Ace of Cups: the Dreamer and the Dreamt

I recently had my reading for the year ahead with Hannah Joy Graves and it felt like being put in right relationship with the unknowability of the path forward. This might seem a strange takeaway from a reading that assigned a card to each coming month like a potential road map, but if we are under the agreement that the future isn’t fixed, the cards end up being opportunities to cultivate rather than points on a compass. They offer what can come to be if we stay committed to what we’re already growing. Reassurances to hold on to when we’re having trouble feeling like things matter and grief is centre stage. The simplest reassurance being, things will change.

In Tarot for Change, Jessica Dore writes this about the Ace of Cups: “What would happen if we reoriented the imagination toward a way that sees the self both as dreamer and that which is being dreamt? Could we make room for the possibility that what we feel and experience in the flesh house of the body is not always rooted in private, individual experience, but comes from an ecosystem to which we belong?”

This current grief feels singular and absorbent because it’s not mine alone. We are all grappling with the collective grief of our family, core group of friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and on and on in concentric circles outward to encompass the whole fucking world. This can crush us, or it can become an opportunity for holding grief in a different way. An opportunity to let it unite us.

But what would that look like? Where does it happen? Maybe as we find ways to move through, to become more permeable, it creates room for all of us? Maybe we need to share more coping strategies as reminders that we ALL need resources right now.

This past weekend, I went to the Humber River with a friend and surrendered to the humbling presence of this landscape. Severe urban structures mostly ignored by trees claiming their space and the rush of frigid water cutting through it all. Nature doesn’t care about how hard it is for you to walk through the deep snow, it is just there and you can either participate or retaliate.

You can huddle inside and complain, or you can research buying snowshoes (they’re only like $59.99 at Canadian Tire btw). We walked on frozen water and picked dead seed pods and let ourselves become insignificant in the communion because nature is not there to make us feel special or important. It is in a perpetual state of offering without any opinions. It is a great instructor on how to hold space.

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