I started to contribute to Tarot Town's Project X. I can't reveal too much about it yet but I can say it was a much deeper experience then I envisioned when I put my hand up for it. I had to live and breathe tarot for a period of time much more then I have ever had to before ~ I worked my considerably sized buns off on this one! It was while I was writing the manuscript (the project is a book with many volunteer co-authors) for Project X that I realised a lot of people are going to be reading this and I am going to be judged in one way or another, which sent me into a bit of a self reflective spiral. What of me is coming through this piece of writing that will be published for all the world to see and judge? What of me do I want to come through this?
And more importantly, what is my philosophy, my view on all this? I had an idea of how I saw the world, and my place in it, but lately, that idea hasn't worked, what I thought I lived and breathed isn't sitting with me very well.
Halfway through researching and writing my contribution Project X, I attended the Goddess Conference put on by the amazing Goddess of Association of Australia (http://www.goddessassociation.com.au/) I felt disconnected throughout a lot of what should have been a brilliant experience ~ the group opening ritual, the international guest...I just couldn't get into it. I didn't feel like I belonged there anymore. At one point I even felt like everyone else knew this and was watching me, wondering why I was there when it was so obvious I didn't fit in.
Then I went to Lucy Cavendish's workshop on Walking Between the Worlds and things started to make some sense. As I listened to all the women in the darkened room with their eyes shut talk about how they walk between the worlds and their experiences of such, I started to realize it's not about belonging to a philosophy or a group because we are all navigating our way through the darkness to find our own light and way, so to speak. You can belong to or subscribe to whatever it is that gives your identity some semblance of solidity, but once you start walking between those worlds, you and your gifts, talents, abilities and challenges are all yours and all you have. At the end, we had to do quick readings for complete strangers with the choice of using Lucy's new Oracle of the Shapeshifters deck as a prompt ~ I am not ashamed to admit I prematurely evacuated my pants. The next ten minutes were fabulous ~ one of the amazing Desert Moon Dancers, Dani (an AMAZING belly dance troupe from Newcastle http://desertmoondancers.net/) came straight to me and we had a wonderful exchange. I came out of that feeling brilliant ~ her words were such confirmation, it was such a confidence boost!
And I had a wonderful experience with the drum troop Alchemy of the Hearth. We were supposed to go on a journey but all I felt from their amazing Mother Drum (that I dubbed "Big Mama") was the rhythm of the universe just taking me along for the ride. So I thought "Ok, I'm hanging out with a big drum and getting funky with it, that's cool. But why didn't I get as far on this guided meditation as I was supposed to? What's wrong with me that I didn't go there, that I went on my own little ride?"
Then came Hollie B (http://www.lunationonline.com/) on the Sunday morning, who explained that the disconnection, the going on your own journey ~ that's all cool. You've got your own rhythm and it's perfectly ok to just Be. As long as you're Be-ing you, who the fuck cares? Want to dance naked under a full moon? Fine, do it, get funky. Want to study and be surrounded by books and be correct with every single thing? That's cool too. Not following the group meditation, going on your own journey? Cool, tell us about it, you might have gone somewhere interesting.
The point is that you don't have to connect to anything other then yourself. Your Truth, your Self ~ if you are coming from a genuine place with it all, you're probably doing ok. And nothing is static ~ the beauty of it is that it all moves around, gets re-arranged, put back together in it's own time and way.
I found this amazing quote by a Tarot expert I really admire, Wald Amberstone, co-founder of the brilliant Tarot School:
The stories of tarot are the reason for its existence. With a deck of cards, we can tell the stories of where we come from, how it is that we are here, what awaits us, and what we will or might become. Tarot tells the story that we are made in a divine image, and that the world (at least the world as we experience it) is made in that same image, so that in some subtle way God, humanity and the world are all the same shape and are made of the same things. If that is true, then to be a student of tarot is to be a student of everything. ~ Wald Amberstone
And it made me reflect more on "Why Tarot?" Cos I love it. Because there are decks that incapsulate every imagineable walk of life, philosophy, culture. Because you can live and grow with a deck, have them be like 78 friends that don't bullshit you, nurture you when you need it, and never leave you.
There is so much inspiring work going on in the tarot world at the moment ~ a lot of bloggers and authors producing amazing work, a lot of them in my blog roll. Associations like the Tarot Professionals working hard to "restore the spiritual dignity of Tarot" or the Tarot School and their brilliant teachings.
How can I not reach out and want to be part of it? So much of me wants to drown in it and come back for air in the real world only occasionally. Maybe the trick is just to Be, and see what happens, what and who fits in with my life, and what and who doesn't. Kind of like the Two of Swords reversed ~ integrate opposites that work for you, cut what is deemed irreconciable ~ just do it all with clear sight.