No matter how logical we humans think we are; we are all ultimately governed by our emotions. The ebb and flow of what we feel seems to defy all logic. An onlooker may view the challenges we face and find no reason to explain the cause; but it is all too real for the person who has to experience that inexplicable flood of emotions.

Not too long ago, I discovered the Osho Zen Tarot Deck. Prior to working with this deck, I held a deep cynicism towards tarot, astrology, feng shui and anything I considered woo-woo. I dismissed entire traditions of human knowledge that could not be explained by the logical and rational mind.

But then I realised that not all knowledge that is born is transmitted for the purpose of intellectual understanding alone. Some of these tools are for the spirit; and others for the unexplainable tide of emotions that seem to overpower us for no rational reason. And that is what opened my mind to discovering the true essence of my being beyond the powerful prison of rational reason.

I realised that the human intellect that I wholly put my faith and trust in; was limited in allowing me to understand the world and my place in it. And that’s what I wanted to do above all else–discover how to cope with my life as I lived in a hostile world–where unforeseeable tides and currents that cannot be controlled are ever-present.

So I take a deep breath and decide to draw a card. There are typically 78 cards in any tarot deck. As someone who loves numbers, I know that there is a statistical probability of approximately 1.3% of me drawing one of those 78 cards on any given day. I wonder what card I’ll get today. I hope it’ll give me a happily-ever-after type of message.

But then I quickly realise that I am just too old to believe that that is how life works.


A man cries in a sea bed of ice. I usually think of water as an unstable force that ebbs and flows; but in this card we remember that water can freeze and become solid. In cold climates, there is no rain; but rather snow. It is so cold that we are forced to hide our bodies under layers and layers of clothing. Frozen waterfalls dangle midway across the earth and where they started their descent. Ships from far away lands stop in their tracks as they are unable to count on the sea to provide them with any kind of voyage at all.

Ice-olation from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck

Many of us live in an emotional state where we are frozen and unable to feel. We have not permitted ourselves to feel what we feel. We freeze, bury or negate unhappy emotions thinking that they will just disappear. But like a frozen waterfall, they are still there; waiting for the moment when they will be free to flow once more.

As a young boy who later became a man, I was taught not to cry or reveal my emotions because it may be perceived as a weakness. I learned to keep my emotions to myself. I was not accessible to the people who were close to me. I would keep people at an arm’s length without even realising it. I was like a frozen seabed surrounded by waters that no one would dare to dive into. After all, I was cold.

A cold person can only make another person feel cold.

But one day the Sun came out and melted away my frozen self. But was it the Sun or simply just the warmth I longed for and desired for such a long time?

When I finally felt the warmth, I didn’t need to be ice-olated anymore.

Like water, I was expansive, flowing; and at one with the world.

10 thoughts on “Ice-olation | Unleashing the Tide

  1. We all have a place inside ourselves where we are frozen and unable to feel. Thank you for writing this post. May healing tears bring joy to your heart.

  2. Some aspects of the masculine principle or energy in the world has grown toxic and unconscious. We must outgrow the destructive and frozen aspects of our nature. Healing the soul happens one seabed at a time.

    1. Most men–of my generation at least–are/were the primary providers in the household. When they fail to provide for the family; they are considered useless failures. To overcome toxic masculinity; both men and women have to achieve balance–as opposed to equality.

      1. Regardless of gender, I think we all have places within ourselves that are isolated and cut off from us. It is where the wound is. The wound within that needs healing.

  3. It’s such a beautiful article, weaved with such aesthetic beauty… I just couldn’t help my tears from flowing. I guess we all have been in that place at least once in our life… And I hope we are all healing in our own sweet way.

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