Today I pulled a card from my very first deck of Tarot cards, The Aquarian Deck, by David Palladini. I originally used this deck for all of my readings, but about a year ago, I made it into my own personal tarot deck.
Recently, I purchased another Aquarian Deck to use with my friends and clients. It is such a familiar deck to me and I'm sure it will bring guidance, support and comfort to the people who select this deck for our tarot readings.
I have already written about the Four of Rods (Wands) here, and noticed a key phrase from that post:
There is a peaceful, happy feel to this card. It predicts the coming of happiness and the ability to enjoy life. Potential celebrations might include marriages, adoptions, graduations, awards ceremonies, promotions and other important, positive life-changing events. It can also indicate improved family relations and peaceful times in your home.Being the holiday season, you may be spending time with your first family (the family you grew up with). Depending on how you get along with your family, this can be a picture perfect reunion...or it can stir up anxiousness and dread (or anywhere in between).
I recently read an article in the November 2010 issue of Yoga Journal (page 55-61) called "Branching Out: Going home for the holidays can mean getting stuck in old family patterns -- or growing into something new."
In this article (which I was unable to find online), the author, Sally Kempton, talks about the dynamics that can arise as you visit with your family over the holidays. It begins with the line, "If you think you are enlightened, go visit your family."
Later Kempton said, "Memories, rivalries, and disappointments are only a piece of it. More basic is the forced encounter with parts of yourself that you thought you outgrew years ago, and the equally insidious confrontation with the ideas that family members have about who you are."
Kempton describes how easy it is to fall back into those old familiar roles (or be seen in the old roles), even if in your everyday life, you have outgrown these roles...but for some reason, just going back in your familiar (root word = family) setting and BOOM, you are 9 years old again and are known for being selfish or eating too much, or being seen as the "baby," etc.
Seeing the bigger picture may help as well. Kempton says, "No matter how different you may be from the rest of your family, you were born into this particular configuration of souls for a reason...At the very least, being with your family is a powerful spur to self-understanding."
In the article, Kempton suggests to people who have problems with their extended family to use time with them as a training opportunity. "Maybe you are training yourself to notice your own emotional triggers. Maybe you're training in compassion or in letting go of resentment."
I am excited about spending time with my family for the holidays and even so, I found some great information in this article. What I found particularly useful was the way yoga lessons were folded into the perspective of family time as an opportunity for growth.
For example, she mentioned the yoga lesson of Seva (selfless service or karma yoga), and how it might be a great thing to focus on. Instead of getting caught up in old dynamics and possibly becoming frustrated, maybe you focus on service instead (cleaning up the dishes after family meals, wrapping presents, helping unload the car, etc.).
Kempton gives several other examples of how you can be mindful about being with your family and see it as a learning opportunity instead of a potential source of frustration.
If you get a chance to read this article, it is well worth it. Integrating Kempton's ideas may help bring out the Four of Rods (Wands) energy this holiday season so that you are focusing on your growth while being present for your family.
Remember to step into the perspective of seeing this as a training ground and a way to practice. And as my father said/says, "Perfect practice makes perfect."
Go forth and have fun while you practice with and enjoy your family this holiday season. Remember...it's an opportunity for growth.