As I write this, the sun is reaching the exact astrological position it was in when I was born. It’s time for birthday reflections, intentions, and projections.
Each year, I like to draw a tarot or oracle-card spread to help me focus on themes for the coming year. This year, I used the Crystal Mandala Oracle by Alana Fairchild for a three-card spread intended to provide “Deeper Insight.” The night of the solar return… what a perfect time to see ahead and behind!
The first card drawn, which presents the response to the question, “What do I need to know?”, is Tiger Spirit Rises.
It’s a card of wildness, of individuality, and of courage.
“To shed conditioning, one layer at a time, takes courage. You have to trust in a self you don’t fully recognize yet… When you tap in to your wildness… authenticity is discovered. You find out who you are. You allow yourself to operate in broader ways than those dictated by society… There is an opportunity to break away from the tribe…
“Roar loud and proud. Your kindred tiger spirit souls will hear you and be drawn to your light.”
–Alana Fairchild, Crystal Mandala Oracle
The independent spirit of this card fits. I’ve spent a lifetime peeling back the layers of social conditioning. For a while, this past year, I muted my individuality, wanting to fit in better at the workplace since I was in charge of a project that reaches many people. It felt draining, the support I longed for never developed, and I stood out anyway. So towards the end of the project, after I hand-picked my own support team from other strong-spirited colleagues, I decided to give expression to my wildness.
I like the way it feels, and I’m more effective, too. It takes too much energy to be tame!
As a woman working in a tech-related profession in the state with the largest gender income gap in technology in the nation (40.7%, source: Comparably.com), my work environment operates under an institutional bias against listening to the advice and suggestions of women. Here’s where the wild tiger spirit comes in handy. To do my job, I need to be able to speak up, speak out, and even roar now and then. I can purr, too.
It takes a bit of courage to speak up when it’s needed, especially in a climate where there’s a tendency to look down or look away, but it feels good when it’s the right thing.
It feels like soaring and gaining the perspective that comes from pulling away from “what’s expected” when those expectations are limiting.
From the personal and spiritual perspectives, this strength I develop in the workplace fortifies my individuality and my commitment to speak up when I need to. I’m developing the muscles to do what I need to do and say what I need to say, without apology, without worrying about “taking up space.” It’s time to be a little wild when wildness gets the job done.
If you’ve got a wild spirit, too, I hope you’ll join me in roaring when you need to, and even just when you feel like it!
The second card of the spread, in the position for “how to best heal and grow,” is Divine Perfection.
“As you grow on your spiritual path, you will eventually become aware of a paradox, two apparently conflicting truths, both of which you resonate with at a deeper level… On one hand, you will be seeking growth and development… The fulfillment of your innate spiritual blueprint… happens as you experience change, growth, healing and transformation.
“However, there is a second truth on the spiritual path that applies to all beings, even those gifted with the ability to transform themselves. This second truth is perfection. There is nothing to do, no change to go through, no healing that needs to take place, because in the inner truth of your nature, you are already divine, whole and perfect.
“Use the inner knowing of the divine wholeness of you to bring you peace as you evolve and grow on your divine path.”
–Alana Fairchild, Crystal Mandala Oracle
A few months back, I came across an old photo of myself that an acquaintance from my youth had posted on facebook. This facebook friend was a former student of my mom’s, when my mom taught at a tiny island school in the Pacific Northwest. My mom’s student was a child in the photo, and I was a teen. It was taken on a day that had completely slipped my memory: a glorious summer day, a few weeks before my birthday, when our family had volunteered to help with the island arts festival. My job, on that particular day, was to dress up in the burlap monster costume and entertain the kids. In the photo, I’m reclining in my burlap suit. The monster head lies beside me, and one child sits between my monster feet, leaning on my burlap-clad legs, while another perches on a wicker chair.
I had completely forgotten that day, that monster costume, and those wild children with whom I’d played for hours until we were so tired that we dropped in a heap of giggles and stories.
When I first saw the photo, I didn’t recognize myself. It must have been a random tag, I figured. But the next day, I realized it was me–but what was I doing clothed in burlap? Through the coming days, slowly that afternoon returned to me, and with it, a feeling of complete wholeness. I picked up a piece of myself that had somehow gotten lost along the way.
When I look at myself in the photo, I can see how I’ve grown, transformed, and healed. In the photo, my shoulders are tight and curve in a bit–I wasn’t comfortable in my skin and my emotional blocks settled in my shoulders. I can remember my insecurities when I look at that image.
I’ve grown so much in the 41 years since that photo was taken, shedding the emotional blocks, settling into my body, becoming comfortable with who I am, and healing from wounds and oversights. I’ve lived a lifetime of transformation and change, and in many ways, I’m not the same person.
And yet, at the same time, I am. And that moment, that glorious afternoon, was perfection. Sure, we could rattle off a million things that weren’t right: but that moment was perfect.
As is every moment, for inside each moment, perfection lies.
This is what this card means, this message of growth and healing: Yes, we grow, change, shift, transform. And at the same time, perfection forms the core of every moment. There is no need to change, and nothing to change, while at the same time, everything changes.
The third card presents the message of “special gifts and blessings.” The third card in this reading is Divine Rebel.
“Divine rebels shake things up, create a divine disturbance and refuse to play by the rules. They do this because they love divine love! They know there is nothing as powerful as the unconditional love of the Divine… If there is a rule that gets in the way of that love, then the divine rebel will find another way so that love can have its way… Divine rebels are not always understood, but they are respected by those who are ready to make love more important than fear, and who are willing to contribute constructively towards healing the world.
“The divine rebel does things that break stereotypes wide open. They dance when they are supposed to be sitting still. They argue when they are supposed to be quiet. They are serene when they are supposedly meant to be enraged. And they get angry when they are meant to be calm. This is natural for a rebel… because this is how they were divinely designed.
“When the Oracle of Divine Rebel comes to you, you are being acknowledged as one of the ones who are different and who are here to stir up loving truths in your own particular way… Maybe you… don’t necessarily fit in completely to any one social group… Maybe you… think differently and maybe you worry sometimes that you are even a bit weird…
“If you try to clip your wings and your wild streak to ‘join the real world,’ you’ll feel as though you are abandoning yourself.”
–Alana Fairchild, Crystal Mandala Oracle
Early in 2017, I had a few painful instances when others pointed out that I was weird.
You’d think, at my age, after a lifetime of being considered weird that I’d have become used to it! The thing is: I actually thought that I’d been accepted by these two groups (one, the SimLit community, and the other, my family) for my weirdness.
Turns out–not so much.
Around this time, I got together with a good friend, and over coffee, I shared with her these two instances and my hurt.
My friend protested that I wasn’t weird. A few days later, she suggested in an email that I join a support group so that I can “ONCE AND FOR ALL, get it thru [my] head that [I am] NOT WEIRD.”
As well-intentioned as her advice was, it didn’t help. It gave a message that didn’t fit my experience: If I am normal then this disconnect that I feel so often between myself and other less eccentric people and groups is somehow… an illusion? Not real? Imagined? If I am normal, then maybe I need to act, speak, create, write, and be in a more conforming manner?
For a few months, then, I tried to reel it in. My friend had suggested that maybe I don’t share my insights, opinions, and perspectives so readily. I made an attempt at following this advice. I felt miserable. I felt stifled.
How much better I felt when I drew this card and read that, yes, I am indeed weird, and yes, it’s how I fulfill my purpose!
My friend’s advice might work for her, but it doesn’t work for me!
I am going to be my full weird self, in all my weirdness, and all my wildness, poised between perfection and growth!
When I think of it, all the people I love the most are weird.
Even my historical idols: J. S. Bach, Jane Austen, Beethoven, Brahms, George Eliot, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Zora Neale Hurston, Glenn Gould–each has been branded “weird” and I love them all!
Then let me be weird!
All those I love best are weird, and we’ll form a collective of happy, weird, wild souls, full of love, and roaring at the moon with our heartfelt declarations of the truth that is at the heart of all wisdom: IT IS LOVE, BABY, AND NOTHING ELSE!
That’s what matters. And that’s what’s free. If you’re weird, you can join us, too!
This is my birthday song: wild, perfect, weird, and free.