Today’s card is apt for it is the Island of Sorrow. Right now I feel deep sorrow and I know my closest friend is feeling it too. Both of us have arrived at this island but for very different reasons I think. It is the way of life to visit this island more than once in our lives, for it is part of life. In the card we see a pillar stone on which is an image of extreme grief, with a woman lamenting. Here’s the background:
Many Celtic stories juxtapose regions of happiness and sorrow, which are not seen as positive or negative conditions. Irish musicians would play three kinds of music – the sleep strain to bring dreams, the joy strain to bring happiness and the sorrow strain to bring tears. All three are necessary for a balanced existence.
Primal misery or angst. Sorrow. The gift of tears. Mourning. Inability to express sorrow. Sharing pain with others. Loss
Social convention bids us hide away pain and sorrow. It is permissible to mourn. Do not allow yourself to get out of touch with your feelings. Are you living in the past?
Grief shows itself through many emotions – sadness, fear, anger. Neither one is wrong…they just are the manifestations of grief and just as we show our joy through smiling, laughter and happiness so too we need to show our grief through equally important emotions of tears, anger and sadness. At times we feel wounded to our utter core and it quite often feels like a huge blow to the solar plexus – our breath is taken away and nothing happens except we feel utterly ripped open. The important thing is to not allow our grief to turn inwards, we need to let it out. If we don’t allow our grief to flow freely outwards then it becomes stuck and hardens – I always think of this rather like a glacier, yes it moves but extremely slowly and does a lot of damage to the underlying ground – scraping and scoring the earth and leaving great scars across the countryside. This is how sorrow can be for us if we don’t give it some outlet.
As hard as it can be for us to do it, we do need to share our grief. No man is an island – as the old saying goes. Of course there will be no answers to your grief but sharing it does help. It won’t lighten the load but it can take the sting out of it. however, what if you don’t have another person with whom to share your grief? Such is the case with me right now but I am not alone. I share my grief with my patron deities and with my spiritual guides. While this means I don’t actually have physical arms around me, I do have spiritual ones and I can feel them supporting me. It’s not much different from physical ones but can take some getting used to if you’ve never done this kind of sharing before. You see, in our anguish and sorrow we are never alone. There is always someone there to listen and support you, even if you can’t actually see them with physical eyes.
Grief and sorrow is part of life – we all will visit the Island of Sorrow in our lives; some of us perhaps many times. However, there are important lessons to be learnt from visiting it; you may not see them immediately but in hindsight you will.