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Birthday Reading!

I am 46 today, and decided to pull some cards for this, perhaps my second strangest— oh! Or maybe my actual birth day was the strangest... so, third strangest birthday of them all.

Five years ago, on my 41st birthday, I was in L.A., taking care of my mom, who was in the last couple of weeks of her life. Perhaps, needless to say, that birthday came and went, virtually unnoticed. Maybe “strange” is the wrong descriptor for that birthday, though. I’m thinking of her a lot these days.

My actual birth day story is a bit harrowing. I almost wasn’t here to write about it. My mom was a storyteller by nature, and extremely open and candid, and the tale of my difficult birth, told often, so haunted me that when it came time for me to give birth to my daughter, I elected to do so in a hospital, rather than at home, contrary to all of my earthy ways. Ha! (Actually, I only have *zero* Earth signs in my entire astrological chart, friends. I know. Yikes. Good thing I’m a gardener and get my hands in the dirt on the regular!)

I‘m not going to go into the gories, but feeling like I am not getting enough air is an old, old fear that I have been doing a LOT of witnessing of during this time of ”shortness of breath” being one of the symptoms of the virus.

This is a very long preamble... forgive me. I am working up to it. Any reader will tell you that it’s *very* tricksy to read for oneself. We all do it anyway, of course... but we do have our blind spots, only human, after all. “Feet of clay“, a dear friend likes to say, as a way to remind herself. Humility. Gratitude. Touch the earth. It’s all very... mortifying.

So, without further ado, here they are:

Seeing my friend The Hermit at the heart of things here is a great comfort. I have been walking the Hermit’s path with intention these last two years. Longer, unawares—sleepwalking—perhaps... but always carrying my lantern.

We are, all of us, in our hermitage now. I find refuge here. Space to listen to what feels true in the moment. I have so much gratitude for surrendering to this wayfinder, this Hermes, who has held their lantern for me as I have journeyed ever inward.

The rune Jera, literally “year”, marks the end of a cycle, a completion. The harvest. The work one has been doing coming to fruition. With regard to my relationship with the Hermit archetype, numbered 9, like this day, I do feel like I am seeing the treasures that I have brought back from my travels as the essential tools that they are, helping me to navigate these times.

Speaking of navigators, the root card, foundation upon which it all sits, is the Father of Cups, though reversed.

An aside, the way that I read reversals is resistance. It’s not that one isn’t working with the energy of that particular card, but it feels like a challenge. It feels like Work with a capital W.

Father of Cups holds their seat—stays present— with all of the feelings. They do not abandon ship when the waters get rough. Neither do they suppress, divert, or reach for temporary solutions to the emotional intensity of whatever is arising.

The rune Dagaz is with “O Captain, My Captain” (Father of Cups), reminding us of the coming of the dawn. Daybreak. An en-lightenment. A spiritual transformation and integration that brings us to a new place of illumination, where we expand our perspective and see that no matter what is happening in our human experience, the sun rises, of its own accord, without our intervention, every day.

We integrate this broader perspective and let go of our own self-importance, and feel our oneness and connection with all.

In the area of challenge, The World, also reversed. And the rune Eihwaz, the yew tree that teaches us the oft difficult lesson that sometimes the “poison is the medicine”. Medicinal in the right dose, and lethal otherwise, we learn balance from Eihwaz.

We learn to hold space for paradox. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. We learn to keep a balanced perspective and touch in to our calm center, even when we feel like we are being pulled to extremes. Taking the moment to find the breath and simply return. Over and over again. Seeing all of it, all we would choose and all we would protect ourselves from, and neither engaging in grasping or aversion. Simply allowing what is.

The World, is the completion of the Fool’s journey. Looking back at the path with gratitude for all of its twists and turns, knowing that even (and maybe especially) the moments of difficulty and the times of upheaval and challenge, have resulted in coming to this place, where we shed our skin and stand in the light of our truth. We see everything and accept everything. The naive Fool has become the wise Fool. The cycle begins again.

In the area of the gift, is the 6 of Wands, rising up out of the tangle and struggle, and really being seen and acknowledged. Having what one has created be recognized and even lauded.

The rune Ehwaz, the horse, sits here, just as in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the 6 of Wands depicts a rider on horseback.

The horse, once a wild creature, at some point allowed collaboration and cooperation with humans. Domestication, we say.

Ehwaz is our horse sense of knowing when it’s safe to trust. Listening to and honoring our inner animal wisdom. I feel this gift and receive it with humble gratitude. I am so grateful for the way in which it guides me along my path and assists me in doing the work that I do.

Finally, in the future position, my next piece of work, 2 of Pentacles, reversed, and the rune Berkana, the birch tree, the mother.

Learning how to be flexible in the face of change. Steeping in the truth that the only constant is in fact change. That we are ever in a state of becoming. Learning to dance and move with the currents. Finding balance in the motion.

Berkana, the mother, the Divine Feminine, the birch tree, the nurturer. She is the caretaker of the self and others. She holds space for her creations, tending lovingly to them, feeding them at her breast so that they grow strong enough to walk forth in the world.

She reminds me to care for myself so that I can care for others. She reminds me to feed myself, so I can feed others. To be an example of love, unconditional and compassion boundless, extended first to myself, so that I may know how to offer it to others.

It feels like a good day. I am grateful for this precious human life.

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