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I recently read a somewhat bleak piece on life as an empath. Although empathic awareness can be overwhelming at times, even when we understand what we’re experiencing, it doesn’t have to ruin our lives. As if an empath is so emotionally vulnerable that we’re unable to ever cope without tremendous support, when in truth, we have far more power than that.
It’s really about focus. Do we as empaths focus on the drama around us, or do we stay in our own focus? For me, staying aligned keeps me out of others’ energies.
It also means that we check in with ourselves frequently, how we’re feeling both emotionally and physically. Empaths tend to get into a flow of sorts and before we know it, we’re picking up on other energies that have already blended with our own. It’s at that point that we’re not always sure where we begin and others leave off. So check in frequently. If you’re suddenly experiencing a feeling that’s different, don’t automatically assume it’s yours. It could be coming from someone else..anyone else. It could be vampiric energy that’s feeling in. But if there isn’t any physical reason or environmental reason for your change in feeling, then assume it’s not yours.
If you can, take a moment to call back your energy field and align. Or shield. But honestly, aligning makes us aware of where we’re placing our focus. The minute it shifts to someone else’s energy, we’ve lost our alignment. Aligning brings it back. I look at it as not getting involved or minding my own business. But in this case, it’s really minding my own focus. Shielding works as well, but it’s still placing your focus in a direction that’s uncomfortable. I find it easier to not see it anymore.
We are not these bodies we inhabit, but the Source Presence behind our form. Empaths are simply people who have remained aware of this Presence while in physical form. And although life can be extraordinarily distracting to an empath, we don’t have to give our attention to everything that’s going on around us. When we become overwhelmed, it’s difficult to stay in our own focus, so staying fully present and in control is so important.
Empaths aren’t by default emotionally out of control. But it can feel that way if we allow other energies to take up residence with our own. Realize that you’re Source Energy. Your body and the bodies around you are vessels only. Realize your power. It’s greater than anything else you’re experiencing.
Women know what it is to experience oppression. And although it sometimes seems as if younger women don’t fully grasp some of what older women have experienced, they’ve lived with their own share of this problem just the same. So this isn’t going to be a discussion of who understands what.
We vote by mail here in Oregon. It’s great. Our ballots arrive in the mailbox and we vote in our living rooms. Or wherever. Then we mail them back. It works brilliantly. I filled out my ballot earlier today and I’ve been thinking about what a momentous election this is. It’s not that electing a woman as our President is going to instantly erase all of the sexism and misogyny women have experienced throughout the years, but that we have a chance to chart a new course. Women have felt the effects of the current course long enough, thank you very much.
I remember when my parents were divorced in 1974, my mother had to establish credit in her name which would have been impossible only a few years earlier. I remember my father recommending that I become a teacher so that I would be home with my children in the afternoon and summers. And I remember in the early 80’s when my mother sent me a check for my birthday written out to Mrs. Jerry Erickson. I nearly sent it back to her. I called her to ask her what she was thinking. She couldn’t believe I felt the way I did. I explained to her that I didn’t exactly lose my identity when I married my husband even though I chose to take his last name. Even that was a newer choice women were making then, taking our husband’s last name or keeping our own, as opposed to hyphenating.
When I began training in martial arts, I co-owned our karate school with my husband who was also my instructor. Training daily, I was promoted to Black Belt three years after beginning my training. It wasn’t easy. I worked diligently. But even female students from other schools made disrespectful comments because after all, I was the wife. My husband was a task master. He didn’t give away rank. In our school, rank was earned. But truth didn’t matter.
I co-owned a motorcycle shop with my husband for fourteen years, closing that business in 2013. Even though I was seriously ill for over eleven years of that business, my husband and I spent the first six years putting in ninety-eight hour work weeks. Yes, that’s not a typo. We were there seven days per week from early in the morning until late at night. We were the sole employees and we had to compete with the dealership in town.
I learned how to tune fuel injection motorcycles on a dyno, thoroughly annoying some of the male customers we had. One guy, who actually was my neighbor at the time, would come in the shop and announce to anyone who was there that my husband did a great job tuning his bike, knowing that it was me who did the tune. I could also put together engine jobs and discuss the rationale behind whatever I was suggesting to men who had no idea what I was talking about.
It was odd because so much of the engine information I would share with customers came from some of the top engine builders in that industry. I would call them and ask all sorts of questions and before I knew it I would be furiously taking notes as they educated me. None of them condescended the way some of my male customers did. Each one of these top guys in their industry treated me with respect. One really well-known guy shared with me his secret for carburetor tuning. And yes, I shared it with my husband. But the point was there were only a handful of guys who could have one of these conversations with me. Most of them had no idea what I was talking about and viewed me with complete suspicion, some with complete contempt. The guys who would sit and talk with me, however, were awesome.
Women see the world in a unique way..
I hesitate to say that I know what Hillary is going through because I don’t think there’s a woman alive who has experienced the level of misogyny that she has experienced. But in a sense, each woman does know what she’s experienced because we’ve all been there in one capacity or another. It’s the lack of trust that we deal with. We can’t be the boss because our children might need us. We’re unreliable and emotionally unstable because we menstruate. We have opinions that differ from our male counterparts so we’re definitely not to be trusted. And Goddess help us if we tune some guy’s motorcycle. Or put together an engine job for him. I was the woman who did both.
But we also might have the answers. Women see the world in a unique way. We have the survival of the species within us and that awareness often influences the decisions we make. So we’ll defend the family when necessary. But we’re savvy about it. Maybe our response amounts to a nudge, or a suggestion, when appropriate. But make no mistake about it. If our family is threatened, we act. And we do so in a decisive manner.
Not all women are Black Belts, but all women think like them. Trust me on this. We’ve had no choice in the matter. And we’re not going to stop until patriarchy is relegated to the dustbin of history. Because as Hillary’s opponent has suggested, we’re nasty like that.
In two weeks our country is likely electing our first female President. We made history in 2008 and 2012 by electing and then reelecting Barack Obama as our President. As amazing as that surely was, what we’re about to do has been a long time coming. Conservatives saw her coming back in the early nineties when they began their campaign to discredit her. But she worked for all of us in spite of them, becoming a Senator and then Secretary of State. And now, Hillary Clinton is poised to become the next President of the United States.
Chris Matthews said on Hardball one day that this is a really big deal for women of a certain age. He’s right. It is. For all of us who have experienced oppression in any form, electing a woman represents a goal that has taken far too long to achieve. And now, here we are, that long awaited goal in sight.
Blessings to all!
We’re reluctant to temper the extreme within at times. Some of us live there, enjoying the exhilaration felt, reluctant to achieve the very balance we so desperately need. Temperance, the 5 of Cups, and the 8 of Wands comprise today’s three-card reading from my Morgan-Greer deck. Fire and Water are present in the reading and the numerology reduces to nine, or completion.
An angel stands before a pond, one foot on land, the other beneath the water, pouring water from one cup to the other, a symbol for Fire on her chest. Temperance, a card from the Major Arcana, expresses moderation by quenching Fire with Water. It speaks to our self-control, of adaptation, and purification. And it’s interesting that Temperance begins a reading containing Fire and Water cards.
Moving to the 5 of Cups, the next card in the spread, a man looks down, despondent at his apparent loss. He’s so focused on the empty cups before him that he seems unaware of the two remaining cups behind him. The castle on the cliff overlooking the ocean in the distance indicates prosperity in his life, yet he’s not happy.
The 8 of Wands illustrates swift movement in alignment and synchronicity. Explosive in nature, the wands move in both a unified and unrestrained manner, projecting confidence and strength. Sudden action is the theme of this card.
This reading asks us to temper or balance our emotions with our creativity. Considering the man on the 5 of Cups, it’s easy to see how we can become caught up in our emotional reactions and fail to acknowledge the positive aspects of our lives. At either extreme, our creative process is hindered by overreaction or overreach. We may fail to act when we should, or vice versa. Either way, our alignment is no longer active, affecting any progress or outcome we might achieve.
It’s not that going to the extreme isn’t useful from time to time, but that living there prevents us from seeing all options before us. And it tends to result in the sort of negative self-talk that prevents us from succeeding at all. Alignment, on the other hand, allows us to feel the exhilaration of moving through life in nonresistance. We’re in control when aligned and in that state we can accomplish anything.
Isa, Eihwaz, and Tiwaz comprise today’s runecasting with stillness, transformation, and strength as its focus. Each rune depicts a type of strength, internal, external, and transformative in nature. Elemental influences are from Water, Air and Fire, our emotional, intellectual, and catalytic presence in form. The numerology of the runes reflects the Master Number of 11 (Isa), 13 (Eihwaz), and 17 (Tiwaz) bringing in the energies of illumination, structure, and strength. Only Eiwaz and Tiwaz are reduced further, arriving at 3, a catalytic influence.
Beginning with Isa, we have a rune of Elemental Water as well as a Norn rune depicting the static realm. Isa brings situations to a standstill, allows for the development of will, and protects against unwanted forces. But it also allows us to bring our awareness inward to that place of stillness where we find the most clarity. Alignment with Self, with our Source Presence is indicated here. If we’re in the process of creating something or responding to a particular situation or individual, Isa in a runecasting can indicate that we need to take a step back and take another look. There may be more than meets the eye, or there may be more we can to do create a successful outcome. Either way, Isa counsels us to go within before moving forward.
Eihwaz, the 13th rune, is one of my favorite runes. For a witch and empath, Eihwaz represents the bridge between realms, between the physical and nonphysical aspects of Self. As the axis of magickal transformation, the witch uses Eihwaz in trance work or hedge riding and connects other runes in a bindrune for rune magick. Some regard Eihwaz as a rune of Elemental Fire, others of Air, but I view it as both. Air stirs Fire, and clearly, Eihwaz brings Source Energy into physical presence, moving energy up and down from one state to another. It can also be used when considering connections between situations or in relationships and is considered protective in nature.
Tiwaz is the rune of the god, Tyr. Justice and sacrifice are its themes. The spiritual warrior within is revealed in this rune of Elemental Air. It represents our highest ideals as we uphold our faith and integrity in all things. Tiwaz represents confidence and victory with the strength to accept what must be. The 17th rune of the Elder Futhark, Tiwaz aligns with the eighth card of the Major Arcana, Strength.
So, lots of energy here. But looking again at Isa, it seems that this rune represents a moment of genesis for us. Perhaps we’re considering a new direction in life. Isa suggests that we go within and create from a place of alignment. Eihwaz brings Source Energy into physical presence, so we draw inspiration and momentum from there. Tiwaz gives us the strength and self-discipline to pursue our goals.
I love that the Norns of Fate are represented in the Elder Futhark. Hagalaz, Nauthiz, and Isa representing Urdh, Skuld, and Verdandi respectfully, resonate as the 9th, 10th, and 11th runes of the Elder Futhark. Isa manifests our creative focus in this runecasting. Verdandi, the Norn of the static realm or present moment, focuses our will. Magick is desire made manifest. In truth, this runecasting describes the process a witch uses when casting a spell. She goes inward, building the momentum necessary, speaking her words, catalyzing her intention, which she then casts to the universe.
But it also describes the process we can all use when beginning something new. Going within helps us organize and plan without distraction from the world around us.
Or maybe it’s just telling us that it’s time to work some magick!
We finally pulled the last honey super off the original hive and gave them a pollen cake and a candy board to help them through the winter. We had already done this for the Warre’ and the long hives. Temperatures are still warm enough during the day so we’re feeding syrup as well to help them with honey stores for the winter. But the candy board is filled with a solid sugar solution, with small pollen cakes hidden inside for them to work their way to during the winter months. I also dotted the top of each candy board with chunks of pollen cake. They loved it last year.
Unfortunately, the new split didn’t survive. We believe they went back to their original hive since the split was sitting next to it. But we had received some bad information from a local beekeeper recommending that we pull our honey supers at the beginning of August. In reality, we shouldn’t have taken it until September. But we’re new, and we believed someone we shouldn’t have. We waited until almost the middle of the month before pulling it because we just didn’t think it was ready. The dearth she described wasn’t evident on our property as flowers were everywhere and the bees were constantly out bringing back both pollen and nectar to the hive. But we decided to listen to her and pulled the super off the split, putting the frames of honey in the freezer.
The hive was fine until just a few weeks ago when we opened it and found it was fairly empty. Since there were no dead bees and no evidence of a swarm (which probably wouldn’t happen this time of year anyway), we’re really not sure what happened. But we have a feeling that it was related to pulling that honey super. It was just too soon.
We left the super on the original hive because there was also brood in there. We don’t use a queen excluder between the brood box and the super so there’s always a risk that she might want to lay up there. That particular queen did just that and we had to wait until today for the brood to hatch and the bees to cap the remaining honey. Not all of it was capped completely, but we wrapped it in plastic wrap anyway and stored it in the freezer with the other frames from the split.
I have to say that I was devastated to find that we lost the split. It was my hive and to lose it that way was just awful. But the new Warre’ hive is doing well although they’re somewhat confused on where to build their comb. Or I am. Not that I care or anything because I brought that one into the apiary to simply see how they function in a hive like that.
The horizontal long hive was probably the most successful new addition. It’s essentially two Langstroth hives put side by side. Sort of. But the idea is that you can have a top bar hive that accepts Langstroth frames. Other top bar hives don’t do this. And we ordered the new hive with foundationless frames so that we could watch the bees as they built their comb. Most hives use frames with foundation already in them, but bees prefer to design their own comb without the help of an existing frame. They know how to create a perfectly sized cell in which new bees will grow. They really don’t need us and we’re typically just in their way.
We plan to put up a windbreak this year in the apiary although they probably don’t need it. Some beekeepers wrap their hives, but so far we haven’t felt the need to do that. But we can do so if the weather dictates. The bees don’t come out much in the winter, but on the occasion of a warm day, some take flight. We look forward to such days because we miss them so much during the winter.
And then Spring arrives and out they come and we almost can’t contain our excitement! But for now, they’re snug in their hives, making their last preparations for winter. They’ve reduced their numbers and will huddle together in the middle of the hive, keeping a perfect temperature. And then sometime after the Winter Solstice, the queen begins laying brood for the coming year.
It’s this blessed cycle of the bees that has endured forever. Humans would do well to embrace their unity of purpose, each doing their part for the survival of the colony. They are in truth one organism.
As are we.
It’s been a while since I did a Human Design post, and I thought I would incorporate some I Ching cards into today’s transits. I like looking at channels that are either active in my natal bodygram, or result from transiting planets. As the planets move about in the sky, the six lines on each of the sixty-four guas or hexagrams move as well. So even though a gate is active, its line might change, creating a different influence for that day.
For today’s transits, two Channels of Compromise are active and integrating with a natal Channel. Transiting channels include the Channel of the Brainwave (57-20) and the Channel of Charisma (20-34) and interact with my natal Channel of Power (34-57). They appear on the left side of the bodygram connecting the Spleen, Throat, and Sacral centers.
Three gates are involved in these connections, 20, 34, and 57. Gate 20 is activated by Personality Moon at line 6, or Wisdom; 34 is activated by Personality Venus at both lines 1 (transit – The Bully) and 5 (in detriment – Annihilation); and, 57 is activated by Personality Sun at line 6 (natal – Utilization) and Personality Mercury, also at line 6 (transit – Utilization). Before I discuss the channels, let’s take a look at each gate.
Gate 20 is known in Human Design as the gate of Metamorphosis and found in the Throat Center. In the I Ching, however, it’s called Contemplation. Its astrological sign is Gemini and it governs the thyroid and the parathyroid. Karen Curry tells us that:
Gate 20 has the potential to meet with empowerment, the self, intuition, power, and life force in a mutative way. It is an individual voice that can mutate and empower, or stagnate and disempower. (p 151)
As well as:
When Gate 20 exhibits its highest potential, it is the expression of integrity— doing the right thing even if it isn’t what others are doing. This can mean wearing green face paint in the forest when others are wearing bright pink or any other kind of “right” action that may be going against the flow.
Because Gate 20 is the expression of integration, it has within it inherent wisdom. In traditional I Ching, the twentieth hexagram is the wise king standing on a hill, watching the wind to see which direction it will settle on before he takes action. As part of integration, Gate 20 takes time to express its wisdom. It watches and waits to express its higher knowledge, insight, and awareness. It metamorphoses awareness and recognition into action. (151-152)
Gate 34 is the gate of Power in Human Design, the Power of the Great in the I Ching. Its astrological sign is Sagittarius and it governs the ovaries and testes and it’s located in the Sacral Center. From Karen Curry:
Gate 34 is the base gate for the Manifesting Generator, so it has the potential for great power, but there is an irony associated with the power of Gate 34. It is powerful only when it responds. It is generated, not manifested. Generators with Gate 34 who push and initiate their power will not be successful in the expression of their power, and consequently will feel very frustrated.
Generators with this energy often have a hard time distinguishing between pushing and manifesting. The wiring in this part of the chart is so complex and fast that sometimes it’s hard to slow down enough to see if you’re responding. It’s good for people with this energy to practice visualizing the outcome of their choices before they leap into things.
Gate 34 is the “multitask” gate. A person with this gate is designed to have many things going on at once, and it is crucial to look at where Gate 34 connects in a chart. This will determine the expression of Gate 34. (171-172)
And lastly, Gate 57 is the gate of Intuition in Human Design, The Gentle in the I Ching. Its a gate of Libra and governs the lymphatic system and the spleen and is, in fact, located in the Center associated with the Spleen. Again, from Karen Curry:
Gate 57 is the most intuitive gate in the Human Design system. In the traditional I Ching, the fifty-seventh hexagram is the gentle wind that parts the clouds so the sun can shine through. The penetrating intuition of Gate 57 allows the truth to be revealed. It is clear and in the now. Sometimes we call Gate 57 the gate of clarity.
Ironically, in spite of its penetrating capacity for clarity, Gate 57 on its own can be a very uncertain and unclear energy. Most people question their intuition. It is not logical. The intuition of Gate 57 is in the now, and the now changes. What is truth in one moment may not be truth in another.
People who have Gate 57 often struggle with trusting themselves and their intuition. Living your Human Design strategy can resolve this dilemma. The strategy can bypass the mental aspects of indecisiveness in Gate 57 and allow the person to enjoy the benefits of their intuition instead of wrestling with self-doubt.
People with Gate 57 are endowed with deep psychic abilities. It helps to see what else is in the chart to help you identify just how psychic abilities show up.(205-206)
Now when a channel activates, both gates are in play, typically connecting two Centers. When these three gates are active, however, their placement involves the influence of three Centers which is not the norm. Additionally, the channels comprise various circuits of an individual, tribal, and collective nature. Each of the three channels for today are found in the Individual circuit with two channels part of the Channel of Integration which assists us in our awareness of self.
The Channels of Power and Charisma are found within the Channel of Integration. An auditory and intuitive channel, The Channel of Power (34/57)
is the original channel of the human archetype. When hominids first came into form, it was this energy that defined the original separation of humanity. This is intuitively based life force.(229)
People with this channel tend to be very clairaudient and can hear voices or intuitive guidance. They will also hear changes in your voice and will intuit things about you from your words and your tone.(229)
The Channel of Charisma (Gates 34/20) is the most powerful channel of all. Again, from Karen Curry:
This channel is the archetype of the Manifesting Generator, as it is the only channel that directly connects the Sacral Center to the Throat. Power and charisma are contained within this channel, but because it is connected to the Sacral, true power in this channel is expressed in response. That means that even though these people are very, very powerful in a sustainable way, they cannot truly live out their powerful destiny unless they respond. If they are initiating with power and charisma, they will get into big trouble and no one will follow them. If someone with this channel is not living his or her power and charisma, they can become very, very frustrated. Inside, they know how powerful they are, but they can’t move that energy unless they respond. (230-231)
While in physical form, we have to learn how to integrate our various aspects of self. In bodies, we see ourselves as separate from each other and people with these channels active need to take time for reflection so that we integrate our experiences in a manner that brings success to any given moment. Response in lieu of initiation is key. Although it’s difficult to do sometimes, those with this channel need to reflect before responding.
The final individual channel that’s active today is from the Knowing Circuit.
The Knowing Circuit simply knows. And it doesn’t know how it knows. It just knows that it does. (237)
The issue with this circuit, however, is waiting for the timing to be right to share what the person knows. Channel 57/20 is known as The Brainwave. It reflects our intuitive sense in the present moment. For those of us who have this channel active, we know what we know and we’re not particularly interested in explaining how we know or the truth of what we know to anyone, however, we typically find ourselves doing it anyway. This channel forces us in a sense to set aside our individualism and interact with others with compassion and concern.
We’ve all heard that knowledge is power. Well, so is intuition. An empath will be aware of any number of truths. But that awareness brings a certain amount of responsibility. Most people can’t really handle that we know what we know and find us uncomfortable to be around, even when they don’t know we’re empaths. So I think today’s transiting channels along with the channel already in my natal bodygram are telling me that I have to be careful in how I express my intuitive voice.
Not everyone is ready to hear what an empath has to say. Sometimes people hold their truths so close that they cannot bear another knowing any of them. And then when they encounter an empath, they notice that something’s different about them and it’s not always comfortable. We don’t mean to affect others this way, and most of us find it quite disconcerting when we do. But it does happen, and it makes sense for us to be careful how we come across.
It’s recommended that generator-type personalities wait to respond. Initiating something, whether it be a conversation or anything really, doesn’t always turn out well for us. When we respond to something or someone, whatever we want to convey is typically received far better than if we just blurt it out or take command. Once someone gives us the nod, however, we can then put our skills to work. But it’s crucial to respond rather than initiate. Not the easiest thing to do when you know what you know.
Letting our intuitive nature pave the way, we’ll know when to reflect and when to act. It’s letting compassion drive the moment, instead of our knowing.
Curry, Karen. Understanding Human Design: The New Science of Astrology: Discover Who You Really Are. Hierophant Publishing. Kindle Edition.
A witch is drawn to places of power whether it be the mountains, the desert, or the ocean. We’re a curious bunch, and we notice all sorts of things when wandering about. One of the things we notice are rocks, particularly if they have holes in them. Every witch loves hag, or holey, stones. A divination tool, the witch looks through the hole to divine the future. A witch should never purchase a hag stone, instead we’re to find them on our wanderings. I suppose they can be a gift from someone, but it’s better for a witch to find her own. I found a Crone-load of hag stones at the Oregon coast last year while there for our oldest son’s wedding. I use them during ritual or if I need some Crone energy to influence a magickal working of some kind. Below the cards are two of the hag stones I found at the coast. In all of my life, I’ve never found one. But sometimes Goddess provides a windfall because that day, my gathering bag was full.
The Princess of Disks, the 4 of Disks, and the Queen of Swords from the Thoth deck are the cards for today’s reading. Elemental Earth energies dominate the reading with two cards from the suit of Disks. Pentacles in other decks, Disks suggest practical matters may be of concern to us today. The Queen of Swords, on the other hand, appears not to care about such things, or does she? The suit of Swords reflects Elemental Air and our intellectual presence in the world. Absent from the reading are Cups and Wands.
The numerology is easy because Court cards aren’t numbered, so the numerology of today’s reading is four, or Gaia energy. Synchronous with the energies of Elemental Earth, issues of foundation or structure are reinforced by the numerology of the cards.
Beginning with the Princess of Disks, we see a young woman whose focus is placed on practical matters. She stands silently, in deep concentration, her staff points downward to physical form. She is practical, generous, and reliable. The Princess is a student, her careful study transforming her future.
The 4 of Disks depicts the fortress of power, suggesting a strong foundation or structure. The four elements and quarters are represented in the scene, the strength of Elemental Guardians present. The 4 of Disks suggests wealth that’s building toward material or financial success.
And now for my favorite card, the Queen of Swords. She sits on her throne, reclined a bit, surrounded by clouds, her sword in her right hand, a head in her left. Clearly, she takes no prisoners, her effect final. The Queen cuts through illusion getting to the truth of the matter, suffering no fools in her path. She is intelligent and self-reliant, assertive yet graceful. Extraordinarily perceptive, the Queen of Swords prefers the solitary path, relying on her intuition as guide.
When Court cards appear in a reading, they can indicate either the individual on the card or their traits. An initial look at the cards really didn’t give me a feel for their flow. But as I began describing each one, it became clear to me what was going on here. Instead of seeing both Court cards in the same way, I decided to look at the traits of the Princess of Disks, and alternately, the Queen of Swords as an individual. I suppose we could see the Princess as the Queen when she was younger, but I think we’d arrive at the same place anyway.
There’s power in building the foundation for our lives. We seek out education in all forms, determined to learn all that we can, recognizing that the time spent in diligent, focused study will result in future success. We’ve learned from the Princess that transformation is possible with careful management of our resources.
But at the end of the day, the Queen reflects on wisdom gained over a lifetime lived. She’s paid her dues. The Queen uses her sword, balancing intellect with intuition to cut through illusion, finding the dispassionate solution. She lets go of what no longer serves, in this case, a severed head, suggesting it may be her own thoughts that she casts to the universe.
Typical Crone. Over time, we learn to choose our battles, eventually learning to ignore just about everything. In the clouds, she sits apart from the physical aspect of Self, aligning with her Source Presence as she releases her hold on the past. Her foundation is strong, the power of the Queen felt by all.
As women, we have far more power than we may realize. A lifetime of oppression is the cause, but all along, we’ve been building our strong foundation, our fortress. There is no one more determined than a woman. No one. We survive as we always have, with grace and dignity. And it’s time that we embraced that inner strength and resolve that has sustained us throughout our lives.
We’re worth far more than some in our country would suggest. And our time has come.
Severe weather accompanied this Full Moon in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon coast sustained the most damage with two tornadoes touching down. We experienced high winds on the high desert but other than some debris, we fared far better than our coastal neighbors. But the clouds cleared and the winds abated somewhat for last night’s Full Moon ritual. Today’s tarot reading is from that ritual.
Two cards from the Major Arcana along with a card from the suit of Cups make up this Full Moon reading. A black opal is placed beneath the cards. A stone of Libra, opal increases intuition, communication, creativity, and personal power. And at first blush, the reading appears to center around issues of love.
We’ve been witnessing behavior from a presidential candidate that has left many of us in shock. I was thinking about how we move past all of this when I shuffled my Thoth deck and drew these particular cards. The Lovers, The Priestess, and the 2 of Cups suggest that coming together in loving commitment to each other is one answer.
But with the 2 of Cups, we have the suggestion that a better balance between masculine and feminine energies are what’s necessary. Patriarchy is masculine energy run amok. It’s out of control and destructive. And it leads to the sort of behavior we’re hearing about from the male presidential candidate.
The 2 of Cups suggests that we find an emotional balance, that we see the benefit of reconciliation and partnership, of reciprocity. When patriarchy takes control, we lose that balance and the projective oppresses the receptive. So finding that balance again brings empathy into the masculine awareness so that they see the effects of this kind of behavior.
The Priestess is considered the planetary Trump of the Moon and the counterpart to the Magus or Magician in other decks. She is the Triple Goddess, the Feminine Divine, and it’s her intuition and inner wisdom that rules our unconscious Self. She’s that inner voice of guidance, of the Higher Self. A veil covering her eyes, the Priestess relies on inner vision to know truth and the way forward. Her outstretched arms, in supplication to the Moon, her harp lying on her lap, she aligns in Source Presence, energies in balance.
Beyond the obvious suggestion of balance, understanding self in others is one of the ideas expressed in The Lovers, a notion reinforced by the 2 of Cups. When we come together in partnership, life is no longer simply about the individual. Maintaining a balanced perspective, we see our effect on that relationship, understanding that its success is assured by expressing ourselves in balance with our partner. How they feel matters to us as we surrender to the greater aspect of the relationship.
In light of the behavior we’ve been hearing about, it would seem that this individual has trouble with this kind of balance, preferring instead to force his will upon others. The Lovers stand before the Priest as he blesses their union. They’re in balance with each other, each bringing something to the new partnership that’s forming. A feeling of equanimity is fostered by this scene, with love as its premise. What we don’t see is one individual dominating and controlling the other.
Love and compassion will be what brings us together in the end. The odd man running for President will go back to wherever he came from and life will go back to normal. Because that’s what always happens. Things go back to normal. But should they? Because is that how we got here in the first place? Is it that nothing ever changes and that’s what accounts for this man?
Does this man represent a tipping point for us? Could it be that all of these disgusting reports we’re hearing about will shake us up enough that we pay closer attention? How men like this man behave should be horrific to all of us. It’s not locker room talk. It’s not a boy’s club mentality. It’s not, as one of his sons says, reflective of a successful alpha male.
For anyone to believe his behavior is appropriate is sad, for they’ve surely lost their way. As the cards tell us, we go forward together in love and balance, treating all with respect and dignity. We let our Source Presence guide us, listening to that inner voice each of us has.
We have a better future ahead than the existence of this man suggests.
Blessings to all!
It didn’t happen because she didn’t tell.
The latest of the assumptions made by his surrogates is to suggest that sexual assault or harassment doesn’t happen if the survivor doesn’t tell. And yet, just this morning I listened to a report where a woman shared her own experience with this man saying that she told any number of friends and family members. She just didn’t talk about it with the media. As if any woman would be eager to deal with the inevitable backlash she’ll experience by reporting the actions of such a powerful man.
When assumptions are made, it suggests that women have participated in their abuse with why didn’t she report it if it was so bad at the forefront of their comments. A value judgment is made that suggests it didn’t happen at all. It ignores the terror we feel, the shame and disgust, reducing a complex and terrifying experience into he said, she said.
It didn’t happen because of her appearance.
He told the cheering crowd to look at her, at what she looks like. It couldn’t have happened, because just look at her. He wouldn’t give her the time of day. As if putting his hand up her skirt without consent is just fine and dandy. As if sexual assault is common for him. Does he target a certain type? A certain look? When he says these despicable things, is he sharing his playbook with the crowd? It’s entitlement at its worst.
It’s not sexual assault if no rape occurred.
So when a pedophile puts his hands on a child’s private parts, it’s not sexual assault? It’s fine? It doesn’t damage the child? When a predator stood up from his seat, leaned over grabbing my breast on the bus one morning on the way to class at the university I attended, that was okay? There was no penetration of my body, but my emotional balance was sure affected for months and my only transportation to school became a place of terror for me. Because you never know who a predator is going to grab. In my case, I was already a survivor of sexual assault. So he added to my torment. I should have gotten up and reported it to the bus driver, and then called the police, but he was gone as soon as it happened, and I was left shaking. At that point, all I wanted was to not be seen by anyone. Because if no one sees me, they can’t hurt me.
What do people want from us?
Do we have to beat the predator into submission before we’re believed? Do we have to swallow our fear, our terror, and kill him before we’re believed? If we do respond and he’s injured in any way or worse, will we be charged? Will it ever be seen as self-defense? Are we supposed to be stronger than our attacker so that we’re believed? Or will that be used against us as well?
Will women believe, after the display put on by this man, that reporting would ever be a viable option after witnessing all of this? After a recent report that one survivor feels the need to leave the country so that she and her family are safe from his supporters? What has this man done to all of us? He deludes himself into believing that anything he does will be well-received because of his status in life. He’s a billionaire, or so he claims, and as such, he can get away with anything. Listening to his accusers describe their experiences, along with his own taped comments, it appears that accosting women is his default behavior.
Again, what do people want from us? When I described above that I didn’t want to be seen by anyone after the incident on the bus, this is a common reaction among survivors. We experience shock and a deep trauma from such experiences. We move invisibly through life. I don’t want to be acknowledged anywhere. A former student from our karate school worked at a local grocery store and would call out to me in a loud voice every time he saw me. I would immediately go into panic mode, trying to disappear as soon as I heard his voice. He meant nothing but to be friendly, and I felt massive guilt at my response, but I was profoundly affected just the same, eventually no longer shopping at that store.
Sexual assault in any form, for many survivors, results in a profound sense of mistrust for everything and everyone that never ends. Therapy helps only so much, fear firmly in place for life. It’s that we’re not believed, or that we have to do so much to prove ourselves. Our justice system gives the accused the benefit of the doubt, but fails to extend the same to the victim. We shame her and make her feel that reporting isn’t worth the trouble.
But for anyone to assume we don’t tell is ridiculous. As a child, I told my mother, who did nothing, telling me instead to never mind. As an adolescent, a school counselor wanted to help, but I refused to let her, believing with all my heart that my father would kill us all if it came out. So she simply listened to me, giving me unlimited access to her whenever I felt the need. She was the only health professional I told until his death three years ago.
When the veterinarian filling in for the regular guy at my local animal clinic grabbed my hand in the exam room, drawing some sort of a design on my palm while discussing my cat, I was in such shock that I just stared at him. As soon as he let go, I took my cat and left, without a word and without her medication. While I was getting into the car, he walked out of the building with a sleazy smile on his face, and handed me the medication in a bag. Without a word, he turned and walked back, his sleazy, satisfied smile still on his face. I told my husband and friends and I never went back to that clinic.
I experienced various amounts of sexual harassment in the workplace in the last business my husband and I owned. When you’re the owner, harassment takes on a new dimension. If I said anything, the gossip would begin and we would lose business. Don’t go near her or she’ll accuse you of sexual harassment or worse. So I chose not to confront the men who harassed me, although I did report it to my husband. I also told a few other people about it. When our business closed, in spite of what that did to us financially, I breathed a sigh of relief because I didn’t have to see those men again.
One guy harassed me the last five times he came into our business, bringing in a friend one day to help him do so. I had to learn the difficult truth that men I thought would never speak that way to me were just as willing as the men who were always like that. They never cared that their comments were uncomfortable. They only wanted to have that sort of a conversation with me, out of earshot of my husband, away from their wives, believing their words acceptable and appropriate when they most certainly were not.
Describing a woman’s body to her under the guise of a compliment is pathetic. And if we call them out for what they’re doing, then we’re bitches or worse. As if any of them are doing us a favor by letting us know they’ve noticed how much weight we’ve lost, or what a lovely sweater we’re wearing, or how great those jeans look. Even our closest friend followed me into another room at the business one day, his voice low to nearly a whisper, talking about how great I looked in great detail. Our closest friend. All while my husband was in another part of the building and out of earshot. He violated the trust between us, ruining a long time relationship.
As a survivor, boundaries matter to me. Maybe more so than the average person, but they matter. When they’re crossed, life may never be the same again. Those of us who have experienced sexual assault sometimes don’t report it. Sometimes our fear and terror win out. But more often we do tell others, just not the authorities, shame and fear again driving that choice.
We cannot lose sight of what’s important.
We cannot lose sight of the fact that no one should ever fear these kind of advances or this type of assault. These transgressions of our bodies, our boundaries, our personal space destroys our ability to trust, our peace of mind only a distant memory. The man in question dismisses his accusers outright. His dismissal and subsequent attack was a given. We’ve seen and experienced it all before. His behavior on display for all the world to see.
Aren’t we tired of this disgusting nonsense? Haven’t we all had enough of the lies, the innuendo, the denigration of women and anyone else he sees fit to target? The women coming forward are doing us all a huge favor by getting in his way, by telling the truth about who he is. We must know this and stop him from taking control of our country. We must ignore all the assumptions made that demean and denigrate these women, these survivors of something they never should have experienced. We have to come out on November 8th in droves and stand up for our collective family. We cannot let this man become our President.
Please join me in voting for Hillary Clinton.
In the last few days, we’ve been inundated with revelations of alleged sexual assault regarding our male candidate running for President. Some women in the media are referring to the denigration by that man of his accusers as gaslighting. They seem to suggest that by virtue of his denial and denigration, he’s gaslighting these women. As an abuse survivor, I’m familiar with the term, having experienced it in my life. I guess I’ve never thought about it coming from the world stage as it were. Typically these things are kept between the people involved, or maybe law enforcement or attorneys if it gets that far.
My purpose for exploring this subject is not only to enlighten others about this disgusting and manipulative practice by abusers, but to also expand my own definition now that it’s reached such a public expression.
Also called crazy-making, abusers who gaslight their victims do so as a means of control. In the case of couples, married or not, the abuser makes the partner believe that he/she is losing their mind. Say the woman goes to the table where she left her keys, only to find them missing. She knows she put them there, but they’re gone now. She asks her husband and he feigns innocence. An hour later, she discovers them on the very table she left them. She looks at her husband (who had taken them and then replaced them when she wasn’t looking) who tells her they were there all along, possibly demeaning her in the process. Because this scenario happens frequently, she doubts her sanity, which is exactly where he wants her: off balance and vulnerable.
Maybe now having to look at the ugliness of abuse every time we turn on the news will make those who would typically not believe a woman’s story think twice about that choice. Because when we’re not believed, all hope leaves us. We never feel safe again. Ever. Even when the abuse is no longer happening. But that’s the nature of abuse. It destroys us at our very core.
Listening to all the things this man says about his accusers makes me physically ill. I have to limit my exposure to ward off any abuse reactions I might have. Although I’m doing remarkably well with my own understanding of what I experienced, just like so many other women who have experienced sexual assault or abuse in their lives, I never know when an abuse reaction will occur.
When he continually re-positioned himself behind Secretary Clinton during the second debate, I kept my eyes on her the entire time. I was aware of what he was doing, but I focused on her. She kept me level. I stayed safe in my thoughts because of her own control and determination. His actions were those of an abuser, no matter what he or anyone else says. He cannot behave this way and then expect any of us to believe otherwise.
I found the list below online at Psychology Today. It describes the behavior of someone who is being gaslighted. Even though it’s from 2009 and will no doubt need updating after the election, it’s telling.
How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend, boss.
5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.¹
As anyone reading the above list can see, gaslighting someone results in self-doubt, loss of self-esteem and any of a number of issues. This level of manipulation on an ongoing basis destroys a woman’s soul. To do it publicly to these women is shameful. But then hearing the report that he walked in on teens in various stages of undress at one of his pageants should be enough for any of us.
This man simply cannot be our President. End the gaslighting of America. Please join me in voting for Hillary Clinton.
- Are You Being Gaslighted? by Robin Stern, Ph.D.