A little boy’s role model for how to be a man is his father. When I was growing up, my father was the sole breadwinner. I am the eldest of my siblings. I am no longer a little boy and I no longer inhabit the world that my father did. I am not the breadwinner of my family. But somewhere deep down, I still feel that I need to play this role.
Some of the women I meet and know still rely on men as sole breadwinners; others work but are not the primary provider. In a select few families I have heard of, women bring home the bacon.
A few months ago, I started a tarot practise after being inspired by my tarot card reader Dipa Sanatani. Initially, I thought it was all woo-woo; but the deeper I dived into my journey–the more I realised tarot’s potential to illuminate the frozen corners of my soul.
My father’s model of masculinity was the norm in the patriarchal era. For my life, I need to rethink what I learnt growing up. My dad wasn’t perfect. He did the best he could with the cards life dealt him. But I am working with a different set of cards; and it’s not easy for me to figure out how to best play with the hand that life has dealt me.
Yesterday, I drew the card Ice-olation from the Osho Zen Tarot Deck. It forced me to face the parts of my emotions that were frozen–the parts of me that no one and nothing could reach. I realised that there were many parts of myself that were held back like a dam. There were places inside of me that were frozen. The only way to unfreeze myself was to allow myself the tears of healing.
Men don’t cry. We are taught not to cry. But if we do not cry, we cannot heal. We must allow the frozen waterfall inside of us to flow into the river and out into the sea.
Today, I decide on an intention before I draw a card.
How can I release the paradigm of toxic masculinity that has me frozen?
I take a deep breath. There are typically 78 cards in any tarot deck. I discard the Ice-olation card that I drew yesterday. As someone who loves numbers, I know that there is a statistical probability of approximately 1.3% of me drawing one of the 77 cards that remains in the deck. I wonder what answer I’ll receive today. I hope it helps me to understand how to be a better man.
The Miser – The Problem
I gaze at the image of an individual that is stuck and hoarding its wealth. It is a similar message to what I received yesterday. Ice-olation dealt with the element of water; The Miser is embedded in the element of earth.
For me, I don’t believe this card speaks to my monetary resources. More that there are hidden jewels inside me that I find myself hesitating to reveal to the people I care about. I have a tendency to overthink things till I drive myself crazy; or to simply take decisions for the sake of taking them. In both situations, my overstimulated mind looks to my intellect for answers.
As I scrutinised the image of this card, I got the sense that I was looking at the problem I had and not the solution I was looking for. With that in mind, I decide to ask another question; this time seeking a solution.
How can I share the essence of my being with those around me?
Adventure – The Solution
A little girl innocently embarks on an adventure. I feel afraid and protective as I gaze at the image of a small child walking into a dangerous forest. My instinct is to protect her and shield her from all the nasty things and people that I know exist in the forest.
What propels this little girl forward? I am a grown man; but still, I find myself frozen and paralysed. I have more tools, more experience and more everything one could possible need to embark on a dangerous journey. And yet, this little girl is moving forward with her heart wide open.
I suppose she has one thing I don’t. Faith. Curiosity. A sense of adventure for the journey that only the heart can experience.
I decide to surrender my mind and open my heart to what may come. That is the simple and uncomplicated answer to overcoming the frozen and cold places of my soul.