Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Spiders and tarot
When I went to bed last night I noticed a spider on the ceiling above the bed, right above the pillows. I thought the spiders and I had an agreement. They can wander in any part of the house as long as they stay out of the bedroom.
I read for a while and hoped the spider would move on, but he stayed in the same position for a long time. I kept looking up to see if he'd moved, but he was still there. I wanted him to move on and he obviously waited for me to turn out the light so he could wander down onto the bed and across some part of my body so he could bite me. I didn't agree with his plans, so I gave him a choice. I sat up, pulled out my journal, did a little writing and then decided to pick up the tarot cards and see what inspiration they could give me -- about writing, not about the spider. In the spider's case I decided that if he hadn't moved by the time I finished I'd move him myself.
I shuffled the deck and pulled three cards; Two of Cups, Six of Swords and The Sun.
This is what the cards suggest to me.
There are two people in a relationship. They are in love and devoted to one another. Like the water that is the element of cups, things have not gone smoothly. There have been calm days and there have been days when things are turbulent and unsettled. Despite it all, they remain together. The Two of Cups reminds me of an old song: Drink to me only with thine eyes and I will pledge with mine. Or leave a kiss within a cup and I'll not ask for wine. (I always hear an Irish tenor when I think of that song.) These two lovers have traveled a difficult and stony road together and apart, but they keep coming back together. They are both wounded by the past and the scars are deep. Obstacles remain and are not easily removed. To remove all the obstacles at once would sink them; they are too deeply embedded. Until they reach the safety of the solid shore it would be dangerous to remove all the obstacles. They have moved through rough water and have reached calm waters where they can rest and reap the rewards of their trials. They are ready to stand together in the clear light of day where they can grow together and have their time in the sun, a time for passion and joy, a time to be together at last.
The Six of Swords suggests to me a time when thoughts have been cloaked, hidden from the light of day, but that time is nearly past. The Sun is the aggressive, powerful and passionate symbol of growth. Nothing is hidden any more. The light seeks out all the dark places, things left unseen and words left unsaid, shining a bright and powerful light on everything and everyone. No more secrets. No more hiding. Everything is clear and plain to be seen. Even behind shuttered windows and heavy drapes, the light breaks through the gloom and depression to light the darkness. It is a joyful time full of life and laughter and promises fulfilled.
These cards may suggest something else to you. Look at the images. Create your own story about what you see. What I see won't be what you see, just as any group of writers given the same theme or image will end up with different stories. Whatever you see in the cards, make it your own. Write it down. Keep it to yourself or share it, but give it a try.
Just like with the spider on the ceiling above my head last night, someone else would have responded in a different way than I did. Experience has a lot to do with why I don't want spiders in my bedroom but will tolerate them anywhere else in the house. A spider bit me in my sleep one night and I woke up with a swollen and hot arm. I ended up taking Benadryl because the swelling was getting worse and hot red streaks spun out like a spider web up and down my arm. The antihistamine took care of the swelling and the streaks and warmth, but it left a mark on my arm and in my mind.
I got up and got the broom, swept the spider off the ceiling and set him on the floor. He headed for another wall and started to climb toward the ceiling again. I decided he wasn't going to leave voluntarily so I cut his stay short -- permanently.
I like spiders. They keep the insect population in check. I don't like spiders in my bedroom. I won't tolerate them there. They can spin their webs anywhere else, roam freely about the rooms but they must stay out of my room or be evicted. I'm a tolerant person and I can take a lot. I can wait as long as it takes as long as there is some forward movement. If nothing happens, like the spider remaining motionless on the ceiling, then I will take action, giving a couple of chances to get moving again. If nothing happens or, worse yet, the same behavior is repeated, I'll end the stand-off. Life is about movement and growth, it's about change. I can handle change. I can even handle endings. I can't handle stagnation and I don't suffer fools -- or recalcitrant spiders. When nothing happens, I take matters into my own hands and make things happen and becomes a use it or lose it situation.
Sometimes people -- and spiders -- get hurt. That's the thing about life, it's often messy and painful, but eventually the sun comes up and life moves on. Only fools waste their lives expecting guarantees and waiting for the right time. Most of the time, the right time is the time when the first step is taken and is followed by another step and another and another and you end up wondering what took you so long and what there was to fear. The answer is usually nothing.