Difficulties and growing

I have been looking inwardly recently, at how I approach parenthood and how I express myself within this modality and identity. Honestly, it has served to reveal the multiplicity of my imperfections and ineptitude. In the face of all this, my child is too young to judge, to measure, he loves me unconditionally. Everyday I wake up and strive, focusing on attempting to be a better parent, to be a better person for my child, everyday is one step forward, and occasionally two steps back, but I still try. All this inward introspection has got me thinking about growth, and patterns, and how we face the phases of life. I started thinking about the troublesome suit in the Minor Arcana of the tarot, the swords. In somewhat Dawn Jackson’s words “the suit of growth and learning through adversity.”

Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille
Deck used: Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille reproduced by Jean-Claude Flornoy, France.

Throughout the progression of the suit numbers, the message is hardship, strife, and limitations. It is no wonder that the suit is associated in a corporeal sense with the skeleton, that which limits us to the ground, to the earth. There is a poetic message here, as the numbers progress, anxieties and grief heighten, and complications get nuanced. From 1 to 5 I see anxieties contained, small losses, frustrations, petty disagreements and health problems. From 6 to 10 the road opens to grief, obstacles, tears, torment, and alienation. Life is never without these difficulties, the question lies with us, in how we face them.

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Deck used: Jean Noblet Tarot de Marseille reproduced by Jean-Claude Flornoy.

In a tangible way, it is through difficulty that we hone ourselves, it is through our limitations that we strive evermore to excel, to overcome. Call it the zeal of the human spirit, the fire of survival, it is within this dynamic that we polish ourselves, that we learn and grow. Growth certainly does not come easily, and it is not painless.

As I look at my child and see myself mirrored, I learn the beauty of true patience, of love beyond the bounds of limitations. I learn the importance of approaching each day with vigor and passion. Every day is a chance to start anew, to change, to reorganize, and redirect the boat. In this way, if we approach everyday as our last we take full advantage of the potential for growth, for seizing opportunities, for living from the heart, for showing kindness, for baring oneself, for fighting, for resisting. This is the masked message of the suit of swords, this is the gamble, the dare encased within the 10 cards. How do we approach growth? How do we face adversity and limitations? How do we face our own imperfections and failures? How do we fight? Do we cower or start anew with determination?

Truly the sword is meant to be gripped, and with it one fights and presses onward in the face of whatever monsters face us, even if it is our selves, our own monsters.

Seize the day like the hand grips the sword hilt.

As always, happy reading.


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