When the Five of Cups reversed appears, we’re finally ready to address our pain and release it. In order to carry this pain, we’ve ghosted part of ourselves, the part of us that went undercover in our shadowlands. She’s operated there, conducting an orchestra of waking disappointments, self sabotage and enduring, curious pain. The Five of Cups, rx invites us to transmute memory and the pain that pads and protects it like a soul cyst. When this card appears, it’s time to let the ghost wounds surface and witness them for what they are. How have they kept us small? How have they truncated our growth? Witnessing and releasing crystalizes the pain into wisdom which can begin to serve us in a new way.
It’s all about timing. Whatever experiences we’ve had to push into our shadow, well, they have their own expiration date. They’ve steeped there, grown sentient, watched us from the bottom of the lake. When they begin to pus and fester, we feel them in a number of ways: we attract relationships and experiences that trigger the original wound. We feel a soul sickness. Our bones hurt and cry for no reason. We feed the subliminal orchestra, draining resources from our waking life. And then, our growth compels us to change.
I recently listened to an interview with Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. He sat for ten years with his memories before writing the masterpiece Night. When he was asked if the ten years changed him as a witness and a writer, he responded: “Maybe I didn’t change. But the words in me changed. They grew. You know, words have strange destiny, too. They grow. They get old. They die. They come back. Words can be turned into spears. They can be turned into prayers. It’s a strange world that you are in. But you deal with words”.
Pain, like words, has a strange destiny as well. It changes. It can be turned into a prayer. Wiesel’s currency to deal with his past is words. For others, it’s art or dance or journaling or therapy or becoming a parent. But there comes a time, when we are able to remodel our pain and turn it into something beautiful. Something powerful. A new prayer.