Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Soul On Deck

Every so often, I post this essay as a reminder … Well, I don’t know about you, but I need it right now.  As artists, we pledge to shine in our own unique way, no matter what.

But my heart is torn to bits over the agonies in Haiti. And I am teetering on the edge of absolute despair over Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to sell out the U.S. to corporate money. In stark contrast, I keep thinking, too, about our joyful Card of the Week, and wondering… are you kidding me? Really?

Despite my longing to, I cannot fly to Haiti and give all my body and soul and money, so what can I do? And I feel helpless to stop the machinery Thomas Jefferson most feared and called “the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations” that is now unleashed to demolish our democracy, so what can I do?

Letter to a Young Activist During Troubled Times

Do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking.

Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is – we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plane of engagement…

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind…

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day we assented to come to Earth. For many decades, worldwide, souls just like us have been felled and left for dead in so many ways, over and over brought down by naiveté, by lack of love, by being ambushed and assaulted by various cultural and personal shocks in the extreme.

We have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially – we have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or foundered can be restored to life again.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by perseverating on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear.

Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?…

Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a waterspout, you will see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than the inner one. To calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause it to swirl much less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner core – till whatever has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back to Earth, lays down, is peaceable again.

One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or desperation thereby accidentally contributing to the swale and the swirl. Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.

Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall:

When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Author, Women Who Run With the Wolves
©2003 C.P. Estés, All rights reserved.

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  • January 23, 2010, 9:44 am Beth

    Thank you. Exactly what I needed to hear

  • January 23, 2010, 10:27 am Maria

    Wow. Thank you, Beth.

  • January 23, 2010, 10:57 am Arie

    Your post echoes and vibrates through my whole being.
    Yes, we are the ones we have been waiting for.Thank you Beth, for reminding me. I sometimes forget…

    These are times of transformation.

  • January 23, 2010, 11:07 am Claire

    Beth, reading today’s – thought it be you speaking from the heart, resonates of you. Beautiful
    thank you
    sharing, This video titled: 2012 The End
    is astounding (visual w/o words), the title misleading felt more appropriate would be The Beginning …

  • January 23, 2010, 11:54 am Rick Loftus, M.D.

    What a tonic! I was astonished at the Court’s despicable decision–made the same day ex-eBay CEO Meg Whitman gave herself $20 million more to run for California governor! The media paid hardly any attention, but it was foremost on the minds of patient after patient and friend after friend this week, which reminded me that the citizens are aware of the dark seas swirling around us. As I once said to a fellow activist after a community meeting a few years ago, “It’s amazing to me, given what’s happening in the world today, that tiny little human people get out of bed at all!” Thanks as usual for the inspiration, Beth.

  • January 23, 2010, 12:49 pm Heather

    thank you Beth after that decision from the court I really needed that. as I read it I calmed and remembered what was important in my life. like my tribe/family (most are not blood) and that we are supporting each other, in fact in a few weeks we are all working togeather to start a large garden. I look forward to all the good veggies and love that I know will grow in it. thank you for this reminder.


  • January 23, 2010, 4:03 pm Cathy Sky

    Thank you, Beth. This was so timely. I have seldom felt as “scooped out” (nothing left) energetically, and these words feel just right. God and Goddess, and Goodness bless our troubled world and all its children.

  • January 23, 2010, 5:24 pm painter of blue

    This is wonderful. I particularly liked the section:

    “One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or desperation thereby accidentally contributing to the swell and the swirl.”

    This encapsulates my own response to the tragedy in Hati. There is so much suffering already, I am trying not add to it with my own distress. I pray and have sent money, but I believe my most important contribution is keeping my spirits up and not getting sucked into sadness. Because when I am sad, I bring my family down and the ripple effect begins. I believe everyone on earth is connected so by adding to the peace in our own little patch of land we effect everyone. We have to understand the value of our contribution to the health of the planet and the level peace we have.

  • January 23, 2010, 9:45 pm Claire

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
    Thank you again for the right timing, for knowing what words we all need to hear.

  • January 25, 2010, 11:21 am Chanah Liora

    Oh, thank you for posting this. It is exactly what I needed right now, and I will continue to re-read it throughout my day. What a gift you have given to those us who need to keep our focus.

    Blessings to you Beth

    Chanah Liora

  • January 28, 2010, 10:51 am Della

    Found this quote from Howard Zinn who made his transition yesterday. It not only spoke to me, but brought you to mind.
    “TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
    Howard Zinn
    Aug. 24, 1922 – Jan. 27, 2010