Ascending From Shadow | A Tarot Spread

I’ve not always been this bold or this forthcoming. In fact, I was downright terrified for most of my life.

In fact, if you told me five years ago that I’d be running my own tarot business and creating workshops and courses to help others lean into their fears, I’d have said you were crazy. I could barely face my own uneasiness let alone help others face theirs, and at one point I considered myself the most cowardly person I knew.

Anyone I shared this belief with told me I was mad, but I knew what lay beneath the surface–a vast and shadowy landscape of doubts, terrors, and endless shame I knew little to nothing about.

I’d faced the manifestations of these demons for years, but I hadn’t fully allowed myself to explore their roots. Once I did, I realized that I was merely touching the surface of the giant iceberg of shadow that lay dormant in the subconscious, waiting to be stirred to life.

And so I probed deeper. And deeper. And the insights I gained along the way have greatly informed the strong and capable person I consider myself to be today.

And yet, I found that probing my shadow wasn’t enough to inspire meaningful change. I knew the roots of my fears and why I did what I did, but I didn’t know how to use that knowledge in practical, applicable ways. Throughout the course of the past three years, I’ve forged my own path from shadow to light, and as challenging and demanding as it’s been, the rewards of this journey are measureless.

It’s this journey that inspired me to create an offering that I’ve dedicated the past month to–Ascending from Shadow.

And it’s in the spirit of this creation, the day of its birth, and my wish for each and every one of you to step into your power and live fully and fruitfully that I offer this spread to you.

Ascending From Shadow Spread

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  1. Which of my shadows most strongly affects my thoughts and behaviors presently?
  2. How does this shadow manifest in my life and relationships?
  3. What are the ways this shadow holds me back from doing what my soul desires?
  4. What do I need to channel to gain control of the negative affects this shadow has on me?
  5. How can I lean into the fear this shadow inspires and act in accordance with my highest good?
  6. Where should I look for guidance and support as I do the difficult work of taking the risks I’ve always wanted to take?

You can throw this spread as often as you care to–we have so many shadows that beg to be integrated that you may use the spread to explore each of them. And if you want loving, actionable, and effective guidance on how to break through your shadow barriers and be as bold as you’ve always wanted to be, consider joining us on the Ascending from Shadow journey.

So Much Love Beauties,

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Dancing With Eris in the Schoolyard: An Exploration of the Seven of Swords

My best friend lived next door. Our parents drank rum and cokes on my back porch while she and I watched TGIF and ate pizza in my living room. We snuck beneath her parents’ bed and raided her father’s vintage Playboy collection.  We made a music video to “Possum Kingdom” using pillows as drums. And when a member of our clique was home sick, we sped around the playground spreading insidious lies about her. We were nine. Our age doesn’t excuse what we did, but it does suggest that we were new to this type of betrayal: the “Mean Girl” betrayal. The unwarranted betrayal. The betrayal that cuts to the quick and leaves thick scars long after childhood had ended.

When I was approached to help my crew spread the rumor, I felt my pulse quicken.  My heart swelled into my throat and my body vibrated like a lightning rod.  I knew that it was cruel and dangerous to say such things about a classmate, but my best friend assured me that it would be okay. I accepted her reassurance and told her that I’d join under one condition: that I be allowed to say nothing. In other words, I’d be granted permission to rejoice in the twisted joy of defaming someone’s character without actively participating.  With my best friend acting as my liaison, the group accepted my terms, and I upheld them: I didn’t speak one false word to a single soul.

When my classmate returned the next day, she was met with sniggers and sidelong glances. I watched the confusion bloom across her face as she shifted her gaze from one cruel kid to the next. As we walked to lunch, she approached a group of girls to ask them why they kept staring at her. They erupted in an explosion of laughter and cobbled together the rumor between outbursts. The electric feeling flooded my body once again, but this time, it conducted pure fear.

During recess, each member of our clique was called into an empty classroom to be interrogated.  When it was my turn, I simply stated, “I didn’t say anything.” I wasn’t lying, but I wasn’t telling the truth either; honestly, I thought that everyone would deny their involvement anyway. When I returned to the hallway, I could see that this wasn’t so: each girl’s head was bent low, eyes studying the patterns that her shoe tips made when she scuffed them across the floor. I tried to make light-hearted conversation, but they ignored me. I tried locking eyes with my best friend, but she sighed and looked away.

My heart contracted. I realized that my silence was far more duplicitous than the rumor could ever be; I was the true wolf in sheep’s clothing and I wouldn’t be forgiven for it.  I will never forget the shame that I felt at that moment; it’s so potent that it surfaces every time I draw the Seven of Swords, regardless of who I’m reading for. When I pathworked this card, I was spirited back to our perfidious whirlwind tango in the schoolyard, and as I peered into the eyes of my comrades in crime, I didn’t see malice, aggression, and hate. Rather, I saw fear, shame, and insecurity: the painful burden of society’s children. Only then did I truly forgive myself for that day, and only then was I able to forgive those whose deceptions had left me with thick emotional scars.

As lightworkers, spiritual souls, and tarot readers, it’s our responsibility to see the truth that lies in deception: a wounded, disempowered soul. It is only then that we can begin to integrate the awesome power of truth in to the fabric of our own lives, and use that truth to help heal others so that they may do the same.

Much Love,

Jessi

 

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