Posts Tagged With: grief

Death

Death is one of those cards that draws fear in the hearts of the uninitiated. Hollywood hasn’t helped in this regard. Drawing the Death card in a reading is sure to result in a nasty accident in the very near future. In reality, the Death card is very rarely connected to actual, physical death.

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When the Man Comes Around

As an example, Death often shows up in relation to a pregnant woman. She will likely need some reassure that her and her baby will be just fine, again that stigma arises. But the actual meaning of the Death card in this situation, points to the death of a stage of life. Her carefree days of existence are soon to end.  Her world will revolve around another human being. Anyone who has had a child will understand the impact a birth has on your life, you are never the same again. So we are seeing a death of sorts, but it is the death of a certain period in her life.

Thinking about the impact of actual death, gives some insight into this card. Like most things in this life, death is a double-edged sword. For someone who is aged and suffering a painful terminal illness, death is a release. No longer will they suffer the pain and sadness of the process of dying. They are tired, had enough of the fight. They are ready to go.  Then the worst is over, they are at rest, at peace. A death is always a sad occasion, but in instances where the person is suffering, death is a reprieve. Not just for the one suffering, but for her loved ones that have cared for her and watched the one they love fade away. We attend the funeral, say our goodbyes, but afterwards it is time to celebrate the life they have lived, to be thankful for the good times we have had with them, to have had them in our lives and known them.

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Release

On the other end of this, are those that are taken much to soon. The death of a child is a horrific thing, something people never recover from. Parents with young children, murder victims. Here death is an awful thing, our deepest and darkest fears realized.

So what are the differences and similarities between the two? I think a big factor is lifespan. We will all die, that is inevitable. But there is a big difference between someone who passes away peacefully in bed at age 90, to a 10-year-old run down in the street. One has had their time, lived an entire life, the other life had barely even begun. We cannot celebrate a life that has hardly been lived, only feel a deep sadness for all they, and us, have missed out on.

The similarity is that we have no control over these events. Even when a death could have possibly been prevented, there is no going back. Death puts all the ‘could have been’s’ far from our reach.

This brings us to the big questions, ones we are unable to answer, in this life at least.  Why do these things happen? Why does one get to live a full lifespan, yet another doesn’t even take their first breath? Is there a purpose behind it all? A bigger universal picture? An afterlife? Questions we will never have the answers for, yet continue to seek.

Another common factor in death, is change. The one who has passed has definitely changed, transformed, but so have those that loved them. When you have lost someone, your life is irrevocably changed. A hole is left in your life and in your heart. Young or old, we will miss those we have lost for the rest of our days.

But every ending has a beginning. It has to have. Whether we are changed for the better or for the worse, is up to us. Someone who has lost a loved one can live this new stage of life in sadness or regret, or they can make something positive from their loss. Donating organs, raising funds for charity, raising awareness of dangers, perhaps preventing another family going through the same agony.

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Transformation

 The Death card is very similar to physical death here. This change is going to happen, be forced upon us, whether we like it or not. Sometimes we may be okay with this, sometimes we will fight it for all we are worth, but it will happen either way. It will inevitably bring with it a sense of loss and sadness, maybe even regret. But it is up to us where we go from here. We can take the opportunity to change our lives for the better, to make it a positive change, or hang on to a past that no longer serves us, maybe is not even there any more.

More Major Arcana?

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Categories: Major Arcana | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lammas

Lammas. The sun, having passed its peak at Litha, is now slowly descending. We are still experiencing the extreme heat of an Australian summer, but know the relief of autumn now steadily approaches.

Lammas, also known as Lughnasadh, signals the commencement of the harvest season, the ripening of corn and grain crops, the first harvest. Usually a time of abundance, this year has not fared so well. It is so dry, having not rained in many moons. The ground is parched and bone dry. Grass is brown, crispy, crunching under foot. Trees are wilting, those that we have planted throughout the past year, need constant watering. The blazing summer sun is taking its toll. The only plant life that flourishes, is those we can keep the water up to. My little rock garden, surrounded by jasmine creepers, is a welcome oasis of flowers and greenery, due only to the nightly hand watering.

Drought

Drought does not make for a superb harvest season. Drought stricken crops are cut for hay, a write-off. A year of planting and preparation, will now only feed stock. Paddocks of once green and abundant wheat, are now fields of stubble, awaiting the end of the fire ban, so they can be set alight. Fields cleansed, cleared and fertilized, in hopes of a more profitable season for the year ahead.

The stifling heat is definitely still upon us, Australia having experienced record-breaking heatwaves this year. Forty degrees plus, hot, dry winds and the ever-present bush fire threat. With the countryside so dry, the bush becomes a tinderbox, just waiting for the spark that ends in total eradication.

Lammas also signifies the return of the school year. This is a secular offshoot of this Sabbat, marking the end of the festive season and the six-week summer holidays. Daughter back to school, Husband back to work, and settling back into the usual routine.

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A big theme of Lammas is sacrifice.  The Horned God now willingly sacrifices his life for the life of the earth. Growing weaker by the day, he knows the time has come to return, once again, to the Underworld. The Goddess, Demeter, with sadness in her heart, lets him go, knowing his death is unavoidable and that they will be reunited again at the turn of the year.

As the God dies, his blood seeping into the ground, Demeter walks the earth, the crops ripening in her wake. She mourns her lover, but knows that without his death there is no rebirth, no renewal of themselves, nor the earth. Soon too, her daughter Persephone, will also return to the Underworld. Taking up her throne beside her husband, Hades. She will mourn for her daughter, and in her grief,refusing to fertilize the earth, bringing the temporary death of winter upon us. But for now, she is still Mother of earth and Persephone fertile and ripening. Yet she is now a widow, carrying the loss of her lover and son, in her heart.

More Sabbats

Categories: The Sabbats | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In Loving Memory

As i remember her, coffee and a good gossip.

As i remember her, coffee and a good gossip.

My Aunt, Vonnie,  passed away yesterday.  She had been ravaged by cancer and lost her quality of life. She was the kind of woman who worked hard all her life. She cared for her family and friends selflessly and never complained about her lot. She baby-sat kids for many years, and had probably looked after the whole of the towns children, and then their children.

Vonnie was not at all materialistic, she had little, but it was enough for her. Good company, laughter and a hefty serve of gossip. She loved a good gossip and knew everything that went on in her hometown, and if she didn’t know, she’d soon find out!

Another memory I have of her, her hair. It was a family joke that her hair was always perfectly set. We’d be driving along in the car, windows down, hair blowing in the wind. Her hair would be perfectly still, not a strand out-of-place. The hairspray industry might well go broke now! Cause I swear she must have went through that stuff by the box full.

When my parents split up, she was there for my sister and I. She made a very difficult time easier.   Her death also reminds us that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, and it is a shame that the family had fallen out for several years prior to this. Half of them not speaking to each other drove a wedge through the family. It took something like this to bring them all back together again. Sad thing is, it is too late now.

 

Her Mother, my Grand- mother, is 90 years old. Poor Gran has had too much loss in her life. Her Son, her Husband and now her Daughter. She also leaves behind five grown children and many grand-children, Death is hardest for those that are left behind.

But for me, I remember the good times. Joking around, laughing, always managing to turn the bad into something to laugh at.

Going over my memories of her, what really stands out, is laughter.   Jokes and laughter. That is a beautiful way to be remembered.  To be thought of as laughter itself, that is a life well lived. She would like that.

Auntie Kizzey, you will be missed. oxoxoxo

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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