Had a bit of a rough day, partly because I’m struggling with that one fire sign (a maternal figure in my life) and also experiencing episodes of frustration over seemingly not seeing things opening up for me.
The first row of cards illustrates this ‘on the verge’ of a break through, but kinda stuck. All reversed Page of Cups, Nine of Cups, and the Death card.
Asking about what is preventing me from getting to the next level, reversed Temperance, followed by the Five of Pentacles came up. Seeing the two people in this card with the context of being “distempered”, I had to face that this person, who has caused a lot of pain to me and other relatives, is at an age and with certain health problems that is making them unable to be as independent as they once were. Not as powerful (reversed King of Wands), but they still try to project this image (reversed the Magician).
Light bulb moment. To me, I always look at the Hanged Man reversed as positive. It signifies a change in perspective. And that’s what I had in that moment. In order to keep up the progress in rebuilding our relationship (as much can be done healthily), I have to let the past stay where it belongs. Those people are gone. Let them take that history between them and this person with them (Five of Cups reversed).
The Judgment card, Queen of Wands, and the World Card reversed. Sigh. I need to continue to work on strengthening my compassion for this person, who is now in their 70s. Up pops the Sun card as I say this out loud with acceptance.
Though I may never get the acknowledgement from them about their behaviour because of the nature of their issues, running away isn’t going to help heal me. And it isn’t the just thing to do, to abandon them at this stage of their life.
As I’m sitting here nodding in agreement, acceptance, acknowledgement of what the cards are telling me, I’m also asking how do I do this? What are the qualities I need to embody? What archetypes can I look to for guidance when I feel my heart getting pulled over the past? The Hermit and Queen of Swords. Let the light of love and truth shine to illuminate your path. Trust that Hermit energy, quiet, wise, reflective. I can figure this out and handle it. And maybe there can be some form of reconciliation or peace to be shared, as per the Two of Cups.
Ah, the bottom of the deck is the Ten of Pentacles. Yes, thank you. A wonderful ideal and goal. I feel this is a confirmation that it’s possible.
There has always been a part of me that has wanted to excavate and restore our relationship. For a period in my teens, she was the only mother figure I had. More than that really, she was the only full-time connection I had with any relative. There are so many things that I’m interested in that I would never have known about. She brought into my life imagination and creativity and extravagance and travel. She introduced me to writing on a computer when we still had to use those big floppy disks. Foreign lands and exotic foods and all the fantasy the worlds’ literature could offer a kid. I was in awe of that fantastical fire.
But man, it can (and did) burn me up. There are some aspects of her personality that I really struggle with, but love and empathy and compassion will help me move past that. I don’t want to feel that hurt and anger every time she says the certain things that she says.
Truth and honesty are really important to me. Any relationship I’ve ever had — colleague, client, friend, family, lover — don’t lie to me. I’ll meet you half way on damn near anything to fix or clean up a situation, but do not lie to me. I have begged people not to lie to me. The fire sign is so bad at it. I can sort of laugh about it now. I mean, the things that were lied about are no laughing matter. There isn’t anger there any more. Not really. I either feel sadness (like I do right now over past dishonesty-fueled conflicts) or usually annoyance because it’s a pointless (or easily disproven) new lie. Unless it’s something that can really impact someone’s safety or honor or whatever, I just sorta let it go and chalk it up to creative massaging of the narrative of her life.
There is one thing that really triggers me. She has started this thing where she says my grandmother (her mother) had her eye color. My grandmother never shared her eye color. I have photos and photos of her. I have a framed 8 x 10 that I took of her a few years before she died that shows her eye color. I distinctly remember an instance around that time where my mother had been talking to my grandmother and she remarked on her color. My mother and grandmother shared eye color. There is no question about this. Like I can feel the annoyance rising.
I think what makes it particularly grating is that following my grandmother’s death, my aunt painted her as a near devil-like force in her life. My grandmother was no saint in how she parented or dealt with people, but out of everyone in this family, my aunt and her were the closest. There was a lot of co-dependency there, but my grandmother saved her ass a lot. A lot. A. Lot. I mean serious shit. So for her to piss on her memory (she doesn’t do it quite as much now) and then say how they have this connection through having the same eyes (Sigh.), it’s a bit much for me at times.
The pathological nature of it makes me laugh a bit. We got into this squabble the other day (there’s a short list of things we have friction over) and she brought up the eye thing. Oh man, that was not the day. She took it all the way to Punnett Squares and how my grandmother clearly had her eye color because of dominant versus recessive traits. I mean, there was a glaring error in her calculations. She totally wouldn’t hear it. Interactions like that remind me that I’m dealing with a situation that’s pathological. When her narrative is challenged, it becomes pretty clear there’s a problem. Remembering that, keeping that in mind, helps me to take a step back from my anger (outrage, I guess is a better way of phrasing it) and either change the subject or disengage.
I am making a more and more concerted effort to be mindful and caring and empathetic when interacting with her. Because here’s the thing. If she were a stranger or a client, I would look at reacting to her with anger as being cruel — because it is. Yelling at her or fighting with her is mean and cruel. I’m not going to behave that way. Out of all the things she’s done, the thought of being cruel to her now makes my heart hurt. And that’s a big thing for me. Hurt me enough (which she has) and I will have no concern for or interest in you (which I haven’t). The fact that I can sit here and type that I would rather protect her heart and the little universe she has created over fighting to get some kind of accounting or answer for the destructive things she has done is major. Deep down I know that if I pushed those issues, it would destroy her. Seeing her as damaged as I think she would be from it would probably destroy me too. I will not do that. There’s no one left to protect her, but me. From herself and from the world really.
At the end of the day, those things that happened don’t even matter any more. The other people involved are dead now. The possessions and houses and business are gone. What’s worth having, I’ll procure again. If you would ask her, the things that she’s done are nowhere in her memory. She doesn’t deny it in a combative way. Those events simply never took place in her narrative so she will look at you like you’re not even speaking English.
If you would ask her, we have the best relationship. We are close and loving and life is great. She finally has the family she’s always wanted. Who am I to deny her that in the twilight of her life? Despite the fall out of her behavior during my late teens/early twenties, she did help me financially when my mother became seriously ill. I can’t ignore that either. Strings or not, she didn’t have to lift a finger to help us. But she did.
It’s funny how my concept of ‘justice’ has changed. If you had asked twenty-three year old me about all this, she would have demanded the truth come out about everything and she would have receipts to back up all of it. Justice for the dead. Justice for those maligned by bullshit. Thirty-three year old me? Little girl, you have so much to learn about how to balance the scales. You in all your fiery righteous indignation have the ability to feel deeply while remaining firmly planted in reality. Despite the unpleasant things you’ve endured up to and through your Saturn Return, you have beaten the odds. You haven’t fallen into the dark coma of substance abuse like most of your family. And while you know and can count every scar left on your heart, none of those experiences have fractured your mind. You are still standing and with both your mental and physical health. Be grateful. Be compassionate.