28 September 2010

Sunshinin' Charioteer with a tendency towards the EXTREME

Beautiful weekend. I have a lot to talk about it from it, so I’ll do so in bits and pieces throughout the week.

From the Universal Waite Tarot
 First and foremost, I visited--in person--my first Pagan store! I went to New Paltz with a friend, who was running a trail race near there on Sunday morning, for the weekend. It was my second trip to New Paltz (we also stayed there for Labor Day a few weekends back), and I got to experience more of the city itself this time. We stayed at a little hostel within walking distance of downtown. It’s not particularly big, but it’s eclectic and delightfully hippie-ish and, for once, it was lovely to be surrounded by my own kind! Lots of skirts and peasant blouses flowing off the shoulders of both young and old, so for once in my life I felt like a part of a majority. Anyway, back to the store: I hit up the Awareness Shop, which is right off the main street and was only a block or so from our hostel. I’d found them online through Witchvox, and had always wanted to visit since it’s one of the few places within a reasonable driving distance from my university. Like any good online stalker, I creeped their website and the bios of the workers before I went there in person. I just like to cover all my bases. However, when I walked in, I was instantly struck by the tranquility and good vibes I got from the place. They had a nice selection of candles, incense, statues, crystals, mini-cauldrons, and all sorts of other eclectic items, and I enjoyed being able to get my hands on things before I bought them. They were also having a psychic fair that day, which amounted to 10 minutes for $10 with one of the various shop affiliates and patrons.

My friend and I decided to buy 20 minutes worth, partly because we were curious but also partly because everyone seemed so nice and friendly (and totally made fun of me for being a little overwhelmed at being surrounded by things that made me feel like a proper Pagan). I had my cards read by Anton, one of the shop owners, and he made some very surprising insights, all of which I felt afterwards were things I had needed to hear. Since much of it was personal, I won’t discuss it here; however, I will share the parts that shocked me the most and that struck me as the most true.

According to his interpretation of my cards as well as his reading of me, I am capable of extremes. I kinda always knew this, and have long considered myself a walking contradiction. I feel like it goes without saying that you don’t find all that many Military-hippie-feminist-frisbee players who front bands, paint, and run marathons in their free time, and yet still find time to shave their legs and be *girls*. Really, just the Military Hippie should be enough of an oxymoron. However, that’s who I am. Thus, when he said that he could see in me the capacity to be both “terribly ferocious” and “exceedingly gentle,” and sometimes both simultaneously, I thoroughly understood. Watch me when I’m in uniform, then contrast that with me interacting with my youngest brother, who has autism. It’s night and day. I suppose that makes me a person of the twilight, of the margins, of thresholds. Maybe that’s why so many of the deities I’m drawn to are liminal in nature: Diana, the Morrighan, Hekate. He also added, “I doubt anyone has ever told you that you’re mediocre.” Another truth.

He also told me that I have the profound ability to heal. This is the part that surprised me. Now, I’ve never even remotely thought of myself as a healer. For starters, I feel like healers are more of the water element, whereas I am all earth with a streak of fire. Just look at the correspondences usually associated with healing: blue candles, blue crystals, blue blue blue. East. Water. Duh. In contrast, I’m all earth tones and autumn and the dichotomy between North and South. Secondly, I’ve always assumed healing is supposed to come from a more creative/repairing power, and to be quite honest I feel like the creative forces in me are overwhelmed by an innate ability to destroy. I look at something, and I can see instantly how to undo it. I’m an expert at breaking up with a significant other and making people crack. I can talk to a person for five minutes and see, like a sixth sense, what he is most insecure about. I’ve also never encountered a knot I couldn’t untangle. I generally prefer not to employ this talent at seeing others’ weaknesses and insecurities--I’ve found it’s not a very good way to make or keep friends--but it’s still always within me, just bubbling beneath the surface. It’s true that as an artist, I am creative, but I can also be very destructive when necessary. I suppose that part of building up is, after all, breaking down. Regardless, when he first said, “You’re a healer,” I’m pretty sure my eyes about bulged out of my head.

When he explained his reasoning, however, it made a lot more sense to me. He said that I do not heal in the traditional sense, but that rather I bring others to a conflictual state within themselves and then, almost like a Greek tragedy, they experience a healing catharsis. He asked if I ever noticed having a calming effect on animals, which I actually had noticed before. I’ve never met a dog that didn’t like me, even the ones whose owners warned me to watch out, they bite. Never been bitten. Even my aunt’s gazillion animals, who tend to only like her and members of her nuclear unit, have always liked me. I’ve also always had a calming effect on my youngest brother. When I’m around, he doesn’t throw nearly as many tantrums or fixate on his various obsessions as he does when it’s just him and my parents. Anton also asked if I’d ever noticed damaged, broken, or otherwise emotionally unstable individuals being drawn to me, or me to them, which is something else that I had to agree was true. Perhaps his suggestion that I confuse the unconditional love of healing the broken (even though apparently my methods--subconscious as they are--are rather unorthodox, they still apparently come from a place of unconditional love) with romantic love is more true than I’d care to admit.

Nevertheless, the Sun, Ace of Pentacles, and the Chariot seem to bode well for ultimate future. I’m in the driver’s seat of establishing my identity and heading towards success! Next time I’ll post pictures from the hiking I did while my friend ran her race.

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