Cloistered in my bedroom, doing my get-ready-for-bed routine - putting away the clutter of clean laundry, notebooks, and miscellany that coats my bed each day - I saw my oracle cards, had a moment of love, and realized, "duh, I should ask my oracle cards how to get myself back into balance." This deck is all about balance; every answer I've ever gotten, for anyone, from this deck, has pointed toward a more balanced [whatever the situation called for].
So I sat on my now-cleanish bed, and shuffled. And drew.
Now, usually I'm looking immediately for the symbolism of each card; this time, after drawing the first card (the Dog), I thought, "huh, maybe this is literal." Maybe that's because I just got back from taking Bella for a walk, and playing with both dogs and their toys after the walk - activities which improved my mood. It wasn't a drastic improvement, but still, any improvement is good. There hasn't been any in so long. My instincts tell me to listen to that first thought, and consider the very recent improvement to be proof.
So before drawing the second and third cards, I felt there was a literal quality to this reading that I haven't seen much in previous readings. Then, the Fox - the High Priestess in my coven believes the Fox may be trying to reach me, in the sense that s/he might be a totem animal I'm meant to learn from.
And the Otter. Oh, the Otter. If I had any doubts that this was a literal reading, they disappeared with the appearance of the Otter. Remember my Otter story?
...ok, here I have to break into what I was about to say, and replace it. This is what just happened. Just now.
I went to my list of blog posts and searched for "otter" because I wanted to link the post with my otter story right where I said, "Remember my Otter story?" A quick reference for anyone who was curious and didn't know what I was talking about. The four posts I've done recently about otters came up, but so did one more, from quite a while ago: "dichotomy: survivor v. whore." That made me curious; I hadn't started working with Otter back then. Otters weren't even really on my radar at that point. I figured I must have done a reading that I logged in that post, since my oracle cards were really the only place I came into contact with otters, then. So I clicked the link, to see what I said. Sure enough, I had done a reading and gotten Otter. I read on, remembering the post. It was a highly emotional time for me - more than now, because things were more volatile then. I was still so devastated by then-recent events that my emotions and wits felt so scattered much of the time. Now, I'm just dealing with Depression - an illness, not a symptom of trying times. I got to the bottom of the post, and went on to the comments. Reading Archer's comments to me... how do I describe it? They just made me feel warm inside, loved. I smiled.
And I'm glad I followed the otter back to that post, to that time.
I know what my depression is; for the most part, I know how to combat it. Recently, I've been overwhelmed by the siege.
I need to remember to play with my dogs; exercising them, exercises me - and that's good for my health. The Dog of my oracle deck is a protector; I believe my dogs help protect me from myself.
I need to remember that Archer loves me, has always loved me, even when I didn't feel worthy. Even before I knew what to think about him, when I couldn't have seen it because I didn't believe it was possible. The Otter led me back there, and I needed that. His lesson, always pertinent, is a reminder that things are ok. I have a stuffed otter (not a real one, a toy; the silkiest stuffed toy I've ever touched). Just holding him makes me feel a little better. Juvenile, but better nonetheless.
And the Fox, I believe, is me. Surrounded by those who love me, trying to keep the words in my head from becoming weapons, used to break me down from the inside, out. I've decided - just now - that it's time for me to start trying to work with Fox. But the message in this reading from Fox seems clear (besides needing to work with her/him) - my greatest difficulty in battling my depression is in the shame I associate with certain memories. Most don't actually warrant shame on my part, some embarrassment in a few perhaps, but not shame. Nevertheless, the shame is there. And when the litany of my misdeeds begins to play through my memories, it's this that does the most damage. I cut myself with my own words; Fox counsels care with communication, so that words do not become weapons through deceit. I'm working hard, lately, to remember the good things, when the bad things try to take over my thoughts. Practice makes perfect, right? Maybe not. But I'm getting better at it.
Tonight, I found hope.
Now, I'll link you back to that Otter story. Enjoy.