Worry is the work of pregnancy:
You’re too old, too tired,
Your marriage won’t survive,
firstborn we fear displacing
in the next room telling her father
she’d like to see the baby. Now. Open
to page where tadpole
curls in half-papaya of womb,
thumb quick past the chapter,
“When something goes wrong,”
know there’d be no way to live
with ourselves wondering
who the unborn might have been.
We opt out of amniocentesis
because we’re over 35, could test False
Positive like the couple we visited—
mute—observing our healthy girl jumping
on the couch the age their’s would’ve been
if they kept her. Already, in our midst,
our unborn, moored, spins, tenuous as a kite
dependent on grip of holder on the shore.
This week I connected the material anxieties and fears associated with the Five of Disks to pregnancy. I remember during my first pregnancy becoming subsumed by fears: Will my body carry this child to term? Am I capable? Will I be a fit mother? Can I provide for this child?
Fortunately, I had a sage friend who told me, “Worry is the work of pregnancy;” she assured me this obsessive ruminating was absolutely appropriate and necessary, that it was in fact part of a lifelong process of learning to balance hyper vigilance with common sense. The phrase “worry is the work of pregnancy” helped me through each of my three pregnancies, though I can’t say I ever mastered “worry;” each time I had to relearn to trust my body to bring a child to term.
I chose the image of the hand, here, as a blessing reminder of the nurturing power of our hands and the earning power of our hands. I chose it especially as a symbol for the hidden wages the hands of mothers all over the world earn by loving and raising their families. Maybe one way to channel Five of Disks worry is to stop and thank one’s hands….or to make something: to paint, to weave, to give a massage, or to write. In the act of creating, we are calmed and the fear becomes channeled towards creating something of use. Alternately, we can still the hands, and in turn still the mind, turning our thoughts to the bounty and blessings we do have.
If we remember that the sixes in the Minor Mentors bear the number of the Major Arcanum VI, The Lovers, we can see the Six of Disks as connected to harmonious material bounty or success (the Thoth Deck labels this card Success). Lovers exchange the hidden currency of love (and affection and laughter) and the more visible currency of material resources, rooves, and more, often with deep generosity of spirit and selflessness in ideal partnerships. What might lovers teach us about our relationship to material gifts?
How have you or might you create wealth in your life through activities or creations you love? How might you extend the same generosity you extend to a lover to others?
Alternately, if we examine the scenario depicted in the Rider Waite Smith deck, we have the opportunity to look at our relationship to giving and receiving material gifts or money. Eden Gray writes of the rich merchant doling out gold coins to a pair of beggars and holding a set of scales in the other: “from a good heart he shares with others.”
Are you able to receive gifts from others? Do you allow others to give to you? Why or why not? Write about the gifts you have received and what you gained internally and externally.
Are you feeling less than wealthy, as if you need to depend on the alms of wealthy benefactors? Write about your relationships to benefactors. If you would like to be a benefactor, write about your highest vision of how you would help others with your abundance.
Feel free to respond in comments here or to join the conversation at Tarot Tuesday’s Facebook page to share your word or image response.
Photos are by my poetry movie collaborator Robyn Beattie.