We don’t know how to relate to one another.
This became evident by the end of my first day of tarot readings at Isis Books. We don’t really know how to be in relationships, which is interesting to me because we are in relationships. Our lives are chalk-full of relationships. Yet, somehow, they remain a great mystery to us.
People who come for readings (a first observation) are seeking clarify on what to do, not what to think or believe. They want to know how to handle matters of love, of lust, of codependence. They want advice on how to move forward, but all I feel fit to give them is greater clarity on where they are in this moment.
There’s no sense in getting advice about what to do if you don’t understand why you would be doing it. I can’t imagine changing my own behavior, and having that change take root, without undergoing a process of deep reflection and discernment. How could I offer someone else advice that I wouldn’t, myself, feel comfortable in taking?
Interestingly (to me, at least), there was very little concern expressed about the nature of the cosmos during any of my readings. There wasn’t a yearning for some deeper esoteric knowledge, for a dialogue about the Gods, or God, or the lack of deity. There was none of that. It was, predominately, a question of: How do I do this love thing?
It was all about love. I’ve heard that this is common in intuitive readings, and I find that very interesting.
I think of intuitive readings as spirit work in the same way that I think of massages as body work. I wouldn’t go to a massage therapist with the intention of better understanding someone else’s body, and yet people seek out readings with the hope of understanding their lover, their spouse, the object of their greatest desire. I found myself on several occasions yesterday expressing that the right question was being asked to the wrong person.
I’ve written that I feel my writing is a kind of ministry for me, as much a way of reaching out as reaching in. As I begin exploring what it means to give readings for other people, I’m forced to look closer at what kind of service I can provide them. Yesterday, it occurred to me that the work of giving intuitive readings borders very close to therapy – uncomfortably close in some moments.
I don’t think readers should behave as therapists unless they’re legitimately qualified to do so. But I think the lines are blurry for the person seeking a reading. Twice yesterday I brought up to a client that it might be useful for them to seek out someone else – a therapist or counselor – who could provide them with some ongoing support. This seemed like the only responsible thing to do.
I seek counsel, most often from my husband. I read him this post up until this point, expressing concern that this subject might not be relevant to anyone other than me. I was uncertain if the ideas would engage people, or initiate dialogue.
“That’s funny,” he said to me.
“Well, look at your first line.”
We don’t know how to relate to one another.
For a moment I forgot how to relate to you, the person reading these words.
This happens from time to time. There’s a sense of doubt that creeps in, and it clouds my vision and allows me to forget what it feels like to be in relationship with you. I forget how to write, just as she forgets how to love, he forgets how to communicate, we forget how to be supportive of one another. All of these are the same, in a way.
The truth may be that we do know how to relate to one another, we just forget from time to time. On occasion, we have the opportunity to remind each other of that fact, and, by doing so, to remind ourselves. Maybe that’s what giving readings offers; an opportunity to remember how to love, to remember how to relate, to remember how to be in communion with one another.
Does this resonate with you? Do these ideas of forgetting and remembering make sense, and if so, have you had experiences of remembering that you’d feel comfortable sharing?
Your blog makes me happy, Teo!
Thanks, Star. Glad to hear that. 🙂
Teo, thanks for writing such an open-hearted post. I really resonated with your approach and intuitive feelings about readings. I have found that when I do readings I don’t so much read FOR a person as much as I facilitate that person reading for themselves. Oftentimes, the images speak to someone in ways that are unique to their cumulative life experiences and simply help them interpret what they tell me they see.
One of the reasons, probably the primary reason that I am a Pagan, is that Paganism is a “religion of relationships.” Relationality is fundamental to our existence – love, intimacy, sex, friendships, and family define our lives. We exist in a web of interconnected relationships with all life. With that in mind, it is interesting to note that we “don’t know how to relate to one another.”
I’m not sure that we forgot how to relate to each other or how to love each other so much as I think we often forgot who and what we really are. We are not this flesh, the mind thinking these thoughts, the money, job, or possessions we own. We are pure experience, pure spirit, but living an embodied existence during this incarnation. We all emanate from Source and we all return to it when our embodied life is over. We ARE Source and Source is all things. I think this is what we forgot – our true nature.
We exist in tangled web of interconnectivity because we all exist within the bosom of Source. There is no separation between you and me, except when I forget my nature and assume that I am my different body or my different thoughts. The more that we embrace each other as divine beings, the more we see the world around us as a reflection of Source, the easier it becomes to remember that not only are we connected in a web of relationships, we are all a reflection of the divine love that binds us together.
Thanks for the comment, Ben. I’m always glad to hear from you.
I love the way you describe our “true nature,” and that resonates for me. I wonder if there is a way that our embodiment is meant to inform our experience, and that in order to fully explore what it is to be alive and human we must embrace that, at least to some degree, we are this flesh, this mind, this physicality. Could both statements about our being be true? In order to approach the idea of interconnectivity, let alone the experience of such a mystical state, do we first need to dive fully into the experience of the individual?
It’s a bit of a paradox, but I think you hit the nail on the head. We are embodied beings and we experience the world through our bodies – we were meant to use and enjoy them as modes of experience. The paradox is rec0gnizing that our true nature is undivided divine consciousness, while simultaneously relishing in our earthly embodiment. So I think the answer to your questions is yes. Every great spiritual adept who has ever achieved recognition of oneness started with the experience of being an individual. Thanks for making me clarify.