I begin with a reading—what I know to be true—what is light—illuminated: the Empress. My strength. My connection to the Earth. My self-empowerment and strength. What I need to see—what is shadow—darkness: the Knight of Pentacles. My blind spot is my lack of routine. My inability to finish what I start. My work. My commitments. The light is that I am resilient right now, but the shadow is how changeable every moment currently is. I don’t have the Knight’s consistency. Day by day, the rules change. Day by day, my body changes. Day by day, my heart is in revolt. I throw cards and light candles. I look for beauty in this ruthlessly bittersweet in-between.
I know I am not alone in this. The whole world feels like it is mutable. Inconsistent. Unsettled. We all tumble through the latest headlines and heartbreaks and blessings and brokenness. Finding ourselves, if we are lucky, tangled in a large swath of light. Finding ourselves tangled in a lover’s arms. A kiss as remedy. A conversation as medicine. A flare in the darkness. A touch and we remember what hope feels like. Or we are our own disciple. Telling ourselves stories and whispering prayers to the shadows until the sun comes back. Mapping our narrative until we see the path through all of this. Promising we will go home again. We are already home. Here. In our bones, we are home. Light breaks across them and we know.
And when we just don’t know—when we are lost, when it is all incomprehensible and even words and touch and cards fail us, all we have to do is go outside again and look up. By sunlight or by starlight, we can navigate our way.
I end with a blessing for the in between—I will seek light wherever I can find it—in every being I meet, in myself, even when all I can see are my own shadows. I promise myself love, creativity, and kindness. I commit to tolerance, solitude, introspection, time outside in the trees, watching the leaves fall and the flight patterns of birds overhead. Life will always offer darkness. It is up to me to keep the repository of light replenished. I swear to always burn candles and throw cards—to savor the story and the kiss—to look to the bones and the branches. I vow set my roots into the depths of this mercurial world. At home in the shadow and the light.
Cathleen Delia Mulrooney
Restless. Sleepless. Book-lover. Wordsmith. Deep roots. Prodigal heart. Teacher. Guide. Wanderer. Witch. Tea, tarot, hot baths, stitchcraft. Curator of narrative relics, remnants, & curiosities.
Cat is also a freelance writer, editor, and teacher. Her poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and reviews have appeared in a variety of online and print publications. She has been teaching writing at the college level since 2000, and has facilitated creative writing workshops in elementary schools, high schools, prisons, and private organizations, as well as workshops exclusively for women to write their body and tarot-based narratives.