Sunday, November 29, 2015


The Goddess Tarot – Kris Waldherr
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood

Has Death come calling for you lately? We all experience death and transformation on a daily basis; some more painful and drastic than others. Maybe it is a physical death of a loved one, or a shamanic death causing deep, personal transformation. Perhaps a fire or other disaster required an unplanned move or renovation. Maybe some old habits finally died or an old flame extinguished and made room for a new and positive relationship. Whatever it is, we can be sure that nothing stays the same.

There is no defined way to deal with death except to allow and honor our grief over what we have lost and eventually be able to embrace the new that follows. For me, death has come in the way of Spirit calling me to dismantle my altar room – my personal temple - and take down layering of altars and objects that have my been my focus of prayer and devotion for almost 20 years. This is not the basic maintenance of cleaning crystals, washing altar cloths, and changing out things here and there. I would regularly take a weekend to do that work which resulted in a fresh and re-energized space. No. This is definitely a death. I have been working on it for a month and can only do a little at a time because it is a grieving process for me to let this go. I cry. I have a pile of things that used to be altars that are now in the “give away” boxes. It is time to change and I am compelled to allow it to happen. Something new is trying to emerge. The old matrix has been blocking it – whatever it is - and needs to transform. The external is reflecting the internal and it is giving me new vision of myself. 

There is no comparison in death. My transition is certainly not the same as my friend’s who just lost her husband of over 35 years; yet, we are both in grief and face an unknown. The death of her husband was out of her control; mine is optional  - I think. 

In the beautiful tarot card pictured above, we see Ukemochi, a Shinto goddess of food, who prepared a feast for a moon god by manifesting food coming out of her mouth. The ungrateful god was offended and killed her. After her death her body continued to produce grains and beans and her eyebrows became silk worms. I like to visualize my altar room death process as spinning the silk for a new creation of beauty to honor Spirit, my guides and their teachings, and the new me that will emerge from this. To emphasize that, Grandmother Spider has been hanging outside the window for a month, spinning her beautiful silken web. A recent storm destroyed her web and I didn’t see her for a couple of days, which made me sad. Then she showed up again, re-spun her web and continues to be a blessing reminder of tearing down and rebuilding. 

Death is one of the greatest ally cards of the tarot. Sometimes we just have to let go, move on, and Death is there to help us. If we can learn to embrace the smaller deaths in our lives, then when the Big Ones come along, we might be better able to understand the process, allow and honor our grief to transform us, and be willing to embrace the new, silken life that may follow. 

If Death has shown up for you lately, I hope you are able to allow yourself the grief it deserves and the compassion for your transformation.  May love and grace be with you.

…Kathryn Ravenwood  9-2-15

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