Sunday, January 22, 2012

Those Henny Penny Days

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel either an overwhelming anticipation of something really good coming your way or, conversely, an overwhelming dread that you're going to get kicked in the ass really hard?  And you spend your day looking for it, waiting for it, wondering what is going to happen, but then nothing out of the ordinary happens.  What the hell is that? Emotional chemistry going a bit wonky?  Too much caffeine?  The feeling reminds me of the story of Henny Penny, a fable about a fear mongering fowl that runs around proclaiming, "The sky is falling!" for no apparent reason.  I asked tarot and got: 10 of Cups.

Emotional Overload
Actually, I think this card explains more than that.  This card is often interpreted as a "scene," as if it were on a stage and what appears to be happy, happy, joy, joy on the surface may not be reality.   It may, in fact, be set up to produce an emotion in you, but it's not really happening. These may be actors playing a part in a show.  While we often experience all manner of emotions vicariously through watching a play or a movie, we understand objectively that the action on the screen or stage is not "real."  Maybe that's what those anticipatory feelings are, too.  

When I experience a moment of intuitive wisdom, it is usually quite specific.  I feel directed to do something, say something, call someone, research something.  It's generally aimed at a very individual subject, person, or activity.  Even when it is a bit vague, it usually centers on something specific, such as when you get a "bad feeling" about driving that particular route to work, or when you meet someone and they just make the pit of your stomach lurch.  The feeling is focused on that one person or event.  With the dread or anticipation, it's not focused at all.  It's all-encompassing, like anything could happen out of nowhere.  

I had a strange intuitive experience about two months after 9/11, after the World Trade Center was attacked.  I woke up to a beautiful blue sky and thought, "The sky looks just like it did on that day.  Another plane will go down in NY today."  What? Excuse me?  And while it wasn't at all connected with the incident on 9/11, an airplane did indeed crash in Queens, NY that day.  As I heard the report on the news, I wondered why the hell I knew this ahead of time and what difference did it make that I did?  My point is, it was a very specific knowing for a very specific event and not a generalized feeling of dread, although dread accompanied the knowing.  It's quite different than the overall, nebulous, "something bad is going to happen today, I just know it" kind of feeling.

So the 10 of Cups may be saying, "Yes, you're feeling this, but it's not exactly 'real.'"  It's a lot of emotion, but not based in reality.  It's also not a great indicator that you were intuitively sensing something because it's easy enough to find something good or something bad to pin it on if you just scan the evening news.  So what does one do with it? Again, I asked tarot: 6 of Cups

Accept it.  It's probably some old emotional connection from your past or some association with a past event.  I occasionally experience Post Traumatic Stress responses that stem from an abusive relationship in my past.  Similarly, the emotions I experience during those moments are not based in present reality but are triggered by something in the present that reminds my brain of a past event and the attending emotions flood in even though they are not appropriate to the present situation.  Our subconscious mind picks up on the smallest detail and nuance of our everyday experiences and it does this unnoticed by our conscious awareness.  There was likely some subconscious trigger that occurred which set off the emotions you now feel flooded with, but with no specific connection to a present situation.  So, unless I can securely attach the feeling to something specific, I just breathe deep and get on with the day. 

Psychologically speaking, this type of experience, if it is experienced frequently, is labeled an "anxiety disorder."  Even if the anticipatory feeling is an expectation of something good, it still heightens one's awareness and produces the same anxious physical effects in the body.  If this happens to you on a regular basis, there are treatments for it.  I'm talking about the random experiences that only happen once in a while. Either way, though, the 10 of Cups suggests it may be an overproduction of emotion-producing chemicals in the brain.  Psychics and empaths report feeling these things routinely and suggest "shielding" oneself against the onslaught of others' emotions.  Wherever the source of these emotions, they usually serve no benefit to you and are better managed however you best manage them.  For an empath, it would be to recognize the feeling as "not yours" and disowning it.  For someone with PTSD or anxiety, it would be to recognize the feeling as belonging to the past or not rooted in the present and disowning it.  Either way it involves a releasing of feelings that you know aren't connected to your present reality.  Even if it is truly a psychic experience, so what? Unless it is specific there's nothing you can do with it anyway, so why allow the experience to overshadow your day? 

As a tarot reader, it's pretty important to be able to distinguish the intuitive from the emotional. If one is an empathic intuitive, there's yet another layer involved distinguishing between one's own emotions and the emotions of someone else.  The Delphic aphorism to "Know Thyself" is very apt here.  Before approaching the Oracle, one must have a good grasp on one's own emotional and psychological experiences in order to correctly decipher the "truth" from the oracle's often confusing utterances.  Knowing oneself is also a guard against gullibility and from taking (or giving) the wrong advice.  I would also add "Trust Thyself."  Once I learned to take the time to distinguish between intuition and emotion, I was better able to trust my intuition.  Everyone's intuition speaks to them in a different way.  The manner in which my intuition "speaks" to me is usually through phrases or words that come into my mind which may or may not be accompanied by a physical sensation or emotional response.  Usually no emotional feeling is present.  The intuitive thought just "is."  Without the attending emotions, it can be easily brushed aside or left unnoticed. I've had to practice noticing them.  When the intuitive thought comes with emotions, it tends to bother me until I do something about it and there's more sense of urgency because the emotions are nagging at me.  How your intuition speaks to you may be very unique, so it benefits to pay close attention to how you experience it, how your body feels, and what, if any, emotions accompanied the thought.  With regular practice and conscious awareness, the random emotional spillage of those anxious days can be managed and dealt with as soon as you recognize the difference.



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