In the Air

My readings of late have been intense; challenge cards litter every spread. I know something is brewing. As Phil Collins says, “I can feel it coming In the Air Tonight.”

The first card that caught my attention was the 5 of Swords. With this card I most often simply think of a general feeling of fear. Unlike the 7 of Swords, which indicates  a specific and apparent cause of fear, the 5 highlights the experience itself. This week, this showed up front and center and called out to me – so I needed to explore it further.

Considering the number 5, this card precipitates into the  fear of change or the fear of the unknown. Growing out from that there is fear of the future. If you think about it, it is all three. If you recognize feeling one, you actually feel all three.

5 of SwordsLooking at the card, we get more information. The sky looks tumultuous. If there is a storm coming, it is still beyond the horizon.

For a moment, let’s examine the three individuals. The one closest to the water appears to have his hands up to his face as if he’s crying. He looks distraught and defeated. The man in the middle is peering at the other or possibly the horizon, and seems to be curious and reticent. He looks as if he’s passively awaiting whatever fate has in store for him. Lastly, you have the one in the foreground. He has collected three of five swords possibly deserted by the others. He may feel fear, but he has not given himself up to it just yet.

[Note: the fact he holds 3 swords is not an accident. It is an important hint indicating that he is still creating despite the challenges that lay before him. He is thus within his power and dare I say purpose!]

Why might each of these men react differently to the same approaching storm? Well, because their histories are different. A person who has been beaten down too many times may feel they just can’t fight any more. Yet, one who has known success at the hands of challenge can find the strength to seek it once again. If you are experiencing fear, I want you to ask yourself which of the three shown you most resemble or relate to.

Next up, I want to consider two cards at once: the 7 of Cups and the 6 of Cups. Together, I heard it this way,

You are sorting through all kinds of emotion. As you look into each cup, you recall the painful memories that helped fill it.

So any of you feel this way too? When something hurts you in the present, are you recalling a number of others from the past as if they’ve been piling up?

Switching modalities – consider that Saturn is retrograde in Scorpio right now and will be until July 7, 2013. The last time Saturn was at this exact spot was 12/4/2012. The time before that was nearly 30 years ago (specifically on 10/29/1983).

Saturn, at this time, is transiting my 3rd house – the house that is ruled by Gemini. Many who have Leo on the ascendant are in the same boat. Yes, this is the house of siblings, but it is also the house of those relationships where two are shoulder-to-shoulder. Compadres traveling in the same direction at the same time (even if for a short while) share some history (the path directly behind them) and perspective (the path directly ahead). They may part ways some day, but for now, they are connected.

I think Saturn retrograde in Scorpio has me sorting through all sorts of old feelings. After it turns around, it will sweep back into my forth house and force all sorts of changes there. This retrograde phase is simply more research for the next phase (hense that 7 of Cups).

Getting back to the cards, spirit said to me,

Why do you assume that sorting through old feelings necessarily means revisiting old pain?

Wow, was that an insight! I hadn’t realized just how attached I had gotten to the idea that Saturn Retrograde in Scorpio had to hurt.

Now here’s where I’m going to climb far out on a limb. I’m going to share with you an odd chain of thoughts I had. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself thinking about sadomasochism and more specifically the masochist. Actually, what I was really thinking about was the metaphysical alchemy hidden within masochism. A masochist, by definition, is someone who experiences pleasure from pain. Is this not a high form of transmutation? Can you imagine if these people had the ability to extract pain from others and experience it as pleasure for themselves? Would they not be the most profound and sought after healers?

As odd as it may be that I was thinking these things, I believe I was being shown what Saturn in Scorpio (and specifically the retrograde period) is about. Many of us have experienced deep pain in the past. When we think back, we don’t feel pain, we feel hurt – specifically the emotional memory of pain. I expected Saturn retrograde in Scorpio to hurt because I expected to be dragged through old stuff that back then hurt like a b!+(#. When I was younger, I felt emotional pain so acutely, it took me to my knees on many occasions. I can remember full days spent crying – nearly non-stop – and weeks filled with agonizing grief, despair, and regret.

So how does one learn to turn past hurt into pleasure? What is the alchemical formula to do this? I wish I could tell you, but I do think I’ve experienced it (and I’m not talking about sex). If you look up the totem of snake medicine, you learn that it is about turning poison into food: a.k.a transmutation. This is no different than turning pain into pleasure.

Transmutation needn’t be magic. Chemistry was born from alchemy. As we learn, we gain proficiency. We can learn to transmute negative into positive. Look at nature! There are animals that live on rotting meat, poisonous materials, and radioactivity. If we don’t learn to transmute some of our history (karma), we just might be leaving this planet to them.

I cannot say with any certainty what’s just over the horizon. Life is so spontaneous right now, I can hardly anticipate the afternoon in the morning. We are currently in a phase of great flux, when things deemed stable shift and change around us. But do notice that things are not simply coming unglued. Some things are coming together, synchronistically and elegantly. People are still laughing and loving each other. The birds are still singing and the plants happily growing. As crazy as the weather has been over all, here it has been – hands down – the best since I’ve been in Texas.

A snake probably feels very uncomfortable those last days before he molts. But think of the relief he must feel when he finally rids himself of that old, stiff, restrictive skin. Right now, picture old limitations falling away from your life. Now take a deep breath, hold it, and blow all of that fear away.

“And I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life…”

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