The Sword in the Slump

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Life has been challenging lately, hence why I haven’t been writing much.

The past few weeks have been filled with the energy of the suit of swords. Swords symbolize our minds, thoughts, and problems we experience. I don’t like receiving a lot of swords in a reading. As a Gemini, I have enough restless mental activity in my life, and I certainly don’t need more problems. However, we don’t get to control what happens in life. I learned that lesson with my personal experience with the Tower card last year.

My tarot readings over the last month have been dominated by the suit of swords and some of the most dreadful cards in the suit, no less. Here were the two most common ones.

 

I am not ashamed to admit that several people in my family, myself included, struggle with mental health issues. I am lucky that my bouts with depression are seasonal in nature and are easily alleviated with medication. Others are not so lucky.

When you watch someone you care about struggle with severe depression and suicidal thoughts, it hurts. When someone you love hurts themselves, it is unbearable. When you are an empath and easily feel what others are going through, it is even more difficult.

There is such a stigma about mental illness in this society. Some people see mental illness a flaw in a person’s character, or as something that people exaggerate to get attention from others. This is not helpful. If they actually spent some time around someone who was experiencing severe depression, they would see that it is debilitating condition, and that no one would choose to act this way.

It also makes me incredibly upset that some people insist that people with depression “just need to get over it.” When someone has a physical impairment, they generally are shown sympathy and support by the community at large. We don’t tell a person in a wheelchair to just get up and walk. Everyone has an opinion on how to best heal someone with depression. Throughout the month I had many individuals offer all sorts of advice as to how to best help my loved one, including, but not limited to:

  • “Are you sure she isn’t doing this for attention?”
  • “You should take her phone away.”
  • “You should make her exercise.”
  • “Is she eating too much sugar?”

I know that people mean well and that these comments are meant to be helpful, but when you are already doing all you can (working with a team of trained professionals and educating yourself constantly on how to best help someone going through this), and struggling emotionally yourself, it sucks.

It is ironic that during this time, when I most need my spiritual practices, they go right out the window.

I am speaking from my own personal experience here. I know some people turn to prayer or self-care in times of stress and calamity, but this is not my experience. I am more likely to experience a dramatic decrease in my energy level, and to attempt to rectify the situation by either eating more chocolate or succumbing to exhaustion in a heap on the couch. I wake up too late and don’t have enough time to walk or meditate in the morning.

I know that physical movement will make me feel better. I know that a ten minute meditation can feel like a half-hour nap. I know pulling a few tarot cards and allowing myself time to reflect on them in my journal will be tremendously therapeutic, but I struggle to do any of these things.

I have spent the past month in a terrible spiritual slump. It was all I could do to just pull a card or two in the morning. One day I allowed myself to journal, and it was helpful, but I couldn’t sustain it.

As luck would have it, I was prompted out of my slump yesterday by one of my favorite people in the tarot, Jessi Huntenburg. Jessi is incredible reflective, deep, and intelligent, and I have enjoyed watching her videos for months. Recently I was lucky enough to win a free Full Moon reading with Jessi (and wouldn’t you know it, my card for the Full Moon cycle was the Three of Swords). Yesterday, she did a particularly moving reading for the New Moon in Taurus that she posted on her YouTube channel.

For me, it drove home the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others. It also made me desire some of that grounded, balanced Taurus energy for my own life.

After watching the reading I decided to follow her advice and list the things I need to begin doing for myself so I do not lose my shit over the coming weeks. This includes eating mostly vegetables, not drinking too much, getting enough sleep, and having at least four hours a week to do something creative that serves no purpose other than to relax me. In other words, leaving time for sewing, making bath products, relaxing in the hot tub, and reading for pleasure.

I hope that my intense experience with swords has ended, but truly, I feel like it already has. This morning my cards were the Eight of Swords and the World. I now believe that the only battle that is left is in my head. If I can master my thoughts and refuse to allow myself to be constricted by them, then perhaps I can end this cycle and start anew.

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