The Inner Critic

During my first trip to Japan, Saraswati Devi taught me to ask myself where my thoughts were coming from, to recognize when they were rational and when they weren’t. At the time, this helped greatly with the problems caused by my extremely open head. I could and did get random drop-ins from “visitors” who were not good guests. Being able to spot the patterns in my own brain helped me know when to tell an intruder to kindly fuck off.

I’m pretty sure I need to reapply these methods, as I’ve been sitting with a lot of heavy feelings regarding my spirituality lately. I’ve tried to untangle the knot of ugly thoughts in my mind, but I only seem to end up more tightly bound in them than before. I fret endlessly over whether I’m “good enough” or “doing things the right way.” It’s a cycle of self-doubt that I’ve acknowledged repeatedly, but can’t ever seem to break.

I think it’s time to reapply these methods to my inner critic. Who are these thoughts serving, and are they really helpful? I’ve struggled with negative self-talk my entire life. It’s an intruder in my mind and I’m about to tell it to fuck off. Unkindly.

The Ninth Key

My life has been going very well lately, but I still felt so lost. The reasons for this always seemed to be just beyond my reach to articulate, until a post from a Tarot site came swimming up my facebook feed. Why not ask the cards what you need to do to regain control of your destiny?

Why not? I took out a deck I rarely work with and separated the Major Arcana. (This was a big question, so it needed a big answer). Key II immediately fell out. In Tarot de Marseille decks, this card is called the Popess. She is thus even more explicitly the female counterpart of the Fifth Key, the Pope/Hierophant. In the Rider-Waite Smith system, she is the High Priestess. This archetype resonates with the energies of my patroness, Saraswati Devi.

I did not take this as my answer, though it clearly was a sign. Instead, I completed separating the cards, shuffled them, and asked my question. What can I do to regain control of my destiny? I drew Key IX, The Hermit.

This was a clear and unambiguous answer: I should turn my attention within and listen to my own heart. Like the Hermit, I would walk my own path. It was a perfect answer, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. So of course, I didn’t believe it. Instead, I shuffled the cards again, but again, out came the Hermit.

Even when I switched to a different, full deck and drew one more time…for a third time, there he was. At least at that point, I had enough sense to stop! However, it wasn’t until I picked up my books and reviewed the meanings of the card that I realized how deeply resonant this message had been.

I will walk the path of The Hermit, and may Saraswati Devi be both my Priestess and the light in my lamp.

Water and Wisdom

Saraswati Devi is a goddess of water and wisdom, worshipped across Asia by millions of people in multiple faiths. While she is the patroness of learning and the arts, she is also ancient and elemental in her power, for she was once a guardian spirit of the sacred river from which she took her name.

The Saraswati River was said to have its source in the heavens, though her essence no longer flows to earth in the form of the waters, but instead as the fluidity of inspiration itself. Those lucky enough to drink from her wellspring have wisdom that can break the backs of mountains, just as in the age of the Vedas.