The SoulCollage card I made last weekend is the first I’ve made that I found viscerally disturbing. Monday night, as I was driving home from a visit to my energy medicine practitioner, having had a professional chakra clearing and vortex revival, not to mention many kisses from her dog Lily, I decided that this collage needed to be strengthened.
I can’t really explain why that black skull felt so distasteful to me. I don’t feel afraid of death; I have felt only privileged to sit with loved ones in their last hours here. I helped my dog Honeycomb have a good death, which I think is a truly important contribution to the life of another being. For reasons I don’t understand, though, I am not at all fond of skull imagery, and particularly not the one I chose to use on this card.
My reading of the original card was purely positive, as they virtually always are, so it wasn’t that. In my reading, the Death symbol said (and I believe this):
I am one who cannot harm you. I can only push you into another phase–a better one.
Typically I keep the most recent cards I’ve made out where I can see them, but this one I didn’t want to look at, and put it away in the box where I keep my deck.
So when I had a few spare minutes, I pulled out my scissors, images, and glue stick, and prepared to alter a “finished” card for the first time. (Perhaps I was a little prescient in naming it Becoming!) Here you can see the results. I added totems representing courage (the tiger) and love (the bird). Now the Death symbol looks like his grimace might be in response to the tiger’s paw planted right in his face. I was going for an “O death, where is thy sting” look (I Cor 15:55).
I can’t say this card is my favorite, and I no doubt lessened its artistic impact by adding additional images, but it no longer hurts to look at it.
No doubt love and courage will see me through this liminal stage, as they always have. May they do the same for you.
This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card Becoming II + The liminal stage.