Insomniac musings

Hello insomnia, my old friend. Haven’t seen this much of you since college, when we had that tumultuous love-hate relationship for over three years. But ever since I arrived in Prescott two weeks ago, you’ve been turning up to visit between 2:00 and 4:00 a.m. several times a week. What’s up?

I mean, seriously. Once I got through the first week or so after Mike’s death, I’ve been sleeping fine (with the aid of Tylenol PM, sometimes washed down with a glass of wine). Four months later, I’m waking up nearly every night, unable to go back to sleep for at least an hour or two. When I complained about this recently, two friends suggested that there is “shadow work” to be done at that hour of the night, that my psyche has a message for me.

So, when I found myself wide awake at 4:00 this morning, I decided to pull a card from my Faeries’ Oracle deck to help me intuit what that message might be. Before I go on, let me explain my approach to tarot and other divination systems. I don’t believe they can tell us the future or that they contain messages from anyone/anything except our own psyches. For me, the cards are a very useful tool in helping me realize and understand on a conscious level what I already know deep down.

I shuffled the deck until a card fell out onto the bed. Ilbe the Retriever. The book that came with the deck says, “Ilbe is trying to remind you of something you’ve lost – a hope, perhaps, or a dream. He thinks you can do something with it now. The way may not be obvious…”

OK, lost hopes and dreams… What have I lost and thought irretrievable? Well, obviously, my relationship with Mike… but that IS irretrievably gone, except in memory. I’d lost my dream of being a writer, but I’ve started to reclaim that in the last few months.

I pulled another card to clarify the nature of what I need to retrieve. The Faery Guide card fell out upside down, and the message there was simple: “You’re not listening.” Chuckling, I focused on my question and shuffled the deck again. This time four cards fell out. The top one was, again, the Faery Guide. OK, OK… I’m listening!

The other three cards, together, gave me an eloquent answer.

The Singer of the Chalice, which represents trust, joy, patience, creativity, hope, miracles. The book has this to say about patience: “It is a joyful, loving willingness for a process to bring us to where we want to be. It contains trust and love and a special quality of expectant gratitude within it.”

He of the Fiery Sword, which represents the active principle, clear and focused will. “It is this Singer’s energy that enables us to burst the bonds of an outgrown way of being and move on to the next level.”

Hmm… So the message from my psyche is that I need to be patient, trust the process, and be willing to take action to move on to the next level of my growth. Sounds good…

The last card was the proverbial slap upside the head. This faery is called Gawtcha! and represents sudden shocks and rude awakenings. Gawtcha’s message is that I need to be awake and aware, not sleepwalking through the world. Yes, and… “This is a period of confusion, even disorientation, while we search for a way forward – although we may think we are simply searching for a way back to what we had before. Recommendation: Do not try to pick up the pieces and put them back like they were. Consider, instead, what you would like to build in that part of your life, and remember to leave room for growth.”

The rightness of that message brought tears to my eyes. While I’ve talked a good game about moving forward, discovering who I will become in this next chapter of my life, deep down I’ve wanted desperately to find a way back to what I had before, or what I missed out on having before. I realized that I have to learn patience, particularly the kind the cards described, and that I have to accept that I will be confused and disoriented for a while before I find my way forward. I have to be OK with standing in the dark place of not knowing for as long as it takes. It’s hard. I want comfort and security, not to be alone searching for a new road to take me God knows where. But I trust that if I cultivate patience and this attitude of expectant gratitude, and if I can stay awake and aware and open to new possibilities, my long-lost hopes and dreams will return.

Now that I’ve figured that out, let’s hope I can start sleeping through the night again.


~ by hourbeforedawn on July 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “Insomniac musings”

  1. i love that. you are such a great writer! 🙂

  2. Way to go – using the cards…I agree about how to use them…and I LOVE what they told you. Standing the midst of the change, in the journey you are on…its unchosen, unwanted, undesired and yet – there you are. Frankly, I’m surprised you are sleeping as well as you are. One thing I hear in your writing is the need to remake your life…and to be brave enough to see what it might be, even if its something COMPLETELY different from what you expect. Much love and wee hours hugs (I’m still awake about those hours with Willa – so I’ll send some love your way about then!)

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