Weekly Forecast: November 5-11
Why is it that we often choose to highlight our struggles instead of our happiness? This week's reading challenges our assumption that the most difficult things deserve the most attention. What can happen when we take abundance seriously?
As a young teenager filled with angst, I spent a lot of time listening to Elliott Smith and crying with theatrical intensity. Of course, I was having a hard time navigating the formidable wilderness of high school, but I was also finding comforting stasis in my sadness (just ask my livejournal!)
I built up a wonderful and well-tended myth around the difficulties in my life and used them as a shield. Of course my life was meaningful and important - just look at how hard I was struggling! But I was also relatively cozy and had a lot of wonderful things occurring at the same time. Rather than give those attention I tended to my angst with the diligence of a master gardener. And, as one would expect, it flourished while the rest of my life stayed the same.
This week we're being asked to lift our heads from the difficult or frustrating and do the more challenging work of nurturing and highlighting our abundant joy and success. Having these cards back to back - the intense Three of Swords with the celebratory Three of Cups - suggests that we've been trained to see one instead of the other. Perhaps we're even choosing to highlight our struggles as a way of protecting ourselves. Is the open happiness of the Three of Cups boastful or ego-driven? Is it leaving us vulnerable to criticism and judgment?
I think of how easy it is to wax poetic about the latest struggle in your life only to come up with a few measly sentences to describe a major accomplishment or beautiful moment. Focusing on the fear - the Three of Swords - limits our expression and growth. So much can happen when we're unabashedly broadcasting our strengths and dreams, one of the most important being that is attracts friends and allies who want to join in on the party.
And, yes, it can be difficult. There will always be Three of Swords experiences in our lives. Turning our back on the concurrent Three of Cups moments, however, keeps us in a limited place. We can struggle forward with joy, too. It's more complex, sure, but far more meaningful.
Speaking of meaning, The High Priestess is holding down the other end of our reading with patient wisdom. Her presence elevates the magic of the Three of Cups, telling us to direct our attention to what's growing, giving back to us, and bringing us closer to other people. Doing so is awakening an important sense of purpose and uncovering some pretty profound insights.
The High Priestess chooses to see the world as a place full of mystery and meaning. What's more, she positions herself as an important keeper of knowledge. Her presence here inspires us to turn her curious gaze towards the Three of Cups moments in our lives. They are, in her eyes, full of important and magical connections worthy of study. The Three of Swords has had more than its share of time in the spotlight. Now it's time to discover that the Three of Cups has to tell us about ourselves and the world around us.