Ordeals and Initiations

A month ago, my shaman did a Tarot reading for me. A Tower period was predicted, along with several other cards of the major Arcana, that if I held true to my convictions during a major upheaval, I would be moving on to new soul growth and a new phase of life with new opportunities. Shortly after that I called the ambulance for my husband. While I do not wish to say too much about the private aspects of my life out of respect for his privacy, the ensuing month has been a whirlwind of emotion and the imperative to take care of things that he has always done. I miss my anchor. I could always count on Alan to be practical and see the simple, direct aspects of any issue.

Back in 2003 when I chose to stop working with my Gurdjieff mentor, I realized that life itself would provide the challenges and opportunities for soul growth if I were willing to face whatever came along. Some challenges were easy, most were hard, and I discovered that things were less hard, if I could overcome my resistance and be accepting of whatever came. I had to find my Will. Only then could I be open to the Guidance I pray for from the Divine.

The hard things temper us. It’s like a forge. You cannot shape the iron without the application of some heat.

I don’t like to label things, because labeling things invites comparison, and I feel that comparison does a disservice to the experience. What is hard for me might be simple for you, and for us to compare our experiences on the issue at hand might mean that we fail to respect what it is we have undergone. For me, calling the ambulance for my husband began an ordeal that required I make choices for another person from both a caring and a practical standpoint. There were times I broke down in tears, yes, but I also rose up and made those hard decisions. Alan and I are both independent and strong minded people and fortunately we had the hard conversations when he was still young enough to be of sound mind.

I have come to think of this recent experience as a “Tower Initiation” because while this tower was falling, I was called upon to take up tasks that I never felt I could handle and found I was equal to the task. Each phase of the experience echoed the reading my shaman gave me and I experienced the cards she read from the Major Arcana as active Archetypes in my actions of the moment. These were spiritual ordeals and I had to pass the test of Temperance and act from the heart instead of the head. Emotions in a moment of crisis are often truer than habitual thoughts. I had much to look at in myself throughout this period, and release. My husband may never recover all the way, and as I said, I miss my anchor. But life is always in movement. I can only control my own response or reaction to any given situation. But with that said, I am a huge advocate of prayer, which eases my burdens, and reminds me that the Divine is always near.

Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

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