Cards,  delving

Open the locked door in action 1

My previous post ‘Open the locked door…’ aimed at giving straight forward(ish) instructions for doing this 9 card spread. This and the next few posts will detail the readings I got with 3 different sentences and some of my process around that, as well as giving a few more sentence examples that I helped a friend to use to give an idea of how readers can use this spread with others. I think this is a particularly good spread for personal shadow work, but also worked really well with my friend.

The deck I used for all these spreads was the Mary-El. I really love it for this sort of deep delving work, its pretty much the only deck I’ve been using lately. This spread will of course work with whatever deck you want to use/have to hand though.

Here are the details of the first reading, the one I cam up with this spread for. I have written my process of getting to this readings as well as interpretation of the reading itself.

I/am not/a woman


About a week or two ago my emotions, my body were shouting at me about something. This was manifesting in lively tension in my body and my mind racing about a recent interaction and inability to focus on anything else.

This interaction was my landlady having come into my home and gotten angry that there was a mess (I am a very messy person, but seriously, it was not messy) not only did this feel like an invasion of my space and major judgment, but it all happened in a language I am very much a beginner at (I am currently living in Italy and learning Italian).  Me and my husband smoothed things over with her and gained a good understanding that this was most definitely an issue of hers, not ours, we responded with compassion but firm boundaries. That should’ve been all good, but it just kept disturbing my thoughts and my body.

I asked the cards a few questions, they gave me clear answers about the kinds of actions I could take, but I felt like I hadn’t asked the right questions. I decided to pull some nice friendly supportive oracle cards (The Moon Deck). They clarified matters. They made it clear that I had deep, old, childhood feelings of being an outsider to sisterhood. Of being rejected by women. Of not being feminine enough, not being girly enough. It had never come naturally to me, and it had never been encouraged by my mother.

I remembered being taken to ballet class when I was 4 years old and all the other girls being in matching pretty pink leotards with tutus. I was in a golden yellow leotard with no tutu. I felt so out of place. On the way home at a traffic light one of the straps broke. I remember looks from the other girls. Looks of disdain, disgust, pity and rejection. I did some free writing on these feelings and a sentence popped into my head and started repeating louder and louder: ‘I am not a woman!’

So I shuffled the Mary-El with this sentence repeating in my head. I knew how the sentence needed to break down for the three columns, and I knew I needed three rows in order to get some clarity on the issue. I could feel that this was an issue that had played out in my childhood, adulthood so far, and was still in process now.


I am not a woman.jpg

Top row (childhood):

I am… (The Hermit) a deep searcher for truth, a loner, powerful but alone and lonely because of my difference from others and my gifts. I got something here about being one not split but I’m not sure what that’s about now.

Not… (Queen of Wands Rx) encouraged and given an environment conducive to my creativity and my powers of creation when seen as a woman. As a woman my creative freedom is heavily restricted.

A woman… (King of Disks Rx) is not allowed to desire, be lustful, be her true self. My idea of womanhood means I am not allowed to be my true self as a woman. Womanhood means oppression, it means repression of lusts. If I am to be a woman, accepted by other women I must repress my true desires. I must not be true to myself, I must conform to outside ideas not to my own desires.

Middle row (adulthood so far):

I am… (2 of Cups) learning partnership, learning to love sisterhood, learning to balance and ride my emotions in relation to this. I am learning to not feel alone amongst women. learning relationship.

Not… (4 of Cups Rx) seeing my own emotional responses for what they are, I am projecting my fears and insecurities onto others.

A woman… (Queen of Swords) My views of women have become clearer, sharper, I am learning truth, intellectually, I am becoming aware of the effects of patriarchy on women. I am speaking sharply and boldly on these matters, becoming an intellectual expert.

Bottom row (now):

I am… (Death Rx) afraid. I am afraid that if I take away the ‘not’ and accept myself as a woman I will no longer exist, I will no longer be me, I will fall off my true path (whatever that might be…) My idea of myself will change, a part of my ego will die.

Not… (9 of Wands) energetically blocked. The small ego death required here will turn the ‘not’ into pure creative energy, will, a harnessing of my power as a woman. I have felt blocked by the external world, I have projected my frustration, sadness, shame, guilt, anger at this onto others. But as I see this projection for what it is and stop rejecting my womanhood I am opening my creative tap. this is the hermits lamp shining out in the world, no longer hidden and alone, no longer isolated by a denial of belonging.

A woman… (Justice) is in balance, what she is inside matches what she is on the outside, she has no need to hide. The process of breaking down the ego, stopping my projections onto others and replacing those projections with the expression of my own creativity is bringing internal and external balance to my womanhood. My inner fires are no longer contained and hidden in the hermit’s lamp, beneath his cloak. I am not longer projecting my frustrations at this containment onto others. I have replaced these projections with my own creative expressions and thus brought the inside and outside into balance.

I AM A HUMAN. An artist, mystic, creatrix!

I write freely! I express freely! I project out my desires, not my fears! 


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