Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Totem



I moved into the apartment my parents were occupying. They left a lot of their stuff there and I've been working my way through it, and getting most of it out of my way. In cleaning my apartment, I’ve found a number of interesting trinkets and such. I found a game called "Proverbial Wisdom." It’s something like Trivial Pursuit, but the premise is knowledge of various proverbs. I decided to use this game as a divination device. There is a box full of cards, so I figure I can use them like Tarot cards.

The first day I found them, I was feeling pretty bad about my life, worried about making it, paying bills, finding my dreams, etc.—all the stuff I think about all the time at this point in my life. I’ve said on a number of occasions, “I’m at the end of my rope,” and I felt that way on Monday when I drew the card. It had the proverb, “Give a man enough rope and he will hang himself.” It made me angry, as if it were a confirmation that I’d really screwed up and hung myself. Later in the day, or the next day, I went into my dream journal and read about a dream I had about nine months ago as I was planning to go to Japan. The interpretation of that dream concerns the dismantling of my ego, of my being torn apart and in particular as I headed to Japan. I can look back at that and know that this process has certainly come to be. This card might be interpreted as the continued execution of the ego. Indeed, I’m going deeper and deeper each step and dealing with continuingly more difficult and deep-seated fears.

The definition given on the card is “Enough freedom will inevitably lead a bad person to capture.” It’s interesting that the word “freedom” is there, and the idea of being a bad person. These are concepts I wrote about with regard to images I got while watching Cloverfield, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, and Greg the Bunny.

Yesterday, I took another card. This one was a picture card with only part of the proverb given on the card. Platers are to guess the proverb based on these clues. It represents the proverb “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” At first, I thought this was referring to my ex-wife. She is the cat, and once she is gone (in a metaphorical sense of me not being afraid of her or allowing her continued tyranny in my life) , I will be free. Again, here is the theme of freedom, of the shackles of fear being removed so that I will be free to pursue what’s natural for me.

On a different level, this card also relates to the passing of one phase of my life to another. Since being back in the States, I’ve gotten signs that the totem guiding my life was changing. The main sign for this was my parents' cat that I needed to keep in my apartment when I first moved back. It had attacked my dad. He got a pretty serious bite that became infected and he wound up in the hospital for four days, and then again for another week in an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. It took some time before Dad actually took the cat away. When he did, the timing corresponded to the Chinese New Year. It’s the year of the Tiger, which promises to be quite favorable to horses like me. I took this to be a sign that this cat totem was passing. The cat left last Wednesday. I did a mini-vision quest over this past weekend, where I got a message from a stictomancy exercise, “El Gato is dead.” Gato is the Spanish word for “cat.” Now, I drew this card signifying that the cat is away and freedom has come.

I want to say here that I appreciated the cat totem. It was indeed a challenging time, as signified in the troubles my dad had in the aftermath of his encounter with the beast, and in the fact that I’m allergic to cats. But it was under that totem that I learned many things. The difficulty of that time opened my eyes to a completely new world and a completely new life. I happily accept the passing of the cat as my guiding totem and accept the new, which is apparently the Wolf/Orca (sea wolf). The passing of the cat totem, it seems, represents freedom, of having restrictions that have ruled my life being removed, and am I ever grateful.