Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Creativity, Sadness, Fire, Transformation & the Power of the Moment



A few years ago, I bought the book and cards, Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery — A Book of Exploration and 40 Cards, by Linda Kohanov (art by Kim McElroy).  Like many horse lovers, I had also read Linda's book, The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation through the Way of the Horse and loved it.  All of the cards that came with it are beautiful, and everyone of the cards offers some insight into ours and our horse's lives.

There are several ways you can use the cards.

1.) You can spread them out, look at the pictures, and see which one speaks to you.
2.) You can turn them face down and choose a card.
3.) You can choose five cards and lay them out in the pattern below.



I had been feeling "off" since Shadow's passing, so I wanted the full meal DEAL.  I chose five cards.



My central issue was card 10--Lightning Horse--Creativity.  It's all about less words. Feeling the experience, rather than trying to explain the experience.  It's about the power of NOT putting something to words and then the way it can move you to deeper insights in life AND with horses.

"When you've truly made the connection, riding a horse feels like a series of illuminations rewarded by surges of endorphins. Most of these insights, however, are felt and put to use long before the conscious mind can fathom what's taking place. Flashes of clarity mixed with waves of elation flow...It is a creative act, a feeling of music in motion, of a sublime and silent improvisation between two souls that can never be accurately described."
I can see that is where I'm at with Leah.  I used trainers to get us this far together, but the next step is she and I alone--finding a way through whatever it is that's blocking her--or blocking me.  Becoming a team of two and not three or four or five.  Since we took a few steps back, she has taken a few steps forward. She loves to greet me now and get an impromptu massage in the pasture.  Her eyes are soft and open towards me.  It's where we should have started a year ago.



Card 2 is the obvious or most conscious situation to myself and others, and it's The Master of Sadness card.  Isn't that appropriate?  I just lost Shadow.  What could be more obvious than sadness?  But when I started thinking about it, I realized I've been kind of sad for two years.  My mom got breast cancer, two months later my sweet father-in-law died, two months later my youngest son joined the military &  I live(d) in fear of a war, six months later my daughter got married and then my sister moved away, Shadow died and here I am.

This card is about "Sadness or Grief, The Power of Tears, and Release Rejuvenation". It says about it, "Sadness signifies it's time to let go of a relationship, job, or perspective that no longer serves you. Tears help you release attachment to an old way of being, rejuvenating you for the next stage of growth.  Some people are more afraid of sadness and grief than fear or anger, yet holding back those tears leads to despair and depression."

She writes about her sad horse, Noche, and how he grew old, but she wasn't willing to let him go. Then, it was as if he was detaching from the herd and her, and he was making a choice to leave.

"And when his final hour arrived, I was light enough to be there for him, without reservation, without clinging, without panicking, without begging him to stay for my sake, realizing ...he  not only reclaimed his dignity in death, he opened my heart to infinity."

Shadow had also detached, and when he did die, the herd acted like nothing was different.  At first, I thought it was mean of them--or shallow--or un-noble--but I think it was their natural way.  Shadow seemed like a sad soul this last summer, and he'd often have a tear coming out of his eye whenever I'd pet him.

These cards were all random, but they were amazingly true to my experience.


Which leads me to card #3--or 33 in the deck--Bonfire.  A sudden shift, clearing and releasing, fuel for transformation.

And then, the card I loved to see most because it makes me think of Shadow running on some heavenly plain.


#39--Transformation! Rebirth, power reclaimed, true freedom!

"We are not born to live and die, but to die and be reborn many times before leaving this earth."

My last card was 24--Kairos--horse time--moments infused with meaning and choice.


 "These animals live in Kairos time, always open to the next meaningful opportunity for harmony and communication, without holding on to 'what could have been'."

It was fun to do this and it opened me up to some new ways of thinking--which seem more memorable--visceral--emotional since they're associated with these pictures.

If you'd like me to pull a card for you, let me know!  Who knows what kind of insight may await.

14 comments:

  1. I forgot how beautiful those cards are. I'll have to dust off my deck. Isn't it amazing when the most appropriate cards show up? You've had a lot of loss recently.

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    1. It may have been you that first put me on to this book, Nuz Muz. I can't remember now! It has been so long ago.

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    2. Yes, it was me. I was doing readings like you are for horse bloggers. It was fun.

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  2. I'm sorry I haven't commented about your loss of Shadow. So much death this time of year. It's hard to find words of comfort sometimes. But I find that giving yourself permission to grieve, and allowing the sadness to be part of you for a while, seems right. And then one day it's time to move, make some changes, get some lightness and excitement again! But the sadness doesn't go away completely, and that's OK. We don't want to forget those we've lost, and it feels good to smile at their memory and cry at the same time.

    I've been feeling the need to break out of my cocoon and make something new again too. I like it. :) But at the same time I'm not in a hurry.

    Wanna draw a card for me?

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    1. Thank you, Andrea. I found it odd that I didn't cry about Shadow's passing. I was sad, and I got sick, but I couldn't cry even when I gave myself permission to. Then, of course, I felt bad about that. He was such a great big party of our family, didn't he DESERVE my tears?? But the insight from Linda K's story of her horse, Noche, resonated with me. Shadow had been ready to go for a long time--he was in pain--it needed to happen and I needed to give him permission--like the herd did. My husband was going to do it last spring, but I begged for the summer--unwilling to say goodbye.

      I'll draw the cards and post about them in a couple of days. You're in!

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  3. I'm sorry I haven't commented about your loss of Shadow. So much death this time of year. It's hard to find words of comfort sometimes. But I find that giving yourself permission to grieve, and allowing the sadness to be part of you for a while, seems right. And then one day it's time to move, make some changes, get some lightness and excitement again! But the sadness doesn't go away completely, and that's OK. We don't want to forget those we've lost, and it feels good to smile at their memory and cry at the same time.

    I've been feeling the need to break out of my cocoon and make something new again too. I like it. :) But at the same time I'm not in a hurry.

    Wanna draw a card for me?

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  4. Very much like Tarot cards.
    I hope you are at the beginning of the best part of your journey with Leah.
    Sometimes it takes loss and sadness for us to see life and relationships differently.

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    1. I don't know anything about Tarot cards, but my impression is that they "predict" the future. So, when I bought these, years ago, I hoped they were not that. And, I don't think they are. Every one of the 40 cards has art and life/horse stories that all apply to our lives. So, if you got any one of the 40, you'd bring your interpretation to the art work and pull your own unique interpretations out of the stories. I did think it was interesting, though, that I randomly pulled the sadness card and the horse running through heaven. Still, someone else could get those cards and see them in a whole different way.

      I think you're right about being at the beginning with Leah. Last year, I just plucked her out of the herd and said, hey, let's do this. I really didn't know her because I hadn't concentrated on her. Then, she got sour on me real quick knowing we were going to be "training" every time I came out. Her mystery lameness slowed us down and caused me to tune in to her--body, mind & soul. With all the massage, I feel like her know every inch of her body & indent of her muscles. So, I think you're right--that is the BEST part. :)

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  5. Often, I think, we are rushed through grief - for me, I have to stay with it until it starts to fade quietly, on its' own.
    The cards are very beautiful Linda; draw one for me please (I can always use insight).

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    1. My two years of grief went from one bad thing to another, so I don't think I ever got to work through any one of them--or let them go. I'm ready now. I will draw one for you!

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  6. The cards look interesting. I'd never seen them before. They seem to have hit how you're feeling right on the nose. I'd be interested to see what card came up if you pulled one for me. I'm in!

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    1. You're in. I'm in the process of drawing and writing up the blog post right now. :)

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  7. Oh, how fun!!! That's a great full meal deal, so appropriate right now. Years ago, I had friends who introduced me to "runes", which are Celtic in origin and similar in intent. Also reminds me of my Medicine cards, they are animal cards and Native American in origin. I don't give them any "power", just find it very interesting and fun to do.
    Your new plan with Leah - I am thinking you are "spot on" with this one. :) Yep! Can't wait to see what happens. Joe Wolter, the clinician I rode with this past June told me, to use what your horse's choices are, and "get with your horse, so you can get with him". Basically, letting your horse make decisions. Why not? They're intelligent, have opinions, emotions, likes etc too. Whatever makes us think that we have to be "right" all the time, or that it always has to be our way? Humans sure do have egos! Horses don't. If you have time, I'd love the full meal deal with your cards, and if not, one card anyway. Yes, please! :)

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    1. You got it! I'm leaving town on a date with my boyfriend, uh hum, husband, but will pull them tonight and have it up tomorrow.

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.