The person I want to commune with this Samhain is my step-grandmother, who I called Oma (German for grandma). In life, she wasn’t much of a “child” person. She was never a mother herself, though my grandad had two children by his first wife, so she still ended up with kids and grandkids. My mum always thought I was her favourite, as I was the only grandkid with brown eyes and hair like her own, the only one who might be mistaken for a blood relative. Plus, she really liked my dad 😉
I never knew her all that well, she was rather a quiet, introverted person, not very good at sharing. I decided to use the cards coversationally, asking questions and seeing where they take me. And I picked the Raven’s Prophecy Tarot (Llewellyn, 2015) because it’s my favourite deck of the year so far.
Hmm, I think this is saying that she felt a part of the family mostly through her relationships to strong male figures. My granddad would have been the prime instance. However, I also notice the symbolism on this card – a sword in a stone, and a crown. That makes me think about King Arthur, and my father’s name was Arthur. So yes, he made her feel more a part of the family, too.
Funny, I don’t think of Oma as being very proactive, or making use of the resources she had to hand. Yet, I suppose she did in many ways. She manifested the relationship she wanted, winning over my grandfather after my grandma had divorced him (which may not have been easy). And she accepted the roles he gave her: as stepmother; and running the women’s clothing store he had originally bought for my grandma. She made her own space in these arenas, taking things in hand and getting good results (both from the kids at school and from the shop).
Perhaps she regretted that she wasn’t really a practical, nurturing woman. She was happier with her head in a book than in the kitchen. And she didn’t have the ability to comfort a crying child, or the desire to take care of the messy practicalities of life. In later years, she became more emotionally open, but I think she remained a Queen of Swords throughout. And that influenced how others responded to her, which can’t always have been easy. While we must lie in the bed we have made, we don’t always understand the consequences of our choices when we make them.
While she may not have been very good at dealing with the complications of family and children, that doesn’t mean that love wasn’t the most important thing in her life. She always had fur babies, and loved them devotedly – they are much simpler than other people’s children. And, as I say, she became more emotionally open when she was older, though not everyone could appreciate the change by that point, relationships being what they are. Yet, love is so fundamental to our well-being, even when we find it hard to express or accept. I wish I had been able to offer her more love, once she became more open to it.
Ah, more love! Honour your differences as well as your similarities, and love people regardless. Intertwine your life with those of the people around you, as that forms the most important support you can have. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you are the same as others, it only matters if you can connect with them despite the differences.
This is a powerful message to me. My elder son is very different, yet I see his joy in being loved and loving. Though people stare in the streets, to me his is beautiful. Thank you for the reminder, Oma.