I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the seven living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on a conquest.
In tarot, wands represent the element fire. Within fire we focus on our imagination, creativity, our intuition. The number 10 represents the completion of an important cycle in our lives.
In magicks we connect intuition with manifestation. When the 10 of wands appears we have already manifested our dreams into reality. We have the the family we always wanted or the job of our dreams. Once we get these things we have a responsibility to do the best that we can to take care of these them. The #10 also signifies an ending. The choices we make at this point in our lives play a big part in what the next phase of our life will be like.
Necessity is the mother of invention means that we grow into better people because hardship forces us to make decisions that move us toward some of our most transformative experiences. If not for the hardships in our lives, we would miss opportunities to improve it advance ourselves.
Before I made the decision to join the Army, I experienced one the hardest winters of my life because it was the first winter that I had a baby. It was my first major reality check. I took my responsibility as her mother very seriously.
That winter we were so poor that we frequently had no money to buy heating fuel and our pipes would freeze meaning I could not make bottles or wash diapers. It was so cold that the diapers froze on the line. We had to put our baby in the bed with us because it was just too cold to let her sleep in her own bed. I felt a huge responsibility to do better for her. I worked to make money by delivering pizzas. I was sad when I realized that I had no real job skills and the only thing I was considered qualified for was pizza delivery. I did not know what to do to better myself.
One day at work, I met a man that was telling me about the job he did in the Army. He spoke so highly of all the opportunities he had because he made the decision to join the Army. I began to really think about all the stability he spoke so much about.
He told how grateful he was that his children’s medical care was completely covered and that he could take them to the doctor as often as necessary. He talked about getting paid every two weeks consistently. But, the stories he told that really got my attention were about the housing. In the military, he said housing was provided for soldiers and with housing came electricity and water. This really got my attention because it meant that we would have heat. And that was high on my list of priorities.
I found myself really thinking a lot about all that he said. I decided to go and speak to a Recruiter. I took the exam to find out what jobs I could possibly get if I joined the Army. I was given two important option. Water Conservation Specialist and Personnel Management Specialist. I chose the latter because it meant that I would have an office job. And, in the 1980s, this was the kind of job that most women that I knew that had to work did with great respect.
I had reached a critical point in my life and I had to decide between staying at home with my child and going through more and more long hard winters or taking a risk that could potentially change everything for all of us. This was a no brainer in my opinion; it really felt like divine intervention to me. The hardest thing about making this choice was knowing that I would have to leave my daughter for a few weeks to do the necessary training. In the end, I decided that if I had to leave her, I wanted it to be when she was a baby and would not remember it. I made the choice, raised my hand and swore to defend my country.
I did the training and moved to my the other side of the United States. I was sooo happy. I surprised myself by actually making it through all the training. I was so pleased to finally be able to go home and get my daughter and bring her to live in California with me. I had never had so much money in my life. We were literally on top of the world as far as I was concerned. The Army was in fact everything the guy that told me about it promised. We had consistent pay, housing, electricity, and medical care.
I had to make hard choices all the time. I had to give up my expectations of being a full time housewife and mother, but we gained stability. I had to put my daughter in daycare and trust others to care for her while I worked. I even sacrificed my marriage, as husband became insecure because I brought home more income than he did. He resented me for choosing to put our daughter in daycare. He often threatened to take her away from me for abandonment. In the end, we ended up getting a divorce. I almost let him take our daughter with him because he had managed to convince me that I was a bad mother.
When we were planning for him to return home, I took some time again and considered the entire scenario. I realized that if I sent my daughter with him, everything I had done would have been for nothing. I did all that I did to give her a better life. I was finally able to see that I did what I did because I was a good mother. I had sacrificed so much already. I am glad that I decided to keep my daughter. I knew it would not be easy, but I did it. I ended up having a second daughter while on active duty. I found that I was stronger than I had ever imagined possible.
My decision to join the Army was a 10 in tarot. It signified a time in my life in which I had finally achieved becoming a mother and having a family. It was also an ending to a way of life, but it was also a major new beginning. I did sacrifice being with my daughter during a very important time in her life, but I was able to be there for her for all the rest of her life.
I did learn the hard way that we make certain choices throughout all of our lives that make our lives what they are. There was still hardship in our life, but nothing that I could not eventually overcome by thinking things through and conquering new and old fears. I found that I had real tenacity.
In order to achieve a higher status in life, I was faced with some hard choices. Sometimes an ending is a new beginning that leaves us broken and picking up the pieces. However, many many times it bring us good change. When we find our backs against the wall, we have to stop and look at the big picture.
We decide for ourselves which horse we ride. Will it be the white horse that rides bravely into the conquest risking the loss of everything while fighting for real change? Or, will we choose the black horse of destruction and allow everything to fall apart because the risk seems too daunting.
Mary El Tarot – Landscapes Of The Abyss, Marie White