I am fascinated with the life passage of Divorce. It is a form of death, a form of initiation and a fertile ground for personal growth, should we choose. Today, I got an amazing new Tarot deck called the Wild Unknown. And what is the first thing I do? Start looking for all the divorce metaphors. I have always loved the Tower, and Death and various combinations of masculine and feminine court cards but today I was reminded of the awesome power of the 5 of swords.
In this beautiful, nature based Tarot deck, I found a childhood myth alive and well, and giving me hope for the life of my cracked family. I’m going to bypass science today and go straight to the innocent myth of childhood that if we cut a worm in half, both sides will live. In every marriage there are two people. This is often overlooked in toxic, codependent situations like the one I chose to live in for many many many years. But, in fact, there were 2 people. 2 heads, 2 hearts, 4 legs etc. Sounds like a beast, and for me, it was.
Leaving my 17 year marriage was an act of surgery. I cut the worm, hoping both sides would live. Look Mom! I’m making 2 worms where there used to be 1! This worm crawled off to grow a new head. The other worm crawled off to get himself a tail. Hopefully we will both grow into healthy, full sized worms.
Our marriage was a worm. 5 of swords is a battle in which there is no clear winner or loser. The perception of winning or losing is the truly toxic feeling because creates fear and anger and reinforces old ideas about power. When we draw the 5 of swords, we want to reframe our perception of conflict. How can this conflict be useful to both parties? I love the vision of this worm because it makes the pain equal for both parties. So often, especially in Divorce, we imagine that each person is experiencing more or less pain than the other person. Once we factor in the pain experienced during the entire partnership, and possibly the entire life, then we can see that all pain is equal. Yes, some of us are better at hiding it or numbing it or denying it – but don’t be fooled. We all experience it.