events, turning points, beginnings and endings, growth, Potentiality, Movement, Acceptance and Expectation.
Questions: “How can I accept what is happening in my life at the moment?” “What expectations regarding my life (and people in it) can I release?” “Can I let go of my fear/control of this situation so I can see the potential in the change of events?” “What in this situation can I accept in order to create a new reality?” “What problems do I need to face in order to find solutions?” “Am I micromanaging my life so much that I have stopped seeing it in it’s entirety (lost track of the bigger picture by trying to control to many extraneous details)?” “What are my weaknesses?” “How can I turn them into Strengths?” “What steps can I take to become aware of my weakness’ and accept them?” “What are my strengths?” “How can I use my strengths to overcome this situation?”
What to remember about this card: Your inner world is always reflected in your external world, they are intrinsically linked. Remain calm and hold a holistic view of life’s cycles, the up’s and down’s of life come and go if we give them room to do so, resistance causes more suffering. Nothing is ever permanent in life. The world will continue to turn no matter what is happening in our personal lives.
Photo: The Chariot. Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. taken with a Nikon DSLR 5300 by Pamela