tarot decks and books


The Parts Abandoned

A few months ago, my therapist sent out an email blast informing all clients about changes to the therapy group’s structure and management. That wasn’t overly interesting to me, but at the end of the email was this infographic on wholeness from author Amber Rae. I thought it was brilliant, but the part that stood out to me said, “wholeness feels like embracing the parts of me I once abandoned”.

Wholeness Amber Rae

I’ve abandoned many parts of myself that once made me feel whole, foremost being my interest in things forbidden by my Judeo-Christian upbringing. Books on the metaphysical, magick, tarot, runes etc had to be hidden lest they lead to a conversation about God, Jesus as the true lord and savior, and a slew of exhausting questions. I mean, what’s with the third degree?! At least I’m reading, right? 

Metaphysical in the Midwest

This is a common theme amongst my Midwestern friends, and I often wonder if other parts of the country were as rigid. My suspicion is that they were. I was basically coerced into baptism. My grandma threw away my YA novel “The Black Book: Diary of a Teenage Stud Vol. 1 Girls, Girls, Girls” because it said “stud” and had a bikini clad woman on the front. (I’m not saying freshman Allison had great taste in fiction… but I don’t know because I never got to read it!) That book wasn’t even remotely occult, merely “not lady like”, but this is what we were up against.

One friend’s Teen Wicca Kit was discovered by her grandparents and they sat her down and accused her of being in a cult. Another friend stayed “in the broom closet” for years. A third friend’s mom threw out all of her occult books save for the ones she’d stashed with other friends. I bet you have a story too.

Knowledge is power, right?

We should have been allowed to explore freely and discuss our findings openly. I know our elders thought they were protecting our fragile, impressionable minds from eternal damnation, but come on, we weren’t summoning demons or anything! Although, I have totally attempted “light as a feather stiff as a board“. These subjects- paganism, Wicca, divination, meditation- were different and scary and clearly belonged in the garbage.

It’s hypocritical to encourage learning, and critical thinking, but to then put limitations and restrictions on it. Many kids go deeper and get better at hiding things from their parents when punished. I just gave up exploring the taboo, limiting my weirdness to UFO’s and cryptozooology. At least I had The X-files and Unsolved Mysteries! It was just easier to play the part of devout daughter, and when I did open a taboo book, I feared being caught and felt guilty. I don’t like being in conflict, so I shut my own voice down, and gave up my power. I abandoned what made me feel whole. Don’t do that!

Reclaim What Makes You Whole

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a post to rag on Christianity. If that’s what brings you closer to the divine, practice away! I know a couple billion people who are right there with you, and some of them are my closest friends and family. This is a post about re-examining the parts of myself I discarded for the comfort of others. Tarot has helped look at myself and know myself better. No more hiding. I encourage you to do the same. We could even explore it together through the cards if you like. Reclaim your whole self!

Questions to consider

  • What makes you feel whole?
  • What have you abandoned that brought you joy? 
  • How can you reincorporate those elements into your life now? 

I think I’m going to go buy that Teenage Stud book and see if it was any good…

Also, if you’re interested, check out more from Amber Rae at amberrae.com or @heyamberrae on Instagram.

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