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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.

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Releasing the Ties That Bind


When the 8 of Swords comes up in a reading, it usually means that your predicament is a product of your own making or imagination.  You have confined yourself to the degree that you are unable to free yourself or even see a way out.  In the Anna K version of this card, we see a woman looking at herself in a mirror but she is not seeing her true reflection, she is seeing something else entirely.  Her mirrored self is blindfolded and wrapped up in a material that is in both her current world and her mirrored world.  In the mirror, she is surrounded by swords with a small path in front of her while outside of the mirror she holds a sword in her hand.  Since the swords represent thoughts, the mirrored self suggests that she surrounded by her thoughts, allowing them to confine her while the self on the outside of the mirror has more control of her thoughts since the sword is in her hand.  Could it be that she seeing that she is doing it to herself?


Sometimes all it takes to get out of a situation is to take off the blind fold and look for the path in the swords. This may be as simple as seeing the swords in front of you or it may mean that you need to look at things from another viewpoint in order to see your escape route.  Either way sounds pretty easy but it can be extremely difficult, especially when you unknowingly see things a certain way as a way of self protection.  By not seeing the truth of a situation, the decisions we make or the actions that we take can alter things, taking on a snowball effect, making it worse.  We must ask ourselves: are we purposely refusing to see the truth as a way of protection or do we have so much going on that we are overwhelmed to the point that we can’t see the forest for the trees?  Could there be something else that is going on?  Do I feel like I am in a constant state of being stuck?  This is where the shadow comes in.


When we know that we are able to free ourselves by changing our perspective but we refuse to do so, we are choosing to be victims.  We know we have a choice and we are choosing to feel miserable over joy.  The more we refuse to deal, the more swords pile up around us, building more of a fortress, making it impossible to escape because the path becomes more difficult to see.  


Fear is a major contributor to keeping us stuck: fear of the unknown, fear of change, etc.  It has a way of enslaving us in order to do its bidding…keep us from moving forward.  Is fear the only emotion that keeps us stuck?


This shadow takes some investigating as to the “why” we are refusing to see things the way they really are.  Start asking yourselves more questions:  


Am I seeing things they way they really are?


Do I want to move forward?


What am I afraid of? 


Start journaling and write down every question or statement that comes up.  Meditate on the questions.  You can find an 8 of Swords tarot card that you resonate with and meditate on it.  See yourself as the person in the card, blindfolded and surrounded by the swords. 


What happens if you take off your blindfold?


How does that feel?


Can you see your way out?


What are the swords to you?


Are they different fears?


Are they random things in your life that are holding you back?


Do you know how to handle them?


Do you see the path to get out?


What happens if you take a step toward it?


If it is too overwhelming for you, look at one sword at a time and figure out what it would take to solve the problem so it will disappear.  After the meditation, look at how you can remove the obstacles that are getting in your way.  Don’t get overwhelmed; work on one thing at a time.  If you are truly stuck, ask a close friend to help you out.  Maybe they can help you see things from a different perspective.  Sometimes fresh eyes can see more clearly.  Before you know it, your ties will be unbound and you will be forging your path through those pesky swords.


This months affirmation:


My thoughts do not control me, I control my thoughts. 


Bright blessings, 




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Reading the cards since 1999, Machelle enjoys using her empathy and intuition to assist others gain insight into their lives, helping them on their path of personal development and enlightenment.  Her specialty is working with shadows, where she helps others discover and heal the hidden shadows of self that have been tucked away for self preservation but have, in fact, limited each person’s ability to live to their fullest potential.  Also a Reiki Practitioner, she is committed to helping others heal through her business Ray of Light Tarot & Reiki.


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