Oracle Card Spreads: Clear Your Midlife Crisis
There is a marvelous book by Robert Bly called The Sibling Society. Written in the late 1990s, it points out one of the most difficult problems of the Baby Boomers: “…adults cling to self-absorbed adolescent values, television talk shows have more clout than elders, children are spiritually abandoned to fend for themselves, and in the place of community we have built shopping malls.” In other words, we look to our own age group — and to materialism and status — for value and fulfillment, refusing to face the fact that we must age and become the Elders. Even the advertisements for retirement accounts on Sunday morning programs show a fellow in his sixties trying to wail a guitar as if he was in his twenties and on the Woodstock stage.
And for women, it’s even worse: the cult of youth requires Botox, facelifts, and dressing as young as you can get away with, no matter how uncomfortable or inappropriate. Even Hollywood starlets in their twenties and early thirties admit to plastic surgery to escape “looking too old to cast.”
This is especially problematical in the spiritual and metaphysical community. How many indigenous cultures look to and revere their elders? How many wise women and wise men have guided their people through difficult times?
If you are reaching a “mid life crisis,” when menopause, aging, job changes or social changes upset your every day routine, don’t wring your hands and weep. And don’t shut your eyes to change. Instead, learn what this Shift, this Aging is like from a wisdom and acceptance point of view. Graceful aging, saging-not-aging, can be a treasure and fulfillment in and of itself.
So here’s a new spread for you, that you can use no matter your current age or gender. I call it the “Clear Your Midlife Crisis Spread.”
The Clear Your Midlife Crisis Spread is made up of eleven cards – again, 11 is a Master number:
- What do you need to face about getting older?
- What has getting older always meant to you before now?
- What do you want getting older to mean?
- What do you say to yourself that is damaging?
- What can you appreciate about yourself right now?
- What must you absolutely put into the fire and release?
- What comes out of the fire in exchange?
- What about you is the core that will not change?
- What are some actions you can take to accept yourself right now?
- What is the result if you accept the path of the Elder?
- What is the result if you turn away from the path of the Elder?
Here’s how it works: when a client came to me facing one of those “Big Birthdays” (you know, the ones that end with –zero- and tend to weird people out if they aren’t ready for them), we did this spread, and we used the Faeries’ Oracle by Brian Froud and Jessica Macbeth. I chose that deck because it’s my go-to deck when questions are serious and need to be a clue-brick-upside-the-head.” Here’s what the Fae had to say on the subject:
What does my client need to face about getting older? The Singer of Connection. It’s important that my client recognize all the connections that she has made in her life that have made her who she is now, and see the strengths and support that she has gained through them. She needs to connect with her emotions as well, own all of them in order to pass through them to the other side. Becoming an Elder is just another birth, and sometimes “labor pains” are just that.
What has getting older always meant to my client before now? The Master Maker. He who tackles difficult challenges knowing he can do no less. My client has always seen getting older as being faced with challenges but being expected to do everything one’s self – not getting assistance.
What does my client want getting older to mean? Spirit Dancer. This faery is all about self-expression, freedom and exploration. My client wants getting older to be freeing, not constricting; to constantly learn, grow and move rather than see herself limited, dying, crippled.
What does my client say to herself that is damaging? Faery Guide. This card indicates that answers are to be found outside herself. It is also the “zero” card, and is blank. My client freely admits she sees herself becoming a “zero” in life and nobody being there to help her as she gets older. She admits that if she can’t see the help she does not believe it is there
What can my client appreciate about herself right now? Himself. This card is all about natural law, life force, and magic. My client is more alive, more vigorous, and more powerful than she ever was in her 20s and 30s. Her life has given her knowledge, experience and compassion; all of these things make her better at her counseling and teaching than she could have been decades ago.
What must my client absolutely put into the fire and release? The Glanconer. Such a perfect card! The Glanconer is the Trickster, the Glamour faery. He is all about illusion and lust. Lust for youth, lust for beauty, lust for her young body – in other words, lust for what the world deems as “making her worth something” – has to be completely burned away. None of it is coming back in this incarnation, and to keep regretting its loss prevents her from living in the Now, with all of her gifts of maturity.
What comes out of the fire in exchange? O! That Gnome. Welcome the chaos of not knowing! The unexpected opportunity, the chance encounter, the new adventure that can only be had with wisdom and experience partnering it, are hers for the asking. When you’re not measuring experiences by who you were and can no longer be, they become new, fresh and exciting.
What about my client is the core that will not change? The Singer of Intuition. This card assures her that her True Self – that intuitive center that has led her through her very challenging life – will not abandon her, but always “sing true” if she listens to her Inner Knowing. That True Self has nothing to do with the body’s age, but the agelessness of her Soul Self.
What are some actions my client can take to accept herself right now? Interestingly, the Fae asked that my client choose two: Ekstasis and The Topsy-Turvets. Ekstasis speaks of joy, of recognizing the Sacred Nature of our own being, no matter when we are in our lifepath. It says “go for it!” because great joy and accomplishment are just waiting to be claimed, if one does so with delight rather than fear or feelings of duty. In the actual words of Jesa Macbeth, “Live and let everything pass so that tomorrow can bring you new life, all the deeper and richer for what you have passed through.” The Topsy Turvets are exactly what they sound ike – turn things on their heads! Look at life from a completely different angle. Be that outrageous person whose point of view wakes up and enlivens others, as well as yourself!
What is the result if my client accepts the path of the Elder? The Dark Lady. This Faery is about power, wisdom, and mystery. She speaks of the rebirth as Crone, as Wise Woman, and Matriarch of this great clan of Earthbeings. She speaks of truly owning the power that can only come in the autumn of our incarnations. This is everything my client will become if she truly accepts where she is on her Earthwalk.
What is the result if my client turns away from the path of the Elder? The Laume. The Laume is about unconditional giving and receiving, but I have always noticed that the Laume’s wings are shredded because she “gives until it hurts.” Giving can take many forms – constant doing, constant “I can come last, it’s okay,” constantly believing we don’t deserve anything – and if we have to ask for it, then it doesn’t count. When one is an Elder, one can give knowledge, wisdom, and deep listening – but it is also time to receive from the world with grace and thanks, which has always been one of my client’s toughest lessons.
When we finished, my client was in tears – of thanks, of release. Whether you use Tarot or a divination deck like The Faeries’ Oracle, this is a superb spread when you are reaching a crossroads in your life with regard to age and stage, and need a little wisdom from Upstairs – and your own heart.