A lesson in letting go
Something old is dying, making way for something new to be born. The message you are receiving when you draw the Death card # 13 of the Major Arcana, is one of surrender and release. You are being called to allow something within you to die.
Resisting this death will only sap your life energy and cause stagnation, fatigue and eventually depression.
This deep process of letting go, is a reorientation of life toward Spirit. Phoenix rising from the ashes, having survived and been transformed in the fire. It is perhaps one of the hardest lessons of the Tarot, and one of the most liberating if you can give into it.
Keywords: Profound change, passage, transition, transformation, letting go, surrender,destruction, separation, loss, liberation, revolution, endings and beginnings, completion of a chapter, release, dealing with fear, regeneration, truth, renewal, blocked change/clinging to the past (if reversed).
No one is spared. Everyone is called to go on this painful and sometimes frightening journey of growth. Our reward is the birth of new opportunities, new feelings, new life, and new relationships. Death and rebirth are equal aspects of the ongoing cycle of life. The more you can accept this and release what must die, the easier this passage will be.
House remodeling, relocation, a change of jobs, letting go of old friendships and relationships, a marriage, a divorce, pregnancy, the death of a loved one, an illness, the renewal of health - these are some of the ways the Death card manifests in everyday life. Often what is dying are old patterns and ways of being.
I always give clients the metaphor of a ship sailing off to new shores, when they enter this phase of the journey to wholeness. Grieving and letting go is hard work. You have to say goodbye. It is a difficult passage and it is important to remember that there is life on the other side of death. We must work through our stuff and release as we go so our hearts have room for new experiences once we set foot on solid ground. Loss can become a fixation of the mind that keeps us stuck and living outside of the whole. However hard, we are meant to walk through the door of transformation and find strength in a new vision and a new self. This being said, your process takes as long as it takes and everyone's time of grief is different. Be kind to yourself.
My most recent encounter with loss is the disappearance of our beloved kitty Calvin. My path has been one of many goodbyes and each process has been different. We never know quite how it is going to affect us. One thing is for sure, there is no way around grief. The way to wholeness lies in going through it. The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky asks important questions that may bring clarity to your patterns of dealing with loss.
Have you been afraid to face the pain that accepting grief and going through the grief process will bring? Have you been hiding from grief, pretending you are really okay? Have you done some of your grieving, but not all of it, so it catches you unaware in odd moments? I will have said yes to all of those at different times in my life. Fear is a common trigger that keeps us staying overlong in a situation that we need to leave.
Grief, when fully faced, will finally lessen. You will feel stronger and more alive on the other side of it. Wounds turn to scars over time.
Loss is a part of life. Seasons change and all is in a state of transition. Knowing how to deal with loss is a skill that will be useful time and again. Here are a few things that I have found to be helpful when facing the inevitable.
Ceremony is profound because it gives you a chance to be creative with your grief, to enact it and to honor that which is passing. You will be calling in spiritual help and enjoy the experience of being held in your darkest hour. Ceremony can be done in the company of other people and animals as well. Soul Garden Companion offers ceremony when you are ready for a shift in life.
Go on a sound healing journey. This exercise takes a lot of strength and courage because you will immerse yourself in the experience of your grief. Use a drum, rattle or your voice and make sounds. Allow your own grief rhythm to be expressed. Give yourself permission to move or dance or go wild with grief. Do whatever you need to do and ride it until it transforms into something else. You can release a little at a time and revisit this exercise. Invite the Indian Goddess Kali (see image) to help you face your fears. Care for yourself after. Have some rose tea. Soak in a sea salt bath with Lavender and breathe deeply. Use Rose Quartz on your heart chakra.
Do a clutter clearing to affirm your readiness for a new cycle.
Express your feelings in a journal. Create sacred art. Call on the support of a friend or psychotherapist. Get a Life Path Reading. Make sure to get some massage or bodywork to help soften your body and let your feelings be released from your energy body. Balance your grief work with self-care. Look at what isn't falling apart in your life and appreciate it. Let in as much as light as you can in between the waves of sadness and hurt. Spend time in nature.
The nature of change is often chaotic. Remind yourself that this major transition from old to new is ALWAYS for the better. It is a liberation from the past and a rebirth into spiritual wholeness. New life will emerge and prosper. Clarity, peace and creativity will follow. Ask yourself what possibilities lie on the other side of this sea of transformation. Your soul is longing to be born anew.