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This blog describes my journey with the tarot. Here you can find articles, spreads, deck reviews, tarot fiction, practice readings, exercises or get readings (see tabs above).

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Sonntag, 2. Februar 2014

Got the blues?

A lot of the people I work with who are interested in tarot and spirituality believe in the law of attraction in one way or another. They believe that our thoughts and attitudes will attract manifestations in the form of people or events coming into our lives that can be a positive or a negative influence. So positive thinking sends you on a positive path while negative thinking will inevitably lead to negative things happening. 

While I do believe that our attitude can shape our perception of reality and thereby influence our degree of happiness, I think the law of attraction is all too simplistic. I think bad things happen because they are a part of life and they happen to everyone at a random frequency and in random severity. However, there are people who master life's ups and downs much better than others and - seen from the outside as well as in their own perception - are more content and happier than others. 

I think a postive attitude will certainly help and it is a good idea to remind ourselves of the things we have that we can be grateful for. The Five of Cups shows a person's reaction to loss and disappointment. The person stands wrapped in a black cloak, looking at the three cups that have fallen, their content spilled. It is true that there are elements in the card that spell hope: 

There's the river into which the liquid spilled from the cups will eventually flow. Nothing is ever really lost but transformed. 
There's the bridge that connects the person to whoever lives in the castle in the background. It shows us that we can reach out.
And finally there's the two cups still standing up. They represent the parts of our life that have not been affected by the loss or disappointment. They stand for what cannot be taken from us and what will eventually allow us to move on. 

The lesson of the card certainly contains the advice to shed the black cloak, allow the liquid to return to the river, pick up our two cups and cross the bridge to connect with others and let them participate in what we have to give. 

However, I think the black cloak is an important element of the lesson, too. We do need our black cloak moments. We need to allow ourselves to be sad, to mourn, to whine and mope, even to be angry and rant. I think it would be unhealthy to try and leave out the black cloak entirely. If we keep it in our closet it will only attract moths. Sadness and mourning are natural. So is negative thinking and pessimism. As long as we don't remain in this stance forever, it's a vital part of dealing with difficulties. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I have found that followers of the law of attraction often try to skip this important step. It is certainly possible to see the positive aspects and the opportunity for growth and learning in a difficult situation but only after an appropriate time of sadness and contemplation. Skipping over the very real emotional impact of life handing you lemons in my opinion is unhealthy, dangerous and would need superhuman strength.

Acknowledge the loss or disappointment, allow yourself time to grieve and moan and THEN turn around to see what's left. Pick up your two cups, shed the cloak and cross that bridge. Perhaps there's lemonade in them.