Earley Light: Shedding Light on the Shadows of Self
Explore the shadow aspects of tarot cards to help you uncover your own personal shadows and incorporate techniques, such as exercises and affirmations, to begin your journey of healing.
Healing the Wounds of the Queen's Sword
Queen of Swords from the Anna K Tarot by Llewellyn
When making a decision, the Queen of Swords is logical and rational. She exudes confidence because she knows that she sees every aspect of every possible scenario in any situation. She is impartial and doesn’t allow emotion to cloud her judgment. In this card from the Anna K tarot deck, she has both hands on her sword, demonstrating that she has control of her thoughts, not letting them waiver. Her matter-of-fact attitude can appear just as cold as the winter scene behind her. When she appears in a reading, you are being told to use critical thinking and be impartial.
Her shadow side takes all of this to the extreme and then some. Her logical and rational reasoning makes her think that she is always right. She always has the correct answers because she put in an enormous amount of time taking everything into consideration so there is no way that she can be wrong, never listening to another opinion or other information. Her bitchiness and intolerance make her appear even colder, if that can even be possible. She is the cold and distant disciplinarian who likes to be alone because she deserves the company of only those who think like her, only she has no clue that her bitter and pushy attitude has pushed people away so her independence isn’t as self made as she thinks it is.
Sometimes, we use our intellect as a defense mechanism so people don’t get too close. We don’t want to be vulnerable because we are opening ourselves up to pain, so we are always on guard. (Notice how she is holding the sword over her heart as if she is protecting it). At gatherings, we sometimes bumble out extremely intellectual information and when they turn to anything emotional we immediately leave the vicinity.
In the shadow, our normal organization skills turn into OCD behavior; we sort our books and cds by size and then alphabetize them, every pen on our desk is placed in the perfect spot, 2 inches away from the stapler, perpendicular from it, of course. If anything is out of place we get a sick feeling in our stomach or we get anxious, throwing the rest of our world out of balance until it is fixed. We never ask for help because we are so independent that we don’t need it. We think that we know everything so we should be able to accomplish any task that is put before us. We look at asking for help as a weakness and we are in actuality harder on ourselves than we are on anyone else. We have high expectations and expect to live by those expectations. When those expectations don’t meet up with our reality, we over think and overanalyze where we could have possibly gone wrong.
Now that we have identified the shadows, the question is, how do we heal them? First and foremost, be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to be so hard and unfeeling all of the time. Get in touch with your compassion and forgive yourself. We don’t have to be perfect. No one is perfect and expecting complete and utter perfection only sets us up for failure. Do the very best that you can do and if you happen to miss something or do something wrong, forgive yourself and realize that you are human. You are not a robot.
If you are one of those people that spout off intellectual conversations only to immediately leave when the conversation turns to something more feeling in nature, instead of leaving, decide to stick around. You don’t have to say anything, just take it in. BE there. The more you stick around for these types of conversations, the more comfortable you will start to be. Before you know it, you will eventually be talking about your own feelings. Something else that you can try is to tell a very close friend that you trust something small but personal in nature. More than likely, it won’t be nearly as bad as you think it will be.
After you have gathered up all of your logical information and have made your decision, look over the information that you gathered and see how you feel about the decision. Would the decision have been the same if you would have used your gut rather than your brain? Every once in awhile make a decision based on your feelings. Go from your gut and see what happens. If will probably feel wrong just because it’s not your way of doing things, and that’s ok. Just try it once and see how it feels. Also, get someone else’s opinion and don’t immediately discount it. Really think about what they have to contribute.
When you are cleaning up your desk or another area that you have to have “just so”, allow things to be mismatched, or misaligned or haphazard for a day or two. When you fill your dishwasher, don’t arrange your dishes or glasses by size or put knives in one compartment and forks in another. The same can be said if you hand wash your dishes with the coffee mugs first and then the juice glass. Mix it up a little. (Just to be clear, it’s not the behavior itself that is the issue, it is the feelings and behavior stemming from those feelings when things are out of order and not the exact way that you want them that could be the issue).
If you need help, ask for it. Sometimes it is better to ask for help from someone who is an expert in doing something rather than continue to think that you know it all and get frustrated and mad because you can’t do something. Don’t get me wrong, its great to be independent and to keep trying until you get something right, but sometimes its best for your own mental health to ask for help from someone who knows how to do it. Whether you are trying to figure out photoshop or trying to put up drywall, no matter how big or small it may be, if you start getting extremely aggravated, ask for help. If there is something that you have always wanted to know how to do and you know someone that does it, ask them to show you how.
Start recognizing when you are starting to over analyze a decision or a thought and stop. Tell yourself that you made your decision and that it doesn’t require any further action. Trust that you made the right decision in the first place.
If you start to integrate one of these ideas into your life (or one that you come up with), starting with once a week, your shadows will begin to heal and then disappear altogether. Once they are gone, if there is a larger reason that these appeared in the first place, that larger reason will begin to be revealed and then eventually it will diminish and disappear as well. The key is to be aware so that you can start the process of healing by changing your behavior patterns. Being mindful is the most absolute first step in beginning to heal your shadows. You can’t fix it if you don’t know that it’s broken, right? So start paying attention to yourself. You’ll catch it if you haven’t already done so and once you are aware, you will be able to catch yourself more often. Remember to journal if you need to. This helps to uncover and heal your shadows as well. Don’t limit what you write, let it all out.
Once again, always remember to be gentle and forgive yourself. You are worth it.
See you next month!
This months affirmations:
I forgive myself
I trust myself to make the right decision for me
I am comfortable enough with myself to be vulnerable
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