In honor of Diwali, I did a reading for myself from The Traveler Deck, and am once again, rather stunned by what was revealed. I’d like to share my thoughts and feelings about it with you.
The first draw was Reclamation. I don’t have an easy way to copy the text, so I’ll just briefly paraphrase here. And, also, within this blog, I’ve had to use old images from the deck, rather than those of the new edition simply because I didn’t think to download them in a format I can access on this i-pad. At any rate here’s the drawing:
Reclamation is about reclaiming a lost part of the self. Hands gently hold that lost part and eyes that see deeply and with compassion shine through the process of healing to encourage and bring loving power to bear. A pair of legs is what has been lost, in my case, it may well be true that some path these legs were on earlier in my life, got lost.
I had been in India when I was 21 and enrolled in a college program, living in Ahmedabad (about a 2 hr. bus-ride from where I am now). I was thriving here, but also troubled by the leadership and the conflicts between the married couple who were in charge of the program and the 17 of us students who were here. I gave my very best efforts to mediate between the wife, who was American, and the students – becausee it was clear that there was significant frustration on the part of the students as to how the program was organized. Also, there was a lack of trust on the part of the students with this couple. I was ultimately unsuccessful with my efforts to foster change in what the couple had in mind for us, and so, a few weeks later, one of the students did something that caused the program to implode, and brought public attention to it in a negative media article. We all returned home within a couple of weeks. It was messy, unfortunate, and a real downer for me, because I felt I was torn prematurely from India and the process I had been engaged in. I wasn’t completely sorry, either, though, because the program was definitely flawed.
But, it was a painful departure because I had met the first person I was conscious of choosing as a personal role-model and mentor. Her name was Chaturlakshmi Trivedi, and she was the host-mother for another student of the program. She and I deeply “clicked” upon meeting. She was about 80 yrs. old then, and really the first person I’d ever met that I wanted to be like, that I felt drawn to learn from, who showed me the kind of person I deeply wanted to become. She exemplified what its like to be fully functional -mentally, emotionally and physically, but also tuned-in to the larger field of life-energy that is radiant with well-being, compassionate love and a deep calm trust in life.
So I was torn from that relationship before I felt ready to leave it. I had much more I would have liked to learn from her. So, here I am now, and I’m sure she’s no longer among the living. But, I trust that our engagement, nevertheless, was enough to change my life. And, I’m here now -again- after many years, to somehow gather up that lost part of me. It feels as though being of service to children in need of loving, compassionate attention, is perhaps at the root of the healing reclamation. And, there’s also likely, some unexpected gift in being here that I can’t really see or know even now.
I am loving this opportunity to be with kids who are eager, and open. Even the teens here, by and large, strike me as very sweet and friendly, with no evident resentment of elders.
This is a Bridge and Portal card, which signifies a gateway from one way of being or terrain and passage into another. Some things will have to be let go of in order for the bridge or portal to be traversed. And, the realm on the other side will be different by virtue of the Traveler becoming different in some way, and thus new potentials and challenges are accessed.
A vision quest of any kind requires some sort of sacrifice of the normal, of the comfortable, of the regular practical aspects of life. And, some time in nature is also typical of this sort of spiritual attunement period. One must relinquish what you believe you know, and enter the place of un-knowing or not-knowing, so that something outside of your “known world” may be revealed to you. It requires being open and creating a sort of void which can be filled.
I am not exactly in this mode right now, although a sacrifice of my normal creature-comforts could be said to have been made, since I’m living in a different place and not everything is easy here, but I am intending to create some sort of time-away for myself after my volunteering stint here in Udaipur. I have booked a hotel on the coast of Goa, and perhaps 10 days on the coast in a quiet place will suffice as a retreat. But, if it turns out not to be conducive for that, I will go from there somewhere that offers the sort of nature-retreat that this card is referring to.
Not much more I can say about this, but what is interesting to see in this complete drawing of three cards is the next card, which, I sense, could be a natural consequence or completion of this whole process:
This is a Hero/Heroine card, which describes the calling-up of an attribute in response to challenge or opportunity. It signifies the expression of a blessing one has to offer the world through one’s own life. So, in this case, Authentic Voice, the image is showing the 3rd eye inspiration (Blue Star) as a sort of resonant truth that is given voice, not through the small, individual ego-self, but through the larger, connected self – what some call the higher-self. The personal ego is not the voice coming through, as the eyes of the mask are closed. It is the energy of the blue star – the inspired source – giving rise to some kind of beautiful artful expression (as shown by the blue woven cloth coming from the mouth).
This drawing seems to depict an entire process that is my intent for this trip which includes Healing and the establishment of a new direction; A spiritual Quest to allow Life to speak to me and show me the way on; and the culmination of those efforts being an ability to speak with renewed authenticity.