The death card is one of my absolute favorites in the tarot deck. When perusing a new deck, the death card is one of the ones I need to look at to make the decision to purchase or not. (I haven't been buying many decks lately but that's mostly because I'm trying to have more self control. Doing pretty good by the way!). This card means so much to me that it's not enough for a deck to be beautiful. (And truthfully it is a pet peeve when artists pursue without understanding.) (And pet peeve #2, when people fall back on the ability make pretty things or just be or sound pretty and abandon the necessity for depth. *Eye roll*.)
Moving forward and thank you for reading on and tolerating my train of thought..to sum it up, the death card is the fucking shit. It gets a bad reputation outside of the Tarot community (at least I hope no Tarot reader actually thinks this card is bad in any way and if there is I pray to God to never meet them). This reputation is in part due to the name of the card, DEATH. Death has so much unnecessary energy attached to it which is essentially a result of a lack of understanding to its perceived opposite, LIFE.
When one goes beyond the perceived dualities, one begins to get closer to the real meaning of this card. The essence of this card is about powerful change initiated by the individual. Change is inevitable and it is wise to develop discernment when it should be resisted and not. A lot of change happens TO us and that is just how it is. But the most powerful kind of change is that which we initiate. It is at once empowering, purifying, enlivening.
What dies are the old patterns, old ways, old mindsets, old relationships, old feelings, old identities, toxicity, burden, etc. The list is endless. As we initiate the change in our lives, we embody the protagonist more in our story. We live on purpose, like how we are meant to. There is more power and meaning in what follows. We take power back from where it was once surrendered.
In the traditional Rider Waite rendition of this card, the armored skeleton is the hero. This figure is the most alive in the image. He wears armor to protect himself. Protecting oneself and having and asserting our boundaries where needed is our right. He says no to things that are no longer relevant. He does it with conviction and proceeds toward the light, toward a new day, toward a new beginning. We lay these to rest. We let them not be a part of us anymore.
As a result, we are lighter and even liberated in a way. It takes a toll on the energetic body to hold the heaviness in. When things don't match your vibration it takes more effort to sustain it and hold onto it. We have more energy for endeavors that are closer to our hearts. We manifest more efficiently. We live more efficiently. Our lives align better. And it will just feel better.
That is all. I fucking love the Death card.
What if you didn't have to work so hard?
What if you didn't have to be so stressed to reach your dreams?
What if you could dream for the sake of dreaming?
What if you could achieve for the sake of achieving, just because you can?
What if you could enjoy your work?
What if you didn't have to worry about money and how to keep it flowing - what would you do with your time?
What if you could focus without stress? Without pushing yourself to the limit?
What if you knew what you were doing and no longer need anyone else, including yourself, to tear off the Band Aid to keep moving forward?
What if you knew when to move forward and what that next step looked and felt like?
What if moving forward is different for you?
What if you realized your truth is different from anyone else's?
What if your whole being believed that your experience is just as good as everyone else?
What if it all didn't hurt?
What if there was no pain, no drama?
Where would you be?
What would it look like?
How would it feel like?
i dream of hands steadier than mine
to hold a sometimes nervous heart
a clammy palm
and a tired face
with calm fists
worn and experienced and wise
of a mouth that kisses my brow
and hand and jaw
and don't neglect my collar nor lips
but hands that are strong and gentle and beautiful
know how to hold my face
with care and love and curiosity
eyes that see and wonder with mine
once in a while kiss with open eyes
and a nose that breathes me in
digs into my neck to find my clavicle
but hands that understand and know
veins that tell old stories of passion and anger
knuckles that have healed
scars and lessons learned
truth and joy and wisdom
Eyes scan the room and eventually a pair lock down on Isabel. Eye contact is made and he approaches, crossing the dance floor. His right hand extends and asks, "Shall we dance?"
Isabel curtsies with eyes cast down to look at the gentleman’s shoes. (Because she likes boy shoes and wishes she could wear them.) And responds by placing her hand in his, meeting his gaze.
In the blink of an eye, like a swift silent breeze, he realizes Isabel has dipped him. Yes. She has dipped him. This is how the dance starts.
No, not really. The truth is I dance like a gypsy at the gospel church's Sunday service. I let my body guide me and (as much as humanly possible) be the embodiment of perfect flow with the universe. I love it. I dance alone and feel absolutely free. I trust my body the most when it responds to beats only I can decipher.
That evening, the gift of dancing also lit a few other unexpected light bulbs:
1. The problem of choreography
Choreography is not particularly pleasurable for me. I realized I am predisposed to doing and being my own. I love it. I appreciate being able to dance my own dance to my own beat. I feel free and creative and expressive and grounded and connected. I feel the trust permeate through my body. I feel integrated.
I also feel how choreography confuses me. I feel my body disrupt in flow and identify the choreography as something externally being imposed on me. I can't follow. A part of me just wants to run away and go back to dancing alone. Back to being free and back to how I was accustomed to knowing my essence.
Clearly this is problematic. Choreography is about respect, about cooperation, about integration, about a system that works. Choreography is common ground for other souls to relate to. Its good to know. No excuses. Choreography is another language. Another way to relate. The soul needs to relate, at least mine does.
2. I don't know how to lead or be led
I took ballroom dancing in high school as part of the physical education curriculum in junior year. The thing is, I went to an all girl high school and miraculously, my lovely and patient partner was tinier than me. As a result of being the taller one for this very rare moment in time, I learned how to lead like a man. I learned to dance like a man before and now I'm learning to be a woman. (HA!)
Fast forward to last week - a kind and patient boy named Chris asked me to dance. Apparently I gave off the impression I knew what I was doing. Bless his soul. Watching from afar this encounter must have been hilarious. I kept putting my hands where they would be as if I were the boy. I was worried it was too difficult or too confusing to follow me. Will my partner be able to keep up?
So..this is a problem. We are beings relating to other beings. How can I relate properly if i can't allow myself to be led from time to time, and perhaps lead? There are roles to be played at different times. And that is ok.
3. The prospect of dancing with a partner
I wonder if he can keep up. I wonder if he has the patience. A part of me would just rather not have to be responsible for him.
It seems to me that dancing with a partner also involves having faith and trust in the partner's abilities and possibilities. I caught myself thinking if my partner and I were properly matched. If he could keep up. If I could. If the universe would send the right partner. My thoughts seemed to be symptomatic of lacking in discernment of where and when I should have to responsible and where it is up to the universe and when it is up to the other.
Later that evening in one of my bouts alone, (dancing of course) a stranger smiles at me and starts dancing with me. Following my feet in perfect rhythm. The synchronicity was a pleasant surprise. However fleeting, it felt comforting and inspiring to share that flow of energy with another soul. After a while we both laughed and smiled and bumped our fists in mutual acknowledgement and gratitude of the fun we just shared. Then we moved on to appreciate where we were, separately. (Sorry guys - this is not the story of how I find true love.)
4. The universe is in perfect flow
I feel the flow of the universe in the music, in my body, and in the people she brings to me. I recognize that she fine tunes that flow by constantly purifying energies in my vicinity. She guides the right ones in and the others out. She is in constant flow.
In the end, a night full of shameless dancing with good people and good music brought up my own thoughts and feelings around relationships and partners. The next goal is to learn how to dance and still experience the same intensity of beauty and love and peace and fire and freedom that I feel when I dance alone - with another.
Stay tuned. Isabel learns to dance.
Ramblings of the soul.