by Karen Hollis
How many of us have "started over" in our lifetimes? Transition and change is what we as "spiritual beings having a human experience" are all about. Starting over can be both exhilarating and scary. I asked the tarot for guidance about starting over; the results, not surprisingly, were penetrating and wise.
The first card that I drew from the deck was The Fool.
This Fool is all about "starting over" as he is the "wise innocent" making his way through the world. If you ask most Tarot readers about The Fool, they will speak of The Fool's spontaneity and freedom. When pulled from the deck, this card evokes innocence and joy. It is uplifting and gives us a sense of hope. However, there is another side to The Fool as symbolized in the Visconti and Marseille tarot, a that of The Fool as the homeless person, seen as crazy and driven from place to place in society by his/her own delusions. In both the Visconti and Marseille decks, you do not see a joyous or adventurous image but one that is dazed and bedraggled
An excellent example of the essence of The Fool card, in both its forms, came for me as a part of a deep and lasting friendship with a woman who kept moving between Austin, Texas and Boulder, Colorado. She did this move so often that I joked with her that buying a mobile home would have been less expensive. Each time she would leave it would be with a "skip in her step" and a "hopefulness in her heart." Within the year, I would get the call that she was returning to the area in Colorado where I lived, and how happy she would be to "get her life back." She promised that we had to "do lunch" and catch up. After years of therapy, she realized that "wherever you go, there you are!" Her childhood, which had not been a happy one, had been in Austin, Texas and her failed marriage, also an unpleasant circumstance, took place in Boulder, Colorado. My friend was literally going back and forth in search of answers in both of these areas of her life.
I often quote one of my favorite authors, Rachel Pollack, and in one of her many books on Tarot she suggests that the "beauty of The Fool is that he has no identity of his own. "To be free of a fixed identity, of the illusion that our social personality is somehow the truth of who we are is to achieve spiritual freedom." Sometimes, we need to be "The Fool," in the literal sense, like my friend who kept moving in order to find her way back to her authentic self. Even if that self is not a fixed identity!
- Have you made changes in your life that have not made sense on a practical level, but have made sense on a spiritual level, such as a move?
- How have you grown from choices you have made, and are you free of the past?
- Do you need to be "The Fool" for a while in order to get back to knowing who you really are?
Starting over is not always joyful; oftentimes, it can be painful. Change can be embraced or it can be feared. Even if we are miserable in life, the "status quo" can feel safe and so we accept it. I queried the deck once again for guidance about how to deal with the conflicting emotions, like change and fear that arise when we attempt to start over.
The second card that I drew from the deck was the Five of Cups.
In this card, we see a figure looking forlornly at three spilled cups, which can represent emotion and dwelling on the past, specifically on past hurts. This figure is, as facial expression shows, experiencing pain. There is likely to be no one reading this column that hasn't been there, and there is most probably no one reading this who will not be in that place again at some point in life. In advanced tarot, the Five of Cups sits on the Tree of Life at "Gevurah" which carries a force that is difficult and painful. Gevurah means severity, strength: it means judgment and is related to the left hand of God. It forces us to deal with the judgment we need to exercise in our own lives, and the "fall out" when we use bad judgment.
Many of my clients are unable to shake the "ghosts of relationships" past. They blame or judge themselves for not "seeing the signs" of infidelity or of not being "good enough" or "having enough." They want to know why things in their lives have happened as they have, and they lament past choices. Sometimes there are reasons that can be explored with a therapist, and then moving on becomes easier. Other times, it needs to be "good enough" to just accept that the past is the past and move forward trying to make better choices for the future. If you look closely into the Five of Cups, you will notice two full cups behind the figure. The message being, if you take a moment to look beyond your immediate circumstance, you might notice there is, indeed, something more to be found in the world, in life, in your situation.
- Where do you need to let go of judgments about yourself and the past?
- Are you allowing yourself the joy of the future if you refuse to start over?
- How can you use the symbolism in the card to move forward in a more positive manner?
The final card I drew from my Tarot Deck was the Death Card.
I interpreted this to mean that the Tarot, in its wisdom, was addressing the most difficult part of starting over: Transformation. We can see this as a literal death of a loved one, as in when we have lost a loved one to death we are in great pain and oftentimes denial. Or, we can see this as the death of how we have perceived our life up to a point and accept that change, big change, will come whether we are ready to embrace it or not.
Again the Tarot challenges us to begin anew! We can choose to see the freedom that our loved one may have now that they are no longer concerned with the trials and tribulations of this world. It has been said that "perspective is everything" and so it is also true of the wisdom that the Tarot gives us to contemplate when the unthinkable happens in life.
- Where in your life do you need to completely transform your way of thinking?
- How has complete transformation made you stronger as a spiritual being?
We can choose to dwell in the past like the Five of Cups, or like The Fool we can choose to re-make ourselves in the image of the divine. If we embrace the transformation that the Death card brings, we can remain ever hopeful and willing to see that no matter the circumstances, all things happen for our soul's growth and purpose.
With Blessings from Spirit,
Karen Hollis is one of Connecticut's most highly regarded professional psychics. She is a sought-after Master Tarot reader who has over 25 years experience both reading and teaching the Tarot. A former marketing executive, Karen leads dynamic workshops throughout New England. Karen is also the Lead Psychic/Medium Investigator with Ghosts of New England Research Society (a.k.a. G.O.N.E.R.S.) She has been featured on The Discovery Channel's "A Haunting," and has studied under International mediums, James Van Praagh, Tony Stockwell, Jose Gosschalk, and John Holland.
For a reading with Karen, or to book a speaking engagement on Tarot, mediumship or other esoteric subjects, please call 860-665-8024 between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM Eastern Time.
Illustrations of the Hanson-Roberts Tarot deck reproduced by permission of U. S. Games Systems, Inc., Stanford, CT 06092 USA. © 1985 U. S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited.