This is an interesting setup here today: I was drawn to the crystals in my bag that represent prettiness and love to me; I’ve felt slow and woolly headed all morning, and was determined to approach the day looking only for that which is lovely and pretty and soft. Even the appearance of Jesus in the Ascended Master position with his bunnies and butterflies and dogs-and-cats-living-together message about loving everybody and being open to love seemed to respond powerfully to my need for pink fluffy love clouds today. But lo and behold, what did the Tarot bring this morning? The 3 of Swords, which I often read as the “Heartbreak” card. Holy What-The-Hell, Batman! So, ok. I get it. Ix-nay on the ink-fluffy-love-clouds-pay. Sigh. Ok, let’s see what’s really going on here. In Alistair Crowley’s “Thoth” deck, the word “Sorrow” is printed in big bold letters beneath a picture similar in content to the Rider-Waite card above: a flower representing the human heart with three swords stabbing it through. Drama, right? But what’s the message? I mean, on an emotional level it seems pretty obvious: stab through heart = emotional “ow.” But swords don’t represent emotion (to me, anyway), they represent thought and idea. Maybe an idea that I’ve loved for a long time is taking a full-on body blow. Could that be the truth?
I’ve been reminded often enough that with sorrow often comes opportunity, and I believe that’s true today. I learned this morning that someone I’ve known since I was a little kid has been diagnosed with a fatal illness. I’ve spent the last four hours being dumbfounded and stunned, but I’ve come to set that aside now, perhaps as having been exhorted to by the J-Man over there on the left: “Open your heart to love,” he says. Well, I’m opening my heart to hope for my friend. She is not dead yet; none of us are dead yet. There will be time to mourn later, as there always is. But right now, there is light, hope, and reason to be grateful for life. So I will be grateful, and I will be hopeful, for my friend and for myself, and for all of you reading this. I won’t give up if you won’t give up.
How are you called to repurpose sorrow? Where can you lift heartbreak into a more useful position in your life? I know, I know, we all hate those effing “life lessons,” but they’re going to come whether we want them to or not. So why not dance with Sorrow? It’ll pass the time until She has to leave to make room for Joy so much more nicely than sitting alone with a heavy broken heart.