I decided to use the Crystal Visions Tarot (U.S. Games, 2011), and Cheryl Richardson's beautiful Grace Cards (Hay House, 2005)
1. Why I have to have this lesson - Five of Pentacles
2. What I will have learned by the end of it - Queen of Wands
3. Stalker card - XVI - The Tower
4. How I am doing right now - Five of Swords
5. Pass or fail? - Eight of Pentacles
6. Angelic guidance and comfort
What I see here is the suggestion that hardship makes us pull together with our loved ones, and can encourage us to get in touch with spirit. So, perhaps I needed this lesson to be less complacent, less demanding, less materialistic, more spiritually connected.
Having a child with special needs makes me appreciate being able to communicate at any level. I have had to learn sign language to communicate with him, after having spoken to my bump in four languages. It makes me appreciate his ability to giggle uncontrollably, and to have his own opinion about things. I no longer take for granted the ability to travel at will, or to have good health. And I have become more attuned to the spiritual side of life, to the importance of giving thanks for all the gifts life offers us.
2) The Queen of Wands is a beautiful card for what I will learn from this experience. She is strong and passionate: she believes deeply in things that are meaningful to her, and acts accordingly. She nurtures her own light, and that of others; she can be fierce, yet also loyal.
These experiences will make me stronger, will clarify for me what is truly important in life, and will help me shine my inner light, for myself and others.
3) Arwen recently described the Tower as "the lies we tell ourselves". Perhaps one of the lies I told myself was that I could control most everything in my life.
My mother brought me up to have a can-do attitude, and there are a lot of positives in that. Yet, it leaves out the fact that sometimes we have to struggle, sometimes we fail, and sometimes we have to surrender any pretence of control. That's definitely something I'm still trying to learn: helplessness does not sit well with me!
And perhaps my Dear One and I could do with supporting one another a little better in this. Although I think we do pretty well for the most part, it's true that we both tend to look for distractions from this lesson. And we don't always talk enough about how we feel about it all.
This is something I continue to need to work at, but it doesn't feel like a total fail, more like a "try again next year". It doesn't feel like I'm on the wrong path, just that I need to put a bit more time and energy into this...
At a more spiritual level, this brings me back to the card that started this reading: the Five of Pentacles. I need to learn to "let go and let Goddess", to trust in the support of the divine. To learn that I don't need to control everything, and that surrendering to the vagaries of life may lead to magnificent discoveries.