Whether in Iraq, in the home, or the work place, there are many battles to fight. At times, I can almost feel two beautiful, well-hewn, metallic swords magically appear behind my back—ready for the daily fight of wills or words. I liken this to the appearance of “Two of Swords” appearing during tarot divination (a card that comes up a lot for me during personal readings). The woman as “Two of Swords” represents a moment of powerful indecision that is crippling. She is blindfolded, yet yielding the best warrior’s tool in duplicate—unfortunately due to personal indecision they nullify one another, leaving its holder powerless. When this card arises or I detect “Two of Swords” presence, hidden, or in dreams, I want to take the meaning of the iconography deeper through a more in-depth tarot reading that may last for hours. Ultimately, the goal is to acknowledge, question, and purge the instability, weakness, and destructive tendencies of this card.
Lately, I have been quiet; not calling my friends as much as usual or emailing. Why? because I have been fighting for my life—spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, financially, and at times physically, because as we well know, these are all components of holistic health. Framing this complex topic in terms of the female warrior icon, “Two of Swords” and as Artemis, the bow and arrow toting goddess of the forest and woodlands, is an important way for me to come back to reality and take my part in the important conversation. Tarot speaks to my metaphysical self, whereas Artemis speaks to my spiritual being. Though we may differ in belief systems, hopefully parts of my story and how I have handled it, will give you inspiration in whatever battles you are fighting. Whether our modern-day armor is a briefcase, kitchen mitts, gardening shovel, keyboard, or articulate words, like the higher power many of us celebrate, we continue to fight the good fight until our death aided by the divine.
Numerology, Magic, Mystery and Trouble
Nine is a special number to me and according to my recent shamanic journey it remains so. In numerology it is a magically charged number, a number that can divide back into itself infinitely. When nine enters my life in a significant way I take note. About nine years ago or so I had this nagging feeling. Something was wrong but I couldn’t identify it. I felt weepy, weak, irritable, under attack, ready to retreat, but from where was the source of these invisible blows?
We hear book and movie titles that flirt with becoming clichés but they are just a little too real for that. One is Sleeping with the Enemy another is The Burning Bed. These mixed media experiences have become a part of our psychological landscape when considering the rugged terrain of extremely unhealthy relationships. Then there are others, pieces of literature that have come to my attention recently. In fact, both of my war plan or holy books have eloquent, self-evident titles, No Visible Wounds: Identifying Non-physical Abuse of Women by their Men, and Why Does He do that?Iinside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. These books aptly describe suffering assault and battery from something very real, though seemingly invisible.
So, nine years ago I knew that I was fending off blows but could not figure out their source. Sure I sought feebly for help, but unprepared emotionally for what I might hear—I retreated. For some of you this might be a familiar story because partners and lovers go through a wide range of assault from the horrific to the subversive. Apart from them, the enemy from within your trusted circle might be a parent or sibling (sometimes deceased making matters all the more murky), a boss, vindictive so called friends, or worst still, your self.
So nine years later I went for help after suffering from depression, lethargy, binge and purge eating, and general malaise, as they so brilliantly called it in the olden days—all without an apparent source. I found that indeed there were several names and categories for what I suffered from. You can only be helped in your battle if you are willing to tell, and I kept many of my cards held tightly in my hand. It took years before I was ready to show or tell what I held close to my heart.
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