Today’s lovely card from The Enchanted Map Oracle (by Colette Baron-Reid) is Dry Desert. At first it doesn’t look that great – a woman stuck in an arid desert. What could possibly be good about that. But notice there are signs of life – cacti in the distance and a bird flying on high. The truth is, very few deserts are completely devoid of life. Here’s what the book has to say about this card:
Dig deep for inspiration and truth. Now is the time to become resilient and adaptable. Is your life presenting you with opportunities that seem to yeild nothing? Have your ideas dried up? Does it feel like you’re on an endless journey through a dry, hot, lifeless desert? This card reminds you that there are times when you are meant to become resilient as you journey through harsher circumstances. You’re being required to conserve your energy – until, after consistent effort, you reach the oasis you’re searching for. Consider the creatures that live in these conditions: they have adapted to thrive in spite of the outer environment. In a desert, water, essential for life, can be found deep underground. Go deep within yourself now…find your truth there. Let Spirit sustain you while you locate the real source. Whatever it is you’re asking about will not be found in the conditions you’re in until you move past the surface of things and choose to do the real work and discover the answers deep within you. This may not seem like the most productive time but looks are deceiving. This is a most important place to find what is truly right for you.
There are no guarantees on this journey called LIFE. We will journey through all kinds of terrain – sunny, easy going meadows when everything seems to fit together perfectly but also dry, barren deserts, where the going is exceedingly hard and harsh. Quite often at these times we feel like just giving up don’t we; depression sets in, we allow things to fall away, and if you’re anything like me, bed becomes my best friend. However, this approach to the barren times isn’t that good (and I’m talking from experience here). Every kind of terrain our journey through life leads us is important and teaches us something. We can draw important life lessons from these difficult and dry times.
In the north west of China, in the Tarim Basin, there is a marvellous place – an oasis city in the midst of the harsh environment. It’s called Turpan (or Turfan). It sits along the old Silk Road amongst volcanic desert, which has a cold, dry desert climate although the summers are extremely hot. Its an area of luscious green amongst the surrounding dry arid desert. How can this be? Here is the secret – the first settlers of this region channelled water from the mountains miles away in underground streams to Turpan, thus allowing the place to become fertile. Today it is a thriving grape growing area and provides the fruit to make a really nice white wine. However, without these underground streams this would be completely impossible. Any overground water is immediately evaporated by the scorching sun and dry atmosphere. The Chinese had to dig these channels for miles underneath the ground to Turpan, a feat of extreme resiliance and adapability.
Turpan is such a great example of what people can do if they dig deep – they can actually turn a barren landscape into a place of lush productivity. Yes, it takes hard work. Think of how hard it must have been to dig those underground water channels from the mountains, through the desert to Turpan. It didn’t happen over night that’s for sure. It took a while, probably many years. But the point is that we can, if we dig deep, find the water, the sustaining source within us, that will help us change our environment from one of barren dryness to one of productivity and greenness. However, we must be resilient and adaptable and that means letting go of what our ego might want and allowing the spirit to come through. This might mean being a little more disciplined in our undertakings, no matter how boring they might seem. It might mean paying attention to our immediate surroundings and focusing on certain acts of synchronicity. What it doesn’t mean is sticking one’s head in the sand because if you do that you’re going to suffer.
Think about how most animals survive in the desert. The majority are only active during the cooler hours of night. so if you’re stuck in the metaphorical desert perhaps you might need to change your daily pattern a bit.
As always, ponder on what the dry desert conditions of your life right now are teaching you – there is a lesson! Perhaps it’s one of hubris…and that’s one I can definitely relate to. Whenever my life seems to be running smoothly and I get to feeling a bit over-confident I suddenly find myself in a dry desert or stuck in a mud pool. So, be resilient, be adaptable, and think about the lesson by reaching inward and being honest with yourself. Rest assured you will move out of the desert and into the oasis.